Author Archive for James Jones

Survival Gear and Pack Lists

While preparing my next book for  Skyhorse  Publishing, I found it necessary to review all of the survival equipment and all of the lists for various kits and packs. I have created new lists for:

  • What to have in your pockets
  • What to have in a Get Home Bag
  • What to have in an Evacuation Pack
  • What to have in vehicle
  • What to have in an outdoor survival kit.
  • What to have at home
  • What to have in your Bug Out Bag

I also discuses hybrid survival packs and caches

SurvivalLists8-08

Survival Lists

While preparing my next book for  Skyhorse  Publishing, I found it necessary to review all of the survival equipment and all of the lists for various kits and packs. I have created new lists for:

  • What to have in your pockets
  • What to have in a Get Home Bag
  • What to have in an Evacuation Pack
  • What to have in vehicle
  • What to have in an outdoor survival kit.
  • What to have at home
  • What to have in your Bug Out Bag

I also discuses hybrid survival packs and caches

SurvivalLists8-08

Coming Soon to Live Free USA

COMING SOON!

In the coming months Live Free USA will be moving forward with several projects and improvements.  The challenges and hazards of the coming years demands that we strengthen our base and expand our membership.  With a larger and more active board of directors we are now able to pursue multiple objectives.

Website Improvement

We are working to creat a more attractive and interactive website with more functions for online members. We also hope to have more activity in the survival medicine, chapter activities, and other specialized pages. We are also exploring ways to offer discounts to members who purchase survival gear through the site.

Chapter and Affiliated Organization Support

One of our directors will function as the Chapter, Affiliate Coordinator, regularly communicating with each chapter and providing support and and involvement.  A Chapter Leaders handbook will be available by early 2020 and maybe a regular Chapter Leaders online newsletter.to follow.

Permanent Survival Training Facility

A land-site in northern Indiana is being developed as a site to conduct advance survival and self-reliance training operations.  This site should be available in early 2020. The site will include campsites, sanitary facilites, a traing building, and a rifle and pistol range. We are seeking donations and pledges to help us make improvements and maintain the facility.

Added Value to Membership

  A members Handbook will be available by the end of 2019.  The book wil include information about Live Free organization and philosophy, but will also containe valuable survival information.   It will be available online free and a printed version will be available at nominal cost.  We may increase membership fees slightly and include the handbook with all new memberships. Other ideas are being considerd to add value to membership.

Expanded Survival Instructors and Programs

  Camp Independence will continue at Tippecanoe River State Park in Indiana, but may be franchised to other locations throughout the USA.  We also plan to revive our Certified Survival Instructors program to develop new instructors and support current instructors.

Opportunities to Get Involved

We currently have two opening for Directors to the Board of Directors.  These posted can be filled by designation by the board untill the next election.  Filling these posts will definitely help us reach the above goals. Additionally the board is authorized to designate Deputy Directors and establish teams to work on projects.  We would welcome hearing from members new and old who want to get involved and active. Since we now use the internet and online meetings it is not necessary for officers to reside in any nearby location.

Camp Independence 2019

Camp Independence Returns to Tippecanoe


Video courtesy of Tracy Apperson of Sparrow Rose Soap

When the State of Indiana closed the Group Camp facilities at Tippecanoe River State Park a few years ago Live Free USA tried a few other locations for our flagship event.  The original Group Camp facility included a large dining hall, an infirmary, instructors lodging, a crafty training building, and thirty-six cabins for participants to stay in. We were unable to find anything comparable for the kind of events we had hosted for over forty-five years.

After a few challenging efforts at other sites, we decided to try using the remaining Tepicon Hall back at Tippecanoe.  We were delighted to find that the hall had been remodeled and upgraded.  Attendees who wanted to stay overnight were able to rent the nice Rent-A-Camp cabins or reserve campsites in the park through the Indiana DNR website.  Although Tepicon has is a bit smaller hall, we were able to accommodate everyone nicely and used the adjoining outdoor areas to conduct concurrent classes.

