Aftermath: Losing Ground (Episode 4)

by | Sep 7, 2014 | Aftermath, Emergency Preparedness, Entertainment | 75 comments

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    This article as been generously contributed by Michael Ulanski at The Prepper Project and is a continuation of the highly rated Aftermath web series.

    You can read the previous episodes here:

    Aftermath: What Will Life Look Like When The Lights Go Out? (Episode 1)
    Aftermath: Bugging Out After An EMP Attack (Episode 2)
    Aftermath: Getting To Your Retreat When The Threat Is Real (Episode 3)


    aftermath-losing-ground

    Aftermath
    Episode 4: Losing Ground
    By Michael Ulanski (The Prepper Project)

    “Follow me in for a short while, and then hide Cathy and Yourself off the trail.” Jason was on his feet and speaking rapidly to his wife. Three Shots, Jason thought, that’s a call for help. I won’t be the only one who heard them. He moved quickly, lifting his pack and re-checking that the bolt of his rifle was clear of debris.

    “Those are my sons,” Patricia said, “If you think I’m not going to their side when they need me, then you’re-”

    “What if there are unfriendlies?” Jason cut her off, and she met him with a cold stare. She understood the need for splitting up, but it she sure didn’t like it.

    They moved quickly along the trail. Patricia pulled the wagon as carefully as she could while keeping pace. She hoped the bumpy trail wouldn’t wake Cathy who had slept through the distant shots. Jason pushed ahead of his wife, moving with quick precision, making wide sweeping arcs along both sides of the path with the barrel of his rifle. They didn’t speak. Patricia kept her eyes on her husband, waiting for any sign or command, ready to take action. Suddenly, he stopped. Patty felt every nerve in her body tense up. She held her ground and thought about reaching for the pistol strapped to her ankle, but decided to wait for Jason’s orders. He motioned for her to join him, and leaving the wagon back a few yards, she crept up to him.

    “This should work just fine,” he said, pointing to a small clearing guarded by high bushes at the split in the trail. Patricia tried again with her eyes to convince Jason not to leave her behind. Instead, he gave instructions and took off in the direction he thought the boys would be. Patricia pulled the wagon off the trail and into the small, natural blind. Cathy fussed a bit, and even opened her eyes, but with Patty’s urging, fell back to sleep.

    “We’ve prepped,” Patricia whispered into the silence of the clearing, “we are ready for anything.” All day she had been reminding herself about the work they’d put into prepping, it helped her stay calm. It was getting dark. The evening sun was setting now, somewhere behind the thick soup of stormy grey clouds it had been illuminating all afternoon. As night came, and the trees around her became silhouettes, and then joined the indiscernible darkness of the forest, Patricia had to remind herself more and more that everything was going to be okay.

    Jason had found the boys just as the last useful light was fading from the sky.

    “Where’s Dale!?” Jason shouted, keeping his rifle trained on their perimeter.

    “Dad!” Jim shouted. He was laying on his stomach, facing away from his father along the edge of the ravine that dropped into the creek.

    “Where’s Dale?” Jason asked again, moving closer to Jim then kneeling with his gun still poised. “Are there unfriendlies, are you hurt, is there an immediate threat, who fired the shots?” The questions came fast and out of control,  Jason had forgotten their family code words. Jim was still quiet, and Jason shifted his focus to the boys face. There were tears crawling down his cheeks and his complexion was whiter than ghost.

    “Son, it’s okay, I’m here now, take a deep breath,” Jason said, as calmly as he could. Jim stared back at his dad and fought to calm his nerves.

    “Now listen carefully Jim, do you remember the codes?”

    Jim nodded his head.

    “Good,” Jason continued, “Were there any bullies at school today?”

    “No, school went great today,” Jim said softly. Jason realized that they’d need to make a new set of codes. Most of the ones they had dealt with how the school day went, which stuck out like a sore thumb out there in the woods. Jim just told his dad that there weren’t any unfriendlies. The codes seemed to be helping his son respond, it was clear the boy was in shock, but the codes were familiar and practiced.

    “Why did the fire alarm go off?” Jason asked, continuing the code.

    “I pulled the alarm, but only because we needed the principal,” Jim replied. Good, Jim fired, and it was only to signal for help.

    “Did the whole class get out okay?”

    Jim was silent and Jason asked again, “Did the whole class get out okay, Jim?”

    Jim looked at his father through the darkness that had settled between them now and whispered, “No.”

    “Where is he?” Jason demanded, dropping the code.

    “Down there.” Jim said, and clicked on his flashlight. The beam cut through the darkness and disappeared behind the edge of the cliff that Jim was laying up against. Jason shot forward towards where his son lay pointing.

    “No!” Jim burst out. He shined the light into his dad’s face, stopping him in his tracks.

    “It was a landslide.” Jim said, he seemed to be coming back now, “I’m afraid if I move, I’ll fall too.”

    “Just stay there,” Jason said, “and turn that light out.” He retrieved his Night Owl Optics night vision goggles from his bug out bag and strapped them on. Jason flipped the switch and the scene lit up before him in shades of glowing green light. Jim was laying at the edge of the trail, holding onto a small tree whose trunk leaned out over the ravine. The boys had made it all the way to the creek that ran right through the ravine 15 feet below. The trail a few feet to Jim’s left was carved away unevenly. Dale must have been standing there when the landslide happened, Jason thought. It wasn’t a far drop, but it ended on the boulders and rock bed of the creek. Jason tried to keep his mind focused. Secure an anchor line, get Jim off the edge, Go get Dale… but panicked thoughts kept interrupting. All that extra weight of the pack… if he landed headfirst?

    Jason wound his anchor line around a heavy set Red Oak tree several yards from the edge. It was a loop of rope, attached by a climbing carabiner using a figure eight knot. Jason fastened a rescue line to the carabiner using a clove hitch and a harness around himself by looping the rope under his arms and fastening the line to itself with a Prusik knot.

    “Jim!”

    “Yea Dad,” Jim’s voice was almost back to normal.

    “I’m going to pull you away from the edge.”

    “Okay.” Jim said after a long pause, then added, “Dale hasn’t moved since he fell.”

