Warning- Climbing is dangerous and should only be undertaken with the proper equipment and under experienced instruction. The post below is for informational purposes only.

What is Class 4 Terrain?

 

Class 1 Easy hiking – usually on a good trail.

 

Class 2 More difficult hiking that may be off-trail.  You may also have to put your hands down occasionally to keep your balance.  May include easy snow climbs or hiking on talus/scree.

 

Class 3 Scrambling or un-roped climbing.  You must use your hands most of the time to hold the terrain or find your route.  This may be caused by a combination of steepness and extreme terrain (large rocks or steep snow).  Some Class 3 routes are better done with rope.

 

Class 4 Climbing.  Rope is often used on Class 4 routes because falls can be fatal.  The terrain is often steep and dangerous.  Some routes can be done without rope because the terrain is stable.

 

Class 5 Technical climbing.  The climbing involves the use of rope and belaying.  Rock climbing is Class 5.  Note:  In the 1950s, the Class 5 portion of this ranking system was expanded to include a decimal at the end of the ranking to further define the difficulties of rock climbing.  This is called the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS).  The decimal notations range from 5.1 (easiest) to 5.14 (most difficult).  Recently, the rankings of 5.10 through 5.14 were expanded to include an “a”, “b”, “c” or “d” after the decimal (Example: 5.12a) to provide further details of the ranking.

 

Knowledge– Read the following books in this order- Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills (the seminal text on climbing, covers just about everything you’ll need to know), Rock Climbing Anchors: A Comprehensive Guide (specialized text that goes into more detail on anchors than M:FOTH),Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic SkillsAlpine Climbing: Techniques to Take You Higher and Climbing Self Rescue: Improvising Solutions for Serious Situations. All by The Mountaineers Press. After reading, sign up for classes with either the American Canyoneering Association, another accredited course or a very experienced individual. It’s like Appleseed- you can read “Fred’s Guide”, incorporate the lessons into range days and eventually make Rifleman on your own, or you can read “Fred’s Guide” and get hands on instruction from a Red Hat at an Appleseed and progress that much faster (and safer). Climbing Class 4 (never mind Class 5) involves risk due to the fact that you are defying gravity. Never exceed your current capabilities and skills, and leave enough energy in the tank for the descent. 70% of all climbing incidents occur on the descent due to exhaustion and mental relaxation / complacence. The information below is strictly on gear and is no substitute for quality instruction. I reference a lot of Black Diamond gear below, since they are a top manufacturer with a stellar reputation for quality, however any major climbing brand that is CE and / or UIAA certified will be just as good. Avoid “bargains” from unknown companies that do not QA / QC their equipment. Not only only are you “buying cheap and buying twice” you are putting your life on the line with sketchy gear. Spend a little more for quality.

Presently, I have most everything below except the rope, harness, helmet, gloves and anchors. I’ve acquired the gear piece by piece and it has not been a financial hardship as the individual components are relatively inexpensive except for the rope and anchors. For a belay device, I went with the ATC for its simplicity and ruggedness.

 

Belay Device: There are several different types to choose from- Figure 8, sticht plate, tube or “auto blocking”. Used for belaying a lead or second and rappelling.

 

Figure 8– simple to set up and use, unfortunately it will twist the rope to hell and gone. Economical option.

 

Sticht Plate– Old friction device that overcame the limitations of the Figure 8. In certain conditions may not provide enough friction to arrest a fall. Only 2 companies currently make plate devices. Old technology that is fading from use. I recommend passing.

 

Tube– Most popular type is the Black Diamond Air Traffic Controller (ATC). Simple, inexpensive ($20) device, handles a wide variety of rope diameters, non-mechanical and works in almost any environmental condition. Other manufacturers produce similar device types (Mamut, Petzl, etc). Best deal is the “Big Air” combo from Black Diamond, which is a basic ATC and locking asymmetric carabineer for $29. There are other ATC models “Guide”, “Sport” etc, but the basic ATC will do the job.

 

Auto Blocking– See the Petzl “Gri Gri”. Uses a clutch to slow the fall and lock off the rope. This device works similar to your car’s seat belt in that the rope can be fed slowly and smoothly out, but a sudden acceleration or jerk in the rope will initiate the locking mechanism. Mechanical device, only works with certain diameter and sheath material ropes, prone to incorrect rigging and is not idiot proof. Pass

 

Harness– Basic alpine or trad climbing harness should be enough. Purchase in person to make sure it fits. An ill fitting harness is uncomfortable and unsafe. Also recommend one with adjustable leg loops to accommodate a range of clothing options. Two gear loops are just about perfect for Class 4, 4 loops may be overkill. For those younger than 14 or 15, a full harness that attaches at the legs, waist and chest is required since their hips aren’t developed enough to prevent a slip out if they invert.

 

Slings / runners / cordelette– Used to build anchors and reduce rope drag. Get several 30cm, 60cm120cm pre-sewn runners / slings. Also get two 5.5 foot and one 9.5 foot lengths of webbing for building belay anchors. Get two lengths of cordelette (5-7mm accessory cord) for prusik loops used ascending or backing up a rappel. Get some other lengths of accessory cord to supplement slings and runners. Most economical is to purchase bulk spools of webbing and accessory cord and cut to size.

 

Anchors– For my local conditions I would stick with hexcentrics and stoppers. Enough to handle a wide range of crack sizes. Most expensive component in the kit. Your life depends on quality anchors, don’t go cheap. Used can be “ok” if the runners or wire hangers aren’t shot. Runners can be replaced with new slings or cordelette. Wires have to be factory replaced. Each anchor gets its own carabineer to “rack” on the harness’s gear loops and to attach to the runner. Other anchor options include snow stakes, pitons, ice screws, cams, looping a runner around a tree or rock, etc. They are condition dependent, as there probably isn’t anywhere in AZ where you can screw in a 10″ ice screw.

 

Carabineers

Locking– In addition to the locking carabineer for the belay device, have 2 aluminum locking carabineers on hand. For high friction / heat use in a Tyrolean Traverse, use steel lockers. Locking ‘biners are also used as part of the belay / rappel anchor and for backing up a rappel with a prusik loop.

Non-locking– 2 opposite and opposed non-locking carabineers equal 1 locking carabineer. Have enough ‘biners so that each sling / runner / cordelette loop has its own. Use D or asymmetric ‘biners. Oval ‘biners have lower strength since the gate takes the same of impact force as the spine. On a D or asymmetric ‘biner, the spine takes most of the force- if you look at the geometry of the ‘biner you can see how the force is distributed. An aluminum D ‘biner can withstand several more kilonewtons (kN) of impact force than a steel oval. If buying used, look for grooving from the rope, sharp edges, nicks, dings, bends, cracks, etc.

 

Rope: 10mm dynamic rope- here are two examples. A “dry treated” rope is nice, but in AZ, probably not necessary. 60m or 70m are standard lengths. Never buy a used rope. Without knowing how many falls it has taken, or its storage conditions, the rope has an unknown strength rating and should be avoided. New ropes start at around $100 and go up. If you have a rope that is more than 5 years old, it is probably best to retire it from a protection role. Most GI rapelling ropes are “static” and do not stretch when absorbing your impact on a fall. This is bad for two reasons- All the kilonewtons produced by the interplay of gravity, your weight and distance fallen are directly absordbed by your body and the anchor system. This can cause serious internal injuries and may “zipper” your protection out of their placements. Needless to say, this is bad. Dynamic ropes stretch, reducing the force imparted to you and the anchors.

