The Best of Survival Fiction

Click here to view the original post.

featured_castaway

Hey, even survivalists have to unwind every once in a while. Take a look at some of these fictional stories of survival, hand-picked by us for your entertainment pleasure from movies, TV and books. What’s your favourite fictional survivalist story?

By Alex Coyne, a contributing author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog.com

#1: The Road (2006)

1_the_roadThe Road was first published in 2006 by author Cormac McCarthy, also known for writing the books behind No Country for Old Men, Child of God and All the Pretty Horses. The Road was released to great critical acclaim, winning several book awards including the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for literature. It follows the story of a father and son making their way to safety in a post-apocalyptic nightmare world.  The story was adapted to film in 2009, starring Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee, and without revealing too much we’ll say that you’ll be in for a great ride..

#2: The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719)

1_the-life-and-adventures-of-robinson-crusoeThe original Robinson Crusoe comes from the novel “The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe, published way back in the 1700’s. You can find the full text of the novel (thanks to expired copyright and literary classics) available for download at Project Gutenberg by clicking here. The book tells the tale of Crusoe, a man who spends a record-breaking twenty seven years stranded on an island. Oh, and the original was published under the pseudonym of Robinson Crusoe, making people believe he was entirely real, at least for a little while.

It’s been adapted to film numerous times, including Robinson Crusoe (1997), starring Pierce Brosnan in the title role, and The Wild Life (2016), an animated spin on the tale.

#3: Survivor Type (Stephen King)

1_survivor_typeStephen King seems to love exploring survival and post-apocalyptic scenarios in his work: There’s The Stand (1978), which was turned into a pretty cool 1994 TV miniseries, The Mist (1980), which was turned into a 2007 horror flick, Cell (2006), which became a 2016 movie by the same name and Under the Dome (2009), which was also not surprisingly turned into a TV series which ran from 2013 to 2015. But a lot of people forget about a little story called Survivor Type, which was first published in a 1982 book called Terrors – though later released with Stephen King’s short story collection Skeleton Crew in 1985. The short story follows the diary of Richard Pine, a man who gets stranded on an island while trying to traffic a shipment of heroin on a cruise ship.

It’s a thrill ride like only King can write it, and the story was even adapted to short films: In 2011, 2012 and 2013.

#4: The Hunger Games (2008)

The first book in the Hunger Games series first appeared by author Suzanne Collins in 2008.  Subsequent sequels included Catching Fire in 2009 and Mockingjay in 2010. The series follows young characters Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark as they make their way through a terrifying survival game-show setup straight from your worst dystopian nightmares. The trilogy also gave rise to a series of movies of the same name. It’s got all the elements of a highly successful series that makes you fall in love with the characters immediately, and if you were a fan of movies like The Running Man then you’ll surely enjoy this too.

#5: I Am Legend (1954)

I Am Legend was originally published in 1954 by Richard Matheson, and stands as one of modern fiction’s true classics: This is one of many cases on the list where you might want to read the book before you take the leap and see the movie. The story follows Dr Robert Neville and his canine companion after the breakout of a disastrous virus that “turned” most of humanity (yes, this is one of the original post-apocalyptic zombie stories).

It was adapted into a movie starring Will Smith in 2007, though some parts are radically different from the book version. For comic book nuts, there was also a graphic novel adaptation of the story.

#6: Earth’s Children (1980)

1_earth's_childrenWant to learn more about historically accurate (yet surprisingly fictionalized) survivalism? Then you should jump straight into the work of Jean M. Auel, starting with the Earth’s Children series – with six books in all. Earth’s Children is set in pre-historic times, and the finer points of Auel’s work are notorious for being exceptionally finely researched. Start off with the first book in the series, The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980) and work your way through until The Land of Painted Caves (2011). It’s worth it.

#7: The Martian (2011)

Give survivalism a completely different (and terrifying) modern spin: Put a man in space, where nobody can hear him scream. That’s the premise of the debut novel by author Andy Weir, which was first self-published in 2011 (before later being snapped up by a larger publishing house). The story follows botanist Mark Watney’s attempt to create a self-sustaining colony on Mars – something which already a possibility in reality.

It was turned into a movie starring Matt Damon in 2015.

#8: Cast Away (2000)

1_cast-awayCast Away was released in 2000 starring Tom Hanks, and is a film classic. One can almost go as far as to call it a modernized version of Robinson Crusoe. The movie follows Chuck Noland, a Fed-Ex employee, who finds himself stranded on an island after his plane takes a nosedive. Yes, this is a bit of a tear-jerker, but that also isn’t always a bad thing, is it? One of the most famous elements of Cast Away was Wilson (If you haven’t seen the movie, that’s a beach ball who, well, becomes Chuck’s eventual friend in an attempt to make island life less lonely).

Now Check Out: Your Survival Library

In 2015, Tom Hanks was reunited with the original Wilson during a NY Rangers game.

Oh, and then Family Guy – horrifyingly – did this and ruined the moment.

Watch the original trailer for Cast Away on YouTube, here.

Visit Sponsors of SurvivalCache.com

300-x-250-hope-for-the-best

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the_survivalist_podcast

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Handling an Active Shooter Situation

Click here to view the original post.

swat_team_active_shooting

police_car_active_shootingI have spent considerable time studying this issue and even more time thinking about what one should do in the event of an armed robbery or an “active shooter”. Although I have been blessed to never have been in either, I routinely think about what I would do should that unfortunate event occur. The more I think about what I would do, the more I think about how my response differs significantly from what you are told to do by government, educational, and business loss-prevention programs.

By Dan C., a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

Almost all training programs teach you that if there is an active shooter: you are to run, hide and then only as a last resort should you try to fight. As I mentioned before, I work in a “Big Box” sporting goods store, and they teach that tactic as well. However, when asked by a fellow employee what I personally would do, I stated that I would immediately arm myself and prepare to take out the threat. My preconceived plan would include grabbing a handgun from the display cabinet that has a large capacity magazine, run to the ammo aisle, dump a box of the correct ammo into my pockets, then, while walking toward the shooter, load the magazine. Finally, upon seeing the robber or active shooter, I would do my best to stop the threat. The employee I was speaking with replied and said: “That is not what they teach you to do”.  I responded: “No, but it is the right thing to do”.

What Would You Do? 

blackhawk_helicopter_uh-60LSo that is the dilemma. What do you do? During one of these conversations, I was talking to a person and asked what he would do. His response was that he would run for cover and do his best to escape the area. I asked why he chose that response, and he said “Because my job is to come home to my family every night”. No doubt that is a noble thing to do. I then found out he was a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot with several combat tours under his belt, a true American hero. So at first I was caught off guard that a military professional with combat experience would run and hide rather than stand and fight. I clearly understood his desire to come home to his family every night.  For one thing, his goal to preserve his family and put their welfare first was noble; that is a duty he bears as a husband and father.  Also, I recognized that he had already served his country and done his tour of duty. But this combat veteran’s anticipated reaction to a robbery or active shooter at our workplace illustrates an interesting point. You never know who might be running and who might be fighting.

Related: How to Pick the Best Personal Protection Firearm

So we are back to the main point. In the case of an active shooter or an armed robber, what do you do? What course of action is safest for everybody involved. I clearly understand that some of my upcoming comments are going to touch sensitive areas in some folks’ feelings, so get ready.

Breaking Down Roles

french_flag_tragedy_active_shooterLet’s address the Active Shooter situation. First, I feel women, children and elderly should strictly adhere to the recommended methodology of running and leaving the area as quickly as possible and finding hiding place. This is where your situational awareness will save you. You must quickly identify your escape route and expeditiously move in that direction. Help others if you can along the way, but your mission should be to get out of there as quickly as you can. Run as far away as you can. Do not trust hiding, get out of there. Look what happened in Paris in the several mass shootings by terrorists in November of 2015. People thought it was safe to hide under the tables in restaurants. They just became easy targets. Run as far from the site as you can, do not stop until you can no longer hear shots being fired. Then find solid cover–the kind that can physically stop bullets or block an attacker from entering your area.

Yes, there are women that are equally trained and equipped to fight as well as any man. And if you are one of those women, then if you elect to charge the bad guy, all the more power to you. Same with any of those that may be considered elderly. Every rule has exceptions.

Men, I feel you should go after the shooter. If you are armed, then all the better, but everyone should do what they can to stop the threat.  If you are unarmed, grab anything you can carry that can be used to throw at the shooter. Throw as much as you can at them in hope it will allow you or another person to get closer to the shooter to tackle him. If you have access to them, spray the shooter with pepper spray or you can blind him with spray from a fire extinguisher, use everything you can to your advantage. Surprisingly, even if you have a weapon and someone throws something at you, you will duck and try to avoid being hit by it. It is natural instinct. So throw lots of stuff, even if the things you are throwing are not very dangerous in and of themselves.

Action

plan_active_shooterThere is an old adage well known in the world of paramilitary training. It says: “action is faster than reaction.” I feel it is imperative that you go on the offensive when there is an active shooter or armed robber who appears about to start shooting or taking hostages. If you only “go on the defensive” then you have given the bad guy the advantage and increased the odds more innocent people are going to get hurt or killed.

For active shooters, there is risk in taking action, because they have already started their killing spree. Having them stop or leave on their own, peacefully, is not a likely possibility. If nothing is done, then there is a certainty that more bad things are going to happen and those injured or killed will escalate. Is there risk to your actions? No doubt! So what should your plan be in the case of an active shooter?

First, you must have very good situational awareness. You must always be aware of your surroundings and know where your exit points are located and be prepared to act when if an adverse event should occur.

Second, quickly recognize that something bad is happening and action needs to be taken. This is so important. The bad guy has made you an active participant. Lots of times when bad things are happening those people in the area fail to recognize that fact, and thus they keep going about their way and getting trapped in the bad event. The other thing that happens is that people run from the bad event with no direction or purpose. This causes chaos and endangers the lives of many. So having a plan is essential to escaping quickly, or ending the threat quickly.

See Also: Active Shooter!

Third, make sure those around you are safe and moving in a direction away from danger. Even if that means pointing them in the direction they should run and helping them get to safety quickly as possible.

Fourth, you should start moving toward the danger. No need to run to the danger if it is close. This may cause you to run right into bad situations and get hurt or killed unnecessarily. Use tactical movement, taking cover then moving to the next cover position and so forth until you can observe the shooter(s).

Fifth, take action. That might mean engaging your adversary on sight. Or it could mean observing for a few moments to plan how to attack him, where to ambush him, what weapon to use, or how to position yourself to make your attack most effective. Your “attack” could involve anything from throwing stuff at the shooter to shooting him. Whatever it is, do it when you can and when you know it will give you an advantage. Then do your best to STOP the shooter.

Armed Robbery

What about an Armed Robbery?  In this case, you may wish to act differently, because not all armed robberies involve shooting, and not all robbers wish to become killers. You’ll likely have a bit more time to choose how to react to a robber than an active shooter.

situation_active_shooterThe first step is the same; good situational awareness. In this case, if you are with family or friends you should be able to verbally alert them to a danger. I think all families and close friends should have a code word, such as “heads up”, to alert anyone in the group that someone in the group has seen something bad and the others need to go on a heightened state of awareness. This is very important to do if you can, but you may not have the chance to do this.

If you are commanded by the robber to do something, then do it. If you are near the robber, act as if you are no threat to him. This will give you a minute to plan your attack, your escape, or whatever you choose as the best response.

Once your plan is in place and the timing is advantageous, execute your plan, which may include throwing something at the robber, tackling them, or using your firearm to stop the threat. If it appears the robber only wants to steal some property or money and make a quick getaway, letting him go without trying to stop him may appear be the safest thing. However, you never know when the robbery is going to take the robbery to the next level by shooting someone. Just because you have a gun doesn’t mean you have to use it, but being armed gives you more options, not fewer.

Fight or Flight

Naturally these are just a few thoughts on these situations. Every case is very event-specific, and the proper response must be evaluated in light of all the circumstances. But my point is this: run & hide is not necessarily the best way to deal with an active shooter or armed robber. If action is taken, there is a good likelihood that lives will be saved. If no action is taken, the bad guys can choose to kill anyone or everyone they encounter, for whatever reason(s) that may trigger that urge in them. I am also saying that a violent counter-attack is not a course of action suited for everyone, but it should be taught and encouraged more.

Visit Sponsors of SurvivalCache.com

300-x-250-hope-for-the-best

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the_survivalist_podcast

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Pandemic is an Inevitability

Click here to view the original post.

ebola_virus_virion

ebola_outbreak_in_gulu_municipal_hospitalIn the summer of 2014, the media and state actors panicked over the emergence of an ebola epidemic in Western Africa. The panic was understandable and entirely warranted. After all, ebola kills around 50% of those infected.  Moreover, a cursory examination of ebola’s symptoms are terrifying. Among other things, ebola can induce blood vomiting, severe rash, and liver inflammation. After the disease was reigned in and Western African States declared their health crises under control, health departments around the world began to reflect on their response to the ebola epidemic. Although the ebola epidemic was regionally contained, it was not due to the competence and quick response of state governments. The implications of the lackluster response to the epidemic are far more disturbing than ebola itself. In a globalized world, we are entirely unprepared to quickly address the outbreak of a horrific disease. At this point, a pandemic isn’t a possibility, it is an inevitability.

By D-Ray a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Say what you will about the politics of Bill Gates but he is right about one thing: we are entirely unprepared to contain and address a potential pandemic. We lack the resources, funding, and state cooperation to adequately address an epidemic that has the potential to become a pandemic. In his Vox interview, Gates mentions an anecdote worth discussing: the 1918 Spanish Flu was almost equal in human devastation to World War II. It seems safe to assume that a pandemic today would only be accelerated by globalization.  An infected individual could board a plane in Dubai and be in New York 15 hours later. We live in a time where we are uniquely vulnerable to pandemic.

Until governments properly fund health programs, it is entirely up to the individual to manage risk. In the case of a lethal, infectious outbreak, the best strategy is to go into isolation. Of course, any period of extended isolation will require a considerable amount of prepping. Most obviously, you will need food and water. Don’t count on clean tap water. In the event of a cataclysmic pandemic, it is likely infrastructure will deteriorate. This will lead to worsened water quality and the potential of infection by waterborne disease. Invest in quality water filtration systems.

Do your emergency plans include contingencies for plague? If they don’t, they should. The probability of such an event, over 50%, certainly warrants preparation. Do not be caught unprepared. What are your plans for pandemic? Will you attempt to bug out or follow a strategy of isolation at home?

Support SurvivalCache.com by shopping @ Amazon (Click Here)

Visit Sponsors of SurvivalCache.com

300-x-250-hope-for-the-best

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the_survivalist_podcast

Save

Save

Survival Books for Your Bunker

Click here to view the original post.

survival_book_bunker_books_in_bunker_featured

survival_book_bunker_cat_books_in_caseBe honest, you probably own somewhere between a handful and a shelf-full of various survival and prepping oriented books. And you have the intention of reading them, but know that you probably won’t unless you absolutely must. My personal survival oriented book collection occupies about eleven linear feet of shelf space. While the books address many topics, they fit into about a half dozen specific genres. There are the military survival manuals, the medical and first aid tomes, those pages that address wilderness lore and primitive skills, general prepping, hunting, tracking, gardening, game preparation, food storage, a few odd tangents, and plenty of survival stories. So how to take my library on the run?

By Doc Montana, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

survival_book_bunker_waterproof_caseFirst, the bunker. I chose the Pelican Storm Case iM2400 waterproof polycarbonate container. If the end of the world is more of a whimper, then this case is overkill. But if it’s more of the bang I suspect it will be, then this Pelican is just the bird for the Storm. The size is about the same as a small suitcase, and was chosen to provide some focus to the bunker, but not to limit this to a Top Ten List. Additionally, weight and size need to play a role in your decision making. If I Bug In, I have all my books, magazines, manuals, and pretty much everything else in my prepping world. But if I have head to my BOL (Bug Out Location) then I need a single, durable, waterproof package that just might contain my entire Library of Alexandria.

Importance of Purpose of Bug Out Books

survival_book_bunker_tracking_navigation_trackingLike many with a survivalist/prepper bend, I tend to accumulate books about all aspects of survival from pet first aid, to boobytraps, to gardening within a square foot, to firearm repair. But as my library increased in weight, I decided what I really needed is a Bug Out Bag Of Books or BOBOB. Or another name I use is my Survival Book Bunker or SBB. In other words, a consolidation of reading material chosen specifically for when one must take the survival literature show on the road. Bug Out Books are not about Bug Out Bags (that ship has sailed), but instead the necessary skills that might be needed in the future to survive and thrive post Bug Out.

