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

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.

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.


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.


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


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.
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.

Bug Out Bags – How to Get Started

Bug Out Bags

How to get Started

and then what?�

BOB Modules�

The term Bug Out Bag, gets bantered around alot. You’d think it would be easy to set one up from all the information on the net. Essentually theyre made up of;�

1) Clothing – for winter and summer conditions consisting of a base layer, second or mid layer, outer layer and accessories such as boots and gloves etc. By layering your clothing you avoid sweating, which is a killer whether in summer or winter. It will leed to hyperthermia in either extreme.�

2) Hygiene – Sure you can go a couple of weeks without a shower and just the basics, but what about after that if the situation demands a longer term answer. Even basic hygeine will avoid salmanella poisoning when handling food� and contaminating water supplies.�

3) Shelter – The better organised in this area, the less exposure to the elements. Then the longer it remains easier to rely on your own support.�

4) Communications – Not just with other people, but also what is occuring on the outside world and around you.�

5) Navigation – Doesnt have to be fancy, just a good old map and compass will outlast electronic gizmo’s.�

6) Fire – Dont just have one form of starting a fire. Have a kit set up with many differnt types, from flint and steel to butane lighters. The basics will last the longest and be the most reliable but trying to provide a heat source in a hurry under adverse conditions, should take every advantage you can get.�

7) Cooking- just the ability to boil water in a pot can be taken for granted by most, until they have to try living without the basics around polluted water sources.�

8) Food – Take to guess work out of menu’s and find a good source of MRE’s. Theyre designed to last 5 years and have breakfast, lunch and dinners all in the one package. No storage woe’s�

9) Water – Not just the amount you intend to carry but also cover purification methods.�

10) Tools – Bugging out just doesnt mean a short term camping trip but will also require supporting yourself, building shelter , hunting for additional food supplies etc.�

11) First Aid – A good kit, medical supplies and the knowledge of how to use them, should have more importance than most give it. You wont be able to run down or call the local GP post SHTF.�

12) Hunting /Foraging – Prepackaged foods will be great as a support base to get you on your feet but will need to be supplimented to last any time.�

13) Self Defense – Doesnt neccessarily mean firearms, but having the ability and tools whether pyhsically, mentally or hardware available to adequatley look after yourself.�

The standard description of a BOB is a 72 hour bag. Thats 3 days. Is that really enough in reality. Dont get me wrong, everyone should have a minimum of 3 days of supplies in a bag ready to go at any time as a backup. But I see more and more people relying on that bag as their primary support without ever testing the contents or themselves. It seems to have become more like a feel good solution, rather than a practical one.�

If leaving home and intending to return in a few days, or being away from home and trying to get back to your place of residence, or travelling to a pre-arranged destination, (retreat/bug out location). Then 3 days may be all thats needed, but as seen in several countries. In the US with Katrina or Australia with the Victorian bush fires. People are still homeless after many months. Three Days will get you out of there but then what. You’ll end up becoming nothing more than a refugee in your own country, probably only a few miles from where you originally lived. Having to rely on others or even worse, the government. It hard enough getting help out of them on a normal day, let alone during a national emergency. Your level of comfort during this time will rely on your own preparedness.�

Setting up bug out bags can be costly or cheap depending on how you want to begin and are generally upgraded often. When you start to find better items, it hard to stop. The points Im trying to get across are;

1) Test your gear and yourself to see if it will all work and not just for three days. Take three days of food and then try to extend yourself to see how long you may last in a real emergency.

2) Start thinking of not just short term but also senarios involving longer term options.

3) Start to consider modules as an option, meaning dont just have one kit prepared for what you think may occur to cover all bases but also several kits of varying sizes. to cover all eventualities and different lengths of time but also specialized items. I know easier said than done.�

I started out with a small pack to last a week, to cover what I thought were all bases. Then after testing found flaws. Either in the weight of not being able to carry that much gear anymore, or something as easy as underestimating my requirements in one or more of the above fields. I couldnt get it right no matter what I did. Carrying enough ammo for hunting and defense means the weight of multiple firearms, spare parts and cleaning equipment. A small first aid kit is great for hiking but not if a serious accident were to occur. Shelter is a good example. A hootchie is small, easy to set up and will provide the minimal needs for short term use, but what if you become stuck for extended periods and end up having to shelter more than yourself but family or friends also. We cant do everything by ourselves. We can only learn so many skills to cover so much information or stand on guard for so many hours, or own so much gear by ourselves. This is where networking with others comes into play.�

At this point I started upgrading my gear to try and find the perfect BOB for myself and came to the realization there was no such thing. I ended up with a lot of crap that I either sold off or traded on to others, but during that process also found what started to work for me. None of it however, was going to fit into the one bag to cover all eventualities. This is when I started to use a module system. This made it easier to load a vehicle. Ive taken hours to load my 4WD with gear for a normal camping trip. This is of no use if needing to bug out in under 15 minutes. It also made it possible that if one kit were compromised another could be used to back it up, never to rely on all my eggs in one basket. Compromised either by theft, breakages, or not spending the time rotating disposable stock before useby dates.�

A module system is making up multiple versions of bug out bags in various sizes and uses. They dont have to be top of the line gear in each bag, but be designed for easier use and carriage. A bumbag with the above contents to cover the basics is the first module. It can be carried anywhere, left in the car etc. I can last out of a bum bag for several days if required. It wouldnt be comfortable, but can be done. This is refered to as my short term or survival kit.�

From there I have a small backpack, 50 litres capacity. This is what is normally termed a 72 hour kit. I dont particuarlly like that usage. It refers that 3 days are all you could last for out of that amount of equipment. This module is my mid sized kit. This is stored in my vehicle to get me home or to leave my residence without having to pack. It has the same contents as the smaller kit, just larger items for more sustained use. The difference being, a small kit may just need a heavy duty space blanket to provide shelter. A mid term kit may have a tarp or hootchie. A long term kit will use a tent.�

I then set up a long term kit, once again with essentually the same items just capable of larger water filtraion, a tent instead of a hootchie etc. I had more comfort in mind with this set up and used a large rollar bag to hold all the equipment. From there I started to design specialist kits for supplement uses. These involved larger first aid only bags, with specialist items such as blood pressure cuffs, stethoscope, O2 Pulse Oxymeter, suture kits etc. A tactical bag. Once again a rollar bag but holding only firearms, ammo, larger cleaning kits, spare parts. A clothing bag holding enough for several weeks and a spare pair of boots. A pet bob to hold dog and cat first aid supplies, tinned food, dry food, leashes, bowls, etc. A shelter bag, holding a large teepee, extra blankets and tarps for flooring.�

Ive found by going this way I can hike out of an area using the smaller packs or be set up for longer stays with the larger set ups. Mostly stored in rollar bags, these can be moved and packed quickly. I dont intend to leave my pets behind and am in the process of building a bug out vehicle out of a small bus to provide shelter aswell as transport to permanently hold my gear without the need to pack in a hurry. Once again if I were on my own, the back of a car would hold enough equipment, but when you start to include pets, family, children, friends an alternative way of thinking comes into play. A small trailer can hold enough prepacked equipment and food to last several weeks or months and can be left permanently packed, ready to hitch up at a moments notice. Having everything packed into individual packs allows for easier access. �

Examples of First Aid in modules. I like to use AMK First Aid kits, based on price and the way their set up in different sizes. The lightweight .7 model is just the right size to fit into a Maxpedition vertical GP pouch attached to my snupak bumbag, along with a medication doset box and wilderness medical flash card booklet. The next kit up in size uses the .9 model. The pro model occupies my fast response pack for emergencies and my larger BOB. For large scale use I then went to Accidental First Aid’s 4WD survival kit. This is similar to whats issued to the SES(State Emergency Service/Cert) but with more componentry. Then specialist items from above are added with several books on wilderness first response, and military medicine.�

Water Purification modules use a McNett filter straw in my bumbag with a capacity of 20 gals/75 litres. I prefer the Katadyn brand of filters as Im not replacing the internals on a regular basis, ceramics last forever, just have to keep an eye on filtering muddy or tanic water. The mini in the ultra light series has a 2000 gal or 7000 litre capacity for my mid size bob. I keep meaning to purchase a katadyn pocket model as the larger filters are easier to pump. Having a capacity of 13000 gal/50000 litres. I currently use a camp model as these can be hung from a tree overnight and dont require pumping, gravity does all the work. Capacity of 5300 gal/20000litres for the larger kit. Ive just purchased the drip filter model after seeing a youtube vid of a young couple doing a 5 day test on their preps and the amount of fuel required either in wood or propane to make water portable. These filters use three filter candles that reach a filtering capacity of 40000gal/150000 litres. This is optimal for use in a house if bugging in or at a retreat. Im intending it for use within my bov.�

The shelter modules contain a heavy duty space blanket and poncho attached to the bumbag. The mid sized unit uses a hottchie. While the largest bob has a Go-lite tipi. The module I use for additional sheltering requirements for friends and as a backup for the bus are a Frisport Lavvu tipi, Andersnatten model for 6-8 people. Tipi’s allow the use of internal fires unlike standard tents. Kifaru is also a good brand.�

Links to the best BOB articles that influenced me.�

Bob is your Friend

10 lessons learnt from bug out camp out�

The big list

How to survive when disaster strikes – Dan Johnson

Outdoors Magizine Archives

Neil andrews All Kitted out

TJIN A Different look at BOBs

Schwert Urban Prep Kits PT 1&2

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.

Escape and Evasion Kit – SIGINT

�Communications and signals intelligence is a key factor for escape and evasion. Signals intelligence increases your situational awareness and �keeps you in the loop�.

SIGINT can easily be obtained with a Radio Frequency Scanner, also commonly referred to as a Police Scanner. An operative or survivalist invoking a bug out plan can utilize a scanner in every aspect of the operation.

� Key intelligence is broadcasted over the air waves every second of the day. One can receive weather reports for the area of operation; intercept news communications from a remotely stationed news van reporting back to the newsroom. Local police communications can also be intercepted with a properly equipped trunk-tracking scanner. Police communications will indicate where the disaster or incident has occurred, what units are stationed where, where the roadblocks are, what units are participating in the search and where they are located, and where refugees will be herded. Such intelligence will give key indications of what areas in the city to avoid.

�Radio Frequency Scanners are available with a wide variety of features from a long list of manufacturer�s. One of the easiest to use, trunk tracking, and multi-channel, fast scan brands is good old Radio Shack manufactured by GRE. The PRO series handheld units are very well suited for Escape and Evasion Kit use. These models include the Pro 92, 93, 95,96,99 and so on. Although they are not as fully featured as the high end Ham loved Alnico�s and AOR (which stands for Authority On Radio). They give a lot of bang for their buck. Also price wise they are more �disposable� then the high end models, i.e. confiscated, jettison for weight, lost, stolen, waterlogged.

�My Every Day Carry Escape and Evasion Kit carries a Radio Shack (GRE) Pro-97 Scanning Receiver. This is a radio shack catalog #20-527. I purchased from ebay for the total price of $89.00. With a little search one can find them on the Internet for under $100.00. Although it is larger than my Alinco DJ-X3, it fits in standard Military Issue Radio Holsters, including both ALICE and MOLLE. The PRO 97 has 1000 channels in 10 banks and is Triple Trunk Tracking. The frequency receiving range is 25-54, 108-174, 216.0025-512, 806-823.9875,849-868.9875,894-960 and 1240-1300 Mhz with a scan rate of 60cps. This allows the interception of most police radios, EMT units, Fire departments, AIR, CB, Most Ham Bands, FRS, GMRS. One of the most used features of this particular scanner is the Signal Stalker II. One push of a button allows the instant interception of a nearby signal. This allows on to gather instant intelligence when a transmitter is sighted from a hide or while on the run.

�Whether one picks a Radio Shack Pro Series is strictly up to your personal needs and area of operation. Regardless of the brand a properly equipped Urban Escape and Evasion kit must include a radio frequency receiver.

The Bug Out Bag: An Overview of a Necessity

The Bug Out Bag: An Overview of a Necessity
By Don Rearic

Just remember, �Bob is your friend.��

�Who comes up with these neat names? �Bug Out Bag� equals B.O.B., get it?��

�Some people have been putting together survival supplies for years. Y2K was a bust and made a lot of people, right or wrong, look like paranoid fruitbars. I was more concerned with everyone else�s reaction to Y2K than Y2K as an �event.���

�Before it was �Y2K,� it was the Soviet Union during the Cold War. In between those things, it was other things��

�It�s not about being a lunatic, just being prepared. You know, DISASTER PREPARATION� You know, something the GOVERNMENT is telling you to do now�

�What was once the sole domain of the mislabeled �paranoid, radical fringe,� is now Public Policy for the most part. It is not forced, of course, but they are giving you an idea how to go about getting started and you should take the information and build on that.

�But if you think about it, hell, think back to the TV show �Dennis the Menace.� What was that hat Mr. Wilson was so proud of? My memory might be failing me, it was Mr. Wilson, right? The neighbor, wore glasses�

�Well, anyway, he wore a Civil Defense hat. Remember those? Remember the �CD� emblem?

We used to be a lot smarter than we are now, it�s sad really.

There is NO ONE who works in any major city who would not benefit from a small backpack full of survival supplies now. Inevitably, some people will scoff at this or they will start making excuses that they don�t have room in the bag they tote around� Just like some people make excuses and plead �inconvenience� when it comes to carrying something as simple as O.C. Pepper Spray to defend themselves and then criticize the Police because they are unable to save them.

�(I have actually had some people tell me that on a spiritual level, they feel if they carry any sort of weapon that the �Universe� will then dictate that they will be placed in a situation that they have to use it. If they refuse to carry a weapon, however, they will be protected and the dangerous situations won�t even happen to them. Such is the nature of strange philosophies now in this country� Do not argue with these people, they don�t have a screw loose, they have multiple screws rattling around�)

You might have to exit the workplace; you might not be able to make it home. You might not be able to get anything to eat. And, you might not be able to get anything to eat that you can afford on the money you have in your pocket because the fast food restaurants might all be closed, the ATMs might not work either (power loss or Telco problems, etc.). If they do work, they might be empty from everyone else tapping their accounts for emergency funds.

Best to have a little bit of food and clean water to carry you through such a thing�

It is better to be able to have some clean water, have the ability to start a safe (contained) fire, have some rice and then boil it up and pour Tabasco on it. The alternative to paying some scalping bastard at a hotdog stand five times (Or more!) his regular prices for a piece of cylindrical mystery meat on an elongated piece of bread. And a bottle of water that costs several dollars instead of a couple bucks is unforgivable. See where I�m coming from? From what I understand, there are laws in place to stop this � but that won�t do you much good during the situation� If the situation is really bad, don�t bet on the Police being able to respond to calls for help of ANY kind, let alone dealing with people who profiteer off of tragedies to make a few bucks.

Also, if you live in a place like New York and you see people doing this sort of thing, NEVER buy anything from that bastard AGAIN. Shun them.

Just this past summer (2003), New York City and a huge chunk of The East Coast (and part of Canada) suffered a blackout. Remember the New Yorkers walking home? Give it some thought. It�s not �paranoia� and only people who suffer with The Ostrich Syndrome would call any of this paranoia. Some people hide from the reality of things and when they see someone else refreshing their psyche with regard to reality, they call the sane person the nut. It is a rather unpleasant defense mechanism that human beings have. It drives people who are usually rational and logical to the emotional throes of gun control as well.

You want to choose your survival essentials carefully, after that; it is usually personal taste, climate, season and/or geography that will drive your need for �extras.� Weight and space is another real concern. You don�t want to be humping a huge, heavy pack through a city street. You choose your basics, you know what you need, then add on as required.

It is a good idea to have some sort of water in your bag and not simply the ability to purify water. Both are important, but having the water on-hand is very important.

You can use Nalgene bottles or you can have sealed, pre-packaged water packs from various suppliers. The sealed packs are obviously very attractive because you don�t have to swap the water out. It has an expiration date and you simply replace it and dispose of the old supply when you reach the expiration date.

So, you need some food and you need some that is going to last. Let�s say a 48-hour supply. Something you can carry on your back or in a shoulder bag. Something that will not go bad for months and leave you with something resembling Penicillin instead of edible niceties�

So, you might want a couple of small cans of�Dinty Moore Beef Stew in there, perhaps Starkist Tuna is your thing and you would prefer that, fine. Dinty Moore is great camping fare! You peel the label off of the can, take a P-38 can opener and crack it open. Then, using a pair of pliers, you put that can over an open flame, prop the can up so it does not fall over. Stir with a spoon and in a few minutes, VOILA! You have hot food. You can do this with Hormel Chili and a lot of other things. You can have an ample supply of the many mysterious corporate concoctions available as �Potted Meat, Deviled Ham and SPAM� as well as other things. Much like Scrapple, these meat-like substances can be summed up by merely saying, �Everything but the OINK is in there��

You put in a half dozen to an even dozen of your preferred flavor of MetRx bars in there (Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough are the best tasting in my opinion, just for those that have never had them.).

A large container of water�some TABASCO, which always seems to make everything taste better�and you are good to go.

Put some candy bars in there! Good, fast energy, M & Ms are good for this and have been used in the past by the military. Sugar is good, cheap and fast energy for those that can take it without causing medical problems, etc.

As a matter of fact, in the U.S. Army SERE materials, there is mention of saving your sugar and then boiling it down into a hard candy and storing it for the time when you escape. Just a little background for you�

Mars M & M candies were used in the past by the military (WW2), the United States Air Force in particular seems incredibly fond of Chiclets gum for a sugar/energy source. You can find them in USAF Survival Kits going back to The Vietnam War.

I have a picture of an Arctic Ration Kit that the British use; there are Rolos chocolate/caramel candies in there too. Something else to think about, you have a wide assortment of sugary goodies to choose from.��

(The picture above depicts vintage malted milk tablets from a World War Two Survival Kit.)

�As a matter of fact, here is an interesting and rather humorous tidbit of information for you� Ovaltine powder and tablets used to come in small containers as well as other manufacturer�s malted milk tablets and these were placed in World War Two survival kits [1]. Pretty cool, huh? Tang for Astronauts and Ovaltine for the Commandos�

�And, if you can get your hands on a supply of Hershey�s Tropical Bars, that would be great. These too were used in Survival Kits.

�You could go all-out and purchase something like a Tilia food saver that can vacuum seal dried foods and whatnot. This is a really great idea for all sorts of survival foods. You can pack a lot of this stuff into a BOB using that method. Trail Mix, assorted nuts, dried fruit, beef jerky, the list of things you could place in long-term storage is basically only limited by your imagination.

You could duplicate the Arctic Ration Kit from the Brits by simply shopping at your local supermarket if you have a Tilia or Rival vacuum sealer (which is mentioned below). A good list of items patterned after that Kit but using goods available here would be:

�Domino sugar packets
Carnation Powdered Milk
Herb Ox Beef Bullion
Lipton Tea Packets
Taster�s Choice (or other) Instant Coffee
Dried Apples and Apricots
Lipton Instant Soup
Boil In Bag Rice
Kleenex Tissue Pack
Salt Packets
Nestle, Land O Lakes or other Instant Hot Chocolate Drink
Quaker (or other) Instant Oat Meal
Nuts and Raisins
Toilet Paper
Hershey Bars (or other)
Can (small) of meat spread (whatever type)

�That is the list, leaving out the biscuits and Dextrose Tablets, but using things that you can buy here in a supermarket. You could assemble, in reality, your own MREs�in a way. Why not?

