2014: The Year of The Prepper?

2014 Year of The Prepper

Events That Have Happened and Those Still Unfolding That Show the Need for Preparedness

Natural and manmade disasters dominated the news cycle in 2014, everything from Ebola, to droughts in California, to the ice Storm in Atlanta. The Southern Border of the United States also became a hotbed of contention that caused many to take to the streets in protest, blocking buses and making their voices heard in congress.

Thousands of people flowed freely across the Southern Border possibly carrying diseases we thought had been eradicated in this country for decades, while others snuck across possibly carrying plans for our destruction.

North Korea made threats and videos showing the nuclear destruction of America’s capital. Now it seems possible they can dictate what we watch, because fear of what they might do caused people to change, to bend to another country or organization’s demands. Freedom is lost when we let others tell us how free we can be.

Keep in mind it is only alleged that North Korea hacked Sony.

North Korea has nuclear weapons and by all accounts, the dictator is capable of horrific acts of violence against his own people, so when will the dictator act against the world.

Ukraine is still a smoldering pile of embers that may burst into a full-blown, out of control fire at any time. Russia is playing chess while the rest of the world is playing checkers. China it seems is beating us at every turn and has succeeded the United States economically. Bullies never pick on those that fight back. The United States is being bullied in a way that we may not realize until it is too late.

Polar Vortex and ISIS became household words for a while.

The end of 2014 is just the beginning. What have we learned what have we discovered about this country and about ourselves when it comes to being prepared for anything?

Is 2014 the year of the Prepper?

There Will Always Be Disasters

If you live in Buffalo, New York, you expect snow and you prepare for it, but did anyone expect the snowfall they received recently. Even though snow is common in the North East and no one doubts it will arrive every winter, many still were not prepared for the amounts in such a short period. They used history as a template, and because it happened a certain way in the past people assumed it would be the same today, it was not, and people were caught unaware, and unprepared.

Loss of Civility

People have protested since there were people and events that stir the emotions. Protests are common in the world today, but the violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri gripped the world and left many staring aghast at burned out structures, armored tanks, and other military vehicles in the streets of America.

Now we know what civil unrest can do to a community and to a country and now, you know what you have to do to be ready for next time, because there always is a next time.

Nature Has Not Changed

Polar Vortex, now we have another phrase, another weather phenomenon that we can use as an excuse to force people to bend a certain way. Like climate change that is blamed for any unexplained weather event like droughts in California. We as humans caused it not nature, so humans are to blame and we must change or else.

Nature has cycles that have been ongoing for millions of years and yet we still call today’s weather events historic. Experts claim to have never have seen anything like it and yet weather events have happened for countless millennium, long before humans arrived on this earth.

The ice storm in Atlanta, Georgia in February 2014 caught everyone by surprise. Officials there gambled and they lost. The officials used history again as a template and once again, what happens in the past cannot always be used to predict what will happen today. The city did not prepare, because nothing like this had ever happened, and thus the citizens did not prepare.

People left for work in their loafers and heels, and so they could not even step out of their vehicles without falling to the ground, they were stranded in their vehicles, and not prepared to be stranded.

Those that could walk more than a few feet on the ice left their vehicles, because they left home unaware and unprepared. Escape was the only option in some people’s minds, but now they and the rest of us know what can happen, and likely will happen again. Who learned from the Atlanta ice storm, who can now survive in their vehicle when it happens again?

Water Rationing

Water is not free and it is not plentiful in many areas of the country and in particular in many parts of the world. People by the millions die each year because of a lack of safe drinking water. California has had to take drastic measures to ensure enough drinking water is available to the citizens, let alone enough water for irrigation of crops and other uses in their state.

Once again, people seemed surprised about this. Lack of rainfall means less water available in reservoirs, rivers, lakes and streams. Droughts go in cycles, and experts have known this for decades and yet they wait until the crisis is full blown before reacting to it.


Ebola may very well have created the most fear in the country in 2014. It is a deadly disease with a high mortality rate and yet the common flu kills more people every year, well so far it does anyway, because Ebola is not contained and in fact, the cases have risen, but the fear has subsided, so obviously the crisis has also subsided in some people’s minds. We have not seen the last of Ebola however.

