Electronic Go-Bag

I don’t travel much and when I do its usually within about two hours from home. That’s not because I’m some shut in, I mean I am, and its also not because I’m all paranoid about the world ending while I’m away from home with all my stuff, which again, I am, but I don’t travel much because I like where I live. I live in an area that within two hours travel time I have all the stuff I like to do. Mountains, forests,  lakes, rivers, plains… I’m not much of a beach goer and if i was, the closest ocean to me is  seven hours away and generally 40 to 60 degrees year round. Most my family lives here, and the others who don’t that we do want to see live within 4 hours in either direction… so we only see them once a year or so. When I do travel, I have a few standards I take with me. One of those being an electronics gear kit.

This is not about a survival in the woods type of thing, this is an every day survival thing in this culture of electronic everything. Now I am not one of those people that feels naked and afraid without their cell phone, but it is a part of my life. It connects me to my family, immediate information, and hilarious texts when my buddy is on the toilet and runs out of toilet paper. And really, who among us hasn’t been unexpectedly stuck somewhere with your phone battery running low and wishing you could get an updated weather report… or  play another game of bejewled?

So when I do travel farther than my normal day to day activities, I have a small, handy kit that travels with me. I try to keep it simple enough to not make it a pain to remember to grab or handle, because like a huge CCW pistol, you’ll opt to leave it home when you run to the grocery store for milk. My kit lives in a MOLLE compatible bag so I can attach it to any other bag/backpack that I happen to have with me. Its large enough to hold what I need it to hold, but small enough to be able to bury it in a larger pack too. I also added a thin shoulder strap in case I want to use it stand alone for any reason. This bag is purposeful and also necessary because I can’t afford to have duplicates of all this gear in each of my different kits, so this one bag goes with whatever other setup I take for that occasion.

Inside this handy carrying bag, I keep charging cords for both apple and android style devices, a USB 12 Volt cigarette lighter adapter, and a standard USB wall plug in adapter. This wall adapter came with an Ipad or something and is a 12 Watt 2.4 Amp charger which charges extra quick compared to a regular 1 Amp plug in. Those are the items that get used the utmost – although of course I have power cords and adapters that live permanently in my truck – but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t over plan. Also included is a hand held CB radio with its charging cord and an upgraded antenna, a hand held GMRS radio that can talk to the CB radio (because what good is only one radio when you need to stay in contact with someone in your group?), a small flashlight with a red lens that can can be put on (because I’m tacticool like that), a GPS unit, a traditional compass, a watch that reads barometric pressure, temp, altitude and oh yeah, time (it was on sale), a separate external battery for the Iphone, AA batteries for all the other electronics (because I like standardization), a push to talk microphone and ear piece for the GMRS, a write in the rain pad and pen for any notes I want or need to jot down, and a cheat sheet of my local frequencies to monitor.

Seems like a lot when I list it but really it all fits in a bag about 2/3rds the size of a loaf of bread.

I don’t have a scanner or a solar panel for this kit. My phone has a scanner app which is not much in an emergency I know, but the scanner I do own while its hand held, is big and heavy so it gets left behind to save bulk and weight in my bag. While I’m sure I’ll eventually buy one, I just don’t see needing a solar charger for my uses. If I’m in the woods where there’s no power, I’m not wanting my phone anyway. Besides the fact, in reality in today’s world, you can usually walk anywhere that has power to tap into in less than an hour. The other thing that I could add and haven’t is a USB thumb drive. I suck at encryptions so I simply haven’t tossed a drive together yet.

This kit is tailored to me with the smaller items mostly having been collected over the years or included with other purchases, so it didn’t take much to throw it together, but its already been very valuable and useful in my everyday carry travels.


Where’d all the cheap surplus go?

Mosins for $79.95 ,SKS’s for $170, AK’s for under $500… yeah those days are gone. With the changing political climate, there is a possibility of them coming back, but as of right now, the cheap surplus/com bloc guns are a thing of the past… and that’s not a bad thing.

