This Week’s Show 30th November 2017

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Starting with the Blizzard Survival 20% discount offer, then the Water-to-Go 15%discount offer, The Wilderness Gathering, U.S. Patented Viruses on the Rampage, Radiation Detection and Effects, How to Make Nettle Soup, Boiled British Freshwater Fish Recipes, Eating Crows and Some Recipes, Back Pack Survival.

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The Wilderness Gathering

If you’ve never been to the Gathering before and you love nature and the outdoors, then this is the family show for you – Wilderness Gathering, a unique Bushcraft event, is the longest running and still the original festival of bushcraft, survival and primitive living skills.

The Gathering has become a social event and brings together families and friends, all those interested in Bushcraft and Wilderness living skills to enjoy a weekend of knowledge sharing in a relaxed and family friendly atmosphere

Live Music

Not only is the Gathering the place you to come to – to learn new skills, brush up on your old ones and meet some of the best bushcraft experts in the country but it has also become, over the past fifteen years, the place you come to – to gather and socialise round the campfire with friends, old and new.

Children’s Bushcraft

The Coyote Clubs were introduced in 2005 and host a comprehensive range of events and activities specifically tailored for children from 5 to 15-year-old.

The Masterclass

The Masterclasses were introduced in 2005 and are your opportunity to study your favourite Bushcraft subject in depth with a leading Bushcraft instructors.

Where is it?

Located on a South Wiltshire farm with lakes and 30 acres of old oak woodlands. You get access to woodlands and fields to erect whatever shelter you want.

Add to this great food, local cider, mead, evening entertainment. great people and it’s now over 5 days it has to time to get booked

U.S. Patented Viruses on the Rampage

Are you prepared to be quarantined for weeks, maybe months without contact with the outside world? That means no food shopping, no petrol stations, no going to work…

A deadly airborne plague in Madagascar has now killed 143 people and infected 1,947 people and it is continuing to spread.

The outbreak, which has been described as ‘the worst in 50 years’, has yet to reach mainland Africa, nine countries have been placed on high alert.

The plague has spread through coughing, sneezing or spitting and can kill within 24 hours.

The World Health Organisation has earmarked £3.8m to combat disease and predicts it could take six months to stem the outbreak.

You may have heard that a new virus in Africa has already claimed the lives of 3 and is suspected of have infected many more. The danger of this Marburg virus is that it’s HIGHLY infectious and it kills up to 90% of those who are infected. So what’s it take to be infected…? Answer: Not much. Human contact with the possibly contaminated areas and of course any contact with bodily fluids. Now before you panic – this outbreak is still contained in Uganda for the time being… at least that’s what we’re being told at present. Here are some of the details related to this recent outbreak: Marburg has been compared to Ebola, which also presents with haemorrhagic characteristics. Here are four ways Marburg and Ebola are similar. 1. Marburg and Ebola have similar transmissions Similar to how Ebola has been found in African monkeys and nonhuman sources,

Marburg has been found in fruit bats and monkeys in Africa.

Both are transmitted to humans through bodily fluids, such as blood or waste. Infected individuals generally do not become contagious until they display symptoms. 2. Marburg and Ebola display the same deadly haemorrhagic symptoms
Symptoms of both Marburg and Ebola include, but aren’t limited to: fever, muscle aches and pains, diarrhoea, fatigue, chills, nausea and vomiting, and external and internal bleeding.

Bleeding generally occurs in the eyes, and, according to Mayo Clinic, can occur in the ears, nose, and rectum when the infected person is close to death. 3. Marburg and Ebola have similar risk factors For both Marburg and Ebola, the risk of contracting the diseases are only more likely when individuals travel to areas where outbreaks occur, such as Africa, conduct research on animals from Africa or the Philippines, or provide care for infected individuals.

According to Mayo Clinic, family members providing medical or personal care for relatives are often at risk of transmission. 4. Vaccinations for Marburg and Ebola are still in development There are no current vaccinations for the Marburg virus, and while vaccinations for Ebola have been praised as promising, scientists are still working on the advancement of protection from the virus. Here are a list of minimal precautions that you should take before and during a pandemic outbreak. Before a Pandemic Store a two week supply of water and food. Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.

