If You Are Not Thinking Tactically You Are Not A Survivalist

by | Mar 26, 2015 | Headline News | 255 comments

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    This article was originally published by Brandon Smith at Alt Market.

    tactical-survivalist-thI am taking a short break from my latest series on the real numbers behind our failing economy to address an issue within the Liberty Movement that I find a bit disturbing; namely the issue of inadequate strategic thinking and common sense amongst a certain new crop of survival writers, “gurus”, and their fans. I have only been a survival and prepping enthusiast for ten years, and I have been training in tactical methodologies for six years, but I think the near constant saturation of training I have received over that time makes me at least moderately qualified to discuss survival philosophies. During my work in the alternative media, I am also exposed to all of the undercurrents and trends within the movement, including many negative and destructive trends.

    The following article is only a summation of my personal observations. I am sure some people will disagree with my conclusions and claim that the exact opposite reality is true for them, and that’s great. If they don’t see the same problems around them that I see, then they are lucky. I can only relate my experiences based on my dealings with hundreds of thousands of liberty proponents on a monthly basis.

    Survivalism has become in some ways a mainstay of popular culture over the course of the past few years. The mainstream still calls us “paranoid kooks” and “doom and gloomers”, but they can’t seem to get rid of us. Survivalists are a fact of American life now. However, survivalism as a philosophy remains in the infant stages of its progression.

    Most of us have never lived through a full spectrum crisis event. Most of us have not lived through the peak damage of an economic collapse. Most of us have not been trapped in a war zone (except by choice through enlistment). Most of us have NO real world experience whatsoever in terms of surviving a true catastrophe. Therefore, it behooves us to NOT make detrimental assumptions where such an event is concerned.

    Every once in a while, a person who claims to have survived a collapse event in a foreign nation gives instruction to the movement. Sometimes this instruction is based on true insight, but sometimes the instruction is so amoral and dishonorable it becomes clear that the person only survived because they embraced their inner psychopath (see my article ‘A Moral Code For The Post-Collapse World’), destroying others in order to subsist rather than having any actual sustainable skills, and they lucked out in the fact that no one had the chance to visit revenge upon them. This is, of course, piracy, not legitimate survivalism; for without other people to plunder resources from, the pirate is useless and dies.

    What the world needs are producers and intelligent innovators in order to function or rebuild. The problem is, the existence of “pirates”, looters, thugs, and in some cases corrupt government funded murderers, makes life for the average producer rather difficult. I would say that for some survivalists destiny will require them to risk their lives in order to protect and defend producers, not to mention the very values and morals they hold dear. Unfortunately, it is not enough to have “sheepdogs” around, and anyone who thinks the sheepdog is the end all be all of a thriving post-collapse society is living in a fantasy land.

    The reality is, EVERY GOOD PERSON, young and old, man and woman, producer and protector, gardeners, engineers, doctors, etc., MUST become tactically proficient in order for free civilization to survive post crisis. Every good person must become as dangerous a human being as possible, and they must organize as dangerous human beings, if they hope to have any chance of facing the terrors ahead.

    I’ll say it again; the post-collapse world will require honorable men who are also incredibly dangerous men. If you are not both of these things, then you are useless to the future.

    To become incredibly dangerous, average Americans and liberty champions must train in tactical methods, and they must be willing to organize in a tactical manner. If you are not training tactically, if you are not thinking tactically, and if you are not organizing locally, then you will not survive a large scale calamity, and you are thus, not a survivalist. I really wouldn’t know what to call you. A “faux survivalist”, perhaps…

    Here are just a few of the obstacles I see stopping good people from adopting a necessary tactical mindset:

    Fear Of Public Perception

    This is often the worst hindrance to training and organization within the Liberty Movement, and I blame it partly on the militia movements of the 80’s and 90’s. Open training was common during the golden era of the modern miltia movement, including rifle proficiency, team tactics, communications, and asymmetrics. This is not to say that their training was especially advanced, but at least they had the balls to do it within the public sphere despite the rabid propaganda attacks of the federal government.

    The Oklahoma City bombing changed everything, and within months, the once vast and growing militia movement mostly vanished. Group tactical training immediately became taboo – a methodology survival adherents would not touch with the business end of their M1 Garand. For all intents and purposes, they ran and hid when they should have stood their ground, leaving future generations without a breathing example of tactical knowledge within the civilian world or an outlet for training aside from joining the military.

    Even today, some people within the new survival movement cannot seem to shake the Oklahoma City induced fear of what others might think if they train in high grade tactical methods, or train as a neighborhood, church, veteran’s hall, town, or county. Surely, only insane bombers and right wing extremists have any interest in such activities, right?

    Now, some folks might say that because I was not involved at that time, I would not understand what it was like, and I might have acted in a similar fashion. I say this is nonsense. In my work with groups like the Oath Keepers Community Preparedness Team, I will NEVER stop training others and helping to organize others. Another Oklahoma City-style event could happen tomorrow and it would have absolutely no bearing on what I know to be the right thing to do.

    Public perception is as meaningless as it is changeable. Frankly, the kind of public that shrieks about honest citizens training for self defense is not the kind of public I take very seriously. The “public”, as it were, can kiss my ass.

    Delusions Of OPSEC

    A lot of faux survivalists throw the term “OPSEC” around without having any real understanding of what it means. They seem to think that it is a two syllable argument that invalidates any rational call for organization. This is simply naïve. In a true collapse, there is no such thing as a “lone wolf” or a “gray man”. These are fictional musings common only to the imaginations of cinema and the minds of inexperienced preppers.

    If you look at the actual proactive survival responses to breakdowns in places like Argentina or Bosnia, or the survival response to the cartels of Michoacan, Mexico, or the survival response in Rhodesia, or even the Kurdish response to the horrors of ISIS, the same scenario always presents itself – common citizens banding together for mutual aid and self defense. There is no denying this tactical response, nor the fact that in most cases it increases the survivability of all those involved.

    Yet, again and again the Liberty Movement is cursed with delusions of “Operation Security” in which no one talks to anyone. No one organizes their neighborhoods because their neighbors “might” turn on them. No one organizes past the two or three man “secret cell” because corrupt government might identify them and put them on a “red list”. I think OPSEC has become an all encompassing excuse for faux survivalists to remain lazy and afraid.

    First, if you think you are going to go “gray man”, and remain stationary, think again. Hiding who you are from your neighbors will not stop your neighbors from looting your house anyway as soon as the inclination strikes them. And, it certainly will not stop more aggressive pirates from simply moving house to house at random through your neighborhood until they get to you. Gee, in that situation it sure would be nice if the neighborhood was working together rather than huddling like rats in the dark corners of their tract homes.

    Second, if you really believe you have no neighbors with the moral fortitude to work with you rather than against you during a crisis, then you should be planning to leave the area anyway. Again, this is tactical common sense that is being suffocated by the idiocy of the OPSEC argument.

    Third, if you have ever visited a liberty website on a regular basis, then you are probably already on a government list. Sorry, but that’s just the way it goes. I prefer to make that list so big it becomes useless to the establishment.

    Finally, there are many levels of OPSEC. There are public institutions and there are private institutions within any activist movement; both serve vital purposes. You don’t have to tell the whole world who you are and where your supplies are stored, but you do have to work with other people if you want to live. Period. No one has the ability to do everything. No one has every skill set needed to ride out a violent social storm. No one. Either you work within a structure of people you have trained with and you trust, or you die.

    Invalid Assumptions Against Military Equipment

    There are as many opinions on survival gear as there are survivalists, but, some opinions are utterly wrong. These opinions are often based on assumptions of use, rather than experience. For example, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a faux survivalist think himself brilliant for admonishing the use of camouflage.

    “Camo makes you a target!” they claim, without any context as to why. And yes, if you throw on your army digital while trotting down mainstreet during the initial stages of collapse, you’ll probably stand out like a sore thumb. But the issue here is one of context of use. Most environments you will encounter across this country are rural, not urban. If you have ever practiced camo tests as I have with multiple survival groups, even a half-assed keyboard survivalist would be able to see the difference between a person wearing normal clothing (even in muddled colors) verses camouflage. In fact, most of the time you will not see the person in proper camo until he is right on top of you.

    The root of the anti-camo argument is rather hilarious. Essentially, this crowd is stating that one should not wear camo because camo is a red flag for training, and training makes you a target (if you are seen). So, their solution is for you to wear less effective clothing which makes you easier to see, leaving the potential bandit the option of deciding whether or not you look like a threat (in which case he might shoot you regardless). Why not have clothing for both urban and rural situations? People who do not think tactically often try to make discussions on gear an all-or-nothing proposal.

    Another problem common to the new survivalism is that some survivalists simply do not have the money to purchase certain pieces of kit, and so they badmouth said kit so that they don’t have to admit to themselves that they want it but can’t have it. I can’t afford a Barrett semi auto 50 BMG rifle system, but I’m not going to pretend that it’s not a useful tool or that a survivalist might not find an occasion where he could apply it.

    I see faux survivalists downplay all kinds of useful gear from night vision to ballistic armor, gear that is infinitely useful in all kinds of situations, based on the assumption that the average survivor “won’t ever find need for it”. This is like Dianne Feinstein’s claim that no one “needs” a mag capacity of over ten rounds because when will they ever run into a problem where eleven rounds are necessary?

    For those who are tactically minded, ALL gear, especially gear in common military use, is also useful to the survivalist, and if they can afford it they will buy it. Why limit one’s own tactical potential because of a blind assumption?

    Real Survivalists

    This is the bottom line – tactical training matters, and strategic organization saves lives during terrible times. If these two things are not a priority for you, then do not call yourself a prepper, a survivalist, or any variation of the term. If you want a real chance at survival for yourself and your family, then you must:

    1) Master the operation of your weapons system, whatever that system may be. This means daily dry fire practice, weekly live fire practice (even if your ammo is limited – training is more important than a large stockpile), shooting from multiple positions, reloading drills, transition drills, and speed drills. This isn’t advanced training, it is the very basic fundamentals you need. Going to the shooting range once every three months to sight in from a bench is simply not going to cut it.

    2) Build a team. Organize starting with family, friends, church group, neighbors, and then outward. Without a team, there is little chance of survival.

    3) Train in team tactics. This is where the majority of people freak out and scurry away to avoid being labeled “paramilitary” or “extremist”. It’s time for the movement to get over these meaningless labels and get some work done.

    4) Learn to operate as much gear and kit as possible, regardless of who says it is “useful” or “not useful”.

    5) Maintain a practical level of operational security, but do not let it prevent you from organization. Without organization, you will probably fail, and all your carefully planned “OPSEC” will have counted for nothing.

    6) Push yourself to the best of your abilities. In the end, survival is about force of will; the will to endure, the will to fight back, the will to stand by one’s principles no matter the state of the world. Will and training trump all other deficiencies and enemies.

    This article might seem critical, and it is, but there is a purpose here. I want people to live. I want good liberty minded activists to carry on. I want a future where the best people rise from the ashes, not the worst. In order for this better future to become a reality, a number of deluded conventions and poor judgments will have to be changed. Survival, at its very center, is about identifying one’s weaknesses and turning them into strengths. If the Liberty Movement is not willing to do this, then we do not deserve to survive.

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      255 Comments

      1. KyPatriot

        Nice article.

        • Red Leader

          I did a post on a site about the versitility of night vision, specifically the PVS-14 and wat a tremendous force multiplier it is. It can be mounted on a helmet, hand held or with a throw lever mount, behind your optic on your rifle. I saved a long time to buy one and the mounts to make it all work.

          There were several critics calling it a toy. Being able to see and fight at night can be a life saver.

          • slingshot

            Red Leader.

            There are plenty of items that are force multipliers. Night vision is one of them. A set of 8×50 binoculars. Marine flare pistol.

            • Red Leader

              Slingshot. Good point, I have had my Steiner binos for many years. Out here in the west a flare pistol would stary a huge wildland fire.

              • slingshot

                Red Leader

                The dumb asses around here like to do drive by’s.
                Gonna put one right inside the vehicle window.

                • Paranoid

                  Sorry but I don’t really understand this article. I’m doing all this for what condition/reason? Invade Canada?; Fight off the 82 Airborne? Ya sure. You get ready for that. I’m just getting ready for when the Government dole fails. When we get to the stage Greece is and everyone knows there isn’t anyone to lend us more money because we have 100,000,000 people who have no idea how to survive and no supplies at all.
                  I don’t think it will last long, but it will be BAD. I just hope it starts at the start of Nov because it will be over by summer. You ask the Mormon carters or the Donners about winters and no supplies.

