Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What will we do about the refugees?

In the aftermath of a Big Bad Event (I'll call it a BBE - maybe it will catch on) there will be lots of hurting people. But we won’t be amongst them! “WE will be squared away because WE have stored food. The SHEEPLE will be hungry. If I give MY food to the SHEEPLE - my daughter may starve to DEATH - so I gotta be hard.” That’s how some of the thinking goes…

Others say, "I will give ‘til it hurts." But they haven't thought through that when they feel the pain it could be death pangs for their own family.

Others have prepared "refugee meals" to hand out to the miserable masses that stream past their retreat - "Here, take this and move on". Some have set MREs aside for this purpose. One cool idea I saw was a family who made up about 100 meals consisting of a 2 liter bottle of water and a small metal paint can full of rice and dried beans. On top of the product but under the lid was a pack of matches. The idea was for folks to take this food kit and move out to a place where they would have to build a fire and cook – so they wouldn’t hang around.

What happens if they DON'T move on? What if they set up camp across the road (or just down the road out of sight) and you become a soup kitchen. What happens when there is no more "soup" and you now have a mass of humanity right across the street? Hungry humanity.

In my travels I have met a few people who believe God laid it on their heart to prepare for others. In every case it was for Christians who never got or never listened to the Preparedness Message (Proverbs 6:6 is a decent place to begin) and were now running from "the Beast government" and needed some respite in the wilderness. They had a LOT of food put aside for others. I’m talking trailers and barns full.

I have recently been coming across others who have started to feel the unction to prepare for others – others who failed to provide for themselves.

There are obvious problems with feeding the hungry.
The first is having the food to feed them.
How can we afford it? Where do we get it? Where do we store it?

Then, how do we prepare it? You will not prepare 100 (or 1,000) helpings of soup in a canteen cup - or even your normal kitchen soup pot. DO we prepare it or do we hand out ready to eat food, or food that they themselves must prepare. Perhaps it would give them some dignity to do something for themselves – something like cook their own food.

An idea I am working on is turning our church into a way point, a food distribution center and perhaps even a shelter to be activated after a BBE. The church has resources to buy food and space to store it and water. This allows us to separate “their food” from “our food”. It lets us maintain a degree of homestead security in that the masses are not at our personal front door.

Security can be a huge issue. Most have probably seen the opening scene in “Blackhawk Down” where the starving masses are gunned down by evil militia who are stealing the food. Food is a weapon – it always has been and there will always be people who know how to wield it as such.

If one sets up a feeding operation one will have to secure the hungry people from bad guys. They will have to secure the aid workers from bad guys and perhaps from hungry people. They will have to secure the FOOD from everyone. Not just the area immediately around the feeding or distributing operation will need to be secured, but also the approach and departure routes.

If you encourage or even allow folks to stay around in hopes of another meal (and many will try) you will now have a refugee camp on your hands. Very quickly you will have more than food and security concerns. You will be confronted with hygiene issues – they eat, they drink – they have to go somewhere. Housing, clothing, medical – disease. It goes on an on.

John Smith hung a sign above the gate to Jamestown – “He who does not work, shall not eat” (that is biblical, by the way). See, they showed up on our shores with a whole bunch of soft handed “gentlemen” and a few servants. Well, folks got sick and died. It was time for everyone to pitch in to grow food and hunt critters but the gentlemen did not want to. They felt entitled to be taken care of.

We have a couple generations of people in this country who feel “entitled”. "Feed me, help me, do for me" – when they are perfectly capable of doing for themselves. It angers me when I see perfectly healthy adult males sitting on the porch or hanging out on the corner day after day while I work to support them. Is there anything wrong with telling the refugees who are able – “you have to work before I feed you”? Maybe make them make the big pot of soup, or fetch firewood for the cooking fires or…. But I fear many will refuse to do so, will get angry and then possibly violent.

I recall the “starving masses” at Katrina plus 4 days. All ANGRY because they were given MREs to eat. “I can’t eat THIS!” Yeah, it’s not chicken nuggets….

And yet, in a real BBE – there WILL be hungry people. There WILL be helpless people. And they likely WILL be in your area.

Where am I going with this?
I want to know what you think.
What you believe.
What you have seen or done.
What ideas you have.

I just started a post over at the forums.

Why don’t you register, log in and tell me what you think?

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. – Matthew 25:41 - 46


If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Recently a regional sportsmen’s collective contracted me to teach them some of the finer points of Woods Walkin’ and nature observation. Back when we made the arrangements they new it would be cold but I’m not sure any of us anticipated the white stuff. No matter – more to learn and teach. I’m sure you can understand me when I say that they were a bit camera shy but I took the opportunity to get some snaps of me, and my stuff, and in the process this blog entry was born.