We again were able to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a nominal cost to all in attendance. In addition to a full schedule of classes, we sold books, recruited members and conducted raffles with great survival gear and training prizes contributed by local vendors and generous members.   Members pitched in manning tables, serving meals, and cleaning up the facilities. The enthusiasm and camaraderie was at a level not seen in several years. Classes included: food preservation, gardening, beekeeping, fire starting, survival for children, field navigation, first aid, drone uses, survival packs, radio communications, knife sharpening, and more. Needless to say, Camp Independence will be back at Tippecanoe next-year and in years to come.  Watch this publication and our website and Facebook pages for the dates.  We are already looking for instructors and helpers for that event.

A full hall of participants listen to one of many instructors throughout the day

Schedule of indoor and outdoor classes

Instructors used multi-media, hands-on and demonstrations

Th outdoor area was used for fire starting, navigation and other subjects

Tables filled with items for the Survival Stuff raffle

Comfortable cabins and space for family activities were available from the Indiana DNR

Recommended Survival Book List

While working on my newest book I updated my recommended book list that will be included as an appendix to the book.  I have attached it as a PDF below.

RecommendedBookList,7-16

New Recommended Book List

While working on my newest book I updated my recommended book list that will be included as an appendix to the book.  I have attached it as a PDF below.

RecommendedBookList,7-16

The Urban Go Bag

This nine-page article is a well-written article by one of Live Free's most experienced members.

TheUrbanGoBag,3-17

Survival in the UK

Prepping in the UK

The following article is reprinted with permission from The Real Survivalists at https://therealsurvivalists.com A British survivalist website. Be aware that survivalism is now and always has been an international movement.  After all, what can be more universal than the need to protect one’s self and one’s family from harm?  Live Free USA operated as Live Free International for a while back in the late 1980’s.  We had members in Britain, France, Australia, Belgium and a few other countries. Back then we were united by the universal concern of nuclear Armageddon. In the post-Cold War era there was a period of denial and confusion that decimated the survivalist movement for a decade. The concerns for survival and freedom today are different, but no less serious, and survivalism is again a world-wide movement facilitated by the internet.  While Live Free “USA” focusses on those concerns that are unique to us, we need to reach out and network beyond our borders as well.  Perhaps there is a place for a new Live Free International or International Survivalist Union in the future?

Prepping in the UK

Prepping in the UK is becoming more of a common occurrence. With all of the goings on in the world, it is probably not much of a surprise that more and more people are becoming involved in Prepping in the UK.

Prepping in the UK can be a controversial subject. Many people will see prepping as something only paranoid people do. This is not a fair summary. Most UK Preppers have regular full time jobs, are everyday people who just want the best for their family. They see prepping as an insurance policy against whatever may come their way.

 

What is Prepping in the UK?

Prepping is a term used to describe preparing to survive multiple forms of life changing events. These events could be a very personal emergency such as job loss, house fire etc. or they could be world changing events such as weather phenomena, illness epidemic and similar. The level to which you prepare is based on how likely you think the event is to happen. Prepping in the UK involves creating a supply of everything you need to sustain life should one of these events occur. This usually means storing enough food and water to keep you alive for a set period of time and enough equipment to top up your supply once your initial one runs out. It is not just about physical supplies either. Many UK Preppers have a vast knowledge of basic survival skills such as fire lightingshelter building, hunting etc. First aid and medical skills tend to be key skills that UK Preppers are proficient at.

Why do people prep?

This is a tough question to answer as all Preppers have their own individual reasons for starting to prepare for the worst. Some will start prepping as a result of all of the negative stories in the media surrounding terrorism, nuclear weapons etc. Others will start because of personal concerns about their local area regarding safety and preparedness. And other Preppers begin as a natural progression from their interest in survival and bushcraft.

Each person who has started Prepping in the UK will have their own reasons for prepping. Whatever the reason, this is certainly an interest that is growing.

Prepping in the UK vs Prepping in America

A lot of people will see shows like Doomsday Preppers which is filmed in America and think that all Preppers are the same. American Prepping can be very different to Prepping in the UK. For example, quite a few American Preppers will have a selection of firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition. They believe they need this to protect themselves should the worst happen. Other American Preppers have vast supplies in underground bunkers and are almost excited at the prospect of the Apocalypse. While this isn’t the case for all American Preppers, it tends to be this persona that is shown on this type of TV show. Prepping in the UK tends to be a bit more reserved.

