Surviving The Apocalypse: Thinking Strategically Rather Than Tactically

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 4 months ago

In this article I have three objectives.  First I want to discuss what would happen to a lone wolf fighter if he tried to be effective without aid and assistance.  Next, I want to distinguish between thinking tactically and strategically concerning survival.  Finally, I want to describe things that might catalyze the need to invoke such plans, from rogue, illegitimate groups to patriots who will not relinquish their second amendment rights, regardless of the consequences.

In Tactical Considerations For The Lone Wolf we saw how good tacticians can provide broad outlines for tactics, equipment and knowledge of procedures for small unit maneuver, and can enable a lone wolf fighter to be effective for a short period of time.  But I said, and still hold true, that this is a bad paradigm for operations, and represents tactical rather than strategic thinking.

The lone wolf fighter faces a daunting set of problems.  From a small child, between riding and training horses, working, camping, hiking, shooting and hunting, I have spent thousands of days and nights in the wilderness.  I have experienced some or a lot of what I am going to describe, and seen others experience the balance of it (or in extreme cases, I simply know of people to whom this has happened or know that it can happen).

Within a couple of days of being in the wilderness, your personal stench is merely disgusting.  By the end of the first week, the putrid, toxic paste that develops around the groins of men becomes a risk to health and safety and can cause serious diseases.  Within another week your feet develop a cocktail of fungal infections, and within another week the skin begins to fall off of them.

Around this time sores develop across your entire body, and the clothing you wear and carry, from underwear to socks, to pants and shirts, to boots and sleeping bags, is fit for nothing but putting into a pit and burning.  Listen carefully.  You cannot carry enough baby wipes to prevent this process from occurring.  You can only slow it down.

In the winter, the cold will sap the energy and even the life out of your body.  It is even difficult to maintain proper hygiene in harsh weather like this.  I have been backpacking in such cold weather than my toothbrush froze into a solid block of ice between the time I pulled it out of the river and the time it reached my mouth.  Without proper dental hygiene, various dental diseases can develop, and these can be debilitating to anyone, much less someone in the wilderness.

In the heat the problems only multiply.  Dehydration is a constant concern, and the time it takes to boil water is precious, if you are able to get a fire going or carry an isobutane canister.  Rarely, there is a Godsend like fresh, naturally-filtered water.

Our Nalgene bottles are sitting under moss at the bottom of a steep rock face collecting potable water.  My 80 pound Doberman Heidi is drinking.  I almost lost her that weekend at Jones Gap.  She almost went down a waterfall, and my son Josh managed to catch her collar with his trekking pole.

I have also been backpacking in such a downpour that nothing would burn, and it would have taken a gallon of gasoline to achieve a fire that lasted for longer than ten minutes.  Assuming that you can find a potable water supply at all times, food presents yet another problem.  You simply cannot carry enough freeze dried food to meet your needs.  There are no Gunny Sergeants ordering up coffee in the morning and rations all day as long as you are in the field doing training.  There is no training.  This will be for real.  The lack of food energy is debilitating, and eventually deadly.

In the summer heat, there are snakes.  I have been bitten by a Copperhead before, as has my dog.  A Rattlesnake bite almost always involves loss of limbs, and in the field without medical attention, would be deadly.

My XDm .45, Ka-Bar folder, sleeping bag and one man tent.  The tent is barely big enough for Heidi and me.  I probably need a good, small two-man tent.

Ticks bring tick-borne diseases, and they can be deadly.  After every summer backpacking trip, I and my sons strip and search each other for ticks (or I have my wife do it, but it must be done soon from the field).  Lack of a partner to perform this inspection can be deadly.  Eventually without showers, washing, and proper hygiene, the body can get lice or scabies.  Without Ivermectin this is untreatable in the wilderness.  Marines will routinely shave their entire bodies of hair before deployment in order to avoid lice, but without this possibility in the wilderness in the absence of water and other sanitation, lice will be hard to avoid.

There are the very rare cases of those who become beached on a deserted island and live long enough to tell their story, or survive on the open ocean by drinking turtle blood.  But in the main, you simply cannot last for long as a lone wolf fighter, and if you think so, you’re delusional and like to nurture fantasies.  You can stay out for several days, but eventually you and your family must ensconce somewhere.  It might be in your neighborhood, it might be in the mountains or wilderness somewhere else, or it might be with multiple families.  But you cannot stay lone wolf for long.

In Tactical Considerations For The Lone Wolf we discussed standing down a SWAT team on your front porch, ready to breech.  This is a highly controversial issue, and there are those who will perish defending their second amendment rights, or more correctly, God-given rights.  They will choose to perish in their own home during an armed standoff with governmental forces.

