I am a prepper, a survivalist, a well trained, very experienced user of primitive techniques in the backcountry, and someone who believes our society is degrading by the day. But I am not a crazy person, a conspiracy theorist (per se) or an alarmist. Simply, I grew up with the right ideals, learned to be resourceful, and then realized, that countries around the world have been enduring what we see as our biggest fear for decades and even centuries. Having lost some bit of faith in the United States Government and its capability in the past 3.5 years, I have realized the time is now to share some of my ideas about preparation and self sufficiency.
In the middle of this year, I will launch a second website, a sort of sister to the www.netgunsmith.com web presence, it will be called www.thesurvivalmaster.com and it will feature preparation information and tools to help you become more self sufficient. I have for years been a writer, well documented in the field as a ghost writer, and content producer for some of the best blogs in the world on the subject of off the grid living, survivalist techniques, preparation and self sufficiency and protecting individual freedoms.
www.thesurvivalmaster.com will be the go to website for everything survival related; specifically that which involves real world scenarios and plausible situations instead of ridiculous conspiracy theories and religiously based fear tactics. The stuff on the website will be top notch, but I will be building the momentum up until the release of the website through a number of channels, including www.netgunsmith.com where I will post teaser articles that have some relevance to the content here on www.netgunsmith.com, but also highlight things which gun people often times don’t get too far into. Hopefully there are some bits of good information for you to take with you along your way and I hope that you will share this information with those around you who you feel may be interested.
The first teaser article will be on survival fitness, but the articles will run the gamut for the entire ideology, and include other more generic ideas, as well as other very specific pieces of information.
Without further ado:
The media plays up the idea of the moral degradation of society and the failing of the long standing institutions put in place to protect us against widespread calamity, but it’s not a new thing. Sure, every time we read a headline, click on an outrageous tweet, turn on the television or look at Facebook, we find disheartening situations, growing concern, fed up groups of people, and death and unrest. But this has been happening for years.
Perhaps it’s because the last 36 months have been a stark reminder that the world is a cold and unforgiving place, not to mention the major events that rock our protected little worlds; 9/11 and Katrina being prime examples. In the last three years, it’s been an almost constant onslaught on our freedoms, our standing as a nation in a world of increasing tension, and an ever present potential for natural disasters. Maybe the bible bashers have it right, maybe this is the beginning of the end. Maybe the Government has worn out its welcome, and we are in for the start of the next Great War. Maybe it’s not as bad as we think, and all we have to worry about is a growing population, a weakening economy and an ever shrinking global food supply…as if that’s not a bad thing.
America has a target on its back. We are number 1, and everyone is gunning for us. The Radical Islamist fundamentalists want to put us back into the 6th century, Iran has hated us for many years and North Korea just lost their dictator leader and now is run by a weird organization comprised of his radical brother and his grieving still unstable son. China holds 35%+ of our debt, and shows signs of increasing their armed forces by three fold in technology. Russia is amidst political upheaval, and still wants to pick a fight somewhere. In South America we have several people who want to destroy the stronghold of the United States: Chavez and others come to mind.
These types of pressures lead to concerns on the homefront, and perception can most definitely become the reality. A horrible murder becomes a political agenda. A misunderstanding becomes a cause. The word “occupy” stops being a protest and starts being a bunch of lowlife aggressors looking for a fight because they don’t have jobs to go to. Whoever appeals to the fear, the emotion or the weak, will themselves become the strong. There is never a shortage of reasons for someone to debate of protest or stand up for something.
We can no longer say that our country is capable of peaceful protest. No matter what the circumstances, it almost always erupts in violence or is kept in play until it gains real momentum with extremist organizations. In London there were riots which devastated parts of the city. In Los Angeles it took the Rodney King incident to incite violence to “settle” the racial tensions. Katrina caused the death of thousands more than it should have. The occupy protestors keep trying to regain momentum and clashes with police are reminiscent of the Civil rights era in America. The landscape is rife with land mines ready to explode into full blown catastrophe. The innocent are pulled into situations they would rather avoid as pawns in the game of chess the disorganized mobs of people are trying to play against government or other groups.
Hateful extremist organizations are gaining a foothold in the world as a power to be reckoned with. Domestic terrorist organizations have turned up the heat. Where will you be affected and how?
What have you done to ensure you aren’t caught up in the middle of the argument or the conflict?
