Monthly Archives - October 2016

Easy Survival Cache Planning and Training

Easy Survival Cache Planning and Training

A key element of most survival plans is to bug out to a different location. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your personal choice to get out of dodge, the very act of bugging out could be treacherous and could cover hundreds of miles in some cases. What if you are delayed along the way and run out of supplies? Have you imagined the possibility that you may not be at home when the time comes to actually bug out to your retreat location? What if you are vacationing and are hundreds of miles away from your supplies when something happens?

Hidden survival caches offer you the option of hiding or pre-positioning supplies that you may need along your route to your final location. The idea behind this is to hide, usually bury additional food stores, weapons or ammo, fuel, clothing etc. in the off chance that you will need this before you get to your final location. Sounds great in theory, right? If you don’t have any practice hiding, or more importantly finding this buried treasure, all of your pre-planning may be in vain. Worst case is this can put you in additional danger when you try to reclaim your supplies.

This is where Geocaching comes in. For those who have never heard of Geocaching, I will give you a brief background. Geocaching is a game played all over the world. The game involves hidden “treasure” and the object of the game is to find as many caches as you can. A cache is a container that depending upon its size may have little plastic toys, a visitors log or coins inside. Each location where this treasure is hidden has been entered into a website (geocaching.com) and members can obtain the coordinates for caches anywhere. The coordinates will get you to the vicinity of the cache but you will normally need to do a little looking to find the actual booty. When you find a cache you can either swap out one of the toys with one of your own, or just leave it as is and sign the visitor log. The sizes of the caches vary from big 5 gallon paint buckets, ammo cans down to film canisters and even containers as small as two watch batteries. Yes, those are hard to find! The harder caches usually give you a hint or their name is somewhat of a clue to point you in the right direction.

Fun Activity with  your family

Geocaching is fun and it is something that can be done with almost any member of your family. The youngest children can participate and most caches are in easy to navigate terrain. I was first drawn to Geocaching as I was researching a good GPS. One of the features of most new handheld GPS units is a Geocaching application. I did a little more digging after I purchased my GPS and went to the Geocaching website to sign up. The membership is free, and allows you to search for any cache anywhere in the world. Pro memberships allow you to actually create and hide your own caches for everyone to find.

Can you see the cache?

Can you see the cache?

The process is simple and you can start out slow. I went onto the site and entered my zip code to find caches near me. I was surprised at how many there were just within walking distance. The website allows you to view the details of each cache such as how many people have found it and how recently. I selected a dozen or so and downloaded them to my Garmin GPS. I did have to download a free plug-in from Garmin first, but once that was installed on my computer sending the coordinates and cache name to my GPS was as simple as one click.

Now that I had my new trusty GPS and a whole bunch of cache locations, I grabbed a couple of members of my family and set out. We spent about 3 hours that first day and found all of the caches except one. With each new find, we were more and more amazed at the creativity of the people who had hidden the caches and the thought that must have gone into choosing the hiding place and camouflaging it so that “muggles” wouldn’t accidentally stumble upon the cache and remove it.

The term “Muggle” comes from Harry Potter and in the Geocaching world refers to people who aren’t playing the game. Some cache descriptions actually say “Beware of muggles around” which you would interpret as the cache is hidden in a very open and public location. In this case, you don’t want to just grab some hidden object out from behind a bush or you may attract unnecessary attention. In fact, this happened to me when one of the caches I was looking for happened to be on a public walking trail. I knew from the coordinates that the cache was somewhere in the bushes right next to the trail, but I was reluctant to dig too far into the bushes for fear that I would scare some woman who may be walking along the trail. If she didn’t know better it would appear that I was hiding in the bushes and that wouldn’t look good at all. I skipped that one and came back later with my children so I wouldn’t look like a creepy deviant.

