> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Five Rules



Five Rules

Not the five--this certainly isn't all-encompassing--but five good ones I like to keep in mind.

 1. Have someone to watch your back.
Last I checked, you can't grow eyes in the back of your head and you eventually need to sleep or hit the head. Or patch you up when injured. Situational awareness is big, but you've got to have someone else who you can count on to watch your six and stick with you through hell and back. Those people are often few and far between, and those relationships should be valued and cared for.

2. Be prepared to walk away.
Things go bad. Good situations can turn to crap in a heartbeat. Sometimes you can stand up and fight, but often times getting out of dodge is your best bet. You don't want to get stuck between the hammer and the anvil. You've got to be able to drop it all, grab and go at basically a moments notice. Have a plan and a way out of harm's way.

3. Focus on what matters first.
You've got a finite amount of time/energy, so you need to work on the important stuff first. The stuff that matters the most should get your most attention and should get that attention the soonest. The other stuff can and should wait. This is a huge thing--it's all too easy to become distracted--but getting a handle on this is really important. Always good to take a moment to step back and think about the direction you're moving in.

4. Have a Plan B.
Gear breaks and the best plans fail--Murphy's Law and all that. Backups keep you alive when things go south, whether it's redundant equipment, an alternate route or contingency plans B through Z. In a time-is-life situation, you're not going to have the precious time to sit there and troubleshoot or rethink what you're doing. You've got to be able to transition quickly and aggressively to a backup plan.

5. Capabilities trump gear.
There's something to be said for having the right equipment, but a survivor's actual capabilities--skills and physical abilities--are what matters most. When things go bad--when there's stress, when there's pressure--then your capabilities are put to their test. If you're going to succeed, things will need to be near autopilot--don't count on having the time to think, fumble through and figure things out. You've got to be able to flip the switch and act, and that takes practice. Lots of it.

What are you thoughts? Agree, disagree? What other "rules" do you prep by?


  1. Be able to solve problems, not create them.

    If you want to be a leader in the paw, be one now. If you aren't a leader now, you won't be in the paw.

  2. 1. Plan for others, because no matter how much you think you're going to be a lone wolf, you're going to get stuck with others. Specifically, others that will most likely be counting on you.
    2. Skills only trump gear when they're applicable,so be a jack of all trades.
    3. Have a place to go when it's time to go, because no one likes fugees.

  3. Perhaps a corollary to #4 - "Expect the Unexpected".

    Every time something has seriously "bitten me on the butt", it was never quite what I expected might bite me (many times, totally out of left field). Don't let yourself get tunnel-vision about what you are preparing-for.

  4. Deschain has a really important point, if your plan B involves bugging out, you HAVE to know where you're going to bug out to!

    In the list I think 1 is important you just can't tackle anything without sleep so many studies show our decision making is cactus the more we push.

    Cheers guys,

  5. AnonymousMay 11, 2012


    That means it is important to test run and rerun everything. Specifically, run your GEAR and SKILLS through real life tests. Prudence dictates that it must be done before you trust your life to the gear or skill. We chose the gear based on our perception of need, so if we don't test then we make an assumption.

    We all must admit there is huge risk in trusting our very survival to any assumption. Those cool ads get us to buy the gear. Our test and practise convince us to carry it.

    Treat your skills the same way.

    Great PSK contest!

  6. Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 14, 2012

      Knowing when to act is as important as knowing what to do. My biggest fear is not knowing what is going on outside of my line of sight. I went thru a major hurricane and did not have clear come with the outside world for 2 weeks. My point is will we know when it has hit the fan or will we wait for a sign? Our communications had better be as good as we can make them because we need to know how localized our problem is. Is city wide county or statewide, is it national or just in our neighborhood. All this makes a difference in when and what we must do.
      Semper Fi

  7. Very good list which hits on some key points, one that you don't hear discussed very much is be prepared to walk away. What's worth dying over? Or loosing a family member over? Get your priorities in order.

    Quoting Ugly Rooster. "TRY BEFORE YOU DIE"

    This cannot be overstated. It doesn't matter how much gear you own. If you need to use it in an emergency but haven't practiced using it, you will be bumbling and fumbling until your death. Practice. Practice. Practice. Using tools and equipment has to be second nature to be effective in an emergency. It should be pure muscle memory by the time you need it.