Monday, August 3, 2020



by Andy Greenberg, Wired:

YOUR DIGITAL SECURITY, any sufficiently paranoid personwill remind you, is only as good as your physical security. The world’s most sensitive users of technology, like dissidents, activists, or journalists in repressive regimes, have to fear not just hacking and online surveillance, but the reality that police, intelligence agents, or other intruders can simply break into your home, office, or hotel room. They can tamper with your computers, steal them, or bodily detain you until you cough up passwords or other secrets.

To help combat that threat, one of the world’s most well-known activists against digital surveillance has released what’s intended to be a cheap, mobile, and flexible version of a physical security system. On Friday, the Freedom of the Press Foundation and its president, famed NSA leaker Edward Snowden, launched Haven, an app designed to transform any Android phone into a kind of all-purpose sensor for detecting intrusions.

Haven uses your phone’s sensors to monitor for changes in sound, light, and movement.


Safe Haven

Designed to be installed on a cheap Android burner, Haven uses the phone’s cameras, microphones and even accelerometers to monitor for any motion, sound or disturbance of the phone. Leave the app running in your hotel room, for instance, and it can capture photos and audio of anyone entering the room while you’re out, whether an innocent housekeeper or an intelligence agent trying to use his alone time with your laptop to install spyware on it. It can then instantly send pictures and sound clips of those visitors to your primary phone, alerting you to the disturbance. The app even uses the phone’s light sensor to trigger an alert if the room goes dark, or an unexpected flashlight flickers.

“Imagine if you had a guard dog you could take with you to any hotel room and leave it in your room when you’re not there. And it’s actually smart, and it witnesses everything that happens and creates a record of it,” Snowden said in an encrypted phone call with WIRED from Moscow, where he has lived in exile since 2013. “The real idea is to establish that the physical spaces around you can be trusted.”

Since he became the director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation in early 2016, Snowden has led a small team of programmers and technologists working on security tools. The projects so far range from software that only allows secrets to be decrypted if a group of collaborators combine their secret keys, to a hardware modification for the iPhonethat’s designed to detect if malware on the device is secretly transmitting a user’s data.

The ‘Evil Maid’ Problem

The notion of a smartphone-based alarm system arose when Micah Lee, a technologist at the news outlet The Interceptand board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, suggested it to Snowden in early 2017. Lee hoped for a new approach to the perennial problem that the cybersecurity community calls the “evil maid” attack: It’s very difficult to prevent someone with physical access to your computer from hacking it.

Eventually, Lee and Snowden’s group of developers at the Freedom of the Press Foundation partnered with the security-focused nonprofit Guardian Project to build and test a software solution to that problem. “We thought, is there a way we can use a smartphone as a security device,” says Nathan Freitas, the director of the Guardian Project. “Take all the surveillance technologies in smartphones and flip them on their head, to keep watch on all the things you care about when you’re not there?”

‘Imagine if you had a guard dog you could take with you to any hotel room and leave it in your room when you’re not there.’


In practice, Haven could protect its users from more than just hands-on computer hackers; it could guard against everyone from abusive spouses to authoritarian police. In November, the groups teamed up with the Colombian activism group Movilizatorio to conduct a trial with social justice activists—a group that’s been the target of dozens of assassinations over the last year, in the fallout of tense negotiations between guerrilla groups and the country’s government. Movilizatorio founder Juliana Uribe Villegas says the app provided a key reassurance that month, for a group of 60 testers, that government or criminals agents weren’t breaking into their homes to plant surveillance equipment or, far worse, to kidnap or physically harm them.

“It’s very significant for them to know that they have tools they can use themselves when the government isn’t protecting them,” Uribe Villegas says. “It’s great to think about cybersecurity, but in countries like ours, personal security is still at the top of our list.”

Privacy First

Of course, any device that takes pictures and records audio clips in your home or office and sends them over the internet might sound more like an intolerable privacy violation than a security measure, especially for someone as privacy-sensitive as Snowden, who hasn’t even carried a mobile phone since he first became a fugitive from the US government in 2013.

Haven sends encrypted alerts when activity triggers your phone’s sensors.


