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SHTF Shopping At The Pet Store


Backups to backups and redundancy planning go hand in hand with emergency preparedness right?  So, why shouldn’t you have backups to backups for your SHTF shopping location(s) if the primary is a no go?

After TSHTF, there could be various reasons why trying to get last minute supplies at a grocery/retail store could be very dangerous.  With that thought, today’s post is on SHTF shopping at the pet store.

The good things are that pet stores might not be on the top of people’s list for supplies when TSHTF.  If you really delve deep and scan all of the isles, you can actually find many potentially useful items for emergency preparedness.  With all of that said, let’s take a look at what I found in a local big name pet store.

Here is a list of pet store items I thought could be useful:

Activated carbon – This stuff was found in the aquarium section and could be used for making layered improvised water filters.

Fish antibiotic – (tetracycline hydrochloride 500 milligram powder capsules) – For keeping your fish healthy after the SHTF.

Hand sanitizer – For the obvious reason of sanitizing hands and as a fire-starting aid.

Pet food – For your dogs and cats after the SHTF.  Pet food could also be used as bait for game and fish.  I’ve heard that cat and dog food can be eaten by humans in the short term in an emergency situation.

Stainless steel pet food/water bowls – This would be on the top of my SHTF pet store shopping list if I had no other method of boiling water.

Leashes/straps/chains – Could be used to secure gear or for cordage/lashing.

Pet stroller – I didn’t know such things existed, but they do.   This could be used as an improvised SHTF hand cart for gear.

Hemostat – There could be a variety of potential uses for this in emergency preparedness.

Syringes – Like the hemostat, there could be a number of things this could be used for.

Droppers – After the SHTF, you might have to resort to using your stock of unscented bleach to treat water.  It would be nice to have a dropper to do that with.  Here is a post I did on different methods of treating water: Water: Options For Treating

Scissors – There could be multiple uses for scissors.

Self-stick wrap – If you’ve ever had blood drawn, you’ve probably had it wrapped with self-stick wrap afterwards.

Water proof food containers with a gamma style lid – This could be used as a dry box.

Hypoallergenic pet wipes – These are basically the pet version of baby wipes.

Dog beds – These could be used for insulation and warmth.

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Hiking and Navigating at Night


What should the hiker consider regarding hiking and navigating at night?

First, let us decide  that  this is not in a “lost hiker” scenario.  If lost, the best thing to do is to

just stay in place.  This makes the job much easier for the searchers.

At night the term used to describe our ability to see is “night vision.”   Good night vision is important.  Therefore, avoid bright lighting.   Flashes of bright white light will ruin night vision.  Recovery can take about 30-45 minutes.  Low level white light and low intensity red light are better.
Care should be taken with the use of a GPS.  The normal white backlight function of the GPS receiver will impair night vision. The good news is that the backlight can be adjusted.
Here are a few recommendations about hiking and navigating at night:
  • Stay on the trail and thoughtfully use flashlights and head lamps. A head lamp may be of more use than a handheld flashlight.  Two free hands are better than one.  Have extra batteries.
  • Examine the topographic map of your planned route.  Study the contours to evaluate the terrain. Your visual cues will be gone so you will need to establish new ones, larger objects. Lanes of extraction might present themselves on the map such as a power grid line, a road, a lake or an old jeep track.
  • Discuss your plan with all involved so that you are all on the same page.
  • Follow your trace on a map. Plot your position frequently.  Agree in advance how often you will do that.  Take your time with your navigation.
  • For night time travel a consideration may be to have one person designated to read maps (with dim lighting) while others in the party preserve their night vision and lead the way.
  • Move forward deliberately and cautiously.  Move more like you are stalking.
  • Others might be moving too.  Be alert for bears, coyotes, cougars and in some areas perhaps wolves.
  • Trekking poles or a walking staff provide support.
  • Sound travels well at night.  Be alert for audible clues to roads and running water.
  •  If you don’t have a GPS and are navigating with just a map and compass it is very important that you start from a known position.  Navigating without getting position fixes from a GPS or by visual sighting is called dead reckoning.  Such navigation requires you to plot your compass heading and distance traveled.  Distance is accounted by pacing (counting your steps) as you move

Night time navigation is not something to be taken lightly.  From reviewing my books, US Army field manuals and conversations with experienced backcountry travelers it should be carefully considered and practiced before an actual outing.  Practise your navigation at a local park with map and compass.  Consider geocaching to improve your GPS skills.

It just gets down to being careful when hiking and navigating at night.

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4 Ways To Preserve Food In A Solar Oven


There are many ways to preserve food, but how many of those methods transfer to your solar cooker? I decided to check things out and see whether or not you can even use it for food preservation; after all, the temperatures can be a bit erratic and heat is dependent on the sun.

It turns out that you can use your solar oven for more than just one way to preserve your food. It’s possible to can your food and dehydrate it using your solar oven. If you don’t have one, we can take care of it, just read this article to the end to find an offer you can’t miss!

Before we get into that, I’m going to quickly explain how a solar oven works. There are a variety of different ways to trap the heat, but the general idea is that you trap the heat of the sun in order to heat up your “oven” enough to cook foods.

Most solar ovens only reach 325 degrees F, maximum, on a sunny day so you do have some limitations. Also, since it’s tough to maintain a consistently high temperature, you can’t really pressure can in your solar oven.

You can cook in it, you can roast in it, you can dehydrate in it, you can even can high-acid foods in your solar oven, but it’s not safe to can low-acid foods in it. There’s no way to guarantee that the temperature will stay high enough long enough to kill the botulinum toxin that causes botulism.

Canning High-Acid Foods in a Solar Oven

Now that we’ve established that you can’t pressure can, that narrows down the list of foods that you can preserve in your solar oven. High-acid foods such as most fruits and tomatoes are safe to can in your solar oven, but you can’t can most vegetables or any meats. Unless of course you’re willing to die for it! Trust me, botulism is no fun.

If you’re canning tomatoes, it’s still a good idea to add a bit of vinegar or lemon juice just to boost the acid content. Fruits that are low-acid include:

  • Figs
  • Pears
  • Melons
  • Bananas
  • Dates
  • Papaya
  • Ripe pineapple (I know – this one surprised me, too!)
  • Persimmons

These fruits shouldn’t be canned in your solar cooker because there’s not enough acid in them to kill the bad bacteria.


To use your solar oven to can, it’s important that you start in the morning on a clear day so that you have plenty of time to get it warmed up and give your cans plenty of time to process.

Start by sterilizing your jars and equipment so that you reduce the risk of contaminating your canned goods with bacteria. Prepare your fruit just as you would for regular canning.

Just as you do when canning in a water bath, fill your jars with fruit, sugar (if you want) and water or juice. Slide your spatula down the sides to get as much air as possible out. Leave the head room at the top of the jar as recommended by the instructions for your particular fruit. You may want to leave a quarter of an inch or so more than recommended.

Place your jars in your solar oven and close the lid. Once the proper temperature has been reached, the fruits will begin to boil in the jars. Process according to the recommended time for what you’re canning, starting at the time that it boils.

Remove your jars carefully as they will be hot. Not only are you in danger of burning yourself, but the jars are also more fragile because they’re hot and pressurized. Set them somewhere where there won’t be a draft, cover them with a towel, and let them cool naturally.

To test if they sealed after the jars are cool, gently press down on the center of the seal. If it pops back up, your jars didn’t seal. You need to re-can them, or eat that jar within the next few days. I hate re-canning fruit because it gets soggy, so unless I’m making jam or jelly, I usually just eat it or give it to family or friends.

Personally, I would recommend starting with a small batch so that if things go wrong, you don’t lose a whole batch of fruit. I do this any time I try something new with canning because, even if I grow my own, it’s still labor-intensive and I don’t want to waste all my hard work. In this case, the heat source isn’t costing you anything, so what do you have to lose.

Note: I’ve seen some instructions on the internet that say it’s OK to allow your food to boil out of the jars, but as a long-time canner, that goes against what I’ve always been taught. Follow that advice at your own discretion, but I wouldn’t do it.

Dry Canning

I haven’t seen anything yet about dry canning in a solar oven, but it seems to me as if it would work, if you’re a person that dry cans in the oven.

Personally, I’ve used the oven method and it worked just fine, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work in a solar oven. Just keep the temp low – below 250 degrees or so.

Dehydrating Food in a Solar Oven

A solar oven is excellent for dehydrating food – the only trick is to keep the temperature low enough that you don’t cook it instead of dehydrating it. Prepare your meat, fruits, or vegetables just as you would for the dehydrator and place them on a sheet or, even better, on a drying wrack.

Put the pan or drying rack in the solar oven and leave it in there at a low temp of no more than 150 degrees until it reaches the crisp phase. Remember that your meat or produce needs to be sliced thinly before dehydrating. Flip your product from side to side every couple of hours so that it dehydrates evenly. Turn your dehydrator accordingly, too.

After you dehydrate your food, you could also dry can them in order to extend the shelf life.

Fruit Leather

Your solar oven would be a good way to make fruit leather, too. Prepare your fruit by creating a smooth paste. Add sugar to the mix if you’d like, but if you’re using super-ripe fruit, which is the best type to use for fruit leather, you probably won’t need any.

Again, you don’t want to cook the fruit; you want to dehydrate it, so you don’t want to let your solar cooker get too hot. Spread parchment paper on a cookie sheet, or whatever type of pan will fit in your cooker, then spread the fruit puree in a thin layer on the paper. Dry as long as needed to make it like leather. It will still be flexible and slightly sticky, but should stay together in a sheet.

The only downside to making fruit leather in a solar oven is that you can only make a small amount at a time unless you have a way to stack the racks. Since we’re preppers and homesteaders, that shouldn’t be a problem, though!

