Thursday, 23 March 2017

09:44 – It was 28.5F (-2C) when I took Colin out around 0715 this morning, with a slight breeze. Barbara got all of her errands run yesterday. She has a haircut appointment at 1030 this morning and will make a Costco run on her way home. She should be back by mid-afternoon.

Email the other day from another newbie prepper. I’ll call her Tiffany, but this time that really is her name. She and her husband are both in their early thirties. Both have decent jobs with reasonable job security. They have no children, and aren’t planning to have any. They live in a rural-ish area about 25 miles from the nearest town, which is about 30,000 population. She’s been reading my blog regularly for the last two or three years. They’ve been kind-of prepping for the last couple of years, but Tiffany calls their efforts hit-or-miss. When they think about it, they pick up an extra dozen cans of this or that at the Super Walmart, but she says they have only maybe a three-week supply of food. She wanted to know if I could send her a list to work from. She’d like to start by getting ready for a 3-month emergency.

They already have a good start on a lot of stuff. They have a woodstove upstairs that they could cook on if need be, as well as a fireplace with a woodburning insert downstairs. Their normal water supply is gravity-fed from a springhouse, with a 12V pump to pressurize their tank. That ordinarily runs from house current, but could easily be changed over to 12V battery power. Even without the pump, the gravity feed produces enough water pressure to provide water at the faucets and toilets. They have a decent first-aid kit. Her husband hunts and both of them shoot clays, so they have two shotguns as well as a bolt-action rifle and have accumulated a reasonable amount of ammunition suitable for self-defense. They have three dogs, which Tiffany says let them know any time anyone approaches the property. They have battery-operated LED lanterns and FLASHLIGHTS as well as several old oil lamps, with a good supply of batteries and lamp oil. The only thing she thinks they’re really short on is food.

So she asked me to assume that I was starting with no food and wanted to buy enough quickly to last two people for three months. What, specifically, would I buy? She says they’ll eventually expand that to six months and probably a year, but for now she just wants to make a serious start. So I replied as follows:

Hi, Tiffany

All of what I write below assumes that you’re feeding only two people for three months. I don’t know how big your dogs are, but I’d also store the same foods for them and in the same quantities you’d store for a person of equal weight. For example, if your three dogs weigh 50 pounds each, that’s the equivalent of one 150-pound adult.

Incidentally, the quantities listed below are going to sound huge, but they’re actually just adequate. Don’t forget, you want this food to hold you without outside resupply. You won’t be able to make your weekly supermarket run, nor will you be eating out, ordering takeout, and so on.

The main consideration is calories. Figure on at least 2,200 to 2,400 calories/day for yourself and 2,800 to 3,000 calories per day for your husband plus whatever you need for your dogs. Carbohydrates provide about 1,700 calories per dry pound, as do proteins (meat, beans, etc.). Oils and fats provide about 3,800 calories per pound. You need an adequate mix of all three for good nutrition. In addition to raw calories, all of the carbohydrates except sugars also contain significant amounts of protein—typically 10% to 15% by weight—but grain proteins are not “complete”. Supplementing grain proteins with meat and/or bean protein makes it complete.

I’d recommend that you start by buying adequate quantities of both bulk staples and canned goods, as well as some supplementary dehydrated items to cover you for three months. Try to get the following categories covered equally:

Carbohydrates – 180 to 210 pounds per adult or dog equivalent

You can mix this up however you like, but I’d recommend the following as a starting point. Adjust as you see fit, as long as the total is 180 to 210 pounds. All of these foods provide about 1,700 calories/pound.

60 to 75 pounds of pasta (macaroni, spaghetti, egg noodles, etc.)
48 to 60 pounds of white flour (for bread, biscuits, pancakes, thickening sauces, etc.)
30 to 50 pounds of rice (white rice stores forever; brown rice for five years or more)
30 to 60 pounds of white sugar (or honey, pancake syrup, etc.)
6 to 10 pounds of oats
6 to 10 pounds of corn meal

Adjust according to your own preferences. If you don’t plan to bake (which is a mistake) or make pancakes/waffles, you can get by with a lot less flour, but make up for it by weight with another carbohydrate. If you hate rice, don’t buy any, but again make up the weight with another carb.

Protein supplement – at least 15 pounds per adult or dog equivalent

Although all of the carbohydrates listed except sugar contain significant amounts of protein, it’s not complete protein because it lacks essential amino acids. You can get these missing amino acids by adding beans, legumes, eggs, meats, etc. to your storage. Beans are the cheapest way to do this, but most people prefer meat, eggs, etc. Note that canned wet beans should be counted as one fifth their weight in dry beans, so while 5 pounds of dry beans suffices for a month, if you’re buying, say, Bush’s Best Baked beans, you’d need 25 one-pound cans of them to equal the five pounds of dry beans.

We keep about 100 pounds of dry beans and lentils in stock for the 4.5 of us, but most of our supplementary protein is in the form of canned meats. Cans of chicken from Costco or Sam’s, Keystone Meats canned ground beef, beef chunks, pork, chicken, turkey, etc. You can order Keystone canned meats from Walmart on-line. A 28-ounce can of most of them costs just over $6. We order them in cases of 12 at a time. They also have 14.5-ounce cans, although they cost more per ounce. They might be better for you if you’re planning to feed only the two of you. Also consider the 12- to 16-ounce cans of meats like chicken, roast beef, ham, tuna, salmon, Spam, and so on. The actual shelf life of canned meats, like other canned foods, is indefinite assuming the can is undamaged. Keystone, for example, rates their canned meats at a 5-year shelf life, but in fact they will remain safe and nutritious for much, much longer.

