Thursday, December 20, 2018

Backup Power Supply

The cost for back up power is very affordable starting around $260 for a highly rated DuroStar DS4000S that can run for 8 hours on 4 gallons of gas.  At $2.00 per gallon, this is $1.00 per hour for electricity.  This could save your food from spoiling in the refrigerator &/or freezer, and easily pay for itself in one power outage. Short of running a heater, air conditioner unit or an electric dryer, this 4,000 watt generator will power all of the important things in most homes.  Here is a list of estimated power requirements.

Add to this, a cover (for the long periods where you hopefully don't need it) at a cost of $20 and an extra 14 gallon gas can that will run your generator for 28 hours.  This is the first backup power system I would purchase.

Another option I actually prefer is the Champion 3800 Dual Fuel Generator which will run for 9 hours on its 3.4 gallon tank or 10.5 hours on a 20 pound Propane Tank, which is much safer to store and has an infinite shelf life vs the commonly used E10 gasoline (we put in our cars) which has a 8 to 12 month shelf life.  This is about $0.76 per hour to run on gasoline and about $1.90 per hour for propane. Short of running a heater, air conditioner unit or an electric dryer, this 3,800 watt system will power all of the important things in most homes.  Here is a list of estimated power requirements.

Granted the propane is more expensive but it is safer and has a much longer shelf life which could make it lower cost long term.  I would keep propane stored for long term use, but use low cost gasoline while it was easily available.

 A generator is affordable short term, but even the lowest operating cost option ($0.76/hour) becomes expensive long term, costing $550 per month for electricity and requiring regular trips to the gas station  Solar power on the other hand requires a larger investment for equivalent power, but is cheaper to operate.

 A wind generator in conjunction with a solar power system is actually the best combination for long term, sustainable power, that will continue to operate long after the gasoline supply is gone.  When the sun isn't shining, the wind is probably blowing, providing a supply of electricity during the cloudy times, during the night and during the day.

Such a system might start with a Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power System for $2,400, as an addition to your generator system above.  This is basically a big (280 amp hour) battery that can be charged by your homes power, your generator above while its providing power for your home, or by solar panels or a wind mill once there is no gasoline to run generators with.  Fully charged, this will run your refrigerator for 50 hours. You can buy batteries at a much lower cost to build your own Starter Solar System, but this includes a lot of extras.

You can also run your Generator above for a few hours and charge this large battery to use during the rest of the day, extending your Generator fuel for potentially weeks.

For $575 you can add 200 watts of portable Goal Zero Solar Panels specifically designed for this battery power pack.  It is pre-wired and ready to go by plugging one connector in. This 200 watt system will run your refrigerator, an LED light and a box fan.  Here is a list of estimated power requirements.

The addition of 8 Solar panels for $2,500 will keep this battery charged and provide 800 watts of 12 VDC power for each hour of sun shine. This 800 watt system will run a refrigerator, freezer, LED lights, radio, charge your phones and more. Here is a list of estimated power requirements.

A 2000 Watt Wind Mill for $750 will top off your system and provide a more balanced supply of power, even during cloudy days or at night. Add this to the 8 panels above and you can power all of the important things in most homes, indefinitely. Note that the 800 watt solar system generates up to 800 watts when the sun is fully shining, and the 2,000 watt wind mill generates up to 2,000 watts when the wind is blowing hard.  Figuring a maximum of 50% on both system is reasonable when sunny and windy.  So on a windy sunny day, you might expect about 1,400 watts of power supply.  Here is a list of estimated power requirements

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Survive a 2 week Power Outage
Complete Sustainable Living Plan
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Backup Power for Under $50
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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Prepper Training for Youths

Young children learn rapidly, but are also easily scared.

So what life skills should you teach them to be prepared for a potential economic or societal breakdown, i.e. the proverbial SHTF scenario?