                  • javelin

                    Agreed.

                    I think we are all at varying levels of what we are preparing for. Some for full scale civil war; some like Brandon appear to be in all out Mad Max mode; some see a massive reset after a financial day of reckoning which may be 3 weeks to 3 months before order is restored ( and it could get very ugly with masses of suddenly unfed or un-welfare populace)– an EMT or grid collapse event could be 6 months to 18 months to restore regional by regional power return.
                    As for nuclear assault, nuclear winter from war or super volcanoes–I’ve made my peace with my maker and would rather be on the other side of life than live in a post nuclear world
                    Ultimately, I am prepped for 6 to 12 months. I will not go hungry, cold or homeless. My immediate family will also be fed. Myself and 2 other adult males I have discussed this with are all aboard to do whatever it takes to protect our families–if anyone with hostile intent approaches within 100 yards, then I rarely miss by more than 1 inch from dead center ( not bragging, just a lot of practice.)
                    That’s enough from me as I don’t like to talk much about what I have done and can do, in the event of a societal disruption……..

                    • anon

                      Well said, Paranoid and javelin.

                    • apache54

                      Javelin,
                      I think most of us are prepared as well as we can for whatever it is that happens, BUT unless you have been in types of situations with very HIGH levels of death,starvation,injured and maimed bodies, etc etc. you will never be prepared for it and CANNOT prepare totally until the time comes and you live through it and THEN you will understand why you have to live it to prepare for it! just do the best you can and most important believe in your mind that YOU are ready!!

                    • 41MagMan

                      @Javelin

                      “… and it could get very ugly with masses of suddenly unfed or un-welfare populace…

                      Now, is anyone still wondering what the FEMA camps are REALLY all about?

                    • Son of Liberty

                      Though I live in an area of liberty minded persons here in Alaska, when the subject of tactical training together comes up even my closest friends throw their hands up and begin back peddling like they’re being chased by the bogie man. I’ve had to do the training I’ve done on my own, or at FrontSight – which was not cheap when all costs were figured in.

                      We as preppers/survivalists are pathetic in so many ways. Sure, I’m (relatively) ready and (like others) if someone is after me and within 300 yards the second button on their shirt is mine. At the same time I realize I have NO ONE to watch my backside. I’m no Rambo, I like the idea of ‘team work,’ ‘community,’ and ‘family,’ though I have none here in AK. Also, I know that w/o teamwork, all my preps – of whatever kind- will amount to very little, and soon belong to someone else, sad to say.

                      I do hope we will awaken to the situation, begin to develop and function as teams, family, and community – in every area of our preparation. I really like what Wood had to say in his fiction, “DISCOVERY TO CATASTROPHE” regarding teams, team work, and community.

                      Blessings,

                      Son of Liberty

                  • notsogreat

                    Shovels, Paranoid, lots of shovels.
                    All I’ve ever read says 90% will die in the first 3 months.

                    My husband says 3 weeks!!!

                    • 41MagMan

                      @notsogreat

                      I’m with your hubby on this one. It will vary some with the time of the year, with colder months inflicting extra damage on anyone who isn’t getting enough food to eat but 2-3 weeks of sheer panic WILL cut down on the mooch class, no doubt about it. It will be interesting to see how all the city libtards handle being caged up with people who devolve into ravening beasts. Their anti-gun and nanny state positions will come under some stress about then. But then, that’s pretty much was reality does to bad ideas. My assumption is that it will not go well for them. I am OK with that. 😉

                    • Paranoid

                      Buzzards, lots of Buzzards

                    • handofgod

                      Yeah…if I’m attacked by a stationary paper target I’ll for sure win the fight out to 800-900 yards…gets trickier when the target is moving and shooting back.

                  • Walter Middy

                    That “BAD” part you mention near the end of your comment? I think that’s why he’s doing this. Because he wants to come out the other side of the “BAD” intact. Him- AND the ones he loves.

          • Audentis Fortuna Iuvat

            Red Leader. My buddies were busting on me about my NV. Until we went on a night coyote hunt in the snow. After they saw how amazing it is,I had a hard time getting it off of them to use myself. I recommend that anybody that can save to buy some,it would be one of the wisest purchases for your family.

          • socmarine87

            RED
            I’ve mentioned it several times and get the same reaction. It is very simple. If I have them (and everyone of my team members have 14s) and you don’t. You will not survive the night. If by chance you avoid the 14 you won’t avoid the thermal. You go ahead and try all of your far fetched, comic book tactics and YouTube DIY toys. I’m tired of the chest beating and tree pissing BS from most of you. Most of you have no idea and never will. Why don’t you people listen to those who have practically applied themselves. Get over yourselves and check your self inflated ego at the door and ask, and then listen. We will be happy to help, advise and instruct as well as we are willing the listen and learn.
            All right let the bashing begin.

            • Red Leader

              Socmarine87>

              Very well said and it needed to be said by someone with your background.

              If you have the ability to fight at night, without being seen, and the bad guys don’t, your group’s chances of winning is increased many fold. Thermal is incredible and the price keeps coming down. I like their ability to laser designate for the PVS-14s. I am watching thermal prices closely.

              • Horse'sass

                Red leader
                Looking to make thermal purchase in near future. Questions are:
                1.)Are prices coming down quickly enough to justify waiting 6 more months/year?
                2.) Dedicated unit , i.e thermal imaging scope or rather a clip on to your daylight scope.?

                e.g.,

                http://www.opticsplanet.com/atn-thor320-9-36x-336×256-100mm-60hz-17-micron-thermal-weapon-sight.html

                vs

                http://www.opticsplanet.com/atn-odin-thermal-imager-multi-purpose-system-thermal-scope-w-mounting-kit.html

                I’ve heard a few negative comments about FLIRs as opposed to reportably more reliable, rugged ATN. Due to the fact that FLIR uses proprietary rechargeable internal batteries rather than Lithium 123s or AAs turned me away from FLIR.

                Are these rugged enough to withstand recoil of .308, or should they be used primarily for 5.56?

                Just wondering.

                • socmarine87

                  Those were some of my concerns as well. First, Flir has a $500 rebate. That helps.
                  Its hard for me to imagine thermal getting less expensive than it is now, but I was surprised that you could get a PVS14 for $3000.
                  The internal battery bothered me at first, so I called Flir and talked to some very helpful people. That same battery system powers our Thermal that we use in the military. It’s a tried and tested system. You can charge it with an external battery or with solar if needed.
                  I run a Sig 716 with it and it’s on my team mates .308 bolt gun now. It gets hammered every few weeks. No problems. Now my DM (Designated Marksman) would rather have a clip on for his set up. He prefers to use his optic with thermal. With my 716 I may run an Aimpoint Comp M4 or pop on my variable if I’m spotting/covering for him.
                  I can’t speak for Flir over ATN. Flir is the ACOG of thermal. I have no experience with ATN. Call Flir up and talk to them. Tell them your concerns. Listen to what they have to say and what they have to offer.

                  Good luck and have a good one.

              • socmarine87

                Check out the FLIR R series. If I could only have I would chose the 14. It’s hard to walk and look through thermal. You can get good ANPVS14S for $3000. I just spent that on a new POF P415 and an Aimpoint T1.

                • Anonymous

                  Flir makes a hand held scout series thermal just basic but you can get for around 16-1800 dollars

            • fishandmud

              @ socmarine87 : I said 6 months to a year ago No Man is An Island. Not for long anyways. We all have to sleep sometime. As far as the 14. I was just talking to my Air Force buddy today, and we was discussing the 14 system. I just hope I can afford to get one someday. Anything you can do to increase your odds is the right thing to do.

              • socmarine87

                You can get an ANPVS14 for $3000.
                I’m lucky, I have an understanding wife who is on board. I have a team of professionals who are use to working as a team. Our weapons and optics are everyone’s in the team. We all pitch in to buy what we need and agree on what we need.
                Again, NV is a luxury. Take care of the essentials first. Another topic people are negative about is body armor. I’m talking ceramic or AR500 steel. All you’re trying to do is give yourself every extra bit of chance you can. I have people who rely on me. I must be able to stay in the fight and be effective. Anyway..enough babbling.
                You guys have a good one.

                Keep your head on a swivel people.

            • 41MagMan

              @socmarine87

              Bashing my arse, lol. That sounded like some damned fine advice to me. Maybe it’s just that people don’t have the money or they do and want to spend it on other preps?

              • socmarine87

                I agree. Get your other preps in order first. There are more important assets than NV. Trusted, knowledgeable people are a great asset.
                NV capabilities are a luxury. Clean water, food, ammo etc are a must.

            • Old Cop

              My boy who served in Afghanistan backs up what you say. He says they’d spot some Haji with their FLIR glasses when he was 500-600 meters out trying to get to the FOB. At about 300 meters a single shot would be fired from a Marine rifle. NVG!

          • Anonymous

            The US Army adopted night vision and night fighting decades ago. It works.

        • dago woop

          what boxers do you have on?

        • Unreconstructed Southron

          Yes, Nice article. Lot’s of things that needed to be said.

          • Kulafarmer

            And thought about as well

            • sixpack

              agreed.

        • Jay

          Brandon should get the Medal of Bullshit for this article.

        • Acid Etch

          “Every once in a while, a person who claims to have survived a collapse event in a foreign nation gives instruction to the movement. Sometimes this instruction is based on true insight, but sometimes the instruction is so amoral and dishonorable it becomes clear that the person only survived because they embraced their inner psychopath.”

          Thanks Brandon Smith self-appointed prepping guru but I think Selco knows a little bit fucking more than you do from your extensive experience shooting paper targets at the range. Fucking jackass.

          In every SHTF example we can see the people coming together to be sheepdogs and have morality and defend freedom and the producing class, right? NOT.

          1. There is no honor in survivalism. It’s survivalism if you survive.

          2. Economic collapse is not full blown SHTF. What the fuck would you be doing shooting people with a .50 BMG dressed in camo gear in an economic collapse?

          3. Wearing camo gear does make you look crazy and stick out. Don’t put it on unless you actually are in combat.

          4. The militia ceased after Oklahoma? Who the fuck went to the Bundy Ranch then? The Easter bunny? They have always been here in Appalachia since the 70’s. Some of them trained me for Eagle Scout. They just don’t stick their heads up anymore. If they did there WILL be a response from LLE. Especially in the current political environment. Running around the woods shooting guns in camo training in asymmetric warfare is jailbait. Don’t do this unless you really are out in the boonies.

          5. I climb mountains at night and I have never needed night vision (although I own one). You have to stop and focus it on a specific point. If you don’t know just about where that point is to focus it it’s useless. Plus the range of them is pretty much shit. They don’t give you a very wide view to scan the countryside. You couldn’t use them to go through a structure because its just an out of focus grainy mess and you would have to stop dead and refocus it on a specific point every time. I just don’t see how night vision, at least units that aren’t $10,000, are useful.

          6. Let me go talk to me neighbors about forming a paramilitary group to practice asymmetrical warfare in our neighborhood. OPSEC isn’t important. LLE not a factor. Screw public perception. NOT.

          Every article Brandon Smith writes is dumber than his last. Why anyone reads this fucking retard is beyond me.

          • socmarine87

            Acid Etch
            I have climbed Mountains almost all over the world and have cleared bunkers and trenches…hundreds of houses/structures. You really need to look through a nice pair of PVS14s. They have their weakness just like the human eye. It’s important to know how to perform with out them and keep your eyes trained, but man when you need them; it’s like four wheel drive or a spare tire. You may never need it but if you do they can be a live saver/game changer. You can get a nice set for $3000.

            You don’t celebrate that you made it to the top of a mountain. You celebrate making it back down.

          • Red Leader

            AE, the PVS-14’s are $2,500.00 to $3,000.00. On a pitch black no moon night, you can see people at over 100 yards away when you can’t see your hand in front of your face without NV.

            Selco has a lot of good advice but he has no clue of what wil happen in American cities in a big SHTF scenario. I will go with Matthew Bracken on that one. Europe is not America.

            • Acid Etch

              Nothing will happen differently here than happened in any other SHTF throughout history. The only difference is the severity of the event.

              Economic collapse is not gonna see people shooting each other in the streets. There are lots of third world countries living in continual economic collapse. You WILL see a huge crime rate, that’s for shit sure.

