Thoughts on survival

by George F. Hart

Professor emeritus, LSU

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Survival means staying alive!

Survival strategies are what are needed when the selection pressure increases to the level that the individual or the group are in danger of loss of life. Such strategies apply to survival in difficult or dangerous situations within the environment and range from being stranded in an arid environment to surviving a pandemic in an urban area.

Planning, preparation and experience are the basic requirements for survival in the field. Whilst in the field a person should assess how to survive if something goes wrong: before getting into trouble. Most local environments in the contiguous United States of America are not harsh but even in the temperate zones one can die a few hundred yards from apparent civilization. Lightening, a fall, scorpions, rattlesnake, drowning with a flash flood and heat stroke are all part of the selection pressure that acts upon the population who venture into the field. Personally, I have had friends who have died of rattlesnake bite to the neck, eaten by a Great White shark, hit by a truck, and blown-up by a land mine whilst in the field. In most cases they made a mistake which cost them their lives!

Get your survival experience in a non-emergency form!

Survival means staying alive, therefore, if you find yourself in an emergency situation, all of your energies or resources MUST be focused first on staying alive, second on getting out.

Forget everything else!

Survival situations may take hours to develop e.g. a lightening storm may be reasonably predicted. In other cases an emergency may happen suddenly as in snakebite. Living off-the-land survival situations seldom are an issue: they occur mostly in ship-wrecks and plane-wrecks.

Now-a-days excellent information is available on the Inter-Net, or in modern texts, concerning survival. However, I do recommend you familiarize yourself with the contents of three older books.

The Ship Captain's Medical Guide, by Her Majesty's Stationary Office. ISBN 0-11-510279-5

Bushcraft, by Richard Graves. ISBN 0-8052-0333-8

The Art of Survival, by Cord Christian Troebst. ISBN 0-385-01129-6

I suggest you take a field-class on gathering and using edible and medicinal plants available in your local region. Such classes are available in many areas by local botanical experts who, most importantly, will steer you clear of dangerous species. In addition, familiarize yourself with the local fauna that can be lethal e.g. bears, wolves, snakes and spiders ... understand their lethality and what to do [and NOT to do] in an emergency.

It is important to know what to do IMMEDIATELY a dire situation occurs. In general an emergency is over quickly - one way or the other you survive or die! Prior knowledge and preparation is the key to survival! It is important to make a rapid assessment of the immediate danger and mitigate against it as quickly as possible, using your maximum effort. Every trained survivalist is aware of this #1 action.

Some simple behavior rules to know when in the field.

  • Walk at a slow even pace.
  • Know your pace in mph - horizontal and up-hill.
  • Try to develop the same speed up-slope and down slope by altering your pace.
  • Practice walking at military pace [4 mph].
  • Never run: especially down slopes.
  • Walk vertically to the slope going uphill.
  • Walk sideways to the slope going downhill.
  • NEVER cross your legs going down slope.
  • If you are truly lost walk UP ridges and DOWN vallies.
  • To deliberately get lost walk up vallies and down ridges i.e. to evade a pursuer.

  • There is a difference between being lost and not knowing where you are.


    Dehydration is the major problem in the arid and marine environments. Never conserve water by rationing it. Thirst is the body's way of saying it is loosing water faster than you are replacing it - respond by drinking - even if it is your last drop. The bodies metabolic activities take place at about 99oF. The prime method of cooling the body to this temperature is sweating. Hence the need for water replenishment. An internal increase of 5-7oF can be fatal.Under strenuous, hot conditions the body can loose one [1] quart of liquid per hour; although it is normally less and for normal work in the field 0.5 quart per hour is a reasonable working figure. Thus in the field you need to replenish with 0.5 quart each hour. Note that in an arid climate sweating may NOT be visible on the skin. Thus drink at regular intervals instead of waiting until you are thirsty - you can dehydrate rapidly and not feel thirty. To conserve water avoid sweating and breath through your nose; cover the body, try to avoid the wind.

    Determine your personal water needs This is done by starting out with more water than you need. - say 6 quarts. Keep a note of the terrain, temperature and time.Note how much water you have left at the end of the day. The next day adjust to the amount taken according to previous experience. In the warm temperate areas one can usually manage with 3 quarts if you drink one quart before starting out and one quart upon return. One trick is to drink as much water as you can hold prior to starting out. Wait 15 minutes and then urinate. Then once more drink as much water as you can hold. On a reasonably cool day it is possible to comfortably last the whole day without feeling much thirst.