 

Other: For local winter conditions above the snow line, very basic crampons and a piolet are nice to haves that will increase the safety margin. A helmet and belay gloves protect your head and hands and should be worn.

 

Physical Training: Class 4 and higher demands both aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, flexibility and strength training. Both Falcon and The Mountaineers Press have excellent books on climbing PT; I have both and I am drawing from them for my own conditioning routines. The good news is that training for climbing is not limiting. Unlike hard training for cycling, which develops absolute hammers for legs and a rock solid core but neglects the upper body, climbing uses all four limbs and aerobic / anaerobic conditioning. The training regimes listed in both books incorporates aspects of aerobic activities (running, cycling, fast hiking), strength training (weights, pull ups, push ups, core excersises) and flexibility.

 

Mike Vanderboegh penned this awhile back and it still bears repeating.  If you are not reading dusty old tomes and newer books alike to steep yourself in the soft and hard war that is beckoning, you are setting yourself up for failure.  I have been reading Heinlein since I was a wee lad and can’t help but recommend it for young and old alike.  This is the warfare coming to America whether you are prepared or not.  Scroogle or startpage 4GW and you will find countless mountain of information.  In addition to the essay below, I would direct your attention to the bottom for additional reading lists I have posted. -BB

Robert Heinlein: Pioneer Thinker in Fourth Generation Warfare

(Y)ou can forget all that dreck about 4GW and RMA. They are just Madison Avenue terms designed to extract a few more bucks from the taxpayers’ pockets. War has always been about will. Weapons, tactics, strategies are just tools used to affect the enemies will. Of course the ulitmate tool for that is a nuclear weapon. Nothing effects an opponent’s will more than killing him. And rumor has it that the long term effects are just as good as the short term ones. I assure you Custer will never again burn any Indian villages. — Tomanbeg on Strategy Page Military Science Fiction Discussion Board, 26 Sept 2003

“To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

-Sun Tzu, the Art of War

In January, 1941, after the fall of France and almost a full year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a small circulation magazine called Astounding Science Fiction began a serialized story (continued in the February and March issues) credited to “Anson MacDonald.” It was entitled “Sixth Column.”

Its author was in fact Robert Anson Heinlein, from an original idea given to him by Astounding’s editor, John W. Campbell. For the time, it was an incredible piece of work, and amazingly it still stands the test of time on very many levels. Sixth Column was later reissued in hardcover in 1949.

Yet, it was one of Heinlein’s most difficult projects to write, because it was a hand-off story concept and Campbell’s original story idea was light on specifics — especially science and military — and long on anti-oriental racism. It was so difficult that Heinlein never again accepted someone else’s idea as the basis for one of his novels. As Heinlein recalled:

Writing Sixth Column was a job I sweated over. I had to reslant it to remove racist aspects of the original story line. And I didn’t really believe the pseudoscientific rationale of Campbell’s three spectra — so I worked especially hard to make it sound realistic.

In Sixth Column (also known under the title The Day After Tomorrow)the United States has been conquered by the PanAsians, a combination of Chinese and Japanese, who have also taken the Soviet Union and India. In the process, they have developed a credo:

“Three things only do slaves require: work, food, and their religion.”

As Wikipedia notes,

“The book is notable for its frank and controversial portrayal of racism. The conquerors regard themselves as a chosen people predestined to rule over lesser races, and they refer to white people as slaves. . . . They require outward signs of respect, such as jumping promptly into the gutter when a member of the chosen race walks by, and the slightest hesitation to show the prescribed courtesies earns a swagger stick across the face.”

Yet the most heroic action taken by any character in the book is made by Frank Mitsui, an Asian American whose family was murdered by the invaders because they did not fit in the new PanAsiatic racial order. (Frank’s wife was black and his kids of mixed-race.) This was a daring plot element at the time.

And Heinlein does not whitewash his heroes either. The Americans return their conquerors’ racism by often referring to them as “flat faces”, “slanties,” and “monkey boys”. For this reason, Heinlein’s Sixth Column has been denounced as racist by some left-wing critics. It is not. It was, for its time, about as explicitly anti-racist as you could expect.

The Citadel, a top secret research facility hidden in the Colorado mountains is the last remaining outpost of the United States Army after its defeat by the PanAsians. Major Ardmore, sent by the War Department to convey final orders for independent resistance to the lab, discovers that a weapons development accident has killed all but six of the facility’s staff of over 300. The survivors are demoralized and want to quit. Ardmore takes command and soon the survivors learn the principles behind the weapon and how to control it. What they lack, Ardmore is painfully aware, is numbers to wield it in battle but first and foremost, an intelligence network to help them plan a campaign and target the weapon. Today we call this “Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield.” Ardmore finds his intelligence operative in a hobo named Jeff Thomas, a hobo who wandered into the Citadel as the war was drawing to a close.

(Heinlein’s characters draw their strengths from their unlikely life experiences. Thomas has learned from ten years as an itinerant laborer how to move without being seen, how to blend in, how to adapt to changing circumstances and he has the support network of other hobos. In the ruins of civilization, it is those who had the least to lose that survived the best. Perhaps, Heinlein hints, because their minds were already adjusted to dealing in adversity. Likewise, Ardmore is not a West Point trained officer. He is a marketing executive swept up in the war emergency. But this is key to his ability to think unconventionally and find a solution to the problems at hand.)

Robert Anson Heinlein, United States Naval Academy, 1929.

Inextricably linked with the concerns of pitiful numbers and lack of intelligence is the fact that the PanAsians make the Nazis look like pikers when it comes to retaliation against innocents for any show of defiance.

Everywhere (Thomas) found boiling resentment, a fierce willingness to fight against the tyranny, but it was undirected, uncoordinated, and in any modern sense, unarmed. Sporadic rebellion was as futile as the scurrying of ants whose hill has been violated. PanAsians could be killed, yes, and there were men willing to shoot on sight, even in the face of the certainty of their own deaths. But their hands were bound by the greater certainty of brutal multiple retaliation against their own kind. As with the Jews of Germany before the final blackout in Europe, bravery was not enough, for one act of violence against the tyrants would be paid for by other men, women and children at unspeakable compound interest. — p. 32

Once Ardmore is better informed about the conditions outside the Citadel, the more difficult his problem appears. The perfection of the weapon system leads others within the Citadel to want to use it immediately. Ardmore refuses.

Any way he looked at it, simple, straightforward military use of the new weapons was not expedient. Brutal frontal attack was for the commander who had men to expend. General U.S. Grant could afford to say, “I will fight it out on this line if it takes all summer,” because he could lose three men to the enemy’s one and still win. Those tactics were not for the commander who could not afford to lose ANY men. For him it must be deception, misdirection — feint, slash and run away — “and live to fight another day.” The nursery rhyme finished itself in his mind. That was it. It had to be something totally unexpected, something that the PanAsians wouLd not realize was warfare until they were overwhelmed by it.

It would have to be something like the “fifth columns” that destroyed the European democracies from within in the tragic days that led to the final blackout of European civilization. But this would not be a fifth column of traitors, bent on paralyzing a free country, but the antithesis of that, a sixth column of patriots whose privilege it wouod be to destroy the morale of invaders, make them sfraid, unsure of themselves.

And misdirection was the key to it, the art of fooling! — pp. 56-57

Here we have Sun Tzu’s dictum embraced, rather than the attrition warfare expressed by Tomanbeg above. Time and again in the book, the principles of maneuver warfare and 4GW leap from the page.

