Thursday, June 6, 2024

Converting 7.62x51 brass to 6.5 Creedmoor

I shoot a lot of 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm ammunition. The 5.56 is mainly used in Service Rifle Competition (although I compete less than I used to), and the 7.62 for hunting because it’s still very economical to handload and will reliably kill any large game in North America.

Years ago I put together a Swedish M41 sniper rifle clone for NRA Vintage Sniper matches, and got into the “6.5 bore” that way. A lot of my friends in the service rifle boards were extolling the virtues of the 6.5 Creedmoor as an excellent deer/antelope/competition cartridge, and I decided that if the price was right I’d get one

However, due to contentious American politics combined with the COVID pandemic, both ammunition and reloading components have been “scarce.” For my birthday two years ago I bought a 100 round bag of Starline brand 6.5 CM brass, which eventually was used building a hunting load for an Army buddy because he couldn’t find commercial hunting ammunition for less than 4 dollars per round going into that year’s deer season. I put together a basic load with a 139gr PPU brand soft point, IMR 4064, and Winchester primers, and that ended up printing five shots under an inch from his hunting rifle. He was tickled pink, and passed my “reloading recipe” on to his brother so they can replicate it in the future.

Unfortunately, that left me with no 6.5 CM brass (a truly first world problem if there ever was one), since I started getting into the caliber at a bad time. I did have bags and bags of spent 7.62x51 brass waiting to be processed, though, I figured I would give converting some into 6.5 CM a try.

I crushed and ruined a lot of cases. Despite being very similar in dimensions, this isn’t as simple as turning .30-06 into 8x57 or .30-06 into .25-06. You always pay for an education — sometimes with tuition fees, sometimes with time, and sometimes with ruined supplies — but the education and skills you get from that payment are worth it. What eventually worked with the highest conversion percentage, is this process:
  1. Clean the cases
  2. De-prime the cases
  3. Anneal the necks with a small propane torch
  4. Remove the expander ball from the resizing die
  5. Lubricate the cases
  6. Slowly size down the cases in a single stage press (this is where you’ll crush shoulders if you don’t have enough lube, or have too much lube, or go too fast)
  7. Add the expander ball back into the resizing die
  8. Lubricate the inside of the case necks
  9. Run the cases back through the resizing die enough to set the neck size to 6.5 mm (do not fully run them up since the necks are way too long at this point, you just need to open them back up enough to use the trim tool in the next step)
  10. Trim the resized cases (I use the Lee system combined with a handheld drill, works just fine)
  11. Deburr the case necks (inside and out) with a chamfer tool
  12. Tumble to remove the lube
  13. Anneal the case necks
Note: depending upon your rifle chamber, you may need a neck turning tool to decrease the outside diameter of the newly sized brass necks for safe operation at this point. I found out this brass worked fine in the LR-10 6.5 CM upper, but the necks were just a smidge too thick for the Ruger American Predator to chamber easily. Trust me that you don’t want any interference between your case necks and the chamber, as that mechanical squeeze massively increases chamber pressure. If your loads were close to top end, you’ll experience blown primers immediately.

In the end, I have 48 6.5 CM cases with the headstamp “FC 11” indicating their military surplus origins. It would have been an even 50 except I crushed a few cases learning the ins, outs, and feels of making a process that works with my tools. I also have nearly a hundred more with LC headstamps of various years which is enough to develop a decent hunting load.

The benefits of this conversion is that generally American military surplus 7.62x51 brass is consistently high quality and built to last being cycled through automatic firearms. The downside is that you often get reduced case volume because the brass is on the thick side, but that only matters to people who are looking to maximize velocity. With a 6.5 CM, or 7.62x51 for that matter, velocity is much less interesting than accuracy. If you can accurately put the bullet where you want, you can put meat on the table and score high in matches.

Now, do I recommend you go out and buy a 500 lb lot of 7.62x51 brass and do the conversion on your single stage press at home? No. In fact, unless you already have the 7.62 brass and a lot of time to do the conversion, I wouldn’t recommend conversion at all. Supplies are coming back in stock and I purchased 150 spent casings of “range brass” that netted me 104 Hornady brand 6.5 CM brass and 20 Federal brand which ended up on a buddy’s desk (hand loaders stick together!). 

I do however recommend that you run through the process enough times so that if you have to do it in the future, you can, while knowing how your dies work. The worst thing that could happen is breaking your tools without a way to replace them, in an economic disruption, while trying to learn a tricky conversion. Maybe the next “contentious political season” will cause another market disruption, and I’ll spend my weekends converting brass because I that’s the only way to have brass to shoot.

