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How to Treat Your Family Like VIPs

man in suit protecting family like security guy illustration

If you’ve ever been at an event with a high-level person like a politician, celebrity, or business executive, you’ve likely noticed the guys wearing sunglasses and sporting an earpiece, trying to look as unassuming as possible while vigilantly keeping an eye out for their client, or “principal.”
These guys are part of a personal security detail (PSD), and their job is to protect VIPs from embarrassment, harassment, and harm.
While you probably don’t work as a personal security agent as your day job, if you’re a man with a family, you’ve still got some VIPs that you’re responsible for keeping safe: your wife and your kiddos.
The world is an unpredictable place. While you and your family are unlikely to find yourselves in the middle of a dangerous emergency, crimes and accidents happen, and random, civilian-targeted terrorist attacks are statistically on the rise.
A man’s most ancient role is to act as protector for those he loves. The skillset needed to fulfill this calling has changed from time period to time period, but the charge has remained consistent. It’s a job that need not involve paranoia, becoming overly cautious, or loading up on tons of “tactical gear.” Rather, it involves adopting a calm, but vigilant mindset — a state of relaxed alert — and carrying a few tools that are better to have on hand and not need, than need and not have.
To help us learn how to treat our families like VIPs, I talked to the owner of Greyfox Industries here in Tulsa, OK. He runs personal security details for high-level business and NGO executives when they travel internationally. Below you’ll find insights and tactics that the everyday family man can use to provide personal security protection for the VIPs in his life — his principle loved ones.
Note: Due to the nature of his work, the owner of Greyfox asked that we didn’t use his name in this article. So throughout the post, I’ll simply be referring to him as “Greyfox.”

Be Prepared

PSD spend most of their time planning and preparing to protect their client. While you likely don’t have the time or resources to do the same sort of preparation as a professional PSD, you can apply the same ethos when taking care of your family.
Do Your Research
Before a PSD team goes somewhere with their principal, they’ve done reconnaissance on the place to ensure there aren’t any security threats, and if there are, they do what they can to eliminate or mitigate them. You can do something similar with your family. Before you visit a location you’ve never been, read up on it. If you find out people have died jumping off a certain cliff at a watering hole, avoid that cliff. If the forecast calls for rain, tell the kids to pack ponchos. If the destination is in an entirely unsafe part of town, well, don’t go there.
Be Thoughtful About Your EDC
personal defense edc first aid kit knife gun flashlight illustration
Besides reconnaissance, PSD teams carry the gear they need to protect their clients. Greyfox recommends always having a first aid kit in your car to take care of minor injuries that may occur when out and about. (While you’re at it, consider adding a few other things too.) He also suggests keeping tourniquets stocked in the first aid kit to stop massive bleeding in the event of an active shooting or similar attack.
On your person, you’ll want to keep at a minimum your cell phone (to call emergency crews when needed) and a tactical flashlight. The tactical flashlight is one of the most underrated personal defense tools. A bright flashlight can help you identify threats in dark environments and can be used to momentarily disorient attackers. In a pinch, it could also double as an improvised weapon. Greyfox recommends tactical flashlights from Klarus because of their ease of use and compactness.
Consider Carrying a Weapon
Most professional PSD teams are armed. Whether you carry weapons to defend your familial VIPs from a life-threatening attack is a decision only you can make. If you do decide to carry a firearm, make sure you understand the laws governing its use in self-defense situations and that you regularly train with it. Simply carrying a gun around without knowing how to use it, and regularly practicing your marksmanship, does not constitute adequate personal defense.
As Greyfox puts it, “I want to be at the highest level I can possibly be because my family deserves it, just like my client does.” To keep himself accountable, Greyfox asks himself whether he’d want someone with his own firearms background and training to protect his family:

“If I was hiring someone to protect my family, would my skills be enough? Would I look at my own resume and say, ‘Yeah, this guy is good. This guy is worth putting in’? That’s the way I like to look at it. If I ask them, ‘Well, when was the last time you were at the range, what did you do at the range? Are you actually training or are you just shooting? What are you actually doing on a day-to-day basis?’ Would I hire this individual to protect my family? That’s how I judge myself.”

If carrying a firearm isn’t something you want to do, or you’re in a location (bars, schools, government buildings) or a country that doesn’t allow it, you can carry a knife (though some countries and even states forbid this as well). Greyfox recommended the Ka-Bar TDI knife. Again, if you’re going to carry a weapon for self-defense, make sure you understand the laws governing its use in self-defense situations and train on how to use it.
And if carrying a weapon isn’t something you want to do, at least consider carrying a tactical pen — a pen that can improvise as a weapon if needed. You can carry them anywhere discreetly and legally. For a pen that packs more punch, but looks more obviously “tactical,” check out the Hoffman Richter Stinger pen. For a pen that appears more innocuous (and is cheaper), pick up a Zebra F-701.

Look Like a Protector

Most ruffians are ruffians of opportunity. They’ll only attack or bother a VIP if they think they’ll have a chance of succeeding without suffering harm. If they see a team of strong, fit, and stern-looking men near a potential target, they’re not likely to bother him. The mere presence of these bodyguards is a threat deterrent.
As the PSD for your family, make sure you have a presence that will deter would-be troublemakers. First, get strong and look fit. Like other animals, humans key in on certain physical characteristics to determine whether another person would be dominant or submissive in a fight. Wide shoulders with a tapered torso in men indicate strength and physical fitness, and thus physical dominance. Would-be attackers will likely think twice before attacking a man who looks fit and strong because there’s a good chance they’ll suffer some damage in the attempt. So if you’re not as in shape as you’d like to be, get going on it; being able to protect your family is some of the best motivation for getting and staying strong.
Besides being fit, just carry yourself in a confident manner. This doesn’t require that you look like a scowling Secret Service agent or stick out your chest like an Affiliction-tee-wearing dude-bro. Stand up straight, look people in the eyes, and speak low, slow, and with confidence. The goal is to project to others that if there’s a problem, you’re going to do something about it and not be a passive victim.

