Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sick of climate change yet?

Though I was half joking when I said that it seemed Climate Change was responsible for everything terrible that was, is and will be, it turns out that every new study seems to prove that ridiculous assertion to be correct.

Climate change the cause of rising mental illness trends? Perhaps a more accurate link between the two would read "Scaremongering climate change nonsense proven to drive people bonkers." I mean really,... I like the environment as much as the next guy but if I hear about one more stupid study regarding this all intrusive phenomenon then I'm going to burn my hatchback and replace it with a Mack truck. Then, I'll invest all my money in Brazilian palm oil portfolios and top it all off by spending my weekends ring barking trees. 

This is not science anymore. It's hysteria, and the worst kind of hysteria because in spite of all the actual threats we face, the real ones that can manifest in the time it takes you to eat breakfast, people choose to pack their dacks over the idea that the world is getting warmer by (GASP) a tenth of a degree a year! Well folks, I'll call it right here. If we're still building strip malls and watching American Idol by the time that pitiful temperature increase actually matters then I'll eat my hat!

It's the oft forgotten fact that Democracy is never better represented than in a free market. If you're a climate change fanatic then by all means plant a hundred trees, buy a Prius and go about heating your home by rubbing your hands together really fast, but don't come hither with any Stalinist assertions that the rest of us are too stupid or greedy to make the "right" decision. When the minority repeatedly burdens the majority they're adding straws to the camel's back.

Did I mention the camel's name is "Restraint"?

Friday, August 26, 2011

In the news today.

I know you've been meaning to visit, Mr Obama, but it's all right... We understand that you should probably be back in The States DOING YOUR JOB!

In other news, it appears that climate change is responsible for... well... just about everything bad that has ever happened or will ever happen. 
Says Cane, "...previous work has shown that when people get warm and uncomfortable, they are more prone to fight,"

It's difficult to imagine the peaceful, Utopian world before the industrial revolution when temperatures never ranged above a balmy 24 degrees Celsius. Perhaps violent offenders can now claim that they were unduly influenced by the amount of clothing they were wearing when they committed their crimes. It truly seems that a "scientist" can try have their work banged up by a blindfolded chimp at a typewriter and as long as it contains the words "climate change" and "bad" then the cheques will keep rolling in.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


When you're starting out as a prepper it's easy to get bogged down on survival sites and burn out from information overload. It's been my personal experience that if I spend too much time reading about prepping and not enough time practicing what I've read about then I tend to get down on myself. After all, more is achieved by a single executed action than a million dormant plans. With that in mind it's important to do things every day, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, to further your prepping agenda. 

Make lists. Learn to tie different kinds of knots. Practice making fire without matches. Start writing a survival journal (hard or soft copy). Plant seeds in pots, even if you have no intention of growing them past seedlings. Sharpen your kitchen knives. Practice tossing a gill net. Do some push ups or go for a run. Buy a chicken or two (the living kind). Learn to make flat-bread from scratch. Print out some maps and formulate escape strategies. Go to garage sales in search of dirt cheap gear. Take a self defence course. The list could go on and on. 

It's very easy to sit in front of a monitor and put a dollar sign on your survival future. "I'll need this, and this, and two of those..." Well unless you're a millionaire that's quite a pointless task (and one I'm often quite guilty of). Between the guy who spends an hour trawling through Ebay for stuff he can't afford and the guy who spends that same hour learning to scale and gut a fish, who do you think is more prepared at days end?

Don't get me wrong. There's plenty to learn from the interwebs and you should absolutely spend time researching prepper related material, but be keenly aware of when you've crossed that boundary between productiveness and pointlessness. Those unproductive hours on the net will not only rob you of your time but of your momentum. 

TEOTWAWKI doesn't take notice of how many hours you've spent at so get off the net and start getting your hands dirty!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Nanny State

Here we are. Free men and women becoming less free by the day. The insidious Nanny State has inched one step closer to becoming a reality. However, before I go into rant mode I should specify that I don't smoke and never have. 

SO, ignorant masses of the world unite! We're supposed to believe that a single person in this country, nay, THE WORLD buys cigarettes because the packaging is just irresistibly awesome. Millions of tax-payer funded dollars go into conceiving and legislating this pointless garbage. Hundreds of thousands more go into the court battles to uphold it. We have truly become the butt of a sick joke. No pun intended.

Now, on a tangent, the recent spate of dog attacks are a matter I take very seriously but I was dumbfounded when I read a letter to the editor of the Examiner (Tasmania) that insisted all dog owners should require a license to retain their loyal pooch. Now, between using a chainsaw, working with (agricultural) chemicals, driving a car, owning a gun and working on a construction site, my wallet is stuffed with enough government licenses and permits, thank you very much. The sad fact is that there are plenty of workers in this country that would look at that list and think "if only MY list were that short." But a "dog owners" license? Scary, but yes, people actually have such a strong knee-jerk reaction toward "preventative legislation" that they will rally and lobby for tighter and tighter controls on anything and everything that could conceivably result in someone suffering a booboo. 

First hand, my course requirements to attain a "White Card" were eye opening for all the wrong reasons. See, you need this accreditation in order to enter a construction site. Not to WORK on a construction site mind you, just to walk in an empty the bins in the foreman's office after everyone's knocked off for the day. The materials for this two day course? Read: do not go swimming in the cement mixer. It was truly common sense redefined, and when this training requirement sprung into existence EVERYBODY in the construction industry had to undertake it. Guys who'd been banging up skyscrapers for forty years had to lose two days pay and sit there patiently as it was explained to them why you shouldn't drill through a wall without first turning off the power at the mains...

So what's the solution? Fight back! Take every over-regulated occupation, industry and hobby and form a "NO NANNY STATE ALLIANCE". They/we can rally against all those taxpayer funded anti smoking, anti drinking, anti careless driving, anti drug abusing, anti leaving your towel too close to the heater (I'm not kidding) advertisements that plead with people to stop being idiots (guess what, for that demographic idiocy is not something they dabble in, it's a way of life). 

We will never stop danger surfacing in this chaotic world of ours. Bad things happen, sometimes to good people, but the answer is not to make more rules and fund their enforcement by taxing people harder. Such a system creates timid, fearful citizens who take no responsibility for their destiny and rely on the government of the day to save them from the ups and downs of life. 

File that way of life under "In Communist Russia..."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

SHTF Rifle

So this is just the funniest thing I've seen in ages. I mean, I pay for my bandwidth by the meg but I've still watched it every day since it was posted!

I, myself, have agonised far too much over what guns to buy and what order to buy them in. Should I wrap my entire life around trying to fulfil the requirements for a C class license? Should I hold off on buying a pistol until I can start silhouette shooting and fulfil the requirements for owning a .45 ACP?

The answer in each case is an emphatic "NO".

I humbly submit that your priorities should be:
1) A cheap 22LR rifle.
2) A reliable (hopefully cheap) pistol of calibre no higher than your significant other can handle.
3) A .223 bolt action rifle of mid to high range quality.

Here's my reasoning.
The cheap 22LR rifle will get you out on the range and shooting for very little outlay. Rifles with only iron sights can be had for as little as fifty bucks. The ammunition itself is very cheap and works out at roughly 5 to 7 cents a round. The sooner you get out to the local range the sooner you'll start meeting fellow firearms enthusiasts who are typically a wellspring of tips and pointers for new shooters. Shooters in Australia have their backs against the wall these days and as such tend to welcome newcomers into the fold quite eagerly. Don't concern yourself with appearing to be a "newbie". The fact is that you ARE a newbie and they'll know it. Turning up with an Arms International .338 Lapua Magnum (a very big, expensive gun) only to have difficulty figuring out where the bullets go will result in people laughing AT you, not WITH you. Don't be discouraged by the bevy of forum posts where new shooters talk about "going straight to the .308" or such nonsense. They're probably posting in between rounds of the newest Playstation war game. Talkers talk. Shooters shoot. Get shooting as fast as you can. The 22LR is the cheapest, easiest way to start. The other reason to get that lump of wood and steel in your hands ASAP is because if the SHTF then you'll want something to point at any potential looters in order to shoo them away. A looter isn't going to look down the barrel of a rifle and think "I'm pretty sure that's just a 22LR so I'll take the bullet and rob this person anyway". They're going to think "that's a freaking gun so I guess I'll go rob someone else for the time being". To me that's worth fifty bucks right there.