Here is a list to consider:
  1. Gardening - the most valuable skill for sustainability.  Let them plant their own seeds.
  2. Livestock - Raising "Pet" chickens is a valuable skill for sustainable living. Let your kids check for eggs & see chicks hatch.  Raising pet goats is a most valuable skill for Nomadic living. 
  3. Fishing - probably the most valuable skill for living in the wild.
  4. Horse Back Riding - is fun and a useful skill as a form of sustainable Transportation.
  5. Camping - cooking & sleeping outside in various environments without fear is essential.
  6. Water - Safe drinking water is critical to survival.  See the Rule of 3.
  7. EDC Survival - Surviving with your Every Day Carry (EDC) items. 
  8. Shooting - starting with Gun Safety, followed with shooting a BB Gun at a young age. 
  9. Archery - a fun sport and precursor to hunting.  
  10. Build your own bow and arrows as well as using modern ones.
  11. Paint Ball or Laser tag - a fun way to learn military drills and security skills.  
  12. Fire Making - a key skill to teach with caution as they become Teens.
  13. Wilderness Survival - Knowledge is free and light weight vs a heavy pack of supplies.
  14. Hunting - a key skill to learn as Teens but mental preparation to kill an animal is important.
  15. Edible Wild Plants - another good skill for Teens, especially the Universal Edibility Test.
There is so much you can teach your children starting as young as 6 to 8  years old. The most important thing is to make learning fun, where they are looking forward to it.  If some of these prove to be boring, move on to another one.  Avoid talking about dooms day or situations that will scare them; just have fun learning valuable skills.

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

NASA Asteroid Warning

Large Asteroid Packing 50 Megatons of Force Might Come Crashing Down on Earth in 2023 — and That’s Not All

A large asteroid could be headed toward us in the near future — barreling through space on a risk trajectory that might cause it to collide with Earth.
The news comes from the Express, which cites NASA sources revealing that the space rock could end up engaged in not one, but a staggering 62 different potential impact trajectories with our planet — each of them waiting to sling the asteroid toward Earth over the next 100 years.
Known as asteroid 2018 LF16, the space rock was last observed by our astronomers on June 16 — notes NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) — who calculated its orbit and its potential to become a threat to our planet. The calculations showed asteroid 2018 LF16 could collide with our planet on 62 different dates between now and 2117.
The first of these unnerving opportunities arises just five years from now — occurring on August 8, 2023. Other potential impact dates in the near future fall on August 3, 2024, and on August 1, 2025.
To make matters worse, the space rock is estimated to measure nearly 700 feet across and is currently hurtling through space at a speed of more than 33,844 miles per hour. This makes asteroid 2018 LF16 twice as large as the Statue-of-Liberty-sized space rock that skimmed past our planet earlier today, as reported by the .
“A space rock this big is about twice as tall as Big Ben’s clock tower in London, twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in New York, and is four times as tall as Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square,” states the Express.
However, this is not to say that the asteroid will slam into Earth with absolute certainty. In fact — per the British media outlet — NASA estimates that the asteroid has a one in 30 million chance of crashing into our planet. This translates into a 99.9999967 percent chance of a miss in the event that asteroid 2018 LF16 does come wandering too close to home.
This particular space rock ranks as a level “zero” threat on the Torino Impact Hazard Scale — meaning that its likelihood of a collision with Earth is nonexistent or close to nonexistent.
This is the same designation that “also applies to small objects, such as meteors, and bodies that burn up in the atmosphere — as well as infrequent meteorite falls that rarely cause damage,” explains the Center for Near Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

3D illustration of a swarm of asteroids entering Earth’s atmosphere. Oliver Denker / Shutterstock
Although NASA predictions show that asteroid 2018 LF16 has virtually zero chances of smashing into Earth, the space agency will continue to keep an eye on this formidable space rock.
An asteroid of this size headed directly for Earth would pack a tremendous impact force that could rival the 50-megaton blast produced by the detonation of the Tsar Bomba in 1961.
“That is more than 1,500 times that of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs combined, and 10 times more powerful than all the munitions expended during World War II,” writes the BBC.

