Monthly Archives: August 2016

Re-Post: The Neighborhood Protection Team

NPP

Originally posted on 25 Nov 2013.

Here’s what the deal is going to be in a best case scenario in the typical liberty-minded citizen’s world when SHTF.

Four to six well-trained and armed (to one degree or another) people.   The term ‘Neighborhood Protection Team’ (NPT) is what the military calls a ‘fire team.’  The first people to popularize it that we’re aware of are two former Spec Op types, Jack Lawson and Mike Garand, who co-wrote, “A Failure of Civility.”  We will be reviewing their book here in a later post.

If couples are involved, that can mean up to 3 couples and a relative number of children involved in your NPT, with the children, of course, being ‘precious cargo’ and something to be protected.  If each member of the NPT has a family and there are 6 members, it could be as many as 6 families or 24 people (2 parents; 2 children).   That projection is one of the primary reasons the NPT needs to remain small.  Extreme case of 24 people is a lot of folks to keep sheltered, fed, healthy and safe.  Your work is cut out for you.

So, for now, forget a full 12 person squad; forget a 40 man or better ‘platoon strength’ organization.  Forget squad or platoon drills.  It’s generally not going to happen.  There may be isolated instances of larger, more well-prepared and organized semi-official groups (private ‘militias’, homogenous prepper communities and so forth), but by and large, initially, at least, that’s going to be beyond the pale of reality.  At least measured by the indicators we’ve seen in the training arena.  That, coupled with the ‘rugged individualist’ ready to ‘die on his doorstep’, provides at least anecdotal support for the assertion.

Certainly, as circumstances develop, small groups will become ‘centers of gravity’ as they survive and thrive, adapting to new conditions not seen in this country since the 1860’s, and subsequently, survivors will find their way to them, asking for sanctuary.  Some of these will be quick learning people with needed skills; but it is speculation at best until we’re at that point, God forbid.

Bringing this closer to home, you may consider limiting your initial ‘NPT’ to 4 to 6 people and work with other small groups in your larger neighborhood.  This will have several advantages, so long as your several teams have the same objective and can work together.  First, command is decentralized, which, when working with Decentralization of strength and command in your neighborhood is going to be keep to keeping the community relatively safe during SHTF scenarios.

Your NPT should be armed with rifles if at all possible.  Pistols and shotguns are nice, but, as we know, are extremely range limited.  Bottom line is whatever your NPT carries is up to the members, but try to get the best ‘bang for your buck’ (pun intended).

Your NPT should meet and train on something related to the actual defense of your neighborhood as often as harmonious life will permit.  Marksmanship is extremely important; the keystone of the foundation of being able to protect one’s family, friends, and neighborhood.  However, don’t ignore other vital areas:

  • PT (Directly impacts marksmanship as well as the ability to move and communicate).
  • Map studies.
  • Go to www.mytopo.com and get a map made of your area in as large a scale as possible (1:10,000 is a good study scale) and if you can, get an aerial or satellite photograph.  Make sure you have MGRS grid lines on the map.  Yes, it’s going to cost you some cash, but take up a collection from the NPT and spread the ‘damage’ as you can.  Make copies of the maps, or sections thereof, so you don’t have to mark on your ‘real’ map.  Never take your marked up copies out with you during the ‘real deal’.
  • Learn to plot 8 digit grid coordinates (that’s what the MGRS grid lines are for, if you don’t already know)
  • Take TC3 a couple of times.
  • Learn how to put a ‘mission pack’ together.
  • Go somewhere you won’t be thought of as nutbags and practice moving as a team.
  • Practice hand and arm signal communication.
  • Learn effective area camouflage – what works in your particular area.
  • If money allows, sign up for training with someone who doesn’t do ‘hoorah’ garbage.  Moving in a ‘stack’ and popping of a couple mags into a target 10 meters away looks great on a video, but you want light infantry type training.  Most reputable folks will offer basic courses that meet your needs, or, if your situation is very unique, don’t usually have a problem adapting the class to fit your circumstances.  Talk to them and find out.  All they can say is, ‘No, thanks!’
  • Start to study Situational Leadership.  If someone in your group has a lot of experience leading, let them do it.  It’s not about ego, it’s about staying alive.

