American Partisan: Lessons Learned from a Power Outage

American Partisan has a nice short article on some Lessons Learned from a Power Outage, mostly along the lines of “things I should have checked ahead of time.”

As I sit hear listening to the local FM country music station, I am approaching 24 hours without power thanks to the derecho that blew through the Northeast. I started keeping a running list of lessons learned. Basically, if it was something I wished I had or something I was super glad I had already, I wrote it down. This has been a great training scenario. Though if the power company could go ahead and get me back up that would be greattttttt.

  1. Inventory ahead of time. I realized after the power went out that I did not have enough D batteries to power all lanterns AND have a backup set for each. I bought a few Streamlight Siege Lanterns a year or so ago and I absolutely love them!
  2. When the power went out, I assumed it would be short. At my previous residence, I was on the same grid as the local EMS and Fire Station, so we were always back up first. I did not pull the generator out until about 7 hours after we lost power. That is seven hours of lost time that could have been used charging items.
  3. Stock extra gas. I had some stocked, but I had been dragging my feet in getting all six of my 5 gallon cans filled. That is going to fixed real quick.
  4. Identify property issues before the storm. This includes tree limbs, earth gradients and drainage issues, etc. Walk your property during the storm to identify runoff issues, gutters that need to be address, and things like that.
  5. Have a list of local radio frequencies handy. Keep your radios charged.
  6. If you have a propane grill, make sure you stay stocked on propane fuel.
  7. In addition to #6, have another method of off grid cooking available.
  8. Keep your basic power outage supplies together and accessible so you are not scrambling into multiple tubs or rooms to gather stuff.
  9. Use UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) Surge Protectors on your Wifi and your computer. This way, if a power outage hits, you have time to turn your computer off properly while it runs on the surge protector’s battery. Additionally, by keeping the modem up, you will have internet.
  10. If the power outage continues, you can use frozen items to keep the fridge cool. Currently we are using a frozen turkey from our chest freezer as a cooling method.
  11. Don’t hesitate to get bags of ice from the local convenience store as well.
  12. If you have a generator, make sure you keep a handy list of all of your appliances and the necessary starting and running watts they need to run. This way you can easily tell what can run at the same time based on your generator wattage.
  13. Have necessary extension cords on hand (ideally 12 gauge or 10 gauge) in order to safely run those applicances off a generator.
  14. Have candles on hand. While having a bunch of LED lanterns are nice, sometimes the gentle light of a candle suffices. Plus, it looks cool.
  15. Get a kerosene heater and stock kerosene. While you are at it, might as well get a kerosene lantern as well. Duplicity!
  16. If you have the chance to get gas for cooking, do it! The previous location I lived in had gas, while this new place has it to the house but not hooked up yet. Thus, we cannot cook anything with our electric range. Hence why #6 and #7 are important. Additionally, in the winter, you could use the stove for warmth. I know several people who survived for weeks like this during Hurricane Sandy.
  17. Some night lights (small plug in hallway lights) have battery back-ups. This could be important – especially if you have kids.
  18. Battery back-up charger for your phone can help a lot.
  19. Be sure to evaluate your food once power is restored.
  20. Be Proactive, Not Reactive…

AmPart: The Kung Fu Virus 2020 Victory Garden

Johny Mac at American Partisan talks about getting his 2020 garden started in The Kung Fu Virus 2020 Victory Garden. He’s in the cold zone 5, so while his dates for doing things may not apply to your zone if you’re in a warmer or colder zone, the things he does would be similar. You can find your zone on the USDA plant hardiness zone map, but you may also want to talk to a knowledgeable neighbor. You may live a micro-terrain that makes your garden area slightly warmer or cooler than what the official zone for your larger area is.

I am a man that believes in insurance so I invest in many different kinds; auto, boat, house, life, and food insurance come immediatly to mind. Yes food insurance and the way things are today with the Kung Fu Virus I am starting to wonder what will happen with food availability in the future. Well no worries, as I invest in food insurance by growing approximately 80% of our yearly need of vegetables in our garden.

I have written an article or two about this subject in the past and am being told to do it again by the good Lord. What I am going to share works for us in our area. I live in zone 5 which means that the last frost for my area is around May 21st. Nobody in my area plant above ground seedling’s till Memorial Day weekend because we have experienced frost up to that date. Just look at the photo header taken this past Saturday morning at 0700 hrs eastern.

Below ground vegetables like, carrots rutabagas, beans, etc can be planted around the end of April here. I reserve my raised beds, which I have three for early lettuce and radish crops because the raised beds soil is warmer and if there is going to be a frost I can cover those beds easily. The above mentioned vegetables I sow directly in the soil but because my farming season is so short, I start above ground seeds inside typically around St. Patrick’s Day.

I only use heirloom seeds and keep seeds from one year to the next. Folks in our group trade same specie seeds every year to keep the strain vibrant. I start out growing inside with tomato seeds then move to sweet peppers. The peppers seem to take the longest to germinate. Once I have those seeds started I move to cucumbers – Pickling and salad of course. I found the easiest way to start the seedling’s is to poke a hole is foam egg cartons, add potting soil, and place 1 to 2-seeds in each nook then cover with a light layer of soil. Then put the egg cartons in plastic trays under my growing lamps with cellophane over to keep the soil warm and moist which acts as a mini hot-house. Depending on variety, the seedling will start to show themselves after 7 to 14-days. Once the seedlings have sprung from the soil I remove the cellophane from the plants.

2020 Seedlings

Once the seedlings have lost their baby leaves I transplant the seedlings into Solo cups. I do not know why but the plants like the Solo cups to grow in. I keep the cups year after year so I get my moneys worth. The bottom of the Solo cups I perforate with my pen knife so they drain. Once the seedlings have 2-sets of leaves I only water the plants from the bottom. Since I have perforated the bottom of the cups I keep about 1/2-inch of water in the pan and they self water themselves. Doing this helps to develop a great root system. By the beginning of May, I move my trays of plants to a makeshift green house outside. At night I have an electric heater that has a thermostat to keep the temperature in the green house at around 68 degrees F. By mid May I do not use the heater anymore and allow the plants to harden.