He realized suddenly that he was thinking of the problem in direct terms again, in spite of his conscious knowledge that such an approach was futile. What he wanted was psychological jiu-jitsu — some way to turn their own strength against them. Misdirection — that was the idea! Whatever it was they expected him to do, don’t do it! Do something else. — p. 199

And this was written in 1940!

As the campaign of psy-war and misdirection continues, Heinlein enunciates another maneuver warfare principle: subordinate commanders, right down to a fire team corporal, are to be permitted and encouraged to think for themselves and act decisively:

Thomas took the report and read it, then nodded agreement. . . “Perhaps we should have given more detailed instructions.”

“I don’t think so. Detailed instructions are the death of initiative. This way we have them all striving to think up some particularly annoying way to get under the skins of our . . . lords. I expect some very amusing and ingenious results.” — pp. 227-228

Finally, as the campaign enters its final hours, there is this:

How much longer, Chief?” asked Thomas.

“Not very long. We’ll let ’em talk long enough for them to know something hellacious is happening all over the country. Now we’ve cut ’em off. That should produce a feeling of panic. I want to let that panic have time to ripen and spread to every Pan Asian in the country. When I figure they’re ripe, we’ll sock it to ’em!”

“How will you tell?”

“I can’t. It will be on hunch, between ourselves. We’ll let the little darlings run around in circles for a while, not over an hour, then give’em the works.”

Dr. Brooks nervously attempted to make conversation. “It certainly will be a relief to have this entire matter settled onde and for always. It’s been very trying at times —” His voice trailed off.

Ardmore turned on him. “Don’t ever think we can settle things ‘once and for always.'”

“But surely — if we defeat the PanAsians decisively — ”

“That’s where you are wrong about it.” The nervous strain he was under showed in his brusque manner. “We got into this jam by thinking we could settle things once and for always. . . We should have known better; there were plenty of lessons in history. The old French Republic tried to freeze events to one pattern with the Versailles Treaty. When that didn’t work, they built the Maginot Line and went to sleep behind it. What did it get them? Final blackout!”

“Life is a dynamic process and can’t be made static. ‘— and they all lived happily ever after’ is fairy tale stupidity.” — pp. 231-232

“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance,” Heinlein tells us in Sixth Column, along with presenting a marvelous tale instructing us in the principles of maneuver warfare and 4GW. And he wrote it in 1940. That in itself is “Amazing.”

Get it.

Read it. You can find Sixth Column at most local bookstores.

Further reading in resistance and rebellion:

https://www.mcu.usmc.mil/lejeune_leadership/Accreditation/Counterinsurgency%20Reading%20List.pdf

Skip is one of my best friends and he is our Village Armorer.  He is quite expert in the technical and arcane aspects of building and maintaining the teeth of Liberty.  He compiled this brief but detailed primer on building one of these handy little rifles.   I am an Appleseed Instructor in the state of Arizona (there are two of us now) and we urge those who wish to husband their ammunition with the prices they command now to maintain their skill set with modified .22 rifles to ensure the edge does not dull for the Riflemen standing up across America.  The main platform we use is the Ruger 10/22 and modify it fairly substantially to better replicate the handling and characteristics of a Main Battle Rifle or Carbine much like the purpose built rifles that festooned colonial mantles in the 18th century here in America.  It is an implied task that once you build the rifle, you go out and practice and become proficient.  While the primer below is by no means exhaustive, it will give you a terrific head start. You will notice some tabs above which speak to the Appleseed program.  I would urge you to explore the RWVA and Appleseed pages and sign up for an event near you. -BB
Yes… we call it a Liberty Training Rifle (LTR)
I would get a M-4-style adjustable stock… my kids are shooting with it completely collapsed, but other people borrow them, so I wanted adjustable stocks.
Here’s a cheaper alternative:
If there are no kids using the rifle, any OEM stock is fine… the iron sights are more important.
The sights are the most important modification you can make to the 10-22… I am a firm believer everyone should learn to shoot iron sights first, and I’m certain I’m preaching to the choir on this: https://www.tech-sights.com/ruger3.htm
I prefer an automatic bolt release, but I don’t like paying the extra cost… here’s were you can learn to modify it using a dremel tool, which is what I do for all my friends that have the 10-22… https://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-auto-bolt-release-170004/
I recommend using the OEM magazines… here’s a cheap place to start, you need at least two per rifle for an Appleseed:
You need an adjustable sling at least 1″ or thicker. I use the standard Garand/M-14 slings:
Lastly, I like an extended magazine release… the newer rifles come with it, but here is an option: https://www.cheaperthandirt.com/58033-1.html
I make my own extended mag release using the hardware that comes with cheap furniture… and screw it into the OEM mag release. I think they are called caming bolts or screws and they look like a bolt, at the tip, then a solid cylinder with a screw head matched to a caming surface… Everytime a buy cheap furniture, they always pack extra and I just keep them in a drawer for anyone that wants an extended magazine release. I drill them into the OEM mag release (cast metal) flat surface until I am through the bolt entirely. The hole needs to be slightly smaller than the bolt threads (doh!) so the bolt can thread into the mag release, but not too small or the screw head will twist off before you have it threaded in. Once in, cut it down to about .60″ to .75″ using a hacksaw and then dress it up using a belt sander. Then cut off the excess threads coming through the mag release until it is flush. If you don’t, or the bolt is left too long, it will not cam far enough to release the mag…

Now, I found this interesting… unnecessary, but cool: https://www.eabco.com/m1_carbine_ruger_1022_tribute.htm

Okay, time for a deep dive into the tactical. The point of departure is this paper by Army Maj. Thomas Ehrhart, Increasing Small Arms Lethality in Afghanistan: Taking Back the Infantry Half-Kilometer (.pdf), written last year at the Command and General Staff College, that says fighting in Afghanistan has exposed the fact that American infantry are poorly equipped and trained for long range firefights. -BB

In Afghanistan, the infantryman’s “weapons, doctrine, and marksmanship training do not provide a precise, lethal fire capability to 500 meters and are therefore inappropriate,” Ehrhart says. Unlike on the streets of Iraq, where firefights were few and were typically fought under 300 meters, insurgents in Afghanistan skillfully use the wide open rural and mountainous terrain to stretch the battlefield. The following excerpt sums it up pretty well:

“Comments from returning non-commissioned officers and officers reveal that about fifty percent of engagements occur past 300 meters. The enemy tactics are to engage United States forces from high ground with medium and heavy weapons, often including mortars, knowing that we are restricted by our equipment limitations and the inability of our overburdened soldiers to maneuver at elevations exceeding 6000 feet. Current equipment, training, and doctrine are optimized for engagements under 300 meters and on level terrain.”

There’s a lot to unpack in this paper, the author gets into the relative merits and disadvantages of the 5.56mm round, reliability of the M4, the rifleman’s standard ACOG site, basic training, adding more marksmen to the squad and even the shortcomings of the standard issue magazines (Magpul gets a real big shout out for their PMAG M4 mag replacement). He concludes that only with significant changes to training, doctrine and weapons will infantry be able to engage targets out to 500 meters.

“In the table of organization for a light infantry company only the six –M240B 7.62-mm machineguns, two– 60-mm mortars and nine designated marksman armed with either 7.62-mm M14 rifles or accurized 5.56-mm M16A4’s rifles are able to effectively engage the enemy. These weapons systems represent 19 percent of the company’s firepower. This means that 81 percent of the company has little effect on the fight. This is unacceptable.”

