Archive for January, 2012

The “go bag” is an essential part of any preparedness plan. I keep mine in my vehicle and transfer it with me when I switch vehicles for work or when I ride in my wifes vehicle. Some people may say it is a sign of paranoia, it’s a waste of money, or even that it’s not practical because the odds of needing it are so low. Ultimately, it’s not up to anyone else whether or not you carry a bag, it’s your decision. I also can’t tell you everything you should have, or even necessarily how much of something you should have, this list is not comprehensive and is merely a suggestion based on how I see things.

The bag itself:
3 Day Assault Pack.
Price: $40-$100+

This pack is the perfect size to keep in the trunk or backseat. Typically available in black, olive drab, or camouflage. I suggest buying a bag that has the MOLLE system, they are ideal for accessorizing your pack and not eating up space inside that pack. I would also suggest getting a bag that has a space for a hydration pouch (camelback).

I got my wife a Red Rock assault pack off of eBay for $40 with free shipping. Its a good little bag, but it was advertised as a 3 Day pack and there is no way it is, it is far smaller. It’s well made and has good compartmentalization.

Keys to a successful Go Bag


What good is the stuff in the bag if you don’t know what you have? Or if you can even find it?

Lists – I suggest maybe a small note card sized laminated (for waterproofing) list of what is in your bag and where it is located in the bag. I suggest another list, most likely printer paper sized and laminated that summarizes what everything in the bag can be used for.

A good tip for the order of listing the contents is in the categories of Critical, Crucial, and Necessary. Everything in this bag has a purpose, some items are of higher priority.

Critical Items- (Items that you are more likely to die without) Ex: Water and water purification, Food, First Aid, Fire Starting Tools, Protection, Shelter Items

Crucial Items- (Items that are complimentary to critical items or are crucial to survival just not of the highest priority) Ex: Containers, Compass, Signaling Items, Cutting Tools

Necessary Items- (Items that are of the lowest priority but are still valuable for survival or rescue) Ex: Space blanket, hand tools, duct tape

These 2 lists will save you time, frustration, and possibly your life.

Color coded bags – extremely useful for streamlining organization. Each bag is a different color, sometimes vary in size, and are typically waterproof.

Example of use: all first aid supplies in the red bag.

Your organization list should then read something similar to

First Aid-Rear Compartment-Red Bag

It is easy to see the advantages of compartmentalizing your equipment and listing it for easy access. Little things like this can save you critical time in a survival situation.


This is a go bag, not a sit bag. The objective is not to have everything you need to set up a permanent encampment, the objective is to cover your basic survival needs and keep you capable of traveling to another location and easily transfer those basic necessities with you.

Weight– We are trying to get the most bang per pound. If items have a specific purpose and are critical there should be at least one back up, in my opinion, 2 back ups. If items are not critical they should be able to be doubled or tripled for other purposes. I also love items that are multiple items combined into one. This saves space and weight. We want the lightest pack that can do the most.

Size– The bag should not be too large for your body, not just in weight but in dimension. Get a bag that properly fits your body shape and height.


The most expensive is not always the best. In some circumstances cheaper items are of equal quality, in others the difference in quality is not worth the savings. Water purification is an example of something that should not be skimped on, but not all 3 options for water purification need to be expensive. I will cover that a little more later.


The key strategies of successfully employing your go bag are:

Speed and Efficiency– quickly and efficiently implement the contents of your bag into whatever situation you are in

Accessibility– your bag should be easily accessible during vehicular travel, and the contents should be easily accessible while on foot or bike.

Manueverability– your bag should be easily carried while walking, running, riding a bike, or driving in a car.

Hideability– a bright pink bag will be seen for long distances, and easily spotted in your backseat. Think of concealment in your vehicle and on your person, don’t let your bag give you away.

Weatherization– the more water proof the better. All zippers should be completely closed and the pulls should be down toward the bottom of the zipper to prevent water leakage during rain and snow. Try not to include items that are damaged by freezing, or items that will melt.

