The framework is open for your discussion today. Pick your topic. I’ll throw out a few thoughts.


Food Storage

The question of whether being a “prepper” is overkill and a waste of money or a prudent investment is a fair one and frankly, I struggle with it at times. To me, storage means that I plan to keep it for a rainy day and not rotate it. There are a number of companies and organizations that sell food staples that are packaged with a shelf life of twenty years or more.

Those blog readers who know me, know that I live in one of the more remote areas in the US, have access to fresh water off-the-grid, and while I don’t consider myself to be a “prepper”, I also choose to be prepared. So back to food. Figure out what you need for a rainy day and hope that over the next twenty years or so that it doesn’t rain. (Noah built the ark before the flood)

Part of smart food storage is storage against an absence of food but also the capacity to insert storage items into your daily uptake if things become outrageously expensive.


One Adult Portion for one year – guideline

Grains—400 pounds (181 kg); includes wheat, flour, rice, corn, oatmeal, and pasta

Legumes—60 pounds (27 kg); includes dry beans, split peas, lentils, etc.

Powdered Milk—16 pounds (7 kg)

Cooking Oil—10 quarts (9 l)

Sugar or Honey—60 pounds (27 kg)

Salt—8 pounds (3.6 kg)

Water (2 weeks*)—14 gallons (53 l)


Arms and Ammunition

Everyone reading this blog will have a different take on the basics – what do you think a baseline number for self-defense and hunting would be if you were giving advice to a novice?


A Definition




    • and pulling the pin…. unless he is uncocking and pushing pin. lol Either way, spicy times behind your back.

      Otherwise, being preppy can turn to upping your comfort level very quickly with rural storms.

    • Consider it a weapons visual of LL’s opening pic “stare”, designed to invoke a sense of seriousness even if you’d never do that.

      • Right on, PaulM – the graphics are intended to evoke a sense of seriousness, nothing more than that. I take the matter seriously and am very concerned for where the country is headed. One or two more muled elections and a few more corrupt installed leaders and America won’t have to worry about elections again.

        • He might be planning on “thumbing” the hammer, with the trigger held back? It’s a sort-of old-timey methods for rapid, close-quarters fire from a revolver.

          Don’t ask me if it works (or is a good idea, etc.), I’m a dilettante, not a gunsel.


          • Glad to hear you’re not a gunsel. It’s a corruption of the Yiddish term for “little goose” (as opposed to gosling) and used to mean a catamite or prison punk.

            This comment was sponsored by the letters P and Q, the number 4, and Annoying Pedants Anonymous.

          • I thought that gunsel was shortened from “gunslinger”…far more masculine than “little goose”.

          • Just about everyone thinks “gunsel” means a gun person. It’s at the point where that’s now essentially the default meaning in vernacular American.

            It’s meshugganah, I tell you!

          • gunsel (n.)
            by 1910, American English underworld slang, from hobo slang, “naive young boy,” but especially “a catamite;” specifically “a young male kept as a sexual companion, especially by an older tramp,” from Yiddish genzel, from German Gänslein “gosling, young goose” (see goose (n.)). The secondary, non-sexual meaning “young hoodlum” seems to be entirely traceable to Dashiell Hammett, who sneaked it into “The Maltese Falcon” (1929) while warring with his editor over the book’s racy language:

  1. I keep thinking about those “peaceful” protesters chanting and banging drums outside Kavanaugh’s home and how I would deal with it were it my house, since the cops won’t.
    Turning on the sprinklers and arranging them appropriately doesn’t seem enough. The rain hasn’t stopped them.
    If I turned up the sound systems and direct them at them, would I then get a police complaint lodged against me? Of course I would.

    • smoke bombs? stink bombs? a “campfire” with an old tire tossed in it? i keep tear gas grenades for similar situations.

    • Add a 30 mile electric fence charger, one of the larger ones, string the hotwire at about 12″ height, wet the lawn, then let them have at it. For them I’ll forgo my aversion to mental illness shock therapy…paid anarchists need a bit o’ medicine to “get off my lawn!”. Federal law apparently doesn’t count for that side of the divide…as we’ve been told by every nitwit justifying anarchy to turn the USA into a Socialist country (BTW, why are we all of sudden hearing from The Bern, that guy is a dangerous Russian-loving plant, he IS NOT benign).

