Monday, 13 October 2014

Practical Survivalism

This post is about shelter-building, but is not about the actual building of a shelter but the practical (and logical) points that need to be taken into account when doing so. There are lots of books out there that show how to build a shelter from just the materials available, but whether some of these work is open to question. This is about a man-made shelter I came across in a woodland in the New Forest at the latter part of the summer of 2014. This was a small shelter made of lengths of dead wood and some cut from the trees around the area; smaller branches had been laid across these and then the whole thing was covered with green foliage. This seems to be a typical shelter used in 'bushcraft'.
Seeing this I took a close look at it and found that the whole of the inside was soaked from the rain that fell overnight. Now, the summer had been hot and dry, the driest for some years now, and it had only just started to rain on the week we went to the New Forest - so this shelter had not been subject to a lot of heavy falls of rain. It was clear that it had been put up recently, since the foliage was green.
My first thoughts on this was that it seemed a total waste of time and energy making the effort to spend so much time on building such a shelter when it would not hold out the rain. Yes, maybe this was a practice, but even then it seems a waste of time practicing something that does not work. The shelter had been really well made, and it must have taken a good deal of time to collect the wood and put it together - so it was not the actual structure that was at fault. It is obviously very difficult to make a water-tight shelter from this type of green foliage.
Going back some years we held a Folk-Moot and Camp in the Midlands at which we were shown by an ex-member of the Special Forces in South Africa how a shelter like this should be built. What he used was a similar type of structure, though his was a tepee-style version, but after putting up the initial framework he searched the area and found some discarded polythene sacks which he used over the framework in an overlapping fashion and then held these in with another structure above them. It was a dry time of the year then and we could not test this structure, but it would seem that it would have stood the test of rain and wind.
I have seen a lot of the types of shelter built in the New Forest and in Sussex, and not one of them that I have looked at has been water-tight in any way. This seems to be rather a waste of practice and the energy needed to build one. Going back to this particular shelter, I then studied the area carefully and found - not 100 yards away - a fallen tree that was totally dry underneath the trunk. In a survival situation it would be far more logical (in my opinion) to look around for a dry spot first, and then build something from what is available that would help even further to stop the wind and the rain - if necessary, that is.
Many areas of conifer trees give far more natural shelter from rain and snow that the indigenous deciduous trees. Trees such as spruce and fir give quite a bit of natural shelter on their own, without anything else. These can be picked as a spot to sleep under, using material around to build a wind-break. This would probably be far more water-tight than a shelter built like the ones I have mentioned.
The one thing that should be remembered is that anyone who is first fully prepared will not need to take a great deal of time building a shelter because the materials are carried with them. This we have done so with a basha, ponch, or small tarp, together with paracord and fittings. This goes into a very small Snugpack Response Pack or similar and can be carried with you. Admittedly, there is a need to practice building shelters without any available material except those in the area, but we have never had trouble finding an old tarp, old polythene sacks or other waterproof material which are in today's 'throw-away' society left lying about. Even pieces of plywood or chipboard are left around, as well as pieces of roofing-felt etc. Any of these will act as a waterproof cover over a structure.

