Reaver Prep

Prepping isn't crazy, but you can get crazy prepping. Practical advice for the prepared American.

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At What Point Do Our Nation’s Heroes Become Their Fellow Citizen’s Enemies

Frightening, but pertinent. Oath takers, be Oath Keepers!


Don't tread on me

By Pat Henry – The Prepper Journal

Nations rise and fall as they have done since the beginning of time. Some fear that our nation, the United States of America, is preparing for the final spasm that could literally kick this country over the edge of oblivion and add our sad chapter to the larger story of the history of once great nations that self-destructed. Depending on what you believe the facts are about our current state, this may or may not be in our future. Assuming it is; there are wide differences in opinion about how long this final act may take. All I know for sure is that if we do collapse, as every other nation in our economic and moral situation has before us, it won’t be pretty. In fact if it is anywhere half as bad as I can imagine it will be – considering our…

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Have a Rig system.

No matter what your bug out weapon(s) is/are there is no single round that’ll do the job 100% of the time. If you’re a shotty kinda person, you can’t tell me you’re going to engage everything with Buck Shot. I mean, your effective range would completely suck. So, you might have a few slugs around. Ok, good. How do you keep those rounds organized?


I like the AR-15. However, I don’t keep just Full Metal Jacket rounds around. That would be irresponsible. FMJ rounds have a tendency to over penetrate. So, I also keep poly tipped hollow points.


Those two rounds have their own purpose(s). But, it’s important to keep these rounds separate. You wouldn’t want to risk that over penetration but grabbing the wrong magazine. So, you need a system. Some people use metal mags for one, poly mags for another. That’s a good idea, possibly the best, as it associates your rounds with something tactile that can be identified in the dark, on the fly, and under stress.

I, however, have a color system. Not the most desirable, and I’ll probably adapt the metal/poly rig later, but quite frankly I’m already heavily invested in poly mags. So, one type goes in one color mag, and another in another color. So I don’t have to buy a bunch of metal mags, I’ll probably add a tactile factor at a later time by doing something such as adding ranger plates to one and not the other. That way I can use the mags I already have.


This is nothing ground breaking. It’s a rather simple idea. Something of the like may not be as applicable to a pistol or shotgun. I’m sure you’ll figure something out.


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My first taste of SHTF

Hello all,

It’s been a while. I apologize for that.


Tonight I came across an article written by a Bosnian describing his experience as a citizen during a year of, essentially, real life SHTF. Quite frankly the article was both enlightening, and startling. So, I thought I would share my first experience in a SHTF scenario.

I apologize now, but the narrative is going to be purposely vague for several reasons. Chief among them is during this experience I was there in an official capacity and I’m not authorized to present these details.

Since I turned 18 year old, I’ve worn one uniform or another. For a while I was a “Wilderness Rescue Technician”. Additionally, I was a Rapid Response Medical Responder. Basically, I didn’t get the title of EMT or Paramedic, but I held much of the same licensing and/or responsibilities. My job was to locate, stabilize, and extricate. I had access to very few tools, medicines, or devices because 85% of the time I was responding with only that which I could carry on my person.

Well, one particular disaster I responded, initially, due to my time as a support member of a Swift Water Rescue Squad. However, due to politics and budget cuts severing communication from the Federal Government to my state, I responded voluntarily with 3rd party civilian charity organization with approval to operate in my capacity by special recognition by the state in which the disaster had occurred. Complicated, I know.

Upon arrival I was “checked in” by a man from the State’s State Police. He checked through my credentials, my certifications, and asked, “Are you armed”? I wasn’t, not that I was opposed, but I was responding in a rescue capacity. He hands me a Sig Sauer P220 (.45 ACP) and says, “You’ll want that”.

I was attached to a rag tag team consisting of 2 State Troopers, 4 National Guard MP’s, 2 Civil Air Patrolman, 4 Deputy Sheriff’s, and a paramedic. My first question was, “Where’s the rescue team”. I was advised, I was the rescue team. Any of the other men could help, but I was the resident rescue. Resources, and people, were just too far and few.

