*Newbie Rubie Guide: 3rd Month In*
By: Spike
27 April 2007

Again, this is based off of my own experiences and your's may differ.

Now that you've been around a bit, you're familiar with how things work and you've hopefully learned enough to where you've developed better ways to increase your preps. You're also enjoying more participation and have realized you don't have to be a survival master in order to help out others.

Since joining up, have you been able to make contact with any Rubies nearby your location? If so, have you had an FTF? If not, why? Is everyone too far away? Do you not have enough time in your schedule? What exactly is the reason? These are all things you need to ask yourself.

If you read the "Guide For Newbies: Month 1" article I did and you did the "homework" assignment at the end, you've by now realized your initial answers for it were still off track. You have seen better ways to go about certain things and can do one which is more effective and more realistic.

TRAINING

How is your training going? Do you have a list of courses you'd like to take? Have you found places that give the training? Have you begun the educational process? Or are you still lost at what all you can take? I gave you a glimpse at some basic certs I had planned for in the last article but let's expand upon that a bit.

Driving
Personally, I only have a regular drivers license. Versatility in a SHTF situation could mean the difference, so I figured I should increase my abilities. I currently have the materials for a motorcycle license and am studying up. Who knows, a CDL may come in handy someday also!

Weapons
Now, do you have a weapon? Is it a handgun? A Concealed Carry permit would be a terrific thing to have not just in a SHTF situation but also for everyday use if you'd decide. Prices on these vary from state to state as does training needed. Contact your local sheriff's department for details. I currently have one and am putting in to New Hampshire for one of their out of state permits. This allows me more states to carry in, only costs $20 and uses a copy of my current carry permit to obtain. A small cost to ensure more areas to carry. Oh, and just because you have a permit to carry doesn't mean you can shoot. Practice, practice, practice!

While we're on the topic of weapons, how about an OCAT (pepper spray) certification? While this isn't mandatory from what I know of, it may help you avoid liability situations. It's always better to cover yourself "just in case" or in other words "CYA". Again, contact your local sheriff's department about this one and discuss if it's really needed depending upon your local laws. Prices vary depending on instructor but on average it looks like around $55.

BASIC & PRIMITIVE SKILLS

Following the "Rules Of Threes" helps you develop your personal survival skills. Do you know 3 or more ways to make shelter? How about purifying water? And making fire? Getting food? The only real way to certify yourself is by actually trying it out. Do it now and master it while you can before you have to try it. Baptism by fire isn't the way to go with survival. My suggestion is to make a weekend camping trip out of it. Grab your Bug Out Bag and try it out. Does it have what you need? If not, you should have a notepad and pencil in there. Write down what you're missing and what you aren't using for revision once you're back at home. Now, how about those skills? Do you have what you need? If not, look around and find ways to improvise what you need. Of course when you repack your bag you'll be able to put in there everything you need but now you've found a secondary back up - utilizing what's in nature to fulfill your needs if your equipment should fail, get lost or left behind. This also makes for great article material!

You know the general topics the lifestyle covers, and the certifications and permits you can obtain are almost endless!

FOOD STORAGE

By now I'd hope you really are storing what you eat. Canned goods (write on the top in marker the month & year bought and ROTATE!) are perfect for our needs but some don't come in cans. Rice, beans and a variety of other goods come poorly packaged and could use some redoing. A vacuum sealer can run you anywhere from $40 on up and they're really easy to use. This will ensure your food will last for years to come. They're also good for sealing up socks and other dry stuff for your Bug Out Bag.

Food dehydrators are great for making your own stuff and there's a bunch of suggestions and ideas out there. And when you're done, you can vacuum seal it to keep it around for quite a while!

MEDICAL

What's your current medical situation? Are you up to date on your vaccinations? Do you take any medications on a regular basis and have you started stockpiling them? Now is the time to get that tooth pain looked at. Get it all taken care of as soon as you can and quit putting it off. If SHTF next week, it could be a while until you would have access to proper medical care.

EQUIPMENT

Utilize that search function on the Rubicon. The best thing I've found, replicated and already utilized was The Grey Box from War's article "Storage Space In A Small Pickup". Of course you should read the whole thing, but the part that helped me out was about 3/4 the way down the page.

I was stuck in traffic for an hour and a half or so. The weather was nice but the traffic wasn't moving. I had a couple of gallons of water in the trunk and a liter or so up front with me. I also had my car bag containing my own grey box, medical kit, food and so on. When I was thirsty, I drank. When I got hungry, I ate. My tank was just filled so I had plenty of fuel (unlike some who ran out while idling their vehicles) and I was even entertained! You see, my grey box also contains (aside from most of what in in his) a 2 inch B&W TV. I was able to keep up on what was going on and skimmed the daytime talk shows, whatever. I also made a few phonecalls and sent a bunch of text messages which would have killed the battery, but I had a back up battery in there including a car charger. And for the fun of it I used my binoculars to look up ahead the road and tried out my GP-4L radio with external antenna and found a way to string it using the clothing rack hooks in my backseat. I needed nothing from anyone and stayed hydrated, fed, informed & entertained the whole time. This also showed me a hole I need to fix. What if the situation has been worse and people saw what I had? This has shown me I first need tinted windows and secondly, a means of defense that can be transported between states (My PA Concealed Carry Permit doesn't work in Maryland!) and readily available.

Read the posts, read the articles and buy or create your gear. Always keep it maintained, stocked and rotated. The articles are there for your to learn from and do yourself.

I hope this helps you as it's helped me. I credit the advice & articles of fellow Rubies who have shown me you don't have to be a millionaire to be on the way to your end goal of self-sufficiency!
Spike



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