{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ben Martino
December 23, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Thank you Dave…. Neat story…. puts a lot into perspective….
Thinking about their trip, I picture having to take a similar 100 mile trip on foot to bug out…. Only today, we can’t go as the crow flies, we can’t even take trails in the woods because they are all broken up and don’t lead to the 100 miles that we want to go….

So, because of roads being built, building being put in place, bridges, and all the other things that are “in the way”, a long the way…. this trip could probably be just about 60 miles as the crow fly’s, but modern times has added 40 miles because of the lack of straight line access ….

Now I don’t own a donkey, horse, or mule, if I have to walk the trip, because an EMP has killed all the use of vehicles, or there’s no gas available, or whatever….
I have to pack everything on my back…..

I can see that this trip will be more then a 3 1/2 day trip too…. right now my pack weights about 62 pounds when packed for three days…. Being 65 years old, and missing two disc in my back, I don’t think I could sustain a 3 mile per hour pace for 7 hours a day with 65 pounds on my back…..

Just another reason to survive in place until a means of travel becomes available….

I think with this story being available, everyone should do some realistic thinking about how realistic the thought of walking to your bug out location really is….
How long would it take you ? What would you need to carry ? What would it weigh? Etc. Etc.

Some real food for thought here Dave…. Thanks…



Vote -1 Vote +1Al
December 24, 2010 at 10:40 am

Would a small wagon that you pull take the strain off your back? Perhaps more could be taken also. Just a thought—————————-


Vote -1 Vote +1MP
December 24, 2010 at 10:55 am

The situation about EMP’s frying car electronics is the main reason I tend to stress the idea of having an older vehicle that doesn’t use modern electronics, or in the worst case, as little as possible.

You can find plenty of vehicles from the 70s that either used breaker point distributors or in the worst case, first generation electronic ignition systems that would only use a simple ignition module that can be found in the junkyard for a few bucks. If you like the styles you can still find some 60’s 4 dr granny cars or old Sandford and Son type trucks that all fit that category too.

Another alternative would be to hit up an early 80’s car/truck that still uses an engine/tranny from the 60’s/70’s cars. Ford/GM/Chrysler trucks, vans, and larger cars still used V8’s and straight 6 engines that were used as far back as the 60’s with the only difference being the electronic ignition system. Most of the time one can get a breaker point distributor and drop it in place of the electronic distributor w/o changing anything else on the car other than a couple of wires. The worst case may be changing the distributor drive gear on the other distributor as they sometimes are different in size. The same way us gearheads took the first gen electronic distributors and upgraded our breaker point cars can be done in reverse for the EMP scenario.

You can still find many 80s cars and trucks on the road that are suitable for this application (just about all trucks), and with those simple mods, or a few ignition modules stashed in your EMP proof box to replace the fried one in the event of an EMP event, your car, along with others like it, may be the only ones on the road while all the modern robot cars become lawn ornaments.


Vote -1 Vote +1Tim
December 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Having the EMP exempt vehicle sounds great, but there is one reality you have to face. If you are in an area that still has active law enforcement (county sheriff, etc.) you can bet that your vehicle will be appropriated for “public safety” purposes. And, if the good guys don’t take it peaceably, you can bet the bad guys will do so at the point of a gun. It a vehicle worth laying your life on the line for?


Vote -1 Vote +1MP
December 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm

All of that is quite true, but if there is active law enforcement in the area, it would probably be safe to assume that losing a car/truck would be the least of our concerns, especially if they decide to start making good on some of those old executive orders forbidding the stocking, I mean hoarding, of supplies, be it food, fuel, water, etc, let alone weapons. I’d rather lose a car than to lose EVERYTHING that we’ve managed to stock up on.

If for any other reason, there was any law in the area, you would wanna lay low until they leave or otherwise determine that your area is no longer worth operating in. As far as car jackers, most would probably agree that that’s where the weapons come in. Just like our homes and stocks are probably worth fighting for in order to survive, some may agree that a working vehicle fits into that category as well, if for any other reason to be used as a last ditch tool to escape an area that may have just grown too “hostile” for our survival, for whatever reason.

