Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Survivalist New Year's Resolutions

I'm ambivalent about New Year's resolutions. January 1st seems like an arbitrary date to make a change, and if you know you need to improve something, why wait to start? Also, it's a jump-on-the-bandwagon sort of thing, and I'm not much of a "joiner." Nevertheless, I usually end up making at least a few resolutions.

My list this year was delayed due to an incredibly hectic holiday season and vacation over New Year's. So I now offer you my belated list of survivalist New Year's resolutions - how does it compare to yours?
  1. Obtain my ham radio license. Cost: $15 to take the exam. Study materials available for free on the internet. Time investment: 10-15 hours for studying and exam taking.
  2. Improve my shooting skills by visiting the gun range at least once a month. Cost per month: Approximately $15 for range fees, $50-$100 for ammunition at roughly $1/round. (Ouch!) Time investment: 3 hours a month, including travel time, range time, and gun cleaning time.
  3. Lose 15 pounds. That's not even a loss of 2 pounds a month; should be doable. I lost ten pounds in the last half of 2009; this will continue the effort. Cost: $12/month for Weight Watchers enrollment. Time investment: 2 hours a week for meetings and food tracking for a total 8 hours a month.
  4. Improve outdoor survival and camping skills. I'm currently enrolled in a how-to-camp class (don't laugh!) and I'm in the process of obtaining gear and suitable clothing. Cost: several hundred dollars for tuition, gas, tent, and sleeping bag. Time investment: one evening class meeting, one three-day camping trip, and four hours a month exploring day hiking trails in and around Houston - 126 hours total.
  5. Organize food storage and continue adding to it. Right now everything is just thrown in a spare closet with some old crappy bookshelves. Cost: minimal for organization; $10-$20/month for nonperishable food. Time investment: 15 hours.
  6. Improve my Spanish-speaking skills. Cost: Zero. I already own language-learning software. With a trip to Puerto Rico in the planning stages, I'll have plenty of opportunity to try out my ability to communicate with people who (gasp!) don't speak English. Time investment: 2 hours a week plus vacation time, which I won't count, cause, well, it's a vacation.

Total projected cost in 2010: $1,619 ($135 a month, on average). Practice ammunition accounts for an overwhelming majority of this. Total projected time spent: 232 hours (20 hours a month on average).

If I can end 2010 with all these things accomplished, I think it will count as a productive year. How about you? Share your resolutions in the comments!


Sledgehammer said...

I really like the way you have your goals broken down including fiscally. the first two on your list are on my list, too. You should see if you have a friend with a .22lr rifle. You have to train with your rifle. But the basics are the basics. $50 will get you over 1,000 rounds of .22lr.

Good luck and Godspeed.

carolyn said...

I got my HAM license last year and we have already used it to communicate during an emergency. If you can find a HAM cram that is a great way to get your license. Last summer our kids and even our oldest grandkids, 8 and 11 got their licenses at a cram. Check
them out with your local HAM club

K. said...

I am a HAM, and I got my Technician ticket with no problem. Take the tests at qrz.com and study the book and you should be good to go.


Raymond said...

Why is ammunition costing so much? Is it the caliber? Or do you live in one of the crazy states?

Anonymous said...

6. Re-watch whatever DVD movies you have and switch on the Spanish audio track and subtitles. Be ready to hit pause every few seconds to repeat every single line of dialogue.