By Ray Gano -
August 5, 2016
By Ray Gano
There are a lot of things going on that have many people concerned. So much so that a number of people have contacted me about putting together a longer term “Get Out Of Dodge” bag / plan.
We are constantly being threatened with economic collapse, Plague / Pandemic, and more recently an oppressive government that will become even more oppressive if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency. If that happens, I can clearly see out nation heading towards a civil war. Couple her being in the presidency, but there have been rumors being floated around that Obama is putting his crosshairs on being the next Secretary General of The UN.
Can you imagine what sort of carnage that would bring about for the US?
Who ever wins the presidency will also name at least four supreme court justices. If that is Hillary, she will stack the justices in her favor and they will be her “go to yes men.” That means she will be able to make any law she wants and have it stick thanks to the SCOTUS help.
If there is an outbreak of civil war, she will need help and if Obama does in fact have his eye on the secretary general position, he would be more than happy to send in UN troops to assist Hillary’s battle of pushing back the dissidents.
So needless to say, there is a lot going on that could cause someone to head for the hills for the long term.
Understanding My Foundation Methods For PreparednessI am one who works on building realistic foundations via achievable goals. I encourage people to take “baby steps” and continue to take baby steps constantly moving forward. What is amazing in using this method is that when you look back and see the ground you have covered, you are amazed at how easy it was to do and what little effort it took to achieve.
How I work is have people build bags / kits and then build upon those bags / kits and expand.
For example, here are some articles that if you have not read, please take the time to read because these are foundation bags / kits that you need to have knowledge of if you are going to put together a long term GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) bag
Keep A First Aid Kit / Blow Out Kit in Your Car
Creating a First Aid Kit Suited to YOU and YOUR Needs – Pt 1
Creating a First Aid Kit Suited to YOU and YOUR Needs – Pt 2
Your Office Bug Out Bag / Get Home Bag
Building Your Own Customized Realistic 72 Hour Bug Out Bag
Once you have read these, you will understand my methodology and keeping thing simple and modular so that you can put together an effective GOOD bag and create a needed cache support system.
Difference Between a BOB – 72 Hour Bag & Your GOOD BagYour 72 hour / BOB is a bag that have needed supplies and gear to help you survive for at least 72 hours / 3 days.
You would most likely use this bag set up if you needed to quickly vacate your home due to natural disaster like an earthquake, tornado, flood, etc. This bag is NOT meant for you to stay in the field for more than a week at the most.
Your GOOD Bag (Get Out Of Dodge) bag is what you will be using with the knowledge that you may not be coming back for a span of time or not coming back ever.
What you need to realize also is that like it or not, you will not be able to carry everything you own on your back.
That is why just putting together a GOOD Bag is just a starting point and you will need to create a cache support system where you have points along your route where you have buried supplies to help you get to your final destination.
Determine Your End Destination & Then Work BackwardsPutting together a GOOD Bag and supporting plan is big time prepping and a lot of thought has to go into this plan.
The best place to start is determine where your end destination will be. That means that you are going to have to take some time scouting around to determine where you want to end up if you are “Getting Outta Dodge.”
Maybe you have property out in the country, have family that lives out in the country or maybe there might be a national forest in your area.
No matter what, you need to have a point where you will end up. Knowing this will help you in putting together your GOOD bag and cache support system.
For the sake of this article, let’s imagine that our end point destination is some location in a national forest.
One of the reasons I pick a national forest is that you can camp indefinitely and even build temporary structures. Most national forests are wilderness area and you will not have many people traipsing through your area, especially if you have chosen an area that is very deep in the forest where access is very limited.
A great way to determine an end point is getting on Google Maps. For example, I am from the Texas area and I have chosen for my GOOD area the national forests areas near Lufkin Texas. I chose that because there are three national forests to choose from, Sabine, Angelina and Davy Crockett national forests.
There are very few rules when staying in the wilderness areas of a national forest. The biggest rule is no motorized vehicles, hang gliders or helicopters allowed. The primary rule is “Leave only footprints and take only pictures.”
Using Google maps, try to find a place that is close to water, a creek, stream or river is best. You do not want your GOOD site actually on these spots, but close to them. Water always brings people and people naturally follow the paths water takes.
It is also best to find someplace that is “high ground” so that in the event of a storm, water flows away from you. Having high ground also gives you a tactical advantage when it comes to defending your area.
Once you have chosen several places via Google maps, you need to then do a scouting mission and venture off into the woods. Usually you do not need any permits or such to venture off into the wilderness areas located in national forests.
You have found some possible places for your GOOD Destination. But how do you find it once you are out there?
