2007-09-01 12:03:06 UTC
Disaster planning and preparations for families
Information, constructive comment and other useful articles
for the family seeking to become better prepared
I hope the reason you are reading this book is to help you choose what plans
and preparations you wish to make to protect your family before, during and
after a disaster.
I do not want you to see this as a "How To" book, Its prime objective it to
make you think more about taking care of yourselves during times of crisis.
If you find you agree with everything I have written then I have failed, Why
?, Because my needs differ from yours and those of your friends, the
objective is to make you more aware of your own options and how to adapt
your lifestyle best to meet the trials and tribulations that life will throw
Disasters can be roughly defined as natural, political, ecological, or
social in origin. They can be triggered by geological events, astral events,
military and police activity, political and social upheavals are another
common cause. Though you can do little or nothing to prevent these disasters
from happening you can to a certain degree try to minimise the effects of an
event upon your family. The prime objectives are to survive the initial
event and to continue to flourish and prosper after the event. In general it
is everyone's will to survive, however the view from mainstream society is
to put their faith in the government to provide protection and support
during and after a crisis. (Even though it is the government that has caused
the crisis in the first place). Survivalists are just ordinary folk who
choose to take extra precautionary steps at individual and family level to
protect their property and loved ones. Roughly speaking they take out extra
insurance in the form of survival plans and preparations to ensure their
family's well-being. After this survivalists tend to adapt their lifestyles
to take into consideration their survival plans.
People who turn to survivalism and preparedness are usually by their very
nature strong willed individuals with a strong desire to be as self-reliant
and independent as possible. Survivalists for the most part are far more
aware of global current affairs than Mr Joe Q Public, They foresee possible
hazards and threats to their family's integrity and well being, and choose
to plan and prevent or minimise the effects of any unwelcome event.
The object of this little book is not to tell you how to survive this or
that but to make you think a bit more about everyday lifestyle choices.
House buying, Holidays, Work, Food supplies, Energy supplies, Health issues,
Education etc are some of the things you make decisions about every day,
What I want to do is to make you consider the survival aspect of your
decisions and perhaps modify your choice accordingly.
I actually believe that survivalism as part of your way of life improves and
enhances the quality of your view of the world and the environment around
you. I hope you find this briefing of some benefit to you.
One who provides for possible future events, be they natural disaster or
social / political events so that they may have the food and tools necessary
for continued survival.
P3 Survivalism in the 21st century
P7 Survivalism in the UK & across the world
P9 Survivalism and the internet
P10 Survivalist comparison
P13 Retreat logic 1
P14 Retreat logic 2
P15 Lifestyle adjustments 1
P17 Lifestyle adjustments 2
P18 Your retreat
P19 Real estate
P21 Flood protection
P23 Setting up your home as a retreat
P26 Risk analysis
P28 Threats from extremist government
P32 Intelligence gathering
P34 Aspects of support
P35 Friends for survival
P36 What do we teach our children?
P37 Group security and defence
P38 The case for diesel
P40 Self built campers as Bug Out Vehicles
P42 My bug out vehicle (2005)
P44 Selecting the Bug Out Vehicle for your needs
P48 Fitting out your BOV
P51 Mapping & Route Planning
P52 Useful Resource Mapping
P53 Bug Out checklist
P54 Bug Out Bags, Bug Out Vests & EDC's
P56 Lightweight bug out vest (Everyday wear vest kit)
P58 Feel, fit, and familiarity (Getting to know your kit)
P59 Stockpiling suggestions
P60 Increased stock levels
P62 Simple methods of caching
P64 Basic medical kit
P65 Short term heat and light
P66Winter Preparation Check List
P67Survivalist book list factual and fiction
P70 Grocery Supply Check List
P73 Logistics Groups (To Do)
SURVIVALISM IN THE 21st CENTURY
As we move into the 21st century I firmly believe that there is more reason
now to being prepared for trouble than there was in the 1970's and 1980's.
Nuclear holocaust may not be a mainstream threat anymore but it's still
possible. Since the horrors on the 11Th September 2001 in New York and 7Th
July 2005 in London many people feel the threat from an Islamic nuclear or
biological bomb is very high. However today I feel the threat is now more
likely to be environmental / ecological in cause and the survivalist of the
new millennium has to be even more prepared and also to have a broader
skills base than ever was foreseen in the past. We must also consider the
insidious threat from within, by that I mean tyrannical government or global
What has prompted this belief? , Well in the first place I watch news from
around the world from many various sources cross referencing where possible.
I also monitor global weather events ( not as boring as it sounds) I also
keep an eye open for items about unusual events and occurrences, as well as
what the worlds politicians are currently trying to screw up.
I will list a few and you can read from it what you may!
The severe weather aspect of El Nino is reported to be occurring more
frequently and more severely, though the changes were well noted over the
years it appears that the effects of El Nino are getting more extreme. Is it
being enhanced by Global warming?
The recent discovery of super volcanoes, and as an example of such an item
is the severe lifting of a lake in Yellowstone national park, Geologists
believe that if this volcano decides to empty its magma chamber (which is
overdue now**) it will screw up the worlds weather for five or more decades.
The last super volcano to erupt was Toba 74,000 years ago in Sumatra. Ten
thousand times bigger than Mt St Helens, it created a global catastrophe
dramatically affecting life on Earth. Scientists know that another one is
due - they just don't know when... or where.
**It is little known that lying underneath one of America's areas of
outstanding natural beauty - Yellowstone Park - is one of the largest super
volcanoes in the world. Scientists have revealed that it has been on a
regular eruption cycle of 600,000 years. The last eruption was 640,000 years
ago... so the next is overdue.
"And the sleeping giant is breathing;" vulcanologists have been tracking the
movement of magma under the park and have calculated that in parts of
Yellowstone the ground has risen over seventy centimetres this century. Is
this just the harmless movement of lava, flowing from one part of the
reservoir to another? Or does it presage something much more sinister, a
pressurised build-up of molten lava?" (Source BBC Horizon science program
Remember what the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa did in the 1800's and
magnify it many times. As of late 2004 interest in Super Calderas is once
again on the increase as Yellowstone is once again showing signs of
Even the ocean currents that help regulate Europe's weather is under siege,
the direction and flow of the gulf stream is reported to be changing beyond
normal parameters and may be interrupted, This would cause Northern Europe
and the UK to get the same type of weather that they get in Newfoundland as
possibly as severe as Alaska.
Again in November 2003 the media is once more producing articles and science
programs about the problems facing us if the Gulf Stream Conveyor Belt
(This is covered in some depth once again on the BBC science program
Horizon, Nov 2003)
Global warming is causing millions of tons of ice melt water from the poles
pouring into the oceans which is reducing the salinity, which will
eventually stop the gulf stream from flowing back south along the ocean
bottom, this mass of melt water is also being supplemented by even more
fresh water from Siberian rivers whose outflow has increased because of the
huge increase in rainfall feeding the rivers because of global warming.
The under ground aquifer which provides the water for the bulk of the great
plains and its associated wheat growing areas (The bread basket of the free
world) is becoming so depleted through over extraction that where boreholes
were originally dug to 60 feet are now being dug to 360 feet and the amount
of water available for extraction and use is reducing annually, Fears are
now being expressed that brackish salt water may find its way into the
aquifer from coastal areas.
(This has been challenged by some of the more enlightened parties on the
Misc Survivalism internet newsgroup who believe the fears about the water
table becoming depleted are unfounded, but accept the risk from brackish
water intrusion is genuine)
Earthquakes are occurring in places where they do not usually happen, or at
least in areas where its been so long since the last one no record is
available. In areas that do have earthquakes the severity of them and the
frequency of them is increasing. (Or is it as some people suggest, that its
simply a case of better monitoring of fault zones and the increased
reporting of shocks that drives the increased fears?)
The magnitude 9 on the Richter scale sized sea quake in December 2004 in the
Indian Ocean created tsunamis (huge sea waves) that devastated the
coastlines of 14 nations leaving millions destitute and over 200, 000 dead
with the majority of the victims being women and children.
Tornados are starting to occur in places like Utah and Maine and British
Columbia where they never really occurred before.
European weather patterns are becoming unstable and more severe in there
The icecaps are starting to break up and huge ice masses are drifting into
open waters, and the currents affected by the massive amounts of extra fresh
water into the oceans are changing the flow pattern of the Gulf Stream.
To compound this we are still pouring ever increasing amounts of crap into
the atmosphere, the ozone holes are getting bigger, fresh water is now
becoming a valuable commodity (If you don't believe me ask the folks in the
mid west of the United States, The inhabitants of the southern part of
Britain, The Palestinians and Israeli's, parts of east Africa and southern
Add to this the increasing world population and the trend of mass migration,
4 million Mexicans are trying to get across the Rio Grande per year and the
EC believes that up to 7 million North Africans per year wish to relocate
northwards. Currently the UK is receiving over 500,000 asylum seekers,
refugees and economic migrants a year all looking for a better life, it is
estimated that those 500,000 have at least 750,000 dependants waiting to
follow them to the UK if their application to stay is accepted.
Oil and coal is becoming harder and more expensive to extract, Current
trends suggest a 30% shortfall in world needs within 25 years whilst demand
is increasing at 22 % every 10 years. The UK is forecast to become a net
importer of gas and oil in ten years time. Gas prices have recently tripled
in the UK (Autumn 2003). In the very near future the UK's gas supplies will
have to be piped over 3000 miles from Kazakhstan through some of the most
geological and politically unstable parts of the world, I have no idea how
they intend to protect the full length of the pipeline from terrorist
attack.( Daily Mail July 2. 2003)
Power outages / brownouts, fuel shortages, interruption of logistics to keep
the towns and cities going are increasing more in the developed world than
in the third world.
(I wrote the comments above long before the big black outs that affected the
north eastern US, London and Scandinavia in 2003, or the brown outs and
power shortages that humiliated the people of California), Outages will get
worse and more frequent the more we have to rely entirely on vulnerable
Like it or not the world is getting a bit crowded and in the western world
we are following the trend set by most of the great civilisations of the
past in which the following equation came to be. The trend is of increased
taxes and declining services, less cops, doctors, teachers, soldiers
everything except bureaucrats. Declining services and quality of life, food,
and our environment as more and more people place greater and greater demand
on the social infrastructure.
The more civilised a society gets the higher the demands it places on its
wealth, the more decadent the society becomes the more immoral and corrupt
it becomes, the more tolerant a society became the lower the accepted values
become. It usually ends the same way with escalating crime, collapse of
societal and family values, then the total disintegration of the society and
in come the barbarians!
When a society collapses it is a gradual event to begin with then, at first
localised problems gradually spilling out and increasing in severity until
the chaos and violence simply overwhelms the civilisation involved.
Most survivalists are aware of moral and social problems locally and the
increased frequency of major events globally which are in the most part bad.
Those people are now taking the necessary steps to ensure the security,
safety and continuity of their families and groups. What you also need to be
doing is to prepare and adapt your lifestyle for a major upheaval of society
in general. It usually begins with civil unrest in one or two cities
(shortages, strikes, riots, power outages, etc that the police, fire and
medical services can not or will not attend, The Police start to look, dress
and act more like soldiers, The government suspends civil rights and
restricts freedom of travel and seizes fuel stocks).
This trend will then spread out to the suburbs and to neighbouring towns
until it becomes a national crisis. The government will enact its emergency
powers and promise to restore normality soon, but chances are it won't
Since 9/11/01 just how many more "emergency measures have been introduced in
the name of national security? Do you believe any of them will be repealed
if the crisis ends? How will a national identity card system and data
recording system for the decent law abiding people prevent even one
Because of the size and complexity of the global marketplace when one
nations finances become unstable or devalued and its workers get laid off en
masse the rot will quickly spread across the country and into its neighbours
and trading partners until anarchy reigns, and it becomes every person for
themselves. What if for example saltwater corruption of a nations freshwater
aquifers occurs because of over extraction, or perhaps some tin pot dictator
nuking or cutting off the oil to the free world, or perhaps America as the
worlds greatest consumer of petroleum products deciding that it wants all of
the available oil to sustain its people, They have the military might, no
one else can hope to match them, If someone does have a go at them either
way its going to cause a massive global depression.
Another cause for concern in western societies in the current trend for our
own corporations to move much of their production to Asia and Eastern
Europe, this is done to reduce costs. This is causing much dissent in the
workforces of Europe and America as they see constant large influxes of
economic migrants coming into their homelands, Migrant people who will work
for less money than the indigenous people, and this is compounded by so many
jobs such as banking, call centres and factories moving overseas at the same
Its just one of the not so pleasant aspects of the free market economy that
has served us so well, until now that is??????
If a collapse occurs (and judging by the extreme events of the first seven
years of the 21st Century the chances are that it is more likely than ever).
You as survivalists need to be ready go it alone as self contained
self-sufficient independent groups / communities for at least 18 to 36
months, or until everyone has finished fighting, looting or has died through
starvation, disease or conflict. Diseases such as BSE / CJD/ SARS /Avian flu
have all caused great problems to man in only the first 3 years since the
millennium, and of course AIDS / HIV has continued its trail of devastation
across the globe. In the UK an untreatable variant of TB has caused London
to become the TB capital of the western world. Rising oil prices and oil
shortages caused by wars in the Middle East and the wave of very severe
hurricanes hitting the US gulf coast and having a destabilising effect on
western societies. In late January 2007 H5N1 Avian flu arrived in the UK
causing panic across the farming industry as 176,000 turkeys were
slaughtered in one day.
Working together for our common objective is the most sensible way ahead; if
anyone is going to survive it will be those of us who make sacrifices now to
ensure the future for our children.
SURVIVALISM IN THE U.K & ACROSS THE WORLD
In all the four corners of the world you will find survivalism and
preparedness flourishing, more people than ever before are trying to retake
control over their own destinies and lifestyles. The United Kingdom is no
different in that respect but it does have its own set of unusual
circumstances for the modern survivalist to overcome.
Apart from the very obvious problems of the right to own firearms and the
right to protect yourselves from criminals there is a strong public
objection to people who are not mainstream in their lifestyle choices, If
you don't socialise in the accepted manner like enjoying soccer, going to
the pub etc you are seen as an oddball. You compound this with the British
survivalist's natural conservatism and an inbred fear of others with whom
they are not familiar you end up with a difficult environment in which to
develop your skills and plans without being ridiculed by your neighbours or
Survivalism is a serious undertaking that is usually a very private matter
for you and your family and not one you would choose to broadcast in any
way, this in itself causes problems to overcome.
How do you gain the expertise you need in so many subjects without
contacting others, how do you source the logistics and kit you require in
the larger than normal quantities than Joe Public would buy, how do you
gather the intelligence about current affairs, possible hazards, retreat
locations etc without giving away your reasons, how do you overcome your
natural curiosity as to what other survivalists are up to and are they doing
something better than you are?
Some survivalists form "GROUPS" sharing costs, bulk buying, developing a
communal retreat, having group "STANDARDS", setting criteria for
"MEMBERSHIP" etc these "GROUPS" tend to have a very strong willed "LEADER"
controlling things and persuading the others to follow his way of doing
things. Sometimes this becomes elitist and at other times it becomes a
"CULT" with the ruling elite controlling the ordinary members by
intimidation, fear etc this is not a path that I would advocate that anyone
follows for good reason.
The only things that survivalists should have to standardise upon are a set
of communication frequencies and protocols for getting in touch with each
other as and when THEY CHOOSE. Survivalists by their very natures are very
intelligent, free thinking, broadminded individuals each with their own
agendas to follow. This is why they became survivalists in the first place,
because the wish to be in control over their own lives and destinies without
external forces controlling their freedom of personal choice.
Yes it would be nice and easy if we all had the same equipment fuel and
ammunition calibres, but for the reasons shown above individuals have their
own preferences and reasons for choosing their own kit.
Insisting that everyone uses petrol power cookers or generators or vehicles
as part of being a "MEMBER" of the group is stupid if one of the group lives
on a farm that is totally diesel powered and has 10,000 gallons of the stuff
stored on site. It's the same principle if everyone has to have weapons
available only in 7.62 rimless NATO calibre and one of the guys lives in a
very heavily forested area that would be better served by a 12 gauge pump
action shotgun. Individuality must be encouraged not stifled by diktat from
government or the leaders of your local group. Communism and a single plan
of development has been proven not to work where as freedom of choice and
flexibility has been shown to flourish, this is especially true for
It has been said "No man is an Island" this also holds true for
survivalists. A way to share our skills and knowledge and to find others of
a similar outlook to ourselves is part of human nature, we must balance the
survivalists need for privacy and security against the need to gather
information and develop contacts with others like ourselves.
The way ahead for us I feel is something I saw when in America a few years
ago where like minded people came together twice a year for what they called
a RENDEZVOUS, At these events people got to meet each other on neutral
ground to socialise, barter, get the latest gossip, share ideas, find out
what's new etc. These events have been very successful at bridging the gap
amongst people of similar beliefs without putting any restrictions upon
them. What was not acceptable there was anyone trying to force upon the
others their ideals and beliefs.
SURVIVALISM AND THE INTERNET
In recent years the internet has provide priceless access to information
about survivalism, people, places, plans, equipment, finding people with
similar politics to yourself etc. The Survivalist and Self-reliance
communities have made huge steps forward in sharing information by accessing
the Internet. One particular problem people when using the internet is
accessing and recovering information, contacts and intelligence etc that are
of interest to you that is free from unwanted / unsolicited / abusive or
On public news groups such as Misc Survivalism, Alt Survival etc one can
find very enlightened and useful material, but one can also become exposed
to Trolls, Flamers, Virus attacks, Spam, and people with questionable morals
This is sadly an all to common an experience for people new to the world of
survival and it has caused many of them to withdraw from trying to make
useful contacts or to access the information they so rightly need.
Fortunately for us a few valiant souls have taken on the role of setting up
and running superb top notch moderated news groups and survival archives.
