Bug In or Bug Out (Evacuate or Stay put/ Survival in place)

I get asked this question all the time, so I figured I will talk about it a little more. Should I bug in or Bug out? Lets look at both:

Bug In – (AKA Survival in place, Staying put, etc)

This is where your primary residence, whether it be a house, apartment, trailer, mobile home or farm, is the place you go to when the SHTF or the balloon goes up. It is more cost effective (cheaper) to bug in , if you have all your preps at this location and have created a survival retreat out of your house. This includes but is not limited to food reserves, water storage, water collection devices, survival gardens, livestock, defensive plans, reinforced structure, etc.

Bug Out – (AKA Head for the hills)

Bugging out is when you leave your primary residence and go to a PRE-DETERMINED survival location. This is usually the situation when you live in a fairly large . Possibly dangerous after civil unrest city, that you feel is way to dangerous to Bug In or you have other concerns about your primary residence where you are not comfortable bugging in. Bug out locations are usually at least 15 miles away from your primary residence and could be as far away as 150 miles, but should be under 60 miles away if possible. These are usually farm type locations with at least one acre of land.

So what is the differences and which one is better? This is up to you, your location and your financial abilities. If your primary residence is in a suburban area, where it can be defended, and you have enough preps and supplies on site and the ability to raise or grow and store more, it is best to bug in and stay. If you do not own your primary residence, or you have the financial ability to have a dedicated bug out location, or if your primary residence is located in an unsafe zone, It is best to bug out.

Hide your Preps

Just a quick note and reminder to all of our readers. Hide your preps, Nosy neighbors are no good. This should not be too hard if everything is inside, but watch out for your exterior preps. There are very crafty ways to hide such outside preps. This include storing them in a shed, making them look like a shed, Disguising them as pool equipment if you have a pool, Making them look like compost bins, etc.

How to Survive When Disaster Strikes

When I first started designing my own 72 hour Bug Out Bag, this article probably influenced me the most of all the ones posted on the internet at the time. It just had the basics and wasnt filled with a whole bunch of crap that would be deposited along the road side being too heavy to carry any distance. It wasnt written by someone that had never trekked with a full load and didnt have the rambo, carry a dozen guns attitude. Id like to see anyone carry more than a long rifle and a pistol any distance with a decent amount of ammo included. Thats why I always like passing this one on to others, hopefully it will make a good starting point for them, as it did for me. Although Ive now opted for more permanent 7 day and 14 day kits to be carried by vehicle, I still have 3 day kits set up. These can be carried with you at all times. I have one in my jeep at all times and another stored under the decking in my backyard within a plastic water tight container for a backup.

Bug Out!

How to Survive When Disaster Strikes

By Dan Johnson

http://www.handgunsmag.com/tactics_training/bug_0722/

In an amusing B-grade Sci-Fi flick titled “Tremors,” giant underground worms terrorized a small desert town. What is even more unbelievable than the giant worms is that Hollywood would produce a movie where one of the heroes is not only a gun aficionado but also a hard-core survivalist. Burt, played by Michael Gross, is a decent but decidedly paranoid and eccentric character who is often the butt of local jokes. But when he and his wife supply the townsfolk with much needed weaponry and kill one of the monsters that crashes into their well-stocked compound, one of the locals admits, “We’re not gonna be able to make fun of Burt anymore.”

Since the tragic events of September 11, we are all in more of a survival mode and considering “what if” scenarios doesn’t seem so far-fetched now. Even the most liberal among us are not as prone to make fun of survivalists anymore. While it may not be time to head for a remote compound, a few common sense preparations are certainly in order. Terrorist concerns aside, there are many types of disasters that can disrupt our life and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) recommends we all have a supply of food, water and an Emergency Preparedness Kit on hand in case of disaster.

The kit is what survivalist types often refer to as a bug-out bag and it is as good a term as any for discussion here. Besides, I’m too lazy to keep typing Emergency Preparedness Kit. If you were suddenly forced to evacuate your home, the bug-out bag contains items to keep you safe and comfortable until emergency services are in place. Even with natural catastrophes like floods and earthquakes, it usually takes up to 72 hours for emergency services to be implemented. So 72 hours is the minimal time frame in which you should prepare to be on your own. In most cases you are better off if you can stay put in your home. If you do, the bug-out bag is still a convenient way to keep all your emergency supplies organized and in one place.

America is a vast and varied landscape with climate ranging from sub-tropical to alpine. Some of us live in huge urban areas where an escape to the country can take hours under the best conditions, others in rural areas or maybe even on the edge of wilderness. So, if you must evacuate, where you live and where you expect to escape to dictates what items you might need in an emergency, as does climate, population density, and other considerations. A bug-out bag for an escape to the wilderness will be very different than one for a move to an indoor emergency shelter.

I live in a city in the southwest where there is plenty of open land beyond the city limits in every direction, mountains to the north and east and desert to the south and west. Since I live alone, have no children at home to worry about and enjoy camping even in harsh weather, I’ve decided I’d rather head for the hills than be crowded into an emergency shelter. Your needs may be different from mine. Still, I thought it might be useful to discuss the choices I made in putting together a bug-out bag for me and discuss why it works for me and why it might not work for you.

WEAPONS
Most survivalists prepare for the long haul and stockpile an assortment of combat weapons and large quantities of ammo. Nothing wrong with that, but we are concerned here with short-term survival and in most cases heavy firepower will not be needed. It is unlikely we will have to engage terrorists in our neighborhoods but riots and looting may be a concern where you live, and you can certainly prepare for it. Just bear in mind local regulations regarding carrying firearms and realize those laws will likely remain in effect. In fact, you are more likely to be searched in a disaster situation and probably less tolerance shown by law enforcement.

I opted not to pack weapons in my main bug-out bag for several reasons, not the least of which is I use my guns often and did not want to have to continuously go into my bug-out bag to retrieve them. You may decide to pack weapons in your main bag or not at all, depending on your circumstances. I keep a small second bag packed. This one is the mini-range bag from Bagmaster and is strictly for weapons and ammo. It holds a 1911 and a Marvel .22 conversion unit, along with a half-dozen loaded .45 auto magazines and two magazines for the .22 conversion. In the outer pocket is a 100-round pack of .22 ammo, a holster, and tools for installing the conversion unit.

THE BAG
In choosing a bag you should consider how much gear you need to carry and how far you may have to physically carry it. If a lot of walking is likely to be involved, backpacks are favored. Multiple bags are called for with families as all the adults and older children can share the load and the more people to provide for, the more supplies needed. You may even want to put together a special little bag for the smaller children consisting of new toys, games, and activity books they have not played with beforehand to help keep their minds off the situation. You can also pack some of their favorite packaged snacks.

Bags should be water-resistant and possibly even waterproof if you live in a very wet climate. I mentioned bags first but they should likely be the last item chosen. First decide what you need to carry, stack all the items together and then decide what size and number of bags you need. How to distribute the supplies among family members warrants careful thought. For instance, you may decide to have one bag for food and cooking apparatus, another for clothing and shelter, and one just for first aid and miscellaneous gear. But then if family members are somehow separated or a bag is lost or damaged, none of you will have all that you need. It may be unlikely that this will happen, but you have to consider every possible scenario and make the best choices you can. Each choice will often mean a compromise.

I chose a Bagmaster Pro Gear Bag over a backpack because I like the easy accessibility of the duffel-type bag and didn’t consider it likely I would have to carry the bag very far. I live close to the edge of town, and I’m confident my 4X4 can get me out of the city even if I have to resort to some creative cross country driving. If I am wrong and do end up traveling on foot, the shoulder strap works pretty well and I feel I can manage.

WATER
Other than in frigid conditions where freezing to death is a major concern, water is the most important element of your immediate survival. Yet we tend to take water for granted. Americans just assume when they turn on the faucet, the water will flow. Even if you decide you don’t need emergency survival gear, one thing everyone should do is lay in a supply of emergency water. It doesn’t cost anything. You can simply fill some empty milk jugs with water and add a drop of bleach to purify it. This works fine for storing water in the home but milk jugs are not made as sturdy as they once were and are prone to leak if moved around a lot such as in a vehicle. If you store water in your vehicle, use a heavyweight plastic container. They are inexpensive and will assure the water is there if you need it.

Ideally, each person should drink at least a gallon of water a day but FEMA recommends you plan on a minimum of two-quarts per day per person. You can survive short-term on less but you will still need a fair amount of water to go three days without dehydrating and without some water you will not survive 72 hours.

If you have to evacuate, water is bulky and heavy and you could easily fill up your bug-out bag with even a minimal three-day supply, so it is best to include only a very short-term supply in your bag. I’ve packed three of the prepackaged four-ounce emergency water packs in my bag and made other arrangements for my sustained needs. Since I hope to evacuate via vehicle, I keep a five-gallon water can in my 4X4 and as an extra precaution included an MSR Mini-Works water filter in my bag, plus a small bottle of iodine tablets.

Water can be readily found in most parts of the country, even in the desert thanks to windmills and livestock tanks, but little of it is safe to drink without purification. Small water filters like the Mini-Works were designed for backpackers and will remove harmful bacteria and protozoa and any sediment. They will not remove viruses however. This is not usually a problem in the US but for extra caution you can treat the water first with iodine tablets and then filter out the sediment and iodine. Water treated this way is as pure and sweet as any you’ll find in a bottle at the supermarket.

FOOD
You can easily survive 72 hours and longer without food but it is uncomfortable to do so and both your physical strength and mental processes will suffer. Packaged fatty foods like sausages and beef jerky take up little room and offer quick energy, but if you feel confident of a good water supply, freeze dried foods are your best bet for more substantial meals. Some of the meals designed for backpacking are quite good and well balanced or you can find suitable packaged foods at the supermarket. The packaged pasta dinners are good. Some call for milk but I have cooked a lot of them with just water and can tell little difference. If you take the time to look around your local store, you’ll find a multitude of suitable packaged foods to stock your bag.

You will of course need a pot for cooking and preferably a portable stove. You can cook over a campfire but some of the compact stoves on the market are very small, much more convenient, and can also be used for emergency short-term heat. I have the MSR Superfly model that weighs only 4.5 ounces, yet will boil water in less than three minutes. One feature I especially like about this stove is the Multi-Mount technology. It is the only butane stove that fits almost all makes and types of self-sealing butane canisters.

When choosing cookware, the first impulse might be to pick as small a pot as possible to save on space. But I use a two-liter pot with lid designed for camping. It is large enough to come in handy for filtering water or as a wash pan for personal hygiene since I can store the stove and other items inside it, there is really very little if any space sacrificed. Don’t forget to include cooking utensils. If you smoke or have a caffeine addiction, an emergency is no time to quit. Withdrawal symptoms include nervousness and impaired reasoning, not what you need in a high-stress situation. So be sure to include some of your favorite vices in your bug-out bag.

SHELTER AND CLOTHING
What clothes you need depends on the region and time of year. Winter clothes are bulkier and require more space, so if extreme cold is expected, you may want to consider a separate bag just for the needed clothing. I managed to pack what I needed for the relatively mild winters in my area into my main bag by using layers of relatively thin high-quality clothing. This is one area you don’t want to cut corners. Cheap cotton long johns do not provide the degree of protection needed.

My winter bag contains a set of polypropylene long underwear that offers excellent heat retention in a very thin layer when worn next to the skin. If needed, I have a set of Ullfrotte wool/polyester blend underwear to put on over the polypropylenes for added warmth; some knee-high wool-blend socks and a wool pullover also from Ullfrotte; gloves; a stocking cap; and an extra shirt round out my winter wear. I see no reason to pack a coat in the bag since it takes up a lot of room and, if it is winter, I am certain to have one handy anyway. Some type of rain gear is advisable. Here in the dry southwest, I feel I can get by with a lightweight emergency poncho. Better gear may be needed where you live.

Shelter depends on your predicted survival scenario. If you expect to stay in the city, you can usually find shelter of some sort, but since I have opted to head for open country I included a Eureka one-man backpacking tent in my bag. It folds up very compactly and provides good shelter from wind and rain.

I keep a sleeping bag in my truck at all times but wanted something in my bug-out bag in case my vehicle is not accessible. Space blankets are an option but I sacrificed a little more space in the bag for a Thermo-Lite Emergency Bivvy Sack. It is of the same material used in space blankets but designed as a sleeping bag to keep out the cold. It folds up compactly into the stuff sack provided and requires little storage space.

FIRST AID
There are a number of good first aid kits on the market. Some are just basic ointment and bandages while others offer supplies for more serious injuries. Adventure Medical Kits, designed for serious wilderness expeditions, are among the most technically advanced. I chose their Fundamentals kit for my bag. It is a rather large kit, but my reasoning is I will be on my own out there and want to be able to properly treat any injuries. Plus, if I should pass some injured people on my exodus I will certainly stop to offer help. This kit has a good assortment of bandages plus splints and even a biohazard kit. It also contains a comprehensive first aid manual. If you are on any prescription medication, be sure to add a supply to the first aid kit. You might also want to add some over the counter products such as Excedrin PM to ease aching muscles and help you sleep once you are in a secure location.

TOOLS
Every kit should have a good knife and a multi-tool of some make. Beyond that, it depends on what you expect your needs to be. Since I likely will be camping, I included a Glock E-tool and a Gränsfors Bruks Hunter’s Axe. The E-Tool is a lightweight folding shovel that requires little room in the bag yet could certainly come in handy in an emergency. It even has a saw that stows in the handle. The Hunter’s Axe is of course for cutting firewood and, though I didn’t deem it an absolute necessity, it fits neatly on top of my bag thanks to some Velcro straps and thus doesn’t take up any room inside.

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
There are a lot of other items worthy of consideration. For example, a good map and compass if you are evacuating by road. Main routes may be blocked or congested requiring some detours. My bag includes a detailed geographic map of the area that shows not only minor dirt roads across the desert but stock tanks and springs where water may be found.

A good light source is essential. I packed a powerful four-cell AA flashlight plus a Lightwave 4000 LED light for sustained use. Candles or a small backpacker’s lantern are also worthy of consideration. Be sure to include extra batteries, bulbs, and fuel if needed.

Here is a checklist of other items you may need:

  • Money
  • Copy of insurance documents
  • Portable radio
  • Survival manual
  • Liquid anti-bacterial soap
  • Toilet tissue
  • Matches /lighter
  • Sunblock/insect repellent
  • Pen/pencil/paper
  • Rope/twine/cord
  • Towel/washcloth
  • Duct tape
  • Signaling device
  • Portable heater
  • Pre-paid phone card

You should repack your bag every six-months and rotate food items to keep them fresh. Spring and fall are the best times as you can pack clothes and other items suitable for the upcoming season. All members of the family who are old enough should be involved and know what supplies are packed, where they are and how to use them. It can actually be a fun family project. The most important element of survival is common sense and a cool head. Consider carefully every possible scenario and plan for it. Don’t go overboard and pack more than you can reasonably carry, but try to include everything you need.

Prepper’s Library

What�s on your shelves? A Prepper�s Library

If you hang around the various prepper/survivalist boards, you will quickly learn about the three �B�s. Beans, Band-Aids, and Bullets. What you don�t hear so often is the fourth �B�; Books.

Like other supplies and equipment, books can greatly add to your survivability and comfort in a difficult situation. From reloading to food preserving, books not only supplements the knowledge you already have, but gives you a teaching tool when passing on your knowledge to your children, spouse, or friends. If something should happen to you, the books are banked knowledge that can used for generations to come.

The only downside to physical books is their bulk and weight. Full sized manuals rarely have space devoted to them in the Bug out Bag or camping backpack. But then, manuals for home repair or gardening aren�t really needed when the situation has deteriorated to the point of evacuation.

An argument could be made for having book backups in the form of PDFs or E-books. It is a good choice, but given the delicate nature of present day readers, pods, and pads; plus the necessity of having a renewable form of recharging (solar charger), I consider them as backup to physical books.

Physical books don�t need energy to work. They rarely break when dropped; have better results drying out after getting wet; and can be read in multiple forms of light.

Physical books also have the often overlooked advantage of acting as an insulation device. A wall of standard manual sized books adds eight inches of wood pulp that helps hold in either heat or cold.

The types of books in your personal library will, obviously, be based on your personality and point of view; but for basics and beginners, I�d recommend the following:

A First Aid manual: Having a good First Aid book will help keep any training you get fresh in your head as well as back you up during a stressful time.

A general Home Repair manual: You might live in a condo or apartment where maintenance repairs things, but when things go wrong and they aren�t around, these books can save you a lot of headaches. From basic wiring to plumbing, a book like this will help you fix that dripping faucet or change out wall sockets (fixtures).

A general vehicle repair manual: Like home repair, these books can give you instructions on how to diagnose and repair your vehicle, saving you money in good times, and possibly your bacon in bad. While there are repairs I�d rather have a true mechanic do, there are many other repairs and general maintenance items I found I could do on my own. It built confidence and gave me insight to my vehicle in ways I could not get as just a driver. Be warned: Most general vehicle repair manuals deal with the engine, electrics, and minor body work. They do not have any instruction when it comes to transmissions. You will need a general transmission manual for that.

A book on edible wild plants: If things go really bad, or if you just live in a bad neighborhood, you can expect unsavory people to raid vegetable gardens like wild rabbits. It might take them a while to find it, but one they do it will be picked clean. A book on wild edibles will not only show you what plants have dibble parts when hiking, but they will also show you what plants you can install in your landscape that will provided rarely detected nutrients for you and your family. (How many people have you seen chewing on cat tail?)

A book on general survival: You may never plan on having to build a lean-to shelter, or build a snare trap, but a book on general survival is a great tool no matter where you live. Even urban dwellers can appreciate the information on gathering and processing water so that it�s safe to drink. Primitive fire starting might seem like woods man survival only but when you need to turn that 3 gallon pot into a makeshift hibachi, those skills can come in handy.

Those are just the basics. You can build your library from there to suit your personal needs. Reloading, tracking, fishing, cabin building, RV repair, Medical manuals, canning, dehydrating, square foot gardening, hunting, tanning, crafts both modern and primitive, knot tying, anything you can think of to expand your knowledge and up the percentage of your survival should be on your shelves.

And let�s not forget about magazines too. They have wonderful articles on various homesteading/prepping/survival skills boiled down in easy to learn lessons.

They say knowledge is power. How powerful do you want to be?

 

The Face of the Enemy

The Face of the Enemy.

There are two sides to the gun ownership argument hunting and self-defense. I have and will further argue that the amount “gun crime” is relatively small and remains unchanged over the decades despite changes in the “gun control laws” and within society itself. In these few paragraphs let us look more at the public perception of crime; what makes a criminal tick and how citizen ownership of firearms can reduce the criminal misuse of firearms.

Are you afraid of criminals? YES. Then your fears are justified. If you haven’t been confronted by a criminal yet, you don’t know just how justified you are. To understand the criminal mind, try this purely hypothetical experiment. Take a human embryo; breed it in a ghetto environment where the only people who are successful and enjoy creature comforts seem to be the pimps and the drug dealers and the armed robbers. Give that child only a half a chance of getting even the most menial job in a world where the only cheap entertainment is TV and videos, where the upper middle-class life-style this child can only hope to partake of through criminal enterprise is glorified. What do you expect to end up with? Somebody that lives by their animal instincts!

You’re born with intelligence, but not with ethics if crime has become the recognized avenue for success because most of the others are effectively choked off, then it will become ethically acceptable to that organism. When that human organism commits a crime, throw it into a prison system where a whole different dimension of life exists, a world of predatory animals who dwell within a hierarchy based on who is the strongest, the most vicious, the most ruthless a world inhabited by those whose stock-in-trade is crime. These people can teach that young and malleable young organism how to make a hundred thousand a year dealing dope, or a thousand dollars an hour stealing cars or burglarizing homes. Our young organism, if he has a quick mind, can learn enough to pursue his new trade in a couple of weeks, but there’s no one out there who would fund him through trade school for a couple of years to learn a middle-class skill acceptable to middle-class society.

