Commentary On A Good Southern Prepper 1 Video About Training

I watched a video this morning from southernprepper1 that was pretty much what I’ve been telling students for years. Unless you have some serious, and long term training, you are not going to be doing any offensive operations from your base of operations, retreat/domicile. What will you be facing for the most part? Will it just be inexperienced looters and thugs? Will the experienced looters and thugs have experienced Infantry vets? Will the threat be experienced gov contractors or even the military? Obviously, we won’t know, but we can make some assumptions, based on what scenario (economic collapse, civil war, or limited nuclear exchange) takes place.

Inexperienced looters and thugs will be a problem, but most of them are all about the quick score (both now and after SHTF), and not “making a point” (continuing with the “raid”) when they hit resistance. When it comes to looters and thugs bent on raiding (home invasion) a dwelling, either before or after SHTF, their primary concern is the initial response of the home owner (security measures or armed personnel), and the response of outside support (whether that’s the police now, or a Neighborhood Protection Team after SHTF).

Inexperienced looters and thugs are easily stopped by layered security measures like security lighting, security cameras, locked chain link fence, heavy duty door and door frame, shrubs under all the ground level, first floor windows that make window breaches with a buddy or short ladder more difficult, loud, audibly piercing alarm, etc., but the experienced version of the looters and thugs have planned ahead and done their “Leaders Recon” before hitting a place.

An experienced group will know if they need bolt cutters, a door ram, and/or shotgun for a breach. An experienced group will know if you have security cameras, and will have ways of defeating it from a concealed location (accurate air rifle or suppressed .22LR) An experienced group will have a assault plan and special teams for different tasks. An experienced group will know how many exits there are to the dwelling, and either hit all at once, or at least have them covered once the assault kicks off.

Something to keep in mind when discussing this stuff (the defense), is that the defense is a Hell of a lot easier than offense (usually they are fixed positions and not much is required physically), and it requires a lower ratio of personnel (defense is usually a 3 to 1 ratio meaning the defense only needs one person for every three offensive/attacking personnel) than the offense usually does. Generally speaking, preppers and Survivalists need to make sure they have their defensive plan ready and able to be carried out (enough personnel just for that) before planning on conducting any form of offensive actions.

I’m not gonna bother covering what happens if you got hit by contractors or military, because if you do, you had better already have a squared away escape plan in place because it would be the “Experienced looters and thugs” on steroids (MG’s, AT-4’s, breaching charges that make their own doorway, etc.). You do what you can to fight something like that, but have no illusion that the probability leans towards getting rolled over, even though the possibility is that you could still win. This is why having someone who knows how to set up security of your site is so important. A knowledgeable individual (Like southernprepper1 said, not someone who read it in a book) can give you the layered security set up that gives you advanced warning and also helps channel attackers, and restrict a site breach for a short while.

Southernprepper1 mentioned needing to be in shape for patrolling, and having experience and solid training. This applies across the board, whether it’s a local “Presence Patrol” (defensive measure designed to keep track of what’s going on in your area), or a “Combat Patrol” (offensive patrol designed to look for trouble and proactively mitigate it before it becomes an “in your face” threat to your area or group.

When you are a patrol member, your physical fitness is not just about you. If your lazy out of shape ass gets shot and killed because you couldn’t put down the three times a day “Double frufur latte with extra caramel and whipped cream”, and never did an exercise that didn’t involve 12 ounce Bud Light curls, that’s on you, right? Here’s the other side of that situation. OK, you’re a lazy ass, but want to get in on the “Cool stuff” like patrols, right?

How many of your buddies (I’d imagine you are all close if you are spending the apocalypse with them) will try to extract you (either out of the direct fire that dropped you to begin with, or out of the area of the fight via casualty evac) and get killed in the process because your fat ass slowed them down long enough to get wacked by the original ambushers? How many guys that are in shape, but got hit and needed extracting will get killed because your lazy ass can’t even move them out of the line of fire, let alone out of the area of the fight?

