TACTICAL TRAINING FROM AN AUSTRALIAN SOLDIER

Tactical training is one of the most important aspects of your prepping for a SHTF situation. Use the information in this article to start your training regime, or modify any training you may already be doing.

Training should be done to build a skill level, and also to maintain that skill level. Tactical training could be useful in a situation where you need to evade, or stay hidden from a threat. This training is also useful if you find yourself needing to neutralize a threat.

Training like this also helps to keep your mind in the game. Training for a wide variety of situations instills confidence in your ability, and keeps you actively thinking about your situation. Keeping your mind in the game and prepared is crucial, as your brain is the best tool you have in your arsenal.

This post will cover:

  • Fitness – physical training (PT) and battle fitness
  • Scenario based training
  • Movement – moving in the environment.
  • Know your area – how you can maintain the upper hand
  • Gear – what you may want and why
  • How to set up your gear and why
  • Cover Vs Concealment
  • Camouflage – using what’s around you

THE DEFINITION OF  TACTICAL

The first thing I would like to address is the word tactical. It seems to be thrown around out of context, often by marketers, and now has many meanings in common usage.

Once we agree on the meaning, we can begin to work on the training.

Google says the definition of tactical is:

  • relating to or constituting actions carefully planned to gain a specific military end.
  • showing adroit planning; aiming at an end beyond the immediate action.

So how do you as a prepper use tactical skills for a survival situation?

We need to train our skills, techniques and know-how for our survival in a tactical situation.

Often as a prepper the tactical situation is survival, as survival is the end we aim to achieve.

You may find yourself trying to evade a threat or enemy at a time when all you have is yourself to rely on. In a time like this you may need to move tactically to a safer place, or continually move until the threat is gone, or you are in a position to neutralize the threat.

You may find that you are unsure if you are dealing with friend or foe. Your tactical training may buy you time to find out, and leave you in a position to act safely no matter if you are confronted with a threat or not.

So let’s break our training down into two areas

  1. Physical training, ie. fitness, and
  2. Tactical training

PART ONE: FITNESS

Often, a tactical situation is uncomfortable and awkward, dirty, and dangerous from many influences. Fitness fits into your tactical training at the beginning as a way to deal with these issues.

Before starting any type of fitness training you should consult your doctor and make sure your training is appropriate.

FITNESS – Physical Training

Basic fitness ie. ”running shorts and shirt” type training is the starting point for fitness training. You need to be realistic as to where you are with your own fitness and start there. Any improvement you can make to your fitness, be it strength or stamina will be to your advantage.

If you need to start with a walk, that’s where you will start, if you are running ultra marathons each week, you will likely only need to maintain your fitness.

What fitness state do you need to aim for? The answer to this is, you need to be fit enough to sit or lay, or whatever, in a cramped position for a long time without moving or making a sound. You hope you are never in this situation, but you need to be able to do it.

You will also need a degree of endurance. A tactical situation may see you need to run for a period, walk or move for a long period and stop and stay still for a long period.

You fitness regime should have this end result in mind.

HOW?

Here are some basics:

Steady state cardio training:

  • Running
  • Walking
  • Rowing
  • Cycling
  • High intensity intervals;
  • Sprinting
  • Kettlebell workouts
  • Jumping jacks
  • Rope skipping
  • …and more

FITNESS – BATTLE PT

This is where you take your fitness training and combine it with a tactical aspect. You train in your clothes and with the tools you expect you may use in a tactical situation.

This may include but is not limited to:

  • Protective clothing- long pants, boots, hats gloves
  • Bags, webbing and carriage equipment
  • Weapons and tools

If you expect to use it in a tactical situation – train with it.

HOW?

It can be as simple as introducing your bag, or your weapon, to your walking or running routine. I suggest building up your training in this way. There is no need to train in full gear all the time. DON’T OVER DO IT.

You can also add specific training in at this point. If you want to train with a weapon, be safe.

You could do some fire and movement exercises, start with no rounds or blanks.

Start by walking, then “reacting” – like going to ground, crawling to cover taking a shot and moving.

You can add this to a fitness regime also if you are fit enough. Make an obstacle course like this;

  • 10 squats
  • move to designated marker
  • go to ground, leopard crawl “take a shot” move
  • get up walk to a marker
  • repeat the process with 10 lunges (moving forward) instead of squats, or add your own variation as you need to.

This is training for fitness remember, but with the added benefit of conditioning yourself with your equipment.

This is also a great time to work out any issues with your gear. If your chest rig has a buckle that rubs on your skin and annoys you – fix it now. Also this is a great way to trial new gear that you haven’t used before.

moving through forest

PART TWO – TACTICAL TRAINING

MOVING AROUND

You may have started to practice movement in your battle pt, in this stage we take it further. We are aiming to move in different environments without being detected.

It starts with getting used to moving in the environment. If it is a conventional environment start by not walking on the path.

You need to get used to not using tracks and you need to get used to moving in this situation. You will find it hard to move silently.

Practice, practice, practice. You may never get it perfect but you should try to.

Don’t get yourself lost.

You can take just a step or two off the path and “handrail” it.

Be respectful of the area you are training in, don’t destroy it and don’t trample plants etc.

TIP – To move silently you should not trample anything anyway. Making a mark on the environment is also a way to be tracked.

No animal makes a noise when walking through the scrub, be it prey or predator. Humans walk on everything and give themselves away time and time again. Don’t be that guy.

If someone is following/tracking you, your ability to move silently through the environment may be the thing that sees you live another day.

If you are stalking food, your ability to move silently will be a great advantage when trying to get close to your prey.

