Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Smashing Coconut Test II: Arrows


Today we determine the effectiveness of standard flight arrows against the evil brain-eating coconut.


Why Archery?
A zombie hunter proficient in archery is an important asset to your team. 
He or she can take out the living dead quietly using ammunition that could be manufactured more easily than those used in firearms. 
Stealth missions, hunting for food, or just simply thinning down the horde a few zeds a day are important to long-term survival.



Equipment:
  • SF Archery Recurve Bow, limb poundage is at 28 lbs.
  • Easton Platinum shafts
  • Saunders 145 grain field points (arrow points)
*My bow's draw weight is 28 pounds. This is determined by the limbs. This is what are lot of beginners start with. When I graduate to intermediate or advance-level proficiency, I can upgrade to 40 pounds or higher. 40 and above is the minimum standard for bowhunting.

Target: 
1 ripe coconut (juice suitable for drinking & salad) 



The Test:
  • To find out if a flight arrow using field points (heavier tips) shot from a recurve bow with a 28 pound draw strength could destroy a zombie.
  • To determine overall penetration or deflection against a round surface that is shaped like a skull.

with home-made silencers

Technique:
I was worried about the arrow deflecting in odd angles so the coconut was set on the ground to be shot at from my 2nd floor balcony at a distance of 15 meters & approximately 45 degrees or higher.

Bowhunting is most commonly done at steep angles. This is also ideal for Zombie Hunting.

15 meters is my usual practice distance, mostly because my yard only goes as far as 18. I've been working on hitting a head-sized shape at least 2x a week. So far it has taken me about a month to maintain a grouping of 6 arrows out of 10 in the zombie-killing head shot zone.


Results:
I shot a regular flight arrow (red & green fletching) using regular target points. It only penetrated through 5 inches of the coconut. This was deep enough to make it into the empty space that contains the meat and juice.


The second arrow (green & black fletching) quipped with the heavier field-tip points made it all the way through the coconut. Penetration measured at 8 inches, entering through one side and exiting through the near-middle portion of the coconut. Perfect zombie-kabob!

There was a neat sounding thunk! sound when each arrow landed. Killing a zombie this way will be very satisfying. 

No shot deflected, even if they landed slightly off-center. Awesome.


Conclusion:
You CAN destroy a zombie with a "trainer-strength" 28 pound bow with simple field-tips. I can't wait to upgrade to 40 or 50 pound limbs so I can take zeds out at longer range!

Quite interesting that the arrow dug in as far as it did. By comparison, my best attempt using a hand axe with my left arm only chopped into the middle.


I ate his brain. Yum.

Success is sweet, and so was the coconut salad! A happy ending for all.




Stay vigilant!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Armscor .22 TCM VS Steel Plate


On my recent trip to the Armscor Firing Range at the basement level of the Makati Cinema Square, I was delighted to find the Rock Island Armory .22 TCM pistol already being sold. 

I'm excited about this thing. And so is American Handgunner

The .22 TCM weighs only 40 grains but can travel over 2000 feet per second. Pretty impressive numbers for a tiny little package.

Check out this framed 4mm steel plate that shows the effect of various types of ammunition that were tested against it.

This is the same steel that protects each shooting bay. As you could see, only the 5.56 caliber bullet fired from a Ruger Mini-14 and the .22 TCM were able to penetrate. 

A pistol round doing what a rifle bullet does? Holey moley.



When I tried it out a few months ago at the Bolo Cup tournament in the ARMSCOR FIRING RANGE in Marikina City, I was just amazed at how fun it was to shoot. I felt hardly any recoil and it was very accurate. It did things to a watermelon that would put a .45 to shame.

Can someone please send a few samples to that truly awesome gentleman at The Box 'O Truth so we can see how it works against water jugs & denim, drywall, door locks, car doors, and other cool stuff?


I'm a bit worried worried about how this would perform in a personal defense scenario.  Over-penetration endangers you family members in your home, and also your next-door neighbors. You are responsible for all your shots, even if it passes through your target and into someone else!

Now imagine if someone would develop a submachinegun using the .22 TCM that would hold 30-100 rounds in its magazine. I'd say it would be a fantastic zombie-killer.



Stay vigilant!



Saturday, November 26, 2011

Photos from the 19th Defense & Sporting Arms Show (part deux)


Yep. I went shopping. 

The 2nd part of this year's gun show has come to a close. I had my usual good time. Always fun to see old friends from the IPSC competitive scene, especially the Range Officers who make all the good times possible.

Click on the photos to zoom in.

The Israeli TAR-21, how I dream of this all the time. If I sold my Benelli I'd probably afford the one in the middle. :-(

Shooters Arms Manufacturing, Inc. features a semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun that resembles the famous USAS-12 of South Korea.

