December 7, 2009

First Snow

So the first snow of the year comes and I get in my first ever winter car accident (or first ever period I should say). I was being careful and driving significantly slower than other drivers. I was going north on the East Beltline just south of 3 mile in the right lane. I was going about 30mpg when the truck 5 car lengths in front of me decides to stop right in the middle of the highway. Well, they decided they were going to pick up whoever it was that was running down the shoulder. This lady had a huge Ford pickup on a lift with the biggest snow/mud tires I've ever seen. She was going 40mph and stopped on a dime, even in white out snow conditions. I, on the other hand, did not get so lucky. I braked and realized the ABS did not kick on. I started pumping as I was sliding but had no luck. I slowed down signficantly but ended up sliding into them at around 3mph. Since their truck was on a lift, the corner of their bumper slid right up my hood and right corner panel curling it in upon itself and smashing my headlight housing. Not a single scratch on the bumper of her truck though, go figure. And even though she stoppped without pulling over in the middle of a moving highway, it was my fault for rear ending her.

What luck.

December 1, 2009

Man it's Cold out

Michigan sure has a change of weather fast. I know I should have expected this being the end of November and all, however, I really have been a slacker at winterizing my house. I got MOST of the storm windows in but 4 of them broke last year and I have yet to take them in to get fixed. I also haven't even purchased the insulating plastic I normally hang on the windows in early November to save energy.

I am still doing good though. My gas usage was the lowest it's been in 4 years for November. This could only be because it has been so warm and we haven't seen an inkling of snow yet. I did install a new digital thermostat last year that is programmed to not go above 60 during the day (when we are at work) and 66 when we are home. It's chilly but comfortable with a hoody or sweatshirt on.

I have to lay out hay in the dog house as well and hang a new swinging door. He isn't out there 24/7 so don't freak out. The dog is only out there when we are at work. He has a covered insulated house with a floor 5 inches from the ground which is generously supplied with a thick layer of hay. It's inside a covered and wind protected kennel that has plenty of space. He wears a neoprene body suit that keeps him perfectly warm all day long. I have a thermometer in the dog house and even when it is below zero it is still a nice and balmy 45 degrees in the dog house.

Either way, I have a lot to do yet and I'd better hurry. Forecast calls for a snowy mix this weekend. I really have to get to it before there's a blanket of snow.

November 30, 2009

Winter's Coming...

If you are in a northern state, then expect snow. That means you should be checking and updating your Bug Out Bag. I usually take out my pairs of shorts and light clothing and add wool socks, a fleece, a thick windbreaker, 2 beanie caps, 2 pairs of gloves, and trash bags (water proofing my feet). I also add a few more space blankets as well. Hand warmers are a nice touch, too :)

You should check your bag at the least every season change. I inventory mine regularly because I am always adding and removing items.

Good luck.

November 17, 2009

Water Storage

Lamb over at posted a great cheap way to store water. It was posted last January but I thought I'd share it now. It can be found here:

Anger and Patience

“Patience in one minute of anger can prevent 100 days of sorrow.”

This Chinese proverb has given me so much strength through periods of anger. It speaks the absolute truth. Anger is a dark, mangled energy that when released destroys happiness in one solid blow. Where does it come from? I seek the complicated answer to this complicated thought. It CAN be controlled. The mind is ever so powerful, one will never be able to fully understand the mechanism and power of this machine of tissue. It’s so small but yet so vast in it’s ability to create & interpret thought. Translating feeling to thought, thought to emotion, emotion to movement. It’s a super computer from the ancient times, yet it is a mere mass of fleshy matter that has evolved over millions of years.

Things to think about…

November 8, 2009

Preparation for the End of the World, Part 3: The Bug Out Bag

The Bug out Bag

Ahhh, the good old packed away bug out bag, or B.O.B for short. This is by far my favorite part of survival preparation. If you are feeling lost on what a bug out bag is, I don’t blame you. When I first heard the term it didn’t necessarily click right away as to what it actually was either. Quite simply, it is a bag that is packed away full of items to help you survive for 3+ days away from your home. When you need to go, you might not have a single second to pack. This bag allows you to just “Grab n Go”.

Why would I need a bag to survive on for three days you may ask. If you ever end up displaced from your house, do you know where you would go? Do you have a location picked out that you could safely get to on foot if the need arises? If you don’t, you should. If disease, invasion, anarchy, air assault warfare, ZOMBIES! etc…. happen, then you need a safe place to go.

Basically, if shit hits the fan (SHTF), you need a plan.

Your plan should include several routes to and from your location of choice, both for a vehicle and on foot. Cars break down, have tires that pop, and only last so long with a low supply of gasoline. (Did I mention to always keep your gas tank as close to full at all times?) Your location should be somewhere safe. I.e. Grandma’s Cottage, property you own, a church, etc… Just so long as it is somewhere far enough away from the city, and somewhere that you would consider safe.

