Friday, December 9, 2016

How to SUCCEED at Prepping

Here is what you need to do to succeed at prepping:

 1 - Do Something. Don't know what to do to get started? Want to prep, but feeling overwhelmed? As the saying goes, every journey begins with a single step. As long as you are doing something to get ready for the bad times ahead, you'll be better off than most of your friends and neighbors who are dong nothing. Really have no clue as to where to start? Check out my article A quick, no frills, down & dirty guide to preparing for the End. Pick something easy, like putting together a week's supply of food and water, and do it this weekend. Congratulations on your first step. 

Want a detailed step-by-step guide to getting prepared? Jim Cobb's book Countdown to Preparedness: The Prepper's 52 Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness may be perfect for you.

2 - Strive for Balance. Don't concentrate all your efforts into only one or two categories of prepping, such as guns & ammo or gold & silver,  because they are easier or more interesting/fun than other preps. Get your finances in order, pay off debt, learn first aid, take some permaculture classes, take some home repair courses, buy hand tools and gardening tools, make your home energy efficient, accumulate at least a year's worth of food, water, medicine and other supplies, take a defensive shooting course, improve your home security, put aside some junk silver (or even gold if you ca afford it), and plant some fruit and nut trees in your backyard. In other words, spread your prepping efforts over a wide-range of categories. 

New to prepping and the self-reliant, do-it-yourself, lifestyle? Check out my article on how to put together a Basic Starter Tool Set.
 
3 - Avoid/Get Out of Debt. In my opinion, next to not taking care of your health, the biggest mistake you can make as a prepper is to go into debt to pay for all your great new gear and supplies. Find ways other than maxing out your credit cards to prepare. And if you are in debt, find ways to pay it off. Remember the axiom "The debtor is slave to the lender." Too much debt causes stress and bad decisions, yields control of your life to others, and interferes in your ability to make needed preparations. My article Prepping 101: Finances - Get Back to Basics if full of tips and ideas on personal finance & prepping. If you are already struggling with debt, I highly recommend Dave Ramsey's books and radio show.

4 - Learn By Doing. Book learning is useful, but the best preparation for difficult times by actually doing things now - gardening, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, canning, sewing by hand, doing your own home & auto  repairs... Here's a great idea: volunteer to help build a house with Habitat For Humanity. You will learn lots of useful skills while actually helping people in need. Also, check out local gardening clubs for both training and volunteer opportunities. Put all that theoretical knowledge you've been collecting to use now, and develop the actual skills & experience you will need later on.

5 - Pay Particular Attention To Your Health and Fitness. If you aren't taking serious care of your health and fitness, you are not preparing. Check out my article Steps to Good Health for a lot of great ideas and resources on health and fitness. 

6 - Always have a Plan B. And a Plan C is nice, too. My primary plan is to ride out whatever comes where I am at now. That is where I am putting most of my efforts and resources. But I also have a back-up plan (three actually) in case things become too dangerous to stay where I'm at now for whatever reasons. I've even pre-positioned some supplies at two of the three locations. And I have figured out (and actually driven) at least two alternative routes to each of those locations, in case one of the routes were blocked for some reason.

 Don't just have back-up plans for your location. Have them for accomplishing various tasks, too. For example, your plans for water may include 1) your current primary source, 2) stored water, 3) a nearby creek or pond, plus having the ability to filter and purify it, and 4) collecting rainwater, plus having the ability to filter and purify it. Do the same for other tasks, such as cooking (regular stove, propane grill, charcoal grill, wood stove, etc.), staying warm (natural gas, electric heaters, propane heaters, fireplace, wood stove, plenty of insulation & warm clothes, etc.), and so forth. Have multiple back-ups for every task/system. 

7 - Be Part of a Community or MAG. Sorry, but most lone wolves won't survive, especially over extended periods. No one has the endurance and strength to do everything by themselves 24/7/365. We all need other folks for mutual aid and comfort. I wrote about this in more detail in my recent article Why Survival Requires Community


TimGamble.com is now on Facebook. Please "Like" us!  

Help --> Building New Links Page

Hi Folks,

As part of an overall redesign of my website taking place over the next few weeks, I am building a new LINKS page, featuring websites & You Tube channels dealing with prepping & survivalism, self-reliance, DIY, homesteading, gardening, permaculture, wilderness survival, bushcraft, hunting, fishing, conservative/small government politics, Christianity, and other topics covered in this website. 