This is a tepee-shelter that we built around three years ago now; it is still in the same area, hidden by being covered with dead branches, twigs and leaves. It has been water-tight and windproof ever since we built it all that time ago. It was built from materials found in the same area, and that includes the tarp which was left lying about in the woodlands. This was also a larger shelter, suited to two (or three small) people so a one-man shelter would not have needed such a large tarp.
Guerilla Survivalism must be about practical methods that actually work; logic tells us that this has to be so. If the type of shelter built in the New Forest does not work because it will not hold the water out, then alternative methods must be studied or thought up. Our work is not done under the same conditions as the Special Forces but is meant as a means of preparing us in case of future problems, or if a situation did arise that would mean we need the knowledge to do this type of thing. But the answer to the problem - in our case - is to go fully prepared taking what is needed with you. Practice over and over again how to build simple shelters with a basha, ponch or tarp so that you are quick in getting a shelter up.
Lastly, a couple of years ago we went on a trek over the South Downs, intending to camp overnight in a forest the other side. We took a rucksack each with a sleeping-bag and ground sheet, but no tent, preferring to use a tarp which we carried instead. It was a really warm and sunny day when we left, and stayed that way well into the afternoon; indeed, we were so warm that we stopped at a village shop (just off the track) to get an ice-cream and drink to cool us down.
About 4 o'clock in the afternoon we put down our ground-sheets to have a welcome rest after hiking for some hours. I was so tired that I began to drift off into a light sleep, only to be woken by spots of rain! Jumping up to get a quick shelter up I found that we had not put the paracord in that was necessary to put the tarp up. What we did at this point was to just cover ourselves with the tarp, sheltering under it until the rain stopped - which did not take long. We then carried on until we got to the edge of the forest we intended to camp in. Just as we got into the forest the rain started to come down again.
We realised this time, from the dark skies all around us, that we would have to set up the tarp properly. As I said, I had forgotten the paracord, but luckily I had on a paracord bracelet given to me by Hamasson some time before, and which I always try to take when we go out into the woods or on the Downs. The cordage was enough to go between two trees to get the tarp over, and with some pieces of cordage and some small straps (used to bind our kit together) we managed to hold the front end of the tarp down. We used a lean-to shelter technique and held the back down with three pegs cut from pieces of twigs in the floor, and added a couple of heavy logs keep the back down.
We got the tarp up and our kit laid out in a very short time, which was lucky because it started to pour down with rain at this point. The whole night consisted of a violent thunder-storm the like have I not seen for years, together with strong winds that picked up overnight. Due to the rain coming on we had to put the shelter up on the very edge of the forest, this part being on top of the South Downs, so the winds were blowing very strongly into the woods at that point. The back of the shelter faced the wind which (luckily) did not change much overnight. In the morning all three of us were dry and the shelter was still as it was when we put it up. We had experienced no real discomfort even with such harsh weather.
The moral of this is to go prepared as best you can, and to take with you what you may need to use. This type of paracord bracelet may seem a 'novelty' but in this case it saved a lot of problems - we would certainly have been soaked and very uncomfortable if we had not been able to put the shelter up immediately! There is yet another practical point to this, since had we have had to build a shelter (like that in the New Forest) it would have been far too late to stay dry and comfortable. This seems to suggest to me that the best way to use your time and energy is to try to find a dry and sheltered spot that exists already, or a place that seems to be dry and sheltered if it is a dry day. The practice of doing this would be far more beneficial than wasting time trying to build a shelter that would be put up too late, or would not be watertight.

****On a very similar point, we have probably all seen the TV series showing extreme survival, which are very interesting and entertaining, so long as we see them as being entertainment for the masses. One point alone should suffice to see what I am getting at. It is hardly practical, under extreme survival situations (or any other survival situation for that matter) to eat uncooked bugs and insects which our body is not used to eating, and which could cause any sort of negative reaction. It is quite possible that eating the wrong thing, or something the body is not used to, could cause severe diarrhoea, which would cause dehydration, something you would hardly need in a survival situation.

The human body can last weeks without food, but only days without water, so such actions could cause more harm than good. The result would be a complete loss of the ability to act because the energy of the body would be drained due to the dehydration - and things would get worse if no water could be found. Better to stay hungry for a while and conserve what energy the body has, using it to find something reliable, or make a hunting weapon  or trap to fish, hunt small animals or birds. This is not to say the eating of bugs and insects should never be done, but that it is not necessary in the normal circumstances that we would face in life. But the necessity would have to outweigh the high risk.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Fire-Lighting Techniques

The most important thing in fire-lighting is preparation - get everything that you need ready before you start. Indeed, it is important to prepare well before you set out since the weather may be wet which will make things far harder for you. Dry tinder is the most important thing to consider, so it is wise to carry this with you because it will be impossible to get in the wet weather.

Tinder - the best tinder to use for fire-lighting is cotton wool which can be carried dry in a tin or bag. In the wild we have used the seed-tops of rosebay willow herb, old man's beard, and catkins from the hazel tree in the spring (when they have gone over and dried off). Also the seed-tops of thistle can be used, though this takes a bit more to start. One tip here is to use any of these mixed with some dry birch-bark, taking the very thin slivers from a live tree (this will not hurt the tree). Make sure this is dry. Birch bark will light when wet with a lighter, but with a steel-striker this needs the dry and fine form - this will light by itself but is aided by adding the seed-tops as mentioned before. In the above photo we also see small pieces of dead fir-wood which makes good first-stage kindling. There is also some birch-bark from a dead tree, much courser and which will like after the initial firing-up even when wet.

The above photo shows the type of birch-bark to use; these small slivers of very dry birch can be lit with the steel-striker alone if necessary.

