Jeremiah Johnson is a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne) and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).
The subject of this article is to help you prepare yourselves for an emergency…any emergency, in whatever scope. Many of you are already doing this; however, you may pick up a few useful tips. You may also have some to contribute in the comments section. I wish to be the facilitator of a discussion in this article. I wish very much for you to participate in it. Trust me, I will be taking notes. As I mentioned in my last articles, it is very important to share information and I rely on you, the readership, as well.
First things first: always be armed. The ones who do not wish you to be armed are those who are armed. Those who are armed place those who are unarmed into work/death camps or kill them outright. What state do you live in? Do you have open carry laws? Do your homework…and then make your own decision. Here is the ultimate concealed carry law:
Amendment II A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
The Constitution of the United States of America, December 15, 1791.
“…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Such is the reason that state after state sees their feeble “concealed carry” laws crumble when challenged: they do not hold water to the Constitution of the United States of America. You need to be armed at all times to increase your chance of survival.
Let’s talk about some things that may work for you.
Cargo pants. These are preferred because of what you can stash in them. You can hold an infinite combination of gear in them…a polar-tech cap and a balaclava, a “drive-on” (do) rag – the o.g. Army cravat. You can carry shooting gloves (leather for all-weather) and ear plugs (radians do tell!). With all of these things in the cargoes, there is still plenty of room for the main function: when you change your mags or speed loaders, you can shove the empties in your cargo pockets.
For ammo, have (depending on your caliber) (1) loaded mag/chambers with hollow-points, and a backup of Buffalo Bore or another type of +P rounds. Such can be switched out when the storm troopers step out of their Tie-fighters/MRAP’s. With pistols, always have one in the hole, and always be scrupulously conscious of it. Before you are dangerous to the bad guys, it would behoove you to not be dangerous to yourself or to other good guys.
I strongly recommend an “Uncle Mike” type of plastic holster that holds your piece in your beltline, and an additional mag pouch/speed loader pouch on your belt. A good folding knife and a Gerber or Leatherman tool is also strongly recommended. Don’t use them! Keep them in immaculate and serviceable condition. If you need to use tools, use other tools. You want what is on you to be in perfect condition for when conditions are not perfect.
Good footgear is quite important. Living in Montana, I have my footgear for extreme cold winter weather (Rocky Goretex) and then switch to issue Jungles in the summer, usually black. I also wear desert tan (intermediate cold) issues. Whatever your preference, you need to be able to walk with a load on your back in them and be comfortable as well as have those ankles supported. Quality socks are very important as well. From the time that a grid down/SHTF event happens, you have to be ready to rock and roll immediately! Your survival may depend on how you are dressed/can quick-change into vestments, and how much equipment you have on your person at that time!
Always have a small flashlight for if the power stops. Two years ago I was in a sporting goods store and there was a large hailstorm going on. All of a sudden the power went out, and there was panic in the store. Whole bunches of elderly people were stumbling around in the basement level, and the management had no backup. JJ, on the other hand, had his trusty mag-lite and led the older people up the stairs to the exits. The whole store shut down: a store full of flashlights and batteries that they wouldn’t use. They weren’t for use, though: they were for sale!
You see the point: you need your stuff with you and on you.
Also needed is a reliable lighter (I carry a Zippo and a disposable one). Safety pins: these little lifesavers can be affixed to your hat and on the inside seams of clothing for when you need them. Regarding clothing: what you wear may not be what you can hide very well in. I always wear cargo pants. Always. If I’m in a suit and tie, you can bank on my pants having cargo pockets. I also carry a sweatshirt with hood and a heavier jacket in my vehicle (that blends with the area I may have to run around in).
Here’s one for you for use with the weapon. Save your produce bags from the grocery store. On a kydex/Uncle Mike’s holster, you can place your weapon in the bag when you’re running around and it will fit snugly in the holster. This will keep dirt, moisture, etc., out of the weapon, and if need be it can be drawn and fired. For long-term stuff, I’m partial to the old Bianchi flap-and-hook style o.g. pistol holster. The latch is great to keep that baby inside of the holster when you’re running in the woods from wolves or through the storm-drains chased by homey the clown and the lollipop-guild.
Loosely fitting clothing will break up the outline of your body. Also, remember all of the caps and do-rags I mentioned before? A quick disguise is where you find it; need I say more. An old Russian saying: “Do not be a white crow among black crows or you’ll be pecked to death!” Make sure that you blend in as best as you can. Earth tones in your dress if you have to dee-dee into the woods. Balance your tones with the discretion of common sense. Do not try to be a walking Realtree monster right next to downtown city hall.
Cash on hand is a tough one to call. I believe $100 would be good to carry and not touch under any circumstances for starters. You can also balance this with a little gold or silver in the form of jewelry that you could afford to part with if, say, you needed a ride or a few gallons of gasoline. Do not attempt to be “Mr. T,” nor should you carry around your great-grandfather’s gold pocket watch. Blend in and be inconspicuous; be the “gray” man in the crowd.
If you wear eyeglasses, you should have a spare pair where you can reach them, or (at the bare minimum) a small repair kit and a tube of super glue to fix them until you’re out of the danger zone. A compass is a good thing; pick one up that’s not going to be useless in the event of EMP. Follow the KISS principle and pick up a good durable liquid-filled one or a Lensatic that can take a beating and still give you a direction. A good P-38 (can-opener, not the Lockheed WWII fighter aircraft) should be a must-have on your key ring. Ballpoint pens and paper (I keep index cards with me) are also handy for your own Intel-keeping or for a message you may need to leave for someone.
This article is for informational purposes and is not a suggestion or advisement, explicit or implied, from SHTFplan, its writers, or staff, to violate any local, state or federal laws. Contact a lawyer or legal counsel prior to taking any actions as outlined in this article.
We will cover bags for your vehicles and small carry bags for your person in our next segment. Until then, weigh this information and tailor it according to your needs. Take some time to consider those needs carefully to employ them in a day-to-day practical setting that is both inconspicuous and effective. Take action today, because tomorrow may be too late. Exchange ideas with one another. May the comments section be more packed than a can of sardines, I wish! Have a great day and I look forward to hearing from you!
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape). He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com.