1) What is your opinion on using grease(particularly automotive stuff) to lube an AR15 in place of oil?
2) We’ve seen a lot of gun companies relocate businesses or refuse to sell to LEO and GOV organizations because of restrictions on civilian ownership. Do you think this is going to lead to a new trend in conservative politics, a kind of “sanctioning” against the statists?
3) Do you like the Tavor clones that are now available in the US?
4) Were you as disappointed as I was in the new Glock 41 and 42?
1) Honestly, I don’t have one. I just lube my shit with motor oil and call it good. Sorry.
2) I can hope, right? I don’t know that it will make much of a difference, since I have my doubts that the politicians who are so statist actually give two shits about the survivability of the cop or soldier on the ground, but any sort of sanctioning or shunning is a step in the right direction, in my opinion.
3)On the one hand, I’ve not even gotten my nasty little fingers on one of them yet. Unfortunately, none of the dealers or manufacturers out there—with a couple of notable exceptions (and I’m talking to you about that KeyMod fore end AmTac Precision…..) have contacted me about reviewing products yet, more is the pity. Deep in the stony, frozen recesses of my chest where my heart is supposed to reside, there is a little kid who is 110% as gear queer as a person can be.
On the other hand, I’m not particularly fond of bullpup designs. I like the compactness of bullpup designs, but the manual of arms completely fucks me up for some reason. I CAN run one, but I’d never choose to as my first, second, or even third choice, given my druthers.
4) I’ve not touched either one yet (see #3 above), but I was really, really hoping the 42 would be a single-stack 9mm. I’m not sure what customers Glock was listening to that demanded a .380, but considering the fact that it’s as large as a single-stack 9mm sub-sub-compact, I don’t see why they just didn’t make it a damned 9mm.
How many magazines are you comfortable carrying?
Depends on context. If I’m trying to be all sneaky-Pete the Ninja dude in an urban environment, I might just toss one extra mag in a pocket, but if I’m wearing patrolling gear? I carry 11 spare magazines. Eight on my RACK and three on my belt, along with three spare G17 magazines.
Then again, I usually keep twelve loaded magazines in my rucksack as well. So the answer COULD be 24…
Do you prefer single-open topped or double-flapped mag pouches for the bulk of your ammo load?
The pouches on my belt are HSGI kangaroo-type taco pouches, so they’re open-topped. Those are supposed to be strictly for those “Oh shit!” moments that demand a speed reload. The pouches on my RACK are double-stacked and flap-covered, for retention and protection, but are supposed to be used for tactical reloads/reloads with retention, when I’ve got the “time” of luxuriously taking 2-3 seconds for a reload instead of being involved in a drag race to get it done, or get shot in the face.
Where do you have your trauma kit or whatever? Chest or belt?
Gear layouts are a tough question for me to answer, because I’m always dicking with it. I’ve been running my IFAK/BOK on my belt for quite some time, but I’ve recently put it on my RACK, as I’ve moved away from using the war belt as much. Unfortunately, because of the layout of my RACK, that limits my left-hand access to the IFAK, so I ALSO carry one, wrapped in plastic, in a cargo pocket, when I’m wearing pants with cargo pockets. My tourniquets get carried on my RACK and on my plate carrier both.
I know (or think) you carry a fixed blade on your fighting load, do you also carry a Leatherman or Gerber in addition to that? Why or why not?
I actually carry two fixed blades. I’ve got a Kabar on my belt, and a smaller knife attached to my Safariland holster in front of my G17. I don’t currently carry a multi-tool, mostly because I haven’t been able to decide which one I want. I REALLY want the MUT from Leatherman, and HH6 has okayed the purchase, but I still can’t bring myself to drop $150 on a pair of damned pliers.
You said you had an Eberlestock pack somewhere on the blog—which one and why?
The biggest one they make. Why? Because it’s cool? I mean, everyone knows all the cool JSOC dudes are running them, right? No, seriously, I like the Eberlestock because a) it’s big enough, b) it’s not in some gayer than a bag of dicks backpacker color, and c) it’s made in the Redoubt.
Do you wear your RACK over a slick plate carrier? I know this was covered in the Load-Out articles, but I’m just wondering if anything has changed?
Yes, I do. I can ditch it if needed, to be all ninja-stealthy, and still have ballistic protection in case I screw up and am not as ninja-like as I want to think I am.
Do you use stand-alone or ICW plates and soft-armor backers? What brand is your armor?
I’m running TAP III+ stand-alones. So is HH6.
I was interested in learning more about your combatives and knife instruction. I understand that you are using an MMA type of program as the basics. Just curious if you are following the Ranger Combatives/MACP program completely or have added some of your own special sauce to it. Or am I misunderstanding? Also, I like your thinking for your knife program to just stick them but is that all there is because you are probably in a grappling type situation and so you are locked up and stick them? Do you ever foresee having to draw a knife pre-grappling stage? Would love any clarifications or further information regarding your combatives and knife program.
At a basic level, I teach—and practice—pretty much the MACP program, with a couple of variations.
1) My stand-up striking and entering game is almost straight Crazy Monkey Defense western boxing, from Rodney King in South Africa (Cecil Burch is a CMD coach, down in Arizona. I’m not sure who else is a legit coach of CMD, but I know Paul Sharp’s material is pretty similar).
2) My unarmed against weapons defenses are Red Zone Defense program, developed by Jerry Wetzl of Centerline Gym in California (Jerry is the lead CMD coach in the US also, AFAIK).
3) My stand-up clinchwork is a blend of judo, Greco-stuff I’ve learned over the years from different guys, and Paul Sharp’s stuff off the old ISR Matrix program (incidentally Paul…..any word on videos?). It’s about either knocking the dude out in the clinch, or setting up a throw or takedown.
4) “Put the pointy-end in the soft spots. Repeat as necessary, rapidly” really is the end-all, be-all of my philosophy of using any edged weapon like a knife. Even the ancient Romans knew and taught “Point beats edge.”
Could I cut my way out of a hold if necessary? Sure, but stabbing the dude is probably going to be a lot more effective. There has always been the myth in Asian martial arts—especially the Filipino martial arts—that guntings, or “defanging the snake” by slicing and dicing on the guy’s extended weapon-bearing arm would force him to drop his knife, leaving him exposed. But ask any ER doc or nurse and you’ll quickly discover…it’s just that…a myth. Fairbairn’s legendary Timetable of Death, recording how long it would take someone to bleed out is mythological in its conclusions. “If you slice someone’s brachial artery, they will lose consciousness in XX seconds, and die in XXX seconds.” That’s nonsense on the very face of it. Whose brachial artery? Mine? My two-year olds? A dude that weighs 290 pounds of fat and muscle? It doesn’t take variations in human physiology into account…let alone mental fortitude.
On the other hand, scrambling someone’s hash by slicing their heart apart, inside their chest? It’s a given THAT will stop their heart. Stab them in the lung and THEY will end up with air leaking out and fluid leaking in.
Is it going to stop them instantly? Not necessarily. That’s why the second sentence is there. “Repeat as necessary, rapidly.”
One thing that a lot of people overlook with using knives and other edged weapons, including guys who’ve adopted the “put the pointy-end in the soft spots” mantra, that helps explain my preference for grappling, is…depending on whom you’re fighting, there may not be a lot of soft spots available…If a dude is kitted up in the complete Interceptor Body Armor suite…you may be stabbing down into the neck, behind the neck guard, up into the groin, around the groin protector, or into the armpits. That’s pretty much all you’re going to get. Would you rather try and hit those tiny targets against a guy with full-mobility, or have him restricted in his movements, because you’ve got a hold of him and are putting him where you want him to go?
Do you continue to stay “informed” on current events, geopolitical situations and issues associated with your previous occupation? If so, what “open source” resources do you utilize specifically, and how do those resources scope and evolve your vision of assymmetrical warfare and how you think it should be applied at the small unit level? I’m also assuming that there are a few “closed source” resources that folks in your circle have access to…if you can’t comment about that, that’s fine.
Dude, everyone knows, the best source of news is Facebook!
A SCIF is a Secure, Compartmented Information Facility. It’s where a unit’s intelligence information comes in. Here’s a not-so-secret secret I learned as a private (it may or may not still be true…): Every single SCIF in the United States government has at least one television in it, tuned to CNN.
Does the mass media suck? Of course. Does the media have a statist bias? Of course. Does Faux News suck as bad as everyone else? Of course.
Nevertheless, if you can use logic and deductive reasoning, and balance your news sources between US and foreign sources, you can generally get a pretty good idea of what is going on in the world. Equally important is the ability to tune out what the talking (air)head is saying, and LOOK at what’s going on in the background.
We don’t have cable or satellite at home. Our television is only used to watch movies (and most of those are children’s educational videos, and training videos, to be honest). Most of my news comes from international new sources, via their websites. A lot of times I WILL come across an interesting link on FB, and then follow it elsewhere. Sometimes, I find something on FB, fail to do due diligence, and someone later points out to be, it was false information.
As far as closed-source information? I watch the news.
My views on how SUT applies to asymmetrical warfare is constantly evolving. While those evolutions are based on my previous training and experience, and are filtered through that prism, my theories and thoughts on the subject do evolve, absolutely. Having that foundation in the doctrine though, gives me a place to fall back to, if I discover down the road that my theories were theoretically full-of-shit.
Any chance you an do a junk on the bunk picture to see how your fighting gear and sustainment gear are set up?
Wait! You want to see my junk? That’s a little too DADT for me…..
Seriously, though, we’re going to try and get some photos shot during the upcoming Arizona class. I’ll try and remember to get some of my gear layout.
1) Do you know/recommend anyone within the Texas/Oklahoma region that offers similar knowledge?
I did a class in Oklahoma last year or the year before. I don’t really know anyone in those states though. Paul Howe does a lot of stuff at his place CSAT in Nacogdoches, but it’s mostly geared toward LEO, as far as I know.
2)Another option is to self-train skills that can be self-taught. Would you be willing to write a blog post outlining a list of essential skills useful for light infantry and possible ways to learn/practice those skills? For example, in Contact! Max Velocity mentioned orienteering clubs as a way to hone navigations skills. That’s just one example.
Sure. We talk about this a lot.
Orienteering is a great way to learn land nav with map and compass. If you want to do the GPS thing, try geocaching. If you want to learn to run a gun fast and accurate and get lots of practice (albeit without tactics involved really), get into 3-gun or IDPA or IPSC. If you want to learn how to live out of a ruck, go backpacking.
If you want to learn some more primitive bushcraft type survival skills, watch some YouTube videos, and then go practice, or go to Rabbitstick. The ability to self-train is unlimited in any skill set beyond those that necessarily require other people. It’s impossible to train in combatives by yourself. Sure, you can do bag work and shit, or (please don’t) martial arts kata, but unless you’re practicing shit against an actual, resisting opponent, you’re not really training.
You can’t practice SUT by yourself, obviously.
If hygiene can be defined as the science and actions needed to prevent the spread of illness and disease, then a modern understanding of illness and disease clearly demonstrates that our health and fitness is a critical aspect of personal hygiene. In some ways, it can be argued that these are at least as critical to personal longevity as staying clean, or getting clean is. There’s a reason a fit, 19 year old infantryman can withstand living conditions that would put those of us more….ahem…advanced on the age scale, under a moving Greyhound Bus.