You can only use your solar oven for a couple of food preservation methods, but even if you only can your jellies in it, you’ll be saving a ton of wood if you’re canning openly in a SHTF situation.

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How to Track a Human


It’s a common trope in classic Westerns. A posse is rounded up to find some bad guys who’ve headed out into the desert to hide. To help track them down, they bring on an Indian scout. To the astonishment of the cowboys, the native guide can determine how many people are in the bad guy’s gang, how long ago they camped at a particular spot, and that one of the ruffians is injured. It almost seems like magic.

But it’s not.

The scout was simply using a set of keen, field-developed senses, and practicing good forensics.

A few years ago when I did the ITS Tactical Muster, one of my favorite classes at the event was on human tracking, taught by professional combat tracker John Hurth. In just a few short hours, John was able to show us how to know what’s going on with someone on the lam and where he or she is headed simply by looking at their footsteps or noticing a broken branch.

Why would you need to know how to track a human? You’ll probably never have to go on a manhunt for a fugitive, but it’s a handy skill to have nonetheless. Maybe your kid wanders away from your house, or you lose a buddy in a remote wilderness area. Instead of wandering frantically and aimlessly, calling their name, you can know how to search for them effectively and efficiently.

Plus, once you know how to track a human, you can reverse engineer the process as well; that is, you’ll better be able to make your own escape without leaving a trail. You know, just in case you find yourself on an island, being chased by a stalker playing “the most dangerous game.”

Below, we provide a primer on tracking humans. Keep in mind, to really learn how to do this stuff, you need to practice it and practice it for years. But with some dedication, you may eventually reach the level of tracking evinced by the crack trackers in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, of whom the protagonists repeatedly said with exasperation, “Who are those guys?”

Develop Your Situational Awareness

The most important attribute a tracker must develop is his situational awareness. Without it, clues and signs that would lead him to his target go unnoticed.

Situational awareness comes down to two things: 1) observing, and 2) correctly interpreting your observations.

Learning how to become more observant takes time and dedication. It requires changing your mindset, training your memory and senses, and daily practice in truly noticing what you see. Fortunately, we have some fantastic guides on how to do all of those things:

  • How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne
  • The Sioux Guide to Situational Awareness
  • 10 Tests, Exercises, and Games to Heighten Your Senses and Situational Awareness

Once you sharpen your powers of observation, you next need to know how to correctly interpret what you see, in order to reach correct conclusions about what’s going on. To do that, you must broaden and deepen your mental models.

Broaden and Deepen Your Mental Models

Mental models are simply ways of looking at and understanding the world. These paradigms create our expectations for how the world works — helping us grasp what’s happened before, what’s happening now, and what’s likely to happen next.

For a tracker, the mental models he needs to broaden and deepen the most are the ones that will better help him find his target. These fall into two main categories: environment and psychology/habits.


The most obvious subject a tracker needs to know inside and out is the environment in which he is tracking. He needs to understand things like how snow keeps a track changes depending on whether it’s more wet or dry. He needs to know that spiders usually spin their webs late in the evening (if footprints are beneath an unbroken spider web, the tracker can assume that the target passed the point earlier in the day). He needs to know about the fauna and rocks in the area. He needs to know how the wind blows. He needs to know the usual temperature of embers a certain number of hours after a campfire has burned out.

He also needs to know how stuff ages in an environment. A skilled tracker can look at objects or signs in his surroundings and roughly gauge how long ago they were left there by his target. He knows how long it takes for paper to start to brown or a plastic bottle to become discolored after being discarded in a desert or forest. He should be able to look at a broken branch and, based on the color of the exposed wood, roughly guess when it was broken. He even knows what human feces look like 1, 2, 3 days after it was excreted by his target. Developing these mental models will come with practice and time, but one way to build them up before you need them is to make “aging stands.”

Aging Stands: The Tracker’s Experiment

aging stand for learning human tracking techniques illustration

Aging stands are described by expert combat tracker John Hurth as “science experiments” for trackers. You make a one-row grid on the ground out of branches and place different objects into its squares. Ideally, each square will be exposed partly to direct sunlight and partly to areas shaded and protected by trees. In week one, you put items that you want to test in the first square: footprints, paper, broken twigs, water bottles, and yes, even poop. You want to make sure you have duplicate samples in the shaded and unshaded part of the square.

Each day, visit your aging stand and take notes on how things have changed. How have the exposed branches changed color? Has the paper started fading? What’s happened to the poop? Have the impressions of the footprints changed over time?

The next week, move to the next square in the grid and put fresh samples of the same items in it. Compare them to the samples in the first week’s square. Take notes on differences. The next week put new samples in the third square. Compare them to the first and second week’s squares. Over time, you’ll get a rough idea of the aging progression undergone by both natural and manufactured items.

You’ll want to conduct aging stand experiments at different times of the year — spring, summer, fall, and winter — to learn how seasonal variations in humidity, temperature, and precipitation affect the aging process. It’s a laborious exercise, but it’s essential for creating the mental models you need to successfully track someone.

Human Psychology & Behavior

A tracker needs to not only know what’s going on in the environment in which he’s following a target, but what’s going on in the target’s head as well. He needs to develop mental models that deal with human behavior, and this means having a robust knowledge of human psychology and sociology. Knowing the mindset and cultural background of your target can help you know how he’ll act and lead you to where he is. The famous scout Frederick Russell Burnham had this to say about developing these kinds of mental models:

“It is imperative that a scout should know the history, tradition, religion, social customs, and superstitions of whatever country or people he is called on to work in or among. This is almost as necessary as to know the physical character of the country, its climate and products. Certain people will do certain things almost without fail. Certain other things, perfectly feasible, they will not do. There is no danger of knowing too much of the mental habits of an enemy. One should neither underestimate the enemy nor credit him with superhuman powers. Fear and courage are latent in every human being, though roused into activity by very diverse means.”

Besides general cultural and psychological mental models, you need to develop mental models for your particular target. Does he like to eat certain foods? Does he have any medical conditions? Does he smoke or bite his nails? Is he familiar with the outdoors or is he a city dweller? Does he have any particular fears or insecurities? Does he know anyone in the area?

Knowing this sort of information about your target will inform the way you conduct your search and interpret the evidence you find in the field. For example, if you know your target smokes, you’ll be on the lookout for cigarette butts. If he has diabetes, and you come across a puddle of urine that smells fruity, you’ll know you’re on the right track.

Scan and Search: Taking in Your Environment

Now that you’re working on increasing your situational awareness by becoming more observant and developing appropriate mental models (this is in fact an exercise that should never end), it’s time to start actually tracking.

When you’re out tracking, you’ll be engaging in two visual modes: scan and search.


When you scan the landscape, the goal is to get a general, big-picture overview of your surroundings. Keep an open focus. Don’t have any particular thing you’re looking for, as that will cause “target blindness” and result in your missing other pieces of evidence. Visually sweep the area for possible anomalies in your environment like tracks, litter, blood stains, etc.

Rather than scanning an area haphazardly, tracking experts David Diaz and V. L. McCann recommend dividing it horizontally into thirds:

“Imagine the territory in front of you is a two-dimensional canvas of a painted nature scene. The top boundary is the horizon; the bottom boundary is the ground in front of you. Now divide that canvas into three equal parts: the foreground, the mid-distance, and the far ground…

In order to ‘see’ everything in such a vast area, it must be scanned systematically. With a horizontal movement of your eyes, sweep the foreground from left to right, right to left, and left to right, moving your line of vision up just enough to slightly overlap the area above the last sweep.”

In this way, you methodically work your way up to the far ground and ensure that you don’t miss anything — distant or near — lying before you.


Diaz and McCann describe searching as “in-depth analysis of an area or object.” You can begin searching at any point in the scanning process once you’ve noticed an anomaly. Searching involves looking at the anomaly more closely and recording it in your mind or notebook for later analysis.

Just because you’ve searched one anomaly, doesn’t mean you should stop your scan of the area. Keep scanning and looking for more anomalies that you can more closely examine. As you continue your scan and search, take extra caution to avoid contaminating signs that you’ve uncovered. Leave litter where you found it, and don’t walk on footprints. You want to leave things in their original locations so you can put the pieces together and construct a story based on the evidence found.

Using Light for Scanning and Searching

man tracking humans using angle of sunlight to help illustration

As you scan and search, use the light available to you to better locate possible anomalies. For example, in the morning and evening, the sun casts long shadows over impressions in the ground, bringing them into sharper relief. To better see these shadows, position yourself so that the tracks you’re following are between you and the light source. This will require you to change your position in relation to the tracks. Be mindful of not contaminating them with your own prints as you do so.

Tracking at night is possible with the assistance of a light source like a flashlight. You’ll want to use a colored light like green or red to avoid disrupting your night vision. (Side note: red used to be the preferred nighttime light color, but many operators are switching to green because it allows them to see objects more clearly without reducing night vision that much.)

using night vision to track someone in the dark

When you’re searching at night, if you look directly at the object you’ve identified, you’ll likely stop seeing it. Looking directly at objects requires you to use the cone area of the retina, and that’s not very active during low-light settings. To make up for this deficiency, you’ll want to use what Diaz and McCann call “off-center vision.” Instead of looking directly at the object you’ve identified, you’ll want to look left, right, above, and below it, pausing at times to verify the properties of the object.

Know What To Look For

As you scan and search your environment, you want to be on the lookout for a few indicators that will help you track your target. Hurth suggests being on the lookout for the following visual indicators.

Ground Indicators (on the ground)

how to track a person grass disturbed in straight line illustration

  • Footprints
  • Vehicle tracks
  • Trampled grass
  • Boot and shoe scuffs
  • Turned over dead leaves
  • Disturbed grass or soil
  • Mud, soil, sand, and water transferred from footwear onto another medium

Track Traps: The Honey Pot of Ground Indicators

Hurth suggests being on the lookout for “track traps.” These are areas on the ground that do an excellent job of capturing your target’s tracks. He calls them “honey pots” because they leave so much information behind. Mud, sand, soft dirt, and snow are great examples of track traps. Bodies of water or oil spills can be track traps too. A target who steps in water or oil will likely leave footprints on the ground after stepping in the fluid.

