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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:14 pm 
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So I've avoided the topic of bugging in. Like an ex-Marine with a rifle, a pair of boots and a backpack. I was ready to leave - like yesterday. ;) My wife reminds me after our latest refinery fire here in town. That we need to be prepared for a short to long term "bug in". Sweeter words could not have been heard. As what I here is "Honey, go ahead and spend the money getting us prepared for disaster!". Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

OK. OK. I'm calmed down now. Cause she never says go buy ANYTHING. Unless it's stuff she hates buying like cars and places to live. lol. SO I usually plan and plan and spend my own money on prepping and bug out items. But to be fair I have completely avoided the topic of bugging in. But now I find ourselves moving in 7 months to a better more northern state. But it's not like I can't take all this stuff with me. Anyway it's time to start prepping rather than just bugging out prepping. Our ideal bug out location is just 7 months away. So we can effectively start preparing now.

Situation:

Family of three. Two adults and a 17 yr old. All trained at different levels of firearm use. In a house in Socal next to LAX, Chevron oil refinery, Water treatment plant and the Los Angeles Air Force Base. Ya. We're right in the middle of several high value targets. And a mile or two from the worst part of the city. I'm not to worried as the city is WAY overfunded because it's the epicenter of all these targets. It's actually the main command center for any disaster that might happen locally. It's way over policed. But you never know. Things could spill into our town easily.

We have a mini van and large suv for bug out. Which would be problematic in the early hours/days. We'd probably bug in for as long as a month or two. We have a smaller house on a large lot - at least a half an acre if not one. Large tree in the backyard could serve as wood fuel if we were desperate. Can't drink the city water. Officially you can. But we don't nor does anyone else. Climate is mild. We also have 3 dogs and 1 cat - a bigger french bulldog, a tiny yorkie and a 1 yr old German Shepard. The last is turning into the perfect bug in or bug out dog. I love this animal. Definitely part of ALL of my preps. The cat is an American Bobtail. Which means he's sort of like a grey bobcat. He's pretty big and self sufficient. But he'd for sure go in a carrier.

(Which brings me to a situation I hadn't thought of. If I chose to bug out with the dogs AND their carriers. That's a lot of room taken up in the SUV or Van. I may have to rethink that. I do have harnesses for them that clip into the seat belt system. Hmmmnn. food for thought.)

So I'm starting:

1) Water - I need jerry cans or the like to store water in. I think 5gal cans is best so I can move them. And take them with us easily when we move. Where? How much? Once I get to a more permanent place I'll probably opt for 50gal drums. I also need a larger water filter than my Sawyer mini. I would prefer to treat the water myself. Rather than buy off the shelf. Suggestions for containers and filters?

2) Electricity - Or batteries and battery backups. I used to have a large group of back ups. But they've since shit the bed. I do have a simple 10 cell AA and AAA charger for my Tenergy AA bats. But I need more batteries. Would definitely put in a battery bank solar unit once we move. For now I just need to widen my bat collections and chargers.

3) Flashlights - That run on AA. I currently have two Fenix E21's. I like them a lot. I'd like to get more but maybe of a different variety - same brand. Maybe a weapon light that could double as just a flashlight. I was looking at the Fenix tactical lights. I think I found one in the $70 range. With charger and bats. But few run on AA's. I'm just trying to stay standard. Even my portable solar charger is set up for AA and AAA. Suggestions? Are lithium bats necessary with flashlights? I don't need to light up a stadium. More concerned with standard bat and bat life.

4) Food - We have a limited pantry. But no survival food. I've researched them before. And am thinking #10 cans of the mormon stuff. But would probably put together something more varied. I also need to stock up on dog food. Suggestions on long term food storage?

5) Firearms/Ammo - I'm doubling down on this right now. In the middle of building 3 AKs for home defense and bugging out. And I purchased a new AR AP4 with chromelined barrel this summer. But I need more ammo. And Glocks in 9mm. And ammo. I was thinking about a shotgun. But I wouldn't take a shotgun with me over an AK type weapon. and I want to standardize to two main calibers or maybe three 7.62, 9mm and .22lr. I have one 22lr pistol. But would like to add more of a target type 22 pistol. For taking small game. I used to have a Colt Woodsman in 22lr. It was an old one too. In perfect condition. Wish I had never given it away to my grandfather. But he gave it to me in the first place. Open to suggestions in this area. But pretty set decision wise. The AR is really more of an investment. But I have a large cache of ammo for it. And I think if we can't find 7.62 later we will for sure be able to find 5.56.

6) Fire/Heat - Heat isn't such a big deal here in Socal. But will change when I move north. So for now I'm just going to deal with fire and cooking items. I should probably pick up a barbecue with a burner. Over a camp stove. But then again if we bug out with the vehicle. A stove might be nice. I of course have firesteels for bugging out. But could probably use a couple more large ones for the rest of the family.

7) Tools - I've got standard tools pretty covered. I have a giant 6ft toolbox on wheels. Like a commercial one. I also have enough cutting tools. I don't have an axe. I really want a Husqvarna Forest Axe.

