The more I look at the people in the world around me, the more I watch the news, the more I listen to talk radio, the more I peruse political discussion groups the more I come to the conclusion that I and people who think like me are truly doomed. We’re outnumbered and politically outgunned, it really does seem like the only recourse is to retreat to some enclave and self-govern. An American Taiwan, almost. (And, yes, Taiwan is actually an exclave, not an enclave.) There is no point even discussing things with the unaware..the people in adjustable rate mortgages with two cars and a jet ski who cant understand how they’re slipping into bankruptcy. The time to convince people to head to the lifeboats has passed, now its time to start thinking about how to keep them from swamping the one I’m in. Food prices are up, ammo prices are up, fuel prices are up, unemployment is up, theres a no-win election coming and theres a definite ‘negative vibe’ in the air. Is it any wonder I feel like the sky is falling? I’m pessimistic enough that I believe things are either going to remain the same (which isn’t all that great) or get worse. Get better? Sure, someday but not anytime soon. And, of course, you gotta make it through the bad times in one piece in order to make it to the better times. So…while my belief in the immediate future being better is diminished, my resolve for us to get through it comfortably is not. Just wish it wasn’t so darn expensive.
While on my Alaska honeymoon trip, I visited one of the many glaciers that were tourist traps. While looking around (I always check out peoples gear) I noticed one of the park rangers with a Platypus-brand flexible water bottle. I had seen beverages packaged in a similar manner and recalled thinking how cool that sort of thing would be for a collapsible canteen. As we all know, one of the problems with a rigid canteen or nalgene bottle is that when they are less-than-full they slosh. Sometimes you just don’t want that kinda noise following you around. Additionally, they take up as much room when they are empty as when they are full. The CamelBak-type systems take care of these problems handily but sometimes they are a rather bulky system. So…I picked up one of these Platypus containers and am trying it out. It quite obviously is not going to be as durable as the Nalgene bottles but it should hold up pretty well. The gal I was talking to at the glacier said she’d had hers for quite a while and had no problems with it. Even after just using it for a few days I can see some deficiencies. The cap is non-captive and can get lost…on the other hand, the cap off most 20 oz. Soft drink bottles seems to fit just fine as a cheap replacement. There is no attachment point for a lanyard, which is kinda annoying. Also, although it holds as much as a Nalgene bottle, it’s “footprint” is a bit bigger. Pockets designed to hold a Nalgene bottle may require you to squeeze and maneuver the flexible Platypus ‘bottle’ to get it to fit. However, I do like it. When its empty it rolls up into a compact package and can be tucked out of the way. This means that if you want to make, for example, an emergency bag in as small a package as possible you could keep a couple of these things rolled up and stashed away and then fill them when you need to. Coupled with a RolyPoly-type carrying pouch these might make excellent gear to keep in a ‘minimalist’ bugout-bag. Price, by the way, is about the same as for a Nalgene bottle.
Even with keeping my shooting down to .22LR, its still darn expensive to spend a day at the range. I have a decent stockpile of .22 ammo but Im determined to get more. Even the .22 ammo has gun up recently so there is no reason I can think of not to stock up on it now. Its going to cost more next year, so why wouldn’t I buy it now? If I could free up the cash I’d head to WallyWorld and grab a hundred bucks worth. Speaking of….buy your Ruger 10/22 mags now, kids. RamLine are good and, surprisingly, so are the inexpensive Eagle-brand mags. Usually $10 for the Eagles and they work great. Mag bans are not off the table, so lets be ready, mmmkay?