Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

A Green Beret’s Guide To Planning Your Personal Posture: “First Things First: Always Be Armed”

6 posts in this topic


Jeremiah Johnson is a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne) and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).


The subject of this article is to help you prepare yourselves for an emergency…any emergency, in whatever scope.  Many of you are already doing this; however, you may pick up a few useful tips.  You may also have some to contribute in the comments section.  I wish to be the facilitator of a discussion in this article.  I wish very much for you to participate in it.  Trust me, I will be taking notes.  As I mentioned in my last articles, it is very important to share information and I rely on you, the readership, as well.

First things first: always be armed.  The ones who do not wish you to be armed are those who are armed.  Those who are armed place those who are unarmed into work/death camps or kill them outright.  What state do you live in?  Do you have open carry laws?  Do your homework…and then make your own decision.  Here is the ultimate concealed carry law:

Amendment II  A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
The Constitution of the United States of America, December 15, 1791.

“…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Such is the reason that state after state sees their feeble “concealed carry” laws crumble when challenged: they do not hold water to the Constitution of the United States of America.  You need to be armed at all times to increase your chance of survival.

Let’s talk about some things that may work for you.

Cargo pants.  These are preferred because of what you can stash in them.  You can hold an infinite combination of gear in them…a polar-tech cap and a balaclava, a “drive-on” (do) rag – the o.g. Army cravat.  You can carry shooting gloves (leather for all-weather) and ear plugs (radians do tell!).  With all of these things in the cargoes, there is still plenty of room for the main function:  when you change your mags or speed loaders, you can shove the empties in your cargo pockets.

For ammo, have (depending on your caliber) (1) loaded mag/chambers with hollow-points, and a backup of Buffalo Bore or another type of +P rounds.  Such can be switched out when the storm troopers step out of their Tie-fighters/MRAP’s.  With pistols, always have one in the hole, and always be scrupulously conscious of it.  Before you are dangerous to the bad guys, it would behoove you to not be dangerous to yourself or to other good guys.

I strongly recommend an “Uncle Mike” type of plastic holster that holds your piece in your beltline, and an additional mag pouch/speed loader pouch on your belt.  A good folding knife and a Gerber or Leatherman tool is also strongly recommended.  Don’t use them!  Keep them in immaculate and serviceable condition.  If you need to use tools, use other tools.  You want what is on you to be in perfect condition for when conditions are not perfect.

Good footgear is quite important.  Living in Montana, I have my footgear for extreme cold winter weather (Rocky Goretex) and then switch to issue Jungles in the summer, usually black.  I also wear desert tan (intermediate cold) issues.  Whatever your preference, you need to be able to walk with a load on your back in them and be comfortable as well as have those ankles supported.  Quality socks are very important as well.  From the time that a grid down/SHTF event happens, you have to be ready to rock and roll immediately!  Your survival may depend on how you are dressed/can quick-change into vestments, and how much equipment you have on your person at that time!

Always have a small flashlight for if the power stops.  Two years ago I was in a sporting goods store and there was a large hailstorm going on.  All of a sudden the power went out, and there was panic in the store.  Whole bunches of elderly people were stumbling around in the basement level, and the management had no backup.  JJ, on the other hand, had his trusty mag-lite and led the older people up the stairs to the exits.  The whole store shut down: a store full of flashlights and batteries that they wouldn’t use.  They weren’t for use, though: they were for sale!

You see the point: you need your stuff with you and on you.

Also needed is a reliable lighter (I carry a Zippo and a disposable one).  Safety pins: these little lifesavers can be affixed to your hat and on the inside seams of clothing for when you need them.  Regarding clothing: what you wear may not be what you can hide very well in.  I always wear cargo pants.  Always.  If I’m in a suit and tie, you can bank on my pants having cargo pockets.  I also carry a sweatshirt with hood and a heavier jacket in my vehicle (that blends with the area I may have to run around in).