But it must be remembered that those who advocate such measures are thinking tactically.  The SWAT team is also thinking tactically.  But the SWAT team reports to supervisors, and those supervisors report to managers, and they are all thinking strategically.  A thousands deaths at the hands of SWAT teams means only one thing.  Losses.  That is a losing strategy.

I’m not advocating against this sort of approach, so much as I’m observing reality.  I’m not saying that it should not happen this way, so much as I’m saying that it won’t happen this way.  The first bloody corpse dragged from a home invasion by government forces hunting for firearms will be the occasion for some deep soul searching by millions of firearms owners across the country.  This may happen sooner, when confiscatory plans are announced.

Americans are generally very adaptable.  Turning for a moment to a warning I had about foreign terrorists in the country, I observed that there are deep vulnerabilities in our infrastructure.

The most vulnerable structure, system or component for large scale coal plants is the main step up transformer – that component that handles electricity at 230 or 500 kV.  They are one of a kind components, and no two are exactly alike.  They are so huge and so heavy that they must be transported to the site via special designed rail cars intended only for them, and only about three of these exist in the U.S.

They are no longer fabricated in the U.S., much the same as other large scale steel fabrication.  It’s manufacture has primarily gone overseas.  These step up transformers must be ordered years in advance of their installation.  Some utilities are part of a consortium to keep one of these transformers available for multiple coal units, hoping that more will not be needed at any one time.  In industrial engineering terms, the warehouse min-max for these components is a fine line.

On any given day with the right timing, several well trained, dedicated, well armed fighters would be able to force their way on to utility property, fire missiles or lay explosives at the transformer, destroy it, and perhaps even go to the next given the security for coal plants.  Next in line along the transmission system are other important transformers, not as important as the main step up transformers, but still important, that would also be vulnerable to attack.  With the transmission system in chaos and completely isolated due to protective relaying, and with the coal units that supply the majority of the electricity to the nation incapable of providing that power for years due to the wait for step up transformers, whole cites, heavy industry, and homes and businesses would be left in the dark for a protracted period of time, all over the nation.

Bob Owens takes this down the grid to the next components.

They don’t understand asymmetrical warfare in the slightest, much less how it would be waged here. Let me give you just one small example of how a lone wolves or small teams can strike well beyond their size against a near defenseless leviathan.

After the Dot Com bubble burst in the early 2000s, I took a job in upstate New York for a subcontractor of Central Hudson Gas and Electric. I was part of a crew sent out to map electrical transmission line power poles and towers via GPS, check the tower footings for integrity, check the best routes for access, etc.

It meant I rode quads (ATVs) through mountains, swamps, forests, neighborhoods and farms all over southern New York, in winter’s icy chill and blowing snow, and in summer’s melting heat. It was exhausting work, often in beautiful scenery.

We probably averaged 20 miles of line a day, and that over the course of the contract I easily rode a thousand miles. I can tell you stories of flipping quads, sinking quads, going down a mountain without brakes, almost hitting deer at top speed, and parking on the remains of an electrocuted bear, but that isn’t really what I remember most about the job.

No, what I remember most about the job were the days we spent up near the Rondout Reservoir. What I remember in specific was discovering how powerless the government was to protect key utilities.

[ … ]

Substations like the one above could be accessed not just from surface roads, but from access trails under the power lines by people with UTVs, ATVs, and motorcycles.

Just like the residential transformers in your neighborhood, the transformers in substations are cooled with a form of mineral oil. If someone decides to blast a transformer at its base as prepper Bryan Smith did, and the oil drains out, then the transformer either burns out catastrophically, or if the utility is lucky, a software routine notices the problem and shuts the substation (or at least the affected portion) down. The power must then be rerouted through the remaining grid until that transformer can be replaced and any other resulting damage can be repaired.

Were an angry group of disenfranchised citizens to target in a strategic manner the substations leading to a city or geographic area—say, Albany, for example—they could put the area in the dark for as long as it took to bring the substations back online. Were they committed enough, and spread their attacks out over a wide enough area, perhaps mixing in a few tens of dozens of the residential transformers found every few hundred yards along city streets, they could overwhelm the utility companies ability to repair the damage being caused or law enforcement’s ability to stop them. The government could perhaps assign a soldier or cop for every transformer, substation and switch, but they’d run out of men long before they ran out of things they need guarded.

It’s even more vulnerable than Bob hints.  The utilities in America don’t belong to the government (except for TVA), and the government isn’t duty bound to protect them.  They are private assets.  Even if the government could protect those assets (and they can’t), they wouldn’t.

If the DHS had a trillion rounds of .40 pistol ammunition it wouldn’t matter.  With America in the dark for two years, confiscation of weapons would be the last thing on the minds of law enforcement (that is, the LEOs who left their families alone and without protection in order to come to work).

