AYWTGS: 10 Kits to Put Together Today

Karen at A Year Without the Grocery Store has had to bug out three times, twice for riots and once for a tornado. She has enough to say about preparedness that she’s written a book and started a website. In the article, 10 Kits to Put Together Today to Be Ready for Tomorrow she talks about a variety of kits to have prepared so that you aren’t spending precious time rummaging around trying to find a light or cook stove.

1.) Where is the closest flashlight to you at this moment?

2.) Do you have an air filtration mask and could you put your hand on it in two minutes or less?

3.) What items do you have to keep your house cool and where do you keep them?

4.) If you had to remove stitches yourself, do you have the tools to do it?

5.) What’s your secondary method of communication?  Is it charged and ready?

So how did you do on the quiz?  Obviously, there’s no right or wrong answer.  The bigger question is  – could you answer each question.

Each of these things above is integral to preparedness.  Sometimes, we have these things – which is HUGE!  If you just have these things – high five!

More often than not though, if we have these things, we don’t know where they are.  So how do we organize things so that we KNOW that we KNOW where things are?

We develop kits!

Each kit is self-contained and is kept in tote.  For larger items, I keep them in large totes from Costco.  For smaller kits, I keep them in smaller totes which fit in the large Costco totes.   So what kinds of kits should we be putting together?  I’m going to be giving you a list of 11 kits.  I’m going to give you an overview here, but I’ll be doing a post on each of these so I can dive deeper.

Now there is one very well known kit that I am not including in this and it’s called a Bug out Bag or Grab and Go Bag or many other things.  A Bug Out Bag is for leaving the area, and we’ll cover that at some time.  These kits are all about what you are ready for at home.  So we’ll jump right in with kit #1.

Click here to read the entire article at A Year Without the Grocery Store.

Sparks31 Introduces Basic Grid-Down Communications Class

Sparks31 has introduced a new class which will debut in Watertown, CT – Basic Grid-Down/Down-Grid Communications (combined with his SIGINT class). Sparks will be bringing some classes to Washington state (including Yakima and Seattle) in 2019, and hopefully this class may be added to the lineup. Communication is critical in a disaster. Can you still communicate with those you need to if the internet and phone system go down?

This is a one-day class that covers all the basics you need to set up your monitoring post, collect signals intelligence (SIGINT), get on the air with amateur radio and personal communications services (FRS, GMRS, MURS, CB, Part 15), and establish communications networks and interoperability with other like-minded individuals.

Topics of instruction include the following:

  • Learning about Electronic Communications – A Primer
  • Communications Monitoring HF-to-UHF
  • Intelligence versus Information
    • Intelligence Requirements
  • SIGINT – Signals Intelligence
  • Listening Posts and SIGINT Operations
  • Communications Services
    • Amateur Radio
    • Part 95 & 15 (license-free or “license by rule” services)
  • Communications Networks
    • Interoperability – What it is, and how to make it work.
  •  Increasing System Performance
    • Antennas
  • Grid-Down versus Down-Grid Realities
  • Basic Crypto Systems and When It Is Legal to Use Them
  • Alternatives to Radio Communications
Cost for this class is $100. Please enroll via our storefront at https://squareup.com/store/sparks31/.

American Partisan: Is Your Group Missing Esprit de Corps?

American Partisan has a brief but good article up, One Critical Thing Your Group May Be Missing. Esprit de corps can be viewed as a group’s commitment, loyalty and attachment to each other and to their organization’s mission. A group with high esprit de corps and high member morale inspires individual members to execute their duties and responsibilities beyond expectations, leading to success reaching and exceeding the group’s goals. Individuals with high morale give their best service to the group. Confidence in the group’s cause, organization, leadership, methods and direction all contribute to individual high morale and, thus, group esprit de corps.

[W]hether regular organized units, survival groups, or guerrilla partisans resisting “enemies foreign and domestic,” the morale of the unit is almost as important as the combined unit skill sets. A less skilled, equipped unit with a high standard of motivation and sense of purpose can achieve as much as a well equipped, well trained, low morale unit. Throughout history, smaller ill prepared forces with a collective motivating goal have successfully hindered overwhelmingly superior forces that had less than ideal morale.

According to Harvard sociologist Alexander H. Leighton, “Morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose.”

