How to Survive Lost Without a Compass

Woman hiking and reading map in forestYou have decided it is a good day for a short hike on a well-known trail. A trail well known to you anyways because you have hiked it numerous times and you know every twist and turn. You know how long it takes from start to finish and you have your survival gear down to a science. You know how many bottles of water you will need as well as number of protein bars. Because you are, so familiar with the terrain a map and compass is just added weight and you see no need to pack then for the hike.

After an hour along the trail, you notice storm clouds gathering and realize it is an hour walk back to the trailhead and your vehicle. Getting soaked out here is not ideal because it is getting cooler so you begin to search for shelter, you veer off the trail, and soon you spot a downed tree that may offer some protection if you get under it.

The rain pelted down for the better part of an hour and the mist rising from the ground made seeing the ground difficult. You set out for the trail and after 10 minutes of hiking you realize you must have went in the wrong direction because surely you did not walk ten minutes to the downed tree. Twenty minutes in the other direction and still no trail and for some reason you have the urge to run in another direction to find the trail, you do not however because panicking is dangerous and it will only move you farther from the trail.

You Are Lost What to Do Next

Like most people, you probably get in your vehicle and drive to your destination. You know the way because of landmarks and street signs. Directions are not given like in days past where someone would tell you to walk north for 800 paces and turn south for 300 more. Frankly you have no idea if the trailhead where your vehicle is, is north or south of the trail and certainly no idea where it is from your current location.

How to Find Civilization

Man checking compass for right directionSome people naturally assume a compass is no good unless you know which direction to travel in and that you need a map to find your way. Granted a compass is ideal for finding locations if you know the grid coordinates and know the destination as marked on a map. However, a compass also allows you walk in a straight line.

The bezel of a good compass will have degrees marked on it that correspond to the direction of travel and is lined up with the needle that points in that direction. When walking you glance at the needle to ensure you are always moving 180 degrees south, for example, and this makes it easy to adjust course and of course ensures that you are walking in a straight line.

It is nearly impossible to walk in a straight line without a compass or some visual landmark that you can focus on with your eyes.

Lost Without a Compass

Why is walking in a straight line important. If you cannot walk in a straight line, simply put, you will never get anywhere and ultimately will walk in circles and end up back where you started. You can literally walk for days, be less than five miles from civilization, and never find it because you walked in circles. Hikers, hunters and others lost have been found in some cases just a few miles from camp, their vehicle or a town. They had succumbed to the elements or dehydration because they could not stay pointed in one direction long enough to reach their camp or the town.

Assumedly if you walk in any direction in a straight line for 10 to 15 miles or more in some cases, you will come upon a road, highway or some other evidence of civilization. It is simply a matter of maintaining course, and it can be done with a compass or map.

Find a landmark that you can walk directly to and once there find another and do the same and repeat this process to walk in straight line. Use the sun during the day to maintain course by walking with the sun over one shoulder and once the sun begins to go down either walk into it or have it centered on your back as you walk, which will require that you glance back often to stay on course.

Waterways can lead to towns and homes. Simply follow any river or stream downriver. Many cities and towns grew up around water because water is essential to any community’s survival and many communities sprang up around water.

Railroad tracks either lead to or are coming from a settlement and once you come upon a set of tracks it really does not matter which direction you travel in, one way could have a town just around the corner or several miles around the next corner.

Overhead power lines and oil pipelines will lead to civilization, repair huts, homes and transfer stations where help may be found.

If you know or suspect you are in a coastal area walk into the wind to find the coastline or follow birds. Birds will fly inland and then return to the coast. Prevailing winds blow inland so if the breeze is at your front then you are walking toward the coast where help may be found.

Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Suburban Survival, Survival Gear Comments Off

Survival Seeds and the Suburbs? YES!


I get a lot of emails from vendors asking me to put links to their sites on this blog.  In order to maintain the integrity of my links I request the vendors provide me with some free stuff so I can review it and determine it is quality stuff or provide me with a credit so I can shop at their store and attest that it is a real store and you actually get what you order.  To my surprise, NO ONE STEPS UP AND BRIBES ME!  So guess what…NO LINK!  What you they think – advertising is free?  The only links on my site are ones that I use and can honestly guarantee.  So for all you vendors… if you want a link – SEND ME SOME STUFF!!