Scouting Your GOOD Destination
This is where having a good hand held GPS unit comes in handy. I am a big fan of Garmin and have several Garmin GPS units
See, once you have found your areas on Google maps you are then able to copy the coordinates from Google maps into your GPS unit and it will then guide you to your destination points.
For this, I like my Garmin eTrex Legend Hcx hand held. There are many models of eTrex by garmin, the one I have I purchase 7 years ago. The eTrex Legend. It is waterproof and it has a color screen which helps identify areas that have creeks or streams.
As much as I would like to recommend this, I just checked the price for this unit today and it has gone up to $200. I bought mine when it was just over $100. Talk about inflation.
Now if you are interested in this unit you can look at it here…
Garmin eTrex Legend Hcx – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Garmin-eTrex-Legend
But a more up to date and less expensive model that I like is the Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide. This is made for hiking and is also waterproof. It does not have the color screen, but it will help you get to where you need to go.
Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Garmin-Worldwide-10
Both of these are great GPS units that will help you get to your GOOD destination. Without these, you will probably get lost.
Another thing you want to get is a lanyard so that you can hang your GPS around your neck and keep your hands free. Here is a no frills lanyard for $3.00. Can’t beat it.
GPS Lanyard – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-eTrex-Lanyard
A good idea is also having some maps and a good Triduum Military Compass so that if by chance your GPS unit does die on you or runs out of batteries, you have a back up.
To do that, you need to brush up on map reading and land navigation. WHICH, if you are a prepper, it is a great skill to have anyways.
What you will need is a good triduum lensatic compass. This is what we used in the military. The triduum allows you to shine your flashlight on it and it will hold a good “light charge” for some time so that you can also conduct night navigation.
Triduum Military Compass – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Tritium-Military-Compass
Military Coordinate Map Scale – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Coordinate-Scale
Map Reading and Land Navigation: FM 3-25.26 – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-FM-3-25-26
You can also download FM3-25.26 for free if you do not want to purchase a paperback version. But I recommend you having a paperback version so that you can keep it in your back pack.
FM 3-25.26 – https://archive.org/details/milmanual-fm-3-25.26-map-reading-and-land-navigation
You can download kindle and ebook versions from this link as well.
Finally, you will have to order topographical maps of the area that you are looking at and you can order them from the USGS. You can also download them for free from the USGS site. This might be a bit easier for you if you do not want to deal with bulky 1:250,000 scale maps.
USGS Topographical Maps –
[url=http://viewer.nationalmap.gov/basic/?basemap=b1&category=ustopo&title=US Topo Download]http://viewer.nationalmap.gov/basic/?basemap=b1&category=ustopo&title=US%20Topo%20Download[/url]
We have covered finding your GOOD spot and how to get to your GOOD spot.
This is a good time to check your BOB – Bug Out Bag and giving it a test as well.
Preparing Your BOB / 72 Hour BagSee, a lot of people have a good 72 hour bag / BOB but seldom do people take it out into the field and actually “test” to see what they have in their bag is actually good or is it just dead weight.
Going on your GOOD scouting trip is a great chance to also see how well equipped your 72 hour / BOB is and it will also help you refine your bag’s contents.
If you have not built a 72 hour / BOB, then take the time to read these articles that I mentioned up above…
Your Office Bug Out Bag / Get Home Bag
Building Your Own Customized Realistic 72 Hour Bug Out Bag
As I stated before, I use a foundation method and start from the smallest and build upon that to get to the largest.
For example, my “office get home bag” is the basics that I use in my 72 hour / Bug out bag.
This 72 hour / BOB will be the basis which we will build our GOOD bag from. But first you need to put together your 72 hour / BOB and test it out in the field.
You are going to be hiking in the wilderness for several days scouting an area for your GOOD destination.
Things You Want To Add To Your 72 Hour / BOB
You do not know what you will encounter, so it is better to be prepared than not.
A few items that I would recommend adding to your bag.
This sword disguised as a machete is about 2 lbs in weight and the blade thickness is 2.8mm thick and as with all the Cold Steel Machetes they are made from 1055 carbon steel.
A Solid Machete – The Cold Steel Cutlass Machete
What I like about this sword is that it has the full encased handle that your hand will slip into, much like that standard cutlass.
For $25 and change at Amazon you can’t go wrong for getting basically a fully functional sword disguised as a machete.
If you are hiking in true wilderness, you will probably come up against vines, brambles and such that you need to clear just to get through the brush.
