With the way things seem to be going, I'm starting to reevaluate my preparations for basic degradation in public services. But alas, I do not yet own my own home so I wanted to see what y'all have done to prep with both limited space and restrictions on modifications to the property itself.

Original Post

Look at ALL the empty space in where you live.  Under the couch, under the bed, etc.  Look UP, don't forget about the 3rd dimension of the 3d, even if it's just shelves up high in the closets (not that you need to access everything on a daily basis).  Another thing to look at is off site storage (think small storage closet......not bad idea to prepare to lose primary house and still be able to function).  Apartment living is hard from a preparedness stand point, but it's not impossible.  Do you "live" in your apartment or do you eat/sleep in your apartment?  Prepare accordingly.  

It depends a little on how serious you want to take this. Or how serious your wife and/or girlfriend will accomodate.

Have nothing in your life you cannot walk out on in thirty seconds flat.

If you live like a pirate, and do all of your entertaining offsite, the options open up quite a bit.

Narrowing down to one rifle caliber and one pistol caliber helps. So does consolidating around one or two systems. An AR and one pistol means only one war belt and set of magazines, compared to the guy who has a 1911, Glock 21 and 19, MNP40, SIG 320, and a S&W M66 as well as a M1A, SKS, HK91, M700  sniper rifle and a Mauser M98 plus supporting gear for all the above.

Same goes for the guy who only has one back pack, multi purpose clothes, etc.

Consider what you are most likely to use: Are you going to fight more with your rifle or your pistol by preference? Let that dictate the amounts of premium ammo you stockpile for each. For example, I would tend to view a 5:1 ratio as the appropriate one for rifleistol ammo.


If you do have duplicates, consider offsite storage of the spares as Cytex mentioned.  Thieves are not likely to hit your vehicle , apartment, and storage shed(s) all at the same time. Depending on the circumstance, the same applies to a search warrant or Temporary Restraining Order.  Depending on your domestic situation and local laws a Protective order can really screw up your basic plans.  Having spare stuff stored off site with few people who know about it is helpful in one of those situations.

Energy dense foods are easy to store if you don't mind the warehouse look. But they require different cooking than all the easy bake box stuff.  A Fanny Farmer cookbook and a Betty Crocker cookbook really help make commodity type stuff into great meals.

Knockdown Gorilla racks from Sam's Club, Costco, or the like help with storing stuff in a orderly manner. Gamma seal lids make 5 gallon buckets pretty useful, but still easy to get into.


Solo prepping without space/resources is a tough gig.  If you have people you know/trust (family, or VERY good friends), you can team up and store/Prep at another site.  

A rentable storage unit (get a climate-controlled one if you’re storing food) is another option.  That’s where I store stuff I can’t/don’t store at home.

its amazing what you can pack into a 10x12 storage unit

What are you prepping for? What are you prepping against? 

Everyone wants to talk about guns and ammo, but the reality is that you should probably be looking at provisioning yourself to be able to stay home for 60 days without going outside. Lots of problems can be solved by locking the doors and leaving the blinds closed. 

Food and water are the immediate staples. I like keeping a month or two of freeze-dried type meals on hand because they take up very little space and are portable. If you're MIL/LE, you can get the Mountain House pro-deal and save some cash. Something most people don't think about is that you can buy a case or two of Ramen and some Mountain House #10 cans and repackage meals with a food saver to quite easily get a 30-60 day supply of food on hand for less than $300. If you camp and hike or hunt you now have a ready-made pool of meals for your trips. If you eat canned foods it makes sense to just buy one extra can each time you replenish. Let's say you eat some canned chili and you know you're going to get more, just buy two cans instead of one. As soon as you use one, buy two more if it's a common item. That's the easiest way to build food storage. Buy what you eat and eat what you buy. 

Water is a bit trickier in an apartment. I have a big ass house with a huge pantry, so I have no problem storing water. When I lived in an apartment, I would buy cases of bottled water for general consumption and store them in a closet. No one thinks twice when they see cases of water bottles, and it's an easy way to keep 50'ish gallons on hand without a bunch of drama. The next best thing to get are some of those bathtub bags used for hurricanes. You can fill them up in your apartment while you still have water if you think water might be getting scarce. Buy some plain Clorox bleach and a bottle with a dropper. It's super easy to remember that two drops in a quart of clean water will disinfect it. Four drops in a quart of murky water. I have filters and other stuff on hand, but Clorox Bleach is the best thing to keep around for long-term use. Every six months, I pour the entire bottle of bleach into the upper tank of the toilet and scrub it out to keep that water source viable as well. Each prep should make sense; I've got a purification method that can also clean and sanitize. 

If you can have a gas grill or stove get an extra bottle of propane for it. If not, find your best backpacking option and make sure you know how to use it and have fuel laid in for the stove. 

Keep your vehicle tank filled up. Most problems in the USA can be solved by driving one tank of gas away from the problem. Keeping a few months of cash on hand is key to being able to drive away. Don't forget that cash is king. 

You guys can get back to swords and guns now. 

geronimo posted:

What are you prepping for? What are you prepping against? 

Everyone wants to talk about guns and ammo, but the reality is that you should probably be looking at provisioning yourself to be able to stay home for 60 days without going outside. Lots of problems can be solved by locking the doors and leaving the blinds closed. 

