MONDAY!!! What did you do to prep this week?

What did you do to prep this week? A weekly post about the various things I do to help myself and my family/friends become better prepared.

I took the entire week off from work and it was much needed. Had to go to Tennessee and while there visited some friends. While on the road I hooked up my CB for some comms testing. The radio in question is an old realistic. They don’t even make them anymore but it worked flawlessly.

Taken with my Nikon Coolpix L830 camera while on trail in the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee.

Thursday I traded a Mossberg 930 that was functioning quite right for that Weatherby Mark V I told you about. I owe $400 on the rifle now. Testing, video, and pictures to follow when I bring her home.

While in Tennessee I did a bit of horse trading with a guy I know that sells optics at the local flea market. I managed to trade a Ka-Bar BK9 knife for a Millet TRS-1 4-16×50 riflescope that’s slightly used. Testing to commence once mounted on the Weatherby.

Went out on a hike and did some edible plant identification. Look for a wild foods post coming soon. While I was hiking plants found included:

Wild Strawberries
Black Berries
Black Walnut
River Birch
various types of Violets

I also found a really awesome Shelf Fungus. First time for me. They are great for holding an ember. Basically, you take a slice out of a dried one and strike a ferrocerium rod or some other sparking device and it will smolder for hours. Great way to transport fire in bad conditions as well.

All together it was a fun week. How was yours?

How to store food for long term preps…

I show you how to store food for long term. It is incredibly easy and cost saving.

There are very few items needed but they need to be high quality. Below I added a video I made to walk you through the steps. For ease, here’s a material list. All you have to do is click on the link to be taken to Amazon to purchase

Mylar Bags: I highly recommend the PackFreshUSA brand. They are heavy duty and make a great seal.

You can see the excellent vacuum seal that the oxygen absorber made. The PackFreshUSA bags have held up well over the last year and continue to hold vacuum.

5-gallon buckets: I used Home Depot brand, but any food grade bucket will do. The bags are available in any size so storing is easy. Don’t forget your Lids for the buckets

Sealer: I used the Fahrenheit brand 450-degree straightener. It worked excellently.

Food… In this case, I used Mahatma brand rice in the 20lb bag. Costs about $10 for 20 pounds.

If you found this helpful then be sure to share. If you have questions then be sure to leave a comment.

Thoughts for Thursday…

I share my Thoughts for Thursday every week. Just a quick update on things and the world.

The Norks claim to be able to launch a nuclear weapon now. According to their claim as reported by Fox News, the missile flew over 1,000 miles higher than the ISS.

With that said, apparently Washington state feels that it doesn’t need to prep for a nuclear holocaust because they prep for earthquakes and tsunamis instead.

I’m hoping to have more videos coming. They will be posted on Youtube HERE or you can see them when they get loaded with an article.

The local pawn shop has a kick ass deal on a Weatherby Mark V. $800!!! This is going on layaway if it’s still there tomorrow. These weapons are stupid accurate. The one I’m looking at is in .30-06 since it’s in my favorite caliber.

Y’all have a great rest of the week!

MONDAY!!! What did you do to prep this week?

What did you do to prep this week? A weekly post about the various things I do to help myself and my family/friends become better prepared.

I sold my Taurus Millennium that I did the review on. It felt like it was time to get a dedicated to concealed carry pistol. So I decided to use the money to buy a S&W Shield and extra mag. Speaking of the Shield it’s doing great. One of the best gun purchases I’ve made in a long time. Had a very interesting discussion with the family about preparedness. The are like-minded and feel the need as well. Received a copy of “Absolute Anarchy” by Johnny Jacks. Started reading it. Look for a write-up coming soon.

A friend sent some pretty awesome items and I want to give big thanks to him. I received a finger pulse ox reader as well as an automated blood pressure cuff.

The calibration on the BP cuff seems right on and is accurate. Had a meeting with some prepper friends of mine. Did a communication check from the BOL and got to 5 miles. We could really bump it up using a better antenna set up. Also looked into getting a 40-watt GMRS radio. That’s about it for me. How about you?

