Tag Archives: SHTF

10 Things Everyone will be Looking for when SHTF Hits

There are many articles and information on stashing your cache supplies. But, not much is talked about specifically on items that doesn’t fall into the food and water catagory. Here are some items that is normally overlooked.

1. Heirlooms Seeds – For the uninitiated, heirloom seeds are ones that are a true strain. Meaning, if you grow a watermelon from an heirloom seed, the seeds found in the ripe melon can be planted the next season and will, theoretically at least, grow just fine. Most of the fruits, vegetables, and even seeds you buy in the grocery store or discount big box retailer are hybrids. Plant those seeds and you’ll be lucky if anything grows and any actual fruits or veggies that result will likely be less than pleasant.

2. Greenhouse Supplies – Even a very basic hoop house covered in plastic will greatly extend the growing season. You can find plans online for several different types of DIY greenhouses. Many consist of little more than some plastic sheeting and PVC. They are easy to assemble and work quite well.

3. Fire Extinguishers – When all fire-fighting duties fall on you and your family, you’ll certainly appreciate the addition of at least a few decent fire extinguishers. While household size extinguishers aren’t going to do much about a raging inferno, they can certainly help prevent a small fire from turning into a large one. When you go to use one for real, remember the acronym PASS: Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the trigger, Sweep from side to side. Here’s some more info.

4. Wagons – Whether it is a robust model like you’d find at a garden center or just an old Radio Flyer, wagons are excellent back savers. Load them up with plants, dirt, containers of water, whatever, and wheel it all to where it needs to go. Parents certainly know the convenience of this sort of mass transit device after taking a child to the fair for the day.

5. Feminine Hygiene and Health Products – Many if not most preppers will think to stock up on things like pads and tampons, especially if there’s a female involved with the prepping. However, I have to wonder how many will think to pick up yeast infection medication and other feminine health products? While hopefully such issues won’t be commonplace, even one yeast infection without the proper treatment won’t make for a very pleasant experience for all involved.

6. Sewing Supplies – If traveling down to the local discount retailer to pick up new duds becomes no longer an option, having at least needles, thread, and some patches will extend the life of your clothes. Did you know that back in the day, when a sock developed a hole, they actually repaired the sock (called darning) rather than just tossing it into the dust rag bin and buying new ones? Hard to believe, I know.

7. Emergency Dental Supplies – Every prepper worth his or her salt has a nice and robust first aid kit, even if they don’t yet know how to use all those nifty gadgets and gizmos. But many overlook the things they’ll need to handle dental issues. If you’ve ever come down with a toothache at 4:00AM on a Saturday morning, you know just how miserable it can be to have to wait even just a day or two before seeing a dentist. Now imagine it taking weeks before even finding a dentist! There are several different kits available on the market that can help with temporary fillings and such issues. Clove oil works well for pain relief. You might go so far as to invest in some dental tools and a copy of Where There Is No Dentist by Murray Dickson.

8. Yeast – A necessary ingredient of many types of bread as well as for making booze, yeast is one of those things that you just never think of until you need it. While it doesn’t last forever, it is fairly cheap so stock up before you need it. While you’re at it, maybe practice making bread once in a while. That will help you rotate your yeast supply, plus there isn’t much better in life than fresh home baked bread.

9. Cooking Oil – Another item that admittedly doesn’t last for years and years, cooking oil will provide fats and calories in a survivor’s diet, both of which are essential despite what you’ll hear from various fad diet experts. Plus, a supply of cooking oil gives you additional cooking options, rather than just baking or boiling. Avoid the animal fat based products as they will go rancid quicker than the vegetable oils.

10. Condoms – If there’s no television, no Netflix, and no Internet, many people are going to resort to other forms of entertainment. A good supply of condoms will prevent another Baby Boom. Plus, condoms have other uses, such as water bladders and even for building slingshots. Save them for their intended purpose.

Original story by Alan of Urbansurvivalsite revised by Cal Sportsman Staff

Crossbow: A Great Choice for Zombies but not SHTF

While many preppers are busy stockpiling hordes of rifles, shotguns, and handguns plus cases of ammunition for a looming doomsday scenario, others are thinking more broadly about other weapons options. Thanks to the success of AMC’s The Walking Dead, one of the options that has become popular with preppers is the crossbow.

On TWD, one of the main characters (Norman Reedus’s Daryl Dixon) uses a crossbow with quite an astonishing amount of lethal success. But is this even remotely realistic? Let’s take a look at this bolt (arrow) shooting implement to see its implications as a true SHTF tool.

Shooting a Crossbow
Until you have some experience shooting a crossbow at real targets, inanimate or alive, you may initially consider a crossbow difficult to wield and awkward in its handling. You would be right. Crossbows can be quite heavy, and some are unbalanced front to back. Many of the models offer pistol grip handles on the stock, which can make handling them a little easier. Some stock finishes are slicker than others, so they’re more difficult to grip well.