Although the five pounds per person-month is a minimum, you’ll probably want more. For a three-month supply for the two of you, I’d buy 90 cans of meat, plus extra for your dogs. One can per day to split between/among you. That’s going to be the most expensive part of your LTS food purchases, at maybe $200 to $300 for 90 cans. If that’s more than you want to spend at one time, you can substitute dry beans pound for pound for some or all of the meats, at roughly $1 per pound.

Oils and Fats – at least 3 quarts/liters or 6 pounds per adult or dog equivalent

Oils and fats do gradually become rancid, but stored in their original bottles and kept in a cool, dark place they last for years without noticeably rancidity. Saturated fats (lard, shortening, etc.) store better than than unsaturated fats. Poly-unsaturated fats have the shortest shelf life.

We store a combination of liquid vegetable and olive oils, lard, shortening, etc. We also keep anything up to 40 pounds of butter in our large freezer. In a long term power outage, we’d clarify that by heating it and separating the butter solids from the clear butter, and then can the clear butter to preserve it.

For the two of you for three months, covering this requirement can be as simple as buying two 3-liter bottles of olive oil, lard, shortening, or another oil of your choice, or a mix of those. Plus whatever you need for your dogs, of course.

Dairy – at least 9 pounds dry milk per adult or dog equivalent

This amount is all for cooking/baking. If you want to drink milk, have it on cereal, etc. you’ll need more. You can buy non-fat dry milk already in #10 cans, or buy it in cardboard boxes from Walmart and repack it yourself. (There’s also a full-fat dry milk called Nestle Nido that’s sold in #10 cans and has a real-world shelf-life of at least a couple of years and probably much longer.) For instant non-fat dry milk, the cheapest option is the LDS on-line store, which sells a case of twelve 28-ounce bags (21 pounds total) for $46.50, or just over $2/pound. There’s a $3 flat shipping charge no matter how many cases you order. If I were you, I’d order a couple of cases. Just note that although LDS dry milk is fine for cooking and baking, it really sucks for drinking.

Another alternative is evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk, although it’s mostly water so you’ll need to buy about five times as much by weight. For drinking or use on cereal, consider a milk substitute like Augason Farms Morning Moos (dumb name, but by all reports it’s the closest thing to real fresh milk). It comes in #10 cans and has a very long shelf life. It’s mostly non-fat dry milk, but with sugar and other ingredients that make the reconstituted stuff taste close to real milk.

Salt – at least 2 pounds per adult or dog equivalent

Buy iodized salt. Sam’s sells 4-pound boxes of Morton’s iodized table salt for about a buck each, so a three-month supply for one person is about $0.50 worth. The shelf life is infinite, so buy a lot. Repackage it in 1- or 2-liter soft drink bottles, canning jars, Mylar bags, or other moisture-proof containers. (You don’t need an oxygen absorber.) After extended storage, the salt may take on a very pale yellow cast. That’s normal. It’s caused by the potassium iodide used to iodize the salt oxidizing to elemental iodine. That’s harmless, does not affect the taste, and still provides the daily requirement of iodine (which the soil around here is very poor in).

Meal Extenders/Cooking Essentials (varies according to your situation)

You can survive on just beans, rice, oil, and salt, but the meals you can make with just those foods will get old after about one day. Even if you’ve stored a lot of canned meat, you should also store other items that add flavor and variety to your stored bulk foods, such as:

Herbs and spices – buy large Costco/Sam’s jars of the half-dozen or dozen herbs/spices (sperbs?) you like best. In sealed glass/plastic jars they maintain full flavor for many years. Your preferences probably differ from ours, but at a minimum I’d suggest: onion and garlic flakes/powder, cinnamon, thyme, parsley, dill, mustard, rosemary, pepper, cumin, etc.

Sauces and condiments – store your favorite sauces/condiments (or the ingredients to make them). We store spaghetti sauce, alfredo sauce, canned soups, ketchup, mustard, pancake syrup, etc. in quantity. Rather than storing barbecue sauce, we store bulk amounts of the ingredients to make it up on the fly. (See https://www.ttgnet.com/journal/2017/03/04/saturday-4-march-2017/)

Which brings up another issue. You need to plan your meals and figure out how much of what you’ll need to make them. For example, we intend to have a dinner based on that barbecue sauce once every three weeks, or 17 times a year. The recipe makes up a quart or so of sauce, which with a 28-ounce can of Keystone beef chunks or pork or chicken is enough to feed the 4.5 of us. (The buns are just part of our flour storage.) To know how much we’ll need to store to do that for a year in the absence of outside resupply, we just multiply everything by 17.

17 – 28-ounce cans of Keystone canned beef, pork, or chicken
25.5 cups (11+ pounds) of white sugar
25.5 Tbsp (12.75 fluid ounces) of molasses
25.5 cups (204 fluid ounces) of ketchup
8.5 cups (68 fluid ounces) of prepared mustard
8.5 cups (68 fluid ounces) of vinegar
8.5 cups (68 fluid ounces) of water
17 Tbsp (8.5 fluid ounces) of Worcestershire sauce
17 Tbsp (8.5 fluid ounces) of liquid smoke hickory sauce
34 tsp (77 grams or 2.7 ounces) of paprika
34 tsp (194 grams or 6.8 ounces) of salt
25.5 tsp (59 grams or 2.1 ounces) of black pepper

Cooking/Baking Essentials – varies according to your preferences

You’ll almost certainly want to bake bread, biscuits, etc., so keep at least a couple pounds of instant yeast (we use SAF). On the shelf, it’s good for at least a year. In the freezer, indefinitely. You’ll also want baking soda, baking powder, unsweetened cocoa powder, vinegar, lemon juice, vanilla extract—all of which keep indefinitely in their original sealed containers—and possibly things like chocolate chips, raisins and other dried fruits, jams and jellies, etc.