              Other events like pandemic or power failure would see us in full blown SHTF.

          • Skeptic

            Acid;
            You seem to be having a very lucid evening. Nice for a change.

          • Brandon Smith

            Sounds like Acid Etch has sand in his pussy. Not surprising that he supports the psychopathic notion that there is “no honor” in survival. There is honor in LIFE, buddy. You act without honor and harm others to survive, you’ll be on MY list, among others.

            I have no beef with Selco. I will say that he has no understanding of community defense, but the rest of his observations seem to be fine.

            If you are operating in the woods and you aren’t wearing camo, you’re a fucking idiot, period.

            A real miltia is the local community standing together. There was no “real militia” at Bundy Ranch. It was a Hodgepodge.

            You obviously don’t own decent nightvision if you think it’s not useful.

            Who said anything about approaching your neighbors about joining a “paramilitary group”? Don’t put fucking words in my mouth with your cowardly strawman tactics. Try approaching your neighbors about a neighborhood watch, dumbass, and see where it goes from there.

            If you are offended by common sense suggestions then there’s not much I can do for you. If you are only interested in talking shit from the safety of your computer then I welcome you to do the same to my face and we’ll see how that plays out. I live in Eureka, Montana – name the time and the place.

            • JRS

              lulz…

              Iron Cross snares another one…

            • Anonymous

              Ha, ha! Cool! Brandon got the scum bag back! (I hate immoral people!)

            • Anonymous

              Good article, Brandon.

              I’ve said for years, we are supposed to be prepared for SHTF events, and the most many of us are considering is turning our house into the Alamo or bugging out six states away.

              That is suicide.

              We need to be thinking of defending neighborhoods, not single homes. Watch units, reaction units, planned defenses on known terrain, patrolling, blocking access, chokepoints, battle zones, all of it.

          • Anonymous

            Man’s (and woman’s!)greatest instinct is to survive– sure. However, without honor and dignity, what kind of a life do you end up with?

            For example, we could kiss the elites’ ass in order to survive, get on good terms with them… or not. That is our choice. I prefer not. In other words, surviving is not everything. Only the coward puts his life before everything else.

            There are the Mahatma Gandhi’s, the MLK and others like them… and then, there is the Eisencraps, the Acidfaces, etc.

        • Mountain Trekker

          If your not thinking Tactically, you will except the mark of the beast. So you think they will come and make you except it at gun point. Wrong! Once again the old frog in the pot comes into play. Example, Buy or Sell a stock, $5 online, call a broker on the phone to make a buy or sell, $45 or $50, which one are most people going to do. As they say, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Technology, Technology, Technology, as something new and more convenient comes along, the more expensive the old way becomes or it is eliminated all together. So slowly but surely they lead us to the point of excepting something that we don’t want. Wonder What That Will Be. Oh it is so easy! Direct Deposit, Remote Deposit Anywhere, Remote Deposit Capture, all the things you can do with your iPhone/iPad or Android app. don’t have one? Don’t worry, you will, another old saying ” Not if, but When ?” Trekker Out. I Know, Me Neither!

        • TXSF

          100% concur

        • Caratacus

          Anonymity – v. important. Indeed, portray the very opposite of your competence.

        • Masterblaster

          I must say I disagree with some of his assumptions. A “lone wolf” survivalist who is skilled and determined and perhaps ruthless? will be able to survive without a large support group at least for the interim. When it comes to pure survival, ethical consideration are moderated by the circumstances (kinda like situational ethics – but not really)…

          What he advocates I agree with, but some of the opinions I do not.

          How many oak keepers groups (and others) are mapping vital resources, potential enemy combatant locations, transmission stations, communications, etc. for when the SDHTF? I dare to say none.

          This is real preparedness.

      2. slingshot

        Excellent article.

        Things that needed to be said.

      3. Sgt. Dale

        Now that the weather is getting better I’m having group get together and working on just this!

        This is my duty in the group along with some other things.

        I’ve been talking with the group and have found that they have added more weapons and ammo. I was ask for more training and I will be happy to do so.

        I have just added two more rifles. One sniper the other hunting. I have learned that there are several of the group going to CCW classes in the near future, and they are getting new firearms to carry. Looks like it is going to be a busy spring. Can’t wait.

        AIM SMALL MISS SMALL
        Sgt.

        • Paranoid

          Sgt; Perhaps it’s because I’m in Wyo and you can shoot as far as you wish to carry the carcass, because you can see for miles; What’s the difference between a hunting rifle and a sniper?

          • Sgt. Dale

            “P”

            Hunting Rifle and sniper rifle?

            Sniper rifle trigger can be tuned and crisper than a hunting rifle. The scope on a sniper rifle is more powerful, has external windage and elevation adjustments, and better glass. The stock on mine are bedded. The sniper rifle has a better bipod. The sniper rifle also has a different finish on it. (to protect it from the weather)The barrel on my sniper rifles shoot better/tighter groups. Like 1/2 to 2 inch groups at 300 to 400 yards. (my longest shot around here is about 400 yards.)

            Hunting rifle. Has good barrels, stocks, scopes, trigger. They are set to give my groups at 200 yards around 2 to 3 inches.

            There are some more things but I think this gives you an idea.

            There is very good hunting rifle that could serve as a sniper rifle, and there are some damn good shots out there that can handle a hunting rifle like a sniper rifle. But there are differences.

            My two Nagants that I have been working on one shoots a little better group than the other. The one that shoots the tightest group is set up as my sniper now, and my other one is going to be used to as hunting rifle.

            If you buy a hunting rifle and build a sniper rifle you will find the Number One thing and the biggest difference COST. Sniper rifle sell for a hell of a lot more that hunting rifles. Because of the equipment on them.

            A.S.M.S.
            Sgt.

            • Paranoid

              Not so much difference in Wyo. Got a 3-9 Leopold Gold Ring scope for short range on a.308 Winchester carbine, and a 9-23 on the 25-06 Browning. Both shoot better than I do.

        • PA farmer

          Sgt; I just dont get the CCW concept, I understand with your line of work you would have it. And I also realize people live in very bad places witch might apply. As I see it, you have signed a contract of Sorts to come into your house ” we need to check the #s on your 9mm”.
          Onces thier in well we know the rest. You might have the right to shoot someone but there is gona be a lot of bs go with it, Lawyers, trial and even if you make it out of that without losing everything then there is Civil court were you could lose everything. No Thanks, I’ll beat the guy and do some jail time. There is no paper tail on any of my toys, I’m not giving them reason to come to my place. And if they do good luck Dismantling the farm to find anything..

          • Paranoid

            Here in Wyo it’s a little different, Everyone has guns. The little old lady that serves you breakfast the first day of hunting season already got hers out the bedroom window.(That’s exactly what she said). The cute 25 year old gal coming out of the Sporting goods store with a 7mm says; no it’s hers, her boyfriend uses a 300 WinMag. When a guy tries to rob a beauty salon, a 70 year old gal has him covered with her .38 before he gets his out(true). State only has a CCW permit so people can carry outside the state. I walk into my Bank with a gun on my belt, no one cares. I’m not afraid of the cops here AND THE GAME WARDEN WILL HELP YOU CARRY YOUR DEER TO THE TRUCK.

            • PA farmer

              Paranoid, sounds like a cool place. I have to say that around here if you dont have a room full of guns you are Considered queer, kids, women everybody hunts and shoots, hell they close school for first day of deer. I do know a bunch of people that ccw on their Ankle or under their coat, but Very seldom open carry it really makes you look when you see that. people will say who’s he think he is. I have seen open carry two time in the last yr, but I dont get far..

              • Paranoid

                I make it a point to open carry fairly often in any state it’s legal. Gets people used to it.

          • Sgt. Dale

            PAF
            If it was up to me everyone that doesn’t have a forcible felony (Rape, murder, ECT.) would be able to carry at any time any where.
            As far as shooting someone that is the last thing I want to do.
            As far as disarming someone because Obullshit or anyone else tries to stomp on the Constitution that is something I won’t do!
            Sgt.

            • PA farmer

              Sgt; my comment was because you Mentioned ccw. I just want any nucomers to know the weight that goes with cc. I Personally would love to have a cc Permit. I just cant see why under the 2nd I should need to fill out paper work to carry. If shtf you can believe will not leave home without..
              Thanks Sgt..

              • Sgt. Dale

                PAF
                I think CCW are BS! pure and simple. You should be able to carry any time you want. With out paper work.
                Sgt.

        • Anonymous

          I carry daily, and that machette killed a water moccasan today. 30+ days at the BOL and going fine. Get my Solar package soon. Check out the Goal Zero Yetti 1250 kit. Will power up power tools and a frige. Off the grid in N FL. WWTI

        • anonymous3

          Let me get this straight….

          SF teams are going to operate incognito in various locations so that they remain undetected by the civilian population. And the purpose of this exercise is so they can know how to blend in among people in foreign countries where they may be operating in the future. Am I getting that correct?

          So, I guess blending in in rural Texas is the same as blending in somewhere like Syria….right?

          What am I missing here?

          Hey! You government pukes. I guess you think we are stupid.

          You train the way you fight. You don’t train to blend in in some middle-east or Asian country by training among the civilian population in the USofA.

          Don’t piss down my neck and tell me it’s raining.

          • Richard Head

            anon 3

            Actually blending in, in texas, would be ALOT like being in a foreign country. Any time I wanna train my foreign blending in skills, I just go to the local wal mart. It’s just like being in mexico or guatamala. and I don’t even live in Texas.

      4. Anonymous

        Great article! It answers a lot of questions I had.

      5. slingshot

        Don’t come asking if you can’t handle the reality.

        Plenty of people have asked about what I think on prep and survival subjects. I do not fool around and give answers to them straight. Let them decide what they will do with well rounded information. I’m talking death here. My wife said to shut up because I scare the hell out of them. Why? They asked.

        • Sgt. Dale

          SS
          Tell it the way it is and then tell them it will be 100 times worse. If you scare the HELL out of them that is good. Because HELL is where we are all going to be in WTSHTF!
          Sgt.

      6. whatever

        Well said

      7. Anonymous

        Zero Hedge talking about a bill to repeal the (unpatriotic!) Patriot Act. Sounds good but doesn’t go far enough…

        Not only should we have bills to un-do all the Unconstitutional acts in this country, but we also should hang the people responsible for these treasonous bills!!!

        • Jim in Va.

          not to mention the fact that Obama is caving on the nuclear deal,giving away the store and any advantage we’ve had over anybody in the middle East. anybody here think Iran is going to live up to anything? The man should be impeached.

          • 41MagMan

            What else can be expected of this incompetent nincompoop? A community organizer? That’s it? That’s all we get in a “leader” these days? OMG! This is THE perfect example of why those who are on welfare should not be allowed to vote. If they wanna vote, they can get a job and get off the dole first.

            The founding fathers did not allow anyone to vote unless they owned property. They did this because they knew that property is the source of all wealth and that those who thereby fill the public treasury SHOULD be the same ones who decide how that money is spent. How’s the new and improved version workin’ out for us? Not worth scat, IMO.

            • NightlyJazz

              A lot of people who are not on welfare voted for President Obama. The issue isn’t this President, it’s all of them. Including congress & the Supreme Court. None of them are on our side. The side of the people. The middle class and the poor.

              Did the US start collecting taxes in the 1900’s? I could be wrong. But people who owned land were the only ones allowed to vote to maintain control in the hands of a select few.

              If “We The People” are the ones who formed this “perfect union” that would be the ones who had money. And if that’s the case, they are the same ones who are running this country now and you should not complain about what’s taking place in their interest and not yours or mines.

              I would love to be a part of a group. But I’m an African American male and I get funny looks when the issue is discussed. I live in TN. Yeah, real funny looks.

              As far as the military gear, I’m all for it. I don’t own a PVS-14 but I’m working my way up to one. I have a cheap version right now. It’ll become my backup after I upgrade. But I do have some gear. And I can say without a doubt, that sh!t is heavy. My vest weighs 35 lbs, and that’s without any weapons. If someone thinks they are going to throw that on and go humping around at anytime without actively exercising (I get on a treadmill with my gear on) they have another thing coming. I take my hat off to military members who do this day in and day out. But the reality of it is most Americans are lazy. And if they don’t have to do it, they wont. Plain and simple.

              As for the article, two things. It’s harsh. And I believe it was meant to be harsh to help people wake up. Good for you. I hope it works. I doubt it, but keep hope alive on this one. Secondly, nice reading, but he wasn’t referring to me. And that’s all I have to say on that.

