Categories
Gear

Tac Pack, part 2

The June Tac Pack arrived last week, but I must admit that other stories took priority. I heard about Tac Pack and decided to give them a try. It’s sort of like a “jelly of the month” club, but for gun guys. The way it works is that you subscribe, they charge you $60 a month, and you get a package of random gun related stuff. 

You will remember that I was trying out the Tac Pack back in May, and I said I would review it for another month, so here goes:

This month’s Tac Pack had the following items:

So the total value is right around $74, or $99 if you pay MSRP. A couple of items that I can use, but the fire starting tool is the only thing that I think is cool. Judging by the (lack of) interesting stuff from last month, I don’t think this is worth the money. I can accumulate miscellaneous junk on my own without a subscription.

I don’t think it is a ripoff, but I also don’t think that I want to spend $60 a month on it.

EDITED TO ADD: I went to cancel, but they have already billed me for the July shipment (they bill on the 20th), which means that I will get a third box.


As usual, the disclaimer: I don’t advertise, and receive nothing for my reviews. I have no relationship with any products or vendors that I review here, other than being a customer. I pay what you would pay. I only post these things because I think that my readers would be interested.

Categories
Guns Prepping

Ammo Prices Surging Again

The Biden administration is cutting civilian ammo supplies off. When the news broke, I upped my ammo order above what I usually get. When I placed the order on Wednesday, 1,000 rounds of Winchester green tip was selling at 2A warehouse for $499. By 9 pm on Thursday night, that price had increased to $550.

On June 8, a 420 round can of green tip on stripper clips was $272. By 9 pm on June 16, that same can was up to $293.

Categories
Prepping

Resupply

I think that I have a pretty good amount of supplies laid in. With that being said:

Just because the Dems are going nuts, I went to GunMag Warehouse and ordered some Hexmag 30 round magazines in 5.56 for $10 each, and 20 round 7.62 NATO at $15 each.

Then I went to 2Awarehouse and ordered some 5.56 Lake City Greentip at 65 cents per round. I know there is cheaper ammo out there, but it’s usually dirty, steel cased, and 55 grains. This stuff also comes in a can and already on the stripper clips. I also got some subsonic 9mm at 54 cents a round. I was running low on subsonic stuff for the can.

I have a good stock of ammo, with my ammo count being a 5 digit number. I know there are some people with more, but we all stock what we can afford without having the spousal unit getting upset.


As usual, the disclaimer: I don’t advertise, and receive nothing for my reviews. I have no relationship with any products or vendors that I review here, other than being a customer. I pay what you would pay. I only post these things because I think that my readers would be interested.

Categories
Gear

Tac Pack

I heard about Tac Pack and decided to give them a try. It’s sort of like a “jelly of the month” club, but for gun guys. The way it works is that you subscribe, they charge you $60 a month, and you get a package of random gun related stuff. This was my first month, and I am still not sure if I want to continue.

This month, the package contained:

All in all, the box is valued at around $100, if you were to buy the items yourself, so I can definitely say that it is not a ripoff or a scam. The only issue is that I don’t know if it is worth it to me, as I wouldn’t have gone out and bought this stuff on my own.

I will try it for one more month to see if I really like it.

As usual, the disclaimer: I don’t advertise, and receive nothing for my reviews. I have no relationship with any products or vendors that I review here, other than being a customer. I pay what you would pay. I only post these things because I think that my readers would be interested.

Categories
Food

Shortages Coming

The farmers are trying to warn us that food shortages are coming. What have you done to prepare?

Categories
Food

Roll Your Own

One of the problems with storing food is that your stores are finite. That is, they eventually will run out. So you need to have a way of securing more food once those supplies are gone. If you are like me, you don’t have a lot of room for growing food, and raised beds are a good way to grow food in a small area.

If you are considering building a raised garden so you can grow your own vegetables, consider this video as a helpful starting place:

If you happen to live in Florida, you know that we have some unique issues here: heat, humidity, large amounts of strong sunlight, sandy soil, and a plethora of insects. This channel is created by a Florida raised bed gardener. I am sure you will find it helpful.

Categories
Communications Training

PACE plan

Your communications. The way that we communicate with the outside world. Think for a moment how you do that and how important that is. How robust are your communications? What would your life look like, if it was all taken from you? Once you realize that, you can look at your own situation and plan for the loss of some or most of your communications.

The PACE acronym is a great way to remember your communications plan. Let me explain: PACE is an acronym for Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency. Whenever communications between two parties are important, that line of communications will progress through those four stages until communications are reestablished. PACE is how we designate the order in which the parties move through available communications systems until contact can be established between the two parties.