Memorial Day Weekend 2019 – Seedlings Ready to plant

While this is going on I get the garden and raised beds ready for planting. In early April I rototill the garden. Once tilled I clean out the manure from the chicken coop. The manure collected in April is just enough to spread around the garden and till into the soil. Depending on the weather I hand turn the soil in the raised beds and toss my lettuce, radish, cilantro, and dill seeds onto the soil. The seeds are followed with a light raking to set the seeds. By Memorial Day we start to have fresh salads. If frost is predicted it is very simple to drag an old sheet over the plants to protect them.

Right after I plant my salad seeds, I plant potatoes and rutabaga seeds. I use the tire method for the potatoes to make taking care of them a lot easier. The rutabaga seeds get planted about 6-inches apart and 1/2-inch deep. Then I cover the rutabaga seeds with two sheets of 50# 48″x 8′ newsprint paper with slits in the paper to match up with each row of rutabaga seeds planted…

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

Pat McNamara: AR Weapon Malfunction Training

This video comes via American Partisan  who found it on the 10th Mountain Division Youtube channel. Knowing how to clear your weapon after a malfunction is a critical task.

I stumbled across this video by accident while meandering through the halls of YouTube and thought that everyone would benefit from it. This is a 20 minute video from Pat McNamara. He spent 22 years in Special Operations and now has his own training company alongside a few books, like Sentinel and T.A.P.S.

In this video, he is demonstrating the various malfunctions of the AR platform and how to clear them with members of the 10th Mountain Division.

American Partisan: Frequencies For Monitoring When The World Goes Dark

From NC Scout at American Partisan – Frequencies For Monitoring When The World Goes Dark some information and links on what radio frequencies to monitor when something really big happens and normal communications go down.

Frequencies For Monitoring When The World Goes Dark

NCS,

What are the frequencies for FEMA to do informational broadcasts when the internet/cells go down?

Just a what if. – A Reader

That’s a good question. There’s a ton of crap floating around on the net right now, making it nearly impossible for the average person to sift through what’s real and what’s straight BS. But with that said, one of the main ones is the ‘looming‘ shutdown of the internet and cell phone service. I don’t know how much validity that actually has, but it underscores the ability to communicate and spread information through decentralized means- which is why I’ve taught communications skills in far greater depth and breadth than anyone else ever offered civilians, combining combat experience with practical end skills.

So with that said, go check out my first post on the topic, listing frequencies of interest and the second post, listing foreign military HF frequencies. And with that said, do not overlook the very vital role the American Red Cross will play, especially when it comes to HF message traffic.

HF
KNNP491
WQJI233
2326.0
2463.0
2726.0
2801.0
3170.0
3201.0
5135.0
5140.0
6858.0
7480.0
7549.0
7697.0
7932.0
7935.0

VHF Low Band 
KA3699
KGB223
WQEF834
47.4200
47.5000

VHF/UHF 
KB84508
KNJR836
WPEQ240
WPME641
WQHH921
WQMD985
WQXM300
27.4900
35.0400
43.0400
151.5050
151.5125
151.6250
151.7000
151.7600
154.5275
158.4000
158.4075
451.8000 / 456.8000
451.8125 / 456.8125
453.4250 / 458.4250
453.4750 / 458.4750
453.5250 / 458.5250
462.7625
462.7875
464.5000 / 469.5000
464.5500 / 469.5500
464.6000 / 469.6000
464.6250 / 469.6250
464.6500 / 469.6500
464.7000 / 469.7000
464.7250 / 469.7250
464.7500 / 469.7500
466.3125
467.9125

The VHF / UHF frequencies can be monitored with a Baofeng, but for the rest you’ll need HF gear. Check out this post if you need a primer to get that squared away.

American Partisan: Radio Quick Start Guide

NC Scout at American Partisan has written a short Radio Quick Start Guide, covering line of sight and over the horizon radio equipment to get you started if you’re asking “just tell me what to get, already.”

When people think of radio communications, they want a replacement for a cell phone. You’re not getting a replacement for a cell phone.

Alright, with that out of the way, I’ve been getting a ton of emails asking about jump-starting communications capabilities for an area. Since that’s something I’ve written a lot about over the years and teach two classes for building that capability, I’m going to cover the bare-bones basics to getting a local network squared up and running.

QYT KT-8900. Small, light, versatile and effective.

For local work, you’re going to want this:

It’s a 25 watt tiny little mobile radio that plugs into a 12v outlet. You can run it in your truck very easily. I have one mounted under my dash and another in my shop for making local contacts. Mine is programmed with all of the local repeaters and it’ll also do all of the license free bands (FRS/GMRS walkie-talkies, MURS and marine band).
To get it rigged up, you’ll need a run of 50 ohm coax that you can get in any truck stop. I just call it CB coax.  Next you’re going to need an antenna. I run an aluminum J Pole as my fixed base station antenna and I have it just drilled into the eve of the roof of the shop. On my truck I run a 2m firestick which is pretty much the same as my CB antenna and its mounted to my toolbox.
The nice thing about this setup is its portable to nearly anywhere and works really well. With a couple of deep cycle batteries you can run this little rig for a LONG time. I have.
On to HF.

Icom 7200 with LDG auto tuner. Rugged and simple.

This one is going to be a lot more expensive for a basic setup. Here’s a post from a couple of weeks ago on rigging your own simple antenna. The easiest HF radio to use out of the box is the Icom 718. It’s got a huge display, a really good receiver for listening to shortwave and HF transmissions and is very simple to use. I run the 7200, which isn’t too much different. But the other cool thing is that rigging it up for digital use is very simple. Here’s two links on the setup:

You’re also going to need a tuner for your HF radio. I use a short run of coax (8 inches) between the back of my radio to the tuner then run the antenna coax into the tuner. What this does it use two matching relays to create an electrical match for the antenna length to the frequency you’re using. Think of it as an insurance policy for your radio, since there’s too many variables with an HF antenna to make a perfect 1:1 SWR match every time. The tuner takes up the slack and protects your rig. It protects in other ways as well. I had mine take a lightning strike three years ago. Sent it into LDG and they sent me a new tuner, no questions asked. You’re also going to need a 120v power supply since all amateur radio gear runs off 12v. The one I use is an MFJ 28 amp switching power supply. Its got a 12v power plug to run that QYT mobile radio as well as your Icom.

