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Category: Reviews

Book, movie, TV, and product reviews from a preparedness or self reliance angle...or maybe just because it looks fun. All products are purchased unless stated otherwise in the review.


The Short Answer On The “Debate” about “American Sniper”

I read Chris Kyle’s book “American Sniper” and think it is one of the best books out there. By all accounts, Clint Eastwood and company have done it more than justice with the recent movie version they created. On the heels of its release, there has been a fire storm of progressives* decrying the effort and besmirching the memory of Chris Kyle; a true American hero. They’ve called him a hate filled racist, said he reminds them of fictional Nazis, and more. It has raised a bit of debate on the matter. Well, I have the short answer on the subject for you Prepography readers: A: It’s not about the fact that the sniper shoots, it about the fact of why the sniper shoots that is important. You can take the stance that all snipers are equal because they shoot. In which case you are also saying that every ideology behind the shots are equal. Or, you can take the stance that “why” the sniper shoots is what ultimately matters. In which case you are making a moral judgement behind the ideology of why the shot was taken. In the end it comes down to this; either you think the ideologies that leads to death camps and killing children with drills is equal to the ideology that values life and individual freedom (even if it doesn’t do it right all the time), or you think there is a moral difference between them. You may ask why I am bringing this up on a preparedness site? Well, I’ll tell you. The morals that guide a person are what matters. If you can not make the moral distinction between differing ideologies, cultures, and values, as is the case for the former, I want to know. I want you to declare it to the world, for all to see. Shout it from...

Cogitation – The Woosification Of American Men

A buddy turned me onto the Creek Stewart survivalist show called Fat Guys In The Woods on the Weather Channel.  It’s not exciting, it’s not fancy, it’s not high drama but it is a great show to learn about bushcraft and the woosification of American men. Each episode revolves around three couch potatoes who are stuck in a rut of some form and need to make a change in their life.  Creek’s goal is to help his rotund padawans build self confidence to move forward in their lives outside the woods.  Creek’s approach is similar to that used by Outward Bound but revolves primarily around primitive wilderness skills.  The guys enter the woods and Stewart walks them through shelter building, food acquisition as well as water acquisition and purification.  By the end of their week in the woods the fat guys have developed some basic bushcraft skills which they get to put to the test by striking out on their own for the final day and night. For thousands of years, man lived wild and our triumph over mother nature defined who we were. We were rugged; we were strong and as we evolved our ingenuity led to towering achievements. We secured our place at the top of the food chain and now we have the waistline to prove it… Get off the couch and come out to the woods. Creek Stewart The show seems to go out of their way to pick guys that haven’t spent a lot of time outside or in primitive environments and most of the fat guys seem to rise to the occasion and learn important life lessons but what amazes me is how many of these grown men fall to pieces when it comes time to kill game to eat.  Whatever happened to Dad and Grandpa taking their young men into the woods and teaching them where their...

Survival Library Review – Pole Shift Survival Information

Pole Shift Survival Information – Survival Library Review This review is about a very interesting web-site that one internet denizen described as a “survival library on crack”.  We here at Prepography have to agree. Pole Shift Survival Information bills itself as being for “for those who wish to improve their chances for survival after the coming pending pole shift. ”  Don’t let that description fool you though.  The site is much more than that.  This site presents the online reader with a survival library that is a treasure trove of useful information.  Even if you aren’t worried about the potential for a pole shift the information presented would come in handy for any survival or TEOTWAWKI situation. Pole Shift Survival Information is a bare bones site with over 4,000 files available.  The content list covers a multitude of subjects from A to Z.  Actually, the last subject currently listed is  “Worms”, so that would be A-W.  Each topic links to a page listing PDFs on that subject.  The PDFs range from practical “How-To’s” to more in-depth articles with subjects including rebuilding infrastructure, family planning and more.  The PDFs are mostly scans from a variety of sources including government and educational handouts as well as trade magazines and self sufficiency/homestead magazines like Back Woods Home and Mother Earth News.  The PDFs are also downloadable, so the reader could transfer them to an off-line source for future reference.  This is a fantastic survival library for the Prepper or self-sufficiency minded to use. I highly recommends visiting the site, as it  hasn’t been updated since Jul 2013. This site could sit unchanged for years to come, or it could disappear tomorrow.  Use it while you can FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Under A Graveyard Sky – A Review

