Best Way’s to Build Your Survival Group

urban survival

When we talk about how to start with preparing, for example how to talk to someone who is dear to you to get them started with preparing, it is easy to think that they will understand because it is obvious that world is going to hell right now.

You may try to convince someone to be with you in case of SHTF if that person is someone dear to you (family member for example) or if that person has cool skills that you will need when SHTF (some friend who does not know or share thoughts about SHTF, but his skills are great).

Of course best combination is if you have family members who have really cool skills necessary for SHTF (for example wilderness skills, martial arts, shooting, farming or similar) and you just need good conversation with that person over some time in order to be on same track with you and understand the importance of prepping.

Problem is in fact that combination is rare, and sometimes even if you have it, it can be possible that this person is useless simply because he (or she) is too shocked with SHTF and how hostile world suddenly is.

Anyway, there are activities to kinda „promote“ or simply „test“ your friends (or family members) if they are „candidates“ for your survival group.

It is slow process, you can not just go to someone and tell him that you strongly believe that world as we know it will end in next few years and that we all need to be prepared for that.
Usually they will think you are a weirdo.


There is nothing more simple and valuable in terms of learning and checking skills of someone (including yourself) like few days of camping in wilderness.

I am talking about camping in simple tents, with stuff and tools necessary for camping, without dragging truck full of things that will make your camping trip something like multiple day barbecue party in your backyard.

How to start fire, different kinds of wood, how to not kill yourself with axe while you collect wood, fishing, cleaning and preparing the food. Buying meat in your grocery shop is something completely different from killing live animals cleaning them and making them edible, for some people even catching (killing) fish is something new or big effort.

Man can get whole new perspective while lying inside tent during heavy rain, and it is getting colder and colder.

You can talk to him about how many people died last year because they were not aware of how everything is fragile, but he still gonna think that s..t is happening to someone else always and not him.

But he will always remember how cold it was because he did not have right socks, shoes or sleeping bag.

Or simply how hard it is to make your own food while it is freezing cold. Nothing like real experiences.

I was with friend camping on one mountain lake, and in the middle of the night he went out to look for the „toilet“.

He did not bring lamp, he went few steps too far into the woods, and of course after he finished his business he finds out that he does not have clue how to come back to the tents.

After 20 minutes of wondering he yelled and screamed and woke me up, he was actually close to the tents, so I brought him back. Grown up man, so helpless.

He said that he never felt scared like then, and that he did not have clue that „it is so dark in woods“.

Lesson learned.


It is simple. It happened before , and it will happen again. And probably it will be worse.

As a society we invented things and tools that allow us to make collapse events bigger, nastier, uglier.

We are living in a world where victims are numbers only, where there is thin line between those who will be protected and hidden when SHTF and those who will die in huge numbers when SHTF.

Do you still believe that goverment is there for your own good?

When SHTF, majority of folks will be left to take care for themselves and that s it.

It was like that many times before, and in the future it is gonna be even worse because we realy more and more on the system.

Suggest someone who is dear to you to read real life experiences.

Choose your books. For example general who was involved and wrote book about WW2 can teach you maybe something about tactics and numbers, but man who survived holocaust in camp can teach you way more about living and dying.

How armies were defeated is interesting, how man survived hiding like animal is more interesting in terms of survival.

Movies, documentaries ,TV shows, web and everything else are great sources of information and tools to give someone the right ideas but real experiences are always better.

If necessary, fake a longer power out to make people uncomfortable. This is not mean, this is to show them how much they depend on things and take things for granted. Survival is about getting normal skills back every human should have and needed for many thousands of years.

But like I mentioned many times before, there is danger of getting involved in preparing and getting things only instead getting the right mindset and knowledge. Learning common sense.

This is also what people will learn in our Survival Course in Croatia in few weeks. We still have spots available and you can train with me and Toby a few hundred miles from where I survived during Balkan war.

All details here.

Nothing beats real experience and investing in fancy knife might be fun, I understand, but real training and right mindset will make difference between those who live and those who die.

Survival’s first lesson: Staying out of trouble

survival lessonLooking for goods and usable items during the war often meant I got myself in some weird situations and scenarios. I knew lots of guys who risked their lives just to get to some destroyed places because they knew they could find some items that meant a lot for them personally but actually those items were useless in given situation around us at that time.

But people often act like fools and if you find yourself in a survival situation it is the perfect time to lose your life if you act like fool.

Like a friend who lost his eye just because he went to his house and searched trough a closet full of audio tapes in order to collect some of his favourite punk band titles. Not to mention that electricity in that time was something like faint memory, and he could not do anything with those tapes.

Anyway booby trap exploded, luckily he survived but he lost one of his eyes.

When you have young people or in general inexperienced people and fighting around you it is the perfect combination for some people to act like fools.

There is something in dangerous (and new) situations that makes you want to act like fool, and to do stupid things, young folks do that mostly, but it can happen to anyone, it happened to me too.

Good old „stay out of the trouble“ advice is one of the best survival lessons one can learn.

Whenever I read on survival forums threads about gangs and how during SHTF people should get organized and simply defeat them I remember how young and enthusiastic I was about that too, but luckily enthusiasm went away quickly and I survived.

The problem here is holding onto old concepts and not accepting change. One day you have law and order and you can call someone when you see trouble because it is not right, next day suddenly there is no one to call and you might feel you have to jump in to make things right.

You may find it cowardly that man wants to stay put when bad things happen around him but in reality in most of the situationz you can not do anything without huge organisation that helps you and big personal risk.

My relative was outside the country when war started, he was working for electrical company in middle east. Contract was good, and he had monthly salary there equal to 6 months salaries here at that time.

On first news about fighting and war he returned to the country to join the army and fight. Blockades and battles already started and his trip back to his town took lot of time and troubles.

He was 26 year old back then and he told me that when he entered country at a small city where he and few other guys wanted to join the fighting forces he saw that war is not like in books and movies the first time.