This is an expensive list- but its one I’ve recommended to a lot of other people starting out and my own home station is not too much different. Everything I’ve got is kept pretty simple. But that said, having the gear is one thing, having the skill is a whole other animal.
Also see NC Scout’s dedicated web site at https://brushbeater.wordpress.com. He’s got a ton of useful information there and teaches classes, too.
Also see our related article on Suggested Radio Equipment for Community Safety.

AmPart: Community Cooking – More Practical Approach to Prepping

NC Scout at American Partisan has an article up about the southern tradition of Community Cooking, how it aids a community, and how communal cooking may help in a disaster.

So we’re finding ourselves in a rush once more. The reality of a pandemic is setting in and people are buying up as much freeze-dried supplies as they can get their hands on. But while I don’t think the physical consequences for an overwhelmingly large percentage of healthy persons will be severe, I do think that the economic disruptions, and the trickle down interruptions in our food supplies, have the potential to be far-reaching. Then again its one of the very real reasons that a good number of people I’m friends and neighbors with have taken every opportunity to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Its not just about having solar power or ‘living off the grid’ for my own sake, but a creation of better resiliency against these sort of inevitable disasters. So you’ve got all those beans and rice put back, but how are you gonna cook them? And are you cooking off-grid? I draw on lessons I learned from my childhood growing up in the rural south and as an adult living in the third world, among Iraqis and Afghans, where a supply chain wasn’t taken for granted. Top among those lessons was the value of cooking for a whole community.

<img aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-9661″ class=”wp-image-9661 size-medium” src=”https://i1.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1245.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1″ alt=”” width=”300″ height=”200″ srcset=”https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1245-scaled.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1245-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C682&ssl=1 1024w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1245-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1245-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1245-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1245-scaled.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1245-scaled.jpg?resize=1080%2C720&ssl=1 1080w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1245-scaled.jpg?resize=1320%2C880&ssl=1 1320w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1245-scaled.jpg?w=2160&ssl=1 2160w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />

Discada- a giant steel disk that people have been effectively cooking on for over a millennia.

In America we’re culturally predisposed to thinking individually, permeating all the way down to our eating habits. This has led to incredible amounts of wasteful practices, but its also led to us isolating ourselves to a large degree. In many respects this filters down to our own preparedness practices; the things we buy, the things we buy in bulk, and the justifications behind them. It is an attitude of “I GOT MINE!” negating the reality that hungry masses are motivated masses- and they’ll simply take what you have when they get desperate enough.

On the other hand, a community protects what a community values.

<img aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-9610″ class=”wp-image-9610 size-medium” src=”https://i1.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1165.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1″ alt=”” width=”300″ height=”200″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1165-scaled.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1165-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C682&ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1165-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1165-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1165-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1165-scaled.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1165-scaled.jpg?resize=1080%2C720&ssl=1 1080w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1165-scaled.jpg?resize=1320%2C880&ssl=1 1320w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1165-scaled.jpg?w=2160&ssl=1 2160w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />

The annual stew.

Every fall in the rural southeast communities have a stew. Every church, every volunteer fire department, and many civic clubs. Its a good fundraiser but its a hell of a lot more than that. Its a tradition and a symbol of our cultural connection with the land. Back in the less-modern era people ate a diet based on what they had at the time. Vegetables followed the harvest seasons, meats followed the livestock slaughter schedule, and at the end of the year and through the winter, stews were made from whatever was left over to prevent spoilage. Crops and livestock were hard earned like everything else. Waste not, want not.

<img class=”size-medium wp-image-9608 alignleft” src=”https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1163.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1″ alt=”” width=”300″ height=”200″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1163-scaled.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1163-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C682&ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1163-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1163-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1163-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1163-scaled.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1 610w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1163-scaled.jpg?resize=1080%2C720&ssl=1 1080w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1163-scaled.jpg?resize=1320%2C880&ssl=1 1320w, https://i0.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/100_1163-scaled.jpg?w=2160&ssl=1 2160w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />Its a tradition that my own family and friends still follow today, and one that I always look forward to. The Fall is my favorite time of the year for a lot of reasons, and making a hearty stew, chili, and chicken mull is a big part of that. But that annual stew wouldn’t be possible without a few critical tools. I have a large cast iron stew pot, its iron stand, a large steel disk wok, a large dutch oven and a medium dutch oven, all cured with lard and easy to cook on off-grid. With these tools I can make nearly any meal and feed large groups of people in the process.

<img aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-9660″ class=”wp-image-9660 size-medium” src=”https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1255.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1″ alt=”” width=”300″ height=”200″ srcset=”https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1255-scaled.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1255-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C682&ssl=1 1024w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1255-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1255-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1255-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1255-scaled.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1255-scaled.jpg?resize=1080%2C720&ssl=1 1080w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1255-scaled.jpg?resize=1320%2C880&ssl=1 1320w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1255-scaled.jpg?w=2160&ssl=1 2160w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />

Corn tortillas and four cups of boiled white rice. Dirt cheap meal that can feed a lot of people.

There’s a strong parallel to this and those cultures overseas, especially in Afghanistan. In most rural cultures around the world you’ll find a community kitchen in the small villages or groups of mud huts. In the center you’ll typically find a firepit, a few pots, usually a pressure cooker, and in some places a large metal disk much like the discada that I use. Its cooking gear that they’ve been using for generations, much like we did not that long ago.

