Lost Wisdom

I Wish I Had Paid Attention

A reader recently left a comment saying that he was new to prepping, but that it seemed to be pretty much the way his grandfather had lived his life just as a regular thing, not calling it prepping or survivalism.  I'm sure the same could be said for a lot of us.

My Virginia grandparents were very much urban/suburban folks, despite my grandmother's father constructing a fallout shelter during the early 60s.  My grandfather was a WWII vet, but had never even pumped his own gas until the late 70s.

Now my Idaho grandparents were a different story.  Grandma had grown up on a homestead in eastern Montana.  She and her sister spent the winters in town with their grandparents because they would not have made it to school otherwise.  Grandpa was self educated and could build or repair anything.  When I was a little kid, they were full time RVers, traveling the country in their trailer, while Grandpa worked as a trouble shooter at mills for three months here, six months there.  They retired to Couer d'Alene in the late 70s and I spent about a month each summer with them through middle school and high school.  We fished the glacier lakes for kokanee and I learned to use a chain saw and a splitting maul.  Each summer I brought home something survival-related.  A roll of barbed wire from a yard sale, a wrist rocket, a .38 special derringer, illegal m-80s and m-100s from the res...  all kinds of cool stuff. 

But I missed learning a lot of stuff that at the time, did not seem survival related.  I know better now, but it's too late.  The kokanee were these little fish, supposedly a cross between a trout and a salmon, and we trolled for them with a couple hundred feet of line out, and a corn nibblet for bait.  We caught them by the dozens.  Grandpa would smoke them and Grandma canned them.  Grandma's sister had a huge garden and put up all kinds of fruits, jellies, veggies and meats.  Her pantry was always chock full of home canned deliciousness.

Their legacy lives on, despite me not learning how to make the most of the harvest from them.  I have several of Grandpa's guns, and my brother has his '49 GMC pickup that has been in the family since it was new.  If you are lucky enough to still have older folks who have lived through lean and tough times and have the skills, take the time to sit at their feet and learn.  Do it now before it is too late.


News Notes


to the 3rd most popular preparedness blog in the world!  According to the Readers' Choice Rankings at Survival Top 50, my average score is just below Survival Blog and The Survival Podcast.  Can we get up to number two or one?  It takes just a couple of seconds to go here and click on that fifth star.  Thanks to everyone who keeps it going!

Get Paid To Eat Long Term Storage Food

NASA want to send you to Hawaii, feed you astronaut food, and pay you $5,000.  The catch?  You have to do it for four months, and according to this article from Forbes, "you have to have a bachelor’s degree in either math, engineering, biological or physical sciences, or computer science; you have to be a non-smoker; you have to speak English. Then if you are chosen, you have to live astronaut-style: in a small enclosure with strangers, with limited showers, writing daily reports."  I don't think it is for me, buy I bet folks will be applying left and right for it.

Whooping Cough

According to this article from Homeland Security Today, whooping cough is making a huge comeback and they are now saying that adults should all be vaccinated against it.  They've been vaccinating infants since the 40's, but one for adults has only come out in the past couple years.  They had an outbreak in California two years ago that infected over 9,000 people.  I don't remember whooping cough being a concern when I was younger.  Why is it making such a comeback?  I'm also not sure about a "new" vaccine...  I think I'll give it a few years (or longer) before I submit.

Ohio School Killings

The current news has three of the victims dead and two wounded.  This is the first mass killing by a student in a public high school in a couple years.  The killer's family first tried to say that he was a bullying victim, but now it is coming out that he was not.  He had some personality or behavior issues and was in an alternative school program, but he was not a bully victim. That is a cop out and pretty much a myth about school killers.  I'll be interested to hear Col. Dave Grossman's take on this next time I hear him speak.  My prayers are with the victims, their families and that community.


Survival Top 50... Almost!

You may have seen the Survival Top 50 website before.  Several of my favorite blogs are well represented at or near the top.  On the "runners up" page, they list from number 51 to 121.  They base the rankings on Google ranks and some other analytics.  I heard of this site several months ago, and If It Hits The Fan was not listed.  Well, that has changed!  We are now ranked as the 75th biggest survival and preparedness blog out there on the world wide web.  I have you all, my fantastic readers, to thank!

While I'm very excited about that ranking, I have a very quick favor to ask...  Survival Top 50 also has a section for "Readers' Choice."  I am currently in about 35th place (as of 0600: 7th place!) there.  If you like what I do here, please go to the If It Hits The Fan Readers' Choice voting page and vote as many stars as you think we deserve.  It will literally take you about 5 to 10 seconds and will really help shoot me up in the Readers' Choice rankings, which will also encourage more folks to check us out.  As Bartles & Jaymes used to say, "Thank you for your support."


