Category Archives: Survival

All Your Eggs in One Basket – Emergency Storage & Survival

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For those that like to maintain a state of readiness to deal with uncertain times, it’s important to maintain a steady, regular supply of clean water, food, first aid, and tools. If you’ve ever watched the show “Preppers”, you’ll likely see that there are quite a few people who have their own ideas about how to survive a catastrophic scenario – aka STHF. One thing you may notice from that show, as well, is many rely on static compounds.

While that is one strategy, we’re going to explore another.

There are a few life lessons we can take to heart from none other than watching how insurgents evaded NATO and US forces in Afghanistan.

Prepper Learning Lessons from Insurgent Tactics

There’s not too much to love about the Taliban.  This article is NOT advocating them in any way, shape or form.  Ruthless, cunning, and deceptive, they have managed to thwart efforts to be stamped out by US forces throughout more than ten years of active pursuit.

The best military in the world could never, even at their height, completely eliminate their activity. How did the Taliban and their allies manage to evade capture so well?

Strategically Placed Supply Caches

No man can survive for more than three to four days without fresh water.  Nor can he fight without ammunition or some form of food.

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When US forces discovered these caches, they would often either destroy in place or attempt to collect intelligence from them.  But one thing was extremely apparent – the Taliban never put all their eggs in one basket.  And if you’re developing plans to survive in the event of disaster, neither should you.

Castles Fall, Plans Change, and Survivors Move Fast

Unless you personally have a small army with its own independent supply of ammunition and arms, you can never assume any defensive fortification you hold – be it home, improvised structure, or bedrock-built castle – will hold for any length of time.

Why?  Because you need sleep.  Outside of water, the only thing human beings can’t do without for three to four days is sleep.

More importantly, in a survival situation,

  • Priority one is evacuating to a safer location.
  • Priority two is ensuring that fresh supplies are available to rebuild.
  • Priority three is ensuring catastrophic loses to your pursuers.

Iron-reinforced walls, embankments, brick and mortar fortifications, sandbags, and overlapping fields of fire are all very well and good.  But, again, without personnel to man those walls – the only purpose of them is to delay and resist an enemy advancing upon you.

Good News – Survival IS Cheap

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Historically, take a look at any military force that has had to resist a much stronger, better equipped one.

Whether it be the North Vietnamese in 1967 or the Taliban in 2007 or the Sinoloa Cartel in Northern Mexico, the same core principles always apply.

  • Stay light
  • Stay fast
  • Never put all your eggs in one basket

You don’t need multi-million dollar complexes, advanced sensor technology, or even the best arms and munitions to pull this off.  You just need to understand your needs, your family’s needs, and not be afraid to put in plenty of sweat capital.

Here’s what all three guerilla forces employed as their main modes of movement for short distances: tunnels, caches, spider holes.

The tunnels only need to be big enough to crawl through and they’re only meant to get you from one position to another without being harassed.  Reinforce with wood or, ideally, non-corrosive materials.

Spider holes are also another quick invention that is great for keeping you and some supplies off the beaten path.  They can sometimes even store more than just you for really short amounts of time.

Never put more into a spider hole than you’re willing to lose.  Always mark the location in some distinct way that only you would identify and understand.

Caches can be big or small stores of essential emergency items such as medical supplies, food, water, tools, and ammunition.  They can double as short-term safe houses or spider holes.  Basic rule of thumb: the bigger the cache, the more you have to haul.

Plan multiple routes and place caches along those routes.  If you take Route A versus Route B, you may have the opportunity to double back and collect some of those items.  In a survival situation, whenever it is feasible to take all supplies with you and leave nothing behind – that’s what you should do.  Don’t leave anything behind to help your pursuers.

Seal food, water, and ammunition in plastic and, ideally, metal containers.  Apply light squirts of vinegar across the exterior of the container to mask your individual smell.

And remember: survival in a STHF situation depends more on mobility than it does on fortification.  No fortification lasts forever and no one can run forever.  Find the perfect balance!

5 Mistakes That Start With Bad Training

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Bad training breeds worse mistakes.  But it’s not just bad mistakes that hurt people – it’s also making the mistake that tactics used in a law enforcement or military setting will apply to individual combat scenarios.  In this article, we go after a few “cart before the horse” training mistakes and uncover some of the myth behind it – and why those myths are dangerous.

Quick Draw McGraw

In the heat of the moment, people panic.  They rush to draw their concealed pistol and react to a situation taking place right before their eyes.  And it’s those times where it pays to start training slow.  In this short video below, Doug Koenig discusses his method of drawing and putting a round downrange in a fast, accurate manner.  He can move that quickly.  Not everyone can – starting off.

Fundamentals:  Each person is going to have a slightly different style but the basics of a good, clean draw include:

  • Economy of movement.  The less your body has to move before your pistol is firmly aimed at target – the better.
  • Drawing from the holster only far enough to clear the retention on your inside the waistband holster.
  • Ensure your non-dominant hand is out of the way of your draw hand’s path of movement.
  • Avoid “fishing” (wheeling down) or wheeling up when you go to move on target.
  • Both hands for support on the pistol (or revolver) grip
  • Natural body position usually includes feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.

The great part about practicing your concealed carry draw is you don’t have to be at the range to do it.  Ensuring that the firearm is unloaded, you can practice in the comfort of anywhere private and secure.  Focusing on finding the perfect mixture of comfortable, fast, reflexive movement and sight alignment is the first step to having an accurate AND fast first draw.

