Sunday, March 2, 2014

guest article


The Big Four

During and after any kind of serious collapse or crisis, there will be four major problems to be solved.

Shelter will be the first one. People will need protection from Mother Nature. Count on her to be one unpredictable female. She could throw storms, hurricanes, tornados and blizzards at you. Most of the time, you will need to worry about temperatures (too low or too high), wind effects (hypothermia) and rain. The best things to give you shelter will be warm clothing, a weatherized building and a wood stove.
The wood stove will serve three uses. Providing warmth, cooking food and boiling water if needed.

Water will be the second. Everyone knows the "Rule of 3". You can survive three days without water. The last two will be unpleasant.
You will need a minimum of one gallon per person each day.
The best way to get water will be if you have your own well with a hand pump. If you don't have that, then you get to lug it. Here are some important questions to think about, before you have to lug it.
How far away is the location where you will obtain it?
What kind of container are you going to carry it in? Do you also have a back pack, wagon, or wheel barrow?
How many gallons are to be carried at one time? One gallon of water weighs eight pounds.
Do you think it will be safe to travel that distance? Possible ambushes to the carriers? Possible ambushes to the home base while water carrying party is out? (reduced manpower)
After you have the water, how will you make it potable?
If your water source has corpses it somewhere, (highly likely during a collapse) you will need to worry about Gastroenteritis.
If you are going to use bleach to dis-infect, be aware that laundry bleach has a limited shelf life.
If you are going to boil it, you will need wood. Do you presently have saws and axes?
What other means of treating water are you aware of?

Food will be the third. This is the easy one to do now, before anything happens. Calorie count is what we want to establish. Everyone should immediately buy a years supply of food. The food should have an extremely long storage life and be low cost. It's easy to do. Easy! Buy rice in 50 pound bags from Sam's club. Eight of them will do. It will cost you about $160. Next, go online to Craig's list. Search for "barrels". There will be some guy selling the 55 and 30 gallon empties from some local food processing company. The barrels previously held cooking oil or tomato paste or some other kind of food. The barrels will cost you about $10 each. Store the newly filled barrels in the garage or basement. If you don't like rice then get whole kernel corn or wheat. It's up to you. Something, anything, is better than nothing. Once you have the years supply, and only then, can you diversify your supply, with nutritional needs and preferences.

People who do not have the above three will be the fourth problem. These desperate people will do anything to keep their families from dying from starvation or exposure. The various things you will need to deal with these people are:
This is a very big subject with numerous choices. For this article only the minimum basic firearms needed will be listed. (Just like your food supply, you start with basic needs and expand later as money, supply and time permit).
Three guns will be what you need.
First, a handgun. You need one for two reasons. So that you are easily armed at all times, and that during a confrontation, should your long arm break, jam or run out, you will have a temporary, inferior alternative. I stress temporary and inferior. Any is better than none, however to be efficient with our time and money, we want to do it right the first time. Absolutely no calibers smaller than a 9mm. Ideal choices are 38 special and 40s&w. They are ideal because of the immense number of handguns shooting these. Used, name brand handguns in models with proven track records are the ones to buy. There are lots of good used Glocks and Smith and Wesson 38 specials out there. Have 500 rounds. Practice lots. Don't forget to get a good holster.
Next, a shotgun. A shotgun is the middle ground between a rifle and a pistol, not as accurate or powerful as a rifle but more power than a handgun. Make it a 12 gauge. Preferably a Remington 870. If not that, then a Mossberg or Savage. Up close, nothing works better. It will be very valuable during any night attacks. Ghost ring, glow in the dark sights would be ideal. Have 250 rounds of buck, your preference. I like #4. Also have 20 rounds of slugs. Don't forget the sling.
Last, a rifle. One. Just One. As stated above "minimum basic". This limits the choices to three rifles. The 303 Lee Enfield, the 8mm Mauser, and the 7.62x54r Mosin-Nagant.
Now, I know there's going to be lots of dis-agreement with having only these three choices. It will be from guys that have more than one rifle and guys that are infatuated with a particular rifle. Please keep in mind that the above three choices are for the average guy. If you already have a 221 fireball in a handi rifle and you are a crack shot, then fine, that works for you.
Remember, one minimum rifle for a collapse. Something that millions and millions of guys have used and abused. Yet it keeps on working.
The three above have that track record. They are thirty caliber or greater. This gives the required power and range. (Imagine being attacked by three vermin, at 100 yards, armed with real rifles. Instead of one of the above choices, you listened to some self proclaimed expert that said a 22 was the best choice. He told you a 22 was best because of cheap ammo and how you could carry lots and do head shots. The vermin that want to kill you and rape your wife and daughter, are laughing at your little 22.
Some other recommendations you may have heard from the experts is the "thutty thutty" from the Bonanza/Gunsmoke crowd, or maybe a recreational hunting bolt action. These guns are good for going out and shooting at a deer once year, but they do not have the long term durability that is absolutely required.
Go to Wiki, read the articles on the Mauser, Enfield and Mosin-Nagant. There is a reason that armies used them instead of some cheap commercial hunting rifle or lever action.
The Enfield is the highest quality and most user friendly of the three. Pretty much only commercial ammo is available, at the going rate. (arm and a leg)
The Mauser is not as good as the Enfield but certainly better than the Mosin-Nagant. Mostly commercial ammo and some mil-surp available. Both will be expensive.
The Mosin-Nagant is the cheapest to buy and also the lowest quality. The bright side is that you can get mil-surp ammo for only twenty cents each.
Don't forget a sling and a multi caliber cleaning kit.
Remember, these firearms are a minimum starting point. Upgrade and diversify as you are able and chose to.
Cunning, intelligence, street smarts...
Call it what ever you want. Knowing how to read and judge people and situations. It will be just as important as firearm possession. How many times have you watched a movie, and the main character is doing or not doing something, and you are thinking to yourself "Get out of there you idiot!"?
Always have and use your tactical awareness.
Hiding is another way to get away from the dangerous people. Think "Spider Hole". You might need to do it for a single occasion or it could be a main part of your life after a collapse. Remember the movie "The Road"? There is usually honor in avoiding conflict when it is necessary. It won't do your family any good if you play macho and get yourself killed.
Running away

