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Everything posted by survivalcyclist

  1. survivalcyclist

    What's in Your Pockets?

    I forgot to mention it, but I always have my wallet on me, so I have my ID/CCW permit as well as cash, driver's license, and insurance cards.
  2. survivalcyclist

    What's in Your Pockets?

    My EDC changes based on whether I'm cycling or driving, and whether or not I'm going someplace that restricts my sidearm. Core items always on my person: Lockblade knife (CRKT M21-14G, it's larger than most, but locks up as strong as a fixed blade and can support my weight when driven through half inch plywood - I tested it) Keychain w/Freedom microlight, Peanut Lighter, Leatherman PS4 (and my keys for the apt, mailbox, safe deposit box, truck ignition, bicycle lock, wall locker at work) Bandana (BugsAway type, by Ex-officio) Cellphone (Android 'smartphone' type) The knife is always clipped to the right front pocket of my pants, clip visible on the outside of my pants (it tends to wear a hole in the pocket after a while, so my wife sewed a heavy duty patch to the inside of the pocket on all my pants). Keychain goes in left front pocket, bandana in left rear pocket, cell phone in leg pocket (if I wear tac pants) or in my shirt pocket (or clipped to my belt when I wear a T-shirt). Optional items, depending on transportation and destination: Ruger LCP w/Crimson Trace Laser (loaded with 90g Hornady Critical Defense) Spare magazine for the LCP (loaded with Glaser Safety Slugs) Walther Tactical Flashlight (small, but bright, bought several of these on sale from Midway last year) If I'm going to be biking all day, I wear a concealment T under my vest (to carry the LCP), otherwise it goes in a pocket holster in my pants, or I slip it into a jacket pocket. Spare clip is always opposite side of the body from the pistol. If I carry the flashlight, it goes in a jacket pocket opposite my pistol. Always carried when bicycling: ASP P16 baton (this is usually clipped to the bike frame, when not carried) Pepper Spray, UV/Dye type (clipped to the bike frame, or carried in the special pocket for it on my bike vest) That's pretty much it, for on body carry. My bike bag is well equipped with other things (water, food, tools, rain gear) and I have a small Get Home bag in my locker at work.
  3. survivalcyclist

    Surviving the Commute

    Rule #1: Pay attention. From the moment you decide you are going to go drive/cycle/walk somewhere, put your mind on the situation at hand and not where you just left/where you are going. Situational awareness is the cornerstone of every defensive tactic, and the first thing that goes wrong before a crisis occurs. Just go back and read through the entries in this thread (a pretty savvy bunch of folks, actually) and see how many read something like 'I didn't see them until it happened' 'I have no idea why the guy was acting that way' or 'I happened to notice the bad guy(s) just as they got close to me'. Even good people lose SA, and when SA goes you are vulnerable. In air-to-air combat, they say 'lose sight, lose the fight' as a way to remember you have to keep your mind on the situation, and your eyes on the bad guys. A few weeks ago, I got off my bicycle (in a parking lot) to check a funny sound coming from the chain. I fiddled with it and got everything shipshape again, then paused to take a drink out of my water bottle and check my cellphone for messages from the wife. I'm standing in broad Florida daylight, mind you. I am an inch under six foot, 215 pounds, shaved head and mirror shades, wearing flourescent yellow Hi-vis clothing and a blue/silver reflective helmet. My bike is a bright white 29er ATB, with rack/pack and gear on it. I am not hard to see, and that's deliberate. but... Up wanders a guy chatting on his cellphone, carrying a sack of fast food and a soda in one hand. He is clearly going to get into the Toyota right next to me, but doesn't notice me until he literally bumps into me. "Holy shit" he says, and drops the soda on the ground between us, completely startled by my 'sudden appearance' in front of him. He looks panic stricken and he almost falls over the curb trying to back away from me. I told him that drivers like him are the reasons guys like me (waving at my hi-vis clothing) still get killed every day. Then I got on my bike and rode off, shaking my head. If I had been a mugger, he would have been on the news, and I'd have a new cell phone/Toyota/free lunch. Seriously, every single defensive strategy should start with 'Pay Attention'.
  4. I am not aware of any state that requires a CCW permit holder (armed or otherwise) to defend anyone. Florida certainly does not. Law Enforcement personnel are generally 'required' to follow the laws and engage the bad guys (one way or another) while on duty, but private citizens have no such responsibility. Having said that, if someone starts shooting up the local grocery store while my wife and I are shopping, we are both going to do our level best to end the threat. Tactically speaking, moving through the store with a drawn gun (in search of the bad guy that you do not have LOS on) is a very bad idea. It is highly likely that YOU will be mistaken for the bad guys, by other armed citizens, or arriving LE. Defend your area, but don't go searching for trouble without a very good reason to do so. As far as the forum member who is not confident beyond 10 feet with a Colt Mustang .380, I'd have to say 'take it to your local gunsmith and have it checked'. I currently carry a Ruger LCP in .380, and I have no difficulty in putting all my rounds inside a 3x5 index card at 10 yards, and your pistol should be capable of that as well. On a side note, if you shoot and hit anyone, whether or not they die, and whether or not they were in the middle of committing a crime, you can expect to be arrested and charged. You may be vindicated and have the charges dropped/dismissed, but any LE on scene after a shooting is going to treat you as a potential murderer until investigation proves otherwise. (I speak from experience on this.) Your legal troubles will only be getting started at that point, even if the charges are dropped by an understanding DA/Judge. Expect anyone and everyone who was involved in the shooting to start thinking about suing everyone else involved including a 'hero' who stopped the bad guys.) CCW involves much more than 'which gun, which holster, which clothes'. Understand all of the risks before, during and long after any shooting incident.
  5. survivalcyclist