 

Regardless of your religious affiliation, the LDS church has good resources on food storage, including how to integrate it into limited space (apartment living), calculating requirements and even storage resource centers where bulk items can be purchased or packaged - even by non-members.  Search 'LDS food storage' and do some reading.  

Defining your requirement is the first thing.  What do you want to do?  Are you looking at long-term shelter in place preparations?  Bugging out may not be the best option.  Bug out?  Where are you going to go?  Is there a chance your neighborhood will require mandatory evacuation?

We bought a Captains Bed to make room for some of our stuff.

Make sure you can manhandle your bailout bags.  A couple of small suitcases, like you would put in the overhead bin on an airplane, may be better than a duffel bag.  This is one reason I bought a couple of mini-parachute bags from Coleman's.  Make sure it it fits well and you can carry it to the car easily - and it fits in the trunk.  A suitcase works as well as a backpack in a lot of situations.

Be ruthless with culling weight.

Cytez has a good idea - offsite storage.  Do you live in a floodplain?  Rent a storage unit, from a reputable corporation, and keep your bail out supplies there.  Make sure it is out of the floodplain.  Be sure to include supplies for your dog.  I use a re-purposed M5 bag with dog food and such.

Don't forget records; marriage certificate; deeds; car registrations; estate plan, etc.

Here's one idea.  This woman dedicated a coat closet to bailout supplies.

The Latter Day Saints have a lot of no-nonsense planning for self-reliance and preparedness.  They will talk with you and sell you supplies at their store.  

If you want square pails, look here https://www.uline <DOT> com/BL_8172/Square-Pails?keywords=square+buckets

 

 

 

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Along with cash, as has been mentioned, consider an extra supply of things your neighbors will run out of (TP and tampons always make good tender) that you can trade. It buys good will and friendship, as well as another pair of eyes on your property, both while you're home and away. If there are people you trust in your building, consider forming a coop, both for sharing and security. 

As far as food goes, a lot of good suggestions already. Consider getting a dehydrator. They're cheap and don't take up a lot of space. You can dehydrate meats, fruits, veggies and all kinds of other stuff, and reconstitute them for meals or eat them like jerky and trail mix. They also travel well if you have to bug out or run out for supplies. 

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Consider buying chlorine pool shock (granular) rather than liquid bleach.  It’s more compact, you can make bleach from it, and sanitize a metric shit-ton of water from a pound of granular Chlorine.

it also stores FAR better than aqueous bleach, which is useless in a matter of months.

In case it hasn't been brought up in this thread or another, for those thinking about storing supplies in a public storage unit keep the following in mind. At least in my city (and I'd gather most others) burglaries against public storage units has been steady and in some cases increasing. In several reports I took people kept firearms, ammo, and other similar type of items inside. 

Most of the large corporate chain types may or may not have video surveillance mounted only at entrance/exit areas. In most cases they're not HD, and quite frankly it wouldn't matter since you couldn't determine if a vehicle/person was connected to the crime anyways. The public storage units are just secured by a padlock, something easily enough defeated by a pair of cheap bolt-cutters. And if you happen to visit during off-hours (2200-0500 hours) you're likely to be the only one there and can take your time.

I say this not to shoot down the idea of keeping your stuff off-site. But if done cleverly, i.e. putting supplies secured and hidden out of immediate sight, yet easily accessible if needed then this is a viable option. I just wanted to raise it to attention as up until now I've taken my fair share of burglary reports at these places. And in all of these cases, the companies/employees could give less of a shit about addressing or resolving the issue of security.

Space at family/friends for a BOB, plastic tote or two or duffle bag/kit bag or two goes a long way with some planning. Water storage thing that fits in a bath tub. They are not expensive, either. Move bookcases and furniture away from walls a bit and store behind them. End tables and low dressers can be raised and preps stored under them. Can you save space by re-packaging preps?

Dave

The one storage solution I have not (yet) seen get hit by thieves is the Conex box type. Some places have lots full of these in 10', 20' and 40' sizes. They are pretty secure.

Packaging makes a difference in rental storage. Having your stuff densely packed in a construction grade gang box makes it less likely to get lifted.

https://www.knaack.com/en/view...e%20Storage/Chest/60

This model weighs 190# empty. Full of ammo, maybe a firearm or two, some tools, etc.  it is not getting moved out of the shed without a forklift or enterprising thieves with a low trailer, rollers, pallet jack, come alongs or Tommy lift gate. It double locks with two padlocks.

This also will work if you're storing stuff at a friend/relative garage or house- At the very least it helps keep idle curiosity at bay. It also deters the "Smash and Grab Artists.

Five gallon Culligan jugs are a slick way to buy and store bulk water. We keep about ten on hand at any time and rotate them through the dispenser. That is 50 gallons of water- Sparingly used it will last for a while.

Any dry edibles are best stored in plastic buckets to prevent rodent and insect damage.

I like to keep enough plywood and screws around to secure broken windows as needed. This is more in case of environmental damage (wind, hail, falling tree, etc.) but still useful.

Oh, if you use trash cans, steel instead of plastic.  Most rats I know cannot chew through galvanized steel and raccoons still haven't figured out how to take a bungee cord off a stash can.

