April 6, 2014 at 7:36 pm #7372
I believe this article was written by R. David Manning of TACFIRE. To my knowledge, he is a California Police Officer. So, some of the advice will reflect that. It is written from an American point of view so some of the advice may not apply if you live somewhere else. Take what you can and try to adapt it to your location.
Forward: It is very good article and gives solid advice geared towards being prepared to get home on foot at the chaotic onset of a large emergency. An emergency might not kick off when you are sitting at home. You may be working miles away or across town. Remember, you may have to go to considerable effort just to get home, before you can move on to your other plans for survival and/or evacuation. In addition, long into the event, you may be required to move across heavily populated urban areas on foot. With that in mind……
Guns and Gear
Part one: Getting home
The Concept of getting home safely really depends on how far home is.
You will need a kit that will support the effort.
You should make your plans based on average weekly travels. From there you can add gear as the distance increases for special trips.
Think worse case, meaning that you will have to abandon your vehicle, and either commandeer another, or hoof it.
Remember your actions will be dictated by the situation and your need to get to your loved ones.
Even if you swap vehicles your gear needs to be packed in such a way as it can be transferred easily.
If the roads are destroyed by earthquake or washed out you may have no choice but to walk. That means that all your gear needs to be carried!
Keep a pair of boots and socks in your kit. A broken in pair that will support the effort not hinder it.
The pack should be small to medium size like the Talon by CamelBack. Other companies make similar packs, Eagle and Blackhawk. The problem with a large pack is it will get filled up and heavy! A smaller pack forces you to consider your gear more carefully. Weight will be a problem on a trek. 25 pounds will start to feel like 250 pounds after a while. Do not forget that you will also have the weight of your rifle and other weapons.
You will need your hands free for lots of things so a pack is a must! Your weapons (we will go into selection later) must be concealed! The exception to that rule would be if bands of thugs are out and about. Then you again have two choices:
1. Look and act strong, self confident and prepared to fight or
2. Evade contact.
Looking too strong to mess with is problematic. Some people are too stupid to know who not to mess with and may choose to fight anyway.
Avoiding them altogether is the best choice. Fight only when you have to and do it at the greatest distance from the enemy as possible.
Movement must be stealthy and steady, choosing paths that allow you to keep moving and still hide you from most onlookers.
Stop and look around every so often choosing your course and checking your flank.
*If you do not have the high ground watch up there for folks watching you.
*Every so often if high ground is not to difficult to reach, take it and survey.
This is one reason that binoculars are an important part of the kit. You need to be able to see as far ahead as possible. Also carry rangefinders so you can determine how far away things really are.
Minox BL 10X42 BR Binoculars are midsized good quality binos for about $300
We like Leica LRF 1200 now discontinued and replaced by the CRF 1200. Lots of companies make good ones. Long range is very important. You need to practice on a known distance range to become familiar with the workings of this tool.
Many of us tend to find ourselves in places that cell phones do not have bars, we thought that a Satellite phone would solve the problem. They work everywhere right? On TV and in the movies they work as well as cell phones. If it was only true! I have never had any luck with the dam thing. The satellite company told me that they are replacing the old satellites with new ones so the coverage will soon get better. In the mean time they tell you to go on line for a printout of when the satellite will be passing over your area!
If you have an internet connection, you probably have bars on your cell phone. The thing is just a security blanket, you already spent the $800 so at least it can give you a feel good factor.
How far can you walk in an hour, afternoon or a day? You kinda need to know! You will probably be carrying about 25 pounds of guns and support gear. More than that will be too cumbersome and you will become fatigued more rapidly.
“But how far could a fit, trained person walk in eight hours? If the walker is taking breaks and a meal stop, then 20 miles a day is reasonable for a well-trained walker. If they took no breaks and were going fast, they may be able to cover 30 miles.” http://www.about.com
Blisters are the curse of walkers. You can prevent blisters and you can treat them properly when they develop to prevent further damage. Here are proven techniques and products to keep your feet intact or to help them heal and quench the pain.
