5 Disaster Movie Scenarios That Probably Won’t Happen

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Thanks to disaster movies and survival TV shows, most people have a very unrealistic idea of what will happen after the shit hits the fan. You know what I’m talking about: The power goes out, and immediately people flood into the streets and start rioting and killing each other while the police are nowhere to […]

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TV bugout bags

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Every so often I watch “Parks and Recreation” simply because I really like the character of Ron Swanson. Another reason I like him: he has a bugout bag hidden in city hall so he can leave his office in a hurry if he has to.

While I admire the creativity, I’m not a huge fan of that sort of “hiding in plain sight”. But, sometimes there’s just no other way.

After 9/11 there were more than a few people in NYC who realized that once the bridges and tunnels are closed for security reasons you pretty much are on foot if you wanna get off that island. I know people who stashed mountain bikes (especially the folding variety) in the storage closet of their law firm’s office and that sort of thing. And more than a few office drones have a small daypack with comfortable shoes, water, and other necessities.

Anyway, I always enjoy it when certain preparedness standbys make an appearance on shows I enjoy. Case in point:

Movie – The Survivalist

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Mags, mags, mags………
Someone brought this to my attention in email. Apparently yet another movie with the name “The Survivalist”. It seemes to harken more to a Cormac McCarthy sort of apocalypse rather than a jerry Ahern type. I am always amused by UK end-of-the-world films…mostly because their version of the apocalypse has the double-barreled shotgun as the pinnacle of firepower. American end-of-the-world dramas usually carry a tad more firepower.

These sorts of movies come and go pretty quickly…fortunately, Wikipedia, as it turns out, has a category “List of apocalyptic films“. hows that for convenience? As I was reading the synopsis for many of them I noticed a couple interesting trends – in a large percentage of these sorts of thing, the savvy survivalist type invariably gets killed and the unprepared noob winds up living happily ever after, the women often are rescued at the expense of the men’s lives, and no one *ever* gives credit to the survivalist dude for planning ahead. instead, the survivalist is always portrayed as ‘out there’ or ‘crazy’.

But, if you’re bored some evening this week, and Netflix or Amazon Prime isn’t down because of a ransomware attack, you’ve now got some viewing to look forward to.

Interactive Fun Prepper Night with “Conflicted”

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Interactive Fun Prepper Night with “Conflicted” Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! On this episode of “The Prepping  Academy” join host Forrest and Kyle for a little bit of interactive fun. We take a small break from all the regular programming to dig deeper in to the minds of the host by … Continue reading Interactive Fun Prepper Night with “Conflicted”

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The Walking Dead, getting back into it

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I’ve been trying to get back into The Walking Dead. I stepped away from it last season when it devolved into hostage-of-the-week storylines. But, I’ve read the comics so I have a general idea how things go. I’ve been catching up and things are moving back towards layered stories that suggest the writers have decided to make some effort.

If you recall, when the show first started there wasn’t an M4 to be had. It was all pump shotguns and bolt rifles. Then the AR’s and Ak’s started making gradual appearances. Now we have awesome high-end suppressed rifles and pistols. I like that. I think that’s fairly representative of how things would go. Like a first person shooter video game….you upgrade your weapons as you come across them. The Internet Movie Firearms Database (IMFDB) covers the guns of the show season by season, so if you’re really curious about what exactly that was someone used to remove the head of that other guy….there you go.

While much of the acting on the show is pretty one-dimensional, I think Melissa McBride is way overdue for some professional awards. For the first few seasons her character was background filler and not very compelling. In the last several seasons she has easily become the most nuanced and deep character on the show. A lot of the time I watch the episodes just to see how her character will react to a situation, but it’s also entertaining to see how McBride conveys that characters turmoil and pathos.

Of course, the backdrop of the end of the world has a tremendous appeal to me as well. I can think of no television drama that has portrayed an apocalypse as stark as this. ‘Jericho’ had to work within the constraints of network television, but still managed to eke out a winning episode or two (and, hey, Lennie James is still killing people after the apocalypse!) There’s no mincing words – the end of the world is going to be all sorts of ugly rolled up into a big ball of suckage….all-Somalia, all-the-time. But, it is, for me, loads of fun to war game. “What would I do in that situation?” or “what if I had this piece of gear?”…I like the intellectual challenge of imagining alternative courses of action.

I won’t tell you to go watch TWD because at this point you either are, or you have no interest in it. But, as a survivalist, I do find it a fascinating thought experiment. Interestingly, the companion show, Fear The Walking Dead, seems a tad more ‘realistic’ since it takes place in the early days of the zombie apocalypse when normalcy bias is still strong.

So..yup, I’m back to watching.
10/22 mags are still available. Don’t go into the zombie apocalypse without.

11 Amazing Apps for Urban Survivalists

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Your Android phone is one of approximately 1.4 billion worldwide according to a Google Nexus conference in 2015. We’ve come way past the point where all a phone could do was make a phone call and send a text: Now, you can turn your cellphone into a full-on survival kit containing everything from a compass […]

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The SGK SHOW Gun and Prepper Shows

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The SGK SHOW Gun and Prepper Shows Host: James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! There is a growing set of prepper shows that are running around the nation on an annual basis. Chances are there is one coming to a expo center near you. The price to get in is minimal and … Continue reading The SGK SHOW Gun and Prepper Shows

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7 Stupid Things People Do In Survival & Doomsday Shows

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Over the past few years, the number of survival-related TV Shows has grown by leaps and bounds. On the one hand, you have the survivalist shows like Alone, Dual Survival, and Doomsday Preppers. And on the other hand, you have doomsday shows like The Strain, Falling Skies, and of course, The Walking Dead. Perhaps it’s […]

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Movie – The Accountant

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I’ll keep the spoilage to a minimum. Ben Affleck plays an autistic/Asperger-y accountant whose upbringing by his military dad included lots of hand-to-hand to keep dad’s son from being a victim. Fast forward twenty years and the obsessive-compulsive kid is now an accountant to the mob, terrorists, and other undersireables.

The gunplay in this movie was pretty good, and there’s some Barrett lovin’. This movie also features Jon Bernthal, last seen in “Sicario”, as basically the same character he played on The Walking Dead. There’s some nice pistol work, a little bit of small-unit stuff, and a whole lot of CQB-gun-to-the-head action.