Be the Agent in Charge

A full PSD team has several agents who have different jobs. For example, there’s an advance team that’s on location before the VIP arrives to assess the situation and head-off any potential threats. And pre-posted agents assume positions throughout an area to monitor risks.
As the PSD for your family, you don’t have the luxury of having a full team of agents dedicated to protecting your family. So think of your role as that of the “Agent In Charge” or AIC. In the world of PSD, the AIC stays one step to the rear and one step to the right of the VIP at all times. This position allows him to constantly keep the principal in sight, and to direct them to where they need to go should a threat arise.
As the AIC of your family, you’ll want to assume a physical position similar to that of a professional AIC. Stay near your wife and kids. If a threat arises, you’ll be able to direct them to safety. When entering a building, open the door for your family and let them go in first. It’s good manners, but it also naturally and discreetly puts you in the ideal AIC tactical position, as it allows you to keep your family in sight as they go inside.
When you’re out walking on sidewalks, stand between the street and your family. “Not only is it the gentlemanly thing to do, but in the world of security, that’s what you should be doing,” said Greyfox. “It adds a layer of protection to your family. If some car starts swerving towards you, you can move them out of the way. This is especially important nowadays with people texting and driving.”
As the AIC, work with your wife to have a plan in place on what you two would do if trouble arises. Again, you don’t have to be super intense with this. Just make sure you’re both on the same page. Decide which parent would be in charge of/responsible for which kid(s) if you had to escape from an active shooter or other threat. For example, Kate and I know that if something bad were to happen, she’s to grab our daughter, and I’m to grab our son when we hightail it out of there. Also decide that if you guys get separated during the situation, you’ll meet each other at the car.

If a Place Looks Like Trouble, Leave

family in bar with rough crowd illustration
In the professional PSD world, the AIC is the man who decides if the principal needs to be directed out of a potentially dangerous environment. The best outcome for a PSD is if the principal never has to encounter the potential for harm, harassment, or embarrassment. As the AIC of your family, your job is to do likewise.
When you’re out with your family, survey the place you’re in. Be prepared to leave if you don’t feel like it’s safe for your family. This will rarely happen, but it should be an option. Don’t be paranoid, but don’t let the inconvenience of having to go to another restaurant or skip out on a baseball game early deter you from keeping your family safe, either. A PSD does his job well if he can completely avoid a situation that may potentially escalate.

Maintain Situational Awareness

As you’re out and about with your family, practice good situational awareness. We’ve written about how to do that in detail here, but here are the basics:
family at restaurant shady guy walking in illustration
Put yourself in a position of optimal observance. Typically this means being in a place where you can see all entrances and exits. At a restaurant, ask to be seated at a table with the best vantage point. If that’s not possible, at least sit at the table with your family so you can see the most exits and entrances.
Establish baselines. When you’re in a place, figure out what’s “normal” for that situation. That’s going to change from situation to situation, but you should be able to establish baselines relatively quickly.
Look for anomalies. Once you establish a baseline, start looking for anomalies. What sort of behavior would cause a person to stick out in that particular situation? Greyfox recommends checking faces and hands to look for anomalies, as these parts of the body reveal threats the best. Hands hold what can kill you; faces (particularly eyes), show intent. You don’t have to be nutty about this. Don’t stare people down one-by-one. Just play it cool, glance at hands and faces, and actually notice what you see.
If you observe an anomaly, it doesn’t necessarily mean the person is a threat, so there’s no need to get all amped up. Just notice it and keep it front of mind.
Have a plan. In every place you go, have a plan of what you’re going to do if you notice an anomaly. Let’s say you’re in a movie theater with your family. One baseline would be that people would enter the theatre through the normal entrances and exits, not the emergency exits near the screen. What would you do if someone entered the theater through one of those exits? It could just be a kid trying to sneak in for a free movie, or it could be an active shooter. Increase your level of alertness and decide what you’ll do should the interloper turn violent.
Again, anomalies are rarely going to happen, but you’ve got to have a plan for what you’re going to do should they occur.
Complete these games/exercises to further increase your situational awareness.

If Someone Is Giving Your Family Trouble, Leave. Don’t Escalate.

family being accosted by drunk man illustration
If your family is facing an imminent, life-threatening attack, your priority is to keep them safe. And that usually means getting them out of there as fast as possible. As we discussed in our article about what to do in an active shooter situation, running is your first line of defense. Fighting back should always be on the table, but typically as a last resort. When you’re with your family, the priority should always be to get them as far away from the threat as quickly as possible. If running isn’t an option, then you do what you have to do to protect your family.
Where things get murky is what to do if someone is just verbally harassing your family. Most men would want to defend their loved one’s honor by immediately telling the harasser to shut the hell up. In the world of PSD, they handle those types of situations much more discreetly. Depending on the situation, a team of agents will escort the harasser out of the area. As the AIC of your family, you likely won’t have that option. So you do what professional PSDs would do if they can’t move a harasser: move the principal, i.e., your family.
“You’ve got to check your pride before putting your family at risk,” says Greyfox. “Yeah, you could get aggressive and have a yelling contest with an asshole, but is that going to be best for your family? Probably not. It will freak your kids out and could needlessly escalate the situation.”
So instead of escalating things, calmly and confidently remove your family from a situation in which they’re being harassed. If the harasser pursues you and gets physical, then you’re within your right to use a similar amount of physical violence to end the threat. So if he’s shoving your wife, you can punch the guy, but not shank him with your knife or shoot him with your gun.
But again, your job as AIC for your family is to make sure that things never get that far. Just get them out of there.

Keep Your Flashlight At the Ready When Walking At Night

family walking at night dad husband with flashlight illustration
Would-be attackers like to use the cover of darkness to surprise their victims. So when you’re out with your family at night, keep your tactical flashlight at the ready. “You don’t need to take your flashlight out and shine it around like an idiot while you’re walking in a dark parking lot,” Greyfox says. Again, discretion is key. Just keep your hand in your pocket and around your flashlight so you can deploy it quickly should you notice a potential threat.

Let Your Family Get in the Car First

When you’re getting into a vehicle, you’re pretty open to attack because you’re so focused on getting children or stuff loaded into the car. When you’re out with your family and they’re getting into the car, remember to assume the position of AIC — stay behind your principal. “Stand at the back of the car while your family gets in. You don’t need to act like you’re posted up protecting your family from would-be assassins, but keep an eye on your family and glance around for possible threats,” Greyfox suggests. If you’re in the car before your family gets in and an attack does happen, you’re at a tactical disadvantage. Threats don’t even have to be attackers. It could be little old ladies who are backing up their boat of a Cadillac and can’t see that they’re about to hit your kid.

