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Monday, May 31, 2010

Urban Survival Preparation – Convincing Someone to Prepare

This post is actually a response from a reader comment on trying to get his wife on board with Urban Survival preparation.

This reader is in a mid-sized city close to the Atlantic coast. He said he lived in a townhouse about 8 miles from center mass of the city, whose population was between 100,000 to 500,000.

He says he doesn’t have a whole lot of room to stock Survival Gear, Equipment or Material and his wife would not support a lot of his time or money spent in Urban Survival preparation.

My response to him is: I don’t have too much advice for you other than to work on your wife understanding the need. If you can get her attention for 20-30 minutes, take her to the Economic Collapse videos and have her watch them.

Let her read my comments on how the political and economic environment are stacked against us having a normal life into the mid-term or even near future.

Tell her that Nazi Germany built and ran concentration-torture-murder camps very close to German cities without the main stream German civilian population realizing what was going on. Some of that was, for sure, people’s general disinclination not to believe things they don’t want to believe,…things too horrible to imagine…like an ostrich with it’s head in the sand.

Glenn Beck on his television program the other was talking about a probable collapse, as he believes this country has very little opportunity to avert an enormous chaotic collapse. He, like me, still hopes for the best but prepares for the worst.....like you should.

Take your wife to this site: http://thesurvivalmom.com so she can get another perspective on being prepared. Lots of females postingh survival and preparedness info on this site.

The great first danger is not to prepare. The second big danger is not to be ready to execute contingencies like when to vacate your Urban home and move to a safe location. Oh,..you don’t have safe location? Better find one and figure out how you are going to get there.

Get ready, get more ready and stay on the edge.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Responding to Reader Comment - Firearms

Thanks to the Anonymous Reader, a former PSYOPS soldier, who sent a comment regarding his recommendation of the Mini-14 as a good Urban Survival - self defense weapon. You had to have served at Fort Bragg. I know Fort Bragg well and thank you for your service to the Army Special Operations Community.


I concur that the Ruger Mini-14 is an excellent firearms. Very reliable. I have always thought of it as like a reduced scale M-14 or M1A1. The sights are kind of rudementary, but there are after market iron sights and scopes that can reduce this shortcoming. Plus, the magazines are not nearly as readily available as the AR-15 series. However, if all I had was an Mini-14, I would not feel under armed. It's the man using it and you make sense when you mention you do not plan to get involved in any protracted firefights, only to use the weapon to get you out of trouble and break contact.

I wish I still had the three Mini-14's that I have owned over my life, but I have since settled on the AR-15 design in an M-4 platform for my main carry Urban Survival weapon. Using and teaching this weapon for 30+ years makes me familiar with it. Plus there are lots of accessories, some necessary - some not, on the market.

The baseline model of Mini-14 is still around $500 to $600, whereas a baseline model AR-15/M-4 runs about $900.

UrbanSurvivalSkills.com believes that in any successful Urban Survival plan, the key is going to be your survival group. You simply cannot survival well, without at least a small team of like minded, skilled survival oriented individuals. Commonality among weapons is a good idea if it can be achieved.

Good luck to you and thanks for your comment. Urban Man.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 14

It's been almost three weeks since I last gave Urban Man an update on my Urban Survival preparations to post to this site.

Since I finished watching the After Armageddon video series I have spent much more time thinking about my survival preparations. The 3 months or so it took the character in After Armageddon to finally pack up and leave the city was giving me a false sense of time. Then I watched the two part Economic Collapse series and it kinda put time in perspective - a collapse can hit any day!

I ordered another six cans of Mountain House meals from EarthWaveLiving, two each Peas, Granola with Blueberries and Milk, and, Eggs with Ham. That gives me about what I figure is approximately 70 days of two servings per two people (my son and me) not counting Neomi, if she ends up co-locating with us either in the City or to our safe location.

I also have about an easy ten days of food in the house not counting if I rationed it. Urban Man told me I need about a minimum of six months food per person to get through non-growing seasons then I can hunt, fish and grow crops for food...never hunted, fished quite a bit so that would be a challenge for sure.

I also bought six 5 gallon water containers so I can rapidly fillup water, along with all my other containers, when I get even a jingle of something bad coming.

I bought four more packs of rechargeable AA batteries for my flashlights and lanterns. One of the things on my short list to buy right before a collapse hits, if I get the warning or even a tingle, is another car battery so I can use it with my DC/AC converter.

My biggest purchase in the last three weeks has been a Mosin-Nagant rifle I bought at a local discount sporting goods store for $169. Urban Man looked it over and said it was in good shape and even gave me 60 rounds of 7.62x54mm ammunition for it to go with the 40 cartridges I bought from the store. So now I have amy .22 pistol, a 12 gauge shotgun and this Mosin-Nagant rifle.

Urban Man told me the history on Mosin-Nagants with the Soviet Army and told me it was roughly the equivilent of Neomi's .30-06 rifle, and would serve well for hunting and can be used in a defense purposes. Urban Man has advised me on buying an M-4 carbine, but I just ain't there yet. I just not a gun guy.

I have also started growing some squash and cucumbers in my back yard and hope to have some vegetables in the summer as well as gain some valuable experience in growing things.

Well thats my report for now. To many I am way behind, but I suspect to most Americans I would seem a kook for even doing what little I have done. Stay safe - be prepared.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Financial Reading - Reader Recommendation: Ludwig Von Mises Institute

We received a reader e-mail recommending the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, which advertises:

The Ludwig von Mises Institute was founded in 1982 as the research and educational center of classical liberalism, libertarian political theory, and the Austrian School of economics. It serves as the world's leading provider of educational materials, conferences, media, and literature in support of the tradition of thought represented by Ludwig von Mises and the school of thought he enlivened and carried forward during the 20th century, which has now blossomed into a massive international movement of students, professors, professionals, and people in all walks of life. It seeks a radical shift in the intellectual climate as the foundation for a renewal of the free and prosperous commonwealth

UrbanSurvivalSkills.com see's the advantage in keeping track of all trends: geo-politcal, economic and social-demographics in order to refine and modify one's Survival Preparations. We particulary like the following quote from the Mises Web Site: "A man who is forced to provide of his own account for his old age must save a part of his income or take out an insurance policy... Such a man is more likely to get an idea of the economic problems of his country than a man whom a pension scheme seemingly relieves of all worries."

Ludwig von Mises Institute - Homepage: http://mises.org/

Urban Survival Planning – Economic Collapse Scenario Part II

Continuing on with the excellent Economic Collapse videos from endtheilluson, we begin Day Six of the economic collapse.

UrbanSurvivalSkills.com has written several times about a Survival Decision Matrix, where as situations or trends become apparent, prudent Urban Survivalists fulfill certain tasks. This is not to say wait until the beginning of a collapse before you begin to accomplish Survival and Preparedness tasks, ..no,….if you are a reader of this site, you have already taken many steps towards preparing to survive a collapse. These tasks and steps on your Survival Decision Matrix are the last minute things you do to enhance your already pre-existing Survival Preparations. They could be filling up all the empty gas cans stored in your shed; buying the last minute, semi-perishable foods to consume first before your survival food stocks are used; boarding up your windows; making last minute e-mail, text or phone calls; filling up all your empty water containers, etc.

Day Six – Mass demonstrations appear all over the World as the economic collapse spread particularly as a rebound effect from the U.S. collapse; power goes out...repeat,...power goes out.

Day Seven – National Guard deployed to restore order, especially in large cities – however too many troops are still overseas fighting terrorism and large percentages of National Guard troops fail to report to their unit; people all across the Nation are thinking “Why didn’t I prepare better?”; cash totally worthless; gold and silver accepted – barter society begins.

Day Eight – Still no power (little do most people know, it will be years until a small percentage of reliable power is restored and only in a small number of places); radio station still broadcasting but the amateur radio network is provides the majority of news being spread.

Day Nine – Water pressure stops – no water. Real panic sets in.