Look, I love the old, (formerly) cheap guns, but more often than not, they were a crutch, just as the cheap AR15’s are now a crutch. As an introduction and entry into military sporting and combat arms, the cheaper imported weapons were invaluable. They work(ed) and work(ed) well. Reliable, combat accurate, and more importantly, combat proven. No the Century rebuilt AK’s aren’t exactly the same standard or quality as the Russian or Chinese made offerings (damn if that isn’t a hard sentence to write), but they weren’t total crap either. I always thought AK snobs were weird people. With the affordable guns that worked, came a real negative though; people bought a very inexpensive gun, maybe grabbed some bottom dollar ammo and mags and said, “Great, I’m a shooter now!” Invariably they then bought some Tapco products to ‘upgrade’ and accessorize – here’s a hint, an AK does not need a rubber buffer pad at the back of the receiver, and you’re never going to accurize one of these guns – but then they called it good.

I’ve written about this before; people buy the cheap stuff as an introduction, and then stall out and never truly upgrade to the next platform. Well now, with the lack of ‘cheap’ soviet surplus weapons out there and the plethora of ‘cheap’ AR15’s now available, in a sense, the market is forcing people to upgrade. Am I saying the cheap AR15 is better? Heck no, it is an upgrade in a very real sense though. What it does is force people to learn about shooting and the mechanics of their tools. A hand held vice is no longer your sight adjuster and Cheaper than Dirt or the Sportsman’s Guide is no longer your source for parts.

The cheapest of AR15’s needs to be built from parts kit and its really not all that hard to do. Building your own gun forces you to learn about it. You don’t learn much when you buy some big block of a bolt action M38 where the most you have to research about is how to bake cosmoline out of the bolt in your oven or how to chuck up a cleaning rod and pad with some metal polish on it in your drill to clean up the chamber a bit so you don’t need a hammer to work the bolt after firing anymore.

Even cheap AR’s teach you about the math of sight adjustments. If you’re paying attention, it teaches you about proper stock length, and balance of where to place your sling… and how to use a sling. The AR is so customizable that people have many, many more opportunities to add or change to quality parts in their guns and see how those changes actually effect usability, accuracy, and sometimes even reliability.

I have a few cheap ARs that have done well over the years at the range. They started with bottom dollar parts and over time and use, were changed and modified all over the board. Big name 1:8 twist barrel, high dollar bolts and carriers, springs that didn’t come from a no-name overseas manufacturer, one melonite coated piston kit… do they equal a Daniel Defense after all that? No, and I wouldn’t take them into an urban combat setting expecting them to act like they did.

Yes I separate what platform I would take in an urban versus a rural environment…and if I was vehicle mounted or on foot, or on my own or with a team… I study a lot and think a lot, whatever, moving on.

Like a high end pistol with a quality red dot sight properly mounted on it, I’m not going to pretend that what I have is equal to what professional grade offerings can do. My stuff needs tweaking, I have to plan for extra batteries or a parts failure… but I honestly think that makes me a better all around shooter to be going through those steps instead of just selling a car to fund an Knights SR15 that I’d never have to look at the internals of, and that’s what I like about not having the com bloc guns so readily available anymore; it increases the legitimacy and culture of today’s shooters.

If a guy were to ask me what direction to go, having never owned anything other than a 10/22, or maybe a pump action shotgun, I would say to wait for a holiday sale and start building up an AR15. I would also yell as loudly as possible to KEEP IT SIMPLE! Your first five parts orders had better not contain a forward vertical grip, a flashlight, or a red dot sight. You need iron sights (fixed front, fold-able rear will be allowed), a sling, and a simple way to mount the sling. Do not fall down the rabbit hole of sling mounts necessitating quick detach points which then mean you need a new buttstock with a QD mount or a new foreend to bolt a QD mount to… Keep it simple!

