preparation

Get your fight on

When planning for a dystopian future it’s sensible to look to the past for inspiration (it doesn’t get much bleaker than that, right?). 
Women weren’t always constrained by society from taking part in combat. High born ladies liberated by the death of a spouse or parent sometimes found themselves inheriting an army, or exposed to sword training normally only reserved for male siblings. Others of lower birth cross-dressed and carved careers for themselves living as men. Some were just in the right (if you count it as lucky) place at the right time. 
So I thought to get ourselves motivated for the end-times, savagery, and survival against the odds we ought to check in with some fighting femmes of yesteryear. There are SO MANY examples you can look to, this is just a small selection.

La Maupin – A fiery, flamboyant, cross-dressing bisexual French swordswoman of the 17th C. She killed at least ten men in duels, and was also a star of the Paris opera scene.

Ana de Mendoza de la Cerda – A Spanish aristocrat of the 16th C. Despite losing her eye in a fencing duel she was considered among the most beautiful ladies at court, and was one of the most talented women of her time.

Jeanne D’Arc – Perhaps the most famous of all. A farm girl who led the desperate French to several victories during the hundred years war, she was later burned at the stake by the English as a witch.

Ann Mills – British sailor 18th C. Ann was a daring female dragoon not averse to a spot of head collection.











Bona Lombarda – 15th C Italian peasant turned condottiere. Kidnapped at fifteen by infantry captain Pietro Brunoro, their relationship developed until Lombarda became his lieutenant and constant companion. After many battles, she tirelessly petitioned for his release when he was imprisoned for treason for ten years, after which they eventually married. At the siege of Castello di Pavone, when it had fallen to the Milanese with Brunoro held hostage, it was Lombarda who, armoured from head to toe and armed with sword and shield, led the recapture of the fortress: “She was the reason the fortress was retaken and she was the first to place her foot inside.”

Catalina de Erauso – 17th C Spanish soldier. She left the convent at 15, having never even seen a street, disguised herself as a boy and signed up to become a soldier in Spanish America.  Awarded special dispensation from the pope to continue to dress in men’s clothing after her secret was revealed, Catalina loved a scrap:
I approached him from behind and said, “Ah, Señor Reyes!”
He turned and asked, “What do you want?”
I said, “This is the face you were thinking of cutting up,” and gave him a slash worth ten stitches.
He clutched at the wound with both hands, his friend drew his sword and came at me, and I went at him with my own. We met, I thrust the blade through his left side and down he went.”

Caterina Sforza – A 15th C Italian noblewoman. Skilled with the sword and given to bold gestures in the face of adversity to protect her family. Most notably when her children were held by invading soldiers at swordpoint Caterina lifted her skirts and yelled “I can make more!”
Mary Read and Anne Bonny – these ladies were true ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, getting into all kinds of high jinks. They were hard fighters and fast lovers who managed to evade the gallows even after capture.

Preparing for Disaster: The GO Bag

Preparing for a Disaster

To prepare for anything from a hurricane or an earthquake you will need a disaster kit. In your disaster kit is your Go-bag (24-72 hours), Med Kit, Extra eRats (longer than 3 days), and the Bag O’ Evil (weapons of mass protection). Put the following items together in a backpack or another easy to carry container in case you must evacuate quickly. Prepare one Go-bag for each family member and make sure each has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work, considering what you would need for your immediate safety.

A “Go bag” goes by many names, Wikipedia prefers “Bug-out bag“, the military likes “Bail-out bag”, and I’ve been known to use “GTFO bag” (Get The F!@# Out). In the end, all the names serve the same purpose. Having a completely pre-placed, pre-packed bag that is ready to simply pick up and go. Hopefully, it will contain everything you need to survive on the short-term (24-72 hours), until the emergency subsides (unlikely if the undead are wandering around or an alien invasion) or until you can get to a bigger cache of supplies (find the resistance or survivors).

A normal Go-bag will contain personal information that might be used to find loved ones, identify medical needs, and possible help get you into other countries. A GTFO bag or Bug-out bag for an apocalypse is a completely different animal. It can be lightweight or heavy for more long-term surviving. It is also just a part of your ultimate survival KIT.

So today, we are going to talk about just the Go bag, GGSA style. You can modify the pack as much as you like. I just recommend looking up and researching what would be best for you.

  1. Flashlight with extra batteries
  2. MP3 player for kicking ass soundtrack
  3. Spare pair of sunglasses that make you look bad-ass
  4. Gas Mask (bio agents or poisoned air) see First Aid kit for bio-warfare counter agents.
  5. Water, at least one liter per day per person
  6. eRats- Emergency Rations, MRE’s, Backpack meals, or energy bars.