Aerial Indicators (above your ankle)

broken spider web between two trees how to track a person illustration

  • Broken cobwebs
  • Detached or missing leaves
  • Broken branches that point in the direction of the target
  • Scratches or scuffs on trees
  • Cut or broken vegetation
  • Tall grass or vegetation pushed down into an unnatural position
  • Clothing fabric in branches
  • Hair in branches

Litter Indicators (objects discarded intentionally or unintentionally)

  • Cigarette butts
  • Candy and food wrappers
  • Spent ammo casings
  • Used medical supplies
  • Gum/tobacco
  • Clothing

Blood Indicators

blood indicators what type of wound identification illustration

Your target might be injured and consequently leaving blood stains. The color of the blood stain can tell you a lot about the injury he or she has and how long it’s been since they left the blood stain there.

  • Dark red drops of blood. Indicates a venous wound. Non-life-threatening.
  • Bright red streaks of blood. Indicates a possible arterial wound. Life-threatening.
  • Pink, frothy blood. Indicates a possible wound to the lungs.
  • Light red, foul-smelling blood. Indicates a possible wound to the stomach.

Blood changes color over time as it’s exposed to the elements. Initially, blood spots will be brighter but will eventually fade to a brown or rust color.

Bodily Discharge Indicators

Vomit, poop, pee, snot — these bodily discharges may not be pleasant to contemplate, but they can not only help lead you in the direction of your target, but also paint a picture of his current condition.

Vomit and poop can tell you what sort of food your target’s been eating. If there’s a lot of liquid, clear vomit or you see diarrhea, there’s a chance he could be dehydrated.

If you find a urine spot that has a very fragrant ammonia smell, the target is likely dehydrated. If it has a fruity smell, there’s a chance he’s diabetic.

how to track a person man's urine on the ground illustration

Man peeing

how to track a person woman's urine on the ground illustration

Woman peeing

The relation of a urine stain’s position to a set of footprints can tell you if it came from a man or a woman. If the urine stain is in front of the footprints, probably a dude. If the stain is in the middle of the footprints or near the heels, likely a lady who popped a squat to do her business.

Audio and Olfactory Indicators

As a tracker, you can’t just rely on your sight to track down your target. Sounds — heavy breathing, talking, crying, movement in brush, coughing, etc. — can provide insights as to where your target is.

Smells can also provide useful clues. The smell of smoke can lead you to a campfire where the target is currently or has been recently. If the target’s been without a shower for a couple of days, he might also be giving off some pungent body odor.

Bottom line: as you scan and search with your eyes, don’t take your nose and ears offline. They can provide useful information you’d be missing using sight alone.

Identifying and Interpreting Footprints

While you should be scanning and searching for signs and indicators like blood, trampled grass, and broken cobwebs, footprints will be one of your primary ways of following and tracking your target.

A professional tracker is so adept at tracking footprints that he can identify individuals simply with a glance at the impressions in the ground. They can also immediately tell if the person is running, carrying a load, carrying another person, or even walking backwards.

The ability to create this dossier on a target simply by looking at their footprints requires some careful observation. Here’s what to look for when identifying and interpreting footprints.

Collect Information on a Footprint Data Card

A footprint data card is your police sketch of your target’s footprint. (John has a template in his book.) You’ll draw the pattern of the sole of his footwear on the card, determine if it’s a boot, shoe, or sandal, and make measurements that include the length of the print overall, the width of its heel (and its length if it’s a boot), and the width of the ball of the foot. You’ll also note if the impression reveals any manufacturer or sizing labels and if the toe is rounded, square, or pointed. You’ll want to record the time and location you located the print and the direction of travel as well.

Hurth recommends putting a nickname on top of the footprint data card based on its salient characteristics. So if you see a “Vibram” logo in a print, you can call that print “Vibram.”

If the target is barefoot, you’ll want to note whether he has a high arch, regular arch, or is flat-footed. You’ll want to measure the width of the ball of the foot and the heel. Make notes about their toes too — missing digits? Hammer toe?

Interpreting Footprints

determining meaning in footprints when tracking humans illustration

If you look closely enough at footprints, they can tell you a lot about what your target was doing when he left them.

For example, the spacing and depth of the impressions can tell you about the target’s gait — whether he was running or walking. Impressions that are far apart from each other and deeper in the toe or the heel indicate that the target was running; impressions that are shallower and closer together indicate walking.

If the gait is shorter and the impressions are deeper, the target was likely carrying a load like a backpack. If you see a short gait and deep impressions, along with intermittent additions of another set of prints next to the target’s, you can deduce that he was carrying a person (and occasionally putting them down for breaks).

A set of impressions that have a circular indention to the side indicates that the target is using a walking cane or stick.

If one foot leaves a deeper impression than the other, it likely means the target is favoring that leg and that the other leg is injured.

So as you look at footprints, don’t just stop with the observation phase. Try to put together a story of what your target was doing, as this can help you develop a theory as to what he’s likely to do next.

Determining the Number of People in a Group by Footprints

determining number of people in a group with footprints illustration

Sometimes counting the number of people in a target group is easy because there are distinct sets of footprints that you can count. But often the footprints overlap and mix together. How do you get a count then?

One way is to use the Box Method to get an estimate. Draw a line behind one print and then measure 48-60 inches forward and draw another line. Count all full and partial prints between those two lines (round up if you end on an odd number). Divide the total print count by two, and you’ll have a rough estimate of the number of people in your target group.

Practice Reading Footprints

Reading and interpreting footprints is a skill that can be acquired through practice. A great way to do that is to create an artificial track trap out of sand and then have your friends walk through it in different ways while you’re not looking. They can run, limp on one leg, carry each other, walk and then kneel, drag a body, pretend to fight each other, etc.

After they’ve left their tracks, go to the track trap and interpret what they did by looking at the tracks. After you’ve recreated the scenario your friends acted out, use a rake to clear the track trap’s slate and have your buds walk through it again.

I did this exercise with Hurth at the ITS Tactical Muster and had a blast. It’s pretty cool to be able to determine whether a fight went on or if someone was carrying a rifle simply by looking at footprints.

Putting It All Together: Creating a Story of Your Target

Tracking requires you to be hyper observant of your environment while simultaneously orienting your observations to the mental models in your head. This back and forth observing and orienting allows you to create a story of what’s going on with your target even though you weren’t there to observe them firsthand. By creating this story about your target as you collect evidence, you’ll be in a better position to figure out where they’re headed so you can find them.

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7 Mouth-Watering Recipes To Cook In The Sun


Cooking with a solar oven is a great alternative when you don’t have (or don’t want to use) electricity. Just remember there are some big differences between the different types of solar ovens available on the market.

With just a little practice, cooking on a solar oven is a piece of cake, and these seven recipes are exactly what you’ll need to prepare a good meal.

And if you’re wondering how could I proceed all these mouth-watering recipes without a proper oven, keep reading the article below, because we have a great offer up for grabs!

Follow These 10 Advice for the Best Solar Oven Cooking!

Since there are so many variations of solar ovens, it’s hard to set any hard and fast rules but there are some dos and don’ts that are applicable to pretty much all of them.

Don’t Assume you’re Invisible

One of the reasons that solar ovens are good is because they’re smokeless; they operate solely off the power of the sun. However, most ovens depend on a shiny surface to reflect the sun to cook the food (think 80s-style tanning with the silver tray under your face).

This means that you have a reflective surface that is easily seen from up to miles away depending upon how flat your geography is. Though there won’t be smoke, there will be shiny, so make sure that if you’re using your oven and trying to hide that you are completely surrounded in such a manner that it can’t be seen from a hilltop or anywhere else.

You won’t be able to do much about planes and you can’t (generally) use it in the dark, but you may be able to position it in such a way that you can use it without giving away your location. Just plan carefully.

Don’t be in a Hurry and Start Early

Many solar ovens don’t get super-hot, so you’re going to need to allow plenty of time to warm it up and then more extra time to cook. Food will likely take longer to cook in a solar oven, though that won’t always be the case.

If you’re planning a meal such as beans or stew that takes hours to cook, you need to start the meal early. Remember that you can’t typically use your solar oven after dusk because, well, it’s powered by the sun.


Don’t Forget to Check the Weather

Remember, you’re counting on the sun. If it’s raining, you better have back-up rations if solar cooking is your only heat source. As a matter of fact, let’s make that a subsection here: Always have a backup cooking method.

If it’s smoggy or hazy, your food won’t cook as quickly and you’ll have to pay closer attention to make sure that your oven is pointed in the right direction.

Don’t Waste Food or Heat

Don’t waste food scraps or that precious heat – if you’re cooking supper tonight and planning a soup for tomorrow, use the leftover veggie and meat scraps to make a stock for tomorrow’s soups.

Put them in a jar or two, add salt or some vinegar or wine to pull the calcium out of the bones and into your stock, season it and toss it on the cooker

Don’t Forget to Level Your Oven

You’ve bought a super fancy oven, and you’re all excited to give it a shot. It’s set up and ready to go and you’re going to try something quick and easy – cookies.

You warm up your oven, you mix up your dough, you place the cookies on the sheet and slide it into the oven. Now all you have to do is wait, and you’re going to have ooey, gooey, deliciously crispy cookies.

You come back 20 minutes later and you have long, oval, thin cookies, which are crispy and delicious, but ugly as a mud fence in a rain storm because you forgot to level your oven. Now, the end result here is just ugly cookies, but if you were cooking cornbread or a pie, you would have had a mess on your hands.