    “Let’s just get you safe first.” Jason, seeing in the green glow of the night vision, crawled out to the edge where his son still lied face down.

    “He’s right down there.” Jim said, pointing. Jason strained his neck to see. Wedged between two large rocks, half buried in mud his oldest son Dale laid wet and motionless at the bottom of the small cliff side. His pack was still strapped to his back and his right leg shot out from beneath him at an impossible angle.

    Definitely broken, Jason thought, staring down at his son, if he’s even alive. He scolded himself, you can’t afford to think like that, not yet. He loosened the loop of rope around his chest so that he and Jim fit within it, and they crawled slowly back from the edge.

    “You’re mother’s hiding out by the split in the trail.” Jason was already tying another harness, into the rope he pulled from Jim’s Bug-out Bag. “Go, bring her here, to where I’ve anchored the line to this tree. Tell her we’re going to need a splint, and help her find a good branch to fashion one.” Jason was coiling the rescue line into large loops. Jim looked back at his dad, still looking a bit stunned.

    “Did you hear me?”

    “Yes sir.”

    “Don’t tell her anything specific, just tell her I need her here and that I’m helping Dale.” He looked at his son’s scared face and added, “Tell her Dale’s going to be perfectly fine once we help him.”

    “Yessir.”

    Jim was off and Jason edged backwards towards the cliff. The soil was loose beneath his feet and small pebbles careened downward. He found his footing along the edge where the land had loosed from its hold and tumbled down into the ravine, carrying Dale and everything else with it. Swinging his head around, Jason took one last look at his son, bent and unmoving down below. He pulled tight on his anchor line, his own harness looped beneath his arms, and started his way down the side of the ravine. The wall of the cliff was muddy and rocky, freshly exposed from the landslide. Jason’s boots hit the ground with a thud close to where his son lay. The loose earth had settled on the rocky creek bed below, pushing its way between rocks and boulders into uneven piles of debris. Jason knelt down next to his son and working with the automatic movements of a trained combatant checked his pulse. See, he’s okay. He’s going to be okay, Jason told himself. He set to work, prepping his son to be moved. His nose was bloodied, his right leg had suffered a serious fracture, but thankfully, the bone hadn’t protruded through the skin. Keep an eye out for internal bleeding the next few days, Jason noted to himself, gently rolling Dale onto his side. Jason brought Dale’s leg back to a reasonable angle, and for the first time since he’d fallen, Dale made a noise.

    “Shhhhh, it’s alright son.”

    “Mmmmmaaahhh,” Dale cried out.

    “You fell in the land slide, your leg’s broke, but I’m gonna get you out of here.” Jason worked steadily, first cutting the straps of this son’s pack which was still beneath him, then pulling the loop of rope over Dale’s head and shoulders and tucking it securely under his arms. Dale was laying like a turtle on his back, his arms and now both legs hanging limply out in the same direction on top of the uneven bulge of his pack. Two giant boulders framed him in, crushing down on either side.

    These rocks slowed his dissent, Jason thought, but they could have just as easily broken his skull if he’d smashed into them directly. Stop thinking like that now, come on. Do the job, don’t get loose, you’ve still got to get him up the side of this damn hill. Jason’s thoughts were coming a mile a minute now. He heard his wife call out to him from the hilltop above.

    “It’s fine honey, I’m just about to come up. Don’t come over to the-” Jason knew his wife well enough to know that she wouldn’t listen to that last part, not when her babies were in trouble.

    “Oh my God!” she yelled, “Dale! Dale are you okay? Jason, is he okay?”

    “He’s fine,” Jason was losing patience, “Get away from that damn edge, or you might be down here with us.” He hated speaking harshly to his wife, but the situation demanded everyone’s focus and there would be plenty of time for the emotions later.

    “We’re on it Dad!” Jim yelled down.

    “Get the wood for that splint!”

    “Yes dear,” Patricia said, and Jason heard from the tone of her voice that she’d gathered herself together and that he could count on her. That’s why you love that woman isn’t it, he thought to himself. He tugged his line and prepared to ascend the cliff again. Sure, that and about a thousand other reasons, he continued to think as he climbed. Focus damn it! Exhaustion was settling in. Despite the gravity of the situation, Jason found his thoughts wandering away from the cold damp dark of his world and to fond warm memories of lying in his wife’s arms. A rock beneath Jason’s boot cut loose from the hill as he pushed his weight onto it. His footing lost, Jason swung into the dirt and rocks of the cliff side, cushioning the impact with his face. Scrambling to look down, he watched with baited breath as the rock hit just to the left of Dale’s head, and take a bounce and settle harmlessly out of the way. Jason grunted. Stop being so soft you damn fool.

    When he reached the top, Jim and Patricia had already found a relatively straight and sturdy looking branch to fashion the splint. He looked back down at Dale. The line was securely under his arms, and pulled tight. It’s going to hurt like hell getting dragged up the hillside with that leg how it is, he thought, but what choice do we have? Maybe he’ll pass out from the pain again… God I hope so. Who knows who or what is out here, and if he starts screaming, they’ll know that someone is vulnerable.

    Jason walked briskly over to the tree where both lines were anchored.

    “Set up some lights,” he said without looking away from his hands. He untied Dale’s line from the tree, which wasn’t yet taught, and tied a loop around his waste. Jim and his mother set up a few electric lanterns in the clearing by the foot of the Red Oak.