SCENARIO BASED TRAINING

Scenario training may seem the best way to train for a tactical situation. To train successfully you should break the scenario into its elements. You can then structure your training something like this:

Practice element one, then practice element two, then create a scenario involving elements one and two.

Start basic and build to ever increasing difficulty of elements and scenarios.

And then go back to the basics again.

A SIMPLE SCENARIO TO GET YOU STARTED

Simple training could start with reaction. Reacting to a stimuli. It could be a gunshot, a movement or a noise. If you can work in a pair or team, this is great.

Move through an environment and have your partner dart out from behind something and move to a new position. You need to react, you should move to cover or concealment. At this point self evaluate and also have your partner evaluate.

Questions for you:

  • Is the spot you moved to cover or concealment?
  • Can you see what the “enemy” is doing , can they see you?
  • Do you have another move? Or are you now trapped?
  • The list goes on

While there is no right or wrong answers, training to make better decisions is what will give you the advantage.

MORE SCENARIO TRAINING

At this point you can see how important it is to have someone else to train with.

Who can you use?

Your kids and your wife and other family members are great, and can be extremely helpful. Other preppers and people interested in learning these skills are even better.

Here are a few scenario set ups you can use with your family members.

YOU REALLY MUST CONSIDER THE SAFETY OF YOUR FAMILY WHEN YOU DO THIS.

You can have your kids sit and wait in an area and try to sneak up on them.  You can make it a game if they are a little younger.

Keep it short, so they don’t get bored.

  • Have your kids wait on the edge of a wooded area, close their eyes and count to 10. You move to a point in the scrub and start moving towards them.
  • They should be trying to see you coming, tell them to yell out if they are sure they can see you or know where you are.

You can do this in an urban environment too, like if you have a few buildings around your house on your farm.

  • Have someone sit inside, maybe on the second story and set up the same type of scenario, this time, try to make it to the building and inside, maybe even all the way to the person looking for you.

You can do both these scenarios roles reversed. This way you get to have a breather and the kids get to test their skills at tricking mum and dad.

Watch closely what they do. They may have valuable lessons to teach, they will see the environment different to you, this perspective may be invaluable.

While these are simple scenarios, on paper they can become quite complex on the ground.

Involving your family in a fun way has many benefits for you and your family. Even if you don’t have to use the skills practiced, the bonding will last a lifetime and is invaluable to both you and your children.

Seemingly simple yet incredibly complex, the way you move and how you practice is a vital part of survival.

TYPES OF MOVEMENT

In this section we will focus on moving on your feet.

  • WALKING
  • RUNNING
  • CRAWLING
  • MONKEY CRAWL
  • LEOPARD CRAWL.

Monkey crawl from min. 3:50

As you can see it is a difficult thing to explain with words. Normally you would have your non master hand in a fist and use it to support your weight. Your master hand will hold your weapon. This method is a way of moving quickly while staying low.

Leopard crawl:

You can imagine how taxing this move can be, and rough on the body in some terrain. It is even harder with a rifle. You must practice to get it right. Putting the barrel in the dirt can render a weapon in-effective.

Each of these methods is useful in its own way, and training on the technique is as much physical as it is skills training.

Walking running and crawling I don’t think I need to explain. You may find the monkey crawl difficult, often shorter people are better suited to this technique. This method was widely used in Afghanistan.

The ability to get low enough to move along the little fences/walls that are everywhere over there was great. You reach the end of the wall and you are almost in a fire position and ready to attack or defend. You can also get to your feet quickly if you need to.

Leopard crawling is one of my favorite methods of movement. Being so low to the ground makes you a very hard target if you are taking fire and it also makes you very hard to see.

soldiers army basic training mud

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Terrain is a big factor for how you move. Being able to operate effectively in muddy areas, dry areas, hilly and steep slopes and flat and open ground is crucial to success.

Another aspect to consider is the vegetation. It can be almost impossible to move in very close vegetation. It certainly makes it difficult to move swiftly and quietly.

The best advice I can give you is to get out there and try it out. It really is something you have to work out for yourself.

In the jungles of South East Asia, we practiced moving with a small bush saw, machete, and a pair of secateurs. It is extremely slow and very hard to stay quiet.

When the shit hits the fan in these situations, you just have to move and that is a night mare. You should practice both moving slowly and cutting a path, and moving quickly to withdraw or attack.

Being able to move effectively and quietly and remain aware is something you learn by doing.

Later in this article we will talk about knowing your own environment. An advantage you may have that often soldiers don’t get.

Don’t become complacent, go out and find new areas with new challenges to train in. You never know where and when you will need to use these skills.

You may have to leave the comfort of your own area to seek help or resources. This may push you into terrain you have never seen before. Try to be ready for the challenge.

Rain – rain can be a friend and a foe

Movement in the rain can be difficult as you become wet and heavy. Water also sucks morale right out of a person. Wet clothes rub skin red raw, and this discomfort can be extremely difficult to deal with. Consider the effect it may have on other members of your party. If you have to move through the rain with your children these factors could be devastating to them and your mission.

The advantage of rain is noise. Rain masks your noise. Even for hours or days after rain, the ground, and leaf litter may stay moist and make your footsteps very hard to hear.

This is a great advantage that the average person doesn’t realize.

In heavy rain, your vision will be impaired. Visibility may drop to only a few feet and if you don’t have something to protect your eyes you may have to stop and stay still.

Tip: Hats, goggles, hoodies, scarfs and raincoats may help keep water out of your eyes. Be sure to pack them in your bug out bag as they are essential.

If you can see and your enemy can’t, you have a huge advantage. Make sure you can stack the odds in your favor if the situation pops up.

