Bugging In vs Bugging Out During SHTF

The million dollar question that’s been hashed over a million times by preppers and survivalist is the following – in a full blown SHTF situation, is it better to bug out or bug in? Debaters on both sides of the equation bring up valid points which I will discuss in this post.

Bugging out

Bugging out in an SHTF situation appears to be the most popular option amongst preppers. Most preppers and survivalists are locked, cocked, and ready to roll out at a moments notice. Bugging out is the act of packing your things and getting out of town to a secondary bug out location.

But is bugging out always the best option? Bugging out makes a lot of sense depending on the situation. You do NOT want to bug in if you live in a city and all hell breaks loose. The city will be ripe with looters and other dangerous animals who will begin controlling the streets. After all the obvious stuff has been looted, these baboons will start raiding houses to secure survival items. One thing is for certain – they will not be asking your permission.

The other crucial aspect to bugging out is your secondary location. Unless you have a plan, bugging out doesn’t make sense unless the situation is getting progressively worse. Where will you go if you bug out? Do you have family in another city or town? Will you have enough resources? Where are you going?

The most laughable idea plaguing the survival community is bugging out into the woods. Unless you plan on going full blown RAMBO and you have ultimate survival skills, bugging out to the woods is a recipe for suicide. This is definitely not an option for a family.

Bugging in

Bugging in is another formidable survival strategy when the shit hits the fan. Bugging in makes complete sense for home owners who own property out in rural or country areas. From this unique vantage point you can easily protect your land with guns from the occasional crazy. The fact is country folks won’t be dealing with looters and violent criminals like city dwellers will. If you live in the cuts, stocking up on food, water, and ammo is a solid strategy for surviving the madness.

Just make sure you’re fully prepped with proper food and supplies.

The best strategy for you

There is no right answer to bugging in vs bugging out. You will do one or the other depending on your situation. The BEST thing you can do is prepare for both. This means having the necessary supplies to bug in but also preparing to bug out if the situation calls for rapid response action.

You must slowly begin putting together the proper SHTF supplies and at the bare minimum, get yourself a decent bug out bag.

Survival is not guaranteed but preparing at even a basic level sets you miles ahead of the rest.

7 Urban Survival Tips and Strategies

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Living in the city offers an individual a dense supply of opportunity and diversity. Big cities are a breeding ground for the best jobs, the best social scenes, and the most access to goods and services. However, what happens when the shit hits the fan and you’re forced to exit the city? What happens when core utility services like power, water, and electricity stop working? I’ll tell you what will happen…COMPLETE MADNESS. Some folks have never experienced a complete break down of the system or gone without power for more than a couple hours. Believe me, you’re gonna want some strategies to survive in an urban environment when all hell breaks loose.

1.) Know thy city

The best tip I can give you is to understand and know your city from the inside out. You need to know the back streets and all the potential exit strategies. Are you able to avoid the major highways on your way out? What roads will most of the people use when they panic and start heading for the hills? Knowing the streets is the first step in making a clean unobstructed getaway.

2.) Have an exit strategy

Once you know your city like the back of your hand, start mapping out multiple exit pathways. Practice driving these roads and become familiar with them. Having multiple exit plans gives you a greater chance of success if PLAN A falls through the floor.

3.) Keep a full tank of gas

In a full blown system meltdown you’re not just gonna stroll into a gas station for a Snickers and a fill up. You might not have access to gas for many miles. Keeping a full tank ensures you MAXIMIZE the distance you can put between you and the urban jungle.

4.) Make a bug out bag

bug out bag

A bug out bag contains all the crucial gear you’ll need to survive 72+ hours without access to food or water. At the bare minimum you need 3 days worth of food and water. Keep one in your car, at work, and at home. This way you’ll have access to something you can grab and go at a moments notice. Read my 2018 guide on making a bug out bag. 

>>>also read this post on a kit specific to urban survival<<<

5.) Ride a motorcycle

This option is obviously not for everybody but I will say this – people riding motorcycles have the highest chances of exiting the city rapidly. A motorcycle or scooter can easily zip through traffic. While your average car is sitting around going slow as a snail, the motorcyclist zooms straight through unobstructed.

6.) Stockpile supplies before SHTF

One strategy of survival is “bugging in” rather than bugging out. To bug in you need a healthy supply of food. Mainly, food that won’t spoil if the power is out. Think about food like clif bars, canned goods, and ready to make packages from Mountain House. You can buy buckets of that stuff and be completely set to hunker down and blow through whatever is going on.

7.) Self defense

This is super crucial especially if you’re deciding to bug in. Get licensed to own a firearm or at least get a good combat knife and some long range bear spray. You’ll need something to fend off the looters and other creatures of the urban jungle.

 

The Bare Bones Power Outage Survival Guide

shtf-generators

It’s the funniest thing when the power goes out. At first, a slight panic. Did a breaker pop? Do the neighbors still have power? Wow, it’s dark and and quiet! Then comes the mad scramble for that one illusive flashlight that hasn’t been used in years. Finally! The flashlight has been found. Wait, this thing is out of batteries!

By the time the average person gets around to finding the batteries the power has come back on. Instead of prepping for future power outage occurrences what does the average person do? Absolutely nothing of course. Not a good game plan.

In this post let’s cover some basic prepping you can do to make life during a power outage much easier on yourself.