              Honestly, I like the responses more than the article.

          • NightlyJazz

            Iran already has nukes. Can’t stop something that’s already occurred.

            Think about it. Soviet Union broke apart. All of those breakaway states had no money coming in, but plenty of hardware to sell. Iran had billions to buy. There is no way a deal was not cut and they did not get at least one bomb. I think they have several. But all they need is one.

        • Richard Head

          well if they would actually REPEAL it then that would go far enough. It’s just.. watch this hand over here….while the other hand gives you a rectal exam and steals your wallet. They’ll just slide more in there to hump us while saying they’re trying to help us. Do you think any of them want to get rid of that much power…especially the so called “freedom loving republican conservatives” Unfortunately the only way they lose that power is if “WE” take it from them. I mean hell…we’re the ones that gave it to them by compliance

      8. f 'em

        I think you’ve got the right idea, Sgt. Our group is of the fire team size. We have known each other for many years and there is 100% trust. We all shoot the 30-06 with two riflemen armed with bolt action scope sighted rifles. The rest with the M1 Garand. All have military service and we’ve been shooting regularly for over 30 years.

        I know that there are other groups like ours out there. From what he has written, I think the author of today’s article doesn’t really know the American warrior. The American warrior has been killing commies for many decades. All real Americans are warriors.

        As to the rest,

        f ’em

        • Sgt. Dale

          “F”
          Very good set up.
          We are using the long med and short range theory. 3 man/woman teams.
          Long range 300 Win Mag. 300yards plus. Backed up with AR15’s, Or AK47’s
          Mid range 308 Winchester 400 yards and under.
          Short range, and Back up. Ar 10’s

          Squads on patrol and reconnoitering (5 Man/women.)
          Ar 15/M4 223, or 6.8MM, or AK’s, and 12Ga., all with hand guns. (The squad with have one or the other not all of them other that the shotgun)

          Guard duties. SKS, Mini 14, 30 Carbine, 12Ga, and hand guns

          I’m not giving you everything but just an idea.
          Sgt.

      9. Jim in Va.

        Ask them to use their imaginations…outside the box. when SHTF that’s what the situation will be.

      10. sharonsj

        Info like this is only good if you are young enough and physically fit. I am too old and lame to do much of anything. So my prepping is confined to gathering information, food preserving, and plenty of emergency equipment. Maybe you could come up with some articles on survivalism for the handicapped?

        • Portia

          Sharonsj, I am promoting this idea: Promote livestock owners, since they are the backbone of society. Few livestock owners will be ready for a long term crisis. Make yourself useful to them and you will be sheltered. They are a business and will want to keep their business going. Livestock owners usually have critters and corn or hay. Here is a list to start: be able to grow, harvest and preserve food. Water from a well (bails and or pump) is crucial since cows can drink 40 plus gallons a day. Canning jars and reusable lids (500 quarts per cow). Seeds to grow nutritious and storable vegetables, open pollinated corn, since nearly all of the corn is hybrid and will give uncertain results.Even Amish communities use almost all hybrid corn. $2oo can buy you about a ton of wheat from an elevator. Make a bail for use at a gas station. If you have precious metals your host will likely be impressed that you could get fuel and food early in a crisis. Better wealth from you than an IOU from the State. Antibiotics, a wood stove, a radiation detector and KI (if near a nuclear power plant), SW radio, 2 way radios, soap, powdered bleach, arms, homesteading info, a scythe or two, etc, etc. Go out and talk to owners now. If the SHTF today I would be walking up a drive singing “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” and say “We’re here to help”. “We just want to be treated as an equal”. In fact I would be willing to take more risk than a youngster. Can you cook or mend or learn to make a ghillie suit? You are valuable. Long Live the Republic

          • hammerhead

            UofM ?
            How much socialism can ya stand ?
            But i agree that supporting for local farmer will/is important .
            No bias here……

            • Portia

              The straight jacket of ideology is toxic but not contagious.

        • Prepper1

          Being disabled does not matter , you have skills that can be useful in a group . Cooking ,helping with security, first aid person , there are a lot of things that need doing at a group bug out location. Your knowledge maybe useful don’t put yourself down for being old!

          • Plan twice, prep once

            An older or disabled family member can certainly be a powerful ally. You have to sleep sometime and need people you trust to stand watch. Making meals without working modern amenities is labor intensive. Something as simple as managing a makeshift wood fired oven, cooking a loaf of bread in a dutch oven requires a person to watch and manage it.

            Hot tip. Most digital cameras can see Inferred light so well they need to add an IR filter to the optics so it’s not overpowered in daylight. Using a working retired camera, carefully take the optics apart and look for a seemingly clear thin plastic disc in the optics. Remove the disc and reassemble the camera. Check out the cameras ability to see at night or in the dark using a TV remote as an inferred light source. It could give you a huge advantage on a night watch, especially if used in conjunction with a bright IR light source, invisible to people.

            OPSEC and neighbors, my area is currently experiencing a rash of break in robberies. I’m thinking it’s actually one of our own. The idea of openly talking about tactical subjects potentially with the thief in the room creeps me out at this instant in time. The break in’s are however, an opportunity to broach neighborhood security that might be a great idea. Hmmm!

        • WhoWuddaThunkIt

          Are you financially Prepped? Silver is taking off again. Was high as $17.50 today. Get rid of those dollars now into something of value. All covered on the Tachy. Mossy Oak works well around here its almost a local uniform. Ha.

        • Walter Middy

          Sharon-
          Lots of stuff us old folks can do. Learn to; reload ammo, get a ham radio lic. and learn to use it, first aid training, animal husbandry, teach young kids to sew. That’s after only about three minutes thought. Bet you can come up with more.

        • Anonymous

          The community will need labor, farmers, medical help, food gathering and rationing, food preparation and distribution, welfare checks on members, communications, etc., etc.

          Plenty of work for everyone.

      11. Enemy of the State

        ghillie suit

        • Unreconstructed Southron

          20 stories down.

        • slingshot

          EOTS

          Stay away from Briar Patches. Hahaha!

          • Enemy of the State

            lol

            • Enemy of the State

              I have lots of fun archery season .. never been seen by animal or human in the last 20 some odd years of using such equipment

              • monkeywrench

                If the camo you have isn’t a “homemade” gillie suit and is commercially bought…the pattern is in a database and with the right optics and software, you’ll stand out like the proverbial sore thumb…

                • Enemy of the State

                  Made it way before the commercially available suits were sold in stores , well at least the Cabelas , ie Sports stores etc..

                  because im a cheap bastard 😉

                  plenty of ways to make your own, I dont believe in spending good money on commercially sold crap they pump out today when I have the skills and knowledge to make my own

                  I also have ways to gather indigenous plant matter and incorporate into my suit so as the foliage and colors change in my area I too can change my suits blend-ability

                  you make a very valid point .. hopefully everyone else catches on to it

                  • monkeywrench

                    good to hear, had that feeling about you. 😉

                    and yes, it was mostly for the others.

      12. MommaD

        With weapons or music. Practice practice practice !
        Anything you want or need to be proficient in must be practiced regularly . Just my two cents

      13. slingshot

        Brandon Smith.
        How does one factor in age and physical limitations.
        Just going to kick us to the curb. Old Geezers, are on your own, deal. ;0)

        • Paranoid

          Get real, I’m going to be REAL old before I cannot use a 22-250 with a 2 OZ trigger pull. Kicking me to the curb may prove a little hard. Yah I’m not going to go anywhere with an 80# pack. But I don’t have to; I’m already here. All any of us have to do is defend our spot; because that’s everywhere and all we got to get is one. As far as the Food Stamp Army, If they come for us, they are going to find out why you don’t hold a gun sideway and why you should pull up your pants. I doubt honestly they will live long enough to know the difference between a 2 inch snub nose and a Main Battle Rifle.

          • Kulafarmer

            Good one,, made me smile,

          • TPSnodgrass

            OK, so in regards to the Thug Populace preferring to hold their Gats, Roscoes, et al, “sideways” let me relate a personal experience.
            While at one of our local indoor ranges last winter, best friend and I were working on our drawing and firing at 3X5 cards on targets at 25 meters away. In the range booth, next to me(of course, it’s always next to me)two of the local white-boy-wanna-be-thugs-meth-trash pulled out their taurus 24/7 9mm pistol with three loaded 17 round mags. Both of these MENSA failures proceeded to unload a mag each at their B-27 target(full size silhouette)and MUCH to their surprise neither numbskull hit the target. Distance to the target was a mind-numbing 7 feet. They both were perplexed that their latest death-ray-master-blaster had failed them. Me, being me, I “offered” to assist them. They explained that their (expletives deleted) NEW pistol was hopelessly(my words) inaccurate. I offered MY perspective and placed the target back to 15 meters and emptied their remaining magazine into the X ring of the target. “Seems to work just fine for me….”, I shrugged and went back to my booth. Oh, and their “gangsta-style” sideways hold on the pistol produced a shotgun sized pattern on the roof sound baffles in the range. Gotta love the wanna-bee thugs.Morons were mimicking their latest video game characters apparently. Bad for them, good for the rest of society. Please keep up the work, fellas.(apologies for the long-winded hijack of this thread.)

            • Paranoid

              You should have offered to buy their no good gun from them for half price. True story. long time ago a guy offered me a S&W .357 Highway Patrol revolver for $95 looked new, he said he just didn’t like it. I bought it. The Dip had apparently Hot loaded some pure lead rds and fired them, not a rifling was visible, Had to run a copper wire down the barrel and got out an incredible amount of lead, I’d guess it was about a .30 cal. I only fired about 5 more out of it, but it seems to work just fine, still got it, don’t know why.

            • 41MagMan

              Thanks for that post, TPS… that was hilarious. Yeah, the gang bangers out there tend to be lousy shots because they don’t have any real shooting skills and hardly ever practice. Their idea of “shooting” is to have as many bullets in the air as possible in the hope that a few of them actually find their way to the target. When they come up against a person or small group that does have shooting skills, they are gonna get dead real fast. Which, in the overall scheme of the universe, sounds a lot like justice to me. 🙂

          • Burt Gummer

            They wear their britches low because it makes it easier to tan their asses.

        • Brandon Smith

          Like I said in the article, EVERYONE has to learn to be dangerous, including old geezers. I know plenty of old men here in Montana that are dangerous, including a former scout sniper. You just do what you can do to the best of your abilities. I run into too many preppers that use the age excuse to avoid training. You are never too old for training.

          • slingshot

            Fixing to get into some good training after turkey season closes.

          • 41MagMan

            Agreed. Everyone has limitations of one kind or other. Not having any is not the goal. Doing the best you can in spite of these limits is the name of this game.

            As to old men… I was once told this by an old man… “Never f*** with an old man. He knows that he can’t fight, run, or hide, so he’ll just kill your dumb ass and not think a thing of it”. I didn’t see the humor in that 40 years ago but it is making more and more sense as time goes on.

            • Richard Head

              41mag

              :):) Sorry buddy, I didn’t see your comment until after I typed mine. Looks like we were taught the same thing, and I’m sure so were many here… I gotta kick after I hit submit and it put me right under your comment:) Truer words were never spoken my friend 🙂 Ok that was the last smiley face I swear 🙂 shit I lied

          • Richard Head

            I’ve actually always lived by the rule of thumb…You don’t “F” with an old man. Old men are the most dangerous ones on the street. Because they’re too old to take an ass whooping and aint got enough time left to give a rat about going to prison (if they’d even get convicted, I mean who convicts a grandpa for shootin a mouthy punk) An old man will shoot your ass in a heart beat…. I repeat….. Do not ever try to fight an Old Man, or Old Woman for that matter:)

      14. Prepper Realm

        I’ve basically began prepping and I am basically doing the week/month/year scenario. My only fear is what if my preparation isn’t good enough? Please give me any advice on how to kick start and basically go at it a faster pace.

        -Meds I have up to 3 months to 2 years of assorted script + antibiotics.
        -Food I have up to a good 3 months if rationed well.
        -Water I have a water problem and need to buy as much as I can. Perhaps 1 month saved.
        -Money I have assorted old silver coins and some small amount of jewelry gold. I do have some cash on hand.
        -Bug Out Location is in a different state should I need to get there.

        Someone please give me an assessment on where I am flawed and any or all advice would be perfect. Also any advice on herbs would be perfect.