I’m going to get into a number of these points throughout the week, but first off, I want to get into Ehrhart’s description of meeting engagements in Afghanistan and the standard U.S. tactical response. “The enemy travels light and employs supporting weapons from standoff, to include mortars and medium machineguns. Faced with these conditions, the modern [U.S.] infantry attempts to fix the enemy with direct fire and use supporting assets to kill the enemy,” he writes.

https://www.captainsjournal.com/2010/03/08/taking-back-the-infantry-half-kilometer/

I have often had a sneaking suspicion that big business is a creature and consort of big government. As Armentano has taught us, monopolies cannot exist absent government intervention to erect legal barriers to competition. It is becoming increasingly evident that this may be truer than I initially suspected. A revolution is brewing in people’s homes and garages. The DIY craze that has always been an American preoccupation is coming back with a vengeance in these challenging economic times. I found the following article instructive. -BB

The Revolution in a garage...

The door of a dry-cleaner-size storefront in an industrial park in Wareham, Massachusetts, an hour south of Boston, might not look like a portal to the future of American manufacturing, but it is. This is the headquarters of Local Motors, the first open source car company to reach production. Step inside and the office reveals itself as a mind-blowing example of the power of micro-factories.

In June, Local Motors will officially release the Rally Fighter, a $50,000 off-road (but street-legal) racer. The design was crowdsourced, as was the selection of mostly off-the-shelf components, and the final assembly will be done by the customers themselves in local assembly centers as part of a “build experience.” Several more designs are in the pipeline, and the company says it can take a new vehicle from sketch to market in 18 months, about the time it takes Detroit to change the specs on some door trim. Each design is released under a share-friendly Creative Commons license, and customers are encouraged to enhance the designs and produce their own components that they can sell to their peers.

The Rally Fighter was prototyped in the workshop at the back of the Wareham office, but manufacturing muscle also came from Factory Five Racing, a kit-car company and Local Motors investor located just down the road. Of course, the kit-car business has been around for decades, standing as a proof of concept for how small manufacturing can work in the car industry. Kit cars combine hand-welded steel tube chassis and fiberglass bodies with stock engines and accessories. Amateurs assemble the cars at their homes, which exempts the vehicles from many regulatory restrictions (similar to home-built experimental aircraft). Factory Five has sold about 8,000 kits to date.

One problem with the kit-car business, though, is that the vehicles are typically modeled after famous racing and sports cars, making lawsuits and license fees a constant burden. This makes it hard to profit and limits the industry’s growth, even in the face of the DIY boom.

The rest of the story:

https://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/01/ff_newrevolution/all/1

Linda was kind enough to respond to the MZB article two weeks ago in her inimitable and prodigious style. Where she finds the time to pen these insightful ripostes, I don’t know. I take minor issue with the readiness condition of “Erma” but Linda provides yet another mountain of food for thought. -BB

A great article, even though I think you were over-intellectualizing MNBZ. I saw that first in Lights Out, I think, and supposed it to be meant as an amusing quip of the sort people under stress come up with. I like your presentation better.

Yes, the hatred and the anger show more every day, but the ones who are going to be most riled up haven’t felt the pinch yet because they are living as they always have on food stamps, their families, and/or the proceeds of crime. At present we’re the focus of those who have finally exhausted all sorts of “unemployment compensation,” or didn’t qualify for it or any other sort of statist largess. Preppers turn away some of the anger by babbling cheerfully about family reunions, office picnics, bake sales, and anything else we can come up with to explain why our carts are full. It is demeaning, annoying, and the better part of wisdom.

We have times when we’d like to read the riot act about how we have worked and saved to be able to take care of ourselves and we refuse to feel guilty because the world is full of grasshoppers. We don’t like to think about the reaction of those great big famished grasshoppers, and can only determine to become fire ants. Try as we will, it is very difficult to keep family, friends, neighbors, and workmen from noticing that we seem to have ample supplies of many things, even when we unload after dark or at times when there are few around. My first project as soon as Spring settles in is the long-overdue task of preparing caches.

This will play out in phases, supposing we don’t get nuked in five cities or the dollar isn’t crashed suddenly (note the verb form I just used; this could be inadvertent or deliberate, and it will make a difference.) We can expect a build up in anger, frustration, and violence while the Statists claw desperately to stave off disintegration–and/or declare martial law. The better part of valor will be to stay tucked up safely where we are as long as we can, or take the plunge and get our families moved to our chosen locations. It will be no time to run to the grocery store casually even when there are still items on the shelves. This will definitely be a time for a low profile–at least until we see if some miracle will calm things down. My children are pledged to head home–my son, unfortunately, is in Seattle–the moment I tell them to leave or when the first city anywhere goes up in flames. Andrew has made reasonable preparations and worked out three routes and chosen his companion. Madre, as he calls me, has pitched in some lovely goodies.

Eventually the 18-wheelers which carry supplies will slow or cease, and the three-day supply of food in the cities will be exhausted. There is slightly more in small towns but only because delivery is expensive. At that point those of us who are unable to be as far away from “civilization” as we would like will have to flee, temporarily, taking as much of the dense preparations we have made but haven’t gotten cached with us as possible. I applaud your decision to take the back side of the mountain and have a well drilled. Moving your stores out there will be a dreadful task, and I’m sure it has occurred to you not to make a visible trail during your many trips. Remember to filter your smoke through trees or some other baffle, and pay attention always to which way the winds are blowing. Hungry people have very good sniffers.

I have an, um, “internal check” on how bad the situation is. It is very late, the hands are in their quarters, and MDC (sorry; “my darling Charles”) is slumbering peacefully. I can see two external doors from where my computer is located, but those aren’t locked because my ancient rescue dog likes to go out frequently. “Erma” is stashed out of sight but available quickly. The important part is that she is loaded but not on safe and there is not a round chambered. If invaders burst in suddenly I won’t get a shot off, and will feel extremely stupid as I die. However, the dogs and chickens are sleeping, as well, but they are very aware of sounds at all time. Mostly, it isn’t tense enough nationally; I don’t need to worry about rough, hairy strangers and Tuller Drill range. Yet. MY personal signal will be the day Erma is ready to fire instantly. If it gets to the point of anticipating unwelcome company, it will be time to get plans for the next phase implemented.

Like you, I have lots of “stuff,” but I also have ample preparations for BO/GOOD, including the ability to transport a great deal. My plan is to slide gently out of the way into deep cover and let the locusts flow out over the land. I can’t defend what I have against crowds that could number in the hundreds or even thousands. I dislike this intensely but it simply isn’t practical to attempt to sell on a bad market, lose a devastating chunk on 3/4 or more of what I get to capital gains, try to buy land farther out, and move everything. All we can do is weigh the risks and then accept what we have to work with. I know how many drivers I will have, and motor homes for all except the one who will be hauling cattle. Anyone who doesn’t think I’ll load goat girls and chickens into our 40 foot, forty-year-old Greyhound bus which was built as a motor home doesn’t know my determination! The girls will be fascinated. If there isn’t time for enough trips to move cow critters–and we must expect that there may well not be–all we will be able to do is haze them deep into the woods and hope the mighty hunter types don’t shoot at them. Hunters? Bah. I am very scathing about those who sit in blinds and shoot deer who come up to feeders they use year ’round.

There will be a scary, uncomfortable period involving privations such as no hot food (delicious odors travel far), no cigarettes (ditto), no noise (no generators for heat or air conditioning) and no light at night unless our blackout provisions are successful. Go to ground and wait out…oh, three weeks at a guess? How long will it take most to die from exposure, violence, disease, lack of water, and so forth? Six weeks until the prepared and the most ruthless are the preponderance of those left standing?