The virus causes a visceral reaction because of the way it kills. Contagion was bantered around, and ancient fears buried in our brains surfaced and caused panic. Humans can now control and enhance deadly diseases, and we all will live with the threat of a worldwide pandemic for the rest of our lives, whether it is Ebola or some other disease that is let loose or gets loose in the world. You probably know what to do by now to prepare for one, and those that have not been paying attention will be some of the first to go.


Beheading Americans at will, it seems as we sit helpless staring at videos they produce showing the horror they plan for all of us. Demonstrating to the world what is in store for those that refuse to convert, to bend to terror.

Are they coming to a city near you, possibly, but right now, they are grabbing up land that they cannot hold on to, so they are pre-occupied for the moment. They may self-destruct but the ideology will always be there, it will always be a threat, one that hovers at the edges. Once we turn our heads away however, we lose.

Who We Are

Some people tend to wait to make sure the threat is real before preparing. In other words, they let others do the research and thinking, and once others have determined the threat is real and upon us then they may prepare, but in most cases, it is a half hearted attempt because someone tells them they need to and so they do not really understand why they need to.

Then there are those that look ahead and come up with possibilities, things that may happen, but are not as likely as the ones staring them in the face. Sometimes it is easier to believe in the outlandish than it is to face the reality of day-to-day life.

Some of these people are believers in doomsday scenarios, but all you have to do is look back at 2014 and realize that doomsday is ongoing and it unfolds in stages. Some scenarios are outlandish, while others have merit.

Then there are the Preppers, people that realize preparing is not a fad or a hobby that you pick up when nothing else is going on. It is a lifestyle. Many do not make predictions they simply know that anything can happen to anyone at any time.

Preppers naturally assume the power will be disrupted and snows will come along with ice, winds and floods. Preppers are not surprised they are prepared. Preppers know that there are certain things that they will need regardless of the crisis, and yet realize that some situations do require specific things and thus stay informed about developing threats. They did not wait to be told that Ebola is deadly and that you must take precautions and prepare, Preppers already knew what had to be done.

Is 2014 the beginning for you?

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How to Store a Years Supply of Toilet Paper on The Cheap

Toilet Paper

One of the most unsung modern day conveniences will be highly sought after once the stores empty. There will be lots of commotion for something that is used once and flushed down the drain. We are of course talking about toilet paper. This is a very valuable video, following the instructions will complete a family of four’s need for an entire year. Not only that, it will show you the lowest cost method to obtain a year’s supply and how to safely store it in plain sight!

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House Fire Prevention and Escape Tips

House Fire Prevention Tips

Cold weather and loss of electricity or disruptions in heating fuel deliveries means more alternative heating appliances will be used in homes during colder months. The use of alternative heating appliances can increase the risk for fires.

The following is informational only. It is important that you have a qualified technician check out your electrical system if you feel there is any doubt about its serviceability.


A circuit breaker or fuse limits your power usage so as not to overload the wiring. The breaker is a safety device that shuts down the flow of electricity before any damage can occur during an overload. Circuits can be dedicated or general purpose.

Dedicated circuits are usually reserved for dryers, ranges and for air and heating units. A space heater can draw 1,000 watts or more, and if plugged into a general circuit that services other appliances like coffee pots, microwaves and so on, it can trip the breaker.

What some people will do to counter this problem is they would install a heavier breaker to stop it from tripping, but the wiring is still only rated for the lesser amperage and this can mean the wiring will overheat causing a fire.

It is not recommended that you use extension cords with space heaters, extension cords can be a trip hazard as well.

Know what your circuits are rated for and only use space heaters when other appliances are not in use and make sure your breakers are rated for the wiring so they do trip and stop the flow of electricity before the wire is overloaded and causes a fire.

Space heaters today have numerous safety features. In years past the electric “glow coils” could easily ignite a blowing curtain, children’s clothing that touches the coils or bedding that was flung close to the heater as people slept with the heaters in their rooms. The greatest danger today is overloading a circuit and/or extension cord to the point the wiring ignites.

Propane or kerosene heaters, while not be plugged into a circuit will have open flames present that can ignite combustibles that get close to the heaters.