I’ve belabored the importance of PT and fitness in this blog, ad nauseum. If you haven’t figured out that importance by now, me continuing to flagellate deceased equines is unlikely to do you a damned bit of good, but…just to maintain my reputation as a meathead jock, asshole….you need to be doing PT: personally, I recommend (and practice) high- and moderate-intensity interval training for cardio, ruck movements for sustained cardio, and multiple-joint, compound-movement, basic barbell exercises for strength and conditioning.
In my lifting journal, I have an excerpt from strength training legend Marty Gallagher’s book The Purposeful Primitive, regarding Israeli Ori Hofmekler’s training philosophy, which is one I like…a lot:
“…ancient fighter would best our modern soldiers were head-to-head military competitions possible…Ancient soldiers possessed rare skills and physical attributes. Their physiques and capacities were built as a direct result of their daily routines and dietary habits…Hofmekler’s optimal physical archetype is a MILITARY archetype, not an ATHLETIC archetype, and while there are many similarities between the optimal athlete and the optimal soldier, there are considerable differences in both capacity and capability. Ori’s optimal military archetype developed a functional physique shaped in response to the daily demands placed on the foot soldier forced to carry heavy armor and weapons for long distances…his training seeks to meld strength with endurance. Training for sustained strength results in the formation of additional mitochondria within the muscle…the construction of a retro military archetype, is in direct contrast to the “vanity motivation” common to mainstream fitness.” (excerpted from The Purposeful Primitive by Marty Gallagher)
This pretty well describes my personal training philosophy (thus the inclusion in my personal training journal…). So, now that we’ve gotten the “do your fucking PT” part out of the way, let’s talk about how scarfing cheeseburgers in Paradise can benefit your personal hygiene in a grid-down scenario.
You Are What You Eat
(Before we begin this discussion however, you need to understand a couple of very, very important issues: 1) I am neither a medical professional, a registered dietitian, nor do I work in the “fitness” industry. Anything I say on this subject is a) based on personal experience, and b) completely fucking theoretical, at best. It may apply to you, or it may be worth exactly what the fuck you’re paying for it….)
As I’ve previously discussed, 4GW is nothing more than 1GW, repackaged with a new label. In light of that, perhaps looking at the physical capabilities of ancient guerrillas—and the tribal societies that sustained and created them—can give us some ideas on the nutritional ideals for hygiene in a neo-primitive environment such as a grid-down situation, including the conduct of guerrilla-type operations to secure your community and tribe.
The so-called Paleo Diet is raging in popularity right now. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing, because the continually evolving science in the nutrition and health fields—not to mention evolutionary biology—seems to support its principles more every day. It’s a bad thing…perhaps a VERY bad thing…because it’s turned what could be the answer to a lot of nutritional and health issues for a lot of people, into a cult-like thing, which instantly turns some people off (and understandably so). Without getting too deep into the details of the Paleo Diet, or basic human physiology and nutrition as it relates to that physiology, let’s look at some of the basic principles of “healthy eating” that we should all be familiar with:
1) Eat fewer processed foods.
2) Eat more whole foods.
3) Eat organic.
4) Eat Low-Calorie/Low-Fat
1) Eat Fewer Processed Foods. This is pretty sensible advice, regardless of your political opinions on food. Unfortunately, it also requires a look into what processed food means as a term.
Unless you’re running your food down, barefoot on the Serengeti, taking it down with your teeth, and eating it raw, on the spot, your food is processed (technically, chewing is processing food, by breaking it down, so even then…you’re eating processed food). When we talk about “eat less processed food” what we really mean is eat less modern industrial foods. This ties into number two, “eat more whole foods.”
Instead of eating shit that is manufactured from parts of whole foods—or from chemical products produced in laboratories from industrial waste—the recommendation is to eat REAL food.
Industrial food…fake food…can be summed up by looking at the typical modern American diet: Cheez-Whiz, margarine, Coca-Cola (it breaks my heart, it truly does…), Crisco, Twinkies, SPAM, the Big Mac, Pop-Tarts, and Canola oil. Every single one of those things is a direct result of modern industrial engineering, rather than the simple processing available in your mother’s kitchen.
Not all industrial food products are inherently unhealthy though. After all, modern multi-vitamins and other nutritional supplements like whey protein, amino acids, creatine, and the like (all of which I use) are available as dietary supplements because of the same industrial processes. While it is popular amongst the “whole foods” or “natural foods” crowd to point out that getting these from REAL food is preferably (and it inarguably is), getting them in the amounts and ratios necessary to sustain the tribal warrior level of health and fitness would require eating things that most of us would rather avoid eating (I don’t eat brains, and I’m not particularly fond of eating other organ meats). Given my druthers, I’d rather whip up a protein shake in the blender, and pop a dozen supplement tablets pre- or post-workout.
2) Eat More Whole Foods.
Have you ever been in a Whole Foods Market, or similar (Trader Joe’s in the Pacific Northwest is another example, although we have a huge Whole Foods in downtown Portland, Oregon too….)? One thing you notice in a hurry…besides the fucking highway robbery, exorbitant prices…is that there are a lot of less-than-whole food products…there’s lots of processed foods in a whole foods health store: things like jams and jellies, soy protein powders, bread, yogurt, and even organic soda pop made with organic cane sugar.
To really grasp what the supposed experts on “whole foods nutrition” are talking about, you simply have to look at the packaging to see their marketing strategy: red, gambrel-roofed barns, smiling cows (since when do fucking cows smile?), and massive fields of healthy crops (never mind that large-scale monocropping absolutely REQUIRES the use of modern, petro-chemical pesticides!). What they mean by whole foods is “agricultural foods,” rather than industrial products. Nothing wrong with that.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with reducing your consumption of mass-agricultural, petro-chemical byproducts in your food (and I recommend it, even when I don’t get to practice it as much as I’d like to), on an individual, family, or even tribal level, there are a lot of benefits to the use of modern agricultural methods. The availability of relatively inexpensive foodstuffs in modern history has made it possible for larger numbers of people to survive. It can be effectively argued that a large percentage of us would possibly not be here if it weren’t for large-scale agriculture, as our near ancestors may not have survived without it.
And Here Be Monsters
When you look at the “history” of humankind…homo sapiens sapiens…the course of our evolutionary development on earth involved being hunter-gatherers much longer than it has involved agriculture of any kind, and even the agricultural era started with herding animals, rather than growing bread crops (I’m really not interested in a creationist vs. evolution argument. I’m not trying to disparage anyone’s faith, so if you’re offended, just stop reading. Don’t bother commenting about how I’m going to hell for believing in science). The reality is, while our bodies have—inarguably–started to develop the evolutionary traits necessary to consume and benefit from agricultural bread crops like grains, many—perhaps most—people deal with a lot of physiological issues when eating “modern” foods like grain products (I do. I also have a pretty severe milk allergy though, so….).
1) Humans didn’t evolve to eat meat. Bullshit. 2.6 million years ago, hominins were butchering animals with stone tools for consumption. Paleo campsites are found littered with bones. On the other hand, there is not a single known indigenous population—anywhere in the world—that exists or existed on a strictly vegetarian diet.
2) Meat heavy diets are a modern phenomenon. It’s a pretty common myth in some circles that most of human history saw meat as—at best—a minor side dish alongside plants and grains. While this was true in medieval Europe, due to political, religious, and social conventions (all of the wild animals belonged to the King, and hunting/killing one was often a hanging offense..if the game warden didn’t kill you first with an arrow), it is demonstrably not true in indigenous hunter-gatherer societies. Anthropological studies of contemporary hunter-gatherer societies, for example, have shown that most get well over 50% of their total caloric intake from animal sources.
3) Vegetarians are healthier than meat-eaters. While it is possible to argue that vegetarians in Western society are often healthier than meat-eating omnivores, that’s as much a result of the fact vegetarians are less likely to smoke or drink alcohol, and more likely to exercise, than it is due to their dietary prescriptions. The reality is, there is absolutely no (to my knowledge) empirical evidence “proving” that vegetarians are healthier than omnivorous people. The available studies that do show it are balanced by studies showing the exact opposite. It’s critical to recognize that when people suddenly decide to go vegetarian, it is often coupled with other health practices: avoiding soda, vegetable oils, and processed flours, avoiding refined sugars, and exercising more…plus sleeping more.
Here’s my personal experience with vegetarianism. I became a vegetarian in high school, for an entire semester of my senior year (it was to impress a girl…and no, she never put out, more’s the pity). I felt “healthier” than I have at any other time in my life. I had ample energy for everything (from judo 4 times a week, to school work, to masturbation, to mooning over the hippie chick..the last two pretty much simultaneously). I got by on 4 hours of sleep a night, never felt tire, walked to and from school and work (an average of 8-10 miles per day, all round trips considered), and just all around felt like I had plenty of energy.
What I lacked? Strength and fitness. I could walk 8-10 miles over the course of a day, but I doubt I could have run a hundred yard dash in any sort of a respectable time. I’d have been lucky to bench press ½ of my bodyweight, and all of my judo successes was a result of technical skill, rather than athleticism.
What Did Your Ancestors Eat?
I’m not suggesting—like some anti-Paleo critics like to suggest—that life in the “olden days” was some sort of paradise on earth. As Ori Hokmekler likes to point out, “Life in paradise should be rugged.” I am however, saying that looking at what our ancestors ate can—from an evolutionary biology standpoint, give us a pretty good indication of what we should eat to increase our disease and illness resistance. After all, while we know that disease and illness were common in medieval times, we also know that a lot of that was a result of piss-poor hygiene practices from a cleanliness standpoint, and nutritional deficiencies. Archeological and paleoanthropological evidence indicates that this was not the case in prehistory.
Stepping back from the modern dietary charade (seriously…when the American Medical Association has the balls to seriously state that an inanimate object is a leading health care concern for Americans, how seriously can you take them?) and looking back at more primitive herder and hunter-gatherer societies, we can see that our modern dietary fear of animal-based food sources is a rejection of our own past and evolutionary development. From the ancient Hebrews tending their flocks in Moses’ time, to Mongolian nomands herdsmen, or the ancestors of the Masai in Africa, or the herdsmen and hunters of migration-era Teutonic Europe. These peoples’ diets tended to be high in animal fat and protein, due to the consumption of meat and milk. It’s a rejection of our own American history. Even as food companies plaster images of idyllic farm life across their packaging, they reject the very foods favored and valued by the traditional American farmer: raw milk, whole cream, butter, cheese, eggs, and meat (BACON! BTW…if you’re one of these yahoos that apparently just recently discovered the awesomeness that is bacon…I pity your lifetime of ignorance). Rejecting herder diets in favor of staple grains like wheat and rice is, and “eating low fat” means “eat like a refugee and a serf.”
What if we went back further along the evolutionary backtrail than medieval Europe though? What if—instead of relinquishing our nutrition to the servitude of serfdom—we decided to go back to diet of the ancient freeman? Four hundred generations ago—a paltry ten thousand years—what passed for food?
A lot of really tasty stuff, actually!
