Factors Influencing Winterizing Your Get Home Bag
Factor #1: EnvironmentThe first factor to consider when winterizing your Get-Home-bag is your general environment. A more specific environmental consideration is the kind of winters that your area experiences. For example, people living in the Southwest do not have to worry about blizzard or whiteout conditions. By contrast, people living in the upper Midwest or New England have to take into consideration the more harsh conditions of winter. Another environmental factor that influences winterizing your bag are the winter temperatures and wind chill factors.
Factor # 2: Travel DistanceMoreover, the next factor to keep in mind is the distance that you will be traveling. People travelling long distances will have also to consider the winter conditions throughout their travel. Additionally, one should consider the type of infrastructures that can serve as emergency stopping points or emergency shelter while traveling. Additionally , experience with using your gear is important.
Factor # 3: ExperienceA third factor you should consider when preparing your Get-Home-Bag is your level of experience. Your experience with the outdoors and survival gear influence what you carry in the bag. A good rule of thumb is to keep it simple. Only place items in your bag that you already know how to use. For example, a Bic® lighter is an item that you already know how to use. However, you may not know to use climbing or rappelling gear. The point here is that being stranded on a major interstate in a blizzard is no place to try something that you have never used. Thus, your attempt to experiment with an unfamiliar skill or gear in the middle of an emergency may jeopardize your life or the life of others of whom you are responsible. Therefore, as you consider modifying your Get-Home bag for winter, what are some things to think about when deciding on survival gear?
Gear Considerations For Winterizing Your Get Home Bag
The Right Backpack
The first thing to consider about your Get-Home-Bag is the bag itself. You may need to replace your current bag with something more durable. A couple of good examples of winter capable packs are the 5.11Tactical® Rush 72 Backpack (55 liters), sold at the Sigma 3 Survival School Store, or the SealLine® Black Canyon ™ Boundary Portage Pack (70 liters). Both of these packs have their strengths and weaknesses.The strength of the Rush 72 pack is its capability for modularity. Its material is a water repelling (not waterproof) 1050 Denier nylon fabric. The main advantage of the SealLine® pack is that its waterproof 300 Denier TPU-double-coated nylon body with a 400 Denier TPU-coated nylon bottom. The waterproof material of this pack guarantees that clothing items in the bag will stay dry in rain or snow conditions. The main weakness of the Rush 72 pack is that it is not waterproof. Lengthy exposure in rain or snow water will eventually have moisture seep into the bag. The main weakness of the SealLine® pack is that it does not have any attachment points on its exterior. Thus, after selecting a winter-capable backpack, what are some winter survival gear options to place inside the bag?
Fire Making ItemsThe first survival gear consideration for a winter Get-Home-Bag is a fire making item. Fire is one of the four essentials of survival (Fire, Food, Water, Shelter). A great piece of fire-making gear is the Sigma 3 Fire Kit. Check out my review of this excellent fire kit for more information about this kit. In a winter scenario, being able to build a fire is critical to keep from getting hyperthermia. It allows you to stay warm, dry your wet clothing, sanitize water, melt snow, and cook food. Furthermore, meeting your hydration requirement is critical to surviving in a winter environment.
Water and Hydration ItemsThe second consideration for survival gear your Get-Home-Bag is hydration. Water is a primary key to survival in winter. Therefore, water procurement, treatment, and consumption are central to surviving in a winter emergency. However, finding fresh running water in a stream may be difficult in the winter. Thus, it is essential to have a capability to melt snow or ice to get fresh drinkable water in the winter. The Sigma 3 Water Kit is an excellent piece of gear to consider putting into any winterized GHB. Check out my review of this water kit for more information this versatile gear.
Shelter and Cover ItemsAdditionally, a third survival gear consideration for a Get-Home-Bag is that of shelter. One option for meeting your winter shelter needs would be the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC hammock system. The hammock is available at the Sigma 3 Survival store. This hammock system comes with some additional add-on items: a winter top cover and under quilt protector. If you are interested in more information on this hammock system, read my review and video at the Sigma 3 Survival Store. A further consideration for this hammock system would be a sleeping bag. The Snugpak® Tactical 4 winter sleeping bag also would be a great addition to the winter shelter consideration for any GHB. The Snugpak® sleeping bag could be attached to the bottom of the Rush 72 pack.
