September 27, 2014


If you are preparing for the collapse of civilization and the end of the world as we know it, what items should you store a lifetime supply of?  I've noticed a lot of preppers just store up as much stuff as possible, without any clear plan.  They will store up 4 years worth of toilet paper, but why?  What happens after 4 years?  You're still gonna be without it.  Now if you're only preparing for a temporary disaster it makes sense, but not if you are preparing for a shtf - collapse of society type event.  So, when it comes to storing up stuff, there are 3 different approaches for every item.  1) It's not necessary or I can't store a lifetime supply, so I don't bother storing it up.  2) It has enough value that I want to store up some, even if I can't store a lifetime supply, or I need at least some of it to transition us into our new lifestyle, in other words, it has a comfort psychological value for a time being.  3) It is valuable, I can afford it, and it doesn't take up too much space, so I will buy a lifetime supply.  I've only come up with a few of these items.  Here they are.

Fire Starters
If you have about 10 of these, you can have fire starting ability for life.

Having a lifetime supply of ammo is really important.  You want to make sure you have the ability to protect yourself for a very long time.  It's really hard to gauge exactly how much ammo you will need.  You can get a rough estimate of how much ammo you will need for hunting, but getting an estimate of how much ammo you'll need for gunfights is more difficult.  All I can say is, the more isolated and hidden you plan on being, the less ammo you'll need.  If you plan on being less hidden and closer to populated areas, the more ammo you'll need.  Remember, some real bad guys are going to rise to power real quick.  If you plan on engaging them, make sure to have lots of firepower on your side.

Petroleum Jelly
Because chapped lips suck.  I'm not sure if petroleum jelly has a shelf life of 50 years, but it's a very long shelf life.  Whenever it goes bad, though, you can use animal fats and oils.

I would imagine about 6 per person would essentially amount to a lifetime supply of these, so this one's not too difficult.

A good toothbrush can last 5 years.  So, about 10 would amount to a lifetime supply for most.  Easy.  A good idea would be to stock up even more of these and you will have wonderful bargaining items.  Toothbrushes can make you wealthy later :)

Most of the junk we eat now has lots of salt and sodium in it, so we don't realize how important it is when we don't have it.  If kept dry, salt can last a very very long time.  It's also cheap.  Getting a lifetime supply wouldn't be too hard, but it will take up a sizeable volume.  Perhaps you can look into buying salt blocks.

After the SHTF, communication will be very important.  Written notes and letters will be one of the most important forms of communication.  Paper can be used for simple notes, such as "Went hunting. Be back by dusk on wednesday."  You can write letters to neighbors, send messages to people whom you want to extend your friendship, and send correspondence to other power players in the region.  You can make sheets of the items you are selling and trading.  You can keep inventory of food and items.  You can print out pages of the most important survival information and pass them out to others.  You can print out pages of advanced survival information and sell them.  Years after the collapse, you can print the news and have a publication of sorts.  You can record events and keep a journal.  If your writings last, they will become a very important historical work.  You can take notes of the information you hear over the radio, or jot down things you need to say over the radio.  So, considering all this, it is important to try and have a computer and printer, or at least a typewriter, and pens or pencils.

Dental Floss
Dental floss can be used multiple times before throwing it away and it doesn't take up too much room and it's cheap, so it shouldn't be too hard to get a lifetime supply.  However, if you know of plants that have fibers you can use instead, maybe there's no reason for a lifetime supply.

Beards are boss, but every now and then you might want that smooth shave again.  Some razors these days are really expensive, but some are cheap.  If you opt for the old school single blad razors, you can save money and they don't take up much room at all.  But to be honest, no matter how many razors I stock up, I'm probably gonna end up giving them away to women, just cuz I feel like they would value them more than me.

Fishing Hooks
Your main method of catching fish probably shouldn't be with fishing line and hook.  Other methods are more efficient.  However, you should still have hooks, line, sinkers, bobbers, and some bait for certain circumstances, like when you are just starting out or you are travelling to other areas and need to catch some fish for dinner.

Fishing String
Fishing string also has other uses, like trip wire alarms.

Pencil Lead (for mechanical pencils)
You're going to want to have something to write with forever.  I think mechanical pencil lead is perhaps the best way to do that.  Estimate how much you will need for life, then double it! :)

Duct Tape
I would have gone with Gorilla Tape, but it's more expensive, so load up on this stuff.

Dry Erase Markers and/or Chalk
Having a white board or chalkboard in your community can have so many important uses, from education to planning to message boards.  I like whiteboards better, but I have my doubts about the shelf life of dry erase markers.  If you want to try storing dry erase markers, I recommend vacuum sealing them.  But you should probably get a chalkboard and lots of chalk too.  I think chalk can store for many decades.

If society collapses quickly, you can expect 90% of the population to die, so a lot of clothes will be available for the taking.  You will probably be able to acquire clothes from raids on unoccupied homes or through trade networks.  Some guys will make a business out of stocking up on the clothes of the dead people and trading them.  However, with at least shoes, underwear, and socks, I wouldn't want to rely on that, so I will get a lifetime supply of those.  Nice shoes will be important.  A good pair of boots can last 10 years, so 5 pairs or so will be good.

