"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rucksack to Backpack: Walk With Me In Hell

Rucksack to Backpack: Walk With Me In Hell

Posting this again, because I have reread it about 10 times today, and it keeps making more sense to me every time I do. No one knows what we have gone through unless they have actually been there and done it too. I understand this guy.

Links of Interest

Walk With Me in Hell at Rucksack to Backpack  No matter what your views on war are, be sure to thank a veteran for his sacrifice.  You might not think what the government does is just, but you cannot blame that on the individual soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine.  This post is a great synopsis of what most of us who have "been there and done that" are thinking.

U.S. Spies Buy Stake in Firm That Monitors Blogs, Tweets by Noah Shachtman at Wired dot com.  Scary stuff!  Wonder if I am on the hit list yet?

Twenty years later: Why the Berlin Wall Fell by S A Aiyar at The Times of India  The hamster analogy is priceless!

The Next Step in the Bank Implosion Cycle??? by Reggie Middleton at Zero Hedge dot com.  When the derivatives bubble pops, it will end us all.  Make sure you are ready!

Gallup’s Conservatives and Libertarians posted by David Boaz at CATO  If you tell people that "libertarian" means "fiscally conservative and socially liberal," 44 percent will accept the label.

The Fed Repays the Treasury Most Interest It Collects from the Treasury by Gary North at C4L

See you at Galt's Gulch!

Collapse (The Movie)

This looks pretty good, I'm going to have to check it out.


See you at Galt's Gulch!

Going Against the Libertarian Status Quo

What I want to talk about here is war.  Libertarians believe in a non-interventionist foreign policy, and I mostly agree with this.  But, like all good things, some well meaning libertarians take a nonaggression policy too far.  Is all war inherently wrong?  I say no!

Lets look at WWII first.  We took a nonintervention stance on the war in Europe for a long time.  Only after our country was attacked, in the Pacific no less, did we enter the war.  What followed was the full might of the American Military.  We had to institute a draft to get the numbers to win that war, and a properly waged propaganda campaign by our own government was able to bolster support for the draft and the war.  While I disagree with compulsory service, I understand that it worked at the time.  When John McCain was debating in the primaries, he told Ron Paul that his beliefs were the same isolationism that caused WWII.  I think what happened in WWII was a perfect example of how noninterventionism could and should flow to needed aggression.  We stayed out of it, until we were drug into it.  Then we went over and kicked ass to end it.  Again, I disagree with the draft, but it worked.

Having fought in Afghanistan during the opening salvos of our never ending War on Terror, I believed in the mission.  We didn't need a draft.  Recruiting number spiked to phenomenal levels as kids straight out of high school joined up.  When Iraq kicked off, my Marine Corps conditioning, "patriotism", and war fervor kicked in and I was fully supportive of President Bush's decision.  I drank the koolaide.  I had to.  Being on active duty, I was not allowed to voice a political opinion that was counter to the administration, so I did what most of my fellow gunfighters did.  I went with the flow.  Looking back on everything that has transpired I know that I was wrong about Iraq.  We should have never gone in.  I am not going to get into the why debate.  Whatever the why was, we ended up in Iraq.

Now, let's get back to Afghanistan.  Just like WWII, our country was attacked.  You can argue with me until you are blue in the face, I don't care.  We were attacked.  Not by a nation state, but by a nationless organization.  Bush's reaction to this was to find the center point of this group and attack there.  The problem is, he did it as a half measure.  Then, before doing what needed to be done, he moved onto a needless war in Iraq.

The way to win a war is to overwhelm your enemy with force, and break their will to fight.  To send a message to would-be attackers that violence and terrorism will not be tolerated.  We were so close to doing this in 2001 and 2002, but the effort was just not enough.  They slipped through our fingers.  Now, nine years later, after splitting our forces between a just war and an unjust war, we have let the true enemy slip through our fingers over and over again.  By doing this, we have allowed them to bolster support among the general populace, and we are now fighting a counter insurgency.  Now, we find ourselves bogged down in what can only be described as a Vietnam-esque quagmire.

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda...

If it had been up to me, we would have moved into Afghanistan not with Special Operations Forces and tactical air strikes, but with overwhelming force.  Special Forces are not shock troops.  They are a "force multiplier."  They train indigenous forces how to fight back.  In late 2001 and early 2002 we should have thrown the full weight of the US military into Afghanistan.  The terrain is rough, but overwhelming numbers of ground forces, combined with tactical air strikes and Special Operations Forces would have broke the enemy's will to fight.  It would have sent the right message.  It would have ended things quickly.  By staying out of Iraq, and concentrating on the tribal regions of Afghanistan with overwhelming numbers of infantrymen we could have accomplished what needed to be done, and got out before the counterinsurgency had a chance to build.  Just like the Cobra Kai dojo... "Strike first, strike hard, no mercy sir!"

What to do Now

By labeling this war as a Global War on Terror, we have effectively ensured that it will be another unwinnable never ending war like our War on Poverty or our War on Drugs.  We have to end this.  In order to get back to a solid noninterventionist foreign policy, we have to do three things.  First, we have to WIN the war in Afghanistan.  Second, we have to use that win to send message to any future generations that attacks on America will not be tolerated (ala WWII.)  Third, we have to get the hell out.  And I'm not talking about just getting out of Afghanistan.  We need to get out of the business of meddling in other countries affairs.  The reason we were attacked in the first place was because we were poking our nose where it didn't belong.

Why do we still have troops in Germany?  There is no Soviet threat anymore.  We need to pull our troops out of all foreign countries and start minding our own business.  This will lift a huge burden off of the taxpayer, and we can downsize our standing army.  Our Founding Fathers warned against standing armies.  They saw it as too much power vested in the federal government.

So, how do we accomplish this?  The libertarians and progressives disagree with sending more troops to Afghanistan.  General McChrystal wants an additional 40,000 troops.  Our country is already war weary, and our troops and their families are sick of constant deployments and short dwell time.  I understand this.  But sometimes you have to eat a little crow.  I think McChrystal's assessment is a half measure, just like Bush's initial response.  Promise those troops and families a way to win.  Show them a way out.  Give them some hope.  "If we do this, you wont have to deploy anymore."  40,000 extra troops is not enough.  I say, throw everything we have at them, just like we should have done to begin with!  By doing this, the war could actually be won.  Lets kick some ass, like we should have done nine years ago and get this thing done and over with.  The more we pussyfoot around the longer those troops and families will have to continue dealing with this.  Only after we have won can we start pulling our troops back from around the world and start practicing a libertarian nonaggression policy.

Let the comments begin!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quote of the Week

"As the middle class abandons thrift and production for financial speculation and highly leveraged debt (following the example of their Plutocratic overlords), tax revenues soar as leveraged speculation pyramids into bubbles, enabling vast expansions of a State which is inherently seeking constant expansion of its income and powers.

When these financial bubbles eventually deflate, then tax revenues plummet, as productive work and investment have declined. Why bother working hard when the big, easy money is made via leveraged speculation? Only fools would tolerate all the regulatory costs and high taxes imposed on producing goods and services; far easier to speculate in bubbling assets like housing, stocks, energy, etc.

