Category Archives: prepping basics

Vehicle recovery operations

Vehicle recovery operations….. The back story to this post is helping a guy help a guy get his luxury SUV out of the sand. Not even sure of the brand of the SUV. They aren’t my thing and forgein shit really ain’t my thing but it was 4wheel drive and shouldn’t have gotten stuck. Which brings me to my main point

Don’t get stuck. Easier said the done? Nope. Learn a little about off roading and don’t do dumbshit. I don’t rock climb or go mudding which are different critters entirely but I also don’t get stuck very often because I don’t do dumb shit and I have never needed help getting out of the shit I got myself into. Fact is I get down this stretch of beach in 2 wheel drive so the SUV should have made the trip. Main reason he failed? Lack of experience. The driver had never been off road before, had all the air in his tires, tried to cross the little mini berms other trucks made before him instead of following a proven route because he didnt like how the tire groves messed with his steering and when he got stuck he stomped on the throttle, causing the wheels to spin and dig down deeper for nothing.

Guy #2 had a jeep which was more show then go. It was 4wheel drive, had some extra lift and bigger tires so the sand was no problem but he had a small winch. Not to small just for the much heavier SUV but just to damn small for much of anything. Why? Because he didn’t understand how friction adds weight to the load. In practical terms at any rate. Friction from sand adds about 25% to the weight of your truck, mud adds 50% or more. Mud can be some nasty shit and has stopped more then one army over the years.

Outside of being a Vet and knowing where to go for the information, the army does a damn good job of explaining certian things. One of their better reads is FM 20-22….. Vehicle recovery operations. You can find it online easy as pie. Hell TC 21-305 will even cover the basics of off road driving and I promise you, unless you off road as a sport, the basics and common sense is all you need

Make sure you put your truck in 4wheel drive before you need it. Its pretty standard to let 2/3’s of the air out of your tire before you drive on sand or mud. I don’t let air out myself, but I have aggressive off road tires on my truck and a shit ton of experience. I do carry an air pump you plug into the cigarette liter, but even better I know where to get air a mile or three from where I camp and fish. A few miles of slow speed driving on hard top roads while low on air won’t hurt. Much.

The best thing you can do if you are stuck is stop. The more you try to fight out of it the worse the problem will get. Stop soon enough and you can shove branches or 2×4’s under the tires and away you go.

I carry some 2×4’s in my truck(6). I have holes drilled into them so I can tie them to each other and them to the truck. Last time I got stuck was because I went through some heavy clay/ mud before trying to drive up a rather long sand hill. The tread was full of clay and I got no traction in the sand. Once my forward progress stopped, I stopped, put the 2×4’s under my tires, tied the the boards to each other, them to my truck and off I went. To the top of the hill, dragging the 2×4’s behind me. Which is handy so you don’t have to go back and get them. Don’t get much simpler then that

Next on my list of gear is a Hi-lift jack. . Ain’t nothing but an old school tractor jack but they are rugged as fuck and can be used as a come along too. If I got stuck deeper then the 2×4’s would do for, I’d jack up my truck, then stick the wood under the tires and drive out of it.

My least favorite method is winching. It’s a pain in the ass. I have a 12,000 pound military grade hydraulic winch. It’s a fucking beast. It’s also over kill but I got the damn thing for free so what the hell…. plus nothing works better then over kill. Any rate I have a 6000 pound truck, and realistically don’t need anymore then a 9000 pound winch, weight of my truck plus 50% extra for friction caused by mud or sand. A 9000 pound winch will do everything you need to do… plus I am fixing to teach you how to cheat and double that. Buy a 9000 pound electric winch, read up on it and follow the duty cycle when you use it…. duty cycle is the work vs rest time for the electric motor in the winch

Not only is 9000 pounds enough winch to solve your problems, it’s easy to support regarding rigging. You can find 10,000 pound shackles, wire rope, chain and tow straps with ease at anything like a tractor supply store. I have 4 shackles on my truck, 2 front and 2 back to hook up to if I need to winch myself out of something. Use 10,000 pound shackles to match your 9000 pound winch without worrying to much about shit breaking. Don’t ever attach a winch cable to two points on your truck. You’ll stretch your trucks frame which ain’t good. I would put two 10 foot lengths of 10,000 pound chain in your truck. Make sure each length of chain has grab hooks on each end…. grab hooks which will grab the chain itself. I’d also get a goodly length of 10000 pound eye to eye nylon strap. This gives you options on what you tie off to.

Now…. here is how you ccheat your winch into doubling it’s capacity….. The word is Snatch Block which will double your pulling capacity through the magic of mechanical advantage…. that FM 20-22 will explain the how and the why of it but basically it allows you to add a second line of wire rope off your winch to give you a combined pulling power of 18000 pounds. Fuck you mud! But this is where that warning about never hooking up a winching cable to two places on your truck. That 18000 pounds of pulling will fuck up your frame

How to use the snatch block…. well you set up your winch anchor point…. which is any damn thing you would use to tie into to so the winch can do it’s magic. Then instead of hooking your winch up to the anchor point you hook the snatch block to the anchor point, run your wire rope through the snatch block and back to ONE of the shackles on your truck. 18000 pounds of pulling power. Now some folks will make the case that you only use a snatch block when you need the extra force. To that I say… fuck no snake. Use that bitch every time.

