Don’t fight your soil trying to grow “ideal” crops. Those of us who have undertaken growing our own food understand intimately how much work it can be. Soil quality is one issue that consumes a disproportionate amount of time and work to overcome. Often, we are in possession of land that has less than optimum soil for growing crops. The generic solution is to build up and work that soil until it is of the consistency and PH desirable. Achieving this “optimum” gardening soil can be daunting and take years. Today I want to suggest a different approach that requires far less work and time, but will still yield suitable crop yields. Read more
In addition to my more in-depth posts, I will be routinely adding short bulletized points to keep our readers up to date on global issues. If you would like more details on a specific issue, please post to comments or email me directly at LMS.
April 20, 2015
- US sending warships to “prevent” Iran from providing arms to Houthis in Yemen. The US has greatly contributed to the crisis in Yemen and engaging in a stand-off with Iran over support to each country’s respective proxies is a losing card for the White House to play. The US (aside from special interests) has nothing to gain from this conflict. The only possible winner will be AQAP (Al Qaeda). Yemen’s US backed “president” in exile will never be able to return to “effective” power after using foreign militaries to bomb and kill Yemeni civilians. Further, the Houthis, which pose no threat to the US will be weakened, but not pushed from power. The US will no doubt dupe itself into another disastrous conflict. The end result will be prolonging the chaos in Yemen and AQAP gaining significantly more power. Just as I warned, the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia/Qatar in Syria would eventually engulf the entire region and turn hot. If the US policy in Yemen was to create greater Middle East conflict, empower Islamic extremism, and further destabilize global oil markets, it has achieved its objectives.
- US arrests suspects attempting to join ISIL. The US acts as though this was a great crime fighting/anti-terrorism win; however, it is a sign of deeper problems that have been self-inflicted. Minnesota in particular is a hot bed of Islamic activity because of the suicidal domestic immigration policies that favor and actually import tens of thousands of people into the US annually from countries known for radical Islamism such as Somalia. In short, it is a self fulfilling prophecy that has been used to justify an unnecessary domestic spy/police state and draconian legislation such as the “Patriot Act.”
- Iraqi military backed by US and Iran fails to retake key cities from ISIL. Contrary to rosy claims by the Obama Administration, the Iraqi Army has only scored marginal victories against what appears to be a far more dynamic and better led ISIL force. Specifically, government forces were able to seize some key areas around Tikrit, but have so far failed to effectively secure the city. Further, while the Iraqi military was focused north in Tikrit, ISIL has appeared to have shifted its fighting strength to the Ramadi area where it has gained ground in recent weeks. As predicted, the violence and bloodshed in Iraq will continue and grow as long as the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia continues to burn. As one side gains ground, the other side will bolster its support for its proxy until the conflict has grown so big and so violent it will directly involve its original sponsors. The end result will be a disaster for both the Middle East and the US.
- Drought in California continues at record levels. If you haven’t planted a large garden this year, plan to pay more…a lot more, at the grocery store. As warned in previous articles last winter, food prices have continued to rise. This price inflation isno where near at its peak with beef prices skyrocketing. The conditions that continue to cause price hikes will persist. Crops largely grown in California will see some of the largest spikes such as nuts and lettuces.
- High taxes and over regulation finally ruining Virginia. Northern Virginia, an area historically known for its strong economy and growing population has begun to feel the pressure of increasingly socialist governmental policies. Naturally, the region draws on people working for the federal government and the big bureaucracy mindset has metastasized across the Potomac into the Commonwealth of Virginia. High taxes, oppressive regulations, and stifling over population have all been the result. This caustic bureaucratic recipe has led to a fed up population that is now leaving in droves. Ironically, many of these people leaving were responsible at the ballot boxes for the socialist turn in governance. Perhaps they learned their lesson and will not repeat their same mistake in the future, but that is doubtful. As the population growth levels out and then begins to drop, local governments will soon realize budget deficits are growing and they are unable to provide the services originally programmed. Without undoing what has become a socialist style of governance in the enclave, Northern Virginiais doomed to double down on its current failures and create another communist utopia on the banks of the Potomac.