Food and Food Procurement ItemsAdditionally, a fourth survival gear consideration for a winter Get-Home-Bag is food and food procurement. Another item to think about putting in a GHB for the winter is the Yoyo Fish Trap fishing Reel or the Emmrod® Kayak King Cast Rod and Reel Kit. These items are available at the Sigma 3 Survival School Store. Pre-made meals such as MREs or Mountain House® pouches are useful items to meet the food requirements for a GHB. You can also build your meal kit by using instant oatmeal, instant rice, beef jerky, energy bars, crackers, and instant electrolyte powder (Gatorade®/Propel®).
Winter Clothing ItemsMoreover, a final survival gear consideration for a Get-Home-Bag for the winter is addressing clothing needs. Winter clothing items can be bulky and take up space in the backpack. Therefore, choose winter clothing items carefully. Wool and Gore-Tex should be the kinds of materials that characterize winter clothing. Here are some suggestions for some winter clothing items. The first winter clothing item to consider are wool socks. Keeping feet warm and dry is a critical consideration when discussing surviving in the winter. The U.S. Army MIL-84K Wool Boot Socks or Smartwool® Men’s Hunt Extra Heavy Over the Calf Socks are the types of socks to consider for winter clothing in a Get-Home Bag. Some other winter clothing considerations could be having a wool-based base layer set in the bag, such as the Meriwool Men’s Merino Wool Midweight Baselayer. A military wool watch cap and Weather Wool Neck Gaiter scarf would also be a great item to consider for one’s emergency bag.
ConclusionIn conclusion, the Get-Home-Bag is a great resource to have available in one’s vehicle. As the winter period of the year dawns, it is prudent to check your bag. You should analyze what winter specific survival items you need. It is possible that a more substantial bag may be necessary to meet your winter needs. For example, the things in my GHB are easily stored in the current pack. There is no requirement where I live to maintain large bulky cold weather gear. However, I do need to preserve some winter gear in my bag for traveling in the mountainous regions of the Southwest. So as you begin to assess your winter needs for your Get-Home-Bag choose carefully and wisely the gear that you will need.
None of us like to think about an economic collapse or apocalyptic disaster, but with the instability of the economy and increasing natural disasters there is a real potential for the Stuff to Hit The Fan (SHTF). I am not a doom and gloom survivalist, but I am a realist, and feel it is important that we are prepared for the worst.
In the digital age, the act of exchanging actual currency has become a thing of the past. For most we simply swipe a card with no real thought of exchange, but in a grid down situation your credit cards will become useless. If our economy was to collapse the US dollar could be rendered valueless, and be good for nothing but tinder.
So what do you use to barter with when it comes to the exchange of goods? During my travels in Haiti where bartering is still heavily practiced I saw trade as a daily practice. These 21 items were the most commonly used when it came to bartering. (Not all items come from experience in Haiti, many are just items in high demand.)
21 Items You Can Barter When SHTF
- Cigarettes – they can be traded individually, in packs, or in cartons.
- Alcohol – stock up on small bottles which will afford you more opportunities for trade, or better yet learn to distill your own.
- Precious Metals/Silver/Gold/Jewelry – These highly sought after valuables have been some of the only true currency for thousands of years, and will still be the go to currency. I personally save all the silver coins I come across.
- Ammo/Guns – 12ga, 22lr, 7.26×39, and 9mm luger are the most commonly used ammo throughout. Have a good variety in your inventory.
Canned and Dried Foods– Hangry wont begin to describe the hostility people will have when food shortages arise. There is nothing worse than watching someone you love starve to death. Having excess food could have a huge impact in your favor when it comes trade.
- Pain Killers/Antibiotics/Medications – Sickness and infection will be on the rise with the lack of definitive care. Medications and medical skills will become a valuable asset. I highly encourage you to get medical training.
- Purified Water / Water Filters – Having the capability to drink clean drinking water is vital to your health and overall well being. You need to have several hundred gallons in reserve.
- Fuel/Batteries/Power – We are extremely dependent on power in more ways than one. Batteries are small and can hold a shelf life for years. Fuel on the other hand is bulky and volatile if exposed to spark.
- Candle/Lanterns/Flashlights – Nothing worse than being stuck in the dark for long periods of time.
- Shoes – I had several people beg to trade me stuff for my shoes while I was oversees. I actually ended up giving away every pair of shoes I brought (3 pairs to be exact), and had to borrow a pair from a friend so I could get on the airplane home.
- Toilet Paper – Yes the one paper that will actually be currency when crap hits the fan.
