Letter Re: Motorcycles as Bug-Out Vehicles

Dear James: Since I am tied to the outer edge of a major metro area for business and family reasons I have been wrestling with an alternative to a car or truck as a bug out vehicle (BOV).I am very worried about an EMP strike sooner or later – it just makes too much sense from an enemy’s point of view, so EMP-proofing is critical in my book. By the way, the Lights Out online novel about an EMP strike is a very good read, and it gets you thinking of many factors that are not obvious at first glance. After thinking it through, motorcycles look to be the best “Get Out of Dodge” vehicle if the roads are all clogged with debris, crowds or stationery vehicles, etc., etc., as you can weave around obstacles, and go off-road if need be. You give up the carrying capacity and protection of a few thousand pounds of steel, but you get more mobility, the ability to squeeze through tight spots, and to go off-road on trails, sidewalks, utility rights of way, etc., etc.So I was looking for a motorcycle, specifically a diesel, because of the reduced fire hazard from diesel versus gas, … Continue reading

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David in Israel Re: A Winter Crossing

While living on the dry side of the state of Oregon [eastern Oregon] while in college, my bugout plan always included heading to one of two prepped positions one a cramped remote cabin and some buckets of food and gear the other a friend who had well prepared but was too close to a highway. Circumstances would have dictated which to go to. In winter, my plan was to ski and sled in my gear. Without the assistance of a massive snow plowing network, much of the northern United States would be locked-in, once winter arrived. Almost all logging roads and highways would be closed until the snow melts. This seasonal closure can actually work for your retreat, by providing cheap security–filtering to just a tiny number of Sno-cats and snowmobiles with any possible access. I will leave discussion of snowmobiles, sleighs, and dog teams to an expert. What you need: Skis & Ski climbing (skins and/or wax and klister) Boots Sled Collapsible shovel Sleeping gear High calorie foods Powerful stove You must become comfortable with your gear experience is the best way. I started with surplus Ramer bindings and upgraded to Silveretta 300s using military double chamber touring skis. … Continue reading

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Our Grid-Up Bug Out — January 22nd Through February 4th, 2006 by Larry in Kansas

On January 22nd my wife had been on the web site www.arcticbeacon.com and ran across the following article http://www.arcticbeacon.com/22-Jan-2006.html. The article covers a nuclear attack and a financial collapse in America within 90 days. (sometime in March of 2006). This got our attention, BIG TIME. On January 25 the following article was posted on Arcticbeacon http://www.arcticbeacon.com/25-Jan-2006.html. An attack was imminent in 9 days for Texas City-Houston area. On January 26 the following article was posted http://www.arcticbeacon.com/26-Jan-2006b.html. Houston police running nuclear disaster drills. I did my best to checkout the articles and the sources, however, I felt really pressed for time so the decision to bug out was made on January 26. I realize that this might not seem like a lot of good intel, however, since Kansas City was mentioned as a possible target and since we live close to Kansas City, so it really wasn’t that hard of a decision. Also, we have been watching the U.S. economy (see the novel by Jim Rawles Patriots), gold and silver, the stock markets, dollars and Euros ( especially dollar reserves vs. euro in other countries), oil and gas, open borders, U.S. and world politics, Iran and Syria, North Korea, etc. We … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Recommended Truck Modifications?

Dear Jim: I recently purchased a 1991 Ford F350 diesel truck. I had read previously on the Blog site of your recommendations on how best to outfit G.O.O.D. vehicles. Unfortunately I have been unable to find that post. I would appreciate it if you would re-post that information. Also I have a few other questions concerning this topic if you don’t mind. 1.) What type of winch do you suggest? Manufacturer, size & power, etc. 2.) Is it necessary to EMP-proof the glow plug switch? And, if so, how is that to be done? 3.) Do you suggest light assemblies on the roof of the cab or elsewhere on the truck? I appreciate all of your excellent knowledge. Hodu L’Yahweh ke tov, (Give thanks to Yahweh for He is good.) – Dr. Sidney Zweibel JWR Replies: I’m glad to hear that you bought a diesel truck. Hopefully it is a four wheel drive. Since it is a 1991 model, odds are that it does not have electronic fuel handling. (Which is a good thing, in the event of EMP.) But it is best to double check that. In answer to your questions: 1.) I generally don’t recommend electric winches. They … Continue reading

