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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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.
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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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A while back, I reviewed Volume 1 of Jack Lawson’s Civil Defense Manual. I finally had time over the Christmas Holiday to finish reading Volume 2 and take some serious notes.
Bottom Line: You need both Volumes 1 and 2 of the Civil Defense Manual in your library. The good news is that they come as a set when you order them at http://www.civildefensemanual.com.
But first, here’s the Tactical Wisdom that I want you to consider related to buying this book, and I’ll explain why at the very end:
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.
Volume 1 dealt with the generalities of forming what Lawson calls a “Neighborhood Protection Plan”, organizing the group, gathering group gear & supplies, and starting a training program. It covered how to sell the group to your neighbors as well. This makes it an excellent companion to the Tactical Wisdom Series.
Volume 2 begins to cover topics that most in preparedness planning gloss over or totally neglect.
First, it covers field hygiene and sanitation. If you’ve read anything of mine, you’ll know I talk about this a lot. A WROL situation or societal collapse will lead to a large number of dead, rampant disease, and a lack of formal medical care. There’s also information on dental issues in a collapse, which can quickly become a life-or-death issue.
Another life and death issue covered in the book is hypothermia and the need for WARM shelter. Winter was a killer throughout history, and this modern era of climate-control gives us a false sense of security related to winter. As I am writing this, Russia has severely limited the amount of gas available to northern Europe for heating. Without a way to heat homes, most of northern Europe is uninhabitable during winter.
Lawson also devotes a chapter to the need for fire, and therefore a need for fire-fighting ability. I’ve mentioned this a few times as well, and with no fire department responding in minutes, it’s something you need to worry about. Do you have fire extinguishers and fire blankets? What about in your car?
There are several chapters on the tactical defense of your neighborhood, written by Jack Lawson and Matt Bracken, both acknowledged experts in their fields. Jack’s experience in Africa is invaluable because the Rhodesian Bush War and conditions in South Africa are very similar to what WROL/Collapse life will be like. On an insiders note, you can tell that Jack’s experience is real, because he discusses the Y and Half-Y foot formations, which I learned from a South African. That’s the only place you learn it and it comes from hard-won experience tracking humans in the wild.
There is a chapter from my friend Mike Shelby at http://www.forwardobserver.com on gathering defensive intelligence. As always, Mike puts solid information out there for you to better prepare. On a side note, I will be reviewing Mike’s new book, Low Intensity Conflict, as soon as it comes out.
Following the chapters on the hard-skills of defensive combat and intelligence gathering, come several “disaster-specific” chapters, written by experts on their topics. There are chapters on massive volcanoes, EMP, nuclear attacks, underground shelters, biological attacks (like COVID 19). There is so much information in there that you need the books as a reference set, at the very least. I can say that I thought I was fairly knowledgeable, but I learned a LOT in those disaster-specific chapters.
I won’t give away any secrets here, but I think you need this book set in your preparedness library. I’ll even address the elephant in the room: The set is not cheap. It was just under $100. But what is your life worth? It’s less than $50 per book, and I have some classic martial arts books in my library that were over that price and not nearly as full of life-saving information. Consider it an investment.
Note: I do not receive compensation EVER for reviewing books or gear. Most often, the company or author has no idea that I’m even doing a review.
Now, Jack and I have communicated via email because we know a lot of the same folks, and we just happen to think so much alike that we are natural friends, but he didn’t ask me to do a review of the second book, I felt compelled to, because I know a lot of people are apprehensive about the cost. I want to assure you: It is INDEED WORTH EVERY PENNY you will spend on it.
I’ve pointed this out before: Some of you will drop $1700 on a rifle without even thinking, but balk at spending $100 on a radio, optics, or a good training book. Switch the priorities, skills will keep you alive long enough to “acquire” a rifle from someone who no longer needs his, because he had no skills.
Get the set and get off the couch. Start training.
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A few days ago, several of us were talking about comms and sharing ideas. When we got past the angry HAMs telling us about how we were all threatening democracy and were going to go to prison for using the wrong brand of radio, we got some great sharing going. Please don’t take that the wrong way, some of the best and most helpful people I’ve met in preparedness are HAMs, but y’all got more than your fair share of Karen’s, who claim to be preparing to resist a tyrannical government whilst also demanding that people follow every dictate of said tyrannical government.
But I digress.
One of commenters, a HAM himself, offered to put some ideas into a thread, and quickly realized that this would be too long for Twitter, so I offered up a guest post. Below this introduction is all his information. All I’ve done is drop a couple of Amazon affiliate links into it (we may make a few pennies if you click one, got to pay the light bill) and format it for this page. Reminder – I only put in links to items that I personally use.
By Pete Kidder AKA Buster88072979
A few days ago on twitter, I responded to a tweet on @DolioJ as @Buster88072979 about comms and said I would put together a short thread about them. I started and it soon became evident that I didn’t have that kind of patience to do it that way so I’ll go about it like this.
My experience is all I can relay and my opinion is not considered expert so I can only hope what I say is helpful. I’ll talk a little bit about different types of comms since I believe the question was where to begin when first starting to build a comms prep. I’ll also give a real word example of why I believe each type is worth having.
I should preface this one thing that holds true across all the different transceivers and that is you are better off with a less expensive radio and a better antenna than the other way around. (Editors Note: Read that again – Circe it – highlight it. JD)
Let’s dig in.
CB RADIO I like the old reliable CB radio for a starter type comm for its relatively low cost and high benefit. I wouldn’t be without one on a cross country trip and carry a handheld in my bag for work as I travel all over the Northeast. The real time information available for traffic and road conditions, police locations and the ability to ask questions is invaluable. I once came across a traffic backup and was able to make contact with a trucker, exit the highway and follow him around the snarl. Turns out, there was a major accident that was going to take quite a while to clear and $150 investment in that CB paid off. Limitations of CB radios can be very noisy at times and limited range. Most likely, the person you are talking to will be within a mile or two, especially urban environments, maybe even less.
Another piece of equipment I have is a scanner. While it isn’t two way, the information is again, real time. Speed traps, road blockages due to accidents, fires or, I have even avoided driving into a manhunt for a bank robber due to my scanner. My police and fire use APCO 25 systems so the scanner is a little pricey starting around $400, but when the SHTF, you won’t kick on that price to be able to hear that type of communication. I was driving up I-93 in southern NH in bumper-to-bumper traffic, when State Police dispatch reports a wrong way driver headed southbound in the northbound lane about 3 miles above me. This information allowed me to leave additional space between the vehicles in front of me and move to the center lane where my view was unobstructed by trucks. The wrong way driver never materialized, I passed a State Trooper in the median and was on my way. Had they appeared, I’d like to think I had an advantage in being ready to evade them because I was able to look for them. Limitations can be a limited range, hard to understand what’s happening if you don’t know 10 codes and lack of ability to talk. An external antenna in place of the rubber ducky one that comes with it can increase range enormously.
Again, very valuable information.
GMRS/FRS and MURS General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) Family Radio Service (FRS) Multi Use Radio Service (MURS)
When it comes to ease of use, I think the GMRS/FRS or MURS radios are a pretty good value.
GMRS requires a license to use so by no means am I endorsing unauthorized use. I believe it’s simply filling out a form and maybe a small fee to get it.
All of these types are the Motorola and Uniden type radios you see everywhere from Walmart to Cabela’s marketed for hunting, camping and other outdoorsy type stuff. They can be as simple as few straight channels or as fancy as several encodes for each channel for added privacy. I have found these to be very useful while I was a tree climber to be able to talk to my guys in the hills of Vt. while scouting entry into the powerline rights of way. Most recently I have used them for direct contact with my group while on road trips in the Northeast. Very effective for about a mile while inside a car in traffic without any external antenna. I find these types of radios to be very useful in group settings, not so much to chat with the public like you can with the CB radio. Also, while I believe some may have the ability to use an external antenna, I have never needed or used one so I can’t speak to the effectiveness. Only that I believe it would help extend the range if used.
The above types of radios or scanners are your basic, no training or testing required, if the SHTF will be very useful for local communication.
Amateur radio (HAM)
Another type is amateur radio or Ham radio. Ham radio offers a better range, most places have a repeater or two on the uhf/vhf bands and the ability to talk and listen halfway around the world on the HF bands, all the way if you can figure out bouncing signals off the moon and stuff. I haven’t. Ham radio requires a federal license through the FCC and a test of 35 questions to obtain the license. I believe the fee for the license is $35 to $40 and testing locations can be found at arrl.com. I have $1000’s of dollars in radios and antennas but that isn’t needed. A $500 HF radio and a $300 to $400 antenna had me talking into Europe, Russia, Africa, all over South America as far off as Uruguay and into Alaska and Hawaii. UHF/VHF single band transceivers are fairly cheap with dual band ones being only somewhat more. My experience with Ham as a hobby has been more fun making contacts on HF worldwide than trying to talk with the old guard, snooty club members on local repeaters. My personal opinion of Ham as SHTF is similar to CB in that you’ll be able to get real time info worldwide and if the situation warrants it, you can ask questions. Also, it’s similar to the GMRS/FRS in that if you want somebody to talk to locally, you’ll need to supply that most likely.
Walkie Talkie Cell Phone Apps
Not every type of comm needs to be SHTF, at least not while the grid and cell phone towers hold up. Messaging apps are great, but walkie talkie type apps like Zello are fantastic. I use that in place of radios all the time, especially if I’m leading someone out of a city environment where it’s easy to get separated. Easy to use, easy to set up groups and chat with 3-4 people at once and switch out so you can speak to one alone if needed.
Drawbacks are if the cell network drops, your comms drop and there are plenty of dead spots in the hills of Vt and NH so keep that in mind.
So that’s my experience with certain types of comms, why I think they are useful and some real-world situations where they were key to getting me out of a jam, real or potential. Anyhow, I hope that helps a little and has some value in your assessment of comm needs.
We can learn a lot by taking a look at a couple of the emergency training changes that the US Military in general are making, and one that the US Marine Corps specifically has made in preparation for the next conflict, which seems to be rushing closer every single day. The next conflict appears to be either a general world conflict with Russia-China-Iran, or a Pacific clash between China and the “Quad”, which is the US, India, Japan, and Australia.
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.
First, the US Army, Air Force, and Navy have begun a crash training course to learn to operate without GPS (the Marines already operate this way, for the most part). The US Armed Forces are so technologically tied that it’s difficult for them to maintain their advantage without GPS, which is exactly why any conflict with either China or Russia would involve a strike against our GPS system.
As I pointed out in an earlier post, if the US government is planning on having to operate without GPS, you should too. Learn to use a map and compass. Obtain high-quality topographical maps of your planned Area of Operations and the surrounding area. Get quality road maps.
A good middle of the road option is a “State Atlas” or “Gazetteer” publication. It’s a combination topographical and road map, generally in a 1:100,000 scale for your entire state. I have them for my state and surrounding states.
However, if you’ve got a quality GPS, it’s not useless even in a GPS denied environment. Mine still has topographical maps of 1/4 of the United States loaded on it, and it can still be used to plan routes and as a map. You can also use any stored off-line mapping on your tablet or phone that you may have set up.
The prudent see danger and take refuge, the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Heed the warning and prepare to operate in a GPS-denied environment.
More interesting, however, is the USMC’s newest training plan. According to the Commandant, officers have been trained and now enlisted will be trained in this method ASAP.
The plan is to train Marine units to operate at platoon-level as small units with absolutely no logistical support, except airdrops of ammunition and medical supplies. Marines will be learning to forage and feed themselves, living off the land.
Historically, this dates back to the institutional memory of the Battle of Guadalcanal, as I have mentioned before. Marines were still off-loading from Naval shipping when the Imperial Japanese Navy arrived and attacked the invasion fleet. The US Navy was driven off, leaving the First and Second Marine Divisions on the island with only the supplies they had on their backs. Marines had to forage for food or eat captured Japanese rations. Marines quickly learned to ally with the Solomon Islanders to find food and locate the enemy forces. This memory has been burned into the USMC and it’s why Marines have better field gear and carry more water and food on them personally than the Army does.
This new program focuses on partnering with locals and establishing hidden patrol bases to conduct small unit operations in a denied and austere environment against a numerically superior opponent. Some might say, it’s returning to their roots, and making every Marine a Raider, similar to the Army’s one-time campaign to try and get every infantry unit led by Ranger-tabbed personnel.
But it also points to a bigger issue that affects us in preparedness. It points to the fact the US Naval Establishment is openly admitting that we will be fighting guerilla actions in China’s rear area. That means they are admitting that we likely will NOT be pushing China back to her territorial waters and acknowledges that we’ve let them already take control of the Western Pacific.
What does that mean for us? It means then, that we will be restricted to defending the coasts, as Hawaii and a few South American island chains are the only things in the Near Pacific. It increases the risk of Chinese action actually on or just off our Pacific Coast if we are planning on not being able to support Marine units deep in the western and southern Pacific.
We, in the homeland, will face the risk of cruise missile strikes and bombing raids, despite how impenetrable you think our air defenses are. Hint: They really aren’t.
Any conflict in the Pacific, against either China or Russia, and especially both, will involve at least conventional missile strikes against coastal bases and infrastructure. Some of these strikes will impact civilians more than military units, and many will miss their intended targets. You have to at least consider this possibility.
You also have to consider how dire they think our situation will be that the Marines are planning to operate WITHOUT food and water being delivered to them. Now, the Commandant says that not tying up logistics assets with sustainment items will allow them to be able to focus on lethality, but that’s really just him saying that he plans on not being able to get that many flights through.
Again, if the US Marines are planning on us fighting a guerilla war mostly on the losing end, shouldn’t you? Forces that are WINNING a war don’t have to rely on guerilla warfare, the side on the defense does.
This philosophy has major implications for the supply chain, since most of the world’s shipping headed to the US transits what will be the war zone. You have to prepare for almost no supplies reaching the mainland US. The second and third effects of that are food and critical supply shortages and rioting that we won’t be able to control. Prepare to deal with that.
The other possibility, and I say this with no evidence whatsoever, other than my faith in my beloved Corps, is that the Corps is training to operate independently of the rest of the military in any coming potential internal conflict, but I don’t want to draw Feds to the site by discussing that possibility.
As we get closer to some critical dates and Russia-Ukraine heats up, please keep your head on a swivel and pay attention to world events. I’d also like to remind you all that last Christmas, whether the media wants to admit it or not, we had a rather significant terror attack in Nashville, which disrupted communications for days; have a comms plan.
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When I first joined Twitter, some guy named Mark Sibley was promoting his novel, Mongol Moon. I had no idea who he was, but the book summary seemed interesting, so I bought it. I was so moved by the scenario the book presents that I began engaging with Mark, and now I consider him a friend and mentor (even if he hasn’t finished the sequel).