Fire-Lighting - place some 1" pieces of wood underneath the tinder to keep the fire dry if the ground is wet. Here we have used birch-bark slivers and some dead bracken that will be lit after the initial fire-up with the steel-striker. This will give a good blaze to the fire from the start.

In this photo we can see that the weather is bad, after a fall of snow, and everything around was wet and cold. In this case we used some fire-lighters that were packed in a special tin together with cotton wool for tinder. Birch-bark was taken from a dead tree to help to get it going. This is perhaps not the most difficult situation since heavy rain makes things almost impossible - we shall come back to this at the end of this post.

In the above we see the tinder and kindling has been collected and prepared before starting the fire; small kindling should also be collected, and then larger and larger pieces in order to ensure that the fire is kept going and does not run out of fuel.

Note that the small pieces are again placed on the ground, then the fire is started with a steel-striker, with the tinder being under small twigs as above. This makes a wigwam fire which is the most effective way to start one - it lets a lot of air into the centre. This is not the most effective shape to keep a fire going for a long time due to the air-intake which makes it burn very quickly, but it is best used to start the fire.

Here the fire is well under way and is enclosed by a diamond-shape which holds the upright sticks in place.

Here the larger logs are placed parallel to each other, which makes a good cooking-fire. They can also be placed one way and then another layer placed over them the other way, thus making a criss-cross fire that allows lots of air to get in and burns efficiently.

Here we see a cooking-fire which has been made from two large logs, over which are placed two steel rods (found in the same woodlands), and a wire-mesh (also found in the same woodlands). We have cooked beans in a mess-tin, and beefburgers on the wire-mesh.

The use of a fire-shield is recommended since it reflects the heat from the fire into the shelter, and also acts as a wind-break so that the fire does not burn too quickly if needed overnight. This one was made up of a pile of logs placed between two upright steel poles (found in the woodlands).

Full details have not been given here because this post is meant as a 'taster' and we shall cover these things in much more detail using separate posts for each section covered. Remember the runic-formula for fire -

F-A-H = Fuel/Air/Heat

It is first necessary to prepare by taking with you dry tinder that you can use even when it is wet. Cotton wool is the best tinder, and carry some firelighters too for when it is really wet. This can be carried in a small tobacco tin, but when doing so close the tin securely by using pieces of inner tube from a bike cut into strips. This secures the tin properly and can be used to light a fire in extreme wet conditions - rubber burns very well.

In really extreme wet weather it may be necessary to build some form of 'shelter' over the area that you are going to light the fire, since we have tried to do so in such weather and it is extremely difficult, even when using fire-lighters. When it is pouring with rain it becomes almost impossible to light the fire - so ensure that you have as many different materials as possible - carried with you. In such circumstances it may well be necessary to place a tarp over the area at such a height that the fire causes minimal problems (burning holes in it). The fire can be lit at the outer edge which keeps the rain off.

Tepee Shelter

The next form of shelter is that of a tepee-shelter which is a far more permanent kind and one which is a good deal more efficient than the other forms of shelter featured on this blog. This, of course, took a good deal more time to erect but it has stood the test of time, being left alone and without being discovered for 3 years now - in a woodland used by the public. This is because it was camouflaged heavily to look like a pile of old branches thrown together.

These green fir branches hide the tepee-shelter from view -

There were several stages to the building of this shelter -
The upright staves were made of dead wood and bound together with cordage at the top. They were each cut to the right size before binding together.

Here you can see the eight upright staves, which are mostly slightly rounded which aids the shape of the shelter. The bottom ends are pushed into the ground for strength.

The top of the staves are bound together with cord.

Two thinner pieces of hazel-wood are then twisted around the whole of the base, apart from leaving a piece at the front for the doorway. These are then bound to each upright stave. This ensures a firm base and also allows for later tying of the tarp-cover.

Next, two more sections of flexible hazel are bound around the staves, one at the centre and another above this - as in the above photo. Again, this aids the strength of the shelter and allows for later tying of the covering.

One small point here is that we pegged the outer rims into the ground before tying so as to hold them in. These pegs were cut shorter and left in place to keep the strength of the shelter during bad weather.

The cover was then placed over the structure; here we should note that this was an old tarp found in the same area of the woodland, cut into two and placed over the frame. Ensure that the bottom part is put over first, and the top part then goes over the top of it. This ensures that the water is kept out. Once the cover is placed over the frame five extra upright staves were placed over the cover to hold it in place, and also to help give even more strength to the whole thing. A section was left out at the front for the doorway.

