BASIC FAMILY PREPPING GUIDE
This booklet is designed to make you more aware of the options available to you and how to adapt your lifestyle to meet the problems life throws up.
Disasters can be roughly defined as natural, political, environmental or social in origin. They can be triggered by natural disasters, terrorism, military and police actions, political and social unrest etc.
Though you can do little or nothing about disasters happening you can through planning and preparation minimise the effects on your family. The main objectives are to survive the initial disaster then to continue to flourish after the event.
What do you need to be prepped?
The answer to this question depends entirely on what event or contingency you are planning on surviving through. It could be that you only want to prepare to survive a winter power cut, so in this case flashlights, candles, matches and warm clothing may be all you need. Most preppers are concerned about much larger or prolonged events such as food shortages, civil unrest, major earthquakes, economic collapse, etcetera and feel driven enough to at least attempt to be self-sufficient in all the essential needs for at least 3 months or longer if necessary.
In this brief review I will attempt to list the GROUPS you need to deal with rather than specific amounts and individual items, other ARTICLES and LISTS from this forum will help you fill in the gaps. But please note this is a GENERIC article and you must adapt and adjust the subject matter to meet your own individual needs.
The PRIMARY groups you need to consider are (not in order of priority) basically
From here each group will be sub divided as required EG Shelter will divide into Primary (your home or retreat) Mobile (tent or improvised shelter) and Temporary (a place of safety other than your permanent home.
So are you planning on weathering the event in your home, if so what improvements must you make to adapt the house to your needs, or are you planning on bugging out to a secondary location, and what does that place need to function the way you want to?
So for example if you have decided to stay at home during the crisis you need to ensure that your home can sustain you independently of the national grid, utilities, supermarkets and authorities for the length of time you feel you need to plan for. Most preppers keep an absolute minimum of 72 hours emergency supplies, the general accepted norm for UK preppers with families is believed to be 3 months supplies but 6 / 9 and 12 months stockpiles and caches are very common.
It is also well noting that since around the year 2000 more and more preppers are making steps to produce at least SOME of their own food and many preppers now have allotments whilst others have converted flower beds into vegetable plots. Others now keep and breed small animals such rabbits, chickens, miniature breeds of pigs and goats etc.
Moving on to look briefly the other PRIMARY groups, you need to build up as your finances allow and as time permits enough food, fuel and water in order to provide your family with a healthy balanced diet of foodstuffs you family is already familiar with and actually likes to eat. Do not waste money on buying foods in because of the cheap price buy only the foods your family is familiar with and like.
What you are attempting to do is to make sure that if something major goes wrong with society that you have independence from the vulnerable grid or chain of supply;
- Food to sustain you for the duration of the crisis
- Water for drinking, cooking, washing and cleaning
- Heat for warmth and heating water for cleaning
- Light for vision after sundown (Lanterns, Solar systems, Flashlights etc)
- Fuel to power lights, cookers, heaters, stoves and generators
- Clothing to sustain you for the duration (heavy duty outdoor gear recommended)
- Bedding, sleeping bags, towels etc
- Medical supplies and prescription medicines (and dentures, eyeglasses etc)
- Emergency medical kits for dealing with injuries and traumas
- Books / Maps for reference and information
- Logistics such as garden tools, DIY repair materials, spare batteries etc
- Radios for monitoring radio broadcasts
- Transport for bring in supplies, bugging out or patrolling.
- Weapons for self-defence and security
These are the PRIMARY groups and the sub groups and LISTS of kit can be found on this and almost any other Prepper or Survivalist forum.
Other issues you will become aware of quickly is the extra equipment and plans preppers make to be able to respond almost instantly to an event, crisis or disaster occurring, you will see frequent reference to Bug out Bags, these are pre-packed items of luggage containing essential tools, food, water, clothing, maps and supplies keep by the front door of the office or home to allow them to simply grab the bag and go immediately the incident happens. They may be called various names from bug out bag, get home bag, commuter escape kits, get out of Dodge bags or whatever. But they all serve the same purpose and that is to sustain the prepper on his or her journey home or to their retreat.
Other items of note are the vehicle choice of many preppers with modified panel vans fitted out as stealth campers, discretely uprated 4×4 vehicles, mountain bikes and even Kayaks in some cases being selected for their utility and durability to get to a destination when ordinary vehicles would get stuck or bogged down.
Imagine getting up one morning and finding the gas, electricity, water, sewage, phones, street lights etc were out of service and the shops did not open. Most of your neighbours will be floundering around not knowing what to do, unable to cook a meal or even get washed or showered, no lights, no television, just confusion. Everyone except the prepper who has back up lighting, auxiliary cooking equipment, caches of food and fuel and a well sorted plan to work from.
That’s Prepping and if you are still interested then please read on.
You need a Plan to work from
Many people drawn to prepping may be able to muddle through for a while but eventually they will need to develop a working plan to follow that will help them get better prepared and with the right kit and facilities in the best location.
First you need to consider your LOCATION! Are you going to?
- STAY WHERE YOU ARE and adapt your current home
- STAY WHERE YOU ARE whilst developing a remote bug out location
- RELOCATE NOW or ASAP to a more suitable location
- PLAN ON RELOCATING in the future
Or perhaps choose a mix of the above, it is your choice but either way you need to have a working plan with options and alternatives.
What are you preparing for?
- Natural Disaster
- Economic Collapse
- Ethnic Unrest
- Extremist Government
- Power Cuts
- Extreme Weather Events
- Societal Collapse
You may be planning on surviving a specific threat and base your plans around that threat. Let’s say just for example you plan to survive in your present home from a risk from a massive terrorist attack. But what happens if you focus all your attention and resources on protecting yourself from that terror attack but before it occurs a natural disaster hits your country? Many of your preps may be wasted or lost as the natural disaster overtakes you because you did not have the right resources in place to deal with it and they were designed only to deal with the terrorism threat.
Ideally you really need to direct your preps in a general manner but with a focus or bias towards the specific threat you are most concerned about. Make your plans more generic and flexible so you can rapidly adapt to as many threats and risks as possible. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket or all your survival supplies in one location.
The logistical aspects of prepping can be very complicated but roughly speaking you need to consider the following.
- What do you want?
- What do you need?
- What have you already got?
- What can you adapt?
- Where are you going to keep it?
- Where can you get it from?
- How long do you want it to last?
- How long will it actually last?
- Where will you get more from?
- Can you make some more?
- Does it do what you need it to do?
- Can you get something better suited to do the job?
- Can you afford it and can you afford NOT to have it?
- Will it do the job you want it to?
- How can I make it work better for you?
- Is it in the right location(s)?
- Is it safe and secure?
- Is it legal?
- Can you get to it in a hurry?
- Who else knows you have it?
So what do you need?
A safe place to live so a HOME / RETREAT is normally the first item, be it a house or apartment in the town or the countryside, how can you make it safer, more secure and more self-reliant or do you need to move home?
Once you have gotten as far as you can in the property choice department you need to consider issues like;
Food supplies (and food production if you deem it necessary)
Water supplies, purity, filtering, storage, transportation and security
Medical supplies including prescription medicines
Heaters, Cookers and Lights plus fuel supplies to provide heat and light and hot water, you need a heating and lighting system that is independent of the mains utilities and supplies / stores of fuels kept safely and securely to power the cookers, heaters and lights.
Clothing, you will need a range of suitable clothing and footwear of good quality and durability to keep you warm and protected from the worst weather your region can throw at you.
Tools and Materials to help you repair maintain and keep secure your home after the disaster strikes. You will need everything from flashlights to shovels, prybars to weapons to help sustain your family. You may also require tools and materials to allow you to start producing your own food supplies if the crisis is prolonged.
Transport, you may find that you need to maintain some sort of transport to enable you to bring in more food, fuel or supplies, and also be able to use it to escape in if your homes safety becomes unsustainable. You will also need fuel for your transport be it petrol for your car or hay for your horse, and a goodly selection of spares as well from fuses, bulbs, belts and tyres, to reins, tack and harnesses.
Communications, you most certainly need a few multi power sourced AM / FM / SW radios to listen for news broadcasts from the authorities or other survivors. And CB / Amateur radios if you are working with neighbouring families of preppers.
Energy, Consider a backup generator or micro wind turbine or solar panels or a combination of all three.
Books and Manuals on various subjects from improvised medicine to DIY repairs to growing your own food are wise investments.
Start now and make yourself a plan of action.
Special skills for preppers (or not)
Heinlein – Specialization is for Insects
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
Robert A. Heinlein
A superb quote from a very wise man, but I want to clarify this contentious issue a bit.
The normal every day family prepper does NOT need to know how to strip, clean and assemble an assault rifle, they do not need to learn Morse code, they do not need to be able to fly a plane or helicopter, they do not need to be able to abseil down a cliff face in a force ten gale, they do not need to be able to perform major surgery, they do not need to be able to cook enough food in one setting to feed 200 people.
We are not trying to turn ordinary people into militiamen or yeomanry, let us ENCOURAGE people to learn sensible common sense skills that could save their lives during a disaster and to help sustain them in the aftermath.
If they have a bow, cross bow, air rifle, shotgun or sports rifle they SHOULD learn how to safely operate it and practise with it frequently and of course they should learn how to clean and maintain it.
If they have two way, amateur or CB radios they should learn how to operate the units and understand basic radio operation protocols (how to start, break and end a transmission etc)
They should learn to drive whatever vehicles are available to their family, normally a car, often a car and motorcycle and for some wealthier families the kids pet pony, if they own a 4×4 then it’s wise to put themselves through a basic 4×4 off road course, and everyone should do basic vehicle maintenance course 101 at night school.
If they have obtained ropes and shackles its worth finding out a few useful skills about rope work such as safe river cross rope setups, safe roping of heavy items in vehicles etc.
Everyone should do a decent first aid course with at least one family member doing an enhanced course, and if any of your family have special medical conditions such as type 1 diabetes its common sense to learn as much as possible about controlling their condition and extending the life of their insulin as long as possible.
And every prepper should know how to prepare a basic good nutritious meal using only basic camping equipment. You are not trying to feed your village you are trying to keep your family and loved ones healthy.
There is nothing wrong with enhancing any basic skills you learn if it interests you, that’s the hallmark of a professional, but focusing primarily on learning basic sensible useful every day skills will benefit you far more than learning how to jump from a plane at 50,000 without a parachute.
A broad wave of basic survival skills will be far more useful in most scenarios for most preppers.
The Preppers House
First you need to address the issue of to stay where you are now, or should you move to a safer and more sustainable location? That is something you must decide for yourself but please note many people who do become preppers do make the extra sacrifices needed to get out of town and into some place for rural and self-sufficient.
As prepper’s we have a strong need for our homes to be fitted out or uprated to help meet our enhanced needs when compared with mainstream society.
Increased storage capacity across the board features highly in our plans, water, food, fuel, clothing and equipment storage is something we ideally need more of, space for growing food even if it’s in tubs, places to put rainwater catching butt, firewood log stores etc
And just like our ordinary neighbours we need as much energy efficiency, privacy and security as we can get.
Food, Clothing and Kit Storage
We need extra storage space that is preferably cool and dark to store extra food supplies in. Ideally some of it should be concealed storage IE in places where the average person would not think to look. I know of people who have fitted discrete hinged lids under the carpet on the stairs allowing them to hide extra food in the cavity under the staircase, people have kitchen units with false back panels fitted allow more concealed capacity, in some houses with timber floors rather than concrete slabs some folks hide plastic tubs under the floorboards in the sub floor cavity. A false wall made from plasterboard in a garage gives an extra 1 foot deep storage space for one prepper I know. And false panelling in a bedroom provides extra storage for another.
At the very least we need extra larder space for our increased food stocks, very often this can be as simple as shelving units in the garage or utility room if you have them.
Some of us just keep extra food and kit in large plastic storage boxes under the bed and in the bottom of the wardrobes whilst others turn over the smallest bedroom to the prep store (the door that is always closed and locked when you get visitors)
We always need extra water storage capacity, for some more wealthy folks it could be a garden pond, swimming pool, Jacuzzi etc. But for most of us it’s usually a case of simply swapping out the 50 gallon cold water tank in the loft for a bigger tank or adding extra tanks linked in series to the original 50 gallon tank to give extra capacity (roof joist re-enforcement needed).
Others like me simply keep a good number of extra 20 or 30 litre polyethylene food grade water containers in the garage along with a high quality gravity fed water filter like a British Berkfield. (Remember a gallon of water weighs 10 pounds before you put loads of full containers in the loft space)
Water, Heat, Light, Power etc
A problem has arisen for prepping in the last 15 years with the introduction of the condensing combination boiler for the domestic supply of hot water and central heating. These very energy efficient devices have two massive drawbacks for preppers. Firstly they don’t use water tanks in the attic for their cold water feed, they are fed directly from the mains supply and thus you lose the cold water tank and expansion tank from your loft. Secondly they don’t use a gas pilot light for the boiler ignition system, they are now electrically ignited so if the power to your house goes off you lose power AND heating and hot water all at once.
Preppers with Combi–Boilers need auxiliary methods of storing extra water, and alternative methods of heating the home and providing hot water with.
Preppers can enhance their self-reliance by taking steps to further reduce their reliance on the mains utility system by fitting secondary or backup systems.
As well as extra emergency water storage systems you can reduce your reliance on the mains system by fitting rainwater catchment systems that capture the rain from your roof and direct it into large rainwater storage butts in your garden.