I call my shelter “the snow shack” but it’s really just a white version of the Swack Shack which you can read all about a few posts down. You can get one of these and a whole lot of other cool stuff at Survival Solutions. It worked exactly you would expect – just fine. It is big enough for me and a big comfy bed, my rifle and my dog who also came along but as it turns out, was also camera shy. It works great in the snow as far as camouflage goes and it is a bit less expensive because it is not made of the proprietary Multi-Cam. Cool!

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect terrain and vegetation wise so I brought some heavy duty stakes – and I’m glad I did. They went into the frozen earth just fine. I rigged this one with a main ridge line above tarp/through the loops. I attached some waxed cord to the end loops with girth hitches and tied them off to the ridge line with prussics. I built a deep leaf bed and slept on a thick closed cell foam mat inside a military 3 bag system. I was fine. If it had been windy I would have stowed my rucksack at my head to keep the wind off. Stay off the ground and out of the wind.

Another tip for working in the cold is to dress in layers. I like tops that unzip or unbutton all the way down so I can ventilate. Sure, a hoody is really warm and traps the heat nicely around your neck and face but when you start warming up from exercise it is impossible to vent off excess heat. The last thing you want to do in this environment is sweat. I actually brought two hats – a fleece watch cap and the ball cap you see in the pic. When that picture was taken I was quite warm despite the temperatures because we had been walking a bit.

When we are cold we don’t feel thirsty and so it is easy to become dehydrated. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids. Warm fluids keep the body temperature stable unlike ice cold canteen/bottle water. Due to the nature of our nature observation, we chose not to have fires – but we still had stoves to use to heat water. If nothing else, try to eat something and change into dry socks before you get into your sleeping bag. The calories will warm you and your dry warm feet will thank you.

Snow camouflage is pretty simple – I saw one person with a poncho made from a flat white sheet – it worked very well. Surplus snow cammo is easy and cheap to obtain from places like the Sportsman’s Guide. My stuff is cotton but nylon is better because it dries quicker. Some folks say, “nylon is noisier than cotton” and that is true – but you cannot move through snow like a ninja so the little swish swish of nylon is not a big deal. When I’m in an area with trees and bushes and I’m walking, I like to wear white pants and a darker top. It blends better and it also really disrupts the “man pattern”. Most people in the group put white adhesive tape on their shooting irons but I saw one with neoprene sleeves velcroed onto the buttstock and foregrip and one rifle painted white, gray and black.

If you are in an area where the snow is gonna be around for awhile you can paint whatever you need to with white paint. Stripes, blotches or solid white depending on what you are dealing with - it’s not rocket science. If your white is “removable” you can adjust your camo as the situation dictates. If it’s painted you will need more paint to change it.

I know some folks can’t stand the snow but it really does provide an opportunity to get out and try new stuff, experiment with gear, and just get more comfortable in the woods.

I’ll see ya out there.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. – Isaiah 1:18


If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America

Thursday, December 17, 2009


We burn all of our paper trash here at High Prairie Acres. We save a paper feed sack after we empty its contents into a galvanized trashcan placed out by the chicken coop and it sits in our kitchen and gets filled with junk mail, official mail, catalogs, notes – you name it. If it has writing on it, it goes in the burn bag. We do this for OPSEC reasons - I don’t want our “identity stolen” or any other trouble that could come from ne’er-do-wells reading my old mail. We also burn the cardboard boxes we get in the mail and so on.

Today was a nice day so I decided to burn some trash. We have a round deal we fashioned out of field fencing and then wrapped in chicken wire into which we toss our burnables and then we cover it with a similar lid and fire that baby up – it keeps errant embers from lighting the woods on fire. As I was burning the trash I noticed that there were several unburned catalogs and magazines in the bottom of our burn cage. They were charred on the outside but because the pages are so close together, they don’t burn well. These had been covered in snow and really didn’t burn well. I stirred them up but they still didn’t burn so when most of the fire was down, I removed the cage and added some firewood figuring I’d get a hot little campfire going and that would take care of the wet, charred magazines. It did.

While my little fire was happily burning away I thought, “What can I do so I don’t waste this fire and wood?” Can’t cook on it – well I could, I just don’t want to cook over a trash fire. Hmmmm then I remembered the fat.