The pistol is your go to gun if ever something goes bump in the night. Remember, it's illegal to buy the gun for self defence purposes, but not to USE it for self defence if you HAVE to. When it comes to home invaders I'll take my chances with the legal system, not the criminal scumbag. So you buy your pistol for target shooting at the appropriate club. The requirements for getting your "H" class license vary from state to state but typically you have to becomes a pistol club member. You join the club and attend as regularly as able. You will still be limited to .38 calibre weapons unless you fill the aforementioned criteria for owning a larger calibre handgun. Still, as I mentioned before, bigger is not always better. Shot placement has been proven to be more important than the size or velocity of the bullet. In layman's terms, you're not going to stop someone you don't hit. Furthermore anyone capable of (legally) using the weapon should be taught to do so. Your teenage daughter might be persuaded to fire a revolver chambered in 44 magnum but afterwards she'll never want to hold a gun again. Everyone that can be legally armed in your household SHOULD be and standardising your armaments means everybody knows how to use everybody else's weapon. It means everyone will be using the same ammunition, the same holsters, the same magazines and the same accessories. Into the future it also means that the weapons can be stripped down for spare parts to keep their counterparts operational. Finally, the weapon doesn't need to be A grade accurate or made of advanced tritanium polymers. Most modern firearms when well maintained will last a long time. You're looking for rugged reliability here. If the enemy is so distant that accuracy is an issue then you should be using the next gun up. I.E.

The .223 bolt action rifle. This is a military round (equivalent of the 5.56 NATO) so it has a huge following and ammunition is cheap (for a centrefire rifle anyway). It's shootable by even the frailest of folk and it can be used for hunting pretty much any kind of animal a novice is likely to encounter. If the rifle is well made then this round can be accurate to quite a distance and is an excellent platform for turning rookie shooters into professionals. Sure, there's no shortage of gurus telling you that this cartridge or that cartridge out-performs the humble .223 but for anyone learning the arts of distance shooting then I don't think you can go far past this time tested round. In a SHTF situation for anyone living on a farm (or bugging out to the wilderness) this is an excellent choice for ranged defence or hunting. You could opt for the .308 Winchester round but once again it comes back to everybody in the family being able to use the weapon without flinching. I advise that this weapon would be a good one to spend some extra money on. This is because, at distance, quality counts. You don't want to be down at the range wondering if it's you or the gun that's the problem. 

So then, if you've gotten those three tools, you can look into that "300 WinMag for 1000 yards", but try to keep your family out of that FEMA deathcamp :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Home Security Basics.

We are once again reminded that tough times are aheaed.

Criminals are getting more brazen by the day. I suspect the untold story is that the police don't have the resources to deal with it and the outlaw element is starting to catch on to this. With home invasions on the rise it becomes quickly apparent that your first line of defense is a decent fence with a locked gate. Preferably something too tall to be hopped over that has something unpleasantly spikey on the top. Barbed wire might be a bit much but it can be handy to have in the shed when things go south.  

Having a guard dog as a second layer of defence is beneficial as a deterrent but is not the be all and end all solution. Think of it more as a walking, wagging alarm unit. I don't preach moderation when it comes to dog ownership. Either get the biggest, baddest one you can afford to feed, or get the smallest, yappiest dog you can find. The smaller one is just as good at raising the alarm and probably safer around the kids. Big dogs really are for adult only families or those reasonably skilled at canine training. That fence will also pay off in keeping Fido where he belongs.

The third layer of defence is your house itself. Your windows and doors all need to be revisited with security in mind. Bars over your windows are not always neccesary. A decorative window box filled with small roses or other spiny plants is going to be enough to convince an intruder that the best way in is either your front or back door. What you want them to find is a nigh impenetrable barrier such as this. When it becomes (even more) apparent that your house is not an easy target the intruder is likely to beat a hasty retreat. It would stand to reason that by this time you were in your home's dedicated "safe room". This is ideally the master bedroom, replete with heavy door brace (possibly like the one on the front or back door), charged mobile phone, land line with police on speed-dial, and a well stocked gun safe. You may want a roller shutter that can be activated from inside of the room on the off chance the attacker is truly motivated and decides to go through a window after being thwarted by the door(s).

So there is it. You're safe in the master bedroom with a pistol pointed at the door and the police on the speaker phone. If such a scenario ever played out you'd thank your lucky stars you'd made the investment in your safety and the safety of your loved ones. 

For home owners this will only add more and more value to your house as crime get worse and worse. For renters the matter is a little more cloudy. That bigger dog (if you can have pets at all) may be the wiser option. The window boxes may still be reasonable and even common doors can be hardened to some degree. Your security door (if you have one) will be paramount to your strategy. You'll need to keep it locked and by that I mean locked in the way that someone cant rip through the flimsy flywire and unlatch it from the other side. Inconvenient? So is the alternative if you're unlucky. For those with large glass sliding doors I suggest you replace the regular glass with something a bit more durable or replace the doors altogether with something more defensible. For the renters I suggest you hit the real-estate agencies and look for another place to live. Those kinds of doors are a home invaders red carpet.