Emergency heating can be supplied by portable bottled gas heaters using propane or butane gas in 7 or 15 KG bottles, but a more long term investment you should consider if fitting a wood or multi fuel burning stove in the living room. Even many modern houses can now be retro fitted to house a wood burner with the advent of insulated flexible stove chimney pipes systems often made from double skinned stainless steel. A modern stove can be up to 80% efficient compared to 7 to 10 % efficiency for an open fire and a well sited stove can also double up as a cooker.
Don’t forget to plan for extra storage space to accommodate your log pile or bags of Coalite. If you are collecting your own firewood that it needs to be able to dry out to less than 15% moisture content so a shed or outhouse may be needed, mine is shared out between the garage and conservatory!!) Either way your fuel supply needs to be dry and kept VERY secure.
Short term emergency lighting can be provided by various means from candles, paraffin lanterns, light sticks etc, but more long term you really need to consider at the very least a solar system connected to a battery that will provide you with a low powered 12 volt LED lighting system for essential areas. If space and other constraints allow you may be able to supplement the solar charger with a micro wind turbine.
We must ensure we waste as little energy as possible in our prepper’s home even in normal times with staring Armageddon in the face. A fully insulated house is a must, walls and loft area fully insulated, under floor as well if possible. Well maintained and fitted double glazing or even triple glazing will help massively in keeping your home warm if the power goes off for any length of time. A double glazed or laminated wood / steel front and rear doors will enhance the houses insulation as well as provide slightly better security than an old style door fitted with a single BS3621 door lock.
Privacy and Security
Ensuring our privacy and security during a crisis is vital so it’s very important that we control access to our prepper’s home and reduce light pollution that advertises our independence from the grid power supplies. Blackout blinds and curtains are an absolute must for every window and door to stop light escaping thus advertising your self-reliant position.
Multi point locking on doors and windows is a must even in normal times, but after a crisis develops you may wish to add self-adhesive laminating security film to your windows which makes gaining entry to your home via a broken window far more difficult and noisy for the intruder. It’s also essential that you keep some pre-cut marine grade ½ plywood boarding to secure any windows that do get broken.
Some people have fitted security bars that pivot or swing over the doors to re-enforce the entry points. Apparently it is remarkably easy to kick in the bottom panel on most UPVC doors as they were designed this way to make access for firemen easier, equally the locks and hinges even on expensive double glazed doors do not stand up very well to police officers using a slide hammer to gain entry to execute a search warrant, so extra security devices, bars and hinges should be considered.
Note* Very often modern double glazed doors external frames are only secured to the building wall with a couple of mild steel screws in each side, this makes it very easy to simply bash the entire door and frame out with a sledgehammer, it’s well worth getting steel self-tapping bolts fitted which massively increase the doors security strength.
The preppers home in normal times as well as after a crisis needs to be able to support you in finding out vital intelligence on events going on in the outside world, you should consider fitting a new wide band high gain TV aerial, if you have a satellite system consider a satellite tracking system that allows you to access other satellite broadcasters. And of course last but never least an AM/FM/LW Radio aerial to greatly boost your reception of distant radio stations. Some people also have Citizens band and Amateur radio systems set up at home as an extra communications system.
Security of the garden and perimeter has been discussed in other articles in the Preppers Guides as well as being covered on the SUK.net forum but consider at least 2 meter high fencing where permitted, lockable full height gates and vicious thorny hedging around the edge of your property.
City Living Considerations
Choose a place that does NOT have public footpaths or alleyways to the side or rear of the property. You don’t need a path that raiders can use as a path to your home from whatever neighbourhood they crawled out of.
Don’t buy a house close to the local shops, AFTER TSHTF and the scum have finished looting the shops they are going to notice the nearby houses. Don’t buy near petrol stations either as they will constantly attract scavengers and the fire / explosion risk is just too great.
Don’t buy a house on main roads or on streets that refugees will travel along to escape the city, nor should you choose a house than can be overlooked from roads or paths that pass by at a higher elevation.
Ensure house has large water tank in loft, if not you need space and containers to cache water in cool, dark space. You would also be wise by installing a diverter trap to your rainwater guttering to catch and store rain water in a garden butt.
You need a garage that is totally secure and big enough to keep your BOV and its extra kit in.
You will need a spot in the garden AWAY from the house to store petrol and propane containers, it will need to be well ventilated but under cover away from the elements.
You need at least a 2 meter fence around the sides and rear of your property to keep prying eyes out.
Ideally you need garden space to grow supplementary foods such as tomatoes, rabbits, chickens etc.
Also if you are considering growing your own food and / or using solar panels the houses needs a south to south west facing aspect.
If possible you would benefit from a pond to keep edible species of fish in. Fruit trees are another plus point in most gardens.
You really also need garden space to COMPOST waste food, Space to BURY HUMAN WASTE safely and space to INCINERATE other rubbish ideally at the furthest point in the garden away from the house.
You need and independent source of heat for your home that is not reliant on piped gas or electricity, wood / coal burning stoves being the best option, obviously you will need a suitable approved type of chimney to suit. Only cook / heat with dry wood (less than 20% moisture) and preferably cook/heat after dark so scavengers don’t simply home in on the smoke from the chimney.
Don’t forget you will also need covered but ventilated space to store your firewood in.
You need a well concealed place to cache extra food and medical supplies that neither looters nor officials will easily find.
You need suitable drapes / shutters / window coverings to “” BLACKOUT”” your house after dark so as not advertise your presence to scavengers who will soon notice one illuminated house among dozens of unlit ones.
You have got to be upwind in the predominant wind direction for your area so that places like waste tips, hospitals, shopping malls, sewage works, nuclear power plants etc don’t blow pathogens downwind to your home after TSHTF.
Don’t buy a house on a flood plain especially the type found in some areas of the UK that require electrically operated pumps to keep the area dry, Parts of the Somerset levels, Norfolk Broads, East Anglia, Oxfordshire and London for example.
In many places City suburb communities were built in the early 20th century UK that are downstream of Victorian and Edwardian water reservoirs, You don’t want to be living in the shadow of such a structure that will fail sooner rather than later because man is no longer maintaining it.
If you live in an apartment block you need to find a way to access the roof to grow supplementary foods and to tap into the communal water tank, providing it’s got a flat roof of course. You also need to ensure that at all time you have multiple fire escape routes.
(The commonest reason for fires in apartment blocks comes during power outages when people try to improvise cooking / heating devices and set fire to the building)
Water, clean water is something we often take for granted and often overlook in prepping, we tend to just think that because we live in the UK water supplies will never be an issue.
Well OK maybe water SUPPLY may never be a massive issue, but CLEAN DRINKING WATER could be a major issue after TSHTF.
Most preppers cache amounts of safe chlorinated water in various amounts often dependant on the amount of storage space they have (water at 10 lbs a gallon in weight can soon strain flooring joists if large amounts are stored). Others supplement cached water supplies with gravity fed water filters like the British Berkfield filter these superb devices will easily supply the average family with plentiful amounts of safe clean drinking water for many months after a disaster strikes. We nearly all keep enough clean water for drinking and cooking for seven days at least some enthusiastic preppers with solid floors keep hundreds of gallons stored around their homes. Some of us even add re-enforcements to our roof spaces so we can fit multiple extra cold water tanks in series to our water supply pipe. Superb plans for DIY water filters are found in the archives of most good prepper forums like SUK.NET
BUT what of washing clothes, washing pots, household cleansing, watering plants, bathing and personal hygiene, we also need to ensure we have enough water to meet those specific needs as well. If you are growing much of your own food it can require in some cases 250 gallons a DAY in summer time to water a large garden / allotment, more if you have lots of food critters as well.
If we live close to a stream or river we can improvise water extraction systems to bring water home but it will need treating for sediments, toxins, pollutants and germs, or we can install rainwater catchment systems for our homes and properties this to will need treating / filtering, we can often recycle bath water and washing machine water after minor treatment to be used for watering the veg plot. But is this enough???
According to the BBC One show on the 2nd April 2012 and on a farming show on the radio many people are spending on average of £3000 each to have these deep bore holes drilled, lined with steel piping and fitted with electric powered lift pumps (power for these is a separate issue preppers must consider). Commentators say that the water sourced from these deep holes is remarkably pure and not in need of filtration, I say play safe and filter it anyway. Some of the more efficient set ups can use wind powered lift pumps to bring the water to the surface.
But a deep bore hole into your own areas aquifer may be a very useful resource for the prepper family after TSHTF especially as sources of high quality pure water are likely to be rare and your borehole could be very profitable and well as healthy for your family.
After a major disaster our need for fresh clean pure water will INCREASE exponentially rather than decrease because when the rest of society is without potable water for drinking, cooking, flushing toilets, cleaning etc the risk of disease increases tenfold. Everything we come in contact will from outside our homes and retreats will need to be cleaned and washed before we can use it. Ignore the water issue at your peril but remember in most disasters its disease that kills more survivors in the long term than die in the initial disaster.
(PERSONAL SURVIVAL KIT) WHAT IS A BUG OUT BAG?
Basically a Bug Out Bag (BOB) is a pre-packed rucksack or piece of travel luggage containing all the basic essential items you may need to help you survive the immediate aftermath of a crisis or disaster and help sustain you on your journey to your chosen place of safety. They can also be called Get Home Bags (GHB) Get Out Of Dodge bags (GOOD) and other interesting acronyms, but they all serve one single purpose to provide you with useful tools and materials to help you survive.
These pre-packed bags are normally kept close to the front door or main exit of your residence allowing you to simply grab them if you have to abandon (Bug Out) your home or place of work.
(Do you remember the terrible sight of tens of thousands of business suited New Yorkers trying to flee Manhattan with only their business suits to sustain them?, Many people forced to walk dozens of miles in high heels or dress shoes, no top coats, nothing to wash the all engulfing debris from their faces and mouths)
It is normal for each member of the household to have their own BOBs providing they are physically capable of carrying them.
Secondly some people also keep BOBs in the vehicles supplemental to their vehicle based emergency kits, and many commuters also keep BOBs at the office or factory.
Some city workers who normally use public rapid transit systems now even keep folding bicycles with their BOBs at the office.
So what goes into an average BOB?
BOBs are tailored to suit your own individual needs, local laws and local geography but a typical BOB would contain something like the following.
- Multi Tool and Lock Knife
- LED Flashlight with spare batteries and Chemical Light stick’s
- Wind up/ battery powered combo AM/FM radio
- Optional Watch/ Cell phone (prepaid and fully charged plus solar charger)
- Compass / Local Map OS Land-ranger
- Bus &Train time tables (City workers)
- Cycle / Footpath route maps
- Notebook & Pencil (with notes of location of hospitals, stations etc)
- Para-cord / Duct Tape / Cable Ties
- Mini Pry bar / spring loaded glass breaker
- Packet of disposable Dust Masks
- First Aid Kit / Spare Script medicines and spare Eye Glasses
- Bottle of water (normally 2x 1 litre reusable bottles)
- A portable water filter
- Food / Cereal Bars plus other preferred easy to eat foods (up to 72 hours’ worth)
- Cooking kit, Matches, lighter, spare fuel
- Cook pot, mess tins, KFS or Spork
- Change of socks/ underwear
- Small hygiene kit (bar soap/ toothbrush/ roll on etc)
- Fleece / waterproof (depending on season and climate)
- Gloves / Hat
- Flat broken in walking shoes (if you’re an office worker)
- A Folding shovel, pry-bar and machete
- Length of climbing rope
These are the basics and you can add / subtract items to suit your own specific needs, BUT your chances or survival are much better if you have a comprehensive BOB.
MY Bug out Bag / Get Home Bag as an example
- 45 litre Rucksack
- Large folding Lock Knife
- Fixed blade camp knife
- 4 X magnification mini field glasses
- Multi Tool with plier head
- Multi Tool with pruning head
- Flashlight a Fenix L2D and CR123 batteries
- Flashlights x2 plus spare batteries
- Assorted Chemical light sticks
- Water Purification Tablets
- Rations (boil in bag and freeze dried)
- Titanium Spork
- Condiments and drinks sachets
- Windproof butane lighters x 2
- Hexamine cooker
- Knife sharpener
- Maps and notes (OS Land-rangers 1:50,000)
- Silva Type 4/54 compass in mils and degrees (6400 & 360)
- Survival instructions
- Survival book (Mini SAS Survival Manual)
- Notebook and Pen (Sharpie)
- Waterproofed matches in film canister.
- Magnesium block and striker
- 35 mm film canister filled with Vaseline soaked cotton wool balls
- Medical kit (expedition size)
- Spare prescription specs plus prescription shades
- Para-cord 50 meters
- Large folding wood saw
- Zip-lock bags
- Small tin with button compass, signal mirror, spare batteries
- Telescopic baton
- Shemargh / Bandana
- Wind up / Battery powered radio / spare batteries
- Tactical gloves
- Personal Hygiene Kit (soap, razor, toothbrush and paste, deodorant)
- Pack of Baby Wipes (better than toilet paper)
- Spare underwear, vest & socks
- Plastic trowel
- Minus 18 Four Season Sleeping bag
I have a second bag that attaches to this one containing more clothes.
Every Day Carry are basic tools or items of survival related kit you wear on your person every day.
MY EDC (Every Day Carry Kit)
Many discussion forums such as EDC forum,(www.edcforums.com) and http://survivaluk.net/ have cooperated in the new (ish) concept of discussing and evaluating personal EDC equipment, Below are the items I tend to keep with me at all times. Different people in vocations frequently select EDC items to suit their own individual needs, I strongly encourage people to create their own EDC kit and to visit forums like EDC forum to find out what suits them best.
