SHTF vs TEOTWAWKI?

TEOTWAWKI, TSHTF, SHTF, Death by GPS, Survival Knife, Survival Rifle, Bug Out Bag, Bugging In, Survival, Survival Rifle, Survival Pistol, Long term Food storage, emergency preparedness, SHTFBLOG.com, thesurvivalmom.com, survivalistboards.com, survivalblog.com,water purification, water filtration, water purification systems, water filtration systems, backpacking tents, md creekmore, Bug Out Vehicles, earthquake kits, bug out bags, disaster kits

This past President’s Day, all the satellite channels on my cable went out.  Annoying.  About an hour later all power in the house went out!  This is about how it would play out if a big CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) were to hit the earth.

Prepared?

First the satellites and then some time delay later (depending on CME speed) the power goes Emergency Preparednessdown.  Since I hadn’t followed my usual practice of daily checking on the Sun, I didn’t know and it was too late to find out.  Then I noticed the cell phones still worked, my Blackberry allowed me internet access (NOT a Carrington Event).  Turns out a line fuse had blown and about 40 houses were without power for 20 minutes or so.  Not even much of a SHTF event but for a few minutes, a whole lot of things I wish I had already done went through my mind.

We often use SHTF and TEOTWAWKI almost interchangeably but they are not the same thing.  ForEmergency Preparedness the first week or two, they may be almost identical.  Law enforcement may still be in place well into the TEOTWAWKI event.  In many scenarios we won’t know if it is TEOTWAWKI for weeks or months.  This causes difficulty in preparations.  Get it wrong and you could be in trouble.

My SHTF moment may be your TEOTWAWKI event.  When Hurricane Ike hit Houston, I shared food, firearms and ammo with neighbors.  It was a SHTF and not even a ‘Black Swan‘ event.  The problem with this, of course, is that now my neighbors know I’m prepared.  If you lived on Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston, Texas, Hurricane Ike was a TEOTWAWKI event.  This Cat II hurricane had a storm surge like a Cat IV storm and in parts of Bolivar not even the foundations are left.

The point of this is that not only is one man’s SHTF another man’s TEOTWAWKI, one event can morph into the other.  How you prepare for one event effects how you deal with the other type event.  If you have only prepared for TEOTWAWKI and that plan is basically taking your fully tricked out assault rifle and scrounging what you need from your neighbor’s deserted homes, then you may find yourself in real trouble when the SHTF but it isn’t TEOTWAWKI.  SHTF and even ‘Black Swan’ events happen to all of us to varying degrees with surprising regularity although we often don’t recognize it.  If you worked for Bernie Madoff and his ponzi scheme, the SHTF big time when your job, your investments and your savings all went away at the same time! Everything changed overnight.

I think the most likely TEOTWAWKI event will be some type of pandemic that will start slowly and grow in isolated locations until some critical mass is reached. You may have a different “favorite” TEOTWAWKI event but this one serves for discussion.  At the point critical mass is reached everything shuts down, martial law is declared and the TEOTWAWKI spiral begins.

Plan For The Mostly Likely Events

What does this mean for us?  I would argue that most of our preparations should be for SHTF Emergency Preparednessevents.  A TEOTWAWKI pandemic and a normal flu outbreak will be identical on the local level for the first days to weeks.  So my first preparations will be to survive a one-week ‘shelter in place’ – grid up and utilities working.  My next step is to survive a 2-week, shelter in place, grid down scenario followed by a possible 4-week bug out stint.  I am ready and flexible if things change but I feel that this is the most likely scenario and what I base my planning around.

The moral is to prepare for the most likely events first since they are the ones that will surely happen.  I KNOW Houston will get hit by another hurricane.  If I’m ready for Ike, then I’m set for a different 2 to 4 week grid down Black Swan.  If I stretch my preparations to 3 months then I’m ready for a massive commerce interruption and so on. Baby steps will carry you far if you are consistently improving.  Giant steps can lead to major, perhaps catastrophic mistakes in planning and execution. Take care of the smaller, high probability events and the low probability events and Black Swans can be successfully handled.

By Captain Bart of SurvivalCache.com

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Victoria Musgrave

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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

badvoodoodaddy March 21, 2011 at 9:44 am

Excellent post. Made me think about what it is that I am prepping for. I guess it still is a good idea to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

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JohnDoe1999 March 21, 2011 at 10:49 am

Great article sir, this is something that is often overlooked. My family buys supplies once month and meets with another family of friends to keep things reasonable, exchange ideas, and plan. For me SHTF, would be "the big one" the high intensity large scale earth quake that will turn Arizona into beach front property. (I'm exaggerating, but not by much) I know that relief is bound to come, but it's days 3-30 that worry me. But I also know that FAR MORE LIKELY is another routine medium intensity small scale earthquake that will postpone relief for 3 -4 days. I wouldn't even consider that SHTF, just a drill for it. I just don't wanna be the guy who bursts out his front door in full MOPP gear after the 3.0 earthquake…

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CaptBart March 21, 2011 at 11:22 am

"bursts out his front door in full MOPP gear after the 3.0 earthquake" – Made me think of the TV ad (can't remember the product – not a very effective add I guess) of the rattle snake after the rabbit and then the rabbit sees the baby rattle instead of the snake rattle on the snake's tail and the entire desert bursts out laughing. If you're lucky that would ONLY be very embarrassing. If it really isn't your day, you may get to explain to the local constabulary exactly what you thought you were doing and why.
It is good that you meet with like minded families. A consideration is that if you have critical items (special medications for example), you make sure you have a supply with each family in the group. That way, if their/your house is destroyed, there is still a supply of the 'must have to live' items at each potential refuge.

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357chaos March 21, 2011 at 11:41 am

I think people prep for different reasons and fears. I started prepping for SHTF (hurricanes) and I have progressed into prepping for TEOTWAWKI (EMP type scenario). But prepping for hurricanes is what got me started. After watching Katrina on TV, I started keeping extra ammo supplies. After Ike, I started keeping extra food, water, and gas. It seems to have just grown in complexity and quantities from there. I guess prepping for TEOTWAWKI makes the SHTF that much easier?

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Suburban Survivalist March 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm

My approach is to mainly prepare with TEOWAWKI (collapse/WROL) in mind and, in my case, a long bug out. That handles most events short of that with, a few tweaks. My brothers and I stockpile at our parents' rural farm, but have mini-stockpiles where we are – several months of food, candles, batteries, H2O purification, candles, well used camping gear, weapons/ammo, etc. If the power goes out for two weeks (or a lot longer) in the middle of a huge blizzard, we'd be fine in place.