Prepper Ponderings

Project BOV Update

I got the Jeep Commando home finally.  Yesterday, we cleared about 2,500 square feet of leaves, saplings and debris from the woods behind the yard fence and constructed a 10x20 garage tent structure.  A huge thanks go out to my SILs and BILs for helping us get it done.  Today, my dad and I replaced the Wrangler seats with some original style low back seats, and then I brought it home for good.  Here's a picture of it in the garage. 
I think these tent structures have some great applications to preppers and will do a full post about it this week.

Wyoming Is Getting Ready

Did you catch this article out of Cheyenne today?  The legislature there is proposing a study to help plan Wyoming's future in the aftermath of a complete economic breakdown or the collapse of the federal government.  They are even taking into account the potential for their own currancy, a Wyoming army, strike aircraft and even an aircraft carrier(?!)  I really can't wait until we are in a position to move there and set up a homestead on our 12 acres of paradise that we have near Laramie.

SHTF Dreams

Back in '93 or '94, when I was a young cop, one night I was called to a parking lot behind some businesses to check on a man lurking around some cars.  When I found the man and asked to speak to him, the crazy old man turned on me with a pistol in his hand.  A very tense few seconds followed with the fastest draw of my life, two "drop the gun!" and a "drop the fu!" as the double action trigger on my Sig Sauer P220 had pulled back the hammer nearly to the breaking point when the threw down his crappy, old .32 special revolver and I released my trigger.  The guy was mere ounces of trigger pull away from dying.  It turns out he truly was crazy and was found not guilty by reason of insanity.  He died several years later in the state mental hospital.  Could I have shot him?  Durn tootin'.  Why didn't I?  I don't know.  Something (or someone) led me to hesitate, ever so slightly.

For several weeks after that night, I had nearly nightly dreams that would wake me in a jolt.  Sometimes, I would fire and the bullets would just drop out of my muzzle.  Other times, my trigger pull was too heavy and I would pull and pull, but could never get it done.  Sometimes the old man would shoot me, other times I would shoot him.  After a while, the dreams stopped being nightly and moved to every few nights, then every few weeks, then every few months.  Today, almost 20 years later, I still have the dream every now and then.  I've never figured out what stressor triggers it (no pun intended).  I had the dream a couple nights ago where the bullets drop out of the muzzle.  On the whole PTSD scale, my dreams are probably the most miniscule and minor, but it is something to think about when preparing for SHTF.

Most people do not accept killing or lethal force situations as a normal day's event and will have some level of psychologial reaction.  Now would be the time to learn about Critical Incident Stress Debriefing before you need it.  I'd also encourage you to read On Killing, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and In the Gravest Extreme, by Massad Ayoob.  They are two good resources that address the mental aspects of lethal force.

And Speaking of Amazon...

I really want to thank all of you who have bought items from Amazon and have used my links to enter through my Amazon store.  That gives me a small commission, but costs the buyer nothing extra.  Those commissions help pay for books and products that I review and reference.  Thanks!


Anti-Terrorism Training

Not What I Was Led To Expect

Today I attended a training session from Dept. of Homeland Security about terrorism.  As I expected, there was a segment on "sovereign citizens."  In the past, there have been reports from different law enforcement agencies and various state fusion centers that included such things as NRA members, Ron Paul bumper stickers, and people who read the Constitution as indicators that you might be dealing with a "sovereign." 

In this class, they discussed the legitimate dangers of LEOs dealing with the hard core "sovereigns" such as those in the West Memphis killings from two years ago, but they did not paint a broad brush and include gun owners, survivalists, or libertarians.  All in all, it was very well ballanced and presented information that could help save lives.  If you've been following If It Hits The Fan very long, and especially if you follow us on the Facebook page, you know that I have no problem calling out the government and law enforcement when they go bad or overstep their authority.  But I also recognize them when they do the right thing, and in this case, I think DHS is doing it right.


Learning From a Young 'Un

A Pathfinder Youth's Videos

When I went to Dave Canterbury's Pathfinder School this past summer, there were several kids in the class.  One of the "Young 'Uns" as Dave called them, was a fellow named Michael who was at the school with his mom.  He was an enthusiastic learner, and was pretty knowledgeable as well.

He has started up his own YouTube channel under the name of CreeksideSurvival.  He's got up a dozen or so videos so far on everything ranging from gear he got a gun show, to using a camp stove, and setting up an inflatable raft as a bug out boat.

It is great when youngsters are getting out there and trying to make a positive difference.  I really hope you'll take a look at Creekside Survival's videos and encourage him to continue in his preparedness.