Military unit that welcomed them asked who they are and what they wanted, they said that they wanted to join the fighting forces. He said he expected some kind of questionary about their military experience or similar but instead of that the small unit commander asked them : „Do you want some women?“

They starred at him like idiots so he explained „We have some enemy women in prison close here, so go there if you want first“.

My relative was raised by his grandmother, he was nice kid, no cursing, no too much drinking, he said to me that shock was so big that he could not open his mouth to even say „No man!“

He told me that later he find out that fighting includes doing lots of things in order to win fight and stay alive. He went through lots of fighting, earned the reputation of a tough guy, and one day they got caught up in ambush and he was one of the few who survived.

Machine gun from close distance destroyed his legs and belly. He was removed from the country for rehabilitation, legs are still there, but only for „pictures“.

He is „glued“ to wheel chair forever, and no kids, no wife either.

He lives today in small apartment that looks at big chimney of for years closed factory, elevator is usually not working, and nobody cares to lift him up and down.

Nobody visits him too much, he is no hero, he fought for something that is now considered „ wrong and not needed war“ as they say.

Now and then I visit him in his city and that apartment, and every time I conclude two things:

First how lucky I am even with all my issues and traumas from the war compared to him, and second is that every time when I left him in his misery and bitterness I am expecting to see in few days in news something like „old war veteran in wheel chair went crazy and start to shoot from AK47 at people in street from his apartment at 6th floor.“

I asked him once why he returned to the country at the beggining of the war while at the same time thousands fled? I expected to hear something patriotic or similar, but he said „Man, at that time it was something so exciting and new!“

So just listen to first survival and most important survival lesson: Stay out of the trouble. Life is very real and it is easy to forget how brutal “real life” can be. With real life I mean life without our civilized society or just life without all support and help we take for granted.

I hope I will never have to use everything I trained for or any lesson I share with you here ever again.

Do you have examples when staying out of trouble was hard and about consequences of this? Share in comments below or forum.

Common mistakes while bugging out

trade post collapseBugging out is something that I once failed to do, because I did not even realize that it needed to be done, actually I saw what was happening but I did not „proccess“ the information in correct way, so I stay and had to go trough whole period of watching, doing, and getting hit by violence, together with being cold, hungry, sick and everything else.

Because bugging out is so important and survival done right is often not getting into survival situations in the first place I stress importance of bugging out (if you are not already live in great bug out location anyway)

Consider the following couple of mistakes that I witnessed (more than one time).

Right moment

Guy figured out that SHTF, something happening in the city, hears screams outside, shots, confusing news on TV, he rounds up his family, puts all bags in his car, they are armed and they go out in order to reach their bug out location in hills some 50 miles away.

After one mile of traveling angry mob who just plundering local mall stops the car, pull them out, and beat them, and then kill the guy, he managed to kill few of them before that, but they were hundreds.
He is dead. End of story.

If you woke up in the middle of the night, because something strange happens in your town, some event, maybe terrorist attack, or martial law put into effect or whatever, sit down and think for a moment.

Your mission is to leave the area and reach your bug out location, do not confuse that mission with any urge to panically run.
If you go into the panic you will make mistakes, and it is definetly not time for mistakes.

You would be surprised to know how many people are prone to panic, and how many of them end up dead because of that.

Try to gather some information, and act acordingly to that information, who, what, when, how long, where. Try to figure out what is happening before you start to bug out to your bug out location. What are problematic areas? Who is in control? You will never have perfect information but it is better than having no information at all. Speak to neighbors, listen to the radio and TV and look on Twitter and other social media.

Yes that often means you will need to postpone your trip, maybe for hours, or sometimes for even days. You need to choose the best moment to leave the area (if you already missed to leave the area before SHTF).

Right „way“

SHTF and family get in their pick up, with trailer full of good equipment for SHTF time.
They managed to go some 20 miles down the road, where few cars simply „get them“, block them and take everything from them. They manage to save their lives or maybe not. Who knows.

Real problem here is not having right and good equipment, and lots of it.
Real problem is that we are being constantly bombarded with information that we (preppers and survivalists) need to have right equipment (a lot) in order to survive. Because without it we are gonna end up dead.

We are being instructed that without „things“ we are lost, we are not even right survivalists.
So when SHTF we are becoming something like prisoners of our things.

Guess what? I am preparing myself to bug out in my sneakers, with pistol and plastic bag.
If I have to I will collect everything else what I need on my way to my bug out location.

Do not get me wrong, of course I have my bug out bag, my plans, and my useful stuff for trip to my bug out location, but the point is that I am really expecting that I will find myself in situation where I need to reach bug out location without all those things.

Do not accept philosophy that things will save your life. Things will help you to stay alive, but your (correct) mindset will mainly save your life.

Anyway, plan to have what you need at your bug out location (already prepared), do not rely too much on things while you are bugging out, you need to be able to get things done with minimal equipment that’s why skills are more important than equipment and in best case you have both.

Right mindset

One word-ADAPT.

If you are bug out plan plays out excatly like it should you are a very lucky man.
Consider the fact, that most of you are making plans to cover hypothetical SHTF scenarios, that you seen on TV shows, read about it somewhere, member of family went through somewhere, or simply you had couple of bad experiences. It is normal. We need to guess and it is best we can do.

You are building your plans based on that, nothing wrong with that. Except that everything may go wrong in one moment.

You have plan to go through the city from point A to point B then to point C etc, and then to reach safe point somewhere.

All good, but SHTF and your youngest son is still in school, your car is broken, and at point B in your plan something weird is happening, some kind of riot, let say with all chaos and confusion some trucks with money are rolled over right at your point B and now you need to find out a new way quickly, and your whole plan is gone, you do not know what to do.

Welcome to reality!

Reality usually likes to blow all your good plans to pieces.

But point of planning is to COVER as many problems as you can, so make sure you play through as many scenarios as possible.

