October 25, 2014


If and EMP attack happens on the US, society will collapse shortly from a permanent loss of electricity and all the domino effects of that.  So, who will be the groups of people that have most of the power from the time of the event, through the collapse, and many years beyond?



If it is an EMP attack, most people might not understand what is happening and they will wonder why it's taking so long for the power company to get the electricity back on.  There will still be a rule of law to the extent that total anarchy will not reign in the first 2 weeks.  The power will still be in the hands of police, military, and government, only in the sense that there aren't any rival power groups that will overcome these power structures.  However, with each passing day in the first 2 weeks, the mobs of rioting people will overcome any orders given by the government.  With lack of communication and mobility and the fact that food is running out, the government, police, and military will begin to collapse.  Some military bases may maintain power, depending on their location, supplies they have on hand, and the actions taken by the officers.  Rioting and anarchy will begin in some places quicker than others.  It might be possible that towns with very civil people remain calm for a long time into the collapse, before their society is disrupted. You will want to bug out in this phase, before gangs and road blocks form.



During this period, the stores have no more food and the police and National Guard have given up, so they could be with and protect their families.  The collapse will happen at different speeds for different places, so there may be some areas where the police/national guard/military still have control.  During this period, people are looking for more food and perhaps clean water.  The power belongs to the individuals who are willing to be violent to get what they want.  The power will be in the hands of individual and small groups of criminals.  This is also the phase where people will start migrating for clean water and food.  People will be looking for food warehouses, farms, and places to fish and hunt.  Because of all the migration and camping out near bodies of water, it will be a very dangerous and chaotic time.  There will be many murders for scraps of food and many girls will be raped.  The President and all the important Washington suits will be in their bunkers.  They will think they still have continuity of government and will be trying to give orders, but in reality, they've lost control and they may never be back in control.  However, if it is an EMP attack and only North America has been attacked, there will be an effort, which will probably be successful, to escort the President and others to the UK for the time being.  The United States government will essentially be a government in exile.



After the initial couple phases, the bad guys will learn really quickly that whoever can organize their crime, will rise to power.  Criminals and street gangs will switch from a mentality of stealing when they are hungry to stealing 24/7 and stockpiling as much supplies as possible, while recruiting as many gangsters as possible.  It will become organized.  They will send out teams of 5- 10 guys in trucks all armed with weapons.  They will systematically sweep neighborhoods and hit promising areas to stockpile everything of value.  At first, these groups will be street gangs.  Then, when prisoners are let out, prison gangs can rise to power too.  Then, when the border patrol loses control of the border (as if they even have control now), the full strength of the drug cartels will come flying into the southwest US.  These guys are more dangerous than the regular street gangs and prison gangs of the US, because they are accustomed to killing and are very smart when it comes to organizing their crime.  In fact, they are so good at organizing their crime that they will probably take a bit of a hit when they lose communication, but they will soon overcome those shortcomings and become the strongest groups in places like San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, El Paso, San Antonio, and Houston.  After 1 year, these guys will be solidly in place as the strongest groups in America.  They will grow their numbers quickly as they promise new recruits food.  The good guys will still outnumber the bad guys, but the good guys will be spread out on their homesteads across rural America.  After a year, stockpiles will begin to dwindle and gasoline will degrade.  The warlords will realize that if they are to maintain their power, they will need to shift strategies.  At first, they will go further and further for food raids, but anybody attempting to farm near a city, will realize it is too dangerous, because the gangs will likely come raid them.  So, all the farmers will move further from the cities or hide their farms better, like in the mountains away from roads.  The gangs will need to do one of two things: 1) move to farmland with fresh water and begin their own farming operation or 2) acquire crude oil and refine it to allow them to continue their food raids, which will need to become multiple day expeditions.  I imagine most groups won't have the skill or ability to acquire and refine their fuel, so they will switch to farmland menaces.



