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

Friday, August 5, 2016

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 44, 08 03 2016 - A Preppers Evolution

Do you consider yourself a "prepper"?  How did you get to this point in your life?  Where did your desires to become more self sufficient begin?  I know.  I've been asking a lot of these kinds of questions lately.  This is a very personal process; the evolution from one state of mind or phase of life to another.

For me, I started out as a young boy going on rides in the mountains with my family.  Cub and Boy scouts came next, deer hunting with my Dad and uncles, then independently looking for adventure in rock climbing, caving and in the 'wilderness' (you have to say this word every time in Nacho Libre's voice) practicing survival skills.  I then got married and began to raise a family.  As our family grew so did my responsibilities.  I've always been the "Prepared Guy": the one with the tools and the self taught know how.  This was fueled by the gift of my first Victorinox Swiss Army knife when I was about 8 years old.  My Dad said that I'd cut myself with it for sure.  And I did.  I gave my 8 year old son his own Victorinox pocket knife too.  I too said that he'd cut himself for sure.  And he did.

Now I am what I refer to as a full fledged Prepper.  Where that goes from here is the scene above.  The idea of moving away from the population, starting our own homestead and becoming more self sufficient is very appealing to me.  The desire for a more simple, albeit more physically demanding lifestyle is constantly on my mind.  Some people may think that moving to the country and living off the land is taking a step backward.  I vehemently disagree.  

How are you evolving in your life?  Are you incorporating more or less technology?    

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 43, 07 27 16 The Real News is Behind the Propaganda

Russia targeted US - British Special Forces base in Syria - again. https://sofrep.com/59984/russia-targeting-us-british-special-forces-base-syria/

Are you primarily watching the main stream media?  If you are, here are some REAL news stories you have probably missed.

Massachusetts Attorney General Unilaterally Bans Thousands of Previously Legal Guns

The financial system is breaking down at an unimaginable pace. https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/the-financial-system-is-breaking-down-at-an-unimaginable-pace-20016/ 

Large Investors make the exit:  Big rental investors like Blackstone are now selling properties to current renters.  http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/large-investors-make-market-exit-blackstone-selling-properties/

AP; Officials 'admit deadly Fukushima meltdown coverup"  http://enenews.com/ap-officials-admit-deadly-fukushima-meltdown-coverup-unprecedented-nuclear-disaster-about-bad-tepco-president-lied-about-meltdowns-cover-grave-issue-unpardonable-breach-trust-video

These are just a few stories about our current condition.  Believe me, there are many more just like these, and worse.

Where do you get your news?  What are distractions and what is real important news?   Are you looking and watching for the signs of war?  Financial collapse?  Market manipulations?  The truth is they are all around us and you'll see them if you're looking.

What steps are you taking to prepare yourselves for these possibilities?  Did you know that our government can now legally lie to us and use propaganda against us?  How do we know what to believe?  Who is telling us the truth and who is purposefully trying to deceive?  The tough part is that you'll have to discern for yourselves.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 42, 07 20 16 Navigation and Orienteering with JR of Survival Medical

The fact that a magnetized needle will always point North has fascinated me since I was a young boy.  I still have this same fascination and love of orienteering and navigation today.

Do you know how to use a map and compass?  Do you know how to find out which way is North, South, East or West without them?  How's your sense of direction?  Do you rely solely on your smart phone GPS to get you where you need to go?  Why does any of this matter?

Well, honestly, it may not matter right now but some day it may, and likely will, be the only thing that matters to you at a particular moment.  Have you ever experienced the panic of not knowing where you are?  Maybe you have when you were a small child but as an adult there's no reason to have that experience, especially when other people are counting on you.  Knowing some basic navigation skills can keep you calm especially in an otherwise stressful situation.  Practice them the next time you have somewhere to go that you haven't been before. Buy an inexpensive compass if you don't already have one and start learning.  Yes, Wal-Mart has basic compasses in their outdoor and camping section of the store.  I'd bet you have an Amazon Prime membership already.  I prefer a Sunnto or Silva brand compass.  Start with a 'map compass' and learn how to use it with a map and in the field.  Like this one...

Honestly, I hardly ever use a compass anymore.  I believe that is because I have been practicing and honing my sense of direction and map reading skills and applying them in the field for most of my life so far.  I am continually aware of where I am in relation to my surroundings and, like a GPS set to take you to a particular location, and constantly making adjustments to stay on course.

The resources available on line are plentiful so I won't regurgitate them in this blog post.

