Showing posts with label SHTF. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SHTF. Show all posts

Saturday, 10 November 2018

What Happens To Our Water in a Grid Down Situation.

This post is a guest post by someone who describes himself as someone who has experience in water treatment with a huge electrical bias. He has asked not to be named or credited with this post but has given permission for it to be copied for obvious reasons.

The Government released guidance note today concerning the Electricity "inter connectors", as previously identified on 3 Blokes in a Pub. The likelihood of power interruption will increase post March 2019 on current trajectory. (no deal Brexit). To explain this we must look at how we generate and use electricity. Most people have heard of the National Grid, the pylons and wires we have all seen crossing the country. All grid connections, houses, business, factories etc draw down power from the grid. We currently have very little "storage" in the system which means, that we are generating electricity in Power Stations at the same rate that we are using it. If we all switched our Kettles on together, we would be using a lot more power than when they have boiled. Fortunately, we don't often do this but you can probably see that a certain times of the day, typically 4-8 pm the energy "load" (amount of power required) is higher than other times of day. So we need to either fire up some more Power stations to "balance our load". Now starting up and setting down turbine based Power Stations is not that easy to do on the reactive basis required, so we currently export surplus electricity to Europe and then import it as demand requires. As we all know, electricity costs money, so we sell the electricity exported and then buy it at import. It is this method of "trading" that Brexit denies us.

The result is, that we will be unable to balance our load as effectively as before. we can't just dump electricity, so National Grid will need to direct the generated availability to the areas needing it. If a surge in demand comes about the "grid" will opt for the areas of high population density, mainly because it affects less people, but also because they can be financially penalised for loss of service (check your supply contract).

So for those in Cities, what's the problem I hear you cry, well the Water and Sewage systems are often way out of town, every time you flush the toilet, shower or bath, that waste water may leave your house under gravity, but sooner or later it may/will need to be pumped to get it to the treatment plant.

Equally, this applies with Clean Water, the amounts of electrical energy associated with Clean (Drinking) Water production are huge. The control system, actuated valves, flowmeters, pressure sensors, chemical dosing systems, water quality instruments, final pumps are all electrically powered. Guess what! There is not much storage in that system either.Typically in my experience we are talking hours rather than days....

So an infrequent power supply, leads to Water Supply issues and also Waste issues.....I know little about Gas supply but the need to maintain a pressure, will no doubt be electrically controlled!

Friday, 26 October 2018

What To Do With Your Preps

So, you have been stockpiling food with a long shelf life and water for a few months now. You have also been working on getting gear for your bug out bag as well as your EDC and you think you have everything.

You are reading every book, PDF and website you can lay your hands on, on the subject of Wilderness and urban survival, bushcraft and foraging, your passed your first aid course top of the class and have started a self defence class.

Not My Stockpile
This is all awesome news, you have been working hard, well done you!

Now that your Bug out bag is ready in case an emergency happens and you need to evacuate, what are you going to do with it? Leave it in the cupboard under the stairs, ready for a SHTF situation?

Lots of preppers have their bug out bag ready just in case, just sat there, doing nothing, this confuses me no end.

Why would you go to all the effort and expense to put a bag together and never use it.

Get your bag out, empty it, check your gear is in optimum condition, replace and look to upgrade some of the items in it (if your finances allow).

Go out camping, even if it is just for one night. This way you will get used to the idea of grabbing your bag and taking to the hills, so to speak, get used to using your knife and axe. Practice building shelters and making fire.

As I said in an earlier post, "Knowledge is Key", it is no good having all that gear if you dont know how to use it, so get your gear out and actually use it, get used to how it feels, you never know, the axe you got last month might not feel right when you use it, it could give you blisters. With a slight modification it could be perfect... or it could need replacing.

Get your gear out and play with it, actually use it. Feather sticks, feather more sticks, practice and practice some more. Make a fire in the rain, if its windy, get out and make a fire in the wind.

Years ago I was a reservist in the British army. My regiments unofficial motto was "Train Hard, Play Easy". in short, train and practice in the worst possible environments, the pouring rain, howling winds and heavy snow. If you are unlucky enough to be caught out in a SHTF situation in these conditions, you have practised and trained yourself in them so you know what to do. Anything less than God awful weather, half way up a hill is easy.

To end, get used to rotating your stockpiles and preps, if those cans of soup are getting close to their use by date, use them and replace them. It would be a nightmare to find that half your food stash has already passed its use by date when you need it.

Practice making fire, finding and purifying water, building shelters and the rest of it, get used to your tools and how your bag feels on your back. Remember: It is better to fail now when you have time to get it right and modify your gear then fail when peoples lives depend on you getting it right. 

Saturday, 29 September 2018

The Rule of 3`s

I admit it, of late most of my blog posts have been a little bit serious, this was intended. I have said it before and I will keep saying it until people realise that we are living in uncertain times, in my opinion it is absolute madness not to be prepared for an emergency, of any kind.

In my last post I talked a bit about how knowledge is key, you can have the best gear in the world but if you don't know how to use it, or you don't know how or what things you can use in a grid down urban or wilderness environment all the gear in the world won't help you unless you know what you're doing and have practised doing it.

That being said, one thing you will hear a lot of in emergency preparedness circles is "The rule of 3's". It occurs to me that there is some confusion with some aspects of these rules, so I thought it would be a good idea to talk about my take on them.

The Rule of 3's
You can live 3 minutes without oxygen
You can live 3 hours without shelter in severe conditions.
You can live 3 days without water.
You can live 3 weeks without food.

It is not unusual to see the rule of 3's laid out in a list form, just giving the rules with little if any explanation as to why these apply.
For one, these rules are not hard and fast rules which must be adhered to, they are guidelines and as such are subject to an individual's abilities and needs at that moment in their lives. Let's start at the beginning.

You can live for 3 minutes without oxygen.

When you were a kid did you ever play the holding your breath game with your friends? The winner was the one who could hold their breath the longest. I could hold my breath up to around the one minute mark, today I can hold my breath for about a minute and a half. Pearl divers and free divers have trained them selves to be able to hold their breath for a lot longer, some for up to 10 minutes.

With this in mind we need to look at the rule of 3's in a more personal level. I know that I could never hold my breath for more than 2 minutes, not without proper training.
The human brain can last up to 6 minutes without oxygen after the heart stops at which point it begins to die.

