Thoughts

Preparedness Fitness

Preparedness Fitness

Fitness is one of those things that may seem out of reach for many, but preparedness fitness is achievable for everyone. There are many ways to achieve “preparedness” fitness, and we will cover some of those, but ultimately the key is using the tools you have at your disposal. One of my favorite resources is a book called Convict Conditioning. It is a series of body exercise workouts that progressively get tougher. For this type of fitness, simplicity is the key. 

Now, the purpose and goal of preparedness fitness are not to get super strong or extra lean. The number one goal is to be able to sustain. Now, what do I mean by sustain? What I mean is that we can get fit and stay fit, all while performing the tasks that necessary in a preparedness-type scenario. 

Now preparedness scenarios will vary for everyone, which is why this type of fitness focuses on whole-body fitness and building endurance. Preparedness fitness also can be achieved with zero weights or equipment. Unless your daily life includes physical exertion of some type, you should plan on spending at least 30-45 minutes a day exercising.

Now let’s get into some of the exercises and their purposes. These will be in no particular order.

Pushups

To Speed Recovery, Try Pre-Sleep Pushups and Protein | Runner's World
Tried and true, pushups are great for working the pectoral, triceps, and anterior deltoid muscles. Very versatile as you can change up hand position, raised feet, or even adding movement to your pushups for the extra effort.

Situps/Crunches

The Sit-Up That Works Your Triceps | Prevention
Situps and crunches focus primarily on the abdominal muscles. With some variations and the addition of weight, one can target their lower back muscles also.

Squats

Expert Answers: How Low Do I Need to Squat to Get the Full Benefits? -  Experience Life
Squats suck! But squats are an important exercise, especially if you sit for extended periods throughout the day. Squats help to unlock the hip flexor and tighten your glutes. Squats also increase muscle in the thigh and quad while increasing mobility. 

Jumping Jacks

7 Facts You Might Not Know about Jumping Jacks • Cathe Friedrich
If you can’t get out and run, do jumping jacks. They are a great cardio workout that is easy to perform wherever you are. It may not seem like it, but a few minutes of continuous jumping jacks can burn the same amount of calories as a few minutes of a jog. They also help with flexibility.

Mountain Climbers

How To Do The Mountain Climber Exercise | Benefits, Form Guide And  Variations | Coach Exercise Guides
Another excellent calorie burner. Mountain climbers work a lot of the lower and core muscles. If you are looking for a great warm-up routine, combine some jumping jacks with mountain climbers, and you will get your heart rate up and sweat a bit.

Running/Sprints

Fit Man Doing High Knees Cardio Exercise - High Quality Free Stock Images
Running requires the ability to get outside and may not always be possible. One way to get around is to run in place, also known as 
“high knees,” or if you have a basement, sprint from end to end. Running helps build lung capacity and also burns calories. Adding a weighted vest or carrying extra weight is a great way to enhance your run.

Lifts

BREAK IT DOWN: The Deadlift - Experience Life
For this post, lifts can be anything from furniture to wood, children, or whatever else you can find to complete the task. The sofa is a great way to perform a deadlift of sorts. Utilize heavy trash bags to perform bicep curls. Use your imagination for this one.

Presses

How To Master The Bench Press | Coach Exercise Guides
Presses can be anything from a bench press to a shoulder press and more. Again use your imagination.

Axe Chop

How To Do The Dumbbell Woodchop | Coach
Now, I like this one for two reasons. First, it is an excellent exercise to strengthen arms, core, back, and hand muscles. Second, it can perform a chore that needs completing anyway. Chopping wood! 

Drag/Carry

DisruptiveStrong | Shop | StrongBagThe Drag and Carry is something that you will see military, fire & rescue, and sometimes EMTs performing. The two basic movements are a semi-squatted drag of a weighted bag and an over-the-shoulder carry of a weighted bag or similar. The Drag simulates removing a wounded person out of harm’s way. The Carry simulates the same and also helps with the ability to carry heavy objects.

Stretching

9 Ways Stretching Can Improve Your Health & Wellness - Loudou Physical  Therapy
Stretching not only helps to keep from injuring yourself, but it is a great way to burn fat. Dynamic stretching combined with static stretching helps maintain a limber body and keep your muscles from binding. 

Pull-ups/Chin-ups

The Chin-Up Hypertrophy Guide – Outlift
Another pretty self-explanatory exercise. Palms facing you is a Chin-up, while Palms facing away from you are Pull-ups. Both have their function and should be a part of your routine. 

Being prepared is not something that you should think about once you are in an SHTF or Shit Hit the Fan scenario. Preparedness is something that should be a part of your everyday life. Likewise, preparedness fitness is something that everyone should work into their day to day life. You never know. One day your life may depend on it! 

10 Skills Every Person Should Learn

10 Skills every person should learn in their lifetime. Many of these skills may not seem useful until you need them, but when you need these skills, they will be invaluable to have on hand. These skills will range from easy to expert. Every skill listed below is learnable by anyone. A few may require you to seek a person trained to teach you. 

Skill #1 – Cooking

Now I know this may seem like something everyone knows how to do, but you would be surprised how many people can not prepare a simple meal. FYI, the Microwave is NOT a cooking device. The ability to cook a quality meal using the stove/oven or even a campfire is an essential skill to have in your arsenal. Also, prepared meals tend to be a healthier option.

Skill #2 – Making Fire

I figure since we just touched on cooking, making fire would be a perfect segway. There are many methods in which one can make a fire, and the ability to make one without a fuel source or fire element like a Bic lighter is essential. The first way which I highly recommend learning is using a Ferro rod and tinder. A Ferro rod or Ferrocerium rod is a synthetic alloy that can reach temperatures of 3000C when struck. Combined with a synthetic or natural tinder, you are sure to get a roaring fire started with one of these.

Another method is the good-ole’ flint and tinder. Similar to the Ferro rod, the flint creates a spark that then ignites the tinder. Lastly, bow and tendril are one of those tried and true methods that have and will always be around. This method requires a little bit more work and training but can be found anywhere and used to make a fire. 

14 Ways to Start a Fire (No Matches or Lighter)

Skill #3 – Knots / Knot Tying

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Learn to tie knots; All kinds of knots. Knots are infinitely useful skills, whether tying a boat to a dock or pitching a makeshift shelter. 

Here is a great video showing some useful knots. – 8 Knots You Need to Know

Skill #4 – Building/Repairs

The ability to build or repair things in and around the house is another invaluable skill to have. Many people can’t do something as simple as replacing a sink faucet or toilet fill valve. Both projects require a few tools and are very easy to do. With the plethora of online resources, this is one skill that you shouldn’t skimp on or ignore. You may want to build a shed or a chicken coop; it is much cheaper to build yourself than hire someone to build for you.

Skill #5 – Self-Defense

Now, this is not an ordered list, and if it were self-defense would be much higher on the list, but it isn’t, so here we are. Self-defense is probably one of the most important skills any person can have. Many people don’t like to think about bad things happening, but the ability to protect yourself and your family is one skill that should be at the forefront. Self-defense could be something as simple as spatial and situational awareness, to owning a firearm.

Martial arts, specifically non-sport martial arts, are a great choice if you are looking to improve your hand-to-hand combat. This skill is great if you are someone who doesn’t want to rely on weapons, or your environment does not allow you to carry a weapon. The one commonality to what you choose is practice, practice, practice. 

Skill #6 – Water Purification

Water is the life-blood of humankind. We, the human race, cannot survive without water, which makes the ability to get and purify water such an important skill. There are quite a few ways in which a person can purify water. The simplest is boiling the water. Water must be boiled for one min at a rolling boil to be purified, three minutes at altitudes above 6500ft.

Another method is using liquid bleach. For this method, you will need to let the water sit for at least one hour before consuming it. Also, this will not remove any chemical pollutants from the water. The standard mix is a quarter teaspoon per 1 gallon of water.

The last method(s) are purification tablets and filters. Now, filters you purchase through the store should be a five-layer filter to make sure you are removing the most amount of contaminants, but they also take the longest to filter through. Filters also have a finite number of uses. Water purification tablets are one-time use and take time to purify the water. Time obviously will vary based on the amount of water to be filtered. Tablets are a solid choice because they can travel with you and don’t take up much space or weight.

Skill #7 – Offensive/Defensive Driving

I am sure many people will be like, but I drive every day I already know how to do this. That is where you would be wrong. Offensive and Defensive driving are very particular skill the majority of people will never learn, nor need. I won’t dig too deep into these, but both have their purposes, and there are driving schools that teach both. 