ESA (CC BY-SA 3.0)
“The main challenge stems from the population of middle-size objects, ranging from tens to hundreds of meters in diameter,” shows the ESA.
These smaller asteroids can be found in greater numbers in our solar system and strike the Earth periodically — sometimes causing extensive damage. This was the case of the 60-foot asteroid that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013, injuring more than one thousand people and producing damage of millions of dollars.

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Home Security

FBI statistics indicate a home is robbed every 13 seconds and since not all police departments report their statistics to the FBI is is probably more frequent than that.   

The key to strong security is more than a good Security Plan, you must include regular assessment and testing of your security systems.  Any decent robbers will study your patterns for weaknesses and possibly even probe your security by approaching under some false pretense.  

Burglars do NOT like lights, loud sounds (like barking dogs) nor company.  They prefer dark, quite places to rob, preferably when no one is at home.  But what if a burglar doesn't realize that you are home, and quietly comes in while you are sleeping; would you detect an intruder?  Imagine waking to the sound of breaking glass.  What would you do? Do you own a gun for personal protection or home defense?

Predictability is the biggest weakness behind no security at all, or not having a good weapon. During hurricanes and modern day disasters, looters and gangs start rioting and robbing within the first 3 days. So being prepared is important.  The wealthier your neighborhood & more Modern your Home is, the more attractive target you are.

Here are some simple and affordable things you can buy that will help protect your home.

Outdoor solar powered lights can add highlights to your yard, and keep it lit up, even when the electricity is off for less than $6.50 each.  If you get the type that uses AA batteries, they can double as solar powered battery chargers.

Something as simple as motion lights or alarms or even a big dog bowl by the back door can deter burglars. 

Another good deterrent are light timers. They make it look like you are home, even when you are away. By plugging a timer in to a timer, you can add an element of randomness that prevents burglars from realizing you are really gone and just using a timer that is on/off at the same time each day.

If you can't afford a home security system add a good motion detecting game camera which will take pictures when movement is detected around your home. Some will send the pictures to your phone for $10/month.

In a serious event, city dwellers need a neighborhood watch plan while country folk have less neighbors to depend on but also less neighbors to pose a threat to your safety. But there will be mass hoards of people evacuating the cities when their food and water runs out.

For additional information see the following links:  
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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Top 3 EDC Survival Knives Under $50

Regardless of your budget, you need a good survival knife as part of your bug out bag. If you’re like most preppers, you want the best knife you can get for your money – but you also have to consider balancing out how much you can spend on any single item when you’re on a tight budget.
You may want a cheap (inexpensive) edc knife, but that doesn’t mean you need a cheap (quality) knife.
Most high-quality knives easily run $150 and up, with custom options going above and beyond even $500. While that’s nice if you can afford it, chances are you need a few knives around, one for your main bag, another for your get home bag. And they need to perform if the need arises.
When looking at quality edc knives at an affordable price, we wanted good knives, made by manufacturers with a reputation for great knives. This isn’t the place to find cheap knockoffs; we wanted options you could use in the field and be proud of.
We wanted to look at knives that were right in the middle on size. There are much smaller knives (less blade material, less production cost), but they often lacked the minimum amount of blade necessary for a “general use” survival knife. Each of these every day carry knives feature a blade 4.1″ to 5.2″ in length which is a great size for a medium knife. While bigger knives were available in the same price range, comparing survival knives to machetes just isn’t a proper apples to apple comparison.
The knives that made the list are all under $50 on Amazon, which should be affordable for any prepper or budding survivalist. While there are a lot of good knives in the $50-100 range, we stuck to a firm $50 limit for this list as we wanted 3 knives that were all within about $17 of each other.

