Thanks to you and my other readers both books are getting great five star reviews
I don't know about you but March is going out like a bit of a lion here in Kingman, Arizona. By that I mean the wind is blowing so hard it might be possible to launch a frisbee from here to Utah. The high winds are thinning plums from my plum trees and apples from my apple trees, but then that always happens this time of year. At least is isn't cold. I mean, it'll get down to 32 F tonight, which is very low for this time of year but it's not the kind of temps many of you are contending with. My friends in Colorado are still shoveling snow.
In other news I'm getting the homestead ready for a TV crew who will be filming here this coming weekend. They want me to show them how to bake brownies and blueberry/zucchini bread in my sun oven, how to save seeds, revitalize my garden soil with compost and worm castings, use my vacuum sealer, grow sprouts, how to dehydrate a variety of foods, and how to can chicken. Whew!
Once again I'd like to encourage you to spread the word about my books to everyone in the known universe since word of mouth is the best advertising and is pretty much the only advertising I get or can afford.
This time I'm asking you to go to Goodreads and post a review. I know it's a huge favor to ask, since you've already probably done a review on Amazon but by putting a review on Goodreads you can greatly increase my exposure to new readers.
My webmaster is still working on the changes I'm making to my website--she promises they'll be up soon. I hope you'll revisit it and check them out. Especially the new links I'm installing to other writer's webpages and blogs.
Since those links aren't up on my website yet I'm including some of them here. The links are to their Amazon Author Pages where you can check out all of their books. As you will see all of these authors are prolific and well respected.
ML Banner, author of the Stone Age series and other really cool books has an new one out titled "Highways: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale of Survival." His books get great reviews on Amazon.
Jay J. Falconer is the author of the American Prepper series, the Narrows of Time series and others. His books "Redfall: Fight for Survival" and "Redfall: Freedom Fighters" are getting terrific reviews on Amazon.
Once my webmaster has finished updating my website I have her woking out how to get free eBooks to all of you great folks who have already signed up for my Newsletter.
As always I invite you to contact me. I love hearing from you. To that end I've added my email address, website address and Pinterest site address to the contact information at the very end of this Newsletter.
And now, without further ado, more Prepper content from my upcoming book:
BUGGING IN: WHAT TO DO WHEN TSHTF and YOU LIVE IN SUBURBIA by Raymond Dean White
A Few More Items You Might Need
Your EDC (Every Day Carry)
Just like your Get Home Bag the items you choose for EDC should be tailored for your needs. If you are a woman your every day carry is your purse and it contains the things you KNOW you’ll need and use on a daily basis. I’d like to suggest four additions if you don’t already have them.
First, a small multi-tool like the Swiss Army knife. For decades I carried a Tinker model. The pocket knife and screw driver features were what I used most often.
Second, a small spray bottle of MACE, or bear spray. It could save your life or prevent a rape.
Third, a pistol, caliber of your choosing. Now if you are unfortunate enough to live in a State that sets up roadblocks to defending yourself against criminals you will need to get a Concealed Carry Permit (CCE) and I strongly advise you to do so. If, however you live in a State where they make it all but impossible to get a CCE, like New York or New Jersey well…it’s better to be tried by twelve than carried by six. Or you could move. Just sayin’.
Four, a small, yet very bright flashlight such as this Cree Q5 model.
I’m a guy and I don’t carry a purse or a man bag so my personal EDC consists of some extra cash, a Bic lighter (and I don’t smoke) and my Kershaw Leek Serrated pocket knife. Rare is the day I don’t use that knife more than once. I love the spring-assisted, flick it open with one finger action. And the ability to open a knife without having to use both hands is, well, handy and convenient. Mine was Made in America and I got it for about $27.00 on sale at Big 5 Sporting Goods. Here’s a link, not to Big 5 but to Kershaw so you can see what it looks like if you’re interested.
I’m always wearing a hat and my sunglasses so I don’t really count them as EDC items. It’s more like I regard them as clothing. But they are part of my EDC and so is my RFID blocking wallet. As I recall mine ran about ten bucks. Cheap insurance.
If you’ve never seen one of these things they are usually made of aircraft grade aluminum, though mine is covered with leather, and they block skimmers from stealing the magnetic information from your credit cards. I’ll be honest. I don’t know how prevalent this kind of theft is and I don’t really care. Having such a wallet gives me some peace of mind and that’s good enough for me.