UK Preppers tend to have food and water supplies, first aid and medical gear and a selection of useful survival tools. Weapons are harder to own in the UK so maybe that is why Preppers here do not usually store too many. However it could be that the attitude towards weapons is very different in the UK. Guns and knives are mostly seen as tools here opposed to weapons so we have a different outlook on them when it comes to Prepping.

 

How do I start Prepping?

Prepping is a very personal thing. A huge supply of tools is not needed before you can call yourself one. You could argue that having a life insurance policy makes you a Prepper. You are making sure your family is looked after should the worst happen to you. This is effectively prepping.

Being a Prepper is all about doing a realistic assessment of the events that could happen to you. Once you have a list of possible events and consequences, you can then start preparing for each one. You do not need to spend huge amounts of money on the latest survival kits and equipment wither. Prepping is about being adaptable and creative with the tools you have available so you can start prepping today if you feel the need to!

Go to https://therealsurvivalists.com  the site has a lot of good information and a bit of a different perspective.

Is America Headed for Another Revolution?

Is America Headed for Another Revolution?

By James C. Jones

Introduction

It has been 242-years since the original American Revolution.  The Civil War was a geopolitical split rather than a systemic revolution.  There was certainly a lot of “revolutionary” activity during the late 1960s and early 1970s, but these movements were limited to a small segment of the population.  During these decades the vast majority of the population still shared a set of common values in a stable economy. The “Greatest Generation” that had recently made America great and defeated brutal and dictatorial aggressors was the dominant and stable force in American society at that time.  The radical communist and anarchist forces that seemed to define those decades literally and figuratively, burned themselves out.  However, many of these extremists and their divisive ideologies infiltrated our institutions and society.  A recent issue of Smithsonian magazine headlined 1968 “The Year That Shattered America” and contained a series of articles about the events and movements of those times.  While those times may not have actually “shattered” America, they left a collection of cracks that have grown and expanded to this day.

The United States Government is the oldest and most stable government in the world today.  All of the governments of Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle-East have fallen and risen several times while the USA has stood and prospered.  While many American attribute this to our values and the genius of our Constitution there are other factors that have historically contributed to our stability.

  • America has maintained a relatively homogeneous population. While absorbing significant numbers of legal immigrants from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, America was still expanding in available land, jobs and resources.  There were certainly conflicts, paranoia and prejudices, but it did not truly divide the nation.
  • America was generally isolated from foreign influences, religious extremists and political influences and threats. Ethnic and religious hatreds did not migrate into American society as dramatically as they do now.
  • America maintained strong values of community, responsibility, self-reliance and patriotism regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. We were Americans first.
  • While there were natural inequities in wealth distribution they were not nearly as extreme as they are today. A large, contented and socially responsible middle class still existed.
  • America and Americans were not subject to the constant divisive and toxic effects of the internet and social media.

None of these stabilizing factors are true today. Multi-ethnic societies are inherently unstable.  There is no longer an unlimited amount of real-estate, resources or jobs to absorbed even internal population growth.  We are involved with and influenced by divisive and confusing foreign involvements and intrigues. Today’s American is more self-centered, dependency-oriented and less involved in community than any previous generation.  The decades of centralized, big government have replaced responsibility with demanding, demonstrating and blame finding.  The gap between the poor and the ultra-wealthy is disgraceful and growing. The internet now facilitates division rather than unity, conflict rather than discussion and even violence in place of the political process.  Respect for the law and for American values has all but disappeared in many regions.  These are harbingers of future revolutionary developments.

There is a growing number of religious, racial and political elements that are quietly preparing for such a catastrophe.  There is a line in an old movie* about South American revolutions.  The General storms into the presidential palace proclaiming “El Presidente, the rebels are in the suburbs!” to which the dictator says “the rebels are always in the suburbs”. We are becoming more like one of these “Banana Republics”

Effects of Revolutions

With the notable exception of the American Revolution, very few revolutions have ever turned out the way the revolutionaries expected or hoped for.  Ask the Cuban’s or the Russians, or anyone from South America or the Middle East.  While they may start out with high ideals, they usually are co-opted by the most ambitious and brutal participants to create a more corrupt and oppressive state than the one it replaced.  There is an old joke that says that the first thing a successful revolutionary leader must do is kill all of the revolutionaries. If a revolution fails it justifies greater oppression and brutality by the state.