Eventually we will be able to return to the ranch…and all of us had better prepare mentally to find a lot of useless destruction. At the very least everything left in plain sight will have been stolen or battered or smashed in senseless rage, and we’ll be lucky if the mobs and gangs haven’t burned houses and crops. If it happens soon no crops will be sown, and our fields and gardens will be at risk constantly up until harvest is over. How naive city people can be! They don’t get it that there is only one corn crop a year and that it takes nine months for a cow to reproduce. True, she can be milked 300 of those days, but only if it is done regularly.

It may take as much as several years to subdue the stronger gangs, and there is always the possibility that the National Socialists will clamp down hard and strip us of everything under Executive Order 11921…or shoot us, or throw us into concentration camps.

It is going to be the South all over again after the march to the sea. With preparation, care, and luck, some of us will survive to start over. We will deal with a variety of evolving social orders on a local scale…there are myriad possibilities, all fraught with danger. Anthrax, suitcase bombs, the sort of behavior typical of Rita and Katrina, Kristal Nacht, a Reichstag fire, we can’t call at present which butterfly will cause our world to fall apart.

The best my analysis foresaw nearly four years ago was The Greater Depression. I expect something more on the lines of “civil unrest” or dictatorship. We all know we can’t fight armies (Well, all except James Wesley Comma etc.!) Depending upon the location, strength, determination, and alertness of our individual preparations we may come through fine. My “wild cat” back up plan is that once more things will stabilize, that this will be “just another bump in the road.” In that case, eventually the ranch will at least pay taxes, expenses, and for a live-in manager and his wife until my children want the place decades from now. They’re great young people, and while they think Mama is crazy, they recognize that I am happy puttering with goats, cows, horses, chickens, and greenhouses. They were happier before I sold the MacMansion (which didn’t have a mortgage on it, praise be to God) and turned it into livestock, farm machinery, and, uh, so on.

Anyone who doesn’t have food for at least three months is living a pretty, probably fatal, fairy tale. My definition of the new luxury is, “Sustainable supplies of food and energy and the ability to protect them.” Laughter…at this point luxury is knowing what will be for dinner tomorrow in the sense of we have made plans and don’t have to think of what we would like. The day is coming when luxury will be knowing what is for dinner tomorrow night. Call me a pampered elitist, but my idea of a good answer to that question is not “Whatever sort of MRE I can steal,” or “Dinner will be ready in six months when that chick you’re looking at is big enough to broil, plus half an hour for me to make smashed potatoes and cream gravy, supposing there are any potatoes ready to dig.”

I wish I thought your estimate that one in ten is preparing is accurate. If you can back that up with figures it would soothe some of my anxiety. My guess is probably less than two per cent. Probably much less than that. I know a lot of people who talk about it, and there are a lot of blowhards out there spouting, “They’ll take my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.” The problem is that there will be vast numbers of those who already think any excuse to riot is a good one, the newly desperate, and those working towards a depopulated world in chains who will be glad to take their guns on those terms.

Good luck to all of you, and keep on prepping.

Regards,

Linda Brady Traynham

Linda and I are friends and I love her writing. She subliminally channels the connection between slavery and the state; the confluence between abolition and the necessary move toward secession. This is a divorce from evil and tyranny, the very muse which caused me to start the site in the first place. Read and enjoy. -BB

Shooters, Ron Holland is the most reading fun I’ve had since discovering C. S. Stirling, and a couple of more articles like the last two may set that mark back to C. Northcote Parkinson. Dear glory, a man who writes elegant prose, has a brilliantly logical mind, and understands the true causes of the War of the Rebellion?! I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he keeps goats, smokes, and had served with the French Foreign Legion or with our guys in Viet Nam as a gunny, making him practically perfect if anything happens to my darling Charles. (I know…odd, the things ladies find attractive…)
Ron also introduced a subject I have been itching to discuss here for at least six months, bless him.
Strangely enough, given that paean, I’m going to begin by disagreeing with my new candidate for hero. He wrote, “We need to forget the causes of the earlier War Between the States, regional differences, slavery, tariffs and other related issues.”
No, no, dear man, we must not forget the causes of the First War of the Rebellion because we are still at odds over precisely the same issues. We still have very strong regional differences and an even larger one of city rats and illegals vs. country mice; slavery now comes in the form of wage and welfare plantation, tariffs are still a big issue (see my modest archived discussion of the nasty jump in the price of tires), and consider that now, as then, the root cause was a corrupt, big money-controlled Congress that had out-run what it could confiscate from the citizens easily. Two ways of solving the problem occurred to the in-crowd back then, the first being to declare that the western border of the US was the Mississippi River permanently and pluck those caged off at their leisure, while the second was to conquer and rape the Southern states which were the wealthy area at that time.
No contest.
A population-dense industrial nation expected to find the less-populated agrarian portion of the nation far easier pickings than they turned out to be, a mistake Washington continues to make in backwaters ranging from Viet Nam to Afghanistan.
Slavery was being phased out as quickly as was feasible primarily because slaves are the most expensive–and least productive–form of labor, and let us not forget that all of the slavers were Yankees, who not only had virtually all the shipping but a great many slaves themselves. Yankees are the ones who came up with a solution to King Cotton’s demand for employees; we didn’t like it, but we had no alternative; everybody down here was already working. Lincoln’s (in)famous “Emancipation Proclamation” didn’t free a single slave in Yankee-held territory and it didn’t free any in the South at the time, either. I am not a fan of the original Illinois politico (or any of his successors), and Lincoln used the slavery issue cynically for emotional effect and spin. READ his opinion of blacks; it is well documented. (Ronald and Donald Kennedy’s The South Was Right is meticulously documented and official correspondence between Lincoln and his generals will turn your stomachs. Their idea, carried out brilliantly in war efforts and “Reconstruction” was to beat the South so far into submission that it would never recover. They were quite successful.) Ah, yesss, the Rothschilds and similar friends have made out well for centuries by funding both sides of wars while Krupps et al. provided munitions to both combatants and both stirred up conflict. That’s why I suggested investing in “defense” stocks in “Juggling Act.”
There is, indeed, a large and growing feeling that fiscal and cultural sanity can be regained only by going our separate ways. North Carolina has a vigorous movement, as do other South’n states and the Montana-Idaho-Wyoming-Utah area, and even Hawaii wants Liliuokalani’s throne and Iolani Palace back. (Chuckle…I say give it to ‘em. An island kingdom 5,000 miles from anywhere that has been firmly under the control of Democrats and the Japanese for half a century is something we need to support about as much as we do southern California.)
There is a very easy, obvious solution to getting the ball rolling, and if there is anything we have an amplitude of at present it is snow, literally and figuratively.
We start with the Republic of Texas.
Pay close attention now, because the facts I am going to give you–and they are facts–are not in any of the history books the winners have written for 150 years. Gentle smile…sounds like a good anniversary to celebrate, to me. Quite a few states would like the simple no-fault divorce the South asked for last time, but Texas has an advantage. We’ve only been living in sin all these years. That’s right: we weren’t married, or, to stop being colorful, Texas has never been a legal part of “those United States.”

