fbpx

The four tips for building your self-defense system will ensure that your system is ready when your life depends on it. There are many videos on YouTube® that one can find about the various aspects of self-defense. A growing body of work is on building active-shooter kits or bags, setting up body armor, or building a firearms range bag. My analysis of these presentations is that they fall short in telling the viewer about some fundamental aspects of building your firearms-related kit. These presentations assume that the viewer is already familiar with the fundamental elements of self-defense, CCW, and the law. Therefore, we will cover these essential aspects of building your system.

1. Familiarity with Your Self-Defense System

The most basic level of building a self-defense system with firearms is Familiarity. Familiarity requires training and experience. An important question to ask yourself is, how familiar are you with some firearm or tactical gear that interests you?

Moreover, becoming familiar with your self-defense system means to train repeatedly with it. If you do not regularly train with your equipment and gear, you will fail to employ your system in an emergency.

For example, how efficient are you at pulling out that AR pistol from your deployment gear bag in the trunk or back seat of your car during the mad-minute of violent contact with a  criminal? It is nice to be able to create a well-equipped active-shooter bag. It is quite another at being able to employ those tools in less than thirty seconds under duress. The accomplishment of this essential aspect of your system requires repeatedly training to use it in a stress-induced training environment.

2. Practicality of Employment of Your Self-Defense System

Your self-defense system should be built on the principle of practicality. Practicality will influence the kinds of gear that will become part of your system. Many aspects of urban survival and preparedness revolve around having tactical equipment. Unfortunately, many do not understand such gear’s purpose or how to use it properly within its designed purpose. Thus, a key question is whether or not a piece of equipment is practical for you. For example, if you do not understand how to use, wear, and set up body armor, you may want to consider a different option.

3. Accessibility of Your Self-Defense System

One of the more essential considerations for your system is accessibility in an emergency. Some people will recommend nicely outfitted bags or backpacks to be stored behind the seat or trunk box of their truck or in the trunk of their car. However, how accessible is that gear in an emergency?

There is a reason that law enforcement professionals carry rifles or shotguns in a rack in their cruisers and wear body armor under their uniforms. There is not enough time when you are being engaged with gunfire to fumble around with your gear. Therefore, ensure that your system is easily accessible in an emergency.

4. Other Considerations Regarding Your Self-Defense System

Additionally, there are many aspects to consider when preparing to defend yourself with your gear. These considerations are: understanding the mad minute and violence of action, the psychological effects of using deadly force, understanding the effects of weapons ammunition, and understanding the law and your rights to protect yourself.

A. Reacting to Contact

Finally, as you build your firearm-based system, you will need to be proficient in reacting to contact using your gear. In other words, you should be skilled at reacting to life-threatening situations when engaged by a criminal. Again, this means training regularly with your equipment. The U.S. Army has a saying, “train as you fight.” Thus, train with your gear as you would use it during a sudden, violent encounter. Therefore, use your gear in the training scenarios that will simulate situations that you are most likely to face.

B. The Mad Minute

Our previous article on staying safe this summer briefly mentioned the mad minute and the psychological aspects of combat. It is one thing to train yourself by shooting at paper targets and plywood cutouts. By contrast, it is quite another matter when shooting at an actual human being. In the mad minute, the violence of action will render you incapable of thinking through the situation if you are not mentally and physically prepared for such an encounter. Those that adjust quickly will be able to shoot, move, and communicate more effectively in a life-threatening situation. Thus, you must train in such a way that stress and surprise develop your reactions to violent encounters.

C. The Psychological Effects

The psychological effects of using deadly force against another human being will change you in ways that you will not understand. The leadership of the United States military continues to seek ways to mitigate the psychological effects of combat on soldiers. The taking of another person’s life should not be glorified or admired in any manner. Thus, your mental and emotional health will gain strength by understanding the psychological effects that you may cause yourself when preparing to use a firearm. Are you ready for that outcome?

D. The Law

The legal aspects are just as important as the others mentioned above. Despite how one may feel about the law, second amendment rights, or self-defense, the law governs how and when it is legal to defend yourself with a firearm.

As you build your system, it is imperative that your understanding of the law reflects how you will employ your gear in an emergency. If you know yourself, your equipment, and the law, you will increase your chances of successfully defending yourself in an emergency.

Final Thoughts

Your firearm-based self-defense system is an integral part of preparing for an emergency. There are cost-to-benefit considerations to think about when attempting to build such a system. The system that you create for yourself should be highly individualized. Furthermore, if you cannot afford the time or money to train regularly, it is an indicator that you should be focusing on the creation of your self-defense system in other areas until you can prepare adequately. Remember, there are many components to building a sound self-defense system. It will take time to create one, but it will be worth it when you need it in an emergency.

 

How to build a personal urban survival kit will add flexibility to your overall survival and preparedness foundation. We are witnessing an increasing amount of uncertainty in our daily lives. The events of recent months and weeks indicate that this trend may continue.  Therefore, it is wise to develop and maintain a personal urban survival kit to store in your Everyday Carry (EDC) bag or pack. Your addressing the following areas in your kit will give you a good foundation from which to build and improve your kit.

Preliminary Considerations

It is essential to think about what you want for a survival kit before you begin to build one; this is true for any kit. Also, you will want to consider the size of your kit. Some people consider an entire backpack to be their urban survival kit. Others think a kit that is no larger than an Altoids® tin to be their survival kit. So, you must have some practical idea of what you want for a personal urban survival kit. I am recommending that you consider a small-to-medium pouch, such as a 6 x 6 MOLLE pouch or container, such as the GSI® Glacier Stainless 1.1 L Boiler Cup, as a guide for keeping your kit small and compact.

Cutting Device

The first item that should be in your urban survival kit is a cutting device. A fixed-blade or pocket knife is the most common way to address your cutting needs. However, there some other options to think about when choosing a cutting instrument for your kit. A good option is a multitool.  One of the best multitools on the market for this purpose is the Leatherman® Rebar or Sidekick.

Another option for a cutting device would be a good Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. They come as a more traditional pocket knife configuration. However, they still are considered a multitool. One of the best Swiss Army Knives for an urban survival kit is the Huntsman version. The knife has over ten tools that give you a wide range of employment options in an emergency.

Fire Making Device

Fire making is a core element in survival preparation. The second item to have in your kit is one that allows you to make an emergency fire. The best thing for this task is a simple Bic® lighter. However, it is wise to have a second option for making a fire. The UCO® Survival Fire Striker or NATO weatherproof matches also are good options.

Furthermore, having a good tinder source is the second part of your fire-making option. The best tinder source for making fire is the UST® WetFire™ cubes. They will light on fire even if they are wet. Another option for tinder is cotton tinder tabs.

