Notes for Friday – March 24, 2017

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March 24th is the birthday of Dr. Art Robinson, who was born in 1942. Robinson is an American biochemist, conservative activist and politician and currently runs a laboratory known as the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine along with publishing the Robinson Self-Teaching Home School Curriculum.

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Today, we present another entry for Round 69 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $15,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
  6. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 Magpul PMAG 30-rd Magazines (a value of $300) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt; (an equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions),
  7. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  8. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  9. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Tactical Self-Contained 2-Series Solar Power Generator system from Always Empowered. This compact starter power system is packaged in a wheeled O.D. green EMP-shielded Pelican hard case (a $2,400 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  8. A selection of canned meats containing a 10 pack of 28oz cans of Premium Beef and a 5 pack of 28oz cans of Premium Pork from Wertz’s Farm Market (a $300 value),
  9. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  10. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Third Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  4. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  5. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  6. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  7. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  8. Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
  9. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value), and
  10. Fifteen LifeStraws from SafeCastle (a $300 value).
  11. A $250 gift certificate to Tober’s Traditions, makers of all natural (organic if possible) personal care products, such as soap, tooth powder, deodorant, sunscreen, lotion, and more.

Round 69 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

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Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 4, by R.M.

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You can buy a lance head and boot at Cotswoldsport to make your lance. Bamboo is a good staff to use, but other woods work. Your ability to control the lance can be influenced; it’s the weight.

I don’t really know western gear. I was trained in the European tradition– German, Austrian, and English styles. So I use that kind of gear. Saddle, cinch, stirrups, bridle with snaffle and bit (eggbut/something soft on the mouth). Know your horse’s teeth. If they need to be floated, do it. All western bits look too hard on the mouth to me. You might know better. If you are controlling your horse (hard mouthed horse) mostly by the mouth, you might not have a horse you can count on in stressful situations. If that’s all you’ve got, make do.

I bring a rasp and prefer a horse who doesn’t need shoes. You can shape his hooves if anything happens to prevent cracks.

I use a small collapsible brass hoof pick, which works quite well and fits in a normal shirt pocket or small pocket on your rig. Pick out the hooves at the start and end of the day as well as any time you think something might have gotten caught up in there. Anything you can do to prevent lameness is worth it.

I bring a curry comb and brush. If gear becomes a problem, you can bring just the brush. Comb and brush the horse at the beginning of the day, and do it again at the end of the day’s labors after removing the saddle.

Hobbles go on now and are an important item to pack. For most horses a halter and lead is a good idea. If you have to hide, you might want to have this to tie the horse away from any action. Some people put these over the regular leather bridle with the lead coiled and tied to the saddle while riding, if there is not enough room to store them elsewhere. This can have a negative effect on your horse’s performance and response to signals.

As you probably know, the halter does not go in the mouth, so it’s used to tie the horse at night. If I am fairly confident of seclusion, I won’t use a halter, just hobbles. In capture the flag exercises, it was better to have a halter, but I must admit I hate bringing a halter and lead on long rides. Having a pack horse eases the issue, but water can be a problem. If you think your horse will be found out, let him graze while you rest out of sight. If you have enough people for a watch, you should be good. If you have a good dog, you should be good. Another issue is what kind of socializer your horse is. If they try to say “hello” to other horses within earshot, they might not be the best choice. I had to train Cloud not to do that. It was slow going and required a lot of patience, but he stopped. The worst thing is to be in the deep forest when your horse decides to say “hidey ho” to a passing horse you can neither see nor hear. Cloud would do that, and this is a good way to get caught.

Fritz has a back pack for his gear; however, I prefer not to use that. You can get a collapsible fabric food/water bowl for your dog. There’s a lot of fancy MOLLE rigs out there for dogs.

You can get a three-day pack for your back, if you don’t have saddle bags or in addition to saddlebags. Compensate for that weight when signaling the horse.

For saddle bags, cavalry style are my choice. You can make them and stitch them together with raw hide strips, or buy some really nice ones. But…yet another but, you have to see how your horse relates to weight on his back. The bags go on behind the saddle, and a water bag might have to go on top of that. If your horse doesn’t like unexpected weight on their back, start slow; hopefully, they will get used to it. Add empty bags at first, then slow degrees of weight introduction. A fit horse should not have a problem with this. They have to know it’s okay.