Feudal dictators will be the city warlords that have switched over to a new setting on farmlands.  They will still have their thugs and guns with them.  For the most part, they will force others to do the farming for them.  Whenever they come across people with skills, they will force those people to work for them.  For example, if they come across survivors who know how to utilize alternative energy, they will force them to work for them.  Many feudal dictators will remain mobile by refineries, bio fuels, horses, and bikes, but mobility is not as necessary anymore, since they are establishing their own city-states.  But remember, these are still bad guys who want to take over new lands and exploit more people.

From the period of 6 weeks to 6 years, there will be competition for resources among rival gangs, which can actually be good.  Our hope is that they fight each other so much that they weaken themselves to the point they aren't a threat to the more peaceful people who are trying to rebuild.

Meanwhile, if the scenario is an EMP attack on America, I believe that our military abroad and our allies will make an attempt to rescue Americans.  They will do this in 3 ways: 1) They will make food supply drops.  2) They will muster as many ships as possible to save people and bring them to other countries as refugees.  3) They will attempt to carve out safe areas and get our infrastructure going again.  They will bring new transformers and attempt to plug them in and get facilities working again.  They will bring plenty of engineers and electricians and doctors, etc with them.  This will be a really tough job, but I think they will be partially successful if they do it right.  Hopefully, they won't attempt this on large cities, but small coastal cities, where they have a better chance of succeeding.  Once they get a foothold there, they can begin to expand outward and get more areas up and running, but it will be a major challenge as a lot of facilities have been burned to the ground.  Also, the collapse of America will result in a global economic crash, so securing aid for the 400 million people living inside the United States will be very difficult.  If the military is capable, they should utilize their assets to do strikes on the cartels, gangs, etc.  The mere existence of those bad guys will spell disaster for so many and will delay the recovery of America.  So if there are any capable helicopters, jets, guns, and mortars, we should strike them hard, but only the worst, most ruthless ones.



All the while the warlords, cartels, and gangs have been controlling the cities and lowlands, the preppers, survivalists, and other 'good guys' have been surviving on their own settlements in rural areas and mountains that were unaffected by the hegemony of the 'bad guy' power structures.  At first, the good guys will be individual families and small groups surviving on their own, but as the years go by, they will develop trade networks, alliances, and some will come together and centralize their power around major trade centers that also have plentiful fresh water, arable land, and the ability to produce electricity.  Most of these powerful trade centers will rise up from the new settlements in the mountains and rural areas.  Some will be lucky enough to develop from small towns that survived any outside attack and avoided starvation.  The same principles that made America great will make these good guy cities more powerful than the once powerful cartels, gangs, warlords, and dictators.  While the bad guys utilize forced labor, fixed wages, monarchical land ownership, injustices, and a lack of moral values, the good guys will utilize the equality of humans, free market trade, private land ownership, and solid moral values, which will allow the good guys to rise to power once again.  The corrupt ways of the bad guys won't be able to stand forever.  It may not be exactly 6 years after the collapse, but at some point, the good guys will become more powerful.  Around that time, there will be wars between the good guys and the bad guys.  The good guys from the mountains will be at war with the bad guys of the valleys (which interestingly enough has been a theme of human warfare throughout history--highlanders vs lowlanders).  The most powerful good guy city-states will probably be in the mountains of Utah, because of the presence of the security of the mountains, the prepper mentality of many Mormons, and the moral values of the Mormons and Christians.  Being highly structured, the Mormon Church itself might have a big role in organizing the survivors and strengthening them.  You will also find powerful good guy city-states in most of the red states.

Paralleling the good guys in the mountains and rural areas, the military settlements are 'good guys' as well.  Assuming they have any luck, they might be able to bring back to life some seaside cities, but like I said, it will be hard.  Most cities don't have their own power plant, many buildings will have burned down, the bad guys might be in charge once the foreigners arrive, a huge amount of equipment will have to be imported, and a security perimeter will need to be maintained all the time.  Also, when America collapses, it will cause a worldwide economic collapse, which will diminish foreign aid efforts by other countries.



