30 May 2012

The G.O.O.D. Plan (Get Out Of Dodge) Part 2

Maybe we should continue. Okay, I know there are few typo's and spelling errors, still. I have ideas and I put them on paper, I am not perfect at this writing thing. But I keep trying.

Part 2:


Personal Defence:

Most lawyers would advise the writer to skip this topic as the liability and risks are, too high. But, you didn't spend your hard earned, after tax dollars to read a censored manuscript. Did you?

Personal defence items span a vast array of technology and skill levels for use. At the low end of technology you are greeted by clubs, bo staffs, quarter staffs and hiking sticks. Although, easy to acquire, they require training and frequent practice to master. Providing a lethal range of +/- 3m. At the extreme other end of the technology spectrum are phase plasma rifles....just kidding. Firearms, currently top the technological extreme of mankind's achievements in lethal personal defence.

In between, is a fascinating array of weapons that represent all advances mankind has made since the days of the caveman right through to today. These weapons fall loosely into four catergories: Blunt Trauma. Edged. Kinetic Energy. Firearms.

In the right hands all can be lethal. In the untrained hands, however, many are a liability to the user. In general, the simpler the weapon, the more skills and training are required to be lethal. Firearms are the one class of weapon that require very little training to be deadly. Almost, anyone can be trained to effectively use a shotgun or rifle in a few hours at the range. As long as, you have ammunition for your firearm: the equation of strong over weak can be equalized, or so, Colonel Sam Colt has been immortilized for.

Let's take a few moments to go over a few of the features, advantages and disadvantages of each class of weapon. We will focus in on a few examples. My list is not complete, by far. If the reader is truly interested, I recommend further research while you still have the time. This overview, may also help prepare you for what you may encounter when you are Getting Out Of Dodge.

Blunt Trauma Weapons:

Clubs – Same as Grandpa Caveman. A heavy stick. Swing & hit your opponent in the head. You win. Make or find just about anywhere. Improvise and Improve. Wood, Metal, Plastic, or combination. Lethal Range: +/- 2m.

Staff – Long straight stick. Helps walking up or down hills. Crossing streams or rivers. Requires more skill than a club. In trained hands this stick is deadly. Think Shoalin Monks. Make or find in most places. Wood, bamboo, plastic or metal. Lethal range: +/- 3m.

Mace – A fancy & lethal club. A primative mace can be acheived by driving large nails through a wood club. However, a classic mace has a weighted metal ball, covered in sharpened metal spikes attached to a wood or metal handle. A near miss can still be lethal. More difficult to manufacture. Requires metal working skills and technology, like wire welders. Lethal range: +/- 2m.

Morning Star – A fancy wheat thrashing flail. With a wood or metal handle, a chain(s) and one (or more) metal balls. The metal balls can be spiked or spikeless. A significant amount of skill is required to master this weapon, without injuring oneself. Again, a near miss can be fatal. Requires superior wood and metal working skills and technology. Lethal range: +/- 2m.

War Hammer – A cruel blending of an ice axe and a framing hammer. The spike end is strong and sharp, capable of piercing plate armour and most-likely Kevlar, too. The hammer end is a square faced block of steel. If you can't puncture it, then bash it. The bone shattering blows will be effective, even if your opponent has a full suit of armour. Expert skills and technology are required to make an elegant albeit deadly weapon. Lethal range: +/- 2m.

Edged Weapons:

By far the greatest advancement until the discovery of gun powder. The use of edged tools and weapons allowed mankind to dominate over the rest of the animal kingdom. The range of weapons include obsidian inlaid wooden swords of Aztec and Mayan origin, the swords of the broze age, the Samuari's Katana, right up to todays ceramic knives and the CIA's letter opener. We have come a long way.

Edged weapons are generally found made of one of the four following materials: Steel. Plastics. Organics. Other Metals.

Steel is the most common material for modern edged weapons. It can be honed razor sharp and can be shaped to fill every need. In this day of superior steels why would you use any other material?