Multi-vitamin tablets/capsules – one per person/day

Contrary to popular opinion, fruits and vegetables aren’t necessary for a nutritious, balanced diet. Still, most people will want to keep a good supply of them. As usual for canned goods, canned fruits and vegetables last a long, long time. We buy cases of a dozen cans each at Costco or Sam’s of corn, green beans, peas, tomatoes, mixed fruit, pineapples, oranges, etc. (Note that pop-top aluminum cans are problematic. Where a traditional steel can will keep foods good indefinitely, the pop-top cans don’t seem to do as good a job. I recommend you stick to traditional cans, and of course that you have at least two manual can openers.)

* * * * *

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66 Responses to Thursday, 23 March 2017

  1. Miles_Teg says:

    Does it make sense to have shotguns/rifles but no handguns?

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Does it make sense to have shotguns/rifles but no handguns?”

    Sure. The best gun is the one you’re used to. Tiffany and her husband both shoot clays, so both of them are completely comfortable with their personal shotguns. Her husband hunts with the bolt-action rifle, so he can hit what he aims at.

    A pistol is a secondary weapon. Its only advantage is its small size and portability. If you have to defend yourself, choose the long gun every time. What most people who haven’t shot pistols don’t understand is that it’s not easy to achieve even basic competence with one. I’ve taught a lot of newbies to shoot pistols. The average newbie can’t even keep rounds on the paper, let alone the kill zone, on a full-size silhouette target 25 feet away. And that’s under perfect conditions.

    I’ve shot literally 100,000 or more rounds through pistols, and used to compete in combat pistol events. Even at that, I wouldn’t be confident with a pistol in a real gunfight if the range was more than 25 yards or so. Conversely, even a newbie with an hour’s training and having fired 50 or 100 rounds of practice is dangerous out to 50 or 100 meters with a shotgun or rifle.

  3. Denis says:

    I have taught hundreds of people to shoot. I can only endorse what RBT says about the difference between handguns and long guns. If I have to rely on a firearm, and I have a choice, I’ll go for a long gun over a handgun every time, unless portability or and/or concealability is a sine qua non.

    However: “…to provide water at the faucets and toilets.” Shouldn’t that be “TOILETS”?

  4. nick flandrey says:

    @rbt, very interesting and detailed list, with the reasoning behind it. Thanks.

    It’s also fascinating in a meta way, and reveals a basic difference in thought and approach. (which is driven I think by your scientific background/mindset and need to be an authority (no blame attaches))

    I’d answer the question (if asked) from the other direction. As the primary cook for our family for the last several years, I’m looking from the point of view of MEALS not constituent ingredients. I need to provide 3 meals a day for 2 adults and 2 small children. If the target audience doesn’t normally cook at home, then you have a deeper problem and need WAY more detail, since you’re teaching them to cook at home AND how to menu plan and store… Since the planning horizon is 3 months, it’s well within the range of normal pantry foods and straight up grocery store…

    Thus-

    Dinners- meat, veg, starch or beans one can/pouch each.

    90 cans meat- mix between chicken chunks (2 cans count as 1), fish (again 2x as many, and only if you actually eat tuna), ham (skip spam unless you like it), pulled pork, hot dogs, meat balls, chili, any pouch meats. Buy what your stores have in stock, and what you would eat if you were looking for a quick meal.

    90 cans beans in a variety of styles

    90 cans veg in a variety of styles

    Lunches-

    add half of dinner list, or leftovers from dinner list when swapped out with extenders (see below)

    Breakfast-

    Whatever you normally eat, x 90 days
    Pancake mix (cheap and stores well, just add water type, couple pounds depending on your habits)
    Dry cereal- again quantity by what you already use
    Eggs- I store liquid whole eggs frozen because I have backup power. I’ve recently stocked powdered FD cans as backup to that.
    Bacon- frozen and shelf stable- good place for spam/scrapple/corn beef hash (if you can stomach it)
    Maple syrup in quantity used (for us, 6 liters)

    Extenders- swap these in for veg or beans with dinner and lunch, add or swap to breakfast or lunch

    Rice – 10 pounds WAY MORE than most people will need, better- 3 big boxes of minute rice, or shelf stable convenience packs (if you’ll eat them normally), or prepared pouches in various flavors x10
    Noodles/mac and cheese/flavored dry pouch noodle- 5 @ 1pound bags, costco pasta 6 pack, case of mac n cheese, 10 or 12 pouches , add sauce if you use it, butter/oil and garlic salt will go far.
    Instant potatoes- variety, 10 bags/boxes or case quantity look for styles that don’t need an hour in the oven.
    Packaged mixes for muffins, cornbread, white bread, cake, etc IF YOU WILL USE THEM. No need for bulk on this timeline.

    Deserts/ treats-
    fruit cups x 2 cases
    Canned fruit x 30 cans
    Bags of dehydrated berries- if you like them on cereal or will snack on them x 5
    Packaged cookies or candy if you eat them regularly

    Drinks-
    kool-aid/gatoraid type mixes x 90 days- so a couple big jars of gatoraid mix, some Koolaid packets, or the sleeves of the crystal lite that costco sells- I prefer pre-sweetened for convenience

    sweetener for drinks- whatever you like but splenda is compact, sugar in bulk is more versatile,

    UHT milk for cereal or cooking, Can of Nido as backup. How much milk do YOU use in normal times?

    Tea bags for sun tea

    coffee in your normal amounts.

    Oils- how much do you normally use? I cook with oil all the time and a liter of peanut oil lasts for months unless I do a deep or pan fry. Even using a tablespoon as a substitute for butter in pouch pasta, I think you’d be hard pressed to use 3 liters in 90 days.

