Understand the purpose of this isn’t to put down any other aspect of prepping or training, not at all. We just need to be aware that there will be more to surviving a disaster or event than fighting off commie/zombie/PETA hordes.
The emphasis lately seems to be towards tactical training. Again, I believe this training is part of a well-rounded plan, but only part. Personally, I believe that all capable men and women should know how to run a fire team rush, an IA drill, ambushes, counter-ambushes, understand flanking movements, and know and understand hand signals, comms, advanced first aid, orienting and all the other skills a good patrol leader needs to know, but hey, that’s just me. But notice I said patrol leader. Why? Because you might be the leader and OJT ain’t always a good thing – here it’s a Pass/Fail proposition at best. And why do we need to know these skills? Because your life may depend on it.
But while militia shit and running around in the woods is fun, those skills should be an addition to other survival skills, not the main focus.
Look. You’re working 40+ hours a week trying to keep the kids in clothes, food on the table and the bill collector’s off your ass and you think you have it rough now? Wait until some crazy fucking ayrab launches a EMP attack and turns off the lights. If they don’t have the capability now, they will soon. Or how about an economic crisis? Fuck, I was just reading on Drudge Report that China’s currency has just been slashed. We owe them folks a lot of money. Hell, it might be one of those “it’s not a matter of if, but when” natural disasters like the New Madrid fault or Yellowstone’s lava cauldron.
My first and foremost responsibility is to my wife. Nothing else in this world takes precedence over that. I swore an oath before God to take care of and protect her. Nothing will ever change that, not flood, famine or the fucking government. Most of us feel the same way, am I right?
With that in mind, our days are not going to be spent shooting shit up, it’s going to be spent providing for our families. We’re going to be farming, producing goods for barter, purifying water, providing the very basics for survival and we’re going to have to work 10 or 100 times harder to do that because we can’t buy it anymore – either it just ain’t there to buy or we can’t afford it anymore. Life will suddenly become a bitch. How much of a bitch depends on how much you prepared for the overall picture.
“We don’t need to purify our water, it comes from a spring.” Yes, you do. Up until the mid 20th Century, disease from poor sanitary practices killed more Americans than did war. That’s a lot of dead fuckers. When the plumbing fails, folks will return to using backhouses and where does the waste go? It leaches right back into the groundwater and groundwater knows no property lines. You may practice good sanitary habits, but what about the Okies living around the corner?
Learn how to purify water. Store some piping up in the attic so you can distribute it.
“We’ll grow our own food.” Okay. So you’ve had a garden before and had to spend maybe an hour a day in it. But how big was that food plot? And did you have pesticides and herbicides for the pests and weeding? How about power tools to help with the tilling? And that was when we had running water… So you’ve expanded your garden to take up your entire backyard and you’re doing all the weeding by hand and picking off the bugs and eggs in the hot sun and you haven’t even started with the watering yet. Sounds like that’s going to take up a big part of your day.
Once you have your harvest in, do you know how and do you have the means to preserve it or were you planning on fattening up enough in the fall to carry you through 9 or 10 months? Do you know how to can fruits and vegetables? I’ve heard scurvy sucks.
Learn to garden, learn to can.
What about meats? Can you salt cure, sun dry, jerk or cold smoke your meats to preserve them? Kinda hard to eat a whole cow or pig in a couple of days. A vegan maybe, but I bet that would be like eating a starving jackrabbit. Couldn’t gag that shit down, man.
You can forget about hunting. The woods will be so shot out after the first year that some game species will become extinct. Hell, California’s deer population is almost non-existent now, compared to other states.
A great amount of protein will be coming from our waters. You can eat damned near anything that lives in the water. But do you know how to set a crawdad trap? Do you even know how to make one? How about a fish trap? I tried one for the first time a couple of years ago, took me a week to catch one sucker. But set a hundred of them… jitterbugging, jug lines, trotlines, yo-yos and plain ol’ angling – the list goes on and on.
The thing with fishing though, is you have to know how to do it. It just isn’t something that anybody can walk out and do as well as somebody that knows what the fuck he or she is doing – especially with a rod and reel. You take a worm, put it on a #8 hook and flip it out into a muddy flat and you might just catch you a fish. In the meantime, I’ll take that worm, rig it on a Carolina rig with a 1/0 hook, walk 50 feet away from you and bounce that fucker off the shady side of that stump and I’ll be surprised if I don’t catch a fish and a nice bass at that. See the difference? Know the fishing methods that will work best in your area. Learn them and keep honing them. Not only will you learn a new survival skill but you’ll also have a hell of a lot of fun.
“Natural medicine? Huh?” Did you know that walnut root tea is a pretty good painkiller? St John’s Wort a natural antidepressant? Golden seal root is a great urinary flush? There are a million natural remedies out there, so many that I can’t even begin to get into them here. Do you own any books on this subject? Tried any of them out?
Oh, and be careful when you weed that garden – you might be discarding medicinal and edible weeds.
These are your very basics of life. The very basics. These are things you have to have to live. Water and food. Now, with all that to do, every fucking day, do you really think you’re going to be running tactical patrols non-stop? Are you going to have time? Sure, neighbors and friends will help out, but you’re going to be helping them out in return.
Myself, I’m 56 years old, I look forward to a good bowel movement every morning and my goddamned feet hurt. I’ll leave all that cowboying shit to the youngsters.
The thing with these patrolling skills is it’s not something that you can take the course, never practice them, and then expect to be sharp when you need them. You have to stay on top of them for them to be effective.
I’m not saying don’t learn them – no, no, no I’m not. There may come a time when they are needed and rusty skills are better than no skills. After all, a marksman that hasn’t picked up a rifle in a couple of years can still shoot circles around somebody picking up a rifle for the first time, even if he’s read up on how to do it.
What I am saying is don’t put your primary focus on tactical training. Instead, fit it into a more rounded plan of life if things should go to shit. Can’t run and gun very well if your belly’s empty now, can you?
Myself, I’ve never taken a tactical course other than the basic one that Uncle Sam provided for me a long fucking time ago, but hopefully I’ll get that taken care of when I move back east. I do plan on looking up JC Dodge over at Mason Dixon Tactical and look into his most basic course. Maybe I’ll see if I can’t sit in on one first – JC looks like he could run my ass off.
So there it is. Defense is a fine skill to acquire, but it won’t fill your wife’s belly. Get a working knowledge of everything you might need, not just patrolling and tactics.