So we need to look at the first rule as a mean average and as most of us are average people with little if any super powers we can assume that most of us would be in trouble if we were to be without oxygen for 3 or more minutes, some of us could last longer then 3 minutes, some of us less.

You can last 3 hours without shelter.

This is the one which causes the most discussion among Preppers.
Have you ever spent all day at the beach, lay in the sun? Or have you ever spent the day at the park or out hiking?

When we say that you can not live for more than 3 hours without shelter, we are assuming that you will be in a severe environment, such as somewhere where the temperature has dropped way below sub zero or you're in a desert environment where the temperature can get way above 45°c and some.
In this case, yes, getting some kind of shelter would be way up there on your things to do list, but if you are in a rural or urban setting or in an environment where the weather is more "normal* to your day to day life then my priorities would be water, food, shelter, fire.

We should also consider what your intentions are at that point, if you are in an urban or rural/country side environment and you have a place to be, chances are you will want to keep moving, only setting up a makeshift shelter when you plan to stop and rest.

Again, living 3 hours without shelter is subjective in my opinion as there are a lot of things to be considered, such as environment, weather conditions, your intentions at that time.
It is worth mentioning that regardless of your intentions, rest is a priority, when you feel like to really need to rest, rest. Pushing yourself too hard can be dangerous and the last thing you need is an injury.

You can live 3 days without water.


Water is life. That's absolute. I'd you are in a grid down situation and you are on the move with your Bug out bag you are going to sweat, in this situation you should be drinking at least 3 gallons of water a day, minimum. Dehydration can and will kill you and you will start to feel the effects of dehydration well before the third day.

Symptoms of dehydration in adults and children include:
feeling thirsty
dark yellow and strong smelling pee
feeling dizzy or lightheaded
feeling tired
dry mouth, lips and eyes
peeing little, and fewer than 4 times a day

Dehydration can happen more easily if you have:
vomiting or diarrhoea
been in the sun too long (heatstroke)
drunk too much alcohol
sweated too much after exercising
a high temperature of 38C or more
been taking medicines that make you pee more (diuretics)

These symptoms will get progressively worse as you become more dehydrated to the point where you can not think straight and start hallucinating.
It is also worth noting that these symptoms will start before three days have elapsed, possibly even on day one depending on the amount of exercise you are doing, weather conditions and the terrain you are covering.

There are a number of ways to check your hydration levels, a simple pinch test on the back of your hand to check the elasticity of your skin, putting pressure on your thumb nail to make it go red and checking the speed it returns to its natural colour are two methods.
The mindset you should have is, if you're thirsty, take a drink, bearing in mind the amount of water you have with you.

You can 3 weeks without food.

Again, this rule is subjective depending on your location and what you are doing.
A man needs around 10,500kJ (2,500kcal) a day to maintain his weight. For a woman, that figure is around 8,400kJ (2,000kcal) a day. However, if you are on the move and carrying your bug out bag you will burn more calories than you would if you are static and not carrying a heavy bag.


The nonviolent activist Mahatma Gandhi survived for 21 days on total starvation, only allowing himself sips of water while some hunger strikers have lasted over 40 days without food, one up to 70 days.

Needless to say that these people would have been inactive during this time.
After around 5 days without food your body will start to eat its self to gain back needed calories, starting with your fat store, during this time concentration will become more difficult, as the days go on you will find it harder and harder to find the energy to do anything, you will want to sleep more and more.

Depending on where you are, will depend on what wild foods are available to replenish those needed nutrients. Remembering that not all wild plants are edible.
The idea that if an animal can eat it, so can we is a mistake, a lie and 100% not true. It is important to know what foods you can eat and how to prepare them. The last thing you want is to poison yourself or get diarrhoea, this will only make things worse as you loose valuable key tones, calories and water, thus compounding any dehydration effects you could be going through.

To end, I am not saying that the Rule of 3`s is incorrect or outdated, but I would and do use the time scales given as a baseline and time scale as to how I should prioritise my preps and organise the things I carry in my day bag and bug out bag.

Good luck

Friday, 21 September 2018

Knowledge is Key

A few posts ago we talked about how you and your body is your first and best weapon in a SHTF scenario, I want to justify that statement by adding the will to live and knowledge to the mix.
It is no good having the best gear available if you don't know how to use it. Knowing how to survive in an off grid urban environment or wilderness setting is paramount, second only to having a good level of fitness and stamina and neither of the above are of any use at all if you do not have the will and drive to stay alive as the world as we know it crumbles around you.

With all the will in the world and all the best Prepper tech available, if you had to grab your bug out bag and move to one of your bug out locations, the only thing you will be able to rely on will be your fitness, your will to live and what you know. How to light a fire when it's cold, windy or raining, how to make a shelter, get water and purify it when your out of those little tablets and you cant find your life straw, what wild foods you can and can't eat, how to snare and hunt animals for food and everything else that goes with having to live in the wilderness.

download (1)
This is where Bushcraft comes in. Bushcraft in my opinion is an umbrella term for being able to survive in a sort of comfort in the wilderness, being as comfortable as possible and at home in the wilds, knowing what I can and can't eat and being able to find and/or make some kind of shelter.
If you were to ask 500 people who are knowledgeable in bushcraft, what bushcraft is, you will get 500 different answers. Some will say it's wilderness survival, others might say it's being able to know the wilds or have knowledge of the wilderness and how to best use it.

Either way, what ever your answer is, knowledge of bushcraft is paramount if you are going to survive in a SHTF situation. After all, what are you going to do if you have ran out of food, your in the middle of a wood, surrounded by spruce trees, have no water and your bug out bag floated off down a stream two days ago, the only things that you have on you is what ever you had attached to your belt, a knife, a torch and some string..

Any bushcrafter will say that if you have a good knife on your side, you have everything you need to survive. I myself have joked a few times with my kids when they ask me what I have in my bag and I tell them,


They used to reply with something like "What, you have a house, or a billboard in your bag?"