Be prepared. Before you head out on a long walk, take along a blister kit to be ready to cover up any hot spots or treat any blisters. Here is a good choice for compact kit with just what you need, easy to carry along.Adventure Medical Kits Blister Medic $8-$10 amazon.com
Wound treatment needs to be considered. I carry a “Trauma Wound Dressing” AKA Israeli Bandage and a tourniquet for sever wounds. Also rubber gloves, purell hand sanitizer, band aids and wet towelletts. Another great idea are Purell Military towels. They are 10×10 wet wipes in zip locked packets of 10. These could be very handy!
I also carry Advil; Cephalexin 500 mg antibiotic, (Cephalexin is used to treat infections caused by bacteria, including ear infections, skin infections, and urinary tract infections.) If you get any type of injury you do not need an infection, be prepared to start a dose as prescribed by your doctor.
Sever pain meds may be needed, I have Norco just in case.
Other first aid is up to you!
Energy bars and water
You will need a way to keep your energy up while on the move or during short breaks. Find some energy bar that will not melt or crumble into dust.
Water is heavy! I always have a few 20-25oz bottles in the car with me. That is about all you can afford to carry anyway! The Hydration systems that are built into the back packs are problematic. 1. They leak. 2. The water will mildew if there is not enough chlorine in it. You cannot store bottled water in your hydration system! So I have removed all of mine from the packs and will just plan on carrying a few water bottles.
What about navigation at night? Not too much of a problem if the power is still on. Ambient light from and city is pretty good. But if you go off the beaten path you may need light to see where you are going. We like multi- purpose flashlights like the Gladius and an Aviator. The Gladius has 3 LED modes: Strobe; On/off and power up and down. I like the power down for navigation and map reading. The Aviator has 2 modes: Bright and dim. The dim feature is LED. Both flashlights are medium to small handheld systems with the activation button on the tail cap. Both have Glock lanyards.
Blackhawk makes several light holders: The first is the Gladius Flashlight pouch-Open top and the second is the Flashlight holder w/mod-u-lock attachment. Both will hold similar sized lights. Blade-Tech also makes a bezel down flashlight holder with Tek-Lok or belt loops.
To quote one of my staff “Flashlights are just expensive tubes to carry dead batteries around” and he is right! You will need a way to carry batteries. Surefire makes a neat spare battery carrier that holds (6) 123 batteries and a bulb. You should have at least one of those in your kit.
Law enforcement and military
Depending on how bad things are you are as likely to have to deal with good guys doing their job as bad guys trying to hurt you. In fact, the worse that things get the more government will respond. That is after they get their act together! That will take 24-48 hours. You will only have local Law Enforcement to deal with until then. They will be spread thin and your best bet is to avoid them. This is especially true as you will be armed! Those of us in Law enforcement will have no problems. Just done our raid jackets and have our badges ready. We will be able to pass into places others will be denied. Our visible weapons will be ignored. With this in mind it will behoove you to make the sacrifice and become a contributing member a law enforcement agency in your area. If you already are gainfully employed than become a Reserve officer or deputy. It will mean some time in an Academy and volunteering 20 or so hours per month. Worth it!
The benefits far out weight the cost. A badge, a radio, guns!! Instant good guy status!
Here in “Sunny” southern California we rarely need cold weather gear.
Even on a “cold” 60 degrees, rainy day, a poncho will do fine. Good news because they are light and compact. Cold weather gear is bulky and heavy!
When I was making frequent trips to Reno my kit was much larger due to the need for cold weather gear in the mountains.
Clothing selection should accommodate local weather conditions. Here if we have to travel on foot we will need light weight comfortable pants and shirts that will protect us from prolonged exposure to the sun! A hat that can cover your ears and something to protect the back of your neck is a must. Color should be neutral “Grey “as John Farnam describes it. You need to blend in and not stand out! A sturdy belt to support your weapons. A company called The Wilderness http://www.thewilderness.com in Phoenix AZ makes the best belts.
Steyr Scout Rifle at 6.6lbs and 38” overall length is a good choice for those of you who are not authorized to have an ”Assault rifle” It has an extra mag in the stock for ammo management. Only drawback is it is in 308 caliber.
Another choice is Steyr Elite which is available in 5.56 and has a 10 round magazine. It weighs a bit more at 9 lbs and has an overall length of 42 inches.
These are both light weight rifles of high quality that are legal to own almost anywhere in the US.
The M1A is also California legal. Expensive as above and only .308 but a fine battle rifle.