* when something is described as being for emergency use it is not a primary means for that particular method

1.) Critical Contents

Water and Water Purification (carry the means for at least 3 methods)

– 2 bottles of purified water (does not count as a method)
– Water filtration and purification pump (Katadyn Combi)
– Bleach
– Items for Boiling Technique
– Water Purification Tablets
– Betadine (doubles as water purification and antiseptic)

Fire Starting (carry the means for at least 3 methods)

-Magnesium fire starter (best for damp and/or windy conditions)
-Waterproof matches and striker
-Fire Starter Logs with match striking end and striker
-Windproof lighter
-Several BIC cigarette lighters
-Mirror (doubles as fire starter and signal)
-Cotton Balls (doubles as emergency fire tinder and first aid)

Food (short term supply, not intended to live off of, but to sustain you while you find more permanent sources)

– Beef Jerky Sticks individually wrapped (Slim Jims)
– High Protein Bars
– Freeze dried fruits and vegetables


-Small tarpaulin (doubles as shelter and poncho)
-550 Cord (uses include: strapping, tying, cinching, lifting, dragging,etc.)
-Bungee Cords
-Hammock (optional)

First Aid

-Basic first aid kit (band aids,tape,gauze,wraps,etc.)
-Betadine (doubles as antiseptic and emergency water purification)
-Alcohol (doubles as antiseptic and emergency fire starting)
-Cotton balls (doubles as first aid and emergency fire starter)
-Clotting Patches (for excessive bleeding wounds)

Protection (carry the means for at least 3 methods)

-Hand Gun (optional, only suggested for those trained in using a pistol)
-Rifle (will not fit in your bag obviously, but is a nice addition,also optional for those with rifle experience)
-Pepper spray
-Stun Gun (doubles as personal protection and can be used for fire starting)
-Ammo for any firearm that you may choose to carry
-Knives (carry at least 3) Below is a short list of the types to carry

1.)Bowie Knife and sheath (get one that has one piece of steel for the blade and through the handle, the handle can be clad in wood, plastic, or rubber) I carry 2 of these.

2.) Machete (used for chopping firewood, clearing brush, defense, etc.) Difficult to carry but possibly one of the most useful tools for wilderness survival.

3.) Folding knife with clip or caribeener (keep this knife in your front pocket, or hanging from the shoulder strap of your bag) I carry one in my pocket at all times, surprisingly handy.

4.) Multitool Folding Knife (equipped with 1 long blade, 1 short blade, file, screw driver, can opener, pliers, etc.) I carry 2 of these. Leatherman brand are more expensive but are high quality and built to use.

2.) Crucial Contents


Compass- carry 2 different types of compass: magnetic and lensatic

Maps- maps of your area of travel, maps to get you home, maps of your typical area (maps should ideally be foldable and laminated, keep a dry erase marker to use on laminated maps)

Binoculars or monocular- the smaller the better, from a high vantage point you can see long distances and look for resources, threats, and topology

Water Repellent Gear

Poncho’s- I carry 2 of the cheapest ponchos available, your tarp can also be fashioned into a poncho.

Rain Suit- (optional) I suggest Frogg Toggs, they are light, fold virtually flat, and work very well

Tarp- used as poncho, shelter roof, wind break, sleeping mat

Clothes-take up a lot of space, I don’t suggest much clothing in your bag, but there are a few key pieces. Ideally you are dressed for the season. I keep a spare coat and coveralls in my truck during winter, we keep blankets and spare coats in our car trunk as well.

Socks- wool socks in the winter, cotton socks in the summer, keep at least one extra pair in a waterproof bag, dry fresh socks can help prevent blisters and frostbite

Hat- wool cap in winter, shade creating wide brimmed hat in summer

Gloves- heavy leather work gloves for use when working, mittens or insulated gloves for winter

Underwear- for comfort and hygiene, gives you an opportunity to wash and dry another pair, can prevent rashes and discomfort, store in waterproof bag

Signaling (at least 3 methods should be carried)

Mirror- (uses include: signaling, fire starting, sight assistance, first aid)

Whistle- (uses include: rescue assistance, defense against wild animals (not much), long distance communication)

Flare- (used for signaling, emergency fire starting, torch)

Strobe- (flashing firecracker) short life, prone to ruin, not a good primary signal but can be used at night to augment a better signal effort

Flashlight- (covered more in flashlight section)

Flashlights (at least 3 lights in at least 3 different types)

LED Torch– about 5-6 inches long, metal construction, on and off only (a light that has multiple dims requires you to click the switch 3 or 4 times for each use, this will wear out the switch quicker and render your light useless)

Solar LED – I have a good one that my sister got me from LL Bean, hang it panel side out on your pack and let it charge during the day, you can switch to a backup battery whenever the solar charged battery is down.