The book presents such a realistic and plausible scenario that I thought we should discuss it, since we are about a week away from Christmas Eve, which is significant in the context of the book. I’ll try to avoid major spoilers, but some minor ones are necessary to illustrate my point and tell you what should make you pay attention.
First, the book involves a conspiracy and joint attack against the US by China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Man, does that ring true or what? We see Russia and China holding joint defense drills in the Pacific, we know the DPRK is a client state of China, and Iran has long been a client state of both.
The book describes the method of infiltration that China uses to get its invasion forces into the US, and it’s not very dramatic; in fact, it’s genius and PLAUSIBLE. Sibley explains that massive numbers of fighting-age Chinese are ALREADY here. He points out that 1.7 million Chinese visit the US every year. How hard would it be to insert Special Operations teams posing as vacationers?
It’s an interesting point, because Mark Greaney, the author of the Gray Man series, used the same scenario in a book titled “Red Metal”. In Red Metal, a Russian Spetznaz team inserts into Djibouti as a hiking group, and others cross into Europe as skiers.
In addition to the 1.7 million visitors, millions more illegal immigrant Chinese live along the Pacific Coast. What are the odds that some of these are military or intelligence types?
The pre-inserted Chinese begin meeting with long-time resident Chinese who are loyal to CCP. They rent out storage units and stock them with ammunition and food, to provide re-supply points for the Special Operations teams.
The forces begin their attack on Christmas Eve, when Western military watch centers are staffed at their lowest alert level. This concept is also rooted in historical fact. Russia, in her 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, also struck on Christmas Eve. This wasn’t because of Afghanistan’s alert levels, they were still a Muslim country. It was because it would take Western nations a lot longer to respond, since watch centers were under-manned and sneior staff were home or on vacation.
Russia took advantage of the Olympic Opening Ceremony to strike Georgia in 2008 and the Olympic Closing Ceremony in 2014 to take the Crimea.
Not only are we closing in on Christmas Eve, but we also are nearing beginning of the 2022 Winter Olympics, but I doubt Russia will wait until late February. Russia’s biggest advantage is her historical ability to fight in winter, better than anyone else (except apparently the Finnish). I don’t see Vladimir Putin, with his keen sense of history, waiting out hit best fighting month (January), but I digress. On a side note, Sibley gives a hat tip to the Finnish ability to fight Russians, but you’ll have to get the book to find out.
In the book, China and her allies know that they can’t handle America in a conventional fight, so the attack begins with an EMP strike from satellite-based weapons. They followed up with selected nuclear strikes and small-unit ground operations.
The book describes concrete actions taken by divergent groups of characters but spells out the absolute chaos an EMP over the US and another over Europe would cause. Reading the book will help plot out a course action or at the very least, help you understand why you should take action.
The book illustrates how quickly law and order would break down if the power suddenly went out across the entirety of Western Civilization at the same time. I frequently point out that in the cities, the average house has about 48 hours’ worth of food supplies, because it’s just too convenient to go shopping every couple of days. What would happen if that was suddenly no longer an option? Rioting and unrest would happen within hours.
Another thing the book points out is the vulnerability of our ports. Not only are hidden cargoes in containers discussed, but a Chinese honeypot spy operation is employed against a Customs Inspector (unlike the real-life honeypot employed against US Rep Swalwell) to facilitate bringing in containers with weapons. If Mark Sibley can see the potential risk, the MSS can too. I’ll point out that a rush to clear backlogged ports will lead to hasty and less-thorough inspections of containers.
We would also do well to remember that last Christmas Day, we had a terror attack in the center of our Nation (literally) in downtown Nashville, and no one batted an eye. Everyone just seemed to accept the official story that some random dude built an EFP to take out the ATT trunk lines for no reason. I maintain that it was a successful “proof of concept” attack.
There’s a piece of Tactical Wisdom that applies here:
The prudent seedanger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Heed the danger, and raise your awareness, we are in a very dangerous time. We’ve never been this close a major European land war in our lifetime. At the same time, we are very close to a ground war in the Pacific.
Here at home, should the lights go out, the Cold Civil War will almost immediately turn hot. Simmering racial and political disputes will suddenly become causes for violent action.
In summary, buy the book, if you haven’t already, to learn about the potential of the attack happening, and a glimpse at life in the immediate aftermath. It will be far worse than you can imagine.
After reading this, do us all a favor and drop Mark a note (@mnsibley on Twitter), telling him to finish the sequel.
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In his ground-breaking novel “One Second After”, the first place William Forstchen talks about the disaster impacting is an assisted living/long term care facility. It’s important, because most people don’t realize what life-ending implications a power outage will have on such facilities, starting within MINUTES. Here, we are going to discuss some of those risks, and discuss how you can plan for family members in these facilities.
First, before someone says, “But, bro, an EMP is unlikely”, let’s address the scenario in the book. In the book, an unknown party detonates multiple EMP devices at altitude across the country, causing an immediate loss of electrical power and stopping most vehicles. We know that’s a worst-case scenario, but a grid hacking attack is quite likely, especially in the event of hostilities with China or Russia, which is likely within the next 30 days.
In fact, Australian authorities this morning reported that in late November, an energy company in Australia detected a hacking attack on their grid network that was stopped. The origin of the attack was traced to China. Attacking the grid in a modern Western nation like Australia is likely to be purely a “proof of concept” attack, training for how to penetrate the US grid, as all Western nations use similar protection.
Whatever the cause, from the standpoint of an assisted living or long-term care facility, the effects are what matter. Now, a grid attack would leave their generator up and running, so they would forestall the immediate danger, but only by a few days. Generators only hold a certain amount of fuel. If the power is out, getting fuel out of the ground and into the generator is going to be an issue.
So, what are the risks? Well, a good number of the people in these facilities rely on electronic devices for survival. For some, it’s oxygen delivery devices, for others, more intricate life support. These devices will immediately stop working once the flow of electricity stops.
Again, many will say, “But the generators”. Generators, especially in commercial buildings, are not meant to power the ENTIRE facility for long-term operations. In fact, in a lot of areas, the generator runs a building at half power. This means that half of the lights are on and only half of the circuits are charged. This will start the countdown for a lot of residents.
Climate control is another grave issue. I’ve mentioned before how our controlled climates are making us weaker as a species, and it’s even more serious for the elderly. A facility dropping below 65 degrees or rising above 85 will rapidly cause deaths in residents. Facilities are required to have emergency plans for this, but those plans are for when help IS coming. What if help wasn’t?
Fear of freezing will lead to an increased fire risk, and we already know how dangerous that is. Lack of proper air handling and improvised heating will also lead to increased risk of carbon monoxide poising.
Sanitation will be a problem. Staff members won’t be coming into work and that means bed linens and bed pans won’t be changed, and some people who need assistance to get to the restroom won’t get help. It will get ugly very quickly. This will lead to infections and disease.
An outside risk factor is looting. I know a lot of you are thinking, “What??”. Think about what is stored at an assisted living facility. Drugs – specifically Fentanyl and opioids. What type of resistance do you think assisted living home residents & staff will offer? You haven’t considered it? I guarantee you the looters WILL.
So, with all these risks, what can we do?
First, get out your trusty Battle Board (seriously, why don’t you have one?) and visit the facility. The facility must make their emergency plans available, so ask for a copy. Use the Battle Board to sketch the facility and apartment/room for future use, you might need it. Take a photo with your cell phone of every wall-mounted evacuation map you can see. Walk the grounds, looking for access to trail systems, in case you need to remove someone at night. Information gathering and knowing the terrain is an important first step.
Ask specifically where the “safe havens” are that they would put residents awaiting an evacuation and ask what facilities they have agreements with to transfer people to in an emergency. If you arrive to liberate Granny from the facility and she’s gone, you need to know where to find her. Learn what the facilities’ vehicles look like in case you need to travel a route between two places, looking for a stranded vehicle.
Have an excess supply of any medications or medical tools (wheelchairs/walkers) that your relative needs in case you must take them out of the facility in a hurry.
The best practice in a known short-term emergency, like a localized power outage from a storm or weather, is to just leave them in place, but communicate with the facility daily. In this way, you will know what is happening, what their plans are, and where Granny is should they evacuate.
Should it develop into a longer-term emergency, or you know immediately that it’s “The Big One”, you may want to consider getting them out. Know the facility rules on checking people in or out, but remember that in a WROL situation, YOU decide what happens to your family and no sheet of paper overrides that.
Here’s the Tactical Wisdom on that:
Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
Leaving behind family members who can’t care for themselves is not an option.
The best option is to attempt to sign them out, even if it is against medical advice, as early in a crisis as possible. You can always bring them back if the situation wasn’t as dire as you originally thought.
If you’ve gathered the floor plan information and made the sketches as part of your “Area Study” on the building, you are in a better position to affect a rescue “in extremis” should it be required. If the power is out and looters are on the streets, and no help is coming, an extraction may be needed.
The point is to have plans that begin with signing them out normally, through arguing with staff if needed, to forcible extraction as a last resort. Your family cannot be obligated by the facility to remain there in a life-threatening crisis, and YOU get to make that decision, not them.
You need to consider your family member’s mobility when planning for an extraction. Do you need a wheelchair, or a stretcher? If so, you need additional people to provide security while someone pushes the chair or while two people carry the stretcher. Again, security must become an obsession.
Understand that you likely will not be able to stay on site to gather all their belongings, so consider making a visit now and preparing them a “Go Bag” with a few essentials. Another consideration is medications as the staff will not likely surrender them to you from their locked storage facility, so plan ahead.
You may have to plan for alternate entry, as most access control systems now default to locking with 10,000-pound magnetic locks if the power goes out. Know the full building layout in case you have to enter at an unconventional location.
This may seem extreme, but absolutely nothing would keep me from getting my family members out.
I was asked earlier today “How could you take care of them outside of that facility and isn’t it then better to leave them there?” That’s not the point. Why would you leave your family member to die trapped in a facility filled with other people, lacking running water and electricity, waiting to die? I would rather take them from a virtual prison, and bring them home, to let them die in dignity, rather than in a building where they will die with others in filth and terror. I simply could not leave them there, even if I knew they would die either way.
Another life lesson I learned at 18 years old: Warriors don’t leave another member of their tribe behind, even if that person wants them to. It is better to die free.
For those who say, “But the old and unwell are a burden on our bug-out compound”, I say two things. First, shame on you; everyone has value. Second, as I point out in TW-03 Defensive Operations, the elderly and less fit can man your command post, work a radio, or perform some other tasks, freeing up a more fit person.
Get out and do an area study on their facility and develop the plans to get them out of there in an emergency. Learn what the process is to sign someone out, as that is the preferred plan, but also have a plan to extract them in an emergency.
We saw with COVID 19 that the government very publicly said that they were willing to let the elderly die, if they had to choose between the elderly and literally any other age group. If you already can’t rely on them, why would you in a crisis?
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As the media and international leaders point their fingers at Vladimir Putin for the current situation in the Ukraine, I thought I would take us on a trip down Memory Lane. I’m no fan of Putin or Russia, but the truth needs to be told.
First, let’s remember that Barack Obama famously said he’d like a third term where he hid in the shadows and controlled the actual President. First, that should have sent a shudder down our collective spines as the very thought of a Shadow President is anathema to the “Democracy” that they keep saying is “under attack”. It sure is.
Look at the current Administration and see how many Obama staffers are in it, from Jen Psaki to Joe Biden. Most important, though, is VICTORIA NULAND. She is currently the Under-Secretary of State for Political Affair, and under Obama she was the Assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian Affairs.
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
I studied the Ukrainian Revolution in detail for my books, because it was the basis of my “72 Hour Theory”, where life can go from normal to a full collapse in 72 hours, as it did in the Ukraine in February of 2014.
Leading much of this was a group called Right Sektor, which I maintain was ANTIFA, yet when evidence of atrocities committed during the revolution came out, magically the media re-branded them as, you guessed it, right-wing nationalists and fascists. It’s important to note that they were ALLIED with the left-wing socialist movements that won the revolution and were the street fighters battling with police. You are free to disagree with me on the ANTIFA claim, but here is their flag:
Now, who fomented the crisis that led to the revolution? Many years ago, NATO, the EU, and Russia all signed a treaty that guaranteed that all parties would not influence the Ukraine, and that the Ukraine would remain politically independent. The MSM and UN would have you believe that the annexation of Crimea was Russia violating that agreement.
BUT: The Ukraine had already been given a Membership Action Plan to join NATO, along with Georgia, which violated that prior agreement. Russia no longer felt bound. Russia invaded Georgia over their NATO ascension plans in 2008.
Leaked audio has revealed that none other than Victoria Nuland was involved in the revolution that toppled democratically elected President Yanukovych. She is heard discussing replacing him with Yatsenyuk, whom she refers to as “YATS”, implying a close relationship. Who was President in 2014? Who is likely the ACTUAL President today?
We already knew that the Ukrainian Revolution was a Barack Obama-led “color revolution” that they bragged about, but the question is, “Why did Yanukovych have to go?”. Despite the media singing the nebulous term “corruption” and “ties to Russia”, the TRUTH is that he refused to sign an EU membership treaty, but he had a legal basis. The Ukrainian Parliament, in compliance with previous treaty about Ukraine remaining politically independent, needed to pass new legislation authorizing the President to sign such a treaty. When they didn’t, he refused to sign it and the revolution began.
Make no mistake, it was a violent coup, planned, funded, and directed by the United States. No big deal, we do it all the time. The side we wanted won, right? Yanukovych was out, right? WRONG.
When Russian forces extracted Yanukovych for his safety as Right Sektor was taking over the Capitol, The Parliament held a vote on removing Yanukovych from office, since he could no longer fulfill his duties. They needed a 75% vote but DID NOT get it. The US & UN still recognized Yatsenyuk as the new Interim President, despite the fact that Yanukovych had not been properly removed from office.
We call that a coup when other countries do it. When we do it, we call it the “will of the people”.
But surely, Russia did indeed steal the Crimea, right? Wrong again.
On Feb 4th, 2014, weeks before the revolution even happened, the Crimean Parliament voted to hold a referendum on Crimean independence. I know, you’re thinking, “But the media said Putin arranged it”. He did NOT. He actually said that he would provide security, as REQUESTED by the Crimean Parliament and the STILL SITTING President, Yanukovych, and that he would let the people decide.
Yes, Russia moved forces into Crimea. However, there was a standing agreement that Russia could have forces inside Crimea because the Russian Black Sea fleet and her two Naval Infantry (Marine) Brigades were based there. As the security situation deteriorated, they moved in more troops, but with the LEGAL President’s authority.
Now, I’m not advocating for either side, because I don’t have a dog in this fight, but these are all facts, and they are undisputed. Feel free to do your own research, and you will find these facts. The issue is media malfeasance.
But what does this mean for preparedness? Well, it means that you need to be ready within the next 30 days (75 days max) for a European land war. Russia has demanded that the EU and NATO rescind their membership offers to Ukraine, in compliance with their prior treaty, and Joe Biden has demanded that Russia withdraw from Crimea.
Neither of those things is going to happen. Russia has amassed a massive force on the border. Just days ago, field hospital units and air-medical transports arrived in the area. Those would not be needed for training. The OSCE is reporting GPS and radio jamming, and Russian tanks appear to have been modified for combat operations.
So far, Sweden (of all places) and the UK have already committed actual troops to defend the Ukraine. It is likely that Poland and the Baltic States would also. This would expand the front, because Belarus, as a Russian client-state, would likely interdict Baltic troop deployments, and you would soon have fighting from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea.
For us, first, this would mean potential cyber-attacks on our grid and communication systems to prevent the US from supporting the Ukrainian side. While Russia would not likely directly attack our forces, hacking would be widespread.
You need to have alternate communications plans in place now. Understand that grid or communications disruptions also mean that you likely can’t get gas out of underground tanks and if you can, you likely can’t use your debit card to pay, so keep your cars full and carry a little extra cash.
Have a get home bag fully stocked and ready. Now is a good time to double check and re-stock it, along with your first aid kits. If you don’t know how to build a Get-Home Bag, my Baseline Training Manual has a step-by-step guide. Amazon can get it to you in a day or two, or you can order signed copies on this site.
As it is wintertime, keep a blanket or extra clothing layers in your car in case you get stranded if any disruptions occur. A sleeping bag or the good old “woobie” poncho liner is a great option. I also keep a single person, low profile backapcking tent in my trunk.
Make sure that you have some type of battery-operated radio that can receive broadcast AM/FM and shortwave/amateur radio (see below). Even if the internet is down, commercial radio may still be up, and amateur radio stations will be broadcasting what information they have.
Keep in mind also that if the rest of the Western world is suddenly occupied with a shooting war in northern Europe, Comrade Xi and his merry men will see that as the most perfect time to seize Taiwan, and they also would begin that operation with communications and grid attacks on us, to prevent us coming to Taiwan’s aid.
Cyber War is a reality we must contend with. A hack on the grid is just as deadly as an EMP, and far more likely. As I said before, don’t prepare for events, prepare for the effects of the event. It doesn’t matter why the lights went out, just that you were prepared to deal with it.
Later this week, we will discuss how to prepare to deal with loved ones who may be in an assisted living or long-term care facility. If the power goes out, you may need to rescue them.
Volume 3 of the Tactical Wisdom Series, Defensive Operations is out and available on Amazon.
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Tactical Wisdom Volume 3 – Defensive Operations is live and available on Amazon. I don’t have author copies on hand to sell as signed here yet, but I will update when I do. If you want to get the book before Christmas, Amazon (as much as I hate to say it) is your best bet.
The entire basis of the book is Luke 11:21, from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.
Defensive Operations discusses ways in which to secure your property, neighborhood, campsite, or compound in a “Without Rule of Law” situation. This Volume of the Tactical Wisdom Series covers the skills and knowledge to conduct local security operations either for an individual location or for a community. The book focuses on protecting your people, supplies, and properties in an environment where help may not be coming.
This Volume builds on the gear and organization developed in Volume 1, Baseline Training Manual, and the individual & team skills learned in Volume 2, Fieldcraft, to begin true defensive operations to maintain our self-sufficiency.
Work will begin immediately on Volume 4, Scouting and Patrolling. This was the title of a book written by Colonel Rex Applegate during WW2, which became a US Army manual on the skills of conducting patrols in a hostile environment, to improve fieldcraft skills, and to improve small-unit operations. These are directly applicable to our goals.
The USMC puts out their own version, updated every few years, and the Army puts out the Ranger Handbook and Long-Range Surveillance Unit manuals, but I’ve decided to take these, plus some materials from our Commonwealth partners (I may have to toss the Australian SAS aside now), and a few private military company materials and distill it all down into an Advanced Fieldcraft book that applies to our goals, rather than strict military operations.
As preparedness people, we don’t need the complex organization and reporting structures that militaries do, and we also can’t use the same battle drills. You and I, with our 9-man team, can’t hold in place and wait for air or artillery support, nor can we wait for a company-sized QRF, we are it. We have to be able to either resolve the contact or break contact. There will not be a cavalry coming to the rescue just in time.
The purpose of the whole series is to return us to the Minuteman Concept of a Free People, able to respond to violence at a moment’s notice with actual combat and preparedness skills, including when & how to break or avoid contact entirely.
You are not Free unless you possess the capability to remain Free of your own choosing, and to resist the restriction of your freedoms. Take from that what you will, Feds.
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.
Recently, I spent some time in the field with some new gear. Northern Michigan can get cold in November, but not cold enough for my full USMC issue Gore-Tex Parka and liner. The parka is restrictive anyway and too warm for use while moving.
I found and bought a Tru-Spec 1/4 Zip Winter Combat Shirt, and it was available in USMC Woodland digital camouflage, so it was a perfect fit to my other gear. It’s grid fleece, and insulated, but not too thick for movement.
It was 26-32 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and I wore this, along with just silk-weight long underwear. I was not cold when just sitting in the woods stationary, even for a few hours. While moving, I was sweating. The insulation on this shirt is solid.
The shirt is also sturdy and built to military standards, so it can take rough treatment. I was incredibly happy with it.
The other new piece of gear is a new handheld CB Radio made by QYT, the QYT CB-58. Before the Hams and the purists jump in the comments, yes, it’s Chinese and yes, it’s a CB. Cool?
I know that CB has fallen out of favor with a lot of groups, but remember what we are talking about, a Without Rule of Law situation. In all honesty, here in Detroit, there is activity on maybe 5 of the 40 CB channels and that’s all on AM only. The FCC has just opened CB to FM, which will cut down on a lot of background noise issues. If I decide to even block off 10 channels as not usable locally, that still leaves 30 license free usable channels. In a WROL situation, those businesses and truckers won’t be using the other 10, either.
No, CB isn’t great in an urban area, but neither is anything else, especially in a grid-down WROL situation. As I discussed in all 3 of my books, CB, because of its properties and widespread availability, makes for a great medium for vehicle communications in open terrain, such as convoying out of the city to your bug out location. In the books, I recommended finding a good handheld unit as well, because occasionally, you will want to send a dismounted team to check out a danger area, and a handheld lets them communicate with the vehicles.
The QYT CB-58 is well-suited for this role. The radio is more solidly built than most of the currently available hand-held CBs from Midland and Uniden. It has a more substantial antenna and has features that the other units don’t.
First, it has a particularly good scan function that allows you, from the unit, to add or delete channels from the scan list. By itself, that feature is worth buying the radio. Second, you can program up to eight memory channels using their easy-to-use software and the included programming cable. You can then switch from normal operation to operating only on your memory channels. You can also, using the software, change the two channels that are on the Emergency button. The radio comes with them programmed as Channel 9 and Channel 19, but I switched mine to Channel 3 (Amrron Ch-3 Project) and 4 (Alternate).
The CB-58 has a rechargeable battery pack, instead of the usual 39 AA batteries that die in 4 hours in most handheld CB units. I’ve bought an extra, but the battery lasts several days with the radio on. The radio and battery pack are also smaller than most handheld CB units.
Overall, it’s a solid radio with the feel of a serious professional radio, rather than the cheap plastic-housing feel of most handheld CB units and it has great transmit and receive. While I didn’t specifically do measured tests, inside the house it’s pulling in truck-yard operations from 3-4 miles away clearly.
Another great point to this radio is that, unlike every other handheld CB unit on the market, uses a standard Kenwood K-1 connection for accessories. In other words, every Baofeng accessory works with this radio. I tested several shoulder speaker-mic combos and my Surveillance Kit and they work flawlessly. Standardization is a win.
I like the fact that I can switch between AM and FM with a button, along with the other functions like editing the scan list, editing memories, etc. It’s a worthwhile investment.
Next week, we’ll test and review a new trench periscope for urban scouting and survivability.
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I get a lot of questions from people looking to get into preparedness, but they don’t know where to start. Their concerns are usually around the cost, and the current economic situation has only made that even more important. The biggest fear new people have getting into preparedness is the cost.
They’ve watched shows and listened to self-proclaimed internet “experts” who list out all of the highest-end, most expensive options that you “MUST HAVE”, and it discourages people from getting into prepping. The single biggest concern among new preppers is cost.
First, let’s give some quick Tactical Wisdom that applies to today’s RANT:
Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:18
So, how do they learn? They ask questions. When they ask me, I try to give them the best advice to get them to a low-cost STARTING POINT. The reason I do that is that having SOMETHING is better than having NOTHING.
What inevitably happens, whether it’s about backpacks, guns, or radios, someone else chimes in that the low-cost option is garbage and that the brand-new prepper MUST spend hundreds or thousands on their preferred item. The new person then gives up because they can’t afford it.
The goal should be to get as many new people at least to a modicum of preparedness as quickly as we can, and then those people can swap out to better gear later, if they have the money. Our default position should be to at least get people into a state where they CAN survive, even if it’s not ideal, which is better than where they are NOW.
For example, if a guy can only afford a DTI-15 at $700 and not an UberGucci-15 at $4,875, why discourage him by telling him the DTI is junk or a “Poverty Pony”? For the record, I went through Blackwater HRSO school with my trusty DTI and was the top shooter. Saint Kyle, the Defender of Kenosha used a $700 S&W MP-15 and I think we can all agree that he was combat-effective. The fact is that you need a rifle to hold off the hordes and the bad guys aren’t going to ask you what model you shot them with and what accessories you had.
Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.
Accessories are the same. Every internet expert has a list of the 7 or 8 things you NEED on your rifle. I have 3 requirements. Most of that stuff you will never use in real life. You need an optic, a Magpul “Battery Assist Device”, and a bayonet lug for a basic fighting rifle. Anything else is extra. Maybe a weapon light. Having all that extra garbage just makes the rife heavier. Have a safe queen if you want one, but your fighting rifle just needs to be functional.
Glock folks are like this. Every time Glock changes the number of dots on the grip and calls it a new “Gen”, the Glock guys run out and buy a new one. Meanwhile, I’m outshooting them with my Gen 3 G23 and they barely shoot their Gen 5, because it will lower the resale value for them when the Gen 37 comes out.
The other big place where it happens is radios. Radios are intimidating to new people because of the technology. When people ask me, and state that they don’t have a lot of money, I recommend the old standby, the Baofeng. Mentioning the word “Baofeng” instantly attracts Ham Operators (watch the comments, one will be in there telling me I’m wrong), who then tell the new person that “NO, NO, you absolutely MUST spend $300-$400 on a handheld, and buy a $500 mobile, and another $375 in antennas”. That new person then gives up and BUYS NOTHING.
It’s a weird thing about Hams. I know a lot and they are incredible resources and great people, but it can get like a religion. If you don’t do everything the way they want, some of them lash out. One gave my first book a 1-Star review, because he didn’t like that my SINGLE CHAPTER on communications didn’t go into the detail he wanted it to. He admits he loved the rest of the book. Bro, if you wanted a ham radio book, buy a ham radio book.
Now, I’ll be honest. I put in Amazon Affiliate Links and sell books to make money because this has replaced most of my job, but this project started because I wanted to help get people into preparedness, and maybe get them to open the Bible occasionally. If I was in it for the money and not to help others, I would be tossing in Amazon links to the $218 Yaesu FT-70DR instead of the $70 Baofeng, wouldn’t I? I would rather people get something that works at low cost rather than not getting anything or just getting a Midland bubble-pack radio with a range of a couple hundred feet.
I know, the ham guys like to talk about all the email they’ll be sending via radio and all the cool radio networking stuff you can do, and it’s all true, but reality must intrude. I’ve studied real-world WROL situations, and the truth of the matter is that you will spend most of your time on local security operations with all your people mostly within one mile of each other, so the Baofeng is perfectly functional. I’ve always said that your group needs one dedicated radio professional, who will have the skills and equipment to do all the extra stuff, but each member needs ONE FUNCTIONAL HANDHELD, and the Baofeng does that, with more options and better range than bubble-pack radios.
Fitness and martial arts are the same, too. In my books, I say do LITERALLY ANYTHING, which is better than the nothing a new person is doing. Immediately, others reply that if you aren’t doing their preferred fitness program or studying their preferred martial art (looking at you, BJJ guys), you’re literally going to die. Don’t listen to them, just move your body more than you are now. Learn any martial art.
This phenomenon extends into gear like packs, too. If you read anything of mine, you’ll learn that I recommend military surplus for backpacks, because of the millions of dollars world militaries spend on research to create gear that will hold up to long term and heavy use in the field. That’s a fact. Then, some Gear Queen will say, “No you need to spend $459 (actual price, see below) on Eberlestock Terminator or your gear is absolute garbage”. The Eberlestock Terminator is essentially the civilian version of the USMC ILBE pack, available for one-fourth the cost. Another ultra-expensive outdoor bag is essentially a US ALICE pack from the 70s-90s, rebranded. Get what you can afford, and military surplus gets you good gear at a lower price.
The purpose of this rant is two-fold. First, to the experienced “preppers”, stop discouraging new people by telling them that the only option is to spend a lot of money they don’t have. Encourage them, instead, to at least get to a minimum standard, like my Baseline Training Manual teaches. Second, to the new people just getting into preparedness, don’t let these people discourage you. If all you can afford is basic gear, buy basic gear. You can upgrade later if your finances allow. Waiting until you save up the money for the highest options may mean you never get them because an event occurs before you are ready.
And let’s be BRUTALLY honest here: Most Gear Queens just BUY gear and collect it. When that day comes, they’ll be a loot drop and you can have your pick of their gear. Just kidding…..sort of.
Buy the gear you can afford, and then train with it. Train a lot with your gear. If you do, you’ll be ten times better off than that Gear Queen with all the cool stuff that’s been in storage forever. Imagine this…they bought that $459 pack, packed it, but never trained on moving in it carefully and quietly with a full load while carrying a gun. In less than a mile, they’ll be struggling and banging into things. After 3 hours on the move, they’ll be exhausted and have sores. Get what you can afford and start training with it.
Volume 3 – Defensive Operations is DONE and we’re just waiting on the cover before publishing. Watch for a new post when it’s ready.
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As a professional in the tactical and preparedness space, I get it- how hard it can be seeing attacks and tragic environmental disasters in the news and wanting to reach out to these people to support them.
I remember when I first started getting into preparedness. I had no idea what to buy, in what quantities, what gear I needed, or, more importantly, which skills I needed to get trained or develop.
That’s why I was so thrilled when my friend, Kelly Nogueira told me she was hosting an interview series all around this topic, which was actually born out of her own research project as an everyday civilian, learning from a multitude of professionals in the field HOW to prepare for the unexpected and become tactically aware for herself, her family, and friends.
It’s called: Today’s Tactical Awareness Series: Empowering Yourself and Preparing for the Unexpected
I have a complimentary ticket for you to attend. You can register using this link
Just so you know, you will be able to watch from your home, office, or on the go.
This is about a young lady who’s been driven to find answers on how to become self-reliant and most prepared for unanticipated events on her solo travels around the United States and what current events to take into consideration. Join her on her journey to become empowered with incredible tactical knowledge that can be implemented immediately.
21+ professionals in the tactical and self-preparedness space are unifying as experts to support Kelly on her search for answers, and to share their wealth of knowledge with the world in this unique series. You’ll be able to hear a variety of professional opinions exploring different avenues of tactical awareness and self-reliance.
This is a great opportunity for anyone in my community who is also looking for additional information on tactical awareness and self-preparedness. This is something I wish I had when I first started my preparedness journey, which is why I am so glad Kelly is hosting this and that I get to share it with you.
You can register for the Today’s Tactical Awareness Series here:
Last week, when it was apparent that a verdict in the Rittenhouse case was imminent, I suggested that Kenosha might be a good place for like-minded people to meet, and maybe prevent a repeat. I got dozens of responses that either I was a Fed, or that I should “Have fun hanging out with the Feds”. Another common one was “Don’t, the Feds will be all over the place”.
I get the same response every time that I suggest going anywhere and doing anything.
Here’s the honest truth: That thinking is EXACTLY why we are where we are today, and why we will lose. The FBI set up the events of January 6th, and the very public arrests to scare you into inaction. When people started to actually use their First Amendment right to petition their government for redress of grievances at school board meetings, what happened? They first threatened to use terrorism laws against the people, then began doing it.
What was the effect? It had an immediate cooling effect on the public protests and people started the “You better not go, the Feds will be there” chatter and we lost momentum.
They are taking these actions because they are AFRAID. They would much prefer that WE be afraid and sit at home waiting for some orange-faced Savior to save the day. No cavalry is arriving, nor is Gandalf going to appear at dawn on the third day with the Rhohirrim to save the day.
Here’s the honest truth: This will not be won on Twitter. We must at some point offer resistance by speaking out and marching against tyranny. Otherwise, they win by default. You cannot win by playing defense. No war, culture war or actual war, was ever won by not engaging.
The other fallacy is the “by reacting and doing literally anything but sitting at home and tweeting, we are playing into their hands, and they’ll be able to enact tighter controls on us.” Guess what? The tighter controls are coming either way, so you MIGHT AS WELL resist them in some way. Doing nothing is not winning.
If there is nothing that you are willing to get off the couch for, then stop sending out your hot takes and complaints via Twitter. If you aren’t willing to get out in the real world and stand up, do the rest of us a favor and stop play-acting. Admit that there is NOTHING you will resist and just accept it. The rest of us need to know who our TRUE allies are.
Now, I don’t mean take drastic action, I mean do literally ANYTHING. Attend a school board meeting and register your opposition. Counter-Protest (and no, I don’t mean attack the left, I mean protest). Attend a march. Go meet like-minded people. Make your voice heard.
Yes, this is a tough love post. You need to hear it. You need to stop screeching “FED!!” every time one of us is willing to stand up to the growing tyranny. Cowering at home in fear of the government is living in tyranny in case you weren’t clear. Staying away from events because you’re afraid of the FEDS isn’t “being smart”, it’s cowardice. No, I won’t be giving out participation trophies here, because YOU AREN’T PARTICIPATING.
If this post offends you because I used the word COWARDICE, that’s on you. Re-evaluate your life. Decide. You can either decide to get off the couch and start organizing and making your voice heard, or you can get angry. Do me and yourself a favor though…If you’re going to get angry, unfollow this blog and unfollow me on Twitter. You aren’t doing either of us any good by continuing to follow me.
“But I thought this was a preparedness blog, what’s this rant about?” It is a preparedness blog. Most of the people involved in preparedness prepare in case of a tyrannical government. That is happening now.
What does the Ultimate Tactical Handbook have to say? I’m glad you asked:
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.
Another, more direct, way this applies to preparedness is that the Department of Homeland Security now considers “preparedness” or “concern for Constitutional rights” to be signs of “domestic violent extremism”. The government is directly calling preppers and others into preparedness potential terrorists, and instead of resisting it, we’re letting them drive us underground and we are being apologetic.
The Founding Fathers believed that Tyranny can only exist when the people fear the government more than government fears the people. That’s where we are today. If you don’t believe me, buy the book listed below and read their writings.
When people say, “But I can’t lose my job”, I get it; it’s a tough call. But now, they are threatening that job if you refuse to bend the knee. It’s a vaccine today, it will be your social credit score tomorrow. At some point, if we don’t resist in a unified way, you’re going to lose that job anyway, if you don’t completely bow down to their agenda.
If you want to see a good illustration of this point, watch “The Patriot”. Benjamin Martin refused to fight, because he had to provide for his family. He was able to postpone the fight, but the fight still came. And the cost to his family was MORE than if he had fought from the first day.
It’s time to make a decision. Either stand and fight (in Minecraft, FEDS), or stop complaining and accept your masters. It’s really that simple.
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I frequently get called an alarmist. When I discuss our current situation, people say, “That will never happen here” or “This is America, they can’t ever do that”.
It frustrates me to no end, because in America before March of 2020, if someone said, “The state governments here in America are going to order all businesses to be severely limited and order citizens to remain in their homes, for a prolonged period, unless they have some valid reason to be outside of their home”, anyone would have said “That will never happen here”, yet it has. We are well beyond the realm of “That can’t happen here”, yet people say it to me day after day.
As an example, Javier Goya (not his real name) and I began talking months ago about how issues with the supply chain and disturbing indicators in the commodities markets were pointing towards a looming food shortage. We were roundly laughed at & told that we were being alarmist. Today, the Twitter feeds are full of pictures of empty shelves, and the press is telling us to get used to it because it’s the new normal. Normally, this time of year, grocery stores are brimming with turkeys. This year, if you are lucky to find one, it’s double the price of last year.
Why do I mention this? To say I told you so? No, it’s to warn you about normalcy bias. Normalcy bias is the tendency to deny that something is happening, despite evidence to the contrary. Normalcy bias is what causes people to say, “I just don’t see that happening”. Did you see complete and total lockdowns happening and did they happen even though you didn’t?
Closely related to normalcy bias is hope. Hope causes people to believe things that just aren’t realistic. There are many who hope that things will just go back to normal in America, so they suggest just “waiting and seeing” what is going to happen. This is the “don’t make waves” group. Many people hope that by “going along to get along”, the extremists on both sides will magically moderate their positions and everything will default to the “normal” setting.
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.
The socialist progressives, every time that the conservatives compromise, rather than moderating, have then made an even more extreme demand. Winston Churchill once warned about the Munich Agreement compromise, which handed an entire nation to the National Socialists without a fight, but Chamberlain did it anyway “to preserve peace, no matter the cost”. Did Chamberlain prevent World War 2? Did his appeasement of the demands of the far left (Yes, Hitler was Far LEFT not right) lead to peace? No, it led to more demands and eventually war.
Here’s where history provides my next example. Despite the glaring example of the Munich agreement, what did the Soviet Union, another far left nation, do? They entered the Non-Aggression Pact with Germany and banded together to divide up Poland (boy, does history repeat or what).
Once Germany got what it wanted (a unified front against Poland), did it then say, “Thanks for the compromise, let’s get back to normal”? No; as soon as they got what they wanted, they attacked their ally in Operation Barbarossa and the only thing that saved the Russians was her size and the weather (winter).
This isn’t exclusive to the left, the far right does the same thing. When granted compromises on illegal immigration, it led to the formation of even more extreme groups and political parties that demanded an end to ALL immigration, which is unrealistic.
On a side note, for the leftists that love to read my articles and comment, I’m not talking about Neo-Nazi groups: those belong to YOU. When you read the platform of any Neo-Nazi group, their platform is ALWAYS socialist. They ALWAYS call for nationalization of banks and businesses, they call for social welfare programs, and other things that only the left demands. Their racist policies towards Jews and other minorities are the same restrictions that the leftist woke mob wants to put on white people. Two sides of the same coin. And if you doubt my opposition to these groups, check out my very public expression of revulsion at one such group on Twitter a few days ago.
So, what does this history lesson have to do with today’s events and preparedness? Well, it tells us that compromise and going along are not guarantees of safety. We must continue to plan and not rely on compromise.
The most important takeaway is to stop thinking “It can’t happen here”. Civil War has already happened here once, and now there is open talk on both sides of secession and “peaceful divorce”. Let me just tell you: A national divorce will NOT be peaceful. Both sides would see it as validation of their worldview, and we live too inter-twined lives to just all separate and go on our merry ways.
A national internal conflict here will play out like the Balkan Conflict, but on a far larger scale. It would be unprecedented.
Pay attention to the indicators around you and understand that it CAN and MAY VERY WELL happen here and get prepared. Stock up on food, no matter what. Mountain House is currently having 15% off, so use my affiliate link below (I make a few pennies to support the site) and get some. Keep the car fueled up.
Be aware that the extreme BLM/ANTIFA crowd are every bit as anti-Joe Biden as the right. Look at their websites and Twitter pages. They believe that a violent Marxist revolution is the only solution.
It’s just been revealed that the FBI is indeed opening counter-terrorism investigations against parents who speak out at school board meetings. The other night, a socialist parent threatened conservative parents with “1000 armed soldiers, ready to go”. If everyone else is preparing for a civil war, shouldn’t you?
Lastly, the one-two punch of the Rittenhouse and Aubrey cases ending at the same time is BOUND to cause mass street violence. By the way, those two closing at the same time is most likely BY DESIGN. We’re already seeing both sides in the streets, ready to fight. Prepare.
Oh, and don’t think the FEDS aren’t stirring the pot. This vehicle has all the markings of a false flag to raise tensions. The vehicle belongs to a paper copany and what Nazis are driving around in Japanese trucks?
I hope this has opened a few eyes and helps a couple of you start seeing the world as it IS, not as we would like it to be.
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As we are all watching the Kenosha Kid fight for his freedom, we need to understand that are bigger issues at stake and consider some things. The evidence that has come to light during the trial tends to indicate that charges never should have been filed, as this was a clear-cut case of self-defense.
If he is found guilty, then there is NO CIRCUMSTANCE in which you would be justified in using self-defense, ever again. It’s that important.
But if you’ve been following this blog for more than 10 minutes, you already knew that. The State and Federal systems have suspended self-defense laws FOR CERTAIN GROUPS, especially when defending against rioters. So, then, what is this trial REALLY about and how can we, as preparedness-minded people, plan for the implications?
This prosecution, and several others like it, are about teaching you that you cannot resist the Marxist takeover of America and the BLM/ANTIFA rioters. That’s the TRUE reason this case is progressing at all. The purpose, just like the unconstitutional jailing of the January 6th defendants, is meant to warn you not to resist.
Even worse, it’s WORKING.
Last week, I put out a tweet and article about men standing around while a woman was assaulted in their presence on a train. The VAST MAJORITY of men who responded (to be honest, out of their own guilty feelings) said that they wouldn’t get involved because they would be afraid to get arrested, lose their jobs, or be labeled a racist.
In other words, these malicious prosecutions are having the desired effect of making people afraid to stand up and resist the violence. Guess what? If no one opposes it, it will only get worse. It won’t skip over you, just because you didn’t resist it.
I always let the Ultimate Tactical Handbook, God’s Word, guide me. Here’s what He has to say when the helpless are attacked in your presence:
Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
But you and I can’t do anything to change this situation. Why then am I bringing it up? To get you to consider a piece of Tactical Wisdom and then make some adjustments:
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
It’s so important, that Solomon included it TWICE.
I frequently recommend carrying and having available a body-worn camera. Some of the feedback I get is “But if I have to do that, it means things are terrible”. Yes. That’s true. Things are terrible, whether you want to admit it or not. We must start seeing things as they are, not as we want them to be. News Flash: It will get WAY worse before it gets any better at all.
As I discuss some of these things, there may be Amazon affiliate links, and they do financially benefit us to keep the site going. In all honesty, as much as we hate Bezos, he can get you the gear the fastest. With that piece of legal necessity out of the way…
Having available a body worn camera can prevent you from being at the mercy of the FBI. Yes, I said it. This case has FULLY exposed the FBI. First, they presented a very grainy, IR version of video. When word came out that they had an 8K HD version, they first denied it, then said they lost it, then magically produced it. Obviously, the HD version supports Kyle’s position, not the State’s. If instead, you had a video that you made from your perspective, that you made multiple copies of, you wouldn’t be at their mercy.
But why not use your cell phone camera? Because wearing a pen camera or similar frees your hands to defend yourself or escape. You might need to make a call, and that would end your video. Just get one and keep it available for when bad things start to happen.
Another push back I get is “but if I do something I shouldn’t, it can be used against me”. Then don’t do things you shouldn’t. Act appropriately.
The next thing is, whenever possible, practice “Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu”, which is the martial art of avoiding places where bad things are happening. In his outstanding book (available below), my friend, South African Author Charles Marais sums it up best: “Don’t go to stupid places at stupid hours with stupid people doing stupid things”. Man, Dale Carnegie never offered such great advice.
Learn some type of martial art. Knowing a martial art develops confidence. It also gives you the skills to defend yourself if absolutely necessary. I won’t get into a discussion about which martial art you should study, because I think you should study as many as you can. Learn what works for YOU. Martial arts are also great for fitness and flexibility. Most, if they are truly martial arts and not just a sport (I’m looking at you, TKD), will teach you how to fall without getting hurt. Think about this…how many times have you been attacked versus how many times have you fallen down? See, it will help. Also, literally any martial art is better than the one most of you are doing now, which is nothing. No, Twitter fighting (which I am the Grand Master at), is NOT a martial art and this won’t be won with snarky tweets.
One of the topics brought up in the trial was whether the young lad attempted to help the first person he shot. I’ve long said that anyone who carries a firearm for defense has an obligation to be able to treat a gunshot wound and to carry a medical kit if you carry a gun. From a trial standpoint, being able to demonstrate that you had medical gear available and attempted to provide aid is going to help. Buy lots of medical kits and keep them everywhere. You can never go wrong with one.
That evening, amid all that chaos, cell networks were overwhelmed, and the members of the security team got separated. Having handheld radios on each team member can help, especially since they had men on a roof, which would have given them much longer radio range. Get radios and require your entire team to operate with the same programming file. Everyone must have spare batteries. You should consider, if mounting a static security operation to defend a location like they did, having a more powerful base station radio and longer antenna with you as well. Having a dedicated radio operator to keep track of everyone could have gotten backup to Rittenhouse and prevented the whole chain of events. This could even be vehicle mounted, although portable and on the roof is better.
While these are all things I mention a lot, they are vital. That’s why I keep mentioning them.
This brings me to the final warning. This case is winding down and it appears that Rittenhouse will be found not guilty, at least of the murder charges. George Floyd’s nephew and other ANTIFA/BLM figures are already threatening violent action if Rittenhouse is not convicted. This morning, Deputies found a man trying to get video of the faces of the jurors, likely for retaliation.
You should be upping your preparedness and operating at a higher alert level for the remainder of the trial and immediately after. Dreadful things are coming in the aftermath, whether they are protests about an acquittal or celebratory events for a conviction.
The prudent see danger and take refuge, or so I’ve heard.
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Generally, when we think of a Without Rule of Law (WROL) situation, the first thing that comes to mind is a complete and total collapse. No police, no fire services, nothing at all. That’s generally what we mean.
However, we currently find ourselves in an odd world where things seem to run normally, but the Rule of Law has been set aside, or altered, depending on what group you belong to. One side can riot and destroy things and have their charges dismissed. The other side is charged with crimes for lawfully resisting these attacks. Our friends over at http://www.ForwardObserver.com call this “Gray zone warfare”.
The dictionary defines “Rule of Law” as:
the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws.
Conversely then, we could call the arbitrary exercise of power by setting aside well-defined and established laws as “Without Rule of Law”.
The most glaring example of this is the case of Saint Kyle of Rittenhouse, the Hero of Kenosha and Defender of the Realm. OK, that may be a bit much, but you get the point. As more and more evidence comes out, it becomes more apparent that he should never have been charged and was only charged to appease the violent mobs that were burning Kenosha to the ground.
My point is not to defend Kyle (the prosecutor already has that nailed down), it’s to point out that the Rule of Law was set aside in this case. There is a well-established right to self-defense in every state. Every person Kyle shot that night, we have now learned, was ARMED. Every person he shot that night was attacking him. We set aside common law protections to charge him to appease the rioters.
We also learned that the FBI destroyed 8K video that they had of the entire event. That should be ringing alarm bells in your head. The FBI knew that they had video of a homicide, yet the destroyed it. Ask yourself why. The Rule of Law has been set aside.
Exculpatory video that was in possession of the Prosecutor was NOT turned over during discovery, because the Rule of Law has been set aside.
Kyle isn’t the only one. We saw video after video of BLM/ANTIFA assaulting people and when someone defended themselves, they were arrested. Now, many of those charges were never filed and police claim they made those arrests just to defuse the situation, but that’s not how it works. You can’t arrest people for lawful activity, yet they did.
When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
This morning, word came that several Project Veritas reporters had their homes and offices searched by the FBI. The FBI was seeking information on who sold a diary to Project Veritas that allegedly belonged to a member of the Biden family. First, it has been ruled repeatedly in federal courts that Journalists generally cannot be compelled to reveal sources. Second, the sale was arranged by attorneys for both parties, so that information is privileged and protected.
It’s worth noting that when Project Veritas could not verify that the diary ever actually belonged to the Biden family member, they THEMSELVES turned it over to law enforcement, rather than just putting it out in the public eye. They also upheld journalistic standards by refusing to report on it, even though it was damaging to their opposition.
The Rule of Law is being set aside, again.
At this point, you’re wondering, “what’s the point?”
Most people in this nation comply with the law on a voluntary basis, because it’s what good people do. However, when the government decides to arbitrarily set aside or pursue charges on any basis other than the facts (such as the politics of the violator or racial/orientation factors), then you need to re-evaluate your entire lifestyle.
For example, many of you carry a personal protection firearm for defense because you know the laws, got trained and wanted to protect yourself and your family. You RELY on the government acting in good faith and enforcing their self-defense laws fairly & equally, with only regard for case facts. That is NOT what is happening now, so you need to assess your personal risk exposure here. I’m not saying to stop, I’m saying understand things as they ARE, rather than how they should be, and be aware of the risk.
The other point is that you need to consider what comes next. We are facing a January 4th V-word deadline. Many in the already-strained supply chain flat-out refuse to get the vaccine. This will cause the availability of food and gas to plummet, right after Christmas. You need to be planning NOW.
The government is also stepping up its “War on Domestic Terror”, which would be fine, except they are now calling you a domestic terrorist if you want input on your children’s school curriculum or if you say, “Let’s Go, Brandon”. One person who just won a Governor’s race said publicly that he will NOT allow parents any input on running the schools.
They also list interest in preparedness as an indicator of potential violent extremism, along with wanting to exercise your Constitutional rights or support for the Constitution.
I know, everyone thinks “It can’t happen here” or “But it’s not going to get that bad”. It can happen here, and I’d like someone to explain to me how it’s going to get better.
What you can do is continue to quietly prepare, build your tribe, re-evaluate your position, and start operating on a WROL footing. That means being hyper-aware, watching for further breakdowns in the supply chain, and keeping your people close. It also means to stop talking so publicly about everything (I know, I know, I can see my Twitter page). People are reporting their neighbors and tracking your activity more than you know.
Volume 3 of Tactical Wisdom, “Defensive Operations” is a week overdue, but we are putting the finishing touches on it.
Earlier today, video emerged of a large man punching a small woman in the face on the subway, and literally no one intervened. To be fair, one man shouted at the guy AFTER the assault, which accomplished nothing. Some pointed out that she had just told the man that he needed to take a chill pill. Fair enough…. but that doesn’t justify an assault.
I put out a post challenging men. I asked why so many men would allow a woman with her children to be assaulted in their presence. I pointed out a piece of Tactical Wisdom from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:
Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked
That’s a clear and direct command, straight from God via King David, telling you to defend those who cannot defend themselves.
If you will not stand for your principles, you don’t have any.
I got a lot of responses from men, explaining all the reasons that they could not come to this woman’s defense. “My job”, “my family”, and fear of prosecution all were among the excuses offered.
Now, I wasn’t asking men to take up arms and resist the ever-encroaching federal government or resist a Chinese invasion, I was asking them to step up and protect someone from a criminal attack. A small woman.
I would like to point that if someone had intervened when the man began shouting and acting in a threatening way by speaking up and letting the man know that others would not tolerate his abuse, the ENTIRE ASSAULT PROBABLY WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED AT ALL.
Professionally, I was at a shopping mall a few weeks ago, when a man who stealing was confronted by store staff. He shouted that if she didn’t leave him alone, he was going to assault her, remarkably like what happened today. I stepped up and said “You know I’m not going to let that happen, right? You need to calm down.” Rather than escalating the situation, it instantly diffused it. He returned the items he stole and fled, but no assault happened. If I had chosen to worry about my job and not gotten involved, she would have pushed the issue, and he would have assaulted her. DO SOMETHING.
The whole thing reminded me of the opening scenes of The Patriot, when Benjamin Martin says that he cannot fight, because he must worry about his family. Another member of the Assembly says that family can be a convenient excuse for cowardice. He’s right. I know what you’re thinking, but surely Benjamin was the Hero of the movie, so he must have been right. Well, what Benjamin got for his forbearance, was the State arresting one of his children, killing another, destroying his business, and burning his house to the ground (sound familiar?). Benjamin then MUST fight. All he did was delay the fight, while causing even worse things to happen to his family.
Why do I bring up a fictional movie to make a point? Because the point made is that delaying taking a stand doesn’t mean you get to avoid it forever, and had he STOOD UP EARLIER, maybe the other tragedies could have been avoided.
This piece of Tactical Wisdom is convicting of men who think like this:
If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!
A similar phenomenon occurred a few weeks prior, when a woman was raped on a train in the presence of many witnesses. I also pointed this out after an Islamic terrorist shot up a Denver grocery and no one ran to the aid of the victims. I got the same responses in both of those.
I challenge that these same men, if THEIR wives were attacked on the subway, would be demanding to know why no other men protected their wives. They can deny it all they want, it’s true. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean it’s not true.
Men, you are called and Biblically commanded to TAKE ACTION:
Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
The fact that men are able to justify not getting involved over fear of losing their jobs or being arrested for defending a victim is why America is in the predicament that she is in. Men are unwilling to take a stand against anything out of fear of “rocking the boat” or making their lives uncomfortable in any way.
THAT IS CALLED SURRENDER. A few weeks ago, I quoted Patrick Henry’s famous speech. In that speech, he said, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”. It’s a good point.
Crime is increasing because we are allowing it to flourish. No one is opposing the criminals, so they feel emboldened to attack, rob, and steal with impunity. The police aren’t the answer, they come AFTER the crime. We are the answer. Do you think that doing nothing will make it better? Again, Patrick Henry says it best: “Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?”
The ironic part is that the same men who explained why they couldn’t resist, spend their evenings on Twitter complaining about vaccine mandates, federal over-reach, and the reduction of their freedoms, yet they are unwilling to do anything about it. They will complain, and demand that “someone” do something, just not them.
Some of them even talk about their “red lines”. I tell you this: If you would not step up and defend an innocent attacked in your presence, YOU HAVE NO RED LINES. There is nothing the government could do that you would resist because you need your job. If they show up and demand to inject your kids with experimental vaccines and threaten to take the kids if you don’t consent, YOU MEN will consent. If they demand you get on the train, YOU MEN will do it.
Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
For those who told me they couldn’t resist because “I have a responsibility to my family” I say this: You are putting your family at risk by not taking action. Every criminal act unopposed breeds more crime. That’s just a fact.
Men, the time is rapidly approaching where you will have a choice: Surrender or fight for your family’s freedom.
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
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We all have a plan. We all know where we’re going to go or what we’re going to do. Your plan might be to take off to that bug-out off-grid property 3 hours from the city. You might plan to fortify your property and house, making it more defensible.
As we live through this slow-moving societal collapse (and make no mistake – it IS collapsing), the issue is when do you trigger your plan? When do you begin fortifying? When do you bug out? In a resistance to tyranny scenario, when do you fight?
I’ve been paying attention to conversations between others on social media (much like the FBI) and it seems that everyone is asking these questions, “WHEN?”. The only answer I see bandied about is “Not yet”.
Well, that may be true, but there is danger in waiting too long. I’ve seen it repeatedly…people wait too long and find themselves trapped.
Even after a crisis develops, people wait too long. On August 9th, 2008, Russian Forces invaded Georgia by air, by sea, and by land. In the City of Gori, civilians took their time leaving, because the Georgian Army was re-grouping there and they felt they would be protected. The civilians woke up on the 11th to find that the Georgian Army had abandoned the city. This caused all the civilians to try to flee, which led to a massive traffic jam, preventing anyone from leaving. There were many civilian casualties on the highway south of Gori.
This also happens during hurricanes here, all the time.
We’ve even seen it during the George Floyd Uprisings of 2020. Business owners and residents decided to “wait and see” and then found themselves trapped, because the events unfolded too fast. Some were killed because of it. Still others were forced to defend themselves and found themselves charged for resisting the Uprising.
The time to implement your own plan is a personal decision, but I want to nudge you all a bit and say you need to err on the side of implementing the plans early, rather than adopting a wait and see attitude. It is better to have started a response plan and not needed to than it is to not implement the plan, when you should have.
For example, if my bug-out plan is to leave the area, but I wait, I may very well find the route jammed with others trying to flee or clogged with protestors. On the other hand, if I leave, drive up north, and it was later found that I didn’t need to, I can just drive back. The same is not true if I should have left but didn’t. I may never get out then.
The biggest risk is just like I always point out, the second and third order effects. If I wait to leave the area before a hurricane, to see how bad it’s going to be, and the hurricane is bad, the power will be out. That’s a second order effect. The third order effect is that I won’t be able to get the gasoline I need to leave, because the gas station will not have power to pump it. Another third order effect will be roads blocked by trees.
Let the environment be your guide. Currently, there is a mass reduction in police and fire personnel on-going due to vaccine mandates. The media isn’t telling you about this but check around social media. Today, thousands of NYPD and FDNY staff protested because as of today, they are mandated to get the vaccine. These thousands are willing to quit rather than take the unapproved vaccine. Officers and Fire/EMS personnel all over the country are leaving.
Consider what that means for rule of law. There will be less police and fire personnel to respond. Hospitals are firing staff. There will be less medical care available. The media is spinning this as “Employers are now getting 99% compliance with the vaccine mandate”. Of course they are, because they fired everyone who refused, taking them from 60% to 99% overnight.
What does the Great Book of Tactical Wisdom say?
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Personally, I’m moving to half implementation. I guess using the Naval roots of the Marine Corps, I’m setting Condition 3, Wartime Steaming. I’m getting everything 50% ready, and increasing the readiness to go to Condition 1, General Quarters/Battle Stations.
Gear is all staged and ready, and the full ruck is no longer in the closet, but staged in the office. The car has extra emergency gear and defensive tools ready. Every radio is charged, and everyone is carrying a radio. All fuel storage has been rotated and refreshed/refilled in case they are needed.
I am paying more attention to all sources of information like radio, media, and police scanner traffic. I am reaching out to the rest of my preparedness team, and we are having daily check-ins, rather than weekly.
A good idea is to schedule a video call with your team in the next few days and set some early triggers that will put emergency plans in place. Some people, who live in more rural areas, might already be in full crisis mode, ready to accept other members as things progress.
As an example, I checked in with some folks that I had already arranged to be used as a way point/stop over point should I have to head north. They let me know that they have set up their gate and perimeter alarms, and gave me a radio frequency to call on, so that they can come down to the gate. They don’t have to worry about their neighbors, so they stepped up to be ready to help the rest of us in our travels.
Your group might need to be at that point to. Consider what could be implemented today without causing the neighbors to report you to the FBI. Could I stage blocking bars near my doors inside the hours, to be ready in minutes? Yes. Could I start parking at the very end of my driveway, creating a makeshift gate, rather than pulling up to the house? I sure could. Small things that will make going from 0 to 60 much easier can be done right now.
Note also the language being used. In the current supply crunch, the media is suddenly talking about people “hoarding”. Not “stockpiling”, not “stocking up”, but “hoarding”. They’re all using it. That’s because “hoarding” during a crisis is a federal crime. If they can say people into preparedness are “hoarding” the food and contributing to the shortage, they can bring the Defense Production Act into play and seize your food, even though you bought it all years ago.
How do you combat that? Simple, spread that food around to a few locations. Find other places where you can store. In my example, I was already planning to head to the cabin, so I took a couple loads of the food there. Others are in other places, spreading it around for security.
Give portion to seven, yes to eight.
For you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
The other change in language is that we have switched from calling January 6th an insurrection to calling it either a WAR or act of terrorism. That should be setting off alarm bells and moving you up your alert status. As I keep telling you, if the government is declaring war on you, shouldn’t you prepare for war?
The push back I get from people is “I wasn’t there on Jan 6th; they aren’t talking about me”. No? Read the DHS advisory on potential domestic violent extremists, who they did publicly declare war on. It lists “people concerned with their rights”, “People who are preparing by stockpiling food and supplies”, and “people who believe in upholding the Constitution” as potential terrorists who need to be monitored. THAT’S YOU.
Meet with your people and decide at what level to up your readiness to and what will trigger the implementation of the plan, with or without a proclamation from the group.
I hope this gave you some ideas.
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The US military is rapidly working to develop new doctrine for “Operating in a GPS Denied Environment”. In other words, just as I have warned, they are worried that the Chinese have the capability to either strike the ONE ground station that controls the entire system, or to negate the satellites.
With America’s over-reliance on high-tech precision-guided munitions and aircraft, denying the use of the GPS system would put us at a significant disadvantage over an old-school artillery-heavy formation like the PLA.
If the US Military is planning to be operating in an environment without GPS, shouldn’t you?
Obtaining a QUALITY compass should be one of your current priorities if you haven’t already gotten one. I’m not talking about a $15-$20 button compass or a novelty one, we mean a serious orienteering and land navigation compass, like the Cammenga H3 US Issue one (that’s the one I have). It may be more expensive, but that’s because it’s meant to last forever and be virtually indestructible. It meets military standards, which are actually quite rigorous.
When shopping for these, understand that the “3H” model has tritium, which will be luminous no matter what. The model 27, which I also have as a backup, is phosphorescent, meaning it requires you to shine a light on it for a few seconds to make it glow. Spend the few extra dollars on the 3H, for light discipline.
I consider the Cammenga to be a “navigation” compass because it’s meant to be used in your hand and aimed at landmarks to help you move across land (or water) by following a bearing. While it can be used with a map, it is NOT an ideal map compass, so you’ll need one of those, too.
Wait…I need more than one compass? Yes, just like your road GPS in the car isn’t ideal for backwoods use, neither is a navigational compass ideal for use for planning your route on a map. A compass with a map baseplate is great for using with a map but can’t easily be used to aim for navigation over ground. Land Navigation is not as simple as “get a compass and you’re good to go”. I’ve been on patrols where we used five different compasses, each pre-set on a specific leg of a route (you’ll have to wait for Tactical Wisdom Volume 4 to learn that skill).
I have shown the Suunto M3 baseplate map compass because it has the features you need in a baseplate compass. Suunto is an outstanding compass company. It has various map scale measuring lines built into the transparent base, so that you can put it on a map and measure distances along a specific bearing for route planning. it also has a magnifying glass built in, so that you can better read detail on the map.
It also can be adjusted for magnetic declination, which is something you need to understand to navigate. The magnetic north pole is not exactly on the very top of the world, and the closer you get to it, the larger the angle between true north and magnetic north. Here in Michigan, the angle is about 7 degrees to the west. This means that if I leave my house and follow my compass heading for what it thinks is north, I will eventually walk into Wisconsin (Lake Michigan, actually), rather than into Lake Superior.
This is an over-simplification, but if I plan my route using a map, yet walk using a compass without adjusting my bearings by adding or subtracting the angle from the heading, I won’t reach my destination. I could be off by a few hundred meters, which in a survival situation can mean life or death. If the angle is negative, you must add it to your bearings, and if it’s positive, you must subtract it.
In TW-02, Fieldcraft, there is an entire chapter on Land Navigation. I’ve been told by many veterans and active-duty military that my breakdown of Basic Land Navigation in it was superb and made it easy to understand.
The other piece of gear you need to work with a map is a map romer (also called, ironically, a compass), which is a military tool, shown below, designed to help plot points and plan routes on a map. There are dozens of brands and type, most of which work the same. What I look for are various scales romers, both degree and mil scales around the outside, and some type of measurement scale.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go…
Just as Lady Wisdom from the Psalms will guide you, knowing how to use a map and a compass can truly save your life and quite literally show you the way to go. If the US Military is planning for the imminent loss of GPS technology, so should you.
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This afternoon, Sir David Amess of the British Parliament was holding a ‘constituent surgery’, which is what we in America would call a Town Hall meeting, inside a Methodist Church in London. During this meeting, a man stabbed Amess several times. Despite the heroic efforts of the Emergency Services, Sir David died at the scene.
Police have reported that the suspect is in custody and that they are not seeking any additional suspects. Sir David was a Conservative Member of Parliament.
I wanted to discuss this because it is the natural next step to harassing lawmakers in public. Our current environment of encouraging people to aggressively confront lawmakers no matter where they are, is going to lead to more of this. It’s the only outcome one can expect.
Last week, we saw protestors trap Kyrstin Sinema in a bathroom stall. There is only a ridiculously small step from that to violence. A few days later, the same woman, who happens to be an illegal immigrant, approached Sinema on an aircraft in flight. She should have been arrested for using a cell phone while in flight and harassing other passengers. These acts are DANGEROUS and only a small step from actual violence.
But what does this mean for us? How does it tie to the larger picture? As they tell you these are isolated incidents and that you need to get a vaccine for everyone else’s “peace & safety”, I’d like you to consider this:
While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
1 Thessalonians 5:3
Understand that even at secure venues, terrible things can still happen, and as a Warrior, you must always be ready to defend not only yourself, but also those unable to protect themselves.
Another example came a few days ago, out of Norway. In the aftermath of the Anders Breivik shooting, Norway banned firearms in almost all circumstances. That didn’t stop Espen Andersen Brathen, a recent convert to Islam. Brathen killed 5 and wounded many others with a bow & arrow. He made his way through the small town, forcing his way into homes and shooting arrows into people.
In a not-so-surprising turn of events, the Norwegian security services report that they were warned that Brathen was a radical Islamist OVER A YEAR AGO. Maybe if someone had to told them he was a right-wing extremist instead, none of this would have happened because he would have been arrested that very day, but I digress.
The point is that in the environment of “peace & safety”, people allowed themselves to be disarmed so that when the day came that evil kicked in their door, they couldn’t defend themselves at all.
If only there was some Tactical Wisdom that applied here…
Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
God expects you to stand your ground, and he expects you to still be standing when it’s over.
Let’s discuss some practical aspects of how you can be ready. Now, the links below are indeed affiliate links, and we make a few pennies on them, but understand that I will never recommend anything I don’t use myself.
First, be AWARE. Always pay attention to your surroundings and what the people around you are doing. Watch hands. Know where all the emergency exits are. The Marine Corps Combat Hunter program teaches you to be aware for anomalies or sudden changes in the environment. The book “Left of Bang” is written by the author of the Combat Hunter program, and it is helpful in learning situational awareness.
Learn your local laws and be as armed as you lawfully can be. Understand knife laws & gun laws and use them to your advantage. In Michigan, I know that in areas I can’t carry a gun, I can carry a knife of ANY length, as long as it isn’t concealed, but I also know that I can carry a knife with a blade of under three inches concealed. Knowing this, I have a large fixed blade on the side of my backpack, and I found a 3-inch fixed blade knife that I can conceal on my waistband. Fixed blades are better than folders for self-defense, because they don’t require manipulation to bring the blade into play. My newest one is a Warpath Kitchi in green (link below).
Tactical pens are another good option. You can carry them anywhere, as long as you don’t get one that looks overly militant. I have several, but I recently found a low-key one. It’s small, but solid, and doesn’t look like a weapon at all. For more restrictive areas, the Zebra F-701 is an all-stainless-steel pen. While it doesn’t have a strike end, I guarantee you that the point will still do considerable damage.
Carry a high-quality flashlight everywhere you go. Spend some money, and get a Streamlight or Surefire, something that will last and that is meant to be used with firearms. It will last longer and be resistant to drops. They make good impact weapons. I’ve had both of my Streamlights for over 10 years and they still work. I also recently bought the ASP Scribe. While it’s slightly larger, it bridges the gap between a light and a baton. It still fits in a pocket and is solid.
I recommend also continuing to track known far-left (and far-right) agitators on your local social media pages to remain aware of potential issues. Subscribing to Forwardobserver.com is a valuable tool as well.
As always, have a communications plan that might even include planned check-ins. When a law enforcement officer is on a call, if he doesn’t clear the scene in a specific time, the dispatcher makes contact just to make sure he’s OK. Implement daily check ins or if you are going somewhere specific, arrange a check in a reasonable time after with trusted parties.
Stay aware and understand that “Peace and Safety” is a fallacy.
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As the situation degrades more every day, I want to give you some advice and some direction on having a scanner and how best to employ it.
A radio scanner is a receive-only device designed to let you listen to a large number of frequencies with a single unit. You can program either manually or with available software.
People most often use them to listen in on Public Safety agencies like local police and fire departments. This has become more difficult with the advent of digital radios for public safety. This made the process harder, but not impossible.
However, a scanner can be used for a lot more. Signals Intelligence is the process of monitoring local radio transmissions, listening for information that you can use. Sure, a lot of that information will indeed come from scanning Public Safety agencies, but there are a lot of other uses as well.
I recommend getting a handheld digital trunking unit, so that you can take it into the field with you. Since we’re only talking about receiving, you don’t need a more powerful base station. As an example, I use a scanner at rallies and protests, as I describe below, carried in my backpack, listening for ANTIFA/BLM radio usage.
Begin by using a service like http://www.radioreference.com to program in your state and local Public Safety systems. Don’t bother trying to input federal frequencies, they generally use an encoding system that scanners can’t read.
Next, using the same reference, input analog frequencies from local security companies. They may be reporting incidents of local interest that never end up on Public Safety channels. At the very least, it will give you an idea of the security threats that local businesses face. In the same vein, input the security frequencies from area shopping malls as well.
Now we get the part that Mike Shelby of http://www.forwardobserver.com calls “The Bubba Finder”. Input the frequencies from the FRS, GMRS, and MURS bands. These are the bubble pack radios that can be found at stores. In a WROL situation, being able to detect people using these radios near you can help alert you to potential trouble and potential allies.
Programming in local amateur radio repeaters can also let you gather information on local conditions from more sources. In a crisis, amateur radio operators will be a great asset.
When buying a scanner, seek one with a search or sweep function. These functions search your local area for ANY radio traffic, even on frequencies you haven’t specifically programmed. This could be VITAL in a WROL situation. Even now, you’ll be surprised at how much radio traffic there is out there. Begin building a database of frequencies your find in use.
Once you have the scanner up and running, start documenting information gathered via Signals Intelligence. Include any new frequencies found in your area. Keep a running logbook and then begin going back through it for analysis. During a WROL situation, someone should always be tasked with maintaining a radio listening watch.
While no license is needed to listen, research your local laws on using one in a car. In Michigan, for example, the law used to prohibit it. Now, it is allowed, but it’s a crime to use a scanner while committing a criminal act.
Earpieces and external speakers are good accessories to have for a scanner. They are sold as CB speakers.
As always, guidance on this can be found in the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:
Whoever has ears, let them hear.
Information means survival. In a WROL situation, a scanner can warn you of impending danger and bring you valuable information.
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When our tempers flare, we get very tempted to say some not very nice things. When you combine that with edicts that affect our kids, it gets ten times worse.
As I pointed out the other day with my post, Give Me Liberty or Give Me Netflix, we are at a momentous point in American history. Freedoms that have been taken for granted because they are enshrined in the Constitution are under threat and are being taken away. That’s not an opinion; it’s a fact.
Take the Memo from Attorney General Garland, shown above. He’s saying that speaking out at school boards may be considered domestic terrorism if it rises to the level of a threat. He does state, though, that there are Constitutional rights in play. Let’s begin with explaining that exact right:
Congress shall make no law…prohibiting…the right of the people to petition the Government for the redress of grievances.
The specific wording here makes disagreement with mandates and edicts 100% inherently lawful. It makes arguing with government officials over curriculum and school rules inherently lawful. That’s important.
Where we get into trouble is when we let our emotions carry over and say things that could be construed as a threat, allowing the FBI & local police to challenge your statements. Make no mistake, under the Free Speech and Petition clauses, you would probably win in court, but why risk it?
There’s a piece of Tactical Wisdom from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook that applies (shocking, right?):
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.
Let’s be wise in how we convey our displeasure. When we shout, “We’re going to get rid of you!” at the school board member, we know in our hearts that we mean by voting them out, but it could be construed as a threat of violence. Especially if they WANT to construe it as a threat.
I implore you all to exercise caution and WRITE OUT your comments before stepping up to the podium and stick to what you wrote. Winging it leads to us speaking in anger, rather than speaking from calm reason.
Here’s why I ask this: hundreds of people are sitting in jail on trespassing charges still. A long-time federal tactic when they have a case that they think they might lose is to delay it and delay it, hoping that you will get sick of waiting and just plead guilty to be rid of the case.
We are seeing this play out in Michigan with the NASA Brain Trust candidates who let the FBI talk them into stupid plots. Two have already pled guilty, but the rest demand their day in court, because they know they didn’t do anything wrong. What did the federal government do? Delayed the court date for SIX MONTHS, and scheduled two conferences, where defendants will be offered plea deals. Because they are trying to wait out the defendants.
Don’t give them ability to do this to you. By writing out your comments ahead of time and then sticking to them, you avoid letting them bait you into a conversation that can be construed as a threat. Stick to the policy and curriculum issues, not personalities of the board members. Never mention a board member’s children.
Also, stick ONLY to matters under the purview of the board/council you are speaking to. Your local city council can’t change a Presidential Election. By mentioning these issues out of place, you allow people to call us “unhinged” and allow them to dismiss us because they can’t address the issue. Force them to deal with things under their control.
During the most secure election in American history, when the board of canvassers for Wayne County met to vote to certify the election, a man with ties to ANTIFA and BLM groups made several comments to one of the Republican canvassers, mentioning specifically the school her children were attending and asking her what she thought life for the children would be like if she don’t vote to certify. She changed her vote to yes.
The same man then mentioned to the male Republican specifics about where his business was located and asked him how hard he thought business would get for him if he didn’t vote to certify. He called them both Nazis. The man also changed his vote from no to yes.
These were clearly threats, veiled as free speech during public comment. Make no mistake, if this man had been a conservative speaking to liberals, he would be facing federal charges. Instead, myself and some associates volunteered to provide security to these families for a few days.
WE CANNOT LET OURSLEVES FALL INTO THIS TRAP. Just because they do it, doesn’t mean we should.
The entire intent of this campaign against “domestic violent extremism” is to end all dissent against the sitting government and COVID measures. Understand that they will make an example of you if you let them.
If you think they aren’t really going to do this, check out a story by the NY Times a few days ago about Alex Jones and the Sandy Hook families. The story called Alex Jones a “Conspiracy Extremist”, rather than a “Conspiracy Theorist”. That subtle change in language is to justify violence and oppression.
Our cause is just, so I want to give you another piece of Tactical Wisdom that is so important that men who go through the Every Man A Warrior bible study program must memorize it:
The anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.
In other words, speaking out in anger seldom accomplishes our goals. If we instead speak from calm reason (while we may be angry), we are less tempted to say things that could land us trouble.
Remember: We have entered a “Different Rule of Law” situation in the US, and you can’t rely on Constitutional protection, just like you can no longer rely on self-defense laws. Use your head and be reasonable in speaking to these boards. Don’t let them win by making it easy to call you an extremist.
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It’s a shame, really. When the Continental Pipeline attack happened, many of us warned people to up their preparedness for a serious cyber-attack. Sure, the people directly affected by the gas shortages took heed, but the average American did not.
But, LORD, let Facebook and InstaGram go down for a day and watch chaos ensue throughout a society. Seriously, the way some people reacted; you’d have thought that the entire internet went down. I am afraid of what a long-term outage would do to our youth.
That brings us to today’s topic: What are you doing to prepare for a total loss of communications? Understand that a loss of the internet will take down our entire economic system in short order.
With the ease of the internet, we took what was meant to be a convenient source of information and made our entire system of living 100% reliant on the free flow of electrons. Consider what will happen if the internet is down for a significant period of time:
You will not be able to access your money stored in banks, even at a branch, because their entire record keeping system is online.
You will not be able to pay your bills since most financial businesses only take payments online. ACH clearing is done via the internet, so you couldn’t even pay by check.
Stores will not be able to order goods and the goods won’t get to the store.
You won’t have the records at hand to rebuild your accounts, because it’s more convenient to store them “in the cloud”.
And so on….
Before I give you some specific advice, let me remind you of a piece of Tactical Wisdom that is relevant:
First, and do this NOW, is establish alternate means of communication with your key partners/family/friends. Throughout the day, I heard an increase in amateur radio traffic as people shared news of the outage. Various parts of the world, based on my own contacts, had varying degrees of communications failures, including cell phones. For part of the day, I had difficulty in sending texts. You need another method.
Set up other ways that are less reliant on high technology. For example, one security professional out of Germany reported today that analog land lines were the only consistently effective method of communications today.
Radios are another good option, even if it’s just license-free FRS or MURS or CB radio. Whatever it is, have a plan that everyone knows, and everyone should keep that option available. In our current volatile environment, communications could go down at any time. Radio will always work if it’s charged.
Next, back up all your data that is stored in the cloud to some type of thumb drive. You can buy EMP-Hardened drives, or you can store them in a Faraday cage. I keep mine in an old cake tin (tequila cake, delicious) lined with cardboard to protect against EMP. In this way, if the internet goes down, you will still have your documents.
We all have hundreds of photos on old computers and phones that we’d hate to lose. Copy those to USB’s and store them securely like we mentioned above.
Lastly, understand that without the internet, as we learned with the Continental hack, gasoline will not be coming out of the pumps. Yes, you might be able to pay cash once, but gas stations will quickly run out. In the UK right now, a rumor of a gas shortage caused a run on gas stations, which then led to a REAL gas shortage. Plan for how you will deal with this. I keep ten extra gallons stored at all times (treated and rotated). Make sure you fill your car as often as possible and encourage your tribe/loved ones to do the same. Filling daily costs the same as filling once a week.
Most importantly, understand that a major cyber-attack against the entire network is not an “if” proposition, it’s a “when” question. By taking a few extra steps to be prepared, you can avert a lot of the impact on you.
If you haven’t yet, head on over to Amazon and pick up both of my books to help you prepare.
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As the situation here continues to deteriorate, one important thing to consider is how you will recognize members of your group or family during a chaotic event. It’s important in the initial chaos, but later, in a full collapse of society, it will become vital.
For example, imagine that you are on post at your community observation post. You know you have a patrol out there, but you also know that there are potential hostiles in the area. You’ve been on post for hours and through the spotting scope, you see four people moving slowly and carefully towards your perimeter. They’re wearing Multi-Cam uniforms, just like everyone in your group. Sadly, so is everyone else these days, including the bad guys.
You try to go by equipment, and through the scope you see everyone has either an AR or AK platform, and everyone is using a Baofeng radio…. again, just like everyone else still alive at this point. You try to see faces or hair color, but everyone is wearing a hat and either a face mask or camo paint, as they should be. Do you raise the alarm, or do you call out to them, giving away your position? How do you decide at a distance?
In the Ultimate Tactical Handbook, David warns about being surrounded by enemies:
All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me.
This problem isn’t new. In the Middle Ages, each “order” of knights adopted a crest, just like the Jerusalem Cross above that I use as a logo. On a side note, the Knight Orders were really nothing more than Private Military Contractors. Each force would carry their flag, and everyone wore a garment with the large crest on it or on their shield, so that they fought the right people in the heat of battle.
Prior to that, Viking bands did the same thing, painting their shields with different patterns to identify which boat crew they were with.
In the 1600s-late 1800s, armies in the field wore brightly colored jackets for much the same reason. “Shoot the guys in the red coats, but don’t shoot the guys in the blue coats”. A common method of defection in those days was to turn your coat inside out, displaying the white lining and thus no allegiance. It’s what gave rise to the term “turncoat”.
Modern military forces spend a lot of training time learning how to identify hostile camouflage patterns and vehicles to be able to ID the opposition at range. It’s also the reason the US Marine Corps wears a distinct pattern from any other US Force, easy recognition. As I watched videos of captured US military vehicles and uniforms flow out of Afghanistan and into Iran, I began to worry about this topic.
How can we, as people interested mostly in just defending our homes or safe havens from attack, quickly and confidently identify our own people, especially when under pressure and possibly even in the heat of combat? It certainly should not be like those geniuses in the opening photo, with the fluorescent green tape. That defeats the entire purpose of camouflage uniforms.
This first step, obviously, is uniforms. The problem is that the vast majority of people watch a few YouTube videos and settle on Multi-Cam, because all the ultra-tacti-cool guys on YouTube and Twitter wear it. If you haven’t considered it from an effectiveness standpoint, it may actually make matters worse. For the record, I consider myself an ultra-tacti-cool guy and I don’t own a single set of Mutli-Cam. I do own a couple sets of British MTP (multi-terrain pattern), which vary slightly from the Multi-Cam everyone else is wearing and is more effective.
Your entire group should standardize uniform patterns, whichever you choose. Brent0331 on YouTube has a great series of videos on the camouflage effectiveness of various patterns. The ultimate is for your group to decide on a few patterns and establish a “uniform of the day” for security. One day you could wear MTP, and the next British DPM. Weather could render your choice of camouflage ineffective, BTW.
Once you’ve decided on a common uniform, you need to establish one more method for long range identification. A lot of groups talk about passwords and running passwords, but I’m talking about long range and silent. If I don’t recognize someone, I’m not going to expose my position by challenging them for a password.
That method is by some type of patch. Have your group all buy the same 4-5 Velcro patches, each completely different. With these, you can establish a “patch of the day” long range recognition flash that is a bit more subdued than bright green tape. Don’t buy brightly colored ones, but ones in greens, browns, and blacks (subdued).
The exact same combination of unique camo pattern and patch of the day would be virtually impossible for someone to stumble onto by accident and would be a very secure way to identify friendlies from a distance. These are supplements to passwords and radio authentication, not replacements. You could be fairly certain that someone is a friendly before initiating communications with this method.
In a larger context, several separate groups in your same area could all have one of the same patches for joint operations.
A caution though, about selecting your patches and uniforms. While we are training for WROL operations, we cannot completely disregard law, especially in the current gray-zone conflict phase. Check your local laws FIRST.
Here in Michigan, Attorney General Nessel has vowed to charge any militia group with a felony for wearing “any part of a US Army or US Naval uniform” under an old and never-used law. Patches that identify specific US Military Units or say “US Army/US Navy” should be avoided. Check for these laws in your area.
As a side note, in a classic case of “Do as I say, not as I do”, I will INDEED wear the US Marine Corps “Eagle, Globe, & Anchor” that I earned, as it does NOT just identify the US Marines, but a brotherhood of people who were tested in the same Crucible and she can try and do whatever she wants.
I hope this article helps in making some decisions for your group, family, or tribe. Make them and put them in place NOW, so that you aren’t scrambling when the balloon goes up.
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The Minuteman is someone we all learned about back in school, but how much do you really know about them and what can we apply to today? Here, we will look at the Minuteman concept and discuss how we can apply those lessons today.
The basis for the Minuteman was devised in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1645. The Colony required all men aged 16-60 to serve in the militia. This militia got together 2-3 times a year for training. However, the most fit and well-trained trained 3-4 times a week, to “be ready at a moment’s notice”, hence the nickname, “Minutemen”.
These men would be sent ahead to an impending battle to scout and begin sniping and ambushes to slow down an advancing enemy force. In those times, this was a completely unheard-of form of combat, and is the basis for Roger’s Rangers, later to become the 75th Ranger Regiment. It was also a highly effective way for a smaller force to demoralize and defeat a much larger and more technologically advanced opponent.
Therein lies our first pair of lessons to be learned here.
You should train as often as possible, 2-3 times a week if you can. Training doesn’t always mean shooting. Training in patrolling, scouting, first aid, and observations skills are needed more than shooting and room-clearing.
Train to use the tactics of attritional warfare. If a large group of looters, for example, is heading towards your area, begin sporadic ambushes and sniping attacks as early as possible, to make them reconsider the route they are taking and to demoralize them. Additionally, maintain contact with at least a scout element until they leave the area.
In 1643, the “New England Confederation” was formed. This was an agreement by four different colonies to lend mutual aid to each other and field one large force of militia when needed. This was an important first step.
At short time later, they modified this agreement (August of 1645) to establish that 30% of the joint militia forces in each area were to be designated as “short-notice” units, AKA “Minutemen”.
Once you’ve established your own Mutual Aid Group (we don’t use that other M word that draws feds), reach out to surrounding groups and establish parameters for joint operations and mutual defense. If you defend separately, a larger force will pick you each off one at a time. A larger, joint group could defend a larger area more effectively.
Each MAG should have its own “minuteman” type group. In the Civil Defense Manual, Jack Lawson calls these the neighborhood “Rapid Response Guardians”. Whatever you call them, your most-trained, best-equipped group should be your “problem-solving” group. They should be kept from manning fixed posts and remain free to respond to problems on your perimeter during an attack. They could also be sent out for patrols or to lend aid to a neighboring group quickly.
So far, we’ve only talked about how to apply this to your group, but the concept can also be applied to your own personal preparations.
If you’ve read my books or read this blog for very long, you’ll know that I advocate having several levels of readiness. As an example, I have my Patrol/EDC bag always stocked, always ready as my “Walk Out the Door NOW” bag, and that’s essentially my “minuteman” gear, but we can apply this to the Belt Kit as well.
In the Base Line Training Manual, I described my full-on war belt. That belt holds a sidearm and spare magazines for it, a spare rifle magazine, a radio, two canteens and cups, a bayonet/fighting knife, and a butt pack with food and shelter items/first aid kit (www.kilo5.com). It’s a big belt and there are suspenders for it. This belt would be used for patrolling, a specific mission, or defending the perimeter.
However, I also have my “Minuteman” style belt that would be my EDC belt around the bug out location, when I wasn’t outside the perimeter or on a specific mission/tasking that required the larger belt. This belt is an Exumbris Desings (www.exumbrisdesigns.com) belt and inner Velcro belt. On this outstanding and well-designed belt, I have a holster for a sidearm (www.redballoonind.com), spare sidearm magazines, a radio, handcuff/flashlight pouch, a Solatac BOK (www.solatac.com) first aid kit, and an expandable baton pouch. If I were carrying a rifle, I would add on a rifle magazine emergency reload pouch.
This smaller belt would be worn inside the perimeter in a WROL situation and for vehicle operations. The holster can be quickly switched between belts, as can the ammunition. Why is this important? Because a full war-belt is uncomfortable for vehicle ops, and this belt could be worn while riding to an objective area, then a quick belt change can happen for dismounted operations. The same can happen if wearing the ExUmbris belt inside the perimeter and an alert happens. I could grab the war-belt, run to my position, and quickly swap belts.
For current world operations, the ExUmbris belt is the one I keep fully ready and accessible in case a crisis develops quickly, or a “Minuteman” belt. It would be easier to move around in while preparing the vehicles of our group to leave the city and head to the bug out location. In the event of say a large protest, I could throw it on while the threat exists and still function.
Take the Minuteman lesson and ensure that you have at the very least, a Patrol/EDC emergency bag and some type of fast-to-throw-on belt ready at all times, in this current environment. Have your entire group keep their radios charged and set on an agreed-on frequency.
Another Minuteman lesson comes to us from the Standing Orders of Roger’s Rangers from the French & Indian War. The order states that each night Rangers will be told where to meet if surrounded by a superior force. We can apply that by having an automatic “lost communications” drill already established with our groups or families. This means that if the phones and internet go down for a specified period, the group all either monitors the same radio frequency or all meet at pre-determined location at a certain time. One person on Twitter said that his group has a plan to meet at the local library, which is a great idea.
As always, let’s check this advice against the Ultimate Tactical Handbook to make sure we’re on track. Nehemiah has the answer for us:
Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes;
each had his weapon, even when he went for water.
Seems like solid advice: Always have your gear ready at a moment’s notice.
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On March 23rd, 1775, Patrick Henry gave a speech at St John’s Church in Richmond Virginia. He concluded that speech with a phrase that has echoed throughout history as a battle cry and a guiding principle, “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!”.
He wasn’t just saying empty words, either. He would go on to lead a militia force in the Gunpowder Incident the next month. The British Royal Marines seized a large cache of gunpowder and attempted to move it to a ship. Henry quickly took command of a local Militia and marched on the British Headquarters in Williamsburg. While a negotiated settlement was reached, it was acknowledged that Henry could have taken Williamsburg if he had wanted to.
I bring this up, because I want to discuss a few more parts of that speech that are lesser known, but equally applicable to the situation we find ourselves in today.
I ask you consider this in the context of the two pieces of Tactical Wisdom from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook that I’m going to share today. The first is among my favorites:
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.
Before I move back into Patrick Henry, let’s be clear: Forced medical procedures are SLAVERY. Forced home detention for not accepting said forced medical procedures is SLAVERY. Not protesting because the authorities have frightened you out of it is SLAVERY. Clear? Clear.
Back to Patrick Henry:
…It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against the painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts.
This concept is repeated in the Declaration of Independence. We are apt to pretend that somehow things will just get better if we don’t make waves. That if we just “go along to get along” somehow they won’t really force us to do what we don’t want to do.
In our present situation, too many are guilty of this wishful thinking. This also encompasses those who think that some magic “they” is going to ride in on a golden stallion and save the day so that they won’t have to.
…we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated….
Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne.
Man, does any of this sound familiar? President Biden’s speech about national mandates, where he said his patience was wearing thin, was us all being spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne.