Of course nothing beats the Stoner System AR15 for a lightweight battle rifle. Ammo is easily managed and will be plentiful. Choose a short barrel and collapsible stock so it will be concealable and yet effective out to 250 yards.
We are not going to mess around with any other long rifle systems. All the diehard AK fans must remember that we are a NATO country! Ammo and parts for the AR15 system are plentiful. The AK system cannot be supported here in the USofA!! Period end of story.
The “I am too cheap to by an AR15 so I am gonna get a “Mini 14” folks need to remember that it was designed as a ranch rifle not a battle rifle. When evil comes to kill you and your loved ones it will not be squirrels attacking!
Shotguns are also out! They are too heavy and ammo management is difficult. The maximum effective range with slugs and good sights is only 100 yards. That is way too close to be fighting.
Back to the AR15. We need to have at least two 30 round magazines filled with 28 rounds each of 5.56 NATO rounds. One on your belt and the other in the rifle. One more in your pack would not hurt!
The 55grain FMJ is the first choice with the 62grain green tip a close second. Nothing else! There is a reason the military designed the 5.56 NATO round the way that they did. Cause it works well in battle conditions in hot weapons!! No .223 soft point, ballistic tip or Match rounds. We are not shooting “Soft skinned game or competing for the smallest group at 500 yards. We are fighting for our lives and the lives of our loved ones and we need ammo that works all the time on EVIL PEOPLE!!
What I like?
Colt AR15 with fixed stock and 16 inch barrel. The carry handle has been replaced by a Trijcon ACOG 4×32. It has an EZ Sling. It is loaded to the patrol ready with 18 rounds of Q3131 5.56 FMJ in a Colt 20 round magazine.
Simple with no other unnecessary B/S bolted on! The rifle is factory original!
You must have a sling for your rifle. A 3 point or single point sling that allows the rifle to hang in front of you, but also allows your hands to be free when it is not in use. Sling Systems E-Z sling is the best of the 3 point systems although The Wilderness Giles sling is a very close second. Several companies make a single point sling including Black Hawk.
Handguns need to be semi automatic 9mm or 40 caliber, the first choice being 9mm. Why? Because there are more 9mm rounds available in the USofA than any other. Until the Military chooses another round, that is what we have lots of. In LA County alone between the LASO and The LAPD there are at least 20,000 9mm pistols!! NYPD has over 30,000 9mm Glocks.
Get your egos out of this fight. No matter what our favorite carry pistol is, we need to get to know the Beretta 92F 9mm intimately. Cause that is likely to be available when things get bad.
The Glock 17 is lightweight, durable, reliable, high capacity, simple to operate with one hand under stress and its finish is extremely corrosion resistant..
You should have at least 1 extra magazine filled with 147 grain JHP.
Night sights are a must, not only for reduced light shooting but rugged durability.
Holster, mag holders, flashlight pouch
This support gear is somewhat personal, but remember that we are discussing rather extreme conditions. Leather gear is nice, comfortable and looks great. But what about water i.e. sweat, rain and bodily fluids? We recommend Blade-Tech kydex gear. The IDPA Approved series of holsters are great quality. Belt or paddle is up to you, they come with either or both.
Single magazine holders with TECH-LOK work for the extra pistol mag and AR15 mag.
The Wilderness also makes some good gear for this purpose:
The ZIP Slide attaches to belts up to 1-3/4” wide via two quick release wrap around Velcro straps. It is easy to put on and take off, yet rock solid and secure when in place. It is a straight drop belt-slide water-resistant nylon holster. The material is tough 100D Cordura nylon skin wrapped around a head-molded polymer core. It is sewn and molded to the specific weapon.
The single magazine pouches for the pistol and AR15 are constructed the same way. I have had copies of this gear for over 10 years and it is still working great.
A.Leatherman tool is in a wilderness pouch.
B.Spyderco Military serrated
C.Spyderco Endura ½ serrated
D.Swiss Army Knife
A big survival knife like a Gerber BMF can be handy.
Other knives are up to you.
