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

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. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Shelters

Next to air, shelter is our top survival requirement.  The survival rules of three tell us that we can only survive about three minutes without air, three hours without shelter (in harsh conditions), three days without water, and three weeks without food.

Many different things can be considered shelter.  The right clothing, a good jacket, a campfire, the branches of a tree, your home, or any number of places that provide protection from the elements and a level of safety.

I think many people consider a shelter something that is built from sticks and branches and maybe a tarp.  This is true if you find yourself in the wilderness without, well, anything.  Who does that unless it's on purpose?  Think about it.  If you're learning bushcraft or survival, and you go into the mountains, it is to practice your craft or for the enjoyment of it.  So, you either go prepared and take a tent with you or you plan on building a shelter.  If it is not either one of these situations then you probably know nothing about the survival rules of three.

The vast majority of us find ourselves in urban and suburban areas most of the time.  Shelter is quite abundant there.  There will always be a hotel room to rent or a door to knock on where you can find good people and temporary shelter if you find yourself in unfavorable circumstances.

The circumstance that I believe we don't consider often enough, or properly plan for is one that has taken this nation quite literally by storm.  I'm talking about hurricanes and fire storms as of lately, but this would also include earthquakes, tornadoes, as well as other natural or man made disasters.  When the place where you live permanently is either completely destroyed or so heavily damaged it is not livable where will you go?

Do you have a family member that could take you and your family in long term?  What other options do you have?  I asking seriously.  You don't know?  Well, that is why I am sitting here writing; to get you thinking. making plans and preparations.  This is something that I think about regularly myself.

First, a few things that I know for sure is that you should not rely on the government or go to a FEMA camp.  Make plans ahead of time so that you are not left with any other option.   

What other options are there you ask?  Well, there are plenty.  Let me highlight a few more in addition to what I have already mentioned.

Travel/camping trailer.  Get out quick and take your emergency shelter with you.   Whether you go camping regularly enough to necessitate a trailer is besides the point.  If you have concerns about a potential disaster where you live a trailer could be an inexpensive and excellent insurance policy that will provide a safe place for your family wherever you may have to go.  Having a simple enclosed trailer would allow you to carry much more than just your vehicles can alone and provide a place to sleep, prepare food, and take care of daily needs in relative privacy and security.

Cabin or dome tent.  These are typically very sturdy four season tents.  They are very heavy and will need to be carried in a vehicle or trailer.  You'll need to have cots or sleeping pads to get you off the ground and other niceties such as chairs and tables but they are much nicer and more usable for daily living than a standard backpacking tent. 

Shipping container.  These are being transformed into living spaces all over the world.  Yes, you'll need to have somewhere to put it but with some planning and effort it could become not only an emergency shelter but also a weekend getaway.  Maybe you know someone who lives in a rural setting who would allow you to place a container on their property and stock it up with supplies.  Just wanna get you thinking.

Shed or Tiny Home.   These can be very inexpensive buildings.  Start with the structure then add insulation, walls, lights, and other conveniences as you are able.  Having a basic structure in place will provide you with the minimal amount of shelter you'd need in an emergency.

Van, box truck, motorhome, or bus.  Yes, the property where you place this old, cheap, and possibly not running, vehicle will lose value, and you'll probably receive the ire of your neighbors but you should be able to purchase one of these vehicles for really cheap.  Even an old cheapo camping trailer would fit into this classification.  As long as the roof doesn't leak leave it at your bug out location for an inexpensive but effective shelter. 



Hexayurt.  A what you say?  A hexayurt is a very inexpensive, strong yet simple shelter that most anyone can build.  Plans and drawings are public domain. 








What other non conventional shelter ideas do you have?


Monday, October 23, 2017

Hang in there.

It's quite depressing isn't it!? Watching the stock market hit all time high after all time high at the same time bitcoin and other crypto currencies prices go through the roof.  All this while gold and silver excitedly move higher but then depressingly drop back down again.  Makes you wanna sell all your physical precious metals and sink everything into paper or digital assets.  Right?  Do your friends, neighbors, and/or co-workers tell you how much money they are making from their "investments"?  Do you feel like you are missing out?  I hope not.

It can be discouraging to watch as gold and silver prices go nowhere, while the world is in turmoil and crisis mode, when they should be going up.  That is unless you have a firm understanding of the truth of real money and real wealth.

