Tuesday, April 26, 2016



8) a bug-out vehicle is one of the most retarded survival tools out there.  Now, I’m not saying bugging out itself is a bad idea.  It isn’t a GREAT idea, but it is probably what most of us are going to be stuck with.  Just like having a mortgage on a retreat is worse than no retreat at all, needing a bug-out vehicle is just compounding a bad decision.  Bugging out is better than bugging in at suburbia, but it is still fraught with risk and danger.  To deal with that danger, you live as close to possible to a retreat as you can, both minimizing the size of the urban area you work and live in, and the distance away from the retreat.  It is far better to live in a small city and have a junk land retreat only a few miles away ( say, half a day’s bicycle ride-probably no more than 100 miles maximum ) than to live in a humongous urban super-city and have a groovy deluxe forty acre retreat with concrete fortress and babbling brook and pasture and woodlot and cows, but a thousand miles away.


You should start your prepping journey by minimizing debt and minimizing the number of people surrounding you.  Don’t maximize that debt and crowding, THEN think at the last minute you can safely escape.  Because, YES, you will wait until the last minute.  The very thought of giving up your trophy wife and three financed cars ( two careers, two commuter cars, one bug-out vehicle ) and mortgaged McMansion and private schooled conehead spawn and mistress on the side, well, it just does not compute.  You won’t act at the first sign of trouble because you could lose all that.  So you leave when it is obvious the crap really honest injun truly has hit the fan.  Along with everyone else with the inclination.  And odds are good you will die, long before you reach your destination.  It is all well and good to assume your studly vehicle and your arsenal of semi-autos will save you, but the first thing they teach you as a grunt is how easy the ambusher has things and how screwed you are as the ambushee.  And roads are a channeling system into ambush.  It is as simple as that.  You think it is bad enough you will be killed?  You’d be lucky.  Once a half smart ambusher sees what you are carrying, you had better already be dead.  Because Tommy Tactical High Speed gear yells “survivalist” and if I were the guy I’d be torturing you into directing us to your retreat.  The longer the travel, the greater exponentially you face danger.  The shorter the distance, and the less road you are on, the less dangerous.  A bug-out vehicle like a bike is one thing, a motor vehicle another ( if you can quietly go off road, the distances needed to travel can be increased slightly, but always beware mechanical failures as per Murphy’s Law.  With a bike, a spare chain and tire and two tubes will most likely cover everything.  A motorized conveyance just screams at Murphy to screw you ).


9) freeze dried foods have their place.  Not in your storage pantry, but in the aforementioned bug-out kit.  You can go MRE-less like we already discussed,  which can easily also replace freeze dried foods.  Top Ramen, jerky and Power Bars are not too expensive, and filling, but for a hard physical bug out, hiking or biking, I’d max out the jerky and add a fat like peanut butter.  Or, just go freeze-dried to minimize storage and weight.  This is a small purchase, for a one time specific event, so cost isn’t really an issue.  But factoring in accidents and improbable events, I’d triple your expected travel time and then double THAT in water and food.  If you have to bike a hundred miles, and that one day turns into a week because the last half became a walk, for whatever reason, you might be glad to have the low weight/high calories of freeze dried foods.  Past that, however, you are buying WAY too much luxury and convenience for WAY too high a price, for far less calories than you need. 


Most folks bleat pitifully that they need freeze dried for their meat, and while I drop my slacks and moon any and all vegetarians, even those idiots born into cow worshiping religions or whatnot, because humans were meat eaters from Day One and only greedy pig humping despots running an agricultural empire who wanted to maximize peasants to plant and cannon fodder to fight would insist on the population NOT eating dead animals would say otherwise ( the guys not eating meat do ingest dairy for animal protein, and that is one exception to the Meat Please Diet, but most overcrowded areas deny most people most animal proteins, even dairy ), I also insist that for poor people, meat is a post-apocalypse luxury, at least during the initial die-off.  Once you have your five to ten years of grain calories, okay.  Time to Animal Up.  But not before then.  Most “experts” insist on freeze dried first, rather than last.  I’m saying, calories first and foremost, protein next.

And freeze dried is saying “a few nice meals prior to starvation” if it is the mainstay of your prep diet.  A second thought add-on, not a staple.


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  1. "....torturing you into directing us to your retreat."

    Good point I hadn't thought of.
    I don't have a distant retreat but still a good point.

    1. These things mostly just pop into my head-I can't claim I work hard conjuring them up.

  2. Thank you Lord Bison, add in an EMP event and bicycles and boots are a much better investment than a 50k vehicle that will likely be on empty come SHTF. Wheelbarrows with no flat tires may be a nice addition to like minded folks. Google Chinese wheelbarrows for grins and giggles and it opens a lot of possible ideas

    1. The folks that rediscovered the Chinese wheelbarrow, Low Tech Magazine I believe I'm remembering correctly, is a nice resource-and free.

