If you are like me, you probably have people in your life that you love and care for who are not “prepared”. Either they do not believe in it, or they simply don’t do it. But for a multitude of reasons, you cannot simply write them out of your life. It might be a spouse, or a sister, or an adult child. So in some ways, maybe you are like me and prep for them “on the side”.
I have a girlfriend who seemingly understands the importance of being prepared for an emergency or disaster, but just cannot put it into practice. (I’m teaching her…so that’s a start.)
I decided, over the past year or two, that she and her son would be a part of my plans should we have a disaster, big or small. I began helping her become more prepared. In some ways, I started prepping for her.
When we sometimes go grocery shopping together, I have her buy a few extra cans of food, and a gallon of water. At the moment she has a 2-3 day supply of food and water. She also has an incredibly warm Teton sleeping bag. I gave her a hand cranked flashlight. As I mentioned in a previous article, for a beginner that’s a good start.
But I knew a good start wasn’t enough. If she was to be a part of my “long term” plans, I knew that I would have to help keep her going.
Began with a Plan
To start off with, the girlfriend and I sat down for a few minutes. We came up with a plan should she find herself in an emergency situation. If the situation was bad enough that calling 911 would be pointless, I told her the plan was simple, she and her son were to come to my house. (We also discussed a few different routes to take.) I have more than enough supplies to take care of her and her son, so if she could drive, she was not to worry about packing food or water.
I told her to grab warm, rugged clothing/blankets for her and her son. I have enough of everything else. But petite women’s’ clothing or clothing for a small child I do not have.
About a month ago, one of my best friends at work hit me up about purchasing his backup weapon, the Sccy CPX-2 , which is a 9mm. I normally would not have a need for this pistol, and would not have purchased it on my own. I already have a backup/off duty gun that I really enjoy. And I do not have any firearms in 9mm. (For pistol I stock .40 cal, .380, and some .357.)
But I knew he needed the money, and he was offering me a VERY fair price. So I purchased it from him thinking I would keep it until he wanted to buy it back. When I mentioned that to him a few days later, he replied that when he did eventually buy a new backup gun, he would go with something different.
So I am now the proud, permanent owner of a Sccy CPX-2.
At this point, I started thinking that maybe I could trade it in for something else. I could at least get out of it what I had in it.
I also wondered if it wouldn’t make a decent weapon for someone in my group. We don’t have any 9mm ammo, but what if we came across some if things went really bad? 100 rounds of 9mm ammo isn’t that expensive, and it might be a pistol I could give to a family member if “things go south”.
Either way, I decided to do a review on this pistol for folks who might want an EDC pistol without breaking the bank. The MSRP on the gun is $319, which means from a reputable dealer you could probably find it for around $250-$270. A used one might be even cheaper.
Over the past few years, I have read many articles on various websites concerning “Bug out bags” (BOB) and “Get home bags” (GHB). Everyone has an opinion on what you should or should not pack. What you will or won’t need.
Because everyone’s situation is different, I cannot tell you what all you should have. You should know better than anyone what you will need to pack. But what I can tell you is that there are 3 VERY important elements that EVERYONE’s bag should have. And these elements are often overlooked.
The biggest element is mobility; the ability to move quickly and safely to whatever location you choose. Your bag should be designed for movement, ala speed. The lighter your load, the faster and further you able to travel. This is CRITICAL if your mode of transportation actively involves your feet!
Your bag, regardless of your conditions, should be packed with swiftness in mind. Ounces = pounds, pounds = pain. The more pain you have, the slower and less effective you become.
You are more vulnerable while on the move. And I’m not talking about roving bands of marauders that so many people envision. I’m talking about being susceptible to the elements, to fatigue, to stress; being vulnerable to the unknown.
At home (or bug out location) you are not as exposed. You will hopefully feel safer and more secure in familiar surroundings. The more rapidly you can get there, the better off you will be.
I have mentioned a few times in previous articles about owning a Frog Togg rain suit. Lately, I have received several emails asking me about Frog Togg. Are they really that good? They are only $20 or so? Are they light weight? Questions like that. So I thought I would do a review on the suit and tell you why I think it is the perfect prepper rain gear!
