On the Show this week, my old friend Chance Sanders pays a visit to Survival and Beyond! Chance is a former U.S. Marine marksmanship instructor and regular contributor to Equip 2 Endure, as well as the creator of an upcoming instructional DVD entitled: Surviving Civil Unrest. He also teaches survivalism, personal and home security and self defense in lectures and classes all over the country. During the interview, we discuss vital self reliance practices as well as Chance’s personal “Survival Mission”. I also talk about the mounting incidence of suicide and untreated psychological trauma suffered by our troops in the Middle East, as well as the organization: “March Forward!”, which is spearheading a campaign to protect the rights of soldiers who refuse to continue to fight the immoral and un-Constitutional wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
One of our listeners from across the Atlantic sent me an email recently about a “synchronistic” event that occurred while listening to myself and my guest (bee keeper and survivalist; Michael Jordan) discussing the dwindling bee population:
Firstly, I wanted to commend you highly for a fantastic show you had put on, dated June 20th, as well as to the whole N.N. Team for your no-nonsense, educationally-enlightening programs and information.
I’m a first time listener and recent subscriber to Natural News, and had just listened to this show in its entirety (today’s Sunday June 24th), ending only a few minutes ago.
I’m dropping you a line from London, England… Y’know, the little island that sees nothin’ but rain & the odd glimpse of sunshine? :0) Well, I hope that you didn’t mind that I should send you what I’d seen whilst in the middle of listening to the show.
This smart little creature took advantage of the open patio door, just as an outburst took hold. Having waited for the rain to subside in the meantime , it started drying off its wings & gaining its composure. Once the coast was clear, it subsequently flew off.
Just couldn’t believe the timing of it all, considering the subject matter at hand (Bees… or lack thereof)… & at that very moment… Powerful stuff, even from right across The Pond!
A Big Thanx goes out to You, The Team & Michael Jordan!. Please keep up the exemplary work & leadership!
Ok, I don’t talk about zombie survival too much. I mean, the genre makes a great vehicle for entertainment (as well as a means of conveying real survival skills), but I don’t think there’s too much danger of being overrun by the living dead (or the living undead?) any time soon. And honestly, if you can’t escape from something that takes a half an hour to get to you from across the yard, then maybe you deserve to join their ranks!
Now if there’s some kind of man-made virulent pandemic that turns most of the population into highly aggressive, super-fast, super strong zombies (ala “I am Legend”), then I may have to eat my words – if not someone’s brain. But I’m not losing any sleep over it.
Anyway, I thought some of you would enjoy this piece of illustrated historical fiction (it’s not a comic book dammit! It’s an illustrated novel!) excerpted from Max Brooks’ “The Zombie Survival Guide – Recorded Attacks” which portrays a zombie onslaught against the Celtic and Pictish warriors of Roman-era Britain.
To download the entire ebook, right-click on the download button and select “Save link as…” Or left click on the button to open the PDF and save it to your computer.
Part 3 of Corcceigh Green’s Survival 101. If you missed Part 2 CLICK HERE
Every year many people hike into the woods and mountains for what they think will be only a few hours, then suddenly find they are lost and don’t know in which direction the road or their vehicle lies. Many times victims of being “turned around” can stop and assess the situation, then find their location and the way back to the vehicle. There are others, however, who have spent the night, days or even a week or more trying to find their way out. Being “turned around” is a situation that most have experienced. It is when we blindly follow our natural instinct to keep walking or to quickly find the path to bring us home and rejoin our normal lives that we get into trouble. This is why we must train in survival to gain the knowledge to act productively rather than worsen the situation by walking further away from our vehicle and help. Many lost hunters and hikers get into trouble every year in just this manner. They keep searching for the path out while not knowing the direction after which they move farther into the woods and farther away from help and from where rescuers would search for them.
Survival preparation for becoming lost in remote areas begins before any outing. We have covered our first preparations last week by putting together a survival kit. In a remote area we will not wonder far from camp or vehicle without at least a portion of this kit. The minimum equipment you will bring will be your first aid kit, firestarting kit, rain poncho, knives, compass, rope or line, coat or parka, firearm(s), hatchet and maybe a pup tent. If you usually grab a snack for a hike, I’d advise that too.
Survival practice begins when we realize that, somewhere, we wondered off the right path and no longer know where we are. It is at this point that we can either take productive action or make matters worse. First STOP. Don’t keep walking, looking for the right path. You may retrace your steps as long as you absolutely know you are retracing and not just walking in another random direction. While retracing if you find you no longer know where you have been or are going, STOP. Don’t move. Before it gets dark or before the weather brings rain, snow or wind find a place to camp. The sooner you begin preparations for camp, the better you will fare in this little experience. A camp area should be at least slightly higher than the rest of the surrounding ground. It should be free of snags, dead trees and trees with branches that might fall. Check the area for blow-downs (trees with weak root systems or leaning trees that might blow down in a wind). Your camp ground should aslo be close to water, but not in a dry creek or close enough to experience flooding. Shelter can be erected quickly and easily with a pup tent or rain poncho. Lacking these items, a debris shelter should be erected. If it is still early enough in the day, a debris shelter should be the first choice in shelters due to its insulating abilities. A rain poncho or pup tent may be draped over the debris shelter for extra protection against wet weather. It is essential to protect against wet weather. Even in summer in my mountains, lows from the Gulf of Alaska brings in cold, wet showers as was the case this June. Hypothermia will either be prevented by your skills in building a shelter or enhanced by your lack of skill. Don’t worry, we will cover this skill very soon.
Dig yourself a privy by digging a hole and placing some logs on either side, then a couple of poles across the logs for a seat. Don’t do this close to water and don’t do this in run-off areas.
Next put your camp in order by making a fire ring. A fire ring is made of stone and will contain a fire. By keeping your fire small, you will be able to build your fire ring close to your shelter allowing you to tend your fire as needed. Place some stones in a ring close to, but not against the entrance to your shelter. Remember, sparks can pop onto your pup tent or rain poncho and ruin them. Sparks may also lodge in your debris shelter and catch fire. You should shovel a layer of dirt against areas of your debris shelter where sparks might light.
Next gather firewood. You will need tinder even though you have some in your kit. Always gather tinder as you will probably be using a lot of it. Make sure you have kindling. Kindling is necessary especially in wet weather as this will dry and catch fire faster, then in turn, dry and catch logs on fire. You will always need more kindling to keep a fire going in wet weather and you will always need more firewood than you think even in dry weather to keep a fire going overnight. The point here is to gather as much tinder, kindling and firewood as you possibly can before dark. If the weather isn’t that bad, build a fire anyway as this is a good signal for those who may be searching for you.
During this process, as you are gathering and cutting material to build a shelter, gathering firewood and stones and clearing you camp, chances are you will spot something familiar, or notice a landmark that will let you know where you are and which direction to go. No problem. Go ahead and walk out. You’ll be on your way home. If not, don’t worry. You will survive the night very well in your camp. By morning you will be gathering more firewood and searching for wild edibles. Take extra precaution to not lose the way to your camp site and always bring your survival supplies with you. You will scout surrounding high ground and ridges for food and landmarks to show you the way out. At your camp and strategic bends in a trail, leave signs such as stones in the form of an arrow as to which direction you traveled in case someone searching for you comes across them. Chances are, along these ridges and high areas, you will spot your vehicle or the way out or searchers will spot you.
We will cover more particulars later. For the mean time, your homework is to take a hike in the woods. Go foraging for wild edibles or scouting for game or collecting crafts materials. Along the way take notice of areas that will make good camp sites and set up a site for the night. Build or set up a shelter and gather material for a fire. Spend the night if you have the time. If you can’t spend the night at least you’ll have a small camp location for recreation or survival for later. Good luck.
- Corcceigh Green
On this installment of Survival and Beyond, Ed speaks with Michael Jordan! No, not the pro b-ball star, but the pro bee-keeper and survival expert of the same name. On the show, they discuss the benefits of bee keeping and the vital role that bees play in our self reliance and our survival. They also talk about the ongoing depletion of the world’s bee population – brought about by pesticides and GMO crops – and how a bee extinction could lead to the end of all animal life on the planet within 5 years!
They also discuss the deepening threat of GMOs, Big Agro, the shadow government’s destruction of family farms and the systematic corporate control of our food supply, plus much more! And as usual, Ed covers the topical issues that affect our freedom, liberty and survival that the corporate media won’t tell you about!
Here’s the second to last installment in Fernando’s “Thoughts on Urban Survival” essay, in which he writes about the kidnapping that ran rampant in Argentina after the collapse. This is a subject that he brought up while he was on my show last week, and one that I had never really given much thought to in relation to an economic collapse. I was surprised when I asked: “You mean they were kidnapping rich people in Argentina?” and he answered: “No, they would kidnap anybody!”. You wouldn’t think that kidnapping someone from the same socio-economic bracket (i.e. the poor) would be considered a viable solution, but when things get desperate, people do desperate things.
MORE ON SECURITY – KIDNAPPING
The theory behind kidnapping is simple to explain, yet it evolved into a complicated issue that presents itself in several forms and the survivalist should understand to better defend his family and himself. The way kidnapping just popped out of nowhere it astonishing to say the least. One day kidnapping for money is almost unheard of, and within a couple of months, after the economical collapse, everyone starts getting kidnapped. The news report of about 3 or 5, sometimes even 10 kidnaps in one day in Buenos Aires city.
As time went by, the news dropped the issue and you don’t hear much about people being kidnapped any more. Does this means that the kidnaps stopped? I don’t think so. I still hear about people getting kidnapped in my own neighborhood, express kidnaps (I’ll explain later). Since my neighborhood is “nice” compared to most of Buenos Aires, I can only conclude that kidnapping is still VERY popular, but that the media isn’t reporting about it any more because of obvious political reasons. Why did kidnaps start in the first place? In a country where there were nearly 0 cases?
Because since the economy crashed, suddenly there where lots of poor people that didn’t have enough money to feed their families. This was the main reason, but not the only reason though. After the first riots and looting, it was quite obvious that the government and police had no true control of what was going on. Obviously they were overwhelmed.
Once the veil of crime=jail is lifted and people comprehend that they will not be punished for their crimes, it’s the beginning of the end people. All of a sudden, bank robbery, stealing, kidnapping and murdering people is just a matter of personal moral values, nerve and determination, and punishment is almost left out of the equation.
1) The first kind of kidnap to appear was the most common one. People were intercepted, either when walking or driving, by the band of kidnappers. Well organized bands of at least 5 or 6 members, with battle rifles, SMG’s and communications, intercept the victim with at least 2 cars. Do not be mistaken; these guys know what they are doing. In most bands you will likely find a LEO gone bad that decided to increase the poor cop salary the gov. pays.
The victim is taken to a far away location in one of the many extremely poor neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. They call asking for a ransom, a ridiculously high one, and the negotiation starts. The person is held for a few days, maybe even a couple of weeks. If a month goes by and the person doesn’t show up, forget about it, he’s already dead. Some times they torture him too much, covered his mouth with tape “As seen on TV” and the victim chokes to death, dies of heart or health complications or they just get scared of getting caught and shot the poor guy. They get scared of getting caught not because of the police efficiency, but because most of the time one of the kidnapers KNOWS the victim. Either an employee, friend, neighbor or relative that knows that X person has money available for Y reason, either he is already wealthy, or he sold or inherited and has a large sum of cash available. These kinds of kidnap are generally very gruesome, with tapes of the victim being tortured sent to the family, fingers getting cut and other creative means of encouraging the family to pay. Survivability of this kind of kidnap is about 60%-70%, give or take. Not good.
2) The second kind of kidnap is called “Express kidnap” because it occurs fast, a smaller amount of money is asked as ransom, so that the family can come up with it within an hour or so, and if everything goes as planed the victim is released with an hour or two. This is, by far, the most popular kind of kidnap we see today in my country. Even police advice you to pay and get over with when they ask for small ransoms. The victim is chosen randomly, because of the way he/she dresses, because he/she seems to be easy to control and dominate and isn’t likely to resist the attack.
Kidnapers found out that this low profit, but fast, low risk kind of kidnap is very profitable in the long run, and does not involve the complicated and expensive logistic of long term kidnaps, where you need a place to keep the victim, feed him, someone to watch over him 24/7 , etc.
