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Campfire Chat

July 29, 2019

Could you have some kind of service where we could pay you for advice? Specifically on fitness/combatives/existentialism/societal issues. I’ve messaged you over Facebook and I feel bad for taking up time that could be spent on helping those closer to you rather than some guy over the internet. It would be a great boon for us to bounce questions off of someone if we have no one else to go to.

My Patreon Page is now active: Mountain Guerrilla Blog
I’ll be honest, even though I already have two tiers listed, I’m not entirely sure how it’s going to work yet. My current plan is that I will continue to post the Campfire Chat and Library posts here each week. The feature article each week will be posted for Patreon subscribers. Once a month, I will pick one of the last month’s articles, and post it here as well.

Additionally, for the second tier of subscribers, my plan is to include an extra article, specific to training issues. I am also working on some smaller book(let) projects. Second tier subscribers will receive free ebook versions of those, when they are done, while first tier subscribers will be able to buy the ebook versions at a discounted price (that having been said, I don’t know when those will be done). Finally, my current plan, for second tier subscribers, is to include my weekly training log, for both shooting and PT, including the results of our weekly range sessions with my people. This should offer a pretty good reference for the kind of PT you should be considering, and give you a wealth of ideas on how to incorporate different drills into your own firearms training.

I would be more than happy to include an extra “Campfire Chat” type article, exclusively for subscribers at the first tier. Maybe we’ll call it “Around the Council Fire” or something…

If the Patreon thing is successful, it will actually force me to start treating this like an actual second job, instead of something I just do for shits-and-giggles, to help folks, in my spare time. The benefit of that, for readers, is it will allow me to actually write the longer, serialized articles, like the one I’m posting tonight, on Retreat Facility Development (the second installment, of course, will be posted to Patreon next week).

Like I said though, I don’t know how it will turn out. I am still doing the twice-a-month subscription drills, and I really haven’t sold enough of those to make it still worth my while. Fortunately for the subscribers though, I committed to continuing it. With Patreon though, since you pay as you go, monthly, if it doesn’t pay enough to make it worth continuing, with the extra work, I’ll just go back to doing the blog here.

And, to be clear, I don’t know “how much” would “make it worth the extra effort.” I just assume I’ll know when my wife starts bitching at me about taking family time away, for inadequate return. She’s a Permie too….”Obtain a Yield.” In fact, she may be more anal about that particular principle than I am. I’m still at the stage where I’m willing to risk new stuff, and roll with the punches if it fails. She gets really heated if we “waste” money or energy trying one of my hare-brained ideas, and it flops.

Regardless of whether you subscribe or not though, thanks for reading the blog all these years.


No doubt that its not just permies and lefties that have the “good savage” delusions. Certainly neocons (in other words neolibs that prefer foreign welfare to domestic welfare) seem to suffer from a similar delusion that all people need is democracy hoisted on them in order to have good societies–as though people are all essentially good and only put upon by the tyranny of a few bad actors. When it seems that societies tend to get the governments that they deserve, and building that social base can’t be done with bombs. This is also why I am skeptical about the long term chances of the US, the social base is severely degraded and continuously so.


Concur. The cognitive dissonance that goes on in the heads of both sides of the voting spectrum in this country must be absolutely numbing.

Of course the flip side is the strict Hobbesian, which is no good because it invites authoritarians, utopians, and social engineers of all stripes to “save” people from themselves. Luckily the US managed to get as its original revolutionaries, men who had a more nuanced and tragic view of life that recognized that the average person tend to be fucked regardless if they are in “nature” or in states. So they designed a system that tended towards doing the doing the bare functional minimum to hopefully provide enough government to avoid the nastiness of primitive violence and promote peaceful trade but to limit the tendency of government to metastasize and concentrate power. Of course, society has greatly strayed from the 18th century, reflected in the straying from the original vision and constitution.

Either way, it seems historically that humans have had deep capacity to visit each other with extreme acts of violence, but people are so removed from it that it is easy to have naive delusions. Perhaps in addition to that is that people confuse harmlessness for being good, and it just so happens that the ease of life in modern industrialized countries makes for a lot of weak, harmless people.


1) This was posted under the screen name “Harmon Wolf,” which I have to say I greatly appreciated! (If you don’t get the reference, go read The Warwolf, that I recommended a couple years ago. You won’t be disappointed.)

