As we approach Mid-May, the weather is getting warmer. On Monday, I decided to do a seasonal changeover on all of my bags. As I was finishing, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you all my thinking and methodology.
By now, you should all have ordered a copy of the Base Line Training Manual, where I describe each of the bags, but in case you haven’t here’s a review. You should have a Vehicle Bag (always kept in the car), a Get Home Bag, an EDC/Patrol Bag, and a Full Ruck. You can order the book here, where I fully describe each bag’s contents:
For the Vehicle Bag, I removed a heavy fleece liner for my field jacket and replaced it with a lighter weight jacket, as the temperature won’t be as cold at night as it has been. I left the GoreTex outer layer in the bag. The GoreTex in this bag is plain black, so that it’s more Gray Man. I double checked the contents of the survival kits, to be sure that they were still fully stocked. I also checked all the expiration dates on food in the bag, and double checked the batteries in the lights.
I keep two full US 2 quart canteens in the back of my SUV in case of emergency and the seasonal change over is a great time to replace the water in them.
In the Get Home Bag, I swapped out a hoodie for a long sleeve t-shirt. This lets me retain the ability to change appearance quickly, yet not be too warm for movement. I also replaced a knit cap with a baseball cap for quick profile changes. I double-checked and re-stocked the first aid kit. I also checked all batteries in this bag.
I made similar changes in the EDC/Patrol bag. In this one, however, I left a watch-cap in it for night-time warmth. I took out heavy winter gloves and left lightweight liner gloves in their place. I double-checked the dates on the MRE’s and verified that the first aid kit was complete. I keep an extra Swedish M84 canteen on the side of this bag, so I rotated the water in the canteen.
The Full Ruck had some more serious changes. I took out the full sleeping bag, since it’s now warm enough to just use a Ranger-Roll. I took out the heavy-weight snivel gear (long underwear for you non-Marines) and replaced it with silk-weight Under-Armor gear. I replaced the two sets of camouflage uniforms in the Ruck as well. Since I live in Michigan, the browns and tans of USMC Desert MARPAT and British Desert DPM worked perfectly for fall and winter. Now that the foliage has grown back, I put in two sets of USMC MARPAT Woodland and one set of All-Terrain Tiger (I had room after removing the sleeping bag for an extra set). I left the UMSC “Wooly-Pully” sweater in the Ruck just in case.
I doubled checked the dates on the MRE’s in the Full Ruck, and also inventoried the camp gear in it. I added a 10mm black yoga mat to the outside of my Ruck on the opposite side as my backpacking tent for use as a sleeping pad.
The final check of the Full Ruck was to attach the Patrol Bag and wear both to test the weight and make sure it was still balanced, not too heavy, and that it was still quiet.
You should conduct a changeover like this at least every six months, and preferably every season. An emergency is not the time to find out if you gear is still all set or seasonally appropriate. Preparing your bags is an ongoing exercise, not a one-time event.
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I know a lot of people in the preparedness space. Some people are dead serious about it, some are not. The truth is, a lot of the folks allegedly into preparedness are actually just collectors and gear junkies, rather than actually into preparedness. How do I know? Well, I’m glad you asked, because it’s time for a reality check and one of my famous ‘tough love’ speeches. You know I love you guys, right? I need ASSETS, not LIABILITIES.
This weekend, I posted some photos from an overnight camping and hunting trip. There was quite a bit of snow. I revealed that the purpose was to test some new gear, but more importantly test myself. Replies to those photos and subsequent posts is how I separate the assets from the liabilities. Assets asked me how the gear worked and how specifically I ran the test, what the temperature was, etc. Liabilities (they were WAY more liabilities) told me how they were way more comfortable at home watching Netflix (yes, one person actually said that) or that I was crazy.
The Ultimate Tactical Handbook has something to say about that:
Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.
The gear collectors, or “loot drop boxes” as I call them, are a little bit harder to spot. They sound like assets, but always reveal themselves. They ask about the gear too, but then they ALWAYS reveal themselves by suggesting some ridiculously expensive replacement that they’ve never taken out of the box. For example, one guy asked what sleeping bag I used. When I revealed, much to the gear collector’s shock and dismay, that I used the USMC Level II sleeping bag I got from a surplus store (new, not used), he went into an explanation of his 4 season Marmot or Patagonia $500-600 bag. I asked when the last time he used it was, and he revealed that he had never used it, it was for “prepping”.
You see, unless you get out and try to live and use the gear in the worst possible conditions, you’re not really prepared. I want you to be really prepared. I need allies who are really prepared and I don’t have to loan my extra gear to. You absolutely need to get out into the field, carrying your gear on your back, and spend a few days in less than ideal conditions. It’s the only way to know what you can use or need to toss.
If you’ve read my Baseline Training Manual, you’ll know that I highly recommend military surplus. The big named YouTube prepper guys laugh at me for this and look down on military surplus. Not because it’s inferior, it’s not, but because it doesn’t make them money on affiliate links. I’m not a slave to that. Everything on my recommendation page is stuff I use. Yes, I use affiliate links and might make a few pennies, but I don’t recommend things based on money. For example, a few months ago, I recommended a surplus tent that Coleman Military Surplus carries. I’m not an affiliate of theirs and I didn’t make a dime, because I wanted you to be ready.
Let me tell you why I’m a fan of military surplus. The US government spends millions of your tax dollars on research and development for this gear. The US military is the best funded and best equipped in the world. I say get some return on your investment. When it comes to rugged outdoor gear, I go with USMC issue gear. If you notice, the USMC uses different boots, tents, packs, and sleeping bags than the rest of the military. It’s because they are “expeditionary” in nature, meaning they expect to arrive somewhere by sea, walk into an area and be expected to live off what’s on their back. Unlike most services, they generally walk, and don’t have vehicles to carry large tents and comfort gear. The stuff they use is more rugged. Everything they use, since they come from the sea, also comes in its own dry bag stuff-sack, killing two birds with one stone.
The next part of assets versus liabilities is training. On Sunday, I met with a large group at a local business and gave a talk on preparedness, followed by 2 hours of unarmed self-defense training and 2 more hours of stick fighting training. Actually prepared people train on things other than firearms. Not every defensive situation can or should be resolved with firearms. Also, if things truly get BAD, there will be times when I need to deal with a hostile person QUIETLY and having combative skills other than guns will help. If you reply “but muh suppressor”, I’m going to laugh at you. You’ve obviously never fired a gun with a suppressor if you think it’s quiet. It REDUCES noise.
A question came up during the talk. A guy was worried about meeting with others like we did due to fears of federal infiltration and entrapment. He wanted to know how I felt about it. I said that I have concerns too, but that’s what they WANT. These continuing raids and arrests are designed to keep you from organizing and meeting. Listen, DO IT ANYWAY. You have to organize and meet. If anyone starts suggesting building bombs, altering firearms, making suppressors, or kidnapping Governors, tell them NO (loudly and clearly) and boot them from your circle. To avoid the only charges that actually stuck in the aforementioned Fed funfest related to the Governor, never give your group a name (they were convicted of “gang membership”).
The Bible warns about informants:
Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.
Actually, it sounds like Solomon predicted drones, doesn’t it?
I teach classes to groups of people I don’t know. So does NC Scout, Von Stueben Training, and dozens of others. We train on actual combat and field skills. But here’s the deal: While we might THEORIZE how you could use such skills; we NEVER discuss taking offensive action against anybody. When someone starts talking about “taking the Capitol” (we’re looking at you, Ray Epps) or seizing National Guard Armories (you know who you are), shut down that conversation and make it clear you’re not interested. Make the Federal agents spend all that money for nothing. You can THINK whatever you want, just don’t vocalize it.
This is also why I don’t (nor does anyone I know) offer classes on CQB. Generally, CQB skills are OFFENSIVE. No, don’t tell me about clearing your own house…If you have to clear your own house, you already lost and should be moving. It’s also much easier to defend a house properly from outside of it. Don’t get me wrong, I used to teach an extensive 2-day CQB class every summer, and the USMC and a certain NC based PMC made sure I know plenty about the topic, I just find that it attracts the wrong kind of people. It attracts crazies and Federal agents. The good news is that both crazies and feds talk and act the same way so they’re easy to spot.
After that rant, let’s talk about the gear. The USMC Level II bag is the cold weather part of the USMC sleep system. I got mine brand new (never issued) from Coleman’s. The Level II bag is the black one, there is also a Level I bag, which is green or tan. The Level I is a three-season bag (I find it way too warm in the summer) rated down to 20 degrees. The Level II has a rating of 5 degrees. I woke up with the temperature at 8 degrees and I was not cold at all. I did have a poncho liner (woobie) lining the sleeping bag as well. When you combine the two bags, you have a Level III system rated to -15 degrees. I will test that later this winter, but I’d include a poncho liner and maybe even a wool blanket in between. The Level II bag performed great. The cool thing about modern material science is that the bag rolls down and you can put it in the waterproof dry bag (a HUGE plus), purge the air out, and it’s very compact. It stows in the bottom of your pack or ruck.
The other item I tested was a hand-made axe by fellow Marine Corps veteran 03 Metal Works. This is the second item of his that I have and it’s awesome. It does the basic axe job pretty well, but any axe will. It throws like a dream, and to be honest I can throw this one farther than my SOG axes. Sadly, no terrorists or Chinese invaders attacked me, so I can’t vouch for how well it splits skulls, but I’m guessing it’s pretty solid. Go check out 03 Metal Works and support him. Support Toor Knives as well, because I carry his Anaconda knife every day (usually scout carry or weak side blade-forward).
As I was writing this, we had the second mass shooting in a week. Without going full tin-foil hat on you, it’s awfully interesting that we are back to these right after an election and while certain gun control legislation is pending, but I digress. I mention it because I IMPLORE you to please carry a First Aid Kit ON YOUR PERSON and carry a larger kit in your vehicle. At the very least, carry somewhere on your person a “bleed kit” of a 4-inch pressure dressing, some hemostatic agent, chest seals, and a tourniquet wrapped in duct tape (can be used as a dressing). Do this EVERYWHERE YOU GO. Don’t say “I won’t need this; I’m just running to Wal-Mart”…It could be the last thing you ever say.
To recap, get out there and touch nature. Do the things. Lay on the ground and low crawl through the brush. Get that gear dirty – at the very least you will learn to clean and maintain your gear. Train in some type of martial art. Move your body (I’m just as guilty). Carry weight on your back over distance. You aren’t really prepared if you don’t.
Also: Expensive doesn’t mean better.
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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.
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On Sunday night, the Brazilian run-off election got underway. Bolsonaro supporters were thrilled because Bolsonaro maintained a commanding lead all day. While it wasn’t a rout, he had it in the bag.
Something happened in those last few hours though. Lula made a surprising comeback in just one region. Although Bolsonaro won 6 of the 7 major regions, Lula’s lead in the single region was enough to push him over the top. Does this sound familiar? Oh, wait, this is from CNN, the “most trusted name in news”:
“According to the election authority’s final tally, Lula da Silva received the most votes in Brazilian history – more than 60 million votes“
What a miracle. But, when we pull back the curtain, we see that the CIA Director and the Secretary of Defense of the United States met with Lula in May of 2022. Among the very first world leaders to congratulate Lula was none other than Ice Cream Joe (well, his interns anyway).
Immediately after the election, where Lula had campaigned on releasing people from prison and reducing criminal penalties, despite a crime wave of epic proportions, Lula supporters took to the streets to celebrate. This is where our first lesson comes into play. These Lula supporters rushed out and begin beating, and in several cases, killing outright, anyone wearing a Bolsonaro shirt. They called them “Bolsonaristas”, which sounds suspiciously like “Trumpers”. They looted perceived Bolsonaro-supporting businesses and set fires.
The lesson is that this is where the rhetoric of “the other side is fascist” leads. It makes the opposition less than human and therefore encourages violence against them. I assure you, leftists here were watching this with anticipation. My advice is that when a rampaging crowd rushes out looking for victims, adopt a gray man attitude….lose the political shirts and righteous attitude. Yes, we all want to win and stand our ground, but if a mob of 200 overruns you and kills you, we lose in the long run. According to the Ultimate Tactical Handbook, a wise man chooses his battles:
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
This isn’t giving up; it’s picking winnable battles. For example, while the cities had rampages, the Bolsonaristas were busy organizing a truck blockade of the cities from the rural areas. As the time of this writing, there are 321 blockades in 26 different states, including blocking the road to Rio de Janeiro airport. These have remained peaceful, but the people are prepared to defend the roadblocks. On a side note, you can learn how to effectively run a roadblock in TW-03, Defensive Operations. The Tactical Wisdom for being ready to defend is found here:
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:18 is an often misunderstood and mis-quoted piece of Scripture. Many believe that this means that Christians must be peace-loving and non-violent AT ALL TIMES. On the contrary, it says to TRY to be peaceful, “as far as it depends on you” – in other words, don’t be the offensive party. Note the first four words, “If it is possible” – this implies that at times it is impossible, and you are NOT to just be peaceful then. I remind you of the Old Testament, “God is man of war”. As another reminder, when someone says “What Would Jesus Do”, using home-made weapons to drive out the enemy is not outside the realm of possibility. I also will point out that the Church began as a Resistance movement, meeting in secret and organizing while they were being hunted.
Back to Brazil, as the truckers and other groups are organizing, they are using cell-phone messaging apps to do that. The Supreme Court of Brazil, who did everything they could ensure that Lula won and that Bolsonaro was restricted, has announced that they may ban those apps in the country (the Canada plan). The lesson for us is the one we SHOULD have learned when the Feds used those same messaging apps to roll up anyone who was anywhere near Washington DC on January 6th – stop using apps to organize.
I know, some apps, like Wire, are very secure, but if the government just shuts it down, as they can do in an “emergency”, you have nothing. Radio, radio, radio. I keep telling you all that you need radio. Make sure yoru team has at least one Ham operator (non-SAD HAM Type) and that EVERYONE has a radio on unlicensed channels at a minimum.
While they can jam radios, it’s hard to do for long periods of time and all you have to do to defeat it is to be frequency-agile. They jam FRS? Switch to MURS. They jam MURS? Switch to CB, then back to FRS. In fact, your SOI (Signals operating instructions) should call for switching bands and frequencies on a regular basis anyway. NC Scout teaches classes on developing an SOI that I HIGHLY recommend. I learned a lot from him.
Since this protest is organized by truckers, I recommend that they use CB radio. You can “hide” your messaging by discussing delivering loads to various locations and the equipment is readily available. CB is used so much in commerce that jamming it would have negative economic effects.
As far as jamming, NC Scout and other like-minded Ham operators across the US, Mexico, and Canada supported the Cuban protestors last year when the Cuban government tried to jam amateur radio to stop organizing. While they were effective at stopping local voice and digital traffic, Ham operators in the US received and then relayed back into Cuba long-range digital traffic that was making it through the jamming. This allowed the protests to continue and organizers to talk via relays outside the jammed area.
Right now, develop plans with your group or loved ones on how to deal with the two biggest observations here:
People violently acting out their political hatred physically.
The government limiting your ability to organize online to resist.
The first one is easy, remain aware and monitor your local situation. Keep track of your people. Have a way to meet up for mutual defense and protection. Be less invested in “being right” and more invested in “picking the right battles”. Arguing and antagonizing isn’t going to change their minds but being ready to violently resist their attacks is. It may give them pause and cause them to step back from the brink. When we do step into the streets, it MUST BE as a mass, not as a collection of individuals to be picked off by the mob or the authorities.
The second one is a bit more nuanced, yet also easy. At the very least, everyone you know should have a handheld radio capable of license-free local security communications for a strongpoint you can defend as a group. At the other end, you could have an entire team of dedicated Ham radio operators who coordinate groups, conduct radio reconnaissance, and CAN (relax FCC, we’re talking Minecraft) conduct offensive electronic warfare. Consider one dedicated videographer as well to “get the story out”.
Friends, Brazil is giving us a free preview of what is to come. I know, many of you will say “that can’t happen here”, but it CAN. Brazil is NOT some backwater Third World Nation. Brazil is the 5th largest nation in the world, with a population of 217 million. It’s a member of the G20 and is considered upper-middle income by the World Bank. It has the 12th largest GDP in the world. When I mention these facts, people like to say “but the favelas”…I challenge that the favelas are no different than the projects in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, or Detroit.
It CAN happen here and it is already starting here.
Pay attention, plan, and be ready.
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When you go to US Marine Corps Boot Camp, after the first few weeks of Phase 1, if you survive, you get sent to Recruit Field Training Duty for Phase 2, or as I call it, THE FUN STUFF. At RFTD, you learn individual movement techniques, basic infantry tactics, and marksmanship.
During the 2 weeks of marksmanship training, the entire first week is done without firing a shot. It’s officially called Grass Week, but Marines have always called it “Snapping In”. Snapping In means practicing getting into the various field firing positions and applying the marksmanship fundamentals. It’s done for days on end before ever firing a shot because you need time to develop muscle memory and to stretch out muscle groups that most people have never used in that way.
As an example, after learning the intricacies of every firing position, you learn how to drop from standing into sitting position, or kneeling, or you learn to transition from prone to kneeling, and then standing (never go directly from prone to standing to fire if you want to live). You learn three different heights of kneeling positions, which are difficult to do at first, as well as at least two sitting positions. All require PRACTICE and STRETCHING.
OK, cool trip down memory lane, but what does that mean for me? I’m glad you asked.
Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.
In my book TW-02, Fieldcraft, I discuss all kinds of movement techniques. I point out that you need to practice on them to develop the flexibility and muscle memory to be able to do them when in a high stress environment. This requires you to do “snapping in”, doesn’t it? Start out with no gear and train on a movement technique like the low crawl. I don’t care how many times you’ve done it in your life, if you haven’t done it in the last two months, it’s going to hurt. You need to be “snapping in” on these skills regularly. Add your belt kit, then your backpack or ruck.
I teach my Tang Soo Do students that while commercials are playing during their favorite shows, they should spend the whole commercial break doing side kicks, roundhouse kicks, spinning back kicks, or whatever skill they need more work on. For us, as adults wanting better preparedness skills, we can do the same.
Be honest, when was the last time you laid on your belly, then rolled into a sitting position, shifted to kneeling, and then stood up, all slowly and quietly? If you’re like me, there was likely to be a few grunts and groans, and maybe even a pop or two. However, that’s a skill set that applies to observing and patrolling in a potentially hostile area. You should develop the physical skill.
Low crawling is overlooked. For the life of me, I don’t understand people doing fire and movement drills at training events where they do everything standing. That’s for the movies. I’ll be crawling and rolling below the bullets.
Even more importantly though, the low crawl is a SURVIVAL skill for more than simply combat. Imagine being a hurricane survivor but trapped under rubble. Those hours spent practicing and developing the muscles to move low by alternating elbows and knees could be the difference between life and death. Being skilled at keeping the butt down can keep you from getting trapped. Not only for GI Joe stuff, is it? Being adept at the skill of passing under wire on your back can also get you through a collapsed building. These skills can also help you rescue a trapped family member.
The same “snapping in” idea applies to other skills, too. When was the last time you practiced splinting a broken leg? It drives me crazy to see guys talking about spending hours doing dry firing or tactical reload drills, but then say they have done zero minutes of splinting extremities. No matter what extreme thing you’re preparing for, whether it’s weather, earthquakes, a Chinese invasion, or space aliens, you are least 100 times more likely to fall down and break or sprain something than you are to get into a gunfight, yet almost no training is done on those skills.
Side note: The “I train in cargo shorts” guys are these same people. When training in cargo shorts versus heavy duty outdoor pants, how likely are you to throw yourself down into the prone or a kneeling position? I know, you don’t like that part, but I’m a tough love guy. I want you to live.
I get a lot of push back from guys who say, “We’re bugging in, so I don’t need all that movement stuff.” I disagree: If you are tying yourself permanently to a fixed location, you need EVEN MORE skills at Fieldcraft because you’ll need to have OP’s and patrols out to defend that location. You can want to Little House on the Prairie Cosplay all you want, but people behaving badly will get WORSE exponentially, not better. And, with you tied to a fixed location, the odds of encountering them go up the longer you stay there.
The Snapping In concept also applies to testing out your planned gear loads and packs. I recently did a test in a hilly area I had never been in before and learned that I need to do more hill-walking (“snapping in” on hills) to be truly ready. My son and his friends took a backpacking trip and never “snapped in” with their loadouts before jumping on the trail. They regretted it at mile 3, because they were carrying WAY too much weight.
You can conduct “snapping in” on firefighting by using refillable water fire extinguishers or by contacting a fire suppression company about acquiring old, out-of-spec extinguishers. I’ve done this several times when I was conducting firefighting training for clients, and they gave us old units to use for training. If you’ve never used a fire extinguisher, there is a certain skill to it (PASS Point-Aim-Squeeze-Sweep).
You can take the Marine Corps’ Snapping In concept and use it to increase your readiness across the board. It works, US Marines are WELL KNOWN for their shooting ability, and it begins with snapping in.
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How many times have you heard someone say, “I’d like to meet like-minded people, but I’m worried that everyone is a Fed”? I hear it every week, and to be fair, I begin every class I teach with “For the Fed who is inevitably among us reporting on this class…..”. We’re all a little gun-shy (pun intended) right now of meeting each other face to face and transacting any kind of commerce that could be construed as remotely right-leaning.
That’s entirely BY DESIGN. High-profile arrests, search warrants, and raids, along with what can only be described as harassment and humiliation (stopping people leaving restaurants with family to seize phones with no explanation) are meant to make you wary of organizing in any way.
You know what I think? SCREW THEM. Do it anyway. Let them waste hundreds of man hours listening to us drone on about our kids and our jobs. Let them waste time being bored out of their minds as we engage in Constitutionally protected speech. Just don’t engage people who try to draw you into conversations about illegal matters and YOU WILL BE FINE.
Let’s see what advice the Ultimate Tactical Handbook offers on this:
…not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
That’s right…when it seems the most dangerous to meet, MEET ANYWAY. Consider the context above. Paul was speaking to the Hebrews who had converted to Christianity. The authorities at the time were hunting them. They were trying to eradicate those rebellious Christians (sound familiar?). Undercover agents had been placed among them. Some had been arrested. Some were killed. They continued to meet. Imagine our world today if they had just given up on this idea called Christianity or “The Way”.
Right after I finished my first book, I was out gathering information inside of the 2020 BLM/ANTIFA riots. I was using gray man tactics and surveillance skills gathered over a 25-year investigations career and posting the information here on the blog. I was soon approached by a local group (yes, the M word) that was seeking some training for some of their people on gray man tactics.
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.
“Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”
1 Peter 3:14
The first thing I was asked was “aren’t you afraid they’re feds?” and “aren’t you worried about feds inside their group?”. I responded that I was aware of the potential for both, but I wasn’t going to be discussing anything sensitive or unlawful. I was going to teach people how to blend in inside a crowd, how to gather information, and how to use radios to communicate while doing so. I opened both classes I did for them with a blanket statement that I would not be discussing taking any kind of violent action against any specific groups, and that I would not discuss overthrowing anything. It’s that simple. Everything I taught was legal, in fact I warned against taking any kind of illegal action, which would render the information you gathered unusable.
I was then approached by another group and asked to conduct self-defense and weapon retention training. Sure, nothing they couldn’t learn at any martial arts school. I gave the same caveats and held class. Interestingly, when I came back for knife and stick training, a couple of their members didn’t come back (probably the feds).
Then came the big one…NC Scout, a friend and big-name trainer, was coming to Michigan to train people. Now, I was going to be attending a class with folks I had never met, for a full week. Talk about worrying about feds…. Well, the class was fantastic, I learned a lot, and I met a lot of great people who are like-minded.
Now, I’m teaching classes every couple of weekends and doing preparedness evaluations in people’s homes, and not one person has been arrested or raided by the feds.
Here’s the point of today’s chat: Don’t let them win. They want you too afraid to speak against them, but more importantly, too afraid to meet with like-minded folks. Don’t give them what they want by sitting on the couch. Owning all that cool-guy tacti-cool gear won’t help you if you don’t get out and train with it. Take classes. Meet others. Attend picnics and meet-ups. We are not descendants of fearful men.
When was the last time you took a CPR refresher? Now, you take one course in an afternoon and get certified in CPR, infant CPR, and using the AED (Automatic External Defibrillator). Take a community education first aid course. Take a land navigation course – yes, they exist. Take a martial arts class (literally anything but Capoeira).
Organize a camping trip with friends where you decide to go “minimalist”, camping with small tents and minimal gear. Want a real fun experience? Do a winter minimalist camp – I promise it will become a favorite activity. If 12–16-year-old boy scouts can do it, you can too.
Your only training activity can’t be going to the range once a month. You’ll need the other skills more. For example, a class like NC Scout’s Scout class or Recce class focuses more on small unit tactics and undetected movement than shooting skills. Those are more important to your long-term survival than putting holes in paper or everyone’s favorite “room clearing” drills.
Learn how to use the radio to make long-distance contacts and stay in touch with the rest of the world. Join a local HAM or GRMS group and learn an important skill. Maybe even get your license, if you choose to.
Bible studies are a great way to meet like-minded people. Some of my strongest personal friendships right now began in the context of a Bible Study.
To sum this all up, you need other people. Don’t be afraid to go and find them. Don’t let the opposition scare you out of valuable life experiences. Living just to comply and avoid danger isn’t living, it’s slavery. Get out and train with like-minded people.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
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I’m a big fan of the Vikings TV Series. Yes, I know it’s not 100% historically accurate, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some Tactical Wisdom in it. In fact, the plot line from Season 1 is very instructive for the moment we find ourselves in and can guide you in getting ready.
Ragnar had defied Earl Haraldson and the Earl ordered surveillance on Ragnar and his war-band (sounds like the government watching a militia group, doesn’t it?). In fact, the Earl went so far as to insert an informant into Ragnar’s crew, Knut. Sounds pretty familiar. Well, the first lesson is that Ragnar assigned people to keep watch on the informant to limit the information he could gather and the damage he could do.
But the part that relates most to this article is that after Ragnar and his band fought off an attack by the Earl’s men, for the sake of argument let’s call them the Feds, Ragnar went into a period of training. He went out into the wilderness with minimal gear and spent days out hiking & camping and sitting solitary on a mountain peak nearby. Ragnar was toughening himself for the hardship to come. He tested himself and his ability to survive.
It served him well, because in short order, his hamlet was attacked by the Feds. Call it a “raid” if you will. A few quick notes here that apply. Bjorn, Ragnar’s son, was looking out and saw the raiding party as it arrived. Everyone should always be engaged in countersurveillance (looking for surveillance) as ANTIFA has been known to target folks, and with even canning is being labeled as extremist activity, watch for your neighbors watching you.
The next point was that as the attack unfolded, Lagertha and the non-combat team members (Aethelstan) armed themselves and protected those who couldn’t fight, like the children and elderly. That should be part of your team’s plan. Now, Lagertha was a warrior in her own right (even in real life), but her ROLE was protection of others. Have assigned roles, including someone to watch over and protect the less able of your group.
In the end, while Ragnar fought a delaying action against the raiders, Lagertha led the family out through a secret exit from their house and into the woods. She then led them to a pre-planned rally point. That’s some vital Tactical Wisdom…have a secret egress and a planned rally point. Clay Martin also recommends this in Concrete Jungle.
The final point is that after fighting a short delaying action, Ragnar himself fled and made his way to the rally point, stopping only to ambush his pursuers and conduct counter-tracking. This should also be a part of your plan. Now, I wouldn’t include the part where Ragnar jumps from a cliff into a fjord 100 feet below, that’s just not smart.
After recovering Ragnar, the family moved to a pre-planned safe house, Floki’s house on the Fjord. Have pre-planned safe havens.
Now, when I sat down to write this, I had intended only to briefly mention Ragnar in passing, so let’s get back on track. Let’s start with Jeremiah’s warning to have a Bug Out Bag ready:
Gather up your belongings to leave the land, you who live under siege.
Why did Jeremiah give this warning? Because the people of Jerusalem had stopped following the right way and morality and were engaged in detestable practices like idolatry, sexual immorality, and perversion. Kind of like where we are today in our current environment. Jeremiah gave the warning because of this:
For this is what the LORD says: “At this time I will hurl out those who live in this land; I will bring distress on them so that they may be captured.”
There are consequences for not opposing the nonsense in the world.
So what does all this have to do with preparedness? Glad you asked: Based upon Ragnar’s example and Jeremiahs warnings (you never thought I’d combine Vikings and the Bible, did you?), I decided to run a solo test and training event. I think that sharing it here will help you prepare and test yourself.
Before last weekend, unless I was meeting with a larger group, I had done all my testing on state land in some woods that I have spent time in for my entire life. Woods and fields I know intimately and can find every waterhole and good camping spot from memory. While that was fun, it wasn’t exactly realistic. I may not get to pick the ground. I could be 300 miles away when things go bad.
I decided to do a map study and pick a spot nestled between two peaks along a ridgeline in an area I had never camped or hunted in. The plan was to only take what would fit in my gear, including the ILBE Ruck and Assault pack, and my War Belt. I also packed the ExUmbris war belt for around camp, when I didn’t want to wear the full USMC War Belt.
When I arrived, I put everything on and began the foot movement. My first lesson was that I need to ruck more wearing the full ruck. While I ruck several days a week, I usually train in just my assault pack (Patrol/EDC loadout) or my Get Home Bag. There is a SIGNIFICANT weight difference. Also, I need to do more hills. In Michigan, despite what some folks who don’t live here think, there are significant hills and ridges in what is called the Central Highlands. Well, that’s where I was. After crossing three ridgelines (using good patrol movement techniques), my legs were on fire.
I stopped one terrain feature away from my planned overnight site, as good practices require. I stashed my ruck under a downed pine tree. Lesson two was that I hid it a little too well – it took some searching to find it again. I walked over the final ridge and stopped to observe the site (conducting an SLLS). After watching for a bit, I went down and conducted a quick site check as described in TW-02 Fieldcraft and TW-04 Scouting and Patrolling. I also did a quick clearance patrol 100 meters around the camp while getting my ruck.
After eventually retrieving the bag, I set up my USMC Combat II Tent. It’s similar to the USMC TCOP tent that I reviewed last month, but this one is (allegedly) for two people. The tent has a bit higher profile than TCOP but is still camouflaged and quick to set up. A cool feature of the Combat II is that there are straps that allow you to set up just the rain fly as a very solid camouflage rain-proof and light-blocking cover over an observation post or a fighting position. The rain fly is also reversible from Woodland Camo to Tan.
