Friday, July 26, 2013

List of Lists - Barter & Charity

Many people may not think that barter in a post-SHTF situation is very important. Many people surely believe that charity is a non-factor. They see whatever may happen as an "every man for himself" type of society, or they see no society at all. However, this type of scenario is unlikely and unless you are surrounded by impassable terrain for many miles, you are likely to come across other people, possibly on a regular basis.

It times like that, it's important to protect yourself and your supplies. It's important to stay out of a situation in which you can be taken advantage of. But it is also arguably equally important to remember your humanity, and remember that part of our reason for being here is to help our fellow man.

Barter is likely to be a large part of the economic system in many types of SHTF scenarios. Charity, if conducted on a large enough scale, can have such a positive effect on a community post-SHTF that it may add a large degree of stability and cohesiveness. God tells us to be compassionate toward others in their time of need. It is possible and advisable to give to others when you can while simultaneously ensuring your own safety and security.

Some items that should be included on a good barter and charity list are:

- Cans of iodized salt
- Small bottles of alcohol for human consumption
- Matches
- Chocolate and candy
- 550 cord
- Duct tape
- Fishing line
- Playing cards
- Cooking spices
- Over the counter (OTC) medications

These are not the only items that can go on a barter and charity list, so tailor your list to what items you feel others may need or want, items you have in excess or items you can easily bear to part with. Additionally, you always have the choice to trade or give items that you have but aren't on this list. You never know when someone in need will return a favor to you, and friends in a survival situation are the best friends to have.

Skills can also be bartered. Some people may be willing to trade supplies if you will teach them how to build a fire with sticks, assemble a shelter, filter water, grow a garden or hunt small game. Everyone knows the adage "if you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, if you teach a man to fish he will eat for a lifetime". People will remember this sort of thing when the time comes.

Coins and currency are obvious options for barter if the receiving party feels there is value in it and if the monetary system is still in place. I'll wait to discuss coins and other currency for the "finance" category of the "list of lists". It is likely that our current monetary system will retain some degree of relevance in many types of scenarios, but depending on the needs of the people you come across, it may not be relevant at the time.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Your "List of Lists".

Yesterday I talked about the first step of preparing for a SHTF scenario. That first step is waking up and realizing that a SHTF scenario is a real threat. I also talked about doing research to set a good foundation for learning what it takes to be prepared. Right now I am going to talk about another important part of prepping. That is your "list of lists".

The term "list of lists" is something widely used by J.W. Rawles on SurvivalBlog. The list contains the many categories of supplies that someone would need during a SHTF scenario. The categories are:

- Barter & Charity
- Bug Out Bag (Main)
- Bug Out Bag (Additional Adults)
- Bug Out Bag (Children)
- Books
- Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN)
- Clothing (General)
- Communications
- Documents
- Finance
- Firearms
- Firefighting
- First Aid & Medical
- Food Preparation
- Food Storage
- Fuels
- Heirloom or Non-Hybrid Seeds
- Home
- Hunting, Fishing & Trapping
- Hygiene
- General Security
- Personal
- Tactical Living
- Tools
- Vehicles
- Water Filtration, Purification & Storage
- Websites

Each category will have items pertaining to that category. There is a 100% ideal "list of lists" posted on the left edge of the SurvivalBlog website by J.W. Rawles. I strongly recommend looking over his list carefully. That list is where I started when I began creating my own list that meets my needs, skill level and budget. For the more experienced and financially secure preppers and survivalists, the SurvivalBlog list is practical and doable. But for someone new to the game or someone who may not be making six figures a year, I have broken it down into a simpler, cheaper and easier to obtain "list of lists" until you are able to gather the items on J.W. Rawles more detailed and ideal list. Most of the items on my "list of lists" can be found at Walmart or easily online. Most of the items are very affordable. Everyday I will discuss a category of the list and the items in that category. I will start with the "Barter & Charity" section. For now, begin deciding how you would like to have your own list set up. I encourage everyone who makes a list to continue to update and refine your list as your needs, skill level and situation change. I also encourage you to print out a hardcopy of your list and keep it somewhere secure. Keeping a copy saved on your computer and yet another copy saved on a thumb drive is also recommended. Just remember that when one list gets updated, the other copies need to be updated in the same way. That way items don't get left off of any list.

Your "list of lists" is an extremely important step in becoming better prepared for any situation that arises. Please keep in mind, however, that acquiring a big pile of gear and supplies is not going to save you or your family. Skills are important, and they should be practiced and perfected. In the days ahead, I'll also be discussing important skills to have when the SHTF. For right now, we will focus on the importance of each category of your "list of lists".

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Where do I start?"

For someone just waking up to the need for preparation for the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI), the question "where do I start?" is a tough one. First of all, let me just say that simply waking up puts you ahead of at least 90% of the general public. But that alone is only step one and it won't keep you or your family alive. The most that will do is give you a little awareness of WHY you are dying beyond the obvious lack of food, water, shelter and security. The next step is to do some research. Getting a good baseline and foundation to learn from is key. Here are some of the resources that got me on the path after I woke up: - This is the world's most popular survivalism website. It's run by James Wesley, Rawles and is one of the best sources of information on the subject. J.W. Rawles is the real deal.