Have any none prescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic help records.
Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home. During a Pandemic Limit the Spread of Germs and Prevent Infection
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Radiation Detection and Effects

Handheld radiation detectors tell you what you can’t see, smell or taste, but what could make you horribly sick and now their sales have skyrocketed for that exact reason.

Radiation is an invisible component that has huge detrimental effects on the human body and unless you have something to detect it, you are practically blind to its levels and won’t notice anything it is too late.

The nuclear threat is higher now than ever as superpower countries compete, flex and test their nuclear weapons.

And in one pocket of the world is the radical North Korea taunting much larger countries to enter into a nuclear fight.

It is this reason, as well as possible future struggles and conflicts involving nuclear weapons that have seen a spike in radiation suits, gas masks, and iOSAT pills sales

But now the market is turning towards the likely possibility of your first steps outside the front door of your make-do shelter to look at how you might test the radiation of the air, the ground and water after a possible nuclear strike or nuclear reactor leak after a blackout.

Before we look into what radiation detectors do and how they work, we should look at why they are important.

What radiation can do to the body

The most common question people ask is “what will radiation do to me”

To answer something like this, we first need to look at how much radiation is involved.

Radiation isn’t just a one-hit kill type of matter, we are exposed to low levels of radiation every single day, how much of it determines whether we are affected or not.

In looking at harmful levels of radiation, there are two different types of exposure: acute and chronic.

Acute exposure is where a dose of radiation is received all at once, this would be something like an X-Ray or a CT scan you might have done for health reasons, think of it as a once-off sudden impact of a packet of radiation.

The other type is chronic exposure, this is a level of exposure of a long period of time.

This would be where a nuclear attack has happened, and you are walking around post-fallout without protective equipment being exposed to consistent strong levels of radiation.

This has occurred in the past in places such as Chernobyl, Hiroshima and Fukushima.

Rain or a bucket of water

If you consider radiation exposure like water, you can either have a huge bucket thrown at you all at once, or you can have a bucket’s worth of rain on you at at a slow pour.

In both circumstances, you are going to get very wet, but when it comes to radiation, those effects can differ from the bucket to the rain.

Both are obviously bad for your health, so with this in mind, when the nuclear bomb was designed it included both to be a quick-effect as well as a long-lasting weapon.

For a person who experiences a nuclear explosion they will receive two doses, one from the initial blast and the second from the fallout as the particles sit on the ground post-explosion.

Health effects of radiation

For acute exposures of radiation, the lowest count of exposure (25-50 rem or rads) will see a drop in white blood cell counts.

For the medically-termed Radiation Syndrome, which occurs at about 150-350 rads, there are typical symptoms of radiation poisoning such as:



Hair loss

And the skin goes red like a sunburn.

Anything more and there is a 50% chance of dying within 30 days.

When it comes to chronic exposure, where people are subjected to repeated doses of high radiation counts over time, there are long-term effects over time.

These can be:

Increased risk of internal or external bleeding

Fertility problems, including loss of menstruation and reduced libido

Changes in kidney function, leading to anaemia and high blood pressure

Heart problems

Changes in the skin

Loss of hair

Future birth defects

Bone marrow death

Gastrointestinal death

Central Nervous System death

For a nuclear bomb to hit a city, the blast would be anywhere from 5-10 miles with a strength of 500 rads.

That means most people in that vicinity would suffer death from the blast, or the fallout.

For those that are caught in the fallout, a highly recommended medication is potassium iodide (iOSAT) to limit the body’s absorption of radiation particles.

Using radiation detectors

You can see why there’s a need to detect radiation.

Without something like a radiation detector, we are essentially guessing what the radiation value is until someone gets incredibly sick, then we know we are in trouble.

This is essentially a human canary in a coal mine.

Using the right protective equipment against radiation is paramount, but to know when that equipment is needed, or not, is also essential.