    “Alright, now, come here,” he ordered. Jim and Patricia were at his side, each taking two handfuls of rope. Using the tree like a pulley, they reeled in the rope, slowly and steadily. At first there was nothing, no noise, except for the sound of dragging and falling dirt. Then he woke again. Dale’s femur, though not breaking the skin, was pressing a jagged boney edge against the main nerve in his thigh. Each time they pulled, the edge of his broken bone cut into the nerve. The pain was unbearable, and forced itself out in primal screams that echoed down the ravine in all directions. That’s a tough boy, and I’ve never known him to howl like that, Jason thought, that leg must be really bad off… I hope we can set it well, or he may never walk right again. Jason grunted and pulled hard against the weight of his teenage son hanging over the cliff side. Everyone strained, hand over hand, in unison, to Patricia’s whispered cadence, “And pull,” a breath and hold, “Pull… pull…”

    Not now buddy-not now-stay focused, he’ll walk just fine, and if not, we’ll figure it out. Jason was speaking to himself again, keep pulling in the line buddy, keep pulling the line. A few feet from the top, Dale’s screaming stopped completely. When his limp body appeared from over the edge, Patricia looked over her shoulder and a small gasp escaped her lips. His face was cut, his whole body was muddy and brown with wide crusty red patches of dried blood. His leg dragged in a way that churned her stomach, even though it was straight down from his waist now. It somehow seemed unattached, or unnatural in the way it bobbed along freely when they pulled. She swallowed down the lump in her throat and took a deep breath to focus her mind. They dragged him into the light of the electric lanterns, and instantly She was over him, checking his vitals and touching her hands to his face.

    “Honey, can you hear me?” Patty’s voice was barely keeping stable. She tried again, patting his face gently and holding his wrist between her fingers and thumb, “Dale baby, can you hear me?”

    Jim watched as his parents swarmed his brother’s motionless body, fighting an overwhelming urge to sob openly. Even so, a few tears were carving wet paths through the dried dirt on his cheeks. He slowly backed away four of them, Cathy fidgeted and whimpered in the wagon next to his mother. His parents had begun splinting Dale’s leg and were forcing him to drink small gulps of water. He had woken up again, but was able to keep the screaming to a low grown that would only erupt now and again when the ropes of the splint were tightened.

    “It’s all my fault,” Jim whispered, and more silent tears found there way out from his eyes. He was a few yards away from the clearing where his brother lay moaning. The path took a sharp turn there, and he stopped backing up when his feet felt the edge of the trail. He wiped the tears from his eyes, and took a hard bracing breath. “Get it together!” He whispered loudly, “You’re useless when you get weak like this, you gotta grow up gotta man-up.” He took another heavy breath, and let it out slowly, waiting for his courage to return to him.

    Somewhere to his left a branch snapped. Jim turned his head and peered into the dark woods. With the heavy clouds in the sky blocking the moon and stars, the only light was coming from the lanterns his parents were using, and he was far out of the reach of those lights. Deciding to stop letting his fears get the best of him, Jim took a few slow, steps off the path, ducking into the darkness to where he thought the sound had come from. He pulled the hunting knife from its leg strap, and held it tip down in his lead hand. He reached a small clearing several yards from the path; everything was still, everything was calm, and kind of beautiful. A sense of calm settled over Jim, and he smiled allowed himself to smile a bit.

    “Probably nothing,” he laughed. Then the bushes behind him rustled and snapped and Jim felt the presence of something behind him. He could hear it breathing, low and shallow and the feel of its cold hungry stare boring into the back of his skull.


    Michael Ulanski is a fiction writer and freelance journalist currently traveling and working in the Middle East. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, he is working on a series of short stories entitled Maps of a Midwest Suburb, as well as maintaining a travel blog, and working on his first novel. He holds a masters degree in English Education and teaches writing to secondary students in the United Arab Emirates.

    Visit The Prepper Project for more excellent preparedness and survival information, and connect with them via FacebookTwitter and Youtube.

    Previous Episodes:

    Aftermath: What Will Life Look Like When The Lights Go Out? (Episode 1)
    Aftermath: Bugging Out After An EMP Attack (Episode 2)
    Aftermath: Getting To Your Retreat When The Threat Is Real (Episode 3)

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      75 Comments

      1. Unreconstructed Southron

        Looks like the story’s pulling on you, Rich.

        • RICH99

          No looks like I see reality

      2. Ugly

        Nice story, but the aftermath will be all over the board. Some will be in woods, others in cities, others on farms, others in rural lands. The fact is after one year we will all be very skinny. Many won’t make it, some will. I don’t care if you have one bullet like Barney Fife, or 10,000 of them like Rambo, life’s survival will depend on wits, knowledge, luck, cooperation, and the Lords Will….

        • yourmotherwaswrong

          Fiction?

          You can’t be serious!

          I thought this site was devoted to reality? No??

          Maybe I should dig out my TV, plug it in, and tune it to the USA/durango kidd channel. There I can get all the fiction I want!!!

          • yourmotherwaswrong

            Michael Ulanski relates:

            “Somewhere to his left a branch snapped. Jim turned his head and peered into the dark woods. With the heavy clouds in the sky blocking the moon and stars, the only light was coming from the lanterns his parents were using, and he was far out of the reach of those lights.”

            You don’t need fiction as an illustrator. Reality will suffice!

            Fiction is what plagues this country!!!

            Get your head out of you ass… Get REAL.

          • WhoWuddaThunkIt

            Yep somebody’s made up fantasy story. Except that Jason is no Rambo. Jason is Ex Military that without 20 person support team, picking out his daily MRE’s or providing air conditioning for his tent, he will never make it.

            BTW/ are you all aware that US Tax payers spent $20 Billion a year/ Annually just to Air Condition Tents for the troops in Afghanistan?

            Here are the facts: Article:
            Afghanistan: U.S. Spends $20 Billion Per Year for Air Conditioning in Tents

            July 29th, 2010
            This astonishing statistic is mentioned in the audio feature on the page linked below.

            http://www.cryptogon.com/?p=16709

            What a waste of Tax Payer Money for a bunch of Woosies who can’t win the war anyway!!

            $20 Billion could have built 1000 High Schools across America at $20 Million a copy and using Union Labor. That’s a fact. Times 13 years we have been there and that quals = $260 Billion for Air Conditioning. Like some US A/C Contractor is laughing his A$$ off. Thus why they insist on perpetual war. Had enough of this War Scam yet folks?

            • Hunter

              Wrong-Momma & (huh???)Thunk-it…

              ———————-

              …Jeezus dude, who pissed in your ‘Wheaties’ this morning??? Damn, did they ‘stealthy’ shit in your coffee too???

              …look dude…I know ‘who’ you are/where you’re located & what defects are “””foundational”””( and why)…ditto, you know of ‘ME’ (I’m sure of it…it cut both ways didn’t it, sir)!!!

              ————————-

              (…you know my time is “LIMITED:…yes???)

              ————————-

              95-98%% of the time …I’ve got your back w/ understanding of the truths you/you’re attempting to convey,…’cuz I’ve been there/done that/bought the tee-shirt…thanks to SAM!

              ——————————-

              Time to “CUT SOME SLACK, BRO”….agreed, you’re miles ahead of the enemy “”GAME-PLAN””…but others here are really sharp also, they simply followed different disciplines (i.e. = Durango Kidd/JW/JQ/Anon/Tucker/POG/Ahab and Yental + too many to list).!!!

              —————–

              Seriously pal…go procure yourself a good ‘BJ’ from some comely female…you’ll wake-up refreshed & w/ an optimistic/different mindset!!!

              …’cuz plugged-up male-plumbing…makes for cerebral constipation…and thus, it gives one a “SHITTY OUTLOOK”…on everything.

              —————————

              …you should give “kudos’ unto the story-line..& hence, the writer/author.

              simply file it under: ….what if!!!

              —————————-

              ***for the record: …I didn’t red/down thumb your post(s)……..

              ..just so you know!

              • Anonymous

                Hunter is more interested in ego than facts. Facts are,.. your tribe lost every war in the last 50 yrs spite of pillaging trillions of treasure from tax payers. Do we have more freedoms today than 15 yrs ago? Who’s freedoms did you claim you fought for? Surely not mine or anyone else in the USA.

                • Hunter

                  Anonymous (I.D. post # 3220949)-

                  *************************************

                  Selective references sir?

                  Pray tell…please produce examples/verifiable references, per the (truthful/honest historical record!!!).

                  ..NAW!!!…never-mind, I caught your inferences rather quickly!

                  T’was check…yes…nice move!

                  ——————————

                  ..but do post such truths, sir…so that the “slow learners here, may be EDUCATED”…(thanks much)!

                  ——————————–

                  …yeah, I know…the ‘self-chosen’ have a hammer-lock on the dissemination of…’NEWS’…but we’re discussing “TRUTH”…(yes)???

                  …and per the “anonymous” meme/hide-behind-shield-firewall…let’s dispense w/ that crap, OK!?!

                  —I’m Hunter…who the f*%K are you?

                  ————————-

                  ..I’ll claim/post/admit to:.. past handles (publicly)…will you do likewise, sir???

                  ————————-

                  We’re all adults here “anon”. –(at least supposedly)–

                  ————————-

                  ..’tis no ego involved, sir…at least not on my end!
                  ..in truth, I don’t give a shit.

                  —————————-

                  ..I know the likely “outcome”…sad to say, that’s merely another reason why I hope GOD grants me the “time” to wreak-vengeance upon those who reject/curse/oppose him…

                  …and if that sticks in your craw…

                  …you were never in “the Game” to begin with!!!

                  ————————–

                  FYI anon…I still refrained from red-thumbing you!

                  • Anonymous

                    Geezus Hunter sounds more twisted and psychotic than “Acid” Sybl trippin on meth.

                  • Hunter

                    Anonymous-

                    …’on meth”??!!??

                    Heaven forbid…t’was merely an unfortunate episode of trial/testing the ‘favors’ of that scoundrel….John Barelycorn!!!

                    …(i.e. = home-brewed serious beer)!!!

                    ———————

                    ..just so happened…you showed up & pissed on the entertainment, while I was enjoying the benefits of my “hobby”!

                    ———————

                    C’mon bro…I’m not your enemy. I’ve had your back here for years (per ^ thumbs)…and sometimes, per script/posts

                    ———————

                    ..in the end, I don’t give a damn if I’m on your shit-list now,
                    It’s no longer about “your” dichotomy of self-aggrandized opinion (per history)…most of which is “CORRECT” (if you are whom I suspect, you are)!

                    FYI..it has morphed into a matter of prepping for simple survival, of ones progeny.

            • Rorinon

              No issue with expenditure complaints, as I’m sure plenty of overcharging and overpaying was the norm. Typical politics that we all understand.

              However….

              Would you care to explain this insult?

              “What a waste of Tax Payer Money for a bunch of Woosies who can’t win the war anyway!!”

              So you’re saying that the Soldiers and Marines are the ones at fault for the way in which the war was conducted, and they are also at fault for the type and cost of the structures provided for them to live in while deployed?

              • Smokey

                Yep, that’s what he’s saying, all right.

                Stupid is as stupid does.

                If the money had been spent on schools, he’d be screaming about that, too.

            • Chicken Biggy

              My brother, Chicken Little, keeps saying that there’s an ebo-sars-pox-o-thrax epidemic coming but I still don’t see it. How many folks are actually dying out there on the streets of America? Oh, I know, it’s coming NEXT week, right! But is that before World War X-griddown-banking-pocolypse? I’m so confused with all these coming attractions. Can’t tell the players without a program.

        • Winston Smith

          It always amazes me the number of people who complain about free content on the internet. If the article is not to your liking, go read one of the other 10×10^133 articles online.

      3. Socrates

        Stories and naysayers aside…there is always a lesson to be learned, for those who can be taught that is.

        The other danger with broken or fractured bones(and immobility) is DVT.
        Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling, but may occur without any symptoms.

        Deep vein thrombosis can develop if you have certain medical conditions that affect how your blood clots. Deep vein thrombosis can also happen if you don’t move for a long time, such as after surgery, following an accident, or when you are confined to a hospital or nursing home bed.

        Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition because blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism).
        (Which can KILL you.)

        How to help prevent blood clots naturally? Eat leafy greens like Dandelion Greens, Spinach, Kale, Broccoli and other leafy greens containing lots of Vitamin E and esp Vitamin K.

        -Ginger
        We all love ginger tea no matter the weather since a sip of ginger tea is all you need to add zing to your tiring day. There are several reasons why ginger is a magical herb that has innumerable properties to soothe different health problems.

        When it comes to blood thinning, ginger has the power to reduce inflammation and relaxes the muscles. No wonder to feel at rest after having a warm cup of ginger tea.