The first 2 days our “mission” was to check homes, evacuate citizens, and render aid. By day 3 the situation had deteriorated so badly that we were no longer even trying. We would be given a specific objective, and we would satisfy that objective only. Mostly stuff like, there is a family trapped on a roof at “insert area here”. You will be granted X resource(s), make it happen. That went well for 2 days or so, but then the disaster “let up”. After that, roaming gangs of “outlaws” starting taking over neighborhoods. Oh, did I mention that prior to my arrival, and the initial disaster the Feds and State Police had spent days disarming the legal gun owners? So, I figured at that point the “mission” would end for people like me and those who carried guns for a living (which I did not at that point) would be getting those in need out. Wrong. Those who carried guns for a living were reallocated to other tasks (protecting officials) and pretty much abandoned the people. I was informed that my services were no longer required.

Now, I will say this much. There were a lot of good men and women who found ways around their new orders and saved a lot of people. Those are the kind of people I like having my back, and the kind of people I try to be. You do what’s right, because it’s right. While your local police, fire, rescue are you neighbors, friends, parishioners, etc.; remember, the big government doesn’t give 1 crap about you. Ultimately, you, SS#(input number here), are expendable in the name of order.

What’s the point of this tirade? Simple:

1. Plan

2. Practice

3. Network

4. Organize

5. Survive.


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The Shemagh

Let me preface with, and I’ve stated it before, that I’ve never served in the military. Ever. Not one moment. Not for a lack of trying, but sadly a broken arm at 17 that required surgery was enough for the US Army to say, “Thanks, but no thanks”. So, you’re going to get no stories from me saying, “Well, this time in Iraq…”

That aside, for years and years I’ve carried a bandana in all of my emergency kits, BOBs, Duty bags, etc. The reason? They’re handy with quite a few uses. To name a few: dust mask, water filter, cool rag, etc. The idea first struck me in 2006 when we suffered a house fire. I was forced to go back into the house for a family member. It’s crazy how quickly a house will fill with smoke. Seems obvious, but it really is amazing. You kinda have to be there.

Breathing was difficult, and a bandana would have done little to nothing for smoke. However, there is a lot of junk in the air along with that smoke when something burns. That, on the other hand, would have been nice to keep out of my lungs as I searched the building for my family member. I was expelling black, nastiness from my throat and nose for DAYS. Gross, I know.

So, what is a shemagh. Well, besides being a clothing piece that’s oddly vogue, a shemagh is square cloth meant to be worn as a traditional Arab head dress. It can be worn a few different ways. Granted, some ways are more practical than traditional. But, for our purposes, we are only interested in the ways they’re practical.


So why a shemagh? Well, they’re heavier, larger, and usually available in more natural colors than bandanas. Nothing inconspicuous about a red bandana on your face. Once finally getting a hold of Shemagh, I’ve decided to replace my bandanas. On top of all that, cotton just is more comfortable on your face than polyester. Just saying.

So, here are my top 5 uses for a shemagh in your gear:

1. Protection from elements:

a. You can use it to stay warm by wearing it as a scarf, a base layer under head gear, wearing on your face;

b. Wear it to keep soot, sand, and other particulates out of your mouth/nose;

c. Wet it and wear it against skin as a cool down;

d. Keeping brass from going down your shirt.

2. Medical uses:

a. Use as a bandage;

b. Use as a sling;

c. use as a brace.

3. Use as a filter:

a. Run water through it to filter out particulate (THIS WILL NOT FILTER OUT TOXINS, BACTERIA, ETC.).

4. Utility:

a. Use it as a bag;

b. Use it as a pillow;

c. As a towel;

d. As a potholder;

e. Baby diaper.

5. Signalling:

a. Trail Marker;

b. Dwelling marker;

c. Flag;

d. Smoke signals.

There is one reason to hate them though; They’re tacticool. I mean, I mentioned them being oddly vogue. It’s true. I mean, it’s the thing that people do now to be “tactical”. Let’s throw on a shemagh and now we’re tactical. That rant over, they’re awesome. Haters gonna hate.

That being said, I don’t wear them going to the grocery store.


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When you just HAVE to bug out!

In 2006 the house I was living in burnt. Not completely to the ground, but it was uninhabitable for MONTHS. I had “nowhere to go”. I mean I did, but not for the duration. A relative, or a friend, here and there could put me up on a couch for a few weeks, or days, here and there. Essentially, I was homeless.