Here’s one for you for use with the weapon.  Save your produce bags from the grocery store.  On a kydex/Uncle Mike’s holster, you can place your weapon in the bag when you’re running around and it will fit snugly in the holster.  This will keep dirt, moisture, etc., out of the weapon, and if need be it can be drawn and fired.  For long-term stuff, I’m partial to the old Bianchi flap-and-hook style o.g. pistol holster.  The latch is great to keep that baby inside of the holster when you’re running in the woods from wolves or through the storm-drains chased by homey the clown and the lollipop-guild.

Loosely fitting clothing will break up the outline of your body.  Also, remember all of the caps and do-rags I mentioned before?  A quick disguise is where you find it; need I say more.  An old Russian saying: “Do not be a white crow among black crows or you’ll be pecked to death!”  Make sure that you blend in as best as you can.  Earth tones in your dress if you have to dee-dee into the woods.  Balance your tones with the discretion of common sense.  Do not try to be a walking Realtree monster right next to downtown city hall.

Cash on hand is a tough one to call.  I believe $100 would be good to carry and not touch under any circumstances for starters.  You can also balance this with a little gold or silver in the form of jewelry that you could afford to part with if, say, you needed a ride or a few gallons of gasoline.  Do not attempt to be “Mr. T,” nor should you carry around your great-grandfather’s gold pocket watch.  Blend in and be inconspicuous; be the “gray” man in the crowd.

If you wear eyeglasses, you should have a spare pair where you can reach them, or (at the bare minimum) a small repair kit and a tube of super glue to fix them until you’re out of the danger zone.  A compass is a good thing; pick one up that’s not going to be useless in the event of EMP.  Follow the KISS principle and pick up a good durable liquid-filled one or a Lensatic that can take a beating and still give you a direction.  A good P-38 (can-opener, not the Lockheed WWII fighter aircraft) should be a must-have on your key ring.  Ballpoint pens and paper (I keep index cards with me) are also handy for your own Intel-keeping or for a message you may need to leave for someone.

This article is for informational purposes and is not a suggestion or advisement, explicit or implied, from SHTFplan, its writers, or staff, to violate any local, state or federal laws.  Contact a lawyer or legal counsel prior to taking any actions as outlined in this article.

We will cover bags for your vehicles and small carry bags for your person in our next segment.  Until then, weigh this information and tailor it according to your needs.  Take some time to consider those needs carefully to employ them in a day-to-day practical setting that is both inconspicuous and effective.  Take action today, because tomorrow may be too late.  Exchange ideas with one another.  May the comments section be more packed than a can of sardines, I wish!  Have a great day and I look forward to hearing from you!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne).  Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).  He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com.

2 people like this

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A Green Beret’s Guide To Action Bags: “Your Go-To-Kit When You Have To Pop Smoke & Depart In a Rapid Manner”


Jeremiah Johnson is a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne) and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).

This is the final installment of our personal stance-series (Part 1, Part 2)

Today we will discuss rucksacks, the uses for vehicles, and specialty gear you may want to consider.  Keep in mind: these are ideas to provide you with food for thought.  They are not rules set in stone, nor are they foolproof.  What I detail works for me, and I will give you reasons for things not immediately self-explanatory so that you may weigh them in the decisions you make for yourself.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are physical differences and limitations that vary considerably per individual.  You have to gauge your equipment by your limitations and abilities.  Someone with the physique of a Hulk Hogan will be able to carry a load that differs considerably from one toted by Justin Timberlake.  Nevertheless, there are certain basics that we can all strive for, and everything else is gravy on the meat.

My personal preference is ammo, and I’m partial to a large rucksack, military issue.  An anonymous commentator gave some advice for me to not use so many military acronyms, so I’ll be sure and define any I use from here on out.  I prefer issue gear from the U.S. Army for three reasons: familiarity, dependability, and durability.  The large rucksack with its sturdy frame and kidney pad holds a tremendous amount of gear and takes great punishment.


