Sunday, May 31, 2009

Check Out The New Store

Check out my new store...more to come on that soon as I have a few interesting things in the works.

I hated that Amazon aStore and wanted to do something on my own domain...

Stay tuned for more information.

BTW feel free to comment on it, I will be adding some uniquely "Be A Survivor" stuff soon :)

...that is all.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Be A Survivor Southern Fried Chicken

Here is my take on a southern favorite, feel free to modify this as you see fit as everyone has their own idea of what "good" fried chicken tastes like.

One other quick comment, this recipe ALWAYS tastes better on the second day for some reason :)

What is needed:
Large cast iron frying pan
Oil (I use Canola but vegetable or even peanut would probably be better)
Chicken parts (I always do legs, thighs and wings)
Large container

Ingredients:
Buttermilk
Flour
Kosher salt
Pepper
Paprika
Celery Salt

The day BEFORE you plan to cook the chicken:
1.) Wash the chicken parts and place in a large container.

2.) Fill the container with buttermilk covering the chicken completely and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Preparation:
1.) Fill the cast iron pan half way with oil and bring it up to approximately 375 degrees.

2.) Individually remove each chicken piece from the buttermilk and sprinkle with Kosher salt, pepper, paprika and celery salt to taste (BOTH SIDES) and then dredge it in the flour. (Seasoning is really something you need to get the feel of...some people like more salt, some less. It is vitally important you season now and then coat with flour otherwise your chicken will be fairly bland).

NOTE: What I do to make this easy is mix 1 part salt, 1 part pepper, 1 part celery salt and 3 parts paprika. I mix it thoroughly and sprinkle this on the chicken - BOTH SIDES.

3.) Shake off the exceess flour and place the chicken into the pan, repeat until the pan is full, cooking the chicken approximately 8 minutes on each side. (You will need to babysit because if your oil is too hot or not hot enough your cooking time will vary.

4.) Remove the chicken when it is fully cooked and a nice and golden brown and drain it on paper towels. I usually hit it with some more of my seasoning once I remove it from the oil (BE CAREFUL you can over do it with the salt). Do the chicken in batches and don't crowd the pan.

5.) Enjoy, especially on the second day!

...that is all.

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Quote Of The Day

"A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad."

-Theodore Roosevelt

...that is all.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Suburban Survivalists

You hear the term "suburban survivalist" more and more these days and it has become a catch phrase for our national media to focus upon. Who and what are suburban survivalists and where do they fit into the survivalist community in general? It is a complicated question that I will try and put some perspective on with this post.

The economy while it seems to be holding fairly steady at the moment has been circling the drain for some time and many people are worried about what will happen to themselves and their families should the crisis escalate into shortages and possible civil unrest. What has been happening is people have been dumping truckloads of money into supplies, food and weapons. Many of these folks have money but don’t know a whole lot else and so to them, a years supply of freeze dried food (which they have never bothered to taste) sounds like a good investment. In that same vain, it also sounds good to them to buy a tricked out AR-15 with all the goodies even though they have never fired a gun in their lives. That my friends is not a suburban survivalist, that is a member of the herd panicking and trying to solve the problem as they have always done in the past…by throwing money at it.

People need to take a breath and a step back and look hard at their situations and make some choices for themselves and panic buying should not be the decision they reach.

There are volumes of information on how to start a food storage plan out there. The first thing a person should do rather than arm themselves with 20,000 rounds of 5.56, is to arm themselves with information. Doing some research, which can be done fairly quickly and painlessly by the way, should be a persons first task when living in the suburbs and trying to change their family’s situation for the better.

I personally am not a believer that the collapse of western civilization is imminent but I can say that there is a real possibility that some really bad things could happen in the future. Look at the situation in North Korea for example where our chia haired, Napoleon complex having, sex addicted, “dear leader” is rattling his saber and demanding world attention. When a complete psychopath like this has nuclear weapons, anything can happen; including sale of said weapons to a third party who happens to hate America. You can see where I am going with this…

Natural disasters are another concern that few people adequately address; do you have a generator, do you have food and water storage…most importantly, DO YOU HAVE A PLAN?