Skill #8 – Hunting/Skinning 

Now this one may be slightly controversial to some. But the ability to harvest your food and process the animal for things such as mittens and moccasins is a skill that seems irrelevant but is invaluable. 

Skill #9 – Gardening

Ok, don’t laugh at this one because gardening is just an encompassing term for all things growing. Specifically, learning how to plant and grow a variety of plants and crops. The ability to be self-sufficient is an important skill to have. This particular skill goes hand in hand with hunting also. The ability to grow your food could mean the difference between life and death if the need should ever arise. 

Skill #10 – Situational Awareness

Situational awareness is simply the ability to be aware of your surroundings and the situations that may arise. Extremely important to helping avoid putting yourself or others in a scenario that may not be conducive to your health.

Jeff Coopers 4 Levels of Situational Awareness

Lastly, I would like to mention an honorable mention skill that may not seem like a skill too many people. That is the ability to unwind or destress. Many people find this to be a difficult task to accomplish. And if you can perfect this, you will find your life to be much happier and more fulfilled. 

Jeff Cooper’s 4 Levels of Situational Awareness

BEWARE OF DEADLY THREATS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE!

By FRED MASTISON

“I never saw him coming.”

“He came out of nowhere.”

“I had no idea he was there.”

These are phrases uttered by people who end up in bad situations. They did not see the danger or threat before it became a serious problem.

Situational awareness is a term shared in countless classes and training programs, yet few people discuss in detail what it really is. Situational awareness is much more than some tactical, combat-centric skill set. It is as much of a lifestyle as it is a skill. The applications of this awareness are infinite and reach into all aspects of our daily lives. In the most basic way, situational awareness is about being plugged into your environment and the people in it. There have been sages in the past who have expressed exceptional summaries of the need for this awareness. One of the most respected was Colonel Jeff Cooper. Originally meant for military applications, the principles he shared quickly spread to those concerned about their self-defense.

Ready To Respond

Stay Alert and Aware in Your Everyday Life, jeff cooper, jeff cooper color code, jeff cooper situational awareness

Colonel Cooper designed a color code chart that associates levels of awareness to specific colors. By understanding how we process danger, we can formulate a method to train ourselves to be more aware.

The first color is white. Condition White represents a state of complete unawareness and unpreparedness. In this state you are oblivious to things going on around you and are exceedingly vulnerable to attack.

The next level is yellow. Condition Yellow represents a state of relaxed alert. There is no specific, obvious threat present, but you are aware that danger is always a possibility. You are aware of people around you as well as the environment in general. Condition Yellow is our goal state for everyday life.

Stay Alert and Aware in Your Everyday Life, jeff cooper, jeff cooper color code, jeff cooper situational awareness

Next in line is Condition Orange. This is a heightened state of awareness in which you observe or are aware of a specific threat. In this condition, you are beginning to formulate possible responses to deal with the danger. An example of this is when you realize that a threat is indeed following you or advancing toward you.

The final condition level is red. The level of awareness for Condition Red is essentially the byproduct of having to take action from Condition Orange. This is the stage that is associated with action. Things have escalated to the point where you are either engaging a threat or are in retreat. It is physically and mentally exhausting to be in Condition Red, as it demands that you be 100-percent dedicated to the danger at hand.

Everyday Defense

Our goal is to maintain a Condition Yellow in our daily lives. This is the base level of awareness and the springboard for any further escalations in conditions. Staying at Condition Yellow in everyday life allows us to be aware of our surroundings and better protect ourselves from threats. This applies to driving in rush-hour traffic as much as it does personal protection situations. The ability to stay in Condition Yellow takes conscious effort in the beginning, but it will shortly become second nature. The methods used to help with this can be turned into life games. What color was the car you parked next to? How many people were sitting near the park benches? Small exercises like this can enhance your base level awareness skills.

Prepping 101

Prepping 101

A Beginners Guide to Prepping

Prepping 101. If there is one single thing in this life that should be valued over anything else it would be preparedness. This is not just preparedness for times of catastrophic levels but even everyday life. It could be as simple as keeping bottled water on hand in case of a water main break. To the extreme case of a hurricane. Being prepared is not something one should do after the fact. Nor, at the time of an event. It should be done well in advance and done with strategic planning.