And there you go.  Smart New Yorkers who don’t want to watch their friends perish on their doorsteps might choose to act strategically rather than tactically.  And that brings in a whole host of issues that need our attention.

When such a scenario occurs, are you prepared?  Do you have a place to ensconce your family?  Do you have the weapons and ammunition that you need?  Do you have means to make potable water?  Do you have freeze dried and canned food?  Do you have means to generate power when you need to, to plant seeds for crops, or provide covering and clothing to stay warm?  Are you allied with like-minded families who will assist each other in dealing with a scenario like this?

The questions run deeper than you think.  I sat across from the dinner table with a very dear friend of many years a few days ago, and heard him lament the fact that they hadn’t been able to afford to purchase firearms for family protection.  This family operates on a thin budget.

My thinking began: “Do I give him my .45, no, that’s my premier personal defense weapon … do I give him my .40, no, I have that one because it’s the same caliber as Josh’s gun … do I give him my .357 wheel gun, no, that’s the best CQB weapon ever invented my mankind … I cannot give him my rifles … ” and so on, and so forth.

Should I go buy a relatively inexpensive polymer frame semi-auto handgun and some ammunition in order to be able to assist friends and loved ones in their time of need?  We need to think through these issues.  Are you a diabetic?  Do you have the insulin you need for a protracted period of time?  Are there other medications you need?

And it might not take firearm confiscation to pull off catalyzing a scenario such as this.  Mr. Obama has created an America that is as bifurcated as it has been in more than 100 years.  More than 40 million people are on food stamps.  This roll is growing at more than 11,000 per day.  We owe so many trillions in unfunded liabilities that we will never be able to meet our commitments.

Ben Bernanke, the most notorious Keynesian economist in history, has clearly said that his printing money like he was drunk will not recover employment.  Translation: Keynesian economics is failing, and I am admitting it to the Senate today.  Yet I will keep doing what I’m doing.

Even states that think they are rejecting Obamacare because of opting out of the plan aren’t really opting out.  I know these things because my daughter is a Nurse and lives in this world.  She knows that the smaller hospitals will cease to exist.  They will be driven out of business.

The larger ones will stay in business, but they will bear the brunt of the penalties.  The penalties that America doesn’t yet know about involve penalties for treating and releasing homeless people, only to have to re-admit them later, or any of a large group of things that cause the hospital to have to pay the federal government money.  Obamacare will get its way, and we will all pay the price for it even if we opt out of participation.  States have no say-so, regardless of what the talking heads are telling you.

If you think that the austerity measures in Greece caused a backlash, wait until we implement them in America.  And we will, after hyperinflation hits, price controls are put into place, the supply of goods dries up and your money is worthless.  Gangs will roam the streets looking for anything they can take, the elderly may as well have targets on their backs, and the apocalypse will be upon us.  The government won’t be able to do anything about it.  The government will have caused it.

Are you ready?  Have you thought through the salient questions?  I haven’t thought through all of them either, and we all have some soul-searching to do.

As always, everything I have said in this article has been for educational purposes only.

UPDATE: Thanks to David Codrea for the attention.

UPDATE #2: Thanks to Western Rifle Shooters Association for the attention.  Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the attention.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. On March 5, 2013 at 1:48 am, M.Z.Doats said:

    Insulin needs refrigeration. No electricity means a death sentence for diabetics when summer arrives unless the pharmacy has its own generator.

    There is another factor in the decision to lend out or give a pistol away: is it legal to own? Does the guy who is asking KNOW that you have guns? If so, he can rat you out to the cops, and/or blackmail you into lending him anything he asks for.

    Once you loan it to him, he can’t be certain that you won’t rat HIM out, so you both need to be trustworthy. Otherwise, if you give him a gun, don’t give him any ammo.

  2. On March 5, 2013 at 9:56 am, Herschel Smith said:

    But in this scenario there is no gasoline to propel police cruisers because the refineries have no power to operate. The courthouses are dark and useless. The electrical grid has crashed, and you are on your own. There is no telephone to call the police, and if there was, they couldn’t get to you anyway. Traffic lights don’t work, hospitals operate for some finite period of time only because they have diesel generators – if you can walk to them. All medication is irrelevant unless you have it stocked beforehand because there is no transportation sector to get it to market. Same for food.

    Think in terms of post-apocapyptic America, because that’s the scenario I’m describing.