The door was made up of another piece of the same tarp, cut to size and bound to the cross-section, with a 2 inch diameter piece of wood tied to the bottom to hold it down when closing the door.

The whole thing was then covered with green fir-branches and twigs which help to conceal it from view.

This is how the final shelter looked when concealed fully from view; so effective was this that when we held a camp at the site no-one noticed that this was nothing but a pile of branches thrown together. The shelter has stood there for 3 years now and it has never been disturbed.

The advantage of this is that it is ready for use at any given time, and it also acts as a place to store our stuff when it is not in use. It can be used for camps and it has been used in the past - summer and winter. Another strong point about this one is that it has been totally waterproof for all that time.

When the branches lose their greenery it is necessary to cover some sections of the shelter again, since the green of the tarp shows through. The needles do die off but eventually most of the shelter is covered even though this is dead covering.

This particular shelter would sleep two people with ease, but the size could be adapted to sleeping more people, or cut down in size to sleep one person. This is the most efficient shape for a permanent shelter and stands up to all weathers - cold, wind, rain and snow. Throughout the time it has been up it has never leaked. It is well worth looking around an area to find some form of covering such as an old tarp, polythene sheeting or the like, rather than relying on green branches and twigs which rarely give a totally waterproof covering.

The only thing that we did take with us to erect this shelter was the cord, but this could have been found had we looked further afield in these woodlands - as we found later. The one thing about this society is that people throw things away and leave all sorts of stuff lying around. It is quite easy to find materials to make shelters.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Basics of Survival

The first thing to consider is the basic needs of survival, and the order in which these need to be tackled -

1. Shelter - this is really the first need here in England due to the weather which can often be wet, windy or cold. Even in hot weather shelter is a necessity and the weather is so changeable that some form of shelter will always be needed.

2. Fire - this is the next thing that would be needed, again because of the weather which can be windy, rainy or cold. This is also needed to cook food on or to boil water for drinking, as well as dry clothes etc.

3. Water - We cannot live without water for very long so this is a must.

4. Food - We can go without food for a few weeks but even so this would weaken us physically and mentally and not help at all in keeping up morale.

If we are clever enough to prepare beforehand for any problems in the future the need to start from scratch can be avoided, though we need to be able to do these things without any kind of equipment just in case this does arise. However, we are not talking here about a situation like the Special Forces would need to prepare for, so how we do so can be very different. Preparation means having the necessary equipment ready at any time, so the first step is to put together a Survival Bag.

The Survival Bag - This needs to be simple and carry only what is needed to do the jobs that would be required. The basic equipment that I use is simple -

A basha/tarp - this can be used to throw up a shelter in minutes; carry this in a bag together with a long piece of cordage (paracord), if possible around 3/8 inch thick, and 3-4 tarp clips (used to mend tarps when the eyelets are damaged) which are used to clip the tarp to the cordage. With this simple equipment you can throw up a shelter quickly and with little weight to carry.

A good knife, preferably with a steel-striker that fits onto the sheath; you should pay around £80.00 and upwards for a good knife that will last you a lifetime. Skimping on this is a silly thing to do, and the cheaper knives are really not good enough for the tasks in hand. This is where craftsmanship comes before mass production, and buying cheaper equipment only means doing so often.

A good axe, which should be something like the Gransford-Bruks or similar which are expensive but which are of the best quality. I use a small backpacking axe which cost around £60.00 but which has done everything it needed to do and has lasted some years already. This takes a good edge. Don't forget to carry a small sharpener too.

A folding saw - I have used a Bahco Saw which is not that dear but which lasts for years and more importantly keeps its edge even under extreme use. The only drawback (I have found) with a folding type is that the ends tend to bend slightly, which is avoided with a bow-saw. But the folding saw is less bulky and the end can be straightened quite easily, and can even be avoided by not going the whole length of the blade when cutting.

A torch - I have used a small lensor torch for years and these have a really good battery life and are also extremely powerful. The torch is a must in the dark of winter especially.

First Aid Kit - This is something that is often overlooked, but is one of the most important things to carry. Mine is made up of bandages, plasters, wipes, headache tablets, pain-killers and would dressings, as well as other important stuff.