My Own EDC as an example
Lock knife Cold Steel Voyager / Blade Tech Hunter lite
- Multi tool Gerber Multi Plier
- Compass Suunto Wrist Compass
- Watch Citizen Solar powered Chronograph
- Wallet Ballistic nylon with BCB & Swiss-logic credit card tools
- Cell phone Binatone GSM
- Flashlight Fenix L2D Q5 plus spare AA batteries
- Lighter Blue propane torch
- Para-cord Five metres multi core
- First Aid kit Pocket size
- Notebook and pen
- Specs and polarised sun shades
- Tactical gloves
- Cotton Bandana
- Blade-Tech knife sharpeners
- LED button light and small knife on my key chain
- Gerber Artefact mini-tool
- Mini Pry Bar
- AM / FM mini radio plus spare batteries
Keeping your Bug out Bag Fresh
Bug out bags are one of the keys to our survival in any given crisis or disaster, it is vitally important that our BOB’s are up to the job we require them to do. That means keeping it ready and effective.
We can and do leave our BOB’s untouched for months and some of the items within the BOB’s can be left for years. That in itself could be a problem if we do actually have to bug out in a hurry.
Basically there’s not much point in having a BOB if its contents don’t work when we need them to, so we must keep the contents checked so that we are not left with a bag of junk instead of an effective survival system.
I keep a check card on top of my BOB that lists expiry / use by and best by dates for the time sensitive items in the kit. When they get close to their best by / use by / eat by dates I change them for fresh supplies.
- Batteries (radios, flashlights, electronic sights, GPS devices)
- Medical dressings (lose sterility after certain time frame)
- Medical lotions (lose effectiveness after time)
- Eye Glasses and Contact Lenses (your eyes age making the kit lenses useless)
- Water Purification tablets (lose effectiveness
- Food Stuffs (dry out, lose nutritional value, spoil etc)
- Water filter Elements
- Hygiene kit (toothpaste / deodorant etc)
- Clothing (have you grown out of it?)
- Wet wipes (they do dry out)
- Vitamin supplements (lose strength)
In some cases during long term storage items such as switches on radios and flashlights can stick, radio receivers can simply refuse to work, magazine springs fail, medicinal potions can settle out etc
It’s always worth checking on how mechanical and electrical as well as medical items function when you check your kit over.
Remember to keep your batteries separate from the devices they are meant to power, there is a Sods Law that demands the more expensive your kit is the more likely the batteries in it will leak catastrophically.
Make sure when you do bug out the kit is going to do what you want it to do, first time and reliably.
When we talk about Prepping Supplies the normal focus in on stockpiling food, fuel and medicines, plus ammo if you live in the US of A, But nearly as important in our plans we need to think about what we will WEAR or USE in the period between a collapse and normal commerce starting up again. That interim period could be many years long and we must plan for that as well if we can.
Let us think about this issue whilst many items of clothing are still very affordable thanks to imports from Asia and China, If you feel the threat to your own situation could involve a long term disruption to your life what sort of things could you buy now and set aside for times of shortage. Not only could you ensure you have some of the clothing essentials you need but you may end up with a valuable commodity for bartering.
We will focus primarily on personal clothing but will briefly look at other items you may wish to obtain.
The sort of items you may consider worthy of bulk buying could be many and varied but try and think about think you may need that will no longer be easily available.
- T Shirts / Undershirts *
- Polo shirts*
- Vests / Bras *
- Underwear briefs / Panties*
- Cargo pants or work jeans
- Micro fleece Shirts
- Cargo vests
- Fleece sweaters
- Woollen sweaters if they are what you like
- Fleece jackets
- Cotton canvas Work Jackets (Fatigues)
- Water proof outdoor jackets
- Winter parka
- Work gloves
- Leather belts
- Head Scarfs / Bandanas / Baseball caps etc
- Work / Hiking / Walking shoes boots and spare insoles.
- Sandals / Clogs / Flip flops
*= Multi Packs
I tend to buy “Value” packs from Tesco, Matalan, Makro etc then try them out to see if they are durable, comfortable, and good value for money. You need to check because at times stores will try and sell off some real junk as bargains.
For Example I once bought two packs of Polo Shirts from a well-known store, and even when washed on a low temperature and room dried instead of tumble dried they still shrunk so much they would have fitted my youngest son instead of me.
On a similar point I bought some budget range of walking / approach shoes (UK made as well) from a national retail outlet, they wore out in weeks and had such little internal foot bed support they rapidly become useless.
Let us not forget the children and their expensive but necessary habit of growing.
Hand me downs may become the norm like fleeces etc but some items such as underwear and footwear really need to be obtained in multiple sizes to allow for growth as will maintaining some level of personal dignity for the children.
When the kids grow out of items post collapse do not discard clothing as once washed and cleaned these clothes probably will have much barter value for families with kids who did not prepare as well.
Cleaning and personal hygiene materials are covered in the stockpiling and caching lists. The list of items above is not absolute everyone will have their own list of requirements but can use this list to work from.
Modified clothing for the EDC prepped
More and more preppers I meet are doing some interesting stuff with their EDC clothing, Poorer preppers like myself tend to modify or tailor proprietary brands of clothing to suit our own needs, I’m always adding extra pockets, re-enforcement patches, Fastex webbing and hangers, kit hanging loops, elasticised draw cords etc to my clothing. Equally many preppers choose to buy and wear clothing primarily designed for soldiers or police officers such as Combat Jackets, SAS smocks, M65s, Concealed Carry Jackets, Specialist Vests etc. And not forgetting our passion for tactical cargo pants either. Some folks spend huge amounts of first rate specialist outdoor clothing and still end up messing on with a sewing machine to get the product they want.
Also and very importantly in this ever more uncertain and violent world parents are also seeking specialist clothing for their children. GPS tagged clothing and shoes for the very young, GPS tagged phones for errant teens spring to mind but equally the enlightened urban families both prepper and ordinary types as well as the kids themselves have identified a need for even more specialist clothing.
This includes slash proof and knife resistant vests, hoodies, smocks and jackets for kids !! (What a terrible indictment of today’s society until you realise that in London alone over 250 kids have been stabbed to death in the last year or two which makes teen prepping more important than ever it was before.)
Slash resistant clothing is now very popular in places such as Washington DC, New York, London, Birmingham, Rome, Berlin and Tokyo for teens as well as adults. It is a newish product range some city preppers may wish to consider as well.
There is also a trend among our teens and city dwellers to reduce the risk of becoming victims of muggings and street robberies by wearing clothing that allows them to conceal the inevitable collection of electronic gadgets they have these days. Firstly it helps them reduce the risk of being targeted as in many cases they can conceal their personal kit about their person instead of in bags and rucksacks.
Jackets, Hoodies and Vests that look just like ordinary outdoor civilian fashion clothing but have huge numbers of concealed pockets and hidden routes within the clothing to route phone speaker / headphone wires etc, This again is a development that can in many cases be beneficial to the urban prepper community as you can very often carry a full EDC load in the pockets rather than in a bag.
- Article on Kids stab proof clothing
- Concealed 24 pocket Fleece
- 22 concealed pocket travel Vest
- 26 concealed pockets Jacket
- Specialist Scottvest range Men and Women
- Tactical multi pocket hoodie
- Knife Slash Resistant Hoodies
- Knife Slash Resistant Windjammer Jacket
FIT, FEEL AND FAMILIARITY
(Getting to know your kit)
OK, so you have done the research, bought the kit, developed your plans and stockpiled everything including the assault systems kitchen sink. Now what are you going to do? Wait for Armageddon?
It’s no good at all having a great piece of kit if you are not totally familiar with its feel and fit, and you need to be very comfortable about using it. Why buy an all singing all dancing tactical folding knife then put it away until it is needed? Does it open and close smoothly, can you cut a rope, fillet a rabbit, defend yourself with it, sharpen it or is it too big or to lightweight for the task?
Does it sit comfortably on your hip or in your pocket now? What about after 8 hours with your rucksack pressing it into your hip, can you unleash it, open it and use it with cold, wet, tired hands?
Your expensive flashlight with its lifetime warranty, can you strip and replace the self-cleaning switch, Is it big enough powerful enough to do the job for a full evening in your blacked out camp site or retreat, or is it always getting in the way, pulling your belt down, and eating batteries faster than a kids toy?
Be honest, if you were stressed out, scared stupid and fleeing for your life along with your family, Could you put your hand straight to your compass, flashlight, map, knife or whatever in your bug out vest or bag without having to unpack or rummage about for it. What about the vest / bag itself Is the vest up to the job? Is it comfortable? Not going to slide up or down or ride up into a knot or disintegrate at the first time its put to use.
It’s the same with the BOV’s super duper tyres you paid a premium rate for, and what about the PV unit or wind generator you have obtained, will the tyres give the traction you seek or are you going to end up with terminal wheel spin in the inevitable piece of swamp along the route to your destination. Or the PV and turbine working flat out simply don’t provide enough energy to stop your freezer from thawing out. What if for example the turbine produces so much noise it lets the residents of the next county home in on your secluded retreat?
You have the will, you have the need, and now you have the kit to enable you to survive, so get familiar with it use it, get comfortable with it, reassure yourself that it will be up to the task, Why not for example wear your vest for a few days at a time partially loaded, so you get used to it, let it find its shape, find out the best way to load it with your kit. You don’t need to go into town looking like you are ready to start a war, but it will do you no harm at all to use your vest as a gillet carrying your knife, flashlight, compass, first aid kit, Para cord, wallet etc for a few days. Perhaps you could make it your car coat or your dog walking jacket. It’s the same care that is needed with the new boots you have recently invested in.
Now you have realised that bugging out in a vehicle is going to be almost impossible and have purchased those 200 dollar boots, are they up to the job? To stiff? Poor fit? Not broken in? Not water resistant? Do they take forever to dry out etc?
You need your bug out boots, clothes and kit to be snug, comfortable and familiar at hand, and up to the job.
I got myself what I thought would be an ideal garment to use as a bug out vest, I bought it, loaded it up, then put it away whilst I waited for Armageddon. Then one day I thought I would take the mutt for a good long hard walk and decided to try out the vest…………………………. It is now into its third set of alterations and modifications to make it more comfortable and better suited to the task I designed it for.
TACTICAL WALKING TIPS FOR BUGGING OUT ON FOOT
BEFORE SETTING OFF
Try on your Rucksack and Jacket, Jump up and down on the spot, if your kit rattles or bangs re-pack rucksack until its silent.
Ensure shiny items like watches, ear rings, earphones, belt buckles are covered up or taped over.
Make sure your specs and shades are the dull, matt coloured frames, not the shiny ones.
Do NOT take hand luggage; you must keep both hands free for climbing, roping, using tools etc
Keep your EDC essentials on your person not in your rucksack (Knife, Compass, Lighter, Flashlight, Multi Tool, Bandana, Hats, Gloves, Watch, and Shades etc) should you have to abandon your rucksack.
Daytime departure, take a look out the windows from well within the room moving to the right of the room to look left down the street, and vice versa. Do not stand in the window and silhouette yourself. Ensure as best possible departure will go unnoticed.
Nigh time departure, extinguish all lights and fires before looking out of the windows, move slowly at night as human eyes detect movement more than detail in the dark. Ensure as best possible departure will go unnoticed.
Turn off cell phones, pagers etc before leaving.
Use simple hand signals to relay information to other family members, raised arm means stop, raised arm and a crouching stance means stop and take cover, arm extended to left means move towards the left, arm extended to right means move to right. Keep the signals few in number and very simple.
READY TO GO
Turn out lights if it is dark, open door or window PARTIALLY and LISTEN for threats.
Send out one person to scan the immediate area for concealed threats.
If the area is good to go the rest of group to follow, silently and at least 3 to 4 ft apart (6 to 8 feet if tactical situation demands more defensive stance)
Walk where possible in the shadows, look up for hazards in surrounding buildings, Look down to avoid items that may make noise like twigs, gravel or broken glass.
Pause frequently to listen, you generally will identify more threats by sound than vision, breaking glass, raised voices, gun shots, vehicle engines, running feet, barking dogs etc
Watch what nature does, if you see a flock of birds, or a rabbit, or deer for example suddenly take flight that tells you something has frightened it, and it may NOT have been your party.
Look left and right SLOWLY in a steady scanning motion, Human eyes detect motion more than shapes when its dark and you have more detector rods and cones in the sides of your eyes than you do at the back. Scanning side to side as you walk you will detect MOVEMENT before shape.
The last man in the group needs to keep stopping and quietly observing the rear to check if you are being followed.
Avoid using flashlights to navigate with, rely on your own night visions, Human eyes take 35 minutes to adapt to the dark but only seconds to lose night vision if a fool turns on a flashlight. Not to mention the risk of advertising your position to the whole area if you do use a flashlight.
Where possible avoid public places and spaces where cops, troops or thugs may gather, try and stay in the shadows.
Avoid districts where scavengers may good looking for food, loot etc
When passing through hilly neighbourhoods never walk along hilltops or ridgelines, stay under the ridgeline and don’t silhouette yourself.
If faced with an obstacle such as a hedgerow or wall try always to go round or under it, not over the top or through a gate because again you are just exposing your position.
In the short term most highway and rail bridges are really places to avoid, both official check points and predators WILL target them. Look for alternatives.
RESTING & EATING
No cooking fires to be lit during the day unless you can guarantee you won’t create any smoke.
When cooking at night site the cooker in a hollow or hole so it does not give off light giving away your position, Beware of the odour of cooking food also giving away your position.
If in a group ONE PERSON COOKS, the others spread out and keep watch for approaching scavengers, Silence is golden as you will hear them approaching long before you see them.
You need to remember the cook will probably lose his night vision so if you have to bug out someone will need to help him until his eyes adjust.
