Saturday, February 24, 2018

Growing Mushrooms in Logs

Growing Mushrooms in Logs*
By: Bananas

Mushrooms grow on multiple substances (mediums/ substrates). I’ve seen people use logs, wood chips, grains, sterilized straw, compost/litter, etc… In this post I will be limiting my input to growing on logs, as that is where I have the most personal experience. For the last 5-6 years I have grown oyster mushrooms and shitake mushrooms, on logs, in my backyard. I have a postage stamp sized yard and one back corner is extremely shaded from a combination of the direction it faces, and my neighbor having tall trees and bushes growing along the property line. As I love gardening I set out to find plants that would grow in shade. After much research I determined no plant, I wanted to eat, would grow well in a couple of hours of dappled sun a day. However, while searching for shade loving plants, I found out you can cultivate mushrooms in your yard.  So, I gave up on plants (for that part of my yard) and decided to try my hand at mushroom growing.  I found Sharondale Mushroom Farm in Cismont, VA. , a few hours from me, that has classes on growing your own mushrooms ( ). For the record, one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. Currently the class is $75. FYI, I have zero affiliation with this organization: I took their class and emailed 2-3 times, approximately 5-6 years ago.
As I hate posts that go on and on before getting to the meat, here is the down and dirty- details to follow:
1.     Determine the kind of mushroom you want to grow, make sure it grows in logs, and you can locate spawn. Then purchase spawn.
2.     Locate, source, &/or create the appropriate logs.
3.     Drill your logs.
4.     Inject (or insert if using plugs) spawn.
5.     Seal holes (optional but I prefer, you’ll find out why below)
6.     Some logs need rafted (laid at a slight angle with the bottoms touching the ground for 6-12months), some go straight to their permanent location. In either case it must be in the shade.
7.     Grow and harvest your mushrooms- Rafted logs then get leaned upright and occasionally soaked to cause them to flush. Logs that are placed directly where they will be staying, fruit out as conditions dictate. 
So, what kind of mushrooms do you want to grow? Four types I know that grow in logs are shitake, oyster, lion’s mane, and reishi. I’d love to grow Reishi (it’s medicinal) but never got around to it, and wanted to concentrate on food production. I know nothing about Lion’s mane so I should probably taste it before investing time and energy growing some. That left me with Shitake and Oyster’s, and I will discuss them going forward.
1.     I determined I want to grow shitake and oyster mushrooms. They do grow in logs. I can get spawn from Sharondale Farms: check, check, check. Should YOU get spawn from Sharondale? Only if you have to. No I don’t have any problem with them. However, I believe you should try and find spawn as close to your local area as possible. If you can find a legitimate source, organic if you desire, closer to you, that would be my choice. If not, sure go ahead and order from Sharondale. I will state I picked up my spawn, so I know nothing of their shipping practices, except that I know they do ship. There is one extra step here; do you want saw dust spawn, or plugs (plugs are basically wooden dowels inoculated with appropriate spawn)? I like saw dust, I just feel like it should be easier for the mycelium (the vegetative part of a fungus, consisting of a network of fine white filaments (hyphae)) to get into the log. Both work though. Also, the dust requires an injector. That said you can get a starter kit with 5 pounds of inoculated saw dust, the inoculator/ injector (“palm inoculation tool”), 2lbs of cheese wax, 3 wax daubers, and the 12mm drill bit (sized to match the inoculators, plus it’s shouldered to the appropriate depth) for $89 ( ).  Bags of spawn (w/o the kit) are $10-$45 dollars (choices include 5lb bags of spawn, plugs in various counts, plugs with wax, or inoculated fruiting blocks that don’t require logs). The 100 count of plugs is cheaper and doesn’t require the inoculators, but won’t get you nearly as many logs. So, for example- order the Shitake kit and then a bag of pearl oyster spawn and it’s $109 (plus any applicable tax and S&H, about $22 for me) and you can easily do 20 logs (probably 40 or more)- EXCEPT the wax. I found 2lbs wasn’t nearly enough for my 20 logs. I have yet to find a cheap source for bulk cheese wax. I have heard of people using bees wax though.  
