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Are you Prepared?

Prepping This Item Before Winter Comes Could Save Your Life April 10, 2017

ReadyNutrition Readers, one of the things that always amazes me is the way people always wait until autumn sets in to begin cutting and storing up a supply of firewood.  I wanted to tell you guys and gals the way I do things here, and perhaps (quantity and geographic variances aside) you can see my overall intent.  As you well know, I live in Montana where it is usually bitterly cold with snow on the ground for anywhere from 7 to 9 months of the year.  I’m aware this is not the case in most of the U.S., however, there are some good reasons for laying in a firewood supply right now.

A year supply of wood for $20

Firstly, one of the really good things we have here in Montana is that the U.S. Forestry Service allows residents to pick up a permit (every April) to cut fallen dead and standing dead timber.  The permit runs $20 for four cords, and you can pay $60 and take up to twelve cords.  That’s a heck of a lot of wood, and dirt-cheap!  I’m not sure what it is in other states, however, I am certain that many of them have the same policy.

On this note, I’d love to hear from you and find out what the policy is in your home state: prices and amounts, and such.

The only regulations governing it are you must have a serviceable and up-to-date/inspected fire extinguisher with you if you use a chain saw.  In addition, there are certain times (and the USFS posts it) when the fire danger is high or greater.  In these periods, it is not permitted to run a chainsaw and harvest that dead timber.

But now is a great time for it!  All of the undergrowth has not yet emerged from its winter hibernation, so it is relatively clear to work.  I have much of it that I take where it is not permissible to take a vehicle and load up in the forest itself.  My way around that is to cut my wood, stack it up, and haul it out with a garden cart.  Sears make a pretty sturdy one that holds about 600 lbs, and it’ll run you just under $100 dollars.  It has some thick, tough-treaded wheels that can easily run the trails, and not have too much of a problem going over even fields.

The reason for the wood gathering is twofold.  Firstly (from a “normal” thought perspective) you’re laying in your supply for next winter.  The early bird gets the worm.  You’ll be able to pick up the best wood for yourself when most others are not even thinking about anything except their weekend trip to the beach.  Secondly (and also very important) from a prepper’s perspective, is the “What If?” reason.

What if that EMP attack comes from North Korea or China?  What if the economy collapses?  What should happen if there is civil war, or a war/invasion here in the U.S.?  Yes, your home will be warm already, but what about cooking?  What about hot water for laundry or personal hygiene.  How about some light when there’s no electricity?  And what about sterilizing instruments, boiling bandages, and running a home/field dispensary?

All of these, I hope you realize are good reasons to prepare and plan now, so that when the tough times arrive, it is not so great a hurt to deal with.  You have seen the news reports, and we’re just a step away from either a war or an EMP attack.  As with Aesop’s fable “The Grasshopper and the Ant,” although we in the survival community are hardly grasshoppers, if we’re ants it is best to be wise ants…covering all of the bases before the ball is hit to center field.

Now is the time to set up your wood-fueled “kitchen,” by investing in a good wood stove for heat and for cooking.  The wood stove also cuts down on the light signature at night…much better than a fireplace.  Along with the stove, start investing in cast iron cookware and utensils for cooking that can withstand rougher treatment than your standard dinner fare.

How much wood do you need?

If you have not done so already, now is a good time to estimate how much wood you will go through in the wintertime, and then estimate how much you would need to have a fire/woodstove burning 24 hours a day.  Typically, a cord of wood is 4 feet wide x 4 feet high x 8 feet long stacked and adds up to 128 cubic feet. As well, the cords may consist of whole logs or split logs. Here is some great information on how to estimate cords of wood from a standing tree. In the summertime it is significantly less, but take your winter consumption and double it, just to be on the safe side.

Invest in a good chain saw, with at least 5 extra chains, and plenty of rattail files to sharpen them when you need to.  Also in that equation, you’ll need a good bench vise to help you to sharpen them.  Stock up on oil and fuel for the saws.  Back all of it up with several good axes, and as many bow saws as you can find.  Remember: if you run out of fuel, you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way.

