Category Archives: prepping basics

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

 

 

Ton on Long Guns

re-posted from J4G’s

Alright, by now you have your pocket pistol and you are looking for the next step up. Pistols aren’t particularly lethal and you want a better option for you home. Well now, we have some options.

Before you get into long guns, you might want to check into that concealable body armor I mentioned. It will save your life.  Or maybe think about adding a crimson trace to your pistol. That’s a laser aiming do-hickie. They work. Improved accuracy can save your life, but they also make target acquisition faster and speed is deadly.

We are going to start with shotguns. I recommend a Maverick 88. These are 12 gauge pump action shotguns and around here you can get one for $230 out the door. Add 100 rounds of birdshot for practice and you’re up to about $260. 10 rounds of decent deer slugs for when it counts and you’re up to about $275. Shotguns with deer slugs are the closets things to a hand held death ray out there. Entrance wound is a half inch in diameter, the exit hole somewhere around three quarters of an inch. Big holes mean quicker bleed out. But it’s not an instant kill. Deer slugs will knock the snot out of someone wearing body armor and penetrated pretty much whatever the bad guy is hiding behind. Use deer slugs when the shooting counts. Way back in the day, I watched various outfits and swat teams try to figure out the perfect shotgun ammo load, lock shredder, buckshot, buckshot slug. slug and endless combonations. Most folks settled on deer slugs. Deer slugs do it all. Any rate, that’s a lot of home defense for $300, but shotguns have liabilities too. #1 is low round capacity. The Maverick 88 with the 20 inch barrel has an 8 round capacity. This is sufficient for any man whose concerns end with typical breaking and entering type crime, but it’s still a smaller number of rounds compared to 30 in an “assault rifle”. Ideally you would reload the shotgun as you fire, or dump the 8, then reload while behind cover. This is somewhat trickier then you think under high stress, but a learn-able skill. Hit up You Tube and practice. If you are being cautious regarding typical street crime, bring your pocket pistol with you and drop the shotgun/ grab the pistol when the shot gun is out of ammo. Rounds are more costly, weigh a lot thereby limiting the number you can carry and you have limited range. Also, someone will short stroke the pump action when under stress. You see it pretty often during tactical shotgun class.

My go to home defense shotgun is a Maverick 88. Goes back to cost. I am going to be less upset about the cops taking my $230 shotgun vs a $600 weapon. At this point, with a KelTec in your pocket and a Maverick 88 by your bed, you are good to go.

There are other problems in the world besides some guy who wants your wallet or new flat screen.  Those who live in large urban areas should also consider problems like large scale rioting and general lawlessness due to natural disasters. For this type of situation I am going to recommend old Russian battle rifles. They are readily available and same with the ammo, have proven track records, proven to be reliable without a lot of maintenance and care and generally are less costly than other battle rifles.

Another workable solution is the Mosin Nagant. There are three variants you see regularly and the start off around $130. This is a bolt action rifle with a 5 round capacity. They are relatively easy to load, again hit YouTube. The M44 version runs closer to $200 but has a shorter barrel and a better reputation for accuracy. The shorter barrel makes it a better option for indoor use, but long barrels are a pain in the ass outdoors also.  A mosin in good condition should be able to hit a man-sized target out maybe to 150 yards. You load these rifles via stripper clips or one round at a time by hand. I think most folks will find them easier to reload by stripper clip. Again hit the You Tube. It shoots the 7.62x54R which is a hard hitting round, bigger then a .308. The last time I bought stripper clips it was about $60 for a 100 of them. Ammo is reasonable as well. A 440 round spam-can will run you right over $100. This rifle saw a lot of combat. They were used in WW1 and WW2, which is also their biggest liability. Its old and outdated. However if you want to keep your property safe during lawlessness like Katrina aftermath or the LA riots for less than most folks car payment…. it will get the job done. Recoil is stout, but not as bad as folks like to play up. Spray it out with hot water, then spray on WD40 and its clean enough. That’s a combat tested rifle for under $400. It is my less favorite option but it’s an option.

AK 74’s are next on the list. These shoot 5.45×39 and the Russians called this bullet the poison pill. With a small amount of Google-Fu you can pick these up in the $500-$600 range. Ammo is $250 for a can of 1080 rounds, 30 round mags run $12-$15 each. Get yourself 15 or so. I have never gone through more than 15 mags in a fire fight. If that works down range it’ll work stateside. I love these rifles for non-gun guys. Changing mags is somewhat difficult but agin, hit the YouTube and practice. The recoil is easy to manage, you should be able to hit a man sized target out to 300 yards with one. If not, have a gun smith look at it, or hit the YouTube to see how you can tighten the rifle up. They require close to no maintenance to keep going. Hot soapy water and WD40.  $1100 investment and there isn’t much out there I wouldn’t take on with that set up. I also think this might be a better option for women who cannot mange 12 ga recoil. I hesitate to suggest such things because my daughter can handle a 12 ga. Past that I don’t know much about lady shooters. If money isn’t an issue, I recommend the AK 74 over a shotgun. More rounds, less opportunity for you to mess up and foul the weapon, greater range equals better weapon.

 AK 47’s…. everything about the AK 74, but more recoil and more money to get started. Still a great option. Just add about $200 to the overall cost.

Now…. Someone is going nuts about me suggesting you use rifles and deer slugs for home defense. They are about to shit kittens about over penetration and rounds going through walls and killing some kid 3 doors down. Well calm down sparky. Not going to happen. How do I know that? Because the FBI doesn’t have one instant of it on record. No one has been sued or prosecuted for it. Stop worrying about nothing.

Some other cat is screaming ladies should use a 20 ga shotgun…. Wrong again sparky. The terminal ballistics on 20 ga’s suck. Women and very small framed guys who cannot or don’t want to deal with 12 ga recoil should save up for the AK 74.

 Just like with pistols, I suggest you use a better quality ammo in the mag you keep in your rifle. Better ammo improves accuracy, reduces the already small failure rate for these weapon systems and increases lethality.

There are a lot of great WW2 and WW1 rifles on the market. German Guns, Swiss guns, you name it. However I don’t recommend any of them for the newbie owner. They cost more than their Russian counterparts and ammo can be more difficult to find.

 Well there you have it. The most economical way I know for a person to be gunned up.