The Walking Dead goes Urban Survival

After a couple snoozer episodes, I really dug this past week's episode of the Walking Dead, titled "Consumed".

Some great post-apocalyptic scenery as Carol and Daryl returned to explore the ruins of Atlanta in search of Beth. And I am certainly a sucker for exploring desolate apocalyptic urban landscapes...for some reason, strangely beautiful and fascinating. Felt a bit like the zombie classic 28 Days Later.

Thumbs up to the show here for some good work here. Excellent cinematography, set design, etc. And cool to revisit some of the iconic places from earlier in the series.

Also enjoyed a few of the urban survival elements that were comparatively well done, if you were paying attention:
  • Struggles with locked doors, chains and other barriers (and having the tools to deal with them)
  • Acquiring transportation when needed
  • Using existing shelter
  • Scavenging water and other supplies
  • Importance of stealth and observing unknown forces from afar
  • Necessity of traveling light
Next week should be action-packed, as Daryl rallies the troops and brings 'em in guns blazing to rescue Beth and Carol.

What did you guys think? Think anyone will catch a bullet or walker bite in next week's jail break episode, "Crossed"/


Bug out bag discussion continued

Continuing from the previous post. Comments generated some good discussion, responses started getting long so I broken them out here.

Contractor-style "Go Bags" - maybe a bad example
I used these as an example of a lighter weight, purpose-driven kit, but may have taken the conversation sideways a bit

For some context, an example from Bubba over at DVM of a go bag (he calls it a red zone bug out bag) he carried as a backup:  http://www.deathvalleymag.com/2010/03/16/civilian-contractors-red-zone-bug-out-bag-part-1/

A man purse with mags and tactical gear isn't something I'd make an across the board recommendation on, especially for a civvy survivalist. In fact, it's tough to make any kind of across the board recommendations. Why?

A really good quote from the DVM article:

It’s all about defining the threat environment you operate in, the problems you will most likely face, and sorting out the tools that are the best fit for you and your mission, as well as what you can reasonably expect to carry.

The contractor go bag is an example of a solution for the problems those guys were facing in Iraq. They were almost exclusively operating out of vehicles in a quasi-urban environment, and were primarily concerned with attacks from heavily armed insurgents, IEDs or a combination of the two. If the bag needed to be employed, it'd need to be grabbed quickly, and would be used to retreat under fire and either get to safety or survive until help showed up.

Your threat environment, the problems you will most likely face, and the problem solving tools that will work for you will likely be different from a contractor in Iraq circa 2009.

Bug out bag or Ruck
These are two terms that are tossed around a lot in the same discussion--I'll define them in terms of capacity and weight and discuss.


Bug out bags and vehicles

When plans have gone to hell, when your commandeered short bus is going up in flames...that's when you need a bug out bag.

As popular as bug out bags are, their role in survival/preparedness plans is often misunderstood.

You'll often hear stuff like "Man, bugging out is crazy! I'm going to bug in and stay home!" or "Why would I choose to be a refugee with nothing but a backpack on my back?"

And then on the other hand, you'll have others who for some reason plan to start marching off into the woods with a giant pack to pitch a tent, hang out and start bush crafting.

It's all too common, and unfortunately both are completely missing the point.

I agree - bugging out shouldn't be your primary plan. Or even your secondary. Yep, you'll want to bug in...at least as long as it is safe to do so.

If you're forced to leave your bug in location and retreat to safety, you'll want to load up your truck/SUV with every possible thing that you can for that journey. Gear, food, water, fuel...heck, hook up that bug out trailer, too.

There are of course various things that can go wrong or draw you away from your vehicle. Crash, break downs, getting stuck, running out of fuel, getting hopelessly stuck in traffic, floods, impassable roads, attacks on your vehicle...or, even just heading out on foot for a scout/patrol of an area.

That's when you want your bug out bag.

In the Walking Dead screen grab from above, they crashed their short bus and it burst into flames. Crap - there goes their transportation as well as the majority of food and weaponry they appeared to have brought along for their journey.

In You Took Away Tomorrow, the characters first attempt to bug in at Jack Rourke's home. Then, when their home is compromised, they try to bug out via their vehicles. When the group's makeshift convoy falls under attack from machine gun wielding neo nazi bikers, they resort to a bug out on foot.

Soldiers and especially contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan have been well known to carry 'go bags' in their armored SUVs - small bags that they can grab during an attack. They pack them with spare mags, medical gear, radios, smoke grenades and other assorted cool guy stuff to help them get back to safety or hold out until rescue arrives.

An example of a 'worst case' for this in action. This was shared by a recent Haley Strategic class participant - think instead of just grabbing long guns, they'd be throwing on bug out bags as well.
Post by Ryan Smith.

In my opinion, a bug out bag should work in this kind of environment and scenario. You should be able to move quickly, even move and shoot while wearing it. It should also be of a size 'works' around a vehicle and can be retrieved and donned quickly if needed...not some giant hiking pack that you can barely lift.

If you had gunfire (or quickly rising flood waters, or fire, or whatever) coming in your direction, how long would you spend screwing around with a pack? Be able to grab and move - that's the point.



124 grain 9mm

Fruits of my reloading press...


Veteran's Day 2014

To those who have served, currently serve or will serve our nation - thank you.


Survivalist Garage Sale 2: The Wrath of Khan

Back with another lot of gear to clear out from the bunker...

Prices include US shipping, which will be sent via USPS.  No international shipping...I don't have time/interest in dealing with the customs headaches at this time.

I will mark off gear as it is sold...if the price is there, it's still available.

E-mail me at teotwawki.blog@gmail.com with "Garage Sale" in the e-mail title if you want to buy something. Payment will be via PayPal.

Tactical Nylon Galore
Unless otherwise noted, gear is in excellent shape.

Important: Minimum $50 order on pouches; I don't want to be shipping stuff out onesie-twosies. 

KYWI pouches in Multicam from ESSTAC. These are widely regarded as the best open top mag pouches for AR mags.

Double M4 mag pouch: $30
Single M4 mag pouches (2 available): $16
Double pistol mag pouch: $17.50

Or buy 'em all for $100

Pencott Greenzone pouches from Tactical Tailor. Really well made stuff in a groovy pattern that is perfect for woodlands areas. From Tactical Tailor's Fight Light line. Great chance to get decked out in a new pattern. ALL SOLD

M4 single mag pouches (6 available): $10.50 SOLD
M4 triple mag panel (1 available): $17.50 SOLD
M4 double mag pouches (3 available): $10.75 SOLD
Enhanced Admin Pouch: $31.50 SOLD
Magna Pistol Mag Pouch: $18.50 SOLD
Hydration Pouch - includes 2L Source bladder & Greenzone hose cover: $36 SOLD
Compass Pouch: $13.50 SOLD

Tactical Tailor Rudder RAC chest rig in Pencott Greenzone: $92 SOLD

Buy the Rudder RAC and ALL of the Pencott Greenzone pouches for $280. 

Finally, 3 old school woodlands canteen pouches. Surplus and used, but still functional. $7 each.

Not pictured:
500 pieces of once fired 40 S&W brass. Unprocessed, unpolished, mixed headstamp, hand sorted. Some nickle, mostly brass. From an indoor range that does not allow reloads. Weighs out to closer to 600 pieces, but we'll call it 500. $35 shipped.