Because I'm probably not gonna be interested in itchy wool underwear down the road.

Good socks are important.  I think it's a good plan to bite the bullet and buy a lifetime supply.

Obviously, these aren't the only items I will have.  These are just the only items that get burned through with regular use that I will keep a lifetime supply of.  What is missing from this list?  Don't say toilet paper or I'll pistol whip you.

September 20, 2014


Are you investigating the whole 'prepper' or 'survivalist' thing? Here are some steps to get you stared...

Chances are that you already have a threat in mind, but there are many different threats.  Some are man-made. Some are natural.  Some have high possibilities, like a massive solar flare once every 150 years.  Some have low possibilities, like a large asteroid impacting the earth every 5,200 years.  Some will result in the complete collapse of society.  Some will result in temporary unrest.  Knowing the potential threats will point you in the right direction and give you an idea of what to prepare for.

Who will you survive with?  Where will you meet?  Where will you go?  You should have a plan for every scenario you are preparing for.  Different scenarios will require different reactionary plans.

Based on your research, you should begin compiling a list of supplies you might need.  Your list will be influenced by things like, is it for long-term or short-term, will you bug-out or stay at home, and if you bug out, in what climate and terrain will you be.   Here is a good list of supplies for long-term survival in North America.

Reorder those supplies by value-to-price and begin buying those items in order.  You can increase your survival chances to 50% by just spending $100 and having a moderate level of survival knowledge.  However, if you want to survive and be reasonably comfortable, you'll want to spend $3,000 or more.

Begin learning any kind of survival skills that will help you, such as procuring water and food, first aid, medical, dental, shelter construction, defensive tactics, tactical operations, communications, raising animals, etc.  As you learn, do trial runs and spend some time training.  You can do things like begin a garden and do mock bug-outs.  Most likely you have other preppers in your area with whom you can connect.  Learn from them and train with them.

September 13, 2014


If it's the end of the world as we know it and you are forced to live in a new way, you will want to implement a number of defensive and security tactics.  Here are some of those tactics that may be helpful to you.

You might be familiar with these from The Lord of the Rings, but they are essentially a chain of fires that can be lit to warn of things like invading enemies.  Depending on your situation, you might only need one signal fire on a hilltop close by.  Sometimes these signal fires sit atop peel towers.

Watch towers are a helpful way to see around you for a few miles, assuming the area is clear of foliage.  However, having a military style or prison style watch tower also lets people from 2 miles around know that you are there.  If you can see them, they can see you.  So, you might want to go for a more low key watch tower or one that blends in, like how radio towers are sometimes made to look like trees.  Or just use a tree stand as your watchtower.  You will blend in really well.

If you can have a camouflaged security camera system set up to keep an eye on your perimeter, it will give you a major advantage by seeing who's approaching.

Some of these can play a recording once they are triggered.  That would be a good way to deter thieves.  But even a simple light that comes on is good too.

Simple things like fishing string with small bells could work.  I've seen some people set up trip wires to shotgun shells.

RING OF DRY STICKS (or choke point of dry sticks)
A very low key perimeter alarm would be dry sticks surrounding your area.  You'll hear the crackle and be alerted.  In some places, mother nature gives you this alarm system for free.

If dogs are trained well, they can be a great asset.  Their sense of smell and hearing are wonderful.  However, I wouldn't want a dog that is a noisemaker who can't obey commands.  That could be a liability.

You could set up signs that are always in place towards the edge of your property, but you can also have really big signs that you will hold up when people are approaching.  Unless you want to be isolated forever, you will have to balance out security with a way to have others reach out to you in a peaceful way.  Maybe people approaching just want to trade or form an alliance with you.

In most cases, you don't want to converse with a stranger up close, because there are too many things that can go wrong.  It is better to keep your distance.  Using a bullhorn allows for maximum distance.  You can give commands from the safety of your position.

If you are under attack at night, just flip these things on and increase the fear factor by 2.  Plus, it gives you an obvious tactical advantage.

Imagine this: a bunch of armed men are attacking you at night.  You return fire.  You turn on your flood lights.  Then, you light a string of firecrackers that you have inside a small cage and put it up where your attackers can see it.  Since the floodlights are on, all they will be able to see is a bunch of loud flashes.  If you are lucky, they might think you have a machine gun and they'll retreat.  But if not it will at least distract and confuse them for a while.  It wouldn't be a 'force multiplier', but more like a 'bluff multiplier' haha, which can be good as well.  You can have a teenager in your group be in charge of it, so it won't take fighters away from the fight.

Light these up and throw them.  They will be distractions and might even light up the position of your enemy.

Another bluff/distraction type of thing.  If your attackers are idiots, they might think you're shooting RPGs at them.  A few of these might distract and disorient though.  These could be shot from relative safety if you use a stick or pole like in the picture.  Again, it's something a teenager could do.