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CaptBart March 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Since you note that you are prepared for a "several month" SHTF, I agree that your current preparations can now be focused on a more long term scenario. You don't want to be forced into a TEOTWAWKI response to a 3 week problem. I fear many new preppers either get discouraged by the price of 'a year's supply' of everything needed and don't prepare or they make some really bad and potentially expensive choices. Then when the 3 week SHTF happens, they really are not prepared to deal with it.

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Suburban Survivalist March 21, 2011 at 7:40 pm

BTW, it took awhile to get there with food. I don't have 5 gal buckets of wheat or crates of MREs, but have slowly purchased extra here and there of the regular foods we eat to get to the 3+ month mark (more if rationed, less if we need to share w/others). A few extra cans of whatever, an extra bag of rice here and there, an extra bundle of mac-n-cheese every week – it adds up. A few things I don't eat often but stock when on sale due to high fat/calorie concentrations; peanut butter, canned meats, etc.

We don't need a years supply here; if it goes past a month or two the place will probably be total chaos/WROL and we'll have bugged out (or be dead). Extra food goes w/us in the BoV, is shared with others prior to that, or if we can't take it, traded/given away/abandoned. It's good to have options.

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CaptBart March 22, 2011 at 9:06 am

Sounds like you went the same route I did. The 'bulk food' items came last to fill out some gaps and were mostly things like Beans, rice, some cheese and wheat.
By the way, Peanut butter and crackers are a great 'share' food. If someone shows up with nothing, I have enough Peanut butter and crackers that I'm not going to have to send kids away hungry OR reveal my level of supplies. It is amazing how long 8 or 10 large jars of peanut butter will last but since they have an essentially infinite shelf life that is OK. I can pass out a jar or two, the others can survive on it, and I have not revealed that I have a large stockpile of food. Lastly, kids tend to love it anyway.

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CaptBart March 22, 2011 at 12:02 pm

BTW – WORL? That is an acronym I don't remember seeing before. I probably should know but don't. Would you mind explaining?
Thanks.

Chefbear58 March 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm

A pretty awesome prepping/outdoors food item I found at the Quantico Commissary a while back, is powdered peanut butter. I have found several uses for it… I pack some in my hunting vest… First aid kit (never know when you will need to give somebody some food to take meds with or to boost someones blood sugar!)… in my emergency kit in the Jeep… in my tackle bag… in the emergency packs I made my girl for Christmas (vehicle bag, BOB, 3 day pack)… SEVERAL jars in the pantry for every-day use… in my gym bag (nice snack after a heavy work-out)… a bunch of jars in the emergency supplies.
The way I package it for smaller portions (like my hunting vest), is to scoop however many servings I want for that pack into a zip-top bag, then put it into another zip-top bag, label the outside bag (what it is, date packaged, exp on original package, instructions). I then place these bags into a vacuum sealing bag with a couple napkins, plastic knife and I sometimes add in any number of my favorite "add ins" (dehydrated marshmallows -or- dehydrated/freeze-dried fruit [I like apples, cinn. spiced apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, bananas, blueberries]. Other nice things to throw in the packs are things you can find at your local convenience store/breakfast restaurant/some grocery stores. They are called PC's (personal containers, for those not familiar with restaurant industry terminology), think the little pack of ketchup/mustard -OR- the square plastic/squeeze packs of jelly/honey. For the peanut butter, I like using any of the sweeter options like honey, jam/jelly, even pancake syrup is a good "add in". These will also give you a boost of sugar to go with the protein&fat in the peanut butter,
The powdered PB is great because #1 *the company claims* that the product will NEVER go rancid if stored properly #2 ANYONE with at least 1 hand who knows how to stir can mix it up #3 it has a stronger peanut flavor then the standard jar/can peanut butter #4 I like my peanut butter thick, if you like it thick, just add a little more powder, if you like it thinner just add a little more liquid #5 It mixes with water, but I have also used milk, cream, gator aid (orange flavor peanut butter was NOT great, but it sounded good!), coconut milk -OR- coconut water was REALLY GOOD!, I have also used vanilla flavored milk & chocolate milk (Ovaltine)… OR whatever your imagination can come up with! ** adding in a little bit of caramel/butterscotch to the mixed peanut butter is AMAZIN! **

It works great for cooking/baking too. I like to replace some of the flour needed for making peanut butter, choc chip/peanut butter and oatmeal- butterscotch cookies. I also mix it (along with whey protein powder) into my homemade protein/granola bars. A few months ago I caught a bunch of croakers (salt/brackish water fish, like the bluegill of saltwater but tastes much, much better!) , one of my favorite recipes is "pan fried croaker fillet with Thia peanut sauce", I use rice flour & cornstarch (50/50), and spices/herbs to bread the fish with. This time I replaced 1/4 of the rice flour & cornstarch with the powdered peanut butter and added 2 tbsp of regular flour… It came out AWESOME! It did get a good bit darker than normal, and the breading held a *little* more grease (not much, barely noticeable to others), but it was some of the best fried fish I have ever had, especially when served with a nice, slightly bitter/spicy "micro-greens" salad (dressed with a simple ginger, soy, mirin sesame oil [NOT TOASTED] vinaigrette, with minced fresh mango). It also will aork as a thickening agent in some soups/sauces… Makes a KILLER VA Peanut & Porter soup!

Sorry, I can go on all day about cooking!

CaptBart March 21, 2011 at 7:19 pm

357chaos,

You are right, people do sometimes prep out of fear but I try to discourage prepping for that reason. I tend to take another approach. Rather than prep for TEOTWAWKI, I encourage people to prep for the most likely SHTF scenario. As you prepare for the most likely event (hurricanes in Houston – Ike was a PAIN) you lay the foundation for larger events. It also has the advantage of not frightening other family members. By prepping for the most likely, I am ready when it comes and I haven't been discouraged by a huge initial investment; going for a couple of years worth of stuff is expensive and almost guaranteed to leave a major hole somewhere. We discovered during Ike, we didn't have nearly enough powdered milk – a surprise to us.

It is not what I am afraid of but rather the foreseeable events that I can protect my family from that I consider. If the Black Swan happens, then I have a solid foundation to work from.

Fear leads to mistakes, preparation leads to confidence and survival. If I'm afraid I may not believe I can survive. If I don't believe I can survive, I won't. Prepare for the foreseeable and the unknown is manageable. The military knows that no plan survives first contact with the enemy. That doesn't mean you don't plan. It means you have to have a plan to base your operations on but you have to have the skill and flexibility to adapt.