Keeping away from danger. Most will immediately think "Bug Out". No, not so fast. Typically "Bug out" implies moving away from the cities to a less populated area. Usually of a semi-permanent nature.
Running away should be a temporary solution. A tactical choice. A permanent bug out means abandoning your food (for the majority).

Running away, hiding, and cunning all deserve a full length article. Anyone up to it?


  1. One thing about the grain in barrels, I shelled out whole corn for animal use a couple of years ago and sealed it in food grade plastic 55 gallon barrels that had once held pickles years ago. Anyway it didn't mold but for some reason fermented to when I popped the top a few months later in the winter, it smelled like wine. The steers would start bawling when anyone walked near those barrels. I suspect that I didn't store it in a cool enough spot. It sure smell wonderful though.

    1. Were the cows pissed? Or wanting a shot?

  2. “After you have the water, how will you make it potable?”

    It would be well worth looking into the SODIS method of water purification, as this method is more sustainable over time, since it only requires bottles. You only have to filter out the sediment.

    “Next, a shotgun. A shotgun is the middle ground between a rifle and a pistol, not as accurate or powerful as a rifle but more power than a handgun.”

    I'm mostly speaking in terms of survival here, as opposed to defense. But in a wooded area, I think that you just might be able to get by with a shotgun, instead of a rifle if you had to? You generally won't be taking shots greater than a 100 yards in such areas, but of course, different areas provide different variables? If you ever had to take shots beyond typical woodland ranges, I hear tell that the newer saboted shotgun slugs have an effective range of about 150 yds? The old rifled slugs maxed out at about 100 yds. If used on adversaries, large buckshot would give an awful sting out to about 80 yards or so. A combo gun of a 12Ga and .22 LR (If you could find such a combo?) would be worthy of consideration?

    This is why I'm such a big fan of the flintlock musket (As well as Archery gear) for long term survival purposes. You have a shotgun, as well as the ability to send a large, solitary projectile down range for big game. Range is limited of course, due to being a smoothbore. Long term sustainability yes. Flints will be easier to replace than percussion caps once manufacturing ceases. Learn how to produce nitrates (salt petre or potassium nitrate) and the sulfur and charcoal will come easier.

    1. The flintlock blows. Except compared to most everything else once primers are gone.

    2. It's rather primitive, no doubt James.

      But it will be the last gun still operating, assuming a complete and total collapse?

    3. Agreed. It sucks because of inclimate weather. But much better than rocks and whatnot.

    4. Has any one evan so much as heard of any one making there own potassium nitrate? and whats a easy accessable source of sulfur for those of us who don't have a volcano in our back yard?

    5. "Has any one evan so much as heard of any one making there own potassium nitrate? and whats a easy accessable source of sulfur for those of us who don't have a volcano in our back yard?"

      Yes, the hundreds of guys on youtube that have made their own. Below is one of many videos that I found. Bat Guano, and poultry fertilizer are the natural methods for the average person.

      Don't have a good answer for your sulfur question. Only know that it is a rather abundant element, that was readily available in the old days before many of the modern refining processes that we have today took place, so I can't imagine that it will be difficult to come by in the apocalypse? And charcoal, well, that's a no brainer.

  3. Here in Australia, every one, I repeat EVERY ONE collects rain water of roofs and drink it without any further treatment, yet you Americans never mention rain water tanks much but are always crapping on about wells. Rain water beats well water hands down for taste and hardness etc . Well is good as a back up but evan out in the desert were you are James you would be surprised how much water can be collected of evan a small roof. And the best thing is despite what the experts tell you it needs no treatment to drink

    1. I agree that catchment is far superior. Mainly, cost and low tech insurance. Yankee Yuppie Scum want a million gallons a minute to waste and you can't do that with a collection tank.