Notice: This website may or may not use or set cookies used by Google Ad-sense or other third party companies. If you do not wish to have cookies downloaded to your computer, please disable cookie use in your browser. Thank You.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Urban Survival Answers Reader Question on Gold and Silver received the following comment: "Anonymous said...roger dodger on the coming economic crisis. What do you say about those people that council against buying gold and silver. I would hate to take money out of my 401K to buy gold and silver and have to store it and watch over it if I didn't use it. bye, Mitchell K., Denver, CO."

Mitchell, I cannot give you financial or investment advice. I will tell you that there are many trains of thought out there on Survival Financial Planning.

Over the last couple of days I reviewed several Financial and Survival sites, again many different opinions, however most of them, as I do, recommend having some Gold and Silver.

Many sites, both Financial and Survival, advocate buying Gold. Not the paper Gold where you own shares and can redeem when necessary (if that is possible at the time you need to!), but Gold Bullion in coins one ounce and less. However, Gold is problematic as it is hard to break one ounce rounds into smaller pieces for smaller exchanges. Silver would seem to be not only an easier buy but much more usable in a Survival commerce - barter type environment. In fact Silver rounds are now available that are cross scored in order to break them into 1/4 ounce triangle pieces - this is a good idea.

Many Survival blogs comment about Gold and Silver, also called precious metals or PM's. I suggest you read them all. Probably most think that "you can't eat Gold or Silver", meaning that both tangible food sources may be a better investment, and, there will probably be a period of time after a collapse where PM's won't be accepted (pure barter environment). I agree to the point that there will most likely be distinct periods of time after a collapse or even during a slow gradual collapse where barter items will be a easier mode of commerce.

Others think that due to the price of Gold and Silver, it is too late to start procuring Gold and/or Silver. I disagree. It is only too late when you can't get it.

If you look at the Economic collapse videos I have linked at the top left of this site, you'll see the main actor in the video unable to buy fuel. Fuel will be very important to have, especially to execute a Bug Out plan to your Safe Location. You do have a Bug Out plan don't you? If a collapse hits suddenly and debit/credit cards are not working or not accepted, you'll need to be able to buy fuel. That means cash (in the immediate aftermath of a collapse) and PM's shortly after.

So Mitchell,....I suggest you do have Gold and/or Silver, particularly Silver, probably both bullion (in one ounce rounds) and Silver coins for the Silver Melt value in your Survival Plan. I can't tell you to cash in any or all of your investments, in fact that may not be necessary if you purchase just a little Silver a month, such as a few one ounce rounds, or some silver coins. But I would surely have some on hand. Be Safe.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Urban Survival Tools - Knives re-visited received the following comment: "Anonymous said.....Hey Urban Survival Skills. Thanks for the education. Do you have a Survival Knife recommendation? If so you can write about it on this web site?"

I have written an earlier post on tactical folding knives, you can see it here. In that post I favor the Columbia River Knife and Tool products, because they are both well made and inexpensive. I own several of them. I own one Benchmade tactical folder as well.

However, the knives I mostly carry each and every day are fixed blade knives. The advantage of fixed blades knifes are they are usually stronger, available for one handed use, and you eliminate the opening the blade sequence which often leads to sliced fingers. Sliced fingers in a Survival environment may mean infection which most of us could not afford with reduced available medical services and anti-biotics.

I carry a couple of custom fixed blades. For off the shelf fixed blades knives, I would recommend two types: one with a small, say 2.5 to 3 inch blade used primarily as a utility knife and a longer 5 to 7.5 inch blade to be used as a field knive.

Ontario Knives, makes a RAT-3 knife, 3 inch fixed blade, full tang, micarta handles with suits my needs. Another choice would be the Gerber LMF-II Infantry fixed blade. I have seen the Gerber LMF-II but have never used one.

For the larger knife I have both a SOG Specialty Knives SEAL Pup Elite, with a 4.85 inch blade, which is just a hair too short as a primary field knife especially when you carry a smaller fixed blade. My primary field knife is the excellent SOG Specialty Knives Agency Hardcase, which is designed like a Randall Model 1 Fighting Knife and has a 7.5 inch blade. Both SOG knives use AUS8 Stainless steel for the blades.

You can see these knives by clicking here

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wilderness Survival Task List

I have a couple of people who routinely talk to me, face to face, about Survival Preparation. Sometimes the discussion becomes one of training and skill sets, rather than Survival Gear and Equipment procurement, that would be necessary to survive in really decayed circumstances. Think The Road scenario.

Aside from having some Survival Reference material like the excellent US Army Survival Field Manual or John Wiseman’s SAS Survival books, the prepared Survivor needs to have some practical skills learned through hands on training.

In order to be able to survive various environments without the advantage of a prepared Survival location, stockpiled food and such, the prepared Survivalists should consider the below tasks list as a template on what field Survival skills would give him or her the best chance of surviving a decayed environment or wilderness type survival scenario.

These are what I think of as the Wilderness Survival Skills Tasks List:

* Build a field expedient shelter
* Procure/produce potable water
* Construct a water filter device
* Build a fire using matches, butane lighter
* Identify edible plants and prepare for food
* Identify poisonous plants
* Identify poisonous animal life
* Build a trap or snare
* Prepare an animal (field clean and quarter) and cook over a fire
* Build and employ field expedient fishing means
* Build a fire using matches, butane lighter
* Construct field expedient hunting/food procurement tools
* Utilize camouflage and concealment methods to minimize compromise/capture
* Use field expedient methods to determine direction; stick and sun shadow and watch method
* Define Terrain Features
* Determine position on a map using terrain association
* Read map margin information
* Determine magnetic azimuths using a compass
* Determine grid azimuths on a map
* Utilize G-M angle and convert grid azimuths to magnetic azimuths and vice versa
* Determine distances on a Map

I would be interested to hearing from my readers about what skills they think I forgot or what skills are important to them.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Uurban Survival - General Douglas McArthur Speaks To Us From The Grave

General Douglas MacArthur of World War II Philippines and later Korean War fame was a very insightful man. Here are just a couple of quotes from him. I know what they mean to me.....what do they mean to you?

“I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within."

“The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself."

"The history of failure (of war) can almost be summed up in two words:......... ......too late....
Too late in comprehending the deadly purpose of a potential enemy,
Too late in realizing mortal danger,
Too late in preparedness,
Too late in uniting all possible forces for resistance,
Too late in standing with one's friends."

Don't be what Gen MacArthur warned us about,...too late in preparedness.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Day of the Collapse - What do you buy with a $1000

With my respects to, I am re-creating a question posed on one of it's threads.

Here is the scenario: You are who are you, with all the survival preps, survival gear and equipment that you really have right at this moment.

It's Friday afternoon and you are coming back from you linear income producing day job. Your pull into the gas station to get fuel and notice a line of cars waiting to fill up. Tempers are blaring, horns are honking, and people seemed pretty stressed out.

You park off to the side and go inside the convenience store part of the gas station where you hear customers in arguments with the clerks. "Whadda you mean you can't take a credit card?", "Sir, my boss said no more credit cards - inflation is so high by tomorrow he'll be losing money on the transaction",....... "How come you won't take a check?", "Sorry sir, my boss said no checks, only cash."...."But your ATM here is broken and won't give out cash." "Hey, that's odd, both the ATM's I checked on my way home from work were not working either."

You get spooked and head home, on the way the radio states that that the Federal Government ordered banks not to open on Monday, and when they do open, people will be limited to a $200 withdrawal per week, until runaway inflation can be curbed.

You are now thinking, this is it. This is what I have prepared for, hoping it will not happen, but being prudent enough to prepare. Your neighbor is waiting for you as you pull into your drive way. He knows that you are one of those "Survival Preppers." You tell him that you think that it will only be a short amount of time until cash loses it's value and/or commodities will become scare. Your neighbor tells you that he has $1000 in cash and wants your suggestions on what he should buy. He pulls out a notebook and pencil,.....what do you tell him to buy with that $1000? will be giving away a piece of survival kit, haven't decided yet, but it will be either a Camel-Bak H2O Bag or a Maxpedition Pack to the $1000 purchase list we like the best. Send an e-mail, with your version of the $1000 shopping list you would recommend to your neighbor, to me at
. Put your list in the text body of the e-mail and not as an attachment. You can also post your list as a comment under this post. Closing date for lists is midnight, Central Time, 30 June 2010. I'll post the winner, on this site, on 4 July 2010.