How do radiation detectors work?

Radiation detectors have built-in ionizing radiation detectors that use gas molecules that ionise with radiation particles setting off electrons in a reaction known as a Geiger Discharge.

This is why most radiation detectors are also referred to as Geiger Counters.

For most handheld radiation detectors, their best and most accurate detection is in confined spaces, topsoil and objects that may have radiation contamination.

What about the effect of an electromagnetic pulse against radiation detectors?

This is a common concern that I personally have had a lot of questions about, especially with the backup effect that can be posed by a nuclear bomb’s EMP to shut down electrical processes with a very wide area.

Thankfully, because a lot of these devices are designed for the purpose of nuclear radiation detection, they have in-built mechanisms to cope with EMP waves.

Personally, with a device like this, I wouldn’t risk the chance that the electrics could become faulty so I would either: At the warning of a nuclear attack, keep the radiation detector in the microwave with any other electrics and plug it in at the wall for grounding

Or, build or buy a Faraday Cage

These solutions would ensure any radiation detectors are still able to work after a nuclear attack.

How to use radiation detectors

Handheld radiation detectors available on the market today are very easy to use, this is also one of the reasons why they are being widely purchased at the moment as a simple-to-use device to detect a terribly harmful material.

The alert timing of these instruments varies from 5 – 20 seconds depending upon the radiation count and the capacity of the radiation detector you decide to use. For most radiation detectors, 20 seconds provides a highly accurate result as to the level of radiation the detector encounters.

When you are using the device, the indicator screen will display the reading in either in:

Sieverts (Sv) – unit of ionizing radiation dose and a measure of the health effect of low levels of ionizing radiation on the human body; or

Counts Per Minute (CPM)/ Counts Per Second (CPS); or

Roentgens per hour (mR/hr)

How to choose the right one

Choosing the right radiation detectors are important when looking at this equipment as this is something you don’t want fail or give inaccurate readings.

To know how to choose the best radiation detector is simple, they need to have a certification by a country that has put these items under real test conditions. For the US, this would be an NRC certification. However, some of the big selling radiation detectors have also been certified in Japan and Germany.

How to Make Nettle Soup


With consumers being so bombarded with marketing for ready-meals, fast-food, and other chemical rubbish often I find people forget about some of nature’s ingredients that are normally right on their doorstep!


This recipe will go through how to make a nettle soup, which not only is a cheap and easy to make meal but also extremely good for you.


Nettles (which are rich in iron and contain lots of great vitamins) have been said by many to have anti-anemic, anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties.


It’s also a diuretic so is great for detoxing and helps remove toxins from the blood.


On top of all that it also is a great remedy against arthritis, rheumatic conditions, allergies, kidney disease…. (And the list goes on!)


All of that from a pesky weed that most of us avoid and ignore!




First things first, pick a good spot. I would try to  any spots that are nearby to roads as you’ll likely get a mouthful of pollution, and try to look out for the smaller sized nettles as they are more nutritious and tasty for your soup.


The spot I found today was in a clearing in a local wood, but the same principles can be applied to most of the world!


Now you have found your spot, onto some practicalities of nettle picking, wear a good pair of gloves.


If you get stung, take a look around for any doc leaves (big vainly leaves normally found nearby to nettles) as rubbing these on a new sting will relieve the pain.


Typically to make a batch of soup for four people you will want to get about half a bag of nettles.


At this point if you want to pick more nettles you might want to consider filing up your bags and then:


Preparing and freezing any leftover nettles for another day (just wash/cut/dry them and they will freeze well)


Making nettle tea by cutting off the tips (they taste less bitter in tea) and putting in a cafetiere.


You can also dry the nettles for tea by either hanging them up in a warm place (the airing cupboard.


Look up some of the other handy uses for nettles (you’ll probably be surprised how versatile they are!)



1 large onion

2 or 3 garlic gloves (or more or less to your taste)

2 or 3 potatoes

Splash of olive oil

Knob of butter

Organic salt and organic pepper (to taste)

Chicken stock (this is very easy to make from leftover chicken) or just use a cube

Cream (optional, to taste)

Cayene Pepper or Chilli Flakes (optional if you like your soups to pack a kick!)


