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

Friday, February 26, 2016

PrepperCon Radio Episode 21, 02 24 16 With Ms. America Julie Harman and ...

Redemption!  One of our first episodes was a disaster as Julie Harman was supposed to be our guest but she had car troubles and was unable to make it.  A disaster because we were did not have a backup plan.  Yes, you may say that "The Prepared Guy" was unprepared.  Never again!

Ms. America Julie Harman joined us today to talk about her '5 Points of Preparedness'.  She has been working on these for years and finally is sharing them with us.    http://www.thepowerofliberty.com/

Doomsday Prepper Season 1 Becky Brown (once a doomsday prepper always a doomsday prepper) was also our guest to talk about he business www.grabandgoindustries.com  Organic, Non-GMO freeze dried and dehydrated foods.

I have been eating these meals daily and will review them shortly in an upcoming blog post. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

J5 Tactical Lighting

If you follow this blog, or me on Facebook, you'll know that I am a flashlight fiend.  I have spent $100's on a single flashlight and have many different brands, sizes and versions.  I'm not one to compromise quality when it comes to something as important to me as an EDC flashlight but I do have both expensive and inexpensive lights.

Contrary to what I may, or may not, have believed previously, there just may be an important place for a low cost, high value EDC flashlight.  I know!  You can't believe that actually left my fingertips.

Let me be completely honest; J5 Tactical flashlights are budget flashlights.  But, the right question is; at what price point does my definition of quality and value meet?

I spent $60 on my EDC light.  It is a small, rechargeable (CR123R), 200 lumen wonder with four light levels plus strobe, a robust pocket/cap clip, magnetic/rechargeable base and low battery indicator.  As my learning and experience have expanded I have changed EDC lights.  I may very well switch yet again in the future as my needs and requirements change.  This light lives clipped to the inside of my pocket alongside my pocket knife.  For the features and perceived quality I feel that this light is worth the expense.

I have both the V2 and V1 Pro in my possession for this review.  Although the V1 is a AA battery light it is considerably larger than my EDC light.  So, I would not consider it for my EDC light as it is too large for my pocket.  But that is not what it was designed to be.  At 300 lumens it is one of the brightest single AA battery lights available.  The V2 is rated at up to 750+ lumens which is blindingly bright!

Both of these lights are designed to be striking tools and have incorporated ridged edges on both the bezel and the tail cap whereas my small pocket EDC light is not.  As a striking tool it has to be large enough to be effective.  The V1 Pro is what I would consider to be the minimal size of an effective striking tool for my hand size.  The larger size of both of these flashlights also allows the design to incorporate a heat sink around the bulb and electronics to dissipate the heat generated because of the high lumens.  Heat shortens the life of electronics.  The heat sink also provides for a positive grip on the light.

The V2 is made for the rechargeable 18650 battery.  This battery looks like an over sized AA and is rated at up to 2600 mAh which it approximately twice that of a typical rechargeable AA battery.  This much power is required to achieve the higher lumen output.  It also has multiple settings including High, Medium, Low, Strobe and SOS.

Both of these lights can be focused from an ultra wide beam to a tight spot beam for the most distance.  This feature is not very common on many lights and makes them more versatile than other non focusing flashlights.

Is there a place in my arsenal of lights for the J5 Tactical lineup?  With the price of the V2, including the rechargeable battery and charger at under $40 I'd say so!  While J5 does not currently offer a light that works for me as an EDC pocket carry light the V2 is an excellent option for an EDC bag.  The small size high lumen V2 has a spot reserved for it among my other EDC gear,

While 750 lumens is more than you'll need for most indoor situations the lower setting and long battery life make the V2 a versatile all around tool for use indoors as well as for outdoor activities.

Visit www.j5tactical.com for more information on the specifications of each light.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

PrepperCon Radio Episode 20, 2 17 16 Bugging out. - Utah Safe Haven

This week we decided to talk about bugging out and as usual barely had time to touch upon the subject.  Check out my previous blog post http://www.preparedguy.com/2014/07/when-in-doubt-bug-out.html for more of my advice.

The first thing about buggin' out is to determine well ahead of time where you are going.  Make plans, identify resources and get to know that community. 

