We will be taking a break from the normal schedule here at GunsAmerica until the week before SHOT Show in January, so I thought it would be nice to share with you some of the subjects and products that I am working on for the coming year. If you haven’t read this column all along (we get 500-1000 new subscribers per day), there is a huge body of work here that you should read, and that you should weigh against the shopping options below. I have scoured the internet for almost two years now and have yet to find a series on prepping and survival that is even close to as comprehensive.
The title of this article is “Surviving Black Friday and the Apocalypse,” and I didn’t call it that by accident. I am actually writing this on Black Friday, and I was thinking about how much money is being spent on things that people don’t need, or in many cases with gifts, even want. Take a look at what you bought so far this year. Is any of it going to be useful in the world to come? I see people in the comments whine about a few hundred bucks for essentials, food, water, heat, light, self defense, communications. I even reviewed a comprehensive hand crank mixer developed by the Amish that I use all the time, off grid while the grid still works.
All of the junk that the retail stores are trying to shove down our throats this holiday season will be completely useless in the world to come. I don’t know if it will be 3 months, 6 months, 3 years, or 1 day, but I can tell you that it has to end. Extend and pretend has reached every corner of our financial system, and our environment. It is all going to burn down at some point, no matter how many wars and rumors of wars they attempt to cover it up with. Don’t get me wrong. I think that “the plan” is to keep Fox News on as long as possible as we devolve into chaos. It appears that America is buying yet another fake “evil arabs” story, and ra ra ra, here we go again bombing people who are of no threat to us in the name of patriotism and world peace. But it has to end. And if even ten percent of the sheep wake up tomorrow, because some world leader spills the beans on 911, 7/7, or even this new Paris attack, you won’t be able to get canned food, or any of the products I have covered in this column, or that I will list below.
Already I see subtle changes in what is available out there for off grid living. I spoke to a guy recently who had a very successful hand well pump company and he had to shut down for several months because he wore out his machines and had to retool on larger equipment. The price of others has doubled in the last two years. Likewise for metal can sealers. I also noticed that Walmart reduced the number of boxes of dried milk you could buy at one time to 4 at a time, down from 20, after my first food article, but they have recently bumped that to 8, as I linked below.
These exception is China. I’m not going to get into a big todo about it here, because if you wanted to do the research, you could have done it already. But don’t believe what you see in the mainstream media about China’s so called downturn. Of course there is a downturn! Chinese growth was born on Western consumption, and that consumption was predicated on an American populace that could and was willing to sink deeper and deeper into debt. That growth also required an unlimited flow of natural resources into China, and no regulation on Chinese pollution, or the labor conditions of cheap Chinese labor. All of that is now ending. But now America has been stripped of her machines to make stuff, and American debt has played itself out as far as it can reach. Meanwhile the Chinese have been buying more gold than the world produces for many years now, and they have bought all that gold with the dollars we sent them. Our entire world financial system since 1971 has been predicated on a global demand for US dollars, and that demand is now in its death throes. The Chinese have built entire empty cities in preparation for the coming global halt on production, and our media tells us that they are fools building cities merely to keep up their own GDP.
But for now, you can buy all kinds of useful things for dollars. We print our unbacked (Monopoly) money out of thin air, and they send us cool stuff for a change in numbers on the screen. Crazy. I say play the game. Charge up the cards, get cookers, radios, heaters, lamps, mantles, wicks, and even solar panels from China, and the new plasma TV this Christmas.
Maybe I’m wrong. As I said over a year ago, maybe we are all being played and this is just a “Leaning Tower of Pisa” moment for those of us who are freaking out over world events. But I didn’t know about the heart of this mess a year ago. We have already started to see record **cold** temperatures worldwide as the Paris climate conference approaches. In the US we have already seen snow storms in 50 degree weather, while the arctic ice cap is getting thinner and thinner at The climate oligarchs engineer a wider frozen surface area, which in nature would be impossible. Mission #1 is to convince the world, and especially us “conservatives” and “libertarians,” that global warming is a hoax, while the planet dies around us.
So here is a brief shopping list. Well as brief as I get usually lol. I am including this video before the list just in case you are interested in spreading the awareness of what is going on in our world. It is a slideshow created by a pilot of solar radiation management airplane trails, and evidence of radio wave atmospheric heaters in action. This is the biggest issue of our time. Bigger than GMO. Bigger than 911. Bigger than ISIS, and even bigger than R2KBA, believe it or not. Do you want to shoot your neighbors when the food shortage can’t be hidden anymore? Do you want to take up arms against the oligarchs and their military servants who will fight you in the name of patriotism? Educate yourself now and spread the word while there is still food in the stores and they are still dropping their bombs on helpless arabs.