Gun Review: NAA Mini-Revolver

The Noisy Cricket

Back "in the day," I bought a North American Arms .22 long rifle Mini-Revolver with a 1 5/8" barrel.  I carried it quite a bit, including stuck in the trauma plate pouch on my body armor that I wore as a cop.  At some point, I sold it to a friend, but always had a bit of regret about it.

A couple of years ago, I found the 1 1/8" version at a gun show and had to get it.  It is amazing how much of a difference that 1/2 inch makes.  It fits in a 100mm size cigarette pack, the watch pocket of my jeans, the chest pocket of my denim jacket, rolled up in a wool watch cap brim, over the sun visor of my truck, or carried in the "driver's license" pocket of my swim trunks.  I even wet molded a leather belt holster (basketweaved for style) to carry it on my belt or clipped to a backpack strap.  I used to know a guy who drilled a hole in the grip and carried his on a dog tag chain around his neck.  It is truly a go anywhere pistol.

Now, is it a great defensive firearm, ready to do battle with brigands and bank robbers?  No.  But it is the gun you can have with you when circumstances discourage carrying a full sized one.  Fully loaded with 5 rounds of .22 long rifle, it weighs 5.1 oz.  With the holster, it hits a mere 5.8 oz.

So how does it work and how does it shoot?  The NAA is a single action, five shot revolver.  Single action means that the hammer has to be manually cocked for each shot.  You may know that old style Colt single actions, although "6-shooters," can only be safely carried with five rounds, and the hammer down on an empty chamber.  The NAA has a very smart, but simple solution... between each chamber is a hammer rest notch so that you can carry it fully loaded.  You just need to be careful to lower the hammer on the rest notch.  To load it, put the hammer on half cock, remove the cylinder retaining pin, roll the cylinder out of the frame, and drop in the five rounds (use the retaining pin to poke out empties).  Roll the cylinder back in, reinstall the retaining pin, and CAREFULLY lower the hammer into the rest notch.  To fire it, get the best grip you can manage with your middle finger and palm, lining up the gun so that it runs straight back in the web between your thumb and trigger finger, in a straight line with your wrist.  Cock it with your thumb, point it at the target and squeeze the trigger.  Notice I didn't say "aim" it at the target.  It may be different with other hand sizes, but the rudimentary sights are non-existent to me.  The trigger pull is very heavy, but crisp.

You're not going to win a bullseye competition with this thing.  It really is a last ditch weapon.  But, with practice, a person can easily hit center mass at five yards.  It's also not great for rapid fire.  The little .22 round has quite a sharp snap of recoil, and follow-up shots require a readjustment of your grip.  About 8 to 10 seconds is pretty good for five shots.

MSRP for this particular model is $209, but you can probably find it for $149-189 or so.  I highly recommend it for a backup or deep carry pistol.

If this version is not your cup of tea, they have a wide variety available in .22 short, .22 magnum, and even black powder cap & ball (you can get that one mail order with no federal firearms dealer or form 4473 in most states).  At the NAA website they also offer a ton of different accessories such as belt buckle carrying devices, various holsters, and a folding grip extension.  They also have links to distributors who offer limited edition models and artisans who make the little revolvers into usable works of art.  There are even lasers and yes, a bayonet available from aftermarket suppliers.

Additional information - This thing is great with CCI snake shot rounds.  I've taken quite a few skink lizards and sliders with mine as it rides in my pocket doing yard work.  It is also a great game to shoot pingpong balls tossed in the air in the back yard

Why do I call it the Noisy Cricket?  Ever see Men in Black?


Guest Post: Careers and Higher Ed. Opportunities

Education and Employment in Homeland Security and Emergency Management by Jesse Hartwell

After 9/11, our nation radically changed the way we deal with issues of homeland security and national emergencies. The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) work to effectively mitigate the effects of emergencies and disasters through strategic planning and policies. But how are individuals trained to work in these and other types of security and emergency programs? The answer: two of the fastest growing college degree programs in the U.S – Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Homeland Security – Degrees in Homeland Security can be earned at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s levels. Programs cover the main issues in homeland security, such as terrorism, biological hazards, and information security. Classes may also analyze existing practices and develop ideas for new policies and strategies through research and collaboration.

Emergency Management – These degrees can also be earned at the Associate’s Bachelor’s, and Master’s levels. Emergency Management courses prepare students in risk assessment, management and prevention, mitigation, and recovery. Since emergencies and disasters can range from terrorist attacks to natural catastrophes, students are trained to handle a wide variety of situations.

Careers – Most graduates of these two programs go on to careers in government agencies or the military. Some of these groups may include FEMA, Secret Services, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and other public agencies and the local, state, and federal level. Possible career titles include Emergency Management Specialist, Policy Analyst, Coast Guard officer, Border Patrol agent, or Intelligence Operations Specialist. These types of jobs are needed in every part of the country at all levels of government.

