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NEW !! Click here to get the PDF with pictures !      ASG Part 2 contains pages 33 - 73  of The American Survival Guide 2012


 Method One:

 IF you do not have a compass -  You can use a standard (analog) , (that means with hands), WATCH.

 Point the hour hand towards the Sun. 12 O'Clock will be South , 6 O'Clock will be North.


 Method Two:

Place a 8-12" stick in the ground. Place a pebble where the tip of the shadow is. Wait 15-30 minutes and repeat. Lay a stick across the two pebbles, it will point East and West. Place another at 90 degrees across it, this will be your North south line. 


 Method Three:

At night find the North Star. It is exactly in the center between the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia. Practice this so you can recognize them before you have to.


 Method Four:

Moss does grow more densely on the North side of a tree. Note that the moss will grow on all sides of the tree, but it will be at the greatest concentration on the North side. Compare several nearby trees to get a consensus. (The moss will grow around the base of the tree).


Method Five:

In general, during good weather, the wind will blow from the North or West. Before rainy weather it will blow from the East or South. Fair weather clouds will generally drift East or Southeast. 




The last thing you need to pack is some form of currency. If the economy is dead, then there are only a few things that have value. Obviously, your own skills are first. Are they barterable? If not, better learn some. The skills we are talking about go way back. So far back, they were not considered skills at the time, and along the way have been lost to many of us.

Can you find the direction in the woods?

Do you know enough about edible plants to survive a full year?

Do you know about medicinal plants?

Can you hunt, trap and fish?

Can you make a fire, purify water, make a good shelter?

These will not only be valuable skills, they will be necessary skills.

The other barterables are more tangible.


Watches - especially wind up ones

Deck of playing cards –



Lighters - whether they work or not, as long as they spark, they are useful.

 Arms of any kind, ammunition (assuming you have more than you need, not likely)

Knives - if you have any extra (you might).

SPICES - Will be highly desired in a freezedried world.

Seeds - small and easy to carry - packaging is critical.

Traps, snare, books, diagrams

Gold – rings, jewelry, diamonds, coins (diamonds and precious stones – not so much – it takes an expert to identify genuine stones, so expect most people will believe them worthless, even if they are real.)

McGyver Tip:

 A note here on gold. While gold items such as rings may be good to have, pure gold in coin or bullion form is not such a great idea. At this time, gold is running about $1800 per ounce. Possessing a gold coin is like possessing a $1000 dollar bill in an exact change lane. Breaking it down to match barter rates may be a problem.  This is where silver and jewelry come in, they become the ‘small change’ in the new world. Consider what is known as ‘junk silver’. This is typical of old silver coins (pre 1964) and jewelry, and will be much handier as small change. Forget diamonds and precious stones. In a barter situation, the chances are pretty good that whoever you are dealing with wont know an amethyst from an atheist.

I like the small items that can be packed in with the medical supplies,

Below is a nice example of a “figure 4” deadfall trigger, and is representative of the kinds of skills that would be valuable to have.

 I keep a set of sticks pre-carved in my pack, mainly so I won’t forget how to make one. And the practice in making them helped a lot as well. 



Rule of thumb – 1 MRE per person per day.  1 can of food per person per day. (absolute minimums – this is a ‘starvation ration!).

Water – two quarts per day min.

Shelter – one complete tent unit per person. (see below for equipment details)

Personal pack equipment

Refer to BUGOUT BAG section - :

Firearms and knives

As an absolute minimum each person should have :

  •   22 rimfire rifle with 5000 rounds of ammunition. (I recommend 3000, but more is better)
  • Shotgun with 400 rounds ammunition, 200 slug, 200 buckshot. (I definitely recommend more)

In addition, a hunting rifle is a good idea, something with a 300 yard range, semi automatic, clip fed.

For this you will as much ammunition as you can get. Make sure it has a sling.


