Friday, August 31, 2012

What's in your Zombie Pack Part 2

Well's completed and ready to go. The last of the items that I needed have been added to the pack.
And boy, is it not so light. I am guessing it is a full 80 pounds or so. But, let's keep in mind what's in there.
-3 days of food
-4 30 round AR15 mags
-2 1911 8 round mags
-first aid kit
-field surgeon kit
-camp shovel
-big mag light
-tons of little other things.

 One thing I have discovered about this is, it's one thing to make your "laundry list" of things to put in your sack, but you have very finite limits, both in size and weight. I am a strong dude and humping this thing around isn't something that I am looking foward to. And that doesn't include the 1 pound of water that will be in my camelbak.

Like I had said in my previous have to establish priorities. No matter what your priority is amoung those 3 basic groups, they will be heavy and they will take up space. So, like I had said, I firmly believe that you can only split your pack between 2 of the 3 areas....and those 2 areas may lack critical items BECAUSE you split them.

So, I recieved a TON of good questions/comments...mostly from my fellow military friends and preppers. Some of them are humerous...but I just thought I would share
  1. Oh and keep a bible on you.. According to "The book of Eli" a bible will be worth more than gold after D-day... Cool
  2. Did anyone mention seeds for vegetable gardens? You can't live off of a meat only diet. Also a field guide to wild edible plants would be something that I would find very handy at a time like that. A field survival guide with tips on snares, traps, shelter, fire, etc would also be valuable
  3. In the event of a zombie apocalypse I'd do some good drugs, watch a sunset, smoke a fine cigar, drink a Dos Equis, and get a BJ while eating cheese....And save a bullet for myself and lady friend.
    Actually, I'm in Kansas.... Not even zombies want to be here. I'd be alive long after your all gone.....
  4. All I have purchased is ammunition...kill everyone in sight (long range and close range) and take their stuff...
  5. I got plenty of firearms and ammo. That's all I want or need.

    As you can see, I have a lot of friends that are funny and some that have their own ideas. Of course, as you can see, there is a common theme to many of them.....take as many weapons and ammo as you can. I just can't surbscribe to that theory. Mostly because I have a family, I guess, and more because guns attract attention. So, if all you have are guns...and you use them a are going to attract a lot of attention. That's not a good thing. Don't get me wrong. Firearms are a big part of my plan....but I am starting to realize that, just like the 3 basics of survival, there is more to protection than firearms...sounds like a good future topic!

    While I can certainly see the benefit of seeds, this is a bug out bag, not a live on bag. Seeds are deff part of my long term plan. The Bug out Bag is not. Now, I DO like the idea of the handbooks for finding and eating wild plants.

    Anyway, it's ready to go...although I will prob add things here and there. And...I plan on taking it camping this fall. Just it. Gotta see what all these MREs are all about!

    Will be back soon! Gotta good topic on blunt object weapons.

Spro Frog Tournament 8/25/12

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If you have been keeping up, you know a few things about this Spro tournament.
1) It's a Spro frog only tournament
2) I like throwing frogs
3) I haven't caught any fish on Guntersville in, like, 4 straight trips

The Friday before, I convinced my friend Jon to hit the Big G with me to prefish. So, I was rigged and ready for some frog fishing. Even did some trick things with my frog that would give me some versatility. Check this guy out! I was going to do some flippin' with it. Even though I am not real good at it....

Anyway...we put in at Seibold and got to chunkin' and windin'. Well..that's about all we did. Jon did bag one short fish on a frog...but the day just drug on and on and on. Finally, I said..."you know what...we are hear to catch fish. Let's go catch some fish and forget this froggin' business." So, there was a deep hump in South Sauty that Bertus had shown me and I did think to bring my cranking gear with me. So, we found it and got to fishing it. It runs from 22 feet to about 7 feet deep. I was throwing the Spro Lil Jon DD in Spook Nasty.
Bagged a fish pretty quick. Finally! Knocked the stink off of guntersville. It had literally taken WEEKS to catch a fish!

We caught several more before we went looking at new places. But, I can safely say that we were on to something! That night, Josh, his wife Emily, and I went to Waterfront Grocery for the Spro Pretournament cookout. That was quite the event! Lots of fishermen showed up and a lot of door prizes were given away.

However, this is my favorite!
Well, 2am rolled around quickly and we loaded the Bullet up and headed to the water...full of hope and dreams. Not that I want to spoil it, but you know what they say about hope..... We were boat #4 and we figured, being in a Bullet...that no one would run us down...much less to the spot we wanted to fish. Wrong again.