- Tampons/Feminine Hygiene Products – This can be a difficult area to consider, but if you have a wife, teenage daughter, or women in your party these are very real needs to consider.
- Toiletries/Soap – Staying clean is extremely important when it comes to avoiding infection and sickness.
- Coca Cola – I would have never guessed Coca Cola would be in Haiti, but it is everywhere, and people love it. This favored soda is even featured under the identity of Nuka Cola in one of the most popular post apocalyptic video games Fallout, where the player trades the soda for other goods. I know that is a video game, but I guarantee it will have value.
- Salt/Sugar – Not only are they essential to our body, they also increase flavor in our foods. Salt is still traded all across the world today.
- Matches/Lighters/Fire Starters – The ability to start a fire is crucial, and without a proper fire starter hypothermia is sure to set in on those cold winter nights.
- Heirloom Seeds – Granted the soil is a viable source for growing food, seeds could come in extremely useful.
- Warm Clothing – Wool clothing and socks are some of the warmest and most insulative, and on those cold winter days they would be worth their weight in gold.
- Books – In a grid down environment, or in the case someone destroys them in an attempt to rewrite history, books are the only real records of our civilization, not to mention the entertainment/enjoyment factor they provide.
- Specialty Items – Condoms, watches, coffee, charcoal, playing cards, make-up/cosmetics, gas mask, hazmat suits, you name it. Anything that might be of value to someone else can be considered a trade good.
- Twinkies – “Those spongy, yellow, delicious bastards.” – Zombieland
Justin “Sage” Williams
Director of Operations
Sigma 3 Survival School
Practical Alternatives for Buried Survival Caches
By Matthew Dermody
One can hardly go far into the prepper and survivalist culture of self-reliance without running into the subject of gear survival caches and doomsday stockpiles. Having a survival cache and having access to the critical supplies contained within it is essential. As more and more people choose to lose their ability to take care of themselves, the need to keep your supplies from the prying eyes of the desperately unprepared grows even more. The most commonly discussed survival cache is the improvised burial tube. Buried tubes and survival caches main mantra is ‘out of sight; out of mind’ with good reason. If people cannot see it or find it, they cannot raid it. Personally, I am not a fan of large burial tubes, although they are necessary for larger gear such as firearms, cookware, and larger shelter items.
Larger buried survival caches have their place and are fine for your final bug-out destination. Until you arrive at your final bug-out location, you may not want or be able to carry all of the gear you originally put in a large en route cache. There are alternatives to large and buried caches, all having legitimate advantages and drawbacks. Two such alternatives are aerial concealment and exposed/ground level concealment. The key word to remember here is practical. The type of cache you decide to use depends on some important factors based upon your age, your physical condition, and your environment. Here are some points to consider in selecting your cache method.
1. What kind of equipment do you need to hide or retrieve the cache? A spade equates to digging. Digging equates to work. Work expends needed calories and energy. Even with a perfect hide location, digging requires the disposal of the excess soil and make the surrounding area look undisturbed. This is especially true if there is a chance of someone walking through your proposed survival cache site. With all the effort put in to hide the cache, you end up removing it to get to your supplies.
2. Time is not always on your side. Just as digging equates to work, work equates to time. When the time comes to retrieve the tube, are you really going to want to spend the time digging for items when you could be having a jump start to your bug-out location? Will you have enough time to sit around and wait for the cover of darkness or ideal weather conditions to retrieve your cache? Carrying an adequate spade or shovel to your hide location is going to look somewhat suspicious. If you are planning to use an easier concealed camp shovel to unearth your treasure, then you are adding even more time to the retrieval process. What if someone follows you, waiting until you are distracted or exhausted from the retrieval process, and decides to attack or arrest you? This could also happen in other cache retrieval methods, but your situational awareness is not going to be at its peak if you are concentrating on digging. For some people, climbing a tree to retrieve a cache can be unsafe and potentially dangerous. Continually scanning the area is an important consideration to the type of cache used. Certain cache types require more vigilance because your attention is divided between the retrieval process and maintaining situational awareness. Too much time spent in an area, no matter how secure you deem it to be, can put you at risk for discovery. In a SERE scenario, stopping to hide or retrieve something in the ground is going to use up time that needs to be spent putting distance between you and your pursuers.