Making the Soup:


Step 1 Prepare the nettles (again at this point you may want to wear some gloves to avoid getting stung).


Wash and drain the nettles.


You only want to use the fresh smaller young looking leaves so pick these off the stalk and discard the rest (or better still stick them on your compost pile!). I find using a pair of scissors is a fast way of doing this.


Preparing the nettles for the soup


Step 2 Peel and chop your potatoes, garlic, and onion and fry them on a high heat in a saucepan with a bit of olive oil and some butter until the onion is soft and the potatoes have started to go brown.


If you want a spicy “sting!” to your soup then also add in either some cayenne pepper or some chili flakes to taste.


Making the nettle soup mix


Step 3 Add the nettles into the pan and mix around with a wooden spoon and after 30 seconds or so add a litre of boiled water and your chicken stock. (If you have made the stock fresh you may need a few extra cubes to get in more flavour)


Step 4 Boil the soup on a medium heat until the potatoes are soft (normally takes between 12-15 minutes).


Step 5 Take the soup off the heat (and ideally let it cool for a bit) then blend the whole thing till you have a smooth consistency.


You can return the soup to the pan on a high heat after this briefly to warm it up ready for serving adding in any salt and pepper to taste.


Step 6 Serve the soup with some nice organic bread and if you like you can add some cream by swirling around in the bowl with a small spoon for a mind blowing and decorative finish!

Boiled British Freshwater Fish Recipes


Why should camp fire cooking be only grill bake and roast?

Why should camp fire cooking be bland?

Why not plan and prepare for your wild food meals?


These can be cooked using foraged greens or taken home and given the chief treatment.

Boiled Tench

Prepare the tench by scaling, gutting, removing the gills then washing and patting dry.


Place in a large pan then pour over just enough water to cover. Add 25g of salt per 1l of water added then bring to a simmer, cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.


Transfer the tench to a warmed serving plate and garnish with parsley. Accompany with melted butter.


Boiled Trout

This is a traditional British recipe for a classic dish of boiled trout that’s filleted and served topped with a truffle, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Ingredients: 2 medium trout, cleaned and scaled 2 summer truffles 2 garlic cloves 1 tbs. red wine vinegar 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil juice of 1 lemon sea salt, to taste




Bring a pan of lightly-salted water to a boil. Add the trout and cook for about 20 minutes, or until done through. Remove the fish then take off all the skin and fins.


Take the fish and carefully remove the flesh as four fillets (discard all the bones). Arrange these fillets on a serving plate.


In the meantime, place the truffles and garlic in a mortar and crush to a paste.


Add the vinegar and lemon juice and mix thoroughly to combine. Place the oil in a pan, add the truffle mixture and heat gently over a low flame (this should be just heated through, do not allow the sauce to fry).


Take off the heat and season to taste. Pour the sauce over the fish and serve.


Feed the 5 thousand


A fish boil is a fun, low-maintenance way to feed a large group of people — and although it is traditionally served outdoors, you can also bring the party inside.


Whether you’re planning an outdoor picnic or a big family get-together, a fish boil provides a nutritious, low-calorie meal for the entire family.


Step 1

Fill a large pot about three-quarters of the way up with water. Bring the water to a boil, either on your stovetop or outside on an open fire.


Step 2

Add the potatoes and 1 pound of salt for every 10 people, and then bring the liquid back up to a boil. Cook for 8 minutes, then add the onions to the pot.


Step 3

Add 2 pounds of peeled baby carrots, if desired. Wait until the water comes back to a boil, and then cook another 2 minutes. Double these cooking times for every 10 people you are serving.


Step 4

Add the whitefish and cook for 14 minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer to test the centre of the fish. If the fish reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit in the centre, it’s done.


Step 5

Place one piece of fish, three onions and two potatoes on each plate, then add a pat of butter and spoon some of the broth over the fish. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

Eating Crows and Some Recipes

I think most people have a natural prejudice that has prevented most crow hunters from even considering this bird as wild game.