    My Urban Survival Kit

    Tonight I assembled my own version of an 'urban' EDC kit. It had to be cheap, it had to be able to stay dry even if I wade through waist deep water, and it had to fit in the cargo pocket of my tac pants or in the front zip pocket of my jacket/vest. Most of all, it needed to be more oriented towards things I might encounter in a city environment, not a 'lost in the woods' one. I don't need a compass in a city of over a million people with street signs everywhere, and a whistle isn't much good either. Figuring out what might be useful took a LONG time and much debate at home and at work. I decided on Protection (from sun/bugs/illness/injury), tools (to repair my clothing/gear), and money (to buy food/drink/transport). I tried an Altoids tin (free, but too small), then a Pelican 1010 Micro Case (waterproof, but too bulky) and finally settled on a travel sized first aid kit from Johnson & Johnson ($0.97 at Walmart). I dumped the contents into the bathroom 'medicine drawer' and kept the small white plastic case. I used a ziplock sandwich bag to make sure the case itself is watertight. I then tucked whole thing into another ziplock bag, along with some items that were too large for the case, but too useful to leave out. Photos (explanation follows): The original 97 cent item from Walmart Final product, with a deck of cards for comparison (front, back and side views) (continued below)
  6. Last night I got into a debate with a friend over various 'rights' we have in America. It all started with a comment on a television show, where the reporter says 'the public has a right to know'. Now, I don't do political discussion, as a rule. Seriously. Nothing in America provokes extreme reaction more than political discussion, not even discussions about religion and sex. So I don't discuss politics, not even with the wife. But the topic of our 'rights' got me into one very lengthy argument last night, and I wanted to post my opinion. You have no rights. You have certain privileges that you enjoy as an American citizen, but you have no rights. Anything that can be limited, suspended, or taken away by someone else is not a right. It is a privilege, a courtesy, a custom, or an outright fantasy of wishful thinking. The famous 'Bill of Rights' is a list of privileges we want everyone to have, but every single item on the list is subject to restriction or suspension under different circumstances. As far as I can determine, the only 'right' I have is the right to my own opinion. I get to make up my own mind about any given thing - I can decide for myself whether or not something is Good or Evil, Right or Wrong, a Good Idea or a Stupid Mistake. This doesn't give me the right to express my opinion to anyone else, just the actual forming of an opinion itself. (And technically, even this could be taken away by someone else through certain conditioning techniques.) In other words, every single thing in life is a privilege, or an opportunity - not a right.
  7. OMFG this made me and the wife laugh so hard...this is a perfect description of us.
  8. survivalcyclist

    BoB Visual

    The very first thing I thought of (after 'oh, an HK!') was the old 'junk on the bunk' gear inspections in the Army. Everything laid out following a specific pattern, and slightly apart from everything else.
  9. survivalcyclist

    Do You Really Need A "BOB" or 72 Hour Kit?

