Yesterday, I shared my background and how I retreated to my retreat cabin for 83 days. I reemerged a changed person, maturing from “Doom Prepper” to someone with a greater appreciation for life and nature. I made some changes to accommodate my family and life situation. Still, I found contentment in living what would I would have considered a certain death trap years earlier. How did I do it?
My Answer: P.M.C.T.
P.M.C.T. stands for Prayer, Mindset, Confidence, and Training
Without faith in something you are truly lost. Whether it is God, peace, humanity, or puppy dogs, you must find something positive and uplifting to motivate you. I allowed myself to be consumed in a sea of negativity and impending doom. Only by surrounding myself in the miracle of God’s glory in the woods was I able to swim out of the riptide that tried to drown me. I get it. The world is a miserable place full of liars, cheats, and psychopaths. It always has been. Rise above it and make your world a better place for you and your family. After all, that’s why we prep.
One of the first things I did to rebuild on a solid foundation of prepping was to research actual collapse events. Not the fantasy, fiction, and hypotheticals but actual accounts of survival. There are countless stories of real people who have survived the terror of societal breakdowns due to economic collapse, war, famine, and genocide. They prove some things we already know, like the importance of toilet paper, stored food, weapons, and barter, but these stories also disprove some of the most common misconceptions that run rampant in Internet forums and some post-apocalyptic fiction novels. The story of “Ferfal” during the collapse of Argentina in the 90’s, Sarajevo under siege from snipers, and Venezuela today are just a few of the real-life survival stories we can learn from to improve our strategy and mindset.
Years ago, a dear friend of mine worked for the Metropolitan Police in Washington D.C. Southeast Division. At the time, Southeast D.C. was one of the most dangerous places on the planet with rampant crime, including murder, assault, robbery, and gang warfare over drug territory. I was asked by my friend to do a ride-along over the course of three days, and I jumped at the opportunity. This was the ride-along where you were required to sign a waiver and wear a bullet-proof vest. I didn’t realize it then, but it gave me great insight to what our streets will look like in a WROL situation.
The patrol car I was riding in was under constant threat from random gunfire and thrown bottles. We might as well have had a target painted on the side. I learned conflict resolution when dealing with extremely hostile people. Surveillance techniques and how the underbelly of society thinks and moves was critical to learn. I recommend everyone go to your local police or sheriff’s office and inquire about participating in a ride-along in one of the shadier parts of town. In a world where most people have never engaged in so much as a heated argument, this will boost your confidence if faced with potentially explosive situations.
Whatever you are doing now for training your mind, body, and spirit to deal with a WROL world, you need to do more. Try going one week living on nothing but survival rations. Fast for several days. Weight train to failure. Go camping. Split wood by hand. One of the most crucial things I do, in addition to a strenuous workout regimen, is concealed carry. For years I put off getting my CCW permit for fear of being “tagged” in some government website for persecution when the SHTF.
Well, guess what? Chances are that you and I have already been put on some sort of list just by our Google searches or Amazon purchases, so why walk around waiting to be a victim today? If you can’t discreetly carry a weapon in Kroger while surrounded by liberal soccer moms, your face and body language will give you away when the time comes when you must carry everywhere to defend your life. Exercise your freedoms; practice your concealed carry technique and methods so that it’s second-nature when it becomes a matter of life or death.
The Bug Out Bag
Like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, it always comes back to one common item we all need more training with— the Bug Out Bag. My personal journey down the Bug-Out-Bag rabbit hole began with the ubiquitous Kelty Redwing 50 liter bag for summer use, and progressed to the larger Kelty Redwing 80 as a winter bag. The Kelty Coyote 80 is a large bag, and I was guilty of putting way too much stuff inside of its cavernous central compartment and numerous zippered pockets. It held stuff that I would probably never use and weight that I didn’t need to carry.
In April of 2016, I actually put this self-created monstrosity on my back and performed a test carry for nine miles on one of the tougher sections of the Appalachian Trail in central Virginia. After what can only be described as a near-death experience, I came to the conclusion that minimalism is good and if we ever have a SHTF event that requires people to actually use their bug out bags, scavenging discarded items left behind by the overzealous and out-of-shape will be commonplace.
After that hike, the weight of my pack moved to the forefront of my concerns. I have now condensed my vehicle BOB contents down to the bare essentials and have switched to the new Osprey Stratos 24 hiking backpack. I train with it every day, and it draws no strange looks at the local park or on the street. It has been carried for hundreds of miles, and thanks to ultralight camping gear, my base weight with ten days of food comes in at just under 20lbs.
I never intended this to be a “10 Things to Survive the Apocalypse” article, but it has proved to be somewhat therapeutic for me, and I hope it will help someone no matter where they are on their path of preparedness. It is so easy, in these times, to be convinced that there is no hope for humanity. I continue to prep, follow current events, and train for, what is at best, an uncertain future. We cannot be certain of what tomorrow holds for any of us. What I am certain of is that God has placed me where he wants me at this moment, and he will put me where I need to be in the future. Thank you all, and God Bless.
“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” Thomas Paine
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 72 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
- Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value), and
Round 72 ends on September 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.