My Budget Bug Out Bag

bug out bag

Some call it 72 hour bag, Get Out Of Dodge Bag, Get Back Home Bag or however. Making the perfect bug out bag definitely can mean difference between life and death, and there are many philosophies about what should be in it and what not. This is my take on it. It is a budget / cheap bug out bag and makes sense for me. I have some different products but tried to find most similar I could on Amazon because this is what most people have access to.

First lets start with some considerations before assembling it.

Do you need a bug out bag or survival bag?

A bug out bag is for bugging out and not living forever in woods. Survival bag is more for long term living outdoors. A bug out bag is smaller and light, a survival bag is big and has more stuff in it of course.

My philosophy for bug out bags is, you need to have things with you that gonna bring you to your desired location. Nothing less and nothing more. Traveling light is key here, not traveling comfortable. If you can do both – great, but if you need to choose then choose to travel light, fast and maneuverable. You are maybe gonna be forced to run, jump, duck, use weapon with that bag on your back.

I see long lists of things from people who seem to go on camping trip with their bug out bags. Makes no sense to me. You have survival bag or camping bag if you have no bug out location and plan to live in the woods. But before you head for the hills “to live off land” you better know what you do. Otherwise bugging in is better. Anyway, that is something for another article. But if you have a bug out location, getting there fast is most important.

Choosing the right backpack is matter of what you like, your items you carry and of course it must always matter that you keep low profile. So if you are bugging out from city you do not want to look like you are SWAT team member. Nobody survives because of style as well. If you have bug out bag at office then choose a bag that looks like laptop backpack. If you have bug out bag at home, choose a casual sports backpack in darker colors (and without any reflector).

How long are you bugging out?

You are making your bug out bag for bugging out to a safe location your bug out location and it takes you X days to get there. Depending how many days you gonna be there you gonna carry that many items.

It is great thing to have lot of useful things with you on your way to bug out location, but even better thing is to have some useful things and be able to move fast and efficiently.

Just take your perfect bug out bag and do some testing in real life, in some hard conditions, with bad weather.

Here is what I recommend for basic bug out bags.

1.Shelter

I carry trash bags that you can also use inside your backpack to keep things dry and three emergency blankets. Here is higher quality emergency blanket but watch out that it is not too heavy or takes too much space.

I also sleep in shelter in form of a poncho. This is cheap poncho, you look unprepared with it and that is great if you are in city.

If you are out of sight of people switch to a better one like this one or if you have money to spend this one.

Alternative could be to use a tarp of course.

2. Hygiene

I have toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and alcohol pads (if you cant use it in your face or on skin use antiseptic wipes).

Perfect way to keep yourself clean or take care of small cuts in quick way. Some soap is good to have too. Not brushing teeth for few days, bad breath is least of problems.

3.Food

Snacks are good enough. Some energy bars, MREs and a spork is all I have for food.

Do not think about your way to bug out location as a picnic, or nature trip. It is gonna look more like dangerous escape from war zone, so you need to act like that. Most probably you are going to eat very fast and you need something simple or you are too tired to cook anyway.

4. Fire

Take many ways of starting a fire. Besides regular Bic lighter I have Zippo lighter, survival matches, firestarter, tinder, hexamine tablets and vaseline soaked cotton balls with me.

You are maybe not gonna be in position to start fire, maybe you are not gonna need it, or maybe it is gonna be too dangerous to start it, but once when you needed you need to be absolutely positive that you can start it safe and quick. A small fire does much for your body and in many situations maybe even more for your mind.

I want to have more ways to start fire because I still remember how important it is.

One night I was stranded out in one ruined building while outside was raining like waterfalls. It was unsafe to travel so I spent night there, hidden behind pile of rubble in something that was months before living room.

I choose only 5-6 square meters where was relatively hidden and start fire. I start it with lighter and some remains of curtain, then I used wood junk from the rooms and apartments to keep it going. It was stinky, my eyes were burning from wet wood and my attempts to “cover” light of the fire with some steel plate without extinguishing it.

