Saturday, November 29, 2008


If we ever have to use our BOVs (Bug Out Vehicles) for real we will wish, we will hope that we have some friends along. Friends with their own BOVs. Let’s face it, when the balloon goes up, Murphy shows up. Having spares and buddies is always a good thing when Murphy is lurking in the shadows.

If we ever have to use our BOVs for real – we will want to convoy. I use the word as a verb and a noun. More than one vehicle equals a convoy. It may consist of you driving the BOV while the spouse drives the "daily driver"; it could include friends or team mates - the bottom line is you are travelling together in multiple vehicles from Point A to Point B.

Convoying allows you to carry more stuff, provide for better security, respond to Murphy better, and so on. But, like everything else – you have to think it out ahead of time (we call this planning) and then you have to rehearse. Merely reading about it on an excellent blog will not a Convoy Leader make.

The Routes
So right off the bat you need to know where you are starting from, where you are headed to, and what routes (primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency) you may take to get there. Study those routes well. If possible, drive them now while it is nice and safe. Note chokepoints, danger areas, slow bits, fast bits and so on.

Identify along your routes things like gas stations, eateries, hospitals, military bases, airports and so on. Try to avoid cities like the plague. Identify indicators that would signify a change in route and locations where you could switch from one route to another.

Mark these things on maps. You will need one map set per vehicle.

The Vehicles
Sure, you’d like to have uparmored HumVees and mine-resistant vehicles but you are stuck with SUVs, pickups and Mom’s Corolla. Deal with it. Decide now who is going and what they will drive. Based on what you have, you can determine your movement formations and load plans.

If you had 5 vehicles in your convoy you could have a formation something like: Scout car ½ to one mile out front followed the main body consisting of a Lead vehicle, Front Security, Precious Cargo vehicle (people or stuff), Rear Security.

You may want a scout vehicle out front. The Corolla would work well here –it’s inconspicuous and can drive up to a mile ahead of the convoy proper and report on conditions, warn of road blocks and so on. This vehicle should be “clean” – no heavy artillery. Mom and Pop and a couple bags would be great. We’ll get to communications later.

You will want in the convoy proper to have lead and rear security. These are vehicles with firepower (and the best trained operators you have) on board. These are the guys that will respond to problems.

You will need SOPs (standard operating procedures) for responding to all kinds of problems: flat tire or mechanical break down, road block, comfort stop, gasoline stop, overnight stop, hostile action, dealing with authorities, light traffic, heavy traffic, and so on and so on. YOU have to decide what you need to plan for. Then sit down and think it out. Come up with a couple different response options and go practice them. Decide on the ones you like as a group and make them your SOPs.

Not every situation will require you to put rounds down range but every situation will require you to ensure 360 degree security. Don’t just pull off the side of the road and let everyone gaggle together in a clump… Keep the vehicles spread out but close enough together to control the convoy and keep eyes open all around. You may want to move away from the vehicles – you may not. Think about it now.

You will need a bump plan. Actually, you will need several. They should be written down. If Mike’s blue Suburban becomes inoperable where are the occupants going to ride? What stuff is getting switched over to other vehicles? What stuff is getting dumped out of those vehicles to make room. Decide now – 0230 in the rain with bad guys shooting at you from across the highway is no time to have a pow wow.

Every vehicle has a driver. The driver’s duty is to drive. Period. Every vehicle should have at least one other person. We call this person the TC but it doesn’t matter. The TC is in charge of the vehicle and makes the larger decisions. The driver drives and makes immediate decisions (swerve left now!). If there are only two people the TC reads the map, directs the driver, works the radio and pulls security (looks around and is prepared to respond). It is better if there are more people in the vehicle. It is best if all the TC has to do is read the map and stay situationaly aware and someone else can work the radio. In this case, the TC would be in the front passenger seat and the radio operator can be behind the driver. Everyone should have a piece of the pie around their vehicle to watch while moving and while stopped.

“Unity of Command” is a military principle. “There can be only ONE!” is the battle cry from a cool movie. The point remains. You need one person in charge of the convoy. Pick your leader now. Decisions will have to be made. Some will have to be made and followed immediately – without debate and discussion. If you want to live. Choose wisely.

Have multiple redundant communications between all vehicles. CBs, FRS, 2-meter, cell phones. Have scanners and radar detectors. Have brevity codes so instead of saying, “HEY, there are dudes with rifles shooting at us from over there, just left of the blue sign” you could shorten that to “Contact LEFT – 10 o’clock”. Instead of “we need to stop for gas” you could just say “chocolate milk”. Have a code word to switch frequencies.

For routine information you will attract less attention if you use innocuous phrases (like “chocolate milk” than if you sound like a military convoy on the FRS.

Devise signals to use when there are no communications working – flashing lights, hand signals – be imaginative but keep it simple.

Everybody likes gear talk. Every vehicle should be in good repair – if you plan to bug out in it, keep it in good shape. Every vehicle should have basic vehicle stuff – working spare, jack, fluids and so on. Maps, commo and first aid in each BOV. Food and drink. Never separate a person from their BoB – their BoB rides with them no matter what. Never leave a BoB behind to make room for something else.