The rest of the story you can go see. And, actually, it’s not bad.. sort of “Rain Man” meets “Bourne Identity”. But, what I found interesting was the the level of preparedness the main character engaged in. Hidden away at a storage unit was his Airstream trailer, loaded with cash, gold, rare paintings, weapons, and everything he’d need to pull up roots and GTFO before the heat landed on him. As he tells another character, he can abandon his life and be on he road “in twelve minutes”.

If you’ve ever wondered what a decent ‘bug out trailer’ would be like, this is a nice example. It sits in his stroage unit, loaded up and ready to go, just waiting for the twelve minutes he needs to grab it and it’s life-altering cargo.

Anyway, enjoyable movie, some really nice plot twists, good action, and not a drop of useless romance or love interest. Oh, and local lad JK Simmons does a really nice job as the multi-layered treasury agent.




Beyond Zombies: Survival Lessons From The Walking Dead

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lessons from the walking deadThe Walking Dead is one of those rare TV shows that, like prepping, captures the zeitgeist of its time. No, not that the dead are actually rising, but rather that we cannot rely on the government to save us and the modern infrastructure we rely on so heavily is all too easily disrupted, broken, or even destroyed.

For those who haven’t watched the shows, TWD focuses more on living humans and their actions and interactions than with zombies, per se. Zombies are part of the setting, just as starships and other planets are the setting for science fiction movies. Just as Star Trek isn’t about the Enterprise itself, TWD isn’t about the undead except when it impacts the living. (TWD usually calls the undead “walkers” because they are the walking dead, but never, ever refers to them as zombies.)

You can survive anywhere – or die there

The series started in 2010 and has a recent spin-off called Fear the Walking Dead that takes place in Los Angeles and Baja California. The original series starts in Georgia, eventually moving to the DC suburbs. People who choose to bug in survive in all kinds of places on both coasts. Survivors are found in remote cabins and farms, but also in towns, cities, and even a prison. As time goes on, the survivors find walled suburbs and fortified towns built or modified to keep danger out.

Whether it’s Father Gabriel hiding in his isolated church with the windows boarded up or Tara and her family hiding in a small apartment building in a small town, those who survive are the ones who gathered supplies and locked themselves into a safe place and stayed there while the initial danger raged outside their doors. They didn’t get complacent, they didn’t take unnecessary risks, and they didn’t give up when things looked bad.

As the series continues, the main characters come across many places where those fortunate circumstances didn’t happen. In one suburb with a pre-apocalypse brick wall, the residents gathered supplies and locked themselves in for safety. Unfortunately, someone died and came back to life as a walker. Everyone in the community died because they assumed once they shut those gates, all was safe inside. They weren’t prepared to defend themselves from threats within their walls, to run, or even to hide somewhere else until they could escape.

It’s never “all safe”, not even before an apocalypse. Being physically and mentally capable of defending yourself and your family, and having the knowledge and equipment you need to do so, can make the difference between life and death in the worst disasters and between having looters, and worse, take what is yours in even a short-term situation, such as a localized natural disaster.

Mindset, knowledge, and the right goods don’t always trump location, but they can make the difference between a good outcome and a bad one in most places.

Rationing and bingeing lessons from TWD

Rationing is a logical action to take when food, water, and specific goods are scarce. If you are traveling, be careful how much water you drink because you never want to run out of water. (Also, carry a water filter and know how to find water using techniques like plant transpiration, but that’s a different topic.)

However, there are also times to binge. When you are next to a stream, purify the water and drink your fill. There is more water in that stream than you can carry, even if you wanted to. If you have a #10 can of chocolate pudding and will be moving on soon, go ahead and eat the whole thing because, really, who can carry a #10 can of pudding without spilling it and keep their eyes peeled for danger on the road? No one. Opportunities to really eat your fill may be rare, so enjoy the ones you find.

You never know how long you could be stuck, or when you will be forced to flee in a hurry. I lived in Los Angeles for years and was always struck by how little notice people were given to evacuate in front of forest fires or mudslides. Things can happen fast, so be prepared. In addition to your bug out bag, store some food in a grab-and-go container for an emergency evacuation. Those just-add-water meals in a lightweight bucket like this one, are easy to carry and the meals are super quick to prepare.

Scavenging goods

In one of the first episodes, the main group of characters are looking around a store in Atlanta, gathering things they need. It hasn’t been that long since things fell apart and they aren’t thinking long-term. No one grabs a hat to shade their head and neck, sunglasses, or even a backpack, nor do they grab spices and other food. It makes me a bits nuts every time I see it, but they are in the beginning of the end of their world and aren’t thinking ahead to what supplies will be most important.

If you are able to think about what you need long-term from the very start, like right now, you will end up in a much better place than those who don’t. That store is far from the last one these characters will enter during the series, but by the time they get there, most have been cleaned out by looters. In that first store, when they had the opportunity, the group left resources there that could have made their lives easier. They just weren’t thinking in terms of survival and priorities.

A time may come when you will need to travel through a dangerous area or neighborhood in order to acquire an item you need immediately, such as medication. You won’t need to cover yourself in zombie guts to walk through the undead, but dressing to blend in is a great way to remain safe if you have to make your way through a hostile crowd. Camouflage is your friend in a disaster.

If you’re wondering what the difference is between scavenging and plain old theft, read this.

Surviving other survivors

As we learn in TWD, sometimes other survivors are willing to help you. Sometimes they want to eat you for dinner. Sometimes they fall apart at the worst possible moment, in the worst possible way. And every now and then, they are better than you ever imagined possible.


When you meet new survivors, it’s almost a given that they won’t give you all the relevant information right away. Their priority is to protect themselves. In the second season of TWD, the group arrives at an operational CDC facility with plenty of food, comfortable beds, and hot showers. The lone remaining CDC staffer lets them in with a warning that they can’t leave.

This survivor neglects to mention the generators are almost out of diesel fuel and the system will automatically lock everything down and blow the place to kingdom come within twelve hours. The stress and loss destroyed him, and he truly believed all was already lost, so it didn’t really matter. By withholding some pretty crucial information it was too late, the group almost died as a result.

Of course, there are times when other survivors provide helpful information. One survivor, Aaron directs the group to safe roads and provides directions to the walled town he lives in.

One thing is for sure, reliable information is going to be one of the first casualties in a big enough crisis and being able to contact others via ham radio or have a heavy duty, reliable shortwave radio on hand (with extra batteries!), will go a long way in providing not just information but peace of mind when you know what’s going on “out there”.