I was wet, tired, hungry, and without too many plans for future.

It was spooky and weird to have fire in complete darkness of ruined and half burned apartment where still on wall were pieces of some tiles with different flowers. I did not cook anything on that fire, or boil water for coffee, tea or whatever, I did not have anything.

Only “material” use of that fire was that I dried my socks on it, but it was not too important at that moment, I survived many days with wet socks.

Real use of that fire was that I felt that my strength and will was coming back to me. After some time I felt much better, I had my will again.

Everything is different when you have fire with you. It not only helps your body…

5. Water

Canteen cup kit, water treatment solution, filter and a hydration reservoir. I also have water bottle to fill up hydration reservoir quickly next to it on shelf. Do not carry too much water but make sure you have everything to make clean water yourself.

6. Tools and more

I carry multitool, folding knife and a knife.

It’s nice to have smartphone with GPS but also carry a map of the area, compass and make sure you know how to use them.

I carry three lights. A torchlight, nano light and a headlamp. Sometimes it make sense to use strong torchlight, but in other circumstances it make more sense to use small light, without making yourself visible from great distances.

I have also created small first aid kit, but you can buy already assembled one such as this. Add a good bandage as well.

Try to carry FM radio to get some information. If you have space there are good hand crank radios available. To have information in moments of bugging out can be very important. Listen to radio with headphones to conserve energy.

Small things you should also have are some paracord (maybe in form of bracelet) and of course duct tape.

When it comes to types of carrying all of this and how to organize it you must always have things that are very important close to you and in a way separated from your backpack.

That means that you will keep your weapons on your belt or under the jacket, your small survival box, some ammo, flask, means to start fire and some power bars in some small bag on your hip, around your neck or similar.

We all probably carry our pistol as every day carry (EDC). In my case EDC is just gonna be small addition to bug out bag. It usually consists of pistol, extra magazine, lighter, flashlight, folding knife, keys, cell phone, heavy duty scissors and wallet. But keep in mind that how many things you have in your EDC depends on your “moving” distances. Or how far you are from more stuff (in your car, job, home) so I have not much with me all the time.

7. Clothing

In layers

Clothes in layers makes easy to you to take off something if you feeling too hot, or to take peace of clothes on if getting too cold. Do not forget that by making mistakes in this area can lead to hypothermia or in other cases in heat exhaustion if you losing too much water by sweating without controlling it.

Check for clothes that repel wind, dry quickly, clothes that stay warm even when wet etc. Try polyester (military style pants, shirts etc) wool underwear and some insulation layers with fleece. Have one set of extra clothes in your bug out bag.

Clothes that blend in

You do not want to look different remember that so also when it comes to clothes try to have usual stuff on you, or if you want and have something special just try to cover it with something usual. Remember that looking too different draws attention and that is bad.

If your clothes looks too good or too “new” it makes sense to make it look dirty before you move on. Even today when I buy new sneakers for example I first make them dirty but that is because I live in high crime area.

8. Footwear

Your footwear needs to be chosen completely based on nature of your trip, not on other folks ratings. So it make sense to wear for example sneakers in city because of speed and mobility, and when you move to woods to change to something else. Pair of gators in combination with boots make sense.

Remember that you need to wear your new footwear before emergency scenario. Do not make mistake and put your new boots on for the first time when bugging out. Blisters can cripple you and I saw people losing feet because of infected blisters.

Your compass and map you are keeping in your pocket or small waist pack. In that way if you find yourself in situation that you need to loose your backpack you are still gonna be able (hopefully) to finish your trip.

My shelf system

Having your bug out bag always ready somewhere on some shelf makes much sense, but having the things ready for bugging out on shelves and way of quickly assembling your bug out bag is much better idea in my opinion.

Point is to have all things that you gonna need for your three or more day trip to your bug out location ready and sorted on one shelf, so you can easily check it every day.