But Haven takes some serious measures to prevent its surveillance mechanisms from being turned against a phone’s owner. It integrates the encrypted messaging app Signal, so that every alert, photo, and audio clip it sends to the user is end-to-end encrypted. As another safeguard, users can also configure Haven to work with the Android app Orbot, which has an option to turn your phone into a so-called Tor Onion Service—essentially, a server on the darknet. That means the Haven phone’s event log can be accessed remotely from your desktop or another phone, but only over Tor’s near-untraceable connection. In theory, that means no eavesdropper can break in to access those audio and photo snapshots of your sensitive spaces.

“Now you can take this huge aggregation of sensors available on any phone today—accelerometers, light sensors, cameras, microphones—and make it work for you and only you,” Snowden says. He notes that despite his personal avoidance of carrying a smartphone, even he has used Haven in hotel rooms while traveling and at home, albeit only with some additional precautions that he declined to fully detail.

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How Not to Store Your Gold


by Peter Schiiff, SchiffGold:

For instance, it might not be a good idea to put your gold in a cat litter box. And you might not want to stick your gold inside an old boat. And if you did put your cat litter box filled with gold inside an old boat, you probably wouldn’t want to ask your druggie neighbor to help.

Well, a couple in Florida did a three-fer. They put their $26,000 in retirement gold in a cat litter box and asked their druggie neighbor to help them hide it on their boat.

The next part of the story won’t surprise you. The druggie neighbor apparently stole it.

According to a News Herald report, this story started with Hurrican Irma was barreling toward the Florida coast. Bay County residents Cynthia Copley, 70, and her 69-year-old husband decided they had better bug out. They packed 15 to 20 gold bars in an empty cat litter box and asked Corey Lofton, 28, to help them move their retirement stash to a boat parked on their property.

So, what led Cynthia and her husband to come up with this brilliant gold storage plan?

“We were frantic,” Copley told the News Herald. “We were so worried about the storm. Unfortunately, we didn’t think about anyone taking advantage of us.”

Lesson learned: always think about somebody taking advantage of you. Especially your druggie neighbor.

When the Copleys returned home, the gold was gone.

And surprise – so was Lofton.

When the deputies started looking for the missing gold, Lofton’s mom told them “he had spontaneously left town over the weekend to work in Jacksonville.”

I think mom probably knew that was utter B.S. Lofton doesn’t sound like a pick up and move for a job kind of guy. He had already been busted on drug charges and violated his probation by leaving town. Granted, maybe I’m not being fair to Lofton, but let’s be honest – the picture painted here ain’t pretty.

BCSO also learned that Lofton was on felony probation from a May arrest when, while being fired from work, he tossed a bag containing a gram of methamphetamine to a co-worker, ‘telling her to take it to his mother,’ officers reported. Lofton later pleaded no contest to possession of methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia.”

Cops in Jacksonville recently picked up Lofton. You’ll be shocked to find out he was allegedly drunk. So, now he faces a DUI  on top of charges for grand theft and probation violation.

Investigators haven’t said whether or not they recovered any of the gold. I find that odd. That seems like something you would tell the poor crime victims. But what do I know?

The Copleys said they don’t really expect to get their gold back.

“We kind of figured it was long gone. We were hopeful, but since that happened in September, it’s pretty much a lost cause,” she said. “I just want to see him in jail.”

So, what have we learned from this sad tale?

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Can The US Survive an EMP?


from Dahboo77:

How To House the Whole Family in a SHTF-Emergency


by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

One of the complications of a major disaster event taking place (with or without warning) is not having supplies and equipment before the event takes place.  In line with this dearth is the shortage of preparations for members of the family who live in other locations who may wish to band together.  I’m going to propose a solution here that is slightly “unconventional,” so try to remove your mind from the constructs imposed upon it by your entire life spent from the army of skeptics and closed-minded establishment mindsets.

The imposition is that we all are channeled to live in “cookie-cutter” houses, plopped down akin to so many Hershey kisses in a row: identical construction in an approved, regulated, homeowner’s association-sanctioned manner.

We’re referring to the end of the society, and if you’re a multi-millionaire and you want a house for each member of the family retreating to your location, more power to you.  We do what we can in life, and do the best we can.  In the absence of millions, there is another route.  Let’s go over the basics first.