Now before I jump into it, let me state, for the record, I am NOT a Frog Togg salesman. I have not had any sort of communication with Frog Togg, and they are not in any way compensating me for this article. I am writing about this suit because I believe in it and I use it.
The picture to the left is my brother, Mike, wearing his Frog Togg suit. He presently works for a company that repairs and paints roller coasters. That picture was taken on a cold and wet Chicago morning in March. In about 25 degree weather, he was power washing the roller coaster. (I would never power wash anything in 25 degree weather, but then again I’m not half crazy!)
Mike said that with the industrial strength power washer, water was “going everywhere”. Everything was soaked and freezing within minutes. But the Frog Togg suit kept his inner layers completely dry, which kept him warm and dry. And as any good prepper knows, getting wet in cold weather can lead to hypothermia. (Hypothermia is the number one killer of outdoor recreationalists!) If you are wet and do not take precautions, you can perish in temps as high as 50 degrees!
Some might call me a “Gun Nut”. I prefer the term “Firearm Aficionado!” But I thought I would combine my love of firearms with my love of writing and blogging. So to begin this endeavor, I decided I would start with a review of my old backup, off-duty, EDC pistol; the .380 Bodyguard by Smith and Wesson.
I purchased the Bodyguard wanting a backup pistol for my Glock 23 as well as something I could easily carry off-duty. I looked for something light weight and easily concealable. The S&W Bodyguard fit that bill. The fact that it had a built in laser sight by Insight was a bonus.
The laser is activated with a button on both sides of the gun frame. You hit the button for on, again for pulse, and a third time for off.
The Bodyguard is a hammer fired, double action semi-automatic pistol. The slide is stainless steel and coated in Melonite, while the lower frame is polymer. It came with a single, 6 round magazine with a flared bottom plate for better gripping ability. (Gun has a 6 +1 capacity.)
The barrel on this gun is 2.75 inches, with the total length of the gun at 5.4’ and weighs about 12 oz.
Interstate 40 is the 3rd largest highway in the United States, running from Wilmington, North Carolina to Barstow California. Part of it used to be the old historic Route 66 that was popularized in the 1960s with a song and TV show. And I-40 runs right through my city where I work.
I have lost count how many times I have been called to assist with motor vehicle accidents on that interstate. At least 4 that I can remember were fatality accidents. (ALWAYS wear your seat-belt.) But what sticks out to me the most is just how often I came across people who simply were not dressed appropriately for the weather conditions outside.
So many times, when the outside temp was barely above freezing, (or colder) I’d pull up on an accident. Based upon the speeds traveled, the vehicles involved were usually damaged enough that they would not start. The people were not always hurt or not hurt very badly. But so many times the drivers and passengers did not have adequate clothing.
I always asked them the same thing. “Where is your coat?”
“I didn’t think I’d need one because I was only driving a few miles.” Or “it WAS warm inside my car” were the typical replies.
Normally, I would have been nice enough to let them stay warm in the back of my patrol car. But for many years, I was a K9 officer. I had no back seat as it had been replaced with metal bars/plates and a carpet for my loyal companion. And he was NOT nice enough to let anyone sit back there with him.
With all of my equipment I kept in the front seat, I had no room to place freezing passengers. (On the plus side, I never had to transport prisoners.)
Within a few moments a backup officer would arrive on scene, and the unprepared would cram into his/her back seat. People learned the hard way that they could not rely solely on their car’s heater or AC unit to keep them warm/cool. They should of had a backup plan.
Next to your need for oxygen, maintaining your core body temperature is the most important survival aspect you will face. Having a shelter from the elements is the number two priority in my opinion. It is more important than water, food, guns, or gear. Your clothing is, in a sense, a part of your shelter. What you wear and how you wear it could be the difference between life and death.
Over the past few decades, we have seen an increase in clothing made from synthetic materials. But sometimes it can become confusing as to how the material would be a boon or a bane in an emergency situation. So let me break down the main types of clothing/bedding material out there.
A very popular material on the market (at least in the America), cotton is hydrophilic. This means that it transfers sweat from your body to the material, causing it to become wet. Once cotton is wet, it feels cold and loses almost all of its ability to insulate. In the winter time, the saying is “Cotton Kills”.