Tag Archives: SHTF

Wyoming In the 1980’s Oil Bust – Part 1

by Woodsbum

I was talking to someone who mentioned that I should share a bit of my story as a way to help educate others, so I figured I would do a quick two part post and see if this helped anyone out. If nothing else, it helps give me a link to our family’s ordeal if I decide I need to pass this information along at a later date.

This first part will cover how I see myself and how things suddenly changed for us as a family. Of course we were not the only ones that had our life change, but considering my age at the time I will have to keep everything related to how I saw events unfold. This did change how I look at things as an adult.

The reality is that I have never considered myself a “prepper” in any stretch of my imagination. The whole idea of “prepping” brings up mental images of the people on Doomsday Preppers that are “prepping for the upcoming EMP due to ticking off X country and the ensuing volcanic eruptions because of X.” Their unsubstantiated fears have always bugged me thus I never wanted to be stuck with the handle of “prepper.”

Now why do I put things back for possible bad times? It was learned after the bottom fell out of the oil industry while living in Casper, WY. I was in grade school at the time and still remember the initial impact and what it was like for everyone after the fact. Let me start with the first time I truly understood how bad things were:

My first realization as to the impact of oil and fossil fuel slowdowns was when the richest kid in school was pulled out and moved away. We all hated this girl because her family had everything. This was the early 1980′s and her family had cable TV in several rooms, Atari consoles, an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, and the girl seemed to have every new product that had come out recently. She was always dressed very well and on her birthday our entire class was bussed over to a pizza place where all our expenses were paid to play games, eat, and “kid party” with her. Both her parents were geologists for oil companies and I remember both of them having new “his and her” Corvettes. Well, when per parents came and got her things had changed. They were in a newer station wagon that was pulling a trailer. She had been crying at school for several days and she told us that their parents had lost everything because the company that their parents worked for had closed down the local offices. That day they had put all their remaining posessions (after selling as much as they could) into this car and trailer and were headed to a small piece of property they owned that wasn’t taken.

I also have vivid memories of the local banks just pushing mobile homes into a landfill at the edge of town because they had been reposessed/forclosed upon and taking the loss was less of a financial impact than letting the mobile home sit. A large group of oil field workers has actually built a tent city just outside of town in a multiple acre park. We are talking about something that looked like an overfilled KOA over Labor Day. It was crazy.

Then there was the grocery store. Another vivid memory I have is of the young families that were walking around in an attempt to somehow get all the items they needed for the little money they still had left. Several years later we ended up having to go live with my grandparents in Texas and I thought it was odd that no one was crying at the store because they couldn’t afford food.

This change in the economy seemed to drastically affect everyone I knew and it really made us change how we did things as a family. The next part will cover some things that we did as a family to be able to make it through this hardship.

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Thoughts on Ammunition and Resupply – SHTF Post

by Woodsbum

I was surfing around and ran into a few comments that got me a bit annoyed. Normally I don’t like to get into SHTF type discussions and really never wanted to get into one on this site. What I read just bothered me enough that I had to write something.

What could have got me all fired up? Well, it seems that many SHTF/prepper types seem to have these very odd ideas about ammunition for their firearms. Let me list their misguided belief of how ammunition and resupply would work in a disaster….

  1. Their oddball firearm that is all tricked out to shoot sub-MOA will be able to just miracle up their “special ammunition” that shoots best in their firearm. Of course nothing else but this one brand functions correctly, but this is their “battle rifle.”
  2. Their 1k-2k rounds of ammunition that they have put back is the perfect amount to cover all their “End of Days” scenarios.
  3. Because they have a “special need” to shoot .300 Blackout or 6.5 Grendel, they can easily get more ammunition later on….  Somehow….. And their way is the best because that is the caliber they chose.
  4. Reloaded ammunition opens you up for some sort of automatic jail time if you have to use your firearm to protect yourself.

Let’s face it…..   I don’t understand any of this because it deviates from common sense. Let me just clump some of these misguided thoughts together for easier responses.

Finding Ammo:
For those of you who have tried to find .22lr lately, it is not easy. Most places are sold out all the time and it sells off in minutes of the time that it is stocked. Think back to all the problems people were having around Christmas this year. There was nothing at all on the shelves, no matter what caliber. Even 12 gauge shells were a bit scarce at times. Now multiply this by 10, because ammunition will not be shipped before food or water. How can you expect to order your 75 gr Hornady TAP if you can’t even get in a bottle of water? This makes no sense.

Now add the vogue cartridges that some like to shoot. Try going into a WalMart and buying a box of 6.8 SPC. How do these guys expect to find any more, EVER? This is especially true if the shooter of such specialty rounds refuses to reload? I can answer this question….  They will have a very pretty club because it won’t go “boom” anymore.