Some other things to pack:
A.1. Brown military towel
B.2. Brown Military cotton scarf
C.3. Camo cotton handkerchief
D.4. Underwear and pair of socks 1 each
F.6. Lots of hand wipes
The pack should not weigh out at much more than 20 pounds. The pistol and support gear will go ontoyour waist along with an AR15 mag and flashlight. That gear will reduce the weight on the pack straps and could be replaced with water.April 7, 2014 at 2:34 am #7433
His choice of rifles seems odd to me. I can understand telling people to go with a scout, but down playing .308? If a person can carry any semi auto rifle, I’ve used AR/M16/M4 and AK47/74/AKM rifles quite a bit. AKs will work but to really run an AK or HK or AR or (pick a rifle) you have to train and practice with it. Some one goes out with a buddy who was in the National Guard and spends an afternoon shooting a few hundred rounds and think they are trained. It is not that simple. If a person grew up hunting with pump action shotguns, might be better off with a pump action rifle if they have never had any training – especially if they aren’t going to get any training. A old simple rule of thumb, if you spend $1000 on a rifle, you might spend $500 on optics. With ammo prices and the cost of good training? That $1000 rifle just became $3000. I am very practical, if you grew up hunting, and you’re not going to get the training, stay with what you know – practice a little more. If you are going to get the training, by all means go get a nice rifle with optics etc. His rifle and scope, wild guess $2500-3000. I’m not going to leave that type of investment laying under a windbreaker in the back seat of my jeep. So, that is another thought. He also mentions carrying your rifle concealed, not to many long guns out there that a person can carry concealed in Southern California.
Flip side, some very good information. Maybe instead of volunteering with a local cop shop, go talk to the fire department. You might even get some medical training – most firemen are EMTs. Talk to the local emergency response agency, maybe you can volunteer to help with something. Will they ever call you? Doubt it, but you will get to meet a few folks, maybe even get an ID and Jacket. Those just might be worth their weight in gold. Even if you don’t want to volunteer I would recommend the FEMA ICS web site, you can take the courses and get an idea about some of the organization.
His recommendation for a small light pack I agree with. “Move light, freeze at night.” You want to be able to move. Make your pack and then go for a walk, most people in the western world can’t walk 25 miles in a day. Learn how far you can walk, then cut that distance in half – when you are trying to sneak and not be seen you move slower. For example, I live 40 miles from work. I will have to cross 2 streams and 1 small river. I walk on a regular basis and have done so my entire life. I could, in an emergency make the 40 miles in 1 day – but I am not a kid anymore and the next day (or 2) I would be useless. So make it 2 days. Now since I know from experience that I won’t be walking down the side of a road or up on the railroad tracks, that I will be stopping often to “look, listen, and observe” that 2 day trip just became 4 days. So where will I stop? I have several picked out. Where will I make my water crossings? My pack is similar.
The only other thing I would offer is plain edge on the knives – you can sharpen a plain edge easier than a serrated.
I think for him, for his “mission” he has a good plan. For someone else, maybe not. Think everything through, then go back and play devil’s advocate – what can go wrong. I like the old simple questions: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why. If you can answer those, then you can start your planning. Anyway, my thoughts.April 7, 2014 at 2:48 am #7437
I think some of it is right on with the handguns need to be semi automatic 9mm or 40 caliber is true. There will be a lot of them in the streets, I also think the same goes for the .223. Some good inf in the article.April 7, 2014 at 3:32 am #7442
I agree with the idea of being familiar with the handgun types found in an area, but I don’t see basing what I carry on what the police or military carry as being huge. I mean I am not very likely to share ammo with someone I don’t know. Would you? The idea of scrounging ammo during a firefight isn’t being put forth by very many.
So you got an AR and 3 mags, after a brief encounter with gang _____ you manage to break contact and beat feet – after all there was 20 of them and just you. A mile down the road you see a couple of cop cars, so you sling your rifle and walk up and ask for more ammo? I would be a little hesitant on that. As an individual, the only way that I can see of resupplying with ammo in a crisis is a) you ambush another individual and take theirs or b) you happen across someone else that all parties involved in a shoot out are now dead and you can secure whatever gear that is there. From a purely tactical stand point, both ideas are less than ideal. Ideally you want to move from where you happen to be to where you need to be. If you can do that without firing any shots, that is best – less chance of injury and death.
Yes I do own rifles in 5.56, 7.62×39, and 7.62 NATO. But I have them because the ammo was common when I bought them and easy to get. Now in my area of the US, no caliber is in abundance at any store. Today, perhaps I would buy a rifle in another caliber if I needed an new rifle.April 7, 2014 at 5:22 am #7458
Many of the recommendations are sound, the serrated edge Spyderco for example.