  2. i suppose i am the last generation of “if we don’t raise it we don’t eat it” folks. when i was a kid we went to the store in town once a month to “get groceries.” the list was coffee, sugar, salt and maybe flour though we got that at the feed mill when times were tight-er. town was seven miles away… how we made it on that red clay farm i’ll never know. later we moved to a farm with beautiful soil, the growing was easy and mom went crazy canning everything in sight. i remembered, and as soon as i got settled i started stacking. we’ll eat awhile if nothing else….basic arms? wish i had a few of those baseballs, but i can improvise to a degree. i’d tell a fella .22 rifle, shotgun, defensive handgun, big game rifle, .22 pistol in that order. you can sub an ar15 as it can be versatile. i have taken deer with one, and saw a guy take a charging bear. it got a little closer that i’d like but it stopped him…..don’t knock the .22 rifle. i saw a guy win a gunfight versus a 1911 one night with one. old poachers used .22for deer too. that’s why i pick it first……ammo? as much as you can afford. money in the bank. but you need to shoot it to stay frosty….woke=been told what to be offended by today.

      • Concur about the “basics” firearm list. If you have the money, it’s probably worth having some redundancies in different “common” calibers, like a 9mm and a .38, or a .308 rifle and a .30-06, etc.


        • I like “military calibers” because you can harvest battlefield ammo for your own firearm. Of course, you can always repurpose military weapons that you find.

      • Very true, my friend. Having carried and used one, although the weapon is somewhat underpowered, it does what it was made for. If inserted in the ear at least one, when one wakes up dead, most likely doesn’t have a headache. Never had any complaints from any recipients.

    • Years ago an old time Alaskan (he came up in 1929) mentioned shooting moose with a .22. Stalk one that’s laying down and put a round in the lungs and sit down and wait for it to bleed out. The long time record grizzly bear was shot by a lady in northern Canada with .22 longs with all she had with her in the head. My eldest son talked to some native guys when he was working as a forest fire fighter who were telling him about a village elder who harvested grizzly using a .22 pistol from a spider hole along a bear trail! I’d prefer something a little larger my self.

  3. We have a generators, fuel, food stuffs (not a huge amount because that requires rotation and monitoring), 2 months of Patriot Supply, a good stack of firewood if we need to heat or cook, propane, well water, perimeter fencing (for the horses, but double duty), far enough from town (45 mile one way, 25 the other), a BRAND NEW gated entry at the main road, and enough high ground to “see ’em coming” if need be. As for firearms for defenses and hunting…that’s nobody’s business.

    Still waiting for the DM22 delivery, which would round out perimeter defenses. (Kidding, but geez, where is this going? CW2? Poke the dog enough and sooner or later he’ll rise up and take a pound of flesh in righteous anger.)

      • Ah, so you finished the gate!

        I didn’t ask about YOUR firearms, if any. The question of standardizing the caliber of cartridges always comes to mind. It’s important to do that in these days of expensive ammo whether you reload or not. If you’re an old guy you lived in the days of plenty and are likely to have different calibers for different tools. 12ga, .22LR, 5.56mm, .308, .45ACP – there are five as an example. For a tight budget, there should still be money to buy 12ga and .22LR.

        • No, you didn’t [ask about firearms]. No one asks around here, we rightfully assume the other is covered. (they are) Having a backhoe helps for the ‘SS&S’ scenarios…that…honestly, we hope to never employ, but will if need be. (Yeah, tough talk, and not trivial in effect, but necessary to get the mind right…because those types we see burning cities at will don’t play by our rules.)

          Gates are in. Security matters. Openness is an invite, signage or not (some people apparently can’t read). It’s more a deterrent. We’re not mean people, but never can tell who’s casing these days, and 911 is hours away. Built them stout, but anyone could crash thru or cut the ROW wire. Figure 99 out of 100 will turn around or never turn off. Visual barriers help. A lot.

          I like to say “God can’t steer a parked car.” (yes, He could, but that’s not the point, hence the video link. Reinforces your main Blog point.)

          • Most doors and windows are easy access points, but people are restrained from kicking in doors or smashing glass because they are sort of a red line. (tactically, better to breach a wall than enter through a door) Once you’ve kicked down my door, my response is justified. Instinctively people understand that. The same is true of gates and even signs. It’s particularly true in rural locations where the occupants are almost certainly armed.

            I had a discussion with a friend who is selling his house but forgot to stash ALL of the (something like nine) shotguns that he had prepositioned in strategic points. Look-e-Loos noticed them and he had to deal with that. He’s not atypical for this part of the country.

          • Her: ‘Oh look Honey, comes with in-place defenses!”

            [to realtor] “Do those come with the property? If so, we’ll take it!”


          • In rural areas, I recommend posting signage with bullet holes–with the exit holes facing outwards.

          • I pass by your neighborhood occasionally and the private road signs make my job easy. Take a picture, mark the report “inaccessible” and hit send. I suspect many people don’t think those sign apply to them.

  4. Some random thots.

    Don’t discuss the details of your stuff on the internet.

