Medicinal Preparation

I’ve already repeatedly explained the need for first aid training and gear, but the yesterday, I had a discussion about the need to prepare as far as medications. It’s an area that is often overlooked.

It’s such an issue, that I’ve included the topic in the first volume of the Tactical Wisdom Training Manual Series, “The Base Line Training Manual”, which is in the final stages of creation.

Even the Ultimate Tactical Handbook predicted a world where medicine would be scarce:

There is none to uphold your cause,

No medicine for your wound, no healing for you.

Jerremiah 30:13

The following is an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released Base Line Training Manual:

When preparing for a WROL situation, a big area that is commonly overlooked is medications, both OTC and prescription.

We are so conditioned to getting sick, then either dropping by the pharmacy to pick up cold medicine or visiting the doctor, that we overlook it.

We’re going to cover a list of OTC medications that you should have stocked, but we’re going to begin with a discussion of how to stockpile prescriptions.

The best way to prepare in this area is to get healthy and get fit, which will increase your resistance to all kinds of illnesses and decrease your reliance on medications.

However, there are some strategies to build up a supply of prescription medications.

First, most insurance programs will let you refill at 25 days, when it’s written for every 30 days.  If you purchased every 25 days for one year, you’d have an extra 60 day supply built up.

Second, a lot of insurance programs allow you to buy a 90 day supply by mail order.  Do that as often as you can and you’ll also build up a supply.

Third, talk to your doctor ask for “samples” of your medications.  Doctors are given good sized supplies of samples by pharmaceutical companies that they can hand out.  If the doctor gives you samples, put those in your stockpile, rather than using them before your prescription.

Store all medications in a cool, dry place, without extreme variations in temperature.

As far as expiration dates, there is evidence that medications retain about 90% of their potency for at least 5 years beyond their expiration date, and many times much longer.  However, liquids are NOT as stable. Make your own decisions here.

Here’s a list of OTC items that you should have:

  1. Hand Sanitizer:  At least 60% alcohol
  2. Ibuprofen:  Motrin/Advil
  3. Naproxen: Aleve – Longer lasting pain relief.
  4. Aspirin:  In addition to pain relief, it is a blood thinner.
  5. Acetaminophen:  Tylenol – It’s the only pain reliever that isn’t an anti-inflammatory and is better on the stomach.  You can alternate Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen every 2 hours if needed.
  6. Diphenhydramine: Benadryl – In addition to it’s life-saving antihistamine properties, Benadryl can be used as a sleep aid.
  7. Loperamide:  Imodium – Anti-Diarrheal medication can save your life in a WROL situation as diarrhea causes dehydration.  Changes in diet will lead to stomach issues.
  8. Laxatives:  Again, changes in diet in a WROL situation will cause stomach issues.
  9. Pseudoephedrine:  Sudafed – An excellent decongestant, but stockpiling it has been made difficult as it is so controlled, despite being OTC.  You need to be careful in building a stockpile, because you could get labelled as meth dealer.
  10. Fexofenadine HCl: Allegra – another antihistamine for allergies.
  11. Meclizine:  Dramamine – This is a motion sickness treatment, which can be used to treat nausea/vomiting.  It also helps with anxiety.
  12. Hydrocortisone:  For wound treatment
  13. Bacitracin:  For wound treatment

Build up supplies of these, but also resist the temptation to use OTC medications on a daily basis, because your body builds a resistance and reduces the efficacy.

Finally, let’s discuss Amoxycillin.  There is an on-going debate about whether or not fish antibiotics can be used by humans or not.  The answer is “it depends”.  If you buy it in capsules, then yes.  There are some powders that are mixed with things meant to help fish only, but if you buy the capsules, they are quite literally the exact same capsule.

To illustrate this, I did an experiment.  I went and purchased the fish capsules, and compared them to pharmacy-supplied prescription Amoxycillin that we had on hand.  They were the exact same capsule.  Again, make your own decision, as it’s your body.

I hope that this excerpt from the Base Line Training Manual has helped and given you some ideas.

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Active Shooter Response

In light of the events of the last week, I felt compelled to talk about Active Shooter Response.  Ironically, I teach in-person classes for groups & businesses on this, and yet have never written about it.  Well, let’s do that now.

The  first and biggest step you can do to prepare yourself for an active shooter is BUY A FIRST AID KIT.  You know I advocate it as a vital piece of preparedness kit, and it’s literally the biggest lifesaver you can have.

Understand that during an Active Shooter, law enforcement will NOT be stopping to treat your wounds and medics will NOT be entering the scene.  I listened to the audio from yesterday’s shooting, and even the shot officer laid on the ground, in the line of fire, for an hour, while the other officers engaged the suspect (or suspects, depending on who you listen to) in a running gun battle.

YOU are the only person who can save you.  If you are shot, the first thing you need to do is to treat your own gunshot.  A First Aid Kit in your car doesn’t help you in this case.  You need a small, portable “blow-out” kit that you can carry with you.  It needs some type of trauma dressing, duct tape, and a tourniquet at a bare minimum.  

Solatac PTK

My personal favorite is a Solatac PTK, available at www.solatac.com. It has a SWAT-T Tourniquet/Pressure Dressing, an ABD pad, gauze, Celox hemostatic agent, Kerlex gauze for wound packing to stop bleeding, medical tape, Gorilla Tape, and gloves.  It comes in a resealable plastic pouch and it fits in a cargo pocket or your purse/bag.  I generally carry one in my left cargo pocket, as does everyone I work with.  If you work with others, you should all carry your aid kit in the same place, so that your team-mates can treat your wounds with your kit.

Immediately get a first aid kit and carry it with you EVERYWHERE, even if you never do anything else preparedness related.

When I teach classes, I use the Department of Homeland Security’s “Run/Hide/Fight” protocol, which we’re going to cover briefly here, although it’s not exactly what I personally would do.  We’ll talk about that in the end.

DHS Standards

My personal philosophy comes from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

Rescue those being led away to death;

Hold back those staggering toward slaughter.

Proverbs 24:11

Let’s talk about Run/Hide/Fight first.

Awareness is first.  Be aware that no one went into the grocery store, planning on a criminal attack happening.  That sounds silly, but people every day decide not to carry a first aid kit, or a knife, or a gun, saying “well, I’m not planning on anything happening”.  Here’s an actual conversation I once had:

Her: Why do you have a tourniquet in your laptop bag?

Me: In case I get shot.  What’s your plan in case you get shot?

Her: I don’t plan on getting shot.

Me: No one ever PLANS on getting shot.

CAT Tourniquet

Whenever you approach a business, glance inside before entering, and then look around again, as soon as you enter.  Take a second to analyze the scene – Note who is where, listen for sounds, look for emergency exit signs.

This sounds overly simplistic – but look to see if any one is laying on the ground.  In the video yesterday, the live-streamer was surprised to notice a body practically at his feet, and then had to have someone point out a second one, despite it laying in the middle of an open floor.  I know, it sounds silly, but your mind has a normalcy bias, and you need to train it to look for anomalies or it will miss them.

Let me say this again:  LOOK FOR EMERGENCY EXITS.  You may need to run out one on no notice and if you haven’t identified them, you’ll default to the door you came in.  In the Aurora shooting, many victims walked past emergency exits to go out the door they came in, where the shooter was standing.

This analysis helps us with the first leg of the Run/Hide/Fight paradigm.  If you haven’t identified all possible exits, you can’t effectively run.  Running towards the shooter is a bad idea, yet we see people do it all the time.  Why?  Because of normalcy bias and a failure to look around. They run out the exit they alway use.  Break that mental training with visualization and awareness.

When in doubt, run away from the sound of the gunfire, but don’t run blindly.  Consider the US military chant “I’m up, he sees me, I’m down”, to time your running bounds.  Identify where your are running to, make a short run, stop behind cover, and re-assess.  You may start moving in one direction, then realize that there is no way out that way or that the shooter has moved.

Learn to identify the difference between COVER and CONCEALMENT.  Concealment will hide you from the observation of the shooter, cover will actually stop bullets.  Almost nothing that you encounter inside a house or a business will act as cover.  

Think in three dimensions as well.  There may be an exit on a higher floor, or a lower floor.  A good hiding place may be in those locations as well. 

If you can’t run out of a location, find a good hiding spot.  This should be a place that has only one door, and possibly a window for a secondary escape route.  Once you are hidden with the door secured, first make sure your phone is on SILENT, and then call 911 to report your location.  

Many people think “I don’t want to call 911 and tie up the lines and people are probably already letting them know what’s happening”.  While that is all true, consider what will happen if the police come into that room during an armed battle and see people hiding.  Call 911, report the location and what you are wearing, then WAIT.  It will take the police a long time to clear the building and they will get to you when they can.

If you can’t run, and the shooter finds where you are hiding, you have a choice to make…You can fight, or you can die.  Fight means using what ever is at your disposal to attack the shooter.  Notice I didn’t say resist or defend yourself.  That’s intentional.  

We need to get away from the concept that an Active Shooter should be handled like any other crime; it’s really not the same.  It’s combat.  The person generally doesn’t have a goal other than killing, so treat it as such.  If a person is moving through a building, randomly killing people, no court in this nation is going to hold you accountable if you shoot him without warning or without giving him a chance to kill you first.  

If you have a firearm, use it, without warning.  If you have a knife, a pipe, or a fire extinguisher, use it.  Make no mistake, in an Active Shooter situation, you are fighting for your life.

Go out and get some type of empty hand self-defense training as a last resort.  In addition to the skills, it develops self-confidence and a fighting spirit.  Stick fighting training is good for training in the use of improvised weapons.

Develop the mindset that not only will you “survive”, but that you will win.  Surviving covers a wide range of possible endings, winning only one.  Study after study has proven that mindset is the most important factor in survival.

Visualize potential Active Shooter scenarios that you could possibly face.  Your mind will search its internal database of past experience when confronted with an emergency, and it doesn’t know the difference between something you’ve actually done or something you’ve visualized.

What if I’m with my family?  Then you need to take care of and ensure the safety of your entire family.  Your approach may need an adjustment.  Children may not be able to move as fast or as securely as you, and they may not be able to open some doors.  Understand also that in these situations, children aren’t the best hiders, because they will likely be crying or screaming.

Personally, I know that waiting for police to resolve the situation always leads to more casualties, so I’d advance to contact and try to resolve the situation myself.  I may die in the attempt, but I personally couldn’t live with myself if I allowed to people to be killed when I had the ability to take action.

Greater love has no one than this:

To lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:13

That seems like some good advice.

In that regard, don’t stop to treat the other wounded unless the police have already arrived.  There is no medicine in a gunfight, and if you are too busy treating the wounded, the shooter may just decide to shoot you.  Maintain your own first aid kit unless you are wounded.

Using yesterday’s case, if I was there while the police were engaging the suspect, I would have helped by trying to treat the wounded officer or other wounded victims.  Some surely died from blood loss due to the length of the incident.  In my car, I always carry a larger first aid kit, that would allow me to treat a few wounded, and any responding medical units would appreciate the help.  You can certainly at least slap pressure dressings on active bleeds as a stop-gap measure. 

Once, while assisting at the scene of a multiple vehicle accident that happened in front of us, I remember the first medics running up to where I was treating a bad bleed.  The medics looked at what I was doing and said “Can you hold that situation down while we check on everyone else?”  They were happy for the help.  

Make the decision right now that you will NOT be a victim of circumstances and rely on others to protect you.  Be aware, buy an aid kit, and always be ready.

Preparedness is the key to survival. 

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More Communications Issues

RADIO

As we head further into what appears to be a decline, communications will be even more vital.  We have become so reliant on our modern ability to immediately communicate with everyone else instantaneously, that the loss of that ability could be devastating.

A few issues have come up since my last article on Communications, so I decided to discuss a couple of new developments, address a few frequent comments, and provide a couple of more ideas.

Twitter Nazis

The biggest update is in tech tyranny.  The social media companies, which if we’re honest, we absolutely rely on, are shutting people down left and right for wrong-think, and the federal authorities are also taking social media comments out of context in order to justify sketchy, at best, search and arrest warrants.  In light of that, before we jump into the topics, let me give you a quick piece of Tactical Wisdom from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

Set a guard over my mouth,Lord;

Keep watch over the door of my lips.

Psalm 141:3

Be very careful of what you put on social media, and on overly relying on it for organizing your preparedness group.  I know of groups that lost their entire membership list, communications channels, and everything else in the post January 6th purge. 

So, then, what are we left with?  Secure email and messaging platforms, like I discussed last week, are available now, but in a Without Rule of Law situation, they will be gone.   The answer is radio, and that’s where our updates fall.

The Anarchist Radio Relay League

I have reported since last spring that ANTIFA has been using FRS and GMRS channels on Baofeng radios at protests and “direct actions” to coordinate their security, medical, and counter-intelligence operations.

Recently, they published a guide called the “The Anarchist Radio Relay League”, providing basic information for ANTIFA radio operations.  It calls for them expanding their radio use into FRS/GMRS/CB as well as Amateur Radio.

For our discussion today though, there is a security warning from it.  Their guide advises that most licensed amateur radio operators are “old white men” who tend towards being conservative.  The author then provides the website for searching radio call signs, and advises ANTIFA people to gather information on amateur licensees for “community self-defense”:  In other words, targeting licensed amateur radio operators.  Be aware of this.

The guide also recommends that if an ANTIFA person gets a license, they use a family member’s address or a PO Box.  Before I get a bunch of replies about that being illegal, so is rioting; they just don’t care.

They also discuss establishing their own MESH networks for secure communications between their own groups, as well as setting up long range radio relay networks for sharing intelligence information.

The point of sharing this is to break everyone’s bias that ANTIFA is some bunch of weak loser clowns that would be defeated in less than a day, if it ever came to that.  That’s the prevailing attitude.

They are committed socialists and anarchists who have been on the streets fighting for almost a year straight.  They sent personnel to fight in Syria, Turkey, and The Ukraine to gain actual combat experience and training to bring back to them.  They already have well-established secure communications protocols that allow them to generate crowds quickly.

They have also shown that they don’t care whether you are right-leaning, or left-leaning.  If you aren’t a committed Anarcho-Communist, they will fight against you.  Prepare accordingly.

Comms SS

FCC Advisories/FAQ’s

Just before the January 6th incident (I refuse to call it anything more than that), the FCC put out an advisory against using the radio for unlawful activities, and against “speaking in code”.  

These were meant entirely to discourage people from using radios while exercising their rights.

Remember, most FCC violations are fairly “open to interpretation”.  For example, if I tell my friend to “meet me at the corner store”, rather than saying “At the Speedway at Ford Rd and Harrison”, I could be construed as having spoken in code.  Also, how does one define “harmful interference”?

Yes, the case would probably be tossed out, but in the meantime, they arrested you, seized the “offending equipment”, and cost you thousands in legal fees.

Yet another FCC concern for those in preparedness is in their FAQ section of their website about FCC Agents and searches.  An FCC Amateur Radio license means that you agree to allow an FCC Agent access to “inspect” your equipment “without delay” at any time.  The FAQ spells out clearly that even a delay of seconds (for example, to put on pants) is a violation.  

The other issue it arises post-January 6th, is that of Task Force operations.  Let me explain:

The government is thinks that you may be engaged in that dangerous behavior of honoring the US Constitution.  They notice your FCC license and then bring in an FCC Agent.  They decide to “inspect your equipment”.  Now, the website says that they aren’t allowed to search drawers and cabinets, just inspect the radio, but in this case, the agent brought along a DHS/FBI/ATF partner for “security”.  They notice that you have a “Come & Take It” flag in your living room, and they noticed a “Don’t Tread on Me” patch on your jacket while inspecting the radio. They thank you, and come back in the middle of the night with a “Domestic Extremist” warrant.

They are getting no-knock search warrants based on less information than that in this current environment.

Amateur Radio is a fantastic thing that contributes a lot to society and is a great hobby.  I don’t personally have a license, and have no intentions of getting one, because I am only listening for gathering information.  I presented those two issues to help you make an informed decision on whether or not to pursue a license.  Each of us has to make up our own minds about how much government intrusion we will allow.

WROL Radio Operations

Now, I know, I’ll get some comments and emails from my readers who are hard-core Amateur Radio operators, castigating me for my comments and saying that you should always get government permission for everything you do.  I won’t disagree.  If I ever broadcast on my radios for other than work-related use on my employer’s licensed channels, I would reluctantly get one.  However, since my only purpose is having the capability for a WROL situation, I don’t feel the need to invite additional government oversight into my life.  

Without Rule of Law means exactly that; the rule of law has broken down to the point where law enforcement is incapable of response and you are completely on your own.  Many say that we’ll never get to that point in the US, but I say that in some areas we are already there.

There are currently autonomous zones in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, and Bellingham.  Watch YouTube video of the police trying to investigate a homicide in the George Floyd Autonomous Zone in Minneapolis…they were driven off by armed insurgents.  Spin it however you want, but there was an armed confrontation and the police were outgunned and left.  The same thing happened with multiple shootings in the CHOP/CHAZ area. The citizens living there are in a WROL situation.

In a WROL situation, such as Post-Katrina, or mid-riot, the FCC will be the least of our worries and some low-powered communications between a security team securing a neighborhood will be the least of their worries as well.

“But what about….”

Here we are going to give radio tactics, tips, and procedures, while addressing a lot of the questions I get.  

First, I am NOT a lawyer and this is NOT to be construed as legal advice.  You must make your own decisions in an EMERGENCY SITUATION, where protection of life takes priority over everything else.

Second, I’m only advocating TTP’s (Tactics/Techniques/Procedures) for a WROL situation, not today’s environment.  In other words, if the rule of law has collapsed, why would I continue to hamstring my safety by following rules that no longer apply?  (That’s actually lesson 1…)

BaoFeng Two Way…

  1. “It’s illegal to use Baofeng Radios on FRS/GMRS frequencies”:  Yes, that’s absolutely true.  They are programmable from the front face, broadcast at more than 0.5 watts, and have detachable antennas.  ANTIFA is doing it every single day in downtown Detroit, which has an FCC presence.  Not one arrest has been made.  It is illegal to TRANSMIT, but in a WROL situation, this is not a concern.  Go ahead and use them.
  2. “But everyone uses FRS/GMRS and there are always neighborhood kids playing on them”:  That is a fact and they are widely available.  I recommend listening on the FRS/GMRS frequencies now, to determine which channels are NOT being used, and then incorporate those in to your plans.  Humans are lazy, and usually won’t change the channel.  A side note to this is that post-WROL situation, the kids won’t be out playing on the radios anymore.
  3. “I would use MURS for emergency comms, but local businesses can use them”: Again, they are indeed using them TODAY.  Post-WROL, I wouldn’t worry too much about the local Victoria’s Secret or Dick’s Sporting Goods running day-to-day operations on MURS.  Remember, we aren’t honestly talking about running a 50 mile radius network here; we’re talking about a secure perimeter and some light patrolling/safety communications, as well as some communication with other groups NEARBY.
  4. “But you need a license to talk to other Amateur Radio Operators at great distances for news”:  That’s correct; but not if I just want to LISTEN.  You can buy a $150.00 SSB receiver like the County Comm GP-5/SSB, and listen to news and amateur broadcasts from all over the world.  A side benefit of gathering by listening is that no one can “Direction-Find” your location if you aren’t broadcasting.  If I need to get information out to others, I have others in my short-to-medium range network that can transmit whatever I want them to share, and, again, if it’s a complete WROL situation, I’ll just get the information out.
  5. “But Baofengs are unsecure and easy to DF”:  I’ve got news for you…every radio is easy to “Direction Find”, because you are, at some point, broadcasting.  I counter this with the fact that even at it’s highest power (7-8 watts), a Baofeng isn’t for long-haul secure comms, it’s for local communications, like intra-team communications.  I’m not running a revolution on it, unlike ANTIFA, I’m protecting my group and my family.  At best, you’ll get a few miles in VHF/UHF, and if some opposition is already that close, I’m way behind the 8 ball & secure radios aren’t going to help me.
  6. “But you can’t talk in code”:  That is indeed a violation.  Every group of friends has a group of names for the places they frequent.  If you don’t, you should.  Also, broadcasting that the group is going meet at the planned rally point isn’t a code, it’s a statement of fact.  Having a preplanned set of “Signal Operating Instructions” helps.  The AMRRON offers one to it’s members.  Also, codes are perfectly acceptable, as long as the intent isn’t to be “deceptive”; for example, ARRL Q codes are fine, as well as ARRL Radiogram codes.
  7. “Bro, CB is so lame and 1980s”:  This is a feature, not a bug.  The fact that only truckers and a few random weirdos are using CB means that you have 40 (or 120 with SSB) channels, available for use in the HF Spectrum, which has far better range over open ground.  I certainly recommend incorporating a CB radio, if for nothing else than over-the road convoy operations.  A side note to this is that in the event of a major situation, there will be a huge number of people who will dust off old stored CB’s in an attempt to make any kind of contact, these are sources of information.  I have a vehicle mounted SSB CB, and a standard 40 channel hand-held, with an extra vehicle-mountable antenna.  They are good extra tools to have.  ANTIFA is also suggesting it’s members use CB, because of the lack of licensing.
  8. “But Amateur Radio guys don’t like anyone”:  This is untrue and they are a very helpful bunch, willing to help new licensees learn.  That being said, there are a lot of KAREN’s among Amateur Radio; chose your mentors carefully.  If I encounter a radio Karen post-WROL, I will invite them to feel free to report me to the non-existent FCC.
  9. “I have no idea what frequencies to monitor”:  The Channel 3 Project of AMRRON helps.  Monitor channel 3 FRS/MURS/CB at the top of every hour.
Channel 3 Project

I hope that answering these has given you a few ideas or helped in your planning. 

Amateur Radio is a great hobby and there is a world of information and learning available.

CB SSB

Set up a radio communications plan for your group, including frequencies, and be ready before anything happens.

Skill – Navigation/Hand-Railing

In a Without Rule of Law (WROL) situation, your ability to navigate will become vital.  Even if you plan on sheltering in place, you’ll need to go out for things, and traditional methods can put you at risk.

We’ve become too reliant on the convenience of GPS.  Even outdoorsman now over-rely on it.  It’s a great tool and we’ll discuss a couple of ways to still use it in a WROL situation, but we need other methods, because of the following two main risks:

  1. GPS Relies on Ground Stations – If the ground stations loose grid power, the satellites will lose their exact fix on their location and begin to drift, but still reporting out their original location.  It will become unreliable over time.
  2. GPS can be “Shut Off” selectively – As we saw during the 2020 Virginia Second Amendment protests, the United States Government has the ability to shut down the entire system in a geographical area.  Users reported GPS outages in about a 200 mile radius, and the US Navy stated that they “just happened” to be doing an exercise in which they disabled GPS that “coincided” with the protest.

Another risk of GPS over-reliance is that many people have stopped buying handheld units, preferring instead to use their cell phone as a GPS.  If the power is down, cell service will go down, and with it your ability to download mapping.  

The easiest one of these to fix is the need of a mobile network to download mapping.  Most services allow you to download at least a small local area to your device to use when off-line.  A service like Sygic, which I use, allows you to download any mapping you want and have the storage space for, so that you can use your phone as a GPS off-line.

The other two can only be solved by the use of paper maps and compasses.  It’s a vital outdoor and preparedness skill, and one you really should have.  Buy and obtain as detailed of local maps as you can.  If you live in a city, street level maps are vital and in rural areas, a combination of street maps and topographical maps are needed.

My Compass

What if I don’t have a map and compass?  Well, the Ultimate Tactical Handbook has some guidance on that situation:

The wise listen & add to their learning,

And let the discerning get guidance.

Proverbs 1:5

A map is guidance, but so is our next skill:

There is a skill that will enable you to still have a good idea of where you are going, even without a compass and a map.  Following roads or terrain features can ensure that you stay on a particular route.

The problem is that these are known militarily as “natural lines of drift”, or areas in which humans will be moving.  In a WROL situation, other people mean risk.  There will be others moving along every road, path, electrical transmission line, river, and railroad.  

Let’s take rivers as our example.  Every major city in the world is on a river.  This is because, for all of human history, we’ve been drawn to sources of fresh water, and rivers made a way to conduct trade, as well obtain food and water.  Ancient hunting tribes followed rivers because game was drawn to the water as well.

Building on that in a modern setting, people will be drawn to walk away from danger along natural pathways, like rivers, highways, roads, railways, utility cleared corridors, and the like.

Hand Rails

In order to avoid encountering other people, the US military trains patrols to do what is known as “hand railing”.  Hand Railing refers to moving along a terrain feature, whether man-made or natural, by always keeping it in sight, while not actually using the feature for movement.

You can follow the path of a highway by remaining in the concealment of woods along the highway, but 100-200 meters to the side.  Even in farmland, you’ll see ditches or wood-rows traversing the fields, that would allow you to remain safely concealed while moving.

In using highways to hand rail, it helps to understand how the interstate highway system operates to help navigate.  There are two different systems, the US Highways and US Interstates.  The rules are listed here:

  1. North-South Routes: On US Highways, they are numbered with odd numbers, beginning in the east, and getting higher as you move west.  Interstates are also odd numbers, but with the lowest in the west, and the highest in the east.
  2. East-West Routes:  On US Highways, they are numbered with even numbers, beginning in the north, and getting higher as you move south.  Interstates are also even numbers, but with the lowest in the south, and the highest in the north.
  3. Spur Routes:  A spur is shorter section off of the main highway, with a number in front of the two-digit main route.

As you can see, by knowing these rules and hand railing the highway, you can indeed navigate fairly well.

However, when traveling in more remote areas, you may have to hand-rail a terrain feature like a river or a railroad (maybe a power line).  Avoid the temptation to travel directly along the feature, as you will surely encounter other people, some of whom will have bad intentions or just be very desperate.  

Danger Area Hand Rail

You can also hand-rail to avoid danger areas.  Let’s say you are hand-railing the freeway, and come to a large area of farm land.  You can travel around the farmland, hand-railing it’s edge, until you get past it, allowing you to resume hand-railing the freeway along your route.

When conducting hand railing, avoid also the temptation to camp along the same path you are hand railing on.  For instance, if you are moving 100 meters west of a river, just keeping it in sight, when it comes time to camp, move another 50-100 meters away from the river before camping.  

The reasoning is simple.  What if another group is traveling directly along the river (or whatever other feature you’re hand railing) and they decide to camp?  Rather than camp directly in danger on the feature, they’ll also want to move a distance away from it to camp, and could have blundered right into your location.

Don’t under-estimate your need to be secure in a WROL situation.  You can’t possibly know the intentions or attitudes of any group you encounter, so the best strategy is to avoid contact altogether.  Hand-railing and then moving another distance away to sleep is safer.

The same hand-railing rule applies to trails.  Throughout most metro areas there are urban trail systems.  In a WROL situation, people will flock to these for a number of reasons; to leave the area, look for firewood, set up camp, hunt, etc.  Get out on these systems now and look for hand rail opportunities.  

The one closest to where I live has very small game trails just off both sides, because the wildlife is trying to avoid the humans on the walking trails.  I’ve done lots of experimentation and people on the trails never look too deep into the woods.  You could hand rail the walking trail the entire way, and just take a knee anytime you saw someone else on the trail below.

But what about urban movement?  If you’ve chosen to shelter in place, there will still be reasons you’ll need to venture out, and there will definitely be other people about, some of whom are dangerous.  Is there a way to navigate in the city to avoid contact?  There are several.

First, learn the local basic layout.  For example, in Metro Detroit, the “mile” roads (8 Mile, etc) tell you far north of Michigan Avenue (in the City) or Cherry Hill (west suburbs) you are.  The major roads are one mile apart both north-south and east-west.    You need to know the basic layout in your area.

Next, learn where there are usable alleyways and where rail lines or power lines go through.  These will be good terrain features to use, just remember to hand rail them rather than walking directly on them.  In an urban environment, you won’t be able to move 100 meters off the feature, but can follow a woodline next to it, rather than walking in the open.

But what about the suburban sprawl without alleys or train tracks?  There will always be power lines, but sometimes that isn’t enough and you’ll need to use the roads.  In this situation, we’ll take advantage of human nature & laziness to be safe.  

In a neighborhood, people will be looking for other people either walking in the road or on the sidewalk.  This leaves you three options:

  1. Backyards:  This is the preferred option, but fences could make travel dangerous, as could being in the backyard of a house that is occupied.  
  2. Drains:  Most maps identify urban drains, which are man-made creeks generally running between two subdivisions, leading to a larger creek or river.  They make great urban movement channels.
  3. Front Yards:  Probably the most realistic option in a WROL situation is to transit a neighborhood by walking through the yards halfway between the houses and the sidewalk.  Human nature would not be looking there for people.  If you spotted someone farther down the street, you could hide between houses until they passed or switch to backyards.

Transiting neighborhoods have no good options, these are just the three that are most secure.  Before someone leaves a comment about what would happen if I did that in their yard, understand that we aren’t talking about TODAY, we are talking about a WROL situation.  In that scenario, I’d be fine with someone walking through my yard, as long as they kept on going, and so would you.

If you live in an urban area, get out and walk now.  Learn the routes into and out of the neighborhood on foot.  We discuss doing this study in the soon-to-be released Base Line Training Manual, our first in a series of preparedness training books.

Get and practice hand railing at your local trail system and develop the skill.  Study your local maps to find drains, rail systems, and power lines that you can use, then get out and take a look at them, visualizing how you make the movement in a safe and concealed manner.

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Personal Security in the Digital Age

Cell phones and the internet were supposed to make our lives easier, less complicated, and more efficient.  It was supposed to usher in an era where our effectiveness was going to give us more free time and less stress.

Do you feel like that’s what happened?

With the prevalence of cell phones, “free” search services, “free” email, and social media, we are sharing far more information about ourselves than we ever actually consider.  The services offer this to you “free” as a convenience to make your daily life easier, but in all reality, YOU are their product.

Surveillance capitalism is massive industry.  We are allowing them to produce a product without the need to pay for the raw materials, because our movements and activity are the product.

Businesses sell the information on your movements and that’s where your ads turn up on your phone.  More nefariously, information aggregators compile incredibly detailed reports on your activity that certain groups can buy (like police, private investigators, and corporate security).  

We’re going to talk about a few of these systems, but first, let’s do what we should always do and check the Ultimate Tactical Handbook for Guidance:

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;

He who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Proverbs 13:3

Who cares?  Why should I care?  Many people say “If I’m not doing anything wrong, why should I care?”.  January 6th and it’s aftermath is why you should care.

Before I move forward, to my assigned FBI/NSA surveillance specialist:  You already know I wasn’t anywhere near there, and I completely disagree with those who breached the building.  We cool?  Cool.

However, in the aftermath of the January 6th event, we are finding that cell phone companies, social media companies, banks, hotels, and airlines are all turning over data on the movements of ANYONE who was in the Capitol Region on that day.  That’s right, EVERYONE.  The FBI is then sifting through that data and deciding who to pursue.

Again, I know what you’re thinking….”But, so what?  If I was in town and didn’t do anything, I’ll just tell them that”.   People who weren’t involved in any way are being stopped at security checkpoints at airports and borders, just because they were in the Washington DC area that day.

The point is that in the United States, you aren’t required to explain your movements to the government.  These records that they are getting “voluntarily handed over” from banks should require a search warrant and notification to you that the data has been handed over, except in highly unusual cases.

So, how do you protect your information?

Understand that the only way to completely eliminate the gathering of information is to not have a cell phone at all.  Let’s dispel a few myths, before moving on to countermeasures.

First, turning off location tracking or putting your phone in “airplane mode” doesn’t stop location reporting.  The phone still tracks it’s physical location and reports that data as soon as the phone is reconnected.  As long as the antenna can make contact with the sky, it will gather and report location data as soon as it can, no matter what settings you have.  You just might not see the data, but I assure you it’s still tracked.

Using a “burner phone” does NOT help.  Unless you’re willing to commit a federal crime by lying when you sign the phone up for service, you’re not doing yourself any favors.  The PATRIOT Act requires you to enter ID data to get any phone service.  Additionally, regardless of how low-tech a phone appears, under the guise of “safety”, even burner phones have location tracking.  

Let’s say you succeed in entering false information.  That burner phone will still be tracking location information EVEN WHEN TURNED OFF.  That phone will be reporting it’s location at least part of the day at the same location as your regular phone.  Also, anyone you contact with the phone probably has your burner number stored under your real name on their phone.  Great work, James Bond.

Next, Signal is NOT secure, as the Oath Keepers are learning to their dismay.  The Israelis announced months ago that they could read Signal messages, and if Israel can, you know the US Government can.

All Seeing Google

Lastly, your phone is always listening.  So is your Alexa or Google Home device.  I know, I know, “but they said that’s untrue”, right?  Ask yourself this…How does it know when you say “Hey Google/Siri/Alexa”?  Because it’s always listening.  There are multiple criminal cases where the recordings have been used, despite the device allegedly having not been listening.

So, what can we do?

First, stop being instantly available.  If you are going somewhere you don’t want to be tracked, leave the phone at home.  You can put it inside a faraday cage in your car, but understand that it will record the exact location where it lost the signal, so a better choice is to just leave it at home.

Next, Don’t over-share on social media.  So many people are eager to narrate their lives, and that’s fine if that’s your thing, but understand that the data is used to sell information on your travels, and you don’t know who it’s sold to.  Also, in our current political climate, people are being targeted and arrested for social media posts. 

Did you now that the Bible predicted the Twitter Censorship?  Check this out from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

Do not curse the King, even in your thought;

Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom;

For a bird of the air may carry your voice,

And a bird in flight may tell the matter.

Ecclesiates 10:20

Little did we know that the bird was a little blue Twitter bird.  Isn’t that a completely prophetic piece of wisdom?

Don’t invite technological spying into every aspect of your life.  It’s frustrating when I hear people who claim to be into preparedness talk about their Alexa or Google Home, or their Ring cameras.  We’ve already discussed the risk with the first two, but when you agree to hook up your Ring cameras to their servers, you no longer have exclusive rights to your security video.  

If you doubt me, check out the app NextDoor.  They regularly post about their “partnerships” with Ring and local police departments to “make your neighborhood safe”.  Additionally, Ring allows the police access to your cameras recordings, for “on-going investigations”.  

Again, I’m sure people will say, “but I’m not doing anything wrong”.  Well, in our current environment, where police are getting no-knock warrants based on anonymous complaints, do you want to risk the police being able to watch two weeks worth of activity on your camera system, documenting the comings and goings at your house?  Why not secure the data by just keeping your security system local?  Yes, it’s convenient to check your cameras from home, but you could do that on your own home network by setting up private & secure remote access rather than signing over your right to privacy.

Stop using “free” services that sell your data.  As an example, Duck Duck Go is supported by advertising and doesn’t sell or track your search data.

Have you opened up your mail client like Gmail and had it have a list of “suggested responses” to an email?  Ask yourself why.   Because they’re reading your emails and using that data to sell targeted ads.  Because of my line of work, I get a lot of email that is confidential, so I don’t want Google reading it.

Rather than using a service like Gmail, I use ProtonMail, who encrypts all mail and is subject to Swiss privacy laws, doesn’t read it, and doesn’t store any of your mail.  Only you have your encryption key.  There are other services similar out there, check out mail clients before installing them.  I know ProtonMail is secure, so that’s why I use it.

Don’t use “free” mapping services like Google Maps and Apple Maps, either.  I purchased and installed Sygic GPS, which allows me to download entire state maps to the phone and update them regularly, allowing my searches to be done “offline” and only on my local device.  As a side note, if the communications grid is down, this will allow me to still use my phone as a GPS since the satellites are in space and the map data is completely on my phone already.

Opt out of all “data sharing” and “error reporting” services on your phone.  Resist the temptation to allow your phone to always to be searching for free wifi.  These services all are part of the surveillance capitalism, and they can say that you “opted in” to sharing your data.

To recap, guard your information and be very selective about what data you share.  Understand that the majority of modern search warrants rely on social media postings that people thought were innocuous, such as location tagging or old photos.  Don’t take advantage of every single convenience, because they come at a price.

Be very careful of what you say online, as our once revered First Amendment freedoms are becoming more and more eroded every day.

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Why We Prepare

Anti-Preparedness Propaganda

What is the reason that we prepare?  What is our ultimate justification for what we’re doing?

If you watch “Doomsday Preppers” or some other show on TV, the answer would seem to be that it’s because we’re crazy.  They selected people and edited the clips to make them look crazy, which led to years of people laughing at preparedness.

This last year has changed the public perception of preparedness.

So, then, why do we do it?  

The ultimate reason, when you break it down completely, is FREEDOM.  We prepare so that we are SELF RELIANT and don’t have to trust anyone else to come to our rescue.  The evidence is clear in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the midwest floods, and the Texas weather outages, that the government is going ride over the hill to save you about an hour after you’ve already died.

How does this view of being self-reliant match up with the Ultimate Tactical Handbook?

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.

Galatians 5:1

Seems clear: Be self-reliant.  You are your own rescuer, protector, and provider.

When you look at the riots over the spring and summer of 2020, you will realize that the police are not coming to protect you.  In fact, the Supreme Court case of Castle Rock v Gonzales says they have no duty to protect you.  In Portland, when both the far right and the far left faced off in the streets, the Portland Police Bureau admitted that they were not capable of protecting the city when the two factions fought each other.  This will be more common in 2021, so be prepared to fend for yourself.

When people in New Orleans relied on the government to come to their rescue, they found that rather than feeding everyone, the government’s first response was to go door-to-door and seize 551 firearms, all of which were lawfully owned.  Then they forcibly relocated people to the SuperDome, where they were actually at greater risk.  There was a shortage of food & water at the SuperDome, and crime was rampant inside.  

So, again, relying on ourselves is good, but not merely good enough.  

Let’s say I lived in New Orleans, and I had stored up 120 days of food and water, I had secured my house, obtained personal protection firearms, and had my own generator.  Sounds prepared, right?

Well, on day 4, while I was getting ready to make lunch, our good friend General Russell Honore and his troops arrived at my house and demanded entry.  They flashed emergency orders, and seized my firearms for “security & safekeeping”, then declared that they were seizing my food and generator under the emergency order.  They then put me and my family in a truck and drove us to the SuperDome.

Did my preparedness help?

Inside the SuperDome, food and water began to run out and the National Guard began to ration it.  Recovered bodies from the surrounding area began to pile up, and in an emergency, live people plus a lot of dead bodies equals illness.  Three people died inside the SuperDome from various causes.  Does that sound like people you should rely on?

What does this mean for preparedness folks who live in a city and plan on “bugging in”?  I can’t answer that for YOU, but for me, if I had remained in the city, and the government showed up, I’d follow Galations 5:1 and not let myself be burdened with a yoke of slavery.  Relying on someone else to feed, house, and protect you is SLAVERY.

The best advice I can give is to have a plan that allows you to either hide yourself and your gear effectively, or a plan that allows you to leave undetected in a hurry.  The best of both worlds is to have hidden most of your supplies and have the means to leave quickly and hide for a day or two, until you can come back safely.

In Clay Martin’s excellent book on urban preparedness, Concrete Jungle, he describes how to do these things, and I highly recommend it (see link below).

A book you need

If you plan on bugging in, you need to start NOW on Operational Security (OPSEC).  Telling the world all about your preparations will make you a target.  Many people think “My neighbors won’t take my stuff” or “My Facebook friends would never steal from me”.  Those people underestimate the power of hunger.  Hungry people, or people with children on the edge of starvation, will act very differently than they do now.  They may show up and demand food, or band together and take food.

OPSEC

Even worse, when the troops take them to a relocation camp, and offer them extra food in exchange for reporting “hoarders” or “people hiding guns”, people WILL report you, if they know.  

In preparedness, I see lots of people talking about how, after an event, when bugging in, they’ll fortify their house.  A fortified house looks like a fortified house.  When hungry people, or people intent on looting, see a fortified house, they think “there’s good stuff in there”.  It’s far better to make your house look unoccupied or unremarkable in any way.

I know, folks like us love to fly our American flag right next to the “Come and Take It” flag.  We are already seeing ANTIFA target houses flying either of those flags, so what do you think will happen post-event?  Oh, you’ll take it down then, after the event and when the WROL situation exists?  

