CategoriesDefense Prepping Self-Defense

4 Best Weapons To Keep in Your Car

The need to defend yourself doesn’t disappear when you leave your home. In fact, as recent events have shown us, you could encounter violence when you’re just driving on public roadways. That’s why it’s important to keep a few tactical weapons in your car for self-defense purposes. Hopefully you will never have to use them, but you’ll have greater peace of mind knowing they’re within arm’s reach while you’re driving.

Not all weapons are practical to take with you in your car, and not all are easy to wield in a small space (sorry, AR-15s). So, it’s important to take a few things into consideration when deciding which weapons to take along with you. Here is our list of the top five best weapons to keep in your car, and why.

1. Handgun

In states that allow it, the most effective weapon to keep in your car is a handgun. Some people choose to keep a gun in the glove compartment, while others prefer to attach it beneath the steering wheel area for easy access. Still others leave their guns out in plain sight if they don’t have concealed carry permits but live in states that allow open carry. No matter how you choose to do it, packing heat is an effective way to protect yourself against criminals who choose to endanger your life.

Before you opt for a handgun as a form of self defense in your car, carefully study your state’s laws regarding handgun in vehicles. You want to make sure you’re fully in compliance with the law. Even if you’re abiding by the law in your state, you still need to stay frosty. If you plan to travel outside of your state, you could find yourself facing legal trouble if the area you’re traveling to doesn’t allow concealed or open carry in vehicles. Always stay well-informed to avoid legal issues.

2. Pepper Spray

There aren’t nearly as many laws regarding pepper spray as there are regarding handguns, so some people feel more comfortable keeping a canister of pepper spray in their vehicles. Pepper spray is non-lethal, but if you spray it directly into your attacker’s face, you have a good chance of getting away. Pepper spray is lightweight, portable and generally easy to use. That’s what makes it such a good option for your car.

3. Knife

A knife can be a very effective self-defense tool if you know how to use it properly. There are effective and non-effective ways to hold and use small self-defense knives. If you choose to carry one in your car, make sure you learn how to wield it. There are plenty of online videos that can give you helpful step-by-step instructions for using knives for self defense.

Some states ban some types of knives for both open and concealed carry uses. As with guns, you need to know the laws in your area before deciding what self-defense knife to keep in your car.

4. Stun Gun

Like pepper spray, stun guns and tasers are non-lethal tools used for self defense. They can temporarily incapacitate your attacker so you can get away to safety. Before buying a stun gun, make sure they’re legal for use in your state. Many states legalize their use for civilian defense purposes as long as you don’t have a felony and are not a minor.

Choose What’s Best for You

Ultimately, the best self-defense tool for your car is the one you feel most comfortable using. If you have a gun but refuse to use it, it’s probably not the best choice for you. In cases like this, you may be better off choosing a stun gun or pepper spray. No matter what self-defense tool you decide to use, you’ll be better prepared to defend yourself if necessary. Stay safe out there.

CategoriesDefense

Scouting – What To Wear And Carry

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In a post-disaster world, the two extremes to choose from are 1. Hunker down and defend 2. Pack a bag and live as a permanent nomad. However, there is a middle option: Scouting. Keeping an eye on the borders to your region, for bandits, and for good people who may be allies. This particular compromise between taking off for good and hunkering down with your head in the sand is one of our funnest zones of imagination.

You want to carry a pack and weapons so that anyone else who’s scouting can’t tell whether you have a nice stash nearby, or are as nomadic as them. This means carrying food at all times that could sustain you for at least a few days, rather than, say, just going out with a 5 lb day pack.

Only Be Seen When You Want To Be Seen

If you feel the need to be fast, and light, and go scouting, do not underestimate the value of owning a very good head-to-toe set of camouflage clothing, even up to a full ghillie suit. If you’ve never gone to a woodsy paintball facility, do yourself a favor with some friends and family and plan a full day for it. When you’re playing a game, with paintball guns, on teams, in the woods … the nature of competition adds a layer of intensity and excitement that you won’t believe until you try it. And because you want to win that game of capture the flag, or base defense, or whatever other rules they employ for your entertainment, the advantage of camouflage will impress you more than any other time you can find in your life, unless you’ve served. 

We all talk about it. That first time we were kids out paintballing in the woods, we all went to the army surplus store in the weeks before. Most of us didn’t get anything close to a ghillie suit, but we did have face paint, and camo hats, tough long sleeve shirts and pants of the same pattern, and even olive green and brown combat boots. And we’re here to tell you, when ten of you hunker down in a rough perimeter to cover each other’s backs and fronts, you get downright invisible, even when the other team gets real close. Blue jeans stand out like the Queen of Hearts in a hand full of clubs.