The victim of an “express kidnap” rarely leaves the car/van he/she was pulled into. The criminals Survivability is much greater than in the 1st kind of kidnap, I’d say about 90%. This doesn’t mean that the victim is in good hands. Girls are raped by the gang most of the time. Men may fare a little better, probably get beaten up a little if they are problematic. The chances of surviving are greater because kidnapers don’t know the victim most of the time, they don’t have time to worry about the “what if’s” get scared and decide to get rid of the victim, and because police is almost never involved in them. As I said, when small sums of money are asked for they recommend to just pay.
3) The third kind of kidnap isn’t nearly as dangerous as the previous ones, but you should still know about it to prepare of it better. After all, it’s all about preparing and covering as many scenarios as possible, right? “Virtual kidnaps” caught all of us by surprise. It consists on someone knowing that a wealthy person is going to be “away from town” or unable to communicate for a certain period of time and taking advantage of it. They will call the family and say that X person has been kidnapped and that they have 30-60 minutes or sometimes more to pay (depending on the time the person will be unable to communicate) The family, unable to get in contact with the family member pays, only to later realize that it was all a scam.
Some SOBs even took advantage of real kidnaps, pretending to be the kidnapers and asking for ransom before the real kidnapers got in contact. This kind of “virtual kidnap” isn’t as popular anymore, though some get caught every now and them. Most smart people make sure they always know where family members are and communicate with cell phones or tell each other when they wont be available to prevent these situations.
I dedicated some time to the kidnap issue because I firmly believe that if your country goes through an economical crisis for any given reason, desperate immoral people will find out about the fine art of kidnapping soon enough and Americans may have to face this kind of threat, which they are not used to. I personally know a man that escaped his kidnapers 3 times. Once he escaped through the roofs, by removing some sheet metal in the room, and the other two he jumped out of the moving vehicle. You must think the man is 7 feet tall, all muscle, and trained with some of the best defensive schools… of course not. He’s a short, stocky, barrel chest fellow, now in his 50s that looks like a neighborhood Italian butcher.
This man’s weapons of choice? A frag grenade and a 357 revolver. He had the grenade rolling inside the car floor among the pedals the last time I heard of him. The thing would get caught under the pedals and at least once he crashed his car because of it.
He once even shot his own mother on the hip with the 357 magnum. A patient had escaped from a mental institution and broke into the woman’s house from the back yard. The old woman called his sons and the first to arrive was “grenade guy”. As soon as he entered the house he saw the man and shot him without saying a word, missed and wounded his mother in the hip. The poor escaped patient froze right were he stood when he heard the shot.
Right after this, the woman’s other son arrived and saw his mother bleeding on the floor next to his brother, and thought that the nut case had hurt her. Thank God they stopped him before he blew the poor man’s head off. This man obviously knows nothing about the proper equipment and defensive tactics, but hey! Anyone that escapes kidnapers 3 times has my respect. So, what can we learn from this?: That even though your weapons of choice may be a little “exotic” or even down right inappropriate, DETERMINATION, MENTAL ATTITUDE, ( along with a nice dose of good old luck) is enough to make the difference. The training helps a lot, and so does the gear, but in the end it’s all about attitude.
This man gets a 0 when it comes to weapons, shooting skills and tactics, but it’s all about proper survival mentality. He’s quite the SSS (shoot, shovel and shut up guy) and for sure has a few dead bad guys on his debt, not that I’ll ever know anything about that. He managed to survive and excel in a rough business, the recycling of paper, where they deal with paper scavengers, which are not exactly Berkley college boys, if you get my meaning. His recycling company made him and his family very rich, specially now, that there are lots of poor people that scrounge paper and cardboard to survive.
Bragging about the people you kill is not a good survival attitude, and should be avoided. Seriously, if you have problems keeping your mouth shut when it comes to stuff like this, do some serious soul searching and change it. Same goes for new guns, large food supplies or new equipment you may me proud of. The word gets around fast so keep it to yourself.
And this takes us back to the kidnapping issue.
“My Scout/Squad M1A1 looks SO cool! And it shoots like a champ. They cost a fortune right now, but I was smart enough to buy it before the economy crash back in XXXX! ” You tell your mechanic, a guy you’ve known for years. Now, the guy that your friend just hired, who just happened to overhear the conversation, him you never met before. Neither do you know that he’s a problematic kind of guy that has drug problems and is always looking for expensive stuff to sell.
You are also clueless when you are held at gunpoint some days later, just when you were leaving to the office, and the first thing the guy says is “I want the guns”.
So, what can you do to protect you family and yourself from kidnapers?
1) Keep you mouth shut about everything that has economical value, or your family’s schedule. Especially be careful around people that have economical problems or drug problems, people that always need cash. Don’t trust your employees with internal business affairs. Remember, most of the time the informant is someone close to the victim.
2) Keep a low profile. I know people that even though they have the money to buy any car they want, they stick to common low profile cars. Even the private school I went to when I was a kid that has its own mandatory uniform, encouraged parents to send kids wearing regular clothes instead. Kids dressed in private school uniforms where being kidnapped all over the place.
3) Learn evasive driving. Never allow cars to cut off escape routes. Again, the use of body armor may make the difference between escaping a well organized kidnap or not.
Get yourself comfortable and fix yourself a cup of coffee because this is one long subject that calls for a book of its own. I’ll do my best to synthesize and tell how driving changed after the economical collapse. As always, crime directly affects the way you will drive after TSHTF. As will the price or availability of spare parts determine what car should you get. Another factor to consider is that, as I said before services will suffer in quality after TSHTF. This means that roads will no longer be what they used to be.
People that live in 1st world countries are used to well kept streets and roads. Let me tell you, after only a few months of no maintenance, street will look as if bombed from an airplane. Rain and temperature difference destroys the pavement very fast.
Right now in Buenos Aires there are holes in the street the size of trucks. There were cases of cars actually falling inside these craters, so you can imagine the conditions streets are in.
A low car, designed for perfect pavement should be avoided as much as possible. That’s why I said that if I could do everything all over again I would get a 4×4 SUV.
