Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.
The big news this week is that I have acquired a bug-out-vehicle. No, not the convention type of vehicle with wheels and tires but the sea-worthy type.
Let me explain.
THE ULTIMATE BUG-OUT VEHICLE FOR ISLAND RESIDENTS
For the past couple of months, the Survival Husband has been nagging me about buying a truck for bug-out purposes. I had a couple of problems with that. First of all, I live in a location that most folks would want to bug-out TO and not FROM. That said, this is a tsunami zone so there is a possibility I would need to evacuate to higher ground rather quickly.
We have a four wheel drive Subaru for that plus a motorcycle as well as some good hiking gear. Not only that, we have the route plus an alternate all laid out and have drilled the process of getting from here to there regularly. I would say getting to higher ground is covered.
The other problem with a truck is we rely on a rust-bucket ferry system to get us on and off the island. A truck would not do us much good if the ferries were broken down or not running at all (say, for example, due to a terrorist attack on the mainland.)
Which gets me to what we ultimately purchased: a small, 14 foot boat with two outboard engines. Sweet, don’t you think? Rather than tell you about it myself, I would like to share my friend George Ure’s thoughts as he described it on his website at UrbanSurvival.com.
Coping: Survival Boat Friday
Texas and I have a love/hate relationship going on the matter of boats. I like boats and have “salt water in me veins, matey” and frankly, as pretty as some of the lakes are in Texas, they don’t turn my crank when it comes to boating. In fact, I’ve been “dry” now for 11-years.
Boating is addictive to many people for the same reason that showers, the light bit of ozone after a lightning storm, and falling rain or waterfalls is: negative ions measurably increase how humans think and feel.
The flip side of negative ions is something called positive ions which come mainly from hot air which has been dried and takes on a positive charge. Sources of positive ions include HVAC systems of large buildings, and winds around the world under names like the Meltemi in Greece, the Sirocco of northern Africa, and here in the USA it’s the Santa Anna winds of California. All increase negative feelings and suicide rates…seriously!
(Positive ions may also contribute to “sick building syndrome.“)
I suppose this is why I’m always pleased when someone buys a boat. Any boat, but in particular a survival boat. And in this case, the boat owner is my friend Gaye, the Survival Woman, and her spouse, Shelly (Sheldon) the Survival Husband.
Boat name? SHTF.
As you can see, it’s a little Bayliner of 1980′s vintage, but it spent most of its life in someone’s garage out of the weather and both engines have very low hours on them.
Since Gaye & Shelly live on an island in Washington state, I’ve been hinting for years that they should buy a bug-out boat. To be sure, Elaine and I kicked around owning a sailboat and mooring it at their island (nearby marina) but the problem with boats you can’t trailer is you end up renting “a hole in the water” and by the time we sold the 40-footer I’d lived on for almost 11-years, moorage was already north of $500/month.
So, being thrifty, but wanting a survival boat, so as not to be 100 percent dependent on Washington State Ferries (there have been strikes in the past) they now have a way to get off their island. Not to mention popping over to friends on other islands, going salmon and cod fishing, and as long as we’re out there (with a crab ring and some old chicken wings), we might as well pull up some Dungeness crab, while we’re at it….
Don’t get me wrong: I love sailing and I don’t think a week goes by that I don’t miss our boat (Magic Elf) which we sold in 2002 since it was in San Diego and we were in Florida.
But for the www.backdoorsurvival.com folks, a power boat is the right answer for multiple reasons:
- It is fast.
- It was inexpensive – under $2,500 off Craigslist. How far under? Ask Gaye.
- They don’t go out without cell phones, VHF, GPS(s), spare batteries, and a ham radio.
- They have serious powerboat experience (30-year’s worth) and know the local waters like the back of their hands.
- Which also means they know the weather, too. Including summer and fall fogs which are a real consideration.
- A trailerable boat can hold an entire “restart civilization” kit…water, seeds, food, saw, tarps…you name it.
I’m sure environmental purists will be standing up screaming about here:
“Why not a trailerable sailboat???“
Pay close attention:
- All the trailerable sailboats I have looked at take 15-minutes to a half hour to step the mast and rig. I like the rig properly tuned, But the mast adds time at both ends of a trip. When I’m done boating, I think “Nap time!” Or food, or an adult beverage, or…well, anything besides rigging monkey.
- Some sailboats use water ballast which I’ve not fond of. Most are center-board rigs which screws up the cabin with the centerboard trunk in the middle of everything.
- The hybrids like the MacGregor 26′s with largish engines that can plane the boat still take time to rig and you’re not going to find a M26 with a 60-horse outboard in useable condition for $2,500 or less. If you do, call me, but I’d expect it to be a beater.
- If you’re in your 60′s do you want to be stepping masts? Get home motors work for me.
