New to Prepping?
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!
Millions of people worldwide use Craigslist to buy and sell products and services – from appliances to zombie preparedness products, visitors can also find services such as housekeepers, babysitters, and job opportunities. While most transactions occur safely and legitimately, criminals may use Craigslist as a vehicle to commit a wide range of crimes, including robbery, identify theft, sexual assault and even murder.
Craigslist is a classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, items for sale, items wanted, services, and discussion forums. Craigslist became a web-based service in 1996 and expanded into other classified categories. It started expanding to other U.S. cities in 2000, and now covers 50 countries.
Craigslist was founded by Craig Newmark in 1995 as an email distribution list to friends, featuring local events in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A Few Interesting Craigslist Stats:
- Total number of local Craigslist sites – 700
- Number of countries that have a local Craigslist site – 70
- Number of Craigslist daily queries worldwide – 50,000,000
- Total percentage of all Craigslist revenue that comes from adult service ads – 33 %
- Number of new classified ads that are published on Craiglist every month – 40 million
- Number of used car ads viewed on Craigslist – 9.2 million
- Number of page views Craigslist gets every month – 20 billion
- Number of Americans who use Craigslist each year – 50 million
- Number of job listings posted to Craigslist each month – 1 million
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.
As a youth, I was actively involved in the Boy Scouts, which is where I learned the importance of being prepared. “Be Prepared” is of course the Boy Scout motto. That mindset transitioned with me into my career as a law enforcement officer.
As a police officer, I teach people the importance of being prepared and staying safe. Not necessarily for the end of the world, but how to protect themselves from crime, or how to be prepared and what to expect should they find themselves a victim of crime.
Chances are that at some time in your life you, a family member, or a friend has been a victim of a crime. It is a very unfortunate part of not just our society, but our species. Because of that, I want to convey some general tips and steps you can do to protect yourself.
The most important tip is to always be aware of your surroundings. Stop texting for a moment and take in what is going on around you. Criminals prey on those who look lost, distracted, and/or weak. So pay attention to your environment. Appear confident. Act like you are in control and are moving with a purpose. Don’t look like an easy target!
There are tens of thousands of muggings and assaults every year in the US. I mentioned that remaining alert and paying attention to your surroundings is a good way to help prevent being attacked. Here are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:
- When exiting a building heading to your car, have they key you need to unlock your door already in your hand. Don’t be distracted at your car by fumbling around in your purse or pocket for your car keys.
- Criminals look for victims that appear to have money or valuables. Avoid wearing flashy, expensive items. Or at least be discrete with them. Carrying large sums of money is not a great idea for obvious reasons.
- Avoid using ATMs when alone and/or at night. If you need to use one, try to find one in a busy area like a grocery store. Thieves HATE witnesses!
- Stick to well-populated areas. If you are visiting or new to the area, try to learn about the area before venturing out into the unknown.
This is Part II of Firearms for Preppers series. Be sure to check out Part I if you missed it!
In my article Firearms for Beginners, I talk in general about needing at minimum, one long gun and one pistol for a long term survival scenario. The long gun you can use to hunt and to defend yourself at range, while the pistol is a great backup weapon and is many times better suited to self-defense in very close quarters.
But now I want to go into a bit more detail. I want to be a bit more specific. Of course, a lot of what you need depends upon your situation. And that could vary greatly from person to person. But overall, much of what I say will apply to everyone regardless of their situation.
Ok….so you need a long gun and a pistol for a long term disaster scenario. But what kind of pistol? What kind of long gun? Should you stop with just two or gather more? Well, let’s discuss that.
I have seen many articles from various prepper sources taking it a bit further, saying you need a good rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol. Some even go further and say that in addition to those you also need a .22 rifle as well. A few will even say that you need backups of all of those. I cannot argue with any of that logic as I subscribe to it myself. If you have the funds available, then I would absolutely tell you to go that route.
Now I know my situation. I know what my long term plans are. You need to acquire firearms based upon what your plans are should you find yourself in a long term survival situation.
Are you bugging in or bugging out? How many people are in your group? How well trained are these folks? These are questions only you can answer. But to give you some ideas, I’ll give you some examples based upon my plans.
I live in a large suburb of Oklahoma City. So I have firearms for self-defense based upon a city setting. I prefer a pistol and shotgun for urban use. Yet if I had to bug out, I have a rural homestead on several acres I can go to. I have firearms (rifles) I could use in a self-defense scenario in a rural setting as well.