Ken Cook reminds me of the presence of GORP, which stands for, �Good Old Raisins and Peanuts.� Ken Cook further advises, �Stay away from prunes on the trail or add more Charmin and soothing ointment for swampass.�

�You could also purchase a nice food dehydrator. Then you can purchase the fruits you want and dry them and store them in the Tilia or Rival food bags. My Dad actually bought the Ronco Food Dehydrator back in the 1970s, funny stuff. It worked too, considering it was just a cheap piece of plastic with equally cheap plastic trays in there�and a light bulb!�

But if you get a good one, I do believe you can make jerky and other stuff with them too. I have to get one of them things one day�and a vacuum sealer�and�other things�

�I would like to learn how to make real Pemmican, I have some instructions but I have to get around to doing it�make the beef jerky, pound the beef jerky into powder, render fat, mix everything with berries and insert into a sausage sleeve. I think the sausage skins/sleeves are the way to go, as I don�t feel like messing around with cleaned out intestines which is the traditional carrier for Pemmican�

Lemon Bars (Survival Rations) that are fortified with vitamins and whatnot seem to be a very attractive choice for your kit. They are sealed and dated and will last quite a while too.

I have a �Blow-Out� Emergency Medical Kit (Geared towards stopping moderate to severe hemorrhage�) from W.R. Mann at Realfighting Dot Com; it is packed in a Tilia bag. Recently, I have had a couple of things packed into vacuum-sealed bags manufactured by Rival. Rival makes a very good crock-pot! Their bags and the vacuum sealer appear to be excellent as well.

So, choose the rice you prefer, my preference is a bag of Zatarain�s (Cajun) Dirty Rice. Just take the Zat�s out of the box and take their sealed bag and place it in your sealed bag and you have a fairly tough bit of packaged food. Not as likely to bust leaving you with Cajun spices all over your latest Tom Clancy novel, know what I mean?

I would caution you against utilizing anything that resembles military gear for a pack or a vest. Think carefully now, OK? If you are in an urban or even a suburban setting and there is a terrorist incident� Do you really want to be walking or trotting around with a vest on that is designed to carry HAND GRENADES and magazines for AUTOMATIC WEAPONS and can be clearly identified as such by Police and Military Personnel?

I don�t think so. Hey, if you must do this, I think you�re taking your life into your own hands and it is an unnecessary risk, but it is your life, after all�

If you are lucky, you won�t get shot on sight during such a state of emergency. If you are really lucky, you will be able to fight off the hordes of people trying to scarf up your supplies after some National Guardsman dumps all of your stuff on the sidewalk because he thinks you�re a terrorist and he has to check and see if you have some sort of � SOMETHING � you are not supposed to have�

Meanwhile, you are lying face down with the muzzle of a Squad Automatic Weapon pressed firmly into your ear – wishing you had put some more thought into the outer Bug Out Bag container instead of landing the �buy of the century� at Joe Shit the Ragman�s Military Surplus Emporium�

So, you don�t want to be sporting an ALICE Pack or some other piece of equipment as an outer container (as excellent as they are). And although I think the classic �Photographer�s Vest� would be OK, don�t use like�some sort of �Eagle Assault Vest� or you are asking for trouble�

If you are leaving your house because of the threat of a mudslide, you can pull it off, if it is some other incident; it�s not a good idea at all.

What you want is something that simply screams, �M-T-V GENERATION!� Instead of, �I�m a Terrorist, please shoot me now.� You want something that screams, �GRATEFUL DEAD!� instead of �SEAL Team Six.� Avoid peace signs, they scream, �Filthy Hippy Demonstrator.� Go in for rainbows, World Wildlife Fund and YUPPIE colors�trust me. Sure, you might have to have some anti-nausea medicine on hand to keep from projectile vomiting at the sight of your own Gucci-flage, but alive and queasy is better than hassled or finding out if SS109 really doesn�t tumble like old M16 ammunition…

Don�t be insulted, basically, you want to look like every other bonehead walking down the street – out of whatever mess you find yourself in. The exception being if you have to move out of an area where people are protesting a World Bank Meeting or something like that, then, you don�t want to look like a terrorist OR like a Hippy/Commie or you will be targeted. Strike a balance.

A lot of people have military type clothing, but military type bags and packs are best left alone by the city dweller in such an emergency.

Inner Containers
You need something to carry other items in. Like�water and rice and these sorts of things. You can carry canned goods like the aforementioned Dinty Moore Beef Stew, but they tend to be quite heavy. Rice weighs nothing, water is heavy but there is no way of getting around that problem.

I would suggest Nalgene Bottles, they are EXCELLENT! I have to thank my friend Alex for suggesting them. These bottles are very tough indeed; they seal up well too. So, the Nalgene bottle is an excellent way to carry water and a second way of carrying rice � as opposed to sealing rice up in vacuum bags, etc.

Another manufacturer also makes a metallic cup with folding handles that can be placed on the bottom of the 32-ounce Nalgene bottle.

While we are on the subject, you might want to get some sort of surplus �Mess Kit,� meaning, something small to cook in and eat on. A set of utensils would not be a bad idea either. If you buy surplus mess kits, etc., take them home and boil them for several minutes in a large pot. You want to rinse them off and then place them in a large pot and bring that to a good, steady, rolling boil for several minutes. Then place them in your sink and get the water really hot again and wash them thoroughly with something like Dawn Antibacterial Dish Soap. I frequent one pretty cool surplus store from time to time and the rat turds on the floor outnumber the tent pegs they have for sale. Boil the gear, you don�t know where this stuff has been stored for decades.

So, if you have a couple/few of�these types of bottles, you should be good to go. You should carry water purification tablets for a number of reasons anyway. If you forget to change your water for a few days, if you cannot keep up with that sort of thing during the daily hustle and bustle of life, you want to have the ability to purify it so you don�t get violently ill. You can also buy pre-packaged and dated water packs too.

In the case of a terrorist incident, it would probably be a great idea to consider the water in a building, straight from the tap, as being contaminated anyway. Put the Potable Aqua tablets in it, better safe than sorry. Even if the �authorities� inform the public that the water is OK to drink, treat it anyway because quite frankly, you should not bet your life on someone making statements from the government who might not know everything or they might be incompetent. They might not tell the People everything for fear of creating a panic�something to think about.

I am not a Biochemist, OK? But I don�t think placing Potable Aqua tablets into water is going to make that water safe if some terrorist contaminates the water supply� I just don�t know, it is really bad news when you consider all of the possibilities� It depends on what they use and in what concentration. I am approaching it more from this standpoint, �Carry your own water and you know it is safe.�

Also, things like Earthquakes, they can rupture underground lines completely or partially, allowing contaminates to enter into the water system, best to purify the water. Dirt and rust is bad enough, you don�t want to be drinking water contaminated with sewage. What you don�t see or smell can still be present and can still kill you.

�First Aid Kit
You want a relatively comprehensive First Aid Kit. I wrote an article on them months ago, check it out so I don�t have to put everything back in here. Updates and new items may be reviewed in the future as well. But for now, that is a good place to start. Obviously, if you are in New York City, you don�t have an urgent need for a Sawyer Extractor (for snakebites). Always adjust accordingly. You need a suitable sized kit that can handle everything from a splinter to arterial bleeding.

�We all have blood and when we lose it in copious amounts, it kills us. So that is a great concern. Quick Clot is quite controversial among some people. It remains possibly the only thing that will save you in some circumstances. Yes, it will get hot, yes; it could burn you because the chemical reaction that forms the blood clot causes heat. Always use direct pressure first and really � do not use Quick Clot until it becomes obvious that you will DIE if you do not use it. That�s the general rule for this stuff.

�W.R. Mann has forwarded me a new type of Tourniquet designed by an Emergency Medical Technician. I am going to try to get with a Doctor and an EMT locally and see what they think about it. It looks excellent to me.
Oh, one more thing, there is a product on the market called Purell. This is a hand sanitizer, which requires NO water. You use this stuff to wash your hands and this is very important if you have a limited supply of clean water and you are field-dressing animals. Working in all sorts of dirt, etc., can leave your hands with all sorts of germs that you don�t want to ingest in a survival situation. The last thing you want is to be herking your guts up while you are lost. You can get small bottles of this stuff at your local Pharmacy, etc.

�If you are asthmatic, you want to get with your Doctor about extra Inhalers. You don�t want to be caught without an extra Rescue Inhaler.
For very bad allergies, you want to have the medication necessary for this sort of thing as well. You know what you need, acquire it, from inhalers to Zyrtec to antibiotics. Obtain it and keep it in the bag.

Over the counter medications that can make life less miserable is a good idea. Having something like Advil, Antacids or perhaps some Orajel can mean the difference between being as comfortable as circumstances permit and being absolutely miserable. Your teeth can be in absolutely fabulous condition, you can trip and fall on your face, or something can hit you in the face and damage you. Prepare for that, the teeth are fragile and if you have a problem or suffer an injury there, the difference between being miserable � possibly to the point of being incapacitated � is a $6.00 tube of Orajel; purchase the maximum strength tube that is 20% benzocaine. Do not use if you are allergic to local anesthetics such as novacaine, etc.

Another thing to consider is a Japanese Pharmaceutical product known as �Salonpas.�

These are 2.56 X 1.65 inch pads with adhesive backing. I really wore my arm out one time and it hurt so badly I could not raise it. My Wife kept telling me to use these things and I refused. I figured anything that smelled like menthol and was cheap as dirt wouldn�t work. I was very wrong. These medicated pads work great. I let her place one on the upper arm and about three hours later, I could move it. A few hours more and it was like it never hurt at all.

So, if you twisted something or got busted up somehow and you just had to get out of the area, not being able to afford the luxury of holing up to �rest� somewhere� You could use these to make the pain bearable and with some luck, all the pain might be alleviated.

At a local pharmacy, I buy boxes that contain 40 sheets in the size mentioned above. You know how much? $4.00 at a small, privately owned pharmacy. In most parts of the country, you cannot throw a dead cat without hitting a Rite-Aid or a CVS. In my area, they charge exactly double what the independent pharmacies charge. Your experience may differ.

Active Ingredients:
Methyl Salicylate 132mg
Camphor 25mg
Menthol 120mg
Tocopherol Acetate 21mg

Everything listed so far is what I keep on hand and you can add in Sudafed and Benadryl.

You can use �Valu-Dryl� as a replacement just like you can get cheaper brand name replacements for Sudafed.

As far as replacements for Advil, I find that the new Advil Liqui-Gel green things are the best headache and general flu symptom �aches and pains� reliever yet.

Can you utilize something like a tarp � like an SAS �Basha� for shelter? If so, do some shopping around and some research and get that in your BOB. You might have to slum it in a refrigerator box like some unfortunate homeless individual if you are located in a city, keep the O.C. Pepper Spray in hand as you sleep if you have to do this. Prepare to defend yourself�

If you are in a city, you might be able to spend a night in a public or private shelter. If they insist on taking your gear and �holding it� for you, pass them on and keep walking. You won�t have any gear left when you wake up. Or, you might get into some trouble; especially if you have a fixed blade knife in there or something and they pilfer through your gear and discover it. You can take this to the bank: if some Red Cross Volunteer thinks you have a knife or they discover it, WHATEVER, airplanes could be actively falling out of the sky and they would consider YOU a threat to be dealt with by contacting whatever Law Enforcement was available. Ditto that for City, County and State � sponsored shelters.

What time of year is it? What is the climate like where you are now for that time of year and what might it be like if some inclement weather strikes days or weeks later?

These are all things to consider. Sweaters, windbreakers, light, medium and heavy jackets/coats. Boots, tennis shoes, whatever you might envision having a need for, consider it with the space and weight constraints and add according to real need. Weather and seasonal considerations rule your choices after carefully considering the size and weight of the items(s) involved.

Other �Cloth�


�Balaclavas, Headovers and Wristovers

�Muslin Bandage (Military Surplus, etc.) Triangular Bandage

�French �Cheiche�

�Heavy-Duty work gloves

Do you think you will need basic tools? What if your vehicle breaks down? Perhaps your �vehicle� is your bicycle, prepare to make minor repairs. I know you can�t carry a transmission for a Hummer around in your BOB, but you get the idea. Having a kit to plug tires and knowing, beforehand, how to use it, can be a real lifesaver. Basic tools are an excellent thing to consider. Don�t wait until your life depends on it, to learn new and valuable skills.

Besides a great multitool and a pocketknife or small fixed blade knife, a hatchet can be an excellent tool to have for emergencies. I recommend Estwing Hatchets; they have no equal as far as I�m concerned.You could use one as a vicious weapon for Self-defense if need be and it won�t raise the hackles of squeamish people like a larger knife or Tomahawk would either. Yet, it is every bit as viable. People talk about �Axe Murderers� yet if someone is carrying an axe in the woods, they don�t freak out. But if you carry a small fixed blade or folding knife, all of the sudden you are a mass murderer � waiting to happen. People tend to be emotional to the point of absurdity and terrified of their own shadow for the most part.

How big is your BOB? You could get a crowbar or pinch bar in there, adds a good bit of weight and takes up some space, but if you really need one, if you think there is a good chance you will�do it if you can.

A �Halligan Tool� might be a good idea as well. That would be a rather large, heavy and oddly shaped tool to be humping around�

Be keenly aware that some tools like crowbars and Halligan Tools could be considered �Burglar�s Tools� by some people, including Law Enforcement Personnel regardless of your NEED or INTENT to use them for survival.

I�m not going to discuss lockpicks at this time. Maybe some time in the future. There are a lot of people that think they are going to buy some and stick them in their bag and then, when the disaster happens, they will be able to pull out their handy copy of �Lockpicking Simplified� and they are going to be able to do what they want. It does not work that way�

An Automatic Centerpunch can allow you to escape your vehicle should you find your vehicle in water. Remember, in shallow water with you trapped in a vehicle upside-down with no means of escape equals death. Don�t make the mistake of thinking you have to be in deep water to die. Prepare. Keep one in your BOB and one in a center console of your vehicle.Maglites are excellent, but they are just as heavy and cumbersome as they are tough. They also eat up batteries�

�Avoid them at this point because you can substitute SureFire Flashlights from Laser Products, Inc., and MANY small LED lights too. The SureFires eat batteries up badly, but you can have them (the lights) in reserve when you need a lot of intense white light.

A great combination for emergency lights in your BOB would be the Sure-Fire E2e and an Inova X5 because they both use the same types of Lithium batteries. And, they both use two of these batteries. You don�t want to have to carry around various types of batteries. You want a few lights but you want some crossover when it comes to the batteries they need. The CMG Ultra Infinity Task Light is just about the best pocket light I have come across for pure utility purposes�

Like a Sure-Fire Flashlight in your hand during a walk through a dark parking lot, spotting trouble beforehand can often save you the problems and danger of confrontations.

This holds true for optics as well.

You can survey an area with a simple set of binoculars, or a monocular, and decide if you wish to go that way or not. Or perhaps find another way out of whatever mess you find yourself thrust into�

When I was a kid, there were a few things that were off-limits for me. One was the always-loaded Walther P-38 9mm. Two other things happened to be the (real) magnifying glass on my Dad�s desk. Real glass, not plastic, stainless steel band going around it and secured in a real stainless steel handle � not the abysmal plastic things you see today that you can scratch with your fingernail (lens) or break easily (handle).

Another was the large set of Bushnell Binoculars in the mysterious camera case. You didn�t touch the binos because they were slightly over $100.00 and that was a lot of money back in the late 1970s.

Now, you could violate the NO TOUCH RULE on the Bushnell binos and the Magnifying Glass, but you never violated the RULE about the Walther and other things that were placed in the firearms category.

�Where are my binoculars! And where is my magnifying glass?�

Well, I used them quite a bit. It was his fault actually; he is the one that bought me a microscope and a telescope. I could not use the telescope in the woods so I used his binoculars and I could not examine bugs and other interesting things OUTSIDE with the microscope so I snatched his Magnifying Glass all of the time�I never heard him say, �Who touched my pistol?� I was not that stupid.

Nowadays, you can walk into a Sports Authority or a Wal-Mart, WHATEVER, and plunk down a twenty dollar bill and a ten dollar bill and purchase a half decent set of binoculars that will fit in your pocket. A set manufactured by Bushnell, Tasco or Simmons � all commonly available � will do nicely. All of them are not very expensive and they work very well. You should also consider a monocular, it takes up less space, and they are even handier as far as I�m concerned and usually a few bucks cheaper than binoculars. 8 X 25 or 10 X 25 are excellent POCKET sizes for binoculars.

What? Yes, being able to communicate � sometimes the �communications� are one-way and you are receiving information�Having the Grundig Emergency Radio I mentioned above is a good start. AM, FM, Shortwave One and Two � very attractive for getting news, especially during a disaster situation.Having a �Police� scanner (which is obviously much more useful than simply monitoring the Police�) is a plus too. You can get a lot of information from a scanner. Bearcat Scanners, Radio Shack Scanners, shop around, read online reviews and choose wisely.What about two-way communications? Well, there are CB (Citizen�s Band) radios that you can purchase with no hassle. (No FCC License since the 1970s either�)The airwaves of CB�s are probably still littered with prepubescent commandos as it was in the 1980s and early 1990s. Then again, perhaps the offspring of these knuckleheads have been buying personal computers along with the shift of their parents to that medium � the generally crappy environment on most Internet Forums seems to hint at the shift from CB Radio to the Internet.CB Radio is an option; perhaps you should explore it if you have the need.

There are better things out there, however�

FRS (Family Radio Service) two-way communications offer an affordable and reliable means. Motorola Talk-About radios and various Kenwood radios Free-Talk, etc. are worth looking into.

GMRS (General Radio Mobile Service) radios, I believe you need a FCC License for these, it is a nominal fee. I don�t know about the legalities of using them for personal use. Research!There is a new band of frequencies that have been made available to the public like FRS. And you should be doing some research and look into them as well, they appear to be quite attractive.There are always FCC Rules governing the use of two-way radio communications and you must abide by them or suffer the consequences should they find you in violation of it.

If you want to really go effective and �high-tech,� you could always get your HAM Radio License after testing for it and then purchase an excellent handheld transceiver. The FCC Rules apply here as well, and they are enforced strictly because when you have a radio like that, you can really have communications with�people that you should not be interrupting during their work, I�ll leave it at that. But if you were to do such a thing, you would be spending some time at Club-Fed.

Cellular phones and things like Nextel, I have NO experience with. I can�t stand them and don�t know if I will EVER own one. Well, that is not quite accurate, I have had two jobs that utilized Nextel Commo and they both sucked. When Nextel goes down, that�s it, no service. During a disaster, a cell phone or Nextel might very well be a lifesaver but it might leave you with no communications too. I prefer the idea of having some sort of FRS radio at this point.Never underestimate the amount of people in your area that might be preparing just like you are. You might get help from them during such an event.They are convenient and a pain in the ass at the same time as far as I am concerned. They are surely en vogue, but I find them to be�well, a sign of the times I don�t particularly care for.So, if you are �bugging out� with friends or family, these things could be quite the lifesaver, consider them.

A Grundig FR-200 Radio, a couple of two-way walkie-talkie types of radios and a scanner�you would be in good shape! They won�t take up much room at all in your bag. Depending on the area you are in, they might come in quite handy.