The principle is for all the family members (and anyone close to that family) having a place to meet up and reside together when it all falls apart.  From a logistics perspective, unless you have a gigantic manorial-type residence, your space and resources will be stretched thin.  What I propose here are sheds…cabins, if you prefer.  You can build them yourself or you can buy them.

Once again, much of this is going to depend on the geographic location you reside, and the social and legal impositions placed upon you.  Only you know them.  Armies of bureaucrats who want to tax you into insolvency are behind the hordes of conformists (commonly labeled as homeowners’ associations) and “friendly” neighbors who wish to impose their wills upon you.

To succeed in this endeavor, you’re going to need to have a tight family that will help one another, even if many live in different states with their immediate families.  You can stick-build these sheds out of plywood and lumber, roof them with steel roofs, insulate them, and throw them up on top of footers to prevent them from becoming “permanent structures” and taxed by your happy community.

Each shed can be fitted with an aperture to run a stovepipe to the outside, and the stove and pipe can be placed into each cabin/shed.  Each shed can contain several mattresses and sets of linen and blankets, as well as bed frames.  You can place into the sheds a few folding chairs and tables, and a cupboard or two.  To the untrained eye, it will all appear to be storage.  And add to the camouflage!  Place some tools and supplies in each one…different stuff…that can easily be removed if need be.  Give the appearance of storage sheds.  Then your family members can arrive and set up shop.

If you have, for example, two brothers and a sister…then each family group can use a shed or double up with two families to a shed.  To be on the safe side, as many family groups as possible should set up sheds on their own property to enable the whole family to flee to their property if the need arises.  Situations change, and what may be the optimal location today may not be when everything occurs.  By duplicating this “template,” you up the chances to enable your family to have a retreat in at least one safe area.

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Why it’s essential you keep a portion of your savings in physical cash

by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:

[Editor’s Note: As we’re coming up on the end of the year, we thought it would be appropriate to republish some of our most popular articles. Today’s was originally published on January 6, 2016]

Think of the word “money” for moment. What’s the first image that comes to mind?

Perhaps the folded paper in your wallet. Or the balance in your bank account.

Or perhaps the investments in your brokerage account.

In our modern financial system where unelected central bankers wield totalitarian control over the financial system, all three of these are forms of money.

But the relationship between them is very tenuous, and very risky. I’ll explain:

1) Physical cash

No matter where you live in the world, just about every civilized nation on the planet has some form of physical currency in various denominations. Dollars. Pounds. Euros. Yen. Renminbi.

We pass around these pieces of paper as a medium of exchange.

You can go to the grocery store, and, as long as you’re in the US, you can pay for your food with US dollar physical cash. Or if you’re in Canada, with Canadian dollar physical cash. Simple.

2) Bank balances

This is where it starts getting more complicated.

When you log in to your bank’s website, you see a balance printed on the screen. Let’s say it’s $100,000.

Don’t think for a second that there are one hundred thousand pieces of paper sitting in your bank’s vault. In fact most banks have very little cash on hand.

Your balance is nothing more than an accounting entry on your bank’s balance sheet, which is likely maintained in a computer database somewhere in a building with no windows.

There’s no physical ‘money’ backing up this bank balance. It’s an annotation in a computer. Every bank customer’s savings is part of this complex system of accounting entries.

When you transfer money to your kids, the bank doesn’t send them a FedEx full of cash.

They merely make an entry in the ledger reducing your balance and increasing your kids’.

The same thing happens when you swipe your Mastercard to pay for something; banks exchange accounting entries that credit the vendor’s account and debit your own.

Nothing physical ever changes hands, it all takes place in digital ledgers.

Given that this type of money exceeds physical cash by a factor of 10:1, you could argue that most modern currencies are digital.

3) Government bonds

Government bonds are another form of money that people often forget about.

Most people will keep the majority of their life’s savings in the second form of money– in the bank.

But big banks or companies like Google or Apple that have tens of billions don’t keep such vast sums sitting in the bank. Certainly not all of it.

Banks only have a certain limit on deposit insurance. In the US right now it’s $250,000… which doesn’t quite cover Google’s $70 billion savings.

These companies and institutions need a ‘safe’, highly liquid alternative to banking (i.e. they can quickly buy and sell the investment).