Tools Used
Press: RCBS Jr. Press (built in 1967 and still working, but nearly any press will do)
Dies: Hornady 6.5 CM dies, Lee universal decapping die
Lube: Hornady One Shot
Trimmer: Lee case length gauge and lock stud system, Ryobi brand cordless drill to spin them
Chamfer Tool: Lyman VLD chamfer tool
Case Tumbler: Lyman brand
Neck Turning Tool: K&M brand

Note: you may need to do a final sizing with a “Small Base Resizing Die” if your chamber is on the small side and the original 7.62x51mm brass was fired through a machine gun with a generous chamber; I found that about one in five converted brass had difficulty chambering in the Ruger American Predator. 

I use RCBS Small Base dies when this is necessary for my 5.56x45 service loads, and so I picked up a set for the 6.5 CM. They make chambering a cartridge from the magazine a breeze, and if you reload for a “gas gun” you’ll eventually need a small base die set to avoid chambering issues on the firing line. I don’t anticipate needing to use the SB dies for any of the loads shot solely in the Ruger since the cartridges aren’t being extracted under pressure, and so the Hornady dies will do the bulk of work for that rifle.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Motorcycle First Aid Kit, Part the Latest

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping. 

Maybe the title for this should be "MY Motorcycle First Aid Kit", since I'm certain there have to be kits labeled for motorcycles and setups created by other riders. The problem I had is how to make the things I need accessible to me after a crash, and I believe I've solved it.

Zip Ties!
The old joke about fixing everything with duct tape or bailing wire needs to be amended to add zip ties since there are so many places tie wire won't allow for a tight twist to finish and tape isn't right. 


I'm attaching a zip tie mount to the interior of my saddle bag door as the final (for now, at least) place to keep everything secure and handy. I've had them loose in the saddlebag where they were flopping around when there wasn't anything in there, and I tried sticking them to the back. Neither was good: if I was carrying stuff no one could see the first aid gear on the back wall, and if I kept it loose I was worried about damage to the packaging and ruining any sterile seals. In March I posted the first attempt of carrying a first aid kit on my motorbike where you can get links to what I currently have.

The zip tie holding the two bags together is threaded normally, and the zip tie attaching the bag to the mount is backwards, meaning it won't ratchet down tight but still hold things together by a small amount of friction, allowing the first aid supplies to be removed from the saddle bag door easily when needed. There's no way that I could find to show that small zip tie in a picture, but if you try it you'll see that it'll slide out with very little effort. 

This project has been a struggle for me, as I had to stop adding bits and pieces of first aid gear to my motorcycle such like a very small kit with Band-Aids of various sizes, triple antibiotic and such. I've convinced myself that in the case of an actual accident, it's unlikely that Band-Aids are going to be much help, and if they are then many other people will probably have them. My only concession to this 'pack ratting' is a Pocket Pack of Kleenex and a small bottle of Advil in my riding jackets. The Advil gets refilled with fresh pills from a big bottle purchased from a warehouse store.

The end result, as of today.

I'll have to run this for a while to see if it really is safe and secure, but I'm optimistic. 

Recap and Takeaway
  • I try to have first aid gear close to me wherever I am, and on the motorcycle is one of the more important places where I never want to need it.
  • I really like what is in the Adventure Medical pack, which you can buy from Amazon and use our BCP link. The North American Rescue kit needs to be purchased directly from them. Seriously, go right to their site and shop there. 
  • Be safe and expect better, but plan for problems; those around you will appreciate it.

* * *

Just a reminder: if you plan on buying anything through Amazon, please consider using our referral link. When you do, a portion of the sale comes back here to help keep this site running!
 
If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Safe Firearm Storage

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
Once you become a gun owner it is your moral (and in some states, legal) responsibility to store your firearms securely in order to keep curious children from finding them and to prevent thieves from stealing them. While firearm safes are expensive (costing at least $1,000) and heavy (weighing several hundred pounds), there are other options available to the budget-conscious prepper. 