Another time, we were actually in Paris and believe it or not, the Palace at Versailles has geocaches hidden there also. My wife and I were looking in this park and wouldn’t you know it but about 25 young French students who looked to be in their equivalent of the cub scouts were playing all around the location of the cache. We had to wait on them to leave also. It’s one thing to look odd in your own country, I didn’t want to get caught sneaking around the bushes with a bunch of poor French students, so my wife and I sat there, took photos and laughed.  That cache was pretty interesting and I took a souvenir and left something I had picked up in the states.

Learn land navigation

Excellent tool for finding or hiding caches

Excellent tool for finding or hiding caches

Getting back to how this “game” can help you with Survival, the website is where you find the caches gives you coordinates. For any caches that aren’t in a parking lot or park within easy reach, it is wise to do a little research before you go exploring. There are some caches that can only be accessed one way and this may not be a direct route. One cache we had to find was in the most inhospitable place I have seen which was in the middle of about 50 acres of forest that had been cleared several years back. The forest had since been taken over by tall and painful briars. I think the name of the cache had the word “hell” in it somewhere and it was hell to get to. We had to choose which path to take to get to the cache as it was in the middle of the land. There were two roads bordering the property and we drove around for a while trying to find the closest (and least conspicuous) place to park and begin our hunt. The GPS has a directional compass built in which will show you the direction of the cache and how far it is away, but that is a straight-line. You may have to go around and backtrack to get to the cache location.

If you are feeling exceptionally adventurous, you could get the coordinates and leave the GPS in the car. Use your topographic map to find the actual spot. In a grid-down scenario we may not have access to GPS or electronics so knowing how to navigate the old fashioned way is a smart skill to have.

Understand human nature

I mentioned above that it was pretty amazing to me to see the cache locations themselves. Some are hidden in fairly easy locations. Others are really tricky. After finding about 50 or so, you start to detect a pattern and I was able to walk to a location and look at the area around me and guess where the cache was hidden. You can use this to your advantage in hiding your own caches. Don’t go with the simple route; be more creative with hiding and you will make your own caches harder to find. Also, hiding your cache in the bushes right off an easily accessible path is a sure fire way to make sure someone finds it and when you go to retrieve your cache, it will be gone. If I am going to hide a bucket with guns, knife, water, ammo and food for a couple of days, it is going to be in the middle of that briar patch deep in the woods. I want this to be a giant pain to find, but one I will easily remember.

Find creative hiding methods/places

The smaller caches are usually the most cleverly hidden and that is due to their size. These smaller containers can be magnetized and hidden on almost any metal surface. That won’t really do us too much good, but familiarizing yourself with their methods can give you ideas. One cache I found was in a container that was sunken in the water. The contents were in a waterproof container, but the lid was attached to a piece of camouflaged paracord that was attached to a strong root on the bank. I only had to find the cord and pull to get the container up off the bottom of the creek. Even if I had been looking, that would have easily been missed unless I knew the exact spot where the cord was attached. Another cache was hidden about 30 feet into a huge storm water tunnel. Again, this might not work for everything but it was creative and gave me a lot of ideas.

The best caches to me are the ones hidden in plain sight. Use your best judgment on these, but let the game of Geocaching give you ideas and experience with hiding and finding your own treasure.

This article was written by The Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2013/03/09/easy-survival-cache-planning-and-training/

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Learning from History: Take-Away Lessons from When SHTF in the Past

Learning from History: Take-Away Lessons from When SHTF in the Past

One of the first casualties of our public school system in the United States has been the teaching of history. We’ve permitted the liberals to slander our greatest leaders, diminish or completely ignore our greatest moments in history. Students aren’t taught what actually happened in the past, because they might see history being repeated at present. They might start thinking and getting dangerous ideas.

Unfortunately, this has been going on for decades, and most American adults are pretty clueless about history and the implications for the future. By learning about what happened in previous generations, and knowing that history repeats, we can prepare better and avoid making the same mistakes when SHTF again.

