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DON’T MISS: HOW TO MAKE IT THROUGH A HOME INVASION
CREATING A HUNTING KIT FOR YOUR BUG OUT
IN THIS ISSUE:
DEALING WITH A SNAKE BITE IN THE WILD
RATIONING STRATEGIES WHEN THE SHTF
DON’T LET THESE MISTAKES RUIN YOUR BUG OUT
LESSONS IN SURVIVAL FROM THE PIONEERS
ESCAPING A SHOOTER IN THE WORKPLACE
BEING SECURITY CONSCIOUS IN YOUR APARTMENT and more…
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019
HOW TO MAKE IT THROUGH A HOME INVASION Surviving a home invasion is a frightening experience, and there’s only so much you can do to prepare. Of course, investing in state-of-the-art security and camera systems, automatic lights…
CREATING A HUNTING KIT FOR YOUR BUG OUT BAG It seems so easy on paper, but when you start actually packing three days’ worth of food in your bug out bag it takes up quite a bit of space. Not to mention the weight, and the fact you’ve…
RATIONING STRATEGIES WHEN THE SHTF Once the supermarkets are stripped bare, you’re running on a clock. There’s only so much time until everything you’ve stockpiled is gone. That is, of course, unless you’re doing everything…
LESSONS IN SURVIVAL FROM AUSTRALIA’S FIRST SETTLERS You’ve all heard the story about how Australia was formed by convicts, but there’s little talk of the trials these first settlers were forced to go through once they landed on the shores of the…
BEING SECURITY CONSCIOUS IN YOUR APARTMENT Right now, as you read this, there are people’s homes and apartments being broken into. Now, your home is meant to be your castle. A place for your family to feel safe, sheltered…
DEALING WITH A SNAKE BITE IN THE WILD If you spend any amount of time in the wild, traipsing around trails and campsites you already know snake bites are a legitimate concern. Removed from civilization and any help, a bite…
DON'T LET THESE MISTAKES RUIN YOUR BUG OUT When the SHTF the journey you make to your bug out location is going to be the most frightening, difficult and dangerous journey you’ll ever make. You’re giving up your home…
ESCAPING A SHOOTER AT YOUR WORKPLACE Lunatics on shooting sprees have unfortunately become a dime a dozen, and everything from schools, religious spaces and even concerts are no longer safe. And that goes for your…
SHOULD YOU HUNT OR RAISE LIVESTOCK? It’s the simple life, right? One of the things I hear so much when talking to people about survival is how they plan to live off the land. Shoot their own meat, or raise their own livestock…
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019
HOW TO MAKE IT THROUGH A HOME INVASION Surviving a home invasion is a frightening experience, and there’s only so much you can do to prepare. Of course, investing in state-of-the-art security and camera systems, automatic lights, and even swapping out your doors and frames for reinforced versions is a great start, but there’s more to it than just fortifications. You need a survival mindset. You need to overcome the fear of the events unfolding around you and take quick and rapid action if you don’t want to become a victim yourself. Because often, it’s the frightened little lambs that you’ll read about in the news. The ones who froze up and let it all happen, that the truly bad things happen to. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that to happen to me, or to my family. And there’s a few things you can do to tilt the scales in your favor. GET YOURSELF OUT OF THERE There’s a whole lot of chaos during a home invasion but you need to remember one thing, you’ve got the home field advantage. Use it.
Get out of your house as fast as you can, and seek refuge with a neighbor or simply book it the hell out of there to a well-lit location that’s full of people.
Of course, escalating the situation like this can also be a risk, but in my opinion, it beats waiting like a lamb for the slaughter.
Lacking any good 24-hour shops around our neighborhood, we’ve made an agreement with a couple of our neighbors to do exactly that.
Our gun safe is in our master closet, and let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like hearing a shotgun being racked through the stillness of the night to give anyone unwelcome in your home a little pause.
Perhaps there is a second-floor window you can shimmy down from, or a back door you can make it through unnoticed. If you’re not trapped inside your house with the bad guys, you stand the best chance of surviving. We’ve got a set of clothes and a pair of shoes that sit just under our bed, so we can get dressed in a flash and be outside in under a minute. GET AGGRESSIVE AND REACT Instead of hiding in your closet hoping to escape unscathed, grab your gun (or whatever weapon you have) and make some noise. Let the intruders know you’re aware of their presence, you’re armed and willing to fight back, and perhaps even fire off a warning shot. This should be more than enough to give any home invader pause, as they consider if it’s even worth the risk to stay, or if they are better off going to find an easier target, and a less aggressive victim.
It’s worth arming yourself, no matter what you think about guns, it can make all the difference in a home invasion.