About the BB Comer bridge, a Bass Cat and 2 other Bullets screamed past us. One of them hit the brakes and pulled right where we wanted to go. Within the first 3 casts...they had bagged a fish! Well, maybe that means that the fish will be biting! Nope. I'll save you all the trouble...although we did catch 5 fish...only one of them actually measured. We fished and fished and fished...but every mat we pulled up on had been drug to death. T

o make matters worse, when we left one particular mat, one of my rods bounced out. If you are counting, that's 2 rod and reels in the last 3 months......Sigh. I can't catch a break!

 Well, we didn't take a check, although almost anyone that had 3 fish did. It took 24 pounds to win and only 11 pounds to take a check. That's right. 11 pounds on Guntersville to take a check? Weird. Anyway, the tournament was great. Spro was great. Waterfront was great. Fishing was not so great. What else is new?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What's in Your Zombie Pack? Part 1

Zombie Pack. Bug Out Bag. Heck, some might just call it Camping Gear for the End of the World kit.Call it what you will.  Millions of people already have one. Do you? You should.

I guess it isn't for everyone, but even avid campers should have one. although a lot of the things in a Zombie Pack deal with personal protection, most of it is survival gear....and survival gear by another name is just camping gear.

What is a Zombie Pack? I googled it and it was mostly movies. So, I tried "Bug Out Bag".

 Well, go google it. What do you find?
According to the End all Be all of information:
 A bug-out bag[1][2] is a portable kit that contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours[3][4] when evacuating from a disaster. It is also known as a 72-hour kit,[5] a grab bag,[6] a battle box, and other popular names include "Personal Emergency Relocation Kits" (PERKs) GO Bag and GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge)[7] bag. The focus is on evacuation, rather than long-term survival, distinguishing the bug-out bag from a survival kit, a boating or aviation emergency kit, or a fixed-site disaster supplies kit. The kits are also popular in the survivalism subculture.[8]

The top returned links are all about what to keep in your bug out bag or buying someone Else's bug out bag. So, I clicked through a few of the links. HOLY COW! You can spend a lot of money! Like, in the THOUSANDS! Most of the kits hover around $800. That's a lot of cheddar where I come from!

Pulling one of the AVERAGE $800 dollar kit's equipment lists, I notice that while it's a nice kit and very complete, it's actual worth is about 3/4 of what you are paying for it. Convienience fees. And, to be honest, making your own your specifications, is half the fun!

So, if you have one, what's in yours?
If you don't have one, what should be?

I have been through several iterations of my Zombie Pack. It isn't the perfect kit. Not in the slightest. But, it's a kit. You are limited by space and weight. You also are limited on just what skills you possess and deem worthy. So, I talk about what started in my first kit, it's iterations, what CURRENTLY is in the kit, what I want in the future and why.

My first iteration of the kit was made up of a spare school-type backpack that was given to me filled with items stolen from inside the house. I also had a 50 gallon tote with other items. The kit possessed:
  • Box of .45 caliber rounds, as I didn't have spare magazines
  • Box of 20 gauge shotgun shells
  • Box of kitchen matches
  • Cheap double edged match
  • hand mallet
  • plastic sacks
  • bottle of water
  • Change of clothes (with gloves, boots, and 'boggin)
  • Cans of soup
Inside the tote, I had:
  • pots and pans
  • lighter logs
  • lighter fluid
  • lighters
  • utensils
  • big tent
  • 1 gallon bucket
However, this kit....though it was a step in the right direction and better than nothing, was severely lacking in both critical items and the efficiency of those I did have. Even in the pack itself wasn't very robust....after being thrown around, it started to rip. And, you can't very well carry a tote through post-apocalyptic America. On the inside, I was woefully plagued with inefficiency. The knife was a cheap knife. Kitchen matches don't work when wet. Canned products are mostly water, and therefor, dead weight. As far as personal protection, I was extremely limited. I had no long range weapon. The 20 gauge, while perfectly fine...isn't nearly as common as the 12. So, if you needed shells in a pinch, the 12 is far superior because you can walk into any house in America and find them. The .45 is a great gun, specifically my 1911. It's got several war's worth of experience to back it up. .45 is VERY common and it has incredible knock down power. But, it's a heavy gun. It's limited on ammo capacity. And, since at the time, it was my primary weapon...that's not good.  If I did get in firefight, reloading magazines from a box would be death. Literally.

I put this kit together while I was in college. When I got out, I had a LITTLE more money, so I upgraded some things while maintain much of what was already there.

  • Better "heavy duty" bag
  • Bought multiple .45 mags
  • Bought a Gerber Machete
  • Bought a Smith's Arkansas stone for sharpening knives
  • swapped the mallet for a hatchet (can be used as a hammer AND hatchet)
  • Bought Hyfire flashlight
  • Bought water purification pills
  • Bought Nylon Rope
  • Added TONS of little items like: duct tape, JB Weld, fishing hooks and line
  • Thermal blanket
  • Hot hands
So, some of the pieces that I knew I wanted were in place, yet the pack still had gaping holes in areas. I still had no food (kinda a big deal), no way of transporting water (i didn't want to carry it...more on that later), instantaneous shelter, no way of starting a fire, no utensils if I DID have food, and then the two BIG areas...personal protection and first aid. We will address the personal protection later, but it's worth noting that you DO have to carry it and it's ammo. And, I didn't really like the current pack would do. I had nothing except super glue for first aid. Yes, I said Super Glue. Go research it's original use. It's inevitable that you will be hurt in post-apocalyptic America, so you better have the ability to fix yourself!

Well, as luck would have it, I had a LITTLE spare money laying around, so I started revamping the BOB.
I added:

First thing I wanted to address was the bag. This spare bag I had was OK, but wouldn't be good to haul around. So, I spec'd out this guy. It's a BADDD Mamma Jamma.

 Then there's the food. Turns out that these shows have done wonders for the ease of finding Surplus gear, not to mention a niche market that is now being filled by manufactures. So, I came across

While they did have a deluxe 72 hour kit, I didn't want to pay double for items I wanted to get on my own. So, I bought their 72 hour food kit: M003
Here is the contents of it. Pretty slick. I can't wait to try it!

Contents of 3-Day MRE Food Supply


Qty Main Entrée 9 Side Dish 3 Dessert 3 Drink Mix 3 Bread/Cracker 6 Peanut Butter 2 Jam Packet 2 Cheese Packet 1 Hard Candy 3

The rest of the items are pretty standard issue from amazon, I just listed these two because I thought they were especially cool.

That brings us the whole point of this post. What's in your pack and why? I would suggest taking an objective look at yourself and your abilities...or shortcomings. What can you do and what can't you do? If you had to take 100% and separate it between food, shelter, and protection, how would you divide it? Me? 70% protection, 15% for each food and shelter. No, that doesn't mean that I don't think I need the two latter. They just aren't that important to me IN REGARDS TO THE BOB.

My general philosophy on survival, in regards to the BOB, is that I can provide for myself long term. I just have to stay alive and effective short term.  Food and shelter, as the overview shows, are just as important as protection. But, feeding myself and housing myself aren't my concerns in the long term. I can do that. That might be anything from scavenging for food to growing it, from squatting in a house or building a shelter. But, personal protection and speed is my main concern. I need to be able to quickly and easily get to where I need to go...while effectively protecting myself. Now, I do know plenty of people that ONLY pack weapons and ammo. I wanted to avoid that and at least have enough items to "go to ground" for a few days.

How about you?  If you don't have the ability to hunt for yourself, or scavenge, then food may be your go heavy on the food. I bet you can get 2 weeks of food in your BOB pretty easy.

If shelter is your thing, you might carry a lot of fire starting items and a large robust tent, although I think we all see the potential problems with concentrating on this.

There are a lot of combinations of the 3 out don't limit yourself.

Another thing to consider is your physical location...where you are and where you are going. If you live in an arid area, water is far more important, and although it's heavy, it is worth having. So, you may have to unload a few your tool kit, which may be of no use in a desert. If you are headed to a densely populated area, food may be easy to come by, but personal protection may not. Especially if it's covered with zombies. So, go heavy on the ammo. If you live in may want to take nothing but shelter and clothes.

So, now we are down with the 1-Liners. You see what I have and why. So, what are the overarching things to consider? This list is FAR from all encompassing. But, these are the things I think of
  • RULE NUMBER 1: Can you physically carry your pack?
  • RULE NUMBER 2: Keep that pack handy and always take it with you (if you can). I know it sounds silly, but you may not be on the couch watching football when it happens.
  • What's your #1 fear? Starving, freezing, or getting shot. Whatever the greatest of those is...prepare for it.
  • Practice makes perfect. Take your kit out and use it. Just take it camping. It will show you what you have that you don't need and what you need and don't have.
  • Revise it once a year. Consider WHY you have something and if it's worth humping across the country
  • Can you use everything in your pack? Would you?
  • Build the pack for where you are going. A pack with a ton of food isn't really needed in the suburbs, is it? But a tool kit to break into Wal-Mart sure would provide food for a long time.
  • Know where you are going, why, and what you need when you get there
  • The greater knowledge and skill you have, the lighter that pack will become or the more equipment you can bring. For example:  If you know how to find good water and purify it, you don't have to carry water with you...or the tools to purify what water you do find. So, read up and practice.
The whole deal with the BOB is that you are limited to JUST WHAT'S IN THE BAG. Remember, you are going to pick this bag up and run. In it is all the tools to survive for a FINITE amount of time. So, what's in there better be important...and more importantly, you better know how to use it...or be willing to use it. A gun does you know good if you can't or won't use it. Same can be said for that field surgeon kit I bought. You better know where you are and where you are headed....which will be the subject of a future post. Until then!

The Last Man on Earth Studies: Overview

I will throw some words at you. What do you think of?

"End of the World" Do you think of nuclear bombs? Do you think of death and despair or do you think of challenge and opportunity?

"Apocalypse" Do you think of Mila Jovovich? The Running Man (or as it's now called "The Hunger Games")

How about "Prepping." What comes to mind? A show with rich hippies storing dried food in their million dollar hole in the ground?

"Prepping", as it's called in today's modern culture, has exploded in popularity....and for good reason. Shows. Movies. Books. Video Games. Movies about books. Books about movies. Games about movies and movies about games. Shows about movies and books. Just as vampires have become the muse of women (and some men) everywhere, prepping...I dare say....encompasses even more.

It has become a hobby of mine as well. In fact, a bit of an obsession. I read it. I watch it. I have even written on it. A lot. Like, 1000 pages of End of the World Zombie Apocalypse goodness. But I digress....

So I thought I would share. After all, my wife says I need to do something besides post about fishing! So. Guess what. I decided to start a section of my blog on it!

Combine today's political and social climate with movies and shows featuring everything from the walking dead to invading aliens and you have a new hobby for thousands, maybe millions of Americans who fear anything from nuclear winters to a corrupt government to zombies. Heck, we are already seeing the effects of bath salts, mass shootings, and government oversight EVERY DAY already!

Lately, there has been a rise in reality TV shows specializing on showing how people prepare themselves for the end of the world as we know it....or as some of us Doomsday people call it EOTWAWKI. Ok. I'm making that up. Only us NASA engineers with our acronyms say that.

There is a lot more to it than that. I am talking about simply having the money to hire some outside company to prepare you materialistically with a shelter. After all, having a fallout shelter stocked with 2 years of food and modern conveniences is great. For 2 years. That is, of course, if you make it that long without hanging yourself with your own shoestrings.

This isn't a new hobby of mine. Not even close. But, I haven't had the disposable income that I needed until now. And really, I don't have that much. Especially compared to the people shown on these shows out there. But that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking on it. For a very long time. Some of my favorite movies from childhood feature the bleak landscape of the  EOTW. End of the World. There is a wealth of great literature out there to read on as well. As an aside, I find it interesting that, in all the post-apocalyptic media, that one thing is never portrayed accurately, save for "The Road", and that is...that most of the heros from movies like "The Road Warrior" or "I am Legend/Omega Man" have no one to protect and provide for save themselves.

So. Let's get to it, folks.

According to the shows, you need 3 things in their most basic form:

Food and Water

Now, as I have stated earlier, most of the people in these shows have more money than sense, so they pay for what they don't have. They hire some dude with good common sense and a bit of salesmanship who comes in and build them a shelter,  stocks their coffers full, and teaches them how to shoot a gun. By the end of the show, these people are perfectly prepared for the EOTW. Right?

Survey says?


Well, ok. Zach says no. And why? Because, like I said previously, what then? You can't hide in a hole forever....that wealth of literature out there will tell you. Go read "A Boy and His Dog" or watch it. I mean, it's got Humphrey Bogart in it. Or read "The City of Ember." Again, you can even watch the movie if you so wish. It's got Bill Murray. And nothing with the Big BM is ever bad. Except, according to him, "Garfield."

Even Cormac McCarthy's great work of literature "The Road" shows that food and shelter don't matter when the world is dying around you.

So, how does Zach stack up with the 3 Basics of survival?

Do I have a bunker built? Nope. But I have drawings on my desk of a design. And I would be a liar if I said I hadn't researched lead-lined Sheetrock. In fact, I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do and how to do it. Alas, I have neither the land, time, or money at my disposal. Yet.

Do I have 3 years of food? Nope. But I have been raised by a family that prides it's self on being outdoorsmen and farmers. This upbringing was bestowed upon me at an early age. Although it never meant the difference in eating or not eating, it sure gave me the tools to provide food if I had to.

Do I have protection? Yeah. I have that covered, at least by the average man's definition. What do I mean by covered? Well, we will get into that. For a little taste, I would say that you need at LEAST 4 firearms at your disposal at ALL times. But, firearms should be least used last resort. What should you use and why? Well, we will get to that.

