Consider our world for a moment, as I did on Wednesday morning. Russia shows no signs of pulling out of Ukraine and is threatening the UK. China is becoming more and more bellicose in relation to Taiwan and the US. North Korea is off the chain (again). Iran is threatening both Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan at the same time. The US and Brazil are reeling from election fraud allegations. Citizens all over the world are protesting governments in my predicted “worldwide civil wars” scenario. On top of all that, we have out of control inflation and energy shortages. It’s a scary time.
Against this backdrop, I walked into my gear room to assess my readiness, and I was not impressed. Don’t get me wrong, I have everything I need. It’s just not in a state of “walk out the door readiness”. So, I’ll be embarking on that process and testing myself to see if I can get there in under 72 hours, to see if I can beat my 72 Hour Theory.
In fact – God told us to have a bug-out bag ready:
Gather up your belongings to leave the land,
you who live under siege.
Before we discuss those steps, I want to give a short history lesson on American Preparedness and discuss the roots of the “Minute-Men”, a key element in US History that should be our guide.
In the 1600s, as the Colonies were getting established, the British Governors had troops, but those were for protection of the Crown’s interests. The individual Colonies, with no established police forces, established militias. Militia didn’t have the negative connotation that it does today.
Generally, all men from 16-60 were required to serve in the militia. They met quarterly to train to defend their communities from Native American raids, bandits, and other colonial powers. You see, even if the French attacked, it would take weeks for British troops to arrive, so the local militia had to fight and hold the attackers.
As conflict became more common, the Governors ordered the militias to form special companies of the most fit, best trained, and most capable militiamen. These men would train every month instead of quarterly and would be required to be ready to respond to anywhere in their colony at “a moment’s notice”. They quickly became known as “Minute Companies” and “Minute Men”. The famous “Rogers Rangers” was one such company.
These men kept their gear packed and staged to go quickly. There was no police force to respond to a raided farm, just the Minute Men of the community. Eventually, as the tension rose between the Colonials and the British Government forces, these men trained even more, sometimes meeting 3-4 times a week.
The Minute Man concept is how we were able to field so many men so fast along the British GLOC (Ground Line of Communication) on their return to Boston the morning of April 19, 1775. The Minute Men arrived first and set a number of ambushes to slow the British allowing more men to arrive at Concord. The Colonials only had about 80 men at Lexington, but by time the British arrived in Concord, 400 men had gathered and by the end of the battle, 3,960 Minute Men had arrived.
It’s important to know that this concept didn’t die with our winning the War of Independence. In our expansion westward, pioneer communities did the same thing. The Mormon Nauvoo Legion was an expansion of this (side note – the Nauvoo fought the Federal Government and WON). During the Rhodesian Bush War, the “Agric-Alert” system was nothing more than a modernized “Minute-Man” system for responding to farm attacks.
As you can see, we have a heritage of being ready at a moment’s notice.
My first step was organizing all my radio equipment and charging all batteries. I’m guilty of only focusing on the radios I use daily, and yet I’ve added some equipment to the mix, so it needs to get organized, and triple checked. In conjunction with that, I decided to recharge my portable power supply and portable battery banks.
The next item will be winterizing my gear. The first snow fell today, so I need to swap out my mid-weight fall gear in all my bags with heavier winter gear layering options. It’s time to add the fourth season layer to my USMC Sleep System until March, because you don’t want to sleep outside in Michigan in a summer sleeping bag in December. On a side note, I may run a test by staying the night in a tarp shelter at my deer blind. It’s a ground blind of natural material, so tossing up a tarp lean to and rolling out my sleeping system is simple. It’s projected to be 16 degrees, so we’ll see.
Another winter change-over is on the camouflage patterns. I keep a camouflage jacket and a set of camouflage utilities in my full ruck. Now that the trees are down and there could be snow on any day, I’ll switch to MARPAT Desert and British Desert DPM. The browns and tans match the dead foliage and blend well with the snow. I’ll also add snow camo or white pack covers. I have a white poncho for use as a camouflage shelter in the winter that I’ll put in my ruck.
As I mentioned in my books, a camouflage poncho in your pack gives you a quick way to be camouflaged no matter what you are wearing. In the winter, I put a German snow camouflage poncho in the car. It’s white with grey splotches and pines needles on it – instant northern tier winter camo.
It’s a good time to rotate your food stocks, putting things that expire in the next 3 months in with your regular food. Remember to buy replacements. Being that it’s now wintertime, I replace my food in my packs with higher-calorie options.
With the world situation as it is, I’m going to do all of this and ensure that everything is stored in a fairly mobile status, so that I can move on much shorter notice.
A note about this though – high loft items like sleeping bags and down coats should not be kept compressed, like in a stuff sack, for more than 2 weeks at time. I generally only pack the sleeping system for periods of extremely high tensions, an imminent emergency, or for a trip. I can roll up and stuff it in the compression sack in under a minute, so I just store them together. I do the same with my ECWCS parka and insulated pants.
Go and check your gear and up your readiness. Remember to keep filling your car on a daily basis and keep your backup communications gear with you. Things are tough, and they are only going to get tougher.
If you like our work and would like to support us, please make a donation. We use affiliate links. If you buy something from our links, we may make a small commission.
Donation – November 2022
Donation to support website.
7 thoughts on “How Ready Are You – Minute Men”
Wiggy’s bags can be compressed indefinitely and within 1 hour of decompression are at 90% of original loft. Within a couple hours they’re at 100% loft. If you can find a USGI system made by Wiggy’s, (they had the contact 1st) grab it.
I can’t even imagine operating in Michigan! It’s plenty cold enough for me her in the Mojave Desert! I guess it’s just normal for you guys up there! As usual, another great article. Thank you!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Cold weather camping is actually fun.
Once again, spot on sir.
Reblogged this on Alpha Charlie Concepts and commented:
Joe Dolio hits another home run. Pay attention folks. The clock is ticking and I believe it might just be speeding up. Make preparations accordingly.
Well, I pray I’m not to late to start. Been planing and prepping awhile. Have some skills but need to train mentally and physically. Covet your prayers.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Sure thing. We all started somewhere