The community kitchen, so to speak, is built to feed everyone- not just individually. A group learns to live off what they have, source their food from their environment, and know what goes a long way to sustaining the most, quickly and efficiently. Rice and beans are a staple food in most parts of the world. Cooking them is fairly straightforward and its a cheap food to stock up on. You can pick up a 20lb of rice and another 4lb of red beans for just over $30 total- and that will feed a small group of people for a good while. All you need is clean water and wood for the fire, and you’re good to go. Add in some bullion cubes for flavor and have some canned meat for long term storage and you’ll be the rock star of your group when people get burned out

<img aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-9657″ class=”wp-image-9657 size-medium” src=”https://i1.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1252.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1″ alt=”” width=”300″ height=”200″ srcset=”https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1252-scaled.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1252-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C682&ssl=1 1024w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1252-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1252-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1252-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1252-scaled.jpg?resize=610%2C407&ssl=1 610w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1252-scaled.jpg?resize=1080%2C720&ssl=1 1080w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1252-scaled.jpg?resize=1320%2C880&ssl=1 1320w, https://i2.wp.com/www.americanpartisan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/100_1252-scaled.jpg?w=2160&ssl=1 2160w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />

Marinaded chicken, bell, poblano and serrano peppers and mushrooms. All locally sourced, cooked off grid, prepared for eight adults.

on freeze dried food or MREs.

Maybe its the attitude I hold towards greater sustainability, maybe its my ongoing love of re-wilding, or maybe its partly trying to squeeze everything I can out of my hard earned money, but my approach to prepping and survivalism is to know how to provide and prepare that next meal for my family- not just tomorrow, but forever. There’s a learning curve to it, but for me at least its worth it on many levels to have and practice the skills to survive rather than simply bank on prepared foods alone to carry us through. I have those too, but they’ll be the last in the rotation after I’ve exhausted every other option. No matter what the crisis, I’ve got the tools and skills to use it. And you should too.

Don’t panic. Just prepare.

 

American Partisan: Using Encryption with Veracrypt

This practical article from American Partisan discusses the use of the program Veracrypt to encrypt data in files and hard drives. While the lead of the title is “Clandestine Communications,” there are many reasons that you might want to use Veracrypt encryption in your day to day life. I have used it in a legal setting in order to encrypt an attorney’s sensitive trial files to take them between the office and the court room. You can use it to safely store a password file. At home, you can use it to securely store photocopies of your credit cards, social security cards, firearm serial numbers, birth certificates, passports, banking information, or any other information that you want to have available, but not just sitting where it can be stolen or hacked. For preppers, you can take that same encrypted file of your important information and put it on a USB drive and toss it in your bug out bag or a vehicle Go-bag so that if you have to leave home because of a fire you’ve got all of that vital information gathered already.

Clandestine Communications Part Four: File and Hard Drive Encryption with Veracrypt is a pretty simple overview of getting started with using Veracrypt software. Veracrypt is a free (free as in no cost), open-source (free as in liberty) software program. Because it is open source, the source programming code is freely available for viewing so that the software can be audited for security holes and backdoors. You can use Veracrypt to encrypt an entire drive, or you can create a volume which looks like a file to your computer which you can then mount as its own drive. There are also other more advanced features.

Today’s article is going to talk a little bit about how to use Veracrypt in order to encrypt both a file volume and a flash drive. Veracrypt can be downloaded from here.

Once you install the program, let’s take a look at what it looks like.

I recommend you spend some time in the Help menu – particularly in the ‘User’s guide” and “Beginner’s Tutorial”.

Veracrypt can encrypt your files in a few different ways. The first way is creating a volume. The volume is almost like a file itself – it can be copied, pasted, etc. It acts, in a way, like a super secure .zip file (without the file compression). The second way you can encrypt your files is by encrypting an entire hard drive or flash drive. This method in particular could be useful if you were using a dead drop system to pass a One Time Pad as you could buy a lot of inexpensive flash drives, encrypt them, and then use them in your drops.

Veracrypt also has a really cool future that I may touch on in a later article called Hidden Volumes. Basically, this creates a volume within a volume, and each volume has a separate password. This could be useful if you are forced to open the volume at gun point. The idea is that in the outer volume you have some sensitive looking documents but not the actual files you want to encrypt. If you were forced at gunpoint to open the volume, your actual files would be safe (since they use a different password). This may be something that many of you are interested in.

Volumes

To create a Volume, click on the “Create Volume” button in the lower left of Veracrypt. Here, a menu gives you some options. For now, we are going to stick with the default option of “Create an encrypted file container”. The second option is used for encrypting flash drives or external hard drives, and the third option is for encrypting the hard drive that runs your Operating System. Click Next.

Here, we have the option of creating a Standard Volume or a Hidden Volume. Since we are just starting out, make sure Standard Veracrypt volume is checked and hit Next. Now it is time to decide where we want the Volume to be. Click “Select File”. To make it easy, navigate to your desktop. In the “File Name” line, name your file. Click Save and then Next.

The next screen is where you can chose what type of encryption you want to use. I will leave it up to all of you to figure out which one is best (to be honest, I don’t really understand the differences so I am not going to give you a recommendation – if you do, throw it in the comments). Once you do, click Next.

The next screen is where you get to decide how big you want the file to be. For this example, I am going to go with 1 GB but you can choose whatever you want (think about what you are wanting to store in it and use that as a guide). Once you decide, click Next.

This screen is where you create your password. I have two rules for you to follow: 1) use numbers, letters, and symbols, and 2) use capital letters and, if you want, spaces. A great way to get a strong password is to use a password manager like KeePassXC. I actually don’t have one set up yet, so I will be doing a future article on how to do that as well. You can also use keyfiles, which is like selecting a few different files you already have to use them as the password. It is not my favorite way of doing it, but YMMV. Once you have your password entered, click Next.

The next screen is very important. You are choosing both the filesystem you want and generating the random pool to make your encryption stronger. I generally tend to use an NTFS system because FAT filesystems don’t like files over 4 GB, but again do your research and choose the filesystem you want. Then, move your mouse as random as possible inside the window. You will see tons and tons of characters in the “Random Pool area. Do this for at least 60 seconds, but the longer the better. Once you are done, click Format.

Once the formatting is done, it is time to mount your file. Go back to the first window that appeared when you started Veracrypt. Now, click on Select File on the bottom right. Navigate to your file and select it, and then select Mount. Enter your password, and select OK. Once the file mounts, you can go into Windows Explorer. You will notice in your hard drive list under “Computer” on the left hand side, there will be a new hard drive. In my case, it is Local Disk (J:) as we can see the size is 0.99GB. You can now click on that and copy your files in! In order to dismount the volume, just select it again on the main screen of Veracrypt and click “Dismount”.

