It's been a very busy holiday season for me, but it's also been a very profitable one. My consulting services have really taken off and getting results has been easier than I expected. I have, however, been remiss in my duties as a blog host to keep my readers updated on the comings and goings of my survivalist lifestyle. I've been selling some posts to other websites with an anonymity clause so I cannot divulge where. If you are a regular reader of survivalist websites, you should have read a few. It's not big money, but if I can sit and type out a story in a few hours and sell it for 50-100 bucks, that gets me closer to my goals than posting it here and getting 15-25 cents a day in advertising space. I'm sure you understand why, and selling it gets the info out to thousands of people a day instead of a hundred or less.
Ryan at http://www.totalsurvivalist.com/, my favorite survivalist and preparedness based one man blog has asked me to list the contents of my "Grey Man" Cache. I'll be posting it and my #2 cache in the next couple days. His blog was the inspiration for mine. Dissemination of quality information to those with the survival mindset is the goal.
Another of my favs, Alexander Wolf at http://www.teotwawki-blog.com/ is in on it as well and has some very useful insight into the idea of what a Cache should be.
These two great minds have been invaluable to the growth in my preparedness level. Everyone starts out pouring over every site they can find and trying to justify throwing money at the problem without really thinking through your options because the big name blogs/websites tell you what you HAVE to do. Once you start getting to the point that you've gotten enough gear to be marginally ready for a small emergency, you try testing it out and find some of the items lacking significantly. The reason is because you didn't get the insight into using the gear, nor did you look at the holistic value of each item in the kit. It's a rookie mistake I've made in the past.
I'm to the point now that I have been living the preparedness lifestyle for 5 years pretty heavily. My stores are significant enough to last us in a serious emergency such as a Katrina or Haiti length disaster. I've made a ton of mistakes, bought a bunch of gear that didn't work for me, and failed out in the field enough that I'm very confident in my abilities to survive in austere conditions.
I do have a few factors that increased my readiness level several factors over your average Joe. I became an assistant scoutmaster for my sons scout troop. This puts me out in the field camping and testing new gear every month. My sons likes hiking and camping enough that we go even more often than the scouts do. The additional wear and tear on camping gear that most people wouldn't get on gear 10 years old helps me to get a better gauge on what will last and what is junk.
This past fall I also became an instructor for a local firearms training and security consulting firm. The owner is a retired special forces team Sargent that worked in the field for 22 years training for counter terrorist operations, insurgency operations and indigenous personnel training. I get FREE training from the one of the guys who spent a couple decades at the sharp end of the spear. This leads to me shooting at least once a month in high level tactics, personal defense, personal security detail team classes, advanced carbine and pistol drills and a host of non lethal, combatives and mindset training. I even get paid to take those classes. Luckily I have 3 Dillon ammunition trees in my garage, Otherwise I would be broke due to ammo costs.
Lastly, I have the run of a local gun shop that specializes in tactical firearms and precision rifles. I get to play with new guns and gear as they hit the shelves, learn what issues certain guns have, and utilize the tools and facilities to modify my guns and gear without paying additional gunsmithing fees.I live close to a training facility for military and police sniper teams and the shop has a good working relationship with the sniper teams and local shooting clubs that has been an asset for learning the ins and outs of what's hot in the distance shooting scene.One of the largest military small arms testing facilities is less than an hour away as well, and some of them come in to the shop at times.
I offer my readers a chance to learn from my failures and triumphs, to get inside info on gear that works and some that doesn't. Gear reviews are the bread and butter of this blog and will continue to do so, I will be cross posting those reviews to my gear review blog as well. I have had the humbling opportunity to work with the professionals that live and breath the warrior mindset. They have insight into tactics that have been proven on the battlefield and in the back alleys of foreign nations that aren't friendly to the US. I'll pass along as much info as possible at Zero cost to you. Unfortunately, my schedule has kept me from being able to do so, but I will attempt to make a better effort.