Read Also: Prepping Advice From Books

Lately, however, I have admitted to myself that I won’t be reading many of these books cover to cover but rather just referring to them or studying their table of contents so I know the gist of the book. And instead of putting the books back on the shelf, I have decided to build a portable bunker for them when when I have to throw the Survival Book Bunker (SBB) in the back of the Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) when I head to my Bug Out Location (BOL) with my Bug Out Bag (BOB).

The books I’ve selected are not in stone. They are just the best representatives of the different categories or genres of books that I think will be mission critical in a true Bug Out situation.

Current Book Categories

 survival_book_bunker_military_survival_army_sas1. Advanced strategic survival techniques: These books are the military survival books that address situations across all terrains, weather, and adversaries. They often lean towards the escape/evasion/short and long term survival from a non-apocalyptical point of view. But no matter the perspective, they are the broad-spectrum information antibiotic for survival. If you don’t have these books, you might not need the rest of the books in the bunker.

2. First Aid and Emergency Care: This category of books should need no introduction. But what it does need is a variation of complexity. For some who might use this Book Bunker, basic first aid might be a new skill. Others however, might be advanced and need guidance in surgical techniques for removing bullets and suturing wounds and cauterizing arteries. And not just for humans. Animal care might be part of your kit. I know Pet Vetting is part of mine.

3. Primitive skills and Woodlore: Books in this pile are geared towards self-reliance and off-grid life. They include topics about solid shelters, cooking, toolmaking, and pretty much anything else you might need for long-term life in the woods. There are plenty of sub-genres in this category including hunting and gathering, long-term food storage, long-term shelter building, tanning hides, making cordage, and literally basket weaving. On a side note, my particular copy of “Wilderness Living and Survival Skills” is autographed and signed by both authors. I’m not sure it will improve my chances, but everytime I see the signatures I will know I am not alone in the survival world.

survival_book_bunker_woodlore_wisdom_game_processing4. Gardening and Food Preservation: Maybe 50 or 100 years ago, a basic understanding that everyone would have is how to preserve game, salt meat, and can fruit. Not that those skills are difficult, but rather just elusive in today’s technofied world. But luckily they can be regained rather quickly with a few minutes of reading, and a few hours of doing. Gardening? Well that is another matter entirely. Gardening, like marksmanship, is a skill gained through practice and experience that is also perishable. But when it comes to food production, the stakes are a little higher to getting it right the first time.

5. X-Factor books: There is room for a few in my Survival Book Bunker for a couple tomes about boobytraps, parameter security, and a few other unmentionable topics that might provide a level of security and survival advantage beyond the suggestions in mainstream literature. And I’ll just leave it at that for now.

MIA

A few topics are missing from my Book Bunker. I might add them later, but for now I will leave them as just concerns on the horizon. 

Farming and Ranching: Frankly, I would find it more likely that I would stumble across a library of books on animal husbandry than I would find a herd of cattle in need of an owner.

Blacksmithing: A couple of hundred years ago i would have worried about making my own ironworks including blades. But today I am going to reserve my Book Bunker  space for dead-on needs over imagined scarcity. In fact, for blacksmithing I would need much more gear in my BOB than just a book on how to forge metal like a hammer, anvil, bellows, and shop.

Drug chemistry: While it would be nice to grab a handful of whatever is around and formulate some broad-spectrum antibiotics, in reality the chance of cooking up some perfect drugs for your needs is pretty slim. In the end, I will leave my chemistry needs to medicinal plant guides and chicken soup for colds.

Related: Five Best DIY Toothache Remedies

hugh_glass_illustrationSurvival Stories etc.: There is an entire shelf of books that no longer have immediate relevance because, as I noted above, “That Ship Has Sailed!” These books including general preparing, how to Bug Out, what to consider with your Bug Out Vehicle, where you should put your Bug Out Location, and what you should cache in your BOL. Also of lesser consequence are lists of supplies, and the endless pile of survival stories (although there is still plenty of successful data mining to do if you have the time).

In the end, if you toss in a Bible of your persuasion and a copy of the US Constitution into your Survival Book Bunker you should be good to go. Think I missed something? Add your suggestions in the comments.

How Much Ammo is Enough For SHTF?

Click here to view the original post.

ammo_how_much_featured

bullets_mass_stockpileIf you have ever spent any time at all on a survival or firearm forum, you are bound to come across the phrase “Buy it cheap, and stack it deep”.  This phrase is, of course, referring to the amount of ammunition one should have if disaster strikes. After years in the shooting community, I have heard many reasons people stockpile ammunition for emergencies.  There are really only a few loons out there who prepare for impossible and downright foolish reasons.  One guy, I met really believed in an alien invasion followed by an Illuminati takeover.

By Zach Dunn a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

Sure, there are always a few crazies, but there are many normal people who do have a fear of what could happen in our increasingly volatile world.  Like it or not, we have to admit that this is not the 1990s anymore and we are seeing an increase in danger daily. The economy can be compared to a savage ocean. ISIS is rampaging through the Middle East and their sympathizers are attacking innocent people in the USA, Europe, and Canada. Iran’s nuclear program.  The riots following Trump’s election.  I could go on.

shells_bucket_rifleIn fact, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the question, “how many rounds should I have on hand in case something happens?”   If you read the forums and even some articles, a lot of armchair generals and self-described “experts” say you need to amass 100,000 rounds per caliber, minimal.  And while 100,000 rounds is an impressive amount of ammunition, enough to fight a small war, it is completely insane to think you will ever need that much ammunition. Well, if you are going to invade a small Caribbean nation, go ahead and pursue your 100,000 rounds.  With the price of ammunition today, you’ll go broke.

Related: Surviving Alone

In all truth, it is impossible to see the future and know how much ammunition you will need.  My crystal ball stopped working a long time ago.  But I doubt you will be engaging in a firefight after firefight with gangsters or looters every day in a survival situation.  Even if you did, what are the odds of you surviving dozens of gunfights?  I have done my best to put together a realistic minimal goal for ammunition needs during a survival situation.  The focus here is of course hunting and defense.  

.22LR

22_lrA .22 is about the most versatile firearm when it comes to food procurement you can own.  From squirrel to a feral cat, a .22 can put meat on the table for you and your loved ones during hard times.  I strongly suggest everyone have at least one reliable .22 for emergencies.  The bare minimal I believe you should have is around 1000 rounds of .22 ammunition.  Ideally, 2-5,000 rounds are best.  Buy .22 in bulk, in tubs of at least 500 rounds to purchase cheaply.

The Shotgun

shotgun_stock_ammoA .12 gauge or .20 gauge should be something every gun owner owns in addition to a .22 long rifle.  A shotgun can be used to kill waterfowl, turkey, game birds, and with a slug or 00 buck loads can be used to kill the larger game and be used in home or self-defense.  I strongly recommend pump action guns as they are by far some of the most reliable. To be wise, I would say one should have 2 barrels for each shotgun unless the shotgun is a dedicated home defense weapon.  If it is a hunting shotgun, you should have a longer “bird barrel” for shooting bird shot, and a smoothbore “slug barrel” for shooting slugs and 00 buck loads. I suggest at least 300 rounds of game loads such as number 6s or 7s, 50 turkey loads, 200 slugs and 200 rounds of 00 Buck.

The Big Game Rifle

If in addition to a shotgun and .22, you are blessed to own a game rifle, this can be a real tool in keeping your family fed.  If it all goes downhill, a game rifle can, of course, be used to hunt game, and it can also be used to hunt feral cattle, pigs and other such domesticated animals that tend to go feral in dark times. For every game rifle I own, I like to have at least 100-200 rounds of game loads. More if you can afford it.  If your rifle is properly sighted in, 100 rounds can last you years of procuring larger animals for food.

The Semi Auto Sporting Rifle

ak-74_ammo_prepIn the USA, this includes AR-15s, AK-47s, AK-74s, and so much more.  These are not the true assault weapon. In Canada, these usually mean the SKS, M1A/M-14, M1 Garand, and maybe an AR-15 kept for target and competition shooting.   A true assault weapon by the true definition is a rifle chambered in an intermediate cartridge that has the ability to switch between semi-automatic and full automatic gunfire.  In truth, the inner-workings of these firearms are no different than a semi-automatic hunting rifle.

Read Also: Quick Buyer’s Guide to Imported AK Market

These rifles are highly versatile and can fill the role of both home defense firearm, personal defense weapon, game rifle and varmint rifle.  If you only have 1 gun, one of these are your best options.  If you have a rifle with a detachable magazine, be sure you have at least 12 magazines.  That is my minimum. If the firearm you have is an SKS, M1a, Garand, or any other semi auto that uses at least a 5 round magazine, you probably have noticed they are bullet eaters.  In fact, a semi auto can eat more ammunition than a college kid eats pizza.

Photos Courtesy of:

Brett
momsquared
John Woods
Joshua Engler

Your GPS Is Awesome – Until It Gets You Lost

Click here to view the original post.

featured_appalachia_navigation

china_maine_gpsThe other day my wife sent me on a mission to China to recover an important tactical item.  That would be China, Maine and the item was a coffee table she found on Craigslist.  Anyway, I jumped in my trusty pickup truck, fired up the GPS, and headed inland from the coast to grab the package.  The GPS, a literal device, took me on the shortest route. Which, as you’ve probably discovered, doesn’t always necessarily mean the fastest.  I was going up over mountains, down back roads, and twisting back and forth on an old dirt road that made me happy I have survival gear in the back of my truck.

By Jarhead Survivor, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog

Now, the coffee table was in South China, and when I got to an intersection where I could go left to South China or right to China it took me right.  Confused, I stopped and checked it out a little closer.  It took me north over China lake and down the other side.  Ok, I thought, maybe they consider “south” to be on the west side of the lake.  People and directions are funky and I was willing to give my GPS the benefit of the doubt.  With a few misgivings, I followed the GPS.

Related: Why I Prefer a Map and Compass Over GPS 

I should have listened to my instincts.  I got to the other side of the lake and all my warning bells were now going off like a  five-alarm fire.  I pulled over, looked, and sure enough the GPS was taking me to the wrong address.  I put in the address I wanted and it pointed to another area.  I won’t use the real address, but here’s an example of how it appeared. Address I typed into the GPS:  83 Fire Road #45, China Me.  It decided I really wanted to go to: Fire road 45, no number address.  Ok, they give addresses very oddly in China, so I tried this instead:  Fire Road 83, #45. It then decided I really wanted to go to Fire Road 11. WTF?

I poked at it for a few minutes with rising frustration then did something I haven’t had to do for awhile.  I asked for directions. There was a guy across the street playing with his dog and I pulled in and asked if he knew where Fire Road 83 was.  He rubbed his chin for a minute while his friendly black lab sniffed my leg.  I patted the dog (best part of the whole trip) while he thought about it.  He then pointed me to the other side of the lake with some head scratching, giving me low confidence in his directions.

At a store on the top of China lake, I stopped and asked directions.  Nope.  They had no idea.  I called the woman I was getting the item from and she asked where I was.  When I told her I was at the top of China Lake, she said, “What are you doing there?”  She then gave me some confusing directions on how to get to her house.  I finally asked her what she was near and she gave me the address of a bank.  When I put that in to the GPS, it worked and I followed it there. Of course, when I got there, the GPS told me I was at Fire Road 83, #45, just where I wanted to be.  Really? Thanks a lot!

Not Just Road Directions Either

gps_compass_lostA few years ago I was hiking behind my house following my GPS.  As you know, driving and hiking are two very different forms of navigation, so being the paranoid survivalist that I am I was keeping track of my location with a map and compass too.  At one point I looked down and it showed my location in a town about fifteen or twenty miles away in a completely different county!  There was a moment of “congnitive dissonance” as I looked at both map and GPS.  Finally I put the GPS away and followed the map and compass.  I knew exactly where I was even if the GPS didn’t.  I told a friend about this and he said, “Yeah, sometimes that happens.”

So, I did what any self-respecting human being would do and turned to Google.  Turns out this is a pretty common issue. Wow.  I’m no Luddite.  I love my phone and my laptop.  I use Linux.  I understand computer networks.  I get it.  But after a little study, I’ve determined that if you’re going to trust yourself to a technology that works “most of the time,” you might find your ass lost in the woods crying about your GPS.

Carry a Compass

appalachian_gps_trailI’ve written about this before and I’ll write about it again.  If you’re going to go out in the wilderness, carry a map and compass.  Carry it, know how to use it, and at the very least be able to follow a cardinal direction. A few years ago Geraldine Largay went off the Appalachian Trail and got lost.  Her body was found a couple of years later.  She had a compass but didn’t know how to use it. A compass is not an ornament.  If you put it in your pack, at least know the basics of how to use it.

In my opinion, the best way to operate in the wild is to use your GPS as primary navigator with a map and compass as backup.  This accomplishes two things.

  1.  You’ll learn map and compass reading almost as well as how to use a GPS.
  2.  If your GPS fails for whatever reason, you’ll know where you are and how to get out safely.

Use a Bailout Azimuth

I coined the term Bailout Azimuth. If you’re lost and can’t go point to point, you can at least follow your compass until you hit a road, stream, river, or landmark.  Refer to the map on Geraldine Largay. Look carefully at where her remains were found and then look where the Appalachian Trail is.  A little common sense and some very basic map reading skills could have saved this woman’s life, but she chose to walk north looking for a cell phone signal instead of following her compass south back to the trail.  I’ve been in this part of the Maine woods before and it would be quite easy to walk off the trail and get lost.  That’s why a compass is a critical piece of equipment.

Related: GizzMoVest GPS Cases 

In this case, she moved north of the trail.  The moment she discovered she was lost, she should have pulled out her map and compass.  She would have seen that she was hiking east on that particular piece of trail. With a little study, she would have found that moving south or east would bring her back to the trail.  Instead she made a fatal error and moved north.  This really breaks my heart because a small amount of time spent at a compass class could have saved her life.

There are many stories where a GPS led people off road in their vehicles and they wound up stranded in the wilderness.  Sometimes they get rescued, sometimes they don’t.  Don’t be a statistic, folks.  Learn how to read a map and compass and be a survivor.  That’s why you’re here isn’t it?  To learn how to survive?  Trust me, if there’s one skill you can learn that trumps everything else, it’s how to navigate in the wilderness with a map and compass.

Summary

Use your GPS!  Like I said, I love mine; however, I try to be critical of it when traveling because it’s not always 100% accurate.

Here’s a little challenge for you.  The next time you decide to go on a trip take out a map and plot it by hand to see if you remember how.  I’ll bet when you look at the route you selected and where your GPS wants to take you, you’ll be thinking, “Why the hell is it taking me that way?” Questions?  Comments?  Sound off below!

Photos Courtesy of:

Jarhead Survivor
Filkferengi

Interested in writing for us? Send a sample of your work and an introductory statement to joel@survivalcache.com. Please use subject line: ‘Write for SurvivalCache/SHTFBlog’. If you’re a good fit, we’ll publish your work and compensate you accordingly.

Surviving Alone

Click here to view the original post.

van_street_survival

static_tv_survive_shtfWhat if SHTF?  You are the only one home at the time when it hits.  Your kids are grown and gone.  Your wife is gone at work.  It is dark outside.  You hear nothing; see nothing.  There are no cars on the streets. When you finally venture out of the house early the next day, you see nobody on your neighborhood street.  The following day you find no one on any streets in your entire neighborhood.  You retreat back home and lock down in earnest.  There are no cars on the streets.  Normally you can hear 18-wheelers on the interstate highway just two miles away. Now, nothing.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Since it hit the fan, the electricity has been off.  City water is still on, thank goodness.  The natural gas stove still works.  For now, that is. Cell phones are dead.  FM and emergency radio channels yield only a static buzz. The police scanner scans and picks up….nothing. What do you do now?

