Preppers Question of the Week “How do I start Prepping?”

Ok folks – so I’ve been doing this blog for a little over 3 years now – sharing my thoughts and wisdom on Prepping with you all. So I want to do something different this week – I want to HEAR FROM YOU. Today’s question to you is, what advice would you give someone who is just starting out in the Prepping World “How Do I Start Prepping?”

Whether its something as simple as “start buy picking up a few extra cans of food, toilet rolls, tooth paste with your weekly grocery shop” or taking an advance shooting course – I want YOU to leave your feedback and comments in the section below!

Thanks in advance

Alex

Prepper’s Home Defense: Is your wooden home bullet proof?

As  preppers most of us are very aware of the difference between cover and concealment. If not, to recap quickly cover will save your ass and concealment will just hide you from view. It may seem obvious but just because you cannot be seen by an assailant does not mean that they cannot shoot you.

Plenty of us here in the USA live in homes constructed of wood (as opposed to brick) and I thought it would be worth discussing how safe we are from gunfire in a wooden home.

Whilst hardwood may stop some pistol rounds it will not stop a rifle round in fact I had a colleague who had someone fire a rifle round that traveled through 5 wood walls of his house before coming to a stop. Law enforcement assumed it was a 30 cal round. Needless to say shortly after that he bought a home in a more secure location.

One of the few woods to slow down bullets better than most is maple , such as the maple used to make bowling pins. I have seen people test a .44 magnum on maple only to have the bullets simply bounce off.

Brick or block homes are a better option however acknowledge that if you do come under fire there will be concrete flying about. If you are taking machine gun fire and your house is built from concrete blocks ..it won’t be cover for long.

That’s why many preppers recommend purchasing bulk sand bags especially if the SHTF and we start living in a world without rule of law.Sand bags and earth stop bullets far better than concrete and metal do but sooner or later any sustained attack from a machine gun or rifle fire will compromise your cover.

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The bottom line is the outer walls of the average house will stop nothing, If you use cinder blocks you will need to fill them with steel reinforced concrete and make it two courses thick, staggering the weak points between both walls so you are not left vulnerable. Which is pretty much going to make you feel like you are living in a prison cell.

I guess what started off as an article looking at the stopping power of your wood home has morphed into a piece on home defense, the bottom line is if aggressors have you and your family pinned down in your home ..its not good….that’s why it always pays to have a large remote property and have concentric circles of defense before invaders even get close to your home.

Ultimately the best defense is a house with an unseen entry and exit that can be used if needed to silently slip into the wilderness .

That’s all for today folks – stay safe out there

Alex

Revolvers versus pistols – which do you prefer?

We had so much feedback on our recent blog post on Ak47s versus Ar15s that we thought it would be cool to do a piece covering the pros and cons of revolvers versus pistols. While I own a couple of each, this blog post is going to cover the pros of adding a couple of revolvers to your personal arsenal especially now before the cost of owning a quality one goes through the roof.

Personally I think a revolver makes a great “nightstand gun” perfect for a middle of the night home invasion type scenario. I think the average civilian with little practice with their semi automatic pistol would fumble with it especially with the adrenaline dump of being suddenly awakened by intruders in their house. At least with a revolver a live round is already chambered and there is no safety catch to mess with. All is needed is to point and shoot.

Another plus point with a revolver versus a semi automatic pistol is if you do have a dead round with a revolver you can keep pulling the trigger..with a pistol you are S*** Out Of Luck.

If you are keen on investing in a revolver consider purchasing a 357 as you can use both .357 and 38 special ammo with it.
I use my revolver (as mentioned above as a night stand gun) but I know plenty of people that use one for their Every Day Carry (EDC) a friend of mine living in bear country swears by the heavier copper jacketed ammo for his .357 as he swears its good enough to stop a bear. Something your 9mm will not do!

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If you are keen on a quality affordable 357 google a company called European American Armory you can definitely pick up a quality revolver for under $500.

Any readers own a revolver? Leave a comment below and let me know what you favorite is!

As always thanks for reading

Alex The Prepper

AR-15 or AK47? Which is a better rifle for reliability?

A question I get asked often is which is a better rifle for reliability the Ar-15 or the AK 47

Let’s look at the pros and cons for both today:

As much as I love a good AR I am going to have to veer towards a AK 47 as far as reliability is concerned. You can literally leave them out in the snow, not use them for 10 years and come back to it and an AK is going to work for you.