  3. On March 5, 2013 at 6:57 pm, Eric said:

    Good stuff. I went back and read Bob Owen’s piece as well. Got me thinking that the .Gov could easily stage a false flag attack on the grid, blame it on right-wing extremist gun nuts, leave the power off for awhile and use it as an excuse to herd people into camps with a “check your gun at the door” proviso. I imagine many would not have the stomach to continue once the kids are cold and hungry. 3 hots and a cot at the local FEMA roach motel (check in but can’t check out) might be very enticing. Food storage can be very strategic.

  4. On March 5, 2013 at 7:20 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    I focus on the high voltage stuff (step up/step down xfmrs), while Bob focused on the lower voltage stuff. My point is that taking losses when it isn’t necessary isn’t a strategy. At least, not a winning one.

  5. On March 5, 2013 at 7:47 pm, John H. said:

    I’m sure all of this has already been considered and preperations made. So… where will the “Ones” who caused this by provoking then ignoring us…go? And if not known nor accessible they can then return after the crash and stench readies us for a meaningless negotiation. And when the dust settles we are under marshall law as restoration begins. Even if one half of one percent (1.6 million) of the people are armed and prepared you can’t eat or drink ammunition. Two weeks tops.

  6. On March 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm, Eric said:

    True that Mr. Smith. Going after undefended vs defended targets is wise I think. If it helps to accomplish the strategic objective. I guess the trick is to decide what the strategic objective is and adjust tactics to fit.

  7. On March 5, 2013 at 8:39 pm, Bill Harzia said:

    ” I guess the trick is to decide what the strategic objective is and adjust tactics to fit.”

    I read an interesting book the other day, whose premise was secession of an area of the United States. In it, one of the main characters pointed out that “in a colonial war, the generals never surrender. It’s the accountants that surrender.”

    If our currency collapses, at it now appears certain to happen, what other country will accept it in exchange for military supplies that allow the U.S. to fight against its own people? Like the excerpt from the Bob Owens post mentions, this country is too big to put an armed man beside every valuable asset to be guarded.

    In the book, the insurgents bled them until they decided that it was too expensive for them to keep the area being fought over.

  8. On March 5, 2013 at 10:16 pm, Kersarge said:

    Bill Harzia, that is a very insightful point.

    I would imagine that if the grid were being sabotaged and the “insurgency” were supporting the population, in essence being a “Robin Hood” that this would be the very worst combination for the Fed. The insurgency is caring for the population, feeding them they best they can or even just listening to their grievances or helping them out with local matters and at the same time harassing the FedGov, that the population would quickly work to support the insurgency. Very quickly the accountants would signal that the colony should be spun off “for the good of everyone”. Especially if there was a financial crisis.

    One thing that seems to be missing is the End Game. Once there is a extreme dislocation of Federal Authority, what will the new Government look like. If it is freedom loving and has a solidarity component to it, like race or religion or culture, then it has a good chance of maintaining power. Real world examples are the Mormons who share a religious background and are very ready to seize power in the central states or La Raza who is ready to carve off the lower South West and create Aztlan, essentially a new province of Mexico. The FedGov knows only one thing, Arrest and Intimidation. That historically does not work very well on a people who have an endgame and are thinking long term.

  9. On March 5, 2013 at 10:19 pm, dude said:

    Insulin can be kept cool underground. It can be cooled to near refrigerated levels in a root cellar or pot-in-pot refrigerator.

  10. On March 5, 2013 at 10:29 pm, Mike said:

    The powers that be will never shut off the grid. To do so would mean every bad thing you guys have mentioned, but most importantly to them: they would be stuck in DC, and would have zero influence anywhere else in the US (no transportation, no communication unless you guys think they want to go back to using donkeys to get both of those items done…) Why would power hungry politicians limit their authority and influence? They wouldn’t willingly go from “leaders of the free world” to ” leaders of the three blocks down the road and over a street or two”.

    No grid means no taxes coming in to the government coffers. God, every elected politician in DC flips out if we talk about making serious cuts to future spending growth rates, imagine what they’d do if NO money was coming in…

    We are not Zimbabwe. We may resemble a Banana Republic politically, but we are actually closer to Argentina, where hyper inflation has seriously crimped lifestyles, but power was still available, the water still came out of the tap, etc. You can read first hand accounts of what it is like to live in a financial meltdown from that state’s citizens on the net.

    What kills the world, in the US hyper inflation scenario, is the instant and complete loss of American military force the world over. Every little hot spot would break out into open war and a couple of rogue nations would likely try some sort of small scale attack on many of our scattered military installations around the world, but without American strength, the world will collapse into another world war, just one we might not play a part in.

  11. On March 5, 2013 at 11:39 pm, Tom B said:

    The terrifying aspect to this particular strategic thinking is that in resisting tyranny it sets about deliberately destroying the economy upon which tens of millions of decent people also depend.

    It becomes it’s own threat to our society, and I suspect that the vast majority of Americans would rally to the side of the government oppressors, approving even greater power for the government and even greater violations of the Constitution.