In the seething world behind the prison walls, there is one criterion only: “Look out for Number One, and everybody else can go to hell”. If you don’t, they’ll bash you to steal a few packs of cigarettes or worse rape you and move themselves another step up in the food chain hierarchy of prison life. This is the culture and the habitat where criminals breed. They regard human beings who conform to society as a resource, to be harvested like corn or complacent livestock for their bounty. See them in their prison environment, and you can’t help but feel sorry for them. There isn’t one of them who won’t seem like a victim to you when you talk to him in the visiting room, because there isn’t one of them who aren�t a victim.

Call it genetic defect, call it society, but something victimized them and robbed them of the rich sensitivities law-abiding citizens enjoy. But sympathizing with a criminal in the prison visiting room is like sympathizing with the timber wolf caged inside its bars at the Zoo. It’s safe enough there, but you don’t want to meet either of them in their natural habitat. Veteran prison officers and cops will tell you, “Look, save your sympathy. They’re animals”. You respond with outrage and think the guards and cops must be animals themselves for feeling that way about other people. You’d be stupid. Crims themselves will shrug and tell you, “You act like an animal if you’re treated like one”. But I don’t think of them as animals. Spend time with animals and you can learn to relate with them. To most of you, criminals are as alien as supernatural beings. The best analogy is with werewolves. We all know that werewolves are mythical creatures that exist only in the minds of the scriptwriters, they make you tingle with excitement in the movie theatre, but you don’t have to fear that one is going to bite you on the way home.

Most people still feel that way about violent criminals; until they meet one, they simply don’t exist. You might say I believe in werewolves. If so, it’s because I’ve met them. One of them just sits there across the desk in the prison office and says, “I’ve always maintained my innocence”. His eyes are slate-gray, and he has learned to stare people down like Kipling’s Mowgli staring down the wolf pack, and he can’t keep a mocking hint of a sneer off his face when he speaks of the crime he was convicted for. One senior officer at the prison where he is serving his life term says of him, “He’s a model prisoner. We’ve never had any trouble with him, and we probably never will. He’s bright and articulate. And he is possibly the single most dangerous human being in this institution”. He says, he was setup and railroaded on circumstantial evidence.

The police think he’s a psychopathic killer who is so good at covering up his hideous murders that they’ll never convict him for more than the one. He’s bright and engaging and informative to talk to, and when I’m alone in an interview room with him, I keep my hands free and my chair back from the desk so I can move fast, just as if a strange Doberman had walked into the room. The kinds of werewolves I’ve met carry their fangs in their belts or their pockets (almost never in holsters, so they can ditch their weapons immediately with no evidence attached to their persons). They react less to full moons than to bellies full of alcohol or a couple of days doing speed or three weeks without sex or three days without money.

Psychiatrists call them sociopath. Sociopaths don�t really care about other people one-way or the other. They see people as a resource, as food as it were. They will steal your belongings the way you devour an apple, feeling good afterward having sated their appetite, and with absolutely no regard for the feelings of the apple tree that grew the bounty and left it where it could be harvested. Being a sociopath isn’t necessarily bad. There are times when society deliberately trains sociopath since they can serve extremely useful functions. If a conglomerate has just taken over a marginally profitable firm and has to clear out a lot of deadwood, they’ll send in a personnel executive who can be ruthless about firing people who don’t produce. He hasn’t spent fifteen years at work and at play with the people he’s firing, and if it occurs to him that this loss of their jobs will be the most shattering act in their lives short of the death of a child or parent or spouse, he sloughs it off. He is doing it impersonally, for the greater good of the corporation.

In wartime, every soldier on the battlefield has been taught that the enemy is subhuman or nonhuman, a target to be destroyed in return for recognition (medals, favored assignments, and promotions for those producing the highest body count). The tragedy of the foreigner’s death, of the widowhood of his wife, and the orphaning of his children, is ignored. The soldier kills wholesale for the greater good of his unit, and is rewarded by his own survival and that of his nation. That soldier’s own generals will send him to die, because they know that there is a certain “acceptable casualty rate” when the death of one’s own compatriots is accompanied by strategic victory. The general sends his men to die for the greater good of the service, and the head of state that commands the general endorses this act for the greater good and survival of his government and his society. The dead soldiers on their own side are ciphers. The dead soldiers on the other side are body count and victory, with tangible rewards in terms of national riches and security and of forestalling the advances of Communism/Capitalist Imperialism (pick one).

In corporate head-rollings, the suffering jobless disappear from sight, and all that remains is the relief and good feelings of those who still have their jobs and are still occupationally alive. The sociopath outlaw who commits crime against another person feels those same justifications. He does it for the greater good of himself; the suffering of his victims doesn’t concern him. He is isolated from it. He feels he has his own problems that drove him to this life-style; the agony he causes for others is simply their problem. The average person could not identify with murdering for profit. The sociopath criminal will do so with no more compunction than the manager of your local MacDonald’s makes his order for the week’s hamburger. Each is doing what he perceives his job to be, and if some living thing dies for it, that is a problem for the thing that dies, not for him.

Consider another one of the “model prisoners” a young man who we will call “Ronnie”. Ronnie is around twenty-nine, a congenial person with a raffish air about him. Everybody who chats with him likes him. Ronnie is in a maximum-security prison where he’s going to be for quite some time, because Ronnie has done a lot of sociopath things in his life. Ronnie tells me about how he makes his living as a professional burglar, home invader and car thief when he’s “outside the walls”. I asked Ronnie what he would do if he faced an ARMED homeowner. “If neither of us had drawn yet, I’d draw and shoot him. If I had my gun out and he went for his, I’d kill him. If he had the drop on me, I’d wait till he turned away, and then I’d pull my gun and shoot him”. “What if, I asked, the homeowner didn’t give him an opening”? “I’d let the coppers come and take me back to prison”, he said. “I’m not stupid enough to get myself killed”.

If Ronnie comes into my house when I’m there, he’ll either threaten me with death or actually kill me, since I�m sure won’t be inviting him over for a drink. And if I ever come home and find Ronnie there, I will violate every one of societies rules and, if I could, shoot him down on sight. He is the wolf, and I am the shepherd. It is one thing to grieve for the loss of natural ecology for arctic and timber wolves, and quite another to be responsible for the sheep that they kill. Timber wolves are wild and free and they love their families, and if you could get to know them you’d like them. All that is true of Ronnie, too. I feel sorry for the wolves in the zoo and for Ronnie in prison. But I know that their instinct is to kill my sheep, and if they try to, I’ll destroy them, just as they would me if they got the drop on me first. Pogo said, “We have seen the enemy, and they is us”. That’s something that crosses every citizen’s mind when he gets bitten by someone like Ronnie and decides that it isn’t going to happen anymore. But we don’t wont to be like them.

Those who want to ban guns make the point that burglars and home invaders kill more homeowners than vice versa. That’s only because the criminals come in ready to kill anyone who messes with them, like Ronnie, and some of them have a bit of rogue leopard in them and kill just for fun Homeowners, by contrast, don’t kill unless they have absolutely no choice. When a Ronnie runs, they don’t shoot him in the back, the way Ronnie might do to them. Ronnie isn’t afraid of silver bullets or garlic or anything else except either two Dobermans at once, or a gun held on him that doesn’t waver and that he knows is going to go off if he turns mean.

These predatory people don’t think like you. They aren’t people like you. They are a different breed. Talk to doctors and psychiatrists and lawyers and parole officers. These are all people who understand the criminal mind. They’ll be reluctant to talk about the full depths of what they know until they know you a lot better, because they think you’ll say, “Come on, there really aren’t beings like you’re describing except on TV and in the movies”.

But if you could look into the list of registered holders of pistol-carrying permits for a city like New York you’ll find that their doctors and psychiatrists, probation officers, judges and lawyers, are among the highest occupational categories of people who carry guns for self-defense where it is permitted by law. This is because they work every day with the sort of people we are talking about. They have seen the face of the enemy and they are indeed frightened. They arm themselves with guns/guards/dogs/alarms because they also know what fends off the sociopath werewolves from their city’s streets.

Call a guard dog breeder, in any city, any state and any country and ask him how many of his clients are doctors and lawyers and judges. It’s not just because they can afford the money.

Those of us who have dealt with hardened criminals know them better than anyone else. We also, even more than the bleeding heart pseudo penologists, understand just what a rotten hand they were dealt even before they got to prison, let alone after they got out again, too. I’ve spent a lot of time researching them. I can empathize with the wolves and the werewolves, however. They follow their nature, the dark animal side that resides in us all, the way they were bred, then into an environment and a shape they didn’t choose for themselves. They are predatory and carnivorous and protective of their own. They are in effect a slave to their genes. But if one of them gets out of his cage and comes after me or mine, I know that the only effective way to stop him is to shoot him. I know that, and the wolf knows that, and if the wolf senses that it’s going to go down that way, it’s probably not going to come after me or mine at all.

� Copyright Michael KAY 1997.

The Will to Survive

THE WILL TO SURVIVE

Shots are fired! One offender is down, and three police officers are wounded. Another armed offender appears in the doorway, and two of the officers, stunned at the sight of their wounds, are unable to defend themselves. But, the third officer fights on, firing until the second subject is incapacitated.

This scenario could be an excerpt from a movie, but unfortunately, it is all too real. Each day, law enforcement officers across the Nation face life-and-death situations.

Can law enforcement officers encounter a life-threatening, violent confrontation and go home at the end of the day? Do they have the will to survive and fight on when faced with death? The answers to these questions go beyond combat tactics and accuracy with a weapon. One element is still missing: Survivability–the mental preparation and personal will to survive.

In 1991 the Operations Resource and Assessment Unit (ORAU) at the FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia, USA, conducted a pilot study and sought expert opinions in order to identify the human attributes associated with survivability. This article will discuss the available background research and will review the FBI’s findings.

BACKGROUND RESEARCH

In the media, astronauts and pilots have often been referred to as having “the right stuff”–personality characteristics that would aid their survival in critical situations. In fact, as part of their ongoing research, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the University of Texas attempted to identify “right stuff” personality traits in pilot selection. As a result, the following two prominent personality orientations were linked with successful pilot behavior under dangerous flying conditions:

  • (1)�� Goal-oriented behavior, and (2) the capacity to empathize with others.

Combat psychiatry also offers insight into human performance under battle conditions. Research in this area has examined the causes and prevention of combat stress reaction (CSR) in relation to surviving life-threatening circumstances. CSR, sometimes referred to as “battle fatigue” prevents soldiers from fighting and may be theoretically viewed as behavior that opposes survival.

Further research identified leadership, devotion to duty, decisiveness, and perseverance under stress as significant attributes. And, in his studies into the area of survivability, S.E. Hobfol states, “…counting your losses when preserving resources is fatal….”. In essence, preoccupation with thoughts about loss may negatively affect one’s capacity to survive a possibly lethal confrontation. Thus, merely avoiding thoughts associated with loss may enhance survivability.

This concept of preserving resources can be exemplified best through the comments of Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired). Hathcock is credited with 93 confirmed kills as a sniper during two combat tours in South Vietnam.

A soft-spoken, unassuming man of honor, Hathcock compared his behavior just prior to and during an operation as isolating himself into an “invisible bubble”. This state of mind would “block thoughts of physiological needs, home, family, etc., except the target”. The amount of time in the “bubble,” lasting from a few hours to several consecutive days, depended not only on the circumstances surrounding his objective but also on adjusting to conditions where a trivial mistake could cost him his life. As he reflected on his distinguished military career, Hathcock also mentioned a number of other attributes he considered necessary for survival. Among these were patience, discipline, and the ability to concentrate completely on a specific task.

THEORY

Cognitive/behavioral psychological theory offers insight into the benefits of mentally rehearsing possible reactions to life-threatening situations. According to one theory, developing a plan of action could enhance one’s perception of effectiveness, and therefore, affect an officer’s ability to survive. In fact, as A. Bandura states:

“People who believe they can exercise control over potential threats do not conjure up apprehensive cognitions and, therefore, are not perturbed by them….those who believe they cannot manage potential threats experience high levels of stress and anxiety arousal. They tend to dwell on their coping deficiencies and view many aspects of their environment as fraught with danger. Through some inefficacious thought they distress themselves and constrain and impair their level of functioning”.

C.R. Skillen provides a classic example of cognitive rehearsal in law enforcement. According to Skillen, successful patrol officers imagine the best approach to emergencies that could occur during a tour of duty. They then decide upon the best and fastest route from one location to another, should the need arise. These Officers also imagine “what if” situations and develop effective responses in case a similar confrontation occurs.

This type of cognitive rehearsal activity has proven to be effective in relieving fears and in enhancing performance in stressful encounters. However, mental preparation can work against officers who believe that if shot, they will certainly die. When reinforced by appropriate training and one’s value system, these attributes and behaviors may provide a law enforcement officer with the ability to survive a life-threatening situation.

FBI’S RESEARCH AND PRELIMINARY FINDINGS

Behavior identified in the background research and theoretically linked to survivability was later summarized to develop a pilot study questionnaire. The FBI then distributed this questionnaire in late 1989 and early 1990 to a broad group of Federal, State, and local law enforcement officers attending the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, USA. The questionnaire was also administered at work or training sites in Illinois and California. In all, a total of 207 questionnaires were administered and completed.

QUESTIONNAIRE

The questionnaire asked respondents to rank various behaviors and traits, developed from background research. Not all the behaviors and traits are associated with law enforcement, but everyone has been linked to survival. Ranking ranged from little or no importance to extremely important. Law enforcement officers rated each factor in terms of its overall importance for effective performance in a short-term, violent law enforcement confrontation. Effective performance was defined as a violent confrontation that requires a lawful, combative response where the officer continued to function even though the final outcome could be death for the officer or adversary.

FINDINGS

Analyses of the pilot study data revealed the items listed below as those perceived to be most critical to officer survival. The items appear in order of importance, except for items (3) through (5), which are of equal value.

  • (1)�� Self-confidence in performance–The officer’s belief that a critical task can be performed effectively with a high probability of success.

  • (2)�� Training–The officer’s belief that prior training has been effective, and if applied, will increase the possibility of survival in deadly confrontations.

  • (3)�� Effectiveness in combat–The officer’s mental frame of reference in which the officer can visualize victory in a deadly confrontation.

  • (4)�� Decisiveness–The Officer’s ability to make rapid and accurate decisions when confronted with a critical situation.

  • (5)�� Perseverance under stress–The officer’s ability to continue to perform critical tasks mentally and physically when confronted with stressful situations.

PSYCHOLOGY OF CONFRONTATION

There was a popular country song that talked about being a lover, not a fighter. And I think that’s true for most people, including Police Officers. No one wants to hurt anybody. Police become hardened to street values over time, but it’s not human nature.

Yet, the Police are told they have the authority and responsibility to do whatever is necessary to protect and to serve our citizenry.

During wartime, a soldier’s mind is conditioned to hate the enemy. He’s the one who gassed our men in the trenches, sank the hospital ships, torpedoed the ferry in Sydney harbor, blitzed Poland, bombed Pearl Harbor, crossed the 49th Parallel, and invaded those nice people in South Viet Nam.He set up concentration camps and death camps to slaughter the Jews, raped the women, killed the children, tortured prisoners, and committed all kinds of atrocities for which he deserves to DIE. But the soldier is either at home in a rear echelon or he’s in the battlefield. He can�t be in both at the same time. But for the policeman, the rear echelon is the battlefield.

You might pull over the little old lady who ran a red light and a few minutes later face a terrorist group robbing a bank with automatic weapons. The policeman is one minute a father figure and the next an “exterminator”. What does that do to a cop’s head? Andrew Casavant of the Midwest Tactical Training Institute in the USA has pondered this question, queried qualified psychiatrists and psychologists, let me share with you his consensus.

Mental perspectives are critical to your surviving any confrontation. And these mental attitudes must be habitual, instinctive. All the physical skills in the world will be fruitless if your head is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Physical skills alone do not insure success.

There are a host of elements that insure your success in a confrontation, beyond the simple attributes of ability, power, speed, strength, balance, and reaction time. These elements are to be found in your mind. Merely knowing remembering, or attempting defensive control techniques will neither defuse an assault nor guarantee your personal protection. Mental conditioning is as necessary as the physical involvement.

According to Casavant. Violent confrontations require the participants to be involved both physically and mentally. You must react with both mind and body if you are to be effective. Without the mental involvement, the physical technique is less effective, or totally useless. If you aren’t mentally prepared, you are as useless as the little old lady who knows nothing will ever happen to her.

Mental preparedness, mental conditioning, the mental trigger, it has been called many things. But what does it mean? The mentality that one needs to survive must begin at an early time and continue throughout training until the thoughts and subsequent actions become habitual even in combat.

How do you develop this mentality and maintain it? Of what importance is it in confrontational situation? Casavant’s theory is that before you can become physically skilful in defensive control techniques, there must be a transition from “what was” to “what is”.

“What was” is how one views his past experience and perspectives on use of force in dealing with physical assaults. Before you became a cop, your life experiences were hardly aggressive. Now, those experiences interfere with your new role as a law enforcer.

“What is” reflects the environment in which you now operate. The Marquis of Queensberry rules don’t matter any more. There’s no referee to count to ten. No umpire to confirm that was a strike. There isn’t even a union arbitrator to negotiate your grievances. Once you accept the fact that no one is there to call the shots, to help out, you are well on the way to understanding what mental awareness is, and how it can enhance your physical skills. Even if help is by your side, they likely won’t or can�t do what needs to be done. You’ve got to take care of Number One: yourself.

What mentality is needed to insure your survival? Casavant has organized these attitudes in terms of what you face on the street.

ALERTNESS

Alertness is the overriding theme. If you’re not ready when it’s time to act, your skills won’t help. Presume that you can and probably will be assaulted. You immediately assess the threat. That’s part of awareness, an awareness of where you are in relation to all things in your environment.

It’s a fact that most people are unaware of their surroundings. Why should you be any different? Yes, training and experience prepares you. That can give you an edge. But only if you recognize what you are up against. Jeff Cooper, a well-known combat shooting instructor in the United States came up with a color code scheme that police trainers have adopted with fervour.

Color Codes

  1. WHITE: When you are home watching television, sleepwalking, totally unaware of your surroundings. Unfortunately, this is where most of the population spends its time. This is having the “victim” mentality, Casavant says; the “I cant believe it’s happening to me” syndrome.

  1. YELLOW: Now you are aware of your surroundings. You are relaxed but alert. You anticipate, rather than expect, something to happen. You are simply prepared.

  1. ORANGE: Now you are aware of something specific in your surroundings that have caught your attention. Perhaps it will be a threat. You analyze the threat potential and potential risks to you and others.

  1. RED: You are ready to do what needs to be done. You may decide to move in or back off, depending on the circumstance. But do you have a plan? If you don’t, you’ll probably lose, unless Lady Luck is sitting in your corner. If you do, your reaction will be quick and sure.

  1. BLACK: You’ve got no choice. An assault is in progress. If you aren’t mentally prepared, you PANIC. You must go from White (totally unaware) to Black (he shoots) in a fraction of a second. If you haven’t followed the crucial self-training of always anticipating an attack, you add to the sad statistics. With anticipation comes preparedness. It is critical to your survival that your own attitude is to be prepared when your wildest anticipation comes true.

DECISIVENESS

Once you commit to a reaction to a threat, be decisive about it, Casavant says. Hesitation, when the situation calls for action, can be fatal. A mind cluttered with liability issues, department policies, and other such diversions, will cause hesitation when you need to ACT. Make up your mind about those “what if” things beforehand, so that your decision is already made when the situation arises. When you are called upon to act, you can. When the compliant “yes” person turns into a “maybe”, then resists, he’s a “no” person. You have to do something. Whatever you decide to do, DO IT.

