In violent urban survival scenario… violence is the easy part.

light for survivalWhen times are hard, people show all kinds of their characteristics, or faces, or real face, call it whatever you like.

That is another reason why it is not so popular to talk or write in details about that time. Some people did bad things and survived, or good things and died, or people just acted strange in that time.

Again a lot of combinations. People later do not want to discuss about that, they do not want to remember that. Over the time man can really force himself to believe that he did not do some things, even if he did them.

No happy gatherings of group of people who survived all that, nothing like big reunions with barbecue with cheerful talks about „how it was then“ and drinking beer.

When we sit somewhere together, we do not talk about these times too much. If we really go in something from that time we usually lie to each other. Everybody of us who survived has something particular that he does not want to talk about or to remember.

Often this is something embarrassing or very bad or cruel that one did. It made sense back then in survival situation but even today when you have food on your table it is hard to understand… even for yourself.

I had friend who was pretty fearless guy when it comes to some tough situations, fights, death and life situation, man to man combat until the end and hard stuff like that. He was easy with violence. But what he could not stand was time frame between launching of rockets and detonations when rockets exploded.

To explain it little bit for folks who never been in war. There was something like shelling by surprise from multiple grenade launchers. So you hear distant „bum“ sounds , some 15 or 20 separate sounds, deep sounds, every maybe 1 second or less, by the time you hear maybe six of these sounds of grenades launching, they are starting to hit already.

Explanation maybe sounds too poor, words can not explain it. But usually that kind of shelling was used on an area like a street and the whole area within 200 – 300m in this street was death zone. It was hard to predict what area they shell before grenades hit.

So in real life if you find yourself at the open in that moment, and the shelling area is where you are you do not have too many chances to live. Sometimes people jumped for cover and broke their arm or leg doing this to find out grenades fall in different part of city. That few seconds between first „bum“ and explosion where the grenades hit felt like eternity.

I could swear that lasts for hours, not seconds. So much things to think about in that moments.

Anyway my friend could not stand that few seconds whenever he was caught in open area. Every and each time he would lose control of his body functions (he sh#t and pee in his pants).
He would cry after that like a kid. Of course that was reason for lot of fun. He hated himself every time after that, but he could not help it.

Feeling in your stomach when the grenades fall around you, is like you want to puke and shit at same time, lot of people say that is because of huge vibrations, but it is pure and real sense of horror, and completely lack of control over your life.

And remember, he was no coward at all. Each and everyone of us had his horror moments when you just were lost, when you just surrender completely.

I have seen few times that people blow other mans brain out with bullets, and later even make fun of that, and in the same time same people throw up when they have to eat macaroni infested with worms, dead worms cooked with macaroni.

For me maybe worst thing, or thing that I hated most were some smells. Constant smell of burnt things. Not ordinary smell of wood or coal fire, but smell of lot of things set on fire. Heavy and greasy smell that somehow just go directly in your stomach, like lot of dirty things are burning but with very slow fire. Nothing to compare it with today. The stench of rotting meat of dead bodies came into that as well.

Closest thing would be like somebody set fire to huge pile of city trash today. But still it is not so close to that.

Especially in the morning smell was heavy. Very often I just woke up and had to vomit as soon as I smelled it. It was something stronger than me. Actually it did not have anything with fact how strong or weak I was.

Every one of us had own small breaking point, most of the time violence was easy part of our time when we tried to survive.

When you prepare for a possible SHTF scenario do not get lost in too much technical stuff. Try to get to your limits. Try to know your breaking points.

I recorded material for new course with Jay here where I live in past 2 weeks. Jay comes from troubled background and was involved in some crime in his late teenage and early adult life. He is real nice guy today but because of his past violence, blood and gore comes easy to him. But he has real problems when it comes to seeing or smelling poop.

I work in emergency services so I took him along to some jobs when I knew it would be messy in very unpleasant way for him.

Turning around homeless guy who is too drunk to move and has sh#t himself and been lying in that at same place for two days is special experience… especially for someone who has real problem with poop.