To which I would reply, "I have a knife and some string so technically, yes, I do have a house and a billboard in my bag, all I need to do is find some wood and make them"

Bushcraft Pouch
The picture above is not my bushcraft gear,, though I wish it was and admittedly the house would be more of a lean to among some trees and the billboard would be what ever I wrote on a wall of cliff face with a chunk of burnt wood I took from the last fire I made, but you get where I am going with this.

I am new to bushcraft and everything that goes with it but I have a decent size bag with enough in it to start me off, I have a good hunting knife, I have a bigger 120 litre bag with everything else I need in it (or it will have by the time I have finished) and most of all I have the will to learn.
I know that I am going to make mistakes and fail at almost everything I try but failure is part of the learning process and it is better to get it wrong now, than when the lives of my family and my self depend on me getting it right.

Up until this year I would say that I was almost 100% connected to the grid, I depended on it for just about everything, food, water, warmth, security and everything else that comes with society as we have come to know it. I don't want to be that person any more, which is why I have cut down my time connected to the grid via my computer, the TV and my phone by almost half. I hardly ever watch TV now and only use my computer for making these blog posts, recording and editing my podcasts and research.
iJims Day Bag
Instead I am outside in the garden or going for walks, every time I go out, even if it is just to the shops I grab my day bag on my way out and I have to say, I do feel better for it both physically and mentally.

It has been and will be quite the journey I am taking and I want to take you along with me, through my successes and my failures.
That being said, lets grab a rucksack and get out there..

Friday, 14 September 2018

What is a SHTF Scenario?

So, what exactly is meant by SHTF (Shit Hitting The Fan)?
You can ask 500 Preppers what SHTF means and you will get 500 different answers, usually a Prepper will prepare for the worst possible thing that could happen to them, in the area they live in, be it hurricane like Hurricane Florence, which is hitting America as we speak, an earthquake or a heavy snow storm, on top of this they could also be prepping for a bigger, more unlikely yet still possible SHTF scenario, such as an EMP, economic collapse, the grid going down, permanently or anything else which would mean the collapse of society as we know it and a return to the dark ages.
A SHTF scenario does not have to be some kind of natural disaster or the zombie apocalypse, it can be something more personal and relevant to them. Loosing a job, not getting that promotion at work, or a house or kitchen being badly flooded or even being mugged.
Basically SHTF is anything unexpected that could change a person's life or have a negative impact on their life.
Preppers understand that society and the world as we know it is a fragile place, a place that can easily crumble depending on what happens next, we see it every day, we all do, but Preppers take note of it and prepare for that one thing happening closer to home.
The idea that preppers are just waiting for doomsday or the apocalypse is something that the media have cooked up to make us look bad and to stop people from preparing for an uncertain future, 95% of preppers don't have a bunker stocked full to the brim with a lifetimes worth of food and guns. Hell I live in England, I don't have a gun and only have two knives.

Anyone can prepare, anyone, some countries even promote preparing for the worst. Chances are you have walked past someone this week who is making sure his or her family and loved ones have enough food and water to last them even just a few days should the shit hit the fan.
Most of us have savings accounts and life insurance, just in case something happens. We live in uncertain times, never really knowing what is just round the corner and it really is a no brainer to prepare for the worst or a SHTF situation, just in case.

Unfortunately there are many more of us who have become so dependant on what we call “The Grid” that we can not see what is right in front of us, we turn the news on TV off, switching to another channel if reports are coming through of another disaster, our excuse is “Its depressing, nothing but bad news everywhere”. We prefer to watch cute puppy and kitten videos on our phones while we wait for the next bonus to be available on Candy Crush Saga or what ever mobile game is trending at that time.

We have a mind set that says that the government will step in and help us if something bad happens because, well, its the government, they have to help us. Well News Flash boys, girls and those of you of mixed or no gender, no, the government does not have to help anyone if something bad happens and, in truth, in a big SHTF situation, they probably wont. That is on you, it is your responsibility to be safe, your responsibility to make sure that you, your family and your possessions are protected, to the best of your ability.
We live in a Nanny State, where just about everything is done for us and a lot of us have come to rely on this being the case, to the point where we have forgotten how to do things for our selves, while we are glued to our pones, waiting for that next dopamine rush which comes when someone likes something we said on social media or that feel good factor we get after buying something else.
We live in a fragile world with an uncertain future. It is mind blowing that, rather than be ready for that future, even if that future is no further than a few weeks away, some would rather just bury their heads in the sand app they have just downloaded like a scared child hiding under their bed covers in the hope that the uncertain future monster will not get them.

To end, in a None personal SHTF situation, by that I mean a situation which is not just happening to me and/or my family but has a wider impact area, it is these people, the people who didn't want to see what might happen who scare me the most. Having “The Grid” pulled from under you will hurt, it will hurt everyone, but it will hurt those who did not plan for such a situation, or any SHTF situation more.

To recap, in short, a SHTF situation is any situation which could have a negative, life changing impact on a person or a group of people. It does not have to be the collapse of society or any other kind of global or national disaster, it can be something little, something that has the possibility of throwing someone's life into a nose dive.
The trick is, being ready and knowing how to pull yourself out of that nose dive.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Your First Best Weapon

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brookes says that your first, best weapon in a zombie apocalypse is you, your body and how you use it to defend yourself.

Yes, we all know that the zombie apocalypse is for the most part a fantastic story which has an almost zero chance of happening, yet some Preppers view it as The Worst Possible Case Scenario, and a bit of an inside joke at times.

What ever your views on the zombie apocalypse, what Max Brookes says about your first best weapon in a SHTF situation being you is 100% accurate.

A well toned and trained body has the ability to get you out of all kinds of trouble. It can carry heavy loads over miles of rough ground, it can protect you from danger, both natural and man made, it can climb steep hills and it is waterproof.

Your body truly is your first best weapon in a SHTF situation.

With this in mind you should get your body into optimum condition, starting today, you should get to know your weaknesses and strengths, building on your strengths and working to fix your weaknesses.

These is no need for a special diet and training system, all you need to do initially is to use more calories in your exercise and daily routine than you are consuming, this way, once your body has exhausted all available calories it will start working on fatty tissue to sustain its self and give you the energy needed to do what you need to do.

Exercise and move more, the more you move the more calories you will burn, remember that the average human uses less than 40% of his or her potential, it might feel like you are at 90% or so in your workout but trust me, youre not, you still have a lot more you can give, when exercising, exercise until your sweating, then exercise more, if your not building up a good sweat then you should work harder.