We recently butchered a few deer and this year, as I sliced the fat off the belly and back I tossed it all into a cauldron thinking I would render it later for tallow. I’ve never done this before but today ended up being The Day. The pot was about 1/3 full of mostly pure white fat but there were some bits of meat and gristle in there as well.

I suspended the pot over the fire and waited. Sure enough, it was like cooking bacon – the smell was similar, the sounds were similar and soon I had reduced all the stuff to just liquid and chunks – I reckon those are cracklin’s but I don’t know.

I think I may have cooked it too long or perhaps on too high of a heat. I stopped when the bits turned very dark brown. There was a good deal of liquid in there and I used a slotted spoon to get the larger bits out and then I poured the remainder through a sieve into a metal coffee can.

The liquid is dark. I’m hoping it will clarify a bit and solidify as it gets cooler. The chickens got the cracklin’s or whatever the cooked solids are called.

What am I going to do with it you might ask? I’m going to try and make candles or tapers. Beyond that, I’ll probably do some Internet research and hopefully some of you will write me with some other good ideas.

And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. – 1 Samuel 15:22

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America

Friday, December 11, 2009

"It's ALIVE!"

Well the Land Cruiser is back on the road!
I bought this puppy several years ago and it needed (ha! it still needs) a lot of work. I’m trying to teach myself about vehicle maintenance/repair by doing all of my own work.

We all make mistakes as parents and I think my dad made one with me. See, he would not let me buy a car. Not with my own money and certainly not with his. As freshmen in college, we were not allowed to have cars on campus. So it was not until the next summer that I finally bought a car. A ’74 Ford Pinto. I changed the oil and checked the air pressure I the tires but that’s about it. See, as a college student, I didn’t have time to work on cars – so when something went wrong, I’d turn it into a shop and pay to have it fixed. Honestly though, that was a pretty good car and not much went wrong with it.

Time progressed, I got a job and a new car and then I definitely didn’t have time to learn how to work on cars. Now if my dad had let me buy a car as a teenager – not paid for it himself – make ME pay for it; and if he had not paid to have it fixed, I could only have afforded a junker and I would have had to spend my Saturdays learning how to fix it with my buddies who had and worked on cars. But noooooooo. That’s okay – other than that, I had (and have) a great dad – he did teach me a lot.

Well I resolved to go and not do likewise so I let my son buy a car just as soon as he could. I paid for half of his first vehicle. I paid nothing else. He learned to work on cars. As a pre-med student in college he had owned and sold about 5 cars and built two from hulks up. He now owns two and works on both of them as a hobby.

So now I’m trying to learn. I bought this project vehicle – it ran but only barely.
I put narrower tires on it.
Changed out the steering stabilizer and lubed the steering and tie rod ends.
I fixed the throttle.
I changed out the master cylinder.
I added some lights.
Temporarily stopped some rust.
And then it just quit on me. It would drive fine for about 20 minutes and then just chug along at 5 miles an hour.

I thought it was a choke problem – so I fiddled with that.
I thought it was fuel filter problem – so I changed that.
I sprayed carb cleaner in the carburetor.
No joy.

When I bought it, it came with spare parts, old parts and what not. In the box of stuff was a carb rebuild kit. A bit beyond my time constraints to learn how to fix so there it sat. And sat. And sat. Until a buddy who thought he owed me a favor (he didn’t) said, “Hey, why don’t you let me take that home and mess with the carb?”

He fixed it. In fact, he totally rebuilt it. Said it was so bad he couldn’t understand how it drove at all before. Then he taught me how to check the oil in the front and rear differentials (it was low) and the transfer case. Then he taught me how to lube a vehicle. Then we tightened up some belts and added some air to the tires. Then he taught me how to check the u-joints.

I have on order now, two front end u-joints and four new shocks – we will put them in together.

So it has taken 30 years but I am now spending part of my weekends with my buddies learning how to wrench on a vehicle.

My goal is to get it mechanically in tip top shape then work on the body and exterior. I’ll paint it a normal color – when I got it, it was the original green with some bluish grey bondo and some gray primer. As I noticed rust, I would wire wheel it and splash it with a different colored grey primer. Then I learned about this black rust-eating paint so I started using that. The thing looked like it had measles. So I started “connecting the dots” and lo, a camo pattern emerged. But I’ll probably end up painting it grey or tan. Next I’ll work on the interior – it’s a mess.

Some day it will be nice.

Right now it’s a project for me to learn on.
And it works well in the snow.
And it has a fairly high “cool factor” too, don’tcha think?

See ya out there.

And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him: - Exodus 14:6

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America