    For the novice, a .22 rifle (preferably semi-auto) and a pump shotgun, then possibly a budget centerfire bolt gun. As they are a novice, I wouldn’t worry about handguns to start. Here is an old trick with shot shells, although I wouldn’t trust them to cycle through an action–

  5. One of my half assed partially thought out ideas. After the Civil War/War of Northern Aggression the “elites” of the time tackled the native american problem. They killed off they main food source (bison), forced migration to reservations, and forced disarmament. Disease as a weapon was used.

    Is it possible the “elites” have studied history and adapted what worked in the past to their today’s problem?

    • Famine is a powerful weapon. Biological warfare has a history of being uncontrollable. As much as the American elites would like to unleash weaponized smallpox on the proletariat, the unintended consequences would be profound.

      America is food-and-energy sufficient. The crowd in DC would like to break that in order to create a series of crisis events leading to a seizure of power. It’s a lot like we’ve seen with their reactions to school shootings. It’s not the complex task of identifying problematic people within the current framework of the law (can be done without spying on everyone). It’s using it as an excuse to further erode the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

      • My concern is, the dems break us, who in the dems power hierarchy is to attain the highest power, has that been established? Are we in for a lengthy time of dem warlords all jockeying to be the top dogs? I suppose they make break enough of us for that scenario to manifest, but, we still get a vote and I am sure enough of us who survive are going to be ungovernable and unmanageable. I am sure the dems are capable of long term planning, hence the long march through our institutions, are they capable of that punch in the face, of honest, open and sustained rebellion? Just call me Luke, Luke Skywalker…

        • The problem with being woke is that there are no limits to the cultish conformity you demand of a leader. In Nazi Germany there were a number of contenders for the top job. Himmler, a failed chicken farmer and Goering, washed up ace and drug addict simply backed the right horse.

  6. .22 rifle, shotgun 12 or 20, pistol 9mm(we are talking novices after all), AR15. Some sort of center fire rifle for hunting can be added as well.

  7. Guns: Agree with having a .22 pistol, it can be useful in a lot of different scenarios. Would also suggest a .22 rifle, a 12 gauge, a medium caliber pistol (9mm or.40), an AR in 5.56 and then a medium caliber rifle (.308 or larger). A variety of firearms in different calibers helps ensure an ammunition supply in at least one of the calibers that a person has. Very nice pistol in the illustration by the way.

    Water, thankfully I am on a well so do not have to worry as much about a water supply. I have a back up generator but need to get a larger one and a better transfer switch. Also looking at a backup manual pump for the well head.

    Food, I am good for quite a while if just by myself. If my son’s family comes out to get away from a decaying town less so and that needs to be worked on.

    Heat, the house is electric and I live less than 100 miles from Grand Coulee dam so hydro is pretty regular. I do have a wood stove but only about 3 cords of wood right now, more on the way.

    Not planning on a fence or a gate. I think that would call more attention to the place than I would want at least where I live.

  8. “Famine is a powerful weapon.” – LL
    I would add, “…and costs nothing.”
    The weapon of choice for tyrants and conquerers for millenia.
    See,also, variations of the fortified hamlets programs going back in our nation to reservations (note WSF mention of eliminating plains tribes’ primary food source, Kit Carson destroying down the Navajo peach orchards), Bleeding Kansas, and now Leftists pushing people out of rural areas into cities ie. Detroit, LA, Chicago, etc.

  9. I’m really not the person to ask but that said, I’m happy to give my version. Obviously, I’d fashion up some arrows, sharpen my knives, get my BB gun, and two sets of jaws belonging to my wolfits. That’s me armed. As for food, I think I still have a tin of Spam that went past its sell by date a decade ago. I wouldn’t dare open it. I’m not very good at storing food. I’d probably make a batch of marmalade and live off that and mead.

    • The Spam’s probably fine, unless the can is bulging or something. Canned food is safe to eat indefinitely, it just gets less appetizing and perhaps somewhat less nutritious eventually.


  10. Re. Grenade / Pistol graphic: I saw that much as the WW2 British admonition on the eve of when they expected the Nazi invasion.


  11. A physician friend and I were discussing Food — prices, scarcity, etc. We have a mutual friend (A) from Venezuela. Friend has a husband (also a physician), two children on the verge of teenager-dom, and some extended kin in the area. After mutually bemoaning wildly escalating prices, we talked about the supply chain. While she realized that high diesel costs were a problem, she (like most people I know around here) had not thought about fertilizer production, and had no idea about what the farmers are (or are NOT) doing this year. So we talked about that a little.

    F: Hmmm. This is not good. This sounds just like the stories about Venezuela that A tells me. Did you know that she ships packages of basic supplies to her parents still?
    MC: I knew about the prescription medicines for her father, but not about the rest.
    F: Oh yes, medicine of course, but also food, cleaning supplies, and even things like tampons.

    I suggested that friend have at least a month of stable food set aside. (Yes, I know, but you don’t tell people straight off they ought to have 6 to 12 months worth, because that freaks them out and they totally stop listening.)