Food Procurement Tools

Food procurement in an urban or suburban setting is different than obtaining food in the wilderness. You will have to muster some creativity in this area. Your food procurement tools might consist of carrying cash or change, an energy bar or bag of trail mix, or keeping a small pry bar or lock pick set. I recommend keeping an energy bar, granola bar, or some trail mix in your kit.

Water Procurement

Your ability to obtain water in an emergency in an urban or suburban environment also will require some creativity on your part. Therefore, it is wise to carry a sillcock key in your kit. The sillcock key will allow you access to water on the side of an office building or gas station. It is also wise to carry a LifeStraw® or Aquatabs® to filter and purify water from questionable sources.

Emergency Shelter

The kit that I am recommending will not be large enough to carry a tarp, tent, or sleeping bag. Thus, you will have to exercise some ingenuity when it comes to shelter. In an urban environment, a shelter can be an abandoned building, garage, or overpass. Remember that your clothing is your first layer of shelter. It is advisable to carry an emergency blanket or bivy sack as part of your emergency kit. These items may have to be carried separately from your kit conveyance, such as in a trousers cargo pocket.

Illumination Device

The urban and suburban areas will have plenty of illumination as a general rule. However, if the electricity is out because a transformer or relay station is out, then having an excellent illumination device is essential. I recommend that you carry a headlamp in your bag or pack. Additionally, it is helpful to keep a micro-flashlight in your emergency kit conveyance. One of the best micro-flashlights on the market is the LRI® Photon Freedom LED Keychain Micro-Light with Covert Nose. We recommend that you get a microlight with a red light to help maintain your night vision.

Signal or Communication Device

A question that arises in an emergency is how you are going to signal for help or communicate with first responders. Our article on the PACE plan for communication will assist your efforts in this area. Your micro-flash light or headlamp can function as a signaling device at night. Your smartphone, with a charge, can be a source of communication. However, a great daytime signaling device is a signal mirror. A small signal mirror will be a vital asset in your kit. Additionally, you will want to add a writing instrument and some paper.

Navigation Device

Most wilderness survival kits have a button or wristband compass. Navigating through a city requires something more than a compass. It would be helpful to carry a folding, laminated map of your town if one is available. In a similar way to the emergency bivy, you might need to store a map in your bag or backpack separate from your emergency kit pouch. Yet, it is essential to have a map available for you to reference at all times.

Medical Considerations

Medical care in an emergency is a universal concern whether you are in a city or the deep woods. It is advisable to carry some first aid items in your kit. A good start for addressing these needs will be an assortment of band-aids, triple antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, a triangular bandage, and Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT).

Remember that your emergency kit is a last-ditch tool to enable your survival. Therefore, the first-aid items that you place in your emergency kit are not meant to be a fully stocked first-aid kit. A larger first-aid kit should already be in your bag or backpack.

Personal Security Considerations

A final consideration for your urban emergency kit will be personal security. One thing that could be part of your emergency kit is a pepper spray canister, personal emergency alarm, or stun gun. The size of your kit will determine what you will place in it to address your security concerns.

As before, remember that your emergency kit is a last-ditch source to enable your survival. The intent is not to build a comprehensive kit. Therefore, avoid the temptation to put too many items in it.

The Carrying Mechanism

The carrying mechanism that you choose in which to store your items should fit your needs. A common mistake is to buy the pouch or box before the items have been purchased. Therefore, assemble the individual pieces before you attempt to buy something with which to carry them. You should try to keep the kit as small as possible while maintaining its practicality for use in your situation.

As you consider your carrying mechanism, there are many options on the market. One of the best ways to keep most of your stuff is the 5.11 MOLLE 6 x 6 or General Purpose Pouch or similar product. One drawback is that these kinds of pouches are not entirely waterproof.

Another consideration would be a one or two-liter dry sack. Yet, one drawback with a dry bag is that you can not carry it on your belt or the cargo pocket of your trousers. The Maxpedition® ERZ or Beefy Organizer also are good options to consider. So, you will have to experiment to see what works best for you.

Final Thoughts

A personal urban emergency kit is a highly individualized kit. It is up to you to assemble it in such a way that it is practical for your needs. There is a tendency to overfill the kit to address every possible emergency scenario. Your emergency or EDC bag or backpack is designed to address the broader concerns and contains more robust survival items.

Remember, your emergency kit is not an exhaustive solution in an emergency. Therefore, as you assemble the items for your kit, ensure that you are entirely comfortable with using them for their intended purpose.

The five tips for personal security this summer will assist in your avoiding dangerous situations. The recent events of the last several weeks highlights the need to protect yourself. Those in the personal security professions will advise that personal protection requires a good plan. The rise of criminal and violent activity means that you can not take your security for granted. For example, many public parking areas post signs about not leaving valuables in your car.

As such, many people are obtaining a carry-concealed weapons (CCW) license and carrying a handgun. However, there is a psychology that comes with carrying a concealed firearm and being ready, willing, and able to employ it in an emergency. The analysis of military combat reveals that sudden, violent, and intense engagements can mentally paralyze even the best trained individuals. There is a name for this kind of sudden threat to your safety, it is called the mad minute.

Therefore, as you consider your personal security protection plan, you must account for situations that possibly will catch you by surprise. Military ambushes are an example of such situations. Most violent crime is perpetrated in less than one minute by catching the victim by surprise. Consequently, violent crime should be considered as a kind of ambush. These six recommendations can help reduce your risk for being a victim of a crime or violent activity

1. Vary Movements and Routines

The first way you can help increase your safety posture is to vary your movements and routines. It is helpful to leave at differing times and returning home if you commute to work. Criminals conduct reconnaissance on their targets. Many look for targets of opportunity.

Consequently, if you make it more difficult for them to assess your vulnerability, they will move on to another target. Thus, if you are a person who habitually leaves for work at 6:30 am, you might want to leave earlier or later by ten minutes every few days.

In the military, there is a saying, “Don’t be a creature of habit.” The saying is applies to movement security and personal protection. Habit and routine can guarantee your being noticed by people that may have criminal designs against you.

The principle, here, also applies to the routes that you take to go places. Leave for work using one route, but use a different route to get home. If you like to shop at certain grocery store, then vary where you park and the time of day that you shop. If you have to go downtown in your city, then vary how you get to the location and how you depart. Most importantly, do not loiter; get in, get out of your location.

2. Do Not Stand Out In A Crowd

Another technique to help increase your security and protection is by not standing out in a crowd. Some of the videos being posted of people being attacked by rioters show that they are standing out. The victims are wearing contrasting clothing, opposite colors, or they are by themselves. Some are so bold as to enter a hostile crowd wearing provocative clothing. That is not the best way to stay safe.

The military uses the acronym BLISS to help servicemembers to keep a low-profile. The survival and prepping communities call it being a grey man. BLISS stands for (B)blend, (L)low silhouette, (I)irregular shape, (S)small, (S) secluded location.