Large mammals: everything from cattle, sheep, and pigs, to antelope, deer, elk, and gazelle. Hell, elephants were on the supper menu as far back as 2.6 million years! Not just the muscle meat, but everything from organ meat to the brains. Even the bone marrow is a rich source of numerous nutrients (one of my favorite parts of eating wild game as a kid was when it was roasted, was cracking the small bones and sucking the marrow. I just didn’t know, back then, that it was healthy). For peoples living near large bodies of water, from rivers and lakes to the sea, fish and other aquatic species were popular and healthy. Insects, eggs, and honey are popular with modern hunter-gatherers and herdsmen, and were probably just as popular with both ancient and prehistoric man. Fruit was eaten, as were starchy roots and tubers. Even nuts (not THOSE nuts, pervoid!). Hunter-gatherers and ancient herdsmen were certainly prone to infant mortality and infectious disease, as my wife and I discovered recently, infant mortality is still a disturbingly common issue, and infectious disease can be countered in large part by hygiene practices that are—or should be—commonplace now that we know and understand the germ theory of disease transmission. What they notably did not—and do not—suffer from are the common cardiovascular ailments that typify modern Western “health.”
Looking at hygiene holistically, as the science and action of preventing disease however, tells us that re-thinking our nutritional approach to life will go a long way towards instilling better hygiene into our “camp life” in grid-down neo-primitivism.
So, Is It Paleo, or Not?
I don’t think some cult-fad Paleo diet is the end-all, be-all solution to human nutrition. I DO believe that it is a damned good step in the right direction for most people. Following the strict guidelines of some dietary guru are is as valueless as following the strict guidelines of any other guru though. Just as tribes of hunter-gatherers and herdsmen eat and ate different diets, you will undoubtedly eat a different diet than I do (I’ve gone a long way towards reducing my Coca-Cola consumption, but it’s not completely gone yet. I’ve had two in the last three weeks…).
There are—arguably—three basic guidelines for deciding how to create, maintain, and strengthen a sensible, sustainable survival diet program that is also enjoyable (I’m as guilty as any man alive of eating for fuel rather than gastronomical delight, but even I like to eat some foods).
1) Mimic a hunter-gatherer/herdsman’s diet as much as possible.
2) Follow ancient culinary traditions as much as possible.
3) Avoid industrial foods, sugars, and seed grains.
Eating a hunter-gatherer/herdsman’s diet is not about being a historical reenactor, or at least, it shouldn’t be (unless that’s your thing. I’m not judging). It’s about gaining the metabolic and health benefits of that diet, with what is available to you. It’s not even about eating a particular set of foods. Contrary to the popular myths currently surrounding the Paleo fad, there was neither a single diet followed throughout the Paleolithic period of prehistory, nor even the same diet followed by a single people. The commonalities between different hunter-gatherer and herding cultures diets though, provide pretty good guidance on HOW we’re supposed to eat for optimal health.
Number one, stop fucking counting calories. The only people I know who actually do follow calories are uptight, anal-retentive fucks that need to get kicked in the nuts. If anything, our ancestors favored high calorie nutrient sources. The more calories a food provided, the more bang for the buck a tribesman got for his hunting efforts. While it is often argued that the ancients could “afford” a high-calorie diet because of greater activity levels, a 2012 study of a Tasmanian tribe supposedly demonstrated that their total individual energy expenditures were comparable to that of modern Americans. Even though they spent more energy on physical activity, this was offset by the fact that they expended less energy on their base level at rest.
Ignore the USDA. The USDA has bread grains as the foundation food group. Yet, a review of the diet of over 200 foraging societies estimated that nearly 75% of them got over 50% of their total caloric intake from animal products. In a separate study of nine contemporary hunter-gatherer societies, foods were exactly weighed and measured. Seven of the nine tribes studied got more than 50% of their calories from animal sources!
Even amongst the plant food sources, starchy tubers were the most important, with fruits a distant second. (Makes the traditional meat-and-potatoes diet look a little more sensible, from an evolutionary standpoint, doesn’t it?) Fuck the USDA.
Quit fearing the fat! Remember what we discussed earlier? There is not a single known indigenous people who are culturally vegetarian. On the other hand, northern peoples, like the Yupik Eskimos, Inuit Athabaskan Indians, the different Siberian tribes, and the Sami of northern Finland all survive almost exclusively on animal-based diets, with little or no plant foods.
Dietary fat and cholesterol, despite the bad reputation they have in modern America (Gee, thanks AMA and USDA!), are NECESSARY PRECURSORS TO THE BODY’S PRODUCTION OF SEX HORMONES, like testosterone and estrogen.
Eat a variety of plants. Besides the benefits of different micronutrients inherent in different plants, there is also the issue of reduced toxicity loads. Eating too much of a given plant means that there is a greater chance of building dangerous levels of that particular plants toxins. While regular potatoes get a bad rap amongst Paleo diet faddists, this is cultural snobbery, since they advocate eating other tubers like sweet potatoes and yams. The problem is, unless you are of American Indian descent (and specifically South American Indian descent), white potatoes are NOT part of your ancestral diet, beyond a couple hundred years. Nevertheless, the fact is, our bodies ARE wired to digest and utilize the nutrients in starchy roots and tubers, whether potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips (what the fuck IS a parsnip?), rutabagas and onions, amongst others.
White rice gets a bad rap in cool-person diet circles, because it’s a) a cereal grain, and b) it lacks bran and fiber. Here’s the rub though…the bran and fiber is the protective covering of the grain. It’s engineered by nature to seriously fuck up the intestines of animals that eat it…white rice on the other hand is a pretty safe source of good starch.
Experiment with dairy. Is it for you, or not? I’ve got—as I mentioned above—a horrendous milk allergy. My mother insists it’s because she started feeding me whole milk too early. I don’t know, but I know, even drinking a single cup of milk will set my guts to churning loud enough to drown out the props of the Titanic. It is, 100% pure NASTY.
Here’s what one author on the subject says on the dairy question:
“Except during infancy, hunter-gatherers did not drink milk. After the domestication of animals, multiple herder populations independently gained a genetic adaptation to digest lactose into adulthood. Their milk-based diet must have been profoundly beneficial because these people were robust, their populations grew quickly, and they usually dominated their unlucky neighbors. Today, people with the lactase persistence gene (about 35% of the global population) are descended from one of those herder populations (though people without the gene can still thrive on high dairy diets). Even so, most people in the world are still lactose intolerant—and given milk’s recent history in the human diet, it clearly isn’t necessary for good health.” (excerpted from The Paleo Manifesto by John Durant)
Here’s the problem though…dairy consumption is a point of hot contention amongst both academics and lay dietitians. Some people—including many Paleo faddists—consider the proteins and hormones in milk to be a cause of gut inflammation, cancer, and acne. But, both lactose and casein are found in human breast milk, so it’s not like they are FOREIGN to our bodies’ physiology.
Ultimately, with the caveats we will discuss below, dairy is one area that you have to experiment with on your own. It seriously jacks my system up. Two cups of milk will set my guts churning for hours. Nevertheless, because of the strength and fitness benefits of whole milk, I do consume milk. I use 16 oz of whole milk every day, as the base of a post-workout protein shake. In the past, I even experimented with the “GOMAD” or “Gallon Of Milk A Day” method of gaining weight for strength training. Quite simply, it means, if you want to make enormous gains in your strength training and mass? Drink one gallon of whole milk per day, in addition to your normal dietary intake.
If I do GOMAD, I can usually make it about five days before I’m stuck in the bathroom for up to four hours at a time, unable to walk due to the cramps and violent diarrhea. The two cups of milk, with extra whey in the form of the protein shake doesn’t allow me quite as rapid gains, but it does allow me many of the benefits, without quite as many drawbacks (and you now know more about my digestive function than you ever wanted to know, huh?)
Follow ancient culinary practices
Ancient culinary practices often existed for reasons, beyond simple tradition. Not only do they make foods tastier, they often make it healthier, as well as (and this is IMPORTANT for our context!) safer for long-term storage. The problem with ancient culinary practices of course, is that it’s often difficult to tell the difference between superstition and science. The best way is to look for practices that are old and widespread amongst various cultures.
a) Make broths and stocks. Bones are amongst the best bases for soups. This makes sense. Marrow in bones houses a LOT of nutritional benefit in a small package. People have been boiling bones as long as we’ve had fire and pot to piss in…err…cook in. Boiling water can leech nutrients, minerals, collagen, and marrow out of bones, as well as from the meat and skin of animals.
b) Ferment foods. HH6 has an awesome book on our shelves, that we discovered courtesy of a neighbor who loaned us a copy before we bought ours. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Dietary Dictocrats by Sally Fallon, offers a lot of really great old-time, traditional food preparation and storage methods, including fermentation processes from scratch.
Fermentation, as any adult should know, is simply food processing using bacteria. From brewing beer (or my preference, making mead), to leavening bread; curdling cheese, pickling vegetables, culturing yogurt, or curing meats, all of us eat a lot more fermented foods than simple sauerkraut or kimchi.
Fermentation can make foods healthier, and more digestible. Curdling dairy products into cheese, for example, allows me to put shredded cheese in omelets, or to eat a grilled cheese sandwich without the intestinal distress that drinking milk causes. Sourdough is created through fermentation. A lot of fermentation processes leave active beneficial bacterium in the gut, and eating them can help maintain healthy intestinal bacteria levels. Unfortunately for the poor bastard who has to buy his fermented foods at the grocery store, industrial manufacturers tend to sterilize their products, negating this benefit.
c) Cook with traditional recipes. These are not just random pairings, generally, but offer significant health benefits.
d) Cook with low heat. See? Your crockpot or stewpot does have benefits! For primitive, tribal cooking in a camp environment, throwing a “forever stew” on to boil, and adding ingredients every day as the stew is consumed offers health benefits beyond shared resources amongst the family or tribe.
e) Cook with traditional fats and oils. Traditional fats and oils range from animal fats like tallow, lard, and butter, to classical plant-based oils like coconut and olive oil. It’s often noted in preparedness food storage texts that vegetable oils go rancid quickly, making them difficult to store. Here’s your remedy. Quit worrying about storing inherently unhealthy, industrially-produced corn or canola oil, and focus on learning to manufacture animals fats like butter, tallow, and lard. Since HH6 and I quit using canola and corn oil, and started doing all of our oil-based cooking with butter or olive oil, the taste quality of food has skyrocketed in our house.
f) Eat raw foods. (Not raw meat. That’s just fucking gross!) Cooking vegetables reduces fiber content, and cooking anything reduces vitamin C content. At the same time, eat different colored vegetables. Different vegetable colors indicate different chemical compounds in plants, and each chemical compound indicates a different balance or blend of antioxidants and nutrients is a good way towards ensuring a good balance of micronutrients.
g) Sprout, soak, or ferment grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. One of the major concerns with the consumption of grain products that has been at the forefront of the popularity of the Paleo fad is the inherent toxicity of seeds. After all, they’re designed to keep your body from digesting them, in order to survive being eaten and passed through your system, thus being able to propagate and reproduce. Sprouting or fermenting seeds and legumes is a food way to make them less toxic. This not only increases their digestibility, but also makes them less irritable to your gut.
g) Eat the damned yolk. Seriously, just eat the yolk. Anyone who still believes that eating the egg yolk will make your heart explode needs to pull their head out of their fourth point-of-contact (for the non-Airborne qualified…that’d be your ass).
How Does This Shit Relate to Survival, Preparedness, and Being a Bad-Ass Mountain Guerrilla?
Everyone who’s done more prepping than just reading the gun mags and gun-porn websites online knows that stockpiling food storage and other preparedness necessities is pretty damned critical. They’re probably also familiar with the Four Fundamentals of Food Storage: Wheat, Beans, Rice, and Dry Milk. Looking at the ancestral diets of human beings, from a herding culture and hunter-gatherer cultural perspective though, quickly indicates that focusing on that four is pretty contrary to what our history tells us is healthy. Unless you WANT to live like a serf, focusing all of your food storage on these foodstuffs…or even most of it…is contrary to good nutritional hygiene (how’s that for some heretical thought!?).