2.      You can TRY growing in just about any wood. I’ve been told 3-8” is good, and easier to handle (I’m kind of a brute and like throwing around large objects though). The North Carolina Forestry Library indicates that “high wood density, high ratio of sapwood to heartwood, and strong but not too thick bark” ( ) is better for Shitakes. Soft wood is better for Oysters, according to “Tulip Poplar, Maple, Willow, Paulownia, and Tree of Heaven are some of the most successful tree species to inoculate with oyster mushroom spawn” ( ). That said, I needed to get some logs, and I knew someone that needed a red oak taken down. I was told white oak is better, but use what you have, and I did. I also used 6-10” logs. We’ll talk about moisture later, but it seems to me that a larger log can hold moisture better (volume to surface area ratio, just like the reason children dehydrate faster than adults). I’m convinced that’s why my logs lasted over 5 years when most literature states 3 years. 
The log length is up to you also. If you are going to hang it in your kitchen then 10-12” might work, but we’re talking about growing in your yard. Keep in mind if you are growing shitakes you will need to soak them, so they must be a length that fits into whatever you will soak them in (I used a kiddie pool). Mine were 30”-48” long.
3.     Drill your logs. I set mine up on saw horses, but make sure they don’t roll (I clamped large C-clamps at the downhill end to stop them from rolling). Your hole diameter and depth will be based on your plugs or inoculator. The Sharondale kit comes with a 12mm bit to match the inoculator (no guessing, that is why I recommend this as a way to start). Most will require holes ½” to 2” deep (plugs longer than saw dust, and based on the plug length).  You do this in a “diamond pattern” but I think saying it that way confuses many people. Just drill holes 6” apart in a row. Move over 3-4” and do another row, BUT THIS TIME, drill your holes in between the holes in the last row (offset). This is what creates the diamond pattern everyone mentions.  Just keep turning your log and drilling the next row offset. To me this and waxing are the two most tedious parts. The good news is, there isn’t much work left after those steps are completed. A little work up front, and you get years of mushrooms. 
Anyway, I used a drill bit (the special bit wasn’t a part of the kit when I bought mine years ago). Once I determined my depth I wrapped electrical tape around my bit as a guide (drilling deeper will just waste spawn). After I drilled two logs I would inoculate. Drilling, inoculating, and sealing get mixed together when doing multiple logs. But I didn’t want to leave my logs with holes to start drying out. Honestly, you can probably drill all your logs, then inoculate and wax. 
4.   & 5. Fill the holes either using your palm inoculator (I put a separate amount of spawn in a separate plastic container for immediate use, so I could keep the main bag in a cool moist place). You just push the inoculator into the spawn, a few times, to fill its tube. Place the end of the inoculators tube just into the hole. Then push the plunger, on the back, with the palm of your other hand. Or, push in your plugs (some people utilize a rubber mallet, if needed, to help get them in place). I would do 3 rows on each log, then seal with wax (I put the wax in a small pot on an outdoor burner, used for a turkey fryer, to melt it). To seal, I learned to do the row facing upward, then have my partner turn the log so the other spawn filled holes faced up. I tried waxing them at the slight angle, but noted lots of wax running down. Then turn again to the 3rd row you filled. Once done with both logs (if you are set up for two at a time) they were turned to the next three empty rows for inoculating. 
Some people don’t wax, but you risk the saw dust falling out and worse, drying out (that kills it). With plugs it is more of a choice, but again, the idea is they need to be moist, and the wax seals in the moisture. says to soak the plugged logs right away, for 12-24 hours, unless they are less than 10 days old (ie. were alive and cut less than 10 days ago). 
6.              Here I found conflicting info. I’ll tell you what I did that worked:
Shitakes- Raft: I placed one log I didn’t inoculate in a cool, moist, shadowed area (no direct sun and very little dappled sun if any). I laid the inoculated shitake logs with one end on the first log and the other in contact with moist ground. They were left like this until the following early spring, at which time I soaked them, and leaned them against a north facing (no sun) side of the house. Then they started producing.