The State responds to this drop in tax revenues by raising taxes on the remaining productive middle class, creating a positive feedback loop which reinforces the incentives to either drop out, move to speculation or game the system.

Though heavily marginalized, the underclass also copies the Plutocrats' lead by gaming whatever entitlements the State offers to buy the underclasses' silence, passivity and compliance. Thus petty corruption and fraud increases in all State entitlement programs as every sector of society seeks to suck off the maximum benefits while contributing the least possible to the public coffers.

Thus does a nation or empire built on the sacrifices and communal spirit of its citizenry degrade into a doomed culture of self-aggrandizement in which sacrifice is for suckers and looting, manipulation, fraud, embezzlement, exploitation of position/influence, debauchery of credit, maximization of leverage and the pursuit of speculative riches are the order of the day from the Plutocracy on down through the technocratic upper caste to the underclass."

--Charles Hugh Smith in Survival+

We are watching this happen right now!
See you at Galt's Gulch!

Links of Interest

Is Obama Our Bernie Madoff? by Wayne Allyn Root at ROOT for America  Wayne Allyn Root was the Libertarian Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2008 elections.

Precious Metals in Context: Prudence, Moderation and Balance by Gentleman Jim from Colorado at SurvivalBlog dot com.  Great article that puts precious metals in preps in perspective.

SILVER SPOT PRICE  Silver has dropped about one dollar per ounce in the last day.  Might be a good time to pick up a few ounces!

Survival Plus (Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation) by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds dot com.  This is a sample chapter from his book.  The guy has a different take on things, but it is well worth the read.  Broaden your horizons with this one.  Hat tip to Chris for emailing this to me.

Food will never be so cheap again by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at The UK Telegraph.  This is a British article, but still applicable to the US.

The Early History of a Worldwide Nuisance by James Bovard at C4L

Libelous Leftist Lynch Mobs by Thomas J. DiLorenzo at Lew Rockwell dot com.  WOW!  That's all I have to say.

See you at Galt's Gulch!


This should be my last day without a meaningful post.  For those of you who are regular readers, let me apologize.  I have been swamped with work.  I have been working on a survival post on Retreats/Bug Out Locations, and I should have it up tomorrow or, at the latest, the next day.

Today I will be doing my normal Links of Interest, so be sure to check them out.

Silver has dropped a dollar per ounce in the last day.  Now might be a good time to buy.  I think the days of sub-ten dollar ounces are long gone.  We all need to adjust to these new prices.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Links of Interest

The Threat of Mandatory Vaccinations by Adam Murdock, MD at C4L

To Make Health Care Affordable, Don’t Add Regulations - Repeal Them by Michael F. Cannon at CATO
Be sure to click the "Read the whole thing" link on the post to get the full story.  The other linked stories are good as well.

Be a Good Victim by David Rittgers at National Review Online  Great 2nd Amedment article!

Anything Less Than Full Disclosure is Unacceptable by Ron Paul at C4L

Still real busy.  Keep checking back for updates.  Sorry all!

See you at Galt's Gulch!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Links of Interest

Public Plan Opt-Out at National Journal Online  Be sure to read Michael F. Cannon's response.  He is the Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute

Can Government "Manage" the Economy? by Jacob Hornberger at C4L

Karl Marx as Religious Eschatologist by Murray N. Rothbard at Lew Rockwell dot com.  This is a long one, but a great read!

Obama's Tax on the Middle Class by Sheldon Richman at C4L

That is all I have for today.  I have been really busy lately.  I am working on another survival post, so hang in there.  I will have it complete in a few more days.

See you at Galt's Gulch!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Quote of the Week

CNSNews.com: “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”

Pelosi: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

CNSNews.com: “Yes, yes I am.”

Pelosi then shook her head before taking a question from another reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, then told CNSNews.com that asking the speaker of the House where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandate that individual Americans buy health insurance as not a "serious question."

You can put this on the record,” said Elshami. “That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.”


Not a serious question?  Who the hell does she think she is?

See you at Galt's Gulch!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


In the interest of fairness, I thought I would post this today.  Manny got all butt hurt over my last political cartoon, so I thought I would share some humor at the expense of the wrong Right as well...

An Invitation From President and Mrs. Bush

Originally posted by Lew Rockwell on October 23, 2009 04:41 PM on Lew Rockwell dot com.
Dear Alex B*******,

As a past supporter of President Bush, I would like to invite you to learn more about the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
The center is committed to advancing the four principles — Freedom, Opportunity, Responsibility, and Compassion — that guided his presidency and remain the focus of his and Mrs. Bush’s ongoing work.

Please accept my invitation by clicking on the link below and we will send you special updates.


Hon. Mark Langdale


George W. Bush Foundation


Hello Mark,

Thank you for your letter. I was just wondering where the President had disappeared to before I received this exciting news.

Do you think the Patriot Act will be displayed in some prominent location in the George W Freedom Center? That would be awesome. Maybe you could put it in one of those glass boxes that the Constitution and other dinosaurs are kept in. That would be a real crowd pleaser!

Also, a gruesome wax display of Saddam and his sons might draw in thousands of visitors every year. One side of the exhibit could show them as a happy family with their cheesy suits and their soccer balls and their fancy cars. Then when you walk around to the other side of the exhibit you would see wax versions of their mutilated bodies (as seen on TV) under a big sign that says “This is what happens to people that fly planes into our buildings!” Or maybe just “Freedom never sleeps!” Something like that.

It’s too bad Saddam’s head popped off when they hung him with the rope that was too long. That might be a difficult scene to recreate. Plus some sick Democrat might try to walk off with his head!

Anyways, I can’t afford to donate money to some rich dude’s library this year but I can always donate more ideas! Let me know.



Links of Interest

You Might Be a Constitutionalist If. . . by Chuck Baldwin at C4L

Interesting debate between the CATO institute (a libertarian think-tank) and the Heritage Foundation (a conservative think-tank) on the Patriot Act

Part One at the LA Times

Part Two at the LA Times

Yes, Mr. President: A Free Market Can Fix Health Care by Michael F. Cannon at CATO
350 Years of Economic Theory in 50 Minutes (VIDEO) by the Ludwig Von Mises Institute at YouTube
Why the White House Worries About Fox News by John Browne at C4L

Armed Resistance and Hiding Are Futile, Unless…  by Mark R. Crovelli

If you do not have time for anything else, read the last article.  It brings survivalism and libertarianism into perspective and gives us all a good idea where our priorities should lie.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hydrogen Barackside

Guest Post (The Answer)

This post was written by my buddy Chris.  He said he was half way through a bottle of bourbon when he wrote it, but the ideas he puts forth are amazing.  Tim Leary might have been onto something.  Turn on, tune in, and drop out!

