I would actually assemble my so called “A-Team” established from people I know, who would be useful to me in dealing with an impending catastrophe. Would I need some liberal hipster who hates confrontation and has no actual skill? Hell no, let him and his skinny jeans fend for themselves.
The key to success is going to be having a diverse group of people who can work together, and are willing to teach their skills to others in the group. You almost always see in apocalypse movies two types of people; you have the “gun nut” and they survive solely by that gun. Let’s face reality here, how does the gun get you medical care or food? How does the gun do anything besides provide security and meat? You then have the “complainer”, everyone hates this person. The only thing this person brings to your group is certain death to everyone but themselves, they manage to put everyone in constant danger and do nothing to help. If you need an example watch Saving Private Ryan and take note on how many people die directly due to Cpl. Upham and his poor decisions or pure inaction when his comrades needed him most.
What am I looking for in my survival super group, and what can I offer them in return? Think of basic things needed to sustain life and and ask; can I facilitate any of these basic needs? Clean water for hydration and cleaning our food and bodies, can I successfully grow vegetables and medicinal herbs? Am I able to hunt or provide a stable and reliable security perimeter, if someone is injured or falls ill will I have the knowledge to be able to help that person in need? The list can go on and on, but I’m trying to keep from boring you. The point is help to you see what if any group of survival skills you fall into and to help you find the remaining puzzle pieces to create a cohesive team that will no doubt thrive in any adverse long term survival situation.
If you find that after reading this you are sweating due to realizing that you may not currently posses the skills that would consider you a member of my “A-Team”, don’t worry some of the most critical survival skills are the most simple and quite frankly there is too many different valuable skill sets to even list.
If you find yourself on the couch after work thinking about the Food Network, get your ass up and exercise or read a book on gardening or basic survival, take a course a couple times a year on things such as CPR/AED or self-defense. Head to a local gun range and sign up for a class on marksmanship and responsible gun ownership.I am not someone who believes in wasting your savings on some “Doomsday Bunker” or some other ridiculous thing, but I do firmly believe you should be physically able to keep yourself alive in a short or long term survival scenario. Nothing drives me more crazy than people who are prepping for the end of the world but don’t even have a simple flashlight in their car. Who says your survival scenario has to be the end of days or total collapse of American society as we know it? Most likely your life or death scenario will be far less spectacular, such as blowing a tire and spinning into a ditch late at night or even losing power in the winter for two weeks. These are things that happen way more than we even give a second thought to, if you are able to have some crazy ass bunker with food storage for 35 years then by all means do so, I am one that cannot do that. My plan is far simpler; prepare for what you are able and know your limits.
I try not to make these too long winded and your comments fuel the future posts, please leave your thoughts in the comment section, thanks for reading my ramblings!
I can recall the first time I noticed something was off about my eyes, I was issued my first ACOG while serving in the Marines. I was beyond excited to have something other than iron sights to go into battle with, we were instructed to keep both eyes open while acquiring a target and everyone but a couple people including myself had some difficulty. It was like my eyes were working in an opposite manner and that my left eye was the stronger eye and I was not even seeing the reticle from the ACOG.
I raised my hand and mentioned my issue but since it was the Marines somehow it was my fault and was just told I was a moron and was using it wrong by my platoon sergeant. The instructor who actually knew what he was talking about walked up to me and explained that I may be cross eye dominant, I had no idea what that meant. The instructor had me make a triangle with my two hands thumb touching thumb and my two index fingers touching, I was then instructed to hold it out in front of me and to bring it straight back, well I did just that and I notice that my hand triangle is over my left eye. Being a simple Lance Corporal at the timeI just stood there with a dumb look on my face I’m sure, he then explained that the ACOG will still work for me but to keep my left eye closed. I got into a few good firefights using the ACOG, and this piece of equipment worked to a level that using a word like awesome does it no justice.