Clothing- GGSA’s tend to be fashion forward, however, in an emergency save your ass first fashion second. These are the must haves:

1. Shit kickers ( I have bejeweled Hello Kitty on the side of mine)

2. Bandana and gloves

3.Cargo pants (not jeans and with a quality leather belt)

4. Two (2) shirts (short and long for layering)

5. Kick ass sunglasses.  Think of how the Terminator must have felt , if he could feel. A good pair of kick ass looking sunglasses ramps up a persons confidence.

6. Shelter- Tent or tarp, Mylar blankets and collapsible sleeping bags.

7. First Aid Kit- will go in to more detail later

8. Slim Jim or Lock pick set. Yes I know Slim Jims are illegal, but its the end of life as we know it. Bend a little.

9. Emergency Fire starter

10. Cooking pot: small pot or large metal cup to boil water.

11. Survival knife may not be large machete but a 4-10″ knife to use for survival stuff

12. Side Arm: Pistol, gun that can kill something to eat or maim to run away from.

Now this is just a few of the items you need to have if you survive the initial wave of death and devastation.

We won’t all survive.

by Honeybadger

It’s the end of the world as we know it. Chances are, most of us will die in the first wave. It’s been noted that survivor mentality assumes we will make it through that and have to deal. Well there isn’t much mileage in a story that starts off with not being Arthur Dent.

Besides, I may get the t virus and start craving flesh, or be at ground zero when the bomb drops, I might get nice, quick, clean extinction, but what if I don’t? If I play the odds I don’t need a bug out bag, or an escape plan. I don’t need to know where in my area has low population, good views, high walls and nearby water. why bother preparing when i’m going to die anyway? Face it, I live in the midlands miles from any significant body of water, if zombies attack, even if I do survive i’m liable to get eaten sharpish.

The thing is, what if I am Arthur Dent. What if I am the hopeless idiot that somehow survives the end of the world and has to deal with what comes next? Do I really want to be dependant on Ford, who let’s face it is a moron, the only thing he gets right is keeping his towel handy. Worse still, what if I don’t even have another useless idiot to stumble through it with, what if i’m alone, under attack in my own home by brain hungry neighbours? yes, i’m mixing my apocalypses here, but i’m talking in general terms.

What’s my point? Ignore the odds folks. Prepare like you know you are going to survive the initial blast/virus/whatever because if you assume the worst and then survive, if you aren’t a first wave casualty and have no plans in place for what to do next, well then you are truly f*cked my friend.
Honeybadger out

Festive Frolics: Your Yuletide Guide to Apocalypse Exercise

by GClarkHellery

The Christmas cake is made, the mince pies are cooling and all the presents are wrapped under the tree. Yep, it’s that time of year again. Christmas!

However, any Apocalypse Girl knows that you need to be prepared at all times. I remember reading once that Bruce Lee never stopped training and I mean never: He would be talking with friends while doing mini push-ups against a wall. As I was struggling home from the shops the other day, this interview with Bruce Lee popped into my brain (you never know where apocalyptic inspiration might strike). Like Bruce Lee, could the Apocalypse Girls incorporate their planning and training into their daily lives? I did a few arm curls with my heavy shopping and feeling like I could take down a werewolf single handedly, I knew we could so here’s a few tips for preparing for the Apocalypse while wrapping, shopping and cooking for Christmas.

  • While basting your Christmas turkey, practice your ‘tap tap’ as if firing a gun. You can even practice your aim by squirting oil on specific spots;
  • Rolls of wrapping paper make excellent mock swords but can also be used to brush up on your staff use, Little John style;
  • Getting bored wrapping? Spin your scissors round and round before dropping them in an imaginary holster;
  • We’ve all seen the apocalypse movies where the ‘friend’ suddenly turns against the group. These people need to be restrained so get twisting with your rolls of tape and practice on your presents;
  • The thing about baubles is they look very similar to grenades. While putting up your Christmas tree, try lobbing a few onto the branches to practice your aim;
  • Get your arms in shape by lifting your bags of presents as you walk home;
  • While your milling with the crowds, take a good look at your fellow shoppers. Could any of them be vampire/werewolf/alien? Take a guess at who might lead the zombie hoards should the apocalypse happen while you’re buying slippers for your gran;
  • Speaking of grans, if yours buys you a truly horrid knitted scarf, count the number of alternative uses of the wool while you force a grin and say thank you. Here’s a few to get you started: tying one end to a rock to help guide you back while you investigate a dark cave, or as a snare to catch food;
  • You’ve read our ANOS article about slugs? (Of course you have, you’re a prepared Apocalypse Girl) Well, if you think of Brussel sprouts as mini slugs, you can practice chopping them in half while popping them in the pot (just don’t imagine slugs while you’re eating them, as sprouts are horrid enough to eat without that image);
  • Mixing Christmas cocktails? (Don’t forget to take a look at our cocktail cabinet for ideas) Well get your shake on as if your were mixing cocktails of a more explosive kind.

