Monday, September 27, 2010


It is my personal opinion that within my lifetime I will experience a large catastrophe of some sort, if not a wide-scale socio-economic paradigm shift. At worst, a complete societal collapse is completely possible.  In the future, I'll explain some of these situations, but for now just know that I am fairly certain that these things have a high probability of coming to pass.  As such I feel it is important to educate, and 'awake' others to the possibilities of these things, particularly those I love.  

My goal is to eventually have a small group of people who I am close with and trust who are all preparing, who would participate in purchasing a bug-out retreat, and training.  The basic notion is that you're better off with a group than alone - multiple people can do much more work, can chip in for purchasing of land, and have a wider skill-set. 

Most people don't want to confront the inevitability of something like Peak oil, or its implications given the high population density of America.  It is important to ease them into the notion rather than shock them - people in general are more willing to commit to something if they come to the conclusion to do it on their own rather than be told.  I'm currently in the process of recruiting some people, and its slow going!

I've got a gaggle of friends who have at one point in time expressed interest in survivalism or camping, and the plan is to get together with all of them, and do fun things.  Simple stuff like learning to make fire with nothing but a knife, a shelter that'll keep you warm and dry in the middle of a snowstorm out of sticks and leaves. In teaching these things I can interject small bits of possibilities for survival situations to get them thinking, and gradually expose them to more severe possibilities and eventually the notion of a survival 'group,' which, if I do it right, they'll come to the conclusion of on their own.  

I was to meet these folks this past weekend, but unfortunately no one showed up, so I'm a bit bummed.  In a few weeks though I'll try again, and hopefully I'll have some better results to report upon.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Old Bug-out-Bag Loadout

The following is the contents of my older bug-out bag. It has since received many adjustments but I figured it might be good to show what it used to be, and what it has become. 

For those who don't know, a 'Bug out Bag' or 'Get outta dodge bag' is a backpack or some kind of bag that contains everything you'd need to survive for 2-5 days if you had to suddenly, and immediately depart your current residence or way of life.  In thinking before such an event, one can clearly think out and prepare and pack, whereas in the event of suddenly needing to depart, you'll forget too much, which could be potentially hazardous and deadly. If you've ever gone on a trip and packed the day of or the night before, you've undoubtedly forgotten things, like toothbrushes or a tie or something.

if you were packing for your life and survival, the things you'd forget might cost you your life!  

In the movie "War of the worlds" Tom Cruise informs his family at one point that 'we're leaving this house in 5 minutes.' Would you know what to bring? What to take, what's important?  My bag is stored near my door, and sometimes I take it to work in my car, so that I can easily pick it up and walk out the door.  I'll get into this more in future posts. 

For now, here is the contents of my old bag:

A.  First Aid Kit. I found this in the dumpster at the end of the year and I still haven't figured out why it was being thrown out. After getting rid of some extraneous stuff and adding certain things, it contains, among other things:
- ACE bandage
- Medical Tape, Gauze
- Band-Aids of Assorted Size
- Antiseptic Wipes
- Alcohol Wipes
- Iodine
- A bottle of Multivitamins
- Ibuprophen
- Latex Gloves
- Needle and Thread
and as it is bulky and waterproof, I've also put important documents and maps in there
B. Clothes. Simple and lightweight, Tshirts, a change of Pants, Long Underwear tops and Bottoms, Several Changes of Underwear and Socks, a wool sweater. 
C. Scissors, Handkerchiefs
D. Wool Gloves with cut-finger tips and a Mitten Fold Down. (Hobo Gloves)
E. "Camel Bak" style soft water container.  holds about 2-3 liters of water, tube connects to shoulder straps for easy acess and hydration.
F. Navigation Gear - Compass, laminated Maps of Northeast United States, Individual States, Elevation and Terrain Maps as well as Roadmaps.  Compass attached to caribiner and carried on outside for easy access and navigation, as well as markers for checkpoints and other stuff. Additionally I've pre-plotted a route to my destination as well as marked water sources and areas to avoid (high population, frequently used, or marshes)
G. Personal Hygiene Products - Floss, Toothpaste and a Brush, Chapstick, etc etc.
H. Water Filter - This is a handy water bottle that can filter any water into potable drinking water.  Combination micro filter and charcoal filter - you fill the bottle up, put the cap/filter on, and just squeeze water into mouth. Good for like 500 gallons of water, I think. 
I. Thermarest Collapsable Pad. - This is super important for staying warm and comfortable at night. If you've ever camped and forgotten on you'll know what I mean. The sleeping bag is not enough, no matter how cold its rated to keep you warm. You need some way to further separate yourself from the ground. Airmattresses are great but if I have to break the camp quickly its going to take a while to decompress them, which is why i opted for a thermarest instead. 
J. Rations.  Powerbars, Rice, Bullion Cubes, Beef Jerky. Stuff that'll keep 
K. Hand-Wound Flashlight. 
L.  Chemical Hand and foot warmers, hand sanitizer, large plastic ziplock bags
M. Large waterproof poncho, leather shoestrings
N. Synthetic Rope. The orange stuff is thick and could be used for shelters, hoisting rations and meat out of reach of bears and wolves, and other stuff, while the thinner black rope in the center has multiple uses. Additionally, if you take it apart the threads on the inside can be used for sewing or fishing line. 
O. Hemp Twine - after you get it wet it tightens a bit, like leather, so you can use it for fastening stuff for implements. 
P. Throwing Knives.  While impractical for defensive use unless you're REALLY good at throwing 'em, I find they'll be useful for constructing spears for fishing or defense, as they can easily be lashed to the end of a stick. 
Q. Space Blanket/Tarp - one side is space blanket which would help to keep me warm or reflect a fire's heat back down at me, the other side is a tarp protecting me from the elements. 
R. Machete with Saw on opposite edge.  Cutting down saplings, clearing paths, and defense (as its quite imposing against an unarmed or knife-carrying opponent) I've got this set up for easy access while the bag is on, while keeping it relatively well hidden.S. (not shown) 55-65lb  Compound Bow and 8 Arrows, with Broadhead Tips. 