Flash Drive / External HDDs

To encrypt a flash drive, begin once again by clicking “Create Volume”. This time, select the middle option of “Encrypt a non-system partition/drive”. Click Next, and you see that once more we have the option of creating a Hidden or Standard volume. For this, I am creating a Standard Veracrypt Volume. Click Next.

Now, instead of creating a file, you are selecting the flash drive or hard drive you want to encrypt. Once you select your drive, click OK. You are given two options for the Volume Creation Mode. The first one is for when you have no files on the drive and want to encrypt it more quickly. If you choose this option AND you have files on the drive, they WILL be overwritten and lost. If you have files on the drive and you cannot or do not want to take them off, chose the second option, “Encrypt partition in place”. I have never used that second option because I am terrified something will go wrong and I will lose my files, but YMMV. Make your selection and click Next.

Just like creating the volume, select your encryption algorithm and click Next. Verify that the size on the screen is really close to the size of the drive you want to encrypt (in this case, my flash drive is 4 GB in theory and in the above picture we see it is 3.7 GB, which matches closely below which says 3.65 GB). If it is really off, go back and make sure you selected the right drive to encrypt – this is really important. Once you verify it is correct, click Next.

Once again, create your password (DIFFERENT FROM YOUR FIRST ONE – NEVER REPEAT) and click Next. The same rules from the Volume section apply to the password. Now choose your file type and click next (again, I personally use NTFS). Move your mouse around in the box again to random the Heading Pool and, once you are done with that, click Format.

In order to Mount the drive, you can select what letter drive you want to mount the volume in and either 1) Click “Auto-Mount Devices”, type in the password, and click OK, or 2) Click “Select Device” and choose the device on the screen. Then, access the drive just like the volume and copy your files in!

References

https://securityinabox.org/en/guide/veracrypt/windows/

https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Beginner%27s%20Tutorial.html

https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Plausible%20Deniability.html

American Partisan: Arizona Border Recon on Irish TV

This video comes to us by way of American Partisan. There is some foreign language for a short time at the beginning and occasional words later, but the majority is in English. There is also an occasional profanity. Tim Foley and the Arizona Border Recon have been watching the border there and have video of lots of drug trafficking, but no families/refugees. All the same, “humanitarian” groups are leaving water along the drug trails so that the traffickers can carry full packs of drugs and not have to worry about water.

Tim Foley of Arizona Border Recon recently did an interview with Irish TV on the border situation. He’s a good man and all of his videos are eye opening for anyone who’s sane about what’s really going on down there.

American Partisan: Radio Contra Episode One

NC Scout of Brushbeater and American Partisan has started podcasting. Here is episode one of Radio Contra.

NC Scout discusses parallels between the Chechen resistance against the Russian Army to Appalachian folk and the potential future fight against a standing army in the Appalachian region.

Music: Clutch “Son of Virginia”

Aukai Collins “My Jihad”

H. John Poole “The Tiger’s Way”

Baofeng UV-5R

Primary Arms’ ACSS Scopes

Palmetto State Armory 10.5in Pistol

Palmetto State Armory 14.7in Carbine

And here is Episode 2:

NC Scout discusses recent events and covers the foundations of preparedness communications with the license free options, the basics of amateur radio, and the equipment needed to get going.

Music: Hank Williams III “I’m Drunk Again”

Sponsors:

Ammo.com

GunMag Warehouse

Ranger Up

Ready Made Resources

Palmetto State Armory

Gear:

Baofeng UV-5R

QYT KT-8900

Cobra 29 LTD

Yaesu VX-6R

RG-8X Coax

Firestik Antennas

American Partisan: The 2020 Virginia Showdown

Author and former Navy Seal Matt Bracken has his own take on how things in Virginia will shake out in this American Partisan post – The 2020 Virginia Showdown.

…Just visit Governor Northam’s Twitter account and you will see that 99% of the comments on any post that he makes are tearing him to shreds with thinly veiled threats. When @GovernorVA posts a Merry Christmas message, he receives an unending torrent of angry insults and warnings in return. Online, nobody is letting Northam forget his history of appearing in blackface next to a pal in KKK robes, or that “Coonman” was his college nickname. And nobody is forgetting his recent statements on post-birth baby killing. Nonetheless, he is currently the duly-elected governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

But an important point to consider is that it doesn’t really matter if 51% or 90% of Virginia gun owners roll over and comply with Northam’s gun confiscation and/or registration laws. If even a few percent dig in their heels and privately say “hell no,” that will be enough to lead to violence. To millions of Americans, gun registration and confiscation are simply steps on the path to tyranny and, in many historical examples, eventual genocide. At least tens of thousands of Virginians will refuse to take those first steps, no matter what the law demands of them.

Following inevitably bloody gun confiscation raids, what will matter is not state-wide polling, but the individual deer hunter or sporting marksman who decides to go out on his own with his Remington or Winchester. He will hear about the latest local gun raid, and he will know the exact choke point surrounded by thick cover through which the convoy of LE police cars and SUVs will need to drive on its egress. At first, armed resistance might take the form of warning shots into engines or tires. The armed resistor will then disappear into the landscape, after caching his rifle and picking up his fishing rod for cover. Unit size: one man. No comms, no “chatter.”

Next, the gun confiscators will begin to receive incoming pot-shots on their perimeter security elements while they are conducting suburban raids. The shooter will be back in bed before the gun raiders even know what happened. Step by step, action begetting reaction, a low intensity insurgency will grow and spread.

Consider the panic and mayhem unleashed in California a few years ago by just one angry villain conducting his own private war…

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

American Partisan: The Auxiliary

If you’ve followed the writings of Mountain Guerrilla’s John Mosby (or other reading in insurgency or counterinsurgency), then you will already be familiar with the concept of the auxiliary. In this article at American Partisan, Johny Mac also writes about the auxiliary. Auxiliary typically refers to the portion of a population which provides clandestine support to an insurgent or guerrilla force or to underground resistance. With certain politicians talking about sending national guard troops to forcibly search and take people’s property (and, of course, destroy those who “do not comply”), these topics are getting active discussion in these “United” States.

John Mosby has written about both the underground and the guerrilla in his two volume Reluctant Partisan series. He also talks about the auxiliary in those books, but it does not have its own volume as of yet.