3. Mother Nature will not cooperate during a SHTF event. Regardless of whatever causes a SHTF event requiring a bug-out to a more secure location, Mother Nature and Murphy’s Law will persist in their usual defiance of human endeavor. If things can go wrong, they will and they will do so at the most inconvenient time and season. Inclement weather is one thing, but combine the first two reasons with the addition of snow and several inches of frozen ground and you have now increased the amount of time and hard digging required. Moreover, freezing conditions can reduce manual dexterity, adding more time digging or climbing and exposes your body to the elements for longer periods. Climbing with gloves or mittens is difficult in cold weather, making tree scaling far less successful for most people.
4. Some survival cache methods and sizes may require an accomplice. Trust is a big factor when you start obligating friends to swear an oath of secrecy. The old expression, “Two can keep a secret if one is dead,” is something to keep in mind. Anyone who knows or associates with you who encounters unfriendly forces are a potential risk for compromise. These forces threaten or intimidate people into turning on you and revealing your secrets. Having a cache location that only you know about and only you can access/retrieve your goods without assistance is the safest policy. If one man walks into the woods with a shovel or rope looks suspicious, then two men with shovels and ropes screams of a conspiracy.
5. Larger survival caches are difficult to hide. If you choose to have a larger cache site, you run the greater risk of its discovery. The best advice I can give is to resist the temptation to store all your essential supplies in a single large cache. Making several, smaller caches along your travel route are a wiser choice. First, your cache locations are more scattered and random. Second, if one cache is raided, discovered, or destroyed, you lose some assets instead of all of them. An event such as this is frustrating, but you continue on to your next location, knowing that you did not lose everything.
6. How remote is the cache location? Location and remoteness also determine what type of cache is best for your situation. The more traffic, whether human or animal, will require more effort to conceal it. The more difficult it is to reach your cache in terms of remoteness and terrain, the better your chances will be keeping it hidden. While you want to make it difficult for everyone else to discover and reach, you do not want to put yourself in peril in order to conceal or retrieve your cache.
So what are the alternatives? There are a few concealment options, and like burial tubes, they are not without their own unique drawbacks. However, these cache options eliminate or reduce some of the labor drawbacks associated with burial tubes. When the full use of technology and camouflaging techniques are applied, the appeal of the alternatives will overcome most of the negative aspects. It is important to understand that there are no 100% foolproof methods to conceal caches.
Go aerial, not burial. When discussing aerial concealment, it is important to realize that you do not want your cache swinging from branches. The first option is suspending the tube within the canopy of a deciduous tree giving you the ability to retrieve the tube by lowering with an attached rope. The option of nestling the tube in one of the higher crotches of the tree is the best. The most important thing to remember with an ‘aerial’ tube is to secure it tightly so that it cannot be dislodged by high winds or strike other portions of the tree and thereby bringing attention to it. Humans are not tree climbers by nature. Without some sort of assistance like ropes or ladders, the desire and ability to climb trees decreases with age for most people. Therefore, most individuals do not give tree canopies a second thought while looking for hidden objects.
Keep it on the down low. Meaning, ground level low; leave it out in the open. This concept is more prevalent with the popularity of geo caching. Geo caches are small, man made objects hidden within a natural setting. They contain little log books to record who finds the object and when. Because of this, the camouflage MUST be exceptional for this to work, but with some ingenuity and creativity, this is easily accomplished.
Incidentally, with these methods, you are not restricted to tubes. Food-grade five-gallon buckets with gamma seal lids hidden under rock piles, large tree stumps, etc. also work well. Large fake rocks made of plastic often used to disguise well housings and residential utilities work well as concealment, too. However, I strongly recommend adding additional textured spray paint along with gluing preserved moss on the surface to give the appearance of realism.
Two very important things to remember with ground concealment techniques:
1.) Look like it belongs in that location.
2.) Look like it has been at the location for several year, decades preferably. You also need to ensure and implement the best waterproofing methods you have at your disposal, as surface hides are much more susceptible to water seepage. Sealing every possible point where water can seep into your cache with a silicone sealant is a prudent decision. Even if your cache never is exposed to direct rainfall, dew and condensation can still creep into unsealed caches. As an added measure, make sure to use desiccant packs to absorb any moisture.
Most importantly, keep your mouth shut. This should go without mention, but do not discuss the location of any cache you have with anybody. Social media is a good place to discover people with like minded ideas, but that does not make them immediately trustworthy. Survival culture, content, and concepts are always okay to discuss, but never survival coordinates, campsites, and caches.