“take quick and rapid action if you don’t want to become a victim…”
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019 cont. GET READY FOR A FIGHT There’s nothing quite like being punched in the face, but I’ve got to tell you, we imagine it to be far worse than it really is. The fear of conflict is usually what keeps most of us out of physical confrontations, but it’s not always as bad as you think. Cuts and bruises heal, and so do broken bones. Knife and bullet wounds are more lethal, but it doesn’t always get that far. Yes, I know it can go sideways. Any fight can go sideways, whether there are weapons or not. But your body is rather resilient, and especially if you’ve had a little selfdefense training and you can throw a decent punch or two. Sometimes you’ve got no other choice. You need to be ready for a fight, and not let your attacker make the first move. Throw the first punch and fight. GET YOUR EGO IN CHECK But there’s a caveat to this. You’re not Jason Bourne, or John Wick. If you’re severely outnumbered or outgunned, fighting could only worsen the end result. You’ll anger your attackers, and perhaps make the whole situation worse for you and your family. Be smart, and make sure you stand at least a chance to win before you start swinging your fists. I’ve had plenty of martial arts training, and while I’m confident against most attackers I face, it’s a very different story if I’m surrounded on all sides by 3, 4 or more opponents.
GET YOUR FAMILY SAFE Finally, I want to touch on this point because it’s critical, and is where things can turn from a bad experience to horribly wrong. Risking your life, or even jail time (depending on the laws in your particular state). Your primary job is to keep your family safe. This does not give you leniency to chase down or shoot fleeing criminals.
There’s a strength in numbers that you simply cannot balance, no matter how good of a fighter you are. Real life isn’t like the movies.
If you’re successful at turning the home invasion around, you need to stop there. Do not continue chasing them down the street.
In this situation I’d recommend escape, or hiding just long enough that you can even the scales, and take on your opponent’s one at a time.
Do not continue firing at their backs as they run away, no matter what they’ve done or taken. No matter how pumped up on adrenaline you are.
Your only job is to keep your family safe. Much like a cornered dog, a criminal will fight back viciously if they are cornered or trapped. It’s not your job to apprehend them. Or to put your life at risk trying to run them down. Let the police do that. Your only priority is the safety of your family, and you shouldn’t do anything to compromise this. Home invasions are indeed a scary occurrence, but with the right mindset you’ll be able to tip the scales in your favor and ensure you make it out unscathed. React fast, escape if you can, fight back if not, and remember to put the safety of your family above all else.
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019
CREATING A HUNTING KIT FOR YOUR BUG OUT BAG It seems so easy on paper, but when you start actually packing three days’ worth of food in your bug out bag it takes up quite a bit of space. Not to mention the weight, and the fact you’ve now got very little room for much else in your kit. But then comes the kicker. What if you spend more than 72 hours on the road? In this post I’m going to explain everything I carry in my “hunting” kit, so that you can put one together for yourself when you’re preparing for your own bug out. And no, you don’t need a gun or to lug around any heavy traps, these are just a few quick additions I use to ensure I’ve maximized my chances of bringing in a little extra food when I’m on the road. HUNTING SLINGSHOT At one point in almost all our lives we had a slingshot, to target cans or whatever else you wanted to shoot, as they are remarkably simple to make, and easy to use. You just need a forked stick and a length of rubber and you’re good to go. Personally, I’ve got a nifty little folded slingshot I bought, and a tin of ball bearings for ammo. If I ever run out I could always replace these with rocks, but I like the accuracy when I’m hunting. Armed with a slingshot you can take out small game like squirrels, birds and even rabbits, though it’ll pay to double check the laws in your state before you head out on a hunt, just to make sure you’re clear on what’s allowed and what’s not. It’ll take a few shots and a little practice to get the hang of it, my advice would be to set up at home with some paper targets and get a feel for your slingshot, so you know you’re going to be making the kills when your stomach is counting on it in the wild.
WIRE FOR SNARES You can pre-make these or even buy them assembled, but they’re relatively easy to do-it-yourself. A snare is just a loop of wire that has a “noose” on one side. With some crimps and a pair of pliers you can make a bunch, and I just keep them rolled up in a bunch in my kit. Placed in the path of an unsuspecting animal, like at the entrance to a burrow or on a game trail, once they walk into it the snare tightens, eventually suffocating them as they struggle to escape. Snares are one of the best setand-forget traps you can make when you’re in the wild, though they can be hit or miss when it comes to catching dinner. It takes experience to know where to place them to boost your chances of getting a meal. I’d look for fresh signs of animal activity, burrows that have a strong smell and fresh scratching are a good indication something lives there, and if you’re in a rush you could always set up a few snares at the entrances and use a smoky fire to flu sh the critters out. FISHING LINE AND HOOKS Another easy to find meal in the wild is fish, and there are usually plenty of ponds, streams and lakes where you can drop a couple of lines in to catch a fresh feed of fish. I’ve got a large length of fishing line and 20 or so hooks in my kit, and that’s pretty much all I need. Baited up with a worm or some crushed up shells, I simply send anywhere from 5 to 10 lines out at once, anchoring them into the land with a branch or tying the line directly to a tree. Then it’s just a matter of coming to check the baits every hour or so, and gently pulling in the fish. And best of all, if you’re careful you can reuse the line and hooks a few times before they’ll need to be replaced.