What items are in your survival arsenal from a personal perspective? Do you have what it takes aside from guns and ammunition to make it in a prolonged and ugly situation like that in New Orleans Louisiana in the aftermath of Katrina? Do you have survival fitness?
The point of this text is to help you understand why the business of survival is more than just about the coolest most capable guns. Sure there are jokes about donut eating overweight cops, and “douche-y” military guys, but by and large, those in law enforcement and military are lean mean fighting machines, well trained and well versed in survival fitness; capable of outdoing most of the mainstream society in a battle of longevity. Survival fitness is about bringing your body into a position to utilize the other aspects of your experience, training and tools to ensure you have longstanding abilities to survive and the capability of outlasting your enemy.
There is a reason the military Special Forces train as hard as they do. It’s because they will be able to outdo any opposition. It’s because in real situations, it’s not like a gun range, where it is air conditioned, climate controlled, and at the end you can go home and kiss your wife and eat your dinner and watch the news. In real world survival situations, survival fitness is the MAIN contributor to the safety of the group, the perseverance of the individual as a living breathing organism. The preservation of life depends heavily on the survival fitness of the warrior.
Having the survival fitness you need will be tantamount to your ability to remain in a bad situation, or create a good one for yourself and your group. It is not a myth that people will try to kill you in dire situations. Having a clear mind, a good level of experience, survival fitness, and fortifications including defensive weapons and protocols will be crucial to your survival. Fitness was a big aspect of the aftermath of one of the most devastating natural occurrences in American history: Hurricane Katrina. Those who were not well stocked, well trained and in good shape, suffered at the hands of those more aggressive, more prepared or less scrupulous than they. It was a modern day analysis of the survival of the fittest. Sure situational awareness and prior preparation were important factors, but many of the concerns were with the general inability of the population to be hardened and ready to survive both from a mental and a physical survival fitness perspective.
It’s the fear of many Zombie enthusiasts: the mob, the overwhelming mob.
Zombies don’t win in the fictional portrayals of the end of days productions because they are difficult to kill. Zombies win because there are vastly more of them than there are capable and battle ready opponents. Zombies are lumbering and slow. But in a real world scenario, angry, hungry humans who see you have something they need are not as slow. Can you see where this is going? If we had a real event, where there was a prolonged shortage of water, food, medical attention or use of force, it could turn ugly quickly.
There is a large chance that a scene like those depicted above, or those depicted on your favorite action or end of the world movie will play out near to you in the next 25 years. What have you done to ensure your survival fitness?
In the broader sense of the term “Survival fitness”, it encompasses your overall ability to survive, not just the specific survival fitness theory of health and physical capability. Survival fitness as a whole is the quotient of your specific ability to not be killed in the event of a major occurrence. Your survival fitness takes into the equation a set of unique variables both known and unknown.
Known variables in the survival fitness equation:
- Defensive planning and tools
- A structure capable of being defended well and helping maintain health and comfort
- Storage of essential items for day to day survival and sustenance
- Situational awareness
- Experience and training
- Physical capability of you and your group
Unknown Variables in the survival fitness equation:
- Other people and their actions
- Other people and their preparations
- A second or third major event
- Communication concerns
- Mob mentality
- Shortage of resources
If you were to stage an algorithm or an equation to determine your survival fitness quotient, it would include quantifiable values for the variables included in this equation:
Mindset + Defensive planning + Tools+ Stockpile + Situational Awareness + Structure + Experience + Training + physical fitness
(O) – (O) – (2nd or 3rd) – (W) – (Comm.) – (MOB) – (Resources)
Your total Survival fitness Quotient
Confusing? It doesn’t have to be. Essentially, take all the known variables and assign a real value to them, and assess your situation, then subtract the variables you cannot control and their theoretical potential damage to your situation, and you have the ultimate value of your survival fitness.
Specifically though, this text is about physical and psychological survival fitness. This text is about your ability to cope with the mental and physical strains brought about by an unexpected stressful event of a large magnitude. To some extent the above applies, but for the most part, the survival fitness levels can be improved with concentration on specific exercises and diet; understanding and experience, which of course require practice and repetition.
By the way, this specific equation listed above is gone into IN DEPTH in several articles on www.thesurvivalmaster.com, when it launches, look for specific values and equations to explain the science of survival as we see it.
There is no way to tell the future; even the best analysts don’t know the timing of events, so with that train of thought, preparation doesn’t have a specific expiration or conclusion date. ANY preparation, training and prior experience will benefit you greatly in a time of need.