AGGRESSIVENESS

You’ve decided to do it. so do it like you mean it. Be aggressive. You decide on a course of action-to apply a pain compliance technique, to use enough force to make it work. If you draw your baton, USE IT, hard-and properly. Don’t pussyfoot around. End the confrontation with whatever force is necessary, as quickly as you can. This minimizes the risks to all involved. But “aggressiveness” must be taught. It’s not our human nature. And certainly not the nature of smaller statued male or petite female officers. You must learn to be assertive. That’s part of defensive tactics training.

SPEED

To execute any defensive tactics technique, to gain the advantage of surprise, you must act quickly. Speed is essential. First, speed of thought. Don’t stop to ask yourself if he really meant to swing that lead pipe at you. Quick thinking is as important as quick hands or feet. Without speed of thought actions are simply movements with no direction.

CALMNESS

Remaining cool and calm in any confrontation, both mentally and physically, is paramount to success. Through realistic training, you must learn to control your emotions through such sound physiological principles as adrenalin flow and respiration. When you are involved in defending yourself or others, the seriousness of the situation is under your control. If you can decide a confrontation quickly and without injury, you minimize the seriousness of the attack. Controlling yourself lets you control the situation before it gets out of hand or controls you.

RUTHLESSNESS

While it seems harsh, ruthlessness has a place in describing the mentality of a conflict. Ruthless means that we will win, and we will do whatever it takes to win, and survive. We will continue to fight, even if hurt, and we will never give up. When the situation calls for it, we will get “junkyard dog mean”.

Ruthlessness is a state of mind that must be short lived. If you can�t let go after the need for force is past, you’re being brutal. Being ruthless. when you must be ruthless, gives you the spirit for combat.

SURPRISE

If you strike when least expected take your assailant down without warning, you gain the element of surprise. And that makes your technique even more effective.

PERSPECTIVE ON DEFENCE

The psychology of personal protection is neither sensational nor lackadaisical. It is as intense and as serious as your motivation for professionalism. it does not lie in peer attitudes or department requirements (if any). The responsibility is yours. Only you will determine your ability to respond to a threat. If you achieve the tactical transition of mind and body, of skill and psyche, you will succeed. You will survive. Your desire to learn will determine your capacity for learning. If the class you attend is a “requirement”, you might not get much out of it. If you recognize that the class may help you get home to your wife after work, you will benefit. Do you want to win and survive? Training is a small price to pay to develop the skills and habits that enable you to win and survive. The old adage that you will do under stress what you’ve trained to do is really not quite correct. You will probably perform much worse in a serious confrontation than you ever did in training. So, to survive a street confrontation, you need to continually exercise the skills you learned in class. And you can do it in your head.

MENTAL EXERCISES

Suppose that little old lady were to swing her umbrella at your head. What would you do? Imagine yourself doing what you need to do to parry her blow. Suppose someone leaped out from the dark corner with a gun in his hand. What would you do? Draw and shoot? Or dive for cover? and where is the cover?

If you can actually see yourself going through the motions of your newly learned techniques, it will improve your ability to respond quickly. While there’s no substitute for good, hard, comprehensive physical practice, you still need the mental conditioning to enhance your response and keep you alert in more mundane circumstances.

Mental conditioning requires you to practice in as realistic a situation as possible. Draw on your own experience, or that of others, as scenarios for mental exercises.

The one emotion you can t conceive is the one that makes the greatest difference in a real threat FEAR. Unlike fights on television, real confrontations aren’t logical, patterned, give-and-take brawls. They are a flurry of hitting and screaming, kicking and shoving. You must mentally train for the attack that is certain to be sudden, vicious, and perhaps overwhelming.

KINDS OF REACTIONS

Confrontational opponents can be categorized by their way of thinking. So can we. The bully is mechanical. He intimidates by brute strength. But the guy who thinks about what he’s doing is intellectual. He’s unpredictable. When someone grabs the gun on your right hip, handgun retention might teach you to secure the gun in the holster with your left hand, cock your right arm and CHOP to the rear as you turn to the right. That gets the offender’s hand off your gun fast.

However you could turn to the left instead, the grabber’s hand would have forced the trigger guard back under the shroud retaining the gun, as the Officer’s left forearm delivered a blow to the offender’s head. Now I’m not saying one procedure is better than the other. Both can be correct. The one that works is the right one. While you must repeat the mechanical routines time and again to make them habitual, you must never hesitate to change your strategy to accommodate the situation. Situations aren’t scripted, they develop minute to minute, in an infinite variety. If you practiced parrying the pipe swung by a right-hander, you’d better be flexible enough to switch if the offender is left handed.

PLAN

When a situation first presents itself, your mental conditioning is anticipating the subject’s first move and planning a countermove by positioning, blocking, or attacking. Your mind runs like a machine gun, thinking of all the possible moves he might make and how you would respond. But what do you do next?

Focusing on the most probable attack he might make, you counter; and then you should be thinking two or three steps ahead so you have an alternative, should your first attempt fail.

The prevailing mentality today is much as it is portrayed in cowboy movies. The marshal waits for the bad guy to draw first. We wait to be attacked before we can defend. If this person is challenging us and threatens a grievous assault, why wait? Surprise him. Gain the initiative and prevent his assault. It might convince him his challenge was a bad idea. If it doesn’t, you’ve got him at a disadvantage. You’ve taken the initiative away from him. You’ve let him know that you have the advantage. Make him realize the risk to HIM of pursuing his aggressive behavior. Human behaviorists call it “risk aversion”. When someone recognizes the high risk of doing something, he avoids doing it.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of all this is for you to realize that violent confrontations and personal defense can involve more than just the physical element. You need a mental awareness of every aspect. Training, applied successfully in real life, builds confidence and confidence enhances your ability to handle an adversary puts to you.

DISCUSSION

The concept of survivability represents a dynamic set of behaviors that should be considered in relation to certain law enforcement environments. Life-threatening events associated with uniformed patrol, undercover operations, SPG operations, hostage response and other specific hazardous law enforcement missions, require personnel who can survive the virulent stressors associated with these unique operations.

Self-confidence in performance, training, effectiveness in combat, decisiveness, and perseverance under stress were identified in this pilot study as tantamount to law enforcement officer survival. Officers should be offered the chance to undertake further training focusing on the five behaviors mentioned previously that are most often associated with survivability. It is hoped that law enforcement officers who have been exposed to such training opportunities will increase their potential for survival in life-or-death situations. Only through proper training in behaviors that ensure survival can law enforcement prepare to meet the anticipated occupational challenges of the future.

Part of the Departments responsibilities can also be addressed by ensuring all Officers have confidence in their equipment (firearms) and suitable training to go with along with it.

� Copyright Michael KAY 1997.

Urban Operations

Urban Operations. UO are operations planned and conducted in an area of operations (AO) that includes one or more urban areas. An urban area consists of a topographical complex where man-made construction or high population density is the dominant feature. UO usually occur when�

  • ��������������������� The assigned objective lays within an urban area and cannot be bypassed.
  • ��������������������� The urban area is key (or decisive) in setting and or shaping the conditions for current or future operations.
  • ��������������������� An urban area is between two natural obstacles and cannot be bypassed.
  • ��������������������� The urban area is in the path of a general advance and cannot be surrounded or bypassed.
  • ��������������������� Political or humanitarian concerns require the control of an urban area or necessitate operations within it.
  • ��������������������� Defending from urban areas supports a more effective overall defense or cannot be avoided.
  • ��������������������� Occupation, seizure, and control of the urban area will deny the threat control of the urban area and the ability to impose its influence on both friendly military forces and the local civilian population. Therefore, friendly forces can retain the initiative and dictate the conditions for future operations.

Immediate Action Plan

IMMEDIATE ACTION PLAN. (IAP)

An immediate action plan is a 6 step system designed to help you stop fear from turning into panic and to give you a method of remaining in control during a confrontation situation.

MORE importantly the ‘IAP’ is a 6 step plan to keep you ALIVE in a violent street confrontation.

The IAP uses the word escape to anchor each point of the plan into your mind, remember the object of self defence is to escape intact, so use the ESCAPE Immediate Action Plan to escape and remain safe.

E EARLY DETECTION of a possible threat, if you have done our awareness development program you should to be able to do this.

S STEP BACK: if you don’t remember anything else, always remember to step back out of punching, kicking and most importantly, edged weapon (knife, screw driver, bottle etc) range.

C COMMUNICATE: Try and talk to the attacker, distract him/her, if they are talking they are not hitting, kicking or stabbing, whilst you talk continue running the rest of this plan.

A ACCESS: Continually access the situation, look for means of escape, look for help, look for weapons or barriers if you have to, keep observing the attacker, check for weapons, back up, continually access the situation.

P PREPARE: prepare yourself to either engage or escape, if you have martial art training you should be considering options of attack and defence, you should be in a stance that gives you the best chance of success.

E ENGAGE OR ESCAPE: the moment of truth time, whatever you do now, commit yourself.

To recap,

EARLY DETECTION�
STEP BACK�
COMMUNICATE�
ACCESS�
PREPARE�
ENGAGE OR ESCAPE

Short Term Escape & Evasion

Short Term Escape & Evasion

You are on the run behind enemy lines with just the contents of your escape tin and the clothes you stand in, what should you do?

British fighter and helicopter pilots, Special Forces operatives and other specialists who are likely to be shot down or ambushed deep behind enemy lines receive excellent training in Escape and Evasion (E&E) procedures. Indeed this training is so good that selected operatives, soldiers and airmen from friendly nations are also often to be found on these courses.

However, it is not just the fast jet jockey and winged dagger trooper who could find themselves in the role of unwelcome guest behind enemy lines, being hotly pursued by a hunter killer force. Once the shooting starts, at any time it could happen to YOU.

1]Your unit has been decimated after being surrounded by the enemy, but you have managed to escape. �
2]Your defensive position has been overrun by the enemy but you have survived and must get away before they start mopping-up. �
3]Your patrol becomes lost behind enemy lines. �
4]You have accidentally strayed through the enemy front line. �
5]You have broken out from a POW holding area behind the battlefield �
6]You have managed to escape from a POW camp further into occupied territory. �
7]You are on a peace-keeping mission when your unit is taken hostage or ambushed and all are captured except yourself.

The list is endless, but ask yourself honestly these two questions. If I found myself in any of the above situations, would I know exactly what my very first move should be? And then, as the minutes tick by, what should I do next?

Now you are probably thinking that you should start water gathering, building a shelter and instituting all the other ‘surviving in the wilds’ skills. Wrong! Long term evaders such as downed pilots, or escapers from permanent POW camps deep inside enemy territory, may need to travel for weeks or even months before reaching friendly territory, so ‘wild’ survival skills are very important For them. However, only a very few soldiers ever become long term evaders.

Most Escape and Evasion (E&E) in any conflict is short term, lasting anything from about one hour up to48 hours.

What is most important in short term evasion is to understand the few basic rules of E&E based around anti-capture and anti tracking techniques. Without this knowledge, the chances are that you will be shot, taken prisoner or recaptured very quickly.

If you don’t understand the fundamental anti-tracking skills, the chances are that you will not be able to use your survival skills without tipping off the enemy. So it is important that you learn the basic ground rules of short term escape and evasion first.

The Escape Phase

Rule 1 – Escape Quickly

1st Rule – Escape Quickly
This is the first and most important rule of E&E and can be applied to many different situations. In this case, Escape Rule 1 refers to the period immediately after capture by the enemy. You must escape at the first opportunity because: �
a] The longer you remain in captivity, the more thoroughly you will be searched �
b]The longer you remain a prisoner, the further you will be sent behind enemy lines. �
c]Your captors will very probably be front line combat troops. These soldiers will likely have neither the interest, the time, nor the training in handling POWs. The longer you remain in captivity, the greater the chance of being sent to a secure POW camp with guards who have been specially trained in preventing escapes. �
d]Once incarcerated in a purposebuilt POW camp, the rules of E&E will change drastically (to be covered in a future article).

2nd Rule – Don’t Talk
Being captured by an enemy is a severe psychological shock, even for experienced soldiers. Only those who have experience of such an event can appreciate the desire to talk to captors, sometimes without being able to stop. You must steel yourself from the very first moment of captivity to say as little as possible. Under the Geneva Convention you are expected to give your name, rank, number and date of birth (this allows the Red Cross to hopefully keep track of your movements and health condition as well as to notify your next of kin that you have survived) but resist the desire to say anything else.

3rd Rule – Be The Grey Man
After capture, most soldiers adopt one of two attitudes. They either try to appeal to their captors by smiles and other friendly gestures, or they show defiance by scowling, cursing or exhibiting signs of aggression. Do neither!

You must attract as little attention from your captors or jailers as possible. This will prevent you from being singled out for interrogation, when you will be under closer guard, and will greatly help your chances of escape.

To play the grey man, stand or sit motionless with head slightly bowed. Avoid eye contact, but if forced to look at the enemy, focus on your opponent’s forehead and show no emotion. Speak only if spoken to.

The Evasion Phase

This most important Escape Rule also applies to the Evasion Phase. You may have just escaped from POW custody, be the surviving member of an ambushed patrol or have been overlooked as enemy assault troops overran your position.

In any of these situations, you could be captured at any moment. You must now travel as far and as fast as you can. The further you escape from your last point of contact with the enemy, the wider the arc or area the hunter-killer force will need to search for you and the greater the area that tracker dogs may have to cover to pick up your scent.

Rule 2 – Evade In Pairs
The larger the evading group is, the easier it will be to track down. If possible, try and break down into pairs as this could split up the team tracking you or even leave them all tracking just one spoor. In most situations, two heads are better than one and when rest becomes a necessity, one can remain on guard while the other sleeps.

Rule 3 -Assume You Are Being Hunted
An evader has a very limited view of events around him and it’s very easy to assume that he has given the enemy the slip. Often this is a mistaken view. Besides which, always assuming you are being hunted focuses the mind and this should lead to you making less mistakes.

Rule 4 – Carry A Compass
The sensible soldier will always carry a minicompass in his Survival Tin plus one hidden in his clothing. This is one of the most treasured E&E possessions. To allow for all eventualities though, learn to make an emergency compass by magnetizing a needle and sitting it on a free floating leaf on water. Practice now as you won’t get time when you are an evader.

Rule 5 – Make Or Get A Map
Maps are important. Before a mission make a simple map on a sheet of paper from your waterproof notepad. Show just the basic routes, roads, rivers and major topographical features, then sew it into your uniform.

If captured, while awaiting escape, make a rudimentary map by drawing on the inside of your clothing as this will greatly aid your navigation plans. Once on the run, acquire a better one- search bodies and deserted buildings and, particularly in an urban environment, look inside vehicles or even check out phone boxes

Rule 6 – Ignore The Hay Barn
Don’t assume the ‘Hay Barn’ mentality. In other words, never hide in obvious places. The barn on the hill will look tempting refuge with hide, but this is also the first place the hunter force will search.

Rule 7 – Become a Magpie
Never pass-by anything that could be of use. a discarded bin liner or even a plastic fertilizer bag can make an emergency waterproof overgarment.An abandoned steel helmet, not too common in these days of composites, makes a good cooking pot but look out for any metal container that will do this job and also transport drinking water.

Rule 8 – Camouflage Your Tracks
You must camouflage signs that you have passed, and especially your footprints, from man trackers. This is because the most common form of track to find and easiest to follow is the markings you leave on the ground-known as ground spoor. an even better find for an experienced tracker is a full bootprint (a confirmed spoor) from which he will be able to tell how fast you are moving, how tired you are and much more information on you.

With a consecutive pair of prints he can tell how fast you are travelling, what distance you are covering and even if you are carrying a load. Despite your boot probably having the same tread pattern as the rest of the guys in your unit, individual wear marks and tread damage make your boots as individual as your fingerprints. No wonder trackers call full bootprints a confirmed spoor.

Consequently, avoid walking on soft muddy ground. Instead try to find hard, rocky surfaces. Remember, though, not to disturb loose rocks as these would give a tracker recognizable, though less useful, ground spoor.

Of course there will be times when you have no choice but to walk on soft or muddy ground, so remember the following techniques. They may only temporarily confuse trackers, but they may gain you valuable time. �
a) Often there are harder ridges on either side of well used, soft, muddy paths. Walk legs astride on these ridges. �
b)Step carefully into existing footprints. �
c)Walk backwards or on tiptoe. �
d)Walk in a stream. Remember not to leave scuff marks or other ground spoor on the bank as you enter or leave the stream.

Rule 9 -Don ‘t Leave Aerial Spoor
Spoor above the ground or overhead may not be as easy to spot as ground spoor, but a good tracker will find it nevertheless �
a)Don’t break branches in your way – gently bend them aside. �
b)If you can’t bend it, go under, over or around it. �
c)If you snag or tear clothing, don’t be in such a hurry. Check to see that you have not left a small piece of cloth or telltale fibers behind you.

Rule 10 – Don’t Leave Scent
Tracker dogs follow the microscopic body scent particles that continually fall from your body and settle on or just above the ground.Their remarkably sensitive noses will follow your previous route as accurately as if you could draw the dog a map. Even so, there are ways to slow down,confuse and even defeat tracker dogs. �
a)Use a vehicle or even a bicycle. This will not only break the scent chain, but will put you further ahead of the pack much quicker and with less fatigue. �
b)On foot, follow an erratic path through tangled undergrowth. This usually tangles the running lead of the dog and its handler, slowing them down. �
c)Use well traveled animal or human trackways. Even better, follow an erratic path through a farmyard, as a large collection of new scent may temporarily confuse the dog and hinder progress. �
d)When you reach water, don’t just cross it. Walk in running water for a short distance before exiting on a part of the bank where your spoor will not show. �
e)If you can only find narrow waterways such as ditches, with still water in them, walk in them but cross diagonally, doubling back on yourself at least once to confuse the dog. �
f)If practical, wash regularly, but never use anything scented. �
g)If you cannot wash, roll around over the ground you are traversing, to add country scents to your own. However, remember that a man who has rolled in a dung heap smells just like a man who has rolled in a dung heap, to a well trained tracker dog with a good nose. �
h)Don’t allow yourself to come in contact with strongly smelling substances such as smoke or animal droppings. If an article of clothing becomes contaminated and you have to discard it, make sure you bury it, or better still hide it under rocks in a stream. Now wash hair and skin. if also contaminated. �
i)Try to outrun the dogs. A tracker dog has to move comparatively slowly so, as stated before, escape as quickly as possible.

Rule 11 – Camouflage Your Identity
It should almost go without saying, that you practice the basic rules of camouflage and concealment when resting, laying-up, approaching a dangerous area, etc. You should also practice camouflage and deception when traveling. �
a)Avoid busy or populated areas and keep your distance from any civilians you see. �
b)Don’t act suspiciously or appear to be nervous as this wilt attract attention. �
c)Never walk in an upright, military fashion-adopt a tired slouch. �
d)Try to at least keep the appearance of being clean and keep shaving if you can. �
e)If traveling in countryside, carry a spade or some other farming implement. �
f)Keep your uniform on underneath any civilian clothing as otherwise you could be shot for being a spy. �
g)Keep your watch in your pocket. �
h)If approached by the locals, unless you speak and look like a native of the area, pretend to be deaf and dumb or perhaps even half-witted. The latter often works.

Rule 12 – Disguise Your Hide.
Sooner or later you will need to lay-up or rest. Again, leave no traces of your presence.

It is a good idea to rest for 5-10 minutes in every hour that you travel. Don’t just stop anywhere though. Choose an area of good cover and try to leave no trace of your LUP (Laying Up Point).

a longer LUP occurs when you sleep. lie facing the ground, and if you have a ground sheet or something similar, cover yourself with it. This should concentrate your scent in one place. Before you leave, cover your sleeping area with soil and natural debris to mask the scent.

Always bury any food waste, camp fire debris, feces, urine or anything connected with your stay. Try not to contaminate your skin with waste material. Finally, cover disturbed soil with natural debris. Waste on the surface will attract flies in warm weather and will be easily spotted by human trackers, and a dog’s nose will pick up the scent a long way off.