So take some time to figure out your fuel needs to heat your home with wood and to fulfill the other functions I have just mentioned.  Now is the time to do it, and it can be a good team experience for the whole family.  Make sure you always pack a first aid kit in your excursions and thoroughly familiarize yourself with the operation of all your cutting and safety equipment.  Happy woodcutting!  We encourage your input and thoughts in these matters and hope to hear from you soon!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 10th, 2017
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Preppers – If You Aren’t Doing This Annually, You Won’t Be Disaster Ready March 17, 2017

Well, it may seem cliché to say that spring is right around the corner, as in most of the U.S. there’s still plenty of snow on the ground.  Winter still seems “deep” to some (especially Yours Truly, as I have almost 3’ of snow on the ground), and the cold weather has not broken.  Nevertheless, everyone out there in ReadyNutrition Land, the early bird gets the worm.  I’m referring to all your gear that you’ll be breaking out soon when the cold weather breaks.

Stay on top of your prepper gear 

Maintenance

Your gear can best be maintained according to a maintenance schedule and you can get a start on it now.  Some preppers do it twice a year when Daylight Savings Time hits. But it’s more than giving it a glance and it doesn’t just mean cleaning it.  It also means inspecting it for serviceability and function.  It means making sure that it’s well organized and that you can pick it up at a moment’s notice to “rock and roll” with it…be out the door and on the moor!  You can’t do that unless it’s ready.  Let’s discuss it, shall we?

How’s that rucksack?  If you’re the way I am, you absolutely hate anything that can detract from your load-carrying capabilities.  Inspect that rucksack!  Has it been sitting out in the garage or in the basement, on the cement floor?  I hope not.  Are your straps in order, and are there any signs of dry-rot, mildew, or water damage?  You need to find that out now, and even more:


Preppers – The time to find out about deficiencies was yesterday, and there should be a “zero defects” policy regarding them.


What does this mean?  If you’re serious about survival and prepping, and you really want to survive a disaster/SHTF scenario when it happens (notice I wrote “when” and not “if”), then you’ll be on top of this…all the time.  The conditions for the rucksack I mentioned should never occur.  They won’t occur if you follow a regular schedule of checking it and correcting anything that surfaces.  For the nylon on your rucksack you can use a shoeshine brush or a medium to stiff bristle brush to clean off any dirt and dust.  Maintain the straps in the same way.

Dirt or mud, clean it off…if it’s not easy with the brush, then take some warm water on a clean towel or rag and “damp scrub” it off.  The nylon of the straps and the pack clean up well, but you don’t want to leave it too damp.  Always place the rucksack off the floor.  Don’t allow it to contact the floor surface.  Inspect the connecting points of the ruck, and inspect every piece that snaps or buckles.  Everything should be clean and working.  Canteens should be emptied and dried to prevent funk from going inside of them, or (as JJ does) if you’re going to store water in them the water needs to be changed periodically (say every month) to keep the “grand Funk railroad” from slipping in.

Familiarization

This may seem an oxymoron, however, unless you have a photographic memory you’re going to have a hard time remembering how you packed your gear…what is where.  One way to solve this (as I mentioned in other articles) is to keep an inventory sheet of everything, listed on an actual diagram of your rucksack.  This enables you to look at the diagram of the ruck and see how it’s made…where the pouches are, etc. …and know exactly what is in it.  Guess what?  It won’t be enough, because when you change seasons (in this case, Winter to Spring) you should have a full layout of all of your equipment you will tote.

Why?  For accountability (know that everything you think you have you actually have), and for serviceability (to know it is all in working order).  Along with that rucksack is that jungle hammock, that one-man tent and all of its accoutrements, flashlights, radios (don’t open that tube and find leaking batteries!), and all of your other gear and gadgets.

If it all comes to a halt, you don’t have the time to do all of this…and it’s on you…nobody else.

Tents have those “friction rods.”  How would you like to find out when you’re in the middle of a torrential downpour and setting up the dome that the friction rods are “ganked,” or broken?  Or you want to open up that poncho and string the bungees at the corners and top…a temporary shelter…and find that the vinyl is all eaten up from some kind of acid or rot, and there’s a giant hole in it?


