Saturday, December 15, 2012

Infidel Body Armor

Hey everyone.  I've been busy testing and building the new website.  I've got most of the products listed (with prices) and a few videos. Please checkout and spread the word.

This is my second website and I've gained a little knowledge of what it takes to get Google to like you.  I need to get hits and I need to get people to post links (in context) about my site on blogs, forums, and social media.  So, I'd really appreciate the exposure if you wouldn't mind sharing my links and videos across the web.  :)

The armor will be ready for sale January 2013.  But don't let that stop you from checking out the site now.  I've spent many long hours at it, and I know there's still a few spelling errors and mis-types.  If you see something that needs fixing, please let me know.

Why Body Armor? I reached a point in my prepping that I decided that I needed body armor.  Being the entrepreneur that I am, I decided I'd make my own.  I've created several prototypes with the goal of creating a durable hard plate that will take hundreds of hits and still keep working- something that's a must in a grid down SHTF situation where you can't go purchase another plate.  I also wanted it to be affordable for preppers.  Most preppers prep on a budget and don't have access to unlimited funds.

My mindset is:  I purchased a battle riffle and train with it with the expectation  that I will be in a firefight one day.  If I'm going to be in a firefight, I'm going to want to wear body armor.  (Who wouldn't?)

So, if you own a rifle and plan on being in a gun fight someday, then it only makes sense that you'd spend at least $300 on a set of body armor.  Arm yourself and Armor Up!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Infidel Body Armor Test #1 video.

This is a video of some of the testing we did yesterday on my prototype body armor.  We've got a few changes to make, but I'm very confident we'll have a product ready for sale in the next few weeks.  I'll be selling this at  The idea is that the plates are encapsulted in hardened plastic coating and that traps the bullet fragements.  
The first shot was a 30-06, followed by 7.62x54r, then .223, and then .223 green tiped (semi armor pierceing).  Then AK 7.62x39, and then 357 Mag and 45 cal.
On the second shot, the coating failed along the edges and did not contain all the fragments.  We believe that this is an easy fix, as we applied very little coating on the edge.  I expect that adding more coating will completely fix the problem.
Comments welcome.  Sorry about the wind noise.  Please share.
Each plate weighs 7lb. 
Each plate is 1/2" thick (the plate is 1/4" hardened steel and it has a 1/4" anti spall coating).
The plates (2) will cost under $300.
Yes, it is patent pending.
Yes, I'm also selling the vests to carry them.
Each plate is 10x12" and has a 20 degree curve.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Here's why you want Anti-Spal coating on your armor.  Anything less is pointless.

BTW, this is my new company.  The website is still "in the works", but we should be ready for sales in early 2013.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Body Armor coming soon

We're getting closer and closer to our first production run of body armor. The AR500 Steel was laser cut today. It'll have the curves put in tomorrow (after deburring and rounding the edges). Then it's off to get them coated with anti-spalling material. (Do yourself a favor and DO NOT buy steel armor plates that haven't been treated with an anti-spalling coating. The bullet fragmentation WILL injure you and possibly kill you and/or the

people next to you.)


I invited an ex-special forces guy over today and let him handle and examine our carriers. He was impressed and agreed that they were high quality. He'll also be part of the test team when we go out to the range to shoot these plates with everything we can.


We're planning on surpassing the SAPI Mil Spec standard. Which means it will take at least 3 hits from .223 and 7.62 armor piercing rounds and .308 full metal jacket.

Pics will follow as I get them. Pricing will be reasonable- the whole point of me doing this is the belief that I could create a better product than that's currently on the market, AND do it more economically.


I started out by thinking, "What's the next stage of preparedness?". My answer was either chem suits or body armor. In my end of the world vision, I foresee then need for armor to defend against armed gangs and looters before a military attack (al-la Red Dawn).

So, I started researching and I discovered that I needed a material that would be good for multiple rifle hits and be durable. (I previously wore body armor as a LEO and it was only good against pistols.) Ceramic was out of the question due to its non-durable nature and the fact that it is designed to be replaced after a few hits. In a post collapse era, there will be no replacements.