The least expensive of the 3 knives, the Mora Bushcraft is a great first survival edc knife for a beginning prepper, or the perfect backup knife when paired with a more expensive primary knife. This Mora knife is shorter and has a thinner blade than other comparable knives. Not to say this knife isn’t of high quality – there are few stories of people managing to break a Mora.
Its 4.3" blade made of high-quality stainless steel and 0.10" (2.5 mm) thick. The knife features plastic made high-friction grip handle and with a belt clip sheath. The Morakniv Bushcraft full length 9.1" weight only 5.0 oz as well as comes with limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.
The only major complaint about this particular knife is the rounded spine, which doesn’t seem to take well to use with Ferro rod fire starters. I take that complaint minimally, as most starters come with their own striker, and I’d prefer NOT to use my blade if I don’t have to.

The Schrade SCHF10 comes in with our biggest blade at 5.2″ and is all around a good, meaty knife that performs well. The micarta handles is molded well to provide great grip, even in wet conditions. Also, it has a lanyard hole. The 1/4″ thick blade makes for a solid knife that can take a beating but is still fairly well balanced and capable of accurate cuts as well as more bruising tasks. It has all the features you’d expect in a good edc knife under 50 dollars.
To protect this 10.5" knife Schrade provides a heavy duty Nylon sheath with an additional pouch for a sharpener, Ferro rod, tactical flashlight or other accessories. Most importantly the manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty for this Schrade SCHF10-BRK Fixed Blade Survival knife.

The negatives are this knife’s alleged sharpness from the factory. Having not tested other Schrade knives, we don’t know if that’s just a shipping standard with the company or just a bad run. That said, you should always sharpen your new knife prior to use anyway – so we think it’s a stupid complaint.

The SOG SEAL Pup knife is another great every day carry knife with a proven history of use by Special Forces operators. It has a 4.75” AUS-8 stainless steel made quality thick blade which is partially serrated and powder coated. You would be surprised to know that this inexpensive knife’s blade made of SOG’s patented cryogenic heat treatment method.
The ergonomic finger grooves handle of this knife made out of Glass-reinforced nylon. There is a lanyard hole bottom of the handle. This SOG SEAL Pup Survival EDC Knife comes with MOLLE-COMPATIBLE SHEATH and limited lifetime warranty. The full tang knife has 9” overall length weight with sheath 5.4 ounces.
My only issue with this knife is only because the model looked at under $50 had the partially serrated edge blade. For about $10 more on Amazon, you can move up in the knife to a slightly longer blade that is a plain flat blade without serration. I would buy the better model if I had the extra $10, but this list was only looking at the sub-$50 models.
You can’t go wrong with any of the knives mentioned here. They are all high-quality knives under $50 from manufacturers with a reputation for great knives that will perform. If you’re looking for a secondary knife for your bag or a good, inexpensive knife for a secondary bag – these are the best of the group.

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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Home Defense Plan

How to Create a Home Defense Plan That Really Works

By Seth Thompson published in General, How To, Safety and Training

Every year, somewhere between 1.2 million and 3+ million American citizens use a firearm in self-defense, according to recently compiled home invasion statistics and crime reports. These numbers offer proof for the need to take home defense planning seriously.

burglar using a crowbar to break into a house
Be aware of your home’s weak points, such as windows that a burglar can break into using a crowbar.

This doesn’t mean that homeowners should live in fear. It means that responsible homeowners need to use comprehensive home defense strategies to protect their property. The most effective strategies require proper planning and the best information to go off of to prevent these incidents from happening in their homes.

Here’s how to create a home defense plan that really works:

Start By Burglar-Proofing Your Home

Over 2 million home burglaries are reported each year in the U.S., according to Safeguard the World, a Florida security company. It’s important for homeowners to take the first critical step to protect themselves against the most common crime in most neighborhoods, by burglar-proofing their homes. Burglars are typically opportunists who will break into a house if it looks unkempt or unsecured.