This is what I would tell my neighbor to buy with the $1000:

Fill up your vehicle and all empty fuel cans you have. Cost $80

Buy 200 lbs of wheat bran ($40) at the local Animal Feed Store and pick up two 50ml bottles of injectible Penicillin ($40); and, needles/syringes ($20);

100 lbs of rice ($125?); 100 lbs of pinto beans ($150?); Salt, Bullion Cubes, Garlic ($60);

more vegetable Seeds - Squash, Beans, Onions, Corn, Beets, Egg Plants, Cucumber ($80);

Bottled, water, preferably in the cheaper one gallon bottles ($40);

Clothing - jeans, socks, shirts ($100); hand tools - shovel and ax ($30);

flashlights, lanterns, re-charger and batteries ($100);

Duct tape, Alcohol, gauze pads, bandages, aspirin, bar soap and butane lighters ($100);

then probably $35 worth of Macaroni and Cheese:} Seriously, you can sometimes buy 5 boxes of Mac and Cheese for $1 - $35 would buy 175 boxes.

My reasoning is that my neighbor, for better or worse, will most likely become part of my survival group. With maybe one or two days left of "out in the open procurement", I want him to primarily procure some non-durable items, such as foods, so he won't become a burden on my Survival Stocks. If I need to I can outfit him with a rifle and ammunition, and even train him, if need be, to be asset for our security and defense.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – A Different Type Collapse Scenario

I think one of the mistakes, we as Survivalists are making, may be to view the impending collapse as a fast, cataclysmic type event. A la the “Lights Out”, “One Second After” and “Patriots” type scenarios where the fall from normalcy to chaos is fast. This may not be the case.

I have to interject something here: I have been asked several times, by people I personally know and have been helping with prepping not only for Urban Survival but for personal protection, “why I refer to works of fiction concerning Survival” and “why I admonish them to read these books”. The simple answer is that aside from the Great Depression, the United States has not experienced a collapse like the one on the horizon, therefore we have to rely on “scenario models” and a prudent man would read these books, take the lessons learned from these fiction scenario models and apply it to their own Wargaming for survival.

Economic indicators certainly suggest that the decline of America is upon us. It would take a cohesive national economic plan which is near impossible with the partisan politics of the Legislative and Executive Branches of the U.S. Government. With the gap between Government spending and revenue and the exponential increase in debt, it is easy to foresee the U.S. sliding in a collapse where there will be “haves” and “have nots” and no “in betweens” (middle class). The majority of the population will obviously be the “have nots”. How long are these people going to want to stay “have nots”? We could be easily looking like Rhodesia did in the late 70’s, or Columbia did this past decade.

What happens if we have 100 million “have nots” scratching each and every day to live? What happens if that number is 200 million?

This type of scenario is articulated in the novel “American Apocalypse”, where a gradual deterioration of the economy creates vast tracts of empty buildings, enormous amounts of homeless people or people living in squalor and am underground economy. The population groups that do well are organized, have planned in some fashion for an infrastructure collapse and/or have moved to their Safe Location.

This scenario is one that kind of sneaks up on you. Can’t you see the example of where things gradually get worse and people are getting used to it bit by bit? That may happen. What also may happen is at some point the “have nots” decide to get theirs? Are you prepared? Can you stay in your location and live, defend it and survive?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Urban Survival - Reader Question on Fuel Cans

UrbanSurvivalSkills received the following question from Greg in Florida:

"Thanks for the post and link to the Special Forces manuals. I am going to order the Medical Handbook and the Special Forces Handbook. On a different subject: you recommended in an earlier article on not necessarily storing fuel, but at least having fuel cans in your garage so they are available to fill up when the situation indicated to. Aside from the fuel cans at Wal-Mart, what fuel cans do you recommend I have?" Greg in FL.

UrbanMan replies:

I like and use the excellent Scepter Fuel Cans manufactured in Canada and available from Brigade Quartermaster,, phone 1 (800) 663-7487.
I have carried diesel and gasoline in these cans for years, and using the Scepter threaded, screw on fuel can spout you have a drip fee system. The down side with these cans (actually heavy duty plastic) are that they are expensive at around $44 each.

Depending upon your Bug Out or Stay plans, a number of these on hand would be prudent. Remember to plan for safety also. If you need 34 gallons to make it from your Urban location to your safe location, then you may want to plan your fuel reserves based on your vehicle being empty or near empty,so you would need seven (7) fuel cans.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Urban Survival Gear - New 5.11 Promos recently wrote a post about the excellent 5.11 Tactical Pants. 5.11 is currently running a promotion on the following items:

Promo: Receive Free Shipping on All Orders of Only $75 or More!
Generate Link
Code: No code needed
Exp: Ongoing promo

Promo: Receive a Free AC Adapter with Purchase of 5.11 Light for Life Flashlight ($39.99 value. Limit 1 per order)
Generate Link
Code: No code needed
Exp: 9/15/10 (subject to change if supplies run out)

Promo: Introducing the Light for Life Flashlight! 90 Seconds Charge. 2 hr Runtime. 270 Peak Lumens. Environmentally Friendly. -Buy Now & Receive Free Shipping!
Generate Link
Code: No code needed
Exp: Ongoing promo

Promo: Buy any pair of 5.11 Tactical Boots & Get a Free Boot Knife! Enter code: 511BOOTKNIFE during checkout
Generate Link
Code: No code needed
Exp: Ongoing promo

To go to 5.11, click on the link below:

5.11 Tactical Series

Urban Survival Firearms - Tactical Innovation AM15

For the Urban Survivalist who thinks he has his Survival Firearms battery complete.
Tactical Innovations of Bonners Ferry, Idaho (, is manufacturing what they call the AM15 full auto Upper Receiver which allows you to shoot unmodified .22LR American 180 drums, in either 165 round, 220 round or 275 round capacity on your M16 host receiver. This conversion will not work on semi-automatic AR's, only full auto capable M-16/M-4 lower receivers.

The full auto AM15 upper receiver conversion is a BATF APPROVED open bolt drum fed .22LR rimfire caliber conversion that ejects through the AR mag well. It uses Colt Light Machine Gun style open bolt fire control parts, which are included with the AM15 conversion. The AM15 conversion will only work on registered receiver sear drilled M16 lowers. It WILL NOT work with drop-in auto sears or with lightning links.

While the .22 LR is not a serious defensive round, image the ability to, cheaply, saturate an area with suppressive fire. Check out the video out below.

Urban Survival - Reader Question on Special Forces Manuals received the following comment: "Anonymous said...Hey what about Special Forces Manuals which are great reference materials? I have probably a complete collection. Lit it Up and Then Some!"

UrbanMan replies: Our post on Military Manuals was in reference to a questions on basic and common Infantry skills such as squad and platoon in defense, Combat Patrols, etc. These are excellent manuals for have in your survival library. We did not list Special Forces manuals as the context was basic combat and infantry skills. However you bring up a good point, there are several Special Forces manuals and books that would be very high up on the Urban Survivor's reference library.

Some of the Special Forces Manuals have restricted distribution. Gun shows are a good place for manuals of all types.

One of the best SF manuals a Urban Survivor could have is the SF Medical Handbook. SF Medics are trained as Doctor's substitutes and this is their bible. I have one will not part with it. It stays in my 20mm ammunition cans of base camp Medical Items with other medical supplies and reference material.

The Technical Manual (TM) 31-201-1 is a good reference book for incendiaries and is as close as I will get talking about explosives and booby traps. There are legal and ethical issues with transferring "how to's" and such on explosive and booby traps. I will not go there.

The Special Forces Handbook is much like a Ranger Handbook but also details some Unconventional Warfare techniques, as the SF Operational Techniques manual.

Your Urban Survival unconventional warfare library would probably be complete with a book or two on Urban Guerrilla Warfare and Counter-Insurgency operations.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

50 Statistics on the U.S. Economy - from End of The American Dream

Great stats which should ease your mind on why you are preparing, but may scare you into believing the end of the American Dream is coming soon - all the more reason to prepare, go to:

#50) In 2010 the U.S. government is projected to issue almost as much new debt as the rest of the governments of the world combined.

#49) It is being projected that the U.S. government will have a budget deficit of approximately 1.6 trillion dollars in 2010.

#48) If you went out and spent one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend a trillion dollars.

#47) In fact, if you spent one million dollars every single day since the birth of Christ, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now.

#46) Total U.S. government debt is now up to 90 percent of gross domestic product.

#45) Total credit market debt in the United States, including government, corporate and personal debt, has reached 360 percent of GDP.

#44) U.S. corporate income tax receipts were down 55% (to $138 billion) for the year ending September 30th, 2009.

#43) There are now 8 counties in the state of California that have unemployment rates of over 20 percent.

#42) In the area around Sacramento, California there is one closed business for every six that are still open.

#41) In February, there were 5.5 unemployed Americans for every job opening.

#40) According to a Pew Research Center study, approximately 37% of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have either been unemployed or underemployed at some point during the recession.

#39) More than 40% of those employed in the United States are now working in low-wage service jobs.

#38) According to one new survey, 24% of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.

#37) Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008. Not only that, more Americans filed for bankruptcy in March 2010 than during any month since U.S. bankruptcy law was tightened in October 2005.

#36) Mortgage purchase applications in the United States are down nearly 40 percent from a month ago to their lowest level since April of 1997.

#35) RealtyTrac has announced that foreclosure filings in the U.S. established an all time record for the second consecutive year in 2009.

#34) According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings were reported on 367,056 properties in March 2010, an increase of nearly 19 percent from February, an increase of nearly 8 percent from March 2009 and the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005.

#33) In Pinellas and Pasco counties, which include St. Petersburg, Florida and the suburbs to the north, there are 34,000 open foreclosure cases. Ten years ago, there were only about 4,000.

#32) In California's Central Valley, 1 out of every 16 homes is in some phase of foreclosure.

#31) The Mortgage Bankers Association recently announced that more than 10 percent of all U.S. homeowners with a mortgage had missed at least one payment during the January to March time period. That was a record high and up from 9.1 percent a year ago.

#30) U.S. banks repossessed nearly 258,000 homes nationwide in the first quarter of 2010, a 35 percent jump from the first quarter of 2009.

#29) For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.

#28) More than 24% of all homes with mortgages in the United States were underwater as of the end of 2009.

#27) U.S. commercial property values are down approximately 40 percent since 2007 and currently 18 percent of all office space in the United States is sitting vacant.

#26) Defaults on apartment building mortgages held by U.S. banks climbed to a record 4.6 percent in the first quarter of 2010. That was almost twice the level of a year earlier.

#25) In 2009, U.S. banks posted their sharpest decline in private lending since 1942.

#24) New York state has delayed paying bills totalling $2.5 billion as a short-term way of staying solvent but officials are warning that its cash crunch could soon get even worse.

#23) To make up for a projected 2010 budget shortfall of $280 million, Detroit issued $250 million of 20-year municipal notes in March. The bond issuance followed on the heels of a warning from Detroit officials that if its financial state didn't improve, it could be forced to declare bankruptcy.

#22) The National League of Cities says that municipal governments will probably come up between $56 billion and $83 billion short between now and 2012.

#21) Half a dozen cash-poor U.S. states have announced that they are delaying their tax refund checks.

#20) Two university professors recently calculated that the combined unfunded pension liability for all 50 U.S. states is 3.2 trillion dollars.

#19) According to, 32 U.S. states have already run out of funds to make unemployment benefit payments and so the federal government has been supplying these states with funds so that they can make their payments to the unemployed.

#18) This most recession has erased 8 million private sector jobs in the United States.

#17) Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of 2010.

#16) U.S. government-provided benefits (including Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs) rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.

#15) 39.68 million Americans are now on food stamps, which represents a new all-time record. But things look like they are going to get even worse. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting that enrollment in the food stamp program will exceed 43 million Americans in 2011.

#14) Phoenix, Arizona features an astounding annual car theft rate of 57,000 vehicles and has become the new "Car Theft Capital of the World".

#13) U.S. law enforcement authorities claim that there are now over 1 million members of criminal gangs inside the country. These 1 million gang members are responsible for up to 80% of the crimes committed in the United States each year.

#12) The U.S. health care system was already facing a shortage of approximately 150,000 doctors in the next decade or so, but thanks to the health care "reform" bill passed by Congress, that number could swell by several hundred thousand more.

#11) According to an analysis by the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation the health care "reform" bill will generate $409.2 billion in additional taxes on the American people by 2019.

#10) The Dow Jones Industrial Average just experienced the worst May it has seen since 1940.

#9) In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.

#8) Approximately 40% of all retail spending currently comes from the 20% of American households that have the highest incomes.

#7) According to economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, two-thirds of income increases in the U.S. between 2002 and 2007 went to the wealthiest 1% of all Americans.

#6) The bottom 40 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

#5) If you only make the minimum payment each and every time, a $6,000 credit card bill can end up costing you over $30,000 (depending on the interest rate).

#4) According to a new report based on U.S. Census Bureau data, only 26 percent of American teens between the ages of 16 and 19 had jobs in late 2009 which represents a record low since statistics began to be kept back in 1948.

#3) According to a National Foundation for Credit Counseling survey, only 58% of those in "Generation Y" pay their monthly bills on time.

#2) During the first quarter of 2010, the total number of loans that are at least three months past due in the United States increased for the 16th consecutive quarter.

#1) According to the Tax Foundation’s Microsimulation Model, to erase the 2010 U.S. budget deficit, the U.S. Congress would have to multiply each tax rate by 2.4. Thus, the 10 percent rate would be 24 percent, the 15 percent rate would be 36 percent, and the 35 percent rate would have to be 85 percent.

Urban Survival Planning - Reader question on Gold received the following question from Jeff in New Jersey:
"Reference to your post Urban Survival - The Coming Economic Collapse Report June 2010,....So what are you saying here? Buy Gold? How much is enough?"

UrbanMan reply: While I am no economist, I do try to make sense out of all the financial indicators out there. Talk of a double dip recession is all over the place. Some people think that Gold make hit $10,000 an ounce. Central banks have reportedly bought more gold last year (425 tons) than at any other time since 1964.
Gold production is no higher now than it was a decade ago and has fallen somewhat in 5 of the past 8 years.

We believe in planning and preparation across all likely scenarios. It is very likely that we'll hit a recession and inflation will be the result, making your money buy less and Gold buy more. If it is bad enough, fiat currency, you know those dollar bills in your pocket? may not be taken in trade. We want to be prepared for that But we are primarily holding Gold and Silver in preparation for a total collapse of our society, be it through a economic crisis, natural mega-disaster(s), nuclear or dirty bomb strike or pandemic disease.

How much is enough? Obviously your personal finances and desire level of preparation will dictate how much you can buy. To tell you the truth, I have very little gold. I have most of my precious metals (PM's) in Silver, both bullion in the form of one ounce rounds and U.S. coins for silver melt value.

I look for the government to try and confiscate gold and silver bullion once again. In the mean time as I finish off with my priority list of Urban Survival Tasks and preparation measures, I'll get around to buying for silver,..maybe some gold if I can afford it. I can afford to concentrate on other Survival Tasks right now, as I have a decent amount of Silver put away, but if you haven't started procuring Gold or Silver yet, then you really need to consider doing so. Even a small amount a month, like purchasing a couple Silver Rounds every pay period would be a start. That's what we started Jim (from Survival Chronicles of Jim) doing and he reports a substantial peace of mind even with the small amount he has.

Stay Safe, Stay Prepared.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Urban Survival - The Coming Economic Collapse Report June 2010

The Perfect Financial Storm is brewing - get Ready. And I mean GET READY.

Not just the sluggish economy,..not just unemployment,....not just a bankrupt Social Security Trust Fund,....not just unfunded liabilities nor the Gigantic National Debt. It's all of it and more,.....the Bush Tax Cuts expiring,....add more failed banks.....throw in welfare and other spending programs,......