Oysters- In that shady part of my yard, under several large trees, I have ornamental grass clusters (planted by the previous owner). I pulled back the edge of the grasses near the walkways and placed the logs there. I arranged the ends of the grasses to partly cover the logs. They are left there in contact with the moist ground. They started producing late the following spring. 
7.   Shitakes*- I usually got 2 flushes in the spring and 2-3 in the fall. You soak your logs (most sources state 12-24hrs but I usually did 24-48 hours). Note: I am on city water, so after filling the kiddie pool, I’d wait a day to make sure any chlorine was out (I waited this long as it was not in sunlight, but in a shady area). If you do this make sure your (or other) children do not have access to drown in the water. Also, I once had a chipmunk drown in there, but since they break my driveway, sidewalks, drop my runoff lines from my down spouts, and tunnel under my foundation, I was more worried it would contaminate my mushrooms than about the nasty critter- sorry hippies). 
Oysters*- They come up when they come up. I’ve missed several good flushes while on vacation, or just forgetting to look. It’s frustrating to go find a pile of mush where a great bunch of mushrooms was, but you missed it. Luckily that is the exception. It’s a good excuse to walk outside frequently. Also my children LOVE going to check the mushroom logs. They also love “picking” them (they hold a bowel or basket while I cut them off the logs- more on that next). Check especially during wet (or recently wet) weather, high humidity, and changes of temperature.
You can simply pull mushrooms off the logs. But, again, MOISTURE in the logs is important. Pulling them off may damage or remove the bark. Bark helps hold moisture in the log. So, I take kitchen scissors and cut them 1/8”-1/4” away from the log leaving some stem (this may be another reason my logs lasted extra long). 
A couple of notes:
a) You are responsible for yourself. You are responsible for assuring that the mushrooms you choose to eat are the correct type and are safe to consume. You are responsible for assuring your mushrooms are safe to eat raw, or are properly cooked if necessary. Personally, I know what I planted (inoculated). I feel the chance of a look alike, randomly growing, where I live, in the same log I inoculated, is low. However, again, you consume at your own risk. Always know what you are eating.
b) If you don’t pick right away bugs will start using your mushrooms as a home. You will see them in the gills. They will eat holes in the gills and crawl around in there. Well, I’m not wasting mushrooms because I was 2 days late and a bug moved in. Do your own research, but I just give them a hard blow and get the bug out. I cook my mushrooms anyway, but eat bugs (or mushrooms previously housing bugs) at your own risk.  
c)  I have missed oyster mushrooms and they have occasionally kept growing. We once got an oyster mushroom the size of my 4 year olds torso (he was so proud). They get harder and woodier if they get too big (in the cases where they don’t just rot). I often eat food that isn’t perfect (something I think many Americans will have to get used to again soon, as food becomes scarcer, but I digress). I simply cook it longer at a lower temperature to allow for it to break down (ex. Parsnips that I continue to dig throughout the winter are cooked this way). 
d) I’ve been told you can eat shitakes raw, but can get sick (stomach pain) from raw oysters (oyster mushrooms). I hear this doesn’t happen to everyone but do your own research and consume mushrooms, of any kind, cooked or raw,at your own risk. 
e) It seems, these days, almost everyone is low on vitamin D. But, even shitake mushrooms grown indoors were reported to have 110iu of vitamin D. Additionally, placing them in the sun , GILLS UP, for 6 hours (or exposing to UV rays) can increase the vitamin D content to up to 46,000iu!!! ( )
f) You may often get more than you can use fresh. The oyster mushrooms especially. I had about 5 oyster logs, together, frequently produce ½ a bushel or more at once . You can control the shitakes easier, by only soaking a couple of logs at a time. However, I found I didn’t have time (and my wife didn’t like the kiddie pool out, and full, for a couple of weeks at a time) for the rotation. So, I just soaked them all at once. Well, what do you do with a harvest too big to eat that night? Placing them in a paper bag in the refrigerator will make them last a little longer. Don’t wash them! Just brush them with a soft bristled brish. I ended up drying some from almost every flush. Having your own supply of fresh and dried gourmet mushrooms is an amazing feeling, but you’ll find that out for yourself soon enough.
g) Spent logs- Eventually your logs stop producing. In the case of my oyster logs they pretty much rotted to nothing. I placed them in the garden and broke, what was left of them, up with a sledge hammer. Then I turned them into the garden. My shitake logs just got too dry. I haven’t tossed them yet. I’ve seen others use them as additional boarders around raised beds. The garden bed keeps them moist, and you might get the occasional mushroom J