Day Ten – No emergency services whatsoever – no police, no fire, no emergency medical responders as all stay home to protect their families; Neighborhoods starts to organize for protection – some are successful, some are not; Government fails at all levels; total breakdown of social order; armed gangs organize to roam and loot; Martial Law declared.

Ask yourself these questions: At what level of preparation are you sitting at right now? If you have no more than 4 or 5 days worth of food in you pantry then you are in the majority of people - people that are unprepared.  And you will be dependant upon someone else’s benevolence to survive.  Can you protect yourself – do you have firearms and sufficient ammunition? Can you survive in your home without heat or without air conditioning? Where will you go if forced to vacate your home? Do you have a panned Safe Location? Do your have the means and the Survival Gear and Equipment to facilitate not only survival but cross country movement to a Safe Location?

The Economic Collapse Part II -

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Urban Survival Planning - Economic Collapse Scenario Part I

UrbanSurvivalSkills.com begins a look at a possible/probably economic collapse scenario using two excellent videos from endtheillusion.

With the underlying rot in our system, not necessarily from our economic system, but our tendency to try and combined capitalism with socialism, we have placed ourselves very close to an economic collapse scenario.

The loss of our manufacturing base and downturn in our ability to not only feed the World but feed ourselves; massive wall street bailouts combined with a rickety up and down market; continued growth of banks and obscene bonus to managers of failed institutions even though we have massive bankruptcy and home foreclosures; growing list of vacant commercial properties; and, unemployment near record highs when combined with the numbers of non-working people that the government does not want to know about nor do they count when measuring the unemployment percentage.

But wait there’s more,…….unrestricted corruption of politicians and non accountability; decline of inner cities and a population shift away from large urban areas; enormous trade deficits; growing dependence upon foreign oil and our lack of will to develop our own fossil fuels and alternate sources of energy (nuclear plants); growth of both our prison population and the homeless; public school deterioration despite large tax increases; unsustainable government spending; rapidly increasing foreign debt (China practically owns us); and unpredicted expansion of social programs – all set up the likelihood of an economic collapse,…and soon.

We like these videos, part I which is below and part Ii will be posted soon, as they articulate a very probable ten day period in which the economic collapse becomes overt, obvious to most everyone, with a probable day by day timeline.

Day One
– Reports of the dollar collapsing; gas station take cash only – not credit cards; Gold prices shoot up.


Day Two – Runs on Supermarkets as word of hyper-inflation, devalued dollar spreads and food distribution begins to shut down (largely due to no fuel) – no country wants to take the dollar and most countries are suffering financial breakdown effects as well. Mobs at Supermarkets and all shelve emptied.

Day Three - Banks closed; those open limit withdraws to $200; Stock market in free fall then closed. Gun Stores almost empty of guns and ammunition, prices sky rocket, but the only transactions are in Gold and Silver.

Day Four - Panic in Cities (ever heard that we are nine meals away from collapse?); Stock Market briefly opens, then rapidly closes; Government meet in emergency economic crisis meetings – but to no avail as hyper-inflation continues out of control – there is simply too money that was printed to make up for previous budgetary shortfalls.

Day Five – Bank Holiday begin; families start to re-locate for mutually support; reports of pension funds failing – particular for unions which suffer from massive corruption; work stoppages spread even to emergency services providers.


The Economic Collapse Part I


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Urban Survival Skills – OP/LP’s and Training your Survival Group

In previous posts on Urban Survival Home Defense and Preparation we briefly discussed Observation Posts/Listening Posts (OP/LPs) and the requirements for these positions to be in a place where they could observe, listen and report on any potential threat moving towards your Urban/Suburban or Safe location. 
 
Again, OP/LP’s should have a covered and concealed route from the Home or Base Camp to their position.  The OP/LP positions themselves should be covered and concealed positions to avoid detection from advancing threats.   And they should have a means of communications from their position to the home or Base Camp.  In keeping with PACE (Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency), multiple means of communications is necessary to ensure OP/LP’s can perform as you need them to, primarily reporting the presence of a Threat.  
 
A simple reporting format based on the Army SALUTE format will work for most any OP/LP’s in a survival scenario.  The SALUTE report format is:
S – Size (Size of group)
A – Activity (What the Threat is doing)
L – Location (where is the Threat – what direction and distance from the OP/LP)
U – Unit and/or Uniform (this refers to who the Threat is, if that can be determined, and how they are dressed)
T – Time (time of report)
E – Equipment (primarily what weapons and vehicles that the Threat is equipped with).    
 
The easiest type of OP/LP would be one or more located on or in the home or Base Camp, such as in a second story window or on the roof to enable the height or elevation necessary to view longer distance and see the threat coming at the earliest opportunity.  Communications from an integral OP/LP is much easier than from a remote OP/LP, plus it allows you keep your combat power on site and useable – which may be important for a small Survival Group.  Without any electronic communications means such as radios, landline field phone or electric or battery powered horns, an OP/LP at your home can use a pull string with a bell or even a series of tin cans filled with rocks can be activated for an alert. 
 
It is not simply a matter of selecting an OP/LP and telling them to report what they see.  You have to train them to use any observation device you have available such as binoculars, spotting scopes, night vision devices, etc. 
 
One of the best methods to train your Survival Group to perform as a viable member of an OP/LP team is through Observation Exercises. 
 
All members of the Survival Group should be able to use all common observation devices you have on hand.  Teach them scanning and searching techniques with these devices, both day and night.     
 
The first step in an Observation drill is to position the OP/LP members in the selected OP/LP position or a like position.  Have them draw a Sector Sketch of the area of responsibility for that post.  This trains them to develop sector sketches and sketching in general but also familiarizes them with the objects in their field of view or area of responsibility. 
 
Then, send them away from the OP/LP position, and emplace objects in the field of view or area of responsibility.  Such objects can be soda cans, tools, toys or anything else that is small and hard to see, but clearly visible from the OP/LP.
 
Bring back the OP/LP members and have them use their naked eyes and observation devices to try and find what is the different in their area of responsibility,…what stands out,…what doesn’t belong there.
 
They should be looking for shine, straight lines or patterns and also movement will help cue to them to the object or threat.   
 
When defending the Urban Home, you are going to be at a disadvantage already, not to make use of any advantage you can glean.   Knowing the terrain, emplacing OP/LP’s where they detect the threat at the maximum possible distance will all help your Urban Survival Home defense.     
 
You should have an emergency evacuation plan for the OP/LP, so in case they get compromised they can return safely to the Home or Base Camp.  This plan may include route to use, and, passwords or visual signals (colored or blinking lights) to identify themselves as friendly.   
 
Comments on Night Time Observation:
 
At night, especially at remote OP/LP’s, team members may have an enhanced sense of isolation.  This can manifest itself into seeing things that aren’t there or neglecting their duties to detect threats and give early warning.  Being forewarned of this may help you ensure your task organization or OP/LP team makeup can reduce this possibility. 
 
Also at night, the human eye sees differently.   The eye uses cells on the periphery of the eye, called rods, which creates a type of blind spot in the center of the eye. This can cause someone to stare at one spot and produce images of an object moving when it is not, or even cause the observer to miss the object.  Scanning techniques will help reduce this.  Lateral scanning by systemically, viewing at a slowly moving pace, from left to right, then right to left, or in a vertical “S” shaped pattern of bottom to top, top to bottom, and repeating itself until the observer has completed a scan through the entire area of responsibility.   

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Urban Survival Skills – Land Navigation, Resection Using a Compass

Our previous map reading posts were meant as an orientation to the individual new to Urban Survival Preparation and we will continue to drip land navigation tips and skills. The intent is for the fledgling Urban Survivor to practice these techniques and tips, first in a controlled environment building to a rehearsal like practice either on similar terrain to, or the actual terrain he/they may be moving through if withdrawing from their urban location to their prepared safe location.

The technique in this post is called resecting your position from a known point. The military calls this intersection and resection. It is basically locating two (or more) terrain features on the map then finding them visually. These terrain features should be easy to pick out and will most probably be hills, mountain peaks or can even be man made structures that are annotated on your map.

Again, resection is used to determine your unknown position by determining lines of bearing or azimuths from known terrain features.

The steps are:

From your unknown position you determine two or three terrain features, ideally 120 degrees apart, that you can locate on the map.

You shoot a compass azimuth from your unknown position to each terrain feature, then compute the back azimuth. The back azimuth is simply your azimuth plus 180 degrees or minus 180 degrees. If you are at an unknown point and can identify a mountain both visually and on the map and you shoot a compass azimuth from your unknown point to the Mountain, lets say the magnetic compass azimuth is 170 degrees, you can determine that from you to the Mountain the direction is 170 degrees magnetic and from the Mountain to you the magnetic azimuth is 350 degrees magnetic (170 degrees plus 180 degrees).

You will have to convert the magnetic azimuth to a grid azimuth (see previous post), then plot (on your map) a line coming from the mountain at 350 degrees. Your unknown position is somewhere on that 350 degree line of bearing that you plotted.

If you find another terrain feature and do the same, you will have two lines of bearing (or back azimuths) that cross. Where they cross is your unknown position.

Again, from each known terrain feature plot the back azimuth on the map, after converting for G-M angle. Where the lines intersect is your unknown, now known, position.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Urban Survival Skills Feature - Leeds on Finance

Provided to us by an associate who in involved in Finance and is a shooter as well (you know who you are R.F.), UrbanSurvivalSkills.com has inserted a link, underneath our header, to Leeds' financial blog. We find his analysis easy to read for us knuckle draggers and very much appreciate his insight. Plus we approve of his Marine Corps standard haircut. You can also access his site by going to: http://leedsonfinance.com/


Sandy Leeds, CFA is a Senior Lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin. He teaches graduate level classes in the MBA program and also serves as President of The MBA Investment Fund, L.L.C. Prior to teaching, he had careers as a lawyer and a money manager. He did his undergraduate work at The University of Alabama and also has a law degree from The University of Virginia and an MBA from the University of Texas. At UT, he has received many teaching awards, including Outstanding Professor in the MBA Program. He is married and has three children.

If you have read this site very much at all, you'll understand that we believe heavily in Planning and a plan without incoming information and analyzing that information, or otherwise planning in an Intelligence vacuum, is setting yourself up for failure.

Keeping on top by analyzing the financial trends will allow you to craft a better plan, make better priorities and adjust your Urban Survival Planning and Preparation timeline as necessary.

After Armageddon 9 of 9 - A History Channel Program and Lessons Leaned

The last chapter in the After Armageddon series shows Chris, his wife Ellen and son Casey still at their new Idaho home two years after the pandemic. Chris' infection from a cut gets worse and he dies.

After the initial pandemic dies out, people will be dying from disease hereforto treatable with modern medicine and anti-biotics. Not only will there not be much medicines available, if any at all, the people and infrastructutre that creates these medicines may be completely decimated. Survivors will have to be careful and make full use of natural anti-biotics and medicines.

The Web Master at http://www.homeremediesandnutrition.com is posting some information on natural anti-biotics and medicines.

The chapter continues 25 years later as Chris' son Casey is grown up and thinking back on the collapse.



The commentators correctly reflect that education and skills, after society settles from a collapse, would become much more practical. UrbanSurvivalSkills.com believes that this practical knowledge needs to start now. Do you know how to grow crops? Raise livestock? Can you handle firearms? Do you have firearms and ammunition, not to mention food stocks, tools, appropriate clothing and footwear and above all, a plan in case a collapse hits?

What would you do in a World without Law and Order? What would happen to you if you are forced to abandon not only your home, but your way of life, and, perceptions about and goals for your future? Where would you go? What would you be prepared to do? How would you survive?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Urban Survival Essential Medical Item – Quik Clot

Z-Medica offers the QuikClot brand products which are sponge type bandages or gauze, composed of an inert mineral substance-hemostatic agent that rapidly stops even severe bleeding. The ability to stop bleeding is essential for the Urban Survivor when medical services are greatly reduced or non-existent.

The Company decribes QuikClot as a hemostatic agent ins a molecular sieve, sifting molecules by size. When QuikClot comes into contact with blood in and around a wound, it rapidly takes in the smaller water molecules from the blood. The larger platelet and clotting factor molecules remain in the wound in a highly concentrated form. This promotes extremely rapid natural clotting and prevents severe blood loss. Additionally, the engineered particles provide key surface chemistry, rapidly enhancing the body's natural coagulation process. Z-Medica claims this process represents a new approach to hemostasis, which typically involves adding clotting factors rather than extracting elements to halt bleeding

In service with the military, law enforcement and emergency medical providers, QuikClot is a giant step forward in the ability to treat trauma involving potential life threatening blood loss.




QuikClot Combat Gauze provides the ultimate in stopping power for traumatic wounds; requiring no mixing, measuring or heat - just open and apply,. Easy to pack, it stays cool under pressure and remains ultra flexible while conforming to any shape or size wound, and removes easily without effect.





QuikClot 1st Response is the latest Z-Medica product for first responders, environmental health & safety teams and industrial nurses. It is the same proven technology developed for the military, packaged for convenient use by first responders, to help save lives right at the scene of accidents, crimes, fires and other emergencies. As in the latest product for the military, QuikClot 1st Response has been re-engineered to remain cooler on contact. It has a greatly reduced exothermic reaction, with maximum temperatures in vivo typically at 105 degrees F.

QuikClot 1st Response is easy to use. Just rip open a packet, pack the self-contained sponge into the wound and the bleeding stops rapidly. For larger wounds, use more than one sponge. The sponges will conform to the shape of the wound. QuikClot 1st Response is easily removed in the hospital setting.

QuikClot 1st Response comes in a box that contains five individually packaged .875-ounce (25g) hemostatic sponges – quantities sufficient to address most situations encountered by first responders.



QuikClot ACS+ is the latest Z-Medica product. QuikClot ACS+ is offered in a delivery system similar to the original QuikClot ACS and allows the same ease of application and removal. As a result of intensive research and development, the formulation of QuikClot ACS+ has been re-engineered to stay cooler on contact. It has a greatly reduced exothermic reaction, with maximum temperatures in vivo typically at 105 degrees F. This cooler formulation was developed in conjunction with the U.S. Marines, with applications beyond the military.

When dealing with large, severe injuries on the battlefield or here at home, a few seconds can mean the difference between losing a limb – or losing a life. When time is critical, just rip open a packet of QuikClot ACS+, pack the self-contained sponge into the wound and the bleeding stops rapidly. The sponge can be packed to conform to the shape of the wound and is easily removed in the hospital setting.

Each package of QuikClot ACS+ contains one 3.5-ounce (100g) hemostatic sponge. It is also available in a Z-Medica TraumaPak, along with a pressure bandage and high volume gauze.

Urban Man has several personal medical kits as well as a large team medical kit that contains all three QuikClot products mentioned above.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

After Armageddon 8 of 9 - A History Channel Program and Lessons Learned

Chapter 8 picks up with Chris and his family in a settlement influenced by religious fundamentalists.

Well into the fourth month of the pandemic, news from around the country is sporadic and then only through transient people and amateur radio (short wave and Ham radio operators).

The commentators make a good point of local communities having to control the food supply and most likely instituting some sort of work for food program. In the town Chris is at, the food supply is consolidated. The summary execution of food thieves gives Chris pause on staying here so he and his family leave for Idaho.

The show picks up 18 months later in Idaho where Chris and his family are integrated into a local community. The commentator makes another good point about small towns. If small towns are vacated during the pandemic they will be re-populated as these areas will draw people. The small towns will have to have a constant natural water supply and land to grow crops as the commercial food supply will have all but disappeared a year or so after the collapse.

Watch the video and think about how pre-crisis preparation may have made life more sustainable or comfortable.