That left steel armor. The military uses steel armor for their vehicles and other uses. The mil spec is clearly defined and achievable with regularly available AR500 steel (same steel used for front end loaders and bulldozer). I did some more reading and watching and found out that the bullet does not vaporize (as some claim), but actually fragments into small, but deadly, pieces that can wound or kill you.


Further research led me know learn that there are several products on the market (mostly available for the military and private security companies) that coat the steel and prevent the fragmentation (also called spalling) Spall can actually refer to the bullet fragments and any fragmentation from the armor itself. I contracted with a company that manufactures this anti-spall product and all of our plates will be coated with the material. It will also serve to prevent wear of the plate carrier.


How much does it weigh? Each plate will be 10 x 12 and the combined weight (front and back) is approximately 14 pounds. Not bad considering what it will protect you from.


I'll be posting videos and photos as we take them and keep you all posted. I'm very excited about this product and hope that you all will see the need for the armor. As a prior military and law enforcement veteran, I will not produce an inferior product; especially when someone's life depends on it. If my tests fail, we won't sell it as body armor (maybe someone would want a target?). LOL


But, I will post the video proof and all the evidence I can show that these are the real deal (assuming they are). I am not (at least at this point) going to get these tested by the NIJ or DoD. Why? Their labs charge tens of thousands of dollars for the testing. I'm focused on keeping the price low for you. If I did the official testing, my product would be hundreds more, and that would price out the people that actually need it the most. I don't have a firm price yet, but I'm thinking each plate will be ~$150. "But don't some places sell it cheaper!?" Yes, but their plates aren't coated and are probably produced in China. Ours is coated and is 100% made in the USA.


That's it for now. Stay tuned and please spread the word. I expect these to go on sale in early January at my website



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Financial Preparedness

Hey fans,

Been a little while since I've written anything on the blog.  I've been busy developing my e-commerce website and building a new one.  I've added a credit card processor to (instead of PayPal).  All of this work is intended to help me become more financially prepared, and is an important part of overall preparedness. I'll talk more about that in a second.

The new website is still a work in progress, but I'm working to design and produce my own body armor.  (the new site is  The armor will be hardened military-spec steel, the same type as used on military vehicles to defeat small arms fire and IEDs.  The prepper angle on it is that it is designed to take many, many hits without compromising its integrity. Meaning it can take thousands of hits and still work for a thousand more (ceramic plates can't do that- and to me, that's a requirement in a grid down situation where you can't order replacement plates).  I'll post updates as we start testing and get closer to sales production.

Back to financial preparedness.  When it is necessary to incur debt, such as a reasonable amount to purchase a modest home or to complete one's educations, the debt should be repaid as quickly as possible. Some forms of credit, such as credit cards, have particularly high interest rates.   Once you are in debt, you'll find that interest has no mercy.  It continues to accumulate, regardless of your situation, whether you are employed or jobless, healthy or sick.  It never goes away until the debt is paid.  Do not be deceived by credit card offers, even if they make debt seem attractive by promising low interest rates or no interest for a certain period of time.

If you do have have debts, pay off the highest interest first.  Once that debt is paid, start on the next one, sooner than you can believe, you'll be debt free.  But, it does take sacrifice. Maybe you'll forego the newest big screen TV or a newer model car.  Maybe you'll decide to continue to drive the clunker a few more years and pay cash for the next car.  Bring your lunch to work.  You'll find lots of little ways to save, but unless you write out the check each month on the debt, it won't matter.

Financial preparedness also means you need to make money.  I recommend diversifying your income to whatever extent possible.  You don't want to lose your 9-5 job because you spend too much time on your internet start-up, or let your 9-5 job hold you back from your start up really taking off- it's a balancing act.  Think of different ways to earn a second source of income.  Sell vegetables from your garden.  Do odd jobs.  Freelance or do consultant work.  Coach.  When I first joined the military, I also delivered pizza on the weekends and I made a lot of money in a short period of time.