I would recommend keeping TEOTWAWKI in mind, but until you have solid preparation for the most likely SHTF events you are wasting resources preparing for a TEOTWAWKI event that may not happen in your lifetime. You may disagree, of course, but that is my not so humble opinion.

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usnyhockeyguy March 21, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Great post Captain, prepping can be an overwhelming task to start, but using your method it doesnt seem so daunting. I like focusing on the most realistic first, then building the zombie boobie traps.

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Forge_Survival March 22, 2011 at 7:23 am

Zombie Boobie Traps – you need to submit an article on that. That would be a sweet read.

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CaptBart March 22, 2011 at 9:07 am

I agree! ZBT – has a ring to it ….

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Minarchist_1776 March 21, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Another excellent post. I agree with the general idea that one should prepare for what one can prepare for, and trust to God for help with the things that one can't. I also believe that the most vital preparation one can make is for a bug out, with bug in as needed for other scenarios. Your point that one probably won't know exactly what is going on until several days into the event is also well taken.

While I believe that one should have "serious" weaponry available, I also believe that its use is a *last* resort and should be used only under circumstances that would be justifiable under Common Law. The most basic weapons one should have in my opinion are a good thirty caliber rifle (.308,.30-06), a pistol chambered in a cartridge whose caliber designation starts with a "4" and a 12 gauge shotgun. The only reason not to have those weapons is if for some reason one is physically unable to handle them. While there are a lot of other good and highly useful weapons out there which one can get to augment that basic battery (even including pellet guns, see previous article) I can think of none which would actually supplant it.

One of the aspects that has been touched on briefly is one's physical conditioning and general overall state of health. In that regard, I am currently working my way through a problem which has brought home to me the fact that one's teeth are also an important part of the consideration.

First of all, for people in their mid teens to early twenties, wisdom teeth can potentially be quite troublesome. Way back in the day all four of mine came in fully impacted and had to be pulled. While this was an obnoxious experience for me when the procedure was performed by a qualified dentist in his office, I shudder to think what someone might have to go through to get that problem handled in anything even remotely like a "survival" situation. My advice in this instance for those in that position is to have their wisdom teeth properly removed by a qualified dentist as soon as it makes sense to do so. If you are a parent of such a person and still financially responsible for them, then you are the one who should make sure that it gets done.

However, what brought this to mind is a more recent problem. I had a filling that had come out, and as it was only a minor inconvenience and didn't hurt, I ignored it. I figured I had better things to spend my limited money on then to take care of a "non-problem". That state of affairs lasted for several years, with me telling myself that eventually I would get a dentist to look at it when I could set the money aside to get it taken care of. Unfortunately the lack of pain or other obvious sign of things going wrong in that department did not mean that everything was copacetic. I ended up getting an obnoxious toothache and associated infection out of it. Even with things currently under more or less "normal" conditions it took me several days to get to a dentist as the problem become un-ignorable on a Saturday morning and dentists in my area basically only work on weekdays. Fortunately though dentists are still working, various pain killers and other assorted tools of their trade are available in their offices, and some root canal work plus antibiotics look to put paid to the immediate problem with a follow on visit in a week for a new crown for the tooth. Thus the only "real" damage done is to my alleged budget leaving me figuring out how to juggle things to pay for it all.

Had this problem occurred in anything even remotely resembling a "survival" situation then it could have compromised my ability to stay alive. Thus I would advise people to have their teeth checked up regularly and not to put off dealing with potential problems any longer than they absolutely have to. The possibility of infections is no joke, and what might have to be done to solve various assorted dental problems in a "survival" situation would be good grist for a "horror" movie. So take advantage of good dental care while it's available and try to head off at least some of your potential problems ahead of time.

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usnyhockeyguy March 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Here is a link to a great little insurance policy for your teeth. I have one in my BOB, even though I hope I never hve to use it.
http://beprepared.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_CH%20T08…

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Chefbear58 March 24, 2011 at 10:46 pm

You could always resort to the Tpm Hanks, in "Castaway" method…. ice-skate and a bigg ol' rock.
Or JB Weld, to fill in your teeth!
Just kiddin' of course!

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CaptBart March 22, 2011 at 9:18 am

Well written, sir. We often forget that an infected tooth can be fatal without modern treatment. I'm going in for oral surgery on Thursday to get a tooth implant. I broke a tooth that had already had the root canal – it didn't hurt but it had to be removed. There are various dental products for sealing a tooth that should be in your medical kit but, and it is a big "but", that only seals the tooth against pain. It does nothing for infection. The tender dental procedure Tom Hanks used in "Cast Away" saved his life but I sure don't ever want to use an ice skate for dental work – I still get shutters just thinking about it!

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Rescue7 March 22, 2011 at 12:21 pm

What about Leatherman dental school? For those still in the beginning stages of prepping instead of reinventing the wheel read Emergency food storage & survival handbook: everything you need to know to keep your family safe in a crisis / Peggy Layton. I found it in my local library. Peggy has a great system of starting small and building up. She also has some great lists with formulas for figuring out how much of each item you would need for a week, month, 3 months, a year, etc. Some of the best ideas were storage systems that allow easy addition of new items while older items are used before end of shelf life. Personally, I like the idea of stocking stuff your family likes and uses which she recommends. But, I also stock item because of long shelf life, nutritional values and calorie counts . Tuna and spam have really long shelf lives. Like a good mom she also has great recipes for freeze dried and dehydrated food items that last a really long time. In the after shock that follows a really bad situation a good meal can really be a huge moral booster. Little treat items can also bring a smile to someone’s face.

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CaptBart March 30, 2011 at 9:21 am

Good point. While it may be fun to imagine yourself as Burt Gummer (Tremors movies/series survivalist) or Mad Max the simple fact is that a steady diet of cactus and Tabasco sauce is not very good for the 'will to survive'. This is especially true for our family. To my way of thinking, the only thing that would be less fun than surviving TEOTWAWKI would be not surviving TEOTWAWKI. I pray I never get to find out if my preps are good enough for my family to make it through. Having things that can bring a smile can be the difference between wanting to survive and just not caring.

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CaptBart March 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Well thought out, sir. Even the extra tools and such are because 'it is such a pain to have to haul everything around and sometimes I forget what I need. This way it is always here when I need it to be.' And you are right. It is surprising how fast it does grow with time. Well thought out, indeed.

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Kevin Cease March 23, 2011 at 1:43 am

Bernie Madoff should have put together a Bug Out Bag.