Out there on your own and no truck or big ass tree to use as an anchor point? Get something like this

Personally I love this kind of shit and camping, off roading etc is easier to get into then a lot of stuff out there but I also think these sort of things are entry level man card shit…. old school knowledge damn near every man use to know. It’s the kind of toxic masculinity shit that makes vags drip and soy boys feel even worse about themselves

Ranger the fuck up my friends

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Easy Rider; 30 days in the wind and under the sky

Well I am planning my next ride. Not my most challenging ride ever so I am being slack on the planning but this post should help folks who are sort of new to long distance ridding or camping or the combination of both.

I want to do 30 days under the sky, the bike (and sidecar) dog and me. This will be a proof of concept test ride for my trip to Alaska next year. I will meet up with a couple of friends, test out the gear, see how things go with the dog and side car plus route recon ie explore some areas so I won’t get sidetracked when I do the Deadhorse AK  run, tryout some camping spots, meet some guys who own bike shops along the route in case I have problems etc etc.

I have done some hard ridding over the years, and loved setting out with nothing much more then a saddle roll, a gun, pocket full of cash and a toothbrush stuff into my boot top. I took a great deal of pride in ridding coast to coast with limited gear or old-school gear our great-grandfathers would have used. The wear and tear has added up and I got to start throttle back some so I can stay on the road longer. Plus Alaska is a no shit kind of ride and I want to ensure my gear is good to go and comfortable for 11000 miles, round trip.

The 1st thing I tend to before rolling out on long rides like this is the bike. If I had a particular destination in mind I would start with route selection, but I’ll be mostly fucking off on this ride.  I keep my bikes in good working order and all I needed for this trip was new break pads. Because I ride often I understand how long tires and breaks last given my bike and ridding style.  Because I ride almost daily, the battery stays charged and healthy. All my lights work, all oils, break and clutch fuild checked out fine, both in quantity and quality. I tightened every mounting bracket and hardware I could get a tool one without removing the tank or fairing. Anything that was loose got some thread locker to help keep things in place. I also readjust my highway pegs. They always slip on long rides and I want to start off in the most comfortable position.

Next I look at my tools. Normally I am a tool snob but snobbery is wasted on roadside tools. These things stay in my saddle bags for months at a time. Typically they don’t come out of their bags unless I am cleaning them for a road trip. They all got a nice WD40 bath/ rub down. I carry a toolkit I picked up from Cycle Gear  for $40. I use to cary a lot more tools but bikes have improved, a lot and so has my tool skillz and my thinking. Fact is you only need a few tools to help get yourself back on the road, and the more experience you aquire the easier it becomes to get by on less. My tools are in small zip lock bags, and then placed into customs tool bags designed to fit into some of the dead spaces of a Harley’s saddle bag. They look like “L”‘s and i bought them at a bike rally years ago. These are nice because space is at a premium on a bike. There are a lot of small, clever items like that out there for biked, especially Harleys. I have a small electrical repair kit, wire, fuses, circuit tester and some bulbs. There are fuel cans designed to fit into the dead space of a Harley’s saddle bag. In theory they hold a gallon of fuel, I figure it’s more like. 8 gallons when you figure in spillage but I have one in each saddle bag plus a quart of oil in each bag and a small, unopened bottle of DOT 5 break fuild, which for me takes care of both the clutch and breaks. 1.6 gallons of fuel extends my range by 45+ miles. Not to many places in the lower 48 where you are more then 45 miles from gas or help.

Because I ride often, I get the maximum life out of my batteries but I still cary one of those portal jump start boxes. Any one of us can leave the lights on over night and drain our battery. No point be stranded when $80 will get you back on the road if you do something dumb.

By far the most common problems I see on long trips is shit falling off bikes and tires. People tend to strap shit everywhere on these long trips. I bring a goodly number of zip ties in a variety of sizes, plus duct tape and electrical tape. I bring 3 ways to repair and inflate tires. The most simple is fix-a-flat. You can find small bike size cans of it on the interwebz. I bring two tire patch kits, two -45 gram size cans of compressed air, two cans of fix-a-flat and a small air compressor that plugs into the cigarette lighter on my bike. I keep the fix-a-flat handy but it’s all cross loaded between the  bags.

I always cross load my gear so loosing a bag or something loosing it’s water resistant seal or a bag opening up on the road and dumping its contents while I ride or any number of things won’t leave me zero balance on something important.

