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The Level Theory of Survival Preparation

In an outdoor survival situation many survival experts will say that all you need is a knife and a way to make fire. In these outdoor survival situations your greatest enemy will probably be a wild boar or some small rabid animal or even worse, your own mind. In these cases the enemy is usually more scared of you than you are of them. In the situation we are preparing for now however your biggest enemy will not fear you, not in the least. Your enemy will now probably be someone who had no regard for human life or the law before this situation arose. An animal is on the defensive; your new enemy is on the prowl for any unprepared victim. This new enemy will show itself at any opportune moment, war, rioting, looting, martial law, natural disasters, and power outages, etc. As our society functions now the enemy is termed a “Criminal” however when our society takes a turn for the worse your enemy will take many forms, young or old, law enforcement/ Military or civilian, rich or poor. Keeping yourself, your family and your survival group alive is the name of the game.

Now that we have distinguished the recreational outdoor hazards from the social and urban hazards you can see where your most important piece of survival equipment will be your weapon. I will list some preferred as well as some economy weapons, this is by no means a must do – must have list, this is merely my attempt to get you on your way to a survival program that works for you. You may find items which you find unnecessary and you may think of items you wish to add, do what works for you as long as you DO SOMETHING! Purchase within your means but remember when assessing your survival budget “How much is my family’s and my own life worth?” I in no way am employed by any of the companies that I have included in here, these are products that I either have personal experience with or have some knowledge of.

Preferred Firearms and Accessories
One medium range rifle: Colt, Bushmaster, Armalite or Knight AR-15 type sporter rifles or pre-ban versions. These are excellent choices, lightweight, low recoil so a good gun for young family members and smaller individuals. Probably your best choice for availability of parts, ammunition and large capacity magazines. AK47 or clones such as the MAK 90, Polytech, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Romanian WUM-1, MADI, etc.. These are rugged and reliable with excellent availability of very inexpensive ammunition and large capacity magazines however parts for these are not so easy to find. Most of these AK types are chambered in 7.62x39 which at the present is extremely inexpensive how ever the present trend in Government is to restrict the importation of such items so if you plan to use one of the AK type rifles stock up on ammunition while you can. The Century Arms L1A1 and its predecessor the original FN FAL are good, solid .308 battle rifles. There is limited parts availability, ammunition is a bit more costly and these are heavy. I realize many people will say “soldiers carry them all the time” and “I carried the M1 Garand or the M14” but why subject yourself to unnecessary hardships when in a true survival situation. Many exotic medium range weapons exist but are not included due to excessive cost and scarce parts availability such as the HK 91, 93, G3, Galil, Steyr AUG etc. I did not include the Springfield M1A’s or Garands due to the cost and weight factor. For those with major budget concerns good used Ruger Mini 14’s or Chinese or Russian SKS’s in 7.62x39 are available. Even a good .30-30 lever action rifle can be a formidable weapon, while not my first choice for a survival firearm it is better than no firearm at all and can be purchased at low cost.

One primary handgun: I am opening a huge can of worms here. The debate over what is and is not a good handgun has pushed many people to near violence so I’m just going to list some of my own personal preferences, as I said before it’s a start, do what works for you. As for caliber choice when it comes to hand guns “Bigger really is Better”. The .45acp is my preferred round followed by .357sig, .40s&w then 9mm. Try not to venture below 9mm as anything smaller has little stopping power. Ask other people what they own, how they feel about their handgun and most importantly how often their handgun has malfunctioned vs. the number of rounds fired through it. Any handgun that malfunctions (i.e. jams, misfeeds, does not fire, etc.) every twenty to thirty rounds is unacceptable for survival use. Some good manufacturers are Glock (Model 21 is a durable, reliable 10-13rnd .45acp), SigSauer, H&K, Beretta, Springfield Armory, Kel Tec, Kahr Arms, Taurus and the list goes on. I have left out Colt, Smith & Wesson, Llama and E.A.A. due to the cost vs. quality factors in their current production handguns. There are also many manufacturers I have left out such as Les Baer, Wilson Combat, etc. who make excellent handguns but at a cost which is usually out of the budget of a beginning survivalist who has much equipment to buy. There are many good used handguns on the market from police trade ins and military surplus to fine handguns which were merely traded in by a customer wishing to upgrade. Try to find a quality semi automatic handgun if it fits your budget however if it’s out of range buy a good revolver rather than buying a poor quality semi automatic. Good police trade in .38 and. 357mag. Revolvers are always in good supply and very economical.