When Stopped in Your Vehicle, Be Sure You Can See the Tires of the Car in Front of You

car stopped at stoplight illustration
The driver is an important part of the PSD team. These guys are trained in tactical driving and know how to get the principal to safety as quickly as possible. While you’ll likely never have to utilize a Rockford J-Turn to escape from bad guys, one simple tip you can take from PSD drivers is to make sure you can see the tires of the cars in front of you whenever you’re stopped at an intersection. “This allows you enough room to steer and drive away if you need to,” Greyfox explains. Beyond threats, it allows ease of movement if an emergency vehicle needs to get its way through traffic; if everyone is bumper to bumper, nobody can move to the side.

Conclusion

The members of your family are your VIPs in life. Give them the same protection that corporate or political VIPs get when you’re out and about together. You don’t have to go full-on, tacti-cool bonkers with it. Like real-world PSD, be discreet. Use common sense, maintain situational awareness, and have a plan for what you’ll do to protect your family from harm.

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How to Filter and Purify Water for Traveling, Camping, and Survival

Jeremy Anderberg | October 6, 2016

Manly SkillsOutdoorsSurvival

diy water filter in the wild illustration

For most folks in the developed world, getting a drink of safe, clean, palatable drinking water is as easy as turning on the tap.
Outside of the comfortable amenities of home, however, attaining potable water can get more complicated and require more effort.
Maybe you went backpacking with all the proper gear and simply didn’t allot the correct amount of water for the trip. Or you’re traveling in an undeveloped country and have been warned not to drink from the tap. Perhaps the SHTF and you’re trapped in a city without a clean water source (or less apocalyptically, you’re simply living in a town whose water source has been temporarily contaminated).
How would you procure clean drinking water in these circumstances?
The right methodology might be different for all these scenarios, as it depends on where you are, your budget, how long you need your filtering materials to last, etc.
The options for filtering and purifying water are in fact numerous, and unfortunately, some of the terminology related to them is also confusing, and not necessarily standardized (especially on the web).
So below I provide a crash course on water filtration and purification for camping, survival, and travel. I break down the consequences of drinking untreated water, the proper terminology to understand when researching and shopping filtration and purification methods, and the pros and cons of the methods themselves. Finally, I offer a short guide to best methods to use in various scenarios.

The Risk and Consequences of Drinking Contaminated Water

There are a number of bacteria and parasites that can be ingested and lead to illness through the drinking of untreated water.
How do these diseases get into water sources? In both the wild and in populated areas with poor sanitation practices, it’s often carried by humans and animals (and their waste) who hunt, live, bathe, defecate, and even die or get their remains thrown in lakes and rivers.
In the wilderness of the U.S., a primary waterborne illness is called giardiasis. It’s a protozoan parasite that can cause extreme cramping, and worst of all in any outdoors scenario, violent diarrhea.
Throughout the wilds of the world, other waterborne diseases include dysentery, cholera, and various other worms, viruses, and bacterial infections. The most common symptoms that arise from these illnesses are similar to giardiasis in that they’re largely intestinal issues. When you’re perhaps already dehydrated in a survival scenario or even just from backpacking for a few days straight, diarrhea will exacerbate the problem, and even put your life at risk.
Far better to treat any water you drink from the wild or from questionable sources rather than risk a debilitating illness. The only exception is if your life truly depends on getting hydrated. In that case, absolutely drink untreated water. As is often said in wilderness survival circles, doctors can treat giardiasis, but they can’t treat dead.

Does All Water Need to Be Treated?

In the wild, rainwater you’ve collected in clean containers is generally safe, as is snow that you’ve melted. Water in the wilderness is also almost always safe if you’ve collected it via transpiration or a still (if the plant itself isn’t poisonous, of course). If you collect the water by any other means, though — from a stream or lake (flowing water is better than stagnant, but still not foolproof), dew, etc. — it should be filtered and/or purified; you never know what might be lurking in the ground or upstream from your collection spot.
Read more about how to safely find and collect water in the wilderness.
In urban areas, rainwater may not be safe to drink, as it traveled through polluted air. And if you’re traveling in a developing country where the safety of the tap/well water is questionable, you’ll want to stick to drinking bottled water (not always an option in rural areas), or consistently purify your water.

Purification vs Filtration

When it comes to finding and drinking water, the first thing you need to know is the difference between filtration and purification. They are not synonyms.
Water filtration is the elimination of debris, and some bacteria, by way of some type of cloth or mesh net — a sieve — through which the water flows.
Water purification is a chemical or UV process of rendering bacteria and other harmful agents inoperative. The chemicals (or heat) in these purification methods essentially deactivate the bad stuff, making it safe for consumption.
Sometimes water needs both of those processes; sometimes it only needs one. Knowing the difference, though, can truly save your life. If you’re backpacking in Africa and think you only need a filter, you could end up with a deadly disease in your system. So let’s get a little more into the differences between the two.

Water Filtration

Using a water filter, especially a commercially tested one (versus just the DIY backwoods variety), can indeed eliminate some bacteria. But not all. Filters can take care of protozoa and bacteria, but they can’t get rid of any viruses present in the water — those are simply too small for the mesh to catch.
Generally, for backpacking and survival purposes, water in the U.S. and Canada is rated as safe for filtration-only methods and devices; this is especially true for mountainous areas. When folks get sick while backpacking or camping and blame it on the water, it’s often found to actually be sanitation-related (not washing hands, not disposing of waste properly or far enough from campsite, etc.).
Filtering water also ensures the best flavor. Your H2O will taste natural and will be immediately drinkable, whereas some purification methods either alter the taste and/or take up to a few hours to make the water safe.
The bottom line is that filters work to rid the water of impurities — including dirt as well as microscopic bacteria — but aren’t completely effective in making the water safe to drink. If it’s all you have, you’ll likely be okay, but know that negative consequences are still possible.

