Since 1988, my wife and I have been living with an aim toward self-sufficiency, but with Survivalism as the planning focus. We changed the direction of our lives and careers at that time, and being Born-Again (Ezk 36:26-27) Christians, we prayed and were Guided to pursue this preparedness path. As far as any effort goes, living In God's Accord is the most confidence inspiring path anyone can find. God has Enabled all that we have done and Blessed us continually in our daily lives and survivalist pursuits. That said, these pages will not typically contain witness or Christian Discussion, but everything we are about, we owe to HIM.
Lots of literature out there on Survivalism and preparedness. In 1988, there wasn't much. Bruce Clayton's great work, LIFE AFTER DOOMSDAY remains a great reference. Not so much for the gear reviews. The gear is 30yrs old and mostly superseded, yet Clayton offers a review of planning for location and a listing of known locations for USA military nuclear assets. The book is a great overview on how to consider alternate locations and all the varied risks from weather, climate, tectonics, and also proximity to nuclear targets or stored assets. The other primary Survivalist resource for planning has to be Cresson Kearny's NUCLEAR WAR SURVIVAL SKILLS. The information was compiled at Oakridge National Laboratory and represents about the final bit of Civil Defense thought or planning sponsored by the Federal Govt. The data is superb and the plans for building a dug-out shelter in 18hrs and surviving 10mi out from ground zero blast zone has never been duplicated. Even a template in the book for making a homemade radiation meter. The book is a free download at www.ki4u.com...
Mel Tappan's two volumes, TAPPAN ON SURVIVAL, SURVIVAL GUNS, remain in print, and in the early 90s we bought a reprint of his Personal Survival Letter newsletter. Great info in all of these, especially the JB Wood and Jeff Cooper columns in PSL and SURVIVAL GUNS.
The first hundred issues of THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS are also a tremendous resource for self-sufficiency and creative living. For Gardening, hard to beat the early Rodale's Organic Gardening, the small 9x7 format magazines. There were also Survive and American Survival Guide magazines which were interesting.
I continue to recommend Kurt Saxon's books, especially GRANDAD'S BOOK OF CHEMISTRY and Saxon's 4 volumes (maybe more by now) of THE SURVIVOR. For more info google his name and see the website. Saxon is the person who originated the terms Survivalism and Survivalist. His primary focus is on self-sufficiency using early 20th century technology and making what you need in way of daily products, food, and equipment. Fascinating reprints from early Popular Mechanics, Chambers Encyclopedia and other stuff including puppet-making and toymaking for your children.
When our first child was on the way, we found our way from Ob/Gyn to Certified Nurse Midwife and met other families with similar self-sufficiency goals. Not only did we have home-births for our children, we were introduced to homeopathic and herbal medicine and greater focus on Organic Wholegrains and later to Macrobiotics.
In course of the last 23 years, we have learned many self-sufficient skills. We've remodeled 2 houses, built another, and learned to make our own herbal tinctures, used wholegrains we put up for storage in 1995 in 2008, and installed our own intertied 24v solar array with inverters running our home and battery storage of 25kw. I grew up with firearms and began handloading in 8th grade. Had sold most of my collection several years earlier, and owned only a .22 rifle and pistol, both .22lr. I learned gunsmithing basics and how to tune my firearms, expert techniques for handloading, and precision rifle shooting.
One thing I am not is a Rambo. We own guns; several for each family member in fact. Yet the First Principle of Survivalism is location. The primary goal is to be "Out Of The Line Of Fire". Getting out of the city is most of the equation, with the remainder being "Don't Relocate In An Evacuation Route". Anyone see the disaster Houston Texas underwent in 2005 in the evacuation for Hurricane Rita? Drivers were trapped on Interstate highways for 72hrs or longer in blistering Summer heat. Couple hundred thousand evacuees were on the road or stranded. Bruce Clayton advised being further than 20mi from the nearest Interstate Hwy; yet you gotta be there before the evacuation starts and gridlock happens.
The Survivalist has relocated or owns a bug-out retreat that is Out Of The Line Of Fire...
Effective Survival comes down to 5 Basics.
Having water suitable for drinking and cooking to remain Hydrated,
Having food and means of food preparation to Feed self/familiy,
Possession of Firearms & Ammunition and skill to use them for Self-Defense.
The premise of the books WHERE THERE IS NO DOCTOR and WHERE THERE IS NO DENTIST is enough knowledge to empower you to overcome Medical and Dental emergencies or provide a resource for treatment regimens with limited resources. (Worth having in your Resource Library for sure!)
Nobody ever wrote Where There Is No Police Or Sheriff... When that happens, you are on your own and will make-do with what you have to make-do with. If you are living Out Of The Line Of Fire, most likely you will have fewer encounters with desperate folk.
Optimally, you've got money and enough commitment to decide to deploy your resources to enable the benefits of self-sufficient living for your family while having also located remote enough to be somewhat distant from major population centers or separated from them by desert, mountains, body of water, or other barrier. Likely enough, the cities will be on lock-down shortly after a martial-law announcement. Of course, plans have a way of proving poorly conceived in the face of unanticipated circumstances. Relocating your family and household before the plan must be enacted is the only reliable solution.
Probably could wax on and on with an intro. Hopefully, I've given a fairly cohesive overview of the topic. Lots more discussion and experience to be added here in the days to come. I have written many articles on forums and will probably organize the material and discussion from most important to the minor functions that also matter. We'll also discuss many misconceptions that could prove deadly.
As of this date, Nov 12th, 2011, there are enough dire looking events on the world political and economic stages to warrant concentrating on the Survivalism Principles that could do the most for you, most immediately. If you have not yet begun to store food and buy some essential tools and gear; Now is the time to review your needs and take action!
More to come soon.