The same is true for weapons. When you shoot a bow, you have to get the horse used to the bow. Put some of its slobber on the bow. Take a few shots while dismounted. Show them the slobbered bow after each shot. Let them smell it. Pet them. Tell them all is okay. Then mount up with someone on the ground holding the horse, reins on the saddle. Take a shot. The horse is encouraged and rewarded. Progress in kind. Apply this with all weapons and gear if there is a weird response to them.

For example, when running a course of heads on poles for sword practice, a green horse in this practice needs its slobber on each pole. Walk him through it. All is good. There is nothing abnormal, and he will realize a good time as you weave at a full gallop between poles practicing your clean cuts or knocking down heads. Tent pegging is a good way to practice with the lance. Spear throwing or lancing animal targets where the lance is left in the animal all may require the horse’s scent on the weapon, so the horse gets used to it. My experience is, horses are smart. Once they know there is nothing to fear, they deem a thing normal, just an extension of the fun of riding.

The M1913 Patton Sword is good for horse. It can be used as a lance as well. Forward cut back cut at the charge was the common use, but it performs well as a sabre too. There was a company making new ones for $200, and several on sale on Ebay.

For archery gear, use two quivers mounted on a belt around the waist, one on each side with a bow case attached to the saddle. The bow remains strung all the time you are out. Remember an extra bow string and wax, stored in the bottom of your quivers.

A bar of saddle soap* is a good thing to have, depending upon weather conditions. If it’s dusty or wet, you definitely want to soap your leather. Bridles get saddle soap at the end of every day. If sweat goes through saddle pads, the saddle has to soaped. In war-like situations, the bridle always gets cleaned; the saddle can wait, as long as any mud is cleaned off. I prefer cleaning all tack at the end of every day.

Don’t let your horse eat with a bit in his mouth. If you don’t clean it fast, it’s hard to clean. If you put it in his mouth the next day dirty, it may irritate the horse’s mouth, which is a sure way to force yourself into uncomfortable situations.

Your personal gear is a matter of choice. What you might need in addition to these things is based upon your horse’s individual needs. Most people will opt for one long gun and one hand gun. You inevitably have to assess the situation, your comfort levels, your estimate of your horse’s abilities and stamina. You will have to determine how much ammunition you will need, based upon what demands could most likely be placed upon you. How many mags you need and quantity of rounds for potential use of the different arms you bring will again vary.

If you are riding with others, techniques of covered withdrawal, of organized lanes of fire, overwatch teams, techniques of spontaneous ambush, and other 4GW methods are advised, and skills and expectations of your point (should have dog) person, should be understood and incorporated into normal routine for your group. A firm set of signals with people is as important as signals between you and your horse. Simplicity is best in most circumstances. Don’t confuse the help. Also realize that it is better to get off the horse to shoot. Try to plan accordingly. Practice shooting on horseback, because you might not be able to dismount.

Hope I haven’t taken too long. I could probably add more, but I tried not to over do it. The picture I’ve tried to paint is that there’s many wonderful things to do on your horse. They are smart companions and an important part of the war band. If nothing else, lots of skills can be learned through them. Be careful. All the practices I have described can be dangerous for the inexperienced. Be constructively critical of your abilities and performance.

Though we may be passing through apocalyptic times, we should rejoice at the coming of the Messiah and the final Judgment. We must pass through the tribulation in order to embrace the resurrection and the light. There is an inexhaustible number of possibilities, and we must all do our part in preserving and enjoying God’s creation.

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SurvivalBlog Resources: Liquid Fuels Storage and Transfer

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Introductory Note: The following is the first of a series of articles by JWR that will profile some of the thousands of archived SurvivalBlog articles, grouped topically.

Storing and transferring liquid fuels is topic that often comes up in conversations with my consulting clients and in letters from SurvivalBlog readers. There seems to be a lack of knowledge or misinformed voodoo out there in the general public about liquid fuel shelf life, flammability, containers, and how to transfer fuel when the power grids are down. But those questions have all been “asked and answered” in SurvivalBlog, over the course of the past 11 years.

To begin, it is important to understand that the general rule about distilled oil products is: With the exception of LPG, the more highly refined the fraction, the shorter its shelf life.