    To me, prepping is nothing more than the same thing you are doing when you pay for Life Insurance, Car Insurance, Short Term Disability Insurance, and making sure your car has a spare tire and a jack. You may never have a flat, and you may never get hurt at work so badly that you are out of work...but you enjoy life a lot more knowing that if it DOES happen you have something to help you handle the situation. Prepping is nothing more than physically taking steps to insure your future well being.
  10. survivalcyclist

    Do You Really Need A "BOB" or 72 Hour Kit?

    He may have been trying to say that you don't *need* a massively well equipped BOB to survive, but if he was encouraging people to try and survive without gear (as a deliberate choice) he was being an idiot. He could walk 20 miles through a blistering desert barefoot and live...but wouldn't he prefer boots? He could go 3 days without eating a thing...but wouldn't he prefer a nice warm meal? He could go the same 3 days without any fresh, clean water to drink...but wouldn't he prefer a canteen? He could scrape a hole in the snow and build himself an emergency shelter to get out of the wind...but wouldn't he prefer to have a tent and a nice sleeping bag? The reason humans dominate the Earth is because we use tools. Anyone who chooses to place themselves in a survival situation without tools is taking foolish risks. Anyone who encourages you to forego tools in a survival situation is encouraging you to take foolish risks. Saying "I don't have a BOB because I can survive without anything but a knife' is as smart as saying 'I don't carry a spare tire or a jack in my car, because I can always walk the 20 miles home'. It's stupid, it's going to cause you some serious discomfort, and it might even kill you.
  11. survivalcyclist

    Fusil Arbaléte....the day wrecker

    Sometimes you have great advice, snake, other times it seems like you drop a couple of hits of acid, smoke a bowl of dope and then start typing. Today it sounds like you're stoned. Crossbows are slow and stupid...compared to what, a firearm? Well, yes, snake they are slower than a firearm, thats one of the reasons they invented firearms. Stupid? No, not really. For about a hundred years they were the deadliest missile weapon on the battlefield - so deadly that the Pope threatened to Excommunicate anyone who used them against Christian troops. Modern crossbows can kill grizzly bears, and easily kill a human. If you use the wrong ammo for your crossbow, the bolt can splinter...just like an arrow with too little spline can shatter on any bow..or using the wrong ammo in any fire arm (like hand loaded ammo, for example, or +P+ ammo in a pistol not rated for it). Nope, you cannot make a modern high-tech crossbow in your back yard. But then again, you cannot make a modern firearm in your backyard either. I can make a medieval crossbow in my garage, though. Been there, done that, actually. So have lots of other people, just like making a bow can be done in your garage workshop. That covers making replacements for them, too, I suppose. You cannot make a natural replacement for your modern firearm, either, can you? You definitely should teach your kids about using ANY wepaon, modern, primitive, improvised - ANY weapon. Because ANY weapon can kill or injure (that's why they're called 'weapons' snake, instead of say 'stuffed animals' or 'chicken casserole'). If you read the original post, the guy said "I cannot get my hands on any firearms here where I live - it's too expensive, and its very difficult to get them legally." So he plans to use the next most lethal missile weapon he can legally get his hands on - a crossbow. And your post comes along to tell him...what? That he ought to buy a firearm anyway, because they are safer to operate, easier to improvise ammo for, easier to fabricate from scratch, and less likely to kill one of his kids if they mishandle it? (ROFLMAO) Are you high?
  12. survivalcyclist

    So we think we are prepared?

    There are a series of books (available as free downloads too) called "Where There Is No Doctor" and "Where There Is No Dentist". They are the most widely distributed medical reference in the third world, hands down. They are written for people who have NO medical training at all, and who may have no access to advanced medical equipment or drugs. I own both in hard copy, and you can go here for the free PDFs:
  13. survivalcyclist

    Anyone have SHTF experience?