“We’re on this trajectory where we will have more takers than makers in society. We’re going to have more people taking from government than living on their own, paying taxes and contributing into it. That is a dangerous position to be in, that’s the position Greece is in,” - Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) May 2010.

Oh, did someone mentioned Greece? When Greece started to admit its debt problems last November, the government estimated its deficit last year was 12.7 percent of its GDP. Meanwhile, the U.S. deficit stands at 10.3 percent of GDP in 2010 under President Obama’s budget, with more spending plans in the works, not to mention Cap and Trade and the moratorium of drilling for gas. You'll probably see $7 a gallon gas by middle of next year.

Most Analyst believe there is a 40-50% chance that the Bush Tax Cuts will expire Dec 31, 2010 without Congress extending or modifying them. This would of course be a big blow to our chances of getting our economy back on track as this effects small business like a stake in a Vampire's heart.

83 Banks failed since Jan 1, 2010. The FDIC is often appointed as receiver for failed banks. The following link will direct you to the official Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) website (click here). The FDIC is a corporation who many analysts believe is under capitalized and on the brink of self collapse.

See the video below to explain the free fall in National Debt that has become us.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Urban Survival Skills - Reader Question on Military Tactics

UrbanSurvivalSkills received the following Anonymous comment: "Thanks for the great site. I have learned many thing. Where can I get a book on military tactics like defenses and such?" - (from) Stuck in the City

UrbanMan reply:

Stuck in the City (I hope not literally). It is a good idea to maintain several military reference books in your Survival library. Great resources with lots of pictures of diagrams to explain concepts,...probably not as many pictures as Marine Corps manuals, and the Army one's don't let you use crayons in them....just kidding you former Marines.

Military reference books, the most common one being Field Manuals, are available at military surplus stores, on line sources and gun shows. I would recommend the following books on tactics and field craft skills,.....not all are Army Manuals, but sometimes better information is available from non Army sources.

Urban Survival – A Primer for Raising Chickens

There are more Urban Dwellers raising Chickens now more than ever before. Can’t tell if this is in response to the bad economy; or, people wanting fresh organic eggs; or, people just practicing for when only what they grow or raise is only what they eat.

Chickens are easy and inexpensive to raise compared to other livestock such as goats, sheep or cows. With a small Chicken coop, they take up very little room, maybe even as small as 12 square feet for a flock of four.

Fresh eggs would be not only good food, but a great barter item. With a Rooster you can breed hens for more chicks or for a barter item. We think much of our Survival suppers will be eggs and rice, squash and eggs, etc.

On the average, 4 hens will give you 2, maybe 3 eggs a day. Most hens start to lay around 4-6 months of age, however for many reasons, mainly time of year and temperature), they may stop laying eggs until warmer weather come

You’ll need a Chicken Coop. You can build your own or can visit our friends at the Chicken Coop Source for many different models depending upon what you want and how much you can spend. Consider about 3 square feet per Chicken.

We have one inner city co-worker who raises six Chickens, and it seems like he always has eggs, and he has nothing but a small, patio rock backyard. It can be done.

You’ll need an easy way to clean. One common method is to move the chicken coop to a new area in order to fertilize new areas every week or two. You can also use pine shavings, pine needles, crushed up bark and the alike.

The easiest and best feed is complete feeds which provide all the protein, carbs and fats (energy) as well as vitamins and minerals necessary for proper growth, egg production, and health of the birds. The Chickens will need fresh water as well.

Other foods could be bugs, worms, vegetables, corn, wheat, cereal, oats, cut grass, coarse ground seeds and bread.

Common commercial foods are Purina Flock Raiser, Blue Seal Chick n’ Game Bird Feed, Grower Crumbles or Bird Starter,

A 50 lbs bag of feed will last four Chickens about 3 months, maybe longer if you supplement their diet with other feeds.

We think a regular sized Urban back yard is an easy fit for several Chickens and the Urban Survivalist should consider adding the procurement of Chickens and a Chicken Coop, if not immediately, then on your Survival tasks list as indicators build towards a collapse.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Urban Survival - The Goal is not Literally Surviving, it's Surviving with Quality

One of our buddies reported having a recent conversation with a older gent the other night. They were discussing Urban Survival versus Wilderness Survival, the main difference being having a permanent shelter, or not. Yes, you could be surviving in a remote part of the country in a log cabin or barn and that would be different from literally Wilderness Survival. By Wilderness Survival, we mean bare bones survival,…procuring all your foods from animals or edible plants, living in a dug out or lean to, having no survival aids but want you can carry with you.

This may be survival but it certainly is literally survival and not decent living – although the first rule IS to stay alive. The whole reason to prepare with Survival Food, Material, Gear and Equipment, not to mention a re-location or Bug Out Plan to a safer location, is to ensure that we can maintain life under some level of quality.

Almost all Urban Locations will require a Bug Out plan to a safe location, as Urban locations are dependant upon city/county water supplies which will dry up once the infrastructure collapses. Water is your number one concern. However you won’t be able to drink the water that you stockpile if you can defend yourself,…….this takes a rifle,…nor if you starve to death. Long term stay in Urban locations would require a teamwork approach and a water supply – community pond or lake, several swimming pools, etc. This would eventually dry up and again we’re looking at a re-location to a Safe Location.

Urban locations because of the density of structures, lack of usable open land for growing food and bigger population will be problematic for Urban based Survival. You’ll have a hard time seeing threats coming unless your neighborhood is organized (a la “Lights Out”) as well as feeding all of the unprepared families. “What are you gonna do when the neighbor comes over begging for food for his children?” We think personalities, standards of conduct, work ethic, maybe even religious beliefs will be so diverse that long term Urban Survival will be simply too difficult to maintain in a an Urban environment.

There is the chance of a large segment of the population in your Urban environment would move on, leaving a smaller percentage of the population and therefore a better chance of organization for the better good of all. This may well open other resources such as water,……think water heaters, swimming pools and polluted sources of water that you can purify. Even then unless you have a full time water source and ability to grow food for yourself, and, maintain security this will be iffy.

So back to the conversation between my buddy and the older guy. They discuss the older gent’s plan to move to an unpopulated stretch of river were he would have a water source and where he could hunt and fish for food. This will rapidly turn into literal survival scenario,…..scratching an existence out of nothing, as opposed to decent living. A camper, six months or more of stored food, seeds and a small group of alike minded and supplied people would make this much more viable.

This all boils down to preparation. Everybody be safe and prepare well.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Urban Survival Gear - 5.11 Tactical Pants received a comment from T. Jenkins asking for some ideas on what clothing items he and his group can wear, besides jeans, in the urban environment and not stand out but still be useable in the forests.

UrbanMan’s comments:

Jeans are good urban wear, my choice in jeans are Wranglers, and they come in different colors. Tan and Brown would be good colors for urban environments. The disadvantages with jeans are that they are limited in their pockets and are more or less designed for skinny Cowboys.

A great uniform that would not standout in urban or suburban environments would be the 5.11 Tactical Pants. These come in nine different colors: charcoal, black, grey, khaki, coyote brown, olive drab green, tundra (?), fire navy, sage and walnut. You are going to have to visit their site (link to the left) or at the bottom of this post, in order to see the colors. Wearing a common color of 5.11 pants would help attain what you may be looking for in a common survival group uniform item. Shown below are the Black 5.11 Tactical pants, faded from repeated washings.

These are great pants for urban survival wear. Made out of tough and durable 8.5 ounce cotton canvas, they have double thick seat and knees and are knee pad ready, and have 7 pockets. The rear pockets are huge and the leg cargo pockets are well sized. These are the choice of many Federal Law Enforcement agencies as a causal or training uniform.

5.11 also offers a Tactical Duty Uniform (TDU) pants made from 65% polyester and 35% cotton ripstop. We don’t like these pants near as well as the 5.11 Tactical Pants.

5.11 also offers a Tactical Vest called their VTAC (for Viking Tactics) Load Bearing Vest (LBE) Tactical Vest which is a Molle compatible vest that comes in 3 colors: black, flat dark earth and olive drab green. Our choice is the flat dark earth which is an earth brown color. They offer a wide range of pouches as well, from pistol and rifle magazine pouches to first aid kit pouches, to handgun holsters and many more, all which can be configured onto the VTAC LBE Tactical Vest using the Molle system. These are as high as quality a product as you can find, otherwise Viking Tactics would not have put their name on it. If we didn’t have our current decade old tactical rigs, we would be buying several of these.