Good knives:

 A high quality game knife is the most necessary, then, in priority order :

    ·          K-Bar style bowie with 440 stainless blade OR

 ·         Tanto style knife with 440 stainless blade, 3/16” thick

·         Fillet knife , fish scaler

·         Avoid the cheap Rambo survival knives

·         Avoid high carbon steel blades, I have had them snap.

·         Make sure it has a full tang – if the handle breaks, you can make your own.


Best knife steel is made in Germany, Spain, India, Pakistan, Japan

Medical Supplies

o    While the medicine closet may work for the short term, any extended survival will require a well stocked supply of items.

 First – Your own medications -  Make sure you have stockpiled any medications you currently require. There will be no further prescriptions if these events come to pass. As a general practice, always max out your refills of prescriptions, and put the medicines away.

Many antibiotics can be purchased in pet stores for animals, as well as online. Make the best use of these that you can.  

I would strongly suggest a handbook on natural remedies and herbs, because in the end, that is all that will be left.


 81mm Rocket Boxes are the best for item storage, 

They are stackable, and have carry handles


So get a big metal box (Army surplus has some great ones) , and pack it with:

  • Bandages, gauze, clean old tshirts, feminine napkins,  to stop bleeding
  • Alcohol in plastic bottles (it wont freeze)
  • Any old ace bandages you have lying around
  • Aspirin in plastic bottles
  • Any tabular pills that would be useful (in well marked plastic bottles)
  • Cloves, one unopened container – (Cloves are a strong anesthetic for tooth problems)
  • Tweezers, nail clippers, combs, razors (old style if you can find them)
  • Spare eyeglasses and cases, eyeglass repair kit, eye patches if you have them
  • Ideally, any heavy duty meds you can find/scrounge should be packed for possible future use.
  • Lightsticks – you never know when you need to do some minor surgery at night.
  • Vitamins - especially C , your diet will be suffering


Remember, this med box kit is for a group, not an individual, while it should take into account individual needs, it should be as comprehensive as you can make it. Mine contains a canvas roll up litter with 6 handles, a transfusion kit, tubing, needles, and surgical knives. It is better to be prepared, than unprepared.


McGyver Tip:

Batteries, even rechargeable ones, have a fairly limited life. If you cannot use the gadget without the batteries, think twice about it. Batteries are typically heavy, and must be recharged, and have a life span even if unused. While okay for short term requirements, try to find a substitute that does not use them.  There are many generator/magneto devices out now, like radios and flashlights, which are preferable to batteries.  I know there are portable solar battery recharging panels, and yes, these will work – assuming you have access to the sun, which you may not. Of course there is always the battery life problem either way.


Things to Avoid: Gadgets -

 Sure, there are plenty of cool gadgets designed to make life in the wild easier. Most have one thing in common – batteries.

 Here are some of the common ones –

  • 2 way radio / walkie talkies – very tempting, but others will have them too, and you don’t want them knowing you are out there.
  • Heat/motion detectors – nice for knowing if theres someone hiding in those bushes, but shouldn’t you go find out for yourself? What if it is just a rabbit?
  • Cell phone -  Most phones now have GPS signal locators built in, not exactly what you want in a survival situation.
  • Geiger counter/radiation meter – now this one I would make an exception for, and pack some new spare batteries every year, chances are, you won’t use it very often.
  • Easy-up tents, hammocks, things with wearable components that will not last a year of use. Best way to determine this, ask around, or better yet, test them yourself on some camping trips.
  • Heat or Cooking stoves that require special tablets, or liquids, or propane cylinders. The supply of these will be extremely limited, get used to the old fashioned way as quickly as you can.
  •  Books and reference materials:

Avoid packing books, magazines or maps. Instead, make copies of only the critical things you need to know. If necessary, make one single notebook of all the pages and maps you have copied. Pick one example of many (the simplest), and stick to it. Practice what you learn in camp outs. To waterproof copies or printouts from the computer, buy a can of clear enamel paint. Gently mist on a coat and wait for it to dry. Repeat a few times. Don't forget to do the back as well.