SMALL FOLDING KNIFE Without a knife to butcher your catch, you’re not going to be able to clean and dress your kills properly, so make sure you’ve got something adequate that’ll do the job. It doesn’t need to be big or fancy, just easy to use, with a sharpener thrown in to keep the edge sharp. In a pinch, you could even lash the knife to a length of pole to make an impromptu spear for hunting larger game like a pig or bigger fish, but you do risk damaging your knife. I’d probably stick to a traditional firehardened point, split into four prongs and sharpened. SIMPLE FLASHLIGHT It’s an unfortunate fact that there’s simply not enough daylight to get everything done before sunset, and one last thing I’d recommend investing in is a decent flashlight. With light, you can go check your lines and snares at night (when certain species of fish and animals are most active), and still find your way back to camp. I’ve even seen that some fish will be drawn to the light, and this can give you an opportunity to spear them as they come to investigate your flashlight and the bugs that are gathering in the illumination.
I like to throw my lines out around structures in the water, places the fish are likely to hide.
Just make sure you don’t drain the batteries completely on the first day.
Look for shadows that indicate a tree in the water, changing veg etation underwater, or anything that looks like a good hiding place for a fish to take shelter. That’s where they like to congregate, and where your baits should be targeting.
Preparing a hunting kit for your bug out bag is a smart idea, as it gives you a means to supplement the food you’ve got with fresh meat and game from the great outdoors. And in a crisis, a few key pieces of gear could be exactly what you need to keep your family fed and happy.
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019 Make the effort to set traps, and any other low impact hunting you can do to supplement the food on your table. I’d be putting out baited fishing lines overnight, wiring up trap after trap for craw-dads, setting rabbit traps and snares, and even doing some slow and calm hunts with my rifle in case I could snag some bigger game. FORAGE FOR WILD EDIBLES There are plenty of different edible plants you can use to add a little freshness to your meals, and give a little extra nutrition when it all gets tight. • Dandelion leaves are wonderful in a salad, and you can deep fry the flowers. • Stinging nettles taste just like spinach once they’re boiled in a stew. • Miners lettuce can be eaten raw or cooked, and tastes a little like spinach. • Lamb’s quarters leaves can be sautéed or steamed with a earthy flavor.
RATIONING STRATEGIES WHEN THE SHTF Once the supermarkets are stripped bare, you’re running on a clock. There’s only so much time until everything you’ve stockpiled is gone. That is, of course, unless you’re doing everything you can to stretch your food supplies. THE FOOD WE NEED The average American eats a little over 2500 calories a day, far more than the rest of the world. In fact, you actually should be targeting around the 2000 calorie mark, which you can drop safely to around 1500 calories a day in a crisis. WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? From here, I’d recommend getting out a notebook and calculator. Work through your stockpile, recording the calorie counts and the servings inside, and figure out a plan for getting those 1500 calories a day. When you run the numbers, you should have a total figure, which is then split into a daily allotment, to cover the people in your family, and you’ll get a number. That’s how long your stockpile will last. It’s rough of course, and if you prefer you can get more specific, (i.e. men tend to need a little more food than women, elderly and children require less than those working the field all day, and so on), but it should give you a good indication of how long you’ll last.
USE THE PERISHABLES FIRST Do a thorough stock take to look at two things. Expiry dates, and perishable items. You’re going to want to use anything fresh, like fruits or vegetables first, followed by meats and any cured products, canned and dried goods, and then everything else. Plan your meals accordingly, and try to stick to the calorie limits.
And of course, all the wild blackberries and other fruit you can find. Just be careful, and only eat plants you’re 100% sure are correctly identified. The last thing you want is to poison yourself with no medical help to be had. START A GARDEN If you’ve not got a garden yet it’s not too late to start, though many plans will require at least a little time to develop, I’d plan on fast-growing plants, like:
HUNT FOR WILD GAME
• Spinach. They’ll be grown and ready to harvest in 4-6 weeks. • Baby carrots. They’ll be grown and ready to harvest in 4-6 weeks. • Radishes. They’ll be grown and ready to harvest in 4 weeks. • Beets. You can harvest the greens in 4 weeks, the roots in 7-8 weeks. • Beans. They’ll be grown and ready to harvest in 6-7 weeks. • Bok Choy. They’ll be grown and ready to harvest in 4 weeks. • Lettuce. They’ll be grown and ready to harvest in 4 weeks. • Baby Kale. They’ll be ready to harvest in 4 weeks, bigger in 7-8 weeks. • Broccoli. They’ll be grown and ready to harvest in 8-10 weeks. • Green onions. You can harvest stalks in 3-4 weeks, onions take 20-24 weeks.
Here’s where things get interesting. In a crisis there is only so much food to go around, so anything you bring in extra will be a welcome relief, and may even buy you a few more days or perhaps even a week of time. And that could make all the difference.
Rationing is without a doubt one of the hardest things you’ll have to do in the aftermath of a large-scale disaster. Because you simply don’t know when things will get back to normal, it’s critical you stretch your food supplies as far as they go.
BUT WHO EATS FIRST? As a parent it would break my heart to send my girls to bed hungry, but it’s also not going to do my any good running on an empty stomach for days on end. I might be fine the first 48 hours, but then I’m going to go rapidly downhill, and not be any use to anyone. While controversial, it’s important to think about the needs of your group with your rations. Make sure you’re getting enough food in your role as provider and protector of the group.
