For whatever reason, it seems many folks who are into the prepper or survivalist lifestyle are also big into conspiracy theories. Based on discussions I’ve seen on Facebook and other online forums, one of the more popular theories right now concerns President Obama’s citizenship and eligibility for Presidency.
Here’s my take on the whole Obama birth certificate fiasco, for whatever it might be worth to you all.
Does it really matter? I don’t mean to sound flippant, I really don’t, but I do think many of the so-called “birthers” are devoting way too much time and energy into something that is a non-issue.
Think about this for a second. Let’s say the birth certificate is indeed faked. Then what? Do you really, TRULY think that if it were somehow proven Obama wasn’t legally eligible to be President, that he’s just gonna give a sheepish smile and step down?
Many people have posted about how the release of the birth certificate is nothing more than a distraction, engineered to take our attention away from various and sundry other events here and abroad.
What if the whole eligibility issue is the real distraction? What if the plan from the beginning was to get folks all riled up about this citizen/non-citizen issue, taking up their attention, time, and energy so they wouldn’t concentrate so much on the bills being passed?
Kinda like parenting, you gotta pick your battles. The birther argument, for all the bluster and effort, will never succeed. Devote the energy to something more worthwhile, like prepping for more realistic threats.
There is little else more immediately heart-pounding than realizing your child is missing. You turned your head for just a second at the store and when you looked back, he or she is nowhere to be seen. In a flash, your mind races through all sorts of nasty scenarios as you call out your child’s name. 99.999% of the time, you find them quickly enough and probably scold them for walking away from you (with the reality being you’re scolding them for scaring the daylights out of you).
But, what if, Heaven forbid, your child were to really end up MISSING?
Many experts recommend having recent photos of your child on hand to aid law enforcement. Consider going one step further and doing up ID cards for each child. There are many different kits you can purchase online for this purpose but you can easily do it all on your own at home.
Using a digital camera, take a good head and shoulders picture of your child. Download this pic to your computer and copy it over to a document in your word processing program. Resize it down to be about the same size as a passport photo. An excellent way to format these cards is to use one of the built-in templates for business cards. Next to the picture, have the following information:
Child’s full name
Nickname(s), if applicable
Date of birth and age photo was taken
Eye and hair colors
Print out enough cards so that each parent can have one for each child in their wallet. This way, the parents will always have a current pic on hand when out and about, just in case.
Like most of our preps, this is something we hope we’ll never truly need. But, better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
Along these same lines, as soon as your child is old enough to do so, be sure to have him or her memorize their home phone number and address. Also, make sure they know your name. Don’t laugh, this is something most parents don’t think too much about but kids often don’t even realize their parents have names until they get older. They just know us as Mom and Dad.
Many of us probably disagree with at least a few laws that would somehow relate to prepping. For example, where I live there is almost no way to obtain a concealed carry permit unless you are a current or retired law enforcement officer. I don’t like it, I don’t agree with it, but y’know what? I follow the law. Why? Because I don’t feel like having to devote any money toward paying legal fees to fight a charge should I be found carrying a firearm.
See, here’s the thing. Even if you’re in the right and you prevail in a criminal court case, the legal fees can bury you. Plus, the whole time you’re battling it out in court, your weapon has likely been confiscated and is being held as evidence. So, not only are you out the thousands of dollars in attorney fees but your firearm is locked up and unavailable to you.
I have several close friends who are at various levels of law enforcement, from local small town patrol officers all the way up to a few three letter Federal agencies. Many of them don’t agree with some of the laws they enforce, but it is their job to ensure folks are abiding by those statutes.
I can think of few worse situations than to be sitting in the local iron bar hotel when disaster strikes the area.
All too often, when discussing preparedness with folks, if they’ve made plans at all, those plans usually rely on some form of evacuation or bugging out from their primary residence. In many, if not most, situations, staying home is likely to be your best bet.
Evacuation opens you up to a wide range of potential threats — weather, transportation issues, crime, who knows what else. For most folks, all of our supplies are at home. That’s where we have our pantry storage, our medical kits, and all that fun stuff.
Of course, there are situations where you MUST evacuate. If that’s the case, hopefully you’ve been paying attention during your visits to this blog and have made preparations for that contingency. Evacuation kits, locations chosen, multiple routes planned out.
In most emergencies though, you’re far better off to just stay home. If your primary plan is to head for the hills at the first sign of disaster, you might want to rethink it. Staying with the familiar not only provides you access to all you have worked so hard to stockpile but will likely serve to be infinitely less stressful than hitting the highway to adventure.
The results are in! Here are the winners of the Survival-Gear Writing Contest.
Expanding My Reloading Setup For Free by Dave D.
Pocket Survival Pak Plus
Survival — Its not about me! by Cathy S.
Pocket Survival Pak
Essential Basics by Scott S.
Personal First Aid Kit
Day Hike Mentality by Peter M.
A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness & Travel Medicine
Living Survival with Grandma Hazel by Bobbie P.
Survival is Life by Steve D.