Once you’ve reached a level of training that the members are comfortable with everything you are doing and trust each other, you must ensure that you keep the NPT effective without burning them out.  Try some exercises putting the normally quiet people in charge and have them run the training session, especially in the tactics area.

If you have several NPT’s in a larger neighborhood, great.  Coordinate with them, but stay autonomous as long as is necessary.  There’s no reason to be under a unified commander when performing as a NPT.  However, there is a need to network and coordinate activities of each through communication and discussion of the NPT leaders.  So long as the NPT leaders all agree on ‘Commander’s Intent’ (keeping the neighborhood safe and stopping attacks), working together toward that end will be fairly difficulty free (aside from the difficulties of daily life without a support network that we enjoy today…).

Something that also works well is decentralized NPT operations, where each team analyzes their own small area of influence and moves about with no set pattern but with set objectives, performing what is called, ‘security patrols,’ which are designed to find an enemy trying to infiltrate an area.

Back in my day we called it, “Distributed Area Defense.”  Teams operated in concert but independent of each other in their assigned sectors, all with the leeway to do whatever they believed to be necessary at the time to ensure their area was covered in an effective, random manner.

Think about how that applies to your urban, suburban, semi-rural, or rural ‘neighborhood’.   Then, formulate a plan.  Be choosy on who you bring into your NPT.  You want dependability above a warm body.

In the future, more on NPT employment.

Your thoughts?

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Mike Vanderbeogh: RIP

Update from Sipsey Street:

III Mourning

The Funeral will be held in Leeds, Alabama on Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 2PM,

Kilgroe Funeral Home

1750 Ashville Rd, Leeds, AL 35094
205-699-3181

From the War on Guns and Wirecutter.

 

RIP III Flag

All troubles, all pain, all sorrow, all tears have passed away; now and forever in the presence of the Lord.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” — 2 Timothy 4:7

Weapons Man: “…improve strength and endurance while taking off a significant amount of weight.”

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The original, is here.  What follows below is for your edification…and personal motivation.  Ever notice how PT is a recurring theme no matter who’s blog you go to in the liberty/preparedness/NPT community?  It’s for a reason…remember the bottom line:

discipline

Salutary Sunday

Starting 1 August we’ve been revisiting health and fitness. Today continues that trend of pursuing health, hence, it should be a salutary Sunday, quite literally.

We have the usual deficiencies of an older American, to wit, a too-sedentary existence and far too much weight. Some of that came about because a 2004 parachute mishap pretty much ended our ability to indulge our then-favorite exercise, long cross-country runs. But most of it is because we’re as lazy as the next guy, enjoy researching and writing which are largely sedentary activities, and like our chow all too much.

This time, we’ve decided to improve strength and endurance while taking off a significant amount of weight. We’re doing it three ways:

Strength

What works for strength is strength training — weight lifting. We have mentioned before that most if not all SF guys are either/or: weights guys or running guys. You’re reading a running guy, who hated weights. Hating it is all the more reason to do it, and all the reason to do it more. So for the last two months, twice a week the day begins with a professional trainer who was a competitive weightlifter, in a weights-focused gym.

Each session is personalized,, although there may be more than one client working out at the same time (there’s an upcharge for fully private lessons). It begins with warmup stretches, then includes work with resistance bands and strength reps on weights, before concluding with intense metabolic conditioning. On a bad day, you leave conscious you’ve had a tough workout. On a good day, you leave smoked. 

Already, the strength and flexibility benefits have been profound, and it’s dawned that had we done this when the cast came off in 04, we’d probably have returned to full performance, or something very close, within a few months thereafter. Also, there’s a lot less drama when we need to assume a low position, whether it’s getting into the prone on the range or getting supine on a mechanic’s creeper in the workshop.