In fact, due to the increase of laws related to homeland security and disaster prevention and management, both of these fields will see significant job growth in the years to come. Disasters such as the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina have proven that our country needs to be more prepared to respond to emergencies. While police officers and firefighters are trained to arrive on the scene at a moment’s notice, it takes strategic planning and policies already in place to help mitigate the effects of such as disaster.

Jesse Harwell is a former private investigator who now owns and manages the site Master of Homeland Security.  It is a resource for students looking to earn a Master's Degree in Homeland Security.


Don't Call Me Mary-But I Can Be Contrary

Here's How My Garden Will Grow

This year I am expanding my garden from the 4x12 box I've used the past two years.  Along our chain link fence that gets fantastic amounts of sunlight, I'm putting in 18 feet of 2 ft. wide beds.  I'm attaching wooden trellis to the fence so the plants won't have direct contact with hot metal.  Because there is a grade along the fence going to the back part of the yard, I'm doing a three tiers, to keep the planting surface level and help with water retention.  I'm also going to put in a very small scale hugelkultur and bury a foot or two deep of rotting logs under the soil.  This will also aid in water retention.

In those beds, I've mapped out my tomatoes and peppers.  I'm putting in Tomatillo Verde, Buckbee's New Fifty Day, Gold Medal, Cherokee Purple, and Amish Paste for tomatoes.  For peppers, I'm going with Craig's Grande Jalapeno, Santa Fe Grande, Italian Pepperoncini, and Sweet Yellow Stuffing.  This should give me a nice variety of colors and flavors, for making salsa, tomato sauce, eating fresh and canning.

In my garden box, I'm putting in two types of carrots, Berlicum2 and Cosmic Purple (did you know that the original carrots were red and purple - orange is a relatively recent breeding?), Black Beauty zucchini, Aswad eggplant (an Iraqi heirloom that is all but extinct in its home country thanks to big-Ag and big-Government "helping" Iraqi farmers), Bronze D'Amposta onions, Beit Alpha cucumbers, Sugar Baby watermelons and a European Mesclun Salad mix.  In two small planter boxes I'm doing cilantro.  Did you know that cilantro is the leafy herb, but the seeds of the same plant are coriander?  I just learned that little tidbit.

My strawberry patch that I put in last year is still going strong and spreading on its own.  I'm expanding that bed to give them more room to grow on their own.

All of my vegetable seeds are coming from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  The coriander / cilantro are coming from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.  I plan to get the finishing touches on the greenhouse this week.  The things that need an early start should be going by the end of next weekend.

Have you got your garden planned, or even started yet?


Prepper Ponderings

Doomsday Prepper Experts

Thanks to Prepper Website for sending a link to his post about who the DP experts are.  You can read it here.  The experts are Engineer775 and Southern Prepper1.  They are two well known survival YouTubers who have organized prepper conferences in North Carolina, and were featured in the pilot episode of DP last year.  When they were on, DP actually didn't make them look nuts.  On Prepper Website, he links to one of their You Tubes where he talks about their roles on the show.  Listening to the explanation "from the horse's mouth" makes it more understandable   They have little impact in the show's direction, but try to do what they can to counsel the producers.  I still say it would make the show more credible to let the viewer know who they are.  Of course, I also want the producers to not edit so the people look foolish.

iPhone Game

My niece introduced me to a really fun iPhone app game that preppers will enjoy... Stupid Zombies.  And best of all... it's free!  You go through stages where zombies are on platforms and behind barricades, and you are the guy in the corner with a rifle.  The challenge is to shoot the zombies, using ricochets, rolling barrels and exploding 55 gallon drums.  It is a very unproductive use of your time, but lots of fun.

Terrorism in D.C. 

No, I don't mean Congress usurping our Liberty...  Did you hear about the Moroccan immigrant arrested for plotting to detonate a suicide vest outside the Capitol building yesterday?  According to the FBI, he had been brainstorming ways to do an attack for over a year and after he conducted surveillance and planning, undercover agents, posing as al-Queda representatives, provided him with a inoperable gun and suicide bomb vest.  Now, when I hear stories like this, I always wonder how much instigating the FBI did as agents provocateur, but in this case it seems to be a good bust that took a dangerous terrorist wannabe off the streets.


Get Your Own Hoodlum Knife

I should have put this up with yesterday's post, but if you want your own Hoodlum Knife, you can get it here from Amazon

Doomsday Debacle

NatGeo's Doomsday Preppers

About a year ago, we were approached by a producer for this show, and did a video submission.  I guess we were too normal and rational, because we never heard back... THANK GOODNESS!