And that’s why they turn to government bonds.

In finance, government bonds are typically considered ‘cash equivalents’. Especially in the United States.

US government bonds, in fact, are the most popular, most liquid investment in the world. You can buy and sell them in an instant.

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The Many SHTF Uses for Alcohol


by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is not to expound on alcohol’s qualities as a beverage, but on the different type of alcohol and the uses it has.  This valuable commodity has several uses from a survival perspective that are worth examining.  In this piece, we will be examining the three most common types available to you.  Let’s jump right into it and give you something you can use!

Ethanol (C2H5OH) is the common form of alcohol that you consume as a beverage/within a beverage.  There are different percentages of alcohol per different beverages.  Here are some rough “guidelines” of the percentages:

Vodka (usually 40%), Brandy (usually 40%), Scotch (40-60%), Grain alcohol (85-95%), Gin (37-60%).

Methanol is also known as wood alcohol (CH3OH).  As the name implies, it is taken from wood, and its main use is in industry, and in high-performance engines such as racecars and “monster” trucks, as well as other specialty engines.  Methanol does not give a flame off when burning and can be put out with water.

Isopropyl alcohol (also called “rubbing” alcohol) sees a use in several different household needs from cleaning to disinfecting.  Isopropyl (C3H8O) alcohol is widely available in all your grocery and big-box stores and varies in concentration from about 50% all the way up to 99% (usually found in feed stores or hardware stores in that concentration).

Now for winter considerations, here is an important chart for you that lists the freezing points (the point of transition between the liquid becoming a solid and vice-versa) of alcohols:

We must keep in mind that this is primarily used for ethanol, the type that is consumed as a beverage.  I’m not listing freezing points of the other two types for a reason: you can’t drink them or consume them.  Hear me out, as I give you the main point:

You can pick up a bottle of ethanol and keep it in the vehicle without having it freeze, especially grain alcohol, the preferred ethanol to be used in tinctures.

Natural Medicine

It can be seen, then, why in my previous articles I mentioned the advantages to making naturopathic aids and herbal solutions in tincture form for several reasons.  Firstly, it is not difficult for even the novice who is interested in herbs.  Secondly, the tincture lasts at least three years, if you were to assign an “expiration” date on it.  Lastly, if you make a tincture that is, say, 60% alcohol?  As you can see by the chart, it will not freeze until it reaches -23 degrees Fahrenheit.  That’s pretty cold!

An electromagnetic pulse may take out the grid and all your heat, but your herbal tinctures will be safe for a time.

Other Important Uses

There are other uses for the alcohol, as well.  Rubbing alcohol is important for first aid, and can be used as a fire-starting fluid.  Do any of you live in a cold area during the winter?  Well, have you ever had your windshield-wiper fluid line freeze up?  Chances are most of you drive models of vehicles that keep the line heated.  If not: you can rely on alcohol!  Pour yourself a small spray bottle worth of rubbing alcohol (the ones at Wal-Mart you can pick up for a couple of bucks and it’s 90% concentration).

Pour your alcohol into the spray bottle, and when you must clean off the windshield, it won’t freeze and can take off that grease and grime.  A “squeegee” helps, along with some rags you’ll have to get rid of or wash periodically.  You can use it on the headlights and taillights as well during these months when your vehicle becomes covered with road salt and filth from the macadam.  Great for cleaning up those wiper blades, as well.

The alcohols can be used for barter goods, as well, and as mentioned have many uses for disinfectants and wound-cleaners.  Ethanol is not the preferred method for this next tip, but it can work when you have nothing else: an anesthetic.  You may just have a patient who is not compromised from a respiratory perspective (say a gunshot wound to the leg or arm), and a few drinks may be just what is needed to remove that bullet or those shotgun pellets.  Use your best judgment and think outside of the box without going overboard.

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Winter Survival: Practical Preps for an Emergency Bug Out


by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

“I got to, got to, got to, get away…turn me loose, baby.” –  Jimi Hendrix, “Stone Free”

Yes, ReadyNutrition guys and gals, there comes a time when you just “got to get away,” so to speak.  This doesn’t mean to the sands of (what used to be) St. Bart’s.  This means “E&E,” or “Escape and Evasion,” as we used to call it in the Army.  But what if your car is not working because of an EMP…and you have two feet of snow on the ground?  What if you have a sheet of ice so thick on the ground that the Olympic Hockey Team could practice on it?  The “suck” factor will be high, and the adrenaline will be pumping.  You have to get out of there.  Are you prepared?