Volume on Hand:

If something ever does happen, how does the magic number of 1k-2k of ammunition seem to crop up as THE amount to have on hand? I have always wondered this. When I was in the military the Marines all carried 6 30 round magazines. This gave them 180 rounds that were ready for use. They also would get a bandolier of boxed up ammunition on stripper clips. These hold 210 rounds or 7 mags if you count it that way. This gives the combatant 390 rounds of ammunition for each patrol, firefight, encounter, etc. So 2k of ammunition put back would give you about 5 good firefights worth of ammunition. Considering that I don’t plan on getting into any more firefights in my life, I would think that this amount was more than acceptable in most short term SHTF type scenarios.

BUT, here is the problem with all this logic: These guys seem to think that 5 firefights worth of ammunition is all that you will ever need for the duration of whatever is taking place. They have a “battle rifle” with the sole purpose of tactical response of some sort. They take all their training classes where they shoot off around 800 rounds per class. These guys are all suited up and ready for their SHTF, EOLAWKI, Hellfire and Brimstone, Life Sucks type scenarios. If this were all true and they would never get resupplied how does 5 firefights worth of ammunition add up to a lifetime of potential (or imagined) Mad Max type living?

Are they planning on getting more when Cheaperthandirt is back up and running?

I think that they really need to either reevaluate their ideas on how much fighting they want to do or think more about how much ammunition they will need to be a part of their apocalypse fantasy.

Reloading Defense Rounds Will Get You Jail Time:
Huh? I have heard this several times on forums. According to their claims, anyone that reloads their ammunition will be arrested for premeditated murder if they use self defense hand loads to defend themselves. I just did several Google searches for this claim. Every article I read did not say that the whole case was hinged upon the fact that they reloaded their own ammunition. Some overzealous prosecutors back East did try and increase the charges because of this fact, but other forensic evidence did not support the defendant’s version of events in every current case that I saw. Of course I am not a lawyer, but keeping the lot number of the ammunition labeled on the magazine to protect yourself just seems silly. Couple that with the fact that I cannot find any evidence that this actually is an issue. All in all, I must discount this whole idea unless someone can provide me with specifics that prove otherwise.

My Final Thoughts:
My thoughts on this whole conversation about ammunition stock and resupply is simple. Keep as much ammunition available as you need to. If you are in an urban environment and plan on getting into massive firefights with your fellow survivors, then you better keep more than 5 firefights worth of supply. For those that are more rural and plan on “heading to the hills” might want to think about a small supply. Either way, stock what you think you will need.

Get some reloading equipment and components. By saving brass, having reloading equipment and components on hand, and knowing how to use this equipment, you have increased your ammunition supply dramatically. Not only can you collect your own brass, but you can collect other people’s as well. Every time I go shooting in the hills, I bring back several hundred 9mm and .223 brass. I seriously doubt it would be much different in a SHTF type scenario. After everyone is done firing at each other, they won’t police up their brass. It will be literally laying around. Just look at pictures of war torn countries. Sites of previous firefights and battles have massive amounts of brass and discarded ammunition laying around.

Make sure your firearms are NATO or Soviet ammunition compatible. It wouldn’t really hurt to have both types of weaponry or both uppers for your AR. This way you can resupply any time that you find surplus military gear laying around. Again, look at war torn countries. Kids run around playing with mortars and RPG’s…… This gives you a way to resupply.

Also, ensure your weapons are able to fire any type of ammunition effectively. Don’t spend thousands on an AR that can only fire specific brands of ammunition. My suggestion is to get some cheap Wolf ammo (steel case) and blow out the chambers a bit to give some leeway in the ammunition you can fire. Not all brands are made within a tight tolerance. It also will make it easier when you reload so that you don’t have to be as anal about the final tolerances yourself.

The long and short of it is this: Do what you want, but use some common sense. Even those that lived through urban survival situations, civil war, invasions, and bad sitcoms tell you how hard it is to get anything special and out of the ordinary. What you have when the bad situation starts is what you will have throughout the duration. Don’t make it even harder on yourself by being “special.” As my friend Gunguy says, “be the Grey Man.”

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SHTF – What to do? (A Gunguy Rant Translated)

by Woodsbum

After hearing yet another rant by Gunguy about how inflexible and single minded most SHTF posts/videos/sites are, I decided to translate and turn his opinions into a post. Gunguy loves to do research and analyze people’s disaster plans as a way to make his all the better. We are constantly talking about and evaluating throughout the day as a way to escape the normal drudgery of our mind numbing work tasks. As you can guess, we get on various subjects and spend several hours debating the validity of whatever topic we chose for the day. One common theme I find in our discussions is whether “so-and-so’s” disaster plan is a better one that “what’s-his-name’s.” This post will cover one of the best points Gunguy has ever made about people’s disaster plans.