Ideally eat in shifts, half eating half keeping watch, pack away camp cooker etc BEFORE eating in case you have to bug out in a hurry.
Take every scrap of rubbish with you or bury it, fill in your cooking hole / fire pit, leave no clue to your passing through.
We all need rest and the young and elderly need more rest than healthy adults, you all must sleep when possible. Human biorhythms run in two hour cycles, so to get the full benefit of sleep people need to be fully asleep in two hour sections. This really means in a stressed situation after a day of bugging out each member will need three hours in his sleeping bag, and hour to wind down / distress and two hours sleep. So whilst at least one person stands watch, the others should rest in three hour sections. All gear must remain packed in rucksacks and boots etc kept close to hand in case you have to make a swift and stealthy exit from your campsite.
Communications (Simple Two Way Radio for Preppers)
I think we all understand the benefits we get from modern telecoms systems with cell phones, texting, mobile internet etc and the benefits that cell phones give us in keeping in touch instantly with friends and family.
Your mobile phone or I phone has a major role in maintaining instant comms with your family / group when small scale incident happed EG Your commuter route home is blocked by an accident or the school texts you to say the school bus has broken down etc. But the mobile phone network is utterly reliant on the cell phone tower network that covers the country and those towers are vulnerable and reliant of the national grid for power.
In a terror crisis as we have seen before the government often turns off the cell system in an emergency thus leaving millions of people without any communications system often for hours or days. So we as preppers need to look at alternatives that are not reliant on the cell phone tower network.
I believe that a radio system for prepper families and prepper groups is advantageous in the current climate, and I equally believe it should be as SIMPLE as possible as well.
Prepper communications need to be first and foremost set up with PREPPERS in mind and not Amateur Radio Enthusiasts though as your skills develop it is often found that many preppers do go for a ham licence and enjoy the extra benefits it offers.
Most preppers are just ordinary everyday people who become preppers and they need to be able to simply pick up and use a very simple radio and use it when the whole world could be unraveling around them.
People in life threatening high stress situations do not need to start worrying about technical issues apart from have they got the right batteries and is the antenna plugged in.
A system that is NOT requiring licensing by the authorities as to maintain the low profile status is often required by most preppers our privacy is vital and its often seen as an unnecessary risk putting yourself on government held lists such as the radio licensing authorities (but not everyone feels that way I must add, some are happy to accept the licencing system in order to access the better radio frequencies)
This normally directs preppers towards CB radio systems on 27 MHZ FM broadcasting on the 80 UK and CEPT approved frequencies at 4 watts power.
In 2013 it is expected (hoped) that the government will finally permit the use of 12 watt single side band CB radio for use in the UK to harmonise systems across the EU. This new legalized and UN-licenced radio system should greatly benefit the prepper community with its much greater range and power than standard CB radios.
Mention must also be given to the PMR 446 band and radios allocated to it, these 8 channel short range budget priced handsets normally only use half a watt of power to be legal for UK use but many preppers take advantage of the imported Baofeng and similar radios such as the UV3 and UV5 that can easily be set up to operate on the PMR 446 channels at 5 watts, obviously these are illegal to use but still worth having for the extra range they can offer during a disaster or after a societal breakdown.
However for many people they believe the advantages of obtaining an amateur radio licence to be a good investment and many experienced preppers who are also ham radio operators have spent a great deal of time working out optimal kit requirements and frequencies for establishing a UK prepper radio network similar to that of the American prepper network radio systems. Many articles and guides on this subject can be found on the SUK.NET forum and archive.
Whatever system you choose it will need to be set up, tested and operational long BEFORE TSHTF so issues like local radio dead spots are identified, best ranges are identified, its ACTUAL useable range determined etc. The kit needs to be comfortably familiar in the hands of its users NOW so that when TSHTF they do not become frustrated or hampered because of over complicated equipment.
It needs to have a reliable useable range even in bad weather, different people will have different requirements but a straw poll among a few preppers I work with say 5 miles in a urban environment and up to ten miles in a rural environment would be highly desirable, this negates PMR 446 in its standard legal form according to industry experts.
The handset should ideally have CHANNEL numbers not frequencies, but a display showing both would be equally acceptable. Civilians under stress need to know to go to Channel 9 or 19 not start looking for 26.68125 or 27.78125.
The radio needs to be simply picked up and turned on to be used and not require cables, computer programs, band allocation, step selection, algorithms, programming or any other specialist technical requirements, Simplicity MUST / SHOULD be the key.
Ideally it needs at least some channels available that are not commonly used by CB and Amateur radio users (especially after TSHTF) BUT currently the CB and 10 meter bands do offer the easiest option though both bands are frequently inhabited by unpleasant types (CB) or potential official trouble (Amateur) But again accessing the more secure channels must be exceedingly simple to achieve.
Naturally common sense insists that the radios utilize commonly available batteries such as the AA or slightly less popular AAA sizes, the radio itself needs to be able to use Rechargeable as well as Disposable batteries. Domestic or vehicle mounted radios obviously will have different power sources and different back up supplies will be needed for these base and mobile stations.
For a basic reliable very simple to operate radio system the current CB 80 channels of 27 FM UK and 27 FM CEPT offer the simplest option though it must be admitted that in many areas you still find retarded halfwit with the IQ of a cabbage swearing, shouting and playing music over some channels, we can simply hope these cretins do not survive the initial catastrophe. Hopefully as mentioned above the 12 watt SSB system should soon be legal to use in the UK
Some modern CB sets offer CB and 10 meter amateur bands on the same hand set that are accessed by the simple cutting of a wire link. But at least if you get bitten by the radio bug and decide to get an amateur license you won’t need a new radio.
PMR 446 can serve short range communications of up to ½ a mile whilst well sorted and set up Amateur radio kit can (via repeaters) often reach hundreds of miles.
Whichever system(s) you adopt you will find plenty of practical advice on SUK.NET from our radio enthusiasts.
In theory this bit is easy, Ideally you need to get fit enough to be able to walk long distances whilst carrying a full pack on your back containing everything you need to sustain you and your family on its journey to your place of safety. BUT in the real world we are not all fit enough, nor can we carry all we need about our persons, add to this equation a wife, two kids, a baby and an elderly in law. So you need to consider transport. Think about fuel types and its availability after a disaster, think about type and style of vehicle that suits you best, think about power to weight ratios when you have the entire family aboard plus food and other outdoor survival kit, think about having to sleep rough using you vehicle as a bedroom, think about storing your full bug out kit aboard and the family, think about maintenance, think about having to go “off road”, think about fuel tank range, and think about its suitability for your survival needs.
You need to discuss your requirements in depth with other survivalists and overland expeditioners to get the best advice you can. Most favour large bodied large diesel powered 4 wheel drive utility vehicles; though camper vans and panel van conversions are gaining popularity.
Learn new skills, If you get the chance to learn to ride a horse, grab it. Same with a motorcycle, motorboat, sailboat, quad bike etc, if the opportunity arises get on a course on how to use a 4WD properly off road then take it.
The more operator skills you gain with differing modes of transport the better your chances are in bugging out or getting home safe after a disaster.
If more members of your family or group are capable of using the methods of transport chosen then get them trained up as well?
Try and match your transport system with the environment you live in, IE in cities bicycles probably are best, In a heavily wooded hilly area horses may be best.
A FAMILY BUGGING OUT BY ROAD
OK Let’s say you are a prepper or at least someone taking disaster prep seriously, there’s you and your partner, couple of preteen kids and perhaps say grandma or a similar permutation of relatives.
Your prime choice of bugging out is by road (as it is for the majority of us)
So what criteria do you use when choosing what sort of vehicle to use and what to put inside it?
What I want people to try and realise that for many families or even couples that bugging out from City or Rural location is simply not rushing out and buying a big bloody 4×4 jeep with loads of gadgets fitted.
Things people need to consider are (but often ignored because a jeep looks cool and macho on the drive)
Belted Seats for everyone (it’s no use piling the kids on top of the guns and fishing kit as you try and drive down a gravel slope)
Internal sleeping space (Camping out In the real world the chances are it will probably be hot/ cold/ windy/ wet/ snowy/ dusty or susceptible to being eaten live by anything from soldier ants, fleas, chiggers, ticks etc all the way up to grizzly bears and humans. You really need to be able to accommodate your peoples sleeping needs inside your BOV.)
Catering, Washing and Toilet access (face it if you have to survive for any length of time you don’t want to be washing and crapping in a stream in midwinter, and that is providing grandma or the kids can get down the slope to the stream, nor do you want to be eating or feeding your kids MRE’s Jerky or snickers bars every day possibly for weeks on end. You need a cooker, fuel, internal water supply, camping toilet, and waste water tank)
Equipment storage its really quite simple your group kit needs to be carried INSIDE the vehicle on two counts, (1) SECURITY: IE to stop people stealing your kit, or advertising yourselves as fully equipped with valuable kit.
(2) CONCEALMENT, there’s nothing more likely to attract the attention of undesirables or even other survivalists than a vehicle liberally draped in winches, jacks, jerry cans, ropes, food lockers etc
Stay sensible before you spout off about being armed to approaching strangers there is a damn good chance that anyone stumbling into you is better armed, better trained, more numerous and more desperate to resupply. (It’s better to still be armed for defence but to have no one even notice you.)
Range (During Hurricane Katrina and in New York State on 911 two things occurred you need consider).
(1) Down New Orleans way even some survivalist families that were fully prepared got caught out. Because of the mass evacuation order so many vehicles were on the road at one time all heading away from the storm that many drivers found themselves crawling along at 5 mph for up to 12 hours in first gear, this caused them to run out of fuel long before they reached safety even when they had an extra couple of Jerry cans of fuel on board and full fuel tanks.
(2) In New York as soon as news broke about 911 many fuel stations closed, some chose to close and others were told to close by cops who feared war had broken out. But the effect was the same people ran out of fuel trying to flee the area. Other gas stations were simply sucked dry in hours by the surge in demand. You need to store enough fuel to travel from your home to your place of safety by the longest route possible and having to do it in low gear.
A rough example is if your retreat is 150 miles away you really need enough fuel aboard to do 450 miles).
Fuel Safety and Availability (This bit many people hate thinking about or choose to ignore). If you need to carry lots of fuel to get to your retreat and possibly back as well it means you are carrying a lot of volatile material. The fact is that it’s simply safer and fuel efficient to drive a diesel powered vehicle.
Yes your V 8 small block hemi engine is sexy, but it’s also a liability in the fire and fuel availability stakes. Gasoline is simply dangerous to handle, it does not like being stored without being treated, it explodes far too easy, and after TSHTF it’s much harder to get than diesel, even in the US. Currently if you wanted to get some extra gasoline you can go to the gas station along with all the panic stricken Joe Publics and that’s about it.
BUT with diesel you can try gas stations, truck stops, trucks themselves, freight depots, freight yards, locomotive stables, railroad sidings, military depots, boat yards, airports, farms, farm suppliers and other agricultural sources. Even in the US there is billions of gallons more long life diesel available than gasoline).
Flexibility ( There is simply no reason why your BOV cannot be used as your everyday drive to work vehicle, millions of people drive, panel vans, camper vans, SUVs, and Day vans as their normal means of transport. You can even use it to go on camping vacations with.)
SELECTING A BUG OUT VEHICLE
The Chances are if you are a fit single young man you will get by with a good SUV 4×4 type vehicles with camping equipment fitted wherever you can, But if you are a family man or not in the first flourish of youth you are going to need something more spacious like a Van or Overland RV
(Overlanders are basically heavy duty expedition vehicles)
I think very few people will need a huge coach built camper conversion like a Winnebago the upper limit is likely to be the very rugged ex school bus in the US and the ex-army bus in the UK. But generally the trend does appear to be for a self-contained BOV usually a van conversion rather than an upgraded SUV with external camping equipment. But opinion is not entirely that way there are still many survivalists who are more than happy with their Land Rovers and Jeeps and there are people who are more than satisfied with their upgraded family cars as well.
In some areas local geography dictates what type of vehicle is most suited as a BOV in parts of the north east and south west many roads and lanes are not much wider than 6ft and in those areas a narrow short vehicle is best suited, Fortunately because of the similar needs of the Japanese city dwellers there are no shortage of ultra-compact Kei cars and vans to choose from as are van based cars.
FITTING OUT YOUR B.O.V / GHV
There are some very important things to consider when designing, fitting out and loading your Bug out Vehicle, they range from
- Selecting the best vehicle you can afford to buy and run.
- Fitting it out as best as possible.
- Distributing the load evenly between the axles.
- Keeping heavy items stored as low down as possible.
- Balancing the weight evenly along both sides of the vehicle.
- Keeping often needed and important equipment readily to hand.
- Ensuring you don’t have to offload kit to get to the bed, toilet or kitchen.
- Not overloading your vehicle so as to affecting handling or ground clearance.
- Ensuring the vehicle is made as BOV suitable as possible (IE Rugged).
- Remembering to redistribute weight in the vehicle as fuel, food and water are consumed.
- Incorporating as many useful features as possible / affordable.
- Making it easily repairable as possible
Ideally if you want a BOV with internal sleeping accommodation a 4×4 panel van conversion will meet your needs the closest, followed by a 4×2 panel van, the other common option of course is the 4×4 SUV or utility truck with a roof mounted tent or towed trailer containing some sort of opening or demountable sleeping arrangement.
Many people choose the Off Road vehicle option as it suits their needs best, but I feel that many survivalists with family members both young and old will be better suited to sleeping inside a BOV rather than in a tent or trailer tent.