So back to our initial question what is a suburban survivalist? It is a person who has researched and executed a plan to prepare his or her family for unexpected scenarios which could change their happy and comfortable circumstances into miserable ones for an undetermined amount of time. The key words are researched and executed, a suburban survivalist is a person who happens to live in a populated area either by choice or necessity but has taken the needed steps to ensure they can self maintain in the event of an {insert your emergency of choice here}.

I place myself into the category of suburban survivalist, I have spent time and money to get myself prepared, not for the end of the world, but to make sure my wife and I can self-sustain for several weeks if not months. I don’t have a homestead with acreage, I don’t have a retreat in Idaho and I don’t have buckets of beans and flour stacked to the ceiling in my house. I also don’t have an arsenal that could sustain a third world coup de tat; what I do have are some tools and supplies and even more importantly I have a PLAN. Don’t get me wrong, I have a food storage program established, I have the means to defend myself in the form of weapons but John Rambo I am not (and neither is my wife).

Unfortunately there are many in the survivalist community that think we, “suburban survivalists”, are a joke and that is fine. I don’t need the validation of a person who has chosen to implement “their plan” in their own way…more power to them; but to write us off as a joke is a mistake I assure you. FORTUNATELY, I have only run across this attitude a few time and MOST of the survivalist community is happy to welcome a person who has made the best of their circumstances and chosen to prepare rather than wait for the FedGov to hand out bread and water to the sheep when the unthinkable happens.

I say to the people dumping thousands of dollars haphazardly into supplies and equipment they know nothing about…STOP…take a breath and think before you act. There is a vast library of valuable information to be had in books and on the Internet. Take a few days to formulate a plan, go the range and rent a gun and shoot it, take a first aid course…learn, observe, PRACTICE…you will make informed decisions and just may pull through in your time of need. Then, and only then, you will truly be able to stand proud and call yourself a "suburban survivalist".

...that is all.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Survival Kits (Personal) Part 5

We have covered some of the major components in our personal survival kit series: the container, the knife/tool, fire and light. We still have more work to be completed in construction and in this installment we will cover some of the “other” various components that should be in anyone’s kit.

The first item to be covered is a whistle, just a plain old whistle, pealess if possible. The reason I prefer a pealess whistle is because the less moving parts the better. A whistle in a critical component in your kit because it will allow you to signal for help if needed. A whistle will carry much further than a human voice and won’t grow hoarse from repeated use. The usual way to signal for assistance using a whistle is thee short bursts, three of anything is a fairly well know signal that assistance is required. A whistle may be able to scare away some predators as well should you be confronted by one (no guarantee on that).

Paracordis essential in a kit, without cordage you are really limiting some of the things you can do. Building shelter, for instance, will be a much simpler affair with some proper cordage to lash items together. When purchasing paracord make sure it is truly parachute cord and not some cheap imitation. You can check the cord by looking inside at what makes it up. True paracord is made of several individual smaller cords that are intertwined and encased in exterior shell.

A compassshould always be a part of your kit; even if you don’t have a map a compass is still invaluable. A compass without a map will still tell you what direction you are traveling in and prevent you from doing what most lost people do, go in circles. You may have even some cursory knowledge of the area and know that a road most likely is southeast of you current location. Barring doing something clever like a shadow stick or using you watch, having a compass will make it easy to travel in your chosen direction. If you have a map, you are in much better shape. See my posts on how to use a map and compass for direction on how to use them together (Part 1 and Part2).

The next item I want to discuss may surprise many people and that is a contractor grade garbage bag(or two preferably). The usefulness of these cannot be understated; they can be shelter, raingear, clothing, waterproofing for a shelter, storage sacks, and if they are the orange variety, you have yourself another signaling device. Many people advocate using these, people like Cody Lundin,Les Stroud,and Ron Hoodto name a few, and if these guys say to carry some garbage bags, you had better take heed.

