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Ryan Dotson Survival and Prepping Expert Journal

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  • #16
    At the end of my first month on the forum, I feel good about my experience. I have met some wonderful people, shared some knowledge, and learned a bit myself. The only thing I think may be lacking is more new members asking questions. I know this is common with many forums, but I feel like the benefit of the group is maximized when newer people with limited knowledge get to take advantage of the experts on the forum. I would encourage everybody to reach out to your own person network and encourage people to hop on the forum and try it out. That would just take our group to the next level.

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    • #17
      Thank you for your contributions, Ryan! Agreed, we could use some new members, they'll come over time as I'll continue to promote the forum on all channels.
      Always stay safe,

      Dan

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      • #18
        Lots of guest lurkers out there, they just haven't joined.

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        • #19
          I noticed, they create accounts but they never used them.
          Always stay safe,

          Dan

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          • #20
            Originally posted by dan_f_sullivan View Post
            I noticed, they create accounts but they never used them.
            Maybe we should delete these abandoned accounts and require new members, to post an introduction? It really is an appropriate way, of getting people to post

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Skills b4 Gear View Post

              Maybe we should delete these abandoned accounts and require new members, to post an introduction? It really is an appropriate way, of getting people to post
              I don't see how deleting them would help. People will see on the main page at the bottom that there are 7 or 8 times less members and then they'll be less likely to post.
              Always stay safe,

              Dan

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              • #22
                Originally posted by dan_f_sullivan View Post

                I don't see how deleting them would help. People will see on the main page at the bottom that there are 7 or 8 times less members and then they'll be less likely to post.
                The trick is requirements. Requiring those who sign up to post an intro before being able to see content, will force member to at LEAST introduce themselves. Then we could have areas of the board only open to people, with specific post counts and such. I'm not trying to be a board nazi but do we want a board filled with just lechers?

                Perhaps this is a conversation best had, outside Ryan's journal?

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                • #23
                  I recently read an article on the subject of the impracticality of bugging out versus bugging in. It got me thinking... in what situations would I actually grab my family and go. We live in the country outside of a town with a population of about 110,000 people. While it feels very remote out here, there are neighborhoods with hundreds if not thousands of people living there within a couple miles. Obviously a pandemic would be a good scenario to hit the woods and stay away from people. I like my odds better doing that than staying boarded up in our home. If the military or some other entity was going house to house in our area, that would probably be another scenario where I would want to be gone.

                  Natural disasters could force us to leave home. I think we would do fine without running water or electricity, but if the home itself was damaged by flood, fire, tornado, earthquake, etc. then I would rather be on the move. I don't think general rioting or looting would ever make it out this far from the city, but if the people in those neighborhoods got desperate enough they may venture over here looking for supplies. If small groups tried to break in, I think we could handle it. However, anything more than a half dozen people and we would be in trouble.

                  I am curious if anybody has any thoughts on this topic. I think we all spend time on our bug out bags and strategies, but things would have to be pretty bad before I would leave my home and the majority of my supplies.

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                  • #24
                    So my son is three years old and despite how young he is I noticed him picking up survival ideas from me. Earlier today I found out that he has been taking two blankets with him to daycare. He uses one to wrap up like a sleeping back and one to make a "shelter". I was so proud.

                    Also the other day he was playing with my tactical shovel (which he is not allowed to do), and I noticed that the compass from the end of the handle was missing. I demanded that he tell me where the compass was. He said "here daddy I will show you. It is safe and sound". He took me over to my bug out bag and pulled out a completely different compass. I was surprised that he even knew what a compass was.

                    My wife is not into survival or prepping at all, but she has picked up on quite a bit despite her best efforts. A few weeks ago she took one of those survival quizzes just for fun and practically aced it. We sometimes don't realize that just being around our loved ones and living a survival/prepper lifestyle helps prepare them as well.

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                    • Susan from Illinois
                      Editing a comment
                      My husband agrees about the need to be prepared and he is the gun, hunting, weapons expert in our family and helps to keep our ammo and gun needs up to date. But, he gives me eye rolls on some of the supplies I buy which includes everything from gas masks to cat litter(for sanitary needs). We frequently discuss world and local events and are both aware of the possibilities. Maybe you could give your insight to working with a spouse who may not be as zealous towards prepping as you are. It is not a problem for us, but would appreciate your input. I also appreciate your comments about " no dumb questions". I have often wanted to ask questions, but the one time I did I felt like an idiot with the answers I was given. Maybe your comments will help others like myself feel more comfortable asking questions. Thank you.

                    • dan_f_sullivan
                      dan_f_sullivan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hi Susan,

                      Not to hijack Ryan's thread but wouldn't your husband be ok with you getting other survival items that are not as "extreme" as a gas mask, yet could be even more important? An emergency radio, flashlights, solar panels etc. ... things that you can also use in your day-to-day life.