Water Purification

Water purification makes H2O safe to drink by deactivating all harmful pathogens, including viruses. Purification doesn’t eliminate contaminants though. Dirty water that’s been purified is still dirty water, and probably needs filtering (that should happen first, actually).
Purification happens primarily through boiling, chemical agents, or UV light. It’s especially important when traveling outside first world countries, where viral infections are more common.
Let’s now take a look at the various filtration/purification methods out there.

Methods

Below you’ll find the most common methods for water filtration and purification in the wild, including some pros and cons of each.

DIY Filters

In general, you only want to use DIY filters when no other option is available. You certainly don’t want to go camping and only plan on using rocks, sand, and dirt to filter your water. These are for survival purposes only. If at all possible, it’s recommended that you still purify water (by either boiling or adding tablets/chemicals) after filtering it with these methods.
I’ve listed them from most effective at top, to least effective at bottom.
Wood and Tubing.

wood and tubing diy water filter

While this diagram includes a clamp, in wilderness survival scenarios, you’re not likely to have that available. Wood and tubing (or other materials) will do the trick.

The best DIY water filtration system out there is one made from a small piece of wood and tubing. In fact, if you use sapwood (the soft outer layers of a tree) or a small, green branch, you can actually eliminate 99% of bacteria (but still not viruses). To make this filter, cut a small piece of sapwood (a couple inches long by an inch or so wide), and wrap it tightly with some sort of plastic tubing if available. You’re going to be using the branch as a filter, pouring water onto one end, and letting it drip out the other into a container, so the tubing functions to ensure that untreated water isn’t running down the side and into your receptacle. Improvise other wrapping devices if you don’t have plastic tubing — cordage, t-shirt/cloth, the plastic from a water bottle, etc. Then slowly pour small amounts of water onto the end of the branch and let it filter out the other end. Beware that this is a slow method, but you’ll be able to produce up to 4 liters of filtered drinking water per day, which is more than enough for even a couple people.
Rock/Sand Layer Cake. The classic wilderness DIY filtration method is to layer various materials in a hollow log or bag, and let water drip down from the top, through the layers, out through a small hole in the bottom, and into a clean container.

diy survival water filter illustration

From FM 21-76, the Army’s survival manual.

If these items are in a bag, or perhaps a tarp or piece of cloth, ensure the bottom is tied off, but has a small hole for water to drip through. Start by putting in a layer of finer materials like sand, cloth, small pebbles, etc. Then add some larger rocks and bits of charcoal (if you made a fire). Then, start over with another fine layer, and coarse layer atop that. It will look like a layer cake when you’re finished. This will eliminate impurities in the water, and some larger bacteria, but certainly not all of them.
Shirt/Cloth. Filtering water through a piece of cloth alone will eliminate debris and dirt, but not much else. Still, it’s effective if that’s what you’re trying to do and if you can purify it afterwards.
Container. If nothing else, place muddy/dirty water into a container and let it stand for 12 hours or so. In most cases, the dirt and other sediment will fall to the bottom, and the clear water will remain on top. This obviously does absolutely nothing to get rid of harmful pathogens, but at least makes the water palatable.

Commercial Filters

Survival Straws. Survival straws, LifeStraw being the most recognizable, have burst onto the market in the last 5 years or so. The idea is that you can drink water right through the straw (or water bottle with straw attached) and it’ll be safe because of the various filters contained within. The majority of straws on the market can eliminate bacteria and protozoa, but not viruses. They generally have no purifying element. Most do, however, have a carbon filter, which will eliminate off tastes and odors. Just be sure to check the specs, based on your needs, before purchasing. Don’t, for instance, bring one to Africa, assuming you can just drink safely from the rivers. Not a good idea.
Straws can be expensive, but the cost per liter of filtered water remains very low (most are good for up to 700-1,000 liters) compared to chemical treatments.
Pump/Gravity Filter. The name here is misleading, as many of these commercial filters also act to purify the water. Many utilize a ceramic filter to eliminate larger pathogens, as well as silver to destroy viruses. These pump filters operate quickly, filtering and purifying up to a quart per minute, but require a power source (either your arm, or in some cases, a battery).
Gravity filters operate more like IV bags; they’re slower, but require no batteries or human operation. With any commercial pump or other filter, again just check the specs. If it mentions a purifying element, you’re good to go for any situation. If not, just know it won’t eliminate all risk.
These commercial filters are often bigger and bulkier than other options, so will take up more space in a backpack or survival kit. While they can be an expensive up-front purchase, they’ll last a very long time.

Boiling

Boiling water is the standard backwoods purification treatment for water. According to the EPA, one minute of a rolling boil will kill all of the bad stuff, including viruses. (If at high altitude — above 5,000 feet — increase the time to 3 minutes.) Any metal or glass container will do, but if you don’t have that available, you can heat rocks in a fire and place them into your receptacle.
One downside of boiling your water is that it obviously requires a fire and therefore fuel, which in some cases isn’t possible (although it’s more possible if you read our article on how to start a fire without matches). It also leads to evaporation and the loss of some water volume, which should be taken into account in situations where every drop may be precious.

Chemical (Iodine/Chlorine/Bleach)

There are two popular chemical methods for treating water that utilize drops or tablets to disinfect and get rid of the bad stuff: iodine and chlorine. Bleach is a third option for chemical purification, generally in more urban environs since it’s usually just found in the home versus being carried as a wilderness survival item.
Iodine. Use a 2% tincture, and apply 5 drops per quart of water. If the water is cloudy, add 10 drops. Let sit for 30 minutes before drinking. Iodine comes in a small, very portable bottle, and also has other uses like treating cuts and warts. This is definitely an item to have in your emergency kit or bug-out bag.
Iodine will lead to an off taste, and isn’t safe for pregnant women or those with shellfish allergies. Children are also often averse to iodine because of the taste; know that ahead of time if backpacking or camping. Iodine is generally the cheaper of the chemical methods, and works quicker.
There are also specialized iodine tablets you can buy that are made for the sake of outdoors folks.
Chlorine. Generally comes in the form of tablets, which you just drop into a liter of water, and let the chemicals do their work. After about 4 hours, your water will be safe to drink and free of all harmful pathogens.
Chlorine’s cons are that it has a longer waiting period, and is a little more expensive per use than other methods. On the pro side, most of chlorine dissipates in that 4-hour timeframe, meaning the water’s taste isn’t as affected. It also has a longer shelf life.
Bleach. In urban emergency scenarios, bleach can be used to purify water. Most bleaches use a form of liquid chlorine called sodium hypochlorite. As just mentioned above, chlorine is a water purification agent, so it makes sense that bleach could be used.
Household varieties will generally contain 5-8% sodium hypochlorite — be sure to check the label before using, and if it’s higher than that don’t use it. Using a dropper, add 2 drops per quart, and let stand 30 minutes before drinking.

