xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' 2016 ~ The Prepared Guy

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 60, 11 23 16 Quality of life and balance in prepping.

One of the most difficult things that I have had to confront during 2016 is the balance in my life between being an intensely focused prepper and being what others may consider to be a 'normal' well adjusted human being.  I'd love to shout from the roof tops about the difficult times that are coming but I'm quite sure that wouldn't do much good.  So I've got to go about it in subtle ways.  I also have to 'fit in' and 'do my job' and 'live my life' so that the doom and gloom that I so often see doesn't affect my family life or work negatively.  But also be focused on watching for signs and analyzing the news and the current events so I can see what is coming our way as far off as possible.  I can't just close my eyes now and pretend that everything is as it should be.  So how is it that I can go day to day with a big smile on my face with the knowledge that the worlds financial system could collapse when I wake up next Monday morning.  I think that is something that each of us has to work out and make amends with regularly.


We also discussed how difficult it can be to balance your preps.  What I mean by that is not have too much of X when you only have so much of Y.  Too much of one thing and not nearly enough of another.  Those of us with limited budgets have to weight our purchases heavily.  Do we pay off debt, save cash, buy silver or store up more ammo?  My answer to you on these subjects is just to keep deliberating and make the decisions as you are able.  Don't decide too far in advance.  Your priorities may change as your knowledge and understanding of your particular situation changes.

I put a picture of a hover/balance board on here on purpose.  If you have had a chance to ride one of these things you know that it is a little difficult at first to gain your balance and control of the board.  But once you do you're off to the races, and it is a lot of fun.  I think that if you take this approach and attitude to your preps and life that not only will you find more enjoyment in trying to figure it all out but you'll realize that the struggle of all this can be fun.  You'll then try to do more difficult maneuvers with it and see how fast you can go without seriously hurting yourself.  The same goes with prepping.  Just go for it.  Jump in and you'll figure it out as you go.  

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 59, 11 16 16 Are you conflicted?

This show was a lot of fun for us.  Asking hard questions and trying to come up with the right answers is a great task that everyone should take time to do.  The game is called "Conflicted".  Each card asks a different situational questions about what you would do in a particular scenario.

I highly suggest that you pick up a deck and start asking yourselves difficult questions.  If you have already made the decision before the situation arises you'll be far better off.


Prepper Talk Radio Episode 58, 11 9 16 Bugging out with the PrepperCon 4Runner Evader

The quintessential element of being a prepper.  It's the question that drives us.  Like a splinter in your mind.  To bug-out or not to bug-out.  That's the big questions.

Your answer is entirely and completely personal.  Regardless of your decision you'll need a capable vehicle to get around when it's dangerous to be outside of your stronghold.

The PrepperCon 4Runner Evader is not just a bug out machine but also a community response vehicle built for both the mountains as well as the urban environment, the concrete jungle.

Here's a list of our sponsors.

www.iconvehicledynamics.com  Stage 5+ suspension system.

www.lowrangeoffroad.com Suspension installation and various other components

www.rotopax.com - Roof rack mounted gas and water cans.

www.factor55.com - Winch rope rigging.

www.trailgear.com - Synthetic winch rope.

www.highaltitudecommunications.com - Communications , HAM radio.

Here are a few videos featuring the 4Runner Evader.  More will be coming soon.

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 57, 11 02 16 The P's of Preparedness, It starts with planning

I was away this week for some training for my full time job, the one that pays the bills.  So Scott had the show all to himself.  He did a great job.  Very hard to do all by yourself.

Proper planning prevent poor performance.

If you fail to plan then your plan is to fail.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 56, 10 26 16 Apps for Preppers

One thing that you'll catch me teaching about a lot is that we need to look to the past in order to prepare for the future.  I have to also admit that we should take advantage of technology that is available to us today.

Apps can be an excellent resource to preppers.



LDS Gospel Library

Survival Guide

TNT First Aid

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 55 10 19 16 Skills I want my kids to learn.