Presence patrols are a necessity after SHTF, even if it’s just a patrol that doesn’t go out of sight of your retreat. Am I saying do it even if you’re not in shape or a physically capable of performing it effectively? Nope, not at all. Getting ambushed within sight of your retreat still has the same issues, the only difference might be the amount of support fire you might be able to get from the retreat personnel (standing guard posts) while you are trying to get out of the kill zone. What I’m saying is that you are going to be lacking in an effective layer of your defense (one of the outer rings) if you cannot perform that function. Your call, but this goes back to the question of “Are you just playing at it, or are you serious?”.

For the most part, prepper or Survivalist groups conducting “Combat Patrols” is ridiculous. You should always be defensive in nature ( you are not an infantryman without infantry, no matter how you appear, even if you were an Infantryman), and unless you are performing an operation to get someone of your group back from a group who took them as a hostage, you are asking for trouble. Even performing a hostage rescue is almost an exercise in futility unless you have some really squared away experienced (know how to plan and conduct the op) former Infantry type soldiers.

A while back, I wrote a post about Battle Drill 4 (this BD is for up to a platoon sized element, but as a civilian trainer, I have only taught it at the Squad/ 9-12 personnel or Heavy Squad/up to 18 personnel level) called “React To Ambush, “A WAY”, Not “THE WAY”. In it, I mentioned this, a 6 man recon team will probably do things a little different than a 9 man LI squad”. How would they do this, and why? A 4 man fire team or a 6 man reconnaissance team (LRS) will usually react to contact (in this case a “near ambush”) in a defensive way (break contact) whereas a 9 man Light Infantry Squad or 12 man ODA can use an offensive technique (attack the attackers) to mitigate their perilous “near ambush” position and destroy the ambushers in place through audacity and maneuver.

This technique (near ambush response) is difficult for a well trained, experienced military infantry squad to perform, let alone some “Fly by night” militia or Survivalist group to undertake. Although I teach Battle Drills 1A (squad attack) and Battle Drill 4 (react to ambush) in class 2 of the “Bushbastard” (RSF-SUTATS) course, I also present the caveat that breaking contact is the default for any enemy contact, and offensive operations are generally a “no-no” for any civilian group, simply due to a lack of competence, experience, and confidence.

Southernprepper1 talked about “No tactics are better than bad tactics”, and for the most part I agree. I also believe that people that are trying to figure something out by getting training, even if it’s wrong, will probably do better than the group who never tried to even get training. The untrained group will have a response based on “fight or flight”, not a plan, and their survival will be dumb luck. A bad plan (plans don’t usually survive contact, intact anyway) is better than dumb luck, and “No”, this is not the same as the “I’d rather have luck over skill any day.” line.

I have seen some pretty ridiculous training, done by people who have read a book and think they know what they’re talking about due to that info. Hell, I’ve had guys who received their “Bushbastard” tab tell me they want to start qualifying others for the tab, and I told them “Not just NO, but HELL NO!”, until they qualified for their “Bushmaster” tab. “The “Bushmaster” course is a five class course that teaches “Wilderness survival”, “Land Nav”, “Combat Leadership”, and “Train the Trainer”, and has a final weekend that tests all the applicable skills learned from “Bushbastard” and “Bushmaster”. The “Bushmaster” course is not even listed on the website because the only people who can take it are graduates of the “Bushbastard” course and I don’t want inquiries about it if you don’t qualify.

Regardless of what someone who has taken classes from another professional trainer or I can teach you, I have given people plenty of advice on how to find a competent trainer, even if you’re not going the “Professional Trainer” route. Look for a guy who is a prior service Non Commissioned Officer or Commissioned Officer of the Infantry (Airborne, LRS, Rangers and Special Forces are all different tier levels of Infantry).

If you think they are BSing you (there are a lot of them out there), ask to see their DD-214 and look at block 1 for their name (make sure it’s them), block 4a for their rank, and block 11 for their primary and secondary MOS’s (the infantry military occupational specialty is 11 series, and although SF used to be 11 series, it is now 18 series) and if they say they have combat experience as an infantryman, it will show up as a “Combat Infantry Badge” in block 13 (one caveat is if a guy was a Special Forces member in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, there’s a good chance he might not have a CIB even if he was in combat, due to the nature of their job and where they were doing it).