Looking 30 plus years into my crystal ball, I envision that the good guy city-states will expand and bring stability to more areas, which will develop into regional kingdoms.  Most of these kingdoms will be democracies and the leaders will still remember a great nation that was called USA.  They will desire to reunite and rebirth the United States, but it won't quite be like it used to be.  Eventually, we might get the name back 'United States of America', but the states will be based on the newly formed kingdoms instead of the former borders.  They will have strange borders that are based on whatever areas were conquered rather than nice straight lines of latitude and longitude.  If there are any bad guy dictatorships left over, they will be defeated in battle or revolutions will happen from within, which will turn them into democracies.  During this phase, things will become more stable and there will be less fighting.  With the increased stability, international trade will resume, which will bring back manufactured goods and technology to get America back on track.  However, as a result of the collapse, we will essentially be a third world nation, so there won't be a lot of money to buy goods from the international suppliers.  It will be a long haul, but I suppose America can be back on top of the world's stage in 80 to 150 years, but by that time, technology and the global economy might be so advanced that Americans find themselves in a severe disadvantage.


It will not always be the mountain/rural good guys vs the gang/warlord bad guys.  There will be other groups that find themselves in power as well.  For example, some groups will form which only do the minimum criminal activity necessary to survive.  Their preference will be to do things the honest way, but they place their survival and security above all else.  They will be a 'gray area group.'  You might also have some military guys or police officers that go bad and play by their own rules, but they are much better than the cartels.  You might also have some green living co-ops that actually flourish well after the collapse.

So there you have it--a shift in power from the modern authorities, to the bad guys, and back to the good guys.  I hope the power shifts happen this quickly.  I used to think the power shift would take much longer, but the primary issues, which force a quick power shift cycle is a limited supply of perishable and harvestable food, before it is necessary to farm, and the limited shelf life of gasoline.

If the event is a worldwide collapse, rather than a national collapse, you can expect the same power shifts to happen, but the revival will take much longer than 30 years.  It will probably take 100 years or more, which means that advanced aspects of civilization, like power plants, industrial equipment, and electronics, will not be learned by a few generations, because the educational materials will be lost and the surviving professionals won't have the ability to teach apprentices.  Even if we did have the educational materials and professionals to teach, everyone will be hiding in their own survivor colonies, communications will be disrupted and the loss of a mutual sense of security will prevent the networking and organization, which is necessary for a civilization to exist.

October 18, 2014


These are some of the most underestimated and under-appreciated prepper supplies.  It's time they get more recognition.  These underestimated supplies are for a wilderness bug out location.

SEEDS - I have seen SOOOO many long term bug out bags and survival supplies that don't have seeds included.  If you want life to be even a little bit comfortable after the collapse, you gotta have seeds.  Seeds = easy food.

BUCKETS - They are good for more than just storing food and using as temporary toilets.  Here, you can learn about all the uses of buckets for a survival situation.  The main reason we don't think about buckets is because right now, we have indoor plumbing and we have specialty containers for all sorts of things.  In a post-apocalypse world, we will finally see how useful a simple bucket can be.

SHOVELS - Shovels will be imperative for tilling a garden, digging irrigation canals, digging defensive trenches, constructing homes, digging root cellars, digging wells, etc.  Shovels are far more important than we realize.

SURVIVAL KNOWLEDGE - I see less than half of preppers packing survival guides. I've only seen a few preppers packing multiple survival books, survival knowledge, or electronic libraries.  I suppose most preppers think they know it all.  You can't possibly know everything you'll need to know.  Even if you do know everything you'll need to survive yourself, it is worthwhile to have information about wild edibles to pass on to others, so they don't starve.  However, if you plan on living a long time after the collapse, you should plan on being part of the rebuilding and revival process.  In order to do that, you will need to know more advanced information about human society, so you can get things working again and cultivate a better quality of life for all.  A good survival library for when the SHTF is Survival Sage.

COOKING RACKS - You're gonna need something to cook on and probably smoke meats too.  I don't see many people packing these.

SPOTTING SCOPE - Good for hunting, but it's also important for spying on others.  You want to be able to check out other people nearby without them seeing you.  You want to know who is good and bad.  You want to know is starving and violent, as well as who you might be able to ally with.

