Letter Re: Gaining Situational Awareness and Old-Time Knowledge

Jim, Situational Awareness has a number of definitions, from the rather complex to the “simple”. They include: The process of recognizing a threat at an early stage and taking measures to avoid it. (Being observant of one’s surroundings and dangerous situations is more an attitude or mindset than it is a hard skill.) The ability to maintain a constant, clear mental picture of relevant information and the tactical situation including friendly and threat situations as well as terrain. Knowing what is going on so you can figure out what to do. What you need to know not to be surprised. …




Dress for Survival Success by George Haystack

”Wherever you go, there you are.” And hopefully so are your clothes. Therefore it is vital to think of your wardrobe as part of your survival gear on a daily basis. It’s not good enough to have a closet full of BDUs and a piles of high-tech gear if they aren’t near you when you need them. Most of the crises that people face do not rise to the level of TEOTWAWKI and these emergencies don’t come at convenient times. Events like building fires, car wrecks, or muggings come at you when your just out living your life. A firearms …




Letter Re: Some Technologies for Retreat Security

Jim I’ve put together a few ideas on retreat security that I haven’t seen on your great site. I may have missed them but I think they would bear repeating. I presently live near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but will soon be moving to my 280 acre ranch in central Nevada. What got me to write this was a realization during my semiannual chore of servicing the emergency generator. Changing out the gas (It is also set up to run it on propane) changing the oil, and testing the circuitry, I realized that what I thought was a good setup was actually …




Letter Re: A Suggested Checklist for Preparedness Newbies

Here’s a beginner’s list I made for my [elderly] father today: Food {Brown pearl] rice does not store well. Neither does cooking oil so that needs to be fresh. No, Crisco doesn’t count. Coconut oil would be your best bet. Wheat berries – 400 pounds – bulk order at your local health food store Beans – 400 pounds – bulk order at your local health food store Mylar bags Spices Salt Country Living grain mill propane tanks, small stove and hoses to connect freeze dried fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat if you can find them. Water 500 gallons of water …




Letter Re: GPS Receivers with a Back Road Mode

Jim, In answer to the recent inquiry: I can’t speak for other manufacturers, but Garmin’s Mapsource software has a setting for the road types along routes. I took my family on a camping trip a few weeks ago and we were on a single-lane dirt road for several miles between paved roads. We saw a group of wild turkeys cross the road and numerous deer bounding away as we passed. Since this trip, I found the setting in Mapsource that the software uses to determine road types. Click the “Edit” menu and select “Preferences” and in the resulting dialog, select …




A Practical Guide to the Recon Patrol, by TMC

Okay, the stuff has hit the fan, you have made it to your retreat, and you are geared up, stocked up and ready to survive. Inner security has been established, with LP/OPs located at likely avenues of approach. You at some point will start to wonder what else is out there, how far away it is, and what it means for your group. You might want to start implementing the recon patrol. While I could write what may very well be a small manual on the subject, I will just put out the basics that will point you in the …




The Warrior Way as Survival Strategy: Attune Yourself to a Martial Mindset in Daily Living, by Jeff Trasel

One of the constant knocks by the mainstream media on the preparedness movement is the oft-touted canard that preparedness, indeed the “survivalist” mindset is nothing more than an excuse by far-right loons to engage in Rambo-esque fantasies of firearms, firefights and macho posturing. While there is a scintilla of truth to this in some far dark quarters of doomsday lunacy, it is for the most part fiction. (This matches JWR’s caveat on discussing unregistered suppressors [in the US] or other illegal preparations). So that we bring no discredit on what is nothing more than prudence, perhaps a few short observations …




Unconventional Bug-Out Transportation Methods, by A. Taylor

I read with interest the inquiry about, what I term a “Bug out Boat”. I made this recommendation several years ago, in numerous survival forums. Most readers seemed unable to process the potential for this kind of plan or it seemed to be impractical to them compared to hunkering down or egress by vehicle. I would advocate that the more eclectic methods of egress from chaos may hold greater potential for success than some mainstream ones. Traditional modes of travel in the modern age are easily controlled by the powers that be, accidents, infrastructure break down, computer problems, electricity (can …




Impassable Freeways and Highways in an Eleventh Hour “Get Out of Dodge”

Jim, I found some depressing analysis on G.O.O.D. for those of us near US population centers: Read this PDF. For further information on the ineffectiveness of G.O.O.D. when times get bad, US DOT generated this report: Using Highways for No-Notice Evacuations. In addition, there is no shortage at the US DOT web site of well-intentioned and theoretical research reports on disaster planning. For many of us, last minute G.O.O.D. plans are likely to be characterized by a high probability of failure along with its associated human costs. One might guess that the chance of failure is an exponential function of …




Prepare or Die, by J. Britely

Throughout my life I have been caught unprepared several times and while nothing seriously bad happened, it easily could have.  I have been lost hiking.  My car has broken down in very bad neighborhoods – twice.  I have been close enough to riots that I feared they would spread to my neighborhood, been in earthquakes, been too close to wildfires, been stuck in a blizzard, and have been without power and water for several days after a hurricane.   I managed to get myself out of each situation, I thanked God, and tried to learn from my mistakes.  I could have …




Sources for Free Survival and Preparedness Information on the Internet, by K.L. in Alaska

Recent comments in SurvivalBlog provided excellent advice on using the public library. You can gain lots of knowledge with no expense, then purchase only those books you want to keep on hand for personal reference. Also, many colleges and universities loan to local residents, so you can use them too, even if you aren’t a student. If your local libraries participate, a great resource is Worldcat. It lets you search for books from home, then go check them out, or get them through interlibrary loan. What will happen to the Internet when the SHTF? There’s no guarantee it will survive. …




Letter Re: Preparedness While on Business Travel–What to Pack

Jim, I’m a frequent flyer and I enjoyed the article by LP on what to consider bringing on business travel [“Preparedness While on Business Travel –What to Pack“]. Here are some additional ideas: Water – I carry an empty bicycle type water bottle through security and fill it at a drinking fountain before my flight. This keeps you hydrated during your flight and from having to use the water glasses in your hotel room. (FYI – they don’t really clean those glasses.) Food – I carry 4-6 Cliff [“sports energy” type candy] bars in my laptop bag and my checked …




Preparedness While on Business Travel–What to Pack, by LP

If you’re like me, there are times when you have to leave almost all your preparedness stuff behind as you journey by air to strange, far-off places on behalf of your employer. No access to your well-stocked SUV. You are alone, and home is hundreds if not thousands of miles away. But disaster will not be consulting your personal travel itinerary before it strikes. How best should you prepare? Let’s first discuss the objective, as it determines the approach. For most of us, we leave family, friends, and a (more-or-less) well-stocked homestead behind. This means Your primary objective is to …




Letter Re: Plan B — Your Bug-Out Route

Mr. Rawles, In the event of a natural or manmade disaster you may need to retreat despite extensive preparations at your base of operations, whether in suburbia or in the mountains. You may find yourself in a desperate situation; facing forest fire, fallout from a malfunctioning nuclear power plant, terrorism, organized bands of looters or an invading army. Where will you go? How will you get there? What is your route? Whether you have been preparing for years or weeks you need a Plan “B”. Identifying the threat will help you determine the safest route and mode of transportation to …