Bugging out on foot

Does your bug out plan account for the possibility of bugging out on foot? There are lots of reasons you might have to bug out on foot, so if you’re plans don’t account for it, you might want to update your plans. Just saying… I’m not talking about “tactical” considerations. Actually I’m starting to hate the word. “Tactical.” What does it mean any way? Nothing actually because it’s so over used. Anyway, I’m talking about the practical considerations of bugging out on foot. Like how much can you carry? How far can you walk in a day? You know, all the boring stuff. For now I’ll talk about how far. Next time I’ll talk about how much you can carry.

Bugging out on foot – practical considerations

Bugging out on foot is not the ideal way to bug out. Having a vehicle makes things so much easier. The problem is that vehicles break down. They run out of fuel. They can get stolen or sabotaged. Whatever the reason, you might end up being on foot even if you planned on bugging out in your truck. For this discussion, “vehicle” also includes cars, motorcycles, bicycles, scooters, game carts, shopping carts, converted baby strollers, etc. All of them offer advantages over being strictly “on foot.” All of them can also break or get lost or stolen, putting you back… on foot.

For bugging out on foot, there are 2 practical things you need to think about: how much you can carry and far you can get in an hour or a day. Notice I didn’t say “how fast you can walk.” Normal walking speed and how far you can get in a given amount of time are different. Bugging out on foot is not speed walking.

How far can you walk in a day?

Today I got around to something I’ve been thinking about for awhile – timing myself over a measured distance. I had to drop my wife’s car off for an oil change, so I decided to walk home. Once I got home, I fired up Google Maps to see how far I’d walked. It was a hair over 1-3/4 miles and it took me 29 minutes. That works out to 3-1/2 miles in an hour. Some quick checking showed that my walking speed was a little faster than average for men in my age group (50 – 59). So far so good.

3-1/2 miles in an hour is pretty good for an old fart, especially considering some things. First of all, I’m about 40 lbs. overweight. Second, I slept on the floor last night. It was the first time in a long time, so my back was really sore. My legs were also sore from doing a lot of ladder work yesterday. So I was pretty happy with my speed. Still, there’s lots of room for improvement.

Also, keep in mind it was perfect conditions for walking. Sunny, about 40° F, and calm. The terrain was almost level and I was walking on a paved path. Except for my “extra” 40 lbs, I wasn’t carrying a load (no back pack or bog out bag). I didn’t have to stop and look for things or hide myself. No need to alter my course. There were no obstacles to go avoid or find a way around. So – just because I can walk 3-1/2 miles in one hour doesn’t mean I’ll be able to cover 28 miles in 8 hours.

Going for a walk vs. bugging out on foot

When you’re bugging out on foot, you probably won’t have perfect conditions for your “walk.” At the very least, you’ll be carrying (or at least should be carrying) some gear – most likely your bug out bag. I know for sure that a 20 lb pack cuts my endurance and increases effort by quite a bit. How much it affects you depends on you – your fitness level, experience, etc.  So get ready for it. Maybe you’re in great shape and don’t need this. If so, my hat is off to you. Keep doing what you’re doing (but don’t forget to encourage those who aren’t quite at your level). OTOH I know a lot of people who think they’re not just ready to bug out on foot, they’re MORE than ready – except they’re in even worse shape physically than I am. So for the rest of you…

If you’re overweight, get some self discipline and do what you need to do to lose weight. If you’re out of shape, get some self discipline and start doing conditioning exercises. Better yet, start working on both conditioning and strength. At the very least, start walking more. Then step it up. Start walking with a pack. Ideally, your fully loaded bug out bag. If that’s too heavy for you, guess what? You’ve got some work do do. At least you found out you won’t be able to use your bug out bag to <ahem> bug out with. Better to find out now than when SHTF. Just saying…

Make sure you have comfortable boots. I love my Merrils. Very comfortable and they look nice enough to wear to work. Some of my friends swear by Danners. Brand doesn’t really matter as long as they’re comfortable and durable.