Wishing you all a very merry and apocalypse ready Christmas and I hope Father Christmas brings you the crossbow you’ve always wanted.

Preparation Everyone Can Do #2

by honeybadger

Reinforcing your home.

An Englishman’s home is his castle, but given few of us are lucky enough to own actual castles, with their design helpfully considering attack and siege, there are some simple alterations you can make to your own home.

Windows and glass doors are huge weak spots in modern building design. You could add bars but apart from looking ugly and making you feel like a prisoner they still leave huge areas people can shoot through. I recommend shutters. They can be decorative to look at and designed properly an excellent safety feature, attractive wood on either side, reinforced steel between them. Leave them open so you can enjoy the light but come an attack lock and bolt them from the inside and wait it out, quietly.

Moats, landmines and razor wire are not always practical or legal in the modern climate (people just don’t believe it’s going to happen), but there are some measures you can take. Some shrubs grow nice and thick and are full of vicious thorns, not quite as effective as landmines but will help slow people down. Keep them cut high enough you can’t step over, but low enough that it’s hard to hide behind them.

If you have a drive, gravel makes a nice crunching sound making it harder to sneak up on you, if you have a gate cultivate a nice wrenching squeak when it opens and never, ever oil the hinges. If you can then in addition to security lights a CCTV feed, with nightvision that is triggered by the lights going on and displays in your home can be useful for dealing with intruders in the dark. Small unlit ponds near access points in the garden can also provide a suitable hazard at night.

Weapons. It’s not always possible to fill the house with guns and grenades, the UK is pretty tight on this stuff, but kitchen knives and sporting good (baseball bats, hockey sticks, etc) are all perfectly legit along with power tools. don’t leave everything out in the garage, keep it close. my toolbox is upstairs so I can always lay my hands on whatever I need to hang a picture or deal with zombies/aliens/terminators or at least give me my best shot at getting away.

Pets, piranhas in the pond are a good bet, loud snarling dogs can be useful and cats make a great tripping hazard. So you see there are lots of simple, legal things you can do to help make sure your home is the safe haven it should be.

Honeybadger

Preparation Everyone Can Do #1

There are many things you can do to prepare for the apocalypse, whatever form it takes. The first we will consider in this series is your physical condition and basic hand to hand skills.

There are two elements to this. The first is simple physical conditioning. Cardio, weights, keeping unnecessary strain off your body and making sure it’s in the best condition it can be. Long walks for when there is no fuel left and we have to go everywhere by foot. Hit the gym to make sure you are strong, fit and fast, you may be running or fighting for your life.

That’s all pretty simple, but there are other things you can do. Learn to fight. Weapons skills will be useful but start with the fundamentals. Hand to hand combat. If you’ve never been hit in the face the first time will stop you dead in your tracks and that can be literally dead in an apocalypse. Get some training, get some practice and get to the point where someone’s foot cracking you in the nose barely makes you blink.

from
http://sportige.com/top-10-boxing-photos/

I chose kickboxing, I like the simplicity, we were all punching and kicking with flailing limbs as soon as we could walk, maybe before. This is a little more skillful but follows the same basic principles and I like that. There are lots of martial arts and sports though that will help you get used to high pressure combat situations. That rush of adrenaline that makes you a little shaky the first few times gets easier to control with practice and is tough to recreate out of a fight situation.

Wing Chun is great for fighting in tight spaces or if you have physical limitations, it’s taught to wheelchair users and is sometimes described as ‘learning to fight in a phone box’ as it uses a lot of small contained movements.

Tai chi is more than a form of relaxation, the advanced levels have numerous weapons forms and while it is often practised at a slow pace to focus on moving the chi around the body, speeded up it is one of the deadliest martial arts.

Boxing and kickboxing are sports really but will get you used to giving and receiving violent blows quite quickly and get you over any squeamishness about hitting another person.

Judo and olympic wrestling are good for ground work, not where you want to be against zombies but if human’s in your group get uppity useful for non lethal restraint.

Jiu jitsu is great for locks, holds, gouges and ground work. it’s philosophy seems to be ‘kill, maim, destroy’ and training is going to really out your body through it’s paces and it’s pain threshold.

Some martial arts are very spiritual, others are much more raw, some are taught primarily in katas others very much by combat. try a few, find one that suits your personality and body. it will help with physical condition generally and may save your life come the apocalypse. Frankly, it’s not a bad idea to have some decent fighting skills under your belt anyway, especially in town on a Saturday night.

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