All American Pressure Canner – If you read my intro to canning (in which I used a Rocket Stove for heat), you saw that I chose a cheap Presto canner, available at Walmart for $69, to this day. But if you have a Christmas list and you, like me, are impossible to buy for, ask for an All American. Their metal to metal design has no O ring like the Presto canners, and they will last a lifetime.
Mayday 3600 Calories Bars $114/case – I have linked to these before, and they are about 3x as good a buy in survival food as a “30 day supply” from the survival food companies. If you have a kid in college and you want to give her or him a chance to just hunker down for a couple months while people outside kill each other, this is 631 calories per dollar, about the best you’ll get outside the supermarket.
Ives Way Model 900 Can Sealer $332 – This is one of the products that you just don’t see for sale anymore. I have been in touch with the manufacturer and they are making as many as they can, but the demand is overwhelming. That link, the Wells Can Company, is the only supplier I can find online that has the large salmon cans with the sloped sides. They are the best deal because they hold a reasonable serving of meat or fish, and you can get a lot of them into one box because they stack.
If you have access to wild hogs, tons of fish or some other free protein source, you’ll find that the can sealer and cans will pay for themselves very quickly on a calories per dollar basis. Quality food is expensive, and you shouldn’t assume that you won’t be competing for those hogs and fish after the collapse. Glass jars are great, and reusable if you buy Tattler lids as I explained in my first canning article. But you can knock over a pile of boxes with full jars and lose them all. Food that you can in steel will last forever, literally. I have some articles coming, but the inexpensive can sealers are getting scarce and this Ives Way has gone up $50 in six months…
Rain Harvesting Heads and Filters – If you read my recent installment on rain harvesting, I gave you a very very basic idea of what it is like to route your gutters into a cistern. There are much better ways to do it, and if you just look into the products, you’ll see layouts that are proven to work, and that will give you reliable water for the foreseeable future, assuming you have a large enough cistern system.
Potable Pillow Tank 25-5000 Gallons – You know what I think is rediculous? Colorado voters recalled state legislators after they passed gun control laws that were nuts, but is not the definition of nuts not being able to collect rainwater on your own property? If they could do it in Colorado they can do it in your neighborhood. That means that if you want to create your own water supply, you are going to have to do it covertly with water tanks that will fit through the door. An 800 gallon tank costs $569, and that website has great resources for how to fill, store and clean your tank. I hope to eventually get to a covert water collection article, but time is running short. If you don’t have your own water supply you are as good as dead.
Submersible DC Well Pump $118.50 – Do you have a well? Do you have any idea how you plan to get your water out of it when the power goes out? Most well pumps are in the 7-10 amp range, at 220 volts. That means you’ll need a 220v inverter capable of at least 1500 watts. That is not your average Costco power inverter, and the high wattage inverters I have tried are buggy at best. You are much better to come up with a 12 or 24 volt solution, which is why I plan to cover these for an upcoming article. The problem I have is that my well is only a 2″ pipe, so none of these fit. I found a system over $600 that is 1 7/8″ and comes with 20 meters of wire, hose and rope. If you have a standard Artesian 4″ wellhead, by all means take advantage of the cheap price while you still can. Just remember that at these low voltages even 120 watts on this base model is going to take thick copper down the well to the top of your water level. Do your homework, and test it now.
Pitcher Pump $47 – I actually just had one of these installed on my wellhead, and it works really well. If you have a water level less than 25 feet (all of Florida), this pump is really all you need. There are more robust systems, and they cost upwards of $1,000, but I was really surprised when my water company installed this on top of my well casing for about $200. If you do the same, make sure that you put a check valve so you don’t have to re-prime your system every time you use it.
100 Foot Hand Well Pump $310 – I ordered this from Amazon to test for you guys and I haven’t been able to get to it yet. It looks like a ridiculously overpriced, but extremely robust no electric emergency back up system. If you know that the water level of your well is less than 100 feet down but not within reach of a pitcher pump, this pump is well worth the price.
Biolite Base Camp Thermoelectric Rocket Stove $299.95 – This is the big brother to the Biolite Campstove I reviewed a short time ago, It is far and away the best cooking experience I have had with any Rocket Stove. If you have not read that article, the Devil Watt is another really good candidate. This Basecamp is what I would call the daily, industrial sized high performance Rocket Stove, with a built in blower and external battery charger. Great stuff!
Kerosene/Diesel Stove $17.18 – I actually paid $60 with shipping for this thing on Ebay a short while ago, and then I found it for less than 1/3 of hat on AliExpress. There are also extra wicks on there. This is one of several kerosene stoves I am testing with diesel fuel for an upcoming installment, and at this price it is just a no brainer. In the third world there are millions of people cooking on burners like this. Don’t worry about buying things on Ali. It always gets there, at some point.