I also keep a set of frog togs for riding in bad weather on my bike, two cords to charge my phone/ tablet, WD40, JB weld, super glue, thread locker, roll of quarters, 3 hondos stashed in 3 different places, two lighters, ear plugs, ear buds, baby wipes, sun block, rubbers, spare set of sunglasses, two sets of clear eye protection, pair of smart wool socks, baby powder and more zip lock bags. Just about everything goes into a zip lock bags before being packed into a weather resistant bag. Double the water proofing. Ever and always double down on water proofing your shit

One of the reasons I suggest Harleys to folks is the support gear that goes with them. I have a set of these that pair up with the fuel cans. Very helpful product. Easy to get in and out of your saddle bags even after you pack a lot of shit into them. Something like this let’s you keep all manner of small stuff handy. Like chapstick, sun block and bolts to throw through windshields. My least favorite way to add extra storage but they are helpful. These sit on top of the saddled bags. They look like ass but are hella convient, easy on and easy off.  I keep stuff I need quickly or stuff I need everyday in these bags. Fix-a-flat, socks, toothbrush etc and stuff I want to take indoors with me if I am saying in hotels or with friends. Two easy quick connect fasteners and off you go with the shit you need for a night or two. My camping stuff goes into one these, with the tent and sleeping bag rolled up and stuffed into the bag on top.

I use a homemade version of this to hold my tablet to the gas tank. Again, looks ugly, works like a boss, putting my map/ navigation and music within easy reach. Use to be back in the day you had to stop to read your map, or write your exits numbers and milage on your tank with a grease pencil. Now you look down and there is a 10 inch, live update map, turn by turn directions and local weather reports courtesy of Google, not to mention Molly Hatchet pouring out your speakers .

I have a lot of storage on my bike and yet space is a major factor when camping off a bike, even more so when you plan on staying out for 30 days. A lot of shit will happen in 30 days, some you can predict. Some you cant. Somethings will certinaly happen, but you can’t predict when. Like when you will get rained on. You need to pick gear that will cover more then one oh shit or you will consume your space in no time. I will have the side car, but that will be full of dog and dog stuff. Normally how you pack, with the weight evenly disturbed is an important factor as well, but the side car makes it less so.

The number one way to save space is to cut down on the clothes your bring. Which means buying a new shirt and new pair of socks every few days or doing a small load of laundry every few days, or getting really fucking nasty. Or some combination of all three. Well I don’t wear underdraws so that will save space. I will  be wearing under armor shirts and socks ie $$$ so that will mean laundry every few days or smelling really, really bad. Body order and wood smoke gets rank. I’ll probably do laundry every 4th day. Which means packing 4 pairs of socks, 2 extra shirts (one long sleeve, one short sleeve) and one pair of gym shorts for when I am washing my britches. Weather can vary a lot during this time of year but not so much I need to bring a lot of winter gear. Once again it will be under armor stuff, this time the long John type. That plus ridding leathers, gloves and a pair of smart wool socks will get the job done and then some.

Ps don’t forget the shower shoes

Part two will cover the camping gear I plan on bringing, how I will eat and drink and sleep.

 

 

Self-sucfiency, Jack of all trades… ie being a man in a world full of Mancy’s

Cill got me to thinking, dangerous pastime, I know, about how men who were not raised up by traditionally masculine men can address their condition and improve their standing among men.

Being good at being a man entails being as independent as possible and reasonable… ie self-sufficient. It is unrealistic for all men to be good at all things, but most men should and can be reasonably good with their hands. A good stiff jab, a hard straight right hand, a wicked hook, a better upper cut, the ability to repair most shit around the house, to keep your rides tuned and road worthy and the ability  to get yourself out of a bind when your ride doesnt behave isn’t an unreasonable skill set to have and will do much to up your man score.

Nor do these things require a massive investment of time, energy and other resources. Lestwise not when you factor in the return on your investment. Basic plumbing class at the local community college is $85. A turd herder will charge you $40-$60 to come out and replace the inner workings of your shitter. Which takes…. 20 minutes & a $20 kit from Lowe’s. Need to replace the seal between your shitter and floor? That’s going to run you over a hondo for a $15 seal. Spark chasers will charge you $25 to replace a $2.50 outlet. Most HAVAC problems are simple as hell if you know a few tricks, go learn those tricks…. $105 at my local community college.  Knowing a tad bit about automobiles will save you time and money, bring you a sense of accomplishment, and keep you from getting fucked over by the slimy versions of mechanics on the big jobs. Hell the school has a 6 week class focused on repairing common mechanical problems with your car on the side of the road.

Knowing how to do these things, even at a rudimentary level, will bring you standing among men and women. As much as popular culture likes to run down these old school markers of traditional masculinity, the world still responses well to traditionally masculine men.  Imagine discussing your weekend plans and how bad ass it will sound when you tell the chumps you are building a deck while they go shopping with their wives…let those bitches hold sone bitch’s purse. You got man shit to do.  Imagine the sense of accomplishment and pride as you learn to rely on yourself more and other men less.

Especially  you nerdy office drone types.

20 minutes from Camp Ton Costal is my county’s community college where you can learn to weld, learn to do those basic repairs to your house, car/ truck, boat or bike. You can learn to sew, learn to cook, learn to make beer, learn to ride a bike, fix a bike and how to do the same things but on boats. Hell you can also learn to fly, do shit with computers, take photographs and get help creating a buiness plan and start your own bidness

Go forth and learn some cool shit and go do said cool shit.