X-RAY DAVE mentions something very important, allies and friends.  If a friend doesn't mind you keeping your gear at his place you may have a win-win situation.  You have your stuff, he gets your muscle once in awhile.

Some comments on water.  Store what you can and have the bath tub bladder to fill if you have time. Have 2 ways, other than boiling to purify water.  Filter, chemical.  Boiling works, but is time consuming and requires some type of fuel.  Silcock keys will get you access to water in and outside of buildings.  A super syphon would be nice for transferring water

Solar or hand crank  battery chargers. AM/FM/SW/ Weather radio . Scanner is handy to get real time information. Most of all a well thought out plan divided up into key areas. Food, water, heat/light/power, commo, security, cooking/sanitation, medical, noise & light discipline, bug out plan. Dividing things up makes it more manageable. How and when to retrieve supplies from other locations? Develop a "mutual aid" network and plan. Share skills, supplies, key items, labor. 

Cash, no large bills. $20s and LOTS of $1s and $5s. If you have a camping or backpacking stove, extra fuel. Never allow car gas tank below half. If you can keep a bag in the car that gives you another layer of preps and additional supplies. Don't forget OPSEC & PERSEC, your neighbors don't need to see or know.

Dave

X-ray Dave posted:

Some comments on water.  Store what you can and have the bath tub bladder to fill if you have time. Have 2 ways, other than boiling to purify water.  Filter, chemical.  Boiling works, but is time consuming and requires some type of fuel.  Silcock keys will get you access to water in and outside of buildings.  A super syphon would be nice for transferring water

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Dave

Water Bob $34.95 plus shipping.  www.waterbob.com.

 

Regarding offsite commercial storage. I have a 10x15 climate controlled storage at one of the big chains.  We keep the usual crap in it but I added a bunch of food, water, etc. just as an extra supply. 

Laat year before the hurricane I got an email saying they were closing and they stayed closed for a few days and the place was completely inaccessible.  

For me it is still a viable option but I need to plan on the place being closed during a large scale problem.  Driving across town crashing a gate and breaking into a warehouse isn’t at the top of my list of options. But if I know I’m going to need extra provisions for a storm for example, it is a good way to stay out of the grocery store. With advanced notice I can move stuff from storage to my living room.  

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What if we need to store the water for more than 16 weeks or I have well water?

The water can be treated with the use of water purification tablets which can be purchased at most outdoors or sporting goods stores. Follow the directions for use on the package you purchase.

If the emergency has left you with no water beyond the 4 week safe storage time and you have no other means of purification, you may treat the water with liquid chlorine laundry bleach. NOTE: do not use scented laundry bleach, powdered bleach, or swimming pool chlorine – these may contain additional chemicals that are poisonous.

So what could the dangerous chemicals be?

Longeye posted:

Five gallon Culligan jugs are a slick way to buy and store bulk water. We keep about ten on hand at any time and rotate them through the dispenser. That is 50 gallons of water- Sparingly used it will last for a while.

Not familiar with these.

Can we also start adding links to these things? Not all are easily Googlable.

 

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White rice and beans in mylar bags with o2 absorbers. I use the gallon size bags and it's super easy. I found that the storage bins from Lowes, etc. are much more convenient than 5 gallon buckets. I can get about 13 gallon bags into one container as opposed to 3 in a 5 gallon bucket. Sawyer makes a nice gravity water filter setup. Asian markets sell little butane stoves and canisters which would be handy to cook in your apartment if the power or gas goes out.

This!

I bought one of those butane stoves in Chinatown for the wife to use while we renovate the house. It is frigging awesome! A brand new one in a plastic carry case ran me $20. The butane comes in pack of 4 IIRC. I think that they were about $5-6. We have it sitting right below the '50's style wall-mounted exhaust fan on a table. It's Perfect.  If no power, we would just take it outside to use to be safe.

Another thing from Chinatown are non-refrigerated sauces. We use sweet chili, soy, banana ketchup, and fish sauces that don't need to be stored in the fridge. Those will go along way in flavoring up your rice and beans.

I purchased one of the butane stoves at a gun show.  It will boil water right now.  FWIW Sam’s Club carries the butane cylinders in the commercial kitchen/catering supply area. 

I try to pickup a couple freeze dried meals every once and a while at Walmart. Decades long shelf life and we use them when we go hiking.  Not a bad idea to have paper plates, bowels and plastic utensils too. 

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Good 2 part video on food storage/preparation:  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqFF0jCnrNM
2.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0Zbq8lFX2k

You can get these kind of "buckets", that make it easier to stack and store:  https://www.amazon.com/Gallon-...uare+5+gallon+bucket  NOTE - I'm not saying buy THESE exact ones....they're expensive, I'm just using these as an example

Good combination of Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers:  https://www.amazon.com/1-Gallo...torage+bags+for+food

Subdivide the bulk food into 1 gallon bags.  Why?  That way you are only exposing a "gallon" of rice/beans/flour/sugar/etc. instead of 3 gallons, or 5 gallons.  You are only opening what you NEED at the time, leaving everything still sealed/protected.  Also, if you "botched" the sealing process on ONE gallon, you only lose that bit of food, if it was botched on a FIVE gallon bag, that's a LOT more food you just lost.

We supplement the above bulk rice and beans etc., with freeze dried meats.  Rice and beans every day will start getting old without something else (like meat) to improve it.  We also bought a bunch of BULK herbs and seasonings, to make the food taste better.  Remember, at one time in history, SALT was worth it's weight in GOLD.  Oatmeal is another good BULK item, along with various flours. 

I look at everything with a eye to "being mobile" (what is easy to carry/prepare/eat), the first 30-90 days (lots of WORK, need food easy to fix and eat, not a lot of preparation or cook.....freeze dried - just boil water), Vs. 90+ days, things are stabilized, cooking/cleaning/food production is figured out, water source is figured out.  At this point, longer food preparation is OK, like soaking beans etc., and more "clean up" is OK, like pots and pans etc.

Mechanical advantages are awesome, and highly recommended, however, they are "limited".  Take for instance, the "camp stove", definitely easier to use than a wood fire and makes a LOT of sense.  However, eventually you WILL run out of fuel, what is plan B?  Taking a camp stove outside to cook , when it's 65 degrees and sunny, is a piece of cake; what happens when it's -10F outside?  Or raining?  Or it's 110F outside.  It's one thing to suck up the suck on a couple of day camping trip, when you KNOW it's going to end and it's temporary.  It's completely another thing to have to do it, day in and day out, no end in sight  

Just some things to think about, see signature below.

I've gone down the prepper rabbit hole and have walked back a bit from building the underground fallout shelter.

In a perfect world, if you aren't constrained by professional responsibilities to stay in the area, bug out.  The money you put in to a storage unit (monthly bill) the items you buy to put in to storage unit (money tied up which can only depreciate unless you ever need it) can be put in to an emergency go bag as cash to pay for expenses if you have to leave the area.  Keep an active credit card with no balance so you'll be able to pay for things like hotels or gas assuming they still have power.

Figure out which of your friends and family are willing to host you in event of emergency and build your evac plans around that. 

Be physically and mentally prepared to leave too early rather than too late.

A few years ago right before Hurricane Sandy, I had a friend who lived next to the Hudson River in NJ who called asking for advice on what to do.  Wife had just given birth to their second child and was reluctant to pack everything up and go.  I asked him how they would get to the hospital if the streets were flooded? 

They discussed and packed up the essentials and spent a long weekend at State College where his sister was finishing up her Master's degree.   Burned up some hotel points for a stay-cation and didn't get so much as  a raindrop. 

Came back a few days later to find neighbors who'd been stranded in their apartments because the streets had flooded their cars, no power and no ability to go anywhere.

As for the storage unit if you go that route, in addition to the excellent suggestions already mentioned.  Be liberal with desiccant to minimize mold and lay out plenty of bug and mice poison.

Chlorine for water purification is also called sodium hypochlorite.  It is widely available.  Amazon has it in many different forms.  Go here for more information : https://www.cdc <DOT> gov/safewater/chlorination-faq.html

I also suggest you put some references in your kit.

The Ranger Handbook, https://archive <DOT> org/search.php?query=Ranger%20Handbook  (Take your pick, they are all there.

FM 5-34, Engineer Field Data, https://archive <DOT> org/details/FM5-35/page/n1

FM 21-10, Field Sanitation, https://archive <DOT> org/details/FM21-10_2000/page/n0

Each of these has different data, including how much sodium hypochlorite to use for water sterilization.  Something like 1 canteen cup for a water buffalo.  How to build stuff.  How to stay healthy.  The 'obsolete' versions are pretty good too.  They are based on muscle power, not machines.  You get the idea.

SOP's, maps and route plans / strip maps, pioneer and engineer tools / gardening and carpentry tools.

My father was a Combat Engineer in the early 1950's.  When he decided to renovate the house in the 1990's, he asked me for a copy of FM 5-34.  It's that useful.

 

 

 

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Longeye posted:

There is also something to be said for having a 3-6 month supply of cash laying around in safe places that are not banks or safe deposit boxes.

Prepping depends on likely events and likely responses to the planned for event. Watching the "Loneliness , Depression and Hypervigilance" thread makes divorce or separation look like one of the likely events to plan for. I have not been down that road, but it appears to be messy, and appears that at least some of the supplies should be maintained offsite without the knowledge of wife/girlfriend/sidepiece.

I am picturing the scenario where things come to a head one night, and one leaves on a minutes notice with the clothes on ones back and whatever was already in the vehicle. 
To start fresh, a few months cash, a pistol and carbine with support gear and a weeks worth of typical clothes for your lifestyle are going to be the basics as you setup housekeeping across town or wherever, and it may be some time before you can get back to the old place.

Remember, one will be paying deposits in advance on apartments, utilities, etc. It takes cash to do that. The initial crash pad may not be in the best part of town.

There are enough of these stories and follow on anecdotes where the wife or GF either trashed or sold for cheap all the dudes stuff in the days following the breakup, that it seems worth planning around with covert and redundant supplies.


Prepping depends on likely events and likely responses to the planned for event. Watching the "Loneliness , Depression and Hypervigilance" thread makes divorce or separation look like one of the likely events to plan for. I have not been down that road, but it appears to be messy, and appears that at least some of the supplies should be maintained offsite without the knowledge of wife/girlfriend/sidepiece.


Hoarding ammo from your teammates for yourself during a fire fight because what one of them *might* do is not a winning proposition.

