How would I outfit my dog for the end of the world?
Molly and Maynard
Would I buy a doggy flak jacket or some stupid useless crap? Or would I be able to focus on the actual fantastic resource my dog will be to me. If I was to take my dog and set her free in the middle of the woods alone with no food or water and did the same to an average citizen with no survival skills to speak of (besides an episode here and there of naked and afraid or whatever fake survival show is popular now) and left that person in the same conditions as a dog, who would fare better after 3 days? My money is on the dog; basically what I’m saying is we would need the dog more than the dog would need us.
Get a doggy saddlebag setup and portion the minimum amount of food per day your furry friend requires to be a useful team member. Now keep this in the back of your head, for example I have a pug and he is basically a hairy ball of attitude and Twinkies, he may not be able to carry his own food and water. But what’s a little more weight when a companion is in the mix. My second dog is a pit/pointer mix, she will carry a car if asked to do so, I have no concerns regarding her carrying her own supplies and maybe even some extra when it’s called for. Why put this much thought into have a fluffy friend along? Ask any armed service member if they had a pet overseas, when they say yes ask them how important it is to have the pet during times of extreme stress and long days. Anyway, use your dog to your advantage because that smiling wagging buddy of yours will be a priceless asset if you choose to employ your friend in the proper manner. Dogs can be trained to do anything from sit to sniff for illegal drugs with the smallest bit of discipline and training. Seeing both extremes of the amazing capability of your dog you can easily take a few simple steps to start to see what an asset your domestic pet could be, plus it gets you and your dogs some exercise and time to bond. An example of what you could do is just fill up the saddle bag and go for a walk once a week at least and have treats in the bag so eventually the dog will not only willingly put the doggy back pack on but the dog will be excited to cooperate. Get the dog acclimated to riding in the car; trust me this is key, you don’t want dog puke all over your backseat like mine did and the stains won’t come out. So keep that little guy/girl/fat pug in mind when you are buying your next prepping guidebook or wasting money on a GPS when you are prepping for a solar flare. Spend 20 bucks on a stupid doggy saddle bag and get your dogs ready for the zombie Nazi’s from the Amazon or whatever it is you are getting ready for. On a serious note, your dog will serve as a dependable sentry, companion, hunting partner, etc. and all you will have to do in return is feed, water, pet and repeat in that order.
Granted there can be risks involved with having a dog as your copilot in a survival scenario, I think if you analyze it and weigh the pros and cons of having a dog as your battle buddy you will see that having a dog is a great advantage, while there is some negatives overall it will be a wise choice. With all of that being said, when you are making your apocalypse first aid kit makes some room for your animal too, dogs can get sick just like us and it won’t take much effort to be able to provide a decent level of care for your dog. Just do a simple search of common dog ailments and see if there is a particular cure or method to heal the ailing dog, if you wanted to go a step further; next time you speak with your dog’s vet ask questions about your dog’s health, now don’t run in there talking about zombies or the collapse of the American dream because most likely you will be tossed out and probably visited by the police. But seriously just be a genuine concerned dog owner and just mention things like camping and hiking not prepping or end of days, you want to be taken seriously. So based on the answers you receive from this vet will decide if you are able to provide the care needed to have your furry friend be happy and healthy.
Harnessing your dog’s natural prey drive
Molly! Stop rolling in turkey shit for the love of god! That phrase unfortunately is yelled by me far too much in my life, what I tend to overlook is the purpose behind her foul smelling habit, I sometimes chalk it up to her being a sicko and find myself cursing her for some time after. The real purpose behind this something she can’t help, it’s her natural prey drive. Smelling like turkey shit is a horrible thing but the reason that my dog does this is by instinct, she does this to better adapt to become less noticeable to her soon to be prey , the turkey. Covering herself in that pile of turds is her version of a ghillie suit. She will no longer be considered a threat enough for the turkeys to run and attempt to fly away. Granted this is completely useless information in a non-survival scenario but play along there is a point to this. Say you are in a survival situation for an extended period of time and food is running low and it is the end of autumn, That bird could mean you having a nice warm meal and some feathers to use as stuffing for added heat form the cold ground. Your dog in this scenario could be of great use to you while you are searching for your next meal in time of need. If you see your dog out in the woods rolling in crap chances are you are near the trail of an animal so depending on the level of training you have given your dog you could be eating some turkey in no time. Your dog is a natural hunter and will lead you to dinner most times, just do simple things to evaluate your dog’s level of prey drive in everyday life to see the habits and traits your dog possesses, if your dog eats its own poop and just is a sick bastard, chances are you probably don’t want to hire him as your tracker. I know I don’t want to resort to becoming a 5’ 7” walking pile of turkey poo so I’ll leave that part to the dog. This may sound dumb to some of you but also keep in mind of your dog’s dietary needs and what foods are not good for them to eat. No one likes a dog with Armageddon farts in a tent. Onions, grapes, chocolate are just a few of the things to avoid giving your dog.
I would love to have some additional tips submitted in the comment section below and thanks for reading!
As a self-proclaimed minimalist when it comes to all things prepared I wanted to give my 2 cents on the Bugout Bag and the Get Home Bag.
These two items seems to have quite the debate on what the contents should be and the more pushy types on the forums tend to be of the mind that if you don’t use the same designer bag as them that you are woefully under-prepared.
Let’s squash that here, who gives a shit what brand bag you have, the things that matter in regards to the bag are:
Volume of storage
Ease of concealment
I could add a few more but after the big 4 it really is just a matter of opinion, these four characteristics should be the end all and be all when shopping for the actual bag. I prefer a simple Alice Pack with no frame or a plain high school book bag if keeping a low profile.
Guru left his Warrior Mindset at Taco Bell
I feel the Bugout Bag and Get Home Bagare one in the same; the only difference is a get home bag is typically on you or in your vehicle and the bugout is in your home. They serve the same exact purpose; each bag is to only carry the minimal amount of supplies to get you from an unsafe location to a safer location.
This is the point where the forum guru tells me “What if the sky was pink and I was an elephant, you would need a full pack with months worth of food!” If you would like to carry a pack that weighs 30lbs or more be my guest.
Keep in mind that you have this bag because it will have the supplies you need to get home or lead you to your bugout location. Chances are, if you need to use a bugout bag or get home bag that you will be running and running far. Keep It Simple Stupid or KISS is where your head should be when assembling this bag, think of the basics; Beans, Bullets, and Band-Aids.
It seems there is some sort of hysteria these days about these “Doomsday Scenarios” and the End of the World or Economic Collapse. People don’t want to die so they decide they want to know what sort of items to keep around them to be prepared for anything other than a sunny day, and it got me thinking that maybe I should try to put some on a different sort of spin onto which scenario most everybody assumes will happen, like thinking it’s going to be complete chaos and people running around rampant in the streets like something out of a movie like Mad Max, or some weird zombie apocalypse, I feel none of those scenarios are accurate. If there were to be some sort of mass hysteria or zombie apocalypse or any sort of just boring old civil unrest it is not going to be crowds of people running through the streets screaming and lighting people on fire or suddenly feeling the need to just be mowing people down in their Prius while marveling how great the gas mileage is. If the event that took place was to a level that deprived us of services such as gas, electric, trash removal even police and fire protection services, it would be a slow burning fuse not an immediate rush of panic. Imagine your small town without something as simple as trash removal or when you lose power for 5 days in the winter, now picture losing power but there is no chance for a reconnection for months. How could you realistically expect to be prepared for something like that? You can’t, if you work a job and have the same bills I have it is not realistic to expect you can be properly prepared for more than a week of complete self-sustainment. With that being said just do an assessment of your surroundings, take a look at your neighbors, do they have a garden or have some sort of flag that hints they have military or police training. People such as this could be of great usefulness to your survival, just make sure you have something to offer to a group before you try to assemble one or you could find yourself on the outside looking in. Obviously this doesn’t mean have American Idol style try outs for your Zombie Apocalypse Squad, but just be a neighbor and have a casual conversation about their hobbies and make a mental list of people that you know or could get too quickly so you could start the process of preparing for when your supplies run out. This is where you get to see if you are able to sit back and wait it out or if you need to start the process of playing catch up and scrambling to find things to keep you and your group surviving.
If we are left with no one but ourselves to keep us alive for extended period of time we will need to be able to provide the basic necessities such as proper nutrition, clean water, medical care, security and some form of a chain of command. After enough time cut off from what we used to know as society things would change slowly and there will be a decline in basic humanity and compassion. Canned food will run out, fresh food will rot, that is when sheer panic will set in, unless of course you have prepared for a crisis. The hard reality of “Holy Shit, this is real”, and for the holy shit phase of survival to set in we don’t need Zombies or Godzilla. All we need is a car wreck into a ravine in the winter coming back from a ski trip or a home invasion. What will you do as your first act after saying Holy Shit? Your first move after the holy shit phase begins is what will determine the outcome. If you take one thing from this ramble you are now balls deep in to reading, remember this one instruction. Get off the X, this phrase is the key to surviving anything from Jason Voorhees swinging an axe at your head to knowing what side of your vehicle to get out of if you break down on the highway. Get up and move, do something don’t be that person who dies because you failed to act or you froze in fear. Fight or flight, there is no stand there and die option.
I guarantee if you are reading this you have either had a dream about or déjà vu or unfortunately lived through a home invasion or carjacking, these two examples are terrifying to think that could happen to you and for me I try to think of what two items I would say are the absolute must haves in these situationsto help me best get out of or to deal with the after math of these scenarios. If I could snap my fingers and pause a home invasion or carjacking to get two items for my use in either of these situations I would grab my cell phone and my Glock 19. These two items can get you out of almost any undesirable situation that I can think of. Modern cell phones have taken the place of about 15 to 20 items depending on what apps you have installed. If you were asleep in your house and you hear the stereotypical glass break and your front or back door creak open the first thing that you should be doing is dialing 911, press send and grab your gun (if you have one). If alone put your phone on speaker and give the dispatcher your name and address and a brief description of what you are calling about and if you are armed make sure that the dispatcher knows this, you do not want to be mistaken for the assailant. Now having a gun doesn’t mean the next step is to go room to room gun blazing, use your brain and think and listen. Is this actually a break in? How many sets of footsteps do you hear? What language are they speaking and are they taking items or heading to a bedroom. If the person/people that have broken in to your home are taking your television you need to make the decision of do you let them take it and avoid confrontation and just file an insurance claim or do you try to stop the robbery by force of the threat of force? Is your $800.00 television worth your life or a wrongful death suit? If so then proceed as you will, but for me I’ll take the hit in my pride and insurance rates to avoid unnecessary possible jail time or worse endangering my family when it could have been avoided. But if it is clear they are not in my house for items I can go to the store and replace, that is something completely different. If the intent of entering your home is to cause you or your loved ones bodily harm you should again dial 911, press send, grab your trusty firearm (hopefully you have another person to arm as well), if there is children in the house clear to the rooms of the children and get them to your hopefully most desirable room to defend. Post up security at the door, this is where something like as simple as you chambering a round and stating out loud that the police have been called and that you are armed and you don’t want to die. I know if I broke into a house and I heard someone chamber a firearm of any king and spoke with authority regarding their will to live, I would get the hell out and move on to an easy target. There are few things in this world that will put fear into a person more than the sound of a shotgun chambering a round. But if that also fails to deter this person you need to be prepared to escalate things 1 step more. If on a second floor, do not leave the high ground. The funneling effect of a stairwell could mean life or death for you, ever stepped on a set of stairs in a house that doesn’t squeak? Neither have I, you will be heard and prime for bad things to happen. This also works in your favor, make this person funnel themselves you will hear them coming and they can move anywhere but up or down. I would in this situation sound out the second I hear someone on the stairs that they will be eating buckshot if they take one more step in my house, and advise them that if they value life they should leave immediately. If you are wondering why I am conservative on dealing with these situations, well sure if I had my old fire team from when I was clearing houses I would without a doubt go down in force and deal with the situation quickly and decisively but this isn’t that. Chances are this is you, in your undies; no shoes, half awake and you need to realize you may be at a disadvantage and the odds of you getting the drop on a burglar or someone trying to harm you is really out of the question. They will know you are awake and they will also need to make a decision, will they take what they can and leave or will they stay and try to harm you. Please proceed methodically and carefully if this situation unfortunately ever arises. And always call 911 first.
If you are in your car and someone taps on the window for you to get out and give them the car, immediately look, does this person have a weapon? If so get out happily give them your car and try to get your phone. Call the police and just have a beer and thank god that you didn’t get shot. There is no way in hell you are going to be able to do anything if a gun is pointed at you if you try to speed off they will see the panic in your eyes widen and they will most likely not shoot, but is it worth the chance? But if this person taps on your window with a knife or something they have to hold and swing to harm you and if you have the room to drive away just flip them the bird, call the cops and be on your way. But of course there could be the situation where your window is down and this person tried to grab you, if this happens I hope you have a knife, gun pepper spay or something to establish the upper hand for you. If your life is in danger and you have no doubt that your life will end by the actions of this person, you need to act in a manner to buy you another day on earth. But again if you know that you would not be able to gain the upper hand on the situation, decide if possible think if you can get out of the situation reasonably unscathed if so give up the car, time for a new model anyway. Feel free to practice real world but realistic ways to come out on top in the above stated situations but know your limits don’t make a small inconvenience into a tragedy, objects can be replaced.
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!
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?