    I agree that this particular strategic thinking could well create massive destruction, but that would be mostly borne by the innocent, not the oppressors. Turning our country into a simulcrum of Afghanistan in order to keep it from resembling Mussolini’s Italy seems like a strategy worth rethinking.

  12. On March 6, 2013 at 1:53 am, David said:

    Not sure how to go about this…..but from the begining you make it sound like the best thing to do is throw up your hands and surrender!! You’ve certainly gone overboard with many of your scenarios and honestly you make me laugh!!! You make it sound like the only berries you could find to eat in the wild are dingleberries and you will absolutely die after 2 days if you don’t get to brush your teeth!!! I’ll pray for you!!! When you put out your hunters orange tent with signs to it I’m betting you’ll be found….but they wont save you…although you may be invited to supper!!! I won’t say all your ideas are bad, but there are many ways to do things and some of them are alot better than yours. I guess it will all be ok when we meet on the sea of fire and glass…..although you may have to wait until I get there…..

  13. On March 6, 2013 at 1:57 am, Heartlander said:

    THANK YOU, Tom B. I completely agree. In my opinion, anyone who DELIBERATELY wreaks destruction — in which millions of people would die — is a mass murderer.

  14. On March 6, 2013 at 2:00 am, StukaPilot said:

    One MC (shaken, not stirred) flipped over fence = -1 transformer. They don’t like heat.

  15. On March 6, 2013 at 3:12 am, Chuck Pelto said:

    TO: H. Smith
    RE: Say What?

    Within a couple of days of being in the wilderness, your personal stench is merely disgusting. By the end of the first week, the putrid, toxic paste that develops around the groins of men becomes a risk to health and safety and can cause serious diseases. Within another week your feet develop a cocktail of fungal infections, and within another week the skin begins to fall off of them. — H. Smith

    Maybe in the Panamanian jungle or some such place. But I’ve gone weeks in the field without bathing and not experienced this sort of thing.


    [Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. — Thomas Hobbes]

    P.S. But not THIS SHORT…..

  16. On March 6, 2013 at 3:18 am, Chuck Pelto said:

    TO: Tom B. and Hearlander
    RE: Sooooo…..

    ….you’d just stand by while your neighbors and friends are carted off to a gulag in the American Southwest.

    Is that it?


    [War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. — John Stuart Mill]

  17. On March 6, 2013 at 3:36 am, Chuck Pelto said:


    If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. — Samuel Adams

  18. On March 6, 2013 at 6:54 am, Arkindole said:

    Finally, some strategic mind speak. I suggest that all of the readers do some simple math and come to some stark realizations. First, Pick 7 meals that you can prepare at home. These meals must provide at least 2000 calories for each individuals per day. Now, list the ingredients out in your spreadsheet and calculate what you would need to survive for at least a year. Also, calculate the water, fuel, and other supplies you will need just to maintain some degree of sanitation, as Herschel discusses. You’ll soon see that you should not be bringing in another 1000 rounds of ammo right now if you don’t have a good ammo cache right now–Use the remaining time to back up the truck at your local dollar store. Chances are that your neighbor(s) will be a more lethal threat than the pathetically few “enforcement officers” that will be out and about when SHTF. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and ask your neighbors what they will do when the world turns Bracken.

  19. On March 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm, BobbyD said:

    This is a sobering revelation of what life would be like as a resistance fighter, brutally realistic, and thus useful for planning purposes.
    But I can’t understand the idea of bringing terrible pain, and in some cases death, to hundreds of thousands of people by binging down the power grid. Surely there is another “pressure point” for governmental change which is effective, yet does not punish innocent people. Let’s get creative about this before promoting the plan.

  20. On March 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    This article does not “promote this plan.” This article acknowledges reality. Confiscatory policies for guns will never work in America because gun owners will not relinquish their God-given rights to bear arms. Next logical step. Gun owners will not stand down confiscation teams day after day after day on their dootsteps. They will find another strategy. The one I discussed here is but one – there are many more, all of them painful and involving “pressure points.”

    The best way to avoid a scenario like this (or similar scenario) is for the government to return to constitutional government.

    Why don’t people go to work on that?

  21. On March 6, 2013 at 7:38 pm, Chuck Pelto said:

    TO: All
    RE: All of This May Become OBE

    OBE — Overcome By Events

    Who needs a revolution when North Korea now has nukes and the means to deliver them in the form of an EMP attack?

    Indeed. It may be that the only thing that prevents US from destroying ourselves is that North Korea—or Iran—will do it for US.


    [Be Prepared…..]