    Like Capt Bart, I have way too many 'oh boy here it comes' memories, but I'll share this one with you. In the 80s, I was in the Army, stationed in Germany. After being there for a few months, I really enjoyed going around 'on the economy' and just soaking up the German culture. Most places were very pro-American in those days, but a few places were not. One saturday I came back to the base (from an evening of drinking and chasing frauleins) and there was a huge anti-American protest going on, because of nuclear weapons on Navy ships or something. They had the gates to the base closed, a line of German riot cops mixed with a line of military police, squaring off over some barricades where about a thousand angry protesters were jumping up and down and shouting. Naturally, I wandered up on the wrong side of that big mob of people, and as more protesters arrived I found myself in the middle of the crowd. I was in civilian clothes, and I had a wool watch cap on my head, which covered up most of my crew cut hair. I sobered up *really* fast, I tell you. Realizing I wasn't going to get out of the crowd the way I came, I worked my way towards the barricades. I was jumping up and down and chanting 'No nukes!', waving my clenched fists and generally trying to act like the folks around me. I got up to the front row and stood there jumping up and down shouting the slogans until I made eye contact with one of the American MPs. In the middle of my jumping and chanting, I said "Hey! I'm an American!". I had to say it a couple of times until it sank into his brain, then he did a double take. "What the hell are you doing over there?" he yelled at me. "Wetting my pants!" I yelled back. "Can you get me inside?" (All of this while jumping up and down and more of the 'Raus Americans' stuff...) He waved at a couple of the cops closest to us, then pointed at me. I reached across the barricade, and they grabbed both my arms to haul me over. The protesters thought the cops were arresting me, so they grabbed my legs! Then they had a tug of war with me in the middle, until finally my boots came off (and my pants were halfway down my legs) and the cops yanked me inside their lines. I learned several things that day - pay attention to the locals (it seems everyone knew about the protest except me), dress like the natives, and no matter what happens you have to keep calm. I also bought a better belt, after that...
  14. survivalcyclist

    Homesteading is Possible

    My biggest concern would be 'how do I make a living in that small town rural area?' if I took one of the parcels. Gotta have positive cash flow, somehow.
  15. survivalcyclist

    Something interesting. Information.

    I don't even have to look at the link to know I live in a bad place. MacDill AFB is less than ten miles from where I sit typing this. It's headquarters for Joint Readiness Command, among other things. It's a top 5 target for *every* type of WMD on earth, and has been since the late 1950s when SAC had their bombers here. My dad was the Disaster Preparedness Coordinator for MacDill at one time, and I even took one of his old notebooks with me when I attended an inter-service nuclear weapons school at White Sands in the early 80s. The last time I checked, Tampa was slated for five 10Mt warheads from a MIRV, plus one individual 20 Mt set for airburst right over the base. If a nuclear attack ever occurs, Tampa will be a glass crater filled with steaming water, in the middle of 200 square miles of wildfires. Edit: I haven't checked lately, but it used to be almost exactly an eight minute flight from Cuba to Tampa, via Soviet ICBM. That's not a lot of time to do much here at GZ.
  16. survivalcyclist

    Fusil Arbaléte....the day wrecker

    LOL, I was in the SCA for 20+ years, and medieval warfare was/is a major area of study for me. I've got lots of real world experience with low tech weaponry, and most of it is easily adaptable to modern gear. I've made and used everything from knives to polearms, gambesons to full plate armor, crossbows to trebuchets. (I've also burned down a work shed of mine, experimenting with Greek Fire, but that's another whole thread, ha!) I once owned a 3 inch Mountain Howitzer, too, because a friend of mine was a Civil War Reenactor. We had to build our own carriage for it, but it was a lot of fun. We fired Coke cans filled with concrete (though only when we were out having fun on the range, never during an actual reenactment). Best 6 thousand bucks I ever wasted, boy howdy.
  17. survivalcyclist

    Give me one good reason?

    I agree with everything Oregonchick says above. She speaks much more eloquently on the subject, too. The biggest problem that public schools have is not the education that they provide, but the 99% of parents who send their children to school and say 'There, I've done my part to educate my child'. They later discover that their kid doesn't share their same values about things, and they don't "know" the same things the parents know. This upsets them, so they shout about the poor education system, and the lousy teachers, and anything else they can think of to blame - except themselves. The best possible way to make sure your kid gets a solid education AND a good set of values is to spend time with them, being directly involved every day with their school work and social life. That might sound like an endorsement for home schooling, but its not. No matter how good your home schooling plan might be, you don't have the resources a public school has available. For example, consider the lab equipment needed to study sciences like chemistry and physics. There are outstanding teachers in the system that know more about their chosen subject than you can ever hope to, especially since they stay current with ongoing education. Most importantly, though, home schooling cannot provide the same environment for social development. If you raise your kid without the chance to learn about large group dynamics, then your kid will be at a disadvantage later in life, when they have to live and work among large groups of people. And unless you plan to have her live on a small island somewhere, or join a convent, she is going to have to work and socialize with groups of people. She will learn the painful lessons that come with interacting with peers. She can do it while she's young and has you to guide her and support her, or she can do it later as an adult (when the stakes will be much higher, and you may not be around). If you aren't willing or able to spend at least an hour or two every school day with your kid, while they attend public school, then how can you possibly hope to home school them adequately? If you can't find the time to make sure they are learning the right things in public school, you will never find the time to protect them from the things they will learn from television, movies, books, and other people's children (be they kids or adults themselves). I speak from bitter experience. I did not set aside time to spend with my kids while they went to school. I shrugged it off as my wife's job, figuring it was my job to teach them the 'important stuff' like how to drive a car, how to shoot a gun, how to fix a leaky sink. I was too busy with working two jobs, too busy with trying to enjoy my one day off a week, too busy to go to parent-teacher conferences. I made poor choices, and it is reflected in the way my kids turned out. It is not the fault of the public education system, in any way. It is my fault, for not making time with my kids a top priority, for not sitting down every day and saying 'How was school today? What did you learn in history class? Are those girls still teasing you about your clothes?' and more. Don't make the same mistakes I did, please. Take advantage of the public school systems resources, but be part of your kids daily education.
  18. survivalcyclist

    Question about ammo.

    LOL @ snake's "short" answer..only about 5000 words! Xplorer, what Bart and the others have said is the truth. Every gun has some ammo that it does really well with, and some ammo that it doesn't. Even among the same manufacturer, you may find your pistol likes one bullet weight/shape, but not another. Usually it's the feed ramp and/or the extractor if you are having trouble cycling the action (jams, stovepipes, etc). The best thing to do (with a new gun) is to shoot a few hundred rounds of straight up FMJ (military 'ball' ammo) through it to break it in, then clean it thoroughly. Now get a variety of different ammo brands/weights (of whatever type you prefer) then carefully try each brand, and see which ones seem to have trouble feeding/ejecting (if any), and which ones seem to be most accurate. Once you find out which brands the gun likes/dislikes, you can buy more ammo of the appropriate type. My pistol (Ruger P85) prefers Winchester Silvertips or Federal Hydrashoks when I load with hollowpoints. It doesn't like CCI Blazer ammo of any type, but it shoots most everything else OK.
  19. survivalcyclist

    first thing you would buy for a bug out bag

    Well...the OP said "What's the first thing you'd buy for a BOB?", not "What's the first thing you'd buy for a BOB, after counting all the stuff you already have." Granted he didn't explain anything, but it sounded like a question from a new prepper who is planning on building a bug out bag. If so then he has: a Bag and wants to know what he ought to buy next.
  20. survivalcyclist

    Fusil Arbaléte....the day wrecker

    The crossbow is an excellent alternative to a firearm, given the legal limitations you face there. Short of a steel plate, a crossbow will penetrate ANY soft body armor within it's effective range. You can carry it ready to fire, and it can be fired from the prone position (or behind a barricade/cover). The limitations of a crossbow are a very slow rate of fire, and it has a wide/horizontal cross-section when deployed and ready to fire (which makes certain maneuvers more difficult). I wouldn't bother with coating the bolts with anything, a proper broadhead tip will kill just as quickly, and won't poison you if you scratch yourself during a reload. For effective 'flaming ammo', you'll need to use an overlength bolt (+2.5cm or so longer than normal). Wrap your flammable payload behind the tip, in the space where it sticks out in front of the crossbow prod. You will need a very sticky, very flammable material (roofing tar that has been rolled in magnesium flakes/powder works well, with a gauze wrap). Ordinary gasoline/etc will not stay lit when the bolt is launched. Those are only useful if you want to set fire to something from a distance, or as a signal flare. You are better off just loading broadheads and killing whatever you hit. Are compound bows as available in France? A modern compound bow hits just as hard as a crossbow, but can be fired 2-3 times as fast. It cannot be fired from the prone, but it has a narrow/vertical cross section that makes it well suited to firing from behind a tree/doorway/etc. With a high let-off cam, you can move with a compound bow drawn and ready to fire, though not as easily as a crossbow. Crossbow bolts are shorter and a little easier to carry than arrows for the bow, but it is unlikely that you will be carrying so many that its a problem.
  21. survivalcyclist

    first thing you would buy for a bug out bag

    A good quality knife would be my first purchase for the bag. You can make or acquire almost everything else once you have a decent tool.
  22. survivalcyclist

    20 Gauge Shotgun for Home Defense - Recommendations needed?

    A "hot load" is a more powerful one, usually carrying more powder so it kicks harder (as it increases the velocity of the outbound slug/pellets). Typical shotgun rounds are 2 3/4" (two and three quarter inches) in length. You can get a wide variety of loads in that size, ranging from 'light' (weaker) target loads up to 'hot' (stronger) extended range loads. You can also get 3 inch 'Magnum' shells for the same gun, and these kick harder than the 2 3/4 inch ones.
  23. survivalcyclist

    20 Gauge Shotgun for Home Defense - Recommendations needed?

    Mossberg offers the 500 Bantam, and the 500 Super Bantam (both youth model, 20 gauge pumps) Remington offers the Model 870 Express Youth (20 gauge pump) Beretta offers the 3901 Citizen Youth (20 gauge, semi-automatic) All of these are fine guns, with the Mossberg being slightly cheaper than the Remington, and available in a a variety of color combinations (black, different camo patterns for hunting, etc). Mossberg adds a couple of adjustable spacers and a coupon for a full sized stock you can redeem later (50% off the price of a replacement stock). The idea is that as your kid gets bigger/older you can adjust the stock a bit before swapping for a full sized one. My wife is 5'5" tall and 110 pounds, and has no trouble handling the Remington Youth Model. It came with a couple of spacers to adjust the length of the stock, but we never used them, she liked it right out of the box. The version we got looks rather old fashioned and plain (just polished wood and black steel, no camo paint etc), but she prefers the look of it. The semi-auto from Beretta has the lightest kick (being gas operated) but is considerably more expensive than either of the other two brands. Despite the Beretta name, this model is made in the USA (if that is important to you). It feeds all standard 20 gauge rounds reliably, even light target loads. Edit:Mossberg and Remington both offer spare barrels of varying length and type for their shotguns, so you can swap them out for hunting deer, waterfowl, or whatever.
  24. survivalcyclist

    fire killers

    Depends on the type of fire extinguisher. A dry chemical extinguisher fired into someones face will absolutely ruin their day. Imagine someone loading up a sandblaster with Comet household cleanser, then spraying you in the eyes from about 6 inches away. CO2 extinguishers have a shorter range, but they are extremely cold and will seriously damage exposed mucus membranes (eyes, nose, throat if the mouth is open). The effect on ordinary skin is not disabling however. They do chill a six pack nicely. Halon (etc) chemical extinguishers are meant to suffocate electrical fires by bonding with (or removing) the oxygen molecules in the area. A lungful of this can kill you - I once received an Article 15 (that's Captain's Mast to you Navy/Marines) for spraying a drunk in our barracks with a 'personal fire extinguisher' that used Halon. Fourteen days of extra duty and forfeiture of one third of my pay for the month for me - the drunk went to the hospital and was on light duty for several weeks afterwards (he was also a whole lot more respectful and sober around me, but that's another story). The problem with most extinguishers is they have short range, are difficult to rapidly deploy and aim, and have limited ammo. Then the casing is either too light or too heavy to be an effective club.
  25. survivalcyclist

    Bulk Survival Food or DIY?

    Spending one dollar a week on the Sunday paper for the coupons is almost always a great deal - you will save many times that in coupons if you are careful. My wife is a coupon clipping monster, and saves us a ton of money every year.