The answer to our issues is the ability to no longer be a taxable member of society. But, I feel in keeping with free market and principals of freedom that truly the single step necessary for a government to become free and again serve the people as its designed to do is not term limits, or any measure of reform, but simply the ability to emancipate yourself of both being a taxable entity (and of all services rendered by the government). If such a situation can be brought to fruition then the fact that the government exists only to serve itself and retain its power will by necessity mean that it will do what is necessary to restore personal freedoms and lower punitive taxes on citizens so they will choose voluntarily (as it can no longer force them) to be a part of its society.

I open this for debate but I feel this simple change is the only answer to the political system which we have today (or the type which has existed for 4000 years in some form or another) of coercion and subjection based on your place of birth or business. (ie You’re born here, you’re a citizen, and you're expected to contribute!)

For if a country/civilization is to become truly free and voluntary while retaining a democratic structure (no matter how removed as it is in the USA) it will INVARIABLY become free and just for the alternative is too have the people under its power reject its authority.

Here are my comments on the video above.  I brainstormed this for a bit. I think this is fundamentally the answer, and obviously subversive as hell and will probably land me in jail.

The fundamental requirements of a free society of individuals are the ability to 1- know exactly what is required of you and what laws to which you will be subjected to and 2- have the ability to choose not to be a member of the society.

Any violation of these two rules is unquestionably a system of unlawful coercion and slavery of the humans who happen to be born within its domain.

Under a system in violation of the above rules the flag may as well be a picture of a woman giving birth because that alone is the determining factor in your allegiance.

Also to those who would say of such a place "all the rich people would leave" or "all the productive folk would go". Well then what does this say of the status quo? If the freedom exists for people to leave, just like in any free market environment, revisions will be made to remove the theft and unjust laws which restrict individual freedoms. As long as we are, by birth, a taxable entity of the country of our residence then nothing will be done by any government to ensure anything but its own survival (which will be the same motivation it will have for serving the people once they are free to emancipate themselves).

I think any argument which can be made against such an idea, once dissected to show its motivation will serve to show a view in favor of coercion and theft from others.

Also note that I am a proponent of emancipation from the federal government only. State and local taxes will and should be paid by all living freely in the jurisdictions (you have the ability to leave these easily should you disagree). Keep in mind those taxes pay for local police, fire, parks, roads and clinics. The only federal services used by the average responsible citizen are the highways and airports and we already pay a fee each time we use them in addition to taxes. Add a small yearly fee of a set amount to fund the defense department (we won’t even get into the validity of their endeavors here).

Be a citizen if you want or not if you want. I guarantee the result would be a realignment of your elected officials from the corporate interest which currently determine the course of our country to the will of the people VERY quickly.

Just a thought exercise on a quick non competitive unilateral solution to returning the USA to being a self governed nation whose government is, by necessity of their own survival, dependent upon the will of the people. Unlike now when your money is guaranteed and since the two controlling parties are identical they don't care about your vote.

As always, see you at Galt's Gulch!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Links of Interest

It has been a few days since I have posted anything.  Sorry.  The OpsTempo of my job has picked up again, and I haven't been getting much sleep.  I have a few posts jumping around in my head, so check back soon for updates.  Here are a couple of links to check out, both from the Campaign for Liberty. 

The Very Busy Politicians in Washington DC by Ron Paul

Will Today's U.S.-Armed Ally Be Tomorrow's Enemy? by Tom Engelhardt

And finally, here is a video worth watching.  It is about a half hour long, but I highly recommend taking the time to check it out.  Hat tip to Chris for sending this to me!

Quote of the Week

"Of course, no form of government, not even one that respected its Constitutional restraints, would magically create a problem-free society. The question is: how should a society deal with its problems? The form of government that our founders envisioned, in which the federal government was strictly constrained by the Constitution, allows private citizens and communities to solve their own problems. The role of the government should be to protect contracts, punish fraud and violence through appropriate laws, law enforcement and the courts. Not a whole lot of laws or bureaucrats are really necessary to work on just that. Instead, new laws are constantly needed to fix the problems that previous unconstitutional laws created. We have ended up with an incomprehensible maze of laws and regulations that severely constrains the people and expands the government — the exact opposite of what our founders intended.

This is all because the Constitution is treated like a suggestion manual instead of the supreme law of the land. Under the Constitution, politicians’ hands are supposed to be tied in most of the areas they involve themselves in today. But somewhere along the line, politicians stepped out of Constitutional bounds and started pretending to solve our problems for us. All we have to show for it is more problems."
--Ron Paul 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Obama to Cede US Soverignty to Global Government

On October 14, Lord Christopher Monckton, a noted climate change skeptic, gave a presentation at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. In this 4 minute excerpt from his speech, he issues a dire warning to all Americans regarding the United Nations Climate Change Treaty, scheduled to be signed in Copenhagen in December 2009. A draft of the petition can be read here: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Lord Monckton served as a policy adviser to Margaret Thatcher. He has repeatedly challenged Al Gore to a debate to which Gore has refused. Monckton sued to stop Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" from being shown in British schools due to its inaccuracies. The judge found in-favor of Monckton, ordering 9 serious errors in the film to be corrected. Lord Monckton travels internationally in an attempt to educating the public about the myth of global warming.

Aldous Huxley interviewed by Mike Wallace

Follow video one to parts two and three.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Links of Interest

Baucus Plan Shrinks Health Care Markets by Michael F. Cannon on the Cato Daily Podcast:  I get the CATO daily podcast on iTunes every day.  This is a good one.  Take 10 minutes and give it a listen.

Alvarez v. Smith:  Property rights on trial in the Supreme Court.

For Liberty:  How the Ron Paul revolution watered the withering tree of liberty.  A documentary.  Please donate.

Warren Harding and the Forgotten Depression of 1920 by Tom Woods.  Your daily dose of history.  Read and learn!

Craig Ferguson, host of the Late Late Show is a libertarian.  Awesome tat!
Two articles:  One and Two  about the launch of the new Republican website GOP.com.  Its almost as embarrassing as watching George Bush trying to dance at his inauguration!

Random Fact:  Ron Paul has more friends on Facebook than the Republican Party.

Prepping to Prep

I am fed up with container gardening!  I live in a place with a small backyard, and I do not have enough room to put in a proper garden, so I have been forced to go the container route up until now.  My yard will soon be expanding though, as I have found out that I actually own quite a bit of my neighbor's yard.  There is a waist high chain link fence that sets well over my side of the property line that I am having removed, and I am installing an 8 foot privacy fence on the actual line.  This will add some much needed space to my backyard and give me a little more room to work.

Have I mentioned that I love Google Labs?  They have all kinds of free software available for download.  One of the programs I use quite a bit is Google SketchUp.  It is a basic architectural drawing program.  I was pretty good with CAD back in high school, and this was pretty easy to learn.  It is way user friendly too.

So, with cold weather upon us, I am now planning what I want to do next year.  I have decided on a raised bed garden that wraps around the side of the garage.  This will keep the plants away from the privacy fence and ensure that they get plenty of summer sun.  It also allows me to keep things compact, and use my yard for a yard, not a garden.  Here are some pics from my Google SketchUp model.

