A 76-year-old diabetic Colorado man survived 10 days in the remote Nevada desert by melting snow and using skills he learned as a Boy Scout, but a friend who was with him and ventured away to get help died.
Stayed with the vehicle and lived. Buddy left the vehicle and died. Doesn’t always go that way, but it goes that way often enough that your Plan A should be to stay put. And staying put is a lot easier when you are prepared with a kit in your vehicle for just such an eventuality.
And, as always, let someone know where youre going and when youre coming back.
Sad that these things happen, but happen they do.
Well, here’s something you dont see every day:
DETROIT — A federal judge on Tuesday gutted the government’s case against seven members of a Michigan militia, dismissing the most serious charges in an extraordinary defeat for federal authorities who insisted they had captured homegrown rural extremists poised for war.
They could have saved themselves a lot of grief and time if they’d just run guns to Mexican drug lords…’cause as we’ve seen that not only doesn’t raise the .gov’s ire, it gets you their blessing.
Snark aside, this is one of very, very few cases of those evil militia types getting a pass, although if you read the article you’ll see not everyone gets to walk away from this.
Went and saw “The Hunger Games” last night. It’s a cross between “The Running Man”, “The Truman Show”, and “Lord Of The Flies”. (For those of you with slightly less literary chops you can replace ‘Lord Of The Flies’ with ‘Survivor’.)
I’d read reviews saying that just about every political stripe can watch this movie and say its ‘their’ movie. I can kind of see that. Although the books were considered ‘young adult’ reading, it turns out to be pretty watchable for an old geezer like myself. Given the way ‘young adult’ genre has been leaning towards vampires and whatnot, I am especially entertained by Tam’s observation about the movie vs. the other ‘young adult’ franchise, ‘Twilight’:
Brevity is the soul of wit.
Speaking of, I’m sure the adult-themed x-rated version will be out soon – “The Hung Games”
I was forwarded a link to share, SurvivorJane, a website that is, apparently, female-oriented. This is also something I see spattered across various preparedness forums as well…threads with topics like “Preapredness for women” or “women after TSHTF” or “guns for women” or similar gender-specific themes.
Except for having to stockpile tampons and that sort of thing, how exactly is preparedness, for either sex, a gender-specific situation? Or, to put it another way, other than the ‘feminine hygiene’ stuff what are preparedness needs that are limited to only one sex? Guys need guns, food, water, backpacks, radios, knives, boots, etc. whereas women need…uhm…the same things.
Usually, but not always, the assumption is that because girls chicks ladies Breasted-Americans are of different build/stature/physical ability their needs are different. Well, yes, thats true up to a point. Yes, it’s harder to find high-end boots in their sizes. Ditto for framed packs, body armour, and similar ‘size-specific’ gear. But other than being slightly ‘hard to fit’, thats pretty much it as far as physical limits regarding gear. (Physical limits regarding ability is something we’ll get to in a minute.)
The biggest offender I see is the guy who want’s his wife to be ‘on board’ and then while he’s running around with an M1A and a Kimber 1911 he gives her an M1 Carbine and a .380 because, you know, she’s the ‘little woman’. And yet at the same time we see guys posting bragging pictures of their 13 year old daughters shooting competition with .45′s and AR-15′s. Doesn’t that seem a little…I dunno…inconsistent? I mean, if your 13-year-old daughter can run-n-gun with an AR and a Glock it would seem your wife could also.
I’m the first to admit there are some guns out there that are, to put it mildly, big heavy and clunky (that’s actually the name of the law firm that represents me in copyright issues). An FAL is a big, heavy gun and so is a full-sized steel-framed 1911….but, there’s plenty of women out there that shoot such beasts. There’s probably an even greater number of them that shoot the ‘mid-sized’ stuff like AR carbines and Glocks.
So, really, guns aren’t gender-specific. (In fact, wasn’t that the whole point behind guns? They’re an ‘equalizer’ making the 115# woman a match against a 225# man?) Guns may be size-specific….someone who is 4’11″, male or female, may want less of a flagpole than the FAL but that’s a limitation brought about by size, not gender.
If you were dating some 6′ Amazon who runs marathons on weekends and teaches Krav Maga in her spare time would you tell her that she should have an M1 Carbine and a .380 because she’s a chick and chicks can’t handle bigger guns? Probably not. Now, switch it around, you have a buddy from work who wants your advice on guns. He’s a little guy from Cambodia whose parents came over in the boat lift. He’s 5’2″, weighs 135#, and is so skinny if he turned sideways he’d disappear. But…he’s a guy, so he automatically gets the M1A and HK USP .45, right? Sure…and the first time he has to actually carry or shoot the darn things he starts thinking that maybe something a little smaller might be in order for him.
So, as far as preparedness goes, the girls don’t get different guns because of their gender. They get whatever guns they can handle and shoot well. If its an M1 Carbine, great…if its an M4, cool…if it’s a Saiga-12, awesome. But just automatically figuring that because she’s a chick she gets the itty-bitty guns is just, well, stupid.