There is a very good reason why the Ak47 is the rifle of choice for poor people living in the third world. The system can take a fair bit of environmental abuse and with minimal care and maintenance it will shoot. Of course like all things in life there is a trade off and that one being you lose accuracy on an Ak vs an AR

AR’s, M16 and M4’s require much more maintenance to keep them functioning properly especially if they use a direct impingement system (rather than a gas piston) Of course if you keep them in good condition they will perform excellently

If you are looking to purchase a good quality AK try to get an original with a milled steel receiver and not one of the later versions which used stamped steel.

Some specs that differentiate an original AK versus a modern one are:
* Original AKs have a larger and sloped Front Sight versus the slimmer one of a modern AK
* Barrels for the modern AK are much more lightweight approx 2mm thinner
* Original AKs have a more solid and thicker Gas block than the vented gas blocks of modern Aks
* The modern AK has larger and smoother cleaning rod retainers
* In original AKs the front sling loop wraps around the gas block and the bayonet lug and in modern AKs the front sling loop is integral to the Lower hand-guard retainer.

Some champions of the AR platform claim they see more misfires using an AK47. However, I personally believe that it is not so much the rifle but the quality of ammo out there for the AK, which can vary greatly. Installing a sharper firing pin in your AK usually helps with hard primers.

To sum up if reliability and very low maintenance is your only criteria then definitely go for an AK 47 but do try and get an original, keep in mind that you will be sacrificing accuracy for reliability,. Forget about hitting anything over 300 meters with your AK.

Like I said above I do love a good AR15 and they are not as finicky as people think they are.

Thanks for reading – I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback – leave a comment below!

What Goes Into a Survival First Aid Kit?

If you’re planning to pick up a first aid kit at the store, you might be in for a shock. Most of those pre-planned kits don’t contain the items that you need for long term or even short-term survival.

Those kits were put together based on normal living conditions. Since surviving a natural disaster or other crisis situation doesn’t qualify as normal, you’re going to want to look specifically for a survival first aid kit. These aren’t the same as a regular first aid kit meant for a soccer mom whose kid needs a BandAid for a scraped knee.

You’re going to want to make sure you have what you need so if you can’t find a kit made specifically for survivalists, then put together the supplies you need yourself. Get a sturdy bag for it – you can use a hard shell case or you can use a backpack for your first aid supplies. If you use a backpack, mark it as your first aid kit.

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You’ll want a first aid manual. No matter how much knowledge you have with emergencies, if you’re the one that needs aid, this can help someone else know how to treat you.

Next, besides bandages that range in shape and size, you’re going to want gauze pads. Make sure these are in a variety of sizes and make sure they’re the absorbent kind. You’re going to want butterfly strips, but in a pinch, you can make your own with regular medical tape – so make sure you have medical tape in your kit. Have burn dressings in your kit, too.

You need Ace bandages because these not only help with a sprain, but they can also be used to fasten a splint or a sling if needed. Have a supply of gloves on hand to use while you’re performing treatment.

You’ll also need a way to clean the wound. You can use a piece of gauze if you have to – but most people pack some cotton swabs. You’ll need scissors for cutting and you’ll need tools to get out splinters or other foreign objects.

Tweezers are best for this but in some events, you’ll need a needle. You’ll want a flashlight so that you can see what you’re doing. You’ll want a thermometer as well as the medication to treat in the event someone does have a fever. You’ll want one of those ice packs for help with swelling injuries.

Make sure your kit has plenty of antibiotic ointments and even allergic reaction tablets since you’ll be living in areas where you and your family may not have been exposed to the allergens. Pack the liquid kind if you have children who can’t swallow pills yet.

Having the means to suture up deep wounds in order to save a life is a necessity. For that, you’ll need a suture kit. Superglue can also be used to close a wound. Some people also choose to have a handheld blood pressure machine. You can find ones that can also monitor a victim’s heartrate.

If you’ll be out in the woods or if you’ve set up a camp somewhere away from your home, you might encounter snakes. So take a snakebite kit. It’s a good idea to investigate the area you’ll be staying in to see what dangers you might encounter so that your kit can be built specifically for those issues.