It is hard in an urban or suburban environment to employ this acronym literally. Yet, the concepts it reflects should be part of your security plan. You should blend in to your environment. It is essential to keep a low-silhouette. A person can keep their profile or outline from looking symmetrical by the way you wear your clothing. Your keeping to a small or secluded location comes with using building shadows or crowds of people to hide your movements from criminals targeting you.

3. Avoid Potential Danger Areas

The third way you can help increase your security this summer is by avoiding potential danger areas. Your avoiding potentially dangerous areas in your town or city will keep you safe in most situations. The most effective way to do this is to pay attention to the traffic alerts in your area.

Additionally, criminal and violent activity tends to be in certain areas of every urban or suburban area. For example, there are neighborhoods in Los Angeles that are well-known for gang activity. Consequently, the only people who enter these areas are those that live in those neighborhoods. Therefore, avoid areas as much as possible that have a reputation for criminal or violent activity.

4. Strength In Numbers

Your safety considerations should be one of moving with another person or in groups. The old saying that there is strength in numbers applies to the current climate of uncertainty. The U.S. Army teaches soldiers to have a battle buddy when going somewhere. The use of this concept keeps the likelihood of a problem to a minimum.

For example, many ladies like to go shopping with their friends. As things begin to develop in our nation, it would be wise to make this practice a habit rather than an occasional pastime.

5. Maintain Situational Awareness

The key to maintaining personal security at all times is maintaining situational awareness at all times. It is not only true when you are planning on a day out running errands, it is also true as you are moving from your car to a store, walking in your downtown area, or going on a trip.

When I was in Germany in 1990, there were times when we were told to avoid going downtown because of anti-nuclear weapons demonstrations. The purpose was to help U.S. servicemembers from getting caught up in a potentially violent protest.

The war on terrorism brought a new twist to maintaining personal security. It is important to drive and walk with a sense of staying sensitive to your environment. In Europe, we had to drive in such a way as to keep aware of people getting too close or attempting to block us in at a stop. The recent events where freeways were blocked by protestors means having an alternate route to access in an emergency. The ability to do that requires being situationally aware at all times.

Final Thoughts

Your personal security is up to you. It is essential that you are proactive and not reactive when it comes to your security planning. Understand the threats around you and have a plan to reduce their risk to you and your family. Criminals tend to seek out those they perceive are weak, unprepared, or vulnerable. These five recommendations are not a comprehensive set of techniques to guarantee your safety. However, they will increase your chances of ensuring your personal safety and those who are with you.

Five EDC considerations for the Summer that can help address your seasonal requirements. Summer is upon us. The current circumstances may hinder us from being outdoors as much as we prefer. However, one this is for sure, we do leave our homes daily for various reasons. The EDC gear we carry is as relent now as it was previously. Summer brings particular concerns and risks to mitigate, such as hydration or heat-related injuries. The following items can help you with your seasonal EDC loadout.

1. Outdoor Element Firebiner EDC Carabiner

One of the first items that you may want to consider is the Firebiner sold at the Sigma 3 Survival store. The Firebiner is a carabiner with an enhancement that will function as a multipurpose item. This carabiner has a spark wheel built into it. As such, it will give you another option for starting a fire in an emergency. I carry a large carabiner on the outside of my backpack to hold my gloves or headgear when it is not needed. The large size of the Firebiner will also function in this manner. Therefore, consider adding some options to your EDC with a Firebiner.

2. Folding Lock Pick Pocket Set

The second consideration to add to your EDC loadout is the Folding Lock Pick Pocket set, also sold at the Sigma 3 Survival store. The urban upheaval of recent weeks indicates that having this option available is important. Many people have to interact with an urban environment, even if your residence in a rural area. Therefore, you could find yourself stuck in a downtown area of your city in an emergency. How many people found themselves stuck on the streets as their way home was suddenly blocked or interrupted by civil unrest? A pocket-sized lock picking set would be handy if you had to make a quick escape into a locked building. Thus, it would be wise to include this small tool in your EDC bag.

3. Buck Knives® 112 Slim Select Pocket Knife

Survival experts acknowledge that having some form of a cutting device is essential to enable survival in an emergency. The kinds and types of knives that one may carry are subject to local, state, or federal laws. Therefore, the knife one carries daily should comply with the law. One pocket knife to consider is the Buck Knives® 112 Slim Select Pocket Knife. The 112 Slim fits will in your EDC bag or your pocket. These knives are excellent for the urban or suburban environment. They will also come in handy as a backup or camp knife in a wilderness environment.

Buck Knives describes this pocket knife as follows:

A new EDC based on an American classic, the 112 Ranger, the 112 Slim possesses the same traditional features but sports a more modern look. The deep carry pocket clip is added based on the overwhelming customer demand and allows for quick and easy access in any situation. With the easy one-handed opening, the 420HC stainless steel blade provides supreme edge retention and is finished with Buck’s Advanced Edge2x Blade Technology. The 7.25” knife folds down to a convenient 4.25” when closed. To decrease the weight and thickness, the heavy bolster and handles are replaced with a lightweight molded nylon while still maintaining the same quality and rigidity of the original 112. Available in four colors; red, blue, black, and chartreuse.

4. Ballistic Panel or Insert

We have seen in recent weeks how quickly civil unrest can arise. Moreover, we also have seen in past years how a lone shooter can wreak havoc on an unsuspecting crowd or public event. As life becomes more uncertain, it would be prudent to consider adding a bulletproof panel or insert for your EDC bag or backpack. Several companies are manufacturing ballistic panels of various sizes. Safe Life Defense® and Bullet Blocker® are two companies that offer high quality, Level III ballistic inserts for your backpack. The addition of a ballistic panel in your backpack will give you a measure of safety instead of some type of body armor. Additionally, a ballistic insert in your EDC bag or pack will help you maintain a low profile while giving some protection against gunshots.

5. EuroSCHIRM® Automatic Dainty® Umbrella

The fifth consideration for your EDC summer loadout would be a quality umbrella that can fit in your bag or backpack. An umbrella can give you shade from the heat or protect you from the rain. One of the best umbrellas on the market is the Automatic Dainty by EuroSHIRM®. EuroSHIRM® is a German company. As such, they offer high-quality backpacking umbrellas that would be practical in any situation. These umbrellas come in a variety of solid colors and patterns. They also provide one with UV protection and one with light reflection. The summertime is no stranger to afternoon thundershowers. Moreover, we are in the hurricane season. A durable, high-quality compact umbrella is a wonderful consideration for your summer EDC needs.

Final Thoughts

Summertime is an excellent time of the year. People tend to get out more in the Summer than at any other time of the year. The gear you carry every day will help make the summer season more enjoyable. As you venture out this Summer, your EDC gear should address your seasonal concerns. It is wise to up our game, as well, when it comes to personal protection and safety. Our EDC gear can help us or hinder us in that effort. These five considerations for EDC gear will ensure that your summer loadout is taken to a higher level of effectiveness in an emergency.

Three basic firearms to include in your security plan will help enable the safety of your family, property, or business. Our U.S. Constitution affords us the right to own firearms as well as all the things related to them. It was clear from our colonial period that one’s basic survival depended on some firearm. Thus, the musket rifle has been one of the many symbols that identify the liberty that we enjoy. Recent events reveal the importance of a home and business security plan that includes a firearm. American’s realize this as reports of soaring firearm and ammunition sales indicate. Therefore, it is only wise to include firearms as part of your security plan.

Firearms come in many forms of handguns and rifles with many applications such as military, hunting, or law enforcement. One should not purchase a firearm haphazardly. It would be best if you kept only those weapons that you are familiar with shooting, cleaning, and maintaining. Admittedly, some firearms are easier to maintain than others. If you are a novice about guns and handling them, get some training by a professional before even thinking about settling on a particular firearm. Equally, one should have some understanding of ammunition and its effects. For example, you should know the difference between a ball-round and a hollow point, or rifle ammunition from shotgun ammunition.

1. Pistol

Your first consideration for a firearm should be a pistol. Pistols often are called handguns. Handguns feature two types of configuration: semi-automatic and revolver. Handguns also come in two types of action: single action and double action. For example, my Beretta® 92FS is a double-action, semi-automatic pistol. My father’s Ruger® Blackhawk .357 is a single-action revolver.

Most experts will advise that a revolver is the best handgun for home defense. A revolver is not subject to jamming as semi-automatic pistols are known to do. Therefore, they will fire when needed in an emergency. One drawback with revolvers is they are limited in the amount of ammunition they can hold. Moreover, a common mistake that people make with ammunition is they try to use .45 ACP in a .45 caliber revolver. Not good. That is why it is essential to know ammunition as well as handguns. Nevertheless, a pistol of any type should be part of your basic suite of firearms for your security plan.  Additionally, ensure that you get your conceal carry license before carrying your pistol.

2. Rifle

A second firearm consideration for your security plan should be a rifle. Rifles in most states are not under the same kinds of laws that govern the purchase of handguns, like 90-day waiting periods. There are many styles of rifles. Rifles come in two common types: bolt-action and semi-automatic.

A bolt-action rifle characterizes the basic big-game hunting rifle. You have to manually pull the bolt back and push it forward to place a bullet in the firing position. A semi-automatic rifle puts the cartridge into the firing position through the automatic action between the magazine and bolt. These are called semi-automatic because you get one shot with one pull of the trigger. However, you do not have to load each bullet manually as you would with a bolt-action rifle. The classic Colt® AR-15 (M-16/4) rifle is representative of a semi-automatic rifle.

Therefore, before deciding on a particular rifle, have a good idea of why you want that specific firearm. For example, do you want your rifle for hunting game, protecting your storefront, or both? The answer to that question will influence what kind of rifle you will purchase.

3. Shotgun

The final consideration for a firearm in your security plan is a shotgun. Shotguns have been around for many years. There are two basic kinds of shotguns: single barrel and double barrel. Shotguns come in three types of action: manual, pump, and semi-automatic. The manual, double-barrel shotgun is more well-known because of the western movies. A pump shotgun probably is the second most recognizable weapon due to the police and gangster movies. Shotguns have several calibers of ammunition that they fire. The most common ammunition is the 12-gauge, followed by the 20.

The primary purpose of a shotgun is hunting fowl. Shotguns are great for this purpose because they fire small balls or pellets in a circular pattern. These shot pellets are small enough that they will not damage the meat on a duck, goose, or pheasant. Many poor people in rural areas own shotguns because they are an inexpensive firearm. Shotguns serve a dual function in rural communities: hunting and home security. Yet, in recent years the cost of shotguns has gone up with their increasing sophistication and popularity. Just like with the other two considerations, ensure you know why you want a shotgun and how it will function in your security plan.

Final Thoughts

These three kinds of firearms (pistol, rifle, shotgun) serve as a foundation for your security plan. We acknowledge that there is more to consider when developing a security plan for your home or business. Local, state, and federal laws need to be understood with an assessment of how they will influence your strategy. These factors require you to develop a risk mitigation plan to incorporate into how you go forward with your plan. The firearms that you choose to be part of your security apparatus should be chosen with care. In an emergency, you do not want to be fumbling around in the dark, trying to disengage the safety. Most criminal activity that results in firearm employment lasts less than a minute in most cases. You do not have the luxury of learning about your weapon at the same time you are attempting to protect your home or business. Therefore, choose wisely, get trained, practice gun employment, and regularly clean and maintain your firearms. They will help you keep your home or business secure in an emergency.

There are five survival items that you should carry at all times. We never know when we will be in an emergency survival situation. One does not need to be going deep in the backcountry to prepare for an unplanned event. There are many discussions about everyday carry (EDC), bug out bags (BOB), and other solutions to address emergencies. However, emergency survival does not gradually creep up on a person.

An emergency survival situation happens suddenly and catches someone by surprise. It is similar to an ambush in combat. In the chaos of the initial minutes of a survival situation, the survival gear you are carrying will be the first items employed. Therefore, it is essential to carry these five gear items as a baseline in your emergency survival planning. These items are compatible in any environment in which a survival situation arises.

1. Triple Sensor Solar Digital Watch

 

The triple sensor digital solar watch is a versatile survival item that you can carry at all times. The vital aspect of these watches is that they are compatible with wearing business attire or rugged outdoor clothing. The triple sensor watch is also known as an ABC watch. These watches give you three sensors that display, (A) altitude, (B) barometer/temperature, and (C) compass readings.

Advantages

All three capabilities allow you to have situational awareness of your environment at all times. Most of these watches have a built-in light, so the watch display is readable at night. The solar cells in the watch face charge the internal battery. As a result, the watch stays operational at all times. For example, I purchased my watch in 2015 and have never encountered a need to change the battery.

Disadvantages

The main disadvantage with a triple sensor digital watch is that the compass readings can be tricky to understand. Additionally, the compass does not constantly display for use like a baseplate or orienteering compass in the outdoors. Thus, the compass enables dead reckoning for gaining a bearing rather than shooting and maintaining an azimuth. However, during an emergency survival situation, the triple sensor watch can get you through the mad-minute until you can stop, observe, assess, reassess and reorient (SOAR) your situation.

2. Pocket Knife/Folding Knife

 

The pocket knife is a traditional survival tool. The history of the pocket knife spans human history from the Iron Age to the present times. However, the pocket knife in its current configuration came about in the 1600s. A pocket knife goes by another name, such as a folder or tactical folder.

Nevertheless, the pocket knife is a versatile tool to carry at all times. The environment that you function in every day will influence what kind of pocket knife that you carry on you at all times. Like the triple sensor watch, carrying a pocket knife works as well with business attire as it does with outdoor clothing.

Blade Length Consideration

The knife blade on a pocket knife does not have to be very long to meet your needs. The smallest blade length to of practical use is one that is between 2.5 and 3.5 inches. Some companies offer pocket knives with shorter knife blades. Consequently, those knives have a limitation in their use. However, a pocket knife blade that has a minimum length of around 3 inches will allow you to get through the initial minutes of an emergency. However, a pocket knife with a 4-5-inch blade is optimal.

Is a pocket knife a tool or a weapon?

The local laws governing the carrying of knives influences what kinds of knives one can carry. For example, the famous stiletto switchblade knives are illegal to carry in some places because they are classified as weapons rather than as utility tools. Some survival experts recommend carrying a knife to use as a tool and as a self-defense weapon. However, it is prudent to understand what your local laws allow and prohibit regarding the carrying of knives.

Recommended Pocket Knives

The Swiss Army Farmer by Victorinox is a good pocket knife to carry. Another decent pocket knife is the Stockman by Buck Knives. A budget-friendly pocket knife is the TecX® X-Pro I by Case Knives. One of these knives is a great cutting option to consider carrying as part of the baseline emergency survival gear that you carry at all times whether you are in the office or out in the backcountry.

3. Butane Lighter

 

The butane lighter is a standard fire starting method in most emergency survival kit configurations. Butane lighters have been around for a long time. The most recognizable butane lighters are the Zippo® and Bic® brands. Zippo® lighters are made of stainless steel and can be refilled with butane lighter fluid. Bic® lighters are a disposable lighter made of plastic. Therefore, either type of lighter can enable making an emergency fire in any environment.

Advantages

The advantages of carrying a butane lighter are the ability to produce a flame with relative ease. These lighters can be carried in the inner pocket of a suit coat or the trouser pocket of casual or outdoor pants. Therefore, if you need to make a hasty fire in an emergency, the butane lighter enables the completion of that survival task.

Disadvantages

A disadvantage with butane lighters is the limited amount of fuel they carry to produce a flame. Butane fuel also evaporates over time. The Bic lighter has a vapor release button that if depressed, will release the vapors of the fuel. Bic lighters are not refillable once the fuel is gone. By contrast, Zippo lighters have a saturated cotton batting on the bottom. The butane fuel evaporates from this batting and requires periodic refilling. Thus, one needs to carry a can of butane fuel to refill a Zippo lighter.

Survival Considerations

Despite their disadvantages, in an emergency survival situation, the butane lighter is reliable enough to enable you to start a fire when necessary. They are safe to carry in an urban environment or on the trail. They are simple to use.

4. Micro LED Flashlight

 

Micro flashlights are an essential item to carry on you at all times. These flashlights are sometimes known as keychain flashlights. There are two common types of these flashlights: tubular and flat. The tubular style micro flashlight looks like a miniature version of a traditional flashlight. It usually has to be twisted to be turned on. The flat style flashlight tends to have an oval or rectangular shape and operate with a button depressed switch.

5. Hand Sanitizer Wipes

 

Hand Sanitizer Wipes are a convenient way to carry a dual purpose survival item. In a previous article, we gave some discussion about hand sanitizer as a survival item. Hand sanitizer wipes are single-use wipes that can clean your hands or function as tinder to start a fire. These wipes fit easily into a wallet, purse, shirt, or trouser pockets. A hand sanitizing wipe used with a butane lighter will allow an emergency fire to be built.

Final Thoughts

Emergency survival planning involves decisions about the gear one carries. Sometimes these discussions transition into everyday carry, bugging out or getting home kits. The items in the list above are not comprehensive in nature. Instead, they are a simple baseline which allows for additions and modifications to fit your environment and needs.

However, one of the lessons that 9-11 teaches is the importance of carrying survival gear on you during an emergency. For example, in a mass casualty event in an urban setting, you may not be able to access that EDC bag or get to your car and pull your get home bag. Therefore, those survival items that you have access to in an emergency can influence the outcome.

Moreover, in an emergency survival situation in the backcountry, you may be separated from your main pack. Thus, what you carry on yourself, such as, in your pockets, may determine the difference between life and death. For example, you may suffer a mechanical injury that immobilizes you or severely limits your ability to move. Your pocket knife, microlight, or butane lighter may be the x-factor in your being rescued. The story of Aron Ralston reveals the value of carrying survival gear on you when emergency survival happens to you.

Excellent ways to effectively manage your cordage are easily available. The effectively management of cordage is an ongoing problem for most people. Cordage can become tangled and knotted even with the best of intentions of not allowing to happen. The problem exists regardless if you have sewing string or climbing rope. I have experienced the frustration of attempting to keep my cordage neatly wound and secured only for it become a mess after several uses. However, in this article I will discuss some tips and tricks that will help you effectively manage your cordage.

Sewing String to Parachute Cord Management

 

1. Stainless Steel Sewing Bobbins

Stainless steel sewing bobbins are a wonderful way to store your sewing string, braided fishing line, or Kevlar™ line in your emergency kit. Sewing bobbins also come in plastic. Plastic bobbins are not recommended because they are not durable in a field environment. Plastic also has the quality of drying out and becoming brittle in hot dry climates. Thus, the stainless steel sewing bobbins are the best way to effectively manage the cordage in your emergency kit like twine, strings, or fishing line.

Advantages

The primary advantage of a stainless steel sewing bobbin is that it gives a compact and durable way to manage your small diameter cordage like braided fishing line. Stainless steel is the best material for field use because of its corrosion resistance. Another advantage of using this type of bobbin is easy of storage in smaller containers like Altoid® tins or small pouches for your personal emergency kit.

Disadvantages

The most glaring disadvantage of using the stainless steel bobbin is the limited amount of cordage that can be stored on them. Thus, the stainless steel bobbin an ideal option for effectively managing your cordage such as braided fishing line, jute twine, or sewing thread.

2. Plastic Floss Bobbins

Plastic floss sewing bobbins are thin plastic squares that on which small amounts of sewing sting are stored. Most people have seen the paper bobbins that come in the complementary sewing kits given by some hotels. The plastic bobbins work well for small personal emergency kits. I use these to wrap my braided fishing line in my emergency fishing kit. I also have wrapped my 25 feet of Kevlar™ cord on these bobbins. The use of the plastic floss bobbins works well for storing in my EDC personal emergency kit in my ALokSak® bag.

Advantages

The primary advantage of using the plastic floss bobbin is compact storage. As stated above, plastic is not the best material for the field. However, for storage in small containers or pouches, these are an effective way to manage your string-type cordage.

Disadvantages

The obvious disadvantage of the plastic floss bobbin is its limited capacity to hold cordage. Another disadvantage of the plastic floss bobbin is that it will crack or break easy if handled in a harsh manner. Yet, despite their disadvantages, the plastic floss bobbin is a great alternative of effectively managing your cordage.

3. Spool Tool™

The managing of your parachute cordage can be an especially aggravating effort. The TricornE™ company in San Diego, California has an innovative device for storing up to 100 feet of parachute cord. It is called the Spool Tool™. This is a hard plastic device that features a holder for a Bic® Mini lighter and a cord cutter. I use one of these to store my paracord in my backpack. These are great for people who have not mastered the art of coiling and tying off paracord for storage.

Advantages

The main advantage of the Spool Tool™ is the ease of storing up to 100 feet of paracord. Another advantage of this device is that it has a cutting device and fire making capability. These features make the Spool Tool™ a versatile item to consider for your pack loadout.

Disadvantages

A disadvantage of the Spool Tool™ is that it can be bulky with 100 feet of paracord. Therefore, 75 feet of paracord works best with this item. A second disadvantage of the Spool Tool™ is that replacing the razor cord cutting blade can be tricky in the field. The two small screws that hold the blade cover and blade in place can be lost if one is not careful.

4. Atwood Tactical Rope Dispenser

One of the more innovative products to come along for storing parachute cord is the Tactical Rope Dispenser by the Atwood Rope Manufacturing Company in Ohio. This is a practical item to consider when storing your paracord. As with the Spool Tool™, the Tactical Rope Dispenser is another great way to effectively manage your cordage.

Advantages

The Tactical Rope Dispenser is advantageous for its ease of storing and dispensing parachute cord. The TRD features a built-in cord cutter, similar to the Spool Tool™. Moreover, it also comes with a belt clip and small notches for holding the loose end of the cord. It is also easy to refill the spool with more parachute cord.

Disadvantages

One of the disadvantages of the Tactical Rope Dispenser is that it has a limited storage capacity of 50 feet. 50 feet of paracord is sufficient for most backpackers and hikers. However, those who spend more time outdoors usually need up to 100 feet of cord. Another disadvantage of this product is that refilling the spool can be difficult in the field. Thus, it is best to purchase two Tactical Rope Dispensers. One for regular use and one for a back up in case you run out of cord in the field.

Climbing Rope Management

The next level of cordage to consider managing is climbing rope. It is sometimes called assault line or repelling rope. Some experts in the field of emergency preparedness recommend keeping 50 to 100 feet of climbing rope. However, employing climbing and repelling techniques in an emergency should only be accomplished by those experienced in those skill sets. However, methods to effectively manage rope-type cordage is a consideration for some. Therefore, the following tips are given to help with managing climbing rope.

1. The Alpine Coil

The alpine coil is one of the more common techniques for managing climbing rope. This technique also can be used with parachute cord. The technique is a simple coiling and then wrapping for security as illustrated in the picture. The alpine coil also can result in the rope looking like a figure eight with a wrapped middle. There are many sources on the internet and on YouTube® that demonstrate how to employ this technique.

Advantage

The alpine coil has the advantage of being simple. There are no complicated knotting sequences to remember with its use. As a result, the alpine coil allows for ease of storage on the outside of one’s backpack by securing it with a carabiner. Thus, this technique should be used by those just learning rope management.

Disadvantage

The disadvantage with the alpine coil is that it does not totally resolve the tangling concern after the wrap is loosed. A climbing rope can tend to kink and coil on itself when it is being stretched out for employment, which results in tangling. Therefore, care should be taken when unraveling the rope to prevent tangling.

2. The Butterfly Coil

The butterfly coil is a rope management technique a little more complicated than the alpine coil. However, this technique works best with longer lengths of rope, usually over 100 feet. The butterfly coil allows the rope to be carried on the outside of a pack or on someone’s back as illustrated in the picture. A rope coiled and wrapped in this manner will look like there is a loop securing the rope at the top. As with the alpine coil, one can find this technique being demonstrated on YouTube®. This rope management technique is for those more experienced climbers who use this method regularly for rope management.

Advantages

A major advantage of the butterfly technique is that it does resolve the tangling concern. As the rope is being coiled it employs an s-style back-and-forth fold. This helps the rope to be easily employed with out tangling after the securing wrap is loosed.

Disadvantage

The biggest disadvantage of the butterfly coil method is that it requires some practice to get a rope correctly secured in this manner. The initial moves of the coil are simple. However, when the rope is going to be secured by the butterfly knot, there are some more hand movements necessary to complete the technique. Therefore, this management method should only be used by those after they have practiced it enough to be proficient with it.

Final Thoughts

This article has been a little more lengthy than normal. Yet, it is hoped that it has been informative. The topic of cordage management is one that will continue to occupy discussions around the outdoor and prepping world. The importance of storing cordage and keeping it from getting tangled is a concern for all who love the outdoors. Thus, it is my desire that this article will motivate further thought on this topic.

There are 4 tips to consider for decisions about EDC options. My wife and I, recently, were discussing the topic of Everyday Carry (EDC). That conversation became the motivation to write this article. Prepping and survivalist interest is growing. Consequently, there are many people new to the jargon and concepts they are seeing on the internet. Therefore, it is helpful to keep in mind these four tips when considering what to carry for your EDC loadout.

Tip # 1: Assess Your Daily Environment

The first tip about EDC options is to assess your daily environment. The environment in which you will function everyday is the foundation for considering your EDC options. The world that we live in is not homogenous. My particular daily situation does not have the same nuances as someone else’s environment. Some people live and work in the suburbs, like Poway, California. Other people live in rural areas away from daily access to the high energy of a big city. Still, others live and commute within a highly urbanized metroplex, like Los Angles, New York, St. Louis, or Dallas-Fort Worth.

A particularly challenging daily environment to assess is one in which a person commutes long distances between work and home. I remember hearing about a professional athlete in California, who travels almost two hours, one-way, every day between his home and place of work during the season of his chosen sport. Thus, a person like that will have a unique set of EDC considerations. Therefore, it is essential to assess your daily environment.

As you assess your environment, you will want to ask and answer some crucial questions about your situation:

  • What is the level of crime in my area?
  • What is the most common kind of crime in my area?
  • How often will I be away from home?
  • How much and how far will I commute every day?
  • What is the type of transportation that I will use every day; car, bus, subway, train, taxi, carpool, airline?
  • What is the nature of the traffic in my area (easy, hard, frequent traffic jams, etc.)?

If you can answer some of these basic questions, then you may find yourself drifting into a discussion about getting home. Thus, you should be very thorough in assessing your daily environment.

Tip # 2: Assess Your Level of Readiness

The next important EDC tip in your item considerations is to assess your level of readiness. How physically fit are you? Do you have handicaps that require special equipment? Have you included an EDC, prepping, or survival line-item in your yearly budget? How proficient are you in self-defense, handling firearms, or using non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray? The point here is not to imply that you should shore up your weaknesses. Instead, these are influences in determining what items you should be considering for your everyday carry loadout.

For example, if you have never handled a firearm, you have no business carrying one until you get properly trained and licensed to carry it. If you have never had martial arts training with knives and weapons, then you have no business carrying a karambit knife because an internet personality demonstrated using one. Furthermore, how often on a daily basis will you be employing the things you desire to carry? Therefore, assessing your level of readiness should determine what you include in your EDC loadout.

Tip # 3: Assess The Practicality Of Your EDC Item Considerations

A third EDC tip concerns practicality. Now that you have assessed your environment and your readiness, you can now begin to think about what items to consider for your EDC loadout, in essence what are your needs? An important principle to remember is what works for someone else may not work for you. For example, some people carry an EDC backpack. There are many videos on the internet discussing what to pack in an EDC backpack. Remember the keyword in Everyday Carry is everyday. How practical is an EDC backpack to your situation? It might be overkill, especially if you are at your suburban house most of the day.

Furthermore, the practicality of your items will be influenced by your level of familiarity with them. Multitools are a favorite everyday carry item that you find as a recommendation on the internet. Yet, how often will you use something like that everyday? I remember in the military the only people carrying multitools every day were our vehicle mechanics. Why? They are fixers in their hearts. Thus, they discover that they need to carry a multitool. They need to be ready to repair, fix, attach, or detach something, even when they are not under a vehicle. Their experience dictates that they carry a multitool. Therefore, assess the practicality of your items along with your needs or requirements.

Do not put something in your EDC loadout that you will never use or will hardly use on any given day. Everyday carry items are intended for regular or frequent use. By definition, they are not for an emergency survival SHTF scenario. For example, I saw someone on YouTube recommending an ankle-mounted first aid kit as an EDC item. First aid kits or trauma treatment items, such as tourniquets, are, technically, emergency items. It is crucial for those off-duty medical professionals and first responders to carry emergency medical kits as everyday carry items. However, for the general public, emergency medical items should be part of your individual emergency survival kits. Furthermore, your personal emergency survival kit should be part of your EDC loadout.

Tip # 4: Learn The Art Of Modifying Your EDC Items

The fourth EDC tip is learning the art of modifying your EDC items. Many people are carrying a multitude of items on any given day. As you are assessing your daily environment and item needs, remember to be flexible. As you carry your items, you become used to them to the point of not noticing that they are on you. Then, you find yourself having to travel via airline, bus, or train. Suddenly, you are facing a TSA officer screening you, and you forgot to place your multitool or folder in the checked baggage. Now you lost that $180 Benchmade Griptillian folder or $100 Leatherman Center-Drive multitool even after putting them in the bin to go through the x-ray machine. Limit your “oops” moments by learning to modify your EDC loadout for each situation.

A good practice to employ in the art of modification is layering up or down according to the need. In the military, you are trained to modify your clothing as the climate dictates. Layering your clothing is an essential technique for the winter months and in cold weather conditions. This same technique can apply to EDC considerations. You may find yourself not carrying some items on the weekend. They are simply not needed. Similarly, you may find yourself adding items if you go out of town for the weekend with your family.

Concluding Comments

Everyone carries some kind of an EDC item, such as a wristwatch or wallet. However, as we consider carrying items beyond the obvious, it is essential to be thoughtful, diligent, and practical about what you include in your EDC loadout. There are at least three conventional approaches to EDC philosophy: EDC as items of regular or frequent use, EDC as items for personal defense, or EDC as items for emergency survival. Some advocates blend elements of all of these and call it Everyday Carry. The environment in which you operate and your level of readiness will determine what you carry daily. Remember that there is always room for improvement. So, choose your EDC items wisely and continue to improve your knowledge and experience. As a result, you will modify and enhance the things you carry with you every day

Everyone seems to agree that a good survival knife is an essential item for the outdoorsman, bushcrafters, or preppers. There are many good resources to access to learn about survival knives. However, the key words of versatility and practicality should influence your thinking about knives. Additionally, do you view a knife as a weapon or tool or both? Furthermore, there are at least two major things to consider before you decide on what kind of knife to purchase or carry: the purpose of the knife and the characteristics of the knife.

The Purpose Of The Knife

The defining question for determining the type of fixed-blade knife to carry is the type of use for that knife. What is the purpose or reason for carrying a knife? The term survival knife is a definition for a purpose or an application of the knife. That means that the intent of the knife is personal survival. In other words, it will be the one knife that you will rely on to save your life. However, there are many general categories of survival: combat/tactical, wilderness, urban, water/sea, jungle, mountain, desert, medical, emergency, etc. Thus, there are knives specifically tailored for each of these survival categories. Therefore, a person needs to define what kind of use they want to get out of a fixed-blade knife. Yet, there are some basic characteristics that define a good survival knife.

The Characteristics Of A Survival Knife

1. Full-Tang

The first characteristic in a survival knife is that must be full tang. The term, full tang, means the knife blade and handle tang are formed from a singular piece of steel. The tang is the part of the knife upon which the handle scales are attached. The knife tang should extend to the bottom of the handle and not taper into the handle as in a rat tail design. Some knives marketed as survival knives have a hollow handle molded, bolted, or welded to the blade. Unfortunately, this welding point makes the knife vulnerable to cracking and breaking at the joint where the blade and handle meet. However, in recent years, there has been some significant improvements on the hollow-handle knives and some people are starting to recommend them as a useful knife. What about blade thickness?

2. Blade Thickness: 3/16-1/4 inch

The second characteristic of a good survival knife involves blade thickness. A good survival knife needs a blade thickness between 3/16 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch. This provides a solid and durable blade that will last if you take care of it. The blade thickness is important if using the knife for prying things apart. Other sources will have additional considerations. However, I found that if you find a knife that meets these first two specifications then the other recommended characteristics for a good survival knife will fall into place. Furthermore, blade length is another consideration.

3. Blade Length: 4.5-6 inches

A third characteristic of a good and reliable survival knife is blade length. There are some experts that recommend that a survival or bushcrafting knife should have a blade length of no less than five inches. However, the exception to this rule are the Morakniv® brand knives. Many of the experts in the field of wilderness survival and bushcraft recommend the Morakniv® knives. Yet, a blade length of five or more inches meets the versatility considerations for a survival knife: construct improvised weapons and traps, as well as, process food. One thing to keep in mind about blade length is not to have a knife blade that is too long. A knife blade beyond six or seven inches is probably going to be too cumbersome to wield when building traps or skinning a squirrel. Not only are tang, blade length and thickness important for a survival knife, but also the blade materials are equally important.