The New Routine

It is time to execute your Plan A, the Bug In Option. Now you fully secure the house and implement your PDWs (personal defense weapons).  Everything is locked and loaded. Various firearms are stationed near primary exterior doors with loaded mags or pouched ammo within reach.  Your CCW weapon of choice is on your waist and an AR is nearby at all times now. Time to focus.  You break out all your prepper emergency gear and supplies. You lay it all out in plain view. Water, food, candles, flashlights, meds, batteries, extra firearms, survival knife, ammo packs, first aid and all else. Everything is organized, grouped, and put within easy access.

ar_resizedYou hydrate, eat, bathe, and rest.  You watch out the windows, moving quietly and judiciously around the house.  At night it is mostly a total blackout, so as not to draw attention from outside.  If you want light to read, or study, or rest, you use an interior room with no windows like a bathroom, closet or laundry room.  All noise is kept to a whisper.  Later, you elect to slip out a back door, well-armed, to recon the yard, street, neighborhood, venturing as far as you dare.  After sundown, that night vision scope really comes in handy.  You stop often to listen, smell, peer, and move cautiously.

The next night you spot a dim flicker of a light in one house down the street. In another house a form of a shadow moves across a corner window. There are still no cars on the streets, no police, no national guard, no planes overhead, and no more highway noise off in the distance. You vow to knock on those two doors the next day, but you change your mind.

Related: Top 5 Worst Incidences of Martial Law in The United States 

Days later the FM radio blares on. The announcement is like a weather warning but not the same. It is recorded and orchestrated. The news is confusing without many details, but some kind of an explosion or more has occurred and this caused a massive grid shutdown. There was no clue given about how extensive it was or how it has affected your general area. It is frustrating.

You learn that this final announcement that came before the full extent of the SHTF event warned everyone to stay put wherever they were and not to venture out. You missed that report, but it explains a lot. You worry again where your wife is and if she is OK. You worry the same for your kids hundreds of miles away. There is no way to know their fate.

Status Observation and Investigation

This worry emboldens you to visit the two houses where you spotted signs of life. As far as you know, the air is not toxic. Birds are flying and squirrels are playing in the yard as usual.  For a moment you see a dog run across the end of the street. Still no people or cars.

Now you wish you had at least met your neighbors down the street, but at least you have the neighborhood directory and look up the names of the residents in those two homes before you knock. You think, at the very least, it is best to be able to call them by name.

In the daylight no evidence of residence can be seen. There is no answer at the first house and no sounds come forth. At the second try a meek, scared voice asks your name. You speak your name and they recognize you as an administrator from the local college. That gives you some credibility, but the guns you carry are a bit discomforting to them.

bug_in_bag_shtf_woodsYou assure them you are no threat, because you are not. They know your wife, so they open the door just enough to peek. It is a relief and a welcome comfort to see another human face. The family inside is from Japan, here now as the husband is an engineer with the nearby automotive manufacturing plant. You are invited in. They exhibit signs of fear and caution, which is expected given the circumstances.

Their supplies are meager as the event has caught them completely by surprise.  With two smaller kids, they have a lot to manage.  They never ask for anything from you.  They have city water, too, with filled vessels in plain view as well.  You note a pan of rice on the stove.  They have one flashlight, but the batteries are dead. You promise to bring them more and some candles.  They are receptive of your visit. They become trusting and kind. You reciprocate.

Read Also: Bug In Contingencies

The man of the house speaks English quite well.  He was coming home when he heard the radio announcement.  He locked up the house and hunkered down.  The guy is smart and displays common sense.  They have no firearms, but you note a golf club at the front and back doors.  Work with what you have,’ you think. You ask about the other house across the street. They have nothing to report.  Their only radio is in the car which they listen to daily.  You assure them of your support and offer to visit them again the next day with some supplies.

On the walk back home, you round the corner and coming down the street is a military vehicle with some personnel walking alongside.  They spot you, armed.  They display their weapons as the vehicle comes to a halt. For moments you stand there staring each other down.  What do you do now?  Fiction or reality to be?

Photos Courtesy of:
Dr. John J Woods
Alex Watson 

 
SHTFBlog.com T-Shirts Now Available
SHTFBlog-com-T-Shirt_For_Blog

 

 

 

 

Support SHTFBlog.com by shopping @ Amazon (Click Here)

Visit Sponsors of SHTFBlog.com

 

 

 

 

 

the_survivalist_podcast

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Mission Drives The Gear

Click here to view the original post.

gear_drives_mission

Preppers are notorious for caching stuff. Gear is our life. We can’t seem to get enough of it and at the same time we could camp_bugout_gearprobably all have a huge garage sale and never miss half of it. Have you ever really thought what you are going to do with all that stuff?  If you are not a list person, I recommend you become one. Gear management is just as big a part of survival prepping as planning for it in the first place. With a comprehensive inventory, you can not only get a handle on what you have amassed in terms of survival gear, but you can review it, refresh it, and begin to task it for specific missions.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Achieving a balance between too much and just enough is the difficult part.  You want to be mobile but at the same time, you must be thoroughly prepared.  This guide will help you achieve this balance and fine-tune your bug out bag.

Re-Do Your EDC

What do you keep stashed in a daily carry bag?  Is it designed to sustain you for a day in case of an emergency or a longer time frame?  Is there a weapon and support supplies in that bag?  Where is it stowed, in the vehicle, or do you carry it into the office each day?  How discreet is its carry and your protection of it?

How often do you recycle the supplies in this bag? If you keep several loaded magazines for a pistol, these should be rotated, beretta-pico-3unloaded for a time, and then put back in service again.  Every 6 months ought to be about right so spring tension does not memorize.  The gun itself should be wiped down with an oil cloth every couple weeks especially if you live in a high humidity region.

Related: Knee Deep in Bug Out Vehicles

Life sustaining supplies in this bag should be used regularly and replaced, too. Drink the water on the way home, then replace it with fresh bottles every week or so.  If you have energy bars, GORP, or other eats, then keep them fresh. Nothing is worse than opening a zip lock bag of raisins and M&Ms only to find them melted into a slurry.

Essential, too, is keeping this daily carry bag as efficiently stocked as possible.  If you find, upon opening the bag, that it contains items never or rarely used, then reconsider the necessity of these items.  Don’t over weigh a bag you have to carry or may have to tote for miles during a SHTF.  Occasionally lay everything out on the floor and reassess each item’s usefulness.

Revise Your Escape Plan

In the same vein, if you travel out of town with the family either on business or a combined vacation, the stuff you take to supply might be different. You might want more gear for personal defense including a more powerful long gun.  This may mean packing a half dozen mags each for a self-defense pistol and perhaps an AR.  You may find you have other stuff rarely used that you could sell or trade for needed items.

Overnight stays will mean more clothing, more personal care items, and regular medications for the longer time frame. Double check your packing lists to make sure you have everything you need. If you are driving, consider taking a supply pack with extra food and water.  Be sure to have a cell phone charger. Kids along? Have more stuff for them, too.

Before you leave, let your neighbors know where you are going, give them phone numbers, notify police you will be gone, and secure your domicile.   Suspend newspaper deliveries and mail or better yet ask a trusted neighbor to bag them for you.  That way, other outside sources do not know your travel plans. Put lights on timers so it appears like people are home.  Double check locked doors, set the alarm and be sure the garage door closes.

Prioritize the Bug Out Plan

Be sagacious: assess your plan. If it is to escape a severe storm threat like a hurricane, estimate the time out of the area and pack accordingly for what you hope will not be a terribly long time. This then assumes your residence is not damaged or outright destroyed. Ask yourself if your redundancy is over extended having accumulated too much stuff or several of the same kinds of items.

Also Read: More Tips for Your Bug Out Bag 

Put your plans to escape in action. Ideally you are going to family or friends or a predetermined hotel location. Execute your bug out plan that you worked out well in advance of any incident. Pack and take only the items you need for this scenario.

For a worst case scenario, hopefully you have a plan. Maybe it is an escape to another house in the country, or a spot where you have set up a permanent trailer for housing or even a dedicated camping trailer. Ideally you have cached and stashed essentials at this location including food stuffs, water, fuel, tools, gear, and everything else you might need to stay for several months. This situation may finally mean to grab all those bug out bags you have spent years packing and fine tuning. This gives you important time to choose what gear is needed for the mission. Excess stuff can be contributed to a team effort or sold off for revenue to buy other more essential gear.

Mission Drives the Gear and the Plan

Again, the specific mission drives what gear to pack and take.  As a prepper, try to avoid just buying all kinds of stuff that looks great but is not really purposed as it should be.  Prepper budgets are usually stretched enough without buying extra neat stuff that is never used. This goes for every category of gear, too, including weapons, and ammo.  If you go overboard, then do it on water, food, and medical supplies. Lighten your load of unnecessary gear.

All Photos Courtesy of:
Dr. John Woods

SHTFBlog.com T-Shirts Now Available
SHTFBlog-com-T-Shirt_For_Blog

 

 

 

 

Support SHTFBlog.com by shopping @ Amazon (Click Here)

Visit Sponsors of SHTFBlog.com

 

 

 

 

 

the_survivalist_podcast

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Vehicles Used As Defensive Barriers

Click here to view the original post.

vehicle_defensive_barries_protection

Remember back in 1935 when the .357 Magnum round was introduced? It was selected for use by defensive_vehicle_prep_urban_survivalmany law enforcement agencies across the country.  The new magnum was highly touted as being able to shoot through the block of a car and stop the engine dead.  Well, I’m not sure if that is true.  A vehicle’s engine and compartment makes for a pretty formidable bullet stopper.   That’s a good thing when using a vehicle in a defensive position.  We more or less expect (or hope) that our car, truck, or SUV will shield us somewhat during SHTF escapes, bug outs, or other defensive maneuvers.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Is the composition of a vehicle enough to protect you from incoming bullets? Some recent field trials bring new light to this question.  The results are both good and bad.

A Thin Veil 

First, understand that the exterior skins of nearly all conventional vehicles will not stop bullets from most handguns.  The field trial did not test rifles, but it did test 12-gauge shotgun buckshot and slugs.  Other reports suggest some rifle calibers such as the 5.56/223 fair no better, but the .308 does have some penetration success.

Interior Construction

The good news is that inside the doors and panels of a vehicle are a conglomeration of parts, defensive_door_survivalwindow winding mechanisms, radio speaker magnets, crash beams, wiring, and other fixtures.  These components seem to deter, slow down, or stop bullets quite well.

The field trial I studied used traditional bullets and loads in the .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and 12 gauge.  None of the pistol bullets had much success in fully penetrating a vehicle if the bullets struck an auto component.  The exception to this is with certain types of .45 ACP bullets.  Full metal jacketed bullets in the .45 produced some level of success in busting through a vehicle door.

Related: Best Handgun Calibers For Survival

If these bullets ferreted past one of these structural fixtures or parts, then the occupant could be struck, albeit to a lesser damaging threat.  Engine compartments including the radiator, water pump, and manifolds resisted penetration.  Wheel wells provide a good defensive position, although exterior coverage is far from complete.  It is difficult for an adult to huddle behind a car wheel and tire without being somewhat exposed.

I was recently instructed that the door beams between the front and rear doors offer a fair deflective structure for most handgun bullets.  In fact, the reason low-riding thugs are crunched down in their seats with their heads positioned behind this middle door jamb component is to avoid bullet penetration to the head.  Considering this part of the vehicle can stop incoming rounds, this strategy makes sense.

The Shotgun Conundrum 

Likewise, the shotgun buckshot did not perform as well as one might believe.  I think most of us rely upon a good 00 buckshot load to sail through just about anything.  Maybe we have been watching too many movies.  The buckshot pellets passed through car skins, but were then caught up by crash struts, electric window motors, door locks and other mechanisms.

The 12 gauge slug was extremely effective.  These loads punched right through both theinside_vehicle_protection_urban_survival exterior and interior panels of the test car, entered the ballistic gelatin and passed completely through the entire mold.  Bad news bears for those inside a vehicle.

Read More: Tru-Bore 12 Gauge Chamber Adapter

The shotgun slug should prove a highly viable choice, if you have to be shooting at an individual inside a vehicle.  While this strategy may be effective, keep in mind the skill it takes to properly shoot a slug load from a shotgun.  It would be wise to consider using shotgun slugs in a self-defense scenario.

Keep in mind that the recoil and muzzle blast can be abusive.  Decide if you need to go to a full 3-inch shotshell slug or if the standard 2 ¾ -inch can do the job.  The field report I studied did not specify this.

Auto Glass Resistance

Now let’s get some clarity on glass.  Today’s automotive glass is far superior to auto glass of the past.  Contemporary windshields, side windows, and rear glass are more durable and crash resistant. Moreover, modern auto glass produces cleaner fractures. This is a plus for armed interactions and for passenger protection.

Current auto glass is much more likely to deflect pistol bullets shot from various angles due to the composition of the materials and the rake of auto glass panels.  The “rake” of a windshield is the angle at which it rests inside the car frame.  For example, a sporty car or pickup truck has a windshield with a sharper rake.  By contrast, some Jeep models have front glass that stands square to the frame.

A severe auto glass rake helps deflect bullets and may prevent penetration inside the vehicle cabin. front_glass_vehicle_survival_urbanOf course, this is often contingent on the angle of the shot.  In the field trials report, most of the pistol bullets did not completely penetrate the plate glass panel.  The glass may have cracked and fragmented, but the bullets did not pass through.

So, while modern auto glass cannot be relied upon to provide complete passenger protection, it certainly affords a better barrier than older auto glass.  When engaging an adversary, putting several layers of glass between yourself and incoming bullets offers extra protection.

In practice this might mean hiding at the rear quarter panel of the vehicle thus putting the rear glass, side glass, and a windshield between yourself and an assailant shooting from a position in front of the vehicle.

Also Read: Urban Survival Food Strategy

So, there you go.  A vehicle is a reasonable barrier against oncoming gun fire unless the attacker happens to be using shotgun slugs.  If a pistol bullet dodges mechanisms inside a door, the passenger could certainly be wounded.  The same would occur if the bullet’s pathway hit glass just right.  However, I would rather have the structure of a vehicle in my favor than be standing out in the open.

Photos By:
John J. Woods

SHTFBlog.com T-Shirts Now Available
SHTFBlog-com-T-Shirt_For_Blog

 

 

 

 

Support SHTFBlog.com by shopping @ Amazon (Click Here)

Visit Sponsors of SHTFBlog.com

 

 

 

 

 

the_survivalist_podcast

Save

Top 5 Worst Incidences of Martial Law In the United States

Click here to view the original post.

police_car_martial_law

I believe, wholeheartedly, that the United States is the best country in the world. Need proof? Check out our long history of success and prosperity. Now that I’ve got my flag-waving out of the way, let’s get into the juicy stuff. America’s prosperous history is marked with some truly hideous blemishes. These ugly periods largely coincide with declarations of martial law. Simply put, martial law is when a governor, Congress, or The President legally acknowledges shit has hit the fan. In these circumstances habeas corpus is suspended, the military steps in, and locally elected officials lose efficacy.

supreme_court_martial_law

What’s that? Describing martial law as a legal declaration of shit hit the fan isn’t satisfactory? I wish I could explain more about the scope of martial law in the United States. The frightening part is that nobody really knows what martial law is. In Duncan v Kahanamoku (1946) the Supreme Court criticized the implementation of martial law in Hawaii. Writing about the case, Justice Hugo Black expressed his confusion: “The term martial law carries no precise meaning. The Constitution does not refer to ‘martial law’”. If the Supreme Court doesn’t know what martial law is, how can our elected officials responsibly declare it? When we enter a state of martial law, we are leaping from the precipice of known legal dictates into an abyss of tyrannical chaos. Since the Supreme Court can’t tell us what the hell martial law is, we have to look at a few of the worst examples in the United States. Here are my top five worst instances of martial law in United States history.

By D-Ray a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

5. Boston – 1774

In response to the Boston Tea Party, the British issued the Massachusetts Government Act. The intent of the Act was to nullify the existing colonial government in Massachusetts by replacing it with a royally appointed governor.  Every American knows how this story ends: the Revolutionaries waged war with the British and won their independence. The formation of The United States is a pretty nice silver lining to this anti-democratic act. For this reason, I’ll consider it the least terrible of the 5.

4. New Orleans – 1812

Prior to the Battle of New Orleans, General Andrew Jackson implemented martial law in the area. An intervening judge demanded Jackson restore habeas corpus. In the most ballsy, Andrew Jackson-esque move, he had the judge arrested and continued with business as usual.

Related: Jurisdictional Creep

As President, Jackson showed the same contempt towards the legal system. In a separate incident, when Chief andrew_jackson_martial_lawJustice John Marshall delivered his ruling precluding the removal of Native Americans from their lands, Jackson said, “John Marshall has made his decision now let him enforce it.”  Jackson ignored the Supreme Court and did as he pleased. While I should be disgusted by Jackson’s disregard for the law, I can’t help but respect his steel tenacity.