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

Related:

American Partisan: Forming a Community Survival Group

American Partisan: Ditch Medicine – Medications

The medical staff at American Partisan have a good post up about medication, how long it stays effective on the shelf, and what you might want to have on hand in case of emergencies. Ditch Medicine: Medications.

Most oral medications are given a rather arbitrary expiration date which may vary depending on the manufacture date, sell date, or type of medicine and concern over poor storage environments at home. Some manufacturers of medications indicate their desire to have their medicines expire, because they want patients to have up to date information about the medicine on the newer packaging.

The Pentagon shelf-life extension program has shown that many medications are safe and completely effective many years after the expiration date listed on the product, especially if stored in a favorable environment.  This is also extensively supported with numerous articles found by looking up “Myth of Medication Expirations” on the internet.

Many drugs stored under favorable conditions retain over 90% of their potency for at least five years beyond the expiration date on the label, and sometimes much much longer. Ciprofloxacin, for instance, was found to be completely safe and effective when tested nearly 10 years after the expiration date. Some medications appear to be more stable and therefore retain a greater amount of potency after expiration; these seem to include Cipro, Flagyl, lidocaine, atropine and possibly the penicillins.

Some medications are more unstable and do have an expiration such as insulin, nitroglycerin, aspirin and water purification tablets. A disputed article in one publication suggests expired Tetracycline may have caused toxicity in one patient (personally I don’t believe it since I am sure millions of doses of expired tetracycline have been used in 3rd world countries with no other reported complications; also, that old formulation of tetracycline is no longer available anyway, so I would be willing to expired tetracycline if I needed the medication). I am not aware of any other expired antibiotics having this risk.

Preferred storage environments would be cool, dark, and dry. Blister packaged medications might be preferable because they are kept dry and are waterproof but have the disadvantage of being slightly more bulky. Tablets are typically more stable and therefore have longer storage life than do elixirs/liquids. Many medications may be ordered over the internet as pet medications. Quality controls for pet medications seem good and I would be willing to use them on myself in an emergency.

The below is a list of commonly encountered medications that you might want to know about, and I would recommend finding a drug dose reference book from a bookstore or the internet; sometimes you can find them very inexpensively from book sections at Christian/Salvation Army stores…

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

American Partisan: Ditch Medicine – Laceration Management

From the medical staff at American Partisan is this primer on the care of lacerations in austere conditions, Ditch Medicine: Laceration Management.

Lacerations are trauma which result in cutting or tearing of skin and possibly underlying tissue. Please note that deep lacerations that are complicated by the involvement of injuries to major arteries, tendons, nerves or abdominal cavity contents are not usually treatable in primitive conditions.

Initial Care for Lacerations

Most bleeding is initially controlled with pressure. Wounds without deep involvement should be surgically repaired if possible to speed healing, reduce infection, and improve cosmetic and functional results. The approximation of the skin edges can be achieved with steri-strips, skin glue, staples, or sutures (stitches). Before any wound is repaired, a few simple rules should be understood.

  • The longer a wound is left open to the environment, the more bacteria it will collect and therefore has a greater chance of infection, especially if the wound is closed by trapping these bacteria within the wound.
  • Most wounds can be closed within 12 hours of the injury (since the bacteria count won’t be terribly high). Since the face and neck have increased blood flow compared to most other body parts this extra blood flow helps the wounds fight infection and promotes healing, therefore wounds to the face and neck may be closed up to 48 hours after the injury.
  • Wounds that are to be closed must be thoroughly cleaned of any debris using forceps (tweezers) and using generous washings with clean or sterile water or saline. One source suggested using fresh urine from person without urinary infection since that should be sterile (I think I would rather use boiled water).

Creating Saline Solution for Laceration Washes

Saline solution can be made by adding one tablespoon of salt to 1 gallon of water or adding 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 L of water. Another irrigation solution can be made by adding 5 mils of household bleach to 1 L of clean water. Washing the area with Betadine or hibiclens before closure should be performed. Ragged wound edges and the tips of angularly cut tissue should be removed so that the wound edges to be approximated are smooth and will be likely to heal.