Sorry to say that I have gotten quite far behind on posting our Prepper Talk Radio recordings.  When I get behind my motivation to catch up becomes low.  But I'm gonna get it done regardless.  In my blog posts I like to expound on our topics and cover the important stuff that we just didn't have time to talk about.  Since I have gotten so far behind it will be difficult to remember the additional things that I wanted to share with you.

This conversation with Alma Tuck of Vital Domes.com was one of my favorites.  His knowledge and perspective are inspiring to me!  I hope that you'll take the time to listen.    

Alma is the owner of Vital Domes who make 24' dome tents and greenhouses.  They are exceptionally strong and have a life of 7 to 10 years of full time use which is quite astounding to me.

The list of skills that I want my kids to learn is long.  The most important skills I want them to learn are ones that instill confidence and self worth.  Learning to fish is one of those skills.  Give a man a fish and feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.  And once that man knows how to fish he can then teach others to fish.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Do you see what I see?

I'm sincerely hoping that others of you with your eyes open have been feeling the same way I have about this flood of technology companies to the industry.  They start out with an idea to make some process easier or better yet they still only exist as something that is not tangible.  Their properties are leased or mortgaged and debt fuels their daily operations.

Apps, apps, and more apps!  Software too. Internet based.  Download only.  You can't even get discs anymore for most software.  Does it bother anyone that Uber is valued at over $60B?!  None of this makes much sense to me.  I admit, I avoid using many apps, in general.  I will concede that there are many apps that do have significant value to me.  Apps that make communication easier and put access to information at your fingertips.  Music, networking, entertainment, cloud storage, calendars, planning, and oh so much more.  Does it make any sense to you that there are over 200 so called hi-tech companies that have Billion dollar valuations and many are not even making enough money to cover their own expenses, like Tesla for example.  Many of them are still considered start ups that are burning through billions of dollars in financing to develop and promote their products.  A product that really isn't a product.  Nothing is manufactured or tangible.

Realize this: We were able to do just fine without them before, but when they go away will we will still do just fine?  Not likely.  Although most apps and software can make life more convenient and profitable financially they also make life more complicated, fragile, and costly in many ways that are not so apparent to the current generation. 

Now that I have read this article, with the link below, about how this current high tech bubble we are in seems to be bursting, collapsing, deflating; the thoughts that make me feel uneasy now make more sense.  These thought keeps weighing heavily upon me, "like a splinter in my mind", even thought pretty much everyone around me is taking advantage of and putting their trust so heavily upon technology.  I realize that I am probably "missing out", but just like my refusal to invest in anything that I can't hold in my hand such as betting on the stock market, my subconscious (I guess), as well as my conscious mind refuses to reach out and adopt much of this technology.  Many will say to my detriment.  I just don't get how so much confidence can be place in something that really only exists digitally.

All bubbles eventually pop.  ALL of them.  Where will you be, or more accurately stated; how heavily will you be invested in them both financially as well as in your daily habits when this one does? For your sake, I hope not much at all.  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 54, 10 12 16 Worse or Better?

This week my guest was Jon Roberts of Survival Medical.  My big question to him was: "Are things better or worse?"

They must be better because of all of the technological advancements that been made and the dramatic increase in knowledge.  Or are they?

Is our easy on demand way of life a better way to live than how our grandparents or great grandparents lived? Or is it worse?

I could ask this question about most every aspect of our lives and probably get a different answer from everybody I asked.  Are things actually better now or are they worse?  As one who attempts to prepare for as many disastrous events as possible has preparing become easier or more complex?  I can see things failing all around me.  Are things worse because they are more fragile?  Did our ancestors have things better because they worked with their hands instead of sitting at desks all day?  How many of us say to ourselves that we wished for a more simple life?  Are things getting worse or better or are they just different?

www.survival-medical.com   The only first aid kits designed for long term storage.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The 4Runner Evader Build

The 4Runner Evader is our build project for PrepperCon and Prepper Talk Radio, formerly PrepperCon radio.  The purpose of the build is to demonstrate that most any everyday suv, truck, Jeep, etc. can be utilized as a bug out vehicle.  There is not always a need to acquire a surplus military or carburated vehicle or for that purpose.  With some relatively simple modifications your mostly stock daily driver can become much more capable off road with better handling and increase its load capacity at the same time.  

