Muddy Expectations

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It’s great to have a few talents to be able to show off and earn the admiration and respect of others from time to time.  Do you know what else is great, though?  Guarding some unexpected talents that might only be best employed in an emergency, or when true necessity arises.  I work on a computer all day doing programming and such, and so naturally family and friends would ask me all the time for help with their computers and such.  Except for those who know me well and those I’ve allowed into the, well… trust Continue reading

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Bugging Out on a Budget, part 2

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I am happy to report that I was able to fit in making another episode of Bugging Out on a Budget this past week before I lost my voice completely.  Let me explain… unfortunately what was a relatively minor cold earlier in the week has now blossomed into full-blown bronchitis and I can’t sleep due to the coughing. 😦  So I have opted to put my bleary-eyed time to good use by getting this posted, before I attempt to catch some winks again.  Please enjoy the next round of demonstrations and discussions for my most recently purchased products, and absolutely leave me more feedback!  I am still just getting this thing off the ground and doing the best with what I have, and your advice and input can go a long way in helping me provide even more quality content.  For example, I did obtain and utilize a tripod for recording this time, so my poor wife didn’t have to try to remain motionless for another 15 minute video (bless her heart for being willing to do the first one!).

In this video, I have also addressed some questions and suggestions I’ve received from viewers, and will continue to do so as appropriate.  One viewer from the Bugout community on reddit mentioned that the bag I chose to purchase, shown in my previous video, has some issues with comfort and usability.  I won’t be able to fully comment on these concerns until I’ve had a chance to take the bag on a decent excursion, but for now I can at least demonstrate what the bag looks like full, and how it fits on my body.

Here is the bag fully stocked with all the essentials I’ve shown in my videos.  It handled everything with some room to spare, and it was easy to organize things by frequency and urgency of use.  I helped maintain a solid flat surface on the side that rests on my back by first inserting my folded shelter tarp into the bag pressed against the very back, and then packing in other items around it to keep it in place.  Since this bag doesn’t have a frame, arranging your contents like this can help provide some added comfort.

Overall I am happy with the feel of this pack, but as I said I will need to put it through some rigorous endurance testing to be able to fully judge its efficacy.  The weight feels pretty evenly distributed, with no noticeable pressure points or areas of discomfort.  The adjustable shoulder, chest, and waist straps provide a high degree of customization to the fit of this pack.  I am a sturdy 6’0″ and just shy of 200 pound man, though, so I can only assess its comfort and portability according to my standards. 😉  I thoroughly hope that it turns out to be a great bag, since that wonderful $30 price point is just so darn hard to turn down.

Thanks again for reading and watching, and I hope you’ll keep coming by to see what I’m SMASHING next!  🙂

Taking Care of Yourself – Food and Exercise

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It’s been hard to think of how I want to start this one, because much of it seems like it would pretty straightforward to many people.  I realized, however, that their might be specific tips I can share that have worked for me, even if they are from other sources (which I will recognize if they are), to help you in being healthy as a form of preparedness.

One of the first things that I learned several years ago is to learn how to cook for myself.  Not only will having this skill save you an immense amount of money (trust me, it adds up) on fast food and such every week, but you can find yourself eating more nutritious things, and you can impress your significant other with your new-found culinary prowess (it works, again I speak from experience).  Learning how to cook in a comfortable setting can also give you insight into details that will be of critical importance in survival settings, such as how to properly cook different kinds of meat to a safe temperature (in case you didn’t know, it’s here).  These details can mean life or death in, well, life or death situations.  …Stupid easy phrase that doesn’t have a simple, comparable replacement… 😛

For the time being, until SHTF (S…tuff Hits The Fan, for the uninitiated), there are things we can do to make our lives easier and incorporate a more healthy diet without significant effort.  Today I’m going to show you my recipe for a week’s worth of breakfasts that is healthy, tasty, and saves a great deal of time by getting everything prepped on Sunday night.  Once you get in the habit of doing something like this, is becomes easier and easier, and you see just how much benefit it has in your day to day life.  Do like me, throw on a pair of headphones, and watch your favorite shows while you cook!  I have kept up with SO many shows just by incorporating my headphones and tablet into my routine of responsibilities. 🙂

In the following pictures, I will be using these ingredients: olive oil, diced garlic, whole grain white rice, bell peppers (different colors), organic white mushrooms, sweet onion, shredded cheese, a large egg (white or brown), seasonings to taste.  No more than a total of $15 for the entire week, much cheaper and healthier than fast food breakfast or even cereal every day.