Additionally, 5.11 offers a TacLite Pro Vest which is a 17 pocket photo journalist style vest, made from 65% poly 35% cotton ripstop that accommodates all sorts of gear like water bottles, binoculars, rifle magazines, etc. This TacLite pro Vest is cut long to conceal a handgun holster to your belt. Most of the members of our survival group have this vest or a similar vest in order to carry equipment in an urban environment without appearing to some militia group.

Visit the 5.11 website, click here, you’ll probably be surprised at the breadth of 5.11 products.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Urban Survival Weapons - Guns for Your Wife

UrbanMan received a private message from a reader (Jake) who asked what handgun would be appropriate for his wife. He further stated that his wife is going along with his Urban Survival Preparations for the Collapse kind of grudgingly. She has been to the range a few times; shot a couple of handguns and didn't really get into it.

Well Jake, here are some things to think about:

A handgun is primarily a defensive weapon. I always carry two handguns, a Glock 19 and a Kel-Tec .32 ACP even then I am under gunned if faced with Mutts and semi-automactic rifles. So getting your wife a handgun is a good idea; getting her a rifle is a better idea.

As the indicators for the Collapse (or TEOTWAWKI as you prefer) get stronger, our levels of preparedness needs to rise. Right now, it really wouldn't make sense to keep rifles and all magazines fully loaded in all corners or at all fighting positions in your house. Not would it make sense for you sling an M-4 as you perform land work or gardening. So the handgun is sometimes you ALWAYS carry for personal protection and to be able to fight your way to safety and your long guns.

Your wife may get more involved with shooting if you can make shooting or firearms training more fun. Rimfire (.22 LR) bullseye competition, shooting exploding targets or other targets that provide immediate feedback may serve this purpose. A .22 LR or .22 WMR Revolver are always good bets for firearms novices as they have no external mechanisms like safeties, hammer drops (de-cockers), magazine releases or bolts/slides to manipulate.

Another good choice would be a Ruger or Browning .22 LR semi-automatic. These are not only good guns to train new shooters on, but every Survival Firearms Battery should have one,...or more, plus a couple thousands of rounds of .22 LR ammunition.

You should have a .22 LR rifle as well. I have several. These are also good to train new shooters on long guns with. However, neither handguns or rifles in .22 LR are good defensive firearms, simply because they don't have the stopping power or vehicle penetration power of center-fire cartridges. The next step up would be a carbine in a centerfire handgun chambering such as the old Marlin 9mm or .45 ACP carbines; .357 magnum, .44 magnum or .45 Long Colt lever guns; an old M-1 carbine in .30 caliber carbine; and others. However, long guns in a handgun chamberings leave alot to be desired in stopping power as well as effective range.

The first rule of a gun fight is to have a gun. If you have to give up stopping power, magazine capacity and effective range in order to get your wife trained and ready to use a firearm, as well as to carry it when the indicators dictate, then so be it. You can always do some familiarization training on bigger guns, as you should, including shotguns. I think as she sees the need, her mindset and acceptance of firearms will grow. Good luck, Jake.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Urban Survival Weapons – Rifle/Shotgun Combination Guns

Months back wrote about the M-6 Aircrew Rifle (to see the past post click here) as it’s suitability for a “pure” survival firearm, meaning one meant to procure game as opposed to a defensive firearms. The M6 Aircrew Rifle as you’ll remember was meant as a survival firearm, mainly for game procurement, for down air crews,…… hence the name “Aircrew Rifle”. These guns are no longer manufactured, but if you can find one, you’ll be paying around $400.

Recently we were asked about other combination rifle - shotgun’s such as the Savage Model 24 series, over and under rifle-shotgun combination. Savage makes very good, high quality firearms and it is no exception to the Model 24 Series. Available in several rifle calibers: .22 Magnum, .22 Hornet, .17 HMR, .223 Remington, .357 Magnum and .30-30 Winchester ; and two shotgun gauges: 12 gauge and 20 gauge, this combination gun provides the user with the ability to take rabbits to deer, quail to turkey.

Savage Model 24 Combination guns are no longer made, but if you could find one, you would have to pay in the range of $450 for the .22 WMR – 20 gauge version and up to $1,500 for the .357 Magnum – 20 gauge model. We have shot a version of this rifle, in .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire and 20 gauge, and the gun had a decent enough trigger to take rabbits at 25-30 yards.

If anyone was fixated on getting a Savage Model 24 combination gun I would suggest a .223 Remington and 12 gauge, as it is probable provides the best capabilities and the ammunition is more readily available than say the .22 Hornet and 20 gauge.

There is another gun option with the EAA-Baikal IZH Model 94MP Combination Gun, an import model available through most Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) Dealers albeit at a hefty cost,…around $1,200.

The EAA-Baikal IZH Model 94MP Combination Rifle-Shotgun is available in several combination gauges/calibers:

12 gauge / .223 Remington

12 gauge / .30-06 Springfield

12 gauge / .308 Winchester

12 gauge / .45-70 Government

410 gauge / .17 HMR

410 gauge / .22 Long Rifle

410 gauge / .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire

On both the Savage and EAA Comination guns, there are provisions for mounting a scope, which may be a necessity due to the rudimentary sights on either gun.

If you are set on owning a combination rifle-shotgun for survival, I would suggest a Savage Model 24 in whatever caliber-gauge combination you want (or can afford), then maybe the M-6 Aircrew Survival Rifle in .22 LR and .410 gauge. Although I know some people happy with their Baikal Shotguns, I think you would be better served spending the money on a high quality .22 LR rifle and separate 12 gauge pump action shotgun,….even then you would still have enough money left for a decent .22 LR handgun.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Urban Survival Tools – Review of Gerber eFECT Weapons Maintenance Tool

It is not often that someone comes up with a really great accessory item, even for firearms. The Gerber eFECT (Field Expedient Cleaning Tool) Weapons Maintenance Tool, manufactured by Gerber Legendary Blades is one of those rare instances where innovation meets functionality. This is a convenient multi-function tool, with six separate tools, to help perform disassembly and critical cleaning functions on the AR-15/M-16/M-4 family of weapons.

The eFECT includes the following tools:

Flat Blade Screwdriver. General screwdriver for flat head screws.

Pin Punch. For use to push out tight receiver pins.

Nylon Bristle Brush. Used to clean away sand or dust from your weapon.

Angled Pick. This is a curved pick tool to use for cleaning those hard to reach areas that the M-16 family is famous for. The pick can be removed and replaced with OTIS cleaning accessory components with the 8-32 tpi female thread found in the excellent OTIS cleaning kits.

Bolt Carrier Carbon Scrapper. This is an excellent scrapper tool for removing carbon deposits in the receiver or inside the bolt carrier firing pin housing.

Sight Adjustment Tool, for both A1 and A2 front sights. This tool is reversible, being held on by a magnetic post which in and of itself is useful to pick small parts up with or to hold metal parts in place or so they won’t get lost.

The eFECT utilizes a dual Wedge Lock that holds the tools in the open position, and they cannot be released until the wedge is pulled back. The eFECT comes with a MOLLE- compatible belt sheath or can be stored in the internal compartment of an A2 buttstock.

Available from Brownells, click here, as item number 100-004-875 with a retail cost of $76.99

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Urban Survival – Reader Questions on Camouflage Uniforms received the following question from a reader asking for suggestions on Camouflage Clothing.

“You mentioned having adequate, heavy duty clothing for Urban Survival. What is your take on Camouflaged clothing?

Do you think me, my family and friends should have camouflage fatigues of the same pattern/color? I read the Patriots book in which the Survival Group decided on a unique pattern so they could differentiate their people from others in the forests. Sounded like a great idea to me.”

Urban Man’s reply:

There is certainly a place for camouflaged fatigues in your Survival Kit, particularly shirts as they have more and better functional pockets than common work shirts. There are lots of camouflaged uniforms patterns and colors to choose from.