  • Revolutions can also degenerate into civil wars that divide the state into warring regions. When this happens, the chances for restoring peace and unity are almost non-existent.
  • Wide-spread demonstration can lead to the development of terrorism and even guerilla warfare that plagues the nation and destroys safety and security for generations. The Balkans and the Middle East are prime examples of permanently broken societies and civilizations
  • Those who instigate a revolution usually anticipate a quick and clean overthrow. Usually the revolutions are long, divisive and brutal, ruining the nation’s economy and destroying homes, towns and cities.
  • Foreign enemies and opportunists insert themselves into revolutions to provide weapons and even “volunteers” to various sides, increasing the level of death and destruction and prolonging the conflict. The longer and more devastating the fighting is, the more power and money they get.

In short: revolution is not a good idea if it can be avoided.

Precursors of Revolution

While conditions appear to be relatively stable as of this date, historically revolutions tend to erupt without much warning when a combination of long simmering disagreements and discontent are ignited.  A few precursors that could set the stage for revolution-like developments include:

  • Continued unchecked expansion of violent and non-violent crime leading to a loss in public confidence and trust in the police and further trends towards vigilantes and private security networks.
  • Any pervasive economic down-turn generating large-scale unemployment.
  • Significant reductions in welfare, social-security, and other benefits.
  • Political assassination and violence between political organizations.
  • Raids and thefts from armories and gun stores.
  • Any extreme shift in government policies either left or right resulting in deprivations, confiscations, or oppressive measures.
  • Contested and contentious elections marked by threats, demonstrations and violence.

It is difficult to predict what kind of events will transpire between now and the 2020 elections, but chaos and conflict seem inevitable. It seems doubtful that ether side will accept the results of an election without active resistance.  It is highly possible that there will be more than two parties and that we could have a president and legislature elected without a majority mandate.  Instead of complacent inaction, survivalists should be taking this opportunity to focus on preparing for the hazards of 2019 and 2020.

Surviving a Revolution

Surviving during a revolution can be a tricky business.  You have to cope with the effects of the violence on your basic safety and security while trying to stay on the right side or neutral in the conflict. Sustained revolutionary activities may result in a breakdown in law-and-order, sabotage or cessation of services such as running water, food deliveries, fire protection and medical care.  The fundamental preparedness procedures that permit you to shelter in place or evacuate remain paramount, but defensive and even paramilitary equipment and preparations take on increased importance.  The choices of survival tactics will depend on your political, economic and geographic environment at the time of any uprising.  A few possibilities include:

  • You may be able to adopt a neutral position of defensive non-involvement. You do not aggressively take sides but will defend your home and family against any attempted pillaging or violence.
  • If your community is predominantly sympathetic to one side or is simply forced to resist threats from a particular element, then you may have no choice but to actively participate in revolutionary or resistance activities.
  • If local, state or federal agencies are overthrown or find it expedient to suspend liberties, confiscate property or initiate mass arrests citizens may have no choice except to resist or escape.
  • History tells us that revolutions can generate high levels of violence and neighbor-against-neighbor animosity that must be avoided and survived by each person and family pragmatically.

Keeping your mouth shut, your eyes open and your powder dry is always a good maxim for surviving such turbulent times.

Conclusion

While I still regard revolution or revolution-like development as unlikely and undesirable, I can no longer exclude them from the list of “potential” survival threats. My study of history and observation of recent past and current events suggests that our nation is much less stable than in past decades.  If the current trends of divisiveness, violence and discontentment continue the specter of revolutionary activities and even the fall of our way of life must be recognized.  Responsible citizens must resist the temptation to be guided and motivated by media and internet divisive rhetoric and exhortations.  We must do all we can to support responsible law enforcement, and community based volunteer organizations.   But we must also plan and prepare to survive the effects of any kind of civil disorder, sabotage, crime and even revolution that may lie ahead.

Live Free and Gun Rights

LIVING FREE and GUN RIGHTS

By James C. Jones, EMT, CHCM and president of Live Free USA

Ultimately, gun rights are about the right to life and freedom.  There is no point in talking about emergency preparedness, survival and self-reliance for an unarmed population.