Just how critical the line of communications is between those two parties will dictate how many steps are used. Ideally each method will be completely separate and independent of the other systems of communication. As an example, let’s look at a sample of communications between two parties:

  • Primary: This is the primary means that contact is made. It is monitored continuously. In our example, we know that the two parties constantly carry cell phones, so they have chosen to primarily communicate using cell phones to send text messages and/or phone calls.
  • Alternate: This is a secondary means of communication that is monitored nearly continuously. It uses, but does not require, cell phones. In this case, our two parties use email sent over the Internet.
  • Contingency: This method will not be as fast, easy, or convenient as the first two methods, but is capable of accomplishing the task. The parties rarely monitor this method. In this case, our two parties have agreed that they will reach each other by using radios. They have also agreed upon a channel/frequency plan that will be used to communicate.
  • Emergency: This is a method of reestablishing contact of last resort and typically has significant delays, costs, and/or impacts. Often only monitored when the other means fail. In the case of our two individuals, they have agreed to communicate by means of messages that will be left with at known trusted location (think geo caching, or a dead drop) A message might read: “Hey Skunk: I’m doing well. I will be at drop 6 in three days. Meet me in three days by arriving at point Chevy and calling on Channel Green. Booger sends”

Make sure that you have a way to reach those important to you. Make sure those communication paths are redundant. Make sure that they are secure. The time to plan is now. Hat tip to Aesop for the post idea.

Categories
Communications

Communications idiocy

Russel G., in response to this morning’s training video pointed to this video.

Now let me explain why the guy in this video is a tool.

His warnings are silly. He says that communications are useless because reasons. He then lists five of them. Let me explain why this guy is a clueless idiot:

1 The number one reason for not having communications, according to this idiot, is that you don’t have other preps taken care of. “You ain’t got a well. What if utilities go down because the Russians hacked it?” A radio won’t help you because you and none of your buddies have any preps except radios, gold coins, and ammo. Is this guy new to prepping? Does he think that he is the first guy to think of the five basics? (Food, Shelter, Weapons, Communications, Water)

2 No matter how much comms gear you have, there will be no one to talk to. Well the same would go for owning guns, or any other prep. Guess what? For about $350, you can buy ten BAOFENG radios, the programming cable, and the software. Now you have ten people to talk to.

3 He says radios don’t work because the people who own these radios are too stupid to know how to use them, or have the software to program their radios.

4 In point 4, he claims that they will RDF your radio, match it to the cell phone you are carrying, track that for weeks, then use that to raid 47 of your compatriots at once.

  • This is dumb as well. See 5a and 5b, below. Even if they started doing this, imagine the fun that could be had with a couple of decoy radios planted in the cars, homes, or office buildings of random targets.

5 In this point, he imagines a situation where a person keys up the mic on his VHF radio, an RDF unit locates it, then directs massive firepower on to the transmitter’s location. There are multiple problems with this scenario.

a. If you are using the UV-5R, why would you use a special frequency out in the middle of nowhere, where the OPFOR would be certain it was a target? The strength of the little guy in assymetric warfare is that he can blend into the background. Why stay in the woods when you can stay in the middle of town and use a GMRS or baby monitor frequencies? Do you see them flattening an entire grid square in the middle of Atlanta because they detected one of several million GMRS radios transmitting?

b. VHF is line of sight, and this is low power we are talking about. Thanks to physics, in order for ANY force to reliably RDF on it, they have to be within a few miles. Each RDF unit would only be able to detect in an area of about 30 square miles. Now imagine trying to cover the state of say, Tennessee with an RDF unit every 30 square miles. 24x7x365. How manpower intensive is that? Couple that with the billions of radio transmitters there are out there, and you see the scope of the problem in the enemy telling the difference between the sheep and the goats.

c. Even if they started doing this, imagine the fun that could be had with a decoy transmitter placed next to something the rebels want to destroy. A water plant, some power transmission lines, or a dam. It’s like having the enemy supply your artillery and demolitions for you.

The biggest threat isn’t RDF. It isn’t that you will have no one to talk to. In fact, the biggest threat is none of the things he mentioned. The biggest threat is that one of the people in your communications network has been compromised and is actually an informer. That is true even if you don’t have radios.

His entire video is just a variation of “you can’t fight the government because they have F-15s and nukes and you don’t.”

Categories
Communications

Radio Training

You have all taken my advice and gotten your HAM radio license, right? A technician license is easy to get. A 2 meter handheld radio can reach several kilometers and costs less than $50. Start thinking about communications methods that don’t include the Internet.

Assuming that you have already gotten that license and a radio, here is a 20 minute lesson on how to use the Baofeng UV-5R handheld radio.

Categories
Communications

HAM radio

A woman in North Central Florida has demanded that a HAM radio operator in her neighborhood stop using his equipment because it is interfering with her insulin pump.

This is bullshit. According to the FCC database, the HAM operator in question has a callsign of WB9UYK. He lives at 8546 SW 79th Ave, and has since June of 2019. The woman who is complaining lives at 8566 SW 79th. Ave, according to voter records. Using Google maps, the two houses are 74 feet apart, at their closest.

If I were the HAM operator, I would demand an engineer’s assessment showing that MY equipment was the cause of the interference. There is a Reddit thread on this one. Greybeard: if you see this, what do you think?

EDIT: There is also a thread on QRZ.