Grab some magazines; no, no LBE or plate carrier is necessary with those mags. You get some mags, some cheap sub .35 cents per round brass cased ammo – the one place I am a snob is no steel case in my AR’s (other than 5.45 surplus in my RECCE although that is a whole different animal), and targets. Not cardboard boxes from your last amazon order, or an old wood pallet, but actual targets you can see where you are actually hitting and can make the necessary measured adjustments. You shoot and learn and if you do even one mag dump, no one is going to take you seriously and you should feel bad. That is where this newest generation of shooters should be starting… and then get yourself an AK and go carry it in the woods like a real man.

Well, since everyone else is doing it…

Yeah, I’ll post about the stupid election crap. Mine might not sound like a normal celebratory conservative’s writings though because I’m not your normal conservative; I’m actually pretty social liberal, which we’ll get to in a moment. So first,  I was not pro Trump, and I am not pro Trump. I wasn’t for the other side either. And I damn sure wasn’t for that idiot pot head Johnson who got a surprising  amount of votes on Tuesday. Well, maybe its not that surprising an amount given our culture lately. So naturally you think I was a Cruz guy, in theory, sure, I was at first, but that too faded away. The reality of it is that no one very closely matched my beliefs. So while I thought, and still think, that Trump is a weapons grade jackass, I also had two fingers of victory whiskey last night and laughed my way to the bank this morning.

My elation was not at one the one teams win, it was at the utter confusion Trump’s numbers caused. The media – NBC is who I watched – didn’t even have teams dispatched to Trump rallies because they knew, KNEW he didn’t have a chance. Any time arrogance gets kicked in the balls, I’m a fan. They just couldn’t even comprehend a loss by the other side. If I heard right, there was a record voter turnout. The talking heads on the idiot box quickly dubbed it the “white vote,” the “rural white,” the “non college educated vote,” and finally today, I heard on national public television, it is being called the “hillbilly vote” that won the election.

Now I know I’m preaching to the choir here as anyone reading this is already of the same general conservative sway that I am, but just in case, let me make it real clear; it wasn’t the hillbilly vote you arrogant asses, no, it was the American vote. Record numbers of Americans stood up and said, you know what, I’m sick of everyone else being pussies. Everyone has hurt feelings, everyone gets a trophy, its bullshit and not the god loving American way.

Record numbers of American voters came out and proclaimed that all your crying, demonstrations, the certain lives matter rioting… its the same whining that real Americans are so tired of putting up with and finally told you all to shut your fool mouths for a minute.

“Rural Americans.” You know what I hear from that? I hear the takers versus the makers. I hear the loud talkers not knowing what the foundation of this country was, and what makes this country continue to run. Not politically, I’m talking about food, infrastructure, real stuff you can hold in your hands, not the tech mogul stuff, we’re talking that non sexy stuff that all Americans are addicted to like running water and flushing toilets; jobs and how cars and refrigerators get made and put into place… and then powered.

This progressive cultural shift that’s taken all our pretty little snow flakes and turned them into helpless pussies is pathetic. “Oh hes sexist, inflammatory, racist, decisive!” Look, cards on the table, your shit is weak and you sound and act like a bunch of sore losers; man the fuck up. You are victims of your own creations and sicken over fifty percent of the country given the results of last night. Your side created the hate, manufactured it to fit within your agenda of getting your selfish way and constantly screamed about it, well its on the other foot now and yeah, you’re goign to have to deal with the backlash you created.

… and deep breath…

Ok, so here is to the part where I actually agree with some of the liberal ideals. Look, I want us to move forward, grow, expand, become better than we are, but it doesn’t take a sociologist to tell you that without a sound foundation, the heavy top of a building will fall. You need a steady base. That used to be religion, but religion is gay now. Oh wait, cant say gay anymore. My stance is a strong, fiscally favorable base that a population can then expand from. Its running a house hold; either pay your bills first and be conscious of your budget,or all those life experience vacations are going to bankrupt you and leave you homeless. Of course I want to go on vacation, but you have to earn it;  and yall didn’t earn it yet.

In general, I govern myself with the old adage of, if its not breaking my legs or emptying my wallet, do your thing and I’ll do mine. I think a lot of people like me, the quiet little guys who aren’t really represented by anyone, finally said, yo bitch, you’ve stepped on my toes a few times and I shrugged it off, but its time to rein your happy feet in a little.