This doesn’t mean that you should buy a huge 4×4 truck to drive around the city all day long. That’s not very practical and you do need a fast, easy to maneuver vehicle that can get out of problems fast. A medium size SUV should be the ticket for both agility and 4×4 power. Getting stuck in a roadblock because your truck is to darn big to maneuver around it, then what’s the use of the 4×4?
There are many options out there. The small Suzuki 4×4 are good options, though a little bit fragile for my taste, maybe a Jeep Wrangler would be better. Anyway, just keep in mind that your vehicle should be a compromise between speed, ease of maneuver or agility, and 4×4 traction.
Ok, so now you spent some hours on the Internet, searched for the best option, and you bought your brand new SHTF 4×4 car. Now what? Is that it? Unfortunately no. Choosing the right vehicle gives you the tool, but you now have to learn how to use it, and it’s not exactly what you learned when you got your drivers license, as a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite. I can read your mind “Go to sleep FerFAL. You are burned out and you make no sense” Let me explain.
Close your eyes. Look inside you. Find that little politically correct driver guy inside you, the one that was born the day you learned how to drive. You see him? Good! Grab him before he sneaks away. Now hit him, choke him, and kill that little PC driver guy inside you. I killed mine a couple of years ago. It took me about 2 years to drive the way I do now, to react without thinking. What does it mean? I no longer flinch, or stir the wheel when something comes close to the car; I keep driving as if nothing happens. A dog runs in front of the car and I don’t move an inch, a ball hits the windshield and nothing. I killed the little PC guy inside me, the one that used to say” Watch out! You are going to hit something/someone! Turn the other way!”. Reacting like that can get you killed after TSHTF.
Guys, you have to prepare for people throwing objects at your car, standing themselves in front of the vehicle so that you stop or crash against a light/tree/whatever, so that they can rob you. It takes time and determination, but you MUST get to a point where if the windshield blows in you can continue driving as best as you can, if someone puts twisted nails on the road and blows your tires, you keep calm and keep driving, always keep driving no matter what, until you get to a gas station or other place safe. Especially at night, or early morning you have to keep the car moving all the time. Of course this is not always possible. Sometimes there is too much traffic and you have to stop. In this case, slow down before you get to the cars, and keep the car moving slowly until the light changes, in order to always keep the car moving. Never cut away your own escape routes by getting too close to the car in front. Leave at least 5 meters or so in front of you, so that you have enough place to maneuver.
At night, no one stops at red lights in Buenos Aires. That’s why many districts decided to turn the traffic light to a permanent yellow at night, in order to reduce car accidents. There are places in Buenos Aires where you don’t stop at the traffic lights all day long. Today, when I was retuning from the University at 1.30 PM, I passed a red light right in front of a police patrol car. The cop didn’t say a word. He understands that no one stops on the Dark road (the road I take back home) unless it’s inevitable. This won’t happen over night. It will take at least a few months after TSHTF until cops and authorities understand the new reality of the country. Even now, there are those that may stop you from crossing on a red light at night. But most patrol cars will understand, even crossing the red light themselves.
Another variable that has to be dealt with on the street is people. People that live in 1st world countries have little problems and low stress compared to guys that don’t know where they are going to get money to feed their families next week, or when they are going to finally find a job.
ights among drivers in 1st world countries may end up in the beating of someone in the worst-case scenario. Over here, people are so nervous and aggressive that many times people kill each other. This should not be ignored guys, if SHTF the sheep will turn aggressive and might be dangerous. They will usually start a fight over a minor problem, just because they are nervous, or angry at the world. You can still get beat to death with a bat or bare hands you know? You car weaponry should take all of this into consideration. A handgun should be with you at all times, but it may be excessive for dealing with a mad driver. A bat and pepper spray will be enough to face an unarmed attacker, most times. I keep one canister of pepper spray and a small bat in my car at all times, apart form the 9mm pistol I may be carrying.
The pepper spray car tactic is the following:
1) Idiot driver starts a fight over XYZ.
2) Mad driver chases you, honking the horn, flashing lights and insulting.
3) I slow down, and let him place the car next to mine
4) 9 out of 10 times, the mad driver will lower the passenger window to insult you the better.
5) That’s when you grab the can of pepper spray, lower your own window as if for insulting and you spray him into his own car by surprise.
This will ensure that the mad driver will stop chasing you, and you prevent an even more violent episode where you would end up using lethal force. I had more than a couple of problems myself with other drivers. One Saturday night a guy in an armored truck chased me for several blocks, flashing lights and staying on my tail. I don’t know if he was mental, or on drugs, drunk or if he wanted to rob me. In this case having a smaller faster car allowed me to escape the nut driver. In another occasion a driver broke my right mirror. One time a guy got out of his car on a red light and started hitting my car. Of course, I didn’t get off the car. That would have been stupid and dangerous. What did I do? I had left some space between my car and the one on front. They guy was kicking my car on the right side. I put the gear on reverse, catching the guy between my car and his, and rolled him between the two like a freaking burrito. The guy fell to the ground, I never knew how bad he was hurt or not. I suppose that not too bad, because my car didn’t even show a small bump or dent, so it couldn’t have applied much force to the man’s body. I don’t care much, either. After going on reverse for a few meters, I shifted to 1st, turned left and left the place.
You should get to know your car and what it’s capable of. 180 degree turns using the hand brake isn’t that hard and after a day or two of practicing it you should be able to do it easily. If someone is chasing you and the situation is serious, suddenly hitting the brakes will bust the chasing car’s front, ruining the radiator and engine. You’ll crash you back side but your car will still work, his won’t.
Cars blocking the road (kidnapers, thieves) should be avoided with a 180 degree turn, or going on reverse fast and turning using the regular foot brake can also achieve a almost 180 degree turn. If you can’t go back because they have cars cutting the road there too, don’t crash your car as fast as you can “As seen on TV”. What you should do is: SLOWLY, place the front bumper of your car against the back wheel axis of the car blocking the road (they usually place the car ACROSS the road to cover more area) and accelerate. The trunk compartment, the back part of the car, isn’t nearly as heavy as the front part where the engine is, so it should turn quite easily when you accelerate. Shooting your handgun while maneuvering will keep them away from you while you do this.