Matthew Dermody is a self-published author and owner of Hidden Success Tactical. He specializes in camouflage and concealment training for professional, recreational and survival applications.
Photo Credits: http://preparedforthat.com/survival-caching-part-1-mindset-need-protect/;http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2013/08/13/embrace-your-inner-pirate-5-important-considerations-for-your-survival-cache/
BIG CHANGES! The Urban SERE and Wilderness SERE course are now one 7 day hardcore course!
We have been running our SERE training program for civilians for years and we have always had two components to the course. Urban and Wilderness SERE training courses were each 5 day courses. Now they are one 7 day course that is more exciting than before! The wilderness SERE training module covers survival tactics in the woods, when security and stealth is your biggest priority. All the survival tactics taught have an emphasis on stealth. Our urban component covers more about kidnapping and urban escape and evasion, surveillance and counter surveillance, comms and travel plans, and much more.
Both programs are equally good and have very little overlap between the two. But because so many people are on a time crunch for training with their busy lives, we decided to roll both programs together to give you one comprehensive course that covers it all. Most civilians don’t realize just how important this training is for them. Americans are the #1 target worldwide for the kidnapping industry. Just because your American, people in other countries think you are rich and before you know it you could be getting rolled up by some kidnap team. Statistically a civilian is far more likely to be kidnapped than a military member!
Many people are scared by the SERE training program, but that fear is totally unjustified. If your scared, your over thinking it! Most of the program is actually fun and exciting, not as hardcore as you might think. The interrogation phase is what most people stress about, and that phase is totally optional and you don’t have to do it to participate in it to attend the course. It is only about 2 hours out of 7 days of training, so don’t let the interrogation scare you off from the program. But if you do decide to participate in the Resistance Phase, you will be stun gunned, maced, and treated harshly. But after its over you will be immensely proud of yourself for not only surviving but escaping custody easily. And the more you use what we teach you, the less painful it will be. We have a 100% success rate of our students escaping illegal custody. You will get away after we get done training you. You’ll be able to escape handcuffs, zip ties, duct tape, rope, and much more! Anything that a captor could tie you up with, we will teach you how to beat it!
If you travel the world or believe one day you might need to escape and evade, then this is the course for you. We will cover all types of urban and wilderness survival tactics in this course and after the 7 days are over, you will be confident that you can survive just about any tactical survival situation. Check out the link below for more information on how you can get some SERE training!
The Lead Instructor: Sean Walker
Served 16 years with Delta Force. Participated in Tora Bora raid on Osama Bin Laden. Had 55 confirmed kills on the Kurt Muse raid. Sniper Team Leader, Master Breacher, Assaulter, and SERE expert.
Well we wrapped up another TV shoot with another awesome organization, the Sportsman Channel. SIGMA 3 was recently featured in the new show called “America Unplugged” hosted by Cade Courtley. The show is about preppers and survivalists that are on the path to getting off the grid and it’s a well done documentary about our lifestyle here at SIGMA 3. The show focuses on our efforts to build a self reliant homestead. Each new episode will feature a new family or group of Off Grid Survivalists. If you hated Doomsday Preppers because of the Tin Foil crazies, then you will definitely like this well thought out documentary that skips the sensationalism and gets right to the heart of how important self reliance is to everyone. We did the shoot prior to the build out of many of our homestead projects and it was in the middle of winter, so the episode doesn’t display all the awesome progress we have made on the garden and survival camp. But it was still a great episode on the philosophy of self reliance and the necessity to unplug from the grid!
We have been in the process of building out several homestead projects over the last year and we are still in the beginning phases of building a permaculture based farming setup. Our goal is to reduce our waste to as little as possible, grow most of our food needs, supply our own electricity via solar, raise various types of cattle, and become as self reliant as we possibly can. We aren’t just about wilderness and urban survival, but also homesteading and permaculture based skills as well.
We are currently still building our the Urban Farming model here at the homestead. Our idea is to create an urban design that almost anyone can incorporate if they have even a small amount of space. We are going to show all the various urban gardening techniques, so that people can pick and choose what they need for their place. This project should be completed by the end of 2014 and we will keep blogging our updates so stay tuned for future projects.