Lessons learned or thought on this Chapter of After Armageddon:

Unless you plan on living on someone else's good will, you will need to stock food supplies such as dehydrated foods and bulk grains as well as have non-hybrid seeds to grow you own food. The time to learn to grow crops is not after a collapse.

You will need to know how to preserve foods through dehydrating and pickling/canning - and the supplies or equipment to do it. A great source for food, seeds, and preservation equipment is earthwaveliving whose link is on the left side of this site.

The commentators talk about the possibilities of local currencies cropping up for commerce. UrbanSurvivalSkills.com believes that once paper money value has run out (within possibly a couple days to a couple weeks after the collapse), then after the value of gold and silver runs it course, then, bartering for items will be the main type of exchange. Perhaps gold and silver will regain some value once communities are established, but we see no rebound on paper money until society as we know it is re-stored, if it is restored. The lesson learned is to have cash on hand for immediate needs, gold and silver for short-mid term exchange and make sure you have all the Survival Gear, Equipment and Material you need.

The final lesson learned for this Chapter is medical needs, specifically anti-biotics. As this Chapter ends, Chris is starting to get an infection in his hand from a cut. All cuts and injuries need to be immediately treated. You are most likely going to be able to store any decent amount of anti-biotics, or medications for that matter. This will suck bad if you require medications like a diabetic. By the way, adult onset diabetes, even insulin dependent diabetes is highly treatable and even reversible.

The expiration date on medicines will preclude their long term value even if you can stockpile these. An immediate collapse source would be livestock feed stores that stock penicillin for animals. A decent medical reference book would help you convert dosages for human needs. A partial long range solution is to know home remedies and medicinal plants. A good site would be: http://www.homeremediesandnutrition.com

Ensuring your health is, prior to the collapse, as good as it can be through a general healthy lifestyle,....physical activity, good nutrition and taking advanced nutritional supplementation would be a good idea to ensure you come enter into a collapse with the best possible health. A good site for health information and nutritional supplements is: http://www.bobshehan.com

Be Ready; Plan well and Prepare now.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Urban Survival Planning - SF Base Camps Concepts II, for Home Defense

Continuing on with looking at Army Special Forces Base Camp Defensive concepts and how they may apply to your Urban Survival Location or final Safe Location when/ where you Bug Out to.

Army Special Forces Base Camp Principles:

“Desired size is such that the camp can be defended by one-fourth of the assigned strength.” UrbanSurvivalSkills.com has previously written about Survival being a team sport. You will need a group, with effort and contributions from all, in order to survive at anything resembling a life. Daily routines from food procurement, tending gardens, treating water, cooking, making repairs and getting rest will have to be planned and accomplished. The last thing you want to be forced to do is leave security to one lone lookout, as the brunt of defense on a surprise attack will be borne by this person. A fight, then a lapse in the fight, then another fight will sap your personnel strengths and resources. Plan your defense and protocols for defending your urban/suburban or safe location on the potential for a long term fight – think siege if you will.

“Plan for a Defense in Depth.” A proper Defense in Depth creates as long as observation fields as possible allowing the Urban Survival defenders to detect and engage attackers as far out as possible; makes use of natural and man made obstacles to force attackers into areas where they can be more effectively engaged by the defenders; develops defense positions that are mutually supporting and can be collapsed inward as necessary to consolidate the defense or in a response to success or partial success on the attack.

“Use primary, alternate, and supplementary defense lines.” Look at organizing your defense in belts (lines or rings if you prefer this terminology). This will allow a defensive withdrawal to consolidate your defense and resources if you are faced with a large attack force and they become successful at closing the distance.

“Plan for alternate and secondary positions.” Primary positions should cover the most likely avenues of attack. Secondary positions allow for the same coverage albeit from a different position, and Supplementary positions can be fall back positions or positions and allow for additional coverage or engage on likely avenues of attack or the identified direction of the attack.

“Develop the ability to limit and seal off penetrations.” I’m sure everyone has heard about the safe room concept, where home owners have a hardened room to retreat to if attackers get into the house. This is the same concept, but expanded to fit a larger site.

“Plan for Reserve forces (on call and positioned to respond to perimeter breaches or the main focus area of the attack.)” Develop a plan and procedures for communicating to and moving defenders from original positions to where they are needed which is probably to defend against the main focus area of the attack.

“Coordinate your fires; use interlocking fields of fire that are mutually supporting.” See previous posts on Sat May 8th and Weds May 12th on Home Defense. These posts outline determining dead zones, areas of responsibility and fields of fire. The smart Urban Survivalist ensures all areas that an attacker can use for cover and approach to your Urban/Suburban or Safe location can be observed and engaged. Ensure positions mutually support each and do not position anyone where they have an uncovered blind spot.

“Consider compartmentalizing the interior of your base camp in case a certain area of the camp is penetrated or over run.” Really not a viable option for most urban homes, but what you should consider is communications and procedures to conduct an emergency withdrawal in case defending the site is no longer viable or you are overrun. This would consist of various escape routes, routes to a rally point, what equipment to take with you, what equipment you have cached at the Rally Point to further an escape (food, water, clothing, ammunition, etc.).

“Plan for supply/resupply (primarily water, food, ammunition and medical supplies) of all positions.” Your defense positions should have access to food and water, plus more ammunition. If people vacate these positions to locate food, water and more ammunition then you have a gap in your defense. How are you going to resupply defenders during the fight?

Lastly, “Consider the ability to have a reaction force available to maneuver in support of another base camp.” If you are part of a larger Survival Neighborhood and multiple sites, do you have procedures including communications and routes to maneuver and come to the aid of another house or series of houses that are being attacked?

Hopefully, this post and part I gave you some ideas and concepts to consider in your plan and preparation in making you Urban/Suburban or Safe location better suited to defend against an attack. In a collapse practically everyone is going to be armed to some level. Benign people, when faced with starvation, will band into groups and be capable of unimaginable things in order to survival – don’t let them do this at your expense.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Urban Survival Planning - SF Base Camps Concepts I, for Home Defense

I have been getting e-mails, at urbanman@urbansurvivalskills.com, in reference to home defense. When I reply back or otherwise discuss some terminology and verbiage associated with defensive positions and base camp defense it confuses some people. So I thought I would list some selected concepts for Army Special Forces Base Camp Defense and explain what they mean or how we can use these concepts for Urban Survival Planning be it at your Urban home, transitional defense at temporary locations, or, defense at your final safe location.

BASE CAMP DEFENSE. The overall defense posture of a base camp is enhanced by continuous aggressive operations conducted by the base camp personnel. These are: Patrolling; Ambushes; Observation; Area intelligence nets; CA and PSYOP campaign plans; and, Use of ground surveillance radar and night observation devices.

Surviving in your Urban location during a collapse would probably NOT be enhanced by aggressive Patrolling or setting up Ambushes in your area. To do so may draw unwanted attention from well armed gangs. The exception would be if you had predictive information (intelligence) that a armed gang was going to attack your home or neighborhood then a harassing type of ambush on the gang may serve to demoralize them, diminish their fighting power and may make them re-think their attack and call it off.

Observation refers to having the ability to foresee armed gang approaches or other problems and give early warning to the main group. This is accomplished using Observation/Listening Posts (OP/LP’s) to observe, detect and report suspect activity or activity and events that may threaten your safety. You would want to set OP/LP’s as far away from your home or safe location as they can safely be or you can safely support them. Consider line of sight with natural avenues of approach to your home or safe location, consider covered and concealed routes from your home or safe location to the OP/LP’s or multiple OP/LP’s. You have to have a method, or multiple methods to communicate what the OP/LP’s sees or hears to the main camp. This may be simple FRS radios, a landline phone or field telephone system, and/or a horn to sound an alarm.