UV/Solar

SODIS. Solar water disinfection (SODIS) relies on the power of the sun to make your water safe. Believe it or not, if you have a clear water bottle, you can simply leave it in direct sunlight for ~12 hours (24-48 on cloudy days), and celestial UV rays will kill most (not all) bacteria and microorganisms. Some experts say to leave water exposed for a full day no matter what, just to be extra safe. It all depends on your need. Since this particular UV method doesn’t necessarily kill all bacteria/viruses, it’s best used for survival purposes only, or in areas known to have safe(ish) water.
UV Devices. There are various devices out there which create UV light artificially to get rid of bacteria and even viruses. Some are hand-cranked while others are battery-operated. Keep in mind these are not filtration devices, so larger particles or debris in the water will not be eliminated, and some of those larger particles can hide pathogens in them. For this reason, it’s best to filter the water first when using the UV method. As with pumps and filters, these devices are larger/heavier than some other options.

Bottom Line: What’s the Best Method for Various Scenarios?

For hiking/backpacking in first world countries: As noted above, groundwater in places like the U.S. and Canada is almost assuredly free of viruses. Because of this, commercial filtration systems, even those that don’t necessarily purify (like survival straws), will almost always do the trick just fine. Your chances of catching a virus in these environments is very small.
Filters can be larger and heavier than other methods though, so chemical treatments will also work, and are especially popular for folks who are backpacking or doing long through-hikes (like the Appalachian Trail).
For hiking/backpacking/traveling internationally: When traveling outside of first-world areas, you always want to purify, in addition to filtering (if needed). This means tablets, UV devices, or filters that include a purifying element.
For your bug-out/survival bags: In a bug-out or urban survival scenario, Creek Stewart, our resident survival expert, recommends having both a filter and purification tablets, while keeping boiling as an option when time and fuel allows for it.
For wilderness survival scenarios: For whatever reason, you’re stranded in the wilderness, need to consume water to stay hydrated, and don’t have commercial filtering or purification options available. If you have enough water and fuel at your disposal, you first option should be boiling. If you can’t spare the evaporation or can’t get a fire going, create a wood/tubing filter. And if you can’t do that, a layered filter of natural materials will be your best bet to ward off illness.
Always remember, filtering simply improves palatability and removes impurities, while purifying ensures that what you’re drinking is free of harmful disease.
Finally, as already mentioned but bears repeating, it’s always best to drink untreated water rather than to die in the wilderness!

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I think that I will take the next bus!

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The Ranger Roll or Fireman carry

Attachments area
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How To Conceal While Driving.

Keeping Concealed While Driving Concealment while walking around is easy, but where concealment becomes challenging is when doing other things – such as concealing while driving. As with other forms of concealment, there are different strategies one can employ.
There are also compromises that have to be made. Everyone has to make their own decisions, but here are some ways you can keep concealed while driving.
Storing A Pistol In The Glove Box Comes At A Price Naturally, one of the first things you’d think of is storing one’s pistol in the glove box.gun in car
It’s a natural fit. It’s the perfect size of compartment to keep a gun concealed and isn’t too difficult to reach. If one is bound and determined to store a pistol in a glove box, there are a few things that should always be done.
First is to use some sort of trigger guard coverage, such as a pancake holster. You know the really cheap ones at most gun stores? This is about the best use for one. You wouldn’t want to carry with it, but it will keep the trigger guard covered.
However, there are a few drawbacks. First, access is impeded by having to open the compartment, which may be complicated if one needs to get at it in a hurry.car ccw
Secondly, if you interact with police, you should disclose that the pistol is stored in the glove box BEFORE reaching in. Upon disclosure, keep your hands in plain sight and ask the officer how they wish to proceed. State law may also preclude storage of a loaded firearm inside a vehicle in certain manners, so check your local laws.
Employ A Car Holster There are also a number of car holster products available. Often they are nylon pancake holsters with various methods of attachment – usually elastic straps – for a firearm to be lashed to a seat front, under the steering wheel or another part of the cabin.ccw while driving
In truth, this is one of the better options for car concealment, as the pistol is easily within reach and can be more safely secured. Use a Holster Mount Better than a car holster is an actual holster mount.
A holster mount is a docking station for a holster that attaches to an appropriate surface in the vehicle – the center console is a highly logical location, or under the steering wheel. This creates a docking station for a pistol that’s much more fixed than a car holster normally is.
There are fewer holster mount options on the market than there are car holsters, but some – such as, and not to toot one’s own horn, the Alien Gear Cloak Dock – are incredibly versatile. CHECK OUT OUR HOLSTER MOUNTS!
Stashing A Gun In Door Sill Compartments Or Between Seats Another common method of concealing a pistol in a car is to put it in the door compartment or between the seats. These appear, just as with in the glove box, to be natural places to conceal a pistol and in fairness they CAN conceal a pistol from view very well.
A pistol CAN be more easily accessible than the glove box, depending on circumstances. However, this method is not without drawbacks. First, a holster of some sort should be deployed; just as with a glove box, a cheap nylon pouch holster can suffice, so long as there is adequate trigger guard coverage – though this is not necessarily an optimal method of securing a gun in a car.
Care should be taken to avoid excessive vibration and bouncing around. A gun in between seats can be held more securely, but adequate trigger guard coverage is essential. Any object that can get in the trigger guard can cause an accidental discharge.
Additionally, if sufficient room exists between a seat and the center console, the gun could potentially be pushed far enough down to drop under the seat itself, where the same dangers exist.
Concealed Carry While Seated In The Car One of the easiest ways to stay concealed while driving is to conceal like one normally does – by concealing their holster on their person, but just concealing while sitting down in the car. However, this takes some doing. There are many ways of positioning a pistol on one’s waistline that are as comfortable as can be while standing, but while sitting can be awkward.
Small of the back carry, for instance, is easy until one sits down; one can sit directly on one’s pistol. Further forward on the hip, a forward cant can make it easier to sit with one’s pistol. That’s why the FBI cant is a thing. The price, of course, is that it’s not as easy to access a pistol on one’s waistband while sitting than it is whilst standing.
Posture can help to a degree – sitting without reclining can make this easier – but only so much. About The Author Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible. .
Continue reading at: http://aliengearholsters.com/blog/how-to-conceal-while-driving/