8) Sleep systems - I think we have this covered with blankets and literal usgi sleeping bags. We also have really nice down bags for bugging out and hiking. But those really won't work until we get up north. to warm for socal.

9) Fuel storage - I need some 5gal gas cans for my garage and taking on my SUV. Where? How much? I should probably consider cooking fuel. Like propane takes and backups.

10) What am I forgetting?

Please feel free to educate me. I have not spent much time at all thinking about bugging in. As we've always been on the verge of moving north to a better bug in state. I'd love to send up with a laundry list of items I can put into an agenda. And start buying accordingly.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:50 pm 
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Wow! You are in a very enviable position.

I"m no expert, just a fellow traveler. As you know. My thoughts are:

1) Determine how long the bug-in will be. 7 days? 15? 30? 60? 365?

2) What are you forgetting? Medical and communications.

3) Experience with an axe is more important than brand. Personally I like a boys axe (26-28 inches) rather than the full size axe (~36 inches). Also, sharpening/edge geometry are super important. Much more important than brand. But some brands do a good job with that up front.

4.1) On food I think rice, beans, salt, spam, oil, and favored seasonings are the way to go. In 5 gal buckets. And a luggable loo lid w/ sawdust for odor issues. And a cooking mode you can run for 20-60 min at a time, 3x a day, for however many days. I think propane and wood are your best bets. A wood gas stove and a good propane burner are what I would look at. For my situation I use wood gas, but I need more experience cooking with it.

4.2) On canned meats: You can buy based on most protein per ounce, most calories per ounce, most protein per $, and most calories per $. I have not found one product which meets all those. But I have found products which meet each of those individually. So I buy for mission specific needs.

4.3) On shelf stable oils: I think coconut oil has captured my heart for shelf stable fat stored 1-2 years.

5) On water I think some 5 gal are nice for quick exits but 30-55 gal drums are the way to go for bugging in. For my apartment I'm thinking a 30 gal. Gonna start saving up. But listening to you and what you envision I suspect 4x 5 gal and 1x-2x 55 gal.

6) Fuel-gasoline- one spare tank of gas, IMO.

7) Dogs: Might want to stick with those kennels. You can stack stuff on top of and around the kennels. The dogs won't stack well on top of the gear. In my experience, anyway.

8) Guns-I don't think you need anything else. 3 AKs and an AR. I"d put money into food, water, medicine, comms, & training. A shotgun, in my opinion, only really makes sense if you don't have the money for an AR and need to reduce over-penetration in a home or apartment. The .22 would be nice but you can do everything with a 7.62 that you can do with a .22. It just costs a bit more. You can also do MORE with a 7.62. Now if you WANT more guns I fully understand....

As usual, these are just my opinions. Worth what you paid for them. Congrats on the upcoming move!

EDIT: 9) Some consideration should be put into laundry. And maybe more water.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:12 am 
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I think I'd focus on finding the most self-sustainable home you and the family can agree on first, then revisit your list after you know the strengths and weaknesses of the new place. Modern homes aren't built with much, if any, consideration given to how they'd function if public utilities aren't working or towards alternate heating/cooling or energy conservation. More like they just throw more Btus and kWh at it until the problem is solved. I'm not a fan of loft ceilings in colder climates for example, the temp at the ceiling can be 68 degrees and it's 58 degrees at the floor. Very wasteful if trying to conserve heating fuel/wood while remaining comfortable during a power outage. Consider things like how you'll keep the pipes from freezing in colder climates, or attic / whole house fans for warmer climates when you can't run the A/C.

Before shopping for our first home the Mrs and I each listed a few of our "must have" and "nice to have" amenities we each wanted in the new house, which helped limit the search (and the arguments) later. Some items on my list being:

Basement
Well
Septic
Propane heating/cooking/hot water
Fireplace/wood burning stove

All nice features to have for a bug-in/prepper home imo, and they don't really add anything to the price of an existing home but would be expensive to add later if it didn't already have them. Then once you have your new home, address it's weaknesses/flaws. Our first house had city water and the old (working but disconnected) well/pump/pressure tank system, a pool, and our property bordered a creek - so water storage was low on our list of priorities. And it had a basement (which was one of my "must have" items), but also a sump pit and pump because of poor drainage in the area, so installing a second battery backed-up sump pump for power outages went almost to the top of the list after we moved in. So, our problem wasn't likely to be of having too little water, but more likely having too much of it.

In short, guess I'd suggest looking at the larger picture for your new bug-in compatible home. BBQs and campstoves are great as backups for cooking, but a gas range in the kitchen (that doesn't require electricity) is a lot more convenient. Ditto for a basement; great for storage, a place to shelter during tornadoes, is cooler in the summer, and could be a good place for you to close off and hunker down in during a winter storm with an alternate heat source there to keep the pipes from freezing. Just examples.