For example if you have just one way out of the city it is bad plan, it needs backup and backup of the backup.

Prepare for the fact that your plan will be wrong right at the beginning, and that you need to make new plan very soon, (and couple of more new plans until you reach your bug out location.)
Do not end up dead because you wanted to stick to your plan because it looks good, while circumstances changed hourly around you. Survival is about quickly adapting to new situations. That is why it always helps to take a map and whatever else you need to have good sources of information to make new plans on the go.

These were just few of the most important things to consider when bugging out. How do you plan to bug out. Share in comments below or forum.

Essential for understanding survival is understanding reality of death and dying

Death and Survival

When I was young and under the influence of movies and books about fighting, war and dying somehow I adopted views that death and dying is something unavoidable and it is mostly noble and clean, and have some kind of cause and reason.

Soon I realized that truth is quite different, and mostly there is nothing clean about it.

People like to think that death in combat is something like they see on movies because it makes sense, it gives you some kind of comfort. I have seen death and dying many times, both in combat and in bed at peoples home when working in emergency services, and I can count on one hand when it looked clean and “noble”.

Buddy next to you who get few bullets in stomach will usually scream a lot, smell a lot, and you gonna catch yourself thinking „is he already dead? I can not stand this…“ and in the same time theres gonna be one more thought, prevailing, it is „thanks God it is him, not me, lying, screaming and dying…“ and later you might feel guilty for thinking this way…

Dying people will call their moms, sons, wives… will hold to you with their hands like death is trying to drag them, like you can save them, sometimes they will stare „through“ you, like they already see something that is not from this world…

Sometimes you gonna see something like blame in their eyes, this time they are aware that they are dying, and they want to switch places with you. Why can this guy stay and I have to go now? How unfair and cruel is this. This can not be real.

When SHTF be prepared that people will die around you, and it probably will look very different from picture that you have in your mind now. And also be prepared that looking at those deaths will change you on many levels, will affect you. I have seen people that were changed in bad ways, also I have seen people changed in good ways.

But it will change you.

As I said, I have seen many deaths, and most of those deaths were violent, I speak about this in my course. All that makes me more cynical, but every time when I caught myself being too cynical I remember my motto that „generalizing things is not good“ so I remember the man, my good friend who died some 5 years ago.

He died in hospital, throat cancer. It was bad, and it was very painful. And what was worse it was very slow. He was „melting“ in front of my eyes, for weeks, at the end all what was left were skin, bones and his eyes.

I remembered those eyes from the days of war and chaos, he was strong man, a lion, people had a picture of him that he is powerful and ruthless. He was inspiration for many to fight on. And they were right. He was dangerous and fearless. But what they did not know was fact that he hide and save whole bunch of people from different enemy „group“. He did not do that for money, gold or anything else.

He saved them from death and private prisons, and get them to the safety. In that time he could easily lost his life for doing that. Only condition was that those people keep their mouth shut about who helped them. And they did mostly. After everything rumors were there, but nobody believed them.

Anyway times changed, he lost his power after the war, and later his health too. Times came when he could use fact that he save those folks, in order to gain money or power or similar.
But he did not do that, I know him before war, during the war, and after the war, I helped him once in smuggling few those guys to safety.

He did not use that. He was very poor when they found his cancer, he died as a poor man. Only few people were with him when he died, including me.

And I think it is one of the rare occasions when I saw that some man is very aware that he is dying, and still he is very calm, very peaceful. He always believed in God, in Jesus Christ, so it gave him peace I guess, but I like to think that being good man gave him peace. He save those folks because he was man like that, good man. He also knew what to expect from death. We, survivors of this time, have seen it too often to live under any illusion.

As I said, my faith in people is not strong at all, but whenever I lost it too much I remember him and thought that come to my mind is that even in hardest times you can find good people, even in strangest places. It does not mean to trust people, you should not. But in big crowd of naive sheep there are few exceptions. Look closely how people deal with stressful situation around you. Look who believes in what Hollywood tells them is reality and avoid these people.

Reality of death and dying will change them and it is hard to guess to what. Reality and our idea of life and death is often very different and this can result in shock when you look at ugly side of death. Shock paralyzes and scars souls.

I know this message is lost on many people who like to flip open weapon magazine and shop for new toys instead of learning about ugly side of life. Getting comfortable with death and how ugly, smelly, dirty and not noble it is, is essential for survivalist to still make right decisions and actions when it matters.

What are your thoughts on death and dying? Any personal experiences that helped you to become peaceful with it? Please share in comments or on forum.

Rural vs Urban Survival

urban survival vs rural survival

It is discussion without end, and there will always be people who prefer one over the other choice. We have pretty interesting discussion about if survival in urban setting is even possible right now in the forum.

It is OK, we all have opinions, and there should be nothing wrong in discussing opposing opinions. It is good to do that, because we can spot some things that we did not think about and somebody else did.

I prefer to find myself in rural settings when SHTF. I am subjective with that opinion simply because I experienced urban survival in urban setting once and can not imagine that it can be worse on country side. In fact, relatives who survived in rural setting simply had much better time.

But we all need to consider the actual pros and cons of choosing between these two options and we need to be objective, it is hard but we can try.


What you have with you is what you gonna have for some time if you find yourself in urban survival scenario.

If you have stored food and water most probably you can count on that only for some time, before situation changes or you manage to find some more supplies.

There are ways to obtain resources at the beginning of SHTF in the chaos, but it is not like in the movies, and you can count on the fact that mostly you will be late for these events and more organized units such as local gangs control who gets what when looting. It is high risk, medium reward and most of us prepare to not have to risk anything in this chaos.

Some greedy prepper will still head out to get that bit of extra and if you know my story from my time in war, that we looted the alcohol factory was very helpful in the weeks and months after. But we were not prepared. Big difference.

Better organized groups will control looting so this is no real benefit for urban survival.