Another reason is that there is no perfect bug out bag for every situation, so it makes sense to have some stuff available for your BOB so you can quickly choose something and leave something else.

Remember that you can not take everything.

In some situation it is gonna make sense to take gas mask with you maybe and leave something else.

Making bug out bag, and putting it on shelf and then waiting for SHTF can be problem, you have to check stuff that is in your bug out bag, you have to know each item very good, and check it often. It is easy to forget about what you have in your bag when you have assembled it and put aside for some time.

Choosing correct bag type is important too, so it is good to have few different type bags ready for quick packing.

Some more thoughts

Your bug out bag must have things that you KNOW how to use, so it is much better to have butterfly closures that you know how to use than full wound sewing kit without real knowledge about it (and without real need).

If this concept of bug out bag sounds like you are missing lot of things, please consider again the fact that your task with this bag is to reach your bug out location on quickest and safest way, not most comfortable way. Do you want to be slowed down for a bit more comfortable night? I don’t. I also speak in detail about reasons why mobility mattered so much during my time in war in my survival course. Sneakers beat big boots back then.

If you still think to add more things to your bag to make your way easier then think about possibility of hiding some stuff on your way to your bug out location.

It has many benefits. You get to know your way to your bug out location in detail when you search for good hiding places for example.

In setting those secret places with stuff on your way to your bug out location follow few rules:

1. Always use three possible ways to bug out location, and hide stuff there because you never know what way you are gonna use.

2. Hide small stashes at many places, instead more stuff at few places. Reason is again fact that you do not know what circumstances gonna be during bugging out, and what kind of obstacles you gonna have. Just have more choices.

3. Have some system in tracking correct places where you hid the things, it is much easier to forget places than most people think.

It can be GPS device, or simply some photos taken, or some coded message describing correct place. Remember that you may give that info to someone (friend, family member). Get creative, maybe some place only you and your wife know as a starting point.

What you gonna hide depends how long your trip is, and what kind of situation is gonna be but every small thing gonna help in those times.

Canned food, MREs, fuel, aluminum foil, ammo, first aid kits, duct tape…

You can have best equipment available but if YOU did not test it, it does not mean too much. After you assemble everything go on hiking trip and test all, test equipment in rain, in forest during the night time, try to make yourself shelter from trash bag with insulating it with leafs, or whatever else you have for shelter.

Try to find a stash at night or to read compass at night… You may say here “OK what about mosquito repellent, sun lotion, survival manual, tent, solar charger … and lot of other things.”

If you want those, my suggestion would be that you buy ALL things that you like to have with you, assemble it in bug out bag and have two day trip that includes sleeping in woods, running (from someone) trying to hide, trying to get to the bug out location on time etc.

Speed counts more than comfort.

After that take all equipment and sort it again to make it lighter, you will see that suddenly you are going to find some stuff you do not want to have actually (or you find something you missed, but practice is important).

More about bugging out and weapons in next article. Please share some ideas about your bug out bag in comments.

Boston bombings: How surviving a bomb blast feels and what you can do to help survivors.

Imagine this:

Last thing that you remember is that you were standing with few of your friends in street, now you are laying on ground and looking around you and there is blood running next to your leg, there is something in your throat and it suffocates you, you are trying to remove it with your fingers but nothing comes out, you are trying to swallow it but it is of no help, you are trying to scream but nothing comes out of your mouth. And thing that scare you most is that you notice blood on your pants in groin region, and you think that all future fun is gone.

Your friend gets you on your feet and his mouth are moving but you can not hear sh!t. With his hands he is explaining you that shell exploded some 50 meters from you and your friends.

You are (hopefully only temporary) deaf from blast, you can not talk because blood in your throat because you bite your tongue when that thing exploded. “Luckily” blood running next to your leg is not yours, it is your friends , he is seriously wounded.

And that wet stuff running down your legs and on your pants is not your blood, you just lost your bladder control when detonation happened. It happened unconsciously not because of fear, you did not have enough time even to feel fear.