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019
LESSONS IN SURVIVAL FROM AUSTRALIA’S FIRST SETTLERS You’ve all heard the story about how Australia was formed by convicts. But there’s little talk of the trials these first settlers were forced to go through once they landed on the shores of the new world. Forced to work off their debts, once repaid they were given meager food and clothing rations, and left to their own devices to survive. As you can imagine, this led to a number of rapid developments, as famine, disease and poor living conditions made life very tough in this new colony. I’m writing about this today because I see some stark similarities in what we need to be ready for should a crisis at a large scale happen, and give a few ways you can be better prepared to survive. DISEASE IS THE BIGGEST KILLER
local Aboriginals faster than anyone imagined (over half died in the first few years of settlement).
items like rum, wheat and corn the most desirable products for trade.
Wherever you find yourself, remember basic sanitation.
Plus, there simply wasn’t enough pounds sterling to go around for the economy to work as it should.
Boil the water you drink. Wash your hands with soap before preparing a meal or eating your food. Keep your clothes as clean as you can, and make sure any latrines are dug at least a few feet deep, and are kept well away from camps, and any potential contamination of local water supplies.
It’s not that hard to imagine a situation like this happening. With the grid down, power and phone lines out, and no internet – it doesn’t matter how much cash you’ve got in your accounts if you can’t actually access any of it.
I’d also recommend stocking up on key medical supplies. Antibiotics to fight off infections, and cleaning products like soap and bleach to wash and disinfect as you need.
Sanitation and poor hygiene were the biggest problems plaguing these first settlers.
Good sanitation is vital when you’re living in a situation like the first settlers, and a few smart hygiene practices can keep the disease epidemics to a minimum.
Without the knowledge and expertise of “how to do it right” they made many mistakes, which often led to the rapid spread of diseases and epidemics.
YOU’LL NEED GOOD ITEMS TO BARTER
But not just the Europeans, the diseases we’d all grown used to killed off the
Barter was needed, and it quickly became the way to do business.
Despite the British having a strong currency, a barter economy sprung up almost overnight in Australia, with
“Sanitation and poor hygiene were the biggest problems”
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019 cont. You need to prepare a tidy sum of cash available, and store it in your safe or in a hidden cache in your home. But you also need to ensure you’ve got plenty of desirable items available in your stockpile for trade. Cash is all well and good, but you can’t eat it and it burns far too fast to be of any warmth. Canned food would be a winner in my book, but don’t forget non-perishable items like cigarettes and liquor. People will give anything for a little escape when the world is bleak and their fortunes are down. BE READY TO LEARN AND ADAPT In any new environment you’re going to be faced with challenge after challenge, the biggest in my mind as I can start to smell the dinner being cooked as I type this is food. A reliable means to get your three meals a day. For these settlers, they needed to grow crops, but the farming they knew from England simply didn’t work over in Australia. If the settlers weren’t open to new ways of doing things, they would have starved. They learnt new ways of farming and working the land that the climate and conditions in Australia demanded. They adapted, and that’s how they survived. What this means for you is that you need to keep an open mind, and develop a sur vival mindset of continuous learning. Don’t just settle for what you know, ask people for advice, study in the books and online, and hone your skills so you’re ready to adapt and overcome whatever challenge comes your way. Be it the weather, the climate or a particular disaster, learning is the key to thriving and surviving a crisis.
Now, you can imagine how fast a hungry and unhappy population can spiral a situation out of control, so the law responded in kind, with extreme punishments designed to scare the people into submission. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned for the law, and revolts and riots were the result. Does this sound familiar? We see these kinds of actions happening to this day, in countries all over the world, and even in our own backyard.
WATCH OUT FOR THE GREATER GOOD
The powers at be will do whatever is in their power to maintain the status quo, and will most certainly enact martial law.
We all know that power can corrupt, and the settlers faced harsh punishments in an attempt to maintain order.
Stripping your rights, your supplies and everything else they deem necessary to maintain the good and order of the country.
My advice? Don’t stick your nose out, and make sure those in your group are at least acting the part. In a crisis, you don’t want to be the one made an example of, even if it’s “not right” and you hate it. Put your head down, do what they say, and make sure you’ve got your supplies and firearms on lockdown, and split into several caches just in case they come knocking on your door. History can teach us a good many things. And in this particular case there are some very interesting parallels that we can draw from those first Australian settlers to the situations we’d face if our civilization was ever set back a hundred years. Use these learnings to ensure you survive no matter what.
