I was just thinking….

Not really sure why I started thinking about this tonight. When I was 14 years old I was an avid reader of SURVIVE Magazine and American Survival Guide. Yeah – maybe being 14 and worried about a nuclear war between the Soviets and the United States was a bit unusual but I was not the usual teenager. Anyways I really looked forward to a new issue coming out every month,

I can still remember many articles from way back then (80’s). One article in particular was a review on the Armalite AR-180. The author went through the normal description of the gun with all the specs and how you take it down and reassemble and all.  At one point he described a boating trip he went on. If I remember right it was a large pontoon and a couple families were on board with separate sleeping quarters. He described how he had a suitcase and within his AR-180 was safely tucked away. If you are unfamiliar the AR-180 was an AR alternative that had a folding stock. Due to this feature it was easily concealed inside the suitcase.


Now – I am getting somewhere with all of this.

Whenever I travel I am armed. Generally it is a pistol with a total of three magazines and a couple hundred rounds of ammunition. I do know people that travel on vacation to Myrtle Beach and the like with an AR in the trunk along with magazines and their loadout vest. To be honest my wife would seriously question me if I threw in my AR, vest, 8 magazines, 400 rounds of ammunition, and a cleaning kit beside the cooler and suitcases to head to the beach for the weekend. So – my Smith & Wesson M&P9 pistol is what comes with.

What are your thoughts? I mean, I have considered the possibility that if the SHTF (whatever that is) and I am out on the road I would like to have more than just my M&P. Then again it likely would not be the best thing to do depending on the severity of the SHTF to go walking around with an AR slung over my shoulder. That may attract unneeded attention. Well….then again it may be just what is needed.

Oh man….maybe I just need to stay at home. That’s it honey – no more vacations!!


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  1. I am waiting for my wife to get ready before we head out to a theme park to meet up with grand kids. Yesterday I was going through my SUV storage area and considering whether or not to take out my AR 15. In my travel vehicle, I keep a complete Get Home Kit to include, a get home pack, (Snug Pack) and another pack holding my Kel Tec Sub 2K, Load out vest with (3) 30 rnd Mags (9mm) and 3 Glock 17 mags for the Glock 26 that is also in the bag. All of this gear is in a large rolling military duffle. I also have a load out vest for the AR 15 in this bag. Up front in the drivers area I have my Glock 19 with an extra Glock 17 mag.

    Is this overkill? Probably so, but if I have the room why not take it to help insure me getting home, one way or the other. Wherever I go my underlying objective is to always to get home where I have my stores and other survival gear.

    Now to top this off, you need to know that I am a 71 year old man and that is a lot of gear to hump. In the car, I have a fold up bike trailer that will easily carry a hundred pound load out, and I do plan on acquiring a bike, if I am stranded without the car. Until I “Acquire” a bike (s) , the cart works like a golf bag pull behind. The extra vests/weapons can be carried by my wife or whoever else may be with me. The extra backpack holding, the Sub 2k etc, is for use by my wife or other companion (s). I do consider the aspect of attempting to keep a low profile, so I carry large rain jackets to go over vests, and can keep the long weapons in the bags until needed to deploy.

    I am a 40 year Local/Federal Law enforcement retiree plus a stint with the 6th Special Forces Group in my early years. I do not consider myself paranoid, just prepared! I will get home!



    • Thanks for the words Chuck.

      I like your thinking and I would surmise that I am on one end of the load out spectrum while you are way on the other. In my mind I need to head your way. I like the idea of the Sub-2000 with compatibility of magazine and ammunition with the pistol. The Sub-2000 or similar firearm is small and could be easily “concealed” in a small “go bag”. This could make it a bit easier dealing with the wifey.

      Good idea on the bike carrier as well as the rain poncho/ Although – if it is not raining the rain poncho may be a bit out of place. How about the Mexican…um….I am not sure what it is called but it is basically a poncho made out of a burlap-type fabric?

      Thanks – Rourke

  2. Well, I was going to make a comment, but Chuck just blew me away. Wow…

    Anyway, I was thinking of putting a permanent gun rack behind the back seat of my pick-up. That way I would always have my battle rifle. The only problem with that is how much of this gear would I be willing to lose in a traffic stop? That’s why I only carry one gun. With a load out like Chucks, I would end up UNDER the jail.


    • I see your point Chuck. Living here in South Carolina it would depend on the officer as to whether or not I got in trouble. Technically here all firearms when being transported are to be in a locked container. A glove box is acceptable or a vehicle trunk will work. Now – driving a SUV to the range and an AR is sitting in the back: the law is broken. Driving a pick up truck and a shotgun is behind the seat – the law is broken. I have talked to several cops who do not enforce such a law when they come across such a condition if the reason for the stop is minor. Cross over the border to North Carolina and they require all firearms to be exposed when transporting. Interesting how two states right next to each other can be so different in their laws.


  3. I split the baby and usually take a Beretta Storm in .40 S&W. Not as much range as a rifle caliber but more accurate than a pistol.

    • I like those DrSique. I had a Marlin Camp 9 years ago and found the carbine length barrel provided excellent accuracy out to at least 100 yards. Wish they still made it.



  4. I’ve probably mentioned this before elsewhere.
    I always carry a cased .45 Uzi carbine with mags, my 72 hr. Alice pack, My patrol size corpsman’s bag,2 cases of water and get home tote for the jeep. That leaves me grocery space with the 4 seat config. in my jacked up urban battle cruiser Jeep. Also a Makarov in the glove box w/50 rounds and two mags and whatever I am carrying that day , a glock or my Detonics and usual EDC pocket litter. I am regularly two hours away from home all over the state on back country roads. BTW, none of this is open to curious eyes. The Uzi is a nice compromise from my ARs that will still reach out and hurt ya’. Most of my friends have followed my lead and pack a similar load out.

  5. One more thing, I carry a GHB, I work 50 miles away from where I live. Say we did have a SHTF scenario that kept me from driving and I decided to walk it home, If I was seen in full battle gear, Vest, pack, side arm, and rifle, I would be busted so fast it’s not funny. The State troopers, Local Sheriff’s Deputies, local PD’s, would slap my butt in jail so fast it would make you head spin. But, just a pack and a side arm WITH my concealed carry license, I just might stand a chance of getting by.

    It’s hard to stuff an AR-15 in your back pack.


  6. A pistol, a couple of mags, and a couple hundred rounds of ammo should be good to take on a trip. The purpose of the pistol is to fight your way to a battle rifle.
    Although going to Myrtle Beach these days in dangerous, I recently read an article about the 50 most dangerous cities in America, and Myrtle Beach was #7 right there in the middle of places like Detroit, Chicago, ST. Louis and Memphis. Going to Myrtle Beach these days you may want to take a tank.

  7. What a great topic, all have had great posts that help us all to re-think our own prep’s.
    A big High Five to all!! ,,,,Thanks to all of you!!


  8. I always have my Glock 23 with me, I used to also have my Sub 2000 in my GHB,but now have opted to an AR pistol. Normally my trips to SC consist of those items, plus my wife’s glock 26 and my backup TCP. 380. Guess I overkill on personal protection, but I would rather be safe than sorry.

  9. Rourke maybe a locking gun case would be your answer to the SUV dalema, I have several sniper riffles and the hard cases I buy are lockable, I think in the simplest terms of the law, they want to be shure you don’t act out of anger with a firearm, by having them in a locked compartment of some sort they believe this will take time to access, as well as allow time for you to cool down before reaching them, whereas other states would rather they be in plain sight to alert any officers of potential danger…. Not saying I agree with it, just my perception of the laws

  10. Years ago I gave my husband a copy of a book that stated gun laws for every state. Yes its amazing how they vary!!!
    We used to take our family to Cape Cod for a 4 day vacation.-not anymore.Now we do local
    fun . We are older and have some moboility issues and just do not want to be caught very far from home.Those of you who still go-enjoy as soon this may end. I have a gut sense that
    the ISIS terrorists will hit NYC within a year in a major manner. We will shelter in place
    -no matter what. We live about 5 hrs north of NYC. Wish we lived elsewhere.
    Everyone have a very meaningful 4th of July !!!! Arlene

  11. If I am flying, then in addition to a pistol, I almost always have a SUB-2000 as size and weight restrictions make anything else impractical. It fits (folded) in a regular hard-side suitcase.As the suitcase is a hard side and lockable, it needs no other case, although it will fit in my briefcase when folder as well. I chose 9mm, again for the weight restrictions.

    If I am driving, then I usually have a Keltec SU-16 in .223 as I prefer the distance capabilities of it.

    If I am forced to travel to one of “those states” that think self defense is a crime and have evil black gun bans, then I usually switch to a revolver and a lever action carbine in a pistol caliber. It’s just really hard to look like an evil tactical badguy with a “John Wayne” rifle, and everyone knows that you can’t kill anything with a revolver as it just doesn’t carry enough rounds to kill anything.

  12. My pickup truck is equipped with a locking aluminum bed width box (http://www.amazon.com/Weather-Guard-654501-All-Purpose-Aluminum/dp/B00279NDNI/ref=sr_1_15?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1404138319&sr=1-15&keywords=weatherguard+aluminum+pickup+tool+box#productDetails). When I travel, this box holds BoB, extra food and water, M1A Scout and ammo, plate carrier or chest rig, and the like. Vehicles are quickly and easily broken into by punching the door lock and the aftermarket box gives me some peace of mind when leaving the vehicle unattended. Advertised as having an ‘automotive style’ lock, I found the weatherguard lock to be above average and decidedly superior to automotive door locks. For extra security, boxes like these could be equipped with hasp locks but such scream ‘valuables inside, steal me’. I like the below the bed top profile of this box and it easily accommodates a camper top. My truck is a long bed and an thin style aftermarket fuel tank (http://www.amazon.com/Dee-Zee-DZ91752-Rectangle-Transfer/dp/B000CIY1BO/ref=sr_1_7?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1404138831&sr=1-7&keywords=pickup+truck+fuel+tank) will fit between the front of the bed and tool box without interfering with a gooseneck ball hitch mounted over the rear axle. With this tank, my truck has about a 1000 mile range at highway speeds.

    Of course the wife and I travel with our pistols and the like in the cab.


  13. I saw my first AR180 sometime in the late 1960s. It was love at first sight and I knew that I had to have one. The folding stock was neat but ungainly for other than small space storage. Modern collapsable stock M4 platforms are much superior albeit a tad lengthier.

    I keep one of the M4 pistol variants and an abbreviated BoB in my short trip Toyota FJ. I found that with practice, the pistol version is fairly accurate and has a even a smaller form factor than the AR180.

    My wife would be shocked if we traveled out of the county by vehicle with less than 200 pounds of valuable equipment, luggage not included.


  14. I remember qualifying with the AR-18 back in the 70’s, being a southpaw I preferred the actuator on the right side so I could rack it, with my supporting hand.

  15. I’ve been drooling over this gun for years now finally have an FF L that has it and I’d like them, as far as 5.56 goes this has the definitions I’ve been looking for, BUT, before I skeeze the trigger tomorrow I’d like to here your thoughts (expecaily rourke) but everyone in general, what do you guys think, sig 5.56 DMR, I’d appreciate any and all feedback, I’m paying $1780.00

  16. We live in the Northeast. We were invited to a wedding in Alabama in October 2012. Everyone wanted to fly down and back. NOT ME. I could not take all my survival supplies on the plane. So, we drove, roughly a 1000 miles down and another grand back. We had to research all the state laws to see where our CCW reciprocates. There were times we had to stop, unload the guns, separate the ammo and move them out of reach from the passenger sections of the vehicle. I have a few “batteries” of weapons. I do NOT lug my “A” list around with me. Those guns are to defend our home. I do keep weapons in the vehicle, along with Get Home Bags, extra ammo, food and water. These firearms are more geared for survival than offensive military operations. The Get Home Bags are actually built or set up around the weapons system. For instance, I converted a range bag for my S&W Governor revolver into a survival kit. I stuffed the pockets of the Ruger 10/22 Takedown bag with camping/outdoor items. My web gear (with buttpack) is a stand alone kit. I stuffed an AR-7 .22 LR in a backpack that serves as a Get Home Bag, too. Counting the EDC pocket pistols my wife and I carry everywhere, a Ruger Security-6 .357 MAG within reach in the cab and a Savage 24J .22LR/.20GA in the back, each member of the family has a handgun and long gun should we need them.

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