For example The Rocky Mountain Survival Group, Frugal Squirrel, and similar
organised groups have created public archives of huge libraries of
survivalist / self reliance information. But even better than these useful
archives there has evolved the Miscellaneous Survivalism Moderated news
group ran by the popular Canadian Survivalist called BAX which is hosted by
Yahoo Groups. It currently has nearly 1600 members many of whom post to the
discussion board frequently.
Bax and his team of skilled moderators have created a well balanced up to
date well informed news group that does away with the unpleasant or
unsolicited parts of the world wide web that most of us wish to avoid. Using
his teams selective judgement they have set up MSM so that they the
moderators can trawl the survivalist and self reliance news groups that have
proliferated recently looking for intelligent posters who can be invited to
join MSM . The advantage of this selective membership ensures that in
general only contributors and users of the highest calibre are allowed to
join the membership of MSM . The group is ran fairly but firmly with all
posts being vetted before being posted. On MSM there is a a very busy
bulletin board, file archives, real time chat room and other highly useful
sources of information. So if you wish to participate in useful constructive
and reasoned debate, or need access to quality archive material then you
must apply to Bax for probationary membership or make enough constructive
posts on survival oriented news groups for Bax and his team to identify and
approach you. Jan 2004 Bax / MSM can be contacted via
Interested in: Survival, Food storage, firearms, canning, gardening,
self-sustaining communities, back to basics, water purification, alternative
power, conservation, homesteading, first aid and more??
Come join us in this group MSM
A second group on the Yahoo Groups Forum is the rapidly growing SURVIVAL
RETREAT & SECURE HOME news group ran by a chap called Rick Rourke. This
popular group concentrates on the core survival issues of Survival Retreats
and Secure Homes, Hot topic debates, and topic of the week issues ensure
this group keeps boiling with ideas, concepts and debate on all things
survival oriented, current membership exceeds 1650 and the quality of debate
and subject matter is very high. I can recommend this group to all
considering the issues around maintaining a secure home or retreat, Contact
***@yahoogroups.com for more information .
It is difficult to define what makes a survivalist different from any one
else in the population? Why are we so different and what makes us tick?
Well to start with we don't like to rely on governments to dictate how we
live our lives and by what values we find socially acceptable. We tend to be
a tad conservative in our outlook on the world.
We don't ask for anything more from the state than we can contribute, we
prefer to stand up for ourselves, and in return we simply wish to be left
alone to live our lives by our own long established and generally
We have a different view on how to live our lives in comparison to Mr & Mrs
Joe Q Public, After work we tend to spend some of our free time on trying to
better our life skills and improve our knowledge of our environment to
better prepare us for any given crisis and we make time to live life to its
fullest without harming anyone else or the environment where possible. We
make contingency plans whilst Joe Public expects the Govt to provide for him
when things go wrong.
If there is a huge electrical storm and the main power substations get
toasted Joe Public will pick up the phone and call the utility companies and
his councillor and sometimes even the police demanding that action be taken
to put the power back on because "A" its not his fault, he pays his bills
and demands the service paid for. "B" Its the governments fault for not
Meanwhile down the street the family of "weirdo's" who are survivalists use
their flashlights to get out the stored camping lanterns and candles, turn
on their battery powered radio to find out more about what's happening, Then
go round their close neighbours providing hot drinks, spare candles and news
Its the same with our kids and our free time, Joe Public will happily give
his kids £10 and tell them to get out to play and get home before 11 pm
whist he and his partner head of to the Pub / Club/ Soccer match. Whilst
their kids are tormenting the residents of some distant neighbourhood and
getting into all sorts of bother (drunk, stoned, arrested, pregnant etc) the
Public's have got a skin full of beer and a takeaway meal, are screaming and
swearing at each other on the walk home, ruining the peace and quiet of the
(Mrs Smith at number 37 will once again wake up and find a discarded Chinese
meal in her garden and old Tom at number 43 will find vomit all over his
When the Public's get home they find a message from the police dept on the
answer phone saying young Wayne has been arrested for being drunk and
stealing a car, whilst discovering 15 year old Tracy is in bed with her
After the hassle with the police and social services you will find the
Public's in the pub again the next day telling their associates that the
government should do something to stop kids from getting into trouble and
"don't you think those stupid survivalists would have anything better to do
than go round banging on peoples doors asking folk if they would like some
candles and a hot drink".
In the meantime what are the survivalists doing? First they are ensuring
that if the gas / electricity / water go off they can get by comfortably
with their reserve kit. Dad is taking the lads out to go camping and
cycling, and Mum is going to help the girls at the white water canoeing
event before she orders those books on helping educate your kids at home.
Tomorrow she will help the girls with their preparations for their exams and
if they do alright she will let them off with their garden chores and let
them have some free time providing they are in by 10 pm and let her know
where they are.
Last year when Mr Public and Mr Survivalist were laid off work at the same
time Mr Survivalist spent his time doing odd jobs for people to earn a few
bucks and to maintain his dignity whilst going to night school to improve
Mr public told his mates in the club were he spends his enforced free time
that he went down the social security office and told them straight " I
demand some benefits because I've paid my taxes" and then evicted his kids
saying "Get down the council and tell them you must be given a flat rent
free plus some dole because the bloody government wont help people like us
when its their responsibility".
Mr Survivalist at the supermarket asks his wife "Cant we find something
better than this for our main meal because the packet says it pre-processed,
full of E's and additives and preservatives, surely this cant be doing the
kids any good"
Mr Public at the supermarket says to his wife "Don't go wasting any money on
fancy crap because I need to get my cigarettes yet and we need some cash to
go out with tonight".
Mrs public got mugged last week her assailant ran up to her and demanded her
purse, he got it, Soon after the same thug came across Mrs Survivalist and
tried the same on her, he got it, a broken nose and fractured elbow from her
telescopic baton. Of course it was the police and governments fault for
allowing Mrs Public to get attacked.
Mrs Survivalist went home with a confident smile on her face; she did not
bother to report the attack because she knew that she would be the one who
There is a distinct difference between the mental attitude of the general
public and survivalists in planning for and dealing with adversity, The
attitude of Joe Public has been and is getting more biased towards relying
on the nanny state to tell them how to live, work and play and to not make
major decisions or take actions of their own accord. The politicians leap at
every opportunity to react to knee jerk public outcry over some tragic event
and to introduce more and more Draconian / Orwellian legislation.
This leads us down a narrow path to a point of divergence, Society willingly
gives away its given right to freedom every time a politician promises to
make things right with new laws, The shooting incidents at Hungerford and
Dunblain are perfect examples of vote grabbing, knee jerk politics used to
disarm and pacify a population of willing serfs in exchange for hollow
promises of a safer society.
If this was not truly the case then why have the British Police with Home
Office support, year after year since 1918 but en masse since 1966 demanded
and received more restrictive firearms legislation, on the assurance that
when such laws were introduced armed crime rates would be dramatically
reduced. Of course the opposite has been the effect, armed crime has risen
year on year but the public no longer has the means to protect itsself.
The other evil side effect of tolerance and understanding is that the
criminals get off leniently or Scot free to re-offend at will, and the
public get prosecuted to the fullest effect of the law if they try to
protect themselves or their property. From 1996 to 2002 crimes of violence
involving firearms have risen over 51% in the UK according to the
international crime survey.
( Since 1997 to 2004 Gun Crime and Violent crime in the UK have risen by
over 100% while detection and arrest rates have fallen to an all time low,
this has led directly to an increase in the migration of decent families
from the cities to more rural pastures)
"Stay or go"
When is the right time to head for your retreat or safe haven is a question
I am frequently asked, This brings into question the entire concept of
retreating because everyone has their own views on "when to go (or stay) and
My view is that most of us are not financially independent enough to afford
a full scale totally self sufficient retreat, Yes most of us have somewhere
to go if the **** hits the fan and I am sure that you could survive for
months on your own, but what about your dependants?
Can they and would they wish to rough it for months in a strange environment
away from the familiarity of home? They may have the physical strength but
what about the mental and emotional strength?
What about you? how long can you survive? what will you do if you become
incapacitated for any reason? I believe most people will need support from
others in time no matter how good their survival skills and plans are.
When are you going to go? What will be the trigger for you to uproot your
family and resources to your designated retreat? What will you do if someone
else who outnumbers and out guns you has already taken possession of your
sanctuary? What if you can not get to your site in time before events
All of these questions must be addressed and answers found NOW.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Yes I know you have important commitments, work, schooling, housing and
finances etc but all of your efforts will be wasted if some political or
natural event causes your premature demise because you were not ready or
able to react in time. So when is the right time to go to a location that
will maximise your chances of survival without creating the added burden of
severe emotional trauma?
The answer is now! You need to make your home your first level of safety and
security. You must assess your community for risks, hazards, resources and
assets, especially if you live in very high areas of population density. The
same applies to areas of political instability or are in strategic target
areas so on and so forth. Are you close enough to receive support from other
survivalists with whom you have mutual support agreements?
If you are unhappy with your results then its time to move house as soon as
Have you have wondered why many survivalist families move to north western
states in the US or Yorkshire, Cumbria, Durham and Northumberland in the UK.
It's not just that the areas are more rural and have lower levels of
population density. The cost of living is less and properties are cheaper
and there is more choice for your money. I agree that salaries are lower
away from the big cities but so are the living costs. What some people are
now doing is working from home, some transfer within companies, some people
have sufficient skills to enable you to diversify in your choice of work,
and some of you can live off the profits from the sale of your current
homes. A certain percentage of you will not be able to do any of the above
so you must develop contacts in the area you intend to retreat to (perhaps
you can rent holiday cottages to become more familiar with area of your
You will still need a hidey hole to bug out to if everything goes to hell
and back but it won't need to be as highly equipped as a full scale retreat,
you may even be able to get away with a set of caches near your new home if
they are well chosen and well sited.
You need the will and the commitment to take this route but it will work out
cheaper than developing a full size retreat, and will not be as stressful to
increase your level of readiness as it would to watch the world fall apart
around you during a crisis. And you will not have to leave the security and
stability of your home.
This will not be the answer to everyone's wishes but does give a valid
alternative to the purchase and running of two homes and it could if planned
properly put you closer to other survivalists who can and will support each
other when needed.
RETREAT LOGIC 2
Sometimes for various reasons the survivalist can not establish a permanent
retreat location, It could be work commitments, family pressure or financial
constraints etc, and of course the commonest reason for not doing anything
is the lack of will to make a commitment .
So we must try to provide some other options for these good people to at
least give them a choice on the matter of surviving the coming troubles.
What I want to do is suggest that you consider obtaining one of the
A mobile home in a secure location that could be deemed as a main retreat,
It will need auxiliary power and water supplies, IE solar/wind power system,
composting toilet, bottled gas systems, cached kit nearby etc.
A towed caravan trailer with the same kit as for the mobile home placed on a
small-secluded site away from major cities and developments.
A folding caravan, the type that is all alloy or glass fibre construction, A
six berth model when folded down for transport or storage measures as little
as 1.5 metre wide 2.4 metre long and 1.2 metre high. They can be stored on
their sides to decrease the amount of storage space required. The same
auxiliary kit will be required.
A motor camper perhaps with a towed trailer with your kit in it or a motor
camper with your kit stored away from home, perhaps en-route to your retreat
If you are up to it perhaps a full scale overland expedition vehicle??? (
Unimog / Bremach/ Pinzgaur )
It may be feasible if you go for any of the three towing options to simply
adapt your current vehicle with a tow bar and electrics.
It may be worth your while to change your family car by making a motor
camper your prime method of transport.
Some people have already purchased a 4WD vehicle for their survival plans
and do not have enough resources left to establish a prime retreat, those
folk could fit a tow bar etc and haul one of the options listed above.
Some people have suggested abandoning or not relying on their own private
retreats, but finding suitable communal sites throughout the UK where upon
they could team up with other members of a support network and spend their
own limited resources on a mobile retreat / survival vehicle type system.
This obviously means being prepared to bug out that bit earlier if necessary
which may be a small disadvantage. (Which can be reduced if your vehicle is
stored outside the city limits) On the other hand it can combine your
weekends off and holidays with your survival plans, reducing costs and
duplication. Another point in the favour of investing in mobile equipment is
that if your spouse or partner is a reluctant survivalist you can simply
explain that the van / trailer / motor home is your new leisure hobby.
These options at least give you more food for thought and also give you the
option of being able to remain independent and fully equipped when away from
home for work or leisure.
You can get a decent used caravan from £1500 a folder from £2500 a good
mobile home should be in the region of £6000 and up whilst a basic but
usable motor home can be gotten for £3000.
For those of a maritime persuasion you could consider a cabin cruiser or
convert an old lifeboat / fishing boat.
LIFESTYLE ADJUSTMENTS 1
As a survivalist you will need at some point in time to assess your personal
level of readiness, you will become acutely aware of your local environment
and begin to realise that you must make some adjustments to your lifestyle
to give you the best chance of surviving.
To achieve this is not as traumatic as you think it simply means adding
another consideration to your day to day living decisions, A few examples
are listed below.
If you are moving house as well as the normal considerations such as price
and room sizes / local amenities / schools etc add to your list has it got a
cellar for your stockpile? Is the garden large enough to provide space to
grow food? Is the water supply gravity fed or pumped? Does it present to
you a sustainable position? Is it unobtrusive? Can you bug out from it
quickly without having to fight your way through heavy traffic or refugee
Career decisions are also important and financial reward is usually
paramount in your decision making, but at some point if you take survivalism
seriously you may have to trade off a big juicy salary against a more modest
one but be in a position where upon you are not going to be stuck in the
middle of a large city when trouble strikes.
Independence from the system and the ability to have alternatives available
for you to choose from must be realised, Yes you may be making a huge salary
in the city but if trouble happens (as it does) your money is going to be
worthless if you are stuck in Westminster or Washington and your kids (who
are worth more than any job) are across town 10 miles away on their own,
stuck in a school with no support from you. Meanwhile your partner is 8
miles in the other direction wondering why the lights and elevators are not
working and why are all those people ransacking the shops down in the
You always have a choice and most of us will make some wrong ones when it
comes to living our lives, You say for example "I have to work in the city"
for any amount of reasons, I respect your decision as its yours to make but
it is you that has to live (or die) by that decision not me. Try asking
yourselves why has MR A moved to the outskirts of town or why MR B has moved
out to the countryside, what prompted Colin from admin to buy a 4 WD RV and
spends all his free time out of town. You hear comments like "I wonder what
got into Claire from planning to fit solar panels to her house roof and her
friend Sandy has just fitted a composting toilet system to her bungalow". It's
your choice but money is a poor substitute for wisdom.
Can you come to some agreement with your boss allowing you to become a home
office worker? Can you relocate to one of the smaller regional offices,
stores or departments? Every bit helps swing the pendulum in your favour.
Who can you contact to get help and support if you want to improve my odds
in a crisis? Is there a place your family can escape to if you have to get
out of town fast? Is there anyone else out there who feels the same as you?
Where can you learn more about self-reliance? What do you do NOW?
This is why you need to set up or join a MUTUAL SUPPORT Group so that like
minded people can get together for their own benefit, Without anyone forcing
their opinions, values and beliefs upon you, NO religion No politics,
without you soliciting those opinions first. That's what you could do, it
wont be perfect but what is, all that matters is there are people out there
who don't like the way society is going or trust the system to protect them.
LIFESTYLE ADJUSTMENTS 2
Logic decrees that your everyday life and your survival plans will coexist
in harmony after a while, the route to this can be smoothed over by trying
to make things multi functional / dual purposed by making enlightened
choices when buying things. A few possible examples are listed below.
In your kit selection plans you will inevitably have need for some
flashlights and perhaps a baton or night stick, Why not combine both
together, Instead of getting a couple of Eveready torches or similar generic
junk why not get something like a Maglite 6 x C cell flashlight, it will
provide you illumination and also be of use as a baton.( The Current trend
is for ultra powerful military tactical flashlights and long battery life
LED head equipped flashlights)
Such things like key rings are useful, people are always buying novelty key
rings that answer to whistles or have games in them, why not get a kubotan
from your local martial arts store and fix it to your keys, this way you
have your keys close to hand and when combined with the kubotan you have a
good defensive weapon and a flail combined, its legal as well. You can also
hang a mini tool, compass and LED light on the same ring for added
Buying a new stereo? Make sure it has short-wave , marine and air bands,
this helps provide Intel from sources outside your area and are not
influenced by government pressure, also at times you can monitor amateur
radio broadcasts and inter-group transmissions from the US of A
Transport is another consideration, if you are buying a new vehicle think
about it as a useful survival vehicle, Consider how much kit you can get in
it, Can it go off road, (not necessarily a 4 wd but good ground clearance
helps), Can you fold the seats down or is the load bed long enough to sleep
in (without having to empty everything out), Can you obtain spares for it
easily without having to order parts from Japan or Europe, Can you fit long
range fuel tanks with enough fuel to get to your retreat by the longest
Holidays, If you choose not to vacation in the countryside at your chosen
retreat location then at least go somewhere that you can recon as you rest
and play with one eye on spotting useful resources and escape routes should
you become trapped there.
Perhaps you are doing some home improvements? At the very least do not end
up with only one source of heat/light etc, if you can afford it get a
multi-fuel AGA or Rayburn type stove, if you can't then get a multi fuel
barbeque type stove that will burn wood /coal/charcoal and bottled gas.
Nearly everything that you get that is electrically powered should be
capable of running of batteries as well and you need to get plenty of
rechargeable Ni cads and a solar powered recharging unit to go with them, IE
hair dryers, flashlights, radios, soldering irons, water pumps, etc.
Try where possible to make everything serve two or more roles and this will
help your adjustment to a higher state of readiness that bit easier.
You are probably well aware of what you need at your retreat, things like
independent water supplies (preferably artesian or deep well) independent
power (solar panels, wind turbines, surface deposited coal, peat bogs,
sustainable woodland, methane generators etc) Thermally efficient south
facing structures for domestic and work use, low maintenance structures etc.
The other concerns have also been equally well addressed in other articles
by some very enlightened people, concealed approach roads, space for
agricultural use, defendable territory, low profile aspects, expandable etc.