My pistol. Honestly, I don’t carry it that often on my person. I know, I’m an idiot for not doing so, especially after I just told you, if you’re a woman, that you should be carrying one. But here’s the thing. I live in an extremely low crime area. My .357 is heavy and the strap-on holster is uncomfortable. My 10mm resides in a clip-on holster and is always trying to pull my darned pants down. Oh, yeah, don’t think I can’t hear you snickering. One of these pistols resides at all times in my GHB when I’m out and about and at home, well, can you say shotgun? But like I said, I mostly don’t carry because I just haven’t yet found a replacement holster that feels good. When I do I’ll carry a lot more frequently.
So why don’t you tuck it down the back of your pants? Because it isn’t secure, is slow to draw, is harshly uncomfortable and only idiots and Hollywood wannabes carry like that.
A quick side note about ammo. My .357 is usually chambered with light load jacketed hollow point (JHP) .38 Special rounds. The good thing about them is lack of penetration so if you should ever, God forbid, have to shoot someone in a crowed area it is much less likely to go all the way through them and harm someone behind them. The bad thing about such rounds is the lack of knock down power. The magazine in my 10mm is also stacked with light load JHP hollow points. Same good point but decidedly more knock down power. I’m also a better shot with the 10mm than the .357, probably because the 10mm has less recoil, but I also like the sights on it better.
Of course I could get a lighter pistol, a 9mm or a .380, and I could always get an ankle holster. Nah, that would look really silly with the shorts I wear. J But the lighter weight pistol??? Hmmm…
You probably noticed by now that my EDC consists of stuff that fits in my pockets or is worn on my person. That may be because I’m retired so I don’t need to carry a briefcase around with me. It could be because anytime I’m away from home I have my Get Home Bag with me (in the trunk of my car).
Okay, so much for my EDC. You will tailor yours to fit your anticipated needs and your own comfort level. Here’s a link for you to explore more.
It’s hard for me to believe I overlooked these. If you’ve ever had to suck on a hose to get a siphon going (and ended up with a mouth full of gasoline) you understand how useful something like this can be.
I have a World Marketing 602A hand siphon pump I use to transfer fuel from 5-gallon gas cans to my vehicles and emergency generator as well as to drain my lawn mower for winter storage. As with any siphon the outlet hose must be lower than the inlet hose. It only takes a few “pumps” to start the siphon and then it will continue to flow (without additional pumping) until the container you’re pumping from is empty or you lift the inlet hose out of the liquid and break the siphon. There is also a small cap on the squeeze pump you can open to break the siphon. This thing is very handy and in a SHTF scenario, especially after an EMP, it would be very useful for siphoning gasoline or diesel from ruined vehicles so you can keep your pre-1974 cars and trucks running.
Like any cheap tool my siphon pump will probably last at most a few years. I’ve had mine for five years now and it’s still working, but it’s plastic so the squeeze pump will eventually fatigue and break. I flush mine with water after every use, let it dry, then keep it stored in my garage. During our hot Arizona summers I keep my garage well ventilated to prevent heat build up that can make plastic brittle. In order to protect the plastic pump and hoses from UV deterioration I never leave them outside (except when they are drying out after being flushed clean).
I also use one of these to siphon water from 50-gallon barrels. They are so cheap I have three more in air conditioned storage.
Please note I am NOT recommending any specific pump. The ones I added links to below are suggestions only. Most of them have at least 50% five star reviews on Amazon but you need to decide for yourself which one is best for you.
If you have fuel or oil stored in 50-gallon drums a rotary or reciprocating drum pump is just the thing. My dad used to run a towing and repair business and he had two fifty gallon tanks on his tow truck (one for regular gasoline and one for diesel). We used rotary pumps to deliver fuel to stranded motorists who’d run dry.
Back on the farm several barrels of lube grease and oil were pumped in the same manner. Our 500-gallon gasoline and diesel fuel tanks were on stands above ground so we could refill the tractors and vehicles by pulling up next to them and using a gravity feed line.
But since we’re talking suburban survival here it’s highly unlikely you’ll have even a 50-gallon gasoline drum.
So why would you want a manual pump that works on such barrels? Because if the power is out for an extended length of time such a pump can be fitted with a longer hose and used to pump—not siphon—fuel from the underground storage tanks of your local gasoline station.
They can be used to pump water from your swimming pool or spa or from a lake or river.
Now I’m not talking about using one to pump water from your well. I already covered hand pumps for wells (Flo-Jack, Bison, etc) though I suppose if you had a shallow enough well a rotary or reciprocating drum pump might work. No, I’m talking about keeping yourself supplied with fuel and water if you don’t own a gas station or have a well.
This Wesco Aluminum non-sparking rotary hand pump looks a lot like the kind my dad and I used. Note that any pump you use with gasoline should be non-sparking, otherwise you could end up with BOOM! That’s one of the reasons I shy away from electric pumps for gasoline—the other reason being they’d likely be useless after an EMP.