3. Tulsa – 1921

In an incredibly shameful turn of events, the Tulsa Municipal government was complicitous in the murder of over 300 black citizens.  Amidst the destruction and murder, the National Guard, with permission from local authorities, implemented martial law. They eventually restored peace but the damage was lasting. In this instance, martial law was absolutely necessary to restore law and order.  The Tulsa Race Riot is a unique case because the destruction leading up to martial law, not the implementation of martial law itself, was so deplorable.

2. The United States – 1863

In order to respond to increasing dissent in the Union during the Civil War, President Lincoln enacted martial law. The chief result of this was the suspension of due process and the establishment of military tribunals. It is unclear how many innocent people were deprived of justice during this period. In any case, the Supreme Court ruled Lincoln’s imposition of martial law to be unconstitutional in the 1866 case Ex Parte Milligan.civil_war_martial_law

Justice David Davis condemned the Lincoln Administration’s practices in the Court’s majority opinion. The Court gave martial law and Lincoln the finger saying, “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times and under all circumstances.”  I can’t think of a more eloquent way of telling the government to leave due process the hell alone.

1. Colorado – 1914

After seeing ‘1914 Colorado’ in first place, I imagine many of you are puzzled. In fact, you’re probably thinking, “Hold on, dumbass,  how does a petty conflict in Colorado beat out the Civil War?” This is a fair question. Allow me to explain.

In the early 20th Century, labor conditions in American coal mines were deplorable. Miners were poorly compensated for long, difficult hours in hazardous environments. When the miners did return home, they returned to houses and towns owned by their employers. Miners were not allowed to leave the company owned towns without express permission from their employer.  On many levels, it is difficult to differentiate these feudalistic mining systems from slavery.

Also Read: A Brief History of Martial Law

martial_law_ludlow_massacre

Not surprisingly, miners in Colorado unionized and protested their abhorrent work conditions. Rather than acquiesce to basic demands like an 8 hour work day, the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company enlisted the support of the Governor. Martial law was declared, the National Guard arrived, tensions escalated, and the standstill between workers and the State culminated in a violent boil. Two dozen people, including women and children, were killed in a lopsided event which would later be referred to as the Ludlow Massacre.

While habeas corpus during the Civil War was suspended for the preservation of The Union, the Ludlow Massacre happened because feudal corporate systems wanted to retain total power over their employees. There was no noble silver lining or justifiable purpose behind the Ludlow Massacre. For this reason, I consider it to be the most heinous.

My Plan For Martial Law

People can say whatever they want about the second amendment but there is no denying that a gun would have been useful in any of the five incidences listed above. For this reason, I keep my SKS sealed in a monovault outside my house. When chaos strikes and the next President Jackson suspends habeas corpus, I’ll be ready to go full Viet-Cong innawoods_sks_martial_law_planmode in the Rocky Mountains.

Even though I’m a solid hunter, food is going to be an issue. I have some MREs on deck but I could always use more. For now, I’ll just place unreasonably high confidence in my ability to consistently kill elk in the Zirkel Wilderness. When shit hits the fan, a little bit of hubris may not be such a bad thing.

Realistically, the most dangerous thing for me will probably be the harsh winters. My tent could use an upgrade but my sleeping bag is solid. Winters in the Zirkels are never a cake walk but as long as I don’t freeze to death I’ll be happy.  Let me know what you would do in the event of martial law. Disagree with my list? Tell me why in the comments.

About D-Ray:

D-Ray is a recent graduate of CU Boulder and currently enrolled in a law school on the East Coast. By day, he is a mild mannered content writer; by night, he banishes unruly drunks into the black purgatory of night as a bouncer. He is passionate about the Constitution and First Amendment Rights. 

Photos Courtesy of:
Redbubble
Matt Popovich
Matt Wade

SHTFBlog.com T-Shirts Now Available
SHTFBlog-com-T-Shirt_For_Blog

 

 

 

 

Support SHTFBlog.com by shopping @ Amazon (Click Here)

Visit Sponsors of SHTFBlog.com

 

 

 

 

 

the_survivalist_podcast

Save

Survival Afterwards: Living in the Aftermath

Click here to view the original post.

How to survive

August 29 is my wedding anniversary.  It was the same date that Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf South Coast.  I try not to attach anyBest Hurricane Survival Tips connection between the two.  Though I lived 150 miles north of the landfall, our community was greatly impacted by the storm.  High winds and driving rain took down scores of trees and power lines along with them.  Roofs soared off homes, glass blew out, and highways became cluttered with storm debris and escaping vehicles.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

All the local motels and eating establishments quickly jammed up with “refugees” coming in from the coast.  Within a week supplies began to dwindle.  Gasoline was in short supply creating long lines at the few open stations to only be able to buy ten gallons.  Even many people lucky enough to have a generator, could not get gas to run them.  All the generators were sold out the first day anyway.  I did not get one.

On the Home Front

So, here was the scenario at home.  I was there off and on because my work site was open.  My wife’s was not.  Schools were closed Best Survival Tipsso my young child was home.  We had no electrical power.  City water pressure continued and we had natural gas for cooking.  In many ways we were better off than a lot of other folks.  We had meat and frozen food in the freezer we could get out quickly that would last a few days and the same in the regular refrigerator.  We had lots of canned goods to last a couple weeks.  We had filled two tubs with water and 12 gallon milk jugs filled when the news came just in case.

Related: The Human Element of Survival

We used the shower for bathing, which was often with the daytime temps above 90 with equal humidity.  It was hot.  Sleeping at night was very uncomfortable.  I had stocked up with plenty of flashlights and batteries.   We had several big candles and a Coleman lantern with two gallons of fuel.  I have a similar camping cook stove in case the natural gas cut off.   We mostly used the candles.

Home security proved no issue.  I had my tools ready but since everyone in the neighborhood was in the same mess, as it were, there was no real advantage to rummaging around or looting, etc.  It did not happen in my area.  Frankly I think the bad elements simply could not get the gasoline to be roaming around.  We do know what happened in New Orleans so there is a lesson to be learned.  Be prepared, equipped and ready.  We were.

At Work 

Work was down completely though the facility I manage was the only one in the whole area with electric power.  It was only Food Storagecoincidental that the regional power company was using the site as an emergency Bug Out location.  It became the central hot spot for all the employees and other groups seeking accommodations for overnight rooms and meals.  We were booked.  Many of my in-house employees could not get to work, which was a good thing.

Also Read: 4 Things To Consider When Bugging Out

We had a stocked walk in freezer and a good supply of other food stuffs.  We had no tap water so bottled water had to be used to cook.  We made a lot of sandwiches and set up a “buffet” each day in the lobby for employees and guests only.  We turned away walk ins that learned we had some supplies.  College police guarded the facility each day.

The ‘tough” part was toting buckets of water up the hill from the nearby lake to flush toilets.  Some of the residents were not able to do this or unwilling to do it.  People failed to realize this was an emergency situation and continued to be demanding.  I recall one obnoxious guest screaming about not having her cable TV.  She was evacuated.

Life without the Power Grid

I recall quite vividly just how tough it was to be without electrical power.  We are all creatures of comfort, and I have to admit my own weaknesses just as all preppers will have to do under real practical aftermath conditions.  When it is 90+ degrees during the day and the house is hovering in the 85+ range, it is decidedly tough to go without air conditioning in the south.

Related: The Fear Factor

Had it been 30 degrees I could crank up the gas log fireplace.  However, I have long wished we had put in a wood burning fireplace or heater instead of a gas one.  There is a trade off for everything since a wood fireplace or wood heater would mean acquiring an ample supply of good firewood each season.   Think about this if you build a new house or add on.

We were able to manage otherwise quite well at home.  I did not miss the electrical lights though I did miss the television for news and weather.  The FM radio sufficed, but make sure you have one.  It is amazing but many people today including preppers simply forget to have on hand an old fashioned battery operated dial radio.  Don’t forget either than your vehicle likely still has an AM-FM radio to catch news and weather.

Cracks in the Infrastructure

Preppers need to be thinking well in advance and planning for the breakdown of every common source of infrastructure that we have become reliant upon.  Storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, other natural disasters can shut everything down.  We could very well be without any support service or utility option.  We might lose electrical power, natural gas, public water, and sewer.

Public resources could be hampered or gone altogether.  Police, fire, rescue and ambulances may disappear from service.  Hospitals may offer restricted service or could be vacant with no source of doctors, nurses, or other employees.  Airports could be closed and interstate highways either totally congested or locked down with abandoned vehicles.   Remember the scenes of highways in Atlanta on Walking Dead.

Related: 4 Step Home Evacuation Plan

The usual supply outlets like grocery stores will be quickly sold out and then likely completely looted.  The same could be true for hardware stores, home supply outlets, gun and ammo shops, pharmacies, general merchandise stores and even “7-11” type convenience stops.  It will all be gone in very short order.  Most businesses may be locked up or simply abandoned.  Hence, this is the definition of prepping and survival planning.  You will have to become totally self-reliant at least until order is re-established and the supply lines flow once again.  It could be a long while or it might be never.  Let’s all hope and pray that our species is above total annihilation, but given the politics and lunacy among the Arab nations, anything could happen on this earthen body.

Storm Interrupted Not a Marathon

In our case of this SHTF created from natural causes our local down time was only three days at home.  Some people out in the Survivalrural county areas lost power for 2-3 weeks.  Fuel supplies remained sketchy for a while but refilled within a month.  Life got better quickly when the electricity came back on line.  Ya just gotta love air conditioning.

Storm damage clean up took a year in some places.  It was a lot longer along the coast.  Some home sites and business will never be rebuilt.  Blue tarps still cover buildings in New Orleans even after billions were spent on recovery efforts.  Some residents still do not understand why Uncle Sam’s buses never did come to evacuate them along with a free wine and cheese basket.

Also Read: SHTF vs. TEOTWAWKI

Had this been some other kind of SHTF it could have been an exercise in fighting off the end of society as we know it.  Personally, I cannot image trying to tough it out in a remote woodland location living under a tarp lean-to, a tent, or out of the back of an SUV for two weeks, six months, or a maybe a couple years.  You younger folks can likely manage it for a while anyway.

The aftermath is not going to be a picnic.  Even a temporary discomforting event like Hurricane Katrina teaches us the stark realities of just how inconvenient these SHTF events can prove to be.  So preppers plan and plan wisely.  Plan to survive the aftermath or at least until society become redefined again.

Photos By:
Bistro Style
Johnny Choi
Cherry Blossom Girl
William Fam

SHTFBlog.com T-Shirts Now Available
SHTFBlog-com-T-Shirt_For_Blog

 

 

 

 

 

Support SHTFBlog.com by shopping @ Amazon (Click Here)

Visit Sponsors of SHTFBlog.com

 

 

 

 

 

the_survivalist_podcast

11.5 Bug Out Bag Mistakes That Are Not Mistakes

Click here to view the original post.

Bug Out Bag

About the only tangible aspect we have for a real bug out is the bug out bag.  Sure you might have a BOVehicle or BOLocation, but Best Bug Out BagBOBag is often the beginning and the end for most lightweight survivalists and preppers.  The problem is that unlike taking a cruise to Alaska, or a family trip to Disney World, pretty much nobody you know has bugged out in the pure sense of the verb.  Now while I would actually like to keep it that way, the point of this blog, and your reading of it no less, is to cover the bug out contingency the best you can.  Unfortunately, most of the words about bugging out and bug out bags in particular are recycled from questionable sources or where someone played connect-the-dots using military-grade playbooks.

By Doc Montana, a contributing author of SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Over the years I’ve read many of the same recycled advice columns about setting up a bug out bag.  And I’ve listened to podcasts from information purveyors whose bug out plans were gleaned from a Boy Scout camp out in fifth grade.  As I consumed the advice I’d pick and choose what I wanted to believe based on my past experiences, and what made logical and practical sense. But I could only take so much non-information or bad ideas before I stopped listening or reading.  Not that I have anything against recycling because I’m actually greener than most (many of us who dabble in off-grid solutions are), but that it seems nobody else will step up and risk being labeled as a heretic only to be chained to the proverbial internet post and flamed by the those who own recycled advice has just been challenged.

Above the Belt

Before reading further, here are my ground rules: First, this is about bug out bags or BOBs, not Get Home bags, not 72-hour bags, Survivaland not any of the other short-term carryovers or disaster-specific bag variations.  Second, obviously rules can be broken, but you need logical reasons to break them. Skill and experience will make up for some lack of equipment, but so too can good equipment make up for lack of skill. To a degree anyway.

And third, this article was written with the intent to shake some popular beliefs that are repeated ad nauseum across the internet whether or not the parrot has ever tested their own advice. Everything I address here is based upon my real-world experience. Of course you are free to do and say what you want, but when the fat lady sings you better have chosen wisely.

1. Do have a very big bug out bag

So-called bug out experts seem to fixate on backpack size because of noble but misguided intentions. The inaccurate but common belief is that a big bug out bag will be overpacked and impossible to carry. In reality, that logic just enforces my belief that the one giving the “smallest possible bag” advice has never done anything big outdoors. There are five main reasons you want a big bug out bag.

1) You can pack more (but see topic #2 below for more on this).

2) Big packs carry heavy loads much better than smaller packs. They hug the body and distribute weight so a 30 pound small pack is a pain, but a 30 pound large pack is almost invisible (but see topic #4 below to get it right).

3) You can use a large pack as a sleeping bag or bivy sack.

4) You can always carry air. Nobody is going to make you fill all available space in your pack.

And 5) If you leave home with a stuffed small pack, you cannot add to your load as you go. So unless you are bugging out on a commercial airline flight, you can forget about carry-on size limitations and do this right.

2. Do pack everything you think you might need

For some reason many bug out bags are packed with more good ideas than real-world supplies.  There is a prevalent fear that “too most common bug out bag mistakesmuch” is bad.  Well, I like to say that you cannot dump out what you don’t have.  Imagine an EMP caused you to hit the “go button” on your bug out plan. A month before, however, you cut down the size of your bug out bag assuming that the 30 mile jaunt to your bug out location (BOL) would be easier with a minimalist carry.

Related: The Best Food for your Bug Out Bag

But just as you head out the door, your neighbor fires up his EMP-proof truck and offers you a ride in the right direction.  No time to pack more, so guess what, you just made a colossal mistake in packing and you haven’t even left yet!  If you neighbor happens to drive a Chevy Luv packed to the gills, then you can dump out that case of Dinty Moore Beef Stew in order to wedge your bug out bag onto your lap.  Or better yet, keep it loaded and duct tape it to the hood of the truck.

3. Ignore the weight of your bug out bag

Similar to #2 above, weight can be a false prophet.  Consider why you are concerned with weight.  Is it to make your pack lighter just because? Well, does it really need to be lighter?  Or what will you be able to do with a lighter pack that you cannot do with a heavier pack? And how light is light? Or how heavy is heavy?  I hear supposedly informed preppers toss around numbers like 25-35 pounds. Well unless you are running to your BOL, the weight of your bug out bag is just one of many variables that can be adjusted on the fly. How you ask?  By dumping out what you don’t need or can no longer carry.

But if you are constantly mumbling something about pounds being pain, then you will have to make big decisions without waiting for all the information you could gather. Instead of cutting corners ahead of time, prepare to ditch weight as needed.  Water is a great ballast choice and can easily be substituted with air (see point #1 above). By the way, that old adage about three days without water and three weeks without food is nonsense in a bug out. You might survive those numbers adrift in a raft then rushed to a hospital, but certainly not walking around and doing survival work.

4. Do buy the very best you can of everything

Any internet list of “best” equipment that often further qualified by being under a certain price.  And that has failure built-in from Survivalthe start. Buy your tools and equipment based on need, quality and performance instead of price.  I’ve read lists of the best xyz under $50 or $99 with full knowledge that a massively better option is just a couple bucks more than the artificial cost ceiling that was chosen by the author for little more than dramatic effect. If you really need to pinch pennies, go with used equipment.

Since a real bug out has little margin for error, the fewer points of failure you you bring with you the better.  The problem is that most folks have not pushed equipment to the point of failure so they don’t know just how dangerous a cascade of failures can be in a survival situation.  Every year people die in the backcountry as one failure or injury multiplies into many.

Related: Jarhead’s Bug Out Bag

Someone gets disoriented snowshoeing.  They take a tumble in the powder filling their coat with snow that melts dampening their cotton clothes just as sun begins to set.  Numb hands cannot start a fire so they continue on.  A turn left at the big tree and they would have found their previous tracks and the way home.  But instead they went right and tomorrow morning their frozen corpse will be discovered by the rescue dogs on scene.  Then the spokesman for the S&R folks will again share the news cycle in an impromptu press conference highlighting the list of user errors for the umpteenth time.

5. Do skip all the military/tactical/police advice

Well, maybe not skip the advice, but certainly put it in perspective. Some of the big differences between the bug out and M/T/P INCH Bag Mistakesperspective is that a bug out is a deliberate run and hide while the M/T/P response is to engage or start the fight.  Consider what M/T/P life is like compared to the reality of a bug out. Sure a select fire weapon is effective, but unlike M/T/P you won’t have a supply chain feeding your machine gun, or an ambulance parked just behind the yellow tape. Instead, take the advice of those whose activities are closer to the bug out.

My models are mountaineering, rock climbing, canyoneering, deep mountain four-wheeling, extended backpacking and camping, winter camping, backcountry skiing, adventure racing, long-distance bicycling,mountain biking, sailing, river rafting, ultra-marathon trail running, big game hunting, forest fire fighting, and off-grid life in general. To transfer the knowledge to the bug out bag, you can first start with the equipment.  If you want quality outdoor equipment, then you have to pony-up for the tools that the serious outdoors folks count on for serious outdoor adventures. So perhaps a trip to the local REI will be more helpful bug out-wise than wandering the aisles of the big box gun store yet again.

5.5 Don’t skip all the military/tactical/police advice

In fact, embrace all the tactical aspects you can even if you look like a mall ninja’s mall ninja.  Just like the overstuffed bug out bag, the tactical look can come and go as needed, but will never be available unless with you at the start.   A common mistake that is batted back and forth by students of the bug out is whether or not to look tactical, especially in the departments of clothing, pack and loadout.  But the funny thing is that most discussions end there.

Also Read: 10 Must Haves For Your Bug Out Bag

In reality, you have plenty of options that straddle the lines of both worlds. I have a highly tactical-looking bug out bag in the form of a Eberlestock G4 Operator.  It’s a bohethomith in any language, and plays an operator in real life and on TV. Nobody would mistake the G4 for a family camping rig especially with a rifle sticking out of the top like a high frequency whip antenna on a Humvee. But in less than a minute, I can completely house the pack within a rain cover of my color choice whether light green, olive green, tan, or FDE. And the smooth fabric hides all the MOLLE, webbing ladders, 5.11 side pockets and ammo pouches. The rain cover does nothing for the size, or the rifle antenna, but it does totally neutralize the overtly aggressiveness of a tactical backpack.

For smaller daypacks, the same game can be played by simply tying or pinning fabric onto the pack, or even making the pack wear a sweatshirt.  Since the daypack is much like a human’s upper torso (which it’s designed to hug), you can dress it up in human clothes to your heart’s content.  The same is true for your tactical clothing.  Wear your operator threads under loose-fitting street clothes, and when needed just jump into the nearest phone booth and morph back into Superman.

6. One is plenty

The funny thing about redundancy is that it is usually practiced on the easiest and funnest targets like knives, fire starter, and back up iron sightsguns.  While I don’t discount the importance of those three areas for backup, I think some future bug outers are hiding low quality behind claims of redundancy.  I’ll take one good knife, one good flashlight, and one good gun over two or more lesser of any of the above. If you are worried about losing your tool and needing another one, then I suggest being more careful. Save the redundancy for those things that likely will break and create a catastrophic disadvantage. If you want to start a list of redundancies, begin with footwear. Yea, I know. Where’s the fun in that?

7. Don’t plan on bartering

I often read recycled “intel” that stresses the inclusion of barter items in the bug out bag. The problem with this type of thinking is that it wastes valuable space and weight on something for someone you haven’t yet met and who will likely not need it.  Focus on you and your plan, not that of some imaginary future person . And worse, many of the commonly suggested barter items are purely superficial.  Gold?  Silver?  Ammo?

Related: A Real Emergency Fund

Would you trade your food for a box of .303 British cartridges?  How about some pre-1964 quarters for your fish antibiotics?  Or some small yellow fragments that may or may not be gold for your extra warm clothes?  Not this guy.  I’ll engage in barter as needed with what I have at that time.  Most likely it will be for skills over objects, and especially not for those things that require intrinsic and agreed upon value like gold dust.

8. Carry cash in large denominations.

Everywhere I’ve traveled around the world, good old American greenbacks have value. The exchange rate might not be in my favor, Get Out of Dodge Bagbut bills with dead US presidents are always accepted.  Traditional prepper lore is to carry small bills such as fives, tens and twenties.  But the flaw in this wisdom is three-fold.  First, it assumes that reasonable prices will remain active during the bug out.  I sincerely doubt that bottled water will be a buck a pint or a box of 9mm for a single Hamilton will be the norm.

Related: How to Choose an Urban Survival Bag

Instead I’m betting that everything will be $100, or if not my $100 bill will beat your pair of twenties when fighting over that last case of canned soup at the gas station. Expect price gouging by packing enough financial firepower to overcome the competition and also the hesitation of the sellers.  Let the zeros do the talking.

9. Don’t rely on Paracord for much of anything

Handy yes. But only one solution of many you will need.  Paracord is by far the most popular prepper noun that doesn’t involve nitrocellulose or carbon steel. But as far as cordage goes, it’s main benefits are that it’s cheap and colorful.  Paracord was pretty much an afterthought on my outdoor adventure checklist during the first three-fourths of my life. Instead I chose specialized cordage for particular duties.  Thread, string, twine, fishing line, kevlar cord, dynamic rope, static line, one-inch tubular webbing, and so on. In fact about the only thing I use paracord for is to attach tents to anchors, and hanging food bags in trees.  Paracord is the duct tape of rope.  A catch-all solution with no specific job. But today it seems that paracord is the prepper’s dream material and is used with reckless abandon as if its presence alone will ensure survival. Learn your cordage and knots. Then use the proper rope for the job.

10. Do eat jerky

The bug out is an endurance sport so why would you take advice from someone who rarely pushes themselves to any physical limit. Mistakes for bug out bag One piece of faux-wisdom I hear often is to skip certain foods during the bug out, and beef jerky seems to be singled out more often than not.  The folksy wisdom seems to have your best interest at heart, but in reality it misses the point.  Yes, jerky is salty so you will need to drink water.  But you need to drink water anyway and at a level commensurate with the endurance sport you are now playing.  If you avoid jerky because you are delinquent in your hydration needs, the problem is with you, not the jerky.

Also Read: Have You Tested Your Bug Out Bag?

The only way to learn about the demands stressful endurance activity will place on your body is to play around with endurance. So take your nutrition advice from those folks who routinely push themselves in directions that parallel the bug out and pack your bug out bag with those nutritionally dense foods that power our super athletes whether world class bowhunter or marathon runner, Tour de France rider or ocean swimmer. Coffee and donuts might be the preferred pre-mission breakfast of SWAT teams, but don’t count on lasting long in the real world on that diet.

11. Do rely on technology

Of course technology can fail. I’m not stupid. But technology can also give you a massive strategic advantage in terms of speed and Survivalprecision. A compass and a GPS are two completely different items that have a slight bit of overlap. Yet I know plenty of folks who swear the GPS is a disaster waiting to happen while the compass they carry but don’t know how to use will save their life. All a compass does is point north. The rest is knowledge, skill, and geometry. Cell phones are magical when they work and I fully intend on using mine until it stops just as I plan on extracting all possible benefits out of every other electronic device, cable and charger I own. Half of all bug outs will happen at night, and using a compass in the dark is hardly forward thinking.

It might keep you walking in a straight line, but navigationally speaking, you’re screwed unless you have the terrain memorized in which case you don’t really need the compass. Bic lighters are technology as are gas stoves, binoculars, red dot sights, laser rangefinders, night vision, and semi-automatic pistols. And I intend to use all of them to their fullest potential. Sure a failure of my lighter and gun could have me rubbing two sticks together and whittling an atlatl, but, as I like to say, I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.

Blame Game

So there you have it, my eleven and a half bug out mistakes that are not mistakes. I’m not sure this list will make a dent in the information recycling efforts of the average prepper, but it is my survivalist intent to provide a place you can point to when you want to question the popular advice, experience or even motives of the classic prepper.  So steer them towards this article and they can blame me, not you.

SHTFBlog.com T-Shirts Now Available
SHTFBlog-com-T-Shirt_For_Blog

 

 

 

 

 

Support SurvivalCache.com by shopping @ Amazon (Click Here)

Visit Sponsors of SurvivalCache.com

 

 

 

 

 

the_survivalist_podcast

Save

10 Tips For When You Get Lost In the Woods

Click here to view the original post.

Best Bushcraft Survival Tips

In July of 2013 Geraldine Largay was hiking the Appalachian Trail in Maine by herself after her partner had to leave because of a family emergency.  She was 66 years old and had a poor sense of direction and when she went off trail to use the bathroom she got lost and couldn’t find her way back.  She tried to send a text using her cell phone, but there was no signal.  Her remains were found two years later by a surveyor about two miles off the trail.  Her journal is now shedding light on what happened.  You can read her story here.  This is one of those stories that eats me up, because with just a little training it could have been avoided.

By Jarhead Survivor

The Maine Woods

The North Maine woods as seen from Mt Katahdin

The North Maine woods as seen from Mt Katahdin

If you’re wondering how someone could walk a few steps off the trail and get completely lost allow me to offer an explanation. The northern Maine wilderness isn’t like the lovely forests that Thoreau wrote about in Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.  Those woods are thick and dark and beautiful and you must be on your guard because they are unforgiving of mistakes.  The trees grow close together and walking through them can be like pushing through a rack of clothing at a department store where it’s so tight you literally have to put your head down and bull your way through to make progress.  On several occasions I’ve walked through the woods around my house within feet of a trail and never saw it because of how dense the forest can be.

It would be easy to walk a little ways off the trail out of modesty to get out of sight of someone walking the trail behind you and then get turned around.  You start walking in the direction you think the trail was, but you don’t see it.  Second guessing yourself you turn back and walk a ways in the other direction.  At first you’re a little nervous and feeling sheepish that you can’t find the stupid trail, then eventually you start to panic because you know you’ve walked three or four times the distance you walked in and now you know you’re lost.  The trail could be five feet away at this point and it would easy to miss.

I know what it’s like to be in trouble in the area Geraldine was hiking in.  As a matter of fact I broke my ankle on the trail in the 100 Mile Wilderness not too far from where she got lost.  You can read part one and part two of that story if you’re interested.  I too ran into the problem of not having cell phone coverage, but I wasn’t really surprised by this fact as we’d had limited coverage during most of the hike.

So what do you do if you get lost?  Since she had a full pack lets assume that we have food for a few days and full equipment for a long term backpacking trip.  This sets us up pretty good for survival.

Wilderness Survival Tips

Typical forest in Maine.

Typical forest in Maine.

1. STOP!

This is an acronym for Stop, Think, Observe, and Plan.

Stop:  Stop moving.  There’s a good chance that you’re feeling panic right after you first figure out that you’re lost.  The urge is to run and find the trail.  Don’t do it.  Chances are good you’ll get even more lost or hurt yourself as you go flailing through the woods.

Think:  Get your head going.  Let the panic go.  Once you start thinking you can:

Observe:  Look around you.  What can you see or hear?  At this point hopefully you haven’t gone dashing through the woods looking for the trail.  If so you’re probably still within sight or at least hearing distance of it even though you can’t see it.  Take out a whistle and blow it sharply three times or yell every thirty seconds or so.  Keep an eye out for people hiking.  Listen for people hiking.

Plan:  What’s your best course of action?  Do you have a compass with you?  Do you know how to read it? How much food and water do you have?  Do you know where north is?  Do you have a tent and sleeping bag?

2. Don’t trust electronics to save your life

Too many people today enter the wilds of America with the assurance that their cell phone, or GPS, or whatever will save them if they get in trouble.  The truth is that if you trust your life to a piece of gear that runs on a battery or can die if it gets wet, then you are putting yourself in mortal danger without realizing it.  In the woods here in Maine a cell phone signal is a luxury and there are no stores to replace batteries that have died.  Take one with you for sure, but don’t pull it out expecting it to save your life.  That way if it doesn’t work you won’t be disappointed.

3. Know how to use your gear

One of the saddest things about Geraldine’s situation is that she had a compass in her pack, but she didn’t know how to use it.  If she could have spent an hour with me I could have showed her the basics of land navigation and she wouldn’t be dead right now.  If you put a piece of gear in your pack know how to use it.  A compass is not an ornament and when navigating from point to point it can save your life, but you must know how to use it.

4. Always have an emergency azimuth

compass, direction, bearing, azimuth, hiking

Taking a compass bearing or azimuth in the wilderness.

Before going on a hike anywhere, you need to look at a map of the area where you’ll be operating in.  Usually there will be a road, or a river, or some kind of land feature that will act as a handrail for where you’re hiking.  For example, if you’re hiking a trail and there’s a road that parallels the trail five miles to the south, then south is your emergency azimuth.

Related: How To Use An Emergency Azimuth

If you wander off the trail, set 180 degrees on your compass and follow it until you hit the road.  It might be a long five miles bushwhacking through dense forest, but if you follow the azimuth (or direction) you will eventually run into the road.

5. Always know where you are

As you move along the trail make sure you know where you are on the map.  If you cross a stream or river find it on the map and you’ll know exactly where you are.  If you’re hiking east and walk off the trail to your left what direction is that?  If you said north then you’re well on your way to surviving.  Let’s say you walk left (or north) far enough and lose sight of the trail and you want to find it again.  Which direction would you follow on your compass to get back to the trail?  If you said south congratulations, because you’ll find your way back to the trail and instead of it becoming a deadly situation this incident will just be a little blip on your day.

 6. Leave a detailed hiking plan with someone

If there’s any one thing I’m guilty of not doing this is the one.  Quite often I won’t hike a trail, but set out to bushwhack to a new place.  Instead of saying, “I’m going to hike the trail up Ragged Mountain,” I’m more likely to say, “I’m going to follow an azimuth of 277 degrees magnetic until I get to the rockfall at the base of the mountain, then I’m going to hike 256 degrees to summit,” if I say anything at all.  I pledge to be better in the future about leaving a detailed hiking plan with my wife before heading out.  Either way, at least make sure someone has an idea of what general area you’ll be, because if you get hurt or lost they’ll have no idea where you are.

7. If you’re lost, make camp

winter camping

Jarhead Survivor on a winter campout.

This will prevent you from becoming even more lost.  Geraldine was two miles off the trail, but in those woods it might as well have been 200.  As soon as you figure out you’re lost, stop moving.  Set up your tent and make yourself comfortable.

8. Signal

Start a fire in a clearing.  Start it using dry wood then add leaves or green wood or whatever you can to make it smoke.  The more smoke the better.  Use a whistle to blow three sharp blasts from time to time.  The louder the better.  If you have a mirror use it signal aircraft that might be looking for you.  Set up a bright colored poncho or one of those reflective emergency blankets in a clearing.  Anything you can do to draw attention to yourself is good.

9. Remember the Survival Rule of 3′s

You can survive:
3 minutes without air
3 hours without shelter
3 days without water
3 weeks without food

These aren’t actual rules of course, but guidelines to help you organize your activities should you get lost.  Thus, shelter is more important than food using this model.  If you have a tent and sleeping bag, then you can move quickly along the priority list to water.  Once you have a water source then you can start thinking about food.

10.  Evaluate your situation and make a decision based on your facts. camp fire pit

If after three days I haven’t been found or haven’t seen any sign of activity like a helicopter circling around looking I will probably try and self rescue, but that’s based on the fact that I’ve done a lot of wilderness survival, land navigation, backwoods hiking and camping, and have tons of experience.  If you’re from the city and all you have is a couple of classes and a few hikes along well beaten trails under your belt, then you might want to sit tight.  Carefully evaluate your situation.  Ask yourself, “Does anybody know where I’m hiking?”  If the answer is yes then you might want to stay put.

If the answer is no, then perhaps you’ll want to start moving.  It’s hard to give a definitive answer because everybody’s situation is different.  I probably would have advised Geraldine to sit tight because her husband had a good idea of where she was hiking and he would be able to alert the authorities to her general area.  Unfortunately, she moved further off the trail looking for a cell phone signal and made it impossible for rescuers to find her.