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Kevin Cease March 23, 2011 at 1:53 am

By the way I live in an apartment in the upper NW of Vegas, way out basically in the desert in an apartment complex. Any advice you would give to a new prepper? I have been building a bug out bag, and purchased a mossberg 590. I would feel weird filling my closet up with peanut butter and water, it's not really the biggest closet around, and my girl has a LOT of clothes. I have the foresight to see that I should be prepared, but it is a bit overwhelming trying to put together scenarios. If it were a BEIDWTBII (bad economy I don't want to be in) or possibly a SCWGWAH event (scary citizens with guns who are hungry,) I'd have some security and enough food and water for a week, and I'd probably try to get out of town if I had to, where family is in AZ (assuming I could get there.) The idea of having to trek in the desert seems a bit far off, but that is where we started by building the BOB. Any thoughts?

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Minarchist_1776 March 23, 2011 at 3:48 am

The blindingly obvious problem with having to travel through the desert is the almost total lack of easily available water. The U.S. military publishes several survival manuals that I would suggest you try to track down (don't have any links handy right now, sorry). I would also suggest getting a good water filter setup designed for use by backpackers. If you're going to be going on foot through the desert then I would suggest traveling at night and laying up in a tent/shady spot during the day. You should give serious thought as to what kind of vehicle you drive. I highly suggest getting something that has 4×4 or AWD capability if you don't have one already.

In addition to storing water for yourself and girl friend, you should also look at trying to store some gasoline for your vehicle assuming you can find a safe/secure place to do it. For relatively long term storage you're going to want to use metal fuel containers and add gas stabilizer to it. Gasoline stored that way should last for roughly a year or so.

While a good 12 gauge shotgun is one of the most effective and versatile weapons available, it does have a tendency to attract attention if you're carrying it openly in public. While you are off to a good start there I would suggest picking up a pistol for your next weapons purchase.

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CaptBart March 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Kevin,
A rule of thumb (or two):
Put the stock of a long gun on the inside of your lady's elbow – if the trigger finger falls nicely into the trigger guard, the reach is correct. If the shot gun is too 'long' a gunsmith can shorten the stock to fit her. I had that done for my wife's 20 GA pump. It is awkward to use a gun that is two short but is virtually impossible to use one that is too long. Another option would be an adjustable stock. Either way, make sure the stock fits her.

If your lady has small hands the small Ruger or Kel Tec semi-autos might be good fit. If you don't get a lot of range time, I second the idea of the revolver. Revolvers are more reliable, easier to use, can feed almost any round that fits the caliber and are safer to use for the neophyte. Slides can be difficult to rack if you don't have the grip strength and getting a finger in front of the barrel is dangerous. I like .357 Mag revolvers for beginners because they can feed both .38 and .357 and with the 9 mm cylinder can fire that round as well. Ruger makes some excellent .357/.38 revolvers. Add a laser sight (my wife loves them) and you have a reliable short range defense weapon. The laser helps avoid needing 18 round magazines because you are aiming, not just spraying and praying. The .38 special is an adequate defense round if properly chosen (FBI round or Hornady critical defense ammo for example) plus in .357 it is good defense for anything in the lower 48 except maybe a grizzly. In addition, rifles are available chambered for the .357 so that gives a carbine suitable for city use.

I use plastic storage boxes for my 'hurricane kit' that is about 3 weeks worth of stuff. Six of them fit under a queen size bed nicely. Drawback is that you must remember to rotate stock or you have a 3 week supply of food poisoning.

If you think you may need to walk out, plot the path now and cache water along the way. 5 gallons in sealed, glass containers buried where you know how to find them could be a lifesaver.
I suspect your 'horse' (vehicle) will be as essential to you as it was 100 years ago. All the comments about maintaining that vehicle hold true. If it doesn't work and you haven't prepared a walk out path, you can not bug out. Remember, the bug out route may well be from water hole to water hole, not a straight line. If you have a basement in your apartment then you have more room to store things but be sure it is not obvious what is there.

Survey your apartment for easy break in points. No apartment is as secure as a house but you can do much to make it less attractive to bad guys. A lot of fairly inexpensive stops, locks, and alarms will give you warning of an intruder.

Welcome to the site. Never be afraid to ask a question. We have a good group here that is always willing to help.

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CaptBart March 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Kevin,
One other thought, if you keep your supplies in your apartment, you are most likely going to have to 'pack mule' them down to your vehicle without benefit of elevator. Even if the elevator is working, carrying a week or two worth of food and water (especially water – a gallon a day minimum per person) to your vehicle might well draw unwanted attention. Depending on what floor you live on, it could be more difficult. Think about the problem and develop a way to handle the logistics. Then test your plan. It may not work the first few times so keep trying until you get something that works for your situation.

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Straydog April 1, 2011 at 9:26 am

Kevin, you've come to the right place to gain information and insite from other like minded folks. This should be top of your favorites list. Read, read read, listen listen listen, practice practice practice. Ask questions, any question, there are no stupid questions (the first time). It seems everyone posting here is more than willing to share his or her knowledge, experience and strong points on the entire spectrum of subject matter. I suggest keeping a tabbed notebook of sorts, as you mention you are new to this whole prepping thing. for quick reference on a given subject. Again, thanks to the site providers and all the participants for making this such a great site.

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Kevin Cease March 23, 2011 at 7:31 pm

thanks man. We are working towards a concealed permit and to start, a Ruger SR9c followed by probably a full sized glock. It's funny (and also really crappy,) my girlfriend can't even hold the damn shotgun.

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guest March 24, 2011 at 9:30 am

Instead of putting those things in your closet you could look into large Rubbermaid containers. One for your camping gear, one for food, one for clothes/gear. SInce your in the desert you could dedicate an entire one with 2 liter bottles full of water. If the plastic is a solid color they go unnoticed in the corner of a room. Easy to load into your BOV or all organized if you have to bug in.

I'd also suggest getting a shelving unit for your kitchen. Just buy more of the foods you already do, and people won't even think that your preparing for anything other than a party. I personally really like using rubbermaids as they hold a lot reliably and can be easily organized and transported.

Also, I'd suggest getting a .22 rifle for desert hunting. Or even better, a Springfield M6 scout. Great for survival small game hunting. Packs down so it can go anywhere and coupled with your concealed carry should be all the firepower you need for a beginner.

