I’ve been having a great time in London and have felt pretty safe. I started wondering how the crime rate is compared to the US. I ran across a few articles that stated the UK has more violent crime than the US and I was pretty shocked. Here are some stats from the article.
The article is posted here. I will get back to more relative posts when I get back.
I’ve been in London for four days now and all is well. I had my heart in the right place and intended to write survival / gear review posts while I’m here but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I hope everyone is doing well. I’ll get back into the swing of things when I get back.
I hate traveling. As I get older I come to realize how precious life is and that putting myself on an airplane that is filled with fuel and weighs tons is not a safe way to get around. I think the biggest issue I have is trusting other people to do a good job and get me and everyone else to and fro in one piece.
One positive thing about packing for a trip is it’s good practice for bugging out. You have to bring everything that you will need for a week or more and cover all of your bases. One thing that pops into my mind is that I never know if I’m going to come back. What if there is a disaster and I’m stuck overseas for months or the rest of my life. Should I pack more things that I would need to rebuild my life? I start getting into a tizzy and start to over think the trip and the packing takes on a life of it’s own. I make sure to bring a small first aid kit that will cover all of the basics including a field dental kit in case I get a toothache. I had an issue with my teeth while in Japan one time and I almost cried myself to sleep every night for a week. It was awful but I learned my lesson. I also bring a sewing kit, a utility knife and a flashlight plus the most important tool that anyone can have, a laptop.
My laptop is my connection to the world and will allow me to access my money, contact family, get information and entertain myself. It’s one of the most versatile tools one can have. My taxi is coming for me in an hour and a half and I still need to eat dinner so I’m going to cut this one short. I’ll be putting up posts during my vacation and I hope to be back in one piece soon. Enjoy your weekend everyone.
I went to the range today with several friends and we had a great time. The weather was beautiful and everything was perfect. We started off at the pistol section of the range and spent way too much time there while neglecting our rifles. I meant to do a proper report on all the guns we brought to the range but I believe I over reached this time around. In the near future I will give you reports on several pistols and shotguns but a detailed report on the rifles will have to wait until we go another day.
Kel Tec SU-16CA
In the mean time I managed to quickly site in my EO Tech 555.A65 holographic site on a Kel Tec SU-16CA rifle. We started shooting the rifles one hour before the range closed so we were in a bit of a rush. I sighted in the EO Tech 555 in a few minutes using 20 rounds. I normally would have spent about a half hour using a proper rest and a lot more rounds. Keep this in mind when you see the pictures of the targets below.
Bench 50 Yards
Standing 50 Yards
Bench 100 Yards
Standing 100 Yards
I was firing PMC X-TAC 5.56 M855 62 Grain Full Metal Jacket with Steel Core ammunition in rapid fire with a second or less in between trigger pulls. The Kel Tec SU-16CA rifle had a short crisp trigger pull and only experienced two malfunctions in 200 + rounds. I was very surprised with the EO Tech sight while standing at 100 yards. It’s quite the distance and I was expecting to miss the target entirely. I had a great time shooting the rifle and would like to do a more detailed review in the future. One complaint by two of my freinds at the range was that the EO Tech site was pixelated. It is true that the site is pixelated but it didn’t bother me at all. I found that if you concentrated what you were firing at and stayed aware of your surroundings that it just all melted together. I personally love the site and would recommend it highly.
I just purchased an EO Tech 555.A65 holographic site. I’ve wanted a high quality reflex site for a while now. I’ve owned cheap knock off’s of red dots before and even had friends with name brand red dots let me use them to compare. I was never really that impressed. The red dots had all the limitations of a scope but without the benefits of magnification. I also hate not being aware of my surroundings. I get all flustered and uncomfortable if there is a chance being caught unawares. After doing a lot of research I came to the conclusion that the EO Tech 555.A65 holographic site is the one for me. The 555 model has A.R.M.S. quick release levers that make the site extraordinarily easy to take on and off and also uses standard AA batteries. Here are some pictures of the device below.