What if I told you that the left is already preparing for mass violence, and recording addresses they suspect?  THEY ARE.

This last weekend, the Young Social Democrat Association had booths set up in Washington state.  There was literature on the tables about setting up “Community Emergency Response Teams”.  These teams would be comprised of armed personnel for “community self-defense” as well as medics.  Do you think you’re part of the community they’ll defend?  

It’s interesting that they avoided using the term “militia”, but an armed “community self defense” group is INDEED a militia.  

They told these groups to form and begin establishing “safe houses” and gathering information.  By gathering information, they mean identifying anyone who isn’t a radical socialist for “redistribution”.  Make no mistake, their preparedness plan is to seize your supplies and redistribute them to each other.  They are already forcibly taking over neighborhoods and buildings, and we aren’t even fully into a WROL situation.

Keep your bug-in location as low-key as possible, and if a WROL situation develops, take the same position as The Rooftop Koreans did, and be ready to defend your stuff.  

OK, so they’re not on a Rooftop, but they ARE Korean.

During the LA Riots of 1992, the Korean business community suffered the most loses.  Over 2,300 businesses owned by Koreans were destroyed (half of all property damage).  When they realized that the police wouldn’t be able to get help to them for over a week, the Rooftop Koreans banded together, armed themselves and began manning the roofs of their business.  For several days they exchanged gunfire with looters, but they didn’t lose anymore buildings.  Not a single Korean was charged with a crime.

Rooftop Korean is the dialect I speak.

Keep your preparations low key, have a way to hide them, and retain your ability to move out quickly, even if it’s only temporarily.  Retain also the ability to defend yourself.  

Operational Security means making sure that only the people who need to know are aware of your plans.  This applies to every area of life, not just preparedness.  Americans put a ridiculous amount of information on social media for everyone to see.  People brag about leaving for a two-week vacation, not realizing the OPSEC error in telling people that your home is now unoccupied and you are out of the country.

Make sure you keep your circle of people who know your preparedness plans small.  If you join a mutual aid group (see, I didn’t say militia or community self defense team), keep the group small.  You need enough people in your group to be able to band together and defend each other, but not so many that a full leadership organization is required.  Once you set up some type of large hierarchy, the potential exists for one person to force others to give things up.

Remember our goal, self-reliance and individual freedom.

But, every group needs leader, so what do we do?  We take a lesson from the military organizations of 1700s.  In the 1700s, and most of the 1800s, military units elected their officers.  In a small, 4-5 family mutual aid organization, that’s a simple and effective way to handle it.

In a WROL situation, there won’t be any “lone wolf” people after 30 days.  Find a group of like minded people and organize now.

I hope this helped you remember why we prepare, and gave you some ideas for be self-reliant.  Most importantly, I hope it inspired you to remember that we ARE a free people, and the government doesn’t really have the authority to tell us where we can go and how many of us can gather at once.

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What’s Really Happening?

DC Emergency Service Ribbon

If you’ve read this blog long enough, you will know that I’m a big proponent of reading indicators. For those into preparedness, you need to be paying attention, regardless of which side of the political aisle you are on. The rhetoric and actions being taken are increasing the risk of domestic conflict within the United States, and you need to be prepared for it.

The United States Army National Guard Bureau is authorizing the issuance of a “DC Emergency Support Ribbon” for any National Guard soldier deployed to Washington DC after the January 6th incident. This is a BIG indicator.

To understand why, you have to understand how the US military issues ribbons and medals. Typically, particularly for the National Guard, in a deployment during a short term emergency like this would result in the issuance of a “Presidential Unit Citation” for each unit, allowing them to wear a PUC ribbon.

The other way in which ribbons are assigned is what we call “campaign ribbons”. Service in wartime, during a particular campaign, or push to accomplish some goal in a theater, would result in a campaign ribbon for someone who was there during the campaign. As an example, we currently issue Iraq and Afghanistan GWOT campaign ribbons. This ribbon seems to be like a campaign ribbon, and may well be the first campaign ribbon in the Second Civil War.

I know, at this point it’s claimed that this is a “local” award, but it’s being reviewed as a Federal-Level ribbon.

That’s the first indicator.

The second is the phrase “deadly January 6th insurrection”. Any time you see the events of January 6th described, it’s written like this word for word regardless of which outlet published it. This should tell you that you have no free press, but I digress.

Have you ever heard the phrase “deadly BLM/ANTIFA insurrection” to describe the events of the late spring and summer of 2020? An insurrection is defined as revolting against civil authority. The burning of police stations & courthouses, ambushes and bombings, and looting certainly meet that definition.

If the press was objective, they would realize that if you called the summer “protests”, and they were more violent and destructive than the January 6th incident, then you have to either call both protests, or both insurrections.

So then, it’s clear that the use of different terms is designed only to inflame and shape opinions. Protests are inherently virtuous and Constitutionally protected, whereas insurrections are inherently violent, evil, and unlawful.

The only death from violence on January 6th was when the US Capitol Police shot & killed an unarmed protestor. The other 3 protestor deaths were from health issues, not the event, and Officer Sicknick died from a stroke, not from an attack. Contrast that with the number of deaths from the summer protests.

The National Guard deployment has already been extended twice, and officially is supposed to end in two months, but the recommendation of blatantly racist General Honore, who is in charge of such things, is that they remain indefinitely.

They keep bringing up the specter of “right wing extremist violence”, even though they have presented no evidence of it whatsoever. This comes as every single night ANTIFA/BLM in Washington state are in an active insurgency, attacking businesses, assaulting police, and setting fire to government buildings. The media ignores the active insurgency.

Gather up your belongings to leave the land,

you who live under siege.

Jeremiah 10:17

As the passage from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook illustrates, be prepared. Tough times are ahead for all of us, regardless of politics. Have a plan, have gear ready.

Many take issue with the use of the term insurgency, but read the definition above. The conditions on the ground in Portland & Seattle meet that definition.

Again, we must ask WHY? Why the intentional ignoring of the on-going Marxist insurgency, while at the same time pushing the narrative without any evidence that we are on the edge of a violent assault by right-wing extremists?

Because even the Democrat Party knows that they aren’t far left enough and they can’t put the ANTIFA/BLM genie back in the bottle. They know that as we hit the anniversary of the Breonna Taylor & George Floyd incidents, there will be widespread violence again, and it’s better to blame it on “right wing extremists” attacking “mostly peaceful” protests.

Early in the summer, a BAMN activist handed me this document while I was undercover conducting surveillance at a protest in Detroit. It laid out that the goal was a violent revolution, and that they didn’t want Joe Biden as President either.

They know that a violent conflict is coming, and they want to frame it properly, to get the populace on the proper side.

Look at the treatment of those arrested on each side. BLM/ANTIFA protestors routinely have charges dropped, even for throwing firebombs. They are frequently released after only a few hours. For the January 6th event, people are being held for months in pre-trial confinement for misdemeanor crimes. Before you say, “but it’s the Capitol”, no one arrested for unlawfully being inside the Capitol or interfering with police during the Kavanaugh hearing (the same charge was used) was held longer than a few hours.

Another indicator is the continued comparisons to Pearl Harbor or 9/11 for the January 6th event. Both of those incidents led to actual wars.

Don’t get me wrong…There are some right wing extremist groups out there, but if we are truly honest with ourselves, they are over-run by federal law enforcement agencies to catch the extremists, so they aren’t really a threat.

I’m not saying either side is wrong or right. Protesting police violence is not inherently bad, and neither is demanding election integrity & transparency.

My point is that the rhetoric of the media is increasing the risk of violence and civil disorder, rather than reducing it.

Pay attention to the indicators and be prepared.

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Skill – Route Planning

I originally wrote this for Survival Blog, and the skills are critical in analyzing your routes and options for getting away from your immediate area in a Without Rule of Law situation.

But first, let’s see what the Ultimate Tactical Handbook has to say about this:

Give careful thought to the paths for your feet

and be steadfast in all your ways.

Proverbs 4:26

Everyone has a plan to “Get Out of Dodge” in an emergency. As I teach my self defense and firearms classes, I ask people about theirs and they all say, “I’d head up to my cabin” or “I’ll head out west”. The problem is, have you actually considered how you will leave the immediate area of your home or work? Most of the people I hear begin their plan ambiguously. They say, just simply, “I’d leave town”, but they have never done any reconnaissance or real-life consideration of their route.

As humans, we are creatures of habit. If I want to leave my house in Metro Detroit and head to my cabin, I just jump on the freeway two blocks from home and take it most of the way, right? Well, on a normal weekend, without any unrest or an emergency, that’s very simple.

These basic plans fall apart once we consider the effects of a large civil disturbance, a disaster, or simply a large-scale long-term blackout. With the increasing trend of protesters blocking the freeways and major streets, these issues must be taken into consideration.

As the crisis unfolds, people will take to the streets in many ways. Protesters who may be out, people seeking to re-unite with family members, looters, people seeking supplies, and people trying to leave the area will all clog the roads. Authorities will attempt to retain control by establishing traffic control points and roadblocks. Roads and highways may also have been damaged.

When planning routes, a simple and thorough process needs to be used. The process begins with locating four different routes to use in the event one is blocked. A map study is a method to predict where issues may arise. You must drive these routes (conduct reconnaissance) to determine where the problems areas are and how to avoid them. Safe havens and supply stops (or absence thereof) must be planned. Final coordination with others at your destination is also needed. We will address these areas in this article.

Planning needs to begin with a map study. While GPS technology is convenient and should certainly be planned for, the failure of batteries or other components can happen, so beginning with an old-fashioned map and compass is an important fail-safe. Analyze the map and select routes out of the area that are non-traditional. Sure, the highway is the fastest way out of the area, but the other 400,000 people fleeing the area also know that. I recommend the acronym PACE to remind you to have four routes or plans for everything. Primary, Alternate, Contingent, and Emergency.

As you are studying the map, think from the perspective of the local law enforcement agency trying to maintain order. Decide where Traffic Control Points (TCP) would be placed to best control traffic. Decide what government buildings will either be heavily protected or draw protesters/refugees. Make your routes to avoid these areas. Mark grocery stores and gas stations on the map, and avoid these areas. They will be magnets for looters or just desperate people. Mark and avoid all hospitals, again, during a crisis; these will be busy areas and present a risk.

I have designed my routes to use only secondary roads. While larger traffic arteries move faster under ideal circumstances, they will be at a standstill and will attract the most law enforcement, protest, and refugee attention as well. Ensure that the secondary roads you use don’t traverse high-crime areas.

After selecting at least three routes using only secondary roads, select as your Emergency route something completely out of the box. As an example, I live two blocks from the start of a walking trail that leads all the way through the south side of my city and avoids all major intersections. The trail is wide enough for a vehicle and the reconnaissance showed it’s usable with special equipment (bolt cutters). It also connects with a private dirt road along the power lines that are used to check the transmission lines. This gives me yet another route option in a different direction that also avoids major intersections.

Once you have selected the routes, drive them to validate the selections. Watch for bridges that can easily be blocked, high-crime neighborhoods, grocery stores and gas stations to be avoided, as well as police and fire stations to be avoided. Ensure that the route doesn’t have special hazards that aren’t visible on the map, like narrow streets easily blocked with on-street parking and one-way areas. Avoid routes that lead through subdivisions with a lot of cul-de-sacs. Make sure there is always a way out of any congested area along these routes. Drive them both in daylight and darkness. My personal plan involves leaving between 3 and 4 AM (slowest human reaction times), and so I have done recon on my routes during that time frame. The reason is that if you drive through a neighborhood during daytime, you won’t have a feel for how many cars are parked on the street at night. A lot of on-street parking at night creates a zone where attackers can ambush you (using the vehicles for cover) and can make it very easy to box you in by having a vehicle come at you while a second ones pulls up behind you. With cars on both sides, this is a no-win scenario. Continue to drive the routes on a regular basis to ensure that you are aware of any new issues, like construction, changes in traffic flow, and any new businesses that need to be avoided.

After selecting the routes from your home out of the immediate area, next select routes from workplace. However, your work is now double because you will need to select routes from work to home, as well as routes from work directly out of the immediate area. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but prior planning makes emergency response that much easier. Use the same process of map study and recon to select the routes. It will make you more secure as well, because taking multiple routes to and from work keeps you safe anyway. The reason for having both destinations is that the level of emergency may dictate an immediate departure from the area without a stop at home. Also, the location of the situation may be between your workplace and home.

Once we have our routes out of the immediate area planned and vetted, it’s time to analyze routes from the area to your “Get Out Of Dodge” location. Again, start with the map and select four routes. When picking out a map, purchase a state Atlas/Gazetteer type, rather than a DOT fold-out map. The reason is that the average citizen is going to use routes on a fold-out map, and the Atlas type shows many good roads that aren’t listed on the state highway map. I chose routes that avoid any city and looked for farmland or very small villages. These small towns will likely have a locally-owned and operated gas station or store that may remain open for emergency supplies, but I wouldn’t count on it. If you must cross interstates, look for crossings under them away from interchanges. Traffic control points are likely to be up at on and off ramps and traffic may be forced off right into your path.

It’s very tempting, once you are away from an urban area, to try and transition to an interstate or other freeway. Don’t fall into this trap. These highways are designated as “limited-access” and their actual purpose is to facilitate the movement of government vehicles in an emergency. They have on and off ramps not for travel convenience but for the ability to “seal off” all non-essential traffic. As they are fenced on both sides usually with a ditch on both sides before the fences, there are very easy to block, trapping you.

Once the routes from your original location to your hide-away have been selected and recon done, it’s time to turn your attention to final coordination with others at your hide-away or “Get Out Of Dodge” location. Even if it’s only you there, there are some steps that will need to be taken for safety. Once you get close to the location, don’t plan to drive straight in, even if it’s just you and your family. Plan and select a hidden location near your final destination where you can stop your vehicle and conceal it briefly and walk in on foot. It would do you no good to have made a great escape plan, executed it flawlessly, then blunder into your hide-away to find it already seized by others who may be unfriendly.

If it’s a single-family property, set up tell-tales to determine if anyone has been on the access road or driveway. These can be as simple as a string or branch left across the road. Walk in, using a covered and concealed route and observe to ensure that no one has taken over your hide-away. Once you have determined that it’s secure, bring in your vehicle and execute your security plans.

If it’s a multi-family situation (like mine), have a plan agreed upon by all and allow no deviation. Our plan consists of stopping the vehicle short of the location and making radio call (don’t rely on cell phones). Once radio contact is established, an all-clear pass phrase is given. Even though the pass phrase is given, a radio stays with the vehicle and another radio-equipped person walks in on foot to visually verify the situation. Only after all steps are verified is the vehicle then called in.

Once all the routes have been planned and verified, continue to review and update your plan regularly. Once a month is a good idea, but once a quarter is a minimum. I live in an area with serious seasonal changes, so updates will be needed in the event of winter snow, spring floods, et cetera.

The final step is the development of a “travel security SOP”. By this I mean a set of procedures to ensure your safety and security while on the move. First, as harsh as it sounds, consider that you will not stop to render aid to others. This is a personal choice, but many ambush scenarios begin with staging someone needing assistance or the person who truly needs help may have just been ambushed by others. Try to send help using a radio or other communications, but stopping should not be part of the plan. Understand that whatever disputes or conflicts you encounter, they are not your fight and you will either continue straight through or avoid them. Another consideration is security at relief breaks. A trip that may have taken three hours on a normal weekend may take 10-12 hours or even longer. One person should always be posted as security with the vehicle, and no one should go out of the other’s sight. If you are traveling alone, decide upon safe locations and procedure ahead of time (like driving off the main route and out of sight first).

Keep the vehicle fueled and have snacks stocked in it at all times, along with plenty of water to eliminate the need for stops.

Also, ensure that you bring along maps and a compass, just in case you need to change the plan on the fly, based upon the conditions you encounter. If a road is blocked or impassable, having a paper map to quickly make changes is vital. The navigator (person designated ahead of time) should follow your progress on the map diligently, so that if an emergency change must be made, valuable minutes won’t be wasted trying to figure out where you are on the map.

Most plans involve leaving the immediate area, but don’t consider planning how that will be done. Following the steps in this article will help you establish a secure plan that has options in the event of an emergency. The more plans you have ahead of time, the less stress you will encounter when it’s time to get out of dodge. In an emergency, it’s time to move, not time to plan. Movement is life.

The US Issue Poncho – Swiss Army Knife of Shelter

When considering what gear to buy, one of the things that everyone should have is a US military poncho.   As we’re going to discuss, it’s the Swiss Army knife of shelter gear, and has many uses. As the passage above from the Ultimate Tactical handbook says, it’s a refuge, a shelter, and a shade.

The style has been largely unchanged since the Vietnam War, and for good reason.  It’s well-designed and versatile as it is.

Before we get started, let me give you a caution…don’t buy a “military-type” or “US-Style” poncho, they aren’t the same thing.  Find a true surplus poncho and get that, rather than a cheap imitation.  The water-proofing just isn’t the same and they frequently aren’t as big as a US Poncho.

First, the poncho can be used as designed, and it works well.  It’s big enough to be worn over a backpack/rucksack and has a hood.  The loose nature will also cover any other gear you are wearing.  When paired with US Issue gore-tex pants, it’s a solid set of rain gear.

The poncho can be used as a shelter, and that’s its secondary use.  There area grommets on all sides for tying off the shelter to trees or staking it down.  Before using it as a shelter, or a tarp, make sure you securely tie off the hood.  

Once you get a poncho, get out into the field and practice setting up various types of shelters using it, the most basic two being a lean-to and an A-Frame.  The time to learn isn’t during an emergency.

To make an A-Frame:

  • Select two trees and tie a piece of cordage between them.  This will become the center ridge-line of your shelter.  Don’t make it too high, remember we are trying to remain concealed.
  • Lay the poncho over the ridge-line with equal amounts of material on each side.
  • Pull the sides out and stake them down, so that they are tight.  You can either stake the shelter directly into the ground, or use cordage to suspend them above the ground, for ventilation.
  • Make sure you leave enough room for your gear to be inside and out of the weather, and enough room for “self-administration”, like changing clothes or washing.
A Frame

To make a Lean-To:

  • Select two trees and tie a piece of cordage between them.  For a lean-to, this should be higher than on an A-Frame, but only as high as you need.
  • Stake down the rear directly into the ground.
  • You can fold in the excess from the sides if you have extra material, and use your gear to hold it down, creating a windbreak, if necessary.

The poncho can also be used a tarp in the field.  If you are using a small backpacking tent as a shelter, and you want to leave your gear outside, you can cover your gear with the poncho, again, being sure that the poncho hood is tied off.

The poncho can be used just as a tarp to cover other areas, rather than as your sleeping shelter.  The best thing is that the poncho has double-sided snaps, allowing you to snap multiple ponchos together and make a larger shelter.

In the field, you could use this to cover a fighting position/observation post or even a hunting blind, to set up a meeting/dining area, or really any other use.

You can suspend it between trees over your tent for additional rain protection (or, since it’s woodland camouflage, protection from observation).

The “Ranger Roll” is a tried and true item that actual field veterans swear by.  This is a US military poncho and poncho liner tied together.  The poncho liner comes with strings attached to tie through the grommets on a standard US poncho.  When tied together, this makes a good moderate weather sleeping bag.  You can either keep the two separate and attach them each night, or keep them separate so that you can use the poncho during the day.

You can insert a casualty reflective blanket between the two for early spring and late fall, and if you also add a US issue wool blanket in the middle, it becomes a four season solution.

My personal set up is to have two US ponchos, one in a ranger roll and the second on the belt for use as needed as either a poncho, or as a tarp shelter.  If needed, I can attach the two together.

An Option

The US Military Issue poncho is truly the Swiss Army knife of field shelter.  You can wear it to keep you dry, you can make a ranger roll sleeping bag, you can use it as a tent, and it has double sided snaps so that you can attach several together to make a larger shelter.  As an added bonus, it comes in the ubiquitous woodland camouflage pattern.

And, for prepping on a budget, if you aren’t wearing camouflage and suddenly need to, due to circumstances you encounter and you want to avoid contact, you can throw the poncho on over your clothes, wearing the hood and you are now in full camouflage.  Everyone should own at least one.

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Discretion Is The Better Part of Valor

Discretion is the better part of valor is actually a variation of the original quote.  The original quote is from the character Falstaff in the play “King Henry the Fourth, Part One” by William Shakespeare.  What Falstaff actually said was “Caution is preferable to rash bravery”.  

This sure is an exact definition of my philosophy for preparedness.  Many people in this field seem to be preparing not actually for long term survival, but to perform as some type of light infantry. 

For me, while the ability to provide my own security and to defend myself is important, the ability to AVOID trouble seems to be more important.  “Caution is preferable to rash bravery”.

Max Rockatansky

It’s easy, with the prevalence of mass media productions like The Book of Eli, and the Mad Max series of movies, to envision yourselves as a band of righteous warriors, traveling the post-apocalyptic wasteland, righting wrongs in a world gone mad, but it’s not very realistic. 

Eli

It is indeed important, when preparing for a Without Rule of Law situation, that you are capable, as part of a group, to conduct limited dismounted operations to defend yourselves and your larger area, but it shouldn’t be the main focus.

To illustrate, I’m going to go with a tried & true example that is very near and dear to my heart:  The United States Marines Corps.  

In the Marine Corps, the Force Reconnaissance Companies are world-renowned as the best long range recon operators in the world.  They can slip in and out of areas completely undetected and gather whatever information they need.

If they are detected and make contact, make no mistake, they are absolutely among the last people on earth you want to fight, and they’ll give better than they get.

But the point of this comparison is that if they make contact and have to fight, things have gone very wrong.  Their role, by nature of the size of the teams they operate in, is NOT to engage in combat, but to avoid all contact while gathering information.  Because they operate in 6 man elements, they would rather risk a failed mission than to rush into a situation that they have a limited understanding of.

This is what makes it directly applicable to our discussion.  In a WROL environment, you will be operating in small groups, protecting your local community.  It is far better to detect problems when they are a long way off, like Marine Recon, than when they are on your front door. 

It’s also why developing the ability to process information into actionable intelligence is a vital skill to learn.  You can begin down this path by checking out the training courses at www.forwardobserver.com.  An area study is good place to start.

Discretion involves having the judgement to know when not jumping into a situation is the best idea.  As an example, let me give you a story that I share during my concealed pistol classes.

Two police officers pull up on an altercation in progress at a traffic light.  What they see is a man and a woman in the middle of the street, fighting over a purse.  The officers jump out, run up, and take the man down.  He resists, telling them they’ve got it all wrong.  Once they get him into cuffs, his wife runs up and informs them that her husband had been wrestling with the woman who had just snatched her purse, who has now vanished with the purse.  Discretion is the better part of valor.

The officers acted immediately on partial information and an assumption, that led to actually helping a criminal complete their crime.  “Caution is preferable to rash bravery”.

It’s important to understand that rushing headlong into things may not always be the best idea.  

A secondary piece of this is using our discretion on what information we share.  Too many of us over-share information on our preparations and our plans.  

In our current environment, where anyone to the right of Mao Tse-Tung is called a right wing extremist, your plans “to resist FEMA relocation” during a crisis could easily be reported as “anti-government views”.  Pointing out that Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison all had “anti-government views” only paints a larger target on you, no matter how true it is.

Keeping your plans and thoughts private and off social media may seem like giving up your right to free speech, but read some of the indictments that the FBI is publishing.  Social media posts are the main evidence being used to target people right now.  In fact, several people were just indicted for evidence tampering for deleting their own Facebook private messages (see below).  

Yes, really.

Membership in any kind of mutual aid group or the dreaded M word that is mentioned in the Second Amendment, which I shall not utter here is enough now for a search warrant.  

I know what you’re thinking….”If I’ve done nothing wrong, why do I care?”.  Let’s discuss the tale of Duncan Lemp.

Lemp posted several photos online of him with his firearms.  An anonymous source reported to his local police that Lemp owned illegal “assault” firearms and was a member of a “3 Percenter” group.  That was enough information to obtain a no-knock warrant.  During the execution of the warrant, police claim that Lemp grabbed a rifle and they shot and killed him.  His girlfriend and family maintain that he was shot and killed while sleeping.

It’s worth noting that the raid occurred at 4:30 AM, and the only notice Lemp had that anything was happening was when his bedroom window was shattered by a police baton as they entered.

When the police, pursuant to the search warrant, inspected and researched every firearm in the house, they determined that there was no crime and that the guns were all lawfully owned.  Let me say that again:  After killing a man in the execution of their search, they found that he had not committed a crime and the basis for the entire encounter was FALSE.

The entire ordeal was based upon someone seeing his social media posts.  This is bad enough, but the story doesn’t end there.

Despite this happening in March, the police still haven’t released any body cam footage of the raid.  They did however release a series of text messages and social media private messages where he discussed fortifying his house in case “the police decide to raid me for exercising my rights”.  In one, he even told his mother that he was worried that the police might kill him, despite him having done nothing wrong.

The police point to these as evidence of their need to have executed a no-knock warrant, because of the risk that a man who had NOT BROKEN THE LAW posed because he was worried about police over-stepping their authority.  On a side note, I guess Lemp’s concerns were valid.

Think that through…the police were worried that Lemp would resist them, even though they had NO CRIMINAL OFFENSE to arrest him for.  I’ll point out that in America, you are supposed to have probable cause that a crime was committed before getting a search warrant.  Search warrants were never supposed to be issued, as they frequently are now, to see if you have committed a crime.  The police are supposed to show that it’s LIKELY that you have committed a crime and that evidence is LIKELY to exist at a particular location.  Anonymous sources aren’t enough.

The entire situation could have been resolved by just knocking on the door, explaining the complaint to Lemp, and arranging an inspection through an attorney.  But, in our “everyone is a dangerous extremist” society, the 4:30 AM raid is the more likely approach and the more likely outcome.

In another FBI indictment, they state that attending firearms training, which many of us post about on social media, was evidence of “right wing extremism”.

This is presented as evidence of a crime.

You can avoid this by not sharing too much information online.  The vast majority of the rocket scientists who went into the Capitol have been arrested because they decided to either livestream their criminal activity or post selfies of them doing stupid things inside the building.  It’s worth noting that I made a public announcement that if you were going anywhere near Washington DC that day, you should not take a phone with you for just this reason (by the way, Feds, my phone was ON the entire day and I was in Michigan all day).

Kyle Rittenhouse Did Nothing Wrong

I know, this is easier said than done.  As I’m writing this, I’m serving out a 12 hour Twitter suspension for daring to tweet 5 letters.  Yes, really.  The letters, which is all I typed, are “KRDNW”.  Yes, it does stand for “Kyle Rittenhouse Did Nothing Wrong”, but expressing that opinion is, according to the Twitter overlords, “glorifying violence”.  I wonder how many rappers they kicked off Twitter for their music videos glorifying violence, but I digress. 

I’ll leave you with another piece of Tactical Wisdom, from the Ultimate Tactical handbook:

Discretion will protect you,

And understanding will guard you.

Proverbs 2:11

Be cautions, learn to develop & analyze information before rushing headlong into situations, and guard your own information.

Be safe.

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Lessons Learned – SNOW-POCALYPSE 2021

As I write this, we are in the midst of a preparedness situation throughout large parts of the country, and in Texas, the S has most certainly Hit The Fan.  No, not that “S”, the SNOW “S”.

An arctic vortex has driven snow and freezing temperatures across most of the nation in the last 24-36 hours and the cold is expected to remain all week.  This is a situation where REAL preparedness skills and awareness could have saved lives and made things more comfortable for some of the affected population.

The low temperatures and an entirely predictable “natural gas shortage” has a led to no power and no heat in large parts of the country, raising the risk.  People with generators are having a hard time locating open gas stations to buy gas, and people are sleeping in their running cars, which is DANGEROUS, especially in heavy snow, as snow can block your tailpipe, causing carbon monoxide poisoning quickly.

We are seeing a large scale FAILURE TO PREPARE highlighted by this.

What?  You mean preparedness isn’t just buying an AR platform rifle in every single hard-to-find weird caliber and a whole bunch of ammo?  I feel robbed.  That’s all anyone ever told me I’d need.  I was fully “prepared” like most of the YouTube guys told me to be…prepared to have an entirely unrealistic & hypothetical discussion on terminal ballistics and how much damage my special-but-impossible-to-find-after-a-collapse ammo will do to ballistic gel (despite there never having been a single attack on a human perpetrated by ballistic gel).

As I was scrolling Twitter, I saw lots of outrage at the power outages, blaming the power company, the government, and in more than a few cases, the Chinese.    

The fact of the matter is that if you are wholly unprepared for a power outage, the only person you can be angry at is YOU.  The lack of personal responsibility is the problem in America today.

I say this all the time…

One guy, who has a small baby at home, complained that his power had been out for 8 hours and he didn’t know how he was going to keep the baby warm and WHY DOESN’T SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING?!?!?!?

Seriously?  As a father, the safety of your child is YOUR responsibility and relying on “someone” to provide for you is juvenile.  As the father of a small child, you should consider that the power goes out for all kinds of reasons.  Sure, it’s colder than normal in Texas, but if you didn’t consider buying a few extra baby blankets, that’s on YOU.

ACT LIKE MEN – Says so right in the Bible

Ok, so the first lesson learned is that YOU are responsible for providing for yourself and your family, no one else.  That’s why you have a job, that’s why you do everything that you do.  

The next lesson, is in information gathering.  I know, you’re thinking, WHAT???  Yes, information gathering.  Military intelligence briefings always begin with the weather forecast for the next 72 hours.  Simply paying attention to a weather forecast can actually save your life.  If you lived in a warm climate, and saw that the temperature was forecast to go very low for your area, and that you were about to get snow, which your area has no ability to deal with, shouldn’t that prompt you to take some action to prepare?

Pay attention to the next 72 hour forecast.  No, not an extended 2 week outlook.  A 2 week outlook is a GUESS.  You can’t accurately predict weather beyond the next 48 hours, and the extra 24 hours is an EDUCATED guess.  Ask any meteorologist and they’ll agree with this assessment.  Think back to your own life history and ask yourself, how many times has a completely unexpected weather event happened?  Quite often.

Here’s an example…My extended forecast says that by next Monday, Metro Detroit will be back in the high 30s.  If I relied on that, and failed to shovel my driveway, what would happen when the temperature stays low or we get more snow?  Nothing good.  Next 72.

Once you’ve gathered the forecast information, if it’s something unusual, consider what the worst case scenario is.  In this case, it’s exactly what we’re seeing today….power outages at the same time that heating gas has run short, and the roads are impassable.  If you had thought this out BEFORE the event, you could have taken steps to mitigate the worst case.

You would then decide that to prepare for the worst case, you would need to do the following BEFORE the storm hit:

  • Fill all cars with gas.
  • Get some extra gas in cans.
  • Buy enough food to last 2 weeks.
  • Buy more water.
  • Obtain a generator or batteries.
  • Ensure all battery-operated lights and radios work.
  • Secure power inverters to charge devices without grid power.
  • Secure blankets or additional heating methods (I have BOXES of hand & body warmers).
  • Stock up on any needed medications, both prescription & OTC.
  • As roads will be impassable, double check all first aid kits.
  • Ensure that vehicle emergency gear is stocked in the cars.
  • Have a plan to secure your family, as law enforcement/fire service may be unavailable.

Just these few steps could have made life easier for everyone involved.  If you did all of this, and the worst case didn’t happen, you will still use everything that you bought.  You’ll use the gas normally, you’ll eat the food (and not have to shop for an extra week).  You can always use water. 

Consider your pets as well.  Have things to keep them warm, and ensure that they have food.  When planning your emergency water needs, understand that they need a lot of water as well.

If you read the list again, you’ll realize that those basic steps prepare you really for any emergency.

This brings me to another lesson learned….As I scrolled Twitter, I engaged with some of the people who were complaining about the situation, asking them what steps they had taken to prepare.  The most common answer as, “Well, I live here, so cold isn’t what I prepared for” or “I had prepared for a Chinese invasion/Hurricane/earthquake/reptilian overlords revealing themselves”. Those are fancy ways to say “NOTHING AT ALL”.

Never prepare for a specific event, prepare for the effects of that event.  I frequently remind people on this blog to analyze what the second and third order effects of situations are, and THOSE are the situations you prepare for.

Take any of the examples above and you’ll see that no power & no heat in the middle of winter could certainly be a second or third order effect of any scenario & therefore if you prepared for that, you would have been ready.

Have you ever watched any of the Prepper shows on TV?  I swear that they seek out the most backwards, unintelligent, and conspiracy-driven people to feature on purpose, to make preppers look crazy.

Truth

However, if you get past whatever doomsday scenario they present as their reason for preparing, you’ll see that they all end up taking similar steps, such as stacking food to the rafters, securing a supply of water, gathering first aid supplies, and seeing to their own security.  All of those steps are because the second & third effects of everything is you needing to survive without reliance on grid power, gas service, food/water supply, or law enforcement protection.  

You should be preparing with this idea in mind, rather than your specific plan to repel the Chinese airborne troops allegedly crossing Lake Superior in rowboats or the Russian paratroopers landing at Calumet High School during the history class.

As far as the “But I live in a warm place” comments…Being prepared also means being prepared to move.  You may live in a warm climate but need to evacuate to a cooler climate.  Have basic cold weather gear.  

For example, you don’t plan on living in a house that’s on fire do you?  But you have at least one fire extinguisher in your house don’t you?  And why?  In case that unlikely event happens.  The concept is exactly the same.

So to recap, here are the lessons:

  1. You are the only person responsible for your preparedness.
  2. Gather all the information you can on any threat, in this case the weather.
  3. Having general emergency preparedness helps in any situation.
  4. Prepare for the worst case and anything less than that is easy.
  5. Prepare not for specific events, but for the effects of events.
  6. Don’t just prepare for high-probability events, low-probability events kill, too, usually because you weren’t ready for them.

I hope this helps you.  

My biggest lesson learned in the Snow-Pocalypse of 2021:  That a large Australian Shepherd playing in the snow piles doesn’t really “help” you shovel the driveway, no matter how much she tells you she is helping.

Her Royal Highness Princess Lucinda MacKenzie Fluffy-Bottom

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A Preparedness Story – Gathering Information

You can a learn a lot by reading.  If you’re into preparedness, I’m sure you have a stack of books with practical skills in it, I know I do.

I read the entire Gray Man series by Mark Greaney (www.markgreaneybooks.com if you’re interested), and a few other good pieces of fiction, like Mongol Moon by Mark Sibley (available at amazon.com/Mongol-Moon-Mark-Sibley) that have some good pieces of Tactical Wisdom in them.

However, the Ultimate Tactical Handbook (the Bible) has tons of practical, real-life advice and Tactical Wisdom, and that’s why it’s the basis for this blog.

For example, the story of David is full of action, adventure, spy drama, assassination plots, and even an anti-government militia movement.  Yes, really.

Today, we’re going to discuss a story out of 1 Samuel 23, and the lessons learned about being prepared, staying alive by avoiding contact, gathering (and protecting) information, and using terrain to your advantage.  I bet you didn’t know that anyone of that was in there.  You’re not alone.

Most people, when you ask them if they’ve heard of David, will mention him being a King, killing a giant, and something about a woman on a rooftop.  That’s the extent most people get from just listening at church.  A friend of mine, when I relayed a tactical truth and adventure story about Joshua,  said “Is there some secret section of the Bible that you get this from?”.  Nope, you just have to get outside of conventional teachings and really read.

King David

So, to set the stage, David was a warrior who eventually (yes, after killing a giant) became a senior officer in the military.  However, the King, Saul, began to distrust David and launched a purge of his military, pushing out those he thought were disloyal, including David.

Doesn’t that sound EXACTLY like the environment we’re in today?  Veterans and active military staff being put on “watch lists” or being booted because they aren’t loyal enough to “The Party”?  That’s why the story I’m about to tell you resonated so well.

Secretary “Purge” Austin

Earlier, David had fled, and then found about 600 other men who were also disaffected and tired of the oppressive government at the time.  David organized them into an effective fighting force, and fought off Phillistine invaders, despite their treatment by their own government, upholding their oaths.

As we begin 1 Samuel 23, these men are still honoring their oaths, while being hunted and persecuted by the government they used to serve.  Sound like anything familiar to you?

No Comment

Let’s go through the story and a discuss the Tactical Wisdom found inside.

David and his group were inside a city that they had just defended from raiders.  When Saul and the government troops learned where they were, they immediately started to head for the city.  The people of the city, despite having just been liberated by David’s troops, immediately informed the King. David heard that the King’s forces were headed his way.  That’s where the first piece of Tactical Wisdom comes from:

So David & his men, about 600 in number,

Left Keilah & kept moving from place to place…

1 Samuel 23:13a

When he knew that remaining in place was going to bring him into direct conflict with a superior force, he chose avoidance over direct conflict.  Notice I said AVOIDANCE and not SUBMISSION.

He continued to lead his men, and they continued to speak out about their issues.

From a preparedness standpoint, if you learn that a large group is headed toward your location, take what you can with you and leave the area, until they are gone.  Your goal is survival, not making a last stand against the forces of evil at the Alamo.  In order to do that, you need to remain always aware, always gathering information on threats, and have your supplies and gear always in a ready-to-move state.

For example, anyone who has served in a combat arms unit knows that anything you take out of your ruck/pack, goes back in immediately after you use it.  You stay packed.  You don’t unpack everything, then leave it out overnight, packing back up in the morning.  That way, if you have to leave on a moment’s notice, you can take everything with you, rather than having to leave things behind.

In a crisis, the ability to move is life, and you should retain that ability at all times.  Remember, you can always come back to a location. Never be so tied to a location that you can’t leave.

My favorite Viking Warrior, Uhtred Ragnarson (The Last Kingdom) puts it this way:  “A warrior can only die one time, so he shouldn’t do it foolishly; he should make it count.”

Uthred Ragnarson

After Saul and his forces realized that David and his militia of anti-government extremists (see what I did there) had fled, he set out to try and gather information on their location.  Saul didn’t want to waste resources chasing around random sightings, so here we find the next piece of Tactical Wisdom:

…Go & get more information.

Find out where David usually goes & who has seen him there.”

1 Samuel 23:21b

We can look at Saul’s instructions two ways:

  • Always be in the information gathering business.  Alway seek to understand what your opposition is doing, and who is moving where.
  • Understand that, on the other side of the coin, your opposition is trying to gather information on you, and take steps to minimize what information you give out freely for them to gather (SOCIAL MEDIA).

Understand that information is more valuable than anything else, especially in a crisis.  Information can be anything from the weather forecast to movements of large groups, depending on the situation you find yourself in.  

In a true WROL or SHTF situation, without news or social media feeds, you’ll have to rely on your own information gathering skills, but the good news is that we’ve possessed these skills for as long as man has walked this earth.  Get out and patrol your local area.  Talk to people.  Go to places where people gather, like a market, and just LISTEN.  Ask questions. Set up Observation Posts.

The key lesson is to always be seeking information, while at the same time guarding your own information tightly.  We all like to get on the internet boards and chat with like-minded people, but are you sure of everyone in “Ultra-Cool-Guy Super-Prepared-Prepper” group on Facebook?  By sharing how many rounds of ammo and how many cans of food you have stored, you’re making yourself a target.

An example is people showing off their “hidden can storage” ideas.  While it’s very helpful, you’re also telling people where to search in your house after they’ve killed you for your food.  I know, you’re going to say there isn’t anyone like that in MY group.  You’re right, there isn’t TODAY.  But after 3 weeks with no power, and the kids haven’t eaten in 6 days, you’d be surprised at what people will do.  Guard your plans from prying eyes.

Once Saul began gathering information, he sent out another request to his spies, which is another piece of Tactical Wisdom:

Find out about all the hiding places he uses

And come back to me with definite information.

1 Samuel 23:23a

Again, this applies to not sharing your plans with the general public.  Keep the people who know all of your preparations and plans to the smallest number possible.   The time to do this is NOW, as well as when a crisis happens.  