Count on the fact that being in a city when SHTF means too many folks and way too little resources, and when that happens you can expect bad things.

Being in rural settings gives you advantage of having some (if not all) resources, of course with some planning ahead.
Trees in forests close to you or some small creek will mean a lot to you when SHTF. Not to mention animals, and food production from land of course.


No matter in what kind of house or apartment or whatever you are living in urban area, sooner or later you will be forced to defend it.

It is hard job, simply because you will not be sure who is your enemy, or in other words, you gonna have too many possible enemies.

When you have too many hungry folks everyone is your possible enemy. Can you imagine how much effort and time will this fact cost you? You gonna need to be alerted and ready to fight-defend at every minute and after you see true nature of most people trying to survive (and doing whatever necessary) there will be very few friends left.

Being in rural settings does not mean that you do not need to be prepared do defend yourself, but it is gonna be much easier because as I said less (unknown) people mean less troubles and less very desperate people mean people stick together more.

If you planning ahead to be in rural setings when SHTF you should have your group of people that you can trust, family or friends and neighbours, together with plans how to defend yourself. This is big ideal for most of us and just having bug out location and plan to get there is not enough.

Common sense, again

Now please, you need to understand that I am not saying that in case of SHTF it is impossible to survive in the city. I survived. I am just saying that in most of the SHTF cases it is gonna be MUCH HARDER to survive in the city than in some small rural community.

Of course I am talking here about real SHTF event. I know there are opinions that in some cases of SHTF there is gonna be much safer to stay in the city where there is some kind of law, and where that law still can protect you.

There are opinions that in distant rural places most of the murders, robbing and rape will happen because law is gone first in more remote areas. All this still makes rural settings much better in my opinion.

If you compare it to the normal life that most of us have today of course my relatives who survived war on the countryside had some hard time. They lost electric energy, almost all ways to make money, people who worked in cities lost jobs, it was war and situation was hard.

But point is that they had RESOURCES all around them, land for growing food, woods for fuel, animals for hunting etc.

And as you can imagine some old skills were in use again. People started to make juice from fruits, older folks remembered what kind of wild fruits and berries were used in hard time of WW2.

Folks simply „re-invented“ for example very old style wooden press for making jams and syrups from different kinds of fruits. It looked funny, it used very long skinny trunk (timber) as a kind of leverage, from the distance it looked like someone want to launch something from old Roman catapult.

But it worked, and it was not nothing new, people used that thing for centuries maybe, just it was forgotten maybe because it is easier to buy jam, or to make it with electric devices.

Horses were put in use for plowing fields, tobacco was grown etc. But what was most important is fact that people stood together much much better in small rural communities, they were in many cases relatives, or simply people who know each other for years.

In cases like that security issues were easier to solve, people were better in any kind of organisation.

One of the guys I know started getting rich at that times. He simply grew potatoes in big amounts, and had good connections for smuggling them to places where price was many times higher.

In short, resources and security are much easier to have in rural settings than in urban settings. Urban survival matters a lot but do not forget that all our goal should be to just need it until we left urban areas.

It is not some hard rule, but there is gonna be much more fighting for small amount of resources in urban settings, while there are many more resources and probably less fighting for it in rural settings.

What is your take on this? Share in comments below or in our discussion in the forum.

Blending In and Survivalist Hate

It is OK if you think that government is corrupt and incompetent, I think that too.

It is OK to have weapon in your home, and will and knowledge to use it, and it is very good if you think that TV is full of crap.

I think too that S. is gonna hit the fan, and that it makes sense to have bug out location and bug out bag, and lots of cans and ammo.

So we are clear that we agree that all of the above (and lots more) make perfect sense. But one thing does not make sense and that is to let everyone else know that you are thinking like this.


Because it makes you different from (great) majority of folks around you, and what should be one of the basic and first imperatives?

To blend in, to look and be like everyone around you!

Do not ruin your chances to be safe at home even before SHTF.

Since last week we have ongoing discussion if survival in urban environment is even possible at all.

Under some circumstances it is, my experience during war I talk about in my course and how many others survived trapped in cities during war shows it is possible.

But you have to be prepared and do things right even before any collapse happens. Here are some more important things to keep in mind when you try to fly under radar and increase your chances for survival.

Survivalist Hate: From nice guy who helps to guilty man

Did you ever hear of “survivors guilt”? Feeling of being guilty because you survived but many others you know did not. There is something else that can “help” you to not feel that, because it can kill you. It is what I call “survivalist hate” by people around you.

I often read how people want to help other folks when SHTF, and it is really good, but in reality it works different.

When SHTF, I mean real SHTF, most of the people will not like you because you are prepared, people will hate you, even if you help them. They will hate you because you are prepared and you have food, water, weapon and shelter for you and your family, and they do not have anything like that.

I have seen how people robbed man, and his family, torching his house because he had lots of goods (he gave some of that stuff to some folks week before) and by that logic folks said that he knew that S. is going to hit the fan, and he was like guilty for them. People were angry that he prepared but did not tell them.

This is what you can call “survivalist hate”. Think about it, sentences like “he could have warned us” or “he must have stolen this from somewhere, otherwise he would have not that much”. Do not expect normal logical thinking. It does not happen much in normal times and is less in survival scenarios for most common folks.

Being a Stranger

To be stranger in some area, for whatever reason is dangerous thing when SHTF. Let say for example that you move from your country to some other, permanently, and you want to continue to live there. And you are obviously different from people around you because how you look. It is dangerous place to be when SHTF. In some places just because you are from different race people consider you rich.

Do not be fooled by everyday “ease” now in normal times. You may think that you blend in perfectly, and people like you, you go to the church, contribute to charity etc.

But when SHTF you are going to see that you are outsider, and in some cases you could be even accused for bad situation, and you could be in danger.

Of course it is not always going to be like this, but I saw many times people being attacked in SHTF just because they are different. When SHTF people want to look for guilty people for SHTF, and it is easiest to “find” them in people who are different.

