Tuesday, January 23, 2018

ITS Tactical 5 Item 48 Hour Challenge

So I was perusing my regular youtube channels and this popped up. Seems like a fun challenge to try to figure out what would work for me, TODAY January 23, 2018, for a 48 hour survival challenge. The weather here is going to be pretty much just above and just below freezing the entire time with rain and snow mix, so your location changes things. If I was in the Florida Keys, it would be very different. But, since that's not the case, I will have to figure out what works for me.

We've covered the standard 5 C's several times on here so it's a pretty easy task to figure out what would work best for a relatively short stay of 48 hours. I would also contest that you would have your regular EDC on you, but you must use you REAL EDC stuff, not that load of crap you put up on instagram when the new hot hashtag pops. Since I'm not able to carry a handgun inside the facility and it's a federal crime to do so. Outside the controlled facility, where I'm currently parking, is not violating the law, so I'm going to call it part of my EDC. Glock 26 it is. Also, I keep a get home bag in my truck, but that would really muddy the waters, so it's out.

My EDC is- Ghurka wallet, G Shock solar watch, Phone, Keys, Prototype Weber folding knife, Work pants, usually Blackhawk, 5.11 or Kuhl. SOE, uncle mikes or an official BSA belt, Darn tough socks, Danner work boots, Mechanix cold weather gloves, Blackhawk! fleece beanie or a poly stocking cap, Carhartt Quick Duck Jacket with a hoodie or fleece under layer. I do EDC a flashlight, but it's pretty unconventional because it's a Thrunight headlamp. I have to work in low light areas that require me to use both hands all the time so a regular flashlight doesn't work.

The best way I can think of is to work the problem backwards. You can live 3 seconds without safety, 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food, 3 months without companionship.
-Air isn't an issue in my neck of the woods, so we can leave that be.
-Safety, on the other hand, is a prerequisite of the preparedness lifestyle. I'd go with hiding for safety in such a short stay, but I do count on my handgun.
-For shelter I'd bring a Sil-Nylon tarp of the 10x8 variety.
-I wouldn't bring any water, but instead bring a container that I could readily boil water or cook with. For sure I'd choose the Self Reliance Outfitters Canteen kit.
-With the weather being pretty cold out and my EDC consisting of my work attire, My Carhart jacket and underlayer isn't going to be enough to keep me warm at night, so I'm going to bring a Military Sleep System. This system could even be used as a stand alone due it it's gortex outer shell that is water resistant, but I prefer to be able to stay dry outside the bag as well as in it.
-I'm going to have to kill a few birds with one stone and call out an MRE as well. It has food, TP, gum, condiments and most importantly, matches inside.
-My last item would be cordage. 7 strand paracord or bankline.

Why is this system going to work? Because I cheated. Multipurpose or multi item units are cheating, but that's the rules set out with ITS. If I wasn't able to cheat, I'd have to simplify and go with these alone.
-Steel Canteen
-Sleeping bag

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: A Year In The Rear-View

I know, you've heard it all before, New year/New you- ad naseum. Don't fall for the hype. You were responsible for what happened in 2017. Some choice you made ended you up right where you are today. You might be thinking that hey- that drunk driver that crashed into me isn't my fault! Yes, it's your fault. You chose to accept the risks when you pulled out of the driveway. Had you stayed at home you'd be safe(er). But wait, there's more. A plane falls out of the sky and lands on your house, yep, you chose to live in a metropolis or near an major hub and accepted the risk of higher flight numbers.

Quit blaming others for random stuff. You can hold another accountable for their actions in the case of the plane or drunk driver, but what about holding yourself accountable? Do you look in the mirror every morning thinking that you made perfect choices all day every day? No. We all have room for improvement or self improvement if you like.

Every year you see people talking about being ready to start a new year and forget about the dumpster fire that was last year. That is exactly the wrong idea. You started and fed that dumpster fire with your choices. Own up to it and start making decisions with your head instead of your heart. Analyze your investments daily- That means looking at them for what they are, regardless of how you feel about them. That means time investments, financial investments, vanity investments, relationships, habitation, Etc. If you can't admit that you made a mistake, you've already made 2 mistakes. If that dude that you've hung out with for 20 years is dragging you down, you need to improve him or lose him. Your goals and standards are defined by your surroundings.