The basics

First off, check with PG&E to discover the extent of the outage. You can setup alerts to notify immediately of power outages in your area. This will at least give you peace of mind knowing the problem is being worked through, and you’re not the only one effected by the outage.

Second, secure the minimum gear to temporarily continue first world standards of living.

Here is a basic list of gear:

Now, this is ultra bare bones yet more than most people have during a power outage. With the above supplies you have everything you need to light up the house, cook, stay hydrated, and collect updates on the extent of the outage through the radio. If you want to get ultra fancy you can look into generators so you can continue to run your fridge and some of your lights.

Using the propane stove you can begin to cook the food that’s in your fridge. No power obviously means a lot of the food in your fridge and freezer will start to go bad after some time. Cook the stuff that will spoil the quickest. For quick meals you can make fast, look into picking up a bucket of Mountain House meals. These are meals backpackers take out into the wild. All you need is hot water and you have yourself a surprisingly tasty meal. Non-perishable snacks like Clif bars are also power outage past times.

Power outages don’t have to be boring either. Keeping a couple old school board games around is a fun way to bond with the family when the power goes out. Monopoly squeezes out enough action to see even the most hardened technology addict through third world times.

One of the greatest tips I can give you is avoid candles. When most people think about power outages they think of lighting a bunch of candles. This creates a nice little ambiance but also opens you up to a serious house fire. If you do opt for candles, make sure the flame is properly enclosed. The WORST candles you can use are those long candle sticks with an open flame.

Final thoughts

Getting through power outages is not rocket science. You do not need to be a hardened survivalist to make it through. With some basic gear and common sense, you can easily see yourself through even long lasting outages with relative ease.

 

 

Going Grayman and Surviving The Police State

gray-man-concept

The other day I was walking on my daily route when a cop in a white cruiser slowly passed me on the road. He made a right at the intersection while I continued straight. Further up the road at another intersection the same cop pulls up next to me and makes another right. He clearly doubled back.

At this point my radar is on full alert and now I’m just waiting for the inevitable confrontation. The cop was obviously tailing me. Up the road even further the copper passes then pulls his cruiser over about 50 feet in front of me and gets out. He begins walking towards me. My heart rate is now elevated ever so slightly as my mind is attempting to make sense out of what is going on. Usually when this happens the cops have mistaken me for someone else and confronting me on the grounds of “I fit the description of a suspect.”

I immediately ask the officer what is going on. He informs me of numerous break ins in the area and he is making the rounds to see what the pedestrians are up to. I had my house key around my neck and informed him that I lived in the neighborhood and was on my usual exercise route.

It was at this point he asked to see my ID. I politely refused (legally of course as I will explain later.) He then had the audacity to hand me a pedestrian profile document with a laundry list of personal questions. I once again informed the cop that I wasn’t interested in providing any questions to him. He digressed into a half hearted ramble about how this information was for the good of the neighborhood and so forth. I stood my ground and left. The cop understood where he was coming from and realized I was fully exercising my rights as a citizen.

Luckily the cop was respectful but this is not always the case. Some cops will blatantly bully you into divulging information you don’t need to give up. When dealing with cops, the key is to understand your rights and always keep calm.

Stop and identify statutes

In most states there are stop and identify statutes based on the type of interaction you are having with a police officer. There are 3 types:

  • Consensual – at anytime a police office may approach you and ask questions. You are not obligated to respond or identify yourself and may leave at anytime.
  • Reasonable suspicion – if a police office believes you have committed a crime or in the process of breaking the law he may detain you for questioning and frisk you for weapons if he thinks you’re armed. States with stop and identify statutes require you to ID yourself, but you may still remain silent under the Miranda law.
  • Arrest – if an arrest is made police officers have a no holds barred authority to search your person and take you in for questioning. In states with stop and identify statutes you are required to ID yourself. Not providing this information in some jurisdictions is even considered obstructing justice.

Going grayman

This post assumes you are the average man simply wanting to avoid the cops. Not because you are doing anything illegal, but because you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. This is the art of going Grayman. At the time, I was wearing an old pair of jeans, dirty hiking shoes, and wearing a dirty backpack. My hair was uncut and unkempt. All things considered, I looked like a homeless transient. The neighborhood I live in is primarily military families. The men are clean cut and usually aren’t walking around mid day like I was…especially with a backpack. I messed up because I went out looking suspicious. If I wanted to go unnoticed I’d give myself a buzzcut, put a military style hat on, and wear something clean.

The point is not to look military. The point is to look like you fit in wherever you live. A military look in a primarily urban area is going to look suspicious and vice versa. Take stock of how people dress in your area, what they drive, where they go…and then do your best to follow suit. Doing this ensures a safe passage through your day to day travels as you simply look like everyone else. Leave the flash and attention grabbing antics to the teenagers.

Conclusion

Going Grayman is more than just avoiding the police. It’s about not drawing attention from people who have their own best interests and heart – and people who might become a little to opportunistic given the right circumstances. Think about an SHTF scenario.

Thanks for reading.

 

4 SHTF Exercises To Build Muscle and Burn Fat

Talking to local preppers in my community and observing preppers online there is one aspect I always see overlooked – raw physical health. Preppers will go to the moon and back to secure the latest survival widget but can’t take a walk around the block to ensure their health is in ship shape. With some of these preppers you can smell the cold cuts seeping through the pores a mile off. You can tell straight away these guys have a doomsday stockpiles worth of food ready to be eaten at a moments notice, but are extremely undisciplined in their health.