Being a “Smartass”

Do not be smartass. This is advice also for normal times of course. For example people here (I guess just like everywhere) are completely addicted to retarded TV shows.

For hours they sit in front of the TV and follow that stuff, and they comment on it everywhere. I never discuss with them my opinion that I do not watch that s..t and that it is retarded.

For them, they believe I watch it too, I am just like them. Now this may look like stupid nonsense example, but it is only example.

I go like that with all other things, very very rarely I go into the discussion with people and try to prove that they are wrong. They deserve to live their life like that and it is OK.

Sometimes when I found man who is worth of “saving” I try to discuss with him my way of living, values, etc. Maybe there is future prepper in him.

Point of this is to understand: there is no sense in going against majority of people around you, you just gonna stick out like that, attract attention, be smart ass because you are trying to go against majority.

Just leave them, blend in, look like everyone around you. It is satisfying for your ego to proof other people wrong when you know better, but what do you win? Nothing and most people do not even want to know any truth that does not fit in their world view.

What are your ways of blending in? Please share in our forum thread about this topic or comments below.

If you haven’t already you can register for our forum for free here.

Survival & Preparedness Gift Ideas

If you are new to survival or want to find good gift for survivalists or preppers you know we have some suggestions. I updated our Survivalist Gift Guide from 2012 with new prices (but kept the old ones, so you can see what became more expensive and what cheaper). So make sure you check out our old guide for more gift suggestions.

When you read this, please also keep in mind that family gatherings and holidays are great options to talk to friends and family about survival and preparedness. Give someone some fire steel or basic survival set and head out to show them some survival skills after you had food. All fancy tools and preps are worth little compared to good working survival group so hopefully you can use the time to help more people understand why survival and preparedness is common sense (and our current way of living dependent on system is non sense).

We also have give away. If you share this post on Facebook or add a comment with another suggestion for great survival or preparedness related gift here on the blog you can win one of my favorite survival knife the Ontario RAT-5 Knife. We announce winner on 1st of December.

Here are our suggestions for survival and preparedness gifts for this years holiday season.

Under $20

$4.69 Set of 10 Caltrops Tashibishi
These spikes dig through sneaker soles. Probably work for car tires too.

$7.18 Columbia River Knife and Tool’s Eat N Tool 9100C Silver Multi Tool
Spork, bottle opener and hex wrenches in one tool for key chain.

$9.99 Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Great drinking bottle that can be used to cook water too.

$10.93 Chainmate CM-24SSP 24-Inch Survival Pocket Chain Saw With Pouch
Another small and light addition for bug out bag or overall preps.

$11.99 Caldwell Ar-15 Brass Catcher
For those times when you do not want to leave traces.

$14.95 Self Defense Money Clip Silver
Money clip that can be used as beat knuckle.

$14.99 50 – Pk. Anatomy Targets
Get used to shoot at people (or images first).

$19.99 LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Put in your car, bug out bag and show your kids and friends how to use them. Cheap, proven way to filter up to 1000 liters of water.

Under $30

$21.79 Goal Zero 90103 Solar Black Small Crank Flashlight
LED technology made lot of progress. This is updated version of all around survival flashlight. Hand crank and solar powered.

$24.54 Butler Creek LULA M16/AR-15 All-in-One Magazine Speed Loader and Unloader
also available for $26.95 for Butler Creek AK47/GALIL LULA Loader, BUT24216

$24.97 C-A-T Combat Application Tourniquet All black version
Easy to use and can save lives. Have at least one of them with you if you expect to fight. Practice that you know how to use on yourself and others! Quick application is crucial.

$25.08 TekMat 12-Inch X 36-Inch Long Gun Cleaning Mat with AR15 Imprint, Black
Helps with gun maintenance, to avoid scratches and keeps gun in place.

$26.00 2-Book Safes, Diversion Safe made with a Real Book
Always smart to have way to hide some valuables.

$27.49 SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F01TN-CP Tactical Tomahawk with 2.75-Inch Steel Axe Blade and Black Ballistic Nylon Sheath, Black Finish
Learn to throw it, use it as all around tool for urban survival to scavenge, breach open windows and more.

$27.95 MOLLE Compatible Military Style M3 Medic Bag, Combat Medical Kit, Rescue Red
Durable bag for medical supplies. Easy access to everything. I use one of these too.

$29 Lifetime Subscription to my Online Course
I’m happy that my experience from survival during war can help people today and in future.

Under $100

$32.59 Cold Steel Brooklyn Crusher
Even in survival scenario you should be able to escalate use of force.

$33.61 Dpms Ar15 Armorers Multi-Tool
Handy tool for rifle maintenance.

$35.00 T3 Tactical Triage & Auto Rescue Tool
In my job in emergency services I have to cut people from their cars often. With this knife you can help yourself.

$37.37 United Cutlery Bush Master Survival Knife
Good starter set for older children or people completely new to survival. Sit down with person who gets the knife and talk about survival. Get a better knife like the Ontario 8627 RAT-5 Knife (Brown) for experienced survivalists as gift.

$37.81 Mosby’s 2014 Nursing Drug Reference, 27e (SKIDMORE NURSING DRUG REFERENCE)
Older edition would be good too but why not get the latest. One day there might be no Internet anymore and when you get your hands on drugs you can look up how to use them.

$37.95 Survival Seed Vault – Heirloom Emergency Survival Seeds – Plant a Full Acre Crisis Victory Garden – 20 Easy-to-grow Varieties
Get a seed stash with non gmo heirloom seeds so you can harvest seeds and keep planting in future years. Consider packing some in your bug out bag. You never know where you end up and they take little space and weight.

$56.42 Galco KT224B Kingtuk Inside the Waistband Holster – RH, Black, fits Glock 17,19,22,23,26,27,31,32,33
Quality holster for concealed carry.

