Monthly Archives: March 2014

Upcoming Training Opportunities

SF picture


Schedule Modifications:

Intermediate Survival:  3/4 May 14:  Due to requests for more dynamic survival training, we’ve changed the intensity level of the class to meet our intermediate level of survival training.

This 2 day course (9:00am Friday morning through 9:00am Sunday morning) includes a review of everything taught in Basic Survival plus knife care and sharpening, proper whet stone use, use of the tomahawk or hand axe as a survival tool, construction of the survival ‘go pack’, and basic survival weapon selection and marksmanship fundamentals. As in Basic Survival, the student will build and live in a shelter, make all fires, and perform basic field hygeine with intermittent water sources.  The participant will be provided one ration equivalent to approximately 1400 calories per day (two total) and 1 gallon of water. Additional water and food must be acquired through skills learned by the participant. Upon confirmed registration a recommended pack list will be provided. 

Cost: $300 per person (2 person minimum – groups of 4 or more – cost $250 per person)   Class Size Limit:  14

DATE & COURSE CHANGE:  Basic Patrolling:  16-18 May 2014:  2.5 Day class on Basic Patrolling.  –  REGISTRATION CLOSED (Full)

DATE CHANGE:  Train the Trainer:  30 May – 1 Jun 14:  Registration Open

Questions?  Email us at:

Small Things Make for Comfort in the Field

Boot Blousing



I’m kidding, right?  Why should the boots be bloused in a SHTF environment or when training in the woods during all seasons?  Afterall, casual observation of anyone involved in tactical, preparedness, or survival training whether civilian or even in the military will demonstrate the overwhelming style today seems to be wearing pants unbloused and long enough almost to drag on the ground.  Sort of a ‘cool factor’ to it, apparently.

It really is a bad idea in any environment except when in or crossing over water deep enough to swim and/or drown in.

There are several methods to blouse the boots that involve straps, rubberbands and tie strings (on certain BDU style pants).  They all work as far as appearance is concerned, and to a lesser degree, keeping things out of your pants.  The method I consider to be the best that requires no excess straps or strings is folding and tucking the pant into the boot.  I’ve done it for more years that I care to remember, and haven’t found a better method yet.

Here’s a few good reasons to blouse your boots:

  • Keep small pebbles, dirt clods and other debris out of your boot, potentially damaging your foot to one degree or another as well as your sock.
  • Keep small crawling things that bite not only out of your boot, but from your pant leg, where they can crawl up anywhere they want and have a leisurely meal on whatever part of you they stop at.  Especially while you’re sleeping and may not notice their journey.
  • Keep residual heat in during cold weather; keep cold air from wafting up your pant leg.

I don’t recommend blousing straps or the tie strings because typically the pant leg will be bloused over the boot, and it can slip up and off the top of the boot and allow debris/bugs to get into the boot itself.  In addition, depending on your leg’s size, the blousing strap can cut off your circulation leaving an almost permanent indentation (read circulation problems) from long years of wear (ask me how I know).

Through long experience I’ve found the ‘old school’ way  to be the most efficient method that ensures relative comfort found from lack of debris in one’s boots and lack of things eating your ankles or upper legs or wherever they can get.   This method does need longer pant legs to work, however.  For example, I wear a 34X32 size jeans.  My field pants are 34X34.  That extra 2 inches gives me all the material I need to make sure it’s done right.  If the pants have tie strings, I very carefully cut the anchor stitches to the tie string (without cutting the pant material) and pull them out and discard before I blouse the boots.

This is how you do it:

  • Pull the pant leg up over your socks.
  • Make sure the sock is gently snugged in place (prefer over the calf or mid-calf length socks to cushion my leg, but it’s really your call).
  • Put the boot on and keep the laces loose for now.
  • Pull the pant leg down as far as it will go without force; tuck it in against the back of your leg and smooth it out to make sure there are no folds or creases in the pant inside the back of the boot.
  • Pull the front of the pant leg so that all the excess is in front of the boot.
  • Fold the excess over to the right or left (your preference) and tuck it in as flat as you can.
  • Now start to lace or snug up the laces on your boot feeling to make sure the pantleg material is flat as possible around the leg.  Remember not to tighten the laces too much.  (You’re after ankle support, not blood flow restriction.)
  • Now, after you tie your laces, tuck them into the top of the boot up to the knot.
    • Don’t put the knot inside your boot top because it will be very uncomfortable!
    • Tucking in the laces makes sure that the loops won’t catch on anything and get pulled loose.
    • No guarantees, though, I’ve had things catch on the exposed knot and pull the lace out.
  • The pant legs will naturally sag a bit and give the ‘bloused’ appearance in very short order.