We don’t talk much about zombies here at Prepography… except on Halloween when the zombies come out to play… so when I heard that one of my favorite military writers, John Ringo had tried his hand at the zombie genre I couldn’t help but pick it up with an eye towards a Halloween zombie book review of Under A Graveyard Sky…but then I liked it so much I read the whole series… John Ringo’s a military veteran and specifically a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division where I spent my first few years in the Army.  From the first time I picked up one of Ringo’s military science fiction books I found myself recognizing the characters and the conversations he wrote because that’s how we thought, talked and related back in ‘Division.’  As he developed his writing craft he expanded his vocabulary to speak the language of other services.  In this latest series, Black Tide Rising John channels his inner Marine…but more about that later. Under A Graveyard Sky and it’s sequels To Sail a Darkling Sea and Islands of Rage and Hope (Strands of Sorrow is due out early next year) take place in an apocalyptic near future where a bioweapon has been released on the world.  This bioweapon was engineered not only to attack the U.S. but to do so in a way that plays on the terror that we’ve built into the zombie genre.  The zombies aren’t supernatural creatures or the returned dead… they’re victims of an artificially created pandemic designed to bring out the basest and most violent tendencies of the human race.  With the disease’s rapid spread throughout the world there’s no place safe even for those who are lucky enough to have received the morally questionable vaccine. The story centers around the Smith family.  John, Stacey and their daughters Sophia and Faith are Australian born naturalized citizens and Preppers.  John was an Australian paratrooper...

SHTF Gun: The Under-appreciated Rossi Trifecta

The Rossi Trifecta: Introduction Looking for a SHTF gun?  Recently, I read a very good article that was been re-posted around the web entitled “Building A Survival Arsenal On A Budget“. It gave some very practical advice on which SHTF gun, pistols, rifles and shotguns, would fit in to a survival plan on a budget. Common features on many a low priced SHTF gun is a break action and single shot capability.  To fill the niche for a rim fire SHTF gun they featured the Chiappa Little Badger; a neat little break action .22LR rim fire which comes in around the $170 price range. I couldn’t help but think that for $100 more I could fill the niche of a rim fire .22 in my SHTF gun arsenal, as well as a shotgun and a center-fire hunting rifle with one package. That package is the Rossi Trifecta Youth Combo. The Rossi Trifecta: Description The Rossi Trifecta is an extremely versatile shooting system that lends itself for use as a SHTF gun.  It combines a black synthetic stock with three calibers of interchangeable barrels.  They are a .22LR rim fire, with adjustable fiber optic sights.  A shotgun, with bead front sight.  Lastly, a center fire rifle, with adjustable fiber optic sights.   The barrels change with one screw and no tools.  You can get the Rossi Trifecta in several different flavors: 22LR/ 243 Winchester/410 shotgun (available with a green stock) 22LR/ 44 Mag/ 20-gauge 22LR/ 7mm-08 Remington/ 20-gauge 22LR/ 243 Winchester/ 20-gauge (this is the one my family has) The set also includes a scope mount base, hammer extension and removable cheek piece allowing adjustments for proper fit with each barrel. The Rossi Trifecta sets also include a custom carry case to hold the gun and barrels in take-down condition. The Rossi Trifecta: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly The good: The Rossi Trifecta can...