By Guiles Hendrik
Last week I discussed why peace with Iran was the preferred option. I outlined a number of salient points uninformed talking heads in the media and well paid Israel lobbyists such as the former US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, will never bring up. In short, the costs of a war with Iran will far outweigh the costs of accepting a turbulent peace. Even a successful war against Iran will be a Pyric victory and cause an economic collapse in the US. Further, even if Iran did test a nuclear weapon, we would still have plenty of time to exercise the war option should it be necessary. Unfortunately, even if the US does manage to broker a peace deal with Iran, war is now close to a certainty. In the event of a war with Iran, there will be dire implications for the US. Today I will discuss why war is now imminent, how it will likely be initiated, and the catastrophic effects on the US you must prepare to endure. Read more
Over the last decade, I have produced many papers and articles analyzing events in the Middle East and their geopolitical impact for academia, commercial publications, think tanks, and government agencies. I stand by my track record as one of the most prescient in the business. To that end, predicting chaos in the Middle East has been easy, but combining the what (violence) with the who, when, why, and how are the far more demanding predictions. One the worst case scenarios for a broad outbreak of violence in the Middle East has been the possibility of a major war between Israel and Iran. This conflict would immediately go regional with the on-going proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia pulling in the remaining Middle Eastern countries. Once it goes regional, it will be nearly impossible for the U.S., Europe, and Russia to remain on the sidelines. I have described in detail how this would likely play out as well as how it could be prevented in previous posts (see a partial list below). I am writing today again with a dire warning for anyone willing to listen. The most recent events occurring across the Middle East are now signaling the worst case scenario of a major conflict with Iran will come to pass as I have previously predicted. This first article discusses why war with Iran is unnecessary and must be avoided. Part II will discuss why even with an Iranian deal, war is inevitable and the dire consequences we can expect. Read more
Hours spent on rifle and pistol ranges leads to occasional cuts, scrapes, and other accidents. Most of us handle these issues with small bandages and move on, sometimes that’s not enough. Enter Briotech, a small business with a big impact based in Washington. In short, Briotech makes a product that is similar to a bottled immune system. Specifically, they produce hypochlorous acid (HOCL) based products for personal and commercial uses. The beauty of HOCL is that our bodies use it to fight off harmful bacteria, spores, and viruses. Why does this matter to us? If you are reading this then you are likely not a dandy and probably get out and work with your hands in one way or another. Hands on work leads to minor injuries where the application of some Briotech HOCL can lead to a well healed laceration instead of a nasty infection. Read more
From the beginning, we considered Afghanistan the more difficult war…it will be so even after we retreat. The longest war in American history is coming to a close as an indecisive strategic defeat for the US and NATO just as I predicted over a decade ago. The war was fought against an enemy with an extremely low level of capability, but our generals refused to recognize the critical importance of stopping the enemy’s movement to and from its cross-border sanctuary even when presented with overwhelming analyses. Specifically, the failure of border security to be made a priority in the overall counterinsurgency strategy all but guaranteed the inevitable exhaustion and defeat of the occupation force. Embarrassingly, the hard truth is the “most powerful” and certainly the most expensive military in history failed to decisively defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The US/NATO defeat was not for lack of manpower or firepower, it was a defeat born of intellectual incompetence and utter dereliction by our senior leadership. Importantly, the critical failure responsible for the US/NATO defeat remains at the senior echelons within the US military and White House, is systemic, and remains uncorrected. Now, just like in Iraq, we are told by President Obama and his appointees that Afghans will take over operations and complete the mission. The chances of the Afghans defeating the Taliban are zero and we must be prepared for the inevitable consequences.
First, I want to support my certainty that most of Afghanistan will be overrun by the Taliban. To do this we need only to look at the current status of the war. To date, the combined power of the US and NATO has after 14 years proved unable to defeat the Taliban. However, we are told to believe by Obama and his generals that the Afghans, with a relative few Americans in support, will be capable of cleaning up the mess and decisively defeating the Taliban. The result of this is another easily predictable, preordained defeat. Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, simply will not be able to hold on to Kabul, much less the whole of Afghanistan, and will likely meet the same fate as his earlier predecessor Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai at the hands of the Taliban. Further, it is appearing more likely that this will not just be a Taliban victory, but may be completed under the unified banner of ISIL. Read more
Why No One Should Serve in the US Military: Your leaders are incompetent and your next Secretary of Defense is no exception.