- Waters around the BackdoorSurvival islands (San Juans) are really miserable sailing grounds on all but the 23 perfect days each year. While the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Haro Strait have reasonable winds, I can tell you from first-hand experience that the currents between islands can run 1.5 knots (and higher) so that if you get the typical winds (4-6 knots) you can tack back and forth between two islands almost all day long and get exactly nowhere. Trust me, I’ve done it. (5-hours sailing down from Canada, two hours tacking into Spieden Channel against an outflowing 2-knot current tacking into 4 – 6 knots of wind and then 4 more hours tacking up San Juan Channel to Friday Harbor, and then waiting to clear Customs coming back from Canada if you care… Under these conditions you learn to despise power boaters who clear Customs five hours ahead of you and get the prime (close-in) moorings.)
- George is an idiot for not working the currents better? No, had to be back in Seattle on a schedule…
- Sailboats are incompatible with close schedules.
Yes, I love sailboats (can I have a large Hans Christian, please?) But if you don’t live on it (some of which is detailed in “Retirement Dream: Escape to the Sea – A Good Idea?” which was Peoplenomics issue #386, Jan. 25, 2009 [SUBSCRIBE], something which doesn’t come with a monthly moorage bill makes sense.
Besides, when we make our annual trip to the Pacific Northwest, we now know where we can score a crab feed. Dungeness and halibut are my idea of survival foraging.
Okay, enough about me and my new little SHFT bug-out boat. Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.
SURVIVAL NEWS & ARTICLES FROM AROUND THE WEB
The Cascadia Fault Line: Locked, Loaded And Ready To Fire: Everyone living on the West Coast of the United States should know that the realignment of the Cascadia Fault Line is only a matter of time. When the adjustment comes, I doubt that even our new bug-out boat would get us far enough away fast enough. Still, as I mention above, we are all set to go to higher ground – about 800 feet above sea level – with no guarantees.
41 Camping Hacks That Are Borderline Genius: These tips and tricks will guarantee you’ll be a totally happy camper this summer. Not only that, many are prepper friendly hacks and skills that will be useful to have in our bag of survival tricks.
Obesity Officially Declared a ‘Disease’ Requiring ‘Treatment’: This is offensive to me on so many fronts I do not know where to start. It means more high priced drugs being pushed to the public, more federal healthcare dollars being spent on researching and treating this new “disease”. It means tracking “fat people” in a Federal database and ultimately, it means more of my tax dollars going out as entitlements to the afflicted. Getting off my soapbox now . . .
The Waste List: 66 Crazy Ways That The U.S. Government Is Wasting Your Hard-Earned Money: Speaking of government waste, I am full of angst over this stuff. A knew about many of the items on this list but not all of them. Ugh!
Minnehaha County readies for mass deaths: This came from one of my readers who indicates that this county has a smaller population that most cities. Many communities are now purchasing trailers to handle mass deaths following a catastrophe. I commend that but what do they know that we don’t? Or are they simply being prepared?
IRS Agents Training With AR-15 Rifles, Lawmaker Says: And what does training with an AR-15 have to do with enforcing our tax code and collecting taxes? Jeesh. Hat-tip to the Survival Husband for this one.
Pesticides killed 25,000 to 50,000 Oregon bumblebees: The article does not mention how this pesticide affects humans. It is commonly used and is even sold on Amazon.
BACKDOOR SURVIVAL READER TIPS
This in from “David”:
I usually hike twice a week. This year everyone is talking about seeing more ticks. Read what to do below. Click here to learn more about the Lone Star Tick and meat allergies. DO BE SAFE WHILE ENJOYING OUR GREAT OUTDOORS!!
Before You Go Outdoors:
- Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in or near wooded or grassy areas. You may come into contact with ticks during outdoor activities around your home or when walking through leaf litter or near shrubs. Always walk in the center of trails in order to avoid contact with ticks.
- Products containing permethrin kill ticks. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings.
- Use a repellent with DEET on skin. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) can protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions.
After You Come Indoors:
Check your clothing for ticks. Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Placing clothes into a dryer on high heat for at least an hour effectively kills ticks.
Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.
Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, which even includes your back yard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around the hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
What to Do if You Find an Attached Tick?
Remove the attached tick as soon as you notice it by grasping with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pulling it straight out. Click Tick Removal for detailed info.
Watch for signs of illness such as rash or fever in the days and weeks following the bite, and see a health care provider if these develop
Thanks, David, for sharing this useful information.
MINI-REVIEW: LUCKY GUNNER AMMO
The Survival Husband reviewed some ammo from Lucky Gunner a couple of months ago. Here is what he had to say about it.
A number of months ago, Lucky Gunner sent me 2 boxes of PMC Gold Starfire 9mm hollow point ammunition to review. Before I start, I want apologize to them for taking so long to test the ammo, but the truth is there is no firing range on the island we live on so I had wait until I went back to the city before I could run it through its paces. This has changed now I have found a place that will allow me to shoot.