So now you have your retreat, you have either moved into it or made it your
permanent residence, or perhaps you use it for your days off and holidays,
or you share it with other members of your group on an ad hoc basis. Now
what you need to consider is how you keep it secure and out of the public
eye until you need it, Its no use just trying to hide it with camouflage or
hoping your neighbours wont be curious about your plot, sooner or later
someone is going to come calling, be it a nosy neighbour, the vicar, someone
from the council or water board, the local cop, some poachers, it could be
anyone that blows your cover.
So what can you do to maintain a low profile? I suggest a system of twists
upon the truth when approached about your retreat or the activities going on
there. If someone asks about the amount of gun noise coming from the place,
try something along the lines of "We have a plague of barn rats and once a
month me and my friends get together to cull them".
Perhaps it becomes noticed that you have been getting huge deliveries of
food to your base, Try telling them that you run a catering business out of
town but you keep your stocks at home, as you can see the objective is to
remain mainstream respectable to the rest of the public.
As to the retreat itself with its waterwheels, turbines, 28 tons of coal,
loads of animals in the public eye your best bet may be to play the role of
a bunch of environmentalist hippies who are into ecology, pollution control,
healthy living etc, another trick is to pretend you are some sort of govt
sponsored research base or an outward bound centre or a retreat for the
victims of emotional trauma.
It is difficult to be inconspicuous but its a better bet than just relying
on concealment, other points you could consider is having a barbeque every
now and then with the locals (after hiding the anti social stuff) to help
maintain a sense of normality, perhaps during the summer months you could
allow the local scouts and guides to use your field at no charge for their
annual camp or hold the village fair or an antique car show anything that
lets folk think you have nothing to hide. Perhaps you could flog off your
spare eggs and fresh vegetables to the local pensioners at cost or even
better FREE, all of this will help endear you to the locals thereby helping
you lose yourselves in the community.
A wise sage once said the best place to hide a tree is in a forest.
Many survivalists at some point will choose to move home for one reason or
another this gives them a golden opportunity to make some of those lifestyle
adjustments, You do not need to go looking for a 5 bed detached farmhouse
next to a river to improve your chances as some people believe.
Most people involved in survivalism and preparedness can not afford to go
for the " Ideal" place, its always a compromise of costs, work, schools,
transport etc that have to be a balancing factor in your choice, but if you
consider a few of the following tips and perhaps achieve even one of them
then you will improve your survival odds as well as improving your
Don't go for a property that is on a main road or is likely to be used as a
shortcut to a main road, avoid where possible the large dormitory estates
that are springing up all over the country. You certainly don't want to be
along the chosen route that the panicked hoards of refugees use to flee the
Don't buy property near substations, telephone exchanges, TA centres,
motorway junctions, railway facilities, hospitals, industrial or retail
units or shopping malls, (the local shops are OK). Basically avoid things
that will attract refugees or police / military attention during a crisis.
Try to find property that is nondescript, out of view from the main
thoroughfares, shielded from prying eyes by hedges or walls. Make sure it's
not prone to flooding.
Try to find property in low population centres if at all possible, is this
the time to ask the boss if you can work from home or transfer to the
smaller regional office?, American thinking on this point suggests living in
a community that is small enough to not be affected by the problems in the
cities but big enough to have a full skills base and be able to go self
Older properties have more useful facilities than newer ones such as
cellars, out houses, workshops, old but still useable wells, larger gardens,
established fruit trees, places that could be used to keep food animals. Can
the property take a wood/coal Range or Aga type cooker in the kitchen. Does
it have functional chimneys/ flues so a wood or coal fireplace can be fitted
Consider the aspect of the property, take a compass with you, the best
properties have south facing gardens to get the most sunlight, can you add
solar panels and or a wind turbine discreetly, is it windy enough for a
Does the property have sufficient storage space for an office / storeroom/
shelter / workshop / bunkroom? If you need any of them?
Is the property in a low crime area? Does it have easy access to the schools
and your works if you have to grab the kids / spouse etc to bug out in a
crisis, Is there a choice of bug out routes, foot /bike / car / water/ etc
that are separate from the main public routes. Are there fields pastures etc
close by that provide the kids room to learn and play safely whilst also
being suitable for growing food on, Is there an independent source of fuel
available such as trees, opencast coal/sea coal/peat etc in the vicinity?
Can you get your vehicles off the road and out of sight at the new property,
are the vehicles going to be secure when not in use, can you load / unload
bug out kit / food etc without your neighbours seeing what your up to?
Can you get good radio reception (SW/FM) in the area so you can communicate
with others in your group?
ARE YOU WILLING TO SPEND THE REST OF YOUR LIVES THERE IF YOU HAVE TO?
If failing all else and you end up with a three bed semi that relies on
mains gas and electric power you need to ensure that its fully insulated and
you get at least 2 large Calor gas type bottles* a camping cooker / heater
and gas powered light source, A portable camping toilet, you should also
consider investing in a portable generator and a large quantity of preserved
fuel for it.
*An absolute minimum of two 13 KG bottles for short term emergencies.
My experience has led me to believe that older properties are best for
space, the newer developments of the last 40 years are the worst unless
purpose built for independent living, I like bungalows in particular
especially ones built between 50 and 70 years ago, they tend to be very
spacious inside with lots of storage room and the grounds are usually quite
large. They also tend to be built away from the main areas of development in
our towns. I must admit that newer properties are better insulated than
older properties but it is fairly simple to retrofit an older house with
modern insulation techniques.
If you must choose only one thing then let it be that you move out of town
as far as possible.
Not all of us can afford to move home to locations that are the most
beneficial to survivalists, many of us have to compromise over one or more
Whilst in many cases we can move within a given area to places a that are
more rural, more secure, more remote, more defendable, more sustainable etc,
very often because of work or family or other commitments we are unable to
move more than a set distance. One problem that can occur is that because of
these restrictions you are unable to move to ground high enough to avoid the
risk from flooding.
**Of course if you are planning on moving to a property on higher ground it
is generally accepted that you buy a property at least 30 feet above the
maximum recorded flood height for that area. This is because if higher water
levels become the norm the first ten feet of the 30 may be the new normal
high tide mark, the next ten feet in the frequently flooded area, followed
by another 5 feet of land that could be unusable because of the new higher
water table, leaving only 5 feet of dry land for agricultural use.**
So if you are stuck in a position where the risk from occasional flooding is
unavoidable you need to try to reduce the risks to your home or retreat.
Starting from your boundary line consider these options
Can you raise a levee or earth berm around the perimeter of your home or
Can you build a brick / stone or concrete garden wall that is strong enough
to hold back at least two feet of floodwater (you would need to be able seal
off the gates during a period of high risk.
Can you make your water proofed gates outward opening so that the more the
water pushes against them the tighter the seal is made.
Can you create a run off gully or soak away to help the water to rapidly
(Not into your neighbours garden)
Can your car be moved to higher ground but still be close enough if you have
to bug out?
Moving in from your boundary can you fit one way flap valves to your waste
water and toilet outflow pipes to prevent water and waste backing up into
Can your construct or obtain covers to seal off the air bricks in your walls
and to seal off any gaps surrounding utility pipes and cables where they
enter your home.
Can you obtain or make a shuttering board to seal off your front and back
doors (and French or patio doors)
Can you have your gas and electrical distribution boards moved to a much
higher position in the wall?
Can you arrange for the upstairs section of your home to be able to be
isolated from the downstairs (If you can and your D/Board is not immersed in
the flood you may be able to keep the power on upstairs during the flood)
Can you apply a water proof rendering to the outside of your home (only
worthwhile in places where flood risks are high and frequent.
Ensure the gap around all windows in well sealed with a quality silicone
Moving now to the contents.
It is wise to pre plan where exactly you are going to move your possessions
when a flood warning is issued.
For example can the design of your furniture allow for you to simply be
able to lift the TV/ VCR, Sat system/ PC / music centre onto higher shelving
in the same room.
In my house the PC can be lifted straight up onto the top shelf of my desk
to a height of 4 ft 6 inches, my TV / VCR can be lifted straight up to a
height of 6 ft. My book collection is in a portable bookcase that can easily
be carried upstairs.
(March 2005 my precious books now live upstairs in my office)
In the kitchen you need to allow space on the work surfaces (that's 3 feet
up at least) to move your white goods (Fridge/ freezer/ washer/ Drier/
Dishwasher etc) up onto if you get enough warning.
The only thing I can not easily move is the carpets, suite and an aquarium.
Do keep all your personal documents including your insurance policies in a
water and fireproof box upstairs.
Keep your BOB bags etc close at hand but off the ground (at least three
feet) and preferably stored in waterproof bags
Keep a good selection of waterproof zip lock bags to store your valuables
Be ready to get out quick at all times , never get into a position where as
the water becomes so high or so fast moving you can not safely escape
without endangering your lives.
If you are wealthy enough to be able to afford a boat/dinghy/ inflatable of
some sort, ensure that you have the skill and competence to use it in a
flood, it is nothing at all like a jaunt around the local lake, boats in the
hands of inexperienced folk can be more of a health hazard than a life
Another prudent step is to keep a role of heavy duty water proof plastic
garden refuse bags , these can be used to pack belongings into if you decide
you must move everything out of the house.( if for example there may be a
risk of the house collapsing.)
Another use of course is if the flood water is going to stay for a long time
it may be wise to pack away clothing and other belongings to prevent them
from getting damp or mildewed.
Don't forget to make sure everyone in the houses has decent knee high
waterproof Wellingtons available and the head of the house may decide to
keep a pair of waders as well.
I would also add the proviso that if you choose to live on a beach front
development then get a house that is elevated on stilts in case of tsunamis
this wont save you from the rare monster waves but it could save you from
the more frequent surge variant of the type that decimated SE Asia in 2004.
********************** The moment problems occur with flood water leaving
the normal boundaries of the local water ways, you MUST assume that the
water supply is tainted and boil or chemically treat all drinking and
SETTING UP YOUR HOME AS A RETREAT
For financial reasons most modern houses were not built with survivalists in
mind, few houses have chimneys that can be easily opened out so that a
wood/coal fire be installed in a crisis, this would be needed to provide
sufficient space for cooking as well as providing heat, many older houses
that had coal fired back boilers have had theses fittings ripped out, those
that do / did have such structures usually had them in one of the living
rooms. The ideal location for a large chimney fireplace structure would be
in the kitchen. It would not be easy to build or alter the structure of a
modern house to accept a chimney and fire place, even more problems are
caused by the small size of most modern kitchens and the weakness in the
properties flooring making it difficult to fit in an Aga or Rayburn type
stove, and we have not even yet considered the costs involved. (1)
Most modern houses now have direct feed water supplies to supply a
combination boiler, shower etc with little or no facility to store any
reasonable amounts of water. (2)
Electricity supplies are supplied by the national grid to 99 % of properties
and its been that way for over fifty years, local suppliers / generators of
electricity are extinct in the UK. (3)
Gardens in properties have been reducing in size on new developments since
the late 1950s; it would be almost impossible to use a modern garden to
provide sufficient food to feed a family. (4)
Most modern properties have very limited storage space in them, next to none
but the most expensive have more than 4 bedrooms or a loft or cellar. (5)
If you have decided that you must stay in a town or city and that your home
is going to be your retreat then your options are limited and on a sliding
scale of viability/sustainability. Remember the higher the population
density the higher the risk is of epidemic and pestilence, Can you at least
move out of the city/town centre to the suburbs?
Your first choice would be to buy an old Victorian / Edwardian house that
has a cellar, large enclosed rear garden with a kitchen that can be
returned to its original format, these buildings usually have a large cellar
that can be used for storing food, water and equipment in large amounts it
can also be used for a shelter/ hidey hole if the doorway is concealed,
(During a crisis its still best to disappear by living low key in the cellar
until it quietens down).A lot of Victorian gardens were designed with self
sufficiency in mind, outhouses for keeping fowl and rabbits in, grain / coal
stores, big useful green houses fed by the heat from decaying compost in a
pit alongside. The high wall provided shelter to the plants and provided a
security screen to prying eyes, a lot of the gardens had quite a reasonable
selection of fruit trees in them as well.
Don't forget to buy property that's well above the flood plain but near
enough to water that it can be pumped / transported to your house, gravity
fed supplies are best. Treat all water for purity, Coastal towns of which
most were developed during Victorian times offer some excellent potential
with access to good property plus salt and fresh water products (and life
giving salt itself)
After that its a sliding scale of size / type of house up to the early
sixties types that had lofts and attics that were convertible, had big
enough gardens to supply basic nutritional support supplemented from other
sources like allotments.
Post sixties unless you could afford to invest in properties with large
gardens / grounds most would require extensive investment and effort to be
made usable and sustainable.
One other option that may fit your criteria would be to buy a large property
and grounds in partnership with someone else (another family) with whom you
can work with and live alongside.
Apartment dwellers need to be on the top floor of south facing property with
a flat roof so they can set up a roof top garden, build wind turbines and
solar systems, and collect all the rainwater by diverting the down pipes
into water tanks in a secure location.
(1) If you have a chimney that can be opened up you could in quite a few
types of house fit a cast iron stove of the type that can be found at your
local machine mart, No chimney? Another possibility would be to get the same
stove plus a vent kit, in a crisis replace a window near to a good spot to
site your stove with a heat proof insulation board and fit the flue kit
through it to the stove, at least you will have heat and a source to cook
off. Lastly fit a stove in your garage or outbuilding and do your cooking
Cooking outside is not really feasible in the UK for climatic as well as
(2) If you are in the predicament listed above with your water supply then
you need to find a place like an out house, loft or cellar and reinforce the
floor, after that you need to tie in a take off pipe to your cold water feed
pipe and run it to some large covered insulated water tanks via a ball cock
cut off valve. The tanks need to be as big as you can afford to get, this is
going to be your drinking water source so you need lots of it. If the tanks
are kept full from the day of installation they will need to be drained off
every three months and the system flushed and sterilised before refilling.
Outside the house every roof and gully (garage, shed, greenhouse etc) needs
to have its guttering feed the rainwater into storage butts, this is your
supply for washing your clothes and watering your crops and flushing the
toilet if its still in use and you have not gone onto cesspit waste
disposal. (Don't forget to turn off the water supply feed to your house
during a crisis in case the supply has become tainted.)
(3) You need to consider installing solar panels where you can with deep
cycle storage batteries and the associated paraphernalia to power 12v DC
equipment (available from caravan outfitters), wind and water power need to
be looked into along with storing very large amounts of wood /coal/peat etc
for cooking and heating, You will also need to get some paraffin lanterns,
wicks, spare glasses and as much paraffin as you can afford to buy and
store, (a paraffin greenhouse heater would be nice as well )
(4) You need to look at getting a secure allotment or access to some secure
land for growing extra food stuffs, Green houses are a must as are cloches
etc for growing food stuffs, your garage can be converted into a secure
rabbit and chicken coop, don't forget they need food as well. (Grow your
crops in informal clusters so not as to attract attention to your house
being habited, make the planting look as though its just natural plant
growth spreading about an abandoned garden)
(5) You may need to allot a room in the house for storing your supplies and
equipment that no one outside the family ever gets to see, consider having
an outbuilding built or an existing structure adapted to keep food / water/
kit/ fuel /grain etc in, It must be very secure to be of any use. (An
underground-concealed store would be perfect)
The object of the exercise is to first survive the original crisis, then to
stay clean, warm, well fed and healthy for as long as possible (min 6
months) then be in a position to team up with other healthy survivors and
rebuild your lives and hopefully your communities. Never ever get yourself
evacuated for political or policing reasons, Environmental and military
reasons are another ball game altogether. Don't become a refugee relying on
the good will and charity of other already overwhelmed communities or govt
handouts. Your safest place is usually your home on familiar territory it
gives you the advantage being on home ground. Never give up the option to
bug out safely if all goes to hell and back.
Oh boy, what should we be prepared for as survivalists is the question most
frequently asked and the common answer of "everything" will not satisfy the
Spatial bombardment (meteors, comets, asteroids)
Solar flare radiation bursts (like the ones that crippled Ontario Canada in
Crop / food destruction caused by the holes in the ozone layer.
Hurricanes, Tsunamis, Ice storms.
GM crops spreading uncontrolled and becoming dominant then going sterile.
Over fishing causing a species extinction cascade.
Deforestation and its myriad of local, regional and global problems.
Global earth changes that are man made, CO2 ,Nox etc etc
Earthquake/Seaquake/volcanic activity/ seismic activity/Tsunamis.
Over extraction of ground water from aquifers causing saltwater encroachment
of water supplies.
Exhaustion / shortages of coal / oil / electricity etc
Food shortages / crop failure / blight
Over population / overcrowding
Political unrest / war / terrorism / civil unrest / industrial action / mass
Mass hygiene failure
Prolonged extreme weather events
Government extremism / Tyranny (banning guns, certain books, certain groups,
unauthorised meetings etc)
Major power failures
Economic collapse / mass recession.
That's enough to worry about for now, but remember if you prepare today,
tomorrow won't come up and bite your ass. The only thing I'm certain of is
that it takes a much braver man than me to live in a city.( I honestly can
not understand anyone who puts career ahead of kids !!)
Survivalism is the art of risk management
Every day of your life you take risks, calculated ones mainly but many are
simply risks, crossing a road, driving after dark etc.
Survivalism simply makes you become more aware of the risks involved and how
best to handle them. During a crisis be it natural, manmade or an act of God
you will need to make many decisions and take many risks, its how you handle
these choices that defines you as a survivalist.
Joe Public will put his blind faith in the government to make the decisions
for him, he will put his life and that of his family in the hands of
complete strangers who have tens of thousands of other families to care for
as well. So to start with he has made a poor choice and taken a possibly
lethal risk with his families' safety.