These are just a couple of defensive driving techniques. If possible, take some defensive-dissuasive driving classes. They are almost as important as shooting classes, in my opinion. Almost forgot. As many, I like hearing music when driving, and I used to set it rather loud. I quickly found out this isn’t the smartest thing to do, since you can’t hear what is going on around you; shooting, people screaming, a car running out of control, for example. Keep the volume low so as to listen to what’s going on around you. Or turn it off completely if you are in a high risk area.
Of course windows and doors must be closed at all times. Also try to keep at least half a tank full worth of gas in jerry cans. There are times when a roadblock will force you around alternative roads that you didn’t count on. Extra fuel is nice to have. If room in the vehicle is an issue, have at least one small can. And, as always, keep eyes on the road. But not only for other cars and people, but for bumps on the street (that can sometimes be like craters) or rocks and other objects bad guys may put so as to make you crash or force you to stop. Your eyes should be focused much further away most of the time, so as to anticipate to this.
Through the course of my work with the magazine, my radio show and other survival and preparedness related projects, it’s easy to start to think that you already know everybody out there who’s spreading the word and sharing important prepper and survivalist info. To be sure, I’ve made a lot of great friends in the community over the last couple of years, but our numbers are growing and there’s still a lot of folks who I haven’t met yet. (many who have been “out there” on the internet much longer than I have). So whenever I have some free time (which is not as often as I’d prefer), I like to go and check out some of the other related blogs and websites that are out there and make some new acquaintences. Recently, I came across a couple of cool sites and met some nice folks who were happy to recommend this site and my show to their readers and I’m happy to do the same for them!
The following SHTF food storage tips are from one such site called: “Backdoor Survival“, whose owner; Gaye (aka Survival Woman) was kind enough to give her fans a heads-up about Survival and Beyond recently, and (if you haven’t already) I’d like to recommend y’all check out her site when you have a chance!
It’s all about community, folks. None of us can survive as a “lone wolf”.
Ten Tips That Will Guarantee You Have Food if SHTF
By Survival Woman
Some of the most popular web articles on emergency preparedness have to do with food. This is also a widely discussed topic in print and on forums. And it is no wonder. In today’s society eating is no longer just for sustenance. It is a social form, a source of family bonding and togetherness and for many, a hobby. And, with rising costs, it is a significant part of almost everyone’s household budget.
Today I would like to share ten tips for securing your food supply so that in the event of a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, or civil disobedience on a massive scale, you will be able to eat and to thrive – no matter what.
Protecting Your Food Supply – No Matter What Happens
1. Grow your own food: This sounds so simple yet few actually do it. There are lots of excuses: not enough room, not enough sunlight, don’t know how and so on. Well I say get over it. Whether you have a backyard area, a raised garden, or a few pots on the deck, with a little bit of work you can grow something. Try using edible plants in your landscape or how about some fruit trees or an herb garden?
2. Learn to “put up”: food by canning, freezing or dehydrating your bounty. With or without modern gadgets, putting up food as it is called, takes some effort but the results are worth it. You save money, control the use of salt and preservatives, and guarantee a source of food when the grocer’s shelves are empty.
3. Plan for supplemental power sources: If the power grid goes down, you will be out of luck if you only rely on a freezer for stored foods. One option is to get an emergency generator – just be sure that you also store an adequate amount of fuel. Or forget about freezing and either purchase canned foods or can and dehydrate your own.
4. Zip those lips: Be discreet. Don’t brag about how much food you have stored away or you will find yourself the hit of the cocktail set as your friends and neighbors take note of where to go to eat when the SHTF. Speaking of which, do you have a way to defend your food supply?
5. Get creative about storage: As with the garden, you may need to get creative when it comes to food storage. Walk around your home or apartment with a new set of eyes. What about under the beds or in a back corner of the closet? The crawl space under you house is good too – just remember to keep things elevated a bit so that a damp floor does not ruin your stored food.
6. Have alternative cooking sources: You are going to need some way to cook your stored food if the power is out. Pick up an inexpensive wood or charcoal burning grill such at the Volcano II Collapsible Stove. You can also – very very little money – get a rocket stove that will burn wood or biomass (twigs, pinecones and such). You will be amazed at how versatile these little stoves are. Also consider a solar oven. Whatever you choose, make sure you either have fuel or access to fuel.
7. Learn depression cooking: Cook from scratch, make your own bread, and learn to cook full meals from low-cost, easily stored staples such as beans and rice. One of the mistakes people make is to acquire food for emergency use yet continue to purchased pre-made, pre-packaged, or takeout food for daily consumption. They never learn to cook let alone learn to cook using the most basic of ingredients.
8. Take advantage of natures bounty: Depending on where you live, fishing or hunting or both may be an option for you. Learn fishing and
hunting skills now and please, don’t forget to learn to clean and cook your bounty. There are some excellent videos on butchering and well as preserving your bounty. It is not as difficult as you think.
9. Store food properly: Read about the six enemies of food storage and plan accordingly. Purchase food in bulk then package and store dry goods for the long term in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. Or shop at dependable vendors such as Emergency Essentials for foods that are already safely packaged for long term emergency use. You will be surprised at the many options available to you.
10. Depend on yourself, not the government: No list would be complete without reminding you that you need to rely upon yourself, and not others to tend to your needs if a disaster or other major catastrophic event occurs. Your neighbors, who have not prepared, may be downright hostile and the government, while well-intentioned, may take some time to get needed supplies to your area. Analyze the potential for disaster in your geographical area (earthquake, wild fires, floods, tornado, hurricane) and have a plan that you can implement should you need to shelter in place or evacuate.
The Final Word
There are tons of resources available to help you achieve food security by taking advantage of these ten tips. On excellent source to get you started are some of the articles here on Backdoor Survival (listed below). Another source is the DVD sets Food Production Systems for a Backyard or Small Farm and Food Storage Secrets.
However you choose to do it, work now on getting things growing and on learning the skills you will need in order to survive. And remember, when the public food supply is interrupted, it will be too late to start prepping.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Taking Advantage of Natures Bounty
Food Storage Mistakes and Goofs
SurvivalWoman Review: Volcano Collapsible II Stove
Food Storage Part I – A Primer on Oxygen Absorbers
Food Storage Part II: Unraveling the Mystique of Mylar Bags
Food Storage Part III: Food Grade Buckets, Lids and Gamma Seals
Depression Cooking: A Visit to Clara’s Kitchen
The Six Enemies of Food Storage
Growing and Raising 100% of your Food
From the Bargain Bin: Survival is all about learning to fend for yourself and food self-sufficiency is at the top of everyone’s list.