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Some sage advice on not messing with Old Men

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The Pendulum – Part One Retreat to High Ground By High Desert

Missing in the mix of hundreds of bug-out stories is a forth right and candid self appraisal of lessons learned containing practical experience along with deep humility and honest self examination. High Desert expressed a willingness to share his and his wife’s adventure with TwoIceFloes and we eagerly embraced the opportunity to post his story as a three part series. – Cognitive Dissonance

It was the summer of 2011, and for all practical purposes it was smooth sailing. My wife and I often commented to each other how drama and stress free our lives had become. Unfortunately we were blissfully unaware of the squall line rapidly approaching from behind.
The epiphany struck us like a bolt out of the blue. But rather than providing clarity and calm, this profound revelation was a violent tempest. The following six years brought dramatic shifts to our belief systems, state of mind, living conditions and more – dramatically swinging the pendulum back and forth before finally compelling us to seek balance and peace of mind.
We were not significantly affected by the financial crash a couple years prior (2008-09) partly because we both had home-based businesses in niche markets which provided a lower middle-class income. But a more important factor was our lack of debt. Not one to “keep up with the neighbors”, we lived comfortably but always within our means.
We had previously paid off the mortgage, both of us owned older used vehicles and we never charged purchases we couldn’t afford to pay off at the end of each month. We had some meager investments, but fortunately years earlier we had moved into the right neighborhood. Meaning over the years, our neighborhood had evolved into one of the hottest residential markets in the Metro area.
Most of our disposable income (along with a lot of sweat-equity) was spent modernizing our home. Essentially we considered our primary residence to be our own private 401(k) plan. In addition, we owned a small cabin on twenty six acres of land where we planned to eventually retire. Our son was about to graduate from high school with honors and was (still is) a delight to spend time with. Our state of mind at the time was one oflight, love and abundance.
Our life-changing insight came about due to boredom. Purposely not caught up in the rat-race of Western civilization and long term self-employed, we had a fair amount of free time to pursue other interests. Being introverts, we devoted most evenings to home activities. Usually my wife would conduct research for her book publishing business. And I, usually brain-dead from working on the computer all day, would zone out and watch some streaming TV.
Not one to watch just any old dung produced for the masses, it didn’t take me long to burn through every decent movie and documentary out there. By then, total boredom had me reconsidering my second and third string watch lists, desperate for quality entertainment. For some inexplicable reason I had placed a documentary in my queue which I had blown past on numerous occasions as not interesting enough to watch. But, just as inexplicably, I had never deleted it.
One overly warm summer night in 2011 I cranked up the central A/C, retreated to the family room and decided to finally watch “Collapse” by Michael Ruppert. That documentary was my red pill moment. Even after watching it twice in a row, I found it difficult to believe what I was only now beginning to understand.
On the one hand, the truths presented in the documentary were 180 degrees out of sync with my core belief systems. On the other, I knew deep down I had been living in the make believe world of the Matrix. When I convinced my wife to take a break and watch it with me, it only took one viewing for her to recognize the truth as presented. It was truly an epiphany for both of us, although not of the type one would usually classify as such.
Our life was about to change in ways we could not imagine. And change again and again as we rode the swinging pendulum back and forth, totally out of balance. We’d been through a lot during our many years of marriage, but we had no idea what lay before us. Waking up so suddenly and always one for self-directed action, all hell was about to break loose.
As we began to absorb our new understanding about how the world really works, my wife and I began to work out how to deal with the events we knew for certain were just around the corner. We devoted the next few months to exhaustively researching who, what, when, where and why.
Although I intuitively knew the new reality as presented was correct, I needed to convince myself I wasn’t just being stupid. After all, what did I really know about manipulated financial markets, mono-agriculture, fiat currency, systemic corruption and more importantly, what to do when all the complex systems began to collapse due to their inherent chaos.

The red pill had done its job in providing the initial jolt, but we were now strangers in a foreign land. Our initial reaction was to shelter in place as it were, maybe stock up on some supplies, install a wood stove (totally illegal where we lived) build a small greenhouse in our very small backyard and perhaps get some stun guns and mace for personal defense.
My wife’s primary concern was food. How would she feed our family if the grocery stores closed? My primary concern was our personal safety. Somehow I needed to defend the castle and loved ones against the “golden horde”, a new term picked up during my research. After all, we lived in a big city with neighbors literally twelve feet away on either side.
What happened next was quite odd. We woke up one morning, rolled over to face each other and simultaneously said “we have to get out of the city.” This is no little thing to accomplish. We owned our home, two businesses and our son was still in high school. Where would we go and what do we need that place to be?
Our research went into overdrive.
One thought was to make our cabin the bug-out location. We even began to stock long-term food there. However the cabin was old, the well was of poor quality and so was the soil. And unfortunately that gorgeous view of the city lights down the mountain meant those in the city could see us.
Additionally, the only usable flat land was at the end of the driveway right next to the cabin. How would we house other family members and close friends in a small cabin with no room to park an RV or several vehicles? We began to wonder if there was a better place out there, but still within driving distance of the city.
Is there a gear higher than overdrive? You know, the gear that allows you to simultaneously get a house (or two) ready for sale, research every real estate website for hours each day, close down an active publishing business and figure out what and when to tell your teenage child his world was about to be rock and rolled.
As is the case with nearly everyone else, our life was a bit complicated. My wife has a special-needs brother who requires lots of attention and supervision. At that time my father was 90 and needed more and more care. We were both in our 50’s and I was in the midst of a long recovery from a two year stretch of multiple surgeries after an accident.
Even at the age of 50, and nearly 30 years after completing my “Thank You for Your Service” gig, I still thought of myself as that 19-year-old airborne infantryman, naively fearless and invincible. I was capable of anything, including living forever. The accident I was recovering from was my first warning that life-long beliefs could quickly be shattered. It gave me a new perspective to the old saying “things can change in an instant.”
With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, if ever there was a legitimate plea for temporary insanity we hereby stake our claim. Although our approach was in its entirety logical, we fell into a “desperate measures for desperate times” mentality, driven by fear and panic. It was not a balanced approach by any measure.