The PrepperCon 4 Runner Evader is also one of our mobile billboards as I frequently drive along Utah's Wasatch Front, and occasionally into some of the smaller rural towns that I love so much!

It can be difficult to justify a second, or third, vehicle that just sits around waiting for the end of the world as we know it.  That is why I have one vehicle that serves multiple purposes.  The vehicle that I drive everyday is a 2005 Toyota 4 Runner V8.  The reason I choose the 4 Runner is because of Toyota's legendary reliability and quality as well as off road capability.  It's pretty cool looking too!  I have owned other Toyota's and have loved them as well.  

We are calling this rig the "Evader" because we intend to use this vehicle not only for when the time comes to bug-out but also for community response.  One of the most important and possibly overlooked essential qualities a bug-out vehicle should have is the ability to travel quickly and quietly, even over rough terrain, even with a heavy load, in order to avoid and evade gangs, looters and marauders who would want to take the supplies we will be carrying.  

When traveling through a dangerous place the best case scenario is to be so quiet and quick that we are already out of harms way before we are even noticed.

The Toyota 4 Runner suspension utilizes an independent suspension up front and a solid axle in the rear.  The independent front suspension is ideal for bumpy roads, as each wheel moves up and down independent of the other.  This allows for a more comfortable ride than a solid axle and provides for better control at higher speeds.  The solid rear axle provides more articulation than the independent front suspension.  This helps to keep the tires on the ground when going over larger obstacles at low speeds.  So, the 4 Runner is a great all around performer both on the wide open desert roads as well as mountain roads that may require climbing over obstacles like large rocks.  Or even urban/suburban environments that may necessitate crossing over fallen telephone poles or other debris.

The 4 Runner also uses traction control to keep the wheels from spinning and losing traction.  This 4 Runner is the V8 model.  This traction control utilizes the breaking system to transfer power away from the spinning wheel.  This is a reliable system that minimizes the chances of breakage.  The increased horsepower and torque of the V8 allows for towing of heavier loads as well as better acceleration when loaded up than the V6 engine.  Because the exhaust remains in stock configuration it is very quiet.  

In order to increase the 4 Runners capabilities we have outfitted it with a premium suspension system.  ICON Vehicle Dynamics custom builds systems for specific vehicles.  We chose the Stage 5 system.  This system includes much larger diameter shocks than the stock size.  The shocks we choose also have external reservoirs that hold additional oil that circulates through the shock.  This helps to keep the shock cool and allows it to work properly even over extended periods of time traveling over rough surfaces.

The front shocks are what are known as "coilovers".  The shock body and the springs are combined something like a strut.  These coilover springs have increased load capacity as well as increased travel length and are adjustable to provide up to 3" of lift.  The stage 5 kit also includes replacement upper control arms for the front independent suspension which are stronger than the stock arms and allow for more up and down travel.
 The rear springs were replaced with dual rate 3" lift springs.  The dual rate gives a softer normal ride but as they compress become stiffer to handle heavy loads or more aggressive driving.  The rear shocks are also replaced with large diameter (2.5") shock with reservoirs like the front.  We also replaced the stock rubber bump stops with hydraulic bump stops.  This upgrade provides for a softer landing in the case of bottoming out which will help to keep the vehicle under control and prevent damage.          

Perhaps the biggest single advantage that this suspension gives the Evader is the ability to absorb large bumps at high speeds that would otherwise damage a stock vehicle.  There's no need to even slow down for speed bumps, deep cross gutters or railroad crossing.  I thoroughly enjoy taking people for rides and watch them as they curl up and prepare for the impact of a large bump they would typically slow down to a crawl for.  And then experience their surprise and wonder at how soft and smooth it actually was.  This stiffer suspension also allows the 4 Runner to handle maneuvers on pavement much better than the soft stock suspension and gives it a very "sporty" feel.