        • notsogreat

          Looks like you switched priority in meds and food.
          One you MIGHT need, one you won’t live without.
          Food?? I think in years, not months.
          Water?? Should be your main goal after getting a good filter system and think spending money on that, not buying water–mine, straight from faucet. I drove 175 miles for drums to store water in (two trips)–it CAN be done.
          Money?? find what you CAN do without–I saved over $5500 since 2008 by cutting cable altogether!! I shop at flea markets and yard sales–no Sears and Macy’s here.

          Best price ever on all vitamins and herbs is Puritan Pride. Always free shipping.

        • Paranoid

          If you are going to move, forget water it’s far to heavy to move beyond some for short term. Anyway beyond a small amount, don’t buy water. Buy collapsible things you can store water in or plastic barrels. Buy things to clean your water. For awhile at least water isn’t the problem. It comes out of the tap or is very available. Yes, it’s very important but it’s available at home even in a panic, if you have a place to put it.
          On Herbs; mostly you have to decide what your goal is. Food/drinks/spices/medicine. And you have to know what will grow in your area. Some, like chives, grow anywhere and can be a pest. So best advice is start reading. You will find a lot of them grow where you will be, so just encourage them. Important issue is can you store stuff at your bug out location or not. If you can fine do so. If you cannot unless you have a Truck you cannot move much. So it should be high value, not water.
          If you cannot store food there you will have to bring concentrated stuff; rice, beans and soup base flavorings. Eating unflavored rice or beans for a few months will suck. Best I can do without a lot more info.

          • 41MagMan

            Agreed on the unflavored rice and beans. But, tomato sauce will add nutrition and flavor to both. Don’t forget the garlic salt / powder and the onion salt / powder. Both add a lot to an otherwise bland meal. Black pepper and chili powder are also must haves for the survival cook. Canned mushroom soup makes a decent gravy over rice or potatoes and nicely flavors green beans as well. Just because those of us who survive the coming SHTF will do so on basic rations doesn’t mean that it HAS to taste like cooked cardboard. 🙂

        • Northern Reb

          Prepper Realm:
          For your water get some Berky filtering systems and extra filters you can use rain water caught in food grade 30 to 50 gallon barrels. Also get chlorine unscented bleach add a couple of drops in your tap water in a 2 liter pop bottle and store it in a dark, cool dry place. It will last for a long time. I just opened up a couple of bottle the other day from 1999. I let them breath for a bout an hour and I did not get sick nor did my wife using that water to cook with. Check out You-tube for even more ideas.
          For your food get all the dried food that all you need is water to per pair or things like rice, beans, noodles and some dried gravy mixes, spaghetti mixes, taco and fajita mixes to give them some flavor. Make sure it is dried, get variety packs of oat meal, dried sweetened cereals. and divide it up into portions and put them in a seal-a-meal bag and seal them up so you use only what you need. Put all of this food in a 5 gallon sealable bucket, through in a couple hand warmers to suck up the air in the bucket and there you will have food for years stored and easy to move if you have to bug out.
          I’m rotating my food from 2012 now and everything is just as good as some of the new stuff we have with the buy before date of 2016.
          Have some extra gas for your cars and generator. You can put additives in it to help keep it fresh but rotate it every 6 months even if that means putting it in your car and fill the can back up. I have 8 five gallon plastic jugs and 4 2 1/2 gallon jugs full at all times.
          For money get more silver that paper stuff will be god for two things soon lighting fires and wiping %^&%$$.
          You have to remember that you might get in a situation were other people might need your help or you might need theirs, so always try to have more of what you need.
          Just keep at it a little at a time. You are already better off than most. Just keep at I.
          One thing I for got have some board games, card, puzzles paints, pencils and paper, toys, baseballs, bats, gloves basketballs, soccer balls, footballs, ECT, Down time with nothing to do can drive a person crazy. There is a lot more but that is my 2 cent worth.
          Just keep at it my friend!;-}
          S.T.S.F.P. N. Reb

          • buttcrackofdoom

            since he didn’t say where he lives, i want to remind y’all that all those rice/beans/macaroni will take water to prepare….and then you gotta WASH the dishes/pots it was cooked in….it will take a LOT more water than most think. i like 41 magman’s post(and others), it sounds similar to mine, but remember to have things that can be eaten without water or prep time, like canned chilli, fruit, veggies, soups,baked beans(add BBQ sauce to improve even the worst tasting beans),…and if you DO have water, add those beans/rice/macaroni to these canned things to stretch them out.BTW..storing water in the 275 gal. food grade containers makes better use than 5 50 gallon barrels…takes a lot less space, and you can pile stuff on top of it…..and for cripes sake, spread out your preps to friend’s/neighbors homes and or bury some….you may be run out of your home…temporarily, or permanently.and fur SURE, prepper realm, keep readin’ shtfplan…the information found in these comments will be priceless,…maybe even MORE expensive than THAT….my THANKS to ALL that contribute regularly to shtfplan!

            • buttcrackofdoom

              and MOST important of all….you aint got enough FOOD and WATER…..friends/relatives will come out of the woodwork, and if yer smart you’ll have enough food for SEVERAL of them to help defend your compound…..anybody wants to come to my place has to have the PASSWORD….”i got extra food and water….and guns with plenty of ammo!”…you better have ASSETS!

        • Ben Raines

          Rinse and repeat. You are ahead of most others around you.

          Herbs. Check out various growing guides on line. Keep it simple at first. Mint and chives will spread like crazy. Keep them in containers.

      15. Jay in UK

        The problem is that survivalists / preppers tend to be strong-minded, opinionated individuals. That means a broad diversity of passionately held views on what is best practice and while I like Brandon Smith, you can’t write what he wrote about banding into groups and not be suspected of encouraging people to make themselves easy targets for TPTB during the coming round-up.

        I lived through some of the craziest events imaginable growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and without exception, every single paramilitary group – whether pro UK or pro Irish reunification – was targeted and successfully infiltrated by London at the leadership level. Didn’t matter how dedicated, how principled, how whatever the guys involved where; everyone could be coerced, whether by money, blackmail, sex, threat of harm to their children… All you can do at this stage of the game is establish cordial relationships with other preppers, educate anyone who will listen, get your own house in order and maybe, just maybe, when the time comes you could band with others of like mind in an improvised basis. Be ready to band, in other words, rather than banding right here and now.

        Of course, for those of you who believe the US will become intolerable for dissidents and their families, or those who know they have neither the wherewithal nor the desire for taking on the jackbootery face-to-face (for example, if you have young kids, elderly parents or poor health) you might be better just moving away now while you still can.

        • laeagle

          Jay in UK,

          You are absolutely right and your point needs to be taken to heart. There is a lot of talk about OPSEC but even Jesus was betrayed by one of His own! That is the hardest thing to deal with in this type of situation. Perhaps it would be of value if more can be written about how to deal with this. The I R formed extremely small units/cell groups that made it difficult to trace their command centers.

          Brandon Smith, MAC,

          Thanks for the insightful article. We need more articles like this exploring different scenarios.

          Louisiana Eagle

          • Jay in UK

            Thank you for the kind words.

            Yes, the IRA worked on a small cell basis later, but that had the disadvantage of limiting their tactics to small scale operations every once in a while. One faction of them went against the “controlled” leadership and ended up being slaughtered en masse by our British special forces, the SAS, when they tried a large scale spectacular assault on a rural police station – I remember it well, because I was outside playing as a kid when I heard the action in the distance. The British government compromised their central command by various means, including the promise of a role in devolved government for them if they wound their actions down, a promise long since fulfilled (to the sorrow of loyal Brits like me).

            One of the reasons I am a prepper is because of what I lived through growing up (a very nasty low level civil war) – when hostilities ended it was the first time in my life that I knew what it was like to not live in a war zone. I was in my mid 20s and it felt… weird. And now I see the same sort of nonsense coming again for the wider world, it’s not something I’m very thrilled about.

      16. slingshot

        Jay in the U.K.

        You said,

        All you can do at this stage of the game is establish cordial relationships with other preppers, educate anyone who will listen, get your own house in order and maybe, just maybe, when the time comes you could band with others of like mind in an improvised basis. Be ready to band, in other words, rather than banding right here and now.

        @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

        Agree. Have to wait and see.

      17. Ass hat

        Pvs14 is bad ass but look at the price tag. It’s steep for something that you may never need if your using it for hunting game then it has dual use. Those sand bags are sweet for fortifying your home or building positions I don’t have any but they are dirt cheap and will absorb incoming rounds. The $ the night vision costs you could do so much more If you forget about the cool factor. Your eyes will adjust to the low light of the night I’d just go with that myself I don’t have any scopes on my guns because I feel that they are not gonna hold up to outdoor conditions I have a pair of binocs compact Nikons . I realize scopes can get you longer range hits so I’m not knocking them. Redfield used to make a Palma sight that had all the adjustments but they discontinued making them. I like to see what other people use for gear I’m not the type that says glock is best and everything else is shit. That’s for fanboys.

        • socmarine87

          Ass Hat
          Your eyes adjusting to the dark isn’t even remotely close to a 14. Since you mentioned Redfield optics, you don’t know much about quality optics. You couldn’t destroy an Aimpoint Comp M4/T1 or an ACOG if you tried. If money is an issue, continue saving to get a combat tested optic. For you Eotech lovers. They failed in combat environments for for a few reason. Now I would ensure I have my essentials in order such as food, water, meds, ammo etc before I bought a PVS14 or a FLIR. You are right about something. You should know how to use your irons. If you get on ebay you can find Aimpoints that are lightly used to new for hundreds of dollars less than retail…if you win the bid. Download the Sniper bid app. It may help you win.

          • Kulafarmer

            The PVS is nice, worry about reliability issues, on a 5.56 will maybe hold up, on a 7.62/51 not so sure, was looking into a good quality clip on but were in the 7k range for a good one that has combat reliability, its not worth chincing on this stuff,,
            Yea, EOTech sucks,,, good for a minute then have had trouble with mine, rather just use the tritium ghost ring iron sights on my Ar than the EO 512 i got,,,

            • socmarine87

              Kula
              I’ve ran a PVS14 with weapons mount and an Aimpoint Comp M4 for thousands of rounds on a .308 platform with no issues. Most of us are running AR10 platforms. We have M4 platforms, but prefer 7.62×51. AAC cans top everything off. We can use them on our 7.62, 5.56 and 300 blackout.

              • Kulafarmer

                Right on, am looking at the PVS14 filmless, supposedly will hold up well, from what i was told is also dependent in who you get it from, some reputable, some not so much,

          • PO'd Patriot

            SOC87, Got the aimpoint T-1s (4MOA) on just about everything but the REPR(7.62). It wears US Optics. BTW the all my optics are on LarueQD mounts.

            • socmarine87

              Po’d
              Ahhh yes someone with some tast. I stick with the 2moa. 4moa covers too much at 200, but it’s easier to find the 4moa. A REPR….nice. My primary DM is looking at one now. He loves his bolt gun, but someone brought in one at his gun shop on consignment and it’s winking at him everyday, all day. I think the REPR is going to win. Hell now I’m thinking about it.
              A good QD is the way to go. I have Larue on my T1 and Compm4 and a American Defence on my variable that I switch out on my Sig 716

              • PO'd Patriot

                Two of the T-1s I bought new the other two I bought and traded an EOtech for one. My next ones will be the 2 MOA. Can’t go wrong with the REPR. I shoot the 16 and the 20 inch. The 1/10 twist likes the 168 and 175 gr. As far as Larue Tactical goes they are a top notch outfit. Especially love the ‘Dillo Dust’.

      18. Kulafarmer

        So heres the question I pose,
        Good piece as usual Brandon,
        But what do you do when EVERYONE around you suffers from normalcy bias and or are sheeple and say, oh your one of those crazy preppers,,,,,
        Or are just plain oblivious?
        And what would a good course of action be going forward?
        Its quite the conundrum i find myself in,

        • Enemy of the State

          yer not alone

          • Enemy of the State

            most of my back up will be too far away when it goes hot..or at least pretty good chance of it

        • FreeSlave

          Good question Kula.

          I think in that situation you gotta either lone-wolf it, or you gotta find some other preppers in Maui to find a place to make a stand.

          • OutWest

            Being a lone wolf is always best in my opinion. Why?
            Because a laser guided missile from an F-i8 or an
            Apache helicopter takes care of any groups banded together. Check out some military videos and quit
            dreaming so much. But you do what’s best for you.