·         Lightsticks

 Great while they last, but that’s not very long. For special situations, maybe in the emergency medical kit, could be useful, but not in general.

 ·         Laser scopes, illuminated scopes, night vision devices:

See the section on batteries. While these batteries may be smaller and lighter, there is no reason to depend on this stuff. Use optical or iron sights on firearms. A good pair of binoculars will serve as an adequate night vision device.

 Storage of supplies

The following list is from Off The Grid news. It is the minimum amount of food to survive most of one year, for two people. I disagree with some of the items, but I will present the list first and disagree later. It is designed to show you how to buy enough food for a year within one year, and without having to commit towards a large cash outlay. (I have omitted the purchasing plan – see "Off The Grid News" for it).

If you follow their purchasing plan – after one year you will have the following:

500 Pounds of Wheat , 100 Pounds of Sugar , 40 Pounds of Powdered Milk , 12 Pounds of Salt , 10 Pounds of Honey , 5 Pounds of Peanut Butter , 45 Cans of Tomato Soup , 15 Cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup , 24 Cans of Tuna , 15 Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup , 21 Boxes of Macaroni and Cheese , 500 Aspirin , 1000 Multi-Vitamins , 6 Pounds of Yeast , 6 Pounds of Shortening ,12 Pounds of Macaroni

 Now, considering you may have to transport all that stuff , the proper storage and carrying containers are a must.

 Plastic milk crates work okay, and have carry handles, but are not waterproof. A storage tote full of cans is too heavy to lift.  I favor handmade wooden crates, but that’s just me. Army Surplus Rocket boxes work well, but they are expensive.

I would modify the list some – specifically:

More peanut butter – it lasts forever and is packed with calories and nutrition

 What do you get when you buy cans of soup? Some flavorings, and up to 90% water

Why carry all the water?

Water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon. Don’t carry it or store it if you can avoid it. It also freezes and expands when it gets cold, another hazard you don’t need to worry about.

In place of soup – buy cans of beans, all types, (not in water), cannellini, kidney, baked , etc. Very high in protein, and if they freeze, less likely to damage the can. In fact, anything in a can that has very little water in it would be good, (spam, sardines, etc). As a plus, the cans are useful even after they have been emptied. (Like for a dripstove, boiling water, or catching sap).

What you are looking to do here is to stock cans that have a high protein to weight ratio, or high protein to volume ratio. This generally means beans, chickpeas, etc. The less water in them, the better they will store without worrying about freezing expansion damage.

·         500 aspirin is only one bottle. Get several plastic bottles of 250 count aspirin.

·         The multivitamins are a good idea, get the smallest size multis you can find (not gelcaps).

·         I am not sure about the value of the yeast and shortening. If you plan on cooking, then I guess it makes sense, Otherwise skip those in favor of the pasta.

·         I would skip the honey also. Collect maple sap or birch sap and boil up some sugar, (use those empty bean cans).

Empty the macaroni boxes into baggies. Place them in other baggies. You can carry them easier and the smaller baggies make good portion control to prevent spoilage. Use the cheapest pasta you can find. Spaghetti will work, but has to be left in the boxes, as it tends to poke holes in baggies. Better with pastina, which will be the densest to pack.

A tip here, if you have access to a MIG welder that has a nitrogen tank attached, or if you can get a paintball gun that uses nitrogen as a propellant, or just rent a nitrogen tank – pack the supplies in the baggies while running a slow stream of nitrogen gas into them. Seal one end and as you slide it shut pull out the nitrogen hose. The nitrogen will displace the oxygen and help you preserve these supplies much longer.


Other supplies:


Commercial MRE’s: Though not as good as the military surplus stuff, the commercially available meals are usable and last quite a long time. The big benefit is that the meals are not freeze dried or dehydrated, and are precooked, so they may be eaten as-is. Some surplus is still available, but either way, they are pricey. The trade off is in convenience. They are the perfect item for your pack.