There you go!  It might not look all that ‘tacticool’ to have bloused trousers with tucked in laces, but it sure will save you some potential grief, depending on where you’re at when you’re training!


The very best thing since sliced bread when it comes to keeping your pants up!  Think about it:  Once one puts on a drop leg anything, or straps a knife to his or her belt, the weight of the items added to the just-about-guaranteed loosening of the belt on its own (friction-type especially), depending upon the physique of the person concerned.  Even the hard-core ‘Greek god’ types who can pull their belts in so they don’t drop aren’t really comfortable because their circulation and digestive systems are compressed (or so medical people have told me when I asked about overtightening belts).

I have two kinds; they’re always with me, but one is on and the other is with my rain suit pants.   The first is made by Spec-Ops, and is absolutely bomb-proof as well as built to last forever.    With shipping, they cost about $40.


Expensive, yes.  Worth the money?  Absolutely.  I also like the fast-tex buckle release so that you can ‘drop trou’ when you need to during field hygiene situations.

Not everyone has the inclination to spend that kind of money on suspenders.  For those folks, here’s the second set I own (actually, I have about a dozen spares to either give out or replace mine when it wears out).


Suspenders 2


They have a nice little hook on them that goes under your belt from the inside (so the hook part is away from your body).  You can get them from as little as $2 to about $10 depending on where you find them.  They can handle most small, medium, and large regular folks.  As with the Spec Ops type, they have a nicely balanced cross over on your back that doesn’t tire you out or seem uncomfortable.  Truth be told, when I’m wearing either set, I forget I have them on.

As always, there are other ways to get to your objective; these are what’s worked in the past and still work for me.


Defensive Formations: The Triangle Patrol Base


The Reinforced Triangle, or “RT” is one of the most effective defensive formations to use when setting up any base camp, whether conducting a security patrol, on the road during ‘GOOD’, or while in a semi-permanent base of operations being progressively developed in a protected or contested area. It is especially well-suited to progressive position development as described in Principles of Tactical Defense Parts III, IV & V,  and once expanded into what would be called a squad or platton sized perimiter, can easily be used as a ‘strong point defense.’

But long before that can happen, you and your team must be able to set up, position within, conceal all positions, provide security, and use the RT without violating any principle of use or criteria. That equates to many repetitions and hours of practice. Here’s the criteria for any perimeter formation:


  • An easily learned formation
  • 360 Degree Security/Observation
  • Interlocking fields of fire
  • Mutual Support between positions
  • Defense in Depth
  • Flexibility to expand or contract as necessary
  • Concealability

Granted, there are many ways to skin this cat, so to speak, but many other methods don’t lend themselves to Defense in Depth.  You can achieve Mutual Support and Interlocking Fields of Fire, but will need more than a four person NPT to achieve DID (Defense In Depth).  This isn’t a new formation, either.  Way back in the day this was my unit’s preferred ‘360’, and the one we recommend.  Why?  Simply it provides all of the above criteria and also fits well into any ‘play book’. It is ideal for use as a single, self-sustaining Patrol Base or “base camp”, and should the situation warrant, can be expanded into a series of RT’s that will provide an almost impenetrable perimeter as it grows and positions are improved into prepared, defensive positions, if the position is to later become a ‘Strong Point.’
As diagramed at the beginning of this post, the strengths of the RT become apparent:

  • Each position has the ability to mutually support all others by fire if required.
  • No one position is left without a fallback position, whether it is to the center of the RT or one of the remaining points and all positions can provide defensive in depth to any position under pressure.
  • 360 degree observation is achieved (positions are & mutual support).
  • Distance between positions is flexible (terrain & situation dependent)
  • Any position can be developed to hold/house 2 or more team members (each point of the triangle could be developed as a triangle in and of itself).


Moving In – The RT, like most other temporary perimeters, is established by “moving in” from a tactical movement formation by a fire team or larger group. For academic purposes, we’ll keep it at a four member team level and, again for academic purposes, we’ll presume we are moving at night, so we’ll use the file as our formation to move into and set up the RT.  (Note: That does not mean the only formation to use is the file; it just best suits night movement most of the time.  In terrain that’s open or sparsely covered, other formations may be be better suited; you’ll have to make that call.)

To move in, the FT Leader stops the team and signals what he wants done:

  • When each team member moves into his  respective positions
  • TL takes the center of the RT
  • TL check the positions; establish as appropriate tug lines, fall backs, emergency egress rally points, etc.
  • If and when to start improving the position (as warranted for the length of the stop – generally a 12 or more hour establishment would justify the establishment of at least hasty fighting positions).
  • Hygiene Considerations: All ‘cat hole’ areas should be downwind, down hill (if possible), 30 meters away from the RT, concealed, and not placed near any potable water source.