Sanctuary: A Post-apocalyptic Novel – Book Review

Sanctuary: Introduction “Sanctuary: A Post-apocalyptic Novel” by G. Michael Hopf is the third in his “The New World” series. After purchasing and powering through the first two novels in the series; “The End” and The “The Long Road,” I was anxious to crack open my publisher provided review copy of Sanctuary and see what happened next.. Andrew’s Note:  You can read Grumpy G’s reviews of The End HERE and The Long Road HERE if you haven’t already.  Sanctuary: A Brief Synopsis Surviving the attack proved to be more than they could have imagined… “Sanctuary: A Post-apocalyptic Novel” takes place months after a devastating Super  EMP attack, and nuclear strikes which crippled the US, Europe and parts of Russia and the Far East. The country has slid further into chaos, as millions starve and gangs and lawlessness stalk the cities and country-side. The main characters, Gordon, Samantha, Sebastian, Barone, Connor and Pablo all set upon their own paths to seek vengeance, try to rebuild and consolidate, or simply survive. Sanctuary: A Bit More “Sanctuary: A Post-apocalyptic Novel” takes on a more epic tone. The main characters are all in search for some sort of sanctuary. Vengeance is dealt out by several characters. Allies gained in “The Long Road” are lost and new ones created. The overall tragedy of the story increases on all levels. Some try to build empires and brutal methods are often employed.  The morality of some characters’ choices are brought in to question, while others gain clarity after suffering untold hardships. Friends and family are reunited and new alliances formed. Sanctuary: The Critique I am just gonna come out and say it. Out of the three books so far published in the “The New World” series, “Sanctuary: A Post-apocalyptic Novel” is probably the weakest. Now, don’t take this to mean I did not enjoy the book. I really did. G. Michael Hopf has crafted...

The Long Road: A Post-apocalyptic Novel – Book Review

The Long Road: Introduction “The Long Road: A Postapocalyptic Novel (The New World Series)“, by G. Michael Hopf is the second book in his “The New World” series. If you read my review of the first book in this series, entitled “The End,” you’ll know that I am on a quest to reach a point where I can read, and review, the third book, “Sanctuary“, without dropping in to the middle of the drama. I powered through the first novel over the course of a weekend. I finished this one in short order, too. I  am going to review “Sanctuary” next.  First, it’s on to  a review of “The Long Road: A Post-apocalyptic Novel”. The Long Road: A Brief Synopsis “The End” was just the beginning of the new world”, states the blurb for “The Long Road: A Post-apocalyptic Novel”. This second book takes up the story of Gordon Van Zandt, his family and friends 6 weeks after a Super EMP attack, and nuclear strikes cripple the US. The chaos and danger of the previous weeks were just a prelude to the desperate times that now face the survivors. There are new allies gained, and enemies made. The chaos and tragic loses that Gordon, and his family face are just a mirror of the wide-spread death and suffering that envelops across the land. As everyone travels towards what they hope is safety, many perils face them. The Long Road: A Bit More Unlike the review of the first book, there might be some mild spoilers here.  Read on at your own risk. Like the first book, this one encompasses more than one story arc. They criss-cross; they are separate tales, though. In “The Long Road: A Post-apocalyptic Novel”, more and divergent arcs are introduced. Gordon, his wife and children, along with a band of close friends have escaped what had become a death...