The Rock Island Armory's MIG .22

As a whole, I feel that the Defense & Sporting Arms Show needs to step up its game for its 20th anniversary next year. It was a good exhibition but I feel that they need to break new ground. The big name companies are there like Jethro, Armscor, P.B. Dionisio, Trust Trade, Magnus, Twin Pines and more. However I think its time they choose a bigger convention center to feature a wider selection of vendors. 

Clockwise: The expensive but lovely SIG P238 .380 in rainbow finish, gold plated 20th Anniversary STI 1911, Ruger LCP vs Kel-Tec's P3AT, and the pink Taurus TCP.

I admire what the organizers have been doing over the years. The firearm safety and personal defense seminars are always top rate. If only we had more space, they could have way more speakers to tackle a lot of important topics. 


Knowledge is ammunition, and the organizers may be underestimating the potential attendance that could be generated from a more formidable lineup of speakers. From competitive sporting, safety, hunting, home defense, martial arts, celebrities, zombie killing, the sky is the limit. Putting these topics on the promotional poster and advertising campaigns will generate a lot of excitement. 



I'll send my suggestions to them alright. Looking forward to next year. Wohoo!




Stay vigilant!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Melee Weapons: Gerber APOCALYPSE KIT


Gerber is selling a limited quantity of its APOCALYPSE KIT. Its that nifty bunch of weapons that the kid found on season 2 of The Walking Dead. If you ask me, I'd grab the hatchet first, and then the Parang (machete) second. 

Personally, I'm not a big fan of this zombie-apocalypse marketing craze.
Its hard to separate the good stuff from the snake-oil gimmickry.

The good news is that I've had a lot of good times with Gerber products. Especially in my Boy Scout years. So if they wanna join the undead craze, fine with me.

The kit comes with the following goodies in a durable carry-bag thingy:

  • Gator Machete
  • Camp Axe II
  • Gator Machete Pro
  • Parang
  • LMF II Infantry
  • DMF Folder
  • Epic (a small serrated knife)

              Price: $349



Thing is, with just $100 bucks I could buy whole family a bunch of axes from Ace Hardware or True Value, and still have a lot of dough for other survival essentials. Like food, ammo, grappling hook, toothpaste, etc.

  • Will I buy the APOCALYPSE KIT? I'm on the fence because the price is a big factor.
  • Will I use the APOCALYPSE KIT if I found it somewhere? YES! They make quality stuff.

I'm sure Gerber's goods won't let you down. If you can spare the dough, go for it. Don't mind me, I'm balancing my modest budget on a wider range of survival gear for my whole family. 'Coz I'm cool like that.


REMEMBER: The best zombie killing weapons can do the job with a single blow. Extra hits suck. Time is life. 



Stay vigilant!


Thanks to my brother for the heads up on this gear!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Huey's Gunsight - 5 Things you'll forget WTSHTF that could get you killed...


A friend of ours has a list of 5 things that you may forget when the Zombie Apocalypse hits that could get you killed.

Check it out over here at Huey's Gunsight.

I've been an avid reader of his since I started blogging and enjoy all of his articles. The cool part is he's a like-minded family man who's also preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse.

After reading his really cool suggestion, I thought more about Firearms, ammunition and medicine. 

When to use firearms against zombies:
  • I agree that sufficient ammunition is needed. Problem is that many folks don't realize how heavy a bunch of ammo could be. Not to mention bulky. Try putting 400 shotgun shells in your bug-out-bag. Its like carrying a cooler filled with ice.  
  • Having ammo & guns is one thing. Using them at the right time is another. We should only use firearms when it is a matter of life and death. We should use weapons that don't use gunpowder for daily zombie destruction. Why? Because bullets will be scarce! 
  • Save your guns for missions that require maximum speed or for critical defense. This means emergencies like rescue missions, escaping from your fortress/home that was broken into by zombies, buying time for your friends, defending against human bad guys (there will be a lot of these, all the movies prove this), etc. 
  • Ammunition may become a form of currency in a post-apocalyptic world. Trading some of my home-made shotgun shells for uncle Don's squirrel pie seems like a fair trade.

Imagine a world dominated by millions of undead. Now imagine yourself with awesome biceps from killing dozens of them every day with your trusty axe. This is how the war will be won!

Stay tuned for the TZH Guide to Hand Axe Combat.



Medicine in a Post-Apocalyptic World:
Huey's Gunsight bring up a lot of important points here. A toothbrush is important. I have also been advocating Dental Care as an essential survival tool for the whole family. It is possible to produce makeshift toothbrushes with a few twigs and the right shrubs. There are also a lot of bushcraft resources for homebrew toothpaste. I will share them later on. 