Your BOV should have the capacity to carry extra fuel, extra food, extra water, extra clothing, extra equipment and logistics to make the bugging out event as least traumatic as possible, it has been debated to great length over the years but a commonly held belief is that your vehicle should carry enough fuel to cover a distance four times of that equaling the most direct route to your final destination, IE if its 150 miles to your retreat you should carry fuel enough to go 450 miles. This allows for road blocks, diversions, natural and manmade hazards and pure bad luck.
You can supplement and extend your range by caching fuel along the most likely routes you will follow to get to your retreat, but what you must NEVER do is plan on using gas stations to obtain extra fuel in an emergency, not only could they be closed, empty or looted but you can guarantee trouble makers will be loitering around them waiting for people just like you to pull in.
I believe that the case has been made firmly in favour of diesel powered vehicles ahead of gasoline powered vehicles, though I do respect other people’s choices, reasons and desires in selecting gasoline power. But for economy, reliability, accessibility, storage and safe handling, efficiency and availability Diesel is in my honest opinion the best choice for survivalists.
Your BOV will ideally be able to provide enough sleeping space for all of your group/ family MINUS ONE, because at all times someone should be outside keeping watch. You do not want to have to unload equipment or supplies in order to make up a berth because if you are forced to suddenly flee for your lives then you will probably have to abandon the stuff you offloaded.
Use your head when designing and loading your vehicle, if for example your fuel tank is on the right hand side of the vehicle then position the extra fuel tank on the left to balance the weight. As you use up your supplies do remember to rebalance the vehicles load to compensate.
As well as balancing the vehicle keep the centre of gravity as low as possible, keep all the heaviest stuff as low down as possible, fuel , bottled gas, water etc on or under the vehicle floor, followed by food and tools, with lightweight stuff like clothing and bedding stored in the highest spots. Make sure you have adequate ventilation in your vehicle when burning gas for cooking or heating, Carbon Monoxide will kill you in minutes if you use burners and heaters without enough ventilation.
Please do remember that for the average modern western family all of the above can be accommodated into a long wheel base panel van like a Ford Transit or Econoline, and accordingly can be used as everyday transport for one of the family, the vehicle can most certainly be used for leisure purposes as well as survivalism.
Vehicle Jacks, Spare Wheels & Wheel Braces
Have you noticed just how badly located many spare wheels are located on our vehicles and also how utterly useless the standard vehicle jack is, very often the OE jack can only be used on one specific spot on each corner of the vehicle, that’s no good if that spot is sited over a rock or soft ground when you get a puncture.
One thing I always try to do to my vehicles is to relocate the spare wheel if it’s stored UNDER the vehicle, I either bonnet, roof or tailgate mount it, or even leave it inside the vehicle. I’m sick of having to crawl under the vehicle to unwind the securing bolt in the pouring rain, then trying to drag the blasted thing out from underneath the vehicle.
I also very often scrap the OE Jack and replace it with one with a wider base so it works on soft ground (stops the jack sinking in) and one that will go under the vehicle easily and lift in multiple locations on the body or suspension, rather than many OE jacks that can only lift in specific locations on the vehicle body. You can compromise by welding a bigger steel footplate to the bottom of your OE jack.
At the very least you need an extra foot plate made from steel or thick timber to be kept with your jack, 12×12 or 18 x 18 inches.
Some folks now use AIR jacks which are basically a re-enforced neoprene bag you push under the car and inflated it via a compressor ran from the cigar lighter socket, or from a 3 litre diver’s bottle.
I have also noticed in their mad dash to make vehicles as light as possible that the manufacturers are now making the wheel brace for undoing the wheel nuts very short indeed, often requiring someone with super human strength or a piece of scaffolding pipe to free off tight wheel nuts. I strongly recommend you get hold of a chrome steel extending wheel brace, they are only about £15 and also double up nicely as a defensive weapon.
Don’t forget in a real Bug Out situation the spare wheel, jack and brace need to be very easily accessible so you can change a wheel quickly and get going again ASAP, Having to unload the BOV to get at the spare is definitely bad practise to be avoided at all costs.
Also if you are likely to be sleeping overnight in the vehicle in a BO situation and end up parking off the highway it is well worth keeping four pieces of 13 or 19 mm plywood at least 18 inches x 12 inches to park the vehicle on during the stopover, this will help prevent your vehicle sinking into soft ground overnight and getting stuck. The bigger the vehicle and heavier the load the bigger the boards need to be.
THE CASE FOR DIESEL
Yes I know there are far more people driving Cars, Vans, SUVs’s , Pickups, 4X4’s etc with petrol (gasoline) powered engines than there are driving similar vehicles running Diesel engines, But hang on a moment is that a good thing for us claiming to be switched on survivalists?
Some points I think need chewing over by the preparedness communities especially those with retreats, homesteads, secure homes and bug out plans.
If (or more likely when) TSHTF and fuel availability & storage becomes a major issue what will society in general start doing?
Let’s accept that most of us already keep our vehicles topped off most of the time and also keep a few gallons of fuel stored for “The Day” but nearly all of us must admit that overall we have not got enough fuel cached to get by with.
Question? What is the general public going to do as soon as finding fuel supplies become difficult?
span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Answer yes they are going to form huge queues at almost every petrol (gas) station they can, the rest of this tale you already know, huge queues, long waits, rationing, violence, riots, people getting killed for a gallon of fuel. The public will go berserk in next to no time at all.
(This scenario came 100% spot on accurate during the 2005 hurricane season in the US)
So what are the big boys and the prepared people doing?
What do the Railways (Railroads), Truckers, Maritime trade, leisure boats use as fuel? What do farmers choose as fuel for their tractors, ploughs, etc? What do the military choose to power their vehicles?
Diesel, Yes Diesel, This fuel is found almost everywhere a survivalist would choose to look. It’s safer to handle and store than petrol, it’s got a better shelf life untreated than petrol and it’s used to power most of our commerce.
Next time you are out and about take a look around and try to identify places you could ‘Source’ petrol (gas) and diesel. Petrol in general is only available at fuel stations and in other petrol powered vehicles (cars, lawn mowers and jet skis?).It’s only found in fairly small quantities as well. If you are lucky you will be able to fill your vehicle and a few jerry cans from a retail source before government restrictions or shortages become an issue.
But look at places you can find diesel in an emergency and in what quantities? Trucks alone have tanks that carry many hundreds of gallons of diesel, truck stops hold huge amounts in comparison to petrol stations. Look at your local railroad locomotive, even the smallest carry 1500 gallons of diesel whilst the mainline locos can carry as much as 6000 gallons.
Also in recent years modern diesel engines have advanced technologically, to a point that the power issues that traditionally separated diesel vehicles from petrol (gas) powered vehicles has been eroded. So that unless you are into sports cars a turbo diesel can and will match your gasoline powered car in everything except the 0-60 MPH stakes, plus modern diesels are still more economical than petrol engines.
Then of course when it comes to the reliability and vulnerability aspects of comparing the two types of engine diesel wins hands down.
I am also advised that certain types of heating oil can be used to run a diesel engine. Certainly after the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina you need to carry enough fuel to travel 3x the distance to your retreat, this allows for diversions and long periods of very slow driving in heavy traffic.
So in closing if you have a rural retreat or bug out plans and you believe that sourcing fuel is going to be a major issue common sense directs you to choose the good old compression ignition engine.
Inflatables, kayaks and boats
A few preppers on various forums have chatted in general about using waterways for bugging out along and a few others have mentioned keeping a boat at home because they live in areas at risk from severe flooding.
Now it does not take a genius to realise that playing around on the water can be dangerous if not deadly for the unskilled and inexperienced people, and its out and out lethal if you normally take to the water if its surging in and inundating your street.
It could be pushing trees, cars, lumber, oil drums, and heaven knows what else under the surface just waiting to puncture your boat or tip you out.
There could be horrendous hidden currents just under the surface during the initial part of the deluge at least just waiting to tip you out of pull you under, so taking to the water during the initial stages of a flood is definitely not wise nor recommended unless the only other option remaining is drowning.
Most experienced boaters and water sports type agree that is most cases leaping into a boat during the initial part of a flood is suicidal and to be avoided at all costs if possible.
BUT using boats and kayaks as silent methods of bugging out along normal waterways like rivers, lakes and canals is viable and often the best choice for some people, so at least it must be considered and debated by the prepper community.
Being terrified of water myself I think I will choose very deliberately to make the point of EVERYONE WEARS SUITABLE BOYANCY AIDS, properly selected and fitted, plus safety helmets in case you are tipped out.
You must put SAFETY absolutely first on this issue, flood water, rivers, canals, lakes and the sea does not give the foolish a second chance.
So bugging out by boat is and can be a very viable option for more than a few people and for most of us with finite storage space and limited funds I reckon inflatable kayaks with built in buoyancy chambers is worth looking at.
Escaping flood water.
OK so let us assume you have been caught out at home by a flood that has inundated your home which is located on a flood plain. (Over 60% of UK homes are built along ancient river courses and deltas, and plenty are located in the path of water from failed dams.)
A boat, kayak etc may be a prudent if risky investment if there is a likelihood that a flood could either totally cover your house ( bungalow dwellers beware) or the flow of the water could demolish your house both scenarios happened in both the UK and Holland during the winter storm in 1953/54. Hundreds of people drowned on the east coast of England and thousands drowned in Holland.
Victims not only drowned but some were crushed by debris, burnt by chemicals floating on the surface and died of hypothermia after being immersed in icy water for hours.
So using that as a historical warning and remembering that the UK government has consistently failed to update many flood defences and failed to properly maintain even more.
We need to consider options for surviving a flood (You rather than me because if my house floods chances are you lot are already fish food as my house is 389 ft above sea level 12 miles from the coast. But taking in the lessons from Fukushima complacency is something I cannot really afford).
If you think you are at risk consider getting a boat or inflatable of some sort plus life jackets / buoyancy aids plus doing a course on basic boat handling skills.
Should you be caught out and forced to take to the water a few people I have spoken to suggest that trying to navigate your way through debris laden swirling flood water will probably be the quickest way to kill yourself, they suggest donning your wet weather gear, plus buoyancy aids and helmet, (don’t forget your Bug Out Bags)
Then getting into your boat if you absolutely must then try and tie up straight away in the lee of a solid tall object such as an office block, phone mast, etc, try not to be carried away by the flood water. By tying up in the lee of an object you reduce the risk (not entirely) of having a submerged tree of semi submerged piece of debris smashed your boat and possibly sinking it. Taking to the water MAY save your life but flood water is definitely not your friend.
They also suggest that when and where possible you stay in a spot of calm water in the lee of a shelter for as long as possible because not only does debris laden sea / lake flood water rush in, but it also rushes back out carrying even more junk with it. (In the case of Tsunamis the surges can come and go many times over many long hours).
If and when things calm down and it appears to be safe enough to row or sail towards dry land or a big building above the water you must travel very carefully and slowly as you don’t want to puncture your hull or get tipped out by submerged objects from telegraph poles, street lights, trees, etc, slow but sure is the way to safety.
Getting boating lessons and taking regular practise is the best way of prepping, plus being familiar and skilled with your chosen craft is a must, you also need to know how to fix leaks and punctures and have the kit to do the repair with.
You may need to find a safe method of cooking on your boat without burning a hole through it; you will need a good water filter like a Katadyn RO filter. You will need long quality mooring rope, waterproof flashlights etc. Speak to boating experts for advice not boat salesmen.
Boating to bug out of to reach safety is an option for those with the skills, but I suggest that it really needs to you develop EXPERT levels of skill and knowledge in boating.
Surviving Public Transport Systems
Can we as preppers ever really rely on public transport systems especially URBAN systems? In the UK the vulnerable PT systems are compounded by the fact most signalling systems for controlling trains, and electrical supplies for powering electric trains are now regionalised. This means the power supply for the train you are on could be being supplied from over 50 miles away, and the traffic signals and points switching controlled from over 250 miles away. EG a recent theft of copper cabling south of YORK stopped all trains moving as far north as DARLINGTON and as far south as STEVENAGE.
As far as I am aware there is no reliable system of transport available to the public ran by state, councils or private sector.
Most if not all transport systems can and are often held hostage to
- Trade Union Action*
- Power Cuts*
- Vandalism *
- Theft of signal equipment*
- Police Incidents*
- Inclement Weather *
- Fuel Shortages*
- Terror Attacks*
- Landslides / Subsidence / Rock fall / Flooding etc*
- Political commandeering of system*
All marked * can see an incident over 250 miles away from your location stop your journey dead in its tracks.
All types of Public Transport are ridiculously vulnerable to frequent disruption and breakdown in service.
Then add lack of cleaning, lack of street lighting, bad routing, and risk of robbery
etc and the unfailing attraction of stations and bus depots to thugs and criminals.
Poor or non-existent maintenance all affect cycle and walkways from being suitable for regular use over any meaningful distance, cycles at the very least need puncture proof tyres and suspension systems to be any use.
So are public transit systems ever going to be RELIABLE and FREQUENT systems of transport…….I think not.
That is also without considering the health risks we are exposed to on using public transport, from the spreading of infectious diseases such as untreatable TB, Flu etc to picking up fleas and lice from incorrectly cleaned upholstery on seats.
Under and Over
Today we find many public transport systems run either underground or on elevated tracks which makes escape during an incident even more hazardous.
The prepper and survivalist has no other option in reality other than to use their own transport to get around, and as the population increases along with fuel costs, rising crime and civil unrest, the prepper is going to need to put more effort and resources into their own transport needs.
But if you must use Public Transport you need to plan and prepare carefully, a few suggestions are listed below.
We all at some time use trains, buses and planes and with a bit of forethought you can reduce any risks you may face to more manageable levels.