Quit being jealous. If someone won the genetic lottery, good for them! That may not be your lot in life, but it's not an excuse to demonize someone or deflate your own self worth. If you're a hater, you're allowing someone else to live rent free in your head. Toss that luggage to the curb and work to grow your own flock of haters. The measure of a person is how they deal with adversity. You beat it, or it beats you.

You are responsible for you. That means that you should be willing to own up to your shortcomings and learn to handle them.

Be humble. You are no better than anyone else. How you treat people that can do nothing for you defines your character.

Be productive. The only way  to deserve anything is to earn it. A promotion that is worked for is held in esteem by your peers.

Time is money. You're trading time for everything you buy. Instead of looking at a prospective purchase by price, look at it in time. If you're willing to trade an hour of your day's pay every day to eat out at lunch, just understand the cost. Your time is finite and growing shorter every day, don't squander it.

Be content. If you gave it your all and came up short, learn from it. Don't let it break you. Trying to live up to the expectations of others can run you ragged. Keep your grass tended and it won't be greener on the other side. Live your life, not what others think is great and exciting.

I'm speaking from experience. I've made all the mistakes you can make, then stopped and owned up to it.

Make 2018 your year, then 2019. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My 2017 Best Gear Purchase

With the added income associated with the current contract I'm fulfilling, Ive purchased some higher(ish) end gear and supplies to increase my camping comfort level and some weight savings. With all the purchases, I've made some good ones, a few decent ones and a couple bad ones. It wasn't tough to make a decision on the best purchase though, that was easy with a strong standout such as this.  So for 2017, my best purchase has been the Klymit 20 degree down sleeping bag.

klymit official site.

I know, you're thinking- "It's just a sleeping bag, What gives?" Well, let me tell you why this one is so significant. It weighs less than my synthetic bag and is at least 2x warmer. I would struggle at 40 degrees in my 20 degree browning bag, but I was toasty and warm at 30 with no tarp shelter over my hammock. I've since taken it down past 20 degrees without an issue. The best thing about this item is the fact that it comes in an oversized version which is far less constrictive and you don't have to be as rigid during the night. You have room to move and even turn without dislodging your bag. This is especially nice in a hammock because I like to put a pillow under my knees to make it more comfy. The extra room also means more fluff to keep you warm, all in a bag that packs down to 16x8".

I purchased the large model and have no issue taking the extra .4 pounds it weighs over the standard model. It's still almost 2lbs lighter and about 3/4 the size of the synthetic bag I used to use. The bag has a moisture resistant outer shell to keep you warm even in the cool dew of night. It rained cats and dogs during a shooting event and some water got in my hammock, but I never felt it, the outer shell did it's job!
If you add in the Hammock V insulated pad, it's even warmer. No need for an under quilt anymore. I woke up to a coating of frost on my hammock netting the morning after this pic was taken. I was toasty, refreshed and ready to go hunt! I made a 2 for 1 shot on a couple tree rats, and later that day my son got his first all on his own tree rat.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Wow, how did that happen?

Sorry all, I received a contract advancement and what I thought would be a end of the year completion date ended up getting extended indefinitely. I'm really busy, like ungodly slammed at work and still keeping my business floating on weekends. Add in a family and youth stewardship volunteering, this has really taken a side line. I do have TONS of new great gear to review, but making the time has been tough. Every spare minute has been spent in the woods with my boys. I'll get back to you every time I get some time.

                                                                    Last camp out
                                                                           Latest Project

Friday, September 8, 2017

Forest Fires and Hurricanes

I've noticed a big numbers jump on posts about caches and inclement weather lately. Not sure what's driving it exactly, might be the weather or the fact that a US territory just enacted a Firearms Seizure order, or both?

The entire point of preparedness is to be prepared for anything, but sometimes Mom Nature decides you need to flee. Now.

What would you do if you had 2 days to plan your exit from your current AO. Not an enticing program when you consider it's a real issue for some this week.

What really upsets me is when I hear of people binge buying water. Of all the stupid things to spend money on. Your tap works, and you've spent your entire life throwing away plastic bottles. Go buy a water bottle if you have to, but 20 2 liters in the attic would be a perfect solution to the problem at hand. If that's not an option for you due to space, why would you not have a few cases of water in the closet?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

BadThink DoubleSpeak

I realize it's been a while since I've written a political diatribe. I haven't really felt the need prior to today due to the common lunacy not requiring further commentary. It's become laughable due to the ineptitude of the leftist echo chamber. Then two things happened. It's looking more and more possible for the president to be removed. Secondly, Charlottesville.