1. The Republic of Texas is not, has never been, and could never have been admitted legally to the USA. There is no provision in the Constitution for annexing or admitting another nation. True, there was an unconstitutional Bill drafted to do so, but it has been buried in committee for many a long decade and had a time clause in it. No one has ever dared bring it out for obvious political reasons.
2. Our flag does not fly at the same height as that of the US in recognition of the fact that we “were” once a sovereign nation or to advertise a failing amusement park, Six Flags Over Texas, but because we are still one, albeit under occupation since about six months after the rest of the South submitted. (I started to replace “one” with a more precise “sovereign nation,” but realized that our capitol, Austin, is also a failing amusement park. And we still went into the present deepening depression last and have felt the effects least.)
3. Our current Capitol building was constructed in 1939, and in the Great Rotunda is an enormous, splendid marble and brass mosaic that proclaims proudly “The Republic of Texas.” Once again, that wasn’t “history,” it is how a lot of us see the matter. Confederate General Albert Sydney Johnston reposes in the adjoining cemetery. That was when what you think of as the “Texas” flag was foisted upon us. The true Republic of Texas flag, the Burnett, a single golden star on a field of blue, flies in front of the ranch house and quite a few other places. I don’t tilt at windmills or I would prepare a brochure to hand yahoos who fly the US flag above the false flag on a single pole.
Hopeful look. Is anyone expostulating, “Now, Mrs. Traynham, all of that was long ago and isn’t relevant?”
How relevant are treaties–nations deal with each other by treaty, as you should have learned in Civics classes, if those are still taught–between the Republic of Texas and the US? How relevant is the decision of a Federal Judge? He takes himself pretty seriously and as far as I know he is still behind the bench over in West Texas. Is 2004 recent enough for you?! Yes, indeed, you may not have heard about it through the MSM, but in this century that splendid gentleman ordered the Feds “to cease and desist hostilities against the land and people of the Republic of Texas.” The Washington gang didn’t do it–regulations and taxes being very hostile, indeed, to say nothing of troops quartered on our soil–but they went back to D. C. a very unhappy bunch.
Some of you have read my remarks about the project I was engaged upon when I realized we had better shelve it because my analysis said that we were going to have either The Greater Depression or dictatorship before we completed the last two steps (three, if you count a wide-spread education effort) to free our nation. The RoT was it. I had reached the point of preparing a packet for volunteers covering the twenty top concerns of most citizens, and in every instance the answer is “Restore the Republic.” If it will amuse you, send me your question on how an independent Republic of Texas operating under a real, unsullied Constitution would improve the lives of all those who are honest, law-abiding, hard-working, and oppressed under current conditions.
Take heart, America, in how close we are. ALL that need be done is a Resolution from the Legislature calling for a public vote on the matter, and to conduct that vote. If we have a successful outcome Texas will cease to be a “for profit corporation” subsidiary to the for profit corporation known as the federal government. (Look them up in Dun & Bradstreet, along with the Federal Reserve.) We will revert instantly to the 1837 Constitution which has been updated very slightly and quite legally to allow suffrage for females and non-whites. Well over a hundred taxes and millions of pages of regulations will be rendered null and void immediately. (One slight problem is to keep the first Legislature elected and sworn in from restoring a bunch of in-crowd regulations wholesale and thoughtlessly. See Tex Norton’s upcoming article on how and why regulations are promulgated.)
The new President–who will not be the current governor unless he or she runs for that position and wins–will have a mansion and a salary of $10,000/year! The cream of the jest is that the new Legislature cannot raise salaries effective during their terms of office. We’ve got good stuff in our Constitution. For another example, it says simply that we have to come up with a plan to educate children, and it doesn’t say a thing about forbidding prayer or teaching fifth- graders the joys of sex. I’ve got a great plan for educating the children; I figure I can volunteer to be Secretary of Education and have all half dozen choices parents will have up and running in two weeks, at which point I will resign. No salary, no staff, set it up and let it work from home-schooling to on-line schooling to private schools to smiling sweetly and telling local neighborhoods that if they want traditional “free” neighborhood schools, by all means fund them out of their personal budgets no longer subject to income tax, sales tax, gasoline taxes, cigarette taxes, or property taxes. Nothing in life is free, people.
We have just a few possibilities for President that a lot of Texans (or “Texians,” in ancient parlance) might be excited about, including Dr. Ron Paul and a conservative writer who has a ranch not far from mine, a fellow named Chuck Norris. It could be that Ross Perot could make a comeback, I suppose…
If you look at the Red vs. Blue map you will discover–no surprise–that the Bluebellies hold the major cities and the area which has been invaded by Mexicans. The Red has everything else. Yes, we tend to vote Democrat but that is ancient rebellion against “the party of Lincoln.” In all save the big cities we’re a conservative, old-fashioned, pretty self-sufficient bunch. When I was a girl we called ourselves “conservative states-rights Democrats” rather than Republicans to differentiate ourselves from the “Progressives.”
We have a year before the next Legislature meets, and a useful pastime will be seeking candidates who are receptive to the notion of disentangling ourselves from an arrogant, oppressive government (two of them, actually), and starting over. Reclaiming our freedom is do-able. If I hadn’t thought so I wouldn’t have spent over a year working out details.
If we gain our independence again Texas will become, overnight, the ninth richest country in the world. Not only can we claim a 200-mile limit for oil exploration through international law, but we have a Supreme Court Decision that says the same thing–and the railroad commission controls such funds with schools having first call. There will be lots left over. We have deep water ports and nuclear facilities, tourism, wineries, and many miles of golden corn we won’t turn into Ethanol. We have plenty of gas and sweet, light crude left; the problem at present is Greenie legislation and transportation to refineries, which we also have. Texas has far more than our “fair share” of small farms and ranches, major universities, superb medical and vetinerary schools, and our own distinctive culture. There isn’t any good way for the US to pack up a few handy airbases when we toss their minions over our borders with jovial civility. We have the only independent power grid and several vast wind farms. We even have salt domes which hold “strategic reserves,” although my numerous oil friends tell me that it will be a miracle if 25% of the contents can be recovered, and Washington can try suing us in our courts if it wants first dibs on them.
Courts? Our Constitution calls for a series of common law courts. To simplify, all that is needed to try most cases is an elected Judge/Justice, half a dozen citizens gathered at random, no lawyers allowed, and the decision of the Jury is final. No lengthy waits, no incessant appeals…and one of my bright little ideas is that we outsource prisons for anything more complicated than sleeping it off over night in the drunk tank to Mexico. This would be extraordinarily cost-effective (not that the Republic of Texas Constitution calls for coddling criminals and terrorists, and it certainly does not mandate “Miranda” warnings), and most instructive. Mexican jails are exceptionally unpleasant places, that being the point of incarceration. Recidivism rates for the survivors should be very low; in addition being sentenced for crimes of violence will carry automatic revocation of citizenship if some of us persuade the rest. Let those who are inclined moan over lousy childhoods and evil companions elsewhere because real Texans believe we are responsible for our own actions. Golly…that would mean we didn’t need parole boards or parole officers, either, further reducing the payroll…and our stance will be that Social Security checks–but not taxes–will be enforceable contracts between the US and citizens of the Republic of Texas. Our Constitution calls specifically for minting our own gold and silver money–and the first serious country to revert to the gold standard will have a commanding role in world politics. Everything that needs doing can be funded handily by a 15% tax on non-resident corporations and a 10% tax for two years on those who apply for citizenship.
The breakup of any long-term relationship is at best painful and expensive. At worst it is messy and violent. The advantage the North held last time in terms of armaments was nothing compared to the current disparity between citizens and governments the Founding Fathers dreaded would come to be. Last time, until “we” had access to arms captured on the field of battle, fortunate Southerners used the accurate sniper rifles made by Whitworth, in England, while Lincoln had the precursor to the Winchester, went to the trials for the Spencer repeating rifle and got it into the field, as well as the Colt revolving rifle, Sharps made his sniper guns, and he had Dahlgreens and Parrot to cast canons. A descendant of Dahlgreens’ technology of exterior banding to strengthen barrels is in use currently. Texas is at the same apparent disadvantage multiplied many times.
Think long and well, fellow citizens, before deciding that we cannot, in conscience and in self-preservation, do other than echo Patrick Henry. IS life so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!
Those are the words which preceded “As for me, give me liberty or give me death.” It is highly unlikely that Pharoah will let the people go in peace this time, either. It is certain that should hostilities develop once again those who do not care one way or the other will be caught in the middle. Yes, I agree with Mr. Holland that secession is the most efficient way out of the fiat currency mess and many others, but I cannot see it as an “easy” way out. I must point out as calmly as one can say such a thing that a government which staged the tragedy at Waco under the code name “Operation Showboat” might well not eschew a homegrown version of Tienamen Square if it feels threatened.
Despite the strictures of Janet Napolitano and her ilk I do not regard myself as a Bible-thumping, gun-toting domestic terrorist. I love my country and I love our heritage. A primary reason I write is because those of us who can see most clearly what American can be do so from firm grounding in what America was. If left to my own devices I would raise cattle and goats, be happy, and do private charitable good works. All I have ever asked is laissez faire and common sense.
A diplomatic solution is at hand; all the Feds have to do is abide by the court order while we have our vote unsupervised and we will all see whether ending our version of apartheid could be a rousing success. There are at least face-saving legal grounds for acquiescing while Texas and Hawaii strike out on their own. Perhaps, given a fair vote, the preponderance of citizens will come down on the side of enormous, intrusive government. A lot of us have the nerve to put the issue to a test.
Still, I fear that the growing call for secession is on the order of nuclear deterrence, which thus far has deterred nothing but nuclear wars. Heavy sigh…we’re talking about a different sort of nuclear fission, the desire of the nucleus to throw off the useless atoms which have attached themselves to our core principles. I’m no Neville Chamberlain, but the wrath of those who hold the US Constitution prisoner must be taken seriously. That is a question for individuals, whether or not “we hold these truths to be self-evident.”
Sober regards,