Let me back up for a moment, and describe how refining works: In its rudiments, at a refinery crude oil gets heated to around 700 degrees Fahrenheit and it transitions to a gas. These heated gasses are ported into the bottom of a distillation column (commonly called a crude tower) and as they move up the height of the column, they cool and at certain levels they can be shunted off into fractions. As the gasses cool—that is, below their boiling points–they condense into liquids. The liquid feedstocks are then shunted off the distillation column at measured port heights. The fractional heights range from heavy “resids” (like asphalt, coke, and tar) at the very bottom, to raw diesel fuel/heating oils fuels in the middle sections, and raw gasoline at the top of the tower. The raw fractions are then processed further to create variously-named fuel products.

Only about 35% of each barrel of oil will naturally becomes gasoline, which is the highest demand product. However, based on the normal volume of sales, to meet the demand for gasoline, in the end about 50% of each barrel needs to become gasoline. To accomplish this, other fractions get re-worked (“converted”) into gasoline. This conversion is done by several methods including reforming, catalytic cracking, and isomerization—which are three different ways to break big molecules into small molecules—with the desired effect in most cases being creating gasoline. The more sophisticated refineries can also do secondary processes like coking, hydrotreating, and hydrocracking.

But to get back to the general rule: Bulk heavy lubricants that don’t have detergents added can be stored almost indefinitely. Moving up the fractions scale, home heating oil and diesel fuel can be stored for 10+ years IF you add an antibacterial growth agent, such as PRI-D. (Yes, there are microbes that can digest diesel fuel!) Farther up the scale you get gasoline which can be stored for only a couple of years before it starts to break down and then tars, gums, and esters become present, eventually making the gasoline unusable. But gasoline additives such as Sta-Bil and PRI-G can greatly extend the storage life, to as much as six or seven years, but only if proper containers are chosen to avoid water contamination. (Typically water contamination happens because of condensation in a container that is not kept 100% full. The more air volume above the gasoline, the greater the risk of condensation.) Contact with oxygen also contributes to the chemical breakdown of the fuel. This is one reason why steel containers are preferable over plastic ones, since plastics are gradually permeable to oxygen. Big temperature swings are also a problem, since that of course contributes to condensation.

Delving into the SurvivalBlog Archives, you will find many articles like these:

Closing Note: You can use our recently improved Search box in the blog’s right hand column to find even more articles. The ones that I’ve linked to are just a sampling.)

-JWR

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Letter Re: Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out

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Howdy,

I enjoyed reading Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 1, by R.M. and am looking forward to the remaining part(s).

If you’re serious about such you might want to find, download, print, read, study, and learn the info in FM 3-05.213 (FM 31-27) Special Forces Use of Pack Animals

My Dad was raised in West Texas in the 1920’s-40’s. This was long before rural electrification and other such luxuries. He cowboyed for his boyhood friend’s Dad for several years as a pre-teen and teenager. Dad and his friend, R.L., did it the old fashioned way, on the back of a horse.

I gave Dad a copy of the manual about 14 years ago and had him read it. His opinion – “worth the read, worth the knowing, and a good start.”

His final statement, “A book on mule skinning, a mule skinner does not make. You have to be hands on.” – WolfBrother

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Economics and Investing:

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The Worst Retail Cataclysm Ever: Sears Warns It Is On The Verge Of Collapse As Payless Prepares To File For Bankruptcy – RBS

HJL’s Comment: This is not the first time the Sears has been in trouble, but by all accounts, this may be the worst. With Sears being an anchor store in many malls across the U.S. This doesn’t bode well.

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Americans Are Dying With an Average of $62K of Debt – B.B.

HJL’s Comment: While most debt gets paid off with the deceased’s estate, what happens when the only estate is a residence that others, who do not own part of the debt, are still living in? What about family members? While the debt usually cannot be passed on to other family members, that doesn’t mean the creditors won’t go after shared assets.

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OPEC In Trouble As Saudis Becoming Weary Of “Free Riders”. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de facto leader, has reduced its crude production by the largest margin, carrying the weight of the cartel while striving to bring prices back up.

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Fellow blogger Claire Wolfe suggested this article: Red-light camera grace period goes from 0.1 to 0.3 seconds, Chicago to lose $17 Million.