Freeze Dried or dehydrated foods – Again , the trade off is the convenience, and the fact you need to add water to these. Still a bit pricey though.

Seeds  -  This is a tricky one. While seeds are small, and huge quantities are easily carried, there are some big drawbacks.

  • The seeds lose the power to germinate based on time, heat, humidity, and light. You may be able to protect against the last three, but not against time.
  • Many seeds purchased now are hybrids, and will not produce seeds that will germinate (they are hybrids).
  • The Heritage seeds that will germinate do not have the disease and insect resistance the hybrids do.
  • Seeds generally produce over a three month period - Will you be in the area to harvest them?
  • The seeds will have to be hidden to prevent the discovery of the plants by others, hiding them generally means they will not have ideal growing conditions - (too much shade, weed competition, not enough water).
  • Seeds generally produce vegetables, few of which have good keeping abilities.

The Native Indians around here planted what they called "The Three Sisters". This was Corn, Squash, and beans, the idea being that the corn would grow up quickly allowing the beans to climb on it as a pole, and the squash would protect the base of the plants due to the prickly leaves. They were planted in units, one set of three to a hill, with a small dead fish in the hill as fertilizer.

Scattered throughout the landscape, this seems like a practical way to garden.

 If you can address these gardening issues, then maybe seeds will work for you.

 Transportation and Moving About This is an often neglected area of concern –

In a stage one or two emergency, getting about will mainly consist of clearing roads of debris and having a truck type vehicle to get out with. Depending upon the type of emergency, you may just encounter local obstacles, but you may also encounter roadblocks. It would be expected that in a terrorist style scenario that certain choke points would be established and manned. If you are allowed out, you may not be allowed back, keep this in mind. Expect choke points before bridges, tunnels, near rail facilities or docks. They also could be at ‘targets’ like court houses, military complexes, or other government facilities, including nuclear plants. Plan ahead, do not go joyriding. If you are heading for the retreat, plan on a one way trip. Be aware that your vehicle will most likely be searched at these checkpoints. Either have some very good hiding places, or don’t bring anything that would raise some eyebrows. Better yet, stay off the main roads and avoid these high profile spots. A CB radio would be a great asset here, as would a police scanner.

 There is a key difference here, and it centers on exactly what you are using the vehicle for. 

If you need a Bug-Out vehicle, then certain features are most likely mandatory.

  • Capable of all terrain ability
  • Capable of carrying weight and people
  • Capable of pushing, winching, or plowing vehicles, debris, barricades etc. out of the way.

 Once at your destination , or if you plan on Bugging-In, then the choice of vehicle must serve different needs.

  • Quiet in operation
  • Agile
  • Quick
  • Fuel efficient

 As you can see, these needs may not reflect the same vehicle.

Lets examine some options:


 I suppose, if you do not have to go far, you could walk out. It may take several trips over several days to get moved, but it is certainly possible. In a serious emergency, it may be the only option. Know where you are going, and take the most direct route you can, avoiding roads if at all possible. Assuming the trains aren’t running, the tracks may make walking easier, but remember you will be quite visible from a long distance if the area is open straight track. You could consider driving on the tracks as another possibility. Do not attempt this if trains are running! Also, make sure you have a lot of ground clearance as most vehicles will get hung up on the tracks, and the tires do not fit between the rails!


They don’t carry as much, but they travel where other vehicles won’t, and that’s a plus. It may take several trips, like hoofing it, but would be less exhausting. Could have a potential noise issue if your bike is loud, that would not be very stealthy.  The best bet here is what’s called an “on-off road” bike such as the Honda XR series. With a good muffler and a small engine, this is the ideal type of bike to use.



 Here we are talking about 4-wheelers, dirt bikes, snowmobiles and boats.  Aside from the noise problem, in most cases, cargo space is limited. The other big issue is these vehicles may not be licensed for public highway use.