  • Do not leave any heating appliance unattended
  • Make sure the ones you use are rated for enclosed spaces and regardless of the rating you will need to ensure there is ventilation to the outside by cracking a window open
  • Wood burning fireplaces need safety screens to prevent hot embers from “popping” out of the fireplace and igniting carpets and other combustibles
  • Service all chimneys, ductwork and stove pipes before using each season

Smoke Alarms

There is absolutely no reason not to have one installed on every floor of your home. The alarms will alert you before the fire is out of control giving you time to escape. Depending on the size of your home, you may need more than one installed on a particular floor.

The alarms can be hardwired into the home’s electrical system with a battery backup in the event of a power failure or you can purchase units that you install yourself that use batteries only.

Test monthly and change batteries yearly or as needed. Batteries can corrode over time so make sure to check for corrosion before it destroys the entire unit. Do not place the smoke detectors in corners.


You need a complete floor plan of your home sketched out on paper that notes all windows and doors leading to the outside of the home. Pay particular attention to basements and attics that have been converted to living/working or sleeping areas.

Everyone in the home must know where all exits are and then if one is blocked by the fire know where the alternative exit is located.

A typical attic will have ventilation openings that are usually covered with wire and/or louvers made of wood or metal to keep insects, birds and animals out. They are not designed for escape exits and most adults would not be able to fit through the opening. Any escape exits would need to be such that an emergency ladder could be attached to the sill and of course are big enough to fit any adult through the opening. Basements would need an exterior exit or windows that are accessible by anyone.

  • Upstairs rooms should have emergency escape ladders available that hook over the windowsills
  • Make sure all windows open easily, older home’s windows may not open because of repeated layers of paint that may have been applied that can prevent the window from opening. Some parents may have gone so far as to nail upstairs windows shut to prevent children from opening the windows and falling out. This is a dangerous practice and can cost a life during a fire.

Practice crawling along the floor in the dark toward emergency exits. Smoke hovers just above the floor so it is possible to crawl under the smoke to safety. Establish a meeting area outside the home.

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8 Checks You Should Do Before Firing Your New Gun

Firearms Checks

Sometimes the excitement of unboxing a new firearm makes us giddy to get the gun to the range to lob a few rounds at a target. We assume, and assuming is something you should never do with a firearm. We assume the gun will be in perfect working order right out of the box. This isn’t always the case and is doubly true with a used firearm. Making assumptions with firearms can lead to injury or worse.

Upon receipt of a new to you firearm, whether it is new or used, you need a safety regiment to follow. A set of checks to make sure that something wasn’t missed at the factory. Even the best quality assurance procedures are not 100% perfect. On used firearms you must also add the worry of integrity to the list. So before you pull the trigger on that new or used gun you have never fired here are 8 checks you should preform.

Read more at… 8 Checks You Should Do Before Firing Your New Gun

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Urban Camouflage: Can You Hide from Technology?

Surveillance Camera

In the early 70’s the NYPD installed CCTV cameras throughout New York City in the hopes of deterring crime. The recorded images were of course, also used to help identify criminals after a crime was committed. The theory was and still is if a person knows or suspects they are being recorded, they would be less apt to commit a crime.

The point is of course that whenever you are in a public place the chances of being recorded is high. Cell phones cameras, drones and video surveillance systems in private homes are pervasive in today’s society and virtually any business will have a surveillance system installed as well.

Facial Recognition Software

Each face has a number of distinguishable, so-called landmarks, which are called nodal points by experts, and there are roughly 80 points that can be measured by facial recognition software.

Some of the nodal points measured that are a determining factor include:

  • The distance between eyes
  • Nose width
  • Eye socket depth
  • Cheekbone shape
  • Jaw line length

Facial recognition software has been around since the early 60’s but until recently, the programs used were limited in scope and it was found that in many cases, humans had a higher success in identifying someone. However, advances in technology have surpassed human capabilities and so now, many law enforcement agencies and even private business are using the software.

You may find facial recognition at large sporting events and anywhere the public at large would gather for special occasions. Airports, government buildings and some private corporations routinely use the software.

Advances in the future may include the use of the software at ATM machines. Your face may be scanned before you can withdraw money from the machine. This of course means that if someone steals your ATM, debit or credit card that person would not be able to withdraw money from any machine using the software because his or her face is not associated with the card (s).