Why serrated? Because it’s a weapon and tool, the half serrated model and SAK give the user standard edges to use but the serrated edge cuts rope/belts like no straight edge can and will make a mess of flesh if it’s needed, that’s it’s purpose.
One can argue the choice over the AK platform all day and twice on Sundays.
But as it’s the standard US issue gun, and parts are more available than any other platform, it’s here to stay.
More people have been trained on it in this country in the last 50 years than any other gun.
One of my customers was in VietNam very early on, he remembered how to operate one perfectly nearly 40 years later, despite not having handled one since he left VietNam in ’66. (He still doesn’t like them)
Perfect? No, but it works and works well today.
He is not incorrect, especially in the cities about LE officers being given a ‘pass’ when others would be stopped.
That includes Fire Dept guys. Sorry but FD guys aren’t cops, I see one with a gun, I’m gonna suspect something’s wrong with him. LE guys may not always recognize each other, but that badge/jacket/raid gear is a sign of brotherhood and trust. Something goes sideways, I still have my old badge, tac vest, jacket and other gear, and the local Sheriff’s guys all know me. Worst part? I’d likely be dragged into the SO and given a new badge and expected to work.
The common handgun?
Realistically it’s whats the most common not just in the military and LE, but in everybody else’s hands also.
Glock has 65% of the LE market, and heaven only knows how many are in private hands, they are everywhere.
Beretta? Besides being the .mil gun, with every soldier in the last 25+ years being trained on it, but for years they were extremely popular and common in private hands. A customer just brought a brand new one in two weeks back, they are still a good choice after all these years. And the 92 is still an ‘issue’ choice for LAPD officers hence it still being a good choice for those in that area.
The night sights? Especially on the Glock? Because until recently the Glock sights were not just cheap plastic, but cruddy cheap plastic, the front sight easily knocked out of the slide. The steel night sights are much stronger and durable, the night feature are a bonus.
And while I prefer a different handgun and caliber than the Glock/Beretta 9mm/.40 options, I can say that they are not a bad choice, especially for this purpose.
My first duty gun was a Beretta (96 .40cal) and I still have a soft spot for the Beretta 92 family.
Downplaying the .308? Again, location is the key.
He’s not expecting to deal with an angered Moose but soft skinned gang bangers and their cars/cover.
I can understand his choice, even if it’s not mine.
But looking at ranges, targets and such, the .308 is a great cartridge (and my personal choice) but for most shooters, especially for this situation, it’s too much of a good thing. Especially when fast second shots are needed from a manually operated gun.
Ammo from others? Tough call.
LE will possibly give another LEO ammo/mags in an emergency.
During Katrina, a number of LEO’s had to be issued ammo because their gear had gotten soaked, gotten left behind or their ammo lockers fully swamped and unavailable.
Most of us carried a spare box of pistol ammo in our “war bag”. If it came to it, I’d have handed that box to a fellow blue-suiter in need. Someone else? Unless I knew them, ain’t gonna happen.
Just don’t expect to get that ammo if you ain’t got a badge.
As a private citizen? I’m keeping my ammo in a bad situation, and I don’t expect to be able to gather any more for a while after it hits the fan, if ever.
In this situation, the guns/ammo is purely defensive not offensive. If it were offensive, there’d be a great deal more of it. This is to break contact and get home.April 7, 2014 at 11:27 am #7478
osagemarine. Were I live in the City there are ten homes in front and ten on my side. Out of ten on my side two I know will back me up and I will back them, so I need to know what guns they have. If they run out of ammo then there is a problem. In front I have a doctor which is a prepper so that is good but the only thing he owns a two 45 and I do not. I own a 9mm, 357, 380 so I need to make sure that he buy a good amount of .45 ammo. I need them all to have a good amount of ammo since the City is going to be wild.April 7, 2014 at 8:38 pm #7587
I agree with you Freedom. I don’t disagree with a lot of what the original posting said – I question it’s being universal.