Rule 13 – Disguise Your Fire
Opinions vary as to exactly when you are safe enough to light a fire. However, sometimes it is crucial to purify food or water by cooking or boiling,to provide warmth to prevent hypothermia.

If you have to light a fire, ideally you should dig a fire pit deep enough to hide the flames. Try not to make the fire too big and ensure that flames to not show above ground. Use only small pieces of fuel.

Dig a separate air shaft at an angle to the pit as this will make the fire burn quicker and prevent excessive smoke. If the ground is too hard to dig, is too waterlogged, or a fire pit is impractical for some other reason, light the fire under a canopy of leafy foliage to disperse smoke. Alternatively, light a surface fire against a high wall.

Above all else, when Escaping and Evading, DO IT QUICKLY and DO IT CAREFULLY http://civiliandefenseforce.com/escapeandevasion.html

Evading Tracker Dogs

Evading Tracker Dogs

So, what can you do to fool the dog? Let’s split the mission up into four phases: lying up, pre-contact, distant contact, and close contact.

LYING UP �
If you have to spend any length of time in a lying-up place, always obey these simple rules, even if you have no proof that a search dog’s operating.

1. Keep as close to the ground as possible. �
2. Put most of your clothing over you, so that the ground absorbs your scent rather than letting it out into the open air. �
3. Breath down into the ground, or at least into the vegetation. �
4. Keep as still as possible. �
5. Bury rubbish under where you are lying.�
6. No smoking, no fires wherever possible. �
7. If you’re discovered by anyone, move away as fast as you can.

PRE-CONTACT

Use all the normal physical camouflage tricks to blend into the environment, plus a few that are designer to throw the dog off the scent.


1. Travel over ground already used by other people or by animals. This makes the dog work much harder to keep on your track �
2. If you’re travelling as part of a group, split up from time to time. Double back on yourself. Leave a false trail whenever possible. �
3. Use streams and running water to confuse the dog, but don’t try to walk for too long in the stream itself – it will slow you down too much. Instead, cross the stream diagonally, doubling back perhaps two or three times so that the dog can’t tell which of your exit tracks is the real one and which ones are dummies. �
4. When you’re preparing food, pay close attention to the direction of the wind. You must bury all wrappings and container, but remember too, to handle them as little as possible. The smell of the food is one thing – your smell on the wrappers tells the dog that it was your food. When you bury the remains, don’t touch the ground with your hands. Use a metal tool of some sort. Whenever you can, sink the rubbish in deep water. The same goes for urine and faeces.

Distant Contact

If you’re sighted from a distance, speed becomes important.

1. Try and tire the dog and handler team; it will be easier to destroy their confidence in each other if they make mistakes through tiredness. �
2. If you’re part of a group then split up straight away, and arrange a rendezvous for later. �
3. Make for hard ground. A road or a rocky surface makes and hold much less scent than a soft one. �
4. If you are in wood country or scrub, double back and change your direction as often as you can. �
5. The tracker dog will be on a long lead; if you can get him tangled up, you can increase the distance between you and him, and maybe break off the contact entirely.

CLOSE CONTACT

If the dog catches up with you, you’re in deep trouble. Not so much from the dog; he’s done his job in finding you. Now you’re in trouble from the handler and whatever combat back-up he may have available.

1. Forget the dog for the moment. You’ll know from the look of him whether he’s an attack dog or a tracker. If he’s a tracker, he probably won’t come near you. �
2. Move as fast as you can. Get out of sight of the handler. �
3. Get rid of loose pieces of clothing, food (Especially food – the dog may be distracted by it when he comes looking for you) and any other pieces of kit that aren’t vital to your mission or your survival. �
4. If the dog sticks with you, you must kill or immobilise it.

Dog tracking teams �


Alot has been written about dog tracking teams and how to avoid them. There �
are many different theories on how best to do it. The obvious methods �
would be to cause harm to the dog or the handler. In WW2 the french underground �
used to use ground up glass mixed in with drugs to avoid being caught. �
The drugs would stop the dog from being able to smell and the ground up glass �
would eventually cause bleeding in the lungs and possibly death to the animal. �
These techniques should only be used in dire situations. I do NOT recomment causing �
harm to animals or people and I do NOT recomment using drugs of anykind. �
I will now cover other techniques to avoid a dog tracking team. �


Everyone knows a dogs sense of smell is much more sensitive than a humans. Some �
of the different types of tracking dogs are ground scent, air scent, cadaver dogs, �
visual tracking. Dogs are trained to smell out what is known as rads. A rad �
is basically decay. When you are walking you are leaving dead skin cells, �
the places your feet fall breaks the crust of the earth killing small plants, bugs, �
micro organisms. This is what the dog is tracking. It’s important to remember that �
it’s not just the human scent the dog is tracking. He’s also tracking the trail you �
are leaving as you pass throug an area. The wind will carry your smell in a cone shape. �
The dog will try to stay in this cone. �

The best way to evade a dog is to overlad it’s senses. Imagine someone pointing a bright �
flashlight in your eyes and how it causes you to shut your eyes. This is sensory overload. �
Now imagine you are running and you pass through an area that has been freshly cut �
by the local farmer. When the dog arrives in this area he will have sensory overload, �
begin sneezing and will lose the scent. �
Now think of when you walk into a room and someone has just sprayed some deodorant. �
The smell is overpowering at first but you get used to it. If you leave the room �
and reenter after a few minutes you can smell the deodorant again. A handler will �
need to clear his dogs nose and restart tracking. This will slow them down but it �
will not stop them. The entertainment industry makes us believe that a dog works �
on his own but the reality is the dog and the handler will compliment each other. �
This is extremely important to remember the dog and the handler will compliment �
each other. They do not work independantly. �

The dog will be first followed by the handler. The handler will usually use a very �
long leash on the dog to give him freedom of movement. The handler will be an �
expert at reading his dogs and he will also be good at tracking. �
The dog moves in the scent cone following the track fairly quickly. The handler �
will know when the dog loses the scent. The handler will then stop at the last �
point where the dog was in the scent cone and he will make the dog go in a �
circle downwind and giving more lenght to the leash. The dog will reacquire �
the scent cone and then they will continue tracking.

Boy do I understand about the economy…. �
Anyways, I digress. I have taken some E and E classes from Kevin and others (and had an unfortunate experience myself so I’m speaking from experience-another story for another time) so my understanding is more of a coagulation of these schools, and some of my own thoughts/experiences, so please forgive me if I’m off the beaten track or just plain got it wrong. Kevin, please correct me if I am. �

“1.I was recently having an argument about E&E, as well as counter tracking, and I was sure of things, but not so much now (as many trackers know, when doubt sets in, it’s hard to get rid of), and I have a few questions: In counter tracking, if you leave a footprint, it is best to destroy AND conceal it, right?” �

First of all, my understanding is that counter tracking is more directed against the trackers. I believe what your referring to (or at least it seemed so to me) is anti-tracking. Generally, anti-tracking are techniques used to change the appearance of the track, hide the track, or trick the tracker into thinking that they have it wrong. And to answer your question, I don’t think it’s that cut and dry. I believe that it depends more on several other factors, some examples being; the situation your in, the terrain your in, and most important-what exactly your intent is. Each situation is different. �

If your intent is to destroy and conceal the track, just how are you going to do so? Are you going to utilize some of the surrounding terrain? And if so, are you just transferring the sign from ground level (i.e. the track) to the upper levels (rob Peter to pay Paul so to speak)? Something to consider. �

Also, is it always best to destroy it? I’m not so sure. For example, you might want to change it’s appearance by making it look older or belonging to someone else completely, thereby tricking the trackers. These are just two examples and again, I don’t think every situation calls for the same answer. That’s just me though. �

2. To confuse dogs, and take away confidence in handlers, running around in circles, and leaving false scent trails works, whereas travel over water doesn’t help, correct? �

This is one way to destroy the handler’s confidence in the dog. I wouldn’t just run around in circles though. For example, when you come upon an area, say for example a distinct section of clearing with some trees, it’s good to run around in circles, but also utilize angles, jagged edges, double back,etc. Try to make it so that it appears, at least to the handler, that the dog is making no sense whatsoever. Now this is assuming that there is enough of a time lapse between the K-9 team and you to do this of course. �

This might not work against a Tactical Tracking Team (hereafter referred to as TTT) however. This team should see right through this ploy. Even if the TTT doesn’t see through the ploy and doesn’t know what’s going on they will simply box the area out and regain the track (or utilize one of several other methods to regain the track). �

3. Does leaving an item of your clothing on your scent trail, with something such as stinging nettle slow pursuit? �

Why? In my opinion, it doesn’t help. And again, what kind of team are we talking about here? In Law Enforcement they traditionally utilize a K-9 team (although this is slooowly changing in that some K-9 handlers and police departments are getting their K-9 team members trained in Tactical Tracking). �
There are some Tactical Tracking Teams also, and both, the traditional K-9 teams, and the TTT, have their advantages, and their disadvantages, which one can exploit (but that is another thread). �

Getting back to the question, in the case of the K-9 team, if anything, it only helps the dog. To the dog, that piece of material is your scent with a piece of stinging nettle attached to it. It only strengthens the dog’s picture of you. It helps the K-9’s handler by giving them another piece of evidence to connect you to the starting point of that track; thereby enabling them to testify in court that it was without a doubt you they were tracking. If possible, you never want to leave anything behind. Evidence is evidence no matter what or how small it is. �

Now if it’s an TTT, the team might slow down a bit initially but they are looking at more than just that piece of material. They might be initially more cautious as they approach that piece of material’s area, however, they are also looking at other sign to see if you are in the area. And you are actually helping that team by leaving them a signpost that says “Hey Guys! I was over here!” To me, any benefits leaving a piece of material are not worth it in either case. �

4.I was once told by a fellow tracker that a certain “powders” mixed with blood can make a dog go crazy, is that correct? �

Are you referring to “bitch scent” (i.e. female dog urine/scent)? I was told the same (i.e. it’s supposed to help distract the male dog), but what if it’s a female dog? Not sure what your referring to here. Are you referring to the more lethal, or even less than lethal substances out there? I’m not comfortable talking about such matters on this forum in the open. Sorry. �

5. And finally, any booby trap, even if a badly concealed spike pit, forces the Tracking Team to slow down, correct? �

Not too comfortable about talking about this either but I’ve seen other members, including Kevin, talk about this so here goes…This is correct. Now your talking counter tracking (counter tracking is against the trackers themselves). However, I don’t see everything so cut and dry. There are pluses and minuses to everything and one has to consider such in these circumstances. �
As mentioned before some of the things you have to consider in balancing out these pluses and minuses are your situation, terrain, and most important, your intent. For example, some of the minuses of laying booby traps are: 1. although efficient, they are indiscriminate. you could injure or kill a friend, or potential ally, thereby possibly turning that friend, or potential ally, against you. 2. If you get a team member than it could have the unintended effect of increasing the resolve of the rest of the team (“Let’s get this SOB for Harry!” type thing). Everything has pluses and minuses. �

These are just a few examples and I could go on but I think you get the point I’m trying to make. �
I hope I didn’t muddy the waters by being anal and reading too much into the questions, but I don’t see some of these E and E situations as so cut and dry because of the hidden variables; which I believe should at least be considered in making your choices. Again, Kevin, please correct me if I’m wrong. Thanks. �

I spoke to two people who are dog handlers. One does fugitive recovery with the Dept. of Corrections, the other I met while involved with a S&R group on the coast. They both said that the pepper wont work but would probably help the dog clear his nose from the sneezing he would do. It would slow him down for a minute or two in an area of only a couple feet. As far as covering in animal **** or dung, they said you would simply smell like a human wearing animal waste to the dog. If you went through water, they and a tracker would simply circle from where they last knew you were, working outward until they found your scent/sign. �
They told me the best chance, aside from getting in a vehicle and riding, is either #1: Hurt/kill the dog �
#2: Hurt/kill the handler�
#3: Make it as hard for the dog and handler to follow as you can. The dog thinks it is a game, but not just any joe blow can handle a tracking dog. So make it hard to follow you. Double back, go over/under obstacles, up cliffs, through and up/down streams, set traps if you have time, anything to slow them down. �
All I know is I began to watch, I mean really watch, my hunting dogs do they’re stuff while trailing, and it is simply amazing where they can pick scents up, and how they naturally circle to pick up lost trails and such. The dogs will win unless you do some dirty fighting.

I have been a dog handler for over ten years. I admit I take a little offence at shooting the handler and/or the dog. However, this is probably your only choice if you are trying to escape. We have tried every thing to throw a dog off track. CN/CS, pepper spray, masking agents, ammonia, bleach, and any other method we could think of. Nothing works to the point of stopping the dog.�
Going to water is great if you want to get caught. Scent lays on top of the water better than land. It slows you down, makes noise, leaves good sign, and possibly makes you hypothermic.�
Our dogs run off lead and will avoid you in close quarters. If they find you, you may not even know it. They will come back and alert me where you are located. On criminal cases I carry an M4.

While your on the move and not using your hands break off small branches from trees like pine, stop to catch your breathe occasionally and whittle down a few small spikes like little pencil sized needle points or big toothpicks. Plant one or two deep in the ground(so it doesn’t give when stepped on) and cover them with a leaf or whatever spread the scent around they will adapt to traps. Eventually plant enough and the dogs or handler might step on a few, and if your really lucky it will give them a nasty non-lethal incentive to abandon pursuit. And if you don’t have a pocket knife on hand then you probably deserve to be captured.

Here is a post I found on a tracking forum concerning tracking dogs.�
Actaully, a well trained dog is not going to be thrown off your scent easily. Getting into a car that is completely closed, and driving on a very busy interstate highway, so that there are lots of cars and trucks to disperse the dead skin cells( rafts) that carry your personal scent signature, may possibly do it, but I know of one televised case where a dog followed the scent from one exit to the next, and actually found the exit where the suspect drove off the interstate. �

There are things that can be used to interrupt a dogs scent glands for awhile, preventing him from following a scent trail further, but I would rather not discuss them here. And there are drugs that can be used that will actually kill the dog if he is following your scent and gets a whiff of them, but I will not mention them here. �
As to rivers and streams, air scenting, as opposed to ground scenting, dog are actually able to smell your scent in the air above the waters, and pick your scent back up on the other bank. You would have to travel downstream in the water for a long distance to lose the dog and his handlers, who would rather work the riverbank than actually go into the water to follow you. Today, you then have to deal with airplanes and helicopters and heat imaging devices that can see you in the woods, where you might hide. �

I worked with a master K-9 trainer teaching visual tracking skills to his k-9 officers, and helped him while he taught scent work to the officers and dogs. We laid out scent tracking problems, both for practice, and for training. One of my best friends, who was a tracker, and also was working his own bloodhounds, ran a trial course for an AKC event, where the trail went through a drainage ditch. The track layer had waded up the stream aaout 50 feet and then climbed out of the ditch on the opposite bank. There was so much disturbance of the grass and weeds that lined the bank that it was easy for Don to see where he came out from where the tracks entered the water. Although the tracks had been layed hours before Don ran the course, his bloodhound had no trouble following the scent up stream, and she tracked the man into a crowded pavillion at a county fair site, and went right up to him where he was sitting up on some bleachers. �

When you understand where the scent the dog is smelling comes from, and that is not just an aroma wafting in the breeze, you understand how difficult it is to lose a scenting dog. 65% of your body heat escapes off the nape of you neck and back of your head. With it goes thousands of dead skin cells. You shirt sleeves act like funnels forcing air out and throwing out thousands of skin cells . Your pant legs likewise act like huge pepper shakers, and send out thousands of dead skin cells with every step. Run, and the shaker puts down more cells. The cells are attacked by bacteria, and as they decompose as they are eaten, they give off the odor the dog is sniffing. If it was not for the presense of bacteria, we would be buried in miles of thick layers of bones, and dead skin cells. In fact, Life could not exist without the bacteria that live in the air, and soil.d So, it only takes a well trained dog handler, and a well trained and practiced scenting dog, to follow a trail. The handler is more likely to wear out than the dog will. And, if they get off trail, it is almost always handler error that is responsible for the move. Even my friend, the master K-9 instructor screwed up during a practice session one day, pulling his dog off my scent, to wander off after some visible tracks made several days before by someone working on the grounds. I purposely stopped when I saw those tracks. stomped my feet several times, scuffed the ground to bleed the vegetation to give a ripe odor, before walking on in the same direction I had been heading before seeing the cross tracks. He was embarrassed, but admitted that this was the very reason he wanted to do this practice session, as he had not run his dog on a scent trail in weeks, and was afraid he was getting rusty! �

That dog , a few years later, back tracks a man who was found hanged in a tree through the woods( going from strong scent to weaker scent) to the man’s car, where they fond his wallet and car keys, and found a note on the front seat with a map showing the path he was going to walk through those woods to the tree he had chosen to use to commit suicide. My friend had then the only dog certified to be able to do back tracking scent work, and I know of no other case in Illinois, where such a feat was done, and verified not only by footprints found on the trail, but by the victim’s own map. Police found a suicide note at his home. He is one heckova trainer, and that was one fine dog.

Dogs have no trouble finding people in an urban environment, they track missing kids, fleeing fugitives, VERY frequently in urban environments. They lock onto your scent regardless of the environment the scent is in. Covering yourself in a unique scent….for example deer urine, in a urban environment, would make it EASIER to track you. �

For some reason people think of evading tracking dogs in the wilderness. If you’re not IN the wilderness now, and THSTF, why would you be fleeing dogs in the wilderness after? You need to learn to evade in your current AO. �

The best evasion tactic is to DELAY the dog and buy yourself time for a better plan. The risk is you don’t know how far behind the do team currently is. They don’t bay and bark like in the movies. The most effective tool to delay a tracking dog is a fence. Or better yet….10 fences in a row. To reaquire scent they have to circle and recircle until they pick it up. �

Doubling back is effective because they way a dog determines the direction of it’s target is by STRENGTH of scent. If it’s stronger in one direction….that’s the direction it’s target is heading. �

Avoid water at all costs. Ever SMELL a wet dog…..the smell is stronger. Same with people, once you get out of the water you’re dropping concentrated scent in a clear direction. Also judging by some of the previous posts by some people here…swimming with 80 lbs of BOB on is a bad idea.

you can buy a spray bottle of expel oder neutralizer for like 10 bucks? they also have a wash for clothing and body soap too….if a deer cant smell you ,i would think a dog cant either? just make sure you dont have any skin/hair exposed to the air…clean all equipment as well…

Speaking as a retired correctional officer I saw two ways inmates used to thwart the drug dogs. One was to put their dope in the bottom of a coffee can, the other was to put it in the bottom of a deodorant like a speed stick. I guess those two smells just overwhelmed the dogs noses. �

I imagine that anything you have at hand that is fairly pungent should do the same trick.

(1) Dog characteristics. The dog(s) follows a trail faster and can continue to track at night. Despite years of domestication, dogs retain most of the traits of their wild ancestors. If put to controlled use, these traits are effective when tracking.

(a) Endurance. A dog can hold a steady pace and effectively track for up to eight hours. The speed can be up to 10 miles per hour, only limited by the speed of the handler. The speed and endurance can be further increased by the use of vehicles and extra teams.

(b) Mental characteristics. Dogs are curious by nature. Dogs can be aggressive or lazy, cowardly or brave. A dog’s sensory traits are what make him seem intelligent.

(c) Aggressiveness. Tracking dogs are screened and trained. They are aggressive trackers and eager to please their handler.

(d) Sensory characteristics. Knowledge of the following sensory traits and how the dog uses them helps the evader to think ahead of the dog.