Cut out junk food and candies, you dont need them and above all, as the Canadian Prepper would say, go to bed hungry. When you are sleeping, your body is hard at work repairing its self, this takes energy which your body takes from any calories and sugars still in your system. If you go to bed hungry your body will tap into your fat supply.

Actually, the Canadian Prepper can probably explain this part better than me, its the technique he uses and the technique I am starting to use. Watch the video below.

As well as the above, you should learn a martial art or some kind of self defence, learn how to fire and clean a fire arm or crossbow and learn what you can and can not eat if you are caught out in the wilds.

Learn as much as you can about first aid, Bushcraft, foraging, learn how to repair your gear.

Don't say you will try to loose weight and eat a healthy diet, you either do it or not do it.

Put your bug out bag on and go for a run or a long walk, get used to the weight on your back. I know, at first walking 10-15 miles with a 50 lb pack on your back will hurt, but in time it will feel like part of you, to the point where you can easily put another 10-20 lbs in it and not feel any difference.

The idea is to build up your strength and stamina, with strength you will be able to carry more, lift more and if you use a bow for hunting pull the bow string further back and for longer, building your stamina, will help you can walk, run or just move for longer, remember that 50 lb pack you have on your back, you will be able to walk or even run a greater distance while carrying it. 

There are probably a lot more you can do and learn while building up and maintaining your first, best weapon. 

Good luck.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Security In Numbers?

In my last post I talked about what "could" happen in a total grid down situation. I have to admit, I was rather surprised at how dire the situation played out, but its not all doomsday and Armageddon, not if we are ready for something like this happening.

One of the first things that we need to do if we are going to survive this kind of scenario is get rid of the lone wolf, bugging out and living on our own in the wilds mentality. I have noticed that some preppers have this lone wolf, solitary hero mind set, where I have my preps, my food, water and my bug out bag for when things go tits up, so I will bug out to my first safe location and stand on the horizon in my tax gear and gasmask watching the world burn. A few people have commented in their videos and blogs that we have this idea of bugging out into the sunset and the whole romanticism of living alone in the woods, just me and my bug out bag. Maybe this stems from some Hollywood movies where the hero saves the world and/or his family all by his self.

This is not the case, it would it be incredibly difficult to live like this, especially if you're not used to the physical demands it would take, let alone be able to survive on a day to day basis like this. This is why most preppers view Bugging Out into the woods as a last resort, all else has failed plan. Yes, we do do bug out dry runs, we practice and practice everything we might have to do time and again until it becomes second nature, bugging out, starting a fire without matches and everything else.

More and more preppers are looking at community to help get through a SHTF situation, talk to your neighbours, get to know them and their skill sets, If the grid were to go down, you would hope that your neighbours would help if your house were to be raided, just as they would hope that you would do the same, after all, once their house has been emptied of food and water, your house will be next.

Banding together as a community not only offers security and protection against marauders and gangs bent on taking everything you have worked hard to gather, it also gives access to a lot more experience, and knowledge, you dont know, maybe that old guy two doors down grows his own veg and that lady with the dogs that bark at the slightest noise just became a security system. 

If your neighbourhood is anything like mine all the houses have joining back gardens/yards, why not take down the fencing that borders each yard and make one large area, not only will this give would-be thieves and looters less places to hide while they scope out your house but it means that your neighbours can reach your house fast, and you theirs in times of trouble. It also gives you extra wood and wire to fortify the fronts if your houses (remember, when boarding up your windows to board up from the inside, not the outside).

Work together as a team, pooling your resources, your experience and your knowledge, start communicating with other small communities who have done the same, there could be resources or skills you could trade. 

If we start talking to our neighbors today we will be more likely to get through tomorrow if the grid goes down, permanently.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

If The Grid Went Down

If we were to be told that our water was contaminated and undrinkable or for what ever reason food deliveries had to be stopped, it would take a couple days for it to sink in for most people, then, once it has hit home people would start to panic, they would head out to the super markets and "panic buying" filling their shopping carts to the point of overflowing, emptying shelves of water, food and everything else in a matter of hours.

However, if the electricity were to go out the effects would be immediately felt, after the initial confusion we would pull out the candles and after explaining to our kids why you can't get the WiFi back on, we would sit and patiently wait for the power to be reconnected.

But what if it didn't come back on? What if we found our selves in a long term Grid Down situation? No ETA as to when we would get power back, it just stayed off... Even if we are well prepared for it with candles, solar lanterns and torches, it wont take long before the water stops or becomes undrinkable as the water filtration systems failed due to the lack of power, deliveries of food to our local stores will stop and because these days our stores get deliveries on a "nearly out of stock basis" their shelves will be empty within a matter of days, if not hours, even if deliveries were to get through, perishable foods will defrost and go bad in a matter of hours in the summer, a day or so in the winter because our grocery stores would have no power to run their freezers. Then what?

 With no electricity to run our telephone lines and mobile networks, the communication system would stop, everything that runs in electricity, would stop. Even generators would have a finite life span as fuel starts to run out.

This is where the panic will set in, and scared people can become dangerous people. Society as we know it would totally collapse in a matter of days as the police loose control of our towns and cities and concentrate instead on the safety of their own families and loved ones.

It is at this point our only hope would be Martial law taking control of our towns and cities and even then, the best that we could hope for would be check points to control the movement of people around the country, as whole areas of cities would become no go zones, now under the control of gangs and marauders. This is the part of a SHTF scenario that fills me with dread, it would be bad enough trying to steer my family through a SHTF landscape to our bug out safe place, if we decided to make that move, without having to deal with the criminal element, now given free reign to do what ever they want.

Alistair Reynolds said that we are only three hot meals away from anarchy at any point in time.

When people become hungry and thirsty or when they realise that they can only live for three days without water before severe dehydration sets in, shops will be the first to be looted, once our super markets are empty the next step would be gangs going door to door looking for food and water, it won't matter if there are families with children in a house, if they have food they will become a target.

With no law enforcement in place, no consequences to pay for your actions, some people will have free reign to do what ever they want.

With any luck those in the know will have seen the signs and bugged out, leaving the city before society broke down, if they are lucky.