As a combat veteran of the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, I am going to be very blunt. Lives depend on being direct and the need for military personnel to come forward and tell the truth. In fact, it is chilling that no one has called out the insanity taking place before our very eyes within the ranks of the military. The senior military leadership is incompetent to lead. Our failures in both Iraq and Afghanistan bare this out. Today’s testimony by the soon to be next Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter should make it blatantly clear that no one should consider joining our military. For current active duty and reserve members, run for the door and get the hell out as soon as your obligations allow. Read more
How often have you been talking with friends and they joke that if the SHTF, they are coming to your place? Most of us quietly are saying in our heads, “you are out of your damn mind if you think you are coming to my place.” In fact, for those that spend zero time preparing, training, or putting even the smallest amount of effort into their own survival insurance, I would agree, I have no sympathy. However, the mere fact you are reading this right now tells me you have taken a step in the right direction and are in fact interested in insuring the continued existence of yourself and your family. You are actively trying to take positive steps. For those of you out there, I would suggest established preppers consider opening their door and taking you in under the right conditions. Unlike the billionaires creating much of the havoc in our world, very few of us will ever have the funds to buy our own private island or renovated missile silo protected by a first rate mercenary army so it is best we start working together. In today’s article, I will deviate from what I consider dated prepper logic and argue why inviting others to your bug out location is in all of our interests. Read more
If you live in New England, you are bracing for a significant snow storm. With the snow totals and high winds forecasted the most significant effect of the weather will likely be wide spread power outages. Respective of the power outages, the effect will not be long lasting, but you could be at risk of frozen pipes if you don’t have backup heating. If you don’t and lose power, make sure you drain your pipes, bundle up, and add on the blankets. No problem. Certainly the panic buying over a couple feet of snow is not warranted and in fact, the storm looks like more of a great skiing opportunity than any end of the world event as the media has over dramatized. However, what are worrisome are the draconian edicts being issued by states ranging from curfews and travel bans to forcing people off of the sidewalks. The precedent being set is extremely dangerous and will be abused in the future if not challenged.
I wanted to take a moment to follow up on Last Minute Survival’s Civilian Response Team initiative. Our initiative proved that not just in Ferguson, but that in communities around the country a well-organized community response is far better protection and security than anything the state can provide. Not only did our teams respond to crisis areas completely ignored by government agencies, but provided real protection to businesses and residents unable to provide for their own defense. Further, our teams were able to accomplish this without heavy handed police state tactics. Read more
Researching issues over the years, I have found that it is not uncommon to find the real story intentionally buried or covered up. False flags are real and conspiracies exist everywhere. What occurred on the day of September 11, 2001 is no exception. As such, I ask, is it possible to conclusively put some of these theories to rest? Specifically, did a plane actually hit the Pentagon the morning of September 11, 2001? Being that I was en route to the Pentagon the morning of the attack and heard the explosion and saw the plume of black smoke, but didn’t personally witness the plane hit the building, I questioned the narrative as well. Nonetheless, I have always seen this conspiracy theory as one of the easiest to either validate or debunk and wondered how a conspiracy like this could fester seemingly unanswered for so long and decided to research it. The result of my research, to date, debunks the theory that a plane did not hit the Pentagon. I understand that some people will only believe their narrative of events no matter how much evidence you put before them. That said, I could probably never 100% rule out a conspiracy without actually witnessing it all with my own eyes. However, I am comfortable knowing that between the natural inept nature of government operations, the government’s inability to keep secrets secret, and the already highly improbable string of events woven together to create an alternative reality is so far beyond the realm of sane probability as compared to what eye witnesses, physical, and photographic evidence testify to, this conspiracy is busted. Read more
Why would the government want to punish people that are just trying to work hard, become more self-sufficient and take care of their families? There are approximately 3 million preppers in the United States today, and often they appear to be singled out for punishment by bureaucratic control freaks that are horrified at the thought that there are families out there that actually want to try to become less dependent on the system. So if you use alternative methods to heat your home, or if you are not connected to the utility grid, or if you collect rainwater on your property, or if you believe that parents should have the ultimate say when it comes to health decisions for their children, you could become a target for overzealous government enforcers.