Congrats on your Escape from LA, and good luck on the move/house hunting.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:34 pm 
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You getting ready to move. Good for you - SoCal is completely, utterly, unsustainable

Since planning is the least cost thing you can do...

You say " better more northern state" - well, Seattle is radically different than Cutbank MT in ways just besides the weather.

Do you know the city you will move to? Have you looked at:
The last FIVE years of weather reports? Min and max temps, rain and snowfall levels etc...
Crime stats / "social issues" over that same period?
Reports of flooding, avalanche or other natural hazards?

Now at least you can be gin to look for a place to live. Oh, what about:
Taxes - some place have higher taxes (city vs county)
Restrictions like use of wood stoves, outdoor burning, etc
Permitting rules - do you have to pull a permit to change out the stove?

My point here is that gathering this kind of data allows informed planning and informed planning saves a ton of bucks.

Best of luck on your move!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:48 pm 
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woodsghost wrote:
Wow! You are in a very enviable position.

I"m no expert, just a fellow traveler. As you know. My thoughts are:

1) Determine how long the bug-in will be. 7 days? 15? 30? 60? 365?

2) What are you forgetting? Medical and communications.

3) Experience with an axe is more important than brand. Personally I like a boys axe (26-28 inches) rather than the full size axe (~36 inches). Also, sharpening/edge geometry are super important. Much more important than brand. But some brands do a good job with that up front.

4.1) On food I think rice, beans, salt, spam, oil, and favored seasonings are the way to go. In 5 gal buckets. And a luggable loo lid w/ sawdust for odor issues. And a cooking mode you can run for 20-60 min at a time, 3x a day, for however many days. I think propane and wood are your best bets. A wood gas stove and a good propane burner are what I would look at. For my situation I use wood gas, but I need more experience cooking with it.

4.2) On canned meats: You can buy based on most protein per ounce, most calories per ounce, most protein per $, and most calories per $. I have not found one product which meets all those. But I have found products which meet each of those individually. So I buy for mission specific needs.

4.3) On shelf stable oils: I think coconut oil has captured my heart for shelf stable fat stored 1-2 years.

5) On water I think some 5 gal are nice for quick exits but 30-55 gal drums are the way to go for bugging in. For my apartment I'm thinking a 30 gal. Gonna start saving up. But listening to you and what you envision I suspect 4x 5 gal and 1x-2x 55 gal.

6) Fuel-gasoline- one spare tank of gas, IMO.

7) Dogs: Might want to stick with those kennels. You can stack stuff on top of and around the kennels. The dogs won't stack well on top of the gear. In my experience, anyway.

8) Guns-I don't think you need anything else. 3 AKs and an AR. I"d put money into food, water, medicine, comms, & training. A shotgun, in my opinion, only really makes sense if you don't have the money for an AR and need to reduce over-penetration in a home or apartment. The .22 would be nice but you can do everything with a 7.62 that you can do with a .22. It just costs a bit more. You can also do MORE with a 7.62. Now if you WANT more guns I fully understand....

As usual, these are just my opinions. Worth what you paid for them. Congrats on the upcoming move!

EDIT: 9) Some consideration should be put into laundry. And maybe more water.


All very valid points. Thank you so much for the time. Like I said, bug in time would probably be a month or two at the most. I'd head out by vehicle if it went any longer than that.

Medical and communications - I do have two way radios for the family. And of course we have cellphones with lots of extra bats. Except my sons stupid iphone. lol. I'm also an avid scanner. I have a couple left. sold most of them. Is there more I should have? Ham radio? I'd get a ham radio. but I have no interest in a license. Maybe just to monitor what's going on. But I can do that with a scanner.

As far as medical goes. Ya. I have a first aid kit for the family bug out. But not a larger one for a bug in or vehicle bugout.

An axe has to be large enough to cut this damn tree in our back yard. It's a huge one. Maybe three feet across or more. If it came to that. I want an axe anyway for hunting and hiking. I do also like those medium sized estwings that are all metal too. I might get one of those as well.

"rice, beans, salt, spam, oil, and favored seasonings are the way to go"

Is there better canned meat than spam?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:49 pm 
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CrossCut wrote:
I think I'd focus on finding the most self-sustainable home you and the family can agree on first, then revisit your list after you know the strengths and weaknesses of the new place. Modern homes aren't built with much, if any, consideration given to how they'd function if public utilities aren't working or towards alternate heating/cooling or energy conservation. More like they just throw more Btus and kWh at it until the problem is solved. I'm not a fan of loft ceilings in colder climates for example, the temp at the ceiling can be 68 degrees and it's 58 degrees at the floor. Very wasteful if trying to conserve heating fuel/wood while remaining comfortable during a power outage. Consider things like how you'll keep the pipes from freezing in colder climates, or attic / whole house fans for warmer climates when you can't run the A/C.