For example if you are travelling by train or bus ensure you have a current time table, and study it, because if for example the bus you want (say number 50) is cancelled just as you arrive in some strange town, you may find the 55 is going to the destination but by a different route.
Always check BEFORE setting off that the public transit system at your destination town is running.
Always have the phone number of a couple of Taxi companies in your destination town in case the public transport system fails.
When travelling at night or on systems that run underground or through tunnels always keep a mobile phone, pocket flashlight and a few chemical light sticks on your person and perhaps a spring loaded glass breaker. If the power fails you don’t want to be trapped in a vehicle in the dark with an ever more panicky group of fellow travellers.
A small AM/FM radio is recommended to keep updated on travel news as well.
If you are travelling by plane or train in the UK and want to take your “essential” tools with you then you face the problem of security checks.
One option is to POST your essential kit to your destination in advance of you
travelling, I often collect packages of “”Computers bits I forgot”” from the hotel reception desk.
If possible don’t fly or use mainline railway stations that way you reduce the risk of attracting the attention of the authorities and frequent baggage checks.
Think about leaving the lock knife at home in many cases a tactical hard alloy flashlight with a serrated bezel edge is a better defensive tool than a knife AND TOTALLY LEGAL.
If transferring from one transit system to another after dark and you are concerned for your safety (EG leaving a bus to enter a train station) ask the bus driver or station assistant to watch you until you board the bus or enter the safety of the station.
If the bus stop is not right outside the station entrance most bus drivers will if asked nicely stop the bus in front of the station to allow you to alight in safety.
When leaving the safety and bright lights of stations and bus depots switch on and pay attention to your surroundings, are you being followed? Is someone stood close to your car? Is the guy in the shadows a businessman or a thug? PAY ATTENTION.
On the train itself try and sit close to the guard / ticket inspector or in a carriage with other travellers in it. Don’t isolate yourself in an empty carriage because that is just what muggers look for.
When possible it’s prudent to carry with you a good LED powered flashlight,
Chemical light sticks, multi tool, pocket knife, a few disposable dust masks, a drink, route planner and time table, mobile phone, compass and a map of your destination town. (Especially a tactical flashlight with serrated bezel if you have to leave your knife at home)
Keep your purse/ wallet in your front pockets not in your bag or back pocket this makes life much harder for pick pockets, also ideally you will keep your essentials on your person (cash, tickets, phone, flashlight etc) so that if your bag is stolen or snatched you don’t end up with no money, ticket or method of calling for help. When possible keep both hands free of luggage and keep shoulder and grab bags to your front.
I keep my Fenix LD20 flashlight palmed or in the elasticated cuff of my jacket when leaving stations etc.
Cover up your Bling, PDA’s, Blackberry’s, I Phones etc you are not trying to advertise you have valuables on you to anyone.
Never get stuck in a city centre without access to a good pair of broken in walking shoes and a rain/ wind proof jacket.
When approaching a transit point such as a train station, bus depot etc, If you see a large group of youths, strangers, soccer fans, gangs etc hanging about and you cannot enter the station without risking trouble then go away and wait a while until they leave, Its better five minutes late on earth than fifty years early in heaven.
Remember as a prepper the best method of transportation is one you are in control of IE your own vehicle.
If there is a possible risk that those issues such as terrorism, industrial action, severe weather etc may leave you stranded it is wise to have with you as much information about possible transit routes out of the city as possible. And do consider making the journey some other time if possible.
For example a small road map, cycle route map, canal route map, rail route map, even a map showing the direction of electricity distribution pylons, storm drains etc can help you navigate your way to safety.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS if something does not look or feel right the chances are your instincts will keep you safe.
MAPPING & ROUTE PLANNING
When preparing to move to a RETREAT or even on EXPEDITION TRAINING you must make careful notes of certain important factors in planning your journey, Also when in location at your base or retreat you need to record for future use some vital information.
Listed below are some of the most important items that should be included on your maps.
- Primary access route to and from your home or retreat
- Secondary / alternative routes to your destination
- Escape paths and alternate routes along your route to avoid hazards/ambushes/checkpoints/bad weather etc. etc.
- Water and possible food supplies /and pre-arranged caches along your routes.
- Water supplies around your retreat are they likely to remain that way are they pure? (Potable).
- Escape routes from the retreat in case of extreme weather or overwhelming opposition
- Natural hazards, bogs, rivers, marshland, large forests, old mine workings, rock faces etc.
- Manmade hazards, bomb sites, fallout zones, mine fields, militarised zones, refugee camps, check points, known patrol routes, telecoms sites, (TELECOMS SITES =communication sites EG radio masts, communications/radio / microwave relay towers and broadcasting masts, telecommunications facilities, military network communications masts, broadcasting stations both civil/military and commercial etc. etc.)
- Towns with populations exceeding available resources for self-reliance, etc
- Strategic targets, Bridges, factories, refineries, garrisons, police stations, airports, chemical and steel plants, reservoirs, road and rail junctions, marshalling yards, power stations, etc.
- Climatic hazards depending on time of year
- Thugs, police, military both foreign and domestic, paramilitaries, refugees, renegades, looters
- Allies, Red Cross, civil defence groups, other survival groups that are friendly.
Resources = Food stores, supermarkets, fuel dumps, grain stores, petrol stations and POL dumps, (Pol dumps = Petrol Oil and Lubricating dumps = fuel storage and distribution facilities, civil and military, petrol stations, oil storage facilities, refineries and crackers, wagon depots, rail refuelling depots, gas storage and distribution facilities, methane generator facilities (pig farms and ground fill sites), camping gas suppliers, butane / propane/map gas (Calor, Gaz, Coleman, Taymar etc)
Water supplies, tool stores, gun and sports shops, armouries, builders merchants, isolated shelters, farms, caves, tunnels, underpasses, fish farms, rivers and streams, colonies of cattle / small and large game etc.
A warning about Supplies.
Do ensure that when you approach sources of supplies that they are not already under someone else’s control, do not take unnecessary risks if necessary go elsewhere or try again another day.
Avoid confrontation and unnecessary contact until things get as normal as possible, be prepared to barter for supplies.
RECORDING USEFUL RESOURCES
Identify and keep records of any useful resources that may be useful to your group or family after the disaster.
Some materials like coal or building materials can frequently be left in place and they are unlikely to come to any harm, unless of course such materials are going to be in short supply.
Identify the following in your area
Recoverable sources of Firewood, Coal & Coke, Peat, Heating and fuel oil, Bottled Gas (butane and propane). Check coal yards, railway sidings, gas bottled refilling centers etc.
Petroleum Products, Petrol, Diesel, Avgas, Paraffin (Kerosene), Hypoid, Lubricants.
(Most petroleum products will need treating with preservatives) Petrol stations, refineries, transport depots.
Building materials, lumber, bricks, cement, and aggregates etc. Builder’s yards, DIY centers, quarries, building sites etc
Water Supplies, Tanks, ponds, reservoirs, streams, wells (including capped ones) artesian and aquifer supplies,
Water filtration and purification equipment and stockists
Identify locations of fast flowing or fast falling water that could be used to turn generators, mills, etc.
Food stores, supermarkets, distribution centers, regional warehouses, grain stores, etc
Free range herds of cattle, sheep, chickens, deer etc
Rabbit farms, Rabbit warrens, Fish farms, angling clubs.
Tool stores, engineering suppliers, plant hire agencies, camping, caravanning and outdoor stores, sports shops, gun shops, gun smiths, boat yards, marinas, ships chandlers preserved railways etc
Remote housing that is conducive to self-reliance, IE has things like functioning large chimneys and fire places, ultra insulated, double/ triple glazed, multi-fuel heating and cooking facilities, has a well or other clean water supply, solar panels, wind turbines, methane digesters, local supplies of fuel, defendable etc other facilities like outdoor residential centers, outward bound centers, alternative technology centers, camping hostels, retreats etc are worth considering.
Check out footpaths, bridle ways, navigable water ways, rail lines, broadcasting masts, radio masts, wind farms, etc.
Please remember that in survival INFORMATION is not only power, but a lifesaver as well.
There are many lists available on the web and in books about what to stockpile or cache this article is simply a guide of useful things to consider having around “just in case”
Some items you may wish to obtain can be useful on a day to day basis as well as being invaluable during a crisis for your own use or to barter with.
- Nylon cord /rope
- Hand operated tools
- Paraffin and candle lanterns, wicks etc
- Boots, insoles and spare laces
- Ordnance Survey maps 1:50,000
- Ducting tape / insulating tape
- Multi tools Gerber / Leatherman etc
- Compact field glasses
- Short wave radio or scanner
- Shuttering / boarding up timber & nails/screws
- Spare knives
- Hiking clothing /Gore-Tex type
- Medical supplies
- Tents / bivouac bags
- Camp cooker / barbeque (multi-fuel)
- Water containers
- Extra personal sanitation kit / spare prescription glasses
- Tea / coffee / whiteners
- Sugar / salt
- Flour / grain / pasta
- Soap / bleach / detergents
- Tooth paste / deodorant
- Zip lock bags / bin bags
- Candles / paraffin
- Coal /charcoal / wood
All of the above are everyday consumables that will quickly become in very short supply during a crisis and pound for pound the likes of salt, paraffin, coffee, and candles will become more valuable than gold.
Writers of survival planning often suggest that you should keep a supply of pure gold and silver coins for use as barter currency, perhaps they are correct but in my mind if you cannot eat it or burn it or preserve food with it I don’t think it will be of much use to you. People will sell their souls for the supplies I have listed and when they are in short supply you cannot really have too much in store because it’s something that you use continuously in your everyday life.
SIMPLE METHOD OF CACHING
One of the best and easiest methods of hiding your emergency equipment is to cache it in some safe location away from your home or retreat. It’s always prudent not to put all your eggs in one basket.
The commonest method of caching is to bury or hide it at a place that
- you can easily find again
- it cannot be easily found or accidentally uncovered by someone else
- it is in a position where it can be retrieved during a crisis without exposing you to danger
- it is not likely to become exposed due to erosion or land slip or agricultural activity
- it is not likely to become covered over by development or flood water
There are many locations for you to choose from, some will suit you some will not, it’s up to your own personal choice and the environment you live in. I hid my caches by burying them next to manhole covers, inspection pipe covers in rural locations along the various bug out routes I have chosen.
One of the best types of caching container I have used is the one made from plastic drainage piping, I buy a 4 metre length of 8 or 10 inch diameter heavy duty waste water piping and 8 blanking end caps, I chop up the pipe into 1 meter lengths and use either pipe welding solvent or external grade silicone sealant to seal an end cap onto one end of the pipe, I then fill the pipe with whatever I choose (maps/ rations/medical kit/ tools/ fuels/etc)
Then I add some moisture absorbent crystal sachets to the contents and seal the top on.
One point of note, you don’t always need to bury the tube in a vertical position if the area is reasonably undisturbed and is not likely to attract the attention of animals you can bury it about 18 inches down, put a few rocks on it to hold it in place then back fill the hole, remember to put back the turf or whatever was on the surface so it blends in with its surroundings.
BULK BUYING AND STORING FOOD
Ok just remember when you start bulk buying food such as tins or dried goods try to not buy all from the same batch or stock number or even the same shop, If the batch is tainted you could lose a huge amount of your cache in one go.
NEVER buy all from the same production date. Do try and buy stuff with the longest shelf life,
Never pay on a credit or debit card, use cash only if at all possible. Always buy a few items at a time from different shops, this stops the authorities from logging for future confiscation under emergency power laws the large amounts of food you are buying. Try and buy little and often from various sources.
Ignore the labels on the containers and mark what is in the tin / packet / tub and the necessary dates with a permanent marker pen. Labels can fall off or fade.
Don’t buy tins that are dented, scratched or look like they are overfilled (Over inflated) the contents could be off.
Try and store stuff completely out of daylight, with low humidity, and preferably some place cool.
Rotate your stock on a regular basis, IE eat the oldest stuff first and put your replacement purchases at the back of the shelf after moving the older stuff forward.
If you are buying dry stuff like Rice, Flour, Pasta, wheat etc and it comes in packets then you really need to put the packets in sealable plastic containers to stop vermin and bugs, moisture and light ruining your food. If you can get at the food easily so can most bugs and vermin.
I believe that putting flour; rice etc in a freezer for 5 or so days kills off any weevil eggs that are found in nearly all grains etc. So buy it freeze it, then box it, but ensure that anything you do store or cache after freezing is moisture free first.
Cans should be flipped or rolled regularly if stored for any long periods to keep contents from settling out, Many people now store tins on their sides on sloping shelves so that when a can is taken for use the remaining cans roll forward and keep the contents mixed, added bonus of you end up using the older stuff first.
Don’t rely on food caches in freezers unless you have your own backup power supplies, Usually the first thing to go in a crisis or disaster is the electricity which means loads of rotting defrosted and thawed food to deal with.
In a crisis or disaster eat the fresh, chilled and frozen foods first before they go off, a skilled prepper may be able to convert joints of meats into Pemmican or Jerky, or even salt preserved pork type preserves.
The problem for many people when it comes to storing lots of tin cans is the mainstream brands of kitchen floor standing cupboard, (MAGNET, B & Q, Home-base etc) don’t have sufficient strength in the shelf supports for the amount of tins we wish to store.
On my own cupboards I have supplemented the plastic studs on the ends with 4 two inch angle brackets, screwed to both the carcass and the shelf. PLUS two more, 1 in the centre rear screwed to the backboard, and the other at the front on the centre support.(essential on 1000 mm units)
Also on a couple of my wall units I have added extra wall mounting supports underneath the unit to help the two wall unit hanger brackets carry the load.