While in a severe emergency it probably won’t matter, it does limit their use in the minor ones. Range is also an issue here, as the multiple trips to carry cargo will eat into your mileage.


These have some potential if you have a boat on a good sized river, lake or ocean. Chances are, you know of some small islands or remote areas you can access with these. Cargo capacity is not bad, and you have a radio to monitor. Watch for choke points if you pass near a nuclear plant or military shipyard, or an important historical site. Be sure to hide the boat when you reach your destination, and I don’t mean just pull it into a shady lagoon. You will have to remove it from the water and bring it into the treeline. Maybe you can build a temporary shelter with it.


Well, as we saw during 9/11, planes may not be such a good choice. All aircraft were grounded for weeks after 9/11, and airports were watched closely. Even commandeering a plane wont help if flying it brings in the F16’s.

 Assuming otherwise, cargo capacity is typically small in a light plane, and landing facilities are scarce. They are generally loud, so silent movement is out of the question.


This one would be a bit more plausible than a plane. You could commandeer a train. Travel direction is very limited, but cargo capacity is huge. Also once moving, you’re just about unstoppable. The real question is what do you do at the end of your run? Are you ‘there’? I hope so, unless you packed the train with a spare vehicle or two.

Needless to say, before you plan on one of these unusual forms of transportation, you need to know how to operate it. Fortunately there are many games available that simulate everything from flying a plane, to steering a boat, to operating a submarine.  These games use very similar control systems to make you feel like you are handling the real thing. Microsofts ‘Flight Simulator’ was briefly removed from the market when the government thought it was used in training exercises for the 9/11 disaster.  It turned out, of course, that the terrorists actually went to a flying school, but the simulator was certainly a possibility.


The prime choice for most people would be a 1 ton pickup, dump, or utility truck. Preferably 4WD, with a heavy duty suspension. Everything you have should be packed in the bed, Covered with a cap if possible. (One of those ‘tall’ caps). It should have a CB radio, a scanner hookup, a full toolkit, and some hidden compartments to squeeze by those checkpoints. Ideally, it would resemble an ‘official’ or utility vehicle, as they would be expected on the road in such an emergency. My dream truck is an airport emergency fire truck!



Its official looking, has big cargo capacity, 4WD, and intimidating, all at once.  With the lights all going, who is going to stop it?  Can’t afford one? Not to worry, there will be plenty sitting in abandoned fire houses all across the country.

Another ideal truck, although it has some drawbacks, is the readily available deuce and a half.

Six wheel drive and good load capacity are big pluses, but I’ll bet you would not be cruising through a checkpoint as easy as that firetruck. In fact, you may be singled out for a very thorough search as a domestic militant. So checkpoints definitely must be avoided in this.

 Currently these trucks are a bargain, running around $5,000 in extremely good shape. Many variations are available, I would look for a command/radio rig with the hardcase enclosed back.

Far more available, capable of carrying people and weight, and even official looking are these familiar vehicles, School Buses, Town Plow Trucks, Garbage Trucks, Utility Trucks, Cranes, etc.

There should be hundreds just parked around, waiting for drivers during a time of crisis. Also consider vehicles such as garbage trucks, utility trucks, dump trucks, town plow trucks, etc. The key here is to supply the basic ingredients, which I will outline here as follows:

 ·         Official looking

·         Multi wheel drive if possible

·         Cargo carrying capacity

·         People carrying capacity

·         Available nearby

·         Hard to stop with small obstacles.

 One more note that goes with transportation –


Some people think they could just load everything into a trailer and pull that behind a truck or car. This is not a very well thought out idea.

Consider this, in an emergency you suddenly have to turn around in the road.


 Or, you have to detour around a roadblock through a field or woods.


 Or you are facing a gang with rifles standing in the road and you need to reverse at high speed ,


Be warned.