Obviously, this was before my “prepping days”. I had no bug out bag, no plan. I had a bunch of camping gear, as I was  a LONG TIME scouter. Wanna guess what part of the garage caught fire? You guessed it!

I was at least, somewhat, lucky in this instance that the house wasn’t completely destroyed. After all I was able to recover a few key items in order to be able to “survive” in the next MONTHS.

The only things I was able to grab when I escaped the burning house was a backpack that I quickly shoved a change of clothes in, my wallet, my Beretta 92, a box of 9mm, and my keys to my truck. I didn’t even have time to grab toiletries.

People often ask, “Why couldn’t you grab more?” For starters, my room was a mess, Ill admit. Secondly, in those days I had moved in with my grand parents to help out after Grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I had people I was responsible for. So, I grabbed the couple of things near my computer desk, which I was at when I was alerted to fire preparing for a final exam hours later, and ran out to find my grand parents. There is a lot more to the story, ended up receiving 2nd and 3rd degree burns as a result of finding and evacuating my grandfather, but fire safety is a topic for another day.

So, in this case why bug out is a simple question. I mean where else would you go? So, now the issue is, you see why you need a bug out bag? That in and of itself isn’t even the main point of this post. The point I’m making is that 1 prep isn’t enough. Well, Mr. Unprepared you didn’t have any preps! That’s true, but what if the portion of the house I kept my preps caught first?

You would know! That’s how many would react to that statement. Um, having been through a house fire of my own, and other burning buildings due to my vocation, I can tell you it is very easy to not be aware of a fire immediately. I mean houses, to a certain extent, and apartment complexes, as well as other buildings, are designed with fire stops. While fire stops sometimes work, they also do a good job of slowing the signs of fire. Plus, if you are on one end of the house, as was my case, and the fire is on another. Blah, Blah, Blah it’s hard to detect fire. I could go on with reasons including, but not limited to, being on your computer listening to music on the headphones. Yeah, that was me. Or, just plain sleeping, which I’ve seen.

So, you keep your pack, your preps, and supplies on the other side of the house, or in the garage, or in the “prep room” you’ve created, or wherever. Meanwhile, you are in the bathroom, sitting on the throne.

I keep a couple different packs. I have an overnight pack, a 72 hour pack, and an extended BOB. The overnight stays in the car, in case I have to, well, stay overnight somewhere. The 72 hour pack “stays” at home unless I travel outside of 25 minutes from my house, then it goes with. The Extended BOB only goes with if I leave the state, otherwise it is stored with other supplies and the 72/overnight bags should get me back home to collect my BOB.


This is off the internet and is not me or any affiliate of mine.

The first two are molle bags with attachments, the extended BOB is a hiking back pack. I recommend one with a frame as it makes the weight not sit in a single spot. Those those of you that HAVE to have a molle (or other military) backpack, they do make them in framed versions.


Well, that’s a lot of supplies for something that may never happen! Well, that’s not necessarily true. I mean, the case in point here is a house fire. Anyone who has read more than 5 words on my blog knows that I prep for the “small” emergencies just as much as the big. Anything from house fire to Katrina to Walking Dead (meant as humor).

You don’t plan to fail, you fail to plan.


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III Marks the Spot

I conceal carry, so do many of my friends, and so do many other people around the country. I support that right, even considering my vocation. That being said, I don’t announce it. I go far out of my way to NOT announce it. You know what I mean. You know THAT guy; the guy sitting in the corner at the party wearing his 5.11 hat, Tac Pants, and sporting a “spec-ops” beard just WAITING (hoping) for someone to bust in and shoot up the place so he can be the hero. You know at least one. Of course, he spent all of his money on over the top EDC gear and carries a Taurus .380.

On top of the other obvious signs, he wears this:


That’s cute, adding the shirt that tells everyone, “Hey, I’ve got a gun. Right here! I’ve got a gun! LOOK LOOK!”