If you have a blog, website, or YouTube channel relating to those topics AND you currently link to my website, please let me know so I can include a link back to yours. If you do not link to my website, just add a link to www.TimGamble.com and let me know, and I will reciprocate. Leave your link in the comments section below or email it to me at askTimGamble@gmail.com. The new links page should be up before Christmas. I do reserve the right to not link to websites I deem too off-topic or that post "adult-themed" (i.e. "pornographic" content).

NOTE: This is a reciprocal thing. If you want me to include a link to your site, you MUST include a link to my site. I will check, and will occasionally monitor to make sure you continue linking to my site. If you take down the link to my site, I will take down the link to your site. Simple. 

The reciprocal LINKS page will be all text links, no graphics needed. 

In the past, I've been approached by others requesting a link-exchange, then after I put up the link to their site they almost immediately took down the link to my site. This is similar to the Twitter trick of following to get a followback, then immediately unfollowing to make ones following-to-followers ratio look more impressive. Not acceptable, and says a lot about those individuals' lack of integrity. 

---Tim Gamble

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Ideas for Non-Preppers

Here are a few ideas for Christmas Gifts to help your non-prepper family & friends get ready:

Everyone Needs First-Aid Kits & Skills

http://amzn.to/2h6mXzCACEP First Aid Manual, 5th Edition - Everyone, prepper or not, should learn first aid. This first aid manual of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is much more up-to-date (2014) than the American Red Cross manual, which hasn't been updated since 1992. 


http://amzn.to/2gkzXmK 
326-Piece First Aid Kit for Home or Office - This is an affordable and fairly complete first aid kit that meets OSHA and ANSI guidelines. Compartmentalized and very well-organized so you don't waste much time hunting for what you need. 


http://amzn.to/2gOybva 
Compact First Aid Kit for the car, backpack, book bag, or bug-out bag. Well-stocked for its smaller size. Currently 50% off (subject to change).







"Beginner Books" for Preparedness

http://amzn.to/1P3ISEG What Could Possibly Go Wrong??? How To Go From Completely Clueless To Totally Prepared by Survivor Jane. Great introduction to preparedness without the technical jargon or doom-and-gloom that might put off many people. Written by a woman especially for women, but newbie men will benefit , too.  

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0761563679/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0761563679&linkCode=as2&tag=timg0a-20&linkId=RUIP7B2CKPYMZHVE 

Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook, by Peggy Layton, has detailed information and lists for everything from an emergency car kit, to a 72-hour emergency kit (aka "bug out" kit), to building stockpiles of food, water, medicine and other necessities. Included in the book is a section on ideas for apartment dwellers and others with little storage space.

Other Christmas Gift Ideas

http://amzn.to/2h6IWciKaito KA500 Emergency Radio. This one has is all: AM/FM/SW/NOAA (weather alert) bands; powered five ways (electrical cord, USB port, AA batteries, solar, and hand-crank); plus flashlight, reading lamp, and cellphone charger. 


http://amzn.to/2h6HJ4PLifeStraw Personal Water Filter. Clean water is essential. The LifeStraw personal water filter is not only great for emergencies, but also hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. Filters up to 1,000 liters of water.



http://amzn.to/2hhgN2E 
LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier. Same technology as the LfeStraw individual filter, the family filter can handle filtering up to 18,000 liters (4,755 gallons) of water, in one liter at a time. Makes it  great for long-term emergencies, as well as camping.  


http://amzn.to/2gVelhLLUMINTOP Prince Copper Flashlight. The ability to see cannot be overvalued. This 3-mode flashlight (low: 25 lumens, Medium: 170 lumens, High: 1050 lumens) is small enough to carry on your belt (comes with a holster), or in a pocketbook, briefcase, or backpack, yet is very powerful and long-lasting. 

http://amzn.to/2g2lBEK 

Ready America Deluxe Emergency Kit - This a great all-in-one solution for a survival or bug-out-bag containing enough supplies for 4 people over 3 days.

















Saturday, December 3, 2016

Patriots' Prayers for 12-4-2016

"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." --2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

The core idea of Patriots' Prayers is to get Americans praying together, seeking forgiveness for our nation and turning back to God (repentance). Important as it is to pray for the forgiveness and repentance of the United States as a nation, it is equally important for us as individuals to repent and seek forgiveness of our sins. This week I highlight Psalm 51 (vv. 1-17), which is a prayer of repentance by King David. Use this Psalm as your personal prayer of forgiveness, praying it as you read it, or use it to inspire your pwn personal prayer of repentance. 