I got out of the military and a few years after I found myself missing the trigger time, I got back into guns and started to research more about marksmanship as a cross eye dominant shooter. I was not really impressed with what I found for informative tools for me to utilize to become a great shooter. I know from my experience on the battlefield that putting tape over my eye or wearing something that inhibits my vision on my dominant eye is probably the most idiotic thing I have ever even had the displeasure of reading. Why would I sacrifice my situational awareness because of a dominant eye on the wrong side? I start to think about realistic options for me to either overcome or to adapt in a way that I could be a two eye open shooter who actually hits the target without sacrificing my fields of view. I decide that it’s worth a try to just apply the same fundamentals used to create muscle memory for other muscles in the body, why not my eyes have muscles that control them and if I can train myself to do a break fall every time I am about to hit the deck why can’t I train my eyes to do the same. I started off slowly using a pistol since you can use either eye to aim without changing your stance or grip. I first start out by using my left eye only to aim and it felt unnatural but I shot pretty good, I then used my right eye only and shot decent as well, I did this for a month or so just shooting with each eye separately and then when I felt comfortable with both enough I start to slowly use my right eye more and more to aim. I was making some good progress so I attempted to give both eyes open a try and I immediately noticed I lost the front sight on the pistol for a brief moment. I tried to refocus and stick to the fundamentals of marksmanship, I decide that it would be a waste of ammo figure this part out at the range; I then make it a point for months to basically start snapping in or dry firing with a safe and cleared pistol for about 20 minutes a few time a week and gradually I notice that I can make the conscious effort to have both eyes open and acquire a target correctly. The front sight is clear and the target is hazy, no double vision. I look through a long eye relief 4x CQB scope and slowly attempt both eyes open and I can see the reticle the way the optic was meant to work. Being cross eye dominant is not a death sentence on marksmanship; it just takes a little dedication and some hard work to be able to shoot with both eyes open.
Things to come to terms with when making a list of items for a long term survival; you WILL eventually run out of ammo, if you plan on hedging your survival solely on firearms make sure you stockpile extremely common guns in extremely common calibers. I suggest keeping the same calibers as the military and police such as 9mm, .45, and .223/5.56. If something were to go completely haywire, plenty of ammo and gun parts will be reasonably available. That being said, if you are a long term survival planner then you probably already have some form of back up weapon like a bow or edge weapon that you can use over and over again for years if need be. Remember, as long as trees have branches you have arrows.
The source of many chat room/bar room arguments on prepping and doomsday scenarios starts something like; what gun would you have for the end of the world? Or would you stay in the city or go to the woods if we got invaded?
Obviously there is no one right answer no matter how many points and counter points you can provide to prove or disprove someone’s process for a SHTF scenario. I can only speak for myself and my experience and training on this so feel free to disagree or provide further insight, that’s what the comment section is for.
Deciding which weapons to have for a catastrophic event should come second to first making a conscious decision; when will you know without a doubt that services such as police, military etc. will no longer be an effective or even an existing force? This is where a zombie apocalypse simplifies things, all you would have to do is just look around and if the dead are walking and eating people grab the Saiga12 and get to work. Unfortunately this is the real world and everyone at this point should know that “zombie apocalypse” is just a humorous metaphor for civil unrest and economic collapse.
How do you correctly identify when it is time to bear arms? A group of people larger than you might think just kind of assumes it will be obvious as if we will have zombie Paul Revere riding the streets of Concord, Massachusetts, yelling for us to come to arms because the Russians are coming. I tend to disagree, if there ever was an event that eroded the very fabric of society it’s going to be swift and far more devastating than anyone can imagine or worse, it would be slow societal erosion, slow enough that people who live with their heads in the sand may not even notice.
God forbid we get nuked and invaded, if we survive the blast and radiation by all means assemble the QRF and get to the front line. I am not even sure exactly how to make the correct decision that society has eroded to the point of no longer following the directives and laws of our elected officials.
Let’s go doomsday arsenal shopping! what are the prerequisites for your arsenal? If you say none I suggest you hit the books a bit more. Things to consider when purchasing, consider the area in which you live. The firearms I would use in the more suburban area in which I currently reside versus someone who lives in a rural area are going to differ quite drastically. I believe you should pick firearms in a category similar to meals. You have three meals a day, pick three firearms; for me, I pick first an AR15 second I pick my Siaga12 and last I argue with myself between my 9mm Glock and my 1911, I probably pick the Glock based on the availability of 9mm ammo if production was to cease or became limited. We can argue 1911 vs. Glock on another post, I think in the long term the odds of breakage on a Glock are fewer than with a 1911. The beauty of a Glock is not so much on the outside but it hides its beauty in the simplicity of its design. Of course you can make an argument for specific brands of caliber firearms but this isn’t the post for that. This post is for a basic and generic checklist of things to keep in mind before you spend your hard earned money on a firearm that could save your life.