Also Read: Maine Primitive Skills School Review

Each survival situation is different.  The actual key here is to be as prepared as possible for any situation while out hiking.  Other tips might be don’t hike alone if you’re a novice, carry a good first aid kit, and on and on.  There are many things you need to take into consideration when going on a hike like the Appalachian trail and the more research you do and the more experience you gain the better off you’re going to be.  I’ll leave you with this advice.  Even though I’ve said it before it’s worth saying again:  learn how to read a map and compass and if you put something in your pack know how to use it.  It could save your life.

Questions?  Comments?
Sound off below!
-Jarhead Survivor

SHTFBlog.com T-Shirts Now Available
SHTFBlog-com-T-Shirt_For_Blog

 

 

 

 

 

Support SurvivalCache.com by shopping @ Amazon (Click Here)

Visit Sponsors of SurvivalCache.com

 

 

 

 

 

the_survivalist_podcast

Implementing A Secondary Survival Cache

Click here to view the original post.

How to bury a survival cache

Is there a compelling reason to justify selecting, creating, and stocking a back up supply hide?  This is a subject I have spent Best Survival Cacheconsiderable time researching over the past several months.  My conclusions are not hard and fast, because I realize first and foremost that every member of the Survival Cache family has different survival prep priorities, goals and objectives.  Creating another survival cache of goods is not for every prepper.  And don’t be confused by my use of the terms secondary or intermediate, because I mean them to be interchangeable.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Why Create Other Cache Hides?

Here’s the scenario.  You work downtown in a medium or large city.  The commute is several miles from home and it takes up to an Best Way To Make A Survival Cachehour depending on the traffic congestion to get to your office or work site.  Your wife and kids work and go to school in the opposite direction.  By noon there is a report of severe weather coming in.  A glance out your office window reveals dark, ominous clouds rolling in your direction.  It is obvious the winds are picking up and it starts raining.  What do you do?

You call your wife and tell her to gather the kids and head to your predetermined secure Bug Out location, which is a rural farmhouse built to withstand nasty storms.  When you finally negotiate the traffic and arrive at your Bug Out locale, what have you done to prepare at that site for an extended stay?  Did you cache out the site?

Related: Monovault Burial Vault Review

Scenario No.2 is different.  You live downwind only 40 miles from a chemical plant that has experienced a melt down.  You have been ordered to evacuate your home and you have zero time to pack anything.  The whole thing catches you off guard.  You gather your family, jump in the SUV and speed down the driveway praying you can find a motel somewhere down the highway in the safe zone.  The nearest town is another fifty miles down the road.  Perhaps you wish you had stashed a cache of supplies somewhere else away from your home just in case?  Maybe just a hidden plastic sealed vault with some emergency food, water, medicine, and some other supplies to carry you over.

Obviously we could create an endless number of “what if” SHTF scenarios in which the creation of a secondary supply cache would have proven extremely beneficial.  Questions arise about where, what, how much, how long, and such.  It seems as though some of these questions could prove quite problematic to having a secondary cache.  I guess the question will always remain just how practical it would be to build out a secondary supply hide.  For me, the tough issue would be setting aside critical supplies in a potentially vicarious location where expensive goods might deteriorate over time or be discovered by somebody else or even be gone when I needed it.

Some would say to cache out at a distant family or friend location where it would be secured.  Others advocate the extreme of burying it somewhere in the wilds hoping it will endure the natural elements.  All questions worthy of poised thought and planning.  But for the sake of consideration for proper prepper planning, let’s consider the possibilities.

The Cache Bag

Perhaps this could be considered nitpicking, but what if we created a smaller version of a Bug Out Bag that contained perhaps Best Way to Store Guns Undergroundsome of the same stuff, but in smaller emergency type quantities that we could cache in one or more locations for “on the run” situations.  This would be an intermediate grab and go bag on our way to a more permanent Bug Out location.

It is not to be kept at your fixed home living domicile, though I suppose it could be in the car trunk or in the back of the SUV.  The idea though is for it to be hidden out at an in between location from Home A and Bug Out Location C.  The Cache Bag is posted at Site B.  The location could be a friend’s garage, a known business location such as a warehouse of an associate, or the upstairs closet of an aunt somewhere along the travel route.  There could be multiple Cache Bags hidden at alternate routes all eventually leading to your final Bug Out hold out.

These supplies are meant to sustain you until you reach your final pre-planned destination during the SHTF.  This would differ from larger Bug Out Bags that would be intended for an extended starter supply bag once you traveled direct from your home or office to the Bug Out site.  This Bug Out Bag would be kept at home or in the vehicle if secure.  The Cache Bag idea is also not a substitute for well supplying your final Bug Out locale in advance.  I realize this is taking a fine line, but one principle of prepping is to remain flexible and to consider multiple options.  Frankly, we’ll never really know what options we have until we’re in the middle of it hitting the fan.

Packing a Cloaked Hideout Cache

One has to realize in this day and age that we could be displaced from our homes sometimes on very short notice as a result of any How to bury a survival cachenumber of circumstances such as the examples opening this treatise.  If we are away from our primary residence at that time, then we may realistically not have time to gather supplies or essentials for our evacuation or escape.  We may need gear, supplies and equipment hidden elsewhere either before we can get to our Bug Out site or as an alternative to that Bug Out site.

Such a cache is meant to be hidden long term and retrieved in the event of a SHTF.  As mentioned above there could be many options for hideout places.  You have to pick ones you are secure about and comfortable with.  What sort of goods should we plan to pack into a hideout cache?

Also Read: If You Only Have 4 Pieces of Gear

The list should be kept short, concise, and focused on essential needs.  One list might include some clothing items geared toward seasonal weather, everyday use toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, a comb or brush, wet wipes, washcloth, small towel, some cash and coins, perhaps some candy, energy bars, and some water.  Consider a shelter top, tarp or heavy duty plastic leaf sacks.  Other items worthy of consideration to cache based on an assumption that your evacuation might be due to a natural disaster that could have possibly destroyed your home, neighborhood, or town and thus you could suffer the loss of critical items like important documents.

You might want to strongly consider copies of credit cards, essential keys such as duplicates for your vehicles and house, insurance papers, social security cards, banking information and account numbers, and critical personal files you might wish to copy onto a flash drive.  Any other personal important items as well perhaps birth certificates, legal papers, your will, home mortgage information and titles to your house and cars.  Pack a supply of any required medications and perhaps some over the counter items such as aspirin, Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, antacids, and any other items you may normally use on a regular basis.

All of these items could be cached securely in a 58-gallon molded survival barrel with a waterproof screw on top.  These containers are available from many sources and could be buried or just well hidden.  There are many other products out there as well to be used for caching supplies, gear, and goods for a long term storage plan.

Maybe What Not to Cache

Personally I am a bit squeamish about packing weaponry and ammo in an intermediate hideout cache.  I want that kind of gear Best Survival Cachewith me the entire time.  A few extra boxes of ammo maybe, but I’m not putting an AR or a pistol in a ground vault.  You may decide otherwise.  Check shelf life on food products you cache.  A number of MRE meal packs would be good and expected to last a while.  Store bought granola or energy bars may not last that long.  A few bags of purpose-driven survival food would work.  Again the idea (hopefully) is for this secondary cache to just tide you over in route.  You decide how many days of rations and supplies you want to hide out.

It is reasonable to consider that any SHTF escape plan could be interrupted, altered, compromised, or become a dead-end effort.  You may have initially worked out a plan to get from Home A to the final Bug Out site C in two days.  What if the roads are blocked, gangs or zombies are controlling or raiding points of exit.  It might take you to alternative routes and a much longer protracted scenario to reach safe haven.

Start setting seconds of gear, goods and supplies aside to build out your Cache Bag.  Keep focused on the idea that this is not your final destination so it is not imperative to put your best stuff in a secondary hideout location.  Save the best stuff for your more permanent Bug Out site.

I hope you guys can think of a cajillion (that’s more than a million!!) other things to put into a secondary cache.  We are counting on your thoughts to supplement ours.  Use our comments section to post your ideas and suggestions.  We are all in this together so please share your lists.

Photos By:
John Kercher

SHTFBlog.com T-Shirts Now Available
SHTFBlog-com-T-Shirt_For_Blog

 

 

 

 

 

Support SurvivalCache.com by shopping @ Amazon (Click Here)

Visit Sponsors of SurvivalCache.com

 

 

 

 

 

the_survivalist_podcast

13 SHTF Tips For City Dwellers

Click here to view the original post.

Best Urban Survival Tricks

13 SHTF Tips For City DwellersMost of you reading this are urban or city dwellers.  Stay with me for a minute while I set the stage.  Roughly 80% of the U.S. population is urban.  What exactly does urban mean though?  According to Wikipedia:  “An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to the areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.” 

By Jarhead Survivor

This confused me a little until I thought about it.  I was expecting urban to mean the city, but here’s what Wikipedia had to say about that: “A metropolitan area, sometimes referred to as a metro area or metro, is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing.[1] A metropolitan area usually comprises multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships, cities, exurbs, counties, districts, and even states. As social, economic and political institutions have changed, metropolitan areas have become key economic and political regions.[2] Metropolitan areas include one or more urban areas, as well as satellite cities, towns and intervening rural areas that are socio-economically tied to the urban core, typically measured by commuting patterns.[3]

I live on the outskirts of a small town in Maine, so I live in a rural area: “In general, a rural area is a geographic area that is located outside cities and towns.[1] The Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines the word “rural” as encompassing “…all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area. Whatever is not urban is considered rural.”[2]  Typical rural areas have a low population density and small settlements. Agricultural areas are commonly rural, though so are others such as forests. Different countries have varying definitions of “rural” for statistical and administrative purposes.”

Still with me so far?  – More from Wikipedia “In the United States, there are two categories of urban area. The term urbanized area denotes an urban area of 50,000 or more people. Urban areas under 50,000 people are called urban clusters. Urbanized areas were first delineated in the United States in the 1950 census, while urban clusters were added in the 2000 census. There are 1,371 urban areas and urban clusters with more than 10,000 people.

Alright, alright already.  What does all of this actually mean?  Well, statistically speaking if you’re reading this there’s a good chance that you live in an urban or metro area,but what’s more important is how does this affect you?  Lets talk about some of the things that might happen during a breakdown of social services or a power outage.

What Will Happen In An Urban Area When TSHTF?

The first thing we all know is that if there’s a disaster of some kind and food deliveries can’t  make it into town the citizens have Best Urban Survival Planmere days before the shelves are cleared out.  A few years ago a water leak in Weston, Massachusetts caused 2 million citizens a lot of concern.  People were lined up for blocks to get bottled water.   They had electricity and running water – they simply had to boil it –  and there were still fist fights because people just weren’t prepared to spend a couple of days without clean water!  Imagine this same scenario, but on a much grander scale.  All of NYC for example, or maybe LA, or even a couple of states.  What kind of chaos do you think would ensue if a large city wasn’t able to feed its population or provide them with water?

Most people think that if something like this happened the government would take care of them in some way.  A friend of mine has a wife who works with the Maine Emergency Management Agency and I asked him what she thought would happen if we lost electricity in the entire state of Maine.  I wondered what kind of plan was in place for such an event.  He went home and asked her and she told him, “We don’t have a plan for anything of that magnitude.”  Her statement scared me.  Here in Maine we’re a pretty rugged bunch.  Many of us live in the country, we have wood stoves, are prepared for power outages from blizzards, etc, but I have a feeling that the more prepared among us wouldn’t last more than two weeks without starting to get desperate and many living in and around the cities up here much less than that.

There have been several large scale ice storms here in Maine over the years and during one of the last storms people were literally threatening line crews with guns to come over to their houses and get the power turned back on!  After just a week without electricity people had reached the stage where they couldn’t stand to be without it.

In Ted Koppel’sLight’s Out” he discusses what may happen if cyber terrorists knock out the grid leaving areas the size of states or Lights-Out-A-Cyberattack-A-Nation-Unprepared-Surviving-the-Aftermath-Survivaleven larger without electricity for weeks or even months or years at a time.  He paints a grim picture many of you are familiar with:  the power goes out and people switch to batteries and candles for light until they too run out. Their cell phones soon die and with no way to recharge them people who are used to communicating solely by smartphone are no longer plugged into the ‘net.  Food and water are soon gone from the supermarkets and city dwellers used to ordering out or grabbing something to eat on the way home are suddenly hungry.  Refrigeration goes and within a few days food is rotting in freezers and refrigerators.  A few people have generators, but this kind of electricity is dependent on gasoline and many gas stations don’t have generators to operate their pumps.  People dependent on drugs that require refrigeration or ventilators to stay alive start to die.  Commuters are trapped in elevators, tunnels, and as soon as they can’t fill up their vehicles there are vehicles running out of gas and leaving their cars or trucks wherever they stop.

Let me help put this in perspective.  Have you ever hosted a cookout or family meal for some friends and family?  My wife and I love to host parties here at my house a few times a year.  The first time we had a cookout she went out she bought a ton of food.  She also had some of the wives bring items like potato salad, chips, etc.  I stood at my grill flipping burgers, hotdogs, chicken, and kielbasa thinking there was no way that twenty or so adults and twenty plus kids were ever going to eat that much food.  Within an hour it was almost all gone.  That was just one party with a relatively small group of people.

Now imagine this on a large scale.  Try to imagine thousands of people milling around waiting for food to be air dropped or doled out by the government.  Or millions of hungry people scouring the city looking for food.  Would you stand a chance in that dog-eat-dog environment?  Are you elderly?  A pacifist?  Not physically fit enough to walk a few blocks?  Physically disabled without someone to care for you?  If so you’d better have something to bring to the table because it’s going to get very ugly out there.

Don’t Be A Refugee

Honey, it don’t make no difference to me baby
Everybody’s had to fight to be free
You see you don’t have to live like a refugee (don’t have to live like a refugee)

Tom Petty

The last thing I’d want for my family is to be dependent on the government for the basic necessities of life.  Can you imagine what a refugee camp would look like made up of your neighbors?  Can you imagine what it would look like if the government was able to make a food delivery and sent a convoy of military vehicles into the middle of your city to dole out bags of rice, bottled water, and MRE’s to those lucky enough to be at the front of the line?  What if you weren’t one of the lucky ones to get food?  Would you be able to live long without it?  What if you did get food?  Are you strong enough to protect it from others who are just as desperate and want to take it from you?  Don’t think it would happen here in the United States?  Don’t forget the Weston, Mass. example above where there was fighting over bottled water that flew off the shelves when people already had water.  Again, they just needed to boil it.

According to some, cities would be the origin of the “golden horde.”  Once people figure out they won’t be able to survive there Urban Survival Planthey’ll head out into the country like a swarm of locusts, consuming as they go.  Whether or not that’s true is hard to predict and I suspect depends on the nature of the SHTF event.  If there’s a panic situation such as a fast moving pandemic and people are leaving ill prepared then this might be a viable scenario.  A long term power outage like the one Ted Koppel predicts could also trigger such a migration.

Many people operate under the delusion that they’d  bug-out to the woods and live off the land for until it all blows over.  With 80% of the people living in urban areas how many do you think have actual wilderness survival skills?  I’m pretty good in the woods.  I spend a lot of time there and I’ve done my share of camping, backwoods camping, hiking, mountaineering, survival training, etc, and I don’t think I could last more than a few weeks  – maybe a month, (comfortably) – without a source of food out there.  I’m guessing that people with no wilderness survival skills would last a lot less than that.  If they take off into the woods on a mass bug-out chances are you’ve got a few days until things get really uncomfortable.

So How Do I Survive?

There are multiple strategies you can and should leverage in order to survive.  Here are a few guidelines to get you started:

1.  If you’re a city dweller living in a small apartment your best bet is to have a bug-out location in mind.  A relative or friend’s place outside the city would be ideal.  It should be easy to get to and you need to have a plan in place on how to get there and when to leave.  Don’t wait for the riots and people walking the streets with guns before deciding to bug-out.  Instead, when you see trouble start to brew take a few days “vacation” from work and head out of the city to your bug-out location.  You might think you can’t do this due to your work or life situation; however, if this is something you are truly committed to you can make it happen.

2.  Put together a bug-out bag or Urban Survival Bag for you and your family members.  Test the gear and your ability to use it by going on a camping trip with only what you have in the bag.  I’ll say it again:  Test your gear!

3.  Form a survival group.  There is power in numbers.  Find other like minded individuals and form a plan on where to meet, what to do, when to leave, and whatever else you think needs to be planned out.