What’s worse? This guy:


In case the photo doesn’t/hasn’t loaded, it’s a threeper shirt. Now, I’m not disparaging threepers in any way. I know many. I am, again, reiterating that it isn’t exactly something you should throw out there. Of course, I’m sure a threeper is reading this thinking “screw you”, because you’re butt hurt about these statements. Hey, there are some WEIRD people out there considering themselves part of the 3%, and are convinced they are going to single handedly take on the “gubmint”. These are some of the same guys who strap their AR-15 on and go to Walmart.

Why? I mean, yeah, it’s your right, but what could you POSSIBLY achieve in freaking out a bunch of people. BUT, BUT, BUT! It’s my RIGHT and I shouldn’t pander to other people. Ok, it’s like this. Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you should. But, that’s just my opinion. I prefer my weapon concealed, because after all I don’t care for people to know what I have, where I have it, or when I have it. However, I have no problem with open carry when appropriate. Shock value isn’t part of it.

What about cops? Oh, cops aren’t immune from this conversation. They’re some of the biggest offenders.


Cops like to wear their Blue Line/Sheep Dog/Police shirts. I mean, come on, everyone knows exactly what the blue line is at this point. That Blue Line sticker on your car designed to keep from getting pulled over when you’re driving a million miles an hour also tells all the dirt bags exactly what you do, and who your family is. Good job on that.

So, I guess discretion is the better part of valor, in this case.


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The Arrow points in the right direction.

While your TV prepper is getting ready for Doomsday (i.e. Mad Max, Walking Dead, Day After Tomorrow). While I approve of that mindset, I do so with reservations/conditions. It’s why you get the extended warranty on your new TV despite the fact that you’ll probably never use it, just because you might. Now, what separates some of those people (all of those that are on TV) is that I think that they LOOK FORWARD TO whatever calamity they’re most “concerned” about. Yikes!!! Personally, while I have put a lot of time and effort into preparing, I do like modern convenience, It’s convenient.

Ok, that aside, what IF your situation does not improve in a couple weeks. Your food has officially run out, and people are starting to die. You need food. Of course, everyone says “HUNT!”. That’s all well and good, but what are you carrying? Ok, so you have your AR-15 chambered in .223 or 5.56×45. Lots of people use those calibers for hunting! What you need to consider is that while you have a firearm completely capable of taking down an animal, ammo is also very heavy and you are probably only carrying a few hundred rounds.

I’ll carry more, you say! Um, no, it’s heavy. Seriously, you have so much other gear already on you. Ammo is HEAVY!! Also, unless you are seriously into prepping, you are likely not conditioned to carrying a load like that. Well, I’ll load more into my truck!! Yes, you can do that and if you are able to get a BOB vehicle to your Bug Out Location power to you. However, if you have to hoof it, which you probably will, the convenience of a vehicle will be quickly missed.

So now what? The Bow. With modern compound bows and/or crossbows you can likely carry a bow and a few arrows/bolts without carrying too much extra. Compound bows are easier and faster to use, but crossbows are easier very the novice to accurately operate because it works, in a fashion, like a firearm.

Note: Keep in mind that the use of a cross bow may be illegal in some states, and may be illegal to even own without a permit. Keep local laws in mind.

The fun thing about Bows/Crossbows is that Arrows/Bolts are re-usable. Yes, over time damage can be done to render those arrows unusable, but you can’t take a bullet back.

Plus, and potentially more importantly, arrows are relatively quiet. No ringing gun shot for miles. All that evasion talk I go on about over and over again? Why would you want to announce your position to the world with a gun shot, or more?!

But, you need to spend the money on it. Don’t go cheap, or it won’t last, but you don’t have to spend a gazillion dollars either. Make sure you can carry it. After all, it needs to be out of your way. There are a number of different cases to carry compound bows like so:


I’m sure if you looked hard enough there would be other options, maybe even MOLLE.

A Crossbow, while easier to fire, is harder to prepare. They require a lot more strength to pull back, many having a stirrup for a feet to be placed face down and pull the string back. Despite Walking Dead making it look easy, it’s NOT fast. Bows are.

However, if you are a good shot and using it exclusively against an animal target while remaining relatively still, you will probably be fine.

And, due to my old fashioned nature, I have to throw in the recurve bow. They’re much simpler and require less maintenance in the long run. Additionally, you can make arrows from nature that a recurve won’t destroy just by shooting.


I would suggest you make space for the Bow/Crossbow!