These big firecrackers can cause the attackers to pause.  I recommend going to Mexico to get the big ones...or just make pipe bombs. ( I've included pipe bombs and molotov cocktails in my Defensive Barriers blog post)  If you get a direct hit, however, they could cause damage, so if you don't have enough guns to go around or if a teenager doesn't have a task, they could throw these.

September 6, 2014


If society collapses, it's the end of the world, and there is no rule of law, you will need to either hide well or defend yourself well--preferably both. So what defensive features can you include in your camp/fort/home? Here's a list of defensive features that have been utilized in human history. Since a lot of these are historical, they might be outdated for gun battles, while at the same time, modern features might be too advanced for a WROL scenario when there are no tanks, planes, bombs, and advanced weapons. Many of these are major features that require lots of man-hours.  For an initial defense, you should build something simple, but after an initial simple defense is set up, you can work towards some of these.  Also see my other blog post about Defensive Barriers, Fortifications, and Warning Systems.


Allows you to move under cover.  Can be used for retreat or to take the fight to the attackers. Also, if you get overrun, they can be used for an escape.

Rectangular gaps or indentations that occur at intervals to allow for the discharge of arrows, canon fire, or bullets.


Kind of like a cross between a spider hole and a redoubt. It can be used as an early warning outpost and first line of defense.  If you plan on using this, I recommend allowing for a protected retreat.

Covers outside of your fort, that your attackers will think are safe to hide behind, but you plant those covers there on purpose to kill them somehow.  For example, a pile of sandbags with shrapnel in them, and one strategically placed container of Tannerite on the fort side of the pile.  They attack and take cover there, then BOOM.  Or perhaps you can rig some type of mortar or grenade laucher that will make a direct hit 9 out of 10 times.  Or you can set up a remote detonated IED.


A fortified outpost or gateway, such as an outer defense to a city or castle, or any tower situated over a gate or bridge which was used for defensive purposes. Usually barbicans were situated outside the main line of defenses and connected to the city walls with a walled road called the neck.  Basically, it protects the entrance to your fort.

This is like a mobile defense wall.  It can be wheeled somewhere to provide cover while you go on the offensive or retreat.  It's the same principal as walking alongside a tank.  It gives you cover.

A hoarding is similar to bastions by fulfilling the need to get a better angle on people trying to siege your fortification.  They are like extensions to wall towers that overlook the walls.


Always a classic and should be doable for a lot of survivor communities after society collapses.  These can work will with giant slingshots too.


I definitely recommend these slits and holes in your defenses.  These 'kill holes' give you maximum protection, while still being able to take out the attackers.

These fort extensions can give you additional angles from which to fire.

More of a construction feature than a defensive system, but these can provide protection, just like sandbags and hescos.

Machicolations are like hoardings, but made of stone.  They have openings through which the defenders can drop or throw things at the attackers.

These holes are placed above where the attackers will be, such as trapped in between portcullises.  You can drop deadly stuff on the attackers or shoot them.

In castle days, a turret was a small vertical tower that provides extra defense for adjacent walls.  Modern turrets are just protected guns (see below).

As part of your fortification, towers can be built for extra defense.  A common feature in castles.

Usually a temporary fortification, which is often an earthwork wall up to breast height to provide protection to defenders firing over it from a standing position.

A barrier that extends above a wall or roof edge to provide protection.  Similar to battlements.

A protected structure that jets out into a surrounding ditch and from which the attackers can be fired upon.

A fortified gun emplacement or armored structure from which guns are fired, like the Germans had on the beaches of Normandy.

A fortified work, which rises above the normal defensive fighting positions, such as the battlements on the wall below.  Additional defensive fire can come from a cavalier, so outward fire can be doubled up.

An extension of defensive walls and bastions to extend the area of the fort or provide additional defenses to the surrounding area.

An extension of the defensive walls, which are similar in fashion to bastions, but with the purpose of extending a fort and securing more territory.

Similar to crownworks, hornworks, and bastions, but a lunette is not connected to the main fortification.  These usually have a triangle or half-moon shape. Difficult to retreat from, but a tunnel could connect it to the main fortification.

A simple lunette that is only a triangle, usually with an open back facing the fort.

Refers to defensive wall extensions like bastions, crownwork, hornworks, and lunettes.

Is like a bastion, but only a simple V shape that sticks out of the defensive wall.

A small fortification outside of a larger fortification.  it is similar to a lunette, but not in crownwork style.

Allow quick simple fortified positions.

A protective case that houses a gun and rotates up to 360 degrees to fire on the enemy regardless of their approach.

A merry go round that has been converted into a turret.  A better gun turret for snipers, since they can be in the prone position.


A fortified position with rocks or sandbags usually on the outside of a main fort.

FOXHOLE (ranger grave, fighting position, fighting hole, etc.)
Just a hole in the ground from which you can shoot.

Like a foxhole, but camouflaged.  I'm not a big fan of these in a SHTF scenario.  I'd rather have all personnel at the main fort, but there might be some applications for this.

Am I missing anything?