We have seen it so many times where the mob mentally takes hold almost over night, a good example would be London Riots of August 2011 when businesses, even small ones were looted and then destroyed, even innocent people walking down a street became a target as gangs walked the streets, taking whatever they wanted, "Shopping For Free" were the new buzz words.

Of course the riots and looting will only last so long, after a week or so there will be nothing left to take or destroy. With no water sanitation, garbage collection and the other unseen pest control companies that go unseen no longer there, disease will take hold, there will be no hospitals or doctors available, hospitals will have already been looted and destroyed, the people who staffed them gone to be with their lives ones, the old, the disabled and those addicted to drugs will be first to go, followed by those who depend on medication so that they can live a relatively normal life, compounding an already disease infested country.

It won't always be like this though, at some point people will come together and form small communities through common goals, the main one being survival. In the end, people will always group together, its what we do.

It has taken nearly 2,000 years for our civilisation to get where it is today, but it could take only one day, one single day to undo everything we have built up.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Bug out bag or Inch Bag

Have you ever had one of those moments when a thought pops into your head and you think "oh wow" and you start asking people and you don't get an answer?
I had one of those moments this week and yes the thought was prepping related.
See, one of the first things a new Prepper looks at is creating a bug out bag or Bob, your Bob is personal to you and your needs, designed to get you through your first 72 hours of a SHTF scenario if you have had to leave your home because it is no longer safe to stay there for what ever reason.
There are a few different kinds of bags that Preppers can put together.
We have your EDC bag (Every Day Carry) which carries the things you carry every day, wallet, keys, phone, folding knife, etc.
Your Get Home bag, which you carry with you all the time or have in your car incase something happens and you need to get home in a SHTF environment
Your Bug out bag, which I described up above.
Then you have your Inch bag (I'm Never Coming Home bag), this is the bag you prep for the worst case scenario and contains everything you will need to be able to survive in the wilderness or in an urban environment in what I would call a post apocalyptic or SHTF environment where you are constantly on the moving from place to place or looking for that one place were you can safely put down your roots and start over.
The thing is, as a Prepper you are preparing for the worst case scenario in your area, anything less than worst case scenario will be covered, you will be ready for it.
My thought was, if we are getting prepared for the worst case scenario, why, if we have to bug out, am I only taking enough for 72 hours?
What happens if, after 72 hours give or take a day or so, instead of being able to return home, I have to move again, further away, say to our 2nd or 3rd bug out location, what would I do if after a few days I can't go home and I have to start looking for a start over location or just go nomadic?
It was this thought that has, to a greater or lesser extent made me revaluate my bags and the things I put into it.
Not my bag
What I want to do now is upgrade my bug out bag into an inch bag of sorts so that if the worst came to the worst (and god knows I hope it doesn't happen) I will be able to grab my bag and have everything my family and I need to go nomadic should the need arise.
Of course I am taking into consideration the needs and bags of the rest of my family who, depending on their age will have standard bug out bags with maybe a few added extras. One of my son's likes his hunting and getting out into the wilds so obviously he will be able to carry things which his little brother and sister would not carry.

But this is still in the planning stages, I still have preps to source and bags to buy.
Question of the day. If you are prepping for the worst case scenario (I am assuming that you are to an extent) what changes would you have to make to your Bob, if you found out that you could never go home?

Friday, 17 August 2018

The Media

Last week I was approached by someone on Twitter who wanted me to answer a few questions on why I have started prepping, of course I answered her questions as best as I could and everything was fine, until I checked the profile of the lady who was asking the questions and found out that she was a journalist.

I am well aware that Preppers and journalists or the media don't have the best if relationships. Preppers nearly always get portrayed as "Doomsday Preppers" waiting for the end of the world so they can play with their tactical gear.

I admit, that there are a few Preppers out there who are like this, but not the majority. To say that all Preppers are waiting for the apocalypse is wholly inaccurate, that would be like saying that all people who have a lot of tattoos and prefer wearing boots are criminally inclined just because that group over there are, note, I have a lot of tattoos and prefer to wear boots and have never been in trouble with the law.

Yet the media continues to portray Preppers as gun crazy survival nuts waiting for the zombie apocalypse.

Thanks to the media wanting to protect your family during troubling times is seen as a bad thing when even the CDC strongly recommend it, they even have a "zombie survival guide" on their website. 

The journalist who I was talking with asked if she could interview me for a case study of people who have started prepping because of Brexit and the possibility of the UK crashing out of the EU without any trade deals in place in March 2019.
Needless to say I made some half arsed excuse and declined her offer. Last thing I want is for what ever I say to be taken out of context and used to make me look like a nut job lone wolf who is planning on shooting up a school. I`m not.

I am just a middle aged bloke who has come to realise how fragile society is and how easy it would be for everything we have come to rely on to be snatched away from us.

They say that as a society is only three meals away from anarchy, if that is the case I want my family and myself to be ready, whether that is ready to lock down and bug in until it all blows over and our streets are safe again or if the need arises to bug out and leave the area.

As for the media, historically the media will report on what they want you to know, they will set out their report in such a way to colour your point of view, the way you see a situation or a group of people, sensationalism, big stories set out in a big, larger than life situations sell papers and get views, we must also remember that the best way to make a group of people or an idea look bad is to question their credibility and their grasp on reality, as society and the media would have it seen.

Question what you read, ask for proof and demand receipts, dont rely on one source for your information, read the same event from four or five different sources to get a good overview of the event before making up your mind.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

The Gray Man Principal

Becoming the Grey Man is a concept where we dress in such a way that we can walk through the streets of any town and not be noticed, the idea is to find out how the majority of people in that area dress, take a baseline dress code and mimic it so to speak, this way we can walk down any street without attracting attention.

When I first heard about the Gray Man Principal I admit that I thought to myself that the people in my neighbourhood are used to seeing me pootle around in my combat jacket and my 100 ltr burgan strapped to my back, so I don't need to worry about blending in while I bug out or while some shooter is taking people out in my location.

These days, I am thinking different, maybe not looking like I have just fell out a documentary about British soldiers in Iraq would be a better option, if I need to get out and scavenge up some water or whatever or if my neck of the woods is hit by one of those low life terrorists we are having issues with right now, I won't stand out and become target No.1.