For many people in the preparedness culture, “stuck” living in the suburbs, or in some urban high-rise apartment, stockpiling the food-storage basics may be the only choice. For those with even a little bit of land though, instead of focusing on storing foods that will almost invariably make you sick in the long-run, it makes more sense to focus on taking advantage of that to raise your own meat sources, even if it’s small livestock like chickens and rabbits, while growing a garden, and then preparing and storing your own produce. If you do store wheat and beans, you’ll get more nutritional benefit out of sprouting them than simple grinding and/or cooking.
We all talk—across the preparedness community—about “grow your own food” as a resistance exercise. We talk about “take your health care into your own hands” as a way of resisting the demands of socialized medicine. I firmly—completely—believe that the greatest resistance you can offer to tyranny, is to just fucking ignore it, as much as possible, and live your life the way you want to live your life. Developing good hygiene through growing, producing, and eating your own, healthy diet, in accordance with the way your body is designed to eat, is not only active resistance, it’s also a solid method of giving the proverbial finger to socialized medicine.
Hygiene—the science and actions of preventing disease—is not just about washing your hands, burying your shit, and wearing clean clothes. It’s certainly not just about taking multivitamins until you run out, and then dying of scurvy, or beriberi. It’s about getting, and staying healthy. Eating healthy and doing PT is just as important an aspect of hygiene as knowing how to shit in the woods.
(One of the recent questions asked was if I would pen an article on camp hygiene. Here ya go….–J.M.)
1: A science of the establishment and maintenance of health.
2: Conditions or practices (as of cleanliness conducive to health.
–Merriam-Webster Dictionary (from merriam-webster.com)
1: The science that deals with the promotion and preservation of health. Also called hygienics.
2: Conditions and practices that serve to promote or preserve health: hygiene in the workplace; personal hygiene.
–Oxford English Dictionary (from thefreedictionary.com)
(One of the recent questions asked was if I would pen an article on camp hygiene. Here ya go….–J.M.)
“Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: and though shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee.”
–Deut 23:13-13, King James Version, Holy Bible
“Further, there shall be an area for you outside the camp, where you may relieve yourself. With your ear you shall have a spike, and when you have squatted you shall dig a hole with it and cover up your excrement.”
–Deut 23:13-14 Jewish Study Bible
(According to the JSB, this rule is covered in greater detail in the Dead Sea Scrolls’ War Scroll and Temple Scroll. –J.M.)
“But it will come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statements which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee; and overtake thee…
…The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew, and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.”
–Deut 28:15-22 King James Version, Holy Bible
“But if you do not obey the Lord your God to observe faithfully all his commandments and laws which I enjoin upon you this day…
…the Lord will make pestilence cling to you, until He has put an end to you in the land that you are entering to possess. The Lord will strike you with consumption, fever, and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew; they shall hound you until you perish.”
–Deut 28:15-22 Jewish Study Bible
Regardless of your faith, or lack of faith, in Divinity, the fact is, modern science has pretty well demonstrated that the Mosaic hygiene laws are a pretty good place to start when considering what hygiene in primitive conditions should look like. One of the “interesting” (?) historical side notes of the schism between Christianity and Judaism, following the life and death of Christ, is the belief of Christians that defilement comes from within, rather than from external sources. While this is undoubtedly true from a moral standpoint, one has to wonder why, if the external defilements were unimportant, God spent so much time in the Laws of Moses spent so much time emphasizing them…
The hygiene consequences of this aspect of the doctrinal schism between Christianity and Judaism were not immediately apparent, since Christianity developed during the the Roman Empire, with highly developed sewer systems, aqueducts that brought water to the Empire’s cities, and a near-religious emphasis on bathing. With the collapse of the Roman Empire however, we see that the decay of the Roman infrastructure lead to a serious decline in the hygiene—and thus the health—of people throughout Christendom. Bathing was no longer emphasized. On the contrary, it’s pretty well-established in the historical record that for medieval Christendom, bathing was a once-a-year event, if that. Combined with sewage being simply dumped in the streets of large urban areas, dead bodies sometimes being left to rot for days or even weeks, and other normal practices that both we—as a modern, largely scientific culture—and the ancient Jews—for thousands of years—consider not only unhygienic, but also pretty much totally fucking disgusting, this inevitably resulted in a somewhat steep price that we now know as yersinia pestis: The Black Death.
One of what I consider the most interesting scenes in contemporary cinema occurred in the 2010 Russell Crowe rendition of Robin Hood. When Crowe’s character, Robin Longstride is sitting at the table with Sir Walter Locksley, the scene opens with a couple of “cute” little mice crawling across the food on the table. While obviously disgusting to most modern Americans, what many people fail to realize is—this was the NORM at that point in history. Yet, anyone who had actually read (granted, not a common ability at that point in history…but you’d think the priests—as one of the educated classes of European society at the time—would have at least considered it…) the Books of Moses would consider this an abomination.
Had people remembered and practiced the Mosaic Law of considering rodents “unclean,” they might have spent more time and effort making sure there weren’t mice and rats running wild through their homes, and across their food. This would have—if not prevented the Black Death—at least seriously reduced the effects thereof. Yersisia pestis, you see, is spread from rodents to humans through two vehicles: being bit by an infected rodent…or being bit by a flea that was infected by previously hosting on an infected rodent.
“These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind.”
The point of this is not that I’m Jewish, nor that I’ve suddenly discovered “that ol’ time religion.” It’s certainly not to denigrate Christianity or any other faith. Rather the point is…good hygiene, even in primitive living conditions, is not some obscure, specialized skill known only to special operations soldiers.
While hygiene, when considered in light of the definitions that began this article, can cover a very broad spectrum of considerations, for our purposes, we’re going to look at it in one consideration…how to stay alive, at least long enough to die from enemy action, rather than from illness.
This means, a) how can we prevent the propagation and spread of disease, and b) what can we do to protect ourselves specifically.
One thing that must be considered, in the context of this blog, preparedness, and post-SHTF, grid-down scenarios, is whether by “camp hygiene,” we mean life on patrol, living out of rucksacks in a patrol base, or the more general primitive living to be expected with grid failures, while still living “indoors.”
First Things First….Drop Your Preconceived Notions
The first thing that must be done (and this is probably becoming a tiresome refrain by now, if you’re a long-time reader of this blog) is that you have to get rid of any preconceived notions. The fact that you intend to “bug in” and stay home does NOT mean you’re going to be able to comfortably use your toilet and bathtub. The fact that you live alone with your family on an isolated mountainside in the American Redoubt does not mean that you won’t have to deal with many of the same hygiene issues and crises that urban and suburban dwellers will (as an example…I’ve been told by several medical professionals, ranging from M.D.s to 18Ds, that the highest concentration of giardisis can be found in area where Idaho, Oregon, and Nevada meet).
One benefit of living in the modern world, even in the event of total socio-economic collapse, is that while technology may go away, or retreat in accessibility, knowledge won’t. You may not be able to go to Cabela’s and buy a new Katahdin water filter, but if you know that boiling water is a scientifically sound method of water purification—and you practice it religiously—then not having the cool-guy gear doesn’t matter…you can work around it, because you’ve focused on software instead of hardware.
Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
While modern Americans—especially amongst some of the neo-primitive, dirty, smelly, hippie types—sometimes debate the health benefits of NOT bathing every day, I’d say it’s fair to claim that the vast majority of modern, middle-class Americans do not subscribe to the medieval belief that bathing robs the body of natural protections of diseases. I shower at least once a day, and generally twice a day—once after PT, and once before bed. If I don’t do PT until shortly before bed, then I might only get one shower in a day (yesterday, I took three, but that’s because I spent an hour laying in the mud and snow in the middle of the day changing brake pads). One of the more disturbing concerns I hear voiced by many people in regards to preparedness, is the fear that they won’t be able to shower twice a day…or even once per day.
Remembering that I’m not a scientist, and certainly not a biologist, here’s my take on it….while bathing daily can do a damned fine job of killing off micro-organisms on your body that might be harmful, it’s equally effective at killing off micro-organisms on your body that are beneficial. Additionally, there is the fact that most soaps dry your skin out. While that’s not a major issue when you have lotions and balms readily available with a quick trip to Wal-Mart, dried, flaky, itchy skin can cause health issues in itself.
While we all spend lots of money stockpiling things we believe we might need post-crash, and hopefully include lots of hygiene items amongst them, unless we’re totally fucking deluded, we have to acknowledge that there is a finite amount of material goods we can stockpile. Instead, we have to look at ways to deal with primitive living when the modern conveniences run out (and in many ways, they are conveniences). Our ancestors, from the pioneers that fulfilled Manifest Destiny, all the way back to the pre-Christian Jews (and most other pre-Christian tribal cultures, for that matter) had a way to deal with these issues…in the Jewish faith, this was the Mosaic prescription for bathing before Shabot (the Sabbath).
If you’re living in primitive conditions, but have the facility to allow it, bathing even once a week can provide many of the benefits of daily bathing…as long as you follow some other prescriptions for cleanliness.
The simplest method of preventing the spread of disease is one we learn as young children—assuming our parents are even moderately intelligent: wash your damned hands. Before you eat, after you eat, after you urinate or defecate, before and after you handle food…and certainly before and after dealing with bodily fluids from someone else (“modern” science caught up to the Judaic law on this subject in the mid-nineteenth century, when a Hungarian physician, named Ignaz Semmelweis noticed a particularly vast difference in infant mortality between two different birthing wards in the Vienna General Hospital. The ward with low mortality was dedicated to birthing with mid-wives. The other, run by physicians, was adjacent to a morgue. Apparently, the Doc noticed that doctors would conduct an autopsy, then immediately go deliver a baby…without even washing their hands…Sadly, I’ve actually heard of this…and read more than one report from .gov sources, that this kind of utter stupidity still goes on. Not that doctors are performing autopsies, then births, but doctors and nurses not scrubbing in before going to work on pediatric cases…I’ll leave it to health care professionals to address that).
Obviously, there are limits to how much soap a person can stockpile….except, even in Moses’ day, people knew that animal fats, hardwood ashes (lye), and water made soap. Worst case scenario, even simply rinsing your hands off in clean water is better than nothing.
One of the biggest health care issues we in the preparedness culture have to deal with is the apparent ability of common illness pathogens to develop immunities against “antibacterial” soaps and cleaners. This has led some people to abjure cleaning or washing as frequently, and others to actually promote exposing themselves to minor pathogens intentionally, in the hopes of developing a resistance to them. I certainly don’t get my knickers in a twist when my kid gets muddy, or even when she plays in cow shit. I’ve been known to giggle like a schoolgirl when I see a kid (yes, including my own), eating dessicated animal shit, like a dried out cow patty in the pasture, and go into my “Ah, she’s just building immunities!” spiel.
My kid still bathes once a day. I still bathe once a day. My wife still bathes once a day. When we lived primitive, on the side of the mountain in Idaho, last winter, in the uninsulated shed? We bathed once a week. Hauling water from the creek, in quantities large enough to take even a decent sponge bath, was a pain in the ass. None of us got sick.
I’ve gone weeks without bathing or showering, out of necessity. At the same time however, I always made it a habit, if I were going more than a couple of days without an actual full-submersion bath or shower, to wash the grungies out by using a wet rag and soap to wash those areas of the body most likely to harbor and encourage bacterial growth. What do bad bugs like in a home? Warmth, moisture, and darkness.
So, where do we wash up to take care of those, when we don’t have the luxury of a full-on bath? Places that are warm, moist, and dark, duh. Your armpits, your crotch, the crack of your ass, and your feet, are good places to start. I would hope it goes without saying….wash your face first, and your hands after, preferably with clean water.
And, in the spirit of levity….
A working-class guy is using the urinal in the bathroom at a restaurant when a distinguished looking fellow, in a tailored suit walks in and uses the other urinal. As Joe is walking out, without having bothered to wash his hands, Mr. Hoity-Toity looks aghast at him.
“Didn’t your mother teach you to wash your hands after urinating!?”
“Naw…but my daddy taught me not to piss on my hands!”
It’s not piss on your hands I’m worried about, when you’re cooking the camp stew (okay, it IS, but not solely…). WASH YOUR DAMNED HANDS!!!
Next to washing your hands and bathing, one thing that infantrymen and backpackers should learn from the very beginning, but all too often don’t, is the importance of dry, preferably clean, clothing to hygiene and survival.
There are a couple of considerations here:
1) If your clothes are dirty and wet, and it’s cold outside, you’re begging for cold-weather injuries, ranging from “mere” immersion foot/trench foot, to full-on hypothermia and death.
2) If your clothes are dirty and wet, and it’s warm outside, your clothing is a breeding ground for bacteria and other do-nasties.
3) If your clothes are just dirty, but dry, they will be wet and warm as soon as you start sweating from exertion. On top of this, is the fact that the dirt fills in the air spaces in between the fibers of the material, robbing it of insulative value. On top of this, what is often overlooked is the fact that dirt molecules in the cloth cut, tear, and abrade the fibers of the clothes. This reduces the life-span of the fiber and clothing.
Ideally, in primitive conditions, washing your clothes means using a washboard, soap, and hot water. Somewhat less ideal, but still acceptable? Washboard and water, period. The old-time backpacker’s remedy of rubbing and beating the clothing on stones while alternately dipping it in the running water of a creek is hard on the environment, and pretty effective at getting the clothing clean. Unfortunately, in a grid-down situation, where replacing your clothes is going to labor-intensive and expensive, at best—if not impossible—it should also be pointed out that it’s really, really, REALLY fucking hard on the clothing itself.
In the short-term of a patrolling situation, you can get away with a lot of unhygienic practices—not washing, wearing dirty clothes every day, not washing your hands before and after you eat, and a host of others—as long as you have the ability, when you return to a more permanent base of operations, to get cleaned up, put on clean clothes, and dose up with antibiotics if necessary. In a grid-down scenario, these may not be as readily available as options. Your “patrol” might be a two or three-month “bug out” evasion. Your “base of operations” might be a pretty primitive encampment in the woods, because your house and neighborhood was burned to the ground by bad people. The veterinary antibiotics you stockpiled in anticipation may not be available, either because you didn’t stockpile enough, they ran out or expired, or they got stolen.
What is the lesson? Hygiene isn’t some sissy concern of soccer moms, that tough-guy supermen can ignore. Simple solutions of course, are not readily available.
In Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TC3), we have a saying, “Sometimes good tactics are bad medicine and sometimes, good medicine is bad tactics.” We have another one too though, “The best medicine on the battlefield is fire superiority.”
The decision of how much hygiene you HAVE to practice, in order to maintain good health must be balanced and weighed against the need to maintain good tactics. So, taking a full-submersion bath, once a week may not be possible. Washing your clothes regularly, so you always have clean, dry clothing to put on, might not be an option. So, we make compromises. We wash what we can, when we can, in the form of “combat showers,” washing the nuts, butts, feet, face, and hands. If we can’t wash our clothes, we lay them out in the sun to dry, allowing UV rays from the sun to help sterilize it and destroy/kill microbes, recognizing that the risk of disease and illness is a more grave concern than the damage to the clothing. It might be difficult to replace your bad-ass multi-cam ACUs, but it’s a lot easier to replace clothes than it is to replace a trained shooter, let alone a husband and father.
Shittin’ and Grinnin’
The first verse from Deuteronomy cited at the beginning of this article lays out the rule of shitting in the woods hygienically. If you shit, bury it. This is simple woods-living 101 (and for the record….to whatever student it was that shit on the ground during the Colorado patrolling class last year, and DIDN’T bury it, then wouldn’t own up to it? Fuck you). This doesn’t necessarily mean that every swinging Richard needs a tri-fold entrenching tool, or the Cold Steel Spetsnaz shovel in his ruck. One for every two men is arguably enough. If you’re with your Ranger buddy, you can take turns using it. If you end up separated from your Ranger buddy, and don’t have the shovel? It sounds heinous, but use your fucking knife to dig a hole, if you have to (although, personally, I recommend cutting a stick and digging with the stick instead).
Dig the hole, squat and shit, wipe thoroughly, and then bury it all. If you don’t have toilet paper? There are probably ten times as many brown shirts rotting away in landfills, with the bottom one-third missing, than there are experienced infantrymen in the US Army. Alternatively to cutting your t-shirt off, you can do as my brother-in-law did on a hiking trip with his girlfriend, and end the trip missing a sock…(in the interest of intellectual honesty, I’ve done this too…..)
One alternative I have used, for trial purposes, is to keep two one-gallon ziplock bags, one of them crammed full of scrap cloth, cut into handy sizes. Shit goes into the empty bag, until it can be buried somewhere more secure, along with used rags that I wipe with. If I’m camping in a well-used populated area, with lots of other campers, but no Porta-Johns, this is actually my preferred method. In classes, I just carry some toilet paper, because I’m a lazy fucker like that…and my wife gets pissed when I toss the feces-filled ziplock in the trashcan at home.
When you’re done burying your crap? WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!
What are some lessons you would like to teach students but don’t. Why don’t you?
I don’t know. I’m sure there are things students would LIKE me to teach, but generally those things are so far beyond their ability to practically employ, that the time would be better spent on the basics.
Do you plan to expand on the classes you offer?
To what? Between Combat Rifle, Clandestine Pistol, Patrolling, Support and Auxiliary Functions, E&E, Mounted Patrolling Operations, and CQC, I’ve got a pretty well-rounded curriculum, I believe. Other things?
Do you think that what your currently teaching could be better but your restrained in some way such as lack of training equipment, facilities, Time, average student capability, liability,etc.
Sure. I’d love to have students for 3-10 weeks at a time, have developed ranges with pop-up and reactive targets, blanks and BFAs, OPFOR, etc…But SF guys have been teaching Gs to do the “G Thang” with even more primitive facilities, and more student capability issues than I deal with, longer than I’ve been alive. If students take the information imparted during the class and actually go home and practice it, they’ll do just fine.
What percentage of your clients are return biz?
I don’t really keep figures like that, but I’d guess somewhere between 15-25%.
You must get some satisfaction out of this or you probably wouldn’t do it. So in terms of your students, what gives you the most satisfaction? Besides watching them sweat, bleed, cry and break their shit whilst you watch from your folding field recliner.
The difference in demonstrated ability in students’ ability to move and function as part of a team, in rough terrain, during live-fire iterations, after extremely short periods of time, with no one getting injured. The CQC class that I did recently, that had guys running multi-team, multi-room, NIGHT live-fire room clearing iterations at the end of day two. The SWAT cop in the CQC class who was amazed that I could have a bunch of guys who’d NEVER done CQC doing that in that time frame. A lot of people think all of that shit is possible because I’m a bad ass professor of havoc and destruction. Far to the contrary, that’s because most of the people that show up to classes are hungry to learn, and are willing to put everything they have into learning the information (or they’re scared shitless that if they fuck up, someone is going to accidentally shoot them in the back?).
Mostly? I like watching them sweat, bleed, cry, and break their shit, while I sit in my tactical folding field recliner, eating Twinkies and getting fat and lazy.
Since you have come out and said that finding like minded people is like dating, does that mean that we are in a serious relationship since you slept in my pup tent with me?
Don’t get your hopes up. Number one, it wasn’t a pup tent. That thing was like the Taj Mahal of tents. Number two, you didn’t even try to make a move on me. I like my guys to be aggressive in their affections (before anyone flips out, because I KNOW someone is going to take that serious…it is a joke….maybe.)
Has anyone shown interest in the patrol 2 class? Fingers crossed.
A couple I think. You’d have to ask HH6. This has worked out much better if she does all that shit, and a week before we leave for a class, she tells me where we’re going, what we’re doing, and what gear list I need to pack. That woman is WAY smarter than me.
What's your opinion on body armor? I get it in a war zone it's a good thing to have, but as civilian do you think its overkill? Better to have than not to have it? I don't walk around with my plate carrier on. I DO carry it in the truck when I go anywhere, just in case. My opinion on body armor is that, despite my bitching and whining and not wanting to wear it, it saved my life. If I'm going somewhere wear I think there's a pretty good chance I MIGHT be getting in a gunfight, I'm wearing my armor. If I'm taking my rifle, I'm taking my body armor. It's hot, it's heavy (even my super lightweight stuff gets heavy after a few hours of wearing it, let alone a week or two), it's uncomfortable. Could be worse though. I could be wearing a suit of full plate armor made of steel, with sweat-soaked leather and linen underneath it...and having to use a sword and shield and spear, right? Do you have anyone you can refer New Englanders to who can run a class to your standards? I'm not sure I even KNOW anyone in New England.
Would you please do a piece on land navigation?
Sure. It’s now officially in the queue.
Might a local orienteering club be an acceptable way to practice?
Mr. Mosby, I am a faithful reader of your blog and I am trying desperately to improve my physical fitness.
I am a 59 year old male, 6’2″, 212 pounds, that runs 5 times a week, (7.5 minute mile average), lift free weights and do core exercises.
I’m sure you have experienced hitting a “wall” in your PT program. I have hit this and am very frustrated. NO improvement over the last two months but regression. (fewer miles, less weight during lifting).
My question to you is, How do you personally worked through that wall?
Take a couple weeks (like 2…not 10), and then start back, dropping all of your previous working intensities by 10-15%. Look at changing your training methods or styles.
Everyone hits a performance wall. Sometimes all it takes it pushing through it. Sometimes it takes a change to programming. Sometimes? It takes walking away for a little while and starting again.
Do you have a inny or an outy?
Inny. Outies freak me out.
I’m interested in learning about your personal religious beliefs?
“My family is my religion.”
What are the best areas in the U.S. to live?
Your recommendation on a .22 pistol and a suppressor?
I run a Ruger MKIII, and like it, a lot. I’ve heard some people complain about the plastic parts in it. If I was using it as my primary go-to defensive handgun, that would be a concern for me, but my .22 gets shot probably 20-50 rounds a month, tops. A couple replacements and it really ought to last a lifetime.
My experience with civilian-market suppressors is limited enough that I’m not comfortable making a recommendation. OTOH, depending on how committed you are, someone once suggested doing a Google search for “monolithic core suppressor design” and talking to a local machinist….
Your recommendation on a hunting rifle,scope and caliber?
What are you hunting? Where are you hunting? What are your conditions like? Even in Wyoming, I use a different combination for taking antelope than I do for taking elk.
I would use a different combination for elk in central Idaho than I would in southern Idaho. I would certainly use a different combination for deer, and a damned different combination for rabbits or squirrels in the Southeast.
My apologies for the lay out errors in this article. Wordpress is fucking with my formatting somehow. --J.M. With all the controlled chaos happening on a daily basis, bad actors walking in under wire from Mexico, the manufactured healthcare crisis, etc, do you see a specific trigger that will set storm off or will it just rush in like the wind out in front of a Kansas thunder head? Fuck if I know dude. Sorry, I know people want solid answers, but I genuinely do NOT own any sort of scrying powers or a Nostradamus hat. I can look at recent history in other places and try to extrapolate, but even that is never going to be particularly accurate. The fact is, there is no other first world country as large, spread out, and successful as ours. There is no country out there (that I'm aware of) that even remotely approaches our levels in any of those categories, with as much anger brewing openly, with similar levels of private firearms ownership. So honestly? Beyond articles I've posted in the past touching on my theories, I genuinely have to say... Fuck if I know.
I know you feel the fedgov is the least of our problems. I tend to vacillate on this point, sometimes agreeing and other times, I don’t know. The battlespace prep that appears to be occurring is concerning. I’m hoping you’re right, but it does appear they have a plan to come after people that just want to be left alone. What led you to this conclusion? Could you explain why you think they’re not going to try to come after us? I had thought the economy would collapse first, but they’ve been very good at keeping things running longer than anyone would have thought possible.
It’s not that I believe DHS/FEMA offers no threat to American citizens. Quite the contrary. It’s just that, enough people start disappearing and even the most assinine, “The government loves us!” idiot is bound to start feeling threatened. In that case, you have to consider that scared people lash out at the nearest target, not necessarily the right target. Add to that mix, the fact that the federal LE agencies, combined are not large enough to take on the gangs in South-Central LA alone, let alone an entire nation of pissed-off people. It’s members of your local LE that will—if anyone does—most of the bad stuff. Between your pissed-off, scared neighbors, cops concerned about losing their pensions or careers, and local .gov flunkies looking at the next rung up the ladder, no, I don’t think it’s the Stasi-wannabe stormtroopers of the federal .gov that are your biggest threat for most people.
What is your assessment of the Special Operations community? What percentage are on our side? Could you explain your estimate of friendly forces size? Is it enough to prevent a full military takeover, another CIA coup, whatever?
Not a fucking clue dude. I’ve been out for a decade. If I did know of conversations along those lines occurring, I wouldn’t talk about it in public.
You have discussed at length that you expect tribalism to be the resultant end-state for this mess. I don’t know if I agree. I certainly think we will experience a structural criticality event (Nassim Taleb – Antifragile), but we may very well be able to develop a new, and more stable system out of the rubble (read Matt Ridley’s “The rational Optimist”. Could you explain what I’m missing, your thought process and why that is your most likely end-state?
I’d like to believe that something better would come out of it. I’d hate to see hundreds of millions of Americans die for no fucking good reason whatsoever. On the other hand, I really don’t have much faith in humankind’s ability to overcome the urges of greed and avarice, or the lust for power, no matter how trivial that power actually is.
From the dude who says his only preps are a rifle and a bunch of buddies with rifles coming to get your shit, to the fat, basement-bound “prepper” who tries to pawn himself off on the internet as a survivalist guru, in order to feed his ego and self-esteem; from the Black Panthers trying to incite race wars against anyone who is not dark-skinned enough, to the White Supremacists trying to incite race wars against anyone who is not light-skinned enough, to La Raza trying to incite race wars against anyone who doesn’t speak Spanish well enough, all in the search for power by blaming others for their own shortcomings in life? Who the fuck could be delusional enough to think that it would be anything but internecine tribal warfare—or totalitarian security as an alternative—in the short-term at least, following any sort of mass-die off/upheaval/grid-down event? Of course, I could just be a pessimist….
I know there are lots of Christians who believe if we could “return” to a Bible-based legal society, all would be daisies in the meadows, but then we can look at shit like the Crusades, or even the Witch Burnings in Salem, and realize—despite protests to the contrary, that all would not suddenly be roses in the twilight. Which denomination? Which translation of the Bible? Who gets to decide that? In any case, what about those of us that are not religious? Do we get the choice of conversion or the sword (figuratively speaking)? How is THAT, in a society that is increasingly non-religious, suddenly a panacea against sectarian violence?
how do I get a copy of your ebook? Do you ever hold classes in Idaho? How many people do you need to hold a class? You don't. The eBook was only available for a limited time, and honestly? I wasn't particularly pleased with the final result. The hardcopy is slated to be available in March now, due to uncontrollable, unforeseen circumstances that delayed the original release date. Considering the number of continuing requests for the eBook, I have considered re-releasing it, sometime after the hard copy is available, despite my inherent distaste for electronic “books.” I do classes in Idaho regularly, both public and private. The best way to find out more specific information on hosting and scheduling a class in any location, is to contact HH6 at mosbyhh6@hushmail.
I am (name redacted) from your W. VA class (the fucking career branch redacted officer). I thought I would take you up on your offer to answer some questions.
I have noticed in conversation with you and in your writings that you frequently denounce some aspects of the Appleseed program. In actuality I agree with what you have said and as a former instructor in the program, the same things bothered me when I was in it.
Keep in mind that I began in the program in 2008 and the original instructors stressed the need to get further training. This nonsense of “this is everything that you need” is an unfortunate artifact of a large program that lost its senior leadership and a founder that doesn’t have the balls to take the program to the next level.
1. Have you ever been to one?
2. In the context of a 4th generational warfare perspective, what roles would you see the skills taught in the program used?
Thank you for your time and all that you do. If you ever do another East Coast class I will be there Army willing and the creek don’t rise.
1) As I’ve stated openly in the past, no, I’ve never attended an Appleseed. My knowledge of AS derives from conversations with very close friends (kinsmen close) who are/were AS instructors, and a friend who is one of the former “senior leadership” who left, because of the “founder that doesn’t have the balls to take the program to the next level.”
2) AS does one thing of importance, apparently well…It teaches BASIC, FUNDAMENTAL rifle marksmanship. What role does that play? Well, if you expect to ever have to use a rifle in any role—from hunting for food, shooting a Stasi-wannabe stormtrooper, or defending the community from cannibalistic San Franciscan raiders hell bent on rape, pillage, and plunder—that’s a pretty fucking important role for basic, fundamental rifle marksmanship….it’s just far from the ONLY necessary part of any of those tasks.
1. As a young man (under 22, over 18) I am very concerned with where our country is headed. I have a core group of guys I consider my brothers who share my concern. It is our desire to move forward with training and equipment as our finances allow, HOWEVER, what are we to do about out families? While many of our family members see the writing on the wall, so to speak, none of them are willing to take any action. Others are somewhat oblivious. If and when bad things happen, none of us want to abandon our families, yet we lack the resources to care for them, indeed struggling to even prepare beans, bullets, and bandaids for ourselves. I’ve got a tribe alright, but the problem is they don’t see a need to prepare for what is coming and I can’t care for them by myself. Any advice on this situation would be appreciated.
2. I will be leaving my home, family, and brothers in a Redoubt state soon to pursue higher education in an easter seaboard state that is uncomfortably close to DC. While this state is still mostly free, I am faced with a dilemma. I will be moving to a completely new AO, away from any resources I have here. I will be completely on my own in a significantly more dangerous area when everything falls apart. Beyond what you have frequently wrote about on the topic of building a tribe/network of people, should I even be looking to work on that, seeing as how it will only be a few years that I am in that area? Would I be better served by planning ways to get back home rather than building contacts in my temporary state? Any advice on my situation would be great.
1) Short answer? Fuck if I know. Keep preparing, and always be thinking about putting extra aside for your family members, so when they do suddenly realize they needed to be doing something, you’re there to help.
Lots of people take the approach of “well, family or not, if they’re too blind to be prepared, they’re on their own.” I personally can’t take that approach.
I’ve often said on this blog, that I’m “not religious.” That’s not entirely true, but too few understand, even in meatspace when I do answer it. The reality is, my family is my religion. My wife and children, yes, but my cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, in-laws, etc….those are what is important to me, above all else. If I am not continuously trying to help educate them to the importance of preparing, and when they fail, I’m not preparing for them, I’m failing.
2) Short answer? Pick a fucking college closer to home. Slightly longer answer? Why the fuck are you wasting money on college? Unless you’re going to school for a hard sciences degree, or a profession (i.e. law, medicine, etc) that absolutely REQUIRES advanced degrees for entry, you’re getting ready to blow several hundred thousand dollars on knowledge you could accrue with a $5 library card and the inter-library loan program.
If you are going into a career field that mandates a degree for entry, look at the colleges in the Redoubt states, closer to home.
More specifically to answer your question? Plan for both, and incorporate both options into your PACE planning. Initially, evasion homeward will be your only realistic option, because it takes time to build tribe and networks. After you’ve started developing the requisite levels of trust in your academic community, then you transfer priorities.
Seriously though? WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL A CONTINENT AWAY FROM YOUR TRIBE????
If you use an IR laser for your rifle, to be used in conjunction with a PVS-14 mounted on your head, do you zero it for the same distance as your scope is zero’d, or leave it in-line with your barrel, or some alternative?
I have a laser devices CQB-L, with the slaved visible red and IR lasers. I have it mounted at 3 O clock looking down the barrel. Therefore i have it in line with the bore for elevation, but need to decide on windage. My current plan is to have it lined up 0.75″ right at 50 yards, so it wil be on at 100yds. good plan? bad plan? how stoopid is me?
1) I’m not entirely sure I understand all of your question so bear with me…..
2) My rifle is zeroed at 50/200. My OTAL is zeroed at 50 meters. Mine sits on top of my rifle, so the laser is offset, and above. The point-of-aim of the laser, at 50 meters, coincides with the point-of-impact, in the same measurements as the laser does at at the muzzle.
My real concern with your question is the part about your windage concerns. Unless I completely misunderstood your question, I would offset the zero at the desired distance, the same distance as he laser actually rides off the side of your barrel. Otherwise, at any range other than the actual zero range, you have to be thinking about, “Shit! Is my laser to the left side or the right side of my POI? How FAR to the left or right is it? If you line the windage up to parallel the barrel throughout the trajectory of the weapon, you never have to guess. Other than accounting for wind, you don’t have to think about it, because you KNOW your laser is 0.XX” to the left/right.
1. the role of the suppressed .22 pistol, where you would keep it (fighting load or ruck? hunting or sinister anti-personnel)
2. usage of smoke grenades in breaking contact, specifically easy to aquire civilian paintball type smoke grenades (a la sportsmokes)
3. Further thoughts on suppressed firearms…. quick detach .308 suppressor, capable of going on an AR-15 or .308 bolt gun. In my limited understanding the main disadvantage is the fact that subsonic .308 rounds are crap for distance/performance, and supersonic 5.56 or .308 is still really freaking loud through a can. whats the tactical advantage to a .308 can?
1) I see two purposes. a) foraging for small game during E&E situations, and b) POSSIBLY when trying to get past sentries for whatever purpose. Honestly, I see a) as the most practical application. I keep mine in my ruck, albeit with the caveat that I can/could tuck it into the admin pouch on my plate carrier or into my RACK if necessary.
2) I’d rather use tear gas/OC grenades, but if smoke was all I had, I’d be dumping those fuckers every time I bounded back, trying to create a visual screen, in order to mask my movement from enemy observation….just like the manuals describe doctrinally. It won’t stop incoming projectiles, but it can at least ensure they’re addressed to “whom it may concern” rather than having “your ass” as the intended destination. That at least increases your odds when you’re bounding from one position of cover back to the next.