Now let’s break it down.

A bug out bag container can be anything from a hiking backpack to a sack on a stick. Obviously, the latter will not work nearly as well as the former. I use a 5,000 Cubic inch hiking backpack. It allows me to pack gear for at least a week’s survival on foot. It should ride comfortable and also be easily removed from your back. Regardless of the container, it is what you put inside that counts. If you end up with a small container and no room for more items and you own a dog, always consider the dogs working ability as well. They sell numerous types of container’s for dogs. My dog will always carry his own food and water to save space and weight on my rig.

Clothes for AT LEAST 3 days

To start, you are going to need at least 3 day’s worth of clothes and twice that of socks and underwear. Feet can get very wet depending on the weather and having dry socks is a must to keep your feet working properly. I have packed 6 pairs of thick tube socks. These are socks I normally wouldn’t wear on a daily basis, but they are great for warmth and overall comfort. Having extra underwear is self explanatory. Also, you have no idea what type of weather or even what time of year it will be when you will need this bag, so always pack for the worst. I keep long underwear and warm clothes in mine as well as a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.

Rain Gear

You should also pack a good set of rain gear. This includes a top with some sort of a hood and a pair of rain pants. These can be the cheapos you can get at Meijer (Or Walmart for you non-midwest folks) for 9 bucks, or a nice set of Northface rain gear. Whatever you choose, make sure it is super light. Do not go out and buy a rain jacket with a super insulated thick liner in it. This will only cause you problems out in the field. It will weigh you down and take up a ton of space.

A good strong knife

If I was limited to just 1 item for outdoor survival, that item would be a knife. A knife has so many uses that it’s pointless to list them all. A knife can save your life, literally. I always carry a knife and most of the time I carry 2. I carry a sharp folding blade in my pocket and a self-defense Ka-Bar on my belt. I use my knife at least 3 times a day on average and sometimes more. Imagine how many times you would use it in a survival situation outside? Cutting limbs, rope, tape, self-defense, cutting your food, field-cleaning game, stripping bark, cutting fabric, etc..

There are so many types of knives to choose from. I mean, there are thousands of different shapes, sizes and styles. All you really are thinking for is something strong and sharp. Something that can withstand a beating and stays true to the actual function of having a blade is what you want. In my B.O.B. I have 3. My Ka-bar will always be on my belt so I would have 4 if the time came to bug out. I pack a nice sharp 3” auto assist folding blade, a long combat bowie blade with a thigh sheath, and a 4 inch long, very thick buck knife with a gut hook at the end.

In the world of purchasing a knife, your choices are endless. Everywhere from the mall to Walmart has them. I suggest going to a firearm’s dealer or sporting goods store. A gun and knife show can never hurt anyone as well. Plus, you will find killer deals at these shows. I got my 85 dollar Ka-bar with a sheath for 35 bucks at the Deltaplex Gun show.


All you need to know is pack a flashlight with a long straight white beam that has ready to go charged batteries. Surefire, Condor, Mag-lite, Eagle tac…. The list goes on. Pick your light of choice.

Rope/ 550 Cord

If you haven't heard of 550 cord (or parachute cord), here's a little snippet from :

"Parachute cord (also paracord or 550 cord) is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II. Once in the field, paratroopers found this cord useful for many other tasks. It is now used as a general purpose utility cord by both military personnel and civilians. This versatile cord was even used by astronauts during STS-82, the second Space Shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.[1]

The braided sheath has a high number of interwoven strands for its size, giving it a relatively smooth texture. The all nylon construction makes paracord fairly elastic; depending on the application this can be either an asset or a liability."

This being said. This cord is carried standard in the equipment of US Military personnel. 550 cord is STRONG, thin and reliable. It can be used for multiple applications when trying to survive. It can be woven to create a a multitude of tools. It can be used to set traps, repair equipment, and hang dry clothes. It is by far one of the most useful tools you will pack into your B.O.B.

Gas mask/ N45 filter mask

Now this is quite optional. I do NOT keep a gas mask in my B.O.B. but I do plan on purchasing a military grade hooded mask eventually. For now, I keep an N45 filter mask with replaceable cartridges. It is compact and lightweight and takes up little space in my bag. If there is ever a biological attack, this will not only save your life, but give you protection while you hoof it out of the gas radius. It will protect your lungs from gases, dust, odors, etc... When 9/11 happened, there was trillions of dust particles spread across almost all of Manhattan. People in their homes and in the street still suffer from lung problems from all the dust they breathed in that day.


You may find the need to camouflage yourself while on foot and camo paint is the best for this. Even a few darkened areas on your face can hide you at night time.