$98.30 LaserLyte TLB-RT Reaction Tyme Laser Target
Living in urban environment but want to practice shooting indoor? This can help. Needs a matching Laser Trainer. For example for 9-mm

Over $100

$107.35 TSD Tactical Full Metal/Full Auto M9 Gas Blowback Airsoft Pistol
These guns give people who are afraid of weapons, easy way to get started and develop feeling for it. Gas blowback slide delivers more realistic action.

$179.99 Wilton 22036 20 Pound Head, 36-Inch BASH Sledge Hammer
Helps a lot with breaching doors and walls.

$217.37 Benjamin Trail NP Hardwood Break Barrel Air Rifle (.22) powered by Nitro Piston®
Air powered rifles have come long way. This rifle can shoot 0.22 at 950 fps and can be loaded by hand (no need for gas). Good for small game hunting.

$227.29 M-Pro 7 Advanced Small Arms Cleaning Kit with Leatherman MUT
Everything you need for weapon maintenance in one package. Smaller pack available for $45.99 M-Pro 7 Soft Sided Tactical Gun Cleaning Kit (Black)

$299.9 Big Agnes Storm King 0F / -18C Down Sleeping Bag (650 Downtek)
Quality down sleeping bag.

$469.00 Armasight Spark CORE Multi-Purpose Night Vision Monocular
If you do not want to spend several thousand on new gen night visions, get good and flexible first gen with a good IR light such as $101.83 Streamlight 88704 Super TAC IR Long Range Infrared Active Illuminator

Out of ordinary survival gifts (not so serious)

$8.48 Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit in a Sardine Can
Fun gift for prepper who has it all already.

$23.94 CMMG Tactical Cooked Bacon, 9-Ounce
Bacon in can that says its tactical bacon.

£29.99 Muscle enhancing shirts
For people who want to look more intimidating. Like push up bra for men.

$37.95 ThinkGeek Tactical BBQ Apron
It is cold now, but BBQ is serious business. Attach mole accessories to this BBQ apron.

$245 Gerber 30-000601 Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit
Tools aren’t so bad, but you are probably better buying individual items. Decent starter set for someone who has no big knives yet.

$249.99 NEW OPMOD Battle Mug – with Carry Handle OPMOD-BM002
Massive mug with three Mil-Spec 1913 scope rails so you can attach AR 15 scopes and more and then drink beer from the mug.

$385 Titanium Utility Ring
Also perfect wedding ring for survivalist couple. For all those moment when leatherman is not in your pocket.

$850.00 X-FF Fiber Factory – Predator Motorcycle Helmet X1 Airbrush – Medium
Might work to intimidate some people or not.

$1,618.99 Sierra Designs Mojo UFO Ultralight Backpacking Tent, 2-Person
If you want to make your bug out bag lighter and have a lot of money to spend…

Variuous stab proof and bullet proof casual wear is available from Miguel Caballero. Polo shirt can cost 3000 – 4000 USD. Slash proof clothing can be had cheaper from UK over here.

$19,999 Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS
Not the most low key bug out vehicle but can handle some off road action for sure.

$30,000 Off road wheelchair
This can be actually smart investment for people who need it.

$629,000 Knight XV
Bug out with style and be at the center of attention with this luxurious SUV.

Prescription drugs, mental health and unstable people in survival scenarios

A reader wrote me and spoke about a family who are friends but he found out they are all on prescription medication that keeps them normal. He asks for advice how to deal with this and what can be expected from people like this during collapse.

Today I want to talk more about prescription drugs and medicine. I’m sure many of you who need medication on regular basis have already big stock of them. Know that some prescription medication like antibiotics can be bought as animal medication and so on. But here are some more thoughts on this.

People who have been dependent on some drugs, stuff like sedatives, antidepressants or something similar usually had two choices, first choice was to try to find sources of medicine (black market etc.) or to try to get by with substitutes (alcohol, marijuana or something stronger like heroin).

Second choice was in short to „get over it“ and live.

Of course this other (second) choice sounds and looks cooler and probably more „macho“ but in real life it is not so easy and people needed lot of support.

In my family I had example of a relative who chose first choice and go through our year of trying to survive with some serious drinking, sometimes during that time he was causing more problems than help.

But I also know guy who had pretty poor life before SHTF in terms of his goals in life, way of living and similar. He had bad drugs habits but when everything collapsed, it kinda woke him up in terms that he finds out that there is more real life problems to think about.

He saw that life is cool thing, and it is so easy to lose your life, so this gave him much motivation and energy and he overcome his problems. Years later he lives now life much better than in the time before the war, simply because he changed his priorities in life.

Prescription medication

Being dependent on certain drugs (medicine) that allow you to function properly because you are suffering from certain conditions (and I am talking here about stuff like depression, anxiety, panic disorders, phobias…) can be already hard in normal life.

It is constant and everyday struggle.

Coping with that conditions when SHTF can look impossible, especially without proper support and help. But also, do not consider them „not usable“ and „not worthy“ when SHTF.

For some things survival scenario is good, it can show you what life is, how much you need to appreciate it because you become close to death, and how easily you can lose it. SHTF will show you what is love, hate, fear and extreme emotions. And it can show you your true meaning of life.

My time in war was all about urban survival, besides my trip over mountains to get some supplies, but survival puts you more in touch with yourself and nature. You have no choice.

It is good if you have big stash of medicine you need, but do not stop with this. Living healthy life now, trying to find natural alternatives to drugs you take makes more sense to do now then when you are busy with surviving. From what I read a lot of people in survival scene live in world that they think they can buy safety. They forget about learning new skills and preparing your mind and body. Getting all things ready for harder life includes a lot of areas you have to put work in.

It is easy to take care of your teeth now, get regular checkup and any holes fixed. Someone else does it you just lie down. But try to clean up your medical problems as much as you can today. In long term collapse it can take years to rebuild system that can offer modern medicine.

