Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Ben Wallace. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.
Before I start this article, I want to make it plain that I am not a combat trained individual, at least in a military sense. I am a retired deputy sheriff with 25+ years service, a long time prepper, and a person with an innate distrust of our government and politicians, the latter two with good reason: first, personal experience, and second I am a wide-eyed, open-minded individual that has been lied to, brain washed and tricked repeatedly over the span of my life.
My law enforcement experience has given me training in many areas that are pertinent to this article, as viewed from the “other side.” As a solo resident deputy in a very rural area, I took calls ranging from loose dogs up to and including homicides, frequently in remote areas, and I had to have the tools and equipment to handle all aspects of the call, usually with little assistance. I had to carry with me everything I might need and being a prepper really paid off in many cases. It is my firm belief that the day is coming when we conservative patriotic Americans are going to find ourselves on the receiving end of actions initiated by our government and the associated agencies they have created, DHS, FEMA, TSA, NSA, and all the associated agencies that have recently been armed. These agencies may act independently or with the assistance of the UN or foreign governments and troops, but there should be little doubt as regards their targets! Factor in the new breed of law enforcement officers, those that will gleefully do what they’re told even when they know their actions are unconstitutional, the ones that go to work hoping for a shoot out, and We the People had better be ready, far beyond planning to make it for two or three days or even long-term, if the supplies and other “stuff” we have amassed become “public property.”
As to the theme of this article: I have talked with and worked with many preppers and survivalists over the years, and many, if not most, will “publicly” deny making preparations to do battle with an out of control government, or with UN troops, or whoever. In private, this is not the case. The out of control government scenario is discussed, planned for and prepared for, even expected. Many of those involved in the discussions have prior military experience, combat experience, and others are law enforcement, often with SWAT experience, while many others are free thinking Americans that see the need to be prepared for all eventualities. While the level of training will vary widely, one thing all have in common is an innate distrust of our current government and the feeling that things are going to change, for the worse; people are scared and they realize they will be dependent on themselves and their friends and families to survive. The rise of citizen militias in the 90’s, continuing to this day, and the view of these by our government speaks’ volumes for the fears of Joe America. Add to this the phenomenal success of all manner of prepper and survival books, from basic field craft to guerrilla warfare and improvised explosives and it’s easy to get a feel for what is happening with many people. Fear is a great motivator!
So its’ finally happened…..a big time SHTF event, with little forewarning; it is basically an overnight happening. For whatever reason, the government has declared martial law, the provisions of the NDAA have been implemented, and along with all the executive orders floating around, Americans have become prisoners in their own country; patriotic American citizens have been declared the enemy….you have become a criminal and a target! The internet is down, radio and TV programming is being handled by the DHS, which means you hear only what they want you to. People in need are being told to report to fusion centers, relocation or refugee centers, prisons’ by any other name, the centers which the government swore did not exist, and many people have no choice but to comply. Their existence depends on society in general and the government in particular. Credit cards won’t work, few people have physical money, limited foods, little training and no hope or ideas. Locations have been set up to receive guns and ammunition, excess food stuffs, stores of gas and oil, any and everything you have worked for and stored over the years. And this all happened overnight? Hardly, it’s a plan coming together….But you won’t need your “stuff” in the immediate future, as driving for personal use is severely restricted and the government promises to take care of any needs you or your family might have in the immediate future! The old adage “There are two types of people, those who think the government will take care of them and those who think!” comes to mind. The people running these sites are from the myriad alphabet agencies written into existence by our government, and as it was known that law enforcement and the U.S. military, for the most part, would be unlikely to go against the Constitution and their own people, U.N. troops and other “foreign” troops, who have no such qualms about violating rights, are in evidence and assisting. Roundups of known and suspected ‘dissidents and terrorists” have begun, and house to house searches have started! Now the truth about the UN troops and foreign troops being in America comes out, but our government claims “It is fortuitous that we had these people training in America, because they can now help us in our time of crisis!”
As you, your family and your friends and associates have no intention of reporting anywhere, nor any intention of turning in anything, you have to do something. And you are sure, at least sure enough to spur you into action, that you and your politics are known to the government, making you an almost certain target. It is readily apparent that this is not an unexpected, isolated event, but a prepared and choreographed operation. You have got to bug out, have to leave……attempts to contact others in your group are unsuccessful, all circuits are busy, and heavy interference makes radio communication problematic, so you and your wife and possibly your kids, have to go it alone. The patriot grapevine brings news that lethal force has been and is being used to displace and round-up non compliant individuals and several gun battles have erupted, leading to numerous deaths, mostly on the part of government officials that met unexpected resistance from people and groups that refused to comply with “hand it over demands.”