Now, land navigation is no joke, nor is it easy. In the military it took days to learn how to accurately navigate with a compass. There are many components involved but if you were without a compass then it is not possible to navigate correctly. You should pack a compass and a waterproof map to the safe area you have previously chosen to evacuate to.


Matches are pretty self explanatory but I will touch base slightly. Make sure you are packing strike anywhere matches and that you accurately waterproof them. An easy way to waterproof matches is to light a candle until you get a nice pool of wax around the wick. Take your matches and dip the sulfer tip end into the wax and then let them cool and harden on piece of wax paper. Then, seal them up in a waterproof container. If your waterproof container fails your wax will protect the sulfur head from being soaked with water.


Again, another self explanatory item. If you are evading an enemy, then being able to see at great distances will greatly improve your chances of evasion.


Another optional item. You will want a rechargeable crank radio with weather capabilities. We discussed this in a previous section as well.


I will keep stressing this throughout this series. BATTERIES, BATTERIES, BATTERIES. Batteries die, hands down. They drain more so in colder climates. Pack lots of batteries in waterproof containers.


Now I could write an entire section on weapons and ammo. What you carry, how you carry, and what you plan on bringing with you will all depend on the situation. Some situations a weapon may not even be necessary, however, keeping even a small pistol for self defense should be considered. My pistol will always be stored next to my bug out bag alongside my 12 gauge. IF the need arises, I will make a split second decision on what I would bring with me. You have to consider also how long you may be displaced. The need to hunt for your own food may arise, so even a nice rifle wouldn't hurt. You must also take into account the extra weight this will add to your rig.

Remember though, if ZOMBIES attack, you will want as much firepower and ammo as you can possibly grab. Not that that is a realistic expectation, but war and invasion certainly are. I plan on always standing ground and defending myself, my state and my country.

There are many other things that you should have in your bag. I will not describe them, but list them instead. Remember, your bag could be packed significantly different than someone else. Pick and choose for your area, weather, need, terrain, etc... Here's some other things you should consider:

COINS/PAPER MONEY (Pay phones, bartering, etc...)
FISHING KIT (Worms, Hooks, Weights, etc..)

In the end, just consider your needs and what you may need if the shit hits the fan. Whether you pack small and light, or large and heavy, just be smart about it.

October 30, 2009

Preparation for the End of the World Part 2. Essential Items for basic preparation

Now, you may be the type to not prepare for anything. A simple doctor’s appointment or a holiday dinner you were supposed to provide the stuffing for. You now seemingly are finding yourself thinking about what you would do in certain situations. What would you do in those situations? Do you have ANY sort of plan? Can you at least care for minor injuries? This is what we will talk about today; the absolute basics of preparing for disaster.

First and foremost, before you buy or prepare anything, you MUST have a first-aid kit. Without one, you can find yourself in plenty of trouble even with minor scrapes. Infection is a nasty word, and a nasty thing to have in any injury. A minor scrape untreated in an unclean environment can turn deadly in a matter of days. Sepsis, a bacterial infection which has spread to the blood, will kill you if left untreated. It spreads from organ to organ shutting them down along the way. A minor scrap you may get that becomes infected will only get worse if your white blood cells cannot fight it off. It will cause you severe pain, nasty discharges, and eventually lowering your blood pressure enough to bring you into a state of shock.

What if this was you in that situation? If only you would have had a first-aid kit with a few essential items, right? Exactly.

Basic Items you should have in your First-Aid Kit:

-Bandages (of all different shapes and sizes)
-Ace Wraps or Sticky Wraps
-Sterile Dressings (Packaged Gauze)
-NSAIDS (Tylenol, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, etc..)
-Hydrogen Peroxide
-Rubbing Alcohol
-Sharp Clothing Scissors
-Sterile Tweezers
-Triple anti-biotic ointment (Neosporin, Bacitracin, etc…)
-Antiseptic cleansing wipes
-Burn cream packs
-Butterfly Bandages
-VINYL Gloves (Vinyl due to possible Latex reactions)
-Sterile Cotton tip applicators

Even if you have no idea what any of this stuff is when it is needed, it’s not very hard to figure out. Just remember to CLEAN the wound (to get all those nasties out), and bandage the wound (to prevent the nasties from getting in). If you remember those 2 things, then you should be ok. At least for a while anyway.

First-aid kits can be pieced together and designed from scratch, or bought as an entire kit. The latter is by far the easiest if you have no first-aid experience. Some great places to buy first-aid kits online are:

It’s also not hard to research basic first-aid on Google, and print a few pages to throw into your kit as well.

The next item you will want to have is a flashlight. This is absolutely dire in a no-power situation. Having multiple flashlights throughout your house and car like I do, is a huge plus but if you can only afford one, then at least get the one. A flashlight helps you navigate not only your own house, but outside as well. If you have to leave on foot (more on that in a different segment) then you will need this fine tool to guide you through wherever you need to be guided through in the dark.