    • Sight. A dog’s vision is the lesser of the sensing abilities. They see in black and white and have difficulty spotting static objects at more than 50 yards. Dogs can spot moving objects at considerable distances, however, they do not look up unless they are training up a tree. A dog’s night vision is no better than man’s.
    • Hearing. A dangerous problem for the evader is the dog’s ability to hear. Dogs can hear quieter and higher frequencies than humans. Even more dangerous is their ability to locate the source of the sound. Dogs can hear 40 times better than men.
    • Smell. The dog’s sense of smell is about 900 times better than a human. It is by far the greatest asset and largest threat to the evader. Dogs can detect minute substances of disturbance on the ground or even in the air. Using distracting or irritating odors (for example, CS powder or pepper) only bothers the dog for a short time (3 to 5 minutes). After the odor is discharged by the dog, he can pickup a cold trail even quicker. The dog smells odors from the ground and air and forms scent pictures. The scent pictures are put together through several sources of smell.
    • �–Individual scent. This is the most important scent when it comes to tracking. Vapors horn body secretions work their way through the evader’s shoes onto the ground. Sweat from other parts of the body rubs off onto vegetation and other objects. Scent is even left in the air.
    • �–Reinforcing scent. Objects are introduced to the dog that reinforce the scent as it relates to the evader. Some reinforcing scents could be on the evader’s clothing or boots, or the same material as is used in his clothing. Even boot polish can help the dog.
    • �–Ecological scent. For the dog, the most important scent comes from the earth itself. By far, the strongest smells come from disturbances in ecology such as crushed insects, bruised vegetation, and broken ground. Over varied terrain, dogs can smell particles and vapors that are constantly carried by the evader wherever he walks. �

(2) Favorable tracking conditions. Seldom will the conditions be ideal for the tracker and dog teams. During training, they become familiar with the difficulties they will face and learn to deal with them. The following conditions are favorable for tracker and dog teams.

(a) Fresh scent. This is probably the most important factor for tracker teams. The fresher the scent, the greater chances of success.

(b) Verified starting point. If trackers have a definite scent to introduce to the dogs, it helps the dogs to follow the correct trail.

(c) Unclean evader. An unclean evader leaves a more distinctive scent.

(d) Fast-moving evader. A fast-moving evader causes more ground disturbances and individual scent from sweat.

(e) Night and early morning. The air is thicker and the scent lasts longer.

(f) Cool, cloudy weather. This limits evaporation of scent.

(g) No wind. This keeps the scent close to the ground. It also keeps it from spreading around, allowing the dog to follow the correct route.

(h) Thick vegetation. This restricts the dissemination of scent and holds the smell.

(3) Unfavorable tracking conditions. Marked loss in technique proficiency can be expected when the following conditions occur.

(a) Heat. This causes rapid evaporation of scent.

(b) Unverified start point. The dogs may follow the wrong route or scent.

(c) Low humidity. Scent does not last as long.

(d) Dry ground. Dry ground does not retain scent.

(e) Wind. Wind disperses scent and causes the dog to track downwind.

(f) Heavy rain. This washes the scent away.

(g) Distractive scents. These take the dog’s attention away from the trail. Some of these scents are blood, meat, manure, farmland, and populated areas.

(h) Covered scent. Some elements in nature cause the scent picture to be partially or completely covered. Examples are sand that can blow over the tracks and help to disguise the track; snow and ice that can form over the track and make it nearly impossible to follow; and water. Water is one of the most difficult conditions for a tracker dog team. Water that is shallow, especially if rocks or vegetation protrude, can produce a trail that a dog can follow with varied degrees of success.

Regarding dogs: It has been mentioned, and is true that pepper, and other such ruses do nothing to hinder tracking dogs, indeed pepper does quite the opposite, it will actually enable the dog to track you better. Consider that a dog’s nose is quite sensitive and capable of differentiating millions of different odors hundreds or even thousands at a time. When a dog has tracked you it becomes fatigued from the active tracking. You throw some pepper to cover your tracks and voila the dog sneezes, and clears out a multitude of irrelevant scents that he had acuired. He can now track you even more efficiently than before. Good job, you’re as good as caught. �

Your best bet if evading tracking dogs is to understand the way dogs track. There are two types – ground trackers, and air trackers. Bloodhound types are ground trackers, their noses are on the ground sniffing away and every step you take will be followed by them relentlessly. Air trackers, on the other hand track your scent with their heads and noses in the air, catching the bits of scent that float hither and yon. Ground trackers can track older scents better than air trackers, but air trackers have the advantage that if your spoor trail (that you made by zig zagging about the country side) comes close he will make up ground by ignoring your odors and heading for the strongest i.e. newest scent.�

How do you confound these dogs? You can’t. What you can do is to understand these differences in the dogs tracking types. For the inexorable ground trackers like bloodhounds, you focus on maneuvering though as difficult a terrain as possible. You won’t hinder the dog, but his trainer who is holding the leash(es) will be hard pressed to follow the dog through briar patches, across barbed wire fences (several times in a row) etc. Wear out the dog handler. �

When it comes to air trackers your best option is to kill the dog. Snares and booby traps for the dog are good ideas. Also if your are in a rural area kill the dog and take his liver, it’s high in protein and vitamins galore, plus the dog handlers will not likely send more dogs after you when they know you are willing to eat his dogs.

Urban Survival

Urban Survival�

By Douglas P. Bell�

To start with, let’s get over the idea that all survivalists are going to get out of “the city” in time to set up a “survival retreat”. Not all survivalists are going to have the money, time or inclination to leave the city life and move to the middle of nowhere. First off, leaving your job and having no money will doom you faster than anything you can think of! Also some of us just enjoy the city lifestyle and do not enjoy the bucolic life. So the problem remains, what are the urban survivalists to do?�

Let’s start with shelter. Most of us live in either single family homes or apartments and if you rent your house or apartment that limits what you can and can not do there. After all, it would do little good if you were to set up a fully equipped nuclear bomb shelter in the basement and got thrown out the following week!�

However, this does not mean you are totally at the mercy of the landlord and the elements. First off, try talking to your landlord about survivalism, or just feel them out about their ideas of the future. This might include nuclear war, depression, gov’t control over their life, etc. If done carefully, many people who would otherwise think of you as a fool or nut case will come around very nicely. If not, well you aren’t out anything.�

If you live in one of the impersonal high-rise apartment buildings, and they have nothing to do with you outside of getting your rent check, you might try and find out where the chimney and venting pipes are and if you are near enough you can tap into them for your heat and air without anyone knowing. If the heat supply was cut off for some reason, you could put in a small wood/oil burning stove, vent it right out the chimney, and no one would know it was you.�

For a water supply, you could use 2 liter pop bottles or plastic gallon milk jugs. If you happen to live in an apartment building with a gravity fed water system that is the water supply is on the roof, during bad times you could simply go up on the roof, shut the valves off, and tell everyone the water supply ran out. No matter what you do, it would not hurt to have a good supply of water stored just in case.�

As to food, a years supply of freeze dried, air dried and canned goods can be stored in a closet; so space, if you really want it, should not be a big problem. Normally there is a lot of “dead” space to be found, under tables, beds, dressers, desks, etc., so that you should be able to store a goodly amount of stuff away where it will be out of sight, or at least out of the way.�

For cooking that food a wood stove will work just fine; although camp stoves, such as the Coleman, are also small, reasonably light weight and easy to use. Remember however that burning anything will use up your Oxygen, so have an outside air supply coming in. This is especially true of charcoal stoves or grills. Used in an enclosed area it will simply put you to sleep, for good! Also beware of treated wood or plastics that will give off toxic fumes, so you don’t poison yourself.�

Now I know you’ve been waiting for this, so we will now talk about guns. What exactly you need is not easily done from long distance, although there are a few basic things that most people can agree on. In urban fighting, distances are not likely to be long, a few hundred yards at most, so you don’t need a full power battle rifle capable of shooting 1000 yards and through several walls. Also depending on where you are, you may not be able to legally own handguns or “assault” style weapons.�

All is not lost however. A short barreled lever action rifle, such as the Winchester 94 “Trapper” model, Marlin 336, 1894 or Rossie M92 is not likely to send the neighbors into fits of rage as would an H&K 91 or 94. The SKS in 7.62×39 is in about the same power range as the .30-30 and is extremely cheap right now (in the $100-$140 range, although this is always going up), as is the ammo, so you might consider it as well. The Marlin “Camp” guns in either 9mm Luger or .45 ACP would also make good “house” guns, although the range out of the short barrels or in the pistol calibers would be limited.�

That’s not all bad however, as a city in break down is likely to have roving bands of gangs or even National Guard units (remember after Hurricane Hugo when the Guard units joined in the looting?) that are better armed and/or more willing to use their weapons than you. So the less shooting you do the less attention you will attract to yourself.�

For close range firepower or “street sweeping” it is hard to beat a shotgun. A discount house here (and many gun shows) often have the Remington 870 Express model with a rifle slug barrel and a vent rib “Rim-Choke” interchangeable screw in choke) barrel for under $300.00, which has to be one of the great bargains in the firearms field. The only down side of this gun is it is only available in 12 gauge, and many smaller or less experienced shooters might prefer 20 gauge, although regular 870s are available in just about any gauge you could want.�

Other shotguns you might also want to look at are the Winchester 1200/1300 or Ranger models as well as the Mossberg 500, especially the Bullpup model that moves the action back just in front of the recoil pad and gives the gun an overall length of under 30″ with an 18″ barrel or just over 30″ with a 20″ barrel. Get the longer 20″ barrel as the added few inches will dampen therecoil and especially the noise or blast when compared to an 18″ barrel.�

For left handed shooters or others who don’t want the shells ejected from the side for some reason, the Ithaca 37 (or Model 87 as it is currently called) and Browning BPS ejects the shells out the bottom, so the shells land at your feet instead of flinging past the left handers’ face. Remington also makes a left handed 870 if you would want one.�

As to handguns, the police departments of many cities are turning in their revolvers for 9mm automatics. This has placed a goodly number of revolvers in either .38 Special or .357 Magnums on the market at very reasonable prices. Many of these guns will have holster wear, that is the bluing of the gun will be worn, but this will in no way affect how the gun shoots.�

If possible, get the .357 Magnum over the same model in .38 Special (such as the S&W Model 10 in .38 Special and the same thing in .357 called the Model 13) and adjustable sights if offered. The .357 Magnum can shoot .38 Specials just fine, and this gives you the choice of two different cartridges (.38 Special and .357 Magnum) rather than just one (.38 Special), as well as being able to sight in for the different loads.�

Now that you have decided where you are going to weather out the coming bad times, in your house or apartment, what you are going to eat, the years’ worth (or more!) of food you have stored, and what you are going to defend yourself with, your urban weapons cache, now what? What else is there?�

Well how about sanitation and hygiene! What are you going to do when you can’t flush your toilet? Do you have any soap or toilet paper stored away? Dish washing soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, hand soap, anything? What about toothbrushes and toothpaste? How about flyswatters, bug repellent or screens�
and netting?�

The epidemics that ran over much of Europe in the middle Ages, and most war zones even today are because of the improper disposal of human waste and/or the improper handling of food, but how many times do you hear about it? Not often. After all no one wants to read about toilets and guns in the same article. It brings the idea home a little closer than most of us want to admit to.�

For the urban survivalist this is more pressing than for their rural counterparts, simply because the urban survivalist will (generally) not have the room to build an outhouse or some way to easily dispose of the waste. Sure you can get a chemical toilet, but what happens when you run out of plastic bags and chemicals? You should think about getting a composting toilet or some other form of an alternate disposal unit.�

Another useful idea is the use of camouflage. No I don’t mean you should be running around in a set of “cammies”, I mean the art of hiding yourself or home so that they would be overlooked by someone looking for someone or something to attack.�

After “the day”, there probably will not be many homes with a fresh coat of paint or that are all neatly kept, so yours shouldn’t be either. Also a beaten path to our door just might lead the world to it. The less inviting or lived in a place looks the less likely someone will want to check it out.�

Also your garden need not be in neat rows or even in normal garden plants, as there are many plants that most people would not even recognize as food plants that are easily grown. Look into getting an indoor green house or have pots of food plants inside.�

A source of energy (light or heat) was touched on briefly in the first article, with a wood burning stove or camping stove, but sooner or later you will want or need more than that. But what could you use?�

How about setting up your own still? No you aren’t going to drink the stuff, you are going to use it to run the camp stove, or with slight modification, to run the gas engine on your generator or other power tools. Alcohol can be made from almost any plant matter from grass to pine needles, so as long as vegetation grows you should be able to get some sort of alcohol. Wind power or solar panels would also be possibilities, as would water power; although a full scale water power plant that would provide enough power to be of any great use by itself would be more than most would be able to manage, at least at first. However, this still leaves solar and wind, two items that can be used with a minimum of resources or material.�

Another item that is often overlooked or not fully explained are medical items and medicines. Some books or articles simply tell you to talk to your doctor and explain what you want and get prescriptions for the needed items. I don’t know what kind o f doctors these people have been dealing with, but none that I have talked to were willing to consider it, or even talk about the subject or need.�

This leaves you with the supermarket and drug store items or buying veterinarian supplies, neither of which is ideal. However if you are able to get to Mexico, you can buy prescription drugs across the counter, and many non-narcotic drugs are readily available. For narcotic drugs, simply see your local drug dealer.�

The medical “tools of the trade” normally recommended here are either so basic you would be hard pressed to do general first aid, or more than you will ever need or could use, and often are more than most survivalists would know how to use. This is not to say you shouldn’t have anything your little heart desires, but don’t waste money on an item you have no idea of how to use, at least until you have the other needed survival supplies like food and ammunition stored. For a basic first aid/medical kit it might be wise to get one of the better commercial first aid kits and then one of the more advanced “field medical kits” that includes scissors, hemostats, etc.�

Do you have a good set of tools needed to rebuild you home? If not you might consider getting a basic set of hand tools, as any power produced may be needed for other than running your power shop tools. The “Craftsman” line of tools from Sears is warranteed for life and many people feel they are among the best, especially in their price range.�

While I didn’t mention it in the first article, you will need a set of gun cleaning kits. First off you should get a set of one piece stainless steel cleaning rods in .22 and .30 caliber about 30″ long and a shotgun cleaning kit as well, such as the “universal” cleaning kits offered by many firms such as Outers, Hoppe’s, or Klean-Bore.�

After that get a good supply of bore cleaning solvent, either commercial or military, as well as lubricating oil. One advantage of military bore solvents is that they are designed to be used with corrosive ammunition, and are generally much cheaper than commercial solvents. No matter what type of bore solvent and lubricating oil you get, get plenty! Any you don’t use would be snapped up by other survivalists who either didn’t get any or get enough.�

Now that we have housing, guns, hygiene, and other good stuff out of the way, what next? Well how about food production/procuring! OK so we talked about a garden that didn’t look like a garden, and wasn’t in “normal” garden plants, but just what plants are these? What would be a good book on the subject?�

One of the best books for this is “The Edible Ornamental Garden” by John E. Bryan and Coralie Castle (101 Productions, 1974, 192 pages, 8 1/2″ x 8 1/4″). The nice thing about this book is it covers the usual garden plants as well as the less usual ones.�

The chapters in the book include general culture of plants, cooking with flowers, leaves and herbs, plants, their culture, history and recipes, and mail order nurseries.�

This book is a must have for the urban home owner who has a small plot of land and wants a garden that most people wouldn’t bother because they wouldn’t even know it was there. The book will also provide you with food ideas that you may have been missing out on right under your own nose, right in your own yard or flower garden.�

Well, so much for your outdoor garden, what about an indoor garden? That’s right, set up a small “flower box” garden in a window sill or even a terrarium garden. For the terrarium, you might try to find “Gardening with Terrariums”, although this booklet has almost nothing on food growing indoors as it is actually a book about ornamental plants.�

If a window box of terrarium garden isn’t big enough for you, there are other ways of doing this, such as setting up a greenhouse. Books on greenhouses run from how to build your own “window box” greenhouse to commercial production set-ups. Go down to your library or used book store and look over the books they have. There should be something that will be of interest if you are serious about plant production and propagation.�

Well, if gardening isn’t your cup of tea, and you can’t put in a greenhouse or “indoor garden”, but still want plant food in your diet, what is left? Sprouting!�

Sprouting is very easy to learn and requires almost no room or equipment to do, and so is perfect for the urban survivor. Sprouting not only increases the amount of food over just eating the grains or seeds you might have stored (such as mung, pinto, or wheat), but provides much more nutrition as well. A booklet on the subject you might like to find is “Seeds and Sprouts for Life” by B. Jensen.�

Now that you have all that garden produce, what are you going to do with it all? Yet another booklet for the continually short of space urban survivor is “Rodale’s Gardening Harvest Book” which covers freezing, canning, jams, jellies and drying. Well so much for plants, what else is there? What about meat? Well how about traps!�

In one “survival” magazine there are ads for leg hold traps, “you may not want the fur, but you will want to eat” or something like that is how the ad runs. Well OK, leg hold traps are a good way to get food and furs, but I don’t recommend them for the urban survivor.�

The reason is simple, if my best rat catcher or favorite hunting hound comes back with a messed-up leg or worse yet, doesn’t come home at all, I’ll know there is someone else out there and start looking for them and their traps!�

Another reason I don’t like leg hold traps for the urban survivor, especially now with the current anti-gun/anti-trapping scum about, is if you don’t check your traps every day (any decent trapper checks his traps AT LEAST once a day!), someone else might find your traps with an animal caught in it and turn you in to the local power structure which will be more than happy to harass an honest survivalist rather than fight crimes such as murder, rape, etc.! After all they might get hurt doing that!�

Now I’m not against trapping mind you, it’s just that you have to be a little tricky about it. If you live in an area with a lot of raccoons (and who doesn’t?), you might try the “egg-trap”, so called because the commercial version is egg shaped. This is a very safe and very good trap. It doesn’t grab the leg like the leg hold traps and it is safe around dogs, cats and children.�

The way this works is, you take off the back of the egg trap, put the bait in, and close it up. The trap is then put in an area where raccoons are likely to see it. The raccoon can see and smell the food, but can’t get at it. So the raccoon reaches in, grabs the bait and pulls. Now the trap is so designed that the leg is held as long as the bait is pulled. Let go of the bait and the leg is released. In almost all cases the raccoon will hold on to the bait and you have him trapped!�

Another good way to trap animals without hurting them (and getting the neighbors pissed at you) is to use a box trap. A box trap is just what it sounds like, a trap in the form of a box. Normally the animal walks into the trap to get some sort of bait and trips a level closing the trap door; trapping the animal with no harm. These traps are available commercially and can be easily built out of wire mesh and scrap lumber to fit just about any size or area you want to put one.�

These traps can be built to trap birds, squirrels, and most any animal to about a small to medium sized dog or good sized coon. After that, the size and strength needed limit the practical usefulness of the trap as far as most urban survivalists are concerned, as it would be hard to explain away a German shepherd sized trap in the back yard; while a “raccoon” or “groundhog” trap will not raise too many questions. I know one person who built one of these traps for squirrels and normally catches about ten to twelve a week! About the only problem they have encountered is the trap needs rebuilding/repairing every week or so, as the squirrels really tear the hell out of trap!�

The next set of traps are the so-called “kill traps”, as they kill their prey by breaking the animals neck or back when the trap is tripped. Needless to say, you don’t want to use this trap where children or pets can get at it, as most people would get a little upset by this! As these traps are normally in the mink/martin size, they are not good “meat” traps, although for protecting your food supply from rats and mice they would work fairly well.

