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Friday, December 2, 2011

Survival Test: Do you have what it takes?



The tensions in the Mideast are rapidly escalating. Israel's Prime Minister calls for a bi-partisan United Nations investigation into claims that Lebanon's Hezbollah has acquired soviet chemical munitions from Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Several European countries, as well as the US cabinet quickly condemn the use of chemical weapons. Much saber rattling ensues over the course of two weeks.


A team of covert Hezbollah operatives infiltrate into the heart of Jerusalem, detonating a chemical weapon. 200 Israeli's die as a result of the explosion. Within minutes Israel's Civilian Defense Minister urges Israeli citizens to take precautionary measures against the introduction of biological and chemical attack.

The Israeli Defense Forces launch a massive missile barrage into Lebanon. IDF Fighter aircraft sweep across the desert to drop their heavy-ordinance payloads into Lebanon's major cities. Paratroopers seize key Hezbollah facilities and round-up Hezbollah leadership. American made M-1 Abrahams of the Israeli tank forces race across the desert towards the Lebanese borders. Helicopter gunships supporting Israeli troop-transport helicopters engage Hezbollah forces along the major highways leading into the heart of Beirut.



All across the globe there is outraged condemnation against Israel's punishing retaliatory strike into Lebanon. Vivid images of dead and dying Lebanese children quickly flood the news channels. Shaky videos emerge of IDF troops gunning down surrendering Hezbollah fighters.

The mid-east is once again embroiled in another major war...

Tension mount even higher as Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls for the eradication of Israel; urging Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and other Islamic military powers to "Put an end to Israeli aggression".

Here in the US; the 82nd Airborne is placed on QRF (Quick Reaction Force) with a 4-hour recall. C-5, C-130, as well as C-141 aircraft are parked on the runways ready to go at a moment's notice.

The 5th Mechanized Infantry, along with other supporting elements begin preparations to deploy to the Mid-east theater. All across the US; military leaves and training exercise are cancelled, as the country ramps-up its war preparations.

Two Days Later:

Along the Golan Heights separating Israel from Syria, the armored and ground war reaches epic proportions as Jordanian and Syrian military units engage the Israeli s. The Negev desert of southern Israel once against is center-stage as Jordanian and Egyptian armored vehicles rumble across the Suez canal.


At 2:45 am a flight of Iranian Mig-30 Jet Aircraft streak across the Gulf Of Oman through Saudi Arabia. Armed with the latest Soviet built sophisticated air-to-ground rockets, they pound Tel Aviv and Haifa with laser guided munitions.

A submarine launched tactical nuclear weapon is introduced by the Iranian navy; the loss of life is staggering. The smoking ruins of Hebron, Bethlehem, and Jericho are testament to violence playing out in the region.



America responds by deploying the 82nd Airborne Division, as well as two Naval Carrier Task-Forces. 4000 US marines flood through the Red Sea. Countless American fighter aircraft roar across the night skies in route to their assigned bombing targets.

Expatriated Iranians in America begin their fifth column attacks against major American cities. Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, and other American cities come under assault by elements of Iranian Special Forces trained loyalists.

Explosive devices detonate in shopping malls, schools, churches, and government centers. Electrical and telephone stations are destroyed, and the drinking water reservoirs are poisoned. Home-made anthrax and other viruses are introduced into the air--many succumb to the biological attack against civilian targets. Escalating gunfire rips through quiet neighborhoods. Police forces are unable to quell the rising tide of violence. State Guard troops are deployed to protect critical infrastructure, and to restore peace within controlled areas.

Martial Law is quickly declared--road blocks and check points pop-up seemingly within minutes. Private firearms are quickly seized--many Americans die in a hail of gunfire refusing to relinquish their guns.


State militia and resistance units muster against government forces. Violent clashes occur almost around the clock in every major city in the country.

Life on the streets of America has just taken a radical left turn...


The Test:

· Are you cognizant of how the events in the Mid-East affects life in America?

· What is the "Trigger" that predicates a response from you during these events?