Find some hills to go up and down. Practice walking on rough and rocky trails. Even in the city you should be able to find some. Walk when you think it’s too cold or too hot. Do it in the rain. That would be a great way to find out if your rain gear works before you really need it to work, right? Walk when it’s hot and the sun is beating down on you. Walk barefoot when you have the chance. All of this will help you if ever the day comes when you’re forced to bug out on foot. And if that day never comes??? If that day never comes, count your blessings and be thankful.

In the mean time, enjoy walking. Reap the health benefits. Revel in being outdoors doing what you love even if you’re stuck in the city. There’s a saying “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.” I think it’s also true that “You can take the backwoodsman out of the woods, but you can’t take the woods out of the backyardsman.” Until next time, happy walking.

Peace out,

Everybody talks about the weather…

merino wool socks “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” – Mark Twain

It’s the same thing with wool clothing. Everyone talks about it. Every prepping, survivalist, bushcraft, camping, whatever web site or book that talks about clothing talks about wool clothing. How much better it is than anything else. The fact it insulates well, even when wet. Its inherent fire resistance. Wool’s natural wicking ability. It’s antimicrobial characteristics. It all sounds really good, and it is. Wool, especially merino wool, is just about the perfect material for outdoor clothing. So what’s the problem? Nobody does anything about it.

Well, I guess they do. They use it and write about how wonderful it is. What I mean is, none of the people talking about it tell you where to find good wool clothing. This is a problem. Online searches for “100% wool clothing” or “100% merino” return tons of results that… are NOT 100 percent wool, merino or otherwise. What percentage of wool does it need to have to be considered “good” wool clothing? I’ve found “highly recommended (and highly expensive), made in USA” merino wool socks that only have 60% wool in them. Are they any good? The world may never know, at least by trying to find info online…

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it

Since everybody talks about wool clothing, but nobody provides details about it, I’ve decided to do it myself. As a service to my readers, I’ve ordered four different kinds of merino wool socks. Wool percentage ranges from 64 to 85 percent and price range was $13.99 to $25.00 per pair. The socks I ordered were Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock, Full Cushion (66% merino), Darn Tough John Henry Boot Cushion (64% merino), American Pride Unisex Merino Wool Hiking Sock (71% merino), and Minus33 Merino Wool Day Hiker (85% merino wool).

I thought it was interesting that the second cheapest pair (Minus33 – $13.99) had the highest wool content. It will be interesting to see the differences in quality and comfort between the different socks. I’m taking a 2 week outdoor wilderness first aid course next month, so I’ll get a chance to try them out in real world (cold, wet, and outdoors) next month. When I find out what’s up with them, I’ll report back here. Until next time…

Peace out,

The problem with prepper sites…

When I first started on my prepping journey I spent a lot of time on prepper sites trying to learn. Unfortunately I also spent a lot of money on prepper books (most of which were a waste of money). I started thinking about this recently because a new member in our group is asking for some good prepper sites. I don’t spend a lot of time on prepper sites any more so I had to think back to which ones I found useful. Since I couldn’t remember any specific sites, I started looking so I could give her some good recommendations. Now I remember why I don’t spend time on such sites any more – most of them are a waste of time.

The problem with prepper sites…

The first problem with prepper sites is repetition. When you think about it, prepping is pretty basic. You need water, food, shelter, security, and communications. Guess what? There are only a few ways to store (and purify) water and a few kinds of food that are good for long term storage. Of course every prepper site has to talk about them, so you get lots of repetition. And even with all the repetition, you still get incomplete or sometimes incorrect info. For example, one very popular prepping site has a “12 month prepping plan.”

At the end of 12 months (if you follow the plan) you’ll have 6 gallons of water, 16 cans of meat/fruit/vegetables, and 3 boxes of crackers/cereal – about a weeks worth of food and water. I don’t know about you, but after a whole year of prepping I’d want to have more than a week’s worth of food and water. The food list isn’t broken down by calories. I do know that an average adult needs about 1500 to 2000 calories per day, and only 1 gallon of water is pretty sparse, especially if you use some for cooking or hygiene.

Who’s the expert?

Another problem with prepper sites is that a lot of them talk about things they don’t seem to know much about – for example communications (comms). Just about every prepper site that mentions comms says to get a hand crank AM/NOAA radio and FRS/GMRS walkie talkies. The problem? An AM/NOAA is a receiver, NOT a communication device. You can only listen, not talk. The FRS/GMRS radios have limited range and limited channels.