Forsaking Home – Book Review

Regular readers may recall that I reviewed the first three books in A. American’s The Survivalist Series back in January.  Those books,  Going Home, Surviving Home and Escaping Home weren’t just chock full of action, novel story lines and interesting ideas for preppers but also grew progressively better in both the form and the function of their construction and presentation.  In his latest sequel, Forsaking Home, A. American has demonstrated a true mastery, not just of his genre, but also of the writer’s craft. No electricity. No running water. No food. No end in sight. If life as you knew it changed in an instant, would you be prepared? Forsaking Home picks up where Escaping Home leaves off.  Morgan Carter, his family and several friends… including Morgan’s longtime companion, Thad, are surviving in the primitive riverside cabins they were forced to flee to when those in power decided to bully everyone into moving into a nearby refugee camp. ‘Sarge’ and the soldiers under his command continue to fight for their country by opposing a tyrannical local Department of Homeland Security camp commander while Jessie suffers within that same camp. Much of Forsaking Home deals with life on the river in a post collapse era.  Some of the more memorable passages involve organizing foraging parties, the teaching of foraging techniques to Morgan’s children and companions and dealing with the emotions and depression that such a significant change in fortunes would necessarily create.  However, the Carter family’s sylvan life on the river is far from safe, but those dangers as well as Sarge’s ongoing war against the forces of oppression provide an interesting juxtaposition to Carter’s search for a peaceful and tranquil life for his family.  Meanwhile, unknown to the other characters, Morgan’s former traveling companion, Jessie is enduring incarceration in the very camp that Morgan avoided and Sarge is opposing.  Jessie’s existence is one of...

The End: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel – Book Review

The End: Introduction AJ got a request to review “Sanctuary: A Postapocalyptic Novel” by G. Michael Hopf. Since he has a lot of irons in the fire, and knows I am an avid reader, he asked me if I wanted to help him out. Always looking for new and hopefully  interesting books, I enthusiastically replied, “Sure!” When I looked up the title on Amazon,  I discovered that it is the third book in G. Michael Hopf’s “The New World” series. Not wanting to drop into the story mid-stream, I decided to read the other books before starting this third book in the series. So, here is the review of “The End: A Postapocalyptic Novel” which is the first in the series. The End: A Brief Synopsis “The End: A Postapocalyptic Novel” asks the question “What would you do to survive?” The novel answers that question through the story of Gordon Van Zandt, his family, and his friends. A Marine veteran who’s idealism was shattered in Iraq, Gordon lives a good life in San Diego with is wife and two children. That idealic life is ripped apart one day when North America, Europe and the Far East are hit with a Super EMP attack, along with a nuclear strike on Washington, D.C. These attacks cause catastrophic damage to the infrastructure of the country and plunges their lives into a dangerous new world. Gordon knows what he must do and starts gathering supplies and organizing his community to protect against the encroaching chaos. Along the way he must make hard decisions that will mean the difference between life and death for his family and friends. The End: A Bit More Don’t worry, no spoilers in store, I just wanted to add a bit more about the story itself.  “The End: A Postapocalyptic Novel” is more than just the story of Gordon Van Zandt and his...

American Gun by Chris Kyle: Book Review

“American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms” tells a story of America as seen over the sights of 10 iconic firearms.  The author, Chris Kyle, accomplishes this by taking these ten American firearms and placing them in their historical context.   The tale that develops gives a broad look at the US from the time of its founding until the present.  It details the development and use of each of the firearms in the times they were prominent.  Kyle intersperses personal recollections and experience along with historical facts,some rather obscure, in to the story.  Being a firearms expert, with extensive combat experience, he obviously enjoys himself along the way Starting with the American Long Rifle, Kyle tells the tale of how American sharpshooters broke the rules of gentlemanly behavior to help win American independence.   The story then moves to the Civil War era and the expansion West.  He tells of these times with three guns. The first is the Spencer Rifle.  Kyle tells how the bureaucracy of the Civil war era Army almost nixed a gun that went on to help win decisive battles like Gettysburg. The Colt Single Action Army Revolver comes out of the holster, next.  It’s story spans the Civil War and comes to a climax at the OK Coral in Tombstone, Arizona. The last gun in this epoch is the  Winchester 73.   Kyle details its development and how it went on the help tame the West. From the Wild West, the tale jumps forward to the turn of the century and through WWII.  The next trio of guns helped win WWI and then played important roles in the Gangster era of the 20’s and 30’s.  In the end, they went on to defeat the Axis powers in 1940s. The first gun, the 1903 Springfield, is a story of adaptation and change.  Developed from the German Mauser, it went on to the trenches...

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