Before shopping for our first home the Mrs and I each listed a few of our "must have" and "nice to have" amenities we each wanted in the new house, which helped limit the search (and the arguments) later. Some items on my list being:

Basement
Well
Septic
Propane heating/cooking/hot water
Fireplace/wood burning stove

All nice features to have for a bug-in/prepper home imo, and they don't really add anything to the price of an existing home but would be expensive to add later if it didn't already have them. Then once you have your new home, address it's weaknesses/flaws. Our first house had city water and the old (working but disconnected) well/pump/pressure tank system, a pool, and our property bordered a creek - so water storage was low on our list of priorities. And it had a basement (which was one of my "must have" items), but also a sump pit and pump because of poor drainage in the area, so installing a second battery backed-up sump pump for power outages went almost to the top of the list after we moved in. So, our problem wasn't likely to be of having too little water, but more likely having too much of it.

In short, guess I'd suggest looking at the larger picture for your new bug-in compatible home. BBQs and campstoves are great as backups for cooking, but a gas range in the kitchen (that doesn't require electricity) is a lot more convenient. Ditto for a basement; great for storage, a place to shelter during tornadoes, is cooler in the summer, and could be a good place for you to close off and hunker down in during a winter storm with an alternate heat source there to keep the pipes from freezing. Just examples.

Congrats on your Escape from LA, and good luck on the move/house hunting.


Wow. Thank you. All valid points I had not thought of. I was hoping to concentrate on more land and less house. But with a well and/or creek. Never thought about the basement. good call.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:57 pm 
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TacAir wrote:
You getting ready to move. Good for you - SoCal is completely, utterly, unsustainable

Since planning is the least cost thing you can do...

You say " better more northern state" - well, Seattle is radically different than Cutbank MT in ways just besides the weather.

Do you know the city you will move to? Have you looked at:
The last FIVE years of weather reports? Min and max temps, rain and snowfall levels etc...
Crime stats / "social issues" over that same period?
Reports of flooding, avalanche or other natural hazards?

Now at least you can be gin to look for a place to live. Oh, what about:
Taxes - some place have higher taxes (city vs county)
Restrictions like use of wood stoves, outdoor burning, etc
Permitting rules - do you have to pull a permit to change out the stove?

My point here is that gathering this kind of data allows informed planning and informed planning saves a ton of bucks.

Best of luck on your move!


Ya tacair. I know exactly where I'm going. I lived north of seattle up in the mountains until I was 30? Then spent 20 years in this cesspool. So I'm very comfortable with the environment. I'm hoping to get close or right next to state or federal land east of snohomish or granite falls. Hopefully this works out. And my wife can find work close by. Or at least a reasonable commute.

My entire family lives there. Most notably by father. Who's bought sold and built several houses. So I have that knowledge to back up on when looking. Although he has ALS. And won't be around forever.

Although I have not lived in that exact town. I do plan on early recon. Doing a lot of it now as I've had to return to my fathers to help take care of him. I'd love to find 5 acres or 10 with a pre-manufactured home on it to start. Then build something more to our liking. Later when we can afford it. I do have the VA. So that helps.

With that in mind. What's your advice for preps here in LA? And in WA?

My brother is also a wealth of knowledge. He's converted his entire house over to solar. Which is something I want to do.

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Comms: i have to be a little careful here because I'm not an expert. I just recently got my Tech level ham license. With what you have said I'd look at CB radios. Especially useful for hunting or traveling where cell coverage is limited. No license. Much better power than the FRS radios you have. Better antennas too. And the frequency they operate on is better for rural areas. The frequency a FRS radio uses is better for urban areas. It all has to do with how radio waves behave with trees vs walls.

With comms I see a need to stay in touch with neighbors and call for help if needed. Maybe stay in touch with family who are doing chores or investigating something interesting.

Also, I could be off the mark, but it seems to me that a huge number of ATVers, 4-wheelers, and construction workers have CB radios. The former so they can stay in touch with each other in places where cell coverage is rather spotty. The later so they can communicate on job sites...or because it makes their trucks look cool. I can't tell which.... I actually can't tell if they buy the radios, or just the antennas. Truckers also still seem to use CB, so there is a lot of people with those radios, and generally the kind of people I would want help from if I needed it.

Axes: any axe will cut down your tree. A bigger axe will be more efficient. If hunting...it depends on if you are carrying gear in a truck or on your back. Smaller axes are more fun to carry long distances. Also, technique matters more than size. But on a three foot tree: you will decide between 500 swings and 3000 swings. But a chainsaw is what you really want. Don't screw with axes on that job. It sounds like you would be suddenly learning axe craft, edge geometry, axe safety, and the unique feel of your particular axe. You may even find yourself learning how to put a new handle on your axe. A chainsaw is what I think you need. And you will probably use it at your new place, so it is not a waste. Just my opinion.

My opinion on Estwings: get something with a wood handle. Steel is not necessarily stronger than wood. Sharpening them can be a bear. Fatigue happens quicker with steel than with wood due to how vibrations work. Steel rusts and if you are heading to the other rainforest I'd look at wood.

Again, just my opinion. A lot of people love them and swear by them. I swear at them and don't care if I step on toes. If you like them and have the cash then get one and see what you think.

