The Art of Accountability: Confronting Mistakes in Crisis Moments

The Art of Accountability: Confronting Mistakes in Crisis Moments
I believe in owning up to mistakes.

Having said that, I made a big whoopsie in regards to prepping. A few days back, there was a pretty good windstorm that was kicking up. Forecast looked nasty, lo and behold the warning sirens and announcements went off. Distance from the speakers and weather being what they were, we did not hear the actual verbal announcement, only the blaring siren.

Okay boys, this is what we wait for as preppers!

I went down to the vault and started getting Angie’s gear first. SxS 12ga, .357 revolver, bugout bag. Awesome.

Went back downstairs to get my gear. Single shot break-open 12 ga, gun belt/kit, shooting bag, bug out bag. 
And now we start down the rabbit hole.

My first brain fart began with loading up the gun belt. I brought out the Super Blackhawk (.44) and the belt rounds. Wait, should I bring the .45lc? I have that adapter in the shooting bag for the 12ga. Never mind, keep going Brandon.

Picked up a ’94 in .44 to go with the revolver (ammo compatibility). Hmmm, maybe the .45-70 would be a better choice for game/defense if needed. Yeah, do that!

Piddle fart with all this stuff, which goes completely against the grain of the concept of a “minute man” mentality. We ended up never having to leave the house, which gave me plenty of time to ponder how I had just gotten so far in my head, playing so many “what if’s” that I basically just went in circles. 

So, here’s the moral of my little story….

If you have multiple plans/load-outs for different situations, grab that particular kit and stick with that plan. If this had been a completely different scenario (more combat-esque) it would’ve been Tavor or AR/web gear/72hr pack. No sweat.

This particular event should have been bushcraft shotgun/long term bag, .45lc & belt, DONE!

I spent way too much un-necessary time and energy trying to cover all my bases, when the plan for that scenario had already been set.

Make a plan, keep up with your preps (stay familiar with your gear), and STICK TO YOUR PLAN!

Rant over, lesson learned and focusing in practicing what I preach. 

As I wrap up this blog on the importance of being prepared and sticking to a plan, I want to leave you with a valuable resource to help you on your path to preparedness. If you've been inspired by my story and are now considering the importance of having a well-equipped emergency bag (also known as a 'go bag' or 'bug-out bag'), I encourage you to explore my course on this very topic.

Truck Gun (Part 2)

Truck Gun (Part 2)
If you missed part 1, check it out here.

Just as firearms have evolved, so has the concept that we now call the truck gun. Last time we talked about the single shot and side by side shotgun, & how versatile they can be.
Time to jump forward.

Lever action rifles

As I said in the last post, Dad always had at least one rifle in the window rack of his “69 Ford pickup out on the ranch. His go-to was usually a Winchest ‘94 in .30-30, but he sometimes doubled down, bringing his ‘94 in .25-35 (Great Grandpa’s).
The shorter barrel of the ‘94 makes for a good length for a truck gun, and the higher power of the rifle cartridges vs a shotgun load makes for longer shots. It kind of goes without saying, follow-up shots are no issue thanks to the tubular magazine.
My modernized take on this one utilizes a Winchest ‘94 Trapper in .44mag, to go along with a Ruger Super Blackhawk.
I have both of Dad’s ‘94s now, and they occasionally get to go for a ride.
I don’t think any post (especially one of mine) would be complete without mentioning the Marlin 1895.
Absolutely, positively my favorite all around cartridge. Period. My 1895 sees a lot of carry, and gets used whenever possible. Classic design for a classic (still in use) cartridge.

Pump action shotguns

Ah, the old reliable shotgun makes another appearance!
While not as fully versatile as its’ break action brother (sub-caliber inserts a no-go), the pump shotgun definitely has a place as a truck gun. The capability to hold more than the two rounds of a SxS gives plenty of punch when needed. Whether you prefer the classic styling of a Defender style with a larger magazine tube or the modern aesthetics of a Super Nova (3 ½” Mag capable) this gun gives options baby!

Lever action shotguns

Say what?
Yep. While not nearly as popular as either a pump or even a break action, they exist. I’ve owned several modern reproductions of this 1887 shotgun. Prices can range from about $400 to an arm and a leg lol. Trust me on this one, if you go with the $400 copy, be friends with a gunsmith! I’ve broken mine down & polished everything possible, it now runs great.
Faster than the single shot or SxS, definite “cool factor”, but can be finicky.

Parting thoughts

Obviously there are limitations to these gun/round combinations. None are as overall versatile as the shotguns mentioned in Part 1, but they fill a different niche.
From food gathering to a limited defensive role, lever & pump guns certainly have a place in or list.
Here’s some stuff to ponder, Part 3 coming soon!

The Truck Gun (Part 1)

The Truck Gun (Part 1)
As a kid growing up in Northern New Mexico & Southern Colorado, it was not unusual to see a rifle in the rack of almost every pickup in town.
My dad kept a lever action .30-30 in his truck (usually a shotgun too), and just about every “ranch kid” that brought their truck to school had some kind of rifle in the rack.

Evolution of the truck gun

The “truck gun” or “trunk gun” depending on where you live, is basically the evolution of the canoe gun concept. Traders & trappers preferred a shorter barreled weapon for use in the canoe or on horseback. Shorter barrel, easier to swing into action.
We’re starting this mutli-part post with the single shot and SxS shotguns.

The single shot break action

A single shot 12ga shotgun is just about as “all around useful” as you can get in a modern gun. Not a lot of moving parts, a multitude of available loads that are easily obtained, and very easy to learn. You can even get adapters that will allow you to fire .22, 9mm, .38, etc etc.
While not the ideal weapon for fighting your way out of a sticky situation (it is 1 round at a time lol), it’s perfect for the errant snake, or if you need to leave the vehicle for small game or birds. 

The side by side

The next step up for me would be the side by side (SxS) 12ga.
This idea has a lot going for it, aside from the cool factor of being about as Western as you can get!
The SxS has the same potential for usefulness as the single shot, with the added ability for a follow-up shot if needed. I was talking to a good friend about this concept, when he popped out with, “Hell, you could leave the insert in one barrel and use the other for whatever shotgun round you wanted!”

Versatility defined

#6 shot, #8 shot, buckshot, slugs, .22, .38, 9mm, .40, .44, .223, etc all out of one gun! From birds all the way up to larger game at close range, this is the most versatile tool in the box (or the trunk) in my opinion.
Be sure to come back for Part 2, as the Truck Gun evolves!


It's our Alaskan anniversary!

It's our Alaskan anniversary!
Believe it or not, we’ve made it a whole year! There’ve been some ups and downs, but all told it’s been an adventure worth having.

Four days driving from Colorado to Washington, five days in Bellingham WA waiting to board the ferry, four and a half days sail from Bellingham to Whittier AK. A sailing filled with amazing views, cool people, and two very seasick travel partners (the girls did soldier through it, just don’t ask them to go on a boat again).

Off-loading in Whittier at the end of winter, 6” of ice on the roads. Driving through a train tunnel (on the in-place tracks) and down onto the Kenai Peninsula. 

Frost heaves (they’re a thing, and when you don’t see ‘em coming it sucks)!

I got to play happy homemaker, waiting to hear from my new potential employer while Angela did her behavioral health gig. 

Lived in a great apartment complex with some amazing people (Otis made quite a few friends), a lot of whom Angela worked with.

Started the next chapter of my career 600mi away from Angela & Addie. Soon after Angela left her mental health position and is now running her own health and wellness business. 

Found a great house to make home, off the beaten path but not off-grid.
We learned that the KP/home gets most of its snow when I’m away, leaving Angela & Addie to deal with it. This is also the moment I was informed by Angela that she ain’t going full time off-grid!

Added a new “cuddly puppy” to the family, with the intent of Czarina having a little playmate to keep company and raise. Note: Cooper is now 8mo old, weighs over 70lb and will probably serve as transportation for the smaller grandkids while outside.

We’ve had minor catastrophes happen back in Colorado that we haven’t been able to personally attend to, and milestone events we’ve missed.

We’ve missed personal get-togethers, and have watched over Facetime as my best friend (aka grandson) grows into a teenager.

We’ve seen some of the most amazing vistas and animals ever, and apparently run an excellent restaurant for moose!

The decision to come here was easy, the getting here a bit of a challenge. Facing the new/unknown can sometimes be a bit scary, but we’re all about adventure. Here’s to what’s to come and bringing you along for the ride!

PS: We have a page dedicated to Alaska in the works. You'll get all the details on our move, fun things we've learned living here, and all the fun adventures! You can find that here. Check back frequently. We've got a lot to add!

PPS: We also just recently launched our first program. Check it out here and see if it’s for you!

Must haves for your every day drive (EDD) Fishing Kit

Must haves for your every day drive (EDD) Fishing Kit

Being a former Boy Scout, and working in a very rural environment, I’ve learned to keep a basic “survival fishing kit” in my vehicle all the time. This kit doesn’t have to be large and cumbersome. In fact, the kit I keep in our truck is contained in a small fanny pack. We've all heard of EDC, here we're going to discuss the EDD (Every Day Drive) kit.

Below I’ve listed all my must-haves. Keep reading to find out!

What’s in the kit

One of the first things I put in the kit was a method of making fire. Following the “Be Prepared” mantra, I have multiple methods for starting a fire. A ferrocerium (“ferro”) rod tops the list in this area, as even wet material will succumb to the extremely hot sparks put off by this material. Amazon has an excellent assortment of ferro rods in different dimensions. I’ve found that the ¼ inch or larger rods work best, but any port in a storm as they say!

The tried and true Bic style lighter obviously has a place in the fire kit. Because let’s face it, those things  last forever.

I’m a huge fan of Dave Canterbury, but on this next point he & I diverge just a bit. Old fashioned strike anywhere matches (when you can find them!) are a great method for fire starting (another Boy Scout hold over lol). Make sure that you waterproof the heads to avoid wet weather complications.

Believe it or not, there is a flint and steel kit in the fire bag as well, along with char cloth and jute.

Water and water purification methods are up next.

Stainless steel water bottles are my go-to. But if you’re just starting out or just want to keep it simple, store bought bottled water, plastic sports bottles, or a bota bag (personal fav) work fine. I keep water purification tablets in the kit in case I have to replenish with water I can’t boil first.

The food component is made up of trail mix, granola bars, pre-packaged “snack packs” (tuna, chicken, etc). Add a few tea bags & coffee pouches and you’re set.

Don’t forget the fishing gear

A small collapsible fishing rod & reel are obviously a main component, along with a good assortment of lures/bait/flies. There’s nothing wrong with a small Plano or similar compartment box to be able to expand the lures and goodies. In my kit I included a couple of the yo-yo style automatic reels. These things are great! not only will they double or triple your effort to reward (they set the hook) but you can also use them for triggers in light snares.

For a shelter component, I threw a couple of emergency space blankets (mylar) in, along with some 550 cord.

A small folding knife and a small flashlight round out the basic kit.

Ready for anything

I’m sure you’ve noticed it ain't all strictly fishing. The point is to not completely limit yourself, be ready for a multitude of potentials. Different situations, different kits!

Hope you find this useful! Feel free to comment with any questions and I’ll get back to you ASAP! 

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