Designs are available on the internet for inserts that allow you to store tins on their sides on sloping shelves that allow the tins to roll forward as used, thus ensuring the oldest tins are consumed first.
FOOD stuffs that have a long shelf life or can be reconstituted easily are required and it must be food you like. It does not put much of a strain upon your financial resources to spend an extra £ 2 a week on food to lay away for emergencies (unless you are a British pensioner).
Don’t forget to rotate your cached food through your everyday supplies so you always have the freshest stuff in reserve. In many cases rural folk and those who are affected by restricted access to the shops keep a lot more tinned and dry goods than would normally be found in the average families town house.
I tend to buy tinned goods like baked beans, soups, vegetables, fruit, corned beef, tinned hams, peas, carrots, potatoes, tinned milk etc by the dozen, tins if looked after have a good shelf life and fairly easy to store. Do write on the end of the tin with a marker pen what the contents are and its expiry date, just in case the label falls off during storage. I have added a shelf life list further towards the end of the guide.
FOOD STOCKPILE LIST
- ____ Eggs dried
- ____ Butter tinned
- ____ Spreads
- ____ Yoghurt
- ____ Cheese tinned
MEAT, FISH & POULTRY Dried, tinned, preserved
- ____ Bacon
- ____ Sausage
- ____ Hot Dogs
- ____ Chicken
- ____ Turkey
- ____ Beef
- ____ Pork
- ____ Ham
- ____ Fish
- ____ Apples
- ____ Bananas
- ____ Berries
- ____ Grapes
- ____ Mixed fruit
- ____ Oranges
- ____ Pears
- ____ Instant Tea
- ____ Coffee
- ____ Tea Bags
- ____ Fruit Juice
- ____ Soft Drinks
- ___ Water Filter elements
- ____ Spirits
- ____ Wine
- ___ Coffee Whitener
- ____ Carrots
- ____ Baked Beans
- ____ Mushrooms
- ____ Peppers
- ____ Potatoes
- ____ Radishes
- ____ Spinach
- ____ Tomatoes
- ____ Peas
- ___ Flour/yeast
- ___ Pasta Flour
- ___ Bread Mix
- ____ Cereal
- ____ Oatmeal
- ____ Biscuits
- ____ Crackers
- ____ Pasta/Noodles
- ____ Beans/Lentils/Peas
- ____ Rice
- ____ Sugar
- ____ Cake Mix
- ____ Pancake Mix
- ____ Gelatine
- ____ Sausages + pasta
- ____ Macaroni Cheese
- ____ Tip Top
- ____ Fruit
- ____ Custard
- ____ Pasta Sauces
- ____ Soups
- ____ Spag Bog Sauce
- ____ Stewed Tomatoes
- ____ Potatoes
- ____ Corned Beef
- ____ Tuna /salmon
- ____ Baking Soda
- ____ Baking Powder
- ____ Corn Starch
- ____ Salt
- ____ Pepper
- ____ Chocolate Chips
- ____ Nuts
- ____ Raisins
- ____ Vanilla
- ____ Dried Herbs
- ____ Oil
- ____ Vinegar
- ____ Ketchup
- ____ Mayonnaise
- ____ Mustard
- ____ Salad Dressing
- ____ Shortening
- ____ Soy Sauce
- ____ Jelly/Jam
FOOD SHELF LIFE
Optimum Shelf Life
Opened Shelf Life
Whole Wheat Flour
Hard White Winter Wheat
Egg Noodle Pasta
6 months to 1 year
6 months to 1 year
6 months to 1 year
6 months to 1 year
6 months to 1 year
6 months to 1 year
6 months to 1 year
6 months to 1 year
6 months to 1 year
6 months to 1 year
6 months (refrigerated)
Chocolate Drink Mix
Meats and Beans
Small White Navy Beans
Small Red Beans
6 months to 1 year
6 months to 1 year
12 to 18 months
6 months to 1 year
If you think the greatest risk to your group / family is going to be starvation or violence then you are very much off the mark, it will more likely be disease or infection that kill off most of you and the bulk of the country’s population. Sanitation failure, dirty water, bugs, food poisoning, rodents, disease (common ones more so than exotic ones) will kill more than any other reason.
If you need to be paranoid about anything then it should be hygiene, hygiene in the home, hygiene in the kitchen, hygiene when coming into contact with strangers or late arriving group members.
In a crisis for example economic collapse you will need to consider the following protocols.
Patrols to fill in and disinfect all pools / ponds/ puddles that are not used by the group over a large around the retreat to stop stagnant water hosting disease spreading biting insects.
No footwear or clothes that have been used in patrolling/ foraging / agricultural work / cesspit digging to be allowed anywhere near the kitchen or food prep / storage areas.
Anyone on kitchen / food prep duties who leaves the work area must wash again before re-entering the work area, especially if going for personal ablutions.
All toilet habits must finish with a good wash with an anti-bacterial hand cleanser.
No one with so much as a sniffle to be allowed near the kitchen / food prep storage areas during the first 6 months of the crisis.
Consider all late arrivals to be quarantined for at least 10 days during first 6 months of crisis.
All suspicious food sources (old tins etc) to be treated with absolute caution (food taster volunteers!)
Cleaning within the home / retreat is to be of a standard that would satisfy conditions for an operating theatre or strive to be as hygienic as possible.
Washing and cleaning of clothes, crockery etc that ensures sterilisation be adopted every day during the first year of the crisis.
All waste foods that are not being recycled / composted to be buried in a way that rodents and animals cannot dig them up.
All rodents like squirrels, and scavenging types of wildlife to be eradicated within a 500 yd radius of the home / retreat if possible.
All cesspits to be limed and filled in every two weeks.
All used bandages, dressings, nappies, sanitary products etc must be incinerated.
All water for consumption and personal hygiene MUST be boiled or chemically treated; never assume anything about the quality of water.
All fruit and vegetables must be washed with clean water.
The above suggestions are by no means complete and it’s your own responsibility to ensure that high levels of hygiene are maintained.
An outbreak of flu is inconvenient to you now whilst you are healthy post collapse it will kill your young, your weak and old folk. Imagine what an outbreak of dysentery or gastro enteritis will do to your groups integrity, Measles, Mumps, TB are going to crucify those who don’t maintain their health and hygiene protocols.
Please don’t forget that post collapse most forms of wildlife will be a risk to your group especially if rabies travels down the channel tunnel. The hairy tailed tree rat (grey squirrel) is as big a disease carrier as the brown rat, and don’t forget feral dogs and cats they will have been feeding of all sorts of unpleasant carrion.
Post collapse most cute furry things are not to be trusted and should be incinerated.
HYGIENE MATERIALS LIST
- ____ Laundry soap
- ____ Laundry detergent
- ____ Fabric softener and conditioner
- ____ Stain remover
- ____ All-purpose surface cleaner
- ____ Washing up liquid
- ____ Disinfectant
- ____ Floor cleaning agents
- ___ Bleach
- ____ Glass Cleaner
- ____ Nylon Scourers
- ___ Hand sanitizer
- ___ Water filter elements
- ___ Paper towels
- ____ Bath Soap
- ____ Deodorant
- ____ Baby Lotion
- ____ Razors
- ____ Shaving Cream
- ____ Shampoo
- ____ Toothpaste
- ____ Conditioner
- ___ Baby Wipes
- ___ Toilet Paper
BASIC MEDICAL KIT
A decent but comprehensive medical kit is likely to be an essential part of your preps, don’t forget to obtain by any means necessary extra prescription medicines needed by anyone in your family.
- Sterile Packs, containing coated sterile field, 2 comp procedure tray, non-woven swabs, dressing towels, latex gloves, yellow disposable bag.
- Gauze swabs
- Sterile dressings assorted sizes
- Field dressings
- Band-aids / Blister dressings
- Alcohol wipes
- Burn gel squares
- Sterile gloves
- Stitch cutters
- Spencer Wells Forceps/ Haemostats
- Syringes for irrigation
- Aspirin (liquid and tabs)
- Paracetamol (liquid and tabs)
- Ibuprofen (liquid and tabs)
- Calpol (for kids)
- Antihistamine cream and tabs
- Anti-inflammatory cream and spray
- Anti-fungal cream and spray
- Antiseptic cream
- Anti-biotics, tabs, powder and liquid
- Bonjela mouth ulcer & teething treatment
- IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) Tabs (Colofac)
- Eczema spray and cream
- Insect repellent lotion and spray
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Acne & spot treatment (Nicotinamide 4%)
- Eye Ointment
- Nasal decongestant (Otravine spray)
- Diarrhoea treatment
- Eye drops
- Ear drops
- Worming treatment
- Re-hydration sachets (Dioralyte)
- IF AVAILABLE
- Broad spectrum antibiotics
- Local anaesthetic spray and cream
- Malaria treatment
- Multiple bottles and sprays of Detol / Detox
Important do obtain
- All prescribed medications for everyone in group
- Spare sets of all prescribed spectacles, dentures, hearing aids etc
This kit is in no way complete or comprehensive, but it does provide a good basic kit to build from, watch out for expiry dates and rotate / replace as necessary.
WINTER PREP CHECK LIST (2013 version)
Prevention is better than cure keep your house and vehicle etc properly maintained at all times.
House / retreat
- Wood cut and dried?
- Coal / Oil stocks ordered?
- Gas bottles changed and refilled
- Gutters cleaned
- Fencing and posts checked
- Check security lights
- Window seals checked
- Boiler (furnace) serviced
- Bleed Radiators
- Doors /windows draught proofed
- Drains free flowing
- Locks oiled
- Spare candles / flashlights / Chemical Light Sticks etc,
- Emergency heating kit checked
- Snow shovel
- Spare fuses/ circuit breakers
- Boarding up shuttering for broken windows set aside ( with fittings)
- Weather warning radio
- Sweep Chimney if you have wood / coal stove
- Clean solar panels, check wiring, and check battery bank / specific gravity/ fluid levels.
- Check and maintain external aerials TV / CB / Cell / Ham
- Check & replace bottled gas regulator and hose if over 3 years old
- Clean out freezers if heavily iced up
- Livestock / pets sorted out
- Animal feedstock got in.
- Greenhouses cleaned
- Tools cleaned, oiled and put away
- Sheds / Garages/ Stores checked for weatherproofing and security
- Extra food stocks got in case of snow / ice storm / whiteout
- Rotate food stocks if necessary
- Prescription medicines got in
- Winter clothing got out of storage and cleaned aired
- Boots weatherproofed and cleaned
- Paths cleaned
- New script specs obtained if necessary
- Cans / foods rotated
- Caches checked, updated etc
- Bug out routes reccied
- BOB’s checked and updated if necessary
- Contact plans / pick up plans for family members stranded by weather.
- Latest Council winter road gritting map obtained and commute/ BO routes planned
- Check CB / Ham radio installation
- Top up / change antifreeze
- Tighten /adjust drive belts
- Tyre condition /pressures
- Jet wash underside, valet / polish bodywork
- Check hoses for cracks, splits and tightness of hose clips
- Lube locks
- Change wiper blades ( normally bi-annually)
- Replace HL bulbs if over 5 years old (they have lost 20% of their brightness)
- Check M & S tyres condition if still in store
- Check your tyre chains
- Fit thinner oil if you live in very northern climes.
- Check battery condition and leads
- Check demister / de-icer systems
- Degrease windscreen inside and out
- Radio tuned to weather and traffic station
- Update Satnav data / Get new road map
- Sleeping bag/ survival blanket
- Chemical light sticks / flashlights/spare batteries
- Candle/ matches
- Snow dye
- Survival kit
- Snow mats
- Shortwave radio / batteries
- Hot drink making kit
- Vehicle spares,
- bulbs & fuses,
- hose clips,
- hose repair kit,
- exhaust repair kit,
- cable ties & duct tape
- snow chains
- wheel brace
- spanners / sockets and screwdrivers
- tyre levers & tyre pump
Home Hardware Tools etc
Recently I have started paying a bit more attention to hand tools that I may need to help repair or maintain my house after TSHTF if there is no power available, not being rich I either refurbished some of my own older tools, bought tools are car boot sales and restored them, or bought useful items when on offer. Most of them I have painted light blue for easy ID if I need to pack up and move out and need an assorted of tools.
- Pruning saw
- Pruning Shears
- Philips, Posi and Flat Screw drivers numbers 1, 2 and 3
- Prybar and crowbar
- Border spade
- Hatchet / Axes
- Snow shovel
- 2 lb claw hammer
- 4lb lump hammer
- 15 inch joiner’s screwdriver
- Mole Grips
- 3 inch portable vice
- Stanley knife
- Pliers blunt
- Pliers needlenose
- ½ & ½ inch socket set
- Torx and allan key bit set
- Set of drifts
- Set of jewellers screwdrivers
- Set of wood chisels
- Set of assorted drill bits (need to get brace and bit)
- Adjustable wrench
- Pipe wrench
- Mole Grips
- Assorted Paint brushes
- Sweeping Brushes and Brooms
- Sealant gun plus tubes of Mastic and Silicone Sealant
- Garden hose and assorted fittings
- Glass Cleaning Squeegie.
- Assorted Nails, Screw and wall plugs
- Sharpening stone
- Oil can
- WD 40 and penetrating oil
- Duct tape, Amalgamating tape, Insulating Tape, PTFE Tape, Hose Clips and Cable Ties
- Fuses, Light bulbs, Tap washers etc
- Assorted PSE Timber and ½inch marine grade plywood
Products made from OIL
Imagine the effects of a world deprived of mineral oil and natural gas, it’s not just the fuel for your car, or the gas for your cooker you need to consider, but very many other products that are directly or indirectly made from hydrocarbons like oil, This is why you need to consider storing many other extra items as well as food, fuel and medicines.