To keep this article as short as we can, I will limit to a short review on camouflage uniforms currently in use by the US Army: the Army Combat Uniform or ACU as made by Propper, and the Multi-Cam made by Tru-Spec. Both uniforms are well made and worth the cost increase over the older Vietnam era Camouflage uniforms, or the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) that are commonly available in Surplus Stores or on-line stores.

The ACU has a zippered front closure, elbow pouch for padded inserts, tilted chest pockets with Velcro closures, shoulder pockets with Velcro, pen pocket on sleeve and is imported.

The Multi-Cam has a better zippered front closure and replaces the Velcro closures of the ACU with YKK Powerhook closure devices which won’t wear out so bad from repeated washes. The Multi-Cam is made from 65/35 poly/Cotton Ripstop fabric or 50/50 Nylon Ripstop fabric; both version have the same slanted chest and shoulder pockets as the ACU. The Multi-Cam is made by Tru-Spec here in the USA and available is a wide range of colors: Black (would not recommend); Olive Drab (best single all around color); Digital Desert (okay for desert areas but not as an all around color); Khaki (would not recommend); 3 color desert (would not recommend); woodland; midnight navy (would not recommend); digital urban (would not recommend); digital woodland (okay for forested areas); and of course Multi-Cam (recommended for a wide range of areas).

The ACU and Multi-Cam are highly functional uniforms, especially the shirts due to their roomy pockets, very well made construction, and, we especially like the elbow pouches for padded inserts. The digital urban pattern is much too dark for our likes but would recommend either the ACU pattern, the Multi-Cam pattern or plain Olive Drab (green), shown to the LEFT with the uniform features.

The problem with camouflage uniforms is that they will set you apart. Civilians wearing camouflage uniforms will scream “Right Wing Milita” to Law Enforcement – which is maybe not a concern after a collapse. I guess a small team wearing the same camouflage uniforms may give a perception of a government element with authority. If common urbanites see you in your camouflage uniforms there is a connotation that you probably have additional Survival Gear and Equipment and therefore may mark you as a target for roving gangs.

I still think having at least a few Tru-Spec Multi-Cam or Olive Drab uniform tops or Propper ACU tops per person to wear over brown or khaki pants is a good idea as they will hold tough in rugged terrain and bad weather, and, have adequate pockets in which to carry essentials.

Multi-Cam and ACU uniforms shirts are reasonable priced at $39.99 and $40.99 from U.S. Cavalry.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Urban Survival – Recommendations for Midwest Senior Couple received the following on e-mail.

“We are a senior couple in our early sixties living in the suburbs of (a large city in the Midwest ). My wife and I are both fit and healthy outdoors types, both retired and living off our Social Security, my small pension and some investment income. We see the value in being prepared for all sorts of collapse scenarios including anarchy in the streets as well as the value in re-locating to a safe place. We also see the logic in assuming that most people, including us, will probably wait too long in our urban locations before pulling out (bugging out as you call it) for our safe place.”

“I have a sister living on a 6,000 acre farm about 3 hours away from us. She is a widow, also retired (as a teacher) but supplements her income tutoring students. Other than having a 12 gauge shotgun and a .45 pistol from my Dad’s World War II service, camping equipment and our own small garden, we are relatively unprepared. I know we need to get better prepared for Urban Survival but I can’t see us running around in camouflage fatigues, etc. Any input would be appreciated.”

Urban Man Comments:

The first step is recognizing the need to be prepared. Second think about all different scenarios, e.g..hyper-inflation, economic collapse, bank closures, your social security checks and even pension checks stop coming, infrastructure collapse, and, all the problems that create. This is called Wargaming. This process will identify contingencies you need to plan for which in general would be: unavailability of food, water service stoppage, lack of medical care, security issues especially in an Urban/Suburban environment with groups of hungry desperate people.

Here is what I would consider doing:

Stockpile some food. Consider six months for two people minimum.

Prepare a couple of Bug Out Bags to support movement on foot from your home to your sister’s farm. 300 miles at even 20 miles a day (which is an unrealistic sustained movement rate) would take you 15 days. You won’t be able to carry 15 days of food and water, even not considering other essential Survival Gear and Equipment. Visit my posts on Bug Out Bags.

Your Bug Out plan would primarily be your vehicle. Ensure you have enough fuel to make the trip by keeping a couple empty fuel cans in your garage and filling them up when collapse indicators indicate a stepped up level of preparedness. Your Bug Out Bags would support you if your vehicle runs out of fuel or breaks down, or circumstances dictate you get off the road and move on foot.

I would get your sister on board and stockpile some food, clothing and extra Survival gear at her farm. Hopefully she has a water source other than County water there. Look at alternate methods of powering the pumps such as solar and wind. Buy some non-hybrid seeds and store at your sister. A good idea would be to store some at your home as well.

I’ll also bet that your sister knows how to can foods. You may want to buy a couple cases of canning jars and lids and take them to her to keep on hand.

Ensure you have an adequate amount of ammunition for your current firearms. A shotgun is great. Ensure you have birdshot, buckshot and slugs – probably at least several hundred shells each. Same for your excellent .45 pistol – extra magazines available almost anywhere and you should have several hundred rounds of this caliber on hand. Consider buying a rifle. If only one rifle, then I prefer an M4 carbine, but a decent .308 rifle would also be a good item to have. Again, need to have ammunition on hand before the crunch comes.

I’ll bet there are some firearms at your sister’s. Same goes for these guns as well. A .22 rifle and a thousand rounds is a cheap addition to your Urban Survival arsenal.

Lots of other great Survival gear and equipment to have as well. Among the priorities a good set of boots, sleeping bags, binoculars, several storm proof lighters, compass, maps, poncho or field expedient shelter material, flashlights, etc.

Survival during a collapse is going to be a team sport. With just you and your wife security in town is going to be difficult – I would advise you to plan to Bug Out before the situation gets bad. You, your wife and your sister at her farm is also problematic for security. Anticipate straphangers and other relatives showing up – be thinking about who and how you are going to integrate them, or, turn them away.

Hope this helps. UrbanMan

Monday, June 7, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 15

Been busy this week. Constantly thinking about Urban Survival now. The financial trouble in Greece, expanding violence in the Middle East - how it is not possible to think about Urban Survival scenarios associated with a financial collapse of even war?

Did not mention it in the other posts, but I had previously planted some vegetables in my small backyard. If you have read my earlier Chapters, you will understand that I live almost dead center of town. Actually about a mile from the high rises of the down town district and backed up to a mountain. The good thing about my place, the last house on a dead end road, is that anyone coming down my road is doing so intentionally.

Urban Man told me that I am not in any primary refugee pattern, but I would have to worry about people trying to loot my house. Behind my house, I have some gullies, actually dry river beds called arroyos out here, plus some heavy brush that would allow me an avenue of escape if pressured to leave my house. But the primary plan is to use my vehicle. A dead end street only gives me one avenue of escape via the vehicle.

Back to my vegetables. I planted four squash plants that are now incredibly robust. I also have twelve onions in grow pots and I am going to transplant soon.
I have two Eggplant bushes coming up as well. I also planted a tangerine tree and a pomegranate tree, both which do not need a pollinator (another alike tree) to produce fruit.

I’ll soon be out of room with my small back yard. I did this because I was intrigued by Urban Man’s posts on stockpiling seeds and wanted to see if I could grow anything. The squash proves I can, and I’ll withhold my judgment on the onions.

I also went to a local Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought some heavy duty plastic bags with a one way value, where you can stuff clothes into then suck out the air using a vacuum effect, vacuum packing sets of clothing. Now it is the very hot down here, over 100 the past few days, so not needing cold weather clothing for another six or seven months, I vacuum packed some of my winter clothes into these bags and put them in a duffel bag in my garage to throw into my vehicle in case I have to bug out.

Oh yeah, within the last two weeks I found one Eisenhower dollar with silver met value and two pre-1965 silver quarters, each with a silver melt value of $3.14. So just being aware I was able to add $11.77 to my growing collection of silver bullion and silver melt value coins.

be safe, Jim

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Urban Survival - Food Stockpiling

Every serious Urban Survival prepper knows about preparing dry foods in Mylar bags, with oxygen absorbers. Some even go so far as to then store the vacuum packed Mylar bags in buckets with Gamma Lids. All good. You can get a long storage live out of this method. I certainly recommend this method for long term storage and cache emplacement.

