Bug out Vehicle

I was searching (actually killing time) on bug out vehicles and ran across this picture;

This is a Mil Surplus AM General M-920 tractor that the owner picked up at a sale  Here is the article explaining the modifications that he made.

Pretty crazy huh? I suppose you could pretty much roll through any roadblock or down the median of interstate without to many problems.

When I see pictures like this it reminds me of the 1977 movie with Clint Eastwood, The Gauntlet.

Clint’s character took to welding a steel cocoon around the drivers compartment with a slit to view out as he drove, or as the stunt guy drove.  In the movie they shot the hell out the bus and rolled up to the courthouse steps to deliver the witness that was never suppose to live. I remember seeing this movie back in the 80’s and thinking what a cool idea!

The M-920 above has some pretty distinct advantages over the bus for obvious reasons. Funny thing though, they both get about equal mileage from the same gallon of diesel.  In a REAL SHTF scenario which would you choose?

I am afraid that I would be in a GMC Yukon XL. It wouldn’t offer much in the area of bullet protection and the mileage is pretty abysmal (not as bad as the two above vehicles)  but it has a lot of space inside and above the roof line. I have been pretty remiss in preparing of a BOV. Just one of the things on the list of “to-do’s”

Somewhere I read that you should be able to drive and be within one tank of gas to your bug out site. For most of us that is in the 400 to 500 mile range not taking into account sitting in traffic burning fuel and cursing.

New reading material

I have run across a couple of books or short novels on the Kindle Fire the last week that have turned out to be pretty good.

The first set is a series of books written in a diary format called Union Creek Journal by Toby Asplin. Cool concept, there are 5 diaries currently running from November 2014 to March 2015. The first journal is free if you have Amazon Prime and the others are like 99 cents each. I like the flow of the journals but hate the sudden ending of each! I guess it is the authors way of getting me to come back and buy the next journal.

The second set of books I picked up is called the Western Front by Archer Garrett. Short story format with two books out now. Good read also.

The Western Front book talks about the what if scenario that I wrote about in my last post on Dirt bags.

Both are based in a post collapse US either on the downward slide or the sudden crash storyline. I like both and will continue to read the rest as they come out.

Sorry no giveaways on any of the books.

Dirt Bags

This thought has been running through my brain for a few months now. I am not a big TV watcher but when I want some white noise, I usually always end up watching COPS or some other show of that genre. These type of shows are really a good primer on the criminal elements psychology.  I have laughed pretty hard at some of the stupid stuff that our countries criminal element does and get documented on TV for our viewing pleasure. Its truly mind boggling at the level of stupidity.

I refer to this sort of human ilk as bottom feeders. Most spend a disproportionate amount of their lives trying to hustle someone or something in order to get ahead. Some are very intelligent,  most are not.

[Before I get a ton of comments, save your time and not write me. I don’t care. I do not believe in rehabilitation and our system is designed to get them in and out quickly. On my tax dime. Most citizens convicted of a crime have had better healthcare, access to reference materials, free food, clothes, medication, and free heating and air-conditioning. I have to work for my luxuries]

Mildly put, they will lie about anything to get out any situation they might have been caught in doing or to get over on someone. Cheat anyone they can gain confidence with, steal from someone deemed weaker, kill to for any petty reason.

I believe the kill for any reason goes back to that entitlement attitude that is becoming more pervasive in our country.

Case in point: The show The First 48 had an episode about a victim that was killed for $200. To condense the story, 2 women and 2 men killed the victim and netted $50 each when they divvied up the money. Under interrogation one of the female suspects said the money was “mines” (or in English it was her money) and she needed $40 of it to pay her cell phone bill.  Back to my entitlement statement.

I think as preppers, we as a group need to think very hard about the type of people that will be trolling around after a SHTF event. Lets be perfectly honest with ourselves and each other. If a criminal feels that he or she will not be caught at perpetrating a crime, they will? commit a crime. If there is no rule of law, either civil or military, a criminal will take, or con, or kill for what they want. Don’t believe me?

Lets do a small background search on our collective recent memories. Bosnia, and Kosovo come to mind for the 90’s time period. Or within the last decade, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. These 5 countries are perfect examples of how society degenerated into total chaos after the rule of law faded into dust. Somalia is still a basket case with tribal conflict, war lords and mass starvation. Iraq lasted about 6 mos. after our government sent all the police and military forces home. It took us how long to rebuild Iraq? Afghanistan? well I could write a dissertation on that subject .

We have all read in our post apocalyptic fiction books about the zombie biker gangs, the rouge National Guard unit, or the city gangs pillaging the country side for whatever. But have we sat and really thought about the possible confrontations? or the outcomes? Do you hide? Do you confront? Do you share? Do you bug out?

What about the friendly neighbor that lives down the street, you casually said hi to now and again, waved as they drove by your house, etc, etc.

6 months ago  he owned a small business, successful by today’s standards. 2 kids and a wife. Now they have nothing (you can put whatever scenario you want in here for the societal downfall) what would you do if you caught them picking through your property looking for scraps?
In all honesty really, what would you do?