Modern door lock with multiple bolts

Choose a modern security door with multiple latch bolts.
Start by securing potential weak points in your home, such as open windows, unlocked doors, open backyards with bushes, garages without lighting, and unsecured entry points to balconies and upper floors. Such weak points are what burglars or home invaders will look for when trying to get into your home.

Make sure your home is well maintained. Strategically place outdoor lighting to cover blind spots, trim your outdoor shrubs and lawn, never leave ladders outside, clear away debris, and fix any damaged windows and locks. Embrace the habit of shutting your windows and locking all doors when you’re not at home.

You can also get yourself and your family a dog as part of your home security plan. Large breeds, such as German Shepherds, Pit bulls, Labradors, Doberman, Bull mastiff, Akita, and Rottweilers are great options for homeowners who are serious about their home defense and deterrent strategies. These intelligent breeds have loud barks and are able to warn families of an intruder.

Install Video Surveillance Cameras

two security cameras on a pole
Consider a system of outdoor surveillance cameras as a deterrent.

Only 20% of American homes use security cameras. Despite this, it’s important to note that homes without security systems are 300% more likely to be broken into than homes with them. Criminals don’t want to be recorded or seen, which is one of the main reasons why cameras are an effective deterrent. If you keep many valuables in your home or spend a lot of time away, installing security cameras is a must.
Modern security camera systems are more cost-effective than ever to install and maintain. Many also carry advanced features standard, such as remote viewing and playback from phones, tablets, and computers. Additional features for consideration include long-range infrared night vision, pan-tilt-zoom capabilities, motion-sensitive activation.
Install cameras in strategic areas like your main entry doors, garage, or backyard. Put up a surveillance sign saying “Video surveillance in use 24/7.” This is usually a great deterrent.

Consider Getting a Self-Defense Firearm

man shooting at an indoor range
Regularly practice at a firing range for self-defense so you know your gun and are prepared to use it.

As part of your home defense plan, it’s advisable also to get yourself a rifle, shotgun or handgun for self-defense. Consider the type of gun and ammunition you need for self-defense, the training required to become proficient at using it, and additional equipment you may need. This could be a flashlight, ear protection, and/or a well-fitting holster.
You must also ensure that your gun or guns are stored safely in an easily accessible gun safe, so that your weapons and ammunition are ready when they’re needed.

Regularly Review and Practice Your Home Defense Plan

A home defense plan is never complete without regular reviews and practice to ensure its viability. By combining home defense strategies such as, burglar proofing, installing surveillance cameras both indoors and outdoors, and keeping a firearm ready, you can more easily take control of any situation that puts you and your family at risk. Cameras are an especially effective enhancement to the way you use guns for self-defense, as tools for enhanced situational awareness.
Make sure to strengthen all possible points of entry in your home and keep your home defense deterrents up to date. You and your family need a concrete home defense plan and must be able to execute it without hesitation or confusion. Consider the size and layout of your home, how many people live in your home, the abilities, and age of each member, and other details like where to go or regroup in case of a breach.

Taking the Right Approach

You can create a home defense plan that really works by being realistic and preparing for the most likely scenarios first. With the right approach, your home will be protected from incidents like break-ins when you’re at home or away, property intrusion and others.

Do you have a home security plan or tip? Share it in the comment section.

Seth Thompson is a writer and content strategist specializing in topics concerning homeowners and business owners for companies including CCTV Security Pros. he also writes about developments in science and technology. In his free time, Seth enjoys basketball and nature walks.

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The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

For additional information see the following links:
Blog Table of Contents

Top 10 List of Prepper info
Top Rated Prepper Handbook Posts of all time
Top Rated Prepper Website

Country Home Security Plan
Home Invasion Response Plan
Guns in plain sight
Intruder Detection
Riot Preparations
Double Barreled Defense

Modern Home Security
Sustainable City Survival
Random Security
Modern Defensive Shotguns

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