Your kit should always contain a pair of sunglasses. Protecting your eyes is not laughing matter and could be life or death in certain circumstances. The sun will take a toll on you whether you realize it or not and constantly having to squint will give you headaches and make you tired much faster. In a snowy environment, sunglasses help you prevent a painful burn on your corneas called “snow blindness”. This phenomenon is caused by the snow reflecting the sunlight into your eyes and sunglasses will protect you from a painful burn that could blind you for up to a few days.

The last items to be discussed in this segment are lip balm,sunscreenand bug repellent.Once again prevention is key in this area, lip balm and sunscreen will prevent painful chapping and sun burn and the bug repellent will help keep you from getting eaten alive by insects. Lip balm will keep your lips from drying out and becoming cracked, this is especially important is windy, arid environments as well as cold environments. Sunscreen should be something that people put on every day regardless if they are in a survival situation or not; a painful burn can not only limit what you can do but may cause cancer in the future. Lastly insect repellent will help keep the mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks and other annoying AND disease carrying pests away.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the series to see what else you should be putting in your personal survival kit.

...that is all.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Friend: RangerSquirrel's Ramblings

"James from Indy" regularly comments on my blog and let me know that he has one of his own.

James always has something informative to say in his comments here and his blog is no different...

Pay RangerSquirrel a visit!

...that is all.

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Quote Of The Day

"The trite saying that honesty is the best policy has met with the just criticism that honesty is not policy. The real honest man is honest from conviction of what is right, not from policy."

-Robert E. Lee

...that is all.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How To Survive That Nigerian Guy Who Insists You Take His Money

419 scams originated in the late 1980's and are called 419 scams because that is the section of the Nigerian criminal code that covers the crime (fraud).

People STILL to this day fall for these scams despite the publicity they have received. These scams inevitably start with an email or even a phone call that detail some bizarre situation such as a prince’s son who is defecting from a country and needs to transfer his vast sum of money to you in order to “cover” his tracks.

People believe that somehow they were chosen and become entangled in a mess that usually starts with a small wire transfer of some type of fee required to release the money and ends with the scammer moving on to the next victim after they have cleaned out your bank account and life’s savings.

The most common way they take your money is by having you send bank checks or wire money via Western Union. One you send the initial fee and your “sucker” status has been validated the story gets more and more complex. Money gets stuck in accounts which require additional fees, money is needed to pay bribes, mommy needs a new dress, and daddy needs new shoes. The point is, no matter HOW much money you send these people they will come back with a reason why they can't transfer you the money and a reason why you need to pay ONE LAST FINAL fee; we swear, cross our heart, hope to die, stick a needle in our eye. Guess what? No money; and when you run out of money the contacts with your scammer will suddenly cease, and you will be left holding the “empty bag”.

Below is a typical example of a 419 Scam email:

“FROM: Dr Altaka Yurmani
Central Bank of Nigeria
Lagos, Nigeria
01-658-21-2658

TO: CEO
Everytown, USA

Dear Sir:

I have been requested by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company to contact you for assistance in resolving a matter. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company has recently concluded a large number of contracts for oil exploration in the sub-Sahara region. The contracts have immediately produced moneys equaling US$40,000,000. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company is desirous of oil exploration in other parts of the world, however, because of certain regulations of the Nigerian Government, it is unable to move these funds to another region.

Your assistance is requested as a non-Nigerian citizen to assist the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, and also the Central Bank of Nigeria, in moving these funds out of Nigeria. If the funds can be transferred to your name, in your United States account, then you can forward the funds as directed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company. In exchange for your accommodating services, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company would agree to allow you to retain 10%, or US$4 million of this amount.

However, to be a legitimate transferee of these moneys according to Nigerian law, you must presently be a depositor of at least US$100,000 in a Nigerian bank which is regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
If it will be possible for you to assist us, we would be most grateful. We suggest that you meet with us in person in Lagos, and that during your visit I introduce you to the representatives of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, as well as with certain officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Please call me at your earliest convenience at 18-467-4975. Time is of the essence in this matter; very quickly the Nigerian Government will realize that the Central Bank is maintaining this amount on deposit, and attempt to levy certain depository taxes on it.