You get idea of all of this. I think a lot of writing about survival today is about gear reviews and buying another gun and that is fun I know but going to places where it hurts you today… where you can push your limits is time very well spent.

Do not expect to “overcome” all of them. Some things always get you, but knowing about this and being mentally prepared for it, makes big difference is stressful survival scenarios when many things at the same time test your limits.

Survival Hygiene

There are some topics that people maybe sometimes do not want to read or hear about, or other folks just thinking that is not too important when SHTF. Hygiene is something that we all agree is important, but how dirty is gonna be is other thing.

If you look for example to definition of Cholera you can see this:
„Cholera is an acute enteric infection caused by the ingestion of bacterium Vibrio cholerae present in faecally contaminated water or food. Primarily linked to insufficient access to safe water and proper sanitation, its impact can be even more dramatic in areas where basic environmental infrastructures are disrupted or have been destroyed.„

I already mentioned that I suffered (together with lot of folks from that time) few serious cases of diarrhea, I mean cases when you can not lift your head up for days, i was so exhausted.

Did I have Cholera? I do not have clue, no hospitals, no labs, no doctors. Probably yes. All what I could do is to take fluids, menthol tea, chamomile tea and „Rosa Canina“ tea.

In normal grown up healthy people, it can be solved with oral re-hydration, and cases of death are not so common. In very young and very old it is harder. When you have some underlying medical condition it is complicated again.

It is hard anyway if SHTF and you get heavy case of diarrhea, and you are not prepared for it, and you do not know too much about it.

When SHTF small problems lead to bigger problems, later you have lot of small problems pieced together, and actually you have one big problem.

If you have access to medical facility when you dehydrated and exhausted because diarrhea then in most of the cases all can be solved with IV re-hydration, Ringers Lactate etc.

If you have knowledge and equipment you can try to solve it by yourself.
Worst case scenario would be to not have neither available medical help, no knowledge and no equipment.

Of course having no disease is better than treating one.

Try to not get yourself in situation where you need medical help, because medical help can be not available. Also, you can learn some basics about treatment, and store some stuff for it. I am not saying that you need to go to nursing school right now. But knowledge is key, learn how dehydration work, and how you can re-hydrate man.

Having knowledge how to re-hydrate patient who is suffering from diarrhea not going to do you too much good if you did not solve question of proper waste disposal.

Because at the end you gonna find yourself „running in circles“ and getting sick again and again.

So again pay extra attention to proper waste management, your water and your food.
Consider the fact that you can control maybe conditions in your home if you plan and prepare everything, but you gonna need to go out for many reasons, and outside world is going to be probably very bad and dirty place.

Protect yourself when you are out, and be sure what you are bringing home with you.

Today when it comes to urban survival I think simple surgical masks and gloves should be part of your preparation.

They are not only meant to be used in operation rooms. I would use it whenever I am out on some „suspicious dirty“ place and these places are all around after normal services do not work anymore. Shoe covers are good idea too…

You can not achieve sterile environment in your home, and that is not point here. But whenever coming home from your trip out (when SHTF) consider yourself dirty, and clean yourself, cloth and equipment on best way that is available for you.

Just use common sense, but much more common sense then in normal time. What makes you sick in such survival situations is usually not visible.

Your first line of defense gonna be your personal hygiene, way how to manage your waste, and way how you keep your self clean. So simple procedures like washing your hands carefully after you done with dirty job get some new meaning. It can be life saving.

Boil your clothing, add some bleach and let it dry in direct sunlight. These little things are all things that increase your chance for survival. You can not shoot these little bacteria and they killed as many people as bullets (or even more) during my time in war.

Store disposable trash bags, as many as you can, for many different reasons, including for human waste disposal. Also many ways to clean yourself, and again use common sense, store it in „small“ containers, so you can carry it with you anywhere and always.

To have pair of disposable medical gloves and small hand sanitizer with you in your pocket make much more sense when SHTF then in normal situation today.

Do you already have masks, surgical gowns (or other throw away clothing for dirty work), shoe covers, hand sanitizers, rubbing alcohol, gloves, disposable cups and plates? What are your most important preparations when it comes to hygiene?