And then (thanks God) you pass out. Everything starts to hurt later.

This all happened long time ago, but I still remember everything like it is happened yesterday, or like it is happening everyday. I feel very sorry for those innocent killed people in Boston.

I feel sorry for wounded too. Even when they recover they will be wounded for the rest of their lives.

Few times people told me that my experiences are war experiences and they are not applicable to some future SHTF scenarios. Horrible event in Boston clearly shows that you do not need to be at war to have civil victims because of explosions.

I witnessed numerous explosions, blasts, detonations etc. And also I helped many bomb explosions victims, during war and later in emergency services. Unfortunately here carrying small bomb with you is not so unusual (even today). Its considered here weapon just like knife or gun and we have bombings in our area still every month.

So I have been with people immediately after the explosions and later too during the course of healing.

Also I helped lot of people to cope with psychological injuries that they sustained from similar events. And I suffered from that too.

Being at the scene of incident that involves many injured people will „hit“ you like a train, and even if you do not succumb to the widespread panic and start to help injured people it will require some kind of training and knowledge.

Never forget one thing: in any kind of incident your absolute priority is your safety. If you get hurt or killed you are not gonna help anybody. Always assess safety of scene.

Of course you are gonna help injured people in any way that you can, but in order to give as best help as you can you need to understand what actually happens with people with blast injuries.

Explosion and injuries from explosion can be divided into the three parts.

1 Phase

In first phase injuries are caused by the pressure wave of the blast. Injuries like pulmonary bleeding, pneumothorax, perforation of the gastrointestinal organs. The pressure just blasts your soft part inside.

Important thing too is that wave can cause severe damage or death without external signs of injury. Common injuries in first phase are also burns on the body area that are exposed to the side where explosion happened.

2 Phase

In this phase injuries occur from the flying pieces of glass, wood, stones metal etc. So you are gonna see lacerations, burns, fractures.

3 Phase

In this phase body of the victim is becoming missile and is thrown against object. So you can expect injuries at the point of impact. Usually trauma injuries and some bleeding, depends on where body lands on.

Now this three phases maybe look to you not important in terms of helping the victim, so you could say that injury is injury whatever phase it is.

It is not so simple, especially when specialised help is not so close, you need always to suspect the most serious injury until it is ruled out.

For example after some explosion you find man who looked perfectly OK, but actually he suffers some serious internal injuries from whom he can die in half hour without proper treatment. You can not help people with internal bleeding much but you can make them priority to get professional help. Transport them before transporting others and so on.

Some of the signs of internal bleeding can be:

  • Pain and swelling (pain and swelling in the leg can be caused by fracture of thigh bone for example)
  • Victim looses consciousness (internal bleeding in the brain)
  • Abdominal pain can be sign of damaged internal organs and bleeding
  • Disorientation of victim, dizziness and fainting

Most of these signs do not necessary need to be signs of internal bleeding, but point is for you as a man who want to help it is very important to always suspect worst case injury, let the professional medical services rule bad conditions out.

Don’t forget laws if they still exist

We are talking here mostly about time when there is no law, but still we need to mention (just in case) that you need to be familiar with laws in your area.

So in some countries you could end up in jail if you try to help victim and actually you do some harm (by mistake, or lack of knowledge…) in some other regions law is actually protecting you.

Level of knowledge

It is all up to you what kind of knowledge and skills you are gonna learn and use when SHTF. There is a system of course today so you can choose to go for first aid classes knowledge or EMT or you are gonna choose to learn what you think it is important to know.

Nobody says it is forbidden to you to go online and research how to stitch (sew) wounds or splint broken leg.

What to expect and how to act

Now we are coming to most important part of all this. You need to prepare yourself mentally to deal with injured , possibly dying people.

Some says that there are people who are born to stay cool in stressful environment, other say that training is key. I can say that after more that 20 years in medical field, including SHTF period that on some things you can not get used to and dying people is one of them.