Area Intelligence Nets would refer to your ability to get information from outside sources. Could be refugees transiting the area, could be people you accept into your survival group or anybody and anything that gives you a picture of your outside environment. Information could and should be obtained from reconnaissance patrols outside and away from the urban/suburban home or safe location. We’ll do a post just on reconnaissance patrols, in the meantime just think how recon patrols can be conducted safely, using terrain and buildings to your advantage, in order to more with minimum chances of detection and safe routes back the main site.

CA and PSYOP pertain to Civil Affairs and Psychological operations. Civil Affairs are operations or actions that support rapport building with people around the area and PSYOPS are themes, ruses and disinformation that are used to your advantage, such as making your urban home or safe location appear a much harder target than it really is in order to deter potential attackers.

Ground Surveillance Radar and Night Observation Devices are probably much past the capabilities and resources of the average Urban Survivalist, unless you are dedicated to being prepared enough that you purchase Night Vision equipment to add to your Urban Survival gear and Equipment kit. A great idea is you can afford it, the cheaper end of the night vision devices (called NOD’s) would be generation II Russian stuff which isn’t really bad, just bad compared to the current U.S. generation III and III+ devices.

We continue this in greater detail with a SF Base Camps Concept II post in the near future. Be safe, be prepared.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

After Armageddon 7 of 9 - A History Channel Program and Lessons Learned

After Armageddon continues in Week 19 with Chris, wife Ellen and son Casey continuing to walk through the hot Mojave desert - in daytime, rather than holing up during the day and walking at night.

When dehydrated, as Chris and his family are, decision making is impaired. A person can go two maybe three days without water but certainly the last 24 to 36 hours that person's physical and mental capabilities are greatly reduced.



When Chris approached the house and encountered the girl with the shotgun and took the shotgun away - he should have kept it, as well as searched the house for more ammunition. If there was no water, then he may have decided to take the girls with him and his family, they would die anyway - his wife may have been the best person to approach the children. I don't know - tough call. What would you have done? Certainly keep the shotgun I would.

Chris' argument with, then explosive behavior over his son not eating the snake meat is a result of extreme stress. If you can't keep cool, bad decisions will be made, and, in a survival group with people bearing firearms people very well may kill each other. Oh by the way, did you see how Chris killed the snake? Cutting his head off between the forked stick and the head - bad idea,,...once separated from the body the head could have flipped around and bite Chris. The head will remain dangerous for maybe several hours. Pin the head and cut behind the forked stick is much safer.

Chris finds luck where/when he could have least expected it with encountering the gentlemen he stopped to help days back, and ended up with a ride to a small community, where he and his family found shelter.

Small communities have the best chance of surviving extreme scale collapses of the economic, infrastructure and/or of a pandemic nature. Maintaining order may be hard unless entities such as governmental organizations, such as the elected community council and law enforcement, remain intact.

Religious organizations may become powerful enough to be the key decision making cog in small communities. If you end up at one, RUN AWAY if they have mandatory religious meetings. Our founders never intended our clergy to run the government, only provide religious and moral direction to those who desire it.

However, if a community if going to survive, mandatory meetings and decision making power will have to accepted and respected.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Urban Survival Skills – Using the Military Lensatic Compass

As a navigation aid, the two basic uses of the magnetic compass is to allow the user to determine the azimuth or direction in magnetic degrees of a desired diration, and to set a direction again in magnetic degrees on the compass using a rotating bezel and follow that azimuth (dead reckoning).

Compasses are an essential tool for the Urban Survivalist to have, even if you think you can make it from your urban location to your designated safe location via a wheeled vehicle without ever having to walk cross country. Knowing the basic uses for a compass are just common survival skills, like tying knots, building a fire or shelter, etc.

The magnetic compass has a magnetized NORTH seeking arrow which depicts magnetic NORTH as opposed to Grid NORTH which is what maps are oriented to.

One of the better compass to have is the military Lensatic Compass with Tritium Luminous index marks and luminous NORTH seeking arrow for use at night.

Parts of the Lensatic Compass.


Determining (Shooting) Azimuths.
1. Bend the rear sight with the sighting slot to a 45 degree angle over the floating dial.
2. Flip up the compass cover 90 degrees so you can look through the sighting slot and through the sighting wire on the compass cover. Just below the sighting slot is a magnifying glass that you look through to read the degrees on the floating dial.
3. As you sight on an object through the rear sight, center the sighting wire on that object. Holding the compass steady and level, look down, through the magnifying glass, at the floating dial and read the azimuth aligned with the fixed black index line. This is the magnetic azimuth from you to the object.

Setting an azimuth on the Lensatic Compass.
1. Keeping the compass level, rotate the compass until the black index line is on the desired azimuth. Then rotate the bezel ring until the short luminous line on the bezel ring is matched up with the luminous magnetic arrow.
2. You can move with the compass open keeping the short luminous line on the bezel ring matched up with the luminous magnetic arrow and you will be on the selected azimuth – this is called dead reckoning.

The Civilian Silva Style Compass. The use of the Silva style compass is very similar, rotating the bezel ring to line up a mark on the bezel with the NORTH seeking arrow. The disadvantage of the Silva style compass is that determining more precise azimuths from you to a distant object with harder without a sighting slot and sighting wire. However these are excellent compasses and cheaper than the Military Lensatic Compasses. Our motto is "One is none, Two is one" - meaning have a backup, so having one of each is not a bad idea for the well equipped survivialist. Silva Style Compass shown below:


Walking on short legs on a compass azimuth it is very prudent to keep track of the distance you have traveled and to match terrain that is depicted on the map to what you are seeing on the ground – this is called terrain association. You need to be able to determine what the terrain features are and how they should look in 3D. Using dead reckoning and terrain association together is your best chance of navigation through unknown country and is, again, a basic skills for Urban Survivalist as you never know when circumstances, vehicle failure, lack of fuel, criminal threats or the weather and environment will force you to move over land cross country.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Urban Survival Skills – Foot Movement and Navigation Off Road

Jacob sent me a message on Face Book (see Urban Man at Facebook) regarding moving across country on foot. He saw the After Armageddon 6 of 9 video of Chris and his family moving in daylight on the two lane road and wanted to know, without a Global Positioning System (GPS), Land Navigation, Maps and Map Reading skills, what should Chris have done.

Chris should have had a plan with routes out of the city using PACE. Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency Bug Out routes. At any given point during transit on any given route, you may have to give up your vehicle and move on foot.

Navigation has to be integrated into sound movement principles. Some considerations for movement are the same for Urban, Suburban or Rural environments or terrain. Principles are the same, techniques may be different.

1. You may have to move during the night and hole up during the day to conserve your energy and water. There may be times when you have to move during the day in order to gain distance from bad areas or bad people.

2. Move using the terrain to your advantage, whether it’s buildings or hills, bridges or fences or wood lines. Use terrain to mask your movement.

3. Do not move bunched up; instead move with sufficient interval between the people in your Survival Group to make harder targets for bad guys.

4. Try not to leave signs of your passage which is most important when you cross what we call linear danger areas (roads, trails, natural lines of drift, streams, etc). Danger areas, linear or otherwise, are likely places to contact the threat or places that expose you and your group.

5. Make sufficient halts to check navigation, rest your group, and for security. Consider moving off your route in a button hook fashion in order to check your trail for anybody following or tracking you. Choose locations for stops that are defensible and have an escape route away from any anticipated approach or attack from bad guys.

As far a Land Navigation goes, a GPS is a great tool given the satellites are working AND you have sufficient batteries. To tell you the truth I have a GPS but will never use it. The batteries are more important to me for other things such as radios, flashlights and lanterns.

You should have a compass, in fact have two, and know how to use it (we have a saying "Two is One and One is None" when it comes to our Survival Kit). Using a compass also requires you being able to read map (where you are at and where you want to go) then plot an azimuth (or direction) from here to there on a map.

Following a compass bearing (aka azimuth or direction) is called dead reckoning. If you dead reckon without regard to the terrain you may have a rough go over bad terrain that you could have walked around, so consider planning shorter “legs” of your journey to avoid bad terrain.