Another method for preparing and stocking emergency food is by using a Food Saver vacuum packing and heat sealing device. The company advises a two year storage life with dry goods using their vacuum packing device and their FoodSaver bags. I think you can get more life than that if you take reasonable care to store your food in a controlled conditions, at least until the SHTF. I don't know,...I could be wrong, but what I do know is that if a bag is two months of out date, I'm not throwing it away until I check it,...check it like you would any foods. You'll notice I wrote the food item name and packaging date (month and year) on each package in the picture below.

In order to supplement my 8 and 10 gallon cans of Mylar bag sealed dry foods, I bought a Sport Model Food Saver so I could prepare smaller packages of foods for Bug Out Bags and to prepare meals faster during movements like a Bug Out from my Urban Location to my planned Safe Location.

Today I prepared some foods for use during a vehicle Bug Out movement. I'll place the below described packaged foods in a bucket for immediate use.

$1.44 on 2 lbs of Split Pea Soup, packaged in 1 lb bags
$3.98 on 2 lbs of 16 Bean Ham flavored soup, packaged in 1 lb bags
$1.04 on Salt, packaged in 1 lb 10 ounce cans
$1.44 for 2 lbs Brown Sugar, packaged in one bag
$3.55 for 8 lbs of Pinto Beans, which I packaged into two 4 lb bags
$4.35 for 6 lbs of Enriched White Rice, packaged into one bag
$2.00 for 2 lbs of Long Grain Brown Rice, packaged into two 1 lb bags
$3.64 for a 10 ounce pack of Coffee already vacuumed packed
$4.04 for one 8 ounce bottle of Adobo Seasoning for the rice and beans

I figure I can easily get two weeks of meals out of the above ingredients. Each day having two small meals. All for a total cost of $25.48 for the food items.

I have some extra heavy duty one gallon zip lock bags from which I'll place the ingredients for my meal into, add water and let soak, if possible in the sunlight, then transferring to a pot to cook in later on. This shortens the cooking time and if you can't cook it, well you can eat it like it is.

I packed the Brown Sugar, not just as an after thought, but to use on any game like fish or rabbits or even snakes I catch. Plus I plan on adding some Steel Cut Oats to this bucket for which Brown Sugar is a necessity.

All of the above fits into a bucket I'll place in my truck, in a ready location, if and when I Bug Out. Smaller versions of the above dry foods, and other foods like peanuts and granola, are in vacuum packed smaller packages and sitting in my Bug Out Bags. I have several Bug Out bags, anticipating people to come to my location in the event of TEOTWAWKI. Who I keep and integrate into my Urban Survival Group, who I turn away maybe giving them a Bug Out Bag (no use creating enemies if you can help it) and who I just turn away cold (sometimes you can't help but create enemies) is another story, once of which I have addressed in different posts such as "Absorbing People into Your Survival Group".

Good luck -prepare well.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Urban Survival - Water Storage in Your Home received an Anonymous reader comment concerning potable water storage to support a “Bug In” rather than a “Bug Out”.

”We are urbanites (NYC), and our primary contingency plan is to bug-in rather than bug-out. In addition to a few cases of bottled water, I also purchased two water storage kits designed to hold 65 gallons of water in the bathtub. The kit is called the Aquapod. It is a dry bladder designed to fit inside a bathtub, which you would pull down and fill with potable water if TSHTF. If we were able to fill both of them, we would have a large supply of clean water. (We live in a high rise building, so our water supply is entirely dependent on electricity to pump water into a holding tank on the roof).”
”The only negative to the Aquapod that I see is that we would lose the use of the bathtub for hygiene. I have thought this out, though, and would probably take large pots of water into the emergency stairwell for bathing, in a long-term bug-in situation.”
For more information on AquaPod, click here:

UrbanMan comments:

These NYC Urbanites are planning in somewhat the right direction, that is considering their water needs which is a high priority need. However even 130 gallons of water, given a planning factor or 1.5 gallons per person per day, would last 2 people about a month and a half, actually 43 days.

We thank the readers to alerting us on the AquaPod system. We plan on buying at least one, which is reasonable priced at $40 for a pump kit and tub liner.

It is problematic that these NYC Urbanites plan on “Bugging In” rather than “Bugging Out” to a safe location. believes that in a large scale economic collapse, pandemic, nuclear attack or whatever your flavor of scenario, the cities will be giant death traps. Certainly there will be survivors, but the density of people to the available food and water stores, bandit and gang security risks and restrictive firearms regulations in New York City making only the criminals well armed, all make it highly unlikely for a successful long term “Bug In” plan.

If I lived in New York City I would plan likewise to store sufficient water for as long of a stay as I could, but only in order to affect a “Bug Out” to a safe location at my time of choosing. I would look possibly to Up State New York or the New England area.

I build Urban Survival Bug Out Bags and would plan on several routes to various short range temporary safe locations as traveling in the city may be very difficult. Consider the refugee problem and movement flow to better plan safe routes.

I don’t know how possible it is for you to have firearms in NYC. But even a hunting shotgun and .22 pistol would be better than going un-armed.

Maybe there is other people like you in your high rise that you can count on to band together in a Urban Survival group to leverage your resources and skills. We have long said that Urban Survival is a team sport.

Good luck to you New Yorkers. Regards – Urban Man

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Making the Case for a Coming Economic Collapse does not represent itself as knowing much of any thing regarding how economies work or anything, however given the dire economic situation not only in the United States but all of Europe, combined with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a very probable large scale Arab/Muslim attack on Israel or even open war against Israel (because of the Flotilla incident) and what all those events will do to the economies, we believe we are facing are facing a coming large scale economic collapse.

Add in the economic blow from the oil spill in the Gulf; the North Koreans sinking South Korean ships; the Chinese emboldened to act against Taiwan (since the U.S. appears to abandoning allies); and, Iran building Nuclear weapons - all paint a black picture which holds minimal promise that we can get out of it unscathed.

The blow video, tongue in cheek as it is, illustrate the ludicrous nature of deficit spending and failing Country economic system and will take us into a collapse.

Prepare for Urban Survival, Prepare Now and Prepare well.

Urban Survival Planning – Storing Fuel

I have a lot of friends and other people visiting this site that are preparing for Urban Survival and have been in communication with me who have bought or are planning on buying gas or diesel powered generators for power after the collapse.

I urge caution here. A small generator, man portable (maybe even a 5,000 KW version) may make sense for your particular circumstances and Urban Survival Plan, however you are dependent upon fuel of course. I don’t know how long we could count on finding fuel after a collapse and any large amounts of fuel you store, even at a safe location, will have a fairly short shelf life.

Civilian fuels are not treated as military fuels are. Gas and Diesel will go bad. Even under exceptionally controlled storage, I would not expect non-treated fuel to last more than 12-18 months.

Gas breaks down, oxidizes and the lighter components will evaporate leaving a lower octane mix. There were be some particles that may clog up your engine or fuel filters. Diesel is sensitive to breakdown as well producing what people call algae or mold which is really a acidic type sludge residue.

If your gas is a blend of alcohol (gasohol) I have been informed by reliable sources that it will deteriorate even faster than standard gas.

This points to some problems you would have to solve to make a generator viable – gas storage, gas stock rotation and treatment.

There are some off the shelf fuel stabilizers that would come in handy, chief among them are:

Gold Eagle Gas Stabilizer, useable in 2 and 4 cycle engines. Eight fluid ounces treats 20 gallons of gas. Approximate cost is around $10 per 8 ounces.

Sta-bil Marine Formula, Ethanol compliant Gas Treatment, useable in 2 and 4 cycle engines and engines using ethanol. Advertised to keep fuel fresh for 12 months. Can be found in a 32 ounce bottle which would treat 320 gallons of gas. Can be used for two years after opening the bottle, which you may do as you probably have storage containers less than 320 gallons, therefore treat using one ounce per gallon of fuel. Approximate cost of $35 per 32 ounce bottle.

Star Tron SFF Diesel Additive would be a good bet for diesel fuel in storage which can be get “moldy”. Star Tron advertises that this additive can stabilize Diesel for up to two years, with one ounce treating 16 gallons. Reasonable costs at $10 a bottle.