Our petitions & remonstrances, namely attempting to exercise our right to petition the government for the redress of grievances by gathering to protest, has indeed produced additional violence and insult in that over 600 people have now been arrested and transported, in some cases, thousands of miles to face trial. For the record, that same behavior is listed in the Declaration.
It’s gotten to the point where the right cannot even attend a protest without hundreds of federal agents descending on the event, intimidating people back onto the couch to watch Netflix.
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary.
Stop me if you’ve hear this one….the left says it all day every day.
But when shall we be stronger? Will it be 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?
And here comes the part I really wanted to share:
Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by laying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Here it is….our own shame. Our lives have grown so soft and so comfortable, that the truth is that all the keyboard warriors who say “Well, when they come to my street, I’ll resist”, are really never going to. They’re going to choose Netflix over Liberty.
It’s what gives rise to the Hopium that Donald Trump, or Gen Flynn, or some audit, or the Tooth Fairy is going to magically push the auto-win button and fix everything, so that we don’t have stop binge-watching the next dystopian series on Netflix and take action ourselves.
Patrick Henry told us all those years ago where choosing to remain comfortable leads…to being bound hand and foot and not being able to resist once you finally decide to. In the Warsaw Ghetto, the Jews finally rose up when they realized that they were going to die anyway. While they put up a valiant fight, they lost in the end because they waited until they were totally disarmed and completely surrounded to fight. We need to stop teaching this as a good story of resistance and start teaching it as a cautionary tale about waiting too long.
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
As winter approaches, most will tempted to not resist or protest at all, because it’s too cold. I even had one guy tell me “fighting season is over”, as if we are foot-mobile only Afghan goat herders with no way through the mountain passes. No, we’re just too comfy and lazy. I’d like that guy to learn about the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Stalingrad.
Why are we so comfortable? Because Netflix (Barack Obama sits on their board, BTW) has turned every show into soft porn to keep you on the couch. We’d rather sit in our living rooms and indulge in a little guilty pleasure than get out and do what is right. That leads us to our second piece of Tactical Wisdom:
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh…
Bad things are on the horizon. Pretending they aren’t or hoping they’ll just go away are not viable strategies.
Very soon, you will have to decide: Give me Liberty, or Give me Netflix.
I’ll take my lead from Patrick Henry:
I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
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Whatever your reason is for preparing, a second or third order effect is going to lead to the unavailability of gasoline. If you’re preparing for an EMP, then vehicles are already off the table. I know, everyone likes to say “But I’ve got a 1984 Chevy”. Cool story. How will you get gasoline without electricity?
I know, I’ve mentioned gas siphon pumps and the like, but the cold hard truth is that in any prolonged crisis or collapse, even the SOUND of a motor vehicle will draw unwanted attention, making the use of the 1984 truck and siphon pump risky at best. For the record, that goes for all of you “I’ll just bug in and use my generator to run my freezer” types. In the quiet world, a running generator will draw hungry people like roaches, but I digress.
The biggest skill and ability area we all need for post-WROL living is the one most of us neglect…the ability to move a great distance on foot, carrying a load, and potentially under hostile observation. The skills in TW-02, Fieldcraft will help in this area, but I want to talk about something you can do today.
Urban Scouting is something I do a couple of times a week, to develop my awareness, build on my Area Study, and improve my ability to walk distances, while also gathering important data. Yes, it’s rucking, but it’s rucking with a secondary purpose. It’s just like doing burpees (or as Marines used to call them bend and thrusts)…burpees improve cardio and body strength, while also improving your ability to get down and to get up from the ground quickly.
Before we get into how, let’s discuss the why. The Ultimate Tactical Handbook tells us why we need to scout out the city before disaster strikes:
Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.
With this advice, it’s solid Tactical Wisdom to scout out these areas as soon as possible. This also ties in well with my tactical guidance in Fieldcraft and down below here, telling you to stay off the street whenever possible.
The first step is always proper preparation. Get a quality backpack, preferably the one you use as your Get Home Bag. The best urban color is black, because it’s very common and it blends into the urban environment. The bag should be stocked as shown in the Base Line Training Manual, but for this exercise we definitely want it to have some type of rain gear, water, some type of food, and some type of note-taking equipment. Personally, I use my BattleBoard Scout and Rite-In-The-Rain notebook.
Go to a location that you frequent. Lately, I’ve been going to retail shopping areas that I frequent, as I’ve done places along the route home from various client locations already. When I get there, I gear up and then begin walking a few miles, wearing the backpack, but it’s not just walking.
I take the back alley behind the businesses. I do this to scout out what could be useful. There are many things to learn in the back alleys, from a preparedness standpoint.
You’ll find hidden trails from residential areas into the commercial shopping area. Funny thing about trails is that they work both ways. Once I’ve found a trial, learned where it goes, and recorded it into my area study, I now have another escape route. In the future, if I find myself shopping at that location & a disorder happens, and I can’t get to my car, I now know that there is a foot path out of the area around the back and I’m on my way to safety.
On my last trip a few days ago, I found not only trails to three different neighborhoods, but I found wild grapes, blackberries, and black raspberries. I also found an abundance of rabbits that most people won’t know about about. Finding hidden sources of food is a matter of life and death.
Other knowledge you can chart for later emergency use is which businesses store old pallets outside (source of firewood), who has a generator behind the building (source of fuel), and where there is roof access from the rear alley (potential use as an Observation Post). Also, note the location of sillcock faucets you find, for later water access.
Look at trails also from an approach perspective. Learn where you could hide along those trails to observe the alley, before stepping into it, or to where you could observe looting, from a community safety perspective. It would be good to know when looters are leaving a commercial area and if they are then heading towards your neighborhood.
The important secondary skill we are developing here is the habit and ability to navigate in an urban area without walking along the streets.
Above, I used a screen grab from The Book of Eli, and there’s a reason. The mistake Eli made when he went to leave the village that fateful day was that he walked right down the street after leaving the shop where he got his battery charged. I know, it’s a movie, but he could have avoided the entire gun battle (and saved his scarce ammo), by going out the back door of the shop and navigating out via the alley behind the business. But then, the movie would have been boring.
I know, I’m saying that tongue-in-cheek, but it’s a serious point that I made in Fieldcraft; in a WROL situation, walking down the street is how you become a loot drop for someone else. Forget these fantasies about an honorable showdown between you and the evil leader of the biker gang; reality is that you will never even hear the sniper’s shot before you fall, and they rush out to divide up your stuff.
A word about weather: If it starts raining or snowing, or is too hot or too cold, DO IT ANYWAY. We are training for the real world and when the time comes, you won’t get to pick the weather.
I hope this helps you in your readiness and training.
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that they are endowed by their Creator with certain, unalienable rights….
I view these words with almost religious faith. I fervently believe in them with every fiber of my soul. The men who wrote them did as well. In fact, they finished it with what I consider the most moving Oath ever written by men:
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.
Despite what revisionists will tell you, there is no asterisk in the “all men are created equal” statement. It didn’t say *except certain people or *expect people who don’t think like I do.
Before I get a rabid person in comments saying “but slavery existed”; it sure did and it was an abomination. At that time, slavery existed and HAD EXISTED everywhere on Earth for thousands of years. European, Native American, Asian, and African cultures all practiced slavery going back into all of recorded history and beyond. The United States has the distinction of eliminating slavery faster than any other culture.
But let’s get to the point. I’m writing this while I’m attending the BasedCon Science Fiction & Fantasy Con. What’s significant about that? Let me tell you why…
The BasedCon came about because tradition ComicCon & other science fiction/fantasy conferences became intolerant of any views that are to the right of Mao Tse Tung. They began banning authors and topics that didn’t put forth the “progressive” platform. Big publishing houses did as well.
If you are truly about equality, why not allow dissenting views?
They became so intolerant that when the BasedCon was conceived, the left went to work finding out where it was going to be held. Last night, around a campfire, I met the owner of the facility where we are holding it. He told me that he received what he thought was an inquiry about the event. The woman who was emailing him then proceeded to tell him how the BasedCon was going to a Nazi gathering that put marginalized communities at risk, and demanded that he cancel the reservation. Yes, really.
Fortunately, the man laughed her off and BasedCon is in full swing. Now, I’ve attended every session, and I’ve yet to encounter a Nazi, and, in fact, this gathering is far more diverse that any ANTIFA event I’ve ever been at. What it is is a cross section of American society, far more committed to equal rights than the supposed “progressives” are, and that’s sad.
The worse part of all of this is that the event had to be planned in secrecy and held in a remote location, lest the forces of intolerance show up and attack the venue, in the name of equality. That’s a real threat, and it’s why I volunteered to assist.
Equal means equal, not MORE EQUAL.
Why have we relegated ourselves as a society to the point where one side of the political aisle has to organize in secret and cannot openly meet in public, without threat of violence or arrest? What have we done with the Last, Best Hope on Earth?
America was once the Shining City on the Hill, an example where people of every race, religion, or ideology could come and thrive without fear or threat. One side has changed and made that not true, and it isn’t the side of alleged equality. The most horrific atrocities are usually committed in the name of egalitarian causes.
We have made freedom of speech, freedom of association, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances impossible for anyone who doesn’t embrace Marxist beliefs. Don’t tell me that’s an exaggeration: Today is 9/18 and there is a fence around the Capitol and a massive military and police response to a planned conservative event, which would never be considered for a progressive event of similar magnitude. In fact, if you had the same response to a BLM protest as they have set up for the J6 protest, the government would be called fascist (despite a history of violence).
Worse than that, the conservatives, by being more “tolerant” and concerned about others’ feelings, have allowed themselves to relegated to this status to “get along”.
So, as we continue to plan events in secret in remote locations, does it feel like freedom?
Let me leave you with my foundational quote from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook to close out this topic:
It is freedom’s sake that you have been set free;
Never again allow yourselves to be burdened with the yoke of Slavery.
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I can’t imagine my life without my dogs, one of which is Miss Lucy above. In that photo, I think she was waiting not-very-patiently for me to put the laptop down.
Also, I have a cat, and he’s the ultimate “Chad Cat” of all Chad-Cats. He stages items along the very edge of the kitchen island, so that he can ambush the dogs from above with his dead-fall traps. He’s definitely a tactical war-kitty, for sure. He dominates the high ground (maintaining an OP from the cupboard above the fridge) and spends his days patrolling the house stealthily, setting ambushes for everyone, human or dog, he doesn’t care and he gives no quarter.
So, naturally, when it comes to preparedness, they are 100 percent included in my preparedness plans. Pets are family. I’m angered and saddened when I hear stories of people who evacuated without their pets and are now looking for them. This was preventable.
Before we begin, as we alway do, let’s check the Ultimate Tactical Handbook for guidance on preparedness for pets. What? You don’t think it’s in there? Oh, ye of little faith…Have I not taught you? Everything you need to know is.
The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.
There it is. You care for animals, and the “kindest act of the wicked” of letting the pet fend for itself is cruel.
This very point is our first preparedness tip for pets. You do NOT just let them out of the house and hope for the best. Would you do that for your toddler? Teenager? They will be stressed out and don’t understand the danger or why you left. You accepted responsibility for them, act like it.
You hear all the time about “just let the cats out; they’ll fend for themselves”. That’s FALSE. It’s based on the belief that cats don’t really need people. Whoever said that has never met Lynx, my cat. If he can’t see his people (and his dogs, even though he denies it), he is stressed out and can’t deal. While cats CAN fend for themselves, they’ll be stressed and don’t exactly watch the news to be aware of danger.
Another negative side effect of letting pets out is that dogs will then form packs and become feral, which is dangerous to everyone’s long-term survival. Dogs that become feral do not then go back to being tame.
Dogs and cats have been man’s companions for millenia, and they didn’t have modern conveniences like prepared dog and cat food, until relatively recently. You can do this in an austere environment, without modern conveniences.
Whenever you make evacuation plans, include the animals. For cats, a carrier is needed. For dogs, some type of harness and leash with a long lead is needed. All animals, in an emergency, need some type of tag with your name and contact information on it. I know, in a full WROL (Without Rule of Law) situation, they won’t be able to reach you, but it will establish ownership.
Another item you need in your important papers is a photo of you with each pet you have. This will help establish ownership, in case you get separated and there is ever any dispute as to ownership. A PRINTED photo, not on your phone. Also include any pet immunization records and registration documents, if you bent the knee to the state and registered them.
While animals will drink from ground water, get a collapsible bowl and you can share the water that you gather and purify with them. The collapsible bowls above have a carabiner so that you can attach it to your pack, or the dogs harness, to dry.
Pack and store about a weeks worth of pet food, plus a few cans if they eat wet food, in a waterproof and airtight package, and remember to rotate it. My program is to put enough food for one day in a ziplock bag, and those bags got into a larger bag, just for the pets, along with the collapsible water bowls. Side Note: Dogs and cats don’t care if the food is on the ground, on the floor, or in a bowl. Use the bowls only for water to keep them clean. Also, in a true emergency, cans or pouches of tuna/salmon make good substitutes for pet food.
Another vital item you need is a pet first aid kit, built for and dedicated to pets. They are widely available and relatively low cost. They contain supplies for treating pet-specific injuries. Consider taking a pet-specific first aid and CPR class. Yes, pet CPR classes exist, I’ve taken one. The Red Cross and several other agencies offer them, including online courses.
For weather and other short-term emergencies, you should scout now for hotels outside your area that would allow you to bring your pets. Some sites recommend boarding your pets while you evacuate, but if conditions require an evacuation, your pets should evacuate with you. If you just can’t find any hotels or friends that will take in you and your pets, camping is always an option.
In a full-WROL situation, dogs are a SOLID security asset. Humans and dogs paired together thousands of years ago in a mutually beneficial agreement: the dogs will help hunt, herd, and provide security in exchange for humans sharing their food. Keep dogs for security. It’s important though, while tempted not to, keep the dogs on a leash. You don’t want them running off when startled.
Cats should be kept in a carrier until you get to either a temporary or permanent location. They don’t work well with leashes and run when startled.
You also have to consider pet sanitation as well. Just as I always talk about not allowing any humans to eliminate bodily waste inside or near your campsite, don’t let pets do it either. Walk them away from the campsite. While it’s equally important for health reasons, with dogs, it’s even more important from a security standpoint, because the smell of dog urine is very strong TO DOGS and it ALWAYS attracts MORE DOGS. You don’t need that. For cats, some type of portable litter arrangement is needed.
A good way to do this is that after you’ve set up the camp, take a quick patrol about 50 meters out from your campsite with the dog or dogs, and make a quick circle at that distance.
I hope these few ideas help. I know, I didn’t discuss parakeets, or lizards, or whatever, because I really don’t know how you’d pull that off. If that’s what you have, most of these guidelines will still work, to some extent.
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