Monday, December 30, 2013
Needless to say, having professional medical personnel in your survival group (assuming you have a group) is a huge plus. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, military medics and corpsmen would be an extremely valuable asset to any group when the SHTF.
Below is a generalized listing of items to stock in a medical kit. Note that this is not a list for a small, quick use first aid kit that you toss in the trunk of your car containing a few band-aids and a CPR mask. This is a bit more in depth.
15 Adhesive bandages, 1"x 3"
10 Adhesive bandages, 3/4"x 3"
4 Adhesive pads, 2"x 3 1/2"
4 3M Tegaderm dressings, 2 3/8"x 2 3/4"
2 Eye pads
20 Gauze pads, 2"x 2"
20 Gauze pads, 4"x 4"
2 Gauze roll bandages
4 compress bandage
Cotton tip applicators
Wound closure strips
Tirple antibiotic ointment
Maalox Plus tablets
Aloe Vera gel
Afrin nasal spray
Single edge razors
Syringes of various sizes
Hypodermic needles to fit syringes
The above list should also allow you to do MINOR surgery, if it becomes absolutely necessary to save a life or prevent someone from living with an imbedded bullet or piece of shrapnel.
Monday, December 23, 2013
The subject of the BOB can get lengthy and complicated, as I already stated. In fact, I have placed a book on the subject on my List of Lists in recent posts. I'll try to keep this post as basic and concise as possible.
Each person in your family or group needs to have their own BOB. In the case of infants, this isn't necessary, but even a small backpack can be thrown together for a toddler or small child. Each person will need to carry all of the things that will be used by them. There will be one "main" BOB that the strongest person in the group will need to carry. It will carry everything that person needs, plus some community items that the group as a whole will need. If there is time, grab every BOB before you "bug out". If there isn't time to grab all of them, at least make sure you grab the main BOB. It will be the most important one. Below is a list of items that should go in the main BOB. Keep in mind what kind of terrain you are likely to encounter in your home area and your BOL. Also keep your area and your BOL's weather patterns in mind. You can take this BOB list and tweak it so it fits your group needs and your weather and terrain needs. If you know you have no need of gloves tailored for cold weather or a fleece jacket or cap (during Summer months, for instance) then you'd leave those out of the bag. Also, remember to review your bags every Winter and Summer at least. The items you need will not be the same from season to season in most areas of the world.
Drinking water (3 liters)
Collapsible water bottle (1 liter)
Nalgene water bottle (1 liter)
Military style canteen (1 liter)
Metal canteen cup for boiling
Water purification tablets (3 per person)
Purification filtration system
Energy bars (6)
Lightweight, long sleeve shirt
Underwear (2 pairs)
Socks (2 pairs)
Military style poncho
Cold weather gloves
Small dome tent
550 cord (Minimum 225 feet)
Waterproof fire kit container
Mylar survival blanket
Travel size bar of soap
Diaper wipes (40 wipes)
Survival knife with sheath
Ammunition (Minimum 20 rounds)
Cell phone charger (Hand crank preferred)
Document folder (weatherproof preferred)
Emergency radio with batteries and handcrank
Cash ($100-$500 minimum, small denominations preferred)
Map of local area (Topographical map preferred)
Small note pad and pencil
Two way radios
Duct tape (25 feet minimum)
55 gallon, container grade garbage bag
Reuseable bags (4, in various sizes)
Fishing kit (Line, hook, lure)
As you can see, whatever backpack or rucksack you choose, it'll need to be fairly sizable. The main BOB will need to carry more equipment than any of the other BOBs in your group.
The other BOBs in your group will fall into one of two categories. They will either be an additional adult BOB or they will be a child's BOB. Below is a list for an additional adult BOB.
3 liters of drinking water
Collapsible water bottle (1 liter)
Nalgene water bottle (1 liter)
Military style canteen (1 liter)
Metal canteen cup for boiling
Energy bars (6)
Lightweight, longsleeve shirt
Underwear (2 pairs)
Socks (2 pairs)
Cold weather gloves
Military style poncho
Mylar survival blanket
Survival knife with sheath
The pack used for the additional adult BOBs doesn't need to be as large as the main BOB. Each individual should tailor their BOB to their own needs without compromising their survivability. For instance, a male could look at this list and remove the tampons, while a female would be better off leaving them in the BOB. Also, whether you are carrying an additional adult BOB or the main BOB, if you need any special items, such as prescription medication, don't forget to keep at least 72 hours worth of it in the BOB you're carrying. Rotate the medication so you know you'll always have recently prescribed pills.
A child's BOB is not nearly as large or complex as the adult bags. If you have children in the group, it's a good idea to place some of the items they need in some of the adult BOBs. The child's list is below.
1 liter of drinking water
Collapsible water bottle (1 liter)
Lightweight, longsleeve shirt
Underwear (2 pairs)
Socks (2 pairs)
Simple rain poncho
Cold weather jacket
Wool/Fleece hat or balaclava
Cold weather gloves
In the case of an infant, they will be able to share the water or food from the adult BOBs without compromising the survivability of the members of the group.
You'll notice that there isn't much of anything in the way of hygiene in any of these BOBs. Hygiene is important in a long term survival scenario, but in a 72 hour kit, there isn't much room for it. You'll notice there isn't a ton of food either. It's likely that your belly won't be full if you arrive at your BOL after a 72 hour trip, but you won't be left starving or thirsty when you get there either, thanks to the stuff that IS in your BOB.