More Bullets = More Win

In an actual defensive scenario involving any number of other people in the mix, putting more rounds downrange faster is a recipe for disaster.  Tight, controlled shots utilizing the fundamentals of marksmanship include :

  • Sight Alignment
  • Sight Picture
  • Breathing
  • Trigger Control
  • Bone Support
  • …and the Four Principles of Firearm Safety!

As was said in the Marine Corps Rifleman’s Creed,

My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit…

Car Door Cover

If the vehicle you’re driving didn’t come with ballistic armor, don’t trust the car door to stop a bullet.  If the choice is getting behind a car or fighting out in the open – the car certainly wins.  The door, however, does not.

No one should fight for any length of time without cover and concealment.  Outside of literally you having the drop on an armed criminal, your profile needs to be reduced to the smallest possible size as quick as is feasible.  A car door is not that.

“Stack” Mentality

If you do have an actual fire team of trained warriors with you in an actual hostile situation, make sure you have a team of medics and surgeons on standby.  While the military and law enforcement generally train to “stack” through doorways – there’s a simple logic that works for them but won’t for the average person.

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In the “stack” formation, rushing a doorway guarantees the two first guys take the brunt of hostile fire, but the two behind them have a fighting chance of clearing the doorway.  When numbers and arms are on your side (and a great team of surgeons on standby) – this is technically feasible.

Where it all goes bad: If you’re on your own, the delicate balance between getting the drop on someone and getting dropped is extremely fine.  Worse?  There’s nobody to haul you out.  That’s where it’s key to exercise caution and get the other guy reveal his position before you do yours.

What to try instead:  Practice clearing a room with incremental progress.  Weapon at the ready, expose yourself as little as possible while trying to get as best a picture as you can of what lies around that next corner.

See any follies or bad myths that can lead to mistakes crop up?  Tell us about them in the comments section below.

Daily Carrier Breaks 20 Hour Hostage Crisis – the Right Way

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JAMES ENGLAND, Staff Writer

via WTAJ News

ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY— Police credit several neighbors for coming together and helping a woman escape an assault.

Police say Henry Yancey held his ex-girlfriend hostage for more than 20 hours.  He allegedly physically assaulted her throughout the night, threatened to kill her and stabbed her in the leg.

Friday morning she tried to make her escape, but Yancy, who was naked at the time, caught her and continued to assault her near the 1000 block of Lexington Avenue.

“There was a lot of ruckus,” said neighbor Tatiana Scriver. “They almost sounded like there was a stampede going through the building.”

Another neighbor Nicky Mimikos said, “He’s on top of her just punching her in the face. He got up and started stomping her in the face.”

That’s when another neighbor, Henry Oppenheim, saw what was going on and sprung into action.

“So I quickly ran into my room grabbed my gun and went out to defend her,” said Oppenheim “I said let her go. And then he finally did it.”

Oppenheim has a concealed carry permit and says he brings his gun almost everywhere he goes.

This was a bad situation that could have quickly gone from bad to worse.  Already horrifying is the idea of being trapped in a house, beaten mercilessly, with no end in sight.  The second, to know your neighbors are nearly helpless to do anything about it.  Thankfully, today wasn’t one of those days.  Henry Oppenheim, a neighbor to Henry Yancey, the alleged man behind the hostage situation, finally decided enough was enough.

In a swift move that ensured the safety of the woman and an end to this horrifying stalemate, Oppenheim simply leveled his concealed carry pistol directly at Yancey – who was allegedly beating his ex-girlfriend whom he had taken hostage for twenty some hours prior.

How Daily Carrying Ties Into Strong Communities

While details are still emerging surrounding this strange case, what is clear is the utter importance of daily carrying.

“And then we moved her to the front to get her safe and secure and away from him,” said Scriver.

“We all stick together and when we see a girl getting beat — we just don’t allow that,” said Mimikos

As for Oppenheim, he says he’d do it all over again.

“In a heartbeat. Not a second thought. No reservations.”

Mental preparedness to be a participant in one’s own defense and that of others begins with a willingness to carry concealed every day.  It’s people like Oppenheim who demonstrate the civic founding behind the idea of concealed carry weapons.  Not just a statement or simply a cool thing to do – it’s a way to actively demonstrate that the lives of you and those around you are essential and you’re willing to take any and all steps to preserve them.

That’s what makes a community strong.

And thankfully, for this community, someone was willing to step up to the plate and say “enough’s enough.”

Reality Versus Perception of Concealed Carrying

This event isn’t anything out of the ordinary.  Men and women across the country have come and continue to come to the rescue of themselves, their family members, and would-be victims of criminal activity.  That does stop some organizations like the Violence Policy Center (VPC) from making grandiose, factually incorrect statements about the concealed carry community as a whole and the concept itself.

The biggest threat to a concealed carrier seeking to build the foundations of a strong community are organizations seeking to undermine him through pushing forward bad policy that places him at a disadvantage.  Criminals are never hampered by policy decision.  This is stuck tightly into the realm of law abiding citizens seeking to be responsible for their own well-being.

That’s why heroes like Oppenheim and so many others are so important.  Oppenheim shows the true face of what it means to be a daily carrier – the willingness to use lethal force to protect someone and the training and understanding to know exactly how to apply it.