Plastic is an abnormal material for modern edged weapons, but in certain circumstances it is the perfect material. You are not likely to come across too many plastic knives, but they are out there. The CIA's letter opener, for instance is a tough little dagger designed to get pass metal detectors and eliminate their opponents – Spy vs Spy. The brush knife is another plastic stabbing device. The head of the brush conceals the knife and acts like a sheath. The handle and blade are withdrawn from the brush head to deploy. This knife was designed to deceive the average observer. Correctional Centres see the most prolific use of improvised plastic edged weapons – namely plexiglas shivs.

Organics – include stone (obsidian, flint), glass and ceramics. At the microscopic level obsidian and ceramic edges are many times sharper than a razor blade. However, there is a trade off for this type of sharpness, which is the blades are very brittle. In surgery this brittleness is not a problem but in the jungle, your blade will be chipped if not shattered by your adversary – leaving you willout an edge to hide behind.


Other Metals – Iron, Bronze, Copper. Not common to encounter in our modern times, but could reappear if things devolve. These metals are the easiest to work in a primative setting. Most are cast into their shape and sharpened. No forging or tempering. Edges may not hold an edge long and are easily dented when in combat. Steel weapons were known to cleave iron blades in half during battle. The one advantage of iron is it does not rust like steel.

Having said all that, you are most likely to procure a steel edged weapon for your escape pack. It is the most common available material. The biggest question you will ask is, will it be stainless steel or carbon steel? The advantage of Stainless steel is it is low maintenance. The disadvantage is it is difficult to resharpen in the field. With new diamond grit sharpening stones that is changing, too. Carbon steel can easily be resharpened in the field to a razors edge, if you have a quality blade to start with. The challenge with carbon steels is they need regular maintenance, including oiling the blade to prevent rust or corrison. One other feature of carbon steels is they spark when struck with flint or quartz, so for emergency fire lighting a carbon knife would be the best choice.

Edged weapons are designed to acheive three distinct actions: Slashing. Thrusting. Chopping. Many blades can acheive two of the three, rarely can all three be accomplished by the same blade. Enter the combat knife – designed for combat it can chop branches or limbs, it can slash air-frames or flesh, As well as, puncture an oil can or a chest cavity. The bowie knife and the Ka-Bar are two examples of combat knives. As with other things in life there are trade off's. If you need the best of each type of blade it would be best to carry three different blades that specialize in each feature: Slashing. Thrusting. Chopping.

Slashing – is a fine cutting edge. Used for skinning animals or filleting fish. A good hunting knife will work here. Like a Buck or Gerber fixed blade knife. 4”- 6” Blade.


Thrusting – is a strong, pointed weapon. Used for puncturing thick hides, bones or armour. This is the world of daggers. Sharp enough to cut skin, but not necessarily slice skin. The shape of the blade, a triangle or diamond profile tapering to a point, provides the ability of this edged weapon to pierce and do its job. The blade is thick enough to be strong and long enough to inflict maximum damage to internal organs. A good choice here is the Tanto blade design. The Cold Steel Recon Tanto, with its 7” Blade and 4 3/4” handle makes an excellent thrusting weapon.

Chopping – is a thick, strong blade. Used to chop things. A meat cleaver or an axe are both good examples of chopping devices. It depends what you are chopping as to what you want to be chopping with. An axe is good for chopping wood. A machette is good for chopping brush. A cleaver is good for chopping up whole chickens. For the context of getting out of dodge, a belt axe or tomahawk would be a great choice. A good example I have come across lately is the Fiskars Garden Axe. It is fairly light, well balanced, affordable and has a synthetic handle. Good enough to split kindling or split wigs, but, a little too light for felling trees.

To further complicate the selection of an edged weapon, we must consider size: Short. Medium. Long.

How far does your weapon need to reach? Or, what standoff distance do you want to have? Remembering, that a long standoff distance leaves you vunerable if the opponent can get inside. That was why some of the sword fighters of old had a single hand sword in their right hand and a main gauche (dagger) in their left.

We will consider a short edged weapon to have a blade length of 1” to 11”. A medium blade to be 12” to 23”. A long blade is anything over 24”. The handle length will contribute to the maximum range of the blade's effectiveness.


If you are planning to shelter-in-place, you are to be envied, for you can enmass an armoury in your home. Allowing you the luxury of selecting the perfect weapon for each engagement. However, if you are forced to leave the shelter of your castle and have to choose only what you can carry, this is most challenging of challenges. What is the “perfect” edged weapon to carry?

Of course, that is a purely, subjective question. Unfair, because only you can answer it correctly for you. For me, when I am hiking in the mountains I carry my Normark Erikson. It is a stainless 4” blade with a 5” synthetic handle and plastic sheath. I attach it to my pack or belt with a locking carabiner. It is an all round camp knife. Sharp. Light. Dependable. Would I chop branches with it, no. But it will gut a fish in a heart beat, fingers, too, if they get in the way. Now, when I am camping or hunting and need a tougher blade to build camp with, I like to have my Glock 78 Field Knife with me. It has a carbon 6 1/2” blade, 5 1/4” Plastic handle and a locking plastic sheath. This knife has been with me for more than 20 years and still going strong. The black finish is wearing off the metal parts, but it still work great. If I had to leave tonight, which one would I take....both. They are knives and they are light.

Right now as you are planning, is the right time to start acquiring knives and the rest of your gear. Building a small collection of knives to evaluate is a good idea. Once you find your best knife you won't have to ask which one is the best one for you to take...because you will know. It will be the one you reach for first in the middle of the night.

But, you can only know if you use your knife in the real world. Take it hiking, camping, fishing or hunting. Learn what it can do and what it can't. Break a couple blades and you will learn how much force is necessary to accomplish the task.

Kinetic Energy Weapons:

Kinetic energy weapons propel a projectile providing: velocity x mass = kinetic energy.

This is, of course, the simple formula. You can google the actual physics formula of calculating the exact kinetic energy on you own time.

The projectile maybe the weapon, such as a spear or javelin. Or the weapon may be the launcher of the projectile, such a sling or crossbow.

The lethaliness can be from the projectile piercing or striking a vital body part (head, heart or lungs) or the damage to surrounding tissues leading to an eventual death.

The simplest kinetic energy weapon is the sling. The same weapon that David used to slay Goliath. The sling consists of a leather pouch with a leather thong on each end. A stone is placed in the pouch and then the sling is swung. When ready to fire at your opponent you release one of the thongs and the stone is launched. With considerable practice you will be able to send a lethal hit to a range of 15 meters.

The sling shot is a modern adaptation, using rubber tubing, a metal frame and a leather pouch. A steel ballbearing is projected by placing it in the leather pouch and drawing back. Similarly to a long bow. When ready to fire, simply release the pouch and the ballbearing will race towards your target. The sling shot is easier to master than the sling, however, it is a more compact design for smaller projectiles. Resulting in reduced range. With practice the sling shot can be lethal to 10 meters.

The bow (long bow, short bow, recurve or compound Bow) uses a stiff limb(s), a handle, and a string to launch its arrow. Modern bows are quick to learn as they have adjustable sights to aim at your enemy. Depending on draw weight, arrow type, and practice; the bow can be lethal to 30 – 40 meters.

The crossbow, in its modern version, is a short bow attached to a rifle stock. The draw weight is quite a bit heavier than a regular bow, however, the release mechanism holds this weight until you squeeze the trigger. So, although slower to reload than a regular bow. The fact that you can travel around all day with a bolt ready to fire has a lot of advantages. With the assortment of sights available for crossbows, including telescopic sights, the crossbow is quick to master compared to a regular bow. The crossbow is also relatively quiet to fire, compared with a firearm. The crossbow would be my first choice, if I didn't want a firearm for defence. With the correct crossbow, sight and bolt combination, this unit can be lethal to at least 50 meters.

Spears and Javelins, do not really have a modern equivalent, with exception of the olympic javelin. The olympic javelin is designed to fly for distance when thrown correctly, it is not intended for combat nor piercing armour.

A spear is basically an edged blade attached to a long straight shaft of wood, bamboo or metal. It can be used as a thrusting weapon without letting go of the shaft or a kinetic weapon when thrown at an adversary. The length of the shaft is the limit of the range as a thrusting weapon, about 3 meters, however when thrown, the lethal range may be extended to 20 meters, if you can hit your target.