Rolls of six-mil plastic are good to have around. The clear type is useful for covering the PVC hoop houses you built to extend your garden’s growing season. The black plastic is good for warming the soil in the spring so you can plant earlier and get good germination from your seeds.
Bird netting can keep birds from decimating your gardens and the fruit on your trees. It’s hard to put over full-sized trees, or even mature semi-dwarf types, but if you want to eat the fruit instead of simply feeding your local bird population, it’s worth doing.
Fencing and Tee Posts
I think I mentioned earlier how I used multiple layers of one-inch chicken wire (often called poultry netting) on the bottom of my raised beds to keep pocket gophers and pack rats out of my gardens. I also use it around the perimeter of my raised beds to keep cottontails from chowing down on my crops.
If you have deer or raccoons to contend with you need either big, outside dogs, or much more serious fencing. Most folks I know use welded wire fence supported by Tee Posts. Sometimes they use four-inch by four-inch, or two-inch by four-inch rolls of welded wire but many use a graduated size that starts at one-inch by two-inches along the bottom and increases to four-inch by four-inch at the top. Six-foot tall rolls deter most deer.
Such fencing has other uses as well. I use four-foot tall four-inch by four-inch welded wire fencing in my gardens as pea fence and to support tomatoes. I anchor and support the fencing with small tee posts or wooden stakes. I like the tee posts better because the wood stakes rot out in a year or two. This year I’m going vertical so I’ll secure the welded wire to poles (either with baling wire or plastic wire ties) and form vertical trellises for pole beans, cucumbers, squash and cantaloupe.
Chain link fence can also keep deer, skunks and other undesirables out of your gardens. But if you have a sit down lawn mower, ATV, or garden tractor (you lucky dog) you can rig a chain link fence drag harrow behind your machine and tow it along, ripping out weeds and leveling the soil in your gardens.
I built mine using two four by fours, a four foot by six-foot length of old chain link fencing, some baling wire and fence staples. I wove baling wire around the perimeter of the fence to keep it from unravelling or curling up too bad, then stapled the wire to the wood four by fours. I drilled holes in each end of the front four by four and bolted an eight-foot length of chain to each hole. I then wrap the middle of the chain around the ball hitch of my ATV and start harrowing. The four by four stapled to the rear of the chain link acts as an anchor to keep the back end from flapping loose as I “plow.” I also sometimes throw a wood pallet onto the chain link fencing to weigh it down—I attach it with a few zip ties.
Now, I thoroughly get how after TSHTF my ATV might not work until I replace the points and condenser but hey, those spare parts are cheap and reside, wrapped in bubble wrap, in a popcorn can faraday cage, so I have hope.
In case you have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention a drag rake here are a few links.
If you don’t have a pre-1974 vehicles you can use after an EMP, or if there hasn’t even been an EMP and your regular car or truck isn’t operable a 4x4 All Terrain Vehicle could be your best friend.
Uses: Tractor, Snowplow, water hauler, game hauler, fun.
My Polaris Sportsman 4x4 ATV has a trailer hitch and, you guessed it, a small trailer—and, woo-hoo, it’s a dump bed trailer—that my wife and I find invaluable, time-saving, back-saving and just generally terrific for an ever expanding list of outside chores. I think I’ve mentioned we have to deal with a lot of rock on our place. Formerly all that rock went into three-gallon plastic buckets or my wheelbarrow which I then manually hauled (oof, grunt, sigh) down to a small wash that borders our place. I’d then dump the rock in to slow runoff and help prevent erosion. Now I just load the rock into the ATV trailer (minimal grunting involved) and run it down to the wash.
We also used to carry armloads of weeds to our burn barrel. Now, here in Arizona most weeds are armed and I’m talking thorns as big as 8d nails. Carrying armloads of those by hand was no fun at all, though torching them did make me feel a bit better. Now I pile them in the ATV trailer and zoom to the burn barrel.
Raised beds need more soil? Fill the trailer and away I go. I’m telling you I love this ATV.
That's it for this month. Next month's topic will be Morale.
I've been collecting PINS on my Pinterest site that I hope could be of use to you so I invite you to go there and browse.
I AM NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANY OF THESE BUSINESSES IN ANY CAPACITY OTHER THAN THAT OF CUSTOMER. I OFFER THESE RECOMMENDATIONS BASED EITHER ON MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH THE PRODUCTS OR MY HAVING RESEARCHED THEM EXHAUSTIVELY. USE MY RECOMMENDATIONS AT YOUR OWN RISK.