Why is it so hard for people to get in shape? Why is physical health such an often overlooked thing to prep for? What good is all that food and ammo if you can’t even run around the block without heaving for air? How much life can you really enjoy if you are quickly winded walking up a flight of stairs? If a fire broke out could you even run down the stairs fast enough before the flames engulfed you and the entire building? Speed and agility are crucial abilities in an SHTF scenario.

If you are not in shape fear not – with the following exercises you’ll be ready for a full blown shtf scenario in no time. Best of all, ALL of these exercises don’t even require a gym membership so there’s no excuse not to get started.

Walking

best-shtf-backpack

Walking is not the most exciting or interesting exercise on the planet. However, this is exactly what you need to start doing today if you want to become stronger. You have probably been neglecting your body for years. This neglect is showing up as excess body fat, sluggish blood flow, pot belly, double chin, clogged arteries, and perhaps even more embarrassing symptoms like erectile dysfunction and low libido. The thing is, you’re not going to become a crossfit or lifting champion overnight. You’ve got to go for the low hanging fruit. Walking for 30 minutes everyday is a great start towards becoming fit and strong. Find a nice section of woods around your apartment or home. If you live in a city walking is the best way to see your logistics at the street level – you will start to notice side streets and elements of the city you overlooked while driving. Double whammy!

Pullups

Pullups and chinups deliver a total upper body workout you’re definitely going to feel in the morning. Pullups contract your lats, forearms, shoulders, and even your abs. You can easily purchase a home pull up bar or simply walk/drive to any local park. With a little creativity anything can become a pull up machine. I like local parks because they offer a lot of versatility for your workouts.

Burpees

Burpees are another total body workout. The burpee is popular in military boot camps and for a good reason. This exercise alone will whip your ass into shape in no time. Start in a standing position and then drop into a pushup position. Complete the pushup and immediately revert back to standing position. Extra points if you throw in the occasional jumping jack. The burpee engages the chest, shoulders, legs, and core. All muscles you will need when the shit hits the fan.

Hiking

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This is my favorite SHTF workout. Strap on a heavy backpack and hit the trail. This exercise delivers a payload of benefits. First of all it’s simply a good time to get out in nature and experience the great outdoors. Secondly it allows you to test out what it’s like to lug your bug out bag around for a few hours. Most people will put a bug out bag together not even realizing they couldn’t carry it a single mile if their life depended on it. Lastly, you’re going to shed pounds and build the proper muscles required to walk long distances – something that might come in mighty handy.

Conclusion

Ultimately getting in shape contributes to your overall well being and having a quality life experience. Of course, having a lean and physical body will drastically increase your odds of survival in an SHTF situation. I’m sure you can think of a thousand reasons why being fit and healthy is a good thing. Now lay off those donuts and get to work!

 

Core Principles and Gear Inside The Preppers Kit

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So you want to put together a preppers kit in case SHTF? You’ve seen the madness this world is capable of. You’ve seen first hand the man made and natural disasters of the world. When you go to the store you observe the human zoo knowing full well any one of these chimps can break down at a moments notice. An EMP blast can send us straight back to the stone age. How do you prepare for these things?

Putting together a basic preppers kit is a good start. But how does one go about putting together a kit capable of blasting through the madness and seeing yourself through to survival?

First, it helps to understand the core principles of what goes into the kit.

The blueprint of survival…

The human body needs food, water, and shelter to survive. Without these elements in place the body begins to atrophy and death quickly follows.

Water is of course an essential element in any kit. You should be stocking 5 gallon drums of water in your home. On top of this you need something in your kit to purify water should you run out of your stockpile. A water filter like the Sawyer Squeeze can purify 100,000 gallons of water. This is great for a single person. Do you have a family? A larger water filter like the Big Berkey provides clean water from any source to your entire family. Go ahead and use that pond or river water. Even if you live in the City you can find dubious sources of water easily made clean by water filtering products.

Food is the next on the list. Now, when focusing on long term food storage think about foods that keep a long shelf life. You can get long term food storage kits for fairly cheap and they last up to 25 years. Cheaper options include rice, beans, and grains. These are staple foods providing your body with the carbs and proteins required to sustain your survival. Make sure you have a good stock pile of food because chances are you’re a lousy hunter. Luckily, most SHTF scenarios will be over fairly quickly.

Shelter. Chances are you have a home. This home is your first line of defense against the chimps. You know, the apes who will take to the streets and plunder and pillage anything in sight. Even in safe times there’s the off chance of getting burgled. Learn about cheap ways to fortify your home. In a bug out situation consider packing a solid SHTF tent.

It is true that in extreme conditions a lack of shelter will kill you faster than a lack of food and water. Shelter not only protects you from the elements but protects you against the shit slinging chimps who have reverted back to their primal modes of being.