Then along came  They stepped up and sent me a pack their “Survival Seeds” pack.   Here is what I got and here are my thoughts:

I like the idea of having seeds even as a suburban prepper.  Many of us have enough space to sow SOME sort garden.  Buckets, bath tubs and other creative containers can be filled with soil and crops can be grown.  But, if you don’t have seeds (and good seeds at that) all the soil, fertilizer and water won’t produce food.  So, is there a practical and cost-effective way for Joe-Schmoe suburbanite prepper to stock seeds?  YES…and the folks at hometown seeds have the answer.  Check it out here…


Here we have a survival pack of Non-hybrid seeds.  You get:

  1. Sweet Corn
  2. Peas
  3. Radishes
  4. Onions
  5. Bees
  6. tomatoes
  7. Spinach
  8. Cabbage
  9. Swiss Chard
  10. Lettuce
  11. Carrots
  12. Peppers
  13. Winter Squash
  14. Cucumbers
  15. Pole Beans and
  16. Squash Zucchini

According to, the package will keep the seeds good for 5 YEARS!!  You can store it in a cold, dark place or even the fridge or the freezer.  The package is solid.  I really like the fact that it looks like a package that would withstand water damage and light impact.  In addition to the seeds, you get an informational printout.  It gives you all the info you need about each variety’s garden location, soil conditions, moisture and planting.  NICE!!  You do not want to be second guessing your self when the S hits the F!  As this is the winter, yes – even California has winter, I won’t be planting anytime soon.  However, check back for my planting posts!

Here is the information sheet that comes with the seeds

The package contains even seeds for 3/4 of an acre of crop!  All that for $35?  That is well worth it.  The good people at have made the following generous offer…

In appreciation for your help, we would like to offer a 10% discount on all of our products to you and your web community.  By entering the coupon code thanks, 10% will be reduced from the total cost of any order.  The code will be good through February 28, 2010.  Feel free to offer this to your readers and visitors.


I did a little research to check the price point on this seed pack and this pack is reasonably priced and a GREAT WAY to get a seed storage plan going!  The one thing I saw on another site that I liked was a tobaccoseed pack.  I like the idea of prepping something that will be a money maker if the worldgoes bonkers.  If you have good non-hyrid tobacco seeds and some land (tobacco takes a lot out of the ground so you will need to rotate your crops) you can produce a crop that will be in VERY VERY HIGH DEMAND!! 

Remember, you want non-hybrid seeds because they allow you to harvest the seeds of the crop you just grew and allow you to have a PERPETUAL supply of food.  Food will be the currency of a new world!  Remember my advice, Guns are great but there is a chance you won’t need them if the SHTF… there is a 100% absolute guarantee you will need food!  Adjust your preps accordingly!


Posted on by Suburban Prepper in SHTF, Suburban Survival 15 Comments

Survival and Prepping In the News

Well, this almost isn’t fun anymore!  Prepping is “main stream” and everyone is looking around and thinking “Holy Shit, things really COULDcollapse and I might be on my own for a while!”  The good news is that you are waaaaay ahead of the curve and you’ve been stockpiled for a while… RIGHT?  Of course you have!

In today’s survival and prepping climate you can feel free to be a little more liberal with who you tell about your survival or preparedness tendencies.  Who knows, you may even make a survival buddy or two.  Of course they may be “fair weather” survivalists and when things begin to stabilize they will cease and desist their survivalist ways, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying.  If you are a single survivalist feel free to post a risque online dating profile.  “Camouflaged, well armed, paranoid suburbanite seeks canning enthusiast who enjoys .223 rounds, rotating food stores and can signal ‘I love you’ in Morse code via eye blinking

You know prepping is main stream when Kiplinger gets into the fray!  Aren’t they a frickin’ finance magazine?  Anyway, here is a decent article on main stream prepping along with some financial survival advice.  God knows I could use that right now!  Doesn’t anyone have a good recipe for pigeon stew?  I am getting hungry and I seem to have no money anymore.

Here is one BIG positive to the whole “the US is crumbling into a pile of dog feces” debacle … Illegal immigration declines as U.S. economy falters.  It turns out that if the US isn’t so pleasant and ripe with opportunity illegals immigrants stay OUT… Maybe we are onto something here?

Not to stray too far from the discussion of finances and disaster but here is a really interesting article on the new “currency” in the prison system.  It has been said that the prison system is a glimpse into the future of a apocalyptic world.  They have their own rules, regulations, currency and hierarchy.  Usually dominated by gangs and run by the toughest and roughest hombre in the group the prison system is based on the survival of the fittest.  It seems that once cigarettes were banned, the inmates needed a new currency or store of wealth and decided the packets of mackerel.  WTF?  No one would eat them and they were available at the commissary so they were the perfect medium for exchange.  This just proves that even the simplest of economic systems needs a currency.  When the dust settles and new world begins to rebuild, there will have to be a new form of currency.  I truly believe it will be based on gold and silver.  It would be almost impossible to rewire the survivors’ brains to not believe in gold and silver as a place to store value.  Or it could be mackerels… What do I know?

