Monday, January 20, 2014

Gung Ho. The Proactive Survivalist.

Ever so often, you come across a survival book that isn't a how to do it book. It's more of a "how I took a crash course in survival."  Sam Sheridan's book The Disaster Diaries is one of those. I bought the Kindle edition, but as I always do, once I decided the book was worth having I ordered a hard copy.  This is a strange book, but it grows on you. I've read it twice now and the second time, I got a lot more out of it.

Basically, Sheridan got concerned about the way the society is developing, and he began to be uncomfortable with some trends in our culture that were becoming more pronounced. He has a wife and a small boy. What is the absolute, utter, irrevocable responsibility of a man with a family?  To protect them and provide for them. There aren't any nuances to it, it's one of life's rules not subject to interpretation.

Realizing he was short on skills, Sheridan set out to acquire the knowledge and equipment he felt he needed to come up to scratch.  This book is a description of his efforts to do that, and runs the gamut from Cody Lundin's survival course to learning car theft and lock picking from a former Hispanic gang banger and jail bird.  The different episodes are tied together by a fictional account of disasters he guides his family through. I think he is describing dreams he had but I'm not sure. Either way, it's an effective mechanism for keeping your interest in what could have been just a laundry list of "and then I went to" narratives.  The Kindle version is very cheap, so I would recommend reading the book the first time by downloading it, if you have that capability.

I've done a post on this book , Emergency, before.  But because it fits in the Gung Ho! category, I wanted to revisit it.

Neil Strauss was not a survivalist when he started doing his research for this book. He was an author who wanted to take advantage of what he saw as a growing market for survivalist literature. By the time he finished with his research, he was a hard core survivalist and a believer.

Like Sheridan, he was motivated by the feeling that he could not take care of himself in a major disaster, let alone his girl friend. (The more you read about the girl friend, the more taking care of you realize she needs).
He started taking courses, and it's interesting to see how closely Sheridan's choices in acquiring skills paralleled the decisions Strauss made.  I don't want to steal the books thunder, but I will say you get your money's worth. What I found particularly interesting was the conversion of a typical urban thirty something into a believer.

Both of these books are about hard chargers who decided they needed to get up to speed on the self sufficient lifestyle. They rate the Gung Ho appellation.  Gung Ho is Chinese, and the literal translation means working together. In the Marine Corps, any hard working , highly motivated individual is said to be "Gung Ho."  These two guys are that, without doubt. The books represent money well spent, because you will almost certainly come away with some thoughts worth considering in your own planning cycle.


  1. Harry,


    I'm always working on things here survival wise off and on. I am looking at getting Tech-Sights 'sights for the newest 10/22 and for the AK. I really dig the AK but the stock sights absoulutely suck.
    I had Tech Sights 'sights on the other 10/22 I sold and really like them.

    I got food, supplies etc. I just need too put togather a better bug out bag and get some other gear. If anything happens here it will be a hurricane and I wont evacuate unless its a full on Category Five and my roof will blow off. If my roof comes off, its game over and pointless to stay. I would like to own a APC (armored personel carrier) that weighs 30.000 LBS. plus and park it in my back yard. That would be my 'hurricane bunker"
    It would be above ground, will not flood when sealed up tight and it would be impervious to boards and other garbage flying around at 300 MPH. Maybe an old AMTRAC Marine Corps tracked vehicle (of course I would have to paint it 'Haze Grey:) and pay a Priest to do an 'exorcism' and exercise any 'jarhead gremlins' out of it.

  2. There's a guy in Blue Ridge, Ga who is selling two M113 APCs. One of them is the stock infantry carrier, the other must have been some kind of repair vehicle because it has a kind of box structure on the top deck. Let me know if you want the phone number, but moving one of these things from North Georgia to Texas would probably cost an arm and a leg. I see him driving them around on a little track he has by the road so I know they run. He has a bunch of old World War II vehicles, like a DUKW amphibious truck and a lot of military surplus deuce and a half trucks. Must be his hobby.

    I think the Marine Corps sells all of it's old LVTP type vehicles to foreign countries like Turkey.

  3. It sounds like such an interesting read!

    I'll have to check out Lehman's. I like stores like that.

  4. I think you will enjoy Lehman's. They sell mostly non electric Amish things, but some of their items are very hard to find. That's where I got the "well torpedo" that you can put down your well shaft and bring up two gallons at a time if power goes out long term. I believe the actual name of the link is something like but if you google it you will find them.

    Those are good books. Strauss is pretty funny, Sheridan is grimly determined, but they are both entertaining. They were written for men, just a heads up on that. There's nothing vulgar or anything like that, it's just purely from a masculine view of life.

  5. I received a Lehman's catalog a couple of days ago....spent an hour dreaming of items I'd like to own but really don't need.
    Both books are on my to read list. Thanks, my friend.

    1. Mostly now I buy small things, like good quality lamp wicks, from them. I've got just about all the big items I need. It's a nice catalog, though, and fun to just browse through even if you don't find anything you can't live without.

      Read Strauss first. It's got a lot of humor in it. The Sheridan book is kind of grim, but useful.