So, the moral of the crooked cookie story is this: Level your solar oven!

Do Turn Your Cooker

Especially if you’re using a box cooker, it’s important that you turn it as you cook in order to increase efficiency. This isn’t as important if you’re cooking something quickly but if you’re cooking for longer periods of times (more than an hour), you definitely want to turn your solar oven in order to get the most out of it.

If you have to be away from your cooker for more than an hour or so and your food is going to take a few hours, point it to where it the sun will be directly on it in an hour and a half or so. As with all things survival and homesteading related, use your head and adapt to how long you’re going to be away.

Do Cook in Black Pans

Because you’re using reflection to direct your heat, it only makes sense that you use a non-reflective, heat-absorbing cooking vessel. A thin, black metal is best because it’s lightweight and dark colored. Cast iron is also good for a couple of reasons. First, it’s black and absorbs heat. Second, the iron holds heat for a long time.

As a matter of fact, even when I’m making cakes or cornbread in my iron skillet in a regular oven, I take it out a few minutes before it’s completely done because it holds so much heat that it keeps cooking for several minutes after the heat source is eliminated. The downside to iron skillets is that they’re heavy.

If you can’t use black cookware, use glass. Using aluminum or stainless steel is counterproductive. Never cover your food with foil.

Add Reflective Panels to Cook While You Bake

If you really want to crank up the temperature to fry foods, add additional reflectors that reflect the sun directly onto the food as well as the ones used to heat the oven. Elevate a shallow pan so that it touches the glass, then attach the three-panel reflector to aim the extra light onto your food. You can even do this while baking other products inside the rest of the oven.

Build Your Oven According to Your Needs

If you’re still experimenting with solar cooking, get the function down before you worry about a solid, permanent form. Also, if you just want to cook for yourself, you won’t need a full-sized cooker.

Do you want it to be portable? Do you want to cook for a large family? What size pans will you be using? Your cooker needs to have at least an inch headspace above your pot, including the lid. Build according to what you need.

Do Build in Security

If you’re building your own solar oven and it’s going to be substantial (not made from a pizza box) build in a way to padlock it to something larger. For example, you could build a place to attach a padlock to the hinges of a box cooker.

Time Your Cooking Accordingly

Just like when you’re cooking inside, don’t add carrots and spinach to a soup at the same time and expect them to cook evenly. Add hard vegetables first, and if you’re cooking more than one dish, start the one that takes longest to cook before you start the faster-cooking one.


Just use your cooking common sense that you use in the kitchen. If you don’t have any yet, you quickly will, as we help you cook your first meal on a solar oven with these 7 recipes.

And Finally, 7 Survival Recipes to Cook on Your Solar Oven

Though you can convert many of your own personal favorites and use them with your solar oven, these recipes are written specifically for that cooking method. Some of these recipes for solar ovens are basics, and some are for more luxurious dishes, but even in a survival situation, tasty treats can go a long way toward boosting morale.

After all, who doesn’t feel a little better after eating a good brownie?

Remember that times are going to be different depending upon how hot your oven gets. Some can get as hot as 425 degrees while some can barely break 325. Because of that, take the times with a grain of salt and start checking your food 5 minutes of so before the time listed to see if it’s done.

Fresh Baked Bread

This recipe will yield two loaves of bread or about 24 rolls. Remember that, unlike biscuits, the more you knead bread, the better it will be because kneading activates the gluten, which provides the elasticity.

  • oven-bread6 c bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or butter
  • 2 1/2 c very warm water (not hot!)
  • 2 packets quick rise yeast
  • 1 tbsp. sugar

Stir the yeast into 1 cup of the warm water and set aside so that it can activate.

Sift together the flour, salt and sugar, than add the butter or oil and the yeasty water. Stir together, then mix in the remaining water 1/2 cup at a time until your bread is kneadable but not sticky. You can do this in a bowl or on a lightly floured surface.

Continue to knead by folding the dough in half on itself and pushing together until your dough is elastic and shapes easily into a loaf. If you need to add a bit more flour or water to reach a good consistency, do so. Count on kneading for at least 5 minutes, and maybe even 10.

Place in a warm place, rub a tsp of oil over the top, and cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise until it doubles in size, then punch in down, knead it just a bit more, then divide your loaves or rolls, place in bread pans, and allow to rise again. Place in your sun oven, which is hopefully around 300 to 325 degrees F, and bake for about 45 minutes.

Tap on your bread and if it sounds hollow, it’s done.

Pot Roast

  • 3 pound rump roast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 5 carrots, cut into 2 inch chucks
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 c beef broth (or 2 cups water with 2 bouillon cubes)

Put the roast in a roasting dish and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Add the veggies around the roast and then pour the bouillon in. Place in your solar oven and bake for 3 hours or until tender.


  • 1½ pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 c ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. mustard
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • ¾ c rolled oats or breadcrumbs

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl thoroughly then place in a loaf pan. Bake in solar oven at 350 for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until meat reaches 160 degrees inside.

Barbeque Chicken

Great served with fresh vegetables, corn on the cob and cornbread. You can also serve it with rice to feed more people. However you want to serve it, it’s delicious!

  • 6 chicken quarters or breasts, or a dozen legs
  • 1/2 c vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

Combine all ingredients except for chicken. Just FYI, this is a good sauce to make ahead and can! Place chicken on a baking sheet and paint the sauce onto the chicken. You could marinate it in it for an hour if you’d like.

Place the chicken in the solar oven at about 325 degrees and bake for 45 minutes, saucing again about half way through. Chicken should be 165 degrees F in the center, not on the bone. A good tip is that the chicken will pull easily away from the bone.

Solar Brownies

Brownies are one of those comfort foods that will definitely boost morale with very little work, time, or special ingredients. Makes 1 8×8 pan or 4 pint jars.

  • 2 c sugarbrownies
  • 2 c white all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c dark cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c shortening
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c chopped nuts, optional

Cream sugar, shortening and vanilla together in a bowl, then beat in the eggs.

Add dry ingredients and mix until batter is smooth – about 2 minutes.

Fold in nuts if you’re using them. Feel free to toss in mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, or whatever else you like in your brownies. Batter will be thick.

Pour into a greased and floured 8×8 pan and bake in solar oven at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until brownies pull away from the sides of the pan.

Note: If you’d like to make these ahead in pint jars, simply combine dry ingredients well and add to jars. Write complete recipe on an index card and attach to the jar. To extend shelf-life, dry-can.

Apple Crisp

Apple trees grow naturally and prolifically in every state in America, so this is a dessert that will barely touch your food supplies in the fall. It’s also extremely easy to make and, except for the peeling process, it’s not difficult to make enough to feed many people. You can also rehydrate dried apples to make it.


  • 6 c apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/3 in slices
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 c water
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

I always keep apple pie seasoning on hand and use this in replace of the cinnamon and nutmeg.


  • 1 c rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c cold butter

Place apples in a large bowl and sprinkle in the lemon juice. Toss to coat. Add remaining ingredients and stir well to coat the apples. Pour into an 8×12 pan and cover with a lid. Bake in solar oven at 350 degrees F for about an hour, or until apples are almost tender.

Combine topping ingredients by cutting together into pea-sized pieces with a fork or pastry cutter. Remove the lid from the apples and sprinkle the topping evenly over them. Put it back in the solar oven and cook for another 30 minutes or until the topping is brown and crispy and the apples are tender. Warm, homey, nutritious (for a dessert) and comforting.

To make peach crisp, simply substitute the same amount of peaches for the apples.

You can also make this by using your canned apple pie filling and skipping the first stage of cooking.


This is a dish that every survivalist and homesteader should know. It can be used as a bread or as a dessert – serve it with butter as a savory side for meals, or slather it with jam as a delicious dessert.

  • 1 c cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 c milk or buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients thoroughly then add butter, eggs, and milk. Combine ingredients thoroughly and pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Bake in solar oven at the highest temperature for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If your oven doesn’t get that hot, just extend cooking time until it’s done. The top should be a good indicator of when it’s done as it will brown fairly evenly as it cooks.

Buttermilk adds tenderness and lightness to batter because the acids chemically interact with the baking powder or baking soda. If you want the tang of buttermilk but only have 2 percent or whole milk, add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to it and let it set for a few minutes before adding to the mix. It won’t have the thick creaminess of buttermilk, but will function the same.

Remember that for all of these recipes, you can use dry milk, canned or dried meat, fruit, or vegetables, and powdered butter and eggs. Just reconstitute according to directions and you’re good to go!

For the most part, cooking with a solar oven is extremely similar to cooking with a regular oven, except you may have to cook things longer. Nearly all of your favorite recipes, especially crock pot recipes, will translate right over.

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How To Build A Winter Emergency Vehicle Kit From Scratch


If you’ve yet to build a winter emergency vehicle kit, now’s the time.

With fall currently in full swing, those of us who live, work, and play in the mountains are seeing the first signs that winter is near.

Soon, the mountain peaks will be capped white with snow and roadway conditions will change for the worst at the drop of a hat. Icy roads and deep snow are extremely dangerous for travel and a leading cause of stranded vehicles.

Every year, we hear stories of motorists stranded in blizzards. Sometimes it’s only overnight, but occasionally (on rural back roads) they are stranded for days or weeks, huddled in their vehicle struggling to stay warm.

Too many of those sad tales end in tragedy. For example, here’s a story of a man trapped in his vehicle for 2 weeks when caught in a freak blizzard storm.

He was luck, he survived. But if he’d properly prepared, he wouldn’t have had such a close call.

With some basic survival knowledge and a stash of survival supplies, your odds of surviving stranded in a winter blizzard goes up significantly. These are supplies everyone should store in their vehicle for winter travel. It’s called a winter car emergency survival kit.

This kit will help you accomplish two things. It will help you get unstuck should your vehicle slide off the road. And this kit will help you survive should you not be able to get your vehicle unstuck.

