Tag Archive: Bug out

Bugout Trailers that will Go Anywhere: 5 OFFGRID Trailers

Over the next couple of months, we are going to be looking at a number of different options for building your own bug out trailer, but to get things started I wanted to share how we got some of our inspiration.


Off The Grid Trailers: The Ultimate Portable Bug Out Shelters

We are starting a series on building the perfect bugout vehicle. During our research, I came across a number of commercial off-road solutions that I really liked. They range from barebones trailers to luxury traveling bunkers; while some are a bit excessive, and on the expensive side, they did help us come up with plans for our own bugout trailer.

These little trailers can help beef up your bugout plans; not only do they allow you to carry extra gear, but in a pinch they can be used as makeshift bugout shelters. They are tough, reliable, and can be hauled anywhere your tow vehicle can go.

BushRanger 200 XT Off Road Trailer


The BushRanger 200 XT Off Road Trailer by Kakadu Camping is a 4′ x 7′ steel box trailer with an independent axle-less suspension system that gives you a softer ride even while driving off -road. It gives you approximately 200 square feet of living space including the main bed, tent, and awning. The BushRanger 200 XT retails for $8,995.


You can find out more about the BushRanger at kakaducamping.com

The HEO T3 Trailer


At a base weight of only 550lbs, the HEO T3 can be pulled by almost any vehicle. The trailer is constructed with Mig Welded 6063-T6 tubular aluminum and covered with covered with ACM, aluminum composite material. That means not only is this trailer light, it’s also guaranteed not to rot or rust.


The trailer sleeps up to 3 people and the base model retails for $7,495. More info can be found on the HEO website.

Commander Travel Trailers by Conqueror Campers


While you can’t get these outside of Australia, if you plan on building your own off the grid trailer the Commander Travel Trailer is a good place to start.


This thing is awesome! The Commander features slideout sections for the bathroom, kitchen, storage, and water.


The sleeping are is inside the trailer, and several tent configurations can be set up to depending on what you are looking to do. You can check out more of their trailers at conqueroraustralia.com.au

The Jayco Jay Sport Baja Edition


If you are looking for something that looks a little bit more traditional or something that can fit up to 8 people, the Jay Sport Baja Edition is the way to go. The Baja comes equipped with 15-inch mud tires and an extra 5 inches of ground clearance.


When fully popped up some of these units are over 25 feet in length, but when collapsed they can fit in almost any garage. Fully loaded with all the options the trailers $12,107. You can check them out at jayco.com

Base Camp Trailers


Base Camp Trailers, built by Mobilight International In Salt Lake City Utah, are built with preppers in mind. They are fabricated with a steel tube frame and 16ga sheet steel body and they come with a ton of add-on options for preppers.


Add-on options include built-in rooftop gun boxes, solar panels packages, and fresh water storage tanks. The base models start at $4,950. You can find out more info at thebasecamptrailer.com

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: offgridsurvival


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How Do You Find A Good Survival Retreat Property?

With global economic instability rising and personal security issues taking center stage in the U.S., consumer demand is increasing for remote properties that offer security and the ability to be self-contained. This could include providing your own electric power, drinking water, food, and personal protection. In other words, it’s the ability to live independently, in a self-sufficient manner, with renewable resources far from urban chaos.  Are you looking for a remote survival property?

Think very seriously about it. We did, and what follows is a checklist of considerations for finding a survival retreat. It is the culmination of a four-year process of searching, site visitations, and more searching. When we started our search 10 years ago, we were living about 100 miles from “ground zero” for every nutjob with a terrorist death wish. There was some urgency, even then. We knew we had to prepare to Get Out of Dodge. We were convinced that, when things go South, having a dedicated safe retreat for relocating our loved ones would put your minds at relative ease, and it did. It would make no difference what the SHTF crisis was. It could be man-made or a natural disaster that causes you to leave your immediate area; it could be a nationwide financial melt-down or a long-term security situation that could make returning to your primary residence perilous or impractical. Having a retreat, when facing TEOTWAWKI, provides you with a secure place to go that is far from inner city anarchy and where you can safely maintain food reserves and other supplies and start your life over again. If that sounds like a practical alternative to holing up in your house while looters with sledgehammers crack open nearby ATMs, then our experiences could be a good primer for you.

Where do you start in determining a good location for your survival retreat? Start by doing your own research. Understand that it’s going to take some time commitment to find what you want. It’s probably one of the most important purchases of your life and for your loved ones, so take the time to be thorough. Read up on what makes a good retreat property. James Wesley, Rawls’ book, Rawles on Retreats and Relocation, is a good place to start. Joel Skousen’s Strategic Relocation is another well-known reference. Use popular Internet sites (like SurvivalRealty.com) to select your top two or three areas of the country, and learn all you can about those locations. Be sure what you select is within your budget and is a practical choice for your family and/or retreat mates. Unless you have unlimited funds, there will be trade-offs and compromises in your selection process. Eventually, you’ll boil down to the lowest common denominator– the “must-haves” at your retreat property. Once you’ve really narrowed your choices to one single area, get some professional help. If you don’t buy and sell properties on a routine basis or have a very close friend who already lives in the area you’ve selected and is willing to help you, you’ll want to consider finding a seasoned real estate broker– a highly experienced expert in local retreat properties. Talk with all of the rural property brokers in the area you’ve identified. Research the brokers thoroughly, and talk to their past clients. Consider someone very familiar with the county courthouse and who can demonstrate a good track record of satisfying clients, not just having the most listings or selling the most houses. Remember, this person must be someone you trust to be knowledgeable, thorough, and discreet; you’re not looking for a fast-buck artist. An expert who understands pricing elasticity in your area can guide you to properties that you can afford and assist, if necessary, with finding owner-financed properties and other purchasing options to meet your needs. Of course, you must have your finances in order and be seriously ready to pull the trigger when you find the property that you want.

Significant Points to Consider

Once you have pinpointed a short list of properties in your chosen area, these are some significant points to consider. Later in this article, I’ve included a fairly complete checklist of critical considerations and questions. It’s not exhaustive, but based on our own experiences it can serve as a practical guide for most everyone. These are some initial questions to ask yourself about the best sites you’ve selected.

Location: The most important rule of real estate is always location, and this is the overriding consideration in choosing any retreat location. How will you get to this location in a disaster, if it’s a multi-state drive away? What’s the population of the local area? Is the property defensible? How far off the beaten path do you want to be? How close is it from major population centers and evacuation “lines of drift”? How many access points are there?

Water: You must have year-round reliable drinking water. Are there wells, streams, springs, rainwater collection potential, and/or ponds? You need redundant water sources that are independent from city water services. What will it cost to develop or remediate these? What are average rainfall amounts for the area?

Self-sufficiency: Is the site suitable for solar energy production, wind mills, or mini-hydro power applications? Is the soil favorable for growing your own food, if necessary, and for raising livestock? Is there plentiful wild game? Is their adequate timber for building and firewood for heating your home? If you need it, what would it take to get central station electricity and city water, natural gas, and sewer to the location?

Cost of living: Can you find employment in the area? What’s the zoning situation, and how about property taxes? What are insurance costs? What sources are available locally for various services, such as hospitals, diesel mechanics, electricians, plumbers, and/or earth movers? Where are schools and churches?

Finally, don’t procrastinate. If you’re reading this, you already recognize a serious need for the security of your loved ones and close friends, should a disaster occur. Get started now. Identify a general location that is accessible and well suited to your needs. As noted in other SurvivalBlog posts, you can use City-Data.com as an effective tool to pare down your location choices. Contact a local real estate expert that specializes in retreat properties from your chosen area. Good luck and good hunting.