Practice training in the rain, and practice just being in the rain. Modern man is so sheltered, rain really puts some people off. Make rain your friend.

open road forest

KNOW YOUR AREA

As you can see, the training we have covered so far can be done in isolation or combined to train multiple aspects in one session. Even when practicing a skill in isolation, you may get insights into how to work other skills into your training.

I was once transported to a different base. The next morning we were woken and made to go for a run for forty minutes. As we warmed down, the senior digger asked us a few questions about the environment.

It was a test to see if we were just running for running sake, or using the opportunity to build a picture of our surrounds. It was a valuable lesson for a young soldier.

You are always on the clock.

While moving about your own area, if you are training or not, you should be soaking up the environment.

Including:

  • Landmarks
  • Features
  • People/activity
  • Tracks, paths and routes
  • What the terrain is like in certain weather conditions.

As mentioned before, soldiers train in many different environments. It is this training that gives them a reference point to operate from.

As a prepper, you can be fairly sure of the environment you will have to operate in.

Other people who live around you will also know this environment. You can gain an advantage if you are thinking know, and building your intel on the environment around you.

Knowing little things like:

  • The creek at the bottom of our road would likely flood with four hours of good rain.
  • One hour of rain and that area at “x” will become a slippery mess.
  • After a few weeks without rain the wooded area around my farm will be almost impossible to move in without making some kind of noise.
  • Someone moving through the area to the East will go past “Mrs Smiths” dogs and they will bark and carry on.

And so on and so on…

All these little tid-bits make up your intel picture. This can be a huge advantage in a SHTF situation. You can collect this information almost passively, but you must be aware that it is out there.

A visit to your neighbors to help mend a fence or cut up a fallen tree can be a source of valuable intel.

Pro Tip – write the information down. Keep a file or a spread sheet. Hand-writing information is best.

You are unlikely to pull the file out in a SHTF situation, but writing it and working on it will help the information sink in. This may help you recall the information at a time of need.

GEAR: WHAT YOU MAY WANT AND WHY

The topic of gear could go on forever. It is a personal thing and you also may have a few different load outs for different situations.

I will share some considerations for the basics. This is certainly not exhaustive, and I am sure that you can find many interesting videos and articles on the topic

While it is good – and fun – to look at all the new gear and what different people use, there are a couple of things you should think about.

You need to get used to your gear. You should be able to locate the items you have quickly, without looking and you should be able to do it in the pitch black of night or inside a darkened building or tunnel.

You should keep your gear simple.

There is nothing worse than carrying gear all over the countryside that you never use.

Do a quick audit every now and then. As you begin to see your pockets and pouches fill up ask yourself “do I need to carry this?”

It may be that you can pack the item somewhere else if you rarely use it. You may find that you can do away with it all together. Do consider the availability of these things in a SHTF situation.

Work with a basic kit for your webbing, you can always add something later if you need to. Basic ingredients to a webbing load out:

  • WATER
  • AMMO
  • WEAPON CLEANING KIT
  • TORCH
  • BLADE
  • CORDAGE
  • FOOD

I generally have one liter of water in my webbing. I would adjust as I need to. Hot and dry or extremely humid conditions demand more water.

You should also consider how much water you normally drink. If you are a heavy sweater and normally drink 2-3 liters of water an hour you will adjust accordingly.

Ammo is self-explanatory. A simple cleaning kit with a cloth and a bore snake and some CLP is usually all you will need

Pro tip – in wet and humid conditions a small piece of cloth soaked in CLP kept in a zip lock bag is convenient.

Likewise a shaving brush, with a tiny bit of CLP is great for dry and dusty environments.

A small torch that fits in the palm of your hand is great. I also like to have a small red light torch on one of my zippers as a back-up.

I generally carry a folding knife with a blade about two inches long. I have both my knife and my torch tied to a length of cord, and a carabiner clipping it into my pouch or pocket.

This is how I set up my knife and torches. Personally I like to carry an Australian MRE main meal, maybe some gum and maybe some M&M’s. Only enough to get me through a day. NOTHING that requires heating.

If you are moving with nothing but your webbing, you are not stopping to heat or cook a meal. Feel free to add to this list if you think it is necessary.

GEAR SET UP

Again I will keep this short and generic, as I don’t know your exact situation.

Right handed firers should have their main ammo stored on the left side of the body for easy access. If you are using a bolt action weapon, you may want to flip this idea around.

I suggest having a bandage of some sort in your top left-shoulder pocket. Water on your left side, food on your right.

You may need to stop for a quick sip of water in an intense situation. If your water is to your left, you can keep your master hand on your weapon, ready to lay down fire if needed. You won’t even think about eating if you are in any kind of danger.

If you are working as a team you should have your gear all set up the same.

Example:

I know where my bandage is, I know where my buddy’s bandage is, he knows where my bandage is. I don’t have to think about it, if he is hurt and the pressure is on it will come naturally to me because: His bandage is in his left pocket just like mine is.

Standardizing your gear carriage like this is a must.

COVER VS CONCEALMENT

Do you know the difference? You should. If you don’t – here it is in a nutshell:

COVER = something you can get your body behind, that will stop a round, at least the first few rounds.

If someone is shooting a .22 at you, cover will be different to what you will need to use if someone is shooting at you with a .308.

CONCEALMENT = is something you can hide behind so as not to be seen. If you are seen and shot at, the round can or may travel through concealment.

I doubt I need to go into further detail about this. Make sure you understand the difference.

Research what cover truly is, because it is not what they portray it to be in the movies.

A car door, for example won’t stop jack.

In fact most of a car will not stop a round.

A car is more concealment than cover. If in a situation where you are behind a car and someone is sending brass your way you will need to do something, like move to cover.

CAMOUFLAGE

There are two broad types of camo that you should be familiar with. Trying to hide and trying to blend in.

In a situation with a lot of people around, you may be best to blend in.

Having gear and clothing that is all of one color as opposed to disruptive pattern is what I would suggest for this type of situation.

WHY?

You may not want to draw attention to yourself. Being able to blend in and move freely could be of huge benefit.

If people identify you as a soldier or someone who can help them they may be a hindrance to your mission or a drain on your resources. If someone identifies you as being someone who can help, or as a prepper they may also see you as a target.

People may be desperate, and if it looks like they may be able to exploit you they will.

Having plain clothes and backpacks will make you look like everyone else. This may allow you to be left alone to do whatever you need to. It is worth thinking about, if not trying to implement.

If you can only afford one good jacket, pants pack or whatever, you may want to think about this angle.

Trying to be hidden is certainly more difficult in an urban environment. In nature, disruptive pattern gear works extremely well.

One advantage of not owning disruptive pattern items is that you can use them in both situations. Simply adding mud, dirt and leaves to a plain item can and will give it a disruptive pattern. You can also use paint but this will give a more permanent effect.

Adding some of the surrounding environment to your gear is well worth the effort if you are trying to hide.

Disruptive pattern or not:

  • Rubbing dirt into your gear is great.
  • Adding some leaves and branches with a rubber band or slipping it into your molle is also effective.

Be careful what sign you leave when you do this. Stripping one bush of all its leaves is an obvious sign someone is around.

Taking veg from the top of a small tree is also obvious. Adding the only yellow flower that is around is just stupid. Take from several different shrubs and take dirt from underneath low foliage.

Try to make sure it is not obvious that someone has been in the area.

WRAP UP

This article is far from exhaustive. Your training should evolve with your skills and the technology available to you.

Do not forget to train for the basics – like simple movement practice. Getting the basics right is the thing that wins all kinds of battles, from wars to car racing to a game of football or tennis.

I hope you can use this article to train better and become a better prepper.

The post TACTICAL TRAINING FROM AN AUSTRALIAN SOLDIER appeared first on Survival Sullivan.

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Survival Gear Review: Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle .450 Bushmaster

Scout Survival Rifle

The .450 what?  Yeah, dude, the .450 Bushmaster or maybe what should have been named the .450 Best Scout RifleBush Wacker.  Originally, the .450 Bushmaster was designed to be used in M-16/AR-15 platforms using 5-round magazines.  Now Ruger puts in it the ultimate prepper bolt action rifle, the Gunsite Scout model.  This model utilizes the forward mounted scope.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

The .450 Bushmaster

Initially, Hornady Ammunition Company was sought out to produce factory ammunition for the .450 Hornady_450_Bushmaster_Ruger_Gunsight_Scout_reviewBushmaster.  Their current load uses the Hornady 250 grain FTX bullet which generates a muzzle velocity of 2200 fps from a 20-inch barrel.  The energy rating at the muzzle is 2687 foot pounds.  At 100 yards it retains 1868 foot pounds, so it is quite the whacker as noted.

This load comes in Hornady’s new Black line of ammunition.  See this info at www.hornady.com. The load is being touted as having sufficient retained energy at 225 yards to be an effective hunting round for moose and elk.  Imagine using it on wild hogs.  For preppers and survivalists wanting supreme power in a compact bolt gun, this is certainly one to consider.

The Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle

Ruger has brought out the .450 Bushmaster in its excellent bolt action Gunsite Scout Rifle(See Jeff Cooper – Art of the Rifle).  Weighing just 6.6 pounds, this compact rifle package features a 16.10 inch barrel which is threaded, offers controlled round feed and comes with a 4-round detachable box magazine.

ruger_scout_gunsite_rifle_450_bushmaster_review

The metal on this rifle is finished in a matte black oxide.  The threaded barrel is fitted with a Ruger Precision Rifle Hybrid Muzzle Brake.  The rifle’s trigger guard and magazine well are formed from glass reinforced nylon.  The magazine release is copied from their Mini-14 rifle as a push forward paddle situated just ahead of the trigger guard.

Included open sights are a protected, non-glare, post front sight.  On the receiver is an adjustable ghost ring sight.  A forward mounted Picatinny rail permits the mounting of a wide variety of optics.  The rifle comes with integral scope mounts and Ruger scope rings in order to mount a conventional type riflescope.

The rifle’s stock is American walnut with “Gunsite Scout Rifle” engraved on the grip cap, a nice custom Epic Water Filtersfeature.  The rifle is equipped with sling swivel studs.  The grip and forearm are checkered.  A soft rubber recoil pad is mounted with three ½ inch spacers to permit the length of pull to be adjusted to the shooter.  Dealers should have these in stock now, but not being a common selling item, it might have to be ordered.

The expected retail price has been set at $1199.  Expensive, but given the features of this rifle, we expect Ruger to have hit another home run.  Again, this handy bolt action in .450 Bushmaster is a powerful rifle.  The .450 Bushmaster packs a heavy whack factor for sure.  If you bug out to a locale with mean critters about either bearing (pun intended) four or two legs, then this rifle is for sure worthy of consideration.  I may well be one of the ideal handy bolt action prepper rifles.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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We’ll Pay You to #HackTor

We'll Pay You to #HackTor
gk July 20, 2017

There are bugs among us

Millions of people around the world depend on Tor to browse the internet privately and securely every day, so our security is critical. Bugs in our code pose one of the biggest threats to our users’ safety; they allow skilled attackers to bypass Tor’s protections and compromise the safety of Tor users.

We’re constantly looking for flaws in our software and been fortunate to have a large community of hackers who help us identify and fix serious issues early on, but we think we can do even more to protect our users. That’s why if you can #HackTor and find bugs in our software, we want reward you.

