Assess Your Horse’s Capabilities and Temperament We all love to think of our horses as part of the family. Some might love their horses. Let me begin by saying that before you do an overnight or longer trip away from all the comforts of home, you need to honestly assess your horse’s capabilities and temperament. Temperament is key here. I am careful to choose the horse for the job. I prefer traveling far with my dog as well. He is a great scout, level headed, and loves to ride. He often hunts for himself, but I always bring food for him. Mind you, once horse and dog are out for four or five hours, their temperament smooths. I have made my horse aware of the terrain. He can surf down a steep mountain trail with loose scree or find his way home five hours out, through thick forest on his own, while I relax in the saddle. Trained in the Colorado and California mountains and holding his own in the hunt lands of Virginia, he can practically walk over a four foot fence, loves the hunt, stays placidly tied at the range, and he’s a good old boy, who loves … Continue reading
Everyone has a plan to “Get Out of Dodge” in an emergency. As I teach my self defense and firearms classes, I ask people and they all say, “I’d head up to my cabin” or “I’ll head out west”. The problem is, have you actually considered how you will leave the immediate area of your home or work? Most of the people I hear begin their plan ambiguously. They say, just simply, “I’d leave town”, but they have never done any reconnaissance or real-life consideration of their route. As humans, we are creatures of habit. If I want to leave my house in Metro Detroit and head to my cabin, I just jump on the freeway two blocks from home and take it most of the way, right? Well, on a normal weekend, without any unrest or an emergency, that’s very simple. These basic plans fall apart once we consider the effects of a large civil disturbance, a disaster, or simply a large-scale long-term blackout. With the increasing trend of protesters blocking the freeways and major streets, these issues must be taken into consideration. As the crisis unfolds, people will take to the streets in many ways. Protesters who may … Continue reading
HJL, Good info from B.W. We also have donkeys, miniature donkeys. They make excellent pets and fine companions on the trail. We hike and even camp with ours, as well as string them along with their packs behind our mules on trail rides. When introduced properly, they get along fine with the family/farm dogs. We have found their personalities to be very similar to dogs, and they will even lay their head in your lap for attention. Donkeys also make excellent property alarm systems. Our little pair will begin braying at the approach of a car or truck long before I hear it coming up our long gravel drive. Their “radar” and those lovable long ears are impeccable indicators of approach or movement by wildlife. All I have to do is follow their gaze or the direction of those ears and more times than not there’s a deer sneaking down the wood line or turkeys picking their way along. They have also alerted me to unwanted visitors of the 4-legged variety after dark while our other equine silently observe. I never fail to investigate our braying mini donks after dark, and they’re yet to sound a false alarm. One note … Continue reading
Public Transportation Learn how public transportation works in your area and utilize it, as it could be an asset one day. Also, learn about anything that is public, from restrooms and shelters to tornado shelters. Timing could be an issue, and it could become the closest shelter for a variety of situations. Parks also have water supplies. Know where the water fill ups are. I personally know of some local spots that have hand pumps, which while it is not a secret, few people will think of immediately during a loss of utilities. Memberships Having a few memberships can be a huge asset should you become displaced. The YMCA, for instance, has showers you could use without any trouble simply by having an affordable membership. You could also utilize that membership to enhance your strength. A library membership can get you easy access to shelter and information. A self-storage unit can be utilized as a cache, although it’s expensive. Medical Basic first aid is a must, and in the city we should be more cognizant of airborne threats. Considering the case example of the Bhopal disaster and also addressing tear, chlorine, mustard, nerve gas, and sternutators, here are some guidelines … Continue reading
I’ve been a SurvivalBlog reader for years and grew up prepping. My parents were preppers in the 90’s, so I’ve been through the full spectrum. I love the articles and especially all the news to be found on SurvivalBlog. I appreciate the hard work all the authors have put into their articles over the years and recognize that most individual skills and ideas have been put to ink. I’m going to attempt the 10,000-aerial view in this approach to city survival. My military background taught me to do a risk assessment for everything, and I practice this today. The million-dollar question is, “What do I need to prepare for?”. We cannot predict the future, but we can consider the past and see trends and patterns and learn from those. Consider this. Create a Risk Assessment The earth has been hit with many asteroids over its existence, and per a map that I found the location seems random. The frequency of these impacts is rare and typically minor. Looking at a risk assessment matrix regarding risk with earth space impacts, I conclude that it is an “improbable” event with “catastrophic” to “negligible” severity. The threats seen from an earth space impact … Continue reading
We are fortunate to have a mother donkey and two of her offspring from subsequent years who are both females (jennys). We have had the younger ones since they were foals and have hiked with them and their mother since they were four or five months old. The mother was always on a lead, but the younger one were both on lead and off lead. By doing this we trained the younger ones to keep up with us off lead when we are in wide open spaces. As a result of this, we can hike in the state forests on old logging roads with the younger ones off lead even without the mother, and the youngsters look at us as the lead donkey and rarely ever get more than 100 yards away from us. The mother donkey can not reliably be turned loose off lead. She doesn’t run away, but she considers herself to be the leader since she was older when we got her and makes little attempt to keep up with us. We are blessed to live in a place where we can go with our donkeys and dogs off lead. This is definitely an advantage of rural … Continue reading