Look at the list below and think how much you need supplies of these items and consider obtaining extra supplies of the things that are essential to your lifestyle.
Oil makes petrol, diesel, heating oil, bunker oil, grease, lubricants but also Ammonia, Anaesthetics, Antihistamines, Antiseptics, Artificial limbs, Artificial Turf, Antiseptics, Aspirin, Auto Parts, Awnings, Balloons, Ballpoint pens, Bandages, Beach Umbrellas, Boats, Burns dressings Cameras, Candles, Car Battery Cases, Carpets, Caulking, Combs, Cordura, Cortisones, Cosmetics, Crayons, Credit Cards, Curtains, Deodorants, Detergents, Dice, Disposable Nappies, Dyes, Eye Glasses, Electrical Wiring Insulation, Fabric Conditioner, Faucet Washers, Fishing Rods, Fertilizer, Fishing Line, Fishing Lures, Food Preservatives, Food Packaging, Garden Hose, Glue, Hair Colouring, Hair Curlers, Hand Lotion, Hearing Aids, Heart Valves, Ink, Insect Repellent, Insulation, Insecticides, Laundry Detergents, Linoleum, Lip Stick, Milk Jugs, Nail Polish, Oil Filters, Panty Hose, Perfume, Petroleum Jelly, Rubber Cement, Rubbing Alcohol, Shampoo, Shaving Cream, Shoes, Toothpaste, Trash Bags, Upholstery, Vitamin Capsules, Water Pipes, Yarn, Plastics, Lubricants, Gasoline, Diesel, Heating Oil. Specialised Medicines, Pop Bottles, Contact Lenses, Lenses for spectacles, Sun block cream, Soaps, UPVC windows, Polycarbonate, Polythene, Synthetic rubber, Nylon, Neoprene, Polyester, Sandwich bags, Pantyhose, Vaseline, Wiring insulation, Ink Cartridges, CD ROMs CDR/DVDR discs, etc.
BOOK READING LIST
Book list factual and fictional. One set for reference and planning, the other set for mental preparation of how to handle likely scenarios.
- Aftermath, Charles Sheffield (Very Good)
- After Doomsday, Poul Anderson
- Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand (Hard to grasp)
- Alas Babylon, Pat Frank (Truly a superb classic)
- Amerikan sunset, Jennifer Ladewig (Drivel)
- A Wrinkle in the skin, John Christopher (A character essay )
- Black Sun, Robert Leininger Very good
- Blood Crazy, Simon Clark
- Crabs, Guy Smith
- Comet, (The) Robert Charles Very Good
- Damnation Alley, Roger Zelazny Better than the movie
- Day after Tomorrow, (The) Whitley Strieber
- Day by Day Armageddon J L Bourne (SUPERB BOOK)
- Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham
- Death of Grass, John Christopher
- Deathlands, Jack Adrian
- Deluge, Fowler Wright
- Deluge, Richard Doyle
- Drought ,(The) JG Ballard thought provoking
- Drowned world, (The) JG Ballard interesting
- Down to a sunless sea, (either version) David Graham (Truly great, another classic)
- Earth Abides, George R Stewart 2nd only to Alas Babylon
- Earth Winter, Richard Moran
- Eternity Road, Jack McDevitt Interesting future shock
- Empire of Ice, Richard Moran
- Empty World John Christopher
- Famine, Graham Masterson
- Flood, Richard Doyle
- Freeman, (The) Jerry Ahern
- Heavy Weather, Bruce Sterling
- Ice, Arnold Federbush depressing
- Icefire, Judith & Garfield Reeth Stevens entertaining
- Ice Quake, John R Spencer
- Kraken Wakes, (The) John Wyndham
- Last Ranger, (The) Craig Sargeant ( Rambo wannabe crap)
- Living is Forever J Edwin Carter
- Lucifer’s Hammer, Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle. (Becoming a classic)
- Long voyage back, Luke Rhineheart( In the top ten of all time )
- Long Loud Silence, ( The) Wilson Tucker
- Last ship, (The) William Brinkley
- Malevil, Robert Merle
- Moonfall, Jack Mc Devitt
- Night of the Triffids, Simon Clark (Good follow on from Day of the Triffids)
- New Madrid Run, (The) Micheal Reisig
- On the beach, Neville Shute
- Out of the Ashes, ( Ashes series) William W Johnstone
- Plague 99, Jean Ure
- Plague of the dead (The Morningstar Saga) Z A Recht
- Patriots, James Wesley Rawles ( A Brilliant piece of work)
- Postman, (The) David Brin
- Resurrection Day Brendan Dubois
- Rift, (The) Walter J Williams
- Savage Dawn, Robert Cole
- Shiva Descending, Gregory Benford
- Some will not die, Algis Budrys
- Stand, (The) Stephen King
- Survivors Terry Nation ( British Classic)
- Survivalist, (The) series Jerry Ahern
- Third Pandemic, (The) Pierre Ouellette
- This is the way the world ends, James Morrow
- Thunder & Ashes (Morningstar Saga) Z A Recht
- Virus, Japanese Author ( lost from my collection)
- When the City stopped, Joan Phipson
- Wild Shore ( The) Kim Stanley Robinson Deep stuff
- World in Winter ( The) John Christopher
- Year of the quiet sun, Wilson Tucker Suprisingly Good
- 48, James Herbert
- 8.4, Peter Hernon good read
- 28 Days Later, Alex Garland
All good reading stuff for making your mind more accessible to the possibilities and permutations
Most of these books are very thought provoking and make you think about some issues you otherwise mare have overlooked.
My Favourites are ALAS BABYLON and Patriots, and Day By Day Armageddon
Factual and reference
- Archery Steps to Success. Hayward / Lewis
- Build the perfect survival kit 0-87349-967-0
- The Survivalists Patrick Rivers 0-413-31650-5
- Earth Shock Basil Booth & Frank Fitch 0-7221-1778 7
- The Nuclear Survival Handbook Barry Popkess
- Tappan on Survival Mel Tappan 0-916172-04-x
- Survival guns Mel Tappan
- The Survival Retreat Ragnar Benson 0-87364-275-9
- The Modern Survival Retreat Ragnar Benson 0-87364-980-x
- The Survival Nurse Ragnar Benson 1-58160-075-5
- Apocalypse Tomorrow Duncan Long 0-87947-089-5
- When Technology Fails Mathew Stein 1-57416-047-8
- The Coming Global Superstorm Bell and Strieber 0-7434-0888-8
- How to live Off –Grid Nick Rosen 978-0-385-61127-5
- Life after doomsday Bruce D Clayton 0-87364-175-2
- Surviving Doomsday C Bruce Sibley 07219-0780-6
- Outdoor Survival guide Hugh Mc Manners 0-7513-0644-4
- Travel Vans John Speed 99920-1-158-0 (The book for building BOVs)
- SAS Survival guide ( pocket size) John lofty Wiseman 0-00-470167-4
- Beneath the City Streets, Peter Laurie: 0586050558
- When All Hell Breaks Loose Cody Lundin (VERY VERY American)
- TRAVEL VANS John Speed (Building SUVS/ Campers)
- EMERGENCY POWER FOR RADIO COMMUNICATIONS 978-0-872-615-3
- by Michael Bryce
NATURE’S ANTI BURGLAR PREVENTING PLANTS
Using ornamental plants like this is a very subtle way of inproving the security around the perimeter of your home, it’s a lot more nasty than a fence and completely legal unlike razor wire.
Creeping Juniper – Juniperis horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ – Also known as ‘Blue Rug’, has a thorny stem and foliage.
Blue Spruce – Picea pungens ‘Globosa’ – Rigid branches, irregular dense blue, spiky needles.
Common Holly – Ilex agulfolium – Large evergreen shrub, dark green spiked leaves.
Giant Rhubarb – Gunnera manicata – Giant rhubarb-like leaves on erect stems, abrasive foliage. Can grow up to 2.5m high.
Golden Bamboo – Phyllostachys aurea- Very graceful, forming thick clumps of up to 3.5m high. Less invasive than other bamboos.
Chinese Jujube – Zizyphus sativa – Medium sized tree with very spiny pendulous branches.
Firethorn – Pyracantha ‘Orange Glow’ – Flowers white in June, with bright orange-red berries. Thorny stem.
Shrub Rose – Rosa ‘Frau Dagmar Hastrup’ – Excellent ground cover, pale pink flowers, very thorny stem. May to September.
Pencil Christmas Tree – Picea abias ‘Cupressina’ – Medium-sized tree of columnar habit, with ascending spiky branches.
Juniper – Juniperus x media ‘Old Gold’ – Evergreen. Golden-tipped foliage. Prickly foliage.
Purple Berberis – Berberis thunbergil ‘Atropurpurea’- Has a thorny stem.
Mountain Pine – Pinus mugo ‘Mughus’- Is a very hardy, large shrub or small tree, with long sharp needles.
Blue Pine – Picea pungens ‘Hoopsii’- Small to medium-sized tree, spiky needled stem, densely conical habit, with vividly glaucous blue leaves. Likes moist, rich soil.
Oleaster – Elaeagnus angustifolia – Small deciduous tree, about 4.5 to 6 m (15 to 20 feet) that is hardy, wind resistant, tolerant of poor, dry sites, and thus useful in windbreak hedges.
Blackthorn – Prunus spinosa – Also called Sloe; spiny shrub. Its dense growth makes it suitable for hedges.
Fuschia-flowered Gooseberry – Ribes speciosum – Fruit bush, spiny, produces greenish to greenish-pink flowers in clusters of two or three.
The following thorny plants can also be considered: Aralia, Chaenomeles, Colletia, Crataegus (including hawthorn/may), Hippophae (sea buckthorn), Maclura, Mahonia, Oplopanax, Osmanthus, Poncirus, Rhamnus, Rosa (climbing & shrub roses), Rubus (bramble), Smilax Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum).
ABC = Atomic, Bacteriological, Chemical (USA)
BBBB Breathing, Bleeding, Breaks and Burns, order of diagnosis and treatment for casualties
BIVVY = Bivouac (type of shelter)
Bug Out = basically it means if you as a person or family have to flee your home, town or place of work because the place has become to dangerous to stay in.
BOB = Bug Out Bag. A Rucksack, travel bag or container containing survival tools, clothing, food and kit, should last 72 hours plus or even a few weeks if topped up from a cache.
BOR = Bug Out Route
BOV (1) = Bug Out Vest. A sleeveless travel vest fitted out like a BOB
BOV (2) = Bug Out Vehicle. A vehicle modified to help you bug out and sustain you during your journey, In the US its often a 4×4 like a Jeep, and in Europe its often a camper van. BOVs really should be capable of being lived in for at least a week, so they should have sleeping space, cookers, water, toilet, storage etc. But in the US the trend is for big powerful go anywhere 4x4s. Single folks tend towards the 4x4s, family guys the campers. Some folks have B O Boats, other cycles, other horses and a few light aircraft / microlights.
Cache = A remotely located store of food, fuel, and extra kit for survivalists to draw on, usually sited somewhere along the chosen Bug Out Route
CASEVAC = Casualty Evacuation
EDC = Every Day Carry. It’s a list of items that the seriously prepared will never venture out of the house without. Knife, Flashlight, Compass, Cell Phone, Wallet, Mulitool etc
FAK = First Aid Kit
FYI = For Your Information
GHB = Get Home Bag, same as BOB
GHV = Get Home Vehicle
GOOD = Get Out Of Dodge bag (another name for a BOB
INCH Bag = I’m Not Coming Home Bag (another name for a BOB but designed for very long term use)
IMHO = In My Honest Opinion
KFS = Knife, Fork, Spoon
LED = Light Emitting Diode ( new type of flashlight / bulb system)
MRE = Meals Ready to Eat
NBC = Nuclear, Bacteriological & Chemical (UK)
NESW = Never Eat Shredded Wheat (method of remembering points of compass in clockwise motion)
No Duff = This is the real thing, not a practise
Opsec = Operational Security
PMA = Positive Mental Attitude
PSK = Personal Survival Kit = normally a small tin or pouch containing a mini survival kit, popular with soldiers venture explorers etc
PSP = Personal Survival Plan
PAW = Post Apocalyptic World
PDW = Personal defence Weapon
PEK = Personal Escape Kit
PPPPPP = Proper Planning & Preparation, Prevents Poor Performance
PREP = Preparations
POCSIE = Planning, ordering, controlling, supporting, informing, evaluating (stages in planning a bug out event)
RETREAT = Place of safety to live in during disaster, can be your home if modified or a camper van/ mobile home or purpose built facility.
RECCE = Reconnaissance
RTFM = Read the F****** Manual
SAK = Swiss Army Knife
SERE = Survival, Escape, Resistance, Evasion
SITX = Situation X (Unknown future catastrophe)
SITREP = Situation Report (Feedback from someone involved in an event)
SSSSSS. Sound, Shape, Shine, Shadow, Smell, Silhouette,
- The Considerations needed for tactical movement, IE Bugging out without being seen.
- Dont make unnecessary SOUND or noise
- Break up your SHAPE with camouflage
- Dont let you kits SHINE in the sun
- Stay in SHADOWS and try not to cast a SHADOW
- Dont use perfumed soaps, or smelly camp fires because the SMELL will give you away
- Stay off the hilltops and ridgelines so you dont stand out as a SILHOUETTE
TEOTWAWKI = Common acronym used by survivalists to describe a complete social collapse IE The End Of The World As WE Know It.
TV = Travel Vest (used as Bug out vest)
WTSHTF = When The Shit Hits The Fan
WROL = Without Rule Of Law