Join our first public bug bounty

With support from the Open Technology Fund, we’re launching our first public bug bounty with HackerOne. We’re specifically looking for your help to find bugs in Tor (the network daemon) and Tor Browser. A few of the vulnerabilities we’re looking for include local privilege escalation, unauthorized access of user data, attacks that cause the leakage of crypto material of relays or clients, and remote code execution. In January 2016, we launched a private bug bounty; hackers helped us catch 3 crash/DoS bugs (2 OOB-read bugs + 1 infinite loop bug) and 4 edge-case memory corruption bugs.

Tor users around the globe, including human rights defenders, activists, lawyers, and researchers, rely on the safety and security of our software to be anonymous online. Help us protect them and keep them safe from surveillance, tracking, and attacks. We’ll award up to $4,000 per bug report, depending on the impact and severity of what you find.

Here's how to get started

Sign up for an account at HackerOne. Visit https://hackerone.com/torproject for the complete guidelines, details, terms, and conditions of our bug bounty. Then, start finding and reporting bugs to help keep Tor and Tor Browser safe.

Happy bug hunting!

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16 Things to Stockpile for the Next Blackout

Major blackouts are more common now than ever before. Most of us have experienced a blackout for a few hours. A blackout is a power outage that can range from a few hours to months. They might happen because of a major storm, a hurricane, a transformer blowing, or other issues. It is a good idea for everyone to stockpile things for the next blackout.

You might be new on your preparedness journey or find it strange to prepare for an entire year without power. No matter where you are on your journey, I encourage you to prepare for at least a two-week period without electricity. Why? There are dozens of examples of this happening. If you live along the coast, a major hurricane can wipe out the power grid for multiple weeks. Earthquakes, major storms, and blizzards all frequently cause blackouts. Everyone is at risk.

Typically, it won’t take two weeks to get your power restored, but most Americans barely have enough food or supplies to last two days. You will be ahead of the curve by preparing for two weeks. Let’s take a look at things you need to stockpile to last those two weeks and beyond.

  1. Water

You need to have clean water to survive; everyone knows that. During a blackout, there is a chance your taps won’t work. There is also the chance that filtration systems set up may stop working, which means the water might be dirty or unsafe to drink.

It is crucial for every family to have a two-weeks supply of water stored. The general rule is one gallon of water per person, per day. To last two weeks, our family of five needs 70 gallons of water. It is also important to stockpile water for your pets as well. We have two dogs, a cat and a rabbit to consider, as well as livestock!

A Water BOB is a great investment as well. They go right into your bathtub. If you are expecting a large storm, fill it up. You can use the water later if the power doesn’t go out. You also want a way to filter the water if your taps are working. Purification tablets are a good choice.

  1. Source of Light

A source of light may seem like an obvious thing to want on your list. It would be nice to have solar power, but that isn’t financially possible for everyone. You will want to have flashlights on hand, as well as plenty of batteries. LED flashlights take one or two batteries and last a long time. Even the dollar store sells flashlights for cheap. Stock up on them!

Keep a solid stock of candles on hand as well. Taper candles are my favorite. They shine well and last for several hours. Plus, they are some of the cheapest candles aside from tea lights, which don’t last very long. Glow sticks last for 24 hours, are cheap, and perfect for kids who need to find their way through the dark.

One thing to think about is that a source of light during a blackout can be like a beacon. You want to avoid using light as much as possible in the evening. During the first few nights, people will have more lights available, but those will slowly go away over a few days or week. Invest in some black-out curtains for your living room. Your family can stay together in one room at night with the lights.

camping stove

  1. A Way to Cook

You need food. Room temperature food is no fun, and most food needs some preparing. If you happen to have a wood burning stove in your home, you are in luck. The rest of us aren’t so lucky. You might have a gas stove that will work, but there are a few other options that don’t require the grid.

A popular choice is a camping stove. You could also use a grill, but you have to stand outside to cook. You will need to keep lighters and matches on hand. If you opt to use a camping stove or grill, you will need to have fuel on hand. Keep a large enough stock to last a few days easily.

After you run out of fuel, cooking can be tricky. You could use fire, but smoke could alert those you don’t want around. Solar ovens are also a great tool to have, but they can be stolen if left unattended!

 

food supplies 100 dollars stockpile

  1. Food

Stockpiling food that doesn’t require cooking is a great idea. It allows you to conserve your cooking method. For example, while dried beans are cheaper, it takes a lot of cooking fuel to warm them up. Canned beans are easy to cook and could be eaten cold if needed. Here are some of my favorite foods to stockpile.

  • Protein shakes – just use water!
  • Peanut butter or almond butter
  • Crackers
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Powdered milk
  • Trail mix
  • Pretzels
  • Nuts
  • Canned fruit
  • Jerky
  • Canned beans and vegetables
  • Packages of pre-cooked and seasoned rice
  • Canned soup
  • Instant mashed potatoes & gravy
  • Canned beef, chicken, and tuna

Keep fresh fruit on hand. Most can last for two weeks when stored outside of the refrigerator, such as apples, melons, oranges, and pineapples. They make great snacks for your kids as well.

Step-by-step how to build a 1-year stockpile. Watch >>

  1. Source of Heat

If you live in the deep South, a source of heat may not be an issue. Since I live in Ohio, heating is important, especially if the blackout happens during the winter. For the first 24 to 48 hours, blankets, candles, and sleeping together can keep you warm. After that, you will need an extra source of heat.

If you have a wood burner or fireplace, you are in luck. There are some other choices, such as propane heaters. Many people purchase the Little Buddy heater. You will need to have extra canisters of propane available. It is also wise to keep a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in the room with you for protection. The other choice is a kerosene heater, but they pose a fire risk.

