Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Night Vision – essential for security

We attack at dawn! 

For centuries, this was the strategy for attackers who wanted to surprise their sleeping enemy. Attacking from the east also had the sun to their back and in their enemies’ eyes. But times have changed with the invention of night vision.  Now the time to attack is near the darkest point, with silencers or bows and arrows.  With out night vision, it is your most vulnerable time.
There are a few good options on Night Vision, and many cheap ones, so it is important to check around. Most people start with a cheap one and wish either they had bought a better one, or later they do buy a better one. Here is my advice.

Check with people you know and trust but also look at the ratings on places like Amazon who publishes the good and bad ratings alike. I only buy products with 4 star ratings or higher (5 star system) , that have been rated by 10 or more buyers, and have less than 10% of their ratings as only 1 star.

The same company makes many of the inexpensive brands so again trusted ratings are important. The main classification system is Generation 1, 2, 3 & 4. Four is latest and best but only available to the military. There is a big step up in cost and notable step in performance with each newer Generation. The Gen 1 sells typically for less than $1,000 and prices have gotten lower over time with some down around two hundred dollars. The Gen 2 is roughly from slightly under $1,000 to $2,000 and Gen 3 is 2,000 and higher. This is rough pricing, there are wide ranges on all of them, and in time, they should get lower. It is important to remember that you pay for what you get although you do not always “get what you pay for.” Some times, you pay high prices for good quality but get junk if you are not careful.

This link shows some dark night examples of the G1, G2 & G3 differences:

After considering the different Generations, there is Thermal like the FLIR, which is the best for seeing warm-blooded creatures with prices down just under $2,000 now for the least inexpensive models.

You can buy several types of NV (Night Vision) equipment:
  1. Monocles (lowest cost)
  2. Binoculars
  3. Scopes, with sights, cross hairs, dots, etc.
These different types have different ways to use them.
  1. Hand held only (lowest cost)
  2. Hand held &/or head &/or helmet mount
  3. Rifle Mount
Obviously, the most flexible mounting is one that does it all.
Using a low cost Gen 1 Monocle hand held, it sees OK out to about 75 yards in an open field on a star lit night, but only 25 – 50 yards in heavy woods or a dark over cast night. It is a good starter tool and can be used by a sentry or guard post observing the area, but you cannot hardly aim or shoot a rifle with it at all.

I like the Gen 3 PVS-14. It does not have any type of sighting like a scope does, but it is small and will mount in line with many scopes or sighting systems and will see 100 to 200  yards in most conditions except fog which favors a thermal sight. Here is a 100-yard example for the PVS-14:

It usually comes with a head mounting harness and a rail mount that will fit behind your scope and you can buy a Mitch helmet mount for about a hundred dollars. A very important feature is that the PVS is GATED. It switches off when exposed to light, protecting if from washing out like less expensive brands do. I have heard that being exposed to light a few times can render them useless.

Using the head mount, you can wear it and look around in all directions, with out having to point your gun (an act of aggression), and then aim through your gun sight to fire. This is easier to look around and an advantage as opposed to pointing your rifle everywhere, especially if you are in a snipers sight and he sees you point your rifle at him when just looking around.

Several sights like the EOTech 558

and Aimpoint Micro T1 are night vision compatible. They light up their sight with a NV visible only dot, so others do not see it and it does not illuminate your face like sights might. In addition, the T1 has a five-year battery life if left on full time. The EOTech battery life is about 600 hours on AA batteries, which is what I like about it along with many other excellent features.

Another consideration is the ACOG TA31 low light Scope (not NV).

It is the most popular with the military and has been for many years. They have one of the most versatile AR reticle aiming systems available for close range (Chevron) AND longer distance cross hairs for “large” targets. It also has a clever built-in ranging system. The cross hairs cover a 19″ wide target at their intended range. So you raise the scope up until the cross hairs width covers the width of an enemy soldier and fire as that is the correct range to use. They have a light gathering fiber optic tube that works well even in low light conditions and they have Tritium lighted cross hairs for use in semi-darkness although it will not be as good as a PVS 14 in total darkness or beyond 100 yards, and cannot be worn on a head mount like a mono or the PVS.

My preferred set up would be a Head / Helmet mount PVS-14 with a Micro T1 Aimpoint red dot sight for night (or the EOTech) and the ACOG TA31 for day time. This is a low/no battery consumption set up, with the night vision being the highest battery consumption, lasting about 40 hours. Normally, I like tools that use common AA batteries, which is not the case here, but rechargeable batteries are available although fully charged they run only about ½ as long.