In conclusion, this was a fun project for my family. My children love looking for mushrooms, and helping “pick” them. They are healthy and nutritious. And, they will grow in low light conditions (can you say GSM, super volcano, nuclear winter, ionized atmosphere, etc…) including indoors. I look forward to starting another set of logs soon! Thanks for reading.

* Disclaimer: You are responsible for yourself. You are responsible for assuring that the mushrooms you choose to eat are the correct type and are safe to consume. You are responsible for assuring your mushrooms are safe to eat raw, or are properly cooked if necessary.

Thanks again,
by Bananas, FNP-BC, RN, MSN, MCHIS

For additional information see the following links:
Blog Table of Contents
US Government Recommended Preparations;

See similar topics by clicking on the labels below

Introducing Prepping to skeptics

Our Government says we should ALL prepare for disaster and even provides a website ( to tell us how.  To promote this, they have declared that September is National Preparedness Month.

Yet, we all know someone we care about who is not a Prepper or even thinks it is foolish.  These people fall in to three groups:
  1. Likes the idea of prepping, but doesn't' have time, money &/or doesn't think it is urgent.
  2. Not interested in prepping and even resents the idea if presented with it too often.
  3. Thinks prepping is crazy and Preppers are lunatics; that a crisis will not happen, at least not one that will ever affect them.  Or if a disaster happens, the Government will take care of things. Despite our Government Recommending everyone prepare, these people think it is foolish. 
When one of our loved ones is like this, how do we handle it?  What can we do to help them?

The answer depends on what group they are in.

Group 1 is willing but just needs encouraging or help.  Having lunch with them, go hiking, camping, fishing or something together that you both enjoy.  Talk about prepping, tell them about a few basic preps that you have or would recommend to them.  Help them get started. Invite them to go to a camping store to buy a back pack, a.k.a. Bug Out Bag. Either that, or give them your old one. No one wants to have an empty Bug Out Bag; once you have it, you immediately want to start getting things to put in it. Share the Beginner Prepper List. Next trip together, go get a Water Straw or a fire starter, or something else.  Each month go do this.  Introduce them to the Rule of 3 to help set their priorities;  even better, the Step by Step Prepper Plan.

Group 2 requires a more strategic approach.  The first step is to realize how important it is to NOT push to hard nor too often.  Speak to them one on one, never as a group where you are out numbered.  Speak with love in your heart and avoid confrontation.  Back off if they resist, regroup and try another day and another way.  Gentle persistence over time is the key.

Giving strategic gifts that help them be better prepared is a good start.  For example: A good set of MURS Walkie Talkies for the nephew, kids or grand kids so they can play in the neighborhood and communicate. Play with the new toys with them. Pick “our channel” so they will know how to use them in the future if an emergency occurs.  

Give them a Crank Flashlight / radio and pretend a hurricane has taken out all communications and you are in the dark. Some of the Group 3 ideas below are also good for Group 2 and vice versa. If they start becoming responsive, send them a bucket of Beans, rice and oats and then share a prepper link and then back off for a while.

Group 3 is most likely impossible to reach.  They will be calling Preppers lunatics until a disaster occurs and then suddenly they wish they had listened. There is an old saying that you can't help someone who doesn't want help.

So your options are limited to Stealth Prepper Gifts and buying extra stores of your own so you can provide for them.  Even that may not work if they miss the Red Flag Warnings and wait too late and are lost before they can get to you.  Best case scenario, they are close to you and your preps.  If they are far away, you could lease a mini-warehouse near them and stock it with supplies.  This is not practical for most of us on a tight budget, but there are other less costly options.

Do NOT buy them a Gas Mask or other "Kook" preps (yet) as this will cause a major push back.

Start out giving them something sensible like rechargeable batteries and a nice charger, but also include a Solar Charger for when there is a power outage.  Another sensible gift are solar powered Lawn lights which provide "attractive highlights to the yard," an added element of security AND can double as indoor lights or solar battery chargers during a power outage.  After giving these gifts, allow them a chance to come in handy so that they see the value of having a few preparations.

If a Winter Storm is coming, loan them a Propane Heater or even a generator. but conveniently never get around to getting it back. IF they give it back to you while you are visiting them, set it somewhere it will be easy to "forget" and leave it at their house.