Don't get me wrong, becoming a Gray Man does not mean not being prepared, hell my bug out bag is British Army issue and once I get the side pouches for it.. as a purpose built backpack created for military service use, I am going to use that sucker.

Saying that, I can not go about my daily life with a huge ass backpack on my back when all I am doing is going for a job interview or going for a coffee with friend's. Yet I still want to be carrying my emergency first aid kit, survival kit, and the rest of my EDC items (which I am still putting together), without standing out.

This is where the Gray Man Principal comes in. You can still be prepared and still have all your Every Day Carry items on you but, you need to do this without drawing attention to yourself.
See, the human brain is bombarded on a daily basis with a gazillion ton's of information and stimuli, luckily we have been programmed to be able to ignore irrelevant information and only pick up on things which stand out from the norm, and you, boys, girls and those of you of mixed or no gender will stand out big time if you pootle down the street in your full tactical gear and your hug backpack, you will be seen and you will have people comment.

You do not want this because it could pose all kinds of problems in the future if you are in a Bug out situation or you are unlucky enough to attract the attention of a shooter. The thing is, as you go down the street in full tactical you look like you know what you're doing, you look military and as such you are a target, more of a target than that dude in front of you with the blue jeans and sweat top that doesn't even have a logo on it, and because you look like a target you will become a target.

I still have my Army issue combat jacket and my 100 ltr burgan but, once I get the side pouches for the burgan, that will become my bug out bag and the jacket? Yeah, that will be packed away as part of my bug out kit.
This week I bought a plain black Karrimor Urban 30 backpack (Pictured left), a small one, big enough for my EDC and a few other bits that I will need. So I can go out and not stand out while still being prepared.

Other things you could do to go Gray Man would be to wear ear buds, you don't even need to have them plugged in to anything, just have them in your ears. This serves two purposes.

1. People will not approach you and strike up a conversation because they will think your listening to music.

2. If someone does approach you, like those annoying street sales people who try to corner as many people in the street as they can, you can walk by without even making eye contact, while not coming across as being ignorant.

The idea is, as I have said earlier in this post is to be able to walk down a street unnoticed, this means that you attract no unwanted attention, no-one makes eye contact with you, once you make eye contact, you have opened the door to a conversation, which will create a memory in the mind if the other person.

Any conversations which you do have, with shop assistants etc, must be made in such a way that the assistant will forget that you were even there within a couple of minutes.

Going Gray Man will enable you to melt into the background, this way, even in a bug out situation you will go unnoticed, no-one will remember you, thus keeping you and where ever you are going to or coming from safe.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Prepping On A Budget

One of the main things that will put a would be prepper off apart from the lack of knowledge is the expense, prepping is so expensive.. No, its not, prepping on a tight budget is just as easy and in my opinion better.

Bear in mind that most of what I say in this post is my opinion.

You don't have to go out and buy everything you think you need in one go, most people will have different prepping needs, as an example, I live in England and my needs will be different to that of a Prepper in America or Canada.

Your main purchases as I see it would be your bug out bag, which should be big enough to carry what you need, food, water, first aid kit, survival kit, axe, knifes, fishing gear etc, etc, etc, remembering that the more you pack, the more you will have to carry. You should also look into buying a good knife (Top tip, get a knife which is "full tang" this is where the knife blade goes all the way through the handle), as in the picture below 
Not My knife
Full tang knifes can handle a whole lot more abuse than a standard knife. Thats about it as a start anyway.

If you plan to "Bug in" which as I said in my last post is always your first best option, then your priorities are stockpiling food and water, again, this does not have to be an expensive affair, just a couple more tins of beans or soup, white spaghetti and rice (brown rice and pasta still contains oils which over time will cause it to become spoiled) and water on your weekly shop.

Of course you should also stock up on medical supplies such as band aids, bandages, pain killers and diarrhoea tablets, etc, sewing kits, para cord, something to light fires and something to sterilise water. Remember the rules of 3

Rules of 3
You can live 3 minutes without oxygen,
3 hours without shelter
 3 days without water,
3 weeks without food.

Someone once told me that if you have three weeks worth of food and only two weeks worth of water, then you only have two weeks worth of food. So Water and shelter should always be your priority, after that, everything else will fall into place, if your prepared.

Again, the above list does not have to be bought all at once, if you have access to clean fresh water from a local stream then you could easily bottle that (I would still sterilise/boil it before storage though, just in case), you can build your preps up over weeks.

Should your bug in base (home) become unsafe then you will need to grab your bug out bags and move to your bug out location which you will have already found and made a start on prepping, and get ready to start living off grid. Again this does not have to be an expensive affair, slowly build up your tools and supplies.

There are a ton of videos on YouTube made by people who spend a lot of their time living off grid, these videos are a mine of knowledge and should be watched. Learn how to hunt, set snares and fish without a rod, make a fire without fire lighting equipment. Get to know which wild plants are safe to eat.

Practice living off grid, maybe start with one night and slowly build it up to a weekend away, tell your kids if you have any, you`re taking them camping. Over time you will come to know which tools you need for your circumstances, save up a bit of money for that axe and saw, some tools you can even make yourself.

Get in shape If you smoke, quit! I know, I know someone else saying stop smoking but look at it like this, it will save you money, it will improve your health and if SHTF you can't be wondering where your next cigarette is going to come from, you have other more important things to think about.

Start running, you dont need to be sporting the best running shoes in town, hell, I run in my Dr. Martin boots some times, just run long enough and hard enough to build up a good sweat and then to the point where you think you cant go on, then a little bit more, we only ever reach about 20% of what we are really capable of doing, saying that, dont run or exercise to the point where you cause yourself an injury. Work on your core strengths and stamina. We are not training to be in the next Olympic games, we are just getting into shape.

If you drink a shit ton of coffee every day, cut down, get down to one or two cups a day, then only a couple of cups a week. The last thing you need is to be in a SHTF situation when that caffeine withdrawal headache kicks in.

To end, if I were to give only one piece of advice to anyone taking those 1st steps into becoming a prepper I would say, look for prepper websites and forums, check Facebook and other social media sites and ask questions, ask all the questions you can think of, you will be surprised at how many preppers there are out there, and how willing they are to offer you advice on just about everything.