My experience is that the mere mention of dropping these birds on the menu brings a series of comments from my mates as if I had just suggested stir frying up a batch of common sewer rats.


And if you ever make the mistake of sharing these thoughts with a non-hunter, be prepared for the same reaction.


This is a shame since, properly prepared, the members of the Corvid family are as tasty as most other game birds and even tastier than some.


Besides, with crow populations as high as they are, what an untapped resource we have at our disposal.


Historically, crows, as well as other non-songbird species have been common fare. Remember “four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie”?


Our revulsion seems to centre around the fact that the crow and its close relatives are scavengers and therefore unfit to eat.


Well, as far as pigs and chickens are concerned, you just wouldn’t believe what these supermarket critters will stick in their mouths.


Seafood? You honestly don’t want to know what goes into some shellfish before it ends up on that expensive seafood platter. I suppose the same goes for lobsters. The list goes on.


In short, it’s just our cultural prejudice that limits our possibilities. You know, maybe crow meat just needs some clever marketing terminology.


Look what they did for Sweet Breads and Escargot…


Field Preparation

It will come as little surprise to anyone that even the biggest crow doesn’t make much of a meal.


However, the fact that it is often possible to take large numbers at a time can compensate for this.


Since a morning shoot can easily net from 10 to 100 birds, you want to limit the amount of time necessary to clean each bird.


Put out of your head any idea of plucking a crow like you would a goose or duck.


Besides the breast meat, there just isn’t enough edible meat on a crow to make it worthwhile.


Using the technique described below, you can extract the best meat of a crow within a minute or two with very little mess.


Lay the crow on its back in front of you with its head pointed to the right.

Take a finger and locate where the breast bone meets the upper abdomen.


With a sharp knife, make a cut across the crow (wing to wing) below the breast bone.


Don’t be concerned about cutting too deep, no edible meat will be damaged with this cut.


Holding the birds feet with your left hand, place 2 or 3 fingers under the skin where the cut was made and pull in opposite directions. The skinless breast meat should now be exposed.


Take the knife again and separate each breast half away from the bone starting in the middle and working outward.


You should end up with 2 lime sized pieces of crow breast. Discard the remains properly.


The meat can now be frozen, marinated or freshly prepared.




Below are some recipes. Feel free to try these or to experiment with your own creation.


There is no reason why any recipe for dove, quail or grouse to be found in a wild game cookbook would not work just as well.


Then you can decide whether to tell your guests what went into the recipe before or after they have finished. Bon Appetite!!


Pre-Cooking Preparation


You can use this method with crows, coots, diver ducks and just about any fowl that may have a strong flavour.


Use as many breasts as you decide to grill and soak them from 2 hours to overnight in salt water then thoroughly rinse and dry the breasts.


Then use your favourite brand of Italian dressing and put enough to coat the bottom of a container and put a layer of breasts, a layer of dressing, and keep layering till all the breasts are in the container.


Finally, top off with dressing and put in fridge overnight. The next day they will be tender and tasty.


Summer Crow Layers


16 pieces of crow breast meat (no bones) (8 crows)

16 pieces of green pepper

16 cherry tomatoes

8 button mushrooms

8 ears of sweet corn

1 1/2 cups of Teriyaki sauce

1/2 cup melted butter

8 kabob skewers


Cut each piece of crow in half and place in a covered bowl with the Teriyaki sauce over night.


Clean and cut each ear of corn into 3 pieces. Cook in boiling salt water for 10 minutes.


Alternately put corn (3 pieces), green peppers (3 pieces) and cherry tomatoes (3) along with 4 pieces of crow meat on each skewer.


Use 1 mushroom to top each skewer. Brush with melted butter and place on preheated grill for about 4 minutes. Flip, butter again and place back on grill for another 4 minutes.


Repeat one last time for a total of 12 minutes or until they appear done. Serves four adults.