2) I discussed this with a friend a few years ago. I think the Hyperborea myths of the ancient Greeks is a reflection of the understanding of this. My contention—which I have to admit the friend in question thought was ludicrous—was that the Hyperborea myth is a cultural memory of pre-civilized Greece, in the collective mindset of the ancient Greeks. The myths of course, reflect on it as a time of enduring peace and prosperity. Even though archaeology tells us that was nonsense, from a tribal perspective, it really wasn’t. Within the tribe, there really was, for the most part, enduring peace. That’s what allowed the tribes to stay together and grow strong enough to expand into what became the founding generations of the different city-states. Sure, they fought, but they really only clashed with those outside the tribe, which means they weren’t really “at war,” because you don’t go to war except with other people. You don’t go to war with the deer you hunt in autumn. You don’t go to war with the raccoon that is stealing your feed corn. I mean, I realize, in the modern vernacular that compares a fucking sports-ball game as “going to war,” people might think they’re at war with the raccoon, but, really? It’s not like the coon is shooting back, is he? He’s not maneuvering against you while his buddy lays down a base-of-fire. And, if you accept the anthropological norm, that the tribe is “People,” and everybody else is “Not People,” then it really was a peaceful time among the people….

Understanding that difference is, I believe, critical to understanding how to deal with the cyberpunk dystopian world we’re experiencing (to borrow a phrase I stole from my buddy, Seth Anderson….and consider that a recommendation to go to Amazon and check out his novels. They’re good! And while he’s a buddy, I don’t like him well enough to recommend his books if they sucked).


Wesley Powell told the PTB’s back in his day that the way to save water going down river wasn’t to build one or two huge damns but rather to build lots of smaller ones as far up stream as possible. Because nobody listened, the Colorado is the most fucked up river on the planet. As to your grounding problem…..use pure copper grounding rods, set them (yeah at least two) away from the house and set lighting rods to them and well as the copper grounding cable from the house, bury that minimum 2 feet deep. the cables from the Ltng rods can actually be strung in the air if you like.

Powell was a smart dude, way ahead of his time in understanding the environmental impacts of fucking with the Colorado River. He was also the dude that tried to convince Congress to break the West into states based on watersheds, rather than the arbitrary-as-fuck boundaries they did develop. It would have made a lot more sense, and probably would have gone a long way to preventing a lot of the problems that arose in the settlement era, that are still being dealt with today.


I can absolutely back of the recommendations of Speed, Power, Endurance by Brian McKenzie and Unbreakable Runner by TJ Murphy and Brian McKenzie. For anyone reading this, back in October I messaged Mr. Mosby over Facebook asking for advice on running programming. By following the 5k plan outlined in Unbreakable Runner, I went from a 20:30 3 mile time to hitting 18:00 for 3 miles in about 3 months.

Convict Conditioning by Paul Wade is also a great read, though you can skip up to the level he calls solitary confinement right off the back. No need to stick to one movement a day. For general weight training, I actually prefer Greyskull LP over Starting Strength, as SS just wore me out too quickly by squatting heavy 3 days a week, not to mention that I had to go up sizes of jeans far too often in order to get my legs into them, while never filling out medium sized t-shirts. T-rex mode is a real thing.

Dude, that’s awesome! Now, go do the 10K program!

I’ve recommended Convict Conditioning in the past, and concur, if a dude isn’t interested in ponying up the money for building a home gym, it’s a good introduction to strength training via calisthenics, instead of just building endurance. I am working on a project that actually combines the exercise progressions from CC with Crossfit-type conditioning WODs. I’m hoping it works on my lab rats as well as I suspect it will.


Down in the south, building the floor off grade with a crawl space underneath helped keep the home cool.

True. Although, something I’ve discovered, since our house is built on piers, that I am slowly filling in between with laid mortar-and-stone (and, for the record, if you plan on putting stone work all the way around the crawlspace of the house….do it right, and build it before you build the house. Doing it the way I am, because I was in a hurry to get the house up and dried-in, is a major pain-in-the-ass), is that, while you’d think it would help cool the house, to have the crawlspace open for breezes to blow through, it doesn’t. It works much, much better, with the crawlspace closed in. I suspect this is because it allows the cooler earth to actually cool the air in the crawl space, which radiates into the floor level. As it is, in the heat, all the cooler air just rises out from under the house, along the edges. Of course, in the winter, it sucks too, because even the slightest breeze sucks away the warmth of the Earth underneath, and replaces it with frozen air beneath your feet.



For everyone to read every so often to make real corrections in their training plans

Keep up the good work.

HHAHAHAHAHA! Awesome! I should’ve posted a link to that a long time ago. Thanks!


About the big dog . Get a Pyrenees . Eat less than any Dobie , Shepherd , or Rott I’ve ever had and I’ve had around 10 of each . Might have to put them up to discipline the kids though . They get real attached to kids and women .