A much better solution is a UHV/VHF walkie talkie like the Baofeng UV5R. Better range than FRS/GMRS (especially on a repeater network), more channels (frequencies), and it can be programmed to scan AM broadcast and NOAA bands. So why don’t most prepper sites (a few do) recommend it? Maybe spending $15 and a few hours of studying to get a license is too much trouble for serious preppers?

Drama Queens (and Kings)…

This is really noticeable on YouTube prepping channels. I guess everyone wants to have something that makes them stand out from the other 460,000 best prepping blogs and forums. You know the drill…

“‘I only need to walk 10 miles to get home. That attitude will get you killed.’ What if those 10 miles are through a burned out city? Your direst route home is blocked with flames, people, rabid animals, dust, chemicals… you need to do a 90 degree offset using a compass blah blah blah… those 10 miles could easily turn into 30 miles blahh blah blah… AND THEN – what if I go through those 30 miles of misery and find out all my friends and family are dead. My house and my bugout bag are destroyed… suddenly a mere get home bag doesn’t cut it…”

Come on… seriously???

Too much click bait…

I get that people need (or want) to make money from their blogs. Heck, I’ll admit to having some Amazon links once in awhile. But when every single paragraph in an article has an affiliate link it makes me wonder… did they really test the product they’re promoting? Is it just a coincidence that the product they chose to link to on Amazon (or whatever) just happens to be the most expensive one in its product category? How come so many sites never seem to review something and then recommend that you NOT buy it? I’m not accusing anyone of anything, but sometimes I wonder…

Until next time…

OK, so what web sites do I recommend? Well, this is getting kind of long so that will have to wait until next time. I will say that I don’t like most general prepping sites because, well, they’re too general. Next time though I’ll share some of the sites I do like, along with some books I find useful.

Peace out,

Flu vaccine – Stupid is as Stupid does (or doesn’t)

flu-vaccine I had an interesting past two days. On Tuesday, my son had a high fever, sore throat, and chills so my wife kept him home from school and took him to urgent care. He tested negative for flu (more on that in a bit) and strep. They recommended ibuprofen for the fever and lots of water. She gave him ibuprofen and the fever came down. By Tuesday night he was fever free but vomiting. Yesterday, he couldn’t hold down food or water. When he wasn’t vomiting he was dry heaving. I took him back to urgent care. The gave him some meds to try and get his stomach settled down. We were there for about 3 hours and they couldn’t do anything for him. The medical technician was worried about dehydration since he hadn’t drank all day so he had us take him to ER.

Emergency Room (ER) vs. Urgent Care

We got him to ER around 8:00 pm it was a madhouse. I never realized how many people get sick at the same time. They checked him in right away and checked his vitals. Then we waited for a room. Finally they put us in a room at 11:00 pm. The doctor came in about 11:30. He had my son’s blood sugar level checked and tested again for flu. Turns out the hospital uses a flu test that’s 100% accurate. The test used at urgent care is only 70% accurate. It took a little over an hour to get the results back. My son did have the flu, Influenza B which is the same strain they’re vaccinating for this year. In other words, if we’d gotten our son a flu vaccine this year he wouldn’t have gotten the flu.

In the mean time they’d been treating him for nausea. By 1:00 am he could keep water down so we didn’t have to worry about dehydration. The doctor told us he was healthy enough to go home. By the time we finished up it was about 1:30 when we left the hospital.

I’ve never been big on getting a flu vaccine

I’ve never been big on getting flu vaccines for myself or my family. It seems like for awhile the only years I got the flu were the same years I got a flu shot. I have some close relatives that are always going on about how harmful flu shots really are. I never bought into the idea that flu shots were intentionally harmful, but the controversy kind of justified me not getting them. Well, in my mind at least…

Next year we’ll probably get flu vaccines. I didn’t like seeing my son suffer like he had to over the past couple of days. I’m sure I’m not going to like the ER bill when it gets here. And I keep hearing the words from the nurse:

If he’d gotten a flu shot this year, he wouldn’t have the flu right now.