There are obviously people who would disagree and that prefer other set-ups, but you cannot go wrong with these quality products and are unlikely to regret your purchase. Their only down side is they are expensive, but you pay for what you get, and remember your life could depend on these some day.

For more information on Security, see Passive Layered Security for your home and property or read the Prepper Handbook. on Amazon.  It is too large to publish in one paper book but you can down load the free reader on your computer, iPad or iPhone, order the book and read it with out a Kindle.

For additional information see the following links:

The Rule of 3 (set priorities by this)
Why we are ALL Preppers (for skeptics)

Food and water:

Edible Wild Plants:

Natural Disaster Preparations

Firearms and security:
Investing for Preppers (Financial Security)


Wilderness Survival:
Survival Pack (Security Patrol or Bug Out pack)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Survival Pack

Security Patrol, Scout Team or Bug Out Packs should be a US Military 3-day Assault Pack; not a cheap foreign made knock off. Then carry or wear the following:

  1. Carry an AK 47, AR10 or AR15 Rifle with a sling & ACOG TA31 Scope (AR's).
  2. Wear a MOLLE bulletproof vest also know as an IBA (Individual Body Armor). If you cannot afford one of these, then get a MOLLE load bearing vest.
  3. Wear a MICH Helmet with a Gen 3 Night Vision mounted (if night time)
  4. Glock 22 - 40 caliber or Glock 17 - 9mm Pistol in a good weather resistant holster.
  5. 2-4 loaded magazines for the AK/AR, 1-2 for the Glock balanced on your IBA.
  6. Communications Radio with earpiece for quite operation on your IBA; extra batteries.
  7. Walker Game Ear worn to enhance and protect hearing; eye protection.
  8. Hunting or combat knife, bayonet, machete or equivalent.
  9. Compass, matches, lip balm in a MOLLE hand grenade pocket.

Then the Scout, Patrol or survival pack should contain the following:
  1. Ammo–400 AR/300 AK rounds and 50 Glock Rounds & a small cleaning kit or “snake.”
  2. Binoculars or telescope handy (variable15X+ Power).  Good to also have ammo cached around in strategic places.
  3. Security trip wires & motion detecting lights / alarms like the Home Bright Alarm
  4. Military spec US Made E-tool – critical entrenching tool for quick cover. Further, it is imperative that you know the difference between cover (stops bullets) and concealment, which hides you from sight but does NOT stop bullets.
  5. Military camo Poncho (or Ghillie suit) for concealment & shelter; Insect repellent. 550 Military Para cord. Wool blanket or poncho liner if cold weather.
  6. Stainless Steel Water bottle, filter straw and either 1 gallon of water per day (8.4 lbs each) or water treatment like chlorine dioxide tablets, or 8 drops of bleach per gallon and know where fresh water can be obtained along your route.
  7. MREs, emergency food bar or dried foods and light cook gear.
  8. Folding knife, fire starter and an axe or machete; Bic lighter & waterproof matches.
  9. Area Map (waterproof) & back up compass
  10. For an over night trip/kit, I might include a US Military 4 Piece Modular Sleep system (using the appropriate sleeping bag set for my climate) which includes the Gore Tex (water proof) camo bivy but use the Rucksack backpack instead. Otherwise, I would carry an OD Green mesh hammock (camo sprayed) if traveling light and using the Assault pack.
Carry what is really needed, not all that makes you comfortable, weight makes long walks harder, short runs much slower, and in time you focus more on your overloaded pack than what is going on around you.

Guard duty, Patrols or Sentries should have similar equipment (less the overnight gear) plus extra Ammo cached at the Observation Post. Bug Out packs might be similar but should be the full size Rucksack to carry more water, food, & ammo.

This is another excerpt from the Prepper Handbook  by JR Ray on Amazon.  You can download their free e-reader and read it on your computer, iPhone or iPad.

For more information see the following links:

US GOVERNMENT Recommended Preparations

Our federal government gives us a list of “Events” we should be prepared for and how to do so. It includes things like:

Natural Disasters

A.     Hurricanes
B.     Floods *
C.     Earthquakes
D.     Wild Fires  *
E.     Tornadoes
F.      Home Fires  *
G.    Black Outs (power outage) *
H.     Biological threats *
I.        Pandemics (1 – 2 week quarantine; see CDC Pandemic Flu Preparedness)*
J.      Drought
K.     Extreme Heat
L.      Severe Weather  *
M.    Space Weather (solar flares) *
N.     Thunderstorms and lightening *
O.    Tsunami
P.     Volcanoes
Q.    Winter Storms and extreme cold

Man-made hazards

R.     Hazardous Material incidents *
S.     Nuclear power plants (radiation leaks)
T.      Chemical Threats or weapons *
U.     Cyber Attack (computers, ATMs & store registers down) *
V.     Explosions (terrorist bombs) *
W.   Nuclear blast *
X.     Radiological Dispersion Device (dirty bomb) *
All of these are covered in the Prepper Handbook in detail.