For the software to work it needs a database of pictures in which to compare real times images. However, this does not stop the systems from establishing patterns. The computer system can track a person by their actions, or pattern of actions and that person does not need to be in the database.

A person may appear in once place today and another tomorrow and the system is noting all this and establishing a pattern that can be reviewed by humans if enough “red flags” appear. The red flags would be in most cases pre-determined by human programmers.

There are Things You Can Do to Appear Invisible

Your picture is in the system if you have or have had a picture identification card issued by any governmental agency. Identification (ID) would include state issued driver’s licenses, certain other identification cards, military ID, postal worker ID and anyone that has worked for or is currently working for any governmental agency will have picture identification and thus their picture is in a database somewhere.

The government can access private databases kept by private companies in some cases, and many privately owned companies’ issue picture identification cards. The natural aging process does not confuse the software, so old pictures can be used, because the bone in the nose bridge, for example, does not naturally alter itself with age. The altering has to be done artificially.

Things You Can Do

Makeup can change your face, and the nose is one of the first things that you can alter, because the shape and size is an important indicator for the software.

Keep in mind that any facial recognition software system is programmed by humans and a person cannot possible think up all of the possible variations, so the system can be confused, for a lack of a better term, when it comes to picking you out of a crowd.

  • Makeup putty can alter the shape and size of facial features especially the bridge of the nose
  • Comb your hair so it hangs over parts of the face
  • Contrasting makeup can alter the face by using darker colors on light reflective parts of the face such as cheekbones and foreheads and use lighter colors in eyes that are shadowed like the space between the cheekbones and nose, lower lip, under the chin and so on, the jaw length and shape is a crucial point for the software so altering the shape and how light reflects is helpful
  • Part your hair on a different side of the head or part down the middle and let it hang over parts of the forehead, ears and cheekbones, you can use wigs but alter the wig the next time you go out
  • Use various eyeliner colors that sparkle and obscure light, your objective is to alter the eyes’ shape and depth of the eyes by using colors
  • Wearing eyeglasses when you normally do not, does not work well because this is one variable that can be programmed into the system to be overlooked because they are so common

Computers can identify you by your gait as well, so carry a cane and use it, hunch slightly and do what you can to alter your gait. In most cases, you will not fool a sophisticated system with a few simple alterations but in combination with other things you have done, you may very well fool the system.

Remember patterns can be established and in most cases, you do not realize your life is a series of patterns. You are scoffing already, but it is true and if you pay attention to what you are doing every day, you will realize there is a pattern there.

It is Not Just You Being Tracked It is Your Vehicle As Well

Certain cameras designed to take snap shots of license plates are very common today and some police cars have these cameras installed. Tollbooths take a picture of your plates, as do most service stations when you pull up to pump fuel for your vehicle. Drones, can take a picture of your vehicle plates as well as certain aircraft.

It is extremely difficult to operate under the radar so you must operate without raising any red flags that would cause anyone to investigate further. Your first thought is to pay with cash and to stay off line but in today’s world these two things are a red flag and if you pay with cash everywhere you will get on someone’s radar especially if the purchases are large ones.

  • Use cash to purchases debit/gift cards with small balances on them that can be used once and tossed away
  • Use social media but limit yourself and do not post any personal information, because some people may considered it abnormal if you do not have a social media account

You will always be on the radar but you want to be just one of millions that does not stand out and cause someone to look at you any more closely than they already are.

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Do You Have The Right Winter Clothing for Survival?

Winter Survival Clothing

Winter Clothing What’s in Your Closet?

Another question of course is what is in your survival pack and in your vehicle to protect you against the cold. Clothing is your first line of defense against the cold, and not being properly dressed for the cold can be deadly.

Terms You May or May Not Be Familiar With Include:

  • Radiative Heat Transfer occurs when your body heat simply escapes into the cold air due to lack of insulation
  • Convective Heat Transfer happens when the wind draws heat away from your body, especially from exposed skin
  • Conductive Heat Transfer occurs through direct contact with cold surfaces, cold ground, snow or water
  • Evaporative Cooling takes place when perspiration evaporates, drawing body heat with it, this is how the body cools itself and your body will attempt to cool itself if you sweat under heavy clothing
  • Wind Chill Although it is 15 degrees outside, 15mph winds can make it feel more like zero degrees. Wind chill is based on a combination of both air temperature and wind speed (i.e., radiative and convective heat loss).