WALKIE TALKIES - Communication is of utmost importance.

MOSQUITO NET - Unless you plan on living in a tent forever, you're gonna want a mosquito net.  Mosquitoes are pests of the worst kind.

PAPER AND PENCILS - Communication in the form of notes, letters, journals, news, and helpful survival information is super important.  Make sure to pack as much of these as you can.

CUTTING BOARD - Cutting food on rocks will dull your knives.  Cutting on dirt will make your knives dirty.  Cutting food in your hand will result in dangerous cuts.  Cutting on plain wood will result in bacteria growth.  You best bring a few plastic cutting boards.

HORSES - At some point gas will run out.  Even if you can make your own fuel, a time will come when autos break down for good.  It's best to have horses.

LAPTOP - Laptops will be good for the information that can be stored on them.  Also, you can keep a journal.  You can watch movies.  You can play games, etc.

PROTRACTOR - This simple thing will help you navigate and find angles for construction and surveying.

FARM TOOLS - There are a lot of old school farm tools that almost nobody has anymore.  Find these tools and get them.

GAMES - Life after the collapse will be horrible without at least a little fun.  Board games and sports equipment might be worth having.

FLEX CUFFS - There is a big enough chance that you might have to restrain people at some point that it becomes worthwhile to have flex cuffs.

HOSES - Hoses are important for the movement of water.  The movement of water will be a prime aspect of life after the SHTF.  Remember, no plumbing, so you gotta provide the 'pipes'.

PVC PIPES AND FITTINGS - Same reason as hoses.

PLASTIC CONTAINERS - You're gonna need little containers for food, oils, perfumes, and many other things. Plastic bags will run out and you don't always need containers as big as buckets, so bring lots of little bottles and tupperware.

BIRD TRAPS - Birds will still be plentiful after the shtf. If you have some bird traps, you'll be ahead of the game. You won't have to waste ammo, but you will need to find bird food as bait.

BELLS - Small bells can act as a very elementary form of warning.

DUSTMASKS - There will be lots of city fires, forest fires, and fires of your own. They cost very little, but you'll be glad you have them.

MANUAL WATER PUMPS - The movement of water will be so important for life after the collapse. Foot or manual rotary pumps will be very important.

SOLAR OVEN - Normally we cook food over fire. Fire creates smoke. Smoke draws attention. If you can cook without drawing attention, that will be wonderful for you.

MINERAL SALT BLOCKS - These will be important for your horses but can also attract deer.

TWEEZERS - For splinters and hair removal.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - Life without music will be dull. Something like a harmonica or small wood flute can lift spirits.

FLOODLIGHTS - These can be an important part of your defenses and give you the upper hand in battle.

LASER PRINTER WITH EXTRA CARTRIDGES - If you have the ability to mass produce important information, like survival info or survival group alliance communications, you will be a big help to everyone. It can even earn you a more prominent position among the survivors.

DIGITAL CAMERA (and digiscope connection) - You can spy on others and reveal pictures of friends and foes. You can document the historical events for future generations. You can take pictures of survivors.

EXPLOSIVES - Helpful for defenses and tactical uses.

LARGE FRESNEL LENS - Start fires. Cook without smoke. Melt metal. Yeah, this is a good item to have.

RADIO TRANSMITTER - If you can manage a radio broadcast, you can help thousands of people and do so much good with it. Talk about survival information, preach on Sundays, play music, share news of survivors, etc.

DIRT BIKE WITH SPARE PARTS - Dirt bikes can handle mountain trails and nearly any terrain. They are also fuel efficient. If you have a dirt bike, you should be able to escape from nearly anybody.

SCALE SET - Somebody will need to weigh and validate precious metals. A scale is a very important part of a primitive economy.

MANUAL OIL PRESS - Oil is important. People who can make oil, can make a living doing it.

HORSE CART/WAGON - It wouldn't take too long for horses to become the main method of travel. Therefore, it makes sense to have a good horse cart.