So, you look at my answers and you say to yourself...."doesn't look like you are very prepared!"  And you would be right. I am working on that. And we will cover these bases at later dates through my documentation. Fact is, I don't have a lot of money. I don't have a farm. But, I can buy a little at a time and I can refine my skills over time.

While my posts on this subject will deal mostly with the physical tools of survival, I offer this for consideration, however. Money can provide all the things that I don't have. What money can't do (at least instantaneously) is provide you the knowledge and skills to do what must be done as the Last Man on Earth...or as I call it. LMoE. Elmo. You know. Like the little laughing red guy.

So, what will we be addressing?  Obviously, the 3 basics already listed. But much more than that, since we have covered, in depth, that simply having these things isn't enough. I will talk on my favorite literature and what we can learn from it. We will cover how to effectively select and use your personal protection. Where to buy things. What books to read. Where you would go after a nuclear strike?  What if you could only grab 1 bag? Well, guess what folks....that's the first thing on our list.

Lastly, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE (DID I GET YOUR ATTENTION YET) to have suggested topics to blog about! So, send them in!

Non-catching report for Guntersville 8/19

When I set out on this blog, I made the title to reflect my goals. Honest story telling. If you are here to find where the fish are, you are wasting your time. HAHA!

I am planning on fishing the Spro frog tournament which is this weekend. It's a big tournament and I feel like we could have a legitimate shot. After all, many of the same people who fished the NATA open would be fishing this. Even though we didn't get a check for that tournament, we would get one in this tournament since they are paying out 20% of the places.

So, I felt like a little prefishing would go a long way to getting us a check. So far it's just cost me money.

3 weeks ago, we started prefishing. We fished Town Creek, Mud Creek, and Coon Creek. I had one hit on a frog and Josh got the same. We covered a lot of water and didn't find any grass mats that were popping. The only real action we saw was in Coon creek where the white bass were going nuts. It looked like God was shooting a shotgun into the water. They were just EXPLODING on the surface.

That wasn't unexpected. It was early for frog season. Heck, it still is!

With about 5 minutes of daylight left, Josh threw a big worm and bagged two fish. Then the sun set and we went in.

Out of curiosity, I watched the guide reports that week and...sure was tough. Looked like they were catching only a few a day. That doesn't make me feel any better about it. But, we thought...maybe we were just eliminating water. That's right....right?

This past Sunday, we hit the water again, this time around 3pm. We put in at Waterfront. We fished from Waterfront to Goose Pond. The first spot we stopped at was in Preston Island. I had a SOLID hit within the first 5 casts. Couldn't hook up. I tossed it back in and the fish lazily hit it again. That seemed like a good sign. If they come back at it again, maybe the bite was on!

Alas, that wasn't the case.

Rinse and Repeat.

We covered a lot of water. Found some talking mats. Even saw one of the weirdest things I have seen! We were fishing grass on the main river and we could hear some good popping and sucking. Every once in a while I could catch movement. little twigs of grass would stick out of the grass and blow in the breeze. Except they weren't grass. They were catfish whisker's!

Just like the trip before, Josh picked up a big worm and caught two on consecutive casts! Ug.

On the way out, he made a good joke.

"So, I guess you are just saving all your fish for the tournament? You're such a team player."

So there it is folks. It's fishing, not catching. Don't let anyone tell you differently. This lake is TOUGH!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Zach's ESPN College Pick 'Em League

So, a few weeks ago, my wife suggested that I make you all privy to the rest of my about something OTHER than fishing.

Well, I haven't really decided exactly what I want to do yet...although I am a huge outdoorsman. I love to hunt, garden, work on cars, and I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. MY Auburn Tigers.

I consider myself a student of the college football world.

I love participating in Fantasy and Pick Em Leagues.

So, if you ALSO like this, take a few minutes and join me. I want to see how many folks I can get and from what range of states I can get signed up! Comment below and tell me!

Takes 5 minutes to sign up and 5 minutes a week to do!

SPRO Frog Tourny on Guntersville 8/25/12

Hey folks....

So, Spro is putting on a big event this year out of Waterfront Grocery. It's ONLY for Spro frogs.

100% payback to 20% of the field. Big Bass Pot will be 100% to the 3 Biggest Bass, Entry Fee of $110 Big Bass included. For more information please contact Waterfront Grocery and Tackle, entry forms are available at Waterfront or email

 Great location. Great people. Great payouts!

I have already sent in my entry fee, so rest assured that I have donated my money so that you can win!!/events/392531104129366/!/