One Long Range Rifle: If you are part of a survival group or a large family you may wish to designate a member as your long-range rifle person or sniper. This is a large responsibility and not one to be taken lightly. It requires skill, hours of practice, mental clarity, a little natural ability and most of all patience. It takes years of practice and study to be an actual Sniper however you may use the best sharpshooter from your group. It is preferable to designate a two person team for this task so that they may trade positions as Sniper and Spotter to avoid mental and visual stress. The Spotters job is to keep a constant watch on the Snipers primary target even during firing to confirm shot placement. It is possible to use any long range hunting type rifle for this task it would be better though to reserve a rifle made for this purpose. There is much debate about caliber’s for Sniper rifles, anything from a .223 to a .50cal is acceptable. I tend to like the .308win due to it’s availability of ammunition and scopes which are compensated and designed around this caliber. Choosing a good Sniper rifle is like choosing a mate, you will have to love it and trust it with your life. You really need to do your homework and shop around before you buy, I recommend reading “The Ultimate Sniper” a book by Maj. John Plaster it’s the bible concerning this issue. A couple of rifles to consider are the Remington 700 Police model, Savage Arms 110 Tactical and 10FP Tactical, Styer SSG, Robar, Accuracy International, Blaser Tactical, Dakota Arms just to name a few.

One Shotgun: A shotgun is an excellent urban close range firearm as well as being very intimidating. Not many criminals will mistake the sound of a shotgun being pumped. This is also an excellent choice for those members of your group or family who have little training or are just not the best shot around. There are not too many poor quality shotguns on the market, most shotguns being produced today are of fair quality and will function flawlessly. There’s not much to say about shotguns, they are rather simple in design, try to get one of the riot style shotguns with a shorter barrel and a large capacity magazine (6-10 shells). Brands to check out are Benelli, Remington, Mossberg, Beretta, Winchester, etc..

When planning your budget make sure you factor in accessories and ammunition. If you have a semi auto, magazine fed rifle, it is desirable to have a minimum of twelve magazines on hand. This will allow you to keep six loaded magazines and six unloaded, as it is a good idea to rotate these frequently so your springs stay in good working order. You may also wish to put a scope on your rifle. If you purchase a scope be sure to buy a quality one. It would be better to have no scope at all than to have your scope break during a critical situation, a lifetime factory warranty will not help you in this situation. Also remember that a high quality 10 power scope will give you a better image that a cheap 20 power. Some good quality scopes are Leupold, Burris, Weaver, Zeiss, etc. You also will need cleaning supplies, you will want to have some at home to clean up after practice as well as portable cleaning equipment to carry in your pack. It is also a good idea to carry a few spare parts (pins, springs, firing pin, etc.) and tools such as a broken shell extractor in your cleaning kit. Last but not least in the firearm category is ammunition. This will be short; DON’T buy corrosive surplus ammunition, DO buy as much ammunition as you can afford. The government is putting harsh restrictions on the importation of ammunition as well as firearms so if you need imported ammunition get it while you can. Keep a minimum of 1000 rounds on hand for your primary rifle.

My Level System
The following items are possibly the only things you will have to live with in the event you are forced from your home. Since we do not know under what circumstances we will be forced from our dwelling I choose to keep my items ready in levels. I have several large 25-45 gallon Rubbermaid plastic containers, which look like plastic footlockers that I keep these items in. Each contains different levels of items that I will take or use depending on the situation. The first level would be if I were forced out immediately, I would grab a firearm, BDU’s, basic webgear and run. The second level would include my B.O.B. or Bug Out Bag with food and survival items. The third level includes more luxuries such as sleeping bags, camp stoves, extra ammunition, etc. The final level would be used if I had transportation or were forced to stay in my home, i.e. natural disaster. This final level would include bulk foods, tools, fuel, etc..

The First Level
The first level includes BDU’s or “Battle Dress Uniform”, these are military issue camouflage jacket and pants. I prefer the British/NATO version; they seem to be more durable. Often these may be worn over the clothing you are already wearing at the time which can offer extra warmth as well as a choice of “camo”. Camouflage is the art of blending with your surroundings and if the streets are filled with looters, military, FEMA, BATF or UN troops you may not want to go charging out in full camo. You will also need a good pair of boots or hiking shoes that are comfortable and will last. US issue combat boots are not extremely comfortable unless you have worn them every day for the past ten years and by then your feet have forgotten what comfort was. Ask any veteran. Get yourself some Hi Tech, NIKE, Adidas, Danner or other hiking boots. Your feet may be your only transportation, treat them well. Carry extra socks and change them often.

Another body covering you may want to consider is Kevlar. As always buy within your means. Try to get “bullet proof” Kevlar body armor if you can, however this is a major expense. Sometimes you may find used police trade-in body armor. Many military surplus “flack jackets” are on the market from several countries. These are NOT “bullet proof” and are very heavy however they can stop small arms fire from a distance and will decrease the severity of your injuries. Sorry to be so gruesome but these are the facts. Kevlar helmets are a nice addition also if you can afford one. Don’t waste your energy carrying around the old WWII type “steel pot” helmets, they are heavy and will not stop most military and law enforcement .223 and .308 rounds.
You must, I repeat you MUST have a gas mask of some sort. You may be confronted with tear gas, smoke, and nuclear or chemical agents! There are many types available on the military surplus market. They start with the Israeli, which cost about the price of a pizza all the way up to the U.S. issue M40 that will cost you about the price of thirteen pizzas. So what I’m saying is eat salads, they’re better for your health and you can use your pizza money on a good mask.
Your first level will include your “web gear” this is the term I will use for the system of pouches and their contents. You may choose to use the inexpensive military surplus web gear which I will list separately in the list or you may use the new load bearing vest or you could go all out and use one of the new commercial market “Assault Vests”. Just be sure that if you choose a vest that it will hold all the necessities on the list. Remember that your web gear may be all you have time or strength to carry so be sure it is properly stocked.
Web Gear:
Belt
Suspenders or Harness
Magazine Pouches-rifle and pistol
Butt Pack or Day Pack
Pistol Holster
Large Sheath Knife
Minimum of 6 rifle magazines
Minimum of 2 pistol magazines
Firearms cleaning and spare parts kit
Flashlight
Matches and Lighter
Some form of pyrotechnics (road flares, flare gun, smoke grenade, flashbang, smoke bomb or even firecrackers) anything to create a diversion.
Canteen with water purification pills
Minimum of 1 MRE or “Meal Ready to Eat”
Toilet Paper
If you are on any prescription medications be sure to keep a supply with your web gear. It’s also a good idea to keep an extra pair or prescription eye glasses or contact lenses with your gear if you need them. For female readers or for their spouses who may be packing for them, remember to pack feminine hygiene products.

The Second Level
My second level includes a B.O.B. or “Bug Out Bag”. A B.O.B. can be any backpack, military ALICE pack or even a gym bag. It will contain some survival items to compliment your web gear. Pack fragile items in Zip Lock bags to protect them from the elements.
B.O.B.: Pack or Bag
More toilet paper (you don’t realize how nice it is until it’s gone)
Extra Canteen
Extra unloaded magazines, in case of magazine failure
Water filtration system (PUR, Sweetwater, etc.) or extra pills
Extra gun oil and cleaning supplies
Minimum of 100 rounds ammunition for rifle
Minimum of 20 rounds ammunition for pistol
Extra socks
Extra underwear
Towel
Soap
Minimum of 3 MRE’s
Eating utensils
Hat- to avoid sunburn
Poncho or Gore-Tex rainwear
Gloves
Sun Block
Vitamins
First Aid Kit-homemade or prepackaged store bought
Extra BDU’s-if space and weight allow
Small Shovel-if space and weight allow
Last but not least is your Survival Kit.
Survival Kit : Pocket Knife
Compass
Matches
Lighter
Candle
Fishing Kit (fishing line, asst. hooks, sinkers, artificial lures etc.)
Sewing Kit (thread, needles, extra buttons etc.)
Space Blanket
50’ Utility cord
Small signal mirror
Insect repellent-both general insect repellent and Permanone for ticks
Flashlight
Plastic sheet or trash bags
Aluminum Foil
Toothbrush-this will be no time to get a toothache
Toothpaste
Duct Tape
Whistle
Even More Toilet Paper- you might thank me someday
List- write a list with these items on it and check off the items in your kit. Keep the list in the Zip Lock bag so you can see it.

The Third Level
My second level could be carried on my back for quite some distance, I hope. My third level would constitute carrying another bag but could still be done on foot.
Third level items: Spare gas mask filters
Night Vision device
Binoculars
Rangefinder
Radio (CB, Ham, Shortwave receiver etc.)
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Tent
Camp Stove
Pots, pans, utensils
Extra clothing
Chemical & Biological warfare suit (charcoal lined suit, rubber gloves, Overboots, gasmask hood)
Extra MRE'S Conventional food (dry beans, oatmeal, rice, flour, sugar, honey, Spices, pasta, dried fruits, dehydrated foods, etc.) (note: canned Food is very heavy)
Gun parts and tools
Ammo Cans w/ various calibers
Extra Batteries for flashlights, radios, night vision
Solar battery recharger
Books, Games, Writing materials-you may be forced into hiding for awhile, if you are lucky, so things might get boring.
The third level items are just suggestions and not necessities, pack to suit your needs.

The Final Level
My final level is very heavy and would require transportation.
Some final level items could be: Several thousand rounds of ammunition
Extra firearms
General maintenance tools (auto and carpentry)
Full size shovel, axe and machete
Chain saw
Portable generator
Kerosene heater
Fuel- Gasoline, Kerosene, White gas, Oil
Lights- battery power or powered by generator
Fire extinguisher
Large quantity of bulk food-may include canned food
Try to remember that even if you plan to stay in your home these items are necessary. There is no way to predict the future though and you never know when you will be forced out of your home such as during a natural disaster. You may be forced to stay in your home also so plan in advance how you will defend your property. It would be to your benefit to read some survival manuals and military training manuals to enrich your survival knowledge; also read a First Aid book before an emergency arises. An even better idea is to take a First Aid and CPR class at your earliest convenience. I wish you good luck and I hope that you are never forced to use your equipment and skills.
 

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Originally posted by traevin:
The Level Theory of Survival Preparation
<snip.......>
And I thought I was heavy on equipment


I am gonna have to turn in my genuine Gunsite Swiss Army Knife, I know when I am outclassed.

Carry on,
Jim Higginbotham
 

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Good list, very thorough.

I'd probably add a poncho liner to your level 2--weighs practically nothing and is easily compacted--I know you have a space blanket in there, which would be nice to put between a poncho and liner for extra warmth...I never tried a space blanket out for thermal/IR imaging resistance..some say it works, some say it doesn't.
 

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Traevin, are you by any chance that guy who the police described as "seriously overprepared to go to the movies" when after an altercation, was found to be wearing armor, two guns, four knives, OC, flexi-cuffs, etc? While I admire your forethought & preparation (and would wish I had done the same if SHTF), I don't think I have room for all that stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
blinder,

I'm just passing this list along for a departed friend. I probably have less than 15% of the stuff on this list. It was compiled by a friend of mine who owned a gun shop back east. He was really big into preparation. Me. I don't even carry a gun or a knife. After he was shot to death in back of his store in a robbery, I woke up and realized, when it's your time to go, it hardly matters what you're packing. So to answer your question, I'm far more under-prepared than over. Inside my home, though, it's probably the other way around.
 

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All of this preparation, and most of us that die prematurely do it in a car accident less than two miles from our homes.
 

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Why so many of us train with guns to save our lives, at the same time, we let ourselves get out-of-shape, overweight, and die from cancer or heart attacks. We're an odd species.
 

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Originally posted by traevin:
blinder,
<snip>.....I woke up and realized, when it's your time to go, it hardly matters what you're packing...
Of course what you are packing (or not packing as the case may be) may determine whether it is your "time to go" or not


Cheers,
Jim Higginbotham
"Adventure, is the result of poor preparation" - Mark Twain


[This message has been edited by JimH (edited 03-06-2001).]
 

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Originally posted by James P:
All of this preparation, and most of us that die prematurely do it in a car accident less than two miles from our homes.
I have a neighbor who solved that problem - he moved more than 2 miles away from his house


Food for thought,
Jim H.
 

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Long live...TOILET PAPER!!!

...and your list is most excellent...I agree...a poncho liner and poncho are a superb addition...After usin' 'em, it's hard to figure out how you got along without 'em...


------------------
>>>>>>>>>>g2<<<<<<<<<<

MWLWN LABE!
 

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traevin

Your post

Why so many of us train with guns to save our lives, at the same time, we let ourselves get out-of-shape, overweight, and die from cancer or heart attacks. We're an odd species.

I don't like to think of it that way, But it is so very true and that is a scary thought, we must all die sooner or latter and all though we all know that many of us do not dwell on it, but maybe we should think about it a bit more and that way we could live a extra year or 2.
 

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While gear is great (hey I was the Boy Scout I know the rule) NOTHING beats the preparation of your mind. With the proper attitude you can survive almost anything. I have read the accounts (true ones, not some "gun mag puff") of killing a bear with a pocketknife. Or how about the guy that survived close to 24 hours in the water in Alaska in the dead of winter? There are countless cases of people that didn't know what the meaning of dying was and overcame just about any obstacle you can think of, not because they had the right "gear" but because they had the right mind. Some of that is personality some is developed and some can be trained. But it is essential. Without the right mind set an individual in a survival situation (of any sort) wouldn't last a night. Now that I have said all that, “Be Prepared”.

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"Aim small, miss small"
 

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MUTE: (re "All your SHTF Scenarios are belong to us!!!!!")

YOU CRACK ME UP!

-----
The person formerly known as Covert Mission
 

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Why so many of us train with guns to save our lives, at the same time, we let ourselves get out-of-shape, overweight, and die from cancer or heart attacks. We're an odd species.
The difference being, if I'm out of shape and and overweight and a die of a heart attack at least I chose. Not some punk on the street at night, who takes my life or someone I love in the blink of an eye, with no regard or regret. By the way, I'm 50 years old and in the best shape of my life, it's the principle, :biglaugh: You have to pick and choose your battles. :rock:
 

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I know it's an old post. I couldn't resist. Sorry!!
 

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The original list posted some 8 years ago is the best list I have ever encountered. One thing I would add is a package of road flares,
you can start a fire in a rain storm with wet wood with one stick.
 

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All of this preparation, and most of us that die prematurely do it in a car accident less than two miles from our homes.
When I die, I can guarantee it will be "prematurely"!! :biglaugh:

Man, this is an OLD post!!
 
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