A list of goodies…

  • A good knife
  • fire kit (matches, lighters, ferrocerium rod)
  • Spices (salt, pepper, etc)
  • Water filter
  • Water containers
  • Cooking supplies (pots, pans, basic stuff)
  • Paracord
  • Bug out bag
  • IFAK (individual first aid kit)
  • Generator
  • Gasoline
  • Cigarettes, alcohol, games (Why not have a little fun?)
  • Propane powered stove top
  • Propane
  • Emergency radio
  • Essential oils
  • Hygiene kits (Shampoo, toothpaste, chapstick, sunscreen, feminine products, etc)
  • Duct tape
  • Boots
  • Proper clothing
  • Good attitude

With these basic provisions in place you now have yourself a solid preppers kit to work with. Beyond the kit itself it’s crucial to assess your skills and hone anything that needs sharpening. It’s one thing to have all of this stuff and another to know how to use everything and why. I recommend picking up books on both survival and bushcrafting. Work on your skills everyday knowing you just might have to use them one day.

The 10 Most Common SHTF Scenarios and How To Survive

doomsday-prepping

SHTF can strike at a moments notice. Wherever you are, there is a plethora of disastrous possibilities lurking around the corner. In this post we’re going to cover a few of the most common SHTF scenarios and outline a blueprint for survival. Don’t get caught with your pants down!

1.) Financial Ruin

Not the most glamorous SHTF scenario but a common one nonetheless. Most everybody will experience a time when cash is tight, or they experience an injury and must pay medical bills. Added expenses are unforeseen and can throw you into a financial crisis. Preparation for these times is a simple formula of making as much money as possible and putting any extra you have into a rainy day savings account. I know some of you work very hard for little pay but see where it’s possible to expand your skillset to make more. Everyone is capable of learning new skills and either starting a business or becoming more valuable in the workplace.

2.) Power Outages

Power outages are very common even in the first world. I usually experience them twice a year and I live in a very developed part of the country. Especially if you live out in the wilderness, having a generator and enough supplies to see you through an outage is crucial. With a generator you can keep the fridge running and power smaller appliances like a couple lights. Ensuring you have flashlights and all the essentials like food and water is also crucial.

3.) Fires

Those of you living on the west coast of the United States undoubtedly understand the dangers of local fires. Many people this year had to evacuate their homes and many lost their homes all together. If you’re a homeowner ensure you have at least a 100 foot of clearance around your house. If there is a fire in your area pay close attention to your emergency response channels using an emergency radio or a police/fire scanner. Have your valuables ready to go at a moments notice and stock your bug out vehicle with essential survival gear like bottled water, a medical kit, and all the other pieces of SHTF gear.

4.) Natural Disasters

Similar to FIRE, many SHTF scenarious take the form of natural disasters. This year we’ve seen an abundance of hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, and tornados. Prepping for these natural disasters is crucial to your survival. First, take stock of the most likely event in your location. Depending on your region you could be vulnerable to a number of catastrophic natural disasters, or perhaps not. Whatever the case, have a bug out plan ready to go to get you to a secondary location and be sure to have a proper bug out bag. Remember this – food, water, and shelter are your main concerns. Cover these bases and you’re good to go. Prepping is not that difficult or complex if you simply understand what the human body needs to survive.

5.) Civil Unrest

We’ve seen civil protests turn violent all over the nation. Do you live in a progressive city where these types of protests take place? The most important thing to focus on during riots and other periods of violence is your physical safety. Look into getting some form of self defense weapon and training. If anything, a can of pepper spray in your car can protect you if you get attacked. Make sure your home/apartment is well fortified from looters and have a well thought out escape plan and a second bug out location. Typically these types of things are dealt with by local law enforcement very quickly, but they can be deadly if you’re caught in the middle of the crossfire.

6.) Economic Collapse

This is similar to a personal economic collapse except on a larger scale. Economic collapse means many business’ go under and most employees get fired from a once lucrative job. When you can’t find work, what do you do? Self sufficiency is key here. IF you have family, everybody should pull their resources together and support one another. Learn to grow your own food and brush up on the many skills our great ancestors once relied on to survive back in the days.

7.) Nuclear War

North Korea, enough said. As they develop their nuclear program we slowly inch closer and closer to nuclear war? Will it actually happen and should preppers be worried? 

My first prep would be moving away from the major cities as these spots will be first on the target list. Depending on where you are survival could be a limited option based on your proximity to the blast. Short of building a fallout shelter surviving a nuke will prove difficult on ground zero, although it’s not unheard of. 

8.) Terrorism

Terrorist attacks are typically carried out by foreign adversaries but domestic terror attacks are not unheard of, especially in the case of the Unabomber and the many shootings we see across the nation. Preparing for these  can range from carrying a concealed weapon to always being extremely vigilant of your surroundings. Be especially vigilant in high risk areas like airports and major cities.

9.) Sickness

Pandemics or simply you or a loved one falling ill. The solution? If you’re currently healthy keep yourself that way. You don’t need to follow any crazy dieting plan either. Cut the sugar,  eat more veggies, and get your exercise. Proper care of your body and mind will lead to a bolstered immune system allowing you to fight off illness and protect your loved ones.

10.) Burglary

Very common for houses to get staked out and burgled by local baddies. These guys can be deterred on the cheap. First, get big dog. Be sure your motion sensor floodlights are BRIGHT and all the potential entryways to your house are well bolstered and secured. You can install an alarm system if you have the money but sticking the sign outside your house can be just as effective. From there, keep valuables locked up in a safe and arm yourself with weapons and ammo. The cocking of a shotgun will have these guys running for the hills in no time.