Now, don't think that this, or any other similar suspension system is going to turn your rig into a Trophy Truck.  Maybe you've seen the YouTube clip where the Ford Raptor owner launches his truck off a jump only to crater it on the other side, deploying the air bags, flattening the tires and tweaking the frame and body of the entire truck.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKQdlXvbWSU  Don't do this!

Check out this video I threw together from one afternoon in the desert.  More videos to come.  Subscribe to the PrepperCon TV YouTube channel and the Prepper Talk Radio YouTube channel to be notified when new videos are uploaded.

As you can see by the decal on the front quarter panel of the 4Runner the build was done by Low Range Off Road.  They are located in my area and are authorized dealers of the ICON Vehicle Dynamics systems.  They will have the build video uploaded to their YouTube channel in the near future.

You don't have to install the Stage 5 kit to dramatically increase your vehicles abilities.  Simply installing the Stage 1 kit will make a tremendous difference.  Then you could add more components from there if you feel the need.  The Stage 1 kit includes the front coilovers, rear 2.0 shocks, 2" lift springs and sway bar drop brackets.

I have also installed a Warn M8000 winch in a multimount using a hidden receiver made by CBI off road in Idaho,  A Power Tank is mounted in the back for airing up tires and Rocky-Road Super Sliders replaced the running boards.  Future upgrades will include a Rhino Rack roof rack, RotoPax gas and water containers and much more. 

I am very particular about tires.  The BFG AT has been my go-to tire for over a decade.  These new AT KO2 tires are fantastic!  They are one of the few street legal tires with a 3 ply sidewall.  The new design and tread pattern looks awesome too.  They are the best all around tire for me.  I spend a lot of time on the freeway so I need a tire that is relatively quiet but also one that is really tough.  

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Survival Wisduhm # 20 - The Handgun

What is the #1 prepper firearm and the first one you should own?  This has been debated since the beginning of time.  Well, almost.  Is it a Ruger 10/22 with a supressor?  An AR-15 or 12 gauge Remington 870?  Nope!

The right answer really isn't that difficult.  The best firearm that you can own is the firearm that you can always have with you, whether on your person or in a bag or purse over your shoulder.  If you can always have a rifle slung over your shoulder I envy you.  Most of us can't, for lots of reason.  The one firearm that you can always have with you is a handgun.  The argument of which caliber is ultimately unimportant.  .22 Magnum, .380, 9, .40, .45, 38, .357... Whatever.  Own a handgun first because you can always carry it with you.

Carry the biggest gun you feasibly can.  Choose one that fits your hand well.  If that means a Ruger LCP in .380, good on ya.  If you can manage a full size 1911 in .45 ACP, great.  For me, a subcompact in 9 mm is the right choice.  How bout you?

Also, keep in mind that the secondary purpose of a handgun is so you that can fight your way to your rifle.

Another reason why I say to start with a handgun is because a handgun is much more difficult to master than a rifle.  The short barrel requires you to be accurate and its competent and safe use necessitates lots of practice.  Once you are good with a pistol using a rifle seems easy.

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 53, 10 05 16 The What, How, and Why of Prepping.

Yes, I'm a proponent of the Oxford comma.  I'm also a subscriber to Simon Sineks "Start with why."

This method of problem solving has been around for a long time.  Simon is the most recent individual to remind us of it and how we can apply it.

Start with why.  Aim for the bulls eye.  If you hit anywhere in the outer two circles you're still on target and making progress.  If you're practicing combat accuracy shooting, hits in the two outer circles are likely gonna get the job done.  However, when you have a dilemma of what to do next or how to determine your priorities what is your process to make good decisions?  Aim for the bullseye.

Notice that I said 'good' decisions and not the best decisions.  Making the best decisions can be done but don't feel bad when you don't always make them.  Aiming for the 'Why' will help you to make the best decisions, but if not, if you follow this model, then you'll still make a good decision.

Start with why.  Why do you prep?  Use this question to help you to determine the How and the What.  When you start with why you can then create focus to narrow the concentration of your time and resources to the How.  This will then help you to determine What matters most, which then becomes your highest priority.

