If a burglar, kidnapper, or home invasion robbing crew targeted your home, it would be good if your home were a hard target, like a castle for fortress of the ancient days, but the reasonableness of your security measures must take into account the likelihood and severity of the risks you might face. Let’s go over some ways to make your home more secure, focusing on hardware and structural changes, not skills or techniques to learn.
By Kurt Martin, a Contributing Author to SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog
Most people have already considered moderately-effective security improvements such as getting an alarm system, installing deadbolt locks on exterior doors, installing exterior lighting all around your home, trimming trees and shrubs around windows, and getting a dog. Almost everybody reading this article will already own one or more “home defense” firearms. These are all good steps, but so much more can be done.
For the purposes of this article, let us acknowledge that unless your home is built from the foundation up as a fortress, you cannot expect any security measures to stop a determined team of burglars who are willing to take some time and make noise to get inside. If they come when you are home, your security precautions can give you a warning, so that you can put your defensive plan into effect. If you are not home, your alarm and other security measures could give cops or your neighbors time to respond.
First Objective: Know They’re Coming
In order to defend your home and/or quickly send other people to defend your home in your absence, the first thing you need to know is that an attack on your home is beginning. It would be desirable to see the arrival of the criminals on your property. For this, you want windows or cameras looking out into your yard from every direction– the street, the sides, and the back yard.
Windows and cameras. Every side of your home should have windows from which you can see out. Upper floor windows make for safer viewing out and are less vulnerable to being entry points for intruders. Windows are also potential defensive positions for you and your family to try to drive off or repel the attackers. Virtually all security-sensitive businesses, government offices, and the homes of VIPs, have a camera surveillance system as part of the security plan. Today’s security cameras often come with infrared lights to work—with limited range—even in total darkness. We would all be safer if we had them for our homes. A peephole can be more useful than a window sometimes. All your exterior doors should have one-way peepholes in them, preferably with wide-angle lenses so you can see people standing to the side of the door.
Exterior lighting. Motion detector activated lighting is important, as are floodlights that you can also turn on with a switch. They should be positioned to shine away from your home, so that you can see out without getting any glare, and without the lights making you visible from the outside. If one side of your home has no windows, consider mounting a camera there. Studies show that good lighting of your home and yard at night is one of the most cost-effective methods of home security to discourage burglars.
Perimeter motion detectors. Another way of knowing when somebody is coming onto your property is to use a perimeter warning circuit in your home alarm system. Most home alarm systems will accommodate this kind of addition, but most homeowners do not upgrade to this level of protection. Perimeter detection can be either of two popular types: wide area motion detectors or beam-break detectors. Both kinds are available with two kinds of underlying technologies: passive infrared light, or microwave signals.
Related: Handling an Active Shooter Situation
Perimeter warning units mount outdoors around your home and yard, on posts, tree trunks, or the side of your home. Wide area motion detectors will alert to a human or large animal’s movement in your yard, within a cone-shaped zone. Beam-break type detectors come in sets of two units, and one projects a beam toward the other, and the line between the sending unit and receiving / reflecting unit is the “beam” that is being monitored. If anything crosses that line, its body will temporarily block the beam of infra-red light, and the alarm is triggered. The more common models that you might buy at a big box home improvement store use IR light, and they have a range of about 50-75 feet. The commercial models used by businesses are more expensive, but reach out to over 300 feet.
Perimeter alarm systems work best in conjunction with physical barriers around your property, such as fences, and a gate across your driveway to slow the approach of unwelcome vehicles. These barriers serve to give you more of a warning, as the criminals approach will be slower and noiser.
Second Objective: Block Their Entry
If criminals attack your home, you want them to find all your doors and windows closed and locked. They may try to break through one of these points of entry, probably a back door, where they cannot be seen from the street or may not be visible to the neighbors. You want your doors to resist being pried-open or kicked-in. Here is how you can make your exterior doors stronger:
Strong exterior doors. Not all doors are equal when it comes to construction. Some are thin molded plastic glued to a wooden frame. Others have steel sheet metal over a wooden frame. Wood is weaker than fiberglass and undesirable in a high-security door. Even solid wood doors, though strong across the middle, are weak where they are drilled-out for the lock components. Commercial fire-rated steel doors are stronger than ones made for residential applications, but they’re a lot more expensive. Choose a door that does not have windows in it, especially if that glass is located close enough to the lock mechanism that a criminal could smash the glass and reach through to the lock.
The weakest link of the door itself is where it has been hollowed-out for the lock sets– the door material here is pencil-thin and easy to rip away from the metal lock components.
High-security locks and door-mounting hardware. A standard exterior door lock has a short bolt that only engages a tiny bit into a recess in the door frame. A deadbolt, mounted several inches above the standard doorknob, gives you a second bolt with a much longer range of motion; it will often reach over an inch into the door frame. Make sure the fit of the door to the door frame and strike plate is good, with a very small gap. Many locking doors have a lockset that is supposed to prevent easy opening with a stiff plastic like a driver’s license, but in the real world sloppy installation or the loosening of the door frame over cause misalignment that will allow anybody to “jimmy” the lock.
To address the inherent weakness in doors and door frames due to flimsy and thin wood components that surround the lock parts themselves, buy door security hardware that lets you screw steel reinforcing plates or “wrap-arounds” over the part of the door that has the lock mechanism. You can also reinforce your strike plate, which is the rectangular metal piece surrounding the hole in the door frame into which the bolt of the lock will enter.
In addition to bolting steel plates to your door around the lock mechanism, as reinforcements to the door itself, you should use bigger, longer screws in and around your door. Replace the short, skinny nails and screws that your door was installed with. Use deck screws, which come in lengths of over 3.5 inches.
Augment your door’s locks with an external bar. Remember, no matter how good your door’s locks are, the bolts can be cut with modern cordless power tools. Criminals have been known to use such battery-powered tools to cut chains and locks. Another way to prevent a door from being forced open is to use a locking bar that is propped against the door at a 45 degree angle. Some such bars require a slot or stud hole in your floor, but others use a rubber-coated end and friction to prop the bar in place.
Reinforce your windows. As for windows, the most obvious problem is that a criminal can break the glass, reach in, unlock the window sash, open the window, and climb in. To make your windows stronger, consider putting up another layer of barrier in addition to the glass panes. Some people use rigid panes or sheets of clear plastic, and this is good if the type of plastic is polycarbonate, such as the brand Lexan. Do not use cheap acrylic plastic, it is not particularly strong nor shatter-resistant. There are also “security film” window treatments on the market. They are tough but flexible wraps of clear (or tinted) plastic that apply to glass doors and windows just as one would apply tint film to car windows. This security film will hold the window together even when the glass underneath is broken. It is tough enough and energy-absorbing enough that it can’t easily be ripped away to create a big opening for an intruder to climb through.
However, a window’s sashes or frame can be smashed-through, just like a door. That’s why some people in high crime areas fortify their windows (and sometimes doors) with burglar bars. These bars cover the entire window opening with a cage or screen. They are much less attractive than clear plastic. Although they look “ghetto,” they are high security. One risk that comes from covering your windows with burglar bars is that it will often prevent the window from opening. You should consider whether you might need to use that window for ventilation or for an emergency escape, such as in case of a fire. Some burglar bar sets have a quick-release system, accessible only from the inside of the home.
Third Objective: Have Hard Cover in Your Home
If intruders made it through your doors and windows and get into your home, while you and your family are there, one or more of you may want to fight off the intruders, while others escape, either by leaving the home or locking themselves in a safe room.
Safe room. A safe room is a place inside your home for you to stay out of sight and out of reach of intruders, even if that means the intruders can steal anything they want from the rest of your home. It should be a room that is very hard to break-into, and one that is equipped for you to comfortably stay there for a long time. The door to the safe room should be an exterior grade door, or a fire-rated door suitable for commercial construction. It should have good locks and lock-reinforcing hardware installed as described previously in this article. The door should have a one-way, wide-angle peephole.
If you were building or remodeling your home, I would suggest making the walls of one of the smaller rooms in your home (a guest bedroom, big bathroom, or a large walk-in closet) extra strong for future use as a safe room. For this room, you may want to put steel mesh screen across the studs before you enclose them with sheetrock (drywall). A good type of screen for this purpose is “remesh” made for reinforcing poured concrete driveways. You may want to have the studs placed at 8” center to center instead of the normal 16” spacing, to make it impossible for an intruder to rip through the flimsy sheetrock and step into that room by passing his body in between the 2×4 studs. Or you could use sheets of plywood to cover those walls first, and then use drywall.
Check Out: Estwing Axe
The safe room should also have weapons inside it to deal with the intruders should they manage to break into that room. You should also have an axe and pry bar in that room so that you can break OUT of it, if necessary, if for some reason that strong door was blocked or its lock jammed so that you could not open it.
Consider what is “cover” inside your home. If you had to grab a gun and fight intruders, would it be to your advantage to position yourself behind bullet-resistant cover? Of course it would. Every tactical shooting course and every instructor on the topic of combat arms shows you how to make use of cover while engaging your adversary. Inside your home, think of what you have, or could that would serve as cover. Keep in mind that cover is not the same as concealment. Concealment just hides you from sight. Doors are concealment. Even the interior walls of your home only “conceal” you from the bad guys, but interior walls will not stop incoming bullets. Cover is defined as something that effectively blocks or deflects bullets.
With your knowledge of the layout of your home, you should anticipate the likely point of entry for intruders, and you should choose a few defensive positions in your home. Don’t count on the corners of walls, or doorways, as reliable cover. All popular handgun and rifle bullets, as well as buckshot or slugs from a shotgun, will go right through interior walls easily, with lethal velocity as they emerge on the other side. The only parts of an interior wall that can stop or significantly slow down handgun bullets are the wooden wall studs– and there is only one stud per 16 inches of wall length in most walls. If the bullet hits any of the other 15 inches along that section of wall, it encounters only a couple layers of drywall. Bullets go through drywall like a knife through butter.
A bookcase whose shelves are filled with books and other paperwork can stop bullets. A refrigerator full of food and beverages will stop handgun bullets and buckshot from a shotgun, and some small, high velocity rifle bullets. The same applies to ovens, washers, and dryers– consider them “cover” as to most common handguns, but not for rifle rounds. Furniture is no good as cover. Wooden chairs and tables don’t usually stop even pistol bullets, and upholstered furniture like sofas and reclining chairs are only “concealment” if you duck behind them, not cover. Your bedroom dresser, with the drawers full of clothes, makes better cover than the mattress and box spring of your bed.
In times of peace and relative safety, certain security measures are more “worth it” than others. It all depends on the risks you and your home face, and how much peace of mind you would attain from having a fortified home with a good security system. Because conditions in our society could change rapidly, it may not be unreasonable to beef up your home now, when you have easy access to all the hardware at the local shopping center. In times of trouble, the roads may be more hazardous for travel and the hardware and home supply stores could be closed or sold out of the products you need. It’s better to prepare now.
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These nurses work alone, and as we all know it is illegal in Australia to carry anything for self defence. Gayle Woodford was raped and murdered whilst at work. We need new laws that will give people like Gayle and other citizens a better chance of survival when crime is on the increase in Australia. Allowing two nurses to work together is a start, but it is not enough. We need legislation allowing law abiding Australian citizens to carry guns for self defence and if necessary for the defence of others, such as family members. In cases where people do not wish to carry a gun, then tasers and capsicum sprays should be a legal option.
Body armor life saving tactical gear! Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! Hey guys and gals, on this episode of “The Prepping Academy” we’re covering fun life saving tactical gear. That’s right, we are talking body armor. We have a special guest expert on this topic joining us in this show. It’s going … Continue reading Body armor life saving tactical gear!
The Threats We Face! Host: James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! The threats that face the average American family are many. They are part of a list that seems to be ever growing. Outside of the very real social and environmental risks there are true physical threats to our family. These threats … Continue reading The Threats We Face!
If you want to be truly prepared for any emergency situation, self-defense is an essential skill set. Preppers, in particular, need to know how to defend themselves during major emergencies, as they will typically be in possession of scarce resources that others will go to great lengths to get. Here are the four fundamental self-defense and combat skills that every prepper needs to know.
Using a Firearm
In a true emergency situation, having to use a firearm—such as a rifle from DSGARMS—for self-defense is always a possibility. Though everyone hopes it never comes to that, it is better to be prepared than to be caught off guard. For preppers in areas with wildlife, being able to use a firearm can also help with procuring food. Pick a firearm out and train with it extensively at a gun range. Also be sure to learn proper gun maintenance, as you’ll want your firearm to be in top firing shape should your life ever depend on it.
Basic Martial Arts Proficiency
If you find yourself in an unarmed combat situation, basic martial arts training could very well save your life. For the best in combat preparedness, skip karate and learn a martial art like Israeli Krav Maga or Russian Systema. Both of these martial arts were developed specifically for use in life-or-death modern combat and teach students to survive a fight by any means necessary.
Making a Cell Phone Trip Wire
If you end up in an urban survival situation, there’s a good chance you’ll need to secure a building or space. Installing real alarms may not be an option, but a simple hack with a cheap cell phone, some tape and a piece of paper can produce a functional intruder warning device. Just be sure to keep a spare prepaid phone handy, as you may have trouble finding one once an emergency situation is underway.
Disarming an Armed Opponent
A specialized subset of martial arts skills is the ability to disarm someone with a weapon. Though it’s tricky, knowing how to properly disarm an opponent could save your life in a real combat situation. The best way to develop this skill is to learn the basic techniques and then practice them with a training partner using rubber weapon replicas. With enough repetition, you’ll be able to deploy these techniques under pressure, giving you a good chance at success if you ever have to use them in real life.
Whether or not you end of facing war or famine, these are some very important skills that will definitely come in handy. Choose one of the above skills and try to learn it within the next month or two and you’ll be all the more prepared for any situation that might come
A few years back, Springfield Armory came out with a single stack 9mm to much fanfare and then as quickly as the pistol launched, they promptly recalled the pistol due to a possible unsafe condition. The recall read as follows (from manufacturer): “Springfield Armory is initiating this voluntary safety recall to upgrade 3.3 XD-S 9mm and 3.3 XD-S .45ACP pistols with new components, which eliminate the possibility of a potentially dangerous condition. We want to emphasize that no injuries have been reported to date. Springfield has determined that under exceptionally rare circumstances, some 3.3 XD-S™ 9mm and .45ACP caliber pistols could experience an unintended discharge during the loading process when the slide is released, or could experience a double-fire when the trigger is pulled once. The chance of these conditions existing is exceptionally rare, but if they happen, serious injury or death could occur.”
Springfield Armory apparently learned the lessons of Remington and as soon as this unsafe condition was brought to their attention, they leaned into getting back every XD-S 3.3″ barrel pistol that they sold. They then repaired the pistols and returned them to the customers. They also changed the manufacturing process on all future pistols from the factory. Now every XD-S 3.3″ off the line has the new improvements.
Related: The Katrina Pistol
If you are looking to buy a used XD-S 9mm 3.3″ pistol, you can tell very quickly if the pistol has been upgraded by looking at the outside grip safety without disassembling the pistol. XD-S 9mm 3.3″ that have been upgraded have a visible roll pin on the left and right side of the grip safety. See below.
With the new upgrades and the bugs worked out, we loved the XD-S 9mm. As promised, it shot great. The stock fiber optic sights were better than average and the slim profile of the pistol is very appealing to concealed carry customers and under cover police. The downside of the single stack is a magazine that carries 7 rounds in the flush fitting mag and 8 rounds in the extended magazine. Like I always say, I have never heard someone say “I wish I had less rounds in a gun fight.”
Recoil System: Dual Spring w/ Full Length Guide Rod
Sights: Fiber Optic Front & Dovetail Rear (Steel)
Weight: (with Empty Magazine) 23 ozs. Height: 4.4″ w/ Compact Mag, 5″ w/ Mid-Mag X-Tension™
Slide: Forged Steel, Melonite Finish
Barrel: 3.3″ Hammer Forged, Steel, Melonite® / 1:10 Twist
Grip Width: .9″
Frame: Black Polymer
Magazines: 1 – 7 Round Flush Fitting, 1 – 8 Round With Mid-Mag X-Tension™, Stainless Steel
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If you were charged with putting together a basic 3-gun set of weapons for prepping and survival use, how much money would you need to spend to get the job done. If you are new to this game, then this may be a perplexing question. It is one I highly recommend for some judicious research, reading, inquiry and shopping. After all, in a tight situation, your life may depend on the answer. There are a multitude of choices. Think of this guide as a baseline for your budget picks.
Let’s suppose we gave you $1000. Could you assemble a weapon’s set including a basic handgun, a rifle, and a shotgun with that amount? We’re talking good, serviceable guns, too, not rusted junk either. Let’s explore the options.
A Presumptive Assumption
Before we wrestle with the suggestion of a mere three gun weapons set, know we are simply laying out the most basic defensive weapons deployment for personal and property security, hunting, and other prepper uses. We know full well that most preppers will have many more options, but we have to start somewhere, then build on it. For the purposes of these recommendations, we are limiting our selection to one handgun, one rifle, and one shotgun. The idea is to suggest that such a cache could be acquired for at least $1000, possibly less. And we are not necessarily talking used guns either, but that option should be left open. There is nothing wrong with used guns in great condition.
Our choices may not be your choices, as there are many, many options in today’s gun market. Enough so as to be rather confusing to those just getting into prepping and deciding that some form of personal protection in the manner of firearms may be needed. To that end, our suggestions are focused to fit these restrictive budgetary limitations.
The Basic Prepper Handgun
For practical purposes here, we are not going to engage in a full or detailed dissertation on all the potential choices as to handgun type, brand, model or caliber. Thus we are not going to mince words either.
Read Also: The Katrina Pistol
The recommended choice for a first prepper handgun or rather pistol to be used primarily for self-defense is a semi-automatic pistol chambered for the highly common and widely available 9mm. Sure there are other choices, but this is a solid middle of the road choice between the .380 ACP and a .45 ACP. Sorry, but the .22 rimfire is not on the list for defensive purposes.
Why a pistol and not a revolver? For a one gun choice, the capacity to quickly change out loaded magazines is paramount. Indeed, revolvers may be easier to learn to handle and shoot, but they are too slow to reload under most conditions. A pistol is a better choice when used correctly.
With very careful shopping, a consumer can find a 9mm pistol in the $300-400 range, $500 tops. Among the list to inspect would be the SCCY (pronounced sky), Beretta Nano, Glock 43 (used), Hi-Point, Kel-Tec, Ruger LC9 (used), Ruger P-Series, Smith and Wesson (used), Stoeger, Taurus and perhaps some others. There is no evaluation of these models here, just cost considerations.
As with all gun purchases, a trustworthy gun dealer can steer you to a quality gun either new or used to suit your purposes. Just do your research, inquire of other shooters, and go into any gun deal with eyes and ears wide open.
The Survivalist Rifle
Now it gets a bit tougher. It would be easy to simply suggest getting an AR-15 platform rifle in 5.56/223 or even perhaps the .300 Blackout or 6.8 SPC for a bit more power. You make that choice, but know the AR-15 would be a good choice. For some, a bolt action rifle would be good, too. An AR could be used with basic open sights, but likely a bolt action will need a scope for an extra cost. Optics could be added later of course. Either can be used for hunting.
Right now AR prices have moderated especially since the election and the 2nd Amendment scare is over for now, we hope. Dealers overstocked thinking Hillary would win. Now they are trying to sell off their inventories. Right now is a good time to buy an AR.
Working gun shows regularly, I have seen new, in the box ARs selling for slightly under $500, $600 tops depending on the exact model. Check out these brands: DPMS or Bushmaster. They offer utility bare bones models. Used ARs can be found, but inspect them thoroughly before buying or get a return guarantee if possible. Avoid buying somebody else’s trouble.
As with the pistol, the AR rifle offers quick change magazines that can be pre-loaded and ready. Under dire circumstances sustained fire can be critical. The AR accessory aftermarket is loaded with options. For a basic first prepper rifle, the AR is hard to beat.
The Elementary Smoothbore
Buying a decent shotgun is probably the easiest of the triple threat. Recommendations are easier, too. Buy a pump action shotgun, either a classic Remington 870, a Mossberg 500 or Savage in 12 gauge. Get serious and forget the 20 gauge. Stick with a basic hardwood stock, but synthetic is OK if the price point is right. An ideal defense shotgun would have a barrel of 26-inches or less. The 20-inch tactical barrel is easier to handle indoors and around barriers. Make sure the barrel accepts screw in choke tubes so the shotgun can be used for multiple purposes such as hunting.
Related: Survival Shotgun Selection
Good, serviceable used pump shotguns can be found for less than $200. New ones can be found for $269-329 with some companies offering rebates as well. I just saw an H&R Partner Protection model at Academy for $179, new. There may be additional sales after the New Year begins.
If you work hard, shop smart, and have some luck, this 3-gun set can be bought for $1000 or close to it. Next as appropriations become available start stocking ammo. How much? At least 1000 rounds each of pistol and rifle ammo and 500 shotshell rounds. Again, these are starting places.
Undoubtedly, these recommendations will spark debate, criticism, and opinions. We welcome that. The ultimate goal here is to outfit new preppers with the basic gear they need to survive a host of SHTF scenarios.
Badass DIY Home Security for Preppers Being prepared for a SHTF situation is critical to keeping your family safe, and a home security system is a big part of being prepared. We can all agree that it’s best to keep intruders out of the home, but in the event that they do, we need to …
Well, I don’t know about you, but I hate freezing my butt off when it’s cold outside! Now add a worst-case scenario, and you could DIE out there, so it’s important to know how to dress for extended exposure to the frigid cold. Fortunately, it isn’t as hard as it might seem… especially with the addition of new clothing technology and a common sense approach.
Here’s How It Works..
Your body is a furnace that continuously generates surplus heat (when it is working properly), so all we need to do is use scaleable layers of the right clothing to PRESERVE the heat your body creates and maintain a comfortable micro-climate between your skin and outer layers of clothing- adding layers when you get cold and removing layers when you get too warm.
Layer #1: Sub Base Layer
I’ve found that a snug pair of briefs and a long sleeve or sleeveless top made of nylon or polyester that is breathable, dries quick and pulls sweat away from your body works great. Short sleeve shirts tend to bunch up and be uncomfortable under thermals.
Under Armour and Exofficio brands are durable and have worked well for me and are great for year-round use, travel and bug-out bags because they wash out easily and dry quickly and can be reused without laundering.
Both brands make great sub-base layer products for the ladies,too.
Under Armour – Boxer Brief:
Under Armour – Sleeveless Shirt:
Cotton Clothing Warning
Cotton clothing is terrible for active extended exposure to the cold. Why? Because when you sweat or get wet from snow or rain, cotton absorbs moisture, loses its insulating properties and draws heat from your body instead of retaining it.
That’s bad news…
AND a sure fire recipe for hypothermia!
NEXT Up… We Need Socks… Wool Socks
AND not just any wool socks… I prefer Merino Wool Socks.
Merino wool is warm and softer than other wools so it’s NOT scratchy…. I hate scratchy wool!
Plus Merino wool is tough, wicks moisture, is breathable and naturally elastic, so my socks stay up in my boots.
Layer #2: Base Layer
We used to call these Long Johns or Thermals… NOT anymore.
Long sleeve top and bottoms made out of breathable yet insulating polyester like my PolarMax Base Layer are lightweight, roomy, warm and comfortable down to almost zero degrees Fahrenheit. But for extreme cold, I pull out my military issue polypropylene thermal top and bottoms.
Extreme Cold Base – Top:
Extreme Cold Base – Bottom:
PolarMax – Double Base – Top:
PolarMax – Double Base – Bottom:
Heavyweight Merino Wool Base Layer:
Now We Need Some Pants…
Durable, water and wind repelling pants made of wool or at least 60% polyester work great.
5.11 or Proper Tactical pants work really well over your base layer… but for extreme cold it’s hard to beat my military surplus winter wool trousers. Oh yeah!!!
And don’t forget your belt and multi-tool.
60% + Poly – Tactical Pants:
Surplus Wool Pants:
Fleece Lined Pants:
Layer #3: Core Layer
For tops, I layer two 100% poly fleece pullover shirts… a thinner one closer to my body and then a thicker one on top. And tops with 1/4 zippers on the front are helpful for regulating heat.
Fleece Pullover – Light:
Fleece Pullover – Heavy:
Keep ‘Em Loose
Make sure your core layers are NOT too tight because what really keeps you warm is having pockets of warm air between each clothing layer.
Layer #4: The Outer Shell
A tough, insulated, water and wind repelling jacket is what you need.
For moderately cold temperatures, my tactical softshell jacket with hood works great and is very durable.
BUT when the temperature goes south of freezing I’m wearing a jacket with an outer shell that is highly water resistant and totally blocks the wind. Your coat must be well insulated to keep your core heat in and I think a hood is essential.
For extreme cold… nothing beats a down parka.
Free Country Insulated Jacket:
Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System – Coat
How About Ski Pants?
Although ski or 100% polyester pants may seem like a good idea, they can be pricey and also run the risk of melting when they come in contact with a spark or flame.
BONUS Tip – How to Become Waterproof
To add a tough, scaleable, wind and waterproof outer shell for extreme weather protection… I recommend the Helly Hansen Impertech Jacket and Pants… just make sure you size them large enough to fit over all your winter clothing.
Helly Hansen Impertech – Rain Jacket:
Helly Hansen Impertech – Rain Pants:
To keep your feet happy, I recommend comfortable, rugged, insulated, waterproof boots, that are not super bulky.
They need to keep your feet warm and dry and be able to stand up to hard extended wear if needed.
My current favorite all purpose winter boots are my Rocky Men’s Core Hunting Boots with 800 grams of Thinsulate… They are tough, warm, waterproof and SUPER comfortable to wear all day… but there’s a lot of choices out there… so you’ll have to try some boots on and find what works best for you.
NOW for your Feet Neck, Head and Hands…
Now around my neck I usually wear a polyester BUFF headwear scarf as a base layer to wick moisture and add a layer of cold resistance… And then as an outer layer I add either a polyester neck warmer – like my vintage turtle fur… or a Shemagh Scarf Wrap.
Both are good options… but the Shemagh is my favorite due to the many ways it can be wrapped and used for neck, face and head protection… the downside is that the Shemagh is made of cotton… so it will be useless if it gets soaked.
BUFF Neck Wool Base Layer:
Next… You gotta… Cover your head…
As a base layer for keeping the old NOGGIN’ warm, I recommend a simple fleece watch cap in addition to your insulated coat hood. Together they will offer scaleable protection from the cold and wind.
But for extreme cold… nothing beats my sheepskin bomber style hat.
Fleece – Cap:
Bomber / Trapper Hat
Last, but not least, we need some tough and warm, water-resistant gloves. For maximum warmth, I can’t find anything better than a durable pair of insulated mittens, but for a versatile, glove made to work AND keep your hands warm, the Carharts Insulated Work Gloves are worth a look. I’ve been really pleased with them so far.
Carhartt Cold Snap Gloves:
One last final touch are sunglasses to protect your eyes from light reflecting off the snow and from bitter winds. I prefer tactical shooting glasses that provide maximum coverage.
So, there you have it… a simple, scaleable system that can keep you warm if you ever have to survival in the cold. Be Prepared and Stay Safe! ~David
HERE’s a Bonus List of Arctic and EXTREME Cold Clothing Upgrades to ADD to Your Standard Cold Weather Clothing Kit:
Extreme Cold Base – Bottom:
Bomber / Trapper Hat
Heavyweight Merino Wool Base Layer:
Muckluck Boots – Military Surplus (Don’t forget the liners):
Baffin Arctic Boots:
Balaclava – Extreme Face and Head Protection:
Arctic Expedition Parka:
Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System – Coat
Arctic Expedition Pants
Anti-Fog Snow Goggles:
Times are tough. The economy is rolling, but not like a freight train. The country is in heavy debt from social spending and the support of conflicts abroad that are not really our conflicts. The middle class is taxed to death. The oil industry is still dragging. Ironically, we continue to import oil from the Saudis just as we discover a huge new oil field in Texas. Families struggle to support themselves with two or more jobs. Medical care costs are out the roof and insurance is crazy expensive. The post-election turmoil continues. Who knows how that will turn out?
With all this going on, how can any person, family or team interested in prepping afford to supply themselves with essentials much less build a decent protective weapons cache? It can be done. It has to be done with consideration for a bare bones approach. Here are some suggestions to formulate a plan if you are just getting started.
Begin with the Basics
A good Ford F-150 or Chevy pickup will get you to work, and to bug out camp just as well as a $100,000 Land Rover. Actually, the pickup is probably the better choice anyway. It is the same concept in putting together a starter kit for personal protection prepping weapons. You don’t need the top bill guns to start out. What you need to do is shop smart and buy wisely. With all kinds of debates on this topic, everybody has their own thoughts and opinions on what to get. The bottom barrel scratch kit should include a basic defense handgun, a good pump shotgun, and a defensive rifle. Again, this is not a wish list, but a base set of guns to get the job done.
Handgun of Choice
In the realm of handheld weapons there are base choices: a 5-6 shot swing out cylinder, double action revolver, or a magazine fed semi-auto pistol. The choices for a newbie are overwhelming. If you are so new to this game that you know virtually nothing about guns, then do your homework. There are plenty of resources: shop a good prepper gun book, the internet, and seek out advice from firearms professionals.
As for revolvers, I suggest you find a good .357 Magnum, six shot, 4-6 inch, double action. With this handgun you can also shoot less recoiling .38 Specials in the same gun. There are two bonus features to that. Learn to shoot with less powerful loads that are cheaper to shoot, then have the full power .357 when needed.
If these revolvers are too large to be comfortable for your grip, then opt for a smaller .38 Special with a four or six inch barrel. This is a protective wheel gun, not a concealment firearm. Go with fixed sights such or quality adjustable sights. If you want to tackle the more complicated semi-auto pistol that is magazine fed through the base of the grip, I highly recommend the 9mm. This is a widely available, mid-range power pistol cartridge.I also recommend professional shooting instruction. Pistols have various safety mechanisms and other factors that demand instruction. Reading the owner’s manual is not enough.
There are dozens of choices for this type of pistol on the market. Choose a high quality pistol brand such as a Beretta, Glock, Colt, Smith and Wesson, Ruger, SCCY, SIG, or CZ. Handle as many full-sized pistols as you can. Steer away from the pocket pistol for an initial handgun.
Handgun costs vary widely for new and used guns. Revolvers can be found from $300 to $1000. Pistols are the same pricing from $400 on the low end to $1000. If you shop carefully, I think you can find a good pistol for $500 or less. Add a couple extra factory magazines and at least 500 rounds of ammo.
Let’s go simple here. Buy a pump action, 12-gauge shotgun. The 26-inch barrel is good, but some can handle an 18-20 inch barrel. Get screw in chokes so you can hunt with the gun. Choose either plain hardwood or black synthetic stocks. These shotguns will only have a bead sight up front to align when looking down the barrel. I am biased toward the Remington 870, but other brands are available.
In regards to bird hunting, buy several boxes of hunting shells with shot load sizes in #6, 7 ½, and 8. For defense, get some loads in buckshot or high brass #2s or 4s. Add a box or two of shotgun slugs for heavy hunting or heavy threats.
A good used 870 can be bought for $150-250. A brand new one can be had for $289 at Academy or other outlets. Buy the base model with matte finish and wood stock at this price.
There is plenty of content available on prepper rifles. Treat this purchase as mentioned above for handguns. Again, let’s cut to the chase. If you could only have one defensive prep rifle to start with, then it needs to be a basic AR-15, 5.56 Nato/.223. There are dozens of options to buy.
The basic AR that offers the most versatility is an “optics ready” version or a model with a flat top Picatinny rail for mounting open sights or an optical scope. The hand guard should offer an accessory mounting system, Picatinny rail, M-Loc, or KeyMod arrangement so you can add sling mounts, flashlight, or handstops as needed. Don’t go wild with accessories on a first, primary rifle. Learn to handle it, shoot it, maintain it and carry it. Accessorize it later. A good AR should cost no more than $800. At present there are nearly 500 AR rifle makers. Stick with a well-known, common factory rifle. Buy a manual on its upkeep, running, and maintenance.
For basics, add at least 10 high quality polymer magazines. Build your ammo stock up to a minimum of 1000 rounds. Add some practice, hunting, and defensive rounds. Load all your mags and mark them accordingly.
This is your basic piecemeal prepper gun kit. At the very least, this is a good place to start: one handgun, shotgun, and a rifle. The options are many. Wade into the swamp as soon as possible, get instruction, and practice. Advance your strategic and tactical skills with time. Soon you’ll be ready.
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The Seismic Shift to Freedom Through Out the Western World.
“The latest result of a populist wave that is set to upturn the political order”,
“2016 the Year that Changed Everything”, are not true, most of the changes, almost imperceptible changes, have occurred during the recent 25 year period. These changes are all part of the war, which is almost as old as human history, the war between ‘central control of the few’ versus ‘freedom for the people’.
and that Lamp is now shining brightly into every nook and cranny of the international suppressive conspiracy.
The mainstream media are horrified, they try to box it into words of containment, ‘revisionism’, or ‘populist’ desperately attempting to minimalize us all as a temporary phenomena.
Of course our opposition, those few who through there academic and media power state ‘they are fighting for freedom, by freeing their society from the threat of firearm owners’. We cannot question their right to have free speech, and their right to have a free opinion, but I can question their hypocrisy of using the banner of Freedom by denying freedom to the two million licensed firearm owners in Australia who own property.
I have no doubt that we will win our freedom again, I just hope I live long enough to see it happen.
Our Members uphold the Bill of Rights1688, which is law in Queensland today.
(excerpt) The Subject’s Rights.
As knife designs evolve they have to overcome the traditions and stereotypes of the past. In an effort to drive knife sales, manufacturers have produced more versatile, creatively inspired blades. While this has yielded a multitude of blades, some manufacturers have missed the mark entirely with poorly designed, gimmicky knives. Others, like Fällkniven, produce modern blades that are just as useful as traditional blades. In 1984, Fällkniven opened its doors to the world and pushed blade technology to new limits.
There seems to be very few constants in knife making these days. I can think of two constants: human strength and cutting capacity. The ideal blade isn’t too dull, flexible, or blunt. If you will, the ideal blade is a ‘Goldilocks Blade’. Beyond that, there are few rules. With this being said, there are many traditions and these must be properly navigated in order to innovate.
Since the mid-1980s the Fällkniven Knife Company has served the needs of those who might find themselves floating to earth under a parachute, or working their way back home after a crash landing. The Fällkniven F1, also known as the Swedish Pilots Knife, is a small package of cutting dynamite. With the F1, hunting is on the menu, but the menu is quite large with many vegetarian options. I carried the F1 in my hunting kit, but often found myself looking around for something better when it came to hunting tasks and game processing. Fällkniven, in usual fashion, answered the call.
Read Also: Survival Gear Review: Fällkniven A1 Pro
The Fällkniven Professional Hunting Knife, or PHK, is a gorgeous upswept-point blade of mildly larger proportions than dusty traditions would specify. Frankly, the moment I saw the design of this blade, I knew it would be good. There was just something so right about it. It carried forward the belly of a skinner with the rigidity of a wilderness blade while offering the user more control. The Fällkniven Professional Hunting Knife has an upsweep-drop point which seems like it could be an oxymoron, but in fact it’s the best of both worlds. Perhaps it is the best of all worlds.
The potentially contradictory blade shape of upswept-drop point is an irony of iron that really works. Traditionally upswept designs are elegant but small slicers are arguably more effective. When the blade exceeds the distance between palm and index finger, the whole hand must move beyond the grip. This motion compromises safety and is simply inefficient. It’s a dangerous move that requires practice especially when done quickly or blindly. On traditional larger drop point blades, the tip of the blade rides below the index fingernail meaning it’s easier to poke a hole into the skin or membrane during a slice. The pros can drag the tip precisely like a surgeon’s scalpel, but anything done in the field or elements is risky. And the more blood and sweat in the mix, the more likely the game won’t be the only one skinned. However, on the Fällkniven Professional Hunting Knife the upswept drop point allows fairly precise driving even from the back seat. The thick spine provides firm control and the added length in front of the fingertip is user friendly.
The iron coursing through the veins of the Fällkniven Professional Hunting Knife blade is a 3G laminated steel scoring a 62 on the Rockwell hardness scale (HRC). The tang is a broad protruding one that, like Fällkniven’s survival blades, pops out the back of the grip completing the solidity of this package. A single grommeted hole graces the far end of the kraton grip allowing a lanyard to be attached.
Related: Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife
But with change comes controversy. If mildly noticeable deviations from the blade norm raise eyebrows, then drawing your PHK from the sheath will leave mouths agape. Without knowing it, most survivalist and hunters are carrying on a tradition that began long ago. The camo-clad crowd spouts “two is one, and one is none.” Big blades and little blades have been complementing each other for millennia. Big jobs are for the big knife and small jobs are for the small knife. A further refinement of this concept did develop further prejudice and that is with the sacrificial blade and the primary blade, or the Pawn and the King, if you will. In hunting circles, there is the hunting knife that is cared for, babied, and often rides safe and warm in the hunting pack instead of on the belt. Then, there is the working knife that does all the daily maintenance and dirty jobs far below the noble duties of the king. I admit that I practice this bit of favoritism, but in terms of survival, the OO knife (double-oh knife), or Only One knife concept is very real when the hunting gear must be high speed, low drag.
I think hunting knives began to evolve when hunting moved from an out-the-backdoor activity to a pseudo-military expedition into the untamed wilderness. There’s not a lot of hardware to carry when popping a Bambi off the back porch. You gut the beast right there donating the innards to the predators that keep the place clean and tidy. Afterwards, you drag the carcass back home and string it up on a tree to cool. When ready, you head to your kitchen for some meat and bone-specific cutlery.
All is fine and dandy until you are miles into the woods and your quarry might not go down willingly like the whitetail snacking on your hedges. Enter the big hunting knife. When money and carry-weight is tight, items seem to gain more uses. Military knives moved from BDU belt accessory to top-tier hunting wardrobe. The knife needed to run triple-duty as a camp knife for those lifetime adventures in the national parks, off-grid hunting expeditions, and self-defense.
Like all evolutionary change, as one critter specializes, another pops up to capitalize on the available niche. So as the hip-hugging hunting knife moved away from the detailed work and more towards bigger cruder jobs, little knives moved in like tiny mammals taking over the mini-landscape left behind as the dinosaurs grew bigger. Then, when the mighty asteroid dirtied up the place 65 million years ago, the little furry warmbloods made their move. And here we are, more or less.
Specialized knives started to weigh down the hunter who might actually carry a combat blade for general outdoor use, a razor-sharp cutting knife, a skinning knife, a bone saw, and perhaps even a hunting hatchet to split open those pesky big game rib cages and detach bony limbs. What drove this equipment frenzy was the search for exactly the right tool for the job, and not the best tool for many jobs. While at home, you can have all the specialized tools and blades you want. Carrying them on your back and belt is a different story. Especially when you know you will need to use the knife for many other non-hunting chores and rarely for the chore it was designed for.
Small is Big
In a strange twist on a perpetual theme, there was a movement that started out with good intentions but ended up causing a mess. That movement was fueled by the belief that the better a hunter you were, the smaller the knife you needed. This was the opposite of the Bowie and Tennessee Toothpick persona. Imagine Rambo whipping out his Spyderco Ladybug. Maybe let’s not. The issue rose to epic proportions when a hunting knife could be mistaken for a scalpel complete. Of course, another knife was needed for regular camp tasks, and an even larger blade was carried for the traditional forest duties. So add to the growing pile of knives the sharpening tools and extra blades necessary to keep the knives in the fight.
Further Reading: Three Excellent Survival Knives for Under $100
But the same evolutionary rules that lead to the population explosion of knives can also lead to extinction. Blades were staying home and hunters were squeezing more performance and specialized jobs out of knives obviously not designed for such work. As the proverbial pendulum began a healthy swing back towards center, so started another renaissance of sorts with hunting knives. The short ones got a little longer, thin ones got a little thicker, the pointy ones got a little more dropped, and knives of all kinds implemented the full belly of the skinner.
Taking advantage of this enlightenment in hunting knives was none other than Fällkniven. By creating an obviously unique take on the philosophical concept of a hunting knife, the Fällkniven PHK has hints of many different blades from Samurai Sword, to Tanto fighting knife, to skinning blade, to wilderness knife, to survival blade. In fact, the PHK is like a piece of contemporary art that assumes the preferences of the viewer as much as standing on its own. In other words, the PHK does it all, and most things well. At five millimeters thick, the PHK blade shares a level of strength uncommon to traditional hunting knives. And its blade length exceeds the hunting industry standard by about an inch. Further, the attention Fällkniven gave to hygiene is something more in line with the butcher shop than the killing field. The stainless steel and kraton grip clean up nicely and provide few homes for bacteria.
In general, the PHK guts like a gutter, skins like a skinner, chops like a chopper and slices like a slicer. It does none of these things quite as good as a blade specifically designed and dedicated to such tasks, but the PHK is well within the margin of error for modern task-specific cutlery. Adding to this list, the Fällkniven PHK also worked great as a minor clever as it crunched through upland game bird wings and legs with skill and finesse. The full belly rolls smoothly through all things aviary, and breaks the bones of any fish you can lift. But big game is another story. Processing hundreds of pounds of animal requires some seriously edged firepower so pushing eight inches of blade length around a carcass is a task well within the Fällkniven Professional Hunting Knife skill set.
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Todd’s Note: This is a guest post by Vitaly Pedchenko, owner of Rem870.com.
A pump-action shotgun is without a doubt one of the most versatile survival shotguns in the world. One of the reasons for its versatility has to do with how well it performs and the multiple environments it is suitable for. When you operate the weapon, your hand will go on the specially designed handgrip near the stock while your other hand goes on the forend. From there, you just pump the forend back to eject the shell from the chamber that you just used and then pump it forward to replace the shell with a new one.
Pump-action shotguns are used for a variety of activities such as hunting, home defense, law enforcement purposes, survival, and even for stopping riots with non-lethal ammunition. Let’s take hunting, for example. If you are hunting deer and you see one running by in the distance, you may only have a couple of seconds to react before the deer runs away. That means you’ll have to hit the deer on your first try or else it’ll run away and you’ll lose the opportunity to get him. With a pump-action shotgun, you have multiple chances to shoot the deer within a much shorter timeframe. This increases your odds of hitting him before it can get away. As for home defense and law enforcement purposes, these can be a matter of life and death. If an intruder or suspect starts shooting in your direction, you’ll need to fire as many shots as you can to scare them off or incapacitate them. The pump-action shotgun is the most reliable in these circumstances and can result in your life being saved because of it.
Gun enthusiasts often refer to pump action shotguns as slide-action repeating shotguns because it describes how you slide the forend back to extract a shell and then pump it forward to load a new shell into the chamber. These shotguns only use a single barrel which is located on top of the tubular magazine that the shells go into. This is how the pumping of the forend is able to take shells out of the magazine tube and place them into the chamber. Of course, you have the option of replacing the forend with a better one if you know how to do so. Some shooters like to have forends with grips on them so it is easier to hold it more securely while they’re using the weapon. If you want to get really fancy, then you can even mount a tactical flashlight to the forend so you can see in the dark. Some forend upgrades, such as the Surefire Light Forend, features a light integrated right into the forend so you don’t even have to mount anything to it.
If you are a newbie to shotgun ownership, then you will find it easier to perform maintenance on the pump-action shotgun. Activities such as cleaning the bore and chamber of gunpowder residue and debris are much more simplified with the pump action shotgun. When it comes to firing the weapon, it will take a lot of practice to get comfortable with it if you’ve never fired a pump-action weapon before. After you have gotten enough experience operating it, you may want to perform certain upgrades on it that may be necessary for repair purposes or just because you want to customize the weapon to fit your needs. For example, a lot of shotgun owners get tired of the factory stock, forend, controls, barrel that came with their weapon. They’d much rather upgrade these parts to ones that allow them to use shotgun more comfortably. Making these upgrades is a piece of cake with the pump action shotgun.
There aren’t too many disadvantages with pump action shotguns. The only real disadvantage is that you cannot add a detachable magazine in order to reload the weapon quickly. You can’t just pop out the magazine and attach a new one like you can with most rifles and some other shotgun types. But if you are just using your pump-action shotgun for hunting or home defense, then it shouldn’t be an issue. On the other hand, if you truly need to extend the ammunition capacity of your shotgun then there are tubular magazine extensions you can add. But it will still take some time to reload them after you use up all the ammunition that they hold.
Editor’s Note: As Prepper’s, we are usually looking for some big SHTF event coming in and disrupting our way of life. However, it is more likely that your life would be disrupted by a more localized event, like a power outage, flood or some other natural disaster. But there are other events that happen that we don’t always consider as having the ability to cause problems until they happen. For example, having your house broken into, having a family member slip and hurt themselves or just plain not feeling safe in your house can cause problems for you and your family. These events, with a little preparedness, can be minimized. This guest post makes some good points and will provide some food for thought.
When it comes to planning your home layout, home security can be easy to overlook. The placement of furniture and lighting can improve or detract from the security of your home. It is possible to design a layout that not only makes the most out of available living space, but also keeps the family safe. Here are some tips to an effective and safe home layout:
Clutter Can Kill
In times of crisis, clutter can prove to be problematic. Consider the maneuverability you will need during a natural disaster, or when an intruder enters your home; if you feel you would be uncomfortable navigating around your home under these circumstances, it is time to reevaluate your setup.
Consider the flow of foot traffic, and position furnishings so they don’t create sharp turns. Forcing guests to perform acrobatics to navigate around the room can lead to slips and injuries. Furthermore, it can be a liability in cases of emergency. If a piece of furniture blocks the exit during an emergency, it can cost someone their life. Clutter can also make it difficult to clean, leading to worsening allergy and breathing problems.
Streamline the room as much as possible. Consider what the space needs are, and make a list of spaces that are needed. Estimate the square footage for each area. Then, organize the home so that these spaces are connected in a logical manner.
Not only do cluttered rooms look messy, but they can be dangerous to the elderly and disabled. Paths of travel should be a constant consideration. Avoid creating an obstacle course with furniture.
Avoid Blind Spots
Don’t create blind spots, and keep windows within view of seating areas. It is not necessary to place the couch against the wall, but seating should give a full view of foot traffic and all entrances. Not being able to see action happening in the room makes people instinctively uncomfortable. Family members might also be interested in knowing if someone is lurking out the window. Obviously, valuables should not be in clear view from any window.
Lighting is one of the more important design aspects for safety. There needs to be enough lighting to ensure that guests can transverse room-to-room at any time of the day without risk of personal injury or property damage. Stairs especially need a proper amount of lighting, as they cause an accident if too dark.
Creative planners can use light defensively. For example, an outdoor motion sensor connected to an indoor light is a clever way of dissuading criminals from entering a home. Finally, if security cameras are in use, areas under surveillance must have an ample amount of lighting.
Eliminate Hiding Places Outdoors
When planning the outdoor layout for security, there are some important rules to follow. Lighting plays an important role in security outdoors. Criminals are less likely to enter a home if it is adequately lit.
Prevent creating potential hiding places near lower-level doors and windows. Decluttering the home indoors has clear advantages, but one should also keep things uncluttered outside as well. Overgrown bushes and shrubs can offer convenient places for potential criminals to hide in waiting without being seen. Patio furniture can also create this same problem.
There are other measures one can take outdoors to improve the security of the home. Tree branches that are close to second-story windows can be undesirable access points, so be sure to keep trees maintained. While they are not necessary in most neighborhoods, homeowners may choose to invest in alarms, security cameras, or even bolster security with smart tech. With proper planning, it is possible to design a home layout that minimizes the risk of injury and bolsters security without sacrificing an appealing design
Every possible precaution should be made to protect our homes. Making the right decisions in home layout can contribute to the safety of our loved ones.
Why does, China want military bases in the Spratley Islands, and why does North Korea want nuclear missiles with a range of 2000 miles? The answer is an old strategy, that it is far better to have to fight a war in someone else’s country rather than your own. As the Roman Empire created buffer states to keep out the barbarians, so too do the Chinese. They give nuclear technology and a vast amount of military equipment to Pakistan, so it can hold back India, they keep Tibet enslaved and supply vast amounts of military hardware to North Korea, so it can face off to Japan and Taiwan and as they see it the main bogy man the USA. We cannot be amazed that North Korea and Vietnam also want to keep any threat away from their own countries so also have to engage in a military game of chess as to who dominates the chess board. That chessboard is of course the Pacific Ocean, this should concern all Australians who think.
It is due to our spineless leaders, who are from the same mould as the pre World War Two Appeasers like the Prime Ministers Ramsay Macdonald, Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain, and French foreign Minister Pierre Laval, who all sought to avoid war by feeding smaller countries to Japan, Germany and Italy, to sate the savage beasts. They downplay the internal threat from Islam that demands world domination and they downplay the threats from our northern military dictatorships that also want to dominate our region.
This summer the team at SHTFSchool have been busy travelling and planning for a new range of courses. This is in addition to my routine and extensive travels for other work. Today I share a summary of some key things I’ve learnt in my travels on things to do (or not!) if you find yourself in a ‘new place’ or are unsure of what the social ‘norms’ of the area you are in may be. I hope it is of use and interest!
Remember, in these days of increasing ‘multiculturalism’ it is perfectly possible to get yourself into trouble breaking ‘cultural rules’ without travelling to a foreign country…
The overarching consideration for this type of problem can easily be broken down into two categories. Deciding on a recommended course of action or displaying a behaviour can always be held up to this simple litmus test…
1) No harm can come from this… (Insert action)
2) No good can come from… (Insert action)
See how this applies in this list of top 10 things to consider below:
1. Be Observant
Breaking rules in other cultures can attract moderate to severe penalties. (Go to Deera Square in Saudi Arabia on a Friday afternoon to see a stark example). Due to the potential severity of punishment of what we may see as ‘slight’ or minor issues, the exquisite art of observation must come into play as early as possible. Scrutinize your surroundings and compare yourself to them and see in what ways you will/are ‘stand out’ and then take action to address those issues swiftly. No harm can come from being observant.
2. Keep Covered
This applies to men, but even more so to women. No harm can come from covering as much of the body as possible in an unknown area (See how the test works!?) If you feel you ever are realistically going to find yourself in such an ‘unknown’ situation we are illustrating, then make sure long sleeved trousers and tops are worn or are immediately available. Early observation should indicate if you need to cover your head. For shawls/scarves/head covers unless you KNOW the tribal identifiers (e.g. patterns and colour connotations on a shemagh) keep them as neutral and non-specific in style as possible. Your dapper blue cravat may look great at the cocktail bar in your tennis club but will probably cause you problems in South-Central LA.
3. Avoid Comments
Let’s face it, you are probably already ‘pinged’ by the locals or residents as being a stranger. Trying not to stand out will help, but an overheard comment (especially a negative or derogatory one), no matter how outstanding, strange, odd or degrading event you are commenting on is going to get you on people’s radar swiftly and not in a good way. No good can come from mentioning how ‘different’ these people are from you, or you are from these people.
4. Stick Within Your Gender
Do not attempt to engage, in any way, with members of the opposite sex. Full Stop (Period). Be as affronted at this advice as you want, but take it. No discussion is required. If you can’t follow it in this format you WILL be taught another way…
Also know this isn’t just about you. If you are introduced to a woman do not offer her your hand. Wait for her to offer. If you hold out your hand in simple politeness you may be forcing her to choose between insulting a guest (you) or touching a man she is not married to—either or both of which may be harshly punished for.
5. Steer Clear of Religious Buildings/Areas
In the absence of a professional guide, or clear acceptance of tourists, the odds of you breaking up a VERY significant rule are so off the scale it is not worth the risk.
6. Remain Clear Headed
Degenerating your ability to be observant, and cognitive ability to understand why you need to stick with these rules is a plan no good can come from… On this, please note, just because you see locals doing something doesn’t mean you can too…don’t get drunk or high in dangerous places. More strongly, NEVER alter your mental state except in a confirmed safe place.
7. Don’t Engage with ANY Solicitation
Do not give to beggars, do not feed the poor. From personal experience don’t stop the child running in to the road clearly in your line of sight (it’s bait for a trap you don’t want to be in). Don’t talk with prostitutes, even if you are ‘Just asking for directions’, avoid street vendors, touts, self declared taxi drivers… You get the idea.
If You Need Help, Ask Someone in a Public Facing Role or just ‘Back Up’ – Look for assistance from service staff, waiters, store owners etc. DO NOT stop random strangers in the street, and don’t stand in the street looking lost and/or bewildered. If you have ‘inadvertently’ found yourself in the wrong place, turn around and go back the way you came (Like if you ever accidentally take an express subway that doesn’t stop at 70th Street in New York City, but takes you straight to Harlem at 11pm at night, and you are translucent white, not American, and look like you just got a beating from Muay Thai class, get back on the Subway and head back the way you came…)
8. No Pictures
You’ve realized you may not be in tinsel town, so stop wandering around like a tourist. Unless you’re taking pictures of your teeth for dental record analysis later on, no good can come from getting in peoples way with a camera.
9. Don’t Display Wealth
If it’s shiny and possibly expensive looking stow it away or hide it. Dress down to the best of your ability.
Most important point last!
10. Be Polite
Not witty, engaging, entertaining, fascinated, shocked, pious, or committed to ‘educating people’, or any other way you may think I mean by ‘Polite’. Out and out, genuinely polite. You are the odd one out, you are under scrutiny, anything going wrong WILL be seen as potentially your fault, so try not to do anything ‘wrong’ (even though you don’t know yet what wrong is) so be sincere and respectful in your actions until you’ve figured out what is going on…
These 10 simple measures will hopefully ‘buy you time’ to figure out how to best act and proceed in an area previously unknown to you. Getting into trouble in an unknown area is fraught with additional risks. Inciting a mob is a situation you will very likely never escape from.
Do you have any ‘rules’ you follow when you are in ‘unknown areas’…? Please comment below and share your experiences…
Does your carry pistol limit what you do? Do you worry about exposing your gun to the elements? Is your carry preference too much of a burden for many activities? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you should consider the Glock 42. For me, I wanted a familiar handgun but in a small form factor that would be barely noticed when hiking, running, mountain biking, backcountry skiing, fishing, boating, and almost everything else. Of course if you rarely do any of the above, then a .45 strapped to your leg is fine. But for all those other activities, a Glock 42 is an excellent choice. And even more, the Glock 42 might just become your BBFF (Best Bugout Friends Forever).
I remember clearly when I heard that the next new Glock was a .380 instead of the highly anticipated single stack 9mm. Frankly, the .380 should have been a predictable release given the global reach of Glock and the .380-sized hole in Glock’s public lineup. I always figured that Glock could gut the 9mm market with a winning release just like Apple could dominate the tablet market if it dropped the price of an iPad Air to $199. But not this time. That came later.
For years I had a Ruger LCP. It’s a tiny polymer framed .380 of great reliability and limited accuracy. Plus it’s what I like to call a singularity. At the time it was alone in its detailed design meaning nothing else acted quite like it in both operation and takedown. But still it was a great gun. Some were close like Kel-Tec and historical Colts, but price and performance allowed the LCP to become the meme of its tiny slice of the gun market.
Glock is Knocking
The Glock 42 is like a miniature Glock. And when we say “Glock” we really mean the Glock 17, the 9mm that started it all. In case you were confused by Glock’s odd naming conventions where a 17 is 9mm and so is an 18 and 19, but a 20 is a 10mm and a 21 is a .45. But yet the Glock 40 is a 10mm, but there is no Glock 10 firearm. The reason is actually quite simple. Glaston Glock names each of his new patented inventions with a new ascending number. His first invention was the 1. His first pistol was the 17. His next the 18. Next the 19, then 20 and so on. And the next as-yet-unreleased Glock will be the 44. But don’t expect it to be in .44 magnum. My hope, now that you asked, is a .22LR. But I might be alone in that wish. Or not.
Also Read: Bug Out Gun Lights
Although I am quite pleased with the 42, I’ve long thought the 26 was an excellent bug out gun due to its small size and big performance. And I still believe that. The issue is that the 42 is just such an excellent gun at half the weight. By following the playbook of the Glock 17, the 42 maintains all the forward thinking advantages of “Glock Perfection” but in a tiny (for Glock anyway) pistol. The robust but simple aspects of every Glock are alive and well in the 42. Just smaller. Yes, I am well versed in the 43, Glock’s single stack 9mm. It’s a great gun, but as one deeply involved with the G17, 19 and 26, the G43 is little more than a need for new 9mm mags. And if I’m going with new Glock mags, I am going with a new and smaller caliber.
Decades or more ago, the ballistics of handgun cartridges seemed to solidify in the collective conscious of mainstream gun-owning Americans, turning to concrete and changing at the pace of gun writer retirements and funerals. Unfortunately, all that old info is old news rivaled only its speed of obsolescence as are books about Windows software and Apple hardware. New gunpowder, new bullets, new primers, and new guns all have tipped the playing field in the direction of smaller cartridges. Even the flip-flopping FBI is sniffing around the 9mm again. No longer is there a search for rifle power in a EDC handgun. Sure in the old days where you needed a four-barrel carbed big-block 427 engine to be Boss Hog on the road, but now a Subaru STI could smoke the Chevy in every category except nostalgia. Same with carry pistols. Packing a big-block six-shooter, especially a single-action like the one Stallone carried behind his back in the Expendables makes no sense against real world threats, not just Mel Gibson with macho attitude but with terrorism on the rise, and active response training to mass shooter events as common as a training as how to use the new copy machine, packing real heat means more than big guns. Staying warm means carrying any gun and the mouse guns of yesterday have grown up into the mean dogs of today.
However the Glock 42 has another use for me. And one that larger guns just cannot fill. I love the outdoors. All of it. From the snowy mountains of Alaska to the stone deserts of Utah. From mountain bike trails of Montana to the canyon rivers of Wyoming, carrying a gun must be as convenient and versatile as carrying a pocket knife. I’ve run into hikers packing giant caliber revolvers strapped to their chests, but that’s not for me (and makes little sense in the big picture). I’m not scared of bears or mountain lions. Instead it is the wacko drug-crazed two-legged variety that cause me concern. When relaxing at the apex of a mountain bike ride, or scratching out a campsite near a high mountain lake, or just wandering through the woods towards a secret fishing hole, carrying a larger gun on the hip is often not an option worth considering. But slipping a Glock 42 into the side pocket of a Camelbak, or dropping a 42 next to my iPod for a mountain run makes more sense than trying to justify not carrying iron at all because of its weight, size and snag-potential.
Related: 1911 vs. Glock
You see, if you always want to be armed, then there are two avenues you can drive down. Either only travel on those roads where you can pack the sizable bore you need to feel comfortable. Or get a vehicle that will allow you to drive those roads less traveled. Far too many good folks never venture out beyond where their equipment and imagination lets them. What I’m here to tell you is that if staying armed is keeping you too close to home then get some lightweight firepower that frees you up to go fast and go light and go far. And of course go often.
Until now, I’ve opted to carry either my Glock 26 or my Ruger LCP backpacking, hiking, and just generally wandering around in the woods. I liked the capacity and umph of the 26, but not its weight. But the Ruger is a true mouse gun with mouse sights, mouse capacity, and a mouse feel. Popping off a round or two into a large aggressive animal will do little more than make the violent critter more identifiable to Fish and Game when they track it down after finding what’s left of my corpse. But if push comes to pull on a fellow man, I want to tip the situation in my favor and even the LCP can help.
Although the Glock 42 has the roughly the same ballistics as the LCP, the handling and dependability make it a better choice in my opinion. The Ruger LCP is a hidden hammer-fired machine while the Glock is, well a Glock meaning it’s a striker-fired autopistol. And don’t get me started on the sights. Well, actually do get me to rant on them. Not the G42 sights which happen to be pretty much the same as every other stock Glock on this planet, but instead the sights, or lack thereof, on the LCP. Most shotguns have better sights than the LCP. In fact most sticks and stones have better sights than the LCP. Well, maybe an exaggeration, but not by much. The LCP is designed to be pointed, not aimed. The Glock 42 is decidedly one to aim.
Not So Terrible Twos
Now that we’ve got two years of Glock 42 under our collective belt, it is time to talk frankly about the .380 cartridge, this particular Glock pistol, and the so-called “mouse guns” in general. The rough spots about the initial Glock 42 have been discussed to death online. But to review, the early runs of Glock 42s had specific failure to eject (FTE) and failure to feed (FTF) issues. The issues were real and almost immediately addressed (but not really admitted) by Glock. More recent copies of the Glock 42 rolling off the assembly line have upgrades to the magazines, internal parts, and some believe the polymer frame as well. A quick swing through the top internet hits on about “Glock 42 problems” make this particular pistol one to avoid, but pretty much every negative review is pre 2015. Later in 0-15, there is little but flowing Glock love around the mouse gun campfire.
Related: Bug Out Long Term Pistol
Handguns are like pickup trucks; there are more opinions than actual models to have opinions about. Personally I am a six-cylinder Toyota Tacoma kind of guy. My friends drive F-150s or bigger, diesel Dodge Rams (note the oxymoron), and I got only one friend who drives a Chevy Avalanche. Whatever. But the reason I tell you this is that trucks like guns are a personal choice. We place our loyalties where we want, and base them on many factors including ones that don’t match the cold hard facts. But perceptions don’t have to match reality when reality is a rare commodity these days.
Actual studies have shown that most encounters where a gun is pulled in self defense involves holding and/or shooting the gun with only one hand. No perfect two-handed Weaver or isosceles stance, or aiming with any other perfect triangle of stability. Instead, the pistol is held out, arm bent and shaking, one hand gripping what it can of the gun. In fact, standing on one’s feet is for the lucky. For many actually trigger pullers they are flat on their back, bruised, injured, some even near blinded by fist blows. And in all cases your heart rate will be red lined and your breathing will be anything but slow and steady.
Where a mouse gun comes in handy is it by being handy. It’s easier to shoot. Lighter in weight. And the low recoil keeps the pistol in the fight almost regardless of the injury, grip strength, or limited vision. Those with dreams of sending .454 Casull bullet after Casull bullet downrange with accuracy are dreamers whose heads are filled with the stay-on-targetness of video games. Sadly but truthfully, most law abiding citizens would be better off with a .22 than a .45. Of course proper and real-world training changes almost everything. But for those who handguns lean towards the just-in-case preparedness side like food storage and flint-and-steel fire starting, the smaller caliber mouse guns may actually be a better choice. And certainly the Glock 42 is a viable and excellent backup or or bug out gun.
All Photos By Doc Montana
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While a firearm is an ultimate ‘equalizer’, for many, pepper spray is an alternative means of self defense (escape) for a variety of reasons. When pepper spray is sprayed onto another person, it will cause inflammation, coughing, choking, nausea, and will dilate the eyes with temporary blindness (while not causing permanent damage). The typical range […]
by Jeff T.
2. Orient to the direction, method and type of attack.
3. Deciding what the appropriate response will be.
4. Acting on that decision.
Your rural retreat defence can be visualized as a set of concentric rings:
OPSEC – Think of it as a form of armour or shield: Practice it and protect it.
Observation Post / Listening Post: Your first best chance to counter attack
Gates / Fences / other barriers: May slow me down. Might keep you in.
Fighting positions: Must provide mutual support and allow for evacuation.
Residence: Last line. Don’t become trapped
People, Planning and Practice
Stay alert for multiple threats or diversionary tactics.
Criminals excel at feigning weakness to lower your guard.
Opsec, Is it Important? Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” In this episode I will talk about Opsec (operational security) and if it is important. The need for this in my opinion is extremely important to preppers, and everyone else in today’s world. Today’s world is not the good place it once was, full of people who will … Continue reading Opsec, Is it Important?
Everybody loves lots of windows in their house. Windows provide you with a view to the world. They provide natural light, warmth when the sun is shining, fresh air when the weather permits and the ability to cool your home on those hot summer nights. Everyone loves lots of windows except for a survivalist or prepper. Unfortunately windows can also be an invitation for uninvited guests during times of trouble. Providing a weak spot for entry into your home or business.
To break into someone’s house through a window you have to be committed to the crime. A window is loud, broken glass is dangerous, and climbing through a window is not easy. But compared to kicking down a door or picking a lock, breaking a window is a quick way for entry. Also, many doors now days have an alarm systems tied to when the door opens and closes. But those same alarm systems rarely recognize when a window is broken or when a window is opened.
– 2,000,000 home burglaries are reported each year in the US.
– About 30% of all burglaries are through an open or unlocked window or door.
– Nearly 66% of all burglaries are residential (home) break-ins.
– Renters are just as likely to be the victims of property crime as homeowners.
– The highest % of burglaries occur during the summer months.
– Homes without a security systems are up to 300% more likely to be broken into.
– 1 out of 3 residential assaults are a result of a burglary.
– 85% are from amateurs who are usually more desperate and dangerous.
– 95% of break-ins needed some amount of force to break-in.
– Thieves prefer easy access, through an unlocked doors or windows.
Let’s face it, we have all been to the bad side of town and seen bars on the windows. Right when you start to notice the bars on the windows, your situational awareness alert starts to go off and you posture begins to change. You often see bars on the windows in bigger cities in almost all of the neighborhoods, not just bad ones. Personally, bars on the windows do not bother me. The more security, the better in my mind. But bars on the windows can also give off the wrong message in a nicer neighborhood and can be a trap if you have a house fire. I have been through nicer neighborhoods and seen bars on the windows and thought to myself, that person either is keeping something of value in their home or they are very paranoid.
Related: Home Security After TEOTWAWKI
I have never personally priced out window bars but I imagine that they are not cheap. Also, the installation has to be somewhat invasive because you have to anchor the bars to the house with bolts or heavy screws. In an emergency, your access to get out of that window will be limited but your piece of mind will be high because you know that getting through bars will be very difficult for an intruder.
Shutter Them Out
An alternative to window bars are security shutters. The advantages of shutters over bars is that when they are opened, you have full use of your window and could actually get out of that window in an emergency. Another advantage is that the shutters actually provide extra insulation for both weather and sound. The disadvantage of shutters is that when they are closed, you cannot see out of them. I actually have some experience with these. When I lived in a major city on the west coast, I actually had one of these installed on a ground floor window of a townhouse that I owned. I came home one night and found a homeless person sleeping next to my front door under that window and I thought to myself, I need to do something about that window or someone will be breaking into my house.
The security window shutter worked great but it was expensive and looked a little bulky on the outside of the house. Also, I had to remember to shut it all of the time at night and open it for fresh air during the day when I was home. I know there are some models now that work on timers with RF controllers but I had the kind that you had to manually roll up and down like a window shade. So it was a little painful to say the least.
We have all seen the photos of Hurricane Katrina (and other hurricanes for that matter), where people board up windows with plywood and boards. Yes, this is an alternative during a major disaster but the reality is that it is not very practical for everyday living. Not to mention that boarded up windows are against most local ordinances unless the house is vacant. So while it might not be a bad idea to keep some sheets of plywood on hand for a major disaster, your neighbors are not going to be real happy when you board up your windows on a nice sunny day.
A 4th Option
Recently my neighbor had a bad experience. One night while he and his wife were at home. A person walked up to their home and tried to open their storm door which was locked. The perpetrator then tried to kick in the glass of the storm door which unbelievably held up to his boot. By the 3rd kick, the perp was staring down the barrel of a 12 gauge shotgun being held by my neighbor and decided to leave the area. After the traumatic event, my neighbor decided to upgrade his home’s security by adding motion lights, a security system, cameras, and security film to his windows. I have known about 3m window security film for some time but never investigated it fully until my neighbor put it on his house.
Before the event at my neighbors house, we had already decided to move to a new town. The new house we moved into has a lot of windows and a high homeless population in the area. On top of the homeless population, our new town has a high arrest rate for both heroin and meth. Having bars or security shutters put on my new house was a little bit out of the question for cost reasons and appearances. I didn’t want to be the only house in my neighborhood with bars on the windows but on the flip side, I wanted to have protection against a possible break in.
Also Read: Prepper’s Home Defense
I called a local window tinting company, who was a 3m dealer, and asked them about the cost and the installation of the 3m Ultra Series Safety & Security Window Film. Surprisingly, it was not that bad. For about 33 windows & sliding glass doors on the main floor of my house, the cost was under $2,000 installed. That to me was a good price for piece of mind. Now, will the film keep someone out who really wants to get in? No, but it will give me precious time to bring my friends Mr. Shotgun and Mr. Glock to the party.
Levels of Protection
3m offers 3 different levels of protection for window film and a bonding system the bonds the film to your window frame for added protection. From the company’s website here is the description of all three film layers and the bonding product.
Ultra Prestige Series: “Super cool protection. The first of its kind, the 3M™ Ultra Prestige Series films are made from clear, tear-resistant film. That strength is combined with Prestige Series sun control films to reject up to 60% of the heat coming through your windows and 97% of the sun’s infrared light. These films also reject 99.9% of harmful UV rays, reducing the effects of fading on your furnishings. Ultra Prestige Series films allow 50% to 70% of the natural light into your home. The result is films that offer all the benefits of sun control with safety features built in. With these films you’ll block heat, reduce hot spots and damaging UV rays, while also helping to hold glass together in the event of break-ins or accidents.”
Ultra Series: “Super cool protection. The first of its kind, the 3M™ Ultra Series films are made from clear, tear-resistant film. These films deliver superior performance over standard polyester films in blast and impact events; yet still maintain a high level of optical clarity. Ultra Series films are available in combination format with tinted 3M Sun Control Films to give you the best of both worlds.”
Safety Series: “A clear advantage. Our most basic protection level is available in clear or tinted sun-control versions. These single-layer 7 and 8 mil polyester films are paired with a special thicker adhesive to help hold broken glass together.”
Impact Protection Attachment System: “Highest level of protection. This unique window protection system combines the toughness of 3M™ Ultra Safety and Security Films with an adhesive or profile attachment system. Choose either 3M Impact Protection Adhesive or 3M Impact Protection Profile depending upon your frame and overall aesthetic needs. This combination system attaches the filmed window to the window frame, creating a robust shield that significantly outperforms window film-only systems. It’s extra assurance against impact energy from earthquakes and forced entry events—with enough strength to handle even bomb blasts.”
I ended up going with just the mid-level protection (Ultra Series) and did not do the impact protection system. I believe the impact protection system may be better suited for a commercial type property or vacation home that will be unoccupied at night, where no matter what, you want to keep someone out because the police response time may be long. You can also get a tint to the window film but that tint might make your windows a little hazy. I went with the totally clear window film to make my windows look as normal as possible. Make sure you have this discussion with your 3m dealer before the install about tinting or no tinting.
The installation took about one day with two installers. First, they meticulously cleaned the windows, then they applied the window film. After the window film was applied, they worked to remove all bubbles to make sure the windows looked totally clear. After the installation, they said that I might see a few bubbles in the windows but they should evaporate and disappear within 3 to 4 weeks. If any bubbles stay longer than two months, they would come back to fix the film. Out of 33 window/door treatments, I only noticed about 3 bubbles but after a few weeks they disappeared as promised.
My wife can no longer tell the difference between the treated and untreated windows, which is good. So far I can report that I have not had my windows tested by someone trying to break in and probably never will. However, I do sleep easier at night knowing that I have an upgraded level of protection on the ground floor of my house with the 3m Window Security Film. Is the product worth the cost? Ask me that question after someone tries to break into my house through one of my windows.
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Toby’s Note: While this article is written primarily as advice to Self Defense instructors, it should be noted serious students of Self Defense need to be studying and addressing all the points raised AND we highly recommend choosing their instructors in accordance with the advice given in this article.
There are seven things you must cover if you intend to teach self-defense. Failure in any of these areas will leave your student vulnerable.
1) Ethical and Legal Aspects of Force.
Self defense is a legal term, not a selection of physical skills. To teach physical self-defense without respect to self-defense law is as irresponsible as teaching someone to drive without teaching the rules of the road. Many of the systems we teach are either older than the legal concept of self-defense, derived from a military art without legal niceties, or invented by criminals. As a rule, nice, peaceful, law-abiding people are crappy at designing functional combat systems. It is not hard to teach with respect to the law, most people’s instincts are fully in line with legal expectations. When one hears, “I’d rather be tried by twelve than carried by six” it is a sure sign of an instructor too lazy or too arrogant to do the research necessary to help the students avoid both of those options.
The law is the standard society will hold you to, but your internal ethics are the standards you will hold yourself to. There is always a moral dimension to any use of force and you will always be either the good guy or the bad guy in your own mind when the smoke has cleared.
That seems clear-cut, but it is not. Even the most necessary force often runs counter to the student’s social conditioning. Realistically, everything involved in self defense is breaking a law or, at minimum, a taboo. When you strike someone to defend yourself, even if the person is attacking you with a knife, you are committing the crime of assault (or battery, depending on how your local jurisdiction defines things.) Self-defense does not make the crime disappear, it makes it justified. Hitting someone is committing assault. Killing someone is intentional manslaughter. But even something as simple as setting boundaries is being rude to a stranger. Every last act that comprises self-defense are things most students have been taught never to do, or taught that bad people do them.
This social conditioning creates hesitation. It can get your students killed. One of your primary responsibilities as an instructor is to find your students glitches and work them out. It doesn’t matter how skilled a fighter you are if the small voice in the back of your head won’t let you act.
2) Violence Dynamics.
You must understand how crime and violence actually happen. Without this knowledge it is impossible to have a realistic and efficient defense. You will never meet a doctor who studied medicine and surgery but refused to study disease and injury. You will never meet a mechanic who practices with tools but has never looked at an engine. But it is endemic in martial arts and self-defense for instructors to have fifteen or more years of practice in “what to do if attacked by a bad guy” who have never spent a single day studying how bad guys attack. In any other field this would be considered literally insane and unforgivably negligent.
3) Avoidance, Escape and Evasion, De-escalation.
Your students must know it is okay NOT to fight and they must know how to NOT fight. It’s not enough to pay lip-service: “Always walk away if you can, but today we’re working on hitting people in the face…” They must know it is the better (safer, more effective) thing to do. They must have the tools to avoid, escape or de-escalate violence, and they must practice those tools.
4) Counter assault.
Under the assumption that the students are smart enough to walk away from anything they see coming, it is axiomatic that they will be hit by something they didn’t expect. Or something they expected and were too arrogant to acknowledge. They need skills— simple, effective skills— trained to reflex speed to get past the sucker punch or ambush in one piece.
There are no perfect answers for counter-assault training, but there are some damn good ones. The technique itself must be efficient, have no decision tree (e.g. the technique is the same for right or left attacks, high or low, straight or circular, hand strikes or kicks, weapon or empty hand attacks), robust (meaning the technique still works even if done mostly wrong), and, ideally a “golden move” (prevents harm to you, injures the threat, betters your position, worsens the threat’s position or structure).
Proper operant conditioning can get the technique up to reflex speed.
5) Breaking the Freeze.
Well-trained and experienced operators still freeze, even if only to switch gears from patrol to combat mode. People freeze. It is natural. Some freeze in their minds, denying the attack is happening or trying to make a plan when there is no time for that. Some freeze chemically, getting such a dump of stress hormones that they are helpless. Many, especially in their first violent encounter, freeze because they do not know what will make things worse.
Your students need to understand that freezing exists, learn how to recognize when they are frozen and learn a method to break the freeze. It doesn’t matter how good they are at fighting if they stay frozen.
6) The Fight Itself.
Most training concentrates here and too many instructors believe that this is enough. But, obviously, you need to survive the sucker punch and break the freeze to even access this training. The good news, most things that are taught do work here.
The bad news, the circumstances under which those effective skills have to work will be completely different than what the student expects.
The student in the fight will not be the student that trained. In training, students are alert, sober, warmed up and stretched out, attentive and engaged, and not under the influence of adrenaline. Threats (bad guys) are not training partners. The threat is not trying to help you be a better person, does not care if you go to work tomorrow, and will be attacking you— fast, hard, up close and by surprise— not giving you predictable feeds to work on. And the fight happens in places with bad footing and lighting and improvised weapons and environmental hazards.
7) The Aftermath.
When the physical part of a self-defense situation is over, things are not over. There are potential legal, medical and psychological consequences as well as the possibility of retaliation. There is no consequence-free way to get involved in an intensely violent event, and the student unprepared to deal with the aftermath might bleed out, or say something that sends them to prison, or turn to drugs, alcohol or suicide. And that’s not a win.
Conclusion. All seven aspects are important, and they also affect each other. Working out your students’ ethics prevents freezes and also helps with the psychological aftermath. An event avoided has no injury, no paperwork and few internal issues. Students who have never heard “Everyone freezes” often interpret their own freezes as symptoms of cowardice and psychologically hammer themselves. Appropriate de-escalation or efficient hand-to-hand is impossible if one doesn’t recognize the dynamics of a particular act of violence. And a good counter-assault kicks in at the speed of nerve, giving you an edge before the stress hormones and freeze can even happen. All of these are important, and all work together.
To read more on these critical seven aspects you can read my book, Facing Violence
Well I guess all you gun owners better go out & purchase a bow, because if we can not be bothered to support each other in fighting gun control then we ARE GOING TO LOSE OUR GUNS!
I posted this petition about a month or so ago, & last time I looked, all I had was 262 signatures!!! 262; how many gun owners are there in Australia?
I advertised this petition on gun forums on Facebook, & on popular media outlets on the net, & 262 signatures is all I got. If this is any indication of how much we care about keeping our guns, then we are already lost. Oh but I forgot, SHE’LL BE RIGHT MATE!
Even so, self-defence is not accepted by the Firearms Registry as a genuine reason for owning a gun. If you do have a gun in your home you are legally bound to keep it locked in a gun safe!!! And if you do use it to protect your life & that of your family, then you must be ready to face the consequences. The police advise that in a home invasion that you leave by the nearest exit!!!
Good evening my friends… I’m going to try to keep this short, because it’s been a very long day of training in Meat World (my day job for the state of Wyoming)…12 hours worth (1st aid, CPR, AED use, policy, procedure, etc…you know, basic in-service prison annual re-certification training) Even had a working lunch…which was […]
When we start talking about these types of weapons for survival, we are talking about a time when things have gotten really bad. Oftentimes referred to as the world without the rule of law (WROL). We want to be clear with you, the reader, that we are not advocates of violence for the sake of violence. However we do think there are certain tools that can increase your ability to defend yourself in an event where utilizing a rifle is warranted. Let us assume for a moment that has happened. Let’s look at the merits of the rifles themselves. Perhaps in another blog post we can discuss the tactics of employing these rifles.
Both of these rifles are effective at doing their job inside of 400 yards. However, the AR15 has the ability to effectively go out to 600 yards incredibly well. In the hands of someone who invests a fair amount of time into training and shooting, it is effective even further.
- Thumbs up to the AR15 on this aspect.
The AK47 cartridge is 7.62X39mm. The AR15 is 5.56X45. If you are unfamiliar with those measurements they are millimeters. This allows the AK47 round to carry slightly more powder which in effect gives it more muzzle energy. Muzzle energy is the power of the projectile as it leaves the muzzle (business end) of the gun. The muzzle energy of the typical AK47 round is about 1500 ft. lbf, whereas the AR15 is around 1300 ft. lbf
- Thumbs up to the AK47 on this aspect.
This consideration is certainly subjective to the individual user. The AK47 is more widely used worldwide than any other weapon. The AR15 is more widely used here in the United States. It is this author’s opinion that the AK47 is harder to manipulate the safety, the bolt carrier, the trigger and (by design) it has much more “kicking” power. The AR15 is much easier to manipulate the safety, bolt carrier, trigger, and by design has very little kick at all. For a beginner seeking these weapons out, you will certainly find the AR15 much easier to manipulate. You can also add other parts to increase the function of it much easier than the AK47. There are an incredible amount of other parts to personalize your AR15 over and above the AK47. Items such as grips, lights, stocks, sights, optics are incredibly diverse and numerous for the AR. The AK does have some options. Just simply not as many.
- Thumbs up to the AR15 on this aspect.
This a very easy one to determine. Without a doubt the AK47 is much easier to maintain. It has been said that you can open the action of the AK47, dump a handful of mud in it, put it together and it will still run. It is true, I have done it. Both weapons are easy to field strip (basic breakdown) and clean. However, you mostly do not have to do it with the AK. I know of many fellows who have NEVER cleaned their AK47. The abuse they take and keep on running is phenomenal. The AR15 bolt carrier group has several small pins and gas rings that break after long and hard use and must be replaced. While this is easy to do with a small amount of maintenance, I am still leaning towards the AK here.
- Thumbs up to the AK47 on this aspect.
This is again subjective to the individual user. While some people that may carry a weapon are the human form of a mule and can carry insane amount of loads. I can easily make a guess that there is no one that wants to carry any more weight than you have to. An AK47 with a fully loaded magazine (30 rounds) is 10.9 lbs. The AR15 with a fully loaded (30 rounds) magazine is 8.8 lbs. Those 2.1 lbs do not sound like much until you start carrying it for several days. They then start feeling like 210 lbs.
- Thumbs up to the AR15 on this aspect.
The almighty dollar places a part in this doesn’t it? It certainly does, we all come from different backgrounds and budgets. Much like the weight consideration, less is better here. Considering you can buy both used and new weapons that will function very well for you, the range on pricing is significant. The range on AK47s in my area of the world is currently $400 up to $600, with the difference being determined because of wear and tear and add-ons that are on the weapon at the time of purchase. The AR15 range starts around $600 and goes up to around $1500, with such a wide variety of manufacturers making these weapons, add-ons, wear and tear. The price of ammunition is also much cheaper for the AK47. The price of ammunition varies greatly depending upon current political, social and world events. Check with your favorite ammo supplier to see what is currently running.
- Thumbs up to the AK47 on this aspect.
You were probably guessing this would come to be a tie. For good reason, both of these weapons will do what you want them to do. If you only look at these six basic reasons of choice then they are pretty even. I think it boils down to price really. What fits your budget? If you can afford an AR15 I would go with it, simply because it is easier to function and it weighs less. If you cannot afford the AR15, then do not worry yourself. The AK47 is a workhorse of a gun, can take a beating, and keeps on running and doing its job.
~ About Craig Caudill ~
Craig Caudill is the Founder and Chief Instructor of Nature Reliance School. He specializes in wilderness and urban survival, land navigation, scout/tracking and defensive tactics training for private, public and government agencies. Craig is a frequent survival and preparedness contributor to TV outlets, blog sites, magazines and is a popular online outdoor educator on YouTube via Nature Reliance and Dan’s Depot channels. Craig also has a regular show on CarbonTV.
Craig also has advanced rank in both Judo and Aikido and continues to teach and train after 20+ years of training in each and is also an avid student of all things gun. Forever a student, Craig always attempts to find ways to help others to develop their mindset and critical thinking skills so they can think on their own, for themselves.
Every time I get around other like-minded folks the topic of firearms always comes up. What do you have? What do you recommend? What is the minimum number of magazines to have? What do you consider to be a good minimum amount of ammo to put back? Ak or AR? 9mm or 40S&W or 45ACP? It goes on and on. You know a question I have never been asked?
“Hey, what kind of armor do you have?”
Nope – never been asked. The reality is preppers spend a ton of money on guns and ammo preparing for possible defensive situations and most preppers don’t consider body armor. Maybe the reason is all the time spent at the range shooting and hitting targets that don’t shoot back. Maybe it’s denial. Maybe spending a few hundred dollars on a hunk of metal or ceramic just isn’t as “cool” as a new gun. The reality is if a firefight happens and triggers are getting pulled rounds will go in both directions. Body armor just might save a life.
I have been slowly accumulating body armor vests and plates over the past few years. A couple months ago I contacted ModernSurvivalOnline sponsor SafeGuardArmor.com to get me a steel plate. Although not something they normally carry they we able to source a plate for me.
Levels of Protection
To summarize there are different levels of protection provided by body armor. These are generally categorized by a specific “Level”. The chart below shows the different levels of protection and corresponding ammunition that specific level protects against. The higher the level the higher the level of protection.
The plate provided by Safeguard Armor is rated Level III.
How Plates Are Carried
Plates are carried in plate carriers. These are vests provide a “pocket” on the front/back, and sometimes on the sides which plates are placed in. The plates ride in the carrier and cover vital areas.
Rourke’s Condor Modular Operator Plate Carrier – his current setup
Testing and Protection Demonstration
This initial testing included shooting a variety of calibers I had on hand. Part 2 will include additional calibers which should fit within the plates Level III rating.
Level III plate ready for punishment.
A couple shots of 115-gr FMJ 9mm had very little effect on the plate other than paint removal.
Standard 55-gr .223 Remington – nothing more than paint removal.
This photo shows both the 9mm and .223 Remington hits.
The Winchester BRI Sabot Slug fires a .50 caliber hour-glass 437 grain slug at around 1375 fps. Say you want a .50 caliber? Throw a Sabot Slug in your 12 gauge and you have one.
The 12 gauge Sabot Slug hits with tremendous power – but still no damage to the plate.
Here is a close up of the Winchester BRI 12 gauge sabot slug’s impact.
After this initial testing the back of the plate shows no deformity or damage at all.
In a few weeks I will be back out on the range punishing this plate with some additional calibers – including those that should push its limit.
I want to give a “shout out” to Safeguard Armor for sourcing this plate. If you are interested in body armor they carry a huge variety and are one of the industry leaders. As a sponsor of this website they help support me so I can keep being here for you.
Stay tuned for Part 2.
Transcription provided by American Preppers Network <—–include this
Number of speakers: 1 (Ethical Preparedness)
Duration: 9 min 53 sec
Dynamic Firearm Drills
EP: “Remember, you are ultimately responsible for protecting yourself and for providing for yourself. Live your life with honor and integrity and Always be the wolf hunter; don’t be the sheep. Nor the wolf.”
EP: “Hey folks, welcome to ethical preparedness. I like to, as much as possible, to try and get as much firearms training as I can in. Unfortunately due to work and family and home chores I am not able to get out on the ranch as much as I’d like. But my fire arms training, I like to incorporate movement and use of cover and/or concealment. And transition drills and voice commands and communication and even medical assistance. I like to incorporate movement in my training because I want to train myself to automatically move and not make myself such a stationary and easy to hit target for my suspects.”
EP: “Also, i like to incorporate the use of cover and/or concealment ya know preferably cover so that I will automatically try to move to something that may assist in stopping the bad guys bullets that may be coming my way. Or if the bad guy is coming at me with an edged weapon then a barrier between us may cause them to have to negotiate that barrier which in turn gives me that split second longer that I need to stop that attack. In these videos the drums represent some kind of cover. Whether it be a solid brick wall, a tree or an engine block or whatever. But I also like to incorporate transition drills into my training. In law enforcement, if a suspect is known to be armed then we will respond with our long guns and our handguns become our back up weapon. However, if our long gun malfunctions or we run out of ammunition, then we need to practice transitioning to our handguns so to cover our butts until the situation is over or we can get that rifle re-loaded or the malfunction cleared or whatever the issue was.”
EP: “I also like to incorporate the use of voice commands so that I automatically give them when confronted with the deadly threat.”
- Officer: “LET ME SEE YOUR HANDS”
- Threat: “Hell no, what do you want to see my hands for? I didn’t do anything!”
- Officer: “LET ME SEE YOUR HANDS”
- Threat: “You have no right to ask me what..”
- Officer: “Let me see your hands!! Gun Gun Gun!”
EP: “First, state laws usually demands the use of verbal warnings if possible prior to using force against a suspect. Second, you do want to, again if possible, to warn an opponent what will happen to him if he doesn’t choice a different course of action. Third, if you end up in court over a shooting you want witnesses to testify that they heard you yell at a suspect to drop his weapon or to stop or whatever and then they heard the shots. A testimony like this will back up your version of the events in court and like I always say, or like I usually say in my videos. You want to make sure that any force you take against the bad guy is because you absolutely had to to protect yourself.”
EP: “Fourth, in a deadly force situation you’re going to have that holy crap moment and you probably won’t remember to do something unless you have practiced it so much it has become motor muscle memory. So by practicing voice commands every time you draw your weapon it will assist you in automatically yelling out these command should a true deadly force situation happens. And like I stated earlier I also like to incorporate the use of communication in my fire arms training. As a law enforcement officer, no other responding units are going to know what is happening unless I broadcast it over the radio. I want responding units to have a good idea of what is going on before they arrive to the scene. I also want to request medical help for my downed suspect. We always have to request a supervisor to respond to a situation like that.”
EP: “As a prepper, it wouldn’t hurt to incorporate the use of communication in your training to. For normal life you can train by taking out your cell phone and simulate calling 911. You know simulate telling the dispatcher what your location is and that you were forced to shoot somebody because you were in fear for your life. Give a good description of your clothing so the responding officers know who you are when they arrive. Now folks, please realize that when I say simulate that I don’t actually mean calling 911. I mean to take your phone out and simulate as if you had dialed 911 and simulate talking to the non existent emergency operator. It also wouldn’t hurt to practice communications with your retreat group if you belong to a retreat group.”
EP: “If your group practice patrols around your retreat area, this is great training to incorporate because you can practice radioing to the rest of your retreat group that you just shot an armed intruder and what your location at the retreat area. You have to remember that if this is a true SHTF situation no body else in your retreat group is going to know what happened until you put it over the groups radio. The rest of your retreat group is probably only going to hear gunshots in the distance and may not be able to tell which direction the gun shots came from. If your retreat group does practice with radios like this I would highly suggest that you transmit a short message just prior to the start of the exercise that states that this is a training scenario and not a real event. Even with all the different radios and hundreds of channels out there you never know when somebody can hear your transmission and go into freak out mode over it.”
EP: “And lastly, I also incorporate stating over the radio that I’ll be beginning first aid on the suspect when I am able to. This is done because police radio channels are usually recording and that radio traffic is usually introduced into evidence in court after a police action shooting. So having a recorded transmission from you saying that you are going to start medical assistance to the downed suspect shows you weren’t trying to kill the guy, just to stop the deadly assault. Again, we should never shoot someone just to kill them, just to stop their deadly action and if we can save their life afterwards then we do. Now there is always going to be people out there that say a dead man can’t testify or sue or something similar to that. You have to remember that this scumbag criminal that just tried to kill you will suddenly have relatives. Relatives that didn’t give two snots about this guy before. These relatives will suddenly come crawling out of the woodwork to try to sue you. There will also be plenty of greedy lawyers contacting them to sure you also.”
EP: “Like I said in my past videos, deadly forced events are fast and rapidly evolving situations where a person has to make split second decisions on what to do. Doing drills like this repeatedly will help put into motor muscle memory of actions you should automatically do in deadly forced situations. Now folks, I’m not trying to portray this as the best firearm training out there, I just believe that training like this beats the heck out of standard point and shoot fire arms training that you see a lot of people do. This is just some simple dynamic shooting drills that we did with the little equipment we had. Like I said in some of my past videos, please remember, the preservation of life is of the utmost importance. Shoot only to save a life, never just to take a life. Deadly force should always be a last resort. Never just a convenient option.”
EP: “Real quick I would also like to give a shout out to American Preppers Network. They have a ton of good information on their website along with weekly emails if you sign up for them. They also regularly give a heads-up on free e-book downloads that deal with prepping and the section that particularly helped me when I first got into preparedness was their section that helps you to find other preppers in your area. This ultimately allowed me to find other preppers in my area where I ended up getting invited into an existing retreat group that was already made up of good, upright and experienced preppers. So, check them out folks and I’ll put the link to their website in the description box below.”
“Folks, if you like this video and found it to be informative please like this video and comment below and subscribe to this channel as I plan on making more videos down the road. If you made it this far folks, thank you very much for watching and have a good night.”
This Transcription is available for copy under the Creative Commons By-ND licence. You may copy and repost this transcription in its entirety as long as original links, affiliate links, and embedded video remain intact, including this CC notice.
I can imagine what your first thought might have been when reading the title above: you’re far too old and busy to start learning such kid’s games and there’s absolutely nothing to gain out of it. But let me tell you: you’d be dead wrong. You’re never to learn to get into a sport or physical activity, as long as your doctor allows it and you do it with moderation. When it comes to studying martial arts, know that one can benefit greatly from such activity. And no, it’s not meant for kids only. If you’re serious about it, you can start out as old as you like and still end up being good at it. Martial arts can be more than learning combat moves for self defense: they’re great physical exercise, each form has its own philosophy behind it (which you can study along with the moves) and great fun. But for those of you who are planning on getting their money’s worth, you can ultimately become an expert in a certain fighting style.
You might find yourself during your lifetime in certain situations from which you could easily escape unharmed if you have the proper training. Learning a fighting style could be very useful as a self-defense method: against attackers, muggers, perpetrators etc. If you’re trained well enough you could easily disarm assailants or even take on more than one at a time. There have been many fighting styles and techniques developed throughout history in various parts of the world. There are also many combinations of fighting styles available (mixed martial arts), for people who want to get the best of ALL worlds. It’s a matter of choice; let’s see what are the most popular at the moment and maybe you’ll find the one that suits you best.
This it may come as a surprise, but it’s Israel’s very own fighting style. It was developed (mostly) by Imi Lichtenfeld during the 1930s. The style itself is very direct, meant to counter holds and incapacitations of every sort. Because it’s full contact and it gives advantage against almost any type of attack, it’s excellent for street survival, and not only. It’s a mixed style, comprised of elements which are basic to other fighting techniques like Karate, Jiu-Jitsu throws and grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ground fighting, Wing Chun burst of hands and even Greco-Roman wrestling. Its dynamics consist in the fact that it allows the practitioner to a attack and defend at the same time, in a single movement of the body. In most martial arts styles the tendency is to block and immediately respond with a counter blow. Things are different in Krav Maga, we’re you’re suppose to block and deliver the attack at the same time: you could (for example) block an attack with you right arm and at the same time strike with the other arm or the legs. The strikes delivered and promoted by Krav Maga are vicious, meant to incapacitate and hurt as much as possible. You learn to go for the most exposed body part, like the throat, eyes, groin or the liver. It also teaches a lot of techniques for disarming your opponents, no matter if they bare sticks, knives or guns. The style is very efficient, it develops hand-eye coordination and it takes no longer then 5 months to learn.
This is a very distinct fighting style, which has been promoted a great deal in pop culture by Steven Seagal. Don’t let Seagal’s reputation as an actor throw you off: he is probably the leading authority in the field when it comes to Aikido, having studied most of his youth years in Japan, with the greatest masters. He’s a legit 7 degree black belt who not only mastered the style, but also developed it: the kote gaeshi (Seagal’s signature move) or “forearm return” is a prolific move, essential to all survival fighters, no matter the style or technique.
This style uniqueness consists in its approach to direct fighting: Aikido teaches almost no direct blows whatsoever, it mostly teaches you how to counter everything that can be thrown at you. Its philosophy is based on the idea that an attacking opponent always leaves himself vulnerable. What you need to do is exploit that vulnerability and use your enemy’s momentum against him. For example, a straight punch could simply be countered by side-stepping and grabbing the opponents wrist or arm. You can simply pivot and throw him down if you grab the arm, or if the wrist is involved, simply twist it towards the outside. The momentum will help you break the wrist with almost no effort from your part, incapacitating your attacker immediately. This style requires awareness rather than speed or strength. If you keep your cool and your eyes opened, as an Aikido practitioner, you’ll have no trouble breaking the joints and wrists of your attackers.
Muay Thai Kickboxing
The fighting style was originally developed in Thailand, in the 19th century, and it translates to “the art of the 8 limbs”. It’s a contact fighting style, based on a large variety of punches, elbows and kicks. It’s philosophy consists in the fact that someone who is using a tool for fighting is limited by that one tool. A muay thai practitioner, on the other hand, has many such tools (punches, kicks, elbows), therefore has the advantage. It’s not a fancy style, but rather an effective one. It’s based on lighting speed, precision and power, and can exploit even the slightest opening in your adversary’s defense. The best way to counter a weapon attack (as long as you not held at gun point) is to approach the attacker as forward as possible. Simply aim for the jaw, throat or liver and kick it as hard as possible.
With enough technique and training, your legs and punches could easily crack bones and inflict serious pain. Kickboxing requires some serious physical training, as its practitioners do a little something called combat qi. It’s basically subjecting your body parts to repeated hits and damage, until the “hardened” body part no longer hurts as it used to. This practice is mostly used to harden the shin bone; kick boxers hit hard surfaces for 2 hours-a-day, 2 years straight.
There are many other fighting styles available, but these are my personal favorites and possibly the most useful in a combat scenario. But if you have to take one thing away from martial arts, that’s discipline and self control. Do not get carried away and avoid confrontation unless there’s no other way but standing your ground and fighting. But if that time comes, at least you now know where to go in order to overcome your opponents.
By Alec Deacon
The post Top 3 Forms Of Martial Arts To Learn For Your Personal Protection appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
Several years back I got into a discussion with my brother who lives back in the Midwest about concealed carry options. At the time, I was living in Seattle and had obtained my concealed carry permit from the state of Washington and was carrying a subcompact .40 cal S&W. My brother liked my choice of carry pistol but also stated that when he went out for the night or took his dog for a walk, he liked to just pop his KelTec .380 pistol into his pocket and walk out the door. He liked the little .380 so much that it became his primary carry pistol in his front pocket.
At the time I found that concept very interesting. I was in agreement with my brother that there were times when carrying a subcompact or compact pistol was a pain in the ass. For instance, when I just wanted to wear shorts, t-shirt and flipflops. Shortly thereafter, we took the KelTec .380 to the range and I found the small pistol wanting. My exact words were, “I wouldn’t trust my life or my family’s life to this thing.” The sites on the KelTec were terrible at best and I think it might have even jammed up a few times. After that experience, I decided against pocket carry.
Several years later I got into another discussion with a friend of mine who served as tank officer with the US Army. He had a similar attitude as my brother’s about pocket carry but he also carried a compact pistol in certain situations. His choice of pocket carry was also the KelTec .380 but his decision was a little bit more involved than my brother’s criteria. He stated that his concealed carry decision came down to three factors:
1. Threat Level
For the first factor, Threat Level, at any elevated threat or concern my friend would upgrade his pistol, which in this case was the Glock 19. This would include trips to the mall, grocery store, hiking, driving downtown, strip malls, gas stations, road trips, and many other daily activities. Low threat levels might be walking the dog, back yard BBQ, bike ride, etc when he would just use the pocket carry .380.
The second factor, Clothing, is pretty self explanatory. Sometimes if you are wearing a t-shirt and shorts on a hot day, the last thing you want to add to your person is a belt, holster, and pistol. The last factor, Situation, is sort of the X factor. If you are going a place with a high police presence, such as dropping a friend off at a major airport, you might just go with pocket carry. But if you are going to a backyard BBQ at a friend’s house who lives in a tough neighborhood, you might upgrade from pocket carry to concealed carry.
What do you think? Do you have multiple options for concealed carry? Or do you prefer one over the other – pocket carry or concealed carry?
Pocket Carry Pros:
Quick draw from hand in pocket position
More clothing options
Low recoil (small caliber pistol options)
Pocket Carry Cons:
Smaller Magazine Capacity
Less knock down capability (there are exceptions to this)
Some pant or short’s pockets are not designed well for pistols
Some pockets show pistol print
Concealed Carry Pros:
Higher magazine capacity
More options for personal defense calibers
Better fit for adult hands
More pistol options
Concealed Carry Cons:
Sometimes requires a belt
More recoil (*higher caliber rounds)
Less clothing options
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Yea! Another backpack post. Well, I wish I could apologize, but I love this stuff. If your packs are like mine, they are constantly evolving and being scrutinized. My G.H.B. that has been in service for about a year, is about to be pushed aside for a bigger and more adaptable unit that can be pushed into the I.N.C.H. bag (“I’m Never Coming Home”) realm. I am going to try and keep the weight the same, but it needs to be able to carry better shelter and a sleep system when needed or wanted. Which brings us to our discussion.
Lightweight vs. Comfort
“Travel light, freeze at night”. I first heard this particular phrase from John Mosby. Don’t know who started it, but it is based in truth. Shelter, clothing, and your sleep system make up the bulk of your weight and space capacity. So it makes sense to really analyze your gear and be honest as to your needs. Are you going to be out for 1 or 10 days or open ended? What is the weather like in your area? Everyone’s situation is different, so there is no silver bullet and everyone has a different tolerance to discomfort. So when choosing a shelter remember to consider what you are wearing and what kind of sleep system you carry, they all combine to keep you cozy.
Tents are comfy, but can be heavy and bulky, especially if it is for 3 people. There are some great offerings in the lightweight realm, they can be costly and sometimes on the fragile side. I would consider a tent weighing 5lbs or less to be your goal. Anything heavier and I would hope it is for a large group and you can share the pain. Consider teepee style floorless units. Easy to set up, lighter. more space and you can wear your muddy boots in there and cook too. I have a Black Diamond Mega Light Tent that I love. It weighs about 3 lbs, 8’ square. 6’ interior height , and not too brightly colored. It is a lot of tent for the weight and sheds wind, rain and snow easily. In some buggy climates most people can’t fathom not having a screened in tent. I get it. Keep this idea in mind though, if you are enclosed in a typical tent, you can’t see out and in a bug out scenario that is a security risk. If you are traveling with others it is less risky, since there should be a lookout/sentry/patrol aspect and you should be sleeping in shifts. If you are alone…
Also Read: Jarhead’s Bug Out Bag
If you must have a tent, I think it breaks down into 2 main categories, freestanding and not. Most freestanding tents are 2, 3 or 4 pole in design with corresponding increases in weight and strength. They are great in the respect that you can unstake them, move them to a better spot, and hold them up in the air and shake out the dirt. Non-freestanding units tend to be lighter and are usually designed around 2 poles, one at each end of the tent, forming a hooped front entry style (except for those teepee styled ones) They must be staked out unlike the freestanding units. Tents may be the standard in recreational endeavors, but in a true survival situation they may be a boat anchor or death trap. Did I mention that most tents are made of materials that flame up or melt around fire. One last positive thing about tents, in really cold windy weather, a good tent can be worth its weight in gold.
Tarps come in every conceivable size, color, and material. The ability to set them up in gobs of configurations makes them the winner in weight and concealment. They can block rain, snow, sun and wind. I have recently acquired an addiction to military poncho shelters called Zeltbahn’s. Oh man can you lose yourself in this rabbit hole. Most are canvas which weighs more per square yard, but are far more durable than nylon or rubberized old school military units, which I do happen to really like. I have Russian and Polish versions that are virtually identical. Recently Sportsmansguide had the Russians ones for $13.50 each, they are currently out of them, but keep your eyes open, they are a steal. My collection also includes Hungarian ponchos with a cool camo pattern and a couple of East German or Czech, the jury is still out, in a rain camo. The rain camo items are rectangular vs. the pie slice shape of most Zeltbahn’s. The advantage of these military poncho/tarps are that they are canvas and are very tough. That alone should make them worth a look.
Also Read: 4 Types of Base Camps
I set one of the Rooskie units up and left it set up outside for a month. It has been rainy, windy, with days of hot dry weather, so it experienced all but snow. After an exceptionally hard rain, the underside was dry, no seeping or weeping. This has made it to my very short list of TEOTWAWKI shelters. This guy will convince you of their worth (click here). In the multi-use category, poncho/tarps are right up there with your fixed blade.
Back to tarps, nothing beats a silnylon tarp for pack weight reduction. There are lots of cottage industry American made units out there and that is a great thing. They are pretty strong for their weight, but the downsides are major for extended survival scenarios. If they rip, don’t bother with duct tape, silnylon requires a special repair tape. Sewing up a tether point is less than ideal also due to the nature of the material. In reality few materials are easy to repair long term except for, wait for it, canvas.
I include US military style poncho’s in this category. They are excellent options for your pack. Few items have the multi-use capabilities of this popular item. The ripstop ones are excellent due to their lighter weight than older models. Now before anyone starts typing up their blood pressure, those older issue rubberized ponchos are great, but they weigh over twice as much. If you go the poncho option make sure it has strong grommets on the corners and midline for a better shelter. If it makes any difference, a poncho is my shelter of choice for my lighter GHB.
I really like the hammock option. Get off the ground in wet and buggy places. Lightweight, comfortable, and multi-use. There’s that word again. Mesh style units can be used to fish with and tarp style ones can gather water or other foods or act as an over head tarp. Paired with a tarp, you have a versatile shelter. There are many different styles of hammocks out there.
Also Read: Hennessy Hammock Review
The latest incarnation is a clone of older jungle hammocks. Screened sleeping area with a roof made with modern lightweight materials. The only downsides that I can think of is you need 2 strong points to tie to and in cold to mild temps the air moving under you can make for a chilly night.
Don’t forget learning to make shelter out of available natural materials. Jarhead Survivor over on SHTFBlog.com has been talking a lot about primitive skills and they definitely worth your time to learn. I will not go into building of shelters, because that is another post entirely. Remember that building takes time, calories and knowledge, so that is why we buy stuff.
My survival packs have ponchos, U.S. military. I love the Zeltbahn’s and would not hesitate to replace my current poncho for one of them. Right now tents are for camping, even though I have many great light sturdy options, I can’t get past the ‘can’t see out’ thing. You can remove the rainfly on good weather days and see through the mesh, so maybe I’m being a snob. The next thing to creep into my pack is a hammock. The tents that are staged to go first are Black Diamond Mega and my prized Woodland camo Bibler 2 man. Todd Bibler made a few of these to try and get a military contract, that fell through, at least that is the rumor, but I met a former employee and bought his, score! Sorry had to brag about that one, I have yet to see another one.
Also Read: 3 Things All Bug Out Bags Need
When choosing your shelter for that pack that just might be your ‘home’ for a while, make an informed decision. Be honest with yourself about the weight you can carry, day in, day out. Can your choice hold up to less than optimal conditions? Can you repair it on the trail? Is it multi-functional? There is no silver bullet to answer this question. Every situation is different, every person has different perceptions of need, that can really affect their attitude in a stressful situation. Current times can be scary if you are paying attention. Being prepared can reduce that scary feeling. Get your kit squared away then help a friend get their pack ready.
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The cliché saying is “hiding in plain sight.” Preppers need to be sensitive to being able to hide critical gear, supplies, and SHTF stuffs away from prying eyes, thieves, or anybody else that might be snooping around your house or storage areas. This is why we advise keeping quiet and discreet about your prepping efforts, keeping equipment, gear, and support stuffs out of public viewing sight. This goes so far as keeping the garage doors down when you are home or not outside or doing work around the house.
This includes locking storage rooms, closets, and other storage areas from “friends”, family or guests coming into the home. Using unmarked, locked storage containers is another way to “hide” stuff. There are any number of ways to secure and hide your SHTF weapons and at least one stash of a short rifle, handguns, ammo, extra magazines, and other related support gear in one hiding place. Here is a review of a new piece of gear designed specifically to conceal your first line of defense gear virtually in plain sight just in case of an emergency. This is a good piece of gear for either a Bug In or a grab and go bag out the back door.
Hiding In Plain Sight Concept
As Skinner Sights owner Andy Larsson says, “Who steals clothing” when thieves or undesirables raid your house? Regardless of whether or not you are an official prepper or just interested in hiding some critical guns, magazines, ammo and other gear in a place that is not likely to be discovered either by a break in or any sort of ravaging during a SHTF episode. The whole idea behind the Skinner “HTF” Garment Bag is to provide a unique place to “hang” several guns and other gear out of sight from anyone, virtually hidden in plain sight. I mean walk into your closet and what do you see. Clothing hanging on hangers from a support rod is an exceedingly common sight in any house or apartment. Shirts, pants, suits in bags, coats and other items just lined up.
Also Read: Magpul PMAG Torture Test
Nothing there hanging in a closet should appear out of context or secretive. Think about it. If you were pillaging through a house as a common break in thief or some ganged up zombie during a SHTF are you going to check out the sizes of the shirts and pants hanging up in a closet. Would a dress suit be high on your list of stuff to steal? I don’t think so. So this is the primary premise behind a common looking garment suit bag hanging in a clothing closet or hallway coat closet among many other suit or clothing storage bags. When the closet door is opened, it should just look like an ordinary closet with nothing out of place. But hidden there could be a secret cache of emergency self-defense gear.
Skinner’s Hide Out Garment Bag
Upon initial examination of the Skinner HTF Garment Bag once it is unzipped to reveal the internal design features, you simply have to say “wow.” I took just a while to really study the inside layout of this new piece of gear. To simply say it is well designed and completely thought out is a sort of understatement. Upon building it out, inserting all my gear items, and hanging it up in the closet, I am not sure there is a thing I would change.
Everything about this product is heavy duty. The bag hanger is super heavy duty despite being made of molded plastic. One would really have to abuse this hanger to break it. I mean it was created to support the weight of all the gear this bag will hold, so it is definitely up to the task. The bag’s zippers and pulls are heavy duty and designed for frequent, problem free use. With twin zippers from the top and the bottom of the bag, the user can decide which zipper orientation they want to use that it best for them. I have tried both zippers positioned at the top and then to the left side so they could be unzipped in opposite directions simultaneously. You can play with this to see how you like the closed zipper placement best.
Let’s review the inside features from top to bottom. The heavy duty hanger slips through a double sewn opening in the top of the bag for hanging the bag up on a closet rod. There is a sort of an overlapping cover as well that is part of the outside zipper closure of the bag. In the very top of the bag is a horizontal pouch for holding a flashlight with a hook and loop flap closure to secure the light. The pouch is not overly large so you may have to try several different flashlight models to see which one fits well.
On the left side of the bag is a position for a rifle such as an AR or AK up to 40-inches in length. The buttstock fits down in the bottom of the bag in an open slip pouch and the handguard/barrel is secured by a Velcro strap at the top. There is ample room here for a scoped rifle with a magazine inserted if desired. The muzzle of the barrel fits up under the top of the bag cover.
On the right side opposite the rifle containment are two removable holsters held in place by Velcro. These are positioned one on top of the other with the holstered handgun secured by a strap with a heavy duty locking clip buckle. The holsters look to be mainly designed to hold pistols, but I inserted a .357 Smith and Wesson N-frame revolver just to see how it fits. The weight of the revolver caused the holster to sag a bit outward, but upon tugging at it, I do not think it would become detached or come lose. Each holster also has a dedicated attached pouch to hold one magazine with a flap closure.
Just to the left of the pistol holsters are pouches to hold six additional pistol magazines with flap closures. Further left of the pistol magazine pouches is a vertical pouch for holding a large knife with scabbard or possibly another piece of gear, perhaps another larger flashlight. Below the bottom holster are two accessory pouches to be used for a variety of small gear items. These pouches could hold extra lose ammo, revolver speed loaders, or perhaps even a small concealed pistol like a Beretta Pico, KelTec, or Kahr handgun. They could also be used to hold critical medications, extra batteries, a pocketknife, some power bars or whatever.
Also Read: Lulu Magazine Loader
At the bottom of the bag are three pouches to hold rifle magazines. They are long enough to easily accommodate 30-round AR magazines with no issues. These are also secured with fold over flaps using Velco to hold the mags in place. Sewn down the center of the bag is a nylon strap with the function of giving the bag additional stability and form I would imagine. Keep in mind when this bag is fully loaded it is going to be pretty heavy especially with all the magazines loaded to capacity. Once the bag is geared up, the outside of the garment bag is zipped closed to hang up. I think a small padlock could be put on the zipper pulls. Also quite unique is the fact that the bag can then be laid out (on the bed or table) and folded in half to be secured by two sewn on external straps with snap closure buckles. The outside of the bag also has two sewn on wrap around carry handles to tote the bag like a piece of luggage.
Unobtrusive hanging in the closet? Yes, but note upon unusually close examination of stuff hanging in a closet this bag will stand out somewhat. Clearly the heavy duty hanger could be noticed as something different. The external carry straps and wrap straps could be noticed attached to the bag. I recommend when hanging the Skinner Garment Bag in the closet to fit it in between other suit or coat bags to further obscure its presence. I seriously doubt it would ever be noticed hanging among all the other clothes or bags.
This bag is constructed of heavy duty cordura black fabric with tough stitching. I have seen photos of the bag in dark green. I think the black is a better choice as it tends to blend in more appropriately as a garment bag. The retail pricing is $179 and can be ordered direct at www.skinnersights.com. So, whether to hide out in a closet or fold over for a grab bag, the Skinner “HTF” Garment Bag is an alternative way to secure an essential cache of weapons, ammo and support gear out of sight in plain view.
Skinner Sights LLC
Dr. John J. Woods
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