You had the foresight to cache some supplies and hardware at a “central” location, and as this is also the rally point for you and your friends, you head there, taking with you as much as you can carry. Your ATV’s and trailers will not be used: roads, main, secondary or backwoods, will possibly be under surveillance, and the route chosen to get to the rally point is through very rough country; this will be shanks mare all the way. Thank God for good boots!
As the rally point/cache location was set up with the one tank of gas rule in mind, it is approximately 25 miles from your home. A short distance with a vehicle, but on foot it is a trek. So what do you take, your Bug Out Bag/72 Hour pack? These are better than nothing, but were never intended for what you are facing. You will be hiking cross-country, possibly through areas patrolled by hostile forces, possibly being pursued by these same forces. With personal safety and preservation in mind, what do you take to insure your safety and the safety of your family during your trek? Unless you plan on running helter skelter through the woods trusting to luck that you will not been seen, you are going to need more than a 72 hour pack…..a “battle pack” will be needed to make the rally point without getting captured or killed!
Start with the Basic Bug Out bag…it is highly unlikely it will do more than let you “camp out” for a few days. It is far better than nothing but may offer false security.
So, dump it and get a bigger pack, one with a frame. Grab your first aid kit, double the contents, and make sure you have at least two blood stoppers and a combat application tourniquet; there should be blood stoppers and a CAT for each person in the group. Add more water and a compact water filter if you have one. Food will be important, but not that important so three or four MRE’s or similar, a bag of snacks and you should be good. While matches and other fire starting equipment should be carried, you WLL NOT be sitting around a campfire! Socks, gloves, a med weight jacket and a rain poncho, cold weather clothing if appropriate and shoe strings. Don’t forget a hat or beanie and face camo! A map of the area you will be crossing through and a compass, and POSSIBLY a GPS. The civilian GPS system might not be working or reliable in a SHTF scenario, so the map and compass are vital. Night vision if you can afford it is a definite plus and a good set of binoculars are invaluable. A thermal blanket or smock is not a bad idea because you won’t be carrying a sleeping bag, but you should have a military type shelter half. There are some very good ones that come in a variety of camo patterns. Don’t forget hand-held radios and spare batteries! A hatchet and a machete or large knife will be a near requirement as your trek progresses.
You have a combat harness, right? Every good prepper has one! A harness, or a vest, complete with a combat knife, field dressing and a compass pouch and a small flashlight, a belt with canteen(s) or a water pack, two pouches for rifle magazines, a pistol, holster and a pouch for spare magazines completes this set up. Many people are dispensing with the harness and are going with a combat vest or plate carrier. These have good points, but they can be heavy and hot and they can be problematic with a pack.
Back to the back pack: You are not going to war, you are not entering into battle, but there is a very real possibility that you will b
e defending yourself and your family from hostiles. Your sole goal is to reach a predetermined location that offers relative safety and comfort. What you have with you will be ALL that is available, at least till you reach your first way point cache…hopefully you have a couple, and hopefully they are spaced to allow you to reach them in a reasonable time. Having several caches that are so far apart as to require a vehicle to reach then is not going to work in this scenario! And don’t space the caches’ at a distance based on hiking to them in good weather, lightly loaded, wife and kids in tow and under other ideal conditions. While you MIGHT make 8-10 miles a day under ideal conditions, conditions are not likely to be ideal. The caches’ should contain items which you might determine to be beneficial, but which you don’t want to or can’t carry. Sleeping bags, extra ammo, food, water and first aid supplies and extra clothing, boots and batteries come to mind. A spare rifle or other firearm is not out-of-place, because your primary weapon can easily be damaged or lost.
In addition to the food, water, and shelter items in your pack, you are going to want more ammunition, as much as you can reasonably carry. Not at the expense of other needed items, but in addition to. In the event you and your family have to defend yourselves, the well can run dry quickly. Have a small cleaning kit and make sure each person has a multi tool.
