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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – Long Shelf Life Food

Even if your Urban (or Suburban) Survival Plan calls to implement a Bug Out or a withdrawal to a Safe Location, the Urban Survivor should consider stocking some long duration food items at his/her urban or suburban home.

We envision an undetermined “wait” period after an initial societal or infrastructure collapse. Most people will be waiting for some level of government to fix the problem and make it better. In fact, public radio or emergency broadcasts may be exposing patience, telling the people that things will get better soon. Human nature will be to believe and to wait. To be able to wait until the need to Bug Out becomes clear the urban Survivor will need to have a stock of food. Best case is if this food stock is compact and easily loaded and moved once the Urban Survivor departs his home for the safe location.

This means packaging food items yourself or buying packaged and prepared food designed for a long shelf life. We recommend both actions. Procure bulk items such as rice and beans and prepare/package containers of them yourself.

To package and prepare bulk food items yourself you will need containers such as 5 gallon buckets and lids – old paint buckets work well, Mylar bags, and oxygen absorbers. The Mylar bags are placed into the buckets, filled with rice or beans or whatever, then oxygen absorbers are dropped into the Mylar bag which are then ironed closed. The oxygen absorbers remove the oxygen in the bag creating a vacuum packed effect and allowing for long term storage, 10 years or so, in the right conditions. Oxygen absorbers need to be controlled in an air tight environment as they rapidly absorb oxygen when exposed to air and can become un-useable if not properly stored.

Prepared food items that can be purchased, are usually dehydrated, and can be divided up into two different types: single items such as dehydrated fruit, potatoes, eggs, etc; or, a meal type items such as dehydrated stew, soups, chili con carne, etc.

Our favorite packaged and prepared Survival food is Mountain House Food freeze dried meals in pouches or in #10 cans (coffee can sized). Mountain House Food makes meals from $3 to $6 per serving depending upon what you order. We use EarthWaveLiving (see the link to this company on the right side of this page) as they offer a large selection of Mountain House Food items in various configurations as well as other Survival and Self Sufficient items like solar panels, batteries, radios, water filters, grain mills, food dehydrators and heirloom seeds for food gardens.
The Urban Survivor should also consider stocking Salt, Sugar and other spices; bullion cubes would also be a good idea. Packaged in smaller Mylar bags, these items would also have a long shelf life, possibly 10 years or longer.

Just how much food should you stock? We think optimally you probably should not stock more than you can load in your vehicle if and when you Bug Out. However a six month supply of food, probably mixed between purchased prepared Survival Foods and bulk items you prepare yourself, is a decent concept that would allow you to get through a non-growing season into warmer weather where you could grow your own vegetables or otherwise procure food. Your six month supply will most likely be based on a reduced consumption level.

Long term storage food items are also an excellent barter item, so consider the possibility of bartering your long stay food for necessities that you may have forgot during your Survival Preparation.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – Initial Considerations for a Longer Stay at Home

If you’re an urban or suburban dweller we think your first survival tasks are to plan and prepare for a withdrawal to a safe area – we have talked about that several times on this site. You can read about Jim, in the Chronicles of Jim, planning much the same. His Survival plan, in nut shell, is to be prepared to Bug Out from his home in the city to a remote area cabin.

Jim has prepared a basic Survival Bug Out Bag, procured a couple of firearms for survival and defense, planned routes from the city to the cabin and is in the process of emplacing some interim Survival Caches near the cabin.

The next question for him and us is how prepared are we to remain in our homes until Bugging Out is the only option? The two biggest concerns immediately following a societal collapse or TEOTWAWKI scenario would most likely be security and water.

Food is another concern. Most people or families could go to a minimal rations plan and ration their existing food supplies for a couple weeks. It would not be pleasant, but you do what you have to do.

Back to water. The Urban Survivor should have a Survival Decision Matrix or Plan that simply mandates specific actions based on the situation or indicators. If certain indicators are present then the Urban Survivor would do certain things like start stockpiling water. Five gallon jugs available at surplus stores or the ever present Wal-Marts can be stored empty, then filled when necessary, to prevent the water from becoming too stagnant,…or you can store water now and replace on a timetable. Consider a planning figure at 1.5 gallon per person, per day minimal.

Once the water is shut off you need to figure out just how long you can stay with your existing water supply. With just drinking alone, you are most likely going to consume ½ to ¾ gallon per person per day. Bathing, cleaning and using to flush toilets has got to be of much less importance.

Another thing you could, especially if you are a bottled water drinker, so is buy several cases of water at once, then routinely (say once a week), buy replacements for what you drink and rotate that case into your stock. Same with any other consumable, buy extra now then on your routine buys, rotate that into your stock and use the oldest first.

Security is more problematic. It will take a minimum of four adults to man a location. One on guard/security at all times, while the others are on rest cycle and completing survival tasks like cooking, procurement, security enhancements, radio monitoring, fixing things, etc. Certainly two people could manage security and survival tasks but only for a short period of time until their security became degraded and two people, and we talking trigger pulling capable adults, aren’t much of a defensive team against a group of bandits or a gang bent on taking what they think you have.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 8

This morning I woke up to a text message from Neomi to call her when I could.
I called Neomi 45 minutes later. She wanted to stop by and show me something on her way to work. So I frantically shaved my sand paper rough face, got dressed and awaited her arrival.

Neomi pulls up, parks her car, which is Mazda Miata – hardly suited for bugging out of the city on dirt roads nor packing a lot of gear. Anyway, Neomi comes into the house toting this big sports gym type shoulder bag. She was excited and wants to show me her Survival Bug Out bag. I was happy to see her dressed in her business attire as I did not need to see the hot looking and scantily dressed Neomi this early in the morning. But I digress,…….

I told Neomi that a backpack style pack or Camel-Bak type unit, such as Camel-Bak BFM or Mother Lode style packs, or, the Spec Ops Brand T.H.E. PACK, would work much better as a Survival Bug Out Bag, but was glad to see she has taking Urban Survival and the Bug Out preparation seriously. Note: As you may remember I bought a Camel Bak Talon pack for my Bug Out Bag. Anyway, she said she would look around and buy one soon.