You can do it.  Make a plan to play good offence (income) and good defense (thrift).  Buy the things that will help you to become independent and prepared. Save for a rainy day (start with 30 days and build up to six months or more).  Teach your children the value of money and the difference between wants and needs.  Stay positive and find ways of having fun while on a budget.

Good luck.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Painting your rifle- or at least how I painted mine

I've been wanting to paint a few of my guns for a while now, but just haven't had the guts. Well, a few months back I picked up an old beat-up Howa 30-06 that was just begging for a paint job. The rifle was mechanically sound, it just had a lot of cosmetic damage. I figured I couldn't make it look any worse, so...

1) Clean it very well with Windex and a rag.  I also used an old tooth brush with windex for the tight spots.

2) Tape off everything you don't want paint on. Trigger, scope lenses, etc. I removed the bolt and painted the handle too.  I stuffed paper towels in the lens area and then taped it up.  I did the same with the area where the bolt goes.

3) Get a coat hanger and hang it from the strap point.

4) Pick out some paint.  I got mine at Wally Word.

5) PAINT IT! I put down two light coats of the middle color waiting about 10min between coats.

6)  Wait about 20 min and then bust out an old cup and a sponge brush that you've torn up.  Spray the paint into the cup and get a SMALL amount on the sponge.

7) Start small and then adjust as you learn how your brush works.  I did some streaks, some dabs, and drags.  I used the lightest color first, and then followed up with the darkest color.  I don't know why, it's just how I did it.

8) I could have stopped here.  It looked pretty good, but I already had another can of paint, so...

9) Wait at least 24 hrs for it to dry.  This is the hard part.  After it dries, take off the tape and ba-zinga, you've got a custom paint job on your gun.  Mine is currently drying in my garage... I'll upload pics when I take the tape off.  Also, I recommend using a new brush and cup for the third color- I had some color mixing, which actually created a fourth color- it all worked out though and I'm excited to start painting my other rifles.

If you're new to the site, please check out my website at for all your prepping needs.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hillarious YouTube Prepping video

Ok, so it's been a little while since I've posted anything.

Tonight I was watching some YOUTUBE videos and ran across the Hispanic Prepper.  This guy had me laughing so hard I was crying.  But he actually has some pretty good info in his videos.

You all have to check this guy out!!

Don't forget to buy some stuff from my store:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Business Story


Last year around December, as I was taking a long drive across Texas, I was thinking of business ideas.  I had been a fairly avid prepper and reader of survival/homesteading/prepper articles and books. My pdf collection was growing quite large and I had already spent many hours weeding out the junk and cataloging and sorting the good stuff.

I had expressed an interest in starting a business, but my wife told me there was no way that we were going to invest a cent into it.  That's when it hit me!  I would sell my pdf collection online on craigslist. I listed the CDs and mailed them out all over the US.  Within 3 months, I have enough money for a website!

Last march, I launched a website and added the Wise Food product line.  I started selling even more stuff and slowly added more and more products.

Then, I discovered Amazon.  Amazon rocketed me from the 1-2 sales a week category to 1-2 sales a day one.  I continued to look for more products and build my reputation for quality and service.  I re-invested nearly all of my profits into advertising.

Then this past February, as I was leafing through a Cheaper than Dirt catalog, I saw a water filter that looked like a great product.  I contacted the manufacturer and, after a seemingly risky $3k investment (the amount of money I had saved over the first year of business) in product overhead, I was in the water filter business!

I listed them on Amazon and they started selling like hot cakes (those sell fast right?)  I decided that my website needed an upgrade and that my skills weren't up for it.  I hired a guy to build me a website and manage it for me.

The first half of this year has been insane.  I won't make enough to quit my day job, but if I was laid off, I could survive. Now I'm selling 10-20 products a day and making pretty good money.  But best of all, I'm diversifying my income and enlarging my safety net.