Ben Franklin: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


If you follow a regular schedule of inspection and maintenance, you won’t have a “can of snakes” spring open on you.  This seems overly simplistic, but it is the way of mankind to procrastinate…to move toward the path of least resistance.  It is the way of all of us…and what makes us win?  The ability to be able to fight that part of our natures and discipline ourselves…make ourselves do what it is that is right to do, although we don’t feel like doing it.  Your gear should be clean, serviceable, well-organized, and accounted for…in its place and you know exactly where it is.

I’ll fill you in on one of my techniques.  When I come across someone, I can assess them in an instant if they carry.  If I ask them to look at their weapon and it is rusted or dirty, or it has carbon on it, and is un-lubed?  Then I need know no more.  But if the bluing is worn-down where points of contact meet the holster…and it’s cleaned and oiled…and the holster appears a little worn, but clean and serviceable…I know that one “draws,” cleans the weapon…is one with it.  That individual I remember.

It’s a standard that I hold myself to every day.

In the 82nd Airborne, we had a saying (a mantra, if you prefer): “My weapon, my equipment, and me.”

Sound overly simplistic?  No, it’s ordered…I kept it with me in Special Forces…I keep it with me now.  My weapon’s continuity ensures that I can continue if under fire.  My equipment and gear enables me to live, to be sheltered, to carry food, medicine, and supplies.  These two taken care of, then I must take care of myself…eating, rest, and hygiene, along with physical conditioning.

See how much is in it when you take a really good look?  But I’m not trying to berate you, the Readers in any way.  I’m trying to give you of myself…in lessons paid for with time, experience, and much grief to learn them correctly.

Because iron sharpens iron, and in order to survive, you must be made of steel…you and your family.  Yes, President Trump is in, and we’re “riding the crest” of an upswing.  Remember: all is fleeting, and it can all change in the blink of an eye. Don’t blink for too long, or the moment will have passed.  You must prioritize.  Prep your equipment now, before the Spring hits, and follow a regular program of maintenance and inspection.  Be steel.  You can do it.  Fight that good fight, and fight it to win.  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 17th, 2017
Comments Off on Preppers – If You Aren’t Doing This Annually, You Won’t Be Disaster Ready

The Great Defender: You’ll Want This By Your Side When It Hits the Fan March 6, 2017

45 acp
[Editor’sNote: Simply put, things can to hell in a hand basket very quickly following a disaster. The widespread breakdown of the social order leads to looting in disaster prone areas which leads to the importance of being able to defend one’s home, family and their preps during a disaster breakdown. Because home defense is such an important consideration, it is important to familiarize yourself with the best firearms and ammunition choices out there. Jeremiah Johnson has been relentless in writing information on this subject and brings up another well informed article on this ammunition choice.]

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, over the past weeks, we have gone into great detail on firearms, caring and maintaining firearms, and why preppers should diversify their ammunition supplies. This week, we are focusing on the .45 ACP – a worthy cartridge with a long and unique history, and it is also worth your consideration with regard to home defense and survival, for a number of reasons we’ll outline here today.  So, without further adieu, let’s get started!

The History of the .45 ACP Cartridge

I want to discuss the .45 ACP cartridge.  This information is worthwhile and the cartridge itself has a great deal of history behind it.  In 1898 the Spanish-American War (characterized by Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders) came to a close, but the Philippine insurrection did not.  The Moros (Philippine islanders) were able to take a hit from the .38 handguns and the .30 Krag rifle the Army had in service…and keep coming.  They could not, however, “soak up” the .45 Long Colts and the 12-gauge buckshot used from personally-owned Colts and Winchesters.  Yes, back then, many could carry their own choice of weapons.

Two officers were crucial in determining the choice back in 1904.  At the behest of Brigadier General William Crozier (appointed Chief of Army Ordnance in 1901, a new position created by President Theodore Roosevelt), a board was formed comprised of two men.  Colonel John T. Thompson (Ordnance) and Colonel Louis A. LaGarde (Medical Corps) were tasked with finding the optimal sized cartridge for the U.S. Military.  LaGarde’s report contained the following summary:


“The Board was of the opinion that a bullet which will have the shock effect and stopping power at short ranges necessary for a military pistol or revolver should have a caliber not less than .45[caliber].”