Our friend Skip of Utah Safe Haven provides properties specifically for this purpose.  You can come to PrepperCon April 15 - 16th and meet them, visit their web site and give them a call to find out what they have to offer.  Utah is a great place to bug out to.    

Monday, February 15, 2016

Survival Wisduhm #27 - EDC Pocket knife

Two is one and one is none but one is better than none.  These sayings are particularly relevant when it comes to being prepared.  So, which is it?  Yes.  Answer this one for yourselves.

I occasionally am asked the question "Why do you carry a knife?", with a puzzled look and a condescending tone,  Now this is a question I can answer.  The first thing I want to say is " Really?  Is this a serious question?"  But I don't.

For those of us who truly desire to be self sufficient and a resource to our friends, family and neighbors the answer is blatantly obvious.  Carrying a pocket knife with you everyday is just a small part of being prepared, but it's a very important part.

Back to the question... Why?  I don't know that I could adequately clarify all of the reasons without making this blog post much too long, but I'll list a few.  There are of course the basic answers like opening boxes and packages.  Then there's the motivation of self defense.  Being someone who desires to be always and all ways prepared a knife is a basic essential component.  But the situation that I use as a basis for the EDC knife that I carry goes back to a story that I heard from 9/11.

There were several people trapped in an elevator on one of the high floors of the towers.  The power had gone out and they were stuck.  One individual in the elevator had some drywall tools including a trowel.  They were able to pry open the elevator doors and use the trowel to cut through several layers of drywall and escape.  As the story was told; I understand that they were barely able to escape the building in time just before it collapsed.

A tool that is not worthy of this kind of task is one that I'm not willing to carry with me every day.      
I have a few other requirements that an EDC knife must meet as well.  It must be made of a quality steel (440c is not good enough by the way) and quality construction.  But NO it doesn't have to be Elmax or even S35VN steel.  It must fit my hand well and be a design that I like.  It must have a clip or drop point and I must be able to open and close it with one hand.  It must have a pocket clip that allows it to ride deep in my pocket, tip up.  If's it lightweight that's a plus.  A 3 inch blade for an EDC knife to me is ideal.  If you live in a state that only allows a blade as long as a 2-1/4 inches, move somewhere else that doesn't restrict your God given rights and freedoms so much.  Not even joking.

The knife that I carry with me everyday, and the majority of my knives I got at www.BladeHQ.com. In most cases I have found that they have both the best prices and best selection, and are one of the top knife retailers on the internet.  They are one of the fastest growing companies in Utah and have been on the Inc. 5000 list many times.  Best of all, for me, they are in my own backyard.  Their product photos are excellent and they have all the info you'll need to make an informed purchase.

My EDC knife is still the Spyderco Manix 2 in transulcent blue.  I have talked about this knife before in other blog posts.  This is such a cool knife!  It meets all of my criteria above.  Plus, the detailed jimping on the choil and spine and the lanyard hole are icing on the cake.  And Yes, I have used it to cut through two layers of drywall to escape a stuck elevator.  J/K.

I just got this knife combo from www.bladehq.com.  The Emerson/Kershaw Tactical Kit.   CQC-4K and tactical pen.

This is my first Kershaw knife.  I have heard lots of good things about Kershaw and now I finally own one.  Yay!  As you can see, this is a frame lock knife.  This frame lock works in a similar manner as a lock liner (which I am not a fan of) but is nicer and easier to use.  The CQC-4K can be opened easily by one hand with either the thumb disc or wave opener.  Incorporating the thumb disk into the design of the knife to deploy the blade keeps this knife nice and slim.   That little hook looking thingie on the spine of the knife will deploy the blade when pulled from a pocket if you do it just right.  That's the 'wave' opener.    

The CQC has a very positive grip and is quite comfortable to hold on to.  The wave opener makes for the ideal place to place your thumb.  Notice how the curve of the handle near the blade acts as both a finger grove and a guard for the index finger

The steel is good (8Cr14MoV), probably about the lowest quality I would personally recommend for an EDC knife.  The lockup of the blade and the feel of the knife is SOLID!