Checklist for Choosing Remote “Retreat” Property

  • How will you get to the retreat location in a disaster? ls your vehicle reliable and well-outfitted?
  • Do you have a refueling plan if it’s a multi-state drive away? Will you have backup supplies along the way?
  • How defensible is it? Is there high ground to control access and maintain security? Mountainous, rocky terrain limits access, but is it also suitable for planting a garden, digging a root cellar, or building a tornado shelter?
  • What are the prevailing area weather patterns? What’s the average rainfall? Length of seasons?
  • Is your site near an earthquake zone or susceptible to river flooding and/or mudslides?
  • Will any structures be visible from the nearest county road? Is there high ground from which to overlook and control your access points or build an LPOP?
  • Is there more than one ingress or egress point? Is it a private entrance or a county-maintained roadway? Does it require 4WD to access? Does the property entrance look inviting to solicitors, spooners, hunters, or other uninvited individuals? A county road sign (ie: Shady Cove Ln) is an invitation to wanderers. You do not want “curb appeal” at your retreat.
  • ls there year-round fresh drinking water– wells, streams, springs, rainwater collection, or ponds? Look for multiple water sources independent from convention city water services. What will it cost to develop or remediate these?
  • Will the soil need to be amended for agriculture or is it adequate for growing crops now?
  • What is the year round climate, and will you be able to tolerate it (for yourself and for your garden and livestock)?
  • Is there plentiful wild game? Rural areas are home to many insects, rodents, and other indigenous critters that you may not be familiar with. What are the natural predators in the area? Feral hogs and coyotes are growing into a nuisance in the South. Learn what to look for so you’ll not be surprised at what already lives on your selected property.
  • How far is your site from a major metro area or large city? What is the population of the local area, the county, the closest town, and how close is it to migratory “lines of drift” from major population centers. During a crisis, areas with high population densities generally can experience the most crime, social unrest, looting, highest likelihood for diseases, and the highest death tolls due to anarchy, depleted resources, and poor sanitation.  Avoid proximity to these areas.
  • If your site is just a raw tract of land, what are the local zoning restrictions for building? Can you have an airplane landing strip? Can you have fuel storage tanks? Can you build a lake or dam a stream? Can you drill for oil or natural gas on the property? You do plan to buy with all of the mineral rights intact, right?
  • Is there adequate road access for bringing in building materials if needed? Are there fences and gates on the property, and what is their condition?
  • Will you have to install a septic system, and if so, has the soil been perc tested? If not, what is the confidence of passing a percolation test?
  • Is there electricity nearby? Do you know the cost of bringing electricity to the building location? Will you need back-up generation capability? Which fuels (propane, natural gas, et cetera) are available?
  • Will you consider solar power? Is the site suitable for photovoltaic energy production, wind mills, or mini-hydro power applications? If so, check for adequate sun exposure near the building location (South-facing exposure for Northern Hemisphere).
  • Is there plentiful timber for building and/or firewood for heating your home?
  • Are you at least 50 miles from the nearest nuclear power plant? What are the seasonal prevailing wind directions from that plant?
  • Do you or your family need professional medical services? Occasionally, you may need medical treatment from a metro center, e.g. special health care). You might not want to live too far away from a city but beyond the reach of an evacuating mob. We like a 50 mile minimum, but further (75 miles or more) is much better. What about local ambulance service? Do you or your family members have allergies to any environmental (natural or otherwise) elements that could be aggravated at your selected location?
  • What is the general cost of living in the area? What are the median income and education levels?
  • How expensive are the property taxes? What’s the local regulatory climate?
  • What are the State and Local taxes? Is there a state income tax?
  • What about educational opportunity for school-age children? How far away are the schools?
  • What religious affiliations are prominent in the area? Where are the churches?
  • Will you live on site full time? Unless you have enough funds in reserve or lucrative investments, are you going to be able to find employment? Will the location provide a supplemental income? Will it be enough to get by?
  • If you don’t live on-site full-time, who will be looking after your property? Do you have a trustworthy neighbor to look in on the property routinely and report back?
  • What’s the attitude of local law enforcement? How about the local elected Sheriff? The local Road Commissioner is also good to check out.
  • What are the crime statistics for the county your property is in? Review the local newspaper and consider prevalent arrest statistics.
  • Who are your neighbors, and might they be like minded? Stop and visit them prior to any purchase. Make a good first impression; your life may depend on your neighbor’s good will at some point.
  • What is the political climate of the state and in the nearest town that you are considering? Will you be able to tolerate it?
  • What will it cost to insure your property for fire loss and weather-related damage.
  • Are you surrounded by other private property owners or do you have some natural boundaries or Government, National/State Forest, or BLM boundaries? This could be advantageous or not, as some Western ranchers have recently discovered.
  • How far is the location from the nearest small town? (You will need to occasionally replenish your supplies.)
  • How far is the location from the nearest mid-sized town? (They will have special services that you may require from time to time, like refilling your buried propane tanks.)
  • Would it bother you much if a high percentage of county residents were illiterate? What other characteristics of a local population should you be concerned about?
  • What sources are available locally for mechanical services, such as electricians, plumbers, earth movers, and vehicle repairs? If these are scarce, how far would providers have to come to help you, and at what cost? Can you learn to handle property maintenance work and minor medical crises yourself? Are you physically able to handle manual labor and DYI projects common in a remote setting?

There’s a lot to consider in seeking a survival property, but take it one step at a time and you won’t be overwhelmed. You’ll find it’s a lot like prepping; you start with your top survival priorities and work at it with conviction and patience over time until you have assembled what you need and learned how to deploy your acquired resources. A survival property search can be fun and very rewarding, even though it can be a long, thoughtful, decision-making process that you and your family do not enter into lightly. Sure, finding the “right” property for your needs and budget takes some time, but don’t drag your feet on starting your search process. Consider the alternatives; they are not pleasant. Leaving the city at the last minute with your family and a car full of luggage is definitely not a smart strategy. You need a specific safe destination and a solid plan (or two or three or four plans) to get to your retreat. Being aimless and mobile is high risk for even the best prepared individuals. Believe me, most city dwellers assume they are safe if they stay in their cozy house. That’s their survival plan. The error of this supposition becomes sadly obvious when the first well-armed looters invade their neighborhood. These pillagers definitely had their own plan all along, which was to take what you have as a means for their own survival. Of course, there are other city folks who really believe they can “head for the hills” and survive with their old “Boy Scout” skills. That scenario does not have a happy ending. What’s left is about 97% of the population clueless and totally unprepared. By the time they figure out there’s a serious problem and no one is coming to help them, the Seven-11’s are already empty. Be smart; be among the 3% that have a secure retreat location in advance and a plan to get to it in an emergency if you are not already living on site. In fact, have multiple backup plans to reach your retreat expeditiously, with the fuel reserves for a reliable vehicle to transport you and loved ones there as safely as possible.

Finding a good survival retreat location is not a difficult task. But putting off your search will only ensure that you’ll likely not have a safe retreat when you or your family needs it most. Start your research now. Select a general retreat location (multi-county) in a region you like, look over these checklist questions, and contact a local expert in survival retreat properties.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: survivalblog


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Bugout Bullet Bottles

Guest post by Doc Montana, a contributing author of SHTFBlog.com


Having a stockpile of ammo might provide comfort when bugging in, but what about when you have to bugout?  As you plan your survival options, make sure to include portable but long-term ammo storage solutions. There are about as many ways to store and carry ammo as there are survival calibers, but in the end three truths emerge: the ammo must be kept dry, clean, and quickly identified. Other than that, the way you do it is up to you.


Military surplus ammo cans are a popular storage choice, but the weight of a full metal ammo can is a significant drawback when going mobile.  And worse, the handles on the lightweight plastic ammo cans are notorious for breaking off just when you need them the most.  Another popular solution is to pour the ammo into clear, seal-able plastic bags.  That solution scores the highest on light weight and identification, but turns in the lowest possible scores for durability.

Off The Shelf


Some ammo manufacturers are selling ammo sealed up like a can of beans.  For example Fiocchi makes a sealed “Canned Heat”of 100 rounds of 9mm, and Federal makes a“Fresh Fire Pack” sealed can of 325 x .22 long rifle bullets.  The cans are purged of atmospheric air and filled with nitrogen preventing oxygen corrosion on bullets and primers, and both cans have key-open lids that rip off like a sardine can.