You can be.  Firstly, let’s refresh a few things that have been mentioned already.  You have your BOB (your happy “Bug-Out Bag”) if you wish to call it that.  It should be packed and ready in your vehicle.

And at this stage of the game, you should have already switched off for your winter needs, as we covered in numerous articles before.

You need both a Gore-Tex top and bottom for extreme cold weather.  First things first!  What are you facing?  If it’s the ice, you need a pair of Yak-Trak’s or Crepons (like these) to place upon your feet with metal spikes on the bottom to give you some traction.  Yes, these guys will run you about 30 to 40 bucks, and it’s well worth it.  The rubber harness that holds either springs or spikes/metal cleats are durable and will last you for more than a couple seasons if you use them regularly.

Remember JJ’s principle of redundancy: You use one pair for daily use, and the other pair you “squirrel” away for an emergency.

You don’t want to have that everyday pair break down right at the critical moment.  According to Murphy’s Law, what can go wrong will go wrong.  You can even the odds if you buy two of each item…one for regular use and one for emergency/backup.  OK, so you have just emerged from the car and ran across a large deserted parking lot full of ice to the woods.  At the tree line, you notice that the snow has drifted to a depth of a foot and a half.

Next on the agenda is a pair of snowshoes.  Now, depending on where you live, you may need a really good pair…the kind that is about 32-36” in length.  For your immediate getaway and for lightness and convenience, there is an alternative to carry with your backpack.  Snowshoes used by utility men and electrical linemen.

These guys are made out of really durable plastic…the kind that a nuclear weapon might have a hard time melting.  Just joking, there, but you see the point.  These snowshoes are more compact and are usually a bright orange color.  Some plastic surface bonding spray paint will take care of that.  They make them orange so that in the course of their work when they set them down they won’t lose them.  It makes sense.  Now you’ll have to adapt them to your use and purpose.

They’ll slip over the top of your shoes/boots, and can be adjusted with straps.  They work.  There’s a lot of different kinds.  I prefer the ones that are a little more “rounded” than the rest, so they resemble a large tennis racket head.  This gives you plenty of surface area.  Throw them on and take them off later with ease.  These will run you about $30, but you can find them in your second-hand stores if you search hard enough.

Lastly, how about a toboggan?  Yeah, sounds stupid, I know…until you realize you would like to haul some stuff with you away from your now-worthless SUV that the EMP has fried.  The toboggan I’m referring to is basically a plastic sheet (the tougher the better) with two holes located at the top…yeah, a kid’s toy.

Until you have jerks shooting at you and you need to go down a long stretch of hill.  Or until you have about 50 lbs. of stuff you don’t want to leave with the vehicle.

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For the price of one iPhone, you could acquire almost a year’s supply of emergency food… but most Americans won’t… and most will DIE


by Robert Jonathan, Natural News:

We’ve all seen images on TV or on social media of empty supermarket shelves as a storm bears down on an area. In the event of a widespread, long-term natural disaster or a civil insurrection, the ensuing lawlessness could make the chaos depicted on a typical episode of The Walking Dead or Z Nation look like a day at the local amusement park.

The Concerned U.S. Patriots website warns that most urbanites and suburbanites are woefully unprepared for a food shortage that would accompany a nightmarish breakdown of civil society because they are too reliant on buying food from the local grocery store, which in turns relies on external supply lines for replenishment.

People assume that there will always be food in the grocery stores. People assume that there will always be electricity (and most people have no idea the horrible ramifications of life without electricity). People assume a lot of things. …

Based on what I’ve read (and my instincts) I suspect that most urbanites and suburbanites probably don’t have much more than one or maybe two weeks of substantial meals to feed their family. …

Not only will people die from starvation, but many will die from the ensuing chaos. …

Who would survive? Those who might survive will be those who have at least prepared. Those who have thought ahead and planned and/or changed their way of life to one that’s more self-sufficient and self-reliant.