With the continuing events happening within the Washington DC Inner Loop and in states around the country, my worst fears of civil strife are sadly coming to fruition.  Yesterday, I sat there sipping my morning cup of coffee watching Senate Leader McConnell’s response to the two articles of Impeachment passed Wednesday night in the US House and realize frosty times are ahead. After all, sometimes drastic measures are needed to save the patient being wheeled into the trauma center.

The Rubicon has been crossed for me. I am done writing letters to my legislatures, the men and women I voted into office to uphold the US Constitution and represent my voice. All my focus now will be directed towards the training I will need for the up and coming conflict (s).

Many of the readers here are in a similar situation as I am. Looking ahead, I will be 64-years old in 2020 and what can someone my age or older do when civil conflict comes knocking at my door you may ask? You like I, need to focus on becoming part of The Auxiliary.

The first time I read about The Auxiliary was over at SurvilvalBlogwritten by Hugh James Latimer. The article really got me thinking as to what part I would play in my community during a civil conflict. It will not necessarily be running a gun, although I can do that. Heck, I can give many millennial’s a run for his or her money in that respect. No, running a gun will not become my role in the up and coming conflict. My role will be one of The Auxiliary. Let’s look at what that means for me – Maybe you too.

First, it means an honest assessment of my strengths but more important, my weaknesses. Once I determine my strengths, I need to get out there and train the folks who understand  their weaknesses and are seeking their own training.

Second, I need to get out there and address my weaknesses by seeking out additional training from others willing to give it. Whatever the cost will be in money or time, it will be worth it. Are you willing to do this or is your normalcy bias going to guide your future?

I will continue my training with NC Scout and his platoon of trainers along with other trainers that offer classes not just in running a gun but in; Preparedness, medical, radio, Intelligence, physical training, et cetera. Then I will offer my acquired skills to help the folks who will come late to the party…

Read the entire article at American Partisan by clicking here.

Related:

Mountain Guerrilla: Development of the Auxiliary

Mountain Guerrilla: Auxiliary and Support Functions, Part One

Mountain Guerrilla: Organization and Development of the Auxiliary

Mountain Guerrilla: Building Auxiliary Cells

Mountain Guerrilla: Formation and Organization of Resistance Movements

US Army: Tactics in Counterinsurgency (pdf 6MB)

US Army Special Operations Command: Undergrounds in Insurgent, Revolutionary, and Resistance Warfare (pdf 1MB)

AmPart: Why Intel Matters

Yesterday, we posted another article from American Partisan on building an intelligence fusion center for your group. Today, we post an article which Sam Culper of Forward Observer wrote for American Partisan entitled The Decision Advantage: Why Intel Matters. Sam lays out why it is so important to be able to gather information and produce intelligence.

Several years ago, I had the great opportunity to train at an elite facility in the Carolinas. Throughout the training sessions, our instructor spoke of the ‘psychological advantages’ of why and how we do things in a gunfight. The goal of these courses wasn’t just to produce individuals who can shoot, but to graduate individuals who can think and shoot — in other words, to teach people to make sound decisions in a high stress environment like a gunfight.

Close your eyes and put yourself momentarily in a gunfight; it doesn’t matter if you choose an active shooter situation at your work or you wind up on some side street in Baghdad. What goes through your mind as you realize someone is shooting at you? Where is your nearest cover? Where is the shooter? Where are your teammates? How many shooters are there? Should you fight through the ambush?

Your brain is trying to process very quickly lots of different operations, which is why most people freeze in a situation like this. Overwhelmed by this massive problem it’s never seen before, the brain just shuts down. It doesn’t know what to do or how to respond. It’s not fight or flight — it’s fight, flight, or freeze. Humans are generally good at solving problems that we’ve solved before, but relatively few of us are good at solving problems they’ve never encountered. This is why we train.

Now let’s take this same concept — that access to information helps you to maintain situational awareness and make better decisions — and move it up one level. Aside from a beating heart, the brain is the most important part of you, and the brain is the most important part of an organization. A preparedness group, a community security team, or neighborhood watch needs a brain: a command center where information is received and intelligence is produced. Just like we can’t make sound decisions in a firefight without access to information, we can’t make sound decisions for our security as a family, group, or community without similar access to information. You’d never go into a firefight wearing a blindfold, so why would anyone go into an emergency situation without knowing how to collect timely intelligence information? It seems like a very rudimentary concept — that navigating a complex threat environment requires the ability to gather tactical intelligence on what’s going on beyond your line of sight — yet many Americans are prepared to remain blindfolded.

Let’s go back to an infrequent but still likely scenario — there’s civil unrest following a natural disaster. Think Hurricane Katrina. There’s no power, no public utilities, catastrophic damage, and lots of needy people, many of whom are out looking for targets of opportunity. If we’re interested in the security of our family and/or community then we need to gather intelligence beyond your line of sight and hearing ability; anything less and we should consider ourselves blindfolded, which would be a mistake of our own doing.

I’d hate to beat a dead horse like the OODA Loop, but it does bear repeating. The OODA Loop concept was developed by Col. John Boyd (USAF, Ret.), a fighter pilot interested in how his pilots could make better and faster decisions while in a dog fight.  OODA stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act, and it describes the process by which humans make decisions. (Observing in this case is really a misnomer. We need to be observing, listening, and sensing. We also need to ensure that we’re connected with others who are also observing, listening, and sensing.)

The ultimate goal today — that goes doubly for combat shooters — is how to speed up our own OODA Loops while disrupting the enemy’s OODA, thus slowing down his decision-making process. In the case of intelligence, what we’re achieving by speeding up our OODA Loop is a ‘decision advantage’ for our commander or decision-makers.

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

AmPart: Building Your ACE/Fusion Center

We’ve heard a lot in the past from Forward Observer about building up your intelligence capabilities. Just in case you dismissed that as one organization crying out in the wilderness, here is an article from Gray Man at American Partisan on how to build an analysis control element (ACE) for analyzing the information that you have collected and turning it into actionable intelligence, whether that is for a disaster, civil unrest, or other purpose.