    NOTES-

    If you are looking at 90 days, buy what you eat now in shelf stable versions. It’ll be there when you can’t get to the store for fresh.

    Nutrition- no one in my family has starved on what I feed them normally, either in variety or quantity. Lack of nutrition is not an issue for most people either now or in a 90 day scenario. If it worries you, stock 90 days of multivitamin. YOU KNOW what you eat. Track how much to determine storage.

    Bulk- one salt shaker (picnic set) will probably last most families 90 days. How often do you refill your table shaker? One carton of Mortons will last most families a year. Unless you are baking from scratch or preserving food, flour and salt and even bulk sugar are NOT probably something you go thru in a normal month. The flip side is they are CHEAP so why not have five or 10 pounds of each. Tortillas are easy to make and cook.

    Consider the fuel cost and water for cooking. I prefer canned food and “quick” varieties of dry foods because they don’t need prep time, and use a lot less energy to cook. Cans are also already hydrated and the liquid should be used for flavoring whenever possible.

    All the bulk in the world won’t help if you can’t cook, whereas canned is still edible…

    figure your fuel needs for your chosen method, colman stove, butane burner, LP gas range, rocket stove… then increase it dramatically for heating water for sanitation, cooking, or drinking.

    n

    (also, why I have never liked bulk for short term events, look at the third world. They cook simply from bulk and it takes a lot of time and effort. Lot of effort goes into making dried beans edible.)

    (also consider the types of food the third world makes when thinking about a long term event. Unleaven breads, flat breads, pots of rice or porridge, stews. Very little meat. Low energy input for long periods, or high energy for short periods- stir fry)

  5. Miles_Teg says:

    Do the shells of eggs crack when frozen/thawed?

    I’ve been told that fresh strawberries don’t greeze well. Any experience with that?

  6. nick flandrey says:

    Regarding cost, my way is certainly not the cheapest way, nor the most expensive. The main advantage is incrementalism. Buy some with every grocery trip.

    I SWAGged the cost at about $12 per day, mainly due to meat at dinner and lunch, and a certain amount of boxed cereal, and the maple syrup is NOT CHEAP (there’s about $75 in maple syrup!)

    By using coupons, buy one get one deals, and periodic sales, it could be much cheaper.

    n

    (as the primary shopper, I’ve gotten the rhythm of the sale cycle at my local grocery stores and Costco. They are on a roughly 3 month cycle, with at least a couple of weeks where nothing I buy is on sale. Otherwise, every month has something I buy discounted, so I stockup on those items, at least enough to get me to the next sale period, or roughly 90 day supply.) (ForEx, our store hasn’t had prepared potato products on sale in a while. I expect them to go on sale shortly. They recently had canned beans on sale, and before that, canned veg, so I don’t expect to see sales on beans or veg any time soon.)

  7. nick flandrey says:

    @miles, I freeze this product, which is house branded, but I’m sure there are similar. Note that it is NOT egg whites alone.

    https://www.heb.com/product-detail/h-e-b-original-real-egg/1412027

    It says not to freeze, but they freeze very well. I think the recommendation is mainly to do with the expiration date not being correct if they are frozen.

    n

    Strawberry turns to mush, so blend it, and sugar, and use it that way if you have to freeze…

  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    @Miles_Teg

    I’ve never tried freezing eggs, but then I don’t consider freezing an LTS solution, just as a stop-gap. We’re prepared to pressure-can everything that’s in our freezer if it looks like the power will be down for a long, long time. Anyway, eggs are naturally pretty shelf-stable. In Europe (and I think Oz) they don’t even refrigerate them because they can sit at room temperature for weeks. That’s because they don’t wash the eggs to remove the natural oil sealant. In the US and Canada, we wash eggs, which means they need to be refrigerated. But we can turn those washed non-stable eggs back to stable by dipping them in vegetable oil.

    @Nick

    Good points all, and ones I’ve taken up elsewhere. But I only have room for so much in a blog post. Yes, knowing how to cook is important, but it’s also pretty straightforward assuming you have the materials available. Again, that’s why I focus so strongly on stuff. Barbara and I didn’t cook or bake much from scratch until we moved up here, but now we do it all the time. We’ve yet to have a real failure. Every meal we’ve made has been at least edible, and the vast majority have been superior to the convenience foods we used to depend on so heavily. That’s why I emphasize “stuff” so heavily.

  9. SteveF says:

    I’ve never tried freezing eggs

    Eh? But how are you planning to take over the world if not with an army of genetically-engineered, prenatally-conditioned clone soldiers?

  10. nick flandrey says:

    “But I only have room for so much in a blog post.” Or a book or even the whole internet…

    The topic of prepping is fractal in nature 🙂

    I’ve chosen to focus on simply extending what we do everyday, with tweaks for switching to disaster mode, and not get bogged down in minutia (or nutritional science) while you have to do both to provide depth and sound reasoning for all the folks who will use your authoritative advice. I’ve got the much easier job 🙂

    With food, I plan to just do what we do now, substituting ingredients due to availability, and cooking methods as appropriate. You can’t really just tell your audience to do that esp as many of them will be changing lifestyle and habits if they begin prepping or see major changes if any disaster strikes.

    I cook for the family every day, using convenience foods when it makes sense, or as a change of pace, or even as a treat or time saver, but I use as many primary whole ingredients as possible. That’s not as practical or easy when you switch to disaster mode. But I’ll still be cooking every day, picking some combination from the pantry that fills the belly and supports the body, just like now. That is, I think, one of the biggest advantages of incorporating prepping into your lifestyle. When you do have to transition, the changes are minimal and as low impact as possible.

    For example. 14 days no power, 3 days no water after Hurricane Ike.