    Oral rehydrating

    Rehydrtion can save lives so it is important to know what to do. Many people do not know that children have a larger ratio of skin to body size than an adult and therefore need a greater amount of water when hiking.

    Mananging diarrhoeal dehydration - especially in children - is VERY important! Plain water does NOT provide provide essential electrolytes. DO NOT give fruit juices, MILK, sodas, gelatins or salty broths!

    A simple salt and sugar solution can be life-saving and should be taken every time a watery stool is passed. Re-hydrating should continue for 3-5 days. Rehydration is usually complete when urine color is normal and the individual is no longer saying they are thirsty. The basic ingredients are: starches and/or sugar, sodium, and potassium:

    To make 1 litre of oral rehydration solution [ORS]:

    one level teaspoon of salt
    eight level teaspoons of sugar [or molasses or raw sugar]
    one litre of clean drinking water or boiled water [cooled]= 5 cupfulls with each cup about 200ml.

    Stir mixture until sugar and salt are dissolved. 1/2 a cup of orange juice or a mashed banana can be added to improve the taste.

    For a child breastmilk, gruels [diluted cooked cerals and water], carrot soup, and rice water are good rehydrating solutions. Less suitable alternatives are fresh fruit juice, weak tea, or green coconut water.

    Adults should drink a minimum of 3 quarts [or liters] a day of ORS. Children: 1/2 to 1 cup per each time taken. Babies [up to 2] 1/4 to half cup each time taken. If vomiting occurs wait ten minutes and then start again!


    A day with a 90oF is classified as hot. Heat when combined with lack of water, low salt intake, wind and sunburn, exercise and stress can prove fatal. Acclimatization helps to reduce heat problems: this takes at least 3-days and usually about one week in an area such as the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains for people who come from sea-level.

    Note: if you can handle about 8 quarts of water a day and about 3 grams of salt you will probably avoid heat problems. Individuals with any kind of cardio-vascular disease, such as diabetes are more susceptible to heat problems. Large doses of amphetamines and LSD have been implicated in some heat stroke deaths.

    Most heat gets into the body through the eyes!

    Wear good sun glasses.

    A useful manual called "Desert Survival" is by Dick and Sharon Nelson. ISBN: 0-915030-06-3. 1977.

    Heat exhaustion

    This is a physiological disorder, similar to fainting with rapid heart rate, and perhaps nausea, vomiting, headache and restlessness as symptoms.Temperature of the body is not higher than normal and may actually be lower. The problem is not normally serious within itself. Treatment: get into the shade and take salty fluids.

    Heat stroke

    This results from inadequate sweating. Normally the rate of sweating reduces with activity in a heat environment. Respiration can get so low that the heat regulatory mechanism breaks down - the onset may be rapid. The victim becomes confused and when the body temperature gets to 105oF death can follow rapidly. Treatment: Cool the body as rapidly as possible. All untreated cases are fatal due to brain damage.

    Heat stroke is one of the few true medical emergencies experienced in the field.!

    Heat cramps

    Severe spasmodic contractions of muscles, usually legs and abdomen that may last up to 15 minutes.

    Treatment: Stretch the legs.

    Sun blindness

    This is very rare, but can be serious when it occurs - wear sunglasses and a hat with a brim.  It is accentuated during periods of high glare.

    Mountain malaise

    The initial symptoms of altitude sickness start at approximate 6,000 feet as preliminary mountain sickness and progresses to acute mountain sickness. Tiredness, disturbed sleep, headache and sometimes nausea are characteristics of preliminary mountain sickness. Treatment: Three days of acclimatization and drink 6-8 quarts of water a day. It is primarily a result of approximately a 20% reduction in the efficiency of the red blood cells as oxygen carriers.The body reacts by producing more red cells. Over 20 years field experience in the mountains has indicated to me that mountain malaise can be averted by drinking lots of water.