What you can do with proper knowledge and training is to reduce the moments between shock and reaction, and to act how you are prepared (train).

Emotions and stress

Nature of emergencies are that they are stressful. Be ready to be overwhelmed by emotions and be ready to cope with stress.

Stress alone is huge topic, and you are gonna deal with some events even after 20 years, but important thing is to DEAL with it. Do not be alone with your problem.

Jay has background in psychology and has helped people with traumatic events here is his part on what everyone can do to help people after disaster, even without any training. I see these things also work every day in emergency situations at my job.

—–Jay about helping survivors in the acute aftermath of traumatic events—–

1. If you are safe, make sure other people and victims of the event feel safe as well. Tell them what happened and that they are safe now (and help is on the way if that’s the case). If necessary affirm the victim multiple times that they are safe now and the event is over. They just experienced something that was very hard to even imagine for them before and they need to come to terms with that. They will show all sorts of emotions, from anger to fear to depression and disbelief.

2. Make sure they are in a comfortable position. Do not make them move if they don’t want to, they might have injuries that you do not want to make worse. Let professionals take care of this unless you know what you are doing.

3. Talk to them in a calm voice and ask them neutral questions about what happened. What happened before the event and what lead to the event? Let them run through everything step by step. Ask specific questions and try not to get emotional in any way. This will calm them down and help them to understand what happened.

4. If you set off to find out more about friends or relatives of the victim who might have been also injured or killed, explain what you are going to do and that you will be back shortly. Give people the feeling you are there for them as good as possible.

5. Be honest about the information you share. If someone got killed say it in a compassionate way. Lying about this and then the victim finds out about it because the corpse of her relative gets carried away just means a deeper fall and loss of trust in you which can make the situation even worse (what else might be the wrong information? Am I really safe?….)

7. People after traumatic events sometimes act as if nothing happened. They might want to find transportation to get to where they planned on going to or call work to let them know they are late. This is normal because many people simply do not accept that what happened is part of their reality. Its a protection mechanism. If it doesn’t hurt the victim try to be supportive and borrow them your mobile phone or help them in any other way.

In general people can handle natural disasters best, while man-made disasters or violence is the worst because the fundamental trust in people is destroyed.

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Here is some personal advice from me.

I experienced many explosions, I mean very close explosions, not sure how many but it was way of living for year.. From hand grenades, tear gas grenades, mortars, tanks, howitzer, improvised bombs…

But all comes down to same. Jump down and pray to God, later you stand up, clear debris from hair and clothes, throw up maybe from smell and blast that shocked your organs and go on. If you survived, and without injuries. Only thing that changed over the time that we all (more or less) became numb to all of that, so we just care for everything less and less.

I describe how I transition from normal young man to this numb creature that just wants to survive in interviews in my survival course. I bleed from ears several times after the explosions. I hear poorly on my right ear for the rest of my life.

Events like mass killings, bombings and similar will change you completely, and you are not gonna be same anymore. Event alone is traumatic with injured people, screams, blood and all that, and there is few basic rules in helping the victims and helping yourself to cope with everything.

Listening

Sometimes listening to victim is gonna be only thing that you gonna be able to do. You can not „treat“ victim with listening only, but trust me to man who is in pain, great fear and uncertainty is he going to survive to have someone beside him makes a great difference. Maybe you are gonna find yourself in situation that man is dying, man who is total stranger to you, but he is gonna have only you for comfort.

Anger reactions

Because fear and shock, you can expect all kind of reactions from injured people, and very often that reaction gonna be angry one. Just be tolerant, that anger is not actually directed towards you.

Help yourself

After being involved with dealing to the victims of some catastrophic event you can also experience excess stress. It can be triggered by simple traumatic event or many of them. For someone it can be caused by watching a car accident for example.

Some of the symptoms of stress are: problems with concetration, irritability, anxiety, loss of sexual interest, nightmares etc.