I'm content with sales as they are, but would like to increase (of course) over the next year and I've teamed up with a guy who is a power seller on Ebay.  If we combine forces, we'll be able to reach a lot larger audience and increase potential sales. I also have sent many free samples out to blog owners in exchange for honest reviews and will continue to do so.

I'm currently using the cash to save for a small farm.  I'd like to move to a small 10-15 acre farm (selling produce and animal products) and supplement the income with the internet business.  In the mean time, I've expanded my backyard garden and added 3 chickens this year (so I won't be a total rookie when I get the land).

I've learned that there is no get rich quick easy track.  It takes desire, endurance, hard work, and a little luck.

If anyone would like to check out my website, you can visit it over at

I'm happy to answer any questions and help out anyone who'd like to start a business.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Garden and Chicken Update

My zucchini got some kind of leaf mold and died off; but not before producing nearly 12 good sized squash.
Tomatoes are rocking- especially the ones in my new garden bed.  Mixture of peat, rabbit manure, horse muck, and vermiculite.
The okra is growing nicely.
The beans did enough to freeze and can several bags/jars full.  I ripped out 1/2 of them and replanted.
Potatoes are not doing well at all, which was a big disappointment since I got extra straw to cover them with.
Sweet potatoes on the other hand are growing very well (both the microwaved and non-microwaved water ones).

We got 3 chicks at Easter and they all ended up either being roosters or crowing chickens (barnyard variety).  We returned those and got three more from another place.  We got a buff silkie, and 2 Cochins.

Here's some photos:

Oh, and if you haven't already done so, please check out my website at

I have a great selection of grain mills/wheat grinders, seeds, and an awesome water filter.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

“Honey, the lights won’t turn on.”

“Honey, the lights won’t turn on.”

That’s how it starts, or rather, that’s the first time the reality of the event hits home. The lack of power is an annoyance; and then the veracity of its permanence sets in. The first day, you habitually hit the light switch and curse, because it’s the fifth time that hour you’ve tried to turn on the lights, even though you know the power’s off. After two days, your freezer melts; your meat begins to thaw. One week in, you begin to think that the power will never come back on. A week later, as you sit in on your couch pondering what to do, your kid shouts from the bathroom, “Daddy, there’s no water from the sink!”

That’s right, after about one to two weeks without power, the diesel generators powering the pumps that push water up to the water towers run dry and water stop flowing from the faucets.

What do you do? Where do you get water? How do you make it safe for consumption?

The good news is there are options. Some better than others, but all worth knowing.

Water can be gotten from a number of places: hot water heaters, rain spouts, lakes, streams, ponds. The main problem with water from most places is that it’s got bacteria, protozoa, algae, dirt, chemicals, and small microbes living in it.

What’s in the water?

  • Algae are harmless. They can stink and discolor your water, but will not harm you.
  • Bacteria are bad. You need to either destroy it or its reproductive capability. It can lead to terrible sickness and death.
  • Protozoan. You need to kill them and their cysts (eggs).
  • Dirt. Makes the water brown and may smell. It won’t harm you.
  • Chemicals. Depends on what chemicals they are. Generally, water contaminated with some chemicals (fertilizers) won’t harm you if consumed in small quantities over a short period of time.
  • Microbes. These are amoebas and other living creatures in the water. Some are bad, some aren’t. Kill them all.

How can you make it safe to drink? There are many options; I’m going to cover the most feasible.