Before we begin, however, an important note: any safe can be defeated given proper conditions. A small safe can be stolen and disassembled at leisure; a determined thief with plenty of time and the proper tools can cut or drill into larger safes. Therefore, in my opinion gun storage solutions should have the following qualities:
  1. Affordability. It is better to have a cheap safe than no safe at all. 
  2. Deterrence. Most home thefts are quick in-and-out jobs, with the thieves not wanting to risk being caught by homeowners or police. Anything which is not easily taken or defeated in a few minutes will suffice in this regard, and anything which deters a thief will prevent a child from gaining entry. 
  3. Accessibility. If I hear a bump in the night, I need to be able to get to my home defense firearm quickly and reliably. 
  4. Storage. Since we are storing firearms, it is better to get a safe which stores more of them. 
You will note that I didn't mention protection against fire. While I'm sure some of you will disagree, I feel that fire rating is more hype than substance. Sure, the flames may not penetrate, but how hot will the interior get? House fires burn at over 1,000 degrees F, which is more than hot enough to melt polymer frames and ruin the tempers of metals. Fire resistance also adds to the cost (and weight) of safes, which runs counter to the principle of quality #1. 

To that end, I recommend the concept of the security cabinet to budget-minded preppers: a lockable steel enclosure that is a safe in all but the most stringent definitions, and is more affordable because they can be delivered to you unassembled. This has the valuable side benefit of being able disassemble your cabinet and take it with you when you move, rather than force you to leave it behind or pay a moving company an outrageous fee to ship it. 

The following are the three security cabinets which I own and recommend.

I bought this from Amazon for $90 back in 2017 and it has served me well in that time. While you could store 8 long guns in it, doing so would make them difficult to take out quickly, and rifles with optics will further complicate that procedure. It is far more suitable for storage of 4 long guns, perhaps 6 if you aren't in a hurry to get two of them. 

https://stack-on.com/product/8-gun-security-cabinet-ready-to-assemble


I have further upgraded this with the SecureIt Retrofit 2 kit, which allows me to store my optics-using firearms along the back of the cabinet rather than along the sides.

https://amzn.to/3Vqykrb

This allows me to have my bump-in-the-night guns (a 12 gauge shotgun and a pistol caliber carbine) easily accessible at a moment's notice, with the shelf used to hold ammunition and electronic hearing protection earmuffs. The door is kept unlocked with the keys in the door when I am home, and the cabinet is by my bed. When I leave the house, the cabinet is locked and my keyring comes with me. 

I was able to get this on sale for $60 a while back; the price has gone up since then. It mounts to the top of my security cabinet and is the same width and only slightly smaller in depth, adding weight and bulk to the 8 Gun as further deterrence against taking the whole thing. 

https://stack-on.com/product/compact-pistol-ammo-cabinet#specs

I use this safe to hold the pistols I want to access quickly, as well as additional ammunition. I keep it locked, with one key inside the security cabinet and the other in my Hiram, below. 

This is a new addition which I acquired after Christmas as part of moving into my father's old bedroom. It cost $200 with $50 shipping (ugh), but it's much larger and more secure than my Stack-On 8 Gun. While this probably doesn't fit the stringent definition of a "safe", the panels are thicker and the locks more durable, so it's likely to be the closest to an actual safe that I'll ever get. 

https://amzn.to/452TGxX

What I like about this safe, in addition to being wide enough to accommodate 6 long guns (with optics) across the back and tall enough to store my Mosin-Nagant, is that its louvred back panel is compatible with the aforementioned SecureIt accessories. It can also be unlocked with biometrics, a keypad code, or a concealed key lock. It's also worth noting that both the Stack-On 8 Gun and the Hiram come with the ability to be bolted to walls and/or floors for extra security. 

I use this safe to store the rifles I don't need in a hurry, and when I go out of town I'll put the guns in the Stack-On in there for extra security. I put my spare keys to the Stack-Ons in here, hanging on a spare peg. 


While none of these cabinets are "proper" safes, I was able to securely store my firearms against theft and damage for $400, which is less than the price of a new handgun and much, much less than the cost of a $1,000+ safe. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Buying a Rifle Online

I recently retired from the US Army, and to celebrate I decided to buy a new rifle. The particular rifle that I wanted, a Ruger American Predator Stainless (as in having a stainless steel action and barrel) was not available locally. I found the closest match (with a stainless barrel and a blued steel action) in a store over an hour away, but I found that same model for cheaper on budsgunshop.com. I decided that I was going to do something new and purchase a firearm online, figuring the cost of gas for a two hour drive was probably going to be more than the $25 - $35 FFL transfer fee.