She shows me the contents of her Bug Out Bag which include:

Rollup Gortex jogging style tan colored rain suit;

Extra socks, underwear, t-shirts, a sweat shirt and a pair of jeans;

Two Nalgene bottles which she tells me are her “canteens”;

Two boxes of granola bars;

3 packs of 4 each “AA” batteries – but the non-rechargeable type;

Garmin Etrex GPS;

One twenty round box of .30-06 ammunition and one box (50 rounds) of .38 Special;

Plastic zip lock bag containing a box of wooden matches and a couple fistfuls of dyer lint which she tells me her ex-boyfriend taught her are good for fire starting;

First aid kit with 3x3 inch gauze pads, anti-biotic cream, medical tape, band aids, an eye patch and three small bottles, one each of , Aspirin, Tylenol and Motrin;

AA Battery powered Flashlight;

Seeing her First Aid made me remember that I did not plan for a first aid kit for my Survival caches near the cabin, so I quickly jotted down a list: Bottle of Rubbing Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide, 3x3 inch gauze pads, self adhesive ace bandage type wraps, medical tape, assorted bandages, Neosporin anti-biotic ointment, and some bottles of Aspirin, Tylenol and Motrin. Which I’ll buy and put into the ammunition boxes I plan on caching this weekend.

I suggested that she buy a lightweight earth tone color tarp, maybe 5 feet x 7 feet, as well as a Survival Water Filter. She also needs a decent knife – so I directed her to the Urban Survival Skills posts on folding knives.

Although Neomi wasn’t interested in doing the Survival Bug Out route rehearsal, she did say she would look to start stocking some long shelf food at her house. And she would think about the Survival Cache thing.

We talked for a few minutes of the different ways for us to linkup if we had to get out of the city then promised to have dinner within the week to discuss further.

Moving forward. Jim

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Urban Survival Tool – Survival Rifle

We want to orient this site to people who are just now starting to realize they need some level of preparation in case of an incident that changes our lives drastically,…call it TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) or by it’s shorter acronym, TSHTF. It would be easy to us to post unrealistic preparation measures, expensive firearms procurements, massive freeze dried food buys, etc. In fact, all of us writing these posts have all that and more, but realize the most people thinking of Survival Preparation are doing so more out of minimal insurance type of thing or just a “check the block”.

We are working with Jim, whose Survival Chronicles you read on this site. When we met Jim he didn’t own a gun let alone think about what would happen if somebody turned off the lights and the water spigot not to mention what if the trucks carrying groceries to our stores just stopped coming. Look at how far Jim has came in a minimal time at minimal expense. We realize Jim has bought a .22 handgun and a 12 gauge shotgun, but we’re not really happy with Jim putting off buying a rifle. Some of that is due to costs,…some of that may be due to a purchase of really suitable rifle such as an M-4 carbine or (our favorite) an M-1A type rifle is akin to stepping past the point of no return.

Anyway, we think we can get Jim to buy a rifle, not a battle rifle, but a survival type rifle, in .22 caliber, that would be easy for him to carry in his Survival Bug Out Bag, use to procure small game, use to practice marksmanship cheaply and be fun, as well as give him another option if pressed into a Survival Defensive mode.

Henry Repeating Arms is now manufacturing a new version of the famous U.S. Air Force AR-7, now known as the Henry U.S. Survival rifle. This is really a handy little Survival Rifle. Lightweight at 2.5 pounds, this rifle’s design allows the rifle to break down into three pieces in seconds. This enables the barrel, action and two 8-round magazines to fit inside the ABS synthetic waterproof stock in a 16 inch length. No tools are required. We think it’s a perfect design for the Bug Out Bag. Plus the gun, when folded with float. Well, Golly!

The barrel and receiver are coated in Teflon, helping greatly with bad weather resistant. A picatinny type rail on the top of the receiver makes it easy to add a scope if needed. Priced around or slightly less than $250 retail we think this is an excellent buy for a guy like Jim. We would suggest a small lightweight scope and several extra magazines.

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 7

Boy it seems like I just posted an update on my Urban Survival preparation, but it has actually been 13 days, so I am pretty proud of myself and what I have accomplished since my last post.

Using the US Geological Survey maps I bought at the local Bureau of Land Management Office (BLM) I have planned three routes from my house in the city to my family’s cabin. I am planning a route reconnaissance in the next few days, maybe this weekend, primarily looking at my primary route and the problem areas of my planned Alternate and Contingency routes. That will settle the PAC portion of PACE. My emergency route will overland on foot - this provides the E in PACE.

This reminds me to say that I also bought a Silva magnetic compass and was looking at buying a GPS units. During my route recon I also plan on doing some short routes on foot, plotting an azimuth and using my new compass and skills that I am trying to learn from the previous Urban Surival Skills posts on Map Reading - just to get a taste for land navigating. When TSHTF I may be taking Neomi with me therefore may have use of her GPS unit, I need to buy my own and be proficient at using it.

On this route recon I will also be emplacing a couple of caches around the cabin. I have bought an extra Aqua Mira Bottle Water filter unit, Frontier Pro Water Filter Straw, some extra water purification tabs, a pack of three butane lighters, six of the Three Day Main Stay bars, two small green ponchos on which I used sand and brown vinyl spray paint to sort of camouflage it.

I also bought a small camp hatchet, a 100 foot roll of green parachute line (small diameter rope). I will include a set of long underwear, four pair of extra socks, 25 rounds of 12 gauge buckshot and 450 rounds of .22 LR ammunition. This will fit into two military surplus ammunition cans which I’ll try and bury or otherwise hide above ground like the previously Urban Survival Skills on Caching when they talked about above ground concealment caches.

I am also going to cache two additional ammunition cans containing canned meat, Ramen noodles, beef jerky and some freeze dried items. I think this would give two people about one meal a day for 30 days. I know this is a not a long term storage solution nor a complete Survival Caches for hard times, but it will give me a interim solution until I can prepare some longer storage life food caches and get them emplaced near the cabin.

I have tentatively identified the back side of a small hill about 500 yards SOUTH of the cabin to emplace these caches. Just in case when I get to the cabin it is occupied by people maybe hostile to me, I can still retrieve my caches.

Have not talked to Neomi lately, after her initially expressed interest in a TSHTF Survival Bug Out Plan. If she wants to have a part in this Urban Survival contingency plan she was got to produce,……no, not in the way you are thinking,…… but in Survival Preparation, Survival Equipment and Gear acquisition. Until next time. This is Jim – OUT.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Urban Survival Skills – Caching Supplies

If your Urban Survival Plan is to Bug Out at the appropriate time to a safe location, which may be a family farm or a friends cabin, you need to consider pre-locating some supplies, material and equipment close to this safe location in case you do not have the chance to upload your vehicle with everything you are planning on taking, or, in case you are regulated to moving on foot to this safe location.