Prepping for a road trip

I’ve been home for to long. To many nights sleeping in a bed is bad for the soul. The road is calling. The solitude is calling. Wind burn, sunburn, the cold, the rain…. the desire to see just one more mile of road, to see what’s around the next curve, to find that perfect spot to camp for the night…

Heading out on a bike for a few weeks isn’t a trek to the Artic Circle, but it does take some planning. Most folks plan routes. I don’t cotton to such things myself. Lest wise not most trips. I have an agenda in mind but no time line. I’m headed South. I want to hit Miami to meet up with a potential business partner, then I’ll run down to the Keys to link up with a dude from my Ranger Batt days. After that? Who fucking knows? I’ll figure it out as we go. We? Me and my Lady Pit will be on the road for 2-3 weeks.

I don’t know how many bike trips I’ve done, so this is routine for me. What will be new is taking the dog and the side car. Oh, and the bike is relatively new to me. I’ve put about 2500 miles on her. It’s an ’09 Electra Glide, 96″ motor, 6 speed transmissio, a 6 gallon tank, I bought it a few months ago just for the trip. I picked this bike because she is stock, which means less vibration, which means less mechanical problems, less fatigue and no searching for aftermarket parts in strange towns when I run into mechanical problems. I wanted an 09 or newer for a few features. 6 speed transmission for one. The 6 gallon tank extends my saddle time between fill ups, an extra concern with this trip because of the weight of the dog and side car. The 96″ motor gives good power and the extra weight hasn’t caused the power plant to struggle at highway speeds. This is also the year Harley made some changes to reduce engine heat. It breaks well, and withought the side car, handles better then my 04. I also wanted stock exhaust. Makes it easier on my doggies hearing, and noise can increase fatigue. I’m feeling my age and the little things adds up these days.

The interwebz has a lot of pre-trip checklists so I won’t speak on that much. Same thing with toolkits, but have one and do the other. Start with fresh tires, breaks and oil. Well not to fresh, but more then 200 miles on them, and hopefully most of those miles on one run. I don’t require a lot of personal gear, I’ve done coast to coast trips with a sleeping bag, tooth brush and ridding leathers. I do carry a fair amount of gear for the bike.

One of the nice things about owning a Harley is options. In this case luggage options. There are kits that will let you get the maximum use out of the limited space in your saddle bags. Use them. I carry a fairly extensive tool kit; with the right aftermarket tool bags they all fit into what would have been dead space in the saddle bags. I also have 2 one gallon fuel cans that also tuck into some not very useful space in the saddle bags. I always carry two quarts of oil, a small bottle of break fuild, Marvin’s Mysrty oil, octane boost, wd40, duct tape and a shit ton of zipties plus three different ways to repair tires along with two ways to inflate my tires. Method #1 is an electric airpump you can pick up at Napa. I have a hand full of air cartridges that you screw into the val stem, takes a couple per tire, but they can get the job done.

I’ll still have room in the saddle bags for my leathers and some water.

I… not sure what you would call them but I have a set of bags designed to sit on top of the saddle bags. I love those things. They are super easy to get on and off the bike and I can get all I need for short trips/ non camping trips into those two bags. Couple of quick releases, they come right off and are easy to carry into the hotel. Toothbrush, couple pair of socks, maybe a clean shirt, sun screen, spare glasses, gloves, long sleeve shirt… all the small things you like to have easy access to while your on the road. You can also fit rain gear in them if your a pussy and use those types of things.sisoursly though, lots of folks love rain great and it’s smart to keep it handy, I have never liked rain gear and would rather put my leathers on. This trip will be mostly camping and everything I want in the tent will be in those bags.

Lots of folks have touring packs/ trunks on their glides. I dislike them for several reasons. I go old school, a nice tall sissy bar, bags and zip ties. These days I have some luggage designed to be used/ strapped to the sissy bar. This is where all the camping stuff and a full face helmet goes.

As a rule, I hate helmets, but a full face helmet is nice to have when it rains. It’s winter time in the South, so I will for sure get rained on. Which is why my socks and what not will be in zip lock bags. Same with the box of spare ammo and mags for my XDM. I’ll also take some under armor in case it gets cold, 2 sets of gloves, hand/ foot warmers and a spare pair of boots

The main topic I wanted to address is camping gear. There is some cool camping shit out there but storage space is limited on a bike, you have the shit you would like to have with you like a towel and a bar of soap and you have shit you absolutely need like moonshine and condoms. Weight is an issue as well, and you need to pack all that shit on your bike in such a way you can get to your stuff in a hurry when you need it and in such a way as it doesn’t negatively affect your bikes balance and center of gravity. Camping in cool places is a big deal to me on this trip. I want to do a little fishing, a little drinking and a lot of sitting around the fire drinking, grilling and singing Johnny Cash songs with my dog so on top of the stuff you need like a tent and a sleeping bag, I want to bring a fishing pole, camping stool, hatchet and some cooking gear.