Just like with all of this other survival stuff, protecting your stuff from looters/jackers, whether they have badges or ski masks is something that needs to be considered just as well as everything else.


Vote -1 Vote +1Daniel Snedden
December 24, 2010 at 11:13 am

Your analysis is realistic and I read a lot of posts on other sites of those who plan to carry a lot of ammunition and other gear. If you reread the article he wrote you read he made an assumption that Mary and Joseph probably acquired water along the way. I might suggest that if you have a route to a specific retreat that you could cache some of your supplies along the routes. that way you would not need to carry as much weight initially. Just my 2 cents worth. Best of luck and I hope we never need to act on our preparations!


Vote -1 Vote +1Daniel Snedden
December 24, 2010 at 11:27 am

There is another option to following the road system. I purchased at relatively low cost some topographic maps along my route. I will be following railroad tracks and power lines, and gas lines most of my route. That way I avoid visibility as much as possible and do not have to worry as much about road blocks and check points. Just a consideration.


Vote -1 Vote +1Sam
December 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm


Hate to burst your bubble, but if others do as you do, you’ll be seen anyway (most likely, by the wrong sort of people).

Instead, get maps from the USGS. And, take along a good compass. Silva is tops (endorsed by the BSA), so is a good surplus military one.

If I DO have to bug out, I plan on NOT taking any trails (including deer ones). Walking on even a deer trail is just ASKING for trouble. Also, you may want to travel using the “buddy” system. Or even better, the “several buddy” system.


Vote -1 Vote +1Jim
December 24, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Hi Daniel,

I am on my fifth jeep over about 30 years. It used to be that I could get anywhere over forest service roads or power line roads even private property. Now these roads are almost all gated with unbreakable gates or cables. This is thanks to those that drove in and made a mess or damaged property or stole wood and etc.
You have a good idea but I suggest that you carry a chain saw so that you might be able to cut an access around the gate through the trees. You will need four wheel drive as well.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1CJHames
December 24, 2010 at 7:14 am

Does anyone else find it strange that, just days after Congress passed a “food safety” bill, Homeland Security (now THERE’S an oxymoron if I ever heard one) announces a terror threat to our food supply?


Vote -1 Vote +1Brian
December 24, 2010 at 8:33 am

No. Threats to the food supply have been reported and a focus of concern for a number of years. What’s unfortunate is that the responsibility for this threat has been spread out among three different agencies (Customs, Agriculture, FDA) and this has really hampered counter-agriterrorism efforts.


Vote -1 Vote +1Al
December 24, 2010 at 10:43 am

I have noticed that this government NEVER does anything without some motive behind it. BEWARE__________________


Vote -1 Vote +1Susan
December 29, 2010 at 2:06 am

The way I understand it, is, that all (?) cases of food borne illnesses/disease/contamination has come from Mega/large food production corporations.
After 9/11, food production was incorporated into “Bio-Terrorism” and regulated as such. We won’t go into 9/11 being planned so these ‘safety measure’ could
become law.
The upshot is the trickery and illegality of how the Senate 510 FOOD Bill
was passed is just one more step of their agenda.
Strange? I don’t know about using that adjective to describe the deceit. Those of us who love our country and our heritage are sick at heart over the destruction
of the moral fibers that once wove us together so tightly.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ron
December 24, 2010 at 7:24 am

Dave…Enjoy the Mary and Joseph Bug Out story…..I want to wish you and yours a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year.

I sincerel hope that all on S.I.P. have a safe Holiday week….

God Bless



+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ben
December 24, 2010 at 7:32 am

Let me add this. A Person with a Healthy Raw food diet can rest and only burn 6-800 calories per day. Doing heavy work that same person would only need 13-1500 calories per day…

So if they ate what I think they ate, a mostly fruit diet, their caloric needs are much lower than we think.