TRASH CANS - Not for trash, but for make shift refrigerators, compost bins, and general containers.

GARDEN CART/WHEELBARROW (collapsable one?) - Garden carts are a very efficient way to transport stuff with regular man power.

CARRIER PIGEONS - These guys will do a heck of a job communicating over long distances if there are no radio communications available.

KNEE PADS - You'll probably be doing a lot of tasks on your knees, like gardening and building stuff. Knee pads will be helpful for many.

SMOKE GRENADES - The tactical applications of these could save your life someday. Cover for a retreat. Cover for a rescue mission. Cover for...whatever. They also can be used to signal something.

TYPEWRITER - Communication will be very important for building networks of survival groups and rebuilding society. A typewriter can help with that. A printer is better, but maintaining a computer and printer is harder than maintaining a typewriter. If you are able to manufacture your own ink, you will be able to use your typewriter for a loooong time.

POSTERS - If you have bugged out to the woods (even if you haven't), you will start to forget the beautiful sights of the world you once knew. I recommend having some posters to hang up and show to the next generation to teach them about how the world once was. It might also be nice to have one poster be a picture of the view from your front window or a view of your street or your house. It will be a nice reminder of home.

SAW SET PLIERS AND TAPER SAW FILES - With these you can continue to keep your saws in working order, which is very important.

SWORDS - Someday, ammo will run out, well, maybe not for you, Mr. 'I have 25,000 rounds of ammo', but for a lot of people ammo will run out some day. When that day comes, you might need a sword to compliment your bows and arrows.

SIGNS FOR PEOPLE APPROACHING - Signs can be an important part of your defense and security strategy. You can buy or create signs now that will be helpful later.

WHITEBOARD AND DRY ERASE MARKERS OR CHALKBOARD AND CHALK - These will be very helpful for planning, organizing, and teaching.

HYDRAULIC JACK - At some point, you might need to jack up really heavy things.

KIDDIE POOLS - Kiddie pools are great for raising minnows, fry, locusts, worms. They can also be used for a washtub.

SAND BAGS - Sandbags allow for quick construction, flood control, and building up barriers.

HANGING SCALE - A hanging scale for weighing produce will be a very important part of a market.

DVDS, CDS, COMPUTER SPEAKERS, PROJECTOR, PROJECTION SCREEN (AND LAPTOP/COMPUTER) - If you can have this stuff, you can entertain like it's 1999, instead of n years post collapse.

TRAIL MARKING TAPE - If you're living in the wilderness and trekking through the bush, you'll need ways to mark trails and leave markers for many other things. You'll find use for trail marking tape--trust me. Just be careful. You don't want to lead trouble back to you.

SUNDIAL - I think it would be cool to have one of these in camp. They're not perfect, but they will give you some frame of reference. Dividing the day up into hours can help with workflow.

TREADLE SEWING MACHINE - With a treadle sewing machine, you can become a taylor or seamstress after the collapse and you won't need to rely on electricity.

WRIST, ANKLE, AND KNEE BRACES - In our new life of manual labor, there will probably be lots of sprains and pains. These will help.

BAROMETER - With no more weather man or weather.com, a barometer and a glance at the horizon will be your best method for weather forecasting.

SETS OF FLAGS - With different kinds of flags, you can fly Old Glory, fly your own symbol, communicate information to others, and use some flags, like semaphore flags, to signal messages.

MAGNIFYING GLASS OR MAGNIFYING LENS - Matches can start a few fires. Lighters can start hundreds of fires. Fire starters can start thousands of fires, but a magnifying glass or magnifying lens can start fires forever (as long as it doesn't break and the sun is shining).

CROSS COUNTRY SKIS, BOOTS, AND POLES - If it snows, you'll need a way to get around quickly. You can fly along logging roads on these.

October 11, 2014


Here are the most undiscovered and unknown prepper supplies and gear that I can think of:

Survival Sage
This combination of an ereader, a micro sd card, and a solar charger, can give you nearly all the knowledge you'll need to survive, thrive, and revive civilization after a collapse.  The micro sd card contains about 1.2 million pages of survival information in pdf form.

