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Friday, December 23, 2011

Survival: Protecting What’s Yours


The use of firearms when SHTF is probably one of the most talked-about issues on the internet these days. In many cases, firearms sometimes rank higher than food supplies in some circles.

The trend in survival firearms has taken a radical right turn; instead of defensive weapons, many have turned towards assault rifles, and offensive weapons. It’s not uncommon to see survivalists wearing tactical gear, Kevlar helmets, ballistic vest, and sporting an assortment of battle-ready guns with multiple magazines of ammunition.

The problem with that is; it doesn’t leave much room for survival gear. Heading out into the woods with tactical gear, and preparing for a gun battle is okay if that is your mindset. But the reality is that all of that gear won’t help you one bit—when faced with multiple opponents. On the contrary, it will only serve to make their job easier because it’s hard to run wearing all of that gear.

When I train newbies out in the field, the rule is only carry the things that you will actually need, and replace everything else with food supplies. Nothing is as important as food—nothing!

One of the things that I attempt to have people understand, is that even though firearms are an integral part of any survival plan, they should not be the entire plan.

No matter what the weapon of choice is; it is necessary to first become intimate with the weapon. That means spending a lot of time at the range, shooting at various distances, and shooting during weather extremes. It takes hundreds of hours to “Become One” with your weapon. But when the honeymoon is over, you’ve got something in your hands that is both familiar and might provide for an extra edge if you are ever forced to shoot somebody down.

It really doesn’t matter the make or model of the rifle, what matters is the weight, the maneuverability, and whether or not you can hit what you are aiming at in any survival or weather condition. One of my more favorite weapons is an old Soviet battle rifle: The Mosin-Nagant M1944 7.62x54R bolt action rifle. The rifle is sometimes referred to as a “Russian .308”; and that would be a close description.


[ Mosin-44 Out in The Alaska Back Country ]

The Mosin-44 is a trusted old rifle that is still being used today in many parts of the world. Here in Alaska, these old rifles are found in the hands of Eskimo hunters, and homesteaders alike. It’s reputation and durability makes this a rifle that has earned its place by the people that count on it for their day to day existence.

I’ve owned and fired tons of weapons throughout the years. Some weren’t worth a plugged nickel, while others were worth their weight in gold. One of my more favorite defensive weapon is a Diamond Back .380 caliber handgun. It’s small size makes it an ideal carry-weapon,. It certainly doesn’t pack the same punch as a .45 ACP, but again—it’s all a matter of getting to know your weapon, as well as your own capabilities. What is amazing for this small caliber cartridge, is the penetration factor. As a primary combat weapon it’s all but useless due to to lack of energy; but up-close-personal, this weapon will do what’s asked of it.


[ DB-380 Semi-Auto Handgun ]

Survivalists should consider firearms as yet another tool that gets the job done. Over-reliance on weapons is the one problem that should be avoided. To me personally; a rifle that I carry in the bush has to be suited for hunting and defensive situations. The standard that I apply to myself is that I carry one rifle, and one handgun; perhaps if the situation requires it, I may also hump a folding-stock shotgun. But in my own survival plans, everyone in my group is armed, and even if it’s just my family and I tromping around in the bush—we all carry weapons.


When SHTF; protecting the family and yourself, as well as protecting your stockpile will require firearms that are capable of doing the job with little or no frills. A basic pump shotgun, an assault rifle, or even a bolt action rifle will make life miserable for those individuals who foolishly believe that a “force of arms” will feed them.

I much prefer the heavy caliber weapons such as the belted-magnums. There is no doubt in my mind that a .375 H&H magnum will punch right through ballistic armor. Subsequently, the .454-Casull Magnum will certainly eat bullet-proof vests everyday of the week.

Additionally; in the hands of an experienced shooter, the bolt action .308 caliber rifle loaded with deadly Armor Piercing ammunition is a force of nature unto itself. A determined shooter can far exceed the range and killing power of assault rifle wielding assailants.


When it comes to self-defense in a survival situation, it’s important to understand that if you are doing things correctly; nobody out there should see you, hear, you, or realize that you are in the area. When things go south, and you find yourself confronted with armed thugs, your best option is to get away as quickly as possible. Breaking contact might not sound very “Macho”; but I guarantee that you will not feel so Macho when one of your kids, or your mate is laying dead on the ground.

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West Coast Survival Strategies: How To Get Out Alive


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The most difficult aspect of getting out of dodge when SHTF, is know when to go, where to go, and how to get there. This is where many survivalists drop the ball because it is a real challenge to figure this part of the survival planning out. There are many obstacles to overcome, and it requires a high level of understanding about the inherent difficulties; as well as meticulous attention to a myriad of details.

Given the fact that California has a population density of 37,253,956 people, this should indicate the severity of Bugging Out, and what it means to those trying to flee the large cities. Whereas Oregon has a population of 3,831,074. What's the difference between 37.2 million people, and 3.8 million people? The answer is Movement...

It's already clear that California's highway and interstate system are overcrowded; imagine trying to get across LA when a very large percentage of the population is hitting the streets in utter panic. If you have never experience the Santa Monica Freeway at rush hour on a three day weekend--then you cannot begin to imagine that chaos.


The very first thing that must be considered when working out an escape plan, is to know your area within your own neighborhood, and also the area leading out of it.

Step Number 1:

  1. Get a detailed city map that shows all the streets and major highways.
  2. Locate your home on the map and draw a green square around the location.
  3. Find the quickest way out of the area using major roads and highways--Mark These in RED MARKER.
  4. Identify every street leading out of the area on city streets, but NOT major highways or 4-land streets. In order words, look for neighborhood streets that will take you across town. Mark these with a GREEN MARKER.


Step Number 2:

Take a drive on at least three or four of the streets that you have marked in GREEN. This will be the most important part of the survival plan. The intent is to become familiar with the route, and the resources that you will encounter. bring the map with you, as well as a writing pad and pens.

Here is what you will need to look for:

  • Bridges; whether you drive over it, or under it.
  • Culverts and large drainage pipes.
  • Overhead walkways.

Mark the exact location of each bridge with a RED SQUARE

Mark the exact location of each culvert with a GREEN CIRCLE

Mark the exact location of walkways with a RED SQUARE


The purpose of this is to have the ability to quickly re-route yourself if the primary route is blocked. Knowing where all the bridges and culverts are located will make this a much easier job. This will prevent you from wasting time, and wasting precious gasoline to get to safety. You will need to know every route out of the area, as well as every obstruction that could fall down in an earthquake, or flood-out during a severe storm. Knowing where all of these obstructions and choke points are located; gives you an advantage that the unprepared people won't have. Culverts can also be useful as emergency temporary shelters, as long as there is no standing water inside the culvert.


Step Number Three:

As you do the initial drive through of the various routes, keep a sharp eye out for the following locations:

  • Multi-level Parking Garages
  • Underground Parking Garages
  • Public Storage Lots
  • Fuel Distribution Companies
  • Hardware Stores
  • Medical Supply Distributors
  • Propane Tanks
  • Chemical Tanks

These locations will be called "Resources". They could provide you with much needed fuel, another vehicle in case yours breaks-down, or additional supplies that you can grab in case you have to leave home with just the clothes on your back.

Mark each of these locations with a BLACK DIAMOND, and make a small side-note indicating what the location offers you.

NOTE: be very careful; you might get yourself shot when trying to forage/steal somebody’s property. If you can’t get in and out with what you need in less than three minutes, then you might already have a problem. It helps when you have friends watching your back in this case.

Getting Your Car Ready:

In addition to your Bug Out Bag; Your car should be stocked with the following gear and supplies:

  • Spare Tire and Jack.
  • Extra Gasoline
  • Radiator Stop-Leak
  • Canned Air
  • Anti-Freeze
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Heavy Duty Bolt Cutters (For Cutting Pad Locks)
  • Logging Chain with Hooked Ends (For Pulling Gates Down)
  • Crowbar (For Opening Doors)
  • Ratcheting Chain Winch or Come-A-Long (Multi-Purpose)
  • Highway Safety Flares
  • Basic Automotive Tool Kit
  • Towing Cable or Rope
  • Roofing Nails (For dropping behind you to disable tires)

These are the things that will help you to acquire resources if you are forced to, or have to abandon your car to get another one. But let's not stop there; it's time to think about Plan-B…


What if you are bugging out, and suddenly find yourself confronted with a gridlocked traffic jam, or the roads become impassible?

You will either have to walk out, or reach into the back of the car and grab the bicycles that are waiting for you. The kind of bikes that have panniers and bags attached to it will do the trick very well.


Having an alternative mode of transportation will be an added benefit. It might not be as fast as a car, but bicycles can go places that cars can’t and the added bonus is that they don’t require fuel, and don’t make loud noises. Motorcycles and dirt-bikes work equally favorable under these conditions; as do All-Terrain-Vehicles. (ATV’s)


Pack you gear light, and make it easy on yourself. All the tools in the car, as listed above, can be left for whoever finds it. It just might allow somebody else another day of life. Either way, if you are on foot or riding a bike, these things will only hamper you with additional weight.

If you have done the initial survival planning as I have detailed in several different articles over the years, you should keep the following in mind:

  • Have a place already picked out to where you will be bugging out to.
  • Pre-position emergency survival supplies in those areas, and (when possible) along the evacuation route.
  • Have your Bug Out Bag and Ready Bag in the vehicles at all times—no matter what.

Many people have asked me over the years how it’s possible for them to bury emergency supplies when out in public without letting anyone know what they are doing; and the answer is pretty obvious—(look at the picture below)



Not only are these “Privacy Shelters” a definite plus when camping in crowded areas; they can also be used to hide the fact that you are busy burying supplies in your camping area. Position the shelter in an areas that has some trees, or hills out of view, and get busy insuring your survival.

TIP: Lay a tarp on the ground first, and then pile all of the excavated dirt onto the tarp. After dropping your supplies into the hole, put the dirt back where it was found. This will prevent those tell-tale bare earth spot from giving away that something is buried underneath.

[ NOTE: a camping tent that doesn’t have a built-in floor will also work for this sneaky maneuver… ]


Where To Go:

This is one of the most common questions that survivalists ask. Many do not have a “Retreat” or Safe Area to call their own. I suppose the state parks and national forest will become crowded in just a matter of days after SHTF--That is an unacceptable situation in itself. You must avoid these areas like the plague if at all possible.


In my next book titled “Survival Planning” I will share with you some extremely beneficial spots to be aware of. It will probably surprise you, but I’ve been holding back telling anyone of these areas for a very long time, just in case I ever had to use one of these spots myself.


If you are interested in knowing when this book hits the shelves, click HERE

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