Dynamo LED – most hand crank lights come attached to a radio, and have flashing red lights as well, the major downside is size, but no sun or charged battery is required for use.

LED Cap Light or Miner’s Light – cap lights attach to the brim of a ball cap and illuminate wherever you turn your head, miners lights have an elastic strap and can be worn on your head regardless of what type of hat you’re wearing.

Glow Sticks – Minimal illumination, one use, but are waterproof. Great to throw into a puddle to gauge depth. Also great for illumination without giving off a light that can be seen for long distances.

Survival Manuals (kept in waterproof bag)

– SAS Survival Guide – available in a small easy to stow size, comprehensive, easy to read, has pictures for demonstration, great educational and reference tool

– Book of local plant and animal wildlife for the region you are in

– First Aid Field Manual or Basic First Aid Guide


Waterproof bags – zip lock, or vinyl drawstring bags
Water bottles
Condoms – easy storage, good for water proofing, also good for carrying water
Waterproof match holder (I found one at Bass Pro that has a compass, whistle, and mirror all in one, probably available on eBay)

Cutting Tools

– Machete – as mentioned earlier
– Small camping axe – available at Wal Mart
– Knives
– Scissors – first aid, utility
– Box Cutter/ Utility Razor Knife
– Cable limb saw

Food Collection

– Fishing line – used for fishing, snares, trip wire, utility
– Fishing hooks
– Netting for trapping or saning a body of water

Health (carry all of the listed items)

– Chap stick and/or lip balm
– Vaseline (wind protection, protects burns from getting infected)
– Sunscreen (High SPF)
– Healing Diaper Cream (use on chaffing or chapped skin)
– Anti Diarreheal tablets
– Bug Spray
– Spare Eyeglasses in hard carrying case
– Sunglasses
– Toothpaste and/or floss (dental problems are painful and dangerous, keep up on prevention even in a survival situation)
– Saline solution to flush eyes
– Prescription Medications
– OTC Medications (Acetamenaphine, Ibuprofen, Antihistamine)

Necessary Items

Hand Tools

– Pliers
– Wire Cutters
– Screw Drivers
– Hammer
– Saw


– Duct Tape
– Bailing Wire
– Electrical Tape
– Reusable Cloth Shopping Bag (good for gathering fruits, berries, tinder)
– Bungee Cords (shelter use, potential for weaponry)
– Ratcheting Tie Strap (shelter use, lifting heavy objects, lashing)
– Caribeiner Clips
– Fanny Pack (use to make space in your back pack)
– Spare Batteries
– Soap
– A motivational book (read if you become discouraged or complacent, I suggest reading your survival manuals during any down time not used for sleep, water purifying, food gathering, fire starting and building, or shelter construction)
– Crossword puzzles, problem solving games (something for occasional entertainment, pick activities that keep your mind sharp)
– Manual can opener
– Mess kit
– Hobo Eating Utensil
– Bottle opener, cork puller
– Stainless steel flask
– Salt and Garlic

As I stated earlier this is not a comprehensive list, or even a list that you have to stick by, add and subtract items based on your skill set, comfort level, and individual necessities. Climate, season, and weather should also play a role in what you carry in your bag.


Periodically take your bag out and look through it. Practice with it. Think about what should and shouldn’t be in it. Go for a hike with it on, determine whether it is comfortable to carry or if you need a different pack, also determine if the pack is too heavy for you.

Comment below if you have anything to add. I applaud and thank you if you managed to read this far, I was VERY long winded on this one!


War Is A Racket

Posted: January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.” – Smedley Butler

Take some time to google Smedley Butler, (after reading my post of course) an amazing man that you’ve most likely never heard of.