3) I’m not an expert on cans. There have been HUGE leaps made in both suppressor technology and the applications of them since I ETSd. That having been said, if I had to choose, I’d probably go with the .30 can. It WILL suppress 5.56 far better than nothing, while also being applicable to .30 caliber rounds. The reverse of course, is not true. While it’s no secret that I’m in no way convinced of the magical death ray attributes of the mighty .308, if that’s what I can get, you’d better bet your happy ass, I’m going to run .308 rather than flinging rocks at the bad guys. I’d rather have the can than not, if I decided I needed it.
It takes me at least two hours a day to just read my e-mails from friends and such . I can linger two more just on ‘ Western Rifle Shooters Association ‘. My question is : ” How do you find the time for all the information that you dispense ? ”
I manage my time? There’s no way to do EVERYTHING, EVERY DAY, so I don’t. The only three daily constants in my life?
1) Kiss my wife and daughter and tell them that I love them.
2) PT (and honestly? It gets bagged at times)
Everything else gets moved around the other daily chores and “Honey Dos” that arise in every one’s life. I prioritize what information I need to take in, what I would LIKE to take in, and what I really just don’t give two shits about. I only sleep 4-6 hours a day/night, I multi-task (as much as possible) all the time. I eat, while reading and responding to emails. I spend time with my kid while I’m doing PT (she likes doing chin-ups, push-ups, box jumps, and working the heavy-bag). I can knock out my daily dry-fire in 10-20 minutes before bed, or before I leave the house to go somewhere.
I'm a Marine. I've operated with a Marine Reconnaissance team as a recon man, an ATL, and a DM (I am a Scout-Sniper as well). I'm at the end of my contract with ten months left and I have been looking to switch over to the Army and go the SF route for some time. In your opinion would you switch over or end your contract and go civilian side? Given the current political state of the country I worry that I would be making a poor decision staying in the military. But I don't want to miss out on the opportunities and training. What is your take, Mr. Mosby? I'm not a fucking career counselor dude. That having been said, I have four fucking words for you: Special Forces National Guard. You're welcome, Marine. Semper Fi!
I’d like to know How/if training all of these folks all over the country for the last couple years has changed your thoughts and perceptions concerning how things may or may not unfold for the patriot/prepper crowd? That’s probably not articulated well but you probably get the idea.
It appears to me that the movement is growing and the idea of actual resistance is becoming more frequently entertained by the average Joe. I’ll admit though that my sphere is very small and maybe its just a local phenomenon.
Meh….I think there is a growing number of extremely pissed-off people who are finally waking up to the reality that owning an AR15 doesn’t make you a gunslinging bad-ass JSOC Jedi warrior-king.
On the other hand, this blog has opened my eyes to the fact that there are a LOT more people out there who are convinced they already have all the answers, and the last tactical training that had any relevance to them was either in 1757 when Robert Rogers first wrote his Rules for Ranging (not that they are a bad template to start with, or keep in mind!), or sometime around 1965….It’s far easier to sit and type on a keyboard, telling everyone how bad ass you are, how you are the uber-prepper, and how you really are a gunslinging motherfucker….Actually training requires getting sweaty, hot, cold, wet, and all-around miserable.
There are others, who for legitimate reasons honestly do not feel they can handle the physical rigors of practical training. That’s fine, but….those same people refuse to get out and meet like-minded people who might be able to provide security, as part of a community effort, while the individual who can’t train could provide some other useful function within the community. They’d rather sit around and pretend that they’re going to “do their part” by pulling an Alamo defense….apparently never having realized that Crockett, Bowie, Travis, et al…..they all died.
Do you think the “training community” puts out bad information for the purpose of LOOKING like a super cool operator? Because some of the shit I see being taught LOOKS like it would get you or your buddies killed in a fucking hurry. For example engaging threats from the open and doing mag changes in the open both while standing still. I mean, What the fuck? Maybe it’s just me but shit I want to be behind something.. Anything if I’m getting shot at.
No. I think the problem is a difference between TACTICAL training, and competing in practical shooing type events like IPSC and IDPA. I’m a big advocate of IPSC and IDPA and 3-gun shooting for learning methods of running a gun fast and well. That does not mean they are TACTICAL training. It’s no different than going to a MMA gym for combatives training. It’s a baseline of knowledge and skill that then has to be put into the framework you need to apply it.
If you just want to shoot IPSC, then you’re not going to lose anything from standing in the open to hit your reloads or take your shots. If your going to compete in MMA competitions, then JUST going to the MMA gym will be enough. If you intend to interject either of those into the real-world of combat, where people shoot back and go for knives and pistols rather than duking it out like John Wayne, you’d better be able to make the distinctions and seek out sources that will allow you to make the transition.
2. In general, it would be greatly appreciated if you could write an article with your advice on bugging out with a family from suburbia to a rural retreat.
Go back through the blog archives, both here and at the old site (www.mountainguerrilla.blogspot.com) and look for my articles on E&E. All of the planning considerations are covered in quite some detail, dealing with solo and group endeavors.
What advice would you give on making local connections with like minded folks?
I know you and other writers have been emphasizing how important this is, but the only folks I’ve found in my general area are crazy, conspiracy-theory laden “militia” types whose lack of discipline, fitness, morals, OPSEC, and skill leave me to believe they will be easy pickings if things get to that.
My desire for PERSEC and my line of work make me hesitant to reach out and I’m unsure of how to find those with a similar commitment to train with and join forces with.
1) Go to your local bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, etc….Bring your checkbook, some cash, or your credit card.
2) Purchase each of the following books:
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan
3) Read each of the titles.
4) Read them through again, this time taking notes.
Honestly? The simplest way to make local connections with like-minded folks, is to make local connections with folks, period. It’s like dating. It’s a game of numbers. Meet and befriend enough people, and you’re going to end up meeting some that are like-minded, even if their like-mindedness is still in its infancy.
Would you please write a short piece on personal hygiene (including how to take a dump) in the field?
I’m have an AR that still needs an optic. Would you buy another Burris MTAC 1.5-6? or go with something else?
If I were on a budget (and I’m always on a budget), yeah, I’d go with it and trust it. I’ve still got one on my rifle, and I can still drive tacks with it. The only complaint I have with the MTAC is still the same….I wish the center dot was smaller.
Good questions folks. Keep them coming.
Sam, at III Magazine emailed me today to inform me that someone who had purchased the eBook was requesting a refund because I am an “anti-white racist.” The moron in question insists that this is a matter of “principle” for him. While HH6 insists that perhaps I ought to refund it because obviously the motherfucker is too goddamned stupid to read anyway, I’m not so sure.
At the original location of this blog, I posted an article, shortly after beginning the blog, clearly describing my antipathy towards racism–of any sort. Since then, I have repeatedly made my thoughts on racism of any sort crystal fucking clear.
HH6 and I go out of our way to make sure anyone who pays for my services, whether in a class or from purchasing the book, gets more than their money’s worth. We’ve refunded “non-refundable” deposits after the cut-off date, and will probably continue doing so, despite our policy otherwise.
I’m of two minds on this.
1) I would never want anyone to compromise their principles, even if their principles are completely fucking retarded.
2) On the other hand, the value paid for has been received, and there’s no way for me to get that back, regardless of whether I refund the money or not. Further, since the piece of shit in question emailed Sam instead of having the balls to email me about the issue, I’m tempted to say fuck off and die.
Instead, here’s my solution. If you want a refund of the cost of the eBook because I’m anti-racist and you are somehow too fucking ignorant to read the articles and recognize that I’m opposed to racism of any sort (regardless of what color of skin you have), I will give you a refund….as long as you are willing to show up, at a class, free of charge, and ask for it to my face. You don’t need to actually stick around and take the class, and I’m not threatening to kick your ass. I just want to see exactly how someone looks when they are so fucking stupid that they would somehow read my blog long enough to believe buying the book was worth the investment, without realizing I am pro-individual achievement and judging people on things of merit…like their fucking character.
Have a very SF day!
Postscript: Sam pointed out that perhaps driving that far was a little far over a $15 ebook. Fuck it. If you’re so stupid that you think my antipathy towards judging people by pigmentation rather than character is more important than the value you received from my effort, I’ll send the fucking money back. Fuck you.
Mr. Houston, Sam, at III Magazine, emailed me to forward your request for a refund for the cost of purchasing the ebook "The Reluctant Partisan," because Sam did not collect any profits from the book. While my first response to this was to tell you to fuck off for being such an ignorant, illiterate motherfucker, my dear wife pointed out that, since you're obviously not literate enough to pick up on my anti-racism, regardless of skin color (since I'm just as opposed to La Raza and the Black Panthers as I am to the Aryan Nations), in the dozen previous articles on the blog where I've mentioned it, you're obviously too illiterate to actually get any value from the book. Send me a mailing address there in Michigan and I'll send you your $15. See, customer satisfaction is a principle of mine. Fuck off. John Mosby
1) Facebook outing
A: It’s really nothing all that nefarious. I was invited to join a FB group (that makes sense to people that have Facebook accounts), by a reader who is also a friend. When I joined, I discovered that a fellow SF brother, who is also a friend, had “outed” me as the author of the blog in the FB group, by “tagging” me in the comments section of the FB post. It’s not a big deal. a) It’s a closed group. b) It’s not a secret amongst people on my FB friends’ page that I am the author of the blog (with the exception of some family members), and my political philosophy is not a secret to ANYONE who knows me.
2) “…is a union representative or a community organizer that same as a communist party political officer? Just wanting to make sure I/we who who my/our current enemies are.”
A: I’m pretty anti-union, despite having been raised by a family that included members of the auto workers’ union. If you are using the term community organizer in the context of POTUS’ former occupation, then yes, I’d say it has a lot to do with organizing and proselytizing the party line to get people out and supporting the leftist cause. Same-same with most union representatives I’ve met. The difference, in my extremely limited experience (I’ve never lived in a union state, and I’ve never worked in a union-controlled occupation, although my ex-wife was a union member), is that I don’t think ALL union reps recognize the nefariousness of what they are doing. Does that make it okay? No. Does that mean they should be hung from lamp posts? No.
Do I think union workers should be drawn and quartered? No. I think the largest issue in America today is not a lack of legitimate loyalty to the Constitution and the Republic, but rather an ignorance of what those things are supposed to be. I do my best, both through my writing, through my FB postings (other than the ones that I post simply because they are fucking hilarious), and through daily face-to-face interactions with people, to continue reversing the trend of false education brought on by a corrupted educational system.
Humorous story along these lines: I believe one of the best things we can do is to raise our children correctly. The other night, we were watching 13th Warrior (movie from the 1990s with Antonio Banderas). It’s based loosely on ibn Fadlan’s account of visiting Rus Vikings and Beowulf combined. During the first fight scene against the “monsters” my daughter was getting VERY excited, giggling, yelling, and jumping around. When I asked her what they were doing, she yelled “monsters!” So I asked her, “is that what we do to monsters? Kill them?” She responded with a very delighted “Yes!” ran to her room, grabbed her foam training sword, and came back out to watch the rest of the movie.
I fully expect that my daughter will not be afraid of things that go bump in the night when she is older, but will be willing to face monsters, weapon in hand….regardless of who/what those monsters may be.
It’s far too late now to worry about what others are doing. We need to focus on what WE are doing to counter that in our own communities.