Canning: If you are interested in learning how to can and want the basics, the bible is the USDA Home Canning Guide. I have compiled all of the various sections into a single document and made it available for download here or if you prefer, you can download the individual sections at the USDA site.
Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner: If you are looking for just the right food preservation gear, check out this pressure canner and cooker. It is constructed of warp-resistant, heavy-gauge aluminum for fast, even heating and works on both regular and smooth-top ranges.
Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator: This food dehydrator is highly rated yet inexpensive. Be forewarned, though. One you are hooked on drying your home grown fruits and veggies, you just might want a dehydrator with a larger capacity.
Read more at Backdoor Survival
I have to admit, I’ve always been a sucker for yard sales and garage (or garbage depending on your attitude) sales. I know, it’s tempting to think: “Why should I want to buy any of that stuff, if they don’t even want it?” Well, as the old axiom goes; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and you can find some really useful survival items at yard sales, as well as older items that you just can’t find anymore, or aren’t made as sturdy as they used to back in the day. Just because the seller has no use for it (or can’t see a use for it) doesn’t mean it’s useless.
The following is a post from my friend; Lisa Bedford (The Survival Mom) listing 21 survival items to look out for at local yard sales, swap meets, garage sales and thrift stores:
- Sterling silver flatware — Even if you can only afford to buy a spoon or a fork at a time, sterling silver is known to have antimicrobial properties. Some people believe that simply using silver flatware as everyday eating utensils can ward off harmful microbes. Typically, a single piece of silver, such as a spoon, will run about $50. Buy from reputable sellers, such as established estate sale agents and thrift stores.
- Survival related reference books — Peruse Amazon lists such as this one and become familiar with titles, authors, and subject areas. Books about homesteading, gardening skills, primitive camping, wilderness survival, and so much more are very often found for just a couple of dollars, or less. Other books to look for: Boy Scout manuals, Foxfire books, and issues of Backwoods Home magazines and anthologies.
- Grain mill — A good mill can run upwards of $300 and more, but it’s not uncommon to find them in yard sales and thrift stores. Familiarize yourself with good brand names, ask to test the mill with actual wheat (if possible), but otherwise, I’ve found mills in very good condition for less than $50.
- Camping equipment — Good quality tents, sleeping bags, camp stoves, lanterns, cots, etc. are often sold at very low prices by people who thought camping was a great idea, tried it once or twice, and decided to stick with hotels! Their loss is your gain!
- Good quality knives — Look for brand names such as K-Bar, Cold Steel, and Gerber and know how to spot quality. A Swiss Army Knife is also a good find.
- Homeschooling supplies — In a crisis, you may end up being your children’s teacher. Workbooks, classic literature, flash cards, math manipulatives, textbooks, and even school supplies are very often for sale by homeschoolers who are moving up a grade or have decided to liquidate their stockpile of school supplies.
- Winter wear — I once picked up a super heavy duty men’s winter coat for ten dollars. I was thrilled because it looks like it’s never been worn and came in a dry cleaner’s bag. Look for snow boots, winter gloves, and other pieces of winter wear, and if you have kids, buy this clothing in a size or two larger for future winters.
- Boots — Work boots, riding boots, gardening boots, mucking boots, military boots, motorcycle boots, cowboy boots, hiking boots, desert boots — who knew there were so many different kinds of boots? Check for quality construction and material as well as wear and tear. When it comes to taking care of your feet, always go for quality.
- Tools — There’s just something about old tools from the 40′s and 50′s that beats the heck out of today’s “Made in China” label. Some sellers are savvy to the higher quality of their tools and may ask a bit more, but in the long run, it will be worth it.
- Battery-operated appliances — I get a lot of questions about survival following an EMP or long-term power outage. If you find battery powered fans, important appliances, and other tools, buy them, just to be ready for a power-down scenario. Be sure to stock up on the appropriate batteries as well.
- Food dehydrator — No need to be a snob about this. I still use the inexpensive American Harvest dehydrator I bought a few years ago on Craigslist. I spent $30 and got extra trays, fruit leather trays, and even a couple of screen trays.
- Fishing equipment — I’ve seen top-quality fishing poles, nets, enormous collections of flies, rods, reels, you name it. If part of your survival plan is to go fishing for food, estate and yard sales are prime sources for supplies.
- Emergency supplies — I’ve picked up emergency radios, lanterns, backpacks, water purification tablets, and paracord. Most of what I have in my Vehicle Emergency Kit was found at these sales. By the way, here’s a tip: often the best survival related supplies will be found out in the garage, if you’re attending an estate sale.
- Tough kids clothing — Believe it or not, when my son was quite young, I discovered that Gymboree made the toughest jeans on the market. I don’t believe he ever wore a hole through the knees of his Gymboree jeans. Kids are notoriously tough on clothes, so when you’re looking at second hand clothing, go for brands and fabrics that will stand up to serious wear and tear. Buy them in larger sizes, so you’ll be ready for growth spurts.
- Canning jars and supplies — Look for Ball brand jars in all sizes. You can always buy the lids and rims at a grocery store or on Amazon. Also look for things like a magnetic lid lifter, funnel, jar tongs, and large pots. It would be a good idea to know prices of new canning supplies. Once I was at an estate sale, found a nice large water bath canning pot, but when I checked the price on Amazon, the yard sale price was higher!
- Manual kitchen and household tools — Do you have a manual egg beater? A flour sifter? Enough manual can openers? A manual meat grinder? I’ve seen all of these and more at estate and yard sales. During a long-term power outage, you’ll be glad to have them!
- Cast iron cookware — Guess where I picked up my two best cast iron skillets? Yep, at garage sales!
- Cookbooks — Specifically look for cookbooks that provide recipes for outdoor cooking, canning, Dutch oven cooking, and cooking with basic ingredients.
- Good quality gardening tools and supplies — Often, in urban and suburban settings, gardening is a fad that comes and goes. You will likely find everything you need for your garden just by shopping yard sales and Goodwill.