Dealing with stress (this has worked for me):

  • Change your food habits. Avoid fatty foods, nicotine and alcohol
  • Exercise.
  • Relax. Try meditation or check what relaxing techniques are good for you
  • Spend more time with your family and friends, talk to them and just go and include them in your stress problem solving.

This is what Jay and me think about this. The bomber from Boston is not only one who benefits from people being afraid. People who are scared are easier to control. Just dont let the bomber be a prepper…

Please share in comments what you think about Boston bombing and maybe also personal tips how to deal with traumatic events.

You survived but you are dead inside

In last article I wrote about surviving combat and how I experienced it during my year in war.

Today I write about the aftermath. Survival is not only hard on your body but can also kill you inside. So you survive but you are just empty shell. You all heard of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) but I call this just being dead inside. But this does not have to be like that. First let me tell you about Alek.

I know Alek for many years now, I met him during one hiking trip I did with my survival group here. He was something like outdoor instructor. Later I heard from other folks that he went through some crazy stuff during the war, and that he was member of one of the groups when he was just 15 years old.

We never talked about that before, anyway that kind of topic here is very unusual to discuss. Many have blood on their hands and it brings up bad memories. If we talk about that period we only mention some funny and stupid things like „do you remember the tree leafs we smoked as tobacco man?“ and we laugh.

But in same time we are remembering in thoughts how someone gets killed or similar. You laugh because you dont want to cry.

We were spending night in one of the mountain houses, some of us brought families, other were alone. During the day kids spent time in small amusement park in woods. He was there as something like park ranger.

Night time was for big camp fire, barbecue and drinking.

One night few of us were next to fire, people mostly went to sleep. Me and other guy talked about hunting, rifles and stuff like that. He was quiet.

Suddenly he asked: „Do you remember that smell of a wound when man gets badly shot in abdomen, or when he gets shrapnel in same place?“

Me and other guy went quiet. I remembered the smell, but I did not say anything, I could almost taste it, metallic taste of blood and some hard and sharp smell that stays in your nose, smell of piss and sh!t too.

And I smelled it few times. First time when I smelled it shell exploded hitting in one building entrance behind me and some men from neighborhood, and rain of shrapnel was flying towards us. Guy gets shrapnel, pieces of wall and steel fence in his stomach.

And all kinda mixed up at that point of his body, I mean it was just bloody mess, like if someone put blades from boat motor engine in his stomach and turn it on, all mixed up.

He was young and strong so he screamed a lot and yelled. Later I figured out that in fact that I was almost deaf (from detonation) for some time and that helped me to not listen to all his crying.

He grabbed one guys hands, and that guy had real hard time to get his hands free again.

In that moment you just want to get the hell out of there because you can die too, and nobody wants to look in a dying mans eyes who begs for help you can not give, everyone just ran and hide. And he did not die fast. He was screaming and crying, and asking „am I going to die?“ and we all just wanted it to be over at last.

Yeah, people mostly do not die like in movies. No heroic last words, messages for fellow comrades, country or similar. Mostly they cry for mother.

After these pictures came back for seconds in my mind Alek continued telling us his story:

“I remember that moment when I first seen wounds, big wounds and mixed smell of everything, burnt flesh, blood, puke and sh!t and I think I smelled something else that I think was pure horror. In that moment my childhood was over, and suddenly I become man. I was 15 years old.

I lost my father during one of the shellings and local group took me as their member. In that time they called that „courier” (messenger) but it did not had too much to do with delivering messages.

I was something like mascot for a group, but very soon I went to do whatever they did and I did not see anything wrong in all that killing. Of course alcohol helped and drugs too. One by one gang members were killed, or “disappeared” but I stayed until the end.

Those guys were family to me. I did not even notice that most of them were pure animals, actually I did not even understand that they raised me into the same animal. They were great to me, cool guys. For everyone else we were something else. Monsters probably.