For each group, you can help in stealthy ways like this.  When visiting for a weekend BBQ, carry a large box of Strike Anywhere Kitchen matches to light the fire. When finished using them, put them away in their kitchen.  Also bring a manual can opener (not electric) and put it away in one of their kitchen drawers.

Take them to the shooting range/lessons, or buy the kids a BB Gun or Air Soft gun so they can learn shooting basics.  Be sure to give them Gun Safety Lessons.  Take them camping and supply them with a sleeping bag, a pack and the usual Camping Gear.  Teach them how to find a good camp site.

Later as they have come to recognize the benefits of a few of your gifts, ship them (direct) some water treatment or a months supply of food like beans, rice and oats. Or get the premium meals if you can afford them.

There are an endless number of ways you can help without ever mentioning the word Prepare.  I'm sure you can come up with some good ones; if so, please share them with us using the comments option below, or e-mail us using the form at the right, or visit us on facebook

For additional information see the following links:
Blog Table of Contents
US Government Recommended Preparations;

See similar topics by clicking on the labels below

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Over Population

With our population growing exponentially, the earth is becoming infested with Homo Sapiens yet throughout history, Mother Nature had no problem keeping things in balance.
From movie What Happened to Monday

It is unlikely that humans can control population growth which will leave it up to Mother Nature.  But how will she do it? Don't think she won't; it's only a matter of time.

In the past, the increase in the population of natural predators was an effective control, but currently the only predator for humans are other humans.  So a violent uprising is a possibility.

Starvation from crop failures or food shortages  or another catastrophic event is a possibility, perhaps a Solar Flare or Mass Coronal Ejection sending an EMP from the Sun to the Earth causing a long term Power Blackout.

Another likely option is a Pandemic.  With the abuse of antibiotics, biological warfare research and increasingly resistant germs, this possibility increases each day.  Infertility, is another possibility....  as humans become unable to conceive.  The rise of homosexuality may be a leading indicator of this.

Some suggest that Homo Sapiens will be the cause of their own extinction, either through genetic engineering, climate change, pollution, nuclear war, or artificial intelligence.  With our massive growth of scientific knowledge, these options increase each day.

What do you think will get the human population under control?   

For additional information see the following links:
Blog Table of Contents

Top 10 Prepper Handbook Posts

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Corn Fritters

The simplest pioneer bread was the corn fritter.

  1. Corn Meal - Two (2) Cups
  2. Boiling Water - Just enough make a thick dough; boil 1-1/2 cups and use part of it.
  3. Salt - One half (1/2) Teaspoon 
  4. Optional Spices - peppers, onions,  corn kernels, etc. 
  5. Shortening, lard, beacon grease, bear fat or any type of cooking oil
  6. Cast iron skillet - 11"-12" diameter, or dutch oven
  1. Mix the corn meal, salt, spices and water thoroughly with a spoon until it becomes a thick dough
  2. Form the dough in to thin patties about 1/4 to 1/2" thick and about 4" diameter to pan fry.  Form in to 1" diameter x 5" long bread sticks for deep frying.  Avoid over packing both.
  3. Heat the cooking oil over a stove burner or open fire till hot.
  4. Cook the patties in the skillet, turning occasionally until light brown on both sides.  Deep fry corn bread sticks in the dutch oven. Roast on a flat rock beside the campfire. 

For additional information see the following links:
Blog Table of Contents

Complete Sustainable Living Plan
Blog Table of Contents
Acorn Flour Pancakes
Pemmican Recipe
Hardtack Recipe
Corn Bread
Sour Dough Bread
Corn Fritters
Apple Cider Vinegar
More on making Vinegar
Backing Soda vs Yeast
Baking Soda uses

See similar topics by clicking on the labels below  

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Defensive Shotguns

When it comes to shotguns for self-defense, the old adage, “I’d rather have more ammo and not need it, than need the ammo and not have it.” can be liberally applied. The DP-12, with its 16-round capacity raised the bar, but manufacturers are again pushing the limits with magazine-fed shotguns and capacities reaching 25 shells. Here are our top high capacity shotguns for 2018.

Double-barreled pump-action shotgun DP-12

Who can resist 16 rounds of 12-gauge shotgun in a package that isn’t even 30” long?