4.  Stock up on food, water, and weapons.  Check out the Church of Latter Day Saints food calculator to give yourself a head start.  It’s a basic looking calculator that gives an eye opening answer. Learn how to hunt, grow food and purify water.

lds calculator

Click the image to see an example of the LDS food calculator

5.  Get yourself physically fit.  You might have to walk out of the metro or urban area you’re in.  Are you ready for that?  Do an honest self assessment and if you find yourself lacking get to work!

6.  Stock up on first aid supplies, batteries and candles, flashlights, lanterns and lamp oil or kerosene lamps and fuel  for short term events.

7.  Take a comprehensive first aid class.  Get a book called, “Where There Is No Doctor,” and read it.  It’s good.

8.  Don’t be an armchair prepper.  Really get out there and start preparing if you’re serious.  Have you ever watched a cat when it was stalking a mouse or some other prey?  It’s got laser like focus and intensity.  That’s how you have to be when you do this if you want to get up to speed quickly.

lds outpt

Click the image to see an example of how much food four people should store

9.  Stay away from drugs and alcohol.  This is the time you need to be sharp and focused.  If you lose your edge you could lose your life.

10.  Educate yourself.  Read blogs like this one, read books, listen to podcasts, watch Youtube videos.  There are literally a million ways to learn how to prep.  Jump on Google and find the best way to prep given your circumstances.

11.  Find alternative ways to create electricity, heat your home, and obtain food.

12.  All your preps will run out eventually.  Some sooner rather than later.  Be prepared for it.

13.  Expect the unexpected.  Any plan sounds great until it hits the fan.  Be flexible because when “the event” goes down you won’t be ready for it.  Be ready to improvise.

City Living SHTF Exercise

I know that many of you like living in the city.  A few years ago I worked in New York City as a consultant from time to time and Survival Planheard people talk about how much they loved it.  What I also saw was a bunch of people living on top of each other with no survival skills other than those fit for the concrete jungle.  The next time you’re in the middle of downtown, City Dweller, I want you to pause for a few minutes and run yourself through the following scenario:

At noon time look around and imagine that suddenly the power goes out.  Everywhere.  Your cell phones will probably work for a little while, but most of the major news outlets are down.  Traffic has come to a halt because there’s no lights to govern the million cars in the congested downtown area.  Where are you?  Heading out for lunch?  On a train or subway?  An elevator?  Still in the office?  Who’s with you?  What’s around you?  Could you get home if you had to given the current circumstances?  Can you get something to eat or drink?  Do you have cash on you?  Are you wearing comfortable walking shoes or those $200 dress shoes that look sharp, but hurt like hell after walking a mile or two?  Do you have family somewhere you need to meet up with?  Do you have a plan set up with them to meet you somewhere in case communications are down?  Are you worried about crime in your area?  Guess what… the cops are going to be too busy to help out with a small time mugging.  Are you alert to everything going on around you?

Ok, really run it through your mind as a mental exercise.  Think of all the things that you could do to get home, or get out of town, or meet up with your family members.  Look at the people around you and imagine how they’d be acting.

Questions?  Comments?
Sound off below!
-Jarhead Survivor

Photos By:
KGorkem

 

SHTFBlog.com T-Shirts Now Available
SHTFBlog-com-T-Shirt_For_Blog

 

 

 

 

 

Support SurvivalCache.com by shopping @ Amazon (Click Here)

Visit Sponsors of SurvivalCache.com

 

 

 

 

 

the_survivalist_podcast

4 Things To Consider When Bugging Out

Click here to view the original post.

Bug Out Vehicles

The sh*t just hit the fan.  Things have gone from bad to worse and you and your family are in the affected area.  Now what?  Whether you are a seasoned prepper or just beginning on the journey down the road to preparedness, there may come a time when you will have Best bug Out vehicleto make the decision whether to bug in or hit the road to a safer location with your family.  When that time comes, here are the first four things to consider before you start bugging out by vehicle:  Which vehicle should I take?  What should I take with me?  Where am I headed?  What will be the safest route to take?

By Chuck Savage, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

1. Which Vehicle Do I Take?

For those of us who don’t own a Hummer, the decision may be a little harder.  Things to consider in an escape vehicle are ground Best Bug Out Vehicleclearance, four wheel drive or not, load capacity, fuel consumption and toughness.  Even if you plan on bugging in during an emergency, not having a backup plan complete with a remote location that is well supplied could prove fatal.  Case in point and mentioned often is when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.  Thousands of people hit the roads to evacuate and many had no idea of where they were headed.

This lack of planning led to panic and indecision that only made matters worse. Horror stories of people stranded on overpasses and people being attacked at rest stops filled the news. Many people waited until it was too late to leave and perished as a result of poor or no planning.  So, what vehicle will you take?  I would take the vehicle that I feel is the safest for me and my family. In my case, we have a GMC Envoy 4WD.  It is not the toughest vehicle but it is better than our Kia Spectra. This GMC gives me a fair load capacity and the option of better traction if needed. I always keep at least three quarters of a tank of fuel in my vehicle at all times and make sure my oil, fluids and tire pressure are good.

Also Read: The Katrina Rifle

Having 4WD is a nice option but don’t let 4WD give you a false sense of security.  My wife and I learned this a few weeks ago while checking a new clear cut on our leased property in our Jeep Liberty 4WD.  I had driven on these roads before but the logging activity had damaged the roads badly.  I hit a soft spot, came to a stop and sank.  I confidently shifted into 4 wheel low range and tried to drive out but with no luck and sank deeper.  I rocked the vehicle back and forth but sank deeper.  So deep, that I would not be able to get it out.  I am confessing this to try and help you avoid my same mistakes.

Things in my Jeep:
1.    A ranch jack: Can be used to lift the front or rear onto stable ground.
2.    Straps or chains: Can be used with a jack or come along.
3.    Folding shovel: Dig around the tires to improve traction
4.    Ratchet straps: Can be used to strap a board or tree limb for self rescue.
5.    Snow chains: Can be used in snow, ice or mud to improve traction.
6.    A hand operated come along: Able to wench the vehicle out.
7.    A tool kit: For small repairs.
8.    Leather gloves
9.    Extra towels
10.  Hatchet or hand axe

These are just a few of the most important things needed in a bug out vehicle to be able to self rescue.  Unfortunately my story didn’t end like a fairy tale. I had to hike out to civilization and find someone with a 4WD tractor to pull me out. My wife, (not in the best of moods by now, had to wait in the submerged jeep for me to make it back with help).

2. What Do I Take With Me?

Decide that now and not when you find yourself having to haul butt. My wife and I found ourselves with about ten minutes to best bug out vehiclemake that decision while living in Durango, Colorado.   The Missionary Ridge fire had changed directions within minutes and we had to load our vehicle and leave the rest behind. We didn’t have time to deliberate on what was important. We just grabbed the CPU to our computer, a few clothes, water, dog food, people food, sleeping bags and a tarp for a shelter.  As we left our drive way, I remember thinking that it may be the last time I would see our home and the things we had to leave behind.

Related: 7 Reasons to Have Money In Your Bug Out Bag

One thing that I learned from living in Colorado was to always keep emergency supplies in our vehicle at all times.  The weather in the Rockies is constantly changing and can be very unpredictable.  I have seen it snow in August, rain anytime and hail in midsummer.  Temperature swings from hot to freezing in a matter of hours. We are seeing more of these extreme weather patterns throughout the United States so be prepared.

My list includes the following:
1.    Two blankets (wool if possible).
2.    Drinking water (can be used for water for the vehicle if needed).
3.    Food bars
4.    Fire starter
5.    Emergency shelter
6.    Small stove with fuel
7.    Flash light with extra batteries
8.    Multi tool
9.    First Aid Kit
10.    Cell Phone and charger

I did have most of these items when we got stuck and my ever present firearm with extra ammunition. Fortunately I was close enough to hike out for help but I might not be able to the next time. I learned a lesson to never leave these items at home or base camp again.  Now I keep a loaded box with what I need in my garage. Everything we need is prepped and ready to load at a moment’s notice. My advice to everyone is to take the time to do this now, not at the last minute when you are under intense pressure. You will be glad you did.  I know that I have forgotten some things not listed above but you get the idea. If you have to leave, you don’t know what you will be facing or when you may be back.

Related: A Campground As A Bug Out Location?

If you take the time now when not under pressure, you will be less likely to forget the things you will need. So please, think it through and put your plan together now. Don’t put it off and become a victim or a statistic we read or hear about on the news.

3. Where Am I Headed?

My family is fortunate to have some leased land that we can use as a safe place to bug out. It has all of the resources that we Survivalwould need to survive in an emergency. We store some things there on site to help us from having to carry too much with us.  Every evacuation plan should have a well thought out destination. If you don’t have a land lease, maybe you should consider State or National forests. The down side to this would be having to share space and resources with other people you may not know and can trust.

Also Read: The Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle

Another safe place may be with relatives or friends who live in safer more desirable location to weather out emergencies.  It is good to consider the resources you need to survive and for the location to be defensible against undesirables. In emergencies, you will not want to have to depend on protection from the government.  Law enforcement and rescue/EMT personnel will be stretched thin so learn to meet your own needs.

4. What Will Be The Safest Route To Take?

Getting to the bug out location is the last consideration.  Evacuation routes are going to be packed.  For people who don’t know Best SHTF vehiclethe back roads, they will all follow the signs and before long the roads will become blocked.  I have planned two alternate routes to our bug out location and there are even more if I need them.  Study your routes for safety issues like areas that may flood during storms.

Also Read: Raid Routes

The news reminds us of the many people who drown each year because of trying to drive through flooded roads.  I plan to avoid Interstates because everyone else will be using them. Avoid stopping at rest stops or crowed public places as these can be a point of ambush for people who want to steal or do harm.  Unfortunately we live in a crazy world and it’s harder to know who you can trust. So, don’t let your guard down! Always be alert, have your head on a swivel and be ready to defend yourself at all times.  Hopefully this info will help you as you plan your bug out strategy. Get prepared now. Then if and when the time comes you will be ready.

Photos By:
Chuck Savage
Pixabay.com

Support SHTFBlog.com by shopping @ Amazon (Click Here)

Visit Sponsors of SHTFBlog.com

The Fear Factor

Click here to view the original post.

shtf

Fear….. It is the number one item that everyone forgets to prepare for in cases of survival, emergency situations and personal doomsday preppersprotection.  Yes, you may have your Get Home Bag, your Bug out Bag, your SHTF location and your weapon. But did you prepare to deal with FEAR? Most likely NOT.   Unless you can manage fear, you have an exceedingly high probably of not surviving. Fear strikes fast, it produces sometimes uncontrollable responses; it distracts your from what is really going on and significantly inhibits your ability to make the correct decisions.

By Dan C, a contributing author of SHTFBlog.com & Survival Cache

Acting out of fear can get you into more trouble than the situation you are already in. Fear comes in many forms and levels. The simplest might be fear of insects, spiders and snakes, more intense fear might the instilled fear of heights, public speaking, the unknown, and extreme fear might be the fear of death, injury or pain. The most intense form of fear can completely incapacitate a person. Even though each level of fear elicits a primal reaction, each person will have a different response based on their experiences.

To enhance your likelihood of survival or functioning during a bad event, you must learn how to control your fear. It is not easy and requires significant training and practice to master the process.  But it should equally as important as any part of your planning process such as, packing your Get Home Bag, practicing personal protection shooting and being physically fit.

As part of evolution the human brain has developed a very sophisticated means of dealing with fear to enable us to survive. In doomsday preppersmost cases, fear is primal in function and activates our bodies to take the “fight or flight” posture and response.  There are many respected people that believe premonition is also a fear response.  That your body can feel or anticipate something bad, thus making you feel uncomfortable and having the desire to feel like you need to be on alert.  Whether real or perceived, in each of these cases, your body is responding to what it perceives as a threat and your fear response has been activated.

When something instantly scares you, it is easy have a primordial response and over react, respond quickly without thinking and immediately go into a defensive mode. Anyone one of these three primal responses could save your life on the other hand any one of these three responses could injury or kill you too.

Some of the devastating effects of fear are hesitation, confusion and chaos.  When those are the first responses to a fearful event, you are at a disadvantage. Even worst these factors can interfere with your ability to analyze the situation, thus it will take longer than normal to regain your thoughts, situational awareness and figure out what is happening. In the interim, you or someone else may become of victim of the circumstance because of your delay in properly responding to the threat.

Also Read: Situational Awareness, A Skill You Need

Let’s explore how fear is managed by the body. In general, fear is managed and dealt with totally in the brain. Several key parts of the brain deal with fear and activate the body’s various responses. One part of your brain, the amygdala sends out the signals for an immediate response, while the frontal cortex of the brain is trying to determine what is happening and analyze the response. To overcome an inappropriate responses to a fearful event and increase the speed in which you correctly respond. You must learn how to control and sometimes override some of these cerebral functions.

The brain takes two kinds of actions when confronted with fear.  The amygdala reacts fast and initiates the primal response of fight or flight.  The frontal cortex follows with questions such as “what just happened?”, “what should I do?”, “what will happen if I do something?” Overcoming the controlling power of the amygdala and rationalizing the questions of the frontal cortex requires considerable training and practice.

To be in control during a fearful event you must learn how to control these two separate parts of the brain.  The military completely understands the role fear plays in being able to perform your assigned functions during a scary and stressful event. So they go to great lengths to determine one’s ability to manage fear.  One of the biggest fears of a human being is the inability to breathe.  If you have ever choked on anything, you know the experience. You freak out and you go into panic mode immediately.

Based on that fear, during BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition School) the Navy Seal program conducts several drills to test the Top Survival Blogstudents’ ability to manage fear. Several of these tests are conducted underwater in very stressful conditions. One such test requires the recruits to bob from the bottom of the pool to the top of the pool while their hands and feet are bound.  Thus, they need to rise to the top of the pool take a quick deep breathe, then slowly sink to the bottom of the pool while holding their breath and keeping their body under control. Then once at the bottom of the pool use their legs to propel them upward toward the top to take another breath.

In another drill, the recruits kneel on the bottom of the pool with all their dive gear in place, mask, tanks and fins.  Then instructors swim to the recruit and pull all their equipment off, turn off their tanks, tangle up their equipment, rough house the student.  After a predetermined amount of time they leave the student and the student must untangle the equipment, turn on the tanks, and put all the equipment back on.

These are incredibly stressful and fear inducing events.  Thus, to survive these events and demonstrate you have the ability to control your fear, play a significant role in moving to the next stage of the SEAL training program.  If you cannot control your fear in these situations it is highly unlikely you will not be able to do so in far more complex and uncontrolled environments.

Related: First Aid Training – An Essential Survival Skill

Now, what the SEAL programs does is an extreme method of training.  It is not something you should try.  But if you do not practice at your respective level, then when a fearful experience occurs to you, you will most likely not be able to deal with the situation in a timely and effective manner.

So how do you prepare to address fear and make sure that it does not interfere with your ability to address an adverse event? I recommend six ways to prepare yourself for a fearful event.  The scope of this article is going to focus on managing fear in a personal protection or survival situation. You can use the same tools to combat other types of fear.

Training

Training is the most important aspect of dealing with fear.  If you do not obtain good training, then you will not know the correct technique to use in dealing with a fearful situation and your self confidence will be compromised.  One of the key factors in dealing with fear is having the confidence that you can overcome the fear and deal with the situation.  Knowledge decreases fear by increasing your ability to understand a situation and address it. So whether it is a survival course, a firearms course or a self defense course you need to take training.  One key tip about training courses is that you must choose good ones. There are lots of training programs, in particular firearms courses, that are taught by individuals that do not the experience or expertise to teach these courses.  No matter what course you take be sure to ask about the instructor’s qualifications and experience. So your valuable money and time is put to good use and you GET something out of the course.

Practice

Once you have received training you must practice, practice, and practice.  Muscle memory and mental memory are two key shtf survivalfactors in the immediate response to a fearful situation.  Muscle memory and mental memory are very similar. They are responses that are basically pre-programmed into your muscles and brain as the result of repetitive training. You have practiced them so many times that your response requires little to no thought.

Practicing enables you to control the primal response generated by the amygdala and perform a well practiced action with limited interference from the amygdala.  This is where muscle and mental memory come into play and become major assets.  Practice also plays a major role in helping you control the frontal cortex, the part of the brain that is going question your actions.  For example, “What if they think I am the bad guy?” ”What if I get beat up?” ”What if I get hurt?”  Practicing helps you override those questions because you know what you are going to do, you have practiced it, and you are confident in your ability to do what needs to be done, eliminating any hesitation in your response to the bad situation.

The next four tools that help you manage and deal with fear is used by Navy SEALS. Naturally, there are other methods, but the SEALS have gone to great lengths to understand fear and develop techniques to manage it.

Goal Setting

One of the main keys of survival and dealing a fearful situation is to remain focused.  This means you must control the frontal cortex of your brain, which is going question everything you do and constantly keep coming up with other ideas.  So to survive and succeed you must focus your full attention on the situation at hand.  For example, if it is an instant event such as a robbery. Then you must immediately focus on personal protection, subduing the adversary, and getting to safety. If it is a survival situation, it might mean you must focus on finding shelter, starting a fire or to get your bearings.  By creating short term goals for yourself, you keep your mind busy and occupied with tasks that are essential to the immediate time frame and self preservation.  Thus, keeping you from getting distracted with thoughts that might induce greater fear and resulting in you becoming unfocused and distracted, causing you to fail.

Mental Rehearsal

Mental Rehearsal and visualization are one in the same.  They both involve the same techniques and they both are invaluable in preparing to deal with a fearful event.  Both require a tremendous amount of mental focus and preparedness.  This technique requires you to think through any scary event you may encounter and prepare yourself mentally for dealing with the situation. This requires you to really focus on the task at hand and really consider all the options that might occur as part of completing the tasks. Equally important you want to see yourself finishing the tasks. You cannot do this just once and think you got it.  You need to practice this very frequently to master it.

For example, you may be scared of elevators and heights, as I am. But you know you have a meeting on the 19th floor and it is a glass elevator. So you first think through the process as no big deal, I can handle this. Then you plan your ride. I am going to get in, stand near the door and not look at the panel indicating the floors as we go up. I will do my best to have a conversation while going up and focus on the person I am talking to. When to doors open I will be polite and let everyone else out first. You should think about this event several times and in each case consider different things might happen. Such as, What if I am the elevator alone? What if there person in the elevator does not want to talk? What if the elevator stops on a floor before mine? By using this technique you keep your mind focused, instill confidence in yourself and you create a sense of I have done this before and you have a plan of action.

Self Talk

This is a powerful tool. As you read earlier in this article maintaining focus is essential to survival and dealing with fear. This is a concealed carry trainingconstant task; keep your frontal cortex from going wild with thoughts, so you can maintain your focus. Self talk is a tool you can use, before a fearful event, during it and after it. Here are examples of each situation. In the time before an event can use self talk to increase your confidence, see your way through the event and mentally prepare for the event. For example, you have to walk down a dark alleyway that you know is in a high crime area. So you start by saying, I know I can do this. All I need to do is stay focused and be prepared. If this happens I am going to do this. This is easy; I am just going to watch all around me as I walk. During the event, you may use self talk to prepare for you next move. Such as, if confronted you may think to yourself, if he does this I am going to do that. During a longer survival type situation, you might talk to you self and decide what you need to do, describe the positive aspects of your situation and insure yourself you can do this.

Also Read: 20 Things You Need In Your Get Home Bag

Recently, there was an episode of Naked and Afraid that featured two participants that were placed in the jungle.  The male was an experienced veteran with multiple combat deployments and a retired police officer.  The female was single mom who was baker with little survival experience.  In the early going of the event, the male survivalist was very critical of some of the female’s skills and touted how strong and experienced he was.  Yet within two days he tapped out and left her alone. For the next several days as she endured many, many obstacles, but she keep saying to herself, I can do this, I must do this for my daughter, and I am not giving up.  She made it the whole 21 days, an incredible and powerful testament to her determination, commitment and use of self talk.

Once an event is over your still must use self talk as a tool to maintain your focus.  What is known as “condition black” means your brain may be working very hard to analyze what just happened and this creates tremendous chaos in your mind.  The ability to self talk yourself and assure yourself that everything is ok and to calm down and to do what needs to be done next, plays a vital role in keeping your head after an event.

Arousal Control

Arousal control is paramount to dealing with fear.  There are two instances where arousal control are necessary and need to be Survivalimplanted in order to control your body and mind.  The first comes while you are getting ready for or anticipating a scary or fearful event.  In this case you your body will become anxious as the amygdala releases its power to get your body ready for fight of flight. During this time you may have a hard time concentrating, you made be distracted by negative thoughts and you clearly feel yourself getting nervous.  This the time you should be visualizing your upcoming experience and getting mentally ready for the adventure. But you can’t because you are scared and nervous.

In the second case, the instant a fearful stimulus is receive the amygdala goes into action. Instantaneously you body reacts. Immediately you take a defensive posture and action. Your brain and body have reacted before you even knew why?

In both cases, arousal control is imperative to keeping you mind and body under control.  One of the best means to control arousal is deep breathing. Box breathing is taught in the special forces community to control arousal.  By taking slow deep breathes as you count to 4 then slowly exhaling as you again count to 4 lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, reduces to release of hormones into your body, adds oxygen to your system.  Concentration on this maneuver decreases your body’s desire to release hormones that cause excitement.

Also Read: Tooth or Tail

Fear is the unknown factor in all fearful, stressful and dangerous situations.  The responses to fear can be instantaneous like when you are unexpectedly scared.  Or long term as in a survival situation.  You never know when the ugly head of fear is going to arise. In both of these cases, the use of these six techniques can help you overcome fear, respond appropriately and increase the likelihood you will survive.  As mentioned in the first part of this article you must practice these skills routinely or when you need them you will not know how to use them and thus they are useless.  As with all personal protection and survival techniques you must be trained, then practice, practice and practice.

Hopefully learning and practicing these skills will enable you to manage fear the next time you are in a fearful, scary or dangerous situation.

Photos By:
MCRD Parris Island
Hannah Lee
WishICouldDive
Renee McGurk

Support SHTFBlog.com by shopping @ Amazon (Click Here)

Visit Sponsors of SHTFBlog.com

How to Make Your Camp Fire Burn All Night

Click here to view the original post.

Have you ever wanted a fire to last all night long, but didn’t want to stay up feeding it hour after hour?  Most nights you lay down Axe and woodand open your eyes again two hours later just in time to throw more tinder and wood on just before it goes out.  Recently I was watching a video on Far Northern Bushcraft – a favorite Youtube channel of mine – about how to keep your fire going all night long.  The short version is you take one log and lay it top of another and light them on fire.  Once the fire is established it will burn very slow.

By Jarhead Survivor, a contributing author SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

The rule of thumb on this fire is that for every inch of thickness you have in your logs it will burn for one hour.  Thus, if your logs are eight inches thick the fire should last eight hours. Nothing is ever that precise in the bush of course, but it does give you a reference point.

Materials and Procedure

Long fire setup

I started with two logs about four inches thick. After chopping them up with my ax I carried them back to camp and then cut four green poles about four feet high.  Then I flattened the two logs by taking my ax and trimming about two inches of wood off each length leaving a flat side along one side of the log.  Thus, if you stacked one on top of the other they would lay flat without support.  I drove the poles into the ground and stacked the two logs one on top of the other with some tinder and kindling between them.

Related: Fire Starter Review

To reiterate, this is not a big fire.  It’s more of a smolder that will last most if not all of the night depending on how thick your Firelogs are, what kind of wood you’re using, how hard the wind is blowing, and stuff like that.  I set my fire up with kindling in front of it as well as in between the logs with spacers and then lit it.  After a small blaze that lasted for a few minutes I was rewarded with a fire that smoldered between the two logs.  For more info check out the short video I made:

The only real downside to this fire is that because it burns so slow it emits a good deal of smoke.  If you set this up in front of your shelter for heat make sure you’re upwind or you’ll suck down smoke all night long.

Duration

The fire lasted about 2 1/2 hours before I had put it out, but was well on its way to burning the full four hours predicted by the Long firerule of thumb.  The next time I head out for a backwoods camping trip I’m definitely going to try this set up.  You’ll want an axe to help get this set up properly and don’t forget to use green sticks for the support posts.  That way they won’t catch on fire as it burns through the night.

Got any tips for an all night fire?

Sound off below!
-Jarhead Survivor

Support SHTFBlog.com by shopping @ Amazon (Click Here)

Visit Sponsors of SHTFBlog.com

Collapse Reality: “If I Had to Be an Animal, I Was an Animal. It Was About Survival.”

Click here to view the original post.

Collapse Reality: “If I Had to Be an Animal, I Was an Animal. It Was About Survival.”

Collapse Reality: “If I Had to Be an Animal, I Was an Animal. It Was About Survival.”

SHTFplan Editor’s note: Our friend Selco at SHTF School will change everything you may think about your life in a post-collapse world. For many of us, the idea that the world around us may fall apart and lead to the worst that humanity has to offer is mostly theoretical. For Selco, it was a reality. He experienced a total grid-down collapse in war-torn Sarajevo during the 1990′s – and he lived to tell the tale. He has shared his knowledge with our community over the last few years, and in the article below he changes our perceptions once again. Just because we are making preparations – stocking food, or supplies or guns – means nothing if the mind is not prepared to comprehend the absolute horrors that may come.

Do you want to know what it will be like when law and order breaks down, when people turn on each other, and when there is no one to depend on except for those in your inner circle?

Then keep reading.

THIS IS REALITY.

Walking the Line Between Human and Animal
by Selco

As many long term readers or members of my survival course know, I like to talk about the important but what some may call the “not so spectacular” part of survival that is not as much fun as, for example, talking about latest guns and gadgets.

Today I want to talk about dignity and what it means in a survival scenario. Before I talk from own experience, read the extract below from the diary of Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin who describes what happened after his unit freed the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during the second world war.

At the moment of his writing hundreds of people were still dying and it was place of pure horror.

It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for those internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.

The importance of still being human and not becoming a complete animal is often overlooked for people who prepare for long term survival. I had over one year to fight against becoming like rats around our house during the war.

Expect to become more like an animal

You can have all equipment ready for SHTF – ammo, weapons, gear… you can even be perfectly well trained in lot of different skills and fields and still when SHTF you can end up dead in the first days just because you “refuse to believe” what’s happening.

It is that state of mind when a man simply does not want (or is not able) to comprehend the new situation.

It can be one quick life threatening situation like folks attacking your home and you just waited few seconds too long to shoot some attacker, and then you are dead, end of the story. Or it can be whole process of failing to recognize the new world around you and the new rules (or absence of rules) and then again you just not doing correct things for the situation, and again you end up dead.

RELATED : Supplies That Are Worth More Than Gold During a Disaster

Example would be that when SHTF you are trying desperately to have and use power generator and light all rooms in your houses just because it mean normal life for you. And that normal life is gone, and trying to bring it back in that situation usually means more troubles.

Holding on to all the comforts and behavior you are used to can be dangerous.

To make a long story short, what I am trying to say is that you may be trained and equipped like a SEAL team member and yet you can still be killed easily from some 70 years old dude, with even older rifle just because you were surprised when SHTF with amount of destruction and violence and you did not seen that old dude coming (or being so evil).

simple-2

On the other side that old dude maybe lived through couple of SHTF events in his life, and he knows when it is time to act without hesitation and mercy.

There is still a fine line you have to walk between losing your human side and becoming pure animal.

One of the things that changed a lot when SHTF is fact that everything became really dirty.

It was something like slow process, first people tried to keep it as clean they could, but without all normal services, like garbage trucks, running water and all other community services that make normal living soon it simple became impossible.

Later all garbage was used somehow, but in beginning it started piling up everywhere, when you add to that ruins on the street, human waste and dead bodies it was very ugly picture.

After some time, we started to accept dirt outside and it then was priority to stay clean and keep clean only inside that small circle inside your home, and when I say „clean“ I do not mean „clean“ like today. Maybe as clean as we could be.

For example simply moving through the city in the middle of the night meant that you needed to crawl, jump, hide, walk or run trough all kind of things, and very often some real nasty and dirty things.

Many times I was hiding on places so dirty that stench was almost paralyzing, once in the middle of the night I jumped behind some wall because sudden shelling, and when I jumped there I realized that I landed on dead guy.

His face was smashed with broken wall, and partially buried, place there was so small that I had to actually lay on him for some 20 minutes. He died probably when wall from the house collapsed after some shelling, who knows.

RELATED : What to Eat When Food Runs Out

Fire from the shelling was so strong that I actually loved that dead guy and that place in that moment. I almost hug him while I was trying to be as small as possible because pieces of steel and rock were flying around me just like some crazy rain, while my stomach was rising and floating from the detonations and smell.

All I was saying at that moment was „thank you, thank you, thank you“ like some magic words, and I even was not aware who do I thank to, that dead stinky guy, my brain for noticing that small space, or God for saving me.

Today years and years later I still carry that smell inside my nose. But I did not move from there before danger was gone. It is survival and luckily I was already used to dirt enough to just stay with that dead guy.

Some folks just stopped to care about cleanliness and hygiene completely. So for them washing and cleaning become something like not wanted luxury. They went complete animal.

They simply stopped to care about these things, so I also knew some guys with look and smell so awful that even dead guy smelled like perfume store.

It was easy to surrender to stuff like that, I mean in trying to keep yourself clean.

But it was stupid not only in terms of the hygiene and illnesses, also by surrendering yourself you admit that you do not care anymore, and when you admit that you are only few steps from becoming animal with what you do too. People give up on themselves.

For me being as clean as I could be had something like preserving one of the last connection with “normal” life, with life before sh!t hit the fan, when things like neighbors, breakfast, car etc, were just things we took for granted, like things that always gonna be there unchanged.

Of course I was aware that being clean is important in order to stay alive because all diseases problem, no doctors hospitals etc. but on some psychological level it kept me sane and it kept me normal man.

Even in survival situation you need to still care about few little things to keep your dignity, to keep spirit up, to not lose yourself. If you stop caring about everything it is like disease that eats you.

When I came back from trading or scavenging in the city, I would clean or wash myself thoroughly in my yard before entering my house, again of course because common sense, hygiene and diseases, but maybe even more important I tried to keep all chaos and violence, suffering outside of my home on some psychological level.

I try to stay out of the everything, or actually I tried to keep everything outside of my home, like some ritual. I would keep the clothes for outside in bag, my boots were in one corner, never entering my room in it etc.

One of my relative wears pink slippers (mittens) when he was home sometimes, he would say that he just felt that everything is fine when he wear it. It was spooky and strange to see him in pink slippers while outside world is going to hell, but we all have some strange ways I guess to keep ourselves sane. Maybe wearing those slippers after he was forced to shoot some folks kept him sane, reminded him on some normal times when grandma wear it in the evenings.

US (3)

On the other side, like I said in beginning if you stick too much to old habits you are not doing best for survival too.

So if I had to be animal, I was animal. It was about survival. For example there was a period when I eat just to survive, like animal, without paying attention what I eat or how. If I found some food I ate it in quick way, if there was some food with worms in it, I would eat it in dark, without looking what I eat etc.

Point was (and still is) to be man, but to be ready to be animal if you are forced to be animal, and that’s it. It comes down to being flexible, adapting to situation and I hope this helps to crush the idea some Hollywood or fantasy survival scenarios show that survival is about being complete animal. No, it is fine line to walk.

RELATED : Places to Avoid After SHTF

You can (and you have to) have as much hand sanitizers, soap, disposable face masks etc. as you can but you can still end up dead if you are not ready to accept fact that one day you might be forced to „hug“ dead guy in order to survive, or eat roast rat or pigeon.

Once next collapse comes many people will wake up to reality and struggle to be human like they were or become animals and as skilled survivalist I hope you will walk fine line in between. The people who were walking that path were and I’m sure will be those who have biggest chances to survive.

 

Source : www.thedailysheeple.com

Other Useful Resources :    

Mega Drought USA:(Discover The Amazing Device That Turns Air Into Water)DIY

Survive The End Days (Biggest Cover Up Of Our President)

Survival MD (Best Post SHTF Medical Survival Guide Ever)

Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness guide)

Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )

Backyard Innovator (All Year Round Source Of Fresh Meat,Vegetables And Clean Drinking Water)DIY

Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )

Liberty Generator (Easy DIY to build your own off-grid free energy device)

Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)

Family Self Defense (Best Self Defense Strategies For You And Your Family)

The post Collapse Reality: “If I Had to Be an Animal, I Was an Animal. It Was About Survival.” appeared first on Backdoor Prepper.