When they had the pilot last fall, it was obvious that they were trying to show preppers as extremists and paranoids.  Well, so far, this season has continued that premise.  Several of the people they've shown have been fairly well known in the survival media business, and I'm afraid they've hurt their credibility, not so much with those who already knew about them, but with the "straights" who are new to the idea and tuned in to get some ideas and learn, but were presented with Jersey Shore with guns.  Two that come to mind are David Sarti and Christopher Nyerges.
Sarti under the name, DSarti1, has been a prolific YouTuber with a huge following.  I've seen a few of his clips, but never really cared for him myself.  I always thought he was pretty goofy.  His appearance of Doomsday Preppers just built upon that to make him look downright nuts, searching his property at night in his overalls carrying an M14.  As nutty as the show made him look, it seems he has gone and actually gotten the state of Tennessee to think he is mentally incompetant and they took away his guns.  That is a whole 'nuther story as they say.  If you want to know more, look him up on You Tube.  Suffice it to say, I don't believe his 15 minutes of fame helped in that matter.

Christopher Nyerges is a long time recognized expert in the field of wild edibles.  I remember reading his articles in American Survival Guide back in the early 90s.  The show made him out to be the next best thing to homeless, hanging out by the creek, eating weeds. 

A couple of specific criticisms about the show overall... after each segment, they come back with their "expert's" suggestions for the person.  Who is their "expert?"  Is it someone we all know?  Is it someone with a credible history or experience in this lifestyle?  I think it would add more to their credibility and make the show more useful if they at least gave the ID and background on the "expert."  Second, each person says, "I'm prepping for the shifting of the poles," or "We're prepping for an EMP attack."  No one says that they are prepping for disasters big and small, and that everything they do is to make their lives better whether things go bad or not.  I'm sure they all really do say that, but the editing is done to make them look like narrowly focused kooks.

My suggestion is to watch Doomsday Preppers if you have nothing better to do, you will probably pick up a helpful hint or two from each show.  What I don't think we need to do is to encourage our non-prepper friends to watch.  To the neophyte or novice, this show is guaranteed to either get them started in the wrong direction or scare them off of the idea completely.


Review: Swenson Custom Sheath for the Hoodlum Knife

Guest Post: Tim Adams Reviews Luke Swenson's Custom Sheath for the Hoodlum Knife

If you missed it, please check out the review of Ron Hood's Hoodlum knife that Tim did on August 19th of last year.  In it, Tim shared an email exchange that he had with Ron just days before he passed away.  Ron mentioned that for his personal Hoodlum, he used a custom sheath from Luke Swenson.  I connected with Luke and was able to secure a T&E sample of the sheath for Tim to report on.  Here it is:

As readers of IfItHitsTheFan.com may recall, I recently wrote a review of the beyond excellent “Hoodlum” knife conceived and created by the great Ron Hood. In that review I shared a treasured piece of correspondence that I received from Ron only days before he left for his eternal walkabout. I had sent an email to Ron, which I had done infrequently over the past decade or so, to comment on this or that aspect of a video or product he and Karen had brought into a grateful world. On this occasion, I wrote to thank him for pouring his entire wisdom into his latest creation, the Hoodlum knife. Mine had just arrived and I was writing to thank him for personally signing the inside of the micarta slabs on the handle…and to bust his chops for allowing Buck Knives to send it down range in a CHI-COM sheath, of all things!! Ron, ever the gentleman, replied that he understood my concern and that HIS Hoodlum had no truck with the Dragon either…But rather rode in a custom sheath made for him by a craftsman by the name of Luke Swenson. Very shortly thereafter, Ron left us to fend for ourselves albeit after dedicating his life to teaching us how to do just that. Enter my boon companion and partner in no small number of crimes, Donald Green, the host of If It Hits The Fan. Apparently his readership extends to the great Republic of Texas and he had connected with Luke Swenson. Luke and Donald came up with a plan to provide yours truly with an evaluation sample Luke Swenson sheath for my Hoodlum and quiet my bellyaching once and for all.

Since I was already going to be in Las Vegas at the S.H.O.T. Show, Luke and I planned to meet there. I had learned only days before in a conversation with Luke that he was making a sheath for my Hoodlum and that he wanted me to HAVE it to test and report on. Hopefully it goes without saying that I was THRILLED! The idea of meeting Luke to receive a sheath just like Ron’s for my Hoodlum…especially in light of the message from Ron, was so far fetched that it was understandably incredible.

Some associates of mine and I were hosting industry guests at a suite in the Mirage when in walked a tall, quiet man and his lovely companion whom I soon learned was his wife. It was immediately apparent to me that this could only be Mr. Swenson. In short order we went from introductions to him producing the sheath and my jaw quite literally dropped open as I stared in disbelief at what he had presented to me. I sincerely hope that you have had the opportunity in your life to behold an artifact that is truly transcendent. Art is art, regardless of the medium, and the sheath produced by Luke as a mate for my Hoodlum was indeed a piece of working art, worthy of a spot on Robert Falcon Scott’s belt.