If the aforementioned guy who wanted to train you (especially if it’s for money) is saying he’s an experienced infantryman but responds with, “My DD-214 is none of your business.”, tell him to take a hike. He’s the one that says he can train you because he’s experienced, right? Make him show you he’s experienced. As to the professional trainers out there, I can’t speak for them, but I am more than willing to show my DD-214 (or any of my other applicable training certifications) to a student at a class that has doubts as to my credentials (just don’t be a dumbass and ask me to send it to you in an emails like some have done).

Be realistic when you are planning for SHTF. If you are like a few Vet friends of mine (they call themselves “mobility kills”. You’ll get it if you’re a former grunt LOL), you know you can no longer (or never could if you’re round) function as a patrol member, due to your lack of physical fitness shape (for this exercise, “round” is a shape, but not the shape we’re looking for) or physical condition (you’re physically broke). Either plan on having a defensive perimeter that is well thought out, multi layered and has serious defensive potential and always with a secured escape route, or plan on finding others who can perform the presence patrol function to become part of your group whether in your actual dwelling/retreat, or in your Neighborhood Protection Area.

Unless your patrol group is prior service infantry, you are not going to be able to function as the “Infantrymen of the 7-8”, no matter what some trainer tells you (no trainer has the time to teach the whole 7-8 in their classes, no matter how many weekends you attend, and as southernprepper1 said, you need to know more than a chapter from this one book to be effective as an Infantryman during Infantry operations). Applying the standards of CTT that I spoke about in this post is definitely within the realm of possibility for the average civilian (because everybody in the Army has to do it, whether support or not) that applies themselves to the training, and gets in shape.

I’ve said many times, “Be a Survivalist who is a “Jack of all Trades”, master of some (preferably the life saving and life protecting arts).”. We are not Infantry, and if you desire to be, don’t go to a Damned tactical course, go join the Army or the Marines. Survivalists glean the needed skills from many areas to better their chances of survival in the non permissive world we envision our neighborhood becoming.

043

A game cart loaded with a ruck for a long walk evacuation

DSCN1516-2

Survivalists really don’t want to conduct a Bug Out on foot with a metric ton of crap on our backs or even on a game cart but we’d do it because we know we will never be coming back to our home. Hell, we don’t even want to have to walk around the farm with a basic compliment of a couple rifle mags, a pistol and a knife on a battle belt. What we know is that the lines between “what we want”, and “what is getting more and more likely to occur” are getting further and further away from intersecting, and it would be foolish to not face that reality.

Lightweight Gear Post5

Basic lightweight kit mentioned in this post. Pistol, pistol mags, three mag bandoleer and a full size fixed blade knife.

Load bearing post14

Another variation of the “Around the farm” rig that you can use. The one above this is more streamlined and less intrusive for doing chores than this one is, but this one has six rifle mags included instead of three.

Here’s the parting thought. When you are looking for a trainer, ask yourself, does this guy try to convince you that he will make me a grunt, or does he want to make me a Survivalist. A grunt plans for the day or the week, a Survivalist plans for the month or the year. Planning beyond that timeline is an exercise in operational (but not logistical) futility, considering the variables that could exist. That doesn’t mean don’t stock up on food, first aid supplies, bullets, etc., it means if you do, you should disperse them, but that is a topic for another post.

MDT Class 16-3-2-2

Being able to live like this is necessary, but it is also worse case scenario, and hopefully you will be able to get by with the earlier lightweight kit options most of the time.

JCD

Selco’s Questions And Guidance For SHTF

 

Bushbastard 3 class2-9.JPG

In SHTF, will you have this option?

Question #1, Can you survive for a few days with what you have on your person and with what you know?

Question #2. Do you have survival supplies and resources stashed in a place that cannot be accessed by anyone but you and maybe a trusted friend or family member?

Question #3. If you had to, could you take wild game with the concealed carry gun that you carry every day (you do carry it every day…. right)?

Question #4. What defines your ability to survive? Is it your accumulation of gear and supplies, your accumulated skills and training, or a combination of both?

Question #5. How long can you survive in the city or the woods without interacting with others, and where are you better off?