Take some time to learn about triangulation. declination, magnetic north vs. true north and how to follow a bearing.  Learn how figure out directions without a compass by watching the sun and the stars.  Then learn advanced skills such as how to use hand rails, backstops, base lines, aiming off and blazing.
Not only is learning to navigate a fun activity but also builds confidence when you are away from home in an unfamiliar place.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 41, 07 13 16 Responsible Carry with Rob Pincus

Rob Pincus has become my favorite firearms educator and trainer for many reasons.  The techniques and the philosophy behind everything he teaches make sense to me on every level and is meant to work with exactly how the body works naturally.  When Rob speaks I listen intently.

  You can learn more from him at his site:  www.personaldefensenetwork.com  

Follow him on Facebook too https://www.facebook.com/RobPincusPro/?fref=ts   

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Harvest Right

Initially, as part of my food storage comparison, I had included Harvest Right.  I asked them to send me some samples.  They were more than happy to oblige and sent me a box full!  With just a little bit of comparison I decided that I should not lump them together with the other long term food storage companies.   Here is why.

The Harvest Right freeze dryer allows you to freeze dry your favorite foods at home and then store them for up to 25 years when packaged correctly.  I hope you caught my intentional wording there.  

Harvest Right sent me some freeze dried fruits and vegetables as well as a few entrees which they had prepared and freeze dried themselves.  When we spoke they made it clear to me that they should not be compared along side other long term freeze dried foods.  After tasting some of their foods and comparing them to some of the other major food storage brands it was easy to understand why.

With this machine in your home you can preserve all of your favorite foods.  There's no need to force yourself to eat that chili you bought as part of the bulk purchase of that brand name freeze dried food storage you really don't care for, but don't want to see go to waste.  (As I mentioned in my long term food storage comparison I didn't like any of the chili I tried.)  Make your own favorite secret family recipe, freeze dry it, and put it in a Mylar bag with an oxygen absorber and enjoy it several years in the future.    

Let me tell you a little about the food samples they sent me.  I do realize that they are Harvest Right's own recipes and that the taste of my own recipes would vary.

Have you ever eaten a freeze dried purple grape or slice of pineapple.  Wow!  Better than candy!  Did you know that you can freeze dry cheesecake, ice cream scoops and even Fat Boy ice cream sandwiches in their wrappers?!  I didn't!  The scalloped potatoes were amazing!  Their Creamy Chicken with Wild Rice was fantastic!  I imagine that they tasted just about a good as when they were made fresh.  Comparing your own favorite recipes that have been freeze dried in the Harvest Right freeze drier to those of other long term food storage companies is actually not a fair comparison at all!  Not even close!

As part of my long term freeze dried food storage comparison that you can read about here:   http://www.preparedguy.com/2016/06/confused-about-long-term-food-storage.html ,  I realized that there was no way that I could make my review about taste only.  I couldn't make it about cook time, serving size/calories, or ease of preparation.  There are way too many meals, way too many variations.  Taking all of that into consideration, with a few exceptions, they were all the same.  So, why would I waste more time trying to pick them each apart and identify their differences?  Not gonna do it.

The biggest problem that I found between all of the different food storage companies I tried, when it comes to 25+ year shelf life food, is: it all pretty much tastes the same.  Like I said, there are a few exceptions but that doesn't mean that those exceptions are any better.  To achieve such long shelf life the manufacturer must remove all fats and oils that could go rancid.  This removes a lot of flavor.  Some of the manufacturers meals I tried add extra spices and flavoring which honestly just makes the flavor stronger, not better.

A better way to go about your long term food storage is to prepare it yourself.  Yes, with the Harvest Right freeze drier you can make some of the foods you prepare last up to 25 years but I personally wouldn't count on everything you prepare to last last long.  As I mentioned previously, over time, oils and fats will go rancid.  Could they still be edible after 25 years?  Many foods can and will.  What about meats or other foods containing oils and/or fats?  I guess that is possible but I wouldn't bet my life on it.  My suggestion with the foods that you freeze dry is that you rotate them and eat them regularly.  The freeze dry process preserves flavors so well you'll hardly notice that they have been on your cupboard shelves for years.  This way you could keep the shelf life of the food and meals you have freeze dried to less than 7 years which will ensure great tasting food storage.

Now imagine what you could do with the excess fruits and veggies from your garden, or even your Sunday dinner leftovers!