Rippetoe isn’t making his stuff up: strength training really works.

Despite the strength gains and some hints of dimensional changes, the strength training has not addressed the elephant in the room — which would be your humble blogger, if he only had grey skin and a prehensile schnoz. That’s the weight, which we’ll get to.

Endurance

We’d been slacking off on cardio, and our objective has always been 1000 calories of cardio a day, mixed modes (bike, rowing, walking). Interestingly though, in the past when we resumed a PT walk after a month or so off, there have been particular muscle pains associated with that. Thanks, we think, to the squats that are a key component of the strength training, there was no pain when resuming brisk walks. A postprandial walk (or ride) also cures the organism of its desire for a postprandial nap.

If we’re making 1000 calories a day, we’d have 7k at the end of a week. Last week was pretty pathetic, under 3k, but then, we only managed 20 miles of distance. This week we’ll be looking to make the calories and see how close we get to 100 miles (and that will, of course, be heavy on the bicycle. 100 miles of rowing in a week and we’d have the arms of a Greek god).

We don’t count regular daily activities, even if we do hours of hard yard work in the hot sun.

Weight

Ah yes, time to address the elephant in the room. Your Humble Blogger is fat. And keenly aware from past experience, that one can’t PT his way out of a weight problem. Weight loss is a highly personal thing, but as we see it there are three basic factors in weight metabolism:

  • Simple thermodynamics. Energy in food (E), minus daily routine subsistence requirements (S), minus exercise burn (X), yields figure W.

(E – S) -X = W.

If W is a positive number, it contributes to weight gain.  If a negative, to weight loss. This is a valid equation but it’s an oversimplification, because the organism seeks to maintain homeostasis or to store energy and thus seems to reduce S when E is reduced! So the E has to be lowered rather abruptly to achieve and maintain a negative W.

The two figures easiest to control here, of course, are E and X.

  • Weight biochemistry. Because of bioavailability and other things that are coming close to being understood, what you eat is as important as how much you eat. In particular, the longtime enemy of nutritionists, saturated fat, seems to be comparatively harmless, and the real villain is looking more like sugars and other carbohydrates. But with calorie restriction, there’s really not a lot of overhead in the meal plan for calorie-rich carbs. Snacks? Sorry, chips and cookies, we’re looking at carrots and celery. (Spices help).
  • Self-discipline. Historically, in our case, only by spreadsheeting the calories in and calories out have we ever been able to get our W into weight-loss mode. There’s a certain Heisenberg effect, where the measurement itself affects the result — in this case, in the desired direction. Works for us; might not for you.

So to get from there, to a plan, what we do is:

  1. Reduce calorie burn to 1700 a day;
  2. Alter what we eat away from carbs to a degree (the 1700 limit influences this, also; you simply can’t eat filling meals and have room for empty carbs under such a limit).
  3. Get more rigid about the exercise schedule so we’re not looking at the clock at 11 PM and bemoaning lost days.

Sunday night family dinner is a weekly cheat. A cheat is generally a bad idea; it has to be an escape valve without becoming a gateway for a culture of cheating.

We expect to lose, on average 2 lbs a week and we’d like to shed a whopping 50 pounds — while getting stronger and fit. The thermodynamic equation suggests weight loss would be faster than that (Δ-3500 kcal ≈ – 1 lb.) but we know from experience, it isn’t (that’s the effect of weight biochemistry and the body’s search for homeostasis). If this is the case, we’ll hit -50 lb. some time in the dead of winter; if weight loss tapers off to a pound a week, sometime in the warm months next year.

Intermediate goals: by Christmas and again by next birthday (which is midsummer) we should see significant weight loss and strength and endurance increase.

