Should I Bug Out or Survive in Place?- Part 3, by Jonathan Hollerman

“I can’t afford a survival retreat and I have nowhere to go!” I hope the information I’ve imparted so far—scrutinizing the source of your prepper information and determining the worst-case scenario to prepare for—has the wheels turning inside your head. Maybe you’re not totally convinced that you should abandon your current plans to survive in place yet, but you admit there’s at least an inkling of truth to what I’m saying. Your biggest roadblock may be financial, and that may seem insurmountable. Most of us aren’t millionaire businessmen who can afford a fully-stocked survival retreat to bug out to. I get that! Hopefully, I can convince you that there are alternative options for you and your family. For those of you who can afford it, having a rural, well-stocked, and professionally designed survival retreat that no one knows about is an absolute no-brainer in surviving a total collapse scenario. Even if you live in an upscale gated community with a security guard, it’s not going to matter. Once the grocery stores are looted, I can assure you that the inner-city population is coming to your rich neighborhood next. Bubba, the rent-a-cop at the front gatehouse is not going to stop … Continue reading

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Should I Bug Out or Survive in Place?- Part 2, by Jonathan Hollerman

So, what SHTF scenario should I be preparing for? In part one, I cautioned you to be diligent to only follow the advice of credible prepping experts with real-life experience and a true understanding of human psychology in desperate circumstances. Before I can give my advice on the Bug Out/Survive in Place debate, we must first determine what scenario you are preparing for. In my opinion, the most likely threat today is a natural disaster, like a hurricane or tornado or maybe a days-long blackout in a localized area. However, preparing for these things is common sense and being able to survive them does not make someone a prepper. Anyone can easily buy a few cases of water, two cases of MREs, and a few other basic survival supplies, put them in their basement, and be “good to go”. Most preppers, even if they lost all of their supplies in the storm, could easily brainstorm their way through a few days without food and water. (This would be a good example of where those wilderness survival skills could come into play.) Alternatively, they could literally just recline against a moss-covered tree stump and wait it out. It would be unpleasant … Continue reading

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Should I Bug Out or Survive in Place?- Part 1, by Jonathan Hollerman

Where are you getting your prepping advice? Why? Should I try to survive in place or should I bug out? This is a hotly debated question in the prepping community with many people firmly entrenched on both sides of the aisle. There are numerous articles discussing the topic, but most are only a handful of paragraphs that never really explain how or why they arrived at their recommendation. To answer the “Bug Out” or “Bug In” question effectively, we must discuss essential background information and context. I will break down the discussion into three sections: your source for prepping advice, what SHTF scenario you are preparing for, and how to bug out if you don’t have a survival retreat. So, grab a cup of coffee, find a comfortable chair, and put on your seat belt as I get ready to challenge a good bit of commonly embraced ideas and “prepper theology” that are dangerous to you and your family surviving a long-term SHTF scenario. On a side note, if your idea of “prepping” revolves around getting ready for the next hurricane and storing up enough food and water in your basement to last a couple days until FEMA shows up, … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Bugging In or Bugging Out

JWR, Hi, I have a question. I live in a middle-sized city in South Carolina. Our population is approximately 180,000. There are good and bad neighborhoods, one being on the east side and the other on west side of the city. The city’s crime is #33 in the FBI’s stats. We’ve gone through disasters and we’ve seen only minor looting in the wakes of them but nothing serious. I have general confidence that if something major was to happen, my church and neighborhood could come together to cope with the situation, making leaving the city entirely unnecessary. However, I have read, particularly on your blog, that remaining in a large city would be dangerous in a grid down scenario. My question is, in the event of a grid down scenario, would it be wise to bug in at my house, which is located in a good neighborhood or would it be better to bug out to another location, say a relative’s house in the country? Would a city our size make bugging in dangerous? Is it realistic? Assume I have all the necessary supplies to survive at my house for six months. – N.R. JWR’s Comment: In my estimation, any … Continue reading

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Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 1, by R.M.

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

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Selecting An Escape Route, by KyoSa D

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

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Letter Re: Donkeys as Pack Animals

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

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Total City WTSHTF Survival- Part 2, by NDT

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

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Total City WTSHTF Survival- Part 1, by NDT

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

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Donkeys As Pack Animals For Survival And Recreation- Part 2, by B.W.

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

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Donkeys as Pack Animals for Survival and Recreation- Part 1, by B.W.

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

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Letter Re: License Plate Readers & OPSEC

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

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