  1. You can heat the water to 180F for any period of time. Water boils at 212F, so it doesn’t really need to boil, but it’s a good indicator that at least 180 degrees has been reached. Heating water to 180 will kill bacteria, microbes, and protozoan. It will not remove dirt, algae (dead, but still there), or chemicals. To do this, you’ll need a heat source. Cost? Depends on the source and availability of fuel. Free to $$$.
  2. You can treat the water with chemicals like chlorine and iodine. 6-18 drops of household bleach/ gallon of water will kill nearly all bacteria and protozoa (some cysts may survive). However, if you suspect your water supply may have feces in it (run off from nearby cow pastures, run off from roofs (bird poop), then you ought to treat it with tincture of iodine as well. 20-40 drops depending on cloudiness of water. It will not remove dirt, algae (dead, but still there), and chemicals. Bleach has a shelf life of only a few years. To make your own bleach, mix 1 heaped teaspoon calcium hypochlorite with 2 gallons of water. You can treat an entire 55 gallon drum with ¼ teaspoon of calcium hypochlorite (pool shock). Pool shock (be sure to ONLY get calcium hypochlorite) will store indefinitely if kept air tight in a plastic container. To do this, you’ll need chemicals. Cost? $5 for a small bag of pool shock and $50 for enough bottles of iodine to last at least a year (what do you do when the chemicals run out?)
  3. You can treat it with UV light for 6 hours. Where do you get UV light? From the Sun! You can put water into clear water bottles and set them in the sun (no overcast or shadows) for 6 hours and it will kill the bacteria and protozoan. It won’t remove dirt, algae, or any of the smell or bad taste. But it’s better than nothing. To do this you’ll need water bottles, a sunny day, and time. Cost? Nothing. (Tip: the best water to collect is from the top 12” of lake water due to it being hit with UV light all day long)
  4. You can filter it. This is actually my #1 recommendation. Filtering with at least a .5 micron filter will remove all bacteria, protozoan, algae, microbes (larger than .5 micron) and dirt. If your filter has activated charcoal, it can remove most of the chemicals, bad taste, and smell. Filtering can be done easily with a berkfield-type gravity water filter. It requires no energy, no chemicals, and very little time (up to 75 gallons/day). The filter will last for years (the charcoal will need replacing after a year of use). To do this, you’ll need a water filter and two 5 gallon buckets. Cost $30 - $300.

For water filters, you can purchase a pretty stainless steel or plastic one that’s pre-made and looks and works good. Or you can go the route that I did and make your own for pennies on the dollar. sells a .2 micron water filter kit for under $30 (plus $10 shipping). It comes with a ceramic water filter, a pre-filter sock, and a spigot.  The filter has been tested by Johns Hopkins and many other independent laboratories and is NOT made in China.
Ceramic Water Filter Kit Buy a Water Filter KitAll you do is acquire two five gallon buckets, drill some holes, and assemble the filter and spigot and you’re done. BTW,  the owner of Internet Prepper is a USAF veteran. Please check out all the products.

So, as you sit on your couch listening to the kids holler that there’s no water from the faucet, you can answer, “It’ll be okay.” And it will, because you are now armed with the knowledge required to make drinkable water. But knowing is only half the battle, will you now go and purchase a water filter or container of pool shock before it’s too late? I hope you do.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chicks, guys dig em'

 My neighborhood egg man (who I've made pretty good friends with) gave my daughters three chicks for Easter today.  They are hens (I'll explain how he sexed them later).  We prepared for their, arrival by getting a plastic tote, a feeder, a waterer, a heat lamp, (needs to be kept at 100 degrees the first week, and then 2 degrees cooler each week until they go outside at about 4 weeks old), and some medicated chicken starter (I know it's controversial, but we decided to medicate.)

Another friend loaned me a chicken tractor till I can build my own (we won't need it for at least a month though).  Mostly, I borrowed it so I can see if chicken raising is right for us without the commitment of building a chicken tractor.

 The chickens are any particular breed- just barnyard chickens from mothers that obviously lay eggs.  We've been eating these eggs for a few months now and really like them.

I expect that these chickens will start laying by the end of summer.  We figured if they each lay about 300 eggs per year, that's 900 eggs.  We pay a little less than $.25/egg. My math is not usually the best, but my calculator says that's $225 worth of eggs. About a third of that will be feed.  So, I'll pay $75 to get over $200 worth of eggs.  But the real value is in the experience in raising them and having my kids learn right along with me.