There are various types of risk, but its the one we can consider and alter
that affect the outcome to our families safety, Lets look at some of the
commonest risks that affect us as survivalists
Food, Do we rely on the government and supermarkets to ensure a continuous
supply of good health foodstuffs in quantities that can sustain us, or do we
keep a stockpile of food to see us through some unforeseen crisis, farmers
and many rural folk keeps months of food at home in case they get cut off by
bad weather. Can you buy your grub off the local market gardener whose
quality of food you know? or do you just accept what you get at Wall-mart
/Asda , perhaps you could grow some of your own food therefore reducing your
reliance on the food chain.
Water, Do we rely on legislation and the good will of some water utility to
ensure we get a continuous clean supply of potable water that has not been
polluted by accident or as an act of terrorism, Or do we get ourselves a
filtered secure supply of water independent of the system. At the very least
we should have our own water filter systems at home and in our retreats (no
water reaches my kids mouths unless its been filtered through our Big
Shelter Do we rely on the state and the social
services/police/council/government to ensure will live in warm clean housing
in an area that is free from crime / poor health / overcrowding / terror
risks, or do we try our best to locate our families in the best environment
we can afford. This does not mean access to shops, discos, schools,
hospitals etc, this means a clean low crime rural environment where we can
try to be as self sufficient as possible, a place where terrorists or
government interference is going to be minimal, somewhere where we can go
unnoticed, an area that is conducive to good health and low risk from
authorities who may wish to ship you out as refugees in a crisis.
Environment Do we live in built up urban conurbations that are highly
populated therefore at risk from epidemics, shortages, crime waves,
overcrowded schools, under funded hospitals, choice terror targets mainly
because of the financial rewards for making such sacrifice. A well paid job
in the city is VERY tempting but in the long term is it worth your health,
your security, your environment, Is it not perhaps wiser and a better risk
to take a bit less money and live in a better environment.
Travel Do you commute to work each day or work locally to save on fuel
but also to be closer to hand if you are needed at home? Do you travel to
the big city for appointments when perhaps the people you need to see can
visit you or have another more local office they could meet you in? Can you
do you business by phone or PC rather than travel into high risk areas? At
the very least can you postpone or alter the dates of your visit to avoid
peak commuter times or times of high risk? If you have to go to town do you
have to use the same route every time or can you use alternative routes
thereby gaining more knowledge of you area should you need to bug out?
Security Do you rely on the local two policemen to protect you and the
other ten thousand families in your area or do you take active as well as
passive security measures of your own, Its no bloody good having food,
shelter, water, medicines etc all nicely stored at your home or your retreat
if the local low life's or starving hoards from the city can take it from
you with ease.
In most case the public will surrender there right to self determination for
the temporary security of government promises and benefits, Where as the
survivalists will try their best to leave nothing to chance and to reduce
unnecessary risk where possible by developing survivalist skills and
THREATS FROM EXTREMIST GOVERNMENT
More and more of the survivalist /self reliance/ communities and groups are
considering a threat to their personal privacy and security is now likely to
be at the hands of their own governments or global governmental
organisations.( UN / WHO / NATO / EU etc)
People are starting to question the intentions of these bodies as they
introduce ever more intrusive laws involving monitoring of the population as
it goes about its lawful daily business. Monitoring is the first step in
controlling a populations freedom to move about openly.
The usual excuses are to help detect criminals and prevent terrorism, or to
improve the flow of traffic.
Its the definition of the phrase " criminal " that is worrying, no one is to
worried if it helps track down shop lifters, or car hijackers, but what if
its the state deciding it is people who are simply outspoken against the
govt in power. Perhaps it could even be something like your government not
wanting people to flee / evacuate / or bug out from the town in case it
interferes with military or other traffic movements.
CCTV systems on roads, freeways, motorways etc are now in theory being
becoming capable of tracking the individual movements of single vehicles
from start to finish of the vehicles journey. Shopping malls and other
public places have surveillance systems that use computer programs that can
identify and name people from CCTV camera stills if their details are stored
on a database.
Britain is becoming notorious for its erosion of its citizens rights, from
the failed attempts to reduce gun and violent crime by stripping law abiding
citizens of the right to own guns, to some of the blanket coverage anti
terrorism laws that can just as easily be used to subjugate the population
as well as it fights terrorists. A few current example are the suggestion
that all roads and highways right across the nation become toll roads
charging vehicles automatically ever time they venture down any given route.
They talk about black boxes compulsorily fitted to all vehicles that sent an
ID code and pin number to these black boxes sited on every junction along
the road network.
Another option being actively considered is using similar back boxes linked
to satellites to monitor the movements of every vehicle and charging them a
toll automatically at the end of each journey. If you think those two
systems in themselves are bad enough but before they are even off the
drawing boards the Police are saying they would like the systems linked
together to the DVLC (vehicle registration agency) the police computer
network and the motorway camera system. In Britain at this very time if an
ordinary cop on duty at an airport takes a dislike to you all he has to do
is say he believes you MAY be a soccer hooligan preparing to travel abroad
to cause trouble, if he does that he can seize your passport there and then
stopping you from going overseas.
The paranoia coming from the aviation and travel industry in response to the
horrors of 9/11, 7/7, Madrid and Bali is understood, but some of the
intrusive actions taken against law abiding citizens is at the very least
So where does this leave the survivalist in his plans to use his retreat /
holiday home / camping trailer etc, At the moment it is still fairly easily
to drive from A to B without attracting undue attention or to be followed or
monitored but it is getting harder.
Again using Britain as an example the City of London has so many CCTV
cameras now that they authorities can follow any vehicle from one side of
town to the other without a break in camera coverage, add this to the armed
police checkpoints set up in response to IRA / Al Qaeda terrorism you can
see how its becoming harder for city dwelling survivalists to move about or
bug out without detection. This gets worse because the underground is
heaving with CCTV cameras and transport cops, and the airports are almost no
go areas for outdoors folk travelling with their survival kit.
The M25 orbital motorway (Like Washington's Beltway) that surrounds London
is very well covered with cameras, the road is heavily patrolled, and there
is usually lots of air cover as well.
Many cities, towns and main highways in Britain and the US are covered
completely by CCTV cameras this in my mind is simply creating a high risk of
being detected by who ever wishes to spoil your day. Also do remember that
the authorities are becoming very expert at quickly closing off all roads to
and from the larger towns and cities.
So where does this ever increasing level of surveillance leave the
survivalist, At the moment you can travel safely to and from your retreat or
bug out location without duress, but how long will it be before the
authorities can simply enter your personal or vehicle details into their
database and get a record of your movements for the last month ( don't say
it wont happen, governments introduce laws like this all the time under the
fighting terrorism guise), Imagine the joy on their faces when the database
shows your vehicle repeatedly stopping in some remote location for up to six
hours before returning home, BINGO they know at least the vicinity of your
retreat, you may vary your route but your destination is always your
retreat, Then along comes the state and seizes your stuff.
What are your options? who knows, I am certain that if the socialists in
Europe (and the democrats in the US) got their collective ways they would
microchip every citizen (excluding themselves of course) but so far it has
not got that bad. ( Nov 2003 the UK Home Secretary has announced plans for
compulsory ID cards containing personal details and biometric data) But it
does leave the question of getting to your home or retreat without unwanted
detection. I personally believe in spreading my resources about so that if
the bad guys raid my home then at least my caches or my retreat kit is still
secure. But even though I use my rural home as my prime safe place I may
need to get the hell out and move to one of my alternatives.
Motor vehicles so far are still fairly secure but as each day goes by the
monitoring systems get better and the government gets more intrusive, So I
plan my caches and hideaways along reasonably reachable footpath or bridle
routes and waterways, I leave open the option of doing without mechanised or
motorised transport. Maybe you folks may wish to consider using bicycles,
horses, small boats as auxiliary methods of bugging out, they are going to
be far harder for big brother to track. It is easy enough to cover 25 miles
a day using bikes or horses and it's easier to avoid detection or attract
unwanted attention. You can make thinks easier for yourself by
pre-dispersing your survival supplies in secure locations outside your town
or city limits (Caching). Please consider options for reaching safety
without resorting to your vehicles or public transport, especially if it's
your own government you are trying to avoid.
In the later half of the twentieth century and gaining momentum in the first
part of the twenty first century global terrorism is becoming an issue we
all must address in one form or another.
When Police / Terrorist actions were fairly localised in individual or
neighbouring countries the trend among the terrorists themselves was to
strike at governmental targets first, then foreign owned economic targets,
then domestic and economic targets, lastly attacking the general population
of the target nation.
Soviet sponsored terrorism such as Mao Mao Terrorists, the Vietcong, and the
MPLA etc tended to try to topple governments in the hope of replacing them
with ones more friendly towards the soviet block. Other terrorists fought
for Republicanism / Marxism / Religion/ Regional independence etc. The
American supported PIRA and its clones murdered over 3000 Police officers,
British troops and very many innocent people in its later years from the
1960's to the 1990's, With weapons coming from places like Libya and Russia
and funds coming from Bank robberies protection rackets and a fair sized
amount of supporters in the USA (Noraid raised millions of dollars to
support the republican Marxist cause in Eire). The Conflict in Northern
Ireland only subsided when the Nu Labour government of Tony Blair
surrendered to the IRA and freed most of the convicted killers and bombers.
It is often large powerful governments who support or keep foreign dictators
in power that provoke the formation of terrorist groups. Terrorism does pay
if you have a weak government that is more interested in sound bites than
justice. It also depends on whose side you support that also decides if
your group is titled as terrorists or freedom fighters. At some point
nations can be called"Good Friends and allies" and at other times the same
nation is part of the " Axis of evil" depending of course on the political
trend in favour at that time.
In recent years Iraq was a friend to the USA when the US was in conflict
with Iran, Its reward was to be bombed back to the stone age as the US
lashed out blindly in any direction after the attack on its homeland on
9/11. General Manuel Noriega in Panama was a friend to the US at one point
but when he fell from favour he was turned into the bad guy and deposed by
his former allies. In Zimbabwe the fighters that formed the government
which came to power after a long protracted war of terror against the white
dominated government of Ian Smith have turned out to be far worse than the
original colonial power, Zimbabwe has gone from being the breadbasket of
South Africa to being on the point of total economic collapse and mass
The facts are now plain for all to see that no matter where you live, no
matter how peaceable you are, how benign your nation at some point you are
going to become targeted by hostile groups or nations in acts of terrorism
against unguarded civilians.
A huge bomb detonating in a school, mall or market place filled with
innocent civilians has the same effect no matter if it was a car bomb,
suicide bomber or dropped by an aircraft from 30,000 feet, innocent victims
of violent attack are still innocent victims even if they are called
"Collateral damage" A pile of dead children is still a pile of dead
children no matter if it was a religious zealot blowing them up or a 120 MM
tank round being fired into their classroom.
So what can you do to reduce the threat to your family?
Once again it's a case of looking closely at your lifestyle, IE Where you
live, Where you work, How you spent your free time, How you shop, How you
communicate, How you prepare for trouble and the choices you make.
Simple steps such as shopping mail order when possible, getting your
groceries delivered or shopping in smaller towns that are less appealing to
terrorists as potential targets. Refueling your vehicle at rural gas
stations, not using public transport, avoiding air transport like the
plague, working from home, tele conferencing, putting the kids in non
denominational schools, avoiding major cities etc can all go towards
reducing the risk of you being in the same place at the same time as a
terrorist bomb going off. Similar considerations should be made on other
things like for example where you go on vacation, currently its not very
wise for American or British passport holders to go on holiday to very many
Islamic states. Choose your make of car wisely when driving abroad, When
possible drive a locally produced vehicle or one that is not produced by a
nation that is out of favour with the people of the country you are
visiting, Often protestors and terrorists alike will attack symbols of the
nation they are in conflict with, so driving a Buick through Baghdad,
Bombay, or Beirut is simply painting yourself up as a target. You may live
in a large town or city and for reasons best known to yourself you are
unable to move out, but you can still take sensible steps to reduce the risk
to yourself. If for example you hear on the news that country A has just
killed a large group of people in country B and you have a large local
immigrant population from country B living in part of your town, then it
makes sense to stay away from that area for a while in case the expatriates
from country B decide to riot in protest.
"Intel", sourcing and finding information that may be relevant to your
position, being well informed, gaining an advantage, knowledge is power,
knowledge is wisdom, getting the edge over others, That's what it's about
for you as survivalists, you use whatever sources of information that are
available to you at the time collecting, collating, sorting, absorbing and
utilising as best you can. Using information wisely should ensure you and
your group survives while Joe Public believe without doubt what snippets of
propaganda the govt decides they need to know.
You watch the TV news, listen to the radio, monitor the web, subscribe to
publications that provide info you want, you join groups of like minded
individuals to share information, it's all good stuff but what is useful and
what is not?
It's difficult for one person to absorb and digest all of the Intel that
comes their way and all to often they may miss something important. You may
as an individual see the relevance of a news article that is released from
source (A), and another member of the group may have missed article (A) but
seen article (B) in a magazine, but if one of them had shared this snippet
with the other they would have been forewarned of a flood, storm, kit sale,
free booze up, cheap holiday, police clampdown etc.
To give yourself the advantage over the rest of society in a crisis firstly
you must obtain the Intel, then understand it, then put it to use, You need
to have a radio tuned to a station that provides good current affairs news
turned on about the house, office etc all day, You need to read you paper
mail, you need to check your E, mail, You need to get the world news from
differing sources so you can get an unbiased overall view, you need to
subscribe to magazines and E groups, (A good recent article Jan 01 from the
misc survival news group gives details of a massive power crisis in Southern
California, Worst case scenario will be a massive global recession).
What use is getting half the facts or information if you can not be bothered
to cross reference it with others in your group, It then causes you to be
caught out in a big way, You should open your snail mail in the morning and
check your Email as well, If you have some news you think may be important
then get it out straight away don't wait till the weekend.
It is for everyone's benefit to keep up to date so we can prepare
accordingly. Here is a hypothetical scenario to chew over.
Neil hears in January of an outbreak of some fungal disease that effects
wheat grain, In April Debbie finds that her favourite grain seed is
unavailable from her suppliers, during June Dave finds no one can guarantee
to deliver his bulk grain before the winter for his stockpile. Steve during
this time hears of unspecified problems with the grain crop in the US,
Canada and Russia, and as time goes by can no longer get in touch with his
contacts in Kansas. September comes and the cost of bread quadruples, the
govt say there is no problem its just the grain ships are delayed by storms
in the Atlantic, October arrives and tales of mass starvation creep out of
Russia, November comes and the US declares it wishes to return to a state of
isolationism for nationalist reasons and is no longer prepared to sell grain
abroad. In December the Arab states say that because America has cut off the
grain they are going to cut of the oil to the west in protest. January
arrives with the worst winter storm for 60 years. Escalation is followed by
deterioration followed by chaos followed by collapse. THE GROUP SHOULD HAVE
BEEN RESPONDING AND REACTING BY JUNE, making enquiries, discussing possible
consequences of grain blight, making plans to ensure you are prepared.
If you do not cooperate on a regular basis, if you don't communicate
frequently, if you do not continue to stay informed you will not be any
better off than the masses and will throw away your main advantage over the
rest of society. We all have other commitments and responsibilities to
consider every day which must be addressed in a responsible way. Work
problems, health issues, family commitments, business needs etc all which
put a strain on the amount of time you can devote to survival preparations,
so the best route left to you is to be as well informed as possible, and to
compensate for your preparation shortfalls, All of your "other commitments"
are of no use to you if your dead.
ASPECTS OF SUPPORT
As survivalists we try to become as independent of society as we can and to
this aim some of us attempt to become more self reliant by working from home
or turning their retreat into a source of income, I think that survivalists
who are trying this route to independence should be supported where possible
by the rest of us.
If for example an associate decides to buy a small holding and starts
producing home made produce it would be beneficial to all for more than one
To start with if you all went to the farm and helped to get it sorted by
doing a bit of work on it FOC you would be able to socialise, cross train,
build trust and relationships. You would become familiar with the area and
see if that route is suitable for your own needs. If you went at harvesting
time it could also be turned into a RENDEZVOUS where you could barter, learn
new skills, get in some practise as well as help a colleague, and of course
it would be good for our associate to have that support when they need it
Of course it would have to be a two way trust gaining exercise because the
last thing a new farmer needs is loads of strangers running riot on his /
her land and eating her limited food stocks and playing silly buggers around
the farm. Equally it could become the start of a low cost break in the
country through working the farm in return for cross training and a change
of scenery and building trust up with the retreat owner.
Another aspect are survivalists who work from home and retailers who support
survivalists with discounts etc, These people to require your support as and
when you can, If there is one member of your group who deals in military
surplus equipment it makes sense to try him out first because he's just at
the end of your keyboard. Another associate may make soap in various forms
and it would be a sign of solidarity if we at least tried her products out,
who knows you may prefer her stuff to the chemical crap that you get at
Between us there are a hell of a lot of useful skills, crafts and hobbies
and the sensible thing to do would be to start to create our own market
place for goods and services.
FRIENDS FOR SURVIVAL
We try to the best of our beliefs to gain all of the necessary skills,
knowledge, logistics and kit to ensure our survival long term and enable us
to rebuild a healthy sustainable community. We build relationships and
friendships with other survivalists to improve our chances of making it
through and beyond the collapse to come but in all honesty we will be hard
pushed to achieve all of our goals on our own.
Perhaps the way ahead for some if not all of us is to develop working links
with other groups who have the skills, crafts and knowledge we seek.
There are groups in society who are into developing Eco-villages; these are
totally environmentally friendly low impact back to nature types of
residential developments that utilise all of the latest "green" techniques
in the building of residential communities and villages. There is a very
good example at Findhorn in northern Scotland that has been featured in a TV
series on the discovery channel, then there is the "green" co-ops who are
trying to develop low cost alternative energy sources, You could consider
making approaches to leather workers, blacksmiths etc as well.
Then there are some charitable organisations looking into low cost self
build property developments that have a strong green self reliance
perspective to them.
If you made low key approaches to these folk you could find some good
sources of skills and crafts that could become allied to you during and
after a disaster. They also tend to be better supported by government and EU
grants to buy land and cover R & D costs, they can get funds to form co-ops
and small businesses, I have heard of one guy who has made some superb
contacts via the VOLUNTARY SERVICE OVERSEAS organisation. We as
"survivalists" have no chance of getting access to funds for building
retreats for our own use but if we were seen to be part of the green
movement for a better environment we could find support from other groups.
If we want to Survive we can achieve this by ourselves as survivalists BUT
if we want to SURVIVE and FLOURISH we need to adapt and expand our sphere of
influence by developing contacts with others of similar objectives to
WHAT DO WE TEACH OUR CHILDREN?
My wife has brought up the subject of my son's education, so like a good
hubby I went and spoke to the local school to see what exactly he will be
When I came home I was shell shocked by the standards of education available
to Mr Joe Public in Britain today.
"We don't encourage competitive sports it's unfair",
"We don't allow anyone to teach disgusting things like boxing or martial
arts, archery or shooting."
"We don't allow children to go and visit the countryside or working farms in
case the children have accidents or contract E- Coli".
"The history lessons no longer emphasise the achievements made in Western
Europe during the industrial revolution because it's imperialist and may
offend ethnic minorities"??
Need I go on, anyway it's got me agitated enough to consider home schooling
for my son or at the very least I will arrange extra tuition for him.
Political correctness and anti racist policies (which are right so long as
they do not become unbalanced) have made the long term plans for our
children even more difficult to establish.
We need to ensure that education of our kids is a high priority subject that
will guarantee that they develop the necessary life skills required for
their own best interests. They obviously need to know all of the basics and
these can be drawn from the education system, but they will need to be
supplemented by program developed by their parents.
They must learn to read between the lines and not to accept carte blanche
that what teacher says is absolutely right. They must learn to question for
themselves. They do need to learn how to protect themselves and to be
competitive. They do need to know about the lessons history has taught us.
They do need to become totally at home in the countryside from an early age.
They do need to learn how to make and repair things.
They need to be able to survive and flourish in whatever tomorrow brings, be
it in the city or in the towns. All of our efforts of today are for our
children's future and I for one am not going to raise a narrow minded,
blinkered child that turns into a worker drone that accepts gratefully what
the politicians think he should have. Nor is he going to be a victim of
political trends or be unable to make decisions for himself. We have to
fight for our rights to be free thinking, free speaking individuals. We as
survivalists do not accept that we are unable to be governors of our own
destinies, we demand the right to choose how we live our lives and we must
expect the same for our children.
GROUP SECURITY AND DEFENCE
In the UK the problems of defence and security for survival groups are
enhanced by the nanny state mentality and the political structure of our
government. Politicians have reacted to criminal events with a media
attention / vote grabbing, knee jerk type of response. The successive
governments of the last thirty years have repeatedly introduced
undemocratic, freedom limiting legislation outlawing firearms held by the
Be assured that these laws were not introduced for the benefit of the
community, they were introduced to allow big brother to gain more control
over the population.
So we in UK have to be able to improvise even more than ever.
We can not legally own firearms so we have to look towards other tools to
provide for our needs and if necessary use these expedient weapons to obtain
self defence weapons from other sources. Only after a collapse and complete
failure of law and order. No responsible survivalist would take any form of
unlawful action against the legal governmental authorities. We can only
react to situations as they develop and we must not disobey the
democratically elected governmental agencies until they cease to function.
When it becomes every man for him self that is when you should seek to
obtain weapons for hunting and defence. These tools should be such things as
12 gauge and .410 shotguns and ammo for game hunting/ vermin control and
close quarters defence, I suggest that you look for these tools from
unmanned or abandoned police stations/ TA centres/ sporting shops/ army
camps/ gun clubs and rural properties such as farms and manor houses.
It is also worthwhile trying to obtain .22 lr calibre rim fire rifles from
the same sources.
Large calibre weapons in 5.56 NATO /. 223 Remington or 7.62 NATO /. 308
Winchester are usually only available to the police and military and are
kept well secured by the owners,
Unless you are looking for a gun battle with someone you don't need these
weapons, The best way for all survivalists to exist is not to get into fire
fights in the first place, because most aggressors will probably outgun you.
Stay out of fights if you can.
Obtain the following and they will go along way to helping you survive.
A modern cross bow (Barnett commando type) with 5 spare strings and a spare
prod, get at least 30 bolts absolute minimum, and a quick detachable 4X
scope that does not interfere with the iron sights, use for defence and
A modern pistol bow (Barnet trident type) same extras, use for close
A modern .22 cal high-powered air rifle with a gas strut conversion
(replaces the spring) try and get one with a synthetic stock, minimum 1000
pellets and a 4X scope. A laser sight is another good option, the system can
be used for small game/ vermin control and intimidation factor (from a
Large and compact field glasses, see them before they see you.
Snares for trapping game, and a book on how to prepare and use them.
Night vision equipment and perimeter portable defence alarms .
In theory this bit is easy, Ideally you need to get fit enough to be able to
walk long distances whilst carrying a full pack on your back containing
everything you need to sustain you and your family on its journey to your
place of safety. BUT in the real world we are not all fit enough, nor can we
carry all we need about our persons, add to this equation a wife, two kids,
a baby and an elderly in law. So you need to consider transport. Think about
fuel types and its availability after a disaster, think about type and style
of vehicle that suits you best, think about power to weight ratios when you
have the entire family aboard plus food and other outdoor survival kit,
think about having to sleep rough using you vehicle as a bedroom, think
about storing your full bug out kit aboard and the family, think about
maintenance, think about having to go "off road", think about fuel tank
range, and think about its suitability for your survival needs.
You need to discuss your requirements in depth with other survivalists and
overland expeditioners to get the best advice you can. Most favour large
bodied large diesel powered 4 wheel drive utility vehicles; though camper
vans and panel van conversions are gaining popularity.
Learn new skills, If you get the chance to learn to ride a horse, grab it.
Same with a motorcycle, motorboat, sailboat, quad bike etc, if the
opportunity arises get on a course on how to use a 4WD properly off road
then take it.
The more operator skills you gain with differing modes of transport the
better your chances are in bugging out or getting home safe after a
If more members of your family or group are capable of using the methods of
transport chosen then get them trained up as well?
THE CASE FOR DIESEL
Yes I know there are far more people driving Cars, Vans, SUVs's , Pick ups,
4X4's etc with petrol ( gasoline) powered engines than there are driving
similar vehicles running Diesel engines, But hang on a moment is that a good
thing for us claiming to be switched on survivalists?
Some points I think need chewing over by the preparedness communities
especially those with retreats, homesteads, secure homes and bug out plans.
If (or more likely when) TSHTF and fuel availability & storage becomes a
major issue what will society in general start doing?
Lets accept that most of us already keep our vehicles topped off most of the
time and also keep a few gallons of fuel stored for "The Day" but nearly all
of us must admit that overall we have not got enough fuel cached to get by
Question?, What are the general public going to do as soon as finding fuel
supplies become difficult ?
Answer Yes they are going to form huge queues at almost every petrol (gas)
station they can, the rest of this tale you already know, huge queues, long
waits, rationing, violence, riots, people getting killed for a gallon of
fuel, the public will go berserk in next to no time at all.
(This scenario came 100% spot on accurate during the 2005 hurricane season
in the US)
So what are the big boys and the prepared people doing?
What do the Railways (Railroads) Truckers Maritime trade boats use as fuel?
What do Farmers choose as fuel for their tractors, ploughs, etc? What do the
military choose to power their vehicles?
Diesel, Yes Diesel, This fuel is found almost everywhere a survivalist would
choose to look. Its safer to handle and store than petrol, its got a better
shelf life untreated than petrol and its used to power most of our commerce.
So whilst Joe Q public is waiting in the ever growing queues for his ration
of petrol, or burning his house down after poorly stored petrol fumes
ignited in his garage, the switched on survivalist will have not only more
safely stored fuel, but be using the same fuel he will need to run his
tractor at his retreat or homestead. He will be able to cache diesel far
easier than gasoline, he can 'OBTAIN' more from truck depots, rail
refueling points, farm supply points, boat yards, truck stops etc. All
places that offer nothing to the general public will be good places for
survivalists to visit.
Next time you are out and about have a look around and try to identify
places you could 'Source' petrol (gas) and diesel. Petrol in general is only
available at fuel stations and in other petrol powered vehicles (cars, lawn
mowers and jet skis?).It's only found in fairly small quantities as well. If
you are lucky you will be able to fill your vehicle and a few jerry cans
from a retail source before government restrictions or shortages become an
But look at places you can find diesel in an emergency and in what
quantities? Trucks alone have tanks that carry many hundreds of gallons of
diesel, truck stops hold huge amounts in comparison to petrol stations. Look
at you local railroad locomotive, even the smallest carry 1500 gallons of
diesel whilst the mainline locos can carry as much as 6000 gallons.
Coastal vessels have fuel bunkers of around 500 gallons whilst deep water
vessels carry many thousands of gallons, Consider those facts plus the
places the trucks, locos and boats refuel at? , buying, storing, caching,
scrounging, stealing, and finding you name it diesel has a huge advantage
over petrol (gasoline) powered vehicles.
Also in recent years modern diesel engines have advanced technologically, to
a point that the power issues that traditionally separated diesel vehicles
from petrol (gas) powered vehicles has been eroded. So that unless you are
into sports cars a turbo diesel can and will match your gasoline powered car
in everything except the 0-60 MPH stakes, plus modern diesels are still more
economical than petrol engines.
Then of course when it comes to the reliability and vulnerability aspects of
comparing the two types of engine diesel wins hands down.
I am also advised that certain types of heating oil can be used to run a
diesel engine. Certainly after the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina
you need to carry enough fuel to travel 3x the distance to your retreat,
this allows for diversions and long periods of slow driving in heavy
So in closing If you have a rural retreat or bug out plans and you believe
that sourcing fuel is going to be a major issue common sense directs you to
choose the good old compression ignition engine.
SELF BUILT CAMPERS AS BUG OUT VEHICLES
Currently growing in popularity in Europe, Australia and the USA is the
trend for people to build and fit out their own campervans, not only is it
far cheaper to do than buying a factory built model (being as much as 70%
cheaper in many cases) but the builders can also tailor the specific design
of the vehicle to exactly match their own requirements. All this is topped
of with the fact that the self builders can also control 100% of the build
quality of the vehicle. Of equal importance is the fact that if you build
the thing yourself you can do most of the maintenance and repairs yourself
Think about it for a minute, how often do survivalists and the preparedness
community talk about wishing they could get a family vehicle that would
double up as a recreation vehicle and as a bug out vehicle. So if Ford,
GM, Chevrolet , Land Rover, or whoever not produce a vehicle that best
suits your needs why not build your own ?.
To begin with you need a suitable base vehicle to meet your own personal
criteria, for some folks it will be a panel van like a Ford Transit or Ford
Econoline, Other people will prefer the attributes of a four wheeled drive
jeep type vehicle, others will prefer a motor home type base. In the US ex
school bus conversions are becoming popular, whilst in the UK panel van
conversions dominate in a choice of two basic formats. First is to convert a
panel van into a custom built camper, fitting it out almost identically as a
factory built camper with windows, air con, fancy stripes, etc but in heavy
duty format. The alternative is the ""Stealth Camper""designed for wild
camping. These stealth campers are plain panel vans externally, but fitted
out internally with the full range of fittings needed to support you and
family. Toilet, Shower, Kitchen sink, H & C Water, Cooker and Oven, Wardrobe
and Storage space, Seating and Beds, Heating , Long range fuel tanks etc.
Natural lighting is normally provided by fitting roof top windows instead of
glazing the sides of the van. Some vans are also laid out internally to be
able to accommodate a motorcycle or quad bike whilst still providing a full
range of living facilities. In my humble opinion the stealth option gives
the survivalist the best basic option to work with because practicality is
more important than pretty stripes and chrome wheel trims.
In a Bug Out Vehicle that you may need to possibly live in for up to six
months you will need to carry more logistical support than Joe Q Public does
when he goes on vacation, So survivalists will need to plan far more storage
capacity within their base vehicles than a conventional camper would.
The Survivalist primarily needs a large capacity engine supplied with fuel
from extra large fuel tanks. The further he can go without refueling the
less vulnerable he is to meeting trouble in gas stations along the way. He
is also less affected by localised or short term shortages of fuel that
could paralyze a conventional vehicle. Diesel is the preferred option in
most European countries due to its cost and its safe handling
You may need large fresh water tanks (usually mounted under the floor
between the chassis rails) usually in 250 or 400 litres sized tanks, they
will need to be insulated in northern climes
You may need dirty water receiving tanks so he does not foul your
environment if you are stuck in one location.
You may need heating and hot water systems for cooking and hygiene
You may need cooking facilities, (Usually bottled gas fed cooker rings)
You may need seating that converts easily and readily into berths for his
entire family group.
He / She will need storage for food, clothing, hygiene, tools, vehicle
spares, weapons , books and maps, medical kit, recovery kit ( tow rope, axe,
jack, etc), Refrigeration is also required for fresh foods, most camping
fridges run on all three primary power sources, IE 12V DC, Mains Electric,
and Bottled gas.
Many hot water systems also utilise all three power options.
In general you will benefit from a 12 volt electrical system, often supplied
by a leisure battery, solar panel or micro turbine. A mains hook up is also
often fitted to connect up on camp sites.
Those are the basics and can be adapted, omitted or altered to suit your own
needs and budgets.
Do ensure your vehicle has more and adequate fresh air ventilation so you do
not kill yourself with carbon monoxide poisoning from your heaters if they
are diesel fuelled, and you can still also die from oxygen starvation from
Butane / Propane heaters if a fresh air supply is not provided.
www.sbmcc.co.uk is a good place to start if you decide to convert your own
vehicle. I strongly recommend a copy of John Speeds book called TRAVEL
VANS, it's a great "How To" book on building your own Rugged RV.
MY BUG OUT VEHICLE (2005)
My families criteria for a Bug Out Vehicle have been dictated by various
considerations, they are
Where we live
Where we would bug out to
Size of family
What I want to take with us
What logistics I have cached
What logistics I have access to at my retreat locations.
Firstly in my neck of the woods a 4 x 4 SUV would not be of much real gain
for the extra cost involved in purchasing and running such a vehicle. Access
to what open terrain we have is very limited which puts all wheel drive
lower down the list of priorities than fuel tank range and the vehicle being
as inconspicuous as possible. But to my advantage is the fact that in this
area there is literally thousands of miles of roads and trails that a rugged
vehicle could travel along or hide along. There are old railway track beds,
old roads now used as public footpaths, old bridle ways, B and C grade roads
and unsealed lanes, footpaths that are actually wide enough to get a vehicle
So I must admit that I have had to trade off some capability for crossing
rough ground for being able to carry more equipment and supplies within my
BOV, I am to a certain extent relying on my being able to read between the
lines as a crisis develops allowing me at the very least to place the BOV
outside the city limits giving me enough time to get ahead of any possible
road closures by the authorities.
Some considerations in my planning involve the fact I need to feed , care
for, protect and shelter not only myself but my beloved wife and son as
well, so where as I could happily get by with a rucksack and tent I know my
wife and child could not.
Add to this the limited funds available to me I have chose the following
For day to day use for my wife who is a district nurse we have chosen a
small diesel powered 4x4 which gives her a better chance of getting to a
rendezvous point should she get our pre arranged "bug out" message from me.
The prime vehicle which we now will rely on for the foreseeable future will
be a much modified panel van.
I have started on converting a 4 year old Ford Transit van of medium roof
height and a short wheel base body, it has a 2.5 litre diesel engine driving
the rear wheels via a five speed MT75 gearbox .The oil is 100% synthetic and
the coolant runs at a 50% mix which is more than enough for current British
winters. If necessary a fuel system pre heater can be installed. All hoses
and filters have been changed; the brakes have been up rated to sintered
pads and shoes pushing against ventilated discs at the front and drums at
the rear, a 95 AH alternator charges the batteries shortly to be
supplemented by a PV panel on the roof. The headlights have had their bulbs
replaced and upgraded to ultra bright H4 aftermarket bulbs that are 50%
brighter than normal; all drive belts such as Cam, Power steering and
Alternator have been replaced with upgraded new belts.
The tyres have all been changed for new 8 ply, 195 R 14C LT commercial
vehicle tyres mounted on 5 stud steel wheels, wheel nuts (lug nuts) are
drilled and wired.
Inside the vehicle extra storage has been built above the driver / passenger
compartment that will take clothing, bedding etc. seating/ storage has been
added along both sides of the van, a toilet compartment has been built in
the remaining space at the rear of the vehicle. Across the vehicle behind
the seats kitchen unit containing a cooker, sink, water pump, gas bottle
locker and water tanks has been installed, a hammock can be slung diagonally
across the rear of the van providing an extra berth. A certain amount of
overhead storage has been built but I really want to keep the centre of
gravity as low as possible. Tinted side windows will be installed in the
side of the vehicle when funds allow. The rear doors have been bolted shut
and the door release mechanisms disconnected in an effort to reduce break
ins. Hopefully we will soon install either a diesel powered or butane
powered cab heater to keep us snug on those cold nights. An A frame steel
bull bar has been fitted to protect the front of the vehicle and a heavy
duty tow bar fitted to protect the rear. The spare wheel has been moved from
under the vehicle onto a custom made wheel carrier in the back door.
Food, fuel, clothes, medical kit, tools and spares, radios, batteries, and
all the assorted bug out paraphernalia are stored within the now partially
insulated van body, So far I have not mounted anything outside the body of
the vehicle though in time I can see the need to add external fittings for
jerry cans, spare wheel carriers, roof racks etc.
Currently funds are scarce so increasing the fuel carrying capability of the
vehicle rests on carrying extra jerry cans within the vehicle which is
highly undesirable and smelly to boot. As an interim measure I will
fabricate a rack to go on the tow bar to carry extra cans. I recommend you
carry enough fuel to cover a distance three times that of the distance to
your survival retreat.
The vans own fuel tank carries 68 liters which gives a range of 450 miles
and even in the small British isles is totally useless, so I also carry four
20 liter jerry cans of diesel which more than doubles the range of the
vehicle without refueling at a garage.
I have two associates who have fitted huge long range fuel tanks to their
works vehicles which has insulated them against fuel price fluctuations and
fuel shortages. The first guy drives a 1 ton Dodge ram pick up truck in
south west Kansas, across the load bed of his pick up he has had installed a
huge U shaped auxiliary fuel tank right up against the cab rear window, he
bought it to allow him be more selective on which " gas station" he has to
use because he always shops around for the cheapest fuel, this also serves
him very well as a survivalist because when all his tanks are full he has a
range over 1500 miles. The second chap drives a truck from the UK to Greece
and back. He has also fitted twin fuel tanks of some immense size that allow
him to drive on cheap Greek fuel all the way to the UK and back again
without him having to buy expensive British diesel. Once again he has
insulated himself against the threat from fuel shortages with the added
bonus both he and his wife can live fairly comfortably in the large sleeper
cab on his wagon should the need arise.
Water carrying capacity in my BOV is still also unsatisfactory at 50 liters
of fresh water but finding fresh running water in the UK is not currently an
issue unless you are very unlucky, plans are in the pipeline to fit a 200
litre insulated freshwater tank between the chassis rails.( If I lived in
the great plains of the US I would store at least 400 liters of fresh water)
If push came to shove my family could comfortably live in the vehicle for
weeks at a time requiring only occasional replenishment from outside sources
such as caches.
SELECTING THE B.O.V FOR YOUR NEEDS
OK so you have joined the ranks on then enlightened and decided you need an
up rated vehicle to provide the best possible transport arrangements for
your family IF TSHTF.
How do you decide what you want or need? This is not a how to, simply an
aide to helping you work out what may suit your needs
1. How far ( worst case scenario) will you have to travel to reach
2. How many people are you planning to transport
3. What is the geography like you will have to drive through
4. What are the worst likely weather conditions you will face
5. Will you want your vehicle to be of low public profile
6. Will you want to be able to sleep within the vehicle
7. Will you be towing a trailer
8. Will you want to cook, clean and eat within the vehicle
9. Will the vehicle need to be used as an every day vehicle as well as
10. Is your budget very tight or just limited by every day expense
11. Will the vehicle need to have off road capabilities
12. Will you need a lot of fuel for the vehicle
13. Will the vehicle have enough fuel capacity
14. Will you need to carry most of your water supplies
15. Will you need to carry many days worth of food for you all
16. Are you wanting to avoid stopping enroute to your destination
17. Do you have very young, elderly or infirm members in your party
18. Are your mechanical skills limited?
1. Be honest, if its likely you have a long journey then you need to
consider sleeping overnight in crap weather in a possible unwelcoming
environment, you need to think about food water hygiene and sanitation and
reducing the stress already overwhelming the more vulnerable members of your
family. I don't care how skilled, Rough and Tough YOU are, I'm thinking
about tired, frightened, irrational, stressed family members, What if you
become ill or incapacitated for a day or two with some illness. Do you want
to spend two days and nights in a tent with a complaining partner and kids
whilst suffering from Diarrhea in torrential wind and rain?
2. Shoving the kids and the dog plus granny on top of a pile of
sleeping bag in the back of the car , facing a long and risky journey is
simply not going to work, everyone in your party including you needs a
comfortable seat and time to rest and stretch your legs.
3. Study the route you are going to cover, then think what the route
may be like unswept by the highways agency and after a landslip, snow storm,
dust storm, flash flood or whatever, will you likely be forced off the road
and into the brush. If this is the case you need to be looking carefully at
ground clearance, weight, tyre choice, recovery tools and off road driving
skills, plus whether you need two or four wheel drive.
4. The chance are fairly even that when you need to go it could be
night time, It could also be raining, snowing, foggy, smoky from burning
buildings so you not only up rated lights or bulbs in your vehicle, AND you
need also to consider being able to drive at night without lights for a fair
distance if your local hooligans decide to shoot at the passing headlights.
5. You may also need Snow Chains, High powered 12 Air compressor etc.
6. If you live in Smallville USA or Anytown England it's pretty certain
the local low lifes and jealous types will vigorously attempt to vandalise
or steal your BOV for the pure sadistic fun of it. Can the spot lights, sand
ladders, winch, external spares etc be covered up or stored within the
vehicle until it gets close to bug out hour?
7. If you decide for health, comfort or climatic reasons you want to
sleep inside the vehicle you will need to provide insulation, heating,
ventilation, toilet facilities, light etc, you will need berths for everyone
if the vehicle is also to be used as a leisure vehicle, but one berth less
if you are using it solely for bugging out, One of you will be on guard duty
at all times and can hot bunk with whoever replaces you on guard.
8. If you are towing a trailer then ensure it uses the same size wheels
and tyres as the main vehicle, and ensure it has its own spare wheel.
9. If you want to cook food, eat meals, get washed or use the toilet
within the vehicle you will need to ensure you have storage to contain your
supplies, power to move the water, a vented gas bottle locker and a
securable toilet compartment. Sometimes in a crisis its simply not going to
be wise to stop because little Mary Ellen's bladder has reached bursting
point, Don't go covering the vehicle floor with kit so it becomes
10. Many of us can only fund a BOV if we also use it as an every day
vehicle as well, so it needs to be town and commuter friendly, economic,
discreet, and reliable long term. I say think diesel but I know I face
strong disagreement from many American folks, but consider the fact that
diesels are more reliable and durable, usually more economical and don't
have ignition systems to go wrong, plus its far easier to "Obtain" Diesel
than Petrol ( Gas) in a crisis.
11. Affordability? perhaps a few of us can lavish a healthy percentage of
our income on a high spec vehicle, but equally I'll wager even more of us
can afford very little. BUT even if you are on a tight budget you can
upgrade your family cars specification, regular servicing, use synthetic
engine oil, Up rate your headlamp bulbs, improvise a sump guard, fit extra
driving lights reclaimed from the breakers yard, fit commercial grade
reinforced 8 pr tyres on steel not alloy wheels, new hoses, new shoes and
pads, new drive belts, second hand tow bar fitted and get your local DIY fan
to knock up a jerry can and water can carrier for you. A bit of steel mesh
inside the plastic radiator grill to protect against stone chips, Child
Safety laminating film applied to all windows except the front screen. A
second hand heavy duty roof rack with a piece of painted marine grade
plywood fitted with a fold away tent or top locker etc. Any upgrades will
improve your chances of survival.
12. Time may be in short supply before a crisis or disaster strikes, but
even so you must make whatever steps you can to improve your chances, so set
aside an affordable percentage of your pay each month for survival
equipment. You will be surprised if you are frugal just how quick you can
increase your supply stocks, especially if you have a want list and keep an
eye open for bargains (could be something like a 4 for the price of 2 new
13. If its possible you may have to go off the paved highway enroute to
your destination and you have to account for this. So in the lowest threat
level you may only face driving across the meridian or central reservation
through litter such as broken bottles and bits of old metal. You may have to
drive where a Hawthorn bush has recent dropped its tyre killing thorns. In
that case you need dual purpose tyres with a good tread pattern and a
reinforced carcass. But if it's possible you will face dirt tracks and rocks
as you drive up to your place of safety you have got to consider 4 wheel
drive, high ground clearance, off road tyres, winch etc, always plan for
traveling in the worst possible weather.
14. The harder you drive and the further you go, especially off road the
more fuel you will need, get the most fuel efficient engine you can along
with the biggest fuel tanks you can, and plan for carrying extra fuel in
Jerry cans, The commonly held standard by many survivalists is to carry
enough fuel to cover four times the route to your planned destination, IE if
your destination is 150 miles away then carry fuel at least for 600 miles.
In the horrendous hurricane season of 2005 many people fleeing New Orleans
and Galveston ran out of fuel after being forced to drive at under 5 mph for
up to 15 hours, then finding out the gas stations along the way were
completely sold out.
15. Stopping for water may be hazardous from the point of people wanting to
ambush you, but also for the time involved in collecting water, Checking its
purity, and transporting back to your vehicle, If you are wise you will have
moved your spare wheel from underneath your vehicle and fitted extra water
tanks in the gap, carry enough water to provide 10 liters per person per day
for the duration of your planned journey, that covers washing, drinking,
cleaning and toiletries. Carrying a reverse osmosis or ceramic water filter
as a back up is a must.
16. Look at the dietary needs of your party closely, you may be able to eat
uncooked flour but I'm certain your family won't, You need to provide them
with at least 2500 calories a day ( more if they are doing hard physical
work) the food should be both familiar to them and popular with them, its no
use bulk buying a load of unbranded chilli because it was on offer if no
one will eat it, plus the advantage of providing familiar food to your
family will mean it helps calm them during a stressful time. You will need
to store all your needed food stuffs within your BOV set-up up and you will
be surprised how much space it takes and how heavy it can be. Dried and
Tinned foods will dominate your food planning, dairy products and frozen
stuff will soon go off even in a camping fridge.
17. Are there dodgy neighbourhoods, towns and districts along your planned
routes, are their government or military installations enroute if yes then
this again reaffirms the need for you to be totally self sufficient enroute
and also off road capable. So your vehicle once again must carry all of your
18. Yes you do need to consider the weakest members of your group the most,
the very young and very old are particularly vulnerable to stress, so if you
have to bug out they are already suffering more than you, So they will need
a warm place to sleep, good food, shelter, and as much familiarity as
possible to survive the ordeal. So please don't plan on putting baby Ethan
and granny Smith in a pup tent, in mid Feb during a rain storm on the
coldest night of the year. Plan on internal accommodation or hard top
camping units not fabric tents.
19. If you don't know much about vehicles? Then do a local MV course 101
at night school, plus if you are upgrading your own vehicle work with who
ever is doing the job to see how things work and fit, consider a diesel
engine because they are more robust than a Gasoline powered vehicle and have
no ignition system to go wrong. If you help fit our your own BOV you will be
come more familiar with it than you ever realise possible.
The Chances are if you are a fit single young man you will get by with a
good SUV 4x4 type vehicle with camping equipment fitted wherever you can,
But if you are a family man or not in the first flourish of youth you are
going to need something more spacious like a Van or Overlander RV
(Overlanders are basically HD expedition vehicles),
I think very view people will need a huge coach built conversion like a
Winnebago, the upper limit is likely to be the very rugged ex school bus in
the US and the ex army bus in the UK. But generally the trend does appear to
be for a self contained BOV usually a van conversion, rather than an
upgraded SUV with external camping equipment. But not entirely, there are
still many survivalists who are more than happy with their Land Rovers and
Jeeps; there are people who are more than satisfied with their upgraded
family cars as well.
FITTING OUT YOUR B.O.V
There are some very important things to consider when designing, fitting out
and loading your Bug Out Vehicle, they range from
1. Selecting the best vehicle you can afford to buy and run.
2. Fitting it out as best as possible.
3. Distributing the load evenly between the axles.
4. Keeping heavy items stored as low down as possible.
5. Balancing the weight evenly along both sides of the vehicle.
6. Keeping often needed and important equipment readily to hand.
7. Ensuring you don't have to offload kit to get to the bed, toilet or
8. Not overloading your vehicle so as to affecting handling or ground
9. Ensuring the vehicle is made as BOV suitable as possible (IE
10. Remembering to redistribute weight in the vehicle as fuel, food and
water are consumed.
11. Incorporating as many useful features as possible / affordable.
12. Making it easily repairable as possible
A fully fitted out Panel van, SUV or a family vehicle converted to double up
as a BOV is not to be confused with the simple camper vehicle, the
similarity stops at the type of fittings used in the creation of the vehicle
like kitchen, toilet and bed. Most motor homes are meant to remain on smooth
roads, they can be very delicate vehicles when it comes to the construction
of the furnishings, plus they usually tend to have long overhangs fore and
aft of the road wheels. Very often motor campers have very poor ground
clearance and any or all of these points can lead to the stranding of your
vehicle even in something as benign as an unsurfaced car park or truck stop.
Your vehicle can become stuck solid on a bump or become grounded fast at a
time when good Christian charity in the form of a tow out from your fellow
man is in short supply as everyone heads for the hills. A BOV in camper form
is more akin to an overland expedition vehicle with good ground clearance,
rugged construction, large fuel and water capacity with various internal and
external storage facilities as possible.
Ideally if you want a BOV with internal sleeping accommodation a 4x4 panel
van conversion will meet your needs the closest, followed by a 4x2 panel
van, the other common option of course is the 4x4 SUV or utility truck with
a roof mounted tent or towed trailer containing some sort of opening or
demountable sleeping arrangement.
Many survivalists choose the Off Road vehicle option as it suits their needs
best, but I feel that many survivalists with family members both young and
old will be better suited to sleeping inside a BOV rather than in a tent or
Your BOV will ideally be fitted with reinforced commercial vehicle grade
tyres, very often the ( wiser) BOV owners will sacrifice high speed
cornering capabilities and low road noise tyres for duel purpose ( road /
trail) slightly noisier town and country tyres giving that bit more traction
when off the highway. I'm not saying go out and fit huge great knobbly off
road tyres because in general it is forecast that the majority of people
bugging out will be doing so on the highways, with only occasional forays
off road to camp or avoid obstacles. In all cases your vehicle wants STEEL
road wheels which if dinged or dented can be bashed back into shape with a
hammer, alloy wheels are fine for sports cars and leisure SUV's, they may
give a slight unsprung weight advantage to your jeep as you go for a blast
through the boonies, but if you hit a rock and crack the wheel whilst
bugging out you will be stuck. A nice extra to consider is to carry an
extra spare wheel / tyre making it two spare wheel/tyre sets, and of course
if your vehicle is of the type that only has a slim line short term
emergency spare wheel you need to change it for a regular one.
Two final points on wheels and tyres, first its always prudent if you are in
a hurry to carry and use one of those emergency tyre repair / inflation
sealant aerosol sprays, it may get you going quick if someone is taking pot
shots at you, and finally if your spare is mounted underneath the vehicle
then move it, to the back door, inside, roof or bonnet ( hood) of the
vehicle, you don't want to be crawling around in the dirt trying to extract
the spare from a vehicle that has already started to sink into the ground.
Your BOV should have the capacity to carry extra fuel, extra food, extra
water, extra clothing, extra equipment and logistics to make the bugging out
event as least traumatic as possible, it has been debated to great length
over the years but a commonly held belief is that your vehicle should carry
enough fuel to cover a distance four times of that equalling the most direct
route to your final destination, IE if its 150 miles to your retreat you
should carry fuel enough to go 600 miles. This allows for road blocks,
diversions, natural and man made hazards and pure bad luck. You can
supplement and extend your range by caching fuel along the most likely
routes you will follow to get to your retreat, but what you must NEVER do is
plan on using gas stations to obtain extra fuel in an emergency, not only
could they be closed, empty or looted but you can guarantee trouble makers
will be loitering around them waiting for people just like you to pull in.
I believe that the case has been made firmly in favour of diesel powered
vehicles ahead of gasoline powered vehicles, though I do respect other
people's choices, reasons and desires in selecting gasoline power. But for
economy, reliability, accessibility, storage and safe handling, efficiency
and availability Diesel is in my honest opinion the best choice for
Your BOV will ideally be able to provide enough sleeping space for all of
your group/ family MINUS ONE, because at all times someone should be outside
keeping watch. You do not want to have to unload equipment or supplies in
order to make up a berth because if you are forced to suddenly flee for your
lives then you will probably have to abandon the stuff you offloaded.
Use your head when designing and loading your vehicle, if for example your
fuel tank is on the right hand side of the vehicle then position the extra
fuel tank on the left to balance the weight, if not the extra fuel tank
perhaps a water tank, inside if you position the toilet on one side then
store a gas bottle opposite to counter the weight. Ideally the heavier
fittings and supplies should be stored between the two axles, in my own
vehicle the modular and detachable kitchen unit is mounted across the van
just behind the seats ( Its got sink, cooker, gas, clean water tank, dirty
water tank, and quick use food storage tubs all in one unit making it the
heaviest fitting in the van.
As you use up your supplies do remember to rebalance the vehicles load to
As well as balancing the vehicle keep the centre of gravity as low as
possible, keep all the heaviest stuff as low down as possible, fuel ,
bottled gas, water etc on or under the vehicle floor, followed by food and
tools, with lightweight stuff like clothing and bedding stored in the
highest spots. Make sure you have adequate ventilation in your vehicle when
burning gas for cooking or heating.
FOUR THINGS must be kept / stored easily to hand at all times, your
First aid kit.
What should your vehicle have in an ideal world? (Only my opinion)
Good Ground Clearance (better off road capability).
All Wheel Drive (Selectable 4wd preferred to save fuel)
16 inch steel wheels & light truck tyres
Manual Transmission (Automatics waste far too much energy from an engine)
Long range fuel tanks (Greater independence and security in avoiding gas
Twin Batteries (one charged from engine, other from auxiliary systems)
Auxiliary power supplies (PV Cell, Micro turbine, Bottle gas powered genny)
Upgraded Lighting (with auxiliary driving lights on separate circuit to main
Belted Seating for everyone.
Domestically manufactured (for spares accessibility)
Commercial vehicle reinforced tyres (for durability)
Internal insulated water tanks (Drinking/ washing)
Dirty water tanks (leave no trace of rest stop)
Toilet (with sealed easy clean tanks)
Shower (an external spigot will do)
Strongly build cabinet fittings
Kitchen Unit (sink, cooker, grill, fridge)
Dirty / Wet Locker (keeping wet and dirty clothing separate)
Vented Bottled gas locker (Min two 7.5 kg bottles)
Satnav/ map locker
Good quality AM FM DIGITAL radio in cab and saloon
Power / light fused distribution board
External hookup for 120/220v
Ceramic or Reverse Osmosis water filter (if you fill up at possibly impure
Mobile phone charger.
External storage racks for stuff like Jerry cans, Bicycles, Spare wheel
Winch and bull bars & swivel spotlights (protection and self extraction and
Tool & Spares locker (vehicles tools and common spares).