When all ended those from group who survived disappeared from the region in fear from revenge. I moved from that region and I did not come back for ten years, even then when I shortly visit the town I always look over my shoulder.

I become interested in hunting and weapons. For years I was searching for more and more “exotic” ways to kill animals, with different kind of weapons. I traveled all around the world in search for that.

Then I met someone, and I got kid. Suddenly I found or I thought I found out what is like when you have someone of your own, somebody that really belongs to you. And I really wanted to belong to them too, but it did not work.

She said that Im a “freak” and do not know feelings of any kind. And she left. And In that moment I lost all interest for hunting. I could not kill animal anymore. Even shooting at shooting range was too much for me. I hated it suddenly.

I found peace in woods. I am living practically in woods, without real friends and much contact with other people. I am spending my time in the city only for buying food, then again I am in the woods. I think I found God in the woods.”

He had one more beer and went away. I was thinking about his words.

Few days later I discuss everything with good friend and when I told him about Aleks words that “he found God in the woods” and how that gave me creeps somehow, he told me “he surely found something in the woods, but it is probably more devil than God”

I asked “why?”

He said that all his talking about exotic places and exotic ways for killing animals in foreign lands were lies.

Yea, after the war ended he left region and spent ten years doing what he learned to do best.

Killing, but not animals. And this time killing on contract and for serious money. Rumor was that he was quite popular in that “business”, with some terrible methods.

Everything else was true, he did have wife and kid. And yeah he did retire and found something in woods.

To survive some big SHTF scenario and continue to live later in a „normal“ world is not so simple.

You can not just put clear boundry between some periods of your life and stop to think about bad moments.

Imagine earthquake hits your area and all plates in kitchen fall down and most break. You can quickly stuff them back into cupboard and keep them there but they are still broken. You can hide them and they are still broken. Putting things away does not fix them.

When we are born we learn to trust people. When you experience what people can do or even what animal you can be it destroys this trust and is hard to rebuild.

It often stays with you for rest of your life. You just try live as normal as you can and thats it.

But it is always there.

It is everyday thing. For example everything is cool and OK but then for example something „kicks“ me back into that time. Some smell maybe or sound.

I was walking on street few weeks ago, and I heard sound, it was mixture of whizzing and humming noise that was coming closer fast.

I almost jumped behind one car, it was a sound of helicopter toy that 5 year old kid was „launching“ some 30 meters from me, in my direction. But for me it was sound of one of the improvized rocket-bomb devices that was used often during the SHTF. I learned to recognize it and act in same moment.

„But it was 20 years ago“ you gonna say. Well for me it was like yesterday, it is everyday.

When you are taking coffee in some coffee shops and you „catch“ yourself that you are watching other guests and assessing them „how dangerous is that guy?“ and „he has 9mm Glock in that small bag“ (we have lots of concealed carry here, I do too) or „ that dude in black jacket has butterfly knife in front pocket“ and „that dude is guarding his back while he is reaching for change he left on floor – gun stuffed in his back-belt“ etc etc.

You can say „get a life“ I will say it is my life now.

Did you think that you can go through months of collapse and whole bunch of life threatening events and then come clean from all of that and have normal life? You cant. It is not romantic like that at all.

Telling others how it was and how it is gonna be again helps in a way that I find some sense in surviving all that other than having my life. Its a mission I feel good about.

Breaking some stupid ideas about how SHTF gonna look like helps too, everyone who wants to read this stuff is possibly one more man who is gonna be prepared more tomorrow when things get tough again.

When Jay visited me to record the interviews for my online survival course we visited places and talked for whole week. I felt very down for some time after that but he has background in psychology and said it can help. It does, I slowly glue my broken parts together again, also writing this here today.

Writing is my treatment and for you who read this it is what Jay refers to as “primary prevention”, that means exposure to real scenarios help to prepare you mentaly what can happen. It is win win situation.

Just never forget your mind on battlefield or one day you wake up alive but empty.

If you have experience with traumatic events please share in comments.