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Chefbear58 March 25, 2011 at 12:31 am

Both Minarchist_1776 and "Guest" bring up good points
-DEFINITELY should have a 4×4/AWD vehicle with some decent ground clearance (don't need Bigfoot the monster truck!!)
-Lightweight, highly rated, EFFECTIVE water purification system is a must!
-Shotgun is a good start, if you only have 1 gun it "covers more bases" than just about any other
-Stock what you will eat, and keep it organized, makes it more manageable and easy to access

Some things I would add
-Get and LEARN TO USE PROPERLY a good map and a quality compass; Dessert navigation can be very difficult
-Add a venom extractor to your first aid kit! Works for scorpions, snakes, spiders, etc…. all found in the dessert
-Emergency/reflective blankets can be a good way to direct radiant heat (sunlight) away and help keep you cool in the middle of the dessert
-Acquire and keep glycerin in your first aid kit, it can help prevent dehydration
-Get a pistol that is tested AND proven in extreme climates, Glock, Barretta-P92, M1911, H&K, Sig Sauer – all have proven track records, but also choose a model that is comfortable for you and your girl. A Revolver/"Wheel Gun" might be something to consider as well, there is less to mechanically fail in them, than what is found in a semi-auto… Do as much "homework" as possible before making a firearms purchase, make sure you follow ALL of the firearms laws in your area, and if possible fire the weapon before you buy it… GET TRAINING if at all possible, you don't want to accidentally hurt someone you love!
-Electrolyte supplements would be a good idea, I like the ones made by Camel-Back because they work, taste decent (orange is best IMO), and you can mix them right in the Camel-Back bladder. It is possible to drink more than enough water and still become dehydrated because of electrolyte deficiency
-Get lightweight, comfortable LONG SLEEVE clothing- Colombia makes good stuff for your environment, make sure it breathes and covers as much skin as possible. Don't forget sunscreen, you can still get burned under some of those clothes. Long sleeves will help protect against the sun/wind and even some stinging insects. Good hat should also be included, I like a "Boonie cap"
-It can get REALLY cold in the desert at night, make sure you have good sleeping bags and warm clothes to slip over the lightweight stuff.

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Chefbear58 March 25, 2011 at 12:33 am

CONT.>>>> SORRY LONG-WINDED TONIGHT!

-Keep extra fluids for your vehicle, in your vehicle JUST IN CASE! Don't want to break down in the middle of a "sand-oven" without radiator fluid/oil/etc.
-Get an air pump- deflating the tires a bit can help get across tougher sand obstacles, but you will need to eventually re-pressurize the tires
-Pack a board and a "floor jack", it will make changing a tire easier, the board will help keep the jack from sinking in the sand, by distributing the weight across a broader surface
-Bring a couple extra boards, they will help you get traction if you get stuck- works for mud to!
-A winch is ALWAYS a good idea for a 4×4
-For a "all around" rifle, I would consider an AR-15 -OR- Mini 14 -OR- 22/250 -OR- 25-06 -OR- 22 mag- Any of these will be good for small/medium game hunting (possibly big game if shot placement is good). They will also take care of predators, both 2-legged and quadruped! They are all fairly lightweight, with relatively lightweight ammo as well. The benefit of the AR15, is that if you have a part fail, they are common enough that you could stock the most likely to wear parts, or scavenge/trade parts from another rifle. The AR 15 is also very "user friendly", it should be fairly easy to get your girl up to speed in it's operation, ammo is relatively cheap, and they are VERY customizable.
-A few good sheath knives, a machete, an axe, a pocket knife or 3 and a couple multi-tools- All of these will have uses in any environment. The multi-tools… I keep one on my hip and 3 in my JEEP at ALL TIMES, you never know when you will need one!
- A plastic sheet and a bucket can be used to create a "urine still", which will allow you to SAFELY recycle water from your urine, which will stretch what you carry a bit
-A shovel would be a wise investment, a flat shovel and a spade would be even better, but they take a decent amount of space. Maybe an entrenching tool would be a good choice (it can double as a VERY effective edged weapon).
-Foods that do not require excessive water to digest or eat (i.e. salty, overly sweet, dehydrated/freeze-dried), would be a good choice. Mainstay and other companies make "food bars" for life rafts, they are supposed to take less water to digest/eat, and are very compact. You could carry 3600 worth of food in a space about 1/2 the size/weight as 1 MRE (avg 2830)
-Make sure that you can carry extra fuel for your vehicle, for example, I drive a JEEP Wrangler and there isn't much space in the cab, BUT I am going to be fitting holders on the back that will fit "jerry-cans" which will give me about 10 extra gallons of fuel. If you are going through the desert, you REALLY don't want to run out of fuel!
-There is a product on the market which is designed to stay in your trunk for up to a few years and still work as a replacement for gasoline if you run dry. It is supposed to be safe in any gasoline vehicle, including fuel-injected, carbureted, motorcycles, boats, RV's and ATV's. I have never used it, and don't know anyone who has, but they have good ratings online
-Make a tool kit which will help you deal with the most likely mechanical failures of your vehicle. I carry a 35pc socket set, "breaker bar", 2 ratchets, bicycle pump, rubber sledge hammer, ball-peen hammer, MAX-AXE- shovel, Maddox, pick, axe, pry-bar and crow-bar all in one, 2-ton floor jack, jumper cables, adjustable wrench, 2 pairs of "knuckle busters", 2 sets of channel-locks, and I am saving up for a small solar panel to charge the battery if needed.
-EVERY 4×4 SHOULD HAVE- ropes and/or chains!!! A "chain dog", when used properly, and with a little skill can be used as a make-shift winch if you have something solid to anchor it to… It WILL take a good bit of time/elbow grease… But it works! Even simple tow-straps could prove VERY handy!
-Duct tape, Super Glue, 100mph tape, twine/small diameter braided rope (I like cotton, not nylon), gorrilla glue, electrical tape.
Of course what you will need for your particular situation and what you can do with your budget may differ. This is based on a list of items my cousin (former SEAL & LEO) told me to keep in my vehicle (based on what he has in his) when I met up with him for a week long camping/off-road trip in the brush country of Texas. I live in VA and drive to TN sometimes, I do adjust what I carry for the terrain/situations I might be faced with, but for the most part my little JEEP is a rolling tool-shed/first aid station/kitchen/base camp… and whatever other role it needs to fulfill…. I LOVE MY JEEP!
Sorry I am a bit "long winded" tonight, but I hope this helps you a bit! AND Welcome to the wonderful world of prepping!
The "sheep" will think your nuts… The "wolves" will want to know where/what you stash your preps… And the fellow "sheep-dogs" will more than likely have your back, and be more than happy to help you learn! Remember, it's better to ask a "stupid question" then to make a "stupid mistake"!

