Are you ready to live in the field?

The Army Military Camp, Nobody, Anywhere In The World Stock Photo, Picture  And Royalty Free Image. Image 86363881.
Field Life

We’ve all got a tent, and a sleeping bag, and the supplies we think we need to live in the field, should we need to. Some people plan on living a permanent mobile existence in a WROL situation, which isn’t actually realistic, and some are planning on bugging in.

No matter what you envision, are you really prepared for WROL living? This what the Ultimate Tactical Handbook says will happen:

Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.

Revelation 6:15

Sure, from a theoretical standpoint, we’ll all say we are. But, are you really? When was the last time you lived in the field for 3 weeks straight? When was the last time, even for deployed veterans who did live in the field, that you went 3 weeks without any electricity at all? How about running water?

Even when military forces are in the field, eventually a field shower truck and a field laundry unit arrives. What if they aren’t coming? Are you prepared for that? When was the last time you TRAINED that way. Be honest, the last time you trained, you checked your phone several times in the middle of it, didn’t you?

These ideas and skills are all found in the Tactical Wisdom Series Volume 2 – Fieldcraft.

First, how will you handle personal hygiene? In a WROL situation, hygiene will be a killer. Being clean also keeps you safe, because let’s be honest, dirty bodies STINK. To help with this, baby wipes or wet wipes of some variety are your friend in the short term. Using bio-degradable products, like flushable wipes, to clean the parts of the body that sweat gathers (I’ll let you figure that out) can stave off illness and odor. Hand sanitizer and wipes before meals are vital.

For a longer-term solution, a camp shower is a good idea, as long as you can find a source of water. Essentially, you fill it with water and hang it in the sun while you do other tasks. This heats the water. When you turn it on, warm water comes out and you can take a quick shower.

For a more permanent solution, you can build a “gravity shower”, as long as you have a way to get water into the system (buckets). Basically, the water is carried up and poured into a black container of some type (plastic or metal). Once the water warms up from the sun, turn on the shower head and take a shower. You could build an outdoor enclosure around it.

All field soldiers know about freshening clothes in the field. Crush them up, then shake them out a few times, and let them sit in the sun for a couple of hours. This could be done by attaching them to your pack while moving, or hanging them up in camp.

That gets you through a short field operation, but eventually you’ll need to actually wash your clothes. Having a washing board is a good idea, and has worked for hundreds of years. Another option is Fels-Naptha. This is a solid bar of laundry soap. You can treat stains by wetting the cloth and rubbing the bar on it. You could also put your dirty clothes in a mesh laundry bag with shaved off pieces of Fels-Naptha inside and vigorously agitate the bag in water (that’s the same way your washing machine works). As a side note, Fels-Naptha can also treat poison ivy/poison oak.

The next issue to consider is water. Forget the idea of storing enough water. You need to develop the ability to procure & purify water. The good news is that humans have been doing that for all of history. If you are at some type of permanent site, having an outdoor fire pit with a grate/grill and a large pot will enable you to be boiling water almost continuously. Despite our advanced technologies, boiling water at rolling boil for at least one minute remains the very best way to treat water and make it safe to drink in a primitive setting.

Filters and chemical treatment options should be considered as tools for temporary use or for use while on the move. There are plenty of options here, so pick what works best for you. My personal option is a Sawyer Mini, because it can placed directly on my Camelback tube, so that if I am in a hurry, I can filter as I drink, rather than stopping and taking a long time to filter as I fill the Camelback. I also carry chemical tabs, which can be tossed into either canteens or a Camelback (the exact dosage is in Fieldcraft). You need the ability to be able to fill up all of you water containers and be treating or filtering on the move, because movement is life and staying near a water source means other people will eventually show up.

Honestly evaluate your comfort level with life in the field. When was the last time you camped for more than 2 nights? Start getting comfortable with this now by training for it.

These problems aren’t only for people bugging out. If you are bugging in, when was the last time you went a week without using the water, electricity, or gas? How acclimated are you to the heat and cold? We live most of our lives in an artificially maintained climate. Can you tolerate the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter? Do you have a plan to heat your house that doesn’t rely on the outside world?

If you are planning on bugging in, try to train by spending a week without using any of the outside services. Doing this will give you some ideas on what you need to work on to improve your preparations and your post-event quality of life.

Remember that in all of your training, you need make security a priority. In a true WROL, your security is going to be AT RISK. As I’m writing this, video is emerging of “Rooftop Arabs” defending their stores from looters in New Orleans. You’ll need that level of security. Here’s a tip from the Son of Man himself:

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.

Luke 11:21

As you prepare, don’t just be a collector. Get out and train and see what your life will actually be like. Just collecting gear is NOT preparedness.

I hope this helps spur your thinking leads to you taking some training action.

If you’d like to support our efforts in getting out Volume 3 – Defensive Operations, please consider making a donation below.

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Published by JD

I'm a defensive firearms and martial arts instructor, as well as a professional security & loss prevention consultant. I train people on how to defend themselves, their workplaces, and homes, as well as how to be prepared & aware. I offer corporate active shooter defense training as well.

14 thoughts on “Are you ready to live in the field?

  1. A single wide trailer parked in a non hostile location. Set it up for a whole house generator. Generator in a sound proof shed. Insulate the water heaters and lines. You need a second place to go to when home isn’t so much. When the S hits the fan no type of home will with stand many rounds from the larger metric calibers. Best to have family and non shooters and scooters else where. 3143 counties in this country, 19704 airports, choose wisely. LOSE the 24/7 social media habit. FAMILY don’t need to broadcast from the HONEYCOMB HIDE OUT! At this time one can store up enough fuel for the generators to last a while. If you end up on a two way range, how many rounds do you think you will survive? Better yet, how many gun fights will you survive after that last radio call for help gets sent by that last BORG foot solder? 300 BOO BOO suppressed for the NINJA’s. 300 something long range for those who don’t run so fast. Lastly keep someone outside for security, got that 300 suppressed and a camcorder with OPTICAL ZOOM, learn you have a problem as early as possible. Put those never had a job kin folk to good use.

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  2. Having lived in the field a number of years, I would learn about the diseases and problems you will get in the field, no matter how clean you stay. Like lice, fleas, ticks, mosquitos, beetles, termites eating your tent, poncho, and gear, ants, (RED ants, shudder), mice, rats, bats, snakes (don’t step on snek) lizards, monkeys, pigs, and on. Not only is all the wildlife out there with you, they shit where they eat, and everywhere else. If you are with three people, one is likely not good at field hygiene. They’ll give you their shortcomings. Ever had to de-louse yourself? Ever gotten and gotten rid of crabs? Know how to properly bury human waste? Good at washing your eating utensils? ( If not, become good at running while holding it in) Know how to deal with the idiot who pees on the side of the tent at night? Did you know you shouldn’t have snacks inside your tent? A good way to introduce yourself to field living is spend a night in the rain, no tent. And instead of trying to sleep, try learning some basic field craft instead.

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  3. Good Article about something a lot of Survivalists don’t think about – the need for Water for Personal Hygiene, and that requires being able to at least Heat it, if not Boil it, as that little Filter-Straw may suffice for “Drinking Water”, it won’t help when you need it by the Gallon.

    An Excellent piece of Equipment for a semi-permanent Encampment, in a Tent, Cabin, or even Conex Box is the M-1949 Solid-Fuel Stove (burns Coal or Wood) or the upgraded M-1950 unit, that can burn any Liquid Fuel. These units are still occasionally available as unused, complete kits, if you look hard.

    This device is a Rugged, Mil-Spec Stove that will Heat most ‘medium’ Tents, small Cabins, a 20-Foot Conex, or other Improvised Field Shelter. It Cooks and Boils Water with appropriate Utensils, like a 24-inch Cast-Iron Skillet, or a 10-Gallon Stock Pot. The Kit comes with Tools and a Smokestack, Floor Stand so it can be used on a Wood Deck or Floor.

    TM 10-4500-200-13 has the Info on it, and also for the Immersion Heater for Metal Cans. This Unit, while Liquid-Fueled, will bring 40 Gallons of Water to a Boil (eventually) and starting with a Clean Water Source, warm Water for Showers.

    There are Newer Versions of Mil-Spec Tent/Space Heaters, but all of them run on Liquid (usually Diesel) Fuel. In a real “Zombie Apocalypse” situation, a Woodburning Stove of some sort will be Essential.

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  4. THE US AIR FORCE ,gqave OBAMA,320 nucler weapons,OBAMA planted them around the pot of every Volcano in amerifca,and they will be used on you,DONALD TRUMP we given THREE JOBS by the LORD when he came to power,OPEN THE EYES OF AMERICA,BUILD THE THRID TEMPLE IN ISRAEL AND GREASE THE WHEELS FOR OBAMAS RETURN TO POWER,he’ll be back,his job is UNFINISHED…then when OBAMA returns YOUR REAL problems will begin,Obama plans to completely destroy america,and you’ll have to fight your HERO’S or you’ll die…

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  5. To really get to the nub of the matter, that field tent photo should be shown in pouring rain that hasn’t let up for days, just above freezing. Not to be a bummer, but that’s my first thought. You want to test morale? Live under canvas for days and days hovering near hypothermia, with nothing dry, everything wet and getting moldy. With winter coming on. God Bless the patriots who endured such to give us America.

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      1. I’ve spent much of my 67 yrs living outdoors, from small kids overnighters to month long horse trips and 9 yrs USMC grunt/Recon work. Slept under the bushes in Okinawa and Philippines during the monsoons, days upon days of neverending rain and cold, spent 1 week in Recon school wearing a M1956 rubber poncho, it was my house, my bed and my overcoat, the rain never let up and we were so wet, cold and water wrinkled I almost quit. The weather beats you, you forget the mission just trying to keep warm and dry, sleeping in water and soaked to the bone and freezing. Most folks never understand it, they’ve never been pushed that far.

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      2. This reply is to Semper Fi. The horrible morale from bad weather in the field can be used as a major tactical advantage to those who are dry and rested. It was commonly called “Good operating weather.” It’s very quiet in soggy woods, no snapping dry sticks, and the opposition is all inside trying to stay warm and dry.

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      3. @MB,
        oh yeah, 3am crawling up a benjo ditch and it’s pouring out.If you want to win you have to get dark and dirty!
        My swimmer days are over but I still get the concept. Back in those days we used to raid the company office for carbon paper, to smear on our exposed skin the wet suits didn’t cover.
        Amphib Recon Forever!!! LFTC Little Cr. VA 1975-76

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  6. Did the homeless woods bum thing on a bet years ago (won). My intent and drive in such a situation will be on an involuntary crash course for those who brought us to this point. As for the weather, doesn’t matter where you are when it goes bad. Got myself hypothermia at work same week we lost 4 Ranger candidates to it here in “sunny Florida” God rest their souls. The time to learn is when you have an out, as civilization wanes ignorance and failure become very costly and serious.

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  7. For some of us, its a cold and/or wet winter. For others, its hot, muggy and insect filled. Short term isn’t that big an ordeal, but for long periods of time, much harder.

    So if you already have remote properties under your control, it would make sense to have pre-positioned fixtures already there ready to move in. A raised wood platform frame, ready for a tarp cover for example. Greatly reduces living in mud and above biting insects. Also catches a breeze. But also far more visible. No straight horizontal – vertical lines form in nature so they catch the eye and when seen from above, form a shadow that stands out.

    Steel ‘T’ posts, metal cattle panels for lean-to framing are easy to leave in place among the grass, ready to be erected. Several of these cattle panels secured end to end to form a circle. A discarded above ground swimming pool bladder, draped over this upside down to form a yurt. Center pole to slope roof to perimeter. Cut air vents and door for air circulation.

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  8. An Excellent Read (for many reasons) is “My 30-Year War” by Lt. Hiro Oonada, Imperial Japanese Army – He was the Last Soldier to ‘give up’ from WWII (actually, Ordered to Surrender by his former Commander) and He goes into great Detail about operating as a Guerilla Fighter in a Hostile Environment. “Fieldcraft” was what let Him (and initially, a small Squad) Survive the Environment, even when the Enemy was not much of a Threat.
    And yeah, the Pic of the Tents should have been in a Muddy Field, with Rain at 35 Degrees.

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