The factory sealed ammo cans are an excellent solution for a very narrow problem.  But since the can is not hermetically resealable, the S really has to Hit the Fan before you want to break the seal.  A better solution and one without the single-use disadvantage is as close as a water bottle away.  A wide-mouth Nalgene lexan water bottle to be exact.

The Bottle Basics


I was searching for a survival ammo storage solution that was durable, inexpensive, modular, lightweight, had visible contents, and provided unlimited shelf life. My choice wasNalgene lexan water bottles with large mouths. The two main sizes are 16 ounces and 32 ounces. After working with the bottles for a while, the advantages racked up beyond many other traditional ammo storage options.

Using plastic bottles to store ammo is nothing new, but in most other cases the bottle was the convenient novelty and not actually a well thought out component in the system.  As evidence of the lack of foresight with other bottles, I offer the five-second rule.  In five seconds or less, Can you empty the bottle of all .22 or pistol ammo.  Soda bottle solutions are about as functional as a piggy bank.  The fastest way to empty them is to slice them open with a knife. Not quite ideal in my book.

The Nalgene lexan bottles are extremely durable, transparent, impervious to temperature change, puncture resistant, reasonably heat resistant, watertight, and cheap.  Further, they hold enough ammo to make a difference, but not so much as to be too heavy, bulky or fragile.  And in my mildly scientific tests, I can empty a 16-ounce wide mouth bottle filled with .22 shells in four seconds.

A brand name bottle is important.  No-name plastic bottles can contain VOCs or volatile organic compounds that are common in Chinese made plastics of undisclosed material. The off-gassing inside a sealed plastic container can react with the contents so care is needed when selecting long term storage containers. Lab-grade Lexan is fairly inert, but ironically the reason I have these bottles available for ammo storage is because they were rotated out of our drinking water bottle collection due to the possibility of BPA (Bisphenol-A) chemicals leaching into the water from the particular polycarbonate plastic used at that time.  As people convert their water bottles and other food storage containers to glass, stainless steel, polypropylene, and BPA-free polycarbonate, the older Lexan bottles are often donated to places like Goodwill so there should be a cheap source of such ammo storage at your local thrift shop.  Since the airtight seal of the lid is critical, shop carefully, and don’t forget that new bottles are still inexpensive.

 Dry = Bang


To keep the ammo dry, a highly efficient desiccant such as silica gel is the best option.  Although the small “Do not eat” packets that are so common in about everything purchased these days are a better-than-nothing choice, the even better choice is to use quality bulk silica gel, especially with color indicators of viability.  I buy silica gel by the pound fromCarolina.com, a scientific supply company, but there are other quality sources including craft shops, auto parts stores, and of courseAmazon.com with products such as the one quart bottle of ATD Tools replacement desiccant.

The reason I suggest avoiding the free packets is there is no standard for purity or even evidence that they are real.  If you are going to count on your ammo in the future, don’t save a buck or two on the most important element in survival ammo preservation.  A popular emergency desiccant can be found in dry “Minute Rice,” but save that option emergencies. You need something you can count on for many years, not just a quick solution designed to prevent further damage to your iPhone after it took a swim in the toilet.


Rather than just dumping a tablespoon of silica gel into the bottle,  the bulk silica gel should be kept contained in something so you can preserve it.  A simple solution is to put the gel into a small zip-closure bag and then poke a few dozen holes into the bag with a pin or small nail.  Another idea is to re-purpose those small drawstring bags that seem to come with a lot of other gear.  For the larger bottles, I like to use the small cloth drawstring bags that companies like Benchmade include with their folding knives. I also recommend putting the silica gel at the top (lid side) of the bottle because that allows easy checking of the color indicators and oven-refreshing of the gel every so often without dumping the bottle.

I don’t have a firm rule for the amount of silica gel to include, but more is always better than less. You cannot make it too dry in the bottle, but you can err on the other side. For larger projects, you can use a silica gel calculator such as this one: (click here)

But my suggestion is about a heaping teaspoon of quality fresh silica gel for each 16 ounces of volume under normal conditions. If you are going to bury your bottle or live in a humid climate, double the recommendation at the minimum. Also, plan on refreshing the gel after the first week just because there was likely more humidity included in the bottle when first sealed. Quickly swap out the week-old gel for new gel and you should be good to go for long term storage.

There are many recommendations for refreshing silica gel but most suggest oven-heating the gel to at least 200 degrees Fahrenheit minimum and 250 degrees Fahrenheit max for between two and eight hours.  I’ve found that my color coded silica gel is ready to go again using the minimum time and temp, but I live in a low humidity area.

Keeping ammo free from exposure to moisture is especially critical with rimfire shells because the case crimping around the bullet is rarely very tight. In fact many .22 bullets spin freely around in their case. This is in stark contrast to excessively crimped and more moisture resistant military cartridges.

Bangs per Ounce


16-ounce lexan Nalgene bottle will easily hold 425 rounds of .22 long rifle with just enough room for the silica gel and a note with the date, specific ammo brand and type, and manufacturer’s lot number. I usually just include the portion of the original box with the lot number and add the date and other necessary additional information. When filled with .22 shells, the bottle weighs about three-and-a-quarter pounds or 1.5kg, which is a highly portable and useful size for many survival and bugout situations.

If you mix brands or types of ammo in the bottle, but want to keep the lot numbers, just make sure you combine different brands where you can easily pair any particular cartridge with the obvious lot number.  However in a true SHTF situation, the lot number will be little more than a bit of nostalgia from a better time.

On the 9mm side, the 16oz bottle will hold about 150 rounds with barely enough room for some silica gel. A packed pint bottle of 9mm weighs just under four pounds or 1.8kg. Obviously you could easily double these numbers by using 32 oz or one-liter bottles.  Although the weight of quart of ammo is significant, the larger mouthed one liter bottle do allow an extra mag to occupy some of the space if needed. I cannot speak for all guns, but both a Ruger 10/22 rotary mag and a Glock 9mm mag easily fit through the mouth of a 32-ounce Nalgene. In fact, the bottle will even hold one 25-round Ruger 10/22 mag if you want to really lower the density and thus weight of your quart of .22 shells.  However, the 33 round Glock mag is too long to fit in the same bottle.


While we tend to err on the side of larger, don’t forget the small.  A one ounce (30ml) bottle will hold a dozen .380 cartridges with enough room left over for a piece of gauze full of silica gel balls.  A standard magazine for popular .380 including the Ruger LCP and the Glock 42 holds six rounds.  The tiny one ounce bottle, therefore, holds two full mags of bangs.  And remember, you can always carry more than one small Bugout Bullet Bottle, but if you only have large bottles, you might elect to walk away from your bottle out of convenience. Small bottles can be carried as second nature.

Survival Deviations

Other non-ammo additions to the bottle include cleaning supplies, a few survival tools (knifefire starterparacord, etc.), fishing gear, or just about anything else that fits both your survival paradigm and through the mouth of the bottle.  You can get about 75 rounds of .223 into the 16 oz bottle, but it took me 15 seconds to empty it.  Due to the shape of the .223 shells, the packing density remains low so the bottle only weighed 2.16 pounds, or about one kilogram when filled to the brim with .223 cartridges.


In addition to .223 ammo, you could toss in a bore snake and perhaps an AR-15 small parts kit. But if you get carried away, then the bottle loses its function as a long-term ammo mule.

The bugout ammo bottle is insurance that is too cheap to pass up.  An added advantage is that there are many pouches, cases, and accessories designed to fit, hold, carry, insulate, and supplement standard sized water bottles, of which all of them will increase the functionality of the bugout ammo bottle. And even if you do shoot up all your ammo, you still have a water bottle.

All Photos by Doc Montana

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via: shtfblog


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Assimilate The Ideal SHTF Bug Out Team

Guest post by Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

——-

You have two options when it comes to conducting a full-fledged Bug Out operation.  One is to go it alone or with the immediate family or facilitate the creation of a SHTF Team to share the mission.  There are pros and cons to either route you take.  However, for this treatise let’s explore some of the attributes to building a sound Bug Out Team (BOT).  Hey, if you guys can create acronyms that nobody understands then why not me?

 

Positive Attributes

What one can do well, two can do better”? “There is strength in numbers”.  “There is NO ‘I’ in TEAM”.   For the many of you SurvivalCache.com and SHTFBlog.com readers that work in organizational leadership roles, management, or lead your own businesses, then you have likely heard such statements.  These are often remarked to motivate and encourage others.

Even if you are not in a “boss” role, you may be a member of some kind of team.  It might be shift coordinator, a production line worker, fast food employee, 2ndbaseman on the company softball team, or you serve on a civic organization committee, church delegation, or some other role where tasks or responsibilities are shared with others.

Whichever role you play in life, hopefully you recognize the advantages of having co-workers, colleagues, and others to spread the burden of the effort around.  Distribution of skills performance is one of the biggest positives of working with a team.  Everybody has particular things they do best.  It might be cook, the ability to build things, fix things, guard others, garden, train members of the team to do things, or procure supplies, whatever.


A solid, effective team effort is hard to ignore.  When teams really work together much can be accomplished.  This arrangement could mean survival success when it comes to a team approach to a SHTF response.  Just the simple element of having other human contacts can go a long way to achieving a measure of survival satisfaction.  Going it alone is simply not fun.

Building a good SHTF is not easy.  There are many issues to consider beginning with trust, honesty, compatibility, balance of skills, personality types, supplies and gear brought to the table and such.  Creating an effective team is all about cooperation.  Too many chiefs and not enough Indians can destroy productivity.  Everything must be in a careful balance.

Orchestrating a SHTF team can be a full time job.  A leader is definitely needed, but they must have a benevolent heart…up to a point.  Sometimes hard decisions have to be made.   If you want a good example of such group dynamics, then watch the TV series Falling Skies.  In this program you can see how working together achieves much, just as diversity of purpose can be disruptive.  It is a very fine line.

Downsides


Human nature can be a curse.   As I often say about people, “Where two or more human beings gather together, somebody isgoing to bitch about something”!  I laugh at this all the time when I hear the complaints that come into my office on a daily basis.  Most of my entire day is spent herding cats.  Somebody hurt somebody’s feelings or stepped on their toes…..all BS.  You’re adults folks so grow up.

Though it is sexist to say so, those of you men in management roles of any kind that have females employees subordinate to you, then you know what I mean.  Even the women in my organization realize most of them cannot get along for very long at a time.  Just go to an organization function or church luncheon and watch who is watching who!  Frankly I cannot recall having ever stared at the suits other men were wearing, though I admit I do check out neckties from time to time.   Now ladies no need to be offended, because you know I am right.

Now, to be honest I do see such behavior on the part of men.  It usually takes place at the gun range or hunting camp.  Even then though, we are focused on the new gun somebody has, a new hunting ATV in camp, or some new pair of boots or whatever.  I am the first to be jealous of somebody’s new SHTF weapon until I get one, too.

All that said, to say, if there is one huge downturn in the formation of a SHTF Bug Out Team it is the composite membership of that team.  Even if, and that is a big, big if, you screen or get screened, there are going to be moments when folks disagree on most everything the team is doing at one time or another.  That is the human nature part.

The trick is working through these issues to build an even stronger team.  Ideally a natural leader would emerge, otherwise the team will have to evolve until one surfaces.  Somebody has to ultimately be in charge.  There is no getting around that and unfortunately a democracy does not always work well when critical decisions need to be made.

If you cannot play well with others, then you have no business trying to initiate a SHTF Team or joining one.  It simply must be a cooperative effort with every member contributing to the cause.  And don’t go to the table with an empty plate.

Just remember the famous Benjamin Franklin quote, “If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.”

Team Member Profiling


If you had to sit down to assemble job titles or individual’s skill sets for an ideal SHTF Team then what would you include.  The list might look something like this:

  • Carpenter
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Hunters, anglers, trappers, campers
  • Medical personnel, doctor, nurse, physician’s assistant
  • Farmer, gardener, horticulturalist
  • Military grunt
  • Teacher, child care specialist, senior care person
  • Procurement specialist  (remember Sgt. Petersen in the movie, Green Beret)
  • Mechanic, engines, generators, other equipment
  • Cook, food preparation
  • Security guard/Police officer
  • Many multi-task people, doers, givers, cleaners, set up, fetchers, general help
  • Weapons specialist
  • Seamstress
  • Judge
  • Please, no lawyers

I am sure you can think of other “personnel” types you might like to see on an ideal SHTF Team.  In many cases some of these skills might be combined within the capabilities of the same person.  Many maintenance manufacturing workers these days are cross trained in many task areas.  Medical personnel could also have wide ranging skills.

Even within certain specialties there could be multiple task people.  If somebody is a weapons guy, then ideally you would want them to be knowledgeable about rifles, assault type firearms, handguns, shotguns, and maybe archery equipment, too.  Teachers can know a lot of things about a lot of issues.  Use them appropriately to fully contribute to the team.

Sometimes you maybe cannot pick your team members.  For example, your grandfather may be living with you.  You can’t abandon him during a Bug Out.  He might need special care from a health related issue or simply because he may be elderly needing extra assistance.  There may be young children in your family or another member’s family.  So on and so on.  These situations have to be accommodated unless you are a heartless bastard.

Team Selection


So, how do you go about putting a SHTF Team together?  As formal as it may sound, you could create a team application, establish a screening committee, conduct formal interviews, and perhaps even have live skills demonstrations.  However, I am guessing most teams come together along some lines of common interests or contacts.

My Bug Out group is comprised of the guys and families at our hunting camp.  We have quite a few of the skills covered from the list above.  A member or two I would rather see go elsewhere, but that is the human nature part I was talking about.  None of us are perfect.  Ultimately we have to learn to work together; survive together.

If you are limited in your outside contacts and interest groups, then you have to proceed cautiously.  You may have a conversation at work, or a meeting or some other venue that might lead you to think a person would open up about prepping.  Pursue it, but globally by probing with inquiry questions.  “What do you think about the mess this country is in”? kind of stuff.

You may be inclined to defer or beg off certain types of individuals.  Maybe you see no value in somebody with a background in retail sales, real estate, an accountant, or used car salesman, etc.  Truth is though they may possess serious skills of real value to your Bug Out Team.  You just never know so don’t assume anything.

Also Read: Tooth or Tail

Ask about their hobbies. Maybe they are big time primitive campers or their whole family is fanatical about fishing.  Could be they cut their own firewood every year and own all the equipment to do it right.  Perhaps you find out they constructed a new room onto their house all by themselves.  Maybe they participate in Habitat for Humanity projects.


Suppose they hunt and process their own meat cutting and wrapping every season.   You won’t know their backgrounds unless you ask.  You might be surprised.  Ok then, I’ll let you decide if a guy’s only hobby is golf or tennis.

Creating a Bug Out Team what works well together, really gets along, and actually enjoys each others company is not an easy process.  If you decide to go this route, or even joining a team already formed, then examine all the aspects with a critical analysis.  If things don’t work out, you can always back up and go another route.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via: shtfblog


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Put a BUG in your Bug Out

Guest post by Doc Montana, a contributing author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

——————————

A BUG or Back Up Gun is a secondary (or tertiary) weapon included in your plan for when things go sideways big time.


The BUG is more than a sidearm to a primary rifle. A true BUG in your plan is a 100% functional replacement of your preferred carry weapon. A BUG is not an afterthought, or grandpa’s old revolver, or some one-off abomination of a handgun designed with form over function, or style over substance.

BUGs come in many flavors, some quite small like the .380 Ruger LCP, and others just a step down from their big brothers such as the Glock 26 and 27. But no matter the choice, the point of a BUG is the same: it is to backup the primary weapon whether called upon by malfunction, injury, no reload possible, temporarily disarmed, or even tossed to a friendly to double the fight. But we will address a particular tangent of the BUG, namely the Bug Out BUG.