One method to pre-locate Survival supplies would be just to have your friends or family stock it for you. However if you drop off a few pad locked foot lockers at your safe location, you run the risk of it not being there when you arrive. What happens if you are late in arriving there and they get curious as to what you have in those foot lockers or worse yet, didn’t plan well themselves and are scavenging for food or whatever you have in these foot lockers? What happens if your friends or family get overrun?

One of the best ways to pre-locate Survival Supplies is by Caching. Caching is the art of preparing, packaging and hiding items so you can retrieve them when needed.

There are a few considerations for emplacing caches. You want to emplace them in a location where you can get to them in case the safe location is compromised. What happens if you finally get to your safe location and you see forty motorcycles parked out front and your friends hanging in the tree or laying face down on the ground?

The caches have to be well hidden and survive accidental discovery by passers by and from discovery by people who may think you have hidden something in the area. You have to be able to find these caches, months or years after you emplace them – don’t trust your memory, prepare a cache report.

The Survival items must be prepared well and the cache container should provide protection from the elements, most notably water or moisture.

Good cache containers are surplus military ammunition cans, sealable buckets and large PVC tubes. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) makes excellent cache containers since it is relatively cheap and easy to find, can be water proofed easily (using PVC cement) and painted to help camouflage and hide. Plus PVC pipe in available in many different sizes (diameters) so you can custom make cache containers to what you want to cache. However, the larger the container, the harder it is to hide it.

So you will have to determine which cache concealment method (below ground cache, above ground concealment cache or submersible cache) is necessary. The general idea being to bury the cache’s containing your Survival supplies. Some locations, such as rocky areas, may require an above ground concealment cache.

You will have to determine if you want each separate cache to be a mix of Survival items you forecast a need for, or if you will have separate caches for each Survival item group,, water, ammunition, matches/butane lighters, clothing, etc.

Food will obviously be an important item. Ammunition as well. Batteries…..maybe,…if you can use them before they deteriorate.
The ability make a fire, maybe some clothing, spare footwear, flashlights, water, medical supplies are all items you would want to consider.

When you emplace the cache you will need to record, in some fashion, where it is. It is not a simply recording the coordinates on your GPS.
Consider an easily recognizable Initial Reference Point (IRP) which should be a terrain feature which will not move. Crossroads, maybe a bridge for example.

From the IRP a distance and direction to a Final Reference Point (FRP) which should be another terrain feature that will not move, such as a rock outcropping or a large and distinguishable tree for example.

From the FRP a direction and distance to the buried, submersed or above ground concealed cache. You may want to consider recording what tools you will need to recover the cache, such as a metal rod for probing for a buried cache and a shovel to dig it up with.

One way to gain some experience in a type of caching is to get involved in the sport of Geo-Caching which is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geo-caches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. For more information go to:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – Too Late to Buy Gold or Silver?

We had a recent conversation with a man in his early 50’s. He is currently working as truck driver and is an Army veteran. He, like us, are concerned with the direction the country is heading, and accordingly to him, has long thought about trying to be prepared for a TSHTF Urban Survival type scenario. His current Survival Preparation is centered around having a few firearms and sufficient ammunition and other Survival Gear and Equipment like Sleeping Bags, Cold Weather Clothing, etc.

Our talk turned to financial planning and inevitably to gold and silver. He thought that it is too late to buy Gold and Silver and also rationalized that commodities will be worth more in a barter type environment that Gold or Silver.

He is wrong on one count and half right on the other.

We cannot envision an environment where it is too late to start buying Gold or Silver. Obviously the idea is to buy it at the lowest possible prices, but today’s high prices may be tomorrow’s low prices. As we write this, Gold closed at $1,118 an ounce, Silver at $16.31 an ounce. A pre-’65 Washington Quarter on Feb 8th, 2010 was worth $2.74 at Silver melt prices and a Morgan Silver Dollar at $11.71 Silver melt prices. On Feb 19th, 2010 those same coins were worth $2.88 and $12.34 respectively.

Now we’re not saying Gold and Silver are going up and will never come down. What we are saying is that you cannot predict the market and you cannot afford to wait until prices are where you want them to buy Gold or Silver. Buy what you can, when you can. If your budget only allows the purchase of a roll of pre-’65 Roosevelt Dimes – well, that’s better that not having any Silver at all.

Our friend was half correct when he said commodities or what we call barter items will be much more valuable in a TSHTF Urban Survival type scenario. We think there will be three phases of “Survival purchasing power” following a catastrophic event that plunges everyone into a Survival mode.

The first phase of Survival purchasing power will be paper cash. It will help to have cash on hand as some people will undoubtedly not accept credit or checks but will believe the situation will come back to normal before too long and these people will seek to profit from the situation by charging exorbitantly. So have some cash on hand. We can’t tell you how much,….maybe a starting point would be $1,000 in $5, $10 and $20 bills.

The second phase of Survival purchasing will Gold or Silver. People who will not take paper cash will most probably take Gold or Silver in exchange for commodities or services. They may not know the closing value of Gold or Silver but nonetheless history shows us that Gold and Silver has long been an acceptable world wide currency.

The third phase of Survival purchasing will be barter based on commodities. We will do a post, in the near future, devoted solely to the acquisition and storage of barter items. Some people may still take Gold and Silver but commodities that cannot be acquired anymore will have an exceptionally high value.

We cannot even begin to estimate the duration of these three phases of Survival purchasing. The cash phase may last one day or it may last 2 weeks. The Gold and Silver phase may last one month, maybe three months or continue forever. So, the bottom line is that it is not too late to buy Gold or Silver, just buy it in amounts you can afford – some is much better than none, and, to be prepared for all phases of Survival purchasing - cash, Gold - Silver and Barter items.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Urban Survival Skills - Map Reading #3, Determing Distance and Azimuth

When "Bugging Out" from your home to your safe location, you may be forced to move over land on foot and if so then you'll need the ability to plan a route, measure distance and determine compass azimuth or heading in order to make that movement(s). Besides, map reading and rudimentary land navigation are excellent Survival Skills to add to your Urban Survival Skills kitbag.

Determing Distance on a Map. Determining distance on a map is done using a straight edge, like a piece of paper, then measuring on the map and determining distance by the map scale found at the bottom of the map. Place a straight edge of paper on the map and mark the area, from (location A) and to (location B), you want to measure with tick marks. Match up the tick marks to the distance scale on the bottom center margin of the map with the distance you desire the measurement in.