  1. Sanitation Needs

Germs and infections spread quickly in unsanitary places. There are a few things you can do in your house to keep it sanitized. Have a stock of paper plates, paper towels and disposable flatware. You don’t want to keep dirty dishes laying around.

You should also have cleaning wipes and sprays, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, disposable diapers, and toilet paper on hand. Something else to consider is if your toilet will flush without electricity. If you can, you can store water for flushing by adding it to the tank whenever it needs to be flushed. If the toilet doesn’t flush, you will need to stock up on heavy duty garbage bags and cat litter. You can put the garbage bag into an empty toilet or bucket. Put a layer of cat litter and add more after each time someone uses it. Then, put the bag outside, but don’t wait for it to get too heavy. You don’t want it to break.

  1. First Aid Kit

No matter what you are preparing for, you need a first aid kit. Inside of your kit, you should have all of the basic wound care items like antibiotic ointments, bandages, sprays, and gauze. You also want to keep pain relievers, cold medicine, allergy medication, cough syrup, and extra prescription medications on hand.

  1. Fuel for Your Car

When you start thinking about long-term blackouts, you realize that people will eventually start to migrate, looking for power or resources. I highly recommend that you stay where you are until you have to leave. That time may never come. If it does, gas stations won’t work. You need to have fuel stored for your vehicles. Ideally, you want enough fuel stored to travel within a 500-mile radius.

 

walther ppq gun

  1. Firearms and Ammunition

Most people are not prepared to lose power for two weeks. After a few days, people will become desperate. If they think you have something they could use, you may have to defend yourself and your family. The hope is that this never happens, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

  1. Coolers

Chances are everything in your refrigerator and freezer will perish unless you cook it up over the first few days of the blackout. However, you may have some medications that need to stay cool. A cooler, with jugs of water, can keep your medications at a lower temperature. If you are in the winter, you are in luck. You can create Zeer pot right now to use during a blackout.

  1. Cash

For the short term blackout, you will want to have cash on hand. If you do venture out and find any stores open, they can only take cash because of no electricity. Carry smaller bills, so it is easier to get what you need.

  1. Manual Tools

I love electric tools as much as the next person, but most are useless during a blackout. If you don’t have a manual can opener, you will struggle to open those cans of beans. I suggest having more than one! You also want to have regular manual tools. Drills are great, but they can’t be charged without power. You need a tool kit full of different sized screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, nails, screws, a saw, and more. Keep the electric tools on hand for when power is restored.

  1. Boards for Your Windows

Many people board up their windows during a hurricane to prevent damage. During a blackout, boarding up your windows deters people from trying to break in and secures your privacy, along with those curtains I recommended. The fact is, you don’t want people knowing you aren’t as panicked as they are. People do crazy things.

  1. Backup Radios

Electrical radios won’t work, but crank radios are great for connecting to the world and receiving news. You can even buy some crank radios that allows you to plug in your phone chargers. Any information you can receive about the events happening is better than nothing and gives you an idea of what to expect.

  1. Family Activities and Boredom Busters

You have at least two weeks ahead of you. I don’t know about your kids, but mine are sure to start fighting quickly. You could send them outside, but you have to be careful. As time goes on, people will become more desperate. If they see happy kids playing, they may want to find out why they are so relaxed and happy.

Keep a stockpile of books for your kids. I love yard sales; you can find books for $.25. Another great thing to have on hand is board games. We have a closet full of board games, perfect for kids and adults. Any way to forget about the stress outside is helpful for a blackout.

  1. Fire Extinguisher

It is unlike the fire department is going to respond, since there is no way to call 911. You are going to be using propane heats, kerosene heaters, candles, grills and more. Even if you are very careful, it is a great idea to keep a few fire extinguishers throughout your home.

Final Words

Preparing for a short-term blackout takes some creativity. If the blackout period lasts longer than six months (could be due to an EMP or a grid hack attack), you will need to think about the future. You would want to keep heirloom seeds on hand and start preparing to grow your food for the future. Before you can prepare for a long-term blackout, you have to be ready for two weeks without power. Are you?

The post 16 Things to Stockpile for the Next Blackout appeared first on Survival Sullivan.

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DIY Slingbow – Improvised Arms and Ammunition Part 14

Well, I wish I could take credit for this thing, but the fact is that some guy on youtube that used to be on a survivor type television show came up with it. I think it is brilliant and it is my new most favorite toy to play with.

What I am talking about is the sling bow. This weapon is loosely a combination of a slingshot and a bow. It is a slingshot for sure, but really the onlyslings part of it that is like a bow is the fact that it fires arrows.

The guy that invented it sells them of course, but why pay too much for something that you can make yourself for pennies on the dollar. I understand that the guy is just trying to make a living, we all are, but some information is meant for the masses.

It can be compared to the inventors of the bow and arrow, the slingshot, and the crossbow. The names of whoever thought these things up are lost to the ages, and many people now make money by selling various forms of these inventions. So it is my contention that I am not selling the item, I am telling you how to make one in various forms for yourself for cheap or even free.

I have made four versions of the sling bow, the first variant being as close to the guys original invention as I could get because I figured that must be the best way to do it.

Wrist rocket sling bow

To make one of these first I bought a wrist rocket type slingshot at waldo’s world of Chinese made goods for $7. Next I ordered a whisker biscuit online for $10.