I thought this was exceptionally well crafted by the author. He poses in stark and rather alarming terms the framework the Doomsteaders will face in the comping collapse. We have existed in a society for so long informed by the creed of living on other people’s wealth without their consent for so long that any patina of self-determination and pride in self-provision has vanished for all but a few. This will be yet another rumination to put in your already full kit-bag as we prepare for the inevitable calamity known as the fall of these united Sates. -BB

MZB! Those three letters are enough to put a healthy dose of doom-enriched fear into any well prepped doomer right? It took me a while just to learn what those letters meant; when I did finally look them up in the acronym appendix of the doomer’s bible I was silent. Mutant-Zombie-Bikers? What kind of fantasy freak group was I associating myself with? I just disliked the term because I couldn’t get over the strange thoughts being conjured up in my head of a pack of deranged bikers on dirt bikes, old Harley’s, quads, you name it with bleeding flesh and hollowed eyes all coming to attack us after a collapse. We would be all snug and happy in our doomsteads and BOLs but these MZBs would seek us out to destroy us. So yeah, I just couldn’t deal with the term and didn’t care for it much because it was too abstract and unrealistic.

As time went on and my doomerish view of the world became more and more into focus I kept revisiting the MZB concept. What if the zombie in them didn’t refer to some ghoulish character but rather someone who had lost everything and gained the 100 yard stare? Someone who has lost all sense of purpose but still feels the need to move forward? What if the mutant part referred to the transformation some unprepared over-suburbanized schmuck goes through as they realize everything they had worked for, all their competing with the Jones’, all their mass consuming waste was all for naught and now had nowhere to go, nothing to live off of, and no knowledge of how to begin to survive? What if the biker part didn’t represent the biker gangs of today but rather the same misguided victim of suburbia taking their hobby bike with the last bit of gas and hitting the road in search of food for their overweight, weak, and defenseless family to never return? What if a MZB is simply a former misguided suburbia rat who is now discovering what it means to live and is angry at himself, angry at the world, and especially angry at those who are living a more comfortable post-collapse existence because they were prepared?

As we move closer to the point where a total societal breakdown occurs one way or another it will become very apparent who is prepared and who isn’t. My head has been filled with fantasies that when the day comes when anarchy dominates over civilized life that those who weren’t prepared would be begging for help, doing anything they could to survive, but for the most part not resorting to violence. I stand corrected.
A casual dinner visit with some close friends was my point of awakening to how ugly everything will be. We were having beers and discussing how we keep getting warning article after warning article but nothing ever happens. Something commonly discussed here. We are tired of the warnings; we are tired of prepping for something that will never come; we are starting to not believe that there will be a collapse. At this point the brother of my friends comes in. He had been a former employee of mine during a construction project five years ago. During that there had been a conflict whereas he thought he was owed more for his efforts than we had paid him (bonus pay). Over the years it had seemed this rift had healed. He joined the conversation and then boldly stated, “if there is a day like you guys describe then I’ll just hit the road and take whatever the f*** I want. I’ll finally get to get back all that the rich f***s like you have taken from me! F*** you rich bastards! You guys have only gotten ahead because of the sweat from people like me! The day you describe when payback will finally be here!”

We just sat there stunned! I had never considered myself rich. I had started my business with maxing out one credit card, buying used salvage equip and rehabbing it, and sold off all my furniture to buy opening inventory. I worked over 80 hours a week for the first several years while working another full time job. For all of the risk, hard work, and sacrifice for 10 years we make a nice comfortable living; my friends I was visiting had worked equally hard towards becoming a professor. All this time my friends brother was partying, in and out of jail, playing, playing, playing but now as he has nothing and we are comfortable there is an incredible anger and rage within him! Behold the birth of a MZB!

I don’t know why but that moment brought together a flood of memories over the past few years of isolated events that I put no thought into. Working in the garden while a pickup truck of loud and obviously drunk guys driving by along the irrigation ditch road, as I looked up they flipped us off yelling obscenities; being threatened by employees that were being fired; being flipped off and cussed at by the low rider crowd (Bienvendos a Nuevo Mexico). All of a sudden what I thought were isolated incidents of angry individuals not to be taken seriously transformed into everything I thought that MZBs could never be.

The day is coming when the collapse does occur and that day will represent freedom by all those who have not prepared and those who have not been fortunate to make it. That day will represent the day that they can begin exchanging their anger for all the pieces we prepared ones have carefully put away safe and sound. There will be no begging for help by those angry hordes; we will be the ones begging for mercy as we give up all we worked so hard for and thoughtfully put away. These people who you see now at the bar at 5, those people you see wasting their few dollars on the bread and circus shows like Nascar races, football games, strip clubs, malls; those people that have invested more money into their vehicles than their vehicles are worth with stereos, chromed rims, oversized exhausts, etc.; it is these people that are the ones who we will be fearing. They have been undergoing a professional training in instant gratification and the day of collapse will be the moment when the supermall of mass instant gratification opens its doors: That supermall will the homes of the prepared.

Are you ready for that day? I know I’m not. I have plenty of supplies, firearms and ammo, water, fuel, you name it but I am not ready to defend it from masses of the angry hordes staking claims on all we have worked for. The day I saw the rage in my friends face I realized I wasn’t ready. I had considered needing to defend myself from some abstract threat as foreign and vague as the term MutantZombieBiker; I hadn’t considered needing to defend myself from what I bet is 85% of the mass population.