Fire-staring equipment - I always carry cotton wool and some small fibre-type firelighters so that I am ready to start a fire in difficult circumstances. You can also carry a tampax which folds out as a firelighter. A steel-striker is carried on my knife-sheath, though I also carry a lighter too as a secondary measure. The cotton wool and firelighters are carried in a small plastic box, and I have cut up half a dozen strips of bike inner tubes which act as 'elastic bands' to hold the lid on, and which can be used to light a fire in the wet.

An mKettle - This is like a Kelly Kettle but it is much smaller and packs away very small indeed. It can be used, like the Kelly Kettle, with paper, cardboard or small twigs and I have used it on hundreds of occasions this way. However, these kettles (the aluminium ones) do tend to warp at the base, so what I do for practice use is to carry a small meths. stove which fits inside the base and can be filled with enough meths to use the stove three times. The stove can make 3 small plastic cups of tea/coffee etc. Another advantage of this one is that it has a plastic stopper and can thus be filled with water and carried. I fit mine into a bag with the cups, spoon and sachets of coffee or tea bags/sugar etc.

This equipment fits neatly into a small rucksack which is not heavy to carry, and can be used as the basis for regular practice work. I think that we would all agree that it is much better to make things as easy as possible and that preparation is far better than having to tackle a situation without any equipment.

Shelter-Building -  I am going to show a few very simple shelters made up from a basha/tarp and which can be put up in a very short time. In cold and wet weather some form of fire is essential with these types of shelter.

The above is a simple basha lean-to shelter using a bungee between two trees and pegging down the back with hand-made wooden pegs on site. The Two logs are there to stop the wind blowing up the back of the shelter. This is one of the most simple shelters to erect and can be put up in a very short time.

This one is also a basha lean-to shelter, but this time designed for building where there are no trees close enough to tie a piece of cordage or use a bungee. This one is made from two upright Y-pieces with a cross-piece, and two backward-slanting pieces to hold the whole thing together. The tarp is merely draped across the top of the cross-piece and fixed at the back with hand-made wooden pegs on site. Note that the front goes about a foot over the top of the cross-piece and is held by two guy-ropes; this acts as a canopy for the front of the shelter so that rain does not get in.

This is another lean-to shelter, but this time made up of a cheap small tarp. A piece of cordage is tied between two trees, and the tarp draped over the top, held onto the cordage with two tarp-clips (carried in the equipment). Very simple and easy to get up if it suddenly starts to rain.

This one is a basha lean-to placed over a fallen ash-tree; the need to check the safety of the fallen tree is essential with this type. The basha is draped across the tree-stump and tied around it, whilst the back is held down by hand-made pegs and logs placed across to keep the wind from blowing the back up. A fire is placed in front of the basha to keep the warmth in, since this was done in very cold weather.

(***) There is one point on this, for when a fire is lit in front if softwood is used sparks may burn holes in the basha, and ruin an expensive piece of equipment. Hardwood does not produce so many sparks but even so this can be a problem. For practice we switched to using cheaper tarps which can be mended with a piece of duck-tape.

This next shelter is quite different and once again can be used where no trees are available to tie a cross-piece. This one uses an inverted-V frame at the front; a straight piece of wood is tied to a y-piece at the front and a long stave is tied to these and pushed into the ground at the back. The basha is spread over the top of the frame and pegged down with wooden pegs made up on site.

This one is by far the most efficient type of basha-shelter since it has only one end open and thus keeps dryer, warmer and keeps the wind out efficiently. Again, the whole thing is very simple to put up and takes a short time to do. A bit longer than the lean-to type since the wood needs to be found and cut.

This one is an entirely different form an uses an old fishing-shelter carried without the fibre-glass poles, and thus being folded smaller and more compact. When folded up it is hardly more than a normal basha/tarp but has the advantage of having a ready-made shelter but with only the front open to the elements. Even here the top piece can easily be folded forward and thus blocking part of the front to keep the rain and wind out. Another advantage is that the shelter has its own built-in ground sheet.

It is necessary to carry a length of para-cord to hang the shelter onto, and guy-ropes to tie up at the sides and back. One disadvantage is that in very wet weather the ground-sheet can become wet, and this can prove very inconvenient. This could be got over by cutting a few lengths of logs to the length of the front and fixing them over this to keep the wet out of the bottom.

Since this shelter could accommodate two people at a pinch one could carry a small tarp which could be set up over the front of the fishing-shelter. This way the wet could not get into the shelter and the ground-sheet would stay drier. This one is a very good shelter and the fishing-shelter itself is inexpensive.