            • Paleface

              I invite you to go to sipsey street irregulars and educate yourself on 4gw.

              • Kulafarmer

                I love reading Mikes pieces like the enemies beware piece,, brother is no bullshit

                • OutWest

                  Great blog, Paleface.
                  But in the real world of catastrophic disaster
                  that’s all it is, just talk.
                  There’s no one I know in my region I would put
                  my life on the line with, bar none. Lotsa luck.

            • Anonymous

              Lone Wolf is just a “sexy” name for a Bobby no buds.

        • secret squirrel

          agreed, even my wife thought my rantings were a little far fetched, 15, 20 yrs ago I would warn about troops on the streets, genitcly modified animals and plants, even chemtrails, didn’t have a grip on who or why but saw it clearly, I would get aggravated at TV shows she watched because I recognized the brainwashing, about the time obozo showed up she started seeing it all too and of the hundreds and hundreds I’vet alked too about such matters I have only been able to wake up maybe 4 people. And it seems for some tracking reason family is the hardest to awaken.
          Secret

          • Kulafarmer

            Thats where im at now,,,
            Sheesh

            • buttcrackofdoom

              divorced the dumbshit. as she was going out the door, i asked her….how is it i read for HOURS a day about what’s going on in the world/country, for over TEN YEARS, and you read NOTHING, and don’t even watch the nightly NEWS….yet you’re going to tell ME how things is?….PFFT!…GTFO, i finally had enough of that simp…now she’s back in the ghetto, which is what she so RICHLY deserves….karma can be SUCH a bitch sometimes.

              • Pissed Off Granny

                Just thinking of you Buttcrack:

                A woman awakes in the middle of the night to find her husband not in bed. She puts on her robe, and goes down stairs to look for him.

                She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of hot cocoa in front of him. He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes a tear away from his eye.

                “What’s the matter dear?” she whispers as she walks into the room. “Why are you down here this time of night?”

                The husband looks up from his drink, “It’s the 20th anniversary of the day we met.” She cant believe he has remembered and she starts to tear up.

                The husband continues, “Do you remember 20 years ago when we started dating? I was 18 and you were only 13”, he said solemnly.

                Once again the wife is touched to tears thinking her husband is so caring and sensitive.

                “Yes I do”, she replies.

                The husband pauses….the words were not coming easy.

                “Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?”

                “Yes, I remember”. said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.

                The husband continued….

                “Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, either you marry my daughter or I will make sure you spend 20 years in prison?”

                “I remember that, too”, she replied softly….

                He sighed as he wiped another tear from his cheek and said,

                “I would have gotten out today.”

                • buttcrackofdoom

                  LMFAO, POG….i was sittin’ there drinkin’ a beer with my wife one night and i said “you know, i would be NOTHING without you. you’ve made my life so much better, being here with me…you’re ALWAYS there when i need you, and i just don’t know what i would do if you weren’t a part of my life”. and she says “is that YOU talkin’, or is it the beer talkin’?”….and i said, “no, it’s ME talkin’ TO the BEER”….thanks a bunch for the gut-laugh granny, i needed it right now…REALLY, thanks.

        • anon

          I say nothing. The number of people I trust in this world, I can count on both hands and still have fingers left. Just the way I see it.

        • Paranoid

          K I have been thinking of your problem and I just don’t have a good solution. Partly because it’s tough and partly because no good info. Most people don’t know your state has a lot of city, but it also has some very outback and I really don’t know your situation.
          Best advise I have: Look to what you are thinking to prep for. Do you anticipate half of the people would survive or 1%? Prepping is way different for each. If it’s 1%, only two solutions I can see: 1 Buy a boat and get out. 2. Find a lava cave or equivalent, crawl in and stay therefor a year.
          In a bad situation, I’m afraid surviving is only luck, unless you get out. After the first few months when things start to slow down skill will be important, but at first it’s mass destruction and individuals will be swept up, all they can do is not be there.

          • Kulafarmer

            The life long resident population is small, they are for the most part still old school and tight family units, there are a lot of newcomers and a lot of part time residents, IMHO the biggest threats will be from the EBT druggie group and from the i got guns and am coming for your stuff group.
            While most of my neighbors suffer from normalcy bias (at least from what i can tell) they are predominately old school, that gives me some hope, dont mind helping feed em and we will most likely get it together, our urban areas if you can call them that are small and mostly immigrant (philipino) mostly resourceful food folks, and all have gardens etc, hell they will eat the wild chickens most turn their noses up at. Anyways, i think what goes on here will be much much different than off in some mainland areas, our biggest challenge will be dealing with
            Druggies
            EBT crowd
            Chronic criminal and or theif types
            Newcomer libtards
            Tourist stuck here after the fact

            • 41MagMan

              “IMHO the biggest threats will be from the EBT druggie group and from the i got guns and am coming for your stuff group.”

              Agreed. There will be considerable overlap of those two groups. The trick with them is likely to be to seriously discourage them very early on in a SHTF scenario. Keep them well at bay with accurate long-range fire. Patrol your area day and night and do not hesitate to pick off any of these animals coming into your area. They will not be coming to do you or your neighbors any good at all.

              • Richard Head

                Although I do agree the druggies and thugs, etc. would be a problem.. My question is, At 500 yards, how do you tell the difference between a druggie and just a stranded traveler tryin to make his way home possibly carrying his 22 or shotgun. Or maybe your neighbors nephew you never met. People cant just snipe anybody that gets a few hundred yards to their neighborhood. If you have a piece of land and want to put up signs and a lot of them with a fence or barrier warning people they better not cross, than I guess that one thing. But I would also at least want some sort of communication device at the gate, or a bell or something. Otherwise, what if it’s someone coming that can offer you help, or maybe someone coming to try and warn you about the DHS convoy rolling your way. We just gonna blow their head off at 300? And as far as a neighborhood, you’d have to put guards at entrances or scouts further out. Human contact will never be something you can avoid. And like I said it would be hard to tell someones intentions at 500 yards. And picking people off like that in any world is nothing short of murder. If shtf, people do still have a right to travel on public roads. Just some of my thoughts, because it seems a lot here always talk about shooting anybody that comes near them from long distances, and obviously I don’t agree with that strategy. I don’t know maybe I’m the crazy one.

            • Ben Raines

              I agree Kula.

              The dopers will go after the dopers that
              sell them dope first. The EBT crowd will end up at FEMA facility out at Dillingham. I think the chronic criminal/thief types will, too, go after the dope source before they go after the folks in the real nice homes. I believe that the newcomer tards and tourists will be eliminated by the horde while they seek out food after they realize they have no food.

              A challenge I will have (if I get back to Hawai’i before the S hits TF) is, in addition to the 5 you mentioned, the “haole factor”.

              Sure, I have plenty local cousins, auntys/uncles, and friends, but when it comes down to it, I am haole. No matter how kama’iana I might seem, no matter how tan I get, no matter my grasp of pidgeon or that I have been married into the same local (Hawai’ian/Chinese/Portuguese/Japanese) family for over 35 years… I am haole.

              I am hoping that I am wrong, and the future finds me back on Oahu, enjoying ‘ohana, the Aloha spirit, and local grinds.

              • Kulafarmer

                Zippys!
                I have the Haole factor to deal with too, actually live right near the Waiohuli Hawaiian homesteads, theres LOTS of good folks, just hope their normalcy bias doesnt run too deep, already got the “well take what we want from you Haoles thing from one guy, im betting they end up policing their own, if not, well it wont be pretty.

                • Ben Raines

                  mmmmm… Zippy’s bento!

                  Huh. I didn’t get a haole vibe from your posts, but totally empathize with your position on the race ladder. I had a severe learning curve back in 1979 when I was a FOB haole grunt. I rode ‘da Bus. I was “so haole I didn’t even know I was haole” (north shore). So maybe I did invite some of the hostility that was directed at me back then. But over time, I learned how to be less un-local.

                  I also learned why there was a deep hatred towards me. That knowledge, coupled with Hawai’i 2nd amendment issues, are the two major reasons it is so hard to commit to relocating back there, and possibly experiencing the SHTF in Pearl City instead of in rural BFE on the mainland.

                  It sounds like you have your shit squared away, and I do not doubt that, whatever happens, you will be a step ahead of any normalcy bias.

                  In the meantime, I will continue to prepare for our big move, and contemplate on how much, if any, of my self defense items I can take with me.

                  On a lighter note… yesterday I ate some Spam out of my stash that has best buy date of Sept 2011. It was just fine and dandy. Ono.

        • JaredC

          Kula,

          if you want to get other people involved w preparing, consider what they are concerned about. it’s hard to get people to wrap their minds around a scenario of tanks in the streets or fema camps. but it’s a little easier to persuade people to take steps like stocking up on food if you point out that they’ll have it to fall back on if they lose their job. or to be ready for a hurricane. or blizzard/ice storm where i live.

          living in maui, every last thing you all use comes from the mainland, down to the receipt paper from a cash register. there must be some element of self-reliance in the local culture.

          that’s where i’d start.

      19. old70

        My wife and I are going to just hang around here like a couple dumb hicks eating dandelion greens let them see our stash of 3 pounds of rice and some stale bacon grease, no weapons of any kind.. before I fight anyone, I want to know who my real enemy is.

        • Mountain Trekker

          old70 don’t eat all the dandelion greens, them dandelion blooms are mighty tasty. Takes alot for a meal but almost as good as mushrooms, they go mighty good with Bass or Bluegill fillets. Trekker Out.

      20. Confederate

        Off topic, Drudge is reporting that an explosion has occurred in the east village in New York city. Details are sketchy. I’m hoping it was a meth lab that went up.

        • Richard Head

          It was probably ISIS terrorists, maybe we should revisit and strengthen the patriot act and homeland security {sarcasm off now}

        • 41MagMan

          Yeah, or some a**wipe building a b0mb. Good on ’em, if so.

      21. Richard Head

        I didn’t know there were people against camo. Hell where I’m from camo is a primary color

        • Jim in Va.

          You mean paisley is out?

        • hammerhead

          HAHAHA , Primary colors ?
          Same here , big fat butts in walmart camo spandex and t-shirts , everywhere .
          It aint pretty .

          • Northern Reb

            HAMMERHEAD:
            Are you in the same Wal-mart that I just left.
            Man what a scary sight!;-{
            I know one thing for sure I don’t care how much camo they have on they will still make a BIG TARGET.
            If ISIS ever came here and seen what I have had night mares over they would say we don’t want anything to do with them they can have them….
            S.T.S.F.P. N.Reb

          • TPSnodgrass

            SOME “things” cannot be unseen, when spotted at a Super-Center.

            • hammerhead

              AMEN !

      22. vtfree2

        Don’t bunch up to much, you become a bigger target. You’ll be all taken out in one shot.

        Spread yourselves and come together on a as needed basis.

      23. hammerhead

        One thing not really covered was mindset.
        Without having a hammerheaded will to survive , you aint gonna make it anyway.
        Attitude is everything , especially for those of us that have reached a “certain” age .

        • 41MagMan

          Yeah, a lot of us HAVE reached a “certain age”. We’re certain that we’ve seen and put up with all the BS we’re gonna take.

      24. Northern Reb

        I have one gun safe with my “military proven” rifles and pistols. They are my tactical weapons.
        I have another safe with hunting rifles and pistols are just for that use, hunting.
        Then there is my other safe with my fun guns. they are the ones I take just to plink with and teach my grandkids gun safety and how to shot.
        Then the last safe has my closet queens in it!;-}
        If you really wanted to get technical they all will be used in multiple roles when TSHTF.
        I have been cutting some stuff out to buy more tactical weapons and cutting down on my hunting guns. Plus cutting down on the how many different types of ammo I have to have. For every type of ammo I have, there are two to three weapons that can use said ammo.
        I guess you can call me a survivalist that would wants to make sure he and his family and friends have a fighting chance to survive what ever comes our way.
        Guns and ammo does not mean you will live any longer than anyone else. If you don’t pre pair with training, knowledge, food, water, ECT, ECT, ECT.
        S.T.S.F.P. N.REB

        • 41MagMan

          “Guns and ammo does not mean you will live any longer than anyone else.”

          True, that. On the other hand, NOT having guns and ammo is not a good plan either. What was that Thomas Jefferson quote? Something about “Those who beat their arms into plow-shears will till the fields of those who do not”.