The Roman Javelin was both a thrusting weapon at close range and a long range missile. When thrown in a volley at a barbarian horde, the Javelin was lethal to at least 100 meters. In a modern context, however, the skills necessary for such distant death from a javelin have probably been lost.

One parting word must be spoken for the boomerang. Not a common weapon on this side of the Pacific, but in the outback of Australia, made with the correct type of wood, the boomerang will drop a full size kangaroo. Man-size targets would also be vulnerable to a skilled thrower. Lethal range 15 – 25 meters.

The kinetic weapon's family is no different than other weapon systems, they are vulnerable to running out of proper ammunition. Slings and sling shots can improvise with stones or rocks lying on the ground, but accuracy & range will be reduced by inferior projectiles. Similarly, once you fire off your last arrow, bolt or throw you last spear you will have to prepare for hand-to-hand combat until you can reclaim your fired projectiles off the field of battle. Which is a good thing when you win, but if you must withdraw from the field due to overwelming numbers of bad guys, you will have to make, buy, trade or steal new projectiles before you run into more bad guys.

The kinetic weapons family allows you to have a greater standoff distance than any of the more primative weapon systems. To maximize the effect, however, you must be highly skilled and well practiced.


Firearms are the pinacle of personal defence weapon systems. Let's stick with modern firearms: pistols, shotguns. Rifles.

The major advantage of firearms is their lethality is not dependent on the physical strength of the user. Their short-coming is, once out of ammunition their advantage is lost. To this end, when selecting a firearm, choosing one that uses a common cartridge would be a wise choice. For when that Dark day arrives that you have to scrounge for ammunition, it will be easier to be successful if you are looking for a cartridge that is widely available.

We will have a look at the common types of firearms, their effective range, advantage and disadvantage, as well as, list their usual capacity of rounds. Ie – how many times can you pull the trigger before you need to reload.

Now you have a basic understanding of the types of firearms available and what they were meant to do. To proceed to selecting your firearm, you will need one that satisfies your needs, your terrain and your suspected threat. Pick the one you like and are most comfortable with. If you are afraid of your weapon, you are not likely to bring it with you. When you need it the most, to save your ass, you won't have it.

There are going to be limitations on your firearms acquisitions: be it time, money, storage or legal paper work. You will have to find time and money to conduct training to get your skills up to snuff. You also have to work out where you will likely be using your defensive weapons and against what or whom. Maybe a few scenarios may help the selection process.

Scenario #1:

You and your girlfriend live in a small cabin about two hours from the closest town. You don't really have a lot of neighbours nearby. In fact, few people travel the side track you live near. You are comfortably isolated from the darkness of society. You own a jeep, a canoe and a quad. In fact, most days you drive to the neighbours on the quad to save fuel. Speaking of fuel, you have a bulk 90 gallon fuel stand in your yard, buzz the petro guy tops up the tank once a month. You both have known how to shoot since your were 10 years old, you hate to admit it but she kicks your ass at target shooting. You have decided to take this emergency preparedness stuff seriously. Things don't look as bright as they use to. As part of your plan you want both of you to be armed if you have to evac from your little paradise. You decided that the jeep will be your kit bag. If it fits in the jeep, it's coming along. You have room for 5 weapons. It's not likely the russian will parachute in so, the weapon's want to be compatible with NATO ammo. Each of you have chosen a 9mm sidearm, ammo will be plentiful if you return to the world. She likes the Springfield XD-M Compact 9mm. You prefer the good old Browning Hi-power. She likes the Mini-14 Ranch rifle in .223 rem with the aimpoint scope. You figure you may need to bag bambi or a moose from time-to-time so you want a little more dropping power and opt for a McMillan M1A, .308 win, setup in the mfs-14 modular tactical systems stock. You choose a

compact 4x rubber armoured scope with flip-up scope covers and illuminated reticles. For commuting on doomsday your fifth weapon is a Winchester Defender, 12 gauge, with the 8 round tube and a pistol grip and top folding shoulder stock. You have one gun rack across your dash, another behind the driver's seat on the roll bar and the defender in a scabbard lashed behind the passenger's seat. The pistols, of course, will be riding in holsters on that day. So, the logistics include: 9 mm ammo, pistol holsters, .223 rem or 5.56 nato, .308 win or 7.62 nato and an assortment of 12 gauge rounds – slugs, mini-slugs, buckshot and #4 or #5 birdshot. I think short of an earthquake or a wildfire, these two are set to Evacuate-in-Place.