First week’s results: Δ weight -3.3 lb, distance 20.42 miles, calorie burn 2646 (37.8% of goal)

This week’s plan:

Week 2, August 2016 S M T W T F S
AM Cardio Walk Strength Cardio Bike or Row Strength Cardio Bike or Row Cardio Walk Bike Distance ride
PM Bike Mid Distance Cardio Bike or Row Bike Distance ride Cardio Bike or Row Bike Distance ride Nordic Trak ?

The plan, of course, is always subject to being overturned by events, weather, etc. Not counting any calories burnt in strength training, that’s conservatively about 5800 calories and 70 miles. It should yield the 2 lb. weight loss sought, given discipline in eating.

Preparedness, Ethics, And Morality

More logic from JC….soak it up.

Mason Dixon Tactical

From the desk of JC Dodge

A friend and I were talking the other night about different scenarios that need to be prepped for. During the conversation, I told him about another conversation that involved a guy questioning me on why we should prepare. The individual that asked the question of me is your typical “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” party animal. He has a Daughter.and has a hard enough time paying his bills on time, because he spends money on whatever makes him fell good in the moment, whether it’s alcohol, a jet ski, or a weekend at the beach.

Food post1

This guy was trying to convince me that there is no point in spending money on something that “Isn’t gonna happen.” and that I was better off enjoying it for the moment than planning ahead. He asked me the question “Why should I plan for what you’re talking about? You can’t…

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The Last Resort….

From a piece in, “The Economist,” here.  I, and many others, saw this coming back in the mid to late 90’s when I lived in Idaho.  It keeps up, like the song says, “…call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye….”  Boise is almost totally screwed up due to the large influx of liberal/progressive/transnational globalists; when I was there, there was a fairly small enclave (I called it a ‘coven’) of these ‘people’ on the North End.  Now?  They’ve stretched past Meridian to Middleton to Emmett, especially to Eagle to points North….even north Idaho is infected being ‘settled’ by these, ‘people.’

East Idaho now has problems with ‘refugees’ as had been in the news of late; Idaho’s on the ropes when it comes to conserving the beautiful, liberty minded state it used to be (generally speaking).

Sure, there are rays of hope, like Idaho’s new ‘constitutional carry’ law that just went into effect.  But remember, don’t call your state, ‘paradise’…

 

They Mean to Convert You or Kill You….

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And they’re deadly serious.  The time left before we see things like Europe is seeing today, that they thought they’d never see, and were ‘ridiculous’, are on their way here.  Time to get yourself together.  Those poor folks who hold up signs that say, “Welcome Refugees!” are truly volunteering to be killed first.

An excerpt from this (pg 30) emphasis added:

Why We Hate You & Why We Fight You

“Shortly following the blessed attack on a sodomite, Crusader nightclub by the mujahid Omar Mateen , American politicians were quick to jump into the spotlight and denounce the shooting, declaring it a hate crime, an act of terrorism, and an act of senseless violence. A hate crime? Yes. Muslims undoubtedly hate liberalist sodomites, as does anyone else with any shred of their fitrah (inborn human nature) still intact. An act of terrorism? Most definitely. Muslims have been commanded to terrorize the disbelieving enemies of Allah. But an act of senseless violence? One would think that the average Westerner, by now, would have abandoned the tired claim that the actions of the mujahidin – who have repeatedly stated their goals, intentions, and motivations – don’t make sense. Unless you truly – and naively – believe that the crimes of the West against Islam and the Muslims, whether insulting the Prophet, burning the Quran, or waging war against the Caliphate, won’t prompt brutal retaliation from the mujahidin, you know full well that the likes of the attacks carried out by Omar Mateen, Larossi Aballa, and many others before and after them in revenge for Islam and the Muslims make complete sense. The only thing senseless would be for there to be no violent, fierce retaliation in the first place!