As far as the freakouts go, first, blow your nose, stand up straight and try respecting yourself as a grown ass person for a moment. No one is going to take your same sex marriage away. You might have to deal with the fact that in a  free market you cant send someone to jail because they don’t want to serve you though. And you know what, then you don’t use them, you tell your friends not to use them, but your legs aren’t broke, your wallet is still full, and I guarantee there’s a better baker around the corner anyway.

Your social programs aren’t going to suddenly disappear either. Their tentacles are too far wrapped into the system to stop having tax payer money funneled into those programs which benefit people other than the ones paying for them. You might have to participate a little more, or god forbid put some work in, but we did not become America the Great by dragging dead weight along and saying it was ok. “I know, I know, its hard and unfair little Buttercup, now here’s your broom, go sweep the aisles and you can get a starting wage for it, not a living wage, you’ll have to do better than the bare minimum to make a living wage, this is a starting wage.”

Oh and your daddy isn’t going to get sent away either… unless hes a criminal. No really, he might find it a little harder to stay an illegal citizen, working here, not going through the proper channels that are asked of anyone wanting to immigrate and assimilate into this country, but he’ll have his opportunity to do whats right. If he makes the choice not to, then welcome to the real world.

“Racist! Sexist! Bigot!”

Sorry, you’re inability to refute history or the steps necessary for the progression of a healthy modern society doesn’t break my legs or empty my wallet. Shut your whining mouth, read a book and strap on a pair if you want to be heard.

It is my belief that in this election, people, Americans, those rural hillbillies that somehow took all three levels of the government, they weren’t voting FOR him, or AGAINST her, they were voting against the system as it is. Personally, I think too many people took Trump to literally and hated him for it. They took him literally, but not seriously. Well some, and I will admit, some people in their ignorance took his literal words of bigotry and that fed them, but some Americans took him seriously, and not literally and that’s who voted last night. They seriously saw a chance to tell the progressive system of big government that it was time to slow up a bit cause it was way too big for its britches. Trump has proven to be a pretty literal brand of jackass; he might stick with his selfish, off the cuff, knee jerk, ego driven words, and that really wont surprise me. I’m an actions over words guy through, so I’m going to give him a chance.


Free Book Friday…

…and Saturday.


Putting the third book in my series out there for a free download. Please scoop it up, read it if you want to,  a review on amazon would be great, and share the freebie and the whole series with your social medial if you would. Hope you enjoy!


Fall Update

I’ve had a distinct lack of blogging lately that I’m all too aware of so I thought I’d drop a line just to toss it out there. As a non-professional writer with a day job, I don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like to with everything else. Lately, enjoying and using the last days of summer and fall have taken up most my time and energy. A logging truck load of twelve cords of firewood to process, a late season backpacking trip, a pain in the butt car I’ve finally rehabbed enough to fire off, yet not drive, oh and the family too, have been where most all of my focus has been… although not all of it. I have been writing quite a bit and after the relatively lackluster performance of my first attempt at a series, I think I’m finally evolving to the next level – a baby step in the authoring world, but the next level for me none the less.

While the fires are lit, I’m making headway on my next story and have much more defined outlines for another two which will be a little more of a return to the dystopian realm where I started. I’m hesitantly excited for those. Hesitant because I just haven’t seen much of a following gather around my previous work. I have a couple facebook friends and a couple less followers of this blog, which I’m not complaining about, just have to keep my expectations in check. Once I start to slow down on the new stuff, I’ll take a break and get the old stuff maybe a little more spruced up, trying to make it attractive again. Also will be seriously looking at changing the way I do things as far as self publishing goes for this next book at least. Doesn’t hurt to shop anyway.

I would like to do a few more articles/posts back about preparedness in the real world again so look for those too. I’m trying to not let the current political climate direct any of my thinking; no hoarding more than normal for me. More so just some thoughts on my non-producing garden this year, some shooting and drill reviews, maybe some thoughts on simplification and how it can help in the SHTF plans we all think about.