Once upon a time, America was the land of the free and the home of the brave, but now we are being transformed into a socialist police state where control freak bureaucrats use millions of laws, rules and regulations to crack down on anyone that dares to think for themselves. Read more
It is should be no question that I am a staunch supporter and advocate for liberty, freedom, and civil rights. Why anyone would not desire a society where these fundamental pillars of a civilized existence are protected is baffling. However, after the Senate released its report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques, it started a short lived firestorm of controversy over torture. Disturbingly many of you thought the use of torture was justified. Irrespective of your personal views, the fact is that torture, including the full spectrum of enhance interrogation techniques, is entirely illegal under both US and international law. Both Presidents Bush and Obama have violated this law and those party to the decision to authorize the use of torture must be brought to justice. What I am here to tell you is irrespective of whether or not you believe it was necessary, useful, or just, the condoning of this activity establishes a legal precedent for torture to be used against you right here at home. If torture is allowed to become acceptable, you will soon find yourself on the wrong side of the religion of political correctness getting tortured until you amend your beliefs and sell out your friends and family. Read more
Today, your efforts combined with a grassroots effort across Northern Virginia achieved a small victory. I want to give a special thanks to the The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) [http://www.vcdl.org/] and the observant citizens, which identified the subversive activities and went after Alexandria County government officials regarding the use of police for the door-to-door anti-gun flier campaign. The VCDL was issued a formal apology from the police chief and Alexandria police took down all flyers and signs posted at their police headquarters saying concealed firearms weren’t permitted and admitted they were wrong. Read more
On December 28, 2014, the US and NATO declared an end to the mission and therefore the war in Afghanistan. A Taliban statement from Zabihullah Mujahidon, a Taliban spokesman, left no doubt to how it was interpreted according to Reuters.
“ISAF rolled up its flag in an atmosphere of failure and disappointment without having achieved anything substantial or tangible.”
Washington may not like the statement and downplay it, but it doesn’t change the reality that the statement is accurate. Not so ironically, the US and NATO have been mute over the success of the war. No celebrations, no parades, no victory speeches…the absence of all of this should signal that our leaders know it was a failure. In fact, not only did the combined force of NATO and the US not achieve a decisive victory over the Taliban, they suffered a strategic defeat. Read more
If you own a short-barreled rifle (SBR) or other controlled device such as a suppressor or have any registered firearm, this article has critical information for you. As you should be well aware, more and more states are beginning to confiscate firearms for the smallest of infractions. In fact, one may only need to say the wrong thing during a doctor’s visit or have you child play with a water pistol in public to trigger the police visiting your house with a warrant to confiscate your firearms. Furthermore, if you own an SBR or Class III firearm/component, you can be inspected at any time. To protect yourself and your firearms, every gun owner should follow the practices listed below. Read more
Think you are still free to make choices in your life? Do you think the government will allow you to live independent of their utility monopolies? If you think so, try opting for renewable non-grid tied power and utilize environmentally friendly composting toilets and your own self-sufficient water supply. Today, those life choices could land you in jail if you live in South Florida. Take the case of Robin Speronis. Read more
First, let me open by saying I hope all of my readers have enjoyed a nice holiday. I am happy to be back after a working vacation in the mountains and have a ton to discuss since my last articles. Much has transpired domestically as well as globally and I will be discussing these critical events in the coming weeks so please sign up for email alerts and check back regularly to Last Minute Survival. You won’t want to miss the latest intelligence, reviews, and alerts we have lined up. Finally, thank you again for your support. The network we have built at LMS would not be possible without our highly active subscribers.
Over the last month, Alexandria County Police have been going door to door visiting businesses to “inform” them about Virginia gun laws and handing out fliers [see flier here: https://vcdl.org/sites/default/files/Alexandria_Flyer.jpg]. The question is why? Did the highly affluent Virginia suburb of Washington, DC suddenly become confused and demand police spend limited time and resources to clarify state laws or did people suddenly start flagrantly violating the law en masse? The truth is the police were targeting the area not because of illegal activity, but because of constitutionally protected legal activity. Yes, you heard that right. Alexandria felt that citizens legally going about their business were such an affront to the “good order” of Alexandria that they needed to go door to door to warn businesses about these people that dared to openly carry a firearm. Read more
I wanted to take a moment to simply say, “your welcome” to the good people that took the time to write and thank us for our Bug Out Part 2 – Los Angeles/Southern California. Although we did not plan to release the post just before the heavy rain storms that are causing wide spread damage across California, it indeed proved to be timely. I hope every one of you were adequately prepared for the rains, flooding, and mudslides that are currently affecting California. Please stay safe.
We hope that our posts help our readers and we will continue to release future Bug Out specific editions over the coming weeks.
