Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Global Skywatch

Bitterroot emergency comms

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, once again I address the subject of what do you do when your phones and Internet stop working? Wonder and Nothing useful Are the two answers most people will default to. I know I am unusual in planning and preparing for such a scenario. I not only think of ME and mine, but want others to have value in their radios as well. So I produce an attractive, sturdy laminated card that they just might keep with their two-way radio enabling them to find value in it when no other means of mid-range communication is available. I hereby introduce GEN III of my cards. I will distribute as widely as […]

You’re Bugging Out, Are You? Dude, You’re Not Going Anywhere

This is a very good challenge to the bug-out guys. Many things to consider. The video touches on some.

personal and community emergency planning

I am going to clip and link several articles that I found enlightening, thoughful and worth the visit. As sometimes happens here, I have been sitting on these links trying to build them into articles of my own. Today I stop sitting on them … or as referenced in my prior post, I got my Round Tuit. A Practical Approach To A Neighborhood Defense Plan by Noell Bishop … Lets start this by identifying what the possible threats are that would lend us to need a Neighborhood Defense plan. Keep in mind, one threat or one event can lead to other threats or events. With North Korea and Iran still in the nuclear game, I feel that an Electromagnetic Pulse […]

Bitterroot emergency comms plan

BEARS, that is the Bitterroot Emergency Amateur Radio Services, works towards having viable communication resources in place when our neighborhood most needs it. A radio and operator are useless without another radio and operator at the other end. Two-way radio is by definition a sending and receiving operation. The more operators on the network, the better our information is and the wider we can spread it. Likely more than 99% USofA adults ASSUME their phones and wi-fi devices will never fail them. In real-life emergencies, they are nearly always shocked and hopeless because those systems do fail. I print, laminate and distribute 4″ x 5″ cards with information enabling unused radios in the hands of unpracticed operators to receive and […]

Bitterroot Emergency Radio Plan

BEARS, that is the Bitterroot Emergency Amateur Radio Services, works towards having viable communication resources in place when our neighborhood most needs it. A radio and operator are useless without another radio and operator at the other end. Two-way radio is by definition a sending and receiving operation. The more operators on the network, the better our information is and the wider we can spread it. Likely more than 99% USofA adults ASSUME their phones and wi-fi devices will never fail them. In real-life emergencies, they are nearly always shocked and hopeless because those systems do fail. I print, laminate and distribute 4″ x 5″ cards with information enabling unused radios in the hands of unpracticed operators to receive and […]

flood, flood, flood … food will be a problem

On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned that “historic, widespread flooding” would “continue through May”. I see they have been reading The Bitterroot Bugle. I said the same thing on March 1st and in more detail on March 10th with my essay flood warning. The talking heads masquerading as meteorologists are SHOCKED, surprised and so-on by this devastation. Are they stupid or complicit? I doubt they are stupid. I look at the geo-stationary-satellite images seeing quite clearly the manipulation causing the historic weather disasters. Their training and available tool-sets probably exceed mine. They can’t not see it. Unfortunately, they also cannot talk about it and retain their jobs… which they obviously like more than their integrity. If you […]

NVIS amateur radio antennas

Unless we are on a mountain peak or Kansas flatlands with line-of-sight views of everyone we want to talk with, there are barriers resisting our two-way communications. With our Very High Frequency (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radios we compensate by installing specialized radio systems (repeaters) on high ground to repeat signals over a much wider area than we can reach from our own radios. These can extend our VHF and UHF ranges to 50 miles or so. Repeaters are both expensive and could be a weak link in emergency comms – that is they may not be working in certain disaster scenarios. Amateurs with General or Amateur Extra class licenses can use their High Frequency (HF) radios to […]

gear reviews

I have read of, seen photos and videos of five star rating factories in China. It used to be that eBay, Amazon and others gave shoppers great value in their reviews and ratings. Price being equal, purchasing equations favored online because the ratings and reviews led you from the poorly designed or constructed to the good stuff. No more. Large buildings stuffed with cheap computers, great Internet access and hundreds of full-time low-wage workers crank out reviews for products undeserving of one five star rating, let alone thousands of them. An average review rating of 4 1/2 stars may well mean ten honest one-star review being overwhelmed by the manufacturer’s ratings factory. Reviews now read like e-mail or Craigslist scams: […]

Why Are Why Are We Seeing So Many Bare Shelves at Grocery Stores Across the Country?

By Samantha Biggers – from DC Dirty Laundry   Over the past few months, my husband and I have kept an eye on the store shelves in our area. We don’t shop daily or even weekly, but the trend of increasingly bare shelves has been incredibly disturbing. This made me curious as to what others have been experiencing. As a member of various online prepping communities, I see a lot of conversations and concerns, but one thing that has stood out to me is the amazing number of people chiming in to report sparse or bare shelves or just not being able to find a specific item they like. We visited many different stores. Over several months we visited […]

big picture planning

A good friend was rambling on about his latest knowledge seeking topic. He is a major fan of YouTube learning, often following a particular subject down whatever rabbit holes they lead to. He is very intelligent, retaining near-encyclopedic knowledge on an impressively wide range of topics. But he does lose focus on his own priorities from time to time. Yesterday evening was one of those. So I brought my white board into play. I scribed and organized while he gave me his list and quantified the items there. His list is not the subject I want to share with you. I encourage you, on the other hand, to go through the process occasionally. White boards, chalk boards, super-sized computer displays […]

an overview of prepping

I just read an excellent essay that was one man’s prepping journey from its panicked beginnings to a thoughtfully organized approach. He is not pretending to know it all or be finished with his own preparations for CHANGE. He has, however, brought in some really cool analysis, approaches, and tools for the journey. I am going to encourage you to read it at backdoorsurvival.com, while I publish a few excerpts to give you a hint of why you should go there. – Ted Prepper Goals and Winter Projects by James Walton … Theme your Preparedness Future We all need motivation. While prepping can come on hot and heavy it doesn’t take long for the tentacles of complacency to weave their […]

travel kits

How many examples have you heard or read about where people slid off the road in the winter and had so survive (or not) days before being rescued? … or walking out to rescue? How many of these tales before you actually prepare to land on the side of “survived” rather than “perished”? I finally had enough. Today I began reviewing what I had set up and was using, or not using. Completely inadequate was the early conclusion. I had lots of pieces kinda-sorta geared up, but I wasn’t even using the bits I had. My get home bag was always home, even when I was not. My winter slide-off, survive a below freezing winter night bag also stayed home […]

shot placement

I have spent significant time with shooters and instructors thereof. There is much to know and always more to learn. Then of course there is practice, practice, practice. Having the right equipment is agreed by all to be a critical foundation. But there is a major factor they all leave out that is far more important than everything they teach. Communication. The world’s best shooting team is useless in the wrong place. A gaggle of tolerable shooters, acceptably equipped, in the right place is far more valuable. Surprisingly, almost none of the tacti-cool shooters and trainers I have met are radio guys. They strive and drive to get themselves and their shooters to put bullets on target in a wide […]

GMRS radio hardware

Tytera MD-390 $160I recommend GMRS radios as a backbone community communications system. I published a recommendation for handheld radios back in April this year… see http://www.bitterrootbugle.com/2018/04/08/handheld-radio-recommendation/. I will not repeat all of that detail or links here. I have not changed my suggestion, but am documenting more hardware in this post to make for a complete home and mobile set for the family. Your first move into GMRS radio is, according to me, getting a TYT MD-390 for $160. Everything built in. One tidy package. One modest price. For $25 and up you can get various BAOFENG models that can do two-way GMRS communications. Those are quite different in operation and have a learning curve that frustrates many new owners […]