    F: That makes sense, but where would I put it? I have no place to store food.
    [Friend and husband live in a 4000+ sq foot house with finished basement and big garage. The 4000+ feet are laid out very tastefully with lots of open space.]
    MC: [trying manfully to NOT shame her by stating the above obvious facts] You ever see a photo of the inside of a submarine about to go on an extended cruise?
    F: What?
    MC: Stacks of cans everywhere. You wouldn’t have to do anything close to that. Think about it though. And also think about water. If it totally goes down, we’re pretty much screwed. But consider the case where you can get water from the tap, but it’s under “boil first” orders. What if the power/gas is also out?

    For the record, my “preps” are for getting through weeks to months of temporary disruptions. I have no illusion about lasting for years in suburban Boston, even though our vibrancy is relatively low compared to, say Detroit or Chicago. [And if it comes to total breakdown? Well, comments about accountability and “target rich environment” redacted.]

    • PS
      Water: what all are your primary, secondary, contingency, etc?
      On this end:
      1. trusting the municipal system
      2. big ol’ 5-gallon jugs from Walmart, full of tap water (these actually ARE sort of a problem to store, mainly because I don’t trust the lids and want to store them standing up. Also, consider that 5 gallons weighs a little over 40 lbs (just under 20kg for those of you using FI [frog internationale] units; also 1 gal = 3.8L). Some people might have trouble wrangling that weight, so consider 3-gal jugs instead.
      3. Water filters. Got a couple of the big Katadyn “basecamp” gravity filters, various “hiking” filters and a random collection of LifeStraws.
      4. About a dozen Steripen UV thingies.
      5. A lot of packages of “Polar Pure” iodine.

      It’s not just “two is one” and all that. Nor am I that paranoid, or well prepared. More like I can’t resist a bargain, but I have been able to redirect the pathology into something more useful than not. (As opposed to e.g. $2k per month on Swarovski crystal animals. That is not a random example. I saw this terrifying collection that had been amassed over someone’s 4-year medical school career. Rich girl who burned through her generous allowance. Father hit the roof when she subsequently asked for money for a BMW and was forced to explain where the previous money had gone. But that’s another story.)

      • I would not trust anyone who spent 2 1/2 grand on crystal animals every month to perform any kind of medical treatment on me. I wouldn’t even trust her to tell me to gargle with salt water.

        • That lack of trust in mystic crystals landed you in the spot you’re in…so says the clown. There is therapeutic value to a pie in the face. (Private joke)

      • On the bright side, the crystal animals can be repurposed into shrapnel, in a pinch.
        Not as good as metal, but not bad.


  12. Interesting numbers on that list. We definitely don’t keep enough salt in store and I don’t put up water basically because have two very good wells on the property with the ability to draw from them grid down so to speak. My advice to the first timer or novice would be first and foremost a repeating shotgun preferably in 12 but 20 is just as effective in my opinion. Secondly a scoped 22 rifle and good sling and then a small frame easily concealed revolver. Or you could go my original many moons ago run to the hill set up of a Ithaca 37 and a HK 91 withe the 22 conversion kit in the pack.

  13. i’m somewhat rural but lately folks have no gumption. they walk right on thru my gate, ignore the signs including “beware of dog” etc. just kinda make themselves at home. i was taught going thru a gate uninvited was rude, not to mention unhealthy. and thanks paul m., for reminding me to fix my dog gone backhoe. not enough hours in the day….

  14. I do not now and have never and will never own any firearms, ammunition or sharp objects. Honest!

    Kipling said a man can never have too many books, too much red wine or too much ammunition. And Stalin allegedly said quantity has a quality all its own. So buy it cheap and stack it deep, kiddies. Even if something looks horrendously expensive right now, the price you pay will look cheap when it becomes unobtainable.

  15. I would not care to be on the receiving end of that rifle. *Especially* when driven by you. Glad we’re friends….

    Not “Preppers”, per se, but we try and be prepared. Have a good selection of canned goods and non-perishable stuff, stored in the the proverbial “Cool, Dry Place”, along with some other goodies stashed away. The two big plastic “Earthquake Supplies” barrels have been repurposed to become the “SHTF Supplies” barrels. Didn’t change the labeling ‘cuz didn’t wanna scare the SLW.

    Arms…..complicated decision. Personally, I’d say a handgun in a common caliber, and a 12 ga pump for the bare minimum. Additions come as you can afford them, and a 22LR rifle is good, along with a pistol caliber carbine in whatever caliber your handgun takes. Or an AR-style platform.

    And get some training! All the guns and ammo in the world aren’t good enough if you don’t understand how to use them.

  16. This is an important post, not least the header infographic.

    Bipods have progressed, a lot. Dammit, there’s another hole in the budget.

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