The very few negative comments that I could make about this knife are that, compared to the Manix 2, it's a bit heavy.  4.1 oz compared to 3 oz.  Not a huge deal.  The CQC is also a 3" blade like the Manix 2 but it is slimmer.  Some of you may feel this is a good thing.  My take on this is that it feels a little small in my hand, again, compared the Manix 2, which makes it a little awkward to open with one hand using the thumb disk.  I also prefer the slightly longer handle of the Manix 2.

Overall, for the low cost of $29.95 for both the CQC-4K and the tactical pen I would say that this Kershaw knife is an excellent option for an every day carry knife particularly if you are price sensitive. 


So, whether you decide to spend $100 or $30 on an EDC knife consider that a knife in your pocket is worth two..... not in your pocket. Or more.

P.S. - BladeHQ also has the best EDC flashlights too.

Friday, February 12, 2016

PrepperCon Radio Episode 18, 2 03 16 Prepare: Edible landscapes and sq. ft. gardening with Beuna Tomalino

Our guest for this week with Beuna Tomalino of www.gardeninspire.com.  Unfortunately there was a problem with recording this week so this radio broadcast is not available.  I also forgot to bring the video camera as well so we are completely out of luck.  My bad.

However. to learn more you can visit Beuna Tomalino's web site www.gardeninspire.com   She teaches classes regularly along the Wasatch Front and is also available for individual coaching.

Beuna is a garden coach and author of several books about gardening and herbs.

 I have this one for myself.  It has quality color photos to help identify band find the plant.  It also describes where the plant grows, how to identify it, a history of the plant, native american and other suggested uses and how and what parts of the plants to use.  Good stuff!

Gardening and being able to identify wild edible plants where you live and where you plan on bugging out is an extremely important aspect of prepping.  Most herbs, whether wild or grown in your garden not only flavor your food but also have medicinal uses.

I continue to build my resource library by adding important books like these.  I hope that you are too.

PrepperCon Radio Episode 19, 2 10 16 Protect: Non-traditional and improvised weapons.

We had fun with the topic today... and several callers with great comments.  There are almost  unlimited ways to improvise weapons for self defense or the zombie apocalypse other than guns.  This was our topic for the day.   Our objective was to open the minds of our listeners to consider the possibilities.  No matter where ever we may be at the moment an improvised self defense weapon is likely to be close at hand.  

This one is particularly mean looking but many improvised weapons are not as apparent.  Consider the following list.

1.  Hammer/pry-bar.  My favorite: a demolition hammer/tool.   More people are killed with hammers than with rifles.  
2.  Tomahawk.  There are many different versions.
3.  "Rambo" Knife.  Or Crocodile Dundee type knife.
4.  Re-curve Bow (and arrows)
5.  Bows improvised from PVC, skis, and other methods.
6.  Mace / Flail.  There are many ways to improvise a version of this weapon.
7.  Machete
8.  Kukuri
9.  Sling Shot
10. Broom Stick / Cane
11.  Fire Extinguisher
12.  Toilet tank lid.
13.  Monkey fist.
14.  Belt
15.  Tactical Pen / Flashlight
16.  Wasp / bear / hair spray
17.  Golf club
18.  Ice Axe
19.  Frying pan / rolling pin
20.  Hedge trimmer / various yard tools
21.  Collapsible baton
22.  Lamp / Lamp cord
23.  Brass knuckles

Look around the room you are in right now and become aware of what you could quickly grab to use as a striking weapon or something that could shield you in case of attack.  

Listen to the archived broadcast on K-Talk Media here:  http://radiorecast.com/ktalk/archive/PrepperCon%20Radio/2016%200210%20NonConventional%20self%20defense%20weapons.mp3

Download the K-Talk radio app and listen virtually anywhere.



Sunday, February 7, 2016

It's TEOTWAWKI and I feel fine.

I'm actually amazed that I have not seen this play on words yet.  Maybe I just don't get around enough.

What image does this phrase create in your mind?  One of complete destruction or does it bring thoughts of a community coming closer together?  Likely this depends upon where you live, your level of preparedness and state of mind.

I don't know if many others, beyond myself and other preppers, could or would agree.  For me this statement would be true if and when we get to that state.  At least that is my hope and goal for which I am preparing.  We'll see when it actually comes to pass.  For those of you who don't know what TEOTWAWKI is, it is not a native american word but rather an acronym for The End Of The World As We Know It.

The end of the world as we know it refers to a condition such as SHTF (S#!T Hits The Fan), social and economic collapse, the "Apocalypse", the last days or simply the 'end of the world'.  A time when everything we know and understand will be turned upside down, put in a blender on liquefy, and chaos will be the new norm.    

This is when the scriptural reference "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear." truly comes into full effect both spiritually and physically.

For those of you who are watching, TEOTWAWKI is quickly becoming more and more inevitable.  Which is fine with me.  Throughout all of time civilizations have gone through rapid changes.  Why would we expect anything to be different now?  If we see it coming and are preparing for it then we should be able to cope with the change.  I say; Bring it!

Here are 5 tips on how you can prepare to survive and adapt to a life changing event:

1.  Change first.  If you've already changed your lifestyle to the extent possible that will accommodate living without the comforts and conveniences of modern technology then you can meet the challenge head on.  This change must also include a change of your state of mind.  You can prepare now by learning about how our ancestors lived with the technology of their day.  Learn the skills and obtain the tools you'll need.  Simply learning and practicing to live more simply will prepare both your mind and body.  

2.  Build a library of good books.  Don't rely on always being able to Google everything.  Find a good old set of the Encyclopedia Britannica at a local yard sale or classifieds.  Get you favorite books in hardback including old school books of history, math, science, etc.  Don't forget "How-to" books on gardening, carpentry, and other skills.

3.  Plant a garden.  It can take years to become proficient at gardening; growing enough for a family to eat everyday as well as to store away for the winter.

4.  Become self -sufficient.  Becoming self-sufficient doesn't mean that you have to grow or hunt every bit of food you need but rather start now to make the connections and relationships with others that have other skills and resources and establish a method of bartering with them for the supplies and services you'll need.

5.  Learn a trade.  Just as has been done for thousands of years, learn a trade such as woodworking, construction, sewing, farming or one of a hundred other trades and you'll be valuable in the community.  Acquire the tools and skills you'll need for your chosen trade and you will be valuable in your community and can barter with your skills.

Of course there are many other tips I could add but these five are a great place to start.  Most importantly, realize that things change, sometimes dramatically, and that doesn't have to be a bad thing.    

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Survival Wisduhm #1. Lifespan of a lightstick?

Chemical light sticks can be an important part of your emergency preparations.  Low cost, no batteries to wear out, change or leak and are basically ready on demand.  They are, however, only a one time use so I have never found much use for them as I usually have a flashlight on hand.  This is also why I was able to find a light stick that had been expired for over 13 years in my stash of supplies.

Consider though, if you are only in need of a low level of light and don't want to waste your only set of flashlight batteries, or if there's a deep dark pit that for some reason you need to check the depth of, consider using a light stick instead of a flashlight.      

Another practical use for light sticks is for children.  If my kids are given a flashlight the batteries will likely be quickly wasted as they will leave it on and forget about it.  Also, the soft glow of a colored light stick can make a power outage or other emergency less scary to them if they have their own to play with.  

Although this 13 year old light stick in the video lit up brightly at first after a few hours it quickly became very dim.

Holster, holsters, holsters!

WHY do I have SO many holsters!?  The answer: Because, when I bought them I really didn't know what I was doing.  You may also have the same experience.

Many of you, I am sure, have tried lots of different kinds of holsters like I have.   Inside the waist band (IWB), outside the waste band (OWB), tuckable, leather, kydex, sticky, one size fits many, pocket, shoulder, appendix carry, small of the back, ankle, etc., etc.   There are SO many different options that it can be difficult to choose.

Those of us who carry often, if not everyday, and have different handguns, have at least two or possibly more different kinds of holsters for each pistol.  I would bet that many of those holsters never get used anymore, or maybe never got used much at all.  Why?  Because you probably didn't know what kind or type of holster you really needed or exactly how you were going to carry.  That's OK, because like everything else, it takes trial and error to gain knowledge.

Allow me to help you shorten your learning curve a bit with a few tips from a guy who has already been through the process.

Tip #1.  Stay away from "one size fits many" holsters.  Yes, they are cheap, and you get what you pay for.  Proper handgun safety is not just about how to properly handle a handgun but also how to properly carry and store it too.  Soft holsters, like many of the one size, do not provide the trigger with the best possible protection and do not typically hold the handgun firmly and securely.

Tip #2.  Choose a holster that was made specifically for your model of handgun.  This will ensure that the trigger is adequately protected and that it stays in it's holster until you choose to remove it. These are usually molded to an exact fit.

Tip #3.  Use a quality leather. or other stiff belt that is at least 1"wide. There are many concealed carry systems that do not use a typical belt but have their own belt or other way to bind it close to your body.   So far, I haven't found anything that I like in this arena.  If you are a woman and do not wear a belt, one of those other methods may work for you.  I am focusing this blog post on typical holsters meant to be worn on a belt because I do not know of any better way that allows you to both comfortably carry the weight of the pistol as well as access it as quickly.  Carry it on a sturdy belt at your waist.  Your ankle is much too far away to reach for your pistol and be discrete or quick about it.  This may be a great place to carry a back up gun such as a lightweight compact revolver.  Anything heavier will just become annoying.

Tip #4.  Bring more gun to the fight.  The right belt and holster will allow you to more comfortably carry a full size or compact handgun.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a fan of pocket pistols as your EDC gun.  I will concede that unless you have NO other option to carry it is better to have something than nothing.  You will be much better off to adjust the way you dress to the kind of weapon you carry than the other way around.  You should have your gun ON you at all times.  Having your handgun in a bag or otherwise away from and off your person can spell trouble when it's critical.  

Tip #5.  Don't cheap out.  Next to your choice of handgun your holster selection is the most critical for every reason I listed above.

Tip #6.  Comfort is paramount!  If your holster is not comfortable you probably will not want to wear it all the time.  Mine goes on after the shower and before my shoes and stays on me until I put my jammies on and tuck myself into bed.  The less often you carry your handgun the more often you are vulnerable.

I have narrowed my choice of brands down to just a few.  Sure, Galco are nice.  They make a quality product for a decent price.  I've own plenty.  Blackhawk too are very good.  There are lots of others that make quality products as well.

The company I want to highlight today is Stealth Gear USA.  As I write I am wearing the brand new Flex OWB holster.  I feel pretty special that I have one before it is even available on the web site yet.  This holster is so light, slim and high riding all I need is a t-shirt to conceal it.  Ok, it does print a little more than an IWB holster would but honestly, I don't care.  I perceive a little higher level of comfort initially having it outside of my pants, at least compared to my Galco King Tuck IWB holster which I had worn for several years, but a much higher level of comfort over the length of a full day.  Because of how high it rides, and how flexible it is, I can easily wear it all the way around from appendix carry in the front to 4:30 - 5 o'clock in the back.

The quality is superb and second to none, and they are made right here in the good ole US of A.  Besides the excellent quality, the feature that really stands out to me is how high it rides on my belt.  This is a good thing and in no way restricts movement.  When I reach for the pistol nothing is in the way because of it's height above my belt.  With a slight bend at my torso as I lower my center of gravity and prepare to move, which I have incorporated into my drawing stroke, I am able to get a perfect positive grip on my weapon the first time, everytime.  The right words I believe to describe the feelings I get are; intuitive and natural.  Love it!  No, really!

Another unique feature that caught my attention on this Stealth Gear USA Flex OWB holster is the Kydex at the muzzle of the pistol is wrapped under protecting the edge of the barrel.  I assume that this is meant to further eliminate the possibility of the pistol being pushed up and out of it's secure place in the holster from whatever I may lean against.  I like that little extra added measure of safety.    

I will have my hands on the Onyx IWB very soon and will give you my thoughts on that one as well, but for now I am more than happy (almost nearly ecstatic) with the Flex OWB by Stealth Gear USA.  I am truly loving this OWB Flex holster and will be wearing it as my EDC go to holster for the foreseeable future.

Watch the PrepperConTV YouTube channel for my video review coming soon.

But seriously, check out www.stealthgearusa,com.


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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