Gold and Silver are real, honest money.  Individual rare elements created by God dug out of the earth, smelted, and refined by hard working men for the purpose of trade and barter.  Cryptos, stock, bonds, and anything else created by dishonest men to get rich, that you can not physically hold, are an illusion of wealth and the opposite of real, honest money.  A bet and a gamble is all they are.  Speculation and greed is what they represent.  As for fiat currencies even though you can hold them in your wallet they are actually a debt note due back to the maker with interest attached, created quite literally out of thin air.



Hang in there is my enthusiastic request!  Hear me now and believe what I am about to say!  Those of us who have the "curse" of knowledge and absolutely can not and will not participate in the over valued, manipulated, and fake "equity" markets ("Equity"?! Ha! What a joke!) WILL soon be greatly rewarded for obeying the law.  Obedience to eternal laws and commandments will always produce the blessings attached to them.  Those whom stick to their moral standards, whom refuse to participate in dishonesty and deceit, will reap the rewards and blessings that accompany obedience of that law.  God commands us to be honest and will bless us when we are obedient.  "Thou shalt not bear false witness..." applies to all aspects of honesty and there are many other scriptures that tell us lying is wrong.

What this means I don't exactly know but here is what I believe it means and what I believe the eventual results will be.

Gold and silver will continue to be suppressed, manipulated, and controlled for a little longer.  This will continue to weed out the weak hands, the ones who do not understand, while only those who are strong with understanding and determination will hang in there.  Unfortunately it will go on until it no longer can.  Through various situations that are currently in motion, including the East backing their transactions with gold, cash being used less and less until it will be eliminated completely, the world being on the brink of war and social chaos, and many, many other factors, control of the paper gold and silver markets will be lost and the true value of gold and silver will be manifest.

I anticipate that gold and silver will be revalued overnight from right about where they are now; about $17 silver and $1,300 gold, to what some would consider "insane" levels.  But this will just be the beginning.  It's about cause and effect; the relationship between actions and their generally unintended effects.  As long and as hard as gold and silver prices have been suppressed, as excessively overvalued the stock market is, as insane the levels of debt the world is bound with, the equal and opposite reaction will take place with all markets including gold and silver when the system breaks.

Hang in there you silver and gold stackers!  The ride will be worth it and you will be rewarded for your honesty!

PM me on Facebook, or send me an email, if you would like to know where I feel the initial price of gold and silver will start when it takes off.  Of course this is just my opinion and not intended as any kind of financial advice.  I do not sell gold nor silver and only intend to benefit from my own savings.   

Friday, October 20, 2017

Paradigm Shift

a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.


:  an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way 



I pulled these two definitions from the internet.  What do they have to do with prepping?

One of the topics that is talked about a lot when it comes to prepping is "mindset".  Mindset describes your mental attitude in a given situation.  At times it assumes a rapid shift from viewing something one way and then shifting quickly to another when the needs arises.  Or, that as you enter into a situation your perception of and reaction to particular events is or will be different than the norm.

How long have you been prepping? What lessons have you learned in your life that have taught you that you should be building up your food storage, saving for the future, paying off debt?  Do you live in the city but now do you wish you could move away to a rural community?  Is this mindset or is it something more?

When you see someone in a really nice expensive car what do you think about?  Do you say to yourself; "Wow!  That's a nice car!  What I wouldn't do to have one!"  Maybe you think "I'd love to have a car like that, but I've got so much to do first it's just not that important."  Or do you think "I really feel sorry for that guy/gal!  They really don't get it."  When you know the truth there is no way you'd ever consider going into debt for a car, or for anything for that matter.  Or spending money on something that truly has no worth.  This is just a simple example that I think most everyone who would end up reading this blog can understand and relate with.  This represents a paradigm shift.  It is much more than just mindset.



Having the right mindset in a given situation is essential.  But experiencing an entirely different way of thinking, along with the underlying desires and actions is life changing.  It is!  If you truly understand the awful condition of our society, financial system, government, etc. and you attempt to socialize with people that you know do not even care to understand, it can be almost unbearable. When you correctly understand what debt is, why everyone is in debt, and why the banks want to keep getting us into debt then you will do anything to avoid it.  To understand what debt is you have to know what currency and money are, and their history.  When you comprehend the value of real money you'll understand the true worth of your labor.  When you recognize all this then you just may realize what wealth really is.  This knowledge will shape your way of thinking, the way you act and what you do.  Boom, paradigm shift.  

