ups and downs

just finished reading (re-reading) my favorite SHTF books; Steve Konkoly has several books out Jakarta Epidemic is a single SHTF novel, a family – a community – a nation – struggling in a pandemic.  His Perseid Collapse series, 4 novels, is EOTWAWKI with not just an EMP, but a Tsunami too, along with world war, government incompetence,  and more unbelieveable action than any one person should experience.

And as usual, they serve to remind me that I’ve been slipping up on my preparing.

And as I stick my head up into the world of survivalists and prepping, am once again amazed at how BIG BUSINESS it has all become.  The number of magazines, web sites, organizations, and companies is incredible.  Some of the items being produced are really cool, some are “spend money with me so you don’t have to think about this” things – like 4oz water pouches.

There is now a “tool of the month” type service, actually seems to be more than one.  Looked at Battlbox. From the start, pretty much every box had at least one different type of fire starter item in it.  Now I get fire is important, and we each will have different ideas and different environments for starting fire, but do we need more than 15 different tools?  Aren’t matches, a lighter, flint and steel enough?   Although I will admit, the new necklace that offers a spark making duo is pretty cool – but $20 worth – for two little pieces on a leather thong?  I’ve already got two variations on that theme in my little hiking pack!

If you go for one of their more “advanced” boxes you will get things like knives and holsters to try out, but again, how many different knives do you need, and no matter how cool the holster, if it doesn’t fit your gun is it worth it?

At the same time, have found a magazine that seems pretty good – American Survival Guide.  Have read two issues now and while not all the articles are applicable, find them to be well written and pretty comprehensive.

Tried Ballistic the other day cause I was interested in night vision and thermal imaging, and the article was not what I had been hoping for.  It pretty much offered the opinion of one company’s rep, touched on the subject itself lightly and basically said that the government’s quality items are $5k – 10k each, and the individual can probably get away with spending about 4k.  BUT Ballistic offers STICKERS!!  What! Is this grade school? Stickers!!

And Recoil’s magazines have similar quality articles; short, more advert than information, not very informative, although they occasionally offer a fold out target!

Oh well.  As I get older, find my own needs changing and what I’m looking for changing; like accepting I’ll never get strong enough to pull my Ben Pierson 60# bow, and instead moving to a cross bow.   And looking for an electric tricycle so I can go to the creek for water and carry back some volume with relative ease and keep it charged off a solar panel.

Speaking of Solar!  had to return my Goal Zero battery pack.  When purchased, it had a battery that would not take a charge and they replaced it.  would use it for odds and ends and let the battery drain and recharge it again.  after a little more than a year, found I couldn’t access the power.  They told me to disconnect the battery for like 30 minutes, then reconnect and charge.  Would find the battery fully charged, but for some reason just wasn’t able to access that charge without going through all that.  blah, blah, blah, in December went through the routine again because couldn’t access the charge.  Two weeks later, again, couldn’t access the charge.  Didn’t get to do anything about it as was crazy busy, then suddenly, this month, the power light came on.  First time!  seems it was telling me that the battery was discharged!  Never happened before.

So they danced and I danced and I said the thing is obviously not right, and they said its past the warranty period, and I said the thing is obviously not right, nor has it been. So they are sending me a “refurbished” one.  Which tells me that I’m not the only one having the problem.  Sure, some have been traded in for an upgrade, but bet this is a straight up electronic glitch.

Will keep a closer eye on the replacement, cause it sure does no good to have to disconnect and recharge when you need to access your emergency power!


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