I made a quick dinner by boiling some water and pouring it into a pouch (Southern Survival Trail Chili is the BOMB). It got down to 32 degrees, but I was perfectly warm inside the tent with the USMC 3 season bag (I haven’t broken out the winter bag yet) and the ECWCS long johns. I had brought along a poncho liner for extra warmth, just in case, but I didn’t need it.
In the morning, before dawn, I got up, and took down the tent, stowing all gear, just like I would in a real-world situation. I ate my breakfast manning an OP looking towards the nearby motorcycle trail in my camouflage gear, and apparently I did pretty well, because a partridge walked right up to me before taking off in a flurry a feathers.
I spent the day setting up and taking down expedient shelters (hopefully I got enough usable video for YouTube videos) using a technique I learned from our friends at Von Stueben Training called the Royal Marine Rig. Click the link to learn this, I promise you’ll love it and I spent the next two days setting them up on all my gear.
I learned that it was harder than anticipated, so I must train more. Not only that, I must train more realistically.
The point of the report here is to encourage you to get out and train, as well as testing yourself, with the gear you own. It does you no good to own all that gear if you never get out and use it. Also, aside from the cost of gas, it cost me literally nothing to get out in the woods for 48 hours. I used only things I already had and camped on state land (no fees or permits required, no rules).
Don’t just gather gear and books – get out and train with them. Push yourself beyond your comfort level.
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Friend, I know it seems like the economy is crashing all over the world. I know your grocery bill that was $150 is now $245. I know gas is over double what it was before the election. I know that every petty dictator in the world is pushing their boundaries. More importantly, I know that political violence is up and there is open talk of a civil war, but it’s all going to be fine. As long as everyone stops rocking the boat, and stops trying to assert their rights, everything will just go back to normal. Ignore the last 400 years of historical evidence to the contrary.
This is literally what people are saying right now. This is called “normalcy bias” and it’s downright DANGEROUS. Normalcy Bias is why people wait too long to evacuate during hurricanes and fires, and its why people die when denying that a robbery or assault is happening. This 3,000-year-old Tactical Wisdom from the Bible proves it’s been going on forever:
then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head.
Hoping for “cooler heads to prevail” is how world wars start. Hoping for people to “come to their senses” is how civil wars start.
Normalcy bias is what happened in the German Jewish community up to and even after November 9, 1938 (Kristallnacht). They all thought that as long as they cooperated with the Federal authorities and kept quiet, they’d be left alone. Sound familiar? How did that work out in the end?
I want to address something. This week, an avowed Democrat man pursued, cornered, and killed an 18-year-old because he thought the kid was a “Republican Extremist”. The man is legit ANGRY that he had to post $50,000 bond, because he thinks the attack was justified. He practically bragged about it to the detectives who interviewed him.
More importantly, if you peruse Twitter or Facebook, the greater left as a whole agrees that this attack was justified. Why? Because the President of the United States said that MAGA Republicans are a clear and present danger to democracy. Those words are specifically used to justify violence. Pretending that there are NOT people out there who want to kill you is DANGEROUS. This is also exactly how the non-Jewish citizens of Germany generally felt about the Jews. We need to realize that violence IS coming, whether you want it or not.
But what can we do? We can prepare. We can be aware. We can stop hoping because hope is not a strategy.
If you hadn’t been stocking up on food when guys like Mike Shelby at Forward Observer, Bear at Bear Independent, NC Scout at Radio Contra, and all of us on the Council on Future Conflict told you to, get on it. It’s going to cost you A LOT more right now. You may need enough to get your family through the winter, given that South American nations will not be exporting food to the US this winter.
With another refinery fire (I’m sure it was a coincidence), gas prices have gone back up by a full dollar in Michigan in the last two days. Make sure that you fill your car each day to keep your tank full and overall cost down.
The next thing to finish is an Area Study. I know, it’s hard and there is a lot to cover, but you NEED to get it done. Now. Identify local agitators on all sides of the political spectrum and start monitoring their social media posts. Learn where crime is happening in your local area. Learn the areas in which groups come into conflict or where protests frequently occur. Develop escape routes.
On that note, earlier we mentioned the young man that was pursued and killed. A few months ago, I mentioned doing Urban Scouting hikes where you hike behind shopping centers, retail areas, and built-up areas in your local area. I’ve always recommended knowing where the emergency exits are everywhere you go, so we’re going to combine that with urban scouting.
Since this man specifically targeted and hunted the young man, you need to prepare for that possibility. Take a walk down the alley in places you frequent. Learn what it looks like where the emergency exits and back doors let you out. You need to know what your next step is once you get outside. As an example, one business I consulted for on active shooter response had an emergency exit that channeled employees into an area with a high fence. That’s dangerous. Know where the exits dump out at and plan your next steps.
Find areas near places you frequent that you could run to that vehicles cannot follow. What happened in the North Dakota incident was the kid got trapped in a dead-end alley. Know your local area. I get called a human GPS when working on protective details because I ALWAYS know the local street layout. It’s not from an inherent database in my head, I devote serious time to map studies of everywhere I go.
These are skills discussed by both Ferfal and Selco. These are authors who wrote books about their own true experiences in WROL situations. Ferfal writes about the Argentinian economic collapse and Selco survived the Balkan Wars. There are links to their books above.
Learn about downtown areas and business areas. Parking ramps are a counter-surveillance dream because you can enter on one street and exit on another. If you’re on foot, you can even hop the wall and exit wherever you want, making you harder to track. Learn what buildings have connecting walkways or which ones allow you to enter on one street and exit on another. These can help you avoid someone following you.
The next issue involves a raid by the FBI on a man named Mark Houck. Houck was conducting counseling outside of an abortion clinic in October 2021, when he was involved in an altercation with an abortion escort who yelled at Houck’s son. Houck pushed the man and he fell down. The local police declined to charge Houck and when the escort worker sued Houck, the judge dismissed the case because the man suffered NO INJURIES.
Here we are one year later, and the FBI showed up in body armor with rifles, surrounding the house and beating on the door. When Houck opened the door, the agents forced their way in and arrested him, refusing at first to show any warrant. Eventually, they showed an arrest warrant, charging Houck with a federal crime of assaulting an abortion worker, which is now apparently a federal felony. Houck is facing 11 years in prison for what is a simple assault in every jurisdiction.
It’s important to note that a Federal Arrest Warrant does NOT authorize them to force entry into a structure. The only way in which they can is if they saw a suspect flee into the building. The VAST majority of federal arrest warrants are handled by the agents calling the suspect and advising them of the warrant and then arranging a surrender. In other cases, they conduct surveillance until the suspect is driving and conduct a vehicle stop, which is far safer than a house raid. This man, according to his wife, had NO prior notice that the FBI was even looking into the case.
We need to understand the moment we are in. Justice has become entirely one sided. That tyrannical government everyone worries about IS HERE. You need to understand that, and stop pretending, like the meme at the top says, that everything is fine. We need to be getting vocal, we need to be making our voices heard.
I know, it’s scary. I’m scared…several people I know have been arrested or had subpoenas served. I very prominently led the security details for several “Stop the Steal” personalities. It’s a scary time. That’s the point, though. That’s WHY the FBI is doing this. They couldn’t care less about Mark Houck – his raid was directed at YOU. And by saying, “But I can’t risk arrest, so I can’t speak out” or “I can’t intervene in the lawlessness in my town because they’ll sue me or arrest me”, you are playing into their hand and giving them what they want. For the record, the Jews who were quiet and cooperated were taken last, but they were indeed also taken. They also didn’t say or do anything over fears of arrest or financial ruin. They got both anyway.
Carry a first aid kit with you everywhere you go. Crime is getting rampant (we’ll talk about that later this week) and political violence is getting worse, so carry one to treat yourself or others just in case. It does you no good at home. We are into preparedness for THIS MOMENT, not something down the road.
A few posts ago, we discussed the lives saved by AMRRON members carrying their radios and calling for help after a vehicle accident. Rolling power outages are happening and cyber-attacks are up, so make sure that everyone in your preparedness group not only knows the radio communications plan but is carrying their radio everywhere. Just toss the radio in the backpack or car.
These cases both illustrate, once again, the need to always have a body-worn camera available. I’m not saying wear it non-stop (although I keep mine on my backpack strap) but have it available. Being able to start recording at the beginning of an incident without tying up your phone or your hands is a GOOD THING. Besides, the FBI is now just walking up to people and taking their phones, so having a recording device that is NOT YOUR PHONE has become vital. On that note, as I mentioned last week, secure your phone and data and stop saving your secure messages on the device. Delete them if they are truly secure. Stop backing up your photos to cloud storage…. They’re not yours anymore when you do that.
Friends, things are bad and getting worse. We are already in a slow-moving collapse and World War 3 has already started. Prepare NOW and start operating as if you are in a hostile environment because you may not get time to ramp up later. As the Boy Scouts used to say, “Be Prepared”.
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There’s a country song (No, not a country fan) that says, “You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.” The events of the last year in general, and the last 2 weeks, tell me that it’s time to revisit that idea.
As our country continues to call anyone who criticizes the government a terrorist and threatens legal action against those utilizing their First Amendment right to petition their government for the redress of grievances, I have some hard questions for you. Questions that you need to ask yourself and decide where you stand. Yes, I said stand, which requires getting off the couch.
But first, before everyone starts trying to tell me what Jesus said, let’s go over some Tactical Wisdom:
Do not assume that I came to bring Peace to the earth.
I did not come to bring peace, but I came to bring a sword.
So, let’s dispense with that misconception that Christians are required to timid, peaceful beings, shall we? In fact, tonight Christians in Serbia took offense at an LGBTQ parade that mocked the Crucifixion and are violently opposing it. AS THEY SHOULD.
Making a stand on principles WORKS. When we as a collective expressed our outrage that a liberal prosecutor charged a bodega employee with murder for defending himself, they withdrew the charges. It matters.
The FBI and the DOJ have intimidated people into not making a stand. So much so, that now, everyone says, “Don’t take the bait” and “Don’t say anything”. Sorry, y’all, that’s dead wrong, especially when you look at the teachings of a carpenter who lived 2000 years ago. Are you willing to actually speak up, based on your principles?
On that note, I recently made a stand very publicly. I was castigated immediately; being told I was “policing speech” and “denying truth”. Then I got a string of DM’s & emails saying that I should apologize publicly (FOR OPPOSING THE USE OF A RACIAL SLUR), I should keep my views to myself, and people spouting mis-quoted Scripture at me.
Here is what the Bible says about my actions:
Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
Listen: If you make a stand on principles, and you then waver, YOU DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE PRINCIPLES. It’s as simple as that.
Now, this article isn’t about me, I just used this as an example. If you value your freedom of speech, but then keep quiet out of fear of the FBI, you don’t really value your freedom of speech. You value your comfortable life more. The same thing goes for your freedom of assembly – if the FBI has scared you into NOT meeting others and NOT making your voice heard, then you don’t really stand on principle. The men who founded this country didn’t shut up. They didn’t worry about their jobs. Do you worry more about your job than about preserving our way of life?
Jesus was wrongfully imprisoned and killed – by the government I might add. Paul was also repeatedly arrested and eventually killed by the government because HE REFUSED TO WAVER. Paul was told repeatedly that all he had to do to end his suffering was deny Christ and walk back his principles. He refused, even unto his death. I think we can all agree that their sacrifices in the short term improved the world in the long term.
The point to take away here is that we have PRINICPLES. We should stand on them and never waver. People are hosting drag shows with strippers dancing in front of the youth of this nation, and we’re too afraid to do anything about it. That’s BY DESIGN. They WANT you too afraid to speak against them.
Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
That’s a pretty clear command.
We know that this is wrong, yet we do nothing to oppose it, other than to send snarky tweets. I’ve got bad news; this problem isn’t going to be solved on Twitter.
Ok, but what does this have to do with preparedness? I’m glad you asked. It has EVERYTHING to do with preparedness.
As we continue down this road, a stand on principles is going to be REQUIRED at some point. We need to be prepared to get out and actually make that stand. That means being prepared to risk your income, by being financially prepared. It means having enough food to get through a winter of food scarcity, while the government denies assistance to “domestic extremists” who disagree. It means having alternative communications platforms to help you communicate outside of methods that are heavily monitored (like radio). Have you taken care of these things?
Decide what principles truly matter to you. Then prepare to stand on them, in a way in which no one can force your compliance, short of actual force. We’re always saying “don’t take the bait and make them act” on us, I say make our voices be heard and make THEM afraid to act on us, as the Framers intended (calm down, Feds, I mean the First Amendment, not the Second).
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
We know what we ought to do – so do it.
As for those who felt the need to tell me how and when I should stand up for my principles – I leave you with some wisdom from Nathaniel of The Last of the Mohican:
Do what you want with your own scalp and don’t be telling me what I ought to do with mine.
We will get back to discussing the Mobile Lifestyle in the next 2 days.
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Anyone who has read any of my writings knows that I advocate training in low-profile camping. By low profile, I mean stealth/hidden from view. In a WROL society, other people mean risk. Our best defense is being as unseen as we can be.
In the Baseline Training Manual, I advocate buying a small 2-person backpacking tent in earth tones. That’s so that you can be hidden. Another option for this is buying actual military tents.
When I served, the US Marines still used the “shelter-half”, which was a piece of canvas in OD Green that formed half of a pup tent. Each Marine carried one shelter half and one pole, so that two Marines together could form one “pup tent” between them. Now, this tent was canvas and had no floor and no real room for your gear. The shelter half system was designed during the US Civil War and remained largely unchanged since then.
During the Vietnam era, the US poncho was modified to allow it to be interconnected with another poncho to form a larger tent, which was far lighter than carrying a canvas tarp. Again, though, this tent had no floor. Neither of these options were very good in rough weather.
Along came the USMC “Tent-Combat One Person” or TCOP. These tents are manufactured by both Eureka and Diamond Brand. It’s a small-footprint nylon tent with a heavier rain fly and larger vestibule to store gear out of the weather.
When I was given the chance to try one out, I jumped at it. You can find these online as military surplus from many suppliers but be careful in looking. I was fortunate that Coleman Military Surplus had bought an entire warehouse of BRAND-NEW tents that were still sealed in the factory packaging, so I knew all the parts would be there and it would be in good shape.
I took the tent out in northern Michigan, known for its bipolar weather swings, and found a good out of the way spot to set up the tent, using the BLISS acronym (if you don’t know it, I explain it in TW-02 Fieldcraft). The set-up is very simple. Open the tent, click the METAL, not fiberglass, poles together and then just clip the tent to the aluminum poles as shown. It goes up in just a few minutes, which fits our stealth model.
The tent fabric is sturdy enough that you don’t need to put on the rain fly, unless you are expecting bad weather, but the rainfly is reversible CAMOUFLAGE, so why not? The rainfly attaches with clips to the four corners and a single pole to create a ridgeline. Stake the fly down and you’re ready.
I walked out from the tent to look at it and the tent is very low profile. You can’t see it if you’ve properly selected your site from 50 meters away.
The fly is woodland camouflage on one side, which should work in most areas. The other side of the fly is desert tan, which works in fields or desert/beach areas. Also, I find that the tan side works well in winter, because seldom is snow purely white and there are other background colors of dead vegetation in winter that help the tent blend.
While the manufacturers technically only rate this as a three-season tent, it is a four-season tent in all but the most extreme environments. The only change you’d need to make is to doubly tie out the heavy-duty rainfly for wind protection.
Another great feature is that it comes with straps that allow you to use the rainfly as a standalone overhead cover. Think about your observation posts and fighting positions from TW-03 Defensive Operations and TW-04 Scouting And Patrolling and imagine how nice it would be to have a heavy-duty rainfly that is camouflage over it.
The tent is only 6 pounds and stores in a camouflage or OD stuff stack, which you could attach to the outside of your ruck. The inside is just big enough for one person and their sleep system, whatever one you use. There is a vestibule area on both the front and back that is big enough to hold all your gear without any issues. You can sit up in it, and it’s easy to get in and out of.
There is a second USMC tent called the “Combat II Tent”, which is a two-man tent. It has the same features, but it is MUCH larger and therefore not as stealthy as the TCOP. The Combat II would be more of a fixed base tent, which the TCOP is more of a patrolling shelter. Both have a place and serve a purpose.
I highly recommend finding one but be careful and pick one in good shape or preferably brand new. Side note…. another company contacted me about a brand new Combat II tent, so watch for my review of it.
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I never in my life, not once, ever envisioned a speech by an American President against an eerie red background in the night (which can only be called SATANIC) wherein he called half the country a threat to democracy and where he said, “we will eradicate this cancer”, meaning those people. Never. I felt chills as it happened, and not in a good way. I felt the world change. The American Republic entered an open civil conflict at that point, whether hot or cold, it’s real now. We’ve been called, quite literally, enemies of the State.
As a Christian, this isn’t exactly new, despite America being founded by Judeo-Christian men. Ever since Christ was born and King Herrod sent spies to hunt down and kill the baby, governments have tried to suppress and kill Christians.
Before I get into my main content, I want to address something. Everyone on the right is saying “don’t say or do anything; don’t take the bait”. That would seem good counsel, given what we’ve seen, but it’s not in my nature. It shouldn’t be in any Christian’s nature, but I’ll get to that. If we continue to hide away and not make waves, they’ll keep taking away our rights until we eventually end up as slaves anyway. Slavery later over slavery now is a stupid choice. In fact, Paul had this to say:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Earlier in the day, the Press Secretary said that anyone who doesn’t hold the majority opinion is an extremist. That’s directly in violation of our First Amendment rights to speak freely, and to petition our government for the redress of grievances.
You see, I believe that Principles Matter. Yes, it’s easier to “not take the bait”, and to “not make waves”, but that is yet again just another form of slavery. I believe, as I’m sure most of you do, that America is the last, best hope for the world, AS LONG AS we support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Bending it to target our political enemies, on either side, is wrong. Standing on principle REQUIRES that we not cower in fear.
I am convicted by my Faith, which compels me to DO SOMETHING:
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin forthem.
Now, Agent Johanson, I’m not saying we must take kinetic action; I am saying that we must not cower on our couches. I’m going to go on gathering intelligence on far-left groups and events, I’ve taken a leadership role with a political action group, and I am going to continue to arrange protection details for conservative figures. I will actually increase training people on how to prepare and communicate. Does this put me at risk? I guess so.
BUT – I will NOT sit down and shut up. Tonight’s speech was meant as a warning, just as the Press Secretary’s comments and the FBI’s charging of literally anyone who can find January 6th on a calendar. They’re meant to tell you to sit down and shut up. I will NOT. You should NOT.
If we continue to allow only a small minority to speak up and hope for someone to “fix this” via a magic wand, they will continue to pick us off, one by one. Until we all stand and say NO, this will continue and only get WORSE. You aren’t preventing a conflict by inaction; you are delaying it.
I know, the government is all powerful, right? The Former Vice President reiterated his threats of F-15s and tanks. I draw my guidance from Patrick Henry:
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
The President tonight already laid the groundwork: He said that the “MAGA Republicans” are working to steal the 2022 and 2024 elections. This means that any loss by the Democratic Party will be treated as a stolen election and overturned. Make no mistake, he told you that plainly tonight. The United States effectively went to one-party rule tonight.
The President also stated that the same forces are planning acts of violence. Never mind that the far left is actively conducting violence. These comments tonight, coupled with the “leaked” videos of Patriot Front training, and the repeated comments about threats against the FBI should alert you that “something” is about to happen, which will be attributed to the “MAGA Republicans”, just like the Smollett attack (and probably as real). It’s not an exaggeration, we are in real danger.
America is the last best, hope for freedom on the planet. Will you cower at home, or will you get active, organize, volunteer on a campaign, or do literally anything but complain on Twitter? This is our moment, not theirs.
They are AFRAID, that’s why they are threatening you. This whole “we should not say or do anything” attitude plays right into their hands. No, don’t go out and get violent, but MAKE YOUR VOICE BE HEARD.
It would also be prudent, having heard what he said tonight, to PREPARE. Organize a team (my Contacts & Notes book is great for this), gather your supplies of food and water for the tough times ahead, and start training. Get used to outdoor living and start walking a lot. If someone says that they are at war with you, you should prepare even if it’s only to defend yourself.
Now, I already know that my family will be worried about this post and what could happen because I spoke up, but I will NOT sit in the kitchen 20 years from now explaining to my grandchildren that it’s better to choose safety than to speak up. I will NOT set the example of cowardice in the face of a formidable foe or danger.
The craziest part is, I wasn’t even a MAGA Republican. I wasn’t a Donald Trump voter in 2016 (voted Libertarian). While I liked his policies, he was too sensitive and too willing to compromise, and made some terrible policy decisions. Guess what, though? I am one now. That speech, by its threatening tone, pushed me into that camp. Unapologetically so.
Friends, my point is this…resist the temptation on both sides. Don’t go do something illegal and violent, because that’s playing into their hand, but so is cowering at home and laying low. Get out, get active, and start taking back local, county, and state governments. If we do that, we make the federal government largely irrelevant in our day to day lives.
Long live the Republic.
I DID solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help me God. A man must fulfill any Oath he swears before God.
If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
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A couple of weeks ago, our friends at S2 Underground posed this question: Are you prepared RIGHT NOW, to walk out the door with the gear you have and live a mobile lifestyle for the next 3-5 years? That’s a solid question, but a lot of you may not realize what we’re talking about here, so in this post we’re going to talk about what that means.
But first, if you are one of the “But me and Ethel-Ann are gonna bug in, so this doesn’t apply to me…” folks, let me say not so fast. You can only bug in as long as it is feasible and sensible to do so. Imagine that you’ve held off the horde for 2 days from your double-wide castle-by-the-lake, and the opposition decides to just set it on fire, out of rage. What will you do then? You will take Jeremiah’s advice:
Pack your bags and prepare to leave; the siege is about to begin.
Jeremiah 10:17 (NLT)
That’s right; you may have a mobile lifestyle forced on you.
A mobile lifestyle means having a plan to stay on the move, and most likely with opposition actively seeking you. For most into preparedness, this isn’t what we normally envision. However, should resistance to a hostile invasion or (God forbid) a tyrannical government (it could NEVER happen here, right?) become necessary, we’d need to live a mobile lifestyle. We also might need to TEMPORARILY live one at the outset of a WROL/Life Altering Event (LAE) or if bandits burned down our original plan/bug out location.
That means conducting mostly foot movement in rough terrain to avoid detection. Living out of a ruck or off the land, with limited opportunity for resupply from friendly assets. It means staying off the air with your fancy radios until your comms window comes around. It definitely means staying off the phone and social media.
David had the right idea:
So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place.
1 Sam 23:13a
The first step is a realistic evaluation. I know, you’re ready to go today, right? Be honest, most of us aren’t ready to walk 10 miles in one stretch, let alone walk 20 miles a day in the rough. I know, a lot of the “rucking” guys talk about their 4 mile per hour ruck pace, but you can’t maintain that all day for any meaningful period of time. You have to be able to function at the end of your daily travel, so 2-3 miles per hour is FAR more realistic. Most of us haven’t walked farther than the length of our driveway, if we’re being honest.
Getting used to the weather is vital. How many times have you canceled a hike because it was raining, snowing, or cold/hot? If we are living a mobile lifestyle, we don’t get that option and hunkering down for a day gets you found. Train in all weather conditions and take that fancy all-weather gear out of the package. It’s OK for your $300 rain gear to wet and dirty. Get used to living without AC or heat.
When was the last time you camped for a week or more? I recently camped in the field with NC Scout for 8 days. He was in better shape at the end of it than me because he does it regularly. Start with a weekend and make them progressively longer.
Oh, and by the way, remember what I mean by camping, as illustrated in TW-02, Fieldcraft. Minimalist. At most, a 2–3-man tent with a low profile. Try using just a tarp or poncho for a couple of nights. Next week, I’m going to try a couple of nights in a hammock with a tarp and a few nights in a bivy-tent, which is a tent just big enough to cover my sleeping bag. Just because you did it in your late teens and early 20s in the Army doesn’t mean you can TODAY.
When was the last time you went winter camping? First, let me tell you that winter is some of the BEST camping experiences you’ll have. Second, if you’ve already done it, you’re going to be better prepared when you have no choice. Trust me, humans did it for tens of thousands of years; you’ll live. Develop the skills and buy the gear first.
Having a prearranged support network is key too. While me and my associates may keep on the move, some of our friends & relatives, due to age or condition, cannot. They become the support network/safe house chain. Have friends that you have pre-arranged support with. For example, I have several friends where we have the mutual agreement that we can stay at each other’s homes anytime. I’ve also set agreements with some of them where I store or stock a little extra gear for them at my house, and they do the same. That way, I can re-supply on the move and so can they.
Knowing where state or federal forests are will allow you also to pre-position buried or well-hidden caches of gear or food to enable mobile resupply. Consider having some set up as “evasion stations”, where you store a full backpack, belt kit, and additional gear in case you had to leave before you could retrieve any gear. Do this only if you have extra.
A side corollary to this is having pre-arranged dead-drops as well. Other groups or friends might be made aware of locations where they could drop off a re-supply of food or other gear for you to retrieve later.
This type of lifestyle will also require you to have significant medical skills and gear, because there are no urgent care facilities in the backwoods. You’ll need to carry with you the gear and you’ll need the skills to use that gear.
A mobile lifestyle means avoiding what we call “patterns of life”. Patterns of life is how governments conduct their intelligence targeting and your phone is constantly gathering this data. Learn how and when to use a faraday bag or cage to store your phone to avoid giving off pattern of life indicators. Your caches should be in places you’ve never gone with your cell phone or that you’ve never “Googled”. I have many friends that I only interact with in real life and never online for this very purpose.
Even in the days of King Saul, patterns of life were used to target people:
Go and get more information. Find out where David usually goes and who has seen him there. They tell me he is very crafty.Find out about all the hiding places he uses and come back to me with definite information.
1 Samuel 23:22-23a
In future posts, we will dig deeper into the mobile lifestyle. We’ll go over specific skill sets and actions you can take, as well as training exercises to get you ready.
Stay tuned and start training. Buy a set of our books for like-minded people.
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With the chaotic pace of world events and the rampant speed of the collapse we seem to be hurtling towards, it’s easy to lose focus and miss things. As the next big headline drops, we can be so surprised by it that we forget to take basic precautions or to continue to prepare. What we can do to combat this is to establish routines.
Routines are daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly tasks that we do to make sure we stay on top of our preparations and situational awareness.
Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves.
First, however, you must heed the above Tactical Wisdom and do an Area Study. That’s a review of your local area to identify your biggest threats and risks from all sources specific to your local area and develop a plan to address them. For more information, check out our friends at Forward Observer.
Two weeks ago, we were told of an “alleged” leak of an FBI memo, identifying nearly everyone to the right of Mao Tse Tung a “Militia Violent Extremist”. It said that anyone who referenced the American Revolution, the Gadsden flag, held pro-Constitution beliefs, or who supported the Second Amendment, was potentially an extremist. They seemed to be targeting two individuals as well. The called out Mike Glover’s American Contingency network as a militia with a “low history of violence” (they have NO history of violence). They also said that using the “Resistor” imagery from electrical engineering was a sign of extremism, and only ONE person uses that logo, my friend NC Scout. I’m going to wear his T-Shirt tomorrow.
After the raid on Mar-A-Lago, the FBI again warned us to “watch out” for violent extremists, and almost immediately, we had 2 highly suspect attacks in which the “violent extremists” killed exactly no one but themselves. On the 12th, the FBI released a Joint Intelligence Bulletin warning police that anyone who is unhappy about the raid on “certain subjects in West Palm Beach” may be planning attacks.
In that bulletin, with no supporting evidence whatsoever, the FBI stated that suspects had threatened to plant a “dirty bomb” at FBI HQ in Washington. This comes as NYC and LA have been running ads about how to survive a nuclear attack.
In light of all of this, I have decided to share my daily and weekly routines with you all, hoping that it can help you. Combining these routines with your own OPSEC practices, like using a SLNT Faraday Dry Bag for your phone and “communications tablet”, can help you be a bit more prepared and aware.
Local News: Check 2 or 3 different local news sites for traffic, weather, and major criminal event news reports.
Social Media: Run a quick check of the social media pages of known local agitators, criminal elements, or controversial activist groups to know what they have planned, so that you can plan around them.
Email Reporting: I always check for emails from my Mutual Assistance Group members and other allies, as well as reading the Daily SA report from Forward Observer (it’s $9.99 a month and worth 10 times that). I also check to see if S2 Underground has put out any new ‘Daily Intelligence Update’ videos, which are very detailed briefings.
News Check: I check Twitter and the news feeds from large news organizations to look for national events that may affect preparedness or travel. For example, a Presidential visit to your town will impact your travel plans. I check on tensions with China, the Russo-Ukrainian War, etc.
Radios: I make sure that my radios are on. I monitor the AmRRON “Persistent Presence Net” for early warnings. This is a digital HF net that requires no license to receive and will give you digital mode (text) information from all over the country, if you are a member. I also have my GMRS radio turned on to a local repeater used by a local preparedness group. I also turn on CB Radio because truckers are a great source of traffic information. Lastly, I have my business team radio turned on each morning. I also monitor area police agencies on a digital trunking scanner.
Throughout the day:
Monitor/Check Everbridge: Everbridge/Nixle is a service that local police & fire departments across the country use to communicate with the public. In addition to their website with a map listing active alerts, you can subscribe to text message alerts. I have mine set to the entire state for situational awareness.
Breaking News Alerts: I have several websites set up to send me alerts in case anything happens.
Network Member Checks: Each day, I check in personally with 3 or 4 members of my “member check” network across the nation. We share any information that we are hearing about the political/unrest environment.
Store Visits: Every day, during my travels, I visit 2-3 grocery stores in various areas to check on product availability, pricing, and purchase limits. This gives you the best picture over time of the effects of inflation.
Get gas nightly: Every evening, even if it’s only $5 worth, I top off the gas tank. If you do this every day, you are not only ensuring that you get gas, you are also “dollar-cost-averaging” gasoline, which means that you end up paying less over time than average.
News Checks: Yes, again.
Google Alerts: I have several of these set for business purposes and they are simple to do. Start with keywords like your local town name plus “PROTEST” or “ARMED ROBBERY”. They will send you links to news stories about the topic each day.
Device Maintenance: Each night, I ensure that all radios, tablets, laptops, and power banks are being charged.
Weapon Checks: Each night, check on the positions of all defensive weapons in your home. If you have firearms, check the status of ALL owned firearms, every night. I check on every defensive or tactical knife, my Korean Martial Arts sticks (Ssang Bong), my sword (yes, maybe the Ninjas will attack), and my bayonet. Whatever you have, before you go to sleep, make sure you know where it is.
Update Intel files: I keep an intel notebook where I write summaries of what I learn during the day, and I maintain a database on a flash drive that is searchable. I update every night and look for trends.
Self-Directed Training: Learn something about preparedness skills each day. For example, each day right now I am currently reading one chapter of The Last Hundred Yards. Each chapter is one small-unit skill set. Learn daily.
Email updates: Each night I do a second round of email and social media checks.
Food: Each week, I buy a few more cans or pouches of food for the emergency stash. I also rotate out things that are nearing expiration for use so that it doesn’t go to waste. This also allows dollar-cost-averaging so that over time, you pay less for food than buying once a month or quarter.
Bag Checks: I check each bag to make sure that it is fully stocked, seasonally appropriate, and still relevant given local conditions. For example, if I’m on lockdown due to covid, I don’t need a Get Home Bag.
Area Study Review & Update: Check for local crime stats and incidents, as well as reviewing your intelligence files to update your Area Study and make any needed changes.
Local/State Transportation Agency Check: Every week, check your county and state transportation/highway agencies to see what construction is planned or on-going so that you can update your plans. Your cool plan is worth nothing if your escape route is closed.
Device Updates: Update local copies of maps on your phone or tablet each week. These enable you to use the GPS features on your phone or tablet without a cell network connection.
“War Driving”: Once a week, drive a different area that is either nearby or near an area you frequent (like your work). During this drive, have a tablet set up searching for open WiFi networks. If you need to make secure communications one day from somewhere other than your house, knowing where open WiFi can be found in a hurry can be vital. Remember to only connect to these with your anonymous non-Android tablet.
Know Yourself: Know where you are honestly on the physical side. I admit that despite the work I put in, I’m nowhere near where I should be. Be honest first.
Do SOMETHING: The biggest thing you can do today to improve fitness is to get off the couch and do SOMETHING. It’s better than what you are doing now.
Be Incremental: Don’t get discouraged if you don’t start at 50 push-ups in a minute. Start where you are and do a little more each day. I’m currently on a program to get to 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups, and 200 squats a day. But I didn’t START there. Zen Labs has apps for this.
Do Combatives: Combatives means martial arts. I don’t care what style (Ok, anything but Tae Kwon Do or Capoeira), just do some martial arts training. Having some type of unarmed skill can save your life. Relying only on firearms isn’t realistic. Martial arts also develops cardio and a warrior spirit. I’ve got black belt degrees in Tang Soo Do (multiple levels, actually) and Krav Maga and I am currently studying Hapkido. I also studied Marine Corps Martial Arts before it was cool.
Other Weapons: I also recommend other weapon training besides just firearms. I teach several different knife and stick seminars, because those are very practical weapons that most people either carry or could find virtually anywhere. Bo staff skills aren’t bad to learn either (think about broom and mop handles).
I hope that these routines and ideas help you out. Later, we will discuss the most important outdoor skills to practice regularly (yes, Mark Sibley and I struggled recently to build a campfire with wet wood – there was whisky involved).
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We had some pretty significant storms this last week, which left tens of thousands without power for days. The storms came up suddenly, with no notice. It got me back to thinking about comms.
In trying times, we need to stay connected to each other, as this piece of tactical wisdom tells us:
Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Radio communications is really the only way in which you will stay connected to the world after a major event that results in a Without Rule of Law situation. Having some skills in this area will help. Your team needs a dedicated HF radio technician, preferably a licensed Ham, if for no other reason than to keep the Sad Hams off your back. Our friends at S2 Underground did a great video today on HF radio.
This article, however, is about your relatively short-range tactical communications. While you’ll need a comms guy to communicate with the rest of the world, the VAST majority of your communications on a day-to-day basis will be short-range tactical communications using VHF or UHF. I know, Sad Hams, you envision resurrecting the BitCoin exchanges with 4 million LoRa antennas spaced a thousand meters apart, which will turn the Sun back on (or off, depending on who you ask) by making long range radio contacts, but reality must intrude.
I can’t restore humanity using my HF rig and my digital mode prowess if I let Leroy Jenkins and his band of ne’er-do-wells kill everyone in my compound because we were all counting our BitCoin in the radio shack. I will need to get out and patrol, as well as maintain local security, both of which will require short-to-medium range communications.
The problem we have is that handheld radios can only get you so much range. To combat this, I have a man-pack radio from TWAY RDIO that has an internal battery. It’s 25 watts with a large antenna and I can rig a jungle antenna for more range, but that only increases MY range, and only between 2 points. I can still only talk back to the base station, and someone on the other side of the compound may not hear me and definitely can’t reach me.
Enter the Retevis RT 97. It’s a small repeater and it is available in both VHF and UHF models. For my group’s use, we chose the GMRS version. It is user-programmable with a simple interface and provided cable. The repeater has 16 channels and a duplexer, so that you only need a single antenna. The antenna that is available from Retevis is adjustable based on frequency. It is only 10 watts, but there is an amplifier available that will double that.
The repeater is in a waterproof-sealed hard case with an LED display. While it has 16 channels, obviously, only one can be used at a time. I recommend having a “repeater frequency of the day” which will allow you to make the job of anyone listening in a little harder (I know hams, but ANTIFA guys aren’t as skilled or patient as you).
The great thing about this is that it is so small and light, that it is portable. It comes with a standard power cable and a vehicle power cable, but no battery. You can directly wire it to batteries that you may have or you can run it off solar panels.
For my purposes, in the current world, it will be running in a vehicle when we conduct protection operations or intelligence gathering. One of the biggest issues we’ve had at protests is radio range in congested downtown areas. I parked a car on the top the floor of a parking ramp and ran the repeater off of a roof mount antenna and vehicle power and got our range out to 3 miles, which actually gives you a 6 mile circle of coverage. That’s great in a city downtown area, especially Detroit.
From a WROL situation, we tested the repeater at our “Northern Forward Operating Base”. Where we normally had 2-3 miles of radio-to-radio direct communication, we were hitting the RT97 at 4-5 miles, which will give you an 8-10 mile circle. That’s more than sufficient for local security operations.
One use I envision is right out of TW-03, Defensive Operations. You’ve got to run a vehicle package into the local town to get some food to the market and gather some supplies through barter, but you have issues with radio coverage in the downtown area. Equipping one vehicle with an RT97 will solve that problem for your team.
Another use is if you pair it with either a battery or a solar panel (or both). If you have a patrol that needs to push further out, they can put the carry the repeater out, put it in place, concealing it and the antenna halfway to their objective, and then be able to still communicate with your base.
The biggest drawbacks to the RT 97 are the low power at 10 watts, and no internal battery. I realize that a battery takes space, but it would have really sealed the deal on the unit.
Since we’re talking about comms, I recently finished Don Shift’s “Basic SHTF Radio”. It’s an outstanding guide for non-hams trying to get ready (hear that hams, you won’t like it). Don takes a complex topic and makes it simple. It’s a handy guide full of useful information. The only complaint I have with it is that Don doesn’t mention this OUTSTANDING blog site until page 85, but hey, at least he did.
Go buy a copy. I even gave you an easy affiliate link to find. Yes, this site uses affiliate links, and the FTC requires me to remind you of that because they think you won’t figure it out on your own. They’re so much smarter than us.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t point out the fantastic gear that SLNT has on the market to protect your privacy and COMSEC. In addition to Faraday devices, they have kits to make your own and camera blocking sitckers. That’s handy since wrong think is now a federal crime.
Learn to get connected and learn to keep secure.
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Over the last several weeks, story after story has come about how “Christians” and “Christian Nationalists” are putting our democracy at risk. This is a patently false statement, and we’re going to discuss it, but before we get into it, I wanted to point out that Jesus Himself warned us this was going to happen:
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that every one of us has the right to freely worship whatever religion we choose, including not to worship at all. Ironically, certain political elements in the US would like to interpret that to mean “freedom FROM religion”, but that’s just not what it says.
The First Amendment is clear in that the US government cannot be used to restrict the exercise of any religion. Period.
The same people who are calling “Christian Nationalists” a danger to democracy and freedom were calling people “bigots” and “Islamophobes” when anyone pointed out (justifiably) that Islam has certain elements that promote violence, and that Sharia law is anathema to Western democratic principles (it is). The truth is that certain Islamic sects, as well as the Black Hebrew Israelite sect, are more dangerous from a terror standpoint and a nationalism standpoint. Eleven members of the Rise of the Moors militia were arrested after a freeway standoff with Massachusetts police in 2021. The Baton Rouge police shooter in 2016 was a Moorish Sovereign Citizen and the Dallas Police Shooter was a Black Hebrew Israelite.
The truth of the matter is that CHRISTIANS threw off the yoke of Colonialism in America because of religious persecution similar to what we are seeing today. When they wrote the now-famous Declaration of Independence, they invoked the “Protection of Divine Providence”, or the protection of God. When they finished, though, did they state that it would be a Christian-Only theocracy? No, they implemented DEMOCRACY and self-determination.
Self-Determination and self-reliance are inherently Christian concepts. Yes, we should help our neighbors and the needy, but we must first provide for our families. Failing to do so makes us “worse than an unbeliever”:
Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Timothy 5:8
I consider this piece of Tactical Wisdom to also be a command related to preparedness. Providing for your family means much more than just having a job and paying for things. It means providing for their safety, their protection, and their future. In other words, preparedness.
The biggest danger we have, and the one the media is counting on, is the Christian tendency to carry “Love thy neighbor” to absurd degrees. Our tendency, when called dangerous, is to cave in and try to appease those who would subjugate us. It is up to us to resist the labeling and to not go quietly into that dark night. We are not to hand our oppressors the rope.
The Ultimate Tactical handbook gives us clear direction in handling these disputes, for those of you who say things like “go along to get along”:
If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
That’s right, when someone wrongs you and refuses to budge, have no further dealings with them. Rather than trying to win over people who hate you, the teachings of Jesus say to just be done with them. A lot of you could improve your Twitter life by following this “one weird trick”.
When the people of Israel faced an existential threat, an Angel of God appeared to Gideon. Gideon asked why God had let this happen. God threw it back in Gideon’s face, telling him “Am I not sending you” to solve the problem? See, God won’t magically do things for us unless we are willing to do the hard things. Until we start rising up against the growing evil (yes, it’s literal evil) influences in our society, He won’t help us. We have to resist. The Bible is replete with stories of the Faithful allowing evil to flourish, God begging the Faithful to do something about it, & the Faithful failing to and thus suffering the horrible consequences. It is up to US to fight back against the agenda, and He will help us.
They’re calling you terrorists to beat you into submission to their goals and agenda. Don’t fall for it.
Again, let me share what God has to say about being slaves to evil:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Get off the couch. Resist the evil agenda.
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In the last couple of days, we’ve had some mass shootings (both stopped by good guys with guns), a lot of protests, and an explosion at Hoover Dam (they say it was a transformer). During this same period, we’ve seen Iran, Turkey, and Russia hold meetings as China threatened to shoot down Nancy Pelosi’s plane. Russia appears to have sabotaged a Ukrainian plane flying over Asia in an escalation outside the combat zone. The security situation in the world and the US is bad, and it’s only going to get worse.
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
We need to take a few immediate actions to hopefully raise our protective posture just a bit.
I know, I harp on first aid kits, but be honest: Did you keep one with you all day today? Is there one nearby now? If I’m outside of the house, I keep one in my left cargo pocket (if you see me on the ground, find the kit). I keep a second one in my backpack, because you can never have too many. The one I carry on me is PTK and a Diplomat kit from http://www.solatac.com combined into one pouch.
I also recommend MyMedic kits because I like their “mods”. A “mod” is a module, and if you’ve read the Baseline Training Manual, you know that I like modular items that can be moved between bags. I get mods from MyMedic and put them in my different kits. Click the affiliate link above and check them out (yes, I might make a few pennies off links here, but I need a portable repeater). Remember, I never recommend things I don’t like, no matter how much companies offer me.
The next area is passive and low-key ballistic protection. We can’t walk around in public wearing a level 4 plate carrier and soft body armor is very obvious. A good solution is ballistic panels in your backpack. I use a Premier Body Armor laptop sleeve, but many options exist out there, like the new ballistic panels our friends at SLNT have recently come up with. Both the laptop sleeve and the ballistic panel for your backpack are level 3A and lightweight. Having some type of passive protection is a plus. Both of these options are TSA-compliant, by the way.
Aside from armor, always consider where you are standing in relationship to other people and always try to be near the edge, to leave yourself an out. With a little practice, you can become tactically aware at all times (Condition Yellow). In the mall situation, the threat emerged from the restroom, so always be aware of where threats can come from and that it’s not always an exterior door. The other one was at a large gathering in a park, so avoid groups you don’t know.
As the protests escalate, fire-bombings are increasing against churches. It’s not a stretch to say homes may be next. Check your home fire extinguishers and make sure they are all charged. Make sure they are stored where air can flow all around them, rather than on the floor (there’s a reason we mount them). Buy more if you only have one.
A side note to this is the incredible video of a young man, a pizza driver, who ran into a burning home to rescue the trapped children. While his actions were amazing and we should all follow his example, it leads us to some preparedness checks. Do you have burn supplies in your first aid kit? Fix it if you don’t. The other item to check off your list is to buy a “Fire Blanket” (link below). You can throw a fire blanket around you to protect you from flames. Keep one at home, and maybe one in the car, in case you happen across a burning building. In the personal protection field, it’s standard vehicle equipment.
Don’t forget to increase your communications planning. It’s good to have a plan to switch to the radio when the system goes down or is overwhelmed, but where is your radio right now? If you aren’t carrying one or at least having one immediately accessible, it’s not going to do you any good. Carry a radio and a spare battery in your Get Home Bag or Vehicle Kit. Personally, I carry a radio handset in the Get Home Bag and keep a mobile radio mounted in the car at all times.
On that note, my friend and fellow author Don Shift has written a short book called “Basic SHTF Radio”. No, Sad Hams, it’s not a Ham radio book, sorry. It’s a primer for people just getting into radio and setting up an emergency comms plan. It’s only $5.99 and I highly recommend picking it up if you aren’t a Ham. Hams: Trust me, you won’t like it. I love it, though.
There is also video of a scuffle between ANTIFA and some bikers. As hilarious as the video is, it highlights a few items. One, we are far closer to open conflict in the streets than you might imagine, so act like it. Two, it exposes the risk of bear sprays and pepper sprays as defensive tools. If you watch the video, you will see that as ANTIFA goes to spray the bikers, the wind blew the spray right back into their faces. For this reason, you shouldn’t rely on it as a defensive tool. Come up with a different less-than-lethal option, like an expandable baton or some type of cane or “walking stick” (wink-wink).
He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
As Jesus told us in the Ultimate Tactical Handbook, “Stay strapped”. Be as armed as you lawfully can be.
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This one has a bit of a long intro, so bear with me as I explain the WHY before I get to the HOW.
Each morning, when I do my daily prayer, I ask God to put me where I can help. That may be on the side of the road, at a gas station, on the receiving end of phone call, or even right in front of my keyboard. I use the ending of Romans 6:13 to offer my services to God as a protector:
Offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness.
You can call it silly, sentimental religious nonsense if you wish, but because I say this every single day, I’ve found myself at countless injury accident scenes (including one bad rollover and one bad car versus pole) where I was the first person to treat the injured. One time, I came across a Michigan State Police Trooper pinned between two cars, with multiple other injured people on scene. As everyone else drove by, I jumped out to help.
It’s not always an accident or medical issue (although I’ve intervened in a heart attack). One time, I pulled into a gas station and there was a distraught elderly woman at the next pump. I asked how I could help and she tearfully explained that her husband had recently died and that he had always pumped the gas. She was upset because she had no idea how to work these new, modern pumps. I spent some time helping and teaching her. Now, I had never stopped here before and popped in on a whim. That wasn’t me; it was God presenting that chance to help to me.
Now, I’m not telling you these to get kudos or likes. I’m telling you because God offers you choices as to whether to get involved in or not. Every single incident here had something in common. The vast majority of other people, everyday citizens, just passed on by the incident. They were presented with the same choice I was, and they chose to move on. We are called to NOT pass by. The story of The Good Samaritan points this out:
He went to him and bandaged his wounds…
Remember, the Samaritan was a pagan and Jesus said he was a better follower of God’s law than the priests and Levites who just walked on past the injured man.
Ok, JD, neat story, but what does this have to do with preparedness? I’m glad you asked, actually.
Our nation, and the greater Western world, is, whether we choose to admit it or not, is in a state of cold civil war. Forces of evil and globalism seek to destroy the fabric of our society and are willing to do so through force and force of arms. They are burning churches and counseling centers, political offices, and possibly even food/energy plants to the ground. They are attacking people on the street.
I mentioned earlier that I asked God to put me where I am needed, and explained that He did, numerous times. But as I was finishing TW-04 (YES, I FINISHED IT), I was researching the story of Gideon. Gideon complained that God hadn’t magically solved the situation they were in, which is remarkably similar to ours. Here is how He answered Gideon:
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.
Am I not sending you?”
Convicted, right? So many of us are waiting for the “Big white knight on a big white horse”, as my friend Don the Pleb puts it, to show up and push the “auto win” button, that we aren’t willing to do anything ourselves. This is the false hope that Patrick Henry warned us about.
Now, I realize that it’s not yet time to go do “kinetic” things and we’re afraid of the risk of arrest. No activity in life is free of risk, and if we don’t do SOMETHING, we might as well stop complaining about it and move to the pod, eat the bug, and become some variant of LGBT, because that’s eventual outcome of doing nothing. Waiting is no longer a viable option. Also, please don’t blow the hopium of the mid-terms in my direction.
There are concrete steps, short of kinetic action, that we can do to try and push back. I’m going to give you a short list of things you can (and should) do today.
The first is one I’ve harped on forever. Carry a first aid kit. There is no excuse not to be carrying trauma gear at the point. Mass shootings, bombings, and assaults are literally everywhere and getting worse. Carry an IFAK (www.solatac.com – PTK) everywhere you go. I carry an extra IFAK for treating others in my backpack and a larger, mass casualty kit (again, Solatac has one) in the back of my SUV. Carry SOMETHING. Don’t neglect a boo-boo kit for minor cuts and scrapes.
The second one is pretty vital. We are seeing vandalism and arson attacks on churches and counseling centers all over the country with the Roe v Wade decision, and they are only going to get worse as we near the midterm election. I encourage you to get out and protect your local churches by at least getting out and watching over them. If you see illegal activity, call your local law enforcement. There is nothing illegal about this and it needs to be done.
I encourage you to research your state laws about self-defense and citizen’s arrest. Not because I want you to arrest anyone, but because I want you to understand the legal protections that are actually on your side and the level of force the state allows you to use when someone is committing a felony in your presence. Arson is a felony. Aggravated assault, like we keep seeing, is a felony. Property destruction, with inflation, is almost always a felony. Understand also that prosecutors are setting aside self-defense laws at charging time, but if the Rittenhouse case taught us anything, it’s that in the end, the laws as written do indeed protect you in the long run. It is worth standing on principle.
If a police officer asks you what you are doing, explain yourself – “I am keeping watch over our local church” and SAY NOTHING ELSE. There is absolutely nothing at all illegal about that. Don’t let an officer tell you to “move along” because you are suspicious or “loitering”. Loitering means having no business in the area. Protecting community assets is business in the area. There is no law against “suspicious activity”. Make your own decisions, but these are valid legal concepts. Unless you are stopped for a motor vehicle violation or being detained for an articulable crime with probable cause, there is generally no requirement to provide identification.
On the flip side, if you aren’t willing to do at least these two things, or are too afraid that something bad will happen, you’ll get arrested, or you’ll lose your job, I ask you to do two things. First, don’t leave me a comment about all the reasons you can’t do these simple things. Second, please unsubscribe, and then unfollow me on Twitter.
We are at an inflection point. We can’t afford people who aren’t willing to do even these two, simple, LEGAL things, to push back a little against the forces of evil and resist the Marxist takeover. It really is an attack on our religious freedom.
…Be strong and courageous. Do no be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
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We focus a lot on the bad that is happening and that is coming, but it’s important to celebrate the wins when they happen. The other night, on Sniper’s Nest, several of us were on, and Sniper made this statement. Now, his language is rough, but he’s a work in progress. I’m proud of his efforts to get back into church, and this monologue is all the better for the rough language. He’s not wrong here. I want to open with a piece from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook, then the rest of the post is his monologue, written by our friend Sniper.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
I said something the other morning and I feel like people misunderstood what I said, or at least didn’t grasp the context of where I was going with it. The context was meant quite simply. I said, be careful what you wish for, you might just fucking get it. The left, for a significant period of time now has been rising up and been poking the bear. They state over and over again, in various different ways, that they want to kill the right. that they want a war. They want us dead; they want, as Sam Hyde puts it, “They don’t just want you dead, they want you broke, dead, your children raped and indoctrinated, and they think it’s funny”.
And then a couple of things happened. The supreme court stood up and went “you know what, fuck it you guys are coming for us anyway, we’re gonna do a bunch of things”. Following that, you saw one weekend in which the left thought it would be a good idea for them to go out and do the bad things and find out what it’s like when they don’t have enough cover behind them. Then, the right came out and started going to state capitals in significant numbers and saying, “So this is our miracle, this is what we’ve wanted and prayed for 50 years and fuck you if you don’t like it.”
I believe the momentum has been changing for a while. I think it’s been hard for a lot of us to see it. It was certainly hard for me to see it for a while, I’ll admit. Being in the middle of the thick of it, and being a little busy unpacking first aid supplies, well, you don’t always see the 10,000 ft view. But it’s there.
So for all the depression there’s been, and there’s been a lot of depression, for all the black pills there’s been, and there’s been a lot of black pills, and for all the fortification that happened; the fortification didn’t go unnoticed. First, it put a half a million people in D.C.
Then it put a quarter million people in D.C. Then it put a million people in D.C. A fair amount of whom were in the mood to fight and all they needed to do was be provoked.
Fast forward: The supreme court does its things, and all across the country thousands of people have come out to the different states legislatures that had these ‘trigger’ laws in place and said “Yes! Thank you! Thank God!”. They’re staring at the sky and screaming “Hallelujah!”
And I feel that we’re far too willing to see the black pill of it and see the “we’re gonna die” of it, and you know what? Maybe we’re not going to.
Maybe, we’re not alone. Maybe there’s a lot of people who think the same way we do or feel the same way we do about an awful lot of things, who aren’t willing to speak often, but when they do speak, they speak in large numbers.
So, I look at all the unrest around the world and God knows there’s a lot of it, and I look at the things going on in our country and there’s an awful lot of it that is actually awful, and Fourth of July was no different. But I’m struck by the fact that where I was, in my red state, it doesn’t matter that everybody’s going broke. They spent their hearts out. They still had their World War Three sized Fourth of July. Because they’re happy that they finally got a win.
And a thousand of them showed up at my state capitol and prayed at the sky and said “Thank you for this miracle you’ve given us”. It happened in eight or ten other capitals that I’ve been able to find and this is on the heels of a million people showing up in D.C. A couple of years ago, or near about.
Maybe, just maybe, there’s something out there moving people that we can’t see. We’re too deep in the mud and muck of it, but it’s there. And hey, maybe they don’t agree with us on a hundred percent of everything; but do they have to? Isn’t it enough for them to agree on most of it? Isn’t it a thing that we all said, more times than I can remember, that this is a generational fight, this is a fight that is not going to stop when I die, or when my kids die, and that it would take the rest of my lifetime to move ten years in the right general direction, much less twenty or thirty? But there’s people finally standing up, school boards being overrun, a million people showing up in Washington, D.C., people praying to God thankful for the salvation of little children. And people around the world realizing that they’re the target of all this in real time, and standing up and saying, “Enough of this shit”.
I don’t think I fully have the words: I’m just some dumb wrench turner that some of y’all watch for some damn reason, and I’ve never been able to figure that out to be honest. But thank God for all these people, and thank God for you guys, and thank God for those of us that have been trying to say for a while, some version of “stand up and be counted”. Some of us are starting to be.
And don’t get me wrong; the left, the globalists, the communists, the corpo-fascists, whatever right wing name squad game you want to come up with, they’re not going to give up without a fight. But by God I’m on Watcher’s stream tonight, and I’m watching them revolt around the world.
I’m looking at Clint Russell (Liberty Lockdown) who stood up and said, “Look, I fled California, but you better stand up and fight now because they’re right behind me.”
Don (the Pleb) who was willing to say, “I’m going to D.C. and if any of you come with me, great but I’m going either way”.
Myself, who went “For the love of God somebody help get me to D.C.”
And a million other people. And then thousands across the country. And then, hundreds of millions around the world.
Maybe, just maybe, you should take your cue. Stop being so black pilled.
I had to get slapped around. I was black pilled. Dobbs happened and I immediately said, “well this and this and this is going to happen” and even Don, king black pill himself had to slap me upside the head and say, “God Damn it Sniper, be happy for five fucking seconds.”
Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to take the hand of the guy who’s standing up and stand beside him. To go forth and do whatever you can with it. Maybe, just maybe, we can get through this and most of us can come out the other side. And being honest, a month ago, six weeks ago, I wouldn’t believe that, but the last six weeks have been what they’ve been.
You should take the lesson.
And to the left: The right wing never stood up and said much of anything en masse until 2020. They never stood up and celebrated anything this way until Dobbs.
Maybe you should think about that too.
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Earlier this week, those good people at Slate ran a story about how “right wing extremists” are using unlicensed radio services to “plan crimes”. It was slanted heavily to try and suggest that the unlicensed services should go away, because on January 6th, there were some right-wing people holding radios.
The article fails to mention that ANTIFA and other left-wing extremist groups HEAVILY use unlicensed radio service to coordinate their activities. I’m able to find them operating on FRS/GMRS/MURS fairly quickly every time. I guess it’s only bad when one side does it.
Now, before we go any further if you are a HAM operator, this article isn’t for you. You already know everything in here, and you are doing the right thing. I recommend everyone go to the FCC and get an amateur license, because according to HAMs, that is the only way you can ever learn to use a radio, and it’s the right thing to do, just like complying with every single gun law. Free Men beg for permission. Now, listen up HAMs: The rest of this article is about UNLICENSED RADIO SERVICES, so it is obviously beneath your interest level, and we ARE NOT asking for your opinion on why we should NEVER use them. Thank you for your service.
Let me give a little advice, before you leave angry messages about how wrong I am for teaching people this….Are you encouraging or discouraging them in these trying times?
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up….
1 Thessalonians 5:11a
Unlicensed radio services include the Family Radio Service (FRS), Citizen’s Band Radio Service (CB), and the Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS). The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is NOT license free, although it is marketed as if it were.
FRS shares 22 channels with GMRS, but the difference is in equipment allowed and power levels allowed. You cannot use repeaters or more than 2 watts on FRS channels, and only 0.5 watts on channels 8-14. To placate the HAMs who are still reading: It is unlawful to use Baofeng radios for FRS communications. Cool? Cool. You must use non-programmable radios with permanent antennas. You CAN use FRS radios for digital modes, as long as you don’t exceed power levels. The US FRS channels can be used in the US, Canada, and Mexico, and in most parts of South America (check first). In the UK, you have “PMR”, and there are similar services like FRNET and KDR throughout Europe.
When you use it as intended, for short-range point-to-point communications, it’s far more useful than most HAMs will admit. It’s a great medium for patrol communications within a team moving in close proximity to each other or for fixed site security. HAM radio isn’t ideal for this, as it is meant to be longer range. This is an area in which unlicensed comms can help. As a practical matter, using FRS rather than HAM bands and units gives you a “low probability of intercept” by hostile parties, as the radios aren’t powerful enough to be heard a long distance, which is a plus.
CB radios are a great medium for mid to long range vehicle communications, and they are widely available. I know, HAM guys, it’s CB. While CB was once a big thing, it’s now virtually unused in most of the country, giving you 40 channels to use in mostly vehicle mounted units. Even in Detroit, only about 10 channels ever get used, leaving 30 more available. A great factor too is that the US CB channels are usable throughout the EU and most of the Americas.
Handheld CB units have come a long way and I recently started using the QYT CB-58 handheld CB which is a pretty solid unit. I would use it in conjunction with my vehicle radio.
As far as the use of CB radio in your preparedness plan is concerned, I’d recommend using it for vehicle-to-vehicle communications during convoy operations. You can also have one handheld per vehicle for dismounted operations. I recommend vehicle units with Single Side Band (SSB) capability for longer range.
Multi-Use Radio Service, or MURS, is in the VHF range, which will give you a little boost in range. There are only 5 channels, so it is indeed limited in scope, but again, at the ranges we are honestly talking about, for say patrol-to-base communications of about 1-2 miles, they are fine.
For longer range communications, your team does need a dedicated, licensed HAM who makes contact with other radio systems, but as you can see, using license free systems can help your preparedness team with local operations within your team, which is what most of your communications will be anyway.
Now, let’s talk about the FCC. Despite what HAMs spread around, the FCC doesn’t just roll around patrolling, triangulating the position of every outside-the-limits use of the radio. If they did, half of American business would end. Allow me to explain.
All sorts of suppliers like Motorola, Kenwood, and Icom make handheld “business band” radios, preset with generic frequencies from the FCC’s business band pool in both VHF and UHF. These frequencies require a license. Businesses don’t care. They buy radios and distribute and use them at stores, warehouses, and jobsites all over the country. They use them without licenses all day, every day. They may even have a license but use a different frequency on their radios. Cue HAMs screeching in horror and agony. Such wanton lawlessness!! Guess how often the FCC investigates? Never.
If you still don’t believe me, do this experiment. During the daylight and evening hours, tune a CB radio to Channel 6. CB has a power limit of 4 watts. That should get you about 1-5 miles, maybe up to 20 in perfect conditions. You will hear people from Detroit, North Carolina, and out west all talking to each other pushing thousands of watts from FIXED LOCATIONS. These guys have lived there for years, broadcasting at illegal power levels, and the FCC has never arrested them.
Here’s the deal: The government is already trying to limit your freedoms by altering free speech, proclaiming Christians to be a threat, calling canning extremism, and trying to remove the Second Amendment, so why would you invite EVEN more government control and oversight into your life? The Dobbs ruling may even make a lot of the FCC’s rules null and void, as they were arbitrarily made under “regulation authority”, rather than by legislation. Make your own informed risk assessment and decision.
More important than just buying radio equipment is getting to know how to use them and train with them. A great way to do that is by working with your team on unlicensed radios or maybe taking a course, like NC Scout’s (www.brushbeater.org) RTO and Advanced RTO courses. I loved the classes.
By and large, the HAM community is a bunch of great people who are willing to help. Their biggest problem though is elitism and their belief that only their way works. I’m going to give two quick examples to illustrate this.
First, I recommended the above Baofeng AR-152 radio, because both NC Scout and I ran them through some serious field testing and found them to be great units. A HAM objected and sent me a video “review” by a HAM guy. The “Review” video was a guy just complaining about cosmetic features because he doesn’t like Baofengs. He NEVER EVEN TURNED ON THE RADIO during the review because he felt he “knew” how it would work. Sadly, most Hams think that radios that cost more work better. That’s not always the case. Note: Most of the Japanese radios they love, come from factories in China, too.
Second, when I did the review of Scout’s class, I got an email from a guy, asking me if there were any licensed Hams present while we were using the radios. I explained that most of the stuff we did used unlicensed radios, but that every time we used a Ham band, a Ham was operating the radio. I asked him why he wanted to know, and he claimed that whether or not Hams attended was his measure of the quality of the class. What?? That doesn’t even make sense. I suspect it’s because he wanted to report unauthorized radio use, but there was none.
In summary, get your comms in order. Using license free services is fine, no matter what Hams say, for most things you will really be doing in a WROL situation. Besides, in a WROL situation, there are no licenses.
Prediction: No less than 4 comments from Hams explaining why I’m wrong and how bending the knee to tyranny is the best way to resist tyranny.
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It’s time for a chat. Grab a chair and your favorite holiday weekend drink.
I was in rural Kentucky and stopped at the Maker’s Mark Distillery because it’s my Dad’s favorite drink, and this took me along on another route to my friend’s house. As I was rolling along a two-lane backcountry road among those mountains, I was thinking about a conversation I’d had earlier in the day with my counterpart Stan backstage before the Council on Future Conflict show. I was reflecting on the state of the Disunited States and thinking that we are at an irreconcilable crossroads. At that exact moment, I looked to my right and saw the childhood home of Abraham Lincoln literally right outside my window. I don’t believe in coincidences.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
This verse is among my favorites and it’s very relevant. Allowing a small but vocal minority dictate life to the rest of us is slavery. Letting an increasingly tyrannical government threaten and harass people into giving up their rights and freedoms is slavery. LETTING CHILDREN BE CORRUPTED WITHOUT RESISTANCE IS SLAVERY.
It’s a very scary time. People who make their voice heard are being rounded up on charges that are nebulous at best. Still others are having search warrants executed on their homes without ever having been told what the charges are. A man was forced to surrender his phone and unlock it with no explanation. Just today, a mutual on Twitter reported that two agents from the FBI visited him over memes he shared.
But let me tell you about 55 men, who signed a letter to a King anyway. They were being harassed, their friends arrested or killed, and were threatened with imprisonment or execution. They signed their names anyway. They signed it following this bold statement that still gives me chills:
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Declaration of Independence
When I talk about honor, people snicker and call me old fashioned. These are the same people who think that they can comply their way out of tyranny.
But what had these 55 men so resolute that they would make this pledge and risk arrest or death? Let’s look at a few of their chief complaints and compare them to today.
One their very first complaints was that the King set aside laws that they had passed. In our present case, the US Government has set aside the laws against illegal immigration and due process (red flag laws).
“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people”…The best example is the Disinformation Governance Board, but the administrative state in general meets this complaint. You can’t do anything in America without running afoul of 15 regulatory agencies that will harass you.
“He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies”…20,000 troops in Washington DC, and multiple state capitols, claiming they are there to prevent “insurrection”, but they aren’t employed to actual ones.
“For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury”…The trials for the Proud Boys have been moved again until at least January of 2023. Hundreds of detainees remain in custody, denied bail, without trials.
“For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences”…The J6 defendants have been transported from all over the country to a hostile jurisdiction to face trials for an insurrection that wasn’t an insurrection.
“For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever”… Now, to be fair, the Legislature hasn’t been suspended, but it has been rendered irrelevant because the government now rules by executive order, and is openly declaring the highest court in the land illegitimate.
“He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us”…by engaging in identity politics and victim worship, the government is exciting domestic insurrection. We won’t even get into who opened the doors on J6 or Ray Epps here.
As you can see, we are very much at the same crossroads. Many hope that this moment will just pass. Patrick Henry, in his famous speech, addressed this hope:
…it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?
We can no longer just hope it will get better. We need to realize that the opposition is playing for keeps and is more dedicated than we are at this moment. We need to get active.
Many say “But what will you do? They are all-powerful.” Well, my man Patrick Henry had some words for that too:
Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on.
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
I’m not telling you what you should do. I point you back to Galatians 5:1, where God, through Paul, is telling you what you should do….Stand Firm.
I leave you with this:
For you were called to freedom, brothers.
Get off the couch. Fight for the freedom you have inherited from men of brave determination. Be worthy of them.
The “Night of Rage” may have been a bust, but the left is still indeed out in the streets, taking action, and some events happened that have us wanting to issue some reminders and help you prepare for the holiday weekend. This weekend is the 4th of July, a holiday that Marxist extremists hold in particular contempt. Those who think “America was never great” hate this holiday. The lack of cover last weekend has also enraged the most militant and made them even more likely to lash out this coming holiday weekend.
The one-two punch of rulings on Thursday and Friday continued this morning, with a ruling about prayer that will only fuel their feelings that a “Fascist Christian” takeover is underway. On Friday, we already saw thousands screeching about it in the streets, and then this morning, the SCOTUS announced that even school employees have a right to pray while working under the First Amendment.
Keep in mind that this ruling doesn’t in any way mean that organized prayer in school is now legal, the Marxists say that it means that America will FORCE you to pray. It’s the same false logic that they said over the weekend that the government will FORCE you to get pregnant, as if that’s even possible.
But, as people interested in preparedness, we aren’t concerned with what people think, we are concerned with how they are acting, and people behaving badly is one of our risk factors. Over the weekend, we saw traffic blockages, vandalism, and assaults.
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Our first reminder is that if there is freeway blockage, swallow your pride, turn around and go the other way. We saw several over the weekend, one which involved a protestor allegedly being ran over. I know, we all like to talk a big game about never backing down, but unless you are prepared to kill a hundred people, you are on the losing side and the POLICE AREN’T COMING. In fact, if the police do come, they are more likely to arrest YOU, than the protestors. Just turn around, even if it means driving the wrong way on the shoulder, and get out of there.
If you are trapped in a blockage, pull over to the side, grab your Get Home Bag, lock the vehicle, and LEAVE on foot. You can always come back to the car, and they are less likely to vandalize your car if you aren’t trying to drive through them in it. We saw them trying to remove people from cars, and yes, I know, you’d shoot them, but then you’d go to jail. Self defense is dead.
You can avoid this for the most part by maintaining situational awareness. Monitor local social media and sign up for local police alerts from Everbridge. Focus on your surroundings, rather than your phone. For everywhere that you frequent, have 4 routes already planned out, including at least 2 on foot.
Another great situational awareness thing that you can do in the next 24 hours is to go talk a walk around your neighborhood. Look for political signs on cars and houses that may indicate where the threats in your neighborhood might reside and where potential allies might be found. We’re not building a target list here, we’re just trying to decide who might be a risk in our neighborhood.
Walk the neighborhoods adjacent to yours and look for paths or foot routes into your neighborhood. In the event that you might have to leave your neighborhood on foot in a hurry, it will be important to know what the ground looks like and what the safe routes might be.
Do this at work, too. Get out on your lunch or your break and walk the blocks around your place of employment. What areas might offer you a safe haven and what areas will draw protests (police stations/courts/clinics/etc.)? What is the best way out of the area on foot? Note how most people in the area are dressed so that you can plan to dress to blend in.
Ensure that you have proper emergency supplies in your car. You should carry a Get Home Bag (addressed below), a full first-aid kit, a fire extinguishers, and some light tools in the car at all times. A fuel siphon pump is a good idea as well. I carry 2 US-Issue 2 Quart canteens in the back of my SUV in case I get stranded without water. I also keep my tactical walking stick (see affiliate link) in the car. It can serve as a self defense tool if needed, or it can stay broken down in my bag. I keep a pair of tarps in the car also, in case I need them for shelter.
The Get Home Bag should contain the gear needed to help you traverse from work to home on foot if needed. It should contain another first aid kit, a change of clothes, rain gear, some type of shelter (I use a US Poncho and an emergency bivy), a fixed blade knife (7-11 inches), a multi-tool, and some food. I also have two roll-up water pouches and water purification tablets, as well as a sillcock key. The sillcock key lets you open commercial water faucets on the outside of buildings for drinking water. I would use tablets anyway, especially if the power is out. A radio and light source should be included as well. For light, I have both a LiteBand head lamp and a tactical flashlight. A Baofeng radio will let you communicate with friends as well as listen to FM news broadcasts. A Bandana or face-mask can help you change appearance or hide your face. As an added touch, I keep a packable jacket in the bag to alter my appearance when needed.
Today, Sri Lanka banned the sale of gasoline to most civilians for at least the next 2 weeks, and Peru & Ecuador are expected to follow suit. Keep your car full of gas, both due to potential shortages, and the possible need to drive far out of your way to avoid protest activity.
I hope these reminders from the Baseline Training Manual help you be ready for what may come as the 4th of July Holiday comes up.
Remember, America is the greatest country on Earth, no matter what anyone else says, and it is our last, best hope for Freedom in the world.
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As you all know by now, I advocate a low-tech to no-tech approach. Mostly, this is because we can’t rely on having the ability to connect to a network, or to even charge and power our devices. Being low-to-no tech keeps us able to function.
Recently, however, a couple of events have me leaning even farther from technology. While it’s a great tool for us all to chat and learn, it’s also a tether to the world’s largest surveillance system. I’ll illustrate in a bit how seemingly innocuous things can link you to thought crimes in the New America. The first event was attending NC Scout’s (www.brushbeater.org) SIGINT course, where he taught how pattern of life data is collected via the web. The second is reading the indictments of the J6 defendants, and especially the newer ones, being charged on very shaky grounds.
Let’s face it, everyone was worried about being microchipped, yet they are never more than 3 feet from their phone. You don’t need to be microchipped; you are VOLUNTARILY submitting to tracking. Don’t come at me with “but I turned location tracking off”; I’ve told you repeatedly and Tucker Carlson showed you on his show about how that only turns off the tracking YOU CAN SEE. Google and Apple still can track you and do.
They all, including Alexa, listen constantly. I’ve had people tell me, “but I’ve muted it.” Yes, you muted the sound you can hear. The other thing I get from people is “It only listens after I tell it to”….Well, smart guy, it wouldn’t know that you said “Hey Alexa/Google/Siri” unless IT WAS ALREADY LISTENING. Those recordings can be, and have been, subpoenaed and used as evidence.
The best thing you can do to defeat this threat is to throw away your cell phone. We all know that’s not going to happen, so I offer a solution. Don’t take your phone places you don’t want to be tracked to, and leave your phone in the car when having conversations you don’t want anyone to hear. The biggest pushback I hear is “but if you’re not doing anything wrong, why do you care?” Two reasons, the first is that our system is NOT based on the premise that we should be surveilled in case we commit a crime. The second is that free speech can, and has been, interpreted as seditious conspiracy. The entire debacle that is the Michigan Whitmer plot was really nothing more than a bunch of drunken campfire conversations that got steered in the wrong direction.
Another option comes from our friends at SLNT. I have a SLNT Faraday Dry Bag (see above). This bag is 2.5 liters, just big enough to store my phone and a tablet. Not only does it protect against EMP and is waterproof, it stops all RF signals. I have tested it out thoroughly and it’s a solid product. Even cooler is that after having a discussion with the folks at SLNT, they told me that anyone who clicks my affiliate link below the picture will get 10% off their purchase, and the bag is only $49.95.
Let’s talk tactical use here. If you drive to a location for a “mutual aid group” meeting, then drop your phone in the bag at the meeting location, and then pull it out after the meeting, all you did was alert folks that you did something interesting at that location, and that they should ping all phones that were in that area. A better idea is to keep the bag in the car, and drive to a logical location like a shopping mall or movie theater and put the phone in the bag there. Then go to your meeting elsewhere, drive back, and take the phone out of the bag in that same lot. There, it looks like you went shopping or to a movie. Tradecraft is important.
In a Post-WROL situation, just keeping any tech that you have inside of a Faraday dry bag is smart idea. I have several friends who keep “WROL Tablets” that have hundreds of manuals and files, plus maps stored on them. You can recharge the tablet from a solar panel. Personally, though, I recommend not using an Android Tablet for this. If you do, never connect it to your home Wi-Fi and use generic log in data. Needless to say, for security reasons, I’d never use a cell-enabled tablet for anything secure.
The second thing that happened was reading the FBI criminal complaints. The FBI obtained purchase histories from people who made Amazon purchases and were at the January 6th event. They listed as evidence of seditious conspiracy things like buying a “black tactical backpack”, purchases of “Baofeng Radios”, and “black Under Armor face mask”.
I know, Amazon is so easy to buy from and you can’t beat their turnaround time. But they are turning over your data the second they are asked. I get it, I sell the majority of my books there and I even use Amazon Affiliate Links here, because it is the way we buy now, but understand that there is also a time and a place for cash purchases.
Let me clarify, before someone gets this twisted: I don’t advocate what happened on January 6th, and in fact, I told people that they shouldn’t go, because it was a terrible idea and a trap. My opposition to going was because I KNEW that the government would do EXACTLY what they are doing. Some of those people I warned (including one prominent one) are under indictment now. Don’t take the bait.
That being said, if you ARE going to do dumb things, don’t order all your supplies via Amazon, fly commercial to the area, and then register at a hotel down the street. Don’t carry your phone around. This isn’t hard. This is how we targeted folks in the sandbox. It’s called patterning.
It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t bring up some Tactical Wisdom and some history to illustrate the point, so here we go.
Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor.
The use of informants isn’t new, and even this account of spies deployed against Jesus is several thousand years after Jezebel used spies to entrap Naboth so that he would be executed and she could take his land. The more a nation relies on informants and undercover operations, the more tyrannical it is.
One of the grievances that the Colonials had against the Crown that led to the American Revolution was this gem:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
That sounds pretty similar to arresting people all over the US and dragging them to Washington DC for detention, and then delaying the trials.
I will leave you with this piece of the Declaration to close us out, presented without comment:
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us
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When I talk about food shortages, a lot of folks roll their eyes and call me alarmist. They say, “Yes, but this is AMERICA. It can’t happen here.” Ok, let’s talk about that.
As I type this, around 290 thousand Ohioans are in the dark and without power on the hottest day of the year so far. They are without power ON PURPOSE. ON PURPOSE. The power authority turned it off on purpose to prevent strain on the grid. Meanwhile, the poorest and most disadvantaged in Columbus, OH are in the dark, hot, and hungry. There was a shooting today at a cooling center that left 1 dead and 2 wounded. How many old people are dying with no money to get gasoline to leave, and no air conditioning?
And it’s being done ON PURPOSE.
We talk a lot about normalcy bias here, which is the tendency to deny that something is happening because “it can’t happen here”. Prior to 2020, could you ever imagine a situation in which the entire nation was shut down and ordered to stay home, and told that they must provide documents and reasons for moving about? No, you couldn’t, but it happened anyway.
I have a piece of Scripture here that sums this up:
Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves.
We are facing a series of crises all at the same time, which are all coming to a head at the same time. Rising gas prices, a war which cannot be contained, increasing civil tensions, electrical grid issues, incompetent governance, and a looming food shortage are all happening at the same time. A man whose opinion I value said this – we could weather any one of these at any time, but we cannot weather them all at once.
Heed the warning. Farmers are all over the internet warning about looming food shortages due to drought, fertilizer unavailability, rising feed costs, and rising diesel prices. Many of us are out on Twitter and Facebook sharing photos of the grocery stores and gas stations. Even the US government is finally admitting that we will have food shortages.
Make no mistake, I am in NO WAY saying that America will not have food. We will always have food, because God has provided us with some of the most fertile land on earth. The problem is that the food will be priced so high that the middle class won’t be able to afford it. Yes, I said the middle class because the lower-class will always be given government subsidies.
Couple this with the expected civil unrest anticipated with the Roe V Wade SCOTUS decision and you have the perfect storm for a bloody, hot, hungry, and dark summer & fall in the US. Yes, it can happen here.
“But this is America”, people say. Jerusalem was God’s Chosen City, and it was destroyed countless times. Here is a piece of Tactical Wisdom for those who say “But this is America, it can’t happen here.”:
for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.
Every single time you go to the store, buy a few extra cans of food, or maybe buy the full limit on pasta. If nothing happens and I am wrong, then you will still eventually eat the food. If I’m right, and you didn’t, you’ll be in a bad spot.
Learn how to acclimate yourself to the weather. Instead of having the thermostat set at 66, set it to 75 or 80. In the winter, lower it a bit. This way, your system isn’t shocked by the weather. Humans are actually very weather resistant, or truthfully, we used to be. The advent of heating and cooling has caused us to live our entire lives in an artificial bubble of 66-70 degrees. Vary that by 5 degrees and modern people get very uncomfortable. Spend more time outdoors.
Start walking now. If gas prices continue to climb, you will be walking no matter what, because gas stations won’t even be able to buy gas to sell to you. Start acclimating yourself to using your feet.
Learn to defend yourself. I can’t tell you what that looks like for you, but I live a martial lifestyle. I have trained in martial arts, knives, sticks, and firearms. Decide what you need to learn and get after it. You need to be able to defend yourself when hungry and angry people come looking for food, and they WILL.
Build community. Get to know your neighbors. Find like-minded people (church is great for this) and start organizing (The Baseline Training Manual has tips for this). Start seeking out those with skills you might need (radio/medical).
Take a “Stop The Bleed” or First Aid class. First aid skills are the preparedness skills you will use the most and you can start using them TODAY. Learn CPR and how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator – It’s easy).
Check on your elderly neighbors and family. Those on a fixed income are being hit the hardest with no relief in sight. Make sure they are OK and offer to drive them to appointments or the store. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
As we close this out, I want to mention a special opportunity for our readers. LiteBand is launching a new line of headbands and the owner, Randall Coe, has made a special offer for our readers. If you make a pledge to the Kickstarter campaign to fund this (see below), you can email a screen shot of your confirmation to email@example.com, mentioning that you heard about the project here, Randall will send a spare alkaline battery pack to run the LiteBand with regular batteries, in addition to the included rechargeable battery. I have two LiteBands and I supported this project at the CAMO level because I know Randall stands behind his stuff (I had an issue with my first one and Randall went above & beyond to fix it). Check out the Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/multi-beam-liteband/multi-beam-comfortable-lightweight-illumination-near-or-far?ref=project_build
Get over the normalcy bias and PREPARE!
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I won’t share photos or video here, but over the weekend, as Pride Month got into full swing, we saw footage of allegedly “Family Friendly Drag Shows” at adult bars all over the country. As if a strip show is ever “Family Friendly”. The videos included small children sticking money in the underwear of stripping drag queens, as proud parents made videos and cheered the little ones on.
I don’t normally do this on here, but I am COMPELLED to today. This is PURE EVIL and we are DOING NOTHING about it. Now, to be fair, some protestors arrived at one in Dallas and called the Dallas Police. The police made the children leave, and then made the protestors leave. No law enforcement action was taken for child endangerment, performing a sexually explicit show in front of minors, or for bars allowing children to see the shows.
There is some very solid guidance in the Ultimate Tactical Handbook here:
It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.
OK, that seems pretty clear about what God thinks of them and what He will do, but what are we as Christians called to do in this environment? What does God expect of us? Again, he gave us the answer already:
Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
Seems clear: We are to stop it.
On Friday, a news story came out that America was “under siege” by Christian fundamentalists. The basis for this claim, according to the story? Our opposition to exposing children to sexuality and transgenderism at pre-school ages. There is a campaign again against Christian values and you need to decide what you will do about it.
What do you suppose God wants you to do about it? Christianity is plagued with this erroneous belief that Christians are supposed to be pacificists and “go along to get along”. To illustrate how wrong this is, I present as evidence testimony from the mouth of Jesus Christ Himself:
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.
I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
We are commanded to stand up against injustice, sexual immorality, and ESPECIALLY for the “little ones”. We are to defend the weak and help the helpless. We are not to just sit idly by and do nothing.
We must be vocal. We must get out in the streets, just like they are. We must DEMAND accountability of our elected leaders. We must DEMAND that civil servants like police do their jobs.
I know, it’s a scary time and everyone is thinking about what happened to the January 6th protestors. They are still in jail to evoke EXACTLY THAT RESPONSE in you. It’s not about Trump or the election; it’s about preventing resistance to the march of tyranny that is expanding across our nation.
You have a choice. Make a stand on your principles or shut up and allow yourself to be enslaved and future generations be condemned by immorality. Guess what? There is some guidance about this too:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Friends, build a tribe. Gather food and supplies. Get out and make your voice heard. Do not go gently into that dark night.
Let me finish with Patrick Henry (again): I know not what path others may take, but as for me, give me LIBERTY or give me DEATH.
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I’ve gotten to know NC Scout over the last few months by doing podcasts with him roughly once a week. I advertise with him, and we always have a great conversation on his podcast. When I checked out his training schedule (www.brushbeater.org) and saw that he was running a series of radio-related courses here in Michigan, I knew that I needed to go.
The courses offered were RTO (Radio-Telephone Operator), Advanced RTO, and Signals Intelligence, all areas that I consider vital for preparedness. They run $300 for each 2-day segment, or if you pre-register, you can get them all for $800, which is a $100 discount. The course was near me, so I decided to take them all.
In communicating with NC Scout, he told me he would be camping on site and a few others would be too, so I decided that the best training experience would be in doing it under field conditions, and I wrote a couple of articles about that. I pitched my tent and went for the full experience.
The class brought in people from a wide variety of experiences from all over the country and that helps build a class and builds a sense of being a part of a larger community. One of the best aspects of any preparedness class like this is getting to know other, like-minded people, and knowing you aren’t alone. Of course, at the end of the week, everyone exchanged contact details.
The first two days were the RTO course. I thought I was pretty knowledgeable on radio, but NC Scout knows his business. In this course, you learn the basics of radio. We discussed various radio sets, license free options, licensing options, and the benefits of each. Quite a bit of time was spent on learning how radios work and how to best apply antenna theory to your tactical communications problems.
The biggest takeaway here was in how to write a set of Signals Operating Instructions for your own group. The need for an operation-specific SOI, rather using a “canned” one-size-fits-all SOI is that you can tailor it to what’s needed at that moment.
The best physical skill learned in the RTO Course was the building of various antennas for various wavelengths. We built jungle antennas and dipoles and then strung them up; testing them during field exercises for range.
The RTO course culminated in conducting a field training exercise on sending SALUTE/SALT reports via radio.
The next two days were the Advanced RTO Course, where NC Scout took us a little deeper in the practical radio operational skills. This time, we discussed encryption methods that you can use in the field, digital modes, and digital radios, and built Yagi directional antennas. Again, field exercises solidified our use of the skills learned.
The Advanced RTO Course also discussed some apps for more secure communications than what you normally get using Google and Apple. The course discussed the dangers of over-reliance on cell phones and delved deep into the workings of cell phones on the cell network, which is anything but secure.
The final two days were spent in the SIGINT Course, applying the skills learned in the previous two courses to begin gathering and sharing intelligence. NC Scout gave an outstanding breakdown of the intelligence targeting process based on his time deployed in the GWOT in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We discussed basic SIGINT tools like using the Baofeng as a scanner, using police scanners and SDR’s, and a few other tools. We learned how to map the communications landscape and RF spectrum around us to begin targeting potential adversaries.
After we learned the basic skills, we built loop antennas and used them in conjunction with the Yagi’s to track down our partners broadcasting nearby to develop the skills to find opposition groups operating in your area. It was actually a very fascinating set of field exercises.
I like to think I’m pretty knowledgeable in this arena, but I took 24 pages of notes. Not only do you learn practical, real-world skills, but NC Scout tells you the history of everything you learn, which is absolutely fascinating and helps you grasp the purpose of a particular item or skill set.
I HIGHLY recommend taking the radio courses, and I know I’ll be signing up for his Scout classes as well. However, as a United States Marine, I draw the line at taking his carbine class, as there is NOTHING AT ALL an Army guy can show a Marine about shooting a rifle (just kidding, I probably will).
A note about Rite In The Rain notebooks and pens: We had 3 days of rain, some of it pretty heavy. Operations don’t stop due to rain, and neither should training. I’ve always been a huge fan of Rite in the Rain, and this week only solidified my belief that you need as much of their stuff as you can get your hands on.
Along the way, we had campfires, we introduced NC Scout to the joy that is Detroit-Style pizza, spent WAY too many hours at Central Michigan’s finest Irish bar (with authentic Irish staff), drank some pretty pricey Irish Whiskey, and learned that Orange Jameson isn’t a bad thing. We also enjoyed a pair of De Oppresso Liber cigars, courtesy of Green Beret Colonel Mike Bennett, the author of the Warlock series of books.
When I wrote about getting out and testing your gear last week, I got a lot of questions about what gear I used and what worked well. I thought I would share some of the things that worked out for me to help you decide. Now, I will use some affiliate links here, which means that if you make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no cost to you (the FTC makes me say it), but as ALWAYS, I only recommend what I like. I’ll never compromise on a recommendation to make money.
My philosophy on this, as always, comes from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
As we get farther down this slide into open civil conflict, it’s time to get SERIOUS about gear.
The gear that got the biggest workout this last 10 days in the field was the rain gear. Several people messaged me to ask what rain gear I used. I use the tried-and-true US Issue Gore-Tex. Now, when I was a young lad, I was used Gore-Tex in M81 Woodland, but the times have changed. I personally use a Tru-Spec H20 Proof ECWCS Parka in Woodland MARPAT. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s worth every dime. I have the zip in fleece liner and the parka takes the heavier level ECWCS liners as well, so it becomes a year-round waterproof layer. I also have the matching Gore-Tex over-pants.
An additional piece of rain gear that also falls under the shelter section is a US Government Poncho. I prefer the old-school Woodland Camo ones, and Helikon-Tex makes them to exact US standards. Be careful in buying “military-style” ponchos, you want one made to actual US government standards. The government standard ones (like the Helikon-Tex one) are more durable and can snap to other US issue ones to make a larger shelter. They have stronger grommets that can be used to build lean-to or A-Frame shelters.
I ate MRE’s and tried out various survival/backpacking foods the whole time, so my cooking gear got a full test. First, the Esbitt stove fuel I bought didn’t perform as advertised, so I’ll stick to old-school Trioxane heater tabs until I find something better. However, my trusty friend, the Stanley camp cook kit with 2 cups was the champ for boiling water. In fact, everyone at the camp had the same kit. You can’t go wrong tossing one of these in your backpack, although a US Issue canteen cup works too. The Stanley is about double the size though.
I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss one of my favorite camping accessories, also by Stanley. It is also a CRUCIAL element for surviving a disaster. Late at night, when sitting by the fire, discussing the day’s events, and planning the next day, a shot glass set might come in handy. I mean, maybe you are rationing your water, and want only a small amount each day or something. All kidding aside, I’ve had this for a while and really enjoy it, so I thought I’d share it with you. I picked mine up at a specialty camping store for WAY more than evil Amazon’s price.
Since the training was a radio operations course, I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t discuss the new radio that NC Scout of Brushbeater Training & Consulting talked me into buying before heading out. You can read his review of the radio over at American Partisan: https://www.americanpartisan.org/2022/05/reviewed-baofeng-ar-152/. I used it all week and the new Baofeng AR-152 outperformed my expectations.
Everyone has concerns about the Baofeng’s, but this new one is head and shoulders above the UV-5R, which is still a good radio. I never had to charge the radio all week, despite heavy use. It’s got a hardened body that takes the abuse that field life gives out.
As far as my tent is concerned, it’s just a Stansport 3-person backpacking tent, the Trophy Hunter. I chose this one, because it’s small, easy to set up, and comes in earth tones. Mine is khaki and green, which is good for concealment. It held up great in heavy wind and rain, even without a ground tarp underneath it (hey, I was lazy). It’s small enough to attach to the side of my USMC ILBE Ruck for backpacking. Here’s a link if you want to check it out.
I hope these help answer the questions that a lot of you had about what gear I used and where to find it. Shop around and find the best price for your budget, but I think you’ll see I’m not all about the expensive, newest cool-guy gear that comes out. In some areas, cheaper is good enough. In others, spend the extra dollars, because your life could depend on it.
As far as taking advice, here’s a piece of Tactical Wisdom about that:
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
Later in the week (Wednesday-ish), I’ll put out a full review of the RTO, Advanced RTO, and SIGINT Courses from Brushbeater Training & Consulting, but the TL/DR on them is this: TAKE THEM ASAP. You can find a schedule at: https://brushbeater.org/training-calendar/.
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Sitting here by the fire tonight, sipping some whiskey with like-minded people, I wanted to talk about getting out and training for real-world conditions. Tonight is night 7 of a 9-night training session in the field.
The last few days have been with my friend NC Scout of www.brushbeater.org and Brushbeater Training and Consulting. Next week, we’ll do a deep dive on the six days of training with him, but tonight I wanted to talk about testing in actual field conditions. Testing our gear, but more importantly, testing ourselves.
I’ve been living in a tent, eating my planned survival foods, rationing water, and trying to live in actual conditions. It’s been hot during the day, cold at night, and for the last 36 hours it’s rained like we’re in the South Pacific. Through it all, we’ve conducted training regardless, which gave me an opportunity to test out all of my rain gear.
The first lesson learned was that for all my preparedness and writing, sunscreen was not among my gear. I know, what a rookie mistake, right? I’d rather find out now and learn the lesson today, than wait and learn it during a real crisis. That’s the point of testing, after all. A little discomfort now is better than a lifetime of it later.
I did learn that my investment in extra poncho liners was a good thing, because when it gets cold, just pile on another one.
Another big piece was that despite this not being a field skills course (it’s all communications this time), I stuck to my principal of always keeping the ruck packed. Not only did it keep my gear organized and dry, it made it easy to find whatever I needed very quickly, because it was where it was supposed to be.
I found that my solar charger worked flawlessly for keeping the phone and radios charged all week.
An issue I found was with my Esbitt stove. I found that the fuel tablets I bought didn’t burn for nearly as long as the package claimed. This might seem minor, but it meant that I used fuel 3 times as fast as I had planned. Once again, I’d rather be inconvenienced today than run out of fuel when it matters. I also learned that while the stormproof matched WILL light, they aren’t very strong and the stick breaks easily.
So, what’s the point of this rambling? The point is to show that you need to get out for more than a 24-48 period and live in the field and resist the temptation to use support networks. You will validate what works among your preparations, and find out what doesn’t. It will help you fine tune your preps as the world continues to fall off the rails at record speed.
Get out in the field and train like your life depends on it, because it does.
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Earlier today, Watcher and I were on the Sniper’s Nest YouTube Channel (link below), discussing how to set up a Get Home Bag. We analyzed Sniper’s bag and helped him better organize his gear.
A Get Home Bag is a bag designed to carry the supplies needed to, as the name applies, get home. We spend a lot of our time at work. People are working farther and farther from home. If a disaster strikes while you’re at work and all your cool-guy prepper gadgetry is at home, you need something to bridge that gap and get you home.
Even the Ultimate Tactical Handbook says you need one:
Gather up your belongings to leave the land, you who live under siege.
The first part is selecting the proper bag. The most common color backpack is black, so I would go with a black bag. Don’t be overly concerned here with “the Gray Man” stuff, a black bag is enough. A lot of guys tell you not to get one with MOLLE webbing, but almost all backpacks have it now, and we aren’t exactly going to let people scrutinize our bag. I chose a Highland Tactical Major bag in black (affiliate link above – this site uses affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase). If you have to walk a long way, make sure that it has a sternum strap to help balance the load.
Consider buying a waterproof pack cover in a different color, in order to change your profile. Keeping with my theory that every piece of gear you have needs to have more than one use, I bought a waterproof cover that is camouflage. The cover can keep it dry and it can also make my bag concealable if I need to enter a wooded area or stash the bag temporarily.
As an alternative, you can put a collapsible duffel bag inside your pack. If you find extra supplies or gear, you have an extra bag to put it in. If someone is following you, you can take your backpack off and put it inside the duffel, and now you look like a different person.
A change of upper body clothing is important. I keep a packable jacket inside the backpack, along with a baseball cap, so that I can change what I look like quickly for countersurveillance. While on that topic, a couple of neck gaiter-type masks can help, and in our post-COVID world, it’s not unusual to wear a face mask.
Shelter is important. For shelter, you need something small and packable that can keep you out of the weather. A tarp is inexpensive and good for shelter. A packable “Life Tent” is a small tent lined with mylar to reflect body heat. It has an emergency whistle attached to the carry case. Sleeping gear falls under shelter as well. My personal choice is the tried-and-true US military poncho liner. It’s warm and very packable. Another option is a “Life Bivy”, which is essentially a survival blanket with sealed sides making a sleeping bag that reflects heat. For the life tent and bivy, I choose green, instead of the standard safety orange for concealment purposes.
The next area is food and water. In a Get Home Bag, we are looking for quick hit, ready to eat foods like granola bars, jerky, and pouch-type foods like chicken or tuna packets, or single-serving SPAM packets. These are foods you can eat on the go while moving, rather than having to risk an open fire. Try to avoid anything that requires a stove or fire in the Get Home Bag.
Some type of water storage, either a Nalgene bottle or a water bladder is needed. I use a Sawyer Mini filter but pick whichever filter works for you. I like the Mini because it can be placed on the end of your water bladder drinking tube and filter as you drink. I also keep purification tablets in all my bags; redundancy is key. I keep a pair of Vapur collapsible water bottles in the bag because they take up no space or weight and I can fill them when I find any water source. A Sillcock key, which opens faucets on the outside of commercial buildings, is absolutely necessary.
Now that we have food, water, and shelter out of the way, it’s time to get on to medical. You need a trauma kit (I recommend the Solatac PTK at http://www.solatac.com) and a smaller “boo-boo kit” with band aids, antibiotics, and other minor aid items. If you are building your own trauma kit, you need a tourniquet, some ABD pads, a pressure dressing, gauze, and some type of hemostatic (clotting) agent. Good add-ons are occlusive dressings for sucking chest wounds (chest seals) and a triangular bandage. Include minor medications like Motrin, Tylenol, Imodium, and Benadryl in the boo boo kit.
You NEED a hygiene kit, but the Get Home Bag one can be smaller. Include things like a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, floss, and wet wipes (field shower). That’s really all you need for the Get Home Bag. Maybe toss in some hand sanitizer, which can also be used to start fires if its alcohol based.
Signaling is next. I recommend some type of radio capable of operating on the unlicensed VHF/UHF frequencies of FRS/GMRS/MURS to be able to reach others. The Channel 3 Project will have like-minded people monitoring Channel 3 FRS, CB, and MURS to help at the top of every hour. If you choose to get licensed, I recommend you do so. In the absence of radio, you need at least a mirror or a whistle to call or signal for help. Some might not want to signal, but imagine if you fell into a large hole nad were injured; a whistle can save your life.
The last thing is all the miscellaneous items. Remember, this isn’t a full ruck, it’s a bag designed to 24-48 hours of foot movement to get home to your supplies. You need something to start a fire, like a fire steel and rod, a lighter, and tinder. You need a good fixed blade knife and a multi-tool. You need gloves and a hat (yes, no matter the season). Observation devices like binoculars are often overlooked. I personally recommend a trench periscope for urban areas.
You also need navigation tools like a map and compass. Too many rely on GPS, which can fail. Learn to use and carry a map and compass. Also, buy a waterproof notebook and pen to keep notes.
This article is longer than I had planned, and this is by no means a complete list. More information can be found in TW-01 Baseline Training Manual. Check out our YouTube Channel as well.
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I own a lot of knives. I mean, A LOT of knives. As a martial artist, I’m interested in knives. As a United States Marine (Once a Marine…you know, the thing), I’m VERY interested in knife combat. In the fantastic “Gray Man” book series, Courtland Gentry frequently remarks “If I have a knife, I can always get a gun”, and he’s not wrong.
In fact, as I’m writing TW-04 Scouting and Patrolling, I wrote into it the need for lead scouts to have a quality COMBAT knife. Not a camp knife that is used improperly for combat, a real COMBAT knife. This is a problem that has plagued military forces for decades.
The Fairbairn-Sykes knife was the first attempt to create a dedicated combat knife that wasn’t either a field/camp knife or a bayonet. It was small, concealable, and lightweight. It was a good knife, but not perfect.
Connor Toor, also a United States Marine, felt the same way. The USMC Bayonet, by Ontario knife (see below), is a fine bayonet and a good combat knife, but it isn’t purpose built for knife fighting. What was needed were small, lightweight blades with the sole purpose of being a combat knife. This is where Connor created Toor knives.
When he sent me the Anaconda, I loved the presentation box and the knife was absolutely gorgeous in the box. However, I can’t tell you how many knives I’ve taken out of the pretty box and found to be absolutely junk or “fair” at best. The first indication was the tube of “Froglube” with the knife. It meant that the knife builder knew it was a precision tool that needed to be taken care of. I was impressed, but not sold yet.
The knife comes with a Kydex sheath, but without a belt clip. To me, this is a feature, not a bug. This means I can decide how and where to mount it. Any time you talk about carrying knives, you need to understand your local laws. The Anaconda has a 3.75″ blade, so in Michigan, that means it can’t be concealed; it has to be open-carried, or plainly visible.
The simple solution for me was to mount it on the left shoulder strap of my “Get Home Bag”. This kept it handy, but also assured that I wouldn’t accidentally violate any laws by covering it up with a jacket. The knife, while feeling very substantial in your hand, doesn’t add any significant weight to my backpack. Purely for research purposes, because I’m 100% a law & order guy (wink-wink), I did also mount it on my belt and see how concealable it was. The knife melts into your cover clothing and disappears.
The large ring on the handle end allows you to draw quickly from concealment or the shoulder strap mount quickly and is big enough to fit a finger wearing gloves, which I like. The minute a WROL/SHTF situation begins, I’ll be wearing gloves the majority of the time.
I spent a few days training in knife combat with it and that’s where this knife excels. It is indeed a true COMBAT knife, custom designed to fit in your hand securely while you are twisting and whipping it around. You can transition grips quickly and its balance means that combination strikes flow with it. If you’ve never truly done any knife training, you might not know what I mean there, but true warriors get it. It flows.
I have a confession to make here. I’m somewhat of an action movie junkie, so I love to try unrealistic things with my knives. Yes, that one. I threw the knife. A LOT. Yep, it’s unrealistic as heck. I admit it. But this knife, 9 times out of 10, hit the target tip first and sunk deeply. I know, Toor is never going to send me another knife when he finds out the dumb abuse I subjected it to, right?
Being pragmatic, I also tested the knife on survival uses, because every knife you carry in your gear may have to be pressed into service for survival. Although it is good at survival tasks if it is pressed into service, this isn’t really meant to be a survival or camp knife. The thick blade and quality steel make it a workhorse.
I also tested its ability to…how shall I put it…”slice meat”? Yeah, that’s it. Using some meat, I slashed with it and it opened deep cuts in the meat. Great for BBQ’s, I guess.
Straight out of the box, the Anaconda is razor sharp.
It’s a pricey knife at $275, but what’s your life worth? It’s not a camp knife, it’s a COMBAT knife and is just as important as that handgun and rifle you don’t hesitate to drop cash on at a moment’s notice. If you’ve been following my writing at all, you’ll know I’m not a “gucci gear” guy, so trust me when I say that this knife is worth every penny.
For the record, even Jesus says you need a knife, which is our Tactical Wisdom today:
…if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
Earlier in the week, I fell into a thread by Bonnie Blue on Twitter (@BonnieBlueTK) about growing herbs in your garden for medicinal purposes. I immediately asked her to write us a guest blog to share her ideas. I hope you all find this as enjoyable as I did.
Here is her guest post:
I was fortunate enough to be largely raised by my grandmother, who was a depression era bride. Even before Victory Gardens came along, her generation knew you had to take care of your family’s food needs and be self-sustaining. She was a strong farm and ranch wife, with the tenderness to let my little hands help her from as far back as I can remember. It would have been much easier for her to do it herself, but she knew it was important information to pass on. Those early lessons were largely centered around gardening and canning the fruits of our (her) labor. But there was a special area not far from the vegetable garden, and that was her herb bed. It wasn’t until I got much older, that I realized the importance of that bed. Back then, I simply saw it as growing dill for pickles, and herbs for a tasty cup of tea.
Fast forward to today. Food prices are sky rocketing, there have been warnings of shortages, and those that look at the world around them understand that a great deal of our pharmaceutical components have been outsourced to China. That is where herbs come into play. As many rush to plant modern-day “victory gardens”, herbs are often overlooked. For a variety of reasons, you need to tuck herbs among your vegetables, plant them with your flowers, or dedicate a bed to nothing but herbs and more herbs.
Herbs make a lot of the foods we grow taste even better. A few sprigs can make dried beans taste even better when cooked. But herbs go far beyond seasoning the evening meal. Herbs have been used for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes. Many attract bees to the garden. Given that bees, which are responsible for pollinating one-third of the world’s food supply, are declining in numbers, adding even more plants to attract them is never a bad idea.
Healing herbs can be used fresh, dried and steeped as tea, or soaked in vodka to make a tincture. Many of them have a myriad of uses. I find that it is best to focus on herbs that I can get the most use from when planning my garden space. Think about the herbs that will give you the most bang for your gardening buck and take it from there. I suggest that in addition to internet searches on herbs, you add a book dedicated solely to herbs to your library. When the lights go out, you don’t want to be left wondering how to use a particular herb you planted. My favorite resource is the book “Growing and Using Healing Herbs”. It is a wealth of information and laid out in a very practical way.
My herb beds include a lot of the culinary herbs, many of which have medicinal uses. Rosemary helps relieve gas. It is considered a stimulant and is a good herb for treating cluster headaches. Thyme has antispasmodic qualities that could make it useful for stomach cramps, or the treatment of coughs.
I also have beds dedicated to a few useful healing herbs. The predominant herbs being lavender, chamomile, and peppermint. Lavender is my everything herb. It is wonderful for attracting bees, and is scattered around my garden, as well as the healing teas bed. My favorite evening tea for stress is lavender. Headache? Lavender. Can’t sleep? Lavender. Even my dog likes lavender. When I put lavender essential oil in a diffuser at night, she will lay with her head under the mist. Chamomile is another versatile herb that I use much the same way as I use lavender. It is a mild flavored herb, and one that children will often drink in a tea, when others are considered too harsh. Peppermint is a stronger herb for gas and indigestion, or an upset stomach. It also contains menthol, good for helping treat upper respiratory symptoms of a cold or flu.
Herbs do not have to be relegated to herb beds and vegetable gardens. Many can be tucked in a front yard flower bed for color and interest. It is a great way to use space for more practical reasons, and to not draw the attention of neighborhood busybodies. The purple coneflower is a beautiful perennial flower. You might have bought it in capsule form, under its botanical name of echinacea. Yes, that echinacea, which is used as a remedy for colds and flu. Rose hips are a great source of vitamin C. Brew them as a tea for a tangy boost to the immune system. Both roses and purple coneflower are great at attracting bees. Just make sure you do not use pesticides on your flowers. They are not good for the bees, or you.
I am not a medical professional, I am simply an avid gardener, who feels that we need to find ways of being self-sustaining, and ready for hard times. After identifying your herb garden needs, read all you can on each herbs use, benefits, and possible side effects. This will also help you decide which herbs to focus on, so you have enough to truly get you through possible tough times. Better to have enough for the most important uses, than a little bit of many that will not bring as much benefit.
Enjoy your herbal adventures, and happy gardening!
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If you watched The Last Kingdom, you know about Uthred Ragnarson. Uthred was trusted by both the Saxons and the Northmen, because they both knew him to be a man of principles and a man of his word. Once Uthred swore an oath, you could consider it done. In fact, the only time he went against his brother Ragnar was because his principles meant more to him than family, and he couldn’t allow a woman (Princess Aethelflaed) to be harmed by men lacking principles.
You may be wondering what this has to do with anything, but bear with me….
The only time Uthred directly betrayed King Alfred was when the good King pushed him too far and demanded too much. The King kept altering his agreement with Uthred and Uthred’s men to the point that Uthred would take no more. Sound familiar?
The same day that the new Disinformation Governance Board, or “DGB” (KGB), was formed with a radical partisan at its helm, I was reading in Isaiah. Almost immediately, this piece of Tactical Wisdom was thrown in my face:
Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees.
Make no mistake, establishing the DGB within a law enforcement agency was an oppressive decree.
Around here, I get asked almost daily, “When is someone going to do something?”. I myself frequently remind everyone of Patrick Henry’s famous speech (delivered in a church, I might add). On that same day, while pondering all of this, this came to me from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook as well:
If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.
What does my faith tell me? It tells me that I am never to deny Christ’s existence, yet I am continually told that we may have to in this country, and that while I’m at it, I will also have to apologize for believing in Him, because some time in history, someone did something bad in His name. Standing firm means I will not. I must not.
A narrative is spreading that Christianity is a risk of extremism. The same people pushing that nonsense are also claiming that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is some type of Christian Crusade, and therefore evil. That’s utter nonsense, but it is spreading.
We were forced to stop going to church for a year, and those who stood firm in their faith were arrested and charged. Many Christians, speaking out against what appears to be growing authoritarianism in the US, have been threatened with arrest or actually arrested. We were told in the Bible that we would face persecution for following Jesus and The Way, and here we are. What advice was given in the Bible for when that happens? Was the Bible wisdom “Sit back down and keep quiet” or “Go along to get along”? No. It was this Tactical Wisdom:
So then, those who suffer according to God’s Will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1 Peter 4:19
But we aren’t. We are meekly watching this nation and the world hurtle towards disaster.
The stock market is crashing. Food supplies are dwindling and appear to be intentionally being hampered. Supply chains are broken. The US Defense Department is emptying the armories as fast as it can to arm Ukraine, while we can’t re-arm to protect our own nation. All of this while actual evil groups are spreading civil disorder and rioting across the nation, almost completely unopposed by the police.
What can, NO, what SHOULD we do?
As people of principle, we need to stand up and say NO MORE. If only some do, those ones will be crushed by the increasingly oppressive government. If we all do, we can turn the tide.
If we continue down this course and things come completely off the rails, I urge those of us into preparedness to retain our principles and rebuild under those principles, which happen to be enshrined in our Bill of Rights, Constitution, and Declaration of Independence. These documents were inspired by God, and the Founding Fathers said that right in them.
Fans, I’m no Patrick Henry, but I say this: With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, I pledge to you my Life, my Fortune and my sacred Honor. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
While the world is currently experiencing supply chain issues, there is a shortage of fertilizer and analysts are predicting serious shortfalls in world agricultural production. At the same time, a series of fires and industrial accidents keep happening in and among our food production and distribution facilities.
Now, every time I post about one, I get informed by everyone that it’s all just a big coincidence and that there isn’t some vast World Economic Forum conspiracy at the heart of it. Hey, I don’t disagree – it COULD be a total and complete coincidence.
BUT THAT DOESN’T MATTER ONE BIT.
That’s right, whether or not they are a coincidence or a deep-state/globalist/lizard people (pick your favorite) plot doesn’t matter one bit to you and me. It is completely IRRELEVANT.
I want to start with a piece of Tactical Wisdom that applies here:
Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning,
their blood will be on their own head.
If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves.
So many people blow these occurrences off because it’s “not a plot”, but there is STILL danger here. Every fire and every plane that crashes into a food processing facility affects that facility’s ability to prepare, produce, or distribute food. Even if a plant is only impacted by 10%, with our “just-in-time” supply chains, it has a significant impact on total food production.
All the fire or crash damage will need to be repaired. They need to be repaired at a time when spare parts and raw materials are scarce. Modern businesses don’t keep spares on hand anymore, so that lengthens the repair timelines. While awaiting repair, that part of the facility is NOT producing product.
So, as you can see, it DOESN’T MATTER why. Just as I always say, prepare for the second and third order effects, rather than arguing about the cause. The cause doesn’t matter…what it means to your life does.
As we approach this summer, nations all over the world are announcing that they aren’t going to export food to any other country. That’s significant because the US doesn’t produce some foods year-round. As an example, while it is winter here, we get fresh vegetables from the Southern Hemisphere, as it is summer there. When that stops, we will have issues.
But what can we do? Well, first buy a few extra cans of vegetables every week, while you can. You can build up a quick stockpile of food this way.
The more permanent answer, once again, comes from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:
If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land.
What enabled some tribes to live and flourish and some to die in ancient history was the ability to grow and then store food. Over millennia, food was a valid reason to go to war or to raid a neighboring tribe. It’s why tribes banded together and began professional warrior classes, to defend food stores. How did warriors get paid up until the 1500s? In food. A Lord fed his warriors and gave them a place to stay, and they protected him (The future Duke of Montana and I have already struck such a deal).
The Earth is created to provide food to you. People have been gathering or growing their own food for tens of thousands of years. As recently as the 1950s, every family in America grew food (even if it was just in the back yard). The Victory Garden needs to make a comeback and quickly.
Learn to grow food (hint: turn over the soil and bury seeds in it; water and weed). It’s the most self-sufficient thing you can do. As I point out in the Baseline Training Manual, you should focus on food production, rather than food storage. Hunting, trapping, and fishing go right along with this. A great book for this is the Self-Sufficiency Manual (see Amazon affiliate link – I may make a small commission from all the links, but you knew that).
Once you’ve grown food, learn how to can it – but be careful, both Facebook and the DHS think canning is evidence of extremist behavior (yes, really). You can also dehydrate foods (including meats) for long term storage. Remember OPSEC and don’t tell everyone how much food you’re stockpiling.
Know what edible wild foods are near you. Here, wild grapes, blueberries & Huckleberries, black raspberries & blackberries, and delicious mushrooms just grow wild all over. Learn how and where to find them. Nature is abundant.
To recap, it doesn’t matter whether or not there is a grand conspiracy behind the food industry incidents. You need to understand their impact on food supplies and begin taking some action TODAY to reduce the second and third order effects to your life later on.
Just like the lyrics to ‘Pride In The Name of Love” by U2, “Early Morning, April 4, a shot rings out….”, a tragedy occurred the morning of April 4 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Just after 8 AM, a GRPD officer stopped a vehicle driven by Patrick Lyoya for improper plates. Lyoya would fail to provide ID, then run and eventually fight the officer.
The video clearly shows Lyoya take the taser from the officer before the officer shoots and tragically kills Lyoya. This article isn’t about the shooting, but if you want a very serious breakdown of every step of the incident, check out our new YouTube channel, which can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/user/jdolio.
The focus of this article is, as always, preparedness. We would be remiss if we didn’t note that the weather is warming up, and the US has a critical mid-term election coming in the fall. A reminder from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook is in order:
A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
When the shooting first happened, I predicted that the terrible optics of an officer shooting a black man in the back of the head would lead to protests and give the incident the longevity that certain groups were looking for to re-invigorate their agenda. Within hours, Ben Crump and all the usual suspects were en route to Grand Rapids.
As soon as the police department released the video, the “execution of an unarmed prisoner” narrative began running wild, despite clear evidence to the contrary. Inflammatory comments led to scenes like this:
Never mind that the imagery is not rooted in reality (remember “Hands up, don’t shoot), it fit the narrative. I warned immediately that violent protests would ensue and on Saturday night, Grand Rapids experienced serious protests by a large number of armed people and several armed encounters.
For our purposes, it’s important to note that once again, the police surrendered the streets and reverted to defending City government buildings, and citizens trapped in the protest zone were left on their own. At one point, BLM and New Black Panther Party protestors trapped a vehicle at an intersection and an armed man approached the driver. Fortunately, they let him go, but imagine how this could have went.
The next night, as I predicted, rioting spread to Portland, Oregon. The protestors attacked and attempted, once again, to burn down the police station. They put out a statement that the riot was revenge for the killing of Lyoya.
As people interested in preparedness, the most glaring difference this time around is that the protest groups arrived heavily armed, including with long guns, and in body armor. These are significant escalations.
Over at Forward Observer (www.forwardobserver.com), Mike and his team have been reporting on multiple training sessions being held across the country to train armed leftist groups in firearms and combat tactics. We are seeing ANTIFA embedded in Rojava and Ukraine, to gain combat experience. This new Summer of Love will be different.
In the meantime, another police shooting has occurred outside of Pittsburgh, and we have seen two days of protesting there.
As our Tactical Wisdom above says, the prudent see danger and take precautions. We need to adjust our plans to include preparations, once again, to be ready for spontaneous protests.
Begin by double-checking your Get Home Bag. Ensure that you have adjusted it for the seasonal change. Springtime means more rain, so you need rain gear. Consider adding a face mask and a couple of hats for quick appearance changes and a black hoodie or packable jacket for blending in. Self-defense items are not a bad thing to add either.
Monitor social media groups locally to remain aware of potential protest activity, so that you can plan your day to avoid them. If a protest develops while you are somewhere, immediately develop a plan and switch to your alternate route.
If you happen across a protest, stop and turn around, and go the other way. We all like to talk tough about what we would do when an armed man approaches our car or these people try to block you in, but reality must intrude. The current legal situation is NOT in favor of lawful self-defense. Also, you serve no purpose by lawfully defending yourself against one guy, just to be killed by the mob before you can get away. Avoid conflict by being prepared and planning.
If you find yourself in a protest area for an extended time, like if you’re stuck at work or in a hotel, you can gather information. Watch for agitators, some may be known to you from previous events and document their activity. If you have a police scanner with a search or “close call” function, listen to determine what frequencies the protest groups are using (they use the same Baofengs as everyone else).
Developing a database of personalities, their vehicles, and their known radio frequencies could turn out to be very helpful should things eventually develop kinetically. It will allow you to know who to avoid (I say that for the Feds who read this).
If you think I’m ringing the alarm bells too early, I want to share with you an email about this event I received earlier today. They literally compare it to George Floyd and falsely claim that Lyoya was unarmed (he was armed with the officer’s taser). They are going to use this all summer. Prepare yourself.
Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, where we will discuss and illustrate skills in the books series (go buy the books), as well as discuss current events. Next week, I will be doing a long form interview on the channel with a South African resident, discussing how preparedness helped people get through the riots there last year.
Also, check out the Future Conflict channel, where we discuss the deteriorating world situation every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9 AM and Saturdays at 7 PM.
Tell your friends about the books and our site. If you’d like to support our site and help fund our YouTube channel, please make a donation below.
Gathering a bunch of gear you’ve never used is a bad idea. Every single item in your preparedness gear stash needs to be something that you know how to use, have used, and can use without thinking or refresher courses. This goes for tents and radios, just as much as it does for simple things like rope. When was the last time you practiced tying knots? Knots that your life may depend on some day.
As always, I like my training and testing events to serve more than one purpose. Thursday, I did a 2.5-mile training ruck, but brought along some gear to test. First, rather than using my Patrol/EDC bag, I used my Get Home Bag. It’s mix of contents sits differently on my back and I need to train for that. I may need to traverse a long distance on foot in either rural or urban terrain wearing that pack, so it’s important to see how it feels and rides.
For this test, I added my new manpack radio. For those who aren’t veterans, a manpack radio is a longer-range, battery-operated radio meant to be carried in the backpack of your radio operator. This specific model is by TWAYRDIO, pictured below. There is also an Amazon affiliate link (I may make a small commission that supports our site) to the radio. It has, inside the case, a radio, a battery, an external speaker, and wiring for the antenna to be top mounted, allowing it stick out of the top of your backpack.
The radio itself is a Leixen VV-898 radio, mounted inside the box. You can run the radio plugged in or from the battery. An odd quirk of the way it’s built inside the box with an external battery, is that you cannot charge it while using it plugged in. It’s one or the other. In the absence of grid power, you could run this or charge this with the appropriately sized solar panels or vehicle power converter.
The radio is a bit touchy to program, but there is a CHIRP patch available on the CHIRP website. The memories aren’t configured like normal radios; there are two separate memory banks. Essentially, you have to program Channels 1-99 in Memory A, and 100-199 in Memory B. This is simple enough, but it means that you can’t monitor 2 channels from the same bank at the same time. You just have to program it so that the 2 you want to monitor are in different banks. Make sure that your handhelds have the same channel numbering scheme for COMSEC. It’s much more secure to tell someone over the air to switch to “121” than to say, “Switch to MURS 5” or “Switch to 146.235”.
The unit itself is sturdy and actually much more lightweight than any similarly sized military manpack radio. It has an external earphone jack and a manual switch to switch from the speaker to the earphone. The antenna has a standard SO239 antenna mount, and you can switch to your preferred antenna, as long as you have an adapter. For movement, I used the stock antenna, and would connect it to a roll-up antenna for use in a static position like an Observation Post or overnight site.
It has great reception and transmit, with 4 different power levels (5/10/15/25 Watts). It is VHF/UHF.
All in all it’s a great long-range patrol radio for patrol-to-base comms. It’s very lightweight and I didn’t notice any extra load. The only drawback is that you cannot swap out the battery, but I’ve been running it for 2 weeks with heavy receive and light transmitting, and it hasn’t died or gone low yet.
The next item I tested was the Outdoor Element Fire-Biner multitool. This great piece of kit came in my monthly BattlBox a couple of months ago (www.battlbox.com). In addition to working as a standard carabiner with a 100-pound weight rating, it has a flint spark wheel fire-starter built in, a bottle opener, a cutting blade for cutting cordage or fishing line, a 1/4 hex wrench, an oxygen bottle wrench, and a window punch tip.
I like every piece of gear I have to serve multiple purposes, and this one fits the bill nicely. I keep it attached to the top drag handle of my Patrol Bag or Get Home Bag, so that I hang my backpack by it, to keep it off the ground. Using some para-cord, you can make a loop around a tree and clip your bag, which should weigh well under 100 pounds, from it.
The spark wheel literally throws sparks a long way and works while wet. I purchased an accessory kit which attaches to the carabiner and holds 2 spare flint rods. It has a recessed screw, which allows you to move the flint as it gets shorter, until you need to replace it. I’ve bought a good supply of flint refills and keep some in my fire kit in my bag, and more with my re-supply box.
The last item I tested was the Tactica M020 camp tool. It’s not as high-tech as the Fire-Biner, but I keep this clipped to the outside of my bags as well, because it is useful as well and costs no weight.
It has a ferro rod, but frankly it doesn’t perform as well as other ferro rods. This tool has other features I like. It has a small cutting edge, a serrated rope cutting edge, and a bottle opener. It also can be used as a line tensioner for shelters.
Its best feature, though, is the built-in sundial. Rather than trying to make one yourself on the ground, simply place a small stick in the hole and read the dial.
While I like the Tactica M020, I’ll be honest and say that I would never have bought it myself; it happened to come in this month’s BattlBox and I’m glad it did. It’s a good piece of kit to have, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get one.
I hope that my experiences and reviews with this gear can help you make some decisions. Ironically, I have a quote from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook about that (I bet you thought I would forget):
Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
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A few years ago, my son asked me to teach a Concealed Pistol Class to him and his friends, to meet state requirements. They were all living in a rough part of town while going to college, so I agreed. While we were at the range portion, one of the young men was using a handgun he wasn’t familiar with and cut his hand. My son sprang into action, pulling a full first aid kit out of his range bag and bandaging the minor cut right away.
While minor, that incident was the fruit of growing up with a preparedness mindset and us spending countless hours on preparedness activities his entire life. It didn’t just happen.
Many in the preparedness lifestyle choose to just do it all themselves, rather than involving their children in the process. When you involve the child, even from a young age, in preparedness activities, it sets them up for life. It’s even in the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
This is a responsibility you can’t outsource. Today, the Boy Scouts don’t do much outdoor skills training. When my son was in it, while they went camping, they used full sized gas grills and got food from a central dining facility every day. Ashamed of what had happened to the organization, the Scoutmaster and I hatched a plan: “When Mr Coleman and Mr Dolio Were Scouts Weekend”. The boys went camping with no electronics, no grills; nothing but tents, coolers, and a grate for over the fire. After a night of grumbling on Friday, the boys came around in the morning, cooking over an open fire, learning land navigation, and then going on a long hike. When the weekend ended, the boys admitted it had been the best Scouting weekend ever, because they actually scouted.
For the record, when Lt Gen Sir Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scouts, it was meant to teach outdoor and para-military skills to boys to prepare them for military service. That’s why the motto was Be Prepared. I haven’t checked, but the new motto seems to be “Be Fabulous!”.
Back to the topic at hand, even the Bible says you can’t outsource the training of your children:
Fathers, do not exasperate your children;
instead, bring them up in the training
and instruction of the Lord.
You accomplish this by involving them in learning activities and planning sessions to get them to buy in and enjoy it.
Kids now spend most of their time indoors. When most of us were younger, we spent most of our lives outdoors. We played tag, hide and seek, built forts, and went exploring. These things trained us, whether we knew it or not, for preparedness.
Find activities that you can do with your kids that develop preparedness. Go camping and hiking as starters. Teach them about edible plants and dangerous plants. Go orienteering (using a map and compass). I used to give the kids a GPS pre-programmed with a course and a prize hidden at the end, to teach them to follow a route. Geo-caching is another fun activity.
Have each child build their own bag. Teach them what needs to go in it (clothing, first aid, flashlight, etc.) and give them the responsibility to keep it maintained. Each season, go through it with them and make seasonal changes.
Take a first aid course with your children. This is vital not just for preparedness, but also for home safety. If you fall off a ladder and only a child is home with you, you need them to be able to know what to do. Also, in a WROL situation, kids can be used in the medical section, rather than armed roles.
Age is also a reason that you should teach children how to prepare shelters. Imagine a family of two adults and two children moving cross-country in a WROL situation. At the end of the day, the kids can build a shelter or set up tents, while the adults maintain security.
For the same reason, children should be taught camouflage and fieldcraft from an early age. In the event of a violent encounter while the group is moving, the kids can be trained to also seek covered and concealed positions to hide in while the adults handle the threat. The kids should be trained to remain in place until the parents come back to them.
Another fun skill to learn with the kids is radio skills. Kids love to use radios. Rather than just letting them play with them, teach them to properly use them. Get them their own radios with limited features to teach responsibility. Learning how to build field-expedient antennas is fun and interesting. Again, your radio section is a great spot for kids to work in in a preparedness group, when they are too young to carry arms.
Trapping and fishing are also fun activities that kids can be involved in from a young age that build lifelong skills that will enable them to be self-sufficient. My fondest memories are of fishing with my dad and grandfather. I’ve been able to perfectly throw a cast net since I was 8 years old.
Teach your kids to garden. It’s a skill we are losing in America at an alarming rate, especially as we enter a period of food scarcity. When I grew up, my sister and I helped tend our “garden” at the cabin, which is best described as more of a small farm. As my kids grew up, they tended it too. Last week, while having dinner, my son and I discussed growing food and he told me he already was putting in several rows in his backyard, and that he’d love to put a few more rows in up at the cabin and spend the summer tending them. Bonus: Food Security and more Father-Son time!
Not only do these skills help train your kids to be more self-sufficient, but they also give you lifelong activities to do with your children. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Andrew and I have been hunting together since he was 12, as have me and my father.
Another area which modern kids are lacking is physical fitness. Face it, a by-product of our digital and electronic lifestyle is childhood obesity. Find activities that get the kids off the couch with you. A great way to do this is martial arts. You can’t join your kid’s baseball team, soccer team, or football team, but you CAN do martial arts together. Our entire family did it together. Martials arts gives you cardio, strength, self-defense skills, awareness skills, and self-confidence. It’s an absolute must in preparedness.
There is a book called “Playful Preparedness” which lists games and activities that you can do with your children to develop preparedness skills and attitudes. I highly recommend it. Below is an Amazon link (I may make a small commission off affiliate links, which are used to support the site).
I hope this article gives you a few ideas in which you can develop preparedness plans and skills with your children, to involve them in the process. It’s important though, that regular hiking with their packs be an on-going process, just like it should be for you, to get them used to moving on foot carrying a load.
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One of the biggest challenges we face in preparedness and trying to respond to situations is information overload. We have phones that provide us with instantaneous access to intelligence information that would have taken weeks or months to produce in World War 2. The problem, though, is the inundation of raw data and confusing that with intelligence product; they are not the same thing.
Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.
The best example I can give today comes from the Russo-Ukrainian War (also known as the Slavic Civil War). We are currently seeing raw data and raw video from Bucha. It’s horrendous and there were clearly war crimes committed there, and most likely by the Russians, but there has been no time to conduct thorough analysis. This hasn’t stopped the stopped the media from making pronouncements.
Let’s be clear, I’m using the incident to illustrate the concept of analysis, I am in no way claiming the Russians did NOT do it, in fact, I said above it’s highly likely that they did. We are going to look at how to analyze information using it as an example.
This is the scale we use to rate information. In the Bucha case, the video comes from the AFP, so we rate them as B, “Usually Reliable”. However, the AFP reporter was on a guided tour with a Ukrainian government agent, so we can’t give it a top credibility score. The Ukrainian side, as well as the Russian, has put out false information (like the Snake Island 13).
One point we must consider is “Who benefits”? The Ukrainian government would certainly benefit. This doesn’t make the information untrue, but it’s a consideration that should temper our analysis.
Now, Russians are known for their harsh treatment of civilians, so that would seem to move this up the reliability scale. The issue we have is that the Ukrainian government has also allowed, and in fact encouraged, the lynching and killing of suspected Russian collaborators, so we can’t immediately discount that possibility. Based upon these facts, we can rate the information that Russia committed the massacre as “Possibly True” or “Probably True” at best, since it is consistent with other information, yet not certain.
My rating on the raw data is B2, “Usually Reliable Source/Probably True”. The problem is that the media and western governments, without any investigation, is treating the information as A1 – “Completely Reliable and Confirmed by Other Sources”, which is just not true. The problem with this is that they are using it to drum up support for military intervention.
So, how can we prevent falling into this trap? By critically analyzing sources.
For example, one person told me he had “about 8 confirmed sources” that Russia DEFINITELY committed the atrocity. I asked him to please send me the sources. When he did, only 3 sources were sent, and in reading the documents, all three “sources” cited the same AFP raw video and interview with a Ukrainian security official as their source. In other words, rather than “multiple sources”, he had multiple people with the SAME SOURCE. This means only ONE SOURCE.
This is a common problem with intelligence analysis in the modern age and we call it “RUMINT” or “Rumor Intelligence”. That term started as a joke about people presenting rumors as facts, but it’s become a real thing. It’s also a real problem.
We need to always ask people for sources and then dig deeply into those sources to find the TRUE SOURCE, in this case a single report by a reporter with an agenda on a guided tour by others with the same agenda. This doesn’t mean it’s untrue, it means we need to wait for further information.
Also, check out the Future Conflict channel on YouTube, where I appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings (0900-1100 Eastern) and Saturday evening (1900-2100 Eastern). We discuss current and future conflicts and their impact on your preparedness. The channel can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/c/Kyoshi080. Like and subscribe.
Fast forward to 6 months after a collapse and you’re trying to manage intelligence for your Mutual Assistance Group. Your patrols all report that 3 different refugees walking along the freeway mentioned a large military group heading down the road. If your patrols were trained to ask those refugees where they got that information, you might find that they all talked to the same farmer along their route, who warned them. You just went from confirmed by three sources to only one source. You would then go to that source and make further inquiries to determine the truth, rather than running with the falsely confirmed information, which might put you at risk from another threat.
They do this by tactical questioning, which is covered in Chapter 6 of TW-03, Defensive Operations.
In uncertain times, the deluge of raw data flying at us can be scary and we need to be certain that we aren’t falling victim to the hysteria caused by “RUMINT”. In Doctor David Perrodin’s book, The Velocity of Information, he interviewed me regarding fighting this phenomenon during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when rumors of National Guard roadblocks & checkpoints and impending lockdowns were rampant. I pointed out that there is no substitute for sending someone you trust to go and confirm the information.
Another point Dr Perrodin makes is to have a “Member Check” network. This is a group of people you know and trust that you can call and ask for observations in their area, to either confirm or refute information. His book is FULL of solid preparedness advice on Human Thinking During Chaotic Times.
I hope these ideas help you navigate the information landscape. Learn to be critical of information, even if you want to believe it. Determine the true source and then find other true sources to verify information.
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Let’s get a little housekeeping out of the way…my dear amateur radio friends, please refrain from the hysterical screeching about how wrong I am until the end; I think you’ll admit that what I say here has merit. Also, if you feel the need to discuss the FCC in the comment section, please understand that we are talking about true WROL communications, so understand that I don’t care about the FCC then. Sorry, but if we are TRULY talking about WROL comms, the FCC is not an issue. Agreed? Cool.
Some advice from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:
Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.
The cold hard truth about WROL comms, which I take a lot of heat for, is that not everyone on your team needs to be a top-tier amateur radio guy and not every single person needs to have a $500-$600 handheld and a $1500 vehicle mount/base station radio. Sorry, amateur radio friends, but it’s true. Let me explain before you argue.
The VAST majority of your communication needs will honestly be INTRA-team communications. In other words, short range UHF-VHF comms among members of your team, relatively close to each other. The day-to-day communications will be everyone going about their business with their handheld radio in case they need to call for help or spread the alarm.
For example, the guys at your watch posts will have radios. A couple of people you send down to the local stream for water will need radios. Hunting parties…. radios. An OP 700 meters out, radios. None of these radios need to be a top of the line ultra-cool-guy frequency-hopping radio.
I know, encryption sounds cool. It makes you feel high speed. The truth is, I can achieve the same thing with my own brevity codes and code names for locations (I know, amateur guys – FCC says no codes – see above). Some of the push back I get on this is “but the government” or “them Russkies”; I assure you that you can’t buy any radio as a civilian that a nation-state can’t crack if they want to. The truth is, you aren’t that important and if a nation-state has localized you to the point that they are listening to your short-range comms, you’re done anyway. They’re already within a couple of miles of you and it’s only a matter of time.
I don’t say this to discourage, but to ENCOURAGE you all. Every time I get asked about radios for people just getting started and I recommend something like a Baofeng for new people, a bunch of very helpful, but highly discouraging Hams pile on, overwhelming that new person with a list of every $500 to $800 handset that is the BARE MINIMUM they need, and people get frustrated.
Here’s another tip:
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
Now, having said that (listen up ham guys), you definitely need a licensed and skilled amateur radio operator as your communications chief. This person can make sure that your team has a set of radios that they can use to make long range contacts and gather information from outside sources, scan for others, and coordinate with other like-minded groups, but NOT EVERY PERSON needs this capability. Find a solid radio hobbyist and make them your comms chief. My good friend NC Scout holds a series of great courses on WROL comms (we have one coming up in Michigan), check out his classes at http://www.brushbeater.org.
Yes, Hams, I get it. You are very enthusiastic about your hobby and very helpful. Sometimes, though, in your zeal you intimidate and discourage new people.
So then, what does the average team member need? Some type of handheld VHF/UHF radio for local comms. I personally have had no issues with the Baofeng, and to be fair, those who do are trying to use it for more than what it’s intended for. For basic, point-to-point communications in a local radius, it’s sufficient. No, it won’t go 20 miles, but no handheld will by itself. Any handheld that can accept VHF/UHF programming with 4-8 watts is all you need for each member.
I recommend programming in the standard FRS/GMRS/MURS frequencies, because we are trying to be accessible to the lowest common denominator. I recommend telling your team to each buy at least a Baofeng and avoid the Midland/Motorola bubble packs at Walmart/Target, but what if one family can only afford them? You don’t want to exclude them, so having commonality will help. Also, as the crisis continues and you pick up new radios, you may only find channelized bubble-pack radios as replacements.
The Baofengs, when paired with an APRS cable, can even be used for digital comms, allowing you to hit that 20 mile range for data, rather than voice. Patrols out, rather than sending back status reports by voice in the clear can send encoded data packets with checkpoints passed, or whatever you preplan. You need a written brevity code matrix. This just requires a computer or tablet (or even phone not hooked to service) to receive the data and decode into a usable form. NC Scout above and AMRRON (www.amrron.com) offer courses and videos on how to conduct digital communications.
For longer range INTRA-TEAM communications, you can either make more powerful base/vehicle units into battery-operated manpack radios (lots of YouTube videos on that) or you can buy something like the 25-Watt manpack radio shown below. It has an internal battery pack and can be carried in your ruck or backpack. I have this radio unit and it can certainly extend the range of your patrols, with the right antenna. Steve Hampton of the Michigan Patriot Radio Unified Network (MPURN) gave an outstanding demonstration of a unit and antenna combination he made, powered by a solar panel and battery, which made contact across the state of Michigan.
Again, you absolutely need at least one person with advanced skills and gear. This person should be a licensed amateur operator. With the right gear, they can make voice and data contacts all over the country, and all over the world. I won’t list the gear they need here, because they can make you a better list than I can, and they probably already own it all.
The point of this article was to try and bring some reality to the discussion that not every single person has to have the highest-end handheld that money can buy. The truth is that in a world without power and without complex communications network infrastructure, you won’t be using most of the features on those radios anyway. I know, I’m about to run afoul of my Ham friends, who are among the most helpful people you’ll ever meet, but the truth is, without consistent electricity, most repeaters and digital access points/networks will be DOWN and your $800 radio will be reverted to using the same features that a $69 radio uses. I’m sorry, but that is true FOR THE AVERAGE USER.
Once again, our most common use will be day-to-day security operations in a fixed location, which won’t be using repeaters anyway. We may send out a long-range patrol, but that patrol will be using short-range VHF-UHF to talk to each other, and some type of either digital communications or manpack radio to make longer range contacts.
You will have a true “Radio Shack” at your base of operations, where your radio chief can use all the ultra-cool guy stuff that he can muster the power for (which will be not very much).
I hope this helps those of you who can’t afford the newest and coolest radios understand that you will be just fine with the Baofeng or similar radios. Understand though, that they are NOT for long range use. Find an amateur radio operator to join your team for that, just as you will find a serious medic. Each person should have some skill in these areas, but not everyone must be top tier in all topics.
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As the war progresses in Ukraine and the country devolves into a total Without Rule of Law situation, the question has arisen: In a true WROL situation do morality and integrity matter? If civilization collapses, isn’t everything justified?
The answer is an emphatic yes, morality and integrity matter, and no, not everything is justified.
If the godly give in to the wicked, it’s like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.
Proverbs 25:26 (NLT)
The question arises because I’ve been pointing out integrity and morality issues on Twitter related to the behavior of troops on both sides, as well as civilians trying to survive in Ukraine. As I point these out, I get roundly mocked or called names for suggesting that in war and societal collapse, we should retain whatever semblance of honor we had.
Yes, I agree that Russia illegally invaded Ukraine. That doesn’t mean, however, that the Ukrainians can then justify beating prisoners who have surrendered on video or Ukrainian soldiers dipping bullets in pig fat. Likewise, the risk posed by resistance fighters doesn’t justify Russian units firing autocannons into civilian vehicles or bombing hospitals. We can retain our integrity and morality.
I recommend everyone get a copy of Resistance to Tyranny. It contains an excellent discussion of the Christian Just War Doctrine, which is a great guide for anyone in a WROL or “Resistance Fighter” situation.
But, what does any of this mean for us? We aren’t there, so what does this have to do with us?
We have to be able to trust that our fellow mutual aid group members will act in a moral fashion and with integrity. You need to be 100% certain that each member will stockpile the supplies you planned on, and then execute the plan when the time comes. You need to know that if they are going to be on guard duty, you can trust them to actually perform. You need to be able to trust that they won’t hoard food or steal from your own group.
The best predictor for future human behavior is past human behavior. Know the history of everyone in your group and vet anyone seeking to join. Ask them about attitudes. Listen to what they are saying. A great guide for organizing your group and vetting members is the Civil Defense Manual.
It should go without saying that anyone who plans on raiding others or looting to obtain supplies is not someone you should rely on, yet there are people, and entire groups, who say that this is their strategy. If your plan is to survive by stealing from others or locating stashes from others, you have a morality and integrity problem. Make a note of any people like this who try to join your group.
Recovering supplies from looting groups or any occupying force is not the same, and it would be wasteful not to. The difference is in intent. If your group has to take action to eliminate a looting band or ambush an occupying force, the intent wasn’t to steal supplies. It would be silly, in that case, to leave behind operable weapons, usable gear, or edible food. In fact, the Laws of Land Warfare (Hague/Geneva), which would treat your local mutual aid group as a “local militia”, considers this legal as “war booty”, including all non-personal property and weapons.
You may not call your group a militia (in fact, I encourage you NOT TO in the current environment), but both the Hague and Geneva III conventions (Geneva III, Art. 4(A)) define a militia as a group who:
Is commanded by someone responsible for the subordinates.
Has a fixed and distinctive sign (flag or patch).
Carries arms openly.
Conducts itself in accordance with the Laws of War.
I get a lot of comments that “there are no rules” or “we won’t be following the rules”. I caution you that if order is ever restored, having followed the laws of war and thus allowed yourself to be deemed a “local militia”, you gain yourself some powerful legal protection in the aftermath. Most of the laws of war are common decency and common sense anyway.
Another issue that the Ukraine War has brought up is the concept that the “enemy of my enemy is my friend”. This concept could not possibly be farther from the truth and in fact, historically, has been proven wrong nearly every time, in the long term. Having integrity and morality demands not associating with bad folks.
In 1979, Russia invaded Afghanistan. World media showed the fighting and atrocities and begged the world to aid the dedicated freedom fighters, known as the Mujahideen. The world asked for foreign fighters to flock there, and the NATO nations literally handed out billions of dollars in weapons to anyone who wanted to fight. We now know that some of the Mujahideen then became the Taliban and some of the foreign fighters became Al-Qaeda, led by a young man named Osama Bin Laden. The rest, as they say, is history.
In 1939, the Soviet Union and Germany signed the Non-Aggression Pact to allow them to partition Poland (the enemy of my enemy is my friend). A short time later, Germany broke the agreement and invaded the Soviet Union.
Today, we haven’t learned a thing. the Azov Battalion of neo-Nazis was formed in 2014 and we’ve had 8 years to tell Ukraine that if they want our funding, they have to disband the Nazi unit. We even wrote into one such funding measure that none of the gear could be given to Azov, but we removed that provision at the last minute, thereby giving our approval to the unit. China is already running stories in the Global Times (Mar 7th) tying US funding to atrocities committed by the Azov’s. We never learn.
For us, when our group is faced with danger, if another more “morally ambiguous” group offers to help us, we have to learn to decline that help. Others in the area will learn of your affiliation with the sketchy group and you will be painted with the same brush and potentially lose trade agreements or be targeted. Maintain your integrity by not associating with any group that doesn’t share your morality.
Remember what your ultimate goal is….survival and not falling victim to the depravations of others. What good is it if you become as bad as what you are resisting or protecting against? In fact, the Ultimate Tactical Handbook talks about this:
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
Make sure that your team and all of it’s members act with integrity and retain their morality, even if it’s unpopular to do so. Especially if it’s unpopular to do so.
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Last week, we talked about key civilian lessons from the Russo-Ukraine Conflict. Today, I would like to discuss some more. While the lessons are from the Ukraine conflict, they can be applied to any armed conflict, civil disturbance, or emergency in general. This brings us to today’s Tactical Wisdom:
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars,
but see to it that you are not alarmed.
The first topic is rumor control. Rumors are flying about atrocities on both sides and while some are true, most turn out to be false or exaggerations. The key thing here is to learn how to vet information. For example, if I see three different people who shared the same tweet, that’s not confirmation by 3 sources; it’s one source you’ve seen three times. That’s a vital distinction.
Another thing to note is the sheer abundance of “OSINT” or “Open Source Intelligence” accounts and what they mean. OSINT accounts are not automatically true. They are gathering information from the same sources you have access to, hence the term OSINT. They don’t have any exceptional access, it just sounds “official”. Our researchers at the Council on Future Conflict as well as our friends at Forward Observer (www.forwardoserver.com) have found that several of them have ties to Russian or Ukrainian military and are psychological operations designed to shape your opinion.
A great resource to learn how to handle rapidly developing events and the information they create is a book coming out on April 1st by my friend, Dr David Perrodin, called The Velocity of Information. It discusses human behavior and action in a crisis, and features a chapter written with input from yours truly, explaining how to verify information and sources. Doc does a great job presenting this whole chaotic phenomena and presents it clearly.
We have seen deaths at Russian checkpoints and many videos of civilians challenging occupying forces. There are also reports of Azov Regiment units killing people fleeing the city of Mariupol at checkpoints. This reminds me of situations in Iraq and Afghanistan during the GWOT where we had civilians shot for approaching our positions as well. For our purposes, it doesn’t matter which side is doing the shooting, what’s important is that we understand the danger.
War is a fluid and dangerous situation. The best option for civilians, as I point out in my books, is to AVOID checkpoints at all costs. During the unrest in KwaZulu Natal last year, we saw people stopping at checkpoints that later turned out to be armed robbery sites. You should never approach armed formations if you can avoid it, no matter how official they appear or which side they support. I say this because we saw Ukrainian police open fire on journalists. It’s a stressful time and all sides will be keyed up.
This danger doesn’t apply just at military checkpoints in wartime. We saw assaults at BLM roadblocks, and 2 homicides at ANTIFA checkpoints at the CHAZ/CHOP area.
Gather information from local sources on where checkpoints are. Talk to other people who have seen them or gather reports via radio. A great tool for this throughout the world is CB radio. Even during war and protests, truck drivers will be out and talking to each other. Listen in and gather information from their chat, warning each other of checkpoints.
As you are doing your area study and planning routes, make sure that you are avoiding areas in which checkpoints are common. These would be on main roads, near government or city center areas, and at freeway entrances and exits.
We are seeing lots of videos of civilians capturing looters and then taping or tying them to trees, stripping them, and beating them with sticks. While it seems right to punish looters, that’s not our role. It ceases to be self-defense once you have someone in custody, and it then becomes an assault. In most US States, using a stick makes it a felony assault and while citizens are generally authorized to make citizen’s arrests, they are never authorized to mete out punishment.
It’s important to retain our morality in a WROL situation. It is easy to envision ourselves as police, judge, and jury. It is a very short road from abusing prisoners to burning them at the stake. Retain your morality. Sure, they shouldn’t be stealing, but we also don’t get to assault people.
Remember, law and order will most likely be restored eventually. You will have to answer for what has happened. Our basis for protecting our property and local community is common law. Common law self-defense and citizen arrest principles allow us to use force to defend ourselves and a local community (militia/posse concepts), to detain lawbreakers and turn them over to the magistrate, but NEVER to punish offenders.
So, what can we do? Well, we can drive off looters as our first option. If they don’t leave at a show of force, we can detain them (forcibly if necessary), and under common law principles, remove them from the local area and send them on their way or turn them over to the authorities, if they are functioning. We should not be deciding on punishment ourselves. We are about defense, not punishment. Consult your local and state laws, but most follow these common law principles and in a WROL situation, we can revert to common law in the absence of functioning government and legal system.
We are also seeing civilians begin to protest occupying soldiers in many areas. While I completely understand, an occupying power is not likely to ever be swayed by protests and is likely to violently respond. They likely have orders to pacify the civilian populace and force is how that is accomplished. Protesting is dangerous and can lead to reprisals.
Am I saying don’t resist? Not even a little. I’m saying don’t do ineffectual things that draw attention to yourself. Our fourth volume, TW-04, Scouting & Patrolling, will introduce skills and tactics that will help. Rather than protest, locate a supply convoy and ambush it to destroy supplies. Conduct sabotage. Develop information for your national forces and get it to them. These things are far more effective than merely protesting.
Resist smartly, as well. There was a video this week of someone throwing a Molotov cocktail against the side of an armored vehicle. The liquid and flame bounced off the vehicle and back onto her and her compatriots. Don’t launch attacks you don’t have the skills for and learn what is effective first.
Occupying forces are handing out food and supplies and we are seeing long lines of people accepting the food. Remember what I’ve said about this, the moment you rely on anyone else for your food, you can be forced to do anything they want. Be self-sufficient. If you want to pick up extra food, sure, go ahead, but don’t RELY on handouts from either side.
A side issue to this is that your neighbors may brand you as a collaborator if you accept handouts. Every war in human history has involved people conducting retribution against whomever they perceive as a collaborator.
Truthfully, the best option is to get out of the occupied area and retain your own freedom of movement. I realize that is not always feasible, but if we are truly prepared, we should have a plan to get out of the area. If you intend to stay, you want to remain as gray as possible, to avoid drawing the attention of your occupiers. It might seem cool, as we saw this week, to be the guy with your local flag who jumps on an occupier’s vehicle, but the fun ends when they come get you in the night. Resist that temptation; you can better serve the resistance by being less vocal and more gray while observing and passing that information on.
As tensions begin to mount or civil disturbances increase in your area, develop a plan to either leave or go completely gray and unnoticeable.
I hope that discussing these issues help you plan and prepare.
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Today, I’d like to talk about where we are now, where things are headed, and what we should be doing. No, it’s not meant to be “fear-porn” or doom-saying; it’s meant to be a realistic look. Time to take off the blinders of normalcy bias and take stock of the REAL situation.
No, we aren’t going to focus on Ukraine, there is plenty of that nonsense literally everywhere. We will touch on it in one aspect near the end, though.
The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
First, let’s talk grains. China is buying up grain as fast as it can, and just two days ago, Hungary announced a ban on grain exports. With the war in Ukraine, fully one-quarter of the world’s grain market is at risk at well.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “But this is the US, we can cover our own grain needs.” Under normal circumstances, that is true. However, we’ve had two major fires at fertilizer plants in the US and there is a world-wide shortage of Urea (an element of fertilizer) already. These shortages have caused many US grain farmers to switch to soybeans, which don’t require as much fertilizer for good yields.
This means less grain produced domestically, at the same time less is available on the import market. Grain is also used to provide livestock feed, which will in turn lead to higher prices at the supermarket for beef, pork, and chicken. So, as you can see, we will be experiencing throughout 2022 and probably into 2023, serious food issues. We can feed our nation, but it will cost you a lot more.
To counteract this, first go out and buy canned foods and dry goods like beans, rice, and flour. Learn to cook things from scratch. It’s much easier to buy a loaf of bread than making it, but my entire time growing up I don’t think my grandfather ever bought one. It’s easier to open a box to make a meal but learn how to mix your own ingredients. You might laugh but ask someone under 25 how to make chili.
Buy and store heirloom variety seeds. Learning to grow your own food is a superpower and if you don’t start this spring, you may be hungry this fall. It may seem daunting, but I’ll remind you that US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was able to do it, so I’m CERTAIN you will too. Victory gardens were a key feature of food security during WW2, and they will be again. My Patriot Supply has a HUGE variety of seeds on their website. Use our affiliate link below (we may make a small commission here and on the Amazon affiliate links) and search “seeds”.
The other piece of your own food security is learning how to fish, trap, and hunt game. Also knowing how to process game into food is necessary. Learning to produce food is better in the long run than learning to store food.
West Texas Intermediate was trading at $115 a barrel on Friday. This is leading to $4-$7 a gallon at the pump across the country. This will only get worse in the short term. I know, the President said he’s secured a bunch of oil from Saudi Arabia, but that’s at best a 30-day supply, and at current prices, so it only PROLONGS the issue.
The price of gas and diesel gets factored into every product you buy. Whether it’s food at the grocery store, a new TV, or dinner at a restaurant, the cost of getting the product to you is passed on to you. Understand that it’s going to cost you more just to get to work, to bring home the same number of dollars, which will now buy you less.
How do we combat this? Well, growing your food and stocking a pantry with long-term shelf-stable foods allows you to spend less on food. I know I say it a lot, but if you aren’t filling up your car every night, you risk spending a LOT more on gas. We are seeing increases of 15-25 cents per gallon OVERNIGHT. Fill gas cans if you have them. Start getting used to walking more for local, short trips. Learn to enjoy sitting at home.
The FBI and CISA are issuing frantic alerts about potential cyber-attacks, and Ikea fell victim to one just the other day, impacting their ability to process credit cards. The warnings involve the financial sector, energy sector, and nearly every industry. There is no way of knowing which will be struck, so be prepared for power outages, credit and ATM systems to go down, and even oil delivery systems (like Continental). Have a communications plan, and it’s not a bad idea to have a few hundred dollars in cash on hand in case the credit card system goes down. Reminder – if the credit system is down, so are the ATM machines. Have the cash on hand NOW.
Here at the end, we’ll discuss the situation in the Ukraine, but only from a preparedness standpoint. In a few days, we’ll be releasing another “Lessons Learned” article. Today, I want to address the full court press by the media. The media is pushing for kinetic action (war) against Russia. Not only would this spur cyber-attacks by Russia against us, but it could lead to nuclear war. In fact, many in the media and in government are calling for a “limited nuclear strike” to convince Russia to back off. Yes, really. As if that’s even a thing.
This talk has led to Potassium Iodide being sold out everywhere and a renewed interest in Nuclear civil defense measures. I recommend the Civil Defense Manual by Jack Lawson, which has an excellent section on this. There is also excellent information at http://www.ki4u.com/.
The best thing we can do to prepare for war with Russia is remain aware of the possibility and to make your elected representatives aware of your opposition to it. Taking the other steps listed above for the other categories will help you in this area as well.
It’s time to put aside the “it can’t happen here” mentality and get to work on safeguarding and preparing your family for the rough times ahead.
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First, I hate saying I told you so, but I got all kinds of negative feedback on social media for my article, “The Russians Are Coming”, calling me alarmist and “fear-clickbait”. I was simply telling you that the Russians were indeed coming. February 23rd made perfect sense for a date because it’s the date of the Ukrainian Revolution in 2014.
Everyone has been glued to social media, watching the footage, hanging on every new video or report, most of which later turn out to be staged or false. What we are missing are the lessons we could be learning as people interested in preparedness.
The first lesson comes from stress. This situation is somewhat surreal, because on the first 3 days of the invasion, people were out walking around, going to the coffee shop, and appearing to go to work as gun battles raged around them. In one famous video, people are walking down both sides of the street, and cars are just driving down the road, as a Russian Tigr armed with a 12.7mm (50 cal) machine gun engages in a duel with a Ukrainian anti-aircraft vehicle. The two are blazing away with machine guns and spraying rounds, as people just calmly drive past. Surreal.
We’ve seen videos of people in cars ran over by tanks and civilians wounded by fire. Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu applies here. Stay off the roads in contested territory.
So, if there is a riot, or (God Forbid) large scale combat action (even domestic conflict), do not be out on the streets. If you must move, stay off the street. As I point out in TW-02 Fieldcraft, move either through backyards or through the interior of buildings. If at all possible, move only at night. Use your basement and get below ground level if you can.
Please do not be like this guy. He picked up a land mine and carried it off into the woods. You never see the ending of the video, so I don’t know if he survived, but this is just plain dumb. It’s not brave; it’s foolhardy. He is lucky, because most land mines have anti-tamper devices which will go off the minute you move it. He’s also, again not smart, smoking a cigarette while doing this.
As soon as Putin made his now-famous speech about recognizing Donetsk and Luhansk as independent countries, people flocked to the stores and emptied the shelves. By day 3 of the invasion, riots were breaking out at government food distribution points, proving once again that my 72-hour theory is solid. The same happened with gasoline. The time to stock up is NOT when enemy forces are approaching, or when the riots start, or when the lights go out. It’s now.
Random bombings and stray rounds are causing a lot of civilian casualties. Have a high quality and fully stocked first aid kit available. Sure, you might have enough gear to treat someone until an ambulance comes, but what if the ambulance can’t come until daylight due to rioting or hostile action? Do you have the supplies and skills to stabilize and maintain a critical casualty for 12 hours? Start developing it.
Looting began almost immediately. Have a security plan. What we are seeing, as the photo at the top shows, are neighbors banding together to secure their neighborhoods, not just from the Russian invaders, but also from looters and thieves. Do you know your neighbors? Have you developed a plan and trained together? These are things you need to work on. TW-03, Defensive Operations deals with this specific topic. Jack Lawson’s outstanding book set, the Civil Defense Manual (www.civildefensemanual.com) has step-by-step instructions for setting up a “Neighborhood Protection Plan”.
The Ukrainians don’t have a Second Amendment, and the government began a crash program to issue firearms to citizens to assist in resisting the invasion and self-protection. In America, we’d already be well on the road to being self-sufficient for security, but this event teaches a valuable lesson about having an armed citizenry.
This is illustrated with what happened to the Chechen Expeditionary Force that entered Ukraine yesterday. The Chechens are well-known for their counter-insurgency tactics, which really results from them being the only armed people in unarmed societies. There were videos of them fist-bumping and trash-talking before they crossed the line and started moving into Ukraine. A couple of hours later, they are on social media complaining about having been driven off their objective because the resistance was fierce, and one of them said “even the trees have rifles”.
One of the most common comments I get is people saying, “I don’t want to play soldier”. Well, when a crowd of rioters show up, or any hostile force (foreign or domestic) does, you can’t learn the skills in 5 minutes. Our lesson here is to develop a security plan. Own and train with firearms as much as your local legal system allows and FIERCLY defend those rights from politicians. Ukraine should put an end to the debate, but it won’t.
Another lesson comes from radio. The Ukrainian government ordered all Amateur Radio to not broadcast, because they didn’t want anyone accidentally giving the Russians information. This hints at the power of radio listening. Have a capability to scan radio frequencies in your area to gather information. Log that information and look for trends.
Interestingly, the Ukrainian National Guard ambushed a Russian patrol and recovered a Baofeng UV-82 handset from inside one of the Russian Tigr vehicles. I’m sure it’s not issued and the squad members probably bought them themselves, but it goes to my point of using Baofengs for short-range intra-team tactical communications.
Evacuation planning is another lesson learned. There is grid lock from the Poland border for nearly all the way back to Kyiv, and enemy soldiers are beginning to mix with evacuation traffic. Once again, this is caused by everyone flocking immediately to the freeway, the high-speed route, to escape. Your plans should NEVER involve using the freeway unless you leave long before everyone else.
I always say that if you evacuate at the first hint of danger, you can always come back if it turns out you didn’t need to. The opposite, waiting to leave later when you should have left, is not always true. You might not ever get out or you may have to abandon your vehicle.
In 2008, civilians waited for a government order to evacuate Gori, Geogia, which never came. The people panicked when Russian fighters bombed the city and artillery began falling. There was only ONE bridge leading out of the town. It became clogged with traffic and the Georgian police were ordered to clear the bridge so that the police could escape to be used to defend the capital, Tblisi. Rather than obey orders to drive over civilians, the police with their small arms turned around and attempted to fight off the Russian armor and mechanized infantry. Russian bombers destroyed the bridge to prevent the Georgian police from escaping, killing many civilians in the process. Failing to evacuate early caused this tragedy.
Right now, plan out four routes away from your home and work. These routes should avoid known chokepoints like narrow bridges, interchanges, and major intersections. Try to use back roads. Develop them now and drive them. Maintain this as part of your Area Study. Also, make sure the route avoids targets like police and fire stations, and government offices. Major shopping areas should be avoided as well.
The last point is more of a caution than a lesson because the bad part hasn’t happened yet. We are seeing video after video of people filming combat columns from their windows. While it makes for great social media content, it’s a good way to get shot. Imagine being a 19-year conscripted soldier (draftee), driving down a road in a hostile country. You see movement at a window and notice someone with something in their hand pointing at you…what would you do? Swivel your PKM machine gun around and put 20 rounds through the window.
But we have to look out right? Buy a trench periscope. They are relatively cheap and readily available. It allows you to lay on the floor but extend the top lens up to the window. It probably won’t be seen, but if it is, I’d rather have the lens shot out than my eyes.
We will do another installment in a couple of days where we will discuss dealing with rumor control and other civilian lessons learned in Ukraine.
If you weren’t aware, I appear on the Writers Fix Problems YouTube channel as a member of the Council on Future Conflict. At the moment, we are doing daily 9 AM (Eastern) shows to cover developments, and a weekly show every Saturday at 7 PM.
I am also considering my own channel to share short videos on preparedness skills and gear. If you’d like to support that new project (cameras aren’t cheap), please make a donation below.
When things go bad, communication is often the first thing to go. Even if the cell phone network is still up, it doesn’t take much to overload it. A high volume of calls and lots of people streaming video, and suddenly you are without voice communication.
I am by no means an expert on these topics, many others are better qualified. If you’d like to expand beyond the very basics that I’m about to discuss, I’d check out my friend NC Scout at http://www.brushbeater.org or check out http://www.amrron.com. In fact, NC Scout holds classes throughout the US and even has one planned here in Michigan (what a coincidence!!) in the near future. Check out his training calendar.
When it comes to communications, the Ultimate Tactical Handbook speaks of the power you can wield if you are able to communicate with your team:
The tongue has the power of life and death.
While this is traditionally translated to mean be careful in how you talk to others, the opposite is also true; if I can’t warn my friends of danger, they could be at risk. Being able to communicate gives you literally the power of life and death.
First, understand that even if you don’t have voice communications, text and messaging apps use far less bandwidth and could be used. NC Scout also recommends the Signal app for mid-level comms (it’s not secure) and Wire for more secure comms. But the point of this article is to move us beyond cell phones.
Face it, the cell phone is a tracking device. It gets more and more that way every single day. So, let’s plan on moving beyond that.
A more secure method for using these apps is a WiFi only tablet, as long as you’ve removed Android from it and replaced it with something like Graphene. Taking the added step of routing your traffic via TOR or some other secure browser, you can send fairly secure messages.
With no electricity and no grid power, our options become more limited and given the conflict in Ukraine and raising tensions with China, this is a REAL danger. The US Admin seems bent on getting involved, and that will cause cyber issues here. You need to have a plan.
The first option is radio, and you can have several levels. First, getting an amateur license is a good way to be prepared. Yes, my Sad Ham friends, I actually said that. Just because I choose not to is not a reflection on Amateur Radio. If you have an amateur license, you have access to all kinds of radio spectrum and options, allowing you to communicate.
However, over-reliance on Amateur Repeaters is going to cause a problem. When the power goes out, it will be expensive and nearly impossible to keep most high-powered repeaters online. Develop a simplex (non-repeater) plan for your group.
The first level is local inter-group communications. You can mostly use low powered VHF/UHF for this since you will be getting together and being less than a mile from each other. License free options are even good for this, like FRS or MURS in America and PMR in Europe. Yes, Sad Ham’s, I’m aware of the power limits, but if the power is out and riots are happening, I doubt the FCC will be issuing fines.
You could add 25- or 50-watt vehicle radios to boost power, but you’re not really adding to range, you’re adding to CLARITY. These radios are generally still line of sight. My plan involves vehicle radios like the TYT TH-9800 that NC Scout recommended (see above). To increase range, you need to raise your antennas higher above the ground.
Set up a channel plan for your group to check in with each other. If you have group members living a bit farther apart, you can relay signals. The farthest person reaches one person, then that person relays the message to the next, and so on.
For longer range communications, HF radio is better. For more detail on these, check the resources listed above. I recommend HF for group-to-group communications. For example, you can arrange a weekly check in with a neighboring preparedness group via HF.
CB Radios, while the Amateur Radio world scoffs at them, have value and it’s getting better. CB can now broadcast on FM as well as AM and there are now higher quality handheld units. For vehicle use, SSB (Single Side Band) units can get you far better range than standard. I know a lot of people mention truckers using them, but in a WROL society, will there be a lot of truckers? Also, truckers are a GREAT source of information at least listening to them will help.
I did some scanning and here in Detroit, only 4 or 5 channels are in use. That leaves you 35 or 36 channels to choose from. It’s a good option for convoy operations or patrol options in open terrain.
The Channel 3 Project is vital to your preparedness plans. This AMRRON project suggests listening to the License-Free Channel 3’s every hour from 2 minutes before the hour to 2 minutes after the hour. This includes FRS 3, CB 3, and MURS 3. This way, like-minded people can seek help and information from others. For example, if your group was moving on foot and approached a town, you could wait and attempt to make contact at the top of the hour via Channel 3 with like-minded people, to find out the best route through or around, or where a safe haven for the night might be. Include the ability to monitor these in your planning. The Project also suggests monitoring or calling on 146.420, but that would require a license and I know NOT ONE of you would ever do that, right?
Another key piece of your plan could involve data communications by radio. Data travels far farther than voice transmissions do, and with an APRS cable, you can connect your computer to the radio and send text, similar to email or SMS. The Michigan Patriot Unified Radio Network has been doing some research here, and I’ve received data messages from 20 to 30 miles distant on a Baofeng handheld. MPURN (https://mpurn.wordpress.com/) and AMRRON have more information on data communications.
Radio listening will be key. No license is required to ever listen. Learn via RadioRefence.com what frequencies are active in your area and listen to them for intelligence gathering. Ever since it’s invention, people have received news of wars and emergencies via amateur shortwave radio. It is so powerful and useful that as soon as Russia invaded, Ukraine banned the use of amateur radio to prevent Russia from listening to reports. Get at least the capability to RECEIVE.
Visual signals can be a backup to radio. If you can’t make radio contact, you could have visual signals pre-arranged. You could post an orange panel (you should keep one handy) in a window as a signal, or your group can develop covert signals. For example, you could leave a particular mark on a wall that other members would be responsible for checking every day if they don’t have radio contact. You could have multiple symbols with different meanings. At least one should be a danger warning to keep others from coming to your location, in the event of a forced communication, a “duress code”.
A final piece is the need for a “LOST COMMS” plan. If no contact can be made by any of the other methods, all team members should meet at a designated location at a certain time. For example, one of my friends has a plan that if there is no communication for 14 days, everyone in his group should meet at the public library at noon on the next Sunday. Yours could be that if no one has heard from the group within 7 days, each family starts making their way to a specific rally point, like a parking lot or known location to meet up and begin movement to a bug out location. Whatever it is, make sure it’s known and practiced.
Whatever you decide, use the PACE model to develop a written plan. Primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency. Using the above information, we might have the following plan:
Primary: VHF Radio Voice
Alternate: VHF Radio Data
Contingency: HF Radio/CB Radio
Emergency: Visual Signals, then Lost Comms Plan
In our new “Contacts and Notes” Tactical Wisdom Companion, you can list radio contact frequencies in your Contacts pages and in the Team Planning pages. You can also use the PACE Planning pages to develop your Comms Plan using the PACE Model. The book is available signed at the Books tab on this site, or from Amazon.
I hope this post helps you create urgency in setting up Communications Plans.
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Without getting into the political aspects, the events unfolding in Canada carry vitally important lessons for those of us interested in preparedness.
First, the changes that they are making to their Terror Financing Laws under the Emergencies Act Declaration are draconian and PERMANENT. In other words, as Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said, even when the Emergency is over, the new measures REMAIN. These measures include freezing the assets of ANYONE who is involved in “unlawful activities”, including traffic violations like blocking a road. Those assets can then be seized.
Another permanent feature is the regulation of crowdfunding. The new powers will allow the Government of Canada to immediately force crowd funding sites to disclose to them anyone who donated to any fund they determine is related to “anti-government activity” and will consider those people to be financing terrorism. They can immediately freeze and then seize those funds.
I know, you’re thinking, what does that have to do with me? Simple, I guarantee you Merrick Garland is watching this closely. Certain lawmakers in America are cheering these moves on. It’s just a matter of time.
Some of you are thinking: But I’ll use Crypto. Wrong. Freeland also issued herself authority over crypto, claiming it is being used to “fund white supremacy”. Sure, she can’t take it, but she ordered all “payment processors” to report any crypto transactions, which will lead to charges and seizures, and you need a payment processor to convert your bitcoin to gasoline or food at this point.
If you think that problem is local to Canada, I warned two days ago that the US would use the same playbook and this morning there are news stories (probably untrue) about people using crypto to buy racist NFT’s of George Floyd. Understand this: They are weaponizing claims of racism. If you claim something is racism, any measure is on the table to stomp it out and any opposition to those measures mean you must support racism.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Of more immediate concern to us, however, are actions taken by police BEFORE the Emergencies Act was invoked. Three specific actions, which were unlawful under Canadian law.
First, the order that no person would be allowed to bring gasoline, food, or water into the protest zone. You can’t establish that gasoline will be used for any unlawful purpose, so it’s impossible to justify. Nevertheless, we saw police officers seizing gas cans and cases of water. What government says that there is any circumstance in which you cannot provide food to hungry people? While this was in Canada, we saw similar actions in the US during the Summer of 2020.
Second, once the Supreme Court of Canada ordered the police to return the unlawfully stolen gas (make no mistake, the police stole that gas), people put the gas in their vehicles, and then the vehicles stopped working. Thousands of dollars of damage was done. The Ottawa Police, when asked, admitted that they sabotaged the gas to disable vehicles. There was no legal basis for this.
I’m not attributing malice in these acts; I’m sure the police thought they were “restoring order” for the greater good. The point for us is this: These police easily justified breaking the law because they wore a badge. Never forget that.
The third incident is even worse. Members of the RCMP in Coutts approached a farmer about some earth moving equipment on his property, He told them he gave the owners of the equipment permission to park them on his property. These vehicles HAD NOT been used in the protest at all. The farmer agreed to an RCMP request to move the equipment out of view of the road, thinking it was over a safety concern. The RCMP then snuck onto the property that night, removed all the fuel filters, cut gas lines and wires, and filled the engine compartments with foam.
The next morning, when the owners found the damage, they called the RCMP who smugly reported that they did in fact sneak onto private property to disable the vehicles to prevent them from being used in the protest. These vehicles cost over a hundred thousand dollars each and they disabled three of them, without a court order, on a third parties property. This is equivalent of the police arresting you in case you MIGHT start selling drugs. Be aware of this.
You might think this would never happen in the US with our 4th Amendment, right? Well, Canada has a similar provision. Also, I’ll point out that the courts ruled that the initial shootout between Randy Weaver’s group and federal agents that left a US Marshal dead was LAWFUL self-defense because the US Marshal Service unlawfully snuck onto Weaver’s property and there was testimony that it was a standard USMS practice to illegally enter rural properties.
Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.
The lessons for us are this: The law enforcement agencies at all levels exist to protect government interest, not the citizens. You might think that’s extreme, but it’s actually from a US Supreme Court decision which said that the police have no duty to protect anyone. This is why we are seeing police throw parents out of school board meetings for disagreeing with the government position.
We prepare to be self-sufficient, not take any particular side. Therefore, we must realistically realize that the more polarized society becomes, whichever party is in charge gets to use the police to enforce their will on the others. It’s wrong no matter which side does it, but for US, the effect is the same.
We must rely on ourselves for security and understand that badges don’t automatically make one virtuous or right. There is a video today of a police officer in Ottawa striking a woman for filming him. There is horrendous video of horseback officers running over a woman using a walker on Friday.
These actions in Canada increase the risk of civil conflict and civil disorder. We must prepare to deal with those effects and continue to observe what new powers increasingly desperate governments give themselves.
What sounds like defending democracy can often actually be creating tyranny.
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I know, your favorite media personalities told you today that everything is fine, because the Russians are withdrawing and have announced that their exercises are over. I assure you, though, the Russians are indeed coming. I ask you to remember all the way back to last month, when Russia made a similar statement, yet never left. Also, just yesterday all the media companies breathlessly told you that an additional 14 BTG’s (Battalion Tactical Groups) were on the way to the border.
Russia is where tactical & strategic deception was born. Remember 2014, when Lavrov was telling everyone that he had no idea who the “little green men” crawling all over Crimea were? We learned a few days later that they were Russian Naval Infantry (Marines). Why does everyone keep taking them at their word? It’s Charlie Brown and Lucy Van Pelt with the football all over again.
The above satellite photo is over the Pripyat River in Belarus. The river is less than 10 miles from the Ukrainian Border, inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone. 24 hours ago, there was no bridge. This photo shows a brand-new tactical pontoon bridge from the north side of the river to the south, in the direction of the border. If the exercises are over and the troops are leaving, why do they need a bridge in a remote area, heading to Ukraine?
The answer: The Russians are coming.
The prudent see danger and take refuge;
But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
As I am writing this, there are internet outages and cyber-attacks on-going throughout Ukraine. They began this morning and have been getting worse.
OK, but what does this mean for us? There are a series of actions that I recommend everyone take immediately. The potential for Russian, Belarusian, or Chinese cyber-attacks in the US to slow our response is high. The US government has issued several urgent warnings about this in the past 48 hours. These attacks have the ability to impact your daily life.
In addition to attacks, the impact to the markets will be severe enough to impact your life. WTI Crude Oil is currently trading at $92 a barrel and hostilities will drive that above $100, causing high prices and long lines at the gas pump.
Let’s start there. I know I say it a lot, but it’s important. Fill up every vehicle and gas can that you have. Not just as a hedge against increased prices but remember the effects of the Colonial Pipeline hack. An attack against our electrical grid will also prevent you from getting gas out of the pumps as well. You will use the gas either way, so buying now just makes sense. Double check where your gas siphon pump is, and if you don’t have one, buy one.
Take some cash out of the bank to have it on hand. One target of hackers could be the payment processing systems or networks, which will not only prevent you from making credit and debit card purchases, but it will also disable ATM’s, making it impossible to later get cash. If nothing bad happens, you can always put the extra cash back. The opposite is not true.
Buy extra batteries. Even if nothing happens to the grid, batteries are good for a few years and it’s better to have them than not. Again, you’ll eventually use them either way. If you have rechargeable batteries, charge them all right now.
Check your pantry. You need to have at least 30 days of non-perishable food on hand. If you don’t, head to the grocery store or the dollar store and buy some. Like everything else, if you don’t need it now, you’ll eventually eat it. Also, make sure you have an alternate method of heating food, especially if you have an electric stove. You can start a gas stove with a match if needed.
As far as water, remember that you can’t store enough. Sure, fill every container and water bottle that you can, but understand that you need a source of on-going water, and you need the ability to purify water. The best way, despite our modern wizardry, remains bringing it to a rolling boil for a few minutes. You can also use filters or tablets if you choose but figure it out now.
A caution on water: If you still have water service, but the power is out, BOIL YOUR WATER first. When the power is out, the pressure system that prevents untreated and treated water from mixing can fail easily. It’s better to just boil water to be safe.
Pre-stage lanterns and flashlights throughout the house in case it’s dark when the power goes out. This can save you from a dangerous accident.
Ensure that you have fully stocked first aid kits. Check your home kits, your vehicle kits, and any first aid kits that you might have in your Get Home Bag or the like. Check the first aid kits in the building where you work. Consider these as “back up” kits. If the power goes out and things are bad, you can stock up your aid kit from them. If there are injuries at work from an incident before you leave to head home, use the work kit and not your own to treat any injuries.
Double check your Get Home Bag supplies. This would include making sure that you have a change of clothes/shoes if you work in dress clothes. The time to remember that you took a piece of kit out of the bag is not when you need the item.
It’s a good time to review your Get-Home Plan to make sure it’s still viable and makes sense. Make sure that someone else knows what your plan is in case you are overdue in getting home.
Reach out to your family and your preparedness group to verify communication plans. Ensure that everyone knows the proper channels and times to make contact and starts carrying their radio. That’s vital, a radio does you no good if it’s not carried. Also, develop a lost communications plan. For example, if no one has heard from each other in 4 days, they should all meet at a central location at a certain time. Keep your radios charged.
Ensure that you have at least some type of shortwave radio with SSB (Single Side Band) reception capability to learn about events from others. A better answer is a full-on amateur radio and license to communicate back and forth. Make sure this gear is fully charged.
Know where your main junction box, your gas connection, and your water connections are, so that you can turn them off if there are long term disruptions.
Finally, have a plan to deal with people behaving badly. You need a plan for security. Once you’ve prepared all these supplies, you need a plan to hold on to them. Your neighbors might be the nicest people today, but how will they be on their 5th day without food? Have a plan to keep a low profile, and a plan to defend yourself and your property. Don’t be afraid to protect yourself if it is needed.
Let’s all hope that no attacks happen here, but as I always say, remember that hope is not a successful strategy. Plan for the worse, and if nothing happens, then you are good. The opposite is not true.
I hope this helps you prepare for what might happen and triggers some thinking and action on your part.
As a reminder, our Companion Book, the Contacts and Notes notebook is available on Amazon.
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While working on Tactical Wisdom Volume 4, I got a lot of questions about how to apply and organize the steps and information in the first three volumes. An idea was hatched by the smartest person on the team (which is clearly not me) to create a companion book. A Contact and Notes organizer for people to begin planning and organizing their team and their defense. A way to keep it all in one place.
Write therefore the things that you have seen,
those that are and those that are to take place after this.
That’s not bad Tactical Wisdom. In a WROL of situation, you’re going to want to write things down, so why not have a place to start with planning out your team and your defensive operations?
The book has sections to list all your preparedness contacts, whether they are team members or allies. It also has specific pages to begin filling out your team. There is a page for your overall team, and then pages for each of your sub-teams like medical, security, supply, etc. Here’s a sample:
There are also blank lined pages for recording notes and observations, along with dot grid pages for sketches, and Range Card pages for planning out your defense. At the very back is a handy quick reference with all of the abbreviations and acronyms from the first three books to help you remember.
This book is designed to go out into the field and use daily. I recommend using a pencil, so that you can make changes later. Also, getting it ring-bound is not a bad idea. the publisher didn’t offer that as an option, or I would have made them come that way.
A caution is included: Any time you write down your plans, protect them. Once filled out, the book should be treated as highly confidential and never left unattended or unsecured.
Aside from our notebook, you should also have other notetaking materials. I personally recommend the outstanding Rite In The Rain tactical notebooks. They are in a convenient size, and waterproof. You will need one of their pens or a pencil to write on the paper, however. I have a ridiculous number of these books.
They also sell waterproof range cards, which I use, even for hunting. They are index card size folded closed and fit in an armband available from my friends at battleboard.us. I have a pretty good supply of Rite in the Rain Index Cards for general notetaking as well.
As I keep saying, don’t underestimate your need to write things down or even to keep a journal in a WROL situation. Both Fernando Aguirre (Argentina) and Selco Begovic (Balkan War) took the notes that they wrote while living in WROL societies and turned them into books to help others, after they got away from the situation. Their lessons learned have helped countless others prepare.
As far as TW-04, Scouting & Patrolling, writing is underway as well as research. We are taking materials from the usual US doctrine, like the USMC Scouting & Patrolling Handbook, The Ranger Handbook, NSW SEAL Tactics, & Infantry Squad & Platoon Operations, along with various Commonwealth of Nations materials (Canadian Patrolling, Canadian Ambush/Counter-Ambush, British Small Unit Patrols, Australian Patrolling), and various historical books like the original Scouting and Patrolling by Col Rex Applegate and then modifying them to meet our reality. For example, all of those military volumes have as responses calling for artillery or armor support, but you & I will not (most likely) be in a position to do that. We won’t be able to wait for a larger QRF in armor to come and save us.
So, the book will modify the tactics to represent what we, as self-defending civilians, will have the capability to do. HINT: It isn’t making an immediate assault on a bunker complex. Sure, I could write that into the book and take your money, but I wouldn’t be helping you be REALISTIC. Yes, there will be plenty of offensive tactics, because the best way to protect your redoubt is to deal with hostile activity farther away from it.
I know, I hear it all the time, “But I don’t want to play soldier”. Well, we don’t want Western Civilization to totally collapse either, but we have to play the hand we are dealt. If you want to survive in a WROL situation, you have to play the game that is on the field, not the one you want. You can’t play baseball by football rules (although it might be interesting).
Developing and having the skills, and then never needing them is FAR PREFERABLE to never developing the skills and having 25 looters show up.
Also, don’t rely on the federal government, either. They are more likely to arrest you for “Hoarding” and seize your stuff. The government showing up to rob you is even worse than looters or bandits doing it.
Check out our notebook, buy additional paper and writing utensils, and stay tuned for TW-04.
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My friend Mike Shelby over at Forward Observer (find them at: forwardobserver.com) talks a lot about Gray Zone Conflict. The Gray Zone is that space between peace and war that we used to refer to as a “Cold War”. Gray Zone is a much more fitting name, because in many aspects, Gray Zone Conflict can be quite hot. Attempting to burn down an occupied federal building for 100 nights straight, for example, is not exactly “Cold War”, is it?
America finds herself in a Gray Zone civil conflict now, with at least three sides. On one side is the United States Government, which like all governments, wants mostly to protect itself and it’s budget. On another side are the Marxist Revolutionaries. Oh, you’ve never heard of them? That’s because they are hiding behind clever names like Black Lives Matter and Anti-Fascist Action. Make no mistake, both call for a violent Marxist Revolution to overthrow the United States (I’ve heard them say it myself). On the third side are American Conservatives fed up with the disregard for the US Constitution.
Notice I didn’t call them the “right” because most are actually CENTRISTS. That’s right; they’re not the far right the MSM keeps telling you they are. I keep encountering former both right- and left-wing people in this third group. The far right has it’s own issues and is honestly not more than a fringe party in this.
Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees
Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a National Threat Advisory System bulletin. In it, they reported an increase in the domestic terror threat. They introduced a new term “MDM” or “mis, dis, or mal-information”. Boy, this encompasses a lot. It’s so broad as to be undefinable, and that’s intentional. They mentioned specifically conspiracy theories and misleading narratives. They say that this is the biggest threat, because it decreases faith in the United States Government.
I would like to point out that the United States was conceived and founded by men who DEMANDED that you not put blind faith in the government, but I digress.
The bulletin goes on to specifically call out misleading information related to the 2020 election and COVID-19 control measures and makes the claim that this problem led to several domestic terror attacks in 2021. I, personally, wasn’t aware that the Waukesha vehicle attack was related to election fraud, but what do I know?
Here’s the danger: calling free speech about COVID 19 measures and the potential for election fraud “incitement to terrorism”, which this bulletin does, violates the United States Constitution. If someone feels that COVID 19 measures are not effective, they should be allowed to say so. Same with election fraud. Review that piece of Tactical Wisdom above that Isaiah laid on us. This bulletin is an oppressive decree as it asks people to report anyone “spreading MDM”.
Yeah, but what does that have to do with us, training for preparedness? EVERYTHING.
This man, Christopher Arthur, runs Tackleberry Solutions. They are a training company in North Carolina that will train you to defend your home in the event of a WROL situation. They offer classes in home defense, protection dogs, and “engineering”. He was arrested today and charged with providing training manuals that could be used to booby trap your home with bombs in case the FBI or police raid you.
While that seems logical on it’s face, I wrote a book on how to defend your home from looters (but I didn’t include bombs). What’s the difference? Admittedly, I haven’t seen all the evidence, but again this smacks of entrapment. There are instructors and classes like this all over the US.
Interestingly, books on how to build bombs, like the Anarchist Cookbook, have been around for decades and have traditionally been protected by the Supreme Court under the First Amendment.
I don’t tell you this because I think this guy is a stellar character, I’ve literally never heard of him. I tell you this because it’s yet another sign of our downward spiral and our setting aside of the US Constitution to push a narrative about domestic threats.
On the flip side, outside the home of the Minneapolis Mayor over the weekend, a Black Lives Matter protestor called for open warfare, bombings, arson, and looting. He said that the only reason Chauvin was in prison was because they burned down a police station. He urged people to not merely protest, but “go to war”. He told them to not march but to burn and bomb buildings and loot, and to “abolish” police. That person has not been arrested, because it was “free speech”.
We must remember that we ARE in a period of Gray Zone conflict and that we cannot rely on Constitutional protections anymore. Just today, a congressman reported that his staff came across three US Capitol Police Intelligence Section going through their office disguised as a construction crew. I get it, some people said it happened back in November, but that doesn’t change the facts of the case.
I urge you to be careful. It’s very easy to get caught up in the moment and say something, especially online, that could quickly be turned into something else. Guard your tongue, mostly.
Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
Be careful when sharing details of training classes you’ve attended or your overall preparedness plans. We know that one indicator listed by the DHS as a sign of potential domestic extremism is an interest in preparedness. Guard your lips. Everyone loves to post photos in discussions about gear and that is giving others evidence for an affidavit. I know, the Second Amendment is a thing, but I’ve read so many indictments that mention online photos of guns and gear as evidence of “extremism”.
The affidavit against Stewart “Fed” Rhodes lists dozens of lawful firearms, ammunition, and gear purchases as evidence that he was going to overthrow the government. Be careful what you share.
Understand that there is a concerted to effort to paint anyone who does not 100% support the current administration or COVID 19 rules forever as a terrorist and therefore remove more and more of your rights.
At the same time, other forces are preparing to push for more violent direct action that has the potential to impact your life directly. You need to balance self-defense with the understanding that the laws are no longer on your side.
Confusing, right? Hard to know what to do, isn’t it?
That is Gray Zone Civil Conflict. Protect yourself by protecting your information.
Build a tribe of like-minded people that you know personally. Don’t invite in outsiders whose real motivations you don’t know. If anyone starts talking about taking direct action against specific targets, talks about making bombs or altering weapons, or things like that, cut all ties with them immediately and publicly. There is a reason I publicly nuke Nazi’s on my Twitter feed who try to attach themselves to me. I want the world to know that I DISAVOW and DISAGREE with their worldview. Do the same with these people.