The team leader places the ‘points’ at the following clock positions by visual signals:

Point 1: 10 O’clock

Point 2: 2 O’clock

Point 3: 6 O’clock

12 O’clock while moving is always the direction of travel; the TL can use that or a landmark he and other team members can easily recognize, area of primary concern, or assigned area of responsibility when setting up the RT. It should be noted that RT doesn’t have a “front”; whatever is used to determine the 12 O’Clock direction is simply providing a baseline used for ease of RT establishment.  Defense in Depth is a constant of the RT; a threat from any direction will almost always be able to be engaged by at least 3 of the 4 positions.

Considersations for choosing where to place your RT:

  • When choosing position locations, pay attention to natural fire lanes, micro-terrain depressions that will help hide the occupant(s) without disruption of natural lines, and clear line of sight between positions if possible.
  • Walk in front of the selected position and view from an opponent’s perspective to find weaknesses.
  • If on a hilltop, remember to use the ‘military crest’ as your high point (the highest point on the hill that the entire slope can be covered by fire – typically about 1/4 to 1/3 of the distance from the actual crest to the bottom of the hill or ridge).
  • Never choose a position location that has ‘defiladed ground’ (cannot be covered by direct fire) in front of it.
  • If possible, employ natural barriers or channels that an enemy would have to surmount to attack your position.
  • The RT may not always be in a perfect triangle shape due micro-terrain considerations; make it fit tactical requirements, not the other way round.

Military Crest Illustration

Apologies for the poor visibility of the image.  Click on the image for a clear view.

Another aspect of the usefulness of the RT is its adaptability for applicants to change from a defensive position to a ‘jump off’ for an offense against an attacker.  With rehearsal of a specific play designed by the team leader to change from defense to offfense, the move, executed at the right time (when the attacker least expects it), could change possession of the intiative to the defenders and be the deciding factor on neutralizing the attack.

Bottom line:  The RT works!

And Now, an Administrative Break…

Every now and then, anyone who’s ever wrote, read, or heard of anyone anywhere’s blog, knows (or should know) that with each post or comment, the possibility exists of the development of anger, emotional distress, anxiety, and a host of other emotions that fall into the general category of being, “butt hurt.”

To that end, we provide a form found long ago on line, in the original form it was provided to us.  Hope you get a chuckle as much as we did.  It is our belief that this form should be downloaded and/or issued to every single person who reads or comments on a blog or takes a class anywhere on anything from anyone.  Once completed, it should be sent to or turned in to the blog administrator or the Chief Instructor of the course attended.


Butt Hurt

You Want Me To Carry, What!!!???

JM Load Out


Real world information from a ‘Former Action Guy’ (aka, “SF”).  Consider, adapt, modify, and get your own SHTF load outs together.

Part 1A here.

Part 2 here.


Any chance you an do a junk on the bunk picture to see how your fighting gear and sustainment gear are set up? –From a reader.

Your author in fighting load, during the recent Arizona patrolling class. Your author in fighting load, during the recent Arizona patrolling class.

I hate doing articles specifically on how I wear my gear. The fact is, how a certain load-out will work for one person is, in no way, the same as how it will work for someone else. We’ve seen this in two recent articles on LBE, one each from Max Velocity and from JC at Mason-Dixon Tactical. Both guys have a great deal of legitimate, light-infantry patrolling experience, and mounted patrolling experience, including in combat. Neither guy’s set-up is the same, and neither is the same as the way I run my gear.

The fact is, there’s a pretty slim chance that my gear set-up is going to run as well for you…

View original post 6,807 more words

What Will Law And Order Look Like After S Hits The Fan?



In the immediate aftermath of a disaster the police on almost every scale will probably be hopelessly overwhelmed. Between needing to go and defend their own families and being overrun by millions of crimes spreading like wildfire, even the best equipped department couldn’t possibly function properly. Without police to enforce the law, and with chaos rapidly disintegrating courts and legislatures alike law as we know it will end…but what will replace it? Once the dust begins to settle and life, such as it is, continues what will exist to govern the remaining people? Let’s look at some potential options so that you can be ready for what may come.

Option #1: Increased legal control and overbearing police presence. If the disaster is a slow slide rather than an immediate collapse, a tightening of the legal reigns is almost guaranteed. As people continue to fall deeper into poverty, hunger, or even just dissatisfaction crime will increase and so will the laws designed to stem the tide. Police officers will see their numbers and powers increased and heavier gear considered standard wear, assuming the force doesn’t just collapse under the weight of increased crime and a shrinking budget.