It takes some getting used to in order to shoot a crossbow well. Practice is paramount. There are vibration elements to shooting an crossbow that are unlike shooting a rifle or shotgun. It is not classic recoil per se, but a sort of harmonic vibe at the pull of the trigger. It can be slightly distracting to the inexperienced. Again, use and practice will eventually dissipate this issue, but you could also spend that practice time honing your pistol skills.

Cocking any crossbow might be considered an ordeal. It is not a speedy process, like knocking a traditional vertical bow and arrow. A special cocking rope has to be connected to the draw string via hooks, wrapped over a groove in the stock above the trigger mechanism (this gives you the leverage needed to pull the string into its fully cocked back position), and then the rope handles are pulled back as your foot rests in the fore end loop held down to the ground. The process is easier performed than described.

Some may be inclined, like Daryl, to hand cock their crossbow. After testing this out, I suspect it is a task most of us would only do one time. That is if we don’t half cut a finger off in the process. The string is not “sharp” per se, but it can be abrasive and will put a ton of pressure on your finger. Use the cocking method described in the owner’s manual with the crossbow you buy.

Once the string is cocked, then most crossbows will have a safety to engage. The bolt is placed into the shooting runway with the odd colored fletch down (did you notice the fletching is two different colors?). Then the crossbow is held like a long gun to be aimed and fired.

The trigger mechanism on a crossbow is sort of like that on a firearm in that there is a finger lever to squeeze to release the trigger and thus the string to push the bolt forward down the raceway and on to its target. I have not found that crossbow triggers are finely tuned releases like that on a good hunting or defense rifle, so the trigger feel is something one has to get used to with lots of practice. I definitely think it is a mechanism that can be mastered, but it takes work. Also I would not recommend trying to clean up or lighten a crossbow trigger. They just are not meant to be tinkered with lest something might get screwed up.

Most crossbows tend to be slightly front heavy. This translates into being somewhat more difficult to hold still for really accurate precise on target shooting. Once you practice with it, you will find you can make the balancing adjustments pretty well. If you were going to hunt with the crossbow, then I would recommend using a Primos Trigger Stick or some other bipod or tripod. There are many options for this accessory.

As a SHTF weapons option though, expediency will not likely permit the use of a shooting stick or a pod. You would have to spend a lot of time to practicing different off-hand shooting techniques. I find best the technique of holding my left arm/elbow close to my upper torso in order to provide support to holding a crossbow offhand. This hold forms a sort of triangle holding up the crossbow. Like I said, it takes some practice.

Range and Bolt Selection
At best a crossbow has its certain capabilities and its own set of limitations. You may note on The Walking Dead that Daryl shoots the zombies at an incredibly close range — often it seems to me thirty yards or less distance. We’ll excuse the argument here for a situation in allowing a SHTF adversary to get that close in the first place. Zombies do not wield their own weapons, so dispatching them becomes an easier task for a half decent shooter. This will not be the case in a real life SHTF scenario.

I have seen hunting videos recently where shooters fire a crossbow bolt up to 80-yards at deer sized game. That is folly in my humble opinion. More realistically, the crossbow is a 40-yard max tool, but more like a 30-yard cap is honest. And that is shooting a razor sharp broadhead, not a field point as Daryl uses on the TV episodes.

Field points or broadheads can make the debate interesting. In everyday use, field points are for practice, and cutting edge broadhead points are for damaging tissue. I certainly think it would be uncomfortable if not immediately terminal to be shot with an X-bow field point especially in a critical area like the heart, lungs, neck, eye or ear socket. There is little doubt of the damage a Muzzy or Rage broadhead would do to human flesh.

While a razor broadhead has tremendous killing capabilities, it is highly likely to be destroyed at the shot. Under SHTF conditions, one has to constantly consider resupply of consumables like arrows and points. Know that broadheads are not like buying a box of ammo with 20 rounds in the box. A set of three of these razor points can easily cost $40 or more. That is a high cost per kill.

As a sidebar here, now the argument for using a less lethal field point is that the bolt/arrow can be more easily extracted from the host target often without appreciable damage to the shaft or point. That is assuming one does not hit bone or skull for example. If your bolt stocks are not great, then recovery of the bolt/point is crucial.

The (not so) Silent Killer
One of the most highly touted advantages of the crossbow for preppers is its relative silent deployment and use. Many preppers either live in states where they can’t purchase suppressors for their guns or they can’t afford such items, so the crossbow is seen as a real option for ambush opportunities and situations where you don’t want the whole neighborhood to know that you just dispatched an intruder. But a crossbow user must always be aware of the outer edges of the bow limbs and cams as so to not knock into things around them that might make noise, so it’s not the best option for low-light situations in cramped quarters.

Then there’s fact that, unless you really score a direct hit on the target’s heart or lungs, the target is likely to make a ton of noise after being hit. And if that target is armed with a gun, they could very well stay alive long enough to get off a few shots in your direction. Now you’ve given away your location and your hostile intent to a wounded and very angry aggressor whose sole purpose in life is now taking you with them to the hereafter.