I own ARs, I also have repair parts for them. I own AKs, but I don’t own any repair parts – never needed them. The Guns are different. To be perfectly honest they compliment each other. To say one is better than the other is questionable. The actual issue goes back to training, If you’ve had it or are going to get it an AR is ok. If not, the AKs are more forgiving – that’s why conscription armys around the world use them. If you are going to carry an AR, remember you are shooting a cartridge designed to wound, not kill.April 8, 2014 at 3:26 pm #7697
This is great. Thanks for sharing everyone.
I keep a GHB (get home bag) in my vehicle. I only live less than 15 miles from my workplace, but that’s 15 miles of swampy marsh, city, ghetto, more marsh, and suburbs.
I packed my GHB accordingly.April 8, 2014 at 6:54 pm #7743
I find these lists as a means to stimulate discussion and to recheck your kits. Each family/individual will differ based on local environment. When traveling (wife and I are heading to Alaska soon) I always have a modified go-bag based on destination. A good map of area, hand-held police/emergency scanner/radio can be invaluable in emergencies. Police/emergency scanner apps for smart phone and Android devices are free (I’m listening right now on my iPhone). A recent purchase for my kit is Ruger’s 10/22 ‘Takedown.’ Grew up on Texas ranch and took a lot of critters with .22 (including deer). Will add small detachable scope and silencer.
Thanks for sharing!April 8, 2014 at 8:11 pm #7763
chester, the Ruger’s 10/22 ‘Takedown is one great 22lr. I plan to get one. You can not have enough 22lr rifles. You can carry a 550 rounds of ammo in one pocket. The Ruger 10/22 is one of the best. I also own the Sig522 Swat which I also love, http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductDetails/sig522-swat.aspx It comes with a folding and locking stock.April 8, 2014 at 8:33 pm #7765
I think the .22 rifle is a good choice for a survival tool (espicially if you are using a suppresor). I wouldn’t want to use it as a primary for self defense against 2 legged wolves or anything bigger.
Miss Hannah, Have you scouted your route? Think about the swampy areas, I know winters here in the coastal region are mild, but hypothermia can be an issue. Cottonmouths are a bigger issue in warm months and I would recommend a very good bug repellent (unscented if you can find one). I am only bringing these up cause most of the folks I know live in town where they spray, out away from those areas it can be bad.April 8, 2014 at 8:52 pm #7768
Osage, thanks so much for the pointers!
I have scouted and it’s not gonna be a fun trip home. The water moccasins were one of my biggest concerns, so I keep a Ruger SR22 with CCI’s 22LR shotshells in my GHB. This is not my primary self defense weapon, though I don’t wanna be on the receiving end of the shotshells regardless!
My next concern was the bugs. SC is loaded with mosquitoes, and I want to be as least miserable as possible. I’ve got deep woods bug spray (with DEET, sorry environmentalists) in my GHB as well as my car.
Once I’m out of the swamp, I’ll be in the Charleston suburbs and ghetto and dealing with other humans. I have guns and ammo for this. I don’t want to shoot anyone, but I know this area well and the absolute trash that inhabits it. I plan to stay concealed until I reach my neighborhood, where I don’t expect many issues.April 8, 2014 at 9:13 pm #7773
Since I am in the city I do not want to make to much noise so the 22lr is good, but on my back is my tactical shotgun and my side arm is my 9mm. Will shot the 22lr but if it dos not look good the shotgun will be used.
If I get out of the city then I will use my 308 FAL.April 8, 2014 at 9:21 pm #7775
I would try to avoid those hoods. Section 8 housing ares will get very bad very quick. If I absolutely had to travel through them, I would wait untill just before daylight, or even just after. Let them crash first. Another thought is urban camoflage, I know you said you was going to hide, but looking like you belong might get you further than mossy oak. If your gonna be traveling through there you want your pack/bag to not scream money (ie REI or Kelty) and to not scream copper/mil/money (Camelback, Oakley, Maxpedition etc). If you have one of the high end bags, go to wally world and buy a cheap book bag (earth tones and no shiney designs) to stick your good bag in untill you get to the burbs. And remember, in the course of the last 10 yrs there have been lots of folks deployed from the low rent destrict over to the sand box – a few of them actually have military training and experience to go with living there.April 8, 2014 at 9:25 pm #7776
Freedom, which FAL? I have an Imbel, but its got DSA furniture and the short para barrel. Real nice for urban. With practice follow up shots are very close to an AR for speed. I just hate buying ammo for it.
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