We finally decided it was impossible to deal with all of this simultaneously. We put the cabin up for sale “as is”, though we would not put much effort into selling it since it remained our Plan B. After months of fruitless searching for the ideal retreat, the cabin oscillated between being Plan B and Plan A. Our choice in that matter would soon be forcibly removed; more on that subject later.
Trying to accomplish all of the above during the day, at night I would explore new concepts such as The Long EmergencyThe Fourth Turning, the sixth mass extinction event and so much more including all the rightthings a survival retreat should encompass. My wife dedicated her evenings to researching every potential retreat property for sale in the state. Because of the situation with her brother, my father and our son, the new place had to be within a day’s drive of our family.
She developed an efficient web search system to quickly eliminate unsuitable properties. Several ‘needs’ were non-negotiable parameters: water well, septic, acreage, somewhat remote, buildings in good condition. Even with those restrictions, there were plenty of options. It was critically important to check the oil/gas/fracking permits issued for the area of each property we had an interest in.
We knew from first-hand experience property owners in our state have ZERO rights if someone else owns the mineral rights and wants to exploit them. This issue alone eliminated entire sections of the state. My wife also researched the water well permit for each potential property to determine the age of the well, its depth, flow rate, source of water and so on. This constraint eliminated a fair number of properties. Without a good source of water, nothing else matters.
We discussed the remaining properties and applied our secondary list of wants and needs. How many people could the property support? Can we actually grow food there? Was it already off-grid? My wife would show me ten properties and I’d quickly eliminate them because of population density or other security related concerns. I would show her ten properties and she would rule them out due to altitude (hard to grow food above the timberline) distance from family or the condition of the buildings.
Our largest constraint was our refusal to take on a mortgage. We knew we could get a good price for our home in the city; the entire state was (and continues to be) in an ever-expanding housing bubble. But rural didn’t necessarily equate to inexpensive in this state.
It was all a bit overwhelming. Couldn’t we please, please, just go back to a life of blissful ignorance? Unfortunately it was too late to ask for the Blue Pill.
Compounding our difficulties (as with so many other people who suddenly wake up) we thought it was our duty to enlighten our friends and family of the coming perils. For anyone who has tried to do so, I don’t need to explain how poorly it went. Since we believed doomsday was just around the corner, we opted instead to buy/build the retreat and assume they would come.
After almost a year of searching online and physically examining properties, we were growing increasingly anxious to move forward. Our primary residence was ready to go on the market, my father had passed away, my wife’s publishing business had been sold and we’d already had that heart to heart conversation with our son.
At eighteen years of age and with his entire life ahead of him, he wanted no part of moving to a remote location to become a homesteader. We respected his decision, although during the initial conversation he accused us of abandoning him. Ultimately we all worked together to make sure he could continue on his path until things fell apart, either with his plans or the world.
In the summer of 2012 we all took a weekend off to stay in a small town and visit a top candidate for the new retreat. In so many ways the property was perfect. Nearly new structures surrounded by public lands, already set up for off-grid living, just a few full-time neighbors (but not too close) and plenty of flat land. We made a good offer.
The following week was filled with buyer’s remorse. Would we have any money left from the sale of our home? Was the retreat too remote? Were we really ready to change our entire lifestyle and take on such a large project? That Thursday we decided the best thing to do was forget the whole thing. We would move into our cabin and make the best of it.
But nature was set to intervene.

On Friday, a massive wildfire started near our cabin. By Saturday, our time to commit to the realty contract would expire; we had to make a final decision. While sitting in a hotel room to avoid an open house weekend at our primary residence, we watched updates on the expanding fire and realized there was very little chance our cabin would survive. It would turn out to be one of the most destructive wildfires our state ever experienced. It was also the second property we’ve lost to wildfire.
It seemed some unseen force was guiding us to the new retreat. It must be fate. It must be our destiny.
The following five years proved to be the biggest challenge we ever faced. We were on a mission to save ourselves, family and friends. How could so many things go so terribly wrong?
All this and more will be covered in part two of this three part series.
 
02/19/2018
High Desert
 

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How things could be done at the Airport

The ‘Israelification’ of airports

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

The ‘Israelification’ of airports could increase security while decreasing hassle:

