by The Halfway Homesteader – this is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest.
As you browse the inter-web and the many websites that are on it devoted to prepping and homesteading, if you’re anything like me, you’ll start to notice a trend: people are far more interested in talking about the future than the present. Everyone is happy to talk about their bug-out bag with their full load out and the rifle they’ll carry with it. Folks can go on for days about their bug-out vehicles with 4 wheel drive and off road suspensions. People will discuss endlessly their perfect retreat property, it’s attributes and location, strengths and weaknesses, whether they currently own the property or are planning on buying it or simply dreaming of it.
They’ll talk about the harbingers of disaster, analyzing every piece of purported “news” that appears on the web, and what its implications are, sinister or otherwise. Preppers have a huge propensity to look forward and prognosticate. It’s part of the makeup. And don’t get me wrong, there’s room for that. If you’re not paying attention and drawing lines from point A to point B, you’re really not doing your job. But what I find somewhat curious is, while we’ll spend endless hours discussing planning and analyzing the future, we spend very little time discussing our present, our right now.
Literally, right now, you are far more likely to be presented with a miniature SHTF that will not be making the news tonight, that only you care about, than to suddenly find yourself in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse or a Bank Holiday or even an EMP. As such, I think perhaps we should spend a little more time discussing what we do, on an individual, day-to-day level, to prepare for what may come our way. Time to give a little less love to the BOB, and a little more love to the EDC. I know, personally, I’m far more likely to use the latter than the former.
So when I got the idea for this article, I was out on my ridge at the back of my little 3 acre “Halfway Homestead” I wrote about before examining the fence separating my land from my neighbors. Being careless (as is unfortunately regular for me), I put my hand on top of barb wire (who knew it didn’t belong there?!), and cut myself pretty good. I untied the black bandanna I always have tied around my forehead (I sweat a lot) and cleaned myself up.
It was then that I had a thought (happens once or twice a year, it always startles me). What I have on me all the time is generally going to affect me far more than what is in my BOB any day. Over time, through a lot of trial and error (and barb wire cuts), I’ve just got into the habit of carrying certain things with me all the time, at least when I am home. Now, as I mentioned before, I work for the U.S. Army, and theirs quite a few things that you can’t bring Post with you everyday if you’re interested in maintaining your employment with Uncle Sam. Plus my job requires business casual, which equates generally to slacks, button-ups, and dress shoes.
But I work a very early morning shift, and am usually home no later than 3:00 p.m.. Barely a day goes buy I don’t find myself out in my land or in the garden or the barn or my shop. Here are the things I have learned to carry with me and wear everyday to be prepared for, well, everyday. There are a few brand names mentioned below. I have no connection or interest, financial or otherwise, in these companies. They are only products that have earned my loyalty. YMMV.
2 Belts – Why two? Well, one to keep my pants up, obviously. But the other is to put over the loops of my pants, so that I can easily put on and take off my holstered items that I mention below. It’s a lot easier (for me) to have a dedicated belt that I can just grab and already has most of m stuff already on it, than to have to constantly place and replace the items. No specific kind of belt. Any will do.
Heavy Denim Jeans – Regardless of season, if I’m out and about, I wear jeans. I dislike shorts (except for basketball shorts when lounging around), and with all of the hills and dirt and rocks and everything else on the halfway homestead, you’re subject to falling or tripping at anytime. Jeans protect your skin.
Ankle High Timberland Boots – I love this brand. They are comfortable, sturdy, have a lifetime guarantee, and have never ever failed me. There is one pair that I have had going on fifteen years now, and you could bury me in them. They grip whatever surface you’re standing (or trying to stand on) like glue, and I can’t count how many times they’ve stopped me from rolling my ankle on a hill with their ankle support. Plus they have a factory in Tennessee.
A Motorola Radio – My wife tricked me into this. She noticed I would keep my phone on vibrate, or not take it with me at all, and she wouldn’t be able to get a hold of me. It’s really more of a safety measure for being on the property, where our cell service is sometimes iffy. If I fall or hurt myself, I don’t want to rely on Verizon to call my wife, or trust that she will not have her phone ringer on. But you can hear that emergency call on the radio from anywhere in the house.
A Leatherman Multi-tool – Mostly for the pliers. Useful on fencing
A Cold Steel Voyager medium – My favorite knife, sharp as can be and will cut through nearly anything. I use it for field dressing, or really anything needing cutting out there.
Oakley Sunglasses – Because the sun really can blind you. I’ve made the mistake before of buying the cheap China-Mart glasses, but I am very rough on sunglasses, and they always break on me, so I spend some money here. Plus Oakley’s are Made in America.
Bandanna – See Above. I sweat a lot and cut myself regularly
Holstered Mini-Maglite – This is the 2 AA battery one. I use the LED bulb. This is because sometimes you find yourself out later than you think, and, as I mentioned before, you’re subject to hills, dirt, rocks, and falling anytime out here.
A Cheap Casio Watch – So you don’t have to use the Maglite.
Mechanix Brand Gloves clipped to belt – So you don’t cut yourself on barbed wire…like me!
Paracord Bracelet – Because if you don’t have it with you, your boot string WILL break. I promise. It’s a law of nature.
A Holstered Glock 19 – Ah, you knew it was coming didn’t you? This is for, well, protection. It’s rural and very very open out here. Unfortunately, not everyone in this world is a good guy, and when you’re land backs up to more empty land in a geographic area where, if I were a bad guy, I’d try to escape and hide, you have to be smart.
So that’s it. That’s my basic EDC. Now, obviously, if I’m doing a specific job, I’ll have the specific things I need for that job, but I don’t carry a chainsaw with me out of habit. I’m interested to hear what everyone else carries with them every day for preparation. Remember, I’m far more likely to need my black bandanna around my forehead than an AR-15 in the safe. God Bless!
Prizes For This Round (Ends on June 7, 2017) In Our Non-Fiction Writing Contest Include…
First Prize a $999 value:
- Numanna Organic Family Pack Bucket a $399 value from LPC Survival Ltd.
- CampingSurvival Gear Pack a $400 value from Camping Survival.com.
- A $200 gift certificate of prepper books from Prepper Press.
Second Prize a $650+ value:
- A case of .308 ammo or $300 off Ammo selection of your choice from LuckyGunner.
- A Wonder Junior Deluxe Hand Mill with the Masa/Nut Butter Auger, Drill Bit Attachment, and Bicycle Sprocket Kit a $325 value from ChefBrad.com
Third Prize a $310+ value:
- $300 gift certificate from GunMag Warehouse.
- A copy of The Prepper’s Guide to Surviving the End of the World, as We Know It: Gear, Skills, and Related Know-How