Yours truly,
Prince Alyusi Islassis”


My advice to you is if you get an email like this…DELETE IT…once again, you are not James Bond, and this isn’t your lucky day…DELETE THE EMAIL.

There are thousands of variations of these types of scams some including lottery winners and even our buddy Bill Gates from Microsoft. They all result in the same thing…FRAUD and a lighter wallet for those who are gullible enough to fall for it. Unfortunately, most of the victims who fall for this are elderly folks. If you have elderly neighbors, grandparents or friends…PLEASE tell them about these scams. Tell them never to send money to strangers who make outrageous claims or promises. There is NO POT OF GOLD at the end of the rainbow, only emotional pain and anguish.

If someone wants you to send them money for you to get money in return…99.9% of the time it is a scam, plain and simple. Never send money to strangers and you will never get burned in this way.

I personally ignore this type of stuff but if you need to report a crime like this or you have a loved one wrapped up in a scam like this, you can report the crime to the authorities. Below is a link for reporting instructions for various countries:

419 Coalition Website

You can also report the crime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

I hate to make people skeptical, but a healthy dose of skepticism will protect you and if something “feels” wrong or illegal…that is your instincts telling you something…LISTEN TO THEM…they are right most of the time.

...that is all.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY "BE A SURVIVOR" EDITION

{blows out candles on imaginary cake}

Yes, I know it is hard to believe but the blog is now officially one year old. My first meager attempt at a post hit the Net on May 26th, 2008.

Thank you to all of you who have come to read what I have to say...thank you and God Bless you and yours.

Keep coming back because we ain't done yet. Stay tuned for more fun and action here on Be A Survivor!

A few ways you can help me:

1.)  Subscribe to my feed using this link or the one at the end of this post.

2.) Be my friend on Facebook.

3.) Follow me on Twitter!

4.) Get the word out to your friends who might find this blog interesting.

5.) Send me email! I am always anxious to hear from folks.

6.) Send me article ideas or WRITE ONE YOURSELF and if I like I will post it! (I'll make you famous!!!) I personally can't believe more folks, especially bloggers, don't take advantage of these offers, that is how you get traffic to come to your blog! I ALWAYS take people up on these.

...that is all.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day 2009!

I just wanted to wish everyone a great Memorial Day. Have fun and remember our troops!

Just a reminder:

Submit your posts to the 1st Survival and Disaster Preparedness Blog Carnival. Entries must be submitted by June 9th, the carnival is on June 10th. One entry per blog please.

...that is all.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

50 Cent Survival Knife

I can't claim to be so brilliant that I came up with this on my own. I saw the idea for this in Field & Stream and ran with it. I am sure someone in a county jail or federal prison near you has already come up with something like this as well.

It is called the 50 Cent Survival Knife because the material needed to construct it equals 50 cents or less. I bought my materials at WalMart and it came out to few dollars but I have extra hacksaw blades and tons of extra wire. I could make about 6 of these things with the amount of materials purchased.

Needed for this project:
hacksaw blade
wire
electrical tape
tin snips
bench grinder/dremel/files
sharpening stone

Warning - always wear safety glasses when working with a grinder of any type. Gloves may be a good idea here as well...safety first!

Below are the materials I purchased, everything else I had on hand.



Below you can see I cut the hacksaw blade using my snips to approximately 7-3/4 inch length and roughed out a crude knife shape tip. MAKE SURE the hacksaw teeth on top are pointing FORWARD...you want them to cut pushing forward with the knife, not back towards you!



I made a rough finger shaped grove between the 3 and 4 inch mark to give my hand somewhere to grip the knife.



Below you can see I wrapped the handle of the blade in the wire (this can be used to set snares and make other traps if needed. I also formed an edge on the blade and shaped everything on my bench grinder.



I then wrapped the handle in electrical tape for comfort. At this point I honed the blade of the knife on my sharpening stone. I now have a razor sharp blade on one side and the hacksaw teeth (serrated edge) on the backside of the blade.