Moving unobtrusively over land with pack animals whether for recreation or in an emergency situation is both enjoyable and possibly a lifesaving endeavor. This article concerns my experience with donkeys as a veterinarian and as someone who has prepared as much as possible over the years for whatever circumstances may arise in the world we live in. I hope this information will persuade you to look into pack animals, such as donkeys, in your preparedness planning if your circumstances will allow. My wife and I have owned and ridden horses for the majority of our lives but got out of the horse business about eight years ago primarily due to a downsizing in pasture acreage. We have had donkeys now for the past four years. I did not consider myself “expert ” enough to write an article on donkeys, but after reading a few discussions about donkeys on other survival blogs, I realized that the public has many misconceptions about them. To most they are cute but rather stubborn lawn ornaments, but as I have learned they are actually very hardworking affectionate pack animals with tons of personality. Donkeys have been working animals for man for over 5000 years. They … Continue reading
Sir: Two of SurvivalBlog’s recent posts referenced altering or covering license plates to avoid identification by license plate readers. Coincidentally, the last two episodes of the reality show Hunted involved people being tracked by this technology. Altering your plate is clearly illegal. Apparently plastic covers are also illegal, at least in some jurisdictions. Electronic surveillance devices seem to be virtually everywhere these days. Do you have any advice for those of us who still believe in personal privacy but don’t want to break the law? About all I can think of is a good coat of mud or a trailer-hitch receiver cargo rack. – R. in Maine JWR Replies: You are correct that this is an emerging threat to our privacy. Sadly, it is just one part of the emerging Surveillance State. There are a few options that I’ve mentioned to my consulting clients who have raised this issue: Registering your car in a “one plate” state—that is, in one of the 19 states that do not require a front license plate. (Called a “tag” in some regions.) That alone will eliminate half of the risk. So, for example if you park somewhere like at a gun show or at … Continue reading
Dear Editor: Regarding “Bugging Out West of the Mississippi”, I had never seen the need for the advice in this article, after all, we do have a GPS. But after an extremely challenging trip recently from the Great River Eastward to the coast, we got tangled up trying to get through Indianapolis. Before the return trip I planned the route similar to the advice in the article. I am now in the process of putting together 3-ring binders with detailed maps on how to get through any large metropolis that is between us and any long distance destination. Thanks C.L. R.T.
I felt obliged to pass on some observations and potential lessons on the developing problems at the Oroville Dam here in northern California. For those who may not have heard, the Oroville Dam has had some major structural issues with the spillways, resulting in mandatory evacuations for as many as 180,000 people. It is an earth fill embankment dam on the Feather River east of the city of Oroville, California, in the United States. At 770 feet (230 m) high, it is the tallest dam in the U.S. and serves mainly for water supply, hydroelectricity generation, and flood control. It is supplied by the impoundment of the Feather River, and the Oroville Dam also manages an incredible amount of water; its full capacity measures 3,537,577 acre-feet, and it has a drainage area of 3,607 square miles. News media had been reporting on some erosion in the main spillway of the dam since Tuesday, the 7th of February, 2017. There was some video that can be found where big chunks of concrete are seen being thrown through the air by the water. Up until late afternoon on the 12th of February, all news media were still reporting that while there was … Continue reading
In-Country Risks Contaminated Water The advantages of this trip west are due to large open areas with interspersed farms, ponds, and streams, relatively high visibility, and low population density. However, there are always the occasional natural and man-made risks to be wary of. Being largely farmland, most of the surface water is contaminated by pesticides and varying degrees of farm wastes, so have a variety of methods and containers to sterilize water in route. Removing most organic compounds and hydrophobic pesticides from water requires filtering through activated carbon or bio-char created from the gassification burning of wood above 1,652 Deg F (900 deg. C), not plain charcoal. Your local pet store carries ***activated carbon*** for use in aquarium filters. Distillation will remove most chemical contaminates as long as their boiling point is somewhat higher than water’s 212 Deg F (100 Deg C) while initial open, rapid boiling kills pathogens/bacteria and removes the lower temperature chemicals such as alcohols. Weather Of course the season of the year can present its own challenges, but I won’t detail winter conditions, since most are leaving them. However, if you fan out south in winter, remember these areas are not equipped for ice or snow … Continue reading
HJL, I have traveled extensively for the last 30 years and carry these items in addition to what you listed: Life straw. Clean water will be essential if you are stuck or have to walk home. Israeli battle dressing. It could be essential to saving yourself or someone else. Tourniquet: Can save yourself or someone else. Tactical pen. Mix it in with other pens in brief case. It’s not much but better than nothing on the airplane. Briefcase that converts to back pack. Brief cases are less conspicuous in the board room. Last year, I personally saw five young Middle Eastern men rush the gate agent at LAX to board in front of first class. The lone agent was so startled that they let them on. They were in the rear of the plane. Several frequent flyers and I developed a plan to eliminate the threat. They never moved during the flight to DFW. They would not have succeeded in taking over our flight. The danger is real, and we must stay ever vigilant. – J.H.