Steri-Strips, skin glue, and sutures may be the most useful ways to close a wound in a primitive environment. Staples may be used but require removal with a specialized removal tool which may not be readily available. Steri-Strips (tape) and skin glue can be applied to many wounds to hold the skin edges together until healing occurs. These are less secure than sutures (especially in larger deeper wounds) but maybe faster, require less technical skill, and may offer an improved cosmetic result.

For larger deeper wounds, sutures may be best for closure. Some wounds may have skin loss such that closure of the skin edges may be under some tension. The strength of sutures would be better for that closure, over glue or Steri-Strips. Sometimes tissue loss may be extensive enough that complete skin edge approximation may not be successful. Some gap in the skin edges may be allowed in these circumstances. Tissue loss with tension on the closure would require that the sutures be left for a longer period of time until the skin has stretched and relaxed enough so that there is no significant tension at the wound before removal of the sutures. In wounds without tension on the face, the sutures may usually be removed in about 3 to 5 days (this rapid removal is because of the high blood flow which speeds healing). The sutures on wounds of the trunk without tension may be removed in about 10 days. Sutures in the hands and feet are usually removed in about 10 to 14 days…

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

The Medic Shack: Pandemics

The Medic Shack has a short article up about preparing for pandemics, Pandemics. The Media, Food and YOU. It is not a comprehensive guide, as he admits in the article; rather, it is meant to assure the reader that the risk is real and how to get a start on thinking about preparation.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a bit on Typhus in the US. 3 years ago it was barely on the radar. The talk of the town was Ebola. It is making a guest appearance in Congo. Oh guess what. There is a bit of a civil war going on there. What happens when war and deadly communicable disease meet? People leaving to escape the war. And bringing the little friends with them. Cat Ellis The Herbal Prepper and I talked about the dangers of modern air travel and the rapid spread of violent viruses. What we didn’t talk about then was our family car.

Right now Typhus is having a resurgence in California and in Texas. And its coming on the winter travel season. OMG DO WE NEED TO SEAL OUR STATE BORDERS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE PURPLE CREEPING FUNGUS???????ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!

OK. A little melodramatic. But a valid concern.

NO we are not going to start bouncing about in a panic like a fork dropped into a garbage disposal.

Fact is is if a pandemic is going to start there is not much in the 21st century way of life that will stop it. Until we get “Star Trek level Bio Scanners” that will screen and kill pathogens, we need to be smart about protecting ourselves and family

Last year was the deadliest flu season in decades. @ 80,000 deaths were attributed to the flu. CDC Brief on Flu Deaths 2017-2018 (Also NO I am not going to get into the pros and cons of flu shots) I’m just using it as an example of how bad a virus spread can be.

Viruses are not the only “bugs” that can kill us. For people who do not live in the desert southwest or mountain west have not heard much about Bubonic Plague. Except out of history books. My son Jake’s boss at the local blood bank in Anchorage thought he was joking when he talked about how plague kills people every year. Until he showed them the stats.

So how do we prevent the spread of disease or the start of a pandemic when things go bad if the technology of the 21st century can not do it?

Do we isolate ourselves behind walls and barriers? Or do we learn how to stop or at least slow down the spread of disease.

Quarantine.

It is one of, and in all reality the best way to stop the spread of disease. In todays world it is a “dirty word” We say that we need to quarantine Fido for a few days before bringing him to the summer retreat in Hawaii its all good. But when we say we need to quarantine a group of people from Outer LithuUnitedia because the Purple People Eating Fungus is running rampant there. People get up in arms and the cries of discrimination and racism fly though out social media and the 24/7 news outlets…

…This article is one of those that was and is tough to write. In reality it needs to be broken into a host of smaller articles detailing different facets. This one is written to provoke. No promote discussion. Please take the time to converse with me or with anyone about the different scenarios. My email is medic@themedicshack.net Facebook is The Medic Shack or Mewe at The Medic Shack

Pandemics are real. Not the product of imagination. Time is way past to learn how to protect ourselves from them. The first link of the chain, and one that is ALWAYS broken, is. Communication. There is no real, concise, and most of all believable source. But wait! What about the CDC? Yes they send out warnings. But are dependent on the national and local media. Ok so what about the local or national media? Good question. What is the general media talking about. When there is something on the news about illness it is sandwiched between politics, hate crimes and the Hollywood Who’s Who. Do a news site search for the current Ebola outbreak in the Congo. See what you find in the news.