You will have to keep track of the distance traveled in help determine where you are at any given time. Using a pace count is great. Having someone in your group keep track of how many steps, therefore how many hundreds of yards or meters you traveled. For this to work, you have to know how many steps if takes for you to travel a given distance. Over fairly flat terrain, carrying a light to moderate load, I take 64 left steps to make 100 meters.

Terrain Association is where you see a particular piece of terrain, such as a hill, finger, saddle, fork in a river, etc., and locate that on the map to determine where you are at.

Now apply all of it: Reading a Map, plotting routes, dead reckoning using a compass, moving using principles of movement like a organized patrol would, integrate terrain association and keep track of your distance traveled. If you don’t have these skills or tools, start acquiring them.

You can start with maps of your present Urban/Suburban location to your planned Safe Location. Any map is better than none, but the US Geological Survey Maps in 1:25,000 scale or 1:100,000 scale should be available. Maybe you can get your hands on Military 1:50,000 scale maps – all of these are great assets to your Survival Gear and Equipment load list.

As far as Chris in the After Armageddon videos, without any plan, navigation aids, or Survival Gear or Equipment, when he was on foot he should have moved off the road at least 50 yards and check for oncoming traffic both ways. He could have moved further of the road keeping divergent terrain between his family and the road. He could have paralleled the road using it as a navigation aid but be a better position to hide from on-coming traffic and potential threats. He should have been moving at night and holing up during the day under shade or a field expedient shelter with a terrain feature or terrain between his hole up and the traveling paths for potential bad guys, such as the highway.

The same principles for Chris or anybody traveling in a vehicle. Use the aforementioned principles of movement when in a vehicle also. Get off the road in a covered and/or concealed position. Doesn’t need to be far in most cases, just out of line of sight off the road. You should cover the shiny parts of your personal equipment and vehicles to keep the sun from reflecting off of it and attracting attention.

Hope this provides a better understanding for you Jacob. Good luck and check preparing – skills, gear, mindset and planning.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

After Armageddon 6 of 9 - A History Channel Program and Lessons Learned

This Chapter, week 17 into 18, begins with Chris and Ellen running away from the warehouse in an Industrial Section after Ellen shot a M16 wielding mutt (about to shoot her husband), and both Chris and Ellen failed to retrieve either weapon or water as they were fleeing.

After their escape in their vehicle, Chris pulls off on the shoulder of a road and within a short period of time a passing truck with armed men stop by and loot Chris' vehicle and steal the vehicle's gas while Chris and family hide in a ditch. Chris and family then set out on foot.

Watch the video below, thinking what you would have done, then come back and read the lessons learned.




When Chris stopped for his wife to throw up, he stopped without any consideration of a covered and concealed or defensible position. If he would have found a dirt road, driven slowly not to raise dust, then found a position concealed from the highway, he would still have what meager supplies and clothing the armed men in the truck took from him, not to mention still have a mode of transportation.

The commentator makes a great point of surmising no more big farms because of the lack of fossil fuels to run machinery. We will simply have to feed ourselves. Do you have a stockage of non-hybrid seeds? Have you ever or can you now grow your own food?

At the trailer Chris fails to search the entire trailer for Gear and Equipment that he could use for Survival; he fails to check the water heater for water; he fails to check the vehicles to see if he can get one to run; and failed to collect and purify more radiator fluid to filter and boil for drinking water.

Chris and his family were walking during the heat of the day as opposed to moving when it's the coolest (at night) then holing up under shade during the hot day.

Remember the commentator's excellent adage that people will form together in bands or gangs to search and take what they need. Don't be their victim. Be better prepared not only with Gear, Equipment, Food but also with a plan.

Urban Survival Preparation - More on Home Defense

I received another question on face book (see Urban Man on Facebook) regarding my previous post on Home Defense Preparation (view it by clicking here). The question was concerning enhancing interior wall protection, especially around the windows which would be your home’s observation and firing ports, what would be some materials other than sand bags, sheet steel and heavy layers of plywood to enhance this protection.


The diagram I placed on the aforementioned Home Defense Preparation post showed protection on both sides of the window. I failed to note that protection underneath the window is a good idea also. But primarily outside the window frames as people in your survival group assigned to this window should be observing (and firing if need be) from outside the frames of the window. This is actually a concept derived from the Vietnam War called the DePuy fighting position (replaced the old foxhole), providing interlocking fields of observation and/or direct fire with small arms, with protection from frontal fire. The DePuy fighting position diagram is shown below.


The below diagram shows how multiple DePuy fighting positions provide multiple interlocking fields of observation and fire, and being mutually supporting, while providing frontal protection.


So basically, we are just applying the DePuy fighting position concept to your home. We also believe in a Defense in Depth concept. Fences, barriers, cleared fields of observation and fire in order to interdict attackers at the earliest opportunity and to slow any assault on your home. Cut down telephone poles, large rocks, T-posts, etc., driven into the ground at a sufficient distance from your house will help prevent vehicles being driven up to or into your home. This is like the large concrete, dirt filled planters that the government positions in front of their facilities – to deter car bombs.

Anyway, back to what you can do to harden or enhance protection for your interior walls. Sand Bags, are available from multiple sources on the internet, urbansurvivalskills.com recommends the burlap bags as opposed to the newer nylon bags with rapidly degrade. In any case line these bags with plastic 13 gallon garbage bags to help reduce sand spillage. When filled each sand bag weight about 50 lbs. The advantage of sand bags is the contained and compressed sand provide good protection from small arms fire and are easily used to customize to your needs. The disadvantage is they are hard to stack high and remain stable.

Cut down rail road ties are easily stackable and provide great protection from small arms fire. A thin sheet of plywood can be added in order to nail or screw the railroad ties to to form a stable wall. You would cut down rail road ties to workable lengths. These are available at most landscaping places and some major home improvement stores.

Sheet steel is great, doesn’t take up much room, but is heavy. One quarter (1/4) inch sheet steel is common and easy to move in small packages, say 3 foot by 2 foot pieces, but hard to integrate into your interior protection unless you lean them up against the wall (not a bad idea). However, 5,56x45mm NATO rounds (or .223 Remington) even in the 55 gain ball configuration will penetrate ¼ inch steel. The idea is for the exterior wall of the house to slow the round allowing the sheet steel to stop the round.

UrbanSurvivalSkills.com mentioned plywood because it is an easily available material. Many homeowners in Florida (Hurricane country) has pre-cut sections of ¾ inch plywood ready to be placed over their windows when hurricanes are heading their way. Plywood can be cut to configure around windows frames and can be nailed or screwed together in layers to provide better protection. However wood will just not have the bullet penetrating stopping power that the others materials do.

Even buckets filled with dirt or water and placed on the interior wall will provide some protection. With round buckets you’ll have several weak points where the buckets abut each other. I guess you do what you can do. The whole idea here is to harden your house for an asault from gangs or mobs. A successful defense may make these groups go elsewhere in search for an easier target.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

After Armageddon 5 of 9 - A History Channel Program and Lessons Learned

Week 17 finds Chris, his wife Ellen and son Casey's escape or withdrawal from the city continuing. Chris gets an abandoned vehicle started and finds a snub nose revolver. Three days after they left their house they continue on in this vehicle but run into a road block by armed persons committed to not letting anyone into their community.

UrbanSurvivalSkills.com believes this will happen all across the country even in gated type communities in the suburbs. People will be forced to work together as Survival is a team sport. As resources become scarce people will become barbaric and the Urban and Suburban environments will see survivors leaving in search of food.



Chris and his family leave town and demonstrate very little Situational Awareness. His lack of route planning continue to effect his ability to travel. The commentator speaks to the fallacy of traveling on major routes.

Poor initially planning and not effectively conserving their resources, Chris is forced to enter into an industrial park to barter for water and food which goes no where. After Chris is confronted trying to steal water, and food that he failed to obtain through barter, his wife shoots the ifle wielding mutt then Chris and his wife run away as opposed to grabbing the dead mutt's rifle and a case of water as they ran away.