Luke’s sheath design for the Hoodlum is a friction-fit frontier style with no mechanical security strap-a design I have always preferred. Because Luke understands the constraints of the operational environment, the top strap of the sheath has grommets on either side of where the handle rests to facilitate lashing down the handle thus rendering it “jumpable”. Continuing down the back of the sheath I was very impressed to find two straps running perpendicular to the length of the sheath that allow for running the sheath parallel with a belt-as well as allowing for M.O.L.L.E. style attachment to your kit…Very well thought out! There is a similar strap running across the sheath on the front about three quarters of the length down that is useful in and of itself, but it also is purposely included to provide a lashing point for a pouch he’s designed to house various and sundry survival odds and ends. Luke clearly understands not only the mechanics of excellent construction, but also the way stuff works! The bottom-most strap on the back of the sheath contains a slightly dropped grommet that is the PERFECT place to anchor your leg tie-down! It’s not at the bottom peak of the sheath where you’ll find 99% of other grommets for the same purpose…Why? Because when you put it there the bottom of the sheath (and hopefully NOT the knife) jabs into your leg when you’re maneuvering because there is nowhere else for it to go! Anybody who’s ever been operational in any capacity knows that it’s the little things that distinguish one piece of kit from another and Luke Swenson gets it.

The absolute pièce de résistance was that Luke had hand stippled the logo of my company into the front of the sheath! This act of gentility and skill left no question that my new sheath, as well as my new friend Luke, would remain dear to me until the day that I might hope to join the likes of Ron Hood on my own walkabout through eternity.

Hoodlum Knife in the Swenson Sheath

Luke Swenson's Sheath (L); Hoodlum Knife (C); Factory Sheath (R)
Luke Swenson's Mark
Back of the Sheath with M.O.L.L.E. Points

I want to thank Tim for writing this review, and Luke for providing the sheath.  I've seen the sheath and the pictures really don't do it justice.  It is superbly constructed, securely holds the knife, and extremely well designed.  In addition to sheaths, Luke also makes some really cool "Hardcore Knives for Hardcore Adventure" with a lifetime warranty.  Give his site a visit at http://www.swensonknives.com/ and see the quality of all of his work.

Thor's Hammer For Regular Folks

Cold Steel War Hammer

A very good friend with a long history  (about 30 years) of martial arts and a big focus on non-conventional weapons highly recommends the War Hammer from Cold Steel.  I need to get him to write a guest post about different alternative weapons.

Here's a video from Cold Steel of the War Hammer in action.


13 Rules for Packing Heat

Happy Valentine's Day

Just a quick post tonight because I'm spending Valentine's evening with my sweetie!

Herewith are thirteen things to remember when carrying your weapon.

1. Guns have only two enemies rust and politicians.
2. It’s always better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
3. Cops carry guns to protect themselves, not you.
4. Never let someone or something that threatens you get inside arms length.
5. Never say, “I’ve got a gun.” If you need to use deadly force, the first sound they hear should be the safety clicking off.
6. The average response time of a 911 call is 23 minutes; the response time of a .357 is 1400 feet per second.
7. The most important rule in a gunfight is: Always win – cheat if necessary.
8. Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets . . . You may get killed with your own gun, but he’ll have to beat you to death with it, because it’ll be empty.
9. If you’re in a gunfight:- If you’re not shooting, you should be loading.- If you’re not loading, you should be moving.- If you’re not moving, you’re dead.
10. In a life and death situation, do something . . . It may be wrong, but do something!
11. If you carry a gun, people call you paranoid. Nonsense! If you have a gun, what do you have to be paranoid about?
12. You can say ‘stop’ or ‘alto’ or any other word, but a large bore muzzle pointed at someone’s head is pretty much a universal language.
13. You cannot save the planet, but you may be able to save yourself and your family.

I don't know the attribution for this, but it's funny and pretty much true.


Terrorism Hot Spots

Terrorism in the American Redoubt

I read an article in Homeland Security Today... today that raised concerns on several different levels.  It's a brief article summarizing a new DHS report mapping terrorism incidents in the US since 1970.  It does make the valid point that terrorism is crime, but doesn't account for what got a crime listed on the report as terrorism.  The two issues that raised the most concerns for me were that according to the report, terrorism has struck all over the country, including in the American Redoubt (a phrase coined by Jim Rawles); and that the report promotes the common refrain that "right wingers" who are against government interference, taxes etc... are so important as to be listed first... well ahead of religious zealots (Islamists) and single-issue attackers such as abortion clinic bombers and environmental terrorists.  The one thing the article did not do was show the map.