I know my family can eat 7-8 bananas (each) a day and need nothing extra. Raw food doesn’t require the calories needed to process cooked food. Which can be anywhere from 25-50% o the caloric content of the food consumed.

A Typical rest day for me is 2 grapefruit, a couple of oranges and a few apples. Maybe 150 calories worth of grapes.

A busy day I will gorge on a few melons. in addition and be satisfied.

The moment I eat cooked food I have to consume almost twice as much to get the same energy benefit.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 24, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Great comment, Ben 🙂

It reminds me of when I found out that most people burn as much or more energy DIGESTING lobster than the lobster provides. Crabs and other bottom dwelling scavengers aren’t much better.

Over the years, I’ve tried to figure out the fuels that “burn the cleanest” in my body. It’s truly amazing how much more efficient my body has become as I’ve learned the best foods to feed it.


Vote -1 Vote +1Debra
December 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Where do you find that type of information.. Energy consumed digesting food vs. Energy produced by the food.


Vote -1 Vote +1Berferd
December 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm

That’s just plain silliness. Calories are calories. If they come from high-fructose corn syrup or straw makes no difference. Whether a person is resting or a person is working, their body will use a number of calories based on the muscle mass, temperature, etc. regardless of the source of those calories. There is very simple chemistry and physics involved – no need to introduce alchemy or any other hyperbole.
The effiency of an animal (people, too) converting food to energy can be drasticly affected by the nature of the food. Whole grains vs refined flours, raw veggies vs boiled and processed, are easy to differentiate and the benefits of the natural products are profound. But to try to state the benefits extend beyond reality does no one any favors. Least of all, your credibility.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Hey Berferd,

I beg to differ, but calories aren’t just calories. This is a complicated, but very important subject.

Different people make different enzymes at different rates and it causes the body to spend more/less calories digesting particular foods. So, it might take me 80 calories to digest and extract 100 calories from a meal that only takes you 30 calories. If you can figure out which foods your body is efficient at digesting, your eating becomes much more efficient. Also, many raw foods contain some of the natural enzymes required to digest them. When you cook them, you kill some/all of the enzymes and put more of the stress of digestion on your gut and causing you to get fewer net calories.

We do cook a lot of our food, but we supplement with enzymes to take some of the strain of digestion off of our bodies. This, in turn, causes the food to “burn” more efficiently, which takes some of the load odd of our livers.

If you’re interested in learning more on this, let me know. If there’s enough interest, I’ll do a whole article on it.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 29, 2010 at 1:00 pm

There are a couple more components to this whole “food efficiency” issue…

1. Allergies. If your body identifies a particular food as a threat, then you won’t be able to digest it as efficiently as someone who’s body doesn’t identify it as a threat.

2. Glycimic index & insulin response. You mentioned how high fructose corn sweetener and straw acted the same, but they don’t. If you’ve got 200 calories worth of HFCS and 200 calories worth of maple syrup, your body will perform much better with the 200 calories of maple syrup because of the difference in insulin responses. Your blood sugar will spike and subsequently tank after 200 calories of HFCS, but will have a minimal insulin response, if any, after 200 calories worth of maple syrup.


Vote -1 Vote +1Guy Bedard
December 24, 2010 at 7:51 am

Merry Christmas Dave and all!

Really good newsletter!

FAIL!!!, would have been the grade I would have gotten for having been ready for this trip for Mary and Baby Jesus I’m afraid!

Will take time to spend with friends and family!



+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Rick
December 24, 2010 at 7:51 am

David – thanks much for the “bug out” story, and I agree they had much more stamina than most of us today.

I also agree with you about Christmas being our second favorite holiday, after Easter.

Finally, thank you for all you do for your readers. May God richly bless you and your family during this holy season, and during the next year.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Kathryn Liggett
December 24, 2010 at 7:59 am

Ditto to Ben’s reply. My family was poking fun at my Boy Scout ‘Be Prepared” planning, after I showed them your wonderful articles, they admitted that calling me what iffer of the year was unfair. We need more Persons like you that make the information available. My late husband was Army Aviator and had
taken a Survival Course, and also Boy Scout leader, so I am prepared Sir.