I know it can seem very generic to start a post with a quote. Having conceded that, I have to say that there is nothing generic or redundant about the words of great men and women who stood or are still standing for the freedom of our people. Smedley Butler spoke out about the American military industrial complex in its infancy, he was followed by several other great military men over time, including President Dwight Eisenhower who warned of the dangers of the military industrial complex in his last speech before leaving office.

Today we see the effects of decades of militarism on our economy, on our society, and on our foreign relations.

Militarism has co-opted the fiscal policy and monetary policy of the United States. Military spending (black budget not included) is 28-38% of the Federal Governments budget. Our currency is the reserve currency of the world and has been been turned into a weapon. The federal government uses debt, interest rates, and issuance of currency to wage economic wars on foreign nations.

The military industrial complex employs vast numbers of Americans making it a part of the social fabric of the nation, thus making military budget cuts painful to the individuals employed in that sector. America has developed a “War First” attitude as a result, this is a dangerous paradigm. We now must wage war to prevent economic destitution, as explained in my previous post, “War Is Not An Export”, war is highly destructive to the economy of a nation over the long term despite its seeming benefits to economy in the short term and its capability to make billions of dollars for well connected companies.

Blowback is a term coined originally by the CIA in reference to retaliationĀ  against American intelligence officers for the actions of the CIA or US military. Blowback is a definite factor in the suffering state of American foreign relations. America’s actions as the worlds policeman and dominant currency holder have undoubtedly created hard feelings between America and other nations. We are all familiar with the term “bad press”, war is an ugly affair and can create a lot of “bad press” for a country, even from accidents.

Smedley Butler said that “war is a racket” used to benefit the few at the expense of many. I have no doubt in my mind that war has been used in that fashion by the United States in the past and in all likelihood it will happen again in the future. Let’s just hope we have someone like Smedley Butler with the courage to stand up and speak out.

Im going to start a series of posts focused on our current governmental shortcomings. This post will cover the fallacy that war spurs economic growth. Subsequent posts will show that war leads to the rationing of goods, the decline of liberty, as well as growth of the centralized government. I will also touch on the concept that somehow bringing our troops home is bad for the economy, along with several smaller points. Hard hitting stuff I know, but I’m passionate about these topics and want to further the conversation however I can.

Fallacy: War ends recessions and spurs economic growth.

I can’t say this is completely false, because technically it can spur growth in certain economic statistics, and can push a country from an economic “recession”. BUT, this growth is not real economic growth. The recession doesn’t truly end, simply put, some of the numbers used to define a recession change.

The so called economic growth is in all actuality just a reallocation of labor and cash. Think with me. There are 100 unemployed people in city A. The government of City A declares war on City B. As a result a tank factory is needed in city A to produce tanks for the war. City A employs the 100 workers that do not currently have jobs, this is great right? The war has created 100 jobs!

But wait a minute, to pay the 100 workers salaries the government in City A has to raise taxes on the businesses and residents of City A. In turn the residents have more money removed from their wages to support the war. This means that the residents have less money to spend at area businesses.

Now, not only are businesses in City A being hit with higher taxes issued from the government they are also dealing with less demand for their products. The businesses of City A are left with no choice, they must lay off workers to compensate for lost revenues. (other cost cutting measures would likely preceed layoffs, but would likely cause the same effect) Logically if the 100 new government salaries need to be paid then the equivalent amount of cash needs to be removed from the private sector salaries of City A to cover it. That means 100 people who were previously employed are now without jobs. Thus creating a net gain of ZERO. 100 hired – 100 fired = 0

This doesn’t account for the money spent on tank materials, soldiers, ammunition, food for the front, clothing, boots, tents, blankets, etc., etc., etc. All of which are funded by taxes on the private sector in City A. The result of this war is a net loss.

So how does a country successfully wage war without creating negative economic effects? In short,they can’t. Short term bonuses inevitably lead to long term negative trends. Initially City A’s unemployed were all gainfully employed, but in the long term other people lost their jobs to sustain the war effort.

The other angle that I would like to take is a little more touchy and if I don’t phrase it correctly it will sound as though Im anti military. I am not. I support our military, I just don’t want those men and women put in harms way for anything less than the defense of our nation. Going to war to end a recession is not acceptable, it is in fact counterproductive.