BUGGING your BOB


The Bug Out BUG does not need to be strapped to an ankle, stuffed in your pants, or bolted onto a chest rig as operating LEOs often do. Instead it can ride along in or on your Bug Out Bag, or other piece of “Luggage” you will carry or at least have handy.  Unless you are chasing bag guys, serving warrants, or running to the fight, the Bug Out BUG is just another tool in your mobile SHTF shed.  The Bug out BUG philosophy is pretty much the same across the survival board, but the choice of Bug out BUG is dependent upon three main factors. First, where will you be bugging out to?  If your answer involves wilderness, having two short-barrel auto pistols might not be the best option. In that case a BUG of a more useful caliber like a .22 Ruger Mark III might be a more useful tool. Hunting squirrels with a Glock 26 is entertaining, but not when you’re hungry.

The next question is who will you be bugging out with? Packing a pair of .44 mags might be great for a big guy in a bad neighborhood, but for the rest of us dirty but not Harrys a wrist-breaking pocket cannon is better served for killing engine blocks then for daily bug out duty.  Plus, unless both practiced with and prepared for the recoil of such a beast, the hand howitzers will be one-shot-only due to either flying out of the shooter’s hand, cracking the shooter in the face, or most likely the latter then the former in the same shot.

The final question is based upon that minor detail that connects Point A with Point B.  In order to reach any useful bug out location, you will need to move through space and time. So what does that space look like?  And what time of day do you plan on traversing it? Urban dwellers will have to escape their concrete jungle first before entering the natural world.  Since any situation that requires a real bug out from a city will be dangerous, the urban BUG (or hopefully BUGs) should error on the side of magazine capacity over slim profile.

Are You Experienced?


The BUGs I have carried in my Bug Out Bags, Bug Out Vehicles, and stored with other preps include Glocks, several small caliber wheel guns, and the Ruger LCP, among others. For the Glock 26 and 19, I use Renegade Ridge Tactical Double-Down pistol cases. A Spec.-Ops Mini Pocket Organizer keeps my LCP, mags, and a small Bug Out Bullet Bottle organized.  As BUGs, I like the idea of having self-contained packages with a gun, mags, ammo all secure in a small padded case. That way I can toss the appropriate BUG into a kit, BOB, or BOV.

Don’t SWAT the BUG

Unlike law enforcement attire, your bug out BUG is for bugging out, not daily wear. So imagine shifting your bug out into high gear and stomping on the gas. I assume a holstered sidearm is at the top of your list of bodywear. Some of you will want to slap some additional cordite jewelry to your lower leg or drop a mouse in your back pocket. But the BUG for bugging out is a self-contained shooting kit unto its own that rides shotgun in your BOB kit.

Some Glock Love


I’m one of the lucky many who finds the Glock frame both comfortable and at the perfect angle for natural shooting. The Glockpoints where my mind aims. A 1911 frame in my hand naturally points towards the tree tops. And on the old-school western revolver side, my hand is more likely to fire off a crotch shot rather than at the center of mass. So for me Glocks are the obvious choice.  Adding more points to the Glock scorecard is the fact that any same-caliber Glock can eat magazines of grip size or longer. That means, for instance, a 9mm G17 can run mags of 17, 19, and 33 rounds along with drum magazines.  A G19 can run all of the above plus a shorter 15 round mag. And a G26 can run all of the above plus its own ten rounder. That means any double stack 9mm Glock mag will run in a G26 so if my BUG is a G26, it will eat all my other mags regardless if I am running my G17 or G19 as primary. In my BOB, I have several 33 round Glock mags ready to go which will work in any of my 9mm Glocks so no matter what I grab, I’m good to go. I cannot say the same about my friends who run 1911s, revolvers, Kimber jewelry, and who diversified their handgun calibers.


As if the mag interchangeability is not enough, the trio of Glock 9mms can, in most cases, share holsters. The Blackhawk Serpaholster is a fine choice and the only difference between one made for a G17 and a G26 is the length of the barrel shroud. A 26 in a 17 holster has an extra inch of coverage, while a 17 in a 26 holster extends through the shroud and out the other end. Since all Serpa holsters are open ended, a good barrel inspection should follow any mud wrestling event no matter which gun is in which holster.

All Things Equal


Finally, the issue of quality between primary and BUG is critical. I know many folks who toss some old kit gun into their BOB, you know, just in case. Yet their so-called BUG is little more than a feel-good accessory chosen out of convenience. True Bug Out BUGs do not compromise quality or function because the only use for the Backup Gun is to become the Primary Gun under even worse conditions than a moment ago. Did that make sense? To state it again, your BUG must completely replace your preferred primary weapon when you have lost control of the situation. So pulling a pearl-handled double-barreled derringer out of your belt buckle might have sounded like a cool idea in the store, but never in a million years would you have chosen that gun for this particular moment. So don’t do it now.

Driving home this point further, some of my 1911 friends have their tricked out race gun or super-tuned primary, and then consider an off-the-shelf budget 1911 as a viable BUG due to the similarities in their manual of arms. The chink in this particular armor is that the reliability and performance of a tuned gun does not transfer to a nearby pistol of similar persuasion through osmosis alone. Perfection must be gun smithed into the soul of the pistol. Yet dropping a few more Benjamins of polish and parts on a crippled mechanism that was already limping when it left the factory is a hard bullet to bite. So now the backup gun is already suspect and the fight hasn’t even started yet. On Glock front, quality is a complete and total non-issue across the entire 9mm product line.

The Other Side of the Coin


On the other hand, why would you want to store, cache, bury, or otherwise hide away and almost forget a perfectly good gun? The flip side of the coin allows for a low to medium quality firearm of usable caliber to be squirreled away, especially if you want to back up your bug in or bugout location. In this case, I have an old eight-shot .22 revolver and a few hundred rounds packed away with the extra knives and can openers in one of my food storage areas. The old double action gun is good enough to count on short term and in a pinch, but certainly not anything I would want for EDC during your bugout. I’ve greased up the little wheel gun and sealed it in a watertight box along with several hundred rounds of .22 in various flavors including subsonic. While not my only BUG, nor even my primary-secondary, if the social scene really does fade to black, then a small infestation of BUGs in your plan begins to make sense.

One Size Fits Some

Of course any BUG is a compromise in some respects unless you just want to keep one manual of arms by replicating your primary and your primary is perfect. While that is certainly a great way to go, and a highly defensible decision, for those who carry a full-sized handgun, or even a large compact (sorry for the oxymoron), BOB space is limited and weight is to be minimized so most BUGs will be smaller in stature but hopefully will order off the basic ammo menu. Additionally, there is the consideration of whose hand will wrap around the grip, and how much recoil that hand can tolerate. When you consider a BUG option, don’t confuse it with your standard set of weapons platforms. The default gunset for bugging out usually consists of an AR or AK military pattern rifle, a 12 gauge pump shotgun, a thirtyish caliber bolt action scoped rifle, an autopistol of 9mm or larger, and a .22 rifle. That’s a lot of blued iron to pack around so adding a BUG to the mix must be more than just one more bangstick. The primary BUG will need a special home similar to a tourniquet. It must be out of the way, but ever-present. It must be handy but not cumbersome. It must be accessible with either hand. And most of all, it must perform perfectly even though you never want to use it.

My comments:

If I’m buggin out…then I’m probably never coming back, so they’re all coming with me.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via:  shtfblog


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Using a Boat as a Bug Out Location

 

 

I’ll let out a little secret here – I’m working on a new book about boats and survival. There are a couple of reasons for this new endeavor, not the least of which is that at one point in my life I was drawn to the ocean like a moth to light. We used to have a very nice power boat and practically every weekend was spent aboard. We voyaged all over the gulf coast, and some of my fondest memories were aboard our cruiser. Work, children and life changed that but one day I may retire on the water.

As a matter of fact, our boat was our bug out location for years. In reality, it wasn’t the perfect vessel for that purpose as it was a gasoline hog and wasn’t designed for extended voyages without re-supply. Boats are like cars, rifles and pizza – they are a compromise. Since we were weekenders, we wanted to get from point A to point B reasonably quickly and that translates into high fuel consumption in the nautical world. It doesn’t have to be that way as there are many designs out there that enjoy pretty good miles per gallon. These vessels are just slower than their gas guzzling brethren.  Probably the best is the original hybrid – a sail boat.