 Like most military contingency plans, you hope to never have to use your G.O.O.D. Plan.

Well i hope the scenarios helped a little to narrow down your selection process for a defensive weapon system for you or your family. If we could only be so lucky as to be in scenario #4, of course, if everyone was; there would be no need for you to acquire the G.O.O.D. Plan – for you could write your own version.

Here are some points to concider if you will be with a group larger than your family:

  • Try to use standard calibres. This makes it a lot easier when you need to borrow ammo. If your group was brought together as part of your G.O.O.D. Plan, you may have standardized your weapons and calibres, so magazines would also be interchangeable.
  • If more than one person in your group, you should have at least one .22lr. These weapons are light, accurate and you can easily carry 100 cartridges in your pocket.
  • NATO standard ammunition includes: 5.56x45mm = .223 rem; 7.62x51mm = .308 win; and 9x19mm = 9mm para. NATO standard ammunition is recognized by a headstamp on the brass that looks like a plus sign with a circle around it.
  • Old Eastern Bloc standard ammunition includes: 5.45x39mm (ak-74's), 7.62x39mm (sks & ak-47's), 7.62x54mm (SVD Dragunov, Mosin-Nagant), 7.62x25mm (tokarev tt-33), {9x17mm Browning (.380 ACP) (Export Makarov's)}, and 9x18mm PM (makarov - PM).
  • Firearms with detachable magazines are the quickest to reload.
  • Use a gear vest to store spare magazines, wear it over your jacket when it is cold out.
  • Keep extra ammunition and extra magazines in your pack, vehicle, cache(s) and/or at your Safe Zone.
  • Spotting scopes and binoculars are good for locating and identifying friends or foes.
  • Pistols are of limited value. If you have one, know how to use it. If not, get a shotgun.

  • Remember a 12 gauge shotgun is the most versatile weapon system. Load down for hunting game birds and load up for deer or two-legged predators.
  • Remember sights with optical lens or requiring batteries may fail. Carry spare parts. Have iron sights for back-up.
  • Remember have a cleaning kit for your firearms. It Should have a bottle of oil, bore-brush, cleaning patches and a pull-thru or cleaning rod.
  • Remember to zero your firearm. Practice regularly.
  • Remember to keep your muzzle free of obstructions – mud, sand, snow or ice. Use a muzzle cap if needed.
  • Remember, choosing unlawful weapons is your choice, you will be held accountable if caught with them. If society, as we know it collapses, you may be forgiven.
  • If you choose to carry a firearm, you must be willing to use it. You may be able to bluff once, but... if you can not bear the necessity to use lethal force; DO NOT carry a firearm – it will only get you into trouble.

  • It is always better to choose to be judged by twelve of your peers then be carried by six of your friends! Your family first – dirt bag, scum-sucking, low-life's last!

The only thing left on your list for defensive weapons is to decide which one fits your needs best
get it.

See the reference section for a list of
personal protection & defensive weapons

G.O.O.D. Vehicle Stuff:

Might have got a little long winded in the last section. I will try to be more focused here.

Before I get into listing the gear you need to have packed in your G.O.O.D. Vehicle, let's review some worthy features to have in a G.O.O.D. Vehicle. The features may contradict themselves at times but you will have to choose which feature is more or most important to your situation.

  • Good fuel economy
  • reliable
  • repairable & Repair Manual Available
  • cargo capacity – half ton, ¾ ton, 1 ton, 2 ton
  • passenger capacity
  • easy to acquire spare parts – uses common parts
  • off road capability – 4 wheel drive
  • winter driving capability – chains or good tires
  • good climate control – heat in winter or a/c in summer
  • comfortable seating
  • defendable on the road – shooting from vehicle
  • trailer pulling capability – bring extra fuel & gear
  • maneuverable – high speed &/or low speed
  • camouflageable – blends with environment
  • self-recovery capability – winch or come-along
  • Highway vehicle or off road vehicle – Mad Max?