None of these posts are going to be very wrapped up in whole politics thing right now, I just refuse. I’m not watching the debates, I’m not even watching the news in the morning anymore when all the lead headlines are which (non)celebrities got invited to sit in the front rows. It’s all mindless, inconsequential crap. Neither candidate reflects my views and I can’t stand to watch or listen to the arrogant, practiced debater with that swarmy, pretentious political grin, or the blithering idiot who can’t string one complete sentence together, and especially not one coherent counterpoint. It’s a lose lose and I’m going to refuse to lose by concentrating on getting my house ready for winter instead. Its frustratingly freeing, you should try it.

Thanks for reading. Tell your friends. Buy a tee shirt. Write something today.


  • Ian

Officers down

A pregnant lady just asked me a little bit ago, “why’s all this happening?”

I was – am – just pissed off enough to tell her the truth. “Because everyone is a pussy.”

We all want peace, but it doesn’t come lightly. The world has never been a nice place. From the beginning of recorded time, it has not been a peaceful, happy go lucky, easy peasy world. It is how you handle the not nice part that keeps things peaceful. Yeah a utopia with no violence or evil or thoughts of violence or evil would be great. But that is not a real fucking thing. It IS NOT obtainable. Violence remains. Violence persists. The only way to stem that violence, to quell it, is to have the harder line. It is dropping a nuke on Japan and 70 years later they still are itching to be economic and trade allies with us. Why? Because they respected our strength to do what had to be done and our un-anxious willingness to do it again.

Tonight’s killings of police offices in Dallas doesn’t shock me. It’s been getting worse and worse each year. People have no respect for one another and especially none for police or people in authority. You have tons of mental patients walking the streets. Then you throw in all the drugs people are burning their minds out on, plus tons of families that are broken. Daddy is in jail or prison, mommy is either a drug addict and still using when  pregnant or wishes she was and only sees contempt for having to grow up and become some low functioning form of an adult. Don’t worry, you can still talk on your cell phone during a movie, wear pajamas out in public, and not stand when a flag passes because the only reason you took your Ritalin addled little bastards to the Armed Forces parade was for the free candy.

I see this everyday. Nobody wants to work and they want everything, or are just in a holding pattern to inherit what mommy and daddy worked for their whole lives. That’ll fix it and change everything!  I’ve seen it. First hand. Most people that come to jail think they are doing nothing wrong. Seriously, it’s not about them screwing up and getting caught. Yeah right! This is all becoming a really bad, really sad joke.

Recently I denied someone a clearance on a background check. They became indignant and started in on how the man is holding them down. They wanted their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness! It aint guaranteed. You get a chance to pursue it here, you aren’t guaranteed jack shit.

So yes, look for your reasons. Talk of hugs and loving everyone and how inanimate objects are evil and corporations and interest groups are the problem, but don’t say it to me; I wont say a damn word in return. I get what it takes to be strong and live in the real world.

Book 3, Crossing Blurred Lines… and other stuff.

Alright sports fans, time again for the main event…

After a LOT of long, long hours, days (mostly nights), and many, many words, I bring you the third book in the series!

CBL Cover

This, is Crossing Blurred Lines! (Did anyone read that in a Ryan Seacrest “This, is American Idol” voice? Man I hope so.)

The official blurb:

Tired, beat down, discouraged, and without hope, but not done yet.The raids had been getting worse; more frequent, more organized, more devastating. A group of peacekeepers was brought in, and then they got their man. In this, the third installment of Ian Daniels’ pioneering series, we see that the pendulum of life catches up to everyone. Branded an outlaw and forced to run, doing the right thing is usually still pretty simple. Living with having done the right thing seems to be the hard part… until you realize you’re too fed up to care anymore. Blurred lines don’t just get crossed, they get trampled, as events set in motion long ago are attempted to be set right. Hero’s don’t survive, and the villains won’t either. Will you?

My blurb:

Fart jokes, bewbs, and shootin’ shit.