Dont try to do and learn everything at once, you will probably become overwhelmed and become stuck, not knowing what to do or where to go next, prep for maybe a weekend without power, once you have all your prep, food and water stocks to last you a weekend, prep for a week, then two weeks, a month and so on.

Baby steps and good luck.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Common Prepper Misconceptions Debunked

If I were to ask you what the first thing is you think about when you hear the word "Prepper", you will probably say something along the lines of someone dressed in full tactical gear, sat in a bunker filled to the brim with food and water, clutching an assault rifle, waiting for the apocalypse.

Even the internet defines Prepper as..

a person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it, typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies.
"there's no agreement among preppers about what disaster is most imminent"

Well, this could not be further from the truth, but as per usual that 1% who think that, if and when SHTF you need to set your priorities to protect above all else and get armed to the teeth. 

Let me tell you, being a Prepper is so much more than having a basement full of food and weapons.
Let's start with this, preppers are just waiting for the end of the world so they can go all Rambo.

Misconception 1: OK, stop, just stop right there, no, I for one love my planet and I don't want anything to happen to it.
I kind of like my "easy" life where I can turn a tap on if I want a drink of clean water or nip to my local shop if I want something to eat. 
I have electricity to run my fridge freezer and I can sleep at night happy in the knowledge that my family and possessions are safe.

The only real worry I have is paying my bills on time and what kind of mischief my kids are up to. That's really about it..

Misconception 2: Preppers have basements or bunkers stocked full with food, water, guns and other emergency supplies.

Not true. Although yes, most preppers do have a stockpile of foods and water it is no where near a bunker full.
The switched on Prepper will be learning as much as they can about bushcrafting and living off grid.

Saying that, staying put at home is always the first best plan, you should always stay there, if safety permits it. Which is why we store foods and water with long shelf lives, as well as the means to cook this food without the mod cons we have. 

Misconception 3: Preppers are all about dressing up in tactical gear, knifes, guns and killing stuff. 

Again, not true. Around 99% of preppers will say that when SHTF the ideal place to be would be in your own home, it's safe and you know where all the exits and weak points are, they call this "Bugging in"

Chances are in a SHTF scenario that your home will become unsafe at some point and you will need to "Bug out" and go off grid. 
This is where the tactical gear and knifes come in. You will need to blend in to your new bug out location, set up a shelter and prepare to possibly stay there for a while.
It would be impossible to carry weeks worth of food and water with you unless you're lucky enough to own a 4x4, so you will need to be prepared to find water and hunt for your meals.

Being a Prepper is a whole lot more than waiting for that catastrophic event or the collapse of society just so we can say "We told you so!"

You will usually find that preppers are either skilled or are learning how to be skilled in the following..

Food preparation, safe food storage, food and water shelf life, nutrition, fitness, weight management, first aid, emergency and field first aid, navigation, hunting and fishing, how to prep and start a fire with and without fire lighting equipment and so much more..
Some countries are even activity promoting the idea of being preparing for an emergency situation. Think about it, if you have stocked food, water and first aid supplies and have a bug in/ bug out plan, should the s**t hit the fan your prepared for it, you could even help your neighbors (if you like them) until rescue arrives.

You don't have to go all Doomsday Prepper but it would be in your advantage to be ready should something really bad happen whether that be a flood, unexpected heavy snow storm which cuts you off, the national grid going off line for a couple of days or weeks or even longer, hurricain, a pandemic, the collapse of the economy, collapse of society, meteor shower, alien invasion or the zombie apocalypse.. 

(yes, I did add those two scenarios as a bit of a joke, of course I don't think that the economy and/or society will ever collapse).

I want to thank the following people for their help in writing this post. 

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Make memories

Have you ever had one of those days where you are just in one, you have no idea why your in a bad mood, you just are. Well this was me a few days ago, I guess I just woke up in a bit of a funk and after making the phone calls I had to make, my day went from bad to worse, not because of the calls but because of the attitude of the person on the other end of the phone.

This went on for most of the day until I watched a video by the Youtuber Canadian Prepper, he was talking about living in the moment and being thankful for the little things we have now because, if and when the SHTF we probably will miss them, we will also miss little moments like watching our kids play in a safe environment, being able to sleep in the knowledge that we are safe. You can watch Canadian Preppers video below, go on, watch it and then tell me that you dont feal even a little bit inspired.

After watching the above video, I finished making tea and, with the help of DT 2 put up a 4 man tent in the front garden, we made a small fire pit and we just sat, in the rain, later, once the rain had stopped we were joined by the rest of the family.

Marshmallows were roasted and dropped into the fire. We even cooked pasta in my son's mess tins.
After the sun set my wife and the dogs went back into the house, leaving DT 2, 3, 4 and myself  to spend the night in the tent.
It's the day after now and I am tired as all hell, hardly slept a wink last night, I was almost constantly making sure my youngest son and daughter were OK. Of course they were fine, even slept through two cats screaming at each other and the arguments of a few drunks coming home from the local pub.

A few months back I made a post titles "I Dont want to commit that crime"where I said that I don't want to be constantly writing about things that are going wrong in the world while missing all the beauty that the world has to offer.

Even though these days I am prepping for the SHTF, even if that ends up being another Beast from the east this winter, this time we will be ready, don't get me wrong I don't want society and the infrastructure of the country I live in to crumble, I just want to be ready incase it does, in the mean time I want to be able to live in the moment, make sure my wife and children have happy memories, something to smile about when the look back at their past.

Tell me, what have you done this week where you were "in the moment"?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

How would you survive?

When you hear the word "Apocalypse" or "apocalyptic, what pictures come to mind? Zombies? nuclear war? Solar flare hitting the Earth or coming too close? Although I agree that you would be right to think about any of the above, what about if the National Grid where to go down? I mean off line as in power supplies to the whole country going off line? I dont mean for just a few hours, power could be out for 24 hours or even a few days, weeks or even longer. Global or National loss of electricity is only one possible scenario, there are many possible ways that SHTF, heat wave, arctic blast, pandemic, human error, stock market crash to name a few.