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First, after heating a bit of olive oil and diced garlic in the pan, dice and saute a whole onion, 2-3 medium bell peppers, and a 16 ounce package of organic sliced mushrooms with a few splashes of low sodium soy sauce and worchestershire sauce.  These amounts can be altered according to your taste, and you can even substitute different vegetables as you like, provided they mix and saute well with the others.  Be creative!  This is the healthiest part of the mix, though, so try to keep it in the veggie spectrum. 🙂

At the same time, cook a large batch of rice.  Rice cookers are awesome and you should invest in one NOW.  It’s ridiculously cheaper to own a rice cooker and buy rice in bulk than to buy any of those minute rice bags or anything.  Once the batch is cooked, fill several containers with roughly 1/2 cup of rice each, and prepare for the rest (I like Chinese food containers because they are sorta free and hold a good amount for a single meal).

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Top the rice with the veggie stir fry you made earlier, as shown below:

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Now you can see that I have five breakfasts prepared for the week ahead.  In addition, I supplement each dish with a couple extras: one large egg (which I crack open on top and heat in the microwave at work to cook the egg), a container of shredded cheese (I freakin’ love cheese, and in moderation it’s really not bad for you), and a to-go container of Sriracha (I put it on EVERYTHING, so breakfast is no exception.  Yes, that is a keychain Sriracha bottle, I have a problem).

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These small supplement containers are convenient because most of the time they can just be refilled each day without the need for extensive cleaning.  Keep an eye on them, though; wouldn’t want to contract a food-borne illness because yesterday’s egg had accidentally cracked open and wasn’t cleaned.

Now I have breakfast figured out for every day of the week ahead of me, and that saves immense amounts of time in the morning, just as preparing everything else the night before does (read: lay out your clothes, pack your lunch, etc.).  Practicing habits that require forethought like this are great ways to manage your awareness and preparedness.

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Another factor of survival that has become apparent during my study is the importance of staying in decent physical shape.  Even though my main job entails working at a computer, as a Christian I have striven to maintain reliable physical performance in order to aid those around me.  All the preparation in the world isn’t going to do you much good if you can’t fight off or outrun your threat, though.  Sure, you might have five safes full of guns, but what happens when you can’t immediately get to one and you are faced with a physical struggle to survive?  You need to prepare yourself on all fronts.

Basic cardio is a must, and makes the top of the list in regards to preparation.  As much as you might like to put your time into pumping up your muscles and looking intimidating, that’s about as much good as it will be for you in a life or death scenario.  The better option is to focus on activities that require lengthy periods of physical exertion, such as running in particular.  I know running isn’t many people’s favorite physical activity, but it’s one of the core things to practice.  There may come a time where the only thing you can rely upon is your own body, and you want to make sure that it is a vehicle that can sustain you for whatever journey you face.  Big muscles, while periodically useful, aren’t necessarily going to help you survive every one of these situations.  I used to do P90X routines for my workouts, but I focused too much on the muscle-building portions, while shrugging off the cardio, plyometrics, and other such workouts on a regular basis.  I built a decent muscle base over time, but realized when I tried to go for a run that I had hardly any endurance for long-distance cardio activities.  This is a dangerous position to be in, and I immediately changed my focus to the exercises that are most important for survival.  A raider or zombie isn’t going to care how ripped you are, but how fast and agile you are might just make a real difference!

In closing, do whatever it takes to get some serious cardio routines going.  Not everybody likes running (I understand, but it grows on you), so start with cycling, rowing, or something else that suits your fancy if you must.  Just be sure to test yourself regularly to ensure that you are up to the challenge of the strange things that might come your way.  Personally, I will be participating in the Rugged Manic race in May, which is a 5k obstacle course.  In addition to being heaps of fun, these things can be a great way to gauge how equipped you are able to handle some extreme activity.  Give it a shot if you are unsure, and it may just be a wake-up call for your life!

First Survival Video – Bugging Out on a Budget

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Please welcome the first of (hopefully) many videos to come from Theorem Collider!  This time I showcase some important items to add to a BOB (Bug Out Bag), where to get them cheaply, and how to repurpose some simple items to meet survival needs.  This is just the beginning of what I hope to be a consistent offering of Theorem Collider, providing insight in how to take care of yourself and the ones you love when the (stuff) hits the fan.  I hope you enjoy!