OK. So next year, we’ll probably all (my family) get flu shots. I want to research it some more before I decide for sure. In the mean time, I’m looking into natural ways to boost our immune systems. That should help us to maybe not get the flu even if we don’t get flu shots. If we do get the flu, maybe it will help make the symptoms less severe. At least I hope. After all, the most important prep is to stay healthy…

Peace out,

Thoughts on the GHB (Get Home Bag)

My thoughts on get home bags after looking at lots of blog posts, “reviews,” bag dumps, and YouTube videos is – most people carry way too much crap in their Get Home Bag (GHB). Sure, it’s good to be prepared, but how many people really need 40 lbs of stuff to walk – at most – 10 or 15 miles? Are you walking through a combat zone to get home? If you are I’m sure glad I don’t live where you do. If your GHB is as over the top as this one, I’ll give you some reasons why you might want to rethink your GHB…

What are you prepping for?

What are you prepping for, anyway? Since we’re talking about a get home bag, I hope we’re talking about getting home. Not bugging out, not going camping, not doing urban “security patrols”… we’re talking about getting home. Where from? Probably from work. So right off the bat, having an AR-15 as part of your GHB is a really stupid idea. Even if it doesn’t make you a target, it will draw attention from law enforcement. At the very least it adds 6 lbs or more of unnecessary weight.

What else don’t you need? You probably don’t need an axe, a hatchet, or a folding saw. What are you going to do, chop down someone’s tree on your way home? You probably don’t need a tent or a way to make shelter. The goal is to get home as fast as possible, not go camping. Come to think of it, you probably don’t need a mess kit and spices. We’re walking home, not practicing outdoor gourmet cooking. Other things you probably don’t need in a GHB are multiple knives, a tomahawk, multiple flashlights, large quantities of paracord or bank line, a trauma kit, a fishing kit… hopefully you see what I’m getting at.

OK, so what do you need?

Even just walking home, you need some things. You need protection from the elements, but that can be appropriate clothing (you don’t need a tent). You might need something for self defense. That doesn’t mean an AR-15 or fighting knife, though. A handgun and pepper spray would be better choices. You might need water. Do you need food? Personally I carry some, but nothing I need to cook or use a fork or spoon to eat. A way to find out what’s going on or contact others is nice.

For protection from the elements, I carry sun screen, lip balm, and a hat. In summer time the hat is wide brimmed to protect my neck and ears from the sun. In winter, it’s a wool watch cap. I carry a shemagh and an N95 dust mask in case there’s a lot of dust blowing around and a pair of sunglasses to protect my eyes. I carry an extra set of socks – wool in winter and whatever in summer – in case my feet get wet. In the winter I throw in a pair of wool gloves to keep my hands warm.

For hydration I have two 1 quart nalgene bottles. In the summer I keep them filled with a mix of vodka and sweetened cranberry juice. In winter, a mix of strong coffee, Irish cream, and vodka. Just kidding. Water in both summer and winter. In winter time, I might throw in a small stove and a couple of tea bags in case I want something hot to drink on my way home. Food is just a couple of nut bars from Costco and maybe a couple pieces of homemade beef jerky if I have any on hand.

For protection, I have my CCW – either a Charter Arms Bulldog or a Glock 19, depending on where I’m at. That rides on my hip though, not in the GHB. I also carry a Fox 40 whistle and I’m thinking about adding a can of pepper spray. The pepper spray would be more of an EDC thing than GHB gear. I don’t carry a map or compass because I’m familiar with the city I live in and I sure as heck don’t need a map or compass just to find my way home.

I carry a Baofeng UV-5R that’s programmed so I can talk on the local repeater network and listen to NOAA weather broadcasts. Oh, and my cell phone which I personally hate but I’m required to carry by my boss and my wife. And that is pretty much it, because that’s all I need to get home.

How about you? Do you have a simple GHB or do you load yourself down with lots of unnecessary stuff?

Peace out,

Almost back to normal…

Well, finally. The bad part of getting old is having health problems. I guess the good part is waking up and realizing you need to start taking care of yourself. So that’s what I’m doing. I think I’m 95% over my gout attack. Hope I don’t have another one any time soon as they’re really not pleasant.

