2 questions I received via email:
1.) "With all your experiences so far, in terms of firearms, gear, and prepping, what is a little bit of knowledge or advice that you would give to someone?"
Here about two pieces of advice that I think are equally important....
First piece of advice: Try to stay as healthy as you can by eating right, building strength, and keeping fit.
Just a small amount of change and consistency in terms of diet, cardio, and strength training can go a long way in giving you a much better chance of survival in any sort of economic crisis, natural disaster, sickness outbreak, or societal collapse. If your immune system is strong, you'll be better able to resist infection & fight off illness, and an overall improvement in health & fitness can make you feel more alert and allow you to concentrate better, walk further, run faster, hike longer, carry more weight in your pack, and even maneuver your firearms better (and handle them for a longer duration of time). Sure, it's easier said than done to "lose weight and get fit", but it's extremely important for both you and your family (who needs you around as long as possible). The main thing is to come up with a plan (and a goal) and become determined & motivated enough to stick with it. I personally believe that staying healthy is the single, most important thing you can do to give yourself a fighting chance in this crazy world that's full of uncertainties. Some great changes you can make include: drink more water, eat less (more frequently) (as opposed to fewer, huge meals), use the stairs, park at the back of the lot so you walk further, eat more real food (nuts, fruits, whole grains, fish, etc.) and fewer packaged products containing sugar and white flour, stay away from artificial sweeteners (your body doesn't know what to do with things that are chemically altered), do pushups and sit-ups more often, quit drinking, quit smoking, exercise more, and eat more vegetables (especially greens). There has to be at least one vegetable you like, right? My personal favorites are broccoli, peas, beans, zucchini, carrots, red peppers, spinach, kale, lettuce and tomato, so that's what is growing in my garden right now. These photos are from a couple weeks ago. YUM. Good luck on your own goals & health plan. I still need to make some changes to mine as well.
Second piece of advice: In terms of preparing for disasters and times of crisis, START YESTERDAY.
In other words, hopefully you've already started stocking up on the essential items you use on a regular basis and don't think you can live without for very long. If you haven't, then start today, and get a little more prepared every single day hereafter. It's extremely important to be prepared for unexpected disasters - even if it's more likely that your unexpected disaster might be loss of income, vehicle trouble, or power outage as opposed to a zombie attack or earthquake. You just never know when the world might go lights out, with no communication. It doesn't take much for the Internet to be shut down or for our cellphones to turn into useless bricks. It also doesn't take much for everyone to panic and drain the fuel tanks at the gas station or empty the shelves at the supermarket. As shown with the current availability of ammunition, it really doesn't take much for the demand to overwhelm the supply and leave us with whatever we already have in our safe or our stockpile... When panic buying like that starts to happen, most people don't even realize what's happening until it's too late. You need to stay ahead of the storm and be ready for whatever might happen tomorrow.
Our survival depends on things such as food, water, shelter, and warmth, so it's important to have those things (or the ability to make those things) in case of an emergency. Our health & comfort are also dependent upon various personal hygiene and household items such as dental floss, soap, toilet paper, medical supplies, and laundry detergent. If you can, it's best to learn some simple skills that will help you to keep living comfortably even if you run out of supplies (such as making your own laundry detergent & soap or purifying water); but if you don't have the time or energy for that, you should at least stock up on enough necessities to hold you over for awhile in case something happens.
Stocking up on food and supplies can get a bit expensive (and overwhelming when you first make a list of what you need), but it's not too bad if you start small, just picking up a few extra things here and there. Fill up an extra can of gas next time you fuel up your vehicle. Every time you go to the store, throw in an extra item or two - a blanket, box of band-aids, tube of toothpaste, extra package of TP, pack of lighters, batteries, a bag of votive candles, a bundle of firewood, an axe, a few cans of food, or anything like that. Just a little at a time will add up to a great sense of security and peace of mind for you and your family over time.
2.) "Also, what would you carry on you if you found yourself constrained to just one (or two) things?"
I'll have to sort of cheat on this, because to me, one or two things means whatever I can carry with me while still having my hands free to do whatever I need to do.
I would carry........ A BACKPACK - a lightweight backpack (aka: go-bag or bug-out-bag) that's full of small, useful gear. My pack would contain essential things to help me stay nourished, hydrated, warm, dry, comfortable, and clean.
In my backpack would be such things as:
cellphone, knife, spare M&P magazine (for the M&P9C in my waistband), flint/steel firestarter, 2 lighters, trick-light birthday candles, water purification tablets, water bottle, headlamp, my AAA flashlight and a few spare AAA batteries, small poncho, tiny home-made fishing kit & sewing kit (each inside a little film canister), unwaxed dental floss, wallet (containing cash, ID, passport card, & carry permit), prepaid calling card (yes, for a payphone), tiny USB flash drive (with important scanned documents, photos, & information on it), hand-crank radio, pair of nail clippers, tweezers, small mirror, toothbrush, small pack towel, small roll of duct tape, write-in-the rain notepad & pen, large black trash bag & small space blanket, pair of socks, small bottle of Campsuds liquid soap, mosquito headnet, titanium spork, esbit pocket stove & esbit fuel tablets, a folded piece of aluminum foil, my titanium Snow Peak Trek 700 mug, my Leatherman Juice S2, my Leatherman Style-CS mini keychain, some paracord, a box of contact lenses & tiny bottle of saline, pair of glasses, and a small medical kit (with basic essentials, including moleskin in case I'm on foot). I might also include my travel hammock (it doesn't take up much space & it's very lightweight, but it's the largest item in this list). For food I would probably toss in a jar of peanut butter, a few granola bars, a bunch of green tea packets, some Werther's Originals, and some oatmeal packets. Lastly, if I could handle just a little more weight in the pack, I'd toss in my 22 revolver and small box of 22 ammo.
For more ideas of what to put into a go-bag, check out my previous post: http://www.faliaphotography.com/2010/12/bug-out-bags-survival-kits-general-info.html
What would you carry with you if you were just constrained to one or two things?