Hard Lessons: Urban Survival

From the Archives, 2018


Hard Lessons: Urban Survival


“If I asked how to go become a Hunter-Gatherer, how would you respond? Even if you were one long ago, it would be difficult. We’re talking about nothing short of an utter redefinition of how you live, your identity and role in society, and entrance into a new culture. How does one “prepare” for that?”

We really need more articles like this in the prepper/survival community In my opinion. Articles that challenge the status quo of accepted knowledge and get down to the nuts and bolts of survival. No flash, no hollywood, just surviving the best you can, for as long as you can.

Read this twice and pass it on to somebody you care about.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

My dystopian dream

 Thought provoking read.

At the end of the day the question stands: What are YOU going to do about it?


I had a dream last night. I was standing at a gas pump hearing that damned Orwellian “telescreen”. It’s not looking back at us quite yet, but then again, all you have to do is look up, left and then right to see three cameras pointed right at you. So what is the difference? Back…

via My dystopian dream — American Partisan

Remembering Mr. S.M.O.L.E.S.

From the Archives, 2015.


Yeah I know this is Mr. Burns, but you will get the joke as you read on.

Since the general feeling around the national campfire has been one of concern and worry as of late, I thought it a relevant and necessary article to review something that is actually practical and useful, instead of prognosticating on “what could be”. I mean if we are gonna stand around and do that why don’t we just all have a “whistle dixie out of our assholes” contest too while we are at it…seriously guys, get a hold of yourselves out there and act like you gotta pair.

In times like this I am reminded of the wisdom of my late grandmother who said:

  • “A Man can only piss his pants and stay warm for so long….” (Still love that one even though I have yet to find a meaningful use for it, although I guess as this is a prepping article, take it at face value!)

  •  “You cannot worry about things you cannot change; only concern yourself with things YOU CAN change.”

What CAN WE CHANGE? I cannot think of a more practical thing that is within our control than reviewing first our Training status (Software) and then our Equipment Status and Selection for our Survival Pack, BOB’s, VBOB’s, etc. (Hardware).

And for those of you that have never heard of SMOLES before, I regret to inform you he is NOT a real person.

No, SMOLES is an acronym used first by the US Army Rangers and SF and now by the Survivalist community to denote the type of gear that needs to be prioritized as we pack up for when the “Excrement hits the oscillator device.”

(S) Self-Defense

None of the proceeding gear is gonna matter if you cannot protect yourself and you get dead. Always prioritize your weapons first, regardless. In the military we called it Combat Loading, and as Civilian Operator’s it would not be a bad ideal if you adopted this same mentality to EVERYTHING you do.

Remember: Guns, Mags and Ammo before Granola, Gatorade and Toilet Paper!

(M) Medical

The ability to medically care for yourself or anybody else in your tribe is paramount. This includes your basic “boo-boo” kit to your blowout bag to your fully stocked Tactical Trauma pack. If preparing for your entire family, consider each persons needs (for example, allergies, female hygiene, etc.)

(O) Observation and Optics

The ability to spot the enemy before he sees you and to shoot the enemy accurately during combat. This could range from a decent pair of bionocs and a rangefinder to a pair of NVG’s and Thermal Imaging Optics, depending on the mission and your capabilities. Remember: Mission Drives Equipment, so consider your overall optic needs.

(L) Land Navigation

The ability to navigate the terrain with confidence and not wander around the woods like Hansel and Gretel is important in any situation, but especially when the bottom falls out from society. This COULD include your ultra-high tech GPS unit that (a) runs off electricity and depends on a satellite rotating the earth to work and (b) has a manual the size of War and Peace that  you have not even read yet OR a better ideal is to learn how to read a map and compass that does not depend on anything to function. Smart, simple and effective.

(E) Extreme Weather Conditions

This one is fairly self-explanatory. Note the word EXTREME. Prepare for extreme cold or heat accordingly. Anyone who has ever had frostbite or heat stroke will most likely tell you both suck, so try to avoid them like the plague and dress accordingly. Remember, weather and the elements can kill you just as quickly as a bullet if you stay out in it long enough.

(S) Survival

This is the biggest category, which is why I guess they saved it for last. It basically includes everything else you would need to survive that is not included above.

John Mosby in his outstanding Reluctant Partisan Volumes puts it this way:

  • You cannot survive 3 minutes without Oxygen

  • You cannot Survive 3 Hours without Shelter

  • You cannot survive 3 Days without Water

  • You cannot survive 3 Weeks without Food

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

Developing the “Ice-Cube Tray” Mentality


Technology can be likened to a fantastic drug.