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019
BEING SECURITY CONSCIOUS IN YOUR APARTMENT Right now, as you read this, there are people’s homes and apartments being broken into. Now, your home is meant to be your castle. A place for your family to feel safe, sheltered and protected against the world. And even if you’re living in an apartment, there are small changes you can make today, to improve the security of your home. SECURE YOUR WEAPONS It’s important first to consider the crime levels in your neighborhood, but also how you plan to defend yourself should the worst occur. Is it possible to carry a firearm in your building, or what alternative options do you have that’ll give you a fighting chance if someone decides they want to break into your home and take what you have. SECURE ALL DOORS What you’re looking for is a solid core door, fitted into a sturdy frame. If you’ve permission from your landlord I’d install deadbolts along with a strike plate to prevent anyone kicking your door in. Of course, when you move in the locks should be changed (not all landlords do this, so push for it), and don’t be afraid of installing something noisy on your door, like bells that’ll jangle when the door swings open. It may just wake you up in the night if someone is coming in. SECURE ALL WINDOWS All of your windows should be locked, and when night falls make sure to pull your shades so you’re not displaying everything in your home to whoever is looking in. If you have sliding windows a length of dowel in the runner can add as a second level of security, and the more decorative clutter you can add to the windowsill, the harder it will be for anyone to sneak in.
SECURE YOUR PERIMETER
SECURE YOUR BACKUPS
Burglars like the cover of darkness, and being able to sneak up on an unsurprising victim. One of the best ways to overcome this is to install security cameras and lighting, so even if they wait till night, the sensors activate and flood your yard with light the moment they get close. And of course, you’ve also got their entire approach recorded on your security cameras.
That being said, you need to consider what would happen if you were never able to access your apartment again. For reasons totally outside of your control, like a fire, or an earthquake, and you could find yourself blocked out and unable to return. My advice is to have a backup, with valuable files and any important documents kept off-site in a safety deposit box, with your parents, or at another secure location.
SECURE YOUR NEIGHBORS Often the best pair of eyes on your home is a friendly neighbor who understands your sense of community. Make friends with the people in your hall, on your floor, and in the building, and you’ll soon notice anyone who isn’t meant to be hanging around. They’re also great at picking up your mail when you’re vacationing, and at least give the impression there is someone home when you’re actually away. S E C U R E Y O U R D I G I TA L FOOTPRINT With the Kardashians robbed after a social media post, it’s more important than ever to keep your private life, well, private. Don’t make a big fuss with the expensive jewelry you have, all the new technology you’ve just bought, then advertise your trip away and expect it all to be there when you return. SECURE YOUR VALUABLES I didn’t realize this until I lived in Asia, but there it is quite common for every home to have a safe, where large amounts of cash and valuables are securely stored, just in case. These days I install a safe in every home I have, to add a level of additional security, and ensure I’m not tucking my cash or valuables away in my sock drawer.
SECURE YOUR SAFE ROOM In a tiny apartment it’s not always possible to have the luxury of a safe room, but you can always improvise. Changing out the bathroom door and adding a deadbolt could buy you some time, especially if you can take cover in a bathtub or behind a concreted wall. I’d also recommend keeping a firearm in your saferoom, as well as a small bug out bag, just in case you need to make a quick exit out the window. SECURE YOUR EXIT ROUTE On a similar note, it’s also important you’re aware of how you’re planning to escape your building in an emergency. Consider where the fire escape is, and how you’ll get there. What other options you have, perhaps an indoor stairwell. Or if you need to improvise something yourself and store it at home, like a rope ladder you can use to shimmy down a floor or two to make your escape from a balcony or bedroom window. Ultimately, being security conscious in your apartment is a balance between being prepared, thinking out the logical steps to take in an emergency, and of course, being armed and willing to defend yourself and your family, should it come down to that. Stay safe.
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019 the middle of nowhere, the actions you take in those first few moments could very well save a life. Do this… 1. Rinse the wound with clean (sterilized) fresh drinking water. 2. Scrub it well to remove as much venom and spit as fast as you can. 3. Disinfect the wound with soap and water, or an antiseptic if you have it. 4. Immobilize the wound and keep itbelow the heart to limit blood flow. 5. Remove any jewelry, watches, or rings that may get stuck as the limb swells. 6. Use a firm pressure bandage to wrap, placed 2 to 4 inches above the wound. 7. The key is to not cut off circulation and cause more tissue damage. 8. If you have a snake bit kit, place the suction device over the wound.
DEALING WITH A SNAKE BITE IN THE WILD If you spend any amount of time in the wild, traipsing around trails and campsites you already know snake bites are a legitimate concern. Removed from civilization and any help, a bite from a poisonous snake could be a death sentence, be it a SHTF event or not. Too far from help to be of any use, smart survivalists know how to deal with a snake bite in the wild. KNOW YOUR LOCAL SNAKES The key to understanding anything is knowledge, and with snakes, it’s important to know the particular varieties you will come across in your local area. Australia has a very large concentration of highly poisonous snakes, while we’re all much more likely to come across water moccasins, rattlers and copperheads, depending on where you are in the states. Once you know what kind of snakes to watch out for, you can pay attention when you’re hiking, and if you recognize any poisonous snakes, give them a wide berth. Being able to identify the particular snake that bit you is also important, for the antivenom that’ll need to be administered. You’ll be making the doctor’s life easier (and speed up the whole process) if you can say what type of snake it was. And of course, breathe a big sigh of relief if you are 100% sure it wasn’t poisonous.