I'll admit it.  Ignorance is bliss, sometimes.  Actually most of the time for the past 100+ years it has been.  Why do you think the Fed and the US Govt. are allowed to lie to us and feed us propaganda? So that they can continue to perpetuate the system.  If we are told that nothing is wrong, and we believe it, then we will continue to act that way.  This is one of the major reasons why our financial systems has not collapsed yet.  However, ignorance will be our downfall when the SHTF.

There are many other examples that could be cited but my point is that prepping is much more than just acquiring some supplies for a rainy day.  It is an entirely new way of looking at the our situation and the condition of the world.

I'm sure that the people who listen to our weekly broadcast are tired of hearing me say this but I'll say it once again; to prepare for the future we must look to the past.  Change your way of thinking and the way you live now so that when the rest of the world is compelled to change you'll already be there.  
    

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Where do we go from here?

I began writing this post with the millennial in mind but realized that this advice is good for most anyone.  It is especially oriented toward those who find themselves drifting through life without a clear vision of what may come as I see with many millennials.  

So, A few questions to start off.  What is your current situation?  Do you have a degree in a field where you are unable to find employment?  If so it is quite likely that you have a sizable student loan you're paying on as well as a car loan, rent due every month and other bills.  I also assume that you spend a good amount of money on eating out, whether for lunch or dinner with friends or maybe a date now and then.  You're working at a menial job where you don't intend to be for much longer.  It's not a bad job but it's just not what you want to do or envisioned for yourself.  The pay is commensurate for the work but that's not saying much.  You manage to deposit a little bit of your paycheck into a savings account each paycheck but not really enough to make you feel like you are making much progress.  You spend a significant amount of time in front of your TV, computer, Xbox, or other electronic device as a way to distract yourself and so as not to acknowledge that you are not quite headed in the right direction or at the appropriate speed. 

I know how you feel.  I've been there and I have kids in a similar situation right now.  The advice I have to share is both based on where I've been and where I see that we are going as Americans in particular.  Although I see much of the world in a similar situation. 

First, let me say that the situation we all find ourselves in right now is not "normal".  The economy only appears to be good because of the massive amounts of financial stimulus and rigging done by the government and the central banks done over the past eight plus years.  Actually it has been taking place much longer than that, even 1971 and before.  It may seem to be good and normal on the surface but I assure you that it is not.  Look deeper and you'll begin to understand.

I hate to paint a gloomy picture of what to expect from here on out but this is the way I see it.  It is better to be prepared and hope for the best than to be unprepared and experience the worst.  It's common sense to button up and hunker down for a winter storm when you see the clouds coming and the temperatures dropping.  You can feel it in your bones if you're paying attention.  The only difference with our current situation is that you have to be looking intently to find the truth.  When the cold wind cuts you down you know that it's going to be about survival, and you should know what to do about it.  It's my calling to help you to understand what the storm that is coming is about and how you can prepare for it.  There's no time to delay my friends!     

So, where do we go from here?  Right or wrong, here's my advice.



First and foremost; Quit wasting time!!!  Every minute from this moment forward counts toward your survival.  Yes, I do mean survival.  What would you do if a winter storm was approaching?  Think of what our ancestors did to prepare for a long winter.  They would make sure that all of the crops were in, that the root cellar was full, that plenty of wood was cut and stacked, home repairs were made, fences fixed and everything would need to be in order as much as possible as the usual chores become more difficult and dangerous to do in the cold of winter.  The plan is to weather the storm comfortably from inside the safety of their home.  The winter is upon us and there is NO time to delay. 

If you are accountable only for yourself this will be much easier than if you have the responsibility of a family.  If it's more than just you get your spouse and kids on board and make the next several months an intense push to get prepared as quickly as you can.  If you have parents and siblings who are unprepared they are your responsibility as well.

Second; Stop wasting your hard earned money!  You are going to need it!  Do not ever say or think the words; "I deserve it."  Sorry, this is probably just not true.  The only things you deserve are what you have worked for and earned.  If you bought that nice new car and think you deserved it let me ask you these questions.  Did you pay cash for it?  Do you already own a home and is it paid off?  Do you have a reserve of money and everyday needs saved up?  If you do then congratulations!  You probably do truly deserve to buy yourself and enjoy a new car.  If not, and you're living paycheck to paycheck, don't fool yourself.