How to Survive The End of The World As We Know It - This book is written by J.W. Rawles and is a generalized, simple and well laid out guide for new people looking to get into the culture.

How to Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag - This book is written by Creek Stewart. It's a great guide on how to put together your bag that will help you get out of dodge (G.O.O.D.) when the stuff hits the fan (SHTF). A good bug out bag (BOB) is very important. - A large and very active forum for survivalists, preppers, hunters, gun and knife enthusiasts and everyone in between. They have thousands of members from the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and many other locations and the members there have enlightened me more than any other resource I've found yet.

Needless to say, there are many other resources out there, but these are excellent to get you started on the path.

A political awakening.

Yesterday I talked about waking up to the reality that TEOTWAWKI is happening everyday somewhere. I also talked a little about the fact that it can and someday probably WILL happen on a national or worldwide scale. Now I want to talk about a different kind of awakening. A political awakening. There is something going on in our federal government today that almost all Americans are unaware of and many are unwittingly supporting. To understand what is happening, we have to first understand what our government was meant to be.

The founders of America intended for our government to set up in a very precise order of power. In their intentions, God is to be recognized as the supreme power, giving rights to the people. Those rights are natural rights. The right to defend yourself (the 2nd Amendment), the right to say what you want and practice your religion as you wish (the 1st Amendment), the right to maintain privacy (the 4th Amendment) and so on. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Even if you're a non-believer, these natural rights are simply common sense, whoever or whatever they come from.

The people receive these rights and in turn delegate certain powers to city, county and other municipal governments. These small governments then delegate certain powers to their respective state governments. The state governments then delegate limited powers to the federal government. The federal government is supposed to be primarily responsible for protecting the people from foreign coercion (invasion or some other type of aggressive action) and to promote an environment where these unalienable rights will not be infringed.

"That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." - Declaration of Independence

In America today, the federal government is becoming increasingly destructive to these means. We see textbook violations of the 1st Amendment when we look at the Department of Justice investigation of Fox News reporter James Rosen and seizure of emails of AP reporters. We see obvious attempts at violation of the 2nd Amendment by Kalifornia senator Diane Feinstein and Vice President Joe Biden. We see the largest violation of the 4th Amendment in history when we look at the NSA's "data mining" programs. The George Zimmerman trial conjures fears of violations of the 5th Amendment (He was found not guilty, but the DoJ has decided to investigate him for possible civil rights violations even though the FBI's own investigation stated that there were none).

The federal government has become too large and it's daily reach into our lives too intrusive.

The most unfortunate part of this is that a large number of Americans are all too willing to accept the federal government's explanation of all of these power grabs. They're all too willing to trade freedom for theoretical security.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

Our liberties are slowly being eroded away in front of our eyes by an ever enlarging federal government. Democrats are doing everything they can to increase government control over as many sectors of public life as possible under the guise of taking care of people and providing safety and security. Republicans, who were SUPPOSED to be in favor of a smaller federal government, have not opposed the democrats on these measures. Instead, they have debated and then proposed alternate measures that still increase the size and scope of the federal government in other ways.

The federal government has become increasingly opaque, as opposed to the Obama Administration's vow to make it "the most transparent administration in history". In fact, the Obama Administration may be one of the most corrupt and secretive administrations in history. It is undeniable and verifiable that the Obama Administration is connected to a long list of scandals. The list includes but is not limited to;

- Fast and Furious gun running operation
- The Benghazi consulate terror attack
- The NSA PRISM program
- Solyndra and 123 Technologies companies
- The IRS targeting of conservative groups
- The sequester
- The largest federal deficit in history

The democrats and republicans in Congress have stepped on the individual states' rights to sovereignty by attempting to impose amnesty for illegal aliens. The fact that it is amnesty is undeniable, since an estimated 11 million people living illegally inside the US will immediately be given a type of legal status upon the passage of the immigration reform bill. I pray that it is defeated in the House of Representatives, but I expect that republicans will simply present changes to the bill to placate their voters, while leaving the most effective parts intact.

I could sit here and list dozens if not hundreds of other examples of federal government overreach, power grabs, intrusion, violations of the Bill of Rights and scandal cover ups. The Obama Administration is the primary source of most of these examples, but democrats and republicans in Congress are largely standing idle and either allowing it or enabling it.

I am certainly not advocating armed rebellion against the federal government, nor do I even yet believe that our federal government needs a full replacement, but it is time to start holding the government accountable and demand that they reduce their power and control over the people. We are not their subjects. They work for us.

If we allow this to continue, we will wake up one day and realize there is nothing left of our freedom. Our children will not know the free America we did.

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Monday, July 22, 2013

Why prepare?

When I open conversation with people regarding survivalism and prepping (I actually don't like that word) I often get one of a few types of responses:

- Jokes. The person starts joking around and talking about zombies and I know there isn't much I can do to get them to take it seriously.

- Unrealistic expectations. They think that they've got it all under control. They have an old 12 gauge their dad gave them and 6 or 7 shells in a drawer. They have a 4WD pickup and about a week of food in the house. They have matches and a camping lantern with a small bottle of propane. They have a couple flashlights and spare batteries. They honestly think they're good to go. When asked what they'll do when it all runs out, they always say they'll loot a grocery store or something.

- Dependence on others. Some people I talk to about it have someone else that they're leaving it all up to. Someone they know or are related to who lives in what they think is a great Bug Out Location (BOL) and has it all set up and ready to go. They're content to leave their survival to someone else. They're content to know little about survivalism because someone they know out in "the sticks" is going to take care of them. Well, go for it. It sure ain't me.

- The non-believers. The biggest group. These are the ones who simply don't think there is any need to prepare for "The End of the World as We know It" (TEOTWAWKI). They think the government agencies have it all under control. Someone in a black helicopter will swoop in and drop food and water and it'll be like a big camping trip. They're in complete denial. These people can often get a little rude and condescending about it.

The truth is, a lot of people in America don't even know what TEOTWAWKI really is. They think it means zombie hordes. They think it means a nuclear holocaust with few survivors. They think it means a nationwide earthquake. They don't understand that Hurricane Katrina was the end of the world as SOMEONE knew it, being trapped in the Lower 9th Ward for weeks without supplies. They don't realize that the LA riots were the end of the world as SOMEONE knew it, being trapped inside their business for days because it wasn't safe to leave. They don't realize that the tornados in Oklahoma were the end of the world as SOMEONE knew it, with their house blown away and nowhere to go. What about the hikers who get lost for a week in the Rockies? What about the fisherman who's boat breaks down somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico? What about the skydiver who gets blown off course into a swamp? What about the guy who gets laid off and goes a year with no income?

People need to wake up and realize that TEOTWAWKI is happening to people everyday. Sure, events like the polar ice caps melting or nationwide martial law after a terror attack or an economic collapse are a little less likely, but those types of things aren't going to be avoided forever. And even if they are, what about the "small" things? Do you want to take that chance?

If you do, then go back to sleep.

A great wealth of information.

For anyone interested in what survivalism and prepping is about and doesn't want to find out by watching the weirdos on "Doomsday Preppers", visit It's the most visited Survivalism webpage in the world for a reason.

A basic run down.

This blog is going to be a little of everything. I'll give a basic overview and then follow it up with more detail about what you can expect. Mostly this is my attempt to get used to "blogging" so I can give my FB friends a rest and so I can hopefully reach a larger audience one day. I'm also using this time to get accustomed to blogging via my iPhone app for Blogger. I'll start by giving some random blurbs about myself and my thoughts in no particular order of importance.

- I am a Christian. I won't try to force anything on anyone, but I'm also unapologetic about my faith.

- I am not politically correct, though I am also not racist, sexist, homophobic or any of those other words some people like to label those they disagree with, and I have no time for people who are.

- I am registered "no party affiliation" (NPA) on my voter registration card.

- The rules in my home are the Ten Commandments and the Bill of Rights.

- Even if you aren't a believer, you have to admit that the Ten Commandments are pretty good rules. They'll keep you out of jail!

- I plan to post pictures, articles, my own comments and stories, facts and figures, etc. I will try my best to post things that are verifiable, unless it's an opinion type of post. If I can't verify that's its credible, then I either won't post it or I will tell you that I can't verify it.

- I am politically libertarian with a conservative lean. Keep in mind that libertarian doesn't mean "Libertarian Party" and conservative doesn't mean "Republican Party". I would refer to myself as a "Constitutionalist".

- I support the 2nd Amendment and I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon for the state of Texas.

- I am from the Panhandle of Florida, born and raised. I've had Southern culture and values ingrained into me from birth.

- I guess I should say that I am part of the "survivalism" or "prepper" culture. Spare me the eye rolling and simply read on. I am somewhat new in the culture compared to some but I have a solid foundation of knowledge thanks to the likes of people like J.W. Rawles and members of As I learn more, I'll post more on it.

- I am not a conspiracy theorist. I have no time for people who go out of their way o deny all evidence so they can invent their own reality.

- My previous career was registered nursing. I am licensed in the state of Florida. My current career I choose not to elaborate on for right now for my own security. I will only go so far as to say that I have been blessed to learn of the world through it.

- I'm in my late-twenties. I have a wife and one child.

- I am very focused on freedom for Americans from tyranny. I am not anti-government. I am for small government, the way our Founders intended.

- I encourage self sufficiency. Through self sufficiency, there is freedom from control.

- I like 1970's and 1980's rock. Stuff like Peter Frampton, Kiss, ZZ Top, Poison, Mötley Crüe, etc. I like country. I also like "weird" stuff, like Flogging Molly.

More later. The app works alright.

New to this...

Well, here I am. I've been talking and rambling and preaching about what I see happening in America on FB and I don't think it's really reaching anyone except the choir. So I've started this blog to spill my thoughts and ideas and to relay facts to as many people as I can. Let's see how this goes...