Practical Prepping Blog

Preparations for a very uncertain future. . .

Coming Soon: Kahr CW40 vs Taurus PT709 Slim Review

Yes.  I did it.  I confess.  While my Taurus PT709 Slim was away at the factory getting repaired, I had a ‘dalliance’.  A tryst of sorts.  It was only supposed to be a one-night-stand, but…..  Well, I fell in love.  I didn’t mean for it to happen, but it did.  And afterward, I had to take her home.

Who is this floozy that lead me astray while my Slim was away?  A Kahr CW40.  Six + One rounds of .40 caliber love in a concealable package only a few millimeters wider than the Taurus – and with a Crimson Trace lasergrip no less.  I was powerless to resist.

While both are excellent concealed carry weapons, they are certainly different in character and feel.  I had them both at the range recently and will publish a review linked up to the video my wife shot while I put both guns through their paces.  Give me a few days, then read and decide for yourself which gun is for you.

September 22, 2010 Posted by | Firearms | , , , , | Leave a comment

Most Overlooked Prep: Prescription Medications

Last year, I read an excellent SHTF ( is that an actual genre?  If it isn’t – it should be.) novel entitled One Second After by William R. Forstchen.  In a nutshell, the story covered the time following an EMP attack on the United States and the near total societal breakdown that ensues as seen from in and around a small town nestled in the mountains of North Carolina.  The protagonist is made to deal with the problems associated with a total grid-down situation and all the ramifications thereof – especially the inability to refrigerate or obtain additional supplies of insulin for his 12-year old daughter who has Type 1 diabetes.  Before I leave this brief discussion of the book, let me take a moment to highly recommend it.  It’s clever, instructional, poignant and just plain, old well-written.

As a prepper, it was impossible to read that book and not attempt to apply the painful lessons learned by the main character.  Not the least of which is to make sure that you have access to enough prescription medication for any chronic health condition you or a member of your family might have.  How much is enough?  Where can I obtain ‘extra’ medication?  Let’s explore those and other questions.

It must be noted here that I am NOT a doctor.  Nor am I a pharmacist.  My purpose for writing this post is get you thinking about your unique  medical circumstances and how you might improve the chances of survival during an emergency and NOT of offer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to your problem.

That said, I have moderate asthma and chronic bronchitis and use prescription medication daily to help mitigate the effects those problems.  I also run and do other exercises which help me to stay on top of my medical condition to the degree possible.  When I started prepping several years ago, I realized that I somehow needed to find a way to stockpile at least a few months worth of my prescription medication in case of emergency.  I mean, what good would it do to have 12 months worth of water when you can’t breathe?  The first thing I did was to start making use of the ‘3-Month Supply’ mail-order prescription drug option offered by my health care provider.  This required me to ask my doctor to write a prescription for a 90-day supply of each medication take, which she did gladly.  Not only did it save me money compared to what I was spending monthly at the local pharmacy, but it allowed me to have, at least for the few weeks following the arrival of my 90-day supply, a 3-month stockpile of my needed meds.  This was a start, but just that.

The next thing I did was to actually go to my doctor at the beginning of hurricane season some years back and ask her if she could spare an free samples of the medication I take so i can have a modest stockpile of them in case we get hit by another hurricane and they became unobtainable for a few weeks or months.  You would be surprised at how sympathetic many doctors are for people who are trying to prepare for such emergencies.  My doctor handed me two months worth of both medications I take.  Sweet.  By doing this for the last few years, I have accumulated a six-month stockpile of my needed medications.  Is that enough?  I don’t know.  But is sure is better than having no reserve at all.  And a six-month supply should be enough to hold me over for most emergencies short of a total societal collapse.  Besides, if need be during a longer term emergency, I’m sure by keeping in reasonably good cardiovascular shape, I can stretch that 6-month supply into into something closer to 9 months or more.  I hope I never have to find out.

Of course, YMMV (your mileage may vary).  Everybody’s situation is different where medication and illness is concerned.  The important thing is to begin to seriously think of ways and means of accumulating a supply of your needed prescription drugs and the time to start is NOW.

Be safe.  Be Prepared

September 22, 2010 Posted by | Food, Water, etc, General | Leave a comment

Back To Prepping: Lookie What Brown Did For Me Today!

Canned Butter.  What will they think of next?

Just received these 12 cans of Red Feather ‘Pure Creamery Butter’ from Healthy Harvest.  They had been on back order for some time, so the box I saw on my porch as I drove up to the house today merited a fist pump.  I mean what’s the use of storing flour and grain to make bread if you’ve got no butter to slap on it?  This canned butter is part of my long-term stock along with ‘several’ #10 cans of Mountain House and eFoods Direct freeze-dried food along with other long-term items stored in 5-gallon buckets in mylar bags.  I bring this up because I believe it is prudent to have both short-term – a few weeks of food/water in case of a hurricane or flood, or other localized disaster as well as a store of long-term food like vacuum/mylar bagged rice, beans, flour, pasta, etc., in case the SHTF or some other long-term emergency makes for food shortages.

I’ve been saying for a long time that you CANNOT count on your local grocery store to have enough stock to accomodate ‘panic-buying’ on the cusp of an emergency.  They all utilize ‘Just in time’ inventory protocol.  This means that they have just enough for a day or two and depend on a daily caravan of trucks to keep their inventory levels up.  Gone forever are the days of vast stockrooms filled to the rafters with countless cases of food.  So, if you think you’re going to need it during an emergency, buyit now if you can.  Or if not now, then ASAP.

Be safe.  Be prepared.