Do you realize how much more expensive it is to eat out instead of preparing food at home?  Stop it!  Do you consider each and every one of your purchases and evaluate if they are a necessity or a want? I'm telling you right now if you are not already prepared there is no room for wants.  Unless you want to be prepared.  I'm hoping that is the case.

Third, you are going to need to make sure that you have a roof over your head.  If you're renting and single I say move back in with Mom and Dad.  Take that money you are no longer spending on rent and put it into your preps, which I will list shortly.  Pay your share of utilities and rent to your parents.  Paying our bills is only going to get more difficult for all of us.  The more people who can work and live under the same roof is going to make paying a mortgage easier.  A landlord can evict you for lack of paying rent in a matter of months where as it takes much longer, even years, for foreclosure to happen.  What if your roommates are no longer able to pay their share of the rent and move out?  Consider other forms of shelter that will work for you in your situation?  A shipping container home, mobile home, trailer, yurt, tiny home?  There are many different and adequate options.  At the very least make plans for somewhere else you can live if the worst happens.  

Fourth, build up for your food storage.  As an absolute minimum you should have 3 months worth of everything you need.  Stuff you eat and use everyday.  This includes hygiene, medical, cleaning, and other household supplies.  Additionally, your goal should be to have one years worth of the essential life sustaining foods like rice, beans, flour/wheat, oats, salt, potato flakes, dehydrated milk, honey, seasonings, etc.

You should have water storage for at least 2 weeks for everyone in your home with ways and plans to get more.  Re-use your 2 liter soda bottles and fill them with tap water.  1 to 2 gallons of water per person per week.  Remember, you can only survive up to 3 days without it. 

Fifth, you should be able to protect and defend yourself, your family, and your supplies.  The first place to start is to own a handgun or shotgun.  I say start with a handgun first.  Train and become proficient and confident with it.  Have at least 500 rounds at all times.  When you're good with a handgun you can shoot anything well.  A shotgun is an very effective home defense tool that is much easier to use and learn than a handgun and will stop anyone in their tracks.  The problem with a shotgun is that you can not always have one with you.  They are not very easy to conceal.            

The remainder of this list is not going to be exactly in order but you are going to need at least one of each of these items for your survival in the near future.  Consider them personal items.     

6.  Water filters including large volume gravity type.
7.  Quality and durable fixed blade knife and sharpening tools - I recommend the ESEE 3 or 4 or other of similar quality.   A smaller budget utility knife like the Morakniv would be a good addition too.   
8.  Fire kit including multiple fire starting methods like Bic lighters and a large Ferrocerium rod. 
9.  Leather boots.  Durable but comfortable footwear is essential!  
10.  A gore-tex jacket with a hood.  Waterproof, windproof, breathable, quality.
11.  Leather work gloves.  Several.
12.  Flashlights & batteries.  Stick with one size of battery.  I prefer AA and I prefer the Fenix brand of flashlights although there are many other quality brands.  A headlamp or two is also a good idea.  Solar charging lithium battery flashlights and lanterns are a great option too.
13.  Full size Multi-Tool.  I prefer the Victorinox Swiss Tool.  Leatherman makes a great product too.
14.  Hats.  All kinds for all seasons including to keep the sun off you.
15.  First aid kits.  Check out www.survival-medical.com for long term storage products.
16.  Shovels and other gardening tools.  We will need to be producing all of our own food some day soon.  Without quality tools you may not be able to do your part.
17.  A quality axe.  Most store bought axes are not durable enough for everyday use.  A hand forged axe, a file, and a sharpening stone will be essential tools.
18.  Rocket Stove.   You can make one yourself.  I really like my EcoZoom Versa rocket stove.   It will not be able to heat a home but you can cook on it outside.  It is very efficient and portable.
19.  Garden seeds.
20.  5 gallon buckets.  These have multiple uses.
21.  A quality backpack.

Work, hard work, will be the norm in the near future.  Hard work that was the daily work our ancestors did every day for their survival.  If you can learn a specific trade and get the tools and supplies you need to perform that trade you will become a valuable asset to any community.   Regardless, you will need to do your part and you will need the tools to perform that work.  

Most likely wherever we go we'll have to go on foot and we will be relying on our own heath and strength for our survival.  Keep this in mind as you acquire the tools, supplies, and skills you'll need to the near future.  

Make changes now.  Begin living a more self-reliant and self-sufficient lifestyle.  We must look to the past now to prepare for the future.

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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