Like it or not, depending on where you are going, you need to think about snakes. My GOOD spot is in Texas and we have a boat load of rattlers. This machete is a great defense against those bugger snakes and will take care of them rather quickly.
Condor Cross Draw Tactical VestCondor is a company that puts out some pretty good gear. It isn’t totally military grade, but it is pretty good gear for the price.
I have talked about this vest in the past and with all the pouches and pockets, you can carry pepper spray, a stun gun, strap a first aid pack on the back and also put a water bladder inside the back compartment.
This is a great vest and the holster you can adjust it to hold a handgun, which I would recommend taking on your GOOD scouting trip.
Here are specs for the vest…
– Right side features 3 ammo pouches, large shell carrying pouch, and a shooting pad. – Left side features a pistol holster for most medium-framed pistols, 3 pistol mag pouches that are adjustable to the height of most normal-sized mag.
– Vest is mounted on tough nylon mesh material which aids ventilation. – Shoulders on vest can be adjusted with long velcro strips, and also have 2 mental D-rings for the attachment of carabiners or other material.
– Vest zips up in front and can be secured additionally with a pistol belt (included) threaded through the loops on the bottom. – Interior of vest has two zip-up document pockets left and right.
– Rear of vest is double-ply mesh which allows for the addition of a hydration bladder. – A carrying handle is provided as well as strips across the back for the addition of camouflage material or other pouches.
– Left and right sides can be adjusted for width via drawstrings
I like that there are many pockets, pouches. With something like this, you can also drop your main pack and still have gear on you if you need to hike somewhere quick that you do not want to bring your 72 hour back pack.
I also REALLY like the fact that I can put my camel back water bladder in the back and will help me stay hydrated.
Again this is not military grade, but for civilian use and being prepared it is an excellent vest.
The added belt with two mag pouches are good to keep pepper spray, trail bars / energy bars or a tactical folding knife like the Cold Steel Voyager Clip Point XL.
MOLLE strips on the back also allow you to clip on dump bag to hold spent magazines as well as a small pack of sorts that might carry a day’s rations and a first aid pack.
Finally, you can wear this vest with your 72 hour Back Pack / BOB and use it as an LBE – (Load Bearing Equipment) to carry your compass, flashlight, snacks for the hike in, etc.
Condor Tactical Cross Draw Vest – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Condor-Tactical-Vest
As some of you may know, I am a huge fan of Glock. I like other handguns, but Glock is my go to survival handgun.
A Glock 19 with a TLR Flashlight Attached
You can read about my choices in handguns here in this article “My Gun Lineup”
My Gun Lineup – http://raygano.com/my-gun-lineup/
This is my Glock 19 with a TLR-1 police grade flashlight that is attached to the lower rail. This is an outstanding set up and is great to use in when in a hiking environment.
If you are wearing the cross draw tactical vest that I recommend above, you can adjust the holster to fit the G-19 with the TLR-1 flashlight.
Since you are in the wilderness, I would also highly recommend having multiple magazines of hollow point bullets.
The area that I am choosing does have some cougars, bobcats and I have heard that there are also some black bears in the area.
9mm hollow points will do some serious damage to any of these sort of animal in an emergency situation. Having some back up magazines ready is also a good thing.
Kindle Reader With Solar Power Back UpI am a huge fan of the Kindle because I can take an entire prepper library with me any where I go and not have to lug a bunch of books with me.
Amazon has done a great job with the Kindle Fire and now, you can get a 7” display with 8 Gig storage for only $49.00 from Amazon.
This is a great buy and if you stick a 32 Gig Sim memory chip in it, you can download videos and such and take them with you.
Face it. You are going to be out in the wilderness at night and you are going to be twitting your thumbs because you have nothing to do.
This is why I recommend taking a Kindle with you so at least you can do more prepper research and have valuable manuals with you.
You will need to build a survival shelter, which is the best one to build for the environment you are in?
HEY.. you have a manual on just that very topic on your Kindle.
Wondering what flora and fauna is edible at your GOOD location?
You have a reference book with color pictures on your Kindle so you can see what is edible and what is going to kill you if you eat it.
Want to read God’s Word while sitting in the wilderness, you can download the bible to your Kindle.
How about watching that video on how to make arrow heads out of stone? Yep… Kindle.
There are a lot of things that can help you in the wilderness that you can keep on your Kindle and this is why I highly recommend this.
Amazon Kindle Fire 7” – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Amazon-Kindle-Fire
You will need to keep your GPS, Cell phone and your Kindle charged up. This is why I also recommend the Goal Zero Solar Panel Recharge Kit.