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Two Letters Re: The “Field Kit” Approach for Organization, Preparedness, and Survival, by Christian Souljer

Mr. Rawles, Reading the great post on preparedness kits I noticed a couple things that I do differently with my vehicle. I’ve got a spare tire mounted on a homemade bracket on the front of my truck. this took an hour tops with an iron pile and a welder. It’s not meant for pushing but it sits there comfortably mounted to the existing bumper and the metal near the hood latch. I would think also that with some forethought it could be incorporated into a big frame mount push bumper. its a classic ‘country’ configuration which clears up room in your truck bed or inside the vehicle. It’s never made sense to me to mount the spare tire under the rear end of a 4WD vehicle. This setup also lets you put your chains on the tire which makes them easy to get too and easy to lay out when the time comes. Once they are on, just wire up the extra and throw a big bungee on to take up the slack and rattle. I’ve even found that a license plate will fit inside the rim of most truck tires (15″ or larger). If you are worried about theft … Continue reading

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The “Field Kit” Approach for Organization, Preparedness, and Survival, by Christian Souljer

When trouble comes and you are required to re-locate, there may not be time to try to find, organize and then pack your emergency gear. Just the stress of an emergency situation alone can keep you from thinking clearly enough to gather and pack all you might need. Getting your gear ready in advance can minimize this problem. Over the years I have developed a system in which I assemble “Field Kits” for my outdoor and emergency equipment and supplies. This allows me to keep my stuff organized and ready for future use. I assemble the kits with items needed and then I inventory the contents and I keep a copy on file as well as a copy in the kit. That way I know what I have in there two years down the road and I also know if any of the contents have a shelf life – they have been dated and a periodic inspection of the list allows you to know if an item (such as Aspirin) should be replaced or not. In the following paragraphs I will share my experience with building and using these kits including the number of years that I have employed each … Continue reading

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Letter From Mr. Bravo Re: Money Belts, Large Bills, and Gold for the Grid-Up Bugout Bag

Jim, I don’t know how recognized a Euro note would be in a U.S. crisis, especially the premium of the dollar. (“Funny money” may even be assumed to be devalued, as if Canadian.) The real concern about large Euro notes is that of presumed counterfeiting. A British friend recently told me that 500 Euro notes are essentially not legal tender for most commercial transactions, due to widespread counterfeiting suspicions. You can take them to a bank, but that is about it. Unless you need to carry substantial wealth that will be put in an operating bank at your destination, I’d stick to dollars or precious metals. FYI: US currency weighs about one gram per bill. Which means that a stack of $20 bills is presently nearly “worth its weight in gold!” That means that gold over about $3000/ounce would be more portable (and far more compact) than our largest [piece of] currency. I prefer the more romantic notion of a vest with gold pieces sewn in. A man could wear a vest with nearly 400 one ounce gold coins sewn in (single layer) that would weigh nearly 30 pounds, and be worth about $250,000 at current prices. Now that is … Continue reading

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Hurricane Katrina — A First Hand Bugout Account from August 2005

The following anonymously-posted account is re-posted with permission from Mel’s Riser’s “My Solar Village” blog (http://mysolarvillage.blogspot.com.) Some of you might find this account is eerily reminiscent of my novel Patriots: The craziest thing about the whole Katrina fiasco was that my father in law (technically he’s just my girlfriend’s dad, but we’ve been together long enough that this is what we call him.) I always make fun of him because he keeps his garage stocked with something like 100 gallons of water, a bunch of big jugs full of treated gasoline, food, etc. He also owns quite a few guns. So I picked on him a lot for being borderline nuts even though he’s fairly normal. So when Katrina rolled around I ended up evacuating with them since the woman wanted to be with her parents. It took us 35 hours of nonstop driving to drive to Dallas. It’s usually a four hour drive or so. About twelve hours or so in you had to drive around a car that had run out of fuel every fifty feet or less. They were everywhere. It was hot, too, and we saw hundreds of families standing on the side of the road … Continue reading