    Acute mountain sickness [AMS]

    This usually occurs at 7,000 - 8,000 feet after rapid ascent. Headache, nausea sometimes with vomiting, shortness of breath, disturbed sleep, difficulty in thinking are characteristics. Treatment: acclimatization and drink 6 quarts of water a day. It is primarily a result of the reduced efficiency of the blood cells. The problem rarely requires descent or further treatment.

    High altitude pulmonary edema [HAPE]

    This generally occurs above 9,000 - 10,000 feet. This normally takes 36-72 hours to become obvious. The symptoms are shortness of breath, severe headache, fatigue, cough with blood sputum and often a high fever. The result may be unconsciousness and death. It may be misdiagnosed as pneumonia. I have had this illness at 10,500 feet in the Rocky Mountains. It took 48 hours to develop. Headache and nausea symptoms were removed by dropping 500 feet and all other symptoms removed by descent to 8,500 feet. Treatment: if the victim is ambulatory keep moving down slope until below 9,000 feet.

    High altitude cerebral edema [HACE]

    This occurs above 12,000 feet. It usually takes several days to develop, but rarely may come on quickly. Symptoms are increasing headache, poor judgment, auditory and visual hallucinations, uncoordinated behavior, stumbling walk [ataxia], drowsiness, coma and death. From personal knowledge in the Tibetan Himalayas at 17,000 feet I can assure you this is not an experience you want to have. I was acclimatized to 12,000 feet but went rapidly to 17,000 feet in a field vehicle. Dropping 1,000 feet removed the VERY severe headache, drowsiness and nausea but symptoms were not completely removed until descending to Lhasa. Treatment: get the victim down, quickly, at least 1,000 feet. In severe cases seek immediate medical help at a lower altitude.


    This is one of the greatest threats in many mountainous field areas. A direct hit is not necessary for a fatal strike: a strike within 100 feet can be fatal. Avoid prominences and avoid caves: Louisiana State University lost two students by a lightening strike during field work in Colorado. They took shelter in a small cave and the lightening struck the ground above them, and then went through the cave, through them and then continued through the floor of the cave. In mountainous areas during lightening move down slope as quickly as possible. Seeking shelter under a tree or inside a cave can be fatal. Treatment: IMMEDIATE first aid should be cardio-vascular and mouth-to-mouth. This can revive some supposedly dead people.

    Bites and stings


    Cacti are the most irritating problem in arid areas . Wear long trousers and long sleeved shirts in the field. Treatment: use a hand lens and tweezers.


    About 10 people die each year from snake bites in the USA. Treatment: keep quite, no alcohol, get to a physician. Unless the bite is directly into a blood vessel there often is time [hours] to get treatment so stay calm and move slowly.


    The 3 inch long Bark Scorpion [Centruroides sculpturatus] is the main culprit in the USA. During a 30 year period in Arizona scorpions killed 3 people for every 1 rattlesnake death! With medical treatment the bite of a scorpion is not usually fatal. Remember to shake-out boots, socks and bedding before using. Do not turn-over rocks with your hands: use a stick, knife or rock hammer.

    Never walk barefoot!

    Are taking a survivalist course worth it? YES most definitely IF you have the time and money. My generation, in general, did not have such courses available: if they had been I would have definitely taken one in desert survival! Having worked in the Kalahari of Botswana I know the general danger, in that environment, is not a Hippo, Crocodile or Leopard attack: it is the heat exhaustion and the lack of water if you are stranded. Tornados, hurricanes, blizzards and earthquake kill more people than the 'wild things' and these are the extremes we need to be able to mitigate against.

    A very useful book on Survival is the Department of the Airforce's, "Search and Rescue manual" ARM 64-5, 1969.


    Although I have been in a blizzard twice I have never been in danger because I was either in my Land Cruiser or within 30 yards of my house. In the Toyota my windscreen got over 1/4 inches of ice within approximately 5 seconds and I swerved off the road to avoid oncoming [and unseen] traffic. In the second case the blizzard came immediately and I could not see my hand in front of me. I knew the topography of my area and moved along the winding driveway with one foot on an up-slope and the other on the road - carefully making the 30 yards to my home. You have NO ability to visually orientate in a blizzard and without adequate clothing can loose consciousness quickly.


    I have never been in a Tornado but my eldest son has and took shelter in a fortified steel NASA building whilst the outer-shell cladding was stripped away.