Why you may want to consider bugging out…

If you followed my post HERE about a beginner’s bug out bag, then you may be wondering why you even need it. By definition, bugging out means to leave in a hurry. When it comes to preparedness, there are many reasons you may want to bug out from hurricanes to earthquakes.

So what does this mean? Panic never helps anything so we are going to skip #1 and move on to #2. The purpose in bugging out is to get to safety. You could be at work, on the road, or away on vacation. Without prior knowledge, some kind of disaster happens. Maybe a train derails and lets out a cloud of chlorine gas. A tornado warning has been issued and you need to find a safe room to hide in. There could even be riots taking place. Basically, you have to move out of the area, and you have to move now.

“Bug Out as defined by Google”

In the EMS world, there are several reasons you may need to bug out. Almost every reason has to do with scene safety. Maybe you arrive on the scene to find a tanker has rolled during an MVA. You and your team safely extricate the patient, but there is fuel everywhere. Bugging out, aka leaving in a hurry, would be advised. You could also arrive on the scene to an unknown disturbance and quickly find yourself in an active shooting. Bugging out would be a great idea.

So what does this mean for the average civilian? You saw a recent headline that said storms may be entering the area bringing heavy rains and possible flooding. Knowing that you live in a local flood zone, you think about avenues for escape and what supplies you may want to bring with you in case you have to run for high ground. As the rain starts you are listening to the radio and hear a report that localized flash flooding is occurring, and some roads may become impassable. This happens frequently due to hurricanes and heavy thunderstorms. Knowing that the water may reach your home, you gather your things and flee to safety. You effectively “Bugged Out”.

The Baltimore riots that occurred after the Freddie Gray shooting are a prime example of a need to “Bug Out”. Image courtesy of the “Telegraph

In my local area of South Carolina people have had to bug out due to wildfires, flooding, severe storms, tornados, hurricanes, and many other reasons. Having a good plan to reach safety is important. Even if you live in the best location possible, having a plan to bug out could save your life.

Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm First Impressions

I’ve been keeping my eyes out for a decent concealed carry weapon for the past few months. A friend was in need of a defensive pistol so after 2 years of use I sold my Taurus Millennium G2… With that, a trip to Palmetto State Armory was in store for me.

Smith & Wesson has been doing a promotion on the pistols since April where you are given a certain amount off. In the case of the Shields, the amount is $75 off. After handling the weapon, I decided to pull the trigger so to speak and purchase the weapon after doing a little research.

Taken directly from the website of Smith and Wesson at

The weapon is a lot different than the Taurus I had. Overall quality is superior for one. It’s tight fitting, has a better finish, and overall seems to be a better-made weapon. The capacity is on par with 1911 style pistols so that had me thinking of a third magazine quickly. I believe in high capacity to improve the chance of survivability. Check out was quick and painless with PSA giving me a uniform discount. Since the weapon was already on sale and at discount, I received 10% off the extra mag, and 5% off of the box of Hornady 115gr Critical Duty ammunition. Just remember to have your ID ready to go when you checkout.

With a new pistol comes the need to shoot… PSA has an indoor range at the Fernandina Rd store so a quick walk through the store had me buying a box a range ammunition and a target. I make a point to keep hearing and eye protection in my vehicle just in case any need arises.

Top down view showcases the thin profile.

Once inside with the target set up at 10 yards, I started to load the new magazines. The were STIFF! Once I had them fully loaded I I started shooting. The gun shoots tight and accurately but printed slightly left by about 2″. I’ll be needing to adjust my sight a bit. The gun was slightly snappy but not overly so. Follow up shots are fast and positive. Double taps into the vital areas felt confident and were accurate. 50 rounds later left my thumbs sore from loading the stiff magazines.

Thinking of a concealed carry holster, I remembered that I still had my old DeSantis holster from my Taurus. Sure enough, the Shield fit perfectly. That holster can be found HERE. Carrying the weapon is effortless. The thin profile and short flush fitting magazine contribute to easy concealment. It feels light, and almost forgettable when worn IWB. Both 8 round magazines ride easily in the jean pocket, and with the baseplate, makes for an easy draw. Dinner at the local BBQ joint was easy going and comfortable.