The show also covers some our wilderness survival training and it outlines how important it is to not over emphasize your gear based preparations, and instead train your mind to create everything you need from minimal resources. It encompasses our philosophy of walking off onto the land with nothing but a knife and surviving indefinitely! Please check out this episode and share it in other survival forums so that we can spread the word about Self Reliance. These old school skills are the key to our future and lets share these truths with as many people as we can. So stop sitting on the sidelines and get active in pushing these skills to your friends. Because there might come a day when you are going to depend on these same people for your life and you want them to have the best training and education they can get. Whether it’s through SIGMA 3, home training, or some other organization; make sure you get prepared today by doing some training!
SIGMA 3 Survival School
So most of us have seen all the survival shows on TV that show would be survival experts eating all kinds of crazy things for the attention of it’s audience. Well I am here to tell you that these guys are idiots and I wouldn’t recommend following their instructions on things pertaining to what to eat and how to prepare it. Plain and simple, they do it for the ratings and not the educational value of the techniques prescribed. Now you can eat bugs raw and will probably get away without any harm from it, but there are always risks when doing it. Many bugs carry nasty parasites and diseases and by ingesting them we have rolled the dice that our immune system will be able to take care of them. Most of the time your immune system will handle it but when in a survival situation your immune system is already on the edge from all the increased stress put on it. Stress decreases immune system functions and I can assure that most all survival situations are high stress ones! So don’t take the risk of eating something because it’s convenient and then paying greatly for your laziness later. Remember that some insects may contain toxins or venom and these bugs are usually brightly colored. If you have a question about the edibility of a certain bug, observe whether or not wild animals eat the insect or check a field guide to back you up. But honestly there are very few grasshoppers or similar species that will cause you any harm, they are definitely in the minority of the available bugs to eat out there!
But don’t let my harsh tone persuade you from trying these protein rich sources of calories, because bugs truly are the easiest and most nutrient dense resource available to gather in most areas. Most of the world consumes bugs in their diet and it is a much needed source of healthy stuff for our body when other more desirable sources aren’t available. Grasshoppers for instance, contain more protein than beef and chicken. But large spiders contain 3 times the protein that grasshoppers do, so these small treats add up to big calories real quick! Check out these two articles on the nutrition and how to cook up different types of bugs, you’ll be shocked! Eating Fried Tarantula’s or Bug Nutrition Table
There are many ways to gather these types of foods but all the methods require you to get out and go explore. Whether your walking through a field catching hoppers, lifting rocks to find tasty treats, or raiding an ant hill for its larvae it doesn’t matter. Some ants are quite excellent and have a surprisingly sour taste that keeps you coming back for more. All these methods will produce calories for you time and time again should you have to resort to these more dire methods. Americans consider these emergency methods but many cultures consider them delicacies, so alter your perception and try something different for once. So look up some recipes for these items and do something crazy like adding a few bugs to your next stir fry. Hope this helps and if you like this information then please share these videos and blog. Thanks for your continued support!
Why is Stealth Pivotal in Disasters?
We are all aware of the horror stories from refugees in disasters in the recent past. During Hurricane Katrina there were so many crimes carried out in a short amount of time that it truly boggles the mind how quickly some individuals can lose their sense of humanity in a life threatening situation.
Of all the priorities that we have to worry in a potential bug out there is one that rings in my mind greater than any other. SECURITY! Being ex military and also having more high speed civilian side combat training than I did in the military, I believe the number one concern for a well prepared refugee of a disaster is to make sure they are safe from people that intend to do them harm. There is no answer for dealing with the problem of security in a disaster scenario but that you should be prepared and have a high degree of training if you intend to not be a statistic. The key when getting out in a disaster is to go un-noticed, whether that be in an urban setting or a wilderness one. If you’re not seen or noticed then you reduce your overall chances of being a target of attack. This is one of the key priorities that we train in our Tactical Scout program. Gun and weapon training is important but not near as important as our ability to move and the tactics we utilize in a fight! And this training is just as important for keeping us out of a fight as it is in teaching us to dominate the fight.
Students first learn how to move in the field and to develop their tactics before putting a heavy emphasis on shooting expertise. Because you can’t hit what you don’t see! It doesn’t matter if you are the best shot in the world, if you never see your enemy coming or going then your skills are eliminated from the equation giving the advantage to the most stealthy person in the fight! But that is only true in a wilderness setting. So let’s talk about the urban setting first by addressing the most important element of your security, which is to be the grey man. The grey man blends in wherever he goes and doesn’t attract un-wanted attention when moving through potentially hostile areas. Just as a animal doesn’t want to put off the vibe of prey, then neither do we. If you are noticed then you should want to appear as someone who should not be trifled with and that your demeanor is not one of invitation to attack. The grey man is the way to be and the best way to keep you out of a fight and safe from potential injury.