Wonderful article You so deserve wonderful holidays, for all the great info you make available. My survival kit is packed,and I wish our leaders could be mature enough to encourage everyone to accept we do have an
enemy.(or is it accept it themselves)


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1C. Wayne Lammers
December 24, 2010 at 8:28 am

Mr. Martino makes a good point about straight line travel. I have done some research on rivers and find them to be an excellent choice for bug out. For example, from Memphis to New Orleans the Mississippi River leads through a virtual wilderness with almost no settlements on the rout. Many streams and small rivers, including the Arkansas River flow into it. Google Earth is a great tool to check out such places.

My boat, 24′ with flying bridge, allows me to keep stocked up and ready to go at all times. It will also provide me and my family shelter and some comforts. We are going to build a top deck over the aft end to provide another inclosed deck below and an extra room above.

Gas will be a problem very quickly, but the idea of bugging out is to, well, bug-out. Pull into a secluded place and use a flat bottom boat for fishing and also gorilla gardening along the banks and other areas and pull out the tents and tarps for a base camp and you are home.

This is not an answer for everyone, but there are many rivers throughout the country that can provide a possible means of doing more than one thing in a real survival situation.

Thanks for a great article and Merry Christmas to everyone.


Vote -1 Vote +1MP
December 24, 2010 at 11:08 am

I always liked the idea of surviving on the water/banks of rivers/swamps, its a bit of a fascination watching shows like swamp people, and makes me think about how the bayou people will probably do real good in these different survival scenarios when everyone else would be up sh*t creek. We have kayaks and thought about how those would have an application in allowing one to get into small channels and swampy areas that even jonboats may have a problem navigating, especially if one is just a few steps from trying to survive on foot.

It would be an interesting thought for one to take a larger boat and equip it with a larger trolling motor and some marine batteries along with a large solar array that can serve as a roof and use that as a primary means of propulsion for the boat, no fuel to worry about an virtually silent. Just a thought, since bass boats use them to navigate, albeit slowly, but hey, beats rowing.


Vote -1 Vote +1John D. Fay
December 24, 2010 at 8:33 am

I think Ben has it correct. I spent many years in the Boy Scouts and we mostly only ate raw foods. We could cover around 24 miles per day in the Angeles National Forest with a 30 to 40 lb. pack which included a WW2 pup tent a wool blanket and sleeping bag along with enough food for two to three days but we did re-supply our water often from the creeks in our WW2 canteens !!! Fresh fruit does supply additional water!


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Matt in Oklahoma
December 24, 2010 at 8:44 am

That is a great perspective on the story of Joseph and Mary. You have a great CHRISTmas. I’m going to share your story with others


Vote -1 Vote +1krys
December 24, 2010 at 9:42 am

Thank you Dave for the story it was a pick me up & inspiring.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to you & your family & the family of preppers.

Dave is the katdadyn filter avaliable here in the U.S. so far it’s over seas & eur 360.00 which i found out from a friend in England was roughtly $120.00 us. I found the Sawyer filter systems which suprised me being so low priced, all the other systems I researched were over priced & needed to much maintenace so I plan on buying several plus the hand helds. Walmart has the 32 ox filter glass $15.00.
Thanks for all the great info & saving time on searching for the things needed.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 24, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I’m not sure which Katadyn filter you’re referring to, but here is the Sawyer filter that I use, recommend, and actually bought as Christmas gifts this year:


It has a .02 micron filter that will actually filter out viruses. It’s also rated for 1 MILLION gallons. Once you get it wet, you need to protect it from freezing or excessive heat, which means keeping it out of cars in most parts of the country. Even so, I LOVE this filter.