Bud's Gun Shop has a handy feature where you input your zip code and it finds Federal Firearms License dealers in your area who have performed Form 4473 and National Instant Check System (NICS) background review and final transfer, with the last known fee for doing so. There were a few pawn shop/gun shops that were close, but ultimately I chose to go with the sportsman’s club on the nearest Army base since I’m a member there and the staff assured me they handle orders from Bud’s all the time.

There is a lot of “legalese” in the online purchase process that can be summed up as “If you fail the NICS then you are out X amount of money” and you have to check the box acknowledging that to proceed. Once you’ve picked the delivery FFL, you can proceed to payment; there were plenty of options, but the one I chose was “e-check” where I input the routing number and account number associated with my checking account along with the other necessary information to handle the purchase. I was happy to see Bud's Gun Shop had payment options that didn’t benefit blatantly anti-2A corporations.

Timeline from Start to Finish
  • 28 April 2024, Sunday. Initial purchase, used e-check option.
  • 29 April 2024, received email from Buds requesting 5 business days to process e-check.
  • 29 April 2024, received email from Buds, funds debited, requesting 3 additional days to process.
  • 30 April 2024, received email thanking me for purchase.
  • 3 May 2024, received email from Buds confirming all finances complete and order cleared for shipping.
  • 7 May 2024, received email from Buds with UPS tracking number.
  • 10 May 2024, UPS attempts to deliver after 1900 (7 p.m.) after store hours are closed.
  • 13 May 2024, UPS attempts to deliver at 0905 (9 a.m.) when the store is closed.
  • 14 May 2024, UPS finally gets the delivery delivered.
  • 15 May 2024, I fill out the Form 4473 at the FFL and pass my National Instant Check System (NICS) background check. I also picked up a Vortex Venom 5-25x56 optic since there is no sales tax on military bases and the price was a few bucks cheaper than Amazon.
This being my first online firearms purchase, I have no other online dealers to compare. This means my experience may not be your experience. Given my experience of exactly one purchase, however, I already plan to purchase from Buds again.

My Experience with the Rifle
  1. The barrel is a bit on the thin side for long strings of precise shots. 
  2. The $20 MCARBO trigger return spring upgrade is worth every penny. Going from a hefty 5+ lbs to a clean break at 2 lbs, it feels like an entirely different animal. 
  3. The factory stock isn’t as bad as the internet makes it out to be.  It's definitely a hunting stock and not a precision stock, but it shouldered just fine and I’d have no problem taking one hunting. 
  4. The Ruger American is the first rifle I’ve purchased that was actually designed in the current century; all of my other rifles are 20th century designs.
  5. More information on my experience with upgrading and shooting the Ruger American Predator can be found in my previous article
My Experience with Purchasing Online 
Sometimes it's just better to buy a complete package than to pay all of the additional tax plus shipping & handling fees.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Measure Lots, Cut Once

Humans are tool users, and one of the important aspects of tool use is accurate, repeatable measurement. Prior to the 1800s, there were hundreds of systems of measurement with thousands of different units around the world, but today we're pretty much down to two: Metric and the American Customary System, often erroneously equated with England's Imperial System of Units

Whether working with wood, metal, or other materials, in order for parts to fit properly they need to be correctly sized. If duplicating an existing object, a piece of string can be used to transfer measurements from the original to the raw material of the copy. Beyond that, accurate measurements need to be taken and recorded.

Nearly all the measuring devices I'm going to mention here are available in both Metric and American Customary Unit versions. I'll also be focusing on dimensional measurements, not volume or weight.

Perhaps the most common of measuring tools is the ruler, whether it is a simple wooden school ruler, triangular scale ruler, tape measure, or yard stick. Traditionally, rulers are marked with large numbered indicators divided by smaller, differently sized marks, collectively called rules. By lining these up against the object to be measured, a reasonably accurate value can be determined. A desk ruler might be marked in quarters or eighths of an inch, while a carpenter's ruler will more likely be marked in thirty-seconds or even sixty-fourths of an inch divisions.

A selection of linear measuring tools

This type of measuring device comes in two main categories, dial (or digital) calipers and transfer calipers.

With the former, the jaws are closed against the object to be measured, and the reading is taken directly from the scale on the tool. These are commonly used by machinists for precise measurements down to one one-thousandth of an inch. My most frequent uses for these are when reloading and home gunsmithing.

Transfer calipers are similarly closed against an object, but are then compared either to another object, or a ruler of some sort. While less precise, these can be used to more easily measure awkward or irregularly shaped items. These are commonly used by wood workers, especially for lathe work.