In the intelligence world, we have to coordinate all of the intelligence coming in, obviously. Intelligence drives the mission. In the civilian world, you could stick with that or change it to “information dictates action”.

In order to coordinate and analyze the information coming in, you’ll do yourself a favor to set up what is called an analysis control element (ACE). You could also refer to it as your “fusion” center, seeing as you should be able to fuse together and analyze all of the intelligence you collect and compile it into useful products to drive your activities. All-source, for my current purposes, consists of using HUMINT and SIGINT to the best of your abilities.

HUMINT is human intelligence, intelligence gained by interrogation, elicitation, debriefing, source running, surveillance, reconnaissance, tradecraft, etc. Basically, you’re using yourself (your brain, ears, eyes and your words) and other people to collect intelligence.

SIGINT is signals intelligence, and covers a wide array of electronic intelligence collection techniques. This includes things like electronic surveillance, hacking, wiretapping, etc. For our purposes, it involves monitoring radio traffic and listening in on signals using basic AM/FM radio, satelitte radio, shortwave receivers and police scanners and if you’re so inclined, CBs and ham. You’re going to want to visit the Brushbeater website by NCScout for the best SIGINT information available.

In order to build your ACE, you need to have some equipment. There is a bare minimum amount of equipment you’ll need in order to have what I would call a functional ACE.

Police scanner. My recommendation mirrors that of several other bloggers. That is the Uniden Home Patrol II scanner. Use this as part of your early warning system (EWS).

A decent AM/FM radio. This is good for open source radio news collection and some weather reports. Another point for your EWS.

Shortwave receiver. I recommend the GP-5. Credit for that recommendation goes to NCScout. That’s three pieces of EWS gear.

– Topographical and street maps of your AO and any AO relevant to you. 24 inches by 36 inches is a good size. Check this piece on topo maps recently posted by our own NCScout. USGS Store and MyTopo are two other good sources for maps. You need to know the terrain features and routes in all relevant AOs. Get some Duralar plastic film or something similar to create overlays using dry erase markers so you aren’t writing on the maps themselves.

– Get some folders and start keeping files on relevant people, places and things in your AO. A police chief who sees himself as an overlord as opposed to a public servant is a good subject to keep a file on. A nearby neighborhood with a history of drugs and violence would be as well. Don’t just keep files on potential adversaries though. Keep files on people who might be sympathetic to your cause and purposes for future use.

– Get a binder and keep track of current and potential sources of information. This will help when you have a specific intelligence gap you need filled, and you can thumb through your sources and see who can provide that information to you. It’s also useful when deconflicting sources. You don’t want the same person telling you and your neighbors multiple different stories just to gain favor with everyone.

– Obviously I would recommend a good laptop with reliable internet access. This will enable use of Google Earth and other mapping systems, open source intelligence (OSINT) collection via the web, etc. I’m sure no more explanation is required as to why you’d like to have a web-connected computer in your ACE.

Obtain a copy of FM 2-22.3. This is the US Army manual on HUMINT operations.

– Newspapers are generally slow and full of propaganda, but I can’t tell you how much OSINT I was able to collect from newspapers, especially during my time in the Far East. If you’re so inclined, subscribe to some, online or on actual paper.

– If you’ve got the budget and skills, CB and ham are great options for SIGINT collection and I highly recommend you obtain some capabilities in those areas. Another EWS force multiplier.

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan. And you can read and learn plenty more about intelligence collection and analysis at ForwardObserver.com.

AmPart: Training – It Takes Work

This is a little reminder from NC Scout at American Partisan that you can’t just buy some stuff and say that you’ll be ready when disaster strikes and you need to use it. You need to train with your gear to find out what it and you can do together, and what may need to be tweaked or improved.

Training Notes: It Takes Work

Training Notes: It Takes Work!

We’ve all heard the people who say “I’ll be ready when the time comes!” or “They better not come to my front door!”

I got news for you, the time has come, and they are on your front door. Maybe not physically, yet, but that’s coming. If the lessons from Virginia are a bellwether for the near future, the communist machine at work will not allow American voices to win a so-called election again. And they don’t have to physically come to your door, because they can just legislate your rights away and you’ll do nothing. You’re a rule follower, and they make the rules.

So if there’s anything to objectively be gained from the legitimacy of government being ripped away in public fashion, its that the time has indeed come. We are living in an area absent the rule of law. The fantasy land nonsense of people running around in glorious combat and living in a Rothbardian voluntarist paradise is just that- an escapist fantasy that in no way mimics real societal breakdowns. But when you’ve got a very clear picture of a dual system of justice coupled with a common view that these people will never see punishment, you are indeed living without a rule of law. The only question then that should remain is what happens now that the velvet glove has exposed the iron fist? Neither legitimacy nor objectivity can be regained once lost. A failure of ruling hegemony thus requires force.

Do not forget that Brennan was a declared member of the communist party before joining the CIA. And of the feeder groups indoctrinating minds into the tenets of Marxism was the SDS, with their mantra of “Bring the War Home!”; code for invading the US with populations (in their logic) marginalized or exploited by US policy. Top among them, Central and South America. Ortega, Castro and Guevara are heroes. Groomed by the University system, Brennan finds himself atop the very bureaucracy created to entrench these communists for an eventual overthrow of the US government. These people are desperate to remain in control and they want you gone.

That’s outside our realistic area of influence, but does not ignore what we indeed can do.

What’s to be done on our end is preparing the mass base and guerrilla auxiliary for the next step; training and equipping the people in your area. The Left has indeed been doing that for some time now. Those networks need building, the information exchanged, and working hard to perfect the techniques now in order to save lives later.

In the last Advanced RTO it was commented to me by a longtime Extra-class ham, Engineer and Appleseed Instructor that the more covert ends of the communications training pipeline- data bursts, directional transmitting and physical encryption– takes a large amount of time just to comprehend let alone the training time to perfect. Far more than what can be done in just one weekend. And the same could be said of pretty much anything else I cover in my classes. I give you the basics, but it’s up to you to practice, perfect, and most critical, share it.