Many Westerners, however, are already aware that claiming the attacks of the mujahidin to be senseless and questioning incessantly as to why we hate the West and why we fight them is nothing more than a political act and a propaganda tool. The politicians will say it regardless of how much it stands in opposition to facts and common sense just to garner as many votes as they can for the next election cycle. The analysts and journalists will say it in order to keep themselves from becoming a target for saying something that the masses deem to be “politically incorrect.” The apostate “imams” in the West will adhere to the same tired cliché in order to avoid a backlash from the disbelieving societies in which they’ve chosen to reside.

The point is, people know that it’s foolish, but they keep repeating it regardless because they’re afraid of the consequences of deviating from the script.

There are exceptions among the disbelievers, no doubt, people who will unabashedly declare that jihad and the laws of the Shari’ah – as well as everything else deemed taboo by the Islam-is-a-peaceful-religion crowd – are in fact completely Islamic, but they tend to be people with far less credibility who are painted as a social fringe, so their voices are dismissed and a large segment of the ignorant masses continues believing the false narrative. As such, it becomes important for us to clarify to the West in unequivocal terms – yet again – why we hate you and why we fight you.

1. We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son, you fabricate lies against
His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices. It is for this reason that we were commanded to openly declare our hatred for you and our enmity towards you. “There has already been for you an excellent example in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, ‘Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone’” (Al-Mumtahanah 4). Furthermore, just as your disbeliefis the primary reason we hate you, your disbelief is the primary reason we fight you, as we have been commanded to fight the disbelievers until they submit to the authority of Islam, either by becoming Muslims, or by paying jizyah – for those afforded this option – and living in humiliation under the rule of the Muslims. Thus, even if you were to stop fighting us, your best-case scenario in a state of war would be that we would suspend our attacks against you – if we deemed it necessary – in order to focus on the closer
and more immediate threats, before eventually resuming our campaigns against you. Apart from the option of a temporary truce, this is the only likely scenario that would bring you fleeting respite from our attacks.

So in the end, you cannot bring an indefinite halt to our war against you. At most, you could only delay it temporarily. “And fight them until there is no fitnah [paganism] and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah” (Al-Baqarah 193).

2. We hate you because your secular, liberal societies permit the very things that Allah has prohibited while banning many of the things He has permitted, a matter that doesn’t concern you because you separate between religion and state, thereby granting supreme authority to your whims and desires via the legislators you vote into power. In doing so, you desire to rob Allah of His right to be obeyed and you wish to usurp that right for yourselves. “Legislation is not but for Allah” (Yusuf 40). Your secular liberalism has led you to tolerate and even support “gay rights,” to allow alcohol, drugs, fornication, gambling, and usury to become widespread, and to encourage the people to mock those who denounce these filthy sins and vices. As such, we wage war against you to stop you from spreading your disbelief and debauchery – your secularism and nationalism, your perverted liberal values, your Christianity and atheism – and all the depravity and corruption they entail. You’ve made it your mission to “liberate” Muslim societies; we’ve made it our mission to fight off your influence and protect mankind from your misguided concepts and your deviant way of life.

3. In the case of the atheist fringe, we hate you and wage war against you because you disbelieve in the existence of your Lord and Creator. You witness the extraordinarily complex makeup of created beings, and the astonishing and inexplicably precise physical laws that govern the entire universe, but insist that they all came about through randomness and that one should be faulted, mocked, and ostracized for recognizing that the astonishing signs we witness day after day are the creation of the Wise, All-Knowing Creator and not the result of accidental occurrence. “Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]?” (At-Tur 35). Your disbelief in your Creator further leads you to deny the Day of Judgment, claiming that “you only live once.” “Those who disbelieve have claimed that they will never be resurrected. Say, ‘Yes, by my Lord, you will surely be resurrected; then you will surely be informed of what you did. And that, for Allah, is easy’” (At-Taghabun 7).

4. We hate you for your crimes against Islam and wage war against you to punish you for your transgressions against our religion. As long as your subjects continue to mock our faith, insult the prophets of Allah – including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad  – burn the Quran, and openly vilify the laws of the Shari’ah, we will continue to retaliate, not with slogans and placards, but with bullets and knives.