The first of its kind, a premium defense, double barreled, pump, 12 gauge shotgun that quickly fires 16 rounds. The DP-12 is designed for the most discerning shooters who demand extreme firepower and require consistent reliability. The stock has a QR code you can scan with your smartphone or tablet to download the manual and other information. The DP-12 includes a Lifetime Warranty, please be sure and fill out the warranty card and send it in to Standard Manufacturing.

The spreader choke tubes are designed to shoot a devastating pattern at 25 yards. The choke tubes have Tru-Choke thread patterns. Breeching style chokes are sold separately.

The DP-12 provides accessory rails and slots that allow you to customize it with your own accessories. Please see our website to select your accessories; lights, lasers, sights, scopes, muzzle breaks and more.

Specifications and Features:

DP-12 Double Barrel Pump Repeater DP12ODG

  • Pump Action Shotgun
  • 12 Gauge
  • Fires 2 3/4 or 3″ shells
  • Two 18 7/8″ barrels
  • 29.5″ overall length
  • Unloaded weight is 9 pounds 12 ounces
  • 16 Round capacity, 14 rounds in the magazines and two rounds in the chambers
  • Two shots with each pump
  • Single trigger
  • Machined from aircraft grade 7075 aluminum
  • Thermal coated receiver
  • Inline feeding
  • Ambidextrous safety
  • Ambidextrous pump slide release
  • Two Picatinny rails for accessories; seven slot rail on the bottom by the fore grip and a 13.75″ 34 slot rail on top
  • Co-Molded non-slip rubber grip
  • Slots to attach MOE rails
  • Shell indicator window
  • Shock absorbing spring loaded recoil mechanism
  • Synthetic stock
  • Rubber recoil pad with dual spring loaded recoil
  • Both barrels include spreader choke tubes with Tru-Choke thread pattern
  • Choke tube wrench
  • Heavy duty lock
  • Instruction booklet and warranty card
  • Composite foregrip
  • .125″ Front sling attachment (The attachment point is smaller then the standard size)
  • .125″ Sling swivel attachment on stock (The attachment point is smaller then the standard size)
  • Ergonomically designed to balance the weight of a loaded gun for quick and efficient handling with minimal recoil

Kel-Tec KSG shotgun, gray

The KSG-25 is the innovative 12 gauge pump-action shotgun from Kel-Tec! Designed primarily as a defensive shotgun, it features a single 30.5″ barrel fed by two separate magazine tubes. A manual selector lever behind the trigger guard allows you to select which tube is feeding the hardened steel receiver. The KSG ejects downward to clear the chamber to give you more reliable operation when you need it most. The dual tube magazines hold an impressive 20 rounds of 3″ shells (10 rounds each) giving you some serious firepower.

The KSG will hold 24 rounds of 2-3/4″ shells (12 rounds each) and its simple reliable action can cycle shells as small as 1-3/4″ if you want to hold even more shots. A familiar cross bolt style safety, a pump release lever located in front of the trigger guard and the ability to clear the chamber without feeding a round are important safety features in any home defense shotgun. The Zytel synthetic fore-end and pump have top and bottom picatinny rails for mounting lights, optics, and accessories. The synthetic stock has a nice thick soft rubber recoil pad to tame the recoil of this powerful shotgun. Take it to the range for shooting fun during the day and sleep peacefully at night with the KSG by your side.

Specifications and Features:

Kel-Tec KSG-25 Pump Action Shotgun KSG-25 BLK
  • 12 Gauge
  • 30.5″ Cylinder Bore Barrel
  • 3″ Chamber (Accepts 2-3/4″ or 3″ Shot shells)
  • 10+10 Rounds of 3″ Shells Per Tube or 12+12 Rounds of 2-3/4″ Shells Per Tube
  • Hardened Steel Receiver
  • Dual Tube Magazine
  • Feed Selector Lever
  • Cross bolt safety
  • Upper and Lower Picatinny Rails
  • Synthetic Stock
  • Sling Loops
  • Magpul MBUS Front/Rear Sights
  • Magpul RVG Rail Vertical Foregrip (Picatinny Compatible)
  • Overall Length 38″
  • Overall Weight Unloaded 9.25 lbs
  • Black Finish

This is an excerpt from: Top 5 High Capacity Shotguns for 2018 By Dave Dolbee published on February 1, 2018. To read the balance of the article click on the Cheaper than Dirt blog link.
For additional information see the following links:
Blog Table of Contents
Double Barrel Defense

Top 10 Prepper Handbook Posts

Or click on a label below for similar topics.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Active Shooter

You are alone (no family with you) in Wal Mart and hear obvious gunshots and screaming.
You're packing your 9mm, WHAT DO YOU DO?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has clear instructions to answer this question, but lets discuss the basic options.