By trade John is a carpenter. John earns his money doing handyman work in City A. His friends and neighbors gladly pay for his services because he is performing tasks that they either can’t do or don’t want to do. He is supplying a service to meet a demand. John is upset when he hears that City A has declared war on City B. He is a reservist and is called up to fight. John is no longer able to do repairs because he is fighting in City B. As a result of war City A has lost the productivity of John inside its community. The money that would have typically changed hands is instead sitting dormant in a cookie jar. John is no longer engaged in an activity that benefits the economy of the community he is now taking money out of the community and returning nothing. ( of course we are assuming that the war with City B is not for the defense of City A from City B’s armies; in that case John would be contributing to the defense and welfare of city A)

As I stated before my predictions for South Carolina, Im not very good at predicting things. But not in my wildest dreams would I have thought that there were enough suckers in South Carolina to allow Newt Gingrich to win, little own let Ron Paul finish in 4th.

As a result, I am starting to lose faith in the ability of our nation to save itself from implosion. The slow death our nation is dying from is completely solvable at this point. But it is as though the majority of Americans are wanting to slip into insolvency, wage multiple simultaneous wars, strip themselves of freedoms, and let the government control all of our lives. They continue to vote for establishment Neoconservative Big Government puppets.

Do people really value a snarky smart ass who is so arrogant and so self absorbed that he walks around telling people he will be the nominee and eventually the President. Are there really enough people that are so misinformed and easily swayed that someone like Newt Gingrich could actually become our President?

I just listened to Rick Santorum give his post primary speech and I was left wondering how roughly 20% of the voters in South Carolina could vote for the guy. He just went on and on about family and marriage for 10 minutes, and he is right, families are important. But what in the hell does that have to do with government? What in the hell does that have to do with being President? Is this a contest for the most likable person? I think that your stance on marriage and family values is just as important as Newt wanting an open marriage. I DON’T CARE!

What are you going to do to balance the budget now, not in 10 years, ASAP?
How much will you lower my taxes?
How much excess will you cut from the government budget?
What criteria will you use for asking congress to declare war?
What lobbyist and special interest groups stand behind you?
How will you decrease regulations, bureaucracy, and military waste?
How will you get the government out of our personal lives?
Will you treat all people fairly? Regardless of sexual preference, age, gender, race, or religious belief?
Will you protect human life? Not just from abortion, but from war also?
Will you reach out to the world with a hand of peace, or a fist of aggression?
Will you respect the sovereignty of other nations?
Will you stand behind the constitution and its amendments?
What steps will you take to eliminate the Federal Reserve system?
How many bills will you sign that give money to special interest?
How much foreign aid will you hand out to the world?
What will you do with the TSA?
Will you sign bills like SOPA? How about the NDAA?

There is only one candidate who correctly answers these questions.
There is only one candidate who has a proven track record on these issues.
There is only one choice for the future of America.
Ron Paul

Please visit and make your most generous donation to the one candidate who has a real plan to save America.

Excuse any misspelling, poor grammar, or punctuation. I wrote this in a frenzy and don’t care to proofread it.

Fantastic article comparing the US Federal Government to oppressive governments in other countries.

An analysis of the Fox News debate from Monday night. If you have any question on these quotes or paraphrasing please watch the debate, its all on video.

Mitt Romney

1.(Paraphrase) “People Convicted of Violent Crimes Should NEVER Get to Vote Again.”

But they will still have to pay taxes right? Will they be eligible for the military draft? Does a bar fight when you’re 19 justify a lifetime voting ban?

2. “I do not believe that marriage should be between two people of the same gender” (exact quote)

Will you put your personal beliefs aside and govern based on the equal rights of all Americans? Or much like Obama, will you govern from your personal beliefs and use the government to unfairly benefit people that you prefer?

3. (Paraphrase) “I would have supported the NDAA”, “You do not have the right to support groups that do not agree with the Federal Government”

Wow. So now disagreeing with the Federal Government should lead to indefinite detention under the NDAA. At least he promised not to do that, we all know that we can trust promises from politicians.

Rick Perry

1. Confused the Taliban with Al Qaeda.

Called out by Ron Paul for not knowing the difference.