Common dress MDT Class 16-3-2-2

When SHTF (whatever that may be), which will you more than likely be dressed like?

Here’s some of Selco’s thoughts,

_____________________________________________________________

Full Circle…?

defense

I wrote my first survival article-comment some 7 years ago, and I still remember why I wrote it, what “pushed” me to sit down and write it so people who read/discuss survival over the internet for years can read my opinion.

I was checking the survival forums to learn something about wilderness survival because I found I missing lot of knowledge there, and then I stumbled upon discussion about what real SHTF looks like and will look like in the future.

And simply there I realize how whole survival movement foundation is messed up, or built on the wrong perception.

It is like digging through a whole bunch of other people good skills and opinions (together with wrong ones of course) but completely misplaced and misguided.

After writing that first article years ago, I am still writing and trying to point out my view of things, and my way is learned through the experience of 4 years of civil war in a destroyed society.

I still do not know lot of things, I do not know how to operate 20 different weapons, I am not ex special forces member, I do not know how to survive in prolonged period in wilderness, and I am still learning lot of things from different kind of people, on internet and forums and in physical courses too.

But I know how I survived SHTF and how real SHTF looks like, and the real problem is that it definitely does not look like majority of preppers imagine it.

Over time, a lot of my articles are telling the story about same thing on different ways, and it might look like I am telling same story over and over, but again, I am writing from real experience and there are good reasons why I am pointing out the same things often.

So please allow me to address again some common misconception about SHTF.

Changing From “Before to Now”

Starting problem about SHTF misconception is that people have problems to imagine something that they are not experienced in, so if you have not experienced collapse of society you will “build” your opinion about it based on many things: other people experiences, books, movies, documentaries…

When you add to this a whole survival industry of selling things for “doomsday” you going to end up forming your opinion about how life in collapse will look like based on some weird things, and as an result your prepping and expectation may be completely wrong.

For example, you have been bombarded with information from internet that if you buy some product you’ll be not only safe when SHTF but also you’ll thrive and you gonna have something like best time of your life in the middle of collapse.

Now when you multiply this with many numbers (products) you end up buying peace of mind for yourself built on fact that someone wants to earn money from your fears.

And it is not biggest problem, real problem waking up one morning in the collapse realizing that you have whole bunch of things that simply do not work for your situation.

I like to use example that I have read long time ago, about transportation in city when SHTF. One guy offer idea of using skateboard in urban SHTF as transport, and lot of other folks commented that is good idea.

On first look it is great idea, no fuel, no cars or buses, so skateboard as a transport means looks good.

Only problem here is that probably man who mentioned it never experienced real urban SHTF so he can not know how useless idea it is.

Or to put it really short:

When SHTF city services will collapse, street are pretty soon simply full of everything, there are other people in the city too, because services are gone there are not enough resources and because of that other people will simply almost always mean possible danger, so point is to avoid people, or to be quiet when moving, so…

You need to stop to think in terms of normal times, you need change your priorities when SHTF, it is a different time.

For example moving fastest (or most comfortable) stops to be priority, new priority is to move safest (or quiet) or you need to stop to think about having coolest things but new priority is to have things that will work for your situation best.

Value Of The Things

Again it is about thinking in new terms, in the terms when SHTF, and those terms are completely different then in normal times.

I have kind of survival philosophy where my goal is to be ready to survive with as least things as possible, and it is like everything else based on my experienced SHTF.

What that means?

By developing and learning skills and techniques I am trying to be less depended on physical things.

In reality that does not mean that when SHTF I will immediately  bug out to the wilderness with knife only, no, I too have preps and things, stashes and plans, weapons, meds etc.

It means when times come I am READY  to leave all of that, EVERYTHING – all my possessions, and move away in split second if that means I will save my life.

Are you ready for that?

Are you gonna be able to leave all your preps that you were buying for years, all your fancy weapons, stashes of cans etc and run with what you have on you?

Or you gonna die in “blaze of glory” defending simple physical things?

Survival is about resilience, to move on and on, to overcome difficult situations and come back again.