There are other things that I chose not to show, like a fishing kit, forks and knives, campware and such.  But basically there it is. 

This bag is meant to get me from point A to B, allowing me to scrounge a bit of food and perhaps other equipment on the way.  Go bags and Bug out Bags are by no means a permanent solution to a sudden paradigm shift, more of a solution for the time.  It is impractical to believe that you'll simply go off into the woods and mountains and live off the land alone while society crumbles. 

For me, its get home, meet up with family or friends, then plan from there

A Blog, Begin!

A lot of my friends think i’m somewhat nuts. A lot of my friends have jokingly said “if zombies attack, i’m comin’ to you!” to which I’ve always responded “thats fine, so long as you can keep up.” These days though I’m trying to play down the survivalism side of me, since realizing that advertising preparedness might not be the best thing to do in the long run, especially now that my plans have changed. 

I ‘awoke’ in 2005 when three things sort of collided. The first was my brother bought a used compound bow for me for my birthday. It was older than I was, but it still worked fine, and I started going to a nearby indoor range and getting good at it on my own.  I was in college in Baltimore at this point, and that year Hurricane Katrina hit pretty hard. I remember my mom calling me during the reports of looting and the like, and asking me “do YOU know what YOU would do, if a storm like that hit Baltimore?”

This sort of resonated with me for a while - the previous year I had been held up by a gang member who had produced a sawn off shotgun while walking to a library on a sunday afternoon, and the thought of those people roaming the streets in what I would come to know as a survival situation rattled me. As the year came to an end, for christmas my parents bought me a Katadyn Extream XR personal water purification kit for me and my brother.  They told me to throw it in my old backpack along with everything I’d need if I had to get out of the city quickly.  

It was at that moment that I began to think about what I would truly need, where I would go, and how I could get there. I researched other people’s G.O.O.D bags and thought about what I would need.  Over the next two years I tried random emergency escape plans to gauge how far I’d be able to get in a night, and what I discovered was that I was firstly very out of shape, and secondly extremely underarmed - a compound bow is not perhaps the best self-defence weapon.  My go-bag evolved, got bigger, and i began to exercise more often, i lost weight and began incorporating hiking into my weekly schedule.  After graduating and getting a job near the city I moved outside of downtown in an area that is more or less off the beaten path. My parents helped me move the remaining stuff from home in the Northeast down to my new place, and after a long day of moving I excitedly showed them my go-bag.

My plan was to firstly get out of the populated areas and get to a system of woods (like the Appalachian Trail) that I could travel up to Connecticut and reunite with the family relatively without much population interact.  I showed them the maps I had marked and written on, possible paths drawn through areas of low population density and higher wooded areas.  They were pleased that I had taken the time and thought things through but they were hesitant that I should even try to get home.  It was a long journey, and in a SHTF scenario, they told me I would probably be better off not going home, and that they would want me to go on without them.  At the time I didn’t understand and was confused, but as time passed their logic became evident: In getting back to the house I grew up in, I’d have to cross through some of the more densely populated areas in the northeast, and like i’d always been told growing up at the beach “It is dangerous to even swim across the rip tide.”

It was a tough pill to swallow, and I still think that I would disobey their wishes here, depending on the crisis that I would be bugging out to. Reassuringly though, they have made plans to move out west, so with any luck a more stable bug-out location might soon become availible.  Until that time however I began to consider my options, and after reading some more survivalism, less scout-craft literature I began to see how foolish my original ‘bug out to the woods’ plan was. 

Sure, the get to the woods might work for a few days, but I really don't have the basic, pure skills and experience to properly survive for any extended period of time. I needed a better plan, a place to go in the event of full grid-down or rioting or any of the many different possible shitstorm scenarios that could pop up in the future. 

So this blog is to be a sort of archive and repository of thoughts and excursions. In my next post I'll probably outline what my bug-out-plan has become, now that it's not simply go off into the woods and hike home.  In the future I hope to go over a variety of things, from scoutcraft, to weapons, food preparation, to recruiting people into your mindset and group. 

Hope you enjoy