September 8, 2010 Posted by | Food, Water, etc, General | , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Never Too Early To Prepare For Winter

I was cleaning off the back porch this weekend in between pool maintenance, generator maintenance, barbecues and a ham radio Simulated Emergency Test (Hey, isn’t labor day weekend supposed to be a time for relaxation???), when I discovered half a small cord of firewood I had covered with a few large bags of Kingsford charcoal earlier this spring.  Some of you are probably thinking, What the heck does this guy need with firewood??  Doesn’t he live in So. Florida?  Yes, I do, but what kind of prepper (practical or otherwise) would I be if I did not have the means of cooking and/or boiling water if my electricity is out (I hate my electric stove) and I have run out of propane?  I usually keep a few cords of wood on my back porch ‘just in case’.  Sometimes we light up a few pieces in the fire pit when the temperature drops to the bone chilling 50s.  Brrrrrr.

The purpose of this post is to remind you that the time to prepare for winter – especially you folks up north – is NOW.  I don’t have to remind you about the growing number of sources of warnings about this fall and early winter vis a vis our teetering economic situation.  Don’t put off getting kerosene for the heaters and lanterns, batteries for the flashlights and radios, and propane (or firewood) for emergency cooking and heating.  Also, remember the two most important things: Food and Water.  I remember reading last year about a family who was trapped in their  homes due to hellacious ice storms knocking down power lines and closing roads.  Luckily, they were ‘preppers’ and made it through just fine while having enough food and gasoline to help their neighbor run their generator for a few days longer.  A word to the wise.

Preps Dry Run: Update #3

Below is the only photo I was able to salvage off the damaged memory card of my Sony camera.  It is a somewhat blurred picture of my using my camping stove to brew up the aforementioned ‘Cuban Rocket Fuel’; cafe cubano.

The only surviving pic on the memory card. Bummer.

Be safe.  Be prepared.

September 7, 2010 Posted by | Food, Water, etc, General | | 2 Comments

Preps Dry Run: After Action Review (Part 2)

As the sunlight started to wane after dinner, Sheila and I retrieved some candles from the Bug-In Bin (BiB) and deployed them to areas of the house that did not have illumination from the few GFL lamps I ran off my solar power system, like the bathroom and living room.  I then stepped outside and restarted the genny after relocating it within the range of one of the motion detectors I have deployed in my backyard.  With my perimeter security system running all night on stored solar power, no  one was going to get within 10 feet of my little Honda without giving us ample warning.  I decided that I would keep the generator running on the ECO setting until it ran out of fuel.  To determine when that would occur, I plugged my computer’s battery backup into the current supplied by the Honda.  This will charge the batteries as well as tell me when the charging current stops with an annoying buzzer.

While we still had a little light left, Sheila said that we should each take a hot shower while the sun-heated water was still warm.  And a great idea it was!  Each of us armed with a towel and a small bottle of biodegradable ‘Camping Soap’ (green liquid soap available at Walmart, Bass Pro, et al.  Cheap, but very good stuff.), we hung our showers from a tall sea grape tree near the pool with steel ‘S – hooks’ from the garage and enjoyed a wonderful, warm shower (in our shorts and or bathing suits, of course).  Little luxuries like a warm shower in emergency situations helps to keep your sanity and break the monotony of living meagerly on your preps.  Had this been an actual emergency, though, I would have let Sheila have the first shower while I stood watch, then reversed the roles when she was done.  She’s a good shot and can hear better than me, so I would have no worries about being in the shower if trouble starts.

After drying off, we came inside and plugged a box fan into one of the genny outlets and let it blow on us as we watched some tv until Mark Levin came on the radio at 9PM.  I opened the fridge real quick and retrieved 2 bottles of water for us.  We discussed the evening’s sleeping arrangements and decided that we would sleep down in the ‘Florida Room’ – a kind of solidly enclosed patio with windows on three sides to allow the flow of breezes through the room.  Although I always feel kind of vulnerable sleeping in a room that only has solid walls (CBS) to about thigh-height and awning windows the rest of the way around the tree walls, the perimeter and home alarm provided enough security along with our yappy little Yorkie to allay my fears and bed down there.  A quick trip around the house to check the doors and blow out the candles, and soon we were lying in the fold-out bed of the Florida Room sofa listening to ‘The Great One’ as the fan kept us comfortably cool.  On the coffee table beside the bed, were my glasses, my 1911 and SureFire LED light.  I set my phone alarm for 7:00 AM and laid down.  Somewhere around 10:30, I reached over and shut the radio, kissed the wife, and set out to fall asleep.  Through the open windows I could hear the soft hum of the Honda as it purred away on ECO setting, sipping on the 1st gallon of gas I poured into it twelve hours ago.

Around 3:35 in the morning, Sheila nudged me because she heard the buzzer on the battery backup in the den.  I got up and pressed the switch that kills the audible alarm and marveled on my way back to bed that the generator had run nearly 14 hours on a single gallon of gasoline.  Day-um!  A peek into the dark garage with the SureFire showed the upright freezer was at -12 F on the battery powered thermometer I have mounted to the side facing the door from the garage to the Florida Room.  It should hold out the heat until we get up in the morning, I thought, then went back to bed.  A cat passing near the now-silent generator set off the perimeter alarm at about 5:20.  After calling an ‘all-clear’ we went back to sleep for another hour and a half until my cell phone alarm jarred us awake.

Although the Dry Run was about over, we decided to make coffee using the camping stove again.  After clinking our cups together in a coffee toast to a successful conclusion of the simulated emergency, I went out to the backyard and turned the power back on again – until next summer when we do it again.

Be safe.  Be prepared.

September 1, 2010 Posted by | Food, Water, etc, Security and Situational Awareness | , , | Leave a comment


Don's Racing Blog

Follow me as I participate in 4 different types of auto racing in 2014


It's Secession Or Slavery. Choose One. There Is No Third Choice.