· Considering the immediate disruption to America's supply-chain distribution system; would you have the capacity to feed yourself for an extended period of time?

· Do you have the ability and willingness to endure the harshness of a prolonged crisis?

· How would you react to an armed-incursion into your neighborhood by militant Iranian loyalist?

· When faced with State Guard troops demanding the surrender of your firearms; how will you react?

· If you are planning to Bug Out--do you have a Safe Area to evacuate to?

· Are you planning on Bugging Out yourself, or will others be accompanying you?

· Do you have the necessary supplies cached for such an emergency?

· If you are under doctor's care--how will you continue treatment?

· Have you considered the physiological impact such an event could have on your children?

· Are you actually prepared for this type of scenario?



This test doesn't have any right or wrong answers. It's designed to get you to start thinking in terms of reality based survival strategies. If you think that this scenario is far-fetched; then I would offer that you haven't taken the time to explore the existential threats that we as a country face. Take a very close look at the World Events that are occurring at this very moment; and you will quickly understand the significance of how such a scenario might play-out in real world situations.

Fundamentally there is absolutely nothing that you and I can do about the events in the Mid-East. We are all victims to one degree, or another. What we can do, is to prepare our families for these eventualities, and do our very best to make contact with people that share our views and opinions.

This means "shucking" those ill-conceived notions about Bugging Out and living off the land. That might work for awhile--but at some point you will have to resupply yourself. Those that use this "crutch" are in for a very rude awakening when SHTF. They will either perish in a few weeks, or somebody's gonna' put a bullet into their chest when they are caught stealing from other survivalists.

Take the time to walk across the street and get to know your neighbors. Form alliances with like-minded people that agree to band-together during a crisis. You cannot do this alone. There is safety and strength in numbers--small groups have a much better chance at surviving a crisis, than the "lone wolf" survivalist does.

During these terrible times, you can only own the piece of real-estate that your feet occupy. There's always going to be people out there that are more violent. more intelligent in the ways of conflict, and more apt to take your life for a measly can of beef jerky. Human kind has always revert to this type of "survival" during adversities. Our history is filled with stories of these atrocities. Do not make the false assumption that you are immune to it.

This is the main reason that I started The Alaska Watchmen Group. During a crisis, I want to be surrounded by people that I can trust, and people that I can count on when SHTF. We talk on the phone, meet at the pizza parlor, and conduct classes and training sessions together. When things go radically south there's no doubt in my mind that Alaska watchmen will come together as a group. That is what we are all about. Our families are part of an extended family group. I would take a bullet for anyone in this group, and if a member dies during a crisis, their kids become my kids. That my friends is real survival--not internet based survival.

I urge each of you to consider this in the long-term perspective. There is no other way...



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So You Think You’re A Survivalist?

Franke Schein Alaska Watchmen State Commander

At the age of eight years old I had made-up my mind that I wanted to be a Mountain Man.

By the time I was Ten, I had read nearly everything published about survival. At the tender age of 11; I ran away from home to chase those dreams…

Over the course of the next year, (I didn’t know it at the time) but I executed a Tactical Bug Out from the deadly swamps of Florida, along a route that took me through backwoods of Georgia and Tennessee. I eventually settled myself down in the Daniel Boone National Forest—Koomer Ridge Kentucky. I was twelve years old at the time.

Along the way I managed to elude a boatload of police, truant officers, and nefarious people that were out to either capture me, or hurt me. The world was a different place back then, but it was nonetheless as dangerous place for a skinny eleven year old kid. Sexual predators, druggies, modern-day slave traders, and a host of others roamed the streets and countryside looking to take advantage of children. Gangs of every description plied their violence wherever they could; and farmers were likely to “shoot first” when confronted with a “chicken Stealing” runaway kid.

I learned hard, and I learned real quick the ways and manners of becoming a young survivalist. I grew up in the woods, and later migrated to the streets of America’s biggest cities. Cities that offered food, shelter, and a new lifestyle. A life of running with the violent street gangs—most of whom were runaway’s themselves. They were the outcast that society didn’t talk about, and the media only mentioned when one of their dead body was found in some ditch or garbage dumpster.

Many of these runaway kids ended-up in “Snuff Films” that were widely circulated at the time. Some stranger would offer food, money, shelter, and friendship. Only to later drug the kid, and film them being sexually abused—and then murder them by slitting their throat on camera. Many young boys and girls lost their lives to these “snuffers” as they were called in those days.

But I never forgot my “survivalist country-boy” roots; as often I would grab my backpack and start walking out of the city to reacquaint myself with the forest dwellers. For months I would play in the woods; hunting, trapping, fishing, stealing grub where I could, and doing my very best to keep the law from capturing me.

Twice I was cornered and caught by Park Rangers and Police that were just a little smarter than I was. Twice they locked me up in a Juvenile Detention Center. A prison for little kids; a finishing school for young career criminals. Bellevue Kentucky along the Ohio river was a very bad place at the time. Louisville's Juvenile Detention Center was the pits. Once the guards closed those steel doors at night; it was every kid for himself. You learned how to fight, how to quickly incapacitate, and how to be a Man at 14 years old. It was one of those “Do or Die!” experiences that came with the territory, and came with the time.

Each time that they locked me up—I would plan, and later execute my escape. Sometimes it took weeks or months, other times just a matter of days. Give me one single chance to “rabbit”—and then color me GONE. Twice I made my escape back into the forests of Kentucky and Tennessee. They never caught me again. I’d had enough of that crap to suit me the rest of my life.

Life in the woods was severe. The nights were cold, the hunger pangs omnipresent, the thought of being captured never out of my mind. When it rained I got wet. When it snowed I was cold. Bathing was done in the creek or ponds. Drinking water was boiled in an old tomato can. Wild edible plants were plentiful, but toilet paper was the Grand Prize. A steady diet of fish and greens will quickly convince you of this…

I stole what I could, when I could, and where I could. Nothing was safe around me. My first .22 rifle was acquired from a broke-down pickup truck on a rainy backwoods Kentucky dirt road. I learned how to shoot for meat, how to dry it out, and it helped to ease the constant hunger.

Fishing for catfish became a “hunger easing” passion. Bank lines, spear fishing, netting, and bow fishing were added to the survival skill-set. Snares and traps that I learned from reading the US Army Survival Manual kept me busy running the trap line. Some days would be good, others days were real bad. You took the bad with the good. There was no place to fall back to, and no choice but to put the left foot in front of the right.

Wild onions, potatoes, carrots, and a host of other veggies and fruits added to the (sometimes) daily meal. Supplemented with rabbit, squirrel, coon and possum; the meat helped to add protein to vitamin-deficient diet. The hides were used for many things—but mostly I traded them for cigarettes and .22 ammunition.

Other people lived out there in the forest. Most were criminals hiding out from the law, others were operating moonshine stills, or growing marijuana crops. All were dangerous people when surprised or confronted, but I learned how to barter with them; once that they understood that I was a run-away kid.

The “Bush Hippies” and “Back To Nature” crowd flooded the woods in the late 1970’s. They built earth-shelters houses, cute little cabins, and got themselves back to nature. But on the side they dealt in drugs, illegal guns, and often times formed their own little gangs. Gangs reminiscent of the Charles Manson’s “Helter Skelter” crowd. Being around these devil worshipping freaks brought another level of a dangerous element to the survival mix. A few people ended-up as human sacrifices to this crowd.

My home was a small earthen cave—a former bear den. I could barley stand up in it, but it was small, and easy to heat in the winter months. I learned how to keep the fires small, how to NOT draw attention to myself, and that no matter how nice that fire feels—I was still cold to the bones.

These days I look back onto those primitive days of my youth with resignation that I could have perished. But I am thankful that GOD allowed me to survive through those times, and grow into the Man that I have become today. I have been blessed in many ways; and I am humbled by the experiences.