    We switched to generator power, using stored fuel, and were very conservative in our usage. We still had cooling, fridge, freezer, microwave and coffee maker, but I cooked on our colman stove and grilled for dinner. We ate the fresh food in the fridge and frozen from the freezer. We never even really got into the shelf stable and prepacked meals that I consider our ‘second level’ of food storage. I’m not sure the kid even noticed any difference (very young at the time.) We did normal things in addition to hurricane cleanup, checking on neighbors, touching base on defense and threats, etc.

    WRT water, pressure simple stopped. So my (at the time primary) drinking storage water was all potentially contaminated before I even knew it. That’s one reason I don’t recommend counting on your water heater as stored water anymore. We did have a tub full of water for flushing, and stored drinking water in aquatainers. So from a day to day perspective, we didn’t see huge changes, we simply filled a brita pitcher from the aquatainer and kept that for drinking. I had an aquatainer for cooking. We used the tub water and a bucket for flushing. We didn’t have to immediately start filtering pond water or crapping in a bucket. After this I dramatically increased my stored water, both potable and process-able.

    I’m hoping for the same orderly transitions thru my levels of preps if things get even very bad. Pantry to shelf, to canned, to bulk, to scavenging in the ruins…

    Automatic backup with NG and whole house gennie, to gas powered small gennie, to solar cells and battery, to fire for light and heat.

    Lights from grid to self generated, to batteries, to colman, to oil lantern, to rendered fat lamps, to burning sticks.

    Cooking with electricity, to colman fuel, to propane, to butane, to fire and sunlight.

    A sudden catastrophe might jump a couple of steps in the progression, and “minimal” might have to be stretched a bit to fit the situation, but ‘you pays your money, and you takes your chances.’

    nick

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Nick, I don’t think we really disagree in any significant way. It’s all a matter of emphasis. And yes, my response to Tiffany was colored by her specific request as to what I’d buy.

    There’s really no wrong way to prep. Individual preferences, the perceived types of threats, etc. etc. dominate everyone’s decisions. As I keep saying, I don’t really expect a widespread SHTF disaster, but I think there’s maybe a 3% chance per year of that occurring. Raise .97 to the tenth power, and that translates to about a 26% chance of SHTF in the next ten years. That’s high enough–one chance in four–that I think it’s worth planning for.

    And I think Barbara has finally grokked the fact that having all this LTS food stored is a no-lose situation. It keeps for far longer than it would take us to eat all of it, we cook regularly with it anyway, and having so much allows us to provide for family and friends in anything short of a total fustercluck.

  12. Miles_Teg says:

    When I suggested having a handgun, it was because they’re convienent to carry. Sure, shotguns and rifles are better but might get tiresome to lug around, especially if you’re not expecting trouble.

  13. Miles_Teg says:

    I wasn’t expecting to store eggs in the freezer – it was just an in principle question. I wondered if they’d crack, or taste as good. I like eggs but hardly ever eat them.

  14. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I’m always expecting trouble.

  15. Miles_Teg says:

    Do you carry a shotgun or rifle every time you leave the house?

  16. lynn says:

    “Schumer says Dems will filibuster Gorsuch”
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/23/schumer-says-dems-will-filibuster-gorsuch/

    Looks like it is time to go nuclear.

  17. nick flandrey says:

    “Do you carry a shotgun or rifle every time you leave the house?”

    I carry my pistol, and at least one knife, usually a backup knife and a spare mag, in addition to the FLASHLIGHT.

    And if I’m with the kids, the booboo kit too.

    n

  18. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Do you carry a shotgun or rifle every time you leave the house?”

    No, but as I said I have 100,000+ rounds of pistol practice, so I’m not an average person.

  19. nick flandrey says:

    Visible weapons can and do provoke trouble.

    They can escalate trouble beyond where it might have stopped otherwise.

    Rarely do they de-escalate (unless they are suddenly revealed).

    I’ve carried openly in public and it’s an idiot magnet.

    n

  20. lynn says:

    and of course that you have at least two manual can openers.

    and of course that you have at least five manual can openers.

    FTFY.

    Can openers seem to migrate in our kitchen to impossible to find places.

  21. SteveF says:

    and of course that you have at least five dozen manual can openers.

    FIFY.

    Those little P38s are cheap enough to have one on every keyring, a few with every box of stored canned food, and a dozen in the kitchen.

  22. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I have a bunch of P51’s and a few P38’s, maybe a dozen or so. And of course a few standard manual ones. I finally just threw our electric one out. It was too hard to keep clean.

  23. lynn says:

    Are all of the new pop top cans aluminum ?

  24. nick flandrey says:

    Since I’m clearly in work avoidance mode today, I’ll comment one more time on another issue.

    ” it’s not easy to achieve even basic competence with one. I’ve taught a lot of newbies to shoot pistols. The average newbie can’t even keep rounds on the paper, let alone the kill zone, on a full-size silhouette target 25 feet away. ”

    And yet, rank amateurs successfully defend themselves and their loved ones with pistols every single day. Hell, KIDS even do it.

    I’ll admit that the first time I ever shot my pistol (as a young man) I missed the paper, but that was the LAST time. Unless I’m trying something completely weird and new, I’ve never been off the paper since.

    Modern pistols have better ergonomics, and simpler manual of arms. I believe anyone can be taught to shoot a modern striker fired defensive pistol accurately at defensive distances and it doesn’t take hundreds of hours. Working the draw, dealing with malfunctions, and target shooting take more time and practice, but if you can get it out and pointed at the enemy, you can learn to hit him. Even if you DON’T hit him, once the bullets start to fly, the attacker usually does too. There is a crap ton of video evidence of this on youtube. I’ve spent hours watching it.

    ” Even at that, I wouldn’t be confident with a pistol in a real gunfight if the range was more than 25 yards or so.”