Country “C” Medallions


24 pieces of crow breast meat (no bones) (12 crows)

2 medium onions (chopped)

6 tblsp of oil

5 slices of bacon (chopped)

1 big or 2 small turnips (peeled & chopped)

1/3 of celery root (peeled & chopped) – note: substitute with celery

3 tblsp wet mustard

1 tblsp lemon juice

salt, pepper to taste

dash of paprika

2 bay leaves

2 juniper berries – note: substitute with allspice

1 tblsp Majorjam (crushed)

1 heaping tblsp of mayonnaise




Sauté onions and bacon in oil until golden. Add meat, spices and sauté some more.


Add vegetables and the rest of the ingredients except mayonnaise.


Add enough water to keep the meat almost covered. Cook in a slow cooker on medium


In about 3 hours you will see that the meat is soft enough to cut with a fork. Take the meat out and place on heated platter or dish to keep warm.


Remove the bay leaf and put all the gravy (about 2 cups) in a blender and blend. When thoroughly blended, add mayonnaise and blend shortly.


Add gravy to meat and serve over rice with a winter salad. Serves four adults.

Pan Fried Crow


2 eggs

seasoned bread crumbs or flour

oil or bacon grease


Remove breast meat from as many crows as desired. Beat with meat mallet (for tenderizing).


Dip the pieces in beaten egg and then in bread crumbs or flour. Fry in oil in hot skillet. Bacon grease can be substituted by can smoke. Leave inside a tad pink if you like that sort of thing.

Back Pack Survival

There’s a lot of confusion about what survival means.


To some, it’s getting through the aftermath of an airplane crash in a desolate area. It can mean knowing when to avoid walking in radioactive areas.


Or, it can mean knowing how to barter with troops in the aftermath of riots, war, and looting. To others, survival has to do with avoiding danger and knowing how to deal with it when it breaks into your home in the dead of night.


Survival ideas abound and there are as many definitions and strategies as there are survivalists. Some have good ideas for survival and some have unsound tactics.


Bad ideas can mean extra work or trouble in everyday life; bad ideas during a survival situation get you killed.


On the job training doesn’t work when you’re dealing with poison and gunfights. Or survival.


One of the most dangerous ideas as far as I’m concerned is that of “backpack survival.”


A “backpack survivalist” is a survivalist that plans on leaving his home ahead of a disaster and taking to the woods with only what he can carry out with him.


He plans to survive through a strategy that is a sort of cross between the Boy Scout in the woods and Robinson Crusoe.


The backpack survivalist plans on outrunning danger with a four-wheel drive or a motorcycle and hopes to travel light with a survival kit of everything he might need to cope with the unexpected.


He hasn’t cached anything in the area he’s headed for because, chances are, he doesn’t know where he’s headed.


Somehow, he hopes to overcome all odds with a minimum of supplies and a maximum of smarts.


Certainly, it is a noble cause; but it seems like one destined to failure. And that’s not survival.


Hold on a minute. Backpack fever or bugoutosis does makes sense when you’re facing a localized disaster like a derailed train with overturned poisonous gas tanks.


A potential nuclear meltdown, an impending hurricane or severe flooding, or similar disasters where there is a safe place to run to.


During such a time, it makes perfect sense to retreat and come back when things settle down.


Likewise, some people have to work in dangerous areas.


For them, donning a backpack and heading for a retreat that they’ve prepared beforehand is a viable survival strategy.


These people aren’t backpack survivalists.)


Let me make a confession. Yes, I once was a closet backpack survivalist. I had an ALICE pack and had it packed with all I could carry.


As I learned more about how to survive, I realized I needed to carry more.


Soon I discovered that, just for my family to survive for a very few days, I’d need a pack mule and/or a hernia operation… Something was very wrong.


Probably most survivalists start out the same way. Things are bad so let’s bug out.


As backpack survivalists, we make elaborate plans centered on the idea of “bugging out” of the area we live in.


We hope to travel to an area that is safer than the one we’re in and plan on living off the land or on some survival supplies we’ve hidden in the area.