Your 50 Cent Survival Knife is now complete!

You will notice the hole for hacksaw blade would be great to attach some paracord too, I am think of putting this and some other cheap components on some cord and calling it the 5 Dollar Survival Kit.



...that is all

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Survival And Preparedness BLOG CARNIVAL!!!

Folks I am starting and hosting the 1st Survival & Disaster Preparedness Carnaval!

A blog carnival is an event where bloggers submit articles (posts) to the carnival and the host site posts links in a magazine type format with a short description of the entry to the submitter's blog.

I will make an editor's pick for the article I think is the best.

Blogs that submit entries that are accepted, link back to the carival. All people who enter will get an email with a link to the carnival from me to use.

This is a great way to get traffic to YOUR BLOG, and a fantastic way to show off your writing chops.

BTW you can submit anything you have published, could be a year old just needs to be relavent to the Carnival topic.

If this is successful we can do it on a regular basis and have a different site host it each time.

You can submit your entries to the blog carnival here. Hit the BIG ORANGE button on the top right to submit. I highly recommend you pick your best stuff and submit it (1 ENTRY PER BLOG will be accepted and no more)

The deadline for this edition is June 9th, 2009 and the Carnival will be June 10th, 2009

...that is all.

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What Exactly Is A Cheapskate

I have been called a cheapskate on several occasions and it is a badge I wear with pride. What exactly is a cheapskate? Well the traditional connotation of the word was derogatory, but in today’s world that has quickly changed to someone who manages their money well and thinks long and hard before spending a nickel on an item he or she thinks is worth only four cents. I have been this way for many years; in fact when I was younger and living at home I spent so little money that my un-cashed pay checks would pile up on my dresser. My dad would inevitably come in and say when are you going to cash those things?

These days I don’t have any pay checks lying around but I still hold onto my money with a clenched fist. Let me get this straight for you; I don’t mind buying stuff, to the contrary I buy lots of stuff but I buy quality and only after doing research. I have been burned in the past and will be again in the future; no one is perfect. The key is to get it right most of the time and come out the winner in the knock down drag out fight we called consumerism.

The key to making a purchase of any type is research. My favorite resource is Consumer Reports. I do have a subscription to their online service, not the magazine. They give you objective advice and I take their opinion very seriously when buying stuff.

One example where Consumer Reports came into play; when my wife and I moved to South Carolina we needed a vacuum cleaner. I have been through several vacuums in my bachelor days and they are were horrible. I read Consumer Reports and did some research on the Internet. They highly recommended Sears Progressive Canister Vacs, now I normally avoid Sears for everything except maybe the occasionally hand tool but Consumer Reports gave the vacuum high marks. The Internet chatter was also very positive concerning the product so we went ahead and purchased it. The vacuum has performed admirably and we haven’t had a single issue. I later came to find out my In-Laws have a Kenmore Progressive from the 1980’s that has only been repaired once and works like a champ!

The key here is I did some due diligence before plopping down my hard earned cash. I go through this same routine anytime I make a purchase and you should too.

My wife and I cook at home a lot; we just don’t like to spend a lot of money on eating out. This doesn’t mean we never eat out but when we do, it makes it that much more special. My wife and I NEVER eat lunch out, we always brown bag our lunch to work. Home prepared sandwiches cost almost nothing compared to eating a fast food meal everyday for lunch. One way to immediately release your inner cheapskate is to stop eating out as much. Your bank account will thank you.

Pay your bills on time! A cheapskate hates nothing more than paying unnecessary fees to a lender or debt holder because we forgot to mail a payment or mailed it at the last minute. There are cases where money is tight and you may need to make a choice but do yourself a favor and call the debtor and see if you can work something out. Paying $50 late fees just makes a bad situation worse. There is no excuse for paying bounced check fees either. Learn how to balance your check book!!! I blame America’s schools for this, we teach kids almost nothing to get them ready for the “real world”, basic finances should be taught in every high school across the country.