Of course, the last thing you want is to be safe and sound while your progeny is being held captive outside. Your kids should have well practiced procedures for when a stranger approaches, slowly or at speed. Don't make a game out of it but try to keep it pleasant and practice regularly. If it's made into a game then your kids are likely to freeze in hesitation when genuine fear is introduced into the scenario. They need to understand that your home security practice runs are serious. The more they practice the more they'll fall back on that training in a genuinely dangerous situation. Also, make sure not to demean their response if they run in shouting "STRANGER" because someone's delivering a package. Praise their efforts because that postal worker might just be a home invader in a stolen uniform. After all, several people have been beaten and robbed recently by phony census collectors. Having a slot in that security door for signing paperwork may seem ridiculous now but in six months or a year it may be more common than you think.

For those with remote garage doors you may want to pratice backing the car in. Plenty of home invasions begin with crooks following their victims in behind their cars. Keep the car doors locked until the garage door is shut and be mentally prepared to put it in first and hit the gas if anyone tries to do an Indiana Jones impersonation under your rollerdoor. 

Have I missed anything? I hope not. At least this might give you a few ideas to start with, but I'd especially look at that front door of yours. Does it have those nice glass panels in or around it that make breaking in so easy? So many of the home invasion reports I read start with the front door being kicked in, and if you're sitting on the lounge suite watching T.V. and sipping coffee then you're not going to have a lot of wiggle room to work with, are you?

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and try to get a good nights sleep.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On Martial Law

Sometimes when I talk to friends and family about why they should get interested in prepping I feel like pulling my hair out. Reponses range from "you're over-reacting" to "if everything goes to hell then what's the point of surviving anyway". After doing some study on Martial Law and considering the aforementioned responses I came to the following conclusions.

The average prepper looks at Martial Law with a wary eye at best and with resistance in mind at worst. For anyone with a thousand MREs and a basement full of guns'n ammo the thought of having some government thugs take it all away is enough to keep them up at night. But for the nine out of ten folks with a quarter tank of petrol, a weeks worth of food, and nothing effective to protect themselves with when the SHTF, Martial Law will seem like a godsend compared to the alternative. Let's face it, nobody will be concerned by the squashing of any number of civil liberties if it means the scumbags down the road are contained by checkpoints and their kids get enough food to live another day. Who can blame them? For most the end will have come like a thief in the night and if forced to choose between martial law and total anarchy there are no prizes for guessing the outcome.

What does that mean for the average prepper? Well for a start it means that living in the country becomes even more advisable than usual. The farther the better, because when the police and the military start wearing the same hats they may well be going door to door in the cities and suburbs. Like busy bees they will harvest "excess" food and fuel. Despite this, your guns and ammunition will be the first to go (any that are registered that is) in order to maintain law and order. I would bet the farm on that one. In fact, guns and ammunition will be one of the few things they travel out to the sticks to collect. This is in no small part because, unlike your food and your fuel, they have a detailed list of what guns to look for and where to look for them. Driving a hundred miles to take a few cans of beans from some hick's pantry is clearly pointless but our weapons are another matter. If they arrive on your doorstep and you give them some cockamamie story about how "they were stolen" then expect to be arrested at best and executed on the spot at worst (martial law is not pretty).

So where does that leave the country folk? In a tough position.That's where. As I said, the farther out your are the better off you'll be. You'll have a longer warning period and more time to prepare your welcome for any "creative taxation officers" coming down the road. The only legal option will be compliance. Some will cache their food in hidden locations on or off of their own property. Some will defend what's theirs to the death. It will be a fluid situation with no way of knowing in advance what the best way to respond will be. This is because we cannot predict how well equipped (if at all) the government will be to carry out these confiscations. Furthermore, when a military truck comes rumbling down your driveway there are no promises that it wont be filled with looters who've managed to think outside the box or soldiers who've gone "freelance".

Of course there are solutions but as I said, the only legal option will be compliance. 
So the un-prepared will wish for Martial Law.
The well prepared will wish for anarchy (as the better of two evils).
The rest of us? 
We'll have to choose one way or the other when the time comes.

On the matter of news, the avoidable death of a young boy from a completely treatable condition is a tragic and timely reminder that books like "Where There Is No Doctor" are worth a read whether the S has HTF or not. I'd rather demand a second opinion (forcefully) based on my own diagnosis and be proven a fool than remain uneducated and silent only to lose a child.

Meanwhile the stories of fake census collectors bashing, stabbing and robbing people are everyday reminders that an "it'll never happen to me" mentality is not an option these days.