  3. Yep - if your bug out vehicle is not your own two feet, or at least they are not capable of getting you there in only a couple of days(and you had better figure on walking not much more per day of Bug-Out than you do now what with obstacles threats and physical conditioning issues) you are bound to be disappointed and dead too soon...
    I also agree calories first -even if you have medical need for animal flesh, your calories in the form of sugar or grain can be used to bait the traps that should be your secondary source of protein.
    So calories first. Traps second. And storage protein Third. None are that expensive if you are careful in your shopping.

    1. Don't forget those dried hotdogs-fillers and salt in dried form. Yummmm.

    2. Regarding the "dehydrated hot dog" book. Hubby just had to know If 4 sheets of 1/2 plywood would stop a 9mm bullet. (The author recommended the plywood to help "harden" a safe room.)

      Well, hubby tested it out today.....

      Total fail. The bullet went all the way through the 4 sheets of plywood.

      Idaho Homesteader

    3. Are you sure this was the same test? I mean, I can't imagine that if you stepped away any length that your performance would be that good. If so, than my years of cartridge hatred was misplaced.

    4. I've read before that even the .22 LR will smash through 9” of wood. To be practical, I think you really need to go with sand bags. You can do it with enough wood, but it would get mighty expensive pretty quick. You could also try adding some of that cement board to the plywood (I don't know the official term, but it's the stuff that's used in showers to place tile on) since I don't think it's too costly?

      8”x8”x16” building blocks filled with sand, dirt, or better yet, cement would be rather bullet repellent I would think. Perhaps not too costly for a small building?

      With Earth sheltered you're already one step ahead in the game.

    5. Depends on the bullet. 9mm with hollow point will man stop about as well as a .38, but 9mm with full jacket will penetrate decently through things like wood, drywall, glass, etc.
      If you want to resist bullets and shrapnel you need to think masonry, sandbags, soil, etc.

    6. The "dehydrated hot dog" guy didn't explain how he did his test. He just said that 4 thicknesses of 1/2 plywood would stop a bullet.

      At my place setting on my dinning room table is the test target my hubby used. He screwed together 4 pieces of 1/2 plywood and there is a bullet hole that goes all the way through them. (He also left me the 9mm casing. He was showing off. lol) So the proof is in the pudding. If you are expecting 4 thicknesses of 1/2 inch plywood to save your life, you might not make it.

      In the "dehydrated hot dog" book, the author recommended a few fictions books to read to get you in the right mindset. I went and read a couple of them. (Two of them were free with Kindle Unlimited.)

      In one of the fiction books, you'll never guess what happened? One of the main characters went and used 4 thicknesses of plywood to make a safe room.... Some of the "hot dog" guys other suggestion came directly from that same fiction book.

      My guess is that the "dehydrated hot dog" guy read a bunch of fiction books, took that for research instead of doing his own and passed the information on as original.

      The other advice he gave on storing seed potatoes is also totally off. He recommended taking store bought potatoes and storing them individually in zip lock biggies that you sucked all the air out of and placing the baggies in a tote filled with soil to keep them from freezing.

      A potato is mostly water. If you store it in an airtight plastic bag, come spring you will have a gooey, slimey, stinky mass of black snot. Don't ask me how I know ;) I've root cellared potatoes for over twenty years -and- I live in Idaho :) so I know what I'm talking about. Do NOT, and I repeat DO NOT store potatoes in airtight plastic if you want them to be something other than smelly black mush in spring.

      My advice......use the suggestions in that book at your own peril. I get the feeling that it was written by an armchair Rambo.

      Idaho Homesteader

    7. 9x19mm fmj (even +P+ Uzi smg loads) will be stopped by a plywood wall IF you fill the 3.5" void between the plywood with pea gravel. If you get unlucky, the bullet can go through the all-wood parts. A 2x6 plywood wall filled with gravel will stop a 150 grain 7.62NATO bullet. These get very heavy fast, so look out for floor loading.

      Standard US cottonwood framing and OSB/Tyvek construction will stop a bullet after going completely through 1.5 houses (only slight exaggeration). Car sheet metal can be shot through with the most pitiful firearms (.25Auto pistol), so you might as well bicycle.

    8. 628: If I recall correctly, the plywood, no sandbags was for leaving the house in Wife Approved level and the wood was a low storage space item quickly attatched.
      JJ-do you know what ammo is most distributed-FMJ or hollowpoints? Well, most popular, so most likely most available. That could tell you the best defense.
      IH-if I remember correctly, the fiction book guy asked for permission from the dried hotdog guy to use the non-fiction as the template. I hear what you are saying. I disliked his Bug-In plan, his weapons plan and I thought all his fiction recommendations were crap. That said, it was one of the few inspirational survival books I've read in some time, warts and all. It opened unconventional avenues of thinking.

  4. Jim,
    Your first paragraph in today's blog "nails it" as far as what is the best solution for the future chance of survival when it all "goes down". Those who don't recognize this truth right now should listen to the following song by John Hiatt titled "Native Son" from his "Walk On" album. Anyone not yet ready and "standing by" should play this song at least once each day and I guarantee that you'll love it and find that its truth will energize you NOW to avoid the situation that the lyrics depict.