Do not get attached on physical things, no matter how expensive they are, or how fancy they are, or even if people promised that you’ll “survive and thrive” if you own that things when SHTF.

Life is precious, things are just things.

Problem here is that survival movement today is built on the way that preppers are “forced” to believe that they can not survive if the do not own particular survival product, so as an result there is gonna be bunch of preppers get shot because they defending physical things that someone told them they really need to have when SHTF.

I was refugee more then once, I still remember the moment when all my possessions were an old Browning pistol with three rounds, T- shirt, boots (with wet socks inside) and pants that could stand on its own because of how dirty they were…

I have lost all my other physical possessions, everything was torched or taken away, If I stayed my life would be taken away too in a very painful way.

I run, and survived, and fought again for survival.

And you know what? I bought all the things again.

Things can be obtained again, life can not.

Sometimes you just have to move on and forget on physical things that are dear to you.

Faith

One of the topics that I’m most reluctant to discuss about because I find it really personal, but it is there, it is important, so some things need to be considered.

And I’ll be short here, because it is personal for me, and every one of you should think about it for itself.

Yes, there were times when I simply had to reach deep in myself and connect to something higher, to find some sense, to have faith in order to not lost my mind or kill myself because everything was falling apart around me.

So faith is important, or spirituality, or some kind of moral values-call it as you like.

You need to have something!

But problem here is that people often think if they are good folks by the nature, everybody else is good by default (until proven otherwise?).

Through my experience I adopt opinion that everybody is bad until proven different (even if I am good guy)

Or let me put it like this, in really bad times, when everything going to s…t you ll see more bad folks then good folks, so be prepared for that…

____________________________________________________________________________________________

DSCN1536.JPG

Will you be fortunate enough to have some basic gear, and maybe even a dog who can help with camp security?

Selco mentions his experience of having everything taken from him, and only surviving with what he had on his person (pistol, t-shirt, pants, wet socks, boots). The reason for not having all your eggs in one basket is clearly illustrated here. This is an obvious reason for having a multiple “bucket cache” system in place in a number of areas that will be accessible in a time of need. A smock kit like the one illustrated in this post would also be awesome to have in a pinch.

100_0272.JPG

While a Kel Tec P3AT .380ACP pistol is a great little lightweight carry pistol, it’s abilities don’t really extend beyond self defense. Not much bigger, but definitely better than the P3AT for small game is the Kel Tec PF-9 9mm on the right.

The reason I asked about your ability with your concealed carry pistol is simple. Although a .32ACP or a .380 is as convenient as it gets in the concealed carry category, accuracy and range are two things they are not known for (the .380 PPK is the exception in my experience in the accuracy department). Except for my Kel Tec .380, I know all the pistols I carry will accurately take small game because I have done just that with them. While having an understanding that what you carry for self defense will take game is good, the primary purpose of your concealed carry pistol is to defend ones self, and the model and caliber you select should be picked primarily for that attribute.

Battery Post3

Great, you’ve got a battery of weapons for SHTF, but what if you can’t get back to them. If you have to take off, one long gun and two handguns is about the limit you’ll be able to carry.

What would be some of the bucket cache items you would want to secret away? Three things I can think of right off the bat would be traps some fishing gear, and a compact survival rifle like an AR-7. Those items along with a few types of fire starters, some freeze dried meals, a stainless steel canteen and cup set for collecting and purifying water, a few first aid supplies, and a good poncho and space/casualty blanket with some 550 cord and your bucket cache would make a huge difference in your survival if you only had the clothes on your back when you recovered it. Below is shown the Henry AR-7 .22LR Survival Rifle in it’s stored form on the left, and ready for use on the right.

100_0144-1100_0139-1

Conibear post3.jpg

The traps talked about in this post

MDT Basic Survival17-1.JPG

Yo-Yo “set and forget” fishing reel

MDT Basic Survival10.jpg

You can’t just have theoretical knowledge of survival skills and expect to survive in the wilds. You have to get out and practice them.

Deer hunting

There is no excuse to not get out and start learning and practicing some basic survival skills. The hunting and butchering of big and small game is a good place to start.