        -Garlic
        Indian or Italian food, we cannot prepare food without the quintessential garlic. Besides adding flavour to the food, garlic can help in blood thinning too. Garlic slo contains antioxidants which clears the body from free radicals from damaging the cells. Garlic reduces blood pressure and stop platelet aggregation which improves the flow of blood

        -Omega 3 Fatty Acids
        Omega 3 fatty acids are a great way to reduce inflammation in the body. This helps for the blood to flow freely without accumulating in the arteries. Omega 3 present in fish stop the platelets from coagulating, in turn improving the flow of blood.

        -Whole grains
        Whole grains can fight several health problems, but did you know whole grains can also fight blood clots? Basically, what happens is that vitamin E present in whole grains reduces your chances of blood cots in the blood vessels and if you lack vitamin E then there are chances of blood clots.

        -Olive oil
        Cooking in olive oil has gained quite a reputation in recent years and thanks to its healthy properties, everyone is making a beeline to buy olive oil. Olive oil contains antioxidants that fight free radicals and inflammation, which is great for thinning the blood.

        -Grapes, raisins, prunes
        Medical professional administer aspirin for blood thinning; one of the components in aspirin is salicylates. But this compound is available in grapes, raisins and prunes too. These fruits are great for thinning blood and not to forget a glass on wine is an excellent option.

        -Berries
        Berries have antioxidants that prevent inflammation and fight free radical, which improves the flow of the blood.
        Pomegranate is another fruit that is great for the blood.

        -Almonds and walnuts
        Nuts can fight cholesterol and reduce inflammation in the body. Munching on couple of dry fruits like almonds and walnuts can help you avoid heart ailments.

        -Leafy greens
        Several vegetables have vitamin E that is important to prevent blood clots, but vitamin E is greatly available in leafy green vegetables. But remember to only go on a blood thinning diet if you’re advised by a medical professional. A Nutritionist can help you plan a diet that can provide additional nutrients as well.

        • Ugly

          This is why I think a BOL is nearly impossible, unless you live there certain times of the year and know the area and people well. We must remember that folks in the 1800s knew farming and survival tactics very well; yet most died before age 48. And they had skills of fire, cooking, skinning, hunting, guns, etc. yet they died young.

          Today’s Americans have no skills outside of fast foods and boiling water.

          We need extreme skills. In my one garden spots of 24×24 I have Jerusalem Artichokes on one third, heirloom lettuce that re seeds itself the following year on one third, and the final third I have herbs and a spot for potatoes. This is an easy garden packed with energy and will supply food for a family of 4 for two months.

          You need this at home and at your BOL. If not, then your Mountain House will last only so long.

          • Any Mouse

            Identifying local the local flora and fauna for potential food sources would also serve to extend the bounty yielded by the garden.

            One thing to remember is that the peoples of the 19th century didn’t have the advantage that many modern medical practices afford us. The current generation and possibly the next would still reap the benefits, but further generations would be at greater risks for severely shortened lifespans.

          • River Rat

            Ugly: So a garden 144’x24’ is needed to feed a family of 4 for one year, barring anything to impede optimum growing conditions and/or crop production. Nice size garden to take care of now is this eating everything produced and nothing extra to put back for the rainy day. Remember the factors; length of growing season, weather conditions, tending the garden, harvesting, and processing. I’m looking at a bigger garden for yearly food production, maybe twice this size. But this is MHO, why, to many other factors to plug in to the equation.

            River Rat at the ready!!! NOMI///MOLON LABE!!!
            TSORIITA/GPTDY!!

            • Vicky

              My grandmother, the mother of ten kids, had a garden over one acre in size. Of course, she had an assortment of kids to help with the weeding, planting, etc., but it still had to be rough. She grew asparagus and rhubarb next to the orchard, just outside the regular garden which was largely devoted to potatoes. (Anglo-Irish family). ALL of her children lived to adulthood which is amazing, probably due to the Vitamin C in the potatoes and apples. I learned from her which was a real gift, and am trying to interest my children in learning something useful. She didn’t have to contend with the insects and diseases and worn-out ground we have today, but she was still an amazing woman.

              • Ugly

                Vicky.
                You are right. People should have potatoes as their number one food source in their garden. Then plant other stuff. But spuds are number one….

                • Mountain Trekker

                  Ugly glad you mentioned potatoes, just this very day I open my bag of potatoes and most were getting bad and I thought at that time, I’m going to ask on SHTF what is the best method to keep and preserve potatoes. I’m sure it’s been on here before. I know you live in the Potato State and I’m right next door and can’t believe how poor of potatoes we get here in Wyoming. Trekker Out. I Love’em, Baked, Mashed Or Fried!

                  • Socrates

                    Mountain Trekker-

                    Lots of info online on storing tubers like Potatoes, Sweet potatoes and such. Basically, you wipe off with a dry cloth, any large dirt clumps clinging to the skins.

                    You can store potatoes in a large Rubbermade tub or wooden crate filled with clean play sand. This is important because that type of sand is basically silica and does not contain humus or micro organisms, etc.

                    Layer them in carefully (don’t dump or you cause bruises and those rot easy)and cover completely with the sand. Store them in a cool, dry place (basement works). If it is too warm/humid, the potato starches start turning to sugars and breaking down trying to sprout.

                    I got 1000lbs (half a ton)of clean play sand for about $13.00 from the local sand and gravel place. Bought it specifically for storing potatoes and also to use in bucket filters and filling sandbags. Bet you didn’t know SAND could be so useful and important, huh? 🙂

                    Hope this helps

                  • skeptic

                    MT—Don’t know if anyone else mentioned it, but let your potato vines dry out and fall down before you dig. If you don’t let them die down real well they will not overwinter worth a shit.

            • Ugly

              River Rat.

              A garden is just one prep need. People need a garden. Yes, a 144×24 could feed a family of 4 for one year. This size of garden could easily produce 15 sacks of potatoes (100 lb sacks) with 50% of the space. The other 50% could be Jerusalem Artichokes, lettuces, peas, beans, etc.

              Let’s talk 15 sacks of potatoes, or basically 1500 lbs. That is over 350 lbs per person. If each person each eats 1 pound per day, then that is a year supply. 16 ounces potato supplies quite a few calories, protein, vitamin C, etc. that is why the potato is the number one vegetable in the world.

              My 24×24 garden spot I crowed too much again and got weeds. Today, I harvested the rest of my yellow potatoes. I will wait for a hard frost on the Jerusalem Artichokes. This fall I am getting my garden ready for 2015 with a survival type of attitude.

              • River Rat

                Ugly: You’re so right plant potatoes and onions and basically forget. JA’s are very nice also, along with some sweet potatoes. As for storage I dehydrate most everything any more. Plastic trash cans buried and covered with straw as an example, leaves, pine needles etc. also. What I do with my tomato and bell pepper plants. Dig a hole 8 to 10 inches deep place a 4ft piece of ¾ PVC pipe at an angle in the hole. Then back fill completely, now dig what you need to plant the tomato plant, place cage over plant and PVC pipe, zip tie PVC to cage. Now when you need to water fill PVC pipe and you have 1 inch of water directly at the root system where it is needed. Less waste of precious water (use collected rain water), and you can add plant food if needed. I have used this method for years now, works great for me. As for other plant types just use the PVC alongside your plants and now the whole garden is watered in about 30mins depending on the size with a watering can. Very little cost for the PVC pipe and reusable year after year. I also build Small A-Frames out of 1×4’s, cover with netting for cucumbers,peas and pole beans, little work and can set them anywhere in yard (stake down), turn dirt two shovels wide on each side then plant so easy. Just what works for me and may work for you also.

                River Rat at the ready!!! NOMI///MOLON LABE!!!
                TSORIITA/GPTDY!!

            • Smokey

              You had better find some farmland within walking distance, because there is no way you can feed a family beyond starvation levels with 15,000 sf of garden.

              It takes about an acre to feed one or two people, and you’re going to have to provide labor just about daily, year round.

              Livestock of any size are going to triple the area needed and double the labor requirements.

              Plan on working sunup to sundown, no one is going to have the time to do much else, no matter what their duties will be when crunch hits. Labor, security, medical, etc., everyone is going to be working hard.

          • Winston Smith

            The thing is, people in the 1800’s died so early because of a lack of modern medicine and science. Today we understand things like ergonomics and repetitive motion injuries. We also have far easier lives with less danger in normal times. Given the choice, pretty much anyone would choose to live in our technologically advanced times if we knew it would remain stable. This is why we have abandoned those primal skills. Life lived needing them sucks. However, as preppers, we also realize that we need to learn these forgotten skills to mitigate the effects of a potential loss of our awesome way of life.

            As far as a BOL goes, I don’t have one but want one. It would be fairly primitive and only exist as a fall back point should life become hopeless in the suburbs. Life there would suck, but it would be better than death.

      4. Breathial

        Good stuff so far.

        Problem: the time between you post your installments is so long, I forget what the previous ones were about. And what you do post is so short that it ends up being disappointing.

        But that’s just my opinion. 😛

        • Vicky

          Same here, but I find it hard to believe he was an English major. The major mistakes bother me and detract from the story line, but that’s my own hang-up. Fiction can also teach, and his “adventures” are presented well. Is the book for sale yet?

        • Any Mouse

          There are more installments on prepperproject. I can’t say the story gets any better. It follows the same basic storyline as to others, most notably the one on teotwawki.

          The main character can’t seem to sit still and members of his team suffer for it. One team member can’t seem to follow OPSEC, again, to the detriment of his other team members. There always seems to be the one character that is a bit of a whack job but he has something the main character wants/needs, whether it be guns, radios or whatever and the end result is usually more trouble than its worth.

          It would refreshing to read something that shows some success.

      5. Any Mouse

        The landslide risk should have been identified prior to the bug-out situation.

        I generally try to enjoy stories like these but it seems that every risk taken ends in calamity.

      6. watching and waiting

        At least it was not a mine field.

        This family should have stayed home……

        Going it alone whether it’s a family unit or individually will not work for 99 per cent of the population.

        There is protection and power in numbers…

        Just my opinion…..

        • Barn Cat

          Most people will be with their families and whatever additional people they’re prepping for. Very few people will be in large groups. Too few people are prepping. The vast majority of us will be going it alone. I don’t know anyone who’s prepping.

          • sixpack

            Everyone who lives around me, thinks “prepping” is having enough on hand to get the bread winner through until he can find another job…tops about a month. Nothing long-term around here, and the rest don’t have 2 brain cells to rub together. Then there’s the gimmedat…

        • SlowCreek

          Trouble with staying at home in this particular story was that the place was, or in the process of being, burned down.

          Indeed, that is the one great big problem with the plan being to stay at home; even if that location happens to be pretty safe from damage caused by floods, storms, landslides, or animals, it can still burn down and become inhabitable.

        • WhoWuddaThunkIt

          I would have to disagree. A smart lone wolf will far out live groups. They can move stealthy at their own pace, no chatter that can be heard for hundreds of yards. In groups you are only as strong as your weakest link. And many mouths to feed that will not be pulling their own weight. Group will leave more trace el imo ments and footprints, trash and disturbances for easy tracking and slaughter by the lone wolk who waits for the weak to make a mistake. Most people are not equiped to be a lone wolf, and why they migrate in a herd for safety in numbers, which is just a delay in slaughter as the group disappears one by one like the Donner Party.

      7. Barn Cat

        I expect that 90% of Americans will die in the first year following the collapse. The federal government will provide for essential personnel. Perhaps 3% of Americans are preparing. Maybe half have a year’s supply of food or longer. It’s going to get very ugly very quickly.

        People can die in all kinds of ways. I expect most people to die from suicide. Then from drinking water that makes them sick. Finding enough clean water will be the biggest problem for the most people the quickest. You can die from dehydration if you get diarrhea and you don’t have clean water to drink.

        Even if you live next to a river or a lake, that doesn’t mean you can safely drink the untreated water. Boiling water takes time and fuel. Most likely firewood. Having enough wood to boil a gallon of water for yourself everyday can quickly become a problem if there are a lot of other people also gathering firewood.