In a societal collapse or catastrophe, which also could include a financial crisis, a grid-down event, or a nuclear incident, disease and starvation are the likely causes of death, while physical violence might be a secondary concern, Natural News previously explained.

Natural News has also suggested that recent disasters like Hurricane Harvey or Irma make prepping a good idea. For the price of a new iPhone, which runs about $1,000 or so, you could buy and stockpile a large amount of emergency rations. (Related: Read about more prepping at

Items in addition to MREs that you might want to store in the event of an emergencyinclude bottled water and other canned liquids, dehydrated foods, hard cheeses, protein bars/drinks, canned/dehydrated meats, coconut or olive oil, dry cereal, and oatmeal. Making your own bread such as hardtack or matzah, both of which have long shelf lives, has also been recommended.

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Emergency SHTF Packing: How To Efficiently Pack a Bug-Out Bag


by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

This article is a continuation and the second part of the load management series written at the request of Mr. Brent Westbrook, a ReadyNutrition Reader.  In the first part, we covered how to stagger a load by weight and pack it according to function for a vehicle.  Guess what?  Many of the basics used to emplace that load are followed here, in how to pack a rucksack (another word for a backpack).  Let’s get right down to it!

Packing a Bug-Out Bag + Gear Suggestions

For those who have been reading my articles for a while, you know that my personal preference is the large-frame Army Rucksack (also called a Large “Alice” pack) …the one from the turn of the century and thirty years before.  It has an aluminum frame, it’s made of nylon, and it can take a lot of punishment.  That being said, the mechanics and reasoning for packing it are still the same.

You must ensure with a ruck that the load is balanced, as high as possible to keep pressure and weight off your back and that you can get to your equipment in a hurry.

Items on the bottom are those rarely used

I pack at the bottom of mine stuff that I do not intend to use at all or very seldom, such as extra clothes and extra food.  Pack your clothes in a wet-weather bag ( the military issue is preferable to me, although I’m aware there are many civilian firms that follow the premise of waterproof bags).  In the middle of the ruck, you want some ammo, more clothes, and some specialty equipment that doesn’t see immediate use.  You be the judge of that.  Toward the top, I keep Gore-Tex pants and jacket, as well as an issue sleeping bag with a Gore-Tex cover in a compression bag and then in a wet-weather bag.

Keep your basic needs in mind when packing bug-out equipment

Food in various forms is “nested around the outside edges, and then the drawstring is cinched down.  At the very top, I have a poncho and a poncho liner (that I can reach and remove easily).  Over this is my ground pad (I use a thick Coleman that is good with or without inflating it), and I have a bivouac hammock in a waterproof bag.  Those are all cinched down with the straps.  In my outside pockets (and waterproofed) I have ammo, food that I can eat quickly, fire-starting equipment, and my water supply.  I use stainless steel one-quart canteens.

This with the canteens is for several reasons.  I don’t tote more than a gallon at a time.  I leave some “headspace” so if the canteens freeze and expand, they aren’t ruined.  I can place the steel ones on a fire and thaw them out to get to the water.  They also take a beating.  For myself, I don’t mind the extra pressure on my back, as (in the wintertime) my jacket and the kidney pad take care of that.  I prefer a low silhouette.  I won’t get into how much mine weighs, but you should be comfortable taking a “squat” with it, and it should not take you to the ground.

The really important thing is that you want everything as secure as much as possible.  When the load shifts, it becomes unbalanced, and the distribution of weight is uneven, making for unequal steps and an unequal load-burden on your body parts.  You also have to take into consideration all of the other stuff you’re going to tote beside the rucksack, such as a load-carrying vest, a rifle, and extra water and ammo.  This adds to the weight, as well as being necessary to have adjusted and fitted to your body correctly to facilitate a smooth, noiseless movement through the brush.

Read More @ Ready

5 Ancient Weapons and their SHTF Uses


by Jeremiah Johnson, SHTFPlan:

ReadyNutrition Readers, we wrote a piece on the warrior mentality in a previous article, and this was to return you to the basics that covered skills and a mindset that has enabled our species to survive throughout the ages.  We’re going to add onto that by mentioning there is a time for technology and a time for the primitive.  Well, there have been a number of comments suggesting such weapons, and we’re going to run with the ball here – mentioning a few weapons besides the standard bow and arrow, and the knife – and then suggesting how to go about using them in your arsenal.  Let’s do it!