 

 

43 Survival Guides in PDF Format

survival-guides

I know when I got into survival I wanted to tear through all the literature. I read the SAS survival handbook and basically every single survival book recommended to me on the internet. Even after all this I was hungry for more info. Below is a collection of survival guides I found on the internet. All of them are in PDF format available for free download. Each PDF is available for individual download or a complete archive in zip format is available here.

Please note that credit for the following books is given to the listed authors within the publications and are not in any way affiliated with this site. I have simply taken the time to curate these books from the internet. With that said, please learn and enjoy!

Survival / Preparedness / Off Grid

  • 11 Steps To Survival – Canada has a robust emergency preparedness unit in each province and region of the country. This is a short handbook on basic survival strategies for common situations for the region. Lot’s of good stuff in here.
  • Aids To Survival – A surprisingly comprehensive survival book written by the Western Australia Police Academy. This guide has everything from basic survival tactics to full blown sections on radio communications. Because it’s an Aussie publication of course there’s an entire section dedicated to bushcrafting and bush survival.
  • Captain Dave’s Survival Guide – I’m not sure who Captain Dave is but he has some sound advice in his ebook. It’s a short read with some basic knowledge. Certainly not as technical as the others on this list but he has a great writing style and good basic advice. I recommend this one to the beginner survivalist.
  • A Common Sense Guide To Being Prepared – These are a handful of articles published in TIME magazine shedding light on the possibilities of certain attacks. They found in many cases it’s simply too technical of a challenge to launch any kind of attack which would effect a large population of people. This is why many biological and terrorist attacks are hyper local to a specific area. It’s a short read and might put your mind at ease.
  • Desert Emergency Survival Basics – Headed to the desert? It would be wise to give this book a glossy once-over. It’s packed with survival info specifically for desert regions. It’s loaded with navigation advice and what to do if you get lost or run out of water. Another great one to have in your arsenal of survival guides.
  • Ethicon Wound Closure Manual – Close a wound even if someone or yourself is bleeding out. This is an extremely technical manual. I glossed over it but couldn’t understand most of the terminology. If you’re a medical student drop out you might be able to grasp some of the literature in this one. Still good to have.
  • Underworld Survival Guide – This appears to be a manual for vagrants or homeless people looking to score free stuff. None the less, I thought the ingenuity in some of the cons were worth the read. If nothing else have a good laugh at some of this stuff.
  • Free Hot Tips – A giant bulleted list of easily digestible survival knowledge written by a former Green Beret. Some of these are quite good and this guide is a refreshing one compared to the more lengthy publications on this list.
  • Backyard Composting – The art of turning your waste into rich natural soil ripe for gardening and farming. Off grid stuff.
  • Hunting With a Bow and Arrow – Comprehensive book on hunting the old fashioned silent way. Learn to track your prey and move in for the kill. Practical advice loaded with sound hunting principles.
  • Homemade Traps and Snares – Lot’s of ways to make your own critter catching devices. Well illustrated diagrams too.
  • How To Prepare For Any Disaster – Great resource for surviving anything life throws at you. Lot’s of knowledge nuggets even the seasoned prepper will appreciate.
  • Worst Case Survival Handbook – Learn essential survival skills such as escaping from quicksand, jumping off a bridge, and fending off a shark. Survival situations you never think about are examined in hilarious detail in this guide.
  • Never Say Die – Another one from our Canadian Neighbors. I like how this guide jumps straight into the psychology of survival. The Canadian books on this list seem to be jam packed with solid survival advice.
  • Planning a Home or Farm Vegetable Garden – A short guide to planting and harvesting your own vegetables. Good resource for the prepper looking to slowly escape the iron grip of the food trucks and supermarkets.
  • The Complete Outdoorsman’s Handbook – A comprehensive guide to being a man in the outdoors. Learn to properly use a chainsaw, canoe, snowmobile, defend yourself against bugs, and survive in the wilderness.
  • USMC Water Survival Course – A complete guide on surviving out at sea no matter what the case. Packed with essential water survival knowledge straight from the hands of the United States Marine Course.
  • Survival Evasion and Recovery – Another Military document.
  • Wilderness Survival Guide and Tips – A basic document covering the essentials of what is needed in a survival kit along with a few general survival tips.
  • Winter Survival Course Handbook – Another one from the desk of the United States Marine Core. It seems these handbooks dive deep into the psychological aspects of survival which many other survival manuals leave out.
  • Winter Time Camping – Great resource for camping in cold climates and conditions.
  • You Will Survive Doomsday – Written by a Radiological Scientific Officer, this guidebook explores how to survive nuclear attacks. Bruce guides you through the process of fortifying your home and dispels many myths related to surviving a nuclear drop.
  • Your Basement Fallout Shelter – Build a fallout shelter in your basement.
  • A Complete Handbook of Nature Cures – Heal yourself with the natural world around you.
  • Survival Cooking – How to cook in various survival situations.

Bushcraft

  • Canadian Bushcraft Scout Manual – Think about what they used to teach in the Boy Scouts. This book contains classic and timeless knowledge about hiking safely, setting up camp, reading the weather, securing the right tools, making fire, and all the other pieces of knowledge we should all learn. Principle based with technical knowledge and diagrams.
  • Guide To Wild Edible Plants – A giant list of plants you can eat. I wish it would have had picture diagrams because there is no way to tell what you’re picking.
  • Handbook of Knots and Splices – Every knot you could possibly think of and more. Learn about what knots to use in what situations.
  • Pioneering Knots and Lashings – Clean cut diagrams and detailed descriptions of how to make each knot. The book contains lot’s of practical situations for the knots you learn about. There’s also many knots even the experienced Yachtsman has never heard of.
  • Wilderness Shelter Types – A quick list of the various types of shelters. A nice dirty guide to creating your own shelters.