Specifically, you should be looking for ways to improve your survival fitness every day, or at least every week, and incorporating it into the normal routine of things.
It’s important to have a reference guide for the training and preparation, even though each person or group’s training regimen will differ greatly and be finely tuned to meet their specific goals and needs.
Preparing for the situation is a broad and awkward task, but it needs to be broken into a general plan of storage and preparation to avoid concerns later.
It’s important in this specific article to talk about food and water storage, in a sentence: you must have some. You should be looking at having much more than you plan to use, for several reasons. The length of a specific event could trail on indefinitely; there may be more people under your supervision than you had originally planned for; the circumstances may require more volume of items and resources. Without going too far into the concept of food and water storage, the following should suffice:
The body requires a specific set of nutrients and calories to perform at high levels of capability. It is a finely tuned piece of mechanical genius that has needs. You wouldn’t put 85 Octane in a Ferrari right? If the goal is to be driving a Ferrari (a finely tuned body), you should start with the basic premise that you need to use the best fuels, which extract the most potential out of your engine. Your diet should be more refined than the average schmuk; it should be built around real pillars of nutrition that store well, and provide the best ratios of nutrition for the size/cost/serving/etc. No one is saying to stop eating hot dogs, Ribeye and Ice Cream. I’m saying be careful how you store you foods and prepare in advance to be able to maintain morale and transition to the specific foods for crisis, without a health concern or discomfort. If you store only high fiber items but eat no fiber during the normal course of your lifetime, you will experience extreme discomfort, and potentially constipation, etc. If you store only ready to eat food, and you lose electricity, you will be out of options quickly. It’s a balancing act. You want to be eating better, and more than your normal daily intake, and there is the added complication that you must be able to eat foods that do this, while maintaining nutritional value for the long term.
This isn’t a diet article. This is a lifestyle article, to help you extract your maximum potential from your working body. A person in need of exceptional strength will need exceptional quality food, and a lot of it.
Build your storage on proteins and complex carbohydrates, the easiest to store and some of the easiest for the body to use. Fats are easy for the body to use efficiently, but they are hard to store for long term; and sugars or simple carbohydrates don’t quite pack the punch you will be looking for. Each is important, but the biggest portion of the storage should be in complex carbohydrates and proteins, as well as fiber. Another key point to the storage should be maximizing nutritional content for size.
You will also need a lot of water. Try to aim for at least 2 gallons a day for consumption per person. You need water to reconstitute dried foods; keep your body functioning and allowing you to exert more energy. Water is so essential it should be the first thing on your list to store.
You will want to try and find multiuse items which can meet several different requirements. For instance, you might want high nutritional value, paired with the lowest cost and the ability to be stored for the long term.
Examples of food that meet these types of requirements:
- Peanut Butter
- Canned food with good expiration dates
- Dried foods like pasta and rice
- Dry fruit
- Dried and canned meats
- Ghee, shortening, coconut oil in sealed containers
- Whole grains
- Flours, including nut flours and starches
Additionally you will want to add fresh foods, especially greens, lean meats and healthy fats like those in fresh oils and avocados, etc.
You will want to aim for 95% to 125% of your normal caloric intake and you will want to also increase the amount of water you are consuming to include about 30% more than normal, when you are working at a normal rate and with stressful environment. Additionally, you will want to stay active and get things accomplished as you wait for news to help determine the next course of action. The activity will keep your blood pressure low and anxiety will be reduced. You’ll also be making very good use of the calories you’re eating.
As you move through the phases of the situation you will also want to focus on training and fitness. Survival fitness isn’t an overnight project though. It takes a while to get into good enough shape to actually push for real results. There are a few areas to focus on for survival fitness, including Cardiovascular and aerobic; Strength Training; balance work and flexibility training.
Cardiovascular and Aerobic Training:
As far as survival fitness is concerned, cardio and aerobic exercise will give you the largest boost in performance if you maximize it. It ensures your body is functioning properly, moving blood and oxygen at higher rates, and reducing to less stressful levels when at rest; it’s the longevity and stamina you gain with the cardio work that allows you to one up your opponent. Faster heart rates for longer periods of time will help you outlast your opponent and eventually overcome them in a prolonged engagement. Better cardio will result in faster deceleration of the heart to normal resting mode, allowing for less blood pressure, better shooting, and calmer handling of a situation. Cardio doesn’t require any tools and is easy to implement.
You will need to eventually use sheer power to overcome an opponent or provide relief to someone, as well as to power through tasks in a long drawn out stressful situation. Using stabilizer muscles will promote balance and comfort during particularly strenuous times. Having the extra power behind your punches, kicks and restraining holds will come in handy for hand to hand type situations.
Survival fitness wouldn’t be complete without muscle maintenance and comfort. Being flexible and allowing for your body to stretch tired muscles and support them with other ancillary muscles is important. It can be the thing that keeps you from being sidelined, when you are needed in the trenches. Muscular regeneration and pre-engagement stretching can be the game changer.
All but the best athletes are able to improve balance, and an improvement in balance can mean the difference between winning a fight and getting pummeled; getting behind cover in time to avoid bullets or getting killed. Balance is the cord that unites strength with flexibility and the three combined will help you to overcome a target, without too much trouble. The real survival fitness benefits to balance include less tiring during hard work, more engagement during tasks and less opportunity to get hit, kicked or otherwise.
Survival Fitness ideas for increasing your Flexibility:
Constant stretching and pushing your muscles to their limit without strain or additional weight will allow you to build them up faster and regenerate them more rapidly. Yoga and plyometrics are good as well, but even the simplest forms of stretching after your muscles have been pushed to their breaking point can be incredibly helpful. Stretching and limbering up in advance is also incredibly helpful and can guard against tightness, muscle failure and unexpected dangers while completing a task. Stretching and yoga will lengthen the muscle fibers, making them more resilient and more able to stay comfortable and to heal themselves faster when hurt. It may not seem like the “toughest” or most “masculine” exercise, but when you cannot be moved, and cannot be taken down, you will be glad you did some flexibility training. Another point: Survival fitness isn’t just for men, grab your wife, or wives reading this, get your husband involved.
There is an excellent stretch that involves moving your elbow to the inside of your foot to simultaneously stretch your entire body. You will want to squat with your foot forward in a position like Olympic hurdlers will start, where your back leg in extended rearward and another in bent at the knee under your chest. You will bring the outside portion of the elbow into the opposite foot which is bent at the knee, and your elbow will mate with the arch of your foot. Repeat for the other side 3-6 times each set for 3-6 sets.
Survival Fitness ideas for increasing your Balance:
Yoga is no joke. It’s not just for hot girls in the world’s most awesome pants. It’s for big manly guys training for the Zombie Apocalypse too. Survival fitness is all about balance. Balance in ideology, as well as balance in stature. Knowing you cannot be shaken or overtaken unless caught off guard is a powerful motivator to stand your ground and give none of it up to the enemy. But yoga and other balance training isn’t just about active scenarios. There are plenty of passive benefits to the yoga and balance training. Your lower blood pressure, calmer attitude and leaner muscles will bring you much more benefit while resting than just about anything else other than water. You will enjoy a clear head, a capable body and a more relaxed being. Just like annealing metal that has been hardened, yoga and flexibility/balance training will remove dangerous edges to your muscles and bring them into a finely tuned harmony to take full advantage of the muscle’s strength. Essentially you are tempering your muscles to allow for less straining and more recovery.
Looking for ways to incorporate yoga, or just generic balance training in your survival fitness regimen is an important step in this process. You can eventually gain a heavy advantage over your aggressors and those which you need to defend against, because I can almost guarantee you they will not have the balance you will, nor will the availability to a training program like you once you understand the basics of something like yoga. Shaolin Monks practice a very similar program, and it probably has much less stigma attached to it for all the manly men looking for a program they can do with their friends. Let’s be honest though, AC Slater from “Saved by the Bell” paved the way for athletes to work on their balance, poise and grace to improve performance, when he began taking ballet and expressive dance on one of the more famous episodes of the 1980’s teen show.
Try using a 3 or 5 gallon jugs of water (or even a 1 gal. if needed) and stand with one foot lifted with your knee at your waist level. Or stand slightly forward and try to keep the bottle completely perpendicular to the floor.
Survival Fitness ideas to improve your cardiovascular capability:
Using a weight vest, or running with weights as well as using items common to your everyday routine, like tires, medicine balls, 3 gallon jugs of water to assist in the aerobic activities you perform will up the ante for your muscles and provide you with the most intense run or hike you have ever had.