3) What (beyond the obvious answer of “more PT”) lessons did you learn in SF that would be more helpful/most applicable to those of us who are non-mil, and who are just just starting out?
A) The Ranger Regiment did more to teach me the incredible importance of PT than SF did, but to your actual question….
My answer is two-fold, but both parts are halves of the same whole. a) I learned that it’s not just about the guy with the gun in his hand. While I “knew” as a junior NCO at the Ranger Regiment, the importance of good support, the culture within the Regiment at the time focused on the individual mankiller. When I got to SF and we would plan for a 12-man team to be thousands of miles from the nearest American, I started learning the importance of having a well-developed support network. I learned the importance of the auxiliary. I learned that as critical as it is to have guys who are willing to look the beast in the eye while they’re shoving cold steel into his belly, it’s just as important to have guys behind him to make sure he has food to eat, more ammunition to feed his weapon, and someone to make sure he’s got a dry place to sleep once in awhile. b) I learned the importance of making sure you can trust those people that make up your auxiliary/tribe. If you can’t trust that they’re going to do their jobs, you’re thinking about things other than the immediate task. If you’re getting ready to slay a dragon with a sword in the belly, the LAST thing you want to be doing is thinking about whether your house is safe. This is why I harp so much on tribes and auxiliary.
SUT and running a gun are not as simple as they are sometimes made out to be, but they are still relatively simple. Learning to organize and operate the support networks to supply and support the dragon slayers is far more complicated and difficult.
4) “…what’s up with the book? Is it a money issue? How much do you need?”
As I mentioned a few days ago, I’ve been suffering from a severe case of “I-don’t-give-a-fuck-itis.” Honestly? Even important shit just doesn’t seem all that important right now. In 38 years on this earth, I’ve had a whopping 5 nightmares, from the time I was a toddler until a couple weeks ago. No PTSD nightmares, nothing….A couple weeks ago though, I started waking up 3 nights out of 4, sometime between 0230 and 0400 from nightmares. Screaming, flailing, the whole nine yards. Then, I can’t go back to sleep. So, I’ve been functioning on a couple hours of sleep a night. Even cleaning up after ourselves has been difficult to work up the motivation to do (I cleaned the house this morning for the first time in three weeks). I went five years without a touch of alcohol, after spending the better part of ten years as a functional alcoholic. About three weeks ago, I started drinking mead. Not a lot. I’ve not been drunk yet, but a glass of mead, a couple of times a week…
So yeah, the book? It’s coming. I’m working on it. It’s just not been as much of a priority as it should have been. The revisions and photographs will be done by the end of February, so it should be available in March. I apologize, wholeheartedly, from the depths of my being, for the inconvenience.
5) My house has been for sale for 10 months we plan on relocating within the continental United States… That being said, I didn’t think we were all here to work out an “exit strategy”. The main purpose I got from this blog, was that this (was) our republic and if we want it back, when the time comes this is the shit we need to do to survive, regroup and take it back to ensure our children and future generations have a United States of America and recognized natural born rights as human beings. Maybe I’m wrong, if so maybe I’m in the wrong place.
Not a question, but I wanted to say, I agree with the sentiments of this comment. The Republic as a whole? Meh…I’m past caring. I care about my community, and the communities where my friends and family live.
6) “What is the airspeed of a laden swallow?”
“IT’S JUST A FLESH WOUND!!!!!”
7)Will it be possible to train some others to help with the classes, so that more classes can be made available at more locations?
A: If anyone ever had any doubts that I’m not in this for money, here’s your evidence:
I don’t need to train others to help teach these classes. There are combat arms veterans, with combat experience, ALL over this country. In your community, and probably within your circle of friends and family, SOMEONE knows someone with recent Afghanistan experience. Find that person, and have them start teaching you and your people weapons craft and small-unit tactics. It’s not rocket science.
Between open enrollment and private classes, I’m doing something like eight classes between now and the beginning of May. If you can’t—or don’t want to—take one of them, go take a class with Max. I’ve not taken one of his classes, but based on his writing, while we disagree on some things, he’s not going to steer you wrong or teach you bad shit. There are lots of places to get the training, besides from me.
Could I teach someone to teach my classes? Yeah, but if they didn’t have real-world experiences, they’re not going to have the frame-of-reference to modify the information to suit your individual needs/environment. You end up, down the road somewhere, but nevertheless…with the strip-mall dojo syndrome, where some dude is teaching mechanics, without understanding the meaning and purpose behind those mechanics, so it ends up being taught as something it was never supposed to be.
8) I am a hunter. This along with livestock slaughter is the limit of my death dealing experience. Probably not all readers are hunters, but most could legally pursue the activity if they chose. I may be taking a leap to assume that you have also hunted meat, but if you have experience with this I would really be interested to see an article discussing relevant skills that can be utilized by the guerilla fighter and which would make for an excruciating death.
A wrestler or judoka gets to train full speed with partners. Knowing which of his sporting habits will get him killed in combat could make the difference.
I’ve read a somewhat negative remark regarding the idea of the country boy sniping with a deer rifle and potential for rapid response from trajectory analysis tech. That really sucks for me and my 3006. Do these skills even have a place?
8B)There’s been a lot of posting recently on Max Velocity’s blog concerning the role of “long range shooting”, and/or the DMR role inside a squad. Having followed your blog for quite some time, I know you are a proponent of closing the distance and working as close as possible to an OPFOR in order to negate indirect fire advantages.
Do you see a role for long range shooting/DMR inside a resistance element outside an urban/built-up environment? If so, how could this be applied?
A: There are applications for the SDM role in UW, absolutely. The negative responses you read are in reference to the idea that a bunch of guys with their deer/elk rifles are the sole answer to things. Even from a “4GW” standpoint, at some point, you have to be willing to close with the enemy and chop his fucking head off, so you can nail it to a tree somewhere. You have to be willing to close the gap in order to burn his house down around him.
One guy with a rifle—even if he is the illegitimate love-child of Sergeant York and Gunny Hathchock—is going to get killed in a hurry, as soon as he tries to pull the lone gunman routine on a team of guys who know how to shoot, move, and communicate, and are willing to close with him, despite incoming fire.
9) I have been looking for a pic or diagram of the “Ranger Taco” and poncho hootch you talk about. Is there an FM or some resource to assist me ? I’m looking to improve my fieldcraft skills in this arena.
A: The 1984 edition of FM 21-75 Combat Skills of the Individual Soldier and Patrolling had at least one illustration demonstrating different ways to set up a poncho as a shelter. I don’t know of any Fms ever that have demonstrated the “Ranger Taco.” I will do an article, with photographs, in the near future on this, since I get asked this so much.
10)As someone who was not allowed into the military(heart disease), what is a good book that details the skills you learned in SF? I’m asking beyond shooting, as in things that are not considered ‘cool’ but helped you in everyday missions/life. Any books you would recommend?
On SF itself, there have been a host of interesting books out, by SF guys, since the beginning of GWOT, that discuss a lot more than just the shoot-move-communicate aspects of the missions, including dealing with the locals.
As far as books that cover basic skills needed in UW, but are not of the gunslinger type?
I like Rob Roy’s alternative construction books, including Earth-Sheltered Houses and Timber Framing for the Rest of Us. I like Eliot Coleman’s books on gardening, like The Winter Harvest Handbook. I like Ray Jardine’s take on ultralight backcountry travel in Beyond Backpacking, as well as Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlins’ Complete Walker IV. I love Wilhelm Gronbech’s Culture of the Teutons for a look at traditional European tribal structure and cultural beliefs. I like Robb Wolf on The Paleo Solution to nutrition. I love Cody Lundin’s work on basic survival. I like Malcolm Gladwell’s stuff on psychology and decision-making.
For fiction, the best trilogy I have read in recent days related to what I write is, ironically, a sci-fi/fantasy/alternative history trilogy by SM Stirling that includes Dies the Fire, The Protector’s War, and Meeting at Corvallis. While the premise is kind of out there, and if you’re very devout Christian, you might not like that one of the protagonists is a Wiccan neo-Pagan, but it is an incredibly well done look at one way society could rebuild along tribal and feudal lines in the event of a mass die-off/grid-down scenario.
I mentioned to someone the other day, that I wanted to do an article that was simply a list of the books on my shelves. Unfortunately, I counted them the other day. Not counting shit still in boxes, we’ve got well over 600 titles on shelves, just in the living room…..
11) Is there going to be ANY way at all to get the e-book at a later date, perhaps in conjunction with the hard copy for a few dollars more??? I for sure want a hard copy but I also travel a LOT and having it on the tablet would be handy…
A: That was not the plan, but I may consider it down the road, if there ends up being enough demand.
12) How does one deal with the threat of gov. drones? How do we detect them, limit their effectiveness, and take then out? I think most guys my age think that on their “farm” up in the mountains they are hidden but you and I both know there are not many secrets from the air.
A: Drones are a serious threat, and a real one. They’re not invincible though. I’ll discuss this more in forthcoming articles, and it gets discussed in classes a lot, but I’m not going into a LOT of detail on the internet. As I’ve discussed before, I still have friends and family engaged in Afghanistan and elsewhere in GWOT. Some things just don’t need to be accessible to the people they are hunting, and if it’s on the internet, it is. I may disagree with aspects of GWOT, but I love my people.
13) Though there is a large community of people online who share my beliefs and have the foresight and motivation to prepare, I am fairly isolated in real life. Between my training years ago and reading essays by Max Velocity and yourself I am well aware of the need for a tribe/group/unit. How would you recommend finding like minded individuals in my (or any) local area and how would you then go about vetting them to insure there is not a mole in the group?
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question and thank you for all you do for our country.
A: Re-read all of the articles on Tribalism and anything I’ve written about auxiliary and network building over the last two years. There are no pat answers to this question. It’s really simply a matter of getting to know people and building real, genuine relationships. There’s no shortcuts, as much as we would all like their to be.
14) Please talk about sling (on rifles) … would like vastly more details than use a two point …
would like info re use (when used … in combat, during patrol, etc. OR only for transition to pistol) …
also would like specific info re measurement of sling … brands recommended, specific set up, how long, etc.
A: I’ll do an article on this too. This week or next. Scout’s Honor!
15) Please discuss link up procedures, sans electronic comms and specifically, trigger events as you see them and procedures. Attached is a doc that’s a draft. It’s drawn from a FM, simply to provide a base document for reference and from which to expand.
We have a lot of folks who have rec’d individual training from you, Max, et al, but seem to have difficulty finding each other once it’s over.
My current POV is it’s nigh unto impossible to write one that covers everyone, without limiting freedom of action within geographical areas, etc. Better to provide a base doc and guidance. Thoughts?
A) I agree with some of the conclusions you made in your attachment. Like the others I made the same cop-out answer to above, I’ll put together an article on my thoughts on this subject. I was working on one before my son was born, so it’s been hard to get back to, but I will get it done, ASAP.
16) How about a tutorial on your load-out kit, somewhat like MV’s take on the battle belt/LBE ?
A: I’ve done a couple in the past, but I need to do another one, as some of my load-out has changed as new things have become available, or I’ve found new ways to use old things.
The purpose behind putting the ball in your court is being achieved. I can write on things all year, but eventually, I need to go back and see what YOUR questions are, just like I do in class (“Does that make sense?”—which itself makes sense if you’ve ever had to suffer through me asking it repeatedly in a class). If it results in follow-on articles, instead of just quick answers, all the better. Keep them coming….via email……