Self Defense

  • Be Your Own Body Guard – This one covers everything related to personal safety. Everything from conflict avoidance to striking where it hurts. Lot’s of solid info on predator psychology and how to avoid violent situations all together. I particularly like the importance placed on developing situations awareness.
  • Citizens Homeland Defense Guide – This book attempts to educate you on staying out of harms way from a plethora of wild attacks. The book covers what to do during terrorist, biological, and chemical attacks. There’s a good deal of info on escape tactics as well as an entire section on Krav Maga techniques. Interesting read but the author could have gone deeper into the subjects. Still worth checking out in my opinion.
  • Tough – Everything you need to know to win a fist fight as taught to the British Commandos and U.S. Armed Forces.

Escape and Evasion

  • Combat Survival and Evasion – An extremely comprehensive study of evasion and survival tactics. Everything from the initial escape to surviving on the run is accounted for in blistering detail. An interesting read with a ton of easily applied survival info.
  • Survival Evasion and Recovery – This one looks like it’s been produced by the U.S. Military as a general guideline for all armed forces. It’s loaded with mil-spec information including an entire section on Camouflage theory which I thought was very interesting.

Weapons

  • The Knuckle Gun – Interesting diagram on building a pair of brass knuckles capable of firing a .22 round. Does this thing actually work? Read for yourself because I would love to know!

Government

  • FEMA Civil Preparedness Guide – A very dry read outlining the proposed policies and procedures of local authorities during periods of disaster. You might find some of their policies interesting but there is little in the way of real survival tips.
  • FEMA Flood Guide – Everything you need to know about floods compliments from our friends at FEMA.
  • Field Craft – A lengthy guide from the Canadian National Defense on the art of engaging the enemy and staying hidden. Lot’s of good info on navigating at night and using various technologies to accomplish missions.

Misc

 

The 14 Best Prepper Quotes of All Time

prepper-quotes

Great writers can sum up entire blocks of information into easily consumable snippets of words. Sometimes all you need is a quick punchy line to absorb the philosophy and understand the true nature of a subject. Here I have assembled a list of the best prepper quotes that accurately sum up the philosophy of the modern day prepper.

1.)

Civilized man is only 9 missed meals away from total anarchy – unknown

It’s all fun and games until the food trucks stop running. At work, your coworker Joe is one nice chap. Let’s just see how nice Joe is when he makes a run to the store only to see the shelves have been completely wiped out due to a power outage that spooked the local population. Extend the power outage to 3 days and watch Joe and the rest of your city/town go planet of the apes mode. Never underestimate the depths a man can sink to when his own survival is on the line. Don’t be like Joe, invest in long term food storage.

2.)

Without weapons you are simply collecting resources for the strongest ape on the block – unknown

So you have yourself a healthy stockpile of food and water. Good stuff. Now, how are you going to protect it when Tryone and his gang of cronies come to your place looking for goods? You think he’s going to leave just because you asked nicely? I bet if you shoved a 12 gauge in his face he might think twice. I bet if you came at him with a pair of crazy eyes and a fully loaded AK-47 Tyrone might just find an easier target. It’s good you have the proper SHTF gear but now it’s time to start thinking about protecting what you collected.

3.)

Survival can be summed up in three words – never give up. That’s the heart of it really. Just keep trying. – Bear Grylls

While I don’t consider Bear Grylls the leading expert in prepping and survival he makes a good point here. Survival is built in to the heart of man. When you haven’t eaten in weeks the only thing keeping you alive is hope. It’s this ferocious sense of duty to make it through any situation and come out on top that will see you through. You’re as good as dead if you lose hope and lose heart. More and more people today despite living in the first world have lost hope. You can see in their eyes their soul has shriveled. The only thing keeping them alive is the daily sustenance of their eating habits. Throw this person into a true survival situation and you have a recipe for death.

4.)

The greatest detriment to your survival is to depend on others for your safety and security – unknown

As civilization becomes more cushy and less threatening we have grown accustom to relying on others for the things we need. When there’s a civil dispute we call the cops. When we run out of food we get on food stamps. We take advantage of everything the first world provides. Millennials (my generation) now expect free school and free medical. It’s funny to think of how we will survive in a true SHTF scenario. My guess is most will not. When they pick up the phones and don’t have a dial tone, well, that’s the makings for a 21st century horror scene. In what ways are you relying on others to meet your needs? It is the duty of the prepper to become as self sufficient as possible. That doesn’t mean you refuse help if you need it. It only means do as much as you can so you aren’t at the mercy of someone else. Get yourself a proper SHTF plan and put your mind at ease. That is true freedom.

5.)

Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. -Winston Churchill

For Winston, victory was everything. It was the ultimate goal. To achieve victory is to survive. To survive is to achieve victory. It’s getting to the top of the mountain and proudly looking at the hard path you forged behind you. Victory is a mindset that once cultivated makes you invincible.

6.)

You can’t defend your home from your home – unknown

Home security. How hard would it be for Tyrone to bust into your house? How secure are your doors and windows. Where are all the places of potential entry and how can you fortify them? At the bare minimum get yourself some heavy duty doors and solid locks. Look into a home security camera system to monitor the area from the inside.

7.)

All that is really necessary for survival of the fittest, it seems, is an interest in life, good, bad or peculiar. – Grace Paley

What Grace is trying to say is simple – those with a thirst for life will seek a way to preserve their survival even in the toughest times. Have you lost your passion for living? Are you simply fading away and going through the motions? If you consider your life boring and not worth it what will motivate you when you’re in a full blown survival situation? A renewed interest in life will naturally lead into learning skills which preserve the human vehicle.

8.)

Not all who wander are lost – J.R.R Tolkien 

From a certain perspective, this quote is about people who travel the world with no real plan or agenda. They like to see new things and this fulfills them. From a preppers perspective, it’s the stranger in a new town who’s creeping around with a malicious agenda. Be wary of people you don’t know all of the sudden showing up in the neighborhood. Chances are they know exactly why they are there. If Tyrone thinks he can target you or your place he better think twice.

9.)

All real communities grow out of a shared confrontation with survival. Communities are not produced by sentiment or mere goodwill. They grow out of a shared struggle. Our situation in the desert is an incubator for community – Larry Harvey

On the flip side to the previous quote, great communities can be forged out of a common struggle. Despite the violence we are used to seeing on TV I believe most people are generally decent and will do what they can to help their fellow man. Perhaps you too can learn to create a fellowship of preppers who have each others back. Make sure each is putting in their dues and the group can grow stronger as a result.

10.)

If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree I’d spend the first 6 sharpening the axe – Abraham Lincoln

Here’s a classic quote speaking to the essence of prepping. You prep for the hard times ahead of you by stocking food, water, and supplies. Taken more literally, it’s also about maintaining your tools and using the right tool for the job.

11.)

Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable. – General George S. Patton

A basic principle for learning and preparing for anything – look at how somebody else did it. Want to build a 6 figure business? Go to someone who’s done it. Want to learn and prep for hard times? Look at how your great grandparents made it through the great depression. The past is rich with lessons if you spend the time digging through the tomes of forgotten knowledge.

12.)

Make preparations in advance. You never have trouble if you’re prepared for it. – Ted Roosevelt

Another simple one. Prepare people ahead of time people!

13.)

Anybody worth shooting is worth shooting twice – Joe Fox (Viking Preparedness)

Sounds like a violent quote but let’s not have a failure of the imagination. This quote speaks directly to finishing the job you set out to do. It’s about setting your intention and seeing something through to the end.

14.)

The prudent see danger and take refuge, the simple keep going and pay the penalty – Proverbs 27:12

Smart people see problems and take action. Simple minds either can’t see problems or do nothing to reverse the course of the future. Prepping is about knowing that times might not always be that easy. It’s about preparing you and your family for the rough times ahead. Man was born unto a world rich with problems and solutions. See the problem and then find the solution.

Got a quote? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

14 SHTF Preparedness Tips and Tactics

shtf-preparedness

Are you prepared for a fully blown SHTF situation? Chances are you’re just now getting into the game of SHTF preparedness and need a few tips and tactics to get you started. We all start somewhere and most are lucky to start at all. Taking the first step by researching and preparing you put yourself way ahead of the pack. Let’s start with some of the basics.

1.) Know your enemy

Once you understand the enemy you can prepare for war

Preparing for an SHTF situation requires a close analysis of your current environment. What are the most likely types of situations to effect you and or your family? For most of us this could mean a loss of a job or a primary source of income. Prepping for financial disaster is not as glamorous as building a fallout shelter but running into financial trouble is at the top of the SHTF preparedness list.

Start brainstorming other likely scenarios. Maybe you live in a flood zone or an area where there are lots of protests and violence. Read my post on planning for an SHTF scenario to setup a detailed plan for yourself. Once you understand the enemy you can prepare for war.

2.) Have a bug out plan

Time to get out of dodge…

You need a secondary location you can escape to of TSHTF. If your entire city or town is getting overrun by an external force you can’t control, where will you go? Think about your nearest safe haven. This could be a cabin in the deep woods or the house of a family member or friend. Think about different ways you can reach this location in case the roads become blocked or otherwise impassable. The idea here is setting up a way to get from point A to point B in one piece.

3.) Coordinate with a team

Alpha to Bravo…do you copy!

There is strength in numbers. Your chances of survival are greatly enhanced if you can form a team and work through a strong survival plan. Each person in the team has a different skill they can bring to the table. If planned properly each member of the team can practice a skillset before TSHTF. For example, one of you can become skilled at HAM radio communications while another can learn to trap, hunt, and shoot weapons. Anybody can take the EMT course and learn basic medical procedures for injuries. Together these skills are a true force to be reckoned with and greatly enhance the chances of each individual making it through the situation.

4.) Get in shape

Lose the weight

Lose the belly and begin working on a physical fitness regiment. You don’t need to become the next great bodybuilder but having the ability to walk long distances with a pack is beneficial. Getting in shape has a number of positive benefits outside of surivival which don’t need to be harped on. You will look good and feel great – and that’s the entire point of life outside of a survival scenario. Your quality of life will increase 10X if you can squeeze in a couple of hikes and a full body workout 2 – 3 times a week.

Some of my personal favorite excercises are pull-ups, burpees, squats, and hikes. Pullups and berpees hit nearly every single muscle in the human body while hikes condition your response to prolonged cardio. Let’s imagine you can’t use a car because of a roadblock or EMP blast. How do you think you’ll get around? That’s right, you’re gonna have to use those chevrolegs my friend.

5.) Throw a bug out bag together

Basic supplies to prepare at a basic level

The bug out bag is the cornerstone of any solid SHTF preparedness plan. It tops the list in terms of preparation. A good bug out bag will have all the gear you need to survive 72 hours plus gives you the ability to secure your own supplies. In the bug out bag will be 72 hours worth of food and water plus additional supplies.

Here’s a sample of what a decent bug out bag might look like:

  • The bug out bag (I recommend the Rush 72)
  • Survival knife
  • Flashlight
  • Fire kit
  • Water filter
  • 72 hours food + water
  • Change of clothes
  • Stainless steel cooking thermos
  • Medical kit
  • Emergency radio
  • Important documents (ID, Passport, etc.)

Here is a checklist you can reference for a full list of bug out bag supplies.

6.) Stock up on food

Rice and beans again?

An obvious one for sure. Take any extra cash you have floating around and stock up on survival food kits with a long shelf life. Lot’s of companies offer freeze dried products good for up to 25 years. These foods can be eaten and rotated every 5 years. Having a weeks worth of food is a good start. Living in the first world it’s very unlikely to have a power outage last more than a couple days tops.

7.) Secure clean water

I fear what lurks in that well…

Water is the most crucial survival element to the human body. What happens if you turn the faucet on one day and nothing comes out? What if your only source of water is that old pond or reservoir down the road? This water will certainly need to be treated before you or your family consumes it. For a single person I’m a big fan of everyone in your party carrying either a Life Straw or a Sawyer Squeeze water filter. These devices will easily filter out harmful bacteria. A larger scale option for families is the Berkey water filter. You don’t want to catch a case of the runs in a full blown SHTF situation.

8.) Survive without power

More than just candles and Uno

Tell me something – what would you do right now if the power went out. Would you lose it completely because you aren’t prepared? Think about how you will generate electricity without the grid. Generators are a great start and propane gas can power lot’s of nifty things like stoves, heaters, and lights. At the bare minimum have a few cheap flashlights and a couple candles around. Having basic equipment like this in stock will hold you over until the power goes back online. For extended outages have a few board games and a deck of cards handy for a little entertainment.

9.) Arm yourself

Probably gonna need more ammo

It doesn’t matter what kind of firearm you get – just get something. Shotguns are a great jack of all trades weapon while rifles allow for more range and accuracy. Get one and practice shooting until you can competently hit a target consistently. I’m not a gun fanatic like many preppers but having something to defend yourself with and/or hunt is crucial to SHTF preparedness.

10.) Make copies of important documents

License and registration please

Make copies of documents like your ID and passport and store them in multiple locations. If you lose the originals these can still prove useful. You never know when you’ll be forced to up and leave at a moments notice. Having these copies stashed in your cars, place of work, and other locations will ensure you’re close to them at all hours of the day.

11.) Carry spare cash

Cash is king

Cash is a great bartering item alongside being the only form of currency you’ll be able to use at stores if the power goes out. It’s been easy to become far too reliant on the plastic chip in your wallet but when it comes to SHTF preparedness, cash is king. Keep at least a $100 bucks in different denominations on you at all times. I like to keep my cash in a money belt especially if I’m traveling.

12.) Have a communications plan

Comms UP

When the grid goes down and you can’t use your cell how will you communicate with your team? For starters you’ll need to understand how HAM radio works. From there you can work on getting licensed and securing the equipment required to communicate off grid. When the cell and power towers go down you’ll need a self sustaining setup to communicate with the world around you. While modern day cell towers will be non-functioning, old school lines of communication like radio will be alive and well.

13.) IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit)

Blood on the horizon

No SHTF preparedness kit is worth the weight unless there’s a decent medical kit inside. The IFAK is one such kit with all the supplies you need to treat wounds and injuries out in the field. You can buy premade kits or you can go the DIY route which will no doubt save you money. Any good IFAK has the following supplies:

  • Protective gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Band-Aids
  • Small and large wound dressings
  • Super glue
  • Medical tape
  • Gauze
  • Clotting agent (Celox)
  • Cravats
  • Sling
  • Molle pouch

14.) Educate yourself

Read to lead

The great thing about the survival community is there’s lots of information out there. Entire Facebook groups with thousands of members have been formed around the subject and survival shows seem to be a dime a dozen. There is no shortage of places to go for both education and entertainment. My favorite form of education to this day is books. I’ve assembled an entire post on the best survival books and best bushcraft books. I recommend reading those posts and picking one from the list. You will no doubt come out of the material a much smarter survivalist.

SHTF preparedness conclusion

These are a few basic tips to get you all prepped up for an SHTF situation. While these are great starting points, you should know it’s impossible to fully predict or even prep for an SHTF situation. You do what you can to cover most of your bases and then improvise. Much like our ancestors, your survival in any situation will come down to your preparedness and ability to think quickly on your feet. Happy preparing and God speed!