A combination of routine replacement of fuel storage stocks and a treatment plan can make alot of difference. However, I would highly advise Urban Survivalists not to put all their eggs in one basket. I would consider fuel storage first to run vehicles, not generators, and work to use other, renewable forms of energy meaning solar and wind, for bigger static power needs. Look at portable systems that can be disassembled and re-located as needed.

A good site to visit for alternate power sources and solutions would be:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Urban Survival Planning and Preparation – Considerations for Seniors

I have a friend who is in his mid 40’s. His father and mother are in their early 70’s and late 60’s respectively. They live a gated type suburban community of about 7o to 80 homes, with other people of retirement age.

The gentleman, we’ll call him Phil, believes there will be a collapse in his lifetime. He is mentally prepared and equipped with an M4 carbine and several handguns, a hunting rifle or two and a couple shotguns. In fact, I helped him select a scope (an EO Tech) for his carbine and we outfitted his gun with a picatinny rail and light. He is really focusing all his Urban Survival preparation efforts on firearms and is neglecting other vital areas such as food storage, Bug Out bags, a planned route to, and selection of a Safe Location. I have talked to him about packaging and storing his own survival food stocks in mylar bags and using oxygen absorbers to vacuum pack the supply.

Although dependent upon the County water supply, their home is located next to a year round pond that even has been stocked with Trout and Blue Gill. It is problematic that their gated community home is only one and a quarter miles from a state highway.

This couple owns a bumper pull 26 foot trailer, which is a God send as it gives them more viable opportunities to select Safe Locations. In fact, I have talked to them about re-locating the trailer ahead of time, to a Safe Location so the movement in their truck to the Safe Location would be much easier. Plus they could stock the trailer with additional supplies – sort of like an above ground cache.

Seniors, say people permanently retired from a linear income job, have several advantages when it comes to Urban Survival.


Experience, often have finished a second full career;

Don’t get exited easily;

Probably better at making decisions with an emotional detachment;

Better suited to live without all the bells and whistles of life (Television, Stereos, etc.)

Usually have extra resources, earned through a long working life, such as an RV or Camper and other equipment and material (tents, sleeping bags, firearms, etc.) that would enhance survival

Seniors also have several disadvantages:

They are older, very probably slower and maybe with a reduced personal health therefore less capable to endure physical punishment such as movements on foot over rough terrain; surviving bad weather out in the open, etc.

More likely to have a degenerative disease such as diabetes, heart condition, arthritis, osteoporosis, and/or other disease that would require medications. Medications, of course, have limited shelf life even if a Senior could overcome the problems with stocking a large enough supply of them.

I think Seniors would be much more likely to remain in their Urban location well past the point in time that a more reasonable (and younger) person would execute a Bug Out plan.

Probably the biggest advantage Senior’s have would be time. Time to plan and prepare ahead of the collapse. Time to shop and procure items that would augment and enhance their Urban Survival. Time to talk to other local seniors in order to gauge the extent of these other people accepting the possibility or probability of a collapse. Time to wargame possible solutions to reduce the disadvantages, especially in mobility, would increase their ability to rapidly withdrawal from their Urban location when necessary, and could be accomplished in a wide variety of means besides a car or truck. ATV’s, bicycles, boats and animals all can be used to create distance quickly from a threat.

I told Phil, maybe the first step is to start a Crime Watch type program in his community, bring in some key note speakers such as local police,…maybe even politicians (as distasteful as that sound) to attract local home owners. From the local Crime Watch group he would have an organization to build a survival group from. Starting small from a “check in with your neighbor” program; to a crime or threat notification system; or classes on personal protective measures; or firearms safety classes, or anything else that builds unity in the group. One last advantage is that Seniors are probably much more likely to get along, or shall we say “act like mature adults”, in larger diverse groups.

My final advice for Seniors is to minimize the disadvantages, use your advantages and, above all, prepare…..a collapse will likely happen in your lifetime.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – Reconnaissance and Security Patrols

If the collapse hit and everything falls apart at the seams, and you are either held up in your Urban Home preparing to move to the your Safe Location, or you are on the move to your Safe Location, or, are at you Safe Location – what in the world does Reconnaissance and Security Patrols have to do with your Urban Survival?

Reconnaissance and Security Patrols are intended to find out what the threat’s capabilities and intentions are. They are used to gather information/intelligence concerning the area around your Urban Location or your Base Camp. It would be nice to know that a 300 person Motorcycle Group created an encampment six blocks from your house. Maybe a patrol to the nearest State highway could determine extent, if any, of motor vehicle traffic such as 18 wheelers on that roadway.

A Reconnaissance and Security Patrol may also be the best mechanism for placing Observation Post/Listening Posts (OP/LP’s) in place. As the Patrol moves throughout the area, the OP/LP team drops off, using the Patrol as cover, to make their way in a covered and concealed manner to their OP/LP.

A Reconnaissance Patrol is usually separate from a Security Patrol. The Reconnaissance Patrol is usually intended to go to observe and report on either a fixed site or a generally area.

Whereas a Security Patrol is intended to detect indicators that the threat has your Urban location or base camp under surveillance; indicators that the threat is preparing for an attack; indicators on refugees transiting the area.

An Urban Survival Group may also send out a patrol for a generally or specific procurement tasks like to collect brake light and backup light bulbs on vehicles; siphon fuel from stalled or dead vehicles; collect glass panes for a green house; or a thousand and one other tasks. No matter what the procurement tasks may be, the patrol should also be observant and collect information on what they see. They should be debriefed in a formal or semi-format process when they return in order to extract information they collected during their patrol.

Especially if you are a small Urban Survival Group, you may be pressing or utilizing women and teenagers into your patrols, not optimum, but it may be necessary.

The Patrol should have a plan; without burdening the reader's on a military style operations or patrol order format, the Urban Survivor would do okay to consider and use the 5 “W’s” as a minimum patrol plan:

Who (who’s in the patrol)

What (what the mission of the patrol is)

When (timeline for the patrol – when leaving, when coming back, when the base camp should consider the patrol compromised, lost, captured or dead

Where (where is the patrol going and what route(s), remember PACE, will the patrol take

Why (why is the patrol important enough to reduce combat power at the Urban Home or Base Camp in order to accomplish the patrol mission)

There should be standard procedures for the patrol that everyone knows well. Patrol inspection prior to the patrol moving out to ensure everyone has the required equipment, knows that day’s mission, is clothed and armed adequately and all shiny objects and noise makers taken off.

Common Arm and Hand signals should also be used to maintain control of the patrol and help maintain noise discipline. There should be an individual interval (distance) maintained between Patrol Members so that no two members present one target. Consider 5 to 20 meters as the high and low side interval suggestions.

Reaction drills for common events during the patrol need to be developed and rehearsed. Reaction drills for a sniper shooting at you, an attack from any direction, etc.

Contingency planning should be conducted to cover all imagined things that can go wrong. Here are common contingencies:

Where will the Urban Survivors go to if the base camp or the Urban home is attacked and over ran while the patrol is out of the base camp? This is called the Emergency Rally Point, should be at least a terrain feature away from the Urban Home or Base Camp, be somewhat defensible, and may be supported by a few small caches.

Where does the patrol exit and re-enter the Urban Home or Base Camp defensive perimeter?

What are the visual signal(s) and verbal challenge(s) and password(s) in order for the Urban Survivors defending the home to recognize the returning patrol as friendly?

Consider a duress word so that the other party will know that the first party is being forced by gun point or threats of death.

If the patrol hears a firefight at the Urban Home while they are on patrol, how should they return to the location and from which avenue or approach?

Running patrols from you Urban Home or Suburban/Rural Base Camp may not be possible if there are only 2 or 3 able bodied Survivor Group members. However, if you are in a Larger Urban Survivor Group, like a gated community or Neighborhood Watch program coming together, conducting Reconnaissance or Security Patrols as well as patrols to search, forage and procurement items will probably be a viable option if you follow the suggestions to have a Patrol Plan (5 W’s), train all members so they know the Standard Procedures and reaction drills.

Hope this helps, be safe.