These two seemingly unrelated subjects have become relevant due mostly to the fact that they have both become possible by the actions of the forth estate. The media has covered the actions of the antifreedom movement and worshiped at the altar of communism. They are responsible for the suppression of free speech and supporting the spread of mob rule. What they don't understand is the depth of the precipice they now stare into. For the first time in the history of our country, the abyss is staring back, silently. If this behavior continues, Clinton's rules will be applied.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke

It's still a bit early to do something for the common person, but for the authorities, they are sorely lacking in their response to these actions. The best thing that can come of action is that one of the groups continues to hate them. Inaction on the part of law enforcement pretty much guarantees hatred from both sides. That is the worst of all possibilities for law enforcement. Alienating the people that do pay taxes, put out blue lights on their porches and lend support to officers without question is a horrible choice. If that grass roots support stops, I'm not sure what the extent of the fallout will be. We've had 6 officers shot this weekend and not much publicity or angst over it among the regular citizen. I'm afraid the slide has begun. The mistrust and hatred the common man has for the feds could become shouldered by local law enforcement.

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.  
  Edmund Burke County Meeting of Buckinghamshire (1784)

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength 

The youth and counter culture of today are fighting logic and morality at an unforgiving rate. By the end of the decade, we may be in a shooting war with our countrymen and women. Who do you think would benefit from that? A distracted and frightened populace will clamor for protection and freely give up liberty to stop the killing. It's just a matter of time at this point. As Matt Bracken has said so harshly, we are a single mag dump away from a civil war. Had it happened at Charlottesville, This might be a very different post. 

As far as the Trump Presidency goes, I had hoped that he might have gotten some traction and actually done a 10th of what was promised. Nope, not even close. He is mired in his poor choices for cabinet and can't make anything happen while the right and left in office oppose him. I pretty much expected such, but was cautiously optimistic. If they remove him from office, all bets are off. I cannot guess at the outcome. Consider what would have happened if they removed Obama and add in trillions of rounds of ammo and millions of guns that the obama supporters didn't have. Your guess is as good as mine. 

It's time to pick up your training tempo and consider your options for best defense if you are caught out in a riot. Might even be good camo to have a black hat and scarf in your vehicle to blend in and evade the opposition. There are so many options and strategies out there that we need to consider them all when things get dire. It's high time to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Most importantly, stay off the enemies' radar. Lives have been ruined by misidentified protestors and death threats have been levied.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Every Day Carry Philosophy Part 2: What have you done for me lately?

Normalcy bias has always been and will always be the biggest struggle for most concealed carriers and protection minded folks. We abhor a dynamic environment and instead concentrate on the "fun" variables that don't require training. We want to buy things to shortcut training and make us more lethal without the effort. Yes, there are better technologies coming out all the time.... No, not all of them are useful or necessary. Every once in a while some new tactic leapfrogs to the front of people's minds and monopolizes the market and conversation. Like now, appendix carry is the hot topic and driving force for holster innovation. It's a viable carry option for most and hides extremely well. It has a few drawbacks, but for the most part, it works.

Let's now go back 20 years when small of the back holsters were all the rage. Same rules apply. Has drawbacks, hides well, etc. It's no longer an accepted method by the masses due to inherent flaws. The biggest being that the person behind you can easily stop a draw and falling on your back can cause a broken spine.

My biggest issue with appendix carry is when I'm seated. I don't generally mingle with the public in an unknown venue very often, but when I do it's usually in a seated position at a conference, class, restaurant, or movie. It seems that a different method of carry would better benefit me. I'm currently testing out a new hybrid style holster called the Berkut II by Green Force Tactical/Forward Training Concepts. It's an improvement on the appendix by changing the draw stroke slightly and in doing so, making it slightly more sit friendly.

I'm currently seated trying out my new holster, and it's working so far. Only time will tell.

Another issue that seems to be at the forefront is pistol ammo. Everyone wants the new hot ticket. They change carry ammo more often than underwear. That (in my opinion) wasted ammo money would be better spent on FMJ at the range. Super performance ammo isn't worth a dime if you can't get solid hits. Even worse, misses with this ultra performance voodoo slug could be more harmful to an innocent if you hit them. Stick with the fundamentals and do your work at the range, not on the keyboard, unless of course you are testing your new wiz-bang holster by typing in a seated position.

BTW, not sure I'm going to stick with the threaded barrel in this configuration. It's protrusion happens to make contact with my personal protrusion, and that is an unwelcome distraction.