War

When it comes to war (and by this I mean all-out war that truly affects our daily lives), both the government and the people boast that it will be over with quickly. The big wars—the American Civil War, WWI, WWII, for example—are never a surprise except to the woefully ignorant, and hostilities have been stoked for some time before shots are ever fired. As part of the propaganda, the intelligence and capabilities of the enemy are diminished or demeaned. The powers that be suggest that the war will end quickly, and the gullible always fall for it. Governments use wars to divert the attention of the people from the problems at hand and to deflect the blame for them that they would otherwise place on the government.

Governments use wars to divert the attention of the people from the problems at hand.

Governments use wars to divert the attention of the people from the problems at hand.

Politicians feel a whole lot safer when their constituents blame a foreign country for domestic problems such as economic collapse rather than the failed policies of government. And wars can very quickly solve a nasty unemployment problem. The media endlessly promotes the importance of making personal sacrifices to support the soldiers, and complaining about shortages becomes unpatriotic. Imports and anything the military says is needed for the war effort simply become unavailable.

Take away lesson: Knowing this, and knowing that our nation needs a war (according to the politicians who need to deflect blame for our collapsing economy), we plan for a long war with no trips to the grocery store, no trips to Wal-Mart, and no UPS guy bringing any of the nice stuff he normally does. We have to have all the food, clothing, medicine, and basic vehicle maintenance items on hand before hostilities break out.

Money

When government fails to manage the exorbitant amounts of money that corrupt legislators and bureaucrats have already extracted from the people, they don’t acknowledge the failure. Rather, they demand more, but generally through means other than taxation. The ancient Romans shaved the edges off their coins to melt into new coins with supposedly the same value. FDR took us off the gold standard in 1935. The printing presses were fired up in Germany following World War I, and more recently in Zimbabwe. It’s happening now in Venezuela.

Venezuela is having food riots due to shortages.

Venezuela is having food riots due to shortages.

Around the world we have seen the bank bail outs with taxpayer money. We already have larger banks that are charging depositors to hold their funds with negative interest rates. Coming next are the bank bail ins with depositor money. And safe-deposit boxes are anything but; in a pinch the bank will empty yours. When banks face collapse, they start calling in loans. Those with debt are vulnerable. Then there is also the drive to become a cashless society so that every transaction can be monitored and taxed. Only time will tell whether our leaders do away with cash before we collapse.

The chaotic financial situations surrounding WWII affected absolutely everyone, but of course the middle and lower classes were much harder hit. This made the average Joe a little more open to accepting bribes just to be able to feed himself and his family. Many are the people who were able to avoid the Nazi concentration camps by being able to place some gold coins or jewels into the right person’s hand. At the same time, because Germany’s currency was so worthless, it was better used to burn and generate some heat. The take-away lessons here?

1. Have no debt

2. Keep only a minimum balance in your bank for paying bills

3. Have everything necessary on hand before SHTF, because paper and digital money will become worthless

4. Have some precious metals if possible, including junk silver, for what you forgot to get or didn’t think you’d need.

News Media

There’s a reason why viewership among so-called news programs has been declining for the past several years—they are all in direct collusion with a corrupt government. Most of what should be reported, isn’t. Much of what is reported only diverts attention from the real issues. And this has been going on for well over a century. If you take a close look at the 1918 influenza epidemic (The Great Influenza, by John M. Barry, was a real eye-opener), local and federal governments hid the truth about the spread and the severity of the disease. Newspaper reports were whitewashed or completely scrubbed, all for the sake of not panicking the citizenry (and promoting the sale of Liberty bonds so necessary to fleece the people and finance the war). Phone operators were ordered to eavesdrop on private conversations and break the connection if the parties began discussing the epidemic. Forty years previous, journalists were also complicit in hiding the extent and severity of the yellow fever epidemic (see The American Plague, by Molly Caldwell Crosby).

Nothing to see here… Move along.

Nothing to see here… Move along.

Bottom line? If the media and the government are trying to panic you with reports of the latest outbreak of whatever, and especially if they’re hyping a vaccine to go along with it, there’s probably nothing to worry about. But if they’re trying to downplay the severity of an outbreak, it’s time to wake up and pay attention to what’s happening around you. Hopefully you haveeverything you already need to shelter in place for the duration.