Tattler Reusable Jar Lids and Gaskets
Regular jar lids and gaskets are one-time use.  These are reusable.

BioLite Stove
Some of you have heard of this by now.  It's a great mini stove that also provides electricity for your small electronics.

Dwarf Fruit Trees
These are small trees that can grow inside.  When you bug out, you can bring them with you, plant them, and then they'll grow full-size.  Perfect for preppers.

Desiccant Packs
These absorb humidity.  Professionals say that oxygen absorbers are the better preservative aid, but the good thing about desiccant packs is they can be reused over and over again, while oxygen absorbers can't.

Glass Vials and Atomizer Bottles
Deodorants will run out.  You can use these to make and use perfume.  They will be much appreciated by all.

Bunk Cots/ Cot Couch
Cool cots that turn into a bunk bed or a couch.


Processing Table or Camp Kitchen
It has a sink and other fixtures built in.  Very nice for food preparation.

Water Pumps (foot and rotary)
The movement of water is of utmost importance for your livelihood.  Gravity is best, but manual water pumps are good too.
Mineral Salt Blocks
Use for your horses or attract deer.

Why carry 80 lbs on your back, when you can drag it smoothly behind you?  Although, this thing costs a lot.

Digiscope Connection
This is your chance to be a wannabee sniper and do some reconnaissance.  It is helpful to take digital pictures of others you see from a distance to keep an eye on the good guys and bad guys.  You can go back to your group and show the pictures to the rest of the people and tell them things like, "Avoid this guy" or "These people are probably nice."

These can help for hunting, but also setting up your defenses if you need to gauge certain distances and plan accordingly.

Come Along
Mechanical leverage--it's kind of a big deal.

Hesco Bastions
Our military uses them.  We should too.  I guess the problem is they take up a lot of room, even while empty, but if you can deploy them it will be nice.

Soundproof Foam Lining
I've been thinking about having a couple of rooster cages and lining them with soundproof foam lining.  Otherwise, roosters crowing would just announce to anyone within a mile that food is available.  You don't want that.

Biodiesel Refinery Kit
I'm not sure what will be the best way to create fuel after the collapse, but I think this might be the most promising form.

Hand Cranked Air Raid Siren
These things are really loud.  This could be a way of calling in reinforcements or if necessary, it could be used to scare away any attackers, but by doing that, you will simultaneously be alerting everyone in a 8 mile radius that something is going on, and you might have even more people investigate.

Solar Garden Lights with Bug Zapper and Off Switch
If flying bugs are bothering you, set up some solar lights that double as bug zappers.  You can then collect those zapped bugs to feed to your chickens or use as bait or even eat yourself.  However, if a threat is approaching, you will want to turn the lights off quickly, so they should have an off switch or maybe you can have a cover that you can throw over them quickly.

Doodle Sketch Drawing Board
You can use this to write and draw as much as you want and you will never have to worry about running out of ink or lead.  This will be especially good for teaching.

Manual Forge
If you plan on doing any forging and blacksmithing, you'll want one of these.

Kinetic Watch
It never needs a new battery.  You can tell time forever.

Micro Hydro Turbine Generator
Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, I think these guys can produce more electricity than solar panels, windmills, or any other method.  The downside is you'll need to position them near running water, which might result in wanderers finding it and investigating further.  Plus, it makes a lot of noise.

Wash N Go Portable Sink
This is a handy little piece of civilization.

Utility Bucket
These will be great for collecting water or food and then they fold down flat when not in use.

Pestle and Mortar
An ancient food preparation tool.  Almost none of us have these, but most of us will need them.

UV Paqlite/Tooblite/Glowstick
These things are awesome.  They will give off a glow forever.  You just have to charge them in sunlight during the day and they will glow most of the night.

Heat Powered Stove Fan
If you are in a really cold place, having a hot efficient stove is important.  This fan placed inside your stove will allow for that.

Ballistics Mask
I'm not sure if these are proven to be helpful in protection, but at least they look intimidating.

Body Glide Anti-Chafe Balm
If you'll be walking and hiking long distances, which you probably will, body glide can help prevent rashes.

Q Drum
If you don't have the luxury of a well or water coming to you through a canal or pipe and you have to fetch water, a Q Drum (or hippo roller) is the way to go.  You can roll your water rather than having to carry it.

Sharpening Wheel
If you run a big operation and have a lot of tools/weapons that need to be sharpened, one of these will be a timesaver.

Delta Light Ball
God willing, you'll never need to clear rooms in a tactical sense or engage in urban warfare or close range warfare, but if you do, pop one of these things into the room you're about to sweep and it will distract them just long enough for you to get the upper hand as you rush the room.

Seal Stamp
In time, you might want to validate your important communications with others.  One way to do this is by putting your seal in wax on letters you send to others.

Pack Raft
If you're travelling cross-country through land with lots of water ways, bringing a pack raft with you can save a lot of time and make your travel more effortless.  When you're finished with the raft, it packs up and you can carry it in your backpack. 

Non-Electric Iron
Not that ironing clothes will be the most important thing, but it will also help you seal mylar bags.

Concrete Canvas Shelter
With this, you can construct a solid concrete structure anywhere that will stand for 30+ years.  Set it up.  Soak it. It dries and 24 hours later, you have a shelter.  The only problem is it comes in a big heavy box and the best method of construction will require electricity, so you can blow the high power fan into it while it sets up and dries.

Hand Carders
If you plan on making textiles at some point, hand carders are a simple tool to get you started with that.

This nifty forgotten tool can help you navigate, find your position on a map, determine the time of day, survey land, and other things.

If you ever find yourself surrounded by lots of guys in hand to hand combat, go crazy with an urumi.  A day may come when almost no one has bullets anymore.  On that day, the man holding the urumi will be a bad dude. (of course, the man holding the bow and arrow will probably be the alive man)

Yo Yo Fishing Reels
Adze, Froe, Drawknife, Chisel, Mallet
Hand Auger Drill Set
Vinyl Floor Roll
Katadyn 20 year warranty 20,000 gallon filter
Bear Proof Containers
Portable Ice Maker
Solar Fire Starter
Mushroom Growing Kit
smoker baskets
Crovel Extreme
Fire Pucks
Agriculture Film
Parabolic Mirror
Spinner Bike Electrical Generator
Rescue Cart
Shakaulu Knife
Mini Battle Shield
Locust Farm
Homeless Shelter by Paul Elkin
Spare Air
Climbing Claws
Bottle Rockets
Fire Crackers
Mini Air Horns
Pond Liners
Wood Gasifier

October 4, 2014


After the SHTF and you find yourself living in a dystopia, there are a number of ways to communicate with others.  It is good to think now about how you will communicate after the collapse, so you can have the right equipment ready.  You will need to find ways to communicate with others in your group, allies, strangers, and enemies.

1. RADIO - All different types and wavelenghts.  It's obviously best if you can receive AND transmit.  The more powerful your signal, the better.





6. INFRARED LIGHTS - If you have nightvision equipment, you can communicate morse code with the use of infrared ligths and no one else will see.  It's good for tactical missions.

7. FLARE GUN - With simple forms of communication, you should pre-establish what the signals mean.

8. WHISTLE - Whistles can be used for finding each other in the wilderness.  Three hard blows could mean 'Emergency.  Come quick.'

9. ANIMAL NOISES - They can be a subtle way of communicating with your people.

10. ALTERNATE LANGUAGE - If you are in the midst of enemies or people you are not sure about, this is a good way to speak 'privately'.

11. SIGN LANGUAGE - ditto

12. SEMAPHORE FLAGS - A simple, but effective way to communicate.  At night, morse code is good.  During the daylight, semaphore flags are good.  If you get good at it, it can be quicker than morse code too.  You'll probably want binoculars or a spotting scope for this activity.

13. SEMAPHORE LINE - This is like semaphore flags, but a scaled up version, using a large tower signal structure.  It is a precursor to the telegraph for communicating over long distances.  It has two major downfalls: they are hard to build and the messages are visible to anyone nearby who can decifer.  This form of communication might never be used, since it wouldn't be as good as radio and any community that becomes advanced enough to build and man semaphore lines will probably have radio communications up and running.

14. HELIOGRAPH - This is an excellent way to communicate rapidly over long distances during the day by using the suns rays directed by a mirror and using morse code.  Radio and walkie talkies are still better, but there might be some application for these.

15. BULLWHIP CRACKS - A simple method of communication, like whistles or gunshots, but you don't have to waste bullets.

16. GUNSHOTS - Can be heard over long distances.

17. CARRIER PIGEONS - Tried and true, but it will be a burden having to take care of them for the CHANCE that someday you may need to use them for communication.  Still, I think they are a great asset to have.

18. BEACON SIGNAL FIRES - Radio, heliographs, and semaphore lines would be better, but if you can't manage those, these have been used for thousands of years to warn of danger.

19. SMOKE SIGNALS - They aren't perfect and I think semaphore flags would be better, but smoke signals have a longer range than would semaphore flags.

20. NOTE TAPED TO AN ARROW - Simple. Tape a note to an arrow and shoot it toward the people that need to read it.  You should probably remove the arrowhead first or use a special weighted, but dull arrowhead.

21. TREE MAIL - If there is a common area that different people go, they can leave each other messages in a specific location.  I think this is one of the best ways to get to know strangers and build trust.  For example, let's say you are living at your bug out location in the mountains.  While you are out hunting, you stumble upon a group of people that are camped about 2 miles away.  You watch them from a distance for a few hours with your spotting scope.  You notice women and children are present and they seem to be treated with respect.  In fact, you're pretty sure it's just a family.  They seem to have some food and are starting a garden.  These indicators make them good prospects for joining your alliance or at least becoming trade partners.  Here's what I would do.  I would write a note to them basically saying that I am their neighbor from a couple miles away (but not indicating where I live) and that I noticed them, but was afraid to say hi personally, since things are dangerous.  I would let them know I'm not a threat.  I would wish them good luck and that I would like to correspond with them if they are interested.  I would put the note in a ziplock bag with a pencil and a small gift, such as a fire starter.  Then, at night, I would sneak to within view of their camp, and tie the ziplock bag around a tree using bright orange trail marking tape.  I might wrap the tape around a few times to make sure it catches their eye in the morning.  We could continue to use that tree, but I would probably suggest a more neutral area out of view of their camp, perhaps under a prominent rock.  I would say in the note that I will check back in 3 days or so.

22. HUMAN CARRIERS - When trade networks are formed and people begin to travel roads, you can send word of mouth messages or send letters with them to people.  If it is important correspondence, you can verify letters using signatures or wax seal stamps.

23. MARKET COMMUNICATION BOARD - When trade centers and urban areas begin to form, communication boards and logbook entries can be utilized.  There will be many people who are looking for loved ones, so they can see if their loved ones left a message, but if not, they can leave a message for their loved ones and tell them their plans, so they can eventually find one another.

24. STRATEGICAL NOTE LEAVING - Examples would be, leaving a note at your house with your planned a, b, and c destinations before you bug out, so that your brother can find it and perhaps track you down.  Or maybe there are some obvious glassing spots nearby and you are certain hunters will visit these spots, so you can leave a note there for them, with a page of survival instructions that includes wild edibles, and maybe a gift like a fire starter.  This will extend your hand of friendship and lay a foundation for a future alliance.

25. SPEAKING AT A DISTANCE - This is more of a safety precaution than a method, but anytime you are engaging strangers that could be dangerous (e.g. anyone who is armed), you want to keep your distance from them and preferably near a tree or rock that you can use for cover just in case things go bad. They might think it's weird, but just let them know that in these crazy times, strangers can't be trusted, but continue to converse with them in a friendly manner.