Monday, January 31, 2022

Another Survival Gear #EpicFail + Good Alternatives

By Tim Gamble

 #EpicFail - The Emergency Fishing Kit

The Emergency Fishing Kit - a great idea in theory, but not so much in reality. 

The problem with MOST of these kits, particularly the ones small enough to fit in an Altoids tin or similar mini-kit, is that there is not nearly enough fishing line to really be useful. Plus, the gear included in many store-bought kits is often too small to be practical and of cheap quality. There are even several #FAIL videos on You Tube of folks trying unsuccessfully to fish with these mini kits. In one video, the guy took the line from a store-bought mini fishing kit and tied it to the end of a bamboo pole, then tried to fish off a river bank. The line was barely long enough to reach the water. 

After watching some of those videos, I tried out the gear I had in my old Altoids survival kit, and had the same problems as the folks in the videos. It just didn't work.

But the idea of having the ability to fish in a wilderness survival situation is still a good one, so I began to search for better alternatives. 

Good Alternatives: I now keep a Ronco Pocket Fisherman in both of my vehicles. You might remember the old TV commercials of the folding rod & reel with a small built in tackle box? I have one that is about 25 years old, and another that I bought only a few years ago. I have fished with both, and successfully caught my dinner, so I know they work.

The Pocket Fisherman is too big for a true mini-kit (it won't fit in your pocket), but at only about a pound, they can be carried in or on a bug-out bag. I can clip mine securely to the back of my pack.

Another alternative is a telescoping rod and reel combo, many of which come with compact carrying cases that can hold additional tackle. I also have one of those, but my particular brand is not available anymore. However, there are several other brands to choose from, many with carrying cases and even small tackle boxes. 

Again, these won't fit in your pocket, but are small and light-enough to carry in your vehicle and/or bug-out bag. Best of all, they actually work. 


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Monday, January 24, 2022

Surviving A Long-Term Supply Chain Crisis

By Tim Gamble

Preppers and survivalists should constantly be reviewing, updating, and changing their plans to reflect current circumstances and concerns. Recent events and the growing chaotic political, economic, and military situations in the world have given me plenty to think about and consider. Here is one of my recommendations:

Prepare for the supply-chain problems to continue and worsen. Things will not "go back to normal" as the pandemic winds down, because the root causes of the supply chain problems are not found in the pandemic or lockdowns, but rather go back many years. These problems include over-reliance on foreign manufacturing, a massive trade deficit, a shortage of skilled workers, inadequate infrastructure, a shortage of shipping containers, a massive shortage of truck drivers, and a shortage of trucks available to be put on the road even if we had those drivers, among other many other causes. A special cause of concern is our aging population of farmers, as not enough younger folks are going into farming, as well as a large amount of land being taken out of our agricultural system. These causes will take years to resolve, not to mention lots of political will (currently absent), even after pandemic insanity subsides. 

Returning manufacturing to the United States and improving infrastructure are the duty of politicians and corporate leaders, so it won't happen anytime soon. For us as individuals and families, we can 1) continue to stock up on food, water, and other supplies, 2) forge local supply chains, and 3) become as self-reliant as possible.

1) Continue to stock up on food, water, and other supplies:
     >> Use the current situation to discover what you are running out of, or having a hard time replacing. Pay attention to what isn't on store shelves in your area. Add to your stockpile of these items as opportunities arise. 
     >> Double your food and water storage. Food is vitally important. Whatever your current desired level of food storage, you need to double it, at least. Hard to do for perishables, but consider dehydrated or powdered eggs, milk, and cheese from Augason Farms, which is my choice for long-term food storage. Canned and dry foods, properly stored, do in most cases last a lot longer than the stamped expiration dates (which are really just arbitrary freshness dates). 
     >> Don't forget about other supplies, such as first aid supplies, OTC medicines, cleaning supplies, hygiene supplies, paper goods, clothing and shoes, batteries, firewood, matches, reading glasses, and so forth.
     >> Consider buying replacements now for things that eventually wear out (toasters, toaster ovens, microwaves, coffee makers, blenders, DVD players, and so forth). Make sure they work, then stack them up in a spare room or closet until you need them. I recently bought my next laptop, even though my current two-year-old laptop is working well. When my current laptop finally dies, it is already replaced and I won't be at the whims of what is or isn't in stock. 
     >> If you are going to need new tires sometime soon, you might want to go ahead and get them now.
     >> Go ahead and get next winter's firewood now. I don't know about your area, but firewood was/is really hard to get where I live, and when you can find it, the price is more than double what it was in 2019. 