Short Study of Urban Evasion

A Short Study of Urban Evasion

by Jason Smith

11/5/2001

With the possibility of anthrax generated by a domestic source, it is almost certain our new Office of Homeland Defense will place tighter restrictions on our liberties. It seems every day a new story either linking the anthrax to Iraq or some unnamed ‘right wing extremist hate group’ appears.
Knowing something about microbiology myself, I would venture to say they can determine very little from the organism itself. An anthrax spore is the DNA of the bacteria surrounded by a hard casing. The organism does this when subjected to stress, such as lack of food or other environmental conditions which threaten it’s survival. When conditions are more favorable to the organism, it returns to a vegetative ‘living’ state.
At most, they would be able to determine what medium the organism was grown in, any additives used to enhance the organism’s virulence or perhaps how advanced the lab was that made the powder by gauging how fine the powder was ground. They could also determine what particular strain of anthrax was used and if the strain was adapted for the purpose of warfare. Anthrax also occurs naturally in livestock and could be isolated from nature.
I would say these press releases are a litmus test. It is admitted that the Pentegon uses PR firms to ‘spin’ the news of the war. Why would they not test the public, using press releases and polls to gauge reaction, to determine what the public will support? Perhaps to see if we would support an offensive against Iraq or even more draconian laws.
Among the strict new laws already passed, dubbed the ‘Patriotic Act’ signed into law by President Bush, there are penalties for ‘support of terrorism through expert advice or assistance.’ Certainly there would be problems for me if I wrote ‘A Short Study of Making Biological Weapons.’ Under the new definition of terrorism, protestors of the World Trade Organization are now terrorists, in fact almost any political protest could be labeled as such. A web site showing how to make a bomb could now be construed as providing information to terrorist.
The FBI has even suggested the entire Internet be wiretapped.
We live in an age of the permanent emergency. As the jobless rates soar (520,000 unemployment claims in September alone) and we grow steadily closer to becoming something akin to a fast food serving third world nation, this perpetual war and the new laws that follow to ‘protect us’ will have an increasing effect on John Q Public. The slow process by which our freedoms were being stripped is now streamlined. Few people will stand against this and the likelihood of it getting progressively worse is high.
With this new and improved police state comes the greater chance of facing the wrath of authority for those that chose to demonstrate or speak out against it. If it comes to this, you might find yourself having to evade the police while trying to survive.
URBAN EVASION
Self-control is of paramount importance. Think every problem through rather than panicking. Pain, discomfort and other unpleasant conditions must be accepted as normal should this situation be forced upon you. Knowledge of escape, evasion and survival techniques will increase your chances tremendously.
Personality is one of the most important factors in an evasive situation. Regardless of the traits you enjoy in today’s world, in an evasive situation you must be decisive, adaptable, calm and optimistic but realistic. Remember the alternative is living a large portion or the remainder of your life in a jail cell. You must be able to cope with isolation and be able to assess and predict the actions of others.
One method of surviving is to remain in a city. Many people do not know anything other than city life, and to venture out of the city is not something they would do.
One way of surviving is by becoming a vagrant. Derelict housing can provide a good spot to go to ground.
This may not be as easy as it sounds. In many cities there is a well developed underworld of vagrants and drop-outs and your arrival among them will not go unnoticed. The vagrants may include informers or drug addicts who are easy targets for pressure by the police. Be cautious. If confronted, an effective approach would be to pretend you are insane.
Posing as a vagrant, you will have a better chance of bluffing your way out of a stop and search check by the police. Do not try it unless you are caught with no place to flee. Carry no identification and choose a weapon that is concealable or not in itself harmful e.g. a screwdriver or a chisel.
Foraging for food is easy in a wealthy environment, as long as you are prepared to examine the contents of cafe, restaurant or theater garbage bins. Garbage bins are an excellent source of food and useful items. You can use the lid to sort through the stuff, or lay it out on some paper so that you do not make a mess. If you leave a mess every time you raid a shop’s bins, eventually they will decide to confront you or try and have you arrested. Try to leave the top layer close to the condition that you found it in, leave as little sign of you being there as possible. Locate water fountains in obscure locations and use them for your source of water.
This type of behavior will also add to your cover as a vagrant.
If you can degenerate to a low enough level you will become an unlikely suspect. You may have problems with your health if you adopt this technique. Heat kills most pathogenic organism, those that make you sick. Boil the water you use if it is not on the cities water system. If at all possible, heat the food you find as hot as you can without burning it. If you cannot heat the food hot, but you can heat it some, keep the food hot as long as you can. A long period of medium heat will kill as well as a short period of high heat. You must heat the food over 150 degrees to have any effect. Any temperature lower than this can cause the food to be worse for your system rather than better.
A mid-way approach to evasion is to adopt the ‘gray man’ technique. Here you aim to have as anonymous an appearance as possible. Clothing should be neutral, and your behavior will have to be that of a ‘solid citizen’ – such people do not sit around in public parks or search through garbage bins. They are on their way to or from work. You will be less likely to be questioned by bored members of the police force using this technique.
A large city can be a very anonymous place. Citizens keep to themselves, and as long as your manner and appearance do not attract attention you can move about fairly freely. Always shave go through the garbage bins to find used razors if need be, unshaven men always attract attention. Trains, entertainment centers, etc. can offer protection from the weather by day and sometimes by night. Be careful, evasion is not helped by standing around.
Always move at night, it is easier to hide at night if you are being pursued. Infrared tracking that can be used to find you in a countryside is not as effective in a densely populated environment. Too many warm bodies.
If you must move in the day, be confident. Always look as if you know where you are going. Don’t loiter or appear furtive. If you can get a bicycle, do so, but assess the risk first. Keep away from stations or bus terminals. Avoid children, they are not bound by grown-up conventions of social behavior. If they see something peculiar, they will point it out loudly.
None of this is appealing, but it is effective. If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to ask yourself what could you do to turn the tables on those that hunt you.

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Urban Escape and Evasion Hides

Urban Escape and Evasion Hides

When entering a new city or just starting out one must search for and document escape and evasion locations or hides. This is especially true if one lives in the city or has an extended operation in such city.

Possible locations

����������� Possible locations that are well suited for hides are Parking Garages both above and belowground. Unoccupied or abandoned factories and buildings also make good hides with proper planning. Also consider areas of occupied buildings that are no longer used such as utility access rooms, HVAC buildings and basements/storage rooms. The parking garage locations may be better suited for night hides as most are closed after normal business hours. One can map out the security camera system during normal business hours to show blind zones where one can enter. Once inside parking garages offer numerous hide zones including the stairwells, fire sprinkler utility rooms and level breaks that usually have dead zones. These parking garages may not be suited for a long term hide but offer excellent concealment for a night or two and are immediately accessible in the inner city.

����������� Abandoned buildings are best suited for both day and night access. They also offer excellent concealment for a long-term hide if the necessary planning is conducted before choosing the location. Most abandoned building are located at the edge of town or in a heavily industrial/commercial zoned part of town. They are also located in the �bad� parts of town. The abandoned building located in the Ghetto should be avoided at all costs do to the heavy police activity and heavy drug/illegal activities during all hours of the day and night. Such activity could easily identify a hide and compromise the location. Thus leaving the commercial/industrial area of the city best suited for locating abandoned buildings for long-term hides. Most industrial/ commercial sectors shut down at around 5:00pm. They are virtual ghosts towns after this time and during holidays and weekends.

����������� Abandoned buildings offer the freedom of entering them at will and setting up a hide that best suits your needs. A small room or area of the building can be isolated. Supplies such as food and water caches can be stored. Comfort items such as inflatable mattresses or bedrolls can be hidden for later use. Avenues of approach and escape and be cleared or concealed for later use.

����������� Pre deployment intelligence of the building can be gathered before choosing which one to use. The local courthouse can identify owners, liens and foreclosure information. The local urban planning and development department can identify future land use plans or demolition permits. Building permits can also be found to identify future use plans or renovations. Such intelligence can be used to pick the right abandoned building for use as an urban escape and evasion hide.

Getting to the location

�How easily accessible is the location? What routes will be taken to get to the hide? Who will spot you entering or exiting? Can it be accessed during the day or should it only be accessed during the night. Also look out for security cameras. Security cameras from neighboring buildings and business could be used to spot your hide or at least film you entering or exiting.

Escape routes from the location

�All escape and evasion locations must have at least 3 avenues of escape. Whether it is by foot, vehicle or water there must be a way out. Careful consideration must be taken in both planning the location of the hide and planning the escape from the hide if one is discovered.

Make a plan

� Once the proper locations are identified they must be recorded on a map or notebook/PDA if one cannot remember all the details of the escape and evasion plan. Writing plans out helps build memory and uncover unforeseen issues. Precautions must be taken so these plans are not discovered. These precautions can include password protection and encryption, or just hiding the written plans where no one searching can discover them. The plans should include location of each hide, how it is accessed, what area precautions must be taken (cameras nearby, dogs down the street, etc) and a detailed description of each of the three escape routes from the hide. The hides may also be daisy chained with proper planning. An example of this is Location #1 using escape routes A, B, C leads to Location #2. If location #2 is compromised used escape routes A, B, or C to get to Location #3. Stick to the plan.

Urban Escape and Evasion Class

Scenario One:

You are on Patrol in Baghdad. Your group leaves the green zone in a convoy of hummers. As you enter the patrol area, your alert level jumps up a few notches. The .50s are manned. Your M4 is clutched tightly in your hands. As you round a corner, the hummer in front of you has slammed on its brakes. You hear the whoosh of an RPG as it flies over the hood of the hummer in front. A near miss. The fifty opens up. The hummers all empty as soldiers pour out to form an assault team. You join up with your fire team. The LT is issuing battlefield commands. You are to move to the left with your fire team to flank the ambushers. Another whoosh as an RPG hits your now empty hummer, setting it on fire and causing some serious damage. Time to look for another ride home. Your fire teams set up and begins to lay down some cover fire. Soldiers from the hummers behind yours run start to move up and assist. The ambush is well conceived. The terrs hit just as the second hummer rounded the corner, and halted the column on the narrow streets. The only .50 in operation is on the front hummer. The rest are around the corner and of no use. You hear the SAW opening up on the right. Comforting sound. You also hear grenades being launched with the familiar call. It sounds like things are going well for your unit.

Your guys are advancing, and the enemy is withdrawing. As you move from your cover to advance towards the next intersection, fire from a window to your right forces you down an alley. You and your buddy are isolated while an AK is unloaded in your direction. You seek cover in opposite doorways on the narrow alley. As you look for the source of fire, you see smoke coming from a window on the opposite side of the road. You aim at the window, but no clear target enters your site picture. Either the shooter moved on, or someone else took care of the problem. As you step towards the end of the alley in preparation to rejoin your team, more fire erupts from the same window. Again, your only option is retreat back down the alley. This time, they have a better angle and you are forced deeper into the alley before you can find cover. Time stands still. You check your buddy. No hits, but that was very close. Fortunately these guys fire the AKs from the hip. Someone aiming from the shoulder could have made it very interesting for you.

As you try to determine which window the shooting originated from, you listen for other signs of the battle. You hear isolated automatic fire in the distance. But no large scale assault. This troubles you. Your buddy gets a bead on the right window, and puts a well-placed 203 round in to silence the shooter. As you cover each other, you work your way back to the street. Now both hummers are burning, The .50 ammo is starting to cook off. But most concerning, there are no friendlies in the area. You quickly move back down the street to the corner. As you look around the corner, you see your patrol DDing back down the road. They have turned the convoy around and are heading back the way they came. You see the last hummer turn a distant corner. Mr. Murphy is in the house. You and your buddy are alone, deep in the red zone.

Scenario Two:

As a contractor working in Baghdad, you frequently work and move outside the green zone. The possibility of ambush or attack is always there. One day, you lead a convoy of company cars near an area where a number of ambushes have occurred. You vary your routes every time you go outside the green zone. You follow counter-surveillance procedures as a matter of course. You follow all the procedures your company has in place to protect you. Whenever you leave the green zone, your awareness cranks up a notch or two. In spite of all you do, there is always a risk that you may get caught in an ambush. Today is one of those days. As you turn down a street in a neighborhood that is marginal, you notice some men on the street corner kind of lingering too long as you pass. Up ahead you see a head poke around a corner and disappear. Then you notice an absence of women and children on the road. In fact, the only pedestrians you see are 20-30 yr old males. All of your alarms go off at once. You radio the rear car to get their SAW to swing around and cover the rear. You also tell all the drivers to get ready to evade according to the evasion route you established in your pre-mission planning. You make an immediate left turn, and quickly move at a right angle away from the danger zone. As you begin your evasion routine, the rear vehicle begins to take small arms fire. They are busy returning fire. So far, so good; you are calm and in control. You have planned and prepared for just such an event.

In spite of your best planning. Murphy is always around. As the driver of the lead vehicle, you come around a corner on your evasion route and find a roadblock. You radio the following vehicles to turn off and take a secondary escape route. As you start to back up and follow your convoy, you take small arms fire from the roadblock. Of course you return fire, but your vehicle takes an AK round through the radiator and engine block. You drive away as fast as you can, but you know you only have a mile or two before the engine blows. You go as far as you can, but eventually the engine seizes. Your convoy is ahead following its evasion protocol. You are on your own. For the time being at least. You and your two other team members are on foot in enemy territory. There is no immediate pursuit, but you can expect the terrorists at the roadblock to be following along at any moment.

URBAN E & E

These situations should never happen. Hopefully, all the checks, double checks, protocols, and procedures are in place to make sure it does not. No one should ever get left behind, but in the fog of battle, anything can, and usually does happen. Stranded in this situation, what do you do?

These kinds of situations or anything similar can happen any day in an area such as this where many of our troops and contract security personnel are currently engaged. What skills do they posses that will keep them alive while they escape and evade back to the green zone?

A DIFFERENT SKILL SET

Urban Escape and Evasion requires a slightly different set of skills than most soldiers possess. I work with elite military groups in my career training the military, and many of them are well versed in the skills needed. But since we are sending regular soldiers and contractors without special ops training into urban settings, providing additional training in how to escape and evade in an urban setting makes good sense.

To survive in a situation where you find yourself in unfriendly territory, you must be able to do several things outside the normal range of soldier training.

Prior preparation should include a thorough intelligence briefing of the area of operations. In the Military, briefing books usually exist with the intelligence officer. You should also spend time studying maps and getting familiarized with the area. You should know where checkpoints are, which neighborhoods are militant strongholds, and which are more likely to be friendly. You should note choke points, and keep track of the location of every insurgent action in your area of operations. You should know where important structures are located, which areas are lighted at night, and a hundred other important pieces of tactical knowledge. You should know enough about the religious and cultural practices to avoid making obvious mistakes. You should also know enough of the language to recognize key words and phrases that might mean trouble. You should become a student of your area. All this is pre-mission preparation, and may be the difference between successfully evading and getting caught. Anything that you use to give yourself an edge is one less thing the enemy has to use against you.

Your first priority is to get off the street before someone figures out they have a couple of US soldiers out on their own. So how do you choose a hiding place in an urban setting? Sometimes you will not have a lot of choice. You simply chose a door, try to kick it in, and hope for the best.

However, if you have time, you want to choose a building that looks unoccupied. You will want to pick the locks rather than kick in the door so as to arouse less attention. Besides, many of the doors in Iraq have two or three point locks, making kicking a door in very difficult. Once you are inside and off the street, you can try to establish commo using the phone or radio. Even if the house you are in has a phone, using a phone could be problematic if none of you speak the language. If you have cell phones or radios, by all means use them. You will need to carry phone numbers for your base.

Once in your initial hide, you should take a quick inventory. Do you have a map? What is your ammo supply? Take a drink of water and calm yourself down. It could be a long day. The stress of the firefight will be sinking in. It is easy to allow panic to cloud your thinking and force you to move sooner than you are ready to. Instead, sit quietly and assess your situation, come up with a plan, and think through several moves. Time to �cowboy up.�

After spending a minute or two assessing your situation it is time to make a decision. Do you wait for rescue or try to E & E back to the green zone? Every situation is unique. Since your life depends on the right choice, correct real-time intel is vital. If you have some form of commo with your unit, or access to a phone, then waiting for a rescue os probably your best option. If however you have no access to communication with your unit, then you may have to E & E back to your safe zone.

You first will need to choose a route that will take you back to the green zone. This is where prior preparation comes into play. If you know the maps and you have established an escape corridor, you may be able to get to a friendly neighborhood or a safe house. This can make the return much easier and is worth going a much less direct route to get to. Will you have to pass enemy checkpoints? Are there unfriendly patrols? Are there dogs or donkeys that will bark or bray and give you away?

Next priority is transportation. Are you going to walk all the way back? How about a carjacking a ride? Or better yet, stealing a car. Do you know how to hot wire a car? If so, you can boost a car and drive right back into friendly territory. How about roadblocks? Are you trained as an evasive driver, and do you know how to run a roadblock? Can you evade pursuit? Can you approach your own lines without getting shot?

If borrowing a car is not an option, then it may be a long walk through unfriendly territory. You will probably be forced to move at night. You will need to know night movement, concealment, and camouflage. Moving at night in an urban area requires some unique skills.

Getting through the red zone is difficult. Getting back into the green zone is not without its challenges. Driving up to checkpoints at high speed or approaching a checkpoint on foot at night are both invitations to being shot. You must know the protocols for entering any green zone area, not just your own. What may be acceptable behavior in one area may not be appropriate elsewhere.

Individuals that are working in combat zones, particularly in urban areas, might be wise to assess their Urban E &E skills. Urban E&E training is extremely valuable to any soldier conducting Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT). Basic skills are not difficult to learn. Some should be learned in advance, others in-country. But they should be ignored only at your own peril.
Originally published in Blackwater Weekly

EVACUATION: Bugging out by motor vehicle

EVACUATION: Bugging out by motor vehicle
by Team Training Systems
Reprinted from American Survival Guide

Most individuals have included “bugging out” in their emergency response planning. This is correct, as evacuation may be necessary for many reasons. Most plans make the assumption that major highways will be open and passable. The individual or group will likely be part of a mass exodus, complete with panicky, desperate drivers, vehicle break- downs, accidents and other traffic-tangling conditions.

The military has priority on the interstate highway system, and the military may close the interstates at any time compounding the confusion. We need only to examine the evacuation prior to Hurricane Opal, where 60 percent of evacuees remained in place due to “grid-locked” highways, to see that an alternate evacuation plan should be developed.

While mass evacuation in the event of a natural disaster or hazardous materials incident is normally a well-planned and practiced event, evacuation in the event of mass civil disobedience is not. The Historical Response to such events has been curfews, travel restrictions and restrictions on the sale of gasoline (Remember the riots of the 1960’s?)

The ability to travel by tertiary roads, or no roads at all, will be invaluable under chaotic conditions.

This article is intended to serve as a primer or basic introduction to cross-country evacuation by motor vehicle.

We will discuss route find- ing, traversing obstacles, security and communications. Operation will also be discussed.

ROUTE FINDING-Prior reconnaissance is an absolute must for successful use of teritiary roads, trails and utility rights-of-way. A large scale atlas, or better, USGs grid maps will prove invaluable and save time. Power line and particularly pipeline rights-of-way are kept reasonably clear of brush for inspection purposes and are frequently the most direct routes available. Be advised that utility rights-of- way are private property, and frequently include steep grades and side- hills that may be impassable for less capable vehicles.

Abandoned railroad lines may offer another usable route. Grades are shallow and curves are wide even by modern highway standard. The road- bed was designed for far heavier loads than any four-wheeled vehicle is capable of moving. The roadbed is packed so tightly that very little vegetation grows. Here in the East, abandoned logging and mining rail- roads are frequently encountered and are usable by even low-capability vehicles. The principal drawback is that bridges over both ravines and water obstacles may be collapsed or removed entirely, creating what may be a near-impassable obstacle. Even so, if an abandoned railroad grade appears on the map, it is worth investigating. Never, except under the most dire and immediate circumstances, attempt to travel on a “live” railroad track. An oncoming train could produce the most horrible consequences!

Even direct cross country travel is not impossible, if the terrain is not too heavily wooded. Most government owned woodland is well covered with maintained fire fighting trails. Open terrain may be crossed on a compass heading, the only drawback being the tracks left by the vehicles.