Sasha laying on a pit of dead bodies. Father Gabriel’s guilt over not letting his flock into the church with him. Rick hallucinating phone calls from his dead wife. Shane.

The end of the world as we know it is stressful. Some people don’t show the worst effects for longer than others, but it hits everyone eventually. Even the strongest reach their breaking point eventually, and PTSD can become the norm if the situation goes on long enough. (There is a theory that one reason the wild west was so wild was because a lot of Civil War vets were suffering from PTSD.)

It is important to look after your own mental health and that of those around you. Getting caught up in survival to the point that you neglect your mental health is all too easy. Don’t! No matter how hard it is, find time to take a break and to enjoy any family and loved ones around you.  Know the physical and emotional limits for you and your loved ones. When you have reached them, tell those with you that need help before you fall apart. If you see others reaching their limit, help them if you can, even if they haven’t asked.

During stressful times, even when you’re not hiding in abandoned buildings on the lookout for walkers, you might want to treat yourself and your loved ones to a favorite comfort food, or pull out a hidden package of cookies. These can be a good bribe to keep kids, especially, quiet and on task. As we learn in TWD, noise discipline can be one of the biggest factors in some survival scenarios.

The important concept is to monitor yourself and members of your group for signs of PTSD and take steps to avert it, if possible. This book explains how to do that in more detail.

The Walking Dead

I’ve watched this series from the beginning. Yes, it’s unrealistic in that it’s about the undead, but it is hugely popular among preppers, in part, because of the survival lessons it teaches. Danger comes in many forms. A crying child or lowing herd of cattle can bring unwanted attention and danger. House windows and doors are easily broken. But the two things that bring the most danger are panic and carelessness.

What lessons have you learned from The Walking Dead?

lessons from the walking dead


Fear The Walking Dead – Season Finale

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You know, I’ll be the first to admit that the major character that killed off was definitely one that I’m happy is gone. The bad news it isn’t either one of the insanely annoying chicks.

And as the election season approaches with politcal rhetoric about illegal immigration (and remember kids, there’s a difference between immigration and illegal immigration) we have what appears to be a Texas border militia group making an appearance.

I’m still having mixed feelings about this show, but it is satisfying to watch the character start to turn into pragmatists and lose the we-have-to-save-everybody attitude. It’s also interesting, and I think this was a brilliant move, to set the majority of the series in a non-US venue. It allowed for plenty of different characters, lifestyles, and scenarios that were fresh and interesting.

Anything worth observing? Well, seriously, everyone needs a damn bugout bag packed so that when you have to beat feet out of your refuge you can leave with more than a Beretta 84 and a couple gallons of water. Binoculars are worth the weight. Wear your seatbelt. Don’t believe in people selling miracles. Always check your six. Two-man rule. Static positions aren’t going to last forever.

The regular Walking Dead series has been losing my interest lately, at least this series has a few fresh ideas. So, yeah, I’ll tune in but until they kill off those annoying women I’m gonna root for the zombies.


But keep this one. I like her…..


How Easily Satan Fascinates and Captivates Us

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     I know there will be some who will dismiss the topic of my blog today as unworthy of their time or attention.  But this subject has come up in conversations with fellow Christians and across my news feeds a number of times, so I guess the Holy Spirit wants me to talk about it.  At the very least, I want to give a personal warning in case this deceptive distraction has entered your physical or spiritual territory.

     I am talking about Pokemon, the role-playing card game that has recently gained new popularity among kids and adults.  I know that there will be those who say it is an innocent game; we have nothing to fear from it, and the new version of Pokemon GO is nothing more than a creative mobile app designed as “a location-based and augmented reality game; that it promotes physical activity and helps local businesses grow.”  Are you kidding me?  First of all, if you are willing to accept that description without looking into it any further, then I’m more than a little worried about your ability to discern the schemes of the Enemy in this technological world.

Harmless little creatures that inhabit a virtual world? Or something far more ominous in nature?

     I will also say that the intricacies of the game are too far-reaching and complicated to present them in their entirety on this post.  Suffice it to say, that I want you to get an idea of just how satan can work within this game and its alternate universe in order to get us to mimic his strategies and schemes, and to walk outside the path God would have us follow.

     First of all, Pokemon is a shortened version of the Japanese name “Pocket Monster”, and Pokemon are supposed to be “monsters” that have special powers and share the world with humans.  Did that get your attention?  If not, here is a very simple explanation [by promoters] of how the game works:  “Pokemon are creatures inspired by plants, animals and various other things. Each one has different attributes, skills and quirks; they also can evolve into newer, stronger Pokemon with some training. In Pokemon GO, the ultimate goal is to capture them — all 151 of them — to add to your personal collection.  Doing so makes you a Pokemon master.”  Here’s how I interpret that explanation … Pokemon are inspired by spirits, demons or god (all false), and among their various “quirks” or “abilities” listed are scorching, stomping, poison, mimicry, stealth, use of claws and biting, reading minds, teleportation, inducing headaches, high intelligence, consumes people’s dreams, hypnosis, confusion… oh, yeah, they also evolve into more powerful entities, too.  
     In short, the idea of the game is to have players learn how to collect as many Pokemon as possible, train them, and use them against other people’s Pokemon by invoking the various abilities of each Pokemon creature.  Does that sound eerily familiar to the assignments that the devil gives to his demons?  And now that the game has developed a mobile app, it is playing into this world’s obsession with technology.  After establishing a game account, the player creates an avatar by selecting a hair, skin, and eye color; style; and outfit.  Isn’t that just a little bit creepy?   You are in essence, creating an alter of yourself, and it is outside the realm in which you were created by God.  Actually, you have now become the Creator of yourself, so to speak; your own god.  (Sounds like the temptation in the Garden of Eden, doesn’t it?) So now you have millions who are preoccupied with their alternative self (avatars), and who are forever trying to gain more power.  Yes, it is a subtle implication, but does not the Bible say, Now the serpent was more crafty (subtle, skilled in deceit) than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made  (Genesis 3:1).
     And here is another aspect that should concern you:  When a player encounters a Pokemon, they may view it on their phone either in augmented reality (AR) mode or with a live rendered, generic background.  AR mode uses the camera and gyroscope on the player’s mobile device to display an image of a Pokemon as though it were in the real world.  
     BUT, unlike other installments in the Pokemon series, players in Pokemon GO do not battle wild Pokemon (any Pokemon that are not currently owned by a Pokemon Trainer) to capture them. During an encounter with a wild Pokemon, the player may throw a Poke Ball at it by flicking it from the bottom of the screen up toward the Pokemon. If the Pokemon is successfully caught, it will come under the ownership of the player.  That certainly suggests bondage and domination to me.  I could go and on about the rules and the innuendos of the game, but I hope you’re starting to get the picture.

     If not, let me give you one more piece of information before sharing some of the consequences of playing the game.  Pokemon GO was developed by Niantic Inc. and is funded by Nintendo. However, the original Pokemon franchise was developed by Wizards of the Coast, who gave the world the occult games, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS and MAGIC THE GATHERING. Pokemon comes from a long line of anti-Christian, occult, and evolutionary development. I know there will still be those (and that includes the Christians who are advertising their Churches as Pokemon locations) who will say that “it is only a game”.  But it is a role-playing game and involves fantasy and elements of magic and potions.  That is definitely something the Bible warns us against!
     Besides that, look at the thousands of hours people are spending on their phones playing Pokemon GO; (the app has been downloaded over 15,000,000 times in its first week in the U.S.).  The word “idolatry” comes to mind.  And here we are in the Last Days running around trying to capture mythical and virtual demons, when we should be focusing on our mission to save souls.  Who do you think we’re pleasing — God or satan?
     Finally, there are the stories of men walking off cliffs while playing the game; crashing cars into trees; armed robbers luring victims to isolated locations; and perverts and pedophiles preying upon inattentive targets.  But perhaps the most disturbing story I have heard is of a Russian woman in Moscow who claims that a giant Pokemon raped her after she fell asleep while playing the game.  Police and her husband dismissed her complaint, suggesting she see a psychiatrist.  But the woman insisted that the Pokemon GO app on her phone could still detect the same virtual character’s presence on her bed, and that there are too many Pokemon at her place and even the dog can sense them. She says the dog barks whenever she plays Pokemon GO.  (Any of you who have dogs will likely be able to attest to their extra sensory perception).
     So, now you’ve read the entire spectrum of how Pokemon GO influences one’s life — from a harmless mobile app that helps you get some exercise; to testing your ability to capture and train virtual “creatures” (spirits?) with occult powers; to these monsters allegedly raping a player.  Think it’s all too ridiculous to be true, or that I’m stretching the truth?  Yes, it seems like I’m describing something “out of this world”.  Guess what?  IT IS!  Throughout mankind’s history, satan has found a way to infiltrate our world by tempting our impressionable minds and flesh with his ideas and his supernatural, mystical, or magical beliefs, practices, and phenomena.
     Pokemon GO just a harmless mobile app?  Do you not think that satan can draw us away from God by working through technology and with humans who develop occult-influenced games?  If those game designers are not as focused on the Lord and His truth (as we all should be), satan, through his demon hosts, can somehow raise thoughts and questions in our minds that lead to creating things that honor him instead of the True God of the Universe.  Then from that designer’s human mind to ours, the Enemy uses external temptations (a mobile app) by which he seeks to control or influence our minds through what we see, read, hear… and play.  This is simply how he works through this world system over which he rules.  So you can dismiss my assessment of this game if you like, but I am willing to say that it is just one more spiritual weapon that the god of this world is using to deceive us and lead us away from God.  Consider this:  Doesn’t the game of Pokemon Go sound a whole like the Bible verse that says, Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour?

Acts 13:10            “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you never stop perverting [making crooked] the straight paths of the Lord?” 

KYLE PRATT: Best Selling Speculative Fiction Author

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KYLE PRATT: Best Selling Speculative Fiction Author Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” On this week’s episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program we have Kyle Pratt, author of the Strengthen What Remains series. In 1975 Kyle joined the United States Navy as a Cryptologic Technician. While in the service he met Lorraine Best of Plymouth, … Continue reading KYLE PRATT: Best Selling Speculative Fiction Author

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Video – After Armageddon

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Remember when [insert name of animal] Flu was the big apocalypse du jour? I was down the YouTube rabbit hole and got sucked into this video.

Man, if this doesn’t make you want to redouble your efforts, nothing will.

This is one of the reasons I think it isn’t a waste of time to watch/read surivivalist fiction (or non-fiction). It gives motivation and makes you think about things you may not have thought about. And wargaming these sorts of things is always an interesting exercise.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go check my stocks of bleach and AA batteries………

ALLEN GAMBOA: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction!

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ALLEN GAMBOA: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction! Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” On this week’s episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program with Author Bobby Akart, popular zombie apocalypse author, Allen Gamboa joins us. Our month long series featuring some of the best authors in the zombie apocalypse genre continues. With The Walking Dead’s record-breaking ratings (including its … Continue reading ALLEN GAMBOA: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction!

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BBC’s Wartime Farm: A Preparedness Review

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wartime farm review

If you love modern history, homesteading, and all things survivalist/ preparedness, and have run out of series to binge-watch on Netflix, may I humbly suggest to you BBC’s Wartime Farm?

Wartime Farm is an eight-part documentary series released in 2012 that chronicles the adventures of a team of archeologists and historians who run a farm in Southampton, England, the way that it would have been run during the early 1940s during the second world war. They wear period clothing, use period machinery, and eat period meals. Along the way, the main cast explores rationing, the technology available during the period, as well as the socio-political aspects of the war. If you are interested in emergency preparedness, even if the war itself has no interest for you, this show is a goldmine of wisdom. History tells us that if it can happen once, it can happen again, and there but for the Grace of God go we.

This type of show is probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to admit that it takes a certain degree of talent to make plowing, sewing, and laundry interesting – especially eight hours of it.

Other topics covered:

  1. Washing hair with soapwort
  2. Raising rabbits
  3. Building a temporary structure out of bales of hay
  4. Making silage
  5. Cooking lots of depressing 1940s-era meals (this era must be where Britain got is reputation for cuisine)
  6. Plucking chickens
  7. Rat extermination

All this, and more! And it’s engaging and interesting enough that I was inspired to actually go out and buy soapwort seeds so I could copy what I saw on television.

Reliance on Farming During the War

“The plow was the farmer’s principle weapon of war.”

Every episode opens with this statement from one of the cast members. Farming became a reserved occupation during the War, which meant that farmers were exempt from the draft. Prior to the War, two-thirds of all Britain’s food was imported, so when the German submarines enforced a blockade, the British knew they’d have to more than double food production or starve.

Britain’s farmers had many tricks up their sleeve in order to meet the demand. These included using prisoners of war as agricultural workers and plowing up any teeny bits of irregularly-shaped land that could be found. Because farmers could not grow hay, they fed their animals things like beet tops, nettles, and the weeds that grow in churchyards.

In modern America, people choose to be thrifty in order to save money. In Wartime Britain, people had to be thrifty because there were no other options, period. You had to make every last scrap of everything count because even if you had money, you could not go out to the store to buy more of it.


“Make Do And Mend”

If you could condense the series into one phrase, it would be this one. Here’s a perfect example: the farm simulated preparations made for receiving evacuees from London. To do this, the cast had to fix up some of the out buildings and make them habitable, but the roofs had holes in them. Buying tiles for repairing the roofs was out of the question because all the factories that used to make tiles are now making munitions. So what do you do? You pull out some rusty machines that were obsolete in the ’20s and make tiles in your backyard! And then you distill some hard cider while you’re at it. Most of the show seems to consist of dealing with rusty machinery, come to think of it. And the rest of it entails resurrecting trade skills – like blacksmithing – that hadn’t been used in decades.

In this way, the series almost serves as a call to action. The way Wartime Farm tells it, possessing skills that were widely considered “obsolete” is what saved Britain. If there hadn’t been people around who knew how to use those ancient tile-making machines and how to build a kiln to fire them, what would you have done? With little clothing available for purchase, how else would you have clothed yourself or your children if you didn’t have any sewing ability?

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my son’s favorite segment. As part of the Christmas episode, one of the guys makes a toy airplane out of a tin can and some roofing nails. My six-year-old thinks this is the height of technology, and has often asked us to make him an identical plane out of our many empty #10 cans. That we lack the tools and knowledge to do so makes us, in his view, somewhat lacking as parents. But more importantly, the necessity of having to make a toy out of a tin can at all highlights the differing attitudes towards toys between then and now.

Today, children have more toys than they know what to do with, and people make jokes about how a child’s playthings reproduce at night until the house is completely overrun. Many children in 1940s Britain witnessed their homes being destroyed and their families torn apart. Something as simple as a tin can airplane would have been an absolute treasure.

Not All Was Sunshine and Rainbows

The final episode briefly touches on some of the negative consequences of the farming methods employed during the war. British farmers couldn’t afford to use their land to grow feed for livestock because it was needed to grow food for humans. As a result, a great number of animals were culled. In agriculture today we refer to “rare breeds” of livestock – this event is why so many breeds of farm animals are considered “rare.”

The war also introduced a number of government farm-related regulations that were arguably necessary given the circumstances, but in the United States we would consider them abhorrent examples of government overreach. The Ministry of Agriculture had the power to grade farms based on their efficiency, and if you failed inspection, the government had the power to take your farm away and give it to someone else. After the war, people had the opportunity to vote on whether to keep the new regulations or dispense with them. The voters ultimately decided to keep the regulations.

In addition to the TV series, the cast wrote a book entitled Wartime Farm, which is alsoavailable for purchase. The series itself is only available as a set of region 2 DVDs on Amazon, but and can be found on YouTube. If you enjoy Wartime Farm, you should also check out additional series done by the same people: Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, and Tudor Monastery Farm.


wartime farm review

Fun Games Your Family Can Play in the Wilderness

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by Karen

Prepping as a family has its challenges, but it can also be a lot of fun, especially when you make it into a game.  One of the most important parts of prepping a family is ensuring they have wilderness and outdoor survival skills.  No matter how old the members of your family are, there are wilderness survival skills they can learn.  What better way to do this than by playing wilderness games?

There are a variety of outdoor and wilderness games that can make learning these skills fun and engaging for kids of all ages.  From getting kids comfortable with being in nature, increasing their awareness of what is around them, and helping them learn how to accomplish a variety of tasks, the games that follow can accomplish these objectives.  But first, a word on how to present these games to your kids.

Talking to Your Kids

No one knows your kids better than you, which means you are the one who knows the best way to talk with your kids about survival.  Maybe your children are older and/or able to handle the truth of why you are prepping.  Maybe they are younger or more sensitive and cannot understand or would be stressed if they knew the whole story.  Either way, it is important to discuss different aspects of prepping with them.  You can tell them the why of it if you think they can handle it or you can just present it as something to learn just for the fun of it.

You should talk to your kids, if they are able to process the why, before you start playing these games, so they have some context when playing.  This will help them better absorb what they learn.  You can also talk to everyone after you have played the game to find out what they learned, what stood out for them, what they might have struggled with, and if they have any questions.

At the very least, giving everyone who is playing some background is helpful.  Potential world disaster scenarios aside, every child, no matter how sensitive, should understand that emergencies happen and that the family has an emergency plan.  Kids should also know what to do if they ever get lost or if they are concerned about a stranger that has approached them.  If you spend time camping and in the wilderness, then they should know basic survival skills.

Safety First

Even though these are games, parents must not let their enthusiasm get the better of them.  Take things slowly and teach kids one skill at a time.  If you overload them, they won’t absorb it as well as they should.  It is also important to ensure that the game suits the age of the players and that an adult is supervising the game at all times.

Be sure that kids understand their responsibilities, as well.  This means following the rules and staying within the boundaries set by the adults in charge.  Kids must also be taught to respect the environment and any equipment or tools they are using.


That said, it’s time to learn some great wilderness games to play with your family.  The following games are listed with the appropriate age range when applicable.  Please remember that the age ranges given are just suggestions and you will need to judge the appropriateness of any of these games for your children based on their age, developmental abilities, and maturity level.  Choose the ones you think are most applicable to your family, your situation, and the skills you need to learn.

Track Those Tracks (any age)

Whether you are in the city or outside of it, there are bound to be animal tracks around.  Determine which are the most common tracks in your area or where you are camping or hiking and create a sheet that shows a variety of tracks and to what animal they belong.  Give one sheet to each player.  This is also a great game for adults to participate in to test their track-identification skills.

Choose your area and see who can identify the most tracks within a given period of time.  If you have lots of participants, then people can pair up, perhaps an older child or adult with a younger child.  This is a great way to learn the various animal tracks, which will help kids learn to track animals when hunting or know which dangerous animals might be in the area.

Adapted from http://blog.cheaperthandirt.com/survival-games-kids/.

Wild Edibles Scavenger Hunt (any age)

This is a great game in which anyone, young or old, can participate.  Create a sheet of a variety of wild edible plants in your city or the area in which you are camping or hiking.  Ensure the plant pictures and names are on the sheet and have everyone find as many of the plants as possible.

This is a fantastic way to help family members learn to identify wild edible plants they can eat in emergency situations.  However, for the sake of safety, be sure everyone understands that they should never eat a plant if they are uncertain if it is safe, as there are poisonous plants that look similar to edible plants.  Children who are unsure about a plant should always ask an adult before eating it.

Shelter Challenge

Before playing this game, teach the kids about the different types of shelters that can be built in the wild, such as lean-tos and teepees.  Kids should understand that outdoor survival depends on finding or making shelter that will help keep them warm and dry.  This game can have a couple of variations.  With the first, you can have everyone, either individually or in teams, locate the best natural shelters they can find.  This can be hollow trees or logs, natural overhangs made from tree branches, caves, or other applicable shelters.

The second variation is to divide people into teams and have a challenge in which you see who can build a lean-to or other type of shelter the fastest.  You can do this near your campsite or find a spot along a hiking trail.  Wherever you are, make use of material you find there.  You can also choose to provide each team with some basic items they might have in their survival or bugout bag, such as rope, duct tape, or a tarp.

Adapted from http://blog.cheaperthandirt.com/survival-games-kids/.

Fire Prep Challenge (ages 6 and up for gathering materials; ages 10 and up for building a fire)

Do your family members know how to start a fire?  Even older children can learn.  And young children can learn what materials are required to make a fire.  This challenge will see individuals or teams in a wilderness setting gather the materials they think they would need to successfully start a fire.  Before starting the challenge, talk about the different materials that can be used to get a fire started, such as materials that would make good tinder and kindling, and what wood is best for the fire.

This game has a few variations, including:

  • Have participants gather materials that would make good tinder or kindling or wood. You can use just one of these categories and see how many materials they can find that would qualify or you can have each person/team find the materials for one category.  The adult supervising the game can then test out the materials to see which ones work and which ones don’t.
  • Have participants gather all material they would need to successfully build a fire. Each person/team will have to determine what would work best.
  • For older kids and adults, you can take the previous challenge further and have them arrange the tinder, kindling, and wood properly and actually try it out to see who can get the best fire going based on the materials they collected and how well they built the foundation for the fire.
  • Have the person/team gather materials and build the fire as in the previous challenge and then try different ways to start the fire without a lighter or matches.

Adapted from http://blog.cheaperthandirt.com/survival-games-kids/.

Ultimate Hide and Seek (ages 6 and up)

This is a hide-and-seek game that will teach kids how to move with stealth.  This is a useful skill to learn in case the time ever comes when they have to stay hidden from potentially dangerous people.  The game is played as follows:

  • The seeker will set boundaries for the playing area and designate six locations that are bases.
  • The seeker will remain at the sixth and final base and the players will all hide.
  • For each turn at moving toward one of the bases, the seeker will call out how they will count and what number they will count to. They might choose to count to 10 quickly or five slowly.
  • When the seeker counts, the players move toward their next base. If any player is visible to the seeker when the counting for that turn is finished, that player is out.
  • The first player to make it to the final base without being seen wins.

Adapted from http://beprepared.com/blog/8996/survival-skills-for-kids-outdoor-survival-games/.

How to Get Back to Camp (ages 8 and up)

The final game is one that will help kids develop their navigational skills.  If you are camping, have a cottage, or are just hiking for the day and have a base area set up, you can play this game.  Stay together as a group, or if you have more than one adult who can navigate, split up.  Then play as follows:

  • Each group will have a map of the area and a compass.
  • Take the group to a random location (different locations equidistant from the base if you have more than one group).
  • Have the group find their way back to camp or whatever base or location you have chosen. If you have more than one group, then the first group that makes it back to base wins.

You can start with an easy location that is close to the base and work up to longer distances and more complicated terrain.  This will ensure kids learn how to find their way anywhere, whether or not they are familiar with the area.

Bugging Out

You can call this game whatever you think is the most appropriate for your kids.  It could be called Going on a Road Trip or anything else you can think of, but essentially, it is a bugout drill.  Create an imaginary scenario (appropriate to the age and sensitivity level of your younger family members) and give everyone 15 minutes to pack the essentials and be ready to go.  This will give your family practice at getting ready to bug out and you will see where you need to work on your preps.  After you are ready to go, you can follow through with a nice drive or day trip with your supplies, choosing to see how you would get by with them for the day or choosing to do something fun and unrelated to prepping.

Adapted from http://momwithaprep.com/10-great-pretend-games-to-help-your-children-develop-preparedness-skills/


Geocaching is a great activity that teaches navigation.  Geocaching is essentially a scavenger hunt where people hide items and other people find them using GPS navigation.  But you can do this with your family with an added twist.  You can do away with the GPS and use a map, compass, and written communication or symbols to find the hidden items.  After all, when disaster strikes, there won’t necessarily be cell service and GPS to rely on.  Kids and adults alike have to learn to rely of old fashioned methods of navigation.

You can hide items in various areas around your home or neighborhood or around the area where you are camping and get your family members to team up and find them.  Provide them with a description of where the items are and a map and compass and let them find the items.  In a real life survival situation, you might have to rely on leaving caches for other family members to find, so this is a great way to practice.

The above games are fun to play and kids and adults of all ages will love them.  They will teach the kids and adults in your family skills that will serve them well in any emergency situation, no matter where they are or where they need to go.  You can adapt any of them to be done in an urban setting and they can also be great games to play when disaster strikes or the collapse of society happens.  When there is no longer internet to keep kids occupied, these games will ensure they are entertained and educated in important post-collapse life skills.

Movie – Amerigeddon

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The cheese factory has turned out another wheel of cinematic cheese.

Let’s go through the checklist:

  • The UN as bad guys? Check!
  • Trendy EOTW event? Check!
  • Turn them all in, Mr and Mrs America? Check!
  • Evil foreign conspirators? Check!
  • Surveillance state commentray? Check!
  • Dramatic use of the term “New World Order”? Check!
  • Vilified big businesses and corporations? Check!

Roll em!

Almost seems like Alex Jones should get writing credit, doesn’t it? Interesting to note that the best thing I can find in the cast list as far as a notable actor is….Dina Meyer. Best known, probably, for the incredibad “Starship Troopers” and it’s coed shower scene.