We’d like to thank all of you who entered the contest and participated in the voting. We had several really great articles submitted. Great job everyone!
Today is Earth Day. Take some time and do something to mark the day. Remember folks, this is the only planet we have. The better we take care of it, the better it will take care of us.
Pick up some of that trash that has accumulated on the road in front of your house over the winter. Recycle what you can.
Take in cans for recycling. Use the money toward your preps if you’d like.
Work on your garden.
Get outside and just enjoy nature for a bit. Take along a book on edible plants and practice identifying them.
Plant some trees, especially those that bear fruit to help supplement your food storage.
Also, don’t forget today is the last day to vote on the submissions to the Survival-Gear Writing Contest. Votes are accepted until 5PM CST.
Remember when you were a kid and how bored you got during rainy summer days? How you likely drove your folks crazy with, “I’m BORED!” Ok, now how much fun do you think it would be to go through that for a few days in a row or longer? How many times would you have to hear that same sentiment from YOUR child before you’d finally reach for the duct tape?
Do your family (and your sanity) a favor and stock up on things you can do during an extended power outage, severe weather, or other prolonged emergency.
–Board games: You can usually find these cheap at thrift stores and rummage sales. Just check to make sure all the pieces are there. You might also consider getting some extra dice, just in case.
–Decks of cards: Obviously there is an almost infinite number of games you can play with cards. Either print out instructions from websites or get a book on card games.
–Craft supplies: Things like pads of paper, markers/crayons, pencils (don’t forget a sharpener or two), glue, tape, that sort of stuff. Maybe toss in some coloring books for the younger crowd as well.
–Books: As long as you aren’t in immediate danger, reading is a great way to spend some time. Consider having the family read aloud, each person taking turns.
–Musical instruments: Granted, not for the faint of heart when young kids are involved but if you have instruments on hand, make use of them.
“Eat what you store and store what you eat” is the mantra for a proper food storage plan. Many preppers become enamored with dehydrated foods or bulk grain storage. But, if your body isn’t used to these types of foods, you may likely encounter some, um, issues when it comes time to start relying upon your pantry storage.
Spending hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on bulk grains doesn’t do you much good if you don’t know how to prepare them for consumption.
You’re throwing money away if you just buy a bunch of food, then toss it into a closet and forget about it.
A proper food storage plan revolves around foods you normally eat and has those foods rotated through your pantry, consumed before they reach their expiration dates. While having some easy-to-prepare dehydrated foods is not inherently a bad idea, you should first make sure you like the particular brand(s) you’re buying.
Obviously, home canned foods are usually best. You know what is in that jar, because you put it there. But, those jars aren’t light and they are fragile.
The best storage plans take advantage of all the options–home canned, commercial canned goods, dehydrated foods, bulk grains. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.
Relying on unfamiliar foods during a crisis is just one more thing that can stress you out. Further, if kids are in the mix, well, getting a child to try a new food can be a challenge on a good day, right? Your best bet is to just stock up on those foods you already eat on a regular basis. Add to your storage a little at a time and you’ll be surprised how quickly it will all add up.
No doubt about it, we preppers love our “stuff.” Water filters, freeze-dried food, firearms, camping equipment, the list goes on and on. Some of us probably wouldn’t look out of place on Hoarders. Those new to the prepper lifestyle are particularly susceptible to this almost maddening rush to acquire stockpiles of everything and anything.
But, is having “stuff” enough?
To be blunt, not even close! You need to develop the proper skills to not only use all that stuff. You should also skills to fall back on if/when the gear fails.
Having magnesium fire strikers are great, but you need to practice with them. Sitting in the woods, shaking from the cold, is not the best time to open the package and read the instructions.
Reading a book or two on fashioning snares from brass wire isn’t quite the same as actually making one that works.
Stocking up on heirloom seeds is a wonderful idea but if you’ve never so much as dug a hole with a shovel before, gardening might not work out for you the first time around.
And, God help the man who goes out and buys a Ruger 10/22, several cases of ammo, then just puts it all in a closet, feeling good about himself because he can now hunt and protect his family.
The point is this — stuff is great to have and I’d never tell you otherwise. But, without skills, that stuff is worth much less than you paid for it.
I recently finished reading what is so far my favorite survival title of the year and felt compelled to mention it to my readers here.
GETTING OUT ALIVE by Scott Williams (2011, Ulysses Press) is not a survival manual, at least not an overt one. Each of the thirteen chapters presents a different survival scenario. Lost in the jungle, stranded in your vehicle during a blizzard, plane crash, bear attack, that sort of thing. In each chapter, Williams puts YOU into the story, describing in detail what you’d likely experience in that situation. Along the way, he presents various real life examples of each scenario. At the end of each chapter, Williams lists ten tips to help you survive that particular disaster.
Williams knows from where he speaks. He is someone who has truly “been there, done that.” He has traveled the globe, surviving in some of the harshest and most unforgiving climates known to man. He is also a gifted writer and I literally tore through this book in just a couple days. A thoroughly enjoyable read, with tons of great information. His previous book, Bug Out, is also highly recommended.