Overall my first impressions of the Smith and Wesson Shield 9mm are very positive. It promotes a sure confidence in public while staying hidden from prying eyes. My wife didn’t even notice me wearing it when she came home. Further testing will reveal if the Shield becomes a permanent fixture on my hip.

Images featured can be found at Palmetto State Armory’s website

What did you do last week to prep?

Monday’s posts will always be about what we’ve done as preppers to become better prepared. Join me every week as I talk about my latest preps and plans.

A group member and I scavenged some large capacity batteries for his solar system. Also found a large inverter with breakers and outlets. This will be designed to keep essential medications cold for long-term viability.

I put together a simple fishing kit since I added an Ugly Stick last time. Now I have the kit and am ready to go fishing.

Planning a trip to see some fellow preppers I know. They are in Tennessee. It’ll be a 3-day trip.

Sold my Taurus Millenium G2. I’m wanting something different such as an M&P Shield. Looked at PSA’s site and I may go with a DMR styled upper instead….

Wife is signed up for a shooting class. The instructor is excellent.

Got some shooting practice in by shooting my Glock 17 Gen 4. That weapon has always been 100% reliable.

Got a new book I’m starting to read… It’s called Absolute Anarchy. Have you read it? It’s by Johnny Jacks. Seems pretty good so far. Look for a review coming.

So how about you? What have you done?

Taurus Millennium G2 9mm review

I was looking for a 9mm subcompact that would not break the bank but would also make a good carry gun for my wife and I. We looked all over the place from the Kahr CM9 single stack 9 millimeter to the Kel-Tec P11, and even used a SCCY CPX-2 for about 6 months. The new Glock 43’s were nice, but we really wanted a double stack that would fit in either of our hands and also be comfortable. My wife has never enjoyed a Glock 26 so that was out of the question.I wanted something that wouldn’t break the bank or my wallet. That eventually lead me to my local gun shop where I ran across the Taurus Millenium G2 in 9mm. A lot of you may remember the old Taurus PT-111 Pros… This is the Gen 2 of that weapon.

First Impressions…

My initial shock was the fact that this weapon was sitting in the glass case at a meager price of only $199.99! I was stunned that someone would put a tag like that on a handgun and expect it to function. More on that later. I asked to hold the gun so the salesman pulled it from the case. I was amazed by how it felt in my hands. The grip has a texture unlike anything on the market that I could think of; almost like sandpaper, but nicer. It also fit in my hand like it was made for it. I have large hands and wear a large sized glove, and this felt great – almost like it was glued into my palm due to the texturing. FYI, though the texture is rough, it isn’t painful, or too abrasive. I never knew what the perfect texture was until I held the G2. It’s light weight, a subcompact, and was double stack just like we wanted. Another thing I noticed was the attractive and modern lines of the G2. It’s rounded in the rear of the slide/frame for comfort while carrying, while slightly wedge-shaped in the nose for holster insertion. The front of the slide also has a “scallop” on both sides to lighten the gun which I also found attractive. The finish on the slide seemed to be as good as any higher priced weapon on the market with no blemishes. Machining was perfect in my opinion, with zero tool marks to be found. As always, I had some research to do before I took the gun home finally so I handed it back over to the salesman.