As you can see, the raised bed will wrap in an L shape around the back of the garage.  The brown box at the end is the location of my compost bin.  By using this wrap around L shape I will have close to 300 square feet of usable garden space.  This utilizes every square inch of the garden as well.  If I were to plant a 17ft by 17ft garden (roughly the same surface area) I would have to plant in rows and some space would be lost in the "walk between" area.

I plan on using standard cinder blocks for the construction of the raised bed. I figure if I turn them open-side-up, I will be able to use each individual hole as a small flower pot.  I can use these separate pots to companion plant along the outside row of my vegetables.  Hopefully this will attract the right kind of critters, and repel the wrong kind.  I know, cinder blocks can be ugly.  I am thinking of dressing up the outside edge with some nice landscaping stones to hide the cinder blocks.  I think it will add a nice touch.

The standard cinder block is 8x8x16 inches.  By using four cinder blocks for the width of the bed, it will stick out into my yard just over 5 feet.  This makes the usable space inside of the bed exactly four feet in width.  This is the optimal width to make a raised bed, as any wider will make tending and harvesting a real chore.  If need be, you can have a pre-cut 2x6 board on hand to lay across the block in case you need to get to the back.

The only thing I still haven't figured out is an irrigation system.  I am thinking of running a PVC system along the back edge of the entire bed.  Every few feet or so, I will install some sort of sprayer head.  This way all I have to do is hook the hose up, and turn it on for a few minutes.  The only thing that is problematic is keeping the same water pressure all the way to the end of the line.  If anyone has any recommendations for me I would love to hear them.

All in all, I think this will be a great addition to my yard, and will help me plant and harvest more fresh food for my preps.  If I make it look good, it also might up my property value.  So that is how I spent a portion of my day.  Preparing to build my raised bed so I can better prep for TEOTWAWKI.  Any thoughts?

Funny of the Day

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Rings

I just finished doing some networking.  My blog is listed among hundreds of others now on two separate sites.  If you are looking for political/survival topics these blog lists should have something you are looking for.

Prepper Blogs

Survival Times

You will also notice that I have links to the American Preppers Network and the Illinois Preppers Network on my blog roll.  Check them out too.

Links of Interest

My link list today is going to be more on theory and less on current events.  Broaden your horizens and read these!

Carl Menger's Theory of the Origin of Money by Ludwig von Mises

Capitalism versus Statism by Murray N. Rothbard

BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED [1958] by Aldous Huxley

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

To Bug-In or to Bug-Out, That is the Question (Survivalism 101)

In a previous post on Basic Survivalism I touched on the topic of bugging-in and bugging-out. This post will go more in depth on the topic. To those new to the survival community, this should provide some valuable information. Some concepts here might be a little hard to grasp at first, so leave a comment if you have any questions. To those who have been around this community for a while, I hope to possibly give you some new ideas and maybe a different take on things. All in all, this is just my way of doing things. If you have better ideas, I would love to hear them. Let it be known that this is just one man’s opinion. I am not, nor do I consider myself to be, an expert in this field. I am just passing along information for educational purposes. What you do with that information is up to you. Consider yourself disclaimed. Feel free to rip my theory to shreds; I enjoy the constructive criticism.

Bugging in (BI) means that during an emergency situation, you decide to stay put and rely on your preparations and the items in your immediate vicinity to survive. Bugging out (BO) means that your current situation has become untenable, and you have to move to an area that is safer and/or more easily inhabitable. Here are a couple examples of bugging in and bugging out:
  • You decide to stay home from work for a while because of a severe winter snow storm. The roads are iced over, and it keeps on snowing. The city and the county are working non-stop to clear the roads, but it just keeps getting worse. It is too dangerous to drive anywhere. One day into the storm the power goes out. Power lines are breaking all over because of the weight of the ice. You know you have enough food to last 6 months, but fuel for your generator might run low if the power doesn’t come back on soon. Ten days later you find that you do not have enough fuel for your generator to make it another day. Now you have to weigh the options between continuing to bug in and hope the weather gets better soon, or braving the dangerous roads to get fuel for the generator or to go stay with Uncle Joe and Aunt Sue in the next town over. Your bug-in situation just turned into a bug-out situation.
  • An extreme example would be a breakdown in the national food supply line causing widespread societal collapse: Economic conditions have been bad, but this week everything took a turn for the worse. The price of oil has skyrocketed, and now planes, trains, and automobiles have stopped moving goods around the country. Grocery stores have waiting lines that take hours because no one in your area has prepared for a situation like this. You know you have enough food to last 6 months under these economic conditions. Soon, grocery stores are boarded up and are out of business because all of the food is gone. The bread and milk that people have in their homes begins to go bad. Food riots begin three days later, people are starving. The police force is working non-stop to quell the violence, but soon their families start going hungry too. After a few days, the police take off their uniforms and join the mob looking for food. Everyone pleads for the government to help, but conditions are the same across the country. Local FEMA divisions hand out food, but are soon looted. No one shows up to help. You hear gunshots two blocks away, so you board up your windows and doors. Your city has turned into a starving mob. Late one night you hear someone trying to break into your house. It is your neighbor. His family is starving and he has resorted to theft to feed them. Gun in hand; you give him enough food to get through the week. He knows you have more. You pack up your family that night and drive to a well stocked hunting cabin out in the woods. Your bug-in situation has just turned into a bug-out situation.

 Think of bugging in as the initial first step in a well thought out plan. The situation might not warrant bugging out to another location, but if it does, you want that bug out plan in place. The bug out location (BOL) needs to be somewhere that is set up and stocked for this situation. It could be a trailer or hunting cabin out in the woods just big enough for your family. It could be a friend or relative’s house. But, it needs to be somewhere that has been previously agreed upon by all parties involved. You don’t want to show up at a distant cousin’s house with no prior warning and ask, “Things are bad, can we stay with you?” Chances are, things might be bad with the cousin too, and now you are cutting down on his survival chances by intruding. You might have a survival group that has all gone together to purchase property for a Group BOL, or maybe your group members live in different areas and you all agree to let the other families stay in the safest home available at the time. There are a million ways you can do this, but you need to know you have somewhere to go that has supplies ready for you. I will do another post specifically on bug out locations in the future.

Once you arrive at your bug-out location (BOL) you have just entered a new bug in situation. You are staying here until conditions get better and you can go back home; or if conditions worsen you will need to bug-out to somewhere else. I realize that this chain cannot go on forever, but you should have a primary, secondary, and tertiary (3rd) plan in place. Always have three plans. Remember the “Rule of Threes,” it will come up again.

The Bug-Out Plan

The bug-out plan (BOP) is a clearly defined, well written, easy to follow plan that is printed out and given to all members of your immediate family and/or survival group. I recommend printing everything out, laminating the pages, categorizing scenarios and plans into groups, and then placing everything into a three ring binder. You want this work like a flow chart. If A happens, do B. If X happens, go to Y. Every vehicle in your family should have a copy of this binder in their car or truck, and you should keep at least one for every member of your family in the house right next to the *bug out bags.* So, a four person family should have four separate binders in the house and a binder in every vehicle. Remember this is the plan that might one day save your life, overkill is not always a bad thing. One thing to consider is operational security (OPSEC.) When you decide to bug out and move to another location, you are leaving your previous residence open to anyone and everyone. You don’t want others finding your plan and deciding to follow you because they know you have food, supplies, etc.

*There are many other things to consider with this planning process like “how to equip a bug out vehicle” and “what to have in a bug out bag.” To keep this article as short as possible, I am not going to cover these issues here. They will each have their own separate posts in the future.

The first thing you have to determine when making a Bug Out Plan is clearly defined conditions for putting the plan into action. You need to come up with a “trigger” for everything you can think of. Bad weather, how bad does it get before you set your plan in motion? Terrorist attack, how bad does it get before you set your plan in motion? Food riots, how bad does it get before you set your plan in motion? You need to think through all the bad situations you could find yourself in, and then figure out how far you would let that situation go before you decide to move to your BOL. The event that sets your plan in motion is its trigger.

Is there time to take extra food, supplies, ammo, etc; or do you have to go right now? Now that you have your list of scenarios and triggers, you can do what the military calls backwards planning. Let’s say your trigger for food riots is “hearing gunshots or witnessing looting from your home.” Five minutes after that trigger you want to be in your vehicle and headed to your BOL. But what about preceding events? In a situation like this, you are bound to know that looting and riots will happen eventually. You can now backwards plan from your trigger and figure out how to prepare for your transit. By doing this you come up with other triggers that set a preparation plan into motion. A preparatory trigger could be, “seeing long lines to get into grocery stores” or “hearing about food shortages on the news.” This trigger would mean it’s time to pack up the truck with everything extra you plan to take with you. (Example: 7 full gas cans, sleeping bags, a tent, a week’s supply of food and water, precious metals, bug out bags, two loaded shotguns, two loaded pistols, a combat rifle, and another spare tire.) Now you have a trigger to prepare and a trigger to actually leave. If the food riots never happen, you have practiced loading up your truck. No harm, no foul. If your end trigger happens, you are now ready to get out of dodge.

Some scenarios will not allow for preparatory triggers, so you have to use what I call a hasty plan. An example of this would be a terrorist attack. In this case, you need to have a plan in place to deal with mass hysteria, blocked roads out of cities, traffic jams, etc; and you have execute that plan RIGHT NOW with no warning and zero time to prepare. This is why it is always important to have a copy of the plan for every member of your family/group at home and a copy in every vehicle. Your wife might be home, and you are at work when buildings start blowing up. What if your kids are in school? What if the whole family is at a baseball game and you can’t go home? What if cell phones are shut down? You need to have all this worked out prior to the event happening. Don’t worry about all the items you are leaving behind in your home. Your BOL should be well stocked. OPSEC is a big concern here, but there are ways of dealing with it. More about that later.

All Roads Lead to Eden

What I will discuss from this point onward is worst case scenario; shit hits the fan, socio-economic meltdown, terrorist attack, Red Dawn, zombie apocalypse stuff. Obviously, if a hurricane is about to hit your area, your house gets hit by a tornado, or your house burns down; just drive directly to your BOL. What follows is how to plan for the real bad stuff that probably won’t, but possibly could happen.

Now that you have your list of scenarios, preparatory triggers, end triggers, and hasty plans you can file it away in your binder. I recommend placing all of these items in the front and separating it from the next section with a divider. We all had trapper-keepers in Jr. High; you know what I’m talking about. The next section of your bug out plan is routes to your BOL. This is where the “Rule of Threes” comes into play.

You should have an initial rally point for your family members no more than 20 miles away from your place of residence. If you are living in an urban center, you might have to stretch that 20 mile figure a little, but it should be a point in the countryside just outside of the city on a small county road. This initial rally point is where all of your family members will meet up if your hasty plan goes into effect. Every member of the family/group should know at least three routes from anywhere in the city/area to this initial rally point. (Example: How to approach the initial rally point from the North, South, or East.) They should know it by heart and be able to drive there at the drop of a hat. Always use the most direct route (shortest distance) out of the city, and then skirt the edges from there to your initial rally point.

Once you are at your initial rally point, you will need to move on to your BOL. The biggest thing to remember is to stay off major highways, and avoid urban centers like the plague. You DO NOT want to get stuck in a traffic jam that grinds to a halt, and then try to walk the rest of the way. In some instances, your BOL might be within 100 miles. If that is the case, it should be relatively easy to plan for. But, if you live in Florida and your primary BOL is in North Dakota, you really have your work cut out for you.

You want to avoid common danger areas and choke points along your route. If you are traveling on a county road, and you have to cross an interstate, this would be considered a danger area. People stuck in a traffic jam on the interstate will be looking for any off-ramp they can find so they can try to take other roads. Keep in mind that this could cause other traffic problems on the county roads as well. If you absolutely have to cross an interstate, look for a road that does not have on-ramps/off-ramps that connect to the interstate. We have all gone over those small viaducts with no off-ramp while driving on the interstate. Try to pick the small roads that do not connect to major highways, even if you have to drive a little bit out of the way. It will be well worth it. An example of a choke point is a bridge crossing a river. If you live on one side of the Mississippi river, and your BOL is on another side, God help you. Worst case scenario, these choke points could be manned by government officials or military who are “just here to help” or by local gangs who will demand payment to travel through, or will just plain kill you and take what you have. Again, if you have to cross a bridge, look for the most remote area you can find on the map to do it. In a rural area, at least you will have a fighting chance of getting across without harassment. If you have to drive a little bit out of your way, so be it.

From your initial rally point to your BOL, you should have additional rally points set up along the way. Even if you are traveling on a small country road, you should choose rally points that are off the beaten path and well hidden.  Maybe choose a field lane or a dirt road that leads back into a small grove of trees.  These rally points are checkpoints for you to use on your way to your BOL, but they also function as, well, rally points if everyone was not able to link up at the initial rally point.  They are places that you are relatively obscured from view where you can wait for an hour if need be.  They can also be used as places to refuel if you are carrying extra fuel cans with you, or if need be stop for a break and switch drivers.

From one rally point to another you should have at least three separate routes. By doing things in this manner, you will be have multiple routes leading in the same direction. If one route is compromised or will not work, you can simply go back to your last rally point, and try another one. Google Earth and Google Maps are awesome for this planning phase. You can pre plan all of your routes, zoom in on intersections and turns, and print it all out for your binder. Google Maps even has street level views, so you can get a good idea of what the area looks like on the ground. Map recon is important, but you also have to make a good route recon as well. Be sure you have actually driven on these roads. Put in the time now and get eyes on the area. Take pictures of all your rally points, and put copies of them in your binder. You don’t want to set your plan into action in the heat of the moment, and find out a county road has been shut down for two years.

I do not want to get into communications in this post.  That subject is a whole other animal, and it will require a seperate post to get it all hashed out for you.  If you think you can rely on your cell phone as a primary means of communication during a crisis, you are gravely mistaken.  Since I am covering worst case scenerio, I thought I would go over an idea I had for a "no comm" plan.  This is your last ditch chance at communications, after everything else has failed.

Additionally, I said that I was not going to get into bug out bags or equipping bug out vehicles, but I will cover one essential item for our no comm plan now: Spray paint. Every family member who is able to drive should have a color assigned to them. Every vehicle should have every color of spray paint assigned to a family member in case daughter is borrowing dad’s car to go to cheerleading practice. (Example: If Dad is green, Mom is pink, Son is Blue, and Daughter is purple; every vehicle should have 4 cans of spray paint in it, one of each color.) This is for marking routes in case the shit really hits the fan and the family/group gets split up.

What if you get to your initial rally point, but no one else is there? How long do you wait? How long is it safe to wait? What if your convoy gets split up enroute to the next rally point? How long do you wait? How long is it safe to wait? Using your own designated spray paint color and a coded system at the rally points, you will be able to discreetly mark the road or a nearby building to let your family/group know you are okay and what route you have taken to the next rally point. Get creative. If you have three routes to each point, name one route triangle, one route circle, and one route square. A spray-painted symbol on a road is nothing new. Power and gas companies do it all the time. Maybe put a number inside the symbol for how long you waited at the point, and a number outside the circle that designates the time you arrived there or the time you left. Maybe you could carry a warning color as well, to let those still behind you know that you tried route circle and it was too dangerous, so you came back and are now traveling along route square. Perhaps a secondary symbol to the side means you need medical attention. The sky is the limit. Whatever you can dream up, you can use. Just make sure that it is a system and code known to everyone in the family/group.

The last rally point you hit before you finally arrive at your Bug Out Location is called the objective rally point (ORP). This point should be close enough to your BOL that all family/group members can memorize three separate routes to the destination. 25 or 30 miles is just about right. Remember what I was saying about OPSEC for your hasty plan? This is where it all comes together. By keeping the objective rally point 25 to 30 miles away from your BOL, it gives any potential bag guys that may be following a general idea of where you are, but does not pinpoint an exact location. You should never put your actual BOL address down on paper, or have it marked or located on any maps or in your binder. Obviously you want to cover your tracks as much as possible, so try to grab all of those binders and take them with you before you leave. Make sure you plan for the person who is at home to grab all the binders from the house, all the bug out bags, and any extra binders and bags in vehicles that are parked at home and not going to the BOL. If this can’t be done, don’t worry. More than likely, there will be people in the general vicinity of your BOL anyway, so all you have done is possibly bring bad guys into your new neighborhood, not your new home. This is why we have guns.

Before moving into the BOL from the ORP it is advisable to conduct a good recon of the area.  You dont want to drive up to your hunting cabin and find out that the rednecks from Deliverance had the same idea as you and have already moved in.  Squatters might be a problem depending on the severity of the situation and the time it took you to travel to your BOL.  While it is highly unlikely that you will have to take your own property by force, it is a good idea to have that plan in place as well.

Obviously, the above situation was for a bug out location that was hundreds of miles away and the drive was through hostile territory. If your BOL is close, a lot of this info can be cut from your plan. I provided it here to show the attention to detail that should be put into any survival planning.

Now Arriving at Destination

You have arrived at your Bug Out Location and you are going through the motions of surviving in this new home. Remember what I said at the beginning of this post. You have just started a new bug-in situation. You are staying here until you are able to go back to your primary residence, or until conditions worsen. If your position becomes untenable, you will need a plan to bug out again and go somewhere else. Start your planning process all over again and figure out your bug out plan for this location. This tertiary position is your last chance spot to survive. You might make a plan to drive to a national forest with camping gear, a gun, and some ammo; and try to make it in the wild. Whatever you choose, make sure you have it well planned out. Weigh your options now so it will be easier to make the hard decisions later.

The survivalist’s dream is to live at their bug out location full time. Maybe a well stocked 20 acre homestead way out in the mountains away from major highways with a fresh water supply, good growing seasons, and plentiful wild game. In this situation, bugging in is a great option. External threats have a longer distance to travel to affect your life. Even if you are living in a bunker underground, you always need a bug out plan. You never know what might happen.

Related posts:

Back to the Basics (Survivalism 101)

TOR's Thoughts and Linkback on TSLRF  Be sure to also read the comment section for other views on this post.

See you at Galt’s Gulch!

Lindsey Graham, Shut the F#%k Up!

I picked this story up over at the C4L blog and thought I should share it here.  I have a few choice words for Lindsey Graham and Olympia Snowe.  You need to do what Arlen Specter did and just get the hell out of the way.  You are the ones who are giving Obama the so called bi-partisan support that he so desperately wants.  Graham voted for TARP, and Snowe supports the Baucus bill.  If you're going to act like a progressive liberal democrat, you need to BECOME a progressive liberal democrat.  You are the ass hats that hijacked the Republican party, not Ron Paul.  Your constant opposition of libertarian constitutional principles will be your undoing in the end!

I love the end of this second video.  "If you want consistent 30 year Republicans who can go the distance..."  I don't!  I don't think ANYONE should be in government for 30 years!  I think we need strict term limits on all political positions.  "...and if you don't like it, you can leave."  I did!  Thank you!  It was dip shits like Graham and McCain that showed me the true nature of the Republican party.  I am a libertarian now.

Quote of the Week

"Men without guns are not free men; they are slaves. Men without guns are not citizens; they are subjects. Men without guns have lost the right of self-defense. They have lost the power to defend their families and protect their properties. Men without guns are reduced to the animal kingdom, becoming prey to the Machiavellians among them who would kill them for sport or for their own personal pursuits. As Jesus plainly ordered, 'He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.' (Luke 22:36) This we will do--at all costs."

--Chuck Baldwin in the article These Are Not Negotiable

Links of Interest

REAL SECURITY  James Dakin over at Bison Survival Blog really knows how to light a fire under your ass to get you prepping.  This is one of those motivational articles you should read at least once a week.

Rich Uncle Pays Your Mortgage  Lew Rockwell breaks it down Barney style and tells it like it is.  "The party in power is under the belief that the way to fix a problem is to continue the practices that caused the problem in the first place, and delay for as long as possible the correction that must take place."

Your dollars are just Monopoly money  Bill Fleckenstein discusses fiat money and gold.

Jim Sinclair interview by David Williams in South Africa.  YouTube Video:  Sinclair predicts gold at $1,650 per ounce by January, 2011.

FHA may be setting up repeat of housing bubble  LA Times article by Jim Puzzanghera.

Schwarzenegger signs ammunition sales bill  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed into law a bill that requires buyers of handgun ammunition to leave thumbprints and detailed personal information with registered ammo sellers, as well as put restrictions on online bullet sales.  If you live in California, you are riding a sinking ship.  Get out now before it is too late!

These Are Not Negotiable  [W]e, like our patriot forebears, have also endured "patient sufferance." For at least a half-century, we have patiently endured the erosion and abridgment of our freedoms and liberties. We have watched the federal government become an overbearing and meddlesome Nanny State that pokes its nose and sticks its fingers in virtually everything we do.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back to the Basics (Survivalism 101)

I have been accused of writing things that are too simplistic, and writing too things that are too complex.  I guess you cant please all the people, all the time.  I tend to write about a topic, and then let it go.  I don't re-post information because I have already written about it before.  But, after a year of blogging, I am still learning.  First and foremost, people usually don't go back and read posts that are over a month old.  So, re-posting some information might be a good thing. 

When you first get into the survivalist world, everything hits you like a ton of bricks.  There is so much information to go through and process that the task of prepping seems monstrous and the goal of self sufficiency seems almost unattainable.  This post is about getting back to the basics of survival.  It is a combination of information that can be found elsewhere on my blog, but I have compiled it all into one post here.  Remember, this is just the basics, not an in depth discussion.  Enjoy.

What are the essentials we need to live?  We need clean air, water, food, shelter from the elements, methods to procure all of the above, and a means to protect what we already have.  Lets go through these things one at a time.

  • Air:  Oxygen is the most precious resource we have.  One can only survive for a few minutes with out it.  Having been through a Nuclear Biological and Chemical (NBC) Warfare Decontamination and Survey course in the Marine Corps, there is one thing I am certain of.  If your area is attacked with biological or chemical agents (a dirty bomb), there is not much that you can personally do to better your situation.  NBC suits offer great protection.  They will keep you alive for about one day, but afterwards you will have to go through a lengthy decontamination process, administered by any number of government agencies who are "there to help."  All of your belongings will be taken to prevent recontaminating yourself and those around you, and you will most likely be shipped off to a camp with other "victims."  This is probably the greatest threat for survivalists because it is so difficult to prepare for.  There isn't much that you can do for yourself in this situation, and all the food, precious metals, and ammo you have saved up will be for naught.  Also under the category of air is a global, national, or regional pandemic outbreak.  This is where your preps come into play.  By having a years supply of food and other essential items stored up, you will be able to stay in your home or on your property and live, without having to go out and expose yourself to a life threatening illness.

  • Water:  A number of factors come into your survivability without water.  In a "lost in the woods" scenario, just plan on only having one or two days before water is a must.  If the temperature is higher and you are without shade, this time drops dramatically.  When it comes to home preps, there is fierce debate within the survivalist community on the topic of water.  Some believe you should save as much as you can in bottled form and add it to your food preps.  Others say that running water will be the last thing to go in urban areas, and that it is not as big of a worry.  My view is that you should have a readily available water source (stream, creek, river, pond, or lake) near your home and/or retreat and a back-up well in the event of drought.  Saving some water is beneficial, but storage is a big concern.  Water will keep for a long time, but it is bulky.  Rain water collection is a viable option, but be sure to filter it before drinking.  There are numerous resources out there for you to make your own mind up.  Check Survival Blog and The Survival Podcast for competing views.

  • Food:  This is the issue that the majority of survivalists spend most of their time on.  Food preps are vital to any emergency action plan.  They are important in many cases such as:  the loss of a job, natural disasters, and my favorite, total societal breakdown brought on by world economic collapse.  Given that most people have only one weeks worth of food in their house, you can see how any of the previously listed scenarios could lead to tragedy and starvation quickly.  Jack Spirko on The Survival Podcast is always talking about interconnected systems of dependence.  An example of this would be, the oil industry is dependant on political and economic issues, and the energy and food supply are dependant upon the oil industry.  So a breakdown anywhere along the chain means a loss of power and food for you.  That example was oversimplified, but you get my point.  Most of the food you eat comes from a grocery store, and that grocery store got the food from thousands of miles away.  Here are some ways you can break your dependency on the system and live a healthier life. 

    • Grow your own:  I live in a fairly small place with a small backyard, but I am still able to provide some food for myself through container gardening.  I certainly don't grow enough to support myself and my family, but I am able to supplement  food that is bought at the store with food from my small container garden.  Next year, I plan to put a few rows of raised beds around my garage.  This will increase my home-grown food intake quite a bit.  What I am saying here is this, you don't have to grow all of your food in a garden, but you should grow some.  This will teach you some valuable skills, and decrease your dependence upon the vast food supply line we are all caught up in.  By learning these skills now, you will be better prepared to plant, tend, and harvest a large garden should the need arise.

    • Form a food co-op with friends and family:  Many small farms all across the US will allow you to purchase meat in bulk.  The one I have my sights set on sells beef by the half and quarter, and hog by the full and half.  They butcher the animal and process the meat, and you can pick it out in whatever processed form you like.  Do not confuse my use of the word process here.  It is all natural with no preservatives, but has been sliced into different cuts of meat or ground into hamburger patties, etc.  I have a plan in the works to go together on costs with my family to purchase a whole hog and a half of a cow but have not yet fully committed to the project.  The main reason is that I have not yet been able to find a deep freeze to store everything in.  I will be going together with family on the purchase, forming a small co-op with them.  Additionally, buying grains, fruits, and vegetables in bulk can cut costs dramatically.  Ask your family and friends if they want to go shopping with you to a local bulk foods supplier, or even Sam's Club.  You can save a lot of money by buying in bulk and splitting the costs.

    • Hunting and Fishing:  These are activities that I enjoy anyway, so being able to (excuse the pun) kill two birds with one stone is a blessing for me.  There are people in my home town who are able to hunt and fish enough throughout the year to almost support a family just on what they take from the wild.  It may be time consuming, but the time to food ratio gets smaller as you travel up the learning curve.  Learning these skills is important, so have fun with it, and get yourself some good food along the way.

    • Know your food:  This is probably the most important thing you can do to better your overall health, and break your dependence on the global food network.  By knowing exactly where your food comes from and how it got there, you are guaranteed to eat healthy.  The above three bullets all kind of fall into this category, but this goes further as well.  Instead of getting your food at the chain grocery store, try to buy as much as you can from a local farmers market.  You will be helping your local economy and ridding yourself of all the junk and preservatives that are put into processed food.  Another way to know your food is to completely cut high fructose corn syrup and other artificial sweeteners out of your diet.  By simply eliminating these two things from your diet, you are guaranteed to buy unprocessed foods.  A good rule of thumb is, if you cant pronounce what is on the ingredients label, you shouldn't be putting it in your body.

    • Store what you eat, eat what you store:  Do you eat Vienna sausages, Spam, and dehydrated Mountain House meals three to five times a week?  I'm guessing the answer to that is no.  Are these good foods to store?  Yes, in small amounts.  But, by following the "store what you eat, eat what you store" rule you will reduce the risk of shock to your system if you have to survive on only what you have stored.  Every time you make a shopping list, go to the store and double everything you need. By doubling everything you buy, you can use what you need and save the other.  Before long, you will have so much extra food you wont know what to do with it.  Once you have met the goal you have set for yourself (3 months supply, 6 months supply, 1 year supply, etc.) you can start rotating your stock.  Now when you need something, you go to your surplus, use it, and put it on the shopping list to replace.  Following the "know your food" recommendation above will get you used to eating healthy whole foods, and by storing extra every time you buy, you will be able to rotate your stock and always have a surplus. 