        Where I live, the lake water probably isn’t safe to drink even if it’s boiled. There’s fertilizer runoff from farms. Even city water from that lake has an alge smell.

        A lot of people will die violent deaths. Especially those in big cities and their suburbs. I expect even a small Midwest town will become more dangerous than Detroit is now once there’s no food and no police.

        One decision for everyone is how much they’ll get involved if their unprepared neighbors get attacked. If there’s a home invasion next door and people are screaming it might be best to take out the perps before they get to your house.

        • FuckingPissed

          Yes, I’ve decided I will help defend my neighbors (even the ones I don’t like)

          • Sierra Dave

            Use them as decoys.

        • slingshot

          Why should I care for My Unprepared Neighbors? As Per Braveheart, the perps will have a rough time if they come a calling. They get me. Then, they get me. Times will get hard and I do not need to help wishful thinking idiots, that were told in the first place to prepare. I know for sure that most of my neighbors have very little to bring to the table.

          Really if they heard the same sounds coming from your home they would even lift a finger to help.

          • FuckingPissed

            I’d rather shoot and kill my enemy from a distance than fight them up close with my family at risk. (Combat 101). That’s why. And it’s the right thing to do too. I don’t want to be a piece of shit like government scum or islamic savages. We must not become what we hate or why bother?

            • Vicky

              Agree with you, but if they hurt one of my family members, particularly my husband, it’s game on. Several of our neighbors would help us, as we would them, but I can’t feed them all.

          • slingshot

            “If you save a life, you are responsible for it”

            Chinese Proverb.

            • FuckingPissed

              I never said my neighbors were unprepared sheeple.

            • buttcrackofdoom

              and your point, slingshot?….i guess you’re ASSUMING the chinese are just SOOO smart? PFFT!

      8. Confederate

        Fiction rarely reflect reality.

        • Barn Cat

          It often reflects reality for someone. Anybody who’s watched World’s Dumbest Criminals knows that truth is stranger than fiction.

          • Any Mouse

            If you watch any of the “stupid human tricks” shows it makes you wonder how we survived as a species.

      9. Jim in Va.

        I try and take lessons from any source whether its a true story,fiction or a movie. Information and how to use it will save your life. I try to get hard copies of everything incase the internet goes down.

        • the renegade braveheart

          Jim, excellent points. I’m still working on hard copies for many things because we will lose the internet eventually. I recommend a good shortwave radio for getting information also. That may become the only source for information once the grid goes down. make sure it’s battery-powered and be sure to stock up on batteries and/or a solar charger for it. Radio Shack carries some radios for under $200. You can also go to http://www.universal-radios.com for a much bigger selection and the prices do vary. Make sure the radio has single-sideband [SSB] capability so you can listen to military and amateur radio traffic. Amateur radio traffic will be an important source for information.

          • Hunter

            Braveheart-

            Per your “BOL”…aside from the weaponry-ammo/food/water-purification/medical requirements-supplies…etc.

            …secure some photovoltaic panels to charge 12vdc batteries….ditto, make sure your “group” invests in “manual deep well water pumping/security”…

            ..see ‘ads’ per “FLO-JACK” here @ Mac’s…or “bisonpumps.com”

            ..the stainless steel unit is the way to go…per, my opinion.

            Luck & blessing unto you.

          • sixpack

            I just got my solar 11-in-1 charger last Friday. Aiming for more rechargeables in the near future.

      10. ChrisA

        “around his waste”

        It is somewhat entertaining so far and kudos for writing it, but an editor would be nice. Even a proofreader.

        • CDE

          There’s another error in the same sentence, which should have been caught before this was published: “He untied Dale’s line from the tree, which wasn’t yet taught, and tied a loop around his waste.”

          A rope is not a sentient being, thus, it cannot be taught anything. It can, however, be stretched tightly, or made TAUT.

          What college did he get his English degree from? I don’t have a degree in English, and I frequently find errors, especially in self-published books.

          • Anonymous

            CDE… You see Jason is an uneducated ex Special forces w/ lots of handsome hero medals pined to his chest. He is not paid to think, just kill or maime. Kind of like Hunter who forms his comments in broken segmented phrased like radio chatter . A real Jethro Bodine hill folk.

            • Gadabout

              He’s not uneducated: “Michael Ulanski is a fiction writer and freelance journalist currently traveling and working in the Middle East. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, he is working on a series of short stories entitled Maps of a Midwest Suburb, as well as maintaining a travel blog, and working on his first novel. He holds a masters degree in English Education and teaches writing to secondary students in the United Arab Emirates.”
              Hard to believe isn’t it. If folks like him are teaching writing, no wonder grammar is going down the tubes along with everything else in the world.

      11. Kevin

        Thank God Canada will never face economic difficulty. I am an immigrant to Canada and have lived here most of my life. Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live in.

        I don’t understand why sexist, racist, misogynist and negative sounding men have to stain the name of Canada! That should be sedition!

        Canada is in fact on of the best countries to live in due to many factors such as free healthcare and other expenses covered by the government.

        Women in Canada are respected and they make great leaders, teachers and entrepreneurs. Canadian women are way hotter than women in most countries because of their access to healthier foods, education and healthcare.

        If I was in my home country, I would be dating 4s and 5s in Eastern Europe because the women are poorly fed, uneducated and oppressed by men.

        I thank God for feminism that I’m dating 9s and 10s in Canada, and they sure know how to please a man!

        Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. Canada is an innovator and economic superpower. This is the main reason why houses cost 500,000$ in the GTA. Toronto is the hub for your career, dating, married life and recreation.

        250,000 immigrants beg to reside in Canada because we are the best country in the world.

        • Townsaver

          Kevin-

          You are a commie tool.

          That is all.

        • Any Mouse

          Troll

      12. Sgt. Dale

        It is just a story. Some good lessons in it.
        This just goes to show that you might want to be at your BOL when the SHTF!
        A.S.M.S.
        Sgt.