The down time did give me a lot of time to think though, which is a good thing. So lets see… we had 2 major hurricanes in the past month, a bunch of crybaby millionaires are protesting I don’t know what, and the fat little bitch running North Korea is threatening nuclear war. All are credible threats to our Republic. So what should we worry about?

In my opinion, nothing new. There are always credible threats so just stick to the basics. It doesn’t matter why SHTF so don’t worry about the why. Prepare for the what.

No matter what, you need food, water, shelter, and the means to defend those. I can’t control why or when SHTF and probably neither can you. I can control how I react to SHTF and what I have to help me deal with it. I’m guessing you can too. Today one of my prepper coworkers was crowing about his faraday bags and how he was right about the coming EMP. You know, the one that’s going to wipe out 90% of our population?

Will it happen? Maybe. I can’t control it. If it does I plan on being in the 10% that doesn’t get killed off. Basics. Food. Water. Shelter. The means to defend.

About my bugout bag…

my bugout bagWhen I got into prepping, one of the first things I noticed was just about everyone writing or talking about prepping was going on about how important it is to have a bugout bag. Naturally, the first thing I needed to do was put together my own bugout bag. You know, so when SHTF I can grab my bugout bag. It will keep me and my family alive while the unwashed masses perish. I’m a gear junkie, so the idea of researching the ultimate bugout bag and buying all the cool s*** to fill it with was very appealing to me. Right? Well, maybe not so fast…

What is a bugout bag anyway?

According to almost everything I’ve read, a bugout bag is designed to keep you alive for 72 hours after you “bug out,” i.e. leave your home in the face of disaster or whatever. Sometimes they are even called “72 hour bags” instead of bugout bags. Whatever you call them, the premise is they’ll keep you alive until you get to wherever you’re bugging out to. Almost every prepper web site has their own idea of the ultimate bugout bag. Most of them even have long lists of convenient amazon product links so you don’t even need to do any research. Just click on the affiliate links and you’re almost guaranteed to make it through any crisis…

The problem with bugging out…

The problem with bugging out is the way most people (including “experts”) present it. It works like this: in the face of impending disaster, you grab your bugout bag and bugout to… where? Head to the hills? A predetermined bugout location? Neither option is viable for most people, and most bloggers writing about bugging out don’t talk about getting back home once you’ve bugged out. In other words, follow their advice and you’re voluntarily making yourself a refugee. NOT a good idea, at least in my humble opinion.

If you think bugging out is viable, consider this. My preferred bugout location is only 200 miles south – an easy half day drive. If I pick the time and day right, I can make it in about 3-1/2 hours. On the other hand, if I have to leave at the wrong time, it takes an hour to get just from the north to the south end of my city – and there are 2 other cities after that, that have even worse traffic. And this is during normal times when people are just driving to work. Figure 10 times as much traffic during some kind of panic, and, well, I hope you get the idea…

Do words matter?

So I have a bag. Does it matter whether I call it my bugout bag or something else? I think it does. If I call it my bugout bag, the mindset it reinforces is that I’m bugging out – leaving my home with (maybe) no plans on returning. That is not my mind set. If I’m forced out of my home, my intention is to return as soon as possible. I don’t call my bag my bugout bag, I call it my get home bag. Some might say they’re the same thing. Maybe, so I pick a name that helps me remember what the purpose of the bag is – NOT to help me get away from home, but to sustain me and my family if we’re forced out, and to help us return home when whatever threat has passed.

Peace out,

How to be a Prepper

how to be a prepperIf you stumbled across this page you’re probably thinking “just what the world needs, another series on How to be a Prepper – NOT. Especially one written by a prepping newbie? You’ve GOT to be kidding…” A few months ago I’d have thought the same thing. I mean, there are already probably at least a billion or so prepping sites, most run by certified prepping experts. What could a newbie prepper possibly have to add to the conversation? Well, after spending way too much time reading a lot of these “expert” prepper sites, in my not so humble opinion I do indeed have something to add to the conversation. So here is my introduction on how to be a prepper from a newbies’ perspective.

About those expert preppers…

First of all, what makes someone an expert prepper? How long they’ve been prepping? I don’t think that means as much as you’d think. Here’s an analogy: My wife has been driving for almost 20 years. She is most definitely NOT an expert driver. Does writing about prepping make one an expert? No. Knowing a lot about something doesn’t make one an expert. One of my English teachers in college proudly displayed a sign in her office that stated “A Good Teacher Can Teach Anything.” That theory fell apart when I asked if she could help me with my calculus homework.

So, what makes someone an expert prepper? Experience is important, but demonstrable skill is more important. Knowledge is important but when you yourself are just starting out, how can you tell good info from BS? Does the expert actually know what he’s writing about or is he blowing smoke out of his a**? Follow this series and you’ll learn how to spot the fakes and tell who has actual good advice. Hint: if the expert insists that his scenario is the only scenario worth prepping for and not following his advice will lead to your death, it’s probably a good idea to look elsewhere. Same thing if their writings are packed with “convenient” links to Amazon so you can purchase all the gear they’ve “tested” and recommend.

How to be a prepper

If you’re just getting into prepping, it might seem overwhelming. Especially if you visit some of the more “gloom and doom” oriented prepper sites. Prepping can also get expensive. In fact if your preps are realistic, it will be expensive over the long run. Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy everything today. Keep in mind that prepping makes the most sense if it makes your life better whether or not things go bad.

This post (and hopefully more to follow) is my reaction to some of what I see as idiocy in the prepping community. That includes things I’ve read on prepper blogs (even ones written by “experts”) and stuff I’ve read in prepping books I’ve bought. I won’t even get into the idiocy that goes on in Facebook prepper groups and internet forums…

Soon to come on “How to Be a Prepper”:

That’s it for this time. If you have any questions or comments about how to be a prepper, please chime in with your ideas.

Peace out,

Radios for the Backyardsman – Baofeng UV-5R

backwoodsman magazineI love reading The Backwoodsman. It’s probably my favorite magazine and one of their articles was the inspiration for this blog. Their May/June 2017 issue had a great piece titled Radios For The camp And Cabin. You might be thinking “Who needs a radio? Mountain men didn’t need radios and neither do I.” That is at least half true. It’s also true that the average life span of a mountain man was 37 years, partly because communications way back when were limited. I’d kind of like to live longer than that. Anyway, the article in question makes a really good case for having a radio, and talks about several types of radios the aspiring backwoodsman/backyardsman might find useful. I want to talk about another one, the Baofeng UV-5R.

Baofeng UV-5R

The Baofeng UV-5R is an FM handheld transceiver (HT) that operates on the 70cm and 2m amateur radio bands. Because it’s FM only, it can’t receive AM broadcast band or shortwave. I think that’s a small price to pay for what it does offer. Besides operating on 70cm and 2M, the UV-5R can receive FM commercial stations and NOAA Weather Alert frequencies. Its band range also covers FRS and GMRS radio bands, commercial aircraft, and some emergency bands. In my opinion, this wide band FM coverage outweighs the lack of AM reception. Plus, the UV-5R can transmit…

Which could cause problems… it is illegal to transmit on the amateur radio bands without a license. That shouldn’t be a problem, because the license is easy and cheap to get – $15 for the exam processing fee and around $30 for study materials. If you’re sharp and have a good memory you can skip the study materials and practice with free online tests until you feel confident to pass the actual exam. Another problem is that it’s illegal to transmit with these on the FRS/GRMS channels even though the radios are capable of it. The solution to that is to practice self discipline.

Programming the UV-5R

Programming the Baofeng UV-5R is easy as long as you have a programming cable and software. The programming cable costs about $30 and the software (CHIRP) is free. It’s easy to set up and configure, and you can find sample configuration files easily with the help of Google or your favorite search engine.

Some things to think about…

If you do a Google search for ‘UV-5R’, you’ll find that some people love them and some hate them. The main complaints from the haters are that Baofengs transmit out of frequency, cause interference with others trying to operate on the same frequency, and have poor reception. In my experience, none of these are true. My UV-5R gets signal reports just as good as my Yaesu VX-6R and I’ve never had a complaint about causing interference on channel. Reception is at least as good as the VX-6R.

The Baofeng is also made in China, which some people seem to have a problem with. The only issue for me is that if you don’t buy from a Baofeng authorized US dealer, you’ll be sending your radio back to China for warranty work. The only authorized US dealer I know of is BaofengTech, and they no longer carry the UV-5R. They do sell the UV-5X3 (a 3-band version of the UV-5R) and the BF-F8HP (a higher output version of the UV-5R).

Speaking for myself, I think the value of the UV-5R is pretty hard to beat. They’re still available on Amazon for less than $25, and at that price point I don’t really care about the warranty. My only worry is how long will they be available for less than $25?

Alternatives to the UV-5R

When the supply runs out, there are still good deals on other HT 2-way radios. The UV-5X3 is similar to the UV-5R but costs a little over twice as much (about $60). For the higher price you get a 3rd band (1.25 m) and better display options. The 1.25 m band isn’t useful IMHO because it requires a separate antenna, but the “display sync” is a really nice feature.

The Baofeng BF-F8HP acts like a UV-5R and kind of looks like one but with an updated case. It’s maximum transmit power is 8 watts vs. 5 for the UV-5R, but in the real world that doesn’t get you much (if any) extra range. It costs about $63 from BaofengTech. If US-based warranty service is important on a new Baofeng is important, you’ll want one of these.

A final Baofeng option is the Baofeng UV-5R V2+. I don’t have any experience with this radio or the vendor (Shelfspace Security, sold through Amazon). It looks like a UV-5R with a different case. The vendor claims to offer US-based warranty repairs, but personally I’d verify before buying.

I do not worry about or prepare for an emergency

Prepping for emergencies – or not?

I hope I misread this post… “I do not worry about or prepare for an emergency.” Really? Then what are you prepping for? Here is the full quote some more to provide context:

The word “emergency” was first known and used circa 1631 and is defined as follows:

1: an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action

2: an urgent need for assistance or relief the mayor declared a state of emergency after the flood

We, the happy members of “the never well united and non-governmental superior order of universal disaster response practitioners”, are proud to be recognized as “ the perpetually persistent preppers, or the “three peas in the prepper pod”. However, we are also very often guilty of preparing for the wrong event, at the wrong time, with the wrong intents, and finally with the wrong tools.

I do not worry about or prepare for an emergency. Never. Because we have town people who are our local professionals, and they are well trained for almost every type of emergency anyone could ever think of. We know them personally.

Please look at and then think carefully about the dictionary language concerning the word “emergency” shown above from an analytical or usage viewpoint, as is often used by your good buddy, myself, Old Bobbert.

So if I’m not misreading this, an emergency is something unforeseen that requires immediate action or assistance. OK. And we’re NOT supposed to prepare for those things?

I can think of at least a few things that, if they happened to my family, would be “unforeseen.” At the same time, I need to be prepared in case they DO happen.

For example, a house fire. In 53 years, I’ve never experienced a house fire, and they’ve been extremely rare wherever I’ve lived. Would that qualify them as “unforeseen”? I say yes. At the same time, as rare as they are, there are common sense steps I take (aka “prepping”) in the extremely unlikely event that my house catches on fire. I have smoke detectors and I check them regularly to make sure they work. I have a family evacuation plan in case the house catches on fire. I have another plan to go back in to look for family members if I don’t find them outside. REALLY important stuff is in a place I can easily grab on the way out the door. Less important stuff is in a fireproof safe.

Are doing these things a bad idea? Should I have saved the money I spent on the safe and the time I spend prepping my family in case we have a house fire? After all, I could just call 911 and wait for the highly trained professionals to take care of it.

What about a home invasion? Should I prepare for that, or just call 911 if it happens and hope the police show up in time to prevent any violence against my family? I don’t think I’m in danger of losing my job, but what happens if I do? Should I hope my friends and family take care of me, should I demand that government take care of me, or should I do things NOW to prepare for the possibility of a job loss?

What really bugs me about the post is I’ve read other things by Old Bobbert, and usually they contain a lot of common sense. Not this one though. The irony is, with the exception of the great depression America has never gone through a TEOTWAWKI situation. People constantly have little and big emergencies in their lives though, and this guy is telling us NOT to prepare for those. Just prep for something that has happened only once in the history of our nation.

Yep, sure. I like the author and I like the site he posted on. I hope I misread what he was trying to say.

Peace out,