On the home front, we carefully prepare a stock of supplies that we can quickly cart off in a car or van when things start to look bad.


As more and more plans are made and as ever more survival gear is purchased, the survivalist realizes just how much he needs to cope with to survive.


If he is any sort of realist, he soon amasses enough gear to warrant a truck or more likely a moving van just for carrying the survival equipment.


(And don’t laugh, there are survivalists who have large trucks for just such use.)


Some brave souls continue to make more elaborate plans and some of these survivalists may be able to pull off their plans.


Those who have really thought things out and have spared no expenses may manage to survive with a bugout strategy.


But I think there are more logical and less expensive ways to survive a large crisis.


Forget all your preconceived notions for a minute.


Imagine that there is a national emergency and you are an outside observer?


What happens if a nuclear attack is eminent, an economic collapse has occurred, or a dictator has taken over and is ready to round up all malcontents (with survivalists at the top of the list)?


Situations change with time. The survivalist movement and backpack fever first started up when fuel guzzler cars were about all that anyone drove.


That meant that a survivalist with some spare fuel could outdistance his unprepared peers and get to a retreat that was far from the maddening crowd, as it were.


With cars getting 30 or even 40 miles per gallon, it isn’t rare for a car to be able to travel half way across the country on less than a full tank.


The exodus from cities or trouble spots will be more limited by traffic jams than lack of fuel even if the petrol stations are completely devoid of their liquid fuel too, there are a lot of people thinking about what to do if the time for fleeing comes.


And about half of the people I know are all headed for the same spot: an old Railway Tunnel void of water and food.


I suspect that the battle at the entrance of the old tunnel will rival the Little Big Horn.


No matter how out of the way their destination, most survivalists are kidding themselves if they think others won’t be headed for their hideaway spot along with them.


There are few places in the UK which aren’t accessible to anyone with a little driving skill and a good map.


There are few places which aren’t in grave danger during a nuclear war or national social unrest.


Though most nuclear war survival books can give you a nice little map showing likely targets, they don’t tell you some essential information. Like what the purpose of the attack will be.


The enemy may not be aiming for military targets that day; a blackmail threat might begin by hitting the heart of the farmland or many cities before demanding the surrender of the country being attacked.


The target areas on the maps might be quite safe.


And the maps show where the missiles land IF they all enjoy 100 percent accuracy and reliability.


Does anyone know of such conditions in war? With Soviet machinery!? Targets may be relatively safe places to be in.


Added to this is the fact that some areas can be heavily contaminated or completely free of contamination depending on the wind directions in the upper atmosphere.


Please keep a crystal ball in your survival gear?


But let’s ignore all the facts thus far for a few moments and assume that a backpack survivalist has found an ideal retreat and is planning to go there in the event of a national disaster… What next?


His first concern should be that he’ll have a hard time taking the supplies he needs with him.


A nuclear war might mean that it will be impossible to grow food for at least a year and foraging is out as well since animals and plants may be contaminated extensively.


An economic collapse wouldn’t be much better. It might discourage the raising of crops; no money, no sales except for the barter to keep a small farm family going.


With large corporations doing much of our farming these days, it is not unreasonable to expect a major famine coming on the heels of an economic collapse.


Growing food would be a good way to attract starving looters from miles around.


Ever try to pack a year’s supply of food for a family into a small van or car? There isn’t much room left over.


But the backpack survivalist needs more than just food.


If he lives in a cold climate (or thinks there might be something to the nuclear winter theory) then he’ll need some heavy clothing.


Rifles, medicine, ammunition, tools, and other supplies will also increase what he’ll need to be taking or which he’ll have to hide away at his retreat site.


Shelter? Building a place to live (in any style other than caveman) takes time.


If he builds a cabin beforehand, he may find it vandalized or occupied when he gets to his retreat; if he doesn’t build it before hand, he may have to live in his vehicle or a primitive shelter of some sort.


Thus, a major problem is to get a large enough vehicle to carry everything he needs as well as to live in.


There is a major problem of timing which the backpack survivalist must contend with.