Your basics need a priority, and these are mine, in this order:  bullets, beans, and band-aids.  I tote 600 rds for my rifle and 200 for my pistol; each is waterproofed in Ziploc bags.  For food, I have enough dried jerky, ramen, dehydrated vegetables, vitamin pills and power bars to sustain me for two weeks at two meals a day.  I have a ceramic filter katydyn, along with a lifestraw; I carry one 2-quart canteen affixed to my rucksack and two 1-quart issue canteens for my LCE (Load Carrying Equipment).  The LCE is (to me) an integral part of the ruck system.

I do not like camelback systems for water; I prefer the old GI almost indestructible plastic 1-quart canteens, and each has its own issue canteen cup that nestles it in its holder.  I also prefer the LCE to a vest/load carrying vest, due to the number of extra uses the LCE has when it is taken apart.  Examples of this are for hasty sling loading of equipment, field-expedient stretchers, straps for hasty splints, and so on.  Attached to the LCE are a lensatic compass (tritium), knife (I prefer V-42’s, the Sykes-Fairbairn design), mag light, and 2 magazine pouches, along with first aid pouch with field dressing, augmented with quick-clot.

I have a minor surgical wound kit (MSW) packed in the top of my ruck.  It is one of the best investments you can make.  I strongly recommend taking some courses in suturing and minor surgical procedures, such as ligating a bleeding vessel, debriding nonviable tissue from burns, and removal of fragments/bullets.  Along with the MSW kit it would be good to have a bee sting kit, as it can help in cases of anaphylactic shock.  IV bags (at least one) and an infusion kit with at least a 12-gauge catheter for trauma would be a good investment.  Supplement all of this with a small first aid kit for minor cuts and scrapes, with plenty of Neosporin and alcohol prep pads to sterilize.

Clothing is going to vary per geographical area where you reside and the season, as well as necessities for sleeping.  I prefer to carry an Army extreme cold weather sleeping bag with gore-tex cover in a compression bag all year round because of the fluctuating temperatures in the mountains here in Montana.  The compression bag is secure inside of a waterproof bag.  I always carry one pair of cargo pants and one heavy sweatshirt with hood, along with half a dozen pairs of socks.  I also pack my gore-tex jacket and pants, along with a set of gore-tex wet weather gear.  Finally there is a pair of hi-tec hikers; very lightweight and durable that I can change into if my footgear becomes wet.

These are the basics.  There is more that can be packed, especially relating to specialty gear.  Survey meters and dosimeters are handy.  Night vision devices and extra batteries go a long way.  Remember, you also require all of the basics we covered with A-bags in part 2: fire-starting materials, small tools, tripwires for snares, hand tools, binoculars.  The list can be endless.  The main thing I wish to emphasize is you need your basics covered for the amount of time that you believe you may need to “hunker down.”  You also need to assess what your workable load is to carry.

Once you have accomplished this last task, it is time to practice carrying your rucksack.  You need to become used to the weight, and to do that you must practice ruck marching on the road and through uneven terrain, such as woodlands and fields.  Be sure and do some good stretching exercises for at least five to ten minutes before ruck marching, and hydrate before you begin.  These are all basics to provide you with food for thought, nothing more.  I advise a good hunter’s scale that can weigh at least to 100 lbs in order to check your load prior to doing all of this.

Now for some food for thought on vehicles

I know a lot of people who plate behind their driver’s seat with steel plating.  There are two considerations to take when plating your vehicle that factor the thickness of steel you will need:  1. Type of round/composition/bullet shape you are expecting to encounter, and 2. Grade of steel used.  There are two qualities of material:  1) Deviation, and 2) Reduction of Damage, and they are defined as follows:

Deviation: the amount of change in direction as a bullet passes through blocking material.

Reduction of Damage: is the reduction of damage per inch of material carried out by the bullet as it passes through the blocking material.

Steel is graded in soft, mild, medium, and hard, further classed by the Rockwell hardness factor.  A .223 round will not penetrate steel plates at 100 meters of ½ hard steel.  There are plenty of tables out there; your best bet is to research them and talk to your local metal fabricator about hardness and protection factors, as well as to shop for costs.  Areas to reinforce besides the “cockpit” include but are not limited to: the gas tank, the bottom below the driver’s seat, and shields for the sides and front by the engine block.