AVOIDING A SNAKE BITE While it may seem common sense, there are a few things you can do to avoid getting bitten in the first place. I’ll list these here, as best practices to follow when you’re in the wild. 1. Don’t walk through tall grass where snakes hide, stick to the trails and paths. 2. Remember snakes can climb, so keep an eye on branches in front of you. 3. Don’t stick your hand into dark places, logs or anything you can’t see. 4. Remember to close your tent with the zipper and bring your boots inside. 5. Don’t brave the wild in slippers. Wear thick pants and above-ankle boots. 6. Remember to watch where you step, snakes like to sun themselves on paths. 7. Don’t try to attack or kill a snake for a meal, unless it is a complete necessity. 8. Remember to stomp and be noisy, alerting any snakes that you’re coming. WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU’RE BIT Of course, no amount of careful planning can avoid it completely, and you may find yourself in a situation where you, or someone in your party has been bitten by a snake. It’s critical you pay attention here, because if you’re dealing with a poisonous bite in
And of course, get to medical help as fast as possible. If it’s a poisonous snake bite, you may need to be administered a shot of antivenom, which your local hospital should be able to organize for you, especially if it’s a poisonous species native to the region. Even a non-poisonous snake bite can become infected, so it’s important you take care of it, and a thorough clean at the hospital should set you right. BUT DON’T DO ANY OF THESE… Now, Hollywood used to show us that slicing the wound open was the best way to suck out the blood, but that’s no longer a good practice. In fact, this actually increases your chance of it all getting infected and nasty. Don’t cut a snake bite, and for god’s sake don’t try to suck it out. You risk ingesting it yourself and g etting you both poisoned. Not good at all. My advice is to stay calm, and don’t panic. The calmer you can stay, the lower your heart rate which means the slower the poison will work. You need to lie down, stay still, and ensure your heart is beating as slowly as possible to reduce the amount of infected blood circulating in your body. Then send someone for help. Snake bites are a unique risk in the bush, but one you can, for the most part, avoid with careful planning, and a bit of common sense when you’re in the wild. Snakes are usually skittish and will leave people alone, though some species can be aggressive. Just be prepared, and remember what to do if you’re bitten by a snake, just in case.
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019
DON'T LET THESE MISTAKES RUIN YOUR BUG OUT When the SHTF the journey you make to your bug out location is going to be the most frightening, difficult and dangerous journey you’ll ever make. You’re giving up your home to head to greener pastures, putting yourself and your family in potential harm’s way in order to avoid a bigger disaster at your home. Because we never truly know what’s going to happen, it’s always a judgement call you need to make. • Is it now too dangerous to remain in our home? • Is it the right time to evacuate to our bug out location? Personally, I’m a big fan of bugging in. Not only is it your home, and staying gives you access to your largest possible stockpile of supplies and survival gear, it keeps your family in an environment they are familiar with, despite the chaos happening outside. But eventually, you may need to bug out, and if you do, these mistakes need to be avoided at all costs. DON’T RAISE ATTENTION The last thing you want to do is get noticed. Many different blogs will tell you about the “grey man” theory, but it’s quite simple. You want to be unremarkable. No different to anyone else, so you’re not noticed among the masses, you simply fit in.
“so you’re not noticed among the masses, you simply fit in…”
So, when you’re bugging out it’s important to not look like a prepper. That means no camo, or obvious survival gear. That means driving a bug out vehicle that looks more like a soccer moms SUV than an all-terrain monster truck designed to survive an apocalypse. I’ve even installed reflective tint on our back windows so you can’t see how full our car is packed even with your hands cupped to the window. DON’T ASSUME EVERYONE KNOWS THE PLAN Just because you’ve been studying the ins-and-outs of your bug out plan for the last several years, planning it to a meticulous level of detail, it doesn’t mean your family is on the same page. It takes practice to implement a family bug out plan effectively. Take the time now to train them, give them experience on the trails and hiking in the woods, so that when the day comes, they know exactly what to do, even if you’re not there. DON’T THINK YOUR BUG OUT LOCATION IS ACTUALLY SAFE In a crisis you never know what can h a p p e n , a n d i t ’s a m i s t a ke t o automatically assume your remote bug out location has gone undiscovered. Take your time and approach carefully, and make sure you’re the only people there before you close in. You could be walking right into a trap. It’s also important you’ve got a back up plan for your bug out plan, just in case you come across hostile inhabitants who have claimed your shelter and supplies for their own. This is also why I use sur vival caches in my preparations. No matter what happens there are three or four caches within a couple of miles that I can easily recover to get some basic gear. DON’T LET YOURSELF GO As the years continue to add up, it’s remarkable how easy it has become to let yourself go. Over-indulge just a little and the pounds quickly stack on, and I’m finding I’ve got less “bursts” of energ y, though my stamina has increased greatly working on our homestead. You need to be fit with an active lifestyle if you want to have any success bugging out. Not only will it involve a bunch of hiking, you’ll also have chores like collecting water, foraging, and bringing home all of your hunts and kills.