You'll be measuring in straight lines or a series of straight lines because your planned route will very rarely be a straight line due to terrain considerations. Ensure you measure small portions of "legs" of your route and add up all the legs to obtain the total distance needed to travel.

Determining a compass heading or azimuth. To be able travel across country from where you are to where you want to go, you'll have to be able to also plot the compass heading or compass azimuth. Following a compass heading or azimuth is called "dead reckoning".

To plot a grid azimuth on the map, draw a straight line from where you want to measure the azimuth from to the location you want to measure the azimuth to. Place the index (center) of the coordinate scale (also called a protractor) on the starting point, ensure that the coordinate scale is lined up with the grid lines on the map, then determine azimuth using the degree scale.

Converting Grid Azimuth to Magnetic Azimuths. The measured azimuth determined from one point to another on a map to is called a grid azimuth. It is going to be different than a magnetic azimuth or what the same direction would be using a compass.

The Declination Diagram on the map makes it easy to determine how to convert azimuths from grid to magnetic or magnetic to grid.

Grid to Magnetic. If applying a Grid azimuth from a map plot so that a compass bearing can be utilized then you must convert the Grid azimuth to a Magnetic azimuth.

Magnetic to Grid. If applying a magnetic azimuth from a compass bearing to the map you must convert the Magnetic azimuth to a Grid azimuth.

Another method, in the absence of a declination diagram to determine magnetic azimuth or the compass heading, is to orient your map to magnetic NORTH by aligning the map towards compass NORTH, the laying your compass along the route from where you are to where you want to go and read the magnetic azimuth.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Urban Survival Skills – Map Reading Basics #2, Terrain Features

Urban Survival Skills – Map Reading Basics #2, Recognizing Terrain Features

The Urban Survivor moving from the Urban or Suburban’s areas cross-country will need to know how to identify terrain features to be able to figure out what lays ahead of him/her in order to plot routes, plan rest or hole up stops and defensive positions. They are also useful for navigating on – that is figuring out where you are and where you need to go.

The basic terrain features we will cover with a diagram on how it looks on a map, are: Hills, Saddles, Ridges, Depressions, Cliffs and Draws.

Urban Survival Skills – Map Reading Basics #1

Even if the Urban Survivor does not plan on having to move on foot over ground to get to the Safe Location, having a rudimentary ability to read maps and navigate is essentially a basic skill.

The crew here at is going to post a few basic map reading lessons in order to facilitate the fledging Urban Survivor.

Every topographical map should have what is called Marginal Information
and should include Map Identification information such as Map Sheet Name and possibly a catalog number.

Other Marginal Information, depending upon type of map, may include:

Index to Boundaries. Shows County and State boundaries that occur within the map area.

Adjoining Sheets Diagram. Depicts the map sheets by Map Sheet Name and/or Number that border this map sheet.

Elevation Guide. Provides a means of rapid recognition of major landforms and their elevation range.

Declination Diagram. This diagram depicts the angle differences between True, Grid and Magnetic North. What is NORTH on a map is somewhat different from the magnetic NORTH shown by a compass – this diagram shows you how to convert from one to the other.

Bar Scales. These are rulers used to determine map distance to ground distance. On the 1:50,000 maps that we will be using the scales are in Kilometers, Statute Miles and Nautical Miles.

Contour Interval Note. Shows vertical distance between adjacent contour lines on the map.

Grid Zone and 100,000 meter Square Identification. Found on military maps using the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) as opposed to Universal Transmercator (UTM) or Geographic Coordinates (Latitude and Longitude) which is the coordinate systems for most other maps including the excellent US Geological Survey maps.

Legend. This information contains the symbols and their descriptions.

The Map should be in colors which are used to designate various things such as:

Black. Man-made features such as buildings and roads.

Reddish-Brown. Relief features, terrain features and contour lines.

Blue. Water such as lakes, rives, streams and drainage.

Green. Vegetation such as orchards, woods, etc.

Red. Populated areas, boundaries - mainly on older maps.

Other. Sometimes other colors are used to show special information and objects. These will be listed in the Legend portion of the marginal information as well.

The next Map Reading Lesson will focus on identification of natural terrain features.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Financial Survival Planning – Melt Value of Silver Coins

We recently received another question from our post on Financial Survival Planning. “In your Urban Survival Planning - Financial Survival post you mentioned that as a guide we should have $1,000.00 face value of pre-1965 dimes, quarters, and half-dollars per person. I know that pre-’65 Quarters have some silver, but could you explain the silver value of the other coins and how much they are worth?”

Yes Sir, here’s the deal: There are a lot of U.S. coins, circulating or not, that contain silver. We’ll call that “melt’ value. As of February 8, 2010 the melt value of these U.S. coins are as follows:

1942 – 1945 Jefferson War Nickel, $0.05 face value, worth $0.85 melt value

1916 – 1945 Mercury Dime $0.10 face value, worth $1.10 melt value

1946 – 1964 Roosevelt Dime, $0.10 face value, worth $1.10 melt value

1932-1964 Washington Quarter, $0.25 face value, worth $2.74 melt value

1916-1947 Walking Liberty Half Dollar, $0.50 face value, $5.48 melt value

1948 – 1963 Franklin Half Dollar, $0.50 face value, $5.48 melt value

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar, $0.50 face value, $5.48 melt value

1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollar, $0.50 face value, $2.24 melt value

1878-1921 Morgan Dollar, $1.00 face value, $11.71 melt value

1921 – 1935 Peace Dollar, $1.00 face value, $11.71 melt value

1971 – 1976 Eisenhower Dollar, $1.00 face value, $4.79 melt value

The above coins’ melt value does not consider their worth to a collector. A proper appraisal of each coin prior to sale (during normal times) should be accomplished.

You can also prepare with silver by purchasing Silver Bullion in the form of bullion bars or silver rounds. There is usually a premium for each piece, bar or round, above the price of the silver you are paying for.

We remember the oil crunch of 1978 or 1979 where gas stations were advertising a gallon of gas as so much in conventional currency or a much smaller amount (face value) of U.S. silver coinage. That’s the way we envision another severe economic crunch. Paper money being useful only for a short period of time, then silver and gold would be used as a currency before bartering for goods and services would take over as the major form of currency.