    With both river and coastal floods there is usually a long enough period of fore-warning for safe evacuation. The danger is that you think you can outlive the storm. Coastal floods due to 30 foot wave fronts associated with hurricanes are rarely survivable unless you can access higher ground. Make sure you keep an axe in your attic so that if you retreat upwards you can eventually hack through the roof to excape drowning.Flash flood can come without warning. My father related his experience with one of them. He was with his infrantry unit in the middle east and his office decided they would spend the night in a wadi [arroya]. Clearly the man was totally inexperienced! A storm, miles away, caused torrential rain and a flash flood happened. My father said he was awoken by water penetrating his blanket - noting it was deepening by a foot within seconds he yelled, grabbed his rifle and fled up the sides of the waddi [difficult because a wadi has vertical sides with only rare gaps]. Nine [9] of his unit drown that night! I have wandered around wadi's a lot in my life and always remembered not to camp in one!

    Tsunami's are a different beast - forget the cat and run for higher ground immediately!


    An earthquake has a sudden and immediate effect and normally comes without warning. Sometimes an initial tremor occurs but in all cases it is necessary to move quickly outside and lie flat well away from surrounding buildings. Remember there is a high likihood of an after-shock with earthquakes. Rather than seeking shelter within your building run as fast as possible outside and locate yourself well away from all buildings. Do not try to take anything with you - the contents of that briefcase will be of little use to you if you are dead!


    The speed at which a forest fire can move can only be believed if seen!


    A pandemic is a disease that spreads across a whole country or is a global phenomenon. In mammalia an air-borne virus, or a contact virus, are amongst the worse agents of pandemic disease e.g. the myxomatosis pandemic in rabbits of Australia, France and Chile which was human induced.

    The Spanish flu of 1909 and 1918 was the H1N1 influenza virus and killed between 3-5% of the Earth's population: either directly or by weakening the immune system and allowing secondary bacterial infection to invade those ill with the flu. No climatic zone was safe, and the estimated human death toll was between 100,000,000 and 500,000,000. Most probably closer to the latter number!

    Surviving a pandemic is essentially a 'survival in place' situation and, seeking local medical help if infected. It is important to avoid contact with others and particularly to be alert to a panicking population. Isolation requires having an adequate supply of food, water and any other necessities of life - perhaps for a month or more. It [may] require being armed to protect your 'place' and supplies.


    Ignoring the biblical concepts of Doomsday the modern rational view is an event or crisis of great danger.

    Preparation and knowledge can help you survive a Doomsday event!

    Survivalist are not paranoid folk [at least most of them are not!]. They are individuals who percieve a possibility of civil society temporarily breaking down and are prepared to endure for the sake of not only themselves, but for their family, friends and indeed for human-kind itself.

    There are many situations where one needs a plan for survival in Urban areas; and, strategies for survival can be quickly understood and relatively easily implemented. The basic scenarios are survival under a pandemic such as flu, cholera and smallpox, either initiated naturally [e.g. bird flu], or by a terrorist act [e.g. smallpox]; survival under an enemy attack i.e. warfare; and survival after a natural phenomenon - the worst of which will be a catastrophic meteorite impact.


    1. 1 Hand operated short wave radio
    2. 1 Battery operated Television
    3. 2-4 CB communicators
    4. Cell phone[s]
    5. A reliable internet link
    6. Land line phone link if you are sheltering in place


    1. DVD movies for children
    2. DVD movies for adults
    3. Educational tapes
    4. Educational CD's
    5. Educational DVD's
    6. Music tapes
    7. Music CD's
    8. Children's indoor games
    9. Outdoor games

    Emergency materials

    1. Battery operated flashlights
    2. Hand operated flashlights
    3. Flares
    4. Megaphone
    5. Batteries for megphone
    6. Black and red thick indelible marking pens
    7. Black medium point marking pens
    8. Metal name tags
    9. Outdoor games
    10. Fishing gear including a throw-net
    11. A generator and fuel for your 'shelter-in-place' location

    Food supplies

    A BASIC survival ration for one [1] month per person is.

    Salt 0.75 lbs

    Sugar [HONEY] 4.0 lbs

    Vegetable Oil 2.0 lbs

    Non-fat powdered milk 4.0 lbs

    Beans 10.0 lbs

    Whole kernel hard wheat [or rice] 30.0 lbs.