I was a pretty snazzy chemist back in grade-school and could whip up my own batch of soap. Don't neglect personal hygiene! 

Let's not forget medication. If your mom needs Lipitor, you may need to stock up or update your survival map. Identify potential pharmaceutical resources that you can loot for whatever ails your family.


Make new friends
Sharing survival ideas is awesome! Being a zombie survivalist does not have to be so darn lonely. None of us have all the answers, and you'll be amazed from what you could learn.




Stay vigilant!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Headshot Training: SF Archery Recurve Bow



Its taken about two weeks for me shoot at stuff without embarrassing myself. The good part about it is that I can do this in my own back yard! 

At least 3x a week,  I pull out a double-layered rubber mat target and hang it on our laundry clothesline. I then pull out my SF Archery take-down recurve bow from my bug-out-bag. My archery range is pretty safe, there's a deserted grassy fiend behind my home.

Killing Zeds
We all know that head shots are the only way to dispatch the living dead. Easier said than done. Lower shots to the face may only go through the mouth and throat. Those won't do. 

Is the upper half of the head you need to aim for. Now try that on an undead person you may have known who is now shambling towards you. It will be quite disturbing.

Warning: broadhead arrows will damage rubber mat targets. 
I'll save them for a Smashing Coconut Test (TM).

Method
  • Targets are set 15 meters or 49 feet away.
  • The head area should be close to the actual size. Smaller is better if you have space limitations.
  • The clothesline could be pulled up and down for added difficulty. 
  • In the future I'll design it in a way that we can pull the target towards the shooter.
  • Nighttime archery is very important training. Too bad the videos of these were too dark

Observe archery safety at all times:
  1. A bow is not a toy
  2. Do not hold your bow if someone is downrange
  3. Be aware of your surroundings, even behind the shooting line 
  4. Do not point the bow at something you are willing to destroy or eat 
Note: I eat whatever I catch. I frown on wasteful hunting and poaching.

This is how 49 feet looks like. 
Aim between the eyes.

Its best to use drawings or print-outs of zombies to shoot at. Full-color if your could afford it. 

Remember: they need to be menacing and creepy. You must be mentally prepared to take them out when the time comes.

Here's a short video of my session on a fine sunny afternoon.

best viewed on youtube

Archery rocks man. Survivalists will love its versatility. Feed your family, improve your physique, kill zeds. Its a quiver full of win!



Stay vigilant!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

19th Defense & Sporting Arms Show 2011, Part II

Its that time of the year again. The second part of this year's Gun Show will be held at the same happy place this November 17-21 at Megatrade Hall 1 & 2 at building B of the SM Megamall.  

Incidentally, this is the worst sort of shopping mall to get caught in WTSHTF, but I digress...



I'm looking forward to the big discounts they put on all items here for hunting, competition, defense, cleaning supplies, exotic ammo, and more.

The gun show is also known for its defense-themed seminars.

Last time they had a Krav Maga martial arts instructor teach the basics of combat for women. This was a lot of fun because ladies of various ages gave it a try. I think the Jason Bourne lookalike instructor had a lot to do with it.

The next show will be around July 2012, a really long wait if you miss this one.



UPDATE: New photos could be found here.


Stay vigilant!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Recurve Bow VS Zombies


I. Bows & Arrows

Archery has been one of mankind's primary tools for hunting, warfare and sport for the past seven thousand years. It can serve us well WTSHTF.

The zombie apocalypse will potentially last years or even decades. There won't be a shortage of ingenuity & craftsmen, only the raw materials.  Ammunition will be scarce, and maintaining guns will be increasingly difficult. On the other hand, wood and a little metal are needed to construct bows & arrows. 

Numerous resources are available for a variety of bow types (like the US Army Survival Manual), and the ones you find online are only the tip of the iceberg.

II. Training
I've recently gotten into archery and have been taking lessons with my family. It is quite satisfying to put your arrows where you want them to! I get the same buzz from putting lead on steel plates at 20 meters. Both disciplines require the same amount of skill and dedication. This is a life long thing, and I'm looking forward to every minute of shooting stuff.

For a pistolero like me, it was really cool that I could retrieve my ammunition and re-use them on the spot. No reloading required! I can do this in my back yard too.

It is not noiseless as some may think, but definitely quieter than most suppressed weapons. And a more accessible one at that. 

All in all, the bow is an effective weapon and a wonderful sporting activity for the whole family.