Continuing with our series of area specific bug out planning, we focus on Southern California (SoCal) where a host of unique challenges will face anyone attempting to bug out. First of all, Los Angeles (LA) and the surrounding region of SoCal contains over 22 million people densely packed at a density of over 5,000 people per square mile in many areas. This makes it one of the most populous regions of the United States. If you have to bug out of LA and its surrounding areas, you better be one step ahead of everyone else. Second, the most densely populated areas of SoCal are locked between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the towering Sierra Nevada mountains to the east creating a serious geographical bottleneck. To the north are more mountains, the Great Valley, and more densely populated areas. To the south is Mexico. If you choose to go east and got across the mountains, then you are faced with surviving in one of the hottest and driest locations in the US, Death Valley and the surrounding desert. If you go west, you need a boat fully sea worthy and supplied with everything you will need for a long duration voyage. Going north or south just runs you into more people fleeing disaster and won’t help your situation. Third, SoCal plays host to regular earthquakes and at any given time the “Big One” could hit. Further, being coastal, much of the SoCal coastline is vulnerable to the effects of a major tsunami. Finally, but by no means all inclusive, SoCal also has some very precarious infrastructure such as the leaking San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station that may be permanently shut down and Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, which straddles two active faults. Without doubt, the challenges of ‘getting out of town’ are mile high in this part of California, but with simple planning, you and your loved can safely and effectively bug and stay alive.
Optimally, you are using all of your resources to remain situational aware and bug out before the mob. However, events like major earthquakes, tsunamis, and grid collapses happen with little or no warning. As a typical SoCal citizen you drive 20+ miles per workday and use multiple high volume interstates and or state highways. As such, there is a high likelihood of being put into a position where your bug out begins during a commute. Do to this likely event; we begin our bug out discussion in rush hour traffic and discuss one of the more likely bug out scenarios, a major quake.
Your day begins as most in SoCal. It is sunny and warm and you are looking forward to getting home from work. You begin your commute as any other day and are quickly weaving through traffic when disaster strikes. A major earthquake strikes SoCal damaging nuclear reactors, severing communications, destroying infrastructure, and sparking massive fires as gas pipe lines are ruptured. You pull over and get out of your car until the major shaking has ceased. At this point, you know there has been a major quake, but you don’t know the extent. You get back into your car and try to continue to your home as the radio begins to broadcast a steady stream of damage reports. As you continue, traffic grinds to a halt on the major highways, which have sustained massive damage. You attempt to call your wife on your cell phone, but the few operable towers are overwhelmed and you have no service. Nonetheless, you immediately type out a text message with critical information and hit send hoping to slip the message out across some free bandwidth.
Now, having previously memorized alternative routes through various neighborhoods, you opt for the side streets as your only available option. These roads maze you through inner city neighborhoods, downtown areas, and residential zones. These locations can pose a threat just as dangerous as getting stuck on the 101. Specifically, you may come across many individuals on foot. The random man or woman crossing a street ahead of you may not be an issue, but that mob of 15+ men at an ad hoc roadblock with bats can certainly be a serious threat if you are forced from your vehicle. Keep the LA riots of the past in mind.
As you slowly make your way toward your home, it is clear the damage is getting more serious. Buildings have been turned to rubble, the road is impassible, fires are burning out of control, and people are in the streets. As you try to progress, your drivable routes are closed off. Now with no chance to back out of the gridlock and no way to go forward, you notice tempers flaring and panic setting into the public. Someone passes your vehicle and starts demanding a ride, you hear glass break to your rear, then suddenly you hear unnerving pops some distance ahead of you. You have no choice but to abandon your vehicle and continue on foot. Thankfully, even though your car’s GPS is no longer useful and can’t go with you, it isn’t a problem because you kept a good map in your vehicle bug out kit.
Grabbing your vehicle bug out kit, you make your way to your rendezvous point with your family, resupply, and assess your situation. The area is utterly destroyed, looting is already rampant, fires are raging unchecked, thousands are dead or injured, there is word one of the nuclear reactors may be leaking radiation, phones are not working, and all utilities are down. Seeing no good options for bugging in, you make the decision to bug out. Now let’s look at the challenges you will face and the preps you will need to make in order to be a Last Minute Survivor.