These things aren't cheap, at all.  But, if you're planning on buying a years worth of long term food storage for your family from one of those brand name companies, and if taste and quality is high on your list in importance, you should take a serious look at a Harvest Right freeze dryer.  Once I have installed the new roof on our home that is overdue we'll be getting one.  Priorities, right!?          


I have not received any compensation for my opinions, other than the most excellent samples Harvest Right sent me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

2005 Toyota 4Runner Kryptek Typhon Tactical Seat Covers

Just starting on the build.  Thanks to https://www.coversandcamo.com/ for the awesome seat covers!

Much more to come!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fitness for SHTF.

Notice how I wrote fitness 'for'  SHTF and not 'in' SHTF.  You must be fit before the S H T F in order to be fit during an SHTF event.  That's pretty obvious but I am concerned about some of you.  I am not a fitness expert nor a nutritionists.  These are my opinions and what I have come to learn for myself.  My hope is to give you some ideas and possibly inspiration to get fit.

To prepare for TEOTWAWKI or an SHTF event we first build up our food storage and other supplies, have an awesome bug out location, practice our fire making and other skills but I feel that physical fitness takes a back seat for many of us.

Depending upon the event, but much more likely than not, you'll be pushed far more physically when it hits the fan.  Your feet, legs and lungs will be the first to notice as they will have to carry you further, under heavier load, and more often then likely they have before.  Your back and arms will take a beating because of the heavy loads and tasks you'll need to perform.  How are your forearms and hands?  Can you cut down a tree and chop it into firewood with a hand saw and an axe without getting blisters or suffering serious fatigue or muscle shutdown?  Is your back strong enough to dig up and turn over your backyard so that you can plant a garden, dig a latrine or even graves?  I didn't think so.  Although I exercise regularly this kind of work is punishing for me physically as well.  It will become reality soon enough so it's time to take getting fit seriously.

Short of living off the land by living off-grid or working on a farm or ranch how does one become prepared for this kind of situation?  One of the many things that I say regularly is that we should change our lifestyles now so that when we are compelled to change the transition won't be as difficult.  Here are a few suggestions and questions to ask yourself:

If you have a tree in your yard, or maybe your neighbor has one that needs to come down, use a hand saw and axe instead of a chain saw so that you can truly appreciate how difficult the work is as well as to condition your body.  It will also help you know your limits as you don't want to hurt yourself, especially during SHTF.  Pile up this wood in your backyard instead of taking it to the landfill.  BTW, I hope you have a wood burning stove in your home.

Stand, don't sit.  Whether at work or where ever you go spend more time standing than sitting.  It is a known fact that standing burns more calories.  However small this difference in calories may be you are also building up your endurance.

Do all of your own yard work including mowing the lawn.  Push your mower instead of using the self drive.

How far would you have to walk to get water from a spring or river?  How long will it take you to get there and how much water can you carry?  How many times a day will you need to make the trip to get the water you need?

Have you ever ground a #10 can of wheat by hand with a hand grinder?  How long does it take you and how often will you need to do it?  Do you have the stamina to do this each and every day?

Can you endure standing watch for multiple nights?  Can you function well on just a few hours sleep each night?

Endurance is the key.

Take the television show American Ninja Warrior for an example.  The muscle bound guys who take on the first qualification course rarely make it to the end.  It's always the skinny, ripped, rock climber types that make it the furthest the fastest.  The need for one person to lift a large amount of weight in a 'real world' setting is few and far between.  Large muscles only get in the way and have very little practical use when SHTF.  If you work out in a gym remember that lots of repetitions with low weight will get you the lean muscle and endurance you need to thrive when SHTF.

I don't believe that working out for SHTF fitness needs to be done in a gym.  Here is a list of my recommended exercises that will better prepare you for an SHTF event.

Push Ups - Shoot for a goal of being able to do 20 push ups at any given time, multiple sets everyday.  I train using "Perfect Pushup" or another device that allows me to increase my range of motion throughout the entire push up; from the top all the way down to touching the floor .  The "Perfect Pushup" also adds a twist so as to strengthen some of the stabilizing muscles. Doing this exercise correctly is key.  All the way up and all the way down slowly so as to work the biceps, triceps and pecs as well.  It also strengthens muscles in your back.

Pull Ups - Forearm and bicep strength is essential when using hand tools from axes to shovels.  My goal is 10 consecutive pull ups, doing multiple sets during each and every day.  Lift your legs slightly at the knee and incorporate a crunch into your pull up or extend your legs outward to strengthen your core muscles.    