2) Forge local supply chains:
     >> Become less dependent on Amazon, the Big Box Stores, and national chains by seeking out small, independent stores and suppliers in your area, and forming relationships with them. This means gun stores, hardware stores, feed stores, gardening centers, salvage stores, independent grocers, butcher shops, and so forth. Meet the owners and managers, befriend the employees, and become known as a good customer to them. You'll be surprised by how much these relationships will help you in the future.
     >> Become a regular at your local farmers' markets. Find the farms in your area where you can buy things direct from them. Meet and shake hands with actual farmers. Talk to them. Befriend them. Ask their advice. Buy things from them. Forge relationships.
      >> Talk to your friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow church members, and other folks around you. Do any have hobbies or side businesses that produce stuff? Within just a couple of miles of my house, I know of two beekeepers, two guys who cut and sell firewood, a retired doctor turned master craftsman who makes everything from tables & chairs to canoes, an older lady who makes beautiful, and warm, patchwork quilts, another lady who is an excellent seamstress, and a blacksmith. 
     >> The key to developing your own local supply chain is to find and build those relationships now, not after things get much worse. You are going to have to get out and meet people. 

3) Become as self-reliant as possible:
     >> Self-reliance is a mind set. Don't wait around for others to solve your problems. Don't depend on experts. Question authority. Think for yourself. Make your own decisions. Develop a DIY attitude. Take responsibility for your own life. 
     >> Self-reliance is skill sets. Develop skills now. Learn how to produce stuff for yourself (ideas: gardening, canning and food storage, fishing, hunting, trapping, foraging, sewing, woodworking, leather working, beekeeping, raising chickens, blacksmithing, raising culinary and medicinal herbs, growing mushrooms for food and medicine, etc.). Learn how to maintain and repair what you have. Learn home repair skills. Learn auto repair. Learn small engine repair. Have the tools and supplies you need to do these things.
     >> Consider expanding your growing season with a greenhouse, if possible. Greenhouses can be built in all shapes and sizes, and with lots of different materials. You can even build one yourself out of salvaged and recycled materials for almost nothing. Books on greenhouses and greenhouse plans can be found on Amazon and elsewhere. 
     >> If you have a garden, expand it. I have expanded by garden space to include almost all my backyard, and even some of my front yard. I live in a neighborhood just outside the town limits, and there is no HOA, so I have no restrictions. If you live in a city or have an HOA to deal with, your options may be limited. Find out what options you have, and push the limits.  
     >> Herbs, loose-leaf lettuce, micro-greens, and mushrooms can be grown fairly easily indoors, even in a small apartment. Tomatoes, peppers, and many other veggies can be grown in pots on your patio or balcony. Lots of free info and videos are available on You Tube and other video platforms. 
     >> The single most important thing you can do now to survive any future chaos is to start taking responsibility for your own life now.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

An Urgent Appeal to Preppers (and especially to those who aren't yet)


First, I would like to direct you to an article I wrote on my other website, The name of the article is Technocracy, The Power Elite, and the Transformation of Human Civilization. Understanding the information in this article is extremely important to understanding the manipulation we are enduring at their hands, and where they are successfully driving us towards. I hope you will take the 10 minutes needed to read it, and to think about the implications for yourself and your family/tribe/community. 

Second, please don't turn a blind eye to what is really going on. You will be shocked by how far along the Elite are in their plans. Don't be deceived, we are NOT winning. I hear from folks almost everyday who say "We are winning" and point to some recent minor victory or bit of good news. We may win the occasional battle, but make no mistake **they** are winning the war. (Again, please read the article.) 

There is a great Friedrich Nietzsche quote: "Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.

For your sake, and the sake of your family, I want your illusions destroyed. I want you to become extremely uncomfortable. Survival depends on it.  That is the reason I posted my Forecast 2022 - A Survivalist's Perspective. You need to have no illusions as to what is going on, and what the future holds in store.

Which brings me to my Urgent Appeal: Start doing the things you need to do now. And do them with an intensity that says your life depends on it. Because it does.  

I've been around the prepper and survivalist community for over 20 years now. I promise you that I personally have never felt the urgency that I feel right now. I truly believe that things will get worse, much worse, this year. And I truly believe that we are in for a decades (generations) long struggle against forces hell-bent on radically changing human civilization. 

There will be no one SHTF event after which we will quickly rebuild the Old Republic and save civilization. We are facing decades of dystopia. Your preparations - from stockpiling food to building community - will determine the fate of yourself, and of your family for generations to come. 

I don't know how else to motivate you and encourage you. I don't know how to more bluntly state what I believe. Time is up. There is no future to which to put off getting prepared. If you are prepared, get more prepared. If you are preparing, than intensify your efforts 3-fold, 5-fold, 10-fold. If you haven't started preparing yet - may God have mercy on your soul for you intentionally turned a blind eye to reality for whatever reasons. Do everything you can now to get "caught up" and pray for the best.

My apologies for the "doom and gloom." Sometimes reality isn't all peaches and cream.