Canned meat: DAK gives more calories per $ and more protein per package than spam. Also has a better shelf life, I believe.

Corned beef has more protein per oz. About the same calories.

Spam has more variety of flavor.

Generic canned lunch meat is NOT as good as Spam and gives less protein and less calories in addition to costing less.

So it depends on what you want. More protein per oz? More flavor variety? More food for your $? Maybe a mixture of them. For bugging out on foot I'd look for protein per oz. For bugging in I'd prefer a combination of variety and value.

Just my thoughts.

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*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:56 pm 
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woodsghost wrote:
Comms: i have to be a little careful here because I'm not an expert. I just recently got my Tech level ham license. With what you have said I'd look at CB radios. Especially useful for hunting or traveling where cell coverage is limited. No license. Much better power than the FRS radios you have. Better antennas too. And the frequency they operate on is better for rural areas. The frequency a FRS radio uses is better for urban areas. It all has to do with how radio waves behave with trees vs walls.

With comms I see a need to stay in touch with neighbors and call for help if needed. Maybe stay in touch with family who are doing chores or investigating something interesting.

Also, I could be off the mark, but it seems to me that a huge number of ATVers, 4-wheelers, and construction workers have CB radios. The former so they can stay in touch with each other in places where cell coverage is rather spotty. The later so they can communicate on job sites...or because it makes their trucks look cool. I can't tell which.... I actually can't tell if they buy the radios, or just the antennas. Truckers also still seem to use CB, so there is a lot of people with those radios, and generally the kind of people I would want help from if I needed it.

Agreed. I have I think 5 watt gmrs radios right now. IIRC. But I could be talked into a few handheld CB's for sure.

Axes: any axe will cut down your tree. A bigger axe will be more efficient. If hunting...it depends on if you are carrying gear in a truck or on your back. Smaller axes are more fun to carry long distances. Also, technique matters more than size. But on a three foot tree: you will decide between 500 swings and 3000 swings. But a chainsaw is what you really want. Don't screw with axes on that job. It sounds like you would be suddenly learning axe craft, edge geometry, axe safety, and the unique feel of your particular axe. You may even find yourself learning how to put a new handle on your axe. A chainsaw is what I think you need. And you will probably use it at your new place, so it is not a waste. Just my opinion.

My opinion on Estwings: get something with a wood handle. Steel is not necessarily stronger than wood. Sharpening them can be a bear. Fatigue happens quicker with steel than with wood due to how vibrations work. Steel rusts and if you are heading to the other rainforest I'd look at wood.

Ya. I've swung an axe before. I grew up in Darrington WA. Loggertown, USA. Literally that's the only business in town - a saw mill. That and my grandmothers state liquor store.
At least back then. And I grew up and lived with woodstoves beyond my 30's.

I just like the Husqvarna because it's metal or maybe even the entire head comes from the same steel in Sweden(?) as Grans for Bruks axes. At about a third the cost.

The Estwing I was thinking about is the one that is like a long hatchet. That's all metal. That I would use hunting. Or just around the house with kindling or whatever.


Again, just my opinion. A lot of people love them and swear by them. I swear at them and don't care if I step on toes. If you like them and have the cash then get one and see what you think.

Canned meat: DAK gives more calories per $ and more protein per package than spam. Also has a better shelf life, I believe.

Corned beef has more protein per oz. About the same calories.

Spam has more variety of flavor.

Generic canned lunch meat is NOT as good as Spam and gives less protein and less calories in addition to costing less.

So it depends on what you want. More protein per oz? More flavor variety? More food for your $? Maybe a mixture of them. For bugging out on foot I'd look for protein per oz. For bugging in I'd prefer a combination of variety and value.

Jesus. Doesn't anyone make normal canned meat? DAK is disgusting? Am I forced to buy canned hams? Or is the selection that limited? I'm only talking about putting enough food together for a month. But it would be nice to at least spinkle in some real meat with the DAK or SPAM. I like your comment though "variety and value". I think I'd like to find some good canned meats and maybe have that be 50% of the meals with meat. And then use the cheap stuff for the rest. Canned fish would be good too. I wonder how long that stuff lasts. I love salmon patties.

Just my thoughts.


Again, thank you for your time and effort. I think i need make some sublists under the major food groups. And each category for that matter.

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moab wrote:
TacAir wrote:
You getting ready to move. Good for you - SoCal is completely, utterly, unsustainable

Since planning is the least cost thing you can do...

You say " better more northern state" - well, Seattle is radically different than Cutbank MT in ways just besides the weather.

Do you know the city you will move to? Have you looked at:
The last FIVE years of weather reports? Min and max temps, rain and snowfall levels etc...
Crime stats / "social issues" over that same period?
Reports of flooding, avalanche or other natural hazards?

Now at least you can be gin to look for a place to live. Oh, what about:
Taxes - some place have higher taxes (city vs county)
Restrictions like use of wood stoves, outdoor burning, etc
Permitting rules - do you have to pull a permit to change out the stove?