Ok fine, I’ll quit screwing around. Honestly yes, I again wrote this for an audience of one: myself. As has been shown with the success of the other books though, I’m not the only one who likes a somewhat plausible guilty pleasure action story set in an end of the world scenario. I am a student of collapsing nations around the globe and the literary world I have created I do not feel is very implausible, and sometimes not all that far off either. It would take one, one big time disaster domino to set it all off, or in my estimation, we just slide and slide and slide until Argentina, The Balkans, Greece, and most war torn African nations all look like nice places to vacation compared to what the US could become.

I am also a student of counter terror with a focus on the now outdated practice of physical reconnaissance. The characters I tried to bring to life are not all super soldiers, know-it-alls, or the type that everything works out ok for; I tried to keep them real. You know what is real in my world? Levity. A long time ago I dislocated both of my thumbs at the same time, you know what my buddy asked me? How in the world was I going to wipe my butt? He wasn’t exactly volunteering either. I did not base these characters on myself or my life, they are just creations of my overly imaginative distraction rattled brain. I’m a day dreamer, but I do feel that I made these characters more real and relatable than many other characters in many other books Ive read.

The Synopsis:

When we last left our group (remember Against the Grain, the first book?), some much needed help had arrived. Getting the families set up and working together was no easy task, but it was the best way, possibly the only way, to truly survive.

Fast forward a few months or a year (ha ha, I purposefully made everything ambiguous…), and the combined families of the Harris’, the Meehans, and a few other notable cast members (RJ and Megan to name a few) are beginning to figure out just what it takes and how to live in this type of world without failing left and right. It takes strength, guts, ingenuity and a little bit of luck.

Well luck runs a little shorter for some then it does for others. Driven out and trying to avoid completely being on the run, we find out that the Ranch families are not the only ones who have developed a community around themselves. Some of the groups and places are small and well mannered, some not so much. In such a relatively isolated section of the country, they are all seemingly interconnected if not by similar ideas or practices, then by actual intentional links of planning through trade.

For someone that has always only wanted to go his own way, continually being forced into participating in other peoples problems puts a strain on even someone that is really only trying to do the right thing. Whats left when the smoke and dust finally settles? Someone who held true to his convictions no matter what the cost, or someone who finally took the easy way and let what he was good at out to run free, kick ass, and take names later?

This, is Crossing Blurred Lines! (Sorry, had to do it.)

I set the release for Monday, June 20th 2016, and am hoping to book bomb it on that day to get the most views and buys and trigger Amazon’s algorithm that will start getting it moving along all the shared channels and networks. I could really use everyone’s help with sharing all this across any and every social media source you have. I’ll be working on the the guerilla marketing from my end and am going to try to not annoy people too much on forums, Facebook and Twitter, but again, I would love the help if anyone can share, like, or better yet, put a post out yourselves.

Preorder now or buy it on Amazon on Monday… or you know, whenever, as long as you get a copy, but Monday the 20th would be a good date to do it.

Oh and for anyone who has missed out on the first two,  I combined them into one so you can get caught up on the story without paying for each individually.
Combination front cover.jpg

Buy it here on Amazon

I’ll get the paperback versions of both Crossing Blurred Lines and the combo book up shortly, they take a little longer to link into Amazon. I think 7-10 days is the number usually given. The Buying Stuff and Contacting Me page of this site has links to buying them both on other medias for that .01% of people that don’t use Amazon for everything.

A final thought:

I cannot express how much I appreciate the continued interest from everyone. Seeing these stories shared and talked about really makes it worthwhile for fledgling hobby writers such as myself to put the work in. I have been contacted by so many of you and really want to say thank you to every individual person who has kept the conversation going. It ignites the incentive to keep writing more than you will ever know. To those who have been inspired to write your own books after reading some of mine as you have shared with me, congratulations, and I’m sorry. Its a roller coaster, but hell, what else were we doing with our down time anyway? Hope you guys enjoy this next (final?) installment.

– Ian Daniels



Thanks everybody!