    Very few people should be confident with a carry pistol at 75 ft. Very few scenarios would ever have you in a situation where you SHOULD be shooting at someone 75ft away. Active shooter or terror attack are about the only two, and a really good argument can be made that you should be moving away to safety and not engaging at that range. Real world example, the guy at the mall in oregon. He was too far away to make the shot, but his simple presence with drawn pistol was enough to cause the shooter to end the attack. (added-or maybe not, but that was the contemporary coverage)

    Anyway, shooting a pistol isn’t hard. Target shooting, combat shooting, clearing a room or building? Sure. Lot’s of training and lot’s of skill. Hard to do well. Shooting as the guy bashes thru your front door 10 ft away? Not hard. (there’s video of that one too, guy has an ax)

    nick

  25. Harold says:

    “Do you carry a shotgun or rifle every time you leave the house?”
    Yes. I have a Henry AR-7 Survial rifle stuck in my Get-Home-Bag in the trunk. Sure it’s “only a .22” but little .22 LR round accounts for a large number of the homocides each year and it can bring down a deer (if you are close and a good shot). In addition I have my S&W .40 with 3 extra magazines in the kit.

  26. Harold says:

    RE: Pistol self defense
    In my experience, simply showing you are armed is enough to discourage trouble. The only time I ever used a pistol in self defense was when I caught a van load of teens trying to break into my grandfathers house while he was away. They took off and tried to run me down. I had a Colt black powder rig on my belt and put a couple of lead balls into their radiator. Didn’t immediatly stop the van but they gave up on trying to get me. Sure, I’d rather have a long gun for defense but simply throwing lead at your adversary is wonderful discouragment. I’ve had pistols that I could drive tacks with (tried it once) and others that I couldn’t hit the side of a barn with, Not blaming the gun but just saying some take less work for me to get in the black. The BEST gun is always the one you have at hand.

  27. Nightraker says:

    I’m a fan of the Home Patrol radios. I bring one to the car for every trip, along with the GPS. Actually, that is pretty much the only time I listen to it. There is a CB as well for finding out why traffic is bunched up and which lane makes sense.

    I don’t understand entirely the significant advantage of striker fired pistols. OK, they are generally lighter, cheaper and more capacious than my preferred 1911 style. I find the usually better trigger in a 1911 outweighs those other considerations as I think getting the first aimed shot ASAP is critical. But that’s just me.

  28. SteveF says:

    Didn’t immediatly stop the van but they gave up on trying to get me.

    That’s why I like .50BMG. It’s a car-killer. Oh, sure, the recoil’s a bitch, but you don’t need more than one shot.

    (To be clear, that all is a joke. The last time I said anything about a .50BMG revolver I got several replies along the lines of “Where did you see it?” “Where can I buy one?” “What were the ballistics?”)

    I’ve never fired at anyone, outside of military activities. The only times I’ve pointed a firearm at anyone in civilian life, it was a pistol and the range was 6′ or under, with the “under” being as low as 0′, with the muzzle jammed under his chin. (That was a hitchhiker who thought it was a good idea to pull a knife on the driver, to wit, me. He got off easy. One other hitchhiker pulled a knife when I didn’t have a pistol under my armpit. He got a broken wrist, a smacked throat, and a jabbed eye, then I stopped, tossed him out, kicked him in the head, and left him on the side of the road.)

  29. SteveF says:

    Not all anti-Trump snowflakes are pathetic retards, but that’s the way to bet.

  30. OFD says:

    Outside of mil-spec and cop gigs I’ve had my handgun out several times when some kinda chit was about to go down and all such activity ceased immediately and the would-be perps di-di-mao-d out of my awesome command presence.

    My handguns in those capers were revolvers, one time the Ruger Stainless 6″ barrel .357. Kid couldn’t disappear fast enough.

    Nothing recently, though, since I’ve mostly switched to 9mm and 10mm semi-autos.

  31. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I used to be pretty imposing. Now I’m just a defenseless old guy who couldn’t hurt a fly.

  32. DadCooks says:

    Dad is just sitting and listening today. It looks to me that @RBT has his basic prepping handbook in today’s post. Add all the great comments and this day is a keeper.

    I do have one thing to add, I do open carry at all times — a tactical cane, looks like a normal ol’ everyday cane but is Titanium and has a spiked tip that is covered. It was a gift from one of my cousins who is a Navy Seal Veteran. He got it overseas somewhere. The Personal Defense Network has some information on tactical canes and how to properly use one (practice, practice, practice): https://www.personaldefensenetwork.com/article/types-of-canes-for-personal-defense/

  33. OFD says:

    “I used to be pretty imposing. Now I’m just a defenseless old guy who couldn’t hurt a fly.”

    Same here. Falling-apart old guy, no threat to anyone. A girl scout could kick my ass.

  34. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    In my case, a Brownie.

  35. SteveF says:

    Mmm, brownies. Yum. Especially good with some nuts in them.

    Er, the chocolate cake-like brownies, not the pre-teen girls. Just in case anyone was wondering.

  36. DadCooks says:

    May we be the Three Mushketeers: @RBT, @OFD, and @Dad. Maybe the three of us could take on a Brownie, or least the pastry kind. 😉

  37. OFD says:

    I posted something here in reply to Mr. DadCooks, nothing earthshaking or that controversial, and whammo, the site disappeared and attempts to login again later got this:

    “Internal Server Error

    The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

    Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@ttgnet.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

    More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

    Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.”

    I sent a note accordingly to the webmaster, and then, while watching Ripper Street on Netflix, had that crash on me, too. Can’t get it back now.

    On the drive up from the vets group earlier, I noticed a bunch of state police activity on the interstate, including an unmarked car with the blues flashing, and since then, repeated helicopter flights back there and over the village here.