  • Shelter from the elements:  In a "lost in the woods" survival situation, shelter from the elements is your first priority.  When dealing with socio-economic collapse, shelter takes on a different form.  You have the choice to "bug-in" or "bug-out."  Bugging in means staying put and relying on your preps to get you through.  Bugging out means that your current situation has become untenable, and you have to uproot and move to a better, more survivable, place.  You should have separate plans for bugging in, and for bugging out.  All of us would love to have a 20 acre retreat in the mountains of Montana, but for most of us, that is an unrealistic pipe dream.  A relative's house in another state might be a good plan.  The ultimate goal would be to live in an area where you could bug-in and not have anything to worry about (IE living on that 20 acre retreat in Montana full time.)  But even then, you can not plan for every eventuality.  A bug-out plan should be in place for any area you inhabit, because the situation could always change and your area could become uninhabitable.  I plan to do a follow-up post soon on bugging-in and bugging-out.

  • Methods of Procurement:  I have already covered gardening, hunting, fishing, and water; but what happens when you find yourself out of ammo and unable to hunt?  Or your water filtration system breaks down and you need parts to fix it or a new system to replace it.  Or maybe you run out of fuel for your generator in the middle of winter.  Having items on hand that can be used in direct barter will go a long way.  I am talking tangible assets here, not an extra $1000 in cash.  Having extra cash on hand is good, but if the dollar looses its value through hyper-inflation, your $1000 cash might as well be used as toilet paper.  You need barter items like precious metals.  Small fractional gold and silver is a good place to start.  I should remind you that you cant eat silver, and before purchasing any precious metals you should make sure your food and other preps are up to par first.  Other barter items to consider are ammo and building supplies.  Someone who needs nails and lumber to build a new chicken coop might be willing to trade a few chickens for a box of nails.  When prepping in this area, try to think outside the box.  What items will be in short supply in any given situation?  When you go to buy these items regularly, just like food, double the purchase so you will have extra on hand in case you need it; or so you can trade it for something else if the need arises.  The topic of hunting and procuring food from the wild brings us to the topic of firearms.

  • Protection of your property and preps:  Along with food, this topic is covered ad nauseum on every survival blog and forum out there.  I came into this game with a slight advantage, having served eight years in the Marine Corps infantry.  I can see how a 35 year old guy who is new to the survival community and has never touched a gun might feel a little intimidated.  My advice to someone new to the game is to take a basic firearms handling and shooting course.  You don't need to go overboard from the start.  The people who over-do it early in the game become what I refer to as Mall Ninjas.  These are people who have 25 guns of various caliber and all the cool tactical gear to go along with it, but have no idea how to properly use any of it.  Stick to the basics to start out with, work on the fundamentals, and progress from there.  No one expects you to be Mr. Super Sniper in one week.  Trying to act like you are will result in no one taking you seriously.  Most gunfighters can sniff out a poseur within seconds, so don't even try to go there.  Remember, you can only shoot one gun at a time, so start out with one or two weapons (one long gun and one pistol preferably) and try to become an expert with them.  After you have mastered the fundamentals, you can progress on to something else.  I am not going to get into gun types and calibers in this post, as it will only result in flame wars among readers.  A gun is a tool.  It can be used to harvest food from the wild as well as protect you in times of crisis.  As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."  Having the ability to protect yourself, your family, and your property are key elements to staying alive in a crisis situation.  Even if you never have to hold off against roving hordes of mutant zombie bikers, firearms ownership is your God-given right, and should be exercised or that right will be taken away.

  • Above all, you need a willingness to survive:  In the military and police world, there is a psychological term called fight or flight.  Lt. Col. David Grossman took this phenomenon one step further in his book, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.  He expanded the phenomenon to fight, flight, posture, or submit.  When the human mind is faced with intense and extreme conditions, it will always revert back to its lowest level of training.  When the brain goes into overload, it will tell the body to fight back, run away, act tough, or lay down and submit.  This phenomenon occurs anytime the brain is overloaded with adrenaline.  It could be the small kid standing up to the school yard bully, the woman who is being attacked and threatened with rape, the soldier or Marine in a firefight, or the husband and father who is trying to save his family when the shit hits the fan (SHTF.)  Having the proper mindset is key in any survival situation.  A great example of this phenomenon in a survival scenario is Hurricane Katrina.  The majority of the New Orleans population simply went into submit mode.  They sat down and waited to be rescued.  This is NOT the mindset you want to have!  Military boot camp and subsequent training is designed to teach the individual to overcome this phenomenon and force the brain into fight mode.  In the civilian world, this can be done also, but it takes patience, self discipline, and training.  Remember, the mind will always fall back on the lowest level of training it has, so pushing yourself beyond what you think is possible in training will result in non-submittal in a real life crisis.  Hunting and fishing may be a fun past time, but hunting and fishing to feed your starving family is a completely different story.  Gardening may be something you do as a hobby now, but what will you do when Japanese beetles destroy the crops your family needs to live?  Shooting at paper targets on a firing range might be a way to spend a weekend, but you enter a whole new realm when people are shooting back at you.  Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.  You have to train yourself now as if you were in the survival scenario of the future.  Keep your head in the game, and never stop fighting!
Related posts:
To Bug-In or to Bug-Out, That is the Question (Survivalism 101)
See you at Galt's Gulch!

PTSD: Army vs Marines

Signs you may have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Army: Startled by loud noises.
Marine: Enraged by Wal-Mart employees.

Army: Combat nightmares
Marine: Haircut nightmares

Army: Prays constantly.
Marine: Prays no one saw him banging Chewbacca's fat cousin.

Army:  Has combat flashbacks.
Marine:  Has flashbacks of banging Chewbacca's fat cousin.

Army: Feels anger and resentment.
Marine:  Feels anger 7.0, and resentment Deep Space 9

Army: Has trouble sleeping.
Marine: Duct tapes the cat to the dog at 2am because it's rad!

Army: Loses track of time.
Marine: Blacks out. Wakes up in the alley behind a Chucky Cheese wearing stone washed jeans and a field jacket, and has bloody knuckles gripping an empty bottle of Night Train.

Army:  Feels alienated and alone
Marine:  Operates in a constant state of paranoia, frequents survivalist blogs and forums, becomes a card carrying member of the Libertarian party, stocks up on food and ammo because he is convinced the coming Apocalypse might happen next week.

Links of Interest and a Cartoon

What Is a Libertarian: Libertarianism and the Politics of Freedom  In a conversation about the politics of freedom David Boaz and Dennis McCuistion answer the question: “What is a libertarian?” as well as discussing the societal fight over power and freedom since time immemorial.  Video is about 30 minutes long, and discusses basic libertarian theory, but it is well worth watching.

Why the Democrats’ Health Care Overhaul May Die  Discuses the infighting within the Democrat party over the health care debate due to high taxation on certain constituencies and due to special interest groups.

Redistributing Health  Proponents of compulsory, government-designed health insurance can't seem to understand why others disagree. Perhaps the public is realizing that these proposals are fundamentally about redistributing health?

Decline Is a Choice (The New Liberalism and the end of American ascendancy.) by Charles Krauthammer  One of the best articles I have read this week.  If you dont view the first three links, be sure to check this one out!