These are not Chicken Little ( saying the sky is falling, but rather our federal government ( telling us what we need to be prepared for.  The government even has “National Preparedness Month.”
These are Events that often happen. Obviously some are more of a risk than others are, depending on where we live and our situation. Those identified by * are “Events” that could happen to most anyone.
In addition to this list, I would add:

Riots, gangs, and looting that might occur for a number of reasons including something as simple as the LA Lakers winning the NBA Championship or as complex as an economic meltdown from hyperinflation (read Wikipedia on this subject).
These “Events” as we will call them can cause a wide range of event consequences. The degree of severity depends on the Event AND our level of preparation for it. The range of Event consequences broadly includes:
  1. No problems
  2. Minor inconvenience for a few days
  3. Serious hardships for a few weeks.
  4. In the worst cases, they pose a threat to well being, life, limb, and property for a long time.
How prepared you are will determine how you fare. For example, being prepared for an Event can easily move you from serious hardships (#3) to minor inconvenience (#2).
But there are real risks of far more serious Events. Is there any doubt that one of the many suicide bombers would not discharge a weapon of mass destruction in the USif he could get one? Only 5% of the millions of daily import containers are inspected. Getting something smuggled into the US would not be hard. When Terrorist attacked us using airplanes on September 9, 2011 or 9-11 they did so with 4 different airplanes and totally successful with 75% or 3 out of 4. If they tried to smuggle in 4 nukes from North Korea, Iran (formerly Persia) or lost ones from Russia through our normal import shipping channels to attack us with, our chances of catching all four is about 6 out of 1 million. Of course, they would test our different ports (if not already in progress) to see which ones were the easiest to smuggle illegal products into and would use those, reducing our chances even further.

The US has a Billion plus dollars per day trade deficit (over spending) with much of it going for foreign oil which has a little more cost than pumping water from the ground and transporting it. This provides a lot of disposable income for the oil rich countries to buy nukes from India,Pakistan,North Korea, or the former Soviet Union countries, most of which hate the US.
Sure, North Korea missiles only have 2,000-mile range, but the EMP caused by a nuke launched from a fishing boat or submarine in the Gulf of Mexico and exploded 250 miles over the central US would take out a majority of our electronic and electrical systems for many years. A solar flare from the sun could do the same thing. Expert testimony before Congress in 2014 warned us that an electromagnetic pulse attack on our power grid and electronic infrastructure could leave most Americans dead and the the dark ages. Google “EMP Attack On Power Grid Could Kill 9-In-10”
Think of the consequences from having no electricity for years especially in a country where farmers representing 2-3% of the US population are feeding the other 97 – 98% (300 million Americans) and much of the world. Or what if honeybees continue to die off and even perish? The food supply will quickly be disrupted from not being pollinated. People will do what ever is necessary to eat and feed their children. First they will ask for food, even beg. Then they will try to sneak and steal it, then eventually organize into groups (gangs) and take it by force if necessary. They will have no problem killing “greedy people who won’t share” to feed their children.
Without electricity, city water supplies will quickly dry up. Hoards of desperate people will flee to the country in search of food, water, and shelter.
The US Government has a Continuity of Government plan (COG) called Continuity of Operations (COOP) that believes the highest value terrorist target would be to detonate a Washington DC nuclear bomb while the President was addressing joint sessions of congress. So clearly, they recognize there is a real risk, if they are developing plans on what to do in such an Event. An Event that most people are not prepared for I might add. Some of their plans for different Events are shocking, expecting mass casualties of unprepared citizens.
There are a large number of Events with a low probability of occurrence, but severe consequences. A major volcanic eruption or limited nuclear exchange could spread enough dust through our atmosphere blocking out the sun and inducing a multi-year winter and disrupt the food supply. Read about 1816, the “Year Without a summer…. was an agriculture disaster.”

Fortunately for us, the basic preparations are generally the same for most of the Events, with a few specialized additions for each Event.
This is another excerpt from the Prepper Handbook  by JR Ray on Amazon.  You can download their free e-reader and read it on your computer, iPhone or iPad.

For additional information see the following links:

Here is another good story on EMP: