xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' The Prepared Guy

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

I advise the gun.

The passage quoted below is indeed an excerpt from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to his nephew, Peter Carr, on 19 August 1785, as collected in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. It was part of a longer section in which Jefferson touted the benefits of physical exercise (such as walking or shooting) in ensuring both bodily health and mental health:

Encourage all your virtuous dispositions, and exercise them whenever an opportunity arises, being assured that they will gain strength by exercise as a limb of the body does, and that exercise will make them habitual … Give about two [hours] every day to exercise; for health must not be sacrificed to learning. A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks. Never think of taking a book with you. The object of walking is to relax the mind. You should therefore not permit yourself even to think while you walk. But divert your attention by the objects surrounding you. Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. The Europeans value themselves on having subdued the horse to the uses of man. But I doubt whether we have not lost more than we have gained by the use of this animal. No one has occasioned so much the degeneracy of the human body. An Indian goes on foot nearly as far in a day, for a long journey, as an enfeebled white does on his horse, and he will tire the best horses. There is no habit you will value so much as that of walking far without fatigue. I would advise you to take your exercise in the afternoon. Not because it is the best time for exercise for certainly it is not: but because it is the best time to spare from your studies; and habit will soon reconcile it to health, and render it nearly as useful as if you gave to that the more precious hours of the day. A little walk of half an hour in the morning when you first rise is advisable also. It shakes off sleep, and produces other good effects in the animal economy.




There are many excellent lessons that can be derived from this short passage.  You will often hear me say that we should "look to the past to prepare for the future".  This excerpt represents exactly what I mean.  Thomas Jefferson does the same thing when he mentions their use of the horse.  

Our lives necessitate the use of automobiles.  There is no argument there.  But what we do outside of the daily routine of our employment and errands can incorporate what our ancestors advised.  Do we spend too much time playing, or even worse, watching sports?  We love to get away and enjoy the mountains but do we walk or hike, bike, or ride our atv's?  

I have never enjoyed power sports much.  Riding a noisy, stinky, and potentially dangerous four wheeler never made much sense to me in the quiet beauty of the outdoors.  I guess it depends upon your purpose for being there.  Personally, I'd much rather work on my own health, both physically and mentally, than maintaining and paying for a machine that has a short usable life span that can shorten my own.        

I've never been fond of running when it comes to daily exercise.  It is hard on the body and just isn't much fun.  In an emergency it makes perfect sense to me.  To be able to sprint away from immediate danger is an essential life saving skill.  Running down a mountain trail is something that I have done often.  It is important to be able to run to the shelter of a cabin, tent, or vehicle away from a coming storm or dangerous situation.  Running on a trail is much different than on pavement.  It requires a more alert mind and attention to surroundings.  I have always believed that a fast walk is more beneficial to our bodies than is running over long distances.            

I don't often let others around me know, but when I am walking or hiking or the like I almost always have my handgun on me.  What I mean is that I very rarely am without it.  When I am swimming with my family at the public pool I obviously do not have it with me.  Other than that you can pretty much expect it.  I think many others might expect that when I am purposefully walking or otherwise exercising that I would leave it behind because of comfort or it getting in the way.  Nope.  I don't usually see a reason to leave it behind.  Yes, this means that I have an array of different holsters to carry it differently depending upon how I dress.  I also have a few different options as to which handgun I carry. 

Thomas Jefferson described this as providing boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind.  What an interesting concept!  Exercising the body and mind at the same time.  Who would have thunk that carrying a gun while exercising an excellent way to accomplish both?  In a day and age when efficiency and multitasking is the norm and "time is money" how have we gotten away from this practice?  

Too often I see people out for a walk or running with headphones. I assume listening to the stimulating beat of quality music.  I love music!  I love finding new music and the way good music makes me feel.  Music is an important part of my life.  However, I believe that Mr. Jefferson's advice to never think of taking a book, to relax your mind and not permit yourself to think but to divert your attention to things around you is inspired advice.  Combining moderate exercise with mild stimulation to the mind is probably a good idea.   Step away from the devices and screens and allow the mind to heal along with the body.  

Do you carry a firearm with you everyday?  If you do not, then you may not understand why my buddy Thomas wrote these things to his nephew.  I think I do.  When I first got my concealed carry permit I was too timid to carry.  Especially with a round in the chamber.  I slowly began carrying occasionally but felt very self conscious.  Over time and with more and more experience and training I gained confidence to carry chambered daily and have made many decisions of what I would do if placed in various situation.  This is a simple and basic illustration of the boldness, enterprise, and independence that I have gained from carrying a gun.  As I continue with this practice, and extend my experience to carrying a long gun over my shoulder as appropriate, while now being aware of Thomas Jefferson's advice, I am anxious to find out what I might learn next.         


Monday, April 2, 2018

If

This poem by Rudyard Kipling resonated with me.  The lines on just about every subject are blurred now days, including masculinity so I thought this to be quite appropriate to share right now. 

It has been far too long since I last wrote here.  My apologies; mostly to myself.  I have been, however, working on a book.  I hope to have it finished up and published this week.   In the mean time, please contemplate what it means to be a Man, or a Woman.  They are their exact opposite and yet their perfect compliment.  Just as God intended.





If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Do you see what I see?

I am always looking for indicators and signs of what will happen next, of what is coming in our future.  Admittedly it is very confusing when trying to listen to a lot of the different commentators, as many say very different things.  Yes, even the ones who I feel have a similar outlook for the future can be quite varied in their views of the future.  Predicting the future is risky to a reputation thus many do not even attempt it.    

We recently saw the fastest gain of 1,000 points in the DOW ever.  It only took 12 days!  Many of the commentators I listen to regularly are calling this phase of an economy a "melt-up" or a "crack-up boom".  I don't doubt that is exactly what is happening.  It is where inflation is showing up the most.  The tremendous amount of currency printing that has been done over the past decade has been moving into equities, bonds, real estate, and crypto-currencies.  It is also showing up in consumer products but not to the same extent. 

So, what happens next?   Take a look at this chart comparing the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average) with the IBVC (Venezula Stock Market).  Since the beginning of 2017 the DOW has increased by over 8,000 points.  To you, where does it look like it's going next?  



Just like the IBVC went up like a hockey stick because of their currency printing and corruption so will the US stock market.  I predict that within the next few months we will see the DJIA rise 1,000 points in a single day!  I think it is likely that in the coming months it will follow a similar track as the Venezuela market hitting 35-40,000 points before this year is over.  Either that, or the crash I am also expecting will occur.

Similar economic conditions to that which exist in Venezuela right now, that coincided with the rise of their equity markets, will take place in our own cities as well.  

Don't worry though.  Our government will come to our rescue with a crypto-currency of their own, along with the same bondage that selling your soul to the devil brings.  I believe that very crypto-currency is currently in the works right now and it will be launched during the next financial crisis as a temporary solution until the economy can stabilize.  Only, as with all other government programs, it will become a permanent fixture.

There is only one way to protect yourself from this coming catastrophe.  You must own physical assets!  Personal property that has no counter party risk.  Pay off your real estate loans and other debts.  Own the inventory you sell at your store.  Trade in your fiat currency (dollars) for real money; which is silver and gold and keep it in your possession.  Buy food storage, ammo, guns, tools, survival gear, put solar on and perform needed maintenance to your home and do everything you can that will help you to become more self-sufficient/reliant.  If you can achieve this you will be able to not only survive but also thrive during the coming collapse of the financial system and society.             

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2018 - A year of opportunity.

It's true.  This new year is, and should be viewed as an opportune year.   There are many things to be thankful for including the continued ability to prepare and stockpile and train and learn.    

In many areas of the US the economy is doing extremely well and there is nary a sign of financial trouble to the most individuals.  Real Estate values keep going up along with the stock market and people are feeling good and spending money.  Commercial and industrial construction continues to boom in my area and it is hard to find good people to hire.  Constructions projects are behind schedule and over budget because of the lack or workers and the high demand for contractors services.

It's actually too good to wrap my head around.  There's too much exuberance and people are overly confident if you ask me.  Money (currency) is being spent freely and irresponsibly.

Might as well take advantage of it while you can, right?  The answer for me is yes.  I'm gonna use this year to do as much business as possible.  To take advantage of every opportunity I can find and make and save as much money as I possibly can.  I hope those of you who find yourselves reading this blog post are not the ones freely and irresponsibly spending.  I hope you are using your hard earned money on what ever will sustain you through the next hard times while saving as much as possible.      

There will soon come a time when it will become impossible, or nearly impossible, to further build your stockpile of supplies.  It will be brought about by financial turmoil or a full on collapse and everything else that comes along with it.  Being unable to prepare could be caused by job loss or the lack of stuff to buy due to the supply chain breakdown that come with the credit markets freezing up.  Fortunately that time has not yet come and there is still time to prepare.

Just like during the last economic downturn, during this next crash there will be a time to buy too.  If you save up now you'll be able to buy a whole lot more during the next crash.  What you buy is of course entirely up to you.  As for me that will be the time when I will purchase my homestead property with as much farm land as I can afford.  This next collapse will be far worse than the last thus the deals you will be able to find will be far better.  It will be your best opportunity to secure your financial future.  This year could bring that opportunity if you are ready for it.    



I'm sure that you are aware of our "just in time" retail system.  This especially applies to food industries.  When a retail store such as a grocery store is running low on products the order is automatically sent to their distributor.  The distributors system works the same way.  When the distribution warehouse is running low on a particular inventory item it is automatically ordered from the manufacturer.  The manufacturers' system works the same way.  When they are low on a particular ingredient it is automatically ordered from their supplier.  That supplier too has a supply chain from where it comes out of the ground, through their process, and then on to the buyer.  This process is so incredibly tight in many instances that factories work around the clock in order to keep this cycle from being interrupted and get product delivered to the distribution center just in time for it to be trucked to the grocery store just in time to stock up the shelves up for the next morning.  There are exceptions of course but not when it comes to fresh food, meats, dairy, and the like.  Anything more than a minor hiccup in this system can cause major delays.  Every step of each part of each and every system is so tightly and proudly managed in order to keep everything running smooth and arriving where it needs to just in time.  Sounds like a disaster in the making if you ask me.

Picture that each and every one of these steps involves using the banking system and a line of credit to pay for everything. The grocery store has to pay the distribution center, the distribution center has to pay the manufacturers, and the manufacturers have to pay for their supplies, and on, and on.  

Now, imagine that there is a trucking or fuel issue, a natural disaster, or a financial issue that interrupts any of these steps.  

Picture yet again that most, over 50% ,of Americans,have less than 3 days worth of food in their cupboards and even a greater percentage, perhaps 70%+ have less than a weeks worth of food in their home.  During a normal week it is estimated that most grocery stores would run out of most of the essential foodstuffs within three days.  If there is an "event" that causes people to panic store shelves typically become bare within hours.  

Grocery store shelves are full!  Food storage items are plentiful.  Take the opportunity this year to build your food storage and buy what you need to sustain life, long term.  That is what that long explanation about our on demand, just in time, society above was hopefully motivating you to do.  Grocery stores are the perfect example but it exists with most everything your buy.  Make food and water storage your number one priority.    
             
Take the opportunity this year to purchase a firearm or two, and plenty of ammunition for them, if you haven't already.  This ability could change at any moment with the next event.  We know those who would rule over us want nothing more than to take them away from us.  To make up helpless and vulnerable, subject to their whims.  Don't willingly give your freedoms away, ever.  Including the God given right to defend ourselves.

Take the opportunity this year to pay off your debts and not burden yourselves with even one more dollar of debt!  Don't do it!  If you realize that debt is a tool to enslave us you'll do everything you can to avoid and get out of it.  Don't think that if the big banks can wipe out their debts in a collapse that they'll allow us to.      

Take the opportunity this year to be a better person.  You know and are aware of what you are capable of, so just do it.  Be an inspiration and example for your family and friends.  Let your light shine and you will be blessed and rewarded for it.  Stand firm for what you know to be good, and true, and right.        

I could make this list much longer.  This is already a handful but don't stop here if you've made good progress.  You know what you need to do next.  Stay anxiously engaged.  There isn't much time left to prepare for what comes next.  I don't know exactly what that is, when, or how it is going to play out but I think I have a pretty good idea.   