The other side of this piece is that when you get a piece of information, confirm it, like Saul instructed (“Come back to me with definite information”).  Gathering and acting on false information is a waste of time.

Even worse, it could all be a set up, if you don’t confirm it.  Imagine you’re in a WROL situation, and your bug out location is secure, real solid.  Someone knows that, so they plant some false information, which causes you to leave your location to go act on it.  Now, your cool stash is less well-defended.  Confirm information before acting on it.

Here’s an example from the COVID lockdowns.  When the lockdowns began, rumors were flying about military checkpoints and roadblocks.  What would have happened if you decided to max out your credit cards in a final buying rush, only to find out there were no roadblocks, the restrictions weren’t as bad as the rumors said, and you’d be locked down without work for 10 months, needing that available credit for other uses?  Many people did just that.

Tactically, seek to confirm all information, and understand that someone will always be working to confirm information on you, as well, so work to guard against it.

Getting back to our story, Saul nailed down the location of David and his militia of anti-government extremists (yes, I’m doing it again) and began to close in on him.  David got wind of it, through his own information collection means, and immediately took flight:

Saul was going along one side of the mountain, 

And David & his men were on the other side, 

Hurrying to get away from Saul.

1 Samuel 23:26

There is a lot of good Tactical Wisdom in this one.  Let’s break it down.

First, as mentioned before, never be so tied to a location, especially in a WROL situation, that you can’t get up and move at a moments notice.  Yes, we make plans to defend ourselves, but we do that so that we can SURVIVE, not be killed in a fight we can’t win.

Second, always be gathering information, patrolling, and watching, so that you aren’t surprised and so that you can avoid negative situations.  

Third, David kept a terrain feature between him and the opposing force, denying them the ability to engage and destroy David’s smaller force.  Learn to use terrain to your advantage.  

Again, David used the terrain to AVOID a fight.  Remember our ultimate goal is NOT to fight a guerrilla war, it’s long-term survival.  We’ll fight if we must, but on our terms, not the other side’s.

Lastly, it’s important to note that it says “hurrying” and not “rushing”.  When trying to avoid contact, the tendency is to move faster than you really should.  Faster movement is louder and movement draws the eye.  Move quickly, but without rushing.  Rushing also causes you to move faster than you can realistically secure.  Move at rate where you can still stop and hide if you encounter another potentially hostile party. In a WROL situation, every party is potentially hostile.  

Avoidance is better than a fight, but if I have no choice other than to fight, I’d rather do the ambush, than be ambushed, and rushing will run you right into an ambush.

This brings us to the end of this tale.  I know, it’s like a Lord of The Rings movie, ending right in the middle of a chase scene, right?  To find out what happens next, check out my older post titled “Tactics – David in the Desert of Ziph”.

I hope this adventure story and analysis helps you plan and prepare.

If you’d like to help us out in our book project, you can donate below.

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News – Book Series

Breaking News

We spend a lot of time discussing how we can prepare to survive some type of a Without Rule of Law or SHTF situation.  We watch livestreams, read blogs, and buy all kinds of products.

If we face the cold, hard truth, we have to realize that at the time we need it the most, when the power goes out and the world starts falling apart, the resources we currently use will be UNAVAILABLE.  You won’t be able to Google a video, or jump on this blog to refresh your memory or look up a particular point.

The obvious solution, then, is physical books. I do retain a hardened flash drive with an unbelievable amount of training material and maps on it, but if I can’t charge a device, it does me no good.

I looked around my office and noticed that I have a good number of printed books.  I have probably the largest Tang Soo Do library outside of Korea, I have an extensive Krav Maga and Hapkido section, and I have things like the Ranger Handbook, and few other books.

Ring Binding

The Ranger Handbook and the Naval Special Warfare SEAL Tactics handbook are ring-bound for easy reference.  I also have Max Velocity Tactical’s (www.maxvelocitytactical.com) Small Unit Tactics and Contact Manuals, both of which are in a small, packable/pocket format.  My SAS Survival Manual and SAS Tracking Manual are both pocket-sized and waterproof.

That’s where the idea was borne:  A series of small, pocket-sized, topic-specific handbooks for people to have physically and be able to carry with them.

Take my yoke upon you & learn from me,

For I am gentle & humble at heart, & you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:29

Enter the Tactical Wisdom Field Manual Series.  I will develop a series of field-manual sized books, designed to be taken into the field with you.   They can be used to learn, and then be at hand for you permanently as a reference that will fit in a bag or pocket.

The series will all be broken down into a few mini-series, or groups of books on related topics.  

Below are the currently planned topics and manuals, this may change or expand as we move forward.

Basic Skills Group:

  • Base Line Training Manual

Personal Defense Group:

  • Unarmed Self Defense
  • Edged Weapons 
  • Combative Stick
  • Ground Defense
  • Cold Firearm Combatives

Field Skills Group:

  • Field Craft
  • Scouting & Patrolling
  • Hides/Blinds/Caches
  • Advanced Scouting & Patrolling

Urban Skills Group:

  • Basic Urban Skills
  • Civil Disturbance Survival
  • Urban Defense & Survival Skills

Tactics Series:

  • Route Planning & Movement Security Operations
  • Site Security Operations
  • Long Term Sustainment & Stability
  • Intelligence Gathering for Survival
  • Counter-Intelligence for Survival

In addition to these planned modules, there will also be a few “Warrior Studies”.  The USMC Martial Arts program contains warrior studies for Marines, and a similar thing will happen here.  We’ll conduct Warrior Studies on a few of the most famous and skilled Warriors found in the Ultimate Tactical Handbook (the Bible) and discuss how their tactics are equally viable today.   As an example:

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.

Nehemiah 4:23

As you can see, in a tactical situation, that’s just as solid advice as it was 2,400 years ago when Nehemiah wrote it (roughly 400 BC).

Having modules mimics the success of the Max Velocity and Clay Martin books.  Max began with Contact – Which was tactical and security skills for an individual or small family.  His second book was Small Unit Tactics – skills for a preparedness group banding together to conduct patrolling and security operations.  The first was individual skills, the second collective skills.

Clay wrote Concrete Jungle, skills for urban preparedness and tactics, followed by Prairie Fire, which was skills to organize a group for survival in a rural setting.  The one-two punch of this series would allow you to survive long enough to escape the urban environment to get rural and then organize for defense.

Find Clay’s books here:

Let’s remember  – our ultimate goal isn’t combat.  It’s survival.  These skills will enable you to conduct defensive operations to allow your group or family to survive without outside interference in a WROL situation, where you can’t just call on the police or sheriff to come to rescue.

No matter how much you want to just stay on your homestead and grow your own food, eventually in a WROL situation, someone will come along and try to take it from you.  Our goal is for you to have the skills to prevent that, and hopefully avoid fighting altogether by presenting such a strong security posture that bad actors choose elsewhere.

This project is going to take a significant amount of time and an investment to make happen.  If you’d like to support this, click the donate button.  A basic donation is $5, and you can adjust the quantity, if you’d like to support this project a bit further.

I also envision some in-person training courses and get-togethers to support this training for all of us.

Stay safe and keep learning.

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Book Review: The 12 Gauge Shotgun – A Beginners Manual for Home Protection

When I received an e-mail from Charles Marais in South Africa, asking me to take a look at his book on using the shotgun for home defense, I was very excited.  The perspective offered is vital, due to the political climate there, which is like a glimpse into our own future.

For context, the environment there is that crime is rampant, and farm attacks/home invasions are increasingly violent and increasingly racially-motivated, with at least tacit government approval.  Some elected officials there openly discuss property confiscation based upon social justice ideals.  There is also the very real possibility there that if you call the police, they may not arrive for a long time, or at all.

That environment makes home defense that much more critical, and lends a certain credibility to any home defense book written from that perspective.

Right away, Marais scores points with a statement that matches my “Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu” philosophy.  He warns: “Do not go to stupid places places with stupid people at stupid hours, doing stupid things”.  Those are words to live by.  Example: Illegally entering the US Capitol when encouraged by undercover BLM leaders and CNN producers and some dude wearing a Buffalo hat and no shirt.

The book makes the important point that in most parts of the world, including many cities inside the United States, the shotgun is the only firearm that is legal to own, and therefore the only gun that can be used for home defense.  He also points out that shotguns can be found in homes in nearly every part of the world.  That makes the study of the shotgun a vital task & a worthwhile investment of time.

It’s worth noting also, in light of current proposed bills in the United States Congress, that, as Marais points out, “The shotgun will probably be the last firearm type to be banned.”

The book dispels a number of myths about shotguns with solid evidence.  One of the best is dispelling the myth that “racking” the shotgun or firing a warning will scare off a defender.  He also dispels the myth that you don’t have to aim, giving some specific drills for you to prove that fact.

One of the best things about this book is that addresses an issue that nearly every other book or video on the topic doesn’t…the use of single shot or double barrel shotguns for defense.  Marais explains the use of every tactic in the book from that perspective, as well as with the more popular pump or semi-auto guns.  Here in America, we assume everyone has access to either a pump or a semi-auto, but elsewhere in the world, you can’t get those guns.  My first shotgun was a single shot, break-action 20 Gauge.  The book is worth owning just for that perspective.

The only type he didn’t discuss is a bolt-action shotgun, which is fairly rare, but my father has one and it’s a great gun.  Get cracking with a second edition, Marais.  In all seriousness, the discussion including double barrel & single shot corrects a serious deficiency in firearms training media, so thanks to Marais for doing it.

The book contains a lot of detailed information on how various types of shotgun actions work, and how various shotgun shells are made.  I learned a lot from here, despite having trained extensively in shotguns my whole life and owning a 12 gauge pump since I was 18.  There are charts explaining the conversion of US shotgun shell markings to UK, which is actually quite helpful, as well as his discussion on translating all the markings on shotgun shells.   

Marais goes into great detail on the mechanics of shotgun handling.  He discusses various carries (his “Indoor Ready” is what we in the Executive Protection business call “PSD Ready”), methods of tactical reloading, including for break action shotguns, and clearing malfunctions.

Marais includes a number of very good range drills and a discussion about patterning your shotgun with various loads and shells, which is vital if you intend to use a shotgun to defend.

Marais was a combat medic in the South African Defense Forces, so when he gives a detailed discussion of what gunfire does to the human body, it’s not merely academic, he’s been there and seen it.  His experience makes his discussion about shot placement being more important than what type of round you use to stopping power that much more valid.  Interestingly, during a training session at Blackwater (or whatever they call themselves this week), one of my instructors said exactly the same thing when someone asked him what pistol caliber was best.  He said “shot placement matters more than what round”, which is almost verbatim what Marais says.

Marais gives a detailed discussion of various types of shot, slugs, and specialty ammo, including non-lethal rounds.  He also describes what accessories you need, with an emphasis on being able to see your sights under low light.

I want this

Some of the discussion is South Africa specific, such as the availability of pepper grandes (and quite frankly, we’re jealous) and the frequent discussion of being attacked by machete (a legit concern in South Africa).

There is a chapter on a subject near and dear to my heart; using the shotgun as a “cold weapon” and retaining the gun if someone tries to take it from you.  This is so often overlooked, and I recently wrote an entire article about it.  If you intend to defend yourself with a shotgun, you need to know that it’s a valuable weapon even when empty.  Marais gives a good discussion of various striking and manipulation tactics with the shotgun.  It always frustrates me when you see an action movie, and when the star’s gun is empty, they always look at it, throw it to the ground, and then start wrestling with someone else over a gun.  It would be a lot easier to just butt-stroke them with your own empty gun, then take theirs.

In the book, Marais gives a good discussion of preparation, the OODA Loop, and defensive planning.  These are all vital things, above & beyond just learning to shoot, that you need to consider.  His “MARCH” acronym is awesome, but you need to buy his book to learn it.

A few chapters are dedicated to room combat or clearing.  He gives a good overview of what the US Military calls “Precision Clearing” versus “Dynamic Clearing”, which is moving slowly and quietly, rather than bursting through doors.  So many people want to train in Dynamic Clearing, because it’s fun, but it’s unrealistic for personal defense or even group defense.  

In summary, the book is a great addition to your library, and if you intend to use a shotgun as a home defense weapon, you need this book.  It’s available at:

Amazon: 

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-12-gauge-shotgun-a-beginners-manual-for-home-protection

I’m glad I have it, you will be too.

Functional Testing

We all have our plans and our preps, but when was the last time you conducted a functional test, with all of your gear?  Getting out and doing a functional test, like a I describe below, allows you to adjust things before there is a true emergency and it’s good training.

Here’s what the Ultimate Tactical Handbook says about training:

Practice these things, immerse yourself in them,

So that all may see your progress.

1 Timothy 4:15

You won’t know if you’re making progress or truly ready if you don’t test yourself.

I recently adjusted my belt set-up and web gear, as well what goes in my patrol pack.  While I regularly ruck for training with the pack, I hadn’t worn both with a full load-out of gear and water.

I had some free time this morning and decided to do a functional test.

Test Area

It’s important first to define rucking for real-world training, versus competitive rucking.  Rucking began as military road marching; moving a large force by foot over a long distance quickly.  People now do it for fitness, and they strive for time, which is NOT what should be after for post-SHTF training or WROL (Without Rule of Law) training.  

Road March

Let me just say that in a SHTF/WROL situation if you are doing a road march, on a road, very fast, you’ve either had very poor planning or things have gone very, very wrong, and a forced march along a road is only going to make them worse.

When I ruck, I go for stealth.  We’re not talking about creeping, we’re talking about moving at a good pace, while remaining as quiet and unnoticeable as possible.

The point of that is two-fold.  First, you want to see people before they see you.  In a WROL situation, people equal danger.  I’d rather see others, take up a secure position, and watch them pass by, than to just blunder into them because I want to make good time.  

The second point is that in a true WROL situation, hunting will be an on-going activity, that you do constantly, rather than a planned activity.  If you’re moving slowly and quietly off-road, you multiply your chances of coming across the opportunity to score some lean protein.  In fact, I encountered two deer today during my test.

To make it a true test, I put on full gear.  That meant boots, web gear, assault/patrol pack, and a  USMC Issue Goretex Parka with out the liner.  The pack had gear and food for 72 hours, which is the bare minimum you should carry, regardless of how long you think you’ll be out.  The men of Task Force Ranger left the wire with light supplies as far as food & water for a mission supposed to last an hour in Mogadishu in 1992.  Most of them ended up in the field for nearly 48 hours.  Take extra.  I have two full USGI canteens on the web gear.

Again, I recommend at least a camouflage jacket if you’ll be in a rural setting.  People argue about going gray man, but nothing is more gray than not being seen.  

Imagine that the power has been out for 3 weeks and you’re walking away from the city.  You’re in a wooded area and someone observes you.  If you’re wearing jeans, and a plain jacket, but wearing a full backpack, the first thing the people who observe you think is, “That guy has food”.  If I’m wearing camouflage, they may not see me, but if they do, and see me moving carefully in full kit, they’ll think “soldier” and “if I can see one, there’s probably a lot more”.  Which is more conducive to your survival?

When I conduct training rucks in a public park with trails, I carry my metal tactical walking stick, but I carry it as if I’m carrying a rifle.  Carrying an actual rifle in an urban trail park is a sure way to draw attention to yourself.  I carry the walking stick in my hands to prevent me from training to use my hands to help me negotiate obstacles.  By never taking my right hand from the stick, I’m training for how I would move in a true WROL situation.  Train for real life.

Almost immediately, I realized the difference in weight with the water, but I was certainly manageable.  But just moving in full gear wasn’t the only part of the test.  

I hiked for a couple of miles, then came to a site that I intended to use for a temporary halt.  To train and build the discipline into my memory, I visually cleared the area around my halt site, and found a covered and concealed spot off the trail to use.

The Prepper Classic

Once I got into the covered and concealed spot, I took off the gear and went to work quietly.  I first set up a canteen cup stove and started cooking a field lunch using trioxane tablets, rather than a fire (quick heating and low signature).  While the food was cooking, I attached my roll-up antenna to my radio, tossed the antenna into a tree using paracord.  While in the spot, I wrote some notes, and ate the lunch, simulating a tactical halt. 

Radio and Antenna

Once ready to move again, I secured the radio antenna, putting the regular one back on, and putting the radio back on the web gear.  I sterilized the cooking area, cleaned the stove and my super-cool tactical spork using snow and wet-wipes, and bagged up the trash.  In a true WROL situation, I would have buried the trash, but since this was a public trail system I packed it out.  

Super Cool Tactical Spork

I also covered the area that I had cleared for cooking with snow, to conceal the area, and I made sure that there was no sign of my rest halt before moving out.  I then hiked my way back.

When I crossed a small road, I didn’t just cross it.  I performed the crossing like I would in a real situation.  I paused in a concealed position and watched for a few minutes, then crossed quickly.  Once I cleared the immediate area on the far side of the crossing, I then found a covered and concealed spot and watched the road again, as well as the area I had come from.

In a WROL situation, bad people will be out.  If a group of people were watching the road to ambush traffic, they may have seen me cross, and then begin to follow.  By pausing and watching behind me for a few minutes, I make sure that no one emerges to follow me.  By also watching the area I had just come from, I make sure that no one is following me.  

If you develop these habits now, during training, you don’t have to try to remember them later.

Another skill to practice is that while I was off the trails, moving cross country, when I noticed someone walking on the trail below, I got behind a tree, and watched him pass, while remaining hidden.  I moved in relation to the guy, keeping trees stacked between me and him, making sure that I could see him, but he couldn’t see me.  In a WROL situation, I would have been protected from incoming fire, while being able to engage the target.

It’s important to note that I wore camouflage gloves, a camouflage hat, and a camouflage face mask for the exercise.  Yes, the gloves and mask made me hot, but we are training for realism, not comfort.

The functional test showed that I need to adjust the location of a couple of items on my belt, so it served it’s purpose.  I also could feel the extra weight in my legs, so the next few rucks will be in full gear again.  

I also learned that at 36 degrees, wearing the Goretex parka, even without the liner, was way too much.  I live in Michigan, and I pride myself on my cold tolerance.  I generally don’t put on a light jacket until the temps are below 30, and I don’t put on a full winter coat until below 20.  Because it had snowed, I wore the Goretex over a long sleeve shirt and I was drenched in sweat by the end.  Lesson learned.

This is the exact purpose of the test; to determine what works, what doesn’t, and what adjustments need to be made.  You also develop confidence by being out in nature, setting up a position, and making actual food in the wild.

Next up on my functional tests – putting on my “Get Home” pack and dressing in gray man gear, and making an escape & evasion ruck in an urban environment.  After that – an overnight rucking trip.

Get out and conduct a functional test.

If the Government is Planning on War – Shouldn’t You?

The President, the Speaker of the House, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI have all made announcements this last week about a “War on Domestic Terror” and the threat of “Domestic Violent Extremists” and “Homegrown Violent Extremists”.  

Politicians are giving speeches about “all-out war”, “declaring war”, “seditionists”, and “re-education camps”.

There are literally thousands of combat troops deployed to Washington, DC, and, exactly as I predicted, they aren’t going home.  Probably ever.  I know, they said until March.  But before that they said until after Inauguration.  Same people who famously said “just 15 days to stop the spread”.

If everyone in the federal government is ramping up for a domestic conflict, shouldn’t you?  This applies no matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on.

Here’s some guidance from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook on this:

Let the wise hear and increase in learning,

And the one who understands obtain guidance.

Proverbs 1:5

In other words, listen to what they are telling you, and learn from it.  Prepare according to exactly what they tell you.

People interested in preparedness should certainly worry, because YOU are on the DHS watch list, according to their bulletin.

According to the DHS Bulletin, anyone who is angry over COVID restrictions, the 2020 Election Results, and police use of force may be a Domestic Violent Extremist.  That covers both the right and the left.

Interestingly, it also indicates that anyone who disagrees with the official government positions on these issues is a potential terrorist.  That should indeed scare you.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment 1

Constitution of These United States

The Bulletin also mentions specifically the threat of attacks against critical infrastructure, including the electric grid, telecommunications, and the healthcare sector (that one has me scratching my head).  Listen and prepare for disruptions to these areas.

The began their war first by announcing charges against an obscure troll-poster, related to charges stemming from the 2016 election.  The alleged crime: Putting out a post that directed Democrats to vote by text.  They are alleging that he hindered voting.  Keep in mind that they have had 4 years to charge this person, but charged him instead the week that a Democrat administration was sworn in.  On my Twitter feed, I have shared a tweet from a Democrat from 2016 doing the exact same thing to Republicans…she hasn’t been charged.

My point in bringing up this story is to warn you.  The administration is charging anyone who disagrees with them with anything that they possibly can. They know the charge will be thrown out, but it sent the message to the masses.

Look at the deluge of people being arrested for the alleged Capitol Riot.  They are charging them with improper entry and making a public spectacle of the charges.  Now, they know that these charges will NOT stand up in court, since there is video of these people walking past police on the way in, and the police not stopping them.  

The point in arresting and charging these people is to warn you that if you step out of line, you’ll be charged federally.  

“Portable Wall Hanger”

Another component of this new “War on Domestic Terror” is the “Portable Wall Hanger Company” incident.  The incident revolves around the online sale of “portable wall hangers”.  Now, you might be wondering what that has to do with anything.  Well, these wall hangers are 3-D printed parts and one piece can be dropped into an AR to make it fire full auto, according to the ATF & FBI.  (Dear FEDS – I wouldn’t know).  

People went online and purchased these wall hangers, and, lo & behold, the FBI & ATF started showing up at people’s doors and arresting them for using 3-D printed parts to modify their AR platform rifles.

If I was interested in proving that 3-D printing was dangerous and could be used by extremists to modify their guns, I might be tempted to set up a company and sell 3-D printed parts to do just that and then arrest anyone who buys the part, right?

Well, when you dig through a couple of shell companies, you’ll find that the address that the “Portable Wall Hanger Company” is actually registered at is INSIDE THE PERIMETER FENCING of an FBI field office.  Weird, right?  What are the odds?

If I wanted to push the narrative that right-wing extremists were gearing up for domestic attacks by modifying their firearms to fire full auto, this is how I would do it.  Arrange for a bunch of dumb people to do exactly that, arrest them, and then make an announcement.

Advice:  Don’t buy things on the internet that could be used for illegal activity.  Better yet, don’t engage in illegal activity.  I know, many of you (me included) think that the National Firearms Act and most gun laws are unconstitutional.  Yes.  Agreed.  But don’t break them, while giving your name, address, and credit card number to some random person who turns out to be a federal agent.  “HONEYPOT”…It’s a thing.

The Portable Wall Hanger Company incident is nothing more than a modern version of the police leaving a car with keys in it & the door open in a bad neighborhood.  And some of you fell for it.

But, what can we do to prepare?

The first thing you can do is avoid being caught up in the dragnet by remembering that there was even an informant amongst Jesus’ 12 closest friends.  I say that tongue-in-cheek, but here’s a another piece of Tactical Wisdom:

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue

Keeps himself out of trouble.

Proverbs 21:23

Don’t say things, especially online, that will bring you to the attention of the federal government.  I know, you aren’t saying or doing anything illegal.  But, we are living in a very dangerous time, where suddenly free speech isn’t so free.  Legislators are calling for the criminalization of speech, and there is currently a bill to make mentioning “Stop the Steal” a basis for denying or revoking security clearances.  The First Amendment is no more, get used to it.

Second, heed the warnings in the Bulletin.  Make plans and gather the supplies to weather disruptions to the electric grid, the telecommunications system, and the healthcare sector:

  1. Keep the car full of gas.
  2. Have a good supply (twice what you think ) of batteries.
  3. Portable solar panels are never a bad idea.
  4. Have food and water for 2 weeks on hand.
  5. Have an alternate communications plan (radios of a few types).
  6. Make sure all your data is backed up to things like a Survivor USB drive.
  7. Double check and restock all first aid kits.
  8. Update your security plan.

Should large-scale violence break out wherever you are, have a plan.  While many of you plan on “bugging in”, make sure you put an asterisk on that…bug in until bugging in becomes too dangerous.  Have at least three escape routes out of the immediate area planned.

Difficult times are ahead.  As I predicted, ANTIFA is still out there demanding a violent socialist revolution.  The federal government is declaring anyone who disagrees with them an extremist, and is openly planning a “War of Domestic Extremism” (that means you).

The best thing you can do is prepare, and try to stay under the radar. 

Dealing with Rumors

The information age was supposed to make our lives better.  It was supposed to enable us to make faster decisions based upon the solid, factual information that was available at our fingertips at a moments notice.

Are you getting the feeling that the free and rapid flow of information is making your life easier?  More enjoyable?  Less stressful?

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars,

But see to it that you are not alarmed.

Matthew 24:6a

Internet rumors and conspiracy theories fly about, and people react to them in a panicked way, but, as the Ultimate Tactical Handbook says above, “See to it that you are not alarmed”.  Learn to separate fact from rumor, and stop blindly sharing unconfirmed things.

An example of this is the recent crash of a Wisconsin National Guard fighter plane in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Immediately, the internet was awash with rumors.  One that was presented as fact by many was that the plane was shot down by some Chinese soldiers who had rowed (yes, rowed) their way across Lake Superior from Canada in an invasion attempt.

The Edmund Fitzgerald

This falls apart when you realize that no one is rowing across Lake Superior in the winter.  The waves and ice in Lake Superior are legendary (listen to “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”) and exposed soldiers, no matter the gear, would have died of exposure halfway across.  I’ve encountered massive ice calves and bergs in late April on Superior.

Also, knowing the people of Northern Michigan, if any Chinese soldiers had landed, at least one would have ended up hanging from a buck-pole.

Of course, when no Chinese materialized, the rumor changed to meet the facts….suddenly, the Chinese withdrew when they knew they’d been spotted.  Coincidentally, if you were invading a nation, you’d eventually get spotted.  It’s kind of the entire point of invading a nation.

Examine all internet rumors with a critical eye, and apply logic to them.  If the rumor changes when facts on the ground seem to refute the rumor, you know it’s false.

Another key to dealing with rumors:  Give it 5 hours.  In our instant information society and camera-phone loving people, a video should emerge almost immediately.  When it doesn’t, ask yourself why.

A great example here was the violence in Washington right after the election.  Multiple people were stabbed and the media immediately reported that the Proud Boys has stabbed 5 people.  Within 3 hours, video emerged, proving that a BLM activist was stabbing people and that the Proud Boys stopped the attacks by rendering the assailant unconscious.  

What if people had reacted drastically to the rumor and began attacking Proud Boys in the streets?  There would have been many more casualties that night.

The bigger danger is people who have their entire psyche and worldview wrapped around a rumor.  Yes, those people. There is an equivalent to the Q people on the left; they’re called “the left”.  All kidding aside, there are people on the left who believe the Russia hoax just as fervently as some on the right believe the Q hoax.

The problem with those people is that when their world view falls apart, they either modify it to fit facts, or they lash out. 

At the moment, many of the ones on the right are being snatched up by the FBI and being charged with all kinds of crimes (mostly unprovable and some crimes completely made up), in an attempt to silence them by the FBI.  

Capitol Riot

The Ultimate Tactical Handbook has advice for people who are very vocal about their opinions:

And do not grumble, as some of them did –

And were killed by the Destroying Angel.

1 Corinthians 10:10

Yes, those who spoke out most loudly on the rumors of a stolen election have been smitten by the destroying angel of the left, the FBI.

I’m not discounting it by calling it a rumor, and I, in fact, did protection work for the founders of the Stop The Steal movement, for full disclosure.   I call it a rumor, because until it’s proven definitively in court, it’s still a theory.  And the Government of the United States of America has no intention of ever letting it see the inside of a courtroom.

I bring this up because those who are the most vocal at the moment are literally being silenced by the Federal government for sharing what is as this point a rumor.  

There is legislation pending that would allow the Federal Government to revoke or deny security clearances based upon one’s involvement with the Stop The Steal movement, which is truly protected speech under the First Amendment, as Stop The Steal was people exercising their “right to petition the government for the redress of grievances”.

Rumors lead people to take drastic action, which may or may not be based upon the truth.  Our role, as people interested in preparedness, is to seek the TRUTH, and not act on rumors.

I supported the movement because I felt a need for the facts to be determined.  I did not support taking drastic action based upon it.  And I’m not convinced that the people who did take action are who the media says they are.

Before taking action on any rumor, do your own research.  The first thing most people do in this context is to ask someone for their source.  While that’s valid, understand that their source may well be wrong.  I point to CNN, the “most trusted name in news”, who constantly has to issue corrections, because they spread rumors, not truth.

Whenever someone gives me a source, I look for additional sources to verify it.  The problem with this is that since the Russia Hoax, the media has stopped verifying actual sources, and began using each other as sources.  CNN runs a story, then NBC runs the same story, saying it’s confirmed by CNN, who then reports that NBC has confirmed their story.  None of that is true. 

Review multiple sources independently, and make sure that they aren’t just cross-verifying each other.  

Consider also confirmation bias.  You are most likely to believe your preferred sources and discount others, and to predominantly look only for things that prove your preferred position.  Set that aside and seek to disprove you position, and you’ll be more impartial.  That’s a basic philosophy we use in investigations, if you can’t disprove it, it is most likely true.

Never share any information that you can’t verify, and certainly don’t take action on it.

As the potential for widespread violence and civil war increased in America, while I told people to prepare, I cautioned against going out and running up the credit cards (taking drastic action) to do so.  We noticed, every time that the rumor of a new lock down came up, people ran out and bought up all the food, and all the toilet paper.  Don’t take drastic action based upon rumors.

It’s sad to say it, but we do indeed now live in a post-truth society, and the truth becomes whatever those in power want it to be.  That’s why I mentioned Stop The Steal.  The Federal Government has decided to criminalize sharing a rumor, and they are ACTUALLY locking people up for it.  

Brandon Straka, Thought Criminal

Brandon Straka, probably the most non-violent guy you can find, is currently in federal custody.  He is one of the founders of Stop The Steal.  

Ali Alexander and Michael Coudrey, the other founders, (both of whom have ridden in my personal car) are effectively un-personed (read 1984) and banned from all social media.

I am as fervent about my free speech rights as any of you (probably more), but this current environment is DANGEROUS.  FBI agents are showing up to question people for sharing internet rumors, and the ATF is showing up at the houses of people who buy innocuous items online because they *COULD* be used to make a silencer.  Be very careful in what you share.

There is serious talk among sitting Legislators to make sharing “malicious” online rumors a federal crime.  Malicious is defined as “anything that disagrees with the narrative”.  

The best thing you can do in this environment: try to share only verifiable facts and avoid sharing and spreading things that are only rumors.  On my Twitter feed, you’ll find several tweets about me deleting a previous tweet because I couldn’t verify the information.  That’s a solid policy to have.

Don’t let internet rumors run your life, and don’t take drastic, life-changing action based upon them.

Learn to separate fact from rumor, no matter which side you’re on, or which side it supports.

The Truth is always an absolute defense.

Legal Preparedness 1

Martial Law

I’ve mentioned before that knowing your state’s self-defense and citizen’s arrest laws can help, and I meant it.  I don’t think we’re all intending to run out and start arresting people, but you need to know what authority you have if someone assaults you or steals your property, or attacks a third party.

Recent statements by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel have opened up another entire line of law that applies to preparedness that you need to be aware of, research in your own state, and then take steps to mitigate your risk under them.

Make no mistake, if the state wants to arrest you, you’re getting arrested.  I’m talking about have a defense prepared ahead of time, like you do for everything else.

The context is that with President Joe Biden taking office, there has a been a “declaration of war” on domestic terror and extremism.  None of us here are extremists, but I want to show you how you could be painted that way, using the SPECIFIC laws that AG Nessel said clearly that she was going to use to target “groups”.

Terrorists….YIKES!

Before we get into it, let me give you the perspective on following over-zealous government agents from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

But Peter & the Apostles answered,

“We must obey God rather than men.”

Acts 5:29

I’m not advocating breaking the law; I’m saying that God wants you to survive and you need to train, so we’ll discuss some legal ways to do so, without running afoul of Ms Nessel.

Here’s a screenshot of her Tweet:

Michigan Complied Laws 750.402 deals with “Societies Parading Under Arms”.  Nessel implied that any armed group marching could be targeted using the law.  Interestingly, the last group I saw “parading” armed & in formation in Lansing happened to be ANTIFA.

The law states that armed societies may indeed parade under arms and in uniform, but that during an “emergency” the government can ban them from doing so, and a violation is a misdemeanor.

It’s worth noting that governments all over this country fell in love with the emergency declaration in 2020 and it’s a very low bar to pass.

However, where Nessel will run into enforcement issues is that this law states that it only applies to “societies” that only admit members of a single race.  I’ve never encountered a militia or armed group that was only a single race or where race was a requirement. I know she’s implying that militias are White Supremacists, but I’ve never met one in my life.

Based upon a reading of the law, it only applies if the society has a stated racial entry requirement.

The easiest way around this is to not give your preparedness group a name or insignia, nor have any eligibility requirements, especially stupid racial ones (I need The Rooftop Mexican and The High Yellow Rambo – You know who you are).  These are required elements for them to prove a violation.

Michigan Compiled Laws 750.528A is in reference to “Assembling for the Purpose of Training in Firearms & Explosives”.  It makes it sound as though any firearms class is illegal, doesn’t it?  That’s what she wants you to think.

To be a violation, you must know or should have reason to know that the training is for the purpose of the skills being used in a civil disorder.  Any violation is a felony.  I know several ANTIFA people who then are guilty of a felony, but I’m not holding my breath.

Keep this in mind when conducting any group firearms training.  Training for the purpose of SELF DEFENSE or the DEFENSE OF YOUR PROPERTY is inherently lawful and does not violate this law.  Training to assist in the defense of your nation is also inherently lawful.

Training in group firearms tactics is also lawful, as long as it’s purpose is not for use during a CIVIL DISORDER.  

A reminder:  If a state agent shows up while you are training and asks you the purpose of the training, you are NOT required to answer their questions.

I frequently point out that “groups” that focus entirely on firearms skills and offensive combat, like room clearing and seizing buildings, are setting themselves up for enforcement action.  Don’t be that group.

Michigan Compiled Laws 750.401 makes “Unauthorized Wearing of Uniforms” a misdemeanor.  It states that wearing “any part” of a uniform of the US Army, US Navy, or US National Guard is unlawful.

This law is the most problematic, because it’s completely broad.  I’m sure that the intent was to ban the unauthorized wearing of dress uniforms, but under this law, technically wearing a camouflage patrol cap is ILLEGAL.  Wearing of combat boots would technically be ILLEGAL.

I’m sure that these cases would be thrown out, but you would be subject to arrest.

The best advice I can offer in this would be to remove ALL INSIGNIA from the camouflage gear and it is therefore no longer a US Army/Navy/NG uniform.  Before you get excited and say USMC uniforms aren’t mentioned….A Marine uniform is a NAVAL UNIFORM.

Personally, I’ve selected camouflage patterns that are NOT US in nature.  I have British DPM (Woodland) uniforms, I have British MTP uniforms (very similar to US Army Scorpion OCP/MultiCam), and I use some commercial camouflage like ATACS.  For the British one, I removed the UK flag from them all, to avoid a claim of “wearing the uniform of a foreign power”.

The last one she mentioned, MCL 750.215 is “Representation of Duties of a Police Officer”, which is a misdemeanor.  This requires someone to actually claim that they are a law enforcement officer to compel someone to do something or during the commission of a crime, or to actually perform the duties of a police officer.

I actually agree with the this one, and I’ve used the principle myself.  During a confrontation with ANTIFA, one of them raised a baton at me & shouted at me to “Step Back!”.  Since I was wearing a body camera, I clearly asked him “Are you a police officer?”.  He said he wasn’t so I told him I wouldn’t be going anywhere.  That also would have made my subsequent self-defense action and citizen’s arrest for felony assault 100% legal.  The smart lad chose to put the baton away and retire to mommy’s basement. Had he said he was while trying to compel me to move, he would have been in violation of this law.

The easiest way to avoid this one is to not talk about arresting people or arresting the Governor.

When the Righteous increase, the people rejoice,

But when the Wicked rule, the people groan.

Proverbs 29:2

Now, I’m not calling the Michigan Attorney General wicked, but using obscure laws outside of their intent to target those who hold a different opinion than you is indeed wicked.

I encourage everyone who reads this and is interested in preparedness, to learn your local, state, and federal laws.

As an example, the Defense Production Act, a federal law, allows the federal government to seize your stash of food or supplies in an emergency, if they determine that you are “hoarding”.  It’s already been used once during the pandemic to seize masks from a man who was price gouging.  Gouging is wrong, but just stealing his property is just as bad.  Doing so under the color of law makes it worse.

Avoiding this is simple….stop telling people about your preps.  Prep and stack that food to the rafters, but STOP TELLING PEOPLE.

There are steps you can take to avoid the coming crackdown on free speech and free assembly, but you need to do your local research first.

Be safe, be smart, stay free, and train hard.

Ideals

My Ideals

Why do we prepare?  Why do we spend so much time studying, training, and learning about preparedness?

Because when a calamity happens, we want to be able to rely on OURSELVES, not anyone else.  Because we believe in the American Ideal of self-reliance.  Because we believe in not just giving up and waiting for someone else to come in and rescue us.

We understand that most basic human ideal is not giving up.  Preparedness allows us the ability to be truly free.  

As stated in the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

It is for freedom’s sake that Christ has set us free.

Stand firm, then, & do not let yourselves

be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1

Relying on anyone but yourself is SLAVERY.  Develop the skills, gear, and most importantly, the MINDSET of self-reliance.  If I was to allow anyone other than myself to provide for me in an emergency or otherwise, then that other entity, be it a person, an organization, or a government, can bend me to their will by denying me what I need to survive.

If I have a mountain of gear, and am adequately trained, yet I lack the mindset that I will stand firm and prevail, I will die.  It’s that simple.

SERE Training

In the United States military Survival, Evasion, Resistance, & Escape (SERE) school, the very first thing they teach is mindset, because nothing else matters.

Be of the mindset in any situation that you will WIN, not merely survive.  When I teach a self defense or defensive firearms class, I hammer this point home.  I can “SURVIVE” and yet have horrible things happen to me.  WINNING is entirely different.  Merely surviving puts you at the will of someone else, winning means YOU determine the outcome. You are relying on yourself to prevail, not on the goodwill of the attacker.

I know that in our polarized society and powder-keg environment, it’s easy to lose sight of this.  Going along to get along seems pretty attractive in a modern society, and giving up our ideals for the sake of peace might seem like a good idea.

Ideals

But what if the other side never “goes along to get along” or gives ground, while always asking you to?

In a preparedness context, let’s say the next mutual assistance group over didn’t prepare as well of yours, but is heavily armed.  When they come asking for food, if you just give it to them because you don’t want a fight, what’s going to happen the next time they need food?  Eventually your group will spend most of their time working to provide for the other group, also known as SLAVERY.  In a true “without rule of law” situation, this is a real threat.

A lot of times in our discussions, we hear people say “Well, I won’t prepare, I’ll just come to your house”.  Us preparedness people always reply “No, you won’t, I won’t accept that”.  Why don’t we do that outside of a survival situation?

In other words, why are we willing to compromise our ideals so easily in society, when the other side, whichever side that is, demands that we do?  Because our society has gotten so comfortable that “going along to get along” is just easier than making a stand on our ideals.

I’d like to use a story to illustrate this, so bear with me.

Two men were traveling and came upon a town.  While these guys were there, there was a wacky fortune teller.  The fortune teller was loud and obnoxious, and she followed these guys around shouting (I’m fairly sure she had purple hair).  Eventually, the guys got sick of it and demanded that she shut up, rather loudly & forcefully.  In rather short order, these guys were grabbed and beaten, and then turned over to the local police, who also beat them & then locked them up.

In the morning, the court magistrate realized that they actually hadn’t committed a crime at all and he told the police to quietly let them go, and the police passed on a message to these guys to just quietly leave town, without making a scene….just “go along to get along”.

Well, the leader of these two guys, his name was Paul, said, “Hold up….they attacked & beat us and you locked us up for it.  Nope.  The magistrate himself is going to have to release us & then escort us out”.  He stood on his principle, even though it put him at greater risk.