    The above survival ration is a one month supply that you grab in an emergency. It is not necessary to eat this if you have made adequate preparations by getting a stock-pile of food in. The shelf life of food is much longer than you may think or hear. If the food is stored carefully it survives a long time i.e. up to 4 years for powdered milk - not the commonly held belief of 6 months. Wheat must be ground to a fine powder. Rice, is strongly recommended. It stores well and can be mixed with a variety of other things to create the impression of great variety [even though you are eating the same thing day-after-day].

    The Office of Civil Defense suggestions the following is a survival food supply for one [1] month per person. This should be stored at your survival location.

    Sugar: 1/2-lb
    Salt: 1/2-lb
    non-fat dry: 4 pkgs [40 ozs].
    evaporated: 8 cans [28 ozs]
    Fruits: 8 jars or 6 1-lb pkgs [224 ozs]
    Vegetables: 16 cans [224 ozs]
    Meats including fish: 16 1-lb and 1/2-lb cans [406 ozs]
    Soups: 16 cans [224 ozs]
    Juices: 12 bottles [128 ozs] Beverages: coffee, teas, chocolate: 4 jars [4 ozs]
    nut-butters: 8 jars [14ozs]
    Jams: 4 jars [14ozs]
    Cereal: equivalent of 28 packets of individual serving size.

    In addition add the following as general supplies:
    Honey 1 lb
    Vegetable Oil: 2 lb.
    Children and older people should have more fat [vegetable oil] in the basic survival ration.
    Rice: 2 lb
    Wheat: 2 lb. If you use hard wheat use a grinder to grind it up. It must be ground into a powder to avoid sore mouth and diarrhea.
    Flour: 2 lb


    I recommend you do the following NOW at the location where you intend to survive.

    Increase your NORMAL home supply of foods so that you have a one month supply. Eat from this supply and replenish weekly. Store a 6-month supply of commercially packaged freeze dried [or air dried] meats, vegetables, fruits and soups.

    Have a one year vitamin/mineral supply.

    Only some of the food you find in a Supermarket will be useful: these include canned and dried meats, vegetables, fruits, and stews. Don't even think about living off the land unless you know what you are doing and are in an area where there is game.

    In preparing food make sure you wash and disinfect your hands before cooking and and the cooking utensils after cooking. Accidental food poisoning will really put everyone out of action for 24 hours. CORRECT STORAGE IS IMPORTANT FOR FOOD. Remember it should be kept cool. An iron pot is recommended for cooking in as this will give the necessary iron supply to the food Fem [iron].

    For Europeans vitamin D is generated in your body by exposing yourself to the SUN for an hour a day [preferably not all at once!].

    For Afro-americans a much longer exposure is needed: preferably 8 hours per day. This is a genetic difference due to our evolutionary cline. A similar result occurs with blue eyed individuals versus brown eyed individuals. The blue eyed folk have better vision in twilight - again a product of the location where their ancestors evolved.

    House plan

    The idea of a house plan is to assign certain rooms in your survival location to individual groups. This is necessary for both privacy and to avoid unwanted conflict. It is also a matter of efficiency in running the survival location.

    In my previous home - which was built as a survival location - the room assignments were as follows.

    Main bedroom: my wife and myself.

    Guest bedroom: My middle son, wife and daughter

    Basement bedroom - My two other unmarried sons

    Atrium: My friend DW - a former non-military sniper [don't ask!] - and his family.

    Cellar -Food storage: this was deliberately built as a bomb shelter 21 feet into solid granite. The entrance was on the basement floor which has concrete walls.


    Pump House: Fuel storage.

    Cinema: entertainment materials

    If you have to flee

    Travel in two [2] vehicles. If necessary, in order to save fuel the second vehicle can be towed using a fixed tow-bar. In such a case the second vehicle should carry the extra gasoline tanks that should be secured, and, covered so they are hidden from normal view.

    Fill up the car with gasoline as often as you can: preferably do not let the tank get below 3/4 full. In doing this be as recluse and quick as possible and do not mention where you are going if asked ... other than a general direction [preferably indicate somewhere in the general direction you are pointed but deceive the questioner i.e. "I'm going up I10 when you are really going up highway 190 etc.].

