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We provide information on survivalism, camping, food storage, cooking and grilling, and self reliance.

Our goal is to ensure you are prepared for natural and man-made disasters, before, during and after they occur.
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The Situation Dictates Your Actions
© 2006

Rogue Turtle newsletters contain a lot of information, most of which is "nice to know", but semi-useless until the right situation comes up. The situation can be of your own choosing, such as a family vacation, or just fooling around while camping. Or, much to everyone's dismay, it can be forced on you by natural disasters, terrorist attack, or full-scale warfare.

We all realize that most Americans who are forced to flee their homes will travel by automobile to a "safer" location. But safety is a fleeting idea, not easily found in true disaster situations. The northern woods can only hold so many people who will all starve as soon as all the wild game is killed off. The easy-to-reach spots will be filled with people terrified of what is happening and starved for current news. Some will try to beg for water, food and supplies they did not bring with them. Children will be sent over to your car to beg for money, food or water. (Watch them, they were probably sent by their parents.) I have personally witnessed all this happen, in Southeast Asia, Thailand, East Pakistan (then Bangladesh), and in Africa. The sight of the starving children will tear your heart out, believe me. But you have to be strong and take care of your own first.

Many people have accused me of being "heartless" when I see these kids and just walk on by. I can't support the world, and I can't support everyone who is in need. I have enough problems just taking care of me and mine. Gird yourself, because in a true crisis situation everything turns rotten real fast. Those people who refused to take responsibility for themselves in the "real world" won't change just because they are now in the woods. Those people who rape and steal for a living will also do it in the woods. It's easier in the woods because tents don't have locks. You have to force yourself to learn to say "NO", and mean it. That's when things start to get ugly...really ugly.

Nobody human can stand off a large group (read that as "mob") of people who go on a rampage searching for food and water. Did you see what happened in Baghdad when all the police stopped working? Could you have stopped them? The U.S. Forces there didn't even try until weeks later, when everything worth stealing was already stolen. If you haven't prepared ahead of time with food and water and supplies hidden away from thieves, it will force you out into the streets to compete with the thieves for food. Not a good place to be. If you have followed the 6 P's: (Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance) you already have your secret hide-away selected and Properly Pre-Positioned Provisions (another 4 P's) safely secured. Of course you do.

All of a sudden the fun family vacation turns into a John Candy movie where nothing goes the way you planned it. All heck breaks loose and you're on the road, maybe never to return again. The situation dictates what you do, where you go, and how you survive for the next critical days, weeks, months...even years. The roads may be so clogged with people that what used to take only a couple of hours to drive now takes days of driving on the shoulder of the road. You may eventually get to your 6P place with only the shirt on your back. The trick is how to survive while you are getting there.


Since you may be traveling on the most rural country roads in America, you want to be as inconspicuous as possible. Don't draw attention to yourselves or flash your wealth in front of desperate people. Desperate people do desperate things. They can rob and kill you for a drink of water. Move on... The Donner party, enroute to California through what is now known as Donner Pass, were snowed in for months. They survived by eating the people in the party. Yes, cannibalism. Desperate people do desperate things...even in America. A gentle elderly black man is shot and killed for his car while sleeping at a Florida rest stop. Michael Jordan's fame didn't stop the killers of his father...even in America.


I can hear my daughter now... "Here it comes. He wants me to buy a gun." No, but you need to seriously consider how you will protect yourself without one. If you don't want a gun, don't get one. Someone will probably take it away from you and shoot you with it. There are other ways, less-than-lethal ways, of protecting yourself. But you have to seriously consider that there are enough guns out there to arm every man, woman, and child in America. It's a Constitutional right to bear arms, whether you agree with it or not. Someone desperate enough to eat their traveling companions will not hesitate to shoot you for a car full of food and water. Have you ever shot a gun? If the answer is NO, don't buy one when its too late to learn how. To properly learn how to use a gun, you need formal instruction from a qualified instructor, and lots and lots of practice.

What are the "Less-Than-Lethal" options, you ask? I can tell you about a lot of them. I've used, or at least trained to use most of them. On my Sheriff's belt I carry a 9mm Beretta semi-automatic handgun (15 round capacity) with two spare magazines, an Asp (a collapsible striking weapon), handcuffs, and OC (Pepper) spray. I also carry a folding knife in my pocket. Street cops always have a back-up firearm hidden somewhere on their body, usually in an ankle holster. The use of a firearm means that you are ready to kill to protect yourself from someone who is already committed to killing you. It is a major change (for most of you) in the way you think. If you won't even consider a gun, read on, because I won't nag you about guns again.