With the prevalence of divorce and separation in our culture, especially in the professions that most hold in this forum, I understand the thought that “I need to keep something aside so the kids and I can survive if she or he splits.” However, that mindset makes you *more* vulnerable, not less. Keeping a relationship together is hard enough without maintaining secrets based in distrust. If the unthinkable happens and you are betrayed by a member of your own family, whether wife, child, parent, or sibling, what is going to save you will be what you invested in the rest of your family, not what you held back.

If you chose to be part of the team, you need to treat it like a team, if you really want to survive.

Anyone ever consider this for currency? They can be had in gold, silver and platinum, then easily broken apart for buying goods.

BC2C21D5-EAAE-4F76-8B0E-02370F41DA73

I would think that in a SHTF scenario where an economic collapse happens, paper money wouldn’t be worth shit and these might be a viable alternative. 

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jdtaylor34 posted:

Anyone ever consider this for currency?

Supply and demand. These (and any other medium of exchange) only have value if both parties agree on the value. What you pay for them now may be far more (or less, though unlikely) than their worth in a SHTF scenario.

Think of it this way - You have goods to trade, and someone offers you these in return. How sure are you that the next person you trade with will accept them?

A universal need will always be the best currency.

Bartering items, whether they be cash, semi-precious/precious metals/gems, or expendable goods (food/ammo/medical/etc.) are ONLY worth what everyone AGREES they are worth.  IF I had 100,000 rnds of 5.56, and someone wanted to trade me some gold for 1,000 of those rounds, then I have to DECIDE whether the gold is WORTH it to me.  Can I feed gold to my "family"?  Can I fire gold through a firearm?  Can gold patch an injury/wound?  What does it DO for me?  The ONLY thing I could hope for is that someone, with something I WANT, finds that gold as important/precious as I did and VALUES it enough to trade for it.

In a WROL/End times scenario, would you rather take an ounce of some metal that you can't really do anything with?  Or would you rather trade for Food/Medicine/tools/etc., something tangible/useful?  

Where this REALLY gets interesting is ANYTHING that is a "crutch"/addictive.  Coffee, Tobacco, Alcohol, etc.  While I don't drink, I personally have a bunch of alcohol, in "Pint" +/- size bottles that easy to trade with/for (whiskey, tequila, rum, vodka).  I also have a shit ton of coffee (instant and beans/grounds), to use for trade as well as my own habit.  

I see "Money", paper currency and then "precious metals",  only lasting/having value for so long after an event.  People will probably keep hope that things will return to "Normal" for 3-6 weeks after an "Event".  After that?  ALL bets are off.  Think of the movie "The Book of Eli", and how valuable potable water became.  

I would ONLY invest/"hoard" precious metals AFTER I've got EVERYTHING else in place.  How long, after an "event" would it take you to start gardening and harvest enough to feed you and yours?  Then you need enough food to get you through to THAT point (2+/- years?).  It's one thing to grow your own vegetables, but what about Rice and Grains? (you might want to store MORE than 2 years of rice and grains to supplement what you can grow0  Potatoes are a good filler and easy to grow/store.   Then of course, there's meat/eggs/dairy.  Beans are a good source of protein, but again how much can you STORE?  Then you start looking at who in YOUR area MAY have meat/eggs/dairy to TRADE for.....and what will they TAKE in trade?  

How much ammo will you "NEED"?  How many firearms will you want/need?  How much medical supplies will you want/need?  What about CLOTHES?  Shoes?  SOCIKS (the forgotten item)?  To you have EVERYTHING you'll need?  Only THEN, after everything else you may want/need is accounted for, THEN you can start worrying about semi/precious metals/gems.

Now, having said all of that.  IF I were going to gather precious metals for barter/trade in a WROL scenario?  I would look at Gold and Silver chains, chains in which a I can cut links off, something like a "Curb" chain, with easily definable links that can be easily cut with a leatherman.  I would look for 18K chains, from places like pawn shops.  You don't care about the "Look/Style", just that they ARE gold/silver, and easily cut.  What this all infers, is that you become REALLY good at identifying Gold and Silver, either through mechanical or chemical means.  Your money would go a LOT further buying pawn chains than something like above, that is manufactured for the express purpose of praying on "fear".  

First we put it in the freezer for a few days, to insure anything alive is dead.  Then we put it in 1lb or less Mylar bags, with oxygen absorbers, then heat sealed.  You know you sealed it correctly if it LOOKS like it's vacuum sealed after a while (oxygen absorbers do their jobs).  We did the same thing with salt and sugar (for use AND barter). 

Correction from the HH6, on the coffee.  We bought "Franklin's Finest" freeze dried coffee for instant coffee (720 servings for $77....for the 2 of us, at one cup a day/morning, that's nearly a year's worth), we have 2 or 3 or those.  GROUND coffee CAN go rancid, so the thing we packaged in Mylar bags was coffee BEANS.  Coffee beans can't go rancid, as the "oils" aren't released until ground.  We packaged up several pounds of the beans, with a manual grinder and coffee percolator to use when needed/required.  

We're up about 600ft above the valley floor (safe from anything but BIBLICAL floods).  We live at the end of a cul-de-sac.  We have an attached garage for the cars, and a detached garage, for storage as well as my drums.  We see deer at least once a day, have a good location for a garden if needed, and have 6 medical professionals that live around us.  Basically, we've made the decision to stay put, we're not bugging out.  Neither one of us in GREAT shape and I'm not sure that we could really go any place that would be better than what we have now.  The ONLY thing I truly fear up here is fire, and I put a metal roof on the house because of it.  Not only do I have about 6 cords of split Oak currently, but have a whole forest around me to cut down more if needed.  Unfortunately, that means I have a LOT of fuel (including pine) around the house for a wild fire to feed on and NO local fire mitigation to stop it.  

Everything I talk about/recommend is based on the above.  We're staying put and acting accordingly.  Our 2+ years of food stores, the ammo, the firearms; ALL of it is to help us stay in place and survive.  Take ANYTHING I say with that in mind.  When my wife was traveling 50 miles each way, up to Mechanicsburg to work at Naval Support Activity Mech, every day?  We had a possible "Get Home" plan in place for her, with her getting on the Appalachian Trail and heading South, and me getting on it and heading North to meet up with her and bring her home.  Now that she Teleworks (Medical telework agreement) every day?  That's not even an issue (we have a 2013 Dodge Ram Big Horn with less than 20,000 miles on it, to give you an idea of how much we "travel").   

If you live in the middle of Los Angeles, most of what I've said has NO bearing on you.  There's NO way I would try to "bug in" after an 8+ earthquake, waiting for everyone around me to run out of everything and bein looting everything around them.  If this is YOUR situation?  I feel for you.  I have NO good advice of what you should do, well except get out NOW while it would be easy to do.  "Come OUT of her, my people" fits in here somewhere.

Cytez posted:

Now, having said all of that.  IF I were going to gather precious metals for barter/trade in a WROL scenario?  I would look at Gold and Silver chains, chains in which a I can cut links off, something like a "Curb" chain, with easily definable links that can be easily cut with a leatherman.  I would look for 18K chains, from places like pawn shops.  You don't care about the "Look/Style", just that they ARE gold/silver, and easily cut.  What this all infers, is that you become REALLY good at identifying Gold and Silver, either through mechanical or chemical means.  Your money would go a LOT further buying pawn chains than something like above, that is manufactured for the express purpose of praying on "fear".  

Hmmm.

A very long time ago, as a kid, I had access to a very exclusive Club in a far away place.  Around the pool was an old (70-700) Asian(ish) dude who was spending his retirement years drinking & reading at the pool while gazing at attractive young female bathers. He had great tolerance for kids & used to tell us tales from his life long occupation: smuggling throughout Asia.  For bribery (say two guards on a remote trail) he recommended gold wire which he kept wrapped around his gut) regardless of what else he might be smuggling. "Why?", we asked.

Compact, easily concealed, easy to twist/cut to length & easily dividable.  More importantly, the objects of the bribe could determine it was gold (mass & bite test) & knew what they could do with it- hoard, sell, trade.  Not so with other commodities such as antibiotics, diamonds, USD etc.

Thanks for the coffee help, CYTEZ. Very good info on PM above. My views are similar, last thing to do unless you have the bucks to get everything at once.  I don't see much use for it in a short term  disaster. I look at it for use after having survived a very bad, wide spread, long term event when things become the new normal. But to get to that point you need everything else. All the stuff, the skills, training, knowledge and support network. Other things that are inexpensive now, that will be needed and have a long shelf life are better barter items than PM in my mind.

Dave

Cytez posted:

Bartering items, whether they be cash, semi-precious/precious metals/gems, or expendable goods (food/ammo/medical/etc.) are ONLY worth what everyone AGREES they are worth.  IF I had 100,000 rnds of 5.56, and someone wanted to trade me some gold for 1,000 of those rounds, then I have to DECIDE whether the gold is WORTH it to me.  Can I feed gold to my "family"?  Can I fire gold through a firearm?  Can gold patch an injury/wound?  What does it DO for me?  The ONLY thing I could hope for is that someone, with something I WANT, finds that gold as important/precious as I did and VALUES it enough to trade for it.

In a WROL/End times scenario, would you rather take an ounce of some metal that you can't really do anything with?  Or would you rather trade for Food/Medicine/tools/etc., something tangible/useful?  

Where this REALLY gets interesting is ANYTHING that is a "crutch"/addictive.  Coffee, Tobacco, Alcohol, etc.  While I don't drink, I personally have a bunch of alcohol, in "Pint" +/- size bottles that easy to trade with/for (whiskey, tequila, rum, vodka).  I also have a shit ton of coffee (instant and beans/grounds), to use for trade as well as my own habit.  

I see "Money", paper currency and then "precious metals",  only lasting/having value for so long after an event.  People will probably keep hope that things will return to "Normal" for 3-6 weeks after an "Event".  After that?  ALL bets are off.  Think of the movie "The Book of Eli", and how valuable potable water became.  

 

I can't remember which website posted the particular AAR I'm thinking of, and I can't recall which country the writer was from but I want to say it was Chechnya or some such...

Anyway, the writer lived in an urban area where essential services were nonexistent for a LONG period of time and the local economy sounded like it devolved to a straight-up barter system. His most valuable resources (for trading purposes) were alcohol /liquor and Bic lighters, of all things 

Years ago, I read a Hurricane Katrina AAR and the guy that wrote it had access to a generator and could apparently make his own ice. He had a large stock of coca cola and would use ice cold cans of coke for everything from trading to bribing NG/LEOs at checkpoints ...

I actually found that video pretty decent .Not the "crazy prepper" video I was half expecting. 

 

Here's the problem .  While I agreed with all the items they said to store for use/bartering, in my head I was calculating how many Conex boxes I'd need to bury in order to have all this stuff, and keep it relatively safe. Now and during an "event.'   

 

It really takes a village. Ideally, 3 or 5 families with a decent amount of property adjacent with everyone contributing. That's how you survive short and long term .  But seriously, how many of us can do that?  Lightfighter island comes to mind. We'd all love it, but reality is what it is .

 

Still, a good video .

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Exactly......Mutual Aid/Assistance.  Network, Group, Pact, etc.  With the wife and I, how long do you think the two of us can …….Pull Security, Prepare food/cook/clean, cut/split/gather firewood, collect/gather water, etc. etc. etc.?  Eventually, one or two of us need to SLEEP.  The more people you have to carry the "load", the easier it will be.  Location also determines "work load".  Me at the end of a cul-de-sac?  Easier to secure than say a regular square block in the middle of the San Fernando Valley.  Avenues of Approach are pretty easy to predict and therefore secure.  With basically one avenue of approach, the "security requirement" is simple.  The city block in the San Fernando Valley would require 360 degree security.....at ALL times.  LOTS of people are required for that.

So, now here's the downside with a MAG/MAN/MAP etc.  Typically a MAG requires that everyone IN the MAG has a baseline of certain things (firearms/food/medical/etc.), say 1000 rounds Pri, 250 rounds Sec, 1 years worth of food for each family member, IFAK kit for each family member, etc.  The question becomes, how do you insure/verify each family HAS what it's suppose to?  Does it become a "Military" environment?  Do you have full layouts in the middle of the street?  You are RELYING on these people for your LIFE.....trust but verify fits in here.

What are becoming popular are, for lack of a better term, communes (communal living communities).  Groups or individuals are buying large acre tracks, and then set up living arrangements (typically simple houses, but can be even trailers/motor homes etc.).  Rich people do it with very expensive underground bunkers with every luxury.....not rich people do it with whatever means they can (including doing it "off grid" to lower costs).  Typically, whoever is running the MAG/MAP/Community ensures that everyone moving onto the property has the minimum requirements OF the property.  Quite a few of these type of communities typically have something at their core in common, such as religion.  This gives the community a definitive common belief system to work with/for, and cuts down on the disputes, etc. 

What these communities tend to be doing, is "bugging out" BEFORE the "event".  They are setting themselves up to live as simply as possible, in anticipation that it will be exactly how people will live AFTER the event anyway.  They already HAVE the garden going, the animals (goats/chickens/etc.) in rotation, the water sources (rain catchment/ponds/hand pumped wells/etc.).  They typically live a much simpler (in some ways) life, without chasing the "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality of dual incomes, multiple vehicle, McMansions, etc.  While each family MAY have a single source of income (to maintain the vehicle, buy construction materials, etc.), the focus is much more on the homestead/home/family.  A GOOD example of this is Shofar Mountain (the name of their community) run by Pastor Joe Fox.  He's got HUNDREDS of videos on YouTube about what they're doing and how they got there.  

"Lightfighter Island" could always be a reality.  There's always the ability to buy large tracts of acres all across the country, and moving multiple family groups onto it.  The question becomes, who is truly willing to do it?  Who is willing to walk away from the "Rat Race" and chasing the all mighty dollar, to live a harder but simpler life?  Who is willing to build it up from scratch?  With OUT the benefit of multi-millions of $$$?  Who is voluntarily willing to become an "Indian" in a community, vs. a "Chief" of their own home?  All kidding aside, it would take a special group, with a laser beam focused singular purpose of intent, to be able to make it work.  It would require EVERYONE, to place  Principals before Personalities.  

The other side of the coin is...….What do YOU bring to the table?  What SKILL do you bring that would make you VALUABLE to a community?  "Gunslinger", unless you're a former "Delta/HRT" shooter, doesn't cut it (exaggeration, but you get the idea).  18D like (PJ/Corpsman/etc.) medic, communications, construction/engineer, gardening/animal husbandry, etc.  These are valuable skills that you can bring to earn your place in the community.  Of course, there's more, those are just examples.  SKILLS are always in need...… another mouth to feed?  not so much.  

Cytez, I understand your Gunslinger comment but everyone in a Mutual Aid setup should be at least modestly familiar with whatever weapons are on hand, I would think. It may not be my specialty but is a skill that could be called on if needed. 

That's just it.....EVERYBODY should be a "gunslinger" (I would say, even the women and children above a certain age), so coming in saying your "skill", that you bring to the Community, is "Gunslinger", isn't THAT special (unless you have training/experience to MAKE it special).  A 25yo brings, typically, very little "skill", but instead a STRONG back/Useful labor.  A 40-50 yo maybe not have the strength/endurance of the 25 yo; BUT, brings a lifetime of skills/experience to the table.  

That’s where I thought you were going with the gunslinger comment. I had to type out my response so my brain could wrap around it. Sometimes my neuro issues make me a touch slow on the uptake of info. 