For the sake of this post I want to talk briefly about a loss of power, something that we all take for granted. We get up in the morning, get washed in warm water and put the kettle on, maybe make some toast while listening to morning radio, If the Grid were to go down, long term, we would soon become totally lost, no TV or internet, no mobile phones (Mobile networks are run on electricity), the food we keep in our fridge freezers would defrost within the first 24 hours 48 if the grid were to go down in the middle of winter.

The checkout tills in our shops as well as their freezers would not work, no light, no heating. Literally no power anywhere, unless youre lucky enough to own a generator. How would you survive?

What would you think if I were to tell you that there are people all over the world who spend their time preparing for just such an eventuality. They call them selves "preppers". Maybe the first thought that pops into your head is that these people are just paranoid, survival nuts who spend their time building huge arsenals of weapons while storing masses of dried food and water in underground bunkers.

You could not be further from the truth, especially if you consider how in 2018 England was hit by an arctic storm named "The Beast from the East" which literally brought the whole country to a stand still for days, roads were impassable as the temperature dropped to -25 degrees C. Now, if you consider, we have winter every year and yet we, as a country seem to be totally unprepared for it, yes we could have a mild winter but then again, like this year, we might not.

Then there is America, America has had a horrendous few years with extreme weather conditions, as hurricane after hurricane hit them, New Orleans is flooded and much, much more..

Some of these preppers are getting ready for the coming winter and the possibility that this winter could be so bad that the grid does go down, might just be for a couple of days, but it could be longer, We could be only one disaster, away from the structure of society as we know it today, breaking down and if this were to happen, how would you prepare, should SHTF as preppers call it? Are you ready?

Saturday, 23 June 2018

There are Monsters Out There...

It is late in the afternoon of a beautiful warm sunny day, there is hardly a cloud in the sky and the streets are deadly quiet. There is not a single child to be seen in a street filled with young families.

Earlier today, I stood in the middle of a street and looked round, taking in a desolate landscape. You would be forgiven if you were to think that you had accidently walked onto a set of the movie 28 days later.

It wasn't like this last week, or even two days ago. Kids were out on their bikes or playing football outside of their front doors. But not now, not after yesterday.

See, yesterday morning a young girl was followed on her way to school by someone in a white van. When she stopped, the van stopped. When she started to panic and walk faster the van moved faster, following her as she made her way along the street.

In a panic she turned and started to run, the van turned round and follows her.

It wasn't until she started screaming in a panic as she ran past a group of parents taking their kids to school, that the white van picked up speed and left the street.

I have no idea if the little girl went to school that day. I do know that she didn't get taken by whoever was in the van.

The thing is, the street where this happened is the street I live on, the school.. the school is literally 4-5 houses away from where I live and all this happened at the same time as I was taking my 8 year old daughter to school.

Parents in my street are on a high alert now, we watch every van that passes along our street.

Our children are within eye sight, in our back gardens where no one can take them.

We see things like this on a weekly basis and we always think, "That poor child, I bet his/her parents are worried sick, so glad it's not me".

We think of the parents in Mexico who have had their children taken from them because they crossed into a new land looking for a better life and we think "So glad that isn't me, I have no idea what I, we would do if that was us".

Yesterday it nearly was one of us and yesterday it was too close to home, the monsters were in my street.

Advice time: It doesn't matter how old your children are. Tell them, if they are followed or they think they are being followed. Run, run to school, back home, into a shop and tell someone.

If your a kid, yeah I know you think it won't happen to you and I know you think you can deal with it. But it could and you might not be able to deal with it. It nearly happened to a little girl on my street yesterday. The little girl is 9 year old.

Luckily she will be able to celebrate her 10th birthday at home with people who love and care for her.

Some are not so lucky.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Alien Life On Earth. A Theory.

Not everything post apocalyptic has to be zombie orientated. What happens if we were to be invaded by aliens from another planet?

On that note, what would you think if I were to tell you that I believe that there is alien life on other planets?

Let me prefix this, not only do I believe that there is life on other planets but I also believe that there is a very big "possibility" that, that life could be on this planet and moving among us, freely on a daily basis.

Before you click away from my blog, I do have a theory about this.

See, things on this planet, my phone, my cup of coffee (the cup any way) are a solid. They are a solid because at a molecular level they vibrate at a very slow rate. As an example, lets take an ice-cube. An ice-cube is solid water, it is a solid because at a molecular level the water molecules are vibrating at a slow rate.

But, if we were to heat the ice-cube the molecules would start to vibrate at a faster and faster rate until they start to separate and become water again. Now, if we were to continue to heat the ice-cube the water would turn into steam as we all know, and then vapour at which point it becomes invisible to the human eye.

This is where my theory comes in.

What happens if there is an alien life form that at a molecular level, can vibrate at such a rate that it becomes invisible to the human eye?

Hows that for feeding Human Paranoia?

Friday, 27 April 2018

How to put on a Gas mask.

"Taking you one stage further in your survival training".. as my old Territorial Army seargent used to say, We are going to look at how to put on a Gas mask or respirator.

Giving the current global climate, the new cold war we have looming on us, what is happening in Syria as well as the apocalypse, having a Gas mask and knowing how to put one in is going to be a required skill.

Not only will will this knowledge protect you from nuclear and biological/chemical warfare but it will also come in handy for those times when foofoo the dog drops one of his noxious farts on an unsuspecting room.

With this in mind, I will be showing you how to put on your gas mask, Let's move on.

In the event of any of the above scenarios taking place, take a deep breath and hold it.

Take hold of the gas mask by the straps with the face of the gas mask facing down and pull the mask over your face and head.

Check to make sure that the straps are not twisted and the mask is secure around your face.

(Note: That manly beard you have been growing could create gaps between the mask and your face, giving Foofoo's fart or any other toxin access to your face and lungs).

Once the gas mask is secure around your face, breath out fast, shouting "GAS, GAS, GAS" this will clear any toxins or dog fart out of your mask and will also serve to warn others in your area of the threat. If, however there is a possibility of Zombies, Aliens or gun toting apes hearing you, a sharp exhale will do the same job.

As with all survival techniques and training, practice makes perfect. The faster you can correctly put your gas mask on, the safer you will be in the event of a chemical attack or nasty pooch pump.

Let me know how you get on

iJim 😊

Are We Moving Into A Dystopian World?

It has come to my attention that the British government as well as other works government's are talking about something which has been d...