I have a Glock 19, gen 4 9mm which is what I used for this review. The targets used were standard 11×16 inch circle targets. I test fired at 15, 25 and 35 feet, and I felt no discernible difference in the accuracy after firing at these ranges. I fired all 40 rounds sent to me without a single jam or misfire after starting with a clean weapon. After the test firing, I went home field, stripped and cleaned my Glock and was happy to find that this ammo is a very clean shooting. There was very little residue inside my firearm.
I am not an ammunition expert but I would rate this ammo as excellent if not superior. I will probably order the PMC Gold 9mm ammo the next time I need ammo of this type.
A final word when it comes to ammunition everybody needs to rely on dependability and accuracy without these in a tenuous situation you may hesitate and put your self in harms way.
NEWS FROM OUR SPONSOR
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THE FINAL WORD
Friday night while alone in my house, I fell down the stairs. I am alright – no worries – but I did get banged up and shaken up a bit. The worrisome part, however, is that if it had been serious, I could have laid their at the bottom of the stairwell for 3 days until Shelly returned home.
While accidents can and do happen, I mention this because the chances of a serious accident happening are far greater when, like me, you are getting by with only limited sleep. Please, don’t be like me. Get adequate rest so that you are in the best shape you can be both mentally and physically. Your well being and your life could depend on it.
Until, next time, remember to make every day a prep day!
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Cooking outdoors does not have to be a challenge. Start with the Solo Stove and add some low cost items that will make cooking and bugging out less of a daunting. But first, check out these links to a dehydrator and solar oven.
Nesco 600-Watt Food Dehydrator: This modestly priced dehydrator (less than $60) has over 1000 reviews and comes up as the most highly rated dehydrator on Amazon. I think this would make a good starter unit although I must admit I do covet the Excalibur with 9 trays.
All American Sun Oven: A sun oven is another option for dehydrating food although I have not done so myself.
Solo Stove: I was so impressed that I renamed this the “Amazing Little Solo Stove”. The price is $69.99 but for a small amount more, you can get a version that also burns alcohol.
Swedish Firesteel: Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions.
Light My Fire Tinder Sticks: Some people prefer to purchase tinder and this is a good choice. I like to use cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly that I make up myself, a couple dozen at a time. They store well in a small Ziploc baggie or re-purposed mint tin.
Lightweight Anodized Aluminum Outdoor Mess Kit: This is a well-priced, under $20, mess kit that is lightweight and with decent reviews.
Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets: You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. Be sure to test one out in advance so that you have the confidence to trust the blanket in an emergency. You will be amazed at how small and portable these are; a packet will easily fit in a back pocket.
Emergency Shelter Tent: The Emergency Tent is a lightweight and compact emergency shelter. It is wind and waterproof and easy to set up and is roomy enough for two people. Less than $10.
Emergency Sleeping Bag: Another low cost item designed to keep you warm in an emergency situation.
Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets: Water treatment tabs are a bug out bag essential.
Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife: This “oh so sweet” knife is solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It will pretty much cut through anything the price is amazing.
Rothco Type III Commercial Paracord: You can get 100 feet of Paracord for about $8. This is a real bargain but be aware that price can vary substantially depending on the color.
Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more. They are currently selling their Freeze Dried Tomatoes for $25.99, a discount of over 40% off the normal price of $43.95 for a #10 tin.
Tomatoes are good to have on-hand in your food storage for your favorite recipes. They are easy to store and rehydrate anytime you need them and are great for adding versatility to your home food supply. I use them in chili, sauces and soups.
Another special this month is the Freeze-Dried Uncooked Salmon which is an amazing $20.99 per can which is 58% off the normal price of $50.95.
In the gear department, the Katadyn Vario Microfilter Water Filtration System is 26% off at $69.99. My favorite emergency radio, the Kaito Voyager is only $39.99 this month. Don’t let the picture fool you – this radio is quite compact and light weight and it works great – even in hand crank mode.
There are a lot more items on sale this month – be sure to take a peek.
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FROM THE ALMOST FREE DEPARTMENT
Survival Life is offering a business card sized survival tool for free. The only hitch is that you must pay $2.95 in shipping charges. This is a good deal that to the best of my knowledge has only been offered in the past to Survival Life newsletter subscribers.
1. Can Opener
2. Knife Edge
3. Slotted/Flathead Screwdriver
5. Bottle Cap Opener
6. 4 Position Wrench
7. Wing-nut Wrench
8. Saw Blade
9. Direction Ancillary Indicator
10. 2 Position Wrench
11. Keychain Hole
This tiny but powerful survival tool is no bigger than a business card and fits right in your wallet. Now why wouldn’t you want one of these?
Here is a link were you can get it: Free Survival Business Card & Multi-Tool. (You can also click on the image above.)