Both types of calipers can be used to take inside, outside, and depth measurements. A single dial or digital caliper can usually perform all three tasks, while there are dedicated transfer calipers for each.

A selection of calipers and micrometers

A more limited yet more precise measuring tool than calipers, micrometers are also available in dial and digital versions. Capable of precision of up to one ten-thousandth of an inch, these are used for the most precise machining environments. Using and reading a traditional screw micrometer requires some practice. While I own several of these, I find a dial or digital caliper meets most of my needs.

Informal Measuring Tools
There are also everyday objects that can be used for rough measurements, such as an American dollar bill, which is nominally six inches wide by two and a half inches tall (more precisely, 6.14 inches wide by 2.61 inches tall), or American coins. A quarter is just under an inch in diameter, and 1/16th of an inch thick.

Many other common objects can be used to estimate dimensions, but a proper measuring device is always better. I carry a small tailor's tape measure in my jacket, and the multitool in my pants pocket has a scale on the sides.

For some history on measurements, I highly recommend the book Measuring America.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmore

(Editrix's Note: I am pleased to report that George Groot has agreed to become a full-time contributor for Blue Collar Prepping. Please give him a warm welcome!)

The Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmore is a hunting rifle with a medium sporter profile 22” barrel. This is in contrast to the Ruger American Hunter in the same caliber which has a heavy sporter profile 20” barrel with an attached muzzle brake. However, I know that all firearms are a series of deliberate compromises, and having 2 more inches of barrel in a lighter package was the compromise choice I made. I’m still not sure if it was the optimal choice, but I’ll live with it for a while before making a final decision.

https://ruger.com/products/americanRiflePredator/specSheets/6973.html

Upgrades
Before I ever fired a shot I did these things. 
  1. I swapped the trigger return spring for an MCARBO spring to drop the trigger pull down to something that resembles a precision rifle trigger at around 2 lbs pull.
  2. I installed a three chamber “tank” style muzzle brake that’s really just a placeholder until I figure out what type of muzzle brake and suppressor combination I can afford.
  3. I dropped all that into a KRG Bravo chassis, because I plan to use this rifle more for competition than hunting. 
  4. I then topped it off with a very heavy Vortex Venom 5-25x56 rifle scope. 
I counted it all up, and I probably should have chosen a Ruger American Hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor since it comes with the better Magpul stock and muzzle brake installed, which would have saved me about $200 over the total cost of my build. But my current build comes in at 12.5 lbs with empty magazine and bipod installed, so that's not bad at all for getting after my goal of a relatively lightweight precision rifle. 

How does it shoot? 
So far I’ve run only loads I had on hand through it, and a 140gr Nosler Custom Competition bullet over a charge of H4831SSC powder in Hornady Brass with CCI 200 primers is printing acceptable groups. That is literally zero load workup for this rifle, so the fact that it isn’t consistently printing half inch groups at 100 doesn’t bother me just yet. I have some StaBall 6.5 and Barnes Match Burner 145gr bullets on hand that I hope will produce a winning combination in this rifle, but that will be a post for a different day.

The 6.5 Creedmoor is most often compared to the .308 Winchester. Both will push a 140ish grain bullet to around 2,700 feet per second; the Creedmoor just does it with a higher ballistic coefficient bullet and has become a serious contender to replace the .270 Winchester as the “handy, light recoil option for North America.” Honestly I couldn’t tell any recoil difference between the 6.5 CM and my .308 Win rifles, as the laws of physics are the laws of physics and total weight out of the muzzle (bullet + powder weight) is what causes recoil. The muzzle brake helps quite a bit, as does the heavier chassis stock and 2+ lb optic. 

Grouping
In my initial range session I noticed that the groups “tended left” as the barrel heated up. Ruger advertises that the barrel is a “cold hammer forged” method of manufacture, which doesn’t normally produce a barrel that drifts with heat. One possible explanation is that the barrel nut isn’t perfectly true to the receiver, and so it heating up adds a minute amount of torque to the system. 

To test this I stapled up two printed target sheets with four individual targets on each sheet (available for free here) and shot one round at each target until I “broke the black” on the center circle. It took me 11 trigger pulls to break the black on the eight 1” centers of the targets, one of which was a called flyer (I knew I broke the shot low), but the two uncalled misses were to the left. It could also be that my shooting technique from a range bench leaves a lot to be desired, so further testing from the prone is on the menu before I really determine that it’s the rifle and not me.

