Friday, December 18, 2015

What goes under the tree in uncertain times?

Some holiday gift ideas as America moves into even more uncertain times...
Guns. Can't go wrong with guns. You can use 'em to hunt, use 'em for self defense. They hold value if properly cared for, and they're just plain fun to shoot. For recreation, Thomas Jefferson deemed a walk in the woods with a gun to be a safe alternative to dangerous ball sports. 
Ammo. Guns aren't much good without ammo. Stuff those stockings. Buy more stockings and stuff them too.  
Shortwave radio. There are some decent portables available for a hundred bucks or less, most also receive the standard AM and FM bands. My preference would be to get one capable of single side band reception (a mode of transmission used by many amateurs). 
Solar charger. All your battery powered stuff's gonna run down and stay flat in a grid down scenario unless you have a way to recharge. Of course, you'd probably want rechargeable batteries too.  
Camping gear. It's adaptable, much of it useful even for semi-normal occurances, like having a propane stove handy when the power goes down during a winter storm.  
A compass. How many people today even know how to use one? And I'm not talking a smart phone app, I'm talking battery-free, real magnet types. 
A Boy Scout handbook. I like the ones from the late 1960s best. You can find 'em at Amazon, eBay, sometimes in thrift stores. It's only a good refresher on basic outdoor stuff, it's a nostalgic gift for any former scout baby boomer. 
Classic lit. Sunlight's free. So's reading a good book if you have one within reach.
Night vision. I've become a believer of late. Even the entry level stuff is better than none, though I recommend some research of a choice prior to purchase. They're not only good for security purposes, you can watch for critters at night, or turn them upward and see a bunch of stars you couldn't see before. 
Silver coins. They're neat and nostalgic. And they'll hold value even in times of runaway inflation. Anyone remember finding a silver dollar or two down in the bottom of a Christmas stocking? 
Survival food. It can be your favorite canned goods, or the freeze dried stuff. Few things bring peace of mind in uncertain times like a well stocked pantry.

Feel free to suggest others. This is not a complete list, by any means.

And, no. I can't say for certain a major catastrophe or national emergency will take down utilities or have you sheltering in place for extended period in 2016. But who's to say one or more won't? Localized outages are not uncommon in some areas, especially with electricity. And electric outages are apt to become more common as government forces more coal plants off line prematurely.

Most everything I've mentioned has application in everyday life as well.  I like things that get people thinking, that help instill traits of self-reliance.

Too many people today depend on smart phone apps to guide themselves through even the most mundane tasks.

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