These whicker biscuits cost as much as $40 in the sporting goods store so I looked online and sure enough they were on Amazon for 10 bux. I also bought a Barnett brand replacement rubber tubing for a slingshot to use to make the wooden version that I describe next.

barnett slingshot

I simply attached the whisker biscuit to the slingshot with a metal strip and a few screws.

barnett slingshot modification

It was pretty straightforward to attach the whisker biscuit to the slingshot. I just made a metal strip and drilled a few holes in it. Then I screwed the metal strip onto the grip using two of the grip screws. A couple of small nuts and bolts and a metal brace on the front completed the design.

photo 3

photo step 4

To finish it up I tied a piece of paracord at the pouch to nock the arrow onto and left a longer piece that I then tied in to a large knot. The knot is for grasping and drawing the sling bow.

This worked fairly well, but I wanted to find an easier and cheaper way to do it because you won’t necessarily be able to obtain a wrist rocket and whisker biscuit in cases of SHTF/TEOTWAWKI. That led me to making the wooden sling bow.

Wooden sling bow

To make the wooden sling bow I cut the shape from a piece of 1/2″ plywood. I used plywood because it is stronger than just a single piece of wood due to the laminate design.

I traced a patter out on the piece of wood first, and then I cut it out with a scroll saw. You can cut it out with any kind of saw, a hand saw, jig saw, whatever you have. You can even cut it out with your knife it that’s all you have to work with. It will just take a lot longer. You can see the dimensions for the handle in the picture below.

step 5: sling bow dimensions on piece of wood

After I cut out the pattern and drilled the holes in it, I sanded it to smooth the edges and then I wrapped the handle in paracord.

step 6 cut wooden pattern

step 7 wrapped in paracord

Once the handle was wrapped I then attached the rubber tubes. The first one I made I used the store bought bands on but for this one I re-purposed the bands from an exercise band. It was thicker than the store bought band so I figured it would be stronger (it was).

To attach the tubes you push them through a snug fitting hole, and then you insert a pointed plug into the end of the tubing. When the tubing is pulled back it cinches the tubing against the plugs into the hole and holds it all together. The more you pull, the tighter it gets.

8 inserting the tubes

step 9 inserting the tubes 2

All it needed to finish it up was the paracord string at the end of the tubing. I inserted the conical pieces into the ends of the tubing and then tied the paracord as tight as I could get it right at the plugs. This way the cord pulls against the plugs and cinches it tight like it does on the other ends, so the knots won’t slip off the tubing.

step 10

This sling bow is very strong, it is hard to pull back on it and hold it straight though so I am thinking it needs a wrist brace. So then I figured I will just make one that has a wrist brace by making it from a length of steel wire rod.

Wire rod wrist rocket sling bow

After making a few of these sling bows I determined that the best method to make one would be to make it from steel rod and have a wrist brace. To make this one I used a four foot long piece of 1/4” steel rod. I started in the center and bent it to fit over my wrist. By heating it in the spot I intended to bend it I minimized stress on the rod and maintained the structural; integrity of the steel.

11 steel rod sling bow

12 steel rod

Once I had the curve suitable for my arm I bent it in another direction to make the rod reach my hand, it was at that point that I bent both sides about 90 degrees to make the grip section.

step 13

I clamped the rod in a vice and heated it; I then slid a metal tube over the rod and used that to make the bends. This keeps the rod straight everywhere else and also applies more leverage.

step 14

Once I got to the small, tight bends that created the ram’s horns I had to use a hammer to beat the rod into shape as it was too short and stiff to bend by hand. I used channel locks and vice grips and clamped the rod in the bench vice. It was a little bit of a struggle at the end, but I got it done. It was worth the effort too.

I tried to keep both sides uniform but they may be off a little. It doesn’t matter if it is perfect, as long as the ends are parallel with each other and with the arrow rest. You could use heavier rod if you want to or if that’s all you have, you could use lighter rod too, like maybe 3/16″, but I don’t know if I’d go much smaller than that as the rod has to be stiff and maintain its shape.

Once I was satisfied with the shape I put the rubber tubing on it. These just slide on and as long as they fit snugly you do not need to do anything else to hold them on. They stay on when you pull back because when you pull back the tubes stretch, and when they stretch they become smaller in diameter.

This acts as a clamp in itself and the harder you pull back on the tubes, the tighter they grip the steel rod. I did sort of rough the ends of the rod up with the pliers so that probably helps hold the tubing on as well from the added friction.

step 15

step 16

On this sling bow I tried something different with the tubing. Rather than having two short tubes, I left it as one and put the free ends onto the rod. Then I tied the paracord in the center for the arrow nock and then instead of tying a knot to draw it back with I just used the loop of the tubing to draw it back with. This was actually easier to grip than the paracord knot.

As I mentioned in the video below, although this sling bow might not be the best looking or easiest to carry, I think that it shoots a lot better than the others. If you notice in the pictures, one thing they all have in common is that the arrow rest and the tubing attachment points need to be parallel. This makes the arrow fly straight along your line of sight and makes the sling bow more accurate.

Last shot

This weapon is fast becoming one of my new favorites, it is easy to make one, and cheap to make one. They are easy to use, accurate (when made right) and powerful. These were sinking the arrows into the foam block as deep as a 40-50 pound draw weight bow sinks them.

They also seem like they would be much easier to wield in a situation where you have a lot of tree branches around you. I’m sure many of you traditional bow hunters have had that shot fouled because the bow limb hit a branch that you didn’t notice because you were focused on the target. Of course that doesn’t happen with compound bows because the limbs don’t flex and rebound, but it can happen with a recurve or long bow.

Unlike a bow, the sling bow fits easily in your back pack, or even your back pocket. The guy that invented it sells a take-down arrow that screws together; it made me think of a cleaning rod that you commonly find in a gun cleaning kit. I’m sure it wouldn’t take much to make up a few of your own take down arrows to go with your sling bow.