Watch this again and see what you would have done differently. Hopefully you'll see how the Survival Preparation and Planning phase makes all the difference in the world.

Urban Survival Skills - Bug Out Bag Questions

We received a message on Face Book (see Urban Man on Face Book) from Paul, who is married and the father of two girls, 10 and 14 years old.

Paul have viewed the first four segments of After Armageddon and was introduced to the Survival Bug Out Bag concept that was commented on in After Armageddon Chapter 4. He lives in the city and is now starting to make plans in case of a collapse (economic or pandemic are his two main fears).

Paul also viewed the previous posts on UrbanSurvivalSkills.com relating to Survival Bug Out Bags and other posts on Survival Gear and Equipment. His primary questions were: 1 – should each person (including his girls) have separate items in their bag, in other words spreading out the items, such as one girl carrying water and fire starting items and the other girl carrying food and the first aid kit? What type of bags and the maximum weight would I suggest that the girls carry?

As far as splitting up Survival Gear and Equipment I think Paul needs to ensure each Survival Bug Out stands alone. Consider the people in your Survival Group being separated. Each Bug Out Bag needs to fully support each survivor. Food, water, Survival tools and clothing in each bag. Each person carrys their own important paper documentation and better yet multiple copies which can be crossed loaded.

As far as weight to be carried or limited to,......depending upon the type of bag they are using and the girls’ physical condition. I would think a very maximum of 40 lbs, maybe less for the younger girl. A lot of this will be water, which will be consumed and therefore lightening the load as you go. Same as food as it will also be consumed. Your foot movement will be slow, as it should be to ensure security. You would be taking multiple breaks or temporary halts during movement to rest, do navigation/map checks, adjust loads, looking and listening for others approaching and generally ensuring you are not being followed, especially by two legged predators.

Many great bags out there. UrbanSurvivalSkills.com is partial to bags made by CamelBak, Eagle and new bag we have been testing from Mystery Ranch. All good kit – sometimes it boils down to personal preference.

Paul mentioned he has an older Jeep Cherokee in good shape and he has two full up spare tires for it and two five gallon fuel cans that he would also take. That’s a good start. You would be leaving the urban area during a collapse, first in your vehicle, and possibly later on foot if and when that became necessary. The Survival Bug Out Bags need to be within arms reach and the contents never used while you still have a vehicle to transport you. Drink and eat out of stocks in the vehicle. The Bug Out Bags need to fully stocked if you have to immediately run from the vehicle and don’t have time to be screwing around cross loading other Survival Gear or Equipment.

I would consider a firearms for each girl based on their firearms training and capabilities. Worst case, .22LR rifles for each with a minimum of 100 rounds of spare ammunition.

Paul, the bottom line is that the Survival Bug Out Bag equipment list won’t change much per bag or per person carrying it. Consider everything in the Survival Bug Out Bag as individual kit. Thanks for your excellent question and hope this helps.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 13

It seems to me that Urban Man and his associates have picked up speed on this site. I can see why they started slow with me as well as the information on this site starting with the basics. I now believe that you can’t do Survival Preparation for all likely events (economic collapse, Pandemic, or nuclear attack scenario) in your spare time. It has to be at least a part time effort. Part time is a dedicated effort whereas spare time is when you can fit it in.

Man, look at me! I have went from someone not even owning a gun to now someone planning to survive any number of likely catastrophic, society collapsing events. Since I wrote last, I bought another case of dehydrated food (Sliced Strawberries, Green Beans and Diced Beef) from EarthWaveLiving.

I recently bought an 12 Volt DC to 110 Volt AC power inverter that produces 900 watts continuous, 1800 watts peak power for use with a vehicle battery, although I realize that re-charging the vehicle battery will be problematic without fuel. I did look at Solar re-charging panels from a previous UrbanSurvivalSkill.com post on Portable Solar Power, but felt those panels were too expensive for my Survival Gear and Equipment budget. Reminds me to ask Urban Man to see if he can write post on more affordable solar panels.

The History Channel segments on After Armageddon and the commentary that Urban Man has recently been posting are outstanding. I had Neomi watch the first three and it must have spooked her as she asked me to explain in great detail what I have done so far to prepare for Urban Survival in the event of a collapse. She asked for the address of the Survival food companies, so I told her to go to this web site to access EarthWaveLiving.

I bought five more boxes (25) cartridges total of 12 gauge 00 Buckshot, and another 25 round box of #8 Birdshot, and, another 550 round box of .22 LR. Urban Man and his associates have been telling me I probably need a decent rifle so I’ll look at that purchase for the near future, especially since the scenario theat “After Armageddon” depicts are pretty scary.

I added ten (10) more one ounce Silver rounds to my collection Silver rounds and coins for Silver melt value. I have taken to keeping $400 in cash at my house just in case a collapse is sudden and I have a use for buying something, probably fuel, before paper money becomes worthless.

Well that’s about it for what I have accomplished in the past three weeks since I wrote last. What have you done?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

After Armageddon 4 of 9 - A History Channel Program and Lessons Learned

Week 16 finds Chris returning to his after an ill fated venture out to get more groceries and see what is going on in the wake of all electronic forms of media being shit down. He see's dead bodies and looters near his house and quickly gets home and throws clothing articles around the front lawn to try and pass as a house already looted.

Chris' wife Ellen is upset, the looters get next door then Chris finally decides to packup and leave. A commentator aptly points out that at some point the city (and suburbs) will be inhabitable and you will have to leave. UrbanSurvivalSkills.com has been pointing this fact out and saying that you better be prepared to leave on a moment's notice and have a pan on where to go.

Chris, Ellen and son Casey spend valuable time packing up what they think they will need on their journey. Another commentator talks about Survival Bug Out Bags also called Get Out Of Dodge (GOOD) bags and the necessity to take important documents like passports, bank records, etc., with you.

Watch the below video and think what you would have done differently having stayed much too long before deciding to Bug Out.



Aside from the fact that Chris and his family decided to leave their Urban environment much, much later than prudent, when he did leave he had no planned route other than to make it to the freeway leading out of Los Angeles. We have previously talked the importance of a planned route to a planned safe location. Not only a route but several using the PACE plan,...remember PACE,..Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency. You need to be able to effortlessly transition from one route to another when the first route is untenable or un-traffickable.

Chris did not prepare his vehicle very well either. One flat tire that he abandons the vehicle to go on foot and then was unprepared to rapidly execute a new plan to go on foot. We advocate several full up spare tires and tools to change tires and repair common problems that you can deal with. Spare fuel cans keep empty in your garage then filled up at events prior to a collapse would give you an extended range as well as barter items on your trip. Or Chris could have siphoned fuel from some of the abandoned vehicles in his neighborhood prior to leaving.

Recognize Chris' mistakes which are essentially of a planning deficit. You have got to plan and execute better if you want to do better than Chris. No amount of the latest Survival Gear and Equipment, nor Gold and Silver will make up for a poor plan.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Urban Survival Preparation – Home Defense Preparation Re-Visited

Since we just spent some time using a blackboard at work to illustrate some home defense concepts to Jim, we thought we would develop that impromptu discussion into a post re-visiting home defense.

Even if your plan or your Urban Survival Decision Making Matrix calls for an immediate withdrawal from your Urban home to a Rural Safe Location, you still need to be intimately familiar with your home in case it becomes a defensive position if mobs or organized gangs attempt to attack you and loot your home.

You need to identify what sectors of observation, and therefore sectors that can be covered or engaged with small arms fire that can be accessed from every window (fighting position) in your home. If you make a sketch, like the one below, you can determine what areas cannot be covered from a fighting position. These are called Dead Zones or Dead Areas.


If you have a two story home, you may be able to see past the Dead Zones or Dead Areas, however these areas that you cannot see into and therefore cover with small arms fire are potentially very dangerous to your security as they allow approach and access to your home people very well intended to doing your harm.