What to prepare for in 2018:

Financial collapse including the stock and bond markets.
Devaluation of the dollar.
Unexpected natural disasters.
Right is wrong, good is bad, evil is good.  Beware of deception.
Increased turmoil in the world.  Major wars and conflicts.
Additional loss of rights and freedoms.  Be vigilant.
Gold and silver prices skyrocketing.  Get some now.
Inflation of living costs.
Deflation of real estate prices and other assets.
Increasing interest rates.

These are the primary issues on my mind this year.  There are many more possibilities including the black swans that will inevitably be revealed.  I feel blessed to have more time and the conditions this year in which we are still able to prepare.  It won't always be this way.   

Friday, December 1, 2017

What is GMAG?

Let me just start out by saying; "It really works!"  I'm not saying I'm surprised that it works but honestly I am a little surprised at how well it works.

The GMAG is a saltwater powered battery charger.  It is a fuel cell that uses magnesium and salt water to create an electrical charge.  This little device not only looks like a typical battery charger and holds up to 6 rechargeable batteries but also about a half a cup of water, two teaspoons of salt, and on the back two magnesium "pucks" clip in.  The reaction between the salt water and magnesium creates an electrical charge enough to charge six 1.2v AA 2000 mAh batteries in about 6 hours.  I don't know exactly how long it took me because I forgot about my experiment and let them charge overnight.     


I discharged the rechargeable batteries that came with my unit down until they would no longer run an led flashlight.  The charge on each of the batteries was between .7 volts and 1 volt when I started charging them.  They came with a charge of about 1.25 volts.  A fully charged AA battery will have a charge of 1.35+ volts.

A battery tester like the one pictured above is a must have to go along with this product.  I actually recommend that you have a digital multi-meter.  First of all they are an essential tool for any prepared person but also you just can't know or see that this simple battery charging device is working without one.     


My first attempt at using the charger did not work properly.  I'm not sure why.  I used a pre-measured salt packet that came with the "Disaster Pack" that I received and followed the instructions filling the unit to the recommended level with tap water.  After a few hours I was only getting 1.05 volts reading on my meter.  This, of course, only charged the batteries up to 1.05 volts, which is still considered fully drained.  So I started over.  I rinsed out the unit and noticed very little "corrosion" on the GMAG magnesium pucks.  This time I added 2 teaspoons of sea salt from my cupboard instead of one of the pre-measured packets.  Within about 15 minutes I measured 1.19 volts, then 1.2v, 1.223v, and up to 1.345 volts about three hours later.   


Then I went to bed and forgot about it.  By about 6:30 AM the next morning in a bit of a panic remembered what I had started the night before.  The batteries all had a charge of around 1.37 volts, which means the charge had reached at least that voltage. 

"Wow!" is what I wrote down on my notes that morning.  Yes, I had left them in for more than twice as long as I should have, but the results were very positive.  The picture below is the result of the excessive time in the charger.  The magnesium pucks had worn down considerably.  On the left are the new pucks and on the right are the used pucks.  


The manufacturer says that I should be able to charge these 2000 mAh batteries about 100 times before the magnesium is gone.  I'm sure I shortened the life of these considerably by letting them charge for two long.  When one set of pucks wears out then just insert another set and charge some more batteries.

Here is what I should have done, and will do the next time.  First of all, I won't start so late in the day or I'll time it right with when I wake up.  After the salt and water is mixed in the unit I'll make sure that the voltage is rising nicely by checking with my meter, then wait the recommended time for the batteries to charge.  It should take about 2 hours for 2 - 2000 mAh batteries to charge, 4 hours for 4 AA, and 6 hours for six AA.  Then I'll use my meter or tester to check the current battery charge.  If they are at 1.35 volts I'll consider them fully charged.  At a minimum the batteries should be checked with a simple battery tester like the one in the photo above to make sure the charge is high in the "Good" range.  

These testers are inexpensive so it's a good idea to have a few of them if you don't have a meter.  I check all of my batteries because when they no longer work in a particular device because their voltage is too low they will still work in other devices.  Also, many times I find that if there are two batteries in a device and one of them is too low to operate the other one still has plenty of charge.  I use the battery tester to match similarly charged used batteries and do not throw them away until they are below the LOW indicator on the tester.  You can save a lot of money on batteries this way. 