Psalm 51:1-17 (NKJV) - A Prayer of Repentance

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies,  blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight— that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.

Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice.

Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.

Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; you do not delight in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart — these, O God, You will not despise.

"Prayer is a great weapon, a rich treasure, a wealth that is never exhausted, an undisturbed refuge, a cause of tranquility, the root of a multitude of blessings, and their source." -- Saint John Chrysostom  

Daily Bible Reading

Sunday: Matthew 28  
Monday: Proverbs 1: 1-19  
Tuesday: Proverbs 1: 20-33 
 Wednesday: Proverbs 2  
Thursday: Proverb 3: 1-20  
Friday: Proverbs 3: 21-35   
Saturday: Proverbs 4 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Urban Camouflage (more than just the "Gray Man")

How is your Urban Camouflage? No, I'm not talking about a new fashion trend. Rather, I'm talking about fitting in with your surrounding community, and not drawing attention to yourself as a potential victim or as a malcontent. This is sometimes called the "gray man" disguise, but it is more than that. You don't want to draw the attention of criminals & thugs by looking like a potential target or easy prey. You also don't draw the attention of the government as a serious malcontent and potential trouble-maker. 

Every neighborhood has at least one Gladys Kravitz.
Additionally, you need to be very private and guarded with your personal information and plans. The idea is to not draw unwanted attention to yourself and your family, regardless of if that attention is from identity thieves, criminals, thugs, law enforcement, government officials, or even just nosy neighbors. 

Don't paint yourself as a potential target. 

Bad guys look for easy prey and rich targets. They prefer someone who is both, but most will choose easy over rich every time. Avoid looking like a rich target by not wearing expensive or flashy clothes, expensive jewellery, or driving a high-priced car. Avoid looking like easy prey by wearing practical clothes & shoes, and by walking confidently, head up, while paying attention to your surroundings. Muggers, pick-pockets, and other bad folks especially look for victims who are distracted. Try to walk, shop, and travel in groups whenever possible. Groups look less like a potential target than someone walking by alone. 

Sadly, folks with obvious physical restrictions will look like easy prey to bad guys. The elderly, pregnant women, folks with mobility problems and other physical disabilities, should take extra precautions when out in public. 

For more on being the "Gray Man," please see my earlier article Results from the "Grayman" Training Exercise. 

Don't draw unwanted attention.

Don't draw negative attention from law enforcement, government officials, or local bureaucrats. Don't come across as a potential trouble-maker or serious malcontent. We have learned from a number of scandals in recent years that many government officials and bureaucrats can and do hold grudges, and are willing to abuse their power to "get even."

Never make personal threats, especially against government officials or law enforcement (not even in "jest"). Remember that nothing you say or do online is truly anonymous. Don't flout laws, even when you disagree passionately with them (speak out against them, but don't break laws just to make a point unless you are willing to pay a price). 

Stress to family members, especially school-age children, the importance of privacy. Its not just identity theft you have to worry about. Public school officials often question students about personal family information, such as parents' political and religious affiliations, the presence of guns in the household, or even whether or not the family recycles! All to "protect the children," of course. Many schools now routinely go so far as to spy on students through social media. Maje sure your children understand that "what happens in the family, stays in the family."  

Its not just schools that are invading people's privacy.  Employers now routinely spy on employees and applicants through social media. Its a great way for employers to get information that is otherwise illegal for them to ask about, such as whether or not a female applicant may have a baby in the near future. In the wake of the recent election, several employers have made national news by expressing a wish to "punish" employees that voted for Trump. Social media is a great way to identify an employees politics. For goodness sake, don't overshare on social media!!!

Finally, it is now very politically correct for government and law enforcement to consider preppers, tea party conservatives, and traditional Bible-believing Christians, to be "potential domestic terrorists." In today's environment, its quite probable that Trump supporters are now on that list of potential threats. 

We have also seen that wearing a Trump shirt or a Make America Great Again hat can make you a target for violence from the Left. I'm not saying to hide your affiliations or political support. Just to be aware of the possible consequences for doing so.

The Bottom Line

In an urban environment, whether a large city or small town, you need to be aware of how you are perceived by others, and all the possible consequences that may result. The art of Urban Camouflage is to use this awareness to attract as little attention to yourself as possible, thereby avoiding much of the potential negative consequences.