OPSEC AND CONVOY OPS-Most individuals and families concerned with emer- gency planning have formed groups with others of like mind. There is safety in numbers, particularly when traveling. Risk exposure is high- est when on the move, and the risk is compounded when only a single vehicle is involved.

The type of vehicle is also a risk factor. While not to belabor the obvious, a standard passenger auto or minivan would be a poor choice. Road bound and with poor hauling capacity, this type’s virtues are limited to improved high speed capability and greater fuel economy, when compared to the average four-wheel drive. Consider also that a full size four wheel drive usually has sufficient power to drag almost any man-made obstacle out of the way. Choose accordingly.

The first step in preparing an evaculation plan should be predesignation of an initial assembly or “rally” point.

This should be a central location for all parties, enroute to the designated area of operations. Ideally a point with a fairly high elevation providing to the degree of cover and concealment should be located. The higher elevation will assist with radio communications, and concealment will be necessary as not all group members will arrive at the same time. Make no on the air reference to road or places names, landmarks, etc., as such radio traffic may assist undesirable elements in locating the group. If the route is over 50 miles or so in length, or passes through several small towns, then intermediate rally points should be designated, using the same criteria as before.

Second, the order of march should be designated. First in line should be the lightest and least capable vehicle, carrying the forward secur- ity element. If the first vehicle crosses obscales unassisted, then the rest of the convoy should cross also. The heaviest and most capa- ble vehicle will proceed second in line, carrying towlines, chain saws, axes and other vehicle recovery and road clearing equipment. In the event of a stuck vehicle or road obstacle the equipment forward security element will be positioned for most rapid deployment. Next in line, in third and fourth position, should be the supply vehicles and non- operational personnel. The trail vehicle should be a near duplicate of the second vehicle and carry equipment to create roadblocks as well as the rear security element. Open trucks would be ideal as the lead and trail vehicles: the security elements, riding in the open cargo area would have maximum visibility and fields of fire.

Third, while on the march, maintain maximum safe interval between vehi- cles. Each vehicle should remain within sight and small-arms range of the vehicles immediately preceding and following. Avoid the tendency to “bunch up”, particularly at obstacles or other ambush points. Minimize exposure by maintaining interval at temporary halts.

Fourth, radio communications between vehicles and security elements elements can not be overemphasized. Work out some simple codes so that voice transmissions will be minimized. Keying the mike will produce a spitting sound as the radio breaks squelch. A simple “one” for stop, “two” for go, “staccato burst” for dismount and take cover will suffice for most work. Such short bursts will greatly reduce the effectiveness of direction-finding gear, and will give no clue as to what the group is doing.

Fifth, when making prolonged halts, the vehicles should be “laagered”- dispersed in a rough circle, under cover and/or camouflaged. Two sentries, circling the laager in opposite directions will be sufficient to keep watch on the laager and each other. Maintain light and noise discipline while laagered. Sound travels for long distances in unpopulated areas, and light is visible for many miles, even in daylight. If group plans include an overnight halt, the same criteria for selection should be used as for the initial rally point.

FORDING OPERATIONS-If road travel is be avoided for security reasons, then bridges over water obstacles are to be doubly avoided. Water crossings have been recognized as natural choke points and ambush sights since armed conflict began. Intentional destruction of bridges has been used to deny mobility since ancient times, and more recently, obsolete bridges on tertiary roads frequently are not replaced when damaged. Fortunately, most of these tertiary roads date from horse and buggy days when the only way to cross water obstacles was to ford them. Note the number of waterside towns with -ford in the names (Chanceford, Chaddsford, etc.) that usually indicate an old creek ford.

Once the fording sight is located, the next step will be determined by the tactical situation. In a high threat environment, the security element will have to proceed on foot and secure both the far bank and both flanks prior to sending the vehicles across. If the perceived threat level is low, one or two lightly armed scouts on the far bank will be sufficient.

The ford element should proceed across at wheel track width, inspecting the bottom of the creek for deep holes, large rocks, mud, or other obstacles. On reaching the opposite bank, the ford element should continue for at least 200 meters under cover and evaluate conditions. If passable, one of the ford element should return to the ford and direct traffic at the ford itself.

Park the heaviest, most capable vehicle nose-on to the creekbank to one side of the ford. Connect the front of the most capable vehicle to the rear of the least capable with a towline and send the least capable vehicle across first. The towline should be long enough to reach across the entire obstacle, if possible. If not the heavy vehicle will have to follow the lighter vehicle across in order to maintain slack in the towline. If the first vehicle does not make it across, the recovery system is in place to pull the vehicle out without having personnel wading in the creek in order to hook up the towline.

In the event that the convoy contains low capacity vehicles such as passenger cars, different procedures are in order.

These vehicles are not capable of fording more than a shallow stream, and most likely will have to be towed across. If there is any possibility of submerging the engine, the air intake opening should be sealed and the vehicle towed across (dead). Bear in mind that a passenger car will float in relatively shallow water and that it may be necessary to open the doors and puncture the interior trunk floors to prevent the auto from drifting downstream, pulling the tow vehicle with it. It may even be necessary to use a second vehicle and towline as an anchor on the near bank.

Once across, the first vehicle should stop only long enough to discon- nect the towline, then immediately proceed in the direction of the ford security element. Each vehicle should cross in turn, maintaining inter- val and extending the line. The vehicle operators should not attempt to crash through the obstacle. Proceed slowly and steadily, maintaining control of the vehicle. Use extreme caution when operation in still or muddy water. Depth is hard to determine, and wandering offline could result in a swamped vehicle, or worse. If the water is deep enough to impinge on the radiator fan, the fan belt should be loosened or removed to prevent the fan from revolving. A rotating fan may bend forward far enough to damage the radiator when the fan hits the water.

The anchor vehicle then picks up the rear security element (if deployed) and crosses last. The convoy should immediately proceed to a secure area at least one kilometer away and halt to inspect all undervehicle components for water vehicle contamination. Do not omit this step if the water is more than axle deep. The convoy may return to normal road march after the inspection is completed.

DEBRIEFING NOTES: Team Training Systems-Creek Fording/Convoy Ops Training

Several of the photographs used in this article were shot on a Team Training Systems training op. We identified several weaknesses needing remediation:

1. Communications. Due to the late arrival of one of the operators, the pre-op briefing was greatly shortened and several operators did not “get the word.” Several crossings were required to set up the photo- graphs properly.

2. One vehicle had no two-way radio. Due to the short briefing no hand signals were designated. The operator of this vehicle had no idea of what he was expected to do, other than follow the vehicle in front.

3. Perhaps most important, five large vehicles traveling together on roads that normally see only two or three vehicles per day attracted a tremendous amount of local attention. While no legal authorities were contacted, we found ourselves explaining our presence more than once. This attention would likely be magnified under chaotic conditions. Maintain the largest possible interval between vehicles that reliable communications will allow. Keep weapons and other survival gear out of sight. Camping gear would make a good cover story, as would a large toolbox, hard hats, and a stack of unusual looking electrical parts. Make vehicle halts in parking lots and other public locations.

In conclusion, prior planning, reconnaissance, identification of obsta- cles, and several dry runs will be necessary to identify and correct problems.

Short Term Escape and Evasion

Short Term Escape and Evasion

You are on the run behind enemy lines with just the contents of your escape tin and the clothes you stand in, what should you do?

British fighter and helicopter pilots, Special Forces operatives and other specialists who are likely to be shot down or ambushed deep behind enemy lines receive excellent training in Escape and Evasion (E&E) procedures. Indeed this training is so good that selected operatives, soldiers and airmen from friendly nations are also often to be found on these courses.

However, it is not just the fast jet jockey and winged dagger trooper who could find themselves in the role of unwelcome guest behind enemy lines, being hotly pursued by a hunter killer force. Once the shooting starts, at any time it could happen to YOU.

1]Your unit has been decimated after being surrounded by the enemy, but you have managed to escape.
2]Your defensive position has been overrun by the enemy but you have survived and must get away before they start mopping-up.
3]Your patrol becomes lost behind enemy lines.
4]You have accidentally strayed through the enemy front line.
5]You have broken out from a POW holding area behind the battlefield
6]You have managed to escape from a POW camp further into occupied territory.
7]You are on a peace-keeping mission when your unit is taken hostage or ambushed and all are captured except yourself.

The list is endless, but ask yourself honestly these two questions. If I found myself in any of the above situations, would I know exactly what my very first move should be? And then, as the minutes tick by, what should I do next?

Now you are probably thinking that you should start water gathering, building a shelter and instituting all the other ‘surviving in the wilds’ skills. Wrong! Long term evaders such as downed pilots, or escapers from permanent POW camps deep inside enemy territory, may need to travel for weeks or even months before reaching friendly territory, so ‘wild’ survival skills are very important For them. However, only a very few soldiers ever become long term evaders.

Most Escape and Evasion (E&E) in any conflict is short term, lasting anything from about one hour up to48 hours.

What is most important in short term evasion is to understand the few basic rules of E&E based around anti-capture and anti tracking techniques. Without this knowledge, the chances are that you will be shot, taken prisoner or recaptured very quickly.

If you don’t understand the fundamental anti-tracking skills, the chances are that you will not be able to use your survival skills without tipping off the enemy. So it is important that you learn the basic ground rules of short term escape and evasion first.

The Escape Phase
Rule 1 – Escape Quickly

1st Rule – Escape Quickly
This is the first and most important rule of E&E and can be applied to many different situations. In this case, Escape Rule 1 refers to the period immediately after capture by the enemy. You must escape at the first opportunity because:
a] The longer you remain in captivity, the more thoroughly you will be searched
b]The longer you remain a prisoner, the further you will be sent behind enemy lines.
c]Your captors will very probably be front line combat troops. These soldiers will likely have neither the interest, the time, nor the training in handling POWs. The longer you remain in captivity, the greater the chance of being sent to a secure POW camp with guards who have been specially trained in preventing escapes.
d]Once incarcerated in a purposebuilt POW camp, the rules of E&E will change drastically (to be covered in a future article).

2nd Rule – Don’t Talk
Being captured by an enemy is a severe psychological shock, even for experienced soldiers. Only those who have experience of such an event can appreciate the desire to talk to captors, sometimes without being able to stop. You must steel yourself from the very first moment of captivity to say as little as possible. Under the Geneva Convention you are expected to give your name, rank, number and date of birth (this allows the Red Cross to hopefully keep track of your movements and health condition as well as to notify your next of kin that you have survived) but resist the desire to say anything else.

3rd Rule – Be The Grey Man
After capture, most soldiers adopt one of two attitudes. They either try to appeal to their captors by smiles and other friendly gestures, or they show defiance by scowling, cursing or exhibiting signs of aggression. Do neither!

You must attract as little attention from your captors or jailers as possible. This will prevent you from being singled out for interrogation, when you will be under closer guard, and will greatly help your chances of escape.

To play the grey man, stand or sit motionless with head slightly bowed. Avoid eye contact, but if forced to look at the enemy, focus on your opponent’s forehead and show no emotion. Speak only if spoken to.

The Evasion Phase

This most important Escape Rule also applies to the Evasion Phase. You may have just escaped from POW custody, be the surviving member of an ambushed patrol or have been overlooked as enemy assault troops overran your position.

In any of these situations, you could be captured at any moment. You must now travel as far and as fast as you can. The further you escape from your last point of contact with the enemy, the wider the arc or area the hunter-killer force will need to search for you and the greater the area that tracker dogs may have to cover to pick up your scent.

Rule 2 – Evade In Pairs
The larger the evading group is, the easier it will be to track down. If possible, try and break down into pairs as this could split up the team tracking you or even leave them all tracking just one spoor. In most situations, two heads are better than one and when rest becomes a necessity, one can remain on guard while the other sleeps.

Rule 3 -Assume You Are Being Hunted
An evader has a very limited view of events around him and it’s very easy to assume that he has given the enemy the slip. Often this is a mistaken view. Besides which, always assuming you are being hunted focuses the mind and this should lead to you making less mistakes.

Rule 4 – Carry A Compass
The sensible soldier will always carry a minicompass in his Survival Tin plus one hidden in his clothing. This is one of the most treasured E&E possessions. To allow for all eventualities though, learn to make an emergency compass by magnetizing a needle and sitting it on a free floating leaf on water. Practice now as you won’t get time when you are an evader.

Rule 5 – Make Or Get A Map
Maps are important. Before a mission make a simple map on a sheet of paper from your waterproof notepad. Show just the basic routes, roads, rivers and major topographical features, then sew it into your uniform.

If captured, while awaiting escape, make a rudimentary map by drawing on the inside of your clothing as this will greatly aid your navigation plans. Once on the run, acquire a better one- search bodies and deserted buildings and, particularly in an urban environment, look inside vehicles or even check out phone boxes

Rule 6 – Ignore The Hay Barn
Don’t assume the ‘Hay Barn’ mentality. In other words, never hide in obvious places. The barn on the hill will look tempting refuge with hide, but this is also the first place the hunter force will search.

Rule 7 – Become a Magpie
Never pass-by anything that could be of use. a discarded bin liner or even a plastic fertilizer bag can make an emergency waterproof overgarment.An abandoned steel helmet, not too common in these days of composites, makes a good cooking pot but look out for any metal container that will do this job and also transport drinking water.

Rule 8 – Camouflage Your Tracks
You must camouflage signs that you have passed, and especially your footprints, from man trackers. This is because the most common form of track to find and easiest to follow is the markings you leave on the ground-known as ground spoor. an even better find for an experienced tracker is a full bootprint (a confirmed spoor) from which he will be able to tell how fast you are moving, how tired you are and much more information on you.

With a consecutive pair of prints he can tell how fast you are travelling, what distance you are covering and even if you are carrying a load. Despite your boot probably having the same tread pattern as the rest of the guys in your unit, individual wear marks and tread damage make your boots as individual as your fingerprints. No wonder trackers call full bootprints a confirmed spoor.

Consequently, avoid walking on soft muddy ground. Instead try to find hard, rocky surfaces. Remember, though, not to disturb loose rocks as these would give a tracker recognizable, though less useful, ground spoor.

Of course there will be times when you have no choice but to walk on soft or muddy ground, so remember the following techniques. They may only temporarily confuse trackers, but they may gain you valuable time.
a) Often there are harder ridges on either side of well used, soft, muddy paths. Walk legs astride on these ridges.
b)Step carefully into existing footprints.
c)Walk backwards or on tiptoe.
d)Walk in a stream. Remember not to leave scuff marks or other ground spoor on the bank as you enter or leave the stream.

Rule 9 -Don ‘t Leave Aerial Spoor
Spoor above the ground or overhead may not be as easy to spot as ground spoor, but a good tracker will find it nevertheless
a)Don’t break branches in your way – gently bend them aside.
b)If you can’t bend it, go under, over or around it.
c)If you snag or tear clothing, don’t be in such a hurry. Check to see that you have not left a small piece of cloth or telltale fibers behind you.

Rule 10 – Don’t Leave Scent
Tracker dogs follow the microscopic body scent particles that continually fall from your body and settle on or just above the ground.Their remarkably sensitive noses will follow your previous route as accurately as if you could draw the dog a map. Even so, there are ways to slow down,confuse and even defeat tracker dogs.
a)Use a vehicle or even a bicycle. This will not only break the scent chain, but will put you further ahead of the pack much quicker and with less fatigue.
b)On foot, follow an erratic path through tangled undergrowth. This usually tangles the running lead of the dog and its handler, slowing them down.
c)Use well traveled animal or human trackways. Even better, follow an erratic path through a farmyard, as a large collection of new scent may temporarily confuse the dog and hinder progress.
d)When you reach water, don’t just cross it. Walk in running water for a short distance before exiting on a part of the bank where your spoor will not show.
e)If you can only find narrow waterways such as ditches, with still water in them, walk in them but cross diagonally, doubling back on yourself at least once to confuse the dog.
f)If practical, wash regularly, but never use anything scented.
g)If you cannot wash, roll around over the ground you are traversing, to add country scents to your own. However, remember that a man who has rolled in a dung heap smells just like a man who has rolled in a dung heap, to a well trained tracker dog with a good nose.
h)Don’t allow yourself to come in contact with strongly smelling substances such as smoke or animal droppings. If an article of clothing becomes contaminated and you have to discard it, make sure you bury it, or better still hide it under rocks in a stream. Now wash hair and skin. if also contaminated.
i)Try to outrun the dogs. A tracker dog has to move comparatively slowly so, as stated before, escape as quickly as possible.

Rule 11 – Camouflage Your Identity
It should almost go without saying, that you practice the basic rules of camouflage and concealment when resting, laying-up, approaching a dangerous area, etc. You should also practice camouflage and deception when traveling.
a)Avoid busy or populated areas and keep your distance from any civilians you see.
b)Don’t act suspiciously or appear to be nervous as this wilt attract attention.
c)Never walk in an upright, military fashion-adopt a tired slouch.
d)Try to at least keep the appearance of being clean and keep shaving if you can.
e)If traveling in countryside, carry a spade or some other farming implement.
f)Keep your uniform on underneath any civilian clothing as otherwise you could be shot for being a spy.
g)Keep your watch in your pocket.
h)If approached by the locals, unless you speak and look like a native of the area, pretend to be deaf and dumb or perhaps even half-witted. The latter often works.

Rule 12 – Disguise Your Hide.
Sooner or later you will need to lay-up or rest. Again, leave no traces of your presence.

It is a good idea to rest for 5-10 minutes in every hour that you travel. Don’t just stop anywhere though. Choose an area of good cover and try to leave no trace of your LUP (Laying Up Point).

a longer LUP occurs when you sleep. lie facing the ground, and if you have a ground sheet or something similar, cover yourself with it. This should concentrate your scent in one place. Before you leave, cover your sleeping area with soil and natural debris to mask the scent.

Always bury any food waste, camp fire debris, feces, urine or anything connected with your stay. Try not to contaminate your skin with waste material. Finally, cover disturbed soil with natural debris. Waste on the surface will attract flies in warm weather and will be easily spotted by human trackers, and a dog’s nose will pick up the scent a long way off.

Rule 13 – Disguise Your Fire
Opinions vary as to exactly when you are safe enough to light a fire. However, sometimes it is crucial to purify food or water by cooking or boiling,to provide warmth to prevent hypothermia.

If you have to light a fire, ideally you should dig a fire pit deep enough to hide the flames. Try not to make the fire too big and ensure that flames to not show above ground. Use only small pieces of fuel.

Dig a separate air shaft at an angle to the pit as this will make the fire burn quicker and prevent excessive smoke. If the ground is too hard to dig, is too waterlogged, or a fire pit is impractical for some other reason, light the fire under a canopy of leafy foliage to disperse smoke. Alternatively, light a surface fire against a high wall.

Above all else, when Escaping and Evading, DO IT QUICKLY and DO IT CAREFULLY

from Combat And Survival Magazine Volume 10 Issue 4 July 1998

Survival, Escape, Resistance, Evasion

Survival, Escape, Resistance, Evasion
By Dave Reed

I’m not sure how much I will include on resistance and escape. Maybe I will save these subjects until someone else offers to contribute the material. I will definitely cover the following subjects:

  • Arctic
  • Jungle
  • Desert

Topics will include dealing with attitude, exposure, dehydration, rescue, food gathering.

  • Celestial Navigation – Stars/Sun
  • Camouflage – Rural and populated areas

Survival

Attitude is everything. Some of you may read this and think “yeah, o.k., now get on to the good stuff”. What you must realize is that without the proper mental attitude, the other topics will be of use for only a short period of time. Depression, loneliness, feelings of abandonment, despondency, and the feeling that nobody knows where you are or cares will conspire to kill you. If you have done your homework, practiced the techniques described, there is a very good chance you will survive if you have a positive mental attitude. Tell yourself that you WILL get out of this. You WILL persevere.