For more information on wind chill facts, visit the National Weather Service’s Wind Chill Chart at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/windchill.shtml

Heat transfer from the body means you have poor insulation covering it. Heat always conducts to cold, so a warm body not insulated will transfer its heat to the cold air surrounding the body. This of course cools the body’s core temperature, and once the core body temperature drops three degrees it is in the initial stages of hypothermia.


Cotton next to the skin will soak up moisture and then cling to the skin. You might as well be wrapped in Saran Wrap. Cotton will not wick the moisture away from the skin, as wool or fleece would. Therefore, it is recommended that you wear wool or fleece next to the skin. Moisture wicked away from the skin will reduce the evaporated process, which of course, is what cools the body.

If you layer your clothing, you can remove a layer to cool down to prevent sweating. Have a layer next to the skin, a heavy shirt or light jacket next and then an outer shell that is waterproof or at least water resistant.

The head if exposed will conduct body heat away from the body so it is important that you keep it covered as well as the neck. The arteries in the neck must be protected to prevent cooling of the blood flowing close to the surface. Chilled blood is directed to the inner body to warm it up but during this process, the cooled blood will also cool the body organs, which lowers the core temperature of the body.

Hands and wrist must be protected and mitten type coverings will do a better job of keeping the hands warm then would fingered gloves. Shooting mittens are available, and they are designed where only the shooting finger is isolated in the coverings. Carry both types if you can.

Feet need protection from the cold and wet. Dry socks are critical or otherwise you could develop immersion foot (trench foot), caused when the feet are wet for an extended period. Not to mention of course frost bite or worse caused by cold wet feet. The temperature does not have to be below freezing to develop emersion foot. Wool socks are ideal, along with appropriate boots/shoes. If you do not have dry socks, you will have to dry your socks. You can dry them in open air, or ideally over a campfire.

Do not set out on any outdoor excursions in cold weather unless dressed properly, even if you plan to be outside for only a short period. Anything can happen that could cause you to be outside in the cold for an extended period so you have to plan for the worst-case scenario.

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Stranded Vehicle

Could You Survive Stranded in Your Vehicle for 10 Days?

SYDNEY – “A 5-year-old boy and his 7-year-old brother were recovering in a hospital Monday after surviving with their father for 10 days in the Australian wilderness with little food and in weather conditions that ranged from stormy to scorching (Associated Press, 2014)”.

According to the report, the trio were on a family road trip when the father took a wrong turn and their vehicle ended up mired in mud. Cell phone service was not available so the father could not call for help. Essentially all they had in the vehicle was some snacks.

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Carrying a Firearm While Hiking Yes or No?

Hiking With Firearm

This article is not advocating for or against the practice of carrying a firearm while hiking the back trails.

This article is talking about a traditional hiking expedition along marked trails and it asks the question “should you carry and do you need to carry a firearm”.

Those opposed to firearms will of course say there is absolutely no reason to carry one under any circumstance. Then there are those that believe that a person should be able to carry one anywhere at any time, and that there should never be any restrictions.

Then there are those in the middle that may wonder is there a reason to carry one in a particular circumstance, and those same people may realize that logic should dictate actions in some cases when it comes to firearms.

Some are of the mind that you are either hunting or hiking, and a firearm is just additional weight in a backpack when you are not out looking to put food on the table.

Some new to hiking or to the wilderness in general may believe that if they wander into the woods wild animals will immediately attack them. This can happen of course, but it is rare even though stories of animal and human encounters generally make the news. The reason they do make the news is that encounters of this sort are relatively rare. Of course, if you really are in the back woods and not along a well marked hiking trail then encounters are more apt to happen.

A handgun while maybe a comfort would not be effective against a bear, mountain lion or moose. In some cases the fact a person has, a firearm may make them task risks with animals that they would not normally take. Taking selfies with wild animals is a very dumb idea whether you have a suitable firearm or not.

You are more likely to be robbed or mugged closer to home than you are along a hiking trail, but again it is not unheard of. If you feel strongly about this and you can legally carry a handgun in the particular area you are hiking then do so, if for nothing more than your peace of mind. Again, if you were in a very remote area of the backcountry, then a firearm would make sense, for more than just self-defense.