JWR’s Comment: If adding 2 tenths of a second equates to a $17 million loss, it begs the question: How many millions of dollars do cities like Chicago rake in each year from red light cameras, speed zone cameras, and toll lane cameras? Methinks we are living in an advanced Kleptocratic civilization.

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

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Odds ‘n Sods:

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I just noticed that there have been at least a dozen new retreat property listings added in the past week at my #1 Son’s spin-off web site, SurvivalRealty.com. They are in: Colorado, Arizona, Arkansas, Nevada, Montana, Kentucky, and Idaho. Be sure to check them out! – JWR

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Israel plans mass evacuation if war erupts again

JWR’s Comment: Important Safety Tip: Don’t live within mortar range of Bad Guys who have access to mortars!

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Edward Snowden on Vault 7 NSA Spying tools, IOS, and Samsung at the CeBit in Hanover Germany tech conference.

JWR’s Comment: This one hour and 22 minute interview is worth watching. Don’ t miss Snowden’s comments on metadata, HTTPS, intentional vulnerability of the Internet Of Things, the vulnerability of cloud data, Quantum Sweep, and the loss of faith in government institutions

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Reader B.B. sent in this link to TheZman blog that has a pretty good explanation of what’s going on with the alphabet agencies: The Political Class Murders Itself

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Yet another reason to homeschool: 4-year-old boy brings bullet casing to preschool, gets suspended for 7 days. With hoplophobes running the schools, is it any wonder that an empty .22 shell is called a live shotgun bullet?

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Jim’s Quote of the Day:

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“I will not knowingly initiate force. I am a self owner. Let the record show that I did not consent to be governed. I did not consent to any constitution. I did not consent to any president. I did not consent to any law. I did not consent to the police. Nor any tax. Nor any prohibition of anything. Nor any regulation or licensing of any kind.” – MamaLiberty, Editrix of The Price Of Liberty blog.

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Notes for Thursday – March 23, 2017

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This is the birthday of Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. He directed 30 films. His samurai films, (many starring Toshiro Mifune) such as Yojimbo, Sanjuro, The Hidden Fortress, Rashomon, The Seven Samurai, Kagemusha, and Ran, are considered legendary in the cinema world. In honor of his birthday, I’m pulling out one of his movies on DVD tonight.

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Today, we present another entry for Round 69 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $15,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
  6. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 Magpul PMAG 30-rd Magazines (a value of $300) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt; (an equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions),
  7. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  8. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  9. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Tactical Self-Contained 2-Series Solar Power Generator system from Always Empowered. This compact starter power system is packaged in a wheeled O.D. green EMP-shielded Pelican hard case (a $2,400 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  8. A selection of canned meats containing a 10 pack of 28oz cans of Premium Beef and a 5 pack of 28oz cans of Premium Pork from Wertz’s Farm Market (a $300 value),
  9. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  10. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Third Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  4. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  5. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  6. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  7. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  8. Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
  9. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value), and
  10. Fifteen LifeStraws from SafeCastle (a $300 value).
  11. A $250 gift certificate to Tober’s Traditions, makers of all natural (organic if possible) personal care products, such as soap, tooth powder, deodorant, sunscreen, lotion, and more.

Round 69 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

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Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 3, by R.M.

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It also pays to have practiced riding bare back. If you have to run, you may not have time to saddle up and will be fortunate enough to grab your rig. It’s like riding at a trot without posting. You will sit full on the back where the saddle would be, back straight up, allowing the body to become one with the horse’s up and down motion. Moving to the canter or full gallop is easier. Your body must be fluid with the horse. Running away, then collecting yourself, and returning on foot to take back gear might work and might save your animal. An undefendable situation requires retreat, even if you have to leave gear behind.

You might think that, if you have a gun, none of those things matter. First, let me say that we have a duty to preserve God’s creation. In most cases that includes all the people you come in contact with. We should not be planning the demise of others, even if attacked; we should make the greatest effort to do no harm, but some people need to be stopped. We often must forgive them for they know not what they do, especially if they don’t know where we live.

Now, as is made clear by Christ, is not the time to turn the other cheek, but most bad outcomes can be avoided, and you don’t want to give up your animals or gear. Most people will probably be unarmed and don’t know how to properly use arms, so being capable of evading and throwing off attackers can often serve you best. If the wrong people take control, then hunting silently will be an essential skill to learn.