Being able to properly employ the firearms you purchase is actually more important than owning the actual firearms. If you cannot hit the target which you are aiming for all you are doing is letting the threat know that you have guns and that most likely you will be overrun and raided quite quickly. The first thing you should be doing after your purchase is taking each firearm and about 300 rounds for each gun and spend a day at the range. Establish a BZO for your main battle rifle and keep a notebook of the various elevation adjustments at the ranges you decide are most likely your engagement distances for the area in which you live. I would next suggest creating a range card, for those military guys out there this should create an image right away. Print out an image of your location from Google maps and start your card. Establish your avenues of approach and find some natural distance markers, leave no detail out on these cards, mark where north is and if applicable where the dead space is. These cards should be accurate and clear enough so a stranger could pick it up and immediately know every detail of your area and what your sectors of fire will be. If something were to happen you could set your sights to the correct range and direction in a matter of seconds.
What are your thoughts on having a range card for your secure location?
This is strictly from my point of view and obviously you do not have to have a gun or guns in a survival scenario but it would make a few key things quite simpler for you. I think long and hard about what I will have for protection and survival if something happens? I try to peer through a realistic lens when talking about these kinds of things, I know I will never have enough ammo or have every gun for every occasion, so I apply a simple approach to this, how can I be best suited for self-preservation with the smallest amount of crap to carry?
It’s a pretty simple answer, either have a way to carry all of your junk or have multipurpose items. Look at a Gerber or Leatherman multi tool, these things can take the place of up to 15 different tools. Put this same principle into what you choose the take with you if you had to leave your home to survive.
For me it comes down to three firearms, I’ll take a Semi auto pistol, a shotgun, and my AR-15. Try to stay with popular calibers such as 9mm, .45cal, 12ga, .223, or .22lr. Try to stay away from ammo that is hard to find now, imagine how difficult it would be if you resorted to scrounging for ammo. If you are like me I go with the same calibers the police, military carry if SHTF that badly there will be plenty of gun parts and ammo laying around in my caliber. If you are not a fan of guns or if you do not possess the skill to properly employ one, there is plenty of alternatives to be able to thrive just fine but life could get difficult when it comes to protection or hunting for food. This doesn’t mean you need to go stock up and spend your life savings on guns and ammo, take a class or two and just be informed on how guns work and how to use them properly and safely, but like I said if something were to get that bad to where its “Apocalyptic” there will be plenty of guns and ammo laying around. Do yourself a favor while on the subject, social media is great but try to understand that having a public profile where you showcase how much ammo and how many guns you have with your current city of residence is a real good way to get broken into and robbed. Keep an eye on your privacy settings and on what you post and who you are friends with.
To be fair let’s say guns are not your thing or you are not able to purchase one, plenty of options are out there for you to thrive quite well on your own. Some people may even argue that you are eliminating a crutch by not having a gun, take a look at what would be a “sustainable weapon”. What probably comes to mind is a bow or an edged weapon, these items don’t require cleaning or manufactured ammunition, if your bow breaks you can fashion a new relatively easy and if you break your edged weapon chances are the thing you broke it on is not a threat to you any longer. A tree could supply you with unlimited arrows and replaceable bows and string, reloading ammunition requires equipment, skill, black powder, lead and useable casings. After writing this I feel the need to get a bow and some archery classes.
Your feedback on these provides insight to something I may have missed or gotten wrong. Feel free to comment or subscribe!
When it comes to survival, being a jack of all trades but master of none could prove to be helpful to you. Would you rather know how to hunt but have no clue on how to sanitize water or not know which plants are safe to eat? Or would you end up like Christopher McCandless from the book “Into the wild”? If he trained for his surroundings prior to such a difficult journey he would probably still be living in an abandoned bus in Alaska. Training or researching in one particular field makes you well suited to write a fantastic article on that one item or will make you great on the gun line, but we are talking survival from zombies rising or the Russians or whatever catastrophe you desire. Having a multitude of resources in your brain on how to not only survive but to thrive on your own will be the key to your success. I mention repeatedly on your own for a reason. You can’t count on having a group to help you in these situations. Who says that your crisis will be an invasion like Red Dawn? Your struggle to survive will most likely be a personal one, whether it’s you against an attacker or you against nature. Having a car accident and ending up in a ravine or being snowed in for 8 days with no utilities happens to people all over the world on a pretty regular basis. Don’t be the person who has spent thousands of dollars prepping for global chaos only to lose a battle against Mother Nature when all you needed was some knowledge on how to make a field expedient shelter and smoke signals until help arrived. Be well rounded, take a second before you leave your house and make a conscious thought. Does my phone have a charge, do I have a lighter, do I have my pocket knife, should I bring my gun, does anyone know where I am going and how long I will be gone for? Something as simple as you informing someone of your plans could save your life.
Let’s be real here. Are you able to dig up your yard to pour a concrete bomb shelter or are you willing to give up your man cave for your heirloom seed repository and armory? Me neither. I try to evaluate what is reasonable for me in my living situation to be prepared for possible situations. I have set aside some space in my basement, pantry and a few other rooms, keeping certain things around in each area. I have about 500 heirloom seeds, keeping in mind the region I live to give me the capability to grow vegetables year round. The mini seed bank cost me about 65 dollars and takes up less space than my empty shoe box in the corner of my closet. Next on the list is basic camping gear; tent, battery and gas lanterns, multi fuel stove, coffee pot, water filtration device, 3 internal frame packs, and lots of fishing gear. If for whatever reason I was forced to bug out, I would have enough gear to make a manageable camp for my group to get situated. This stuff takes up very little room. I would love to have at least 8 firearms. This affords me the luxury to issue each person a primary and a secondary firearm. I try to keep a set amount of ammo aside which I call my “Zombie Invasion Reserve”. It’s basically my SHTF cache. I put this designated amount of ammo aside and I date it. Doing this is not mandatory but rotating ammo is the same principle as food. Why not shoot the older ammo first for range time? You don’t want to chance that the round you need to defend your life got moisture in it and it hang fires or dust doesn’t fire at all. There is no use of carrying a heavy ass gun if you don’t have any ammo for it. Remember, guns get dirty and guns need maintenance. Unfortunately this is the bulkiest part of prepping for me. There is no easy way to carry 1 handgun and 1 rifle/shotgun per person plus the ammo for it. This is where having multiple levels of back up plans come into the fold. Bugging in would be optimal for obvious reasons, but let’s say you have to relocate for whatever reason and you need to go mobile. Are you going to just toss your supplies in your trunk, put the guns up front but accidently toss the ammo in the trunk during your nervous frenzy? I hope not, don’t lose your mind and just start throwing your junk. Think about stuff like; what is my destination, what will I need easy access to, and am I permitted to have these items visible in the current state of emergency? Is there a chance I will have to go out on foot so maybe flip flops are a bad idea? Take a few minutes and pack accordingly, you would not want rush and completely screw yourself in the end such as having unloaded guns with the ammo unreachable in your trunk.
Many of us have animals; do you take your animal or leave it behind? I am taking mine. Aside from the companionship and comfort they naturally provide. They can carry their own supplies and have almost unlimited uses to you. You will need that dog more than it needs you in a survival scenario. If you have a cat, you are screwed sorry. Maybe it can carry your gummy bears or a nip of whiskey. I have 2 dogs one of which is a fat ass. He will be a detriment if we are on foot or worse if we need to double time. Hard decisions, lucky for him he’s cute. I would carry him in my pack if I had to, but hopefully it wouldn’t come to that. My other dog is built like a brick shithouse. She could easily carry her own supplies and then some. Spend a few bucks and buy one of those saddle bags for dogs and just take them on walks with some treats in it for your dog to get used to the feel and weight. Keep in mind you will be splitting your food and water rations with your animals, calculate what your dog’s food and water intake is and plan accordingly.
I hope that at least one sentence made sense and if something you read here makes you giggle or makes you adjust your routine, then buy me a beer, a cigar and call it even.
Keys to success in any situation
·Get off the X
·Violence of action
·Have a plan
·Know your limits
What do you do prep for and how do you do it?
Do you incorporate your pets as a tool in your survival or just a companion?
You don’t realize how dark a house gets until you don’t have electricity. Our recent experience with Hurricane Sandy showed us that. Luckily we had a generator to power some basic items during the storm. However, my aunt and uncle did not have a generator and I provided them with two solar powered lanterns with […]