- First aid and medical supplies — Boxes of surgical gloves, bandages, butterfly strips, surgical scissors, sterile gauze and entire well-equipped first aid kits are sold at bargain prices. Once I even saw an old Army first aid kit with a snake-bite kit and ammonia inhalants, circa 1955! I prefer estate sales, and very often, the owner of the home was taken care of by a visiting nurse service. I’ve found massive amounts of medical supplies in just these types of sales. Don’t worry, I didn’t buy everything! I left some for you!
- Hunting supplies and firearms — In some yard/garage sales, you just might get lucky and spot hunting rifles and even handguns for sale. If you see lots of hunting related items, quietly ask the homeowner if he/she also has firearms for sale. There are plenty of other hunting supplies out there, though, including gun cleaning kits and decoys. If you hit the right yard sale, you might feel like you’re in Cabela’s!
Read more at TheSurvivalMom.com
Part IV in Fernando Aguirre’s essay: Thoughts on Urban Survival.
-Interlude -Studying the SHTF at the University: Dark omens.
I forgot it! Darn, same as the gold stuff but worse, much worse. I’ve never been good at remembering some things, like numbers and names of people I meet, I forget those (instantly), they just flee my mind, uneventfully, but I do remember some other things that don’t seem to be as important. I do remember living in USA as a kid. I remember my school, Pierce School, Don’t remember exactly were it was, because we lived some in Boston, Massachusetts and some in New Hampshire. I remember my best friend, Freddy, and a girl (why is there always a girl? ) Samantha, Sam. She was red haired and tall, I had a picture of her playing together but I lost it. Some time between the age of 3 and 26 I lost that picture that was so dear to me. I remember the smell of an orange shaped “scratch and smell” sticker my kindergarten teacher stuck in a small book we made once. But I almost forgot this forever. This, this was important, a moment where the life we once knew stopped existing, and a group of students, in a class room that looked like and abandoned building, realized it, all 60 of us at the same time.
It’s 1:06 AM over here. I just finished showering and my wife and son are asleep. I was putting shampoo on my hair, thinking about what I wrote today on this post, and remembered the exact moment when I realized along with several other people, not only that TSHTF (that we all knew) but that the world we once new no longer existed, and that this was not a hurricane, this was an ice age period, it wouldn’t just go away.
We understood it the same way a kid understands photosynthesis: Because a teacher coldly explained it to us, even used graphics. I slept 5 hours yesterday, 2 hours the day before yesterday. Saturday night I didn’t sleep at all. I’m already used to it. Deadlines at the University, staying late at night, drawing in CAD 3D, waiting until Renders are ready. It’s a competitive world out there, and no one sympathizes with what you are going through, they just want you to perform as expected, and the standard is always high. It happened 4 years ago, almost a year after the December 2001 crisis. It was a social studies class and this teacher, don’t remember if it was a he or a she, was explaining the different kinds of social pyramids. God! Now I remember more! We even had a text book with those darn, cruel pyramids! The first pyramid explained the basic society. A pyramid with two horizontal lines, dividing those on top (high social class) those in the middle (middle class) and the bottom of the pyramid (the poor, proletarian). The teacher explained that the middle of the pyramid, the middle class, acted as a cushion between the rich and the poor, taking care of the social stress. The second pyramid had a big middle section, this was the pyramid that represents 1st world countries. I which the bottom is very thin and arrows show that there is a possibility to go from low to middle class, and from middle to the top of the social pyramid. Our teacher explained that this was the classic, democratic capitalist society, and that on countries such as Europeans one, socialists, the pyramid was very similar but a little more flat, meaning that here is a big middle section, middle class, and small high and low class. There is little difference between the three of them.
The third pyramid showed the communist society. Where arrows from the low and middle class tried to reach the top but they bounced off the line. A small high society and one big low society, cushioned by a minimal middle class section of pyramid. Then we turned the page and saw the darned fourth pyramid. This one had arrows from the middle class dropping to the low, poor class.
“What is this?” Some of us asked.
The teacher looked at us. “This is us”.
“It’s the collapsed country, a country that turns into 3rd world country like in pyramid five where there is almost no middle class to speak, one huge low, poor class , and a very small, very rich, top class.”
“What are those arrows that go from the middle to the bottom of the pyramid?” Someone asked.
You could hear a pin drop. “That is middle class turning into poor”.
I won’t lie, no one cried, though people rubbed their faces, held their heads and their breath.
No one cried, but we all knew at that very moment that all we thought, all we took for granted, simply was not going to happen.
“You see, the income from the middle class is not enough to function as middle class any more. Some from the top class fall to middle class, but the vast majority of the middle class turns into poor” Said the teacher.
I don’t know how many people in that room suddenly understood that he/she was poor.
The teacher continued “You see, we have a middle class that suddenly turns to poor, creating a society of basically poor people, there is no more middle class to cushion tensions any more. Middle class suddenly discovers that they are overqualified for the jobs they can find and have to settle for anything they can obtain, there for unemployment sky rockets, too much to offer, too little demand. You see they prepare, study for a job they are not going to get. You kids, you are studying Architecture because you simply wish to do so. Only 3 or 4 percent of you will actually find a job related to architecture.”
We all sat there, letting it all sink in. After a few months, it all proved to be true. Even the amount of students that dropped out of college increased to at least 50%. They either saw no point in studying something that would not make much of a difference in their future salaries, had no money to keep themselves in college, or simply had to drop college to work and support their families.
Someone once said, in this forum, that if this had happened in USA, the social unrest would have been much worse, because people from S. America are stronger. At first, I told him that I didn’t think so, I said that all humans adapt when they have no other choice. But now that I consider it more, maybe he was right. Not that S. Americans are stronger, but they are more used to adversities. Most of us are children from grandparents that escaped civil war, either in Spain or dictators in Italy, our parents survived the dirty war, even more dictators, and therefore their children are of strong character too. Can USA citizens survive what we survived? Of course they can, though I think that there are too many that are not like you, many that don’t prepare, and take everything for granted. Those are the ones that will be responsible for the increase in the social unrest once the SHTF, those that were too lazy to take care of themselves before the SHTF, or that had gone soft through out the years, believing that the government will “take care of them because they pay their taxes”. But in the end, they will pull through. People will adapt, they always do. You’d be surprised. And those that don’t want to adapt to the new reality they live in, will die young, thus cleaning the gene pool and ensuring the continuity of the specie. It’s been this way for thousands of years.