To begin, any plan to bug out of SoCal has to take into account your ever present enemy… CARRMAGEDON! Imagine the vehicle madness of the I-405 and US-101 intersection at a standstill. Then apply the same sea of gridlocked cars and trucks to all the major roadways between Santa Monica and Redlands. The end result is a highway system that is overloaded and frozen. In the panic following the event that initiated your bug out, there will be countless auto accidents, gridlock, and cars abandoned after running out of gas while idling in stalled traffic. These events will combine to turn SoCal into one giant multilane roadblock. If your plan includes the need to drive anywhere, be it home from work or to the marina, you must plan to be stuck in this sea of angry, afraid, and possibly violent drivers. So what’s the solution? It’s actually basic. You need to know of another way home and drive it enough to commit the route and neighborhoods to memory because you may need to hike it by foot. Keep in mind that your daytime commute will look drastically different if you travel it at night or vice versa. Further, make sure you have a good map of the area in the event GPS is not working. You may also opt for adding a mountain bike to your vehicle bug out bag, which would allow you to continue quickly along jammed highways. It is nice to have a small, fuel efficient car to zip around the city, but the ability of your vehicle to get over typical obstacles will be critical during a disaster. In the event of an earthquake, obstacles can range from fallen telephone poles and debris like bricks to buckled streets to curbs, medians, and other vehicles. Would your car be able to drive down the side slope of an intestate or highway or jump the median to do a U-turn? You might have to. A basic Jeep Wrangler can do this and get over the said obstacles, but your sedan with its low clearance and two wheel drive will get stuck. Getting stuck brings us to the next problem…If you have to abandon your vehicle, pull it well off the road and try to park it in a secure location that is less visible from the main road. Make sure nothing is visible that would draw the attention of a thief. Further, disable your car by disconnecting your battery cables at minimum. Critical to your vehicle bug out kit will be appropriate seasonal attire to include good shoes, water, a water purifier, and something to carry a minimum of two quarts of water per person in your car. For SoCal, in addition to our standard items we recommend in your bug out kit (See: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/2014/10/13/location-specific-bug-out-bags-part-i/), you should also include the following items:
- Potassium Iodide tablets (http://www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/ki.asp)
- Additional means of carrying water on the go such as a backpack with an integral hydration bladder
- Fire extinguisher (capable of extinguishing chemical fires)
- Climbing rope, harness/seat, carabiners, leather gloves, Figure 8 or other descender device
- Low profile body armor capable of stopping handgun rounds
- Fishing tackle
- Addition of anti-nausea medication to your first aid kit if you plan to escape via the Pacific Ocean
As you progress with your bug out, you will likely have to ditch your car and make your way by foot or other means, you may well be confronted by and angry mob. So, what to do about a violent mob ahead of you? Go the opposite way quickly and avoid them if at all possible. It is better to add time and distance to your route than to be beaten and robbed by a mob or gang. I caution against a gun fight unless it is a last resort. Mobs carry guns, maybe even many guns, so even with your superior shooting skills, you could be outgunned in a close gunfight. If you have to shoot it out, get as much distance as you can from your threat to maximize your marksmanship, get behind cover that will stop a bullet, and return well aimed fire at the most pressing threats first. Further, if you face multiple threats, try to maneuver them so they are “stacked” in a line, which allows you to take them on one at a time versus all at once. If you can’t carry or are unwilling to arm yourself then your best bet is a heavy duty can of pepper spray for bears, a good pair of running shoes, and a walking stick that doubles as a club.
If you can effectively avoid the mob, your next big challenge will not be what is missing from your bug out bag, but your physical condition. The military wouldn’t waste time to conduct daily physical training if it wasn’t essential, yet all too many preppers forego this most basic and essential of preps. Are you in decent enough shape to walk home with a moderate load on your back? Most Americans are not. That 20 mile/40 minute commute that you have to walk might as well be Mount Everest if you get tired after one block of walking. Stack the odds in your favor. Go for more walks, try short hikes with friends or family, and consider a lighter “Get Home Bag” for this situation. One thing I’ve taken from my hiking experience is an admiration for ‘ultra-light’ hikers. They buy lighter gear, carry less gear, and therefore have the option of covering more terrain with greater ease. You don’t have to be an ultra-marathon champion, but you should be able to cover at least 20 miles on foot with your gear and not die of a heart attack. Mentally and physically preparing yourself for this will put you one step ahead, no pun intended.
What is likely to go wrong after setting off on your long walk home? Although we have discussed this issue previously, it is worth repeating because it is so important. Don’t be in a position where you look down at your penny loafers or two inch heels and saying ‘oh crap.’ The solution is again simple. At minimum, put some running shoes or lightweight hiking boots in your car and leave them there. Beware of buying expensive combat boots or stiff hiking boots for this purpose. If you haven’t broken them in before that long walk it will cause painful blisters that could get infected and slow or stop your movement. Further, you will need boots that can handle steep mountains, keep out sand, protect your feet from thorns, and still let your feet breath. There are a variety of shoes and boots that can meet these requirements so find a pair that works for you and make sure you are wearing them or have them with you.