                  • #25
                    Susan, I appreciate your comments. I can say that it does get easier over time, but I still get some eye rolls periodically. The biggest thing for me and my wife is that I do not ask her to get involved. Sometimes she does because she wants to, but I do not ask. I have also learned that I have to limit how much I talk about world events. As a prepper and survivalist we are privy to information that the average person will not see on the nightly news. Unfortunately, most of this is negative. There was a point where I would spew that info at her constantly and she asked me to stop. She said it was bringing too much negativity into our home. In hindsight I can see she was correct. There is a fine line between knowing what is going on in the world and worrying about it all.

                    As for gear and supplies, we made two separate wish lists on Amazon and that helps. Any time I pick up a new little gadget for survival, she picks up a movie, a books, or some sewing supplies. It keeps things balanced. She knows that this is what makes me happy, so she is supportive of the things I buy. I do have to be careful not to go crazy with the purchases. Another thing I do to justify my purchases is that I find a way to use the items on a pretty regular basis. I always incorporate them into a challenge or drill. I think that she appreciates the purchases more when she sees them being put to use. I hope this helps.Please keep asking questions and ignore the haters.

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                    • #26
                      Today I planted the early season vegetables in our garden. This is our third year planting on this property and I think I've picked up a few tips that will make the yield our best ever. I started thinking about my family and friends and what they would do if SHTF. Out of my immediate family and close friends, I don't know anybody else that has a garden. Of those people, there is probably only one household that would even know how to plant and care for a garden. About half of them know how to hunt and fish, but that simply is not enough variety in your diet for long term survival.

                      Times have changed so much. I remember when I was a kid that almost everybody had a garden. Heck, my grandmother's garden was probably 5,000 square feet... well bigger than her house. I remember during the summer we would have more food than we could ever eat. We gave some away to family and then canned the rest. I don't know what is so different about our society these days, but it is scary to contemplate. If you do not know much about gardening and have the space to plant a garden, I suggest you get to work and learn what you can. It takes some tweaking to get it right, so do not wait until SHTF to get started.

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                      • #27
                        I also planted mine, peas, green beans, potatoes, beets, spinach and lettuce. Tomatoes, fruit trees and herbs are safely in my studio. We are supposed to have a two day freeze hope it doesn't ruin my efforts.

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                        • #28
                          So I am feeling pretty good today. I have a good friend of mine that has requested that I teach him and his 12 year old son the ins and outs of survival. I also have two of my nephews that have requested to join me on a survival challenge. They said they want to be just like me when they grow up and do survival challenges. I also read Advanced Bushcraft by Dave Canterbury and really saw nothing that I did not know previously. I greatly respect Dave and his expertise, so this was a huge accomplishment for me. 259 pages and no new survival revelations. Apparently my studies have paid off.

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                          • #29
                            I was talking to our daycare provider today while picking up my son. He turns 4 this weekend and as I was getting his things together he told Christi that he is excited for dinner because I went hunting and shot a deer and cut it up and now we are going to cook it and eat it. He always says "We have the meats!" like the Arby's commercial. Christi said that he is the only kid with which she works that talks about hunting, camping, or fishing and that he talks about it all day. She said it is sad that other parents do not teach their children these things, and that I should be very proud that he has taken an interest.

                            Christi's daycare is in a very rural area, and it really surprised me to hear that his playmates don't know anything about hunting, fishing, or camping. I mean I would understand if the daycare was in downtown St. Louis, but I have to drive 30 minutes out of town to get to her house. It just made me think about how many parents out there could be teaching valuable skills to their kids at a young age, but are choosing to ignore these priorities. She also mentioned that he begs to play outside whether it is sunny, raining, or snowing. He never wants to play video games or watch TV. As our society becomes more and more dependent on technology, I am afraid we are losing the skills and love of nature that was a huge part of life for hundreds of years.

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                            • #30
                              Originally posted by Ryan Dotson View Post
                              So I am feeling pretty good today. I have a good friend of mine that has requested that I teach him and his 12 year old son the ins and outs of survival. I also have two of my nephews that have requested to join me on a survival challenge. They said they want to be just like me when they grow up and do survival challenges. I also read Advanced Bushcraft by Dave Canterbury and really saw nothing that I did not know previously. I greatly respect Dave and his expertise, so this was a huge accomplishment for me. 259 pages and no new survival revelations. Apparently my studies have paid off.
                              So I was just wondering, if you would consider videoing your challenges, so we could see the how to and really share the experiences with you? Having other people with you on this and future challenges, should make it, not so laborious of a task?

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