Please do remember that for the average modern western family all of the
above can be accommodated into a long wheel base panel van like a Ford
Transit or Econoline, and accordingly can be used as everyday transport for
one of the family, the vehicle can most certainly be used for leisure
purposes as well as survivalism.
MAPPING & ROUTE PLANNING
When preparing to move to a RETREAT or even on EXPEDITION TRAINING you must
make careful notes of certain important factors in planning your journey,
Also when in location at your base or retreat you need to record for future
use some vital information.
Listed below are some of the most important items that should be included on
1 Main route to and from your base.
2 Secondary routes to your base.
3 Escape paths and alternate routes along your route to avoid
hazards/ambushes/checkpoints/bad weather etc. etc.
4 Water and possible food supplies /and pre arranged caches along your
5 Water supplies around your retreat, are they likely to remain that way are
they pure? (Potable).
6 Escape routes from the retreat in case of bad weather or overwhelming
7 Natural hazards, bogs, rivers, marshland, large forests, old mine
workings, rock faces etc.
8 Manmade hazards, bomb sites, fallout zones, mine fields, militarised
zones, refugee camps, check points, known patrol routes, comms sites, (
COMMS SITES =communication sites=ergo radio masts, communications/radio /
microwave relay towers and broadcasting masts, telecommunications
facilities, military network communications masts, broadcasting stations
both civil/military and commercial etc. etc.)
Towns with populations exceeding available resources for self-reliance, etc.
9 Strategic targets, Bridges, factories, refineries, garrisons, police
stations, airports, chemical and steel plants, reservoirs, road and rail
junctions, marshalling yards, power stations, etc.
10 climatic hazards depending on time of year.
11 Opposition, police, military both foreign and domestic, paramilitaries,
refugees, renegades, looters.
12 Allies, Red cross, civil defence groups, other survival groups that are
Resources, Food stores, supermarkets, fuel dumps, grain stores, petrol
stations and POL dumps, (Pol dumps = Petrol Oil and Lubricating dumps = fuel
storage and distribution facilities, civil and military, petrol stations,
oil storage facilities, refineries and crackers, wagon depots, rail
refuelling depots, gas storage and distribution facilities, methane
generator facilities (pig farms and ground fill sites), camping gas
suppliers (butane / propane/map gas-calor-gaz-coleman-taymar etc)
Water supplies, tool stores, gun and sports shops, armouries, builders
merchants, isolated shelters, farms, caves, tunnels, underpasses, fish
farms, rivers and streams, colonies of cattle / small and large game etc.
A warning about Supplies.
Do ensure that when you approach sources of supplies that they are not
already under someone else's control, do not take unnecessary risks, go
elsewhere or try again another day.
Avoid confrontation and unnecessary contact until things get as normal as
possible, be prepared to barter for supplies.
USEFUL RESOURCE MAPPING
Identify and keep records of any useful resources that may be useful to your
group post collapse.
Some materials like coal or building materials can frequently be left in
place and they are unlikely to come to any harm, unless of course such
materials are going to be in short supply.
Identify the following in your area
Recoverable sources of Firewood, Coal & Coke, Peat, Heating and fuel oil,
Bottled Gas (butane and propane). Check coal yards, railway sidings, gas
bottled refilling centers etc.
Petroleum Products, Petrol, Diesel, Avgas, Paraffin (Kerosene), Hypoid,
(Most petroleum products will need treating with preservatives) Petrol
stations, refineries, transport depots etc
Building Materials, Lumber, Bricks, Cement, and Aggregates etc. builders
yards, DIY centers, quarries, building sites etc
Water Supplies, Tanks, ponds, reservoirs, streams, wells (including capped
ones) artesian and aquifer supplies,
Water filtration and purification equipment and stockists.
Identify locations of fast flowing or fast falling water that could be used
to turn generators, mills, etc.
Food stores, supermarkets, distribution centers, regional warehouses, grain
Free range herds of cattle, sheep, chickens, deer etc
Rabbit farms, Rabbit warrens, Fish farms, angling clubs.
Tool stores, engineering suppliers, plant hire agencies, camping,
caravanning and outdoor stores, sports shops, gun shops, gun smiths, boat
yards, marinas, ships chandlers preserved railways etc
Remote housing that is conducive to self reliance, IE has things like
functioning large chimneys and fire places, ultra insulated, double/ triple
glazed, multi-fuel heating / cooking facilities, has a well or other clean
water supply, solar panels, wind turbines, methane digesters, local supplies
of fuel, defendable, etc other facilities like outdoor residential centers,
outward bound centers, alternative technology centers, camping hostels,
retreats etc are worth considering.
Check out footpaths, bridle ways, navigable water ways, rail lines,
broadcasting masts, radio masts, wind farms, etc.
Please remember that in survival INFORMATION is not only power, but a
lifesaver as well.
BUG OUT CHECK LIST
Transport, fuelled up, vehicle checked over, pols*, tyres, lights, brakes,
steering, spares etc spare fuel loaded, noise level tested., radios
/scanners fitted and checked & frequencies agreed upon.
Kit packed ready and loaded, food, water, clothes, medical kit, maps,
communications kit, navigation kit, weapons and ammo on hand ( if legally
Routes and alternative routes access checked
Media sources monitored
Others contacts / members contacted
Caches in place.
Rendezvous and checkpoint times understood
Emergency and immediate action drills understood
Gas / electricity / water at home isolated
Central heating and water systems drained down
Livestock / Pets dispersed
BUG OUT BAGS, BUG OUT VESTS & EDC's
These interesting items are basically a form of insurance that many
survivalists have become used to having about, They are simply bags,
rucksacks, briefcases or travel vests that are loaded with useful and handy
pieces of equipment , tools and supplies that you can grab and go with
should the need arise.
MY EDC (Every Day Carry Kit)
Many discussion forums such as EDC forum,(www.edcforums.com) Flashlight
forums and Knife forums have cooperated in the new (ish) concept of
discussing and evaluating personal EDC equipment, EDC standing for Every Day
Carry, or what folks keep on them most of the time. Below are the items I
tend to keep with me at all times. Different people in different lifestyle
and in different professions frequently select EDC items to suit their own
individual needs, I strongly encourage people to create their own EDC kit
and to discuss on forums like EDC forum to find out what suits them best.
1 Lock knife Cold Steel Folding Ultimate Hunter
2 Multi tool Gerber Multi Plier
3 Compass Suunto Wrist Compass
4 Watch Citizen Solar powered Chrono
5 Wallet Balistic nylon with BCB & Swisslogic credit card tools
6 Cell Phone Nokia
7 Flashlight Inova X5 LED plus spare CR123A Batteries
8 Lighter Blue propane torch
9 Paracord Five metres multi core
10 First Aid kit Pocket size
11 Notebook and pen
13 Specs and polarised sun shades
14 Tactical gloves
16 Gerber Ceramic knife sharpener
17/18 LED button light and small knife on my key chain
SURVIVAL BUG OUT BAG (My Own personal kit)
Leather/ Cordura Multi pocket tool bag
Soviet AK 47 Bayonet for rough chopping
Pocket Binos or Monocular
Multi tool with plier head
Multi-tool with pruning head
Flashlights Plus spare Batteries (LED type gaining dominance)
Miniature FM radio plus batteries
Chemical light sticks
Lock knife (Cold Steel XL Voyager Tanto)
Spare prescription specs
Large folding wood saw
Small tin with button compass, signal mirror, spare batteries
SURVIVAL BUG OUT VESTS
Survival vests or load bearing vests or multi pocket vests are becoming
increasingly popular with survivalists, they can be worn instead of carried
which many people prefer for various reasons, they can either supplement or
replace bug out bags though I must admit to having both. The main advantage
for concerned people about having useful equipment about their person on a
daily basis is that a partially loaded vest can be worn as normal daily
attire in most cases, this allows people quite a bit of leeway in choosing
what kit that can have readily to hand all day every day. I also have a
lightweight bug out vest to supplement the BoB and BoV that is light and
comfortable which I wear all the time as part of my normal dress.
SURVIVAL VEST KIT
Below is a description of my own Bug out Vest and its contents
Snowbee Multi Pocket ( 14) vest in olive drab, ( Modified, Larger Heavier
Zip fitted, two out of three mesh outer pockets removed)
Storm proof butane lighters x2
Silva type 4 / 54 compass (Tritium illuminated) in Mils and Degrees
LED Flashlight plus spare batteries
Mini LED torch Zipper fitting model
Pain killers (Aspirin, Brufen, Paracetamol)
Assorted Band aids
Gloves (leather single skin)
Lock knife (Cold Steel Voyager Tanto)
Maps O/S 1:50,000( Or A4 Sectional maps)
Zip lock bags
Para cord 550 ft lb
Water puri tabs
Coffee, sugar and whitener sachets.
Map reading aide memoir
I am considering adding another set of folding secatuers to vest kit, but
this would open the door to me carrying another multi tool which I already
have on my belt, I also find that both Mini mag lite and LED flash lights
that need 2 or 3 AA batteries take up to much space lengthwise, so I have
now changed them for a pair of lens focused LED flashlights than run on
silver oxide 357 button batteries
All contents of pockets in Zip lock bags
LIGHTWEIGHT BUG OUT VEST
Last year ( 2003) one of the American contributors on the Misc Survivalism
news group mentioned in passing he was working on a lightweight Bug out Vest
that he could wear every day, without attracting unwanted attention.
I thought I would take a look at the subject from a British viewpoint. The
main differences between the two systems will be the make of the vest and
its type of construction (mesh backed for warm climes and poly-cotton for
colder climes) and of course the inevitable firearm that the American could
carry and Briton could not, The American system had a seven (???) shot
revolver in .22 cal Long Rifle included in its make up.
I have been thinking about some sort of compromise between the basic pocket
survival tin that most of us carry around and a full blown bug out vest
weighing in at an average of 7 or more kilos.
What I am playing around with is a lightweight vest that I can wear every
day without attracting unwanted attention, but has enough practicality to
act as an interim survival vest.
The sort of thing I am considering is something like the new Regatta cotton
/ mesh travel vest ( slightly modified to suit my own needs) in olive drab
material, it only weighs in at about 1 œ lb.
In this vest which is only about the third of the weight of my Snowbee Bug
out vest I was thinking about the following space and weight saving options.
A Swiss card credit card tool (Scissors, fine knife, rule, pen,
A Tool logic credit card tool (Compass, magnifier, 2 inch skinning knife,
tin / bottle opener) *****
A BCB steel credit card tool (Solid Steel , reflector, spanner, screwdriver,
can be made into mini axe)*****
A key ring size LED flashlight
A Gerber EZ out lightweight folder ( or possibly a Spyderco spydercard
A Gerber Pen sized sharpening stone
10 yards para cord
A plasticised aluminium pouch for cooking in / carrying water (type of
thing MREs come in)
A card of Ibuprofen, Aspirin, and Paracetamol
A selection of band aids/ steri strips
A card of 10 water puri tabs
A sachet of Potassium Permangenate
A Sun Micro compass
A Lightweight FM radio
A Windproof butane lighter.( the type with a safety catch )
A few energy bars, bits of jerky, mint cake.
A micro monocular
A wire Saw
A fishing line, hooks and lead shot
Four micro chemical light sticks
A laminated A 4 sectional map of the area you are visiting
All the above in Zip lock bags
A large plasticised survival bag
The total weight including the vest is still less than 5 lbs
***** These tools are in my wallet anyway, I always have a Multi tool like a
Gerber Mod 600 and a quality folder Cold Steel Voyager Tanto on my belt
This leaves me the option of keeping my heavy full sized Bug out Vest in my
car or at home, but still affords me some increased level of protection
without me looking like a member of the SAS on a scud hunting mission.
* The contents of the lightweight BoV could also easy be kept in a hip pack.
FIT, FEEL AND FAMILIARITY
(Getting to know your kit)
OK, so you have done the research, bought the kit, developed your plans and
stockpiled everything including the assault systems kitchen sink. Now what
are you going to do? Wait for Armageddon?
It's no good at all having a great piece of kit if you are not totally
familiar with its feel and fit and you need to be very comfortable about
using it. Why buy an all singing all dancing tactical folding knife then put
it away until it is needed? Does it open and close smoothly, can you cut a
rope, fillet a rabbit, defend yourself with it, sharpen it or is it to big
or to lightweight for the task?
Does it sit comfortably on your hip now? What about after 8 hours with your
rucksack pressing it into your hip, can you unleash it, open it and use it
with cold, wet, tired hands?
Your expensive flashlight with its lifetime warranty, can you strip and
replace the self cleaning switch, Is it big enough powerful enough to do the
job for a full evening in your blacked out camp site or retreat, or is it
always getting in the way, pulling your belt down, and eating batteries
faster than a kids toy?
Be honest, if you were stressed out, scared stupid and fleeing for your life
along with your family, Could you put your hand straight to your compass,
flashlight, map, knife or whatever in your bug out vest /bag without having
to unpack or rummage about for it. What about the vest / bag itself Is the
vest up to the job, comfortable, not going to slide up or down, ride up into
a knot or disintegrate at the first time its put to use.
Its the same with the super duper tyres you paid a premium rate for, and
what about the PV unit or wind generator you have obtained, will the tyres
give the traction you seek or are you going to end up with terminal wheel
spin in the inevitable piece of swampy real estate along the route to your
destination, or the PV and turbine working flat out simply don't provide
enough energy to stop your freezer from thawing out. What if for example the
turbine produces enough noise to let the residents of the next county home
in on your secluded retreat?
You have the will, you have the need, and now you have the kit to enable you
to survive, so get familiar with it use it, get comfortable with it,
reassure yourself that it will be up to the task, Why not for example wear
your vest for a few days at a time partially loaded, so you get used to it,
let it find its shape, find out the best way to load it with your kit. You
don't need to go into town looking like you are ready to start a war, but it
will do you no harm at all to use your vest as a gillet carrying your knife,
flashlight, compass, first aid kit, Para cord, wallet etc for a few days.
Perhaps you could make it your car coat or your dog walking jacket. It's the
same with the new boots you have recently invested in.
Now you have realised that bugging out in a vehicle is going to be almost
impossible and have purchased those 200 dollar boots, are they up to the
job? Too stiff? poor fit? not broken in? not water resistant? Do they take
forever to dry out etc? You need your bug out boots, clothes and kit to be
snug, comfortable, familiar at hand, and up to the job.
I got myself what I thought would be an ideal garment to use as a bug out
vest, I bought it, loaded it up, then put it away whilst I waited for
Armageddon. Then one day I thought I would take the mutt for a good long
hard walk and decided to try out the vest............................... It
is now into its third set of alterations and modifications to make it more
comfy and better suited to the task it was originally designed for.
There are many lists available on the web and in books about what to
stockpile or cache, this article is simply a guide of useful things to
consider having around "just in case"
Some items you may wish to obtain can be useful on a day to day basis as
well as being invaluable during a crisis for your own use or to barter with.
Tea / coffee / whiteners
Sugar / salt
Flour / grain / pasta
Soap / bleach / detergents
Tooth paste / deodorant
Zip lock bags / bin bags
Candles / parafin
Coal /charcoal / wood
All of the above are everyday consumables that will quickly become in very
short supply during a crisis and pound for pound the likes of salt,
paraffin, coffee, and candles will become more valuable than gold.
Writers of survival planning often suggest that you should keep a supply of
pure gold and silver coins for use as barter currency, perhaps they are
correct but in my mind if you can not eat it or burn it or preserve food
with it I don't think it will be of much use to you. People will sell their
souls for the supplies I've listed when its in short supply and you can not
really have two much in store because its something that you use
continuously in your every day lives.
OTHER USEFUL ITEMS
Hand operated tools
Paraffin and candle lanterns
Boots, insoles and spare laces
Ordnance Survey maps 1:50,000
Ducting tape / insulating tape
Multi tools Gerber / Leatherman etc
Compact field glasses
Short wave radio or scanner
Hiking clothing /Gore-Tex type
Tents / bivouac bags
camp cooker / barbeque ( multi-fuel)
Extra personal sanitation kit / spare prescription glasses
FOOD stuffs that have a long shelf life or can be reconstituted easily are
required and it must be food you like. It does not put much of a strain upon
your financial resources to spend an extra £ 2 a week on food to lay away
for emergencies (unless you are a British pensioner) Don't forget to rotate
your cached food through your everyday supplies so you always have the
freshest stuff in reserve. In many cases rural folk and those who are
affected by restricted access to the shops keep a lot more tinned and dry
goods than would normally be found in the average families town house. I
tend to buy tinned goods like baked beans, soups, vegetables, fruit, corned
beef, tinned hams, peas, carrots, potatoes, tinned milk etc by the dozen,
tins if looked after have a good shelf life and fairly easy to store. Do
write on the end of the tin with a marker pen what's its contents are and
its expiry date, just in case the label falls off during storage. I have
added a shelf life list further towards the end of the book.
INCREASED STOCK LEVELS
People have asked exactly what I mean when I say I am increasing my stock
levels during a perceived looming crisis, Listed below are some of the
things I do and some of the things I get in extra to my normal shopping.
Fill vehicles with fuel
Fill Jerry cans
Check over vehicles systems, POL* as required
Strip, clean and adjust all tools and blades and other pieces of kit
*POL Petrol, Oil and Lubricants
Fill potable water containers and treat.
Pack extras into bug out bags
Monitor news continuously
Change batteries in flashlights and radios
Top up normal shopping stock, I always keep about four months' foodstuffs
Then I get extra
Tea bags 2000
Coffee 4 jars
Sugar 8 kilos
Salt 2 kilo
Whitener/creamer 1 kilo
Rice long grain 12 lbs
Pasta shells 12 lbs
Wheat flour 12 lbs
Cereal grain 12 lbs
Noodles etc 4 lbs
Processed meats x8
Soups Asst x32
Stews x 8
Tinned meals x 16 (all day breakfast etc)
Peas x 8
Carrots x 8
Potatoes x 16
Baked beans x16
Beans with sausages / burgers etc x 16
Mushrooms x 8
Mixed vegetables x 16
Mixed fruit cocktail x 16
Tins fruit various x 16
Tins cream x 4
Tip Top x 20
Tins custard x 16
Tins / jars cooking sauces x 12
Tins oriental / Asian vegetables x12
As above but vac packed assorted x 12
Get extra toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo etc bars neutral soaps x 32
Top up all medicines inc prescription stuffs
Bleach unscented x 4 gallons
Fairy liquid washing up liquid x 4 gallons
Batteries AA, x 24 ,12 x 357 silver oxide button batteries, 10 lithium
Solar powered battery chargers and a set of Ni-Mh batteries is a good option
All Over & Above normal stock requirements.