One additional note a cheapskate NEVER pays ATM fees unless it is an absolute emergency. Use ATM’s from your bank and your bank only. If your bank doesn’t have a nationwide network of ATM’s, find another bank. Do not pay $4 to take $20 out of an ATM machine. You would be amazed how many people do this, heck you may be one of them.

A cheapskate also does maintenance on their vehicles when it is required. Oil changes, tire rotations, etc need to be done on schedule, because we hate cars that cost us money and cars that aren’t maintained properly cost the most!

Taking care of one’s health is also very high on a cheapskate’s priority list. Poorly maintained teeth lead to root canals and bridges and they cost LOTS of money. Toothpaste is cheap and your twice yearly checkup is free under most insurances plans. They are also very reasonable if you don’t have insurance as most dentists will work with you. Don’t take care your teeth now and pay mega bucks later. The same goes for your health. Get your yearly checkup, eat right and exercise (walking is free!).

Cheapskates know when it is cost effective to spend money; they know when it is worth paying more for quality. You can buy 100 cheap items for $2 a piece or one for $100 that will last forever; a cheapskate recognizes when this is a winning strategy. Buy quality once, the saying goes.

Heck, if this is what I cheapskate is, I am proud to be one. I wear the moniker with pride and will continue to lead a responsible, informed financial life! Get into the habit of being a cheapskate, you just may like it!

...that is all.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blogger Issues

Blogger the piece of shit that it is, is having issues. I had to remove the "Follower" module temporarily.

They made some changes to it and it is causing Internet Explorer to choke...geez why doesn't someone like Google buy Blogger already...OH wait they already own them.

Before someone comments on IE being a piece of shit, tell that to several hundred people a day who visit my site using it.

Blogger Known Issues

...that is all.

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Survival Links: Trailer Life - Annual Towing Guides

Here is a handy link to Trailer Life Magazine's Annual Towing Guides. The guides go back to 1999 and will give you all the towing capacities for all of the vehicles for that year.

...that is all.

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Quote Of The Day

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

-George Washington

...that is all.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Survival Links: Tactical Inc.

Several people have asked me about this so I figured it was worth a repost. Tactical Inc. makes the BEST 10/22 hi-cap magazines hands down, game over, Elvis has left the building.

They are adjustable, there are set screws on the top of the magazine to get rid of "wobble".

The can be disassembled and cleaned.

They are almost indestructable.

I have the composite ones, at $45 buck a pop they are expensive...but you get what you pay for. I have had 2 of these for over a year now and cleaned them once. They work as good as the day I bought them.

Here is a link to a review I did way back in the day...

...and yes they are currently backordered :)

...that is all.

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Blog Carnival Submissions

I submitted a few post to some blog carnivals and they were accepted, so here they are:

Festival Of Frugality - I submitted post of saving money on telephone and TV charges.

Carnival Of Homesteading - I submitted post on recycling aluminum.

Make It From Scratch Carnival - I submitted post on making a bucket light.

Economy, Business, Credit and Debit at the Roundup #7 - I submitted article on Frugality The New Chic.


...that is all.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Survival Kits (Personal) Part 4

So far in our personal survival kit series we have covered the container for your kit, the knife/multi-tool for your kit and the all important method of creating fire. In this next installment, we are going to discuss something important should you ever lose your way in the dark....and that is a method of creating light.

We have several great options for lighting, including: light sticks,flashlightsand headlamps.In my kit I have two of the methods I listed here for various reasons but most importantly for direct and indirect lighting.

Direct lighting or more correctly stated "directed lighting", is lighting that you use to cover a specific area. When walking for instance, directed lighting would be used to illuminate the path ahead and prevent a fall. Flashlights are a great example of directed lighting.

Indirect lighting is general purpose light; it is lighting that illuminates and area. Light sticks are an example of indirect lighting. "Pointing" a light stick in a direction won't really do much good as they are designed to be a general light source.

I like to have the ability to create BOTH types of light in my kit. I have several light sticks (which are extremely inexpensive by the way) and rather than a flashlight I have a headlamp. I can produce both types of light depending on the situation and my needs at the time.