Typically, military units cover dead zone with indirect fire (mortars, artillery, etc.), anti-personnel mines and explosives, and obstacles. Sometimes surveillance equipment like seismic, magnetic or light beam breaking sensors are used.

The average Urban Survivalist won’t have those type of assets. And prohibited by law and just good common sense, UrbanSurvivalSkills.com will not delve into field expedient or home kitchen explosive or fire mixes other than to say there are a multitude of books available on-line where the average person can, at best, learn a little something, and at worst kill themselves and set their house on fire.

By and large the base method to protect these dead areas are going to be either firing positions outside the home to engage these dead zones, either just outside your home or from another home. (Hey, didn’t we talk abut Urban Survival being a team sport and that it’s take a group to survive?). OR, obstacles such as barbed wire, that force movement around the dead zones into areas covered by your fighting positions.

Assigned positions at windows are actually two assigned positions or two assigned areas of responsibility. The defender should be located off to the side of each window assigned to and covering the areas oblique to the window. At best this requires two defenders. The stupid thing to do is sit below the bottom of the window frame and observe/shoot over the top of the window sill. Instead stay off to the sides of the window edges a few feet back from the interior portion of the house’s exterior wall. See diagram below:


Even better if the interior side can be enhanced for protection with sand bags, steel sheeting, multiple layers of thick plywood, etc. The brown rectangles in the diagram below depict added material that enhance protection from direct fire from attackers.


If you are in such a location that provides a lot of open area from your house where you may be engaging armed bandits or organized and armed groups of looters at various distances, say beyond 100 yards, then a Range Card that allows defenders to remember what the distances are at known and recognizable locations could help you and your defending survival group more accurate engage attackers. Of course you need to be a little better trained on ballistic and how adjustment of your scope or iron sights on your firearms are used to ensure accurate engagement at these distances/locations. The diagram below depicts a Range Card.

Urban Survival Preparation - Celebrities Stocking Food

If you are reading this site and you are one of us preparing for a collapse of society as we know it, otherwise called The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI), then you probably also listen to talk show radio and specifically Sean Hannity, who is also on Fox News Television.

Geting off track here but people with the good sense to prepare for numerous contingencies like a economic, societal collapse or pandemic type event are also people who believe in individual freedoms and responsibility, and, are most likely either fully seated in, or leaning to the right of the political spectrum - that's why you listen to talk show radio which present news and issues far from the government shrill.

Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, G. Gordon Liddy and other talk show radio and television celebrities have long advocated buying Gold and Silver as a hedge against inflation. The same amount of Gold it took to buy a nice suit of clothes of in 1880 will also buy the same quality clothing today even though clothing (and all material goods in fact) have expotentially risen in costs.

On the radio the other day we heard Sean Hannity pushing the purchasing and storing of freeze dried foods as a hedge against emergencies. This goes to show you that the preparation for catastrophic events like a pandemic, nuclear or dirty bomb/EMP attack, economic and societal collapse just ain't for the "radical fringe" anymore - really never was, but it's plain just common sense.

Now Sean did not go into any length about how much food to buy, but we know the considerations are: 1 - how long does stored food have to get you through to when you can plant and harvest or otherwise gain another food supply?, 2 - how many people are in your immediate survival group and what caloric intake and food requirements does this present?, 3 - can you expect urban survival strap hangers, family - friends or not, showing up for you to take care off?.

We banter around the stored six month food supply idea. The Mormons usually recommended something like the minimum of a year. And remember that food is not the only Urban Survival consideration. Other items like firearms for self defense and hunting, a dedicated clean water source other than city water pipes, and other Survival Gear and Equipment,...first aid and medical items, clothing and boots, etc. But back to food. If you have celebrities pushing for the buying and storing of food, then you know alot more people are now thinking like us.

What have you done to prepare this week? I bought another case of dehydrated fruits and vegetables from Honeyville Grain; also bought two "AA" flashlight to work with my rechargeable batteries,; and a buddy of mine gave me 100 rounds of .30-06 rifle ammunition which I do not have a gun for that cartridge, however I'll just put it in my ammunition box of odd ammunition which will be barter things in a collapse.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

After Armageddon 3 of 9 - A History Channel Program and Lessons Learned

The third segment of After Armageddon covers weeks 12 through 14 of the pandemic that finds the U.S. has over 100 million dead. We see Chris' wife pushing to Bug Out for Idaho. Television and other electronic means of communications, which are overwhelmingly our primary source of information, gone.

Power blackout throwing everyone into chaos and despair. With chaos and despair you have a dynamically dangerous situation. People dying in houses; pets eating bodies; bodies creating diseases; individuals or groups of armed people looting and robbing (how far would you go to provide food and water for your family?).

As the Pandemic burns itself out other health problems come to the surface, among them cholera and dysentery. Lack of Medical infrastructure adds greatly to the suffering and death.

As the Grid goes down, Chris and his family become frantic. Power grid down means no cold food storage; water and sewer systems quit working;

We see Chris venture out to check and information at stores.




Lessons learned: Chris should have moved to a safe location long before week 12. The longer he waits the more dangerous the situation becomes. The longer the time period, the greater the control over areas that organized armed criminal gangs or just plain armed groups of people will have. Neither will look favorably on transiting refugees.

Chris ventures out by himself, apparently unarmed. Breaks the two man (okay, two person) rule. During the preceding weeks, he could have scavenged containers and siphoned fuel from abandoned vehicles in preparation for what should have become apparent, the need to Bug Out to a Safe Location.

Urban Survival Skills – Wilderness Survival

I am often asked for recommendations on wilderness survival training courses and references on back country survival.

I was a Wilderness Survival Instructor for a military course where we presented two days of hands on round, robin type instruction on various desert survival related subjects including: Survival Sheltercraft; Building expedient weapons; Traps, Snares and Hunting; Water procurement and Purification; Edible Plants and Medicinal Uses; Poisonous Plants; Poisonous Dwellers (predominantly Rattlesnakes); Fire Starting; Navigation without mechanical aids; and, Recognizing and treating Dehydration and Heat Injuries. We then placed these individuals in small teams into a desert environment where they had to move 60 miles in 8 days to a pickup point for recovery. They were not given anything other than 2 one quart canteens and knife and some parachute suspension line, and, only eat or drank what they found or caught.

Anybody going through this training will have the skills and understanding to survive not only in Desert environments or also other wilderness’ as principles and techniques are essential the same even as some of the environmental concerns, animals and plant life changes.

But understand that being stranded in a wilderness and surviving until recovered is much different is living in degraded society after a collapse. To put it another way, anybody with sufficient training and skills can survive like an animal but living with any quality in an environment without packaged foods, services provided electricity and greater threats such as overtly operating gangs of criminals and lack of medical infrastructure is going to take a lot of planning, preparation and the acquisition of Survival related Gear, Equipment and Supplies.

Having said that, learning about surviving in the wilderness is something for the Urban Survivalist to consider especially if the Bug Out plan following a collapse may include transiting rural or remote areas, and possibly moving overland on foot. The Survival Bug Out Bag, which consists of essential Survival Gear and Equipment, should ensure you have the tools to survive until you get to your prepared Safe Location, but your movement may be much slower than you anticipate and you may run out of essential supplies and/or lose some of all of your kit.

So it pays to have the Wilderness Survival training and skills. Barring that the next best step is to have some decent reference material on Wilderness Survival.

For General Wilderness Survival there are three excellent books among many that we recommend: Tappan On Survival, by Mel Tappen; US Army Field Manual on Survival; and, John Wiseman’s SAS Survival handbook. These are available through the Recommended Reading link to the left and also on the bottom of this page.

For specific topics such as Edible Plants, three of the best resources we have found are; Wild Cards: Edible Wild Foods, by Linda Runyon; Edible Foods Master Class (book and DVD); and, an old time classic, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, by Euell Gibbons. Other good edible plants book are a available as well.