So what about people in your family or friends who are dependent on some medication or drugs? What if it is about someone you can not change or who even does not care about preparedness and survival?

I mentioned few times that when SHTF people show their true face, so you can not know how someone will act.

People can act under the stress in some very weird and not common ways, be ready that people who do you consider like „tough ones“ cry, or be useless because of high stress. Theory is one thing but when you smell blood, hear screams and find out that you are about to fight for your life then everything is different.

If you can, take them out on adventure trip. Put them in some stressful situation (you still have control over) and see how they react. Look how these people work. Are they willing to work hard on something?

Do not consider automatically persons on some drugs (antidepressant for example) not usable for SHTF situation. Personally I would focus more on their other qualities and skills. Keep in mind that some people with mental problems have been to very dark places, sometimes only in their mind but for them it is real. They can be tougher and more used to stressful and terrible situations because they are used to it.

You want to prepare and form group for survival. If you know details of my fight for survival from my course, you see real example of how important being in a good group is for survival.

Group can be great source of support and can carry few unstable people through hard times but make sure you take good hard look how many “bad apples” you can take in your group. Survival is never popularity contest. Some decisions you will make sound cruel, maybe even insane but it is what it is. Let’s be realistic, without modern medicine we would have less people here today.

Even if you take on some unstable people, make sure you have solution to cut them lose from group when you can not support them anymore.

Surviving the comeback of natural selection

We live in society that keeps people alive. Corporations and government exploit human “capital” and keep them alive enough. Just fed with crap food and entertained to live in dreamworld of good feelings and work and do what the powers want.

I can not stop to think about the fact that everything is going in circles and that things and events in history are repeating all the time. Also one more thing is repeating and staying the same – majority of people are brainless idiots.

Do you feel and think that system, government, infrastructure and everything else around you is there in order to make your life better?

Do you think that politician, party, politic option, president etc. that you choose / vote is there to represent your will, and will of other people that choose them?

If answers are yes, then you are living in fairy tale not in real world.

And if you think that I am being too harsh, think again about fact that I was living once in cartoon too. I was living my life sure that „they“ (government, system, law…) take care about all big problems, and that my only worry is to live decent life, have job, kids, pay taxes, believe in system…

Do I needed to think about eerie feeling that government is losing ability to control anything and that something terrible is about to happen?

I had that feeling 20 years ago before SHTF, but I force myself into the thinking that „ oh they will fix that…“ They did not fix it, S. did hit the fan, and I was alone without grocery shops, firefighters, job, showering in the morning , without showering at all, eating grass for breakfast and being shot at.
Guys from government run away, or turn into warlords.

I believed into that system, and law, in police force. Yeah, I had feeling that maybe, just maybe I need to arm myself at the time, but then again there were those beautiful systems, government and law enforcement and TV announcements that „they will take care about everything“.

Suddenly, I found myself in the middle of civil war, watching how people being killed, sometimes only for fun.
Now more than 20 years after these moments when I had those strange and eerie feelings that something wrong is going to happen again I am seeing how people are idiots again, completely trusting that someone „ is going to take care and everything is going to be fine“ etc.

Im glad most did not have to go through civil war like I did but this is no excuse not to learn from those who did. When someone keeps doing same mistake it is stupid. Seems like most people like to be stupid instead of listening and learning.

The idea of survival is alien idea to regular people in these times. Death is concept that is pushed far away from everyday life and most people rely on the system for everything.

If you grow up as sick person in hospital and are connected to life support system all your life do you take the effort to get out and try to live on your own? Most people do not and stay connected to the system. It is comfortable even though hospital conditions slowly turn to hell. But they do not want to give up that comfort.

Thinking that the system one day is not there to help or was never there to help and just to keep people under control is very uncomfortable. No, the system becomes something like god, something they defend because they are so dependent on it.

Governments and our modern system we live in has killed natural selection.

Some say humans are now more stupid than 2000 years before because everyone survives and less smart parts of humans reproduce fast. Everyone should get a chance, but this is not natural.

Medical progress is good, being social is good thing. I give and do my best for MY people. My tribe, my people. People I believe should have benefit from my work, my knowledge and whatever I want to share.

Sometimes government comes in and forces everyone to share. This can have benefits for everyone too and I do not say it is right or wrong but I believe people should understand real motivation and freedom to choose who they share with.
What if government steps in and forces me to give my share to keep everyone alive just that they can remain in power?
Do I have to help everyone to be a good person?

If I’m forced to share why can’t I decide who to help? Or are we forced to do whatever it takes to keep human sheep peaceful so that corporations and government have maximum power over them?

Governments are there for many reasons, and I do not believe in anarchy, some system must be there always, but please, that does not mean you need to trust in that system blindly.

They are not there for me or you, they are there to keep people alive enough to function and serve them.

Today every time when I hear that „ government is doing that, or government is doing this“ in order to make our lives easier, make more jobs or similar my first thoughts are:

„ F@#k, I need to stash more ammo/fuel/water…“

With big headlines they just make new cartoons for you, it is kinda reality show but without happy end in sight and winner are those in power.

Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that you need to put helmet on and hide in bunker. Point is not in hiding, point is in understanding the things around us and preparing today while you have time.

Talk with your family, choose your friends wisely and prepare. Groups are more important than fancy tools and skills are more important than tools. In best case you have right people, right skills and right tools.

No matter on which side you stand in government shutdown, the fact is that government is not reliable and even sheeple might have chance to see the light if you explain them that they are on their own and have to prepare right now.

The hell I was surviving and I speak about in detail in my survival course, was so far away until it was there one day. Don’t fall for it, there is no safety unless you take care of it yourself.

I cannot say for sure why things are getting worse and worse in different areas of life. I can just make educated guess and I can only pretend to understand all the „fine“ details of politics, parties, government etc.
That is perfectly fine.