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Chefbear58 March 25, 2011 at 1:28 am

All that typing and I forgot to mention a good field guide- Boy Scout Field Manual, is a great start… lot's of info, but you may find it lacking a little in some areas such as identification of wild edible plants… TONS of great info on knots, building shelters from natural materials improvised hunting/fishing/trapping techniques, campsite layout, first aid, and many many more topics. It may have more info in a modern one (mine is from the 50's/60's)
USAF Survival Manual- GREAT, HUGE resource of information including maintaining psychological health/well-being, evasion tactics, camouflage, improvised shelters/weapons/fish & animal traps/booby-traps/clothing/first aid supplies, signaling for help… and MANY, MANY other topics. HUGE BOOK… weighs about 6lbs!
There are also TONS of US Army training manuals you can choose from, I have found them on the internet as little as $2.50/ea, and at gun shows for $5/ea. My favorites include counter-guerrilla warfare, improvised munitions, booby-traps, counter-insurgency, camouflage, improvised shelters, improvised tools (shows how to make a VERY effective bow, I made one and it was excellent for small game), Urban OPS, Camouflage- Concealment & Decoys, TERRAIN ANALYSIS, MAP READING AND LAND NAVIGATION, They have a desert operations manual and bout 500 others that might interest you. They tend to be VERY DRY reading, but they are ceartainly packed with some good info!

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Josh March 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Are you sure that you shouldnt be writing for this site? You always contribute a lot through your comments.

Regulator5 April 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm

You forgot the Ranger Digest series….lol. "Ranger Rick" has alot of little tid bits of info to improvise and utilize different items from their intended purpose. Some are ok, some good and others, I hope I never have to try. These are supposed to be tried and true methods.
http://survivaloutdoorskills.com/
Here's the website.

CaptBart April 26, 2011 at 11:49 am

Chefbear,
your post reminded me of something – years ago the family was vacationing in an RV with some friends. I had my usual stuff which included my electrical kit. Took a ribbing for that until I proved the power surge that ruined my friends' power box came from the camp ground but that isn't the point here. Just outside of Hobbs, NM I came up on a stalled car. The guy was taking his wife for dialysis and had split a radiator hose. We were about 60 miles from anywhere. I wrapped duct tape around the hose. Knowing that wouldn't hold I then wrapped the duct tape patch with 20 gauge wire like a large coil. I then used electricians tape to hold the wire and because I'm careful ( I'm not paranoid – the universe really is out to get me!) I wrapped the whole thing in duct tape one more time. Filled his radiator with the spare coolant I had for the RV and followed them the 60 miles or so the facility they needed to reach. The wire reinforcement allowed the tape to seal the leak without carrying the pressure load. We left them in town with a 'good luck', some water and continued on our vacation. Took a little time from our day but they were in 100 degree heat, no water, no communications and a LOT of trouble. When our technology lets us down (it will) we have to do what we can with what we have. Planning for one event can often be used to fix the unforeseen.

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Chefbear58 April 26, 2011 at 5:45 pm

It's a shame there aren't more people willing to help those in need these days! That was pretty slick thinkin' with the wire, I honestly can't say I would have thought to do that the first time around. I am going to have to remember that one!

If you can find HVAC "foil tape" it will hold a lot more pressure than duct tape, and it is more temperature resilient. It's basically a piece of heavy aluminum foil with adhesive on one side, but it is specifically designed to work in extreme temperatures. I buy it from R.E. Micheal's HVAC supply company, but I don't know if they sell to the public (I am a certified EPA s608 Universal Technician), and I don't know if you can find it in a hardware store but it's worth a look.

David April 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm

consider the SR40 instead of the SR9 more stopping power much better ballistics and still high capacity with the same feel

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Zythum_Halen March 24, 2011 at 4:31 am

I like the logic of the approach you are talking about here, it is much like the Survival Food Pyramid. Keep building on what you have.

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Leon March 26, 2011 at 7:11 am

What is SHTF? What is TEOTWAWKI? All acronyms are supposed to have a first reference before being used and I found nothing to explain or differentiate what these acronyms. Shouldn't new preppers be informed of what you're talking about before there is a discussion of the differences?

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Wolfie March 26, 2011 at 9:21 am

SHTF= "DOGGIE DO DO HITS THE FAN"- no profanity allowed here, only in my garage
TEOTWAWKI="THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT"
WROL="WITHOUT RULE OF LAW"

This site, a great site, has persons at all levels of readiness. Many established preppers giving sound guidance to those just beginning. Capt. Bart even caught me off guard with his term "Black Swan Event." I had to research it through his link in the article.

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CaptBart March 26, 2011 at 11:10 am

Wolfie,
Thanks for the response, sir.

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CaptBart March 26, 2011 at 11:11 am

Leon,
My apologies, sir. We do tend to forget not everyone knows what we mean. I had to ask about WROL myself. We get familiar with these acronyms and forget others may not know. As my wife asked my about flying when she first got started,"How long did it take you to learn the language?"
A good source for acronyms is http://www.survivalblog.com/glossary.html#top
It doesn't contain all of the acronym but has most. It is also a decent site as well. Finally, please don't hesitate to ask. I've been doing this for a while and I don't know them all either. Wolfie answered your immediate questions but if you have more, please ask and we'll answer.

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Chefbear58 April 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Don't feel bad, I am still trying to figure out what some of those stupid acronyms people use in text messages… Guess I'm gettin' old cause I can't keep up with that stuff!

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roaadrat March 27, 2011 at 8:54 am

Thanks to blundering across this site, (superior to the others that are bookmarked)- My BOB is packed and ready to go. (efforts to persuade my adult offspring to do likewise, has not been successful).
Thanks also, for the three months supply of food on hand,( packed in plastic bins and stored under my bed)!?!
Three portable stoves, (with plenty of fuel for them) Lots of spare flashlights, rechargeable batteries for them, (looking at a solar battery charger at present). Candles, firestarter, etc….
Several small radios, (not happy with the quality of any of them- perhaps somebody out there could post an article on this?)
Thanks again- to the folks who labour to put this site together, (and the others who are posting on it).
Dave

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CaptBart March 29, 2011 at 12:43 pm

One of the few downsides to plastic bins/containers is that it can be difficult to rotate through the supplies. I recently was reviewing my hurricane kit since the season will soon be upon us. I was shocked to find that it had last been used for Ike – that is 2 1/2 years ago! Some of the cans resembled balls more than cylinders. Food poisoning is no fun in good times; after TSHTF it can be fatal. If you do not cycle through your food, it is important to periodically throw it out (donate to a food bank WHILE it is still within its listed service life) and replace with fresh. You don't want to volunteer for a study on the effects of Botulism in a survival scenario.

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ron April 3, 2011 at 7:42 am

it is fantastic to see that more concerned americans are atleast preparing for the unknown
…weapons,ammo,water,food,and all the rest…i believe we can never have enough gear,food and the fun stuff to be ready for all events…but we can prepare ourselves to adapt and overcome
with the right "mindset"..along with learning more about how our grandfathers and great grandfathers…and the knowlegde they had that we have forgot…even thought they never had
Zombies and girls like Mila to fight with them….