Some people will immediately dismiss the idea of using a boat as a BOL. In researching the concept for the new book, I went to all of the popular blogs and forums reading everything I could find. That didn’t take long as there isn’t a lot out there. At first, that was good news because I like writing about things no one else has. Originality is a good thing. What little I did find on the web basically dismissed the idea of a floating BOL due to practicality.

Now I can list a dozen reasons why a boat isn’t the best choice for a BOL, but practicality isn’t one of them. I asked myself “what am I missing here?”

Like so many things in the blogosphere, people spout off about topics they really don’t know anything about. You could take the word “blogosphere” and substitute it with “Cable News” or “the water cooler at the office” and that statement would still be true, but for us Preppers, the internet is one of our primary resources. When someone lays out a line of crap on the net, many of us Preppers nod our heads and take the information to heart.

I believe most people initially think boats are only for the ultra-wealthy. That’s not entirely accurate. You can purchase a reasonable condition, used sail boat for about the same price as a trailer camper these days. I see ads for hundreds of 25-35 foot vessels for less than $50,000. There are numerous tax advantages for a boat and many banks offer financing similar to a home mortage.

Now, low end used boats are known to be a money pit. Boats are similar to campers in that stuff breaks on them all the time. But for a BOL, they don’t have to be fully functional and ready for a transatlantic voyage. When you compare a boat to a piece of country property, complete with shelter, water and food supply – a boat starts looking like a bargain from a financial perspective.

Many boats are designed to be self-sufficient for long periods of time. This statement should cause the average Prepper’s head to snap up and pay attention. Many have water makers so you have virtually unlimited supply of fresh water. They have sewage systems, redundant power systems and huge fuel storage capacities. All of these items are normally high on anyone’s list of preps. A 35 foot, used sail boat I recently looked at was designed for four adults to enjoy extended stays onboard. It was $29,000. It had solar power, a generator, 12 volt to 115 AC inverter, full kitchen, two showers, microwave, two televisions, radar, GPS, VHF radio, dual voltage frig, dual voltage freezer, and ice maker, and a water maker. Its little diesel motor could move it along at about 10 miles per gallon without using the sails at all. Its 80 gallon fuel tank could run the generator for a long time.

If you want to discuss food supplies, it would be difficult to debate anything being better than a boat – even on fresh water. One could live off of fishing, kelp, oysters, shrimp and costal plants for a long time. Throw in a well thought out “deck garden” and you have a practically infinite food supply.

Energy, or specifically electrical energy, is a mixed bag on a boat. Many sailing vessels have wind turbines and solar systems of limited power. Huge banks of batteries are not uncommon. Some modern vessels even have electric drives. Almost every vessel over 28 feet has a generator. It would not be extremely difficult to set up a boat to be off-the-grid independent if it already isn’t.

From a security perspective, a boat would get mixed reviews. As all of my books denote, people are going to be the biggest problem if it all falls apart. It would be difficult to imagine being able to isolate one’s self more so than on a boat. The only security exposure from being water bound would be the difficulty in hiding. Depending on your geographic location, that may or may not be a problem. Along our Texas coast, I know dozens of private little coves where I have dropped the hook and spent the long weekend fishing. Again, all things are a compromise.

To summarize, a boat makes sense for a BOL in all of the major categories we prep for. Food, shelter, energy, water and security are all equal to or perhaps better than their landlocked alternatives. What strikes me as the biggest positive is the dual usage. Boating is fun for the family. Even if it never leaves the marina, being on or around the water can be a recreational highlight. If it never falls apart – if TEOTWAWKI never happens, boating preppers still would have invested in something worthwhile.

BTW, there is also a forum thread on bug out boats on Zombie Squad.

 

Some nice Comments:

One of the biggest thing you missed about boat as a BOL is the fact that if things get bad where you’re at, all you have to do is pull anchor and make a run for it with all of your preps, gear and your home. The last time I checked you can relocate your BOL in the mountains.
I’ve been around boats all my life, and I’m like and don’t get the problem with boats as a BOL.


Dmitry Orlov of “Reinventing Collapse” (the book) fame and Club Orlov blog lives on a boat specifically for survival. He’s written about it on his blog many times.

—-

Many of us also remember reading the stories of ‘River Rats’ and persons who lived in houseboats during the Great Depression, I’m sure the memories dimmed the bad points, but the good points sounded – good! If you born ‘In The Bayou’, I’ll bet good times would be easy to find.

 

——

As noted above, Orlov has written some on the sailboat as BOV.

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2011/06/sailing-craft-for-post-collapse-world.html

The one novel I can think of that heavily features sailing as a BOV is Luke Rhinehart’s Long Voyage back.

http://reflexionesfinales.blogspot.com/2011/07/long-voyage-back-review.html

You could intermix it with Alex Scarrow’s Afterlight which features an off shore oil rig to come up with some interesting scenarios/ideas: particularly of the Gulf Coast.

http://reflexionesfinales.blogspot.com/2011/09/afterlight-review.html

My biggest problem with Orlov, is that he views the sailboat as a free pass. In a severe collapse situation, those with access to waters will use that mobility, and it is fairly sure that some of those people will not be nice. The people of Dark Age Greece, and the Chaotic Medieval Baltic Coasts kept their villages safe from direct approach by water. Even if they were close to the water, they were up some high rocky promenade, or you had to wind your way through tricky swamps to get to village: they were not your fishing or trade friendly locations.

—-

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

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Map Of Military Installations, Ranges, & Training Areas In The United States


I came across a fascinating map which may be of interest to some of you – of US Military bases, installations, ranges, and training areas. It is interesting to know what may be nearby in your own region, as well as general knowledge.

 

This map is very much incomplete. Off the top of my head there is Fort Belvoir and the Marine Corp Base at Quantico. I wonder what other places are MIA. Would love to see this overlaid with other government no-go facilities (those referred to as “restricted area” regions).

Still nice for reference.

The original file was huge, so I re-sized the map image down to 6000×5000 pixels (about 6MB) for more practical usage, view-ability, and download-ability.

All point locations are from best available unclassified sources.

The locations shown encompass both owned and leased lands. Not all installations, ranges, and training areas are depicted on this map.

This image is a work of the United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

US Military Bases & Installations Map
(6000 x 5018 px, 5.7MB)

Other articles you might like:

Maps For Your Car

 

Best Road Atlas Maps of the Northwest

 

How To Download Free Topo Maps

 


Population Density Migration 1980-2000

 

Also check out:

Six maps you need for an urban evacuation

Plan Your Escape Routes Before Disaster Strikes

Six maps you need for an urban evacuation

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via: modernsurvivalblog


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Six maps you need for an urban evacuation

Guest post by Leon Pantenburg

Let’s assume an urban disaster scenario, and you must leave quickly. How will you find your way? What maps do you need?

We’re talking about the printed, paper in hand type. Don’t plan to rely on a GPS. They are as reliable as their batteries, and constant use could mean the unit is soon powerless. Also, any electronic device can break or just quit working.

So before you worry about maps, get a good compass. I prefer one with a clear baseplate that is designed to work on maps. Invest in a good one with declination settings, and then learn how to use it. The smaller compasses that come with some survival kits are only useful as backups and for giving a general direction.

Here are the maps you need:

City map: Your evacuation will start with this map, so get one with the finest detail possible. This map can help you figure out alternative street evacuation routes if bridges and/or overpasses are closed. Also, gridlock on major highways and freeways is a given, so you might need to plot a course around them.

Topographical map: A topo map is a three-dimensional view of an area. Looking at it, you can get an idea of the terrain.

According to the Geospatial and Analysis Cooperative of Idaho State University: “The concept of a topographic map is, on the surface, fairly simple. Contour lines placed on the map represent lines of equal elevation above (or below) a reference datum.

Topographical maps show the terrain features of an area.

“To visualize what a contour line represents, picture a mountain (or any other topographic feature) and imagine slicing through it with a perfectly flat, horizontal piece of glass. The intersection of the mountain with the glass is a line of constant elevation on the surface of the mountain and could be put on a map as a contour line for the elevation of the slice above a reference datum.”