All of the light sources I describe have a weakness and that is duration. Light sticks illuminate based upon a chemical reaction that is produced by chemicals mixing when the stick is bent and the inner tube breaks flooding the outer tube with its contents. There are two types of sticks that are common, those with an eight hour duration and those with a twelve hour duration. I usually go recommend purchasing the slightly more expensive twelve hour variety. Once these sticks are spent they must be discarded as they are spent and will illuminate no further.

Flashlights and headlamps last as long as the batteries that are installed in them. I usually leave the batteries out of the item until they are needed. Fresh batteries will produce the best results and give you the longest amount of light depending on the energy consumption of your particular light.

When choosing a flashlight, I would recommend an LED variety that is compact and water resistant if possible. I have a light by Princeton Tecthat I really like. The same recommendations go for a head lamp, in my kit I have a Petzlthat I like very much. It is adjustable and has several brightness settings that one can choose to conserve battery life if needed.

The reason I prefer a head lamp over a flashlight is because I have directed lighting and still have my hands free to manipulate objects if needed. I recommend you choose what works for you in your situation. Stay away from anything that eats batteries (some Surefire models are example of "battery eaters") and you'll be just fine.

Keep an extra set of fresh batteries for your light in your kit, nothing will depress your mood faster than a night in the woods with no light, building a fire will help if you are stationary but if you plan to move at all, a light will be a must.

When building your kit take into account your experiences and wants; design your lighting plan to fit your specific needs. Light sticksare so inexpensive I recommend adding a bunch of them in your kit regardless of your specific plan.

Lighting is a key component in your survival kit. The ability to see and safely traverse at night cannot be underestimated. Take your plan for lighting seriously and get your kit in order as soon as possible. Stay tuned for the next installment of our personal survival kit series.

...that is all.

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New Friend: Disaster Preparedness Blog

I recently came across a blog while doing some research on Google. Disaster Preparedness Blog is an interesting mix of articles on all things disaster related. Keith Erwood runs the site and is a disaster preparedness consultant. Make sure you read his "about" page, he has a really interesting mix of experience!

And the guy is a computer geek like me, so he can't be half bad...be sure to check his site out.

...that is all.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Equipment Review: Hogue Overmolded Stock For 10/22

Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows I am a huge fan of the Ruger 10/22. I am convinced eveyone should have one. I have done an Ode To The 10/22 post in the past and the Ruger 10/22 won our recent Cheap Survival Guns Poll. The 10/22 is just one of those versatile and reliable weapons that everyone should have. You can bag small game for the table and defend yourself if needed. The guns simplicity is its beauty, anyone can disassemble and reassemble this thing and because it is simple it will therefore be less prone to failures.

The 10/22 comes in several different configurations. The carbine is the cheapest and the one I purchased. I loved the gun but the stock that came with it left a little to be desired. Lets face it the action and barrel was what I was after, I KNEW I would be replacing the stock. I wanted something that kept the small game hunting spirit of the 10/22 and not some tacticool piece of garbage. I had a Tapco T6 for my 10/22 then looked at it realized how ridiculous it is to pimp a .22 out like that. I said to myself, if you want an AR go buy an AR. Just my opinion, many people view the 10/22 as a project gun MEANT to be tinkered with and that is fine.

I did some research and settled on Hogue Rubber Overmolded Stock formy 10/22. It was a bit pricey, costing half as much as the gun itself but Hogue has a solid reputation for quality products based on what I have seen on the Net.

The stock arrived and I was pleasantly surprised. Anyone who has a 10/22 knows how light it is, the stock gives it some real heft and MAKES IT FEEL LIKE A RIFLE and not a toy. The stock couldn't be easier to install just remove the barrel band and the main screw on the stock, install, replace main screw and you are done. It comes with some swivels on the stock to which I added a padded sling.

Hogue has hit a home run with this product. The stock gives the 10/22 the push to put it over the edge and make it feel as good as it is built. The floating barrel look is attractive and the stock appears to be built like a tank.