      13. River Rat

        O puppet will be out of town Thurs. Congress is scheduled to be in session, so congress may be a target more than likely, if they get wiped out; to keep America going Martial Law will be imposed, and the POTUS will govern by himself till the states can elect new members to the Legislative Branch of Government. (LOL). By taking out the Legislative Brank and POTUS running thing by himself the Masters has solved most of all their problems in one HIT. We face potently of a very serious event happening this week or any time in the very near future. Just a thought on our future. (Keep an eye on who is not in Washington, New York, and Chicago, this week.)

        River Rat at the ready!!! NOMI///MOLON LABE!!!
        TSORIITA/GPTDY!!

        • Hunter

          R-Rat…

          Need more recipes, sir!!!

          Your stuff is awesome…

          • River Rat

            Hunter: K,I’ll work on some more recipes in the near future right now processing garden. Just put up 5gal. Salsa (HOT), 5gal T juice, 5gal chili base, and 5gal pasta sauce.

            River Rat at the ready!!! NOMI///MOLON LABE!!!
            TSORIITA/GPTDY!!

        • Night Breaker

          RR,
          Keep Your powder dry
          remember the inslamofascists always attack the last target ( remember they attacked the WTC first failed to bring it down , then this was the first attack on 9-11 , remember what was united flight 93’s intended target? ) they failed at first, their haditha requires it . We’re are dealing with real monsters who do not think like us , have know remorse and are willing to die without a thought of self preservation. And will not stop until their objectives are archived.

          It’s going to be a very interesting week.

          BE ALERT

          SITUATIONAL AWARENESS AT HIGHEST LEVELS

          THIS IS NOT A DRILL

          Semper Fi 8541

      14. The Lone Ranger

        Among OTHER things, be sure to buy yourself:

        – Plenty of NON-gmo seeds;
        – Plenty of AA batteries;
        – Several High End LED AA-powered batteries;
        – Galvanized steel trash can to EMP-protect those flashlights and other electronics.

        Don’t let the light go out.

        – the Lone Ranger

        “There is not enough darkness in the whole world to put out the light of one small candle.”
        – Motto of the Christophers

      15. European American

        Interesting perspective, i.e. of the author of this on going story. I’ve read a few more than this episode and it seems like, imho, that Jason isn’t really all that together. Every time he decides to separate the family, something goes wrong. I’d NEVER break up the family for ANY reason. Maybe that’s just me, though.

        Everybody has their own personal tendencies, and maybe many others believe Jason is basically on the right track, but I think he lacks leadership skills and when he’s thinking to himself, his emotions often weaken his logistical aptitude. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in a few more episodes, and at the rate their going, he and his wife and their two boys become some derelict’s dinner.

      16. HiddenTruth

        While this website have done a great job raising an awareness and education people about the crisis we all face today, unfortunately all these blogs fail at aiming far enough. Understanding what is money ( and definitely distinguishing between money and currency is EXTREMELY a must-know subject) and how it works is vital for all facets of life, but so far %99 of people around the world have been on defense and not offense against THE root cause of all this mess we are trying to prep. for. So I invite everyone to two articles from two different blogs that I believe we all have been deprive of a peak:

        http://www.savethemales.ca/000205.html

        http://zaidpub.com/2011/02/04/understanding-the-present-crisis-barry-chamish-on-shabtai-tzvi-jesuits-the-whole-lot/

        http://zaidpub.com/2014/08/13/presstv-unislamic-state-us-satanic-caliphate/

        these blogs one day might bring us closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.
        keep mining for truth,

        truthminer/Jon

      17. akvalmet30

        Guys, enough with the damn drama, save that for women. I got the “t-shirt” as well for pulling my time in uniform. We were all used by the banker elites. It never has been that we cannot win a war or conflict, but instead we aren’t allowed to. Winning is not part of the plan, just the same reason as why a war on terror is impossible to win and never ending in essence. What this is happens to be an on-going conflict for resources to keep the banking and political brothers pockets lined and their financial dynasties going for as long as possible, at us the tax payers, and ultimately the soldiers expense or loss of life. I have said it before that if EVERY man and woman in uniform sounded off with a resounding, “NO!” and stopped supporting the war/debt machine any further that this would all come to an end. That is unless they have the U.N. fully standing by to fill the void. When the time comes, more of us need to set aside differences and work together for community protection, gathering resources, and surviving through some very hard times. Everyone has their own views and ideas about what is truly going on in the world, but let it not hurt coming together for greater works.

      18. RICH99

        Sounds like a great sci movie that Hollywood could make

      19. Jon

        I like this story. It shows what might happen. All you guys fighting over some BS, about who was in whatever “game”, no one gives a rat’s patootie. Many will die, some will live, but in the end cool, calm, and collected will win out. Did you all read “Patriots?” THAT was a good story, and more plausible than most of the crap out there. IF you arm chair warriors out there think you can do better…..well, you are looking at a keyboard, are you not? Write it out! Then submit here…..IF you are any good, I’m sure the man/woman running SHTF will print your story.

      20. Rockman

        First of all why was the wife not well armed with an assault rifle and well trained. Samurai wives fought with their husbands in battle. They were strung out all over the map and invited destruction in detail one at time and were not able to support each other if attacked. Too often women are left overs as a sort of glee club on the side instead of shooting with the best of them. A woman left alone with a revolver is noisy suicide She will not hit the side of a barn with a revolver. I doubt she had speed loaders nor would she know how to use them. They needed to filter through the trees like ghosts and instead they make noise occupy obvious stopping points and light up the night. Why not send up flares and beat drums.

      21. Paul

        I refuse to read anything from an author who doesn’t know the difference between grown and groan or waist and waste. Christ at least get somebody to proofread for you, you write like an 8 year old.

      22. Michael C.

        Is this story available in a book (Aftermath)? Waiting for the next episode sucks. I’d like to read it all at once.

      23. Devon Porter

        If you all like survivalist fiction, check this out:

        http://www.facebook.com/afterthecrumble

        After the Crumble is being published in November by Prepper Press, and will be the first of a trilogy.

        ATC is unlike any post-apocalyptic fiction you have ever read. The main character isn’t a marine, he is a farmer. ATC has love, heart, action, and a hint of sci-fi and steampunk. Check out the FB page and give it a like today!

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