These are just some thoughts on what Selco had to say. Practice and preparation is what Survivalists do. If you don’t, you definitely can’t call yourself a Survivalist.

JCD

So Now What, Anything Constructive?

Re-Post from MDT

mdt-patches1-1

The patch on the left breast pocket is the one you get for completion of one of the MDT wilderness survival courses, the patch on the left sleeve is what you get for completion of an MDT tactical course.

I did a post on May 6th that pointed out how ridiculous some of the “Moolisha” claims on both sides (antifa and the “Right”) were, and how they’ve shown there is very little in the “Responsible Power” category that is being put out on social media. The bottom line to my “power” comment is due to my modification of an old quote by Mao that says “Political power comes from the barrel of a gun.”. My modification is “True domestic power comes from the barrel of a TRAINED GUN”, although quantity has a quality all its own, and that’s what belt fed machine guns are for.

A comment was made by jbryan314 at WRSA’s repost that said this,

  “Thanks, so… Now what? There wasn’t really anything constructive about it. Nothing on what we CAN do, or what we SHOULD do… Just a bunch of “you’re an idiot” type stuff, which is what about 75% of the FreeFor blogs espouse these days.

And before any fools come in here and talk about the article hurting my feelings or me being butthurt or whatever… Let me say I can’t really disagree with much of what the article says. What I can say is that after reading it, as a “member” of whatever it is we call ‘FreeFor’… I didn’t really gain anything. No new knowledge or ideas. Just drop that article into the heavier and heavier bucket of articles hat basically say nothing more than ‘you suck’.”

My response,

“Start here,
https://www.google.com/amp/s/masondixontactical.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/common-tasks-testing-the-armys-everybody-requirement/amp/
Quietly train, quietly recruit, and shut up about it on social media. There are tons of guys out there doing that, and this post was not directed at them. I’ve written plenty about it, look it up.”

OK, so even though I’ve talked about this plenty of times before, I will try and consolidate some of my previous thoughts into one post.

1. Start doing PT to the level that you are initially capable, and constantly seek to improve on it.

Physical fitness is the solid base or foundation upon which you build your ability to fight and survive. Although you can get by without being physically fit, you chances of fighting off bad guys or even the common cold are diminished if you are not as fit as you can possibly make yourself. When it comes to combat training, whether it’s hand to hand combatives, firearms training, or actual tactical training that involves maneuvering on the bad guys while carrying your support gear, your need for fitness can not be downplayed.

My advice is to start with cardio exercises and expand from there. Walking is great exercise, and if you start a walking program and then start adding weight during that exercise, you will not only be performing a good exercise, but it will be practical as well (ruckmarch anyone?). You will have to be able to perform with your support equipment (rifle/pistol mags, first aid gear, water at a minimum), so walking or even short sprints with you gear on is going to be necessary eventually.

DSCN1516-2

Next I’d recommend calisthenics. Calisthenics basically use your own body weight and gravity as the tool for muscle growth and endurance. Pull Ups (palms out), Chin Ups (palms in), different types of push ups (diamond, shoulder width, wide arm), sit ups (palms on thighs not behind your neck), ab crunches, leg lifts, and calf raises are all just body weight exercises that you can do anywhere. The reason I recommend calisthenics before free weight training is because you can do them anywhere, and you don’t have to figure out how to make something heavy (although a ruck can do acceptably well for some exercises) to work for you if you don’t have free weights available (you’ll continue working out as much as you can post SHTF, right?).

2. Acquire basic defensive gear.

Basic means just that, and I’m mentioning gear before training, because you need the gear to train with.

A good, reliable, semi automatic rifle in an easily available and capable caliber. AR’s, AK’s, M1A’s, FAL’s, PTR 91’s (HK91) all have good reps and the ammo, parts and accessories for them are readily available.

kids-post26

A good reliable semi auto pistol in a capable and readily available caliber. Although most soldiers (Infantrymen) do not carry a pistol, you are in a civilian situation that may require concealment of your firearm (something Grunts do not need) before things go completely sideways. Glocks, S&W M&P’s, Sig’s, HK’s, Keltec, Ruger all offer a large selection of pistols to choose from. Again, like the rifles listed above, most have ammo, parts and accessories readily available.