    It is better to keep moving rather than stop, other than for gas and the use of toilets. Avoid road-side rest stops. If you need to stop do it in a small to medium size town. Travel on major highways but try to avoid large cities where traffic jams and looting can occur. History has shown that starving people DO NOT generally attack and rob others during times of crisis. The vast majority maintain normal civilized values as much as they can. If you are stopped try to be compliant. If you are attacked, and you think it is a life-threatening situation, you must defend your self ruthlessly ..... resorting to violence is not recommended if avoidable but if you must do so then do not do hesitate; move any bodies so they are hidden if you can, and then leave the region immediately. You must get off the road you are on as soon as possible.
    Entanglement with law-enforcement agencies will put an immediate stop to your evacuation.


    Allow three quarts of liquids per day for the trip, for each person. Consume 1/2 tablespoonful of salt per day to avoid muscle cramps [add this to the water if necessary].

    Carry the water in the vehicle in which the people are traveling.

    Liquid supplies

    Reserve bottled water: 20 gallons per person per month. If you have your own well and a small generator this amount can be considerably reduced. If you rely on city water-supply this value is your minimum. Non-alcoholic drinks [nectar drinks preferred]: 12 cans per person per month Spirits: 1 bottle per adult person per month. Beer: 12 bottles per adult person per month. Drink darker ales such as Guinness or a local micro-brewery. Based upon my own childhood experiences I recommend a small glass of warm Guinness for children, at least once a week. Wine: 4 bottles per adult person per month REMEMBER FOR A BIRD FLU PANDEMIC YOU WILL NEED FOUR [4] MONTHS SUPPLY OF LIQUIDS!

    I recommend you do the following NOW at the location where you intend to survive. Increase your NORMAL home supply of liquids so that you have a one month supply. Drink from this supply and replenish every month. Store a 6-month supply of the recommended liquids to cover the size of your normal minimal household.

    Medical supplies

    Except for liquid medication research for the US military has shown that the active ingredients in dry PILLS have a shelf-life many times longer than the shelf life given on prescription medication. I previously had access to a research document produced for the US military establishment which stated the shelf life of dry pills, if stored correctly, was over 100 years. This document was publicly accessible for about three weeks and then was removed from public access. The belief was that this was done because of pressure from the pharmacutecal company lobbyists!

    Make up a simple basic medical kit that can be grabbed and taken with you if you have to flee. Besides prescription drugs this should including aspirin, Fleet enema, Lomotil, Neosporin ointment, Vaseline and gas tape. Buy a copy of a good but simple emergency medicine text. Earlier I recommended the 'Ship Captains Medical Guide';
    and would add,
    'Medicine for Mountaineers' but purchased these over forty years ago and I know there are other excellent books on the market. Those for field medicine in developing countries are usually well worth the purchase value e.g. The barefoot doctor.

    My survival medical kit includes the following.

    1. A sealed sterile surgical kit.
    2. Surgical needles and thread
    3. Needles for injections
    4. Blood pressure meter
    5. Thermometers
    6. Stethoscope
    7. Splints
    8. Bandages
    9. Sterile pads
    10. Safety pins
    11. Personal medications such as Lipitor
    12. General medications such as Aspirin
    13. Medications for diarrhea, including bacterial dysentery
    14. Medications for constipation, including bottles of Enema
    15. Salves and balms, including Vaseline, Neosporin, and Zinc Ointment
    16. Pain killers


    The best method to handle important documents is to scan them onto an encrypted USB module.

    1. Passport
    2. Birth certificate
    3. Citizen certificate if foreign born
    4. Voting registrationcard
    5. Fishing license: get one
    6. Hunting license: if applicable

    1. Bank Accounts
    2. Credit Cards
    3. House deed
    4. Home inventory
    5. Investment Accounts
    6. Insurance Policies
    7. Living wills
    8. Power of attorney
    9. Social Security Numbers
    10. Wills


    1. Clorox bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Check the label on the bottle and make sure the only active ingredient is sodium hypochlorite [usually 5.25%] and you can ignore the instructions: not for human consumption on the label if you use it correctly. If you do not then MAJOR injuries can occur.