"Break the Black Drill" 6 of 8 first round hits at 100 yards.


Performance
The bolt action on the Ruger American is “okay” in my opinion; it’s better than a Savage 10 or Axis bolt lift, yet not as good as a Remington 700. The stock bolt handle is serviceable, but I find it a tad on the small side, and I plan to upgrade to a longer “tactical” bolt handle in the future to get better leverage. which hopefully will allow me to move less between shots as I cycle the rifle. The bolt body has an imperfect finish, with machine marks providing that “zippy” sound as you manipulate the bolt, but there are plenty of YouTube videos on how to fix that.

Final Thoughts
The Ruger American Predator is a fine hunting rifle out of the box, and the MCARBO spring upgrade is worth it for 20 dollars. 

If you're looking at a longer range option at a decent price, it's really hard to argue that there's anything better in the price bracket. Dressing mine up as a precision rifle ended up costing almost as much as a Ruger Precision Rifle, although I did save about a pound of weight over the RPR offering in 6.5 Creedmoor (and when you're endurance ruck marching with a rifle, ounces make pounds and pounds make pain).

If you plan to upgrade later there are plenty of aftermarket stocks, triggers, and muzzle devices to choose from, but generally those just make the rifle more comfortable to shoot for long sessions, rather turn it into a better hunting tool.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Erin's Bad Prepper Habits

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
We all have bad habits in our every day lives, so it stands to reason that we have bad habits (some might call them "toxic traits") in our hobbies and lifestyles. Emergency Preparedness is no exception to this, and in fact I could argue that it is prone to more magical thinking and totemism than most. Case in point: the Doomsday Preppers TV show of last decade, which promoted the perception of "In order to survive a big emergency you need to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into bunkers, bug-out vehicles and off-grid living" and which irritated me so much that it led to the creation of this very blog, whose philosophy is "Don't be deterred by shows like that. You can prepare on a budget, step by step, for the emergencies which are likely to affect you."

With that said, I too have bad prepper habits, and I hope that by confessing them I can embolden my other writers to do the same. I don't have any ulterior motive to this -- I certainly don't want to shame anyone -- but I do hope that by sharing my weaknesses I can make some of you feel better about your own failings, and perhaps I can receive some support and advice about how best to overcome mine. 

So here, in no particular order, are my Bad Prepper Habits. 
  1. I don't shoot nearly as much as I should. Between the increase of ammunition prices in the run-up to the 2016 election, my withdrawal from a lot of social events after the family dog mauled my face, and a feeling of "I might need these later," I haven't been putting in the same time at the range as I did in the early 20-teens. I mitigate this some with dry fire practice, and the last time I went shooting back in October I was pleased that my skills hadn't degraded as much as I'd feared, but the fact remains that I know marksmanship is a perishable skill and that I've been neglecting "arms day". 
  2. I collect books instead of reading them. I've mentioned previously that I was once a voracious reader, but these days I struggle with finding the time, the quiet, and the concentration to do so. (I suspect that I have undiagnosed ADHD.) I get around this listening to podcasts, audiobooks, and YouTube videos while I do other things so that I feel productive, but when it comes to "identifying edible plants" or "learning primitive skills" and so forth, those are things which need to be studied, not just absorbed via auditory (and sometimes visual) osmosis. I comfort myself by telling myself that it's good to have these books for a grid-down emergency and I can consult them for information when needed, but I still feel like a slacker for not cracking the spines of these books and at least familiarizing myself with their contents. The biggest lie which I tell myself is that "I'll get around to reading them soon."

    Just some of my books. I've looked through all of them,
    but I can't honestly say that I've
    read any of them. 

  3. I don't get out into the woods enough. I have a lot of allergies (dust, mold, pollen, animal dander) and it's just a gross feeling to constantly be sneezing and blowing my nose because I'm around plants and animals, or scratching because my skin touched something it didn't like and now it's red and inflamed. Bugs seem to love biting me, which is another source of inflammation and irritation, and my pale skin burns pretty easily in the sun. Put all of this together and it's a laundry list of why I prefer to live inside my perfect bubble of air conditioning and HEPA filtering. I know that in most disasters and emergencies that power will be the first to go, and yet I look for ways to ensure my creature comforts continue rather than learn to "embrace the suck". 
If I thought about it for long enough I could probably find more, but those are my Big Three. If you're inclined to talk about your Bad Prepper (or Prepping) Habits, then let me tell you that this is a safe space and a no judgement zone. 


The Fine Print


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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