So you winter emergency vehicle kit is made up of items that fit into these two categories:

  • Gear to help you get unstuck
  • Supplies in case you can’t get unstuck

car-stuck-in-snowy-road-1Items To Help You Get Unstuck

Your best bet is to be self-sufficient and avoid spending a night (or longer) stranded. So it’s worth having a few key tools in your vehicle to get you going again.

Mainly, the preventative equipment required for self-rescue consists of 1) ways to remove (or simply move) snow and 2) traction devices to help you get a grip on icy and snowy surfaces. Plus a few items to make the use of these items a little more convenient.

1 – Snow Shovelwinter car kit shovel

A good, sturdy shovel is an absolute must for a winter car kit. Often, some efficient digging can help you quickly get free.

And even if you still can’t get your vehicle free, a shovel will allow you to keep your vehicle from being entirely buried under a snow drift. Because a vehicle that’s completely buried in snow is nearly impossible for a rescue team to spot.

Or if worst came to worst, you could use your shovel to build a snow shelter.

2 – Windshield Scraper and Brushwindshield snow scraper and brush

In all winter weather conditions, you’ll have to remove a lot of snow and ice from your vehicle’s roof and windshield.

A good, heavy-duty scraper and brush with a long handle will save you a lot of time and effort, as well as make it easier to see out your windows, keeping it out of the ditch.

Have one of these is a must have all winter long. I’m always amazed when people are huddled in their cars for 30 or more minutes waiting for their vehicles defroster to warm their windshield because they don’t own a scraper. Talk about unprepared!

3 – Traction Mats

Often, a litttraction matsle extra traction is all that’s needed to get moving again. Many people use sand or kitty litter, but these items only work once and then you’re out of luck.

A set of traction mats are reusable and can be easily repositioned to keep you heading in the right direction.

4 – Tire Chainstire chains

In packed snow road conditions, tire chains are an excellent way to help with traction and prevent sliding in the first place. However, they are a controversial topic, so make sure to check the local regulations regarding their use.

Many western states, require tire chains in severe conditions. In the Midwest, they are illegal in most jurisdictions even during the worst snows.

If you carry chains, make sure you know how to install them – put them on first in your dry driveway and later in a snowy parking lot.

It’s a lot harder to get them on tight and secure when it’s dark, and you’re fumbling with cold hands, so you’ll appreciate the practice if the need arises.

5 – Small Tarpsmall-tarp

A small tarp makes kneeling in the snow (and roadside slush) a lot easier and drier.

It also helps keep you from losing parts or tools into the snow. A 5’x7′ tarp is a perfect size for a lot of roadside uses.

6 – Battery Boost Jumper

Cold weather is rough on your vehicle’s battery, and it’s easy to find yourself unable to start the engine when you need it most.

A self-contained battery jumper is a simple solution and much better than waiting for another motorist to jump start your engine.

7 – LED Tactical Flashlight

All survival kits need a super bright LED EDC flashlight. If it’s dark out or the blizzard has blocked the sun out you’ll need illumination to see what you’re doing. Also, it’s a good idea to keep a spare set of batteries in your winter emergency vehicle kit as well.


Help Written In SnowItems In Case You Can’t Get Unstuck

If you have to stay out overnight, you’ll need a few more things.

At this point, your focus turns from getting your vehicle out, to keeping yourself and your passengers protected from the elements and as warm as possible.

8 – Waterstainless-steel-water-bottle

In the winter, the colder temperatures often trick people into assuming they don’t need to drink as much water. You tend not to feel as thirsty.

The truth is you need to stay hydrated to maintain proper body temperature, no matter the weather outside. Want proof?

High-altitude mountaineers spend about as much time melting drinking water as they do climbing – it’s THAT important.

A stainless steel water bottle is an excellent choice since you can use it over a camp stove or small fire to melt and heat water.

Never eat large amounts of snow directly. Always melt the snow before ingesting. If you eat snow directly, you’re basically using your internal body temperature to melt the snow. This can lower your core temperature and lead to hypothermia.

9 – Foodhigh-calorie-food-bars

In the cold, your body is craving calories in any form, burning them at an increased pace to keep your core body temperature up.

Cookies, crackers, nuts, dried fruit, plain chocolate bars, jerky. I like the high-calorie bars since you buy them once and you’re food preparation is done.

Snickers bars may taste great, but you’ll chip a tooth on the caramel trying to eat one that’s been sitting in sub-zero temps for even a few hours.

If you’re able to heat water over a stove or fire, consider adding powdered hot chocolate or another warm drink with lots of calories.

10 – Extra Warm Clothesmechanix-gloves-1

If your vehicle is stuck in the snow, chances are you’ll int the cold for an extended period of time as you attempt to get out on your own.

Quite often, this can leave you snowy and wet, a bad combination for cold weather survival.

Carrying a change of clothes and some extra insulating layers will let you get out of any wet clothes and warm up while you plan your next move.

Glove are a must. If you’re trying to do any of these survival tasks with bare hands you’re not going to be successful. I like Mechanix brand gloves since they provide me the dexterity to perform survival tasks. Try lighting a fire with thick mittens on; not fun.

11 – All Weather Reflective Blanket

You can go with a thick wool blanket but I prefer an all-weather reflective emergency blanket.

These blankets are made with a heat reflective internal layer that helps trap the body heat you’re generating. Keeping you warmer, longer.

Also, consider how many people you’ll be traveling with and be sure that you can keep everyone warm.

12 – Paracord (FireCord)fire-cord-paracord

With so many paracord uses for survival, it a must-add item to any survival kit. You should spend a few dollars more to get Firecord. It’s designed with 7 strands of paracord and 1 strand of Fire Cord you can use as fire tinder.

firelaces_600x600_aThese fire starting shoe laces are also a good idea since you might not always be riding in your own vehicle and your shoe laces can go everywhere you go.

12 – Waterproof Matctesla-coil-lighterhes anwaterproof-matchesd Coil Lighter

Keeping a box of waterproof strike-anywhere matches and a coil windproof lighter in your vehicle is simple insurance in the winter.

A fire will allow you to keep warm, melt snow into water, and signal searchers.

14 – Camp Stove

Your matches and lighter won’t be worth small-portable-camp-stovemuch if you don’t have something dry enough to burn.

In dry, cold conditions (like the Rocky Mountains), you may be able to find enough dead, dry wood to maintain a small fire, so a fire starter makes a wise addition.

In wetter climates (like the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest), finding anything dry enough to burn is always a challenge. So adding a small portable camp stove is a better option.

15 – Extra Fuel Bottlefuel-bottle

Obviously, extra fuel can be handy if you’re relying on your vehicle for shelter. Running the engine for heat will help keep you warm, but it will also slowly drain your gas tank.

Carrying a couple of extra liters of fuel in a sturdy container will give you a bit of a buffer in case you run out.

And One More Item

16 – Winter Travel Kit Bag / Totewinter emergency vehicle kit duffle bag

A large zippered duffle bag is a great way to keep all your winter travel survival supplies organized and contained in your trunk or under the back seat. Once you’ve assembled your supplies, choose a bag that will fit them all.

It doesn’t necessarily need a lot of pockets, but make sure you have a way to separate your spare gas can and your camp fuel from the rest of the gear.

Action PlanWinter Emergency Vehicle Kit Action Plan

This action plan can be summed up in just two words: Do It.

Invest in the gear and supplies listed in this article. Then put them all in a duffle bag and put this bag full survival items in your trunk.

You have zero excuses not to do this. If you drive in winter conditions at all, it’s your personal responsibility to invest in a few essential tools and supplies.

This responsibility goes double for anyone who drives others around. That means parents of young children and those who take care of handicap or elderly.

The time to take meaningful action is NOW before the first flakes begin to fall.

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Will the Elections Change Anything for Preppers?


As usual, no one can answer this question without setting out the parameters of the argument. I need to set the record straight first. What is wrong in America?

First, I must admit I am truly an impartial voter. I do not have a dog in this fight. I believe these elections are mostly rigged and nothing more than sheer folly these days. It is much like believing in Santa Clause for me. Sure there are new toys under the tree on Christmas morning. But did Santa really bring them, or does it just look that way? Are most of the promised gifts missing, having been replaced by badly knitted scarves and neck ties cleverly wrapped in bright foil? Are we supposed to be so excited that the day has finally arrived, that we won’t fuss about those forgotten promised gifts?

This article is more than just an argument regarding the American elections, and their outcomes.  It’s about more than which candidate will be able to fix America’s many problems once elected. It is above all else, I hope a way to shed some light on the real issues that face this country. And on the world for that matter. I hope it will open some doors of discussion, maybe shed some insight into the inevitable first steps involved in changing the crisis that America faces. Let me start by helping the prepper better understand why this is happening to him or her.

Sure, I may be a grey-haired old man, half a bubble off plumb, who spends way too much time by himself in the backwoods. Nevertheless I do keep up with my politics. More then most people these days. Unfortunately for the younger readers, I formed many of my opinions years ago (Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks). These are the opinions I will share with you as we move along.

Should we still keep prepping if Trump wins? That is the question here isn’t it?

Well absolutely. Our problems in America are far more complex than either one of these political candidates have eluded to in their campaigns. Two hundred and forty years ago, a righteous revolutionary act by the American colonies began a new form of nation. A nation which found itself, far from home, cornered by a tyrannical monarchy and without any remaining choice but to defy the current status quo and revolt against tyranny.  Thus was born the “Declaration of Independence” a fertile seed that grew into the US Constitution and begat the essence of the Bill of Rights.