Vehicle Equipment:

Spare tire – full size. Two would be better.
Fuel Jerry can – 20 litre's +. two would be better.
Jack or jack-all – 36” or 48”. Changing tires. Unstuck.
Tire iron – star iron. Wheel wrench. Impact wrench.
Tow Strap or Tow Rope – 20' minimum. 30' would be better.
Saw – bow saw. Hack saw. Chain saw.
Axe – Estwing Camp axe. Gerber Camp Axe.
Shovel – #2 with long or “D” handle. Or mini-shovel.
Jeep Pick or full size Mattock – pulaski could work.

Jumper cables – boosting a dead battery. 4-6ga, 16'-20'.
Highway Flares – signalling distress. Fire starter.
Blankets or Sleeping bags – keep warm.
Water – bottles or jerry can.
Matches – box of wood matches. Strike anywhere.
Candles – keep warm. Heat water in billy can.
Billy can – 100 oz can. Label removed. Hold safety items.
First Aid Kit – See appendix B
Energy bars – trail mix bars, granola bars, chocolate.
Toilet Paper – at least one roll. Sealed in a ziploc bag.
Flashlight – led type with extra batteries.
Fuel card(s) – at least $100 worth.
Air gauge – for checking tire's air pressure.
Cable ties – zap straps of assorted lengths.
Tye wire – a small roll.
Electrical tape – black. At least one roll.
Duct tape – get the good stuff. 3-M. Thick & Tough.
wd-40 – small can.
Fuses – get extra fuses that fit your vehicle.
Pliers – good pair of 8” linesman. Cutting wire or fences.
Crescent wrench – just in case.
Screwdriver – multi-bit or set of screwdrivers.
Socket set – whatever type fit your vehicle. SAE. Metric.
Snow shovel – must have for winter driving.
Chains – winter driving. Good to have.
Kitty litter or sand – weight and traction aid. Chocking.
S.O.S. Flag – signal distress.
Space blanket(s) – Keep warm.
Parka(s) – with mitts, toque & scarf.
Tarp – shelter.
Ratchet straps – securing your load. Self rescue.
Cooler – store water bottles.
Filters – Oil. Air. Fuel. Cabin. Pcv.
Oil – extra motor oil. Proper type for your engine.
Atf – extra automatic transmission fluid. Correct type.
Bulbs – Extra. Turn signal. Brake. Headlight.
Belts – Extra. fan belt. Water pump belt. Alternator.
Winch – for self-recovery.
Come-along – For self-recovery.
Trailer hitch – with ball. Carry extra balls.

Selecting a G.O.O.D. Vehicle, like every else I have presented, is a highly subjective subject. Some people like one make of vehicle and hate others and vice-versa. Select a vehicle that is the right size to carry your family and your escape packs. Select a vehicle that will get you from your home to your safe zone. Select a vehicle that is designed to drive in your local climate, altitude or seasons. If you plan to pull a trailer with extra gear, make sure your vehicle can handle the extra duty.


The supplies and equipment for building a defendable safe zone are rather extensive, expensive, bulky and heavy. Unfortunately, they are also necessary to build the required structures. Remember awhile back I spoke of being able to improvise? If you stockpile many of the safe zone supplies in a cache or have a storage area enroute, you could shuttle supplies after arriving. Or you may choose an area that has alternate sources to build with, such as a forest full of trees.

Another possible method of avoiding this is to build your safe zone in advance, on weekends or during your summer vacation. Of course, you will have to review local building codes and land use bylaws in your area. By just having the land and being able to stockpile the supplies and tools on it could be a very big help. You could travel light and fast to your safe zone, and while the panic is growing, you can be building your defences.

This list
of supplies for your safe zone is to get you thinking. Planning how you will get
what you need,
when you need it. 

Okay I hope that wets your whistle for a few days.


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