          Ideally, prepping is not a myopic experience where people collect tons of a few items, rather than building up a cohesive stock of many very useful things. One of the more useful preps could very well be trade goods. Most of these items are cheap now but difficult to make on our own. Think items like: razors, butane lighters, needles and thread, fish hooks and line, .22 ammo, candles, liquor, tobacco products, coffee and tea, chocolate, buttons, batteries, soap, disinfectant, para-chord 550, tarps, rope, string, pellets and BBs, matches, decks of cards, etc.

      25. TPSnodgrass

        Good article, Brandon. I believe in being tactically AND strategically (longer term) oriented. We prep because we WANT to, we have the mindset we do,m because our personal and professional experiences my wife and I share require that mindset. Big difference between tactical and strategic thought processes. WE should remember that BOTH are required.
        We want to thrive, not just “survive”.

      26. STRAIGHT SHOOTER

        MAN TIMES HAVE CHANGED 🙁

        I could remember planning for going to a baseball game.

        Going fishing for hard shell crabs.

        Back yard cook outs.

        4th of July fireworks.

        Meeting some half way decent people.

        Looking a pretty women in cut off jeans.

        Now its guns and ammo.

        Constantly watching your 6 o clock

        Storing food etc.

        Peaking out your windows.

        Worrying about ISIS or some asshole hitting a MALL etc.

        Fear of Law Enforcement.

        Crack heads and Chrystal Meth users you have to beware of.

        World War 3

        ETC

        ETC.

        ETC.

        MAKES YOU WANT TO WEEP ………..

        • secret squirrel

          Damn, thumbs not showing up…. You get 10 up.
          Secret

        • Kulafarmer

          Amen

        • hammerhead

          STRAIGHT-
          “4th of July fireworks.

          Meeting some half way decent people.”

          I was in WYO. in a small town on july 4 1984 and didnt know a single person .I was on my way from MT to MI and just kinda wandering around.
          Anyway , I pitched my tent in a guys backyard and enjoyed the day with everyone else, just like i was a local.
          Everyone was great and it was a genuine good time.

          Is that still possible today?
          I doubt it very much . : (

          • Paranoid

            Why? Stop in at the events center on the 4 th it’s free. Dag up a lawn chair, never saw a person with a cooler that wasn’t welcome. For that mater, come to the outside free music in the summer.

      27. Prepper1

        Great article

      28. Ass hat

        I’ve avoided anything that looks military the last thing I want to look like. I do dig the gear though. But I see it as more of a problem people thinking you are in a militia. For me I’m a father of 3 kids with my wife. I’m not a troop or hero for the people. I’m gonna do what it takes to survive without taking any side in the dispute. My family cannot survive well without me. I’m not really into tactical stuff like most here. It’s cool sure but I’m not a police or military trained person. However I’m no pushover and I’m not gonna sit back and watch my family be murdered.

      29. notsogreat

        Know what I think??
        Whether you are a rural or urban dweller, whether you live in a tent or underground bunker, whether you wear camo or Armadi, whether you drive a VW or army tank, whether you stocked for 6 months or 6 years–all rules are out the window when truly SHTF gets here.

        Life’s hard. It’s even harder when you’re stupid…..John Wayne

        • Paranoid

          Actually I like the Idea of being in a tank setting on top of my stash of stuff.

        • socmarine87

          So very true.

        • Jimb

          And also remember, Whether you’re rich or poor it’s always nice to have money.

      30. monkey

        When shtf most of you will die at a road block because you think your Rambo.

        • 41MagMan

          No, most of us will have the good sense to avoid roadblocks. We’ll use the back roads that we and other locals know well but that few outsiders do. Concealment and stealth will serve many of our needs with little need for any Rambo scenes. Yeah, we’ll fight IF we HAVE to but it will most often be at our choice and on our ground. Being a sensible man, I will avoid a fight if at all possible. Wisdom is what separates those who know when they must fight and those who do not. The unwise will not be with us for long but can still do some damage before they make their exit.

          • buttcrackofdoom

            damn rite magman!…i plan on not being ANYWHERE, but HOME.

          • monkey

            Avoiding. Road block will get you killed because it makes you look like the enemy. Like I said. Most of you Rambs will die with an ar 15 bonfires on your seat.

        • Mountain Trekker

          Road Blocks. Very interesting subject.

        • Enemy of the State

          being in a vehicle is your first mistake

          • Paranoid

            Not being where you want to be is FIRST mistake.

      31. toktomi

        IMHO

        I agree that tactical preparedness could be very important.

        However, I believe that it is a bit of an overstatement to say, “If you want a real chance at survival for yourself and your family, then you must:”. Superlatives are nearly by mere existence self-negating.

        Ya see, nobody knows how this thing is going to play out. For example, if it’s a global [engineered] pandemic, it will probably be a very controlled dieoff. One important variable – if they get martial law declared before your people get a chance to relocate, it probably won’t happen. So, the usefulness of tactical preparedness or any other specific preparedness is not a foregone surety.

        But let me repeat, I agree that tactical preparedness could be very important – along with many other forms of preparedness.

        What are you going to eat?
        You cannot live off the land [End of Story Mark goes here]
        And if you think you can, you’ve been reading too many doomer novels.

        Where ya getting your water?
        What are you going to put on your feet when those boots wear out?
        “Pass the salt” and more salt for 10 more years.
        “Anybody got a spare shovel? Mine busted last year.”
        Been practicing that fire starting business much?
        Who has the know-how and the supplies to deliver babies?
        How many firefights are you figuring your group will be in and can survive?
        What if you’re flat out out-numbered and out-gunned?
        Who’s the boss of this outfit? To have one is the wrong answer.

        In a word what is the key issue in survivalism?
        Hint: Without most forms of preparedness there is at least the possibility of long term survival but without sustained CALORIES there is none.

        So, invest in you tactical preparation but pretend not that it is the most important issue that an aspiring survivalist might want to consider.

        • Richard Head

          None of us are promised tomorrow and obviously survival is not guaranteed. But like I always tell my Dad. If the shtf with our luck we’ll probably be the first sumbitches killed, but at least when somebody steps over our bodies they’d say…Man them guys had alota nice shit 🙂

          • slingshot

            Richard Head.

            Only used once. Hahaha!

      32. Anti Snakbarian

        I’d love for those ISIS or ISIL creeps to come here. They will be the center of attention in a shooting gallery.

        The truth – there is no ISIS, ISIL, it’s a CIA op that is a joke.

        I can’t believe I’m living through this garbage!

        • Anonymous

          And I can’t believe I’m reading this garbage!

      33. Bob

        Those who are not tactical could be considered
        a federal reserve note. Those who are, could be/are
        the gold/silver coin.

      34. NetRanger

        Another excellent article. I know too many partial survivalists. They go to seed on one part of the survival picture.

        They often pick what they are good at or what their hobby is and then they neglect the rest of the stuff.

        Many times the gun nuts go way overboard on the tactical and weapons parts. Others stack away food like there is going to be a full on famine. Still others stack away silver and gold bullion and coins like nothing will ever be mined again. Still others build hideaway shacks where its impossible to ever supply it with anything but a backpack.

        Each neglects to see the full picture. Best not go to seed on the tactical either.

        Often people over do what comes natural and ignore what they don’t know. They avoid the tactical because its foreign to them. They ignore the weapons because society has taught them that violence is bad instead teaching them the difference difference between good viButolence and bad violence. They avoid gardening because they’ve been taught that the government will feed them even in a disaster.

        These are the faux survivalists. Their obsession with a single dimension of survivalism is what will kill them. …even if that single dimension is the tactical. What the article failed to mention is that if you are only thinking of the tactical, you’re also going to die. But, the good news is that in all these obsessions, at least you have a head start on something.

        Study your tactics and train with your group but don’t forget the rest of your survivalist needs.

        • FreeSlave

          Most important dimension is spiritual prepping. I.e., repent and confess your sins and commit to Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

          Awesome post, NetRanger.

      35. znachar

        After reading this site I have come to the conclusion:

        pull up your panties and stop acting like a bunch of girls

      36. digs

        RUN AWAY

        escape and evade

        be fluid and flow like water during times of conflict.

        the key to survival in every conflict is avoiding evading the conflict to begin with. knowing how to escape and evade is key to your survival at any age.

        time and time again you will notice in war, riots, street fights, etc that those who duck down and tactically escape by just walking away crouched down showing no signs of aggression or weapons usually live longer.

        your odds to survive most anything increase dramatically the more mobile and fluid you are to just flow away from the conflict zone.

        become a drop of water and simply flow away from the threatening force.

          • NetRanger

            Those are the kinds of rabbits I’ve been raising for years. One whisle and THEY ATTACK!

        • toktomi

          ahhhhhhhh,

          somebody who, in my opinion, has a real clue

          I don’t have much experience across this great Earth, but here in the U.S.A. [which needs a nasty spanking for its terrible, terrible actions wordwide] I have seen the most prolific survival of all species in the most diminutive of creatures, the coyote.

          RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!

          The wolf survives by H. sapiens benevolence. Coyote survives in spite of H. sapiens overpowering viciousness.

          • digs

            @toktomi

            as much as i appreciate the gesture from you i’m going to decline the offer to chat. nothing personal, i just prefer life as a ‘Solus Lupus’.

      37. clinthospo

        Anyone out there near CR iowa? Can meet up when things go down. Don’t have to say real name or where you live. We need to start preparing with like minded people.

      38. John_Allen

        Have read none of your comments yet. Am part way through the article. A reaction:

        If I cannot prevail honorably then I will die honorably. I am not prepared to become a psychopath just to live a brief while longer. If I have to become an abomination upon my people or yours, I refuse. Where it’s at for me is:

        You have your honor again. Let me die with mine.

        Yes, that was a movie, taking liberties with historical reality. But those values live on among those alive now who embrace the old ways.

        • FreeSlave

          Same here. It’s honorable to live and die as a follower of Christ. Doesn’t mean I won’t kill someone that needed killing, but I won’t murder someone to take what they had.

      39. Ben Raines

        Good article.

        It kinda makes me feel a little inadequate concerning grouping up with others/neighbors.

        I live in a rural town of about 1K population. Farmers all around the 1 square mile town. I do not socialize with any of them. I patronize their businesses, and am polite. I give the volunteer firepeople donations, and buy bake sale items from various local organizations, but I have made it a practice for the last 20+ years to keep at “friendly wave” distance from everyone. Oh, and really cannot stand any of my neighbors. lol.

        So I have no group to practice tactical/prep with. I have a few hunting buddies. On the rare occasion they speak of prepping, or SHTF, or gun control, I simply tell them that if it comes down to WROL, I’ll have their back if possible.

        My plan has always been to stay at my home for as long as possible. I hope that if/when it comes down to it, I will be able to figure out whether I need to group up with anyone in particular, or eliminate them.

      40. Brent H

        Anyone who posted comments in response to this article violated OPSEC.

        Come on people, where’s your OPSEC?

        OPSEC!

        • toktomi

          ok, your irony is not lost on all.
          cute.

        • NetRanger

          OPSEC is like holding your breath when the enemy is near. You can only hold it so long before you pass out and fall out of your hiding spot.

          I just coined a new acronym. It supercedes the old acronym.

          The old word was OPSEC or Operational Security. It was a good word but most of you have turn it into lockdown security. Most people use it as an excuse or a reason to initiate lockdown procedures and cut off all flow of information to anyone and everyone.

          Well, OPSEC, by the standard definition SUCKS! I have a new acronym. PREPSEC. Preperation Security. Yes, you expose yourself and its slightly more dangerous than your lockdown OPSEC, but at least it will get people talking.

          From now on, PREPSEC says that you need to talk to your neighbors. You don’t need to tell them you have a years worth of food, 5lbs of gold and 40lbs of silver, 100,000 rounds of M855, etc, etc. Just tell them you have some stuff set back because you think some trouble might be coming our way and that you want him to know you have his back.

          OPSEC has been superceded. PREPSEC is not the rule.

          • NetRanger

            PREPSEC is *NOW* the rule. Geez.

            • Mountain Trekker

              NetRanger I’ve heard alot of people called government Trolls, what ever that is. But you can bet there are government Moles on this site. So becareful, be very careful. Trekker Out.

              • NetRanger

                Trekker,

                As I said, above, pick your people carefully. OPSEC has been retranslated into CLAMSEC as in clam-up security as in don’t tell nobody nuthin’ about what you’re doing. It was never meant that way.