I am done tinkering with my 10/22, I have my replacement stock, a Barska scope and some Tactical Inc. 25 round mags to go with it. I purchased quality stuff and in return I think this rifle will treat me right for many years to come.

No hesitation whatsoever recommending this stock to anyone who has a 10/22 and wants to turn it into a beautiful looking, traditional type rifle.

...that is all.

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Quote Of The Day: Mother-In-Edition

"I was born at night, but it wasn't LAST night"

-Flea to Mother-In-Law when she informed a Mr. Martin called her and said she had won 3.5 million dollars and all she needed to do was wire a $810 "claim fee".

I told her, "You tell him to deduct it from the winnings." ;)

Seriously are there folks still falling for these Nigerian scammers?

Edit: If someone asks your for money to get money in return, it is a scam...period....end of story....do not send them a nickel.

Well guess I have to do a post on this now.

...that is all.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Propane Grilling Safety

In a company I worked at previously one of my co-workers was severely injured when a propane tank exploded when he was grilling. I never got the true story of why it happened but there are several reasons why it COULD happen.

Avoid storing propane tanks indoors and especially don't store them in an area that is air conditioned and then pull them outside and hook them up to the grill in 90 degree heat (and vice-versa). The extreme fluctuation in temperature could cause them to explode.

Check for leaks - mix dish detergent and water in a spray bottle and spray the fittings and the regulator when turned on. If you see any soapy bubbles form your have a leak and need to disconnect the tank, close the valve and take the tank to the proper authorities to be dealt with. DO NOT use a tank that has a leak.

Grilling Safely:

Read and understand the owners manual for your grill. Know it's safety features and follow the instructions for lighting it to a tee. If the grill does not light TURN EVERYTHING off and walk away for a few minutes to let any propane in the area dissipate.

Make sure the grill is on a level surface and has clearance all around it. A hot grill can warp the siding on your house even at several feet so pay attention to the area you place your grill in.

NEVER, and I will repeat NEVER, use a grill indoors. They are not made for use indoors and you can die doing this.

Keep your fire under control, avoid excessive flare ups.

Wear tight fitting clothing when grilling, this also goes for when cooking indoors. A loose sleeve or other piece of clothing could ignite if you are not careful.

This may seem obvious but grills get HOT and they stay that way for a LONG time after they are turned off. Let your grill cool before moving it, cleaning the outside of it, or COVERING IT. I have seen a neighbor have a cover melt to the grill because he was impatient. DON'T COVER IT UNTIL IT IS COOL TO THE TOUCH!

Grilling is a great way to have fun and cook great food, grill safely and you will ensure you and your family enjoy the summer, worry free!

...that is all.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Weekend Roundup Vol. 21: Blog Business Edition

Will be leaving NJ today in the early evening to make the long trek back to South Carolina...not looking forward to that so probably no posts until Monday. This of course depends on how I feel after 12.5 hours of driving listening to a wife and two dogs...

FIRST!

FLEA WANTS YOU!!!! I am still looking for some folks who want to try their hand at posting here. No need to be Shakespeare, just write about something you know and use coherent sentences. If you are interested, please send me whatever you want in a Word doc or TXT file and I will review it. If I use it I will let you know when it will be posted and you will get FULL credit and kudos from me and my readers. There are several people who comment here, I won't embarass anyone, that could most likely guest post here, I am basing that on their excellent commenting.

SECOND!

GET THE WORD OUT!!!! If you have a website link to me. If you have friends tell them about this blog. Help me get the word out on Be A Survivor! I have worked hard to try and, if nothing else, entertain folks; all I ask in return is that you spread the word, link to me, promote me, etc. Without you guys this would be a waste of time and I appreciate EVERY ONE of you who take some time to visit me everyday!

THIRD!

TALK TO ME!!!! I love, and I mean this, to get emails from folks. Many people have written to me to encourage me, tell me I suck, whatever...I love to hear from you guys. Your comments, questions or suggestions are ALWAYS welcome.

LASTLY!

Buy my stuff

Friend me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Subscribe to my feed, it is FREE!!!

...that is all.

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