You should have some serious recovery gear in the convoy – somewhere in the middle or towards the rear. Winches, tow straps, chains, shackles, saws, bolt cutters, come-alongs, crow bars and so on. You should know how to use this stuff.

Consider carrying spare fuel. Decide where you want to carry it.

Once all this is decided, come up with load plans for each vehicle. What goes where in each vehicle? If you are really good standard things (like first aid) will be in the same place in each BOV. Draw a diagram for each BOV showing this and practice loading it to standard.

If you stop overnight only remove the minimum gear necessary - you may have to leave in a hurry. Keep everything packed up that you are not using. Never separate a person from their BoB.

Practice everything from loading your BOVs to linkups, to actual movement to SOPs and so on. After each practice conduct an AAR (after action review) and discuss what you did, what went right, what went wrong, and so on. Ensure everyone participates.

Go back and relook your plans and operations. Tweak them and rehearse again. When you have to bug out for real you don’t want the journey to be your first rodeo.

Think it through.
Make a Plan.
Rehearse the plan – the WHOLE plan.
Make needed adjustments.
Come up with alternate plans.
Rehearse again, and again.

I’ll see ya out there.

And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, journeyed from Kadesh, and came unto mount Hor. - Numbers 20:22

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America

Monday, November 17, 2008

Technical Difficulties

We are experiencing technical difficulties on the main site and the forums. They will likely be down for a couple days. Like life in general, problems don't show up alone - we are dealing with a couple issues simultaneously. Fear not - we are on it.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

10,000 Rounds

Long, long ago, in a land far away I was preparing to brief some big shots a plan that entailed me and some scary friends of mine going to a scary place to do scary things. The problem was, we had no podium. Priorities, ya know? So we made a podium out of AK47 ammo crates. The only comment one of the VIPs had after the brief was, “nice podium”. Suits…

Since that time I have sometimes fantasized about buying enough AK ammo to build my own podium – that would be about 6 or 7 cases I reckon. Why? Nostalgia I guess. But I never did buy that much ammo.

The Experts Say…
Spend enough time on the Internet surfing survivalist forums or read enough survivalist literature and you will eventually get to the part where folks talk about how much ammo one will need in a TSHTF, TEOTWAWKI, PAW, Obama nation (sounds like abomination) scenario. One number frequently tossed out there is 10,000 rounds.

"You will need 10,000 rounds per main battle rifle" (MBR). Why 10,000? Why not 7,000? Why not 14,000? I suspect that, like my whimsical podium, it’s just a nice round number. I doubt anyone ever sat down and said, “Let’s see here, I will expend 300 rounds per fire fight and I will get into this many firefights over the next 5 years…” C’mon!

It's shiny
People fear or fantasize (take your pick) about not being able to get the ammo they need "when the time comes". Operative word – “they”. See, they are not stockpiling ammo for the resistance cell. They view this as personal ammo for them and their immediate family – most of whom are typically not on board.

Ammo is one of those things that is easy to purchase, it stacks nicely and it’s shiny. It does not require a lot of work or sweat or thought to amass a big ol’ pile of it. It makes people feel good like a bowl of chocolate ice cream makes me feel good. But if I thought about it before I dug into that bowl, I’d realize that the several hundred useless calories I was about to consume would have to be burned off by endless burpees or miles of forest trail – or it will turn to fat. But I don’t think about that when I’m chowing down.

I don’t think folks who toss around big numbers for required amounts of ammo are thinking too deeply either.

The Other Stuff
If one assumes that one is going to expend 10,000 rounds of ammo (because why buy it if one isn’t going to use it?) then one must assume he is going to break some parts. Extractors, pins, handguards. Less common is the call for stockpiling spare parts – it’s not as sexy. But we do see some talk of that. Something we never see is cleaning supplies. If you can’t get ammo at the store – where will you get cleaning supplies? Most guns get pretty dirty after 1,000 rounds. If you are fighting like your life depends on it, you will want a clean weapon right? "We’ll use rags and motor oil." Uh-huh. Cleaning supplies are REALLY not sexy. So no one wants enough patches and CLP and spare rods and so on.

But the thing that really gets me going is the lack of medical preparations. You see, any scenario that one could envision that would require expending 10,000 rounds of “main battle rifle ammo” would necessarily entail bad guys who shoot back. We ain’t shooting cardboard here. This is where brows start to furrow. This is where the fantasy starts to unravel. That same scenario probably has you with people you love and care about – buddies, family members and so on. If you shoot 10,000 rounds at bad guys - they are gonna shoot at least that many back at you. Someone you care about is going to get hit. And live. At least initially.

It’s all fun and games ‘til someone gets an eye poked out
Have you ever seen a gunshot wound? Have you ever seen someone shot through the belly? They live. They hurt. They are very unhappy – big sad face. So, after we win the fire fight with our superior fighting skills… we have to deal with Bob, or Sally, or little Ashley.

We are talking skills and supplies. First aid, Advanced Trauma Life Support, blow out kits, IVs and so on. That’s to get them through the initial stage. Then there is the long term care and nursing required to fight infection, repair torn up bodies and so on. It takes an enormous amount of gauze and tape and tubing and wrapping to deal with one gunshot wound. It takes a whole lot more to nurse them back to health.

So, for those recommending buying 10,000 rounds of ammo for each MBR, why do we not hear about or see similar recommendations for medical gear? Where is their field hospital complete with cots, and sheets, and pans and instruments and more bandages than you can shake a stick at? Where is the staff or the personal training undertaken to handle such situations? It’s not there.

Because it’s not easy and it’s not sexy. It’s not easy to think about a loved one dying over the course of a week from a gut shot. It’s not easy to acquire the skills for dealing with these things – or recruiting those who can. Bandages don’t come in flat black with Velcro or in the latest digi-cam pattern.

Guys and Gals – please think this through.

Should you store up some ammunition? Absolutely.
Do you need 10,000 rounds?
You tell me – are you well rounded? Have you taken care of everything else?

See ya out there.

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. – James 5:14 - 15

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

As I write this, it looks like Barack Hussein Obama is going to be the next President of the United States. God help us all. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen there are some big changes coming. Those with eyes to see and ears to hear know it. But he is not POTUS yet. There is still a sliver of time in which to prepare for what is screaming down the pike towards us. To that end, I offer you the following:

Get ready for economic hard times
I do not believe Obama’s economic policies will work. To the contrary, I think they will ruin our Nation as we slide right into a Socialist (if not Marxist) quagmire.

Pay off debt - When you lose your job or when prices rise beyond what you are able to pay, any debts you have will start choking you to death. Debt is bondage – flee it.

Obtain self sufficiency tools - You may have to do without power, or heat, or groceries – get ready to make do or do without.

Secure your home - As the economy falters many will turn to crime to support their families. Do not be an easy mark. Ensure your stuff is difficult to get to.

Prepare for social upheaval
As they start feeling empowered and entitled, certain sectors of society are going to feel like it is payback time. They are already out of control in some parts of our land – just give it time – it will get worse.

Start paying attention to your surroundings - If you continue to walk through life in Condition White you are going to be preyed upon. Remain vigilant.

Have and train with the means to protect yourself - I suggest firearms. I also suggest you learn how to make do with other weapons. Enroll in some classes. Today.

Secure your home - I know I already said it. It’s important. Lights, Locks, Alarms and response mechanisms.

Have a plan for the aftermath of defending yourself - Yeah, I know it was you against four criminals. “But why did you have to SHOOT them?” That’s what you are going to hear – as they slap the silver bracelets on. Have a plan.

This will be the most anti Second Amendment government we have ever seen
At least they are up front about it. No firearm will be safe. You have been warned.

Buy the guns you need now - They are getting more expensive by the minute and will be unavailable very soon. When you get them – zero them if needed.

Buy a lifetime supply of ammo and spare parts - Yeah, they are gonna close that loophole also.

Cache at least one gun and ammo per family member - Consider this your Plan B.

Have a plan for what you will do when they start coming for your guns - It will happen quickly and when you are least prepared. If you don’t think it through now you will be acted upon. OODA Loop.

Prepare for an attack on the USA
Our enemies have already taken the measure of this man – they are unafraid to act.

Establish a network - You are going to need friends. You are going to need help. You are going to need support. These things do not materialize overnight.

Stockpile supplies - Commerce will cease – If you don’t have it, you won’t have it.

Learn first aid - As much as you can. Get supplies.

Have and practice a bug out plan - Your little slice of Heaven may be a designated assembly area for all kinds of ugly people with guns – big guns. And radios. Alternatively, your retreat could be marked by a big plus sign on some bad guy’s map.

Prepare for a loss of Liberty
W was granted enormous powers under the Patriot Act and other executive orders. Very soon now, Obama will have those authorities. Any excuse will be found or created for a crack down and consolidation of power – “it’s for the good of all don’t you know…”

Think the deep thoughts - Take time to quietly ponder things. Remain calm. Think it through.

Make contingency plans - Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency. Plans A, B, and C. Be able to flow smoothly from one to another as the situation changes.

Do not share them with strangers - Do not talk about them in public, do not discuss it on the phone or in a letter or on the Net. Exercise some discretion.

Prepare for God’s judgment on America
God will judge individuals at the end but He judges nations in the here and now and we have it coming.

Get right with God - You have no idea how much time you have – do not put this off.

Repent of your sins - I am a sinner and so are you - the awesome thing is we have a loving God Who has prepared for us a Way of salvation.

Fast and pray - Because it works.

Go back to church - It’s where God wants you to be. Go to be strengthened. Go to uplift others. Go to focus on what is really important.

I’ll see you out there.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. - 2 Chronicles 7:14

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. – Romans 10:9

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America