5. We hate you for your crimes against the Muslims; your drones and fighter jets bomb, kill, and maim our people around the world, and your puppets in the usurped lands of the Muslims oppress, torture, and wage war against anyone who calls to the truth. As such, we fight you to stop you from killing our men, women, and children, to liberate those of them whom you imprison and torture, and to take revenge for the countless Muslims who’ve suffered as a result of your deeds.

6. We hate you for invading our lands and fight you to repel you and drive you out. As long as there is an inch of territory left for us to reclaim, jihad will continue to be a personal obligation on every single Muslim. What’s important to understand here is that although some might argue that your foreign policies are the extent of what drives our hatred, this particular reason for hating you is secondary, hence the reason we addressed it at the end of the above list. The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you. No doubt, we would stop fighting you then as we would stop fighting any disbelievers who enter into a covenant with us, but we would not stop hating you. What’s equally if not more important to understand is that we fight you, not simply to punish and deter you, but to bring you true freedom in this life and salvation in the Hereafter, freedom from being enslaved to your whims and desires as well as those of your clergy and legislatures, and salvation by worshiping your Creator alone and following His messenger. We fight you in order to bring you out from the darkness of disbelief and into the light of Islam, and to liberate
you from the constraints of living for the sake of the worldly life alone so that you may enjoy both the blessings of the worldly life and the bliss of the Hereafter.

The gist of the matter is that there is indeed a rhyme to our terrorism, warfare, ruthlessness, and brutality. As much as some liberal journalist would like you to believe that we do what we do because we’re simply monsters with no logic behind our course of action, the fact is that we continue to wage – and escalate – a calculated war that the West thought it had ended several years ago. We continue dragging you further and further into a swamp you thought you’d already escaped only to realize that you’re stuck even deeper within its murky waters… And we do so while offering
you a way out on our terms. So you can continue to believe that those “despicable terrorists” hate you because of your lattes and your Timberlands, and continue spending ridiculous amounts of money to try to prevail in an unwinnable war, or you can accept reality and recognize that we will never stop hating you until you embrace Islam, and will never stop fighting you until you’re ready to leave the swamp of warfare and terrorism through the exits we provide, the very exits put forth by our Lord for the People of the Scripture: Islam, jizyah, or – as a last means of fleeting respite – a temporary truce.

TOWR Sends

Good analysis on organization, national and state level attempts at organizations.  These considerations are for all those who prep and train for hard times.  Excellent address of the issues facing the preparedness/liberty community using some attempts at a ‘national III percent’ organization as the example explaining what the actual concept was, and is about.  Bottom line?  Stay local, stay sane, and quickly jettison the, ‘loose cannons’!

Mason Dixon Tactical

Some good points made here that relate not just to the III%, but to many groups in the Survivalist/Preparedness, militia, and Liberty/Patriot movement. Local organization is the only way to maintain a viable, organized and capable group. trying to go “State” or “National” is not only a wasted effort, but something that opens your group up to needless threats that a small group would negate through it’s members “intimacy”.

rogersrangers_s

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The Myth of the National Three Percent Organization

Posted by admin on Aug 3, 2016

The Myth of the National Three Percent Organization

A lot of people claim to be part of the Three Percent. A lot of people claim to know what the Three Percent stands for…but do they? There are quite a few myths out there about who we are and what we believe, and sadly, even some of the folks who claim to be in the Three Percent believe those myths. Truth is important…

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A Forgotten History

For those who say, ‘it can’t happen here….’

A very well done post by NC Scout on a ‘Forgotten History’….

brushbeater

armenian genocide2.jpg

It came first with a tax and a set of laws. The Ottomans, seeking to further cement its Iron fist from the Sultinate, fearing growing issues in Europe and desiring a means to motivate the growing social revolutionary youth class, found their savior in creating the long thorn in their side- the holdouts of a conquered culture, the remaining scaffolds of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Eastern Roman Empire among the Armenian minority population.  Islam had tolerated them though repression, but as the winds of change began to blow with a new generation, so did the attitude towards the Dhimmi.