Prepping 101 is designed to get you to think about these types of scenarios. What you might personally need to “ride it out” as the saying goes.

The “FIVE” of Prepping 101:

  • Fire
  • Food
  • Water
  • Shelter
  • Communication

Now, these may seem super simple to most people. For many, these are items that they have never been without. They have never had to make their fire (without a fuel). They never had to go without food because a grocery store is right around the corner. Water comes out of the tap or they can buy bottled water at any time. And since cell phones are in every pocket communication has never been easier.

The recent development of COVID-19 and previous outbreaks like H1N1 and SARS, this should serve as a warning to all those who believe life will always go on as usual. We have seen complete shutdowns of schools, non-essential businesses, and stay-at-home orders across the country. You might be asking yourself where do I begin? Well, you came to the right place.

Water

Let us start with water as it is essential to life as we know it and is a great starting point. On average an adult needs 1 gallon of water a day. Now this varies from person to person and day. Some days might require more water some less. The less active you are the less water you will need, the same goes for temperature, the hotter the more water your body will require.

Water is an inexpensive item to start stockpiling. An average-case of 32 – 16oz bottles of water will run you roughly $4 depending on where you are. Let’s do a little math, shall we! Let’s use a single person for this as the math can then be multiplied; depending on the number of people you have in your party. Our starting point is 1 gallon of water a day.

The Math!

1 – gal = 128 fl oz of water
1 – 16oz x 32 = 512 fl oz
512 / 128 = 4 days

One person with a 32 case of bottled water has essentially a 4 day supply of water. So if you are looking to stock up for a family of 4, do the math. That is what you will need to sustain your family for a minimum of 4 days.

Food

Now food can come in all shapes and sizes as we are well aware and this wouldn’t be a true 101 if I didn’t mention the fact that one can get their food through hunting, trapping, and fishing. For this 101 we will be discussing the types of food that are good for stockpiling long term and what may be needed to cook said food.

The average adult needs 1200 calories a day to survive and from 2400 to 3200 to thrive. Keep this in mind while prepping.

Freeze-Dried

Freeze-Dried foods will always be one that is on the top of my list. You can get these in a variety of shapes and sizes, but one of the best and easiest to store and cook is going to be a #10 can. Two of my favorite brands are Mountain House & Augason Farms. Both offer a great product and pricing is reasonable for what you get. The #10 can specifically store very well and are stackable. They also allow for “in-out buying”, which is the practice of buying a can and keeping the newest in the back and always taking from the front is the oldest can, but with a 25-year shelf life, you usually don’t need to worry about this.

Energy Bars

Energy Bars are another great choice to keep on hand. They are easy to transport, usually decent calorie count, and have ample sugar to keep you going. These aren’t always the cheapest option, but if you plan and buy as you can these have a decent shelf life and are great temporary meal replacements or added calorie snacks.

Protein

Protein is an essential element of your daily caloric intake, especially if you are active and tend to burn calories throughout the day through any sort of physical exertion. These days protein comes in all shapes and sizes. Red meat, powder, beans, and even milk are fortified with protein. That being said not all protein is created equal. To maintain your body and not lose critical muscle in a survival situation 10 – 20g of protein a day is needed. Plant-based protein will burn quicker in the body than a meat-based protein, so keep that in mind. Similarly, protein bars are going to be higher in sugar which will balance the burn of sugar and protein.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates in a survival, situation carbs are your friend. Carbs provide much-needed energy and sugars to help you power through the day. They can come from grains, beans, nuts, but they should be on hand in some fashion or another. Pasta will always be a great choice to stockpile as it lasts a decent amount of time and is fairly easy to prepare, while loaded with carbs.

I could go on forever about the different types of foods. In an SHTF scenario though, these staples will prove invaluable to help see you through it.

Fire

Ah, fire! The warmth-giver and the ever mesmerizing temptress. Fire is essential to life as it allows us to cook food, stay warm, and light our way. Although technology has replaced things like oil lamps and torches they are still in use by many preppers. There are 5 types of fire starters that I will always have on hand no matter what.

Side Note:

Now, many are probably thinking isn’t a Zippo a windproof lighter? Yes, but 2 is 1, and 1 is none. There are different types of windproof lighters and Zippo is one. There are very specific types of windproof lighters that I consider to be, actually windproof. If you have ever used a Zippo on the golf course or in a large open field you will know what I mean.