Before beginning any outdoor adventure, you have to plan for what ifs. What happens if you get lost, are injured, or encounter severe weather, will a firearm help you.

A firearm can be used to signal for help as long as you are not in avalanche country. Three shots is a standard distress signal and a firearm can be used to kill game for food and for self-defense in some extreme cases as well, while lost or stranded.

What are the various laws concerning concealed and open carry in the areas you are hiking. Established trails are usually on federal or state land, so it is important that you know the laws. A handgun in a backpack would be considered a concealed weapon by most standards.  Forty percent of the Appalachian Trail (AT) for example is owned by the National Parks System, and the trail meanders through several different states and jurisdictions.

Discharging a firearm in avalanche country is dangerous for obvious reasons. You may lose your firearm if it is in your pack and your pack is lost in a river crossing or while canoeing or kayaking. These things must be considered before you leave on any adventure with your firearm.

For the average day hiker a firearm would not be useful. A handgun is no match for bears and other large animals, and it would be rare to have to fend off a mugger or some other criminal along the trail. Your best defense is avoidance when it comes to wild animals and knowing something about the animals that you would expect to find in the areas you are hiking.

You may violate state or federal laws and not even know it if you are carrying a firearm on certain hiking trails. The penalties can be stiff and not knowing the law is not an excuse.

To make a decision on whether to carry or not would depend on the threat you feel may be out along the trail. Of course, the fact you can legally carry one may be enough reason for some to carry one and this is fine as long as your wanderings do not move you in and out of various jurisdictions where the laws may vary.

There is a difference between open carry and concealed, and the laws do vary depending on the firearm and method of carry.

Understand why you want to carry one, but if you are new to hiking and think you need a pistol to scare off or kill wild animals you and the firearm should stay home. If you fear being robbed or assaulted along the trail, then again you are better off staying home with your firearm.

It is a personal choice but it should not be an afterthought, it must be given careful consideration and take all laws in to account before setting off on your adventure.

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What a Former Soldier Carries Everyday: EDC Explained

Everyday Carry EDC

People can spend all day imagining possible situations they could find themselves in and then try to come up solutions and items to carry so they can counter the situation or threat.

This can become an endless cycle, of what ifs. The unimaginable can happen to anyone at anytime, but how likely is it to happen to you, and would it matter what tools or materials you had on you?  Having tools and materials on you is one thing, using them effectively is another thing entirely.

Carry things based on necessity and not so much on extreme possibilities, because after all, you only have so many pockets, and you do not want to draw attention to yourself.

Carry certain things based on your job, route to work such as rural routes or city streets and based on the way you get to work such as by train, cab or bicycle, and carry based on known, or possible threats that you have determined do exist.

You would have to assume that if you travel country roads to work you might need certain items, like matches, lighters and other fire starters for example. These items would not do you much good on a bus or train in the middle of a city. If you ride a bicycle to work then you may need specific items for maintenance for example.

Carry based on where you will be on a particular day. Some of your EDC items may very well change on a daily basis.

Do I Carry a Firearm Everyday?

If you type in EDC in the search bar, you will find various lists of EDC items and the vast majority of them will have a firearm listed. There are multiples of reasons to carry one and just as many reasons in some cases, not to carry a firearm.

If you have to carry one illegally then you are much more likely to be charged with an illegal carry then you are to use the firearm to save your life. You have to decide, this article is not making decisions for you. It is simply giving you a certain perspective.

I carry a firearm occasionally a small caliber pistol that can be easily concealed. Bigger, is not always better in a crowded mall, or on a busy city sidewalk. Range is usually not a factor in most urban environments, so small calibers can be ideal in close quarters combat when neutralizing not necessarily killing is sometimes the objective.

I carry a small caliber pistol a .22 Magnum Revolver in what some of the old timers used to call their “gentlemen’s pocket”. I carry a revolver over an automatic for various reasons. I have nothing against semi-automatics it is your choice.

In years past men of means wore suit coats or overcoats with inside breast pockets where they carried their billfolds and expensive cigars. The common person usually could not afford fancy overcoats or suits of quality so they stuffed coins or bills in their pants pockets.

The gentleman’s pocket is where I carry, because if on the off chance I am mugged that is where I would supposedly reach for my wallet to hand over. I have never had it happen, so whether the concept works or not remains to be seen but a firearm must come to the hand quickly and the less moves to get it there the better, right? My firearm is carried chest high in the left pocket because my strong hand is the right hand.

Neck Chain

  • Dog tag chain that breaks away if it is caught on something or someone grabs it. On it, I carry:
  • A small compass
  • P-38 (can opener, not that I would necessarily ever need it but it is about nostalgia)
  • Dog tags
  • Ferro rod
  • A nifty little gadget from Gerber that has a mini pry bar and bottle opener it is called the Gerber Shard and it also has small screw drivers, but frankly they are pretty much worthless but it is a gadget after all and the pry bar is stout enough to open paint cans, pull small nails and so on

Cell Phone

Carry it always

Small Note Pad and Stainless Steel Ball Point Pen

Great for mapping rooms for exit/entrances, note cover and concealment, general note taking, and of course for grocery lists. Pen can be used as a weapon.

Canvas Belt with Accessories Attached Such As:

  • A Handcuff Key
  • Cord cutter it is a tool made by Kershaw and it also has a bottle opener, flat head, and a slot for opening closing oxygen tanks it also has a finger hole to hold the tool if you are doing repetitive cutting of cordage, I tested it and it will cut plastic ties
  • Optional items could include Paracord

I have worn a belt ever since I could pull my own pants up. I wear a heavy canvas type with a subdued black buckle. On the backside of the belt where it meets the middle of my back, I have sewn a handcuff key. It is attached so it can be broken loose with little effort.

I also have a small tool that has a cord cutter on it, sewn on the backside near the handcuff key. The main purpose for this tool is to cut through zip ties or rope. Am I paranoid, yes of course I am, because I have been restrained in the professional cuffs with the little section in the middle that adjusts each wrist separately, almost impossible to get out of unless you can cut the ties off.

At one time, I had attached two 33-inch lengths of Paracord to the underside of the belt. I attached them with some thread and I did need a heavy needle but I always had cordage. I have since stopped carrying cordage this way.

You can attach just about anything to the underside of a canvas belt with a little sewing thread and some needles.

Do I Wear a Paracord Survival Bracelet Anymore No?

I do not wear a survival bracelet, anymore. I tried a few and even made some of my own and simply never got into carrying cordage this way. I tore one apart once, and to save the length by doing it properly, it took me 45 minutes. Not sure if the bracelet was made right or I was doing it wrong, it does not seem like it is worth the effort for me. If cordage is important to you wear some like a belt by threading through the loops and then tie off.


Carry everyday a Gerber or Leatherman I have both, and it is one tool I find I need almost daily for one thing or another, carried in a small pouch with belt loops.

Folding Knife

Knife with pocket clip that has a spring assist for one handed open and close. I alternate from Gerber, Kershaw to Schrade.

Mirror: Used To Carry But Not Anymore

For years in the military, I carried a mirror every day. It was used for grooming, signaling and for applying camo paint to the face. It was also used to direct sunlight to tracks or impressions in the soil. Using a mirror, I was able to direct stronger light to the track or impressio so the details were highlighted. Hunters can benefit from a mirror when tracking game.

I do not carry one anymore but some may find one beneficial.


Carry one every day and if I expect to need a bigger on a particular day I will switch out.


Have worn one every day since I could tell time


Never leave home without it

Key Chain

It only carries the car keys though, because if they are stolen or lost I do not want a house key on it or any useful tools.


There are universal tool pouches with belt loops that could conceivably carry all that you need in one place. The pouches can be picked up and any Lowes, Home Depot or even some retail department stores.

Your carry is your carry based on your personal preferences, perceived or known threats or known situations you may find yourself in. In other words, everyone carries something different from someone else.

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10 Awesome Uses For Trash Bags


The ubiquitous 55 Gallon black garbage bag was designed with a one purpose, one time use in mind; to contain garbage and get it to the dump. It’s a shame that millions upon millions of these bags end up with the same fate. Some lucky bags find themselves in the hands of preppers. These bags can find many uses, from rain ponchos to camp showers. If you don’t already have the basic black garbage bag in your pack, get one, and here is 10 reasons why you should:

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