In other news, if we weren't faced with a global food shortage then protecting the Great Barrier Reef from pesticides would be common sense, but under the circumstances we can file this under "something's gotta give". What "something" it will be is anyone's guess.

And on the lighter side of things, as if the taxpayer didn't have enough on his plate, we can now look forward to a new taskforce to protect "companion animals". Perhaps those seeking to have "Old Yella" put down will have to fill out a means test and provide proof of hardship to show that they can't afford his arthritis meds. Quoted was this piece of pure hilarity:
"These are shocking statistics and the establishment of the taskforce recognises the rights of the tens of thousands of companion animals, and will ensure that their voice is heard in Parliament."
I can't wait for the member for Greensville to take the stand and addresses his peers:
"Woof woof. Meow meow."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A wish for fish.

I had a talk today with a guy that runs a trout farm not far from my town. I imagine a lot of preppers like myself have often wondered how feasible it is to establish and maintain their own fish population. The brief run-down I was given made that possibility seem unlikely at best. Of course, the devil's advocate in me suggested that this man was perhaps exaggerating the difficulties involved in order to avoid competition springing up in the area but that thought was quickly scuttled when I saw one of his co-workers bucketing out food into the hatchery ponds (where they turn small fish into big fish). I don't know how much that food costs per kilo but after scaling two fish (and by that I mean giving up after the first and getting my wife to do the second) I came to the conclusion that rabbits and chickens are more economical in just about every conceivable way.  I'm yet to look into Aquaponics in any great detail but for now I think I'll stick to the K.I.S.S. motto (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

On the political side of things I was amused at the response of the London police to having a Californian "super-cop" contracted by parliament for the purposes of providing insight on how to prevent any more rioting (looting) and gang activity (more than one looter in the same store). Apparently they're not interested in the tutelage of the officer that presided over the 1992 Rodney King riots in the city that still boasts some 400 (known) gangs. Go figure...

In all seriousness, the London riots should have been a wake-up call to everybody who thought "it'll never happen here". London may not be "here" per-se, but it's certainly "here-ish" if you know what I mean. It should also serve as reminder of how foolish our gun laws are. Trying to defend your home, family and business from a group of hooded thugs when you're armed with little more than a baseball bat and a prayer is patently ridiculous. 

Still, I do not advocate breaking firearms laws or any other laws. It just so happens that you may legally own firearms for other purposes, and if forced to choose between surrendering your life and/or livelihood to criminals you can make the no-brainer decision about whether to act and face possible prosecution later OR go feotal and hope for the best.

On a lighter note we can all breath a sigh of relief. Those hundreds of rapists and murderers that seem to gravitate to the Taxi industry will no longer be a threat to us. Instead they'll be painting our fences, mowing our back yard or doing other cash in hand work that doesn't require background checks. What's the plan here? Are they going to get their pink slip, step out of their cab and vanish into this air? Banished to a dimension reserved for evildoers? No. They'll go on the dole with a renewed hatred for society. Perhaps I'm an old softy but aren't you supposed to serve your time and then go about the rest of your life without being lynched? Seems like the local politicians are looking for a few witches to burn...

It Begins!

Asteroids. Earthquakes. 12/2012. Peak Oil. Climate change. Economic collapse. War. Pestilence. Famine. 
Odds are that if you're reading this then it's because you, like so many others, see that not far down the line we are all headed for some serious strife. Perhaps you've been at this a while. You might be reading this via a satellite internet connection from your 100 acre retreat in the middle of nowhere. Most of us are not there yet, nor are we likely to be by the time things get ugly.

If you're new to Prepping, or Survivalism, or whatever you choose to call it I have this advice first and foremost. Don't give up in the face of what seems like an immense challenge. It's said that to sleep well at night you either need to be ignorant or prepared. Well you can't go back to ignorance so you need to get prepared!

The purpose of this blog is to help Australian preppers by providing links and guidance to Australian resources for preparedness as well as providing comentary and advice appropriate to Australia rather than the U.S. of A where most internet preparedness resources originate. That is not to say that you shouldn't read sites like Survivalblog daily. I've read James Rawles' "How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It" a half dozen times. American or not, most systems and procedures are universal. Yet you only have to read an article about which "battle rifle" is best to recognise that we have our own challenges here that need a local perspective.

So this blog is not designed to overlap or infringe upon fantastic sites like SHTFPlan or Survivalblog. It's designed to provide Australian Preppers with Australian solutions. In time I'll fashion a standalone website but for now a blog is the quickest way to get the ball rolling.

So without further adieu, I give you the Ausprepper blog. 

Let's see where it goes from here...