    Is it something I said?

    Should I pack a toothbrush?

  38. OFD says:

    OK, this site is back up alright, and Netflix came back; googling the problem and error message on Netflix gave me the advice to update Chrome, which is how I run it on this machine. Bingo. And apparently Chrome is now uncrackable??? While all the others are.

    And other IT security nooz is that Apple got slammed with ransomware, and a zillion iPhones could be affected by the first week of next month.

  39. OFD says:

    The fun and games and Spy versus Spy theater continue in Mordor and Moscow:

    http://buchanan.org/blog/obama-plot-sabotage-trump-126711

    A couple of writers in the current issue of Chronicles, the paleoconservative flagship publication to which I’ve subscribed since the 1980s, advise tRump to take the gloves off now and start cleaning house.

  40. Spook says:

    Has anybody noticed that mug shots tend to have the suspect smiling lately?
    My guess is that a smile is consistent for a particular person, whilst other expressions vary. Of course, it’s quite unlikely that all those mugshots and driver license pictures will ever be used in any sort of facial recognition scenario, right?

  41. Spook says:

    “”Outside of mil-spec and cop gigs I’ve had my handgun out several times when some kinda chit was about to go down and all such activity ceased immediately and the would-be perps di-di-mao-d out of my awesome command presence.””

    I ran off a punk with a FLASHLIGHT, as I described a little while ago.
    I’m of course acknowledging, still, that it was foolish to fail to get the flintlock out of the swamp prior to that confrontation. Or, better, to have just let it slide…

  42. OFD says:

    “Of course, it’s quite unlikely that all those mugshots and driver license pictures will ever be used in any sort of facial recognition scenario, right?”

    When I renewed my driver’s license up here the last time, they had me take my glasses off, and when I asked why, since I have to wear them to fucking drive, the woman told me it was for the DMV’s new facial recognition software. Probably running on Winblows terminals, too. But of course my license is “enhanced,” and also serves as a passport to cross back and forth over the Canadian and Mexican borders or be-bop around the Pacific Trust Territories. So that’s the Fed bailiwick.

    Speaking of IT chit; the VT Department of Labor also got hacked the other day; my old boss from IBM slid right into a new job as an “IT Architect” for the state at the Department of Labor. I sent him an email asking about it and all he said was “Yep, not a happy at Labor today.”

    “… just let it slide…”

    Let it slide, depending, and/or just call the cops. They get paid to intervene in domestics and other such brawling. I oughta know. Boy, did those calls suck!

  43. OFD says:

    Hey all, forgot to sign off earlier; wife emailed and called from Kaliforina and is vomiting and has been all day, probably yet another goddam case of food poisoning; I keep telling her that eating all that green stuff (lettuce, salads, etc.) is bad for ya.

    Also gotta throw another couple of grand at Princess, who evidently has not yet found, or has zero intention of finding, a job to help out until she goes back to school in the fall, you know, the Seven Year BA Plan. With summers off for travel, entertainment, socializing, etc. Paid for by somebody else, who are already stretched and being threatened by the Feds monthly.

    Anyway, Pax vobiscum, fratres; tempus fugit; semper paratus

  44. brad says:

    “Also gotta throw another couple of grand at Princess, who evidently has not yet found, or has zero intention of finding, a job to help out until she goes back to school in the fall, you know”

    Or let her dangle. If her bank account is empty when summer comes, she might have to come live with y’all, and do chores as a means of paying rent. If she dislikes the prospect enough, she might be motivated to find an alternate solution.

  45. Miles_Teg says:

    OFD wrote:

    “Also gotta throw another couple of grand at Princess, who evidently has not yet found, or has zero intention of finding, a job to help out until she goes back to school in the fall, you know, the Seven Year BA Plan.”

    There’s a semester going on over there right now, isn’t there? Is she doing anything? When does the “Fall” semester start?

    JUST SAY “NO”.

  46. Denis says:

    “He got off easy. One other hitchhiker pulled a knife when I didn’t have a pistol under my armpit. He got a broken wrist, a smacked throat, and a jabbed eye, then I stopped, tossed him out, kicked him in the head, and left him on the side of the road.”

    Sounds like they [i]both[/i] got off easy, to wit alive…

  47. Miles_Teg says:

    I Googled “Apple ransomware”, it was all March 2016. Has anything happened recently?

  48. nick flandrey says:

    Well, there was stuff in the wikileaks about the CIA pwning apple phones from the factory… someone might take advantage of that.

    n

  49. MrAtoz says:

    Also, some hacker group claims to have comprimised millions of Apple iCloud accounts. They are blackmailing Apple for loot, or ELSE. Could be interesting.

  50. MrAtoz says:

    Nice weather in Kentucky. We decided to fly to Nashville and drive three hours to Lexington, rather than fly all day to Baltimore and then to KY. Done today and home to Vegas late tonight.

  51. MrAtoz says:

    The more I travel these days, the less I get to prep. I envision dying on the road when TWAWKI ends. I’ll be the douche in Mr. Lynn’s novel with the wheel barrow, except trying to get from FL to KS. Think I’ll make it?

  52. nick flandrey says:

    Like the taste of long pig?

    n

    Seriously though, do you take anything with you that would help? I’ve detailed what I carryon and in my bag before.

  53. nick flandrey says:

    Looks like Trump is playing chicken with the R leadership.

    “Pass the new plan or OWN obammacare!”

    I don’t know anything about the new plan, and I don’t see any reason we couldn’t have just gone back to the set of rules/regs prior to ohnocare (other than that system sucked too and uninsurables would be uninsurable…) It was working before o-care, it would work now while serious reforms were worked on.

    n

  54. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    The only reform we need is to get the government entirely out of healthcare and health insurance.