We had a Pyrennes when I was a kid, and my mother has one now, guarding her goat herd. Everything said about them is true. But….my Mastiff has the same protective instinct about my kids. When my oldest was a few years younger, and the dog was still an 80# puppy, I went to swat the kid’s ass. She started screaming, before I even smacked her butt, and that dog cleared the 50’ length of the house in less than three seconds. If my wife hadn’t been standing there, and tackled him when he went blowing by her, I have no doubt that he would have taken a big chunk out of me, even.

Last year, we got done with our weekly training session, and I had a meeting to get to, so I told our guys to go ahead and finish with what they wanted to do, and please put my gear back in the house when they were done, before they left. I neglected to tie the dog up.

I got a phone call about thirty minutes later, informing me that all of my stuff was in one of our guys’ truck, because the dog refused to let anyone near the front door. Now, these are people that are at my house at least weekly. Every one of them has been in my house, and petted that dog while they were in the house. They said though, if they’d have tried, they’d have had to shoot the dog, and they didn’t figure I would let that go without shooting them, so they just hung on to the gear.


(and for anyone who thinks marathoners aren’t running fast, consider this: my cousin runs a sub-2 hour marathon. That’s 13+ miles in less than one hour. At 13 miles per hour, she’d be running a 4 ½ minute mile….)”

That’s an error, she’d be the fastest man in the world.

That’s because I’m a dumbass, that apparently doesn’t know shit about marathons….

So, when I read this, I immediately called my cousin, and asked her about it. After she laughed her ass off at me for about five minutes, and called me a dumbshit a half-dozen times, she corrected the facts for me. “I’ve run three sub-THREE hour marathons, but I’m normally a 3:10-3:30 finisher.”

So, I stand corrected. However, it really doesn’t change my original point (although it does admittedly change the impressiveness of it….) A 3:00 marathon is still a 6.8 minute mile average….and a seven-minute mile is neither slow nor unimpressive, especially for a female runner in her mid-30s….


Do you think it’s a fool’s errand for younger man to pursue occupations/experiences in SF fields and the like these days in the face of all this information? Occupations that to a varying degree prevent building of a tribe and development of your own self-sufficiency?

I fully understand that being selected is being brought into another brotherhood etc.

I wouldn’t say it us a fool’s errand. I learned a lot of valuable things in the SOF world, and experienced a number of things of value.

On the other hand, I was discussing this with a fellow SF veteran, turned preparedness teacher, recently, and he and I had reached the same conclusion: We wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, but we also wouldn’t recommend a young person today enlist.

I had a kid a couple years ago that I was asked to mentor, by a family friend. He was trying to get a SOF contract, and wanted help prepping for it, especially with the physical side of things. I spent the better part of a year prepping him, but I also spent the same amount of time trying to convince him that he didn’t need to go in the military to get what he was looking for. He didn’t go the SOF route after all, but he did enlist, and has been doing exemplary since. Hopefully, he’ll find what he was looking for, and survive the experience.

My policy today is, if a young person comes to me, asking about enlisting, especially in combat arms, I will try to convince them not to enlist, but if they insist they are going to, I will do everything in my means to help them prepare to be the best they can be when they show up at Reception.

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  1. Rusty permalink

    Mr. Mosby,

    How would you advise I get friends and family to become more preparedness-minded? They’re all right-of-center politically, but I think the relative peace and a (albeit ineffectual) Trump presidency has made them complacent.

    I can’t get half the concealed carriers to actually carry their pistol, and forget about a tourniquet or flashlight. I also can’t get 95% of them to even consider going for a ham license. I just know they’ll be panic-buying ammo and talking about SHTF when the next Democrat inevitably gets in the WH. How can I get through to these people to prepare NOW?

  2. Josh permalink

    John, why exactly wouldn’t you recommend some one enlisting in the military at this point in time? It seems that getting the same level of training as people in SF while not being in, would be extremely difficult if not impossible unless one has lots of money and lots of time to pursue the training. Please explain further, thank you

  3. permalink

    Re: Seth Anderson-I went to Amazon and it was mostly non-fiction or by other authors. Could I trouble you for an author page?

  4. deathlydonger permalink

    So you don’t recommend joining up for combat arms experience? Is there a private equivalent or something?

  5. permalink


    Friend of mine shared this with me and I thought it useful:

    “Thought you would like this. It’s from a thread post in the LE section of Pistol-Forum about a training accident and avoiding such incidents. I think we can use this.