As I said before, you are not going into battle or starting a war, in fact, your main focus should be on avoiding any type of conflict. If you go against armed and trained forces, chances are you will wind up dead! Even against a second-rate group of “government brown shirts” you might be in trouble! This brings me to the last portion of the pack: Every prepper, especially if they anticipate bugging out, being on the run or being pursued, needs to put together several anti pursuit packages. When you are evading, especially if being pursued, anything you can do to slow the pursuers down will be to your advantage. If you have to stop and sleep and you probably will, you need something to tell you if you are being stalked. Anti intrusion devices can run the gauntlet from simple noisemakers to actual booby traps that can cause injury and death. Noise makers are available commercially, or you can make your own, other “items” can be made, but you should have them and know how to use them! Types and plans for making them are available, and while possession and manufacture might be a violation of various laws, we are talking about a world “wrol” Without Rule of Law…….Capture or arrest will certainly mean detention, more than likely death, so violations of law will probably be a moot point! You need to avoid capture by any means possible. Anti pursuit devices are limited only by a persons’ imagination, and as can be seen in any of the “police actions” America and the Soviet Union have been involved in over the past years: booby traps are a force multiplier! For vehicles, caltrops, welded metal “jacks,” are effective and easily made, and will slow vehicles with tires. Wires stretched across trails and roads are effective to a degree, especially against ATV types of vehicles. For foot pursuers, trip wires. Real or decoy, dead falls, punji stakes, home-made mines, again, imagination is the limiting factor, but you need the knowledge and materials before the bubble pops. Remember, your life and the lives of your family members might depend on your ability to slow pursuers!
In the event you are forced to fight, hit and run tactics will be your best option. As your “group” at this stage will be very small, standing and fighting will be suicidal. A “Bounding Over Watch” type of tactical retreat will be required to allow disengagement and movement. This is a very basic type of military maneuver, there are many others, but most people are not trained and proficient in military maneuvers, but, they should have at least a basic knowledge of them. There are many books available that describe military tactics, and while actual hands on is best, learning through reading is second best. Many militia groups DO train in military tactics, and it would definitely be beneficial to get the training if possible. To give the reader an example of what the powers that be think of Joe American getting training like this, several states, California being the one I am most familiar with, makes it a criminal offense for two or more people to get together and train, as shown in the following penal code section from California: Obviously, the politicians are afraid of trained citizens!
11460. (a) Any two or more persons who assemble as a paramilitary organization for the purpose of practicing with weapons shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
As used in this subdivision, “paramilitary organization” means an organization which is not an agency of the United States government or of the State of California, or which is not a private school meeting the requirements set forth in Section 48222 of the Education Code, but which engages in instruction or training in guerrilla warfare or sabotage, or which, as an organization, engages in rioting or the violent disruption of, or the violent interference with,
(b) (1) Any person who teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, application, or making of any firearm, explosive, or
destructive device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that these objects or techniques will be unlawfully employed for use in, or in the furtherance of a civil disorder, or any person who assembles with one or more other persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, explosive, or destructive device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, with the intent to cause or further a civil disorder, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. Nothing in this subdivision shall make unlawful any act of any peace officer or a member of the military forces of this state or of the United States, performed in the lawful course of his or her official duties.
(2) As used in this section:
(A) “Civil disorder” means any disturbance involving acts of violence which cause an immediate danger of or results in damage or
injury to the property or person of any other individual.
(B) “Destructive device” has the same meaning as in Section 16460.
(C) “Explosive” has the same meaning as in Section 12000 of the Health and Safety Code.
(D) “Firearm” means any device designed to be used as a weapon, or which may readily be converted to a weapon, from which is expelled a projectile by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion, or the frame or receiver of this weapon.
(E) “Peace officer” means any peace officer or other officer having the powers of arrest of a peace officer, specified in Chapter
4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2.
To close, start thinking outside the box! Most preppers do, but relatively few go to the lengths I have outlined. The rules are changing, have changed, and an enlightened and informed populace is not something the PTB can tolerate! This explains the need for control or heavy censorship of social media. Almost any site you go to is going far beyond telling people to prep for just natural disasters, temporary grid down events, temporary financial bumps…… Civil war, potential invasions and other “tin hat” theories are now something regularly discussed as more than theories. Not long ago, EMP/CRE events were fantasies among everyone but preppers, then the government admitted the possibility, Koppel wrote a book, and everyone was aghast and on board. We have entered a political era where an out of control executive branch is doing an end run on the constitution, with the assistance and cooperation of a compliant and incompetent justice department and a weak and ineffective congress! It is abundantly clear, or should be, that a line is being drawn, and “We the People” are being dared to cross it. The amount of injustice a government will heap on people is directly proportional to the amount they will allow! We are fast approaching the allowable limits!