After the batteries are fully charged, empty the solution and rinse out the unit.  Let it dry and then you can put it away.  The magnesium pucks have an indefinite storage life so whenever I need to charge batteries I can add salt water, put the pucks in the unit and charge some batteries.  Pretty darn cool if you ask me!  

Some of the most important things we need to be adequately prepared require power.  Flashlights and radios are on the top of my list.  Typical AA batteries have a fairly long shelf life of about 10+ years.  Rotating them can be easy but what happens when you run out and are not able to get any more?  

Yes solar works very well for charging batteries too.  Can you think of a situation when you need to charge batteries but don't have adequate sunlight?  Ya, me too.  Having multiple ways to charge batteries and generate power is always a good idea.  Also, think of the weight savings between carrying 100 batteries or one GMAG battery charger, some salt, and 6 AA rechargeable batteries.

If you value my opinion I say that it's a good idea to add one of these units and an extra set of the GMAG pucks to your preps.  Stick em on the shelf next to your food storage and Survival Medical first aid kits and they'll be ready for you when needed.  



Thursday, November 16, 2017

PTR Ep. 124 Re-evolution

If you use YouTube, like I do, to listen to podcasts you can listen to our show there as well.   Here is one of our recent broadcasts.  You can also listen on iheart radio and  www.preppertalkradio.com





Sunday, November 12, 2017

Survival Rule #1 - Air

Many of us preppers skip over this rule and go right to the rule about shelter; 3 hours without shelter in harsh weather conditions and we can die.  But we need to address rule #1 first; 3 minutes without air and we die!  I will admit that there are not many situations that we find ourselves in where we could die without air in 3 minutes.  I'm quite confident that I can see these possibilities coming a mile away and avoid them or quickly prepare for them.

Yes, air is all around us and we don't think about it much except for when it comes to bad air quality days during a winter inversion or if we suffer from a a respiratory sickness like COPD or Asthma. 

There are many ways we can prepare for either the issue of being without air or dealing with poor air quality or contaminated air.  Most can be dealt with by having a simple plan and a few preps.

To be deprived of breathable air could entail becoming trapped in a vehicle underwater, getting covered by snow, sand, or dirt, being caught in a house fire, or something being wrapped around our neck whether on accident or to cause harm.  Most of these issues require awareness and a mindset of safety.  Carry a tool to cut your seat belt and break your car window, a beacon if you're skiing the the back country, don't dig holes in soft sand or dirt and crawl into them, learn self defense skills and how to escape an attack from behind, and make sure you have a fire extinguisher and fresh batteries in your smoke detectors.

What other immediate concerns with air do you have in your city or community?  Do you live near any kind of a chemical plant or other manufacturing plant that uses chemicals?  What about a nuclear reactor?  What can you do to prepare for these kinds of emergencies if the worst happens?

The most simple and inexpensive thing you can do is add N95 masks to your EDC.   There are many kinds that fold flat and can be kept in a pocket or bag to ensure that you will always have one with you where ever you may go.  This will be your first line of defense.  I much prefer a mask with a valve to release exhaled air such as the one pictured.   


 A far more advanced way to filter air is with a respirator.  The filter cartridges can be chosen for the specific need and changed often.  You can buy basic versions of these at most any big box hardware store, however it is typically a good idea to have yourself checked physically to see if your body is able to handle the extra effort it takes to breath through these.  A full face mask and body suit are also available depending upon what you are preparing for. 



I carry N95 masks as part of my plan to get back to my home in the event of an emergency as minimal protection.  I also have a respirator in my vehicle just in case.  Keep in mind that none of these will protect you from a lack of oxygen. 

Educate yourselves and valuate the dangers you are exposed to everyday and choose what level of preparedness you may need to ensure that survival rule #1 remains the least of your survival worries. 

The purpose of this site is to provide you with information about what I have learned, my experience, and what my motivations are as a Prepared Guy. I have always felt driven to be ready for any situation by something powerful deep inside me. Being prepared has always served me well. I feel compelled to help others do the same.
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