He has to be packed and ready to go with all members of his family at the precise moment he learns of the disaster!


The warning he gets that warrants evacuating an area will have to be acted on quickly if he’s to get out ahead of the major traffic jams that will quickly develop.


A spouse at work or shopping or kids across town at school means he’ll either have to leave them behind or be trapped in the area he’s in.


A choice not worth having to make.


Unless he’s got a hot line from No 10, the backpack survivalist will not hear the bad news much ahead of everyone else.


If he doesn’t act immediately, he’ll be trapped out on the road and get a first-hand idea of what grid lock is like if he’s in an urban area.


Even out on the open road, far away from a city, a motorway can become hectic following a football game…


Imagine what it would be like if everyone were driving for their lives, some cars were running out of fuel (and the occupants trying to stop someone for a ride), and the traffic laws were being totally ignored while the traffic police tried to escape along with everyone else.


Just trying to get off or on major motorways might become impossible.


If things bog down, how long can the backpack survivalist keep those around from helping to unload his truck load of supplies that they’ll be in bad need of?


Telling them they should have prepared ahead of time won’t get many sympathetic words.


Even on lightly travelled roads, how safe would it be to drive around in a vehicle loaded with supplies?


Our backpack survivalist will need to defend himself.


But let’s suppose that he’s thought all this out. He has a large van, had the supplies loaded in it, managed to round every member of his family up beforehand, somehow got out of his area ahead of the mob, is armed to the teeth, and doesn’t need to take a motorway route.


When he reaches his destination, his troubles are far from over.


The gridlock and traffic jams won’t stop everyone. People will slowly be coming out of heavily populated areas and most of them will have few supplies.


They will have weapons (guns are one of the first things people grab in a crisis according to civil defence studies) and the evacuees will be desperate.


How many pitched battles will the survivalist’s family be able to endure? How much work or even sleep can he get when he’s constantly on the lookout to repel those who may be trying to get a share of his supplies?


This assumes that he gets to where he’s going ahead of everyone else. He might not though.


If he must travel for long, he may discover squatters on his land or find that some local person has staked out his retreat area for their own.


There won’t be any law to help; what happens next? Since (according to military strategists) our backpack survivalist needs about three times as many people to take an area as to defend it, he will need to have some numbers with him and expect to suffer some casualties.


Does that sound like a good way to survive?


What about the local people that don’t try to take over his retreat before he gets there?


Will they be glad to see another stranger move into the area to tax their limited supplies?


Or will they be setting up roadblocks to turn people like the backpack survivalist away?


But let’s just imagine that somehow, he’s discovered a place that doesn’t have a local population and where those fleeing cities aren’t able to get to.


What happens when he gets to his retreat? How good does he need to be at hunting and fishing?


One reason mankind went into farming was that hunting and fishing don’t supply enough food for a very large population nor do they work during times of drought or climatic disruption.


What does he do when he runs out of ammunition or game?


What happens if the streams become so contaminated that he can’t safely eat what he catches?


Can he stake out a large enough area to guarantee that he won’t deplete it of game so that the next year is not barren of animals?


Farming? Unless he finds some unclaimed farm machinery and a handy storage tank of fuel at his retreat, he’ll hardly get off first base.


Even primitive crop production requires a plough and work animals (or a lot of manpower) to pull the blade.


No plough, no food for him or domestic animals.


And domestic animals don’t grow on trees. Again, unless he just happens to find some cows waiting for him at his retreat, he’ll be out of luck.


(No one has packaged freeze dried cows or chickens at least, not in a form you can reconstitute into living things).


Intensive gardening? Maybe. But even that takes a lot of special tools, seeds, know how, and good weather. Can he carry what he needs and have all the skills that can be developed only through experience?


Even if he did, he might not have any food to eat. Pestilence goes hand in hand with disasters.


Our modern age has forgotten this. But during a time when chemical factories aren’t churning out the insecticides and pest poisons we’ve come to rely on, our backpack survivalist should be prepared for waves of insects flooding into any garden he may create.








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