He didn’t just “go along to get along”, because Paul knew that if he did, the same thing would happen again the next time there was a dispute.  Doing what’s right is always right, even if it is easier not to.

By now, some of you may recognize this story as Acts 16, and the two men were Paul and Luke.  All I did to apply it to our world is change it to a modern context.

The moral of story is no less relevant than when written nearly 2,000 years ago.  If you allow people to trample your rights, they will continue to do it.  This isn’t a right or left thing, it’s “do the right thing”, thing.  

Applying this to preparedness, let’s link it back to why we prepare…..so that we can be self-determining.  So that we aren’t dependent on anyone but ourselves.

Most importantly, so that no one can bend us to their will by denying us what we need to survive.   We are self-reliant.  

We are free.

Let’s stay that way.

Last Minute Reminders

We are being inundated with rumors of impending power outages and/or internet & cellphone outages, there are literally troops on the street in every state capitol, and everyone is talking about potential unrest over the next 5 days.

The odds are, none of it will happen at all.  

But…a quick check of the Ultimate Tactical Handbook tell us we must take immediate actions anyway:

The prudent see danger and take refuge,

But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 27:12

Some of these actions should be taken today, and some should be ongoing throughout next week.

First, keep your car filled with gas, DAILY.  I know, this seems like a burden, but if the power goes out, YOU WON’T BE GETTING ANY AT ALL.  The simple expedient of stopping for gas can save you from not being able to move.  I recommend filling up an extra gas can or two.  It can’t hurt, and you’ll use the gas eventually.

Make one trip to the grocery store, and I’m hearing that stores are already nearly empty or instituting limits.  When you get there, buy what you normally buy in a three week period of non-perishable food.  Again, if nothing happens, you will eventually eat the extra food, but if the power does go out, you are in a good position.   Consider also canned replacements for fresh items you normally buy.  For example, the canned chicken breast is just as good as fresh in recipes.

Stop by the bank.  If the power goes out or the communication networks are disrupted, you won’t be able to use credit or debit cards and cash is king in an emergency.  Take out whatever amount you are comfortable with, and secure it.  You can always put it back in the bank in a couple of weeks.

Develop a communications plan.  We are already experiencing disruptions among internet communications.  Having a method of contact other than cell phones and email is vital.  A lot of you are thinking “But there isn’t any”.  Yes, there are.  Two way radios, and (dare I say it) face-to-face communications are a possibility.  Yes, face-to-face.  If the power goes out and cell phones go down, you can head over and check on old Aunt Edith, or even that crotchety old Vietnam Vet who lives down the road (I’m talking about you Uncle Larry), but you should probably let him know that you will check on him ahead of time.

Having a plan with your whole family/preparedness group about when and how to check in and what the rest of the family/group will do if you miss a check in is vital in an emergency.  Even something as simple as saying that if someone doesn’t make it home by 2 hours after the normal time, someone will start moving along the planned route.  

That brings us to making sure everyone you care about communicates their plans/schedules over the next week with each other.  This is not a week for trying out a new route home or doing spontaneous things.  If I don’t know where you are and the normal route you take, I can’t come over the hill with the cavalry.  At this point, it may even be actual horse-mounted cavalry.

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.

Nehemiah 4:23

Nehemiah developed a security plan to meet the threat outside his walls, BEFORE there was any fighting. 

You should too.  Each family/group should have a plan and rules for protection.  It may involve firearms or other weapons to defend your home or person.  I can’t tell you how that looks for you, but the time to decide is BEFORE anything happens.  The biggest problem in personal defense is the idea that “You’re just running to the store, why do you need a gun”.  It defeats the entire purpose…attacks are not scheduled and quick trips into stores and gas stations are where problems occur, especially in an emergency.

Consider that in most urban areas, the average house has about 36-48 hours worth of fresh food in it.  What happens on day 3 of a power outage where some people didn’t plan ahead?  People do things they would never consider when hungry or when their kids are hungry.  Make some decisions and develop a security plan BUT TELL NO ONE outside of your family/group.

Which brings us to operational security.  No one outside your group/family needs to know your plans of any type or your preparedness status.  A lot of people in the preparedness community like to brag about how much food they have or how much ammunition they have (never about how much medical gear they have, which is more important, but I digress).  That paints a target on your house.  Prepare QUIETLY and resist the urge to post the photos of your “Dollar-Store prepping haul” on Facebook.  Remember that Facebook began as a military information gathering platform and remains so to this day.  Research LifeLog.

Should the power go out, remember operational security.  When everyone on your block is out of food, don’t grill ribs and steaks out in the front yard, while running your 70” TV on your solar panels.  People who were your friends will turn on you when hungry.

A caution about charity in an emergency…If you decide to give some people food, understand that the very next day you will have more people showing up for food.  The deal is, use Paul’s example for charity during an emergency:

We gave you this rule:

The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:10b

In other words, if someone asks for food, find out what they can do to help you in exchange for that food.  It’s literally, if you break it down, the basis for our society.  You have a job to make money, which in turn enables you to obtain food and shelter.  It should be no different in an emergency.

Let’s cover the last topic, which is rumors.  There is a ton of information flying about ranging from impending Chinese Invasions to either left or right wing groups overthrowing the government (depending our which source you listen to), and everything in between.  I’ve even heard one guy talking about “space weapons” about to be employed.

Listen, apply logic and reason to any rumor you hear.  None of them are facts, they are all rumors.  

I frequently ask people who share these rumors with me to explain the credentials of the source of the rumor.  They usually get angry when I do this, because it’s either a letter of the alphabet who literally no one can identify and therefore cannot validate, or it’s an unemployed English gentleman who lives in his parent’s attic.

If any video comes to you that starts with “My friend got this email from his son who….” (Literally saw this one today) ask yourself why they aren’t just forwarding the email.  Why isn’t the person who WROTE the email talking to you on a video. 

Mark my words….these emails and videos and rumors flying around are the dangerous part.  Someone, motivated by an unconfirmed rumor, will take some action (see Nashville bombing) and touch off this powder keg we are all sitting on.

Think I’m exaggerating?  What do you suppose would happen if there was indeed a 2002 level power outage in the next few days totally unrelated to anything else?  How would you know what happened?  How would Jim-Bob’s Country Militia know it wasn’t an attack?  How would the John Brown Gun Club chapter know?  Those two groups would arm up and the fight would be on.

Take a deep breath, look at rumors with a skeptical eye (even if it’s one you like), and don’t contribute to the hysteria.

Be safe, be prepared, and stay out of the fray on both sides.

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Skill – Reporting Formats & Verification

Recon Team

One of the biggest issues I’ve faced since this slow-moving collapse started last spring is verifying all the information coming in.

At the very beginning, we heard reports from all over of checkpoints at state lines, roadblocks for “COVID” checks, ID checkpoints, etc.  Nearly all of it turned out to be rumors and none of it could be independently verified.

In this post, we’re going to discuss some tools and formats to help your team learn to gather & report information properly, how to research what you receive, and the standard NATO matrix for evaluating information.

I know, for a lot of you, this is review.  But review never hurts.  Also, I know a lot of you imagine that in the SHTF world, you’ll be some kind of high-speed operator the likes of which we haven’t seen since Mad Max Rockatansky patrolled the outback for the Main Force Patrol (bonus points if you get the reference).  

However, in a world gone dark or a world in conflict, INFORMATION is the key to survival.

From the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

Then Joshua secretly sent two spies…

“Go, look over the land”, he said, “especially Jericho”

Joshua 2:1

Sending out a team to look at the land, spot the opposition, etc, is as old as humanity itself.  What’s more important that just telling them to go look is to tell them EXACTLY what you want them to look at and how they should report it.  That’s where reporting formats come in.

Solocator Image

A great tool to ensure accurate reporting is an App called Solocator.  It’s a camera and GPS function that gives a date/time/location stamp on any photo.  It will work without a cell signal, as long as the phone is receiving a GPS signal.  

I used this when all of the news videos without date and time stamps came out, allegedly showing overwhelmed emergency rooms, and lines out the doors.  I simply drove to several metro Detroit ER’s and took photos with the Solocator app, proving that there were not actual lines or crowds.

SALUTE

The first format is SALUTE.  It’s an acronym meaning Size, Activity, Location, Unit (or uniform), Time, and Equipment.  

Let’s say I was watching for an ANTIFA security team to get set up at a planned protest (yes, they do, about an hour before).  An example of a SALUTE report of their arrival would be: “4 personnel, securing a perimeter with tape, corner of Any Street and Loser Parkway, all wearing black clothing with yellow bandanas on the left arm, 2:30 PM today, each had a BaoFeng BF 888 radio, one had a sidearm, unknown model”.  

As you can see, it’s far more accurate & concise than “some ANTIFA guys just showed up”.

The format works for anything you want someone to report.

BattleBoard Scout

I use my BattleBoard Scout Small (www.battleboard.us) to help me gather the information for a SALUTE report, and this reference card inside the polycarbonate window (see photo above) allows me to write the information directly on the window with a dry erase, and then I can transfer it to something more permanent after getting down the urgent data.

In a fluid situation, sometimes only SALT is reported rapidly, for everyone in your group’s situational awareness.  Knowing immediately the Size/Activity/Location/Time of a potential adversary near your location is vital, other things can be developed later.

While your current situation or SOP will dictate how the information is reported originally, It should always be reduced to a written form,, for retention and use later.  Something that appears irrelevant today, can suddenly become vital next week, if you had the information at hand.  You can also review weekly trends and in a true SHTF situation, your reporting review may show that the local RevCom group slides through the area every Wednesday afternoon.  That’s usable intelligence.

Even if a report is transmitted via radio, eventually reduce it to paper and retain it.  When this first began, a group us began have a nightly information sharing session via radio.  I took down all the information reported and began seeing trends in National Guard movements, police activity, and food shortages, that have helped me plan in this second round of shutdowns.

Patrol reporting is just as important as well.  Let’s say you didn’t send a team out to look at something specific, just to take a stroll around your perimeter and see what’s happening outside your gate.  While they should transmit back or record any SALUTE reports they generate, they should also document people they encounter, vehicles they see, any activity on-going. The easiest way is for them to write this down while conducting the patrol, documenting the date/time/location of every observation.  

Again, the BattleBoard Scout is a great medium for this.  Inside the Scout, it holds a Rite in The Rain (www.riteintherain.com) Tactical Notebook, that will allow you to take notes regardless of the weather and it’s a very sturdy product.

Once the patrol returns, they can reduce the notes to a written patrol report, which should again be saved for analysis.  You don’t know what will become relevant later.  A vehicle seen once on patrol, arrives at the gate 3 weeks later and tries to force their way in.  Would you rather try to remember the license plate & description from 3 week old memory, or have it already written down so that everyone can watch for it?

An example of this is when I began my ANTIFA observation project this spring, sometimes, rather than joining their march, I just recorded vehicle description and license plate data.  Within a few days, I was able to identify the organizers and security team because the same vehicles appeared all over the region, a short time before each planned protest.

Standardize your patrol report format.  A simple format is a short narrative describing the route and what was encountered, followed by a listing of people/groups encountered and vehicles encountered.  It’s that simple, and you’ll be able to quickly review it all.

Sketch

Another tool is sketching.  Sketching is simply drawing out a representation of what you are looking at.  It doesn’t have to be museum quality, but it does need to be somewhat representative of what was seen, so that it can be used.

There are 3 types of sketches for our purposes.  The first is “Panoramic”, where you are just drawing what you see while looking forward from your position.  The second is “Topographic”, which is like an overhead view, where you are essentially drawing a map of what you see.  For the record, most military scouting requires BOTH sketches.  The third type is “Range Card”, which is essentially a mix of the two with ranges to all landmarks, but range cards are a topic for another time.

Every sketch needs to contain the location where the observer was, the date and time it was made, and a graphical direction indicator.  You can indicate which direction is north, which direction the observer was facing, or both (both is best).  It’s also not a bad idea to jot down the weather conditions at the time of the sketch.

Now we are on to the topic of evaluating information or validating it.  The best way to validate information is to just go to the location and look for yourself.

In a true SHTF/WROL situation, that may involve sending out a more substantial, planned scouting team to specifically investigate a location.  

Right now, in the weird semi-SHTF situation we’re in, it can involve jumping in a car, driving out to the location and taking a look, recording your observations.

If one person saw it, it’s just information.  If someone saw it, then a second team validated it, it’s intelligence.

NATO Matrix

Most often, though, you will be getting information third hand, whether it’s from a neighboring preparedness group, refugees passing through, or other human sources.  You can use the above NATO Matrix for assigning a value to the information that comes in.  This allows you to prioritize your scouting efforts on the most likely information.

In our current situation, the best thing we can do is to STOP re-sharing information that we cannot validate.  The internet is full of unfounded rumors from the plausible to the highly unlikely, yet strangely commonly believed.  You can find information supporting whatever crazy snippet of information, but that is not the same as VERIFICATION.  

So often, people share something and when you ask them for a source or verification, they say something like “I don’t know, but I’ve seen it from multiple sources”.  The truth is they’ve seen THE SAME INFORMATION multiple times, but not from MULTIPLE SOURCES.  Two different people sharing the same meme isn’t multiple sources. 

When you see something, use multiple search engines to try and verify the information.  If the searches all point you to the same picture or meme, it’s unconfirmed.  If you find a reference to a press release, or multiple news stories, then you may have found confirmation.

Don’t turn around then and just share the original item, share what YOU VERIFIED.  Better yet, just keep the information yourself.

I hope this information helps you and your preparedness group gather and evaluate information.

Check out contact page if you’d like some personal consultation or if you’d like to donate to help me continue to produce great content.

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First Aid Kits – AGAIN

Med KIt

Events of the last seven days have weighed on my heart and I feel the need to talk to you all again about first aid kits and what you need to have with you at all times.

As I watched the incident at the Capitol unfold, I was shocked that NO ONE, not even the police, produced a first aid kit when the woman was shot.  A trauma dressing or an occlusive chest dressing may have saved her life, and we will never know.  People from both sides of the political spectrum were there and this isn’t a partisan issue.  

SAVING HUMAN LIFE IS AN EVERYONE ISSUE.

The preparedness item you will use the most is a first aid kit, and the preparedness skill you will use most is first aid.  

First aid is even mentioned in the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

“He went to him and bandaged his wounds, 

Pouring on oil & wine.

Then he put the man on his own donkey,

Brought him to an inn and took care of him.”

Luke 10:34

No, ladies, wine doesn’t go in your first aid kit.  Let’s talk about what does.

Whenever I go anywhere where there will be a large crowd, I carry a Solatac PTK (www.solatac.com) in my cargo pocket or my back pocket.  It’s a small but highly effective kit for major trauma, such as gunshot wounds or penetrating injuries, such as those from a car accident.

Solatac PTK

The kit contains a tourniquet/pressure dressing, a trauma pad, vaseline gauze, some Kerlex gauze for packing wounds, hemostatic agent for stopping bleeding, medical tape, gorilla tape, and gloves.  It comes in a resealable plastic bag.  It’s very convenient and the business is literally just a husband and wife team.  

The only thing I’ve added to my PTK is a set of Hyfin Chest Seals to deal with a sucking chest wound.  The directions are printed right on the package, so it’s easy to use.  A caution though….never buy just one chest seal, always buy two.  Bullets tend to pass completely through and it does you no good to only seal an entry wound, when someone is losing blood and air out the exit wound.

When this isn’t in my pocket, it’s in my laptop bag, along with a package of various band aids and another large trauma pressure dressing.

In the back of my SUV, I keep a large med kit attached to the Velcro seat back, with the unmistakeable red cross on it, in case someone comes across my vehicle and I’m unconscious, they’ll see it.  It has a CAT Tourniquet attached.

Vehicle Kit

Here are the contents of this kit:

  • Various sized band aids (including knuckle & fingertip)
  • CPR mask
  • Tweezers/Hemostat
  • EMT Shears
  • Several trauma/ABD pads (4×4 gauze)
  • A trauma pressure dressing
  • 2 rolls of sterile gauze
  • Triple Anti-Biotic 
  • Medical tape
  • Duct tape
  • An Ace bandage
  • Triangular bandage
  • Survival blanket (to prevent shock)
  • Nitrile gloves

This is a very comprehensive kit that can treat most injuries you may come across.

Vehicle Kit Open

Every kit should contain duct tape or Gorilla tape, because they will stick to ANYTHING, even when wet (such as with blood).

I have several more kits with the same contents in various locations.  

  • My “Get-Home” bag
  • My home office
  • My “Patrol” bag
  • Near the front door (in case something happens in the street out front)

Whenever you use something from the kit, even a band aid, replace it immediately; don’t wait until the item is completely out.  If you do that, you’ll have an emergency and be missing what you need.

Training is also important.  It is not enough to simply own a first aid kit.  You can find low cost first aid training at your local fire department or Red Cross office, or some community education departments.  

I do CPR and AED training every time that I can, not merely to stay certified, but because practice and repetition is the key to retention of physical skills.  

Practice bandaging wounds.  Practice applying a tourniquet; the time to figure it out isn’t after you’ve been cut in the femoral artery.

There are also training resources on the internet, but again PRACTICE the skills.  Ordering the Boy Scout First Aid Merit Badge book isn’t a bad idea for a reference either.

Once you’ve learned the basics of applying bandages, start practicing doing it ONE HANDED.  You may need to apply a pressure dressing or a tourniquet to YOUR OWN ARM.  And, if Murphy shows up, it’ll be your dominant arm.  Practice, practice, practice leads to mastery (hat tip to PKSA Karate for that www.pksa.com).

I beg of you, no matter which side you support, carry a first aid kit everywhere you go and learn how to use it.

This very real conversation illustrates my point on carrying first aid gear:

CAT Tourniquet

Her: What is that?

Me: My tourniquet.

Her: What do you need a tourniquet for?

Me: In case I get shot.  What’s your plan for if you get shot?

Her: I wasn’t planning on getting shot today.

Me: Nobody ever PLANS on getting shot, yet it still happens.

You can’t use things that you don’t have, and your life could very well depend on it.

You can use Health Savings Account funds to buy first aid kits.  My two go-to sources for full med kits are:

Solatac www.solatac.com

Bear Independent www.bearindependent.com

Please get trained and please carry a kit, ESPECIALLY if you go to where a lot of people are gathering.

Gray Man Vs. Camouflage

Gray Man

In a Without Rule of Law (WROL) situation, should I try and remain a gray man, wearing normal street clothes, or should I fully kit up and wear full gear and camouflage?

The answer is….That depends.

If I have to egress an urban area on foot, and I am trying to slide out of the area without drawing any attention, I’m certainly going to with gray man tactics (check out my articles on it).   If I wear body armor, it’ll be soft armor under my clothing, or my bulletproof laptop sleeve in my backpack, covering the side I can’t see (check it out at www.premierbodyarmor.com). I’ll also be wearing a plain black backpack.

On the flip side, once I’ve left an urban area, what’s the ultimate “gray man” tactic?  It’s being fully camouflaged and completely unseen.  Before you all fill up the comments with why I’m wrong, understand that this is MY opinion.   I’ll explain my rationale and then give some advice.

When the wicked rise,

Men hide themselves;

Proverbs 28:28a

We are discussing in an ACTUAL WROL situation, not the current situation.

Let me first say that on a daily basis, if I’m not conducting interviews in a business suit, or conducting surveillance in gray man gear, I wear earth toned clothes almost exclusively, as a preparedness point.  A pair of khaki pants and a green shirt or green pants and khaki shirt are a good start, in case you have no choice but to bail out on foot and try to blend in.  We don’t get to pick the day or time it happens.

In a true WROL of situation, if I get out of the city (which you had better, cities will be DANGEROUS) and moving, I will be wearing camouflage appropriate to the area I am transiting.  There is nothing more “gray man” than not being seen at all.

Many people disagree, saying that if people encounter you and you are in full camouflage gear, you will stand out to others and they’ll follow you.  Well, if you encounter others while trying to move stealthily, you failed, but it should also be very easy to evade others if they do see you and try to follow if you are in camouflage.  I’d also challenge this viewpoint by saying that in a TRUE WROL situation, EVERYONE will stand out outside of a city and EVERYONE will want to know if you have food.

The best way to avoid being seen is to use proper movement.  When moving in the wilderness, you should avoid roads, trails, or any area where people normally traverse.  That’s the best way to be gray; don’t be where other people are.

I understand that this may lead to navigation issues for some people, but it’s very easy to walk in the woods, paralleling a road or trail, which would allow you to navigate and not encounter people.

Understand how vision works in order to avoid being seen by others.  People see by contrast, color, shapes, and movement.  As far as contrast and color, simply not wearing your shiny North Face baby-blue puffy coat will help (I know, North Face means adventure).  People associate shapes with familiar items, like the shape of a human, or a car.  Change your outline so that you don’t stand out.  

The most important way to prevent being seen is avoiding movement, when you see other people moving nearby.  Simply stop moving and remain still.  When you do start moving again, do it slowly.  Rapid movement attracts the eye.

There is no “universal” camouflage pattern that works in every environment, but I’ll discuss a few that may help you.  Disclaimer:  I own a RIDICULOUS amount of camouflage in a variety of patterns.    I have a reason for it that, which will become apparent as we move along.

First, I want to give a caution about hunting type camouflage.  Hunting camouflage is intended to hide you from ANIMALS, not HUMANS who are trying to kill you.  Nation-States invest millions into testing and developing camouflage patterns to hide you from human observation, take advantage of that research.

Understand also that camouflage and being unseen in the wild is a SKILL, that is supplemented by gear….buying the clothes isn’t enough.   You have to learn individual fieldcraft movement and individual camouflage techniques.

USMC MARPAT Woodland

In my opinion, the two best camouflage patterns ever made for northern temperate climates (essentially all of the US) are USMC “MARPAT” Woodland and the venerable British “DPM”, or Disruptive Pattern Material.  I have more sets of MARPAT woodland than I’m willing to admit to, and a few sets of the DPM, just because these two are the most versatile for general camouflage.

British DPM

There is, however, no single camouflage pattern that truly meets every need.  The US Army attempted it with their “Universal” Army Combat Uniform camouflage and it failed miserably.  The intent was to have a pattern that worked in an urban environment, the desert, and woodlands, all in one uniform.  What they ended up with was a pattern that was too light in an urban or night environment, too dark in the desert, and moderate in the woodlands.

ACU

The only items I own in ACU camouflage are a notebook cover and a Leader’s Pouch, and only because they only came in that color.

The improvement to this was the adoption of MultiCam “Optical Camouflage Pattern”, or OCP.  This pattern is very versatile, and worked better for the US Army in all environs, but recently, they have tweaked it a bit, now have variations based on climates.  For example, there is now OCP Arid, OCP Tropical, and Scorpion OCP, all of which meet different needs.  The reason for the tweak was again that while original Multicam was better in the desert and urban areas, it was still too light in some wooded areas and at night.

British MTP Camo

The British Army took a middle of the road approach with their MTP or “Multi-Terrain Pattern”.  Basically, they combined MultiCam OCP with their own DPM, and have created a middle of the road pattern.  I have a pair of sets of British MTP camouflage, and their Combat Shirts (Under Armour shirt with heavy duty sleeves) really are the best I’ve found.

Different seasons and different environments will require a change in patterns.  For myself, I own mostly woodlands (MARPAT and DPM) since most areas I would operate in are wooded.  My bug out location is in a wooded area, near a massive cedar swamp, making woodland camouflage the best choice.

However, as fall arrives, I switch to the either USMC or British desert uniforms, because in my area, the woods loose their leaves and the background then consists of browns and tans from fallen leaves and dying grasses.

British Desert DPM

In the cedar swamps and woodlands of northern Michigan in winter, I wear desert camouflage pants and a woodland top, because the lighter pants blend with the snow and dead grasses, while the woodland top blends with the evergreen trees.  You have to adjust your camouflage to the location and the season.  That’s why I own so much camouflage.

This brings us to a discussion of night camouflage.  Most camouflage patterns are too light for use at night, because the browns and tans gather light.  The exception, in my opinion is MARPAT Woodland.

A solution that many people adopt is to just wear all black at night.  This is a half-measure, because in all honesty, once you get out away from the light pollution of the city (or when the power is out), black is actually TOO DARK for night camouflage..  Wearing all black presents a perfect silhouette of a human, darker than the actual night.

There are a few solutions, the first of which is dark grey.  I caution against this again, because if you wear all one color, you are presenting a human silhouette and the edges will contrast with the background.      

There are three camouflage patterns that all excel at night, not surprisingly because they are made for night use.  I own articles of all three, in fact.

Midnight Digital

My personal favorite is a pattern called Midnight Digital.  It’s similar to MARPAT, but it uses shades of grey, blue, and black.  It’s a couple of shades darker than the Navy blue camouflage that the US Navy wears, and it’s highly effective at night.

ATACS LE

Another night pattern that is overlooked is ATACS-LE.   It was originally designed for urban, law-enforcement team use, but the mixture of blacks and grays make it highly effective at night.

MultiCam Black

The third is MutliCam Black, and while I own a couple of articles of it, I refuse to buy it on the principle that everyone else is buying it to try and look like a “cool-guy”, and that’s not why I buy uniforms.  

Another consideration, when operating with a mutual assistance group, is the ability to identify your group, in a sea of people in their Tacti-Cool gear.  If you’re all wearing MutliCam, like every other militia, prepper, or mutual aid group in America, how will you rapidly identify your own people?

In most situations, this isn’t actually an issue, but it’s something to consider.  I saw one militia group in Lousiville all wrap bright day-glow green bands around their arms, thus negating the entire purpose of wearing camouflage (unless you only wear camo to look cool – hint, hint).

Brilliant Tactics

Another option, if you don’t want to go full-camouflage commando (you can’t all be as cool as me, I get it), is what my friend, Clay Martin recommends in his outstanding book, Prairie Fire (available here).  You could wear earth-toned pants (green/khaki) and a camouflage top over it.  I don’t do it myself, but it’s just because I’m not one for half measures.  It is indeed an option.

On a daily basis, in the back of my SUV, in addition to a set of general earth-toned clothing, I also carry one set of the ATACS LE (for night), and one set of MARPAT digital uniforms, just in case I need them.  It’s not a bad habit to get into.  I also keep three changes of T-shirts, underwear, and socks, so conceivably I could change daily in a survival/WROL situation while trying to get back to my main supply cache.

I hope this discussion has helped you decide whether or not to include some type of camouflage clothing in your preps.  If you do, remember that gear is only one part of the equation, skills and practice are the others.

Skill – Entry Control Point/Traffic Control Point

In a Without Rule of Law (WROL) situation, many people will be forced from their homes by fires, riots, looters, and whatever other disasters caused the WROL situation.  One of the most over-looked skill sets for dealing with this is setting up and manning an Entry Control Point or Traffic Control Point.

When Nehemiah was first rebuilding Jerusalem, the gates & walls were all destroyed, and his first order of business was to get them repaired.  In the meantime, this is what he did:

But we prayed to our God and posted a guard

Day & night to meet this threat.

Nehemiah 4:9

An Entry Control Point is a location where you check everyone entering the area and ensure that they are someone you want to enter the perimeter.  You could set one up at the entrance to your subdivision, or on the road leading to your Bug-Out Location.  A note though, unless you have 100% fencing around your perimeter or a 24 hour foot patrol of your perimeter, having an ECP will do you no good.

A Traffic Control Post is simply a checkpoint placed on a road through an area to check everyone entering the area, and perhaps to give them directions on passing through, where to find help, etc.

You may think these are extreme measures, but without them, you will be overrun with refugees in a true WROL situation.  If you don’t establish with these hungry and desperate people that your area is defended and that there is a semblance of order, they will take advantage, it’s just human nature.  

Gori Refugees

Study any modern conflict and you’ll learn about it.  The road from Gori, Georgia was lined for miles with refugees fleeing the Russian invasion in 2008.  Streams of refugees fled from both sides as soon as the war in the Ukraine broke out in 2014, with groups of ethnic Russians displacing Ukranians from their homes on one side, and vice versa on the other.

In any WROL situation, mass groups of unprepared people will be on the move seeking food AND shelter.  They’ll be looking for areas where they can find food, or even squat in an unoccupied house (that happens NOW in many areas).

The purpose, then, of an ECP at the entrance to your subdivision or Bug Out compound (fortunately, both my neighborhood and BOL have single road entrances), is to establish that this is a defended area and that only authorized people are allowed to pass.

Your choicest valleys are full of chariots,

And horsemen are posted at the city gates.

Isaiah 22:7

ECP’s are IN ADDITION TO sending out patrols outside your gates and having Observation Posts outside your gates, not a REPLACEMENT.  Remember all the times that I said you can’t survive without a tribe?  It’s true.

Both types are set up similarly.  

Chicane

First, for any roadway or entrance, you should construct a “Chicane”, which is a barrier that requires vehicles to make tight turns to enter (see graphic).  This prevents vehicles from just ramming through.  You can build this with barbed wire, if you have it, or with logs.  A field expedient method is to use two vehicles each blocking opposite parts of the roadway.  If you choose this option, ensure that the engine block is the part blocking the roadway, so that ramming is more difficult.

Some over-the-top people recommend more permanent barriers be built, like concrete (as if you’d have that available), but I caution against it.  Remember that no bug out location is permanent; a threat may arise that may cause you to have to flee, and if your barrier plan is too complex, you might be trapped inside.

Once you have some type of barrier in place (even a fencing gate is a good start), you should next build two fighting positions near it.  The first one should be directly adjacent to the entrance, as a place for the person manning the entrance to be able to take cover & fight from if attacked.  

The second one should be back and away from the gate/entrance, to cover it by fire, and to be able to protect the person manning the gate.  This one should be well concealed, so that someone who talks to the person manning the gate can’t “scout it out” to come back later.

If you have the time and personnel, another fighting position can be built on the opposite side, also concealed.  This one would only be staffed during an emergency or if a large group approaches.  It would be able to support the other two positions.

After establishing the barrier, and then establishing survivability (your fighting positions), next you need to look to team shelter.  Set up some type of shelter, back and away from the gate, for personnel to use in the event of bad weather.  Since we aren’t talking about a remote outpost 10 miles away, this set up should work nicely for a small compound or housing development.

Your ECP needs a way to communicate back to the rest of the group, and obviously radio is the choice here, since again, we aren’t 10 miles out.  Use two channels, though.  One channel is the main frequency that the entire group monitors at all times, and the second channel is a talk-around channel for the team manning the gate to talk to each other.  See some of my communications articles for a discussion of this principle.

Once the ECP is up, then all that’s left is to run it.  Your group can set the requirements for entry, and you should follow them to the letter.  Letting in unvetted people is DANGEROUS in a WROL situation, and it should be a very rare exception.  You can provide people with directions to a local shelter or food distribution location, rather than letting them into your compound/neighborhood.

Never allow more than a single person to approach your gate sentry.  If it’s a whole group, ask them to have just one person approach.   While the group or person will most likely be asking you about food or shelter, attempt to gather as much information from them as you can.  Try to learn where they came from, where they are heading, what things they’ve seen along the way, and if there are any other groups coming along the same route.  

Ask all groups approaching the gate to provide their own security.  What that does is gets them to keep an eye out along the road, so that your over-watch team can focus on protecting you, while establishing an attitude of cooperation…”if your group protects the road, we’ll protect you while we talk”.

Establish a policy with those approaching the gate that any firearms they have must be holstered or slung while talking to you.  Explain that it’s safer for both sides, because your over-watch team (don’t point them out) won’t misunderstand their actions, and you won’t have to worry about them either.

After providing them with information about where they can find food or shelter (literally anywhere but your location), provide a final warning…your location is protected and will not tolerate unauthorized entry.  This can be done in a friendly but firm manner, and must become a habit at the ECP.

A caution here about charity.  I know that we all want to help those in need, but we are talking about an exceptional situation here. You may be tempted to hand out water, or small food items to people appearing at the gate who are in need or desperate, but once word gets out that you have extra food or water that you hand out, two things will happen, almost immediately:

  1. More people will flood the gate for the handouts.
  2. Bad actors will start trying to find a way in to take ALL of your food and water.

Don’t invite trouble by being overly charitable.

…we gave you this rule:

The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:10b

As a group, you may have to decide to admit some people with skills that you need in exchange for feeding them.  An example would be a doctor or a nurse, or someone with a mechanical skill that you need.  Don’t take people at their word, ensure that they demonstrate their skills and can prove them.  If you do decide to admit someone this way, make sure that they know that it is on a “probationary” basis, and is dependent on them assisting the entire group and getting along.

Running a Traffic Control Post is done exactly the same way, but it is ran away from your location and probably on a “community” basis, where a couple of groups band together to run one for mutual benefit.  TCP’s are short-term.

An example would be if you hear from some refugees that a larger group is walking in your direction.  Your group and a few others may decide that setting up a TCP at an intersection where you can guide others AWAY from your compound/neighborhood is a better idea than letting come all the way to your gate.  You could send them around your local area, rather than letting them get a close up look at your defenses and preparations.  Avoiding the problem is much better.

When setting up a TCP, though, you need an observation post a little bit farther down the road, before the TCP.  This OP can radio back when someone is heading up the road, but their main purpose is to watch for people who see the TCP, and then jump off the road to try and avoid it.  Those people may try to slip around your TCP and then continue on to your neighborhood/compound.  Anyone avoiding a checkpoint in those circumstances would be suspect and should raise your alert level.  

Refer back to my previous posts on setting up OP’s, fighting positions, and on communications to help develop the defensive skills that your group needs.

I hope these tips and graphics give you some ideas and spur you on to realistic training.  I know, shooting targets and practicing room clearing is more fun, but these defensive skills are actually practical and something you can really use.

Validation – Nashville

Nashville Bombing

Yesterday morning, Christmas Day, a bomb went off in an RV parked in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.  Next to nothing is currently known about the attack.

A potential suspect has been developed, but the stated facts don’t make much sense at this time.  

The purpose of this article, however, is to discuss the fact that being prepared would have helped a lot of people in the area.  This attack, and it’s immediate effects in the area, validate everything that we talk about.  

Let’s analyze what the immediate, second, and third order effects were, and how you can prepare to mitigate them in highly likely event of additional attacks.

But first, as we always do, let’s see what the Ultimate Tactical Handbook has to say about seeing an event like this and then not preparing yourself for more:

The prudent see danger and take refuge,

But the simple keep going & pay the penalty.

Proverbs 27:12

Learn from the Nashville incident, so that you are prudently prepared.

First, let’s analyze the initial situation and discuss preparedness steps.

The first warning many got was a loudspeaker blaring from the RV, telling people that a bomb was going to go off and to evacuate.  That went on for a while, and then a countdown began.

Many of the witnesses reported staying in their apartments, waiting to see what was going to happen.  Those are people are lucky that only a few were wounded.  

From a preparedness standpoint, if you hear an announcement that there will be a bomb going off, why on earth would you stay in your apartment?  Remember the verse above?  Is staying put when warned that a bomb is going to detonate prudent or simple?

Urban Bug Out

If you ever hear such a warning….it costs you nothing to grab a go-bag and LEAVE.  If there is no bomb, you can always come back.  If you choose to stay, it could cost you your life.

As we are discussing leaving, I would be remiss if I didn’t say a couple of very specific things.  First, someone telling people to evacuate could be trying to draw you into the open for a different attack, so it should go without saying that you should leave ARMED & AWARE.  It’s worth noting that multiple witnesses have reported hearing a lot of gunfire before the bomb announcement.

Second, never leave without a first aid kit.  If the bomb detonated as you were leaving, you might need to treat yourself.  If you got out of the immediate area before the bomb detonated, you might be in a position to return to help the wounded.

The next preparedness item from this is that the bomb did massive damage to the first floors of about 41 buildings, most of which had apartments above.  Do you have light rescue tools readily available to assist you in exiting your own home or apartment in such a situation?  Can you find them in the dark, with smoke all around?  Would you be able to assist others trapped inside?

Mongol Moon

On that note, author Mark Sibley, In his excellent novel Mongol Moon, addresses a threat most of us never think about.  In one scene, a person who is normally well-prepared was in his office on the second floor when the power went out, but all of his supplies, including his FLASHLIGHTS, were downstairs.  A tragedy occurred in the book because of this simple oversight.  This amazing book can be found at www.amazon.com/dp/1734077115.  Do you have flashlights in every room of the house?

A well-stocked first aid kit is an essential.  I have several throughout the house and in each bag, as well as in the car.

Just before the blast, as I mentioned before, multiple witnesses reported hearing a lot of gunfire.  In fact, the Metro Nashville PD admits that they were in the area responding to multiple shots fired calls when their officers heard the announcement.  Do you have a plan for responding to an active shooter while at home?

Jersey City Shooting

I know that this may seem only to apply to people living in apartments, but recall the shootout in Jersey City, just about a year ago.  A group of black Hebrew Israelites opened fire in a Jewish market, then continued their rampage through a neighborhood.  It led to a many-hour standoff.  What is your plan?  

You could arm yourself and remain in place, hoping that the attackers don’t run into your house to hide from the police.  I’ve said many times that hope is not a successful strategy.  A better idea may be to arm yourself and leave the neighborhood, remaining on the alert as you leave.  Every situation is different, but planning now prevents panic when it happens.  Have a plan.

Bomb Damage

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, streets were clogged with debris, parking garages were damaged, and traffic lights were out everywhere.  Have a plan to leave areas you frequent on foot.  Remember though, to make sure you take some type of go-bag or bug-out bag with you, since you don’t know how long you’ll be gone.

I’ve mentioned it a few times but I always keep in my car a “get home bag” and a couple of other bags.  My get-home bag contains rain gear, spare underwear/t shirt/socks, a poncho & cordage for shelter, a pry bar & fixed blade knife for light rescue, a full first aid kit, some food, hand sanitizer, and wet-wipes, along with a radio.  More on radios in a bit.  

A second bag in my car just contains clothing and boots.  In it are a basic long sleeve shirt and a pair of rugged pants (always wear long sleeves and long pants, no matter the heat, for protection), and a set of camouflage gear so that I’m adaptable to the situation, and a pair of good boots.  Most work clothes aren’t conducive to preparedness, especially business casual or business dress.  And work shoes are generally useless.

The third bag in my car was originally a US Military “Sleep System Carrier”, and is fitted with a shoulder strap, so that I can wear it across my body, while also wearing a backpack.  Inside this bag is a pair of tarps, some more cordage, a survival kit, fire making supplies, and a hatchet.  This is my longer-term survival bag, or “campsite” bag.

Having a few items on hand can help you survive by walking out of an area affected by an attack or disaster.  You can come back for the car later.

Radios

The next immediate effect was the loss of phone communications and internet nodes, due to the damage at the AT&T switching station.  I have written several articles on buying handheld radios and learning to use them, along with having alternate plans for communicating with your family that don’t involve cell phones.  Get radios, learn to use, keep them charged, and KEEP THEM WITH YOU.

It’s worth noting that in an emergency that involves risk of life or property, anyone can broadcast on any channel without a license, and this event certainly qualified.  

CH 3 Project

The Channel 3 Project of AMRRON (www.amrron.com) would have preparedness-minded patriots monitoring FRS channel 3, CB channel 3, MURS channel 3, and 146.420 every hour at the top of the hour.

Also, I have the local amateur radio disaster assistance frequency programmed into my radio, mostly for listening purposes.  You can gather a lot of information by listening to your local disaster channels or the national Urban Search & Rescue frequency.  Listening to local ham repeaters will also give lots of local intelligence and an awareness of what is going on.  You can find them at arrl.org

Another good use of radio in this situation would have been coordinating an escape before the blast with your neighbors.  If you had planned ahead and had a group of people all prepared and on the same channel, a couple of armed people could scout ahead and secure an exit path for the rest of the families, and then performed rear security while you loaded the cars and left the area, or they could have leapfrogged ahead during a foot egress.

Plan NOW and make SOLID plans with people on how you will reach each other, and how you will react in order to keep everyone safe.

It’s also important to note that unless you’ve done some preplanning, your cell phone wouldn’t have been able even to help you navigate out on foot.  Without a cell network running, it wouldn’t have been able to display mapping for you, despite the GPS inside the phone still working.  Google Maps does allow you to download large areas to use offline, and if you’ve thought ahead, you will have already downloaded a map of your immediate area for use.  For example, I have all of Metro Detroit as an offline map.

Another good app for navigation is Sygic.  It allows you to download entire states to your phone, so that even if the cell network is down, you can navigate, as long as your phone has power.  Always keep battery banks handy.  

Here’s a note about the solar power banks….everyone complains that it takes too long to charge the bank by solar.  Yes, that’s true, but to RUN your phone from it, you only require a trickle charge, as long as you put the phone in airplane mode.  Putting it in airplane mode stops the phone from wasting mass amounts of energy looking for a signal.  You can put it back in regular mode once you’ve gotten away from the immediate area, if you wish.

Now that we’ve addressed the first-order effects of the attack, let’s discuss the second order effects.

Immediately after the attack, the mayor established a curfew in the area of the attacks.  While this normally wouldn’t be too much of a problem, many people live in that immediate area, and businesses were already on reduced hours/staffing due to COVID.  It has set up a situation where you might see people run out of food & water quickly.  The lesson here is to always have a few weeks worth of food & water on hand for such an emergency.  

Sillcock Key

A second order effect here is also damage to building water systems from the blast.  Do you know how to find safe water in a city?  A sillcock key is invaluable in urban survival.  Most businesses have outside water faucets for watering lawns and other things, but they require a sillcock key to open.  I bought mine for about $8 at Lowe’s.  Get one and keep it with your supplies.

Looting/security is another second order effect.  People from outside the area will try to wander in and take unsecured items, or just generally walk around to “see what happened”.  These “sightseers” frequently walk into unsecured buildings, “just to see”.  With law enforcement tied up with the incident response, your security falls to you and your neighbors.  The time to discuss and plan for this is NOW.   Understand your local self defense and citizen arrest laws.

A word about the curfew….some may say that the curfew will keep this from happening.  First, curfews only apply to the law-abiding, criminals aren’t dissuaded by them one bit.  Next, ask yourself how hard it would be to tell an officer that you live in the area, but you had to evacuate without your wallet and ID?  The curfew isn’t a deterrent at all.

Fire Damage

Another second order effect is fire.  Late last night, about 18 hours after the blast, a fire ignited inside the AT&T facility (allegedly).  This led to additional evacuations, and an extension of the power outages and cell phone/internet outages in the area.  Do you have supplies on hand to deal with fire?  At least one fully charged fire extinguisher that is checked regularly is essential.  Fire blankets and escape ladders are also a good idea.

Lastly, let’s discuss the third order effects.  There are two:  Tyranny & Riots.

Why tyranny?  The mayor issued a curfew that lasts for several days, despite the immediate attack being over.  Yes, he says it’s just so that they can secure the scene and work the investigation, but a days-long curfew seems excessive.

Next, the FAA issued a NOTAM or “Notice to Airmen”, establishing that the airspace over downtown Nashville was “National Defense Airspace”, and warning that aircraft traveling over the area could be subject to the US Government using deadly force against airborne aircraft.  This warning is in effect until the 30th.  It’s worth noting that order wasn’t put into effect until 2:15 PM, almost 8 hours after the attack.  Odd.

Why would they need to shoot down any aircraft over the scene of the attack, for 5 days?  This was (allegedly) not an aircraft attack, so why the very public threat of shooting down aircraft?  

That’s why I label Tyranny as a third order effect; it’s very easy to issue draconian orders without question in the immediate aftermath of an attack.  We need to monitor these orders and see if they are extended.

The other I listed is riots.  As the investigation progresses, a narrative and motive may come out that makes one community rise up against another in rage.  I would have called this a small risk in any other year, but right now, this nation is a powder keg, and any small spark could lead to widespread violence, so we should be prepared for it, and have plans to either bug in or bug out, but at least have a plan for riots or disturbances.

This incident is wake up call.  I anticipate many more just like it in rather short order, so prepare as if your life depends on it, because it just might.

Lessons Learned – Salem Today

I will be discussing what happened at a right-wing protest in Oregon today, but I’m not advocating a position.  I’m simply pointing out some facts that we, as prepared people who care about our civil liberties and rights, should be aware of. The quote above, from God’s Ultimate Tactical Handbook, should be your guide.

Today, in Salem, Oregon, the government held a meeting to discuss attaching a mandatory vaccine provision to the budget.  When right-wing protesters arrived, the building was ordered closed under COVID guidelines.

Side Note:  COVID is the excuse for all kinds of tyranny.  Under Oregon State Law, any meeting of a government body MUST be open to public.  Most states have these open meeting laws.  A government official can say “COVID” and set aside that law as they choose.

The right wing protesters attempted to stage a sit-in non-violently.  The Oregon State Police attempted to push the people out, and made one arrest.  When people didn’t immediately leave, the OSP pepper sprayed the crowd and began firing pepper balls at everyone.  

The crowd walked outside and immediately the Salem Police began making announcements that the Oregon State Police had declared the assembly as unlawful.

At this point, all that had happened was non-violent civil disobedience of attempting a sit-in.  This is in OREGON, where ANTIFA/BLM have burned down buildings and the assemblies either weren’t declared unlawful or no action was taken by the police.

The crowd was ordered to leave the Capitol grounds or face arrest for disorderly conduct or criminal trespass. 

At this point, there were about 400 protestors, and around 15 were armed.

Side Door Arrest

One group was near a side entrance and tried to re-enter the building, but the police prevented their entry.  One woman attempted to open a window and a phalanx of Oregon State Police stormed out, firing pepper balls at the crowd and arrested the woman.  When some of the men stepped forward, the police detonated a gas grenade and ran back in the building, taking at least two people with them.

At this point, I began monitoring the police reaction, and there are some lessons to be learned.  

First, once again, the police responded far more forcefully on the right than they do on the left.  There is a reason for that.  The reason is that the right is more likely to follow police orders. Police are like everyone else, they’ll take an easy win.  The right is also very reluctant to resist the police.

Second, police spotters were calling out people who were arriving to reinforce the protest, giving vehicle and personal descriptions, while mentioning which groups were armed and then tracking their movements.  The lesson for anyone who attends these protests is don’t park near the event.  You are an easy target for law enforcement or counter-protesters.

The police also began calling out patrols and observation posts that the protesters were running.  This is a win on the side of the protesters because usually, protests focus only on the location that they are protesting at, which allows the police or counter-protesters the entire perimeter to organize on.  Any preparedness activity, even just hiding out at your bug out location, must also include patrolling and observation posts.  You need to know what is going on outside your perimeter.

The police also called out over the radio the license plates of all vehicles in the immediate area.  This causes a few problems, because your vehicle just being in that area does not imply that you were at the protest.  You could have been shopping in the area, but you are now on the official “BAD GUY” list.  The lesson here is, once again, stop being lazy and park a LONG way from the actual protest and walk in on foot.  This will also allow you to make a “Surveillance Detection Run” on your way back to the car, to make sure that ANTIFA, who is known for following people to their cars, isn’t following you.

There was a police radio broadcast to the scene commander, asking him to take a call from an intelligence unit inside the crowd.  As I frequently warn, at protests, especially right wing ones, state & federal law enforcement will have an undercover presence inside the crowd.  Be careful who you talk to and what you say to them.  If you doubt me, ask the Michigan Militia guys what happens when you just say dumb crap to people you don’t really know.

A while later, the crowd gathered at a door and someone suggested getting a chain to force the door open.  A short time later, a guy, mostly like a FEDERAL AGENT, showed up with a metal object, and someone took it and broke the glass on the doors.  As soon as the glass was broken, the police, who were immediately inside the doors, pounded the area with pepper balls.

There are two lessons in that:

  1. I guarantee you that the guy who broke the glass will be arrested within 24 hours, because the feds completely set him up, taking advantage of the situation.  Don’t get me wrong, he was in the wrong, but he wouldn’t have smashed the window if this other helpful soul hadn’t magically appeared with the object.  Don’t let yourself get talked into doing dumb things.
  2. The police are monitoring the livestreams, too.  There’s a lesson in there.

After this incident, the police rolled up in force, blocked both ends of the streets, and rammed the vehicle parked in the middle of the road, tossing it aside.  They again declared the assembly unlawful.

Salem PD Today

As it began to rain, one the senior police officers met with the protesters and within 3 minutes there was an agreement to get out of the road.  If the protesters got on the sidewalk across the street from the capitol, then the police would leave.  

Both sides agreed immediately.

Here’s the deal:  The right-wing side is way too ready to do whatever the police tell them to do.  The Constitution guarantees you the right to peaceably assemble, and to petition your government for the redress of grievances.  When the government refuses to allow you to do so, you NEED to stop caving in to their orders.

Second lesson in the ending:  Another one I’ve mentioned repeatedly…the right side gives up the minute the weather becomes less than ideal.  “I demand my rights….as long as it doesn’t rain or get too cold”.  Train for it…If civilization collapses, it won’t only be during good weather.

I noticed an ANTIFA streamer on the scene.  She was wearing body armor with a “PRESS” patch, and immediately under the PRESS patch, she had a combat knife.  ANTIFA is well known for stabbing people, by the way.  They always demand Geneva Convention protections for their medics and press, yet a PRESS person being armed invalidates that.  I also know, from my work inside them over the summer that she wasn’t there to report the news, she was there to GATHER INTELLIGENCE.  You should also be gathering intelligence.

When BLM/ANTIFA blocks a road, the police block traffic for them, and arrests anyone who tries to interfere with the unlawful activity.

When BLM/ANTIFA enters a restaurant and harasses customers, the police stand by and watch, arresting anyone who resists ANTIFA assaults.

There is even the famous video of when a BLM/ANTIFA group in Louisville surrounded a man’s house, telling him that they were going to kill him and burn his house down for having a Trump flag, yet the minute the man, who was alone, armed himself INSIDE HIS OWN HOME, the police arrested HIM.

From a preparedness situation, understand that the police are not coming to help you, and in fact they will hinder lawful self-defense.

From a broader perspective, understand that this whole thing has already been lost.

During the Revolutionary War, there were cool slogans like “Don’t Tread on Me” or “Liberty or Death”.  This time around, that right’s motto is apparently “Always Home By Dinner Time”.

Be careful, be vigilant, and prepare yourselves.

Facing Reality – Revisited

Earlier today, I had a conversation with a fellow member of the preparedness community who said that everyone thinking that a total societal collapse could happen here in the US was crazy.  

I presented my evidence, he presented his, and he still thinks “it can’t happen here”.  That led me to ponder how many others are still rooted in normalcy bias.  I’ll discuss his points here and why they are based on mis-understandings and a super-nation status bias.

First, I want to give you a caution about normalcy bias from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

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.

Ezekiel 33:5

That’s right; it’s up to you to heed the warnings.  Your feelings & opinions about the warnings don’t make them any less valid.  Many people went to work on September 11, 2001, thinking “it can never happen here”. Same as on December 7, 1941.

We need to see the situation as it is, not as we want it to be.

The prudent see danger & take refuge,

But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 22:3

Normalcy bias is such a problem that the Ultimate Tactical Handbook for Life mentions it many times, and even discusses that people called Noah crazy right up until the flood came.  

Now, let’s discuss the conversation.  This person said that a total collapse could never happen here, or in any modern Western Society, because we are apparently too “advanced”.

I pointed out that The Ukraine, the Balkan states, and the Republic of Georgia all went from modern societies to total collapse in a short period, just days in The Ukraine, and hours in Georgia.

What was this fellow “preparedness” person’s response?  That those places were already “sh#tty” places to begin with.  Yes, really.

I will grant that the former Yugoslavia wasn’t as modern as the others, but ONLY because the disaster struck in the 1990s.  You can’t compare pre-war Yugoslavia to the United States or the UK TODAY.  I will challenge though that the ethnic disparities that led to the mass murder, warfare, genocide, and destruction of all civilization (yes, it was that bad) in the former Yugoslavia were actually LESS than they are here.  

Yes, I’m saying that our PERCEIVED differences here are more acute than they were when the wars of secession began in the Balkans.  Never forget that the Balkan Conflict was the break-up of a diverse nation into ethnic and religious enclaves and the related hate for each other drove the violence.  That’s the path we are on TODAY, and the destruction now will be worse, because people NOW are even more reliant on electricity than we were in the 1990s.  

Today, every transaction of life, from purchases to learning to medicine, relies upon the free movement of electrons.  Shut off electricity and this “comfortable & peaceful” life comes to an immediate halt.  More about that in a few minutes.

I say that our problems today are worse, because we have an added feature that the Balkans did not…..SKIN COLOR.  It seems silly, but we do have people here who feel that the color of one’s skin is a reason to hate or vilify them.  In the Balkans, while they considered themselves ethnically different, they were all Slavic peoples.  Their differences came from GEOGRAPHY & RELIGION, not true ETHNICITY.

Moving up the timeline, the South Ossetia War occurred in 2008 and was considered the first European War of the 21st Century.  Russia invaded Georgia through South Ossetia and invaded by sea in Abkhazia.   In just 12 days, the modern western nation of Georgia was reduced to a war-ravaged landscape without electric or running water in it’s northern half.  While a cease-fire occurred, services weren’t immediately restored and ethnic cleansing of Georgians by ethnic Russians occurred on a wide scale.

His argument when I mentioned that Gori, Georgia was a city just as modern as any other western city was “Yeah, but it was over quickly”.  No, the FIGHTING was over quickly, and that’s when the ethnic cleansing started, as well as the deaths from disease and lack of running water.  Large parts of the city were leveled by Russian bombers and tanks. And for the record, no matter quickly it ended, the dead stayed dead.

And as far as the comments that “it was over quickly”….South Ossetia and Abkhazia are STILL occupied by Russian troops.  Do you imagine that life today as a Georgian patriot in Abkhazia or South Ossetia is a cake walk?

In 2014, in a matter of 72 hours, The Ukraine went from a fully modern Western nation, to a war-torn hell-scape without electricity or running water in a third of the country and four different armed forces battling each other in that same space.

What began as street protests led to the overthrow of the government, which in turn led to the secession of two regions, without the permission of the central government.  The new Ukrainian government sent troops to retake the breakaway areas, resulting in heavy combat.  Then, Russia decided to send in “peacekeepers”, which were really just another invading army.

All those forces still hold ground and skirmish daily to this day.  The people of Eastern Ukraine had electricity and running water, and now haven’t had either on a consistent basis for years.  

These three stories prove that YES, it can indeed happen here, and with less tensions than what we currently have here in the US.

It’s worth noting that all three major wars that led to societal collapses began as secessions.  I didn’t mention it above, but the reason for the tensions between Georgia and Russia was that ethnic Russian separatists in Abkhazia and South Ossetia wanted to secede from Georgia.

There is open talk of Texas, California, Oregon, and Washington all seceding from the Union.  There is rampant ethnic, racial, religious, and ideological tension throughout every sector of our society.

What’s important to note is that no matter what you want, it CAN happen here and it becomes more likely that we will see a major internal conflict here every day.

I’ll agree that it MIGHT not devolve into a Mad-Max or Book of Eli landscape, but to say it COULD NEVER do so is closing your eyes to clear signs that it very well may.

It wouldn’t take an invasion or civil war either.  All it would take is turning out the lights.

The Department of Homeland Security Estimates that if the electricity went out in the US for one year, 90% of the population would die.  

Hackers are constantly probing our electrical grid system to look for vulnerabilities.  The government knows that the grid is old and susceptible to damage, but it would be ASTRONOMICALLY expensive to replace it.  

On April 16, 2013, an incident occurred that is called in the security business the “Metcalf Incident”.  From 12:58 AM to 1:50 AM, multiple snipers using 7.62×39 rifles (most likely AK Variants) fired several hundred rounds into 17 power transformers at the Metcalf, California substation. There was a small outage in the area, and media reported it as a failed attack.

The DHS, on the other hand, doesn’t consider it a failure.  Their operating assumption is that it was a test of the police response and a “proof of concept” attack by an unknown entity to see if they could cause a power outage via gunfire and then escape.  They met all of their objectives.

What was our response?  To raise physical security standards (fencing, lighting, and locks) at power stations,  That response doesn’t even make sense, since the attackers never breeched the perimeter and engaged in their attack from stand-off distance with precision gunfire.

At our current level of tensions, a large disruption in the electrical service would lead to wide-spread panic and civil disorder, especially if it could be blamed on one side or the other.

I noted in an earlier article that a local power company field office had increased their physical security drastically and quickly in recent weeks.  They are reacting to the same indicators that I keep warning about.

Two women were just charged with Sabotage and Terrorism for intentionally derailing trains to cause disruptions and panic.

So, my dear friends, please set aside your normalcy bias and acknowledge that yes it can happen here.  Prepare yourself for the worst case scenario, a grid-down collapse, and if anything less than that happens, you’ll be prepared to handle it.  I don’t see a down side to preparing for the absolute worst case.  

Keep your eyes open, looks for indicators, and develop a plan.  Keep in touch with your tribe and watch out for each other.

Cold Firearms Combatives

At 2:30 AM on 9/23/2020, the Fargo, North Dakota police received a 911 call regarding a burglary in progress. A woman reported that they heard glass breaking, and a man entered their window. Her husband had armed himself with a shotgun and went to confront the attacker. Upon their arrival, the police found the burglar in the front yard, struggling to recover from a strike the homeowner had given him in the face with the stock of the shotgun.

Rather than killing the suspect with the shotgun, the homeowner applied a strike known as a butt-stroke in the parlance of cold firearms combatives.

Cold firearms combatives consist of strikes, blocks, and combinations using your firearms as other than a projectile weapon. They are a vastly over-looked part of self-defense.

Even in the military, here in the US, only the US Marine Corps continues to train in cold firearms combatives. Krav Maga retains the skill-set, but no school here teaches them to civilians, and that’s a shame.

When watching action movies, I always scream at the screen when the hero throws down an empty rifle…It’s still a very viable weapon empty, and you can always pick up ammo from the opposition.

I also wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add that as long as you have a bayonet in your gear, your rifle can still be made lethal if you run out of ammo or it malfunctions. Sticking people with the pointy end is how war was waged for millennia, and it’s still effective.

In the film World War Z, the hero makes an improvised bayonet by duct-taping a kitchen butcher knife to the end of a deer rifle. That’s excellent advice and worth remembering.

All of the techniques we’ll discuss can used with a bayonet, just understand that they become lethal with a blade attached.

A long gun makes a highly effective blocking tool against either other weapons or empty hands. Hold the long gun at where the stock meets the grip and the forward hand guard. A high block can be done simply by raising the rifle up the body and just over the head, with the magazine well facing out. A low block is done exactly the opposite, thrusting the arms straight down, with the magazine well facing down.

Mid-Blocks are effected by holding the hand guard up and the stock down, directly out in front of you, so that the long gun is straight vertical, covering your midsection, with the magazine well facing out. Left and right mid-blocks are done by twisting this same motion to either the left or right.

Those five moves will keep you relatively safe from attacks, but no one ever won on defense.

The basic cold firearms combatives with a long gun are the slash, the thrust, the butt-stroke, and the smash.

For a slash, imagine that there is a bayonet on the end of the rifle, and just slash at the attacker. I assure you that being hit with a metal barrel hurts, even without a blade attached.

The thrust is exactly what it sounds like, thrusting the weapon forward and striking with the end of the barrel.

After learning the the slash and thrust, practice the most basic combination of a slash to open the defenses, followed immediately by a thrust to a vulnerable point.

The butt-stroke is striking the attacker with the stock of the rifle. The first variation is horizontal, swinging the butt horizontally and hitting the attacker in the face or mid-section from the side. It is best followed up in a combination with an immediate slash and thrust.

The second variation is the vertical butt-stroke, swinging the butt of the long gun straight up the mid-line, striking them in the solar plexus or face. It’s best followed up with a smash (be patient, we’re learning that next), followed by a slash/thrust combination.

The smash is done by raising the long gun over you shoulder and “smashing” the butt straight forward into the attackers face. It’s best followed up with a slash followed by a thrust.

A variation of the the smash is a rear smash. If someone grabs you from the rear or is running up behind you, twist your body and thrust the butt of the long gun directly behind you, striking the attacker in the face or solar plexus.

These tactics can enable you to defend against a close in attack so that you can gain distance to use the firearm as intended, if needed.

Long gun retention is also a good skill to practice. If anyone grabs your long gun, rotate the firearm in a C motion while stepping back quickly, and the person will let go. There is a whole additional skillset here, that we aren’t covering today.

Cold firearms combatives can also be employed with a handgun. You can throw a punch, striking with the pistol instead of your fist. You can also conduct a knife hand or hammer fist strike using the handgun to strike the attacker.

A handgun is particularly effective in a ridge hand strike, striking with the slide of the hand gun instead of your ridge hand.

As you can see, a malfunctioning or empty firearm is still a highly effective weapon, capable of defending yourself.

Also, firearms can be used to effect less-than-lethal force on attackers to save your life or the lives of others.

Get a standing or hanging bag and practice these techniques until they are instinctive. It takes hundreds of repetitions before a technique becomes useable in combat, so train.

An excellent resource for learning more about this is Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. You can also buy the book “Krav Maga Professional Tactics” by David Kahn of the Israeli Krav Maga Assocation (www.israelikrav.com).

Skill – Fighting Positions

In all of our preparations, preparing an actual fighting position is often overlooked. Many people feel like “I’m not planning on fighting anyone, so why learn it” or “if bad people come, we’ll just go hide”…First, you may not get to make these decisions in a Without Rule of Law situation. Second, a well-made fighting position would indeed allow you to hide, if that was your decision. Third, having a position away from the house or compound that a small team could engage attackers from at standoff distance, could allow others the time needed to gather supplies for an evacuation.

Fighting positions have other uses as well. They can be used as observation posts, hunting blinds, or a temporary “hide” if you just want to avoid contact. There are a lot of reasons to build them and camouflage them. One use could be as a back-up bug out camp for a few days.

As we frequently do, let’s check the Ultimate Tactical Handbook and see what it says about individual fighting positions:

Therefore I stationed some of the people

Behind the lowest parts of the wall at the exposed places,

Posting them by families, with their swords, spears, and bows.

Nehemiah 4:13

Sounds like Nehemiah assigned each grouping their own sector and designated a position for them.

When selecting a location, remember to consider the military aspects of terrain (see graphic).

Whenever you occupy ground, even if just for a few minutes, select a hasty fighting position in a small depression or under some cover. You may need to dig out a little ground, just enough to lower your silhouette. Any dirt dug up can be used as a parapet or side protection.

When you are ready to dig a fighting position, start with digging a hole about 6-7 feet long by about 2 feet wide. The depth should be chest-high. Carefully remove the top layer and any grass on it, and set that aside for camouflage. Use the dirt from in the hole to build a parapet about 6 inches high by about 18 inches across. When making the parapet, leave about 6 inches between the edge of the hole and the start of the parapet for use as an elbow rest or to set up a tripod for optics. Slope the bottom from the middle down to a “grenade sump” at each end, so that any thing tossed into the hole actually ends up down in the sump.

Excess dirt should be hauled away from the position and hidden under trees or in a stream.

After the basic hole has been dug, work on camouflaging it by putting some of the top soil on the parapet. Use some local foliage, but don’t over-do camouflage.

After the hole is dug and camouflaged, you can work on overhead cover by laying logs over the middle or by making some sort of a lean-to roof over the position, as long at it is camouflaged and not very much higher than your parapet. A naturally downed tree, laying across the ground you want to use makes a great place to put a fighting hole. You can dig the hole under the tree, and lay other logs onto the downed tree and it will look natural.

From that day on, half of my men did the work,

While the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows, and armor.

Nehemiah 4:16

There’s a reason I call Nehemiah the Grandfather of Combat Engineers; his principles are still used by forces all over the world.

When you are setting up fighting positions in an area outside your own perimeter, part of your force should be providing security while the other part works. Once the first hole is dug, roles shift. Once you have the holes dug, then they move on to camouflaging them in the same security/work shifts as before.

The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her…

Revelations 12:6a

I recommend if you are setting up permanent positions around your bug out location or home, setting up at least one fighting position that is well-hidden with a buried supply cache, in case you need to use it as a “lay-up position” where you go hide for a few days. You could cache some food, ammunition, camping gear, and communications gear there in case you had to flee in a hurry. Consider placing at least one long gun, if you can spare it, in this cache as well. A secondary bug out bag could be cached as well, in case you faced total surprise and had to flee with absolutely nothing.

Again, creating fighting positions is skill you can only perfect by getting out and doing it. It’s not a fun skill that people enjoy practicing, but it’s literally a life saving skill. Get a good entrenching tool, go out into the woods, and have fun building yourself some “forts” in the woods.

Once you have mastered the basics, you can begin adding “supplemental positions”. A supplemental fighting position is one designed to cover a slightly different sector, at an angle to the primary position, in case you are approached from a different direction.

After you’ve built the second, dig a “communication trench” between the two. At first, only dig it deep enough to crawl through, while remaining covered from enemy fire and concealed from his observation. After the initial trench is fully connected between the two, you can work on digging it deeper. The goal is to get the full trench crawl-depth as soon as possible, then to improve the position.

The longer the position is in place, the better fortified it becomes. Eventually, a static fighting position near your base, whether it be your home or bug out location, will be an earth-and-timber fortification that you can hold out from or hide in for a long time.

Get out and practice…we are running out of time.

More Indications & Warnings

As we approach this weekend, there are a few news stories that the media hasn’t shared that I want to update you all on, as well as the plans of several groups that will end in violence this weekend, most likely in Washington DC.

Here’s a bit of advice on paying attention to Indicators from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

Buy the truth, and do not sell it,

Wisdom, Instruction, and Insight as well.

Proverbs 23:23

Actual screen-grab of bombing

First, in Detroit last Saturday (December 5), there was a bombing.  A man was home with his girlfriend and his dog when an explosion on the porch shattered the bay window and blew in part of the wall.  A secondary device exploded in the driveway, underneath a car.  Video review from the neighborhood indicated two white male suspects who fled in a two-tone 2004-2014 Ford F-150.  

Why was the victim targeted?  He believes it’s because of a large Trump sign and an anti-Gretchen Whitmer sign that he has in the front yard.

This is a SIGNIFICANT escalation in the violence and attacks by the radical left.

But, they aren’t the only ones escalating; the far right is doing the same thing.

In Olympia, Washington, on the same night, there was a series of escalating clashes between ANTIFA and Stop The Steal protestors, and there were some far-right groups present as well.  

At one point in the conflict, a far-right subject fired into the ANTIFA group that was attacking.  One ANTIFA member suffered a grazing gunshot wound to the abdomen.  A 27 year old man was arrested.

These types of battles in the streets are becoming more and more violent, and the police are just standing on the sidelines.  

In their defense, Olympia police did eventually arrest the man who fired the shot, but it was well AFTER the shooting occurred.  Be aware that in these street conflicts, the police are simply BYSTANDERS and are not intervening.

GM Jay Mug Shot

Last Thursday, John Fitzgerald Johnson, who refers to himself as Grandmaster Jay, was arrested at his home without incident.  He is the leader of the NFAC.  The fact that he was arrested without incident at his own home proves that he was full of crap from Day One.  Recently, he told his followers that if the police “put their hands on you, you put them in the hospital”.  He doesn’t appear to have taken his own advice.

His charges stem from the Kentucky Derby protests in September, when Johnson pointed an AR at 5 members of a Federal Task Force.

The fact that his group has done exactly not one thing to protest Johnson’s arrest proves that without him, they are all talk.  I would have expected at least a march or some bluster, but nothing.

It’s also very telling that not one single black media figure has stepped up and demanded Johnson’s release.  The truth is that Johnson has distanced himself from BLM, and was critical of the BLM platform, so he got arrested and disowned.  If he had supported the BLM line, he would have gotten away with his antics, with cover from Democrat lawmakers.

An interesting side note to all of this, and the reason you should be concerned, is WHO these Federal Task Force officers were.  There were a new Federal Law Enforcement Task Force set up solely to target “anti-government ideology”.  That’s right….to target anyone who opposes the government.  The First Amendment guarantees you the right to petition your government for the redress of grievances, and to peaceably assemble for that purpose, but apparently, just not too loudly or stringently.

I’m serious here, this a very dangerous escalation by the federal government.  They are saying that if you oppose the federal government, they are going to target you for investigation.  They knew how Johnson would react if they appeared on a rooftop to watch him, so they arranged a situation where they knew that he would react in a certain way, and they tricked him right into a criminal violation, which is the FBI’s favorite way to target any group. Ask Randy Weaver, since you can’t ask his wife or son.

All of these updates are to set us up for where this weekend could lead.

ANTIFA, Shut Down DC, BLM, and Refuse Fascism are all planning events in Washington DC, to coincide with planned Stop The Steal rallies, as well as planned Proud Boy marches.  The last time this happened a few weeks ago, there were multiple assaults and stabbings, as well as some hotel evacuations.

Already, Shut Down DC has published a list of hotels where Stop the Steal rally members are staying.  They claim that publishing the list is so that people can call and harass the hotels (which is ACTUALLY the fascism they claim to be fighting, but I digress), but the real purpose to allow protestors to target those hotels and assault people leaving them, just like they did the last time.

When these two groups clash on Friday and Saturday, it will get ugly.  Violence will escalate.

The propensity for a false flag attack is also very high.  The last time these two groups met, there was a mass stabbing that the media quickly blamed on the Proud Boys, yet had to retract once the Proud Boys released video of their members knocking the attacker unconscious.  It’s obvious that the BLM/ANTIFA/MSM plan was for the attacker to escape and allow the Proud Boys to take the blame.

The best advice I can offer you is to earn your black belt in Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu by avoiding the situation altogether, while remaining aware of local protests.  

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t advise you to make sure you have extra food and water on hand, as well as a communications plan for your family and friends.  Make a point to know where everyone is for the next few weeks, until this election situation is resolved one way or the other.

I will stand at my watch

And station myself on the ramparts.

Habakuk 2:1

A small reminder:  Once a final resolution is announced, regardless of which candidate is declared the official winner, mass violence is going to result.  There is no way to avoid it.  Use this time to prepare and ready yourselves.

Stand your watch.

Station yourself on the ramparts.

Skill – Patrolling

Another area which a lot of preparedness groups overlook is patrolling.  They apparently believe that a fence or some fields will give them advance notice ahead of time of any threats.

The purpose of patrolling is to get out and see what is happening in the areas around your position.

One can defend from inside their own facility, but how will you know if a group is watching you from a nearby hilltop, devising a plan to attack you, unless you go out and check that hilltop?

But before you run directly to the hill and walk right up, there are a few scouting skills that you should develop and train on.

The first is the ability to move over rough terrain.  That seems simple, but when was the last time you walked through the woods, not on a trail or a road?  When was the last time you did it carrying a heavy load?  When was the last time you moved cross country, carrying a load, and trying to stay quiet enough to not be detected?  It’s not as simple as just walking in rough country.

The best training for this is rucking.  Rucking is loading up a backpack (a “ruck”) with gear, putting it on, and walking.  Start with doing it on sidewalks and roads until you get used to moving with a heavy load.  Then, begin moving cross country with it.

After you have the basics down, begin learning how to move quietly in the brush.  It’s very tempting to walk along trails, and you can do so very quietly, but if there are other people about, some of whom may want to do you harm, where do you think they’ll be?

A caution here…People who train for “rucking” events train for speed while moving carrying a load…you aren’t.  You will not be entering a competition to be first over finish line, you are training to be able move a distance with a load QUIETLY and remaining undetected.  Don’t confuse the two.  I stopped participating with a local veterans rucking group because they were going for time.  I’m going for stealth and life preservation, not speed.

Throughout the patrol and when training, frequently conduct “SLLS”.  This means “Stop, Look, Listen, Smell”.  Take either a knee or the prone position and just observe.  Observe with all your senses, including smell, which is a vital sense on patrol.  There are many smells that only humans cause (cooking, fire, etc.).  Do this for 5 minutes.  There is a tendency just to pause.  Wait….take the full 5 minutes.  Everyone on the patrol should face outboard in a different direction.

Learn the basics of using cover and concealment.  Cover is anything that can stop bullets and concealment is anything that can hide you from observation. Cover is frequently also concealment, but the reverse is not always true.  Plan your movements to parallel trails, but keeping cover and concealment between you and the trail, so that you can observe it without being seen.

Stacking trees is a skill to provide both cover and concealment.  You can angle your self behind trees, enabling you to remain covered and concealed, while watching or engaging someone.  It’s a skill only learned by practice in the field.

Stealth is an important outdoors skill that is helpful for hunting, and absolutely vital for patrolling.  The entire object of a patrol is to find information without giving any away.  Learn to walk without stepping on sticks, and how to move through heavy brush without the noise of moving too much brush.  Again, it’s a skill that is only learned through practice.

We’ve discussed the need for a backpack of gear, but what is a good basic “existence” load?  I’ll discuss what I carry in my ruck as a rule, and you can decide what you want or need.  Remember, it’s always dependent on your local situation, weather, and climate.  I keep in the ruck the basics to survive outdoors in all weather.  Inside the main compartment I have a rain suit, both pants and jacket.  They are Goretex (USMC Issue), so they also function as a wind-proof layer.  Inside a waterproof bag in the main compartment, I keep a poncho liner (blanket), a couple of pairs of extra socks, and change of underwear/t-shirt.  You don’t know how long you’ll be in the field, even you were only going for a few hours.  In other compartments on the bag I keep a full first aid kit, a USMC rain poncho (for use as a tent), a few tent stakes, some paracord, gloves, a camouflage face mask and camouflage face paint, a firearms cleaning kit, two “broken-down” MREs (removed from the packaging), waterproof matches, binoculars, and a fixed blade knife.

This gives me enough gear to survive comfortably for about 72 hours in the field without a need for resupply.  The bag weighs out at about 25-30 pounds and is a very comfortable weight.  

Another caution…invest in a HIGH QUALITY backpack.  Even brands like 5.11 don’t hold up very well in rough country with a heavy load.  I have two bags that I switch between, depending on the environment.  The first is a USMC ILBE Assault Pack.  It’s designed by Arctyrex, and is very sturdy (the USMC is demanding).  The bag I have is the original in Woodland MARPAT, not the newer coyote tan one.  I also have the full-ruck pack that the assault pack attaches to, but that’s not for patrolling.   The other patrol bag I have is the Apollo II bag from Highland Tactical (hltactical.com).  This bag is in ATACS Arid/Urban camouflage pattern.  

I know a lot of people recommend avoiding camouflage bags to stay as a “gray man”, but we are discussing patrolling in a without rule of law situation, and I believe fully in using camouflage.  In a WROL patrol, being unseen is far better than being seen and taken as a sheep.  In the unlikely event that someone sees me when patrolling in these conditions, I would rather that they have NO DOUBT that I am a WOLF, rather than mistaking me for a SHEEP.

The next area of skill needed for patrolling in a WROL situation is observation.  Observation is different from seeing.  You can see without observing.  

Always try to observe from a concealed position.  Look around objects, not over them.  With practice, you can learn to use binoculars through brush by focusing them beyond the brush.   Never part brush to look through it, just look through it.  Be sure that you blend in with the background.  You may have to change your individual camouflage when moving from a wooded area to a field, for example.  Wearing dark green camouflage in a sandy area will make you stand out, and vice verse.

Human beings, by nature, are lazy creatures.  We generally look for other humans at eye level first, then we look at obvious places.  Use this to your advantage by remaining as low to the ground as you can to observe.  Another possibility is to observe from an elevated position, but understand that this limits your mobility.

Make sure that when moving or observing, that you do not skyline yourself.  Cross hills and ridges at low points or wooded areas only.

 An important thing to understand for patrolling is the concept of twilight.  Every evening and every morning there is a period called nautical twilight as the sun sets or rises.  It is a very difficult time for observation, because the sky is light, but the ground is dark.  The best way to use this in a preparedness/survival situation is ensure that at twilight you are as low to the ground as possible and still.  The human eye sees movement and contrast.  If you observe while still from ground level at either evening or morning twilight, you will have an advantage over anyone who is walking upright.

Communications is an important issue.  The members of the patrol (never less than 2, and preferably 4), should have radios to communicate with each other.  I know, some of you may say “why, if they are together”.  If the members of a patrol are close enough to each other to be able to hear each other whisper, they are way too close to each other.  They should remain 5-15 meters apart.  Each person having a handheld radio with earpiece would enable them to communicate at great distance by whispering into the radio.

The patrol also needs to be able to communicate back to the location that sent out the patrol.  Having an armed group approach your compound without communications is dangerous, you might mistake them for an opposing group.

Again, short-range handheld radios should be sufficient.  Yes, I know some HAM radio operator is going to jump into the comments on this, but…If you have an 8 watt Baofeng radio and transmit on full power, you’ll be fine in a rural area.  Yes, I know it violates the FCC regulations, but if society has collapsed to the point that I have to send out patrols for local security, then the FCC is not anywhere on my concern list at that moment.  By the way, immediate protection of life and property are permissible reasons to violate FCC Regulations, according to the FCC.

An ancillary skill to patrolling is navigation.  The ability to navigate using a paper map and a compass is crucial.  I know that many in the preparedness community preach about having the latest and greatest handheld GPS, but the truth is that you cannot rely on GPS.  In a grid down situation, GPS performance will begin to degrade almost immediately, since the system relies on the ground stations having power.  Also, the US Navy, during the Second Amendment protests at the Virginia Capitol last year, showed their capability to shut off GPS reception any time that they want.  It’s not unconceivable that the US Military would do the same in an emergency.

All information gathered on the patrol should be documented thoroughly, as you don’t know what information may become relevant later.  I recommend Rite in the Rain products (riteintherain.com).  I carry mine, along with the paper map in my BattleBoard Scout (battleboard.us).  All of this fits easily in my backpack.

No patrol should ever be undertaken without a plan.  The plan should cover what the patrol is designed to accomplish, the areas which the patrol will visit, and the information that the patrol is seeking.  There should also be contingency plans in the event of trouble during the patrol.

Lastly, understand that there are no Lone Wolves.  Rid yourself of that concept.  You need a tribe, you need partners.  Find a like minded group and form a mutual aid group.  Caution…never call yourself an M word.  Yes, that word (the M word mentioned in Amendment 2).  Thats like putting out bait for the ATF and FBI.  No, you aren’t doing anything wrong, but why invite scrutiny?

It’s even mentioned in God’s Ultimate Tactical Handbook….

Saul also went to to his home in Gibeah,

Accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched.

1 Samuel 10:26

If Saul had a team of valiant men a few thousand years ago, you need one today.

Find others, and work on these skills together.

Patrolling is a vital skill and in a WROL situation, it should be an ongoing activity.  

Skill – Observation Post

I frequently mention that skills are far more important than gear, and that all the Uber-tactical cool-guy gear in the world can’t help you if you don’t know how to use it.  In keeping with that, I am launching a series on some practical skills for people and groups into preparedness.

Whenever preparedness groups or mutual aid groups (we don’t use the M word here, it attracts the Feds) get together to train, they spend an inordinate amount of time on what are really OFFENSIVE SKILLS.  Things like ambushes, room & building clearing, etc.  The reason is because these things are FUN.  The defensive skills aren’t as cool, but they are twice as vital.

Let’s be honest, if a true “Without Rule of Law” situation happens, you aren’t going to go on the offensive.   You’re going to focus on keeping what you have and protecting your home, neighborhood, or compound from intruders.

The first skill to master in that endeavor is how to establish and run an observation post.

I know, decidedly not very “cool-guy” at all.  No, it isn’t.  But it’s absolutely vital if you are TRULY interested in non-aggression and self-protection.

On a side note, of all the action movies ever made, really only a few are about defensive operations.  13 Hours is a great example of a defensive operation.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith;

Be courageous; be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13

The first thing to understand is that an observation post is OUTSIDE your defensive perimeter.  That requires a little courage from whoever mans it.

An OP is a forward position where a team of at least 2 can watch over territory that anyone is likely to approach from.  The position should be concealed and have a way to communicate back to the perimeter (radio normally).

Three things area critical in positioning your OP:

1. It should provide maximum observation of the area you want to watch.

2. It should offer cover & concealment to anyone inside it.

3. It should have concealed routes away from it.

Don’t put the OP on top of hill, but just below it.  In an urban setting, the same thing applies; since the rooftop is an obvious spot, place it on the floor just below the roof line.

An OP should be far enough outside your perimeter to be of use to you, but close enough that you could send help to it, or that the OP people could quickly and quietly escape back to the perimeter.

There should be a covered and concealed route from the OP back to your perimeter for people to enter the OP undetected, and to escape undetected.

In an urban setting, an OP can be a bit more creative than in rural areas.  In the city, two guys sitting on a porch is a normal sight, yet it can be an OP.  In the country, 2 guys hanging out on a hill is unusual.

Be on guard! Be alert!

You do not know when the time will come.

Mark 13:33

I bet you didn’t know that the Ultimate Tactical Handbook discussed being on duty in an OP, did you?  It does, repeatedly.  Some form of “be alert”, “be ready”, and “be on guard” appears throughout the Bible.  Here’s one more before we discuss duty in the OP.

Therefore keep watch,

Because you do not the day or the hour.

Matthew 25:13

These are both excellent advice, and guidance for those on duty inside an observation post.  Every OP should be staffed by at least two people.

One person should watch, while the other takes notes.  They should switch duties every 30 minutes, to prevent eye fatigue.  Your OP, in addition to the radio, should have paper for notes (I use Rite In The Rain products) and optics.

As far as optics, a good pair of binoculars is a minimum, but for true detail work, you should have a spotting scope mounted on a tripod.  A tripod is necessary, because at higher zoom levels, the slightest movement will be amplified.

So then, let us not be like the others,

Who are asleep,

But let us be awake and sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:6

Notice when I mentioned the split duties, I didn’t mention sleep?  No one should sleep in an OP.  Send out a relief every 2-4 hours so that people can be back inside the perimeter for sleep.  

Sleeping should never be allowed in the OP.  

If you aren’t going to man an observation post 24 hours a day, you should at least man it from dusk to dawn.

Having said that, it only needs to be manned in times of heightened alert.  For example, you receive information via your intelligence network that 2 days ago, a large group of refugees left the city heading your way.  Another example would be a string of raids or burglaries at other locations near yours.

The OP should be set up as soon as possible, since you don’t know when you’ll need it on short or no notice.  Get it set up now, and then all you have to do is maintenance, like refreshing the camouflage.

The OP, while it should be built as a fighting position (coming soon in another article), should not be used as a fighting position, unless absolutely necessary. 

Let’s say you detect a group approaching your bug out location from the OP and immediately launch an ambush from the OP and drive the attackers off.  Guess where they are hitting first the next time?  Your OP, and now that they know exactly where it is, they can avoid it on their next approach.

When reporting observations, you should use the SALUTE format to help you remember what’s needed (see graphic).  In most situations for preparedness, you can just use SALT from it (Size/Activity/Location/Time).

Train on setting up an OP.  It’s not as fun as room clearing, but the skills learned can keep you from having to clear rooms inside your own compound, which is the entire point of preparedness, not actual combat.

In the coming days we’ll discuss security patrolling, entry control/vehicle checkpoints, and fighting positions, along with other defensive skills that often get over-looked in training.

Outdoor Skills

Recently, a friend asked me to recommend a book on outdoor skills and survival.  I quickly gave him the names of a couple on my bookshelf, and he replied with a few more he’d found.

This led me to think about the state of affairs in our country and the average citizen’s ability to live in the field if needed.  It’s not a good state.

As recently as the 1950s/1960s, nearly every man in the United States had the skills to start a fire, find or build shelter, and hunt or gather food, in the wild.  Even the men who lived in the city and worked in factories could survive if needed.  During the Great Depression, many did.

The advent of the microcomputer and silicon chip is where we went downhill.  As jobs and life became more technologically-dependent, people lost those skills.  

If the power went out today, the Department of Homeland Security estimates that in one year, 90% of the US population would be dead.  That’s a lot of people.

Can you imagine a current 16-25 year old with no WiFi?  For days?

Do you have outdoor skills?

Some of you will say, “I don’t need them, I’m bugging IN & staying put”.  That’s a good plan, right up until it isn’t.  Let’s say you bug in, as society collapses around you.  The neighbors will eventually know you have food, and they don’t.  I don’t care how well you shoot, odds are stacked against you.   What will you do when FEMA rolls in and seizes your “excess food” under the Defense Production Act (look it up)?  There are many scenarios in which bugging in will need to become bugging out.

Not to mention, that as society collapses, the power will go out, and with it water and gas service.

Remember…In a crisis, movement is life.

Others say, “I don’t need those skills, I have a fully stocked bug out location”.  OK.  What if you can’t drive to to your bug out location because of the situation?  A 2 hour drive can easily become a 10 day walk….Outdoors.  

Let’s say you drove up to your idyllic bug out location, and a few weeks later, several hundred armed and hungry refugees arrive on foot.  You’ll need to bug out again, at least temporarily.  

Having the skills to stay safe and hidden in the field (what we Marines call “outdoors”) can save your life.

Shelter

Go out into the hill country & bring back

Branches from olive & wild olive trees,

& from myrtles, palms, & shade trees,

To make temporary shelters.

Nehemiah 8:15

Nehemiah knew what he was talking about. 

Get out and learn how to make a natural, temporary shelter NOW, while it’s not absolutely crucial.  Shelters are easy to make, once you learn how.  It’s really nothing more that using branches and forest debris to make overheard cover.  

There are many good books available on Bushcraft, Wilderness Survival, and Primitive Camping.  Find one that you like and make it a reference guide.  I use the SAS Survival Guide, 3rd Edition.

Hunting/Trapping

Now then, get your equipment – your quiver & bow –

And go out to the open country

To hunt some wild game for me.

Genesis 27:3

Isaac knew he was too old & feeble to hunt himself, so he sent his sons.  I’m probably too old & feeble, but I’ll do it myself anyway.

The ability to hunt and trap game is an essential survival skill.  I don’t care how much canned or freeze-dried food you have, you’ll need to supplement it with fresh protein.  Wild game is better for you anyway.  

Again, there are many good books on the topic, and the same one I listed before can help. Most state Natural Resources departments also publish hunting tips and guides to help with wildlife management.

Learn these skills now, because if you try to learn when it’s critical, you can’t afford to fail.

Learning to identify plants and fruits/berries is also vital.

Environmental Conditioning

We’ve become so accustomed to artificially-maintained norms, that we generally refuse to go outside during bad weather and when we do, it’s uncomfortable. 

If you were going to go for a walk, but saw that it was raining out, what would you do?  Be honest, you wouldn’t go.  I submit that you should go for the walk anyway.   

The United States Military uses the best outdoor gear you can find.  Their basic rain poncho design hasn’t changed in decades because it WORKS.  Combine a USGI poncho and a USGI Gore-Tex rain suit and you’ll be warm and dry despite the rain.  The poncho is so good that it can be used as a tent.  I have two and when snapped together, they make a VERY nice tent.

Last spring (the one before covid, like 4 years ago), I wore my USMC-Issue Gore Tex rain suit and a USGI poncho for a 13 hour day in the field and it rained the entire day.  I was mostly dry at the end of it.

Learning to be comfortable outdoors in all kinds of weather is a good skill to have.  The hard part is, there is only one way to do it.  Get out, put on a rucksack, and start walking in the rain, the heat, the blizzard, whatever.  Once you learn that you can be comfortable moving a distance carrying a load in bad weather, doing it in good weather becomes simple.

The Viking Test

Viking Preparedness suggested a test and beginning training exercise.  He said put your gear in a rucksack, including fire starting materials, cooking gear, and a lunch.  No matter what the weather, put on the ruck, walk out into the woods for one hour, make a fire, prepare lunch, then break down the site, and walk the hour back.  It’s a great test and preparedness exercise.  Do it  at least once a month for a year and you’ll be fully acclimatized to all four seasons and all weather types.  

If it’s raining or snowing, DON’T put it off, do it anyway.  When the time comes, you won’t get to pick the day.

The only thing I’ll add to this exercise is when you first arrive at the halt/lunch location, immediately prepare either a camp site, including a shelter, or a fighting/security position that you could defend yourself from.  It’s a good habit to get into whenever you halt (establishing a hasty fighting position), and it will get you analyzing terrain from a security standpoint.

Make sure you are picking a halt location tactically, something out of the way, hidden, and defensible (but that’s a whole other article).  Sterilize the site when you are finished so that no one can tell you were there.

Map & Compass

Another lost skill is using a compass and map to navigate.  We’ve become so reliant on our phones or GPS, that most people don’t even know what direction they’re facing.  

I frequently get called a “Human GPS” because I always know where I am and what direction I’m facing.  I don’t think it’s anything unusual myself, because it comes from being in tune with my surroundings and remaining engaged with the natural world, not the technical one.

In the preparedness community, many people place a false reliance on handheld GPS.  They realize that, yes, the cell networks will go down, so they buy a handheld GPS.

There is a problem with that, though.  The GPS satellites are only HALF of the equation.  25% is your handheld unit.  The other 25% is the permanent ground stations that the GPS satellites track to know where they are above the earth.  What do you suppose would happen if those ground stations were either without power or destroyed?

The best option then, is to obtain paper maps, lots of them, and a QUALITY compass, not a $10 Wal-Mart special.  I have a USGI luminous compass and while it was expensive, it’s worth it.

Get out and navigate using the map & compass, so that you can do it when it becomes necessary,

Summary

We’ve lost a critical skill set.  Having been in the Boy Scouts in the last 15 years isn’t a help either, since they generally only camp now at places with gas grills, showers, and restrooms.

Learn what the Marines call “Rough Terrain Skills”, the ability to move yourself and your gear over rough terrain in any weather condition.

Once you’ve mastered that, start doing it at NIGHT.

Learn to rely less on technology, and more on your own skills.

I was fortunate to grow up living an outdoor lifestyle thanks to my grandfather, my father, and my uncles, all of whom were avid sportsmen and those surviving are still to this day.

These skills can be learned at any age, with just a little effort and study.

Battle Tracking

Battle Tracking is creating a visual display, usually a map, tracking all friendly and enemy actions on the the battlefield so that you have a better view of what’s happening and can then make informed decisions about what course of action to pursue.  In the US Military it’s called a “SITMAP” or situation map, so that you can glance at it and see the situation.

How strong is your situation map game?  It’s probably just as good as your Area Study game, right?  Non-Existent.

Understanding your current situation is not just for the battlefield. As a corporate security professional, we use a SITMAP when conducting a surveillance operation or when conducting executive protection in the field.  We also use it for disaster planning/active shooter incident war-gaming.  Any type of graphical representation of what’s happening is a great tool.

Knowing where the opposition is in relation to you is the best way to plan where to deploy resources to defend against them.  

Here’s what Nehemiah, the GrandFather of Combat Engineers, had to say about knowing what’s going on with the enemy in God’s Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

Therefore, I stationed some of the people

Behind the lowest parts of the wall

At the exposed places, posting them

By families, with their swords, spears, and bows.

Nehemiah 4:13

Nehemiah knew where he was weak and where the opposition was strong, so he placed resources there to guard against it.

This applies to more than just battle, it applies to every aspect of security for your home, bug out location, or business.

Sun Tzu also said the same thing:

If you know the enemy & know yourself,

You need not fear the result of a hundred battles.

If you know yourself, but not the enemy,

For every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat.

If you neither the enemy nor yourself,

You will succumb in every battle.

Sun Tzu

This weekend, while ANTIFA and Stop the Steal groups squared off in Washington DC, there was a third group quietly along the sidelines, tracking everything: Those tasked with protecting certain personalities who traveled to the District for the events.

What was learned almost immediately was that ANTIFA had a strong battle tracking game.  They have obviously received some serious training, and I’m not certain that this mapping of theirs wasn’t created with the help of someone speaking Russian or Mandarin, but the fact is, someone trained them to a high level.  So high, in fact, that our professional SITMAP looked eerily similar to theirs.  I’m going to share with you their SITMAPs that they posted PUBLICLY for anyone who wanted to see them.  That was their only mistake.  

First, here is an image of the SITMAP legend, explaining things.  

Notably, their elements are black, the Stop the Steal elements are red, and police are police images.

There are a few more images attached of things as the day progressed and the police engaged.  They began the tracking as soon as their opposition began arriving and continued until only their personnel were still on the street (so they thought).  

The lesson to be learned is this:  If you opposition is tracking you and planning on how best to confront you, shouldn’t you do the same?

The lazy do not roast any game,

But the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

Proverbs 12:27

Don’t be lazy, be diligent.

The tool that I use to maintain a SITMAP while in the field is a BattleBoard (www.battleboard.us).  My addiction to these is complete, because a new one arrived at my house just yesterday.  I have the BattleBoard Scout in all three sizes, because each is good for a different task.  I use the small size for checklists and documenting notes.  The medium I put a map of the immediate operations area in the window and track what’s going on right where I am.  I then use that to transfer it to a larger SITMAP in my Scout Large.  The polycarbonate window of the large accommodates a map size of 9×12, so it’s perfect for putting a street map in and planning routes, tracking incidents, and maintaining awareness.

The polycarbonate on them allows me to use either dry or wet erase markers, or grease pencils, but I prefer to use wet-erase.  Wet-erase markers have plenty of color options for tracking different groups or events, and being wet erase prevents them from being accidentally erased through rough handling.

I generally keep the small one in my hand or a cargo pocket, the medium in the outside pocket on a backpack, and the large in the large compartment of a backpack.  They are easy to carry and allow you to quickly brief anyone else on exactly what is going on in your local area.

When running some type of permanent on-going map, you would prepare a large wall map with some type of an overlay sheet that you would draw on.  You can use a table top, but I prefer a well map, so that no one is tempted to set things on the map itself.

Battle Tracking and maintaining a SITMAP is a critical skill for those interested in preparedness.  

Let’s say you and several others live in a rural community and are concerned about refugees from the city traveling to your area and causing problems (check out Prairie Fire by Clay Martin for more on this).  You could maintain a wall map where you track contact with groups entering your area.  After a few contacts, the map will show you the trend of where these groups are entering your area and you can then either direct patrols in the area or set up a checkpoint.   That’s just one example of its usefulness.

A great resource for training on battle tracking is our friend Sam Culper at Forward Observer (www.forwardobsever.com).

Start learning how to conduct battle tracking and I even suggest maintaining a SITMAP at all times.  I don’t recommend making it exclusively digital, because if the power goes out, you lose your SITMAP.  

As I say every few days, buy paper maps.

Track your opposition, they’re tracking you.

Redundant Communications

As I sit in an undisclosed location, doing what I do, several members of the team began to report issues with data.  Texting, secure messaging, video streaming, and general internet was slow or stopped, due to the sheer number of people using the services in the immediate area. In this area, today, that’s a life-or-death problem.

There is a lesson to be learned here.  First, we over-rely on our phones.  Most people use their phones for communication, navigation, and entertainment.  In an emergency, relying on your phone for communications and navigation, as most do, is DANGEROUS.

Second, when something is going on, everyone in the area will be using their phones for a multitude of things, all of which eat up the bandwidth and quickly overwhelm the system.

You have to have other methods of communication. 

In God’s Ultimate Tactical Manual, the Bible, there are several examples of Paul sending both a letter, and a messenger, just in case one or the other didn’t get through. This is not a new problem.

In our modern society, we have many more options for sending messages, so let’s talk a little about redundancy.

Whenever I consult with “groups” and we discuss their communication plans, they always bring up cell phones, encrypted messaging apps, Zello (2 way radio app), text messaging, and of course voice phone calls.  Seems like a lot of redundancy, right? 

WRONG.

There is absolutely ZERO redundancy in those plans, because they ALL rely on the same device and the same network to deliver the message.  If the phone dies or the network goes down, not a single one of the “redundancies” will be available.

What other options do we have?  Many.  They just aren’t as high-tech, or cool as having a ton of cell phone apps, all running at the same time.

The best secondary method I can recommend is RADIO.  Yes, I know, the range is limited.  Answer me this….would you rather only be able to communicate at short range or not at all?  If the cell system and internet is down, you are getting zero range, so a couple of miles is infinitely better, is it not?

In the world of radio, you buy anything from a cheap blister-pack radio at Walmart (a few hundred meters of range) to a several thousand dollar base station and repeater that gets a hundred miles or more.  The only thing is, everyone in your group needs to be on the same set of Signal Operating Instructions.

The Signal Operating Instructions (SOI) is your group’s plan for radio communications, detailing times, frequencies, and methods of contact.  The American Redoubt Radio Operators Network, or AMRRON (www.ammron.com) publishes one SOI manual for all their members, so that there is a national plan.  It’s well worth the price of membership.

How to set up your radios and which frequencies or bands to use is something that will keep HAM radio license holders talking for hours, which we aren’t going to do.  I’m going to anger them all with the next few points, but my friends who have a HAM license will still love me though, because they know I’m right, they just like to be all technical.

First, I’ll admit that I do NOT have an FCC Amateur License, or as I like to call it, a “Where the Federal Government Can Find Radios to Seize” license.  I don’t fault anyone who does, it’s just not personal choice.

You can buy the Baofeng handheld radios, which are sufficient for most of your purposes.  Sorry, HAM guys, most everyday use in a true “Without Rule of Law” scenario involve TACTICAL communications at short range.  Yes, you should have other equipment for receiving at longer distances, because that’s how you’ll get your news.  But for everyday keeping in touch with family members or your security team, the $40-$50 Baofeng radio can’t be beat, especially if you buy a roll-up J-Pole antenna that you can toss into a tree.  

Now, most of the Baofengs operate in the 5W-8W range on high power, so I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you that those power levels violate FCC regulations on a lot of bands.  I’ll also tell you that in a WROL situation, I’m pretty sure the FCC won’t be rolling around, tracking down people broadcasting above the power limits or even broadcasting on unapproved bands.

For ease of communication planning, I have my radios programmed with the FRS/GMRS/MURS radio frequencies (you can find them easily online).  It just makes it easier to add people or discuss channels for the day, when working off a known list. (To the Feds lurking here: Of course I have the power dropped to appropriate levels….)

Because I have also been known to work security operations in unusual places, I also have things like the EU’s PMR frequencies programmed in, which is their version of FRS/GMRS.  While in North America, those are HAM band frequencies, again, in an emergency, it won’t matter and I may run into a group of lost British security detail members (hey, I’ve been at a facility FULL of them in North America).  It’s just another list of known frequencies to work from.  By the way, if the grid IS down, and you tell someone to switch to PMR 6, no one will be able “Google” the listing of PMR frequencies, will they?  Perhaps I’ve thought about this….

I know that a lot of my counterparts object to using these frequencies based on the communication security problems, but we aren’t dealing with combat against a nation-state level actor, no matter how many times you’ve seen Red Dawn (both versions).  We’re talking about real-world local security operations.  You can make this much more secure by using your own SOI.

Let’s say that we’ve decided to use FRS 9 as our main channel, GMRS 18 as a TAC (Talk-Around Channel) , and MURS 2 as a fall back (TAC 2).  Everyone in our group would just know that FRS 9 is our main channel and monitor it.  The main channel is ONLY for making initial contact, not for holding full conversations.  That way, if someone stumbles across the channel, they only get us making contact.  Once I’ve made contact, I could say “switch to TAC” and we would all know to switch to GMRS 18.  It’s more secure than saying “switch to GMRS 18”.  It’s not perfect, but again, we aren’t dealing with fighting a war, just local security.

Our group has 9 FRS/GMRS frequencies preplanned with Digital Coded Squelch codes, and have them labeled in all our radios as MAIN, and TAC 1-8. All we say is “switch to TAC 6” for example, and someone would have to be both close and lucky to stumble across us. No, it’s not perfect, but it’s SIMPLE and in an emergency SIMPLE is always best.

I know there a lot of guys who say, “I will only buy encrypted radios”.  Yes, for professional work, I have encrypted radios as well, but remember that only works against local chuckleheads.  The US Government isn’t about to let you be able to buy radios that they can’t break the encryption on easily.  And if they can, you can bet the Chinese, Russians, or whoever your favorite boogeyman is (maybe the Indonesians, I don’t know) can, too.

In a local compound, wire is also an alternative, especially between an observation post/security checkpoint back to your main post.  Since WW1, the US military has taught nearly every person who has entered service how to run wire and hook up a phone that can talk to another phone on the same wires (sound powered). Equipment is available online and it’s really as simple as laying wire and attaching the two phones to it.

The most secure method, of course, has been around since Adam & Eve, and that’s face to face communication.  In a true emergency, you may have no alternative but to seek out your friends and family and talk to them face to face.  

As long as there is electrical power, you can use email to supplement cellular calling if the cell networks are overloaded, but most people send & receive all their email via their cell phone, so you can’t be sure the message will arrive when you need it to.

In my opinion, your communication plans should look like this:

Primary: Cell Phone

Alternate: Radio

Contingency: Email

Emergency: HF Radio

Yes, I know radio is on there twice, but HF radio has been the mainstay of true grid-down emergency communication ever since the radio was invented, and I don’t see that changing.

Some of my fellow Executive Protection practitioners will inevitably say I left out SAT Phone comms, but that was on purpose.  If we’re in a situation where the grid is down, a SAT phone won’t be able to find a signal for the same reason your $800 GPS won’t….without powered-up ground stations for the GPS system, neither your SAT phone or GPS will know exactly where it is.

On a side note, for security operations now, the order is a bit different:

Primary: VHF/UHF Radio

Alternate: Secure Messaging App

Contingency: Cell phone

Emergency: Sat Phone

In every emergency plan you make, use the PACE acronym to help you plan four different alternatives for everything (especially routes).

While we’re on the topic, Western society has all but replaced the GPS with mapping apps on your phone, no matter how habitually inaccurate they are.   Could you navigate home from somewhere without using your phone?  What about if your normal route is blocked? Let me give you a few ideas.

1. Google Maps will let you download your local area for use offline & Sygic navigation will let you download your entire state.

2. Carry a separate handheld GPS that doesn’t rely on the cellular network.

3. Carry a paper map in something like a BattleBoard Scout (www.battleboard.us).

4. Learn to use a paper map & compass (invest in a good compass).

Build redundancy into everything you do.  I carry a flashlight on my belt and one in my EDC bag.  I carry cash and a credit card.  Always have another way to do anything.

As our country continues down this uncertain path, having redundant communications is absolutely vital.  The last point is, always carry the redundant part with you.  It’s habit for me, because I’ve kept a radio with me pretty much daily since I was 18 (that was a LONG time ago ), but if it’s new to you, make sure you take it.  Redundant programs are only redundant when they are available to you.

Be safe & be aware.

The EDC Bag

Everyone, especially in these tense and violent times, should carry some essentials everywhere they go, to enable them to be a little more prepared than if they had nothing with them. 

We’re not discussing a full get-home bag, or a bug-out bag, this is a small, simple bag that carries some very basic items to assist you.  It’s a supplement, not a replacement for larger bags.

I always like to check God’s Ultimate Tactical Handbook, and in the very same verse that He commands His followers to always be armed, he tells you to carry an EDC bag.  What, you didn’t ever see that in the Bible?  It’s clearly spelled out in Luke 22:36

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse,

Take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, 

Sell your cloak and buy one.”

Luke 22:36

In modern terms, a sword would be a handgun/firearm, a purse would be a wallet, and a bag would be an EDC bag.  See? You learned something from the Bible today. 

What I use is a Bail Out Bag.  There are many manufacturers, and nearly all identical.  Mine is from LA Police Gear (www.lapolicegear.com).  

As an overview, it has pockets all the way around, two end pouches that could hold gear or water bottles, and a center opening, with a removable divider.  My center divider has a universal holster built in.

Let’s work our way around the bag, and I’ll discuss what I carry in each area.

On this side, we have a long zipper pocket on the bottom (which fits an expandable baton or 32 round Glock 23 magazine nicely), a medium zipper pocket on top, pen slots, and another larger slot that can hold either a flashlight or an expandable baton.

The contents I have on this side are a Rite in The Rain pen (www.riteintherain.com), another pen and a mechanical pencil, a 700 lumen flashlight from Tactical Gear (www.tacticalgear.com), and a sillcock key.  The sillcock key will enable you to open commercial water faucets on the outside of commercial businesses in an emergency.  It’s a great little tool to have, and I got mine at Lowe’s.

In the medium pocket, I keep a Solatac PTK (www.solatac.com).  This is a great first aid kit, with everything you need to treat major penetrating trauma, like a gunshot wound or a knife wound, or a serious traffic injury.  The kit includes a SWAT-T tourniquet, which is one of my favorites.  I like Solatac kits because of the quality, and it’s literally a husband & wife operation.  I’d rather support small business than buy a kit from a major corporation.

On the opposite side, the bag has several smaller Velcro-closure pockets.  The two larger ones can hold AR/AK mags quite easily, but I don’t use them for that daily, I’d rather not panic people everywhere I go.

Inside the pockets on this side I keep a trauma bandage (you can’t carry too many of them), a boo-boo kit of several different types of band-aids, a package of hand sanitizer wipes, surface cleaning wipes, spare flashlight batteries, a mini-tool, a multi-tool, and a ferroceum rod (you never know when you might need to burn down a capitalist monument or something).

Inside the main compartment, I have my two Battleboard Scouts (www.battleboard.us), a Medium and a Small.  In the Medium, I carry a map of the local area I’ll be in that day, in case I need to move quickly without cell service.  The other one I have in the window either my checklist for the day or, as the photo shows, a Rite in The Rain tactical checklist, this one is for treating a casualty or completing a SPOT Report.  The cool thing about the Battleboard is that I can write directly on it with dry or wet erase pens, recording the information.  I also keep inside my tablet (in it’s nice Realtree case), some index cards, and additional maps or paper.  Whatever I need for the day.

The end pouches are perfect for Nalgene water bottles, but I usually throw some of my modular kits in the ends.

This kit is my Admin/Daily kit.  I holds pens & mechanical pencils, a Rite in The Rain notebook, a signaling mirror (although I use it daily for surveillance), a small knife, a penlight, and a UV light (I use that to verify ID cards professionally), and a spare handcuff key (who doesn’t need a spare handcuff, they can come in handy…).

In the other end, I usually carry a survival kit with another ferroceum rod, fire starter kindling, stormproof matches, a small knife, a tool card, and camouflage face paint, which also has another mirror.  Yes, camouflage face paint can come in handy (don’t ask).  I also keep an Anker power bank and a small bottle of spray hand sanitizer in this pocket.

Attached to the bag in various points, I have a P38 & a P51 can opener, a bottle opener, a couple of small pry tools, a CPR mask, and a USB rechargeable light. I also always keep a Camstick 1080p body camera in the bag…it can be a life-saver.

The last thing I carry in the bag is an “Instant ANTIFA” kit.  In the event I find myself trapped in a spontaneous protest, throwing on a black full-face mask and a pair of black gloves is the best camouflage you can have.  I also keep a couple of different colored masks for quick appearance changes (in our current situation, people fixate on masks for identification).

You’ll notice that I mentioned that the bag has a holster and that a couple of the pockets could hold batons, but I don’t carry any of those in the bag.  The reason for that is that personal weapons belong ON YOUR PERSON.  They shouldn’t be kept in anything that can be stolen or removed from you.

I also carry on my person, because it’s that important, a Surefire ProTac 2L and a Gerber multi-tool.  I can’t forget them if they are attached to my body.

I hope this gives you some ideas help spur you to create or modify what you carry daily. 

As our situation gets more and more precarious, you need to carry at least some emergency supplies everywhere you go.

Chaos Actual

I want to relay to you all my observations on the last few days in Michigan.  Bear with me, and at the end I’m going to discuss concrete actions that you can take as the chaos escalates.

On Thursday, I was with some some people down at TCF Center (Cobo Hall for the Detroit old-timers) in Detroit, to observe what was happening where the Wayne County ballots were being counted.  

There were people from both sides present, and our friends of BLM/ANTIFA were present in brand new yellow hoodies that said COUNT EVERY VOTE.  

I wasn’t there to promote or defend either side, and live-stream footage of the day from a few sources shows that I was clearly in the middle, restraining both sides at times and chatting amicably with both sides at times, and I even got the professional agitators from BLM that I’ve seen all summer long to laugh along with me at the Detroit Police antics.

I spent most of the time with a legislative candidate (who will not be named for his protection), and our friends from American Patriot Media and the American Patriot Council (check them out at: www.americanpatroitcouncil.org).

Within a few minutes, I quickly spotted a known personality.  He’s the second in command of the Metro Detroit ANTIFA security team.  I normally see him in full battle gear, including an Interceptor Body Armor vest.  Today, he was dressed down and pretending to not really be involved.

Upon watching, he kept walking over to the 2 known BLM agitators, and within seconds, they would target a conservative for harassment.  There’s a certain irony in that, but that’s not my point.

BLM Agitator

My point is, while the media portrays BLM as a “grass-roots” spontaneous group, and ANTIFA as an “idea”, there is a well-established hierarchy and organization, that puts leaders where they need to be and the “spontaneity” is rather scripted.

When CL Bryant, a civil rights legend and former NAACP leader, began to speak to the crowd, BLM started to rush the crowd, but the Detroit PD Tactical Services Team held them back….at first.  

As soon as the police formed a line, the ANTIFA organizer got involved.  He said “Why did you let the white people in but not the black people?”.  The conservative crowd had white, black, hispanic, and asian people in it, but that does’t matter, they played the race card anyway.  I’d also like to point that CL Bryant is indeed a black man and a Baptist minister.

The Detroit PD quickly melted away, after being called racist, and predictably, the BLM/ANTIFA crowd took over the stage and began screaming at CL Bryant, calling him a “Coon”, and a few other things I won’t repeat here.  I took a peacekeeper role, placing my body between CL and the violent men trying to shove him and created space, while telling the DPD that it was really this easy and that it was probably their job to protect BOTH sides.  They didn’t answer or act to protect either side.

When the BLM women’s auxiliary arrived and began screaming at both black and white women on the conservative side, we again all put ourselves in the middle and tried to calm both sides.  Eventually, everyone had to leave that area, and that’s where we found some common ground, when we pointed out that the police could trample all of our assembly rights equally.

Throughout the day Thursday, I saw the conservative side attempt to make rational arguments, while the leftist side made emotional ones.  As Jason from the American Patriot Council pointed out, they were speaking two different languages and not understanding each other.

The most important observation from the day though, was the observation of the police action.  Every time a conservative stepped off the curb into the road, a line of tactical officers came over and ordered everyone out of the street.

The same thing did not happen when BLM/ANTIFA stepped into the road to harass the conservative side, or to harass the driver of the Trump Unity Bridge (www.trumpunitybridge.com) or other drivers.  If a conservative intervened in this harassment, police responded quickly.

Ironically, on Friday, the Detroit Police arrested Rob Cortis, the driver of the Trump Unity Bridge.  The alleged charge:  Noise Ordinance violation for playing music from his vehicle speakers after 9 PM.  In over 150 nights of BLM/ANTIFA marching into neighborhoods after 9 PM and shouting on loudspeakers and banging drums, they have NEVER made a noise ordinance arrest.

So, why does the police target the conservative side?  No one knows for sure, except that the city has democratic leadership, but we’re seeing it nationally.  I personally feel it’s because when they try to engage in law enforcement on the leftist side, they get a violent response.  When they conduct law enforcement on the conservative side, the conservatives comply.

There’s a lesson in there.

On Saturday, there was a Stop The Steal Rally planned at the Lansing Capitol.  As part of my ongoing project to observe ANTIFA tactics, I decided to go and watch.  ANTIFA was heavily armed with rifles, shotguns, handguns, bats, and shields.  There were a few rifles and handguns among the conservatives, but ANTIFA/BLM had people in FULL COMBAT GEAR.  There was even one in a full head-to-toe German Army uniform, including a German helmet and body armor.  I guess no explained the irony of claiming to be “Anti-Fascist” while wearing a full GERMAN uniform.

The first time ANTIFA/BLM tried to disrupt the rally, they forced their way into the center and occupied the area in front of the Capitol.  How did the conservatives respond?  Was there a violent response from those wacky right-wingers?  No, they sang patriotic songs.  After a couple of songs, and no fighting, ANTIFA marched off.  It’s hard to pick a fight with people who are singing to you.

Since ANTIFA/BLM had arrived fully armed and in full battle gear, you’d think the Michigan State Police and Lansing Police would be out in full force to keep everyone safe, right?  WRONG.

The absence of law enforcement was COMPLETE.  It was so absent, that it could only have been intentional.  I’ve never been at the Capitol where you didn’t see at least a trooper on a bicycle.  Nothing.

After a couple of hours, ANTIFA marched back into the area, and no one paid them much attention.  They quickly seized control of the portable toilets and wouldn’t let anyone use them, and wouldn’t let anyone out.  When a woman tried to slip past them, they shoved her back.  Immediately, at the other end of the area, several ANTIFA/BLM members rushed into the crowd, pepper-spraying people indiscriminately.  There were a lot of small children present at the time of the attack.  

Me being who I am, I went forward to try and break things up and I saw a man come out of the bathrooms.  ANTIFA/BLM members jumped on him and took him to the ground.  I tried to get him, just to extricate him, and a woman shoved me with her shield, demanding I get back.  I ignored all 95 pounds of her (I’m no Drew Baye, but I’m a substantial man) and stepped closer to try and free the man being beaten.  Another BLM/ANTIFA man shoved me with a shield, also ordering me to get back.  I asked him if he was a police officer and he said no.  I then informed that he couldn’t tell me to get back and I told them to let the man on ground go (he was simply leaving the restroom and hadn’t done anything).  He told me to get the *expletive* back as he snapped out his ASP baton.  I ordered him to drop the weapon, but he raised it, and told me he would hit me if I didn’t get back.  I told him that if he swung that weapon at me, he was going to have a very bad day.  

By this time, I had gotten enough of them to look my way that members of a local “group” were able to rescue the man from the bottom of the pile.  

Another round of pepper spray from BLM/ANTIFA occurred and the young man in front was still deciding what to do about me when the state police arrived.  I immediately informed the *SINGLE* trooper who arrived what had happened, pointed at the man STILL HOLDING A WEAPON IN AN ATTACK POSITION, and he said, “There is nothing I can do”.  I informed him I had the entire thing on body cam video, and he said  “I can’t do anything”.  I pointed out the man who was spraying the crowd, who still had the can in his hand, and explained that he had attacked dozens.  The Trooper said “I didn’t see it”.  I pointed out the dozen or so victims reeling from spray and the dozens of witnesses, who were all agreeing with me, and again said I had it all on video. He said “If you want, we can sort it out much later, but I can’t do anything right now”.  I told him never mind.  If the police don’t ID the suspect at the scene, since they are all wearing masks, and all dressed in black, there is no sense wasting time reporting the multiple felony assaults.

ANTIFA Leader in Middle

As I looked across the street, who did I find directing this attack?  The same man I had seen in Detroit on Thursday, only today he’s in full gear and toting an AK.  I have significant information on him, but it will do me no good to report it.  I’ll keep it for my own protection.

Now, let me come to the preparedness point of these tales.

THE POLICE ARE NOT COMING TO HELP YOU.  

As you are preparing for the coming and rapidly increasing unrest, understand that and make your own safety and security plans.

Also understand that if any enforcement action is taken, it will most likely be against the side that defended itself.  Yes, it’s a horrible catch 22.  The police won’t help you and they’ll arrest you if you resist.  As I’ve said, this war was lost months ago.  

So what can you do?  The most important thing you can do is practice Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu.  Yes, I’ve already had several friends point out that I violated that myself, but I am a professional and it’s just not in me to let an innocent person be beaten in my presence.  I wasn’t there for either side, and I have principles I won’t violate.

Aside from not being there, gather information on local personalities and groups that cause unrest and track where they’re going to be, so that you can avoid flash points.

Get out and train in fitness and self defense.  I can’t tell you what that looks like for you, but if you aren’t doing anything at all now, even 5 pushups a day is an improvement over sitting on the couch.  As fitness instructor Drew Baye (www.baye.com) says about fitness, do something every day to make yourself harder to kill.

As things come more and more off the rails, you’ll want to avoid grocery stores.  The Safety Doc has reported that many trucking companies are paying drivers extra to deliver to cities involved in unrest.  There isn’t a truck driver alive who doesn’t know the name Reginald Denny, and as unrest gets worse, drivers will just refuse to go, creating food scarcity.  Buying a few cans of food extra per trip RIGHT NOW may carry you through the unrest.  Subscribe to the Safety Doc Podcast on YouTube for great analysis, by the way.

I keep saying it and I’ll say it again…get and carry with you EVERYWHERE a quality first aid kit.  A few days ago, ANTIFA/BLM stabbed 4 different people on the street in Washington, DC.  Having an aid kit on hand is VITAL and could save your life.  Both days I documented here I had Solatac PTK (www.solatac.com) in my cargo pocket.  It’s a robust kit, in a convenient zip-loc bag that fits in a pocket.

I know, many of you still believe that the AP calling the election for Biden means this is all coming to an end.  Let me dispel that for you.

First, Biden has already promised another full lockdown and more movement restrictions.  NY just deployed literal troops to airports and land borders to check for “interstate travel papers”, also known as “test results”.  Those troops are forcing anyone without the papers into 14 day house arrest (quarantine).  Just because you’re confined to a hotel doesn’t make it any less house arrest.  Do you think that this will cause more or less unrest?

Second, BLM & ANTIFA are now openly admitting that they don’t want Biden/Harris either, just like I reported to you months ago.  They’re now also attacking Biden/Harris rallies.  Do you think that is going to cause more or less unrest?

Lastly, Donald Trump, right or wrong, has absolutely nothing to lose by fighting all the way to January 19th.  Do you think this is going to cause more or less unrest?

Be alert, be aware, and prepare.  Things are going to get worse, not better.

The Danger of a Color Revolution

Taken in Detroit today

Let’s talk about Color Revolutions.  A Color Revolution is the name given to various movements throughout Europe and the Middle East.  A Color Revolution most often involves a disputed election, followed by mass street protests, which ended in the government being overthrown or resigning.

What is common among them is serious provocation of government forces by protestors, leading to the government over-reacting, usually with deadly result.  In turn, the protestors then make their case to the international media, pointing at the government’s violent response as evidence.

What they don’t show are the provocations beforehand.  Many people saw videos of Armenian police attacking protestors outside a police station, but they didn’t see the video of the protestors fire-bombing the police station just before that.

Any of this sound familiar?  It should.

Another feature of the Color Revolutions was the involvement of international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) like the Open Societies Foundation and others.  This lends the revolution free media coverage with a false air of legitimacy and neutrality.

Michael McFaul, US Ambassador to Russia under Obama, classifies the following stages of a Color Revolution:

1) A perceived semi-autocratic rather than fully autocratic regime

2) An unpopular incumbent

3) A united and organized opposition

4) An ability quickly to drive home the point that voting results were falsified

5) Enough independent media to inform citizens about the falsified vote

6) A political opposition capable of mobilizing tens of thousands or more demonstrators to protest electoral fraud

7) Divisions among the regime’s coercive forces.

Keep in mind, these points are from the point of view of the REVOLUTIONARIES and were written by an Obama official.

We can argue that President Trump is wildly popular, with his base, but he’s also wildly unpopular with the opposition.  The opposition sees him as autocratic.

When an Obama official says “independent media”, they mean media willing to go along with their narrative.  Do you have any doubts that the American Mainstream Media will claim that the vote is falsified?

Do you have any doubt that the opposition is united?  Do you think they can organize tens of thousands of protestors?

So many in the preparedness community keep saying “This will all get better right after the election”.  The Color Revolutions tell us that the danger doesn’t even begin until the day AFTER the election.  That’s when the mobilization and violence begin.

Ukrainian Antifa Logo

Protestors will flood the streets worse than they have all summer.  They will provoke the police into increasingly violent control tactics, and scream foul, while they hide the molotov cocktails behind the bushes.

My point in saying this isn’t to stoke fear, it’s to get you to realize that the danger is GETTING WORSE, and not less.  Sitting down on the couch and saying “we made it” is far too premature.

Nothing in my over six months of going undercover inside these organizations leads me to believe that they will suddenly become rational and say “Aw, shucks, our guy lost.  Maybe next time”.  

Everything I’ve seen indicates that they will increase the violence and scream foul about everything.

In fact, the documents I gather indicate that their plan has been a violent revolution all along and that they don’t want EITHER candidate to control the country.

Many people say, well, if they come to my neighborhood, I won’t let them win.  THEY DON’T HAVE TO COME TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.  They just have to take control.

Ukraine ANTIFA Fighters

The Ukrainian Revolution was over in 72 hours.  It began as protests in the capitol and all the fighting was confined to Kyiv.  After 72 hours, the government was overthrown, but the majority of the people didn’t even know it; they just heard that the protestors were clashing police in the capitol.  They thought it didn’t effect them, in their neighborhood.  “Those people are always protesting”, they said.

When they woke up on the 20th with the President fleeing to Russia and a new government, re-writing their constitution, THAT finally got them out of their comfortable homes and into the streets to fight.

One problem, though….they were now the OUTLAWS, instead of the good guys.  Because they didn’t ever get off the bench and support the elected system of government (good, bad, or indifferent), they lost their ability to legally affect it.  By taking up arms, the men of Luhansk and Donetsk were unlawful rebels.

Why is that significant?  Because they can be ARRESTED, rather than be treated as Prisoners of War.  That’s an important distinction.

Today, there are now three countries in the space once called the Ukraine, and a foreign army from Russia controls another third.  Citizens of a once-modern western society now struggle to maintain electricity, dodge land mines, and under constant threat of military action.  This all happened in 72 hours.

If you wait until they overthrow your government, you are letting the opposition gain control of the tools of the State to fight against you.  ANTIFA & RevCom doesn’t have tanks today, but if they somehow take control, as they plan, they will.  And bombers.  And artillery.  Do you doubt that they have the will to use them?  Read their Twitter feeds, they already want anyone who disagrees with the extreme far left DEAD.

Major news organizations are openly talking about the need to abolish our existing Constitution and go back to some type of loose confederation, giving even more power to tyrannical governors (I’m certainly not talking about sweet Aunt Gretchen Whitmer, because that will get you arrested).

Gretchen Whitmer
Alien Nazi Leader Diana (Whitmer)

Think it can’t happen here?  GrandMaster Jay is a folk hero, and he claims he’s going to establish, by force, a black-only ethno-state.  Consider how his militia is portrayed by the media versus all of the others.

Be aware.

Be prepared.

Consider what you will do to preserve the republic, and protect your loved ones.

Book Review – Prairie Fire

Prairie Fire is a training and readiness manual focusing on people in rural areas.  It’s written by USMC and US Army Special Forces Veteran Clay Martin.  This is a companion book to his earlier “Concrete Jungle”, which focused on Urban Preparedness.

Let me start off, once again, by saying that I bought these books myself, and Clay Martin did not ask me to write these reviews.  In fact, he has no idea what I’m about to say, and he’s seeing this review for the first time, too.

We are indeed at a crossroads, as a nation.  It’s virtually impossible to envision an outcome to our nation’s differences that does NOT result in violence.  We can hope for a miracle, but hope is not a strategy.  Taking a few actions to prepare yourselves will, at worse, result in you being a little better prepared and well-trained.  The opposite is not true; if you don’t prepare or train, and should have, NOTHING you can do will make up for it.

Overall, it’s an outstanding guidebook for building a local defensive organization to protect yourselves from groups migrating from the cities, whether they be refugees, marauders, or an opposing (or foreign) force.

Clay begins with a good discussion on building your group, and guarding your information from ANYONE else.  Once again he points out the risk of over-zealous federal law enforcement agents trying to find groups and convince them to undertake things they shouldn’t.  If you keep your core group small, and tight knit, you don’t have that problem.

He also introduces the idea of a larger organization made up of everyone from the local area.  While Clay uses the term infantry, I’d be more likely to call them “Watch-Standers”, which is closer to the truth.  They’ll stand watch over the community, but they are an infantry of last resort.

Clay highlights the differences between defending in an urban environment and a rural one, and they are truly two different animals.  An excellent point he makes, which I’ve also made several times, is that the US military cannot enforce martial law or hold territory over most of the country.  At most, they could hold a few of the larger cities.  

Side note of my own at this point…The minute things go sideways in the United States, with any widespread violence, our enemies will not sit idly by.  Russia will retake the Baltic states and the Ukraine, while China will immediately retake Taiwan and start the expansion into northern Australia (northern Australia and Western US are both among their national strategic goals, they need arable land to grow food and land for people).  Our conventional military will have their hands full with those issues.

As things begin to go south and people start fleeing the cities (they already are, look at rural real estate markets), Clay recommends immediately beginning intelligence collection on them , deciding which side they support, and who could be useful.  These are essential information requirements and you may as well start now.

Clay makes the same point that I’ve been screaming from the rooftops…were losing and losing badly in the street war.  Everyone has this misconception that “When they come to my neighborhood, I’ll fight them”…they don’t NEED to come to your neighborhood to win.  In 2014, in the Ukraine, they only took a few square blocks around the capital and overthrew the government.

Martin points out the errors in assuming your enemy is stupid.  This is a big point, because everyone on the right likes to crack jokes about the left and guns, but the TRUTH is, they are buying guns, they are training, and they are actually gaining battle experience while we eat Cheetos and lick the orange off our fingers.

Clay makes the point that ANTIFA and BLM are adapting, a point I’ve seen with my own eyes conducting surveillance and undercover operations among them.

Clay made a great point, in the book he says bombings and assassinations are next ,and we’re already seeing assassinations.  Clay then said we are “One step away from People’s Courts and Tribunals”, which has ALREADY come true.  Last Sunday, in Detroit, the local RevCom/BLM/ANTIFA consortium broadcast literally a “People’s Tribunal into the Death of Hakeem Litteton”.  It’s on the Detroit Will Breathe Facebook page, if you want to look for yourselves.

We need to get over the normalcy bias, that this will all just magically work out.

Clay mentions that hygiene is often overlooked in preparedness, and he’s right, because it isn’t a fun topic.  But don’t plan on it and see what happens (You can from “Dissin’ Terry” in places other than the Oregon Trail).

I’ve frequently made the point that you need to train on checkpoint operations, and so does Clay.  I know, training on building clearing and shooting upside down hanging from a jungle gym (don’t laugh, it’s a drill someone teaches on YouTube for no apparent reason) are much more cool, but reality is that DEFENSIVE operations are far more likely than you storming the Capitol (or the Governor’s summer home – but more on that later).

Clay points out that it’s silly to play by the rules when your opposition isn’t, and I co-sign that 200%.

So many groups (I won’t say the M word here, I live in Michigan and those peeps are vanishing left & right) focus on offensive combat operations, but that defeats the entire purpose of having a mutual aid group.  You are playing defense.  As Max at Max Velocity Tactical (www.maxvelocitytactical.com) frequently says, “You are NOT light infantry”.

Clay goes into detail with some great tips on patrolling, but you’ll have to buy the book.  Pick up MVT’s “Small Unit Tactics” while you’re at it for additional reading.

In both of his books, Clay points out that if you prepare for the worst and anything less happens, you’re ahead of the game.  The opposite is NOT true. 

One of the best parts, ties directly to my blog post titled “On Being a Warrior”.  In my post, I said that in the coming times, you will have a choice to be a warrior, or a slave serving someone else.  Clay says the same thing when he points out that the day will come soon where you have to decide to either fight, or bend the knee.  I don’t know where you are at, but I won’t bend the knee while I’m still alive.  Right now, we aren’t bending the knee, but we are doing some squats to get ready to bend the knee by not doing anything.

Again, Clay brings up the military.  As a veteran, it pains me to say this, but the military will be in a tough spot.  They can’t hold everything.  In a fluid situation, who do they take orders from?  What if a Battalion Commander and Sergeant Major disagree?  The most likely default position is that most US Forces will focus on local base defense and preservation, and fighting any external threat that occurs.  The cavalry isn’t coming over the top of the mountain in the nick of time.

Clay stresses refugee screening at Entry Control/Vehicle Control Points, and gives some excellent advice in the book.  Buy it.

When it comes to defending your area from an attack, Clay makes the great point that you should defend from as far away as you can.  He reminds us all that while they fought to the last man at the Alamo, they LOST and there were NO survivors.  This idea of defending your home from attackers from the inside is a last-case scenario.  It means things have already gone bad.

Let me take an aside here…When I’m advising or training those…..groups whose names don’t start with an M… the push-back people give me when I tell them to stop with the building clearing is that they need to be able to clear their own house.  Let me tell you this…If you need to clear your own house, YOU ALREADY LOST.  As Clay pointed out in Concrete Jungle, no one breaches until they have the building perimeter secure, so if they breach, you blow the escape hatch and run.  Lose the fantasy of John Wick taking out 22 guys in his own house.

One of the greatest examples Clay gives of what is to come is one that I frequently point out as an example as well.  Once the killing starts, it will be nearly impossible to stop.  Clay uses the example of the South African farm attacks.  For over a year, I’ve been screaming from the rooftops that the vilification of white males is going to lead to that exact situation.  To see what eventually comes of it, look at Rhodesia/Zimbabwe.  They killed or drove off ALL of the white farmers.  Then, predictably, they began to starve to death in large numbers, because no one knew how to farm.  Now, they are welcoming South African farmers with open arms.  I say…#MakeZimbabweRhodesiaAgain.  The killing doesn’t have to make sense.

After mentioning the Boer farm war currently going on, Clay gives great tips on turning isolated farms into Combat Outposts that can hold out until a response force arrives.  In James Wesley Rawles’ Collapse series, he gives much the exact same advice.  The only thing is, farms need a way to communicate with a response force.  Enter CB radio, it’s HF, so it has range, and no one needs a license.  They are readily available.  Once the SHTF, all power restrictions go away, so crank up the watts for range.

Clay gives another reminder that everyone needs…anyone who suggests shortening rifles, building silencers, building bombs, or KIDNAPPING A GOVERNOR (even if she’s likely Hitler’s grand-daughter) is a federal agent or crazy, neither of which you want.

I have to disagree with one analysis Clay gives on evaluating veterans t o place them in positions…MARINE Military Police are NOT the same thing as ARMY Military Police, while the roles are SIMILAR.  Marine MP elements operate much farther forward and are frequently used as either infantry or mechanized infantry, far more than their Army cousins, so I feel he should have included them in the “Combat Arms”.  (*re-polishes USMC MP Badge in resin case on my desk*).

Clay gives a very good discussion on organizing your forces into tactical elements and I agree (as well as Max at MVT) that the USMC model is the most versatile.  That’s not inter-service rivalry, Max was never a US Marine (I think Brit army, then US). It’s just a robust organization.

After discussing organization, Clay discusses how to train on fire and movement.  While I’m not giving you any free data from the book, it’s a great and important discussion.  This basic infantry tactic is so important that if you ever train at Blackwater/US Training Center/Whatever They Call Themselves This Week, no matter what your prior service experience is, you do fire and fire & movement drills on a desktop with literal plastic green army men before you go out and do it for real.  Practice it.  Buy little green army men.

Seriously, I can’t stress this enough.  The major difference between Special Forces and regular troops isn’t Whiz-Bang Tactical-Ninjary, as Clay calls it, it’s how well they perform the most basic tasks of fire & movement and immediate action drills.

I’d add to his discussion on Fire & Movement the classic Marine Corps memory aid “I’m up, he sees me, I’m down” as a way to time 3-5 second rushes.

As a fellow Marine, I’m highly disappointed that it took Clay Martin until page 117 of his SECOND VOLUME to mention bayonetting people.  While I’m making fun, a bayonet is a solid piece of kit.  I highly recommend one…If the barbarians are in the wire and you get a stoppage, bayonetting the dude keeps him in place until you can clear the stoppage and put 3 in him.

In the book, Clay outlines the basic types of patrolling and how absolutely vital they are to our task of defending our areas.  Learn how to patrol.  While Clay gives great examples, find the original copy of “Scouting & Patrolling for Infantry Units” written by Lt Col Rex Applegate.  It’s awesome, and even better than the current Marine Corps version (because you can’t exactly call in artillery or air). 

Another excellent point Clay brings up is finding a pre-1997 Boy Scout Manual. Yes, really.  Before the SJW’s took it over it was an AMAZING organization.  My Scoutmaster was a Marine and we truly ran a paramilitary organization.  The older manuals discussed things like tracking and counter-tracking, survival, “Kim’s Game” (still used to this day to train snipers and recon personnel), and my dad’s old 60s version even had an entire section of self-defense with a quarter-staff.  Cool stuff to have.  Current versions are all about how to report your Scoutmaster for micro-aggressions and sexual assault.

My two cents on patrolling…Start rucking, which is just getting out and moving in full gear for fitness and the ability to move, under a load, in all weather.  My second piece of advice is to buy a book on Leave No Trace camping.  Yes, it’s a tree-hugger concept, but on a practical level, the ability to hike and camp without leaving a trace of your presence is NOT a bad thing.  

Clay goes over the basic bare minimum gear you need, with some low-cost, but tried and true options.  Really, you aren’t going to need all the stuff you saw in Off-Grid Magazine’s “Super-Ultra-Prepardeness Mega-Issue”.  Not by a long shot.  I will add to his recommendation of 2 actual military canteens: a canteen cup and canteen cup stove.  They cost you nothing in weight and you may use them at some point.  A lot of research goes into designing US gear, take advantage of it.

One of the best points made in the book is that we have become a soft and weak people.  We are not the same men who liberated the world from fascism.   As recently as the 50s, every man in the US could start a fire and build a campsite.  Do you think that’s true today?

Ivan Throne mentioned in one of his programs, what skills does the average US businessman possess that would help him in a dark world, without electricity?  NONE.

Clay gives good advice on making yourself harder and more weather resistant.  This is absolutely vital.  Yes, I live in Michigan, but I rarely wear an actual winter coat.  I don’t put on a jacket until it’s under 30, and I don’t put on a winter coat until it’s below 10.  It’s not because I’m from the frozen north…It’s because, like Clay, I once attended the Winter Session at the USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center.  That course has no equal in the US, and the 10th Mountain Division has NOTHING on a MWTC-qualified Marine.  The closest course would probably be the German Mountain Leader School.

Another point I completely agree with is training in the rain.  Most of those “groups” postpone their training or very few members actually show up when it’s raining or snowing.  Get used to being wet, cold, and hungry or hot, dehydrated, and hungry.  

In Generation Kill, as some of the Marines are scouting out an Iraqi camp, one of the young Marines makes fun of the rice and beans the Iraqis left behind.  Old hand “Doc”, the Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman, says “These are some hard men, sleeping out here on the cold ground, living on beans and rice.  You guys bitch if you don’t get a Pop-Tart in your MRE”.  There is a lot of truth in that. Become the hard man (or woman, or Zhe).

Clay mentions Drew Baye for fitness training, and I second that (www.baye.com).

Clay wraps up with a discussion of combat marksmanship, which isn’t just putting holes in paper, and a very good discussion of guns and accessories.  When considering a gun, stick to readily available calibers.  If things go sideways, you aren’t going to find too many bad guys gifting you stacks of 300 Blackout or 6.5 Grendel as their final act on this good Earth.  But, 5.56 and 7.62 will literally be laying around.  You really don’t need the rifle in that niche caliber that Rifle Ricky from Awesome Cool-Guy Rifles Magazine used in his YouTube video.  I don’t care what it did to the ballistic gel, as I’ve never been attacked by ballistic gel.

Clay finishes with some real life possibilities and the admonition to not just let things happen.  To fight and push back.

Just like Concrete Jungle, I highly recommend buying this book, highlighting the crap out of it, and putting dozens of post-it notes on pages you want to reference.

This isn’t a buy and read once book, and neither is Concrete Jungle.  They are meant to be a reference manual, so use it.

You can find the book at: 

Observing Your Surroundings

Let me remind you

In our digital, social media age, it’s easy to quickly get all your information from social media.  It’s also incredibly easy to believe things that aren’t true by getting all your information from social media.

Normalcy bias also comes into play.  We tend to look online for stories that confirm our worldview and ignore those that don’t.  

The current state of affairs here in America is a classic example of this.  People on both sides are saying that if “their guy” wins, all of the conflict will magically be resolved, and both sides are also saying that if “the other guy” wins, rioting and violence will continue.  Both sides point at these comments to confirm their own normalcy bias…”See, it’ll all be fine after the election.”

What neither side sees, because of normalcy bias, is that both sides are both wrong and right.  If the person whichever side wants loses, there will be violence.  I hate to break this to you, but one of them HAS TO lose. 

So what can you do to develop the ground truth where you are?  Get out and make some observations on your own.  

David Perrodin, PhD,  (safetyphd.com) is a well-known expert on school safety and he calls this process “Face Validity”.  Essentially, when you are given a piece of information, decide how you can confirm it, rather than just panicking off internet rumors. 

Let me give you an example from today.  A few days ago, someone posted a photo of empty shotgun ammunition shelves at Wal-Mart.  Several of us chimed in, speculating on the cause, but it was just that, speculation.

This morning, a post came out as BREAKING NEWS….that Wal-Mart had removed all guns and ammunition from their shelves, in anticipation of unrest following the US election.  Rather than run with the unconfirmed report, I immediately reached out to some of my counterparts at Wal-Mart, and jumped in my car, to drive to the nearest Wal-Mart that still carries guns.

Upon my arrival, I noticed immediately several vehicles from an alarm company in the parking lot, along with two patrol vehicles from a local security guard agency, which is HIGHLY UNUSUAL.  I went in and went directly to the sporting goods area.  All of the guns were removed from the display, which is always full, all the ammunition was gone from the shelves, and even the single-shot muzzleloader rifles were taken down and off the floor.

Wal-Mart Gun Department, 10/29/2020

Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the United States.  It is currently the hunting season throughout the United States, and Wal-Mart makes a lot of money off the sale of ammunition during this crucial time period, but they removed it all.  That should illustrate the risk level as far beyond mere speculation.  

Muzzle-Loader Shelves

As a career corporate loss prevention professional, these decisions would not have been made for a low risk or a medium risk event.  They made the decision because they assessed the risk of national civil unrest as HIGH, not low or medium.  That means “PROBABLE”, not “POSSIBLE”.

If a company as large as Wal-Mart thinks it probable enough to cut out a huge area of profitability at a critical time, shouldn’t you take steps to prepare?

Another point to observation is just looking at what’s going on around you.  I frequently pass a local service center for the local power utility.  The facility is not a power production location, but a customer service center and a garage for the utility service trucks and is generally open to the public.  In the last few weeks, they have installed a row of incredibly-bright security lights, facing outboard.  Bright security lights are common, but facing them OUTBOARD only, is an anomaly.  

VCP

They also installed a temporary Vehicle Checkpoint (VCP) at the entrance, limiting traffic to a single lane.  There is also a higher-level (read professional military contractor-grade) security vehicle parked behind the normal security vehicle.  

This is an indication that the energy company is expecting people to arrive at this location (it’s in an industrial park not near residential areas) and trying to enter the property without authorization.  Ask yourselves why people would want to force entry into a utility company service center and it’s not hard to imagine that the energy company is expecting a disruption to power and resultant civil unrest or unhappy customers over-running their facility.

Stores locally are also re-instituting purchases limits for water, toilet paper, and other items.

Taken apart, these are all just odd one-off situations.  Taken together, they are an indication that mass civil unrest is HIGHLY PROBABLE throughout the US related to the election.  Installation of security lights, upgrading alarms, and tactical-level security services aren’t cheap.  Companies wouldn’t spend that money unless they considered it CHEAPER than the losses they would incur if they didn’t spend the money.

But what can you do?

You can continue to be aware, buy some extra supplies, and have a plan for your family and friends to stay connected and in touch with each other.  Scroll through my other posts to find gear lists and ideas.

Conduct an area study (forwardobserver.com).

Carve out some time each day to drive around to local critical infrastructure and see what emergency security measures are being put in place.  

Check out the preparations at your local polling center.  Over lunch yesterday, I was informed that in Flint, Michigan, they are closing all the roads directly in front of polling locations, to protect against potential vehicle attacks.  That’s an indicator.

Visit local stores and see what security measures have been added, what purchase limits have been put in place, and what shortages there are, particularly in groceries.

I can’t stress this enough, observe and gather information.

Observing Indicators

In our current situation, you have to gather your own information and learn to evaluate it.  As we’ve seen, media sources are not reliable, no matter which side they favor.

Frequently getting out and checking indicators is great way to stay situationally aware, as well as just paying attention and gathering information in your daily travels.

I want to use a few indicators that I’ve observed later to spur your thinking and maybe get you to check them out in your own area.

But first, a reminder about using indicators from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

The prudent see danger and take refuge,

But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 22:3

Yes, I know, I say that a lot, but clearly many people don’t grasp it yet.

Indicators at the Grocery Store

Grocery stores are a great place to observe indicators, as well as to gather a bit of human intelligence, by talking to store staff.

The first indicator I have observed, is the presence of security guards at the entrance of grocery stores.  If your local grocery hasn’t had one, but in the last few weeks, uniformed guards have shown up, ask yourself why.  Now, stores have always had their own plainclothes staff to deal with shoplifting, but that’s not what I’m talking about.  The local grocery chains here have recently implemented uniformed security guards just sitting at the entrances.  

This indicates the possibility of a few situations that led to the placing of the guard, all of which you need to worry about:

  1. Theft has risen to a much higher level.  This could lead to other threats/higher prices.
  2. They are experiencing violence as a result of resistance to mask mandates (trust me, I have a LOT of personal experience with this one).  This puts you at risk.
  3. They are anticipating a need to control large crowds at their entrance in the near future, indicating additional state mandates/restrictions.

To find out which it is, ask a few different employees as passing comments.  They’ll all give you different answers, but each will have a grain of truth and combining them all will give you a picture of the mood in the store, which will help you make informed risk decisions.

The next indicator I found at a few stores was food availability.  Here in Metro Detroit, there appears to be a serious shortage of fresh turkey products, with chicken and pork both dwindling. 

There are also severe shortages in the canned meat area.  I call this the SPAM indicator.  In good times, people still buy SPAM, but it’s readily available.  Today, at several stores, there were only a can or two of SPAM on the shelf at each location.  That tells you that locals are worried about food availability, so they’re buying SPAM, which keeps longer.

Walk the aisles and note “out of stocks”.  Out of Stocks is the bane of retail existence and they fight to prevent empty holes on shelves.  Right now, you will find them EVERYWHERE.  This indicates a food shortage, as well as a general economic slide.

The best way to validate true food shortage is to check Wal-Mart.  What happens as food suppliers run low, is that they cancel orders to smaller stores in order to fill orders as best they can for national chains, like Wal-mart.  When Wal-Mart is out of stock on the same items that your local or regional chains are, there is a true food shortage for that item.

Another good retail store indicator is in what things they are selling that they haven’t before.  While masks come to mind, at the beginning of the pandemic, you saw retail grocery stores carrying industrial sized cans of vegetables.  That’s unusual and an indicator. 

Recently though, I found an even bigger one in the electronics department at Wal-Mart.  Normally, for the last few years, they have carried one or two different brands of FRS/GMRS radios.  About a week ago, they re-formatted the area and there are now SEVEN different brands/packages of FRS/GMRS radios being sold.  

“Big deal”, you may think.  Consider this…Why would a retailer who had barely been carrying emergency radios suddenly quadruple the selection of emergency radios?  Because they are anticipating massive sales of emergency communications devices.  That’s a MAJOR indicator of potential unrest or disorder.

Watch the number of gas cans available on the shelf as well, it’s also an indicator of people’s unease.

Local Police Indicators

Observe the posture of your local police department during your daily travels.  

Are they all wearing traditional “soft” uniforms, or are they wearing BDU/Tactical uniforms with full chest rigs and level 4 armor?

What is written on the sides of police cars you see?  For example, some say “Special Operations” or “Tactical Response”.  These vehicles indicate that the local police are on a higher alert level.

Indicators in the Media

I know that I said that the media on all sides is unreliable, but watching what kind of stories that they are running can help you predict what’s going to happen, on both sides.

My Twitter followers have dubbed me “Joestradamus” because of my ability to predict the news cycle for the next few days of events based upon the news reporting, but there’s nothing hard to it.  Just watch.

As an example, the only thing being talked about for the last few days has been the new case count.  Every day they point out that we are at the highest case count since the pandemic began.  If you sit down and think critically, you’d understand that since they are talking total cases, yes, every single day would be the highest.  But it’s being done in a manner to imply that the disease is spreading beyond control. This indicates that lockdowns are just about to come back, and the media is being used to justify them.  

Now, I’m not going to argue the validity or danger of the disease, or anything like that, but, if I wanted the general public angry on election day, renewed lockdowns is a sure way to get it.

Another media indicator is the onslaught of stories over the last few weeks about militia groups.  They have been painted as white supremacists, dangerous, and terrorists.  The truth is that every militia group I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a few) is multi-racial, non-violent, and wants only to ensure everyone’s rights, EQUALLY.  But you should understand WHY the media is pushing the narrative about them being dangerous.  

Over the last week, two different men have been arrested for targeting Joe Biden.  Both were white men and immediately tied to either the “militia” movement or the “boogaloo” movement (which isn’t even a thing).  Upon closer review, these stories have fallen apart, and both were found to be fanatical Bernie Sanders supporters, and not truly affiliated with any movement. Ironically, both also had large amounts of cash that can’t be explained.

If you think it’s just their own money, do an experiment. Go to your bank and tell them you want to withdraw $8,000 in cash. Let me know how that goes. News flash, they’ll do everything they can to keep you from withdrawing more than a thousand dollars, yet the media expect you to believe that this 19 year old walked out of a bank with nearly a hundred thousand dollars in cash.

Also, we’ve seen widespread reporting on a white male arrested for firing rounds in the direction of the Minneapolis Third Precinct back in March.  Again, he was reported as a “Boogaloo/Militia” person.  Further review, however, indicates that he was actually part of a group that supported Black Lives Matter and was most likely an ANTIFA affiliate.

So, why do I bring these stories up?  Because they’re an indicator.  Without asking you all to put on tin foil hats, it isn’t hard to predict that we will see some sort of an attack this week, blaming a white militia group or person, right after we’ve been fed three very well-publicized stories about the risk of it.  

Why do I say that?  Because the media ARE professionals.  They knew these people weren’t what they painted them as, but they did it anyway.  Why?  Because the narrative is needed and needed quickly.  Ask yourself this, why did the FBI arrest the Minneapolis shooter, who struck nothing and didn’t set the fire, RIGHT NOW?  He has been stopped several times and they’ve known about him for a long time.  Because the FBI, for good or bad, has always been a POLITICAL creature and they need the story NOW.

Contrast all of this with the next media story indicator I want to discuss.  On Sunday, CNN’s main story was about the NFAC.  You’d think, after the crazy comments of Grandmaster Jay, their history of randomly shooting their own people, and the group’s stated goals, that CNN would paint this group with the same brush as every other militia, right?

Not at all.  They wrote a glowing story, blaming, of course, police brutality for the forming of the NFAC.  They went so far in their story as to publish the BLATANTLY false comment that the NFAC is not racist in any way.  Yes, they said that.  Jay himself is on video berating a member for showing up with her white boyfriend, throwing her out of the formation for having an inter-racial relationship. He has said repeatedly that he wants to establish a black ethno-state (“We’ll take Texas”) by force arms, and regularly makes racist rants on Instagram.

So, ask yourself, why would CNN even run this story?  It would have been to their benefit to just leave it alone. 

Unless of course, you combine it with the other related indicators.  Taken alone, they seem as just news stories.  Taken together, we see that true militias to ensure equal rights are inherently evil, and a truly racially-based militia (yes, race is required to join NFAC) with a truly racist agenda is good.

Now, when both groups appear at polling locations, who will be seen as evil, and who will be seen as protectors?  If, God forbid, these groups fight (which NFAC regularly asks for), who be painted as the racist aggressors, and who will be painted as the virtuous defenders?

I don’t share this to advocate for either side, other than the TRUTH.  The TRUTH is that Grandmaster Jay and his militia are indeed RACISTS.

The thing I am advocating for is for all of you, regardless of political leanings, to understand that a narrative is being created to justify violence by one side against the other, and THAT puts you at risk.  You may be also considered a risk, based upon someone’s reporting (Don Lemon – “White men are the biggest terror threat”) and you should plan accordingly, especially on election day.

So, What Do I Do?

Get out and gather local indicators and figure out what the local risk level is.  Monitor locals groups to see what they have planned.  Listen to the media on both sides to see what is being pushed.

Use that information, along with your area study, to plan your own level of preparedness, based upon local risk.

Elijah – Prepper and Secret Agent

Elijah & the ravens

There is a lot of preparedness and tactical knowledge in the Bible, and that’s where the motivation for this blog comes from.  Hidden inside the Bible are a lot of great adventure stories that rival the Lord of the Rings, but you have you to know where to find them.

The story of Elijah is one of those.  His story is one of wilderness survival, resisting a tyrannical government, intelligence gathering, and war.  I know, your pastor doesn’t tell you that in the snippets he gives you on Sunday, but hold, on, we’re going for a ride.

I am going to briefly recap his story, and illustrate the preparedness and tactical truths that are just as valid today as we go along.  Historically, we know that the one major battle depicted did in fact occur between King Ahab and King Ben-Hadad in about 857 BC, so these truths are over 2,000 years old and still valid.

This story is found in 1 Kings 17-21.

First, Elijah delivers an ultimatum and warning to the King, Ahab, right at the outset.  Elijah, being a smart and prepared young man, knows that it’s a good idea when you put the government on notice, to immediately clear the area.

He immediately fled from the capitol, and went and hid in a ravine.  He choose a ravine because it had a solid water supply.  In verse 17:6, God tells Elijah “I have commanded the ravens to bring you food”.  Now, the Bible is an odd book, because sometimes you’re meant to take it literally, and sometimes, you aren’t.  This notice from God was basically saying that the Elijah was to live off the land.  Ravens are scavengers and that’s the example for Elijah.  The water eventually dried up, so Elijah had to move on.

There are a couple of lessons for us here:

  1. Pick a location with access to water.
  2. Have the skills to enable you to live off the land.
  3. If conditions (like access to water) change, be prepared to change locations.

I always say that skills beat stuff (gear) every day.  I didn’t say, “Bring all the gear to live off the land”, I said have the skills.

In Chapter 18, we learn about a man named Obadiah.  While Elijah was playing Ted Kaczynski Mountain-Man, chilling out with the ravens, Jezebel had ordered her guards (the police) to round up all the Jewish followers of God (sound familiar?).  When Obadiah saw this happening, he gathered 100 of them to hide.  

But…Obadiah was SMART.  He found 2 caves, and hid 50 of the people in each cave and kept them supplied with food and water.  That way, if a cave was found, they weren’t all found.  

Sounds like a principle we can use today:

  1. Establish multiple bug-out locations.
  2. For supplies, never put them all in one cache, in case it is found or seized (Yes, the Defense Production Act allows this).
  3. If forced to, reveal only one location, which will allow you to preserve at least 50% of your supplies, more if you have more than 2 locations.
  4. You could theoretically have a planned “surrender” stash for exactly this purpose.
  5. Have a network or plan for resupply as needed.

Shortly after Elijah returned, Jezebel sent him a messenger.  The messenger advised Elijah that she was going to hunt him down and kill him.  Doesn’t that sound exactly like the rhetoric we’re hearing right now?  Anyway, on hearing this, Elijah immediately showed his wisdom and tactical acumen by immediately leaving the area.  

  1. Listen to what people tell you they’re going to do.  Take them at their word and prepare accordingly.
  2. Never accept the fight on someone else’s terms, if you can avoid it.  You pick the time and place, not the opposition.

Elijah fled, but this time, he wasn’t prepared.  He ran out into the wilderness with no supplies and quickly got overwhelmed.  He laid down under a tree and asked God to take his life.  Now, God sent an Angel to feed Elijah in verse 19:7, but you and I can’t plan on that.  After he ate what the Angel brought (This Angel was the first Uber Eats delivery ever recorded), Elijah felt better and made a concrete plan.

Elijah’s Uber Eats Finally Arrives
  1. Never plan to move without food & water.
  2. Your “bug-out bag” or “5 minute bag”, whatever you call it, should contain at least some food and water, and a means to get more food and purify more water.
  3. In verse 17:6, the Angel LITERALLY tells Elijah he needs food & water for strength for his journey, and so do you.
  4. Every situation looks better after a bite to eat.
  5. If you don’t have food in a mobile format to allow you to live long enough to get to your 25-year food stash, it doesn’t matter how much you have stored in that cabin in the woods.
  6. Never just flee blindly, always have a plan & destination in mind.

After Elijah made it to his bug out location (a cave in the mountains), he was sent on an intelligence mission to gather forces to launch an attack against King Ahab.  Elijah set out and gathered a coalition of 33 Kings to come together and fight the battle.

  1. The enemy of your enemy might not exactly be your friend, but he is your ALLY.
  2. Build coalitions of nearby mutual groups or residents to band together in the event a larger force is needed for defense.
  3. Establish a clear chain of command, because this large force, LOST the battle ultimately because each King had his own goals, rather than a mutual goal together.

In Chapter 20, The Battle of Samaria, which occurred in 857 BC plays out, and there are lessons in it.  Israel won the battle, despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered (7,000 versus about 200,000).

Pretty sure they were Kung Fu fighting

But first, before the battle, Ben-Hadad sent a list of demands to Ahab.  While the demands were tough, all his gold & silver, and his best wives (I wonder who made the cut, and how happy the ones he kept were at not being the best), Ahab agreed.  The next day, Ben-Hadad sent more demands, which were too excessive, and Ahab refused.

  1. Appeasement to demands will only get you more demands, until you have nothing left.
  2. The Munich Agreement of 1938 is a classic example of this.

The lessons learned in the battle are:

  1. The Arameans were not surprised because they had scouts out watching the enemy.  
  2. Always establish observation posts/listening posts and send out scouts, even if you can only send 2 people.
  3. Israel won with a small force, because they gave full authority to conduct the battle to “junior officers”, rather than the generals.  The Arameans didn’t.
  4. Always empower small unit leaders.

In Chapter 21, a man named Naboth owned some land that King Ahab wanted, but he refused to sell it to him.  Jezebel sent some government agents, who arranged a meeting.  At the meeting, they sat Naboth between some known criminals, who were told to accuse Naboth of conspiring with them (Man, does that sounds familiar?).  Naboth was arrested and killed.

  1. Entrapment to meet government goals has existed as long as man has established governments.
  2. The more tyrannical the government becomes, the more it uses informants and undercover agents (Read that again.  Then again.)
  3. Don’t trust “new “ people that no one else knows.
  4. Vet anyone who wants to be affiliated with you.
  5. If anyone starts talking about taking illegal action or building illegal items, RUN.  Cut them off completely.

Thanks for bearing with me and listening to the tale of Elijah and his band of subversive agents.  There is much more to the story, but this is the part that applied to our topics.  I hope these tales gave you a couple of ideas to help you prepare.

If you have any feedback, leave me a comment.

Book Review – Concrete Jungle

Concrete Jungle – A Green Beret’s Guide to Urban Survival is written by former Green Beret Clay Martin.  I usually give things written by Green Berets the proper respect by tossing them on the bookcase without ever reading them, but since Clay was a Marine Scout Sniper before he lost his mind, I decided to read it.

Let me be clear, Clay didn’t ask me to read it, and I bought it myself.  When it first came out, I thought, it’s like all the others, just a rehash of either FM 7-8 or Military Operations in Urban Terrain.  But, online I kept seeing more and more people praising it, and the political tensions keep going up, so I decided to get it and read it.

It’s very well written…most survival-type books are dry and boring.  Clay writes in a conversational style, just as if you are sitting on the barstool next to him.  The book takes into account so many things that are commonly overlooked in the preparedness community, and you’ll find blog posts on this site where I mention them as well.

The best measure of how smart a man is is how much he agrees with you, and by that standard, Clay is a genius.  Almost as smart as me.  Almost, but we’ll talk about that in a few minutes.

The introduction throws you into the cauldron right away, with a stark warning about how things are going in the United States and why you should be making preparations NOW, especially with the election just 2 weeks away.

I’m not going to give away the secret recipe here, you’ll have to buy the book to get the details and you’ll want it as a reference.

Clay mentions right out of the gate that so many in preparedness want to talk about gear, but neglect skills.  All the coolest cool-guy tacti-cool gear in the world won’t save your life if you don’t have the skills to use it, and that’s where Clay opens.  

In his first chapter, Clay gives a better presentation on the intelligence gathering topic of elicitation than the professionals at Fort Hauchuca.  It’s an essential skill you can be doing right now.  Check out some of my protest intel gathering posts to learn a bit more on this.

As he outlines how to begin gathering supplies and skills, he gives a great formula of buying a little of everything, and eventually you’ll have a lot of everything.  It’s a great way to prepare on a budget.  Medical gear is commonly overlooked, as well as the skills needed to use it, and Clay addresses it here.

Side note for my followers…He also mentions buying paper maps and a compass, so if we both say it, you should probably do it.  Today.  

The chapter on building your team is excellent, and matches what I’ve posted here.  Find people with skills and cross train.  Read the book for the specific skills sets you need to build, Clay does a great recap, far better than mine.

Clay repeats my warning about vetting the people you meet, especially online.  The various federal agencies have this institutional belief that patriotic Americans are the most dangerous people on the planet and set up operations to infiltrate groups, and encourage, yes, ENCOURAGE criminal acts.  The Michigan group recently arrested have filed a defense that the person who pushed the scheme and hatched the scheme was the FBI informant.  You don’t need that hassle.

Here we come to my one and only complaint…I disagree with Clay about the value of traditional martial arts, and if you read my martial arts training posts, you’ll see why.  Any particular style or school is only a product of the local instructor.  When I teach, I only focus on real-world applications, not winning tournaments or looking cool.  It just so happens that my students win in tournaments because training for real life just happens to make their movements sharper and more powerful.  My point is that literally ANYTHING is better than no unarmed skills, and traditional martial arts, WITH THE RIGHT INSTRUCTOR, will give you a warrior mindset and confidence.

As an example, when I teach forms (Hyung in Korean, Kata in Japanese), rather than just having students learn the movements as part of a belt requirement, I break the form down and explain the combat purpose of each sequence, making it relevant to self-defense.  Anyone who just teaches “forms” as part of a belt test requirement is teaching DANCE, not martial arts, and you should get your money back.

We still cool, Clay?  OK, good.

In his chapter on “Stabby Things”, he gives an excellent and realistic discussion about knife training and I agree completely.  Knives are a “let me get to my handgun” tool and handguns are a “let me get to my rifle” tool, so you must absolutely develop skills.  He gives a great idea that I’ve never thought of to skirt some concealed knife laws.  Buy the book, I’m not telling, but I’m for the item he suggests. 

The only addition I have for his knife chapter is the 3 Blade Rule.  If you carry a folding knife, a multi-tool, and a fixed blade knife, they aren’t any immediate survival tasks you can’t accomplish.

I’ve long held that Rucking is the best fitness preparation for preparedness and Clay agrees in this book, laying out a great program to get you out and moving.  A note about rucking…if it’s raining on the day you wanted to ruck 6 miles, DO IT ANYWAY.  In the real world, you may have to move over terrain carrying a load in the rain, & your life will depend on it.  I swear that the instructors at the West Coast School of Infantry aboard Camp Pendleton knew a rain dance because it was like a monsoon every time we went over 5 miles in full gear.  Stop being soft.

I really liked his discussion of Tactical Darwinism, and it applies in life in a lot of other areas as well (like organized retail crime, my current focus).

Clay makes the same case I do about going gray in public.  We’ve already lost in the streets, and they are straight up killing people in the streets right now for wrong think and the police are arresting only people from one side who get out and resist.  Save your energy for when this situation goes kinetic, which is unavoidable at this point.  Right now, Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu is your best tactic.