Sit Ups/Crunches - My least favorite exercise but possibly the most important.  Core strength is essential to a strong back and to prevent injury.  Strengthening your abdominal muscles can help you to avoid injury to your back.  I do most of my crunches with the Total Gym.

Walking/Hiking - In addition to standing as much as possible during the day instead of sitting, a weekly hike of a few miles is my minimum.  The intensity of my hikes vary greatly from a casual trail hike with my son when we practice some bushcraft skills to summitting a local peak or an off trail bushwacking afternoon adventure.  Longer and more strenuous hikes and backpacking trips are a great way to push yourself and test your readiness.

Sprinting -  If you are not 'in shape' and attempt to sprint you are likely to hurt yourself, especially if you're gettin' up there in age like me.  In many emergency scenarios it may be necessary to quickly run away from danger, to cover, or sprint to someones side who is in need of help.  Mix an occasional sprint in with your regular walking or hiking.
Stairs - This is a love/hate relationship.  Great for cardio and quads.  If I can't go for a hike I do stairs. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Cardio - Hiking, stairs, walking, and swimming.  The heart is a muscle that also needs regular exercise.  That's Zombieland's rule #1,

Total Gym -  I love my Total Gym!   I'm not trying to sell products here.  I spend 15 minutes on this and get more flexible and stronger each time.  It's a great tool for my forearms as well as abs.  Anytime I can be more like Chuck Norris I take the opportunity.

Swimming - I am not much of a swimmer.  I can save myself in case of a water emergency but it won't be very graceful.  This is an essential skill that may come in handy.   A few standards I have set for myself are: Tread water for 2 minutes, swim 100 yards using any stroke, swim underwater for 30 seconds.  

Stretching / Flexibility -  Zombieland Rule #18: "Limber up!"  Take time each day to stretch and warm up the major muscle groups, especially before strenuous exercise.  Stretching increases range of movement and reduces the chance of injury.  Instead of adding weight to your workout routine use less and concentrate on strength throughout your full range of motion.

Breathing / Meditation - Taking time to breath purposefully increases oxygen levels in your blood which assists in detoxifying your body and healing.  Proper breathing can also help to decrease anxiety, attitude, and decrease pain. My technique?  Breathe in deep and fairly quickly through my nose for a count of 5, hold for a count of 10, exhale for a count of 10.  Inhaling deep to expand the alveoli, holding to allow the oxygen to be absorbed, exhaling deeply through the mouth then forcing out as much air as possible, which then creates a vacuum in your lungs sucking air back in.  Then rest for a few normal breaths, repeat.  This is my own version of what I have learned from the way others teach.  The counts can be any version that you decide and need not be terribly consistent.

Diet - Consuming the wrong foods will absolutely limit your ability to build your endurance as well as lean muscle.  Carbonated drinks are one of the worst possible things you could put into your body.  Carbonation is known to cause low mineral bone density and digestive problems.  The high sugar content in fountain drinks is also hard on your body.  Don't be fooled into drinking 'diet' sodas as the artificial sweeteners are actually worse for you than real sugar.  Limit your sugar intake as eating too many sweets can compromise your immune system and lead you on the path to diabetes by overworking your pancreas.  Limit your meat consumption, in particular red meats, as they can tend to cause inflammation and digestion problems.  There are many other good sources of protein than just meat.  Eat lots of live foods like fruits and vegetables and drink lots of filtered water.

These are my minimum personal goals.  I have 5 kids and a full time job in addition to my work with PrepperCon and The Prepared Guy so I have a hard enough time getting in the minimum amount of exercise.  Whenever possible I orient my recreational activities toward fitness in addition to my daily routines.

My advice to you, develop a plan that works best for you and your schedule and be consistent.  It should include as many elements to it as you are able; upper body, legs and cardio with an emphasis on flexibility.  To make progress you must push yourself each time to go beyond your previous performance level.  Once you have reached a level you are happy with working to maintain that level is a good strategy too.  Quitting is not.

As with any activity it is much more fun when you are fit enough to do well at it.  The same goes for prepping and emergencies.  If you're not in shape then SHTF is especially gonna suck for you.  For those of us who are preparing to be in shape for SHTF we may be looking forward to it just a little too much.

Some of you may say that you'll deal with all this when it happens as there's a small chance of it happening anyway.  If this is true, why do you prep at all?  Because you know, like I do, that the possibilities are many and as time goes by the risk increases.  So, what other excuses do you have?

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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