To save you from digging for it, I have posted the full report to my Library Resources page here.  It's 34 pages of "scholarly" writings, graphs, charts and maps.  I'd really encourage you to download it and read it.  Throughout the text, it refers to international terrorism, recent immigrants and converts to radical Islam, and what we typically think of when we think of "terrorism."  However, it still lists "right wing" terrorists at the top.  I think this really brings forth the idea that the administration tries to paint people like us with a broad, evil brush.

The map is very interesting.  It shows attacks throughout Eastern Washington and Oregon, all of Idaho, and Western Montana and Wyoming.  But it doesn't list what the ideological reasons for all of them are.  It's almost as if "they" just want people to believe the headlines.  Pay no attention to the man behind the green curtain...

Welcome to a New Affiliate Sponsor!

I'm very pleased to be able to add Survivalist Magazine as an affiliate sponsor!  Survivalist (formerly known as Complete Survivalist) is a fairly new magazine, but is quickly proving to be what I consider the heir apparent to the old American Survival Guide.  Some recent articles have included EMP, Collapse Medicine, and Dairy Goats.  They also have a selection of in-depth survivalism guidebooks available on-line, and the sponsor an annual survivalist conference.  I and several of my friends subscribe, and I encourage you to as well.  If you use the official links from If It Hits The Fan, I'll get a small commission to help keep this blog going and buy gear to test.  Check it out!


Site Review: BestPreparednessDeals.com

A Good Way To Get Deals

Not too long ago, a fellow blogger named Rourke started a new page dedicated to helping preppers find the best deals on gear and other items.  It's a great idea and Rourke executes it nicely.  Each day, he finds a deal of the day and puts it up on the site.  It might be a coupon code, a particularly good sale on Amazon, or a closeout special.  Some of the items over the past week include a selection of paracord bracelets, organic long term storage foods, and one of my favorites, the USMC Ka-Bar knife.

Give Best Preparedness Deals a visit, and tell Rourke you heard about it here.


It's Getting Closer

New Lyme Disease Map

I found this article in Homeland Security Today about research that has produced a new Lyme disease map.  It's an interesting article and discusses how these researchers were much more thorough than those in the past who just relied on diagnoses that may or may not have been accurate.

But they did not show the map...

When I got home this evening, I did some more searching and found the map the article is talking about.
lyme disease map, yale school of public health
Looks like Wisconsin and the North East, especially along the coast, are at the highest risk.  Of particular note to me is that we are right on the edge between "low risk" and a "transitional area."

Oh well, at least we don't have Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever around here!


2 In A Row

More For The Resource Library

Tonight I've added the FEMA manual, "Are You Ready?" to the resource library.  "Are You Ready?" is truly an "all-hazards" crisis guide for the home.  It features information and suggestions related to a wide variety of potential disasters.  It offers guidance to the novice prepper, and because it's "from the government," many friends and family will see it as non-threatening and not "like that crazy 'Doomsday Prepper' show."  Although aimed at the novice, everyone should find something useful in the book.  I found the checklists to be helpful.


More Library Resources

The LDS Folks Have Great Information

A gentleman named Christopher M. Parrett at www.abysmal.com/ put together the LDS Preparedness Manual and has made it available for free or "at cost" distribution on his site.  I thank him for his efforts and generosity.

For your convenience, I've added the LDS Preparedness Manual to my page of Library Resources.  You can download it here.

This manual is over 200 pages of valuable information.  The first section is LDS-specific information relating preparedness to their beliefs and teachings.  The rest is solid prepper info.  Some of the highlights include checklists, info about long term storage and regular grocery store food, emergency gear and equipment, and terrorism.  It's a great way to introduce friends and loved ones to the idea of prepping without scaring them or making them think you are a Walter Mitty type.  "Read this handbook, Uncle Joe.  You know, those Mormons teach that their members ought to keep emergency food and supplies on hand.  That's probably pretty good advice for everyone."


Guest Post: Shelf Reliance Consultant

Why Store Food? by Sherri Bauer, Independent Consultant for Shelf Reliance

Why store food? Well depending on where you live there are a number of reasons to do it. Hurricanes, snow storms, flooding, job loss and economic depression are just a few reasons to think about food storage. It can be a bit daunting if you don’t know what to look for in a food storage company. I did quite a bit of research before ending up using Shelf Reliance for my storage and emergency supply needs. Besides the choices in food, Shelf Reliance does things differently than most food storage companies. They began by selling their food rotation shelving units and 1 year food storage in places like Sam's Clubs, but they felt they weren’t able to reach enough people. You would only be able to buy their 1 yr food supply and have no choice in foods. So 2 years ago they decided to go the direct selling route. They felt this would get the food out to the public so people could taste and cook with it to see how they like it. They do cooking demonstrations in your home so you can try the different foods. It is good enough to eat every day and most of the food stays fresh in the cans unopened for 25 years. To make it easy they have a food storage calculator so you can customize your food storage and pick the foods you want and the amount of storage you want. There is also the Q, which is a monthly payment plan where you can set your budget and they pull foods from your storage calculator and send it to you monthly. If you are concerned with allergies they also have a list of gluten free and MSG-free foods and also list non-GMO foods.