    Here's the actual lyrics to this song..... Good luck. We all will need it!

    Bullpasture in Virginia Appalachians

    "Native Son"

    You finally found the mainstream
    In the middle of your life
    You tapped into a vein
    Of endless gold chains
    Now you're locked up tight
    Tearing down the middle of it
    Splitting it right in half
    Bobbing up and down the waves
    Like a runaway slave
    On a Huck Finn raft

    Take your wife
    Take your family
    Take your gun

    Running through the woods
    And the burned out neighborhoods
    Looking for someone
    A member of your tribe
    A Place you can hide
    'Til the war has begun
    'Cause in the fields before the flood
    You'll be spilling blood
    Like a native son

    Where you gonna run to
    There ain't no underground
    If only you could fly
    You'd cut across the sky
    Like a rifle round
    Oh, who are your people
    And where is your homeland
    'Cause they're dying side by side
    At the river of pride
    Where we tried to take a stand

    [Chorus 2x]
    In the fields before the flood
    You'll be spilling blood
    Like a native son

  5. I've got an old ambulance converted into a mini motorhome. High ground clearance. Good tires. Diesel with a waste veggie oil burning second fuel system. (1500 - 2000 mile range) Solar panel and 3 batteries. It is NOT a bug out vehicle but a pretty decent camper and boat hauler. Got it for $1600 at auction and spent another $800 or so modifying it. However, I already live where folks would bug out to.

    Speaking of which, there's a new neighbor down the road. He bought what passes for junk land around here. 100 X 100 lot with a gravel driveway too steep to drive up. A local guy will haul up his $600 trailer with a front end loader. On the plus side it is off a year round road, has electric power, and a small brook runs past it. The guy was homeless in RI, got a small financial settlement and bugged out to northern NH. A trailer in the country beats homless in the city.

    1. That guy sounds more intelligent than all the homeless guys I hang out with.

    2. Best I can figure, all his problems go back to having married the wrong woman. You know how that goes.

    3. Picking the wrong women is forgivable. You can't control brain chemistry ( HINT, HINT, semi-auto users ).

  6. “It is far better to live in a small city and have a junk land retreat only a few miles away ( say, half a day’s bicycle ride-probably no more than 100 miles maximum ) than to live in a humongous urban super-city and have a groovy deluxe forty acre retreat with concrete fortress and babbling brook and pasture and woodlot and cows, but a thousand miles away.”

    That's because when financing the groovy deluxe 40 acre retreat James, you also have to factor in the financing of the $100K Cessna 152 bugout plane. Problem solved! Unless you're poor :D

    1. What's a half a million between prepper friends?:)

  7. This will cheer you up.


  8. I was just listening to Dmitry Orlov talk about the Iron Triangle. House-Job-Car, maximum debt so that if you somehow fail on the income side you lose everything, while burning-up and locking-in any surplus value you might have generated after eating, staying warm and charging your iThings.

    The Orlov solution is a sailboat. The trick is to be able to generate income while not at job or house, since these are now impossible and you still have to eat and make repairs. Ehhh, maybe it works in the tropics, but I like Latitude 42-50 North. Off-grid junk land is almost like being at sea, except for that the pirates don't need boats.

    Sailboat-scale technology is worth borrowing for remote living.


    1. I like that, Sailboat Scale Tech. Minimize rather than maximize.

  9. Great post and some good comments. I live at my retreat and its safe from the banks. Not 100% prepared yet but getting there.

    1. Anyone can easily prep. $100 for six months of wheat and a grinder. $200 for a single shotgun and ammo. It takes a lot more effort to prep to survive the evil banker humps. You do that, as you did, and life is akin to two generations previous for quality of life.

    2. Damn, that's good enough to make an article out of.

    3. For a lot of people, a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the fastest way to get free of banksters and be able to someday own junk land. The system really wants you to keep limping along (re-financing, minimum payments, more lame-job hours, more micro-jobs, higher taxes if you do get some income) and serial-upgrading your "smart" phone and having no surplus to save. Sell as much stuff first as possible. Get residency in a State that is relatively hostile to creditors and won't make you penniless-carless-homeless-imprisoned and a felon-selling-a-kidney before absolving an unpayable low 5-digit 2year-old creditcard or underwater-house default. The selling stuff proceeds will probably go to your attorney and filing fees, but zero assets/zero-debt is better than negative tens-of-thousands with interest-due (and "assets" that cost you to keep).

      If you are defaulted on Child Support/Student Loans, lobby Congress for relief or leave the country, 'cause BK can't help you. Quick, because your passport may be suspended already. This is the sticky-trap that never goes away, short of a new identity in Federal Witness Protection.

    4. unless you have a skill such as car mechanic, then you could live in the grey economy. of course, you better have a good fake id for police hassles. they do not like sheeple without the proper paperwork.