Don’t be a statistic! Get Training!
We have to remember that their won’t be medical help coming to us promptly should we be injured in defense of our resources. We don’t want to fight, but we also cannot afford to appear weak. Talk softly and carry a big stick. Once you have assumed the appearance and demeanor of the grey man, then you should be prepared to gather what you need with urban tools that are taught in our Urban Scout program. Once you have what you need to safely exit then you should begin your evacuation of the area until your in safe area.
Once into a place of safety outside the disaster area, we then need to immediately start addressing our personal survival needs. Shelter, water, fire, food, tools, and medical is the order of priority! And how to do all those things is for another article.
What I want to talk about is how we can solve future security problems by implementing absolute stealth in all things that we do. We first find our shelter location and make sure it is in an area that passers by wouldn’t easily stumble upon. I usually prefer to make my shelter in thickets, just as the animals make their beds in thick safe areas. These areas are natural protectors from storms and elemental issues. When I create my primitive or modern survival shelter, I then worry about water. But my shelter should be located relatively close to safe drinking sources anyway so these two priorities go hand in hand. Once I have established the easiest first two things, then I worry about fire, food, etc. But in everything I do I must make stealth and employ anti tracking measures into these thoughts. Remember it is always best to avoid potential conflict, because that is the only thing that can truly ensure your safety is to avoid possible deadly engagements. My advice to you, is to train in stealth for your personal protection, and how to stay out of a fight first and then engage in training on what to do if that engagement does occur. First don’t be the prey as your transform yourself into the dominate predator through training. And only through training will we ever be prepared to survive a deadly contact.
For so long we have all watched the media’s demonization of American citizen’s that enjoy a lifestyle of preparedness and self reliance. What is so radical about prepping? Why does the media choose to spin this in the light that they do? It makes no sense to demonize people that want to be responsible for not only themselves but their family and community.
Lets just take a minute to exam what prepping is and where the mindset came from. Many people wrongly label preppers as Doomsday preppers, but the real fact of the matter is that they just want to be self reliant. It has nothing to do with preparing for the end of the world, but the constant barrage of disparaging news has only fueled many normal everyday people to return to the ways of our ancestors and regain that sense of security by providing for their family. Most preppers don’t have years worth of food stockpiled but they do have the skills necessary to preserve the food they have access to for long periods should they need them. They are gardeners, canners, trappers, hunters, fisherman, and much more.
Prepping is just a modern adjective for what was common place in almost every household in America less than half a century ago. It was the way of life for most and not something sensationalized by our perverse media. It is common knowledge that the media has mainly consisted of city dwellers that live on the east or west coast and they have no real common connection with backwoods people who still carry on these self reliant traditions today. This is one of the many reason prepping is now considered something radical, when in the past it was just good ol self reliant living. People fear what they don’t understand and since our media is largely run by un-prepared idiots with no understanding of a self reliant lifestyle, they choose to demonize what they don’t understand by labeling it fear mongering. Let me ask you this, “Are you the ant or the grasshopper”. Will you be the one mocking people for others attitudes of preparing and then ask them to come in their home when the metaphorical winter arrives? Or will you be the ant and make preparations for your households future?
Plain and simple, you are a fool to not have some kind of preparations and some type of training in survival should you ever need these skills. It should be the foundation of all other training types, and a person should have the training to be able to survive before anything else because it takes precedent to all other skill sets in my humble opinion. Many people have the mindset that they will learn these skills when the need arises, but what they don’t realize is when that day comes it will be too late. Your neighbors and the ones you thought you might depend on if the stuff ever did hit the proverbial fan will take care of themselves and say the hell with you. Regardless of whether you ever have a true need for these skills they are essential to have because they help us to understand where our resources come from and the hard work involved in leading the American lifestyle we live. Connection with the foundations of our society is essential to its unity and prosperity, if we ever have hopes as succeeding as a fruitful nation.