Stay on top of U.S. silver coin melt value (click here)

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 6

Okay! Now I feel like I have accomplished something. Although I am not necessarily buying into the whole “the World is going to Crash” scenario, I AM practical enough to have a plan just in case something does happen. My Survival Bug Out Bag is now complete, or at least to a stage where I am comfortable having something ready to grab as I run out the door. I’ll continue to add Survival Gear and Survival Tools as I become aware of them and find value in them, not to mention if I can afford them!

Have not yet heard back from Neomi. I’m going wait for her to call me. If she wants to be prepared, I’ll help her, but I am not going to be placed into a position where I have to talk her into it.

I went to the local Bureau of Land Management Office and bought maps to cover my route from home to my survival safe location in case at any point during my movement to my Survival Safe Location (the family cabin), I will have some navigation aids. Next I need to learn how to read a map and navigate better.

I also bought another rim and spare tire for my Toyota Rav 4 vehicle, so now I have two full up spares. I also went to a local military surplus store and bought what is called a “shelter halves”, which is a light weight green canvas tent, and a section of netting, called a ‘Light Weight Camouflage Screening System or LWCCS in military jargon”. I’ll keep all this in my garage until circumstances will key me to start loading my vehicle in a higher level of readiness.

The shelter halves will be used to place over my Toyota’s front and rear windshields if I have to stash the vehicle or hole up in the forests or in the desert - this will reduce the shine and reflection off the glass. I can roll down the other windows. The camouflage netting I can use to drape over my vehicle. After all, my vehicle is red! The Survival guys told me that I can use or make wet dirt or mud and “paint” my vehicle with that as well as to use green duct tape to reduce all the shiny areas such as chrome trim, etc.

My next step is to find the best spots from my house to the Survival Safe Location to hole up at, whether I’m driving or walking, and water sites like streams, lakes or ponds. I will be carrying 100 ounces of water in my Survival Bug Out Bag, plus four additional quarts of water, plus a couple of Energy drinks (not the commercial sugar laden kind but a healthy energy drink I buy from a buddy of mine).

If I can make it out of the city, pickup my son at college and make it out of that small town, then I will have about 140 miles left to travel to get to the cabin and could make it in seven days, which will require me to pre-load seven days worth of Main Stay Survival bars in my Survival Bug Out Bag. (click here to see the Product Review on Mainstay Survival Food Bars).

I’ll also put together a package of food and water to rapidly load in my vehicle for my Bug Out plan, so I’ll have food and water during my trip to the Survival Safe Location and not have to touch the contents of my Survival Bug Out Bag.

Urban Survival Tools – Question on Lever Action Rifles

We recently received this multifaceted question: “Hey Guys, Does someone make a lever action rifle in .357 Magnum? What do you think of this gun as a survival rifle? I was thinking I would like to have a rifle in the same caliber as my handgun. I also own a .357 Magnum handgun, a .22 caliber rifle, a 12 gauge shotgun and a 7mm magnum bolt action rifle. Also, can we be the best three friends that there ever was?”
First off, NO, we cannot be the best three friends that there ever was. Second, YES, there are several manufacturers of .357 magnum lever action carbine. We call them carbines because they fire less than a full sized rifle round and are usually built with a 16 inch to 18.5 inch barrel, or thereabouts.

A quick look at manufacturer, model and price gave us this information on .357 Magnum lever action carbines available:

Rossi Model 92, price $460

Uberti Model 73, price $850

Henry Model 1860, price $660

Marlin Model 1894C, price $525

Winchester Model 1894, price $879

Winchester Model 1892, price $650

We are familiar with several of the models. The Uberti M73 is a reproduction of the Winchester 1873 and is a great little, slick handling gun. The Winchesters, …….well are Winchesters. Great little guns, but expensive and increasingly so. The Marlin 1894C would be our choice, combining quality and price, if we were going to buy a .357 Magnum caliber lever action. Then either the Winchester M92 or Rossi Model 92 – same reasons. If we could afford the Uberti, it would be ours.

Our question to you is “Why do you want to buy a rifle/carbine in a pistol caliber.” If you are going to be on horseback that may be one thing, but if this is going to be your prime survival long arm, then we would suggest first buying something in a more suitable caliber and in semi-automatic platform such as .223 Remington like an M-4/M-16 Carbine or Mini-14 or M-1 Garand in .30-06. Of curse these will set you back $800 to $1,200. Even an M-1 Carbine in .30 caliber carbine, which is a true carbine round may be a better choice due to it’s much larger capacity to carry more ammunition in it’s 10, 15 and 30 round magazines. Lever guns are much slower to re-load when you have a platoon of Zombies inside the wire.

On the side of buying a .357 Magnum lever action is the fact that .357 Magnum and .38Special ammunition, which you could fire in a .357 Magnum carbine, is common and is still fairly easy to obtain in quantity.

If this is a point of you either buying a .357 Magnum carbine or not buying a new gun at all, then we would tell you by all means pickup the carbine as you need something other than the 7mm bolt gun you have. While you’re at it, also pickup some more ammunition for all yours guns and you may want to try the excellent .357 Magnum Leverevolution ammunition from Hornady as it gives increased performance out of lever guns.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – Financial Survival

Today we are going to talk about another form Survival Planning; Financial Survival. Worthy of much more than a single posting, Financial Survival is important enough to have a dedicated blog. However, in the interests of time and space we are going to just touch on a few basics.

There are several schools of thought regarding finances and financial planning for SHTF scenarios or an economic collapse, the one we subscribe to and promote is based on Austrian economic principles.

We do not buy into the “buy everything on credit because everything is going to collapse anyway” or “buy everything on credit and use your cash to buy survival related supplies” theories. The fallacy with these ways of thinking is very obvious if you just take a step back and look from afar.

Financial Survival Planning is basically insurance. Insurance is to replace something, or to make whole again, in the event of some sort of loss. This is saying IF something bad happens, I’m covered.

Well the word IF implies there is a possibility of something happening. If there was a certainty of something happening, and you knew about it, you would not need insurance; you could move before a fire or flood, get out of town with all your belongings before an earthquake or tornado. You could also do the same financially, you could move all of your financial assets out of a particular instrument before it bottomed out.

If there is a possibility of a financial collapse, there is also the possibility of there not being a financial collapse. Therefore we believe in the theory you should live a principled financial existence; no one can tell the future. If you live a principled life, you’ll be covered on all fronts, whether there is a collapse or not.

So what do we subscribe to you might ask? Live debt free and pay cash for as much as possible; budget your monies every month right down to the dollar; and diversify your holdings between cash in hand and precious metals (PM’s), gold silver and lead!

Now the first step is to get out of debt as fast as you can. Pick up Dave Ramsey’s book Total Money Makeover. IT WORKS! Now if you are already out of debt and want to take some steps to protect the wealth you already have in the event of a financial collapse of some sort, consider some of the following:

Hold PM’s, mainly gold and silver. Why, you might ask, should you hold gold and silver? Gold and silver have historically always been measures of value. From Roman days through today, gold is gold and silver is silver; societies have always placed a high value on both. In the even of an economic collapse or hyperinflation scenario, these precious metals will probably hold their value much more readily than any fiat, paper currency. Additionally, both are recognized world wide as a compact and portable form of wealth. For instance, during World War II, Jews were able to both buy their way out of Nazi occupied areas, as well as take their wealth with them; carrying nothing more than the clothes on their backs and some gold coins in their pockets. Through the coins they snuck out with them, they were able to start a comfortable new life where ever they ended up. We also believe that without a means to protect your assets, you may find yourself without them.

Now other than sneaking out of an area with a lot of your wealth in the form of PM’s on your body, what other scenarios might involve the use of PM’s? Well if there is a collapse of our dollar or our economic system overall, eventually you will have to start bartering with other survivors for goods and services. Dollars might be useful only in the near term, and in the long term probably only as a portable form of fire-starting material, or some other non-bartering task such as toilet paper. How will you trade with others? What will you have to trade with?

Perhaps, canned food for rent or passage; ammunition for a mule or donkey; or something similar along those lines in which someone really wants what you have to trade. Well the problem with the above is, 1) why trade food, ammunition for anything unless you have which will help keep you alive unless you have an over abundant supply of it? 2) Will you be able to carry enough supplies with you in order to both survive as well as enough to trade with? While we believe in having barter items, we are going to discuss them in a later post.

By owning an amount of gold and silver, you give yourself countless opportunities and possibilities that others who do not own any will never have. You have a form of insurance in case things go really bad in your own lifetime. However, since none of us can tell the future, say you buy PM’s and no collapse or hyper inflation event does happens, what do you do with your PM’s? Well you could either sell them, and probably be able to buy the same items with the money you receive as you could have bought with the amount of the money you paid for the PM’s, or you could always pass them on to your children or grandchildren without anyone knowing about the transaction. You have a means to transfer wealth anonymously to anyone you may wish.

Now lets say you are still with us, and you want to start looking for places to purchase some gold & silver coins to hold IN YOUR HOME (Not in a safety deposit box in a bank as the boxes & their contents are not in your physical control and may be seized by the banks). Where can you actually buy some from and how much should you hold? The how much part is totally dependant on your finances. Again, get out of debt first, build your survival preps to an acceptable level, then start accumulating your PM’s. As a guide $1,000.00 face value of pre-1965 dimes, quarters, and half-dollars per person of your group is a place to start. We also think you would be wise to have cash on hand, maybe another $1,000 as this currency is light enough to carry and would probably be of use, especially in the early days, maybe weeks, of an emergency, albeit at inflated rates.

As for the where to buy gold and silver part of the question, the following are a list of companies we have purchased from; we do not have any financial interest in the companies nor the sales of their products to you. We have just used these companies ourselves with nothing but outstanding service and quality products.

We hope you will consider this type of survival insurance for you own family. A lot of people tend to go overboard on a particular aspect of survival preparations and completely neglect other equally important aspects. We feel PM’s play a part in any survival plan. Do your own homework and decide if they play a part in your preparations.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Urban Survival Preparation– Wargaming the Bug Out Plan

The Urban Survivalist in Planning having completed his basic Survival Bug Out Bag, needs to develop the when the “S@#* Hits The Fan”, know by it’s acronym of SHTF, Bug Out plan.

The Urban Survivor will have to develop a decision matrix or otherwise have an idea on when it is he needs to leave his urban environment for his safe haven.
Human nature being what it is, that is hoping and expecting things to get better – hoping that the government will fix things, may hold the Urban Survivor back from leaving or delaying the departure to a point when it becomes riskier.

Without stocks of food, the ability to provide security and defense and a source of water, the Urban Survivor cannot afford to wait.

The Bug Out will need to be wargamed. Wargaming is a process of “what if’ing” the plan. It is used to determine the problems and develop solutions. For example:

Time to put the Bug Out Plan into action, I need a full tank of fuel to get from the house to the safe haven.
Problem: What if I only have a half tank and the ability to get commercial fuel is not longer an option?
Solution: At an appropriate time when things are getting worse, you would need to ensure that you stock fuel at your house which will require fuel storage tanks such as 2, 3 or 5 gallon containers available at Wal-Mart or a Surplus store.
Problem: Fuel stored for a long time will go bad.
Solution: Routinely replace the stored fuel and/or use Sta-Bil fuel additive to prolong the usability of stored fuel.

Problem: The vehicle has a mechanical problem during the movement from your house to the safe haven.
Solution: Carry parts and tools for common problems that are within your ability to fix such as a broken serpentine belt or flat tire. In fact, having two full spare tires complete with rims are a good idea.

Problem: The primary route from the house to the safe haven becomes clogged with traffic or otherwise too dangerous to drive.
Solution: Plan Alternate, Contingency and Emergency (remember PACE?) routes on less traveled roads.

Problem: May have to stop and hide the vehicle during darkness as driving during the night with lights on is a very bad idea. Solution: Need a canvas or earth tone tarp to cover the windshield and a camouflage net to drap over the vehicle. Need green or brown duct tape to cover exposed shiny parts of the car.

Problem: Route becomes impassable and there is no option to take another and/or the vehicle becomes disabled.
Solution: Plan to walk overland to the safe haven. You will probably needs maps and have areas selected along this foot route that would be tentative safe areas to hole up in for a day or two. If you need maps, you probably need some map reading and land navigation training. Can you carry enough food, water (water is more important) in your Bug Out Bag to make the trip on foot? If you are initially traveling in a vehicle, you should drink and eat stocks placed in your vehicle rather than use it from your Bug Out Bag. Remember your Survival Bug Out Bag is your last ditch option for when you are on foot or on the run.

If you carry Wargaming through to arrival at your safe haven, you would need to plan how you are going to approach and identify yourselves to people at the safe haven. You may even have the forethought to pre-place supplies and material at the safe haven, either stored openly at a safe haven that is full time occupied or cached. A cache is a hidden store or equipment, supplies or material. We’ll be writing about that later. In the mean time, sit down and think about your trek from your house to your safe haven and imagine what can go wrong. This will identify what contingencies you need to plan for. Remember Murphy’s Law,…….What can go wrong, will go wrong.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Book Review – The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

Wow, talk about a depressing book, despite it’s award of a Pulitzer Prize in 2007. The story this book told absolutely sucked. Now a major motion picture which probably won’t be any better, this story revolved around a father and his son walking through a devastated America, living off of what they could find, walking to the coast where they expect to find a warmer climate and perhaps locate more decently behaving survivors than the brigands, cannibals and criminals they usually encounter.

Living no better than animals at times, until they find a Survival Cache of food and supplies at a farmhouse who residents had been killed.

We like to look at fictionalized Survival type stories because of the lessons learned from this “what if” scenario. Is this book serves a purpose it would be push people NOT to be the characters of this book, but to be better prepared much like the people who stocked the Survival Cache that these characters found.

Minimal thinking and preparation on the part of these two pathetic characters would have given them a much better chance, but then we guess there would no story.

We do recommend reading this book or watching the movie simply as a reminder of what NOT to do.

Publisher: Picador USA (May 2009); ISBN-10: 0330468464, ISBN-13: 978-0330468466

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Urban Survival Gear – Binoculars

Although we left Binoculars off the Urban Survivalist’s Bug Out Bag list, we think Binoculars are such a good tool as to do an post on various types of binoculars in moderate price ranges.

We use many various Steiner Binoculars on the job, ranging from 8x30 Military Marine Model (shown in this post) to the large 20x80 models for long standoff observation.

The aspiring Urban Survivalist should probably first ensure his Bug Out Bag is stocked and packed, and that the withdrawal plan to a safe location has been prepared and studied before Binoculars are included in his general kit, however since we were asked,……

Binoculars obviously provide observation magnification so that terrain or people can be studied at ranges exceeding the ability of the un-aided human eye.
Considerations, besides price when selecting binoculars include necessary magnification, how big you want the objective lens, needed field of view (FOV) at maximum observation distances, and, size-weight considerations. The numbers assigned to a particular binocular, such as 8x30, refer first to the magnification 8 which is 8 power or roughly equal to a 400mm camera lens, then the second number which is the size of the objective lens, in this case 30. FOV is the width that you can see at a certain distance.

Generally the closer or tighter the magnification to objective lens ratio, the narrower the FOV and the less light gathering capability the binocular has- although lens quality and coating has a lot to do with this capability. Therefore an 8x30 binocular, with a magnification to objective ratio of approx 1:3.7, has less FOV and light gathering capability than a 7x50 binocular at approximately a 1:7.1 ratio. Having said that, you may or may not be able to actually tell that difference unless you have been behind binos or scopes a lot in your life.

Steiner 8x30 Military/Marine are a armor coated, rugged binocular that gives plenty of magnification at 8 power. Even though Steiners are tough, they have a 10 year warranty. However you are going to pay for quality. The model depicted here, the 8x30 Military Marine is at the lower end of the Steiner cost spectrum and will still set you back approximately $210. Good buy and plenty of quality, but you can find a better buy for your money if you are going to seldom use the binoculars and take care of them.

Nikon Action 7x35mm Ultrawide are a good tradeshow for quality considering price. At approximately $60 these are affordable and come with a lifetime warranty from Nikon. The center focus dial is useable and the binocular is adjustable for people with extra space between their eyes like cavemen and hillbillies. At around 1.5 lbs these binoculars will not over burden the Survivor with weight. Also available in an 8x40 model.

Leupold 6x30 Yosemite binocular are our hands down favorite for a smaller binocular but are a bit more expensive than the Nikon’s at approximately $80. These also come in a tan color body. Leupold has a good rep for rifle scopes and spotting scopes which will certainly expand to their binocular line in time. The Yosemite model are advertised as water proof with a lifetime limited warranty and are a few ounces lighter than the Nikon.

The bottom line on binoculars,……buy a reasonable quality binocular, maybe saving some money for a companion ultra compact cheaper set like Tasco or Bushnell. Each of us in the Survival Cadre possess at least three pair of binoculars with one guy owning six, so we evidently think they are necessary handy Survival gear.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 5

Last night I went over to Neomi’s to show her the latest on the web site I am developing for her home based business which is, no kidding, Wedding Planning. Her day job is an Office Manager for a Physical Therapy Doctor. It’s hard to keep my mind on work when she’s walking around looking 100% gorgeous, but I have a story to tell.

Anyway our discussion turned to General Survival topics, with a lot of “what if’s”. I told her my general plan, was if the city or my house became untenable to live and survive at, would be to head to a old cabin in the mountains that remains belonging to someone (I’m not quite sure) in my family. It’s about 220 miles to the cabin, but I would have to plan on 50 mile detour to pickup my son from college where he is studying Computer Added Design so let’s say 275 miles. My vehicle is a ’04 Toyota RAV 4 which averages 22 mpg (city and highway) so that means I would have to have a full tank, 14 gallons, in order to get from my house to the cabin. I figure if I can get half way there, I could always walk 100 miles in about 5 to 6 days.

Neomi said, only half jokingly, ‘So, you’re just going to leave me?” I said “No, I would offer to take you, but if we have no telephones, cell or computer communications how are we going to talk and coordinate anything?” I then told her, “Look, if something gets really bad you can always come to my house. You’ll probably need to skirt the foothills of the mountain and come in the back way to avoid the heavy population. You need to have durable clothing suitable for hiking and camping, good boots, and only pack essentials – you don’t need makeup and that crap.”

Neomi looked like she thought about it for a few seconds, and then said, “Fair enough, what about guns? I have a couple of guns that my Dad left me.” She went into her bedroom and came out with a rifle and a handgun. Looking at both I figured out she had a Bolt Action Springfield rifle in .30-06 and a Revolver in .38 Special. I asked her is she had any ammunition for each, and she said no, so I told her she would have to pickup some at Wal-Mart, the local Sporting Goods store or a Gun Store and I wrote down what she needed to buy.

Neomi further surprised me by saying “she had a hand held Global Positioning System (GPS) that she had bought when she was dating a guy doing the geo caching sport.” She went and found it, so I wrote down the name “Garmin Etrex” and noticed that it used “AA” batteries. I told her to make sure she brings it with her. She said the only thing she knew what to do with it was figure out her location, input another location and use the device to walk to the cache. So I made a mental note to finds out more about GPS’s.