2. “I don’t think its the governments responsibility” in reference to Government intervention in the housing market

Kudos Rick, you sound a little like you’re getting it!

3. “We will have Predator drones on the border patrolling” (paraphrase)

Do we really want unmanned weapons flying around our skies? How long before police use these against “criminals”? This issue could be a slippery slope toward the police state.

Newt Gingrich

1. “All unemployment compensation should be tied to a job training requirement” (exact quote)

Who runs this training program? The federal government? Who funds this Federal job training program? The taxpayer that’s who. Or is this mandated on private industry and/or the individual….like Obamacare.

2. “Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear opinion on America’s enemies, kill them” (exact quote) in reference to Ron Paul saying that we should apply the “Golden Rule” to foreign policy and that we should respect the sovereign territory of other nations.

What if Canada was at war with China? Let’s say that there were Chinese militants hiding in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado? Would we be ok with secret missions flown into US airspace by Canadian forces without permission of America to bomb suspected hiding places of these Chinese militants? Perhaps the suburbs of Denver? Perhaps inside a national park? Doubtful. So why would it be ok for the USA to fly into Pakistan and bomb neighborhoods in pursuit of insurgents without the cooperation and permission of the Pakistani government?

3. “As a historian”

Don’t even need to complete the sentence, Newt we get it, you know a little bit about history and distort it to fit your answers. This is something like the 16th debate, we have all heard that you are a “historian”.

Rick Santorum

1. “Neutrality ends in poverty”, “this is unconsionable”, in regard to the Federal government taking a neutral stance on promoting marriage.

Obviously the Government should be determining what individuals should be doing with their lives. What about parents, communities, churches, and organizations being the mentors who suggest and encourage proper or preferred individual behaviors? Is parenting and mentoring now the job of the government? What about individual responsibility and accountability for your behavior and for raising your children?

2.”sometimes you have to pass laws to keep worse laws from passing” (paraphrase)

Sometimes you have to cut off your nose to spite your face, right Rick? Or is this more along the lines of digging your way out of a hole in the ground? Big Government politicians see the only solutions to the nations problems as being more government oversight and more legislation. Rick needs to learn that often times government oversight is a large part of the problem.

Ron Paul (here are some of his best hits tonight)

1.”I want to cut money, overseas money, I want to cut military money, not defense money”, “I want to bring the troops home”, “there is a difference between military money and defense spending”

2. “Our taxes should be the lowest they’ve ever been since 1913, 0%”

3. “If we have no respect for the sovereignty of another nation it will negatively effect our nation” (paraphrase)

So who won or lost this debate?

Winner, big government neocons who got favorable questions and more air time.

Losers, the American people who got lied to, mislead, and had establishment candidates shoved onto them.

Comment below if you have any argument for any of these points.

If you have read my NFL Playoff predictions then you know not to put much stock into this post, but I can’t help myself.

The GOP field will be one less after Jon Huntsman formally drops out on Monday. This makes me wonder who will be left after South Carolina.

This is how I predict South Carolina will effect the race.

Romney will win, but the margin will be much smaller than in New Hampshire. Nevertheless, the corporate media will kiss his ass and talk about how historic it is and how the race is over.

Paul will finish 2nd. It will be a strong 2nd, and it should raise more eyebrows inside the establishment, unfortunately it probably wont. The big media will ignore him just as they have in the last 2 states.

Here’s where I think it gets tricky.

If Perry comes in 3rd then I think he stays on the campaign trail to Florida and Nevada. If Santorum or Gingrich comes in 3rd then Perry is done. Perry skipped New Hampshire and made his big bet on South Carolina, if that bet doesn’t pay off he will drop out.

I think Santorum is going to stay on board until Florida (regardless of his finish in SC) where unless he finishes in the top 2 he will drop out as well.

Newt is impossible to read because he has no organization, and the funding for his campaign has been weak. If he does well in South Carolina 2nd or 3rd then he will ride it out as long as he possibly can. He seems like he just loves to hear himself talk and be on TV so I think he hangs around trying to make a splash.

I predict that Romney wins SC and Florida then Paul will take Nevada. The most important thing is that the delegates will remain close between Romney and Paul and after all the other jokers drop out it should get very interesting.