In addition to their THRIVE foods, they have the shelves for food rotation, emergency kits, and lots of emergency supplies. So whether you want to have a well stocked emergency kit or are an avid camper or hiker you can find some of the best equipment around.

There several ways you can purchase from Shelf Reliance. You can go to the main website, consultants websites , or through a consultant. You get the best prices on the products when you purchase through a consultant. I chose to become a consultant to save money and to build my food storage at the same time.

Thanks, Sherri!
Shelf Reliance has been one of our great sponsors for nearly a year, and Sherri is one of a number of Shelf Reliance consultants that read If It Hits The Fan.  I want to thank her for sending us this look at the Shelf Reliance consultant program.  If you are interested in Thrive foods or other SR products, please visit Sherri's site at www.sherribauer.shelfreliance.com.


Starbucks BUYcott

2$ for 2A at Starbucks

Starbucks in an interesting business in the world of 2nd Amendment advocacy.  In most states that allow concealed or open pistol carry, private businesses are allowed to prohibit customers from carrying in their establishments.  Among business that do that are Buffalo Wild Wings and TGI Fridays.  Some places don't set a corporate policy and allow local franchisees to make the decision.

Starbucks is often thought of as a place for liberals to get their pretentious caffeine fix.  But they do something good for gun owners.  The corporate policy is for local franchises to be no more restrictive than the local law.  State won't allow open carry?  Can't do it at Starbucks.  State does allow open carry?  Can do it at Starbucks.  Same for concealed carry.  Some time ago, the libs found out about this and began a campaign to have Starbucks bar all firearms.  They've held firm.

One anti-gun group is trying to organize a boycott of Starbucks on Valentine's Day (Feb. 14th - don't forget your wife or husband) to get them to change their policy.  There is a grassroots movement afoot for pro-gun folks to counter the boycott with a BUYcott.  To emphasize the reason, folks are encouraged to go to their banks to get a few two dollar bills, then use them on their Feb. 14th Starbucks purchase, along with telling the cashier or manager thank you for supporting the Second Amendment. 

I don't drink coffee, but I'll be going to Starbucks with my $2 bills next Tuesday to get an ice tea or something like that.  I encourage you to do the same.  If you have an extra $2 bill or two, pick up a drink for someone else in line and tell them the purpose.

But I still refuse to order a "grande."  I always get a "large."


Prepper Ponderings

Amazing Survival Story

Did you see this story out of Oregon?  A couple and their adult son got lost for six days in the southern Oregon wilderness after mushroom hunting.  They sheltered in a hollowed out log, and could see search & rescue choppers above them, but the tree canopy was too thick for the choppers to see them, and they had no way to signal.  Searchers found a Pepsi can, mushroom bucket and some clothing.  Some basic survival knowledge could have let them be found much earlier.  They did not tell anyone where they were going.  The Pepsi can could have been ripped open and the inside used as a mirror signal to the choppers, and of course the clothing could have kept them warmer.  Funny thing is that they live in Gold Beach, the hometown of Backwoods Home Magazine.  Hopefully they will read a few back issues and learn a few things before they go out again.

Rendering Unto Caesar

Well, we did the taxes yesterday.  We ended up owing the feds $10 more than what our state refund is.  It doesn't get much closer than that!  I used to be the type that was excited about a large refund, but I now realize that I'd be giving Uncle Sam an interest free loan of my money.  A $10 net payment means we have our withholding down almost to the penny.  Take THAT, IRS!!!  Bwaa haaa haaa!

Possible Training Opportunity

How many of you would be interested in a one-day tactical pistol class?  We're looking at setting it up for a Saturday or Sunday in late Spring or early Summer in the Central Virginia area.  The lead instructor is a colleague who is a former SWAT officer with extensive experience training with and for military groups preparing for assignments overseas.  The class would not be for a novice gun owner wanting a concealed weapons permit, but for the moderate-to-experienced shooter who wants to learn and practice shooting on the move, using cover and tactics, tactical reloading and other skills that can help keep you alive.  We're looking at a probable cost of about $200-250 or so.  I'm not looking for commitments, just testing the waters for interest.  If this is something you might like to take part in, shoot me an email here, leave a comment on this post, or message me on Facebook.

Upcoming Guest Post

Check in Tuesday for a guest post from a reader who is a Thrive Foods consultant.