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David in Israel on the Grid-Up Bugout Bag

Grid-up bugouts of the non-universal TEOTWAWKI type (more like Hurricane Katrina) allow you to take advantage of modern infrastructure even if you have limited means. If your escape happens during a time where resources allow a hotel may be a better choice for those who have lost their primary residence (rural or urban) and do not have a fallback location yet. In the event of a major power outage the cellular infrastructure has several days of generator power at each tower so the ease and reliability of mobile telephony may have advantages over ham radio for contacting family. In unaffected areas ragged dirty survivors and strange vehicles may be treated with suspicion a good appearance is key when interacting in normal areas. The following are some things to consider for your Bug Out Bag (BOB) — also known as a Get Out Of Dodge (G.O.O.D.) pack: Cellular Telephone: Think about getting a plan that includes Internet make sure that your phone supports Bluetooth or IR, a data cable which works with your computer will also work.  I suggest having a paid up prepaid SIMM chip taped in the battery cover purchased cash from a convenience store in case you need … Continue reading

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Letter Re: David in Israel on Fire Starting

Mr. Rawles: David from Israel wrote in with some interesting suggestions on fire starting. The method that I use in severe weather conditions is to first dig a small hole, about 6 inches in diameter and about 8 inches deep. Facing into the wind, I dig a small channel into the side of the hole, about 2 or 3 inches wide and sloping up from the bottom of the small hole, about 6 inches long. Then I put tinder in the pit and arrange short twigs around the tinder so that the twigs look like a teepee. To make tinder you can use cotton balls dipped in paraffin wax, or take a small block of resinous wood such as yellow pine and cut slivers and shavings off of it, then cut the block making slivers still attached to the block. You can also use straw or dry grass for tinder – if the grass on top is wet usually you can find dry grass below. I cover the circular hole with twigs and tinder, leaving the channel open, and then put small (1 inch diameter) sticks on top arranged ends inward, in a circle. If the wind is blowing hard, … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Link Correction –The Ultra Light Bug-Out-Bag By “Springmtnd”

Jim: Sorry about an error in my previous e-mail. After the article went out a friend told me that he couldn’t find the pack plans on thru-hiker.com. I was mistaken about where I had seen them. Gossamergear who the makes the GVP4 pack also posts plans for the pack on their web site. See the link. http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin/gossamergear/myog.html Ray Jardine also sells a pack kit for $49.95 on his site. http://www.ray-way.com/php/order-form.php Ah, I found it!  See: http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html. Check out the Lab 2300. The first two [designs] seem unnecessarily complicated. I would take a close look at the last one. My pack is 37″ in diameter by 21″ tall. This gives it a volume of about 2300 cu. in. The top pocket is not included. After looking at mine it also looks complicated but I have added a lot of details that the basic design doesn’t need to be functional. The top pocket the water bottle pockets and the main pack body were all made with a technique I call “boxing the corner”. If you take a pillow case a push the bottom corners to the inside and pin them flat so the bottom of the pillow case now looks square you … Continue reading

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The Ultra Light Bug-Out-Bag By “Springmtnd”

Can you carry your bug-out-bag (BOB)? If your vehicle breaks down or the roads are impassable can you carry on your back the BOB that was intended to be carried in your vehicle? Just having shoulder straps on your car BOB doesn’t do it. The BOB in your vehicle is not optimized for carrying on your back. This article will introduce you to some of the techniques ultra-light back packers use, techniques that you can use to create ultra-light BOBs for you and your family members if you need to travel by foot. These will be subsets of your vehicle BOBs. We are not talking about how much you can carry. We are talking about how little you can carry and still meet all of your needs. What if small children need to be carried? What if one of your party were injured? Could you help them or carry them and your BOB? Is it light enough your spouse or older children can carry it? If your BOBs are well planned they will be light enough that members of your party can carry their gear and yours too, freeing you up to do what needs to be done. The lighter … Continue reading

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