Help Me Understand Why I Need A Year’s Supply Of Toilet Paper?

Let me be forthright in saying I am not mocking or ridiculing in any way the prepper mentality.   That being said, I just don’t completely understand or appreciate the extent many people appear to be taking this end-of-the-world survival concept.   Seriously, a year’s supply of toilet paper?   Check out this video:

Now, ever since my Cub Scouts days I have been groomed to be prepared for many of life’s challenges, but sometimes I think people take matters to an extreme.   I suppose at any one given time my household has a two month’s supply (or more) of toilet paper, but that’s only because we often shop at Costco and nothing comes in small packages sold there.   I view a video like this and afterwards I’m left wondering…just how ill prepared am I for the future?

Seriously, I am a big proponent of being prepared for emergencies, but mostly this has been to the extent of a winter survival bag in my truck, maybe a pantry full of dry goods to get us through an extended power outage after a storm, you know…the usual preparatory activities.   But call me foolish, if you will, I fail to see the value in prepping for emergencies lasting months or years in duration.

I guess people have to do what they need to do to achieve peace of mind.   Oh yeah, given this current state of our world affairs and political climate I can envision things going south quickly.   It could certainly happen.   I don’t view it as inevitable, but during my lifetime I have seen enough “surprises” taking place in this world to know nothing is completely certain from one day to the next.

Still, this possible “uncertainty” does not fuel my desire to spend boat loads of money for a year’s supply of food, medicine, various hygiene items, etc…all of which do not last indefinitely.   I get it, some people purchase insurance and if you don’t use it the money is gone.   Yet, stockpiling food and various other supplies seems like such a waste with no imminent threat I can detect.   Obviously, time will either show me as the fool I am or confirm why a prudent person can reasonably maintain these doubts.

Honestly, the extent of my “prepper” activities will probably end this spring at purchasing some heirloom garden seeds that are not hybrid varieties or some Genetically Modified Organism (GMO).   Why?   Mostly because many of these historical seeds have some great stories to them.   Not to mention, if handled and stored properly can have a viable shelf life for 10 years or longer.

In reality, a small container of heirloom seeds (I purchase mine from Seed Savers Exchange where a former high school classmate manages the store) is a good investment in the future.   Many of these seeds worked well for our ancestors during a time when all they had to depend on was themselves, so it can work that way again if heaven forbid it has to.

So, tell me where I’m wrong.   I’d love to hear your comments and rationale for having a more aggressive approach to taking measures on preparing for an uncertain future.

Too Cold To Hunt? Some Hunters Embrace The Cold!

I chuckled yesterday when a news release from Southwick Associates crossed my desk with the title “How Cold is Too Cold for Hunters?”  You can read the full release HERE, but here’s the gist of their findings:

There are indeed some fair weather hunters out there. Organized by region, the percentage of polled hunters who say it is too cold to hunt as temps fall to between 21 and 30 degrees were:

 

  • Great Lakes States                          3 percent
  • Northeast States                              5 percent
  • Northern Plains States                   3 percent
  • South Central States                       10 percent
  • Southeast States                              9 percent
  • Western States                                 8 percent

 

By the time temperatures have fallen between 1 and 10 degrees, the percentage of hunters who choose to stay inside are:

 

  • Great Lakes States                          31 percent
  • Northeast States                              40 percent
  • Northern Plains States                   18 percent
  • South Central States                       51 percent
  • Southeast States                              52 percent
  • Western States                                 36 percent

 

But the tipping point seems to be 0 degrees when across every region except the Northern Plains states an additional 25 to 32 percent of hunters report it is too cold to hunt. In the Northern Plains, another 21 percent, are choosing a warm fire over a cold deer stand or predator setup.HunterSurvey.com

Now, I’ll admit there are a lot of factors that lend themselves to hunting in the cold.   For instance, when you’re younger and generally more eager one tends to dismiss the adverse weather as being a deterrent to being outside in the cold.   In other words, with advancing age generally comes some increased sensibilities in the decision making process.

Another big factor is what type of hunting is being done.   If a person is sitting motionless in a deer stand or walking sloughs in pursuit of game birds it makes a big difference.   Muscles in action tend to deal with the cold a bit better.

Of course, you also have the prevailing wind speed level as a big factor.   It can be cold and still outside, yet very tolerable.   But once that wind cranks up it will dissipate heat from your body faster than you can imagine even with some of the best gear being worn.

One often overlooked factor is if you are seeing game while hunting.   It’s amazing how a person suddenly forgets about the cold when a flock of ducks look promising they might decoy in.    For that matter, if you’re not seeing game a 50 degree day could quickly become too cold to hunt.   It’s a matter of perspective and what’s currently happening.

Now, I ran across this video today of Ryan Patin doing some extreme things on Lake Superior in freezing cold weather…check it out.   By the way, Ryan is a deer hunter here in Minnesota.   That being said, I’ll be the first to admit most Upper Midwest hunters may be heartier than average, but there are always some who take what the cold has to offer to an extreme.    I would have to say what Ryan does in this video is certainly good training for a late season deer hunt.   Wouldn’t you agree?

 

Enjoying The SHOT Show After Hours Is Also Important

I belly up to the bar just to give my aching feet a much needed break.  The SHOT Show will do that to ya, you know!   Okay, maybe the rest of me needed some relaxation in the form of an adult beverage, but the point is I started a conversation with the bartender.   It went something like this…

“I bet you’re happy the gun folks are in town for business, huh?”  I casually broke the communication ice with the barkeep.Manbar

“Oh, you bet!” was his quick reply.   “Heck of a lot better than last week here when the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was in town.”

Puzzled, I asked, “How could that be?   The CES is the largest trade show probably three times the size of SHOT?”

“No doubt,” was his quick reply,  “…but those high-tech geeks come into town, go to their show, maybe catch a bite to eat in a restaurant afterwards, yet they are more likely to hole up in their hotel room playing with their electronic toys ordering in room service.   They don’t sit in a bar to unwind.”

Shaking a cocktail in his hand, he continued on, “You probably think the gun folks like to drink and have a good time (after hours), hell, you should see the cement guys when they come in for their trade show in a few weeks.   Now, those guys know how to have a great time!”

As I brought my beverage to my lips, I pondered the possibility of how different trade shows attract different personality characteristics.   I had no clue the nice folks in the hospitality industry profile all of us patrons quite that way.   As for party animals, it appears SHOT Attendees are merely “middle of the road” when it comes to knowing how to have a good time when the floor hours end.

And that’s okay!   The daytime hours might be very business-oriented, but the after hours can combine a bit of fun along with business, in many circumstances.   It used to be finding a party to attend after the show each night was somewhat of a challenge without certain “connections.”   Well, no more.   Finding places to go or people to mingle with is as easy as joining social media.

In recent days I have seen more than a dozen different invites to private parties extended to folks who dare to venture on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and other similar social mediums.   Still at a loss for how to have some fun when the SHOT Show is not currently experiencing business hours?

Come to the Tweet-up below:

I’ll be there and I’d love to meet you in person.   Besides, if that isn’t enough…my understanding is the Sportsman Channel will be giving away some SWAG and you might even find a free beverage or two.   No promises on the last statement, but past experiences has proven that it pays to get out of your hotel room and rub elbows with your SHOT Show peers during the nighttime hours.

©2014 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.