Additionally: using weights while doing yoga or holding awkward poses can help to intensify stabilizer muscle training.
You will want to target your heart rate for the level of fitness you are in. If you are looking to lose weight and blast fat, aim for 80% of your peak heart rate. If you are already in peak condition and need to improve oxygen absorption, aim for 90% of peak rate. You could try doing back and forth high speed sprints stopping and starting as fast as you can to elevate your heart rate quickly. Repeating the process until you can’t do it anymore, and then taking enough of a break to notice your breathing starting to slow, and then starting over again with the sprinting. This will give you burst strength and condition you to the one form of movment you are likely to do in a survival fitness situation: RUN! You should be maintaining your heart rate for at minimum 15 minutes and usually for not more than 1 hour, with 30 minutes to 45 minutes as ideal.
Survival Fitness ideas to improve your Strength:
Try doing things with weights attached, like strap all the gear onto your AR-15 rails and run around uphill; use a medicine ball while concentrating on doing real movements but in exaggerated ways, like lunges that are slow and deliberate with a medicine ball to build muscle support from stabilizers and often neglected muscle groups.
Try using a max repetition formula if you feel like you need to change it up: Put on only 55-70% of your maximum weight on the machine you work out on usually, and start at ten reps, then do 9 reps, 8 reps, 7 etc. repetitions all the way down to 1. It’s much more beneficial to your muscles and it’s more easily produced. 10+9+8+7+6+5+4+3+2+1 = 55 lifts. That’s more than you are doing normally, and the muscle fatigue is intensely beneficial. Be sure to stretch it out afterwards as you recover.
Additional ideas for Survival Fitness:
Take up a martial art or learn how to fight with knives, swords or sticks. The activity will improve your cardio, give you another weapon for your arsenal and keep your blood pressure in check. The extra skills learned in martial arts could be the game changer in a major encounter, and they are not as hokey or awkward to learn as you might think from the Hollywood versions you see every day on TV. Brazilian jiu jitsu or grappling can give you an immense advantage if you ever get to the point of hand to hand combat. They are not difficult or too expensive to check out, to see if it’s your thing. The added stress relief and the personal time will help with a variety of other concerns too, like stress management.
If you are already in excellent shape, it is still important to have a training regimen, even if it’s only once a week or so. The reminder of how to do certain moves while shadow boxing, or the ability to pick up your HK PSG1 more easily because you have run some miles with it can come in handy during a stressful time. Survival fitness is a lifestyle, remember, not a onetime deal.
Strength train first to get the muscle bulk up, the result is a better and longer lasting metabolism effect. Use circuit training to warm up and finish with high intensity cardio maximizing calories burned, and the effect on your muscles.
Stretch every day and alternate workouts, don’t get too complacent or think that a day can be skipped. Even if you only have 15 minutes to shadowbox, or do some sprints, DO IT! The result will be more proficiency later and a more capable body. Survival fitness, is, remember, an indication of your ability to survive, not just a buzz word.
Out of shape? Try one thing a day. Buy a gallon of water for your storage and use it to help build some balance for 20 minutes. Or get a #10 can of tomatoes and use it to perform lunges for fifteen minutes. Things like this over the long term will grant you the survival fitness level you desire, both from the physical and mental aspect, but also from the practical preparation perspective.
This text is simply a teaser for the website launching soon at www.thesurvivalmaster.com; the content there is more specifically dedicated to that process and furthering your self sufficiency.
Survival fitness is a lot of things; it is certainly more than the rifle you own or the ammunition you buy. This is a gun website, but I can admit, guns are only one piece to the puzzle in times of uncertainty and fear. It is not me I’m worried about; it’s the other less prepared people. The only way to mitigate their lack of preparation is to further prepare myself for the day that an unexpected event arrives. In the end if it’s between me and them, I don’t want my lack of survival fitness to be the reason they won.
Look for more posts in this genre to help build interest in the www.thesurvivalmaster.com website, and to create a more diverse user experience for readers of the www.netgunsmith.com website. Give us feedback and realize these are short articles meant to get you thinking, the big comprehensive ones will be posted on www.thesurvivalmaster.com, a site dedicated to the subject matter.
Do what you can to ensure your self sufficiency and capability. Remember, there is a reason we all think that SEAL team 6 or the SAS or the Marine scout snipers are so capable and tough: it’s because they are. They train with their bodies as their primary weapon and they are mentally sharp, physically tough and hardened by experience.