Making things work in the real world are the only way to continue to develop those skills. Two of the students from the last RTO and Advanced RTO Courses are doing exactly that, commenting,

Hey, I got the antenna up and working. DVM and I were able to make contact on 80M at around 1630. He has a different HF setup than I do – different antenna and less power, and I think the F layer was not helping at that time – it was a pretty weak signal. With the antenna I built (I built the same one you used in class) and pushing 100W, I was able to make a contact in GA on 40M very clearly. I also heard plenty of people from NY and CT to FL to OH and Chicago.

That’s regional capability that they’re actively creating, that they otherwise may not have been able to achieve. And most important, they’ve got the proper context to use those skills that they definitely won’t get anywhere else. For the people that we’ve all heard saying “I’ll be ready when the time comes”, if that’s your attitude, no, you won’t. All of this is hard enough when conditions are good. If you haven’t been actively training, been sitting on the couch living in a fantasy about fighting the good fight against the Reds while doing literally nothing but wasting time, you will reap exactly the results you’ve put into it. If it were easy, everyone would do it.

Take control of your own destiny. Get trained, get supplied, whether that’s arms, ammo, magazines, food or medical gear, and don’t let it be wasted on you alone.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

AmPart: Simple Rainwater Catch System

American Partisan has posted a useful article for addressing your water needs – Plans and photos of a simple rainwater catch system. Rain catchment systems work most easily in areas that have rain fall throughout the year. If you live in an area with mostly seasonal rainfall, then you’ll need to empty your rain barrel into some kind of cistern in order to have water through the dry months.

When I think about preparedness and survival, I think about the primary priorities in order like this: Shelter, Water, Food and Security. The secondary priorities, once you’ve handled those first four, go like this: Medical, Intelligence, Communications and Transportation. I’m going to give you some plans for a simple way to start a rainwater collection system to allow you to check your water needs off the list. Try to remember as a starting rule that your survival group is going to need to plan for water usage to the tune of one gallon of water per person, per day. Sometimes this will obviously include some adjustments up and down for different cooking needs, sanitation, medical, etc., but generally speaking, that rule is a good starting point.

Before we start, also take into consideration your local water sources. I personally live in a very riverine area, though I’m not right on the water. So as long as I’ve done well for myself with transportation, that might be a good option for collecting water. However, I’ve also got a pretty reliable rainfall pattern (or so I say, as we are currently experiencing our first night of rain in eight weeks). Some of us can often count on decent rainfall, but it would behoove you to store water in the largest amount you can for those weeks (or months) when rain is scarce.

This type of simple system will allow you to funnel rainwater into your reservoir, and also collect from other sources and deposit it in the reservoir yourself. When it’s time to use it, or if you want to drain it into smaller ready-to-use jugs or bottles, it’ll need to be filtered/purified. My unpaid recommendation is to use a Berkey water filter for that, simply because the “black” filters that company uses are able to filter a very large amount of water before they need to be replaced. Simply take the water from your collection system, pour it through a Berkey or some similar filtration system, and it’ll be ready to drink. Without filtering, the water can be used for garden irrigation, pets, possibly even hygiene.

Below you’ll see the parts you’ll for this simple build laid out on our table. There we have a 1/2″ metal hose adaptor and a 1/2″ spigot. You’ll need two PVC bushings to go onto those and a pair of rubber washers, one for each bushing. Get some Teflon tape to wrap the metal threads of the hose adaptor and spigot. Get a length of garden hose to attach to the hose adaptor later as an overflow valve. I have some black plastic mesh screen and a couple of bungee cords to make a top screen. Use a power drill and a 13/16 spade bit for drilling holes in the barrel. My barrel I’m using is a food grade 55 gallon barrel that I’m told contained Mountain Dew before it came to me. Some sources will have the top cut off for you, but you can use a jig saw or a saws-all to remove if you need to. I advise using food grade plastic rather than something that could rust. Lastly, you need a short length of garden hose, at least three feet, and make sure it’s still got the attachment on one end.

 

Use your drill bit to drill out two holes in the barrel. One hole needs to near the bottom, which is where the spigot will eventually go. Three inches from the bottom should be ok, but don’t go too much higher. You don’t want to lose access to several inches of water in the bottom. The next hole needs to be near the top, offset at least 90 degrees from the bottom hole. This will be your overflow outlet, hopefully overflowing into another container via the hose you’ll attach later. It needs to be offset because we will assume that you will eventually pair this barrel with a second one catching your first barrel’s overflow, and you don’t want it blocking the spigot below.

 

With the only section of this project that I would call “work” behind you, you’re ready to attach your pieces. Get your Teflon tape and wrap the threads on the narrower end of the hose adaptor, the threads that are going inside the barrel. Take your hose adaptor and push that side through your top drilled hole. If the hole is tight, you might have to screw it in. Reapply Teflon tape if you have to. On the inside, place a rubber washer and then screw the PVC bushing onto the metal adaptor.

 

 

You’ll follow the same process for the spigot at the bottom. Wrap the metal threads with Teflon tape and push the spigot into the hole. You may need to screw the spigot in if the hole is a tight fit, and if so, make sure the Teflon tape is still in place afterward. Position a rubber washer on the inside and screw the bushing into place.

 

 

Take your overflow hose and attach it to the hose adaptor you installed at the top. This hose will drain water into a second container when this container is full.

 

Secure the mesh screen around the top of the barrel using your bungee cords. You’ll need to purify this water coming out before drinking it anyway, but this mesh can prevent leaves, sticks and some bugs or animals from getting inside.

 

Here is your finished product!

 

Some notes:

Once you get the system built, fill the barrel all the way up to the overflow hose and let it run out for a few minutes. You’re checking for leaks, especially at the bottom around the spigot. That kind of water pressure is likely to cause a leak in that bottom area, so then drain the barrel and take some silicon, caulk or other sealant and seal the leak on the inside and outside. Your overflow hose attachment isn’t nearly as likely to leak, nor will it matter as much if it does. There is much less pressure at the top hole than at the bottom. Once your sealant has dried, fill the barrel again and look for leaks…

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Related:

PennState Extension: Rainwater Cisterns: Design, Construction and Treatment

State of Texas: The Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting (pdf) This is an eighty-eight page manual covering many aspects of rain harvesting. A little of the data is Texas-specific, such as rainfall maps.