What is Apocalyptic Survival?

Click here to view the original post.

What is Apocalyptic Survival?

There are many terms used for serious survival, apocalyptic, SHTF,TEOTWAWKI, in my book all mean the same thing; something big has gone down that seriously changes the way we live and the way we look at things around us (I do not include a nuclear strike in our vicinity that most people could not survive). It could be an invasion from another country; it could be an Alien invasion. It could mean that the grid is down from a terrorist strike. What it is not is a normal temporary black out. It is not a chemical truck turning over in your neighbourhood. So let’s get this straight, a real serious survival situation is not for hobby survivalists. A hobby survivalist can go bush for a weekend or even a weeks camp-out and they will probably be okay providing no natural disasters occur or the camp is attacked by feral humans.

Now I must say that there is nothing wrong with being a hobby prepper, providing you stay within the limits of your expertise, you should be fine. Enjoy yourself. I do not mean this to sound demeaning, but facts are facts. If someone’s main fire making tools are a ferrocerium rod, some bic lighters and a box of matches, then they are not thinking long term. They are only prepared for a short term survival situation. Anyone who carries only one knife and that knife is used for multiple bushcraft tasks is not thinking long term survival. Now a lot of these people will defend their choices of gear, and that is fine. I see no point in arguing the point. But the fact is that in a major survival situation, these people will not survive.

If you are a serious prepper/survivalist you will be using flint, steel and tinderbox as your main fire lighting tool, and you will have learnt at least one other primitive method of fire lighting as a back-up. Your main knife will be for skinning, butchering and defence, and your choice of blade will reflect this. You will have at least one other blade which will be for camp chores and general usage. You will also be carrying a belt axe/hatchet or tomahawk for the heavier cutting chores and for defence, and you will know how to use these tools to their best advantage.

My hunting knife.
My legging knife.
My friction blade clasp knife.
The serious survivalist will have some form of hunting tool suited to long term wilderness living, be it a traditional bow or a firearm. If it is a firearm then you need to think very carefully before making your choice. You know what sort of game you may encounter, and you know that you may also have to depend on this tool for defence. Do not compromise other important survival needs in your pack by carrying too much weight in ammunition. I choose to carry flintlock guns. A flintlock gun has many advantages over a modern firearm and some advantages over the use of a bow. But having said that I am still very much in favour of carrying a bow, both the bow and the flintlock gun are long term sustainable tools for wilderness living. They may have a disadvantage in a fire fight compared to a modern firearm, but I firmly believe that both are better than a modern firearm regarding their versatility and long term sustainability.
.62 caliber flintlock fusil.
.32 caliber flintlock rifle.
.70 caliber flintlock pistol.
Knowing how to make and use traps is important, their use on a trap line will save on ammunition, and they are working for you day and night. Learning primitive skills is very important; they will help keep long term, as will primitive equipment. Modern equipment will eventually run out or break down, and the hobby prepper who only carries modern gear will gradually find themselves living a Stone Age lifestyle. Those people who invest in pre 19thcentury equipment will not likely ever have to drop below that level of comfort, be it 18th century or 12th century because again, it is sustainable.
A quick word about so called 24 and 72 hour survival packs. As a get home pack I think these are a good idea, but as a survival pack to take bush, I personally would not advise it. None of us can predict how long we may have to survive in any given situation. Limiting your pack to mere hours instead of a lifetime in my opinion is pointless. Use your main survival pack all the time, whether it is just for a weekend camp or longer. This will make sure you are well prepared and it will make you more familiar with your gear.


Here below is a list of skills our group members learn and practice; also there is a list of benefits of using a flintlock muzzle-loading firearm. If you are serious about being able to survive in the future should anything major happen to affect our quality of living, then I urge you to be honest with yourself and evaluate the skills you have and the equipment you carry.

New England Colonial Living History Group 1680-1760.

This is a list of basic skills in which we expect an 18thcentury woodsman or woods-woman to have some experience with in our group. There is no time limit set, learn in your own time & if we can help just ask.
Keith.

·      Flint & steel fire lighting

·      Wet weather fire lighting

·      Fire-bow fire lighting

·      Flintlock fire lighting

·      Flintlock use, service & repair

·      Marksmanship with either gun or bow.

·      Field dressing & butchering game

·      Blade sharpening

·      Tomahawk throwing

·      Making rawhide

·      Brain tanning

·      Primitive shelter construction

·      How to stay warm in winter with only one blanket

·      Cordage manufacture

·      Moccasin construction and repair

·      Sewing

·      Axe and tomahawk helve making

·      Fishing

·      Hunting

·      Evasion

·      Tracking

·      Reading sign

·      Woods lore

·      Navigation

·      Primitive trap construction & trapping

·      Open fire cooking

·      Fireplace construction

·      Clothing manufacture

·      Drying meat & other foods

·      Knowledge of plant tinders & preparation

·      Knowledge of native foods & preparation

·      Knowledge of native plants in the area and their uses for other than tinder and food.

·      Scouting/Ranging.

·      Basic first aid.

·      Finding and treating water.

General leather work.


Advantages of a Flintlock Muzzle-loader.

1)   Ammo is less expensive than a modern equivalent caliber firearm.

2)  The smoothbore is very versatile, being able to digest round ball, bird shot, & buckshot, or any combination of two of these (can also use minies).

3)  The fusil is lighter to carry than a modern equivalent sized gun.

4)  You can vary the load if needs be.

5)  The smoothbore will digest other projectiles besides lead.

6)  Lead can be retrieved from downed game & remoulded with a simple mould & lead ladle. This means that you can carry less lead, & more of the lighter gunpowder.

7)  You can make your own gunpowder.

8)  You can use the lock to make fire without the need for gunpowder.

9)  You can use gunpowder for gunpowder tinder fire lighting if needs be.

10)        IF the lock should malfunction (these are very robust & it is not likely) you can easily repair it if you are carrying a few spare springs & a few simple tools.

11) If you do not have any spare parts & the lock malfunctions, you can easily convert it to a tinderlock or matchlock & continue using it.

12)        You do not need a reloader, brass shells, caps, or primers. The latter have been known to break down in damp conditions or if they are stored for too long.

13)         Wadding for ball or shot is available from natural plant materials or homemade leather or rawhide.

14)       Less chance of being affected by future ammunition control legislation.

15)        Gunpowder is easily obtainable providing you have a muzzle-loader registered in your name regardless of caliber (NSW)

16)        A .32 caliber flintlock rifle is more powerful than a .22 rimfire, less expensive to feed, more accurate over a greater distance, able to take small & medium sized game, & other than not being able to use shot (unless it is smoothbore), it has all the attributes of the other flintlocks.

17)        Damage from a .62 caliber-.75 caliber pistol or long arm is in the extreme. Wounded prey is unlikely to escape.

18)         By using buck & ball you are unlikely to miss your target. This load is capable of taking out more than one target.

19)        There is less kick-back to a muzzle-loading gun.

20)       Antique Flintlock muzzle-loading guns do not require a license, registration, or a permit to purchase in NSW Australia.

Here is a list of the equipment that I carry. As in everything, equipment is a personal choice based on experience.

Equipment List.

.62 cal/20 gauge flintlock fusil. 42 inch barrel.

.70 caliber smoothbore flintlock pistol.

Gun tools and spare lock parts.

Shot pouch and contents.

Leather drawstring pouch of .60 caliber ball (in knapsack).

Powder horn.

Ball mould and swan shot mould.

3 Gunpowder wallets

Lead ladle.

Butcher/Hunting knife.

Legging knife.

Clasp knife.

Tomahawk.

Fire bag.

Tinderbox.

Belt pouch.

Fishing tackle in brass container.

Two brass snares.

Roll of brass snare wire.

Knapsack.

Scrip.

Market Wallet.

Tin Cup.

Kettle.

Water filter bags (cotton & linen bags).

Medical Kit.

Housewife.