How do you prep?  Gain knowledge and skills.  Prepare your mind.  Prepare you home.  Prepare your family.  Learn, then teach.

What do you prep?  What is it that you need to be prepared?  The right answer is; a lot of 'stuff'.  It would be illogical to just go out and buy stuff before you know what you really need it for first.  How many times have you purchased something and then over time and with some research and learning you discover that what you bought is not at all what you needed?  This is exactly what I am talking about.  If before you make a decision you first determine what your purpose is, then increase your knowledge on that subject, give it some trial and error, some training, some practice.  You'll then be much more likely to make a good choice and what it is that you need in order to become prepared

Food is an easy one.  You already know why you need it.  Buy what you know that you already like and fill your cupboards with it.  The long term food storage can be more difficult to decide.  I've spent hours and days researching freeze dried food.  I've tried lots of it and thought a lot about why we might need some as part of our long term food storage.  What I have determined is that I prefer, over an extended period of time, to eat the basic staples like rice, bread, oats, beans, etc. than to eat fettuccine alfredo night after night.  But I have also determined that there is a need for meals that are tasty and quick and easy to prepare.  This allowed me to determine exactly how much of each we should have in our food storage.  The "Why" was easy, the "How" and the "What" were more difficult to determine.  I wasn't about to just pick a freeze dried food dealer and just buy a bunch of their brand without trying it and researching it.  We may very well have determined that our family didn't like the taste of much of their food.  Then we'd most likely be stuck with it.

Figure out the WHY, lean about the HOW and the WHAT will more easily fall into place.

The what is a tremendously huge undertaking.  When you have determined the why and the how first it makes it much easier to select the stuff you need to accomplish the how and why.

Some people that I have know have chosen not to include firearms and ammo as part of their preps or they have chosen to have very minimal of these tools.  To me this is insanity.  This is because my why is much different than theirs.  Perhaps it also has been influenced by the how; the time I have put into building my knowledge on the subject.  

I think many of us, including myself, first focus on the what.  What stuff do I need so that I can be prepared?  This is not a terrible way to start.

"I need food and water storage."  Why?  Because I don't want to needlessly suffer and die from hunger and thirst.

I need a way to defend myself and my supplies."  Why? Because I don't want to needlessly suffer and die.  Because I don't believe that anyone has the right to take away what I have worked hard to acquire.  Because I will not allow my God given rights and freedoms, or those of my family, to be trampled.  Those can be some powerful motivations to become prepared.

How will you store up food?  I''ll buy canned and freeze dried foods as well as wheat, rice and beans in bulk.  Why?  Because the power may go out and the food in my fridge and freezer will quickly spoil.  Because during an emergency I may not be able to get what I need at a store.

How will you defend yourself and your preps?  I'll buy a 12 gauge Remington 870 pump shotgun?  Why?  Because I have learned that shotguns are very effective defensive weapons and the Remington 870 is a dependable and respected for home defense, and I feel more competent with a shotgun than with a pistol.  These are just examples.

So, why are you reading this blog?  

Listen to our weekly live broadcast on AM 630 K-Talk in SLC, UT each Wednesday at 9AM MST.



Sunday, October 2, 2016

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 52, 09 28 16 Fall and Winter Prep

Our third of three episodes in which we discuss fall and winter preparations, including how to stay warm in the winter during a power outage.

We have also reached our one year mark with our 52nd live broadcast of Prepper Talk Radio.  We hope you're listening in.

Are you storing fuels for both cooking and heating in an emergency?  

You can listen to Prepper Talk Radio on www.ktalkmedia.com or download the K-Talk Radio app and listen on your mobile device.

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 51, 09 21 16 - Fall Garden Prep with Beuna To...

Beuna Tomalino of www.gardeninspire.com joins us again as our guest on Prepper Talk Radio this episode.  She teaches us about what we should be doing in fall in order to prepared our gardens for winter and the coming spring. 

Beuna has some excellent books about wild edible plants as well as herbs and edible landscapes.  She also teaches classes.