Quality Kit that will comfortably (that’s said somewhat sarcastically) carry at a minimum, the basic load for your rifle (usually 6 extra mags), your pistol (usually 2 extra mags), an IFAK/blowout kit (individual first aid kit for traumatic injuries like gunshot), water, and basic survival gear (shelter and things to keep you warm, dry and fed). I’m a big fan of Tactical Tailor, UW Gear who also sells Tactical Tailor (a review of some of his gear is coming up), and a few things from Condor. Bottom line is you usually get what you pay for.

Unless you hunt, you have no reason to get more than basic combat firearms related gear initially. For that matter, some of the gear you acquire can do double duty for hunting if need be.

MDT Class 16-3-7-1

3. Acquire some basic defensive training.

You should get training in a number of areas. First, get to a basic pistol class. second, start learning some empty hand combatives. Third, find someone that will teach you how to run your defensive rifle. Last but not least, get some training on armed two man maneuver combatives (the most basic of small unit tactics). The basic element of this is the Buddy Team.

The Buddy Team class that I teach is the Rural Buddy Team Essentials Course (RBTEC). It is by far my most popular class, and besides the Wilderness Survival courses, RBTEC is the tactical class most asked about because there aren’t very many out there who teach down to the Buddy Team level (usually it’s fire team or above in size for most trainers).

As I said earlier, your PT will help determine how well you can perform a number defensive tasks, especially under stress. I’m not saying you can’t survive if you’re overweight (quite the contrary if you are able to stay out of trouble and in your house, you’ll probably outlast those being “eaten” by the “zombies”, right?) , because that modular food storage unit will probably last you at least a week or two even if you’re on minimal rations, and the fit people will have to constantly eat to maintain their strength. If you actually get into a fight, that’s where the fitness and prior PT will come into it’s own and save your bacon.

4. Acquire as much first aid training as you can.

You can never have too much first aid training. Start out with basic First Aid and CPR from the Red Cross, and if possible either pay for an EMT-B (basic) course or get it for free by joining the Fire Department or Ambulance Squad. We mentioned IFAK’s earlier, and the one you have on you should be geared towards what is needed for basic trauma by the most trained individual in your group. Your IFAK is what will be used on you, not what you’ll be using on someone else. NOTE: Of all the items in your kit, this is the one that everyone needs to carry in the same spot, no matter what side their dominant hand is on. This is because finding your IFAK in the dark is very important for the person treating you.

5. If possible, find some people of like mind who you can coordinate and train with for when times get rough.

Some people act like this is easy, but it is usually the exact opposite. Finding someone who is of like mind, is close enough to coordinate with, has the funds to acquire what they need which is listed above, and above all else, can be trusted, is a tall order. Although OpSec (Operational Security) is a military term, it applies equally to any Survivalist, Prepper, or NPT (neighborhood protection team) group.

One of the reasons I give so many of the groups out there claiming to be “Constitutional Militias” the crap they deserve, is because they can’t keep their mouths/keyboards shut for 30 seconds, let alone not tell everyone under the sun what their security measures are so as to show how “competent” their Doomsday plans are. Anyone who continually promotes himself on social media as a militiaman, militia commander, etc. (with “selfies”, badass callsign and cool gear to prove it), should make you think long and hard about whether you would ever want them in your group (or want your group associated with theirs), or be able to trust their discretion about keeping your group’s security protocols private.

You generally don’t see too many Survivalists “Showing off” on social media, because most tend to be more private about their preps. As an example, I can’t tell you how many dumbass moolisha members and “leaders” post what their security protocols were for meeting new “recruits”. They usually say their social media presence is all about recruiting, but in reality, it’s a “Look at me/us” fest.

Why would or should you ever need to recruit (this is not about making contact with other groups. That’s a good idea if for no other reason than receiving info after SHTF via HAM radio) outside of your local area for new members to join your group, when the reality of a SHTF scenario is that anyone outside of 25 miles (being generous) would never realistically answer your call? There are plenty of ways to recruit in “meatspace” (in person), whether it’s talking to people or putting up a flyer at the VFW or Range, or talking to the local gunshop owner and asking him to quietly spread the word to those he thinks would be a good fit.