                Shotgun News, November 1, 2011, p. 13; article:

                 “High Standard M1911A1,” by Peter G. Kokalis


There we have the first glimmerings of the beginnings of the .45 ACP, and I must mention the author of the article referenced, Peter G. Kokalis was the Senior Editor for Shotgun News with a lifetime of experience in shooting and reloading, as well as being a combat veteran.  Kokalis summarized the .45 ACP cartridge’s capabilities most eloquently.  In essence, he clears up a lot of misconceptions relating to kinetic energy of a round.  Most people equate high velocity with knockdown power.  For long-range shooting, this holds to be true in many cases.

Short-Range Combat

What we’re dealing with here is short-range combat…where you (the homeowner) are protecting your house and family from a break-in at close ranges.  In such ranges, you will need stopping power.  Here are some terms you need to keep in mind:

  1. Wound Track – the path of the bullet through the body, also referred to as the “permanent cavity.” Three factors influence this wound track:
  2. Yaw – the way the bullet tumbles through the body after impact
  3. Expansion – of the bullet itself, also referred to as “mushrooming”
  4. Fragmentation – the way the bullet disintegrates in the body after impact as it moves through the tissue
  5. Temporary cavitation – the path opened up as the bullet travels through the vital organs…a path that “rebounds,” or bounces back into original position, though not without damage to certain organs

Depth of penetration is the most important factor, as Kokalis outlines here, in this excerpted segment of his article:


“Most important of all, is the fact that penetration is without doubt the single most important parameter in the wound ballistics equation.  It has been determined that in law enforcement and self-defense scenarios, a minimum of 12 inches, and up to 18 inches of penetration will produce the most effective results – required to reach the body’s vital organs.  Once we’ve obtained the necessary penetration, the bullet that makes the biggest hole will do the most damage.

 As a result of the above, there is only one possible conclusion.  The .45 ACP cartridge is the most effective handgun round – among those commonly available – that you can use in a gunfight.  Even anecdotal evidence over the last 100 years has proven this to be so countless times.”


Kokalis went on to explain that a 230-grain JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) expands (on average) from .45 (that is .45 of an inch) to .65 with approximately 15.5 inches of penetration.  I must add his final words in the article, as they should drive the point home:


“This can be summarized in one sentence: use the largest caliber with the heaviest bullet, propelled at moderate velocity.  In other words, deploy with a handgun chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge.”


To clarify what he meant by “moderate velocity” is that other, faster bullets tend to go right through the target at close distances, whereas the .45 ACP (considered a low-velocity round at – on average – 930 feet per second) has both the penetration power and will “open up” for greater internal damage to the target.

To add my own words to Mr. Kokalis’, I have used other calibers, such as 9mm Luger, .38, and .45 Long Colt.  The .45 ACP is an excellent round that is also multipurpose when using different types of ammunition.  The +P rounds (in brands such as Buffalo Bore) turn your cartridge into a super-penetrator that can and will defeat body armor.  It is also a good round to protect against large and ferocious predators.  You can pick up the standard FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) rounds at 230 grains for under $40.00 for a box of 100 at your friendly Wal-Mart for target shooting.

A Frugal Ammunition Choice

They’re easy to reload, and economical: the .45 ACP will not bankrupt your savings while giving you that large caliber round with the stopping power you need.  As to the piece you wish to throw it out of, take your pick.  The 1911 is tried and true (in my humble opinion one of the finest handguns ever made), and has served our military nobly throughout its existence.  So, .45 ACP?  Try it, you’ll like it: the round will serve your needs well, and at a price you can afford.  Keep that powder dry and don’t store it with your primers!  JJ out!

 

 

Don’t forget to join us March 9th 7 p.m. (CST) for a FREE interactive webinar about solar cooking. Click here for more details!

MARCH9G

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 6th, 2017
Comments Off on The Great Defender: You’ll Want This By Your Side When It Hits the Fan