Corrupt governments create boogeymen to divert attention and distract the people. In the past two millennia the boogeymen have often been Jews, and sometimes Christians. In addition, throughout history people persecuted anyone who was different, who hadn’t yet been fully assimilated into society due to language and culture, and sometimes, mere appearance. It used to be so important for immigrant children to do well in school and to lose any trace of an accent. Irish, Italians, Chinese and others were routinely discriminated against for even the most back-breaking jobs. At the outbreak of WWII, the Japanese on the west coast of the United States were rounded up and sent to internment camps.

Things are a little different now, aren’t they? In the United States today, who are these boogeymen? Christians, gun-owners, home schoolers, Constitutionalists. White, middle-class, hard-working Americans. For some reason, we boogeymen now finance the new bread and circuses. Just as the ancient Romans gave food to the lower classes by taxing the upper classes and provided the circuses as a means of distracting the less intelligent people, we now have all the welfare benefits provided to anyone who asks (unless they happen to be white American citizens, then there is a test), whether they’re here legally or not. And lest we start pondering how messed up things are, we have the Kardashians, NFL, Netflix, and Facebook to divert our attention. The take away lesson here?

1. Don’t be distracted

2. Make every new day an opportunity to prepare

3. Gather more food and other supplies

4. Learn a new skill that will be useful post-TEOTWAWKI.

The Sheeple

There will always be that group of people who deny the reality that is staring them in the face. As preppers, we already see that every day as we monitor the economy and financial markets, domestic and foreign news, especially as it regards volatile situations liable to erupt into all-out war at any moment. As a whole, Americans in particular seem to suffer from irrational exuberance about their collective future. In The Bielski Brothers, a fascinating history of a trio of men who established communities in the forests of Eastern Europe and saved about 1,000 Jews, there are several accounts of Jews identifying with their captors in the camps. The Jews somehow came to believe that they were special, that they wouldn’t be killed, even as they saw friends and family being raked down. The Bielski brothers encountered dozens of Jews who were afraid to leave the known concentration camps for the unknown forest.

sheeple

The lesson here? Gentle persuasion and education of our friends and family before SHTF may work with some, but I think we have to resign ourselves to the fact that quite a few of our loved ones won’t accept reality. For the safety of others in our group, we may have to let the sheeple make their own choices and live (and die) with the consequences. It is the most difficult lesson to learn.

Betrayal

We already have government programs indoctrinating our children at all levels, encouraging them to report inappropriate behavior. And while children absolutely need avenues for getting help when any kind of abuse is involved, we really don’t need the problems that issue from someone telling government how much food we have stockpiled or how many guns we have. Government encouraged the betrayal of friends and family in both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and especially disturbing were the cases where children informed on their own families.

While the US government still promotes this behavior with their “See Something, Say Something” slogan, our primary concern today is not in being betrayed by others. We are betraying ourselves. We rat ourselves out with Facebook. For the sake of saving a few dollars, we have store loyalty (Kroger, Safeway, Hy-Vee, etc.) and membership (Costco, Sam’s) cards that track our purchases and spending habits. And we have cell phones that record our conversations and cars that track our movements. NSA stores all our emails. All this data is reported and mined to create a perfect profile and history of each person.

The lessons here? Keep your children as far removed from the government as possible. Home schooling goes a long ways towards that. Avoid social media like the plague. Pay cash for everything as much as possible. Don’t ever use membership cards for any store. Use a stupid phone, and that only when necessary. Don’t purchase vehicles that track your movements.

In conclusion, history repeats. It always has, it always will. Each generation will experience all-out war and financial collapse. It’s been seventy years since WWII and eighty-five years since the Great Depression. Our time is up and our turn is coming. Learn from history. Be prepared.

This article was written by The Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2016/09/29/learning-from-history-take-away-lessons-from-when-shtf-in-the-past/

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