As I said earlier. I have no intention of doing the fork in the garbage disposal routine of panic. I am just wanting to pass on information. The most powerful weapon we have is not our weapons. Its our mind. We need to employ it. And to employ it we need to arm it. Knowledge is ammunition. And used correctly it is the most powerful weapon and more importantly, the best tool for survival.

Cat Ellis The Herbal Prepper has written a book on pandemics. Its called Prepping for a Pandemic and its on Amazon. Get a copy and read it.

Click here to read the entire article at The Medic Shack.

Backdoor Survival: Become More Medically Self-Reliant

Backdoor Survival has an article up on using essential oils to become more self-reliant medically, including examples and instructions. Here’s an excerpt from Become More Medically Self-Reliant: Put Essential Oils to Work for You. It’s a bit lengthy, but it may give you a good start on using essential oils if you have been hesitant to try them.

When people first purchase essential oils they are excited to use them and to discover their benefits but sadly, a good percentage of those purchasers fail to move ahead and often don’t learn how to use them with much success. In fact, I know quite a few people who have good oils languishing in their cupboards for want of knowledge. This article gives suggestions and examples that may motivate a robust use of the essential oils you already have or have been thinking about trying.

Once understood and mastered and their efficacy established by successful application, there may be a desire to find other oils and other ways to include them in your home and emergency medical preparedness.  It is exciting to see a medical problem solved by an essential oil or a healing herb and thereby feeling a little more medically self- reliant, moving step by step. This knowledge is only acquired through using the oils correctly and experiencing what they can do to improve a medical concern. My small personal experiences build more confidence and put one more tool into my medical bag to help my family and others who may ask for help.

essential oils work for you

 

Three Successful Examples of Oil Use

Here are three examples of the many ways oils have worked. Please forgive me for sharing personal experiences. I do this with the hope that these stories will help others see that if essential oils worked for me, they may also work for you…making us all more medically prepared and better able to care for ourselves in our ailments and small accidents now and in harder times…

Click here to read the entire article at Backdoor Survival.

American Partisan: So You Have a Group — Now What?

Kit Perez over at American Partisan has a useful article up about what your group should be doing, or not doing, if you have one. Here’s an excerpt from So You Have a Group — Now What?

Groups are all the rage. A lot of people like to identify with some kind of group. It can give them the feeling that they’re “doing something,” or even fill the validation need. That’s not a good or bad thing, it just is.

If you’ve already read about how to recruit, and who not to have, you might be wondering what’s next. You’ve whittled down your existing group to the people you need or created a new, small group of solid folks, and you’re looking for the next step. Well, here it is:

Your group needs a goal.

What do you want? What would you like to accomplish? Now is not the time for some grandiose “liberty” idea. Now is when you decide exactly what your particular group wants to see happen in your local area. Be realistic here; if you choose a goal that is more fantasy than reality you’ll not only fail to achieve it but you’ll get burned out in the process.

Once you have a goal, look at specific, actionable things you can do that will push you toward that goal.

The #1 Thing You Need

Keep in mind that regardless of what your goal or action plan ends up being, if the public will know about your group, then you need the public to support you. There is no shortcut, no way around this. If your group will have a public face, that face better be a positive one — and not just among your echo chamber of like-minded folks, either…

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

Related:

American Partisan: Forming a Community Survival Group

American Partisan: Balkanization in the United States

From the fine staff of American Partisan is this brief article, Balkanization in the United States: Is it Coming?.

…We are meant to swallow the lie that says “diversity is our strength” without consideration for merit, performance, ability, intelligence or actual results.

This is not meant to be an indictment on any specific culture or ethnicity, but more of a history lesson, a social observation and a dire prediction.

The history lesson is the continued failure of all socialist based economic models, whether we want to consider them “real” socialism or not. The sort of hard socialism seen in 1980’s Yugoslavia and the crony-capitalist soft socialist version seen in the US today are both examples of that failure system. As I stated earlier, it does not take any level of economic expertise to understand that our current system is insolvent and that we have passed the point of no return on a future crash of our financial system. Now that less than half of the people in the US are net-taxpayers and over half of the people in the US are receiving some sort of government assistance simply to survive, we have become a welfare state, with only decreasing numbers of producers with increasing numbers of consumers. Mathematically, it is not sustainable. Historically, it is disastrous.

