Good Times, Headed My Way

Issac is headed my way. Good thing I’ll be in ATL for two weeks straight.

This means two things:

  1. All of the crazies around here will buy up all the batteries, milk, bread, & eggs from the local KroPublix.
  2. The good mountain biking trails will be too muddy to have any fun on.

Funny how the smallest things brings out the nutjobs.

<sarcasm> i wonder how bad it will be when a real emergency gets going? </sarcasm>



Thoughts on Fortification

Going with Kerodin’s Citadel concept, we have Zenpundit referencing GG.

First, not sure I can convince Mrs. Matson to go to Idaho. Maybe, but that is about the longest shot I have ever heard of, and believe me, it’s not from lack of trying.

Second, practical fortification for the rest of us who are left behind in the other 49…

Over the years, we have adapted the current Matson Compound to be less friendly to the natives. We have built tribe with our neighbors – even the commies – and done what made sense to increase what the property gives back. I stole this concept from Jack Spirko a long time ago. Our property must stop being a drain and start giving something of use, like food & power, back. Simple concept. Fairly easy real world application, though it does make maintenance a bit more in depth in the longterm.

Highlights from the Zenpundit post:

Privacy architecture: Building design embedded with the idea of  promoting privacy, adjusted to the surrounding environment, which today includes thwarting advocates of a panopticon society. You want a structure that breaks clear fields of vision from the outside to the interior. Overhangs, angled exterior surfaces, material surface to reflect heat and light, ornaments/catwalks/netting and  landscaping to break up spatial fields. Perhaps layered walls of different materials to diffuse or mislead spectral/thermal imaging. This could be incorporated in public spaces in neighborhoods or campuses improving both aesthetics as well as privacy.

Underground: Increasing useful space by building down to sub-basement level gives you more possible points of egress, protection from surveillance technologies, storage and living quarters while concealing the true extent of your property from street level view. Best of all, it usually does not count toward your property tax assessment. Substreet complexes, like the system at Disneyworld, could easily planned into the development stage of residential and commercial construction.

Unobtrusive but Unconventional:  Attracting large amounts of attention is helpful in commerce or branding but generally disadvantageous to security. A home should be designed to frustrate opportunistic predators and delay determined ones with the most interesting elements reserved for the interior and (if possible) the rear with the street view presenting a target that is visually more bland than adjacent structures and also unattractive for forced entry. Windows should be treated to make it more difficult to see in or observe when residents are home vice away.

Defensive Security: This is something to consider individually and cooperatively. I once lived in a house in a town with a modestly high crime rate but never had a problem because the house was in a cul-de-sac with a wide oblong court and a long bottleneck entry. The neighbors knew one another and it was impossible (unlike on a conventional street) to not notice a strange car or pedestrian as every home faced the court.  Aside from alarm systems, simple things like better quality doors and locks buys you time to react. If multilevel, you should have at least two ways to escape from an upper floor (when I designed my second home, there were three) which also increases the interior complexity for an unfamiliar intruder. First floor windows should be out of easy reach from ground level.

Manage your Connectivity: Aside from normal cybersecurity precautions, you might consider managing, blocking or at least being aware of your geolocational activity by being selective about tracking devices (like smart phones) and your exposure to “the internet of things”. Do you really need to hook your fridge up to the internet or pay for everything with a debit card?

Lots of good points there. I will again echo the Spirko bit about the property, structure doing something other than being a financial and maintenance drain. Things like small gardens, and basic permaculture go a long, long way to build tribe and give back needed calories to at the very least, supplement your diet.


I don’t have a lot of tacticool gear. Never really saw the need. I have always thought it more prudent to just look like my normal self and be real discreet like when it comes to hardware.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a vest, and a chest rig for classes, but it’s not the ultra high end stuff because, like I’ve mentioned before, I’m essentially a glorified network admin in a sports coat.

However, in my recent travels, I picked up this:

About $10. Six AR or AK mags. Can be slung over the shoulder messenger bag style, or worn around your neck with 550 cord keeping it against your midsection like a low rent chest rig.

If you’re counting that’s 150 rounds in a grab bag. Simple, efficient, cheap.


The One Hundred Mile Rule

Before embarking on this, I want to be honest and up front. I did not come up with this, and it is not a Matson original. I read it on a prepper blog about three or four years ago, and despite my GoogleFoo, I am unable to find it. Please, if you find the original author, leave the link in the comments so that I can give proper credit.

The rule itself is simple:

When traveling by vehicle more than one hundred miles from your home AO, you must have a long gun.

It doesn’t matter what that long gun is, just have one. Whether it is a .22lr, a pump 12 gauge, or a SBR AR15 is really unimportant. What is critical is that you have it in your vehicle and have an intimate knowledge of how to properly use it.

Here’s mine:

I have successfully, and repeatedly hit soda cans at 100 to 125 yards with this little Sub2000 in 9mm. While that is not a rifle round at rifle velocities, it is a very long reach and extremely high capacity (notice the eeeevil 30 rounders) weapon in a very, very small package.

Keep this rule in mind the next time you fire up the minivan for a trip to grandmas.



E&E – Getting to the Truck

The objective here is not to do a gear rating and bashing. I’m complete gear whore, I freely admit to that, but the purpose of this post is to share with my three readers how a glorified tech guy plans on surviving and thriving during adverse conditions.

Depending on what day it is – client meetings, executive playbook, interaction with my betters – will determine my dress. Most of the time this will be some kind of executype business dress – meaning: sport coat, shirt, pants, sans tie. I hate ties. They are a noose of mediocrity. I digress…

Below are my usual pocket contents, though being a knife person, the EDC blade does tend to change. It is one of many and they are similar. Notice the light, Exotac firestarter, and lip balm. Also notice how the lip balm is petroleum jelly and is a rather nice compliment to the Exotac. Get it?

I mentioned in an earlier post that I carry this in my backpack.

Here’s a shot of the thing. It’s a tank, built to take unbelievable amounts abuse:

A note about the carabiners. They are almost as useful as paracord. Besides, chicks dig ’em.

Here’s a content shot:

Notice the fixed blade and embassy pen. I am never without a fixed blade, no matter how small. This is a Bark River Bravo Necker. This is the one I stuck in my hand. Also contained in the bag are:

  • Medkit stocked with first aid gear, BOK, and OTC meds for travel.
  • Q-Tips (ever been on the road, needed one, and didn’t have one? that is a new level of hell.)
  • Accessory kit (yellow flag) containing the detritus of a information worker.
  • Paleo Trail Mix
  • The EDC kit from a few posts ago.
  • A pair of smartwool socks (thought i rarely wear boots and hikers anymore, having a clean pair of socks and drawers is a good thing).
  • Raingear.
  • Stainless water bottle or vacuum bottle – not pictured.

With this kit, I can survive for a couple of days given I can find shelter. Considering that I will be in an urban or suburban environment 99% of the time, that would be a true statement. Though, as I mentioned before, the goal here is not to be Bear Grylls and drink my own urine. The goal is to get to my truck, and in turn, get home.

One last thing not pictured is my sidearm.

Moving on, the truck. 4×4 (is there any other kind), reliable, and paid for. Debt is cancer BTW. Also, not new, trendy, and flashy. Nothing wrong with that, and I would again heartily agree that the concept of the gray man is ludicrous at best. I do however maintain that to be less of a target, you need to not stand out so much.

I have posted a few times on comms. See below:

This radio offers a lot for the investment. Digital for talking around the world and country. Analog for everything else. Lots of features.

Now that we are at the truck, the components for a longer term scenario, plus defense come into play.

Backpack, boots, range bag, toolkit, all on top of a genuine wool blanket.

A word on the redness of the pack. If you as an individual, during a time of crisis, strap on your AR, combat vest, milspec pack with molle attachments, you will not only attract the attention of those around you who are suffering and without, you will also attract the attention of the ones you really have to worry about – dotgov, dotmil, only ones, and their minions.

Contained in the above pack:

  • poncho
  • woobie (poncho liner)
  • 550 cord
  • firekit
  • several MRE’s
  • a really good fixed blade – ESEE6
  • hike stove & isopro
  • change of clothes (cargos, long and short sleeve poly shirts, drawers, socks)

Range bag hold what you think it would. I keep it in here because I never have it when I need it.

One thing you might notice is the ‘toolkit’. See below:

Kel-tec Sub2000 that uses Glock mags. You know, the same kind that feed my daily sidearm.

I’m pretty sure I can hear your inner ninja going, “Pfft, kel-tec. If you were a real tier 1 operator, you would have an SBR AR with an ACOG.”.

See, here’s the thing. I’m not a tier 1 operator. I’m a glorified network administrator who wants to get home to his wife and kids. This setup allows me to do so while still retaining the ability to lay down suppressive fire. Again, while interdiction and engagement are always something to prepare for, it is not the primary objective. The primary objective is to get to the truck and get home to the family and all the preps I have put in place over the years that we have lived there.

Look for the home load out version of this post in a few more days.

Survival: Backup Comms

Read Part I, Part II, Part III, & then come back.

Cellular networks are robust. They are essentially radio networks with different backend connectivity via IP & digital voice. Cell sites are usually backed up with batteries and natural gas generators making them extremely fault tolerant.

That being said, they have a tendency to be overwhelmed during times of crisis. Bad weather in here in Atlanta will overload the mobile voice and data networks for even the three largest carriers making calls and data usage all but impossible until the congestion clears.

So, what do you do when you need to communicate with an individual or group when this happens?

Analog or digital radio.

I’ll talk more about digital in future post, though it needs to be taken into consideration as a means of communication.

Using the venerable and shockingly flexible Wouxon, my wife knows that she can reach me on a certain emergency 2 meter frequency in lieu of reliable cellular comms.

We have established an EMCOM protocol as a household. This includes frequencies, call signs, procedures based upon circumstances.

Natural Disaster Scenario Example:

  • Emergency declared by the Matson household based on established protocol
  • Radio’s tuned to specific EMCON channels
  • Charger linked to specific generator for this purpose for EMCON gear
  • Contact attempts made until contact established

Simple, cheap, effective.

Mrs. Matson holds an amateur radio call. Depending upon which protocol is engaged will determine if we decide to stay out in the public space or go with a more stealthy means of communicating. When going for cover, we stay off the major amateur thoroughfares and public safety space. Our goal is not to interrupt but to sidestep these heavily trod frequencies. This is illegal, but hey, I gotta be honest. If dotgov wants to stop me and my family from communicating, they are welcome to try.

The Survival Doctor

I have no doubt that I am late (see late) to the game with this one, but I ran across this on ARFCom when I should have been working this afternoon. I give you, The Survival Doctor:

I’ve been a family doctor for over 30 years. I’ve practiced in small and large towns, worked emergency rooms and in clinics.

I’ve come to realize many very smart people don’t know the basics about medicine. Now I’m not putting that down. Place me near a leaky faucet and my wife hides the tools. But if I have a flooded basement and can’t get a plumber, I know how to turn off the water supply.

I’ve seen able people who don’t know to put pressure on a cut to stop it from bleeding. But even if you know how to stop the bleeding, what if it’s bad and you have no medical assistance? That’s what this blog is about. Even if you know first aid, what will happen to you or a family member if you have an emergency and can’t get immediate assistance from someone medically trained?

I think about that every time there’s a hurricane or earthquake or other disaster. I thought of it after the Japan nuclear disaster, and after the London riots. What if those people are unable to get out of their house and medical personnel can’t get to them? For hours, days. Worse, what if their phone lines are down? What if the ERs are packed, or damaged themselves?

This site is a combination of science, improvisational medicine, and Grandma’s home remedies.”

There are great blogs for surviving long-term disasters or social upheavals, fantastic spots for lists of medical supplies to keep. There plenty of sites about medical and alternative care, explaining diseases and treatments. My website MyFamilyDoctorMag.comis one. But rare is the blog with information on what to do if you have a medical emergency and can’t get help. This site hopes to do this. It’s combination of science, improvisational medicine, and Grandma’s home remedies.

Please, please, I beg, don’t ever use this information instead of seeing qualified medical personnel. This information is for times when that is not possible—improvisational, last-ditch medical treatment to keep you alive until help is on the way. Read it, print it, keep it in a safe place.

Feel free to comment, add advice, criticize. It can only make the information better.

James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.


EDC Survival Box

My take on this, the Survival loadout.

A couple of operational constraints:

  • I work in a corporate setting in full business dress.
  • I commute from ‘burb to ‘burb everyday, no highway route, about 20 miles.
  • My objective with regard to any challenge would be to get home, not get into a firefight.
  • Interdiction is always a possibility.
  • There is a larger kit with more comprehensive gear in my truck.
  • There is a list of EDC items on my person that compliment the following kit…

I’ll start with the container. Cheap, simple, rugged, water & air tight. Otterbox.

About $11 shipped from somewhere online. Use your GoogleFu. In all honesty it would be a bit better if it were about one inch deeper. I’m sure they make one of those. When I ordered this, it was an afterthought. I had intended to use it for something completely different. Hindsight being 20/20 and all.

Contents are simple:

  • Two CR-123’s as these are the primary batteries for every light I have, including the ones on my weapons. My current EDC light is a 4Sevens, Quarkx123 Tactical. Don’t let the tacticool bit fool you. I could care less about that stuff. The difference with this light is a programming feature that allows for illumination settings to be stored on bezel positions. Very useful.
  • One, KCI Glock mag with 124-gr JHPs.
  • Twenty odd feet of 550 cord and a ring.
  • Light My Fire Ferro Rod with a secondary ferro from an ESEE survival kit.
  • Opinel Number 9 carbon steel folder – about $10 and one seriously capable blade.

Below is a shot of the packed kit.

Complete? Nope. Does it work for me? Yep. With my EDC gear and this, I could get home. That’s the goal. Could it stand a revision, say, addition of water purification tabs? Probably. I have some. I will likely shoehorn them in at some point.

Again, this is about complimenting what’s on my person, and giving me assets to help me get home, or get to the bigger kit in my truck.

I hope some of you find this info useful. There will be a series of posts soon that will detail the EDC pack loadout, the truck kit, and to satisfy a request from Mr. Kerodin, a SHTF E&E kit with weapons.




Combat Light

Hey look, the dotmil crew discovers the minimalist backpacking discipline.

“Load should be no more than 1/3 your body weight.”

I have done the entire TN section of the AT with less than that, though I was not carrying a rifle and ammo.

When I was a young lad, I like many others, had that somewhat eccentric relative who would go into the woods with his poncho, a Ka-bar, some paracord, and a .22lr. He would stay for what back then seemed weeks at a time, living comfortably (this is of course very relative) off the land. I always admired his skill set and did my best to mimic and endure it during my own times in the hinterland.

When my girls and I go out for an afternoon or a day, we do not take full kit. We grab whatever is in the golite pack and venture fourth with our bushcraft basics and simply enjoy the outdoors. Same thing when I hunt. No need for tons of kit. Just take what you need and what you can use well.

This takes discipline.

Can you do a 10+ mile day in the mountains and sleep in relative comfort at night in a hammock or under a poncho shelter? Can your body adjust and thrive on jerky, dried fruits, and nuts? Will that give you enough energy to sustain you for the next evolution of your journey? Are you adept at finding water sources and making them safe to drink? Can you start a fire without a match or lighter? Now, step back a bit and can you do that barefoot?

While these skills may not directly impact your ability to fight, they do allow you to comfortably step outside modernity and thrive.

If you are a keyboard jockey that thinks, “when the time comes I will be ready”, you are sadly mistaken. You will be zombie bait.

It is better to try this now, versus when you have to have the skill.

Start slow. Start easy. Work up to it.

About 10 years ago I found myself traveling the world doing IT consulting. Between the 44 weeks a year I spent on the road, the plush hotels and expense account dining, I found myself with high blood pressure, diabetic tendencies, 305lbs, and a 44 inch waist. I started slow, I took it easy in the beginning, and eventually I shed the weight and fixed the other issues. It can be done.

The above would be part of combat light. It’s a key component to the overall plan.

“Physician, heal thyself.”

It starts with you, and in many cases it will start slow.

Get off the couch, walk away from the keyboard and get moving. Time is indeed short.