Piece of soap and a broken ivory comb.

Dried foods in bags.

Wooden spoon.

Compass.

Whet stone.

Small metal file.

Oilcloth.

One blanket (Monmouth cap, spare wool waistcoat and wool shirt rolled inside blanket).

Two glass saddle flasks.

Length of hemp rope.

Bottle of rum.

Finding the Best Property for Preppers

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post contributed by Laura. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


For preppers, a home’s location is of utmost importance. Your home is your headquarters, your castle and sanctuary. It’s the one place you hope to feel in control when chaos breaks out.

Serious preppers are beginning to invest in purpose-built retreats that are off the grid and away from the fray. But make no mistakes about it. These retreats aren’t about relaxation and taking in a scenic view. The sole intent is to have a place that is made to stand on its own if humanity were to falter. In this article we will highlight 7 factors to consider if you are looking for the best property for preppers.

Determining Access to your property

Professional movers like North American have helped thousands of people move to urban areas and remote locations. One important piece of advice they give to preppers looking for a remote retreat is to always consider access. How will you and others access your retreat location?

Thinking about how you will control access to your retreat property is an important consideration.

Thinking about how you will control access to your retreat property is an important consideration.

For most people, it’s fairly easy to get vehicles and moving trucks to a new home. Preppers that live in non-traditional areas like a hillside may need to work out additional logistics to get a home setup or built. This can actually be a benefit since it will also be difficult for others to get on the property. However, be prepared to construct your own roads if you’re looking for raw land to build on. This could have major consequences on price.

If a property is heavily wooded there could be hidden access points. It’s important to walk the entire perimeter of the property looking for entry points and notating where fencing or barbwire will be needed to block access.

Must have sustainable Water Supply

A sustainable and abundant source of water is a must.

A sustainable and abundant source of water is a must.

Having a ready supply of clean water is the biggest priority during natural disasters, riots, war and every other emergency situation. Preppers understand that they need to have a long-term solution that goes beyond storing gallons of bottled water.

It may be difficult to find a piece of property along a stream, river or lake that isn’t already in a developed area. Flooding is also a concern in these locations. The better option is to have a well. Currently, about 15% of Americans have private water sources. However, you will want to check the local health department for information on water regulations and testing guidelines in the immediate area.

What are the Security Issues of your property?

Securing your property is necessary for protecting your people and supplies. Many preppers look for property that’s already fenced off with access controlled by a security gate. If the property has no perimeter barrier that will need to be factored in before deciding on an asking price. It’s also important to bear in mind that vegetation is no substitute for fencing. It can slow people and animals down, but it won’t keep them out.

Do you have adequate Storage for your supplies

Tiny Homes are catching on, but they don't have anywhere near the amount of storage you would need for your prepper property.

Tiny Homes are catching on, but they don’t have anywhere near the amount of storage you would need for your prepper property.

From food containers to firearms, preppers know the importance of stocking up on supplies. The problem is you need a place to store everything so your supplies aren’t compromised. Many prepper real estate consultants suggest that people consider properties with at least five acres in order to have enough space of living, farming and storage.

How you store food could have serious implications on survival, strength, health and morale. Properties that already have a storage shed or barn that can be secured will put you ahead of the curve. Dark, underground cellars offer good storage for canned goods, but you may need a climate-controlled space with low moisture levels for wheat, grains, legumes and fresh produce storage.

What is your Off the Grid Power Supply?

Mounting Solar panels on roofs or moveable panels allow for easy access for maintenance.

Mounting Solar panels on roofs or moveable frames allow for easy access for maintenance.

During a worst case scenario, the power grid will likely go down. People that have prepared in advance by putting together an independent power supply will have all of the modern day conveniences, including security systems and device chargers.

Homes that have already been outfitted with solar panels, wind turbines, thermal heating and gas-powered generators are essentially move-in ready. If power supplies aren’t in place you’ll have to assess the area to gauge its wind and solar power potential. Ideally, you’ll want a variety of power sources and ample power storage for times when the wind and sun aren’t in abundance.

Soil Conditions for crops

The soil quality will be a major factor in your ability to raise your own food.

The soil quality will be a major factor in your ability to raise your own food.

Like water, food is a necessity for sustaining life. You can go much longer without food (at least three weeks), but the fact remains that your rations won’t last forever. Eventually, your stock of food supplies will be depleted, and you’ll have to rely solely off the land.

Many people overlook the health of the soil on a property even though finding a spot that can support crop growth and has good drainage is critical. If the property already has fruit trees or a garden that’s a very good sign. Remember, your store bought food supply will only last so long. You have to stock up on seeds and consider how your land can produce sustenance.

Bonus – Underground Bunker

The ultimate property feature for preppers is an underground bunker. In the event there is a nuclear bombing or biological warfare a bunker is a last resort for surviving the fallout. Bunkers can be standalone structures or connected into the power grid. When connecting electrical and plumbing sources it’s important to ensure all the spaces around conduits and PVC pipes are thoroughly sealed with silicon caulking.

If you liked this article, please rate it.

The post Finding the Best Property for Preppers appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

3 Taster Locations To Try Unplugging

Click here to view the original post.

Off-grid home in Majorca to rent on airbnb, perfect for a getaway from technology

Enjoy the Spanish sun and views whilst unplugging from the rest of the world for a getaway

Curious about what living off-grid would be like but not quite ready to give up the mortgage? Thinking where to live out the rest of your days in idyllic peace but not quite sure?

Not to worry, if you’re considering the big leap into the unknown, you can try a short break disconnecting from the big brother system — renting an off-grid home from Airbnb.

In Chelan, Washington State, for example, there lies a hobbit hole which any Lord of the Rings fan would die for a night in. Upon a mountain hill, surrounded by rabbits and deer is the perfect place for someone on a quest for off-gird living to start their journey.

Kirstie Wolfe built the 288-square-foot rental into a hillside on a five-acre tract of land she bought in Orondo, a small town between Chelan and Wenatchee along the Columbia River in central Washington. After burying the structure, she went all out decorating the space with an obsessive attention to detail. “I try to make it as authentic as possible,” builder Kristie Wolfe explained. She succeeded with flying colours, visitors walk past a small outdoor garden through a big circular door — just like in the books and movies. The rustic interior uses reclaimed wood, hanging lanterns, and circular arches and windows to evoke a fantastical feeling, a point underlined with small charms like a cobbler’s workbench and several subtle “Lord of the Rings” touches inside.

As well as being the perfect place to let your imagination run free, it is also a fully functioning off grid home with its own septic tank and solar panels, you can unplug in style and comfort. To see the photos and more details on the hobbit home, click here!

 

For those in Europe – nestled into the mountains on the quiet North-West side of Mallorca it is the perfect place to turn off from the outside world and relish nature as it is.

It is a 30-minute drive down the mountain to a beach or an exhilarating hike away, which in turn, gives you the most breath-taking views of the blue Mediterranean. It’s located inside a national park which means you will live side by side with exotic birds and wild flowers. The house comes complete with a water tank which collects 40,00 litres of rain water which you can then filter into drinking water and use to flush the toilet and wash with . Also, it is furnished with two flushing toilets, solar panels a shower, a gas fridge and hob and a fireplace and wood burner for the winter months. There is an outside kitchen with a BBQ so you can cook cooley in the breeze whilst taking in the glorious views.

Outdoor hot shower in off-grid home in Majorca

Beautiful heated shower located outside to give you the perfect mixture of comfort and authenticity

If you’re not so keen with the cooking, you can hire a cook who will show you how to use the outdoor facilities and make your meals for you. The estate is broken up into separate houses which you may choose to rent altogether or just the one/two. The top house comes with two bedrooms and wireless broadband from a solar panel.

How secluded you are is completely up to you. You can have someone show you around the house and neighbourhood with you and immerse you into the off-the-grid lifestyle or you can do it alone and test yourself. You can view its profile on Airbnb here and watch a narrated tour of it here on youtube for more details on the property and how to book it.

 

Our third home was named as one of the best homes in America by Dwell and top ten homes in the world on Airbnb. And it’s completely off-grid. The humble abode is situated in a pristine remote valley in the beautiful Californian high desert and the views are amazing.

off-grid home in California desert to rent

The desert home underneath the stars

 

It is completely powered by solar panels which allow you to have a comfortable stay whilst venturing off into the unplugged world. There is no wifi or TV to encourage you to completely immerse yourself into your stunning surroundings and your own thoughts. It’s architecturally significant green home with large floor to ceiling windows, a fireplace, flushing toilet and hot shower and a fully functional kitchen. So why not check it out on Airbnb for pictures and the chance to enquire about booking it for a weekend away from your stress and worries.

The post 3 Taster Locations To Try Unplugging appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Retreat Security: I Am Your Worst Nightmare by Jeff T.

Click here to view the original post.
SURVIVAL PLANS.

This survival scenario is wide spread over the net on various survival sites & blogs. Where it originated I can not say, but Mr Jeff T. has obviously put a lot of thought into this article. I would like to thank the author Mr Jeff T. for allowing this article to be used in the public domain.
Keith.

Retreat Security: I Am Your Worst Nightmare
by Jeff T.

I am the leader of a band of 8-to-12 looters. I have some basic military training. We move from place to place like locusts devouring everything in our path. My group is armed with light weapons and can develop and follow simple plans of attack. We take what we want by force of arms. We prefer none of our victims survive because that could cause problems for us in the future.

It has been six months since the grid went down. You and the other five members of your party have settled into what may be a long grinding existence. The every day tasks of growing and gathering have now become routine. The news from the outside is extremely limited but you don’t really miss it much. Life is simple but physically demanding.

Although things may seem stable you will need to keep your team focused and alert. This is your first and most important layer of defence. You should hold an immediate reaction drill once per week. Keep things simple. Practice a specific response to such threats as injury, fire, attack and evacuation. Despite the challenges you must maintain contact with those around you such as neighbours for vital clues that trouble is brewing. Regular monitoring the radio will be critical in providing an early warning of trouble. You may be able to safely interview refugees without risking your party. Keep in mind the information you get from them may not always be reliable.

While you have been farming I have been learning the best tactics to employ to seize your property and your goods. I have been refining them since we hit the road right after the lights went out. I have conducted eight “hits” so far and have been successful seven times. Here are some of my “lessons learned”.

Intelligence gathering and target selection is critical to my success. Targets include those who have large quantities of fuel, food and other valuable supplies. My posse is constantly questioning anyone and everyone we contact searching for our next victim. Anyone who has ever had knowledge, even second hand, of your preparations is someone of interest to me. I may approach them directly or indirectly. If anyone knows something I will find out about it. Who seems well-fed? Who still has transportation? Who has lights? Who was prepared? Where are they exactly? Somebody talks, either in person or on the radio. They always do.

We search for victims night and day. During the day we are listening for the sounds of machinery, cars, tractors, gunfire or generators. Day or night without a lot of wind those sounds can carry for miles. At night I look for any sort of light. Even a small flash indicates somebody with electricity and that means a rich target. I always have somebody listening to the scanner for any news, leads or insecure chatter.

Operational Security is an important concept for your entire group to understand and maintain. If somebody outside your circle doesn’t have a real need to know about your plans, preparations or procedures then they shouldn’t know period. Develop a cover story and live it like was a bulletproof vest. It is no less important to your protection and survival. During an event you need to blend in with the surrounding environment. Carefully observe noise (such as generators and other engines) and light discipline especially at night. If you need to test fire weapons do it in one sequence to avoid a prolonged noise signature.

Once I find and target you reconnaissance of your retreat is my next step. Only a fool would try to rush in and try to overwhelm a group of “survivalists”. We had a bad experience with that during our second hit. Now we spend at least a day or two trying to size up a large opportunity and the best way to take it down. I will observe retreat activity from a nearby-concealed position. I will get an idea of your numbers, weapons, routines and so much more by careful surreptitious observation. If your group seems alert, I will try and trigger a false alarm with a dog or child to watch your reaction to a threat. That helps me know how you respond, where you are strong and how to attack. I may also obtain a topographical map of the area to identify likely avenues of approach and potential escape routes you will try to use. I may coerce your neighbours into uncovering a weak spot or access point or other important intelligence. I also have a Bearcat handheld scanner. I will be listening for any insecure chatter from your radios.

Regular patrols at irregular intervals focused on likely observation points and avenues of approach could keep me at bay. You could put down sand or other soft soil in key choke points as a way of “recording” if anyone has recently travelled through the land. Dogs, with their advanced sense of hearing and smell are able to detect and alert you to intruders well in advance of any human. Motion sensing IR video cameras as a part of a security plan could play a part in your layered defence as long as you have power. A 24 hour manned observation point equipped with high quality optical tools is a must. It should be fortified and if possible concealed. It should have a weapon capable of reaching to the edges of your vision. Seismic intrusion devices, night vision and thermal imaging are phenomenal force multiplying tools. They can give you critical intelligence and warning. You should use them if you have them. Understand they are not fool proof and I can often neutralize them if I know you have them.

These tools and techniques provide you reaction time. Time to plan your response and time to execute that plan. Recognize that a “defender” is always at a disadvantage. By definition a defender will be reacting to my attack. Modern warfare has emphasized the ability of the attacker to operate faster than opponents can react. This can be explained by the OODA loop. Below are the four steps of the classic OODA loop. These are the steps a defender goes through when under attack.

1. Observing or noticing the attack.
2. Orient to the direction, method and type of attack.
3. Deciding what the appropriate response will be.
4. Acting on that decision.

As an attacker I will try and operate at a pace faster than you as a defender can adjust to. I will change my direction, pace, timing and method to force you to continue to process through the OODA loop. This creates confusion and wastes your precious reaction time. As a defender you will need to disrupt or reset your attackers timing with a counter-attack. When you are successful you become the attacker. Your defensive plans should utilize and exploit this concept. Here are a few scenarios:

1. Snipe & Siege

I will begin the attack when I can engage at least half of your party’s military age personnel in one coordinated effort. I will infiltrate my team into concealed positions around your retreat within 50 to 75 yards. I will target any identified leadership with the first volley. Two thirds of my people will be engaging personnel. The other group will target communications antennas, surveillance cameras and any visible lighting assets. I want your group unable to see, communicate or call for help. The members of my band will each fire two magazines in the initial exchange. Two thirds of my group will change to new concealed positions and wait. One third will fall back into an ambush of the most likely avenue of escape. We will stay concealed and wait until you come out to attend to your wounded and dead. We repeat the attack as necessary until any resistance is crushed.

Ensure you adjust the landscape around your retreat so that I don’t have anyplace offering cover or concealment within 100 yards of your residence. You can create decorative masonry walls that can be used to offer cover for personnel close to your residence. Fighting positions can be built now and used as raised planting beds and then excavated for use in the future. These can be extended or reinforced after any significant event. These structures or other measures such as trenching must be sited carefully to avoid allowing them to be used effectively by an attacker if they are overrun.

2. Trojan Horse

For one hit we used an old UPS truck. We forced a refugee to drive it to the retreat gate. We concealed half our group inside the truck. The truck was hardened on the inside with some sandbags around the edges. The other half of our group formed an ambush concealed inside the tree line along the driveway. We killed the driver to make it look good and had one person run away. Those preppers almost waited us out. After nearly three hours they all walked slowly down the driveway. They were bunched up in a group intent on checking out the truck and driver. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

They could have worked together as group to sweep the area 360 degrees around the truck and they would have surely found us. A dog would have also alerted the residents to our presence. They could have taken measures to eliminate the vegetation offering us concealment on the road near the gate. They could have used CS gas or something similar to “deny” any suspicious areas. Lastly they could have done a “reconnaissance by fire”. Shooting into likely hiding spots, including the truck, trying to evoke a response. They should have established an over watch position with the majority of their group. This over watch group would have provided visual security and an immediate response if there were an attack. They were not expecting any additional threats. They didn’t consider that there might be additional danger lurking nearby aside from the truck and they died.

3. Kidnap & Surrender

A few weeks ago we surprised and captured a couple of women out tending a garden. It was totally by chance. We were travelling through a very rural area on our way to another town when somebody heard a tractor backfire. We immediately stopped and I sent a small team to recon the noise. They bumped into a small party tending a field at the edge of their retreat. They seized two women and immediately dragged them back to our vehicles. We began negotiations by sending a finger from each one back to the retreat under a white flag. The rest was easy.

This didn’t need to happen. Better noise discipline would have kept us from discovering their retreat. Some simple boundary fencing or tangle foot could have delayed us. The women should have been armed and aware of such a threat. If they had established an over watch for the garden they could have engaged us before we took our hostages or at least alerted the others that there was a problem. They also could have had a quick reaction SOP developed prior to this incident. That Quick Reaction (QR) force could have followed the kidnappers back to our vehicles and set up an ambush of their own. Rural retreat security is a full time job. If you snooze you may lose everything.

4. Fire and Manoeuvre.

I don’t like this option but sometimes the prize is just too tempting. We typically infiltrate quietly at night to prearranged start points. We begin our attack just before dawn when your senses are dulled by a long night watch or from sleep. Based on our reconnaissance we divided your retreat into positions or zones that need specific attention. We prepare for battle by using an air rifle to target any lights or cameras. Our first priority is to engage any LP/OP site and destroy or degrade them as much as possible. I split my forces into two supporting groups. One group keeps the target position under constant fire. The other group also fires and manoeuvres’, closing on the target and destroying it with gunfire or improvised weapons. Many times these positions only have one occupant and the task is relatively easy. Often these positions are easy to spot and are too far from each other to provide any effective mutual support. We will work from one position to the next. In the darkness and confusion most of the defenders are disoriented and ineffective. They fall like dominos. We have also used motorcycles to negotiate obstacles and speed through cuts in the perimeter fence. Then throw Molotov Cocktails into any defensive position as they roar past. If you fall back into your residence we will set up a siege. If we can manoeuvre close enough, perhaps by using a distraction, we will pump concentrated insecticide into your building or we may introduce LP gas from a portable tank into the house and ignite it with tracer fire.

If there was enough warning time from your OP you could execute a pre-planned response. Your planned response should be simple, easy to understand and execute. Half your group occupies your fighting positions, two to a position. The rest of your party establishes an over watch and concentrate its fire at the enemies trying to fix your positions. If you had more than enough prepared positions the enemy might not know where to attack. It would also provide more flexibility in your defence based on the direction of attack. I would use Night Vision if available or illumination from flares or lights as a last resort. Rats hate light.

Usually people keep main access points blocked from high-speed approach. Likely avenues of approach should also be blocked or choked and kept under observation. Remember though what keeps me out keeps you in. Typically the common techniques of parking vehicles in roadways will only delay my approach not stop it altogether. An ordinary 12-gauge shotgun, shooting slugs, can stop most types of non-military vehicles at close range.

Don’t forget the threat of fire or other non-traditional weapons in your defensive plans.

You could create the illusion of a “dead end” for your main access road by positioning a burned out trailer home or a couple of burned out cars at the false “end” of the road. Concealing the fact that the road actually continues to your residence.

Lastly, develop a plan to evacuate and evade capture. When faced with a significantly superior force it may be the only viable option. This should include simple, reliable communications or signals such as three blasts on a dog whistle. Your fighting positions and barriers need to be constructed to allow coordinated withdrawal in an emergency. You should establish a rally point and time limit to assemble. I believe this should be a priority in your practice drills. During a real emergency you may be able to rally, rearm and plan your own version of the “snipe and siege” to retake your retreat.

Key messages:
Your rural retreat defence can be visualized as a set of concentric rings:

Location – Location – Location: High and remote are best
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

Remember:

An aggressive and unexpected counter strike can win the battle.
Stay alert for multiple threats or diversionary tactics.
Criminals excel at feigning weakness to lower your guard.

Don’t underestimate me.


Reader Questions: Meister on Appalachian Land Purchase or Beach Front Property

Click here to view the original post.
Meister said: Looking at a large property purchase. Having issues deciding on location. Appalachia or the coast with a boat. Tough decisions.

Meister asked a question that has a fairly complicated answer. Should he purchase land in the Appalachian Mountains (or that general region) or on the ocean with a boat. For background Meister lives (based on his google profile) in the greater Indianapolis IN area.  I will talk the general pro’s and con’s of each then hit the questions that would guide my answer if this was a conversation.

Mountain land:
Pro: Cheap
Pro: Low maintenance costs
Pro: Minimal population

Con: If that situation becomes untenable options are limited.
Con: Lots of poverty and drug issues. Of course this is a very local thing but the meth heads in town or a trailer nearby could be a real issue if things get ugly and EBT cards stop working.
Con: May not be the easiest culture to assimilate into. There could be a we/ they thing if stuff got ugly.

Beach land:
Pro: Vast resources readily available. Food storage could be greatly supplemented by shellfish, crab, fish, etc.
Pro: Being able to have either on a dock or a trailer in a shed, a boat capable of intercoastal waterway type travel gives a great supplementary option.
Pro: A little cabin on the ocean and a boat would be huge fun for the family and an anchor to get teen and adult kids to come out for the family vacation for years to come. This is something you could really enjoy.

Con: Population. Beaches tend to be relatively busy places as they are cool. Sure there are some more isolated areas but you have to really look for them. Without googling it I suspect the low population density of the Appalachians is difficult to find on the Eastern seaboard unless you look at extreme norther Maine.
Con: Cost. Your dollars will get a lot less land if it is on the water.
Con: In a worst case scenario being on the water puts a big ole high speed avenue of approach right on your back lawn. Not so long ago Pirates raided small towns and settlements in the American South East because it was easy to hit one and vanish into a maze of islands or get back to a safe haven.
Con: (Boat) Significant upkeep costs. A trailered boat costs money. A boat you have to keep in the water year round or dry dock costs real money to upkeep. I knew an accountant who had a very long conversation with a legitimately wealthy client that in fact no she could not comfortably afford a boat.
Con: (Boat) I would be worried about not having my eyes on such an expensive thing, especially if it was in the water.

Now the thoughts/ questions I have to guide the decision:

Q- Do you plan to keep living in the same area you currently do or relocate?

Thought. Distance- My rough math says the Appalachians (picked Cumberland, TN as an arbitrary mile marker) are fairly close to you, approximately 275 miles so a tank of gas or so. Also it is pretty open country so I wouldn’t be TOO worried about making the drive if things got bad. Relatively un populated/ affordable beach front land would probably be in the Carolina’s which are roughly 750+ miles (I used Mertyl beach as an arbitrary mile marker). That is a lot further any way you cut it. Also there are a lot of more built up areas in between. A further away place means you are less likely to use it get away (and be around/ check on your stuff) and it will be harder to get to in a worst case scenario.

This is probably the biggest issue in my mind. The ocean is pretty far from where you live. As such this favors land in the mountains. If it was not almost twice as far we might be able to argue for the ocean but……

Q- What sort of scenario do you see happening?

Thoughts: If your concerns run more towards a major financial collapse that runs short of full on grid down Mad Max I would go with the beach land and boat. Better economy (in general) and closer to population centers for work and such. Depending on the boat you have it has the added benefit that if the social/ political situation becomes intolerable you could easily sail down to the Caribbean or Central/ South America for a couple years. Your trade could be practiced underground for enough to keep the families bellies full and a reasonable boat running. The Appalachians are the white third world now, imagine if the EBT cards and government programs were cut off? On the other hand if you see things going full on Mad Max a cabin in a holler with a big garden 30 miles from a town of 3,000 people in BFE Kentucky/ TN would be a good place to be. If your immediate neighbors were solid and the terrain was good folks could do well up in those hills, it has been done before. For that scenario the openness of beach areas and the high speed avenue of approach of the ocean add risk.

This can go either way depending on your concerns.

Q- How much cash do you have for start up? How much for maintenance?

Thoughts: My very rough math says the beach land with boat is going to be a whole lot more expensive than some land in the mountains. Of course if you want a whole lot of acreage in the mountains (like 50+) but just an acre or two by the beach that starts to change things but it’s gaming the scenario a bit. Bottom line a given amount of cash will get you a whole lot more real estate in the mountains than on the water.

I don’t know your budget so it may or may not matter. However this favors land in the mountains for most budgets. The buy in for a place in the mountains could realistically be 20-30k with almost no maintenance. Beach land is probably going to cost more, then there is a boat to consider. In fairness a boat can mean a lot of things but I inferred more than a little row boat/ skiff. Boats are expensive to buy and have significant upkeep costs. From a family of boat owners I know the adage that they are a hole in the water you throw money into is true. If you had say 20-40 acres with a shed and a cabin and ran onto hard times all you would need is to scrape up cash for property taxes. On the other hand if you want them to stay operational boats cost money on a continual basis. Bottom line the up keep costs of a place on the coast with a boat will be higher.

Anyway if I had to boil this down to a suggestion. Both are fine options but that is a cop out. Unless there is some information I am unaware of I would lean to the mountains based primarily on distance.  The economics and what is better for which worst case scenario can be argued a lot of ways but the distance is very clear cut.

Thoughts?

Survival as Recreation & a Social Activity.

Click here to view the original post.
Prepping for survival can be a lot of fun, & I think it should be enjoyed. But treating survival solely as a recreational activity is not really preparing for survival. It can be fun to join a survival forum as a social activity, but if this is all it is, then you are not going to survive a major event.

If you are someone who thinks that a fuel stove is a good addition to your survival gear, then you are not really serious about surviving if or when the SHTF. If you are someone who defends their poor choices of survival gear by saying “when I run out of fuel for my stove I will throw the stove away”, then you are not serious about survival.

Long term wilderness survival, whether at your bush homestead or simply living in the bush, requires a “sustainable” outlook. Anything that has not got a reasonable chance of lasting the distance is a waste of space in your pack & extra weight that you do not need.

If you think that a radio, a battery operated torch & a solar battery charger are more important than food & water, then you are not serious about survival. We will always need more water, more food & more ammunition. There will always have to be a compromise between minimum weight & maximum self-reliance. Think about that, minimum weight & maximum self-reliance. Everything you put into your back pack should be chosen with these two important factors in mind.

If you are someone who ignores the above advice, then you are NOT serious about survival. Unfortunately there are many people who think this way on survival forums, & for those of us who are serious about our survival, this is very frustrating. We all love to share & learn, but if we are not learning anything useful, & we are not being taken seriously in our posts, then what is the point in us being on that forum? 

A quick note about modern firearms. A modern gun is by far the best tool for defence, but in terms of sustainability it rates pretty low. A .22 is probably a good choice, because the ammo weighs less than most other modern ammo choices. But if you are going to use this arm for hunting & defence, then you will use up a lot of ammunition. If you carry a bow as well as the gun & set up a trap line at you final destination, then this will help conserve your firearm ammunition for defence only.

My choice as most know is the muzzle-loading gun, & I will post a list of reasons why I choose this tool above a modern gun at the end of this writing. But I will not be alone, I will have others to carry modern firearms for defence, our group also includes some archers, including myself, so we are well covered. My theory on long term wilderness living is also known to many, I believe that anyone starting out with the main bulk of equipment being modern gear will eventually be reduced to living a stone age lifestyle as items start to malfunction & wear out. Where as someone who starts off  with mostly 18th century gear will never drop below that level of comfort & security.

Remember, though certain survival situations may require a military style outlook (militia), there will be NO supply drops! You are on your own. If you gear breaks down it is gone. If you run out of something that can not be replaced from nature, it is gone! 
Good luck & stay in touch.
Keith.
Advantages of a Flintlock Muzzle-loader.

Shared Bug Out Location/ Retreat Ownership

Click here to view the original post.
This topic comes up from time to time. It is something that has personally came up as an option in my life recently so I have been thinking about it.

Before getting started I am not a lawyer, real estate agent or anything like that. Even if I was in any way qualified, which I am not, to give specific real estate advice it would only be accurate for the geographic area of my expertise. Real estate laws, zoning, etc vary such that a real estate specialist in Idaho may not know much about the specific laws in Texas. If you are seriously thinking of doing this consult a lawyer who does real estate in the area you are looking to buy in.

Personalities need to be considered as well. Do you have a personality which allows for the inevitable give and take that comes with sharing? Does the other person? If as family/ friend dynamics go can you two make it work together? If the opinionated person does more of the work and the easy going person is cool with tagging along it can work. Otherwise maybe not so much.

We will talk about the pro’s and cons then have some discussion.

Pro- Pooling resources (money) This is definitely the first thing that comes to mind and I would say the primary reason people consider this sort of thing. Neither person has enough money so they pool together. At the low end this is often the difference between being able to buy into the market or not. At the higher end it is getting better quality and or a larger piece of land. Also potential for shared maintenance/ development costs (A 1/4 mile road split 2 ways is better than 1, etc) is promising.

Choosing your neighbors. I didn’t think of this one right away but it came to me in time. Of course you can always take a look at the neighbors crappy meth shack compound and decide not to buy there. However in this case you get to CHOOSE your neighbors. That could have huge benefits in an emergency.

Bringing together strengths/ minimizing weaknesses. Say the rich city cousin Jill wants a place but is worried about leaving it alone. The less rich country cousin Tim is out in an area all the time and is good at building stuff but can’t scrape up enough cash. Mutually beneficial arrangements can certainly exist here.

Con-

So many different issues. Any time you involve relationships and money things can get crazy in a hurry. Even removing the preparedness angle we all probably know some folks for whom the family beach house/ cabin turned into a nightmare. I don’t mean to short change this but there are just so many possible ways for it to go wrong. Seriously major relationship ending problems can and often do come up.

Discussion-

Legal/ financial

I believe it is very important to have a clear written understanding of what the agreement is before deciding to enter into it. Ask the hard questions now before there are any issues.

What are both parties putting in and what are they getting. There are many ways to do this, especially if people bring different things to the table. I would just say to be very clear about what each person is going to put in and get out. If Tim builds Jill a cabin at cost is he now an owner and if so of what?

How will future decisions be made? What about future expenses? At a minimum this should be in writing, both people should sign it and have a copy. This way they both know what they agreed to and can refer to it in the future as needed. That being said unless it was cost prohibitive, $500 in legal agreements about a $1,500 piece of west Texas desert you are splitting with a buddy doesn’t pass the common sense test, I would do this with a lawyer. They would likely bring some good points to the table and make sure everything was legal.

What if someone needs to cash out?

If at all possible I would look to legally sub divide the land/ retreat. Tom and Jane (relatives or whatever) decide to buy 10 acres. Tom gets the northern 5 and Jane gets the southern 5. They share the road that is in the middle. They legally divide it so their ownership, tax liability, etc is separate. If Tom decides to sell and Jane (or another relative) cannot buy the land he just sells it. Other than losing having a close neighbor Jane and her family are not affected. If sub dividing the land make sure both parties have water rights and necessary right of ways for access/ road use in place. That way if you stop getting along or they sell to a stranger nobody is up a creek without a paddle.

In some cases this is not possible. Zoning may prevent homes from being built on pieces of land smaller than a certain size. In some cases this can be skirted around by using tiny houses on flatbed trailers but it would likely really hurt resale (since a person could not build a traditional cabin/ home). This is something significant to consider and in my eyes would be a real negative for an area. In other cases the lay of the land would make a simple split difficult or inequitable due to a key feature (water comes to mind) being located where division would not make sense or terrain lending itself to one building site.

I think establishing Tim’s land and Jane’s land is important even if the way they actually do things is a lot less formal or even downright communal. This way they are both protected in some sort of a worst case situation but short of that they can do whatever they both agree to (though in some cases with real estate property rights/ ownership can be affected so check local laws, etc).

If legal division is possible you can really stop reading this.

If it is not possible/ practical then you really would need a solid agreement in place.

What if one party is supposed to pay half of the taxes and can’t/ won’t?

Also in general what is the plan for if a person plans to sell or dies? Does the whole place get sold or just their share? I don’t know about you but I do not want to own half of a piece of land with a total stranger! Odds are they would have a hard time selling that way. In some cases agreements can be written the other party gets the first opportunity to buy the land. In others a sale might even need to be approved by specified parties.

Co Use

Are your goals similar or at least compatible? If Tim to have a raging party with a band every fall and Jane’s family is trying to hunt for deer the same weekend there it’s going to be problematic. Of course smaller spaces and non delineated property lines would compound this all and honestly that is not a situation I would be very comfortable with.

If people are sharing land who can do what there? If one person wants to grow corn and the other wants a mud bog to drive 4wd trucks in the same place that is an issue.

How will shared resources be used and by whom? If both families have a couple hunters and each want to bring some friends/ relatives there are going to be way too many hunters for their 10 acres. Ditto fishing, firewood collecting, etc all.

Shared structure? Is there going to be a shared structure on the land? This really complicates things, especially if the structure brings significant value to the place such that you can’t give one person the structure and the other a couple more acres, or have them pay a bit less or whatever. Ending up sharing a structure really adds to the potential for complication. Now instead of sharing a field and both having camping spots you are sharing a house!

This really brings to mind all the family cabin horror stories we have heard. Everyone wants to use it labor day weekend and nobody wants to chip in for the new roof. Also what space belongs to whom and when? Are some part of the rooms each persons and they can use them whenever while others are communal? Or do the parties alternate exclusive use? Honestly in this situation (which I probably wouldn’t get in) I would look hard at the timeshare model. Communal stuff like basic cook wear, etc would stay out and people would have lockers/ bins or something for their personal stuff that would stay there. Each party would be entitled to use the place so much based on their share or whatever. Still I would try not to do this.

In conclusion by being smart on the front end I think a lot of down sides can be mitigated. A situation where there are clear legal property boundaries with a legal agreement on maintaining the road or whatever has very little risk of hassle. A handshake agreement to buy a cabin between a couple people is a nightmare waiting to happen.

After writing this I realized that I primarily considered two parties who are very close friends or family. More people would make things way more complicated as would people who knew each other less well. As such I did not really feel like talking about either of those options.

Sure there is probably more. Depending on how my train of thought continues and the comments go there may be another post.

Thoughts?

What To Do With Some Money?

Click here to view the original post.
If everything goes as it should I will have some money become liquid in the next month or so, between $15,000 and 20k. I am trying to figure out what to do with it. As such I am soliciting your input.

Ideas I have considered then discarded
-Beans, bullets and band aid’s. I am relatively pretty good there. Of course these are always areas we are working to improve but I have a bunch of guns, cans full of ammo, literally tons of food, etc.
-Various medium to large sized prep items. FLIR, silencers, a nice rifle scope or two, etc. Will get many of these in time in due time but I can handle them (except FLIR) on a save for a couple months then buy type plan. I try hard to be smart with the occasional times I get a big chunk of cash.
-Buying a(nother) house. With my semi nomadic nature buying a place I planned to live where I am working is a lot more space than I need, plus the costs of buying/ selling as often as we move add up. Buying where I might live later would leave me as an absentee land lord for a long time. Also that would involve debt which I really don’t like.
-Cash in the bank. I have an emergency fund and a vehicle replacement fund both in the bank now. Between the two that is as much exposure to that risk as I can tolerate. Still I included this in the poll on the right because it is a good ‘figuring it out’ short term option.

Ideas that remain with pro’s and con’s
-Buy land. Pro. BUG OUT SITE!!! Tangible and not going away. Will allow me to cache a bunch of stuff I have been hauling around. Like no BS I would set up a Terminator Cache!!!  Except technically a Terminator inspired cache as we should all know CONNEX’s are only designed to take weight on the top corners not on the roof or sides so literally burying one would require bracing, probably via poured cement but I digress. Will give me a place I could go and live real cheap if I need to. Con. I am in the bottom end of this being feasible price wise. Fixes me to a location. As I move every 2-3 years that it is a bit more complicated than buying land 30 minutes from home. If I don’t end up nearby when I settle down this could end up being a long distance thing which is not optimal.

-Buy gold/ silver. Pro. Inflation proof and (particularly silver) at pretty good prices these days. Transportable store of wealth. Con. Doesn’t solve any problems for me. Also leaves me trying to physically store more assets and a higher percentage of my net worth. My risk, relative to my overall financial situation, of a catastrophic break in is already about at tolerance level now.
-Replace the soccer mom SUV. It is still running fine now but isn’t getting any younger. I hope to get another year or 18 months out of it but am not totally sure that is realistic. Since I do not borrow money for vehicles this will be a major expense. Pro. Solves a significant financial/ life problem I have coming up. Con. This is the closest thing to a nest egg I have and using it for a short term (vehicles constantly need fixing/ replacing) problem seems penny wise and pound foolish. Used right I think this money could go a long way to setting me up in a decent spot. Also I feel like having the upcoming need to replace the vehicle will help me be disciplined in saving for that while I might not be so disciplined to put money back in the bank (or whatever) to replace what came out. Worst case if the vehicle I have now dies before I have the cash to replace it outright I could borrow from my emergency fund or get a loan for some of the money and pay it off in a hurry, which ever made the most sense.

-Something else I didn’t mention?

My gut says if I can make it work land is the preferred option. 

Please vote in the poll on the left and leave your comments here.

The 5 Best Places In America To ‘Bug Out’ When Society Collapses

Click here to view the original post.
The 5 Best Places In America To ‘Bug Out’ During The Apocalypse

Idaho. Image source: Pixabay.com

Many people wonder where the safest place to retreat is should a major disaster hit, an economic collapse occur, or the power grid go down for an extended period of time.

In truth, there is no singular “safe place” where you are guaranteed to survive no matter what, but there are certain factors that make some regions safer than others.

In general, the bet regions to survive in the United States should meet as many of the following criteria as possible:

  • Low population density (arguably the most important factor)
  • Away from the coastlines
  • Little risk of natural disaster (tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.)
  • Plenty of fresh, running water
  • An abundance of wild game and edible plants that you can hunt or forage
  • Fertile land for growing crops
  • Long growing seasons
  • A current strong local or statewide economy
  • The ability to re-build an economy after a disaster (examples: farmer’s markets, mines, logging, oil sites, etc.)
  • Protected gun rights
  • A low crime rate
  • Lower cost of living/housing
  • Low property taxes
  • Away from nuclear/chemical power plants and military bases
  • Away from major cities that could be potential enemy targets

We’ve attempted to include regions throughout the US on our list. Let’s get started:

1. Idaho panhandle/western Montana

We’ll start out with what we feel might be the safest region in the entire United States: the Idaho panhandle/western Montana. The majestic mountains of northern Idaho and western Montana are rich in wildlife, edible plants, rivers and lakes. If you ever needed to find a retreat location in the wilderness, it’s perfectly possible to sustain yourself on natural resources here.

Mini-Water Filter Fits In Your Pocket And Removes 100 Percent Of Water-Borne Bacteria!