4. Blade Materials: D2 or 1095 High Carbon Steel

A fourth characteristic for a quality survival knife is the steel used in making the knife. There is almost universal agreement that high carbon tool steel is the optimum material for a knife blade. D2 and 1095 steels are the most favorable tool steels for the blade construction of a survival knife. These blade steels are the best for those are spending a lot of time in the field such as hunters or bushcrafters. They are easy to sharpen and hold an edge well. However, a good blade steel to consider is stainless steel if there is only an occasional excursion to the outdoors. This means that it is easy to keep corrosion and rust from building up on the blade or handle. For example, many of the top game processing knives feature a stainless steel blade. So, a stainless steel outdoor knife may be a consideration for only a weekend outing on the campgrounds, cabin, or the favorite fishing hole. Moreover, the type of blade spine is also important to consider.

5. Blade Spine: 90° Spine

The fifth characteristic of a good survival knife is a blade spine that is ground to a 90° edge. This kind of edge is useful in the field. It allows a person to use the spine of the knife to scrape bark from a tree for tinder and strike a ferro rod when making a fire. It is also good for striking flint or chert rock against it to make a spark for starting fires.

6. Blade Grind: Scandinavian or Flat

A sixth characteristic of an excellent survival is the blade grind. There are two common blade grinds that one will find on a quality survival knife: a Scandinavian grind and a flat grind. The Scandinavian grid is the most popular grind of the two. The main reason that these two grinds are popular on survival knives is that they are the easiest type of blades to sharpen in the wilderness. Other blade grinds sometimes require special tools or expertise to sharpen. Thus, most of the high quality, and, expensive bushcraft or survival knives will feature these blade grinds. Moreover, there are some other things to consider when deciding about a knife to carry as a survival knife.

Other Considerations

Jimping

Some things to think about when deciding on a good survival knife are the type of additional features some knives have on them. For example, some survival knives have notches on the spine of the blade near the handle called jimping. This feature allows additional friction when using the thumb for wood carving or cutting tasks. Is jimping something that you want on your knife?

Scale Material

Another feature to ponder on survival knives are the kind of scale material on the handles. The four most common handle scale materials on survival knives are: bone, wood, rubber, or micarta. Wood, rubber, and bone are understandable scale features. However, micarta is a material that is often used on survival knives. Micarta is a composite material of polymers and linen cloth fibers. Thus, micarta has a wood-like quality to the touch.

Type of Edge: Fine or Serrated?

Finally, some commentary on serrated edges. There is much ado regarding a knife blade with a serrated edge and one without. The decision about this feature is a matter of preference. It is also being able to answer the earlier question, “What is the purpose of your knife”? If you want to cut down on weight in your backpack by carrying only one knife, then a knife with a serrated edge may be a viable option. The serrated edge provides some versatility with the ability to saw small diameter limbs or materials such as plastic. However, if you are going to carry a good multi-tool, you do not really need a knife with a serrated edge. Thus, a good survival knife is an essential piece of gear. Therefore, choose your survival knife wisely.

Recommended Survival Knives:

1. Morakniv Bushcraft 2. Morakniv Garberg 3. The Sigma 3 Survivor “Ultimate Bushcraft Blade” 4. Tops BOB Fieldcraft 5. Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion

Greetings, Sigma 3 Family!

As many of you know, Sigma 3 Survival School has been experiencing exponential growth as of late. With this growth comes new and exciting opportunities, new classes, and new skill sets to be mastered. These changes are exciting and refreshing for us and we know that you will be pleased with the direction Sigma 3 is going as well.

We have been given many new opportunities for specialty classes that have previously been unavailable along with access to new instructors and sources of information, and SIGMA will be adding new, different, and exciting courses soon.

Like all growth, though, there are some growing pains as we move into new frontiers and find that some of the things that served us well in the past are not as vital to our continued growth and ability to serve our students and customers.

 

Curriculum Changes

We have some monster changes coming to our training programs and we will be dropping some programs and adding some new ones. We can only run programs that are popular and as the years have come and gone, we have learned what classes our students want the most. So in accordance with what our customers want, we are adapting to the changing business environment by adapting our programs to meet our customer’s needs.

We will be dropping the Tactical Scout Cert program and the SOLO wilderness medic cert program and replacing it with a list of specialty classes. Basically we will be recruiting other top training companies to come showcase their best courses for our SIGMA 3 students. We will be keeping the DSD tactical tracking program and both SERE courses, but all other programs within the tactical scout will be eliminated and replaced. We will replace the courses with specialty classes that are determined by our customers via polling. Some of the potential trainers we will try to recruit for courses include: Travis Haley, Kyle Lamb, Badlands Tactical, Mark Elbroch, Joel Hardin, and many more! Almost anyone you want to train under, SIGMA 3 can get! You will see changes in the website to reflect these changes soon. If you have any questions then please contact us for more details.

 

Maine Location Closing and Moving Farther South

We have found after the initial launch of our location in Maine, that it is too remote and to distant a drive for most people in the Northeast to attend our courses. We have tons of customers in the New York area and it is our goal to move closer to the New York/Pennsylvania line, so that more people from metropolitan areas can join our weekend classes as well as other programs. If you have any land in this area that we can use to host these events please let us know. There is substantial incentive for allowing us to use your land for training. But for now we will not be scheduling anymore classes at the Maine location.

North Carolina Update

We recently launched the North Carolina location that will be run by Eugene Runkis and Sean Walker. The location we originally picked may be in jeopardy due to lease issues with the land owner, so we may be moving the location to farther north on the North Carolina/Virginia border. Still up in the air as to what is going to happen with this training location. And Eugene is in the process of shooting his 3rd season for Hillbilly Blood, so his schedule is still up in the air also. As soon as we get some solid dates I’ll be sure to update everyone. But you can count on us having classes on the schedule for that area very soon. Just waiting on a few things to come through before posting the training schedule for NC!

Children’s Programs

Probably the single biggest question asked, is do we have any kids programs or classes that kids can attend. Our policy has always been to allow children in most courses offered, except for the advanced ones! But to add to that, we are going to start offering family packages that bring father/son and mother/daughter together in these training classes. And we will have special pricing for package deals, so that both parents and children can enjoy the benefit of world class training at a great price. We will also be starting a kid’s summer survival camp in 2014. Send the kids for a week of adventure and they will learn all the need to know about how to survive! More info on this coming soon!

 All in all, we have a ton of changes happening with SIGMA 3 and we appreciate your commentary and continued support. If you have an interest in some type of training, then please let us know what you would like to see on the schedule and we will try and accommodate your interests.

Thanks,

Robert Allen

President

SIGMA 3 Survival School