  22. On March 6, 2013 at 7:42 pm, Roger U said:

    Arkindole: “…when the world turns Bracken.”
    I am commandeering that phrase!

    It seems to me that any hint of a civil disturbance on the scale that we’re talking about here would destroy the US economy and, by extension, the global economy. I cannot see why the gov is pushing the to things that piss off the right the most- gun control and gay marriage. Why pick a fight? Incrementalism has worked so well in taking all our other rights away. Is it hubris, stupidity or is crashing the economy the point?

  23. On March 6, 2013 at 8:35 pm, Druid said:

    Yet it may all go the way that the collapse of the soviet union did, or Marcos in the EDSA Revolution.

  24. On March 6, 2013 at 10:59 pm, g said:

    I have been backpacking in such cold weather than my toothbrush froze into a solid block of ice between the time I pulled it out of the river and the time it reached my mouth.

    Um….if it’s not cold enough to freeze the river, so you can dip your toothbrush in it, why is it cold enough to freeze the toothbrush?

    I’m sure you have a great experienced wilderness expert way of explaining that.

  25. On March 6, 2013 at 11:04 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    I’m stunned … literally stunned, that you asked this question, “g.” I usually delete unserious comments, but I’ll leave this one up to let you look stupid, because that’s apparently what you voluntarily chose to do to yourself.

    By the way, I was camping at the top of Raven Cliff Falls in S.C. near Caesar’s Head in January of 1980.

  26. On March 7, 2013 at 12:48 am, Daniel Smith said:

    HAHAHA!!, To “G”…. the question you just asked is probably the most hilarious thing I’ve heard in a long, long time. I am pretty sure we learned what water does at certain temp. along with what it does as a fast moving stream, etc… I mean correct me if I’m wrong anyone please, but didn’t we learn this in High school or something? Before people post things, I feel it might be best for them to at the very least “google” the crap before they put it on… ;)

  27. On March 7, 2013 at 12:50 am, Daniel Smith said:

    And that is MY “great experienced wilderness expert way of explaining that”… Good ole fashion books and high school knowledge

  28. On March 7, 2013 at 1:41 am, Ray said:

    “But it must be remembered that those who advocate such measures are thinking tactically. The SWAT team is also thinking tactically. But the SWAT team reports to supervisors, and those supervisors report to managers, and they are all thinking strategically. A thousands deaths at the hands of SWAT teams means only one thing. Losses. That is a losing strategy.”

    That conclusion is thinking tactically. To think strategically, look at the numbers, nationally. 120,000 fed LEOs. 5,000,000 NRA members (the more radical gun owners are not NRA members.) The feds come after gun owners in their homes. 3% resist and are killed, taking at least 0.5 LEOs each with them. That’s 75,000 dead LEOs. Minimum. Are they really willing to accept over 60% casualties to attack citizens they fundamentally agree with (the actual LEOs, not politiciams)?

    Is this not a strategic victory?

  29. On March 7, 2013 at 7:06 am, Chuck Pelto said:

    TO: All
    RE: g

    I wonder if g was ever in the Boy Scouts….NOT!


    [My son is an honor student at the Klingon School for Boys.]

  30. On March 7, 2013 at 7:19 am, Chuck Pelto said:

    TO: All
    RE: Thinking Strategically

    If you don’t have a plan already in place, you might not have much time to implement it.

    Yesterday, Drudge reported that North Korea is talking of breaking the 60-year Armistice. That would mean war.

    Today, Drudge reports that North Korea is threatening a nuclear strike against US.


    [Be Prepared…..]

  31. On March 7, 2013 at 7:36 am, Chuck Pelto said:

    TO: Ray, et al.
    RE: Maybe….

    That conclusion is thinking tactically. To think strategically, look at the numbers, nationally. 120,000 fed LEOs. 5,000,000 NRA members (the more radical gun owners are not NRA members.) The feds come after gun owners in their homes. 3% resist and are killed, taking at least 0.5 LEOs each with them. That’s 75,000 dead LEOs. Minimum. Are they really willing to accept over 60% casualties to attack citizens they fundamentally agree with (the actual LEOs, not politiciams)? — Ray

    ….that is why the DHS is in the process of acquiring armored combat vehicles.

    Admittedly the contract is let by the Navy for the Marines. But the contract calls for 2717 such vehicles. That’s enough to equip NINE DIVISIONS. The Marines only have three or four such formations. So what’s to become of the excess? Rust in motor pools? Or go somewhere else, like DHS.

    Tactically speaking, the credo of the 82d Airborne Division’s Anti-Armor Defense is….

    Hunting tanks is easy and fun.

    So, how to take one of these puppies out? Thermite grenade on the top of the crew compartment. At burn-through, the crew will abandon the vehicle and you can deal with them as you please.