A Mini “Go Bag”

But if you’re scouting for a day or two in a wider range, you would want to pack just heavy enough that someone spying on you with binoculars won’t be able to guess you have a stocked home nearby. This deception doubles as an emergency back-up if you discover to your chagrin you are cut off from your home base, for days, or forever.Keep your pump water filter with you, the lightest portable camp stove you have, sleeping pad and bag, changes of underwear and rain poncho, etc. It makes things heavier, but people who are used to backpacking know you can find that sweet spot between hauling around a ridiculous gear bubble weighing 50+ pounds, and going a bit lighter, but still with some really good items that keep you ready for unexpected changes of plan. If you already read our basic discussion of firearms, this is where you have to balance carrying weight versus all around utility. Some won’t ever give up carrying their rifle, and we get that for sure, while others keep that .45 Glock or that .357 S&W snug in their hip holster, loaded, with reloads or clips hand in a pocket, and a box or two (or three) of ammo in their pack. The ever-present K-Bar knife you will never leave home without? Other hip. For protection, we also recommend this great deal on a Raptor Claw Karambit knife

A Spade Is A Spade

But as long as we find ourselves discussing gear, and worried about overall carry weight, there is one last item we have not mentioned before, which we admire for its utility and multitasking… a collapsible shovel. They serve as the single best emergency shelter building tool you can carry, and as a very effective close combat weapon against animal or human attackers. While we will never lower one great knife from the top of our list of most critical essentials, a shovel can help you dig a complete hole, chop branches to cover it, and excavate entire bushes to camouflage the cover, faster than you might imagine. Digging a fire pit in windy conditions, or even digging for water, the shovel is perhaps one of the older and more underrated tools that helped mankind rise. There are some out there that fold up nice, compact, and very light, yet are strong enough they’ll stand up to a whole lot of abuse. The sharpened edge is dangerous and requires you to be careful, but is essential, as so often the need to dig is accompanied by the need to chop. And back to that concept of being spied upon … that one piece of gear strapped to your pack could mislead an enemy scout into suspecting you’re looking for a place, rather than coming from one. It’s a tough call when every pound makes you slower, possibly noisier, and less capable of sneaking through tight spaces, but whether you take it with you or leave it home, one of those survival shovels doesn’t go bad over time, is useful in countless situations, stores in tight places, and so it should be in your inventory.We don’t recommend leaving a good situation lightly. It’s more than okay to hide out sometimes. It’s healthy to learn how to be alone in solitude, and anymore we rarely get that chance. But at one point the act of sharing builds a warm fire in our souls, and that is something preppers who love the idea of self-sufficiency would do well to remember.

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CategoriesDefense

Firearms: Shotgun, Handgun, Or Rifle

If you ever read the Little House books you may remember that the Ingalls family went through entire seasons without a single fresh vegetable or red meat, but survived on game birds that Pa managed to hunt with his musket. You, you lucky devil, don’t need to hit a sitting bird with a single ball of lead, but can take them out of the sky with a twelve or twenty gauge shotgun. And a quick side note, what follows is written for the absolute neophyte to survival and preparation concepts. Many of you already know everything we’ll state about guns below, and much more. Some may disagree with the direction we take. In fact, we disagree with each other often, talk trash about it, and start all over. But it can’t hurt to go over a few basic, general concepts about firearms.

Getting started

Many shotguns are designed with sport in mind, and only give you three shots per loading, including one is in the chamber. We suggest removing the plug or choosing among those designed to take a whole lot more shells, but then again, a classic side-by-side, two-shot shotgun has no spring that can become brittle over time.

A little .22 rifle seems almost harmless in comparison, and you’d never want to use it against any sizable game. But it can plink birds and varmints and if you’ve got children there’s no better starter gun. Scope optional, but if you’re thinking of survival it really helps make sure dinner gets on the table.

And a side note may be appropriate. If you’re like us, none of this discussion is in the slight bit bothersome or offensive. But we understand the sensitivities out there. One member of our staff, when he’s talking about starter guns with customers, often recollects his own first rifle. A little Browning .22. And the first thing his father told him after showing him how to handle it safely–always assuming it was loaded, never letting the barrel point at a person or anywhere dangerous, keeping the safety on until ready to shoot, etc.–was never to kill a living, innocent animal unless he meant to eat it, or unless the only other option to get rid of a costly pest was poison.

Stocking Up

When you’re hunkering down the biggest difference between that and moving on, in terms of self defense, is that you can keep more weapons, more ammunition than you can carry. Just as with a good earthquake kit, it’s easy to leave everything in a gun safe or ammo chest for so many years your rounds can actually degrade. Now, that takes a long, long time, but try to make a trip to the range or sporting clays facility every once in a while. Even your family members who are generally intimidated by guns, or against them altogether, may find they have a great time. We have several customers who simply do not want to own a gun in their own home, but let a friend or loved one talk them into an hour at the indoor range and had far more fun than they expected. And they left knowing that if the end of the world came, they understood at least once they’d learned how to properly hold a gun, aim, and shoot.Many preppers not only have a gun collection, and a permanent supply of ammo, but various levels of reloading equipment. It can go all the way to making your own powder and melting your own lead for shot, but especially when it comes to gunpowder, the DIY is vastly more risky and involved than people think. It’s not a matter of dumping saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal into a bowl and mixing. Commercial grade gunpowder is a masterpiece of chemistry, combining extraordinary stability with power, and anyone not a professional trying to come anywhere close is probably going to lose limbs or die trying. Even Pa, who melted his own lead for shot, always had to trek on his supply runs with gunpowder on the list.