I have seen some survival books talk as though collecting water is easy, catching game with snares is simple, and survival is something that can be taught in books. When I was very young, I would leave for the country on Friday afternoons. I would take water proof matches, a liter of water, my bow and some arrows, ground sheet/blanket, and spend the weekend making snares, fishing with equipment I made, and hunting with my bow. I used primitive fire making methods and only used matches when I had to. I can tell you that there is nothing easy about any of this. There was much I didn’t know at the time, but I had read a lot of books. I probably knew more at 13 than most people ever do. I was preparing myself for a life in the wilderness as a ‘mountain man’. Needless to say, I had not yet discovered girls or beer. Cable TV was unheard of, and computers were magical talking ‘entities’ as seen on Star Trek and 2001. For me, society was full of unnecessary trappings that only made men soft and weak.

By sunday I was ready to return home. My parents would usually drive out to the area I was staying in and give me a ride. It was about a 18 mile trek. Fortunately my mom made sure I took along ’emergency rations’, just in case I had trouble finding game. Emergency rations were about the only things I ate all weekend. I shot a few birds and snakes with my bow. Caught a few fish too. But I learned something that many people do not realize. To survive you must battle three things in this order:

  • Exposure
  • Dehydration
  • Food Gathering

You can die in a few hours if you cannot retain body heat. You can die of exposure in 72 degree weather! You will develop hypothermia when your body loses heat faster than you can produce it. You need calories to generate body heat. People die of hypothermia in warm water. The water is cooler than they are, subsequently the water absorbs body heat until their body can produce no more. It is a slow death.

When you breath your breathe causes water loss. Perspiration causes water loss. Evaporation from your eyes causes water loss. If you cannot replace these losses you will die. Drink water with little microbes, parasites, etc. and you will develop diarrhea. This will increase your fluid loss and you will die even quicker.

Food is the last thing you will need. In moderate climates, you can survive without food for up to 30 days. You will die without water in one or two in the desert! Finding edible berries and plants are the last things you need to learn. Rescue and conserving fluids and body heat are the primary survival skills. If you can survive long enough to get real hungry you are doing a good job. In extreme cold food is more important because your body converts food to heat.


Taking Inventory

First examine what you have to work with. Seat cushions from a vehicle are insulation. Shiny glass, mirrors, or polished metal can be used to signal search aircraft. Glass with imperfections, bifocals, binoculars, etc. can be used to focus the suns rays enough to start a fire. Thread stripped from a from seat cushion and wound together can be used to lash things together, make fishing nets, sutures fro stitching wounds, etc. Remember your priorities. Rescue, Shelter, Water, and food. You will have to balance these priorities and make decisions. Generally, you should stay in the area where you became stranded if there is any chance of a search for you. If you try to walk out, the search party will not find you. You will burn calories while walking, calories that will be hard to replace. You will also perspire, can you afford the water loss? If the enemy is searching for you, you will have to move to a safe location.

Exposure and Body Heat – Arctic

Time is running against you here. You must work quickly and conserve energy. After you have taken inventory, build a fire:

Hopefully you will have matches or a lighter. You must conserve these valuable items. Before you build your fire, pick a place for your shelter. (see below). Now gather combustible materials. Cones from pine trees don’t burn. Bark doesn’t either. DON’T waste matches trying to ignite them. Gather material in this order:

Very small match stick thickness twigs. Have at least a good double handful. They must be dry. To find dry sticks in the rain, look under the overhang of an embankment, under-side of logs, dead dry roots pulled out of an embankment, the center of a stump or dead tree (dug out with a knife).

Small sticks a little bigger than the smallest. You will need more of these, at least a quart – half gallon. Some of these may be a little wet.

Bigger sticks – Twice the thickness of the ones before, even more of these.

Keep moving up in size until you are collecting branches/small logs. If the wood is available you will need as much as you can gather in an hour. Drift wood will work if it’s dry.

Now that you have your wood it’s time to build your fire. Take your time and do this right. DON’T throw the fire together haphazardly. This will only waste fuel and increase the risk of the fire not lighting. Every match you have is like gold. Do not waste them. If you do this right you will only need one.

Take a medium size branch and lay it down. Now build a tiny lean-to with the smallest sticks by leaning them up against the branch. Take more and and lay them perpendicular to first layer, and parallel to the big branch. Use lots of very small sticks and leave enough gaps between them for the flames to rise up through and ignite the upper layers. If it’s raining or windy cover yourself with something to protect your fire. Now add the bigger sticks to the top of the your neat little lean-to, using a teepee shape, and surrounding the little lean to on all sides. Leave a small gap up close to the big branch to get your match under the pile. If you have a small slip of paper or lint from pockets, put it under the lean-to and ignite it. As your fire grows, start adding more and more sticks to get the fire very hot. Now add the larger sticks, the heat will dry them if they are damp. (Not if they are green or soaked through.) Keep building your fire in stages. DON’T wait too long to add the next size larger sticks. The heat generated from the rapidly burning small ones is needed to dry and ignite the larger ones. As soon as you can, put some bigger stuff on by laying them across the big branch on the ground. Once your fire is going, DON’T let it go out. If you need more fuel gather more, and start building your shelter.

This is the fastest shelter I know of:

Is there a snow bank nearby? Can you build a small one? You are going to dig a cave in the snow. You want the opening to be away from the wind. The cave has to be very small. For a snow shelter to be effective it must be below freezing. If not, melting snow will saturate your clothing and you will freeze. Hollow out a place to lie in the snow. If you have something to line the floor with it will be much warmer. If you have nothing but plastic or something, try to find evergreen tree limbs to line it with. You want as much between you and the cold ground as you can. You will lose more heat by being in contact with the cold ground than you will from the air. The air in your cave will warm and retain heat. If you have a small heat source you can place a vent through the roof to allow gas to escape. You must ration your heat source. You will need it more at night when the temperature drops. Luxuries to add will be more insulation, seat cushions, etc. and a door.

A Ranger Pile is a shelter used by small parties who lack bulky camping equipment or who for tactical reasons, must not risk fire or shelter construction. First layer of men, four or five lays very close together on two ponchos snapped together. Next layer lay’s on top of the others, cross ways. Another layer on top of them. Remaining ponchos are snapped together and pulled over the top and tucked in around the sides. If a quantity of DRY pine needles, leaves, etc. can be quietly collected, this can be used for insulation stuffing. Just pile it on each layer before the next gets on. This is how small recon teams survive without carrying a lot of bullshit with them. It only gets bad when one of the guys has gas!

A vehicle will block the wind but the compartment is too big to retain body heat. You will freeze if you stay in a car or aircraft. Strip cushions, carpet, floor mats, insulation, etc. from the vehicle to line your shelter with. If you have tools and can remove the hood or trunk lid you can use these for a reflector to direct heat in one direction from a fire.

If you are fortunate enough to have the materials to construct a lean-to, build one similar to the way you built your fire. Keep the openings away from the wind, and towards your fire. Use a reflector to direct the heat into your lean-to.

Clothing What do you have to work with? Thin material should be put closest to your body, as should wool. If you have extra foam from seat cushions, stuff your shirts and pants with it. It will work as insulation. Extra clothing can be stripped in to pieces of about 5″ x 4′ and used as wrapping for extra socks. The russian army has always used wool strips for field socks. You want to have the material that best holds in heat closest to your skin. This same concept can be used when you have the luxury of a sleeping bag. Sleeping bags are designed to hold in heat much better than clothes. When you get into a bag, remove all of your clothes and lay on them. Naked, your body heat will be trapped between your skin and the bag. Otherwise your heat escapes through the thin material of your clothing, and stays between your clothes and the bag, until it dissipates.

If you have no clothes for the environment you find yourself in, you will have to use the shelter for clothing. Keep your shelter VERY small and use insulation. This is your only chance to survive.

If there is plenty of snow/ice you will have a good water supply if you have a fire and a container to melt it in. DO NOT EAT SNOW. It will lower your body temperature and bring on hypothermia. Always melt it and get it warm first.

Do not drink alcohol of any kind. It will thin your blood and increase your urine output. If it’s strong enough, you can use it as a disinfectant, or to help start your signal fires if an aircraft approaches.

Now that you have your fire and a shelter it is time to improve the odds of rescue. The international distress signal is three (3) of anything or the letters SOS. Don’t build three fires because it wastes fuel. Scrape out three large circles in the snow by dragging something around. If it snows these will fill in. If you have access to lots of branches or something that provides a good contrast to the white snow, lay them out to form 3 large X’s. What looks big to you on the ground looks very small from an aircraft at 10,000 feet. Your X’s should be 100 – 150 feet across and 75 feet apart. If you have the wood build three fires in the middle of each but don’t light them. Keep your main fire going so that you’ll be able to take a torch to the other fires in a hurry.

Smoke will be quite visible from the air also. Large piles of pine needles smoke well, as does rubber, plastic, or oil. Be careful about burning critical supplies however! I would not throw a poncho, sheet of plastic, or rubber boots on the fire in a vain attempt to signal a distant plane. You will have to use common sense. If the plane cannot land near you, and has to radio for help, you could be there a while longer anyway. With bad weather it might take a rescue party several days to get you. If the pilot is an idiot, or lacks a GPS or LORAN, he might report your location as being 20 miles away from where you actually are.

You may want to find a book named “White Dawn”. It chronicles the lives of three men who were lost in their small whaling boat in the arctic back in the 1800’s. It is an excellent work of fiction and provides many accurate details of how northern aboriginal peoples survive in their climate. If you are inland you will not have much opportunity to hunt for seals. In some areas of the north, the only thing you will find are lemmings, lichens, and maybe a fox or two. (if there are enough rats to feed them). Near the sea you will be able to hunt seal. That far north and you won’t find much snow, it is too arid and cold. On the Ice pack you will have to build your shelter with ice, and heat it with animal fat. If you wind up on the ice pack, with no supplies, there is little I can tell you here that will save your life. You will have to stay warm long enough to get rescued, which had better be pretty quick.


Exposure – Desert

Since there is nothing in the desert to hold in the heat, it dissipates quickly after the sun goes down. Deserts can drop to near freezing over night. During the day the temperature will soar and fry your brain, dry you out, and kill you. For this reason any movement should only be at night. For shelter you must get out of the sun. If you can, dig a hole to get in and cover it. Do not strip off your clothes. Have you ever wondered why arabic people wear those long, heavy, hot looking clothing on their heads and bodies? It is because moisture evaporation is your worst enemy in the desert. Clothing helps keep in this moisture and slows evaporation. It must be loose enough to allow heat loss. You will need to stay warm at night, refer to the arctic topic above.

Water is the most important thing to consider in the desert, it must be conserved. Long term drinking of urine can make you sick, but if it’s all you have you will have to drink it. Succulent plants like cactus also contain water, as do the bodies of snakes, lizards, and other animals. Suck every drop you can from them, but avoid the poison glands in snakes (they are right behind the head in the neck). The only two parts of animals in North America that cannot be eaten are the livers of the polar bear and bearded seal. They contain toxic amounts of Vitamin A.

If you have plastic or a poncho you can collect water at night in the desert. dig a hole (or use support sticks) as wide as the plastic. Make a hole in the plastic at the center. Stretch the plastic over the hole and weight down the edges with rocks. Press down the center of the sheet or tie it to a tock to pull it down. Place a container under the hole. When dew forms on the plastic it will roll down hill through the hole and it into your container. Use your poncho during the day as shade.

Do not drink alcohol, it will increase your urine output and aid in dehydration.


Exposure – Jungle

Here, heat and sunlight are your worst enemies. Insects and water contamination are also major problems. The heat and humidity of the jungle makes for rapid bacteria growth. Any untreated wound will fester within a few hours. In a day or two a cut can become bad enough to cause gangrene. You must protect yourself by turning down sleeves, blousing your pants to keep insects out, and wearing gloves and a hat.

Water must be boiled well to kill parasites. Safe water can be found in water vines. These are very thick vines that hang down from large trees. You know, the ones that Tarzan swings from? Cut one at a 45 degree angle, move up the vine and cut it off about three feet up or sever it to release the suction. Hold your mouth under the vine and the water will flow out. This water is safe to drink without boiling. Try not ot let it run along the exposed outside of the vine though, that area will have tiny creepy crawlies.

Jungle streams are usually as deep as they are wide. Diffenbachia (or ‘dumb cane’) can be crushed and added to water to stun fish.

Chinese Star Apples, Mangoes, bananas, coconuts, and other fruits are safe to eat if you wash them with sterile water first. The seeds of the Star apple are poisonous. Many species of tree frogs in the rain forests are highly toxic. They are recognized by there bright vivid colors. If you are very careful not to touch them, you can use their skin secretions for poisonous blow gun darts.

Blow guns are difficult to make, but I’ll tell you how for the hell of it. Take a limb and split it length-wise. Scrape the bore of the weapon into both halves. It must be perfect. Allow it to dry and polish the bore halves smooth. The two sides must fit perfectly. (This is harder than it sounds). Bind the two back together with bark or vine strips.

Darts are made from any wood that can be sharpened. To launch the dart a small tuft of fiber (like cotton) from the stem of a (????) tree branch is balled around the base of the dart.

During the rainy season, grubs can be found in the center of (????) trees. I can’t remember their names but I know what they look like.

Build a platform or hammock to get off of the ground when you sleep. Insects will eat you alive if you don’t. Mud can be used to keep mosquitos off.

The jungle is a garden of eden compared to the desert or the arctic. With a little common sense anyone should be able to survive.

I don’t know of any poisonous plants that don’t taste extremely bitter and nasty. If the leaf tastes mild it is probably OK to eat. When in doubt, try a little piece first and wait a couple of hours. If nothing bad happens try twice as much and wait again. Keep doing this until you’ve tried enough to have made you sick. If you are still OK then it’s probably safe to eat. There are exceptions to this rule, most notably among berries. Some berries don’t taste too bad but are poisonous.

You should educate yourself before going to a new area. Pictures in books never look like the actual plant. Generally, if it crawls, walks, or slithers on it’s belly it is safe to eat.

http://www.snipercountry.com/survival.htm

Urban Escape and Evasion- Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness is a term rarely though of in survival or escape and evasion. Once only used by the military, it is slowly becoming an everyday term in the survival word. Situational Awareness broken down to its simplest understanding is just that Awareness of your Situation. Here we will discuss how we can use it in everyday urban evasion.�

� Many become a victim of both incident and circumstances from the lack of situational awareness. They don�t observe what is happening around them, they don�t understands what is going on and they don�t know how to deal with the situation or deal with the outcome.

The techniques used in Situational Awareness must be applied to your everyday life. The simple fact of knowing who is sitting next to you in the Restaurant or where the emergency exit is often overlooked in everyday life for most individuals. These overlooked facts will lessen your chances of becoming a victim of the circumstances.

Who is a threat in this room?

Where are the exits?

How far away am I from my Bug Out Bag?

How far can I run in this weather?

How many rounds do I have left?

We could go on for pages and pages, with more questions on every environmental scenario from work to play.

Knowing the facts of the environment and situation you are in, all the time will greatly increase your chances of survival. Be aware of your situation.

Getting Home

Getting Home

Many of us have Bug Out Bags. Some also have what are called GMHBs (Get Me Home Bags) which are what I think of as Bug Out Bag-lites. This is a kit designed with the specific purpose of assisting one getting home from one�s place of work in the event of some emergency/calamity.

We as preparedness folk love kits. We love making them, we love talking about them and we love show and telling them. I have gone on and on in the past about our love of �stuff�. That horse is dead.

But you need more than a GMHB when the Interesting Times arrive. In addition to stuff � you need to think. THAT is the subject of this article.

The Plans

First, you need a plan.
You need several plans, actually.
PACE (Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency)

Let’s say you work in an office 20 miles from home.
Plan A (Primary)for getting home is probably to walk out to the parking lot, get in your car, and drive home.

Okay. Do you keep your keys on your person? Where is your coat? What about your GMHB? What is your route from the desk to the car? What is your alternate route? Yes, you need PACE for everything. What is the excuse you will use to suddenly depart? (It may be a false alarm and you will probably want to keep your job in that case). How will you get out of the parking lot? Is it secured? How much gas is in the tank?

What routes will you take home? You should have at least 3. You should drive these three routes regularly to maintain awareness of changes, developments and so on. What are your decision points for choosing Route A over Route C? Where will you make those decisions? Where are potential choke points? These are things to think about NOW.

Plan B (Alternate) may be to have your spouse or a friend meet you at a link up point and carpool home. What are your contact plans? What is your alternate link up point? Communication means. Security.

Plan C (Contingency) may be to take the bike home. What bike? Routes? Flat tire procedures. What will you carry with you? (Less than in the car) And so on.

Plan D (Emergency) may be to get home on foot. Your routes are probably different than the driving routes. Have you scouted them? How long will it take to walk? How do you know? Proper clothing/footwear? Hide/hole up positions. Will you be navigating cross country?

Notice that each plan is completely independent of any other plan. Notice that each is not just a different version of another plan. Notice that each is viable.

Abilities and Tools

Once you have plans (please note the multiples). You need to make sure you have the needed abilities (physical prowess for one) and tools (keys, bolt cutters, shoes, kit, raft) as well. Now you need to test your abilities and test your plan. If you plan on cutting a lock with the bolt cutters – what kind of lock is it? Buy one just like it and cut it – it may be harder than you thought. You need to drive, bike, swim, walk your routes – with the gear you plan on using and taking.

Think your 4WD vehicle will surmount any obstacle in your way? I laugh (mean of me, I know) at sheeple with shiny clean, no scratches �cause it never leaves pavement 4WD SUVs tricked out with all kinds of off road gear � that is never used. If you plan on going over obstacles or cross country I highly suggest you start four-wheeling. It is a fairly steep learning curve. Pun intended.

Gonna hoof it cross-country? I was watching “The Alaska Experiment” on Discovery and it took a crew of three IT professionals forever to hike a few miles cross country to their cabin. They went in a big circle at first. These are seemingly pretty good folks with excellent attitudes, good fitness, and some skills. Land navigation was not one of them. This stuff sounds easy reading about it with a frosty one in your hand. It�s different out there. But it is doable � if you take the time to learn and practice.

I know one guy who has a raft in his car and plans on �blowing it up and swimming across the Potomac River if the bridge is blocked�. Uh-huh. I used to regularly swim with a rucksack. Yes, I did. This is not something that the average couch potato or cubicle rat is going to be able to do. While it is probably not advisable to practice on the actual Potomac, one could find a calm body of water like a lake or even a neighbor�s pool and practice � in the clothing and toting the gear one planned on having. Heck, how about practicing blowing up that raft?

What about the children?

That’s just you. What about those in your household? How will THEY get home? What are their plans? They need them too � in multiples. What are the link up procedures? Practice them. What do we do at the link up point if we have no communication (cell phones are terrible in large emergencies) and one person doesn’t show up? How long do we wait? Then what? Who’s in charge?

What about if, on your way home, the situation at home becomes untenable and the person in charge at home decides to leave? How is that communicated to all interested parties? See, Plan A was to go home. And we have several sub-plans for how we are going to do that. We also need additional plans for where we are going.

Whew!

That�s a lot of �what ifs�. How do we keep track of them all? Heck, how do we make sure they are all viable? It does not good to have an alternate plan if that �plan� is unworkable from the get-go.

First you have to spend some quiet time thinking. Just sit back and think. No distractions. We don�t do enough of this. Start jotting things down. Make some notes, make some lists. Look at some maps. Walk around some buildings, some parking lots and so on. Revise your lists.

Start outlining your plan. Put it on paper � this will help you to start cementing it together and follow logic trails. Just remember PACE and alternates for everything.

Start asking yourself �what if?� questions. When you are driving Route C home from work on Wednesday and get to the rail road crossing, ask yourself, �what would I do if the crossing was blocked by a dead train?� Actually think through your answer. If it works, add it to the plan.

Once you have a working plan start exercising it. Practice it. Give it a few test runs. You will discover things you never thought of. That�s great! Better now than during some crisis. Adjust your plan accordingly.

Can you see that just having a magic bag full of goodies (useful as they are � and I have such bags myself) may not be enough?


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