WARNING: Of the Topic Personal Rant Ahead:   Ok, WHEN WHEN WHEN are we going to cut foreign aid?  SERIOUSLY, we should be getting it from other countries right now.  It is like your neighbors, you know the ones… they spend more than they have, they are so far in debt they don’t know what life without debt is like, they refuse to stop spending and they are GIVING MONEY AWAY TO PEOPLE WHO HATE THEM!  The US gave away $21.2 BILLION dollars in 2007SourceThat money should be here AT HOME HELPING AMERICANS!!! COME ON, THE TIME TO BE PROTECTOR OF THE WORLD IS OVER.  BRING IT HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep up your prepping.  Everyday gets us a little closer to complete self sufficiency.  I truly believe that everything will be fine but I am not betting my families life on it!  ARE YOU?

Posted on by Suburban Prepper in SHTF, Suburban Survival 13 Comments

Herd Mentality

Great Article on the “Herd” mentality as it relates to the stock market here.

Brain and behavior studies clearly show that when information is scarce and threats seem imminent, people often stop listening to their own logic and look to see what others are doing.

This is exactly what we have to fear when the grid goes down.  This is the sort of MASS PANIC that will be present when people have no TV, phone, internet or other way of communicating due to a massive event.  I love the line … “people often stop listening to their own logic and look to see what others are doing”.  This explains riots, looting and general chaos. 

Be leery of the herd!  They will take to the streets and roads when times get ugly.  They are going to raid supermarkets, sporting goods stores, pharmacies and anywhere else the herd decides to go.  DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN THIS.  Normal people who would never take part in this type of behavior will be out in the herd.  Maybe your neighbors or friends.  This is why I preach that you should stay locked down during the initial hours or days of an event.  You are prepared (presumably) so stay home, lock the doors load a few magazines and SIT TIGHT.  Don’t feel the need to go out and try to stock up on last minute items.  You are going to expose yourself and risk your family’s safety if you don’t return.



Posted on by Suburban Prepper in SHTF, Suburban Survival 7 Comments

Grand Theft Auto IV – Training for a Suburban SHTF Scenario?

Good Afternoon and Salutations Fellow Suburban Marauders:

Yes, the time is quickly approaching … Grand Theft Auto IV is coming to video game systems throughout suburbia. This is the controversial, blood-filled simulation of crime and destruction that has so often been the center of the main-stream media’s attention. It serves as a reminder of everything wrong with society: violence, increased separation of social classes, drugs and even prostitution…GASP!

BOOM! Suburban Combat Looks Good Especially In High Definition! (disclaimer: Police violence is BAD!)

If you are like me living in a moderately populated American city, you have a 2.5 TVs and 1.25 video game systems to go along with your 2.5 children (or whatever we are at today). If you are like me you too will be rushing out to pick up the latest version of the GTA series the moment it hits the shelf. To promote glorified violence? To live out twisted fantasies? No No NO people …
TO TRAIN FOR A SHTF SCENARIO!! No, it isn’t perfect but it is the next best thing to the Military’s urban combat simulator.

Think about it, you get a nice refresher course on firearms (long range weapons vs. the close quarters 12-guage), you get to experience the gang mentality and heirarchy and study the underground economy (read as prostitution and drugs). These are the elements that will undoubtely take over in the months following a societal or economic collapse. Don’t fight it … prepare for it!! Gangs are already organized, well armed and supplied. I don’t know about you but I DO NOT know where to get a live grenade or full-auto AK-47… But I guarantee you they do!! The underground economy has the same sort of supply lines (woman? Drugs?) in place and a list of clients (drug addicts? Johns?) to stay strong through rough times. Sheeple are going to be trading their last bits of food, ammo and guns for drugs and alcohol, the black-marketeers are in turn going to be selling that stuff to us … for what? I am not sure. I guess whatever they don’t have. The point is they are going to be the center of our economy (shutter!)

These Guys are Your New Courtesy Clerks After the SHTF!

According to the game’s makers, they have taken every effort to ensure that the fictional city in the game acts and reacts like the real thing. If you are buying your water from one gang and their rival finds out … uh oh, better pick up that full-auto AK and sand bag the house. There is more to the post-apocolypse world than survival … there are politics. Use GTA IV to practice your post-SHTF diplomacy skills, they may come in handy! So, maybe I am just trying to justify my latest purchase or maybe I am onto something… you decide!

NOTE: Part of this game involves simulated illegal activity. The SP in NO WAY CONDONES ILLEGAL ACTIVITY!! The SP IN NO WAY CONDONES VIOLENCE AGAINST OUR POLICE AND SAFETY OFFICERS!!! I am a supporting citizen of my local Sheriff and Metro Police Officers… Back the Badge!


Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Fun 2 Comments