    Officers Students are reminded that we can and will kill each other if we fuck this up and complacency will lead to us fucking this up.”



  6. harmon wolf permalink

    Warwolf was a great book–got me interested in making a couple lead-weighted clubs for one thing. I also read a book I saw you mention before, War Before Civilization, that seems to attest to the effectiveness of clubs given the amount of skull fractures evident in historical battle and massacre sites.

    As for the Greek myth (sad to say I had to look it up despite minoring in classics many years ago)–who knows? Certainly oral history can preserve knowledge for long periods of time, I remember reading that Australian Aborigines have oral stories that have confirmed historical basis that go back 10,000 years. Then again, there seems to be something to Jungian archetypes that seem to be less about historical knowledge and more about our neurology and how we process information and assign meaning, which ties into certain almost universal themes in myths and stories. The idea of the past being idyllic and people living in a golden age that is forever lost seems to be repeated in several disparate traditions.

    It could be that the oral tradition didn’t recognize outsiders as people and so didn’t see struggle as battle, but it could also be that in very early times, the in-group was all there was, and people were just too isolated and remote and engaged in the egalitarianism of bare subsistence survival to have significant interpersonal conflict. Look at Cain and Abel, it is literally about brothers, but figuratively about farmers versus herdsmen that resulted in two distinct tribes after the act of original murder; one interpretation is that it is about how kinsmen could become distinct tribes as a result of developing specializations and competing over resources.

    I tried searching for Seth Anderson on amazon but didn’t see any sci-fi stuff along the lines of what you mentioned–apparently it’s a common name.

    One other thing, as a reader without a military background, I find it somewhat difficult to keep up with the host of acronyms in your books. For future editions, would you consider adding a glossary for dummies like me, who get a few pages in and forgets what this or that collection of letters mean?

  7. Hugh G. Rection permalink

    A question for you about building legitimacy in your community. Currently I’m 27 and I’m trying to get members of my church to take looking out for each other more seriously, as in not really using outside sources for labor or expertise. The problem I’m running into is that I think my lack of having a bachelor’s degree or higher is holding me from being taken seriously in a way, as my church as a whole is extremely well educated. I’m considering pursuing an engineering degree in the spring on a part-time basis, even if only for personal development as my employer would pay for it, but I have to wonder if I’m wasting my efforts in terms of building regard for my opinion.
    I already lift, run, ruck, do calisthenics and dry fire daily, shoot twice a week, and am starting BJJ early next month, but it seems like I’m treated as a well-meaning, but ultimately misguided youngster. My question is if I should devote the time and effort into formalized education in order to have legitimate accreditation to my name, which will also be potentially useful, or if I should not waste my time and to simply pursue more practical avenues to building community resilience.
    Also, looking forward to your patreon taking off. I can do second tier without an issue for the quality of advice it will undoubtedly deliver. All the best to you.

  8. Mike M. permalink

    Subscribed to the Patreon Page, read the two articles and eagerly await more. At 73, single and no close by family, I’m seemingly in a bit of a different situation than most of your readers. I have been exercising more, having cut a 1.1 mile walk around the neighborhood down from 20 minutes to 17 min 6 seconds. Now I just need to get my scratched eyeball ‘sculpted’ so I can see iron sights again.

    • James permalink

      Good idea about eye. Are you suburban or rural. Big difference. Walking slow with damaged legs? A gym nearby with some strengthening with weights is good. How is your flexibility and arm strength? Do you have food Food and water for 6 months ? Any weapons? Even Bow and arrows, axe, k bar? Neighbors on speaking terms? If you are void of fire arms and local range? Take a class,rent a 9mm semi auto Springfield or equivalence. After 2,000 rounds you have some competence. Remember Bullets go thru walls and kill. Strengthen your front & Rear Doors. Perhaps wrought iron security doors and lighting your exterior would be beneficial .

  9. James permalink

    Why enlist? Nothing going on in your life?No Plan? High school grades C+ to B+?
    If you: read Military History and politics. Run 15 miles 4x week, ruck 50 pounds 10-12 miles 2x a week. Have 5-6 years of wrestling, MMA, or contact sports (disciplined)? Have 3-5,000 rounds M14, 16 and same with 9 mm & 45? Are you whining to you MOM? Hate people?Drugs? Think a COLLEGE with ROTC. Enlisted ranks can suck when politics has wrecked the world. Maybe Air Force MP, electronics repair, Subs USN?. But grunts, like end of Vietnam in US Army??? Try Geology, diesel repair, Marines (my Dad did 10 the transfer into Air Force) I did Army and college.

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