Primus Kerosene Pressure Stove $65 – There are two new production Primus stoves available on Ebay right now. Neither are produced for US export, so you can both the PT-2 and PT-3 from Ukraine. There are also Primus Omnifuel stoves for $127 that are produced for the US market, but I don’t trust them, specifically because they are produced for the US market. If you sell a crappy stove to a Russian, you won’t have the chance to do it again. There is a similar stove on Ali for $48 and I ordered one of those. Also note that I just found a stove made in India that copies another Primus design for only $20 plus shipping on Ebay. It looks great, but I haven’t been able to test it. All of these stoves should run regular diesel or home heating oil with no problems, and no smell. It used to be that diesel had a sulphur smell, so don’t go by old discussion board threads. Emissions controls have all but eliminated the smell from diesel.
20 Qt. 16″ Cast Iron Dutch Oven $101 – As I explained in my “Survival Food by the Numbers” article, regular old flour is over 7,000 calories per dollar, and is a huge bang for your survival buck. But you have to be able to bake it! I have tried the Coleman oven over the Rocket Stove and everything comes out tasting like a forest fire, so I am testing these dutch ovens as stovetop ovens. The ones on Ebay are from China, and of fine quality. If you want to buy American, Red Hill General Store carries the full Lodge line, but you will pay for them, and a lot more than China. I don’t see a Lodge 20 quart available today, though I have some pretty big ones.
Geiger Counter for Iphone/Android $74 – I had hoped to get this out last week but I lost the cord for it. This week he sent me a new one and it works fabulously. The nice thing is that it has its own on/off switch, so you don’t need a phone to hear the clicks. I reviewed a phone geiger bug a while ago in this series on Geiger counters and this one uses a GM tube, not a pin diode, so it is much more sensitive. I also was unable to blank it out with high radiation sources, which is impressive. If you are a nerd, this seller on Ebay has a lot of nifty projects that you can make yourself for a fraction of what you would pay for a complete device.
An Aladdin Lamp $129+ – If you read my recent article on survival lighting, you already know that diesel will burn in any flat wick kerosene hurricane or table lamp. The problem is, those lamps don’t throw a lot of light, usually under 10 candlepower. I am linking to Lehmans for Aladdin, because for a new lamp, you won’t find cheaper, and they have a great 3 year supplies kit for $169. If you aren’t getting a Lehman’s catalog, you really should regardless. I have been a customer for many years and they have a lot of Amish made exclusive stuff. I have yet to test diesel with an Aladdin lamp, FYI, but my guess is that it’ll run just fine. If you can get clear kerosene at the pump (I can’t) or you have home heating oil in your tank, an Aladdin lamp is a bit of a guzzler compared to flat wicks, but a couple hours a night isn’t going to kill you, and they can be used for heat on chilly but not freezing nights. The manual claims that an Aladdin provides 2,800 BTUs of heat. Of course you can also find used Aladdin lamps on Ebay, but beware that you get what you pay for. If it isn’t a 23 style burner, the wicks and mantles are no longer being made so you have to buy new old stock. The lox-on mantel fits models 12, A, B, C, 21, 21C, 23 and MaxBrite 500 with no adaptor needed. Older than that you need a Kone Kap adapter, which I’ll cover in the article. The wick is supposed to last 3 years, but there is little information about how much use that covers. They claim the mantles last a year. If you want a low cost, low maintenance high output no-pressure lamp, get a…
100+ Year Old Rayo Lamp – This is one that you might want to wait for the article on, because we are talking about lamps that for the most part are 100 years plus old. If you are adventurous though, go for it. I did!
The Rayo is considered the dirty dog of “central draft lamps” because they were very common, not really elegant, and they were sold by Standard Oil Company, just to get people hooked on their kerosene product. The nice thing with a Rayo is that there are only three parts, the burner, the wick raiser, and the flame spreader, and I have yet to find one that is complete and doesn’t work (I have 4 so far). Wicks can be found cheapest at Lehman’s, $21 for 5. I paid twice as much on Ebay before finding this deal. I also just found this wick by the yard ($3) on Ali, but haven’t gotten any in to test yet. That guy, “Light King” is trying to find me a new production central draft lamp, but for now, the old ones work just fine, and they are generally under $100 with shipping. There is no mantle on a Rayo like the Aladdin, and they are really bright. I have been testing with diesel fuel and so far they work great.
Xeigu X1M All Band QRP Radio $359 – If you have been following my series on radio communications, then you already know Boefeng/Wouxon handhelds won’t do you a bit of good if you want to reach distant family or figure out who is still alive after the collapse. But that same company is now making a QRP, low wattage all band radio for a fraction of the price that you will pay for a much more limited Yaesu FT-817, which is the standard of the industry in QRP. This radio can be modified to both receive and transmit in any frequency in the world communication system, and it comes from the factory with the proper filters set up for the amateur Ham radio bands. Ham radios are a lot like guitar amps. A few watts goes a long way, and a lot of watts is not that much more effective power. I have already gotten contacts from around the world on my X1M, and my only complaint is that the microphone is junky. I have yet to work out a replacement. There is a Yahoo users group on this radio and reference materials are at the link. I have scored these on Ebay for under $300.
Yaesu FT-101 & Kenwood TS-520 $150 – $750 – If you haven’t gone down the Ham radio road yet, get going! These radios go for as little as $150, and most of them come from estates and show little use. There are some 100% solid state models on Ebay as well, but these have tubes as the transmit finals. Don’t get scared away from all the technicals. The manuals are online, just Google them, and set up a proper antenna, below.
G5RV Antenna $47-$300 – I am in the process of testing literally a dozen antennas. What you will learn when you dig into the science is that antennas are a work in progress technology. Someone comes up with an idea, tries it, it works, so they bring it to the next Ham convention and become the talk of the town that everyone has to have. The G5RV is an old military design that you can get as little as $47. If you live in an apartment, try the MFJ apartment antenna, but beware, you’ll have to be able to lay out the counterpoise wire out the window. I have yet to try any of my end fed single line antennas, including the QSO King that I mentioned in my radio backpack article. I also just got another single line antenna that is very compact for like $75. There are cheap ways to Ham, and from what I have experienced so far, the first time you juice up your radio you’ll hear contacts from all over the country, and at night on 20 or 40 meters, all over the world, even without an antenna tuner. Do not transmit without a license, but if you want to make sure that your radio transmits without broadcasting, get one of the many “dummy load” products out there. They work great. You will also want an antenna tuner, so read the old articles here, and be a curious person. There is a lot to learn while the internet still works.
Primus Heater/Cooker– A lot of people noted in my recent heater article that even a 10,000 BTU stove is often too much.
14 Wick Kerosene Burner – If you want the extra BTUs, this is an option.
Alpaca Kerosene Cooker – These retail for over $200 new, but you can score them unused from estates for under $100 on Ebay sometimes. The extra wicks are also available.
Trolling for Hams – This is a link to bring up all of the HF radios from Yaesu, Icom and Kenwood. Once you click on one, Ebay will serve you others, and that’s how you find the good deals. For instance, this Icom IC-730 is a small and really nice solid state radio, and the bidding starts at $250. It’ll probably go unsold, or sell for close to that. The Ham enthusiasts want all the bells and whistles, but as a novice you are better without them, and buy a good antenna and tuner. What you are looking for are the HF Ham bands, “10-160 meters” or at least 10-80 meters, or 1.5mhz-30mhz. Above 30mhz you don’t get out further than local unless you know how to use some very experience Ham tricks, like bouncing signals off of meteors.
Honeyville Whole Eggs – Much more expensive than they used to be, but have been sold out for months. I just checked and they happen to have the #10 cans, at 141 calories per dollar, which isn’t terrible for high quality bulk food. Check out the cheeses too, which are now in stock.
Walmart Instant Nonfat Dried Milk 64oz – These have come down a buck in price, and Walmart is letting you buy 8 per order these days (used to be 20). It is free shipping over $50, so they’ll come right to your door for cheaper than you can get them in the stores right now. 400 calories per dollar.
All American #10 Can Sealer – This $950 price is the cheapest I can find on any machine that will seal a #10 can. I get my cans from Freund Container, and they are having a holiday sale right now of free shipping over $250, so with sales tax (which I have no idea why they collect it out of state), you can get 64 cans (they come in boxes of 8) for $280 (code is FPS1115). The crazy thing is, I bought an Ives Way Model 603 hand can sealer on Ebay about 9 months ago for $120. Nobody else bid on it. Now, try to find one even, for any price. There is a quiet prepping revolution going on, and if you are not part of it, you won’t even have a chance when this all falls apart.
Waring Tailgate 12v Blender – There are also hand crank blenders that are pricey, but if you have a 12 volt solar backup system, one of these blenders is a great investment if you are going to stock up on dried milk. For kids, smoothies with dried fruit is something they never get sick of, and I found this deal on Amazon that seems to be limited, so grab one. It is hard for me to do an article on “Survival Blenders,” because it is silly. But you never know.
Oh, and Merry Christmas from your doomsday prepper Jewish friend lol. I will spread the message about geonengineering until this mess ends, but the only true survival perspective is through the mercy of our Creator, who claims to love us. Whatever name you choose to pray for in the way of a messiah, please do that. The Ultimate Redemption with revelation of the true King of Kings is the only way out. May it be speedily in our days. 🙂