But…yeah…I’ll roll my eyes during the whole thing but watch it anyway. I like EOTW genre films and we haven’t had a collapse movie in a couple years since that last EMP movie.

Movies & Shows for the Prepper!

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Movies & Shows for the Prepper!
Highlander “Survival and Tech Preps

Movies & Shows for the PrepperThis show I will talk about the best Prepper style movies, and television shows. There are many that have popped up within the past 20 years and a lot of them make you think, are you really prepared? We may see a lot of these as fiction, but some actually do a lot of research and are somewhat accurate, and we may just learn a few things from them.

Movies & Shows for the PrepperThe need to be prepared is never ending and I try to get my sources of ideas from anywhere I can. Movies and tv shows give a somewhat different prospective than some websites, and blogs that you may see. I am a big fan of a lot of movies and tv shows that portray the cleverness of humans in situations that are dire. I also like to see the problems that are solved with having very little, the base of prepping as we know it, doing a lot with a little.

3-14-16 Noreen21There are some very good low budget films out there that I will mention and some that everyone has probably heard of. Some of which you may think are not prepper oriented but I will break them down and what we could learn from them. I do not want to give away the ones I have chosen but I will say, a few have some not so good endings, and those that have good ones. Lives are lost, lives are saved, and the prepared sometimes end up both wining and loosing.

This should be a fun show that we can maybe get some inspiration from and ideas that may further our prepping knowledge. I know many still think we cannot learn anything from movies or television shows, however a lot of scenarios I have seen in them can and have happened. The thing I learned years ago about science fiction, a lot of times it ends up becoming science fact, and we have and learned a lot from scifi creations. So enjoy the show and ask questions and make suggestions!
Join us for Survival & Tech Preps “LIVE SHOW” every Monday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

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Article – ‘Scarface’: Whatever Happened to Tony Montana’s “Little Friend”?

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Reminder about Mountain House group buy possibility.


With the possible exception of “Dirty” Harry Callahan’s .44 Magnum, Tony Montana’s “Little Friend” might be the most famous firearm in movie history.

As you might expect, it wasnt a real M203 for federal reasons. But..since it shot shotgun shells, there may have been other issues since that barrel looks less than 18″.

Nonetheless…interesting article to read for those of us who have seen the movies mentioned.

While an M203 might be nice, I think I’d rather have a Milkor.

5 Items You Need in Your Survival Shelter

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Archibald-Neil-Sinclair-house-bomb-shelter We can never know when disaster will strike. But rather than waiting around for it to come before deciding our next steps, we can take proactive measures to ensure we’re ready to handle whatever is thrown our way.

One such step includes the construction of an underground survival shelter. These structures give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your loved ones will be safe even in the event the unthinkable occurs.

These kinds of shelters come in all shapes and sizes. They can be custom designed to your specific property, and you can rely on the insights and recommendations of experts who will help you build the one that makes the most sense for your needs.

Not Exactly Roughing It

It’s important to remember that thanks to breakthroughs in technology and design, today’s underground survival shelters can be much more than dark, safe holes in the ground, so to speak. In fact, as you go about planning your survival shelter, you will be better off thinking about building an underground home of sorts.

Indeed, today’s shelters can have it all, everything from closets to flushable toilets to fully functional kitchens and more — the sky, or your wallet, truly is the limit.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at five essential items you need in your shelter:

  1. Food and Drink

    First things first: You’ll want to stockpile at least three days’ worth of food and drink for each person you expect would make use of your survival shelter in the event disaster strikes. Generally speaking, you should set aside a gallon of water each day for each adult.

    For food, get as many non-perishable items if you can, unless you choose to go to the underground full kitchen route, in which case you can stock your fridge and freezer. Things such as crackers, pretzels, canned vegetables, soups and canned meat will do the trick.

  2. Electricity

    While we don’t need electricity to survive per se, it’s safe to say our lives would be significantly inconvenienced if we’re forced to live without it for an extended period of time. Great underground survival shelters are outfitted with enough electricity to allow you to live a somewhat normal life. Be sure to search for the electrical gear you need to produce desired outcomes.

  3. A First-Aid Kit

    You never know when someone might get sick or hurt. Be sure to stock a first-aid kit full of band aids, gauze, sterile bandages, splints, tweezers and scissors. Also stock up on Tylenol and Aspirin.

  4. Tools

    It’s better to have a hammer and not need it than need a hammer and not have it. Put together a tool kit and stick it down in your shelter. Be sure to include wrenches, screwdrivers, a battery-operated radio, flashlights, a fire extinguisher and other relevant items.

  5. Entertainment

    Since you’re going to be living underground for at least a few hours, it’s wise to put some things in your shelter you can turn to for entertainment, particularly if you have children. Some folks go as far as building complete home entertainment systems underground. You don’t necessarily have to do that. Just be sure to store board games, books and playing cards in your shelter.

    Let’s hope the only use you get out of your underground bomb shelter is when your kids play hide and seek. But should a catastrophic event occur and you need safety without having to sacrifice comfort, you’ll find everything you need in your underground survival shelter. Stay safe!

Alicia grew up in Alaska where she earned her hunter and wilderness safety license at age 13. She now works as a content coordinator for a tech company in Pennsylvania and blogs in her free time at Homey Improvements.

Women with guns!

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Women with guns! Ok, now that I have your attention…
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live

Alpha Farm Women with gunsIf you enjoy prepper fiction, then you’ll love Annie Berdel’s book, Alpha Farm, The Beginning. Annie will be giving away a paperback copy of her book, as well as an audio copy.

Alpha Farm, The Beginning has a solid story with un-apologetically strong female characters, which is something not typically seen in most prepper fiction books. Too often, women are relegated to the sidelines in these stories. Not here.

Instead, one woman has taken it upon herself to utilize her connections to other preparedness-minded women, and institute a network of safe houses around the country in case of a disaster- or in the case of this story, multiple, simultaneous disasters. There are plenty of twists and turns, and loads of lessons for preppers in the telling of this tale.

From her Amazon Author profile:

Based in Indianapolis, Annie Berdel is a self proclaimed advocate of educating women in the art of personal protection and self reliance.

As an aspiring writer, Annie took her advocacy and dove into the dystopia genre with strong female lead characters.

A passion for firearms, herbal medicine, knives, slingshots, home canning, Kali street fighting, Kempo karate and furry animals fuels the fire and adds countless stories to be told beginning with her inaugural book “Alpha Farm, The Beginning”.

Join me and Annie Berdel as we discuss her book, personal dynamics during a crisis, prepping, guns, herbal remedies, and who knows what else!
Join us for Herbal Prepper Live “LIVE SHOW” every Sunday 7:00/Et 6:00Ct 4:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

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10 Comfort items you’ll wish you had!

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10 Comfort items you’ll wish you had!

10 Comfort items you'll wish you had!The following 10 items are not just a wise idea to think about for that emergency kit but also for that weekend camping trip or that visit to the relatives for a weekend. Can you count the number of times when upon reaching you destination you realized what it was you had forgotten? Maybe you will see that item in this list or other items in this list you may want to add to yours.

While not exactly edible, having these ten comfort items will make everyday life more comfortable, whatever your emergency, wherever you are.

  1. Deodorant/anti-perspirant. Picture this. You’ve been in your bunker for three weeks. Sponge baths are a rare treat. Then you remember your stash of Secret anti-perspirant. Ahhhh….. instant morale booster, especially if shared.
  2. Feminine products. Aunt Flo doesn’t stop her visits for something as trivial as a nuclear war. A six month’s stash, especially o.b. brand, won’t take up much room, and will greatly improve your quality of life.
  3. Small items for entertainment. Choose multi-use toys and games. Playing cards or Play-Dough, for example. Include a lengthy, multi-chapter book for yourself but family-friendly enough to serve as a read-aloud.
  4. Bar soap. In a pinch it can be used for shampoo and even laundry.
  5. Zip-Locs of all sizes. These can’t be beat for everything from a tooth for the Tooth Fairy to containing nuclear waste, aka dirty diapers.
  6. Rope for a clothesline and clothes pins. Air-dried laundry smells and feels so clean and crisp. It may become your preferred method of drying, even after the electricity comes on, and of course there’s the added benefit of being oh-so-Green!
  7. A pack of never-before-opened underwear for each family member. Enough said.
  8. Battery-powered CD player & CDs. There’s just something about beautiful music for defusing tension and calming nerves.
  9. Tylenol PM. Seriously. Do you really want to be 100% conscious wrapped up in your silver emergency blanket, huddled in the back seat of your mini-van?
  10. Toilet paper. But you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you??

Preparing for natural disasters, nuclear war, or a complete societal breakdown, doesn’t mean we have to lose our sense of humor. In fact, your sense of humor should be #1 on this list! Don’t ever hunker down in your bunker without your comfort items!

Original article on comfort items posted on APN

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Fear The Walking Dead – wrap up of S1

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The first seaon of ‘Fear The Walking Dead’, the spinoff series of ‘The Walking Dead’, came to a close the other week. I finally got around to watching the last several episodes.

The series is entertaining from the zombie-genre standpoint, but the characters are tremendously weak. There is literally no character about whom I care whether they live or die. The only interesting characters, for me, are the newly-introduced ‘Mr. Strand’, and the stereotypical immigrant-who-turns-out-to-have-shady-military-past, Salazar (played by the always entertaining Ruben Blades.)

However, I’m watching this series for it’s portrayal of the slow-to-fast descent into Detroit  Thunderdome. I’m fascinated at the progressive failures of infrastructure and critical systems, and how the characters react to those situations. So far, the only character I’m feeling any sympathy for is the schoolkid at the beginning of the show who kinda knew which way the wind was blowing. (I am, though, appreciating the unflappability of the Hawkins-like Mr. Strand.)

The most noteworthy thing about the final episode of the season was the decision undertaken by the family to leave the confines of the relatively secure neighborhood they were in. It was the classic bug-out scenario.

One character asks where they are going to go. The answer? “West”. That’s a direction, not a destination. But it does illustrate the classic survivalist dilemma – stay or go. But, if you’re going to go, you need to have an actual destination. Just leaving the dangers zone is always a great idea for the short term, but nothing good comes from wandering around in a crisis without a stable place to park yourself.

You would think that out of a group of a half dozen people, someone would have had a hunting cabin, relatives house, or other distant location to fall back to. As it stands, it appears they had nothing better than to drive blindly to the location suggested to them by the enigmatic and clearly self-serving Mr Strand.

But, the lesson in there is that if you’re really going to take this sort of thing seriously, you need to have another location in mind to relocate to. “Shelter in place” or “bug in” sounds great but it would be really, really nice to have a plan B.

New season of The Walking Dead

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It looks like the guys at TWD are finally throwing in some tactics and strategy into the plans of our intrepid group of survivors. Two-way radios, backup plans, mobile scouts, etc, etc. Nice to see that someone finally gets the idea that you can’t just run around the apocalypse and meet things head-on without plans.

Things that still annoy me about The Walking Dead:

  • There are no consequences to horrible personal hygiene
  • Wheres all the gasoline coming from?
  • No .gov of any kind exists? Anywhere? At all?
  • The ‘rogue military’ scenario hasn’t really been fully explored, although the ‘rogue cop’ one was (at the hospital).
  • Guns go ‘click’ multiple times when empty
  • The way Rick holds his Python makes it clear this guy knows nothing about guns

Still, I’m very much enjoying the zombie genre. I still maintain that the fella with a suppressed 10/22 and a few bricks of ammo would go down in history as humanity’s greatest defender.


Movie – “The Martian”

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Went and saw this movie over the weekend. I’m not really a Matt Damon fan, but I am a fan of Ridley Scott’s work, so I ifgured I’d go see it.

The premise, which is pretty obvious from the trailers so there is no spoilage here, is that an astronaut on a manned Mars mission is presumed dead after an accident and his crew leave him behind. He then has to survive on Mars until a rescue mission can be launched…which is well over a year away.

Really, it’s a survival movie of pretty high caliber. Sure the movie gives plenty of technobabble, special effects, and alien landscape…but the real heart of the movie is the attitude of one man, in a hopeless situation, not giving up, and thinking his way through a series of problems. As Damon’s character says in his video log after listing the huge hopeless tasks in front of him, “I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.”

As Rand said, mans mind is his primary tool of survival and this movie greatly supports that statement. The main character has to McGyver all sorts of systems, come up with ideas for communication, making water, growing food, etc, etc, and do it all while not giving in to the crushing loneliness, hopelessness, and despair. And..they did a pretty good job portraying that.

So..no gun play, no zombies, no cannibalism….but still, I would categorize this movie as a first-rate survival film. If you get the chance, I recommend seeing it.