I chose the recurve bow for the following reasons in no particular order:
  • anything that is an Olympic sport is a worthwhile activity
  • ease of maintenance: dissasembly / assembly takes only a minute without specialized tools
  • easy to stow away, compact
  • components are durable, can last many years with proper use
  • an excellent choice for zombie-killing covert missions & clearing operations
  • can help you hunt for food: bowfishing, birds, deer, & other nice things

I've also made a SMASHING COCONUT TEST to see how it would fare against a zombie skull.


When the last bullet is shot, arrows will fly.


Stay vigilant!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!



To celebrate, here's what went down at the Run For Your Lives 5K obstacle race at Baltimore. I really wish I could have made it to this one!




And here are some cool folks who volunteered to play the opposing force for the day. Hats off to the runners and zombies!


Stay vigilant!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Survival Strategy #13: Surviving the Great Panic

Part 1: Get Home Alive

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
- Paul Atreides


I. Caught Up

What a lousy week, Chasing deadlines, long hours, and the urge to bash your idiot boss in the head is rising.

And its only Tuesday.

6:00 PM:
  • You're still at the office, and there's some garbage on Bloomberg about a mysterious disease that turns people into homicidal killers. 
7:30 PM:
  • You're getting TWEETS about the dead getting up in the morgue. On Youtube there are videos of policemen shooting at patients & doctors. 
8:30 PM:
  • A commotion's started outside, the internet is down and you finally close your laptop. You see cars aren't moving and people are fill the streets. What the hell is going on?
8:35 PM:
  • Your mobile's stopped working. You can't reach your wife and kids. Now you're scared.

You've committed the first mistake of a survivalist, you weren't vigilant.



II. The Great Panic

Really bad things happen when you least expect it. Many have met their end when the proverbial pants are down.

Let's face it, nobody will be completely prepared. You'll only be as good as your worst day of your week because this is when the shit could hit the fan.

This is the early stage of a zombie outbreak, some scholars call it the beginning of a "great panic". People don't know what's going on, and they still won't believe it even when the living dead are chewing on their brains.


III. Preparation Defeats Fear

You need to know about these to get you through the opening phase of the zombie war.

1. Before any big catastrophe happens, train your family to have an emergency plan. For example:

  • Where do the kids wait for us if we can't call them up?
  • Do the kids know which door to barricade?
  • Where is our muster point in case the house needs to be abandoned?
and so on.

This will solve your first worry. You'll feel better knowing that everybody's going to be smart when something really bad starts to happen!


2. Always carry a get-home bag. Some folks have all kinds of “Everyday Carry” or EDC. This one need to help you get through the day or three you'll need to make it back.

Typical contents:

  • multi-tool or similar knife
  • high-calorie snacks that marathon runners use because they're small and effective
  • grooming kit
  • flashlight (preferably one that is a hand-crank or solar powered)
  • first-aid
  • city map
  • grappling hook
  • etc.

3. Are you physically fit? Have you been working out? Stamina is more important, it will help you get places without getting your brain eaten.

4. Transportation will collapse and new hazards will arise. Your map & street smarts can help you find the best way home to reach your family. Back streets and shortcuts will save your life.

Can you make it home on foot?

5. Be strong, stay focused, and stick to your plan. Your family needs you, don't wimp out now.


It is about to get worse, but with your odds dramatically improve with everybody safe & sound!


Stay vigilant!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween Safety: Lead, Cadmium & Mercury Poisoning From Costumes?



Halloween is just around the corner! Everybody loves candy and costumes, but nobody likes cadmium, lead, or mercury. Any of those vile chemicals can turn your brain into mush. That is almost as bad as a zombie bite. 

Unfortunately, there are a lot of illegally imported costumes and props that contain unsafe levels of these things.  And its not just the clothes, be mindful of those cheap pumpkin buckets where you carry your sweets. I was horrified when I read about face-paint having high levels of lead. 

Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury are highly toxic even in minute doses, be mindful of the costumes you buy for your children. Exposure to any of these can result to severe irreparable damage. 

Please visit the EcoWaste Coalition to find out more on the products that they've tested. 

Don't turn your kids into zombies. 
Protect their brains from zeds and bad chems.


Stay vigilant!

Clip art from Clker.com

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Discreet Survivalist VS Zombie Hunter Patches


CONSPICUOUS
con·spic·u·ous
Adjective

1. Standing out so as to be clearly visible.
2. Attracting notice or attention.
3. Easy to identify


You'd probably expect me to wear these on me. I'd pass. Patches will blow my cover. And this is the worst thing if I am to maintain harmony in the household. My special lady is very happy with how I am able to stow away all my survival gear away from prying eyes. And so I shall maintain my secret identity. She understands, but many people won't.