Even if you feel no need whatsoever to be prepared for hard times, you should realize that this type of mindset isn’t about being prepared for the doomsday. It’s about cultivating a mindset of independence and self reliance that will foster feelings of joy that can’t truly be matched by other endeavors. There is no greater feeling than to know you can grow, cultivate, harvest, hunt and gather all the things you need. It’s a sense of accomplishment that will inspire feelings of great joy to know that you are independent and have no needs from anyone or anything. Regardless of whether the world crashes down or not, it’s just good to know that you have created something great with nothing more than the work of your hands and the use of God’s great bounty that he has left here on earth for us to be good stewards over!
This debate has been raging since the two ideologies started to become more mainstream more than a decade ago. With increased strife and turmoil in the news, it’s becoming increasingly more important to be well prepared for anything that might happen. It doesn’t matter what you’re prepping for but it does matter how you prep and the way you train. I’ve always said that training trumps gear and I continue to preach that philosophy. The problem with prepping is that you have essentially traded once source of dependence (the grid) for your own source of dependence (your own stockpiles). While I do agree that it is absolutely essential for people to have some basic preps, I also think many people neglected contemplating the fact that what happens if your preps are compromised. The more preps you have the more you have to defend and the less mobile you are. Which makes you an automatic non moving target, i.e. a sitting duck! What if the area you live in must be evacuated because of some disaster or other man made problem. Then what? What does a prepper do when he has to leave his stockpile of preps? And if you don’t have to leave the area, then how do you plan to protect your stockpiles from people who didn’t prepare?
Security is the number one issue in a disaster and by having stockpiles you have now become a target for all the friends and family members that know you’re a prepper. They will be showing up on your doorstep and I promise when they haven’t eaten for a week, you saying “no you can’t eat my food”, will not be an acceptable answer to them. And since most people’s idea of prepping is to buy guns and ammo, you had better believe that people will be taking what they want and not asking for it! And that’s just the first wave of people, next will be the criminals and gangs that have been running surveillance on you. What are your plans then? And remember, your own guns will only protect you so long because people will figure out how to beat your static defenses should they become hungry enough. Guaranteed!
That is why here a SIGMA 3 Survival School we emphasize that a person, first get themselves some very basic food preps such as 3 months of rice and beans and then begin training their mind instead of hoarding stockpiles of food and ammo. Regardless of what many preppers might believe there is no situation that I can imagine other than the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI), that you wouldn’t be able to survive from the land having some basic training. Yes much of the larger game and many small game species may be wiped out as a viable food source very quickly if thousands of people had to live off the land out of necessity. But there will never be a lack of the less desirable food sources available in the wilderness such as bugs, rats, wild edibles, fish, etc. Regardless of what happens there will be no lack of these calorie sources. Which makes this the most full proof plan for a food source should you be required to live from them. I honestly don’t think the other more desirable food sources would be wiped out simply because most people are ignorant as to how to get them without all their modern implements and the simple fact that animals get wise extremely quickly to humans hunting them. But even if there are a lack of larger game, then survivalism still wins out over prepping as far as being the most full proof plan for an extended to survival scenario in my humble opinion.
For example, one of our primitive survival instructors actually lived off the land for over two years with no modern tools and he did this implementing basket fish traps and foraging techniques. His diet mainly comprised of fish, wild edibles, bugs, and the occasional red meat source. If someone can live off of these techniques for over two years with no modern tools, then surely someone with a full bug out kit as demonstrated in our Diary of Survivalist series can surely live off the land well with a little bit of training. Another bonus to survivalism over prepping is the fact that our survival training brings us closer to the land and helps provide a great sense of appreciation for what we have here on the earth. Through this training it gives you a sense of security that can’t be provided through any other types of training. When you are a well rounded survivalist, you know that no matter what happens that you will always be able to provide for your basic needs of shelter, water, fire, and food. And that personal sense of absolute self reliance with only my greatest tool at my side (my mind), I know that I will be taken care of no matter the circumstances. Prepping just gives me something else to worry about and another way to dump my money down an endless hole of never ending spending. Survivalism costs nearly nothing, whereas most prepping costs a fortune.
This is why I incessantly preach that the mind should always take priority to the tangible items that we buy and even if you do have preps then you should first know how to defend them and next know how to replace them should they become compromised. When prepping fails you have to have survivalism as a backup! So buy your rice, beans, and ammo but don’t neglect the most important factor and that is your training! Training is the end all and be all of preparedness and if you train all aspects of staying alive then it doesn’t matter what situation you are thrown into because you know you will be able to survive. But you will only be able to survive with the right mindset and the best training you can get. All things can be accomplished with the right training, so come join SIGMA 3 Survival School and get prepared!