    If you want to know how to make thermite, YouTube has excellent videos. Wikipedia has good information too.


    [Be Prepared…..]

  32. On March 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm, Chuck Pelto said:

    TO: H. Smith
    RE: Tactical Losses vs. Strategic Victory

    But it must be remembered that those who advocate such measures are thinking tactically. The SWAT team is also thinking tactically. But the SWAT team reports to supervisors, and those supervisors report to managers, and they are all thinking strategically. A thousands deaths at the hands of SWAT teams means only one thing. Losses. That is a losing strategy. — H. Smith

    It may be a thousand or so deaths at the hands of SWAT or DHS Police—which I encountered on the streets of Denver coming back from the anti-gun control protest at the state capitol. BUT when the SWAT and/or DHS Police start sustaining casualties, they’re going to become a bit hesitant about assaulting their own citizens about this business of the Bill of Rights.

    Drop some thermite grenades on the tops of those armored combat vehicles DHS seems to be procuring and their casualties will mount. Start putting bullet holes in police cars, of officers who actually live amongst us with their families, and they’ll start having ‘second thoughts’ about their purpose.

    War is never ‘pretty’. Millions will suffer. Thousands will die. The question becomes WHO WILL WIN.

    As Napoleon put it….

    In battle, moral is to physical and three to one.

    But having the technical knowledge and equipment figures in as well. Hence the current drive to disarm the population.


    [Be Prepared…..]

  33. On March 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm, Chuck Pelto said:

    TO: All
    RE: Thinking Strategically — Part 2

    When such a scenario [total collapse of social order] occurs, are you prepared? Do you have a place to ensconce your family? Do you have the weapons and ammunition that you need? Do you have means to make potable water? Do you have freeze dried and canned food? Do you have means to generate power when you need to, to plant seeds for crops, or provide covering and clothing to stay warm? Are you allied with like-minded families who will assist each other in dealing with a scenario like this? — H. Smith

    I spent the last part of my military career helping state-level commands to prepare for all kinds of ‘bad news’.

    We never DID get to the level of a cometary/asteroid impact or an EMP attack on US.

    The critical factor is just where the heck are you when the lights go ‘out’ and won’t come back on for several years….if ever again.

    If it’s somewhere in a metro area….your chance of survival is VERY slim. That is unless you join some ‘gang’ to become a cannibal. The estimated mortality rate in metro areas is 90%. The ‘survivors’….if you wish to call them that….will be knawing on the bones of their victims. In Firefly, they’re called ‘Reivers’. Pop culture calls them ‘zombies’, but zombies don’t move as quickly.

    Anyone who wants to survive….along with their loved ones….will flee the metro areas and make a living off the land they can find. Land that will allow them to raise crops and chickens. This while fending off the marauders that will be coming out from the metro areas.

    That last part will require cooperation amongst those out in the crop lands. As the marauders will be somewhat organized. Organization helps.

    What’s my ‘point’ in all of this?

    If you’re not ‘prepared’…’re ‘history’.


    [Chance favors the prepared mind.]

  34. On March 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm, James Woroble Jr said:

    “….that is why the DHS is in the process of acquiring armored combat vehicles. ”

    In Vietnam, experienced troops would rather take their chances with snipers, walking along outside an APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) than in it! A single penetrating hit from an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade), and the interior of the vehicle is instantly transformed into the most hellish apparatus of human destruction, unimagined to date by Hollywood horror movie producers.

  35. On March 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm, Chuck Pelto said:

    TO: James Worobles, Jr, et al
    RE: Heh

    Hence my emphasis on thermite.

    We may not be able to acquire RPGs but we can make thermite grenades.


    [Be Prepared…..]

  36. On March 10, 2013 at 10:01 pm, Michael said:

    Thank you for some very interesting, thought provoking, reading!!

    My concern is not with with confiscation or even gun bans, but on gun ownership bans. The 23 Exec Orders and the AG having the power the determine what mental health issue can be “justification” to ban people from owning any gun. Think in terms of a 10-15 yr plan!! It’s just like with the TSA, we stand in-line, take off our shoes, let them steal from our luggage and throw away liquids. When asked, “Do we think mentally ill people should have ACCESS to firearms?” What do we do? Nod and agree! As a responsible gun owner we don’t Newtown’s, Aurora’s, or any of the other senseless killings!

    The CDC estimates 750,000 school age children need access to metal health treatment. These 750,000 future gun owners can now be banned. The immediate family members of these children can also be banned from having firearms in the home. Vet’s “with” PTSD, people taking Prozac, DUI/alcoholism… It’s all up the AG!!

  37. On May 6, 2013 at 3:03 pm, pdxr13 said:

    While thinking strategically…..