Its very unfortunate that majority of the people who we want to protect from the zombie hordes are unbelievers. They won't get the concept of survivalism and preparedness. It will drain you just trying to explain the dangers we will face WTSHTF

Therefore we must soldier on with our lonesome mission. And we must do it discreetly.


What have we learned so far? 
Here are important reminders for aspiring zombie hunters:
  • Don't draw attention to yourself. Maintain your secret identity. 
  • Tacticool & mall-ninja are never appropriate attire in the presence of your family unless you are at the range or a paintball game. 
  • Do not ostracize your children at school by being known as that "creepy guy".
  • Don't freakin' show off your survival gear to your neighbors! The Cross Stitching Club's deadly gossip brigade will circulate the wrong kinds of stories about you.

Exceptions? Only members of the armed forces have the right to dress as they please. Wannabees are frowned upon. 

There are better ways to show off your love of zombie apocalypse survival. Discreet and fashionable ways. Learn from our friend The Real Queen of Horror. She knows a thing or two about lookin' good in a zed tee. 

I happen to be a mild-mannered fellow who dresses really well, especially in the company of Mrs. Zombie Hunter and the little one. I'm clean cut & athletic, so she loves parading me around her friends.

And beneath this dapper exterior lurks The Zombie Hunter. 



Stay vigilant!

Monday, October 3, 2011

ZOMBIETHON 2011



Its that time of year again, and the ZOMBIETHON is just around the corner. 

You gotta love those guys from the DEAD ZONE. If you do Facebook, check 'em out here. This is a new spin on the previous one now that it will take place in the daytime. Now that it will be taking place in the central business district, we should get way more publicity and help spread zombie apocalypse preparedness and awareness.

The first Zombiethon in 2010 was a lot of fun with a decent turnout, and the after-party rocked.

I'm looking to this year's walk and am just crossing my fingers that it will be a safe and successful event.  

When: October 30, 2011 at 3:00 PM
Where: Outside 6788 Standard Chartered Building, Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Contact: crimsonlakeofblood@yahoo.com or call Sam at 0915-7833624
What: Come to the place in your best undead look & attitude!


A few reminders:

  • Stay in character. Groan loud and menace at onlookers, shuffle like you're starving for brains!
  • Your facial expression is critical. Clever make-up work can enhance this
  • Do not put any sharp objects in your costume or props
  • Obey the rules. Don't troll event organizers or the police
  • Stay hydrated. Alcohol and zombie walking do not mix
  • If there are celebrity walkers or members of congress, feel free to devour them 1st
  • Watch out for real zombies



Stay vigilant!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Home Improvement: Rainwater Harvesting

I've been quite busy these past few days doing some important housework.

We upgraded our water tank and retooled our old one for rainwater harvesting. The shiny new tank is connected directly to the water company's pipes and can hold up to 23 gallons. In case of service interruption, it is good enough for 48 hours of household needs. For drinking & cooking, we've got various filtration systems.


My Situation
In a tropical country such as ours, we are visited by about 18-22 typhoons per year. It also rains most of the darn time. With my new system, we'll never be thirsty!

About 3 of these storms would hit our city directly, and maybe just one or two of these would knock out electricity & water for 1-2 days.

Its only a minor nuisance. The time spent in the dark with family is a good opportunity to actually try your survival gear. Mosquito nets, monopoly, candles & lamps, food, extra water, and medicine will all be nice to have for that short period while the power company fixes things. 

Now once in a while something as big as Katrina or a screwed up nuclear plant would happen. A royal mess such as this would certainly put a strain on your life span. The living dead rising up to eat us all? I'm talking about that too.

This is where preparedness comes in. 


This is my old tank. It can hold 40 gallons of skyjuice.


The Strategy of Water Storage
Water is life. If you have a lot of it, you could stay barricaded at home for extended periods. WTSHTF, one of the worst things you could do is to bug out at a time of great panic. What most survivalists don't get is that bugging out can be extremely dangerous! If you've built a strong home defense, then perhaps it would be better to hunker down during the early phases of the crisis. 

Rainwater harvesting will definitely reduce the amount of time spent outdoors. Let me repeat: doing anything  outside the safety of your home is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Especially if thousands of walking dead are out there. With a good rainwater harvesting system, you have one less reason to go foraging.

If you need to drink your stuff, make sure you have a sure-fire means of purification. More on that later.

My home has a stone perimeter wall that is 6 feet high. I've got lots of food, ammo, medicine, and a box of monopoly, crayons & musical stuff for my daughter to play with while the world outside goes nuts. So there's got no immediate need to bug out because of the preparations we've made. If we must escape, my emergency map will do the trick.