What Kind of Survival Clothing Should You Pack?

You never know when you’re going to have to get out in a hurry. Having a bag packed with all of the necessities you need – including clothing – will allow you to be prepared for any situation.

You already know that you should have the basic items like food, water and first aid. When it comes to clothing, it can be a little confusing knowing exactly what or how much to pack.

A good rule of thumb to follow would be to pack as if you’re going to be gone for three days. You’ll also want to consider exactly where you’re going when choosing what clothing to pack because the area you’re going to may have different weather than where you’re currently living.

If you’re heading to a rainier area, then you’d want to make sure you had rain gear – and if you’re going to an area where the weather is colder, you’ll want warmer clothing. Since room can be limited in a backpack, you want every piece of clothing to serve a purpose.

Pack two pairs of pants to wear. Since you’ll be wearing a pair, that counts as your third day pair. You’ll want to take long pants rather than shorts since you might be hiking through rough terrain. Plus, having long pants can help protect your legs against insect bites.

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Take two shirts along for the journey. You’ll need one that’s fit for warmer weather – such as a short sleeve t-shirt. But you’ll also want a long sleeve shirt for cooler temperatures. Remember that temperatures always drop in the evening hours. By having both a short sleeve and a long sleeve shirt, you can double these up for warmth if needed.

For undergarments, you’ll need to take two pairs of socks and two pairs of underwear – but you’ll also want to pack a pair of thermal underwear. You can wear these under your clothing in the event of cold weather.

You’ll want to take along a hat to protect your head from the sun’s rays as well as to keep your head warm if it’s cold. A hat can also be useful to keep the rain out of your eyes.

A jacket is a must-have clothing item, but you want one that can serve two purposes. You want one that help you keep you warm but can also protect you from inclement weather like rain.

Many jackets have a waterproof shell and are lined with warm material on the inside. You can find some that are lightweight so that fitting them in your backpack won’t be an issue.

Don’t forget to pack footwear. When you first start out, it’s best to wear your waterproof boots and pack a pair of athletic shoes. Break them in ahead of time to prevent blisters if you have to hike around a lot.

4 Ammo Storing Tips For Preppers

I get asked fairly often if I have any advice for us preppers that like to store ammo. There are no real “magic ways” to store ammo but in this blog posts I will give you the best bits of advice that I have accumulated over the years.

As long as you keep ammo in a dry place it will be fine. Cool and dry is best but dry is the main thing.
I have some .30-30 ammo that is at least 20 years old which i just fired some last week and it was fine. I started using an old gun safe to store my ammo in and now I have two large gun safes full of ammo. Keep an eye out at flea markets and see if you can get one for cheap.

Make sure you test stored ammo on a regular basis. Rim fire ammo isn’t as reliable or as long lasting as Center fire..so sometimes you just have to use it up and be done with it.

When testing ammo that has been stored for any length of time “listen” for squibs. if one round doesn’t fire completely, you don’t want to be running another until you clear your barrel..if you don’t have the know how take it to a reputable gunsmith to clear for you.

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Modern military grade rifle ammo in my experience is the best for long term storage and I have invested accordingly in it.

Like I said short and sweet tips – feel free to share any of your ammo storing tips below

All for today

Alex the Prepper
A-1 Survival

6 Tips For Storing Gasoline Before The SHTF

I often get readers writing to me and asking what are some safe, effective realistic ways to store large amounts of gasoline for when the crap hits the fan. So on this blog post I figured I would put down some ideas that might help you.

Before we get into it – keep this in mind. Storing gasoline is hazardous and will only last a year at best.

The best way of storing gasoline on your homestead or Bug Out Location is in 55 gallon drums. Keep in mind 55 gallon drums are very heavy when filled so you will need a pump to get the gas into your vehicle. I got a hand cranked pump from my local hardware for a little under $150.

Using a fuel stabilizer will help keep your gas good –  perhaps adding an extra year to the life of it. So now we are talking 2 years tops. With all that said i think , as with most preps you need to rotate your fuel close to expiry date, use that fuel up and refill the drums.

Keeping stored fuel with a stabilizer (I recommend the Sta-bil brand) out of the sun and preferably some where with cooler temperatures will help extend the shelf life of it as well.