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CaptBart April 17, 2011 at 10:53 am

"..along with learning more about how our grandfathers and great grandfathers…" An excellent point, Sir. Since my 'favorite' TSHTF/TEOTWAWKI scenarios end up with the world as it was in the late 1800s, what our ancestors did to survive is absolutely applicable to us. They were not 'survivors' or 'preppers', they were just ordinary people living a 'normal' (for their time) life. There is much we can learn from them.

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Regulator5 April 7, 2011 at 9:24 pm

http://quakes.globalincidentmap.com/

Here's a site that many may find useful to help keep up on events of different natures.

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JonM1911 April 14, 2011 at 9:54 am

Great article, I felt that exact way when I started prepping, but someone else on another site mentioned something similar. Group things into 2 categories, probable and possible. Is it possible that that Russians, Cubians, and Mexicans will join forces and land in the Midwest in an effort to take us over, yes. Is it probable, no. I live in a relatively calm state, natural disaster wise. The worst I have experienced is a few days, no longer then a week, without power, due to snow/ice storms. No earthquakes, possible tornadoes, though we don't live in a rural area so the chances are small. No major rivers, etc. Prepping for the possible, in my case, is not difficult. For a long time it has been the practice in my family to pick up extra stuff at the store whenever it is on sale. Really I think that's the best way to prepare. Sure the 7 year shelf life food is great, but hopefully your SHTF scenario won't last 7 years and if it does, its not really a SHTF scenario any more. Lot of good info and things to think about, Chefbear has a lot of good info in his posts that I'll have to remember to add to the list.

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Chefbear58 April 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Thanks Jon…. and gotta say I like the M1911 on your screen name… I bought my first (Rock Island Armories- GI model) a few years ago, and now it looks like I am going to be buying at least a couple more in the next few months! Also like the "Red Dawn"-like reference!

You do bring up a good point, if the [insert disaster/cataclysm] resulted in survival for years (your example was 7, but some foods can last 25+) you would likely be better off with enough supplies to last until a skill-set could provide food (ex. farming/livestock).

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JonM1911 April 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Yea, I've got a Kimber Warrior, great handgun. I know a few people that have the RIA 1911s and they like them a lot. I'd like to get another, maybe a 4.25", but I'm also a big Sig fan, have their p229 E2 and I really want to finish out the collection with the p226 E2, add a threaded barrel and then suppress it haha.

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Chefbear58 April 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I bought my "Rock", because my father was issued one when he was stationed at Ft. Knox (I mentioned it in the .45 v 9mm debate). I have had 0 problems with it, and it will accept parts from most manufacturers, which means I can shop around for the best prices on mags and parts. The next pistol I am going to purchase is a concealed-carry firearm for my girlfriend (still searching for the "right fit"), after that I plan on buying a "long slide" M1911… But I like big heavy pistols, anything smaller than a full-size feels like a toy in my hands. I have looked at the p226, I am considering getting one in .357 Sig Auto since they are pretty common for law enforcement around here, and I am working on a degree to help me get into that field.

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JonM1911 April 26, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Yea I'm the same way. I like Glocks, but anything over 0mm has more recoil then my 1911. I do want to pick up their model 26, the subcompact. That little gun is great. Otherwise its metal frames and full sized for me. The 229 is great even though its a compact. Still heavy enough to feel good in the hand but a ton lighter than my 1911. I was CCing my 1911 for a few months and finally got my IWB holster from Crossbreed for the 229, much better.

wyzyrdap April 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Very good article and comments, thanks all – I suppose it is theoretically POSSIBLE that Monaco could invade the country with Giant Robots on the same day that the Zombie Plague breaks out, just as a Force 5 hurricane, with tornadoes hits, the area during a Richter 7+ earthquake. Not betting on it.

You might well get snowed–in for a week, like winter before last, here in VA. We didnt lose power very long, but, that winter, friends in KY were without electricity for 5 weeks. Think about that.

You could lose your job. For most people, that's SHTF. When you're my age (58), TEOTWAWKI, bigtime – got a place to go regroup when you can't pay your rent/mortgage? got a skill you can sell to help stay alive? Can you eat for a while?

Your bank might fail. (yeah, just like 1929) see above questions.

I'd say ignore zombies, invasions and nukes (anywhere close) and prep for thing that actually might happen to you.

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Chefbear58 April 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Nice to see someone else in VA with a little common sense… Unfortunately, it's not real common around these parts!

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T.Rapier April 26, 2011 at 10:55 am

Ide like to throw this out to the audience so to speak . I want to know if anybody knows of a good pull pin smoke screen device ? I think having a few in my stash could be very useful in certain situations . I looked for army M18s but they are not available to the public . I found some others on the internet but have no idea if they are good . I like this blog but I also realize its a little tame and pretty PC , so I dont have high hopes for any feedback , but any experience would be helpful . I would rather buy a few if they are good than attempt to make my own ( I like my fingers where they are thank you ) .

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Chefbear58 April 26, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Most devices like what you describe are unfortunately off-limits to the public (a few idiots ruin it for everyone!). Most of them contain parts/materials which are seen much the same as explosive devices under federal law. However, if you have a basic understanding of chemistry and some basic materials, you can make something similar yourself (BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR LOCAL LAWS!!!). Just be aware that the law may not view the manufacture of such things very kindly! The BATFE won't care if it is for an "emergency situation", if they find evidence of something which is not legal, they will pursue an investigation and it could be costly for you.

That being said, I have seen people use "smoke grenades" or something similar for playing "scenario games" (paintball). I don't know where they get them, or what kinds of "hoops" they have to jump through to obtain them, but some research into the paintball industry might result in something that can fit what you are looking for.

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T.Rapier April 26, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Thank you Chefbear58 ! I’ll do some more digging .

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wyzyrdap April 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Inspired by Chefbear's brilliant suggestion, I did a Google search on the term "paintball smoke grenade".
Amazon.com shows about 5-6 distinct possibilities, all for under $3 a pop.

Another seldom-mentioned use for (non-bright colored) smoke, suggested by a late friend's Korean War experiences: If you are evacuating your place, right ahead of roving 'unfriendlies", set off the smokes (or close your fireplace flue and burn some damp wood) and leave a window slightly open. Almost no one who is not a Good Samaritan, or a professional firefighter, will bother going into a house that appears to be on fire.

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CaptBart April 30, 2011 at 11:44 am

A good thought for making your suburban place look unappealing.