Taurus’ website has the specs on the G2 at which is where I did my research. MSRP of the G2 is listed at $301.52 though I’ve seen it as high as $250, and as low as the price I paid: $199.I found that the gun was 6.24” long with a barrel of 3.2”. It weighs 22oz. without the 12+1 rounds in it. Did I mention that it came with 2 magazines? That was a shocker to me. Both have a high gloss bluing and drop freely from the gun when the mag release is pressed. It holds 2 more rounds than a Glock 26, with the G2 weighing .29 ounces more. Since I’m comparing it to the Glocks, it’s roughly the 2 height of a 19, but roughly the length of a 26 if that helps. The barrel is stainless steel, as well as the slide. Frames of G2 handguns are polymer as is typical of modern handguns with one other color option that I have found: desert tan. Sights are the typical 3 dot system, though the rear is adjustable. Both front and rear sights are polymer. Taurus has placed several safeties in the G2 which include a Loaded Chamber Indicator on the top of the slide, a thumb safety on the left (up is safe, down is fire) Taurus’ iconic Security System that utilizes a key, as well as a Trigger Safety. I’m not a fan of all that, but I can say that the thumb safety was easy to get used to and it reassured my wife since I carry with a loaded chamber. The chamber indicator never gets in that way, and when sighting along the slide is below the sight plane. Lastly, the G2 carries another Taurus icon; the double/single action trigger. The initial trigger pull is SA, and if a dud is in the chamber, you can release the trigger and pull a second time in DA. Basically, it allows a second strike capability in times of high stress. The SA is slightly mushy but with a fast break/reset, while the DA is long with a definite breaking point that is easy to feel when firing.

Reliability and Accuracy…

The Taurus Millennium G2 has proven to be highly reliable and accurate since I went back and picked up one for my wife and I each. With the adjustable rear sight, hitting a 6” plate at 25 yards becomes routine with easily 10/12 hits on target. Within 7-10 yards (typical gun fighting distance per FBI) it’s easy to place all 12 rounds in about a 2” pattern. Hostage drills, El Presidente, and target shooting are great with the G2. I found with our particular examples that they would not reliably chamber hollow point ammunition. I’ve tried Hornady, Winchester, Remington, and even some cheaper discount brands such as Independence and ZQI. I did find one self-defense round that would work all the time. Those are the 100 gr FTX® Critical Defense® Lite from Hornady. They work all the time, every time and are polymer tipped in pink for the ladies.

Easy recoiling ammunition that’s great for concealed carry and shooters who may be a bit gun shy

The G2’s have had zero problems running round nose ball ammo. I’ve not had a stove pipe, FTF, FTE, light strike, or magazine malfunction. For $199, that’s a lot of reliability for such an inexpensive price.

Final Thoughts…

The Taurus Millennium G2 9mm has proven to be an inexpensive though high-quality handgun. It’s lightweight, accurate, and what we were looking for. Though it has had issues using other brands of HP ammunition, the Hornady rounds have proven to be 100% reliable. Between both guns, we’ve placed several hundred rounds through them. If you are a new shooter, on a budget, or small statured, then this will make a fine weapon that you can carry with confidence. I know many people that have them including my friend John Rourke, my father, as well as several other friends and family members. Everyone I’ve talked to who has a G2 love the guns and have minimal complaints. Most people who get on G2 tend to go back to their local dealers to pick up one or two more. One guy, I heard from the salesman I picked ours up from, stated that a man walked in and bought one, then the next week obtained 4 more for his family because of the price and reliability.

**Images used were sourced from the manufacturer’s websites. The article is original content by Prepper Ralph for**

Do not enable free loaders and moochers!

I get told by people a lot that they are coming to my place if shit hits the fan. My reply is usually along the lines of “nope”, “hell naw you ain’t”, and laughing. I don’t really hide being a prepper, but I also don’t advertise it. Loose lips sink ships after all.

If you were to come to me and say, “Hey Ralph, you mind if I come over if something happens?”
I’ll ask, “What are you bringing?”
“Oh you know, the usual…. Guns, ammo, medical supplies, food, and water.”
Well by golly! That door just magically came unbolted and opened on its own!

My point is, being a prepper, you should not enable freeloaders. They’ve had their chance to prep and failed. Outside of your good conscience, what makes them worthy to reap the benefits of your hard work?

Now if they come looking to help out and work that is different. I’m sure anyone could use a bit of free labor. “Wash those dishes”, “skin that game”, and “split some firewood” are good examples even the slightly skilled can do for barter when it comes to shelter and a full belly.

Things to think about.

This may be a more accurate picture 😉