Don�t forget to have extra batteries on hand, perhaps rechargeable ones at that and a small solar panel would be a great idea if you expect power to be out for a long period of time, etc. For some news and information, I suggest you purchase Grundig�s Emergency Radio mentioned above. I will place the review for this radio on this website when this article is posted. I bought mine at Radio Shack for the miserly sum of $42.00 and it is a good piece of gear as far as I�m concerned.

�Things that get food
Slingshots and Slings. Don�t fall for just any company�s advertising when they call something a �Wristrocket.� There are two types of Slingshots that use surgical tubing bands, the Original Wristrocket and everything else.

Well, there is the Com-Bow Sling, but that is something else I missed out on in the 1980s, unfortunately. (A �compound� slingshot that could also fire a type of quarrel.)Beware of things called �Wristrockets� now. Most are poor executions in materials and angle of yoke-to-grip when compared to the older ones. If that is all you can get, get a couple of them and some spare bands�and some lead and steel balls and have at it! Learn how to shoot them well. They are incredibly powerful and effective on small game � the rest is up to you.I wrote a bit about them in another article and I think highly of them.I almost landed another one some time ago, here is a picture I lifted of a vintage one that still has �Wrist Rocket� vertically down the grip.

Next is Robert Humelbaugh�s creation, a modern Sling. You know, a simple device � A David Sling. David and Goliath. This thing will HURL large projectiles and has the capability of downing larger game. Again, that is up to you really.

I don�t think anyone residing in a city is going to have the time and space to get good with a Slingshot (although it is possible) let alone a Sling (which takes a much larger area, especially when you are first learning how to use the thing). But for those that wish to learn and can find a place to do it, it�s a good idea. For those in the suburbs that have greater access to more private areas � woods and large fields away from traffic, houses and warehouses, it�s definitely something you should get into.It�s not nearly so hard to do as some would make it out and it is hardly a �joke.� You will kill small game all day long with a Wristrocket once you get good with it. For those that don’t believe that, oh well�And for anyone that thinks a Sling is a �joke,� they really need a reality check. They are even more deadly than the Slingshot � just harder to Master to the degree that you can hunt small game with it.You can launch incredibly large steel or lead balls as well as rocks with these. I have not Mastered the Sling yet. But I�m working on it. The Slingshot I Mastered long, long ago. They are entirely different.You can get one of Robert�s awesome Slings, constructed out of heavy-duty Cordura Nylon and ParaCord by contacting him at Survival Sheaths.

I have only owned one pellet pistol that was accurate and powerful enough to take small game reliably. That is the key word, reliably.Because we are talking about a Bug Out Bag, we have to limit ourselves to the pistol variety of pellet guns.That pellet pistol was the Beeman P-1 Magnum in .177 Cal. (4.5mm)Back in 1988 when I bought one, they were about $200.00 and if you wanted to shoot indoors or hunt squirrel and rabbit, quietly in thick woods and brush, it did a fine job.Of course, you run the risk of grief by carrying a simple pellet pistol in some areas, that is up to you. I�m just telling you, it�s a fine pellet pistol, IF it is still available and if the Quality Control is as high as it was in the late 1980s.A Beeman Silver Jet 4.5mm pellet smoking out of a pellet pistol at slightly above 600-FPS (Feet Per Second) makes for a rather clean kill on small game if YOU have YOUR act together. I do not know of another commercially available pellet pistol that can launch a pellet at over 600 FPS.

�The Stalk
In order to use Slingshots, Slings and Pellet Pistols effectively, you must practice and become very skilled in their use. There are, however, some devious shortcuts you can take�

First of all, you have to learn how to hunt, which is beyond the scope of this article. More than that, you have to be patient, I can�t teach you that either. Nor can I teach you to be quiet and stealthy, hunting usually requires this. These come under the heading of �Personal Development.� Find a friend that knows how to do these things and get cracking.

But�hey, this is supposed to informative, right? Well, I think I wrote in another article about faking squirrels out, something my Dad taught me how to do.

Squirrels have the disgusting habit of trying to stay alive when you are actively trying to kill them. If you get an old bastard that has been through enough fights and shotgun blasts, they�re a little touchy at the sight of a human being holding something up that looks dangerous.

Take some fishing line (monofilament) or some ParaCord, fishing line is harder to see, and you tie that to a small tree or bush on one side of a tree where you have observed squirrel activity.

Oddly enough, squirrels are as stupid as they are smart; sounds like Zen to me. A slingshot takes two hands so� Take the line with you and go to the other side of the tree and tie one end of the line to a little bush or whatever then the other end of this line around the end of your shoe after you get back to the other side of the tree. If you get a crusty Old Boy lined up with your top yoke and he bolts, wiggle your foot a bit and shake that bush or small tree on the other side of the tree he is in and freak him out.

He will usually jump back around to the side you are on and you can get him.

Another thing you can learn to do is calling squirrels. Since that is something that takes a while to perfect, you can toss a squirrel call and a hawk call in your BOB � attaching them to your slingshot by a lanyard would be a good idea.

The squirrel call is an obvious choice, why the hawk call?

Well, we�re not hunting hawks. However, let�s say you want to freeze a rabbit in his tracks�so you can get him. Blast a hawk call. This tends to terrify bunnies and they will usually just F-r-e-e-z-e in place.

�Enough said.

What about a Firearm?

Well, if you can legally do it, absolutely, you would be a fool not to include one. The problem is, there are millions who cannot do it where they work. You can have that for home use, etc., in most places. In others, you can carry it in your vehicle (legally).

If you envision �bugging out� to the �burbs that border on rural areas, or to rural or wilderness areas, I would suggest you check out firearms safety instruction and get cracking on becoming not only safe, but accurate with them as well.

�Something absurdly simple like the Springfield Armory M6 Scout could procure a lot more small game (and even big game) than you are likely to snare. The M6 breaks down easily, folding in half actually. It is an excellent little item to have. You should, because of the design of it, including the odd �trigger,� take it out and shoot it A LOT before relying on it to save your life. With this particular firearm, remember, you could kill a deer with it. It�s illegal as all hell to do so with something like a .22 long rifle, but if you are starving, do what you have to do whenever you have to do it. It is MORAL for you to want to survive, so the law has to take a backseat at times to the pressing needs of survival�

�I�m not encouraging you to illegally poach game, I don�t think the poaching laws are applicable when there is a disaster and you need to eat or if you are lost and you need some food. I think it is moral, ethical and legal to then put the law aside that was not designed to deal with those emergencies but to keep conservation in mind with normal, everyday life� The laws are put in place for a reason, animal conservation, preserving wildlife. The laws no longer apply when you are faced with a lack of food because of some extraordinary circumstance. Only take what you need, don�t be a hog about it. Eat what you kill.

�More importantly, you would have to be very skilled to take down a deer with it. For years, people have poached deer with .22 caliber weapons and anyone that tells you otherwise does not know what they are talking about. Focus on accuracy.

�The Springfield Armory M6 Scout, I just priced it the other day locally, it is $199.95 and that is not too bad for a bare bones, over and under .22 Long Rifle / .410 Shotgun Combination Gun. It has a cartridge trap built into the top of the �stock� so you can store a few more rounds of .22 Long Rifle cartridges and .410 Shotgun shells in it. Great idea. You can increase this by purchasing some sort of ammo carrier for the stock and mounting it instead of relying on the various slip-on and lace-on types of carriers. For a couple hundred bucks, you can have this and you can purchase .22 Long Rifle ammunition dirt cheap, as well as the .410 Shotgun rounds. Focusing on .410 Slugs as well as birdshot, etc.

�If faced with a life-threatening situation with a human predator, you could defend yourself with the S/A M6 Scout. It is, after all, a firearm. But you have two shots, it�s not that fast on the reload and the two calibers involved are not exactly what I would call �first or second choice� defensive calibers although a .410 Shotgun Slug is about on par with a .44 Magnum according to Massad Ayoob. (If I remember correctly.)

�You could place this in another sort of soft carrying case and then place it in the BOB. You could see if Eagle or some other company had a case suitable for it�or you could order the materials from Eagle and if you are handy at sewing, do it yourself! It could hold a small cleaning kit and a lot of ammunition if you designed it right�

�More on firearms

Defensive Firearms are a bit more controversial. I (100%) believe in having that capability but it is beyond the scope of this article to get too involved with it. Just know that you should be researching that and if possible where you are, do it. For a handgun, think .38 Special or larger using excellent jacketed hollowpoint ammunition like Federal brand HydraShok.

�Revolver vs. Semiautomatic I will leave to the various gun rags like �Handguns� and �Guns & Ammo.� Either will do as far as I am concerned for simple Self-defense.

�(If you think you have to run some sort of gauntlet like the various unrealistic �combat handgun� competitions, training to kill all of these unarmed paper targets as if you are The Death Merchant, well�you might need a semiautomatic handgun quite badly. Please understand I am not �against� the semiautomatic handgun, not at all. I just think people condemn revolvers for all of the wrong reasons�)

�In bear country, you might want to consider a .12 Ga. Pump or reliable semiautomatic shotgun (think Benelli M-1 Super-90 there�) but those won�t fit in a Bug Out Bag. So�something like a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum (Model #29 or #629 in Stainless Steel) handgun will have to do in a pinch.

�So-called, �Assault Rifles� are a plus for Defensive use. Don�t misconstrue what I am about to say. I believe American Citizens should be able to own what they want with minimal hassle. But as I said before, it�s really a much larger topic that should be addressed alone and not as a part of this. Suffice it to say if you can obtain these things for use in the home in case of some severe emergency, do it and do it legally and responsibly. Other than that, discussing them is beyond the scope of this article, like the shotguns above for bear defense; they don�t fit in a Bug Out Bag anyway.

�Long Guns, with the exception of the aforementioned M6 Scout or perhaps a Ruger 10/22 with a Choate folding stock, are not really Bug Out Bag equipment� They can, however, be BUG OUT equipment.

�Time to Prepare
If you have time to prepare a bag of various things when you have a wildfire or hurricane coming your way, this is a bit different from a �Bug Out Bag.� Yet, it is just another thing I wanted to touch upon in closing.

Some things, like family photographs and various items, cannot be replaced. If there is a hurricane or wildfire coming your way, act accordingly to save these things placing them in a suitable container that you can pick up and run with at a moment�s notice.

The Bug Out Bag with essentials in it can and should be prepped NOW; this secondary bag with various things you want to preserve can be done on a case by case basis. Put some thought into what you want to save and the container that you can carry and have that as a set-aside in case you ever need it.

You can have a personal size BOB that you can carry back and forth to work, you can have a larger and more comprehensive bag in your vehicle. To add upon all of that, an even larger one or several medium-sized ones in a closet at home, standing ready for when you need them.

OK, hope you enjoyed this article. Please don�t write me back and inform me: �Hey, in your Bug Out Bag Article, you forgot to mention ways to start fires and a bunch of other stuff��People actually do this. Some things I don�t touch on, some things I like redundancy. There are other Survival-related Articles on my site, don�t consider THIS Article to be an all-inclusive list of things for your BOB! Don�t consider the other articles to be all-inclusive lists of things you should have.

Go look at the First Aid Kit and Survival Kit Articles and include these Sub-Kits in your larger kit! If you think you have a great idea that was not mentioned, don�t hesitate to E-mail me, just please don�t lecture me because I can only write so much. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a very real possibility as it is without pushing the envelope. (grin)

On a more personal note, I try not to write about things unless I really know what I am talking about. There is enough senseless yammering going on in the world and I don�t want to add to it. As far as this article is concerned�I have experience with CB Radio and FRS, but I am not a HAM Radio Operator, nor do I own or operate anything in the GMRS realm. I just know things about them from others that do use these things.Likewise, I have extensive firearms experience but there are so many people out there who are writing about them that know far more than I. I don�t make that a focus of what I do on this site. When I don�t know, I consult them, as is proper for any person to do.I do not own that Springfield Armory Survival Carbine, but I would like to get one in the future. It is chosen because of its� unique capabilities as well as Springfield Armory�s reputation with that particular firearm. I have experience with �combination firearms� like the older Savage Rifle/Shotguns combos, just not the specific one I mentioned in this article � The Springfield M6 Scout. If I do purchase one in the future, that would be something�that I think would fit in with this website as opposed to just writing about all sorts of firearms because there are entire (excellent) websites dedicated to that sort of thing. I would enjoy writing about the S.A. M6 Scout; I find that firearm quite interesting actually.

I have done some research on it and although I feel the �trigger� on it is rather funky� The M6 fills a niche that other firearms do not, so I think it is worth it to work around the weakness of the firearm because it is so unique and valuable in this area.

This next link is an excellent page on the M6 Scout and some associated information. Just about everything you need to know�

This link is great! Turning your Survival Scout into a better Survival Scout!

�You will notice that there are not too many pictures in this article. That�s because pictures should not really be necessary in this sort of discussion.

�Get your stuff together and be safe!

Bandanas! Carry a few of them, they are excellent for so many things, consult the article on this website for further information on them and other items similar to them for survival use.

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.


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?


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


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.

Urban Escape and Evasion Kit: Electronics

Urban Escape and Evasion Kit: Electronics

����������� In this day and age, electronics have become an intrical part of our lives. As such one must consider how they could be intergrated into an urban escape and evasion kit. There are many benefits that could be realized in using electronics in the kit. We will discuss some of the electronics available and how they can be used in an urban escape and evasion kit.


�GPS has come along way since its first inception and use by the military. Modern day units are handheld and extremely portable. Units are also offered integrated into a variety of electronic units including cell phones, PDA�S, Laptops and Netbooks.

����������� Features that could be useful for urban escape and evasion include the ability to store predefined routes. One could have a Primary, Alternative, Contingency and Emergency (PACE) escape routes stored to and from a variety of locations. Most units also have the ability to show the distance traveled, the distance to go, automatic route updating (useful when an unexpected route modification is required) and a digital compass (Should not replace your primary compass).

� Handheld units also offer high battery life and the ability to charge from 110/12v Outlets. These features could be quite beneficial in an urban escape and evasion situation.

Police Scanner
� As we have mentioned in previous articles the handheld scanning receiver could be very useful in the Urban E&E Kit. Information vital to your survival is broadcasted over the airwaves every second of the day. One can receive a variety of information including weather reports for the area of operations, raw news feeds being reported to news crews via TV station�s radio network. The location and status of Police officers, Fire Fighters and EMT�s Reacting to the situation. Such information will give key information to what areas of the city to avoid.

PDA or Netbook

�� Knowledge is power and survival. No one person can possible remember all the survival and escape and evasion training they have acquired over the years. This is especially true in a high stress situation such as implementing an urban escape and evasion plan.

� As such I highly recommend including a PDA or Netbook into your urban E&E kit. A mobile device equipped with PDF reading/viewing capabilities is an invaluable tool. Almost every Survival Manual, Escape and Evasion Manual, Survival Books and Military manuals are available on PDF. Just check download section which is constantly updated. Having the manuals available during an escape and evasion situation will allow for a quick refresher course in the field.

Night Vision Monocular

�� Night vision is pretty self explanatory. The small handheld Monocular allows one to see in total darkness. The advantages of seeing in the dark while others can not are too numerous to list. Read: Tactical Advantage.

�While the technology has advanced the price has thankfully gone down. I remember seeing an ad in Soldier of Fortune magazine for Gen III Military Grade goggles running $5000 USD. Now handheld monocular units can be purchase for around $250 USD.

This article is not intended to be a must have list, but rather show some of the possibilities available. In articles to come we will discuss power options.

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.

Escape and Evasion Belt Design Prototype and Update of Contents

Escape and Evasion Belt Design Prototype and Update of Contents�

I was using a Tatonka 42mm TEC belt but found two problems with it. One the buckle was metal. This can also act as an advantage by storing metal items close to the buckle when being additionally searched with a hand wand, but I found the heavy buckle uncomfortable for all day use and difficult to remove quickly. The other problem was that the belt needed to be removed to access the internal items, as the zip was sown on the internal flat side of the belt.�

I changed to a BDU 38mm belt with fastex plastic buckle. Lighter to wear all day and the smaller buckle doesnt dig into the stomach. This is the type of belt I use on a day to day basis. What I did is have a backing of seat belt webbing sown onto the rear with a zip sown onto the top lip of the pocket, acting as a seam allowing for entry into the storage area without having the need for removal of the belt or undoing the buckle. Simply slide the belt around to which section needs to be accessed.�

I made a couple of mistakes with the initial prototype. I used seat belt webbing and should have ordered a longer belt to use the additional waste material so as to appear made of the same type of webbing. The zip was sown on upside down, so I now have the adjustable end on the right hand side. Not a big deal just, have to get used to using it left handed. I also choose a longer than neccessary zip at 27 inches. Lots of storage room but not really needed. Half the length would have worked. If going for something needing this much storage it would have been better to use two smaller zips and make two pocket systems. This would allow access from both sides, when sliding the belt around to miss the pants belt loops. �

This will be included in my next design. I’ll try and have some pics done but having trouble with the lighting to show black on black.�

I dont worry about non-metalic items. I dont pass through enough metal detectors to make it worth it and metal lasts longer. Having said this I use all the other non-metal items as backups, hidden in other pieces of clothing incase the primary stash is found. I stick to having two different sets of handcuff keys for Smith and ADI cuffs. Im not a good lock picker. I have shims located else where for a backup, only because I already own them. Everyone I know always double locks their cuffs. Shims become useless if double locked.�

The Widgy pry bar in its smallest form always comes in handy even as a digging tool or potential weapon system. The sparklite fire starter has been cut down to make smaller, making it harder to find in a pat down. The SOG V cutter vs the Colonial rescue hook. Ive stuck with the SOG only due to size of the storage pocket. If using thick heavy duty zip ties the the colonial has a larger opening.�

I havent worried about picks or jigglers in the belt. For one Im not good enough yet and two there are so much easier and faster ways to break into buildings or cars. Jigglers only work on older vehicles. The newer models all have imobilizers, needing the key belonging to the vehicle to deactivate the lock before starting.�

Buton Compass, Photon Micro Light are always handy items to have on hand and have remained along with cordage. Ive swapped to using bow string material. This is cheaper in a dacron material over kevlar and available in black. Im still testing several newer model wire saws that have happened onto the market. The solka being the best so far.�

Of knives the titanium dog tags stand out as not rusting being near sweat compared to 10 series steels. Also any cuting edge needs a sheath to prevent wear to the webbing. The dog tags have the thinnest sheath system with a rubber lip around the entire blade. This once again helps with the prevention of finding items with pat downs.�

Of other items I keep on the exterior of the belt are a small LED tactical flash light, Gerber Multi Tool and a NOK Peregrine. The main internal items being; a way of lighting a fire, cutting tool and methods of opening two types of handcuffs or cable ties. The compass, pry bar and light may be secondary equipment, but shouldnt be overlooked.�

Buddas Bug Out Bag

My Bug Out Bag Module Contents�

A few people have asked me to write something more specific, on what to actually put into an EDC and/or BOB. Each person is going to have a different idea of what the perfect Bug Out Bag or Every Day Carry bag will be. To do that sort of article justice would require me to go into the advantages and disadvantages of every different water purifier, firearms, shelters etc. I could say to only use ceramic filters, but that would be of little use to someone living in an area with either tannins or abundant mud particles suspended in water which clogs them quickly. The firearms I own would have little use for someone that has access to semi-autos and cheap ammo or living in bear country where larger bores are prefered. The same goes for people that can legally carry firearms in their countries. So I thought it best to write down what I use and the reasons why and how it comes together to give others ideas.�

I have health difficulties so the idea of carrying one large Alice type pack on foot has never occured to me. Also people will have different levels of experience in different fields. A health professional will have more items specializing in treatment of wounds where as others with a military background may prefer firearms as a primary need. Ive worked in the OZ State Emergency Service, the equivelant of the US CERT/SAR, so my first aid kit is the same size as many peoples entire BOBs. I also have smaller kits but I know how many materials are needed when responding to multiple injuries when having to pull someone out of a windshield of a vehicle, let alone after a SHTF event. The choice here is do I help others or not. I look at it that if I have the tools on hand I can atleast have options and that may include having others, use those tools on myself.�

My primary plan is to bug in. However when that becomes unreliable option, I have a small bus that im working on that will hold all my gear and be permanently packed. Just hook up my small 4WD for being towed. This provides a permanent form of shelter and also makes it easier travelling with three pets. If alone a light weight, lockable trailer with off road suspension would have surficed, once again being permanently packed. Trying to load a vehicle takes too long if wanting to be independant for longer periods. I do have a three day pack in my car which I class as a short term BOB or Get Home Bag but if I have to leave my premises then I wont be going back and prefer to have longer term options, so Im not a refugee after three days and not reliant on government hand outs. �

Government shelters have the potential in attracting too much attention of the wrong sort. That includes people that prey on others or officials wanting to disarm or use your goods for the benefit of others, that havent bothered to make an effort beforehand.�

I’ll be trying to cover the following in a series of modules; bags/containers, clothing, hygiene, shelter, communications, navigation, fire, food, water purification, cooking, tools, first aid, hunting/foraging and self defense. The modules will include; an urban belt kit, rural belt kit, EDC bag, first aid kit/first response pack and personal meds, clothing bag, tactical bag with tactical belt, GHB or short term bob(3Day) and heavy or long term bob, food requirements and Pet BOBs including food.�

No amount of gear is a replacement for good training and a decent skill level. The following may seem alot but its designed to be carried to a vehicle not to be carted by foot. Nine bags takes very little time to pack into a small 4WD, mostly fitting on a roof top cargo tray, if already prepacked. This is what Ive been working on completing for myself. I just keep finding new products to either test out or update to and keep swapping items around trying to find the right combination that works the best. Which is half the fun.�

1) Urban Belt kit

This is essentually an Escape and Evasion belt including every day carry items. I use a custom 38mm BDU belt, made with two pouches to be accessed from the front and rear of the belt depending on which direction your ands are restrained. I usually keep the escape items in the rear pouch assuming youll be tied from the rear and the evasion contents in the front stowage area.�

Items include x2 handcuff keys to suit ADI and Smith cuffs, bagotta pick and rakes, widgy pry bar, SOG V cutter, dacron bow string, titanium dog tag knife in their 4 in 1 kit that includes a firestriker and button compass, photon micro light and solka wire saw. Worn on the outside are a small LED lenser torch, gerber multi tool and foster bros blackjack in a maxpedition adjustable torch/baton holder , mercops para-flail on a maxpedition keyper, along with a JEB PPK in a pikal upswept tip similar to a clinch pick but with a skeletal grip worn in a crossdraw position and an ANSO Pikal in a right hand dominant draw. Ive started to get into training in the pikal system after watching Shivworks Inverted Edge Techniques dvds and found it suits my H2H style down to the ground. Being short I always liked getting in nice and close to avoid a larger assailants reach. Styles that teach to be away from an agressor with a blade teach more sparring based on a fencing background. Never found that sort of fighting to fit me.�

2) Rural Belt kit

Primarily a knife belt holding survival items and stored in my larger bug out bag. This includes a Busse Battle Mistress that has been cut down from a 10 incher to a 8.5 inch blade to get rid of the harmonic running through the blade when cutting near the tip and to make it a better carrier. At around 8 inches a large blade is easy to carry on the belt. Over that they usually end up on the pack unless over 6 foot in height and able to wear large blades. I like around a 5 inch blade for general purpose work and have been switching between a Busse Badger, ESEE/RAT SERE and a Kabar/Becker Companion BK2. I also have a camenga compass, aurora ferro rod, maxpedition 4×6 pouch containing a AMK survival kit along with a tops ferret knife, Mcnett frontier filter straw, photon micro light, tops hoffman harpoon mini and ESEE arrow heads, mini fishing kit. GME PLB (Personel Locator Beacon).Ezylap diamond sharpener.�

3) EDC Bag

Every Day Carry items using a Maxpedition mongo shoulder bag.�



silnyon tarp

extrema ratio shrapnel

guyot water bottle

casco baton

streamlight sidewinder flashlight

AMK .9 first aid kit

snow peak single wall cup to fit over guyot bottle

Pre-Mac Water filter SWP model(60 litres)

AMK thermal bivi

Icom 5 Watt UHF radio

Zebra Light H30-Q5 Headlamp

Respro FB-01 Face mask�

4) First Aid kit and Personel Meds

Accidental 4WD Survival Soft Pack First Aid Kit Contents. This company supplies local Ambulance, SES and CFS(country Fire Service) crews. They make several different bags for each state but when I asked which would be best to purchase for long distance use in the scrub. They replied, just buy the large 4wd survival kit, this covers everything and holds more than most of the others and just add to it if neccesary. Everytime I see bandages etc for sale at wholesalers I stock up and add them to the pack in large ziplock bags. I also add several books on wilderness first aid, emergency first response, ranger medic handbook, where there is no doctor, where there is no vet and ships captian medical books, etc.�

Quantity Description
1 Burnaid Gel 25g
3 Chlorhexidine 30ml Antiseptic Yellow Ea
1 Healaid Cream 25g
2 Wound Wipe Alcohol Free each
1 Ground Sheet SOS 100cm x 150cm
1 Cold Pack Instant Small
1 Conforming Bandage FAC 5cm x 1.8m
2 Conforming Bandage FAC 7.5cm x 1.8m
1 Cotton Buds 7.5cm Pk100 FAC
1 Resusi-Safe FAC Shield Disposable
1 Crepe Medium Bandage FAC 10cm x 2m
2 Combine Dressing 20x20cm
2 Combine Dressing 10x10cm
2 Combine Dressing 10x20cm
1 Crepe Medium Bandage FAC 5cm x 2m
1 Crepe Bandage Heavy 7.5cm x 2m
5 Eye Pad Single FAC
1 Gauze Pieces FAC 7.5cm Pk 100
� � 2 Wound Dressing No 14
� � 2 Wound Dressing No 15
1 Rapatabs Paracetamol 24
� � 3 Gloves Latex Pair Lge–Pre Packed
� � 5 Cup Plastic Disposable 180ml 6oz each
� � 1 Safety Pins Pk12 Assorted
� � 1 Scissor S/S 12.5cm Sharp/Blunt
1 Sharps Container 100ml
2 Tweezers
1 First Aid Booklet AH&S
2 Sticker First Aid AH&S Vinyl 50x130mm
2 Dressing Pack Basic
1 Magnifier Plastic
� � 1 Plastic Bag 100×150 Sml Clip Seal Plain
� � 1 Plastic Bag 125×205 Med Clip Seal Plain
� � 1 Plastic Bag 150×230 Lge Clip Seal Plain
1 Plastic Bag 230×305 X/Lge Clip SealPlain
� � 1 Adhesive Tape 2.5cm x 5m Zinc Oxide
1 Splinter Probe FAC Pk10 Disp
� � 1 Strips Plastic 50 19 x 72mm Sheer FAC
� � 1 Strips Fabric 50 25 x 72mm Prem.FAC

Chinook Suture Set�

1� Needle Holder, 5″ �
1� Scissors, 5″ Stainless �
1� Tissue Forceps, Mouse Tooth, 4.5″ Stainless �
1� Nylon Suture w/Cutting Needle, 3-0�
1� Nylon Suture w/Cutting Needle, 5-0 �
1� Scalpel Handle and blade, #11 �
2� 3 ml Syringe �
2� 25 ga x 1.5″ Needle �
2� 21 ga x 1.5″ �
1� 20 ml Irrigation Syringe w/18 ga Catheter Tip �
1� 1 oz Povidone Iodine, 1% �
4� Triple Antibiotic Ointment �
2� Sterile Surgeon’s Gloves, Size 8 �
1� Sterile Drape �
2� Benzoin Swab �
20 Wound Closure Strips, 1/4″x4″ �
1� Porous Tape, 1″x10yd �
1� Trauma Pad, 5″x9″ �
1� Non-Adherent Dressing, 3″x4″ �
4� Gauze Pad, Sterile 4″x4″ �
1� Stretch Gauze, 3″ �
1� High Compression Bandage, 3″�
1� Hazardous Waste Bag �
1� Instructions�

Specialized Additions�

Stethoscope (single head)

Blood Pressure Cuff



Glucose blood level monitor

Pole less Litter

Surgical Stapler

Staple Remover


Personel Meds�

3 months of the following. I take 40 meds a day, coming to 280 per week. Some of these are light and heat sensitive, so are kept in a cooler bag, within a dry bag.�











Additional Meds for Treatment�


sting goes

deep heat

broad spectrum antibiotics



clove oil

activated charcoal

oral hydration sachets

activated charcoal tablets�

5) FRP (First Response Pack)

To be kept with my larger first aid kit for initial responses to emergencies that can be worn, the tools used for entry into vehicles, self protection and to prevent initial blood lose, etc.�

Snugpak Bumbag

I like the snugpak version on the market as it sells for $42AUD and is kept in stock within the country. The cheaper Eprey versions require the buckle moving from the side to the centre and the maxpedition gear proteus sells for twice as much.�

TOPS Pry Tool

There are several versions of pry tools on the market. This model fits best on a belt and isnt so large that its kept in a vehicle or pack. Every rescue worker should have one of these on their belt, for fast deployment until larger equipment becomes available.�

Bechmade 7 Rescue Hook (Seat belt Cutter)

I now have several seat belt cutters. Nothing is better for keeping strapped to a piece of gear for easy reach for quick cutting needs that are non-offensive in nature and have little risk of cutting a patient in tight quaters.�

Leather Riggers Gloves

Any sweade type glove for heavy duty use. Setwear are gell filled and breatheable.�

Nitrile Gloves (Green 0.38 thickness)

For hygiene. These were the thickest model I could find. The blue versions are only 0.20 thickness.�

Maxpedition Surgical Glove Pouch

Easy to reach gloves, instead of searching through the rest of the pack for initial items used.Holds four sets.�

P2/N95 Dust masks

Always handy to have some sort of particle mask to limit expose to dust, smoke, etc. these are atleast rated to virus sized particles.�

SOF Tactical Tourniquet

Handy gadget to have on hand if a pressure bandage is inadequate, or if needing to release pressure at a steady rate to avoid toxicity build up from crush injuries.�

Engineers Punch

These are spring loaded and shatter windows like nothing else, without the flying glass.�

Goggles folding

Bobster Crossfire

I wanted something that was foldable, fogless and easy to store.�


Pro-tec Ace�

Adventure Medical kit Ultra Lite PRO

For the money these are the best for the size and have included a SAM splint and CPR mask.�

Torch LED Lenser P7

A LED head light is another option, to keep your hands free. Brunton is a good brand.�

Hereford Trauma Dressings

Fast and easy to use pressure bandage. The gauze and bandage are attached to one another for quick use.�

EMS Holster Set

Handy to have so equipment that is always used is readily avialable without having to search through kit.�

Quick Clot

Another good product that helps with major bleeds.�

Strike Force Fire Steel

Always have a means of fire starting available.�

Fox Micro 40 Whistle

Vector 1 Signal Mirror

Mirror pouch

Means of signalling for SAR.�


Silva voyager 8010

Source of navigation for unfamilar ground.�

Cold Steel pocket Shark Sharpie

For triaging patients. May also be employed as a Kubuton or Yawara stick in the use of percussion blows, joint locks and submission holds.�

Write in the Rain Note Book

Taking notes and triageing patients.�

Space Blanket

Reducing hypothermia and shock.�

Mini rolls of Duct Tape

You never know, this stuff can be used for anything.�

A Kabar/Becker Tac Tool would be another option if a chopping tool is needed for rural environments.�

Swiss Army Victorinox Rescue Tool.

I’d never been a large fan of folders. Too many scars on my hands to show why. My Spyderco delica is one of the few that Ive kept and never leaves my side. I didnt want to part with it, for a kit usually left in a vehicle. I noticed I didnt have a Swiss Army knife in my collection for some time and came across the rescue model with a liner locker and thought it would be a brilliant addition for use in the FRP.�

6) Clothing Bag with Hygiene items

Ive got to assume that if an emergency were to occur, that I wont be suitably attired for that event or the forthcoming weeks to follow. I therefore have a bag packed with summer and winter clothing and hygeine items. I have read a lot of survival books that go into quite alot of detail how to survive an emergency but very few go into how to live through and after that period. They generally assume you want to be rescued and that will occur after a very short time. If Ive got to leave my home and be gone for longer than three weeks and change of clothes and toiletries go a long way into making life more comfortable.�

��������� Base Layer�

  • socks 2 pair woolen (1 light weight/1 heavy weight)
  • under wear (Lycra shorts)
  • thermal under wear (bottoms only)
  • Swazi polar fleece singlet
  • polar fleece micro skivvy – Platypus Outdoors

Second Layer�

  • 511 cargo pants
  • Softie brown cotton T shirts
  • woolrich elite long sleeve shirt
  • Woolrich polo short sleave shirts
  • 511 Taclite vest (summer) or polar fleece vest(winter)

Outer Layer�

  • Soft Shell Whitby Hoodie – Kathmandu
  • TAD Gear Predator Hardshell


  • hiking boots – Hitec Magnums-black updating to OTB Ferdelance-desert
  • 511 TDU belt
  • gaiters
  • gloves – polar fleece, leather (reinforced palms)
  • hats – polar fleece beanie, shemagh, boonie
  • sandals
  • spare boot laces – paracord
  • head net
  • camp booties
  • sun glasses


��������� Stored in field kit roll �

  • tooth brush and paste (bicarbonate soda, and charcoal)
  • medicated soap
  • razor
  • metal mirror
  • shaving oil
  • pack towel
  • baby wipes for TP
  • deodorant
  • Detol Hand Sanitiser
  • Spare Sun glasses

7) Tactical Bag and Belt�

In OZ semi-autos are banned and pump shotties are restricted. Also any pistol calibre from .40 and up are restricted to police and security use only. Siluette shooters do have some exemptions depending on club lattitudes. �

I once saw a youtube vid that I havent come across again showing a 45acp vs a 40smith vs a 9mm being shot into an outdated balistic vest with slabs of soft clay behind it. The 45 left an indentation that was very wide but only about 2 inches deep. The 9mm left an indentation about 2 inches wide but four times as deep as the 45. The 40 cal crapped all over them by leaving a crater the same width as a 45 and as deep as the 9mm. That sort of settled that argument for me once and for all.�

The problem with a firearm is that their only as good as two things, three really. One, available ammunition, two spare parts and three maintenaince. Otherwise all they become are really expensive book ends. Out of curiosity I rang around to several local gunshops and asked what ammo they had in stock. The first had 300 rounds of 357SIG and 40cal was a special order. The second had a small range of 40 cal in differing loads and no 357SIG at all. Only reloading components for the 45acp.�

Ballistically a 45acp has 850fps at the muzzle with a 230 grainer, a 9mm has 980fps using a 147 grain projectile. A 357SIG still has 1020fps at 100 yards using a 147 grain prodgie. This all means nothing if you cant get the ammo to feed your favorite pistol. In OZ and Im guessing other countries once leaving the US and major towns or capital cities, the 9mm and 357 magnum cartridges will be all that is available.�

Spare parts. The only two pistols that have spare parts off the shelf, with any certainty in this country are either a Glock or a 1911. These are also the only two that have their own forums. If a gun has its own forum then like a car it will have a good after market accessory and spare parts list. The only 1911 patern I can be bothered with now is an STI in something like an Edge. A tactical 4.15 would suit me down to the ground but any auto with a barrel under 5 inches is now illegal. Having a 5 inch barrel installed by the factory seems too hard for them. For the price of one sti I can buy two glocks and strip one for spare parts and hand in the frame. Its cheaper than buying parts seperately. Buying a Glock in 40cal and replacing the barrel with a lonewolf conversion brings the barrel thickness up close to a STI. An extended slide release, stainless guide rod and larger mag release and your set to go. All can be done yourself after 10 mins on youtube. I cant say that about any other pistol brand. The reason I prefer an STI, is that I can use it out of the box and dont have to screw about with it. I cant say that about the other 3 brands of 1911’s Ive owned.�

No matter what pistol choice I always go for something which has a consistant trigger pull. No DA/SA (double action to single action). Ive never been able to master going from a 12 lbs trigger pull to a 3lb pull. Even after however many years 1911’s are still the choice of competition shooters that need to group shots at 50 yards and I like being able to lower the hammer, primarily for taking spring tension off the hammer for extended periods.�

For cleaning I use an OTIS Tactical system and carry an extra roll of patch material. Ive also done several armourer courses so tend to carry a brownells brass punch and screw driver sets for repairs. I buy ammo by the slab. Oz slang for by the case/500 rounds, being the cheapest way even if it means splitting it with others for the bargain of bulk purchasing. If yourve ever brought two slabs of 12 gauge ammo then youll know that a sack truck is almost required to move the weight. This is why even though a 9mm Glock makes a better urban carry, I would prefer a 357 mag for a BOB carry. This way it can be combined with a Winchester trapper model and use one calibre. Once again smith revolvers dominate here for ease of parts and working on. 357 comes in boxes of 50 and it takes little room and weight to carry several hundred rounds.�

Removing the stock from the trapper reduces length for storage within a rollar bag with ammo and other accessories. Its legal requirement here to have all firearms stored in a safe and ammo stored seperately in another lock box. Having a rollar bag prepacked and kept witin a safe saves time when bugging out. The other firearm I like to keep on hand is a M6 scout combination in 410 gauge and 22 hornett. Both cartridges are expensive here. For example the hornett costs $450 per 500 rounds as compared to 223 at $400 for 500 rounds. I am tempted to buy a little Savage falling black 30G takedown to replace it but I like the M6 scout as my meat in the pot gun. The 410 takes small game on the run and with solids backs up the hornett on larger game with about as much grunt as a 41 magnum. The hornett gives me more options on medium game.�

The .22 Rimfire limits me in terms of the areas I can hunt. Its very hard to get within range of rabbits unless surprising them where a shottie works better on moving game, but Im still thinking of the weight of 500 rounds of rimfire ammo compared to hornett and 410 gauge and incoperating the 357 for larger game instead of using exclusively for defense. I keep away from anything requiring magizines. There just another part that can break. Another reason for going old school with a revolver.�

Ammunition does run out, so for that reason Ive also tried to incorperate a shoulder holster system holding a RMJ Forge Shrike Hawk and Kukri, both are easy to carry and concealed if neccessary. Ive also included an archery set up to cover myself. I find more properties allowing me to usee a bow over a firearm now a days and in the case of poaching after SHTF, noise would be kept to a minimum. Concealing location, type of firearms, what your hunting etc.�

All this is of little use without a carry system for amunition etc. After having to carry a firearm for several years for employment. I now stick to synthetics over leather, to keep weight down and improve on comfort when wearing for long periods. In conjunction with a Platatac Peacekeeper belt I usually Uncle Mikes products with side bet belt slide holster and amunition belt silde for an additional 6 shots for filling up the cylinder if only a few shots are fired. The only leahter I use now are Safariland speedloader holders model 370. These fit closer to the body and dont stick out like a large set of dogs balls on your waist. I also like to use Safariland Comp 2 speedloaders exclusively for revolvers. They work like a springloaded competition loader but lower to avoid abstructions with no need to turn the locking mechanism to release the cartridges. With the use of belt keepers this fits straight over the urban belt. To carry ammo for the leveraction Ive had a cartridge belt modified to carry extra rounds similar to a bandaleer.�

8) Short Term BOB (3Day)

The size of this bag I prefer to keep small at around 35 litres with a Snugpak Sleeka Force Knapsack for easy full time storage within a vehicle. Carrying only essentuals.�


ENO double nest hammock and fast fly

sleeping bag black wolf (-5)

auscam poncho

auscam hootchie

reflective blanket

AMK Pro first aid kit

katadyn hiker water purifier

MSR Titan kettle

x3 ration packs

sea to summit water bladders

fenix head band for torch

maps and silva compass

becker companion knife

becker tac tool

Small GPS backup for grid references only

binoculars 10×25

Fenix headband FHB-BB with Quark 123-R5

Nato flat pack sleeping mattress�

9) Heavy/Long Term BOB

I use a large rollar bag for this carry system. This is set up more for comfort involving long term accomodation. �


Bivi Bag

reflective blanket for ground mat

Golite Hex 3 Tipi

recon 4 (-10) sleeping bag

inflatable mattress exped

swack shack multicam tarp for annex to tipi�


Gerber sport axe

Kaito hand crank radio

Collapseable canvas buckets

Katydan Camp drip Water Purifier

Rechargeable Hand Crank Lanterns

Solar shower – sea to summit

Trail Blazer take down Buck Saw

folding shovel gerber E tool entrenching shovel

parachute cord

head lamp brunton

binoculars (Alpen Pro 8×42 wide angle)

collapsible solar panel – GSE Sunlinq 6.5 watt

12mm rope and carabiners�


trangia cooker and mentholated spirits for fuel

Snow Peak combo pot set

Snow Peak titanium cup- double walled 600

2 tin openers P-38

chop sticks – Snow Peak

Sea to Summit titanium folding spoon

Sea to Summit cutting up board

Little bug cooking stove

Wooden spoon

Boker vox Rhino knife

Light my fire plate set�


Gerber strike force

magnesium block

wind proof matches


flint and steel kit

windmill trekker butane lighter

tinder quick tabs

jute twine covered in wax

contained in a small maxpedition moire pouch�

10) Food

I like to stick with comercial sealed foods (MRE’s) that are rated for long life and then incease the calorie intake by using large plastic zip lock bags and adding the following;

  • scroggin / gorp – nuts, dried fruit, seeds, grains, sweets.
  • spices – curry, salt, pepper, garlic, onion flakes, stock cubes and Tabasco Sauce.
  • brew kit – tea, coffee, sugar, powdered milk
  • snacks – cheese spread & biscuits, granola bars, soup mixes.
  • Rice – Basmati
  • split peas – yellow
  • lentils – red
  • muesli
  • corn meal
  • pemican
  • bannock
  • biltong / jerky
  • 2 min noodles
  • dried beans, peas, corn and carrots
  • cous cous
  • Potato Flakes
  • instant porridge

Mainstay Energy Bars made by Survivor Industries

5 year Shelf Life Your browser may not support display of this image. Non-Thirst Provoking Your browser may not support display of this image. Withstands Temperatures of -40 F to 300F (-40C to 149C) Your browser may not support display of this image. Ready to Eat: Each package contains 3 pre-measured 400 calorie meals. Your browser may not support display of this image. Individualized portions eliminate the messy breaking-up that occurs with other bars Your browser may not support display of this image. Allows for on-land emergency consumption in a high-stress active situation. Your browser may not support display of this image. Contains no cholesterol or tropical oils. Your browser may not support display of this image. Meets the US Coast Guard standards (160.046/23/0). It’s new modern packaging even meets the stringent guidelines set by the Department of Defense (SOLAS 74/83). Your browser may not support display of this image. Enriched with vitamins and minerals exceeding the RDA requirements. Your browser may not support display of this image. Pleasant lemon flavor which appeals to everyone. Mainstay is Kosher and it meets the dictates for Halal. These come in several sizes, the most user friendly are the 1200 calorie versions which break apart into three sections providing x3/400 cal meals. These taste like a hard version of shortbread with a slight lemon twist. Having a five year shelf life can be kept for long periods in Bug Out Bags. �

Springbok Foods – Biltong �
Biltong is a South African dried meat. The difference between Biltong and Jerky is that Biltong can be made from thicker pieces and vinegar is used in the preserving process adding to the texture and flavour by partially cooking while being marinated. Jerky is usually only salted and dried in thinner slices. �

Portion Pack Foods – MRE’s from NZ �

Breakfast (common on all menus) �
– 1 x 100gm Muesli Cereal with milk powder �
Snacks (common on all menus) �
– 2 x 40gm Chocolate bars �
– 2 x 34gm Muesli bars �
– 2 x 40gm pkt Sultanas �
Lunch (common on all menus) �
– 1 x 85gm Instant Noodles �
– 1 x pkt Cream Crackers �
– 1 x 20gm Cheese Spread Sachet �
– 1 x 26 gm Fruit Spread �
Dinner – 1 of the following 300gm Meal-packs �
– Beef & Vegetable �
– Chicken Pasta & Vegetables �
– Lamb in Minted Gravy �
– Vegetable Curry – vegetarian �
Other components (common to all menus) �
– 1 x 85gm Instant Noodles �
– 1 x 7gm Salt Sachet �
– 2 x 14gm Sugar Sachet �
– 2 x 1.5gm Coffee Sachets �
– 2 x 2gm Tea bags �
– 1 x 12gm Sports Drink �
– 1 x 85gm Sweetened Condensed Milk �
Total weight of pack = approx 1200gm �
Average energy content per pack = 13,700kJ �

Settlers Home Foods �
Dried beef mince that comes in 125 gram packs that rehydrate into 500 gram serves providing 2 large serves or 3 small and come in the following flavours. �

Burrito �
Country Casserole �
Bolognaise �
Beef and Black bean �
Malaysian Satay �
Mild Thai Curry �
Plain �
Bacon and Eggs�

Bircher Muesli

11) Pet BOB and Food

Polar Fleece Blankets(1 per animal)


Tinned Food

Dry Food


Collars with ID


Travel Bowls(Food and Water)

Can Opener


Kitty Litter

Litter Tray

Cat Carriers

Meds-Flea/Tick and Worming Paste. Make sure to include Heart Worm

Rope or chain with swivel attachment

First Aid Kit

Animal medical books�

12) Foraging/Looting? Bag

This is made up from a Sotech Gobag/Countycomm Satcom style bag. I just brought one of eprey from a paintball site and found that just as good. This is essentually a break and enter kit for foraging post SHTF. Foraging as opposed to looting is taking what you need to survive as oppossed to what you thieve for the sake of profit or greed. Food, clothing and fuel is different to tv sets and electronic equipment. The first item is a Rambo 4 blade. At 12 inches long fits inside hidden away just in case of needing a defensive tool. Being hidden in one of the many pouches makes it prefered as not to appear as an agressor. it has a soft enough temper to not break if hit with a steel bar. Rope for an agressing kit, flash light, stanley wonder prybar, mid sized bolt cutters, collapsable containers for collecting both fuel and water, lock and chain to cover your exits, large maxpedition rolly polly.Hitchmaster rope winch, small amk .9 first aid kit, and fold up miniture tool sets. Jiggler fuel syphon. A repair kit for fixing cars etc, a few simple items such as cable ties, light gauge fencing wire, duct tape, 2mm electrical wire.Multi tool, sabrecut saw, adjustable wrenches which I normally dont like using but this way limits the amount of tools and weight. Spring loaded engineers punch for glass breaking. Small personal alarm and a few chemicals to make smoke bombs for diversion tactics.�

13) Paperwork/ID

Always have copies of ID sealed in a waterproof zip lock bag, including medicare/health cards, Drivers licence, passport, vehicle rego, medical records, firearms licence, etc.�

14) Optional Accessories

Frisport Lavvu Andersnatten (6-8 person) tipi.

I prefer tipi’s for shelters as they can have wood stoves used inside for heating. I brought the two I have at the time due to being made from ripstop material. Now a days Id probably just go for the Kifaru brand to have the coyote brown colour to match the areas I now frequent and for ease of dealing with the company. Also Golite have changed their models. I use the small one for a temperary all weather shelter and in my larger BOB but have the 8 person tipi for long term accomodation.�

Transitioning to Seven Day Bug-Out Bags

Transitioning to Seven Day Bug-Out Bags, by Firefighter Charles

I was standing in the living room, watching CNN. I saw the devastation of Haiti. I listened to how help is coming and arrived almost immediately. Logistical issues hampered “helps” immediate aiding of the people in Haiti. Weeks later, Chile was hit by a massive earthquake as well. With Chile’s government not wanting any support at first, watched how Chile succumb to riots and looting in just three days after the quake. Haiti broke down as well after five days of no food, water, or shelter. Many people in Chile had to sleep in the streets due the unsafe conditions in their homes, uncertain if the structures of their homes were sound. Many of the Chileans who stayed by their homes, slept outside in makeshift tents that were made out of blankets, sheets and plastic tarps. In Haiti, hundreds of people made shelters out of wood, clothes, and cardboard boxes. Needless to say both countries were unprepared. At least the people in Haiti have an excuse. Most of the people are poor and or uneducated. The people in Chile have no excuse. They live in earthquake country and [since they are more prosperous and better educated] they should have been better prepared. In the case of Louisiana, people had time to get prepared and chose not to. I guess most people in Louisiana figured it wasn’t going to get that bad or decided at the last minute to take whatever they needed. Either way, “help” did not come for them for four long days, in some cases longer. Many people died from dehydration along with other things such as drowning, infection, and medical complications.

Three Day Kits are Obsolete:
It hit me that the 72-hour Emergency Kit, 72-hour Bug Out Bag, or Bail Out Bag or whatever you call it is obsolete. I am now convinced that the 5 or 7 day Bug Out Bag is the way to go. Hurricane Katrina was a huge lesson to the American preparedness community. We watched while a lot people struggled, died, and became victims. Our financial situation here in the U.S. is crumbling. Programs are being cut, resources running low, and politicians don’t ever think a disaster can happen to us or they might not care. Either way help will be a long way off from three days. Even if your Bug Out Location is only two days away by car. Running into unforeseen problems could extend that trip (will discuss later). For those who have flee on foot, vehicles, and boats having a 5 to 7 day bag might have extended some of these individuals’ lifespan. Having more is a lot better than having less especially in a disaster situation. Like many people say: “It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”

The Scenario:
Now FEMA’s response times as we all know is pitiful. FEMA’s response time also varies from situation to situation. But for our purposes, let’s give FEMA the benefit of doubt. The scenario i san unlikely yet devastating a 7.5 earthquake in New York City (Manhattan). I’ll play with the numbers in their favor. It might take them 8 to 12 hours to figure out logistics and if the area is safe. It may take them another 10 to 12 hours to mobilize and get to the disaster area. Then once there, they set up outside of the disaster area, which might take another 8 to 12 hours. Also having engineers come in to analyze the tunnels and bridges, will further delay the rescue. Depending on the bridge or tunnel they decide analyze, that only can take up to another 12 hours. That would be an estimated FEMA’s response time. You now exhausted your 72-hour bag. Keep in mind that each disaster warrants a different approach. Also understanding that getting to the disaster zone would take time because of the possibility of compromised bridges and tunnels, hence the engineers. The total estimated time would be 62 to 84 hours. Not including the process time to get into a FEMA camp. A 5 or 7-Day Bug Out Bag is starting to look real good at this point.

Now once FEMA has established itself in, near, and or around the disaster area. It could take another 12-24 hours to receive one-on-one assistance. Considering that thousands to Hundreds of thousands will also be on line waiting for “help”. Now, picture yourself being on line for your favorite band and waiting 10-24 hours to get their tickets. Now translate that to a disaster relief line. You exhausted your 72-hour bag and now have to wait in a line for hours maybe even days to be sheltered and fed. You will be beyond hungry, thirsty and tired. Knowing that you are so close yet have to wait for hours more, will really agitate you. Note: That waiting for FEMA support on a line of hundreds of thousands will bring out the good, the bad, and the worst.

Using an earthquake scenario in New York City is one of the ultimate crises for usage of a 5 or 7-Day Bug Out Bag. You will be using your tube tent, emergency blanket, emergency sleeping bag and or tarp for shelter and warmth. Collapsed or compromised building will have you setting up a temporary home in Central Park, Van Cortland Park, Prospect Park, Yankee Stadium (Being the only sports arena in the five boroughs) or a safe clearing near the home. Compromised water lines, the aqueduct, and sewer lines will have you depended on your hydro bladder and emergency water packets in your bag. Along with using your purification tablets to purify possibly tainted water. There are many other scenarios like a Nuclear Attack (which is less likely), Hurricanes, Civil Unrest, and other disasters that would make a 5 to 7-Day Bug Out Bag desirable. Keep in mind that you should be sheltering in place for the previously mentioned disasters and have food storage but if you don’t, that’s where your Bug Out Bag can also come in handy.

Now, on the early mentioning of running into problems while you are Bugging Out to your determine location. You had already picked out your escape route. Once on the road, you start running into multiple “road blocks”. Which now alters your escape a few times. Now the three-day trip has turned into a 4 to 5 day trip. Again, your 72 hour Bug Out Bag is now depleted. Having your 5 to 7 day Bug Out Bag during an evacuation will sever you well in the case of major detours. Keep in mind if you are a responsible prepper your Vehicle Bug Out Kit’s inventory should sustain you for a few days without having to tap into your Bug Out Bag. I, myself have enough in my Vehicle Bug Out Kit that I would most likely not break into my Bail Out Bags, Start Up Supplies or Bug Out Bag. Planning ahead with your supplies in your Bug Out Bag will go a long way if you go past your 72-hour mark. Having more is better. Having less is foolish.

Is It Really Too Much?
Some people might think that having a 5 or 7-Day Bug Out Bag is over the top but in the field of preparedness. When being faced with uncertainties nothing is over the top, as long as you keep level headed and use common sense. You are only adding a few more items to your already existing bag. If you don’t have a bag of any kind and don’t have a lot of money to build a 5 or 7 day bag out right. Start with a 3-day bag and build from there. Make sure you end up with a 5 or 7-day bag, at the very least a 5-day bag.

This or That?
Some people are going to say “Why not just have a 7 day Bug Out Bag instead of a 5 day Bug Out Bag?” It comes down to how much you are willing to spend on the items in the Bug Out Bag and how much you are willing to carry. Trust me adding four more 4.222 oz of water packets add up in weight (you’ll feel a slight difference). Three more (field stripped) MRE meals or canned goods add in weight. I’m a weight lifter and a firefighter and am use to carrying heavy weight for long periods of time. For some this kind of weight is not acceptable or doable.

Somewhat Of A History:
The Bug Out Bag was designed for evacuation purposes. The Bug Out Bag is portable equipment full with survival to sustain you for 72 hours. The typical items such as food, water, emergency blankets, flashlight, shelter, weapons, et cetera could be found in most bags. The Bug Out Bag goes by a few names such as G.O.O.D. bag (Get Out Of Dodge), SHTF bag, Go Bag, Bail Out Bag and the 72 Hour Emergency Kit. Nobody is sure where it started but some say that it was derived from those used by military aviators.

The New Idea (Somewhat):
My Bug Out Kit is different from most people. My Bug Out Bag is actually inside of my Bug Out Kit, which is a military duffle bag (sea bag), which also contains my Bug Out Rigging System. My Bug Out Rigging System is a tactical vest with a 6×6 tactical pouch (emergency blanket, water proof matches, paracord, emergency poncho, food bars, flexible canteen and disposable lighter), fixed blade knife (mounted on the back), folded knife (on front left chest), a copy of the personal document kit (inside the vest behind the ballistic plate), and some items I don’t discuss. Inside the sea bag is a change of clothes, boots, tactical vest (Bug Out Rigging System), 6 – 0.5 liter bottles of water (to fill the hydro-bladder in the Bug Out Bag), Personal Medical Kit (thigh rigged, part of the Bug Out Rigging system), Main Personal Document Kit (everyone in your family), and a dump pouch (Folded up on my belt). The Bug Out Bag is the 5.11Tactical brand 72 Hour Rush Backpack (trust me you can fit way more than 72 hours worth of gear in that bag). Compartmentalize bags are the best option to go with. If packed right you can get to anything you need without having to dig through it or dumping the entire bag just get one item. When bugging out, you want to keep moving and create distant between you and the disaster. So, knowing where the item is or having accessible is important.

A Double Bug Out Bag system can be another option if you’re strong enough and packed correctly. A Double Bug Out Bag can extend your bug out time. It also allows you to carry more food, water, ammo, medical supply and or clothes. The double bail out bag system does not have to be two big bags but a small and larger or two medium size bags. Recommendation: For the second Bug Out Bag I use Maxpedition’s Jumbo Versipack, which is medium size and pack a lot of extras. Or Condor Outdoor’s Modular Style Deployment Bag, which is small but can pack a lot of extras. I use the Condor Modular Deployment Bag for medical gear. Plus, the Modular Style Deployment Bag can be “married” to one of your Bug Out Bags.

A Vehicle Bug Out Bag/Bin is more like a kit that stays in the vehicle and is kept in the back. It’s a back up kit to your Bug Out Bag. While you are traveling in the vehicle, you utilize the bag or bin. The difference in this Bug Out equipment is that most of the contents in that bag or bin will have vehicle related items like jumper cables, road reflectors, tire patching kit, flashlights, flares, ponchos, [12VDC] electronics charger, et cetera. Not to mention water, food bars, and a back up weapon of some kind. I own a small one in the back of my SUV. It’s a bag not a bin. I do store water and food bars under the rear seat of the last row. I own a 2004 Ford Explorer so I use every inch of the vehicle. �
Recommendation: If you build a vehicular bin, make sure you also add crucial auto parts like a serpentine belt, water hoses, a good set of tools and things of that nature. Note: Make sure you check your spare tire every six months. Also have a realfull-size tire as a spare and not a “mini spare” donut.

A Bail Out Bag is what I have design to be for the extreme case that I have to bail out of my vehicle and can’t grab anything else but that. I keep my kit on the middle console. My girlfriend’s bug-out bag is on the back of her seat. In there I have 3 days of energy bars, 3 days of water (if used sparingly), packets of water soluble vitamins, mini flashlight, folded knife, paracord and a map.�
Recommendation: I use Condor Outdoor’s Tactical Messenger Bag. For those that carry firearms this bag is very compatible to those who carry rifle and side arms. Since I don’t carry and can’t have a firearm here in New York City (Liberals). With that in mine I have more room to store other items.

A Bug Out Rigging System is a tactical vest and a thigh rig with items that will help during your bug out phase. As I mention before my vest is more design to the standard of the state/city I live in. For those who can own firearms strapping magazines to your vest with other survival items is key and adds more ammo to your firepower. Having a thigh rigging system is also part of the Bug Out Rigging system. Keeping a personal medical kit (for yourself), sidearm, fix blade knife, collapsible baton, or a 6×6 pouch full of “stuff” will help when needed. Plus carrying extra food, water pouches, and or ammo always help.�
Recommendation: I keep my thigh rigged Personal Medical Kit opposite my baton. Using a 4×4 or 6×6 pouch would be the biggest I would go with on a thigh-rigged pouch. Anything bigger will just get in the way.

[JWR Adds: In my experience, gear that is strapped to one’s thighs tends to be fatiguing, when walking long distances. A small “fanny” pack or MOLLE pouch worn in front is far more convenient. They can be re-positioned if you ever need to low crawl.]

A High Speed Kit/Bag is a bag I built with heavy tools, weapons, and a comprehensive medical kit for the small chance of an earthquake, building collapse, or bad hurricane here in the city. The bag was built to help others. In the bag I keep a mini axe, Stanley FatMax Xtreme ?FPRIVATE “TYPE=PICT;ALT=”Your browser may not support display of this image. [Halligan Tool], 200 ft nylon climbing rope, fixed blade knife, folding knife, hydro bladder, food bars, and emergency blankets (for trapped people). The bag I use is Condor Outdoor’s Level 3 Assault Pack. I came up with the idea to start my own bag after 9/11. After experiencing not having my own equipment available, I now keep one on deck. Recommendation: If you build your own bag, make sure you know how to use the tools and that the tools have a multi purpose use. Pack enough according your area and the distance you are willing to travel to help. Note: A Good set of “irons” (Halligan bar and a full size [firefighter’s] axe) goes a long way. Carrying them around will tend to weigh after awhile but they are worth their weight in gold. Note: There are other companies that make the Level 3 Assault Backpack. Some are less expensive. Some fall apart easily. Some are just no good. You have to choose the right one.

Carrying The Load:
Carrying a Bug Out Bag can be heavy. Let alone carrying a tactical vest, thigh rigged pouch, Bug Out Bag, and a second Bug Out Bag/Kit. If you are on foot this stuff starts to weigh after a while. Keeping in shape like Robert Neville in [the movie] I Am Legend is necessary. I know working out is not a major “to do” on your list but it has to be done in the interest of family and self. Keeping in shape is key to allowing your body to deal with extra weight you might be carrying. By working out and lifting weights, that allows me to carry a Double Bug Out Bag system. You have to keep your core tight. By strengthening your abs, back, and legs, you can do more without risking injury. Recommendation: For workout tips read Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Health, or Flex magazine (keep in mind Flex magazine is more for the body builder but they do have good tips from time to time). You can also read the recent two-part SurvivalBlog article: Fit To Survive. It’s not a bad read and has good tips on going about getting strong.

Why Do It To Yourself?:
One Person Bug Out Bags are your best choice. Buying one of those Multi-person Bug Out Bag is somewhat for novice preppers. Even so novice preppers should actually know better. You can also look at it as being irresponsible. Having all your belongings, food, water, shelter, et cetera in one bag is foolish. Lets say you buy a 72- hour Bug Out Bag built for four people. You have everything in one bag. Now a disaster strikes & you have to bug out of town or the city. What happens if one of the four family members gets separated? Or the lead person carrying the 72-hour Bug Out Bag built for four gets separated? Now, the other three family members are SOL. Or the one family member who got separated is now cold, hungry, and alone. Recommendation: Every able body should have their own Bug Out Bag. With children under five years of age I would split their stuff between the adults’ Bug Out Bag.

The Personal Document Issue:
Keeping personal documents safe is another priority all on it’s own. Make sure everyone in your family has a Personal Document Kit on them & in their Bug Out Bags. You (the head of the Family) keep everyone’s Personal Document on your person and in your Bug Out Bag. Everyone in your family should have two full copies of Personal Documents, one on their persons and the other one in their Bug Out Bag. If you have an infant then try putting on one on them. Of course, they won’t have their own Bug Out Bag unless they are Spartan. In any case, the extra copy of the infant’s Personal Documents will be in the mother’s Bug Out Bag. The reason for putting one on a small child or an infant is in the small chance that you get separated from one another. Some may say that keeping so many copies of personal documents is unnecessary but in a time of crisis things as we all know never go according to plan. Having a main copy in your bag is good but with thieves lurking in every corner. If your bag gets stolen, then at least you have a copy on yourself. Recommendation: For every Bug Out Bag, Bail Out Bag, Vehicle Bug Out Bag, & Bug Out System you should have copies of key personal documents in each bag or system.

The Preparedness field is forever changing. There is no “set in stone way” of doing things. Whatever works for you is what you stick to but never be afraid of new and approved ideas. The different Bug Out Bag systems might work for you. It works for me and still keeps my hands free. It might seem overboard but again in the face of disaster, you’ll need as much help as you can safely carry.

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.


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?

The Rule of 3


Many people ask what survival supplies to stock for an emergency.� Preparations for disasters and threats can be minimal or immense.� You get to decide.� No one can tell you what to stock but yourself.� Make your own list or modify this one.� Make your own decisions.� Are you going elk hunting for two weeks?� Are you going rafting for four hours?� Is the El Nino hurricane season coming?� Are you going to watch the millennium New Years Eve party from Idaho or New York�s Central Park?

A good way to prepare for future emergencies is to list the threats and the corresponding solutions.� The RULE OF 3 categorizes threats by the time they can greatly effect you.� With this kind of thinking in place, you will respond to threats in the correct sequence.� THE RULE OF 3 is often summarized that you can die from:� blood loss in 3 seconds, air loss in 3 minutes, heat loss in 3 hours, water loss in 3 days, food loss in 3 weeks, shelter loss in 3 months and health loss in 3 years.

3 SECONDS Major arterial blood loss, gun shot, knife wound, being crushed, a fall, other accidents.
3 MINUTES Suffocation, drowning, avalanche, heart attack, cave in, gas poisoning, serious blood loss.
3 HOURS Hypothermia from cold, wind and rain.� Heat stroke from sun, desert, exhaustion and drought.
3 DAYS Die of thirst, some water born diseases, food poisoning, snakes, severe infection, tick paralysis.
3 WEEKS Starvation, bad water, general infection, strong radiation.
3 MONTHS Starvation, disease, loss of shelter, general health deterioration, weak radiation.
3 YEARS Poor diet, vitamin deficiency, lack of exercise, despair, chronic illness

In the same order of need, list the items in your survival kit under the five headings:� SURVIVAL, HEAT, WATER, FOOD, SHELTER & HEALTH.� Refer to THE RULE OF 3 to determine what equipment is needed in each category.� We often are asked how much equipment or food to store.� We don�t know your resources.� We always recommend asking yourself �HOW LONG DO I WANT TO SURVIVE ?�

Survival situations can evolve at the home or away.� Many fear being driven from their home by weather, toxic spills, fire, riots or worse.� The context of this document is to prepare for emergencies at home but have a plan for evacuation.� In other words, prepare your home to be self sufficient but have several backup locations to go to.� Plan for a panic while you are at work.� Locate the rest of the family.Stick to the plan.

Bug Out Food

Found the following posted on a forum. It didnt have a link to the author and the poster had also lost it, so if anyone recognises the work please let me know so I can add a link.

Bug Out Food

Something that is near and dear to all our hearts(and stomachs). I’ve always put a minimum of a 5 year storage life that I have ever put by. That way your not replenishing your ruck every 2 months. I recently found the attached article that gives a good basis for your selection. It even mentions “Tang” & “Peanut butter” as things to put away, it just doesn’t limit your diet to that. �

In the past the common soldier was not fed by his unit, but was left to fend and forage for himself. When an army was in the area, the local population suffered greatly. Their homes were ransacked and anything of food value was stolen along with all edible livestock. Modern armies go to great lengths to insure their soldiers are supplied with sufficient nutritious meals to keep them fit and ready to complete their mission. �

Military Field Rations. The object of military field rations is to provide plenty of nutrients in as light a weight as possible. When hot mess hall meals are not available, soldiers are issued field rations which can be quickly and easily prepared in the field. In training situations, most United States military units try to provide at least one hot meal per day and issue MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) for the others. MRE’s aren’t much different in content from Vietnam War era C-Rations, but are packed in lightweight plastic and foil pouches instead of heavy tin cans and some foods like fruits and vegetables have been freeze dried to save even more weight. MRE’s are balanced nutritionally and there is a certain variety of menus (so long as you don’t get the same type for every meal), but are thought by many soldiers to be very bland. Troops often carry hot sauce and spices like seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, garlic or curry powder and some also bring cheese, dry salami, minute rice (a clean boot sock is good for carrying some extra rice) or ramen noodles to the field to improve or supplement the issued meal. MRE’s generally consist of a main-course (like beef stew, barbecued beef slices or chicken a la king), a freeze dried fruit or vegetable snack (like peaches, strawberries or hash brown potatoes, which can be reconstituted with water or eaten dry and crunchy), dense crackers and some kind of spread (like peanut butter or cheese whiz), a dessert (like chocolate or cookies), a drink mix (like kool-aid or cocoa), salt, pepper, instant coffee, creamer, sugar, chewing gum, matches and toilet paper. Other modern armies issue similar rations, but usually with canned food. The French Army even includes a small plastic bottle of red wine in their field rations. �

British Army Rations. After the fall of France to the Nazis, a booklet on guerrilla warfare was distributed to the British Home Army, their citizen’s Militia, advising how to resist the expected invasion of their island nation. Concerning rations this booklet stated that, in a pinch, a half-pound of chocolate and a half-pound of raisins should suffice to sustain a soldier in the field for a week. Try that some time if you want to lose about ten pounds. The British Army today has a much better field diet in the form of a 24-hour “ratpack” (ration pack) thought by many other armies to be the best in the world. It’s useful to examine the contents of the British ratpack when planning and assembling your own rations for Militia field duty. Each ratpack weighs about 4-1/2 pounds, comes in a cardboard box with a range card printed on the side and is issued with a folding stove and hexamine solid fuel tablets or a sterno type jellied fuel cooker. There is a menu card showing the suggested breakdown for a breakfast, snack and main meal. The meal plan for the ratpack is not very different from the meals consumed by many backpackers; a quick, easy to prepare breakfast, high carbohydrate snacks eaten throughout the day’s activities, and a more hearty main meal. Breakfast consists of a rolled oats porridge mix, a can of bacon grill or baconburger (which can be eaten cold or fried), brown biscuits (plain dense cookie/crackers not unlike hardtack with some sugar) and powdered cocoa. The snack is placed in uniform pockets or an equipment belt pouch (never in an ammo pouch; in a firefight, reaching for a magazine and coming up with a chocolate bar can get you seriously killed). The snack is consumed throughout the day as desired and as the mission allows. It consists of more brown biscuits, a small tin of meat spread (chicken, ham, beef, or chicken & bacon), a milk chocolate bar, a roll of hard flavored sugar candy, chocolate covered caramels and lemon or orange flavored dextrose (glucose) tablets. There are four different main meal menus, all in cans; chicken curry, steak & kidney pudding, steak & onion casserole and minced steak. The main meal also has fruit filled biscuits, instant soup, a side dish (mixed vegetable, pre-cooked minute rice, spaghetti in tomato sauce or beans in tomato sauce) and a fruit dessert (instant apple flakes, apple & apricot flakes, fruit salad or mixed fruit pudding). The 24-hour ratpack also contains six 25-gram sugar packets, four tea bags and several one-cup serving instant drink packets (four dried skim milk powder, two coffee, one beef stock and one orange or lemon drink powder) and sundries (chewing gum, toilet paper, salt, book matches, windproof & waterproof matches, water purification tablets and a P-38 type folding can opener). Where possible, fresh rations are issued to supplement the ratpack, but it provides a balanced diet of excellent quality and has enough calories and vitamins to keep a soldier going on all but the most arduous tasks. �

Food for Energy. To perform your mission in combat, you need to give your body all the calories and nutrients it needs. To hump your rucksack up a mountain or keep warm on a cold day, your body needs to burn up lots of digestible food. Whether you are assaulting a hill or lying perfectly still in your sleeping bag, your body is constantly expending energy. The energy intake supplied by food is measured in units of heat energy called calories. A pound of cheese contains about 1,800 calories; a pound of margarine 3,300 calories. An individual performing the heavy exercise common to outdoor activities in a tactical environment requires 3,200 to 4,500 calories per day. In cold weather, more calories are required to keep the body warm. Rations for the average person should be planned to provide about 3,700 calories a day in the summer and 4,250 calories in the winter. Calories, however, measure only the heat energy in food. It would not be adequate, or appetizing, for a soldier in winter to consume the required 4,250 calories by eating a pound of margarine and half a pound of cheese. In order to put together a ration plan for Militia field duty which will encourage the body’s efficiency, you must also consider the type of calorie you will be consuming. �

Most of the calories you need in the field can be provided by carbohydrates, the starches and sugars which should make up about half of your daily ration. Pasta, flour, rice, potatoes, dried fruit, cocoa, pudding, dried milk, powdered eggs, nuts, honey and brown sugar are excellent sources of carbohydrates, and are the backbone of a good field ration. While some carbohydrates, such as pure sugars, assimilate into the body within fifteen minutes of ingestion, which is ideal for an instant pick-me-up on a patrol, others, such as the starch in pasta, take up to four hours to assimilate. That’s fine; the extra time allows you to produce energy to warm you through the night or to fuel a long march. It should be noted that the nutritive quality of carbohydrates can be seriously affected by processing and refining. Whenever possible, include whole-grain and unprocessed foodstuffs in your rations. �

Fats are a more concentrated form of energy and a more complex form of food than carbohydrates, so it usually takes the body from two to nine hours to metabolize them. One gram of fat produces nine calories of heat energy (more than twice as much as carbohydrates or proteins). While fats do not provide the instant vigor that carbohydrates can, they are a good long-term energy source to keep you hiking all day and warm all night. Fats will be providing energy to your body after carbohydrates eaten at the same time have been used up. Twenty-five percent of your daily caloric intake in the field should be fats. During the winter a higher intake, closer to forty percent, is recommended, since fats play such an important role in making your body less sensitive to the cold (now you know why blubber is such an important part of the traditional Alaskan Native American diet). However, fats require a good blood supply in the stomach for digestion. They are likely to be unappetizing, and even nauseating under circumstances when circulation is poor, like at high altitudes or when you are very cold, dehydrated and exhausted. If you don’t have a problem digesting fats in cold weather and if you have a tendency to get cold in the middle of the night, put a spoonful of margarine in your cocoa before going to bed. Your sleeping bag doesn’t warm you up, you warm it up and its insulation keeps your body heat from escaping. You can create body heat either by metabolizing food or by shivering; your choice. Other good sources of fats are cheese, coconut, bacon, salami, nuts and peanut butter. �

Protein is the raw material which most of the body’s cells require to keep on living. If more protein is consumed than the body needs for building and maintaining tissues, it is burned for energy. The protein in our bodies is made up of twenty-two chemical substances called amino acids. These amino acids can be arranged in a great number of formations, and each structure forms a different protein that serves the body in a different manner. All amino acids used by the body come from food. If some needed amino acids are not present in the diet, the body can break down other amino acids and manufacture the required type. However, there are eight amino acids which the body cannot manufacture called essential amino acids, which must be obtained through the protein in the food we eat. Some foods, such as meats, poultry, fish, eggs and milk products furnish all eight essential amino acids and are called “complete proteins.” Other foods, such as beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, cereals, vegetables and fruits contain some, but not all, of the eight essential amino acids and are called “incomplete proteins.” Most of the complete protein foods are not very handy for use in the field because of weight or spoilage, so learning the proper combination of incomplete proteins is an important part of field nutrition. When considering how to combine incomplete proteins to create complete proteins, try to include foods from at least two of the following groups, either in a single meal or over the course of a day: whole grains (rice, flour, pasta), dairy products (milk, cheese), legumes (beans, peanuts, lentils), and seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin). The most complimentary protein relationships are between milk products and grains; grains and legumes; and legumes and seeds. Tortillas with beans, rice with nuts, or the cornbread and beans diet of the Confederate soldier are all examples of combining incomplete proteins to create complete proteins. Even foods having complete proteins can be nutritionally enhanced through combination. If the protein in one food is relatively low in an essential amino acid, it can be combined with a food that is particularly high in that amino acid. In this way, essential amino acids present in the diet will be in closer proportion to the body’s requirements for them, thus increasing the usability of the proteins you eat. Fish combined with rice, a diet which feeds much of the world’s population, is an example of this process. �

If your field rations contain a balanced variety of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, you will probably ingest an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals for a short bivouac. For an extended stay in the field you might consider supplementing your diet with vitamins, particularly vitamin C. If supplemental vitamins are a regular part of your diet at home, it is probably best to include them in your field rations. �

Drinking an adequate amount of water aids in the digestion of foods, keeps cells healthy, regulates body temperature and helps carry wastes out of the body. Strenuous activity and high altitude usually increase the amount of water lost from the body through sweating. In cold weather, you can also lose about two quarts of liquid per day through respiration. Dehydration can make you susceptible to hypothermia, frostbite, mountain sickness, heat stroke and many other problems. In the summer you should drink a minimum of two or three quarts of water per day (strenuous activity in the desert sun can cause a fluid loss of close to one gallon per hour). In the winter a minimum of three or four quarts are essential. The easiest way to insure you replace enough fluids is to drink liquids at all meals and drink water whenever you are thirsty. Even if you are not thirsty, it is important to drink water at all rest stops throughout the day. When moving through areas where potable drinking water is in short supply, plan ahead and carry an adequate amount with you. Keeping track of your urine output is a good way to make sure you are getting enough water. You should be urinating at least two or three times a day. The urine should be clear and light unless there is a specific reason for color change, such as taking vitamin B supplements, which can turn the urine a darker yellow. Many people have a tendency to drink their morning coffee and then hit the trail. Keep in mind that coffee and tea are diuretics and can cause dehydration. Before you move out, drink a full cup of water after your coffee to get off to a good start. �

Good nutrition is the first criterion for selecting rations for a stay in the field. A nutritionally balanced diet will begin with whole grains, dairy products, legumes and seeds. It should also include some meats or meat substitutes, fruits and vegetables, and sweets. The chart in the next column provides a guideline for a nutritionally balanced summer ration (increase fats to 40 percent in winter): �

Percentage (by weight; not including non-nutritive food items such as coffee, tea, salt and spices) of total rations in each major food group: �

Meat or meat substitutes 11% �
Dried meats, eggs, soy products (3%) �
Nuts, seeds, legumes (8%) �

Dairy products 18% �
Powdered milk and milk drinks (10%) �
Cheese (8%) �

Fruit and vegetables 13% �
Dried vegetable, potatoes (7%) �
Dried fruit (6%) �

Grains and grain products 33% �
Flour, biscuit mix, cake mix (11%) �
Cereals, wheat germ, granola (11%) �
Pasta, rice, barley, etc. (11%) �

Margarine and oils 8% �

Sweets 17% �
Sugar and honey (8%) �
Fruit drinks, Jell-O, puddings (9%) �

Field Ration Planning. The Militia training manual “Citizen Soldier” by Robert Bradley recommends a five-day field ration of three one-quart Nalgene plastic bottles (one each of minute rice, macaroni and instant mashed potatoes), a small bottle of salt, some spices, a medium bottle of Tang and a plastic bottle of squeeze margarine, supplemented with some vitamins, canned tuna, candy bars, instant cocoa, coffee or tea. This plan is certainly better than the half-pound each of chocolate and raisins recommended to the British Home Army during World War II, but you can do better with the food selection techniques used in modern lightweight backpacking which are described in this section. �

Field ration planning begins with the idea that in the backcountry, you should eat whenever you are hungry throughout the day. Snack foods that you can munch on while on the move or during breaks (lunch is often just a longer trail break), such as nuts, granola, hard candy and cheese, should be a part of your field rations. These foods provide a handy source of quick energy when you are hiking and are also a quick solution for cold or hunger in the middle of the night. Extra trail foods also make a good emergency food reserve. If you are planning rations for a group, you might have each individual be responsible for their own trail food to account for personal preferences and body needs; some people like and perform better with cheese and dried meat snacks, others with nuts and granola. Rather than planning rigid menus for each meal, include in a ration a wide variety of ingredients which provide good nutrition and allow for choice at each meal. If you experience a craving for a certain type of food, your body could be telling you it needs a particular nutrient (or it might just mean that you like pepperoni pizza). Basic foodstuffs combined with a little creativity are the ingredients for good backcountry eating. �

For a weekend bivouac in the field, rations can be informal; just toss a few big cans of beef stew or chili into your rucksack (Nalley even makes them in camouflaged cans sold during hunting season). You should, however, include a good supply of food that yields a high amount of energy, like cheese or macaroni, which you can probably find in your refrigerator or pantry. For longer stays in the field, particularly with groups of four or more, rationing can require considerable planning. Like most outdoor skills, it may seem painstaking and time-consuming the first time, but after you have done it once and begin to understand your needs, the process will become quite easy. �

There are six important criteria which, when combined with an understanding of good nutrition, can help you determine the right food to take to the field: �

1. Your Mission. The major activities you anticipate during your mission should influence your choice of foods. If you will need to do a lot of mountaineering and cover a lot of miles, you want foods that can be prepared quickly. Energy content will be important, so pack snack foods to give yourself extra energy for long days. Don’t count on running across edible wild vegetation, game or fish in your area of operations, but certainly supplement your rations if the opportunity arises and time and the mission allows. �

2. Weight. Food is a major part of the weight of your rucksack. Your rations should weigh about 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 pounds per person per day in the summer and 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 pounds in the winter. Eight to ten days supply of food is about as much as you can carry comfortably along with your weapon, ammo and other mission essential equipment. This assumes that much of the food will be dehydrated or dry staples like rice or pasta. If water will be in short supply and you need to carry canned food and extra water, the ration you can carry won’t last as long. Freeze dried foods, in which only 2 to 3 percent of the moisture remains are lighter than dried foods, which often contain a full 25 percent of their original moisture. However, the freeze-drying process often removes some of the nutritional value of the food and freeze dried foods are much more expensive. Freeze drying does not alter the cell structure of food like other drying processes, so it retains its original shape and bulk. For example, you can pack more shriveled up dried apples in your rucksack than the equivalent amount of freeze-dried apples which stay their original size. To keep weight down, never carry food in glass bottles (which are also unsafe) and avoid canned foods or select those in aluminum cans like some meat spreads and Vienna sausage. To save weight and eliminate unnecessary bulk, discard original packaging (save the instructions) and place dried foods in zip-lock plastic bags. Freezer bags are stronger than sandwich bags and should be used with items like spaghetti which can puncture a weak bag. Carry spices and liquids in reusable plastic bottles. Bags and liquid containers can spring leaks, so pack liquid containers or several small bags of food in large freezer bags and also carry a few extra bags. Peanut butter, syrups and honey can be carried in backpacker’s reusable squeeze tubes and many can now be found on the grocery store shelf in plastic packaging. �

3. Spoilage. Because of the risk of spoilage, most meats and fresh foods should be excluded from summer rations. If you carry all dried goods, it’s nice to throw in a couple of onions or potatoes, which will keep for three or four days (to reduce spoilage, use a brown paper bag and do not wash fresh vegetables before packing). Margarine or vegetable oil must replace butter on longer stays in the field in the summer. Fresh eggs can be broken into a plastic jar with a tight sealing lid and they will pour out one at a time. Fresh eggs broken into a backpacker’s reusable squeeze tube will come out of the spout one at a time. They will keep up to four days if kept cool; carry the container in the center of your rucksack wrapped in clothing and immerse them in a stream when in camp. Plastic camping type egg carriers aren’t sturdy enough for fresh eggs, but can be used for hard-boiled eggs; keep these cool also and use on the first few days in the field. Store-wrapped meat packages can be safely taken from your freezer, wrapped in some newspaper and packed in a brown paper bag for consumption on the first day of a mission, but freeze-dried meats, jerky or hard salami are the only practical form of carrying meat for more than one day in the field. �

4. Availability and Expense. The best way to insure good, nutritious meals and keep your expenses down is to avoid freeze dried foods, which can be 3 to 6 times more expensive than buying ingredients for cooking from scratch. The more box dinners, commercially-mixed drinks and store-bought granola you use, the higher your food bill and the lower the nutritional value will be. If you are rationing for large groups, buy directly from granaries, dairies or wholesale stores. When including freeze-dried foods foods in your rations, try to buy in bulk directly from an outlet rather than from retail distributors. Investing in a food dryer is a good way to cut down on the cost of dried vegetables and fruit (get one with both heat and circulating air). Most of the foodstuffs you should carry to the field are common staples which you can find in a large supermarket. �

5. Variety. The more you know about your group’s normal eating habits, the better you can plan their field rations. Include various types of food: trail foods, baking goods, spices for flavoring sauces and instant foods for rushed meals. Take along a few special ingredients and surprise your companions. �

6. Preparations. When planning rations, consider the circumstances under which you will cook. What cooking tools will you be taking? Will you be using a stove or an open fire? If you will be cooking entirely on a butane or multifuel backpacking stove, most of your meals will most likely be cooked in one pot and baking will be very limited. If you only have a pocket stove and solid fuel tablets, your rations will have to be limited to reheating already cooked food in cans or pouches (like MRE’s or vacuum sealed cooking bags) or freeze-dried foods. In cold weather, avoid foods that need to cook a long time or require a lot of pot handling or intricate use of knives or fingers, since you will probably be wearing heavy gloves or mittens. �

The following sample represents a summer ration plan for ten days for two people at 2 pounds per person per day, and can be used as a guide when planning your field rations: �

Tea, 10 bags; or coffee, 1/2 lb. �
Margarine, 3 lbs. �
Powdered milk, 2 lbs. �
Cocoa, 2 lbs. �
Raisins, 1 lb. �
Dried figs, 1 lb. �
Dried coconut, 1/2 lb. �
Dried peaches, 1/2 lb. �
Shelled peanuts, 1 lb. �
Toasted soybeans, 1/2 lb. �
Roasted almonds, 1 lb. �
Sesame seeds, 1/4 lb. �
Sunflower seeds, 1 lb. �
Cheddar cheese, 3 lbs. �
Monterey jack cheese, 3 lbs. �
Gingerbread mix, 1/2 lb. �
Grapenuts, 2 lbs. �
Oatmeal, 1/2 lb. �
Wheat cereal, 1/2 lb. �
Granola, 1 lb. �
Instant hash browns, 2 lbs. �
Instant fruit drink, 1 lb. �
Brown sugar, 1 lb. �
Macaroni, 1 lb. �
Spaghetti, 1 lb. �
White rice, 1 lb. �
Brown rice, 1/2 lb. �
Instant potatoes, 1/2 lb. �
Pinto beans, 1 lb. �
Barley, 1/2 lb. �
Tortillas, 1 lb. �
Flour, 2-1/2 lbs. �
Cornmeal, 1/2 lb. �
Soup mixes, 3/4 lb. �
Dried vegetables, 1/2 lb. �
Popcorn, 1/4 lb. �
Baking powder, 1/4 lb. �
Yeast, 1/4 lb. �
Seasonings: Tabasco, salt, pepper, cayenne, oregano, garlic salt, dry mustard, nutmeg, cinnamon, onion salt, curry powder, chili powder, flavoring extracts. �

Total weight: 40-3/4 lbs. or 20-3/8 lbs. per person �

Buying, Packing & Preparing Foods. Generally the foodstuffs you carry in your rucksack should be packed in plastic bags or bottles. A vacuum sealing device can greatly reduce the bulk of some foods and help preserve them. �

Meats: On a long mission, meat, due to its cost and weight, will usually be a luxury used only for flavoring. For a short stay in the field, there are a variety of suitable meat products, including compressed meat bars, freeze dried meats (ground beef is useful with Hamburger Helper type pasta main-course dishes) and dry sausages that do not require refrigeration. Homemade meat jerky is inexpensive and simple to make. Small cans of Vienna sausage, tuna, sardines, cooked boned meats (chicken, turkey, ham, etc.), corned beef or various meat spreads are also good on short missions. Canned meats with a high fat content like corned beef or tuna packed in vegetable oil will lessen the amount of margarine required when added to rice or pasta dishes. Even on a longer mission a small amount of canned meats should be packed. They can be eaten cold when circumstances don’t permit cooking. �

Soybean Products: The protein in soybeans is fairly similar to that found in meat. In addition to roasted soybeans, which make good trail food and provide interesting texture for many cooked meals, you can buy soy flour (useful for it’s nutty flavor) for baking or thickening stews or making gravy (most gravy mixes are little more than meat flavoring, salt and flour). Soy-derivative products such as “ham” and “bacon” bits can add flavor to omelets and rice and bean dishes. �

Dried Eggs: Powdered eggs are available as whole eggs, or white and yolks separately. Quality varies considerably from brand to brand, so it is wise to experiment at home before relying on them in the field. �

Nuts and Seeds: Shelled nuts are more convenient for backcountry cooking. Nuts make good trail food and add taste and texture to baked goods. To save money, buy unroasted nuts and roast them yourself. �

Legumes: Dried legumes (split peas, lentils, beans, etc.) when combined with brown rice or other grains make a complete protein, and can add variety to a meal. They generally take a long time to cook unless you use a pressure cooker or you prepare quick-cooking beans (by pre-cooking and then drying them for field use). Quick cooking beans are available in at some backpacking stores, but are much more expensive than dried beans. Bean and pea flours make good soup bases or thickeners if you can find them (or grind your own); most are now sold as soup mixes. �

Dry Milk: Several types of powdered milk are available: instant whole milk, instant nonfat milk, regular whole milk and buttermilk. Whole milk has more calories and vitamins than nonfat milk and is a better additive for baked goods. Instant powders dissolve more easily in cold water. A wide variety of breakfast drinks with milk bases are also easy to find in most grocery stores. �

Cocoa: It’s easier to use the instant type cocoa, which has already been combined with powdered milk. In the field all you have to do is add hot (not boiling) water. �

Cheese: Sharp cheddar seems to be the cheese with the most versatile flavor for backcountry cooking. It also keeps better than many other cheeses. Hard cheeses like Parmesan and Romano are also good in the field, as are processed cheese snacks (leave the type with a heavy can full of air at home). �

Margarine: Butter spoils rapidly in summer in the field, so margarine should be carried. Use a plastic squeeze bottle or remove the wrappers from sticks and carry them in a wide mouth screw-top plastic jar (the lids on tubs of soft spread margarine aren’t secure enough). �

Dried Fruit: Dried fruit (such as apples, prunes, raisins, apricots and peaches) can be found in any supermarket or you can dry them yourself. They make good trail food eaten as they are or added to breads. They can be stewed and eaten in cereals or for dessert at suppertime (you can cook some extra to be eaten cold the next morning). Dried fruit retains about 25 percent of its moisture and is thus heavier to carry than the considerably more expensive freeze-dried fruit, which has less than 3 percent moisture content. Sulfur-dried fruit, which must be soaked before using, contain more vitamins and minerals than other dried fruit. When properly packaged and stored below 60 degrees, most home dried fruit will maintain good quality for at least one year. Fruit packed in vacuum sealed bags lasts three to four times longer and for every 18 degrees drop in temperature, shelf life also increases three to four times. �

Dried Vegetables: Vegetables add color, vitamins and minerals to any meal. You can purchase freeze-dried or dry your own. Home dried vegetables don’t keep as well as dried fruit because they are low in acid and sugar. If possible, they should be refrigerated or frozen. Ideally dried vegetables should be used in less than six months when stored at 60 degrees (some vegetables like squash and cucumber should be used within two weeks). Dried green peas, onions and flaked cabbage are good for stews or soups. Carrots, green beans, beets and corn are also good, but take somewhat longer to cook. Flaked green peppers and onions make good seasonings and can be added to almost anything. Tomato flakes mix with water to make paste, sauce or juice, and are one of the best flavorings for outdoor cooking. �

Potatoes: Potatoes come in flake or powdered form and can be used as a separate dish, an additive or a thickener. Though potato flakes lose much of their vitamin C when processed, they are a versatile food for field cooking. Along with plain potatoes you might also carry a variety of packaged flavored types with sauce mixes. Throw away the original packaging and re-pack (along with the right proportion of dry milk if the recipe requires milk) in plastic bags or bottles labeled with cooking instructions. �

Self-Rising Baking Dishes: For simplicity and weight, it’s important to buy mixes which do not require the addition of eggs and shortening. Biscuit mixes can also be used to make cakes and pancakes. A few special mixes, such as gingerbread, cake mixes or special flours make a good change of pace for a long stay in the field. �

Wheat Germ: Wheat germ is used primarily as a nutritional supplement for cooking. Roasted wheat germ will keep for up to a month without refrigeration. �

Cereals: Oat and wheat cereals are nutritionally superior to rice and barley cereals. Bulgur wheat (also called “ala”), a whole grain product that cooks rapidly enough for field use, can be found in the hot cereal section of some supermarkets or in health food stores (which sometimes also stock other quick-cooking grains). It is wheat which has been pre-cooked, dried and cracked; cook and use it like rice. While uncooked cereals are the most versatile and can be used for hot cereal, granola and baking, the instant cereals are much easier to cook, usually taking less than a third of the time. While it is usually the best practice to carry foodstuffs consolidated in zip-lock bags and measure out portions, you might want to carry several different flavors of instant hot breakfast cereals in single serving packs for convenience and to add variety. �

Pasta: Pasta can form a major part of your field diet (whole grain pastas are nutritionally superior). Noodles of various shapes and kinds make an excellent start for one-pot meals. They cook in about 8-minutes of boiling (frequent stirring keeps them from sticking) and are quite nourishing, since they are generally made with egg as well as flour. However, don’t make the mistake some hungry backpackers have made of counting on ramen noodles as a complete main-course (most have less than 200 calories). Ramen noodles can supplement MRE’s or form the basis of a one-pot meal to which you add meat and vegetables. Packaged macaroni and cheese can also be made into a complete main-course by using the “15-Minute Dinner Ideas” found on a Kraft box. Prepare the macaroni and cheese normally and then stir in a half pound each of cooked meat and cooked vegetables with some spices or extra ingredients. Some combinations suggested by Kraft are: ground beef, stewed tomatoes & 1-tsp. chili powder; chicken, broccoli & 2-tsp. mustard; tuna, peas, 1/4-tsp. Italian seasoning; Italian sausage, broccoli, 1/4-cup chopped red pepper. You might also consider the ease of preparation and flavor variety of Hamburger Helper or Noodle Roni type main-course pasta dishes. A variety of sauce mixes (like Stroganoff, Fettucine Alfredo or broccoli and mushroom sauce) can add a welcome change to a monotonous field diet. Discard the original packaging and consolidate the pasta from all the boxes into a single container. Empty the sauce mix packets into separate bags for each type (along with instant dry milk if the recipe requires milk). With a permanent (not water soluble) marking pen, write preparation instructions on the bag or an enclosed slip of paper. Write instructions both for single servings and for the number of portions that will fit in a large cooking pot shared between 3 or 4 people. Carry a small plastic drinking/measuring cup and a set of plastic measuring spoons (not necessarily the whole set, just what you need) to measure out the required number of portions. �

Rice, Barley, Buckwheat, Grits: These are handy staples for preparing many good dishes, from cereals to main-courses (like with potatoes and pasta, sauce mixes can conveniently add variety). The instant forms are less nutritious, but are much easier to cook. A lightweight aluminum backpacking type pressure cooker reduces the cooking time required for these staples, and is the only practical way of cooking brown rice (which takes twice as long as regular long grain rice) over a single-burner backpacking stove. �

Soup Bases and Instant Soup: In addition to making a quick cup of soup, powdered bases and bouillon are also useful as flavorings for many dishes. When using them, remember that most bases contain a considerable amount of salt; use them cautiously. Don’t carry single servings of instant soup; consolidate them into separate zip-lock bags for each type. Instant pea soup mixes are filling and a good source of protein, especially if rice, noodles or some other grain is included in the meal. �

Sweeteners: Brown sugar is more versatile to use and easier to pack than white (put a piece of apple in the container to keep it soft). Honey, molasses, syrups and jam should be placed in plastic jars or bottles with tight-fitting lids (for extra protection, pack them inside a plastic bag). �

Fruit Drinks: Instant fruit drinks and gelatin desserts are good to drink either hot or cold (nothing beats a hot cup of Jell-O with a little margarine for sleeping warm). Get mixes with vitamin C and sugar already added. More expensive artificially sweetened drinks don’t have the nutritional value of sugar, but weigh less (lemonade or lemon flavored ice tea mix with Nutrasweet is good prepared half-strength to mask the taste of iodine after using water purification tablets). �

Instant Desserts: Instant puddings and cheesecake can be packed in small zip-lock freezer bags (with dry milk if the recipe requires). To prepare just add cold water, mix it in the bag, chill in a cold stream if available, and then eat right from the bag. �

Candy: If you choose to eat candy, make it in addition to an already nutritious diet. Fruit candies are more practical and offer a greater variety than chocolates. Nut candies are nutritionally superior. �

Spices: A good spice kit can make the difference between superb cuisine and bland, monotonous meals in the field. A good basic selection includes salt (carry extra, which you will need if you are perspiring heavily), pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, dill, curry, oregano, sage, chili powder, cumin, onion powder and garlic. Tabasco sauce, salsa, soy sauce and worcestershire sauce can also add a dash of interest to a simple meal. Spices are best carried in small plastic bottles or covered shakers with a few grains of rice to absorb moisture. Flip-top lids are available to convert plastic 35mm film cans into handy salt and pepper shakers. �

Adjusting Rations for High Altitude and Cold Weather. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen is available to metabolize food. Complex molecules such as proteins and fats may be harder to digest under these conditions. Fats can still be a very important source of concentrated, long-lasting energy, and some people are not bothered at all by digestive problems at high altitude. Take it easy the first time out, and if they give you no difficulties, then keep high energy fats in your rations and even increase them to about 40 percent of your diet. High altitude increases cooking time, which will roughly double for every 6,000 feet. At 15,000 feet water boils at 184 degrees and will not get hotter without a pressure cooker. At 11,000 feet fresh carrots can sit in a boiling stew pot for hours and all you end up with are hot, raw crunchy carrots. A meal that takes thirty minutes to cook at sea level is not practical at high altitudes. Frying is not much affected by high altitude. �

Cold dry air absorbs water from the lungs and the body loses fluids with every breath (visible or not). Extra soup and drink mixes should be added to your rations for cold weather or high altitude. Taking additional liquids will increase your blood volume, which aids digestion and helps prevent frostbite and hypothermia. Coffee and other diuretics should be used in moderation because they prevent the body from absorbing water and dehydration may result. An adequate supply of water is top priority in cold weather, even though it may be more difficult to find. Snow must be melted slowly over a low flame or it will taste scorched and be undrinkable. If you have to melt solid snow, place a bit of water in the bottom of your pot and stir constantly. Snow can also be melted in a porous cloth bag suspended over a container near a fire (no closer than you can comfortably stand indefinitely). After each meal, melt an extra pot of water and fill water bottles. A warm water bottle wrapped in a mitten or wool sock helps to keep your feet warm while you sleep. Have both food and water available at night; thirst and hunger are the major reasons people sleep cold. A high-fat, high-protein recipe to munch on and keep warm is the “Iron Man Mix”; one part each of raisins, cubed nonprocessed cheese, peanuts and diced beef jerky. On snowy peaks during the summer, you can use the sun to melt drinking water. If you are spending the day in camp, put a dark colored tarp or rain parka in a hollow in the snow. Then place a small amount of snow in the tarp and continue adding snow as it melts. The sun’s energy will melt large amounts of water fairly quickly. �

Personal Field Cooking Equipment. During the Revolutionary War, meals in the field were cooked over open fires in cast iron pots (one for every six to twelve men; the officer’s pots had lids). Each soldier carried a canteen, a tin plate or wooden bowl, and a wooden or pewter spoon. Seasoned veterans carried big spoons so they could eat fast and get seconds from the pot before they ran out. As a modern day Minuteman, how you equip yourself for field cooking depends upon your personal experience and the mission. At a minimum you should have an individual mess kit (GI or a commercial nesting set), a canteen and canteen cup, a large spoon (GI mess kit type or heavy duty lexan plastic), a P-38 type folding can opener, and a pocketknife. You should also have a folding pocket stove (the British Army type is best; carry plenty of band-aids if you get a cheap Taiwan copy with loads of sharp corners) or a canteen cup stand with solid fuel. Such a compact stove will allow you to warm a pre-cooked meal, cook individual servings and prepare hot beverages. Hexamine fuel tablets are relatively inexpensive in the camping sections of discount stores. The US military issues trioxane fuel bars, which can be found in surplus stores. Both types of solid fuel can also be used as tinder to get stubborn, damp kindling started; trioxane is especially easy to ignite with a Gerber Strike Force emergency fire starting tool. If you get a commercial mess kit, spend the extra money for stainless steel; aluminum camping mess kits are quite thin, so food scorches and burns easily. A good value in mess kits is the Stansport one-person stainless steel cook set (about $17 at Bi-Mart), which has copper bottoms for quick and even heating, features fold-away stay cool handles, nests compactly into an included nylon case, and consists of an 8-ounce plastic drinking/measuring cup, a 3/4-quart pot with lid, a 1-quart pot with lid, and a 5-1/2 inch frying pan. In addition to the canteen on your belt, you may wish to carry dry staples (like rice, pasta or dried potatoes) in wide-mouth 1-quart polycarbonate plastic bottles (Nalgene and Reliance are popular brands; Reliance is considerably less expensive). When empty, they can be used as extra canteens or for soaking dried food in your rucksack while you’re on the move (put dried food and water in the bottle at noon and it should be ready for cooking by evening meal time). You might also add an insulated plastic or stainless steel drinking mug, to prevent burning your lips and to keep beverages hot. A 2-quart or 5-quart GI bladder canteen can be useful for carrying water from a water source to your cooking area in camp. �

Cooking Canned Rations. There are three basic methods for you to cook canned rations in a tactical environment. The least popular method is to open the can, empty the contents into your mess kit or canteen cup and heat it. It’s after the meal that your problems begin; trying to clean your cooking gear, which you never seem to have the time or enough water to do. If you don’t get it clean enough, you will wish that you had the next time you use it and then have to make an urgent “shovel recon” of the bushes. A cleaner cooking method is to pierce the lid twice and place the can half submerged in boiling water for 10 minutes. This is slow and uses a good deal of fuel and water, but is the method described in the British ration pack instructions and is the recommended method for heating MRE pouches in a canteen cup with a stand and solid fuel. Water used for heating cans becomes contaminated with zinc and should not be used for drinking purposes. The third method of heating canned rations is to make a shallow dent in the side of the can and place it on the stove. When the dent bulges out or resumes its normal shape, remove the can, holding it away from you pierce it to release the pressure, open it and eat the contents right from the can. Heat unopened cans slowly and remove them promptly when the dent bulges out or they might explode. An advantage of this heating method is that if you are attacked while cooking you just put the can in your pocket or rucksack (be careful, it will be hot) and continue to cook it whenever you have the time. Also, unlike the first two methods it produces no steam (visible over great distances in cold conditions) or cooking odors. When finished with canned rations, top and tail the cans (remove the lid and bottom), flatten, burn to remove food remnants, put them in plastic garbage bags and carry them with you. This process keeps down the amount of insects in camp and denies the enemy tactical intelligence from examining your unit’s refuse pile. �

Tactical Cooking Tips. Keep eating. Under training, and certainly under wartime conditions, you will reach a level of exhaustion where eating becomes a difficult chore. You must try anyway or you will very rapidly become a casualty. Be prepared to eat on the move. Break your rations down into various meals and stow them in your BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) pockets or rucksack where you or your buddy can get to them without taking off your gear. Never cook for one. Use the buddy system so only one set of cooking gear needs to be unpacked and used. Take only what you immediately need out of your rucksack and put it away promptly in case you need to leave the area in a hurry. No cooking should be allowed while on an ambush or while in an LP (listening post) or OP (observation post). Cooking in a unit should be staggered. Cook in pairs and those cooking should still watch their fields of fire with their weapons close at hand. The odor of openly cooked food can give away your position. Cooking in unopened cans gives off the least amount of odor of any cooking method. To keep your canteen cup clean (important for hygienic reasons), to avoid burning your lips and to reduce cooking odors, boil water in your canteen cup, remove it from the heat and prepare hot beverages in a plastic drinking cup (like a Rubbermaid mug or an extra M258 Decontamination Kit container). Spicy foods like curried chicken can be detected by the educated nose at 40 to 50 meters. Hexamine solid fuel stoves also have a very pungent and distinct odor. A butane stove burns hotter than solid fuel (less cooking time) and has less risk of compromising your position by smell, but make sure you use is at half-power since it can be noisy. Place sentries at the limit of smell or noise, whichever is the furthest. If you have to cook at night, conceal your stoves so no light is visible, but be aware that hexamine gives off noxious fumes and can be a hazard in an enclosed area like a bunker. Dig a shallow hole for your stove (a hexamine stove only needs a hole about 6 or 8 inches deep) and if you need to put the fire out in a hurry you can remove your mess kit or canteen cup and push the dirt back in the hole to extinguish the fuel block. �

Equipping the Field Kitchen. In a base camp or secure rear area, you can make use of a more relaxed group style of cooking that would not be possible in a tactical environment. If you are sharing a larger cooking pot with 3 or 4 other people, you can use a sturdy plastic bowl to eat from; it will be easier to clean and keep food warmer longer than your individual mess kit. A butane or multifuel backpacking stove can also be shared. You can split up the load of food, stove, fuel and cooking equipment between several people, but insure that everybody has some ready-to-eat food. A well equipped set of group cooking equipment for a few people should include: �

One large Teflon or Silverstone coated skillet with a lid and folding handle. This can also be used as a dutch oven for baking biscuits; place the pan on a bed of hot coals and place coals or build a twig fire on the lid. �

Two large 2 to 3 quart pots; good for everything from boiling water to mixing and preparing stews or one-pot meals. Pot lids conserve heat and reduce the amount of fuel required for boiling water and cooking. Some lids can also be used for frying foods or as serving plates. A lightweight aluminum pressure cooker could substitute for one of the pots and greatly decrease fuel usage. �

A folding pack grill for cooking over an open fire or hot coals. �

A folding reflector oven for use with a fire, or a compact folding aluminum reflector oven, like the Outback Oven, which allows baking of items like bread, cobblers, casseroles, brownies and even pizza over a small backpacking stove. �

Cotton gloves and pot grips or pliers, for safely handling pots over a fire. �

One wooden spoon, a plastic or metal spatula, a small wire whisk (for thoroughly mixing powdered ingredients with liquids), a sturdy plastic measuring cup and a set of plastic measuring spoons. �

A collapsible 2-1/2 gallon water jug or a pair of inflatable GI 5-quart canteens often will allow all the water for a meal or for washing cookware to be carried in one trip from the water source. If washing cookware with suspect, unpurified water, heat your pans over the fire or stove afterwards. A 2-1/2 gallon nylon water bag that only weighs 3-ounces and can fold into a shirt pocket is available through camping equipment outlets. Also available is a black plastic collapsible water carrier that heats water with solar energy and has a shower attachment; perfect for cooking water or for field hygiene purposes. �

You may find a few other items of cooking equipment necessary depending upon the type of food being carried and your personal cooking style. For example, a plastic slotted spoon can be used for mixing baked goods, stirring a pot and draining pasta. Some cooks may insist a small flat cheese grater is essential. The only limit is the weight and bulk you can carry in your rucksack. �

In a fixed camp or if you are vehicle mobile (or have pack animals) you can add more equipment to your field kitchen for group cooking: �

Additional grills for open fire cooking (folding pack type or larger). �

Additional cookware, like large stock pots (for cooking or for heating water for cleaning dishes) and cast iron skillets or dutch ovens are useful. Aluminum cookware is lightweight and relatively inexpensive, but is easy to burn food in and loses heat quickly. Although heavy, cast iron retains heat well and distributes it evenly. Enameled steel (good for stock pots and roasters) and stainless steel offer excellent compromises between aluminum and cast iron. �

A 3 to 4 quart enameled steel coffee pot can be used for boiling water for everyone to use to prepare instant hot beverages, soups or hot breakfast cereals. In some units the soldier who makes the first pot of coffee before everyone rolls out of their “fart sacks” (sleeping bags) is considered to have the most important job of all. Instant coffee nowadays is very good (freeze dried crystals will even reconstitute in cold water, although it takes longer), but as the name implies, a coffee pot can even be used to make coffee. If not using instant coffee, bring the water to a rolling boil, dump in the proper measure of coffee, remove from heat, cover, set aside for a few minutes, then add a little cold water to settle the grounds. �

Propane or multifuel two-burner camp stoves. Propane stoves are easier to use (some with electric spark ignition don’t even require matches). About the only part that can wear out is the on/off valve, but the fuel is expensive and steel propane cylinders are heavy. Also, if both burners feed from the same cylinder, then the second burner doesn’t receive as much pressure as the one closest to the fuel and will burn cooler. Multifuel stoves can burn either white gas (naphtha, Coleman fuel or lantern fuel) or unleaded gasoline; either fuel is cheaper than propane and easier to find a resupply. Multifuel stoves generally work better than propane in extremely cold temperatures, but exercise caution when refueling them; sub-zero temperature fuel on your skin can mean instant frostbite. New models don’t require preheating or priming, have self-cleaning generators and some feature electronic ignition. Multifuel stoves burn hotter than propane and aren’t as good for slow simmering of soups or stews. A Teflon coated aluminum griddle that fits over both burners is a useful accessory, as is the Outback reflector oven. �

Plastic jerry cans for water are handy. In an emergency, a jerry can can be strapped to a pack frame if it’s necessary to carry water on foot to a remote site. Reliance brand 6-gallon (23-liter) jerry cans are sold at Wal-Mart and K-mart. A 10-quart galvanized pail is useful for both carrying and heating water. �

Organizing the Field Kitchen. Organization is the first step to great outdoor cooking. Establish a distinct area for food preparation and another for cooking. In the food preparation area, keep your utensils in order. After you use something, put it back and you won’t hear “Where’s the salt?” or “Has anyone seen the spatula?” It’s easy to lose small utensils at a campsite; if you don’t set them down carefully they are likely to disappear. Once they are gone in the field, you can’t just run out to the corner store for a replacement. Allow yourself 360 degrees of uncluttered space around the fire or stove. If your way around is blocked, you will be tempted to reach across the fire for a needed ingredient or utensil. With a campfire, you will want to move around to avoid the smoke as the wind changes. A simple rule is to have a five-foot clear area around a fire. In a cooking area you are particularly in danger of accidents. You could trip around a fire or stove and spill a scalding pot. At the least a meal could be ruined and at worst you could damage equipment or seriously burn yourself. A bad burn in the field, miles from medical attention, can even be a life threatening injury. Wear your boots around the fire and use pot grips or cotton gloves for picking up hot pots. Remove a pot from the fire when you add a new ingredient. This protects your hands and makes it less likely you will spill or waste food. Sparks from a fire can seriously damage nylon tents, ponchos, sleeping bags or rucksacks. Make sure such equipment is a good distance from your fire. Be careful when drying clothing around the fire, and do not dry boots in this fashion. Natural fibers like wool or cotton will smolder before igniting, but polyester or nylon blends (like the material used in GI field jackets and some BDU’s) can burst into flame without warning. If a spot near the fire is too hot for you to hold your hand there indefinitely, it is too hot for any item of clothing. As you set up your field kitchen, remember to organize for convenience and safety. �

Putting the Pot on the Fire. If using a stove, you should cook over a low to moderate flame. If you cook over a fire, the coals should be hot, but the fire controlled. Since a fire provides a larger cooking area, it also gives you more flexibility. You can arrange the fire so that one area is used for baking and another for cooking, or you can cook a main dish and make coffee at the same time. The first rule for backcountry culinary success is “avoid disaster.” There are four likely disasters that a new outdoor cook should watch out for: �

The first is burning. Always cook on low heat. Make sure there is enough water in the pot, and check often to see if more is needed. As your sauces begin to thicken, stir often. Always cook in a clean pot which has no old food stuck to the bottom. When baking, carefully regulating your heat source is particularly important. To prevent burning when using a covered skillet dutch oven style, it is important to check the temperature of the coals before placing a pan on them. Baked foods are more likely to burn on the bottom than on the top. Hold your hand about six inches above the coals; they should be hot, but you should be able to keep your hand in place for eight seconds. The coals and burning twigs you place on the lid should feel hotter than those on the bottom and should cover the entire lid. When baking, check the food and the coal temperature from time to time. If you are baking something prone to “falling,” don’t look in during the first five to ten minutes unless you smell something burning. Otherwise, when you check, remove the hot coals from the lid and look in quickly, trying to keep the cold air out. When you are finished checking, replace the coals on the lid. Replace coals as they cool off, both under and on top of the oven. Don’t let a stove discourage you from baking. Use a low flame under the pan and build a small twig fire on the lid. Maintain constant temperatures under and over the pan, and you’ve got an oven environment for your favorite baked delicacy. Whether baking a pie or cooking a chowder, you can avoid burning by paying constant attention to your fire or stove. �

The second disaster is overspicing. Spices should be used creatively, but also experimented with cautiously, a little at a time. Add, stir, then taste. Let the flavor settle in fully before you decide to add a little more. Never add the spice directly from the bottle to the pot. Shake it into your hand first. An unexpected loose cap can turn a “hint” of spice into the main course. Be aware of the saltiness of flavor bases before adding salt. If you are cooking with a bouillon cube, remember you already have a good amount of salt in the dish. �

The third disaster is lumpy food. Powders like flour or dried milk should be mixed with liquid before adding them to a dish or sprinkled a little at a time with constant stirring. With freeze-dried foods, let them boil for ten to fifteen minutes before adding other ingredients. Thickeners, such as milk or cheese, should always be added last. �

The final disaster is overdone food. This disaster is more subtle, but can be avoided. Keep tasting as you are cooking, and remember, even after you pull a pot from the fire, it will continue to cook. It is better to err on the side of undercooking, which is easily correctable. �

As with other military activities, to be a good field cook takes the right attitude; a combination of caution and boldness. Caution in thoroughly understanding the nutritional needs of your unit, and carefully planning well-thought-out field rations. Caution also in following new recipes step by step and using spices artfully, with moderation. Your confidence as an outdoor cook will grow quickly with a few successes because appetite is always working for you. Food tastes great after a hard day in the outdoors. Once you’re properly equipped with field cooking gear and have learned how to prepare nutritious outdoor meals, you will be more ready to complete any Militia mission in the field. �

Here are a few recipes to get you started as a field cook (although the Logan bread is easier to prepare at home and then eat on the trail): �

Logan Bread �
5 cups water �
4 pounds whole wheat flour �
1 pound soy flour �
2-1/2 cups raw or dark brown sugar, firmly packed �
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder �
1-1/2 tsp. salt �
1-1/2 cups honey �
1-1/2 cups dark molasses �
2 cups melted shortening �
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Do not use a weak spoon or try this when your arm is already feeling sore (this dough lets you know it’s substantial food right from the start). It should be tough stuff; if it isn’t, add some more flour. Flours do vary in the amount of liquid they absorb When it’s all mixed, bake it in 2-inch deep baking pans for an hour at 350 degrees. Cut it into 2-inch squares while it is still warm. Set the oven for warm, put the bread in to dry with the door left ajar, and leave it for 8 to 12 hours. Time depends upon temperature, humidity and your taste. The longer you leave it, the tougher it will get. As long as it is dried fairly well, it keeps for a long, long time. (Note: There are many recipes for this dense, hard trail bread. You can eat Logan bread for breakfast or as a snack, just like the brown biscuits in the British Army ration pack. This recipe and those that follow are from “America’s Backpacking Book” by Raymond Bridge, published in 1973) �

Corned Beef and Cabbage (for one) �
2 ounces dried flaked cabbage �
2 ounces dried potato slices �
1 ounce dried onions �
2 to 4 tbsp. margarine �
salt & pepper to taste �
1/2 can (12-ounce size) corned beef �
Put everything except the meat into 4 cups of boiling water, and cook until tender, around 15-minutes. Pour off excess water, dice the beef in and serve. �

Dumpling Mix �
1 cup flour �
2 tbsp. soy flour �
2 tbsp. dehydrated eggs �
2 tbsp. dried milk �
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder �
1/2 tsp. salt �
1 tbsp. shortening �
Mix the ingredients at home, cutting in the shortening. In camp any amount you like can be mixed with enough water to make a soft dough. Then drop spoonfuls into the top of a cooking stew or soup, cover, and allow to cook 20-minutes. The same dough can be baked in a pan or twisted on a stick over a fire to make bannock (an unleavened griddlecake, usually made with oatmeal or barley). �

Stew (for one) �
4 ounces dried vegetables �
4 ounces macaroni �
2 ounces beef-flavored vegetable protein or freeze-dried ground beef �
2 tbsp. soy flour �
2 tbsp. margarine �
1 tbsp. instant beef bouillon �
salt, pepper, oregano, sage, garlic to taste �
Drop everything into a quart of boiling water and cook until done, depending on the longest cooking vegetables. �

Bulgur and Cheese (for one) �
1 cup bulgur wheat �
1 tbsp. dried minced onion �
1 bouillon cube (2 if you like) �
2 tbsp. margarine �
1/4 pound cheddar cheese �
2 tbsp. Parmesan or Romano cheese �
salt & pepper to taste �
Mix the first three ingredients in advance. Cook 15-minutes with 2-1/2 cups water, and then add the cheese, salt and pepper.