When you have it and are USING it, you feel awesome and alive. It helps you through your day. It entertains you. It helps you organize and be more efficient. It connects you to the things you care about. In short, it helps you cope with the world around you. But like any drug, if you take it often enough and long enough, you become addicted, and it is no longer a WANT, it is a NEED. For most people, being addicted to technology is not something they really think about. Like most addicts, each day blurs into the rest so long as technology is there to help them through it.

Where trouble comes into paradise is when these same people transfer this “tech addict” mentality into the prepping world. I think you know what I am talking about, but let me expound a bit further. I once saw this article in some hipster magazine while waiting on a haircut. It talked about “Prepping” and What things you should have in your “SHTF” Bag. Now I quickly realized that most of the people who read these rags would not know a “SHTF” Bag or “Bug-Out” Bag if it slapped them in the face and winked at them, but being the consummate pessimist that I am, I continued on with the article, mostly to amuse myself, if the truth be told.

This one guy from the Northwest had a fairly respectable laundry list of items; waterproof matches, water filtration straws, Small Trauma Kit, Protein Bars, etc… The other cat was from some crime ridden Eastern Seaboard metropolis. His kit contained two items: a Lantern that ran on (4) D Batteries that could “recharge his cell phone” and a windproof lighter. That was it. When asked why so few things in his kit the guy responded “If I can recharge my cell phone I have apps on there like a flashlight and GPS, plus I can just Google some DIY website to find out how to do the rest….” The guy was friggin’ serious. I actually flipped to the end of the article to see if this was some kind of joke, but NO, it was no joke! It was a real article! I let out a hearty laugh right there in the barber shop; this was just too much!

There are so many things wrong with this guy’s thinking I honestly would not know where to start, and I am not going to waste your time listing them anyway. The essence of it is this: People that are addicted to technology think the solution when confronted with a problem (any problem) is to simply get the technology “working again.” Re-charge the cell phone but never mind the cell towers and internet are DOWN. What good is a GPS without access to the GPS Satellites? What good is Googling “How to build a Spindle Rod” without DSL or a cell signal? What good is calling 911 when the cell towers are down and the Cops are too overloaded to answer anyway? Yeah I could open up the whole EMP can of worms, but I won’t for sake of brevity.

The Long and short of it is this: WE ALL, regardless of our Geographic location or State of Prepper Readiness need to find ways in our everyday lives to lessen our dependence on technology one step at a time.

One of the ways I have found is what I call the “Ice Cube Tray Mentality”. Why do I call it that? The first time it came to me was when I was filling up ice trays. Yes, Ice Trays. Those things you can buy 4 for a Dollar at the you guessed it, the “Dollar Store” (Just be sure and wash them before use). Why Ice Trays? Because some time ago me and the better half decided to simplify our lives and we started with the basics. Why buy a $3,000 “Smart” refrigerator that may be able to tell you when you are low on eggs but can also act of both a locator beacon and audio bug for whoever wants to take the time to hack it?

Add to this that when the thing breaks down (typically 1 month after the warranty goes out) you basically have to have a computer tech that works for $300 bucks an hour come fix it because the thing runs off a CPU. Why not just go with a simple bare bones $300 Refrigerator? No it has no “Smart” Chip and the color scheme is limited to Black, White or Stainless if you are lucky. The one we got does not even have an ice maker. But the beauty of it is this: The Less Moving Parts means Less Chance of the thing breaking down! We bought this one over 10 years ago and it is still humming today. We did have to buy a few more ice trays though. That set me back all of $2.00. I have found 6 ice trays are the perfect number for my house, if you fill them up each time you use them you will always have a nice, cold big bucket of ice waiting on you! Simple. Easy. Practical.

So there it is, The Ice Cube Tray Mentality.

Apply it to Every area of your Life and take it in steps. Go at a pace that you find comfortable and you will start confronting NOW one of the biggest hurdles 21st Century man will ever have to face once the lights go out in Georgia For Good.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

“If the Virus hadn’t caused the Crash, Something Else Would Have”?

What’s the bigger story right now? A Chinese Virus with a deceptively low mortality rate masking its hospitalization rate or rather, the economic crash seemingly placed upon us like a perfect storm? A lot of people are blaming the virus on the continuing economic carnage and they’re not wrong, but the issue is far deeper…

via “If the Virus hadn’t caused the Crash, Something Else Would Have”? — American Partisan

Harvesting Your Own Water

Water is Life.


Jackalope a good friend, avid prepardeness professor, and amateur radio operator posted ‘Harvesting Your Own Water” on Unchainedpreppers.com Wednesday. I thought it was worth sharing with the American Partisan readers. So, I checked with him to see if it was okay to post here on AP. He graciously said, “Post it”. Sit back and enjoy!…

via Harvesting Your Own Water — American Partisan