I finished my time last night with Neomi giving her an idea on what else she will need to bring with her, concentrating on some bottled water, granola bars, lightweight foods, matches/lighters, blanket, any medications, a toothbrush, etc. She exclaimed “Holy Cow, I’m going to need a big back pack”. I replied “that’s right Sweetie, it’s called a Survival Bug Out Bag, and I’m going to send you an e-mail with some more things to pack and keep it prepared to grab and immediately go – that’s the point”. And as much as I hated to say it, I said “…and those short pants you’re wearing aren’t going to be practical,… nothing but long pants.”

So now I have a possible survival partner. The boys warned me about taking on “strays” as each stray person absorbed by me will impact negatively on any survival stocks I have and may impact worse on my own survivability. They told me “to realize you can’t save everyone” as well as advised me to be careful on who I tell about my Survival Plans, and to choose my “strays” or Survival partners carefully. Their final advice on the subject was to base those choices on not only the skills sets other people would bring but how they would fit into a group.

Urban Survival Skills – Recognizing and Treating Cold Injuries

The ability to recognize and treat cold injuries can often mean life or death for you or anyone who is in your survival group. Obvious the best way to avoid having to deal with cold injuries is to prevent them from happening by implementing precautions. One of the best methods for this is to utilize the buddy team concept where everyone is responsible for one other.

One of the lesser injuries incurred during cold or extreme cold weather is dehydration because thirst is reduced during cold weather. Dehydration can cause constipation because people may eat more in the cold weather as they are burning more calories to produce body heat. A preventive measure would be using the mandatory drink rule where every so often, say 30 minutes, everyone drinks X amount of water, say 4-6 ounces.

Frostbite is a common cold injury resulting from frozen skin, usually digits such as feet, hands or sometimes ears. Mild frostbite is where only the skin that takes on a whitish pallor and will be cold to the touch. Severe frostbite is where the skin freezes to a deeper level below the skin. The skin will be frozen. Symptoms of frostbite include loss of feeling usually in your hands, feet, nose and ears. You may experience “tingling” before you actually lose feeling. Tingling would indicate a pre-frostbite condition.

Preventive measures are, of course, wearing adequate clothing including gloves, suitable footgear and watch caps or coverings for your ears. A scarf around your mouth and nose would also be good for extreme cold weather. Moderate movement in extreme cold, providing adequate footgear will usually prevent cold injuries associated with frostbite.

Treatment of frostbite includes re-warming a mild frostbite, use your hands or mittens to other dry pieces of cloth to warm your face and ears. Place your hands under your armpits. Place your feet next to your buddy’s stomach. A severe frostbite injury, if thawed and refrozen, will cause more damage to the skin and circulation and that patient would have to be hospitalized soon.

Hypothermia is the more dangerous cold injury and is caused by the lowering of the body temperature at a rate faster than the body can produce heat. Causes of hypothermia may be significant exposure, sudden soaking from water such as falling into a river or being doused with other liquids.

The initial symptom is shivering. This shivering may progress to the point that it is uncontrollable and interferes with an individual’s ability to care for themselves. This begins when the body’s core temperature falls to about 96 degrees F. When the body core temperature further falls to 95 to 90 degrees F , incoherency and irrational behavior may occur. A core body temperature of 90 to 86 degrees F will usually result in muscle spasms, rigidity, and unconsciousness. A body core temperature below 77 degrees F results in death.

Without the ability to access professional medical help using conventional medical treatments such as warm water baths or enemas, the Urban Survivor will have to resort to wrapping the victim in sleeping bags and heavy clothing for insulation. Warm sweet liquids such as cocoa would be good, but be careful of warming too fast as it can cause circulation and even heart problems.

Again, the best way to prevent cold injuries is to be prepared for it with adequate clothing and planning. Your Survival Bug Out Bag should have the small sleeping bag, a tarp or ground cloth and fire making devices so there will be no excuse not being able to treat cold injuries is your clothing, planning or actions failure you.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 4

Man, sometimes it seems like I can’t get Survival topics of my mind. I hope I don’t turn into some paranoid freak!

Now my bug out bag is almost complete. When I went back to the gun store to buy some more gun cleaning supplies I picked up a cartridge belt so I can carry extra 12 gauge shotguns shells around my waist since I am using the shotgun as a primary long gun I’ll need access to more ammunition. The boys told me not to keep shells loaded into the leather belt and loops,…something about the oil or tannin in the leather oxidizing or corroding the shells.

I stopped by Lowe’s and bought another pack of re-chargeable “AA” batteries and a 5 x 7 foot tarp that I will put into my Survival Bug Out Bag to use as a shelter or ground cloth. The last couple of things I need are a Survival Radio for weather and emergency broadcasts and a couple small lanterns which I’ll order soon.

The boys sent me a pdf copy of the U.S. Army Survival Manual, FM 3-05.70, but told me that the SAS Survival Manual by Wiseman is an essential item. My last conversation with these guys centered around clothing items. I own some blue jeans and sweat shirts, but for the most part my wardrobe consists of casual and formal business attire. From their point of view, I need to get some heavy duty clothing like Carhart or Wrangler items in earth tone type colors,..brown, green, dark tan. The boys said that camouflage clothing may actually be better suited for moving and operating in the field, but in and around the city they’ll bring too much scrutiny. I agree. In the next couple of days I’ll buy a pair of Wrangler brown jeans and a Carhart, insulated shirt.

The coolest thing happened two days ago. I was at the local sporting goods store looking for some mini “AA” battery type lanterns to see if I could buy them locally cheaper than from ordering from Amazon – I couldn’t, but anyway, I ran into a friend of mine, Neomi. I have been helping her out with some website development for her home based business.

Neomi is hot! Several years younger than me, used to dating athlete type guys and such, Neomi calls me regularly to complain about how some guy treated her bad, etc. Did I say she is Hot!!?? Anyway, Neomi asked me what I was doing in the Sporting Goods store. I told her I was looking for some “AA” or “AAA” powered small lanterns. She asked why and I gave her the “I just preparing a kit for emergencies,..yada yada yada.” She wanted to know more. She lives alone in a duplex about five miles from my house, but she is still well within the city. She was late for a Pilates class but wanted to know more about my "Disaster Preparedness". So I told her I would come by her house later as I had a also had an update for her web site I needed her to take a look at.