KUTF posted:
geronimo posted:

What are you prepping for? What are you prepping against? 

Everyone wants to talk about guns and ammo, but the reality is that you should probably be looking at provisioning yourself to be able to stay home for 60 days without going outside. Lots of problems can be solved by locking the doors and leaving the blinds closed. 

 

Regardless of your religious affiliation, the LDS church has good resources on food storage, including how to integrate it into limited space (apartment living), calculating requirements and even storage resource centers where bulk items can be purchased or packaged - even by non-members.  Search 'LDS food storage' and do some reading.  

One of my best friends is LDS... he pointed me here. 

http://prepared-housewives.com/

My Neighborhood is trying to get a Neighborhood preparedness group together. Worse case scenario is the Great Cascade Earthquake. So we are starting to plan for 30-60 days without FEMA help.  The idea  will be Help your self, Then help those in your group (like minded people) then help the neighboring group(s) then MAYBE check on those who didn't prepare. 

this is something considering i live in the Seattle/King County area with a bunch of Liberal Douche bags!

 

Another thing i liked while researching "practical prepping" was the idea of not putting all your eggs in one basket. Each 5 gallon bucket (or whatever you use) has a variate in it.  If i put ALL my flower in ONE bucket (even if it's in one gallon bags) I need to open 5 buckets to make bread. But if i put a little of everything in one bucket at a time.. I can have rice and beans, Flour,  Yest, Salt, spices, flavor packets (taco or other premade seasoning) Drink mix, Top Roman.. you get the idea, All in one bucket. Then i can open one bucket with 5-7 days worth of meals in it. 

Then if I have to grab and go.. I would at least have a variety in one bucket.   the same can be said about a support bucket. Grab a food bucket and a support bucket (water purifier, Medical and medication).  yada yada. 

All of the buckets we packed have SOME variety to them.  A pound of rice, a pound or two of beans, salt, oatmeal, a pound of sugar, etc., for just the reasons you mentioned.  Also, being up here in the mountains, we have to contend with mice.  Not the house mice, but full on field mice (house mice's smarter stronger cousins).  Our thought process was, if they chewed into one bucket (and the bags within), we don't lose all of "one thing" (rice/beans/etc.).  We didn't break it all down to 2 full days worth of food per bucket, etc.; just cross-loading to prevent all of any one thing being lost.

 

Cytez posted:

 Not the house mice, but full on field mice (house mice's smarter stronger cousins).  Our thought process was, if they chewed into one bucket (and the bags within), we don't lose all of "one thing" (rice/beans/etc.).  

 

I hear ya, $#@%$ field mice. You need to give them their 'own' bucket https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SIlYiiCGLI.

I have two hawks that live by my house and lots of other transient raptors so anything larger than a good size mouse has the life expectancy of a donut at a Weight Watchers meeting. But the little mice slip under their radar. They are so small that they don't set off normal mouse traps. I have to modify those with cut drinking straws on the bait lever, so there is more leverage and they have to work harder,  to trip them. It is pathetic to have to sit at the table and 'boobytrap' mousetraps.  The bucket trap also has the advantage that after getting the body count to report to H.Q. I just toss them out in the field to promote raptor activity. My plan of putting their heads on little spikes as a warning to other mice to stay away was overruled by higher authorities. 

warning

Update-, as it does not need its own thread, (besides, what forum, 'Support Weapons'?) a couple of tricks (I did not watch the video, so?). Have the roller about 6 inches down from the lip of the bucket. That way they can not use the lip as an OP, and you can put a lid on it if you like (dogs, children, womenfolk who oppose heads on spikes, etc). Cut two holes with a circular saw (or razor knife) and put the roller just below those, with the ramps leading to the access holes (I like to add a miniature 1950's Diner sign over the openings). In the middle of the roller add a circular barrier and put the bait (peanut butter) on this. That way it is on a vertical surface and if they are trapeze artists, they are more likely to make the roller spin when they shift their CG up to get the bait. Also, put some dish soap in the water to reduce surface tension, so they drown quicker. I do like LINZ suggestion of a napalm mix, but I am sure H.Q. would pass down that is not in the R.O.E. (damn)

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mog posted:
Cytez posted:

 Not the house mice, but full on field mice (house mice's smarter stronger cousins).  Our thought process was, if they chewed into one bucket (and the bags within), we don't lose all of "one thing" (rice/beans/etc.).  

 

I hear ya, $#@%$ field mice. You need to give them their 'own' bucket https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SIlYiiCGLI.

I have two hawks that live by my house and lots of other transient raptors so anything larger than a good size mouse has the life expectancy of a donut at a Weight Watchers meeting. But the little mice slip under their radar. They are so small that they don't set off normal mouse traps. I have to modify those with cut drinking straws on the bait lever, so there is more leverage and they have to work harder,  to trip them. It is pathetic to have to sit at the table and 'boobytrap' mousetraps.  The bucket trap also has the advantage that after getting the body count to report to H.Q. I just toss them out in the field to promote raptor activity. My plan of putting their heads on little spikes as a warning to other mice to stay away was overruled by higher authorities. 

 

They would just eat the heads.

Seen a similar trick done in a mouse plague...but with 44gal drums & diesel/kerosene.

Empty the drum out in the morning, ignite & fill again the next night.

 

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