A prepper who’s concerned about getting in a silent kill in a SHTF scenario would be far, far better off buying a small-caliber pistol and then downloading and printing out one of the many online tutorials for how to make a homebrew silencer. This is a much cheaper, easier, deadlier, and more reliable way to score silent kills in a without-rule-of-law (WROL) scenario.

Note: Do not, under any circumstances, print out instructions for a homebrew silencer and then also acquire the materials to make such an item. If you’re caught with the materials and plans for making a silencer, then you can be charged with “constructive possession” and put away for a long time. The materials for making such things are readily available, and will readily available for a long time even in a SHTF situation. So there is absolutely no need to put yourself at risk of a constructive possession charge. Indeed, if I personally were to download such instructions, I’d clear my house of every item on that list if possible, just to be on the safe side.

The Crossbow vs. the .22LR
So what is the consequential impact (pun intended) of a crossbow bolt in theory? Ponder this: Most crossbows today send a bolt flying at from 300-400 feet per second velocity. By comparison, a .22 Long Rifle flies out the muzzle at 1200-1400 feet per second. A 40 grain .22 bullet produces roughly 130-170 foot pounds of killing energy.

Though a field point usually weighs 100 grains and a typical crossbow bolt broadhead weighs 100-125 grains, because of the low velocity they can produce less terminal energy than a .22 LR round.

You have probably commonly seen hunting shows depicting arrows sailing right through a deer. It is unlikely that a field point would do so unless only soft tissue was penetrated. Translate all of that into a SHTF event where a human might be the target. What it means in terms of electing to use a crossbow for a SHTF defensive weapon is to aim for areas of the target where penetration would be realistically anticipated. If the threat is wearing a heavy coat or armor, then good luck with that.

So if you’re determined to use a crossbow post-SHTF, then you’d better start stocking up on those expensive broadheads, as the killing impact of a broadhead is in the cutting capability of the blades not necessarily the force of the impact.

Unlike the Hollywood scenes on TWD, the SHTF adversaries will not be zombies. They will also very likely be armed as well or better than you. One has to consider long and hard just how efficient and effective a crossbow could be under these circumstances. I have a crossbow now, but it won’t replace my AR-15 or my 1911.

So, can a crossbow be considered a viable option as a SHTF survival weapon? It’s probably better than a rolled up newspaper, but if you’re considering the crossbow for a long-term survival situation then you should seriously look elsewhere. Under most situations during a SHTF it should be thought of as a one-shot affair, so if you choose to use it then you had better make that shot count.

Story by Dr. John

SHTF Use What the Terrorists Uses

The other day I was pondering the fuel possibilities for a SHTF truck and mentioned that for a variety of reasons I had settled on diesel. But I hadn’t quite decided which truck until someone mentioned that Toyota is coming up with a diesel Tundra soon.

Toyota makes a great truck, and the diesel Tundra is now at the top of my list. But then I got to (over-)thinking: if you’re going to get a SHTF pickup from them, then there’s a much better option, depending on where you live: the Toyota Hilux truck is popular with Middle Eastern jihadis because of its versatility and reliability.
“The Toyota Hilux is everywhere,” Andrew Exum, a former US Army Ranger who is now the US deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East policy, told Newsweek. “It’s the vehicular equivalent of the AK-47. It’s ubiquitous to insurgent warfare. And actually, recently, also counterinsurgent warfare. It kicks the hell out of the Humvee.”The Hilux is apparently a durable truck that has proven useful for terrorists who are fighting against lightly armed special forces.

The truck is “fast, maneuverable, and packs a big punch [when it’s mounted with] a 50-caliber [machine gun] that easily defeats body armor on soldiers and penetrates lightly armored vehicles as well,” Alastair Finlan, who specializes in strategic studies at Aberystwyth University in the UK, told Newsweek.

Yep, the Hilux is indeed the AK-47 of trucks, which is about as good of an endorsement as you can get for a SHTF truck. The reason it didn’t make my list, though, is that it’s pretty much impossible to get your hands on one here in America, especially a diesel version.

Thanks to our import laws, you’ll have to settle for a 25-year-old model, and even then there are lengthy wait times for one that’s in decent shape. The Hilux is hugely in demand pretty much everywhere, which makes one wonder why Toyota won’t sell them here in North America.

That said, a 25-year-old model would probably be better than a new one for SHTF purposes, given the relative lack of electronics. And if many of the comments in that previous post’s highly informative comments thread (seriously, go read it) are to be believed, the older diesel engines are preferred because they’re easier to modify to run on cooking oil and other fuels.

So, older Toyota Hilux import as a SHTF truck, or hack something together with a Tacoma and an aftermarket older Cummins diesel engine? What’s your take?

Story by Bilu – Outdoors