If things really go sour you will have less than a day to get home before we all start turning into metaphorical zombies and chasing you down the street. You don’t want to be the person caught on the street that starts attracting unwanted attention. Get to where you are going before people start to realize you have gear they need. The scenarios are endless and point to one main point. Get up, get moving, and don’t stop. Here’s why, American grocery stores operate on a system long ago borrowed from Japan called “Just in time.” This eliminates a grocer’s need to store large amounts of perishables that will expire and cause a financial loss if not sold. As such, stores don’t stock more than three days’ worth of food at any time. The semi-trucks we see are critical to that logistics supply chain. In the event of a crisis, we have witnessed over and over that once the trucks stop rolling, the three days of supplies disappear within about one to two hours. If the crisis persists and is wide spread, unprepared people we will grow hungry. That’s when mom says to dad, “little Joe is hungry and so am I.” Mom and pop will hold back from theft and other crimes for a while, but will eventually do what they must to stay alive. Situations like this happened when Katrina hit New Orleans, and it can happen anywhere. Your job is to get out before this happens.
As discussed, getting out of the SoCal area won’t be a walk in the park but can be done. From the beginning though, you need to have identified and prepped for where you will go. If you don’t have a destination then you are wandering and likely to become another statistic. Having a PRE-planned destination is vital, see the bug out of DC article for more details (http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/2014/10/17/bug-out-bags-part-ii-washington-dc/). The most difficult area to bug out of is the concrete and asphalt triangle covering all of the area within Santa Monica to Pasadena to Anaheim. Options out to the North are US-101 aka the “101” and I-5. Everyone and their brother will likely be on those roads so expect pain and misery. These two roads are literally the main entrances to the LA area and will be no easy task to navigate. Another option out towards the North is Highway-1 along the Malibu coast where your ocean views will be great, but the narrow road could easily become jammed, cutoff, or destroyed by rock/mudslides in the event of a quake. It would also be vulnerable to a tsunami and radiation from a damaged coastal reactor. Remember that bugging out doesn’t require a paved road. If you can make it to Burbank you can drive along the rail road at Burbank Town Center and follow it to Chatsworth, but don’t be stupid and get smacked by a train. From there you have easier access to Highway 118 and can easily reach Simi Valley, Moorpark, Santa Paula, and Ventura via back roads (if you have a map). Note, the railroad that gets you to Burbank also connects to Union Station in LA.
Getting out of town to the Northeast is similarly challenging. They are Highway-14 towards Palmdale, I-15 towards Barstow, and the “2” through Angeles National Forest if you are alright with ultra-winding roads and contending with Bigfoot and his keepers. Keep in mind that the ‘High Desert’ between the “14” and I-15 is not a friendly environment. It’s a desert…therefore, it is hot, it is dry, it gets cold at night, the plants stick you and the animals bite you. It is unforgiving and if you are not prepared for it, it is best to be avoided if you are on foot or could end up on foot. It’s also home to a relatively conservative population, an armed population. Criminals beware. Those of us amongst the liberal crowd would likely be better suited taking the 101 towards lovely Santa Barbara and San Francisco.
Other options to the Northeast and East can be considered but have many cons. The “18” towards Big Bear takes you into gorgeous countryside, but rumors indicate local residents plan on blockading inbound roads to keep the rest of us out. I don’t blame them. The same can be assumed of isolated communities throughout the region. The “38”east of Redlands is a good option into the San Bernardino National Forest if you need to go that way. I’ve personally hiked this area and know it contains various creeks to keep your water topped off. Interstate-10 is the main way out eastbound. Its extra lanes East of Banning would facilitate your exit, but take you into miserable terrain as does the I-15 into the Mojave Desert. Again, if you aren’t familiar with the desert, stay far away from the Mojave. If you must go into the desert, have plenty of water and make sure you have marked all the natural springs on your map and checked them out ahead of time. Some of them are hot springs, some are seasonal, and some have water not safe to drink due to mining contaminants like mercury. Further, if you are on foot, travel between the hours just before sunset to just after sun rise when temperatures are the coolest. During the day you should seek shade and shelter from the sun. Rock outcroppings are good for this, but also play host to a lot of venomous snakes so be cautious. Keep as cool as you can and never waste water or energy during the heat of the day. Getting above or below the ground will be where it stays the coolest. Wear loose fitting, light colored clothes, a wide brim hat, and sunglasses. Sunscreen is good for your face, neck, and ears, but covering up with clothing is far better. Remember, distances in the desert are very deceiving. What looks like only a short walk could be 20 or more miles.