Often, people will place much more focus on putting together a good BOB than they will on preparing a BOL or on stocking up on food or water. It's important to remember that a BOB is NOT what you create in order to run away and live in the woods for the next 20 years. That would be referred to as an I'm Never Coming Home (INCH) bag. The BOB is simply made to get you from point A to point B.
For a great guide to putting together a BOB, check out the book ""How to Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag" by Creek Stewart. It's a great read, very informative and even has checklists in the back. I used it to compile what I feel is a good beginner's list for putting together your group's BOBs.
Friday, December 20, 2013
With freedom of speech comes consequences for what you say, I understand that. However, I'm tired of seeing conservatives, gun owners, white people and Christians being the only ones who have to pay those consequences. Did President Obama pay any consequences when he made a derogatory statement about "small town" people and how we apparently "cling to their guns and religion" because we don't like people who are different from us? Did Oprah pay any consequences when she said that racism would never end until all racists had died?
This issue with Phil Robertson isn't about the 1st Amendment. He didn't get thrown in jail for saying what he said. It's about the fact that a public figure will be labeled and punished if they dare to insult one of the three liberal-progressive pillars of homosexuality, abortion or racism. Phil Roberts made his personal opinion based on his religious belief and because it hit on one of the big three issues of progressivism, he is being punished. They will not stop until he is totally destroyed. If A&E reverses any part of their decision, the minority groups like GLAAD will harass, threaten and bully the network into doing exactly what they tell them to.
The ultimate goal of the progressive movement all along was to wait for an opportunity to attack the Robertson family and have them removed from mainstream TV. Such a conservative, Christian show with good old Southern values, hunting, guns, patriotism, a Vietnam vet, regular prayer and a traditional family unit is viewed as a dangerous affront to a progressive movement that aims to erode the authority of God and the bonds of the family unit so that it can replaced with "enlightened" communist professors, socialist politicians and a caring nanny state that will ultimately tell you what is best for you in every aspect of your life.
The Robertson family are duck call makers and reality TV actors. I understand this. However, they have become a symbol of exactly what the progressive movement is trying to snuff out for good. If this family is eventually removed from mainstream media by the progressives then the message they are carrying about living for God and having strong family values will be silenced.
Welcome to progressive America.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Prevention is key. Keep all fires outdoors with the exception of well protected candles. If you have something like cigarettes, smoke outdoors. Campfires should be guarded at all times. Any fires you start outside, try to start them on dirt rather than grassy areas. Beware of embers that burn after the fires are "out". Beware of flying ash that could travel and catch fire somewhere else. The list is short, because there is a saying about an "ounce of prevention"...
- Type ABC fire extinguisher
- Fire resistant blankets
Baking soda is something many people will point out, but I've already got that on a food storage list for later discussion.
Some of these books are focused on medical skills for obvious reasons. Others, for similarly obvious reasons, are focused on survival skills, such as gardening. Others are focused on combat type skills. Some people may be tempted to omit the military manuals and combat skills books, but that may not be wise. It's important to be ready for all scenarios, including the ones where you may be required to defend what's yours in a combat type of situation.
The titles of the books and the contents within speak for themselves. Needless to say, with all the information one could potentially need, this list could turn out to be one of the longest parts of the list of lists.
- "Holy Bible" by God
- "How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It" by James Wesley, Rawles
- "How to Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag" by Creek Stewart
- "Wilderness Medicine, Beyond First Aid" by William Forgey, MD
- "Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook" by David Werner
- "Mosby's Outdoor Emergency Medical Guide" by David Manhoff
- "Emergency War Surgery (NATO Handbook:-Third United States Revision, 2004) by Dr. Martin Fackler, et al.
- "Where There Is No Dentist" by Marray Dickson
- "Where There Is No Vet" by Bill Forse
- "The Encyclopedia of Country Living (Tenth Edition)" by Carla Emery
- "Making the Best of Basics - Family Preparedness Handbook" by James Talmage Stevens
- "Survival Guns" by Mel Tappan
- "Tappan on Survival" by Mel Tappan
- "A Failure of Civility" by Mike Garand and Jack Lawson
- "Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition" Abigail R. Gehring
- "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible" by Smith
- "Ranger Handbook" by Ranger Training Brigade, US Army Infantry School
- FM 2-22.3 HUMINT Collector Operations
- FM 3-3 Chemical and Biological Contamination Avoidance
- FM 3-3-1 Nuclear Contamination Avoidance
- FM 3-4 NBC Protection
- FM 5-31 Boobytraps
- FM 7-8 Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad
- FM 7-93 Long-Range surveillance Unit Operations
- FM 19-15 Civil Disturbances
- FM 19-30 Physical Security
- FM 20-3 Camouflage
- FM 21-11 First Aid for Soldiers
- FM 21-26 Map Reading and Land Navigation
- FM 21-75 Combat Skills of the Soldier
- FM 21-76 Survival
- FM 21-150 Combatives
- FM 23-10 Sniper Training
- FM 31-21 Guerilla Warfare and Special Forces Operations
- FM 31-20-5 Special Recon Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces
- FM 31-70 Basic Cold Weather Manual
- FM 31-71 Northern Operations
- FM 34-60 Counterintelligence
- FM 90-3 Desert Operations
- FM 90-5 Jungle Operations
- Local phone book
Keep in mind that your situation may vary enough that it's feasible to remove some of these items from your list. Someone attempting to survive in Alaska will likely have no use of FM 90-5, while someone with no pets or animals at all may not need "Where There is No Vet". Make you own evaluations, but try not to omit too much of the material. For instance, FM 19-15 is on this list to clue you in on what sort of things to expect from "authorities" in the instance that a civil disturbance takes place near your location. Another example is FM 31-70 on cold weather training. Even in the Deep South of the US, the weather can become very cold in the Winter.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
When choosing which firearms to include on your list, there are some variables to think about. You want to make firearms choices that include weapons that are reliable and easy to maintain and use. Just because you are a war veteran who carried an AR-15 and can break it down and put it back together in 30 seconds, doesn't mean your wife or parents who are bugging out with you can do the same thing. You have to understand that everyone's life might depend on someone who isn't an expert using that weapon. You might say something like "then I'll train them to be!" Well, good. Train them. But that doesn't mean you go out and buy the most complicated weapon platform available and then train your family on it. You still need to choose something that has simplicity and reliability.