The egg man sexed them by first lifting them up and checking between their legs.  Then he checked feathers- females have an extra row at birth under their wings.  Then finally, just to show off, he pulled out a string with a nut tied at the end.  He hung the string over the backs of the chicks while he held them in the other hand.  If the nut swung in a circle, it was a girl; straight back and forth, it was a rooster.  :)

BTW, this is the chicken tractor I want to build.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Craigslist score! Traps

I picked up 21 vintage Onida Victor traps today.  Size 0-2 assorted.  As best as I can figure, these work just fine (I tested several).  All but two are long spring variety and two are coil spring.  Lightly rusted.  Apparently they were hanging as decoration in a cabin in Colorado for years. 

I did find a tuft of fur in one of them (so I know they were actually used at one point). The prices for these typically range from ~$10 up to $18.  So, figure minimum is around $250.  I paid $75!!  Yeah.  I want to try these out and trap some coyotes in the area.  (For Texas, as long as you have a hunting license and are hunting for a non-fur bearer (like coyote) then you can trap them year-round :).

These could come in handy some day.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Garden photos

The past few weeks I've been very busy getting my new website up and running and setting up the new product lines with the water filters.  If you haven't purchased one yet- now is a great time.  Prices may be going up in the next month or two.

Anyhow, we got some rain the past two days here in the Dallas area.  This afternoon it dried up and it gave me a chance to use a new camera that I purchased.  Here's a few photos. I hope they inspire you to get a garden in this year. If you need seeds, I have an excellent supplier that actually sells the seeds he grows from his own farm.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Started a new website.

I started a new website- selling many of the same items that I did on but I've added many more things.  Also, my prices have gone down on many products.

Please- many of you know that getting hits on a website is crucial in getting up in the google rankings.  If you would do me a favor, click on the banner and browse the site for a little while.  If you like it, link to it on your own blog or website (I'll return the favor).  I have a facebook page too now- just search for Internet Prepper.  Please spread the word to your friends and family. 

I'm offering a 10% discount to all my readers- just put in the code TENOFF in the coupon section at checkout. 

Also,  I attended the Survival Expo in Dallas this past weekend.  Very fun time.  Met some good folks there.  The knife demonstration was awesome.  Also saw Dr. Bones and listened to his presentation.  Which reminds me that I need to buy a surgeon's kit.... anyone have any recommendations?

Water Filter coming soon

I’m looking at selling an emergency water filtration system on the website.  It’s a do-it-yourself, low budget, but highly effective and portable system that I think many preppers and survivalist would jump at.

When I first started looking into getting a water filter a few years back, I checked out the Berkey stuff and was a little thrown off by the price.  I examined the system and how well it worked- and then I decided to make my own.  So, I bought two of their filters for around $50 each, 2 five gallon buckets, a PVC spigot, some gaskets, and voila!  A home-brewed gravity-fed water filter.  All said and done, it cost me around $130.  Not including some silicon I had to add to the spigot that just wouldn’t hold a very good seal.
Fast forward 3 years, and I run across a water filter manufacturer right here in Dallas.  He’s been making filters for years for missionary and humanitarian groups that go to 3rd world countries - they were distributed to Japan and Haiti after the recent earthquakes.  After talking to him on the phone for a while, I think we might have a deal worked out.  I’m going to visit him next week tour his outfit.

The filters have been tested and certified by John Hopkins University and Analytical Food Laboratories and have been proven to remove all forms of bacteria including E Coli and many others- making river water, pond scum, and sewer water safe to drink. It filters to .2 microns.  

The filters are basically just that- a filter much like what Berkey makes, but without all the bells and whistles (and expensive advertising).  I plan to put together a package that would include a filter, a pre-filter sock, and spigot (that doesn’t leak).  You would then purchase two 5 gallon buckets, drill a few holes, screw in the filter and spigot and presto- you’ve got clean water!  

This is a perfect solution for preppers and those wanting to be self sufficient.  This product can stay in the box until needed and then quickly be assembled to provide the needed water to survive.  Or, you can use it to purify over 20 gallons/day.

Because I’m not selling a designer stainless steel bucket and haven’t paid thousands in advertising, I’ll be able to offer this filter kit for about $35.  This is a tiny fraction of the cost it would take to gather the parts from various stores and hope it all fits together. The filter weighs in at about 1.5 lbs, so shipping would be fairly cheap too. If you've been wanting a water filter, but haven't got one yet because of the price- now there is no excuse.

If all goes well next week, I’ll be able to start selling these right away.  If you’re interested in owning a filter, let me know so I can get a list started for the pre-orders.  Distributors are welcome to contact me as well.

BTW, I've started a sister company called  Please link to it and tell your friends.   I appreciate all "likes"

Friday, February 3, 2012

I added a new raised flower bed today.

I added a new raised flower bed today. I used 2x10s and fastened them together.  The kids painted them and I put cardboard under it (after scalping the yard with the mower).  Then I added some peat moss.  My composts are currently brimming with material.  I found a guy that lets me haul away his horse manure.  I also just met a guy with rabbits and he gave me a feed bag full of it. So, while the bed only has an inch or so of peat in it, this March the compost will be ready and this bed will be full.

I also bought these trellises that will double as green houses when I cover them with clear plastic.
My broccoli is doing great.  With this warm winter they are doing really well.  I wish I had planted more.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lost in the Desert

Driving out in the Arizonan Desert during Christmas break on our four-wheelers, my brother became disoriented and was separated from the group.  For nearly 4 hours I searched for him- backtracking, looking in ravines, asking others, calling and texting his cell- even involving the Sheriff's Search and Rescue.

Thankfully, the story ends well.  He was found alive and well just as the sun was setting.

What were the lessons learned?  What could have gone better?

My brother was using my four wheeler, a 2010 Brute Force 750,  a very capable 4x4, with nearly a full tank of gas when he was separated. The saddle bag was full of survival items (rope, paracord, food, water, knife, gun, lighters, walkie talkies, tire plugs, compass, cell phone, and more.)  If your just going about your normal business- a normal amount of preparedness is all you need.  But, if you are planning to go out into the hinterboonies (like we were), you need to be super prepared.  I told him to bring a jacket, but he refused, thinking that we would only be riding in the daylight in Arizona, which even in the winter, is 70's.  He never considered that he would be there over night, where the temps get down in the 30's.  While we were only planning a 3 hour ride in the desert, it ended up being over 6 and could have been much longer- and colder.

What he didn't know is that he had lots of resources that he was carrying right with him.  He says he knew there were granola bars and a gun- but even after he became lost, he didn't check and assess his supplies.  He remembered that I told him that cell service was terrible and he didn't even bother to check. I think this is important in any emergency situation.  Stop and assess your situation.  Consider what resources you have at hand and if any of them could help you.

Have a plan.  This is something I could have done better.  While I didn't plan to become separated from him, I could have briefed him on a plan if that happens.  If your in the rear, stay put.  If your in the front leading, go back.  Simple- yet to an inexperienced rider it was not obvious.

Be aware of your surroundings.  Take mental notes.  Look for landmarks. Stack rocks.  Many outdoors-men and women take this for granted as second nature.  Those who spend less time outdoors need to make an effort at this.  How many times have you just put in the address in the GPS and then followed the voice until you got there?  Could you do it without the device?  Did you notice any landmarks along the way?

After I got him back in the car, I asked him, "What would you have done if we didn't find you?"  He replied that after dark, he would have stayed put, kept the ATV running with the headlights on and waited for help.  I think this was a smart decision.  At night it would be easy to spot headlights- especially if they were on top of a hill.

So, in all a very stressful situation that could have been deadly.  The desert is nothing to take lightly.  It is a rough and tough place to survive.  Between critters, cold, heat, rocks, cactus, and lack of water, it is not a place to tread lightly in.  The same goes for other places we go.  Be prepared- and even if you are, ensure the people you are with have at least a clue about what to do.  My Survival Library has lots of books and manuals with tips on how to survive in any environment.