I’ve watched some of the YouTube survival videos being posted out there. I have learned a few things here and there. It surprises me that there are so many people out there waning to live the life that I lived at a young age. Yet; I think that they don’t realize what they are wishing for. What Mother Nature has in store for them.

It’s pretty easy to fantasize about living off the land—but the stark reality isn’t as simple as what one would expect. The elements necessary to live off the land require more than gear and equipment. It requires skills and patience. It also requires a reality based survival plan—not the bullshit that I’ve seen on the internet.

Forget all that “Dual Survival” crap and come back to reality. Bear Gillis and Survivor Man have nothing in common with real survival. Their shows are teaching people to take unnecessary risks, and that it’s possible to live off the land anywhere. That’s why very few of their shows are done during the winter months. The few that I have watched, always end up with them “finding” what they need at “exactly” the right time. In real life it doesn’t work that way.

Here in Alaska—seven experienced mountain climbers have perished on Mount McKinley. These are the people that climb mountains for a living, and as a serious hobby. In some parts of Alaska, people walk out into the woods, and are never heard from again--EVER!

Executing a Bug Out should be the last thing on a survivalist's mind. Bugging Out should be a last option when everything else fails. But then the real world of survivalism actually begins. Here’s what I think about bugging out:

  • You will not be alone out there.
  • Shooting a gun will get people’s attention that will do you harm.
  • Camp fires will give away your position.
  • Flashlights a night are signals to “Come Steal My Shtuff” cuz’ I’m stupid.
  • Food should replace battery operated gear.
  • Night Vision devices are a waste of time in the field.
  • Over-reliance on technology will get you in trouble, or dead.
  • You cannot live out of your Bug Out Bag forever.
  • If you have no Safe Area to bug-out towards—you are already a victim.
  • Wild edible plants are hard to find under three feet of snow.
  • You gotta’ sleep sometime, that's when people like me “ghost” into your camp and take you stuff and life!



In a real survival situation, you have to understand that you will not be able to just head out into the woods and set-up a clandestine survival camp. The longer that you remain in one area, the more of the area’s resources you will use, and thus you will have to travel farther away from camp to get meat and veggies. That’s when you are most exposed, because your camp is a stationary area that will be easy to ambush. Never stay in one area more than 48-hours. Even then, you have to change sleeping areas several times, or set-up a decoy camp to draw the “bushwhackers’ into your own ambush site.

For those survival crisis that has you feeling government or UN troops—I got some real bad news for you: If you head into the woods you have already lost!

Make no mistake about it; the technology is on their side. They have all the cool toys and sophisticated weapons. Forward Looking Infrared Radar, Thermal Imaging, Satellite Movement Detection, Satellite Movement Tracking, Ambient Temperature Tracking, Chlorophyll Based Tracking Sensors, Sound Sensors, Movement Sensors, Heat & Light Sensors—most of these platforms are both airborne and space based devices. You will never even know that you are being watched and tracked. It would be better if you stayed in the cities and melted into the framework of what’s going on. When the Soviets invaded Poland in 1968, that’s what the Polish resistance did. They stayed hidden in plain sight, and caused the Russian Bear much grief.

If you think that you have what it takes to survive out there by yourself when being hunted by seasoned and experienced troops. Think Again! You have absolutely no chance against the military special forces, I don’t care what country their from. Rambo was a fictional Hollywood character—and you ain’t  him!


Your days will be filled with fright and fear. If you don’t believe that—then you have never been exposed to bullets screaming by your right ear. Your night will be cold because if you build a campfire to stay warm—you will probably never awaken.


And finally; for those off you that are heading out into the bush at the first signs of SHTF—what is your wife gonna’ say about that? Do you think that she’s gonna’ want to drag herself and the kids out into the cold dark countryside where Bad People with guns are waiting?  Better think about that little scenario, before you head off into your Bug Out Experience.


Like anything else that I have written; these are my own ideas, and the way that I work things out. They work for me, they might work for you—or not. It was written from the heart, and not to proclaim that anyone is doing things wrong, or that I’m right. It is what it is, and if you take exception to it—Tough Shit--Deal With It!









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