Among the youthful Marxist-inspired revolutionary class, an unholy marriage of marxism and Islam was created. The Young Turks, as they became known, sought solidarity throughout the Ottoman Empire. Dhimmis were thus not allowed to own any new property, and what property was owned could no longer sit on higher…

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The Best Bang for Your Buck: Used, Surplus, or ‘Signature Line’ High End?

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As just about everyone who’s ever been in the prepping/liberty/training community knows (unless they’re brand new), there are a LOT of companies out there, small and large, hawking the ‘latest and greatest state-of-the-art’ web gear, promising theirs is the ‘end all-be all’ in terms of durability, fashion sense..err..camouflage, and usability.   Never mind the super high end signature equipment (like that survival guy on TV who likes to eat goat eyeballs) has basically the same purpose and performs at the same level as reasonable quality gear and equipment always has performed.  There are training centers, like a very famous one in Nevada and not so famous others throughout the country, that have their own brand of icon accessories and apparel all promising the same thing:  It’s the absolute best!  And it is, in a sense:  It’s the best the seller is going to provide based upon the projected margin after manufacturing and sales costs. The actual degree of ‘the best’ may vary quite a bit based upon those factors, and some of the offerings are very, very good while others aren’t so much.

There’s an old saying that comes to mind that’s very appropriate here:  “95% of all fishing lures are designed to catch fisherman, not fish….”  Same applies to ‘tactical gear.’  Look at the graphic at the top and bottom of this post, and you’ll get what I mean.

Again, that’s not to say that some of these offerings aren’t a great value and worth buying – at the sale or clearance price (when the company realizes that not many people want to pay MSRP for whatever the piece of equipment happens to be) if you’re conscious of how much you’re spending for one item or another.   Here’s a personal example to demonstrate the application of ‘high end for less than MSRP’:  BDS Tactical has a vertical shoulder holster that was on sale for $47 on their site a couple of months ago.  I was in the market for one, so I’d been looking around, and on eBay I saw them for around $75 and thought, “no way…” and also looked at the USGI surplus M7/M9 type ‘tanker’ shoulder holsters, but they were at about $50 shipped, and I didn’t like how weak the straps looked.  Added to that, there’s nothing for spare magazines, so I’d have to take some time to modify it.  So, I went to BDS Tactical’s site, saw the $47 sale on a$80 item, and pulled the trigger (remember, DTG tries to never EVER pay full retail because the ROI is just not there).  Right now they’ve got it for $64 on sale, but if you wait for awhile, I’m betting it’ll come down again, if cycles run true.  That holster is bombproof, though, if not a bit cumbersome to set up, but to me it’s not worth $80 MSRP.  For less than $50?  Absolutely, because it’s made to last and last, and was a worthwhile purchase that will provide a good ROI on money spent – $50.  Much better than a M-7/M-9 surplus shoulder holster that costs about the same as what I paid for the BDS holster, and is more durable to boot.  But, make no mistake, if I had found a M-7/M-9 in really good shape or New Old Stock (NOS) for $30 out the door, I would have opted for that rather than the BDS holster.  Best Bang for the Buck and all that.

Same goes with H-Harnesses, Chest Rigs, belts, tarp shelters, knives, etc.  You don’t need to spend $500 on a combat knife; you can spend $75 or less and get a good, durable, won’t let you down Case XX USMC combat knife or something similar.

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Do I have a problem with spending money on good equipment?

Edge Pro Kit 4

No, take my knife sharpening system, the Edge Pro Apex 4.  All told, cost about $300.  And it’ll last me for many years and provides a bench system that makes the edges on my knives extremely sharp.