Read the rest here, and then let us know what you think.

Tell Me Again Why You Don’t Prep or Train?

Grid Interconnection Zones

H/T to K.Lane @ Knuckle Draggin’ My Life Away

‘Destroy nine interconnection substations and  a transformer manufacturer and the entire United States grid would be down for  at least 18 months, probably longer,’ wrote FERC’s director of external affairs  Leonard Tao in a June memo that was only revealed publicly today.

Adding to the problem, the  solution is not as simple as just protecting these nine stations because there  are reportedly 30 stations that meet the necessary criteria but less than a  third of them have to be attacked. Experts differ on the number of stations that  would fall into said category- with others putting it closer to 100- but it does  not diminish their concern.

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Contact us at for training opportunities.

Leisure Reading

If you’d like to read a pretty good on-going e-novel related to SHTF, try this one:  “Endure”



Six years, 9 months and 2 days from now…

The various trains of thought from the “prepper” community regarding how ”it”, the shit hitting the fan aka SHTF, or the end of the world as we know it aka TEOTWAWKI – seriously, that was a real acronym back then – was going to happen varied greatly.  From theories regarding civil unrest due to a financial crisis and U.N. intervention/invasion, to EMP detonation from a terrorist or enemy state, or a one world government; the antichrist or a tyrannical regime lulling people to sleep and taking over the United States through various methods of deception and control.  Pick your poison.  A quick search on any web browser could keep you busy for days.  Hindsight being twenty-twenty, the first of these was the greatest threat and closest to the truth.  There was a common denominator between most of the SHTF theories and most of those who were choosing to prepare for something to happen.  They all seemed to believe that “it” would just happen “all of a sudden”, in the twinkling of an eye.   Suddenly Wall Street would take an irreparable nose dive, a world leader would proclaim on international television that he was God.  It was like they were expecting signs in the sky, like the second coming of Christ, visible to all at once.  Something would happen, and that something would be the signal, the balloon going up.

In reality, it was a slow fade…deceptively slow.

It was the slow fade into black that took everyone by surprise and eventually pulled the rug out from underneath us, from everyone, even many in the “prepper” community.

It seemed trivial at the time but the large warning sign, the sign that maybe something was wrong, should have been the bankrupting of many state and local governments.  Cities, townships, counties, whole States all declaring bankruptcy.  When cities like San Bernardino and Stockton, California and Detroit, Michigan filed bankruptcy, nobody came to the rescue and people should have paid attention.

Unlike the banking and mortgage crisis years back, there weren’t any large government rescue packages.  Cities weren’t too big to fail.  Cities went along playing the debt game until they could no longer play and folded their hands.

The Federal government was busy spending money none of us had on programs that none of us needed or wanted, printing money that none of us could back financially and sending our soldiers off to fight wars that nobody – globally or within the U.S. – Democratic, Republican or other political affiliation – wanted us to fight.

Cities large and small continued to file bankruptcy, one after another, like dominoes that were spaced just far enough apart to still continue the chain.  Pensions and retirement plans dried up.  Police and other Law Enforcement agencies shrank.  Crime continued to increase, any law enforcement that was left was under-staffed and began following the trend of large cities like Detroit; warning people to “enter at their own risk” while response times averaged sixty to ninety minutes, if ever.  People moved out, hoping to start anew.  More “rural” states like Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota, in various degrees, suffered a large influx of people moving in, seeking a new life.  Those states weren’t immune to financial issues either, they had their own problems.  It was a nationwide issue and the bankruptcies continued.

Nobody came to anyone’s aide.

Read the rest here.  It might be worth checking out and stopping by to see the progress.


Deciding Who You Can Save: What is Triage?



One thing almost universal to any disaster or emergency is a lack of immediate resources. You typically have many people in immediate need but few medical resources or trained personnel available to handle the flood of wounded. For cases like this, the concept of “triage” was invented. Essentially, it is a strategy for resource allocation to maximize the number of people who survive by identifying the scale of wounds for each person and deciding when they get treated based on the severity of the damage. Someone with a few bruises might be sent off to lie down unattended so that you can provide limited antibiotics and painkillers to someone whose leg was torn off by an explosion for example. The controversy of triage, of course is that some people are deliberately denied treatment because the resources at hand cannot help them to survive. The people already dead, with lethal doses of radiation or large body burns, are left to die in order to save those who actually have a hope of living.

Read the rest here: