What did you do to prep this week?

This week’s preps – Jan 14 2018

This week all I did was go to my monthly prepper group meeting. We didn’t have one in December so it was good to be back. Two of my friends (married couple) were sick and couldn’t make it. That sucked because I was looking forward to seeing them. On the plus side, there were 3 new people. That was nice since we haven’t had any fresh faces for quite awhile. One of the new guys did a nice presentation of a simple solar oven. Only five pieces: small piece of sign board, 9 x 9 inch mirror, 9 x 18 inch piece of aluminized mylar, small glass jar with lid, and second glass jar large enough to fit over the smaller one. I hope to build one soon and post pics and a how-to here…

We had a good discussion about “what is prepping” and what’s the difference between preppers and crazy, paranoid people. This was brought up by another one of the new guys. When I think of prepping, most of it would have been considered common sense not all that long ago. Know how to grow your own food. Know how to prepare, preserve, and store your own food. Be part of a resilient community.

Opsec? What opsec?

It was nice seeing some new people, but it also reminded me of the importance of Opsec. I guess going to a meeting isn’t an “Op” but you still need to know when to STFU when talking to people you don’t really know. So… the only thing I talked about was Baofeng radios and getting an amateur radio license. Better to just fly under the radar until I get to know them better (assuming they come back).

What did you do to prep this week?

Peace out,
porcupine

Stealth Prepping

stealth preppingAsk any competent prepper and they’ll tell you that the first rule of prepping is to keep your mouth shut about your prepping. In other words, you need to be practicing stealth prepping. The reason is simple – when SHTF, you don’t want everyone and their brother showing up at your house looking for stuff. You don’t want random strangers (potential looters) knowing about your preps and where you live. It’s a HUGE safety and security list to let random people know about your prepping activities.

Stealth Prepping in the Public Domain

It’s really easy to practice stealth prepping – just know when to STFU.┬áDon’t show off all your “cool stuff.” Don’t brag about all your “prepping expertise.” In fact, if you’re bragging about it, you don’t really have anything to brag about. Resist the urge to post pics of all your stuff on Facebook or Instagram. Don’t post vids of you and all your stuff on YouTube. Really simple, right?

OTOH, I don’t think you need to be paranoid about paying for stuff with a credit card. I seriously doubt that some government employee somewhere is scouring my purchase receipts every month looking for “suspicious” purchases.

Stealth Prepping in the Family

What I want to talk about mostly though is stealth prepping in the context of a family budget when your wife isn’t a prepper. I still remember the time I was shopping with my wife and tried to buy five cases of purified drinking water. No matter how urgent you personally feel the need for prepping is, if you’re spending from a family budget you need to keep your spouse’s budget concerns in mind. In other words, practice stealth prepping in the family.

But Honey, It’s Not Prepping…

So how do you get your wife to spend money prepping when she’s not a prepper? Maybe she’s even hostile to the idea of prepping? Easy. Just don’t call it prepping. My wife didn’t want me to buy a small emergency water store, so we bought a Berkey water purification system instead. Five cases of water would have cost less than $25 and the Berkey system cost almost $350. Why did she agree to spend so much on the Berkey system? Because in her mind, storing water is prepping but having a water purification system isn’t.

Stealth Prepping in Practice

I decided to apply this “not prepping” concept to all my preps. For example, the Berkey is a nice system, but it just filters water – it doesn’t create water. In other words, I still need to store water, but that’s prepping. So instead of “storing water,” I’m going to put in a backyard pond that will hold over 1000 gallons – far more than the paltry 30 gallons my wife didn’t want me to get at Walmart. And guess what? She’s ecstatic about the idea of having a pond in our backyard. She’s also excited about the rainwater catchment system we’re planning. That’s not prepping either – it’s free water for our garden. Are you starting to see how this works?

Food is even easier – my wife is frugal, so all I have to do is watch the ads for things I like to eat that have good shelf life. It’s OK with her to stock up then because we’re not storing extra food, we’re saving money. Our garden produced more food this year than we can use, so soon that will be a reason for canning jars and a dehydrator. I’m still working on an excuse to get a smoker though…

Gear is more difficult. It doesn’t save money and she can’t picture any circumstance that might force us from our home. Besides if something happened we could just stay in a motel, right? What I’ve found out helps with gear is hobbies – you just have to pick the right hobbies. For example, some of my hobbies are hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and target shooting. You shouldn’t be surprised that the gear I use for those things just happens to be useful for prepping as well.

Final Thoughts…

Finally, when buying your preps, either go big or go small. When we bought our Berkey system, we went all out. Besides the basic system, I threw in chlorine/arsenic filters, a stand, and a few stainless steel water bottles. Since it was already a big purchase, she didn’t balk at the extra items. At the same time, I’ve found out I can build up by adding one or two small items whenever we go shopping and she doesn’t say anything. The thing that usually trips her up are the medium size purchases.

I hope I’ve given you some useful hints about prepping (and especially spending money on it) when your spouse isn’t also a prepper. I’ve been using these to prep without causing any family conflict and they work well. I hope I never have to put my preps to use in a real life SHTF situation, but I’m confident that if I do, my wife will be happy that we’re prepared for the worst – even if in the mean time she doesn’t realize that we are. If you’re in the same situation, I hope these methods can also work for you…

Peace out,
porcupine

Do you know when to STFU?

edc know when to stfuI spend a lot of time thinking about what to carry with me when I go out. You know, Every Day Carry (EDC). I want to make sure I have things I’m most likely to need, but at the same time I don’t want to carry too much crap around all the time. I like looking at what others carry because I figure I can learn from that. With that in mind, I signed up for a couple EDC groups on Facebook. I learned a few things quick. For one thing, lots of people EDC too much stuff. For another, lots of people love to show off. (Those 2 facts could be a whole series of posts…) I also learned that lots people don’t know when to STFU.

OK, so there’s nothing wrong with bragging about your gear or showing off pictures of it. I’m a gear junky myself, so I get it. The problem is the way some of these idiots are doing it. I’m not all “tactical” and I’m not a big fan of the acronym de jure, but there is this little thing called OpSec (Operational Security) and guess what? Even if you’re just an average Joe, you need to be practicing it. I’ll give you an example…

John Doe joins the FB group “mall ninja edc.” It’s a “private” group, so he feels safe. What he doesn’t realize is that any FB member can search for “mall ninja edc” and find the group and request membership (which is almost always granted). Next, John posts a picture of his “super tactical guy” edc setup, along with a description of all the other tacticool junk he has that isn’t in the picture. No problem, right? Just having a little fun doing a little showing off. There’s one small problem. John never made his profile private, and it proudly shows where he lives, where he works, etc. Doesn’t matter though because no one cares about that kind of stuff, right?

In my opinion it DOES matter. John has just exposed his information to millions of people, at least a few of whom might be criminals looking for easy scores. If they happen to live in the same city as John, they just found one. It doesn’t take a genius to go to the County Recorder’s page for John’s county and find his home address. If he doesn’t own his home, he can still be found easily. Just go to his work around quitting time and look for the guy who matches John’s photo on his FB profile and follow him home. You already know he’s got a lot of cool stuff you want to steal, and he might have even given away his self defense strategy. EASY MARK!!! All because John was ignorant of OpSec and didn’t know when to STFU.

Don’t be that guy. Don’t brag about all the cool stuff you have and post it online along with information that makes it easy for just about anyone with half a brain to find out where you work and where you live. In other words, KNOW WHEN TO STFU.

Peace out,
porcupine