You have a neighbor that talks the talk about prepping, have been shooting a number of times together at the range. Is he going to be the first to blow in the back door  to steal your blankets in the winter months? Maybe try to con you into his good graces for a free lunch? How about just rape your wife or daughter?

How many orphans do you take in?

If you have not seen the movie Lord of the Flies (or the book) by William Golding, I suggest you do. Watch it more than once. It is about human nature and the devolution of such. The story is a perfect 10,000 ft view of the 5 basket case countries I talked about a few paragraphs above. There will be a devolution in our society and the bottom feeders are going to prey on the weaker of us first. After that they will be forced into confronting harder targets or those that are better prepared.

I am not pigeon holing any prepper here at all, it is not my intention. It seems most of us are merely prepping for a short term event with the hopes that things will get better and life will return to “normal” such as what happened after Katrina. I base my statement on a lot of what I have read and most preppers say I am bugging out! It maybe OPSEC that they don’t speak much beyond that initial statement of I’m bugging out, I understand that. But I find it thought provoking none the less that we do not talk about the mental preparation end of business. We have the guns, the ammo, the food, the water, and on and on and on. You just cannot bug out and drive or walk down the interstate and not have a confrontation, walk the railroad tracks and run into the desperate former business owner and his family that I talked about above or the myriad of other displaced persons (UN speak) that you may just bump into without taking the time to think about the scammers and con-artists or the outright killers that just want what you have and they don’t.

Here is a bit more on the subject from thelizardfarmer blog. The article there got me motivated to write about some of these not to often discussed subjects.

I truly am open to any well thought out comments on this subject and am interested in if anyone has spent some time pondering this subject at any length.

Poormans sterno/canned heat

I actually did this project last fall and forgot about it until I ran across the subject again on another site.

CAUTION: Alcohol burns pretty clean but as with all flammable liquids and heating sources take precautions with carbon monoxide poisoning other vapors and toxins that come with burning any type of fuels.

What I used and not necessarily what you have to use is the following:

1 gallon paint can

1 quart paint can

1 roll of toilet paper

1-2 bottles of Isopropyl  (Rubbing) Alcohol. There are various grades or amount of alcohol in rubbing alcohol solutions running from 70% up to 90%. I haven’t found there to be a very big price difference between the grades. WalMart has a large selection and I am sure your favorite Dollar store also carries Rubbing Alcohol. I think (and I am not a chemist) that a 70% grade or solution just has more water added to it vice a 90% solution. Having said that it all burns the same in the end.

First things first, do not use old paint cans that had paint or stain stored in them previously, also do not use any cans that have a plastic bottom. The fumes from a old paint or stain will knock you out if they are subjected to heat or flame, and plastic? well it burns also.

I bought both the one quart and the one gallon paint cans new at Home Depot for around $5. You can purchase empty metal cans new from any hardware store for around the same price. I just use Home Depot because the GF works there. What I was looking for was a way to prep my cans and be able to seal them tightly until needed. I do not want to be fumbling around in the dark trying to get everything together in an emergency.

For the most part this is pretty straight forward. Remove the center cardboard tube from the toilet paper. Stuff the TP into the quart can, its ok to collapse the roll into the center where the cardboard tube was by squeezing the roll together.  It will be a tight fit and you may have to remove some of the paper from the outside roll.

I tied a paint can opener (you can get free) to the handle of the gallon can.

(Sorry forgot to add the bottle of alcohol to the pic)

Stuff all the TP in the quart can after you remove the cardboard center. Or as much as you can physically get in. It should look like this after your done. Pour your rubbing alcohol into the and on top on the TP until it is soaked. It should take one bottle and a few ounces of a second. When the TP is thoroughly saturated you will know it.

At this point you can use a long neck lighter or match to light the alcohol, but this is where your gallon can comes in handy.

Before you light your quart can filled with alcohol put it inside your gallon can. A couple things here. One you can move the unit in whole without spillage, and keep your fingers from getting warm by touching the quart can. Also if you need, you can cook easier on top of the gallon can vice the quart size and lastly by putting the lid on top you can snuff out the flame without getting close to the actual fire. But to each his or her own.

For storage, seal both lids tightly with a hammer and you have two solid leak proof containers ready for the next usage.

The TP itself will not burn down unless you allow the paper to become dry. By keeping the paper wet with alcohol it acts as a wick (only replenish the alcohol when the fire is out and the can is cool to touch, don’t be stupid).

That’s pretty much it. A fairly safe way to heat a small room or boiling water for cooking.

I read an article about a family that lost power during a winter storm (northeast part of the country) a couple years ago. The author wrote that his family retreated into 2 rooms of the house, closed the doors and covered the windows with blankets. His family kept 2 cans burning for the duration until the power returned to normal. With just the 2 two cans the author claimed that he was able to keep the temperature in the mid 50’s  for the rooms they occupied while the outside temps were below zero.

There are also articles how some preppers keep a can in each vehicle in the event of being stranded in a winter storm. By cracking a window, keeping a can lit the vehicle will stay warm without running the engine for the duration and possibly running out of gas. Plausible.