This one is another simple shelter, but this time using two inverted-v frames with a cross-piece. The wood for this was already cut for us since a local bushcraft group had been doing the work in these woods (cheers!). Tarp used here is a larger one and we put logs at each end to stop some of the draughts and wet getting in. This one could easily sleep two people. When we built this one we had two tarps, one smaller than the other, so we put the smaller tarp around the back end and thus covered three sides rather than two; we could, of course, have built the back up with logs if we had more time, thus doing the same job with only one tarp.

Using the two tarps makes this into nearly a full tent, and keeps out the weather very well. I can certainly sleep two people easily and keep the equipment dry too. This would take a lot more time but would be worthwhile for a more long-term shelter.

This one started as a lean-to shelter made from an old tarp we found in the area. It has three upright staves at the front tied to a cross-piece, with three back-leaning staves pushed into the ground and tied to the front crosspiece. Another stave is tied to the three backward-leaning staves to hold the tarp steady. Two short pieces were tied across the sides. The whole thing was then covered at the back with branches, twigs and leave to camo. This simple shelter developed in stages.

The next stage was to fill the ends in with short pieces of log cut to size; we always use felled logs and not living trees, so as not to damage the woodlands. This was given a good deal of camo to hide the light blue tarp.

The last stage of this shelter meant that we took off the blue tarp which was rather easy to spot, and replaced it with a larger camo-tarp which was draped right over the top and tied down at the front, thus keeping the whole thing dry and out of the wind. This shelter has stood for nearly three years now and has been left undisturbed all that time; it is also very dry inside even through one of the wettest summers (2011) and the wettest winters (2013-14). It is still dry inside now after all this time and we have even kept some pieces of equipment stored inside it.
The next post will feature the most efficient shelter that we have built - the tepee-shelter. This was put up some 3 years ago and still stands today.

Thursday, 6 February 2014


Survivalism is not just about surviving in the wild, it is also about the day-to-day survival of families and individuals, so under this same heading we must include articles on becoming more self-reliant, and especially about growing food for ourselves. This is something that most people can do, even with a small plot of land, or through the renting of an allotment. There are certainly advantages in doing so -

  • The food produced should be natural and without the dangerous chemical usage in mass-produced food. This means less chemical-pollution of our bodies and better health.
  • Home-grown food is by far a higher quality since it is fresher, being taken from the ground straight to the table. It is thus packed with more vitamins and minerals because it is fresher. An offshoot of this is that no transport is needed and thus it is a step towards a better environment.
  • As long as great care is taken and that we move towards the use of seeds from the stuff that we grow there is a diminished chance of foodstuffs being affected by the genetically-modified stuff that is increasing worldwide. This again makes for better food for our families.
  • Although growing food ourselves may not be cheaper in the short-term it certainly will be in the long-term. This must be a consideration since we are in hard times financially and anything must help in some small way.
  • It also has to be a major help if there was a social breakdown or natural catastrophe, since there would be a supply of food available should shortages occur in the (now global-dominated) supermarkets.
  • One of the other things that we need to consider is the psychological advantages of growing one's own food. There is great pleasure in becoming more self-reliant and a little more self-sufficient in a world growing ever closer to total reliance upon the World State - and thus the total loss of our freedom.
  • Gardening is also a very healthy form of exercise which has an end result, unlike the usual forms of physical fitness which most people indulge in nowadays, and unlike the latter which usually has to be paid for (gyms etc.) the former brings something in rather than out. (This can complement some form of Martial Arts training which is not only for health and fitness but for self-defence in a society becoming ever more violent.)
  • There is also a point often missed here, since the more people that take up forms of self-reliance the longer it will take for the Global Regime to complete their destruction of all our freedoms. It will be harder to try to impose restrictions on growing food if more people are doing so.
So, we shall be looking at food-growing for our own use, and hopefully trying to get people to share their views on this in a positive way. There is also the interesting possibility that groups of people can swap within their own group since there is always a glut of something and shortage of something else at an individual level. The object of a blog should be to try to get people involved, and this is what should happen here - but we have to avoid the all too often negative aspect of this and that is the likelihood of some individual or individuals making personal attacks or negative criticisms. If people disagree - fine - but please make sure that any comments are done in a positive manner and not in a disruptive way that causes arguments and friction. (This statement should sort out the people who are going to get involved in helping to keep our freedom from those who are going to deliberately disrupt this process.)

