Saturday, July 20, 2013

Two Pieces of Advice & What I'd Carry

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:

What would you carry with you if you were just constrained to one or two things?


Sean Carlo Rey said...

It seems like we've got the same idea of what to carry. I would be bringing a multi-purpose jungle knife... Hmmm... I'm a bit corny, so, I would probably be bringing a family pic. You know... Just in case. And a compass and a map... We are good to go. Would be bringing the same pack for zombie apocalypse. lol. ;)


Sean - I'd have a family pic on my USB flashdrive (or a lot of family pics) An actual photo is a great idea though, too. Definitely easier to look at. :)

Unknown said...

Falia, do all your family wear masks in the pics....;o)

I would include some food for my best pal Robbie the Beagle in the pack.


Peter - funny! and good call on the dog food

Anonymous said...

If you *were* going to carry a shotgun (pump or auto???) or *black* gun such as an AR, what would it be?


Anon - Good question. I absolutely love my pump shotgun (Rem 870), especially for home defense... But if I were heading out on foot, I think I'd have to go with my AR-15 ("Sprinkles," home built).

Unknown said...

I have given a lot of thought to a S&W Governor for my bug out bag, covers a lot of options with the 410, 45lc and 45acp. I used to have a single shot shotgun with adaptors for 45lc, 410, and 22lr but think the single shot may be at a disadvantage at times.

Also at my bug out location I planted wild berries, they blend in and dont give the location away, and provide a good food source, also planted some apple trees same idea.

JessicaLea Texas Kitsch said...

I would pack water and a few different water purification systems like tablets, small bottle of bleach, filter straw. Then add maybe some MREs or mountain house packets. Also my first aide kit, which I know you have done a video on a really good one!


Peter - definitely good call on planting fruit

Jessica - nice! :)

Unknown said...

If we are bugging out after a natural disaster then we must become scavengers. Supermarkets and gun stores will attract looters, but office blocks have water coolers and snack machines. So I would carry a rescue tool with a glass breaker as well. I have a knife with a seat belt cutter and titanium tip thats ideal for this use, but spark plugs are also handy for throwing though glass with no risk of cuts etc.

Redbeard said...

If you're really needing a look into how bad things could possibly get, then I highly recommend a film called, "The Road," with Viggo Mortensen. Its based on a book by the same name written by Cormack McCarthy (Who also wrote 'No Country for Old Men'). Its about a father and son, on foot trying to make it to safety after SHTF. Really put a lot of things in perspective.
Most people that study the subject of societal collapse, realise that within the first 6 months, those who didnt prep will turn to drastic measures for survival, including cannibalism.
Things I would carry would be the basic items needed for physical survival. Food, water, shelter, heat and medical. But we must also plan for our psychological survival. Most folks who end up stranded in the bush die of shame. They take their own lives or just give up and starve because they aren't mentally prepared to fight their own mind. An interesting place to look would be studies on inmates locked in solitary confinement for extended periods of time. Their inability to fight their own mind causes them to slowly go off the deep end.
There was a study done in russia about a few average people, who were locked away with no way to tell what time it was. I believe the longest anyone lasted without being able to tell what time it was, was 3 weeks before they were broken and begging to be set loose.
You can carry all the gear and have all the know-how in the world, but if your mind is weak, then the body will fail.
Men who have endured Special Operations Training always say, "Your mind gets you through this. Your body can be in less than perfect condition, but if your mind is good, then the body will follow, and you'll make it."
Strengthen your mind. When SHTF, your survival will depend on what your mind can endure. Realize that everything and everyone you cherish can be gone. People will begin to prey on each-other. The will to survive all depends on whats between your ears.
Most people think that in a survival situation, you will rise to the occasion. Wrong. You will fall down to your lowest level of training. If thats to curl up in a ball and cry, thats where you'll go. If its to fight, win and survive, then you'll be here long after everyone else is gone.

Redbeard out!

Anonymous said...

The flash drive is a great idea. I have a fire safe .. A big gun one that I keep a backup of all my digital media including last 10-12 years of photos since I went digital.. Didn't think to carry just glimpses of that in a 16gb thumb drive, not to mention scanned docs like birth certificate for me and kids, deeds to home and autos if things ever return to normal depending on the disaster.
I was surprised to hear you wouldn't take your 22 rifle. I know my 308 and 12 g would be left behind if I had to leave home due to weight of both weapons and rounds.. Not practical unless traveling in vehicle.. But my 10/22 takedown and bersa 380 would be coming along. Weight for bullets plus those would be good enough to hunt and protect.
I'm curious as to how often you practice to include long range, especially with our current shortage of rounds. I don't like going below my minimum # of rounds, so my range trips are becoming less and less. I go about once a week, and alternate 100yd and 10-25 yd each week, so i get my rifle practice every other week, and my shotgun/ handgun practice the opposite weeks.
Great YouTube channel btw. Very informative videos. Love your honesty in them. Keep up the good work.



Peter - I agree with you, but why carry spark plugs for throwing through glass when you could just pick up a rock? :)

Redbeard - again, well said

Anon - I might reconsider and add the 10/22. I'm not sure. Carry weight and being able to have my hands free are two things I was really trying to accommodate for in my list. As for range time, my range trips have been pretty spread out lately. I do want to conserve my ammo, but other time restraints have been keeping me from the range as well. I really haven't been able to go nearly as much this year as I would like.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Leigh, I hate to go back to this subject but... with an AR-15, if you had the choice of having an entry level AR with a *good* red dot scope/reflex sight, OR a "high middle-of-the-road" AR with a lot of chrome internals but with only iron sights, which would you choose?

Thank you


Anon - the better AR with only iron sights (and I'd save up for an optic)

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