With the Goal Zero Solar Panel Recharge Kit you have a portable, rugged charging kit. This is the solar panel kit that I personally own and I picked it up from Goal Zero when I met the reps at a conference I was speaking at. You are able to charge AA from the sun or from the built in USB port, then power your phone, MP3, GPS, or perk up your tablet in a pinch. You can also plug any device you have directly into the panels themselves and charge your devices.
The solar panels are also made to be hung off of a back pack so that you can charge things while you are hiking.
A side note, I have used this to charge my cell phone when the electricity went out for over 5 hours. This worked great and I was able to stay in contact with the world thanks to the Goal Zero solar panels.
They really do work.
Goal Zero Solar Charger – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Goal-Zero-Solar-Charger
You are going out into the wilderness, there are bugs like chiggers, ticks, fleas and mosquitoes.
Bug Spray – Mosquito Repellent
Here is an old army trick. Go to your local pet supply story and buy two – four+ flea collars.
Take one collar and wrap it around your right leg down by your hiking boots. Do the same with the second collar for your left leg.
Now depending on how wide you are at the mid section, you might need 2-3 more flea collars. Connect these together through the flea collar buckle and then string it through your belt loops.
If you want extra added security, put a flea collar in your back pack at the very top of the load.
You want to also have on hand bug spray that contains DEET. OFF Deep Woods Bug Spray is what I recommend and what I use. I hate chiggers and mosquitoes and this stuff will kill the little buggers.
Off Deep Woods Bug Spray – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Off-Deep-Woods-Bug-Spray
Another thing that I would highly recommend is getting some mosquito coils. These are round coils that you light and they burn like incense putting off a smoke that repels mosquitoes and other flying critters for about 4-6 hours.
Mosquito coils – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Mosquito-Coils
Arriving & Hiking In To Your GOOD DestinationYou have now arrived to the national forest area where you think you will find your GOOD destination for you to bug out to.
One of the first things you want to do is get your GPS out and mark a waypoint where your car is located or at least some sort of public spot that you can navigate back to.
Believe it or not, this is a huge mistake that a lot of people make. They forget to mark their starting point. Now most GPS will keep it in memory, but trying to find that when you are lost and in a panic makes it harder to find.
So, do yourself a favor and make a way point and name it CAR, RANGER STATION or something like that.
Put your flea collars on, your cross draw vest, your back pack and put your GPS around your neck and you are off.
I would recommend walking with your machete in hand, think snakes and brush.
When you are making your way to your destination, try to stick to animal trails if at all possible. Animal trails usually will take the animal to one of three places…
- A place to sleep
- A place to eat
- A place to drink
You need to have all three of those as well and maybe the animals know some good spots. It is worth checking out while on your hike.
Another point about animal trails is that they are used by animals. That means that they will walk behind you later on and possibly cover of your tracks, that is if it is a herd of deer or something like that. Which in East Texas where we are looking at, it is very possible.
While you are hiking around, pay attention to any possible food sources. Is there a large growth of black berries? If so use your GPS to make a way point and name it BLACK BERRIES.
Say you come across a stream and find fish in it. Mark that in your GPS and name if FISHING STREAM.
If you notice a herd of deer, mark that in your GPS as well. Deer are territorial and believe it or not, their home range is usually less than a mile. So if you see them, they are likely in their home range.
You want to identify and many food sources as you are able to. Once you are at your GOOD destination and you are settling down. Take out your Topo Map and mark all your food sources from your GPS to your Topo map.
Another thing you want to look out for is ambush points. An ambush point is a portion of land that you can use in your favor to trap someone or something and then attack it.
For example, you come to a ravine where the sides go up sharply and you are forced to walk through a small area. The tactical advantage is to the person who is on the high ground looking down on the area that is constraining.
Another ambush point might be an open area that has been cut of all the trees. There are a lot of stumps and such sticking up and these create a hazard area where people or animals can be tripped up. They are forced to go slow through this area so that they can navigate it safely.
When you find these different ambush points, mark them in your GPS and name them something like AMBUSH #1 or OPEN FIELD AMBUSH. Name them something that will help you remember them.
You want to have ambush points so that you can put traps and such if you are in a SHTF situation.
Be it to trap animals or to trap bad people from coming into your Get Out Of Dodge area.
When you are at your GOOD Camp, again mark them down on your Topo map.
What you need to remember is that you are on a scouting mission, not a camping trip. You need to determine if this area will make a GOOD destination or not.
Much of what the land has to offer will also determine if you are going to live and thrive in that area or not. If it will not support you with natural resources that you can hunt or gather, then you may need to research another area that has more natural resources that are available to you.