Other items are obtained as and when deemed necessary, refer to your own
main kit lists and select adjust as necessary.
SIMPLE METHOD OF CACHING
One of the best and easiest methods of hiding your emergency equipment is to
cache it in some safe location away from your home or retreat.
The commonest method of caching is to bury it at a place that
A, you can easily find again
B, it can not be easily found or accidentally uncovered by someone else
C, it is in a position were it can be retrieved during a crisis without
Exposing you to danger
D, It is not likely to become exposed due to erosion or land slip or
E, it is not likely to become covered over by development or flood water
There are many locations for you to choose from, some will suit you some
will not, its up to your own personal choice and the environment you live
in. I hid my caches by burying them next to manhole covers, inspection pipe
covers in rural locations along the various bug out routes I have chosen.
One of the best types of caching container I have used is the one made from
plastic drainage piping, I buy a 3 metre length of 8 or 10 inch diameter
heavy duty waste water piping and 6 blanking end caps, I chop up the pipe
into 1 meter lengths and use either pipe welding solvent or external grade
silicone sealant to seal an end cap onto one end of the pipe, I then fill
the pipe with whatever I choose (maps/ rations/medical kit/ tools/
Then I add some moisture absorbent crystal sachets to the contents and seal
the top on.
One point of note, you don't always need to bury the tube in a vertical
position if the area is reasonably undisturbed and is not likely to attract
the attention of animals you can bury it about 18 inches down, put a few
rocks on it to hold it in place then back fill the hole, remember to put
back the turf or whatever was on the surface so it blends in with its
If you think the greatest risk to your groups continued existence is going
to be starvation or violence then you are very much off the mark, it will
more likely be a failure of your hygiene protocols that kill off most of you
and the bulk of the countries population. Sanitation failure, bugs, food
poisoning, rodents, disease (common ones more so than exotic ones) will kill
more than any other reason.
If you need to be paranoid about anything post collapse then it should be
hygiene, hygiene in the home / retreat, hygiene in the kitchen, hygiene when
coming into contact with strangers or late arriving group members.
In a crisis for example economic collapse you will need to consider the
Patrols to fill in and disinfect all pools / ponds/ puddles that are not
used by the group for a large around the retreat.
No footwear or clothes that have been used in patrolling/ foraging /
agricultural work / cesspit digging to be allowed anywhere near the kitchen
or food prep / storage areas.
Anyone on kitchen / food prep duties who leaves the work area must wash
again before re-entering the work area, especially if going for personal
All toilet habits must finish with a good wash with hibiscrub or similar
No one with so much as a sniffle to be allowed near the kitchen / food prep
storage areas during the first 6 months of the crisis.
All visitors / late arrivals to be quarantined for 10 days during first 6
months of crisis.
All suspicious food sources (old tins etc) to be treated with absolute
caution (food taster volunteers!)
Internal cleaning of the home / retreat to be of a standard that would
satisfy conditions for an operating theatre or strive to be as hygienic as
Washing and cleaning of clothes, crockery and pottery that ensures
sterilisation be adopted every day during the first year of the crisis.
All waste foods that are not being recycled / composted to be buried in a
way that rodents and animals can not dig them up.
All rodents, squirrels, and scavenging types of wildlife to be eradicated
within a 500 yd radius of the home / retreat if possible.
All cesspits to be limed and filled in every two weeks.
All used bandages, dressings, nappies, sanitary products to be treated as
though they are lethal and must be incinerated.
All water for consumption and personal hygiene MUST be boiled or chemically
treated, never presume anything about the quality of water.
All fruit and vegetables must be washed with clean water.
The above suggestions are by no means complete and it's your own
responsibility to ensure that high levels of hygiene are maintained, I
suggest that any member of your group who chooses to ignore your hygiene
protocols be dealt with as though he were a mass murderer.
An outbreak of flu is an inconvenience to you now whilst you are healthy,
but post collapse it will kill your young, your weak and old folk, Imagine
what an outbreak of dysentery or gastro enteritis will do to your groups
integrity, Measles, mumps, TB are going to crucify those who don't maintain
their health and hygiene protocols.
Please don't forget that post collapse most forms of wildlife will be a risk
to your group especially if rabies travels down the channel tunnel. The
hairy tailed tree rat (grey squirrel) is as big a disease carrier as the
brown rat, and don't forget feral dogs and cats they will have been feeding
of all sorts of unpleasant carrion.
Post collapse most cute furry things are not to be trusted.
BASIC MEDICAL KIT
Sterile Packs, containing coated sterile field, 2 comp procedure tray, non
woven swabs, dressing towels, latex gloves, yellow disposable bag.
Sterile dressings assorted sizes
Burn gel squares
Spencer Wells Forceps/ Haemostats
Syringes for irrigation
Aspirin (liquid and tabs)
Paracetamol (liquid and tabs)
Ibuprofen (liquid and tabs)
Antihistamine cream and tabs
Anti-inflammatory cream and spray
Anti fungal cream and spray
Anti-biotics, tabs, powder and liquid
Bonjela mouth ulcer & teething treatment
IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) Tabs ( Colofac)
Eczema spray and cream
Insect repellent lotion and spray
Acne & spot treatment ( Nicotinamide 4%)
Nasal decongestant (Otravine spray)
Re-hydration sachets (Dioralyte)
Broad spectrum antibiotics
Local anaesthetic spray and cream
Important do obtain
All prescribed medications for everyone in group
all prescribed spectacles, dentures, hearing aids etc
This kit is in no way complete or comprehensive, but it does provide a good
basic kit to build from, watch out for expiracy dates and rotate / replace
SHORT TERM DOMESTIC HEAT AND LIGHT
Having limited financial resources offset by a need to have some sort of
heat / light backup has sent me on the following route.
the stuff listed below is ideal for short term contingencies such as storm
induced power outages.
For situations that need me to provide heat / light for my family on a short
to medium term situations I have obtained a portable bottled gas fire and a
building site bottled gas lantern / cooker combo, I intend to keep three of
the medium size bottles for them and rotate the bottles via my gas barbeque
which is itself a reserve source of heat.
These will be backed up in turn by a camping cooker (SINGLE BURNER) and a
pair of camping gas lanterns; I keep loads of gas canisters in a vented fire
resistant locker at the bottom of the garden.
The third level will be (If I underestimate the duration of the crisis)
supported by paraffin lamps and a home made wood / charcoal burner and a
pile of hexamine cookers.
I have disposed of my portable petrol generator as it was underpowered and
unreliable and I was not too happy about keeping so much gasoline about.
Gas powered Generators as gaining popularity as they are reliable, clean,
safer than petrol and cheap to run though I hope to be able to source a
diesel powered on soon.
Being the type of person who has not practised what I preach I lived in a
bungalow that had an electric cooker, electric microwave, and a electrically
operated gas central heating system, My gas fire had been removed during a
major refurbishment of the house because it was worn out, I also refuse to
pay out the money for a replacement (£400 for what is basically a piece of
bent tin with three bricks and a bulb in it.)
For long term I am still looking into solar power to provide auxiliary heat
and power but at present these systems are still too expensive.
I have since moved home three times in two years in an effort to find a more
suitable home (Nov 2003)
Jan 2004 I have recently moved into a new house right on the very edge of a
small northern town.
Dec 2004 I have moved again to a small rural village in northern England.
WINTER PREP CHECK LIST
Wood cut and dried?
Coal stocks ordered?
Gas bottles changed and refilled
Fencing and posts checked
Window seals checked
Boiler (furnace) serviced
Doors /windows draught proofed
Drains free flowing
Spare candles / flashlights etc, emergency heating kit
Spare fuses/ circuit breakers
Boarding up shuttering for broken windows
Weather warning radio
Extra food stocks got in case of snow / ice storm / whiteout
Prescription medicines gotten in
Winter clothing got out of storage and cleaned aired
top up / change antifreeze
tighten /adjust drive belts
tyre condition /pressures
Jet wash underside, valet / polish bodywork
change wiper blades
check M & S tyres condition if still in store
check your tyre chains
fit thinner oil if you live in very northern climes.
Check battery condition and leads
Check demister / de-icer systems
Radio tuned to weather and traffic station
Sleeping bag/ survival blanket
Chemical light sticks / flashlights/spare batteries
Hot drink making kit
hose repair kit,
exhaust repair kit,
spanners / sockets and screwdrivers
tyre levers & tyre pump
READING MATERIAL LIST
Factual and reference
Build the perfect survival kit 0-87349-967-0
The Survivalists Patrick Rivers 0-413-31650-5
Earth Shock Basil Booth & Frank Fitch 0-7221-1778 7
The Nuclear Survival Handbook Barry Popkess
Tappan on Survival Mel Tappan 0-916172-04-x
Survival guns Mel Tappan
The Survival Retreat Ragnar Benson 0-87364-275-9
The Modern Survival Retreat Ragnar Benson 0-87364-980-x
Apocalypse Tomorrow Duncan Long 0-87947-089-5
When Technology Fails Mathew Stein 1-57416-047-8
The Coming Global Superstorm Bell and Strieber 0-7434-0888-8
Life after doomsday Bruce D Clayton 0-87364-175-2
Surviving Doomsday C Bruce Sibley 07219-0780-6
Outdoor Survival guide Hugh Mc Manners 0-7513-0644-4
Travel Vans John Speed 99920-1-158-0 (The book for building BOVs)
SAS Survival guide ( pocket size) John lofty Wiseman 0-00-470167-4
Aftermath, Charles Sheffield Very Good
After Doomsday, Poul Anderson
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand Hard to grasp
Alas Babylon, Pat Frank Truly a superb classic
Amerikan sunset, Jennifer Ladewig Drivel
A Wrinkle in the skin, John Christopher A character essay
Black Sun, Robert Leininger Very good
Blood Crazy, Simon Clark
Crabs, Guy Smith
Comet, (The) Robert Charles Very Good
Damnation Alley, Roger Zelazny Better than the movie
Day after Tomorrow, (The) Whitley Strieber
Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham
Death of Grass, John Christopher
Deathlands, Jack Adrian
Deluge, Fowler Wright
Deluge, Richard Doyle
Drought ,(The) JG Ballard thought provoking
Drowned world, (The) JG Ballard interesting
Down to a sunless sea, (either version) David Graham Truly great, another
Earth Abides, George R Stewart 2nd only to Alas Babylon
Earth Winter, Richard Moran
Eternity Road, Jack Mc Devitt Interesting future shock
Empire of Ice, Richard Moran
Famine, Graham Masterson
Flood, Richard Doyle
Freeman, (The) Jerry Ahern
Heavy Weather, Bruce Sterling
Ice, Arnold Federbush depressing
Icefire, Judith & Garfield Reeth Stevens entertaining
Ice Quake, John R Spencer
Kraken Wakes, (The) John Wyndham
Last Ranger, (The) Craig Sargeant
Living is Forever J Edwin Carter
Lucifer's Hammer, Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle Becoming a classic
Long voyage back, Luke Rhineheart In the top ten of all time
Long Loud Silence, ( The) Wilson Tucker
Last ship, (The) William Brinkley
Malevil, Robert Merle
Moonfall, Jack Mc Devitt
Night of the Triffids, Simon Clark good follow on from day of the triffid
New Madrid Run, (The) Micheal Reisig
On the beach, Neville Shute
Out of the Ashes, ( Ashes series) William W Johnstone
Plague 99, Jean Ure
Patriots, James Wesley Rawles
Postman, ( The) David Brin
Resurrection Day Brendan Dubois
Rift, (The) Walter J Williams
Savage Dawn, Robert Cole
Shiva Descending, Gregory Benford
Some will not die, Algis Budrys
Stand, (The) Stephen King
Survivors Terry Nation
Survivalist, (The) series Jerry Ahern
There falls no Shadow, David E Crossley Part one of trilogy
Third Pandemic, ( The) Pierre Ouellette
This is the way the world ends, James Morrow
Virus, Japanese Author ( lost from my collection)
When the City stopped, Joan Phipson
Wild Shore ( The) Kim Stanley Robinson Deep stuff
World in Winter ( The) John Christopher
Year of the quiet sun, Wilson Tucker Suprisingly Good
48, James Herbert
8.4, Peter Hernon good read
28 Days Later, Alex Garland
All good stuff for making your mind more accessible to the possibilities and
permutations. Most of these books are very thought provoking and make you
think about some concepts you otherwise mare have overlooked.
My Favourite is ALAS BABYLON
GROCERY SUPPLY Check list
#Stockpile LIST (Consumables)
q ____ Eggs dried
q ____ Milk powdered
q ____ Butter tinned
q ____ Margarine
q ____ Spreads
q ____ Whipped Cream
q ____ Yoghurt
q ____ Cheese tinned
q ____ Cream Cheese
q ____ Parmesan Cheese
q ____ Other Cheese
q ____ __________
MEAT, FISH & POULTRY
Dried, tinned, preserved
q ____ Bacon
q ____ Sausage
q ____ Deli Meat
q ____ Hot Dogs
q ____ Chicken
q ____ Turkey
q ____ Beef
q ____ Pork
q ____ Ham
q ____ Fish
q ____ Shellfish
q ____ __________
q ____ Apples
q ____ Bananas
q ____ Berries
q ____ Grapefruit
q ____ Grapes
q ____ Lemons
q ____ Limes
q ____ Melon
q ____ Oranges
q ____ Pears
q ____ __________
q ____ Instant Tea
q ____ Coffee
q ____ Tea Bags
q ____ Fruit Juice
q ____ Soft Drinks
q ___ Water Filter eliment
q ____ Spirits
q ____ Wine
q ___ Coffee Whitener
q ____ Broccoli
q ____ Cabbage
q ____ Carrots
q ____ Cauliflower
q ____ Celery
q ____ Cucumbers
q ____ Garlic
q ____ Lettuce
q ____ Mushrooms
q ____ Onions
q ____ Peppers
q ____ Potatoes
q ____ Radishes
q ____ Spinach
q ____ Tomatoes
q ____ Peas
q ____ Bagels
q ____ Bread
q ____ Buns
q ____ Muffins/scones
q ____ Rolls
q ____ Flour/yeast_
q ____ Cereal
q ____ Oatmeal
q ____ Biscuits
q ____ Crackers
q ____ Pasta/Noodles
q ____ Beans/Lentils/Peas
q ____ Rice
q ____ Bread Crumbs
q ____ Flour
q ____ Sugar
q ____ Cake Mix
q ____ Pancake Mix
q ____ Gelatine
q ____ Potato Chips
q ____ Tortilla Chips
q ____ __________
q ____ Vitamins*
q ____ Dressings
q ____ Sterile Wipes
q ____ Steristrips
q ____ Aspirin*
q ____ Paracetamol*
q ____ Ibuprofen*
q ____ Antihistamine*
q ____ Anti-inflammatory
q ____ Antiseptic cream
q ____ Antibiotic
q ____ Nasal sprays
* Plus Childs versionCANNED GOODS
q ____ Sausages + pasta
q ____ Macaroni Cheese
q ____ Tip Top
q ____ Fruit
q ____ Custard
q ____ Pasta Sauces
q ____ Soups
q ____ Spag Bog Sauce
q ____ Stewed Tomatoes
q ____ Potatoes
q ____ Corned Beef
q ____ Tuna /salmon
q ____ Vegetables
q ____ __________
q ____ Apple Juice
q ____ Orange Juice
q ____ Ice Cream
q ____ Potatoes
q ____ Vegetables
q ____ Frozen Dinners
q ____ Frozen Pizza
q ____ Frozen Waffles
q ____ TV Dinners
q ____ __________
q ____ Baking Soda
q ____ Baking Powder
q ____ Corn Starch
q ____ Salt
q ____ Pepper
q ____ Chocolate Chips
q ____ Nuts
q ____ Raisins
q ____ Vanilla
q ____ Dried Herbs
q ____ Spices
q ____ __________
q ____ __________
q ____ Oil
q ____ Vinegar
q ____ Ketchup
q ____ Mayonnaise
q ____ Mustard
q ____ Salad Dressing
q ____ Shortening
q ____ Soy Sauce
q ____ Jelly/Jam
q ____ Persil Non Bio
q ____ Detergent
q ____ Comfort Softener
q ____ Stain Remover
q ____ All Purpose Cleaner
q ____ Fairy liquid
q ____ Detox / Detol
q ____ Flash liquid
q ____ Domestos Bleach
q ____ Glass Cleaner
q ____ Nylon Scourers
q ____ Star Drops
q ____ Bath Soap
q ____ Deodorant
q ____ Baby Lotion
q ____ Razors
q ____ Shaving Cream
q ____ Shampoo
q ____ Toothpaste
q ____ Conditioner
q ___ Baby Wipes
q ____ Batts AA/C/D
q ___ Batts CR123A
q ____ Candles
q ____ Gas Bottles 7KG
q ___ Fuel/ wood
q ___ Parachute cord
q ___ Water Filter
q ___ Cigarette lighters
q ___ PortaLoo Chemicals
q ____ Facial Tissue
q ____ Toilet Tissue
q ____ Fem Sanitary prod
q ____ Napkins
q ____ Paper Towels
q ____ Aluminium Foil
q ____ Plastic Wrap
q ____ Lunch Bags
q ____ Sandwich Bags
q ____ Garbage Bags
q ____ Zip loc bags
This is a basic list of the things you need to think about, buy, obtain,
study, store, be aware of etc in the creation of your survival plans.