Little House

And those Little House books–which, oh you better believe, are on the list–are a real world example. Pa had his long barrel, and two musket pistols at home. When he went out for his day’s hunting, it was usually only with the long barrel. Now that we have revolvers and semi-auto clip loading handguns, the equations are different. And they weren’t just trying to survive, they were trying to live a life without obsessive paranoia. Yet one of the most terrifying scenes in all of those books was when two Native Americans simply walked right into the kitchen one day, where Ma was alone with her little girls, and Pa was out hunting.

Once again, given the nature of discourse today, it’s probably important to mention, in the Little House books, which were all autobiographical, Pa had several encounters with Native Americans, the vast majority of which were friendly, mutually helpful, and full of heart. But this one was scary.

In the end, they only took food and tobacco, and left, but it could have been all over for this family, and the lesson here is that however much you want to prepare, plan ahead, and think of all the defenses you might want to employ in various imaginings, reality means you’ll be living your life as best you can with what you have.

In other words, we love thinking about this stuff, but we’ve seen the obsessive compulsive side of prepping and that’s not at all the fun kind of rabbit hole we like.

Shotgun, Handgun, Or Rifle

So, to put it simply, if you are not averse to guns, and only want to have a single one in your possession, you need to decide between a shotgun, a handgun, or a rifle. The shotgun will allow you to protect your home at a roughly similar level to other options, with some advantages and drawbacks, and it will take birds out of the sky. Most people don’t realize how many quail, geese, or other perfectly edible birds are around. But you don’t want to use a shotgun for larger game unless there’s no other option. It can be unbelievably cruel if the first shot doesn’t succeed, and you have to get much closer than with a rifle. The resulting mess is different from a bullet hole and we’ll leave it at that.If hunting food is less of a priority to you than pure self-defense, you’re probably looking at handgun options. The first basic choice is revolver vs. semi-automatic. This debate will last until the end of time. Some of us believe that in a true crisis, the revolver is simply less likely to malfunction. Your self-defense gun sits in its place for years until you need it, and when you need it, it must fire. Clips use springs, and even as well designed as they have become, there’s just slightly more risk of a jam.But others of us say any gun ready for self defense has one in the chamber, waiting. And a Glock, for example, has a safety mechanism that doesn’t have to be pressed the way many do. It’s a point and shoot weapon, designed to defend against an attacker, and if that attacker is large, strong, and out of his mind, a semi-automatic pistol will unload its full clip faster and with less motion on the part of the one shooting. A revolver doesn’t actually have to have its hammer cocked back by the thumb, but the squeeze in that case is longer and requires a little more muscle, and can cause the barrel to move.The size of the gun depends on the owner, but most professionals want a minimum of 9mm. Many of us remember Clint Eastwood’s famous lines in Dirty Harry, as he expounded on his preference for the .44. It’s true, a 9mm round can bounce off a windshield and we won’t believe that’s going to happen to a .44 unless we see it. It’s a cannon, and has the buck you might expect. A .357 is more accurate, kicks a little less, but can still stop a bus, and again, this debate will last until the end of time.We’ll save the rifle discussion for another time, as well. The truth is, we happen to enjoy firearms and our collections range from rooms filled, to a tight, discreet selection of weapons that fit almost any circumstance, and can be distributed amongst a family. So let’s conclude this more general article by addressing the person who has no idea in the future whether they would choose to stay at home, or go on the move, in the event of a disaster.

Fire A Few Rounds

Find your local gun range, indoor or out. If you’ve never fired a handgun before, or perhaps even if you have, call them to schedule a lesson. Whether you need a lesson or not, most places offer a very solid selection of handguns you can rent at little cost. Usually they don’t charge you for switching as much as you like, as long as you keep buying ammo to fit whichever gun you’re testing. Try revolvers and semi-autos of varying brands (usually you’ll see Glock, Smith & Wesson (S&W), Heckler & Koch (HK) Sig Sauer (SIG), and others), ranging in caliber. Don’t go smaller than 9mm. Don’t bother with the .44 unless you really want to try the kick. One or more of them is going to have a good feel for you. Those are the ones you want to discuss with the staff at the range. Guns aren’t cheap. A properly maintained used firearm is a perfectly good option.Whether you stay or go, whether you intend never to fire your weapon again…if you take it to the range once per year, or end up starting your own collection…if you don’t think a firearm is important, perhaps just buy a book first. We recommend The Road, by Cormack McCarthy. You’ll learn in the first few chapters what the end of the world might look like, when you’ve got a child to protect. But there are a lot of other tales not quite so heart wrenching that can help you imagine things that we all hope never come to pass. They’re on the List.And keep in mind, please, as much fun as we have, and whatever our own sensibilities and sensitivities are, our one desire with all of this is not to convince you to think like us or believe like us. All we want is for you to stay alive, and in doing so maintain that sense of humanity that brings meaning, which the savage we hope you never have to face would have lost.

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