I’m not going to tell you what gear to buy but I am going to tell you a group of people who have successfully solved the camping gear vs size and weight problem

Backpackers have all that shit figured out. Light weight sleeping bags, light weight tents, stoves, cooking gear, dishes…. they sell all that shit and for less money then the places selling motorcycle gear.

Also I recommend a 2 man tent for the extra space and sleeping bag good to 20F with a poncho liner for extra weight. Saves you money and space and between the 3 things you’ll stay pretty warm even when it’s balls cold

Cut off and happy

I loved watching the storm last night. I opened all three French doors, pulled the recliner over, grabbed a bottle of apple wine, put my Lady Pit in my lap and settled in. The Girls slid up next to me before long.

I am, at this moment, physically cut off from the rest of the world. Its a good feeling. The road that takes us from my little sliver of the inter-coastal waterways to the main land is under water. Not sure how deep, don’t much care, but it’s a couple hundred feet wide. Don’t much care about that either. If I did, I’d put my kayak in the water and find out the depth, maybe find the road under the water, mark the path and drive my truck into town. If driving to town is posdible. Doesn’t seem to be much of a current but if there was, it woukd only take me to town. Which I am happy enough to be separated from.

It’s a peaceful easy feeling. We lost power some time back. Made our inlet nice and quiet. Of sorts. The storm was noisy, but there is no hum from the refrigerator either. I have a generator. Haven’t used it yet. I am enjoying the sounds of nature, family and my neighbors to much. Maybe I’ll crank it up when I run out of ice. Yeti coolers are money, so maybe I won’t run out of ice.

I was up early as I always am and the 1st thing I noticed (beyond the Hell jounds and the Girls) was the silence. No wind, no rain, no sound from the refrigerator. Quick check of the house while Girl glares and my Lady Pit bounces around. Neither would go out for the bathroom in the rain. Ton Spawn was sleeping in, the storm kept him up, the house was intact.

The water is high, maybe 5 ft, right at the edge of our retaining wall and over lapping my dock. We use to be surrounded by wet lands. To our front, the river/ bay, ocean and one of our larger and more popular barrier island. Which i am sure did its protecting us from the wind and storm surge. On the other three sides was wet lands and a road. Now  they are under Lord only knows how much water. I climbed up to the roof/ bbq area of my boat shed and checked out my street. We all did well. The one tree in my street, happens to be in my yard, fell. Ground was to wet to hold it, and it fell across the street. Not much of a tree or obstacle but since you can’t really drive around it now, it needed to be #1 on my to do list. Our little road was cut, and since no one was hurt, or in immediate danger, restoring our high speed avenues of approach became the priorty #1.

I love the silence. We are always quiet,  but this morning it was silent. I wanted to keep it going so I used a pocket saw instead of a chain saw. Made two cuts, which made three peices of tree and cleared the road. A short walk took me tout the next obstacle. Water. The road was cut at the community boat ramp. Not much one can do about that so I turned around and walked back.

And I do have power of sorts. Couple solar panels, couple of deep cycle marine batteries and we have been keeping our phones and tablets fully charged. Could do the same with either the truck or the SUV, but I haven’t cranked either. My neighbors have. In fact the guy at the far end of the road has a small generator going. I hear it occasionally and he came by to let us know we could stash food in his freezer, charge our phones etc. Which we took advantage of. The food storing.

He laughed when I told  him I had a generator but wasn’t using it. They all think I am crazier then a shit house rat but seem to enjoy my company any which way

I did cook for everyone earlier today. By God’s good graces we don’t have much clean up to do. Us even less because I stashed most of our stuff. Nothing major, burgers and dogs, some chicken and fish. Stuff we needed to cook before it went bad. I cooked, kept an eye on some older kids and drank slightly chilled homemade wine while they all worked.

One of the other guys tried to AMOG me.  Some lame joke about me cooking and baby sitting. I laughed, said I didn’t want to break a nail and took a long pull off my bottle of wine. Amature. There he was picking up various bits of debris,  there I was enjoying myself, grilling, drinking and watching the kids and dogs run.

It’s a pretty good life

Truly we are blessed

Life is funny. I could tell the road being cut bothered some people. A quick plan, made up on the fly settled them down. Overt displays of masculine confidence and mastery over the world around you always settles the bitches. Of both sexes. The Girls slid up next to me after the ad-hoc meeting. Daddy likes

All the shit I have on hand for emergencies and I’m not really using any of it. It’s been a very mild disaster for us. More like camping at home. I could be bossier, but why?

I had some regular non treated 2×4’s stashed in the rafters of my garage. A little work with a hand saw and now we have some fire wood. I invited the neighborhood over, all 5 families but not sure any will show up.

Almost everything amuses me. This storm hasn’t been any different on that front. Was interesting watching the Betas be stoic and sort of flippant about the storm. Good, strong  family men. Yeoman worthy of the tittle. The kids have had a blast. My Lady Pit has run wild today because there is no place for her to run off to now that we are a mini island. She has knocked all the kids down at least once. On purpose each time. Girl hasn’t left Ton Spawn or the Girls alone. She sticks to them like glue these days.  I can tell the other dudes wives are happy. Their men were right, no need to evacuate, they can now rest in the strength and decsion making skills of their man. Lest for a few days.