OPTION 1 - Run away from the gun shots or 
OPTION 2. - Try to save lives.

First let's talk about Option #1 above. This is a big place, there are many exits so getting out should be easy. But who is to say that there are not shooters at the other exits waiting to shoot you.  According to an FBI study of 160 mass shootings, there is only one shooter, 98.75% of the time, but don't take it for granted.

Do you draw your gun? What's to keep another citizen, or the police from shooting you?  Answer: Keep your gun readily available but not visible.

The DHS instructions are Run, Hide, Fight.

1. RUN
• Have an escape route and plan in mind
• Leave your belongings behind
• Keep your hands visible

• Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view
• Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors
• Silence your cell phone and/or pager

• As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
• Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
• Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter


A mass shooting in a Wal Mart is an unlikely scenario because most all mass shootings are in Gun Free Zones, but only 28% of mass shootings are stopped by Law Enforcement officers. Which brings us to our next option (2).

So now lets talk about Option #2, try to save lives.

So you are the heroic type.  I know listening to people get shot by some Sicko and doing nothing would be hard. There may be legal ramifications for your actions, especially if you are in a state like CA, MA, NJ, NY or DC and if you accidentally shoot one of the good guys.   Reconsider your actions; do you have family or loved ones who depend on you?  What is the shooter carrying, and how will your few rounds of 9mm stack up against it? Reconsider. I would suggest that you could help others get out safely, thus saving lives without endangering yours.

Hopefully you have enough training to know the difference between concealment and cover, and that most rows of store goods won't stop a bullet and only provide concealment. IF not, RUN, as this should be a major consideration in any rescue plan you might come up with. You can only approach the shooter from a direction that will provide cover, like from behind the freezers or dog food isle.  If the shooter is near the front door, exiting the building and approaching from the rock wall entrance area might be an option.  Staying low, perhaps crawling is the best mode of moving.  Can't crawl on your belly?  Run away then.

I would suggest calling 911 and telling them you are inside, armed and what you look like.  They won't believe you 100% but dispatch may relay the message to officers.  Let them know that you are hiding, and where you believe the shooter(s) is located.  Your inside presence could provide them valuable information, and knowing you are there and what you are wearing could prevent them from thinking you are one of the bad guys and shooting you.  Regardless, when under fire, they may shoot first and ask questions later. Make sure you don't shoot another heroic type like yourself. If you find one, collaboration might prove beneficial.  Perhaps you both start shooting at the killer from different directions at their next reload.

Most Mass Killers, select their targets randomly, planning only to inflict the most casualties possible.  This would likely mean that a Killer would enter during a busy time and open fire as they work their way along the front where lots of people are working and waiting in line to check out.  I might parallel their travel, getting ahead of them, then hide and wait behind something that provides cover.

If you get into a position to take a shot, and can positively identify the shooter, I suggest two quick taps and then back behind cover and moving to another location quickly.  This conserves ammo and if the shooter charges your position, you won't be there.  The second shot makes it harder to detect your location and increases the chance of hitting your target. Do NOT shoot an innocent person who has just taken the gun from the killer. Note, I am not a law enforcement officer, nor military and have only researched and thought about the topic.

HERE is some good advice from a Police Officer on what to do.

Hopefully, we see you being interviewed on the news, modestly telling how you did what had to be done to save your own life and the lives of others.

For additional information see the following links:
Blog Table of Contents

The Best Gun
Best Handgun Selection Criteria
Group Security Drills 

Urban Survival Perspective
Urban Survival Plan
The right amount of Ammo

Passive Layered Security
Country Home Security Plan
Home Invasion Response Plan

Intruder Detection
Riot Preparations
Double Barreled Defense

Modern Home Security
Sustainable City Survival
BB Gun

Top 5 Combat Rifles
Best Prepper Dog
Random Security