      For normal water suspected of being contaminated use one teaspoonful per 10 gallons [two drops per quart]. For definitely contaminated water use 2 teaspoonful per 10 gallons [four drops per quart]. Stir and wait 30 minutes before drinking. If you eat a lot of protein you will need to drink more water.
    2. A bottle of tincture of iodine which can be used for water sterilization [5 drops per quart for clear water and 10 drops per quart for muddy water]. DO NOT USE THIS METHOD IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO SEAFOOD.
    3. A disinfectant for cleaning hard surfaces. Clorox will work but it does smell. Although the flu virus needs an animal host it can can remain viable on hard surfaces for 2 hours and on your body for 30 minutes.
    4. Soap: some soaps make a good lather, others are good at cleaning. Get a supply of both e.g. Dove and an antibacterial such as DIAL antibacterial soap.
    5. Toilet paper: get the soft stuff for comfort.
    6. Sun burn lotion: the old idea that nothing over a 30 is worth the expense is no longer believed to be correct. I use a an SPF100
    7. PICARIDIN insect repellent lotion [I would never go for a cheaper subsitute]
    8. A Chain saw, fuel and chain saw oils. Make sure you have an adequate supply at you current usage.
    9. Candles
    10. Matches
    11. Batteries
    12. Face masks: 3M P100 or 3M N100. These have a 150 hour usage life.
    13. Eye-gear that completely seals-off the eyes. I use swim goggles.
    14. .
    15. Latex, rubber or neoprene gloves that extend up the arms.
    16. Military surplus tent: to isolate the sick
    17. Body bags.

    A useful site is FEMA which publishes regular reports on readiness and preparedness

    If you do decide to "move into the woods" I suggest you take a copy of D.C.Beard's "Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties, and how to make them". Skyhorse publishing, ISBN: 978-1-61608-134-8. Daniel Bartlett Beard was the founder of: The "Sons of Daniel Boone" [1905]; and, the "Boy Scouts of America" [1910].


    Everyone must make their own choice of weaponry and decide whether or not they are prepared to use it if the need arises. A 22 magnum, a shotgun and a revolver are basic equipment. Each individual must be taught the safe use of each weapon. Safety glasses and ear muffs are advisable for each individual.

    Do not underestimate the value of the 22 Magnum rifle,or the .22 Magnum revolver [or the 22LR]. The 22 can be made relatively quiet and the rifle can have a useful range of 100 yards. Ammo includes standard velocity, high velocity, sub-sonic, round nose, bird-shot, hollow point, jacketed, etc. The Ruger 10/22 is a classic as is the Marlin model 70. Many wanderers of my generation loved the Henry US Survival AR-7 which broke down and fitted in is own water-proof stock.

    The 22 rifle is ideal for putting meat on the table in an emergency: birds, rabbits, rats, cats and dogs are all edible.

    Shot-guns are a very useful home-defense weapon. My personal recommendation is the Mossberg Shotgun, model 590A1 or the 50273 [mariner] ... which works well even after been thrown in the mud.

    This gun can be made even more evil by adding crystalline rat poison to the shot!

    Two books I have in my library will teach you how to use the shotgun for both home protecton and for aggressive attack.
    1. The shotgun in combat by Tony Lesce, 1979. ISBN: 0-87947-430-0.
    2. The S.W.A.T. team manual by Rober Cappel, 1979. ISBN: 0-87364-169-8.

    The hand gun comes in many forms: the 357 magnum is a show-stopper!

    In addition to the 22, the shotgun and the handgun the following is a suggested list worthy of inclusion in any home arsenal.
    1. Rifle: e.g. 308 hunting rifle.
    2. Semi-automatics: e.g.SAR 48 [308] and Ruger Mini 14 [NATO 762].
    3. Ammunition: 1000 rounds per rifle/shot-gun; 200 rounds per hand gun.
    4. Cross-bow: Suitable for elk/deer hunting ... or people
    5. Arrows:20 arrows per cross-bow.
    6. Smoke grenades: home made from the chemicals potassium nitrate (available as tree root rot) plus sugar - as a 50/50 mix. The fuse is that made for model rockets burning at exactly 1 foot per 30 seconds.

    Something to remember: a countersniper instruction from Rober Cappel.
    "It takes an average MARKSMAN four to five seconds to draw a bead on a moving target. This means that while moving from cover to cover you must not expose yourself any longer than three seconds"