Live Free USA began as a shooting club in the late 1960s.  By the 1970s guns and gun ownership was under such assault that being a “gun club” in Chicago was impossible. It is probably impossible for any of our readers now to comprehend the level of harassment, persecutions, prosecution and prohibitions imposed on us in those times. It seemed inevitable that we would be forced to use muzzle loaders and cross-bows in defense of our lives and our freedoms. The NRA at that time was not a political force and liberals ran rough-shod over the constitution and anyone who sought to exercise the second amendment rights.  Live Free broadened our activities to include survival education and civil-defense while keeping our gun related activity’s underground.  The acceptability of shooting sports, concealed-carry and military-style rifles today has been achieved through decades of struggle.  Since there are many great gun-rights advocacy groups today, Live Free focuses on our core survival and self-reliance mission, but remembering that the capacity for armed defense and resistance is an essential part of survival and self-reliance, I will enumerate some of our positions related to the issue of so-called military-style rifles that have been so maligned in recent weeks.

The ownership of so-called, military-style rifles with high-capacity magazines has nothing to do with hunting or sports shooting. It’s about citizens maintaining the potential to resist foreign or domestic subjugation and oppression.  This does not imply that owners of such weapons are revolutionary, extremists or members of formal militias. They consciously or subconsciously accept the reality that the freedom and security of their families and future generations depends on maintaining the balance of force between the state and the people.  Owners of these weapons have the upmost respect for the laws and the government, but they do so by choice and responsibility, not by fear and submission.

The major difference between the way American citizens think and the way subjects of other countries think originates from the fact that most other peoples were granted their liberties by the state and still believe that power flows from the state, while Americans fought for their freedoms and know that they are the ultimate source of freedoms and authority.  This difference in origins creates an instinctual propensity to be armed or have access to arms that is not shared by citizens of other nations. It is no coincident that America has the oldest government on the planet and the most individual freedoms.

Ultimately: the right to keep and bear arms” is an extension of the human right to self-protection that exists regardless of written laws.  It follows that one must have the means to exercise that right.  One cannot be expected to defend oneself against an armed assailant or an oppressive despot with anything less than what that assailant or oppressor may have. We could not exercise the right to free speech if we were limited to old printing presses while the government controlled the mass media and the internet.  We could not exercise freedom of religion if it was limited to only ancient texts and methods.  So we cannot effectively exercise the right to keep and bear arms if we are limited to anything less than the best and most modern equipment.

The constitution does not say “hunting being a necessity”, it does not say “the ability to resist crime being important” it says “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”.  There is no ambiguity in this sentence. The second amendment is about military-style arms.  We are guaranteed the right to own, keep and bear military-style arms by the constitution.  The term “regulated” in the eighteens century was defined as well managed or well-maintained, but not regulated by law as the word is used today. The final four words “shall not be infringed” specifically prohibits any form of taxation or governmental action that interferes with this essential right.  The founders did use the generic term ”arms” even though the contemporary “arms” were muzzle-loading muskets and swords.  In fact they were referring to the “military-style” weapons of that time, but these were intelligent, forward thinking man who anticipated advancements and certainly wanted future citizens to “keep and bear” arms that would be equal to those of criminals, invaders and would-be tyrants of the future.

The missus of a right by a few does not justify the prohibition of that right to others.  Trading freedom and responsibility for safety is the poorest bargain a people can make.  Ask the Russians, or the Chines, or the North Koreans or the Mexicans or anyone from a hundred oppressed, depressed and crime-ridden nations that we do not want to live in. The loss of lives caused by a few evil and mentally-ill individuals is truly tragic, but cannot justify turning our back on the freedoms that were bought with the lives and sacrifices of generations of veterans.  Yes, they died for the second amendment as well as our other freedoms and surrendering any of those freedoms is a betrayal of their sacrifices.

In a world spiraling towards increasing political strife, civil disorder, street crime, economic instability, potential epidemics, increasingly severe disasters and terrorist activities, only the most irresponsible and pacified citizen can fail to see their duty to be prepared to meet violent situations in the future.  While the anti-gun movement may be lead (or mislead) by the youth, it is those between the ages of 15 and 25 that may most regret no having access to military-style weapon and ammunition just a few decades in the furfure.  In fact one may want to consider purchasing additional such arms and ammunition to be stored and distributed in the future to the next generations that may desperately need them.

  In Short:  Any action that limits the access to modern, effective military-style firearms to law abiding citizens of the United States is specifically unconstitutional, philosophically un-American, and functional dangerous to the future of life and freedom for us all.