Tim Gamble


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Thursday, January 13, 2022

Prepper Gear #EpicFail + Good Alternatives

By Tim Gamble

#EpicFail -  Ozark Trail 6-Gallon Water Jugs

There is a serious design flaw in the Ozark Trail 6-gallon water jugs sold at Wal-mart stores (and elsewhere). This design flaw lead to 100% of my Ozark Trail jugs leaking within two years of my purchasing them. These green water storage jugs have an X-design stamped on two sides. This X-design apparently creates weak spots in the material, eventually leading to leaks along the edges of the X.

Several years ago, I bought four of the Ozark Trail water jugs at Wal-mart to use as part of my water storage. I filled them up and put them in a spare bedroom that I use for storage. About six-months later, I noticed that one of the jugs had developed a leak along the X on one side. I had to throw out the leaking jug, of course. But it had leaked over 1/2 of the water out onto the floor. It soaked through the carpet to the wood below, causing it to buckle and warp. 

Over the next year-and-a-half, all three of the remaining Ozark Trail jugs started leaking, all along the same spot - the edges of the X stamped in their sides. This X is a serious design flaw that apparently will cause all these water storage jugs to start leaking eventually. If you have these jugs, you may want to check to see if they are leaking yet. I suggest feeling along the edges of each X for moisture. 

Luckily, after the first jug leaked, I placed the remaining three jugs on plastic sheeting, which prevented the floor-warping damage done by the first leak. Lesson learned: make sure that any leaking water storage won't do any damage. 

Good Alternatives: I now use the 7-gallon Aqua-Tainers by Reliance. I have a dozen, at least two of which are over five years old, yet none of them have developed any leaks. I have them on the floor, with plastic sheeting underneath them, under a couple of tables in the spare room, with more supplies on top of the tables.  

(Tip: If you have have a spare bedroom, consider getting rid of the bed, and put in tables and shelving for your prepper supplies. It is a good storage solution and a great excuse to not have relatives stay overnight!)

I also have about 65 of the glass 1-gallon table wine bottles, now filled with water. I know that sounds like a lot of wine consumed, but I've been "collecting" those bottles for a number of years now. 😊 I like them for water storage because they are not too heavy and are easy to handle. They are stackable (at least for one layer) by placing a sturdy board across the top of the bottom set of bottles. 

I recently added some stackable plastic 3-gallon jugs I found at Wal-mart, but have only been using them for a few months. Its too early to give them a proper review. 


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Saturday, January 1, 2022

Terms-of-Service (TOS)


The following Terms-of-Serive (TOS) supersedes any and all previous terms. 

This website,, is free. However, it may contain advertising and/or affiliate links in order to "pay the bills" and to stay in operation.

The primary purpose of this website is to publish the writings of Tim Gamble (me) on various topics relating to preparedness, survival, homesteading, personal finance, personal security, and self-reliance, as well as other information I think may be interesting or useful to my audience. Articles may contain information and opinion of a political or religious nature. 

All material on this website is copyright of the author and website owner, Tim Gamble, except where noted. Readers may freely share links to this website and to individual articles.

Articles by Tim Gamble may be reprinted or republished elsewhere, fully or in part, provided that 1) the article is not changed or reworded, 2) Tim Gamble is clearly credited as the author, and 3) a link to the original article or to is included. 

This is a family-friendly website, and one that promotes traditional Biblical and family values. If this offends you, please go elsewhere. 

This website maintains a limited comments section (bottom of each article), but is not designed or intended to be an open forum or discussion group. To be a fully-functioning discussion group or forum requires different software, more bandwidth (= more money), and considerably more time and technical expertise than I have. 

The comments section is moderated, and all posts must be approved before they appear on the website, which may take a little time since this website is a one-man operation. Please be patient. 

Comments containing links will be automatically deleted (for safety and liability reasons).

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Off-topic comments may or may not be approved at the sole discretion of Tim Gamble. 

Again, this website is not designed or intended to be an open-forum or discussion group. 

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This website is pro-America (as the Republic the founding fathers intended), pro-Constitution (including the Bill of Rights), pro-Capitalism (free markets, small business, local economies), and pro-Christendom (traditional Western civilization). If this offends you, please go elsewhere. 

This website is anti-Fascism (the merging of corporations with government power), anti-Marxism (all forms including socialism, communism, Maoism, etc.), and anti-Authoritarianism (centralized control of the masses by a small Elite). 

I, Tim Gamble, am not a medical, financial, or legal professional. The information  presented here is not intended as professional advice, but rather is meant solely as "food for thought" and a starting point for your further investigation. It is the reader's responsibility to verify information presented and to carefully consider its suitability for your life and particular circumstances. This is called "personal responsibility" and is highly encouraged. 

These terms of service are subject to change at my sole discretion.

Continued use of this website constitutes understanding and acceptance to all the above.

Thank you,

Tim Gamble