“People’s disaster plans are too rigid. Their plans need to be more flexible. They need to be more adaptable.” – Gunguy

One prime example of this was a post made on AR15.com. The OP of the post was talking about his bug out plan. He felt that his best option was to grab his AR and bag to get away from any natural disaster he might encounter. After answering some questions posted by other members of the forum it was discovered that the OP actually lived on an island. His bug out plan was really not valid because he had no place to really bug out to.

A different example is one of Gunguy’s friends planned on bugging in if something happened. This friend had 2.5 gallons of water put back, planned on eating his goldfish if need be and had a complete tactical outfit to wear if he had to go walking around the streets looking for supplies.

Both of these disaster plans really get Gunguy started. He can go on for quite a while about how single minded these people seem to be in their planning.

Now, I grew up fairly rural overall. I can hunt, fish, do some gardening, and live off the land fairly well. I would be one of those people that actually could grab their preps and live in the woods for an extended period of time while supplementing food stores with hunting/gathered items. I would be more apt to grab my gear and run into the hills so that I don’t have as much to worry about when it came to looting in a city setting. That is where my comfort zone truly is. Gunguy’s is the exact, polar opposite. He grew up in a HUGE city, hates sleeping in the dirt, and has never hunted game. When we discuss disaster plans and SHTF scenarios, I have found that our backgrounds and comfort zones have really increased the amount of holes we find in various disaster plans we find online. Now Gunguy get’s a “country boy’s” take on the bug out scenarios that are based around heading into the hills to live. This tends to increase Gunguy’s blood pressure as his ranting about their short sightedness in their planning.

Let’s discuss the way that people push certain gear and products. I am looking at a website right now that talks about getting propane heaters that can last for around 4 hours per disposable propane bottle. He has 12 bottles put back from what I see pictures. This will give the person bugging in about 2 days of heat in a disaster scenario. We have areas in my state that lose power for that long every winter. His 2 days of heat is no where close to long enough to keep him warm in a disaster situation. Unfortunately, his site gets quite a few hits and thus many people will think that one case of propane bottles is more than enough to outlast a SHTF scenario. There are no secret formulas on how to survive if something bad happens. Common sense, your skills, your preps, and your ability to use all those tools will be what saves you. Test out whatever gear you get and make sure you are more focused on the skills needed to use the gear than the gear itself. That expertise cannot be taken from you at gun point where your backpack or food stores can be taken.

Let’s also discuss the ignorance of people with regard to living in the woods. I have yet to see ANY website that really discusses the over dependence upon matches and lighters. Why would I carry something that is inevitably going to get wet (thus useless) or won’t work if it gets too cold? The much smarter and better choice is to use a firesteel/ferro rod or flint and steel. You can get one of the H60 firesteels for around $25 that will work when wet, can light fuzz sticks with a single strike, and doesn’t have to be in a certain temperature range to be effective. Even though this is common sense to us “country boys” people are misguiding their readers by making them think that matches in a waterproof container will be all that they will ever need. Where I live you can’t carry enough matches to build a fire every night of our winter weather. You are lucky if you can get them to last 1 week of camping let alone a SHTF scenario.

Gunguy’s main argument centers around the idea that all people need to test out, plan for glitches, and be prepared to change or move your location/plan/preps as the situation dictates. Ironically, watching a few episodes of Doomsday Preppers will teach you this. Just listen to the “Practical Preppers” recommendations. Most of them include a backup plan in their list. It seems that each one of the guests on the show really don’t take heed of the advice, however, because they all seem to only dive more deeply into their current plan or mindset.

The more I look at the examples that Gunguy points out to me and the more into the whole “prepping” thing I get into, the more sense he tends to make. If I plan on grabbing my gear and running away, I should also harden my home in the event that I have to bug in. Under the same pretense, he does have his bug out bags in the event that he has to get out of his home. He, however, tailors it more to his needs and expertise. His bug out bag is affectionately referred to as his “Spend 3 days in a hotel somewhere else” bag.

Whatever your plans are or where your expertise lie, I merely suggest (and I would think Gunguy would concur) that you meld the two. Don’t plan on taking off to the hills if you can’t build a fire or impromptu cabin from fallen logs. At the same time, don’t plan on bugging in if you are new to a city and don’t know how to spot bad high crime areas without a Google search. Keep yourself within your areas of expertise, but DON’T depend solely on your comfort zones. Learn about the areas you don’t understand or have no experience. Build a plan based around both types of prepping. Someday you might find yourself stuck in a situation where you do have to either drain water from a boiler or start a fire with sticks and stuff……..

Stay safe!

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