Everyone enjoyed that feeling you get when things are better in the morning. I could tell they all took pride and enjoyment out of cleaning up after the storm, pride and enjoyment in the various clever tricks they came up with to over come the obstacles of having no power, running water and what not. Plus the shared experience of sheltering in place

Time to go put sauce on the chicken and check my trout line before it’s fire pit, wine and pitching woo time

I know many folks are suffering right now, but the Lord was kind to me and mine last night.

Y’all take care now

 

Ton’s choice to ride out TSHTF

I do not live in my dream SHITF location. Who does? Nor is anywhere ideal. Everything has trade offs. Just like dealing with women. My list of what counts for me in situations like this come from seeing failed and failing nation states up close and personal. Will what I have seen down range apply here? Who the fuck knows, but I reckon its likely. Some themes are the same everywhere too. Most especially my 1st point.

Every where I have been, the more diverse the ethnics groups the more trouble there will be. In fact most failed nation states I have seen 1st hand are multi-ethinc states that have ran out of money. Sound familiar to anyone? Of course there is more going on, but the ones I have been to that are really nasty fit that description. Folks like to throw in the religious conflict thing but from what I have seen those are also tribal with one tribe/ ethnic group being religion #1 and the other belonging to religion #2. Northern Ireland is a good example of this. Protestant vs catholic? it is also actual Irish (catholics) vs Scots and Englishmen Prot’s). Now here in the usa the inter White ethnic clashes are also regional and political and only loosely based on religion (catholics vote like liberal yankee Prot’s against the best interests of Founding Stock Prot’s but thats the end of it). In the usa, unless you live near hajjis your violence will be economic and racial. You want to be surrounded by your own kind. That is literally the best you thing can do. If your White.

My major issue here at Camp Ton is demographic. Frankly it can suck living among negros on the best of days. This was more true when I 1st moved in but they are mostly cowed now. And thats what I had to do. Cow the locals. Three times in the 1st three days. Don’t really have to many problems these days. #1 the area is becoming more White. #2 the longer term locals have gotten over it and know better, but new people move in and negros have families who come visit. Which means more trouble. The other day, while walking the Ton Spawn with the girls, some urban diversity drove past us doing 45 or maybe more in a 25. Nor was he real happy about my response. He stopped his car and said some bullshit, which is what those people do while his bitch egged him on but he wised up before he took a set of brass knuckles to the face and ate by Girl ( the absolute worst part of living around negros is black chicks. I will always be amazed at how little domestic violence goes on). This sort of things are a rather regular occurrence. Time before that was over them throwing trash in my yard. I am the racist cracker because I don’t someone elses bullshit McDonalds trash in my yard. And they lie like they breath. I caught them in the act and they said I left it out there so I could harass them. Think of the insane amount of black on White crime. And it is an insane level. If Whites targeted negros like they target us, it would be called ethnic cleansing. Now imagine diversity which is no longer being paid off by the Federal Government via welfare, food stamps, social security disability etc etc. However it is not all bad here. I got a house, 5 acres with a pond for less then my yearly income. My front yard is level and fruit trees have flourished. My garden does all right and I am a suck ass gardener. My pond and the stream which feeds it are lovely and productive these days(plus a source of water), and my land backs up to a sand/ gravel quarry. Meaning a few things. There are unlikely to ever have neighbors behind me, additional land to hunt and fish and access to heavy machinery, repair shops, fuel storage etc would be a major plus.

There are several places I’d rather live, but doing so is not practical any time soon. I was declared 100% disabled so no more trips down range and big pay days for me. Because I a rural Southern White man and prefer to be surrounded by other rural and Southern Whites, the places I would prefer to live would all be better SHTF locations.

#1 on my list of other places I’d like to live is the lest best option for riding out bad shit. Why? #1 it gets a lot of storms and flooding so I would be basically moving into a place where we’d have the Mother Nature’s shit hit the fan more often. Also it’s on the coast and expensive which would cut into the money saved. Remember our most likely SHTF events we will face are money related. Injury and not working, laid off, bad run of luck on shit breaking( plowed through 7200 in three weeks with repairs that I could not do myself) etc etc. Cash is your #3 SHTF tool. #2 is a gun in your pocket. #1 is living in a nice safe area to began with, but its all a balancing act. You will be regularly out of whack in some area or another. Its the way things go so don’t stress over it. Have a plan, keep working your plan and improving.