CRIME AND INSECURITY
Even though crime has always been an issue in South America, my country was quite the exception. It was dangerous, yes but nothing like after the 2001 economical crisis. One used to be able to let kids play on the sidewalk, or walk back home from a party, a few blocks, and be somewhat safe. This all changed now. There are no kids playing on the sidewalks anymore. I should emphasize this a little more. There are absolutely NO kids playing on the sidewalks at all, at any time of the day. Maybe a kid rides his bike a few meters on the sidewalk, but always under the supervision of an adult. A kid riding a bike on his own will get that bike stolen in no time, probably get hurt in the process, therefore no responsible parent leaves a kid alone on the street. Teenagers present a greater problem. You can’t keep a 15 or 16 year old inside a house all day long, and even though they are big enough to go out on their own, when the sun goes down things get much worse.
This is when parents organize themselves; either taking them to someone’s house or to a club and picking them up at a certain time. Taxis and remises are used sometimes , but there have been lots of cases of girls getting raped, so no parent worth a buck leaves his son or daughter in hands of a stranger. After years of living like this, almost everyone learned to be careful; sometimes they had to learn the hard way. Practically no one leaves a door or window opened or unlocked. Nor do they hang out in front of the house talking to friends. A bad guy might just see you there, like a sitting duck, pull a gun on you and take you inside your house.
There are no “bandit’s law” anymore. One used to hear people talk about “You shouldn’t resist a robbery, give them what they want and they’ll go away”. That holds true no more. These guys are under the influence of drugs, epoxy glue, or just hate your guts so much, because you have a better life than they ever dreamed of, because they were abused since the day they were born, that they will hurt and humiliate you as much as they can. Letting a criminal inside you house almost guaranties you that he will rape/beat/ torture and abuse whoever they find inside.
I personally drew a line a few years ago and decided, after one long, serious conversation with my wife; that no one would be allowed inside the house, no matter what. We figured that there are worse things than death. Having decided that, I make sure I always have a weapon on me. They’ll have to pay dearly for my life, plus interests.
By far, the most dangerous moment of the day, is when I (or my wife) leave/enter my house. A solid, secure house cannot be broken in easily, so criminals wait until you are standing on front of the door with the keys on your hand to jump on you. This is why we are extra alert when approaching our house, look all around us and if we see anything strange, keep walking around the block or keep on driving. No door is ever opened when there is a strange person around. Whenever someone knocks on our door (and we don’t know him/her), they are answered from a second story window. Criminals sometimes disguise as electric company guys or something like that, saying that they have to fix something. NO! If there is something to be fixed they can fix it on the sidewalk. Anything inside your house is your responsibility and the company is not going to fix it for you. Either way, it’s always better to play it safe, Better to be rude than dead.
On the car/driving issue, that calls for an entire post dedicated to SHTF driving. For now I’ll just say that windows and doors have to be closed at all times, a weapon must be within arms reach, and that stop signs and traffic lights have a whole new meaning once TSHTF. If your country ever falls as mine did, you’ll remember me whenever you see a traffic light. You never stop at a red lights or stop sign unless there is traffic, especially at night.
At first, police would write you a ticket for not stopping at a red light if they saw you (another way of saying that they will ask for a bribe if they see you pass a red light), but after a few months they realized that nothing could be done, people would rather risk a ticket than risking their lives, so they decided to turn traffic lights to permanent yellow at night, after 8 or 9 PM. This is, of course, very dangerous. Night car accidents are both frequent and brutal since sometimes both cars hit each other at full speed.
MissinLink asked some good questions that might interest others as well, and since we are on the security issue, here they are:
“Do the invaders of homes in the country just drive up in cars or trucks? Do they hide and sneak up? How do these home invaders attack a home in the country? A similar question could be asked for homes in the city.”
Sometimes they just drive up to where you are working, if you are far away from the home, but most of the time they sneak up on you. Criminals are not stupid, and they will spend days checking the place and specially YOUR ROUTINE. For example, if they see that you lock the gate at night, as most do, they will wait for you behind a tree until you are close. This is done a lot. Dogs are the best alarm you can find, and criminals know that. They will poison them with pills when you go to sleep and attack the place in the middle of the night. I know of many that had their dogs killed. If they think that security is tight, they will just hide near the main gate, and wait for you to leave or return. When you stop at the gate and must get out of the truck to open/close the main gate, they attack. I’d say that the most frequent kind of attack is attacking by surprise when you enter/leave your home.quote:
“Most common times of attack? Day night evening morning? I understand occur when coming or going from ones home, etc.”
7 am, 9 am, 1pm 7pm, all are common times for attacks. There is no “safe” hour of the day. Night is particularly dangerous. Maybe attacks during the day are faster, they want to get some money or jewelry and leave fast, while at night they might stay inside more time, maybe till the next day. But there are no fixed patterns. If I could give one advice concerning SHTF security, it would be: Eyes and ears wide open when you enter/leave your home. If possible, keep a gun on your hand when doing either one. If something looks, even “feels strange, then go around the block and check again, carefully. If you see them still there, either call the police (if still available) or get help. If you approach the house with a large number of people they will leave. One time, I saw a couple of strange looking guys at my door. I went round the block and saw them still there. I started flashing the car lights and the horn and they left. I had a gun with me, though, so be careful when trying this. Also, remember that a car is one heavy, powerful piece of machinery. I know a guy that had one of those big chrome–tube bumpers installed on his truck, especially for hitting those that were stupid enough o try to make him stop by standing in front of the car.
If I had a truck, I would do so myself. Though I would keep my mouth shut about it, as always. Just say that you think it looks cool or something. Every now and then someone tries to force me to stop my car by standing in front of it (I suppose there are still fools out there that get robbed this way), in the middle of the street. I just aim at them and accelerate at full speed. They always jump out of the way before I hit them. By the way, at first, doing this made me feel nervous, but can you believe that now it’s just common driving, as normal as changing gears? I guess it’s a little sad.