    Wouldn’t it be a fine thing to have a little bit of power? How about 400W of solar pv and a couple of deep cycle batteries, capable of running a small (4 cubic foot) rocker-pump refrigerator (all the time for med’s and the luxury of ice in summer)/LED lights/various small comm/charging small batteries and running an inverter for brief periods? Wouldn’t this be way better than either using a genset until the fuel is gone (soon!) or relying on throw-away batteries for the small toys until gone?

    It’s hard for most people to be productive (sewing, reloading, minor medical, small detailed work) in the dark, so plan to have lighting! Interior artificial lighting may be required in a windowless or excavated location even during summer daylight hours. Remember kerosene, propane, candle lights and how they are hot, fragile, sources of ignition, need refilling, tend to make fumes, and use scarce/expensive fuel/parts? LED’s are the opposite, once installed. For folks who think that “bunkering” is the way to go, or part of the way, lighting inside the hidey-hole is important to productivity and mental stability.

    Such a thing will easily fit on a 22′ RV (immediately useful when not on shore-power), and with some effort can be compressed to fit on a handtruck/bike trailer for no-road field deployment (75# sans batteries). Would $1000 be too much for such a useful group asset?

    In Africa, it’s a recognized career to be a charger of batteries in a village market. People cart their lead-acid lighting batteries in for a charge. This is cheaper than kerosene for a lamp. If we are going local low-tech/scrounge-tech, that’s how it’s done.

  38. On August 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm, Julie Cochrane said:

    Never bet against the villagers with pitchforks.

    If you are the personality type to prepare, never make the mistake of thinking the villagers think like you. Villagers unite in the face of events that activate their sense of empathy, and they move like the tide. Individually, they may lose, but collectively, when they turn into a tide they get their way.

    The purpose of emergency preparedness is to buy you time to think your way out of the situation as you find it, and to expand your options. Whatever it is that happens, you will have to think on the fly to get yourself out of it. Trying to prepare to outlast every possible emergency for years, or even a single year, is a losing game.

    All you can really do is buy yourself options and time to think your way out of the specifics of your crisis–that, and develop the mentality to handle whatever crisis you’ve got.

    When caught in a riptide, don’t swim against the tide, swim across the current until you find your way out.

  39. On August 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm, W said:

    Lets drop from strategic large scale back to tactical small scale. How about developing a map for local power transformers to Fedgov, traitorous LEO units, bad politicians home neighborhoods. Think small, focused power outages. Hard for them to function w/o power. After first confiscations, violations of constitution, deprive them. Think comm towers as well as water to buildings, phone services, etc.

    Think global, act local!!!

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

You are currently reading "Surviving The Apocalypse: Thinking Strategically Rather Than Tactically", entry #10240 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Featured,Firearms,Gun Control,Guns,Obama Administration,Weapons and Tactics and was published March 3rd, 2013 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (704)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (40)
Air Power (10)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (22)
Ammunition (278)
Animals (295)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (374)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (87)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (29)
Australian Army (7)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (3)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (224)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (18)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (3)
Blogs (24)
Body Armor (23)
Books (3)
Border War (18)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (38)
British Army (35)
Camping (5)
Canada (17)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (16)
Christmas (16)
CIA (30)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (3)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (218)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (210)
Department of Homeland Security (26)
Disaster Preparedness (5)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (15)
Donald Trump (27)
Drone Campaign (4)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (39)
Featured (189)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (1,781)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (44)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (9)
Georgia (19)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (1,653)
Guns (2,321)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (5)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (16)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (3)
Horses (2)
Humor (72)
Hunting (36)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (108)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (4)
Infrastructure (4)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (171)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (64)
Islamists (98)
Israel (19)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (3)
Jihadists (81)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (7)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (6)
Lawfare (14)
Leadership (6)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (280)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
Media (68)
Medical (146)
Memorial Day (6)
Mexican Cartels (41)
Mexico (61)
Michael Yon (6)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (5)
Military Equipment (25)
Militia (9)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (25)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (25)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (95)
NATO (15)
Navy (30)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (3)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (62)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (221)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (7)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (73)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (4)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (654)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (975)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (493)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (37)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (675)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (28)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (23)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (57)
Survival (186)
SWAT Raids (57)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (38)
Tactical Gear (14)
Taliban (168)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (21)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (96)
Thanksgiving (13)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (25)
TSA Ineptitude (14)
TTPs (4)
U.S. Border Patrol (6)
U.S. Border Security (19)
U.S. Sovereignty (24)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (10)
Uncategorized (98)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (3)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (414)
War & Warfare (41)
War Movies (4)
War Reporting (21)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (79)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (21)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

July 2024
June 2024
May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2024 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.