Quiet weekend stuff

It’s always interesting to watch the pricing on bargains suddenly go wonky. Last week I posted about the LifeStraws being $15.99 and quite a few people (myself included) jumped in there and picked up a few. Or, in some cases, more than a few.

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Why would I mention a bargain on a cool piece of gear and NOT get a bunch for myself?

Sadly, I just checked the link and they’re back up to twenty bucks each. Bummer. Gotta strike while the iron is hot.

Same story on the OD hooded space blankets. They were $10.01 for a brief time and now they’re back up to $20. Hopefully, everyone who wanted one managed to get in there and snag a couple at the $10 price.

And speaking of things to put away for that rainy day, I decided that $2.15 was as good as its gonna get, and with us being slightly ahead on the gas budget this month, so I went ahead and have the extra fuel cans filled. Those are the lovely ‘Euro/NATO-style’ cans that I got from Lexington Container a couple years back. Don’t be tempted to buy the ones you see in Sportsmans Guide and a few other places…those are the cheapo Chinese cans and they are worthless. Yes, these cans are going to be expensive at around $50 ea (plus shipping) but when it’s 2am, pouring rain, and you’re on the side of the road hoping to outrun whatever it is that’s got you running, you’ll think that fifty bucks is a bargain to have five-gallons of fuel perfectly preserved and ready to go.

20150328_184015And, of course, each one of those cans represents x amount of hours of electricity courtesy of the generator. And electricity means hot water, hot food, lighting, communications, furnace blowers, etc….in short, those cans hold civilization. (Which  sorta explains those Mad Max movies)

So, a somewhat productive last couple of days…picked up some extra water filters, filled some gas cans, did some grocery shopping. The weather has gotten nicer here so I expect I’ll be doing some spring cleaning and organizing shortly.

Nostalgia

Our Friend Of The Blog who runs Self-Sufficient mountain Living has a nice post up about the old days of survivalism and some of the cool books that came out then.

To me, the ‘Golden Age’ of survivalism (when it was actually called ‘survivalism’) was the days of the Cuban Missle Crisis and the years before that…back when the Red Menace was just a Tu-95 away from starting WW3. After that, I suppose there was the ‘Silver Age’ of survivalism which would be the late 70’s and early 80’s. Thats the era I got interested in that sort of thing. Of course, at the time I was a mere gunless 13-year-old, but I eagerly devoured every book I could get my hands on. Stuff like Alas Babylon, A Canticle For Liebowitz, Warday. and, of course, the now-embarassingly-bad works of Ahern.

But, once in a while, I stumbled across some stuff that was not ‘entertainment’ but more of a ‘how to’. See, back then we didn’t have the intarwebs to deliver hard-to-find books. Amazon was still an adjective describing women over six-feet tall, and if it wasn’t in the Brooklyn Public Library (or any of it’s branches) I wasn’t going to have access to it. (And, honestly, what 13-year-old walks into a book store and really expects them to have something as oddball as Kearny’s Nuclear War Survival Skills or Tappan On Survival?)

In fact, it really wasnt until much later that I actually became aware of these books and was able to finally read them. Prior to the advent of the internet, my only exposure to any resource of any kind on this subject was American Survival Guide (back when it was in it’s non-neutered guns-on-the-cover format) and, to a lesser degree, Soldier Of Fortune. Both those magazines had plenty of advertising that made me aware of books and products I wasn’t aware of. It was probably through them I got into ordering things from the old Brigade Quartermaster catalog. (BQ, by the by, has apparently changed hands.) Back in those days you wrote to a company and asked for a catalog, then you waited, the catalog arrived and you filled out the order form, you got a postal money order, mailed it off and waited. And waited. And eventually, your little survival geegaw showed up in the mail. Nowadays..heck, I can be in the bathroom and still order a case of ammo off my phone in less time than it used to take to fill out an order form and stuff it in an envelope.

For folks who have only recently (in the last ten years or so) gotten into ‘prepping’, this all sounds strange but its true…there really was a time when you were pretty much relegated into the same dark corners of the bookstore as German dungeon porn. In the mid 1980’s and pretty much into the very early 90’s you really had virtually no avenue for meeting like-minded individuals and sharing ideas except for classified adverts in SOF or ASG. Nowadays, of course, its a different story…there are numerous forums, newsgroups (remember those?), and probably even a few mailing lists still out there. The survivalist community, such as it is, is more aware of itself than it ever used to be. In the old days you could very reasonably think that you were the only person with your particular interest…after all, you never ran into anyone else doing the same things you were, right? But now with the internet I can see that there are plenty of people, some very close by, who have the same concerns and interests as me. (And this is a good thing, in terms of making one feel less like a wierdo, but, lets be honest, survivalists tend to play it pretty close to the vest…so even if you’re aware of a larger group of people who think like you, that doesn’t necessarily mean youre going to take any steps to meet them. We’re a rather individualist lot.)

Today’s survivalists really have it easy. Cool gear, easy to order, acceptance by the mainstream, etc, etc. Why, I practically feel like some sort of survivalist hipster some days with my old Brigade Quartermaster neck gaiter, old Gerber Mk II, and ALICE pouches.

Lifestraws on Amazon for $16

Hmmm…I was trolling around Amazon looking at my Wish List and noticed that the Lifestraws, which are usually a good deal when on sale at $20 ea, are down to $15.99 each.A quick search shows that even when you buy them in packages of 10 you’re still looking at around $17-18 each. This is pretty much the cheapest I’ve ever seen ‘em at.20150322_180734I’ve been liking these for keeping in emergency bags, in the truck bag, etc, etc. Individually sealed and cheap enough to buy a half dozen at a time. They’re rated for around 264 gallons of water, which, at three gallons per day, means that you could, theoretically, use it for almost 90 days. I’ll settle for a long weekend. At that price I’ll just throw it away after one crisis and have a new, sealed one for the next. And when you’re in the grips of water-borne digestive distress you’re gonna think “Man, it’d be worth sixteen bucks to not  have to spend all day sprinting to the bathroom.”

While supplies last……

Those OD space blankets are back at $10.01

You guys remember this post?

Quite a few people managed to snag some of the OD space blankets at the $10.01 price before weird pricing algorithms started jerking the price up. Well, it appears theyre back at the older $10.01 price…for now. So if you missed out last time, here’s another chance. The price in the link below says, at the moment, $18 but click on the link and follow it to Amazon and the OD version is $10.01…for now. From the original post:

The hooded, pocketed, olive-drab, “blanket” has been rather heavily discounted at Amazon. Knocked down from $18 to $10. Get ‘em while they’re cheap. Excellent for use as intended, but also good for expedient waterproof overhead cover, dry spot to sit your ass, etc, etc. Far superior than those stupid, flimsy mylar foil sheets. Heres the link:

Gear – Outdoor Research (OR) rain & sun hats

Many years ago I got turned on to the Outdoor Research (OR) line of rain hats. They were basically big GoreTex boonie hats. What was appealing to me was that they were available in somewhat military colors (forest green), were waterproof, and could be crushed into a small baseball-sized bundle that could be stuffed in a bag or BDU pocket. I bought a few of them and when they made a multicam versionI bought that too. I’ve found them to be excellent for their intended purpose.

I spent a week in Puerto Rico last month. While the rain hat was useful for those days when the rain blew in off the ocean, most of the time was bright sun and clear days. Unfortunately, I had no suitable hat for the occasion. I decided that when I got back to Montana I would order up a suitable hat for those sunny days.

As it turns out, Outdoor Research makes a sun hat that is basically a non-rain version of the rain hat I love so much. ( Helios Sun Hat, Multicam)

The main differences between the sun hat and the rain hat, obviously, are construction. The rain hat uses different materials with an eye towards waterproofing. The sun hat is geared towards being lightweight and providing shade. Could the rain hat be used to shade your head and face? Absolutely, but if its suny and hot enough to need to do that then its also sunny and hot enough that the hat will make you sweat like a hooker in church.

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(L.) Sun hat, (R.) Rain hat

I suppose that you could pick up a ten dollar no-name boonie hat somewhere and be set for the sunny outdoors….thats what I did for a number of years. I had some woodland boonie hat that I could drag through a creek and plop on my head to keep me cool during a day of fishing, etc. But..now that Im a bit older…I like nicer things, and a lot of my newer gear is moving in the direction of multicam, soooo…….

The rain hat, though, I highly recommend. I actually recommend both hats but folks are more likely to cheap out on the sun hat and thats fine. But the rain hat…you wanna spend the extra bucks there and get a nice one like this.

Article – Police: Delaware Wal-Mart Worker Stole Thousands Of Rounds Of Ammunition, Survival Gear

There’s a right way, and there’s..well..this way:

MILFORD, Del. (CBS) — A worker at a Wal-Mart in Delaware is accused of stealing thousands of rounds of ammunition and survival gear from the store where he worked.

Investigators say 35-year-old Linwood D. Hallman Jr. is facing a felony theft charge. Police say the thefts began on January 31st.

According to the Milford Police Department, during his employment at Wal-Mart, Hallman Jr. removed several thousand rounds of ammunition and survival-related items from the store.

Police say that detectives recovered the ammunition from a home located on Butler Avenue in Lincoln, along with a rifle scope and survival bags and kits. Multiple firearms and knives were also seized from the home, police said.

 

Well, I guess we know why that WalMart was always outta .22 ammo, don’t we?

I can see the temptation to loot your employer if your employer happens to deal in Things That Would Be Useful. But…stealing is stealing. While I can understand the temptation, I can’t support it. Suck it up and spend your own money, like the rest of us poor slobs.

Art – It’s the apocalypse, Charlie Brown!

I came across this while scouring the internet for new header artwork. It’s kind of amusing and sad at the same time. Snoopy looks like he’s seen things, man.

it_s_the_apocalypse_charlie_brown__by_seane-d8jzl4jLast blockhead standing, I guess.

On the other hand, a more…violent…and adult version can be found as ‘Weapon Brown‘. (And if you’re not really a ‘Peanuts’ kinda guy..don’t worry..there’s a weaponized version of other comic favorites).

Guns – Non-NFA 14″ bbl. shotgun?

So I ran across this the other day. It is, if the owner is to be believed, a clever attempt to stick to the letter of the law. As you and I know, a shotgun has to have a barrel of at least 18″ or its considered a short-barreled shotgun and subject to NFA stupidity. But, according to ATF, if the shotgun left the factory with a pistol grip stock then it is not considered a shotgun (because ATF defines a shotgun as having had (or been designed to have) a shoulder stock) and since it isnt a shotgun it doesn’t have a barrel length restriction. Nor does it count as a handgun, by the way. It’s simply “other”….but it has to fit ATF’s 26″ envelope for overall length or it becomes ‘readily concealable’ and is then subject to federal buffoonery.

So, in theory, if you want a short little stubby shotgun without a shoulder stock you could do it without the paperwork as long as its built up on a gun that came from the factory with a pistol grip.

Here’s the sellers statement about it.

I admit, this thing looks wildly impractical but fun.

Walking Dead – metaphors

Remember the last season episode where right before our crew of intrepid survivors walks into the setup at Terminus Rick is showing Carl how to make a snare to trap game? He explains how the animal is funneled into the trap and is caught before it knows its even in jeopardy. Remember that?

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So look at the metaphor in tonights show. The horse has been running around during this crisis and has been surviving just fine. And then…someone tries to reintroduce it to civilization, and once its in the pen behind the fence it gets swarmed and killed by zombies. It was safer outside the confines of the pen, taking its chances with everyone else.

Foreshadow much?