I have the National Geographic mapping software for Oregon, so I create a custom topo map for every outing. I print them out on standard-sized letter or legal-sized paper. These sizes fold nicely in half and fit in a quart Ziploc plastic bag. This bag, in turn, rides in the thigh pocket of my BDU pants. The map is easy to pull out and check, which means it will be.

During an urban evacuation, you might need to go cross-country through a park or open space to avoid crowds or other potential dangers. The city map gives street details, but it may not show water obstacles or other physical barriers. With your topo and compass, you should be able to plot a course effectively.

State Highway map: This gives the big picture of your situation. It shows major highways and roads, and gives general directions. It could be useful for figuring out where to go once you get away from the urban scene.

Forest Service map: I carry this in my car in central Oregon. Commonly referred to as a fire road map, this is a large overview of the national forests and public lands. Most importantly, it shows fire and logging roads. The map doesn’t show if the roads are improved or not, so don’t depend on this map to tell you if you can drive on it. In some instances, the roads may have overgrown into trails. You may be able to hike or ATV them in the summer, or, in the winter, snowshoe or operate a snowmobile.

These maps help you figure alternative routes in wilderness areas. Assuming you make it to a wilderness area, a good compass, this map, and the appropriate topos will be worth their weight in gold.

These four maps should help you get out of town.

Here are some others that could also prove to be useful:

History maps: I buy any historical map I come across. Some of them, such as the Oregon Trail or Lewis and Clark maps, show routes used by historical figures. While the trails may be obscure right now, that doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. Overland pioneer routes were established because wagons or pack trains could travel on them. Those trails might be a good thing to know at some point.

River charts: My fishing obsession and map nerd-ism combine again with these charts. Every navigable river in the United States has detailed charts showing river terrain, danger areas, and topography of the stream. These charts allow a traveler to plan a river evacuation or trip. I carried a set of Mississippi River charts on my end-to-end journey in 1980. It was easy to plan overnight stops, or decide where to pull out.

On smaller streams, the maps can show take-out points, landings, and water dangers.

Hunting maps: Put out by your state fish and wildlife departments, these are useful to anyone who goes into the wilderness areas. I carry one to see the boundaries of my hunting unit, road closures, and the terrain, to some extent.

None of these maps are of any value if you don’t know how to read and use them. A good training activity including some exercise could be to take your compass and maps, create a possible evacuation scenario and practice navigating somewhere using alternate routes, streets and cross country travel.

So check out these maps, practice with your compass, and give some thought to how you might get out of town if you had to.

For more info on land navigation, visit Staying Found.

Also check out:

Orienteering series

Why Should I Learn Map Reading?

The Pace Count

The Pace Count 2

Using the Pace Count

Parts of the Lensatic Compass

Understanding the Topographic Map

Discussion of Grid and Magnetic Azimuths

Converting Azimuths

 

 

About Leon Pantenburg

As a journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff’s departments, natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon Pantenburg learned many people die unnecessarily or escape miraculously in outdoor emergency situations. Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters. His emphasis is on tried and tested, simple techniques of wilderness survival on SurvivalCommonsense.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via: thesurvivalmom

 


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If You Don’t Put Together Your 72 Hour Survival Kit Now You’ll Hate Yourself Later!

Guest post from M.D. Creekmore

————-

This short modified excerpt is from my book 31 Days to Survival – this would also make a good bug out bag packing list, with a few modifications…

As with any “prepping shopping list” you’ll need to tailor the suggestions listed below to meet your specific needs, skills, location and circumstances – no such shopping list can cover the needs of everyone in every situation, everywhere.

The items listed below make up what is commonly referred to as a basic 72 hour kit and is where you should start your preps. In the following days, we’ll build and expand your stockpile to the point where you will be prepared for both short-term and disasters lasting six months or more.

Now let’s head to your local shopping mall or department store.

Here is your 72 hour kit shopping list:

  1. A three-day supply of water – one gallon of water per person, per day.
  2. A three-day supply of non-perishable food – foods ready to eat or requiring minimal water are preferred.
  3. Small portable, battery-powered AM/FM radio extra batteries.
  4. Flashlight and extra batteries (don’t skimp here get a good quality light)
  5. First aid kit and manual.
  6. Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer and soap,
  7. Toothbrush and toothpaste etc.
  8. Matches and waterproof container.
  9. Battery powered lantern and batteries
  10. Whistle
  11. Extra clothing according to climate and season.
  12. Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, styrofoam plates and bowls and a manual can opener.
  13. Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens, and hearing aid batteries etc.
  14. Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers.
  15. Sleeping bag or warm blanket (one per person) rating depending on location and climate.
  16. A multi-tool. A roll of duct tape, crowbar, hammer, staple gun, adjustable wrench and Bungee cords and heavy duty work gloves are also nice to have, but add extra weight.
  17. Small bottle of unscented liquid household bleach and an eyedropper for water purification.
  18. Plastic sheeting, duct tape and utility knife for covering broken windows or sheltering in place.
  19. Large heavy duty plastic bags and a plastic bucket for waste and sanitation or other suitable solution.
  20. A small multi-fuel backpackers stove (Colman makes a quality product).
  21.  N95 Respirator for each person in your group (2 or more).
  22. 100′ of rope (550lb paracord or similar)

It’s also a good idea to have photocopies of credit and identification cards, health insurance and other important documents in a water proof container and $100 in emergency cash in small denominations. Also don’t forget photos of family members and pets for re-identification purposes if you get separated.

You’ll also need to put together a list of emergency and personal contact phone numbers as well as a complete list of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food for each person.

It’s also a good idea to have an extra set of keys to your house and vehicle.

How to pack and store your 72 hour kit

Remember, the 72 hour kit may also serve as an evacuation kit so it all needs to be stored in easy to move containers. You want to be able to “grab and go” should you be forced to evacuate your home.

I prefer to “double pack” – first neatly pack everything in duffel bags or backpacks the store these in plastic totes making it easy to quickly load everything into your car while still having the option of slitting up the gear among your group if you’re forced to evacuate on foot.

Bug Out Bag List 101: How to Determine the Essentials, Contents, and Gear that you Need

 

 

Today’s assignment is to put together your 72 hour survival kit and or bug out bag… This kit will provide what you need to survive 95% of disasters and is a great starting point to building your preps. Now get to it…

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via: thesurvivalistblog


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A Get Home Plan, by H.H.

Guest post by H.H.

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First, I want to thank all the contributors for all the time and effort that they have put into this blog. I won’t say I have read all of them, but I have considered a significant portion of them not only in my own lifestyle but in my preparation. My own situation is that I work in a large city in the south and the family is miles away. I have been prepping for a few years now and would just like to offer a few observations. I have done all the normal things at the retreat, including food to last years, medical supplies, ammo, and guns– basically the beans, bullets, and band-aid thing. However, I will have this problem one-hundred and sixty five miles door to door! It makes me tired just typing it. If you’re in a large metropolitan area I think you will need more than one escape route. As I started my prepping I became more observant on my travels back to the apartment where I live while at work. What would happen if:

  1. the Route had no electricity (stop lights weren’t working),
  2. the Route had electricity (stop lights worked) but I was trapped behind stalled cars,
  3. the Route had an overpass jammed or an off ramp jammed, or
  4. I had no transportation because my vehicle is not functioning (get a bicycle)?

Then I started thinking what routes are pointing the way out of town. I thought about roads, railroads, power lines, gas lines, septic systems, and even rain drainage. Okay, so I pulled up Google Earth and started looking around. (Use the “add path” function to highlight, and if you have the snipping tool on Windows it’s great for copying the map.)