What happens when collapse comes and total anarchy let’s go and you are one out of 10 families who is prepared and able to be comfortable. My 6+months of food, water, fuel, ammo will be taken by force and I will only be hoping that my family isn’t brutalized. Take a piece of paper; make a grid of 3 dots by 3 dots. The dot in the center is you; the dots surrounding you are your unprepared neighbors who have always waved hello but who now realize you have what they need and are pissed off that you unfairly sacrificed your wages and effort to be prepared while they partied and played. You will not hold these people off at bay whether you are surrounded by 10 acres or are smack in the middle of suburbia. The only way you stand a chance is to begin converting those surrounding dots into equally prepared families who will stand strong with you. The problem is that each one of those families will have friends or families who will ultimately not have any preps and will come to claim their share and consequently part of your stores.

In the past year I have moved from NM to a smaller CO town. I was on the verge of making a decision on buying a property. One is 40 acres right on the edge of town but with a running water source and good farmable land. The other is 5 acres and a nice house with greenhouses shops, a creek, and several outbuildings where a doomer could survive so easily but is right in town. The third is 40 acres on the backside of a mountain overlooking town and has no running water, is completely undeveloped, 4wd access, and surrounded by eight other 40 acre parcels. One realization I had, is that those unprepared masses , are inherently lazy; they are unprepared because they refused to put in the extra effort to become prepared. It is the ant vs. grasshopper fable in the classic sense except the grasshopper will be armed and will outnumber the ant 1:10. By being on either of the first two locations I will be easily accessible by all but the absolute laziest ones. The running water on those two properties will also attract people. I have decided on the remote 40 acres (:30 4wd drive but only a :15 mt bike ride from town).

It will be a lot harder to make an ideal doomstead but there won’t be any running water for people to follow, it will take a lot of physical effort, my preps will be hidden and the surrounding 40 acres properties are owned by similar doomer folks. Let the MZBs come because the advantage will be belonged to me. It is impractical to live there full time with kids in school and businesses to run but as part of the plan we will live in a plain, old small, non-fancy, house in town; I realize that by living in a home equal to what I can afford I make myself and family a target. By living in the smallest home we can fit in and having zero preps visible we can let our friends and family wonder why we live so insanely modest. On weekends and days when we have time we stay at the retreat home which will be 100% off grid and will contain everything needed to be self sufficient for a minimum of 6 months.

There is an unfathomable amount of anger and bitterness in all of our communities. Other terms thrown out that evening in the conversation were that people who were prepped are “elitists”, “better than others”, “you can only prep if you are a rich f***”, “we [bro & his buddies] can’t wait to show who will be the new boss in town”, “a new sheriff will be in town”; you all get the drift. The Mutant Zombie Bikers are alive and well and I know I have grossly underestimated their threat. Have you?

See: https://www.doomers.us/forum2/index.php/topic,62074.0.html

If you haven’t, please review Part 1 of this series.

Section I: Basics, Basics, Basics

No matter what occurs, you are going to need water, food and shelter. For water and food, you must determine how much per person, per day and how many days of supply should be required.

Keeping bottled water on hand is great. Also, have the ability to purify water of unknown provenance- boil, chemicals or filtration. Have a capability to store the water you’ve purified, both in bulk and in ready to carry containers.

Food is a little trickier. Once again, you’ll have to determine how much you will need, per person, per day and for how long. I won’t get into ration planning and preparing food for long term storage as others have covered it much better than I can, notably Jim Rawles. A good place to start on nutrition outside of normal refrigerator, freezer and canned fare is NOLS Cookery. This book is a little gem on ration planning, nutrition, staple foods that will keep without refrigeration and recipes (that taste pretty damn good) prepared in one pot on a single burner stove from basic foodstuffs.

Shelter can be the toughest basic of all to accurately assess. Is your dwelling hardened against natural and manmade disasters? If not, do you have building materials and tools on hand to repair any critical damage? Or do you anticipate relocating to a planned fallback position? If so, by vehicle or by foot? How does your region’s climate affect your choice in shelter- is a poncho and 550 cord going to suffice, or will you need a 4 season tent and a sleeping bag designed for a mountaineering expedition? This paragraph is in questions because only you have the answers to your situation. There is no one size fits all answer.

Section II: Self Defense

It may surprise some that I didn’t include self defense capabilities in part 1. The reason is that far too many people will drop $10K on an EBR, webbing, ammo and associated kit, but not prepare emergency or long term stores of food or water. Contrary to popular belief on the gun boards, you will not be executing a defense of Rorke’s Drift all day, every day. However, you must have the means to protect yourself and your family in the event that a physical confrontation cannot be averted either through avoidance, deception, or cunning. As with the shelter section, ask yourself a series of questions regarding what you need: Are you urban, suburban or rural? Is the terrain wooded, open plain, etc? What type of threats are you looking at- opportunistic looters, semi organized mutant zombie bikers on a festival of rape and pillage or a well organized “other”? What should your primary means of defense be? Secondary or back up weapon? Will every adult be armed? How will ammo be carried? How cleaning and maintenance gear and repair parts are needed? Start with Boston’s Gun Bible and research, research, research before making a decision.

Section III: Mental and Physical Requirements

Conduct an honest to yourself assessment of your mental and physical fitness. Do small inconveniences spin you up into a lather? Does being out of a routine “throw you off”? How far can you walk? How far can you run? How far can you do both while carrying a load equal to 1/3 your body weight? How much can you lift, push and pull? What skills do you have? How many are useful in the projected emergencies you’ve identified? What do you need to learn to get you and yours to the other side? Again, ask yourself these questions. The most important item in your kit bag rides right between your ears.

Pivoting off our last post in the series, let’s talk today about assessing your required capabilities. Jim Rawles, who puts the style in the preparedness lifestyle, has had many articles that touch on specific capabilities assessments, such as this one and this one. What we’ll be talking about today is the general theory and practice of how to assess a given situation and determine, based on conditions, what your required capabilities are.

First things first, identify your particular situation. For example, a person living in a rural area will have vastly different needs that someone living in an urban environment, while a suburban person will have different needs than either a rural farmer or an urbanite. I highly recommend including climate, terrain, population density, demographics (population age distribution, etc), unemployment statistics, local fabrication capabilities, water and sewer infrastructure, transportation infrastructure and other pertinent data.

Now that you know what your local physical and human terrain looks like, assess the most likely threats and scenarios that could impact you and your area. There are two broad categories, natural (hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes) and human (riots, civil unrest, infrastructure collapse) and that affect and interact with each other. A localized “grid down” scenario driven by a hurricane can influence secondary, human driven scenarios. For each scenario,I recommend analyzing it by comparing “Probability of Occurrence vs Impact if Risk is Incurred”. Please see the following graphic for an example of how to do this:

For a particular potential event, determine the probability of occurrence, for example, if you live on the east coast, a hurricane is a “likely” event. Next determine the impact. If the event occurs, how bad will things get?

Once you’ve determined your risk for a potential event and its attendant impact, now you know what to prepare for. If your X for a Hurricane lands in a red or orange zone, that is the event you need to plan and prepare for first. The scenarios that are in yellow deserve attention once the most critical occurrences have been addressed.

Now that you know the probability and occurrence of your particular situation, the “how to prepare” should be framed in terms of “capabilities” and not “widgets” or “gear”. We will address this next step in Part II.