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 50, 08 14 16 Fall Preparedness

Part one of three episodes which we talk about fall and winter preparedness.

What do you carry in your vehicle in case you become stranded and stuck in the snow that will help you to survive cold night?  Do you carry additional clothes, blankets, boots, snowshoes?  How will you signal that you are in need of help?  How will you obtain water to drink when it's frozen?

These are some things to think of and plan for, especially in winter and especially if you are traveling to a remote area.

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 49, 09 07 16 First Aid with Survival Medical

Who better to talk first aid with than with Jon Roberts of Survival Medical.  Check out their products at survival-medical.com.  The only first aid kits tougher than nature.  Up to 20 year shelf life!

All Survival Medical first aid kits are packaged in mylar bags and are made up of hospital grade supplies.  Not only is Survival Medical one of our sponsors of Prepper Talk Radio and PrepperCon but we are totally in love with their products and buy and use them ourselves.  

The ALPHA BUCKET  is our “kitchen sink” preparedness kit. It is the goal of Survival Medical to provide your family with the highest quality medical supplies possible for your family’s preparedness plan at the lowest price possible. This is the product we set out to make so that it would last and be viable when you need it, and be affordable for your family. If you’ll consider the amount and quality of materials in this kit you’ll see the bargain that it is.

he SURVIVAL MEDICAL BIRTH BUCKET is designed for birthing, when getting to the hospital is not an option. This kit comes in a mylar lined 5 gallon pail with a Gamma Seal lid. The pail liner is sealed, but also has a zipper end for repeated entry while still prolonging shelf life. This is a preparedness product and as such is designed with emergency and grid down situations in mind. If you haven't thought about it before, think about it now… when the grid goes down, the birth rate will go up.

Voyageur Kit
The Voyageurs of old traveled by canoe to the remote backcountry hacking their life out of the vast wilderness. The Voyageurs of today seek the outskirts by land and water because their heart pushes them there. This medical kit is designed for the first aid situations these trailblazers and adventurers might encounter. Our packaging system will keep out the elements in even the harshest conditions ensuring that the high quality contents will be ready when you need them. Journey safe, journey smart with Survival Medical.

There are many other kits available.  You can get them at survival-medical.com as well as other retailers and re-sellers.

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 48, 08 31 16 Survival and Prepping Mindset with Jeff Kirkham

Do you have the mindset to survive an emergency?  Is your mind and are your efforts focused on prepping and getting ready for a disastrous situation?  Do you feel the intense need to stock up on food and other supplies?

For many people that I talk to they are feeling these exact things.  So, what are you doing about it?  In addition to getting the stuff you'll need for an emergency is your mind in the right place?

www.preppercon.com  is coming up again this next April 21st - 22nd, 2017 at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, UT.

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 47, 08 24 16 Discussions on First Aid with Jeff Kirkham of ReadyMan

First aid an essential survival skill and it requires proper education and practice.

We get our first aid kits from survival-medical.com

The only first aid kits tougher than nature!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 46, 08 17 16 Seven Habit of Hightly Effective Preppers

The Seven habits of Highly Effective... Preppers.  Because preppers are people too.

Yes, I realize that this has been done before... but not by me.  Besides my opinion is different than that of those other guys.  Stick with me.

#1.  Organization.  Is not just daily or weekly but requires continual effort.  Organization applies to rotating your food storage and other provisions.  Ensuring that your supplies are adequate, accessible and that you aren't missing critical elements.  Do you have plans to bug-out?  What's your plan B? Plan C?  An effective prepper is continually learning, organizing and making adjustments to his plans and supplies.

An emergency situation such as a natural will be chaotic.  Bring some order to that chaos through being organized, not just prepared.

#2.  Continually Practices Skills & Gains Knowledge.  The key to warding off fear and anxiety during an emergency situation is not only to have the gear and supplies you need but also the knowledge that will give you the confidence to remain cool, calm and collected.

#3.  Concentrates on Personal Health and Fitness.  You should be working on this every day, along with every other item on this list.  If you're like me you'll not only want to take care of your immediate family but also your extended family, friends and neighbors.  This can lead to very long and exhausting days as well as the high risk of injury.  Personal fitness should include activities that build and/or maintain muscle, cardio and endurance.  Find the activities that you can and will do everyday that work best for you.  As for me, my daily routine includes push ups, pull ups and time spent on the Total Gym.  Weekends, and whenever my work schedule allows, I add a hike or other activity that gets me moving.  I mow the lawn, pushing the mower rather than using the drive feature.  I stand rather than sit. In general I avoid being idle and stay active throughout the day.  

#4.  Uses resources efficiently.  When you take a shower do you have the water turned on full bore or do you turn it down to just the amount that you need?  Do you re-use mostly drained batteries in low drain devices until you've used every volt or do you just throw them away?  Are you a saver?  Do you not feel any guilt when something you spent money on gets wasted and thrown away?  Boy, I sure do!  I am not a hoarder by any means.  However, I do consider what items may have future use or value before getting rid of them.  I realize that I do not have the space to keep everything that I may be able to use in the future so I have to balance future value with current storage space.

#5.  Teaches others.  When you have been warned it is your duty to warn your brother.  Yes, you are your brothers keeper.  To be a diligent prepper you must also spread your knowledge and teach your family and friends, and anyone else who asks.  We do this for more than just a few reasons.  As we teach others and help our neighbors to become more self sufficient and prepared this decreases the burden on our community should there be an emergency.  As we teach others we become more proficient in that which we are teaching.

#6.  Keeps Quiet.  While it may seem that the previous habit negates this one, that is not the case.  We've all had the conversation when we mention a little something about prepping with a new neighbor or even a family member.  We make a statement or state a fact to illicit a response to better determine their receptiveness to our "message".  Depending upon that response, or lack thereof, we then determine how to proceed in teaching.  However, we need not reveal the critical details of our preps but rather talk in generalities.  If asked directly "How much food storage do you have?" by a neighbor who you have not yet come to know well, or one you know well and know that they don't have squat for their own food storage, should indicate to you what you should and shouldn't say.  In general, nobody needs to know exactly what you have.  Do you have food storage, guns and ammo?  Yes.  Do they need to know the extent of your preps?  Absolutely not.  You can certainly help them to become more prepared without divulging critical information.  Not telling them too much will let them know that you take this seriously and that they should too.  Is it OK to lie in this situation?  "You know, we don't have much yet, but we're diligently working on it."  This could be the truth or an outright lie.  It's up to you how to respond.  As for me; I'm keeping quiet.

#7.  Is Diligently Observant.  What is your perception of our society today as compared to a decade ago?  Are the differences strikingly obvious or just mildly?  Are you taking steps to combat these changes and prepare for their effects?        

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Prepper Talk Radio Episode 45, 08 10 16 Overlooked Prepper Skills

The list of important daily skills that we regularly overlook is long and detailed.  At least my list is.  On this weeks show we only have the time to talk about a few of the more critical ones.  Besides the obvious, what skill are you neglecting to practice and learn more about when it come to becoming self-sufficient?  You certainly don't want to count on luck to see you through.

While searching for a pic online to go with this post I came across this quote.  A persistent, consistent and concentrated effort will provide for us what we most desire.

Do you know how to find water when it is scarce?  Are you able to care for a wound so that it does not get infected?  Are you handy?  When something around the house is broken can you fix it, or do you have the desire and ability to quickly learn how?  Do you take your cars to the shop when something needs to be fixed or do you first try and attempt the repair yourself?  Do you know how to find good tinder even when it has been rainy and wet?  Are you comfortable and skilled in deescalating a dangerous situation?  How are your problem solving skills?  Have you taken a First Responder course and can provide life saving first aid?  How do you treat someone who is in shock?  

Like I said, the list can go on and on.  Think about what your fears are, where your knowledge is lacking and do a little something each day to improve.  

Listen live at: http://ktalkmedia.com/  or AM 630 in SLC, UT. at 9AM MST.

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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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