Your Fortress Home

Aug 9th, 2010 | By Mike | Category: Self Defense | Print This Article

In the interest of saving space - here is a direct link to a great article - I have kept the commented areas in this page - 


The gravest threat is the hungry throngs of people who have had neither the foresight nor inclination to do any planning or prepping of their own.[ *** see important chapter in ASG 1, titled “Identifying the Threat”….] Faced with depleted provisions, their only source of food and supplies are their neighbors. At the very least, you can expect mass looting, and even that may be the least of your worries.

Better yet, roofing metal would be more effective at warding off intruders and would be a better bullet shield. In either case, it would be a good idea to prepare some of them with gun ports. This is a good time to point out that having a pre-charged drill on hand for fastening bolts and drilling holes would be essential. [Metal roofing is generally only 1/16” thick – DO NOT consider it a bullet resistant material!  It takes at least 1 inch of mild steel to stop most rifle rounds.]

[ from another source , it is recommended that you cover the exterior of windows/doors with wire fencing, with 2 inch or smaller openings. Chain-link fencing is ideal. This will prevent items from being thrown into the building. Keep the fence angled, tight at the top, about 8 inches off at the bottom.]

Tactic 3: Have a good supply of sand bags on hand as these provide the best door seals and are able to withstand bullets and light artillery. Setting the bags two or three rows high against doors and entries will prevent intruders from busting through the doors. However, it is important not to completely seal off possible escape points.[ Studies show that 24” of sand will stop most small arms rounds. If you use the sandbags, stack them 2 rows deep, not just on top of each other, and interlock them.]

Tactic 4: Your best line of sight is always from up high. By taking positions in the second floor rooms, you have the advantage over any street assault. If you don’t have a second floor, you will want to position yourself as high up on your first floor windows as is possible. Your gun ports should be near the top corners of your window shield.[Better yet, in the roof itself…]

  [For more great ideas, read “Combat and Survival, What it takes to Fight and Win” , this is a 28 volume set, still available on Amazon , $75 for the entire set – a top notch reference for every situation]


Ham Radio –

Pros – generally requires AC power, may be run on a car inverter for brief periods. Large antenna requirements. Worldwide range, may be able to get ‘unofficial news’.

Cons: Not easily transportable due to large size and power issues. Even a multiband antenna is complicated to set up. Vehicle mounted would be as portable as it gets.

CB radio –

Pros – Fairly good range, up to 20 miles, 60 with SSB option, can utilize a mobile antenna, power requirements usually 12 volt.  Can be fairly compact.

Cons – Will not receive any ‘official news’,  May have very limited range due to antenna/location. Not normally a man-portable device. Some walkie talkie models available.

Police Scanner –

Pros – can monitor a number of departments simultaneously. Range of 20-50 miles, power requirements normally 12v.

Cons - Will not receive any ‘official news’,  May have very limited range due to antenna/location. Not normally a man-portable device.

FM two-way radios –

Pros – reasonable range for walkie talkies, anywhere from 5-20 miles. Not normally receiving any outside signals except other units on same channel. Many units offer scrambling. Generally battery powered.

Cons – Batteries will need to be recharged. Other people can intercept transmissions, Range could be severely limited in some conditions.

Cell Phone –

This will not be discussed here – If you cannot understand why, you should not be reading this newsletter.

Other possible forms of communicating between two or more areas.

·         Light flash – Morse code

·         Sound – Morse code

·         Smoke – your devised code

·         Runners

·         Drops



I hope this little imaginary exercise gave you something to think about.

The prepared are never caught by surprise.

But very few of us are truly totally prepared.

It is not what you know in your head – it is what you do about it that counts.

Above all , practice.

This is obviously a last ditch plan. The fact that it has to be made at all is very disheartening to us as Americans.

The object is simply preparedness, and to prepare properly and thoroughly.

Above all, test and practice. Knowledge alone will be of little help if the actions are not natural instinct by now. 

Listen, watch, and pray.