In the house, candles are a great way for continuous light illumination but a bright beam from a flashlight can help you with any type of work you need to do where bright light is required. Actually, candles are a great preparation for no-power situations, simply for the fact that you can save tons of battery energy when you burn candles. If you keep candles, which you should, always remember to pack waterproof matches in a safe location.

Flashlights can also be used as a self-defense weapon. Regardless of the shape or size, a flashlight will always be hard and rigid. That characteristic alone is great to have when defending yourself. There are also flashlights on the market that have such a bright beam that they have a stunning affect on a human attacker. A bright enough flashing strobe will debilitate an attacker for a few seconds turning a defensive situation into an offensive situation. A great manufacturer of self-defense flashlights is Surefire ( They not only make bright debilitating strobes, but they also make lights with sharpened beveled edges. Now, surefire is one of the best manufacturers on the market so expect to pay a pretty penny for these outstanding lights.

Another item that is essential is an all-weather emergency radio. There are tons of these in the disaster preparation market. Simply put, any emergency radio will do. All radios built for emergencies have a weather report option and a lot of them have a crank option. A crank lets you turn a crank to charge the internal battery leaving you with more batteries for that flashlight you’re going to buy. In any emergency situation, reports and updates will always be given over the radio (Unless zombies or invaders have killed everyone but you, then your screwed). Being in the know will help you plan more efficiently and effectively.

The last item on our basic essentials list is BATTERIES. STOCK STOCK STOCK AND STOCK. Always have batteries readily available. If your radio needs 9 volts, then stock a bunch of 9 volts. If your flashlight takes D’s, stock a bunch of D’s. You don’t want to be caught in Zombieland at 3am when it’s so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face now do you?

In my next blog, we will discuss specific situations and how to prepare for them.

October 29, 2009

Preparation for the End of the World Part 1. The Intro

Now, the world is going to end at some POINT. Whether that point is tomorrow, 2012, or 4590, NO ONE REALLY KNOWS.

However, a lot of these thoughts of End of Days come from our own imaginative processes. Thoughts we automatically have in our brain from other people's creative works. I.e Movies, Tabloids, Worldwide paranoia, and religion. Yes, I said it... religion. In particular, I'll bring up Christianity. No other chapter has more pursuading force on worldwide society than that of the Bible's "Revelation". It is THE HOLY GRAIL (Excuse my pun) of End of days literature. It has by far, at least in this country, created more paranoia and end of world speculation than any other piece ofwork. It has led society to create thousands of books and articles, handfuls of movies, and worldwide news coverage about when our world as we know it will end. If you aren't familiar, think of world wide battles of good. vs. evil, judgement day, pits of fire, demons walking the streets, 666, mark of the beast, etc... Yea, it's an entertaining story.

So all of our thought on this comes from other thought that was created through life-suckling fictional works of other people's thoughts. Make sense? Not really.

Regardless, we are merely a micron of an atom in the face of time and we will vanish and this world will cease to exist.... eventually. We have no way, at least currently, of peering behind the curtain of the future and actually predicting a viable date of when this all will happen. SO... all we can do is prepare ourselves. You may think that end of world preparation is a little over the top and irrelevant, but I am here to tell you that it is 100% completely relevant.

Because at any moment of any day, any number of events could happen that could displace you, shut down your government, or leave you completely and utterly alone (Think I am legend). Zombies, Natural disasters, major asteroids, worldwide disease, WAR, Alien Invasion, Solar Flares, Climate shift, blah blah blah blah blah I could go on all day, can happen at any moment. Some of these may seem a little far fetched but I assure you they are not. Any one of these things could happen whether you think so or not. As you well know, the earth was believed to be flat at one point in time and you couldn't convince anyone otherwise. SO with that said... In my posts to follow I will begin to teach you how to prepare yourselves for ANYTHING. From skeleton preparation for common occurences, to being prepared for a full out alien invasion. These articles and blogs will be very interesting to say the least, but in the end you will at least know how to kill zombies....

October 28, 2009

So, it's been a while

So, I see that I haven't posted in well over a year. Reading Seguin's self plugging antics on twitter made me see if my blog was even still here. Well, it is. So I mine as well keep it going. A lot has happened in my life in the last year. A marriage, and now a baby on the way. We found out Melanie was pregnant about 3 weeks before our wedding. That was a big BIG surprise. We have a due date of May 13th so that puts her at about 11 weeks and 6 days. Lot's and lot's of planning. This totally has rearranged my 2010. We did have plans to go to uruguay with the Sibils' but now we have to postpone until 2012. Which just happens to be.... wait for it....... THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT. So what better place to spend the end of the world, than in beautiful Playa Verde, Uruguay.