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T.Rapier April 27, 2011 at 7:57 pm

LOL I like that !!!!! I did find a pull pin smoke grenade on http://www.anarkon.com , the picture looks good but seeing what else they sell ( Anarkon Molotov cocktail , Anarkon timed explosive )
I have serious doubts to its effectiveness . I’de like to hear what any of you guys think about that site ……I just want a good smoker if its legit ( they dont take your money and run) I did see the ” fat man ” pull pin smoke grenade , I know that one is legit as it was like Chefbear58 said , used to be offered on paintball sites .

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Chefbear58 April 27, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Make sure you check your local laws though, just because it can be sold (meaning it should be ok with the Feds), does not mean it's ok with your local government. I called one of the guys I used to play paintball with today, and left him a msg asking about the type of smoke grenades they used to bring to the tournaments. I will let you know what they are when he gets back to me.

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CaptBart April 30, 2011 at 11:51 am

If their products are real (and I doubt that they are in general) I suspect that BATFE either owns the site OR spends a large amount of time monitoring who buys from these guys. Under the general heading of being a "gray" man, I'd avoid them.

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Jean June 29, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Does anyone have a good planning, risk – possibility – course of action spreadsheet that could be customized? Would suck to be ready for a Carrington Event, but not for a house fire or getting laid off.

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SurvivalistDad December 5, 2011 at 9:57 am

Good point about SHFT and TEOTWAWKI looking identical in the early period. You lost me however in saying a localized event could ever be TEOTWAWKI. No matter how bad it might seem in the localized region, you can always (eventually) pack up and move, and continue to live more or less like you had before.

The point of TEOTWAWKI is that there would be no place to go and life would fundamentally change.

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CaptBart December 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I think there is a misunderstanding. TEOTWAWKI can be a very personal event and hence very localized. A health issue for you or your family, for example, could very well cause TEOTWAWKI for you. Going on dialysis would mean you can NEVER continue living as you did before. Using your definition for TEOTWAWKI, there is no place to go where you can live as you did before. It isn't always a super volcano that gets us; sometimes it is a rusty bit of barbed wire.

Just my not so humble opinion.

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tooth infection December 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm

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andilinks February 28, 2012 at 12:30 am

SHTF works better on Twitter and so it becomes the word of choice there. If you don't know how to Google unfamiliar acronyms you should get one of those internet thingy's, it could come in handy before the SHTF.

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bed bug pest control June 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm

What a sad story ? But it is very informative, thanks for posting.

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Don Russell July 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm

until the $100 bill is toilet tissue, it's not shtf. It's just local event that you can easily get out of. Very little in the way of prep is needed for such things. A backpack, sleeping gear, a ccw'd pistol, some 1/10th oz gold coins, a bit of the local currency, an inflatable raft or mountain bicycle, a water filter and canteens, and some camping gear. Moving a few hundred miles nearly always fixes any such problems, and can be done in a couple of days, without depending upon anybody or anything other than your own resources.

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CaptBart December 8, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Oh, I don't know. I tend to think that major medical issues could be personal SHTF. You can think that only large area events are SHTF but when it happens to ME it IS a major event and moving is not always the option that works.

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Josh March 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm

WROL is an acronym for Without Rule Of Law. To my best recollection it is a term coined by the youtube contributer 'Nutnfancy', who's channel I highly recommend.

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CaptBart March 22, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Josh,
Thank you, sir. Reasonable but I had never heard it before. Again, thank you for the explanation.

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Josh March 22, 2011 at 6:54 pm

No problem.

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CaptBart March 25, 2011 at 11:50 am

Sounds really good. Any idea how long it keeps after being made up? I guess I'll have to look into it. As far as going on about cooking, don't apologize – one of the best ways to keep up morale is good food. One of the quickest and surest ways to make folks decide they don't WANT to survive is to serve highly nutritious 'card board' for their meals. It is easy to forget to prepare to keep the spirit alive as well as the body.
Is there a brand name associated with the dehydrated peanut butter or was it a Commissary special. I have access to commissaries but they are all several hours drive away. I make the trip occasionally when I have a large list. Thank you for the tip.

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Chefbear58 March 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm

The brand is PB2 (I think that's it, there really isn't a specific name on the label).
Some commissaries don't carry the same stuff as others, but I have seen it at Langley, Oceana, Quantico, and Ft Belvoir so it seems to be a pretty common item for them to carry, at least around here. They also have single-serving packs of freeze-dried fuits, which go great with the peanut butter.

I have mixed up a batch and had it last (in a jar with the lid closed tight) for a month, but it was simply a fluke that it lasted that long. I think it tastes better than the stuff made by Jif, Peter-Pan, etc. It tastes like the fresh ground stuff, but it's super smooth/creamy when mixed right.

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Chefbear58 March 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Thanks Josh, I appreciate the vote of confidence; but with the amount of homework, classwork and other responsibilities I have writing for a site on a regular basis would prove extremely difficult. As it is with my school requirements, I am typing about 16hrs per week, not including what I do "on my own time".

I am considering writing a few articles to enter the Safe-Castle writing contest… Is Survival Cache participating in it?

Also I sent Joel the beginning of an article on honey, but he hasn't got back to me yet about it.

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CaptBart April 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Thanks for the tip. I'll look for it.

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Chefbear58 April 27, 2011 at 10:41 pm

I carry my 1911 almost everywhere I go, but we can "open carry" in VA. I like the idea of a compact, but all of them that I have tried fit very strange in my hands. The last one I tried was a Glock compact, I don't remember the model, but the my ring and pinky finger were hanging off the bottom of the grip… not good for me, it threw my aim WAY off!

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CaptBart April 30, 2011 at 11:40 am

Chefbear and JonM1911,
I don't own one but I fired the Sig at the range. I really like the gun – the one I fired was more accurate than I was; a great pistol. I carry a Colt Compact Commander in .45 all the time my dress allows concealment. My full size in a Small of Back holster just hurt too much. My son took the full size when he left home – I need to replace it. I'm looking at the Kimber since they seem to be solid pistols. It was a Springfield Armory 1911 that kept me alive in Viet Nam so I also have a real weak spot for them. In major calibers, I like the full size because of the tamer recoil. I carry the Kel-Tec P11 in my pocket all the time – the recoil is worse than the full side .45 but close in it is accurate enough. Same with the Colt – tougher recoil than a full size but, again, good enough and I can carry it all day long concealed. Unfortunately, Texas doesn't yet have an open carry law.
I've never fired a Glock – nothing against them but I just saw no reason to try something other than my 1911. It worked with when I needed it to work – don't figure I can ask for more than that.

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