Along with the actual starter, I will usually carry some sort of waterproof tinder or fire starting material in a waterproof case. Here is one of my favorites as they are easy to use and store. Exotac Tinder

Shelter

Shelter is pretty self-explanatory. A place where you can get out of the elements and stay warm and dry. This could be anything from a lean-to to a tent or house. Depending on a bug-in or bug-out type of scenario you might already have a shelter or not. A quality lightweight tent is always a good thing to have on stand-by. In the case you need to move from your home base to find food or water.

Communication 

Often overlooked but extremely important, communication devices will be not only used for communicating with the outside world. They are a prepping 101 staple and will also be used as a means of calling for help or helping others. There are 3 types of devices I recommend to first-timers and one will require you to obtain a license to operate.

Whistle

You may be asking yourself, why a whistle? Well, plain and simply a whistle is a great tool that cuts through everything and if you are hurt, lost, or trying to communicate under the radar with people in a close distance, a whistle is an amazing tool. Be sure to buy either a marine whistle or a survival whistle as these will be sturdy and loud.

Two-way Radio / CB Radio

Now, I put the two-way and CB in the same category because they are both short-range, and operate on channels vs frequencies. Neither requires you to obtain an FCC license and they are a cheap and effective way to communicate at short range. Unlike the whistle, only people with radios and on the same channel will be able to hear you or communicate with you. Make sure to do your research and purchase a quality item and enough to fit your needs.

Ham Radio

This is where things start to get interesting. The world of Amateur radio is an interesting one and unfortunately a dying art. Now, if you are looking to just listen and not talk it is 100% legal to own and operate a ham radio. If the time comes that you ever want to talk by using the PTT, you will need a license from the FCC, which will come with a “call sign”. Ham radios can reach extremely long distances with the right equipment and in an SHTF situation will be an invaluable resource.

In Conclusion

Seeing all the panic buying and irrational behavior that COVID-19 and the media have created, there are probably many of you who are looking into starting to prep. It may be to account for another lockdown scenario, or it could be a larger prep for something more substantial. Whatever the case may be I am glad you took the time to read prepping 101 and start somewhere. Interested in helping keep the blog alive check out our shop.

Stay calm, Stay safe, Stay strong.
Happy Prepping!

Carrying Concealed Q & A

Carrying Concealed Q & A

I get a lot of questions from people on both sides of the spectrum with regards to carrying concealed. I will run through a few of those questions and answer from the perspective of someone who is non-military, non-law enforcement, and who is not required to carry for their job. Now, this article is not here to convince you to carry or even own a gun. This is here for those interested who would like to understand why some choose to carry. These are in no particular order and hopefully, help to shed some light for those of you who may or may not be considering carrying.

Carrying Concealed Q&A:

Q: Does Carrying make you feel safer?
A: No. It does, however, make me much more attuned to all the dangers around me. Things like buildings with no exits and strategies to combat these fears are heightened. A sense of preparedness would be the proper adjective to describe how I feel.

Q: Aren’t you afraid of accidentally shooting yourself?
A: No. Just like anything else, getting the proper training and always practicing safe handling of a firearm is a must.

Q: Is it uncomfortable to carry?
A: Sometimes. The restroom is one such challenge.

Q: What gun would you recommend for concealed carry?
A: This is a loaded question and I will always answer as follows. The best gun for concealed carry is a gun that you can shoot proficiently and are comfortable carrying daily. It will depend on your personal preference.

Q: Do you think you could pull the trigger and kill someone?
A: Honestly, this is always a tough question. I would like to say, Yes. Protecting myself and my family is priority number one and I hope the day never comes that I have to find out.

Q: What caliber is best for concealed carry?
A: Again, this comes back down to proficiency. Use what you are most comfortable shooting.

Q: Aren’t you afraid of being shot by the cops?
A: No. If you obey the law and don’t put yourself in a situation where this could occur, there is nothing to worry about.

Final Thoughts:

These are not all the questions I have been asked, and I am sure many of you get if you do carry. These are the basics I get from people who are new to concealed carry. I hope this helps and if you enjoyed the content, please drop a like / share and make sure you check us out on our other social pages. 

We highly recommended obtaining carry insurance, should you choose to carry. USCCA

Thanks,

Management
Foxfire Armory