As I mentioned above storing fuel in 55 gallon drums with a hand pump is smart but if you have to get on the move you will have real problems trying to move a couple of filled tanks. Best bet is to invest in a couple of jerry cans to move smaller amounts of fuel about. I picked up 2 20 liter jerry cans for $35 each.

You may want to consider buying a diesel truck or SUV as an alternative since diesel fuel lasts up to 5 years and with a stabilizer even longer. Please note that diesel fuel sometimes can grow algae in it. They do make an antimicrobial additive for diesel fuel..so be on the look out for purchasing some of that as well if you do choose to go the diesel route.

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If you are really concerned about a massive long term grid down situation you may want to consider converting one of your vehicles to use a propane engine. As far as I understand propane doe not go bad at all and last indefinitely.

A couple of final words on storing fuel ..in the advent of a long term situation the majority of cars will eventual rust out or fall to pieces..if you really want to have all your bases covered you may think about investing in a couple of horses as well.

Thanks for reading and leave me a comment below!

Alex the Prepper
A-1 Survival

9 tips for Preppers looking to purchase a gas mask.

If you have been a prepper for any length of time now you have considered purchasing a gas mask as part of your preps. I think owning gasmasks for you and your family is a wise investment. There are plenty of low price surplus masks on the market today – however as we all know cheaper does not equal better and scrimping on something as important as a gas mask is a false economy.

Before we delve into the meat of this article keep in mind that many modern chemical warfare agents can enter the body via the pores in your skin, meaning that if you are worried about bio warfare then a full NBC suit will be more your suited to your needs. However with all that said a gas mask is still a worthwhile purchase for most of us, as it can be used to prevent smoke inhalation, tear gas, mustard gas etc.

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Conventional wisdom is that masks should last 5-8 hours of constant use. They are rated to be usable for up to 2 years, after you open the mask but the 5-8 hour caveat still applies. In general it’s particles clogging the filter media which will lead you to replace the filter when the effort to draw air in gets too difficult.

There are charts of filter life duration based on what the filter is exposed to. They don’t all agree with each other but a good rule of thumb is if the filter is exposed to an infectious agent it must be changed within a day, if wet or exposed to blood change it immediately. Otherwise replace the filters as needed. I purchased a couple dozen replacement filters  when I ordered mine.

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Israel is one of the only countries to hand out millions of mask to their population which means that there are many available which are still well with in their expiration date. Even the ones that aren’t are still effective against all but the nastiest agents.

If you are buying a surplus mask make sure you are buying a brand new mask and the filters are also new and still in their original packaging. Do you really want to trust your life and the life of your family to something that may have been sitting in a crate since before the first gulf war?

The filters are your main concern with age and new ones are available. Ive never tested anything with mustard gas or nerve agents but the main concern with the mask is whether or not gas can seep through or past it. Is the rubber in good shape? Ive tried several and all are air tight. I’ve owned and tested a couple of the so called “obsolete” designs people have trashed online in the past and they did fine against things like pepper spray and smoke from burning plastic in an enclosed area.
Basically If the air and situation is unbreathable. Use your mask to get the heck out… then change the filter.

Check cheaperthandirt.com or centerfiresystems.com. They have a few available with extra filters to purchase at a low price.

I have to say I really like the Evolution 5000 Military gasmask which includes a drinking straw attachment, enabling you to have a drink with the mask on.A drinking tube is also a must. Filters are so much easier to change. Screw off, screw on.
I will also say that a one piece visor or at least teardrop shaped ones are a big plus. They make it much easier to aim a weapon and use peripheral vision.

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Another option one of my buddies swears by  are the Swiss ones, they are popular also. Their filters are cheap. Centerfire was selling them so cheap they were hard to pass up. It was something like 3 for $25. All new filters too. Remember, new filters only.

My old M17A1 series I had in the military and a German one I got from a place like Cheaper than dirt. Both the same style and filters are almost the same. If this is the kind you’re used too then fine. For the M17 series to change filters the trick is a ball point pen to get them nubs through the holes. Put the pen in the hole and slip it over the nubby thingy.

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As I said above for modern biowarfare we’re all going to be screwed. Full suit and training is the only thing that’ll save you, we’re mainly talking about civilian tear gas and pepper sprays here.

Good luck and god bless.

Alex

A-1 Survival

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