The population density is thin, gun rights are strongly protected, and taxes are low due to strong conservative/libertarian politics. And, the ground is perfectly fertile for you to grow a field of your own crops and/or livestock if necessary. In comparison to other states and regions, the crime rate is also low and in the event of a long-term disaster, the economy could rebuild due to a thriving logging industry, silver mines in the mountains, and a great quantity of successful farmer’s markets.

The area may be a little too close to the West Coast than some may like, and northern Idaho in particular is close to the large Washington city of Spokane, which some feel could be a potential terrorist/nuclear target. But all in all, the Idaho panhandle/western Montana region meets almost all of our criteria, and at the very least it’s our highest recommended retreat area in the Northwest region.

2. Western Dakotas

Both North and South Dakota apply here, but we recommend the western halves of both states rather than the eastern sides (we’ll get to why in a bit).

The 5 Best Places In America To ‘Bug Out’ During The Apocalypse

South Dakota. Image source: Pixabay.com

In general, this area offers a lot of benefits for outlasting the apocalypse. Most notably, it’s as far as possible as you can get from both coastlines, which many disaster experts feel are dangerous hotspots due to their thick population densities, risks of hurricanes, and major cities that could be nuclear targets.

It also offers excellent fertile land for growing crops (though admittedly, some areas have shorter growing seasons), and boasts sparse populations and strong Second Amendment rights. But there is still one negative factor that makes this general area a slight concern, and you’ve probably guessed it: tornados. Fortunately, the Dakotas, especially North Dakota, are at the lowest risk for tornadoes in the Midwest. (Oklahoma, for your information, is the worst).

But a slightly lesser risk of tornadoes isn’t the only reason why the western Dakotas are the most recommended area in the Midwest to outlast a disaster. Home/real estate prices in both states are extremely low, and North Dakota has actually de-populated in recent years. In order to encourage resettlement, some lots in North Dakota are even nearly free! In addition, there’s very low crime and low car insurance rates in both states, and the oil fields of North Dakota offer an attractive opportunity for rebuilding an economy in the aftermath of an apocalyptic-type scenario.

Restore Your Old Blades To A Razor’s Edge In Just Seconds!

One big negative to living in the Dakotas is that the winters here are brutal, and we don’t mean that lightly. But if you dress warmly and prepare your home and family well for it, you can get through it.

All in all, the Midwest is definitely a region to consider for outlasting a disaster, and the western Dakotas are arguably the best retreat area in the region to accomplish that.

3. Northern Arizona

Many people say that there is not one Arizona but two: northern and southern. Southern Arizona is noted for its vast and arid desert that is among the hottest and driest locations in the US.  Water is a huge concern in any disaster situation, and it’s simply difficult to find enough of it in southern Arizona (or any desert region in the US for that matter). And as gun friendly as the state of Arizona is, many disaster experts do not recommend that you live so close to the unstable border even if you do decide you can tough out the desert.

Fortunately, it’s a completely different story in the northern part of Arizona that is marked by sprawling pine forests and tall mountains that sometimes look like they should belong in the Northwest. The temperatures here are much more moderate and forgiving than in the southern half, the population is much less dense (there’s no Phoenix in the northern half), and there are plenty of good ranch and farming sites for you to raise your own livestock and crops in addition to suitable retreat areas.

When it comes to negatives, certain towns and cities in northern Arizona are expensive to live in. But keep in mind we’re trying to choose regions throughout the US. If you live in or near the Southwest, northern Arizona is the safest bet.

4. Northern New Hampshire/western Maine

The 5 Best Places In America To ‘Bug Out’ During The Apocalypse

Maine. Image source: Pixabay.com

There are, unfortunately, fewer safe place in the eastern US than in the west. But, thankfully, there still some retreat areas to consider. Northern New Hampshire and western Maine are to the northeastern US what the Idaho panhandle and western Montana are to the west. Yes, the East Coast in general is a hotspot for nuclear threats and natural disasters. But northern New Hampshire and western Maine are safer.

This area is very rich in natural resources, sprawls of wilderness and wildlife. There are already strong hunting and fishing communities here, so you can self-sustain yourself on food if necessary. The population density is slightly thicker in New Hampshire, but it thins out in Maine.  In fact, the population density of western Maine is less than that of Colorado. The only natural disaster that really threatens you would be winter storms; the effect of hurricanes will hit the coasts rather than farther north. More government regulations exist in Maine than New Hampshire, which is more economically free.

Don’t Get Stranded On The Road Without An ‘Emergency Power Center’

The biggest concern that disaster experts have with the area is its proximity to urban hubs like New York and Boston.

Just remember that no retreat area in the United States is perfect. But some places are better than others, and if you have no choice but to live in the Northeast in a disaster, northern New Hampshire/western Maine will be your safest bet.

5. Eastern Kentucky (specifically around the Appalachians)

Most survival and disaster experts strongly recommend that you live west of the Mississippi River if you want to live somewhere that’s safer from a natural disaster. But since many people do live east of the river, it’s not fair that New Hampshire/Maine be our only eastern location.

kentucky appalachia

Eastern Kentucky.

Perhaps your safest place east of the Mississippi will be eastern Kentucky, and specifically around the Appalachian Mountains. Western Kentucky is a hotspot for earthquakes and is much further away from the Appalachians.

Eastern Tennessee is another retreat options, but there are some nuclear sites there that you would be wise stay away from. Eastern Kentucky is far enough away from those sites.

Eastern Kentucky and the Appalachian Mountains offer prime retreat locations for you to get away from a disaster. In the early days of American history, the Appalachian Mountains were a barrier that prevented our ancestors from moving westward for many years. Today, many disaster experts consider the Appalachian Mountains to be among the best locations to ride out a disaster, and there aren’t any active volcanoes in those mountains, either. People have been living off the Appalachian Mountains for years, so you could easily sustain yourself and your family.

The valleys of eastern Kentucky also offer very fertile land, as well as running water in the form of rivers. You’re also far enough from the eastern coastline to be safe.

What spots in America would you add to our list? Share your own retreat areas in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

If or When TSHTF. Part Six. Going Bush. Gardening & Construction Tools.

Click here to view the original post.
Gardening and Construction Tools.

When moving out bush with a view to long term living you need to have some idea in your head as to the type of area you are looking for. You will need permanent water if possible, a creek or a river. This may also supply reeds for shelter construction & other items. A cave would make a great shelter or even a rock shelter, but if these are not available at your water source then you will have to construct shelters.

These types of tools are generally bulky & heavy, but they can also double as weapons if you have people to carry them. Helves, handles & stails can be removed from the heads & the heads can be carried in a pack if this is easier than carrying the complete tool. Think carefully about the tools you will need. In a long term wilderness living situation you will need to produce gardens & construct shelters.

Here is a list of tools that I have collected for this purpose:

If or When TSHTF Part Two.

Click here to view the original post.
Long Term Wilderness Living/Survival.

In a TEOTWAWKI situation, in my opinion, the towns & especially the cities are not going to be a good place to survive for decent people, especially those with families. My reasoning is. 1) How are you going to be able to defend yourself against gangs which are prepared to burn you out if they can’t get you any other way? 2) Food is only going to last a short time. The gangs will get the majority of the equipment and food, and it will be very dangerous for anyone else out in the open on the streets or in the stores. 3) Your ammunition for your modern firearms will not last long if you are continually have to fight off raiders. You can of course for a while reload your own ammo if you have the gear and have managed to secure a store of powder, primers and lead. 4) There will be no clean water, no electricity unless you have a generator indoors and plenty of fuel. There will be no toilet facilities and you can not risk going outside. Yes there are toilet systems available that do not require water, but these are not designed to be used only in house.

So, the wise survivalist or prepper will leave the city and move to a place in the bush, be it your own property, or just a suitable place with running water, shelter and a food source. If you travel early, you will be able to use some form of transport, but if you leave it too late, the roads out may be blocked. Few people will already be living in the bush. If you are one of the lucky ones, and you have the money, then you will be able to set yourself up for a long term stay. But if you have to move to your retreat when TSHTF, then again your supplies will be limited to what you can transport.

If a survival situation big enough to warrant leaving the city arises, many people will not know until it is too late. Ask yourself now, what will be the signs? How will I know when to leave? If this is the situation you find yourself in, you will have to be prepared to ditch your vehicle if A) it breaks down, or B) the roads are blocked and you can’t get around it. This will mean having to travel on foot. How much of your gear and supplies can you carry on foot? What will you take with you? What are you prepared to leave behind?

A sensible person will have thought of this already, and what they will be packing in the vehicle will be back-packs, and only the stuff they can carry on their backs. There may be other separate supplies, just in case they can get through, but if they have to walk, these separate supplies will be left behind. This preparation will take a lot of serious thought. Remember, you are not military; there will be no back-up supplies when you run out. You are on your own, group or individual so choose your equipment and supplies wisely.

Something else to think about.

It is my belief that if you start off with all modern equipment and tools, sooner or later these items are going to start to wear out or break, and when they do, you are going to have to resort to a very primitive lifestyle. Most of the equipment we carry is solely for comfort and ease of living. When these items are no more, then our lifestyle will be radically changed. If however you choose a period lifestyle pre 19th century, then it is highly unlikely that you will ever have to drop below this level of comfort. I chose the mid 18th century, mainly because I am a living historian and this is my chosen period of interest, but also because I soon came to realise that this period’s technology is not too modern, and not too primitive. For survival purposes it gives me a level of ease and comfort I am happy living with.

Equipment and Tools.

For every piece of equipment you intend to take with you, ask yourself these questions: Will this add significantly to my comfort? Do I really need it? How long will it last? How versatile is it? Is there some better alternative? If it malfunctions or breaks, can I fix it?

Let’s look at some typical examples of good and poor choices. One of the most important tools you will need is something for cutting wood. Even if you do not have to construct a shelter, you will need to construct animal traps, some form of fencing for gardens, possibly splints and crutches if someone is injured, maybe fishing poles, spears, pikes, defenses, drying racks for food preservation, frames for scraping animal skins, and possibly more besides. Saws are good but limited in their use. A good strong pruning saw could be useful and it is not heavy, but you will need more than this. Many people choose the machete or a similar tool. This may be okay in a jungle, but it is still limited in its use. Only a fool would use a good knife for cutting wood, especially if it was the only tool you had. A knife is a very useful tool to carry but it has specific uses, and they do not include cutting large pieces of wood.

A tomahawk on the other hand is light, versatile and very efficient for all the tasks mentioned earlier. It can also be thrown for recreation and hunting if needs be. The head can easily be removed if it has a tapered eye and be used for fleshing skins. A new helve is easier to make and fit for a tomahawk than for a modern belt axe. The poll can be used as a hammer for driving in pegs and stakes, and it is a good fighting tool.

Now how about your firearms? If you only have modern firearms and no bows, then your ammunition will not last long if you have to use them for hunting and defence. Brass shells are heavy and you will need to carry a lot of weight in ammunition and possibly a reloader. A modern firearm is a good idea for use in defence if you have people to carry them, but the weight of the ammunition can make it unpractical to carry too much ammo. There are many other important supplies to be carried by someone. If your modern firearm malfunctions, can you repair it?

A flintlock muzzle-loading gun or rifle on the other hand is far more versatile than a modern gun. It can be used to create fire without using precious gunpowder; on the other hand the gunpowder can itself be used to make fire in certain circumstances. The flintlock is easy to repair with just a few simple tools & spare parts, and even if you do not have any spare parts, the lock can easily be converted to a matchlock or tinderlock for continued use. Lead is retrieved from shot game & remoulded, so there is no need to carry a lot of lead. Also there is the option of using other projectiles besides lead. Extra gunpowder can be carried in place of the extra lead, which means that your supplies will last longer.

Before you go spending your hard earned dollars on a custom knife or some Bowie look-alike, think about the use to which your blade will be put. Your knife or knives need to be able to field dress, skin and butcher game. They may also be needed for defence. A good butcher knife will serve you well in this regard, which is why the butcher knife was the most commonly carried knife by woodsmen and Indians alike back in the 18th century. A legging knife can be carried as a back-up to your hunting knife, and a good clasp knife will serve well for camp chores and making pot hooks and trap triggers. All three of these knives can be purchased for the cost of a modern camp or hunting knife.

If or When TSHTF. Part One.

Click here to view the original post.

If or When the SHTF.

Personally I think it has already started hitting the fan, and as the world can see, Australians have failed to act. This is what Australia & Australians have come to, gutless in the majority and apathetic. Our government is totally corrupt and prioritises mining over farming, power and profit over the security and well being of Australian citizens. The majority only have themselves to blame, but they are also to blame for dropping the rest of Australians right in it!  Yes there are plenty of petitions, and even some rallies and protests, but none of these battle the real problem. We can beg and plea and it may even seem at times that we have won a particular fight, but unless we get rid of the present government and the present system, then we will constantly be loosing in the long run. 

Will anything big happen to signal a SHTF situation? Or will the government continue to erode our rights and freedoms until it is totally too late? Either way the majority of Australians would sooner see citizens marched into gas chambers than rally against injustice.  The mass shooting in Tasmania was the catalyst for banning certain firearms here in Australia, and the truth about who organised that mass murder was never revealed.

So how can we determine what sort of survival situation we are preparing for? We can’t. We are already in a survival situation with our human rights being taken away from us. Local councils acting as government despite a referendum that clearly said NO. Higher rates/taxes are being charged to land holders and those that can’t pay are evicted from their OWN property and that property sold. How can we become self-reliant and self-sufficient when the local councils do all they can to make sure this does not happen?

Still we do what we can, we prepare just in case there should be TEOTWAWKI. Something big enough to sweep aside the corrupt so called law and order, sweep aside the local councils so they no longer matter.  We put in solar power and get off the grid. We put in our own grey water systems and compost toilets. We use rain water tanks so we don’t have to rely on town water. We grow our own food to improve our health and become as self-reliant as we possibly can.

But sooner or later, for us as a minority or the majority of Australian citizens, push will come to shove. If we can’t fight, then we may have to leave our homes. In a real bad situation families will NOT be able to safely live in the cities, and even the smaller towns may be under threat. So we prepare, we choose our gear, clothing & tools carefully because if we have to leave home to survive in the wilderness it may be for a very long time. So I want you to think about that. We live in a throw away society, things are not made to last, but we NEED things to last! Ordinary camping equipment will not cut it; neither will military equipment because neither was meant to last long. Forget about battery operated equipment. Think about your real needs. Modern ammo won’t last long if you are going to use it for hunting and self-defence. Compound bows are not long term reliable in a wilderness situation. Whatever you choose must be sustainable. Don’t let romantic visions of yourself surviving like Rambo rule your head, it will only get you and yours killed.

I have lived for over 20 years without electricity and water on tap. We grew our own food (and still do) and I hunted for meat using a trap line and a flintlock muzzle-loader. Now we have a solar powered home, water on tap from large rainwater tanks. Grey water system & compost toilets. So in this series of articles I will give you some ideas for you to think about. You may improve on my methods, but do please give it some serious thought before dismissing  anything.
Keith.

A Versatile and Extremely Affordable Option for a Prepper Survival Retreat Shelter

Click here to view the original post.

A big part of a long-term survival and emergency preparedness involves location. Depending on where you live, it may not be viable to make a true go of it where you are. It could be that the population density of the area increases the odds of a danger situation, or it may be that the area where you live simply lacks the things that will be needed in order to attempt long-term survival. This is why most of the advice on this subject revolves around having a survival retreat property either as your home or as a place to “bug out” to if things get bad.

Cabela’s Ultimate Alaknak™ Tent – 12′ x…

{This is a content summary only. To read the full article, please click the article title, and feel free to share your comments!}