These can easily stow in your back pack and take them along with you and whenever you throw the pack over your shoulder you know you have a decent weapon in it that can get you some food should the need arise, and really that’s what good survival gear does. It sits there quietly, taking up little space until you need it.

slings

This is the guy that invented the sling bow:

But they are all over the internet now; here is another method of making one:

Disclaimer

Please check state laws before attempting to use a sling bow for hunting. In some states, this is forbidden. Also, please note that the advice given in this article is for information purposes only. Neither the author nor www.SurvivalSullivan.com can be held liable for the misuse of the advice given in this article.

The post DIY Slingbow – Improvised Arms and Ammunition Part 14 appeared first on Survival Sullivan.

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The Four Morons of the Apocalypse

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Handguns For The Elderly

When we think of homeowners and firearms, we often think about a man defending his wife and kids. However, according to the Census Bureau, by 2050, 1 in 5 Americans will be 65 or older. A defense firearm for the elderly should be similar to those of any other home defense handgun. It should be something that is reliable, easy to repair, as well as easy to obtain parts and ammunition for use. The most common ammunition in production is .22 LR and 9x19mm followed by .45ACP, .40 S&W, and .38 Special.

This guide is not an end all, be all for elderly firearms but in my experience the simpler the firearm the more comfortable a person will be. The goal is to provide a few options that could be purchased at most gun stores throughout the United States.

glock 19 wikipedia

Glock 19

Glock is an Austrian based company that has changed the face of firearms. Glock has created a series of polymer framed semi automatic pistols built through years of exhaustive reliability and safety tests to emerge as the brand used by police and militaries around the world. With all of the mechanics of the firearm built into the slide and frame, Glock is one the simplest firearm to maintain and use. It weighs around 1.5 pounds unloaded, which could be a drawback for those who may not be as strong.

The Glock 19 chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum, the most commonly used pistol round in the world thanks to NATO. Since all of the parts of the Glock are internal, the ability for someone to have a failure while shooting is limited. While the Glock is not indestructible, it is as close to as you can get. The Glock 19 holds 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition in a double-stacked polymer magazine. It can however take the 17 round magazines of the Glock 17 and the 33 round magazines of the Glock 18. Its ability to be used by all kinds of people, due to its unsurpassed reliability, above-average magazine capacity making it a great firearm for the elderly.

The Glock 19 is also very reasonably priced. Compared to some of the top tier guns you may look at, a Glock 19 usually runs between $500 and $600 before taxes and paperwork fees. For a firearm that has not been changed much since its inception, Glock is one of the best values for your dollar and your piece of mind.

Beretta Bobcat 21A

Beretta Bobcat 21 A (.25 ACP)

When you think about compact, light, and high quality you should think about the Beretta Bobcat. The Bobcat is comparable in size to a smart phone and weighs a little more than half a pound. The Bobcat is user-friendly, dependable, and accurate. The Bobcat has the same quality, value, and attention to detail just like all Beretta’s firearms.

The Bobcat has one feature that makes it standout over most small firearms. The exclusive tip-up barrel allows the user to easily load a round directly into the chamber without racking the slide. This feature also allows the safe clearing of the pistol by giving an easy and absolutely safe way to check the bore and remove a live cartridge along with virtually eliminating jamming and stove-piping problems.

The Beretta Bobcat has a lower price point than some of the other firearms listed here. However, it is a steal for such a small and high quality pistol. A Beretta Bobcat runs between usually runs between $200 and $400 before taxes and paperwork fees.

Kel-Tec P-3AT

Kel-Tec P-3AT

If the Glock is too big or heavy for you, you might consider the Kel-Tec P-3AT. Kel-Tec has many versions of their P Series handguns. The P Series comes chambered from .32ACP up to 9x19mm Parabellum. The vast array of calibers makes it easy for a novice shooter to carry anywhere from 5 rounds (.380 ACP) up to 12 rounds (9x19mm).

The Kel-Tec handguns are designed t be light and easy to conceal.  The P-3AT is the lightest .380 pistol ever made. Weighing in at less than a quarter of a pound it is a great lightweight option. It is a semi-automatic, locked breach pistol, and features a double action only firing mechanism.

The Kel-Tec P-3AT is a great value. Compared to some of the other handguns you may look at, a Kel-Tec P3AT retails for less than $400 before taxes and paperwork fees.

Ruger LCR 38 sp front quarter

photo via Wikimedia Commons under the CC 3.0 license

Ruger LCR (revolver)

If semi-automatic firearms are not your thing or you are simply a lover of revolvers (and there are many who fall into that category) you might consider the Ruger LCR or “Lightweight Compact Revolver”. Ruger has been around since 1949 and make some of the best revolvers in the marketplace today. The Ruger LCR has many versions and comes chambered from .22 LR up to .357 Magnum. The vast array of calibers makes it easy to carry anywhere from 5 rounds (.38 Special and .357 Magnum) up to 8 rounds (.22LR).

A revolver offers an elderly shooter a smaller and more compact firearm with a single action to perform: pulling the trigger. In times of great stress or fear, the action of only pulling the trigger could be the difference between life and death.

Many people are hesitant to purchase a revolver due to the external hammer, but this problem is easily solved since the LCR does not have external hammers. Weighing in at a little over a pound, the small revolver is light as implied by its name.

Due to the variation between models of the Ruger LCR, one can run anywhere from $600 and $900 before taxes and paperwork fees

Conclusion

While this is not an end all be all list of firearms for the elderly this is a good base for picking, testing, and finding a firearm for you or your elderly family member. Often they appear, as “soft” targets, for those would like to rob or otherwise harm someone.

We have to think about how they can defend themselves and not become victims. If you or someone you care about is elderly make sure you take the time to help them become trained to protect themselves. They will soon be one fifth of the population; we owe it to them to make their twilight years safe ones. Good luck and good shooting!

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