  1. Roads— They’re the normal mode of travel. I planned out at least one route that did not involve off-ramps, overpasses, highways, tollways, etc. Okay, so now I have two routes– my normal route and one involving city internal arteries.
  2. Railroads—They’re all on Google Earth. Mark the ones you need. In my case I am now up to a total of four routes home and four routes out of town.
  3. Power Lines—These are also visible on Google Earth. Power companies usually have some type of road for maintenance purposes. However, you might need a bolt cutter to use them!
  4. Gas Lines—Although they’re not so visible, still keep in mind that those stations sticking up out of the ground do lead somewhere.
  5. Septic systems and rain drainage. Well, I think you are probably getting the idea.

Anyway don’t get functionally fixed about what is showing you possible routes, just G.O.O.D. (Get Out of Dodge)

What will it be like? First some highlights of an economic breakdown, civil unrest, or nuclear or solar grid-down situation. Just pick your poison. Here’s just a quick review.

  1. People will want what you have (food).
  2. People will probably try to take what you have (vehicle gas, water).
  3. Muggings, gang violence, assorted personal crimes will be rampant (car/bicycle theft).
  4. You will probably be chased down for anything you may possess. (medical attention required)
  5. You will consider fleeing the inner city any way possible, but it will be a fight all the way out. (lose weapon, out of ammo)
  6. You might find a place outside the city (country) that will offer temporary refuge.
  7. The gangs of people will eventually leave the city for one reason or another.
  8. Et cetera. I am sure, for the most part, I am preaching to the choir here. Of course, I considered all the normal arteries and methods.

Highways, if available and not clogged with stalled cars, are an option. Just a reminder, if you’re reading this and thinking about using the highways, watch those ramps and overpasses that you might have to use. One stalled car on that ramp or overpass and you’re stuck. These arteries could be jammed with people walking and wondering what happened (if EMP is the event), so this was not my first choice in an EMP event.

Otherwise, the highway will be my first choice if I have an automobile that is operational. Also keep in mind the socio-economic areas (slum) that might be surrounding these highways. (How’s that for being politically correct? Translation, does it go through the ghetto?) I don’t want to get lost in the weeds here too much because those middle class neighborhoods you will go through are more likely to have weapons. This brings us to interior roads.

Residential interior roadways are an option, but here I see the problem being that they are residential. With a grid-down situation, people will not necessarily be in their residence. The bike is a good plan and one I also have as a backup in this scenario. I believe that the probability of more numbers of people being out and about will be higher. So my plan in this scenario involves traveling at late night. The advantages with this scenario are that the availability of water will probably be high (swimming pools), if you have a good activated carbon filter, and the availability of stores.

A few years back, I had experience with electrical overhead distribution. Don’t dismiss this as a viable, although not paved, road. Most of those lines you see overhead need to be maintained and at regular intervals there will be structures to offer shelter. Needing to be maintained means, that they need to be accessible by trucks and other heavy equipment. Also, if you have previously studied the way they are laid out, it can be better than a map about the direction you are headed.

The same general principles apply to gas lines and other public utility structures. They can offer a means of not only direction but also escape. It might be worth your wild to at least become basically familiar with how these roads are laid-out.

Let me offer how I came to a conclusion. I was watching a show that my son likes on TV, and it was a show that had to do with a group of people escaping zombies. I was struck by the similarity between eluding the zombies and eluding “gang-bangers” or any type of rogue band of militia-ish type personnel.

This band of people had trouble organizing the very basics. Just to escape they had to:

  1. Avoid the zombies and get food.
  2. Avoid the zombies and get gas.
  3. Avoid the zombies and get water.
  4. Avoid the zombies and get transportation.
  5. Avoid the zombies and take care of the wounded.
  6. Avoid the zombies and get weapons.
  7. Avoid the zombies and get ammo.

Is this starting to sound familiar? If by the grace of God you manage to do all of these (and numerous other daily events we take for granted), avoid the zombies, and still “get out of Dodge”, there is some good/bad news: Zombies generally do not have GUNS. In the real world, that will be different.

In addition, if you “waited to evac” the gangs are probably going to have weapons from the National Guard or are going to be the National Guard.

This is from J.W.’s book:

“Provisional Government President Maynard Hutchings”

 “At least twenty-eight million are estimated to have been killed in lawless violence.”

My personal belief is that this is very conservative. It will boil down to two people meeting, and one wants what the other has, “one is usually not walking away from this confrontation”. I believe in very short order (probably no more than a few days) the population of urban areas will be cut in one-half. (One didn’t walk away. Multiply this by hundreds of millions of confrontations.)

Some advice to J.H. regarding the question Letter Re: Prospects for the Eastern U.S. in a Societal Collapse. I don’t think I could add any more to your issue than to offer similar advice to the one offered in the letter of Mar. 30 2012 by D.S.A.

“The dichotomy is that people are the biggest threat, but you can’t survive without the cooperation of other people.  You can’t make it through the listed events alone; you have to rely on other people to pool all your resources to survive. Every event on that list will cause people to lose their minds and cause chaos. Give it a couple of days, then the looting, crime and civil unrest explode like a powder keg.  Sure, you can crawl in your bunker, but for how long? You can buy 20 guns, but you can only shoot one at a time. You need to get organized, with a group of trusted friends/family, to provide, protect and plan your hopefully short term situation.  The well-organized, well-armed groups will get passed by the marauders for easy pickings down the road.”

  1. Plan your escape first! G.O.O.D or urban “AREAS” as the case may be.
  2. Get a like-minded group together and plan. “Prepare to get mobile”
  3. Like the people escaping from the “zombies” follow the list.
    1. Avoid the marauders and get food.
    2. Avoid the marauders and get gas.
    3. Avoid the marauders and get water.
    4. Avoid the marauders and get transportation.
    5. Avoid the marauders and take care of the wounded.
    6. Avoid the marauders and get weapons.
    7. Avoid the marauders and get ammo.
  4. I applaud you if you have the resources/opportunity to get to the “American Redoubt” but if you don’t, pick a spot to retreat to and that will offer refuge at least temporarily.

Now, I am probably going to say something that will cause a lot of you to cringe. I would not be picky about who owns this retreat, so long as it doesn’t get you shot! The fact is that in these types of situations “ownership becomes a relative term”, whether it is an apple or a parcel of land in the middle of nowhere is not going to mean a thing, hence the reason for weapons.

Now the good news is that I do believe that there are good people out there who are prepared not only for themselves but for the possibility of helping others survive. Also, we realize that there must be “in some fashion” a continuation of the species. I am not advocating that you act like a band of “Rogue-Marines”. This will get you shot, eventually. What I am saying is that you should get to a place that has water, some hunting or fishing, regroup, and move-on “if you must”. This is exactly what happened to our intrepid band of zombie avoiders in the TV show.

(Hugh Interjects: Yes. I cringed when I read this. Even if you are in a life-and-death situation, you should not just “take” what someone else has stored. I understand using enough of the supplies to keep yourself alive, but you should replace them at the first opportunity to do so. You may be “taking” supplies that someone else may be depending upon to live. Further, just because the “rule of law” has broken down in society does not mean that ethics and morals no longer apply. God’s law always applies and He is watching. After all, what makes you different than those who got us into this situation in the first place? Hopefully, it is your sense of morals and the ethics that you follow. As Christians, we have the highest of standards that we should adhere to.)

I agree with J.W. in that the cities (urban areas) will become death traps and that TEOTWAWKI, should propel you to G.O.O.D.

Now, as I sit here writing this in Texas (with relatively mild winters), with my own retreat approximately 165 miles away, I am reminded that when you EVAC in the north, winters will probably kill many. Even a mild one with rains will probably be lethal. In general, I would plan to get somewhere south and stay warm.

Now, generally, I recommend you consider your own survival skills!

  1. Can you hunt?
  2. Can you fish?
  3. Can you track?
  4. What kind of physical shape are you in?
  5. Can you make a fire?
  6. Can you hide a fire?
  7. Can you construct a basic trap or snare?
  8. Can you set a makeshift tent?
  9. Do you have basic medical skills and material?
  10. Are you prepared to live in the wilderness for months/years?
  11. Are you prepared to pray?

Well, that’s my experience/opinion. Here is praying you are not made one of the zombies. Maybe you will watch a few zombie shows/movies in a new light.

Best to you and yours, and good luck to us all.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via: survivalblog


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