5 Ancient Weapons and their SHTF Uses


Yes, a spear.  There are several different kinds, depending on the function you want to use it for.  My personal preference is to make your own or have it forged to your specifications.  You want to be sure of a head that is sharply-pointed and well-bladed, preferably three or four blades, and the base is about twice as wide as the shaft.  This will permit the head to penetrate with a larger hole than the shaft.  What use, you may ask?  Hunting on the QT, and also defense in like manner.  A heavy spear will penetrate deeper brush than an arrow shaft.

These had heads that tapered to a point, as you can see, but a middle grip with two formidable ends that enabled it to be thrown or used here in close-quarters.  Watch the movie, and you’ll see how effectively it was employed.


A matter of preference here.  The Scottish Claymore, the German or Viking Broadsword, the Arab Scimitar, or the Roman Gladius.  All swords have different techniques for their use.  Someone is bristling at my leaving out the Japanese Katana.  There it is.  Each sword must be trained with differently, as they perform quite differently in battle and require practice in varied methods to be effective.  If you’re going to pick up a sword, you need one that is fully-functional and either comes edged or can take an edge.  Pay particular attention to the type of steel offered in it and research it for its hardness and tempering.  Such weapons can be worn strapped to the back, to the belt, or carried in its sheath and attached to a rucksack or backpack.  Remember this: cheap you buy, cheap you get, to coin a tried and true phrase in the vernacular.  If you’re going to a Halloween party, then it’s your call, but if you may use it to fight?  You don’t want one manufactured in Pakistan for $20.

Morningstar, or Mace

The ones attached to a continuous handle are a little easier to use than the ones on a chain.  Yes, these are the weapons you saw on Bugs Bunny as a kid employed by Yosemite Sam and friends.  The ones on the chain can propel and swing the actual ball of the mace with great force; however, you need to practice with them, as you can seriously injure yourself if you don’t have control over the swing and arc.  Purchase the ones with the spikes, made out of steel or heavy iron…they leave a lasting impression!


The “Feral Boy” in the movie “The Road Warrior” used one made out of metal.  Once again, you need to practice with this to be effective, and in this, you need two of them…one for practice and one to use when the “S” hits the fan that is in mint condition.  Give yourself a wide open area such as an uninhabited field as a practice ground.

Throwing Knives

Throwing knives are also considered an ancient weapon and if your accuracy is on point, they can be deadly. As well, the Chinese throwing star, also known as “Shuriken” are a part of any Oriental Ninja’s weaponry…a must-have for villains and heroes alike!  Seriously, these things can be highly effective…if you practice with them and make yourself an expert in their use.  I’ve heard plenty of comments about “How are you going to use that if you come under fire?” or “You’ll never be able to use that to hit a moving target in combat conditions,” yada, yada.

You are the warrior: you pick the time and circumstances of the encounter, and employ a weapon in the manner you’ve trained with it at the optimal time.

What we’re talking about here is the use of weapons after the complete breakdown of society, the complete collapse.  You’ll want to save that ammo unless you know how to make your own smokeless powder, your own primers, mold your bullets and have a lifetime supply of brass.  Even then, you’ll want to use weapons such as these in times that their silent employ could very well mean the difference between life and death.

Please keep this in mind: They can be just as dangerous to you (and others whom you do not intend them to use against) if you do not know how to use them properly and practice with them to acquire expertise in their employ.

Just a few suggestions, here, to get you started.  There are plenty of armorers and arms manufacturers that specialize in authentic, fully-functional ancient and medieval weaponry.  Do your research and find quality weapons and equipment, and train.  Don’t buy that mace for $20 and then be surprised when the spiked ball comes off and goes through the windshield of a parked car.  Don’t buy the $1,000 Katana, on the opposite end of the spectrum, and succeed only in cutting off one of your own feet while practicing.  If you can, practice with “dummy” weapons until you have the motions and fluidity down, and master the weapon fully before employing it in a real-world situation.  Be safe, stay in that good fight, and embrace “I can” as your core focus.

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