Knives are another good example:  I own several Randall’s, a Wall, a couple Ek’s and so on.  I have spent more than I care to admit on good tools.  I also own a couple Camillus combat knives I keep in various kits that I’d have absolutely NO problem depending on should I need a good knife.  One thing is common:  I try to get what I want/need at less than MSRP, like for example, my multi-tools.  My most recent purchase was a Leatherman Supertool…used (barely) for $30 out the door.  It goes in a pouch on a knife sheath, so I didn’t want/need the associated pouch.  Leatherman has a 25 year warranty on their multi-tools, so if something goes wrong, it’s fixed.  Typical price to pay for a Supertool is about $75.  My EDC Get Home Bag now has a pristeen Buck 110 in it.  Cost?  $25 out the door.  Much better than the $45 to $60 typical cost.  My point is not to trash good equipment; my point is to ensure you know you can get set up without get sucked into believing that ‘signature’ high-end or celebrity endorsed equipment is the way to go and spend money unnecessarily that might be better used on weapons, optics, ammo, and training, especially if you’re trying to outfit your family.  It’s not the gear that makes the person survivable; it’s the skills.  It’s true that you do get what you pay for, to an extent, but you can also pay for a surplus or used item for about 25% of what you’d pay for the new, high end ‘signature’ item and get much, much more than you paid for in ROI.

Take harnesses:  You can go to ebay, right now, and get what I consider to be one of the best H-Harness set up’s ever, for $50. Made by Eagle Industries, even.  If you were impatient, you could pay $75 for the same thing.  Beats the hell out of paying high end retail for some ‘signature’ equipment.

RCLSNo, it’s not a chest rig, which seems to be ‘all the rage.’  The H Harness is more of a general purpose war horse, and it’s well known that DTG favors ‘general purpose’ for NPT individual training and equipping over specialized equipment, especially for the Neighborhood Protection Team member who’s not going to be involved in any ‘high speed low drag’ adventures.  Chest rigs, on the other hand, are specialized equipment best utilized in a vehicle based team.  There’s nothing wrong with having a chest rig for a particular purpose; I have one for use in my vehicle-it has a specific purpose and application.  Unless my EDC harness was destroyed, I’d never consider using a chest rig for day to day NPT operations.

If you’re on a tight budget, as many people getting started are, you could get one of these USGI Load Bearing Vests in excellent condition for $20 including shipping.  Add an old school web belt, and you’re in business.  Think of all the other things you might be able to purchase with the saved funds!  The mind boggles!

Surplus LBV

Is it bad to spend big bucks on high-end ‘signature’ gear?  Not really.  After all, your money is your money, and you can spend it on what you want (so far).  Just know that the law of diminishing returns is as sure as the turning of the earth and the rising and setting of the sun, so if you have any sort of a budget, you might want to carefully consider your ROI on what you spend.  I do take issue, though, with the implication from the retailers, designers, and spokesmen for the high end signature equipment/gear that their gear is what’s going to pull you through a SHTF scenario, because that’s just not the case!  Your skills is what will pull you through when it comes right down to it.  Otherwise, we’d all have a, ‘Bass-O-Matic’……right?

 

bassomatic

One must remember the purpose of all marketing:  Sell things and make money.  Once you have that burned into your mind, you can evaluate what’s being offered a bit more objectively and possibly not suffer ‘buyer’s remorse’ so much.

Training, as you probably know, is expensive enough, and rightfully so:  You’re paying someone to impart knowledge it took years of study and sweat to acquire to cut through the boilerplate and give you the essentials to protect and defend your family and community, and what’s more, have a chance of making it through a SHTF situation alive.  You can’t get that from ‘youtube.’  So if you’re going to lay out a significant amount of money, having good training and used gear/equipment is the way to go.

Disclaimer:  DTG does not sell it’s own brand of equipment, nor do we have any plans to do so in the future.  We also like to ‘re-purpose’ various items, buy ‘used’ gear, so we can spend money on ammo, hardware, and items that help us become better at what we do.  There’s way to much very good equipment out there we can get ‘gently used’ that will save us our hard earned cash for better purposes.