The social observation is that such a mass of diverse peoples must have a voluntary pressure outlet in order to maintain peace. We must accept reality that not all cultures are able to be forced together with peaceful results. Forced proximity, with advantages, disadvantages and blame doled out to certain peoples, with a lack of opportunity to separate peacefully will always result in strife and eventual violence.

The dire prediction is one that is easy to see coming: An eventual economic failure is the lit match, while the total lack of national cultural identity is the gasoline. The media and governmental apparatchiks stand by to stoke the fires.

We are Yugoslavia circa 1980’s.

My advice? Stay out of Sarajevo.

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

Related:

Forward Observer: The Hidden Tribes of America

 

WRSA: Unprepared People Can Kill You

From a Pat Hines comment over at Western Rifle Shooters Association, describing one man’s Hurricane Michael incident, this short story shows how people who are mentally or physically prepared can be a danger to everyone involved. Edited for language.

“4 of us men (out of a hallway full of people) were desperately trying to tie doors shut in the shelter in the middle of a category 5 hurricane, with a 140-160 mph wind ripping down the breezeway right in front of it in a storm of debris, doing its best to suck those doors open, which would have resulted in people being sucked out.

We need to cut cord, so I produce a Leatherman. Two people gasp, “I didn’t think you were supposed to have THOSE THINGS in a school!”

In sheer disbelief, but in the interests of not escalating the situation, I went with my second-best response of “It’s a tool, not a knife, just a set of pliers with an auxiliary blade,” rather than my first instinct of, “Who gives a ****, you ****ing idiot! What are they gonna do, expel me?”

It turns out that my daughter and I were the only ones with knives in the place. Go figure.

Meanwhile, a woman is asking, “But how can the rescue squad get to us if the doors are tied?”

“The rescue isn’t coming until the wind stops and it’s over, lady, and we’ll untie it then.” The “if any of us are still alive to do it, and if not, it won’t matter, will it?” was left unsaid.

Another woman was whining, “You need to leave those doors open; it’s hot and stuffy in here, and we need a breeze.” No, I’m not lying.

She kept complaining about it to anyone who would listen, until she was finally silenced by a rawboned redneck woman who suddenly shouted, “B****, there are little kids in here handling this **** better than you are! If you don’t shut the hell up right now, I’m going to knock the **** out of you!”

End of complaints.

Lessons learned:
1. Be prepared with basic tools (like knives).
2. Something like 90% of people are passive observers in an emergency, only a few will take action without being told directly, and tiny number are so incredibly stupid their mere presence can threaten the survival of the entire group.
3. The best way to deal with that tiny percentage is with the real threat of violence, complete with the full intention of following it up if necessary.” – Gregory Kay

Emphasis added.

Inland NorthWest Preparedness Expo, Sept. 22-23, 2018 – Sandpoint, ID

The Inland Northwest Preparedness Expo will take place at the Bonner County Fairgrounds, Sandpoint, ID on September 22 and 23rd. While this expo is not related to our own Northwest Preparedness Expo in Prosser, we do know a lot of the speakers involved, having hosted them for our own expo or as separate speakers for our assembly. There are a lot of good people presenting here, and it looks like it would be worth your time to attend.

http://inwprepexpo.com/

 

Speaker schedule:

Saturday, 9/22
Time Slot Title Speaker Room
9:15 – 9:30
Flag Ceremony Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts Main Floor
9:30 – 9:45
Event Welcome Glen Bailey,
County Commissioner
A
10:00 – 10:50
Go Bags: Survive the First 72 Hours Lee Lukehart,
Bonner County ARES
A
Active Shooter! Ranger Rick B
11:00 – 11:50
Hazardous Fuel Treatment Mark Sauter,
Selkirk Fire Dept
A
Gunshot Trauma First Response Ranger Rick B
12:00 – 12:50
Water Storage & Purification Nick Mechikoff,
Panhandle Health
A
Handgun Safety and Operation Russell Spriggs,
The Pistol Prof
B
1:00 – 1:50
Prepping from a Woman’s Perspective Shelby Gallagher, author
A Great State: The Divide
B
2:00 – 2:50
Prepping 2.0 Glen Tate, author
299 Days Series
B
3:00 – 3:50
Intro to Prepper Gardening Patrice Lewis A
Intro to Emergency Communications John Jacob Schmidt,
AmRRON
B
4:00 – 4:50
Medicinal Herbs Dr. Carla Northcott, PhD A
Meal in A Jar Janiene Rise, THRIVE Freeze Dried Food B
Sunday, 9/23
Time Slot Title Speaker Room
10:00 – 10:50
Go Bags: Survive the First 72 Hours Lee Lukehart,
Bonner County ARES
A
Medicinal Herbs Carla Northcott, PhD B
11:00 – 11:50
Overview of Idaho Water Rights & Permitting Brian Domke, Strategic Landscape Design A
Introduction to Emergency Communications John Jacob Schmidt,
AmRRON
B
12:00 – 12:50
Community Force Craig Nelson, Bonner County Sheriff’s Office A
Ladies First: How to choose a handgun Russell Spriggs,
The Pistol Prof
B
1:00 – 1:50
Prepping 2.0 Glen Tate, author
299 Days Series
B
2:00 – 2:50
Prepping from a Woman’s Perspective Shelby Gallagher, author
A Great State: The Divide
B
3:00 – 3:50
Wood Gas — The Other Solar Energy Steve Honkus A
Beekeeping TBD B
4:00 – 4:50 B
Ham Radio Field Communications Richard Howell, NQ7C
North Idaho Militia
A
Critical Considerations when deciding on solar, wind, hydro and hydrocarbons Thomas Quinlin, Idaho Solar & Energy Storage B

Family and Friends Who Don’t Prepare

Kit Perez has been written a short article titled The Dilemma of Family and Friends Who Don’t Prep over at American Partisan about how you might need to react to people asking for food in the event of a severe crisis. In an event like a civil war (which 31% of US voters believe is likely in the next five years), those people in need may be more desperate than you have imagined.

In the time that I’ve been prepping, I’ve talked to a lot of friends and family about the need for them to prep too. I’ve gotten varying answers in this conversation, but the one answer I hear more than anything is, “I’ll just come to your house if something happens.” It’s always said with a laugh, as though it’s such a hilarious, original joke, and I’ve read many folks who advocate answering that with a resounding “No, you won’t.”

On one hand, this sounds greedy and rude–or at least, you’re told that it does. How can the person who claims to want to build local communities and work together with neighbors not be willing to share in hard times, when your little nephews are starving or the family next door doesn’t have any more water and no hope of getting any? Some may say that there’s a moral and ethical obligation to help others regardless of situation. Others I’ve talked to say that they’ll give the people at the door two days’ rations and tell them that’s it. Still others say they’ll help children but no one else.

The problem is that they’re still thinking in terms of normal, civilized society, and the social mores that people generally abide by–and trying to apply them in a brutal, life-or-death situation where there are no rules and no limits.

In order to understand the real situation you’d be faced with, you need to read Selco’s work, in which he describes in great detail the mindset changes that occur in a societal breakdown. Think about what happens when an area is faced with a major storm, or prolonged power outages. People swarm the stores, scrambling for supplies before they’re gone. Looting and theft, even assaults and worse occur as a matter of course.

Let’s take a look at some of the potential situations. Let’s assume you have a family of four people plus one dog. You’ve saved a few hundred dollars in silver, and you’ve got three months of food and water saved up…

Click here to read the entire story at American Partisan.

Brushbeater: First Line Survival Kit

NC Scout at the Brushbeater blog has an article up about first line survival gear, i.e. the gear that you keep on your body to sustain you until you can be rescued or reach other gear or resupply.

Combat arms soldiers are taught the process of layering equipment- a first, second and third line– which support our mission both individually and as a team. The third line is our ruck sack with mission-specific equipment, the second, our fighting load. In dire straits these two are expendable. The first line gear is a set of items worn on the body always which keep us alive until we link up with friendly forces. It is a concept that serves anyone into wilderness and outdoors living quite well when the unexpected happens.

CSARIn training we first establish a baseline and then create standards to meet them. If it’s small unit tactics, that begins with individual skills including quiet movement, observation, land navigation and marksmanship graduating to team formations and battle drills. If it’s communications, we first create competent operating skills then move into basic radio theory. With survival, it’s focusing on individual sustainment skills to keep you alive and successfully rescued.  No matter what your fantasy is about ‘bugging out’ , the reality is you’re not going to last long in the wild without a prior skillset, a few basic items, and someone there to eventually recover you. If the world has become upside down and you find yourself in a real-deal survival situation, the first goal is rescue and everything you do between the time of the incident and getting rescued is geared towards keeping you alive.

Survival Rule of Threes

The general survival rule of thumb is the rule of threes:

  • 3 minutes without oxygen
  • 3 hours in a severe environment without shelter
  • 3 days without water
  • 3 weeks without food.

While its physiologically correct, the rule leaves out the psychological factors which cause the bad decisions ending up in a tragic story…

Click here to read the entire article at Brushbeater.

American Partisan: Realistic Redundancy

JC Dodge of Mason Dixon Tactical has a brief article up at American Partisan entitled Realistic Redundancy: Prioritization and Selection about the gear for which you should have a spare.

It was a dark and stormy winter night in Northern Iraq. My patrol had just been ambushed by bad guys, and we had casualties. Guess what “Patrol Leader”, you’ve got to call in the 9-line, ASAP! I hurry up and fill it out with a grease pencil, and start to relay the info to higher via radio. Guess what? While reading off line three, my headlamp died. “WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NOW!” is the first thought, which is immediately replaced with “Wait, I have a clip light in my front gear pocket.” I get it out, clip it to my helmet band, and am able to continue transmitting. Why am I telling you this? I bring up this example to point out why redundancy in certain areas of your gear is CRITICAL, and how you might want to prioritize what should have redundancy.

Nine line

When people in the Civilian Survivalist/LEO/Mil arena think about redundancy, it’s usually tied to the phrase “Two is one, one is none.” There’s a lot to be said for that mindset, but taken to the extreme, it will do nothing but add extra crap (that you don’t need readily available), and probably slow you down in the process, due to the extra weight it adds to your gear. Whether you are a Civilian, LEO, NPT (Neighborhood Protection Team) member, or member of the Military, understanding the need for redundancy in you essential gear, and how to prioritize it is essential to giving yourself the best chance at survival in a non-permissive environment. First we will talk about prioritization of gear that needs redundancy, then we will talk about a method to use when looking for redundant gear options.

How do you prioritize what needs redundancy? Here’s the questions I ask myself to make my decisions. 1) If I lose use of the item while in the middle of using it, could it drastically alter my chances of surviving? 2) Is the item of such importance in my line gear (1st on person, 2nd is load bearing gear, 3rd is your ruck), that not having it alters my chances of success and/or mission accomplishment? “Mission accomplishment” being different things to different people. An example of this for Survivalists would be surviving a life and death situation, whether it is natural or man made. For the LEO or legally armed civilian, it could be an “Active shooter” situation. For an NPT (Neighborhood Protection Team) member, it might be conducting operations in your AO after your area has devolved into TEOTWAWKISTAN, whether those operations are purely defensive, or what I call “Aggressive Defense”. 3) Is the weight of the redundant item that is added to my gear offset (less important than) by the importance of that item?

Let’s discuss them in order,

1) If I lose use of the item while in the middle of using it, could it drastically alter my chances of surviving? As I illustrated in the first paragraph, having that extra light (same type, a hands free design) was critical to mission success, which at that time was callin’ in the status of some of my patrol’s wounded soldiers.

2) Is the item of such importance in my line gear, that not having it alter my chances of success in mission accomplishment? Due to the “priorities of work” being done at the time, It would have been “less than optimal” to pull one of my other soldiers off of their assigned task, just to hold a light for me.

3) Is the weight of the redundant item that is added to my gear offset (less important than) by the importance of that item? In the case of the hands free light HELL YEAH! Those clip lights from a number of vendors are very small, lightweight, and can be tucked almost anywhere for a future need. The only downside is their proprietary type of small watch battery (my normal headlamp uses AA, along with almost all my electronic gear, except for a few 123’s).

Things that I think are good candidates for redundancy…

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FO with John Mosby on Building Tribe, Community and Preparedness

Sam Culper at Forward Observer interviews John Mosby, a former Army Special Operations soldier, small arms instructor, and author on building tribe, community and preparedness. Mosby writes at the Mountain Guerrilla blog, and is the author of The Reluctant Partisan Volumes I and II, and Forging the Hero.