If you plan to head east and tackle the mountains, you will also need to know what you are doing to survive. Any attempt to cross the Sierra’s will dictate a bug out plan by foot that has been well rehearsed. Just like the desert, the mountains are brutal and unforgiving. You must be prepared for extremely cold, wet, and windy weather if you plan on successfully crossing or holding out in the Sierras. Blizzard conditions even in the summer at altitude are not uncommon. Further, you have avalanches, rock slides, raging streams, cliffs, high altitude, lightening, ice fields and crevasses, cougars, and well-armed locals to contend with. If you are not in peak physical condition, properly trained, or in possession of the right equipment for the alpine environment, the mountains will prove insurmountable; especially, at high altitude. During the winter, crossing the mountains simply may not be an option due to the deep snow and brutal storms, even for experienced mountaineers. Winter storms above the treeline can drop temperatures below zero, pack hurricane force winds, and diminish visibility to zero. However, in the summer, the extremely rugged terrain gives the experienced climber and mountaineer the advantage of being able to go where the masses can’t or won’t. If you do select the mountains as your bug out location, you will have ample water, will not have to contend with as many people, and can find many hide spots suitable to overnight and longer term bugging out. Nonetheless, your kit will be heavier and must have the right equipment to include crampons, ice axe, climbing rope and gear, extreme cold weather gear, mountain rated sleeping bag and pad, mountaineering/4-season tent, tough hiking boots, backpacking stove (for areas of no vegetation above the treeline), maps and compass, and possibly snowshoes. If you read the specialized gear list and said, “What’s that?” and or haven’t been trained to use that gear, going into the alpine region could be lethal for you and should be avoided. In the interim, use your time to get familiar with the gear, take some classes, and become comfortable operating in the alpine region because you may just get forced into it.
I don’t recommend a southbound bug out because of the likely mass migration from Mexico during a grid-down all out national catastrophe. The current and common place violence just across the border is likely to spill over when the “troubles” begin. I wouldn’t expect our border guards to work for free and forsake their families at home; therefore, the border may end up “open” and precipitate a population surge along the border. Further, an area with a large population density isn’t in concert with my bug out philosophy. The saving grace for those of us in the San Diego and Oceanside is just East. The area between Palomar Mountain State Park and the Cleveland National Forest would make a great initial bug out retreat, which is in close proximity. Its various lakes, available game, and lower population density make it very bug out attractive. However, like the Poconos for New Yorkers, many people will also plan to head to this area so it is less attractive as a long term bug out site unless you have land and a developed, defendable retreat in that area.
Finally, there is the westerly option known as a boat. Certainly, this option isn’t available to many of us, but if your connections or finances allow for it, an escape by sea is one of your better options for SoCal. The Pacific Ocean can certainly become a refuge if you have a stocked boat that is accessible, sea worthy, and you are a capable captain. Even if you do not have a large ocean worthy boat, using a smaller boat and hugging the coastline will allow you to travel a significant distance from the immediate danger, insulate yourself from the chaos on land, and even bug out to another country if necessary. If the seas get to rough, you can bring your ship into a sheltered inlet or even dock it and continue by land from a preplanned rendezvous location. Make sure that you add anti-nausea medication to your kit if you plan to head out to sea. Even if you have never been motion sick before, presented with the right conditions, you could become incapacitated with nausea and vomiting during rough seas. The sea also provides you with ample food in the form of fish if you are prepared to catch them. Make sure you have fishing tackle to include nets if you head to sea and practice with it. A decent fisherman will be able to provide long term sustenance in a bug out by boat scenario. Also, with the right equipment, you can desalinate water to provide long term critical hydration. If your boat is capable of running under sail, you also have an indefinite range.
All considered SoCal doesn’t have a host of good options for bugging out. Your best bet is to be prepared and ready to act. This puts you ahead of the zombie masses and makes your chances of a successful bug out far higher. However, even if you are the first out of the immediate metropolitan areas, you still will be faced with some very technical survival environments that include rugged mountains, scorching hot deserts, or the vast ocean. As such, it is critical to plan, prepare, and rehearse your bug out ahead of time. For example, if you plan to head to the hills, spend your weekends hiking the trails, familiarizing yourself to the terrain, acquiring any necessary specialized gear, and learning the skills necessary to thrive in that environment. Success in SoCal demands you put in the time so start now and be a Last Minute Survivor.
By Guiles Hendrik and Sgt G.
December 1, 2014