Stay vigilant!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bug Out Gear: Cradle's Portable Hammock


I got a mighty fine deal while shopping at a small army supply store at Fort Bonifacio. The cute little thing is a  a portable hammock made by a company called Cradle's and I got it for about USD $12.

Why a hammock?
Survivalists in tropical countries will be exposed to a lot of rain, flooding, and mosquitoes. The portable hammock like this one will let you stay above water and protected against the cloud of mosquitoes that can infect you with Malaria or Dengue.

Staying elevated will also keep you out of reach from the hungry arms of the undead. According to studies, zombies are found to be very bad at climbing. Out of 100 zeds, only one will be able to get halfway up a tree or ladder. The good news is that it will take a lot of time before this is achieved. Probably half a day. This is enough for one survivalist to catch some much needed rest before finding a more secure location.

I recommend a height of at least 18 feet. This is in case a zombie Yao Ming tries to reach up for you. 


unfolded, and then rolls downward 6 feet

Overview
Cradle's is a small company that supplies products to shops that cater to members of the armed forces as well as outdoor enthusiasts. The hammock is made of nylon, however when it is folded up, the outer layer uses a cloth-like material for added protection from scratches & light abuse. 

It weighs approximately 4 ounces, measures 3 inches thick, 12 inches long & 8 inches wide. Its quite soft so you can squish it even further in your backpack to nearly half its size.

Pros:
  • adequate strength to hold a single adult survivalist
  • the mosquito net works perfectly without being suffocating
  • light weight & doubles as a squishy pillow
  • easy to repair
  • partially water repellant

Cons:
  • does not come with a warranty
  • does not have a rain hood, so you need to devise your own covering
  • durability is questionable without preventive maintenance after 6 months. Reinforce the nylon rope with duct tape to prevent fraying
  • it is not a heavy-duty product. this must be relegated to a backup system when you find a higher-quality product for long term survival requirements
  • if you're 6 feet tall, this won't fit you

PROTIP: Pay attention to the seams holding the rope after each use. 
You don't want it to rip while you're sleeping!


Rating: 6/10, adequate
I am giving this portable hammock a passing grade if used for short-term assignments. If you are on the move, this will help you stay out of reach. Keep in mind that this is best suited for scouting missions and not for long term accommodations. 


The little one at Outpost 2 reports "all quiet  on the western front".  



Stay vigilant!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Coming Soon: World War Z (2012)

November 2012 UPDATE: The trailer's out. View it here


A lot of buzz is going about the movie starring Brad Pitt as a United Nations employee who is trying to save the world from the zombie apocalypse.  

 The Battle of Yonkers

By now everybody knows that it will be deviating from the style of the novel. At first I was going to make a big rant of how all of our hopes & dreams for the film will be affected by the changes. I loved the book's style, how the author interviews key personalities some years after  the end of WWZ. Over the years, the  battle scenes, heroes, villains and geo-politics have grown on the book's legion of fans. 

There are even indie videos on YouTube for some of the chapters. A lot of them are pretty well made.



I was on the verge of descending into pessimism until I read Sean Thomas Fisher's article. The gist was "take it easy". OK, I'll be cool. The nice folks posting their comments also convinced me to just let it go and look forward to the movie. Our movie. The one based on the book that got it started. Hey Brad, no pressure!

Who knows, maybe Pitt's story is the "unwritten chapter" or the 5th Beatle to the book. And I'm also sure that he film will still have the different struggles around the world.

That's the main thing. All of the chapters were done really well and showed a local's perspective of how they endured the crisis. I'll bet readers from India, China, South America, and Yonkers, NY enjoyed their respective situations the best.

So I guess we're still in for a treat. And armies of zed heads will be lining up like Star Wars fans to see it.

There, got it outta my chest. I'm cool now.    

As Dr. Kwang Jingshu said "everything's gonna be alright".



Stay vigilant!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Got Featured on ITS ON RANDOM

I've recently been featured by Ms. Random Girl on her blog Its On Radom right here. Its part of her series of "get to know your bloggers". I just wanna say that she's got creative skills that I wish I could fill into the right side of my brain. 

I wish I could draw, paint, make crafts & dolls, stimulate the minds of my offspring, because all of these WILL come in handy. Maximize your brains, yo.

Personally, I've always loved filling up questionnaires since I was little. Slambooks are fun, yes? 


A favorite question was "What movie changed your life?", that was easy. The Goonies was the one that turned me from a skinny nerdy shy kid into a skinny nerdy ADVENTUROUS kid. Me, and my gang of BMX riding buddies. It helped shape me into what I am today. 

If the zombie apocalypse happened in the mid 1980's, I think we would have handled it and saved all the kids in our school! And this sort of movie would totally rock.