You will need to be fit, so don’t let yourself go in the first place. Make it a habit to do some bodyweight exercises and jog regularly, at a minimum. DON’T BRING EVERYTHING Speaking of supplies, it can be tempting to over-pack, a mistake too many rookies make when they start jamming anything and everything into their bug out bags. My rule, is that if it doesn’t have at least two different uses, it cannot come. And you should only bring enough gear to get you to your bug out location. You’re not trying to carry half your stockpile on your back, that’s a recipe for disaster that’ll blow out your knees and ensure you never actually make it to your bug out location. Every ounce in your kit counts, and the lighter it is, the faster you’ll be able to book it when you really need to get out of dodge. DON’T BUG OUT FOR THE SAKE OF IT Finally, I just want to make this last point very clear. Bugging out is a major risk, especially in the aftermath of a crisis, and it could potentially even be the wrong choice. Before deciding to walk out on your home, and the shelter and security it offers, make sure you fully understand not only the situation you’re in, but what you may be walking into. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and trying to make a difficult trek, especially with younger children or elderly family members can be an arduous journey. It’s important to think of everything before you throw caution to the wind and make the mission to your bug out, especially if you want to keep everyone safe. Bugging out is a smart strategy, but one you should only pull the trigger on when you’ve no other choice. If you’re facing a difficult decision and need to leave your home, make sure you’re not making any of these mistakes. It’ll ensure your bug out is a success.
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019
ESCAPING A SHOOTER AT YOUR WORKPLACE Lunatics on shooting sprees have unfortunately become a dime a dozen, and everything from schools, religious spaces and even concerts are no longer safe. And that goes for your workplace too. It’s a sad state of affairs that many feel their last resort, their only option is to go on a killing spree in their place of employment, but it’s also your duty to be aware of the risks. To know the warning signs, and to react quickly if you want to stay alive. When it comes to workplace violence, we immediately think of a fight, or perhaps even the whole #MeToo movement that’s gaining force. But there’s actually more to it. You never really know what’s going on in a colleague’s private life, and a little bullying, some bad news, or even the slightest provocation could be enough to push them over the edge.
WHAT TO DO WHEN AN ATTACK GOES DOWN? I’ll say this again, despite what the news would have you believe it’s rather rare that your workplace will be the site of a shooting, but it can happen. And in my opinion, it’s better to be prepared and ready, then having no idea what to do in a potentially life-threatening situation. If you’re witness to an active shooter, your safety is absolutely paramount. Get somewhere safe, out of their line of sight, and call 911. Be ready with your name, address, and anything you know of the shooter, particularly what they’re wearing, what kind of weapons they have, and how many possible victims are there. Once the call is made, you’ve got three options left to do. RUN TO SAFETY Your primary goal is to escape, putting as much distance between you and the
shooter as possible. Look around, and see what exits you have available. Is there an office you can duck through, a service entry you can slip through, or a fire escape nearby?
“You never really know what’s going on in a colleague’s private life…”
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019 DON’T NEGLECT THE WARNING SIGNS: Much like it’s important to keep an eye on your buddies for signs of suicide or depression, I’d recommend keeping tabs on the people in the cubicles around you. If they start demonstrating any or all of these, you may be in for some trouble. • Unwarranted and argumentative behavior that disrupts the team • Using their position and actions to intimidate and demean other colleagues • Making verbal threats and comments about harming or killing others • Seeing conspiracies in the office and pushing an “us versus them” agenda • Hair-trigger fuse that causes them to rage in anger to friends, family and colleagues • Escalating conflicts to physical confrontations and violence Hopefully you’d recognize these aren’t appropriate behavior in your workplace, but it’s actually alarming at just how far it can go unchecked. Pay attention to the people around you, try to connect so they feel like part of the team, and always trust your gut. If someone is starting to act dangerously, report it to the security team and avoid them at all costs.
cont. Think about where you are in the building, and your options to escape. Then do it fast. In the early chaos is your best chance to make a move, and for god’s sake don’t try to go back to your desk to grab your purse or your wallet. They can all be replaced, unlike you if you come face to face with the shooter. Your primary objective is escape. DUCK AND HIDE If all the exits are blocked, you need to find a place to hunker down until the police arrive. Turn your phone to silent (and yes, even the vibrate off), and hide yourself in a store room or an empty office. Switch off all the lights, lock the door, and if you can get away with it use a desk or cupboard to create a barricade against the door. Then duck and hide, and stay quiet. Hopefully the shooter won’t try to force their way in, because as far as they know it’s just a locked up and empty office.
If you’re with a few other people try to keep them quiet, and don’t all bunch up in the middle of the room. Spread out so you at least stand a chance if your attacker starts shooting. FIGHT BACK Finally, comes fighting back. This is perhaps the riskiest of your three options in this situation, as you’re going to be charging and attacking a shooter who is armed and extremely dangerous. If you have anything that can be used as a weapon, grab it. A length of computer cable can be a makeshift choker, a desktop screen a heavy blunt object, and any bottles of bourbon tucked away make a nice bat. Wait for an opportunity, when the shooter’s back is turned or they are momentarily distracted, sneak up to strike. You cannot risk any hesitation here, so make sure you are fully committed, and ready to hit with every bit of strength you have. You may just take them down, or create an opportunity for others to come in and help.
