Build the Plan vs. Test the Plan – Part 4, by T.R.

(Continued from Part 3.) Later that morning/early afternoon, we sat down at the kitchen table (having brewed a pot of coffee on the spare camp stove from the basement according to our “A” plan) and talked through this. We needed a balance of water, fuel, gear/shelter, food and safety/security. Optimizing the mix of these five items (plus cash and valuables) and optimizing how to pack them efficiently with some degree of access to the right items in what order took significantly longer than either of us expected when a filter criteria of “not coming back” was inserted vs “we are …




Build the Plan vs. Test the Plan – Part 3, by T.R.

(Continued from Part 2.) Some background: I still work almost full time, but portions of the year are full throttle 60+ hour weeks and other blocks are much lighter, with my husband retired from the military. We wanted a vacation in terms of scenery and wildlife and we wanted to test our plans across a number of elements. To appropriately field test our plans with a degree of stress testing that would replicate a certain amount of tension present in real threat condition whilst isolating certain elements one at a time to calibrate parts of our plan in a systematic …




Build the Plan vs. Test the Plan – Part 2, by T.R.

(Continued From Part 1.) During 2018, I made a dot chart counting how many days fit into each category A, B, C and D in terms of readiness and then converted the “dots” into a percentage of time for the year. As a corollary, if things are leaning environmentally towards TEOTWAWKI, then we would already be limiting our “D” types of trips away from home and/or starting to pursue our exit via our “B” plan scenario. If things look particularly grim but quasi-temporary, then we would limit our “C” scenarios to avoid leaving home for long blocks of time and …




Build the Plan vs. Test the Plan – Part 1, by T.R.

(Editor’s Note: This Part 1 of a five-part article series.) My goal in this article is to detail how to “build the plan” versus “test the plan” for bugout, while having fun. We regularly read SurvivalBlog and enjoy it immensely. We’ve also read and studied a lot of great books including Lights Out and Patriots. However, a few years ago we realized our learning curve was too slow for the fast-moving risk profile of a civil society becoming more frazzled (coupled with having moved to a hurricane-prone state after my husband’s retirement). We brainstormed how to compress the time required …




When Kids are Old Enough to Prepare, Part 2, by M.K.

(Continued from Part 1. This part concludes the article.) Teach By Reading and Watching Books My youngest son loves to read. My oldest will do it when he has to. One way I get them both on board with reading is by finding them books to read that keep them engaged and that is often with a book about the outdoors. As we all know, books can be both entertaining and educational. The best way to teach your kids through books is to find ones that are both! I know that Bear Grylls is a polarizing personality in the survival …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 5, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 4. This installment concludes the article series.) OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT: Make sure you wait until the last moment to do your Christmas shopping – seriously, I never have to worry about “rescuing presents” when I procrastinate. Stupid “get-stuff-done-early”… Laundry – have enough clothes so that you don’t have to go commando next to the washer, waiting for your lone pair of choners to get clean. Trust me, not cool. Air – we worry about food, water, shelter, protection, etc., but we rarely worry about preps for air. Dust and ash are (relatively) easily removed from breathing air …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 4, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 3.) LESSONS LEARNED OR THINGS THAT WORKED OK: Priorities – again, having a to-do list for the day really helped us, even one that we just made up on the fly. I really wanted to ensure there was no firearm left in the house, and I really wanted to get the flammable materials out of the shed. We took the diesel cans with us, and we left the propane tanks in front of the house at the street (per fire department recommendations). We really wanted to clear our fridge before everything spoiled, which would have ruined it. …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 3, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 2.) OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT:  Radios – both Motorola radios AND handheld ham radios were left behind that would have helped us stay in contact between our 2 cars. Cell phones worked (thankfully), but I noticed bad connections nearly every call. NOTE: if we had a better means of communication, W. could have taken her car to the other neighborhood exit to see if traffic was flowing better and reported back to me to either follow her or stay where I was (oh well, hindsight and all that). Scanners, or even scanner apps – having access to information …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 2, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 1.) So we put this plan together on paper, that’s all that we needed to do, right? Um, no. Practicing an evacuation drill is probably at least as important as having an evacuation plan. After I had revised our plan into the checklist format, I knew that we needed to practice it to see if the timeframes were correct (i.e., could we actually do all the stuff that I’d written down on the 1-minute checklist in 1 minute?). Shortly after the Tubbs Fire (in October, 2017) we did a walk-through of the house and pointed out all …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 1, by SoCal9mm

Editor’s Introductory Note:  At nearly 10,000 words, this is one of the longest multi-part articles ever to appear in SurvivalBlog. It will be presented in five parts, concluding on Saturday. Despite its length, this is some fascinating and detailed reading. The author’s insights and “lessons learned” are quite valuable, and they go far beyond just the particular concerns of wildfire evacuation. — On the evening of December 4, 2017, the Thomas Fire started in Ventura County, California. By the time it was over, about 440 square miles had burned across Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, more than 1,000 structures were …




Kel-Tec CMR 30, by Pat Cascio

The debate seems to have no end, when it comes to rifles (and handguns) for the End Times, or a SHTF event. Everyone has an opinion on this subject, and we are all entitled to our opinions – and I don’t think there is a right or wrong opinion – it’s just that – an opinion. Not everyone wants an AR-15 type of rifle or carbine, nor does everyone want an AK-47 type of rifle. These are probably two of the most popular firearms when talk turns to defending oneself and their family, in a very bad situation, where there …




Mountain Man EDC, by S.J.

What figure looms larger in the prepper imagination that the rugged mountain man? Let’s examine the contents of their packs and saddle bags for our own purposes and to inspire all of us to get back to basics. In the romanticized image, the mountain man is the ultimate minimalist, with nothing but his rifle and tomahawk, but this isn’t entirely correct, as mountain men would have had quite a bit more in their kit, especially at the base camps they operated from. We’ll find that their kits remains relevant today, even with technological advances. The Mountain Man’s EveryDay Carry Rifle …




Property Scouting in the Redoubt, by Pickled Prepper

Like many others SurivivalBlog readers, I hope to one day move to the American Redoubt. In the summer of 2018, my wife and I took the first step: an eight-day trip to Montana and Idaho to look at properties, get a feel for the places in which we were interested, and to meet people. Our goal was not to buy a house or property this trip, but to start what may be a multi-year process that ensures that when we pull the trigger we hit our target rather than making a decision we come to regret. We also want to …




Displacement Planning – Part 3, by J.M.

(Continued from Part 2. This concludes the article series.) Regardless of how you plan on loading equipment and supplies, it is critical that you document a loading plan. This should define what gets loaded in what order and where it’s loaded. How detailed this needs to be depends on your requirements – if you’re planning on walking from your location to a well-stocked bug-out compound, keeping a simple bug-out bag packed will probably meet your needs,  since you won’t need to pack much to get going. However, if any significant amount of packing or loading will be required prior to …




Displacement Planning – Part 2, by J.M.

(Continued from Part 1.) Depending on the circumstances you may be able to utilize GPS for navigation along your planned route. To do so will probably requires that you have the appropriate maps and app(s) downloaded locally on your device (don’t rely on an Internet connection being available) and that your device be charged for the duration of the displacement. If you plan on using GPS you should also include some sort of external battery pack for each person so they can recharge their device. Due to the relatively delicate nature of electronics (including GPS satellites), I strongly recommend that …