The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Survival stuff

Posted By on September 2, 2005

Okay, maybe I've gone a but nutters, or maybe I'm just really thinking about this seriously for the first time in my life. I always kind of scoffed at my dad's doomsday preparations, but this Katrina thing has got me thinking – what if we had to evacuate? What if we have to live without electricity for a couple months?

Now, I could go nuts and buy a pile of MRE's, but realistically, they're expensive and only good for 3-10 years (depends on storage conditions). Might just be good to keep a decent pantry supply of food, which we eat before it goes bad and replenish. We already keep a pantry of canned goods for general cooking; buying some extra and sticking them in a rubbermaid tote and just making sure to eat and replace them before they go bad isn't that much of an expensive or inconvenient proposition.

Neither is picking up a couple 20 gal diesel fuel cans and keeping them filled. My car can go over 1500 miles on 40 gallons of diesel, and diesel never really goes bad.

Then it's just what else? Water, toilet paper, some fire starting gear, tent, sleeping bag, etc. Maybe a couple hundred dollars worth of stuff. Make sure it all fits in the car with 2 people, and we're good to be evacuated.

Basically, I'm looking at 2 scenarios: 1.) Evacuation scenario with at least 1 hour warning (such as evacuating New Orleans) 2.) Non-evacuation with simple loss of power for at least a week, with 4 weeks as a realistic maximim.

I'm NOT worried about terrorists (can't really prepare for that anyway), invasion by a foreign power, etc., though the stuff we do may be applicable to that situation.

Same thing if we lose power for multiple weeks because of a blizzard or whatnot.

I'm also not in a panic about this. My dad let me borrow a survival book written by an SAS guy, and I'm just thinking of reading up and laying out a reasonably comprehensive and affordable plan over the next six months.

The New Orleans situation also wakes me up to the savagery to which people can be driven by desperation. While I realized this on some level, I didn't quite realize it on a visceral level. Consequently, my .45 is leaving me feeling a little undergunned (handguns are that which you use to fight your way to your real gun). Right now, I have:

  • Kimber Pro BP II semi-auto pistol in 45 ACP (main defensive piece)
  • Walther P22 semi-auto pistol in .22 Long Rifle (light holdout piece)
  • Marlin single shot rifle in .22 Long Rifle
  • Ruger 10/22 semi-auto rifle in .22 Long Rifle.
  • Liz's lever action Marlin in .22 Long Rifle

Now, the first two are fine defensive combat arms, and the last three are fine plinking guns, but quite frankly, I'd like something a little more realistic. So, the sort gun list is now (in order of priority): Vepr K in 7.62x39mm Uberti Cattleman 2, Gunfighter edition in .45 Long Colt Henry Big Boy in .45 Long Colt

The rationale is simple:

  • I need a quality military rifle for long range engagements. That's what the Vepr brings me. AK reliability, and the stopping power of the fine 7.62×39 cartridge.
  • Now, the other two are “fun” guns, but still perfectly accurate, useful and deadly. I'll be getting a gunbelt and holster for the Cattleman, and likely a second holster for my Kimber (I have an “inside the waistband” concealed carry holster, but it doesn't hold spare mags). Now, it will look a little cliche'd with the “old west” motif, but a .45 Long Colt will put you down just as well know as it did 150 years ago, and the rifle will be damned accurate. So, this leaves us (Liz and I) each with a rifle and each with a pistol, all in hard calibers.

A longer list is likely to include a bolt action rifle in .308 (7.62x51mm), which will probably be a Kimber Montana. This is a long range hunting/sniping piece, that will be discarded if push comes to shove, though Liz might keep it over the Henry (her call). A shotgun (high quality pump or semi-auto) would likely round things out nicely.

A lot of the gun choices depend on what Liz wants. Ultimately, in a SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan) evacuation scenario, I want her to be comfortable with whatever she's firing. Since she's grown up with hunting rifles with bolt and lever actions, it makes sense to go to what you're comfortable with. Combat is a scary thing, and you don't want to have to think about how to shoot the gun; you want the muscle memory to take over. Personally, I know exactly how to shoot a .45 – I can do it in my sleep. Of course, I've put about 1000 rounds through mine already, so I'd better have an idea how it works. Plus, it's kind of hard to screw that gun up. The 1911 is a perfect design, John Browning was a genious, and you kids can take your fancy Glocks and shove 'em…. ;-).


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