Y’all know I like to quote God’s Ultimate Tactical Handbook, but in this edition, a new verse has been added by Clay:

A bully will put you in traction,

But a professional will put you in a pine box.

Book of Martin, 9:168

This is 100% accurate and why tip your hand which one you are ahead of time.

Martin gives a very good discussion on planning for neighborhood security and how best to go about organizing and securing the neighborhood, including how to fort up in a strongpoint and he gives great advice on how to fortify a house.  Buy the book.  All I’ll say is that after reading it, I’m pricing chain link, 2×4’s, and barbed wire.  I would add to his neighborhood security section the force multiplier of using radio.

In the book, Clay gives very practical advice on guns and gear, and he gives the same caution I do…If you have a main combat rifle in an obscure or special caliber, because the editors at Guns Gone Wild told you it was THE caliber, what are you going to do when all that’s on the battlefield dropped by the bad guys is 5.56 or 7.62?  Clay points out that after your initial load out, you should be able to re-supply off the battlefield.  If you’ve read anything by me, you’ll know that “Battlefield Pickup” is one of my favorite phrases.

In his discussion on hardening your home, I admit, I had never considered his escape hatch idea…buy the book, you’ll love it and get to work on it immediately.

Another great quote from the book comes from history and the Rhodesians….”An obstacle is only an obstacle if it’s covered by fire”.  Agreed, and let’s Make Zimbabwe Rhodesia Again.  In all seriousness, if you want a free preview of what’s to come, read about what happened there.

The chapter on escape planning had a few great ideas I had never considered and are highly recommended.  I live a block from a river & had only considered using the hiking trails along it, not the river itself.

To recap, this book is worth three times the price you’ll pay for it.  It’s available at:

The book is certainly worth adding to your preparedness library.

2 Week Warning

2 Week Warning

As we approach the 2 week line, it’s vital that you take a few minutes to ensure that you are prepared for the chaos that this election is going to bring.

No, I’m not saying “may bring” or “might bring”.  If you are of the belief that the election is going to resolve the state of affairs in the United States, you just aren’t being realistic and you haven’t been paying any attention.

Just today, from the right, I had a woman say “After the election, ANTIFA will be destroyed just like ISIS by Trump”.  Really?  Is Donald Trump not the President today?  Who’s votes does him waiting secure?

On the left, today you literally have prominent figures talking about opening “deprogramming centers” and “re-education camps” that Trump supporters will have to go in.

Neither side is completely rational at this point.  

Both the left and the right have become so entrenched in their positions, that the final winner of the election, no matter who it is, will spark violence.  Now, actually read all the words (You know who I’m talking to), this article has nothing at all to do with left or right, it has to do with your PREPAREDNESS, because BOTH sides have a potential to erupt into violence.

Should Biden win, the right will scream that they only way he won is through fraud, and if Trump wins, the left will scream that he only won through election tampering and foreign influence.  

The actual facts or accuracy of either position ARE COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT.

What you need to do is prepare to look after your family and loved ones, regardless.

…In this life,

You will have trouble…”

John 16:33

No one promised us peace on earth, in fact, we’ve been promised that in this life, you will have trouble, so let’s prepare for that eventuality.

The first thing to check on is that you have a sufficient supply of food and water for 14 days at home.  That’s not hyperbole, staying home during street protests is far more preferable than daily resupply trips.  

I know, a lot of people in our preparedness community will point to their 10 year supply of canned goods, but that doesn’t equal MEALS.  Do you have actual meal plans, using what you have?  SPAM and green beans gets old.  Have a variety of things that can be mixed together to make actual meals, not just going for quantity.  

Next, you should have an emergency binder that has information on all your family or group members.  Complete details, like phone number, height, weight, description, and a photograph, along with copies of any documents (Driver’s License, passport, Concealed Pistol License, etc).  This information should be checked for accuracy and updated right now, so that in the event someone goes missing, you can rapidly provide all details and a photo right away.

Area Study

Conduct an area study (for more information on this see: forwardobserver.com).  Locate areas that may be scenes of unrest on election day or right after and develop plans to avoid those areas in your daily travels.  If you can’t avoid them, develop alternate routes away from the area in the event you get caught up in a situation.  It’s also not a bad idea to make sure you have extra paper maps on hand.

In all honesty, if you can, plan to leave the cities for the first few days after the election.  If nothing develops, you can always come back.  The opposite is not true if you wait too long to leave an urban area.

Develop a communications plan.  Get with your family, or group of friends, or whatever mutual assistance group you have, and develop a mutually agreed on communications plan.  As a society, we are FAR too reliant on cellular technology,  Most of the groups I advise or train with have cell phone as the first method, and something like Zello, a cell phone 2 way radio app, as a back up.  If the cell network is overloaded or is down, you’ve lost them both.  When I work in executive protection, RADIO is the first option, and cellular the second. 

For most people, though, cellular can be the first option, as long as you have additional methods.  You methodology should include several options, such as cellular, then radio, then email, then pre-arranged signals left in areas to be viewed by those knowing the signals.  A lost communication plan is important as well, and that’s actions you decide to be taken if someone hasn’t been heard from in an agreed upon time.

If you’re incorporating radio, maintain a listening watch right now on the channels you plan to use so that you’re aware of any interference or changes that may need to be made.  When we do an Executive Protection advance, we carry our radios on the planned frequency to see if we hear anyone else using that frequency, who might interfere with our operation.

Whatever you decide on, make sure everyone agrees and IMMEDIATELY begins to carry the supplies to make that happen.  What I mean is, if radio is your back up to cellular, you need to carry a radio in your vehicle or with you at all times, for the next few weeks.

Develop and implement a security plan.  No, it can’t be “rely on the police”.  The police already aren’t coming to assist people caught up in civil unrest, so as it gets worse, you absolutely should not make them your first line of defense.

Matthew Doloff shot Lee Keltner, right or wrong, within 50 feet of police who watched the confrontation unfold and did nothing.  Yesterday, police watched ANTIFA attack a black man and simply asked them to go back behind their barricades.  In several cities, police have just stood by and let both sides fight it out in the streets.  

Police are primarily a response force, not a peacekeeping force.  

Develop a plan to keep your family or group secure and to check in on each other.  As it gets closer to the election, you may even decide to make up a duty roster of who monitors the news/social media at certain hours to learn what is happening in your area.

Inventory and gather needed first aid and medical supplies.  In addition to restocking all kits, consider buying to have on hand any medications you might want or need.  I keep a lot of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and allergy tablets on hand, as well as some Anti-Diarrheal medications (you don’t know what condition water supplies will be in).

Stage your supplies.  Keep a “go bag” or emergency kit ready to walk out the front door at all times.  I call this the 5 minute bag.  In the worse case scenario, you can take that bag and walk out of the neighborhood for a few hours or days and come back later, after the danger has passed.

Have additional supplies ready so that with a little more notice you can take more things with you.  I have 15 minute, 30 minute, and 3 hour designations.  With 3 hours notice, I can leave the house with enough food and supplies to survive indefinitely. It has enough food for a few months without hunting, fishing, or foraging.  Beyond that, I’d have to work at it, although my bug out location is self-sustaining as far as farming and hunting is concerned.

Your car should be kept prepared as well.  Maintain a full tank of gas daily, it doesn’t cost you any more to top if off each day than it does to fill it once a week, and it could literally save your life.  I also maintain additional gasoline storage at home, just be sure to rotate the stored gas occasionally (I do it whenever the price is very low).  In my car, I keep emergency supplies, including tarps and an emergency blanket, as well as a change of clothes and boots.  A change of clothes is necessary, because in a lot of jobs, work clothes aren’t exactly conducive to survival or overland travel.  A well-stocked first aid kit (check out solatac.com) is a literal life-saver.

Begin a daily intelligence-gathering and awareness routine where you check out local news, national news, and local Facebook groups of known protest organizations, to remain aware of potential disturbances.

Most importantly, get over the normalcy bias that this will all go away after the election, it won’t.  It’s actually more likely to get worse.

Let me leave you with one last piece from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Earth.

I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Matthew 10:34

If Jesus Himself warned of war and troubles, shouldn’t you listen and prepare?

Being A Warrior

Knight’s Oath

In the tactical community, many people talk about being a warrior, or having a warrior mindset, but do they really understand what that means?

A lot of people in the preparedness community calls themselves warriors as well, but it’s not really required to be a warrior and that’s OK.

Here, we’re going to give a historical perspective on it, and consult the Ultimate Tactical Handbook, the Bible, for a few references.

We are referring to someone who considers themselves a righteous protector, not just a warrior.  Throughout history, there were also evil warriors; so in here we’re dealing only with those who consider doing good (or at least not evil) as their goal.

In the middle ages, men were generally either serfs or warriors. In other words, you were either a poor person who served someone else and lived at their pleasure, or you were a fighter for someone else.   The only way to not be a serf (read: slave) was to become a warrior.

The time is coming when this will be true again.  The tools and modes of travel will be different, but the concept will be exactly the same.  You will either be able to fight for your independence and the well-being of others, or you will serve someone.  Those are the only two choices.

At the outset of the article, I began with the Knight’s Oath from The Kingdom of Heaven (highly recommended film).  While it’s not exactly what every order used, it captures the essence of the medieval knight:

  1. Be fearless
  2. Be brave & upright
  3. Speak the truth
  4. Safeguard the helpless 
Bushido

The Code of Bushido had similar requirements:

  1. Honor
  2. Respect
  3. Integrity
  4. Heroic Courage
  5. Honesty & Sincerity
  6. Duty & Loyalty
  7. Compassion

I find it fascinating that warrior cultures thousands of miles apart who had no contact with each other had similar ideas and almost an identical code of what a righteous defender was.

May be that’s because they had a divine inspiration & foundation.  Let’s look at what the Ultimate Tactical Handbook has to say about Warriors and the Warrior Ethos:

Rescue those being led away to death;

Hold back those staggering toward slaughter.

Proverbs 24:11

That seems pretty similar to safeguarding the helpless and having compassion, as exemplified by the Knight’s Oath and Bushido.

We should all strive to defend those who cannot defend themselves and help those who cannot help themselves.  In a without-rule-of-law scenario, it will be equally vital, particularly if the police cannot or will not respond to help.

…But if you do wrong, be afraid; 

For he does not bear the sword in vain…

Romans 13:4

This relates directly to serving justice, honor, integrity, and duty.  The wrong-doer should fear good warriors.  A true warrior is a righter-of-wrongs.  Not for the sake of desiring to punish others, but for the sake of justice itself.  Side note for the social justice warriors who will read this…Justice has nothing whatsoever to do with FAIRNESS.  Life isn’t fair.

Have you ever noticed that the current mob violence never targets true warriors, unless they vastly outnumber them?  That’s because a TRUE warrior gives off a vibe that bad actors can sense.  

Watch a true warrior walk into a crowd…the crowd parts for him, not the other way around.  They don’t do this out of fear or out of his menacing; quite the opposite.  They do it because a true warrior just appears to be someone to be respected, and so they move out of his way.  (Or her way…don’t send angry emails).

Be watchful, stand firm,

Be like men, be strong.

1 Cornithians 16:13

Everyone should be watchful, but a true warrior, like the Knight’s Oath and Code of Bushido explain, will stand firm, brave, and courageous in the face of whatever comes their way.  Adversity is a fact of life.  A warrior faces it and deals with it.  

Being fearless doesn’t mean that we have NO fear, it means that we put those fears in their proper place and don’t let them control us.  We are the masters of our domain.

We certainly don’t cower in fear in own homes, just because our government tells us to (I’m looking at you, Governor Whitmer).

Together they will be like warriors in battle,

Trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets.

Zechariah 10:5

Admit it, like my friend BullRush admitted, you had no idea such cool things were in the Bible, did you?  Wait until next week, when I introduce you all to one of God’s secret agents and expert prepper Elijah.

Warriors have restraint, but once they take action, they fight together with a determination to win.  Mindset is the most important part of fighting. 

Warriors know that the Lone Ranger is a children’s story, and that true warriors need a band, a tribe, a clan.  It takes a team to accomplish anything worthwhile, so warriors find like-minded people and train to work together towards a common goal (like trampling your enemies in the mud).

I am the Good Shepherd;

The Good Shepherd lies down His life for the sheep

John 10:11

A warrior is willing to lay down his life in the defense of his family & friends, those who cannot defend themselves, and his cause.  But, most importantly, he is willing to lay down his life for his PRINCIPLES.

Complying and giving up principles for the sake of getting along is called SERFDOM.  

At some point, everyone who considers themselves to be a warrior must decide which principles they are willing to sacrifice their lives or freedom for.  If you feel that there is no principle in which you are willing to either die for or be imprisoned over, you aren’t a warrior; you’re a serf.

I hope these points provoke some thoughts and soul searching.  

I’ve already made my decisions.

How Not To End Up On The News

I’m not going to defend these geniuses (because you can’t) and their crazy, I’ve-seen-one-too-many-action-films plan to attempt to kidnap the Michigan Governor, but there are some pieces of tactical wisdom that this tale brings out, along with some truths from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook.

First, let me say that I don’t advocate or condone any illegal activity.  The problem lies with folks talking about hypotheticals and drawing you into something that you THOUGHT was a hypothetical discussion, right up until the FBI tosses a flash-bang into your living room.

My friend Rob (robsays.net) frequently mentions the martial art of Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu, or the art of avoiding situations but not hanging around with idiots or in places where idiots congregate.  That actually would have prevented all of these people being charged.  That brings me to our first truth:

The mouths of fools are their undoing,

And their lips are a snare to their very lives.

Proverbs 18:7

This entire situation began with people talking big and running their mouths about “What I Would Do” at an event, and it got overheard by an FBI Confidential Human Source.

If someone attempts to engage you in a such a crazy conversation, don’t even entertain it.  Simply nodding or laughing politely at their dumb proposition could be interpreted as going along with it, and can land your name on a law enforcement report.  Unequivocally reject their statement, “No, I don’t want to hear your plan and I don’t want any part of it”.  WALK AWAY from these people.  IMMEDIATELY.

When you read the indictment, you’ll see that these discussions occurred at events where people into preparedness might have been; a shooting range, a Second Amendment Rally, an Open The State Rally.  Guard your tongue and don’t engage people (no matter how well you know them) who espouse extreme ideas.

Also in the indictment, you’ll read that while they only relied on data from 2 Confidential Human Sources (informants) and 2 undercover agents, there were several other Confidential Human Sources inside these groups.  I’ve mentioned before that militia groups and preparedness groups are a favorite institutional target of federal law enforcement, despite a lack of any evidence that they are dangerous.  That bring us to another point:

 Keeping a close watch on Him,

They sent spies, who pretended to be sincere.

They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said,

So that they might hand Him over to the power and authority of the Governor.

Luke 20:20

Federal law enforcement lives and breathes through “Source Operations”, or informants.  It’s their lifeblood.  The indictments here indicate that at least 4 informants were inside a small group of people.  Let that sink in.  

I’ve long held that the White Supremacy movement in America is 14 actual White Supremacist guys living in Idaho and about 1,400 federal agents and informants trying to convince them to take criminal action.

I know, all of you are thinking, “But I’m not doing anything illegal”.  No, you aren’t, but there is still no reason to ever put yourself in a situation where a Confidential Human Source can put your name on their report or in a recording.  Mere presence during a stupid conversation is enough, so make sure that your disagreement with the premise of any stupid conversation is loud and vocal.  

So many of us meet some eccentric personalities in our preparedness community, and we smile and nod our heads at their silly rantings.  If you read this indictment from Michigan, that appears to be where all of this started.  Read all the way through and you’ll see that merely NOT saying anything isn’t enough.  Several of the people arrested failed to answer a fishing expedition for interest from one of the informants, but that wasn’t enough.  An unequivocal NO is what you need to say, loudly and publicly.

Again, Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu is your best defense.  I’ve mentioned before that joining a militia or calling your assistance group a militia automatically puts you on the law enforcement radar.  Arguing about how wrong that is doesn’t help; we have to live in the reality as it is, not as it should be or how we want it to be.

This week’s very public arrests will make this situation worse.

That being said, if you find yourself in a situation where someone brings one of these situations up, we feel awkward about rejecting them.  We usually say how impossible it would be, or how expensive it would be.  When someone then suddenly presents a funding source, or a viable plan for their crazy scheme, run away from that person immediately.  Reject their idea and cut ALL ties.  

As we can see by the indictment this week, the Confidential Sources were provided over $20,000 for expenses to further the scheme.  Now, I know none of us are interested in illegal activity, but if an acquaintance suddenly has a large bankroll to do stupid things and buy things for you, don’t accept.  Run the other way.  

I genuinely believe that most of these people honestly thought that they were having a hypothetical conversation and training just for fun.  Even if only 3 or 4 people take active steps, but you all meet regularly, you’re a part of it.  Read the indictment, that’s what it truly sounds like.  It sounds to me like the CHS’s provided the ideas and cash, to buy explosives and gear from the undercover agents, which is a tactic the FBI has used for decades.  Anyone who didn’t specifically say no, was rounded up.

We’ve all sat around and had conversations, especially in this current environment, about our government, and our leaders.  It’s sad to have to say this, but you MUST be careful of what you say, even among friends.  The federal government is looking to find people in the preparedness/militia community, rightly or wrongly, who are interested in going farther than talk, and you could get caught up in a dumb situation.  

Social media is another place to guard your words.  Putting out comments about government figures can later be used against you.  Be smart and level headed. I know, too, that my militia friends and acquaintances love to post their training photos, but they really should understand the risk they take in doing so.

The indictment mentions that they monitored encrypted chats, because an informant was part of the chat.  Now, I use encrypted email for my client’s security, because we discuss confidential business issues.  But I’d never be a part of an encrypted group chat, unless I KNEW that the purpose was 100% lawful and would withstand scrutiny.  

I’ve had people ask to have an encrypted chat with me on a one-on-one basis, and I have had those conversations, but it’s always about a one-on-one issue and someone I know and trust, and about entirely legal, but sensitive issues (an occupational hazard, unfortunately).  I honestly can’t imagine a situation in which I’d accept a request for a secure chat with someone I don’t know, and neither should you.  Also, if that one friend (you know who I’m talking about, we all have one), asks everyone join an encrypted chat, say no. 

To recap, in our current environment, it’s easy to fall into discussions with people about the government, government figures, or public figures.  Even the most best-intentioned of us can find themselves in an uncomfortable discussion that we want no part in.  In our current state of affairs, you can’t afford to be polite; you must reject any discussion about taking illegal action immediately, unequivocally, and publicly, for your own protection.

Avoid fools and spies, by practicing Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu.

Communications Preparedness

Recently, there was a social media discussion about radios and being prepared.  I frequently talk about this topic, and while most people talk about what gear your need, you all know I’m more about the practical skills aspect.

Let me say it again: SKILLS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN GEAR.

Just as it does me no good to have a $3,500 rifle that I don’t know how to clean or zero, it does me no good to have a $5,000 HF Radio set up and no ability whatsoever to make contact with anyone.  

And guess what?   That’s the norm in the preparedness community.  Don’t get offended, you and I both know it’s true.  People watch a YouTube video (because that’s the same as learning, right?) and run out and buy whatever “Super Prepper Steve” or “Ultra Ready Randy” were using in the video.  Then it sits in the box.  

I recently helped teach an event for a local group and I was amazed at how many had radios that they hadn’t programmed.  The core group had theirs ready, but many people had just bought the radio and left it in the box until someone offered to program it for them.  

That boggles my mind….what if the power had gone out before they ever got it programmed?  They’d have a cool paperweight.

So…lesson 1….For every piece of gear you have, commit that you will not buy another until you’ve learned how to put this SPECIFIC piece of gear into use.  This applies to everything, because knowing how to shoot a deer rifle, for example, isn’t the same as firing an AR platform, which is also different from firing an AK.  Radios are the same, backpacks and tents are the same, etc.

The next point that comes up in discussing radio preparedness is should you get licensed or not.  That’s a personal decision you have to make, I personally choose not to.  Before all the Amateur Radio guys (who are a great resource and good friends) pounce on me, let me explain:

  • It’s my PERSONAL choice, I’m not advocating either way.
  • Just as the Second Amendment allows me to choose how I exercise it, I feel that the First Amendment is also an absolute with no government regulation needed.
  • I feel no need to add myself to another government list.
  • When the government decides to invoke the Defense Production Act, guess where they will find a list of people who might have the radio gear they want to seize?
  • In an emergency, no license is needed to transmit on any frequency.
  • The biggest value radio has is in the ability to GATHER information by LISTENING.
  • Lastly, my local team will all be in the same area, so we can use license-free gear for local comms, including CB and CB SSB for long range if needed.

Let’s address some of the problems people will claim there are in this philosophy and the practical skills to combat that.

First, people will say getting licensed allows you to practice and stay aware of what’s going on now.  I can practice the same radio skills using license-free bands and equipment with my local team and some other groups.  

Also, everyone is able to listen in on ARES/RACES/SKYWARN radio traffic.  These are Amateur Radio emergency networks that operate in weather/disaster scenarios and they run regular networks and training events.  Monitoring them with your own equipment will help develop skills and will keep you informed.  Learn the local Amateur radio frequencies and program them into your radios.  When severe weather or a potential issue arises, you can establish a radio listening watch.

The next argument people raise is that there will be a lot of traffic on license free bands like FRS and MURS.  I submit that there might be now, but when a disaster strikes, the average person is going to run out of battery power within hours and the traffic will drop almost immediately.  Most FRS equipment is so low-power that it won’t affect me and my team anyway.  

Among the arguments against using the 5 no license required MURS channels is that businesses use them, like Walmart (here they use 4 and 5).  Again, in a grid-down, without-rule-of-law situation, that’s not actually going to be a concern.  

They way to combat these issues to set up your radio and LISTEN now.  I’ve been maintaining a watch on FRS 3, and occasionally I’ll hear a couple of kids playing around on the radio.  I seriously doubt that in an emergency the kids will break out the radios and run around the neighborhood.  As a side note to that, human beings are lazy creatures.  Monitor FRS 1 for any period of time and I’ll prove it.  On FRS 1, you’ll hear constant chatter that is ether kids playing or some local business, because they’re too lazy to actually change the channel.

“But, FRS 3 is the national prepper channel and I can’t use it if someone else is”.  No, FRS 3 (and MURS 3) is the National Prepper CALLING channel.  You should practice making contact one on channel, and then switching to another to actually talk.  Your group should have have pre-planned calling and then “talk-around” or “tactical” channels.  

For example, in my group, we have our own calling channel we call Main, and then 8 other channels we call the TAC channels, all of which are in license-free bands.  I can call someone on the main channel, and tell them to meet me on TAC 5, and no one listening in will know what actual channel I’m referring to.

The next issue people will raise is the ability for others to monitor your traffic.  News Flash…that still is a concern if you have an amateur radio license.  Any handheld has a maximum of 5 watts of power, and someone would have to be pretty close to actually interfere with or monitor  our radios.  Conversely, we regularly monitor ANTIFA radio traffic (yes, they use license free bands).

Truth be told, there is literally no way you can make your radios free from interception.  Even encryption is false security, because the United States Government isn’t about to let you buy a radio that they can’t listen to.

Skill wise, work with your team on a radio calling protocol.  Your main channel should be used for emergency traffic or for ALL-CALL type traffic that everyone needs to hear.  Practice calling on your main channel, then switching to an alternate for conversations.  This is more secure, and keeps the main channel clear for emergency traffic.

Carrying that to a larger perspective, if you have a large group at a compound or small community, you could assign TAC channels to each group, security, medical, farming, etc, while all groups also monitor the main channel.

Quad Watch

Getting a radio with Dual-Watch capability helps here.  This refers to the ability to monitor 2 channels at once. My vehicle radio (which doubles as a base station) has a Quad-Watch capability.  

Get radios now, and start listening to amateur bands, and start monitoring the license-free bands around you, to determine what channels will most likely be free for your group.

The next thing your group needs to do is establish a set of Signal Operating Instructions, or an SOI.  This is a mutually understood plan for communications.  It will list channels/frequencies, pre-set radio plans, contact schedules, and the like.  This should be typed out and everyone should have a copy, because in an emergency, it’s a lot easier to open a book than it is to remember things.

Membership in the American Redoubt Radio Operators Network, or AmRRON (www.amrron.com) includes a copy of their SOI, as well as guidance for modifying it for your own group’s use.  They also conduct training exercises and weekly network tests.

During a true without-rule-of-law situation, you’ll have to accept that there is potential to be monitored, so some sort of mutually agreed upon code should be devised.  Yes, HAM friends, I know that the FCC forbids codes on radio traffic, but if the grid is down and a band of looters is planning to attack my bug out location, the FCC rolling up is the least of my concerns, and quite frankly, they’ll have bigger issues to attend to than me calling my barn “The Nest” on a half-second 5-watt transmission in the middle of nowhere.

Besides, every group of friends has nicknames for the places they go or frequent that is unique to them, so start there.

There is a ton more information on this topic in the AmRRON SOI.

This was a brief recap of an extensive topic, and I highly recommend doing additional research and seeking real training opportunities.

In short, get radios and spare batteries, and learn how to use them NOW, before they are needed. 

Survival Tool Reviews

I Love GEAR

I want to start by saying that I haven’t gotten paid for these reviews, and I bought these items myself.  Having said that, these three are fantastic tools that each person should have. I keep all three in my vehicle emergency kit at all times.

The first one I bought was the emergency shovel.  I wanted a portable shovel, but something larger than the E-Tool (entrenching tool) that I carried in the Marine Corps.  This shovel is quite a bit longer, but still not as long as a traditional shovel.  It’s exactly what I was looking for.

When I was in the USMC, the first thing everyone did with their e-tool was sharpen one edge to use as an axe.  This shovel head has a pre-sharpened axe on one side, and a serrated knife/saw on the other, along with a small blade cut-out for cutting cordage to lengths you need in camp or the field.  There are also two hexagonal cut-outs to be used as wrenches, although I’ve never used them.

As you can see, it has four sections.  The shovel head can be used as a shovel, at 90 degrees as a hoe, or at 45 degrees as a pick or hook.  The next section has an impact head, which, as you can see below, can be used to make the handle into a self-defense weapon.  The third section has a combination saw/knife blade, which is decent (but not as solid as a dedicated field knife).  The top handle section accepts standard screwdriver heads.  There is also a compass and a fire steel inside this top section.

A few months ago, I bought a “survival walking stick”.  This tool is the longest and it has five sections plus the walking/striking tip.  Inside the top handle is again a compass and fire steel, but this one also has a whistle.

Survival Walking Stick

You can make tools of any length with the walking stick and it comes with a knife/saw blade that also has a bottle opener and a can opener.  There is a spear tip, as well as a second spear that they call an “ice breaker” tip.  It also has a section that accepts standard screw driver tips.

You can see how this walking stick and be useful for many survival and camping uses, and I carry it on every hike and keep it my car.

For the martial artists among us, I practice bo staff forms using the walking stick, so that I’m comfortable using the shorter length of it to defend myself.  You can also make two sections, each with a spear point, for self defense.

The last one, I just bought this week and am still field testing it.  It’s a survival axe.  Inside the box, it comes with the axe head, two handle sections, and a knife blade that has a saw back, and a can opener.

Inside the handle again there is a compass, fire steel, and a whistle.  If you unscrew the compass top, underneath is what they call a “window breaker”, but I call a striking tip.  You can use the axe at one end, and strike with the base as well.

The axe head also has a small hammer on the other side, perfect for putting in tent stakes, or many other camp/survival uses.

The axe also came with a sharpening stone and some lubricant for sharpening.

These three tools are a great collection to have.  I bought them all from different places, but they are clearly all from the same original manufacturer somewhere in China.  They are all made of high strength steel and are very solid.  I was surprised at how well made they were for the price.

I got them from Amazon (www.amazon.com) and E-Bay (www.ebay.com).  

All three came with a compass and fire steel, and two out of three also have a whistle.  There is plenty of extra room inside the sections to store survival items like water purification tablets or sections of fishing wire with hooks, which is what I do.  You could also put waterproof matches and tinder inside the sections.

My only complaint is that they are all of different widths, so that the sections aren’t interchangeable.   I imagine that’s by design so that you have to have all three, rather than just buying interchangeable heads.

I did find however, that the axe head fits on the shovel handle, and that the top handle section of the axe has a size reducer, so that you can actually use both the axe and shovel handles together.  I made a full-size axe using both handles together.

The items are fairly inexpensive, I paid less than $100 for all three, which makes them a great deal.

They area very portable, with both the shovel and the walking stick coming with carrying bags, and the axe coming with a belt-loop sheath.  However, I’ve found that the axe fits very nicely (just like my SOG Tomahawks do) inside a USMC issue 40mm grenade pouch (the handle slides down nicely through the hole at the bottom for drainage), and I attached the pouch to my backpack.

I’ve also carried the shovel on my backpack inside a USMC issue E-Tool carrier, but if you do that, you need a towel or shemagh wrapped around the sections to reduce noise, as they fit too loosely and rattle.

I hope these reviews help you decide on some gear to carry.

The NFAC….Again

GrandMaster Jay

The illustrious NFAC made an appearance in Lafayette Parrish, Louisiana this weekend, and there were the usual hilarious photos of the knuckleheads with ridiculous magazines, WalMart optics, and airsoft vests.

Several people came out on the internet right away, dismissing them once again as clowns and dismissing GrandMaster Jay as a fraud trying to glorify himself and the Black Hebrew Israelite ideology.

While I don’t disagree with these on a straight analysis basis, I think there is a real danger here that we are overlooking because we’re so busy laughing at them.  I’d like to discuss the danger here.  Don’t worry, we’ll do our fair share of laughing along the way.

Before they even began marching, one of them, right in front of the cameras, dropped his shotgun.  Listen, if you’re going to carry a long gun into battle, invest in a sling.  Hell, tie a string to it if you have.  I once learned at a training center that shall not be named in Moyock, North Carolina, “Always look cool, always look like you know what you’re doing, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, at least look cool.”  Dropping your primary weapon system violates all those rules at the same time.

While moving to the park, at least one member had a magazine fall out of his gear while running, right in front of the media.  The difference between real gear and airsoft gear is that real gear allows you to actually secure your magazines.

Heavy Weapons Section

I think the guys above were taking the term “Heavy Weapons Section” a bit too literally.

Don’t be fooled by their fancy posturing during their “patrol”.  If you watch the video, you’ll see that there are fences erected all the way along the route.  That’s because the NFAC got a permit and they walked along a route that was secured by the LaFayette Parrish Sheriff’s Office, who they were allegedly protesting.  Real defiance to authority is apparently getting a permit and walking only where they allow you to.

I heard one guy as the march began shouting “Keep your head on a swivel”….cool movie quote, bro.  At least he didn’t say “Stay Frosty, gents”.

At one point, during a security halt, they had the main body kneel, while the personnel facing outboard stood.  If you have ever served in anything other than Motor T or Food Services, you know that this is backwards.  If there was a threat, the people in the center of the formation would have had to return fire through their own people.  

Cool Mag, bro…

Then, there’s this gem.  I guarantee you that the 90 round AK magazine was empty, otherwise this cat would’t have made it 4 blocks carrying it.  Also indicative of an empty AK mag is the fact that this guy kept drawing his pistol and holding it in his hand during GrandMaster Jay’s speech.  Now, if I had been on Jay’s detail, and a man within 10 feet of Jay had drawn a loaded pistol, he’d have only done it one time.

Jones

It certainly wouldn’t have been an NFAC march without an accidental discharge, and this one did not disappoint.  While the Sheriff’s office claims that this guy (Terrance Jones) was not affiliated with the NFAC, he was armed and inside their perimeter when he accidentally discharged his handgun.  Twice.  It’s worth noting that he was illegally carrying the firearm.

Now, let’s get onto the danger part.

Watch out for false prophets.

They come to you in sheep’s clothing,

But inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 7:15

Grandmaster Jay is a good public speaker, for his target audience.  He was a US Army sergeant (an admin clerk by his own admission on Saturday, “I was the S1”).  I can remember a time in history when a corporal from the Austro-Hungarian army who happened to be a good public speaker set the entire world on fire and launched a genocide on a massive scale.  

Those aren’t the only similarities between Jay and Hitler.  Both openly proclaimed the superiority of their race.  Both believed that their race was unfairly policed, unfairly persecuted, and deserving of it’s own exclusive territory.  They both believed that every member of their race deserved guaranteed employment, healthcare, housing, and the right to self-police their own community. They both also, interestingly, believed in occultist religious ideology.

I’ve always maintained that no matter how ridiculous you think the NFAC is, they can still kill you, and they can still cause widespread disorder, death, and destruction.  The British laughed at the ragtag band of men who gathered on the green in Lexington with mis-matched gear, hunting rifles, and no formation.  It didn’t work out very well for them.  ISIS was about as disorganized as modern forces can be, but they seized most of Iraq and Syria after starting with just a few pickup trucks by being more committed and willing to die than the other side was.

I want to take a few minutes to point out some of his more egregious quotes, that most will overlook, because they are too busy laughing at the NFAC.  

Grandmaster Jay led several chants of “BLACK POWER”.  He also admonished the crowd to “Be BLACK first”, which got him thunderous applause.  You see, it’s not Jay and the NFAC we have to worry about; it’s who his racist rhetoric INSPIRES TO ACTION.

At one point, Jay said don’t vote for anyone who doesn’t make promises to do something for your race, which is a very racist statement.  I prefer candidates who will do something for EVERYONE.  But the scarier part came just after…Jay said that after that person gets elected, if they don’t deliver for the black race, you have to be prepared to do it “old School” and go and physically remove them from office.  That violates 18 USC 2385, for those keeping score.

From there, it took the turn that scared me the most.  In reference to Black Lives Matter protests, he said that the black community is doing it wrong.  He said that the black community needs to stop “bringing signs to a gunfight, and stop singing and dancing for the police who are killing you”.  These are specific calls to violence.  

Now, we all know that Grandmaster Jay himself isn’t going to take violent action; he loves the spotlight and attention that freedom and stages give him.  But make no mistake, he intends to incite violence by others.

Grandmaster Jay also said, in reference to interacting with the police, “If they put their hands on you, put them in the hospital or in the morgue”.  Again, while he isn’t going to do anything, he’s specifically calling for violent resistance to any police contact.  That violates 18 USC 2384.

We all know that Grandmaster Jay himself is all talk.  He said they’d burn down Louisville if they didn’t get charges within 4 weeks; that deadline came and went.  Then, he said they’d overrun and shutdown the Kentucky Derby; yet all they did was march around on the route the police allowed.

However, rhetoric like his is why a young man in Louisville opened fire on police during the protests there, wounding two.

It’s so easy to look at the images and watch the NFAC march and laugh, but that is dangerous.  Pay attention to what he’s saying and encouraging others to do.  Like all race hustlers, he isn’t going to risk arrest and take action, but he hopes others will.

It’s very easy to write off the American sergeant, but remember the lesson the world learned when they wrote off the Austrian corporal.   They are far more similar than they appear.

Tactics – David in the Desert of Ziph

David Stealing the King’s Spear

Modern tactics are really nothing more than the same tactics used for thousands of years, just re-written to sound more high tech.  It was once said that it was the longbow, and not the infantryman that became obsolete, and the horse, not the cavalryman.  That is very true.

However, the same combat engineer and security skills that Nehemiah used in Jerusalem are still in use today, as are the same recon skills and tactics that David used in the Desert of Ziph, thousands of years ago.

In 1 Samuel 26, a great adventure story plays out that proves that the Bible is still the ultimate tactical handbook.  Let me set the stage.

King Saul knew that David was going to replace him some day, so he decided to kill David.  David has already survived one assassination attempt.  David and his small band of warriors were hiding out in the wilderness of the Desert of Ziph.

King Saul brought 3,000 troops and because the force was so large, they had to camp right beside the road….You can’t hide 3,000 men making a trail.  These two pieces are the first tactical lessons in this story.  

  1. Don’t bring a massive force to search for a small force, it’s very easy to track, and hard to hide.  
  2. Don’t set up or halt in an obvious danger zone, where you can be found or observed easily.

When David heard that Saul was near, he immediately sent out scouts, who fixed the location of Saul’s forces and reported back to David.  Two more quick tactical points that are equally valid today:

  1. Have an intelligence network up and running, so that you hear about things happening.  Because David had a network, his team immediately knew when a threat was near.
  2. Confirm all reports by getting your own people to physically observe what’s been reported.  David could have launched an attack as soon as he heard, but what if Saul wasn’t really there?  David would have exposed his meager force.

Once David’s scouts reported back to the main body where the enemy was, David immediately went to take a look himself and finalize a plan.  Today, we give that the fancy name of “Leader’s Reconnaissance”, but despite the modern name, it’s the same thing David did. 

  1. Conduct a Leader’s Recon to finalize the plans.  David took one other man with him, for security.
  2. When leaving on a Leader’s Recon, issue a “GOTWA” plan.
    1. Going:  Where you are going
    2. Others: Who is going with you
    3. Time: Time of your return
    4. What: What to do if you don’t return
    5. Actions: What to do if you are attacked or the main body is attacked.

Now, David and his partner were able to sneak into the enemy camp undetected, because the King’s forces were confident that no one would attack a force of 3,000.

1. ALWAYS post security and have a security and sleep plan for your entire team.

David found where the King was sleeping, and the King’s spear and water jug were sitting near his head.  Rather than killing the King, which would have meant a victory, for about 2 seconds until the other 3,000 men killed David, David disarmed the King and took his water jug.

  1. Fighting is not always the best option.
  2. Sometimes, removing resources from an enemy force can force it to retire or lose (The Crusaders lost the Battle of Hattin because of a lack of water).

David and his escort then withdrew, but continued in a direction AWAY from their own forces, and secured themselves a position on a hill overlooking the enemy camp.

  1. Use deception by traveling in a unexpected direction or by leading pursuers away from your true positions.
  2. Always secure high ground and commanding terrain.
    1. Use the Acronym OCOKA to pick out the best position:
      1. Observation and fields of fire
      2. Cover and concealment
      3. Obstacles
      4. Key terrain
      5. Avenues of approach
OCOKA. Observation and Fields of Fire. Cover and Concealment. Obstacles. Key Terrain. Avenues of Approach. FM

The next morning, David contacted the enemy force and let them know that he had penetrated their camp and could have killed their King in his sleep, but chose not to.  The King was shaken by this, and saw it as a sign.  The King immediately vowed to stop pursuing David.  While we know that outcome isn’t certain in today’s world, it does give us a couple of tactical points.

  1. Sometimes, simply making it known that you COULD have taken action, but instead showed FORBEARANCE accomplishes far more than fighting.
  2. In preparedness, not every fight is a fight we SHOULD make.  In fact, we should avoid it as much as possible.

Now, that’s a fun analysis that illustrated some very basic tactical principles, but how does that apply to preparedness?

Most people who are into preparedness want to immediately talk about all the guns they have and all the tactical training they do, but that misses the entire point of preparedness.  

The point of preparedness is to SURVIVE.  Sure, being able to fend off an attack is a good skill to have, but it’s not always the best option.  

You aren’t going to be light infantry out in the outback with Mad Max, righting the wrongs of society. 

This story illustrates that by applying proper tactics, and accomplishing your goals WITHOUT fighting, you’ll be a lot better off in the long run.  Sure, David could have been all secret-squirrel ninja and killed the King, but how would he have gotten out of the camp, and then away from the pursuit that was sure to follow?

By not fighting, he solved the problem on a far more permanent basis.  Let that be the one tactical truth you take away from here.  

He was not showing weakness; remember that at this point, David was already known as a great Warrior.  He showed STRENGTH by choosing not destroy the King.

There is a great lesson in that.

The other lesson I hope people take away from this analysis of David’s tactics in the Desert of Ziph is that your training shouldn’t always involve punching holes in paper.  The ability to conduct Scouting & Patrolling, operate a Listening/Observation Post, and how to gather intelligence are all skills that anyone into preparedness should master, even more than shooting.

Be safe, and train for the real world.