If you survive SHTF and live happy many years after collapse you can start thinking how it happened.
I do not want to know all that because it is not important actually. In world of falling governments and empires it is good enough to keep some basic things in mind:

  • No matter who is in charge and why and where. Truth is that they are not there to help you, they have their own agenda
  • It is similar no matter where you live, so forget about „differences“ or think this happened in other country and can not happen to us. We are all still same animals and greed and abuse for power is universal part of people.
  • Everything is going to collapse sooner or later, we gotta be prepared for that, that is only thing that matters.
  • Forget about learning what are the reasons for things like“end of middle class“ or „economic collapse“ or similar, instead of that go somewhere and learn food canning, build shelter, repair stuff, treat injured people etc. or make more money that you can buy little cabin somewhere outside of urban center.

This list can go on and on.

Main point is that you need to understand that you cannot change anything in this big picture right now, this system is still running on full speed towards cliff with big momentum and not slowing down.

But it is very important that you can still change a lot in your „small circle“. Your family, group, bug out place etc. Do not be distracted by looking „too closely“ because you can be blinded and forget about real priorities.

Some people say I speak too dark about future and sorry we are not place that tells you the latest ar 15 guarantees your survival. The mission here is to get as many people as possible away from harm and ready for more natural and harder life so that once everything is over there is good base of people left to rebuild and form better and more free society.

Many great preppers gonna die, I saw great smart fighters drop dead too. There are no guarantees. So maybe next time you check news page about latest “big issue” you make it a bit shorter and instead go out and practice some survival skill or pick up that book about first aid you wanted to read for long time.

Tactical gear vs skills for survival

Being able to fight and survive when SHTF means lot of things. Of course it means to be trained, well equip and ready to fight.

But there is some misunderstanding (just like with many other things when it comes to SHTF and survival in general) when it comes to what you suppose to have with you while you are moving through dangerous area in which you might have to fight in a survival situation.

There are countless discussions on forums about what to have, AR or AK, and what is better, with what weapon you have more chance to win, kill, survive, what kind of pistol, caliber etc.

For example I have used both rifles (AR years later after my time in war), and I prefer AK, but it is better option for ME, maybe not for you because of many reasons.

And of course most of those discussions do not make too much sense, actually people discuss wrong things there. It is a bit like mountaineer discusses every little bit of detail of climbing gear before going up his first mountain. After that he realizes more or less every harness works if it sits properly.

Everything today is about what other folks saying is good for you, not what is really good for you, what make sense for you.

So you can see well working business of selling weapons and gear for SHTF, with assurances that you will survive doomsday only with their gear and weapon.
Now do not get me wrong, you ll need good equipment and weapon, but thats it about this topic, nothing more. What is much more important you will need clear head and common sense to survive SHTF.

For example there are literally hundreds type of pistol holsters. For SHTF I prefer old style leather (Soviet) pistol holster. With all dirt, jumping, squatting, crawling, rain etc. It is just make sense to use it. It is nothing fancy, I dont look very tactical but it has time proven design that works. Like the AK bayonet that I talk about in my survival course that I used for many things.

Think about running for few miles while someone is shooting at you. It is something pretty hard on your body. And if you dragging lot of fancy stuff on you, you gonna end up dead probably.

What you wear when SHTF can easily put you in danger, so it makes sense to wear things that can help you when it comes to fighting but at the same time that does not give you look of special forces dude. Remember also that by having things that clearly look interesting (cool, good, new…) it makes you interesting, and thats bad.

There is much more sense to think about what kind of footwear you gonna have then to read about what is more deadly AK or AR. Both of those gonna kill in good hands, but if you are wearing wrong kind of boots you not gonna be able to operate with full capacity and that is bad.

And I always preferred idea of being more maneuverable than to have extra stuff with me while moving trough urban terrain in post collapse city.

Many people very easily forget fact that fight in urban environment is very dynamic thing, in other words lots of physical activity is involved, and while you are trying to shoot someone other folks try to shoot you too.

Two predictions from me here.

A lot of people have bug out bags they can not carry for solid 10 hours while escaping their city and lot of people do not pay enough attention to fitness and think good shooting only gives them big advantage in fire fight.

Some people can not improve fitness because they are older or handicapped but also these people they need to make up for lack of fitness with thinking.

They need to pay much more attention to proper information, so they can move on time, not in hurry. They have to be “more alarmed” and even if not necessary bug out before everyone else.

And they MUST have those stashes on the way, so they can have option of carrying nothing but “refueling” on those stops. I mean where other folks have 1 bug out route and two “back up routes and 5 stashes or none, they (older folks) need to have 1 bug out route and 5 back up routes and like 15 small stashes on the way.

I have seen many times how people throw away precious stuff in the middle of the fight just because they are too slow, too restrained while maneuvering.

Having the TT pistol and AK worked great for me in that period, maybe it is gonna work good for me again, but important thing is that I am ready to adopt new things, ideas, equipment and weapon at any time if I see that it is gonna work better for me. I practice my skills now and do not get obsessed about gear.

Do not get killed because you stick to something stubborn just because someone told you it is great for you.

And of course think about that „small“ things that gonna make big difference.

Things like proper boots, socks, pants, simple bandana (can be used for many things) can make big difference. Or rain coat can mean a lot if you forced to use it as a temporary shelter in some destroyed house without roof, while raining.

Whenever I come across discussions about „tactical equipment – what is better?“ I remember things like my neighbor home made „sling“ holster system for his Scorpion gun made from his daughter rubber jumping game, or holsters for kitchen knives made from book covers and similar things.

It is not about that we need to go back to stone age with equipment and be mean. It is about fact that people with ability to adapt have more chances to survive. It is not about that it is wrong to go for cool equipment. It is about possibility that grandpa with 70 years old rifle can kill you, no matter your cool equipment.

So basically just reminder to spend more time on learning skills or refining skills instead of researching and buying gear.

My favorite quote is latin:

“Omnia mea mecum porto”
“All that’s mine I carry with me”