  55. MrAtoz says:

    Seriously though, do you take anything with you that would help? I’ve detailed what I carryon and in my bag before.

    My usual stuff minus the pistol. I throw in a water filter, too. Anything that can’t be carried on goes in the checked bag. I’m going to try carrying my Mavic Pro drone on. People have reported no probs, but I’m worried about the four LiPo I carry with it. I’m betting high power LiPos will be banned in the future.

    Cruise ships and trips to Mexico coming up. I’m carrying my Survivor Pro .01 micron filter. Paranoid about hotel water (don’t want Legionnaires on the cruise ship). I fill up liter collapsible aqua bags.

  56. nick flandrey says:

    I only drink bottled water when traveling. Overseas I brush my teeth with it too, and am careful not to get it in my mouth while showering or washing.

    n

  57. DadCooks says:

    “Paranoid about hotel water (don’t want Legionnaires on the cruise ship).”

    Legionnaires is in the ventilation system. Your real enemy on cruise ships is Norovirus, all cruise ships have it these days and Norovirus is not killed by any of the liquid hand sanitizers or wipes, only strong chlorine solution allowed to sit for 10 to 30 minutes.

    The illiterates who are in charge of loading the water onto cruise ships often mix up the non-potable and potable water lines. And I have seen them use a hose that was just used to dump the blackwater then used to load “potable” water, observed in Fort Lauderdale AND several ports in the Virgin Islands when I was in the Navy and we were doing daily and weekly testing ops.

  58. OFD says:

    “If she dislikes the prospect enough, she might be motivated to find an alternate solution.”

    She’d simply go live with her grandmother, who would continue shelling out money which we would then have to pay back. See how that works? But in any case, it turns out the two-grand is going to a harp company out in Oregon, and just looking at their prices list, they start at $4,000 and go up from there. So looks like we’re paying for her music career, until she what, becomes a world-class harpist? What are the odds?

    Wow, best of luck to you, MrAtoz, on those cruises ships and the travel to Mexico. I think I’d rather go back to ‘Nam. At least the gummint gave me a machine gun, ammo, and grenades. And after the first couple of months I got used to the water and local grub. And 110 in the shade w/100% humidity and cobras and kraits.

    I’d look really hard at, and re-evaluate, what kind of EDC I could take with me to those places.

  59. lynn says:

    The more I travel these days, the less I get to prep. I envision dying on the road when TWAWKI ends. I’ll be the douche in Mr. Lynn’s novel with the wheel barrow, except trying to get from FL to KS. Think I’ll make it?

    Actually in “77 Days In September”, the guy built a pushcart out of a bike. But, I would grab a bike somewhere and use that with a basket on the front or back to carry your food and water. But at your age and no gun(s) for the road, …
    https://www.amazon.com/77-Days-September-Survival-Dedication/dp/1499616015/

  60. lynn says:

    She’d simply go live with her grandmother, who would continue shelling out money which we would then have to pay back. See how that works? But in any case, it turns out the two-grand is going to a harp company out in Oregon, and just looking at their prices list, they start at $4,000 and go up from there. So looks like we’re paying for her music career, until she what, becomes a world-class harpist? What are the odds?

    Small, very small. The competition to get those eight $100,000 jobs in the premier USA symphonies is very stiff with many extremely qualified applicants. All of the rest work at minimum wage in places like Victoria, Texas.

  61. Miles_Teg says:

    You could always tell gran that she won’t see a penny back, from the Princess or you and the old lady. Let the old girl get suckered.

  62. OFD says:

    It’s a regular battleground and tons of angst and hysteria and emotions between the three fems and I just don’t wanna be involved with it anymore; so I just do what I’m told for the most part and pick my own battles more carefully. Sometimes it’s just easier to go with the flow and eventually one or more of them might see how right the old fascist bastard was/is and wake up a bit. Wife is trending in that direction lately. Now has zero use for the MSM, but of course FaceCrack and suchlike is hardly the answer, from the closed bubble of like-minded “friends” and commie symps.

  63. SteveF says:

    eventually one or more of them might see how right the old fascist bastard was/is and wake up a bit.

    Good luck with that. My experience, both with my own relations and in seeing it with others, is that it’s pretty much the reverse of the Whoozis Effect, where you trust a newspaper’s reporting, read an article where you know that they got it woefully wrong, and then revert to trusting their coverage for the next article. From what I’ve seen, you’re an idiot and a fascist and don’t understand, then you’re shown to be right and it may be acknowledged, and then you’re back to being an idiot and a fascist the next time there’s the slightest dispute.

  64. OFD says:

    Yeah, that sounds about right for the situation here. I’m right a lot of the time but each time is a whole new struggle to prove it or them accidentally finding it out.

    All I’ve got with family in that respect, really, is my next-younger brother; he’s three years younger, so will turn 61 in May. Former cop also, and like me, bounced out of many years of IT employment down in MA. Also a gun nut, who just finished building a nice gun safe in his cellar and bolted it to the wall and floor. Former masters class weightlifting champion, but the years of that chit have certainly taken their toll; his back, neck, shoulder and knees are all fucked up. Also outnumbered by three fems. I’m the Older and Bigger Brother but we’re more like twins most of the time.

  65. pcb_duffer says:

    [snip] I keep telling her that eating all that green stuff (lettuce, salads, etc.) is bad for ya. [snip]

    It’s the green meat that will really get you…

  66. OFD says:

    She has the most sensitive nose on the planet and any meat or seafood or dairy that’s within minutes of the expiration date is no good anymore. I’ve tried grilling fish but nope, it would have to come from the dock a hundred yards away.

    As for green meat, you just cut off or scrape the green off. Good to go.

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