By the way, another note about training. As I have said before, you don’t need to go to a training school to get the things mentioned above (it’s usually easier to do it at a class, and it will take less time having the info “downloaded” because we’ve already put it into instruction geared towards civilians). There are plenty of Vets out there that can help with some of these skills (that I mentioned in my response at WRSA),  and Combat Arms (Infantry, Cavalry, etc.) can help with the SUT portion of training. If you’re lucky and they are a former senior NCO or Officer, they can help with organization as well.

Well, that’s what I consider the “Basics” for you “FreeFor” guys and girls who need constant guidance and reassurances. While I can give guidance (and I have numerous times), I can give you no assurances accept one. If you put your time. sweat and money into training and acquisition of the things you need to defend yourself and your loved ones, you will become the “Trained Gun” I mentioned in the adaptation I made to Mao’s quote. “True domestic power comes from the barrel of a TRAINED GUN”. A trained individual might not always prevail over an aggressor, but they will always have the confidence that they can. Confidence can win a battle that everyone else assumes is lost.

100_0606-3

Bottom line. If you’re not training…START! If you are already training, double down and train harder!

JCD

Trapping Food When You’re On The Go

Conibear post1

Some traps bought as a teenager for my first trapline at 15. Victory No.2 double coil spring on the left, 110 Conibear, center, and a Victory No.1 single leaf spring, right. 

Over the years I’ve had a number of people ask me what I suggested for trapping in an “On the move, supplies on my back” survival scenario. My usual suggestions are snares if you are travelling very light (example, in the smock kit), and at least four 110 Conibears body hold traps (one for each of the cardinal directions) along with snares if you are carrying a rucksack. Although snares will do their job well if you set them correctly, they also are “one time use” if the animal tears them up. The 110 Conibear will work again and again and again for decades if taken care of.

One of the best ways I’ve found to carry my Conibear traps is by using a mil issue SAW pouch. The SAW pouch was originally designed to carry a 200 round squad automatic weapon (SAW) plastic drum/box, and I have found that it will conveniently carry four 110 Conibear traps, some snares, trap building gear (wood screws, nails, wire, twine and heavy staples) and even a bottle of lure if you want.

Conibear post2

Four brand new Conibear traps placed in a SAW pouch for a new ruck kit. Note how they fit perfectly in the SAW pouch with some room to spare.

My Buddy Bergmann normally uses a British bergan ruck, and at 3:45 in this video, he shows where/how he carries his Conibears in his bergan. One of the advantages I see in carrying your traps in it’s own specific pouch (like the SAW pouch), is your ability to take that pouch off of your ruck, attach it to your LBE/LBV, belt, etc., and go out to run your small trapline while leaving your ruck stashed and camouflaged.

Conibear post3

I’ve had the top trap for 32 years, the bottom one is brand new. 

My trapping experiences and targets as a kid were primarily raccoon, fox and muskrat. We didn’t have much in the way of mink in our area at the time, and there weren’t any coyotes here (DNR imported them from out West in the mid 90’s) yet. Squirrels (one of your primary target animals for food) are harder to trap than muskrat, but easier to trap than coons (in my experience). Learning the art of trapping is a great survival skill that could serve you well if you end up in a post SHTF scenario.

One of the most important things about trapping is the need to actually get out and do it. Watching a youtube video to learn the theory and basic techniques is great, but it’s only about a third (I’m being very generous) of the “successful trapping” equation. A good place for the novice to start is Dave Canterbury’s “Modern Trapping Series“. Below is one of Canterbury’s videos on prepping and use of the 110 Conibear trap, and here is another.

The last dozen 110’s I bought, I purchased through Amazon (convenient), here’s the link. Now is the time to get your trapping kit squared away then go out and learn how to use it. As far as I know, trapping is legal in all 50 states. The requirement might be to buy a $5 trappers permit with your hunting license, or it might require that you take a “Trapper’s” course which is similar to the “Hunter Safety Course”. Check your state requirements, get squared away, and get out and practice.

JCD