WHEN THE POLICE ARRIVE Within a short matter of time the police will arrive on the scene, and as you can imagine, they will be completely on edge. Your job is to remain calm, and no matter how scared or frightened you are, try to avoid yelling at the officers. They won’t like that. Move slowly, keeping your hands in sight at all times and do exactly what the officers say. It’s a horrible thought that one of your coworkers may have the inclination to go on a shooting spree in your workplace, but it’s an unfortunate reality of the world we live in. Of course, it’s more than likely nothing will ever happen to you, but in my mind, it pays to be prepared. Knowing what to do if it all goes down will help you react faster, and may help yourself and the others you work with get to safety if the worst should occur.
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019
SHOULD YOU HUNT OR RAISE LIVESTOCK? It’s the simple life, right? One of the things I hear so much when talking to people about survival is how they plan to live off the land. Shoot their own meat, or raise their own livestock. On the surface, it seems like an easy choice, do whatever you’re most comfortable with, but there’s a bit more to it than that. In this post I’d like to cover what you should consider when you start planning ahead for your meals, so you can plan appropriately before the SHTF. Because your family should never have to go hungry. HOW MUCH LAND DO YOU HAVE? This is an obvious one, but it’s important. To raise livestock properly, you’ll need space for them to grow, grasses for them to eat, as well as barns, watering holes, and an ability to take care of your animals as they grow, until they’re old enough to butcher. In a city, this can be a headache, especially if you run afoul of your local zoning laws.
Smaller animals, like chickens, ducks, rabbits and even fish can usually be part of your plans without raising too many eyebrows, but some cities restrict even these. Be sure you do your research first, and make sure there are now laws prohibiting what you’re planning to do. Likewise, hunting may not be any easier. Open seasons may impact your ability to get the food you need, when you need it, though I imagine this will be less highly regulated in a SHTF situation where we’re all struggling to survive. Just remember, if you’re using public land as your hunting grounds, the animals may quickly become few and far between once the supermarkets run dry and everyone has the same idea. The good news is, especially if you’ve got a car and the ability to get mobile, you can increase your hunting range as need be. You need land to raise livestock, but not necessarily as a hunter. HOW’S YOUR HUNTING AND ANIMAL SKILLS? Next, it’s important to consider just how much skill you have.
Not only does it take time and experience to become a decent hunter; you need to know where to track and stalk your prey if you want any hope to put meat on the table with any sort of reliability. Trapping is hard, and it’s more than just setting a couple of snares. You need to be able to find animal sign, and doing that well comes purely from experience. But raising livestock comes with its own set of challenges.
“living off the land is tough, even for trained survival experts…”
VIP SURVIVAL ACADEMY - AUGUST 2019 cont. You’ll need to learn how to care for all of your animals day-to-day, how to ward off diseases, keep them growing fat and healthy until they’re ready to be butchered. It’s not as easy as you think, especially if you don’t have any experience, and once the SHTF it’s going to be too late. Not only will no one be selling any of their herds, one disease or disaster and they all could simply perish. You need to start developing your skills now, no matter which path you choose. HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU HAVE? Both hunting and raising livestock require significant financial investments. For the former, its you’re gun and all of your hunting gear. Everything from special sprays to mask your scent, to the ammunition for your rifle costs money. My advice is to invest in it now, while it’s still cheap and we haven’t got any restrictive gun ownership laws.
It’s just a matter of time, so start to build your ammunition stockpiles now. Raising livestock is definitely the more expensive of the two. You’ll not only need to purchase your first few breeding animals, they’ll need a barn for shelter, fencing around their enclosure, and not to mention all the feed you’ll need to buy if your land doesn’t have enough good grasses for feed. You need cash to raise livestock effectively, while hunting is more costeffective. WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY ENJOY? Finally, and perhaps the most important question of all, is what you actually enjoy doing. What are you passionate about? There’s no denying some people are far more into hunting than they are caring for a herd of goats, and each requires a very particular set of skills. Personally, I get bored when I’m hunting, but I could spend an entire day fishing a stream. The methodical f l i ck i n g o f t h e l i n e i s a l m o s t therapeutic, and over the years I’ve developed a bit of a knack for “finding the fish” as my friends like to say.
My passion, led me to develop experience, that I can now use to reliably bring home a feed of fish. But I get bored and frustrated with our animals. You never get a day off, they always need to be cared for, fed, and you need to be highly motivated to get out there and see to them, rain, hail, snow or shine. But it is far easier for a neighbor or my kids to chip in and help care for the animals than it is to rely on them having a successful hunt or fishing trip. You need to ensure you actually enjoy what you’re doing, or you’ll never get good at it. For me, I’ve struck a balance. I know I’m not a skilled hunter, so we’ve compromised on our homestead and have invested in a flock of egg-laying chickens, ducks in our pond. Tilapia in our dam, and a small herd of goats. Oh, and a bunch of bee hives for honey. And I’ve got a free pass to go out and catch as much fish as I like, because we salt and dry it like a jerky that tastes absolutely amazing. Doing it like this means I get the best of both worlds, and we’re more prepared than ever, if the SHTF.