Friends, be very careful.
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One of the issues that I get frequent questions about relates to gathering supplies after rule of law has collapsed and how that is done. There is no easy answer, but we can look to history and common law to guide us.
First, I want to point out that your first responsibility is to PREPARE by learning to produce food, not rely on foraging or gathering abandoned things. But, we have to be honest with ourselves and admit that at some point, we might run out of food or other supplies and may need to gather. Another point is that if something is truly abandoned, it never hurts to gather more if you happen across it.
Under common law, property is considered abandoned if it is left unattended by the owner with no apparent attempt to reclaim it. Now, in our current environment, that’s a bit of a gray area. For example, police generally tag a vehicle on the side of the road, and if it’s not removed within 24 hours, it’s considered abandoned. In a WROL environment, there will be abandoned cars and property everywhere, and the case could be made that in that situation, the owner would have to know that anything left in it would be considered abandoned and therefore subject to being taken for others to use.
For our purposes, we also need to look to the practices of Louisiana police departments in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The area was in a true WROL environment, with looting and burglary rampant. There are documented cases of police chiefs telling their officers that if a business had already been broken into or looted, and the owner had not secured it, that they could enter and take what was needed for community use, OR THE OFFICER’S FAMILY USE. Let that be your guide.
Interestingly, that is the same position I outlined in TW-03 Defensive Operations, in relation to gathering fire extinguishers, axes, ladders, and first aid supplies. The use of abandoned property for community defense is firmly established throughout history.
Interestingly, the National Guard, post-Katrina, forced their way into a Church and used it as an operating base, when they couldn’t reach the Pastor to get permission. This violates the 3rd Amendment, but they said the magic word “emergency”, right? They confiscated guns, too, because “emergency”.
Let me say this again: We are NOT actively seeking out these situations or creating them. We would only do this if the situation arose on it’s own. Your first responsibility is to prepare for yourself and your family,
Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
There it is…right from the ultimate tactical handbook.
Some people might consider picking up abandoned property as stealing. If I did not create the situation, I am not stealing. Even if our group engaged a group of robbers and then found other food and supplies that the robbers had taken from others, it is not stealing. The bad guys stole it. From a Biblical perspective, there are verses in Leviticus and Deuteronomy that say that it is right for a “sojourner or needy person” (that’s YOU, post-WROL) to take produce and food from alongside the road, even if it’s a farmer’s crop. Farmers are specifically told to leave that area for those traveling the road. Let that guide you if you find abandoned supplies.
Additionally, leaving food and supplies that have been abandoned but still good is wasteful, and in a WROL situation, waste kills. If you don’t want to use it yourself, take it and keep it as charity supplies, to give out to others.
My final note on abandoned property: Make it your group SOP to never leave operable weapons or ammunition any time you find them. You don’t know who else will pick them up and what they will do with them. As I point out in TW-03, you may need to arm your neighbors to help you defend or you could use them for barter.
Foraging refers to having the ability to find food. Most often, we are referring to developing the skills and knowledge to identify and collect edible food sources like roots, berries, plants, and mushrooms.
Get out and learn what edible wild foods exist in your area. While you are used to getting all your food in neat little packages from the store, man survived for tens of thousands of years gathering what grew wild. Even agriculture and harvested crops is a relatively new concept when you consider the entire history of Man.
Books, like the SAS Survival Guide or Survival Mindset, are great resources for this.
One of the problems with this becomes our ability to carry things. If we’re following my guidance from TW-01, the Baseline Training Manual, we’re wearing our belt kit, and carrying our Patrol/EDC bag, so where would I put anything we found while patrolling? Collapsible duffel bags are a great option for this. They take up very little space.
I recently found another option, the SOG Mission Medium Duffel. It’s a collapsible duffel bag that fits inside it’s own MOLLE pouch. This actually gives you two bags that you can fill with anything you’ve found, the duffel and the pouch. This bag being MOLLE Compatible allows you to attach it to your Patrol/EDC bag or Full Ruck for carrying without it removing key gear.
In current world operations, I have Gray Man Tactical MOLLE panels in my car, and I keep the Mission Bag mounted there. That’s certainly also an option for post-WROL vehicle operations.
I hope this article spurs some thinking for you on gathering abandoned items or foraging and how your team can prepare for it.
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I woke up this morning with snow coming down pretty heavy and decided it was time for a little refresher on selecting winter clothing and winterizing the year-round gear. I don’t really recommend dressing like super-secret agents Austin Millbarge and Emmitt Fitz-Hume above (a classic film). I know a lot of you live in warm areas, so we’ll only discuss winter gear in part of today’s article; we’ll finish with some more cautions from today’s events.
First, let’s talk shoes. I’ve been told I own more shoes than a man should. In my defense, each pair of shoes has a specific purpose. In the winter, you need some type of waterproof boot. I know, your stylish work shoes are killer, but if you’re stuck walking home in ice and snow in them, they may literally kill you. Have some type of waterproof boot with an aggressive tread at least available in your car for emergency use. One of the Goons on Twitter mentioned leg gaiters as well and they’re a great addition to your gear.
Closely related to boots are ice treads or traction devices. Just like a four-wheel drive truck doesn’t make you immune to ice, boots are the same way. The ones above are YakTrax, meant to give you better traction on ice. Snowshoes may also be appropriate if you are in a rural area.
When picking clothing, layering is the key. Clothing should also be loose-fitting. A lot of people buy super-snug coats and snow pants, but they defeat the purpose. You want clothes to be loose fitting to trap warm air that radiates off your body and keep it close to you. If your clothes are tightly fitting, the heat radiates out through them, since there is no air pocket. The tight-fitting stuff might look cool and be OK from the car to the store but trying walk a mile in them.
Start with a silk-weight base layer against the skin, which should be tighter and moisture-wicking to keep sweat from cooling you down in the cold. Then add loose insulating layers, depending on the temperature and your activity plans. If you are planning on significant foot movement, you may want to keep your upper body area with just a light, waterproof outer garment, to prevent sweating. If you stop, you can put on an extra layer from your pack.
A great system is the US Military Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS). Millions of dollars of your tax money went into research to develop this outstanding gear, and you should take advantage of it, particularly if you are talking about preparedness gear. Generally, it consists of a Gore-Tex outer layer that can be worn as raingear year-round. It then has liners of a couple of different thicknesses, depending on how cold it is. Both the parka and the pants have fleece liners.
For extreme cold conditions, the system has a Primaloft over-parka and Primaloft insulated pants that go over everything else. Army versions are gray and Marine Corps versions are coyote brown.
The system also includes several layers and types of long underwear, switched out or layered depending on temperature. I’d also recommend a military wool sweater (yes, real wool, because it retains its warming ability even when wet).
There’s a lot of talk about 3 season and 4 season tents. In all reality, the only difference is that a 4-season tent is made from sturdier material with less mesh venting. You can either just use a 4-season tent year-round, or “fortify” your 3-Season tent with additional tarps to keep snow off the tent in a survival situation.
My personal choice is that I’m a minimalist. I want the lowest profile so I will just fortify my bivy-sized tent with an additional tarp layer. I normally use a thermal tarp that is camo on one side for warmth as well for shielding against thermal imaging (you know, in case the Chinese invade, right?). The tent is so low to the ground that wind won’t be as much of a concern, as long as I site my overnight site properly.
Your sleeping gear faces the same issue of 3-season versus 4-season. I own a 4-season sleeping bag, but I’m not carrying that heavy, bulky thing in my ruck anywhere. What I do is take my 3-Season USMC issue sleep system (which makes its own low-profile tent if you want) and add to it depending on the weather. First, I line it with a wool blanket. A wool blanket will keep you warm, even when wet.
If I need additional warmth, I place a thermal reflective layer like a survival blanket or survival tarp in between the wool blanket and the sleeping bag. An excellent choice for this is a Life Bivy. It comes in green or orange, and I prefer the green (tactical). Some people worry about the noise a thermal blanket makes, and that’s a valid concern, but by placing it between the other layers, you muffle that sound. A Life Bivy is a good survival item to keep in your Get Home Bag as well. It even has a loud whistle on the drawstring.
For winter use, I line my Ruck with a SEAL-Line dry bag. They make them (again, US Military Surplus) in several sizes. I have ones specifically made to line my USMC ILBE Ruck and Assault Pack (my Patrol/EDC bag). The SEAL-Line Assault Pack dry bag has the inside orange, so that if you wanted to signal for help, you could turn the dry bag inside out and display an orange signal panel. You want your gear water-proofed in the winter because wet gear is cold gear.
Another little trick I use year-round but is especially important in winter is that I put a carabiner rated at 125-200 pounds on the top drag handle of every pack I own. This way, while camping, if the ground is wet, I can hang my pack on a piece of line or on a branch, keeping it off the ground. My favorite is the Heroclip, pictured above. The thick part swings out and makes an S-Hook for hanging from any surface. Below is the Fire Escape Multi-Tool is got in my BattlBox this month (outstanding service… http://www.battlbox.com). It features a 125-pound rated carabiner with a sparking wheel, a window breaking tool, a small hex wrench, an O2 bottle wrench, a bottle opener, and a cutting tool. I am in the process of testing it and it throws sparks quite well.
Now that we’ve covered some winter gear ideas, I want to talk about a pair of recent events that should concern those involved in preparedness, regardless of your political leanings.
But first, in light of the increasing tyranny and fearmongering, I want to share something from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook. This morning, I was researching Jeremiah for Tactical Wisdom Volume 4. I came across this verse and it’s relevant because I hear so many people telling me that they are scared to protest and scared to speak out. Take courage from it:
Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them…
Don’t let them win; they WANT to terrify you away from opposing them. God wants you to stand up.
Yes, the first one is the allegedly “leaked” video from the Patriot Front showing someone doing a Nazi salute. First, the video is obviously staged, since they all take off their sunglasses, but not their face-covering masks at the end and the dialog sounds forced and scripted. Besides, it’s a weird time for a Nazi salute. Note the inclusion of the Betsy Ross flag to link it to Nazism.
I’ve warned before that these guys are literal Nazis and it appears that they are now co-opted by the Federal government to become the designated “boogeymen”.
The problem for us is that the carefully produced videos that are being released show men in khaki tactical pants, and in hats with a Velcro patch pad on them. Let’s be honest, that’s practically the preparedness-minded person’s uniform. Selecting this combination was meant to associate these Nazis with anyone even remotely right wing or involved in preparedness. It’s not an accident. Be aware that YOU are being painted with the same brush as these Nazis, ON PURPOSE.
In their videos, you can also see INTENTIONAL close-ups of their Baofeng radios (including one very close up). Again, these are practically standard prepper-gear, and it is by design. This one ties with the next warning.
In the indictment against Proud Boy Matthew Greene, the US Government presented as evidence of a conspiracy the fact that Greene programmed several Baofeng radios for several members of the group. Now, that’s not illegal, but they are PAINTING it that way. Understand the risk, if you are all programming your radios from a common file, the Federal government, who already considers anyone into preparedness as a potential extremist, MAY consider that evidence of a criminal conspiracy.
I present this as proof of our nation’s quickening slide into a collapse. The more tyrannical a government becomes, the more likely it is to consider everything a conspiracy.
I hope all this information helps you get a little more prepared and a little more aware.
Also, we have recently become partners with My Patriot Supply, so check them out using our link. They have Potassium Iodate (anti-radiation) tablets in stock, along with Ready Hour foods.
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As massive formations from four additional Russian Army Groups are heading to Ukraine, President Biden gives a speech calling anyone who opposes his radical agenda a domestic enemy, a mysterious wall goes up around the White House, and the FBI arrests 10 members of the Oath Keepers, I thought it was good time to catch up. Let’s talk about indicators.
Before we get to that, let me remind you of one of our guiding pieces of Tactical Wisdom:
if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head.
Now, I know, I predicted a Russian invasion of the Ukraine for Christmas Eve, but I also said no later than the Olympics. I have never been happier to have been wrong, but it’s worth noting that Russia DID invade a country on the Eastern Orthodox Christmas, it just wasn’t Ukraine.
The truth is that the force surrounding the Ukraine has GROWN, not gotten smaller. The forces sent to Kazakhstan are already on their way back, and as we know, that includes the ready battalions from Russia’s spearhead 76th Guards Airborne. Additionally, troops and armor from four different Army Groups from the Far East Military District are on trains and heading west, causing massive traffic tie ups. They’re not headed for weekend liberty in Sochi.
Ukraine remains a global war threat for us, and we need to not pretend that it isn’t.
In the meantime, an odd event happened on Tuesday that the Mainstream Media glossed over. They reported it simply as a North Korean Missile launch. The truth is far scarier. North Korea did hold an announced missile test, but the missile, once in the air, performed a radical turn towards the US and accelerated to Mach 10, becoming a hypersonic missile.
This set off alarm bells, because official Washington had mocked a prior test on Friday, calling the DPRK’s hypersonic missile program a failure, and now, it looked as if the DPRK was striking the West Coast of the US with a hypersonic missile. Both NORAD and STRATFOR confirmed this. An unprecedented ground stop order and immediate land and hold order was issued for all air traffic in the western US.
Several other things happened behind the scenes that only some of us paid attention to. Two nuclear-capable stealth bombers and four tankers immediately took off and headed towards North Korea. One of our NEACP (National Emergency Airborne Command Post) aircraft got into the air, and one plane of the same class as Air Force 2, meant to hold either the VP or a successor to the Presidency, took off and got airborne, all within a few minutes.
Yes, the DPRK test launch almost triggered a nuclear war that you were never told about. The United States was caught completely by surprise with a weapon that could strike us in minutes.
Next, the President of the United States gave a speech in which he said that anyone opposed to the Voting Rights Act, which violates Constitutional guarantees of State’s rights and federalizes elections, was a domestic enemy. That’s pretty harsh rhetoric, in a nation in which we are allowed to express publicly our dissent.
Immediately after that speech, observers on the internet began to report heavy equipment installing a large wall between the White House and the Pedestrian Fence. Some government sources pointed to a recent Taliban threat as the reason, and others to a repair of the fountain. Neither story makes sense. Rather than address the controversy, the White House has cut the camera feed that shows the wall on the internet.
The final piece to our threat matrix was the announcement of a new “Domestic Terror Unit” at the Department of Justice, followed immediately by the very public arrest of Stewart Rhodes and 9 other Oath Keepers for Seditious Conspiracy, which is a ridiculous charge, given the evidence.
Make no mistake, these arrests and the DOJ announcement are timed to SUPPLEMENT the President’s speech and put you on notice that if you loudly disagree with the government, they are going to come and arrest you. A wild claim, you say? Take a look at this “evidence” against Rhodes:
First, I’ll point out that all of this happened AFTER the alleged Sedition on 1/6/2021. Second, every single item listed here as evidence of wrongdoing is PERFECTLY LAWFUL BEHAVIOR. On a related note, Rhodes needs to find better places to buy his gear, he’s overpaying.
Sure, they list some comments he made on Signal, but again, none of them discussed overthrowing the government or violently preventing the enforcement of federal law. It was protected free speech.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to defend Rhodes; I’ve long maintained that Rhodes was a federal informant and I still think he is. Even in the Michigan case, all the informants got picked up with everyone else.
But what does all of this mean for us in preparedness?
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
First, realize that your purchases of backpacks, gear bags, optics, ammunition, and firearms, as shown above, can be considered as evidence of Seditious Conspiracy under the current DOJ and FBI Leadership. DHS says that “being concerned with preparedness” and a “belief that the US Government must adhere to the Constitution”, as well as “being concerned about exercising their Constitutional rights” are all signs of potential domestic violent extremism. Be very careful in advertising your preparedness.
Understand that we are not out of the woods yet as far as the potential for a major European Land War, either. Sweden is increasing patrols on islands they possess in the middle of the Barents Sea, because they’ve committed troops to defend the Ukraine and they fear a general war from the Black Sea to the Barents Sea.
The domestic rhetoric on both sides is heating up and both the left and the right are openly calling for a “peaceful divorce”, while the government is openly calling the right “enemy”. It’s not a healthy environment.
There is nothing at all you or I can do to get others on both sides to tone down the rhetoric, and to be honest, we are well beyond the point of no return. Understand that there are two options left. The first option is that one of the two sides must completely surrender their agenda to the other, which is never going to happen. The other is conflict.
As always, I don’t publicly advocate for anything other preparing to be able to defend and preserve your family, first and foremost. Beyond that, I swore an oath to defend the Constitution, not the leaders. Any leader, on either side, who upholds the rule of law and the Constitution, has my support.
Please heed the warnings, get out my books, and start preparing in earnest.
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Before you get ready to argue with me, this isn’t about politics and what caused the issue. Sorry, but as I always say, THAT DOESN’T MATTER. As people into preparedness, we have to decide what it can teach, what it shows us, and how we can prepare. Just like the events in KwaZulu Natal last year.
While what happened that started the protests isn’t important, let’s dispel some myths being presented in the media, because they are relevant. As hard as it may be to believe, the media sometimes lies. First, they are making odd and easily disproven statements that Kazakhs are upset over “equity”. That’s just a silly comment because Kazakhs make up almost 70% of the population and are therefore the majority. They also claim that Kazakhs are protesting that they are “being ravaged by COVID”….that’s not true, they are protesting AGAINST restrictions. Finally, they make this ridiculous claim that Kazakhstan is a poor, backwards country. That photo above shows Almaty, a modern city no different than any in America, Russia, or Europe. In fact, Kazakhstan is the richest country in Central Asia.
Don’t believe the hype. They are saying these things to try and tie them to the American left wing to garner support for the rebels, while also trying to embolden the American left. Boy, is that part working! Look at the comments below any video out of Kazakhstan, and you’ll see them cheering on the destruction.
The first lesson to learn is that this situation completely bears out my 72-hour theory. On the morning of the 3rd, Kazakhstan was a peaceful modern nation, with full utilities, internet, cell phone providers, the whole deal. By the end of the 6th, 72 hours later, the government had resigned, the internet was shut down, utilities were intermittent, law and order was non-existent, large parts of every major city were burning, there was open warfare, and soldiers were pouring into the country from Russia, Armenia, and Belarus.
By the 7th, pitched urban warfare was on-going in Almaty, her largest city, there were videos of morgues full of bodies, her President may have fled, and foreign troops were given authority basically to shoot anyone on the streets. Videos are still emerging of massive numbers of foreign troops pouring into the nation.
Let’s dispel another myth, before we move on. People are saying, yeah, but it’s a small country. Kazakhstan is 60% larger than Alaska and roughly one-third the size of the US, so it’s a BIG country.
Another lesson is that for you, a prepared citizen, if there is fighting between the government and protestors, you aren’t out of the woods. While it’s barely getting any coverage, there is WIDESPREAD looting. In one video, a group of rioters armed with long guns attempted to force their way into a high-rise building, ostensibly to rob the occupants. High-security doors and alert residents defeated them. You need to have a security plan, since the police were too busy fighting for their lives or surrendering to assist. The Civil Defense Manual by Jack Lawson discusses setting up a “Neighborhood Protection Plan”, including instructions for defending a High Rise, as does Clay Martin’s Concrete Jungle (links to both below)
You need to consider how you will defend your location now, because if a nationwide insurrection (yes, this one is ACTUALLY an insurrection) kicks off, you won’t have time. When the riots started, law and order broke down completely in 48 hours, complete with police and soldiers surrendering to the insurgents. The next 24 hours saw the first government counterstrike (after the troops were re-assured by promises of support from Russia and the CSTO) that completed the breakdown. Start planning NOW.
The next lesson is another one I harp on, but it is communications. The government immediately shut down all access to the internet. You might be thinking, yeah, but this is the United States. Remember, first and foremost, just like our highway system, the internet was created to facilitate MILITARY communications. Yes, the US Government can take it offline if they deem it “a national security issue”. We already see them throttling or overloading systems near protests now, to limit communications.
Develop a plan with your loved ones and like-minded preparedness group to be able to communicate somehow. Radio is a good medium for this, and they can’t just shut down radio propagation. I won’t go into detail, lest I summon a sad Ham.
Have a plan to receive information from the outside world. Having a link outside your borders will help you know what is going on. I imagine that the first notice most Kazakhs got that outside forces were present was when a Belarusian BMP blocked off their street. Think about the risk there….you don’t know what’s happening because the TV stations and radio stations are shut down, there is no internet, and suddenly, foreign troops are going door to door looking for “terrorists”. Buy some type of SSB-capable shortwave or amateur receiver that will allow you to monitor news broadcasts from far away.
Some of the very first video I saw was a guy driving the streets of Almaty at night. There were both police and rioter checkpoints. You want nothing to do with either. There is another video of a vehicle stopped by police at a checkpoint, but the vehicle is all shot up and one of the occupants is dead in the street with an apparent head wound. As much as you want to get out and see what is happening, vehicles are not the way to do that. Vehicles must stay on the road, and there will be checkpoints from both sides. As we saw in the CHAZ last year, even anti-police brutality activists will use police brutality on you if you try to run the checkpoint, with deadly results.
Avoid checkpoints of any type if at all possible. The best way to avoid them is to not be out on the streets. As I point out in my writings, your first responsibility is survival and defending your supplies. Let the two warring sides fight it out while you bunker in, unless forced to move. Curiosity can indeed kill the cat.
I saw several videos shot from people’s windows of the rioters attacking, and appearing to kill police, and many videos of police shooting or attacking civilians. While it’s great for social media credit, you are putting yourself at risk. If someone sees you filming, and now knows that you have evidence of either murder of a police officer or a war crime (if the military or police do the killing), what do you think is going to happen next?
There are multiple reports of food and fuel being unavailable. Now, not to beat a dead horse, but you need to have at least a 14-day supply of food, and all your vehicles need to be full. Those are common issues that anyone in preparedness needs to be on top of.
Also consider the time of year. We are currently entering the coldest 8 weeks of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. You need to have a plan for warmth. You also need to understand that your body needs more calories when it is colder out.
Now the situation in Kazakhstan is entering a dangerous phase, the restoration of authority phase, and there are warnings that apply that we should consider here. First, troops and police have been given extremely liberal ROE’s and therefore are FAR MORE LIKELY to shoot you. All the cool-guy gray man tactics in the world aren’t going to help.
Next, understand that anytime a military force “restores order” from this level, it will involve door-to-door searches and weapon seizures. Don’t come at me with “muh 2nd and 4th amendments, bruh” or “this is America”. Under the orders of known racist Gen Honore, the United States Army and the Louisiana National Guard, assisted by the NOPD and Louisiana State Police went door-to-door searching houses and seizing guns under an emergency declaration after Hurricane Katrina, and he stated, “As long as I am in charge, only my troops and the police will be armed.”
You will have a hard choice. You could comply, and be left defenseless when the mobs return, because the military is there to defend GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY, not your house. You could resist, and run the risks associated with that, or you can move.
In a crisis, movement is life. I know, many of you plan to bug in, but I would like to point out that you can only bug in until you have to bug out. If you’ve got a 10-year supply of food, but let the government take your guns, “for everyone’s safety”, how long do you think you’ll keep that food?
You could build secret compartments and try to hide your guns before you get searched, but then they aren’t available for defensive use. You also have to consider what it will look like to searchers if they find a gun and ammunition hidden between the walls.
Having some type of pre-planned egress from the city is a better way. Kazakhstan (and the United States) is a big place. The military could realistically only control the cities, just like here in America, and maybe run a few highway checkpoints. The key is having a plan to exfiltrate areas under government or rebel control, to an area where you can remain self-determining.
This is important, because any rebel faction that overthrows the government is going to switch gears so fast it will make your head spin. Those “freedom and equality” people who are so against state power, once they seize control, will begin wielding state power to disarm anyone who isn’t them immediately. Think about it, they just learned that armed people can overthrow the government if they really try and they are now the government.
It’s best to time any exfiltration between 3 am and 6 am, when human senses and activity are at their lowest ebb. Do a map study and find at least 4 routes (PACE planning) out of the area. Consider unconventional means like rivers, streams, and sewer lines or power rights-of-way to avoid detection. Again, do this study now.
Now that we’ve covered the lessons, let’s talk a LITTLE about what sparked it and what the potential is here. The Kazakh government announced that they were removing price controls on liquified petroleum gas (LPG). Price controls are a socialist thing, that artificially lowers prices to levels where businesses lose money. The price immediately shot up locally, causing street protests that quickly turned violent. It’s fair to say that inflation in fuel prices caused this crisis. What’s your average fuel cost looking like lately? We are on a trajectory for inflation-caused fuel and food riots this spring.
It is worth noting that the National Endowment for Democracy (likely a CIA front) and the Open Societies Foundation (George Soros) have been pouring money into Kazakhstan to foster anti-government sentiment and protests. While the protests grew out of soaring prices, the demands from the magically appearing out of nowhere opposition leadership include cutting all ties with Russia, fueling beliefs that NATO or the US played a role in this.
But what does this mean for us? It means that Vladimir Putin is highly likely to see this as yet another attempt by NATO to overthrow a government that both borders Russia and is friendly to Russia and as a NATO expansion right up to his border. Russia, and the greater CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization), will view this as an existential threat, just as they do with Ukraine and Georgia.
While some feel that this crisis reduces the tensions by drawing troops away from Ukraine, the fact is that very few of the 3,000 troops that Russia deployed to Kazakhstan came from the Ukraine forces. Even if they all did, it still leaves over 175,000 troops on Ukraine’s border. The risk of a wider war is actually GREATER than it was a week ago.
Recent imagery shows troops from Russia’s Far East being diverted to Kazakhstan, and even more logistics troops moving into advanced positions near the Ukrainian border.
Make some plans, stay in touch with your allies and family, and don’t get caught by surprise. Our first indication of Russian action in Ukraine may very be a hack targeting our electrical grid or fomenting large civil disturbances.
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Hundreds of people have been stranded on I-95 for over 16 hours now, due to snow. The good news is that Tim Kane is among them, and that confirms that there is a God in Heaven and that He has a sense of humor.
What is absolutely amazing to me, though, is the complaints those people are hurtling along social media. They are complaining about the inaction of Governor Youngkin, who is not, in fact, the Governor. Regardless of who the Governor is, I’m not sure that stopping the snow from falling is within their ability. Why do people blame the governor for WEATHER?
There are tons of complaints about how the government should be bringing them food and water and doing SOMETHING, although none of them seem quite able to explain what could actually be done. We’ve drifted so far that people believe that it is the government’s responsibility to take care of them. That’s a dangerous spot to put yourself in.
If only someone had warned them. Oh, never mind, the government and media DID warn them for 3 days that bad weather was coming. They still did nothing and expected someone to rescue them.
I have two favorite pieces of wisdom from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook that apply here, and while I share them regularly, clearly, they need to be shared again:
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
…then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head.
Both point to the same point: YOU are responsible for your own safety, and YOU need to heed the warnings. First, if you live in an area prone to snow, you should have basic items ready (we will discuss below) December through March (Yes, in Michigan we get significant snow well into April). Second, in our information-saturated society, there is literally no one to blame but yourself if you got on the road unprepared, knowing that a winter storm was coming. Stop counting your likes and narrating your life on Facebook and check the weather once in a while.
Basic Vehicle Preparedness Kit
Year round, you should keep some basic items in your car in case of an emergency. These are year-round items that will serve you well in any emergency.
Small air compressor – To inflate low tires.
Water – You should always have water available. Rotate every 6 months.
Food – Some granola bars, in addition to backpacking food or canned food.
Tarp – A tarp can be used as an emergency shelter or a ground cloth while changing a tire.
Wet Wipes – Myriad of uses.
Wet Weather Gear: I keep a set of Gore-Tex (pants and jacket) in the car.
Fire Extinguisher – Alway helpful if needed.
Gloves – A pair of sturdy work-type gloves.
Light Source – Flashlight or re-chargeable lantern.
Power Inverter – Can be used to recharge your laptop or power other devices.
Battery Power Bank – Always keep a charged power bank in the car.
Change of Clothes – Especially if your work clothes are not conducive to life in the elements. I keep a set of sturdy, outdoors-style clothes in earth tones in the car.
Boots/Better Shoes – Ladies, Franco Sarto’s are not for hiking. Keep a pair of sturdy boots or good walking shoes in the trunk.
First Aid Kit – Always needed.
Paper maps – Paper maps of your state or area are a must. Your phone battery will die, and you might be somewhere with no signal.
Signaling – Flares or chem-lights to let you be found in the dark.
While this makes a great starter kit, in the winter, we want to add a few items into the kit.
Winter Vehicle Kit
Blanket – Either a wool blanket or a poncho-liner, but why not both?
Additional Warmth Layers – Extra items like long underwear or sweaters in the vehicle can literally be a life saver. The US Military Extended Cold Weather Clothing System is a favorite of mine and we taxpayers paid millions in research money to develop it, so you might as well take advantage of that.
Thermal Tarp – They make tarps with a reflective surface on one side to keep you warmer. You can find them with either bright colors for rescue, or camouflage for concealment on the other side.
Signal Panel – This is one of those fancy insider words us veterans use to sound all cool & high-speed, but it’s really just a large orange flag that you can put out to draw attention to your location. You can find orange safety flags for under $5 at Home Depot and Lowes.
Warm Socks – Keep a pair of thick socks in the car. Cold, wet feet lead to hypothermia.
Extra Food – In the winter, you need extra calories to stay warm.
Cooler – Keeping your food and water in a cooler in the wintertime will prevent it from freezing.
Fire Kit – Keep a kit of fire-making supplies in the car. Never make a fire in the car (I know, but someone will try, and I had to say it).
Shovel – Some type of small, foldable shovel can help if you’re stuck, if you need to build a shelter, or if you have…biological needs.
Book – Having something to occupy your mind while awaiting rescue can calm you and prevent a lot of stress.
Extra Gloves/Hat – Keep spares in the car.
In addition to supplies, have a communications plan. Ensure that someone else knows your plans any time you are on the road during winter weather. That way, if you don’t arrive or check in, they have a rough idea of where to send help.
For those more advanced in preparedness, an FCC Amateur Radio or GMRS license can give you another method of calling for help. CB radio, which is still in use, doesn’t require a license and you can almost always reach truckers on Channel 19 if you need help. If using a handheld CB radio, make sure to get outside of the vehicle. If needed, walk to the highest point you can see for better range.
Aside from vehicle preparedness, have general preparedness supplies for winter. As an example, do you have a white or snow camo poncho to wear? Do you have some type of winter camouflage pack cover? Food for thought…
Pay attention to the weather and stock your car appropriately, and you’ll be self-reliant, rather than at the mercy of the State. It’s freedom, and they hate that.
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