Our country’s historical struggle with government overreach, and corrupt bankers, does not sound very different than today’s mess. Many citizens find it hard to believe that ones’ countrymen can do this sort of thing to one another, mocking it as a conspiracy joke. Yet, somehow it has become the same old same old today, in the land of the free. Lets face it people. This country has been brought down by the exact same tyrants that WE THE PEOPLE took it from in the first place, two hundred and forty years ago! Back then we stood up and created our own government, “we the people,” vowing never to be ruled by tyrants like King George and his Bankers ever again.

However, “THEY”RE BACK,” and instead of a fat English King, we have a Plutocracy in his place. Instead of elitist banker families, we have a greasy Wall Street gangs, running a globally controlled Central Banking system. Sounds way, too familiar, does it not?

Will this coming election fix the USA, or to coin a phrase, is this election simply just fixed?

First to all you readers consider this one question: Did your politicians from our recent past (Not exactly the cream of the crop mind you) become so easily fooled by these crooks and con men that they gave up our nation to them, simply “Handing over the keys to the vault, so to speak,” or did they benefit from this treason too?

Moreover, are these politicians and Banksters simply the same old scoundrels? The one who berated our forefathers, oh so many years ago, until they had no choice but to utter bold statements like, “Give Me Liberty, or give me Death” when pushed to their limits?

Have these same Banking Elitist once again usurped what has been referred to as “the greatest social experiment of true freedom ever devised in the history of mankind,”?  All the while cleverly sidestepping a perfectly constructed document, our U.S. Constitution, to again conquer the once great Republic called the United States of America. Have they done this all without firing a single shot? Wow, I feel pretty stupid, don’t you?

American Elections: are they Freedom of choice or just an illusion?

Let’s dig a little deeper now. It’s unanimous “we the people” of this great nation have once again lost control of our nation to those same fraudsters. We finally have we turned into what our forefather’s fought for, an international joke.

How did this happen? These politicians and banking bastards have harangued our nation, with nothing more than speeches, into one of their colonies again. They managed to do this all within just a few decades. The once good people of the United States are now so easily pacified by this illusion of freedom that we allow them to control us with merely a sideshow, held every four years, and a promise of change and mock freedom. A promise mind you, that is never delivered. A promise made to us as if it’s a treat a parent would give a child to persuade them to stop complaining in public. I don’t know about you, but I am no longer a child, are you?

We the American citizenry, pretty much pretend that we live in a democratic society these days. Upon closer inspection, we clearly do not. Your new owners, the Banking Elitist, hold these mock elections as proof of our elusive freedoms. Yet they are just a lark, a joke, a periodic dog and pony show, with a sole purpose of entertaining and pacifying the peasantry. Sure, they happen every four years, and like fools, we argue among ourselves over the inane issues and outcomes as if it makes a difference. The election “show” has merely created the illusions of a free and democratic society, which I see only as a joke on us. These elections steal your rights from you one farcical vote at a time and are merely for the entertainment of these tyrants. They are laughing at us all the way to the Federal Reserve. Elections have actually changed nothing for the people of this country, and history proves me right. If you take time to review the past half-century of these political fools and this country, you will see a steady decline.

Stealing Votes is Not New

There has been more then one smoking gun of voter fraud in the past elections. For example, the Florida incident and the Bush win, and the all too convenient counting of these votes by Jeb Bush, the brother of the winning candidate.

Now, take Mrs. Clinton’s new Democratic Party, one she has molded in her image. Her recent Colorado event clearly sent a message of fascism. The people of Colorado had their voting rights stolen from them by a monster, called a Super-delegate, during the pre-election nomination votes.

I wonder if the Bernie supporters actually understand what really happened that week. But that’s not all, the people of Colorado were further insulted by democratically controlled media spewing bogus “legalese” over the airwaves, repeating their same old shtick. “That’s the process you asked for, don’t you remember, we voted on it ourselves.” These hollow statements may have subdued some of the Colorado voters, but it was a slap in the face to the rest of us. We were sent back to the kiddie table, feeling even more like their little children, still not mature enough to SUP with the grown-ups yet.

I do not know about you people, but this stuff really pisses me off. My vote does not mean anything anymore. It seems to be happening every election. Over-and-over, each-and-every one of us are merely allowed to decide on a chosen party leader, who then tells us what to do, and how to think.

Trump vs. Clinton



The Lesser of Two Evils

Will these political promises surface after the election?

So, what difference does this election make to our future, you may ask?

The Election Train of 2016

This election is not really a reflection of anyone’s reality is it?

What does the average person need from these Electoral Nominees?

Most of us around this great big world are very disappointed with our government. Well, at least the 99% of us who are waiting for a break from all this chaos. They the “politicians,” who claim to represent us, are only representing corporate or international banking interests. Not to mention the ire “we the people” have for other foreign governments that project their dishonest public relations as an image of freedom. All this, while exploiting and stealing basic human dignity from their very own citizens.

The truth is that approximately Ninety-One percent (91%) of Americansdo not trust these candidates from this coming election, be it Republicans, Democrat, or Independents. We are sick of their theatrics! We want real change. We can all agree on that one thing, can we not? None of us, no matter from where we hail, are happy with the direction our country is headed.

Human Rights are still at stake. On the one hand, we have Democratic candidate (Hillary), a candidate who keeps promising to bring to fruition a new socialist Orwellian future inflicted by the current democratic party, her party. The Democratic party flogged this same idea at the Obama administration and still is during his waning days as this country’s President? The promise is as soon as Hillary gets into power things are going to stay exactly, the SAME, and wow, maybe worse.

Her claims during the campaign are not only the boasting about going down the same old rabbit hole as the last eight years, but she is willing to orchestrate the final death knell of what was once the freest nation on earth. She plans to do it by infringing on your “Constitutional Rights,” again, and so be it. Suck it America.

The New World Order

This is the new fusion of a Crony capitalism, socialism, and fascism. A new type of government designed by the “new world order,” gang. If you have been really paying attention, it has been a nothing short of a political volleyball game. The ball has been set up above the net by previous Presidents, from both of the bought and paid for parties, standing behind our newly appointed Queen. She is now ready to spike the ball over the net.

This plutocracy has already demonstrated a willingness to circumvent the constitution by many past deeds of ignoring your civil rights and imposing Martial law whenever they like. Tactics such as in the Boston bombing attacks when that city was lock down for a house to house search. (This was Illegal by the way, a search and seizure of private property and private homes without warrant and without due process) But “we the people” welcomed it because it was under the guise of “protecting us all” from the horrible terrorist bombers.

Or maybe the little trick by the CIA, DOD, FBI, DOJ or some other acronym of government Nazi’s that orchestrated the Jade Helm Psyop. This was when your government actually used military personnel to patrol the Streets of America practicing maneuvers in civilian uniforms. (Using U.S. troops in America against its own citizens is highly unconstitutional)

Where We Now Stand

Do you still think we can relax and not prepare anymore because salvation is finally here? As soon as these elections are over everything will change.

Bear in mind if you plan to protest any nowadays, especially regarding the current administration, you should also, be prepared to be suppressed by these black booted thugs of Big Government. They are willing to impose all sorts of unconstitutional behaviors, on us citizens whenever “we the people” try to resist them.

Actions like restricting your right to travel freely within your country without being detained and searched. Or the right to privacy, the right to assemble, the right to protest, all being denied using the same Nazi behaviors of the Third Reich. Well that should drive their elitist message home. Their control over you is being backed up by their unconstitutional Patriot Act and the infamous NDAA Act, allowing such crimes as indefinite incarceration of citizens without trial, or the confiscation of private property without due process.

Constitutional Rights? Hillary has promised to sidestep the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution by force if necessary if elected. In doing so, she is stealing away many of your rights, such as the 4th Amendment (the Freedom of Speech), or the Second Amendment (the Right to Bear Arms), and your Right of Assembly. These tools of her gun control campaign, coupled with the Patriot Act, NDAA, are already enacted in some states. They will be used to quell any so-called unruliness or social upheaval on your part. There is no way for you to stop her or any President from using such tactics.

Think about this. No more Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms for your personal defense or to defend your country against domestic terror. No individual defense against an enemy of the state such as a terrorist or even a tyrannical Government. No more state Militias to defend our quickly fading US Constitution. Ask a Veteran what they think about this.

How about, confiscation of property without due process, the right to a fair trial, where did those come from? These Acts remove things like that “nasty due process thing from your lives.” Merely by using an illegal use of the “color of authority”, the politicians have manipulated the fake U.S. congress using lobbyists. This process is circumventing the constitutionally protected rights of the people. Gone are those rights like unlawful detainment, illegal search and seizure of persons or propert done without warrant or due process. This government is proving to be the actual Orwellian prophecy come true. And they would like to continue it before you catch on to stop them.

Is there any HOPE: Can we stop this by voting?

There is some that say another side of this bi-partisan coin has appeared, some say it is hopeful. I say yes, perhaps there is hope still, but it is very thin.

The less intrusive governance of a Trump administration is perhaps waiting for us around the corner. But perhaps his coming government is just as detrimental in the end to our civil liberties as the current one. Here, is why I still see nothing changing. The average sovereign citizen doesn’t give two cents as to who controls a tyrannical government. A stolen right, is a stolen right, is a stolen right. Chipping away at any of the rights will ultimately lead to losing many, many more eventually. These people will not stop, they cannot stop. It seems as if it’s a hidden agenda. Even if the next administration respects your rights, the subsequent administration may still abuse your rights because these historical acts of Congress still remain on the books unchallenged.

Donald Trump’s, best intentions may not be enough to make America Great again

Donald may be legit. He may not always be following constitutional law when he repeats things like “ I will impose eminent domain with the XL pipeline project,” or he allows the torture of political detainees. (Remember the Patriot Act overrules constitutional law and allows detainee citizens indefinitely. It also lists all of the “citizens of America” as potential political enemies under this act, and its vague definition of terrorist).

If Trump continues to use the power given to him by these Acts (and he has stated he is thinking of doing this), he will still be catering to the Money tyrants who now control the nation. This will be just as all of the other recent Presidents have done before him. (You decide for yourself how far back this goes)

Just because I’m Paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t watching me

Hunter S. Thompson once said, “Just because I’m Paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t watching me.” This statement maybe very profound after all the election votes are tallied this Fall.

Using the NDAA, the Patriot Act, CISPA, SIPA, and any other relentless unconstitutional Law, Act, or Bill will eventually affect all future American citizens one day. These unconstitutional laws ultimately only serve the money masters controlling your government now.

I have noticed that no matter how we complain about these, Unconstitutional Acts, and infringements on our civil liberties, they never get rescinded. As Alice once said curiouser, and curiouser. They just seem to quietly settle out of site, waiting for something. For what I wonder? Perhaps they are waiting for the right moment to use them.

Obama claimed he would never pass the any of these acts. But then he slid them through during the Christmas break, when congress was out for holidays. When it was publicized, he then claimed he would never use them the way they are worded. Good God no, not him. Yet, he secretly does. But do not fear, because if you are not one of the bad guys, you have nothing to worry about, RIGHT?

Does this mean they will have finally achieved their evil goal of complete control over the United States of America? Will they soon be moving on to the rest of the world without themselves ever firing a shot?

The real enemies of any country are the men behind the scenes manipulating us. Those men who have stolen your rights by proxy, using corporate tools that they twist to destroy the economy for their own benefit. Trump knows this as a fact. Therefore, despite his good intentions, Donald’s improper use of Presidential privileges like “eminent domain” or the Patriot Act, and NDAA after he is elected is just another form of tyranny (Even Eminent Domain was designed for War time and sovereign emergencies only).

At the very most, Expropriation of privately held land must be used in lockstep with an individuals constitutional right to property ownership. It must not be used as a Presidential hammer for building better economies. Even if that is, the quicker solution, remember Chip, Chip, Chip, goes your Rights.

Catering to the Oil and Gas Industry is not vital economic growth, and I can prove it.

It is not that simple. The right to have and own property is guaranteed to the all citizens by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Even people “in the way” of a Nation’s economic progress must be compensated for their losses. Having due process, or “their day in court,” is guaranteed by these documents. All property owners that will have their land expropriated should be paid in full for their losses. This includes but is not limited to their loss of use of that property and Nuisance, Inconvenience, and/or Adverse Affect after the fact.

We all must be concerned when it comes to private corporations using government policy to steal land from the nation’s citizens to benefit their company profit line. Whenever private companies cause damage to this Nation’s land and land owners, by way of our government policies for energy projects, such as fracking, oil and gas exploration, and pipelines construction, we all pay the price. These ventures should not automatically be considered in the public’s best interest, but should be dealt with case by case and locally. Utility and Oil & Gas projects are not always national Energy Concerns.

These Federally held, so-called back room deals are actually “corporate theft” of the nation’s natural resources. Remember when Nixon sold our national parks to these bankers as collateral for more debt? Probably not, because it was a back page story and still isn’t talked about much. But take time to check it out. I contest that the entire Nation’s highways, byways, major pipelines, and utility Companies should be owned and operated by the people collectively, and all the profits that they create should go to the people not the corporations.

How to handle “Property Rights” properly

An individual or citizens’ right to property should be handled with kid gloves, not by “Eminent Domain.” This is not a hard task to accomplish for any honest government. It is the simple use of honest negotiation and local arbitration hearings. It involves the recognition of the four (4) heads of compensation, used to determine losses by a landowner.

Having an arms length open house meetings, and negotiations upfront regarding such issues of property rights, environmental concerns, water use and rights, and compensation. These are essential to solving the nation’s energy problems without conflict. All of this plus the embracing of community involvement must be resolved before any government approval is allowed. Not to mention proper negotiations between landowners in any form, like so-called second and third party land interests.

I know this idea works because I was a “Land Agent in the Oil Patch for over Twenty years, and this is how it should be done. (Sorry we all have our little secrets)

Smaller Government: Our Federal government needs to be much, much, smaller, allowing the states to act like a republic again, handling their own affairs whenever possible. The rest of the Nation needs to butt out of these local and state decisions. Not every energy issue in America is a Federal issue, in fact none of them should be.

Each state has the right to determine how it exploits and taxes its own energy source, and how it utilizes it for itself. That is what a Republic is all about. Federal Government is the lattice. (Concerned with the infrastructure of the nation only) Not the ruler of a republic, that’s a dictatorship.

What if, TRUMP WINS? What can we expect from him?

As far as I can tell, Trump is not a magician or a sorcerer. So, I bet even with good intentions it will take at least two terms with every man on deck, working 24 hours a day and 365 days a year with him as President to turn this big ship around. Face it kiddo, we are on the good ship “Titanic” here. I am not sure that even this Nation will actually miss that proverbial Iceberg. I highly doubt it!

Trump brought up some real interesting issues, but are they enough?

Trump mentions upholding constitutional law, enforcing citizen’s rights, and real government transparency. Not the kind of transparency Obama or Bush promised I hope.

Sure, perhaps we have a chance to stem the tide of Tyranny for at least another 4 years by electing Donald Trump. But will he listen to the American people once he is in power? Who really knows? He may be the only reasonable hope left to America. Trump may help the nation “become great again,” especially if what he says he can do comes true. However, how can we be sure? We have been promised many things, many times before, by many politicians. And they never came through.

Even if Trump wins, will he fix our problems?

Sure, he seems to be the lesser of the two evils these days, and he has my vote because of that it.

(Footnote: Allow me to qualify my position by stating this; It is for lack of any other voting option. Like I said “No dog in the fight”. I’m more of a Libertarian, though that party is without real representative. It has strayed so far from its original doctrine, its lost. Face it Gary Johnson is a joke, already he has admittedly been bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers, when they were allowed to back his campaign this election. Yeah, that is right. I am a staunch supporter of no one in particular, and a pessimist when it comes to politicians in general, they all lie for your votes.)

Can Trump Do What He Says Even?

The Questions and the Facts:

Will Trump be able to do what he claims to want to do? He may not have much of a chance to succeed even if in the end, he is elected. So many entrenched enemies are already in the system. He is outnumbered by these posers, so then what?

Can he win using a rigged and flawed election system? Will your vote even be counted in the end? There is no shortage of evidence regarding the election tampering these days.

Can Trump succeed on the issues where he wants to, after elected? Bear in mind Trumps winning of this job is like asking someone to a game of Billiards and handing him a rope when everyone around him has a pool cue. In addition, can he do what he needs to do, because he really needs to clean house when he gets in power. If he is to take back this country from the bankers that control it.

Finally, yet most importantly will he be allowed to prosecute politicians for past crimes? Do you think he will actually go the distance and prosecute Hillary for her alleged crimes? This may actually be the defining moment for me as a voter. If Trump actually brings to trial and convicts Hillary for crimes she has committed. I will certainly become more involved in politics if this happens, and I bet, others will too.

My Conclusion

With all the points that I have brought up, I would think that it is apparent that our problems in this world are not going to be solved overnight. A presidential election one way or the other won’t magically solve anything. I do not know about any of you, but I feel it changes nothing in the short term.

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We all know it’s coming. It arrives every year and with it comes a huge variety of weather. Snow, high winds, ice storms, fog you name it and winter throws it at us. Then there’s the added complication of power outages and all the disruption that brings with it. In short, winter can be a total ball-ache.

Now I HATE winter with a passion that is only equalled by my hatred of politicians and paedophiles so for me, getting everything in order before winter arrives is critical, because if it’s not done before hand it sure as hell won’t be done during the cold weather. I watch news reports of people in snow and enjoying it – how I have no idea but they do. Me, no thanks, give me heat and sunshine any day of the week.

So, how does a winter-phobe like me deal with the cold season? In short, I don’t, I prepare for it well in advance so I have as few issues as it’s humanly possible to have during the colder weather. So, without further ado here’s the Lizzie check list for winter preparation.

Garden and driveway

  • Make sure all general garden maintenance is up to date. Loose and/or old branches cut down, perennial weeds burnt etc.
  • Check slabs and pathways for cracks that may let water in and then freeze causing more damage and trip hazards – repair as required.
  • Put a couple of bags of rock salt and grit mix out the back to keep the patio safe to walk on ( need to get to wood store and ‘spare’ pantry in the garage.
  • Put a couple of bags of rock salt and grit behind the side gate to keep the drive ice-free.
  • Stow all the garden furniture away for the winter. It’s VERY windy in my location and tables regularly become low flying objects!
  • Bag up footballs,  super-soaker guns and other kiddie crap and hang in the garage.
  • Rinse and air dry the wetsuits and store in rodent proof box.
  • Make sure wood supply is adequate and coal bunker is full.

Garage (not used for the car shall we say)

  • Grease saws and garden tools to keep them in good condition.
  • Clean and grease lawnmower blades and wipe the machine down ready for spring.
  • Replace all tools in their rightful home at the far end of the garage.
  • Check roof for gaps and holes – close the door during daylight and look up, any splits and gaps will show. Seal/repair as required.
  • Wipe down outsides of all electrical items: tumble drier, spare fridge and spare freezers. Check all plugs and sockets for damage, repair as required.
  • Clean out cupboards checking food dates and looking for blown/rusting cans.
  • Check pipe lagging under the sink.
  • Empty out and check contents of two ’emergency boxes’: candles 12,  matches 2 boxes, lighters 2, firelighters 2 boxes, hurricane lamp, lamp oil 2 bottles,  flashlight with 2 spare bulbs,  new batteries x 3 packs, pack of fuses, 3, 5 and 13 amp. Small toolkit in a box : straight and cross head screwdrivers small, medium and large of each, small hammer, pliers, small wrench, insulation tape, electrical screwdriver for checking currents, selection of screws, duct tape, super-glue.
  • Vacuum through.

House (exterior)

  • Check for flaking paint/varnish on wooden doors and sills, repaint /varnish if required to prevent water penetration and rot.
  • Check weatherboards and fascias are in good repair and tightly fixed in place.
  • Seal any gaps in window frames/door frames
  • Clean UPVC frames and windows.
  • Check lagging on the outdoor taps. Re-lag if needed.

House (interior)

  • Check the roof. Go into the loft during daylight, close the hatch and look for dislodged tiles or slates. Repair as required.
  • Check pipes on exterior walls are lagged.
  • Put one emergency box right outside the back door on back porch ready for use.
  • Test central heating and bleed radiators if needed.
  • Get boiler serviced.
  • Get chimneys swept.
  • Fill log baskets and put next to each fire, ditto coal scuttles.


  • Get it serviced.
  • Check tires for tread and uneven wear.
  • Check wiper blades are not split and work well.
  • Top up antifreeze.
  • Check first aid kit and restock if required.
  • In the boot (trunk): Small bag of rock salt, shovel, warning triangle, small vehicle tool kit, wellies (gum boots), bag with ‘shit kit’ items such as emergency food, water, mylar blankets, lightweight fleece blanket, blow up pillow, flashlight and new batteries, pair of fleece pants, fleece top, spare socks. Spare can of fuel.

Glove Compartment/ door storage/inside the car

  • Boiled sweets (hard candy)
  • Cereal bars
  • Energy drinks/bottled water or both
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Two charge power pack with correct phone connector
  • Cash in notes and change
  • Fleece blanket
  • A book you’ve been meaning to read, a crossword book, anything to fill the time if you happen to get stuck because of accidents, traffic or weather.

It looks like an awful lot of things to do but actually it isn’t. If your home and car are well maintained throughout the year most of it is just a matter of checking to make sure all is in order and working. It takes me no longer than two days to complete the list around all my regular household tasks and going about my usual business outside the home.

Have a think, make a list of things that applicable to you based on the winter weather in your area, then act on it. Far better to get the loose roof tile fixed now than not be able to tackle it in a howling snow storm in a couple of months time.

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Survival Tactics Used by the Military and the Navy SEALs


When you think of the word ‘survival,’ what usually comes to mind?  Making a fire out in the woods, setting up a lean-to shelter with vines and sticks, setting up traps and snares to catch small game, and procuring water might be a few things that come to mind, right?

Knowing how to do each of these things is incredibly important for any survival situation.  However, the advanced survival tactics used by the U.S Military (including the Navy SEALs) demonstrate that there’s much more to survival than just starting a fire and building a shelter.

The primary difference between these ordinary survival skills, and the survival skills learned by the servicemen and women of the U.S Military, is that the military’s learned survival tactics take personal protection and defense into account.

In short, the U.S Military and especially the Navy SEALs approach survival in a different and deeper way than most survival classes or disaster preparedness classes tell us to.  Let’s take a look at the biggest reasons why:


As a result of the advanced and complex training of the U.S Military and Navy SEALs, you may believe that the survival tactics they learn and employ are at least a little more intricate.

However, this could not be any further from the truth.  On the contrary, the military has learned that simplicity is required for survival.  If you want to survive, you have to keep things simple, and then become as good as possible at being simple as well.  By overcomplicating what needs to be done in survive, you’ll only waste valuable time and energy and be in a far worse state as well.

This could be fatal in a disaster scenario where you constantly have to be on the lookout for those who are harming you and are in a more vulnerable position to fight.


The military genius Sun Tzu was the one who said that war is not about fighting, but about deception.  A military commander can win against a materially or numerically superior force through deception and evasion tactics such as decoys, feints, disinformation, and diversionary attacks.  These kinds of tactics have been used for thousands of years and continue to be used to great effect today.  You can use them as well.

Finding yourself in an armed confrontation with another person or another group of people means that you are putting yourself in harm’s way.  And if you have a family to protect, that could mean that you are putting them in harm’s way as well.

It doesn’t matter what kind of weapons or training you have or how many people are on your side.  You should avoid armed conflict as much as possible.  Even though soldiers are trained for combat, they too follow this principle as well.

Just as each soldier fulfills a specific role in a military unit, each person has a specific role in your survival group as well, including you.  This means that you need to conserve as much of your number as possible in order for your group to remain as efficient as possible and stand the greatest chance of survival.

This is why evading is more important than fighting.  Granted, you should still learn how to fight should worse come to worse, but evasion skills are arguably even more important.  Learn how to stay away from those who seek to harm you, and strongly consider a temporary surrender if you are severely outnumbered or outgunned to the point that fighting is hopeless.

As we have touched on already, there are many evasion tactics that the military uses in order to avoid a fight until they find ground or a situation that is more favorable to them, and most of those evasion tactics come through what Sun Tzu said war was all about: deception.

Let’s say you have a relatively small survival group, and a hostile survival group who outnumbers you four to one is nearby.  Since you’re so heavily outmanned and outgunned, an open engagement is not an option for survival.

Instead, you have to look at the situation from a new angle and outmaneuver your opponents.  Keep in mind that since they know they have the numerical advantage, it’s more than likely that they’ll underestimate you.  You can use this to your advantage.

One evasion tactic you can use is to hide.  Camouflage yourself in with the environment and make your camp appear deserted.  In fact, camouflage and staying hidden are two skills that soldiers are taught often in training as a means to avoid capture.

Another evasion tactic you can use is to openly escape but deceive the enemy as to where you are going.  You can send one or two of your number into a car and send that car down the road and cause your opponents to launch a pursuit while the rest of your group makes the escape to better ground, where you can then rendezvous with the rest of your group.


Just because you’ve been captured and taken a prisoner of war doesn’t mean that you’re out of the fight.  On the contrary, the fight is far from over.

You should also learn different escape techniques so that you’ll be able to, for example, get out of your restraints when captured.  Keeping lock picks or small knives concealed on your person is another wise strategy.

If your captors are smart, they will separate you from the other captives so that you don’t have a chance to help one another.  However, it’s still more likely that most people in SHTF situations won’t be aware of this advantage.

So in the best case scenario, you can communicate with your fellow captives and come up with an escape plan.  In fact having an escape plan set with your fellow team members BEFORE you are captured will give you the best advantage possible.


You may believe that you’ll be able to defend yourself with nothing more than a scoped bolt-action rifle.  You figure that you’ll be able to keep yourself far away from your opponents while pinning them down.  The truth is that if you honestly believe this is how fighting is going to be in a SHTF scenario, you’re going to be one of the first ones killed.

The soldiers of the U.S Military and Navy SEALs are taught to engage targets at within twenty to thirty meters at most.  Engagements up to a hundred meters or more are left to the marksmen.  If anything, any kind of an armed confrontation that you find yourself in that requires you to use deadly force is going to be up close and personal.  You may end up using your fists rather than your gun.

As we have seen in all of the wars and armed conflicts going on around the world currently and within the last few years, combat is up close and personal.  That’s why detecting a threat before they come to close to you is going to be imperative to your survival, and it’s also why evading instead of fighting like we just talked about is so important as well.

Train yourself in hand-to-hand combat, in using a knife for immediate self-defense, and in close range scenarios with your firearms.


The military is all about team strategy.  One soldier never goes it alone. Even snipers have spotters and have to rely on coordinates and instructions given to them by a far away base.

Your strategy as a team, even if it’s only you and your immediate family, should be no different.  Yes, you’ll have to strategize things much differently than if you were on a ten to twenty man team.  If no one else in your family is capable of handling weapons (perhaps you have young children, for example), then the job of self-defense and security is going to be left to you.  You can still assign other important tasks related to your survival to others, but the weapons handling and defense can be left up to you.

If you do have people in your survival group who are capable of handling weapons, then you can easily come up with a fighting strategy with them as well.  If you have four people in your fighting group, for instance, you can make a diamond formation (one person up front on point, two behind them and to the side, and then one more person forming the rear directly behind the first person) when advancing through unknown territory.


There’s a reason why the military equips its soldiers with weapons that fire lighter rounds like the 5.56×45 over larger ones with more stopping power: when a man is hit and wounded, it doesn’t just put him out of the right, but it puts one or two other men out of the fight as well because they now have to tend to their wounded comrade and carry him away.

All the same, not only should you deeply consider having to go to war rifles that fire lighter cartridges, but aiming to wound an opponent rather than kill him outright will force one other opponent to tend to him.  Essentially, you can take two opponents out of the fight with one shot.  Knowing this tactic will give you a strong advantage when multiple assailants are attacking your property.

In the end, though, you should strive to avoid an armed confrontation in the first place.  We’ll talk about this later.


Ultimately, having the right survival mindset is everything.  It doesn’t matter how much survival gear you have or how well trained with it; if you aren’t in the mindset that you need to survive, nothing else matters.

Throughout and well beyond their training, soldiers and especially SEALs are constantly taught to be in the right mindset.  Contrary to what many people believe, the instincts that you have naturally will not be enough.  In order to get yourself into it, you need to constantly improve with all of the survival education that you can get.  And when we say ‘survival education,’ we mean much more than simply starting fires and setting traps and snares.

Educating and then training yourself based on what you learn is what will put you in the right mindset to survive.  In other words, your survival preparations must be an ongoing process where you are constantly learning new things.  It’s not just a read a survival book and maybe take a class once and call yourself prepared kind of deal.


There are a lot more examples that we could give for how military survival tactics enhance the survival skills that we commonly read on the internet or learn about in classes, but space does not permit us to go into those now.  What you have read about here in this article are the most important ones.

To sum things up, the biggest difference between military survival skills and civilian survival skills is that military survival skills go beyond simply learning how to build a fire and, instead, tackle serious disasters and critical events that threaten our everyday existence, such as terrorist or EMP attacks, instead.

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