In no particular order of preference, the following weapons will incapacitate an attacker when properly used. Some, like a baseball bat, have the potential use as a killing weapon, depending on where you hit your attacker. In the Sheriff's office, they try to teach you that the threat dictates the level of violence to counteract the threat. That means your weapon should be one step more scary than the attacker's weapons. At the very least, they should be equal to what the attacker is using. You've heard it before. The longer it sits on your face, the longer it hurts. But, it's not lethal. I am not aware of one single death due to the use of OC spray...and yes, I have had to use it in the jail.

2 oz. Spray

5 oz. Spray

7 oz Spray

9 oz. Spray
This is a typical group of available pepper sprays on the market today: 2 Ounce can, $15.00 range, 12-15' range, 10% OC (Cayenne pepper) 4 Ounce can, $20.00 range, 12-15' range, 15% OC content 7 Ounce can, $33.00 range, 15-20' range, 15% OC 9 Ounce can, $38.00 range, 15-20' range, 15% OC

Number of one-second sprays per can: 2 Oz =25. 4 Oz = 30, 7 Oz = 120, 9 Oz = 85 The differences are based on the nozzle and how much is put out during any one spray.

COLLAPSIBLE BATON: A striking weapon.

This is the weapon that was used on the knee of Nancy Kerrigan during the Olympic skating competition. One shot to the knee, and she was done.

On the far left, the standard steel baton, and on the near left a new steel and carbon fiber model that weighs less than the steel ones.

The costs for these vary, but you can expect to pay in the $30-35.00 range for a good brand. Training is required for the use of these weapons, but it's not a lot of work. The hard part is getting it open when it's folded up. A blow to the head is lethal.

SHOTGUN: Using less-than-lethal bullets.

Just carrying a 12 gauge shotgun is usually deterrent enough for the bad guys to go find an easier victim. But if you really just want to use it to hunt, you can load it with less-than-lethal rounds for people.

The bean-bag shell, upper left, is a lead-shot loaded fabric bag that hits you with 300 foot pounds of energy, guaranteed to ruin your day. Effective range is from 30 to 100 feet. Cost: About $6.00 per shell.

A newcomer to the market, the Rubber Fin Baton is a solid rubber shell shaped like a little bomb. Fin-stabilized, it is more accurate than the floppy bean bag shell. Effective range is about the same as the bean bag. The price of this baby is also in about the $6.00 per shell range.

A single 00 Buckshot shell costs about 50 cents. It costs more to NOT kill someone. Aim for the torso because either of these two shells can kill or cripple an attacker if hit in the head area.

LAW ENFORCEMENT ONLY: OK, you have to know a cop to buy these. Why, I don't know. It seems that the law says it's better to kill an attacker than stun him, doesn't it. If I had my way, only the bad guys could use these shells, and the good guys get the "real" bullets. Such is life.


Mossberg 590DA #53600, 20" modified choke barrel. 9 shot magazine capacity, 12 ga., Law Enforcement Price: $510 to $635 depending on accessories added.

Mossberg 590A1t good quality used weapons can be had at a lot lower price. Same for the Mossberg's.

All the Remington weapons can be modified with little or no skill to add on extras such as a sling (highly recommended by me), magazine extensions, recoil pads (also highly recommended by me), and other goodies.

I include the above shotguns because they have many uses in the woods. They are powerful enough (using lead slugs) to kill very large animals, especially deer. They can be made safer for human protection by using Less-Than-Lethal rounds. Using bird shot you can get small animals, birds and ducks for dinner. All the above shotguns have the short barrel, but you can get longer barrels that will interchange with the short ones. For duck hunting, you need the long barrel. For people, the short barrel. Most gunfights happen with only 10 yards between shooters. Accuracy with a shotgun inside 10 yards is almost guaranteed.



Causes non-lethal disruption of the Central Nervous System and muscle control.

Stun Gun

SM-625 Stun Monster Stun Gun "It crackles and pops like a bull whip."

1/4" Prongs Transfer immense power. 625,000 volts with a take-down time of 1/2 second.

Free Holster, safety switch and wrist strap.

One year warranty.

Touch this baby anywhere on an attacker and he will stop, fall down and twitch for a long enough time for you to get away.

Cost: $ 57. 99 each Easily concealed on your body or in a holster. REQUIRES CLOSE CONTACT WITH PERP.

Stun Baton

SM-500SB 500,000 volts deliver a charge anywhere along the 6" tip. This prevents an assailant from grabbing the baton at the end and taking it away. Also useful as a bludgeon weapon, it has a take down time of .75 seconds. Shaft is 20" long with a rubber handle and wrist strap.

Cost: $48.95 16" shaft model: Cost: $ 36.95

Hard to use when carried in a concealed spot in your clothing, but when worn on the belt it is readily available. Size makes it hard to conceal.


A TASER fires a projectile with micro-wires attached to the prongs and to the gun. 2 9-volt batteries charge the wire up to 500,000 volts, and will penetrate most bullet proof vests. Holsters are extra. Weapon fires by compressed air and can be used farther away from attacker than the stun gun. Easily Concealed on your body.

M18 (Shown) Cost: $ 399.95 M18L (Laser sight): $ 599.95

Weapon charges the attacker as long as you hold down on the trigger. Range: 20 feet.

There are many manufacturers of these type weapons and the prices may vary considerably. Different states require licenses to own one, and now many states require concealed weapons permits to carry one. Check with your own state department to find out the rules.

CAUTION: People with implanted pace makers will die when hit with a stun gun. A hit to the neck area or the base of the skull can be fatal.

Advantages: The Stun Gun is great to use on an unsuspecting attacker, but it requires you to get very close (within his reach) to use it. Once fired, it can quickly be fired over and over again. The TASER can be fired accurately up to 20' from the attacker but you only get one shot to down him. Other models, not shown above, have multiple shot capability but you pay dearly for the privilege. The Stun Baton seems to be a good compromise between the Stun Gun and the TASER. You stay outside of the attackers arm distance and you can use the stun capability at your discretion over and over again. The price is very reasonable.

Who Are The "Bad Guys"?

Take the "Am I Good or Bad?" quiz.

Other than my warped sense of humor, the purpose this quiz is to point out that even the most heinous criminals look just like everyone else. There's nothing special about them. OK, if I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger in that make-up, I'd go the other way. Of all the photos, I'd have picked the two Governors as the most scary people out there.

So, how do you tell? The answer is can't. Until they actually do something that you see for yourself, you can't truly know who the "bad guys" are. You can make educated guesses, but you'll be wrong more than right. What do you look for to form an educated opinion?

  • Eyes: The gateway to the soul. Does his face "smile" while the eyes stay cold?
  • Stance: Is he standing in a menacing posture? Defensive posture? Cool and loose?
  • What is he holding? Anything? Gun in the hand = threat. Open hand, who knows.
  • What is he wearing? Gang clothing (if you recognize gang clothes)? Clean and neat stuff? "Gangster clothes"? Are the clothes filthy dirty or unfit for the situation?
  • What is he saying? Is his language threatening? Is he telling you an obvious lie? Doe his statement or explanation make sense? Can he look you in the eye when he talks?
  • Emotions: Is he nervous and jittery? Is he sweating when it's cold outside? Do his eyes move rapidly from side to side, without looking you straight in the face?
  • People around him: Are they standing around looking at him as if expecting him to start trouble? Are there a lot of them that are also nervous and jittery? Are they all the same general age and physical description (possibly gang related)? Are they all the same racial or ethnic group? Does his friend's behavior seem to support the statements or explanations he offers? Do they make you nervous? Are they moving slowly to encircle you?
  • Weapons: Does this person have bulges in his clothing that could be a possible concealed weapon? Does he have weapons visibly on his person? Are his friend armed or seem to be concealing weapons?
  • Gut Feeling: Pay attention to your own gut reaction to any strangers that you meet under emergency conditions. Even the most innocent-looking person can take advantage of you when you least expect it. In Vietnam, many US soldiers were killed by small children disguised as shoe-shine boys. They had hand grenades in their little shoe-shine boxes. Today's version is the Muslim suicide bombers.

No, I'm not trying to make you paranoid, only aware of what is going on around you. Not everyone is your friend. The easiest way to stay out of trouble in an emergency is to: 1. Stay away from other people completely; 2. Pick and choose those you do contact carefully; 3. Stay ready in case you have selected the wrong person at the wrong time. As the Boy Scouts say, Be Prepared.

The professional con-artist has made their life's work lying to other people. The professional thief can rob you even while you are watching. Just because there's an emergency going on doesn't mean that they have changed their evil ways. However, its an interesting coincidence (fact?) that when a natural disaster such as train wrecks, plane crashes, etc., happens, the crime rate goes down, and people will help other people out that they don't even know. Maybe it's a chance to redeem themselves; or maybe we only get to see the people who will do this type of thing even without a disaster happening.

The trouble is, this type of behavior doesn't last too long after the disaster. After the September 11th tragedy at the World Trade Center, con men were arrested trying to make money from the tragedy. Looters will always show up at disasters. If you try to stop them, some will fight back. Even when the National Guard shows up, they will hesitate to stop mobs of looters because nobody wants to shoot people for simply stealing. Mostly, looters get away free. In Baghdad, the city was totally stripped of everything valuable. Only a few looters were ever caught. That happens when you have no police force.