The best place I have walked on to ride out bad times is a particular town and surrounding land here in NC. It’s way White and not infested by illegals or damnyankee transplants ( which should also be illegal). It is way rural, tons of people who have been in that county since its been a county so a real since of belonging. Church attendance is high, so is employment. Lots of vets and civic events going on. More volunteer cops and fire fighters then professionals. Crime? Folks laugh at you for locking your doors. It is mostly a farming county. Lots of corn of course, but tobacco, cotton and beans too plus a couple major poultry operations, a big pork operation, horses and cattle. They harvest timber as well. Going hungry? Unlikely. Heavily wooded as well, especially in two directions. That many miles of timber and swamp makes an effective barrier. Crime triples? Who cares when it is already so low no one worries about it. Its the kind of place where folks get their conceal carry so they don’t have to do paper work when buying guns or for when they go into the big city. The county does have some diversity, but in an area that could be easily cut off from the rest. Burn a bridge and they are stuck on the other side. Not known for being swimmers it wouldn’t take much

Lets talk about the least sexy topic of SHTF prepping; water. This area has it. A major river runs through the county and its one of the best stretches of that river in the state. Wide, deep and navigable for a goodly way. The river has branches and creeks. Ponds are common. Water to drink bath etc, fish of course but the branches and some of the creeks are navigable as well. Transportation is important.

Lets hit on transportation. A major state road runs through the county and it has been well maintained. Right now it is an important trucking route from an interstate highway to one of our bigger cities. This means…. a lot of good things. Besides county road crews the state DOT has a facility there; there are some truck stops and of course repair shops, tow trucks for the semi truck, machine shops to support the trucking industry and fuel. Lots of fuel. Something you can rarely have to much of. And the skill sets involved in keeping roads in good repair and trucks rolling down those roads are important skills. Blue collar skills are money most especially when shit goes wrong

Along those lines I want to look at the skill set in this county

There is good size community college which cranks out all sorts of useful workers, computer nerds are unlikely to be of much use in the type of SHTF scenarios seen on TV but in the shit you are likely to face? Yea it would be good to get your interwebz back up and working. Nurses, plumbers, wielders electricians… well the schools curriculum is a prepers wet dream. Plus they have votech in the highschools. If they have the skill set to train folks to do that, they can train others and oversee projects. They also have goodly number of boat shops and boat mechanics and a very small airport… commercial airport. Pilots, small planes, a few mechanics, fuel farm… big advantages. Interesting enough they also are semi famous for making bricks. Damn good building supply on hand with the possibility of making more. Good size junk yard too which is a gold mine of possibilities. #1 of course spare parts to keep cars and trucks moving.

Now the big biggie; a power generation plant. Not sure what it runs on< i think coal, but power is everything and that plant can make it. Plus the skill set that is required to manage it. Not just the blue collar guys but engineers.

The next item on the list is… rail road. There is a rail yard there. I am not sure how active but the tracks run right to the power plant. Another set of skilled blue collar workers.

Basically it has food, water and the ability to produce more. A ready supply of timber and a rough saw, saw mill. A population with a real sense of belonging to land and community and skill sets required to patch things up. This is the rural South. These are men who have done these kinds of things for generations. They hunt, they fish, they build, they drink, they worship, they break shit and fix it and keep on keeping on. One of those places that probably has more guns then people and damn sure have more crops and livestock then people. You have three modes of transportation, (horse, car/truck and boats but maybe 4 with the train. I don't know much about trains besides who to destroy them and tracks so I haven't and won't say much). That's a good start on rebuilding for the TV shit and people who don't have to wait for FEMA on the more realistic stuff.

Defense. On an individual level, there isn't much need. Folks cannot recall the last murder and most of the crime there is of the redneck sort. Drinking and driving, getting drunk and punching someone etc. Property crime is as close to 0 as you are going to get. Fire through the right part of the county and burning a bridge would take care of the most criminal element

Defense on the county level.
The river and water ways are key. In some crazy shit like on the movies, you block the bridge you have effectively shut down travel from the major interstate highway 40'ish miles away. There is a goodly size swampy area between that town/ county and the largest near bye population center. Another good natural obstacle. Course there is a two lane country road running through it but there are three small bridges on that road within a mile of each other. I would not destroy the bridges myself. There is that junk yard after all, and packing the bridges with a mash up of old cars will effectively block the bridges. Add a little semi precision rifle fire and you have one hell of a bottle neck for any group of people who aren't military. The river is old as old gets, and although not what she use to be, the banks make it effectively impassible for cars trucks and large groups of people. The swamp? Well it is not the Great Dismal but it will do the job and for the same reason. Cars and trucks won't make it through, nor would large groups of people. The pine forests are not the best obstacle around but they aren't the worse either. There are fire breaks that can be used, 4 wheel drive not required most parts of the year, but that channels people and cars. Those roads can be blocked fairly easy. Drop some trees, bob cat makes a ditch and well those are old school but a real bitch to deal with. Again add that semi precession rifle fire. a few prepared fighting potions and what not and its a real bitch to deal with. There are other small roads leading into the town/ county. None particularity large or well traveled. Those roads can be blocked, junk cars, trees dropped a goodly size ditch via bob cat or any of the other construction equipment around. Add the rifle fire from prepared fighting potions and…Nor do these have to be heavily guarded at all times. Radios and cars can get people where they need to be in a hurry. Defense in depth; a few guys at the 1st road block, they slow the other side down, get on the radio and call for help. 30 guys who know its their day and are packed and ready are at the second obstacle within 30 minutes. There are also wide areas of farm land folks could walk through. No where is really perfect but most folks are not going to be walking cross country anywhich way.

What inspired this post? Most of what I read regarding prepping for TSHTF is utter bullshit.

Money for tools…. I mean money as a tool

Ask folks to define money and I reckon you’ll get all sorts of answers but reality is money is a tool, nothing more,nothing less. Money used wisely is exchanged for goods and services but will also buy you options, time and liberty. Used unwisely, money will be the tool that builds chains, ensnares you and keeps you in the bondage of debt. Like all tools, you have to know how to use money, other wise it can be dangerous. A lot like women. Learn to master tools, money and chicks and your life will be much easier.

The Bible talks about money more then any other topic; I’ve heard tell there are 800 references to money in the Bible.Clearly its an important topic. The Bible tells us a man in debt is enslaved to the debtor; the Bible teaches us a wise man builds up his wealth, spends his money prudently; is generous with his money, staring with his family and working his way outward; that a man should count his money and know his wealth; to save for that lean times and that a man should count the cost of things before he gets started. Course a lot of them there lessons talks about live stock and what not but wealth is wealth.

1st lesson is the dollar you spend on one thing cannot be spent on another. Second thing is, every buiness out there is looking to make money off you. Whatever they are trying to sell you is the means of separating the fool…. I mean you and his money. The banking system is set up to transfer your money to someone who already has money. Banks, that nice lady at your favorite restaurant etc are all trying to get you to voluntary transfer your cash to them.  They are not your friend. Anyone trying to help you get rich, or make you extra money or sell you an investment is trying to 1st and foremost make money off you. Any time there is money on the table, someone is going to be the winner and someone the loser and the entire system is set up to make you, the person spending money, the loser.

There is money and there is wealth. If you owe money on something, like a house, it is not wealth, its a liability. Wealth is not 1’s and 0s in a bank somewhere. That isn’t real or tangible. What you hold in your hand, or have buried in you back yard is yours. Wealth doesn’t fold and paper money is a giant fucking con game. A silver dollar in 1963 was worth…. you guessed it a dollar. That same silver dollar will cost you about 13 bucks today. Inflation robs you blind but works great for the banks and government.

Lets see a show of hands of men who would shit can their job and go do something else more exciting, fun, less stressful etc but cannot because he is tied to a certain lifestyle and/ or carries debt? Yea then you are slave to that debt and lifestyle. Normally that’s a good size number of fellas. Debt makes you a slave.I relearned that lesson when I was divorced. I was saddled with a large amount of alimony, child-support, a house payment I could not afford because of alimony and child support and credit card debt I didn’t know existed. I was hit with lifetime alimony and will be a slave for as long as my ex wife lives…. debt is slavery and so is marriage. Don’t do either. Now things wouldn’t play out the same way. The house I am living in now cost less then my yearly salary. Ok less then my E7 pay since thats when I bought it. Funny thing is, it keeps me warm in the winter and cool in the summer just as well as the house that was 3 times my yearly salary.

My big weakness on these money things is cars and bikes. Ton loves to go fast. I have downsized a fair amount here. This weekend I picked up another bike, a 1998 Electraglide, but have the other three Harley’s being sold on consignment. I always try to offset my additional expenses with cuts somewhere else, or with a side job or hustle. I have always had a side job or hustle. When I was younger I worked as a bouncer, taught kick boxing classes, worked as a flunky in a bike shop, built rifles and sold them. I have rarely used my regular paycheck to pay for booze, bikes or guns. I always find someway to make spare cash to finance my fucking off time. Most of my rifles were paid for by building three and selling two. When the divorce came and things got real bad I went deeper into the underground economy. So much so that it made a lasting positive impact.

Most of the shit we buy losses value. I buy gold and silver and that price is in a constant flux. Houses always go up? Bullshit. 1st house I bought after my divorce cost 30K, 15k in sweat equity and its worth… about 45k today. That’s not a real increase in value. The housing market has its up and downs and has no guaranteed rate of return. That friendly old guy trying to sell you the american dream is 1st and foremost trying to make money off you.

The point in all this? A warning to be careful with your cash. Don’t keep up with the Jone’s.That shit is a lie, the whole economy is based on that lie. Debt is a lie, its playing, pretending you can afford xyz. Our whole economy is based on that lie. Sooner or later that lie will unravel, like all lies do. The less caught up in that lie you are, the better off you will be. Not just when the bill comes do but in your everyday life in the here and now. Value your freedom, liberty and security over a McMansion, gadgets and meals out. Value your sovereignty as a man over stuff women, politics and what not. There is a shit ton of methods to help you establish a budget and what not but remember they are looking to make money off you. I live off 70% of my take home pay. Whatever I spend the that 70% makes no never mind to me because I have saved 30%. Its not the most complex budget in the world, but it works for me.

If there is one take away from all this it should be the world is a hostile place, so is consumers driven market places of today.

 

this post brought to you by my son being a bonehead, apple pie moonshine and