If you want to use a rifle or shotgun, you need hands free. Teach your horse how to respond to your legs and head only. Even if you attack another mounted opponent with sword ax or pole, you need hands free control. Remember to make your body big at the right moment to scare your opponent’s mount. (You do this with arms out and chest big, trying to psychically puff yourself up. Animals sense this and shy away.) If he can’t control his mount, he can’t actuate any weapons delivery system against an attacker. Keep your legs soft and steady. Slight signals from your legs and controlled turning of your head to desired directions is enough to let your horse know what needs to be done.

If you are in a situation where you have to take on the role of mounted infantry then you need your choice of 308 battle rifle. I am sold on H&K. I am used to them and know them well, so the HK91 is the choice there. If I had my druthers, I’d have the G3/MP5/shotgun combo. Again, weight and room for gear is always a factor. I advise against full auto in most circumstances, especially on horse. It wastes ammo, using precious storage space, and is usually not effective. The basic idea is using HK91 for long distance, HK 94 for 50 yards out to 10 yards, and a shotgun if you are overrun. Bird shot is great as a deterrent in many situations as well. For 25 feet and in closer, use double aught and then whatever. I don’t go in for bayonet, but I have trained with it. It feels too out of control. If it comes hand to hand or if you can get at them fast enough, carry double knives with the longer blade in your dominant hand.

I am fortunately ambidextrous, so I keep the 91 in the left scabbard, shotgun in the right, and 94 in what is essentially my lap. I shoot rifle left handed, pistol right, and shotgun with both. For archery, I use composite bows. (I have a beautiful Cossack style 85lb bow made by a Japanese Boyer) and can shoot right and left handed. I have to keep my arm up by practicing two or three times a week, shooting 100 to 200 arrows each session, as it’s somewhat of a perishable skill.) I have not tried this weapon combo on a long distance run, but I have no problem with a full day of archery.

One scabbard and a concealed pistol used to be acceptable. In today’s politically correct world, it’s better to do all this on your or a friend’s property, hidden from plain view. Fortunately, I am by a hunting club with a large tract of land that I have full access to. I have direct access from my property to the club, so I can go out for a day or more all geared up. Still, you don’t know how it will go, until you are out there doing it. Do a little bit less than you think you can handle. Don’t flaunt what you’ve got.

Let’s talk more about gear.

If I don’t know where I’m going to end up, I carry:

  • a 5-gallon collapsible water bag with spigot, BPA free. It’s not wise to travel with horse without a good idea of where to find water.
  • a halter and lead. These are important.
  • hobbles that are comfortable to your horse.
  • collapsible water bucket.
  • a horse blanket. If you are out for a week, your horse’s coat is not too long, and the temperature is not too cold, you might be able to get away without this. However, if the coat doesn’t dry out by nightfall, you will probably need this.
  • a half to one pound of grain per day for horse. Oats are a great food source; you can make a mash in the watering bucket. By weight, they go a long way. You have to experiment with your horse to see how he’ll respond to grain for a week, with strong daily exercise for the week. Watch their weight and temperament. Are they alert on day six? Most horse people can figure this out for themselves.
  • a sleeping pad. I just use this blue dense foam I used to get at Lowes or Home Depot. It’s only 3/8 or 1/2-inch thick. Wrap that around your choice of sleeping bag or blanket when packing. They sell expensive pads that radiate back your body heat that you might like better.

In addition to this, I have a box of natural fiber saddle pads from India. These are inexpensive, useful, and wear well. I put two under the saddle for long distance and can position one further back if I have to put gear behind the saddle.

Here is more on the bull fighting saddle:

I put Fritz in front of me, pretty much on my lap. The saddle has a raised bar, I guess you would call it. This bar is padded and covered in stitched leather, which works well. He just settles in and finds his position. I have to keep him on normal terrain. Hills are okay to have in the saddle too, but when going up a mountain with steep grades there’s no room for him and the ride is too choppy. I’ve never even thought about a jump with him in the saddle, but I have practiced pistol going over jumps.

For pistol shooting, I just take all weight off the horse’s back with one hand in control of the reigns, allowing his neck full freedom. My finger remains outside the trigger guard until firing and right back out after shot. The weapon always points away from the horse. Start with a paint ball gun. Then graduate to the pistol of your choice, aiming and dry firing. Next, practice with small caliber and work your way up to what you are comfortable with. I wouldn’t recommend it for most. I just wanted to learn to do so in case I get trapped in that situation. Collect the reins when on the ground as soon as can be, gun up and facing away from horse and rider. It’s not the safest thing you could do, but I have never had an incident. This is a try at your own risk activity and probably not for most, so beware, or caveat emptor. If you can’t be responsible for your own actions, don’t act.

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Letter Re: Surviving Custer

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Hugh,
I always keep a hide-a-key attached to my car for situations just like your reader at the Custer Monument. It has saved my bacon more than once when far from home. If you have an older car, it is relatively simple to get spare keys made and tucked away in a magnetic hide-a-key box under the vehicle. However, with today’s anti-theft keys, there are some challenges you must overcome. First, if you live where the temperature drops below freezing, the battery in the electronic key fob can become frozen and not operate. When this happens just tuck it under your clothing to thaw out; mine takes about 20 minutes. Also, the new keys are darn expensive. Usually you can get an affordable copy of just the metal portion of the key. Then if it gets lost or wet under your car you are not out $150-$240 for a replacement. My newest car has a so-called “smart” key that works by proximity alone. However, I found that if I wrap my spare smart key in aluminum foil I can leave it safely in the car and still use the other smart key to lock the doors. Both of my smart keys come with a small metal “emergency” key, which is what I hide under the car. One warning though, the alarm will sound if you open the car with the metal key. Just be prepared to quickly find your spare electronic key to silence the alarm. These emergency metal keys are actually made for when your car battery is dead. Also, don’t put a magnetic hide-a-key box on your muffler. I can speak from experience that if the hide-a-key box is plastic, it will melt! Duh! Some people are comfortable with just relying on a cell phone to call their vehicle’s 24/7 emergency service to remotely unlock their car for them. This is a great service if it works. However, it is completely dependent on your car being within a cell phone service area, which Custer has clearly shown is not available everywhere. Finally, I label all my car and house keys with my first name and work/cell number so I at least have a chance of getting them back if lost. Obviously, don’t put your home number or address on your keys. – SG in Virginia

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Economics and Investing:

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Tech Miracle In U.S. Shale Is A Media Myth. Contrary to popular belief, the technological advances in drilling technology have only brought break-even costs down by 10%; the industry bust has done the rest.

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Bitcoin in your IRA? Excerpt: “The IRA LLC allows complete self management of IRA funds, including buying, holding, or even trading bitcoin. With IRA LLC you can keep the bitcoin in cold storage, secure from access or control of anyone except yourself.”

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The Best And Worst States For Business: 90% Of The Top 10 Voted For Trump; 80% Of The Bottom 10 Voted For Clinton

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Nine years later, Greece is still in a debt crisis… Excerpt: “Greece has had nine different governments since 2009. At least thirteen austerity measures. Multiple bailouts. Severe capital controls. And a full-out debt restructuring in which creditors accepted a 50% loss. Yet despite all these measures Greece is still in a debt crisis.”

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

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Odds ‘n Sods:

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SurvivalBlog reader J.D. wanted to let us know that the newest Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Operations Handbook was just published and is a rewrite from the iconic 1985 publication: Air Force Regulation 64-4. This is often referred to as the “Survival Bible”. It can be found on http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/ by searching for AFH10-644

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Wait, where did this happen? Over 100 Ruger Pistols Stolen From Chicago Train Yard – W.W.

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Robb Moffett posted a new video on Nine low tech ways to figure out if someone has been in your house, room or office. Some cost almost nothing and are quick to set up.

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Westminster attack: Everything we know so far .

HJL’s Comment: Our prayers are with the families of the victims. At least we are not hearing the tired old cliche that “Authorities are still trying to figure out why?” Notice that the assailant, Khalid Masood, used a vehicle and a knife–one of the ISIS recommended methods in Europe. There was no gun, yet there were over 40 casualties. One of the four dead was an American tourist.

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‘This Is Only a Nightmare’: Venezuelans Have Sobering Advice for Americans Who Support Democratic Socialism – B.B.

HJL’s Comment: Many Americans today supported Bernie Sanders and other socialists, even with the first-hand accounts coming out of Venezuela.

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