I purchased the EO Tech from Optics Planet Inc. They had a special running which gave me 10% percent off the top plus a $50 mail in rebate from EO Tech. The EO Tech 555 came in a mini lockable case with custom cut out foam insert and room for two sets of batteries. The unit came with two sets of lithium AA’s and a protective foam cover. The first thing I did was make sure the site worked. I had a hard time finding information regarding the orientation of the batteries which I attribute to excitement and impatience. The orientation is etched on the bottom of the battery case. It was pretty obvious once I found it.
Turning on the site is very easy and the default brightness is perfect for outdoors. The default brightness was too high for indoor use and had a bloom around the reticle. Once I turned down the brightness the site was perfect. I did not mount the site on any firearm as I wanted to document the whole process on Wednesday. The quality of the site is apparent once you open the box. The finish on the site was meticulous and the EO Tech 555 did not have one scratch or blemish on it. I wouldn’t expect anything less by a manufacturer that supplies sites to the US Military and Police Forces around the United States.
So far the only negative is the price. It’s pretty damned expensive. Even with the rebate which I just sent in plus the 10% off from Optics Planet Inc. the device is about a week’s pay.
I’m going to test out the site on Wednesday and give you a full report on sighting it in, using the site while standing and shooting at 100 yards and random opinions of friends that will also be at the range.
Survival is not just about making a bag and just waiting around for the shit to hit the fan. I try to learn as many skills as possible so I don’t get surprised when faced by a difficult situation. Living in a big city limits you to what kind of tools you can have to defend yourself with. In NYC carrying around a knife or gun will get your ass thrown in jail. For carrying a gun in NYC illegally there is a minimum three year sentence. Which sucks big time. I train in martial arts for the health benefits and to have the skills to defend myself and my loved ones. On occasion I’ll go to a different gym just to see how other instructors teach.
I went to The Wat on a Tuesday afternoon a bit before the class started just to orient myself. The guys at the front desk were friendly and knowledgeable. The facility is very clean and well designed. I changed in the locker room and went out to stretch. There were about 20 – 30 people milling about for the class to start. Kru Phil Nurse was teaching the class and was a bit late. By the time he showed up the place was crowded with about 45 people.
We started with jumping rope to get warmed up and proceded to do basic punching combos and kicks. All this was done individually and care was taken not to hit your fellow student. After we warmed up for 10-15 minutes we paired off and started practcing drills. The class was definately cardio intensive and if you haven’t worked out for a long time I don’t recommend taking it to start. Phil Kru Nurse came over to me after the class was over and mentioned that I looked like I took martial arts before and we talked about different styles for a few minutes. The only issue I had was that if you were new to martial arts that you would be confused with proper technique regarding punching and kicking. Since this is a beginner class i’m pretty sure that would be addressed at a later time. Overall it was a pleasurable experience and I got a kick out of talking to Phil.
I just purchased a 5 inch D&L Sports Heavy Duty Service Knife. D&L Sports is a custom gunsmithing and manufacturing shop in Gillette, Wyoming. I initially started looking for a heavy duty knife that has a sheath that can be worn in the small of the back. I found a lot of places that make custom knives but either they were back logged for up to a year like Crusader Forge , they were not available like Scrap Yard Knife Co. or were expensive but exquisitively made by knife maker extraordinaire Jay Fisher.
I’ve purchased products from D&L Sports before and I was very impressed with their quality. So I felt very comfortable purchasing a knife from them. I went with the 5 inch D&L Sports Heavy Duty knife because it was reasonably priced compared to its competitors, had a Kydex sheath and most importantly was available. Here are a couple of pictures.
The knife comes with a Kydex sheath that you can mount on your belt horizontally. In order to mount it vertically I cut 4 pieces of Velcro that were 1/2 wide and ran it around the horizontal belt loops. This provided me with an extraordinarily sturdy vertical belt loop without any modifications to the sheath. I can take off the Velcro at any time and mount the knife horizontally. I used 4 pieces of 1/2 inch Velcro instead of just one 2 inch wide piece for redundancy and flexibility. The chances of one 2 inch wide piece of Velcro failing or tearing off is slim but 4 pieces of 1/2 inch Velcro doing the same is extremely unlikely.
I will be carrying this knife while hiking in the woods or camping. If I were to be wearing it in combat or life critical situations I would recommend riveting each piece of Velcro in the center or if that’s not available use a heavy duty stapler from one of your S shops.
Back With Velcro Belt Loop
Knife on Hip
My impressions of the knife are that it is really well made. The craftsmanship is superb, the micarta handle is beautiful and the Kydex sheath is almost perfect. I have a couple of minor issues with the knife as well. I would prefer the website not be emblazoned on the right of the knife blade. A better location would be on the bottom of the tang between the handles. The second issue I have is that I would like the hand guard to be a little wider so your hand could not slip onto the blade. The knife is really sharp and while practicing some basic knife moves my pinky slipped against the knife blade and got cut. In the future I will be wearing my Kevlar gloves. The last issue I have with the knife is that out of the box it only mounts horizontally. This issue is easily resolved with several strips of Velcro.
It’s Really Sharp
Overall I am very happy to have purchased this knife from D&L Sports and look forward to many years of using this fine piece of equipment. If anyone has any questions feel free to leave a comment.
I spend a lot of time on the internet. I love researching anything and everything. On one of my most recent searches about food storage as it relates to survival I came across the graphic below.
It was sobering to see the statistics about how little food a good portion of the United States citizens have due to a lack of funds. Please keep in mind these statistics have not been verified by myself but I will use them as a reference point for now. This chart also reminded of what one expert said while watching The Colony on the Discovery Channel. They said that the average US household has about three days of food in their kitchen. After that all hell breaks loose. I’m paraphrasing here but I get cranky when I miss lunch. How polite do you think society will be once they haven’t eaten for a few days and their kids are crying and begging them for food? It won’t be pretty.
I don’t have answers for feeding the whole United States when a crisis occurs but if you have the time and money then I suggest having more food stored than the average household. A couple bags of rice and beans can go a long way and they store for years. If you want to do it on the cheap you can get a case of Ramen noodles at Costco or BJ’s and you’ll be sitting pretty for several weeks. If you don’t get around to eating the food you can always donate the food to a shelter before they expire.
It doesn’t take much for the basics and you’ll be happier to have it just in case. Enough preaching for now. Enjoy your weekend.
For those of you that are new to the realm of disaster preparation / survival then I would like to let you know that there is a close tie to the survivalist culture and Zombie fans. I’m not saying that if you are one then you are the other but there is a lot of cross over between the two.
From my perspective, having a survivalist mindset is draining. I do it in spurts. I’ll get an idea in my head, research it to death and then implement it. After it’s done I’m mentally and financially exhausted so I take a break. Reading zombie books offers me an entertainging outlet that teaches an important lesson. That lesson is being resourceful and flexible. You have people surviving inexplicable odds by using the materials at hand. This translates well to reality. A lot of people are stuck in a routine and when that routine is disrupted they get a deer caught in the headlights look about them. I’m not perfect and I’ll be the first one to tell you that. If you freeze up in a life and death situation then you just very well may die. Somber and depressing but I ‘m trying to drive home a point.
Aside from me preaching about what would make us survivors I would like to list a couple of my favorite zombie books for your reading pleasure.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
Day by Day Armageddon (A Zombie Novel)
Plague of the Dead (The Morningstar Strain)
The above three books are excellent zombie books. There are a lot of zombie books out there and most of them are mediocre. These are great. Check out the reviews on Amazon. If any one has any other suggestions please contact me.
I finally took some pictures of the Kelty Redwing 3100 backpack. I took the pictures with the bag empty. Take a look at the pics below.
The bag is pretty big. 3100 cubic inches is no joke. When you walk down the street people will definitely take a second look at you. After I packed the bag it weighed in at 28 pounds. It’s fine for me but I think it’s a bit heavy over all. I’m going to rework the list of items and try to get it down to 22 pounds. The bag, even though it was kind of heavy, sat really well on my back and did not feel uncomfortable. One day soon I’ll take it on a test hike and let you know how it goes.