“It is mindboggling for us Israelis to look at what happens in North America, because we went through this 50 years ago,” said Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy. He’s worked with the RCMP, the U.S. Navy Seals and airports around the world.“Israelis, unlike Canadians and Americans, don’t take s— from anybody. When the security agency in Israel (the ISA) started to tighten security and we had to wait in line for — not for hours — but 30 or 40 minutes, all hell broke loose here. We said, ‘We’re not going to do this. You’re going to find a way that will take care of security without touching the efficiency of the airport.”
That, in a nutshell is “Israelification” — a system that protects life and limb without annoying you to death.
Despite facing dozens of potential threats each day, the security set-up at Israel’s largest hub, Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, has not been breached since 2002, when a passenger mistakenly carried a handgun onto a flight. How do they manage that?
“The first thing you do is to look at who is coming into your airport,” said Sela.
The first layer of actual security that greets travellers at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport is a roadside check. All drivers are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?
“Two benign questions. The questions aren’t important. The way people act when they answer them is,” Sela said.
Officers are looking for nervousness or other signs of “distress” — behavioural profiling. Sela rejects the argument that profiling is discriminatory.
“The word ‘profiling’ is a political invention by people who don’t want to do security,” he said. “To us, it doesn’t matter if he’s black, white, young or old. It’s just his behaviour. So what kind of privacy am I really stepping on when I’m doing this?”
Once you’ve parked your car or gotten off your bus, you pass through the second and third security perimeters.
Armed guards outside the terminal are trained to observe passengers as they move toward the doors, again looking for odd behaviour. At Ben Gurion’s half-dozen entrances, another layer of security are watching. At this point, some travellers will be randomly taken aside, and their person and their luggage run through a magnometer.
“This is to see that you don’t have heavy metals on you or something that looks suspicious,” said Sela.
You are now in the terminal. As you approach your airline check-in desk, a trained interviewer takes your passport and ticket. They ask a series of questions: Who packed your luggage? Has it left your side?
“The whole time, they are looking into your eyes — which is very embarrassing. But this is one of the ways they figure out if you are suspicious or not. It takes 20, 25 seconds,” said Sela.
Lines are staggered. People are not allowed to bunch up into inviting targets for a bomber who has gotten this far.
At the check-in desk, your luggage is scanned immediately in a purpose-built area. Sela plays devil’s advocate — what if you have escaped the attention of the first four layers of security, and now try to pass a bag with a bomb in it?
“I once put this question to Jacques Duchesneau (the former head of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority): say there is a bag with play-doh in it and two pens stuck in the play-doh. That is ‘Bombs 101′ to a screener. I asked Ducheneau, ‘What would you do?’ And he said, ‘Evacuate the terminal.’ And I said, ‘Oh. My. God.’
“Take Pearson. Do you know how many people are in the terminal at all times? Many thousands. Let’s say I’m (doing an evacuation) without panic — which will never happen. But let’s say this is the case. How long will it take? Nobody thought about it. I said, ‘Two days.’”
A screener at Ben-Gurion has a pair of better options.
First, the screening area is surrounded by contoured, blast-proof glass that can contain the detonation of up to 100 kilos of plastic explosive. Only the few dozen people within the screening area need be removed, and only to a point a few metres away.
Second, all the screening areas contain ‘bomb boxes’. If a screener spots a suspect bag, he/she is trained to pick it up and place it in the box, which is blast proof. A bomb squad arrives shortly and wheels the box away for further investigation.
“This is a very small simple example of how we can simply stop a problem that would cripple one of your airports,” Sela said.
Five security layers down: you now finally arrive at the only one which Ben-Gurion Airport shares with Pearson — the body and hand-luggage check.
“But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America,” Sela said.
“First, it’s fast — there’s almost no line. That’s because they’re not looking for liquids, they’re not looking at your shoes. They’re not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you,” said Sela. “Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes… and that’s how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys.”
That’s the process — six layers, four hard, two soft. The goal at Ben-Gurion is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in a maximum of 25 minutes.
This doesn’t begin to cover the off-site security net that failed so spectacularly in targeting would-be Flight 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab — intelligence. In Israel, Sela said, a coordinated intelligence gathering operation produces a constantly evolving series of threat analyses and vulnerability studies.
“There is absolutely no intelligence and threat analysis done in Canada or the United States,” Sela said. “Absolutely none.”
But even without the intelligence, Sela maintains, Abdulmutallab would not have gotten past Ben Gurion Airport’s behavioural profilers.

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The Weaver stance

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The Weaver stance is a shooting technique for handguns. It was developed by Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Jack Weaver during freestyle pistol competition in Southern California during the late 1950s.

Description[edit]

The Weaver stance has two main components.[1]

  1. The first component is a two-handed technique in which the shooting hand holds the pistol or revolver while the support hand wraps around the shooting hand. The shooting arm’s elbow is slightly bent (almost locked out) while the support elbow is noticeably bent straight down. The shooter pushes forward with his/her shooting hand while the support hand exerts rearward pressure on the firearm. The resultant isometric tension from the support hand is intended to lessen and control muzzle flipwhen the firearm is fired; allowing for faster follow-up shots.
  2. The second component is the positioning of the feet in a boxing stance, with the non-shooting side foot ahead of the shooting side foot. A person shooting right-handed will have the right foot angled out to approximately forty-five degrees to the side and to the rear at shoulder length. Most of the shooter’s weight will be on the forward foot, with the forward knee slightly bent and the rear leg nearly straight. The shooter’s upper torso should be leaning forward at the hips, aiming the shoulders towards the forward foot. The rear foot will help catch the force of recoil, as well as allow for rapid changes in position. The majority of the shooter’s weight should be on the forward foot. Both of the shooter’s knees should be slightly bent and the shooter should be bending forward at the waist as if preparing to be pushed backward.

A left-handed shooter would reverse the hands and the footing, respectively.

Modern technique[edit]

The Weaver stance is one of four components of the modern technique of shooting developed by Jeff Cooper. The others are a large-caliber handgun, the flash sight picture, and the compressed surprise break.

History[edit]

The Weaver stance was developed in 1959 by pistol shooter and deputy sheriff Jack Weaver, a range officer at the L.A. County Sheriff’s Mira Loma pistol range. At the time, Weaver was competing in Jeff Cooper’s “Leatherslap” matches: quick draw, man-on-man competition in which two shooters vied to pop twelve 18″ wide balloons set up 21 feet away, whichever shooter burst all the balloons first winning the bout. Weaver developed his technique as a way to draw a handgun quickly to eye level and use the weapon’s sights to aim more accurately, and immediately began winning against opponents predominantly using unsighted “hip shooting” techniques.
The Weaver technique was dubbed the “Weaver Stance” by gun writer and firearms instructor Jeff Cooper. Cooper widely publicized the Weaver stance in several of his books, as well as in articles published in the then-fledgling Guns & Ammo magazine. When Cooper started the American Pistol Institute firearms training school, now the Gunsite Training Center, in 1977, his modern technique of the pistol was built around a somewhat formalized “Classic Weaver Stance”. Due to Cooper’s influence, the Weaver stance became very popular among firearm professionals and enthusiasts. Though in many firearm related professions the Isosceles Shooting Stance has been favored over the Weaver, it still remains a popular technique among many shooters.[citation needed]

Notes[edit]

  • Although the Weaver Stance was originally designed for pistols, it can be applied to virtually any type of firearm. However, the main principles of the stance must still be applied (support foot rear at shoulder length with support foot at forty-five degrees while support hand supports the weight of the firearm). This technique has many variations including stances with the support hand carrying a flashlight, knife, baton or other item.
  • Although this firearm technique is still popular among shooting enthusiasts and firearm professionals, many current firearm instructors favor the Universal Shooting Stanceand/or the Isosceles Stance.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Rackley, Paul (2011-05-18). “Choosing a Handgun Shooting Stance”American RiflemanNational Rifle Association. Retrieved 2016-01-29.

External links[edit]