Each firearm out there is specialized for a certain set of tasks. Sure, there are some that are very versatile and can handle a wider range of jobs than other firearms, but most have a particular job that they handle better than most. For right now, let's look at this list and then discuss each entry. I'm not going to put any specific brands or models on the list, because each person has their own abilities and budget and preferences. I'll talk about a few brands later. For now, I'll be very general.
- .22LR caliber rifle (2,000 rounds)
- 12 gauge shotgun (500 shells)
- Handgun, 9mm or larger in caliber (1,000 rounds)
- Weapon cleaning kit and gun oil
- Magazines for each firearm
See? Short and simple. This list is not designed to break anyone's bank or turn someone into an arsenal-toting Mad Max character. If you have the spare funds and desire, there are plenty of other options to add to this list, and I encourage you to do that. But for right now, I'm trying to get someone started with the minimum they need to make it.
A rifle chambered in .22LR is probably the most important firearm to have in a survival situation. The ammo is light. It's not hard on the ears (you might not have hearing protection at all times in an emergency, so this is a plus at least). It's highly effective for hunting small game, which is the most likely type of game you're going to run across when you're out and need food. I know, the TV likes to show survivalists hunting and gutting and cooking a big moose or a ten-point buck after an eight hour trek through the woods. But they don't show the 500 birds and squirrels and rabbits that person walked past that would have been easier to find and kill and clean and cook! It's entirely possible to take down a deer with a small caliber rifle, but why expend the energy hunting for a deer with a small caliber rifle when you can bag ten squirrels in an hour without moving far from camp? Plus, a few dead squirrels is less likely to attract a hungry predator than a dead deer.
Small caliber rifles are light and very simple to use. Light recoil makes them easy to fire. Often they are easy to maintain. Their simple mechanisms make them reliable in poor weather. When they do malfunction, it's often a simple fix. A couple of top quality choices here are the Ruger 10/22 carbine and the Savage .22 bolt action rifle. Both are lightweight and reliable. I prefer the Ruger because it's semi-automatic, but the bolt-action Savage is a high quality and accurate weapon. To have either one in an emergency is a big force-multiplier for you. They'll both cost you about $200.
In a pinch, a small caliber rifle can serve as a decent defense weapon. It might not be ideal, but when threatened, it's small size and ease of operation will allow you to quickly and effectively put some well-aimed lead downrange at a high velocity, even if that lead isn't very big around.
The 12 gauge shotgun is a big plus on anyone's list. Great for home defense, great for hunting, great for scaring your daughter's boyfriends. I'm just kidding! Not every 12 gauge is great for hunting and home defense. We'll talk about that.
A long barreled shotgun will be very suited for hunting large fowl and mid-sized game. Turkeys, ducks and wild pigs would be some good targets here. I wouldn't want to have to shoot a squirrel with a 12 gauge and then try to eat that torn up mess, but I suppose you could salvage rabbits easily. Overall, a long barreled 12 gauge will open up a lot of hunting opportunities. It can also be an effective defensive weapon. One great choice would be the Mossberg 500 pump action 12 gauge shotgun. This one will cost you around $500. Just be aware that a long barreled shotgun like that one will be more difficult to maneuver around tight corners and walls inside buildings.
That is where the short barrel comes in. A shorter barreled shotgun may not be quite as accurate, so that might make hunting a little trickier. If you can overcome that disadvantage, then you should be all good. The short barreled shotgun may very well be king in close range self protection. The short barrel is easier to maneuver around corners inside buildings and it's lighter weight makes aiming and hitting a target with the first shot easier. A good option for a short barreled shotgun is the Mossberg 88 pump action 12 gauge shotgun. The normal cost is around $200.
When choosing a shotgun, you have to take into consideration what you'll be doing with it. If you know you're going to be using it for hunting, you may want to choose a longer barrel. If you think defense is more of a concern for you, the short barrel might be for you. Personally, I prefer the Remington 870 tactical 12 gauge shotgun. If I need to hunt with it, I can. But if it comes time to protect myself or my family, the Remington will do well for that too. That model will cost approximately $650, but the additions and options available for it may cause the price to move up or down..
A handgun is a big choice. There are so many options out there and one size certainly does not fit all. Let's try to establish some foundations. The handgun on this list is mainly there for personal protection and carrying on your person at all times if practical to defend yourself from a two-legged predator (that would be humans). Therefore I am not going to suggest a small caliber such as a .22LR for your handgun. The smallest caliber I would consider would be the 9mm, .38 or .380. Anything smaller might leave you needing to fire an entire magazine for an effect, and that is not the goal. Let's talk a little about semi-automatics and revolvers.
A semi-automatic is going to allow you to fire rapidly if necessary. No cocking needed after each shot and typically you will have more available ammo than in a revolver. There is a slight danger of a "jam", so you're going to need to be proficient with your chosen semi-auto in order to maintain the ability to clear the problem and get back in the fight. With a revolver, you have significantly less chance of any type of malfunction ever occurring. However, you probably will have more limited ammo in your firearm and reload time is a good bit longer than in a semi-auto. Also, if you choose a single-action (SA) revolver, you'll have to cock the hammer on every shot. I don't recommend choosing a SA. A double-action (DA) revolver does not require this cocking. The trigger pull will do that itself, though the trigger pull may be a bit harder than you'd like it to be in a fight.
Choosing a handgun is all on you. You have to ensure the weapon fits your hand and you can fire it comfortably. I feel comfortable carrying a Beretta 92FS 9mm semi-auto. My hand fits it decently and the recoil is easy on me. But my wife's hand is not made for that weapon. The recoil may not be hard, but if the weapon is a little too big, the recoil effect is going to be even worse than normal. My ideal carry weapon might be a Glock 19 9mm or a Colt Government 1911 .45ACP. For my wife, a Ruger LC380 (.380 caliber) would be a better fit and the recoil is manageable for her. The 1911 feels comfortable in her hand, but the recoil is a bit much. So, my point is that you need to ensure that the weapon fits well in your hand and that the recoil is manageable for you when firing. You also need to make sure you understand how to operate the weapon like an expert and maintain it properly.
My recommendation for a handgun won't go any further than me saying that I prefer a semi-automatic over a revolver. Revolvers are excellent weapons, but in a fight, I want to be able to fire quickly and reload quickly. I do understand that with a semi-auto I will need to be able to clear a possible malfunction (however unlikely) quickly. As far as recommending a model, I can't do that. It all depends on you. Some good brands (there are many others) to check out are Colt, Beretta, FN, Walther, Smith and Wesson, Glock and Ruger.
It's obvious that you will need magazines for any weapons you have. It's advisable to have several for each weapon in case you lose one or one is damaged. Cleaning kits are also obvious needs. It's important to have a good oil for cleaning and lubricating your guns. CLP (Cleaner, lubricant and protectant) is what the US military generally uses. RemOil by Remington is an excellent choice.
Ammunition for each firearm needs to be collected in abundance. 1,000 rounds per firearm is an excellent start. Notice that I say "per firearm". That means if you have two 9mm handguns, you should acquire 2,000 rounds of 9mm ammo. Being short on ammo means your weapons will do you no good. Shotgun shells take up a lot of room and aren't made to go around "spraying and praying", so 500 shells should be good to start.
During times of gun control pushes ammunition, magazine and firearms themselves can be difficult to find. When the Sandy Hook school shooting occurred in 2012, left-leaning politicians like President Obama and Kalifornia Senator Diane Feinstein (who had been telling everyone that this was "no time for politics") started their push against everything gun related. They pushed for bans on common sporting rifles, on ammunition, on magazines, on firearm features like pistol grips and collapsible stocks. What ensued was a run on ammo, magazines and firearms. In the late part of 2012, all kinds of common ammo disappeared from the shelves and common sporting rifles like the AR-15 vanished. Even 30 rounds magazines were all bought out. Things have returned back to normal somewhat, but it only takes one event and a bunch of gun grabbing politicians to start the panic again. Luckily, freedom loving Americans defeated almost every single anti-gun bill presented throughout the land. Only in the most liberal areas did the anti-gun crowd make any progress. In most areas in the US, the anti-gun crowd has been soundly defeated and our 2nd Amendment freedoms have been strengthened. We have to continue to the fight to maintain our God given rights as outlined in the Bill of Rights, or our children and grandchildren will live under the boots of tyrants.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
- Cash ($1, $5, $10 and $20 bills)
- Coins (May still retain full value if currency has a full crash)
It is important to remember that all dimes, quarters and half-dollars made in 1964 or prior are 90% silver. $1 face value of these coins equals approximately .715 ounces of silver. These coins are often referred to as "junk silver", though the term is not meant in a negative way. I recommend focusing on silver if you are thinking of entering the precious metal market, unless you have an unlimited budget. The current price of one ounce of silver is approximately $22. The price of one ounce of gold, however, is approximately $1,400. Some other precious metals to consider are platinum and palladium, though these are similar in price to gold.
In a post-SHTF world, junk silver may be an excellent way to acquire needed supplies. These are much easier to sell and trade than a full one ounce silver coin, or any amount of gold for that matter. When you have silver that can be broken down into small amounts like a dime or quarter size, you have a much higher chance of actually getting your money's worth.
Considering that every single economy on earth that has ever been based on "fiat" currency has failed throughout history, and considering the fact that our economy and the economy of every developed nation on earth is based on fiat currency, it stands to reason that we should all be prepared for the day when the economic collapse arrives. Basing an entire economy on IOU bills is obviously not sustainable. Additionally, every time a problem arises, our leaders simply implement a fix that is only temporary and unsustainable itself. Once that temporary fix is no longer working, they simply put another temporary fix on that!
I am certainly not an expert on economics, but it doesn't take an expert on economics to see that this system will eventually fail. Once the large system fails, small, local economies will begin to pop up in towns and cities and counties. This short finance list will help you begin participating in these new economies.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
- Despite what the media is telling the American people, this war, conflict, whatever you want to call it, can be chalked up in the US military's win column. Yes, I fully understand that the Taliban still exists. Yes, I fully understand that ISAF still receives occasional attacks from insurgents in the country. Yes, I am fully aware that we are still losing personnel in this theater. But if your standard for "winning" a conflict is killing or capturing 100% of the enemy fighters, stopping 100% of enemy attacks before they happen and eliminating 100% occurrence of our own casualties, then I see that your standards are unreasonable and impossible from the start. Al Qaeda (AQ) has little to no presence inside Afghanistan today, and the general population, even the ones who still support the Taliban, have no love for foreign AQ operatives. Even in 2001, Afghans viewed AQ foreign fighters with suspicion and mistrust. The Taliban fighters who are left are almost all part-time fighters with minimal training and are some of the poorest equipped fighters in the world. Yes, I know they still launch attacks and I know they still occasionally have some effect. But the saying about a blind squirrel comes to mind. I'm not trying to be nonchalant and uncaring about losses we are currently taking, but in a war this long, the low number of casualties we've taken is both a testament to US military skills and to just how weak our enemy really is over here.
- Despite what happens after the US military leaves Afghanistan, our guys have done EVERYTHING humanly possible to give the people of Afghanistan whatever level of freedom they wish to have on a silver platter. Another saying comes to mind however, about leading a horse to water. If Afghanistan collapses into chaos then that will be no fault of the US military. We came in, we pushed the core of the Taliban out, we killed the core of AQ in Afghanistan, we installed a stable government and have propped it up throughout the war. We have trained their military and police. We have fed their people. Built roads and power lines and wells. We have set up Afghanistan for success. If they fail, then it is on them. If they fail, that does not mean we "lost" the war. The above also applies to Iraq.
- Don't let anyone tell you Afghanistan deployments in 2013 are cakewalks. Yes, Kandahar Airfield has a boardwalk with food and shopping and recreation. That's because when the US goes to war, we bring America with us. But outside of the "super-FOBs", it's a different world. We still have a lot of our people eating MREs (I have at least one per day, sometimes two). We still have people staying "outside the wire" on missions for three or more days at a time in dangerous locations. We do still have people getting hurt and dying. So don't get complacent thinking that it's just "garbage time" here. It's not. This might not be the same place it was in 2001 or 2003 or 2005, but it's still the wild West, and we are still here. Don't forget that.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Friday, August 23, 2013
- CB Radio setup
- Two way radios
- Police Scanner
- Cell phones
- Cell phone chargers, hand-crank preferred
Ham radio (also called amateur radio) is represented and coordinated by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). Amateur radio is divided into three regions. IARU region one includes Europe, West Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Region two includes North, South and Central America. IARU region 3 includes South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific Islands. Amateur radio allows you to communicate with people all over the world. Amateur radio requires licensing, so it's a good idea to research and begin the process of licensing as soon as you are able. Purchasing used equipment, you can have a basic, effective ham setup for as little as $300 for a radio, $100 for an antenna and $100 for peripherals.
CB (Citizen's Band) radio is a shorter distance radio communications setup. There are 40 channels available on CB. CB is a great way to communicate quickly and easily with other CB users near you.
Two ways radios are extremely valuable after the SHTF. Anytime a member of your group puts any distance between them and the rest of the group, you should maintain radio communication. The reasons for this are obvious. You never know what type of situation could arise.
A police scanner will be extremely helpful if the rile law is maintained in any way post-SHTF. Any type of local law enforcement will know that communication with officers or deputies is a priority. Having a scanner can help you avoid trouble spots, or even help you avoid the law enforcement officers themselves if the local police is not acting in the best interests of the citizenry.
Even if the power grid goes down, you should try to keep cell phones charged and ready for use. As soon as cell phone communications are restored, cell phones will likely immediately become your primary means of communication with the outside world. One way of keeping cell phones charged and ready is with a hand-crank cell phone charger. Needless to say, you won't be able to charge your phone on a wall outlet if the power grid goes down. Keep those traditional cell phone chargers around, but go out and pick up a couple of hand-crank ones as well.
In a long term grid-down scenario, some kind of courier mail system may come about. Don't forget the communication methods of the old days. There is a reason the old Pony Express is still famous today.
Communications in a post-SHTF world is something that shouldn't be overlooked. Once something goes down, one of the first thoughts in most people's minds will be to wonder if family and friends are safe. This stress can be alleviated with an adequate communications plan.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
The survivalist is likely to have a unique EDC set at all times. This is the entire point of being a survivalist, being ready to make it through any situation that arises. EDC is not, however, a full get out of dodge kit (G.O.O.D.) or bug out bag (BOB). EDC is simply items that can be comfortable and discreetly carried at all times in pockets, on a belt or even on a string around the neck. Some common and advisable EDC items include:
- Concealed carry weapon (CCW) and ammo magazine(s) in accordance with local, state and federal laws
- Survival knife in accordance with local, state and federal laws
- Wallet with $20-$50 cash, identification, driver license, blood type card and required permits for CCW
- Car keys
- 550 paracord bracelet
This might sound like a bit much to carry around, but with some research and practice, you can make it easy and comfortable.
Choose a compact firearm for EDC. Even a compact .45ACP handgun can be easily concealed. Try not to carry any caliber weapon smaller than a 9mm if possible. Use an in-the-waistband (IWB) holster to make your CCW less conspicuous when you're wearing Summer clothes. An outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster is a bit more comfortable and is sufficient to use with loose or layered clothing. Make sure you learn the laws in your state to ensure that you avoid trouble with local law enforcement.
A knife is something that can be easily carried in a pocket or on a belt clip. A multi-tool has a knife blade on it and can also be easily carried on a belt clip. Most people who carry a multi-tool will not also carry a knife, since the multi-tool has a knife blade.
A 550 paracord bracelet should contain approximately 10 feet of cordage.
A small flashlight, like a "Mini-Maglite", fits easily on a keychain.
Another idea is to take a small plastic card and wrap several feet of duct tape around it. This gives you an easy way to carry a little bit of duct tape with you in your wallet or in a pocket without even feeling it. The uses for duct tape are endless.
EDC is just "level one" readiness, if you will. The next level would consist of a BOB to get you from your current location to a bug out location (BOL). The BOB is made to get you through a 72 hour move to you BOL. The next level of readiness would be a deep larder and stored supplies at a BOL. With all that in mind, readiness starts with the items you carry with you on a day to day basis.
WATER - It's generally accepted that a person can live for three or four days without water. When you factor in the kinds of things you'll have in a survival situation such as adverse weather or terrain, you begin to shorten that period of time. In arid environments, you sweat out a lot of water. In a cold environment, you might sweat less, but you'll sweat without even knowing or feeling it. This can be equally as dangerous as sweating profusely in a hot location. Look for low lying areas and green vegetation. Upon finding water, observe for signs of use by local wildlife. Needless to say, mosquito larvae or animal carcasses in or beside the water are signs that the water may not be safe for drinking. Animal tracks can be an indication of use, signaling that the water is at least useable. Boiling is still needed. Be observant of any tracks as they can clue you in on what wildlife is nearby, be it predators or prey. Digging several feet into the soil can also yield amounts of drinking water, though it will need to be filtered if possible before the usual boiling.
Many people believe that you must allow water to boil for a bit of time to be safe. This is not necessary. Once the water begins to form bubbles from the heat, it has already passed the point of killing all bacteria present. Another thing to remember is that it is possible to boil water in a plastic bottle, as long as the bottle has enough water in it to absorb the heat. Otherwise, the bottle will melt.
Water from plants is generally safe to be used for drinking. Some thick vines can hold large amounts of water. Beware of any milky discharge. This means the plant is not producing safe water to drink. Coconuts can be a valuable source of fluids. The younger the coconut, the more water it will have before it turns into "coconut milk". That milk is still good for drinking and it contains electrolytes and sugar for energy. The meat is good for food as well. If you crack the coconut carefully, it can be used as a bowl for catching rainwater.
FOOD - Food can sometimes be harder to find than water. It can be difficult to know which plants can be eaten. A good way to test if a plant is edible is to take a part of the plant and chew a tiny bit once or twice, making sure to get it on the tongue. An itchy, extremely bitter or slight burning sensation means that the plant is not safe to eat.
Local wildlife is another source of food. However, it is often advisable to use more energy to escape to civilization than to hunt for food that you have to chase or kill. If you can manage to catch prey, ensure that you do not rupture the intestines during the skinning process. This will contaminate the meat of the catch and make it unsafe to eat. Cut into the skin along the front mid-line of the body with a knife or a sharp edge of a chipped rock. Peel the fur or skin back. You should be left with a thin membrane holding the guts in. Carefully slice through this without rupturing the intestines.
Fishing can be a low energy method of finding food. Finding a small stream allows you to block it off with sticks or a makeshift net. Fish are easy to clean and relatively fast to cook. Be aware of other abundant sources of food native to the area you're in. If you find yourself in a Louisiana swamp, boil crawfish over a fire. If you find yourself near a rocky shore, look for crabs, clams and small fish.
SHELTER - Building a shelter is often overlooked. The problem with this thinking is that the weather can turn on you at anytime, and if you aren't protected at all from the elements, all the food and water in the world may not save you. Rain and wind can give you hypothermia, even in the Summer. The ambient air temperature can rise rapidly even when there is snow on the ground, causing you to sweat without even knowing it. Shelter can lift the spirits of those in a survival situation and provide additional comfort and protection from dangerous wildlife. When on the move, leave you nightly shelters intact as a sign that you have been there. Rescuers have found lost hikers after coming across their abandoned stick shelters.
A simple and effective shelter can built between two thin trees using nothing more than three long sticks and some large leaves. Don't have large leaves? Gather some extra sticks for "cross beams" and pile some grass or pine needles on for a roof. Keeping yourself out of the sun, rain and wind is important. Don't overlook it. Beware of creatures that live in caves when choosing one for a shelter. They make great shelters, but be careful. Caves can quickly flood even in light rain. Fallen trees can provide quick protection from weather as well.
If possible, gather some strong sticks with a split at one end, stick them strongly into the ground and place cross branches over them to make a bed that keeps you off the ground. Use leaves, pine needless or grass to soften it. This will keep the ground from sapping your body heat and keep you away from bugs and snakes.
SECURITY - This is probably the most overlooked essential. Local wildlife has a food chain system, and in many places, you drop several spots on that chain when you find yourself in a survival situation. A long, heavy ended stick can be used as a basic club. Sharpen the end on a rock for a spear type of weapon. Using a knife to whittle a sharp point is even better. A firearm, when in trained hands, is an ideal security tool. If I had to choose one of my personal weapons to take into a survival situation, I'd choose my Ruger 10/22 carbine rifle. .22LR is an ideal survival caliber. A survival knife has a million uses and self defense against predators is certainly one. Be aware of the predators in your area. In Florida, you'll need to watch for alligators. In Montana, cougars pose a threat. In Texas, the Javelina (a type of wild boar) can seriously injure a grown man. Every region of the world has different threats. It would behoove you (If I can use an Army term) to be educated on the local threats.
It is worth mentioning that in some parts of the world, guerrillas, pirates, criminals, armed rebels or terrorists pose as big of a threat as any wildlife out there. If you must find yourself in these areas, be knowledgeable, well armed and always have an escape plan from any location you go to. Even when staying in a big city hotel, there are factors to keep in mind. Staying on the first or second floors makes you one of the first targets in a terrorist attack or room break-in, but staying above the third or fourth floors makes escape from the building for any reason (Fire, for example) problematic.
I don't mention fire as one of these essentials because it is a major part of every one of the four "must haves" I just went over. Fire is required for boiling water, cooking food, warming your shelter and keeping predators away from your camp. It goes without saying that fire is a necessity, and it is such a necessity that it deserves a separate discussion altogether. I'll talk about fire soon.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Some of the items that should be included on the general clothing list are:
- Regular socks
- Wool socks (Breathes, dries quickly, wicks away sweat and retains warmth even when wet or dirty)
- Short sleeve tee-shirts
- Long sleeve tee-shirts (Sun protection, but stays cool)
- Cold weather coats and jackets
- Long pants (A mix of cargo pants and jeans will be my personal choice)
- Sturdy tennis shoes
- Hiking boots
I know that some might be thinking "I live in Southern Arizona!" I don't have any need for any cold weather clothing!". Others might be thinking "I live in Alaska. I can do without putting shorts on the list."
The truth is, you never know what kind of weather will be thrown at you. People have gotten heat stroke in snowy weather. People have gotten hypothermia in the desert. This is a "general clothing" list because it includes a good general supply of clothing to keep you ready for any type of weather.
Another thought many people may have is about wearing fatigues when the SHTF. Fatigues certainly have their place on a list, but the general clothing list is not the one. The clothing on this list will help you to blend in with other people. This is the "gray man" method. It's a good idea to look like you're not well prepared, well armed survivalist. That makes you a target of looters and a person of interest to everyone from your neighbors to the police to government agents when a crisis occurs.
More specialized items of clothing such as prescription glasses or fatigues are covered by other categories.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
The gun control debate should be a very simple discussion, open and closed. However, the goal of the "anti-gunners" is to muddy the debate and make it as complex and confusing as possible. Looking at only a few things can show that when law abiding gun owners are empowered to maintain arms and defend themselves, the result is a positive one.
One thing to look at is violent crime rates in places where gun ownership is rare or non-existent. For instance, in Great Britain the violent crime rate is significantly higher than the violent crime rate in the US. The US in 2010 reported 403 violent crimes per 100,000 people. In Great Britain, the rate was over 2,000 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people. In Australia, an almost total ban on gun ownership has resulted in almost no change in violent crime or even firearm related crime.
- Gas mask and filters
- Heavy rubber gloves
- Heavy rubber boots
- Visqueen 10 mil sheet plastic
- Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) suit
The uses of these items are obvious. There are also resources for obtaining the full MOPP suit from military surplus stores and online surplus stores. Ensure that all items you receive are sealed in the original protective packaging.
Duct tape is an obviously beneficial item for securing the sheet plastic over doors and windows, but since it has so many other uses, I'll have it listed in a separate section of the list of lists.
The CBRN threat is admittedly one of the less likely events to happen. However, the entire point of preparing for TEOTWAWKI is to be ready for events that we don't foresee.
Friday, July 26, 2013
It times like that, it's important to protect yourself and your supplies. It's important to stay out of a situation in which you can be taken advantage of. But it is also arguably equally important to remember your humanity, and remember that part of our reason for being here is to help our fellow man.
Barter is likely to be a large part of the economic system in many types of SHTF scenarios. Charity, if conducted on a large enough scale, can have such a positive effect on a community post-SHTF that it may add a large degree of stability and cohesiveness. God tells us to be compassionate toward others in their time of need. It is possible and advisable to give to others when you can while simultaneously ensuring your own safety and security.
Some items that should be included on a good barter and charity list are:
- Cans of iodized salt
- Small bottles of alcohol for human consumption
- Chocolate and candy
- 550 cord
- Duct tape
- Fishing line
- Playing cards
- Cooking spices
- Over the counter (OTC) medications
These are not the only items that can go on a barter and charity list, so tailor your list to what items you feel others may need or want, items you have in excess or items you can easily bear to part with. Additionally, you always have the choice to trade or give items that you have but aren't on this list. You never know when someone in need will return a favor to you, and friends in a survival situation are the best friends to have.
Skills can also be bartered. Some people may be willing to trade supplies if you will teach them how to build a fire with sticks, assemble a shelter, filter water, grow a garden or hunt small game. Everyone knows the adage "if you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, if you teach a man to fish he will eat for a lifetime". People will remember this sort of thing when the time comes.
Coins and currency are obvious options for barter if the receiving party feels there is value in it and if the monetary system is still in place. I'll wait to discuss coins and other currency for the "finance" category of the "list of lists". It is likely that our current monetary system will retain some degree of relevance in many types of scenarios, but depending on the needs of the people you come across, it may not be relevant at the time.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
The term "list of lists" is something widely used by J.W. Rawles on SurvivalBlog. The list contains the many categories of supplies that someone would need during a SHTF scenario. The categories are:
- Barter & Charity
- Bug Out Bag (Main)
- Bug Out Bag (Additional Adults)
- Bug Out Bag (Children)
- Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN)
- Clothing (General)
- First Aid & Medical
- Food Preparation
- Food Storage
- Heirloom or Non-Hybrid Seeds
- Hunting, Fishing & Trapping
- General Security
- Tactical Living
- Water Filtration, Purification & Storage
Each category will have items pertaining to that category. There is a 100% ideal "list of lists" posted on the left edge of the SurvivalBlog website by J.W. Rawles. I strongly recommend looking over his list carefully. That list is where I started when I began creating my own list that meets my needs, skill level and budget. For the more experienced and financially secure preppers and survivalists, the SurvivalBlog list is practical and doable. But for someone new to the game or someone who may not be making six figures a year, I have broken it down into a simpler, cheaper and easier to obtain "list of lists" until you are able to gather the items on J.W. Rawles more detailed and ideal list. Most of the items on my "list of lists" can be found at Walmart or easily online. Most of the items are very affordable. Everyday I will discuss a category of the list and the items in that category. I will start with the "Barter & Charity" section. For now, begin deciding how you would like to have your own list set up. I encourage everyone who makes a list to continue to update and refine your list as your needs, skill level and situation change. I also encourage you to print out a hardcopy of your list and keep it somewhere secure. Keeping a copy saved on your computer and yet another copy saved on a thumb drive is also recommended. Just remember that when one list gets updated, the other copies need to be updated in the same way. That way items don't get left off of any list.
Your "list of lists" is an extremely important step in becoming better prepared for any situation that arises. Please keep in mind, however, that acquiring a big pile of gear and supplies is not going to save you or your family. Skills are important, and they should be practiced and perfected. In the days ahead, I'll also be discussing important skills to have when the SHTF. For right now, we will focus on the importance of each category of your "list of lists".
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
www.SurvivalBlog.com - This is the world's most popular survivalism website. It's run by James Wesley, Rawles and is one of the best sources of information on the subject. J.W. Rawles is the real deal.
How to Survive The End of The World As We Know It - This book is written by J.W. Rawles and is a generalized, simple and well laid out guide for new people looking to get into the culture.
How to Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag - This book is written by Creek Stewart. It's a great guide on how to put together your bag that will help you get out of dodge (G.O.O.D.) when the stuff hits the fan (SHTF). A good bug out bag (BOB) is very important.
www.SurvivalistBoards.com - A large and very active forum for survivalists, preppers, hunters, gun and knife enthusiasts and everyone in between. They have thousands of members from the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and many other locations and the members there have enlightened me more than any other resource I've found yet.
Needless to say, there are many other resources out there, but these are excellent to get you started on the path.
The founders of America intended for our government to set up in a very precise order of power. In their intentions, God is to be recognized as the supreme power, giving rights to the people. Those rights are natural rights. The right to defend yourself (the 2nd Amendment), the right to say what you want and practice your religion as you wish (the 1st Amendment), the right to maintain privacy (the 4th Amendment) and so on. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Even if you're a non-believer, these natural rights are simply common sense, whoever or whatever they come from.
The people receive these rights and in turn delegate certain powers to city, county and other municipal governments. These small governments then delegate certain powers to their respective state governments. The state governments then delegate limited powers to the federal government. The federal government is supposed to be primarily responsible for protecting the people from foreign coercion (invasion or some other type of aggressive action) and to promote an environment where these unalienable rights will not be infringed.
"That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." - Declaration of Independence
In America today, the federal government is becoming increasingly destructive to these means. We see textbook violations of the 1st Amendment when we look at the Department of Justice investigation of Fox News reporter James Rosen and seizure of emails of AP reporters. We see obvious attempts at violation of the 2nd Amendment by Kalifornia senator Diane Feinstein and Vice President Joe Biden. We see the largest violation of the 4th Amendment in history when we look at the NSA's "data mining" programs. The George Zimmerman trial conjures fears of violations of the 5th Amendment (He was found not guilty, but the DoJ has decided to investigate him for possible civil rights violations even though the FBI's own investigation stated that there were none).
The federal government has become increasingly opaque, as opposed to the Obama Administration's vow to make it "the most transparent administration in history". In fact, the Obama Administration may be one of the most corrupt and secretive administrations in history. It is undeniable and verifiable that the Obama Administration is connected to a long list of scandals. The list includes but is not limited to;
- Fast and Furious gun running operation
- The Benghazi consulate terror attack
- The NSA PRISM program
- Solyndra and 123 Technologies companies
- The IRS targeting of conservative groups
- The sequester
- The largest federal deficit in history
The democrats and republicans in Congress have stepped on the individual states' rights to sovereignty by attempting to impose amnesty for illegal aliens. The fact that it is amnesty is undeniable, since an estimated 11 million people living illegally inside the US will immediately be given a type of legal status upon the passage of the immigration reform bill. I pray that it is defeated in the House of Representatives, but I expect that republicans will simply present changes to the bill to placate their voters, while leaving the most effective parts intact.
I could sit here and list dozens if not hundreds of other examples of federal government overreach, power grabs, intrusion, violations of the Bill of Rights and scandal cover ups. The Obama Administration is the primary source of most of these examples, but democrats and republicans in Congress are largely standing idle and either allowing it or enabling it.
I am certainly not advocating armed rebellion against the federal government, nor do I even yet believe that our federal government needs a full replacement, but it is time to start holding the government accountable and demand that they reduce their power and control over the people. We are not their subjects. They work for us.