                Its why I started http://prepsec.us

                We need to tell people what we’re doing but we don’t have to tell everybody everything.

                For instance, you might tell one person that you’re stockpiling food and gardening supplies but it would not be prudent to also tell them that you’re buying night vision equipment and stockpiling ammo.

                For instance, I have neighbors that don’t even own a gun, yet, they’re stockpiling food, must of it what they grow. They do this for the same reason I do: They can see the possible outcome 6, 8 or 18 months down the road and they want to eat. I’ve mentioned that I have a stock pile of canned goods, rice and wheat and corn. The mom was very interested and was like, “Yeah, well, us to. I think you see what I see, right?”

                “Yes Ma’am, I do.”, I said.

                She knows I shoot but she has no idea that I’ve stocked up on both guns and ammo. Their not anti gun as much as they are anti-violence. To them, the guns represent violence and they have a differentiation problem. So, I don’t even mention it. However, WTSHTF and in the midst of the thuggery that will ensue, they’ll get a 12ga shotgun and a couple boxes of ammo. I’ll then take her and any of her kids that are older than 10 and give them the NetRanger Gun Safety Course. Then they’ll get my “I got your back if you’ve got mine.” pledge and I’ll start doing patrols.

                I’m slowly getting things together. WTSHTF each neighbor that doesn’t have one gets a 12ga shotgun, 50 rounds of ammo, a crash course in gun safety, some instructions on basic self defense tactics, a UHF talkie and a some basic communications instructions on how to use it.

                I’ve got three neighbors covered. I need one more to catch all the non-gun owners within a mile of my place.

                Things are looking pretty sketchy so it appears.

                • Anonymous

                  NetRanger, I’m planning on arming a squad with milsurp rifles when it’s necessary to build a unit.

                  We have to look out for ourselves by looking out for all of us, I believe.

      41. Newbie

        Time and time again, niche sites shut down the dialogue, and prefer echo chambers. Let’s not. Please. Whether the world burns tomorrow or in three decades, this site is important, probably a life-changing catalyst, for the many who read and do not comment.

        I’m a realist, mentally prepared for calamity, to the point one can reasonably anticipate such things. But I’m not a prepper, or a survivalist, and I do not call myself any variation of the term. Does that make my infrequent commentary here useless?

        Most Americans are already dead, “surviving” on bullshit foods, excessive drinking, drugs/medications, poor sleep habits, etc., killing themselves slowly on a daily basis. Slaves to consumerism. Distracted by text messages, unable to communicate or problem solve or prioritze. Diabetic, obese, infertile and limp dicked at younger and younger ages.

        Not only wasting their existence but making it worse for everyone else.

        What is the point of carrying on if we are devolving into life forms lower than literal garbage? It’s across the U.S. Does not anyone notice?

        I live among “true preppers” by the way, in Alaska, where you would expect to have it rough, or at least, rougher than most of the lower 48. And indeed, many adults here appear half past dead, weary and worn out if not debilitated or diseased by their mid-twenties. Bottom line? I’m not really hopeful!

        • JRS

          “…infertile and limp dicked at younger and younger ages.”

          ATRAZINE – 94% of drinking water tested positive by USDA.

          Reduces male fertility (humans)
          “Chemical castration” (frogs). Develop female sex characteristics. Converts testosterone to estrogen.

          From personal observation, I have learned that the Bass have become Hermaphrodites and have stopped breeding.

          link in moderation

        • slingshot

          Newbie.

          I liked reading your post. Has a lot of truth in it.
          The hard part of prepping is finding like minded people who do prep. Not just agree in words. Many find it hard to prep because some things are hard to accomplish and require discipline. Lots of brain dead people out there.

          I am leaning toward a financial collapse of the banks. Inflationary prices and having the Free Shit Army go on a rampage.

          When that happens. No more Drama. No screaming, yelling or begging. No more excuses.
          You do what you have to do.

          • Newbie

            Thank you. I also lean towards financial disaster, especially as society becomes more cashless, and the balance has tipped – more Americans receiving benefits than those working. Yeah, that will all turn out well, a house of cards waiting to fold.

            It used to be an urban area was predicted to last four days before it descended into chaos, and now it’s about four hours.

      42. exnealsilo

        Kind of a patronizing article…
        (“Gee-“)
        Not much real info there really.
        Seemed like a ‘my preps better than your preps’, Ken-L-Ration approach to spamming the cyber-neighborhood here.

        shrug

      43. Gandhi

        Shut up and take it, slaves

      44. texasprepper

        The one thing I have not seen mentioned is communications equipment. If you are going to work with/meet up with like minded individuals in a SHTF scenario, you MUST have some type of means of communicating. I have enough food, water and filtering/purifying means, first aid supplies, weapons and ammo of all types, bug out vehicles and shelters, hunting, trapping, fishing supplies to last well over a year. I have coordinated with a few other TRUSTED like minded individuals and the area we have found we are most lacking is in communications gear. We are leaning towards mobile ham radio gear with GPS locaters so that in a bug out scenario we will be able to communicate and coordinate with each other. Ham radios seem to be the most private and long range communications gear available to civilians. Any input from those who are knowledgeable in this area would be greatly appreciated.

        • slingshot

          Lucky if you raise them on a C.B. Maybe a hand held FR.Radio close range.

      45. Gandhi

        We need information on how to run banks. Real men are bankers not squirrel hunting, camo wearing, hoarders wearing cowardly “don’t tread on me flags” printed by banker owned manufacturing equipment. Geeze

      46. Bigbluedrew

        His article is good IF a TEOTWAWKI situation occurs, for the more likely scenarios(IMO) such as a serious economic depression or an excellerating of the police state not so much. I think the government will eventually crash in both situations but staying alive long enough for that to happen seems difficult tome inalarge organized group.I can’t believe given the technology at their disposal they will not know who you are and these folks will be first on their list. I DO have some folks that are like minded and I trust, but we have all determined to lay low and let the smoke clear a bit before we hook up. Of course that may not be possible so our plans are fluid, To me an open mind and having some contingencies based on events on the ground are almost as important as my preps.

      47. Bigbluedrew

        This question is kind of off topic but does anyone know of any tactics to avoid being spotted at night by Predator drones using thermal imaging. It may be a silly question to some but I believe it might have a bit of value someday.

        • MommaD

          Big blue, I’ve thought about that too…I’ve been thinking about making a long hooded poncho with the middle layer of the Mylar emergency blankets. What do you think? Just an idea I had.

        • Richard Head

          I heard the afghanies also used wet wool blankets, I would imagine that with a mylar would work well. But then again how would you know if the drone was up there and it was time to get under the blanket. If we ever go full scale drone war on americans on American soil, then I think worrying about dying would be a bit redundant. Now avoiding a police chopper with heat seeking, may be a bit more likely

          • slingshot

            A good parabolic ear for daytime and good infra red at night to track drones?

        • texasprepper

          What I understand was quite effective over in the sandbox was a 1st, an emergency blanket (the mylar/foil type) then a wool blanket followed by another emergency blanket then topped off with a layer of something to camoflodge the outer emergency blanket. The inner EB will keep your body heat in, the wool blanket will insulate between the 2 layers of EB. The camo on the outer layer will keep the outer EB from looking like a big blob since it will be at ambient tempature. Also note that the outer EB should be painted or covered by a lightweight fabric of a color that will blend with the final camo covering and surrondings. It is very important that the outer EB be completely covered as those silver EB’s are like mirrors in the sunlight or starlight.

      48. slingshot

        Night vision binoculars. “Generation one plus”.

        Tubes are matched and are way better than older Gen 1’s
        From $660 to $750. Night Owl brand. Night owl did have Night vision scopes for About $700.

        Now before you jump on me I have them and use them.
        Scope will take 30.06 recoil and the binoculars are excellent in only stars and moonlit nights are awesome.

        Binoculars can be found at Overstock.com.

        Even if you buy a monocular unit you still see in the dark.

        Mylar against FLIR It does work but you show up as a big black spot and you have to cover everything and stay covered. Have to have foliage to break up black spot. Might get hot if you have a hood. Makes plenty of noise when you move. Used double side tape to install in poncho.

        • socmarine87

          This does not work. You’re not going to defeat thermal. Ah yeah the old wet wool blanket. Nope. The problem is these methods do not work long enough. I know this to be 100% fact. It’s not always the thermal, it’s the person using it. If you spent hundreds of hours using thermal you would understand. I’m not even going to keep explaining. Do not get caught in the open if you suspect thermal imaging is being used. How will you know….that’s the painful part.

      49. Enemy of the State

        listen to the current news stories , either written or spoken

        we have been constantly called “Civilians”

        anyone else noticing this trend?

        yes i do listen to them, not for good info,, but for intel on their positions when it comes to us

        keep your friends close and learn your enemies intentions

        words have meanings people

      50. Opsec Messiah

        Thank you.

      51. On Point Preparedness

        Sorry Brandon, can’t agree with everything with you on this one.

        Looking at online forums in Ukraine, wearing camo or having anything tactical in public makes you an immediate threat to the military forces in the region. People in Ukraine have witness those in camo or camo-like gear getting targeted, frisked and detained whereas plain-clothes people were able to move more freely.

        In your example, you are saying the SHTF moment has absolutely no government control. If that is the case, then sure, break out the goods.

      52. Ass hat

        Whatever happened to getting the most bang for your buck. Slingshot $700 is a lot of$ to use on a night vision. I would hope you have all your other bases covered. Think of the ammo you could buy. You could put together a few stashes along your bug out route if your gonna bug out I’m not but this is an option. You could buy a camera system for your house that would allow you to watch over your property anywhere you go. You could buy armor for two family members. A lot of tactical gear is most likely not gonna be used. For me I have 3 kids and don’t have the ability to blow$700. To me prepping should be cheap so that as many people can try to survive the coming shit storm.

        • slingshot

          Ass Hat

          Compared to some units of Gen.2 that is real cheap. Two to three thousand for gen.2 and even higher for Gen.3. Been prepping for years now and had to save for what I wanted. The power went out for 5 days and all was in the dark. You would not believe the people who run the streets at all hours. I will tell you that a cheap ,under $200 monocular/hand held night vision is well worth it. I’ll be alright.

        • Anonymous

          You do what you can, that’s all.

          Someone else in your neighborhood has the money, they’ll buy the gear.

      53. Copperhead

        JADE HELM 15: Please keep in mind that Congress will start their Summer Recess on Aug.10- Sept.4 right in the middle of the DRILL(?). IMHO during that time frame something big will happen connected to the Drill. Finish your home defense’s and be on very high alert, folks it just could start then.

      54. slingshot

        On the Tactical side.

        One and two point slings
        Flash hiders or Recoil compensators. (Barrel Rise)
        Recoil suppression pads and buffers. Internal and external.

        • socmarine87

          You asking or just saying?

        • JtothatK

          Here’s my tactical recommendation:

          – PT: get off your fat-ass and get in shape (goes for me too)
          – Community: get to know folks, friendly with neighbors, be a liked individual (not the quiet or creepy neighbor)
          – Train: Max or Mosby or similar
          – Then worry about gear and “preps”

          • JtothatK

            One other thing I don’t hear a lot of folks mention but get a suppressor for your rifle. 308 caliber can suppress a 5.56 as well.

            Reduce your signature.

            • socmarine87

              We all use AAC suppressors and their muzzle breaks. One works on our 5.56, 7.62×51 and our 300 blackout.

              • JoththaK

                SM87 – Which specific AAC suppressor/muzzle break combo are y’all using? 2nd question, how do you like said setup?

      55. Gandhi

        If you are a prepper that thinks people sporting grandpa ‘s squirrel rifles and WWII camo will survive the coming SHTF then you should also invest in a colorful “toe tag” and glue it to your Vietnam jungle boots.

        • socmarine87

          Can I get an Amen.

      56. Gandhi

        The NRA disarmed the amerika in 1968.

      57. Alex

        For my dystopian future, I’m thinking of becoming the leader of a gang, a warlord of sorts, and having some droogs to rape and pillage with.

        • Gandhi

          Smart

      58. Carter

        This article was an interesting read. Tactical preparedness is huge when it comes to almost any survival situation. At serebox.com we offer a proudest that helps with any survival situation. Whether you need a tactical kit, or a food box. Serebox has you covered. The serebox has a new theme every month. With this you never get the same thing twice, and we cover the full spectrum when it comes to survival, food, fire, water, tactical, and medical.

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