Reading up on the featured bloggers just blew my mind. Darn it, them zombie writers do awesome stuff. 

Thank you Random Girl! 




Stay vigilant!

Survival Strategy #12: Your Personal Survival List

The Problem

A lot of survivalists have got it wrong. The zombie apocalypse won't be one big party where we rock & roll with guns on the living dead and party in our survival shacks for a couple weeks. Its gonna be way more serious than that. 


People fail to see that we could be in for a long-term crisis. Years, maybe decades of fighting to survive! Many could not comprehend the collapse of civilization, much less the loss of modern amenities such as running water, electricity, health care, or the internet. 


What's gonna happen is that many survivalist folks will do fine for the 1st few weeks, scrape by the later months, and turn into total cavemen before succumbing to the millions of infected brain-eating zeds. 

Not if you're me.


The Solution

There's hope if you plan ahead, and it ain't hard. Start by making a Personal Survival List made up of important things that will be changed by living in an undead world. 


Where do I begin?


Everybody will be affected in their own way. Think of essential stuff  that you'll lose access to or eventually run out of. Find ways to adapt and you'll improve your chances.


Examples

1. Medical
  • If you or a loved one needs special medication, you'll need to know where to find them when the city is overrun by walking dead. Draw a battle plan that cuts a path from your various safe houses leading to that hospital that has a big cache!  Alternative medicine will help in the long run.
  • Got prosthetics? Spare parts will be very important! Stocking up or improvising better ones may come in handy.
  • Dental issues? Life will suck if you didn't plan ahead.

2. Food
  • Think of how you'll be feeding your family when modern agriculture collapses. Livestock will probably be wiped out by the undead, farmland will also be swallowed by wild growth. Think of the children!
  • Meatloaf MRE packets for the next 5 years? Your lady is gonna kill you. Your kids will revolt. And its still your fault.
  • If someone's lactose intolerant or allergic to something, make sure that you got it right on your scavenger hunting or its back to that infested supermarket for you!
  • Vitamins. If you can't buy them, grow them.


3. Daily Living
  • I'll be messed up when there are no more diapers. If you've never changed one, you won't understand.
  • Sanitation is a major concern. When running water runs out, life will suck.
  • Entertainment is important even in a post-apocalyptic world. Collect good books. 
  • Ever had a fist fight over a game of Monopoly? It can happen. Find alternatives.
  • It may be worth risking life & limb fighting through a mall full of zeds to retrieve that Gibson Les Paul.


There's way more.  

I've done this a few years in advance and its helped my family gain a lot of confidence. We intend to do more than survive, we'll be doing it in style.




Stay vigilant!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Small Bullet, Big Hit: The new Armscor .22 TCM


About two months ago at the Bolo Tuason Cup I was able to try out the new .22 TCM bullet developed by ARMSCOR.  The little thing is based on a necked down .223, travels at 2,100 fps and its JHP head weighs only 40 grains. That is a tremendous amount of velocity and performance from such a small cartridge. It is quite exciting to see where this will go in the world of personal defense.

The photo below is a nifty size comparison between the two most common pistol calibers.

The birth of a new caliber and handgun:

The guys from Armscor were demonstrating the bullet with a prototype Rock Island Armory .22 TCM Pistol.  Its basically a double-stack magazine 1911 chambered for the new caliber.  This was definitely one of the early models judging from the low serial number.

While lining up for my turn, I was intimidated by the large muzzle blast coming from the gun. It was also really loud! I don't shy away from big stuff, but hearing it from a handgun gun was a new experience. I even flinched in anticipation before breaking my 1st shot. To my surprise, it had hardly any recoil despite the thunder from each trigger pull.

I love this fire-breathing pistol! There was hardly any kick, and placing 5 rapid-fire shots in the center of a target 10 meters away was really easy. This was a popular attraction at the Level Three IPSC Match and a lot of rounds went downrange.

This is one of the prototypes. Check out the old "Rock Island Armory" logo, and the rough "Armscor" rubber grips.

I found another video showing what it could do to a watermelon. Those things are heavy. Sure they're soft, but blowing it up like that is proof of physics.

I wish we could see lot of ballistic testing for this caliber, particularly in its terminal performance as a defensive round as well as how it will fare over a long distance. Does it tumble when entering a target? Does it expand? How will it deal with layers of denim and bone? Will it smash through a car windshield? We need answers. Another key to success would be the availability of the ammunition. I'm sure the company is working on producing sustainable quantities for this breakthrough caliber as it looks like it was designed to make a significant mark on the industry.

What if they built a rifle or submachine gun chambered in this round? What about a polymer concealed-carry pistol? Can we have a drum magazine? The possibilities are endless!