*******These first two articles have been in the way of an introduction to what we are doing, and what we are going to do in the future. We shall move on next to giving our own ideas, and please note that they are ideas that we have put forward due to our having used them. Our aim is to lead by example, and the only way to do so is to do it yourself before encouraging others to take it up - if they so wish.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The need for some form of survivalism.

This is a new blog created by Wulfinga in order to show people what we are doing in regard to becoming more self-reliant and self-disciplined. The work we undertake is done in order to lead by example. What use the term 'survivalism' rather than 'bushcraft' (which seems to imply something non-English) and 'prepping' which is a term used in the US (and which seems to revolve around social disorder or catastrophic change). The reasons for this we give below -
  • We do not wish to continue the self-defeating use of social breakdown and catastrophic change in a way that tends to scare rather than to emphasise what could happen so that we can be prepared. We set a date of the end of 2012 so that we could encourage people to prepare for future problems, but this can be taken out of context and used to link us to the 'New Age' stuff which has promoted this date. We recognise the possibility (or likelihood) of a social breakdown or a natural disaster and the need to prepare ourselves but we do not wish to create an atmosphere of fear in our people.
  • The term 'survivalism' covers the spectrum of what we aim to achieve by our work in this sphere, 'bushcraft' does not. We are certainly 'preppers' in the sense that we are preparing ourselves for any kind of natural or man-made disaster, but we do not wish to be seen as some form of Christian-orientated group that finds solace in worrying about the future. Stress is something that we need to overcome, for it leads naturally to a weakening of the immune system.
  • We use the term Guerilla Survivalism because it explains the nature of our work which is done in secret locations. Whatever we do does not harm anything and no mess is left for anyone else to clear up. There is nothing sinister in being secretive for this is done because the broad masses do not understand what we do and are not likely to do so until some form of change of leadership makes them aware of their duty and responsibility for their family and kin. This does not seem likely at this time.
  • It is a fact that those with a good knowledge of survivalism do not need a vast amount of equipment, rather they would carry and use the most basic tools which would serve their purpose. Today we are bombarded with new equipment that we 'need' and it serves no real purpose in amassing a large amount of stuff which wastes a good deal of money that is scarce to most of us. The idea is that we build up a small and simple kit made up of the best quality tools that we can afford and carry this as our equipment for practice of the work. The idea of getting more and more equipment hardly takes us away from the mass-consumerism of this society that we oppose. at first there may be a need to experiment with equipment, but by putting forward ideas through our own work we hope that others will avoid paying for stuff that is not needed or that does not work efficiently.
It is more likely the case that the masses will ridicule what we are doing because they really do not understand, or maybe they are afraid to face what could happen in the future - unconsciously of course. I am against massing tons and tons of food and stuff but I would recommend the stock-piling of at least a month or two of tinned food and food with a shelf-life of at least twelve months. This can then be re-stocked at regular intervals as the food is used up. I have had recourse to the use of some stock-piled food when times have got hard and money scarce - which proves to me the validity of doing this. Rather than actually stockpiling masses of tinned food and packaged food we may best serve our aims by growing our own food. This is far more healthy and in the end will become cheaper to do. There is a need for both of these alternatives if we wish to face any emergency that could happen at any time, since food-growing is restricted to certain times of the year.
How many times do we hear the public screaming on the TV when a power-cut takes place, or the gas or water is turned off due to a problem. 'Someone must do something' - not them of course! Even something as simple as the cutting off of water supplies can cause a problem to a household, so stocking up some form of water can help in this type of emergency. So really when we are doing this we are being far more sensible that the average person who goes blindfolded into the future as if nothing could ever happen to them - it does happen. We have seen the results of the widespread flooding and storms across England which are another growing problem - things are getting worse and worse.
The thing about our work is that we have practiced and practiced until we have become proficient in building simple shelters, lighting fires and cooking food on them without being taught what to do so (bar the odd teaching at some of our Folk-Moots by people who are more expert than us and have been taught in some form of organisation that practices this). The basic work can be done without paying someone for teaching, although this would need to be done with specialised parts of the work. But the cost is sometimes very high and our aim is to show that we can do a lot for ourselves. It is the old saying - 'Practice makes perfect' that counts, and only through the actual physical work doing this can we learn anything. The aim must be to make what we do automatic or through muscle-memory which means that you no longer need to think about what is being done.
We hope that people will post useful information and share their experiences with us on this blog. We shall remove negative posts, posts that make personal attacks upon us, or those that we feel may create arguments.