My point here is that gathering this kind of data allows informed planning and informed planning saves a ton of bucks.

Best of luck on your move!


Ya tacair. I know exactly where I'm going. I lived north of seattle up in the mountains until I was 30? Then spent 20 years in this cesspool. So I'm very comfortable with the environment. I'm hoping to get close or right next to state or federal land east of snohomish or granite falls. Hopefully this works out. And my wife can find work close by. Or at least a reasonable commute.

My entire family lives there. Most notably by father. Who's bought sold and built several houses. So I have that knowledge to back up on when looking. Although he has ALS. And won't be around forever.

Although I have not lived in that exact town. I do plan on early recon. Doing a lot of it now as I've had to return to my fathers to help take care of him. I'd love to find 5 acres or 10 with a pre-manufactured home on it to start. Then build something more to our liking. Later when we can afford it. I do have the VA. So that helps.

With that in mind. What's your advice for preps here in LA? And in WA?

My brother is also a wealth of knowledge. He's converted his entire house over to solar. Which is something I want to do.


Having lived in Spokane for some time:

Find a house with a wood stove or fireplace insert. You can build a shed for wood storage when you have time. A vented kero heater saves getting up at Oh dark 30 to feed the stove for heat..

If you live away from the center of town, a house with a well would be nice.

Next would be a lot/property large enough to have a good sized garden. (Loved my garden in Spokane)

Past that would be to bring up your food preps from SoCal.

Having family in the area is better than a roomful of preps.

Best of luck on your move!

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GMRS is the same frequencies as FRS. Basically. And in some cases literally. So it is a 5 watt FRS which lets you punch through more walls and cover more square footage in urban areas. Certainly good. Also very resistant to atmospheric conditions.

CB is very different from GMRS and you can get some radios up to 40 watts, legally, IIRC. Though those are uncommon. Mostly CB is 4 watts. Looks like you can get 100 watts, but that would require a ham license.

Just some options. Not trying to push one direction or the other. I think having both will let you know what works best in each situation. Just some thoughts.

On meat: there are other options. But at my local Walmart the other options don't compare well to the options I listed. Either you get less per $, or it tastes like crap, or it is all fat and no protein.

Canned fish works. I have used tuna a lot. Other ones work well. You mentioned salmon. A friend found Mackerel to be a good value.

I have not tried canned chicken. It is on my list to try.

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If you find the canned meat fatty, slice it thin and fry in a dry skillet.
That will help render the fat out.
Canned mackerel can be very stinky. Better check a can before you stock up, to see if you can live with the smell.

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ZombieGranny wrote:
If you find the canned meat fatty, slice it thin and fry in a dry skillet.
That will help render the fat out.
Canned mackerel can be very stinky. Better check a can before you stock up, to see if you can live with the smell.


I know for me I like try to balance what I'm pay with what is in the can. If I'm paying a certain price I want a lot of actual meat in there. I do like having some fat too. All protein means fewer calories, and for bugging out I like calories.

For Mackerel....my wife STILL mentions the smell of that Mackerel my friend brought over about 2 years ago. That memory is still very vivid. Yes, the smell is intense. And my wife was not a happy lady for a while after that incident.

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(All this talk about fish reminds me of a Class Action Tuna lawsuit or something that I think I signed on with here a while ago. Any updates?)

MOAB. MRE's store for a good long while. I know you are familiar with them.

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I LOVE mackerel. LOL!!! But I really love kipper snacks and trout from Trader Joe's. If you have a Trader Joe's within driving range. Go there now. GREAT food and great prices. Their nuts and dried fruit are great too. But they have canned smoked trout in water. That is not dry. It's awesome. They also have the only lump crab in a can that I can eat. And NOTHING in the store has MSG or other bad additives. a lot of my hiking stuff comes from there. You eat and you get full. No MSG to make you feel like you can't stop eating. You feel very satisfied with their food.

So Trader Joe's FTMFW!! Sorry for my foul language granny. ;)

Does anybody know of any bulk canned places you can buy from?

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You can get portable babecues. i used this one permanently in my citchen during a thing for 3 weeks and it worked fine.

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Or get a webber or something flash.

A portable shower is pretty handy as well. If you are stuck inside.


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moab wrote:
I LOVE mackerel. LOL!!! But I really love kipper snacks and trout from Trader Joe's. If you have a Trader Joe's within driving range. Go there now. GREAT food and great prices. Their nuts and dried fruit are great too. But they have canned smoked trout in water. That is not dry. It's awesome. They also have the only lump crab in a can that I can eat. And NOTHING in the store has MSG or other bad additives. a lot of my hiking stuff comes from there. You eat and you get full. No MSG to make you feel like you can't stop eating. You feel very satisfied with their food.

So Trader Joe's FTMFW!! Sorry for my foul language granny. ;)

Does anybody know of any bulk canned places you can buy from?

Around your neck of the woods. Smart & Final sells bulk canned goods.

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I will go over this later as heading out for a nigh jog but would get a larg USB powerbank in addition to the batteries. Say 20,000 mAh. Also get some Eneloops.

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Woods Walker wrote:
I will go over this later as heading out for a nigh jog but would get a larg USB powerbank in addition to the batteries. Say 20,000 mAh. Also get some Eneloops.


Thanks WW. Would love your input.

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moab wrote:
So I've avoided the topic of bugging in. Like an ex-Marine with a rifle, a pair of boots and a backpack. I was ready to leave - like yesterday. ;) My wife reminds me after our latest refinery fire here in town. That we need to be prepared for a short to long term "bug in". Sweeter words could not have been heard. As what I here is "Honey, go ahead and spend the money getting us prepared for disaster!". Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

OK. OK. I'm calmed down now. Cause she never says go buy ANYTHING. Unless it's stuff she hates buying like cars and places to live. lol. SO I usually plan and plan and spend my own money on prepping and bug out items. But to be fair I have completely avoided the topic of bugging in. But now I find ourselves moving in 7 months to a better more northern state. But it's not like I can't take all this stuff with me. Anyway it's time to start prepping rather than just bugging out prepping. Our ideal bug out location is just 7 months away. So we can effectively start preparing now.

Situation:

Family of three. Two adults and a 17 yr old. All trained at different levels of firearm use. In a house in Socal next to LAX, Chevron oil refinery, Water treatment plant and the Los Angeles Air Force Base. Ya. We're right in the middle of several high value targets. And a mile or two from the worst part of the city. I'm not to worried as the city is WAY overfunded because it's the epicenter of all these targets. It's actually the main command center for any disaster that might happen locally. It's way over policed. But you never know. Things could spill into our town easily.

We have a mini van and large suv for bug out. Which would be problematic in the early hours/days. We'd probably bug in for as long as a month or two. We have a smaller house on a large lot - at least a half an acre if not one. Large tree in the backyard could serve as wood fuel if we were desperate. Can't drink the city water. Officially you can. But we don't nor does anyone else. Climate is mild. We also have 3 dogs and 1 cat - a bigger french bulldog, a tiny yorkie and a 1 yr old German Shepard. The last is turning into the perfect bug in or bug out dog. I love this animal. Definitely part of ALL of my preps. The cat is an American Bobtail. Which means he's sort of like a grey bobcat. He's pretty big and self sufficient. But he'd for sure go in a carrier.

(Which brings me to a situation I hadn't thought of. If I chose to bug out with the dogs AND their carriers. That's a lot of room taken up in the SUV or Van. I may have to rethink that. I do have harnesses for them that clip into the seat belt system. Hmmmnn. food for thought.)

So I'm starting:

1) Water - I need jerry cans or the like to store water in. I think 5gal cans is best so I can move them. And take them with us easily when we move. Where? How much? Once I get to a more permanent place I'll probably opt for 50gal drums. I also need a larger water filter than my Sawyer mini. I would prefer to treat the water myself. Rather than buy off the shelf. Suggestions for containers and filters?

MSR Mini works EX and Sawyer Squeeze backup. Maybe a few packs to tabs. That said have at least a gallon of water per person per day for a week. Remember water is kinda near number one.

2) Electricity - Or batteries and battery backups. I used to have a large group of back ups. But they've since shit the bed. I do have a simple 10 cell AA and AAA charger for my Tenergy AA bats. But I need more batteries. Would definitely put in a battery bank solar unit once we move. For now I just need to widen my bat collections and chargers.

Eneloops and USB powerbank. This way you can solar store energy and use that to charge the batteries or whatever later on. Pre charge them before the shit hits the fan.
Remember most NiMH charge at 1/4 Amp. A USB powerbank can potentially take a 2 Amp charge though most likely 1A from solar. Still even with the conversion loss you will be ahead of the game charging a powerbank first if possible. That said a Goal Zero Guide 10 plus is kinda nice though it's fastest rate is around 0.8 Amps.

3) Flashlights - That run on AA. I currently have two Fenix E21's. I like them a lot. I'd like to get more but maybe of a different variety - same brand. Maybe a weapon light that could double as just a flashlight. I was looking at the Fenix tactical lights. I think I found one in the $70 range. With charger and bats. But few run on AA's. I'm just trying to stay standard. Even my portable solar charger is set up for AA and AAA. Suggestions? Are lithium bats necessary with flashlights? I don't need to light up a stadium. More concerned with standard bat and bat life.

Get headlamps running off the same battery as your flashlight. Headlamps are so much more useful when actually doing something than a flashlight. I always pack a headlamp with flashlight backup. Armytek Tiara A1 or Fenix HL50 are my preferred in 1XAA. Also single celled flashlights and headlamps are nice as you don't need to worry about mixing batteries etc etc. Lithium primaries work better in higher drain device. Never use load alkaline batteries inside devices then pack um away. I have lost kit because of leaks. Lithium primaries can last a decade and not leak. Eneloops can hold a charge for years and be charged 1000 times. I think Eneloops are also good in high drain devices.

4) Food - We have a limited pantry. But no survival food. I've researched them before. And am thinking #10 cans of the mormon stuff. But would probably put together something more varied. I also need to stock up on dog food. Suggestions on long term food storage?

Have you considered getting some 10 or 20 lb bags of long grain rice to supplement whatever yea got?


5) Firearms/Ammo - I'm doubling down on this right now. In the middle of building 3 AKs for home defense and bugging out. And I purchased a new AR AP4 with chromelined barrel this summer. But I need more ammo. And Glocks in 9mm. And ammo. I was thinking about a shotgun. But I wouldn't take a shotgun with me over an AK type weapon. and I want to standardize to two main calibers or maybe three 7.62, 9mm and .22lr. I have one 22lr pistol. But would like to add more of a target type 22 pistol. For taking small game. I used to have a Colt Woodsman in 22lr. It was an old one too. In perfect condition. Wish I had never given it away to my grandfather. But he gave it to me in the first place. Open to suggestions in this area. But pretty set decision wise. The AR is really more of an investment. But I have a large cache of ammo for it. And I think if we can't find 7.62 later we will for sure be able to find 5.56.

I have a Colt AR-15 Carbine and Gen 2 Glock 19 in my kit. Though have many firearms to pick from.

6) Fire/Heat - Heat isn't such a big deal here in Socal. But will change when I move north. So for now I'm just going to deal with fire and cooking items. I should probably pick up a barbecue with a burner. Over a camp stove. But then again if we bug out with the vehicle. A stove might be nice. I of course have firesteels for bugging out. But could probably use a couple more large ones for the rest of the family.

Solo stove Campfire might be nice for a family. Also don't forget the Bic lighter in addition to the ferro rod. Or try one of those cheap eBay wood gas stoves.

7) Tools - I've got standard tools pretty covered. I have a giant 6ft toolbox on wheels. Like a commercial one. I also have enough cutting tools. I don't have an axe. I really want a Husqvarna Forest Axe.

Sounds good.

8) Sleep systems - I think we have this covered with blankets and literal usgi sleeping bags. We also have really nice down bags for bugging out and hiking. But those really won't work until we get up north. to warm for socal.

Don't forget the closed cell ground pads.

9) Fuel storage - I need some 5gal gas cans for my garage and taking on my SUV. Where? How much? I should probably consider cooking fuel. Like propane takes and backups.

If you get the cheap wood gas stove a bag of wood pellets would run it for a long long long long time.


10) What am I forgetting?

Please feel free to educate me. I have not spent much time at all thinking about bugging in. As we've always been on the verge of moving north to a better bug in state. I'd love to send up with a laundry list of items I can put into an agenda. And start buying accordingly.


Clothing is your first line of defense against exposure. Even a space walk can be comfortable with the right clothing. I would have some good outdoors options for your environment for each person. Same for footwear.

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WW is right about the headlamps. I did a mock bug-in a while back & the headlamp was a God-send. My hands were free & where-ever I looked, there was light.

+ infinity.

Standardize all batteries as much as you can.

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MPMalloy wrote:
WW is right about the headlamps. I did a mock bug-in a while back & the headlamp was a God-send. My hands were free & where-ever I looked, there was light.

+ infinity.

What's one more than infinity? Way too much emphasis within the survival/prepper community on long throw, monster lumen output tactical flashlights. Not saying there's not a place for those (I have a few myself). But trying to actually manage the tasks of daily living in a grid down situation really shows just how practical a headlamp can be.

During last month's New England power outage, there were a couple of mornings when I forgot about my headlamp and showed up for work with it still slung around my neck. Like some sort of post-apocalyptic cravat. That's because around the house if it wasn't on my forehead and activated, it was around my neck so I wouldn't lose track of it in the dark. I slept with that thing around my neck each night. Most of my handheld flashlights never came out of the drawer.

Props also to the humble LED area lantern, another under-appreciated lighting prep that makes grid down situations infinitely more bearable.

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I have been in Florida for a month and the only light with me is a AT Tiara pro 1XAA. Used it for night bike rides and runs. Late day Irma clean-up, taking a shower outside (shower outside by the pool at night) etc etc etc. A single battery headlamp is also nice to ceiling bounce as is doesn't tip over. Though ceiling bouncing a small flashlight often negates the use of a lantern. Not that lanterns aren't also good. A person can ceiling bounce a flashlight as well. A low of say 5-10 lumens bounced off the ceiling can illuminate a room good enough to function within. When backpacking a flashlight is only used to spot trail markers if my headlamp is too floody. Also a flashlight is better in the rain, fog and snow as there is less glare. That said 90-95% of the time it is a headlamp being used. Same applies week long black outs I dealt with.

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Oh, I just realized your #4 -
If you order from them, keep in mind the boxes are very, VERY well marked.
Like 'you can read them from a block away', basically.
Well packed, good prices, and good quality, but no OPSEC.
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-
Most kids love headlamps... I always buy those suckers in the 3-pack. Even the teens grab one.

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