VS Zombies?  Think of a gun that shoots light as a .22, could hit harder than a .45, and could carry twice the amount of ammo. Accurate head shots are definitely not a problem. I sure hope to see more developments for the .22 TCM!

UPDATE: I've got more info about this bullet's penetrating power over here.



Stay vigilant!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

False Alarm: "Dead Man" Wakes Up in Morgue



South Africa. 

Dead man gets up in the morgue. 

Zombie??


Nah. Only some poor guy who must have had a really bad week.

It could happen to anybody, and we've all been there: crummy work conditions, management setting longer hours, and Murphy's Law on ya for 5 days long. 

So on a Friday night he may have partied really hard and got his well-deserved sleep. Only to wake up 24 hours later in an ice cold morgue! 

Dear family, ya'll should have checked my pulse before writing me off. I'll be taking back my stuff since I'm not dead yet, thank you very much. 

I feel for the dude and hope he's doing OK. Find out more at  BBC News.



Stay vigilant!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Walking Dead Season 2... Nice.

I know ya'll have seen it already on YouTube.  Maybe some of you have gone to the Comic Con to catch the trailer over there.  Well, here it is again because I totally love it.



Learned interesting things about the zeds from this series:

  • They can't smell you.  You can hide and they probably won't catch ya. 
  • After getting bit, it takes about less than 24 hours for the infected to turn into one of them.
  • They have residual memories, not really helpful in most cases.
  • They move in hordes, don't run, but can lurch faster if they detect fresh meat.
  • They seem to decompose a little bit.  Flesh comes off in some places.
  • You'll never have enough bullets to solve this problem.  Teamwork is the only sure thing.
  • If you bathe yourself in zombie guts, you can be invisible to them. Unless it rains!

The last one bugs me. If you have any kind of wound on your body, you're screwed. Jump suits were a good idea, but the thought of potentially getting infected blood in your eyes makes me squirm. I definitely won't try this on my family.

Dig?


Can't wait for October.



Stay vigilant!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gun Porn from The 19th Defense & Sporting Arms Show

This ain't a gun blog, but I'd like to share photos of some cool stuff that I saw at the gun show last Friday. This semi-annual event was mostly a chance to gawk at all sorts of guns in the market. Competitive race guns, production standbys, cowboy action, concealed carry, military equipment, and custom exotica. They had them all.

It was really cool to see Mary Grace Tan from True Weight Inc. taking care of the customers at their booth.  I get starstruck when I'm around world-class shooters like her! YouTube her right now.

At the end of the day, I got myself a nice bag of goodies from various shops. This is the only time when I can get large quantities of Hornady Critical Defense and Federal Premium Hydra Shok because they're sold here at a special rate.

Dude, hollow-points work wonders on zombie brains. 


Check these out:

The Good


These are photos of the new Caracal pistol. Developed by Caracal International from the United Arab Emirates, its based on the Glock design plus a few improvements.

I got to test fire them at the Bolo Tuason Cup the next day. I'm not a Glock user so I can't make any comparisons, but I can say that I liked the quality of the materials and construction, the trigger pull and recoil were pleasant.  

Perhaps our own police force may buy a few of these. 
This model features the new "quick-sight" system that is supposed to be an improvement over traditional "notch & post" iron sights.

We also got Armscor ammo on the left side.  Quality ammo, 'nuff said.


The BADASS

In one prominent space of the gun show was a small cordoned area where people line up to check out some fancy customized stuff. There was the usual open division pistols used by champions but these pretty things got my attention.  I mean, who can ignore an M16 and M4 made with GOLD?  Gun bling! There was this big necklace with gangsta gold & diamonds to complete the picture. 


Practical Points: C-
Sexy Points: A+


Here's what I really liked.  Two lovely .357 magnum replicas of the Colt Single Action Army.  I would consider these the coolest zombie pistols WTSHTF. I mean, look at them! Beautiful and deadly. Something mother nature can respect. 

I just need to have a pair of these and I'd hand load my own ammo.  My uncle has enough lead & powder to last us a zombie war or two so I'd keep them on my wish list!


The UGLY (controversy!)

Its old news that Norinco has been cloning really cool American and European guns for quite a while. This is one of the more recent head-turners.  The MP4 from Heckler & Koch has been a favorite of US and German special forces, and a Hollywood prop staple. And now China has made a near-exact copy that costs a bit less.  

I'm not here to debate politics, but it was interesting to see something at the show that has been the center of a lot of debate.  

One US Dollar is about 43 Philippine Pesos.  Cheap? Do the math.


Controversial, but an effective zombie killer. 


UPDATE: New photos could be found here.



Shoot safe and stay vigilant!