Next is bulletproof glass.  Bonded bulletproof glass is used in military vehicles, made of laminated glass layers and sheets bonded together with forms of polyurethane.  Bulletproof glass has the effect of causing the bullet to flatten, and with the disfigurement of the plastic, the energy of the bullet is diffused and the penetration halted.  Generally it ranges from UL 752 Level 1 (effective against 9 mm) to UL 752 Level 10 (effective against .50 BMG).  You’ll have to shop around and compare prices.

Let’s not forget the tires.  Sinotyre Industrial and Rasaku tire are two firms that make bulletproof tires, and prices vary.  Sometimes you have to order en masse.  Sometimes you can buy by the set, or only purchase the individual tire.  One website that offers them is www.alibaba.com that has a subheading for bulletproof tires and some price listings.

For other considerations for your vehicle, here are a few ideas.  Always have a good wrench set, jump cables, extra oil, and fluids in the trunk.  Also carry a gallon of water, flashlight, and a blanket or sleeping bag; along with a small box with canned goods enough for 3 days.  Make sure you continually maintain your vehicle.  I keep mine at a minimum ¾ full of gas at all times.

Also, a little hint passed on by Ben Raines that I feel has great value in these times we live in: obey the traffic laws as scrupulously as you can.  There is no percentage in speeding or moving violations that may violate the prime directive they told us in the Q-course: “Do not draw undue attention to yourself!”  You don’t need any police problems and it’s best to remain low key and not allow any part of your preps to be discovered.  What would Johnny Law say if he noticed the 1” steel plate behind your driver’s seat?  Or the bags of gear?  Or weapons?  The least seen, the least said, and Officer Friendly can always become Officer Unfriendly.

These tips are some basics, and I hope to field questions and open discussion in the comments section.  As you guys and gals know, I read your comments and respond to as many of them as I can.  Remember that we are all facilitators of information: our job is to help one another and present ideas and information that may be put to productive use.  I thank you for your comments and suggestions, and hope you know that I act upon them.  Learning is a two-way street, and I welcome all of the knowledge and experience you wish to share with me and the other readers.  Have a great day, and do good things… well!

Part 1: Planning Your Personal Posture: “First Things First: Always Be Armed”

Part 2: Guide To Action Bags: “Your Go-To-Kit When You Have To Pop Smoke & Depart In a Rapid Manner”

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne).  Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).  He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com.


1 person likes this

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent Info.  All of it.  I also wear cargo pants,  and carry multiple weapons on me at all times.  You still packin that 8 guage shotgun Cinn?  :chuckle:


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This article is NOT from the mindset of ANY true survivalist.

This is prepper wanna be bullshit that will get you killed.

He left out key components.

I can see there will be a lot of supplies laying around for the last few who remain.

If you are not combat trained, Do Not think you will survive a firefight!

FYI..Real Army field manuals are available for download.

My basic advice for the average person when shtf.  Learn whats real!

Be a ghost. Light and quick, guerilla tactics. Good binoculars.

Keep your ammo on your body.

Do not use a folding blade when shtf. Fixed blade only.

Do not carry your side arm in a bag.

Must have cleaning kit and spare parts. 

Only bic lighters.

Penny stove.

Chia seed. Chia seed!!!!!!!! 

1 flask Everclear 190 proof. Small medical kit.


Good luck!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent Info.  All of it.  I also wear cargo pants,  and carry multiple weapons on me at all times.  You still packin that 8 guage shotgun Cinn?  :chuckle:


​No, I broke my collarbone. lmao

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great info Cinnamon and especially the reminder of a spare pair of glasses.
I buy cheap ones online and always keep an extra pair or two in my bug out bag.

Sorry to hear about your collarbone. :(
Shotguns are not comfortable for me either.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up to our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0