Next up, pushing the mommy-buttons. This harkens back to the ‘security mom’ archetype that was supposedly coming into being shortly after 9/11/01. Women who were previously unconcerned about things like food storage, personal security, etc, were suddenly becoming vigilant grizzly-moms who were taking an interest in preparedness not for their own sake but rather for the sake of their kids. After all, every good mom protects her kids, right? Well, yes. And so does every good dad. So, really, every good parent wants to protect their kids. But it seems that this became one of the strings to pull to get the little woman on board if she was reluctant. “It’s for the kids.” The implication being that if you didn’t start to fall into the preparedness subset of moms, you were a bad mom who didn’t care about her children’s safety. Funny how they don’t do that to single dads, though, isn’t it? Wonder why that is. Here’s the deal, if youre a parent, regardless of gender, you want to protect your kids. Aiming this “do it to protect your children’” line at women is disrespectful on several levels. It assumes that a woman doesn’t have the sense or self-awareness to do something without using motherhood as a motivator and it assumes that the childrens safety and security is strictly her responsibility. If I were a single dad I’d be a bit offended. If I were a mom I’d also be offended that I was thought of as that easily manipulable.
Are there some things that are limiting factors between the two genders? Yup. Women, typically, aren’t as physically strong as men. Sure, there are exceptions…there’ll be some 5’11″ chick who can pick up a 50# bag of rice in each hand and walk it up a flight of stairs, and there’ll be some 5’3″ guy who can’t carry a bag of groceries across a parking lot. People are funny that way…one size does not fit all. But other than those physical differences/limitations are there any other differences that would make any part of preparedness ‘guys only’ or ‘girls only’? Well, men and women are about as intelligent as each other. I’ve met some stupid men, and I’ve met some brilliant women…and vice versa. So no real difference there. Do they handle stress differently? Probably. But, again, I think those differences are more individual than being gender-based. Yeah, some chicks fly apart at a fender bender and some guys have ice water in their veins….but some guys come apart like a pinata when they lose their job and some women develop steely resolve when theyre diagnosed with cancer. Again, the differences are more likely to be from individual to individual rather than a result of gender.
Recap: there are no issues in preparedness that are singular to a specific gender, there are issues that are singular to a specific size or level of ability. Safety and security of children isn’t solely mom’s responsibility. The best person for a high-stress situation is the person who can handle it, which can be either gender. Automatically assuming that because “he’s the man” he should be the one doing all the planning and preparation makes about as much sense as assuming that “because she’s the girl” she should be carrying a .22 and watching the kids.
The reason this bothers me enough to drop 1200 words on the subject is because if a person is so amazingly short-sighted as to handicap themselves by automatically discounting their spouses needs and abilities because “She’s a girl”, then they are probably so dogmatically-bound in other areas that they’re limiting their options elsewhere. Plus, it’s just narrow-minded enough to rub me the wrong way.
I’ve always gone with the Eastern Euro mags, eschewing plastic mags, and prefer them over the Chinese mags simply because a) I avoid Chinese stuff when I can (except for the Mongolian Beef…that stuff is good) and b) rightly or wrongly I think that even in the Workers Paradise of E. Europe the quality was better than the Workers Paradise of China.
Anyway, I’m throwing the link out there for those who may not have developed any strong opinions on the subject.
Well this is interesting. As you may recall, while I liked the Kifaru Woobie I was wishing it was wearable like the Wiggys Insulated Poncho. Apparently someone somewhere got a memo and we now have the Woobie Express. And if you think it looks an awful lot like the Hill People Serape, well, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
If this thing has the awesome warmth and drape properties of the original Woobie, but can also be worn and configured like the Wiggys Insulated Poncho (perhaps with the ability to be used as a sleeping bag, which the Wiggy’s lacks) I think I may have found the perfect piece of kit.
As usual with Kifaru, it isn’t cheap but then again while I have observed that their stuff is expensive, I’ve never complained about it. Complaining about the expense of something is only warranted when it isn’t worth it, my experience with the Kifaru gear, so far, has been that it is quite worth it.
Yeah, this is going on my wishlist for my birthday this year.
Sportsmans Guide seems to have gotten the Swedish 35L packs back in stock. These are decent packs for truck bags, stashing gear at secondary locations, and anything where you don’t want to risk an expensive pack but want something that can actually do the job. These things usually come and go in the surplus venues with some irregularity, but they seem to be quite popular. Even with used frameless ALICE packs dropping into the $30~ range, these are still a bargain. Check ‘em out. (if youre a really cheap bastard like me, they even have a used version for a few bucks less.)
A couple HK-style links I have floating around. Of use if you have a PTR-91:
How to adjust the sights of your HK rifle
G3 Armorers Manual (.pdf)…this is definitely worth saving.
Spent some brief time at the range today. Played with the Uzi a bit more. Definitely a ‘niche’ firearm, but fun and cheap to kit out. I still need to pick up a threaded barrel for it so i can put the AAC Evolution on the end. Although I have no real use for .45 ACP outside of the occasional 1911, I might keep my eyes open for a .45 conversion kit just for fun. But, really, I need to prioritize – more mags and some spare parts.
It’s still pretty cold (and muddy) up at the range. It snowed there last weekend as the missus was shooting her match. Theres another match this weekend and i’m hoping that perhaps it will be a little warmer. I don’t compete – I don’t like the regimented comptitiveness, Im more a casual, informal competition kinda guy – but it’s quite entertaining to watch.
And a fun link just because I find it…fun.
Warning label generator
So it’s a quiet evening, the zombies have been stopped at the bridge you and your buddies blew earlier, the looters are all swinging gently in the breeze, the invading horde of UN troops are off looting Disneyland, those annoying neighbors have been Raptured away, the space aliens are busy stealing the entire planets water supply, and now it’s time for dinner. No problem…even though the power went out a month ago, you’ve got plenty of food stored. Tonight, it’s just you for dinner..the rest of your group are off doing their own thing.
You pull a #10 can of food off the shelf, pull the P38 can opener off the lanyard around your neck, and crack open a can of fruit cocktail. Glad you planned ahead right? But…you can only eat about 1/4 of the contents of the can and now, without refrigeration, you’ve got some leftovers on your hands. In the heat this stuff won’t keep long. If it were five for dinner it wouldn’t be a problem, no leftovers…but tonight it’s just you.
And this is where you realize that while stocking up in quantity was a good idea, when you were pushing that shopping cart through CostCo two years ago, maybe saving a few bucks and buying everything in #10 cans may not have been as good an idea as buying the more expensive, but smaller serving, cans.
This crossed my mind the other day as I was making dinner for the wife. Before I go any further, let’s get some terms and definitions going so we can talk intelligently. A “#10 can” is not a “ten-pound can”. (If it we’re, it would be a 10# can, not #10.) “#10″ is an identifier of the size/type of can. Those big cans you see at CostCo? Those are #10 cans…usually used for things like coffee and restaurant-sized portions. The 15~ oz. cans that you and I are familiar with from our usual grocery shopping are, usually, #300 or #303 sized. Here’s a chart listing common various sizes and their identifying nomenclature.
So, as I said, I was cooking dinner for the wife. Two things you should know about her. First, like a hummingbird, she eats small portions but eats often. Second, she’s not a big fan of eating the same thing twice in a row…like it offends the gods or something. As a result, leftovers tend to wind up just sitting in the fridge longer than they should. Now, to be fair, she’s gotten better about eating leftovers but when I cook or prepare food for her I often have to consider these things. As a result, I usually err on the side of preparing slightly less than I think she might want.
So..the other night….pork chops, instant potatoes, some canned corn with butter. Simple and fast meal. Here’s where it starts getting relevant…I have two different size’s of canned corn tucked away. Same brand, same style, just different sizes and packaging. First is the usual #303 can with about 15 oz., the other was a 8.75 oz. in a pull-top can. The smaller can, though more expensive, winds up being the perfect size and results in no leftovers. The larger can, though cheaper, would result in leftovers which, in a situation where one is without refrigeration or other means of food preservation, means that unless they are consumed shortly after opening will wind up being wasted.
Other than price there is another drawback in the example I’m using. The pull-top cans have the lids pre-scored to make them easy to open. It’s another point of failure that is not present in more traditionally sealed cans that require a can opener. Ever have a can of pop or beer that got dinged just the right way and wound up having the prescored area open up? I have…it hasn’t happened often, but it has happened. On the other hand, in cases like this, the worst case scenario is you lose the contents of that one small can which is still less than what you’d lose from a #10 can that you could only eat half of.
So, the point I’m trying to make is that when buying the canned goods it’s important to keep in mind that a #10 can of vanilla pudding is great for when you’ve got six people over for dinner, but a lousy waste of food when it’s just you, a power failure, and eighty degree summer weather. While I do stockpile #10 cans of some things, I tend to stick to mostly the 15 oz. and smaller cans. (Although I do keep some 28 oz. cans for things like tomatoes.)
I’m sure someone will comment and say “No problem, take the left overs and can them in glass jars. You’ve got lids, bands, and jars, right?” Well..yes. But lets examine this. Where is the advantage of a #10 can over an equivalent amount of food in smaller cans? Mostly in price, right? The #10 can is cheaper than a half dozen cans that hold the same amount. What is the actual savings? Depending on the product, about three or four bucks. So, assume that I would need to can half the contents of a #10 can to keep them from going bad. That means I’d need about three or four pint jars, bands, and lids…which is going to wind up being about the same or more expensive than the price difference between the #10 can and the smaller can. (And that doesn’t include time and fuel costs for the canning process.)
I actually came across these tiny cans at WalMart a few months back and although they were more expensive per oz. than the larger cans, the compact size and ‘single serving’ nature of them made me figure I’d try some out. As it turns out, they seem to fit pretty well into my plans. I’d gotten so wrapped up in the notion of bulk sizes and cost/ounce criteria that I had overlooked the ‘convenience’ aspect of not having to deal with leftovers in a crisis. Does this mean Im phasing out all the other sizes of cans? Absolutely not. It just means that this is yet another variable and possibility in putting together a comprehensive food storage stockpile.
Tagged under “food” because…duh!
Tagged under “logistics” because..well…this is what logistics is about.