Vote -1 Vote +1Tony
December 24, 2010 at 10:01 am

This was an interesting thing but consider too. Tradition says ‘One man, One woman and one donkey” What were the facts though? It makes more sense that ol’ Joseph hooked up the team and they traveled in a cart or wagon? Would you pack all that water food and a woman on one little donkey? Not!!

Tradition also says they were poor. Not They only slept in the stable because there was no room….. I would too rather than sleeping on my ass.


Vote -1 Vote +1Debra
December 24, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Have you never seen a two wheel cart? Very common in the middle east. You can carry a ton with just a little donkey pulling it. Mary would sit with the load on top of the hay. A large bladder containing water lies in the bottom of the cart. Hay on top of that. Food parcels on top of that.

History is fun


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Frank
December 24, 2010 at 10:02 am

Great article. I would be very interested in your analysis of their bug-out to Egypt with the baby Jesus!


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Crockett
December 24, 2010 at 10:02 am

Great info and perspective. You and your family have a very blessed Christmas.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Anita F
December 24, 2010 at 10:04 am

Great story on Joseph and Mary. I agree with Ben in that the food they carried was most likely fruits, flat bread, water and maybe some dried meat. I feel quite certain they carried some essential oils as they have high antibacterial properties.

Keep in mind that many others were traveling to Bethlehem during this time. They could easily have traveled with others during part of/all their trip. It didn’t make the trip easier but, it was a comfort to know that someone would likely show up shortly if you needed help.

Women were also a lot tougher during that time, as all their daily tasks were manual labor. I think Mary would have walked as least a small part of the way. The donkey was definitely a HUGE plus as prego-waddling gets old after a while.

BTW: Thanks for the great tips! Shalom and Blessing to you and your family.


Vote -1 Vote +1BrianM
December 24, 2010 at 10:05 am

David, I have been reading your stuff now for about 4 months and have shared most of it with others. I agree mostly with your ideas, but not all of your details. I have been studying self-sufficiencyism since about 1985. It was survivalism then until that word acquired it’s negative connotation. 20 years of military service helped and refined methodolgy and training. My wife is fully onboard with the idea of SHTF and TEOTWAWKI.

That said, I think there is a lot of knee-jerk reaction to things in your column. I like the idea of smaller government and less intrusion in our daily lives, but part of why the government does exist is to to regulate inter-state (not intra-state) and international commerce, interface with foriegn governments and maintain the military. The new FDA bill actually does that function of government trade oversight both inter-state and internationally. there are exemptions for small/family farmers, makes imported foods meet the same safety specs as all in the US and at the same time will actually require tyhe FDA to perform it’s inspection function. Many of the bills of the recent [past are junk and probably not completely constitutional, but they are what we as a people allow the law makers and corrupt factions advising teh law makers (paying them?) to inflict on us. We as individuals are fairly intelligent and many are educated, but collectively we are not very bright in our election processes.

Thanks for the opportunity to interact with the good people that I read here. Keep up the good stuff. Brian


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 24, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Hey Brian,

I appreciate your comments and your willingness to peel the onion back a little. This issue is INCREDIBLY complex and I want to assure you that there was no knee-jerk reaction. I simply wanted to keep this week’s article short, so I didn’t get into too many details.

I appreciate your question, in part, because it is like a nice fast ball coming right down the pipe…a perfect pitch for a home run hitter.

The exemption for small family farmers does not exist. Period. What many people are referring to is the exemption for VERY small farms that was put in with the Tester Ammendment. Tester introduced the ammendment in April and I believe it was added in early November. You can read the Tester Ammendment on his website at http://tester.senate.gov/Legislation/upload/tester_amendment_agreement_summary.pdf

The “exemption” is for farms that have gross sales of less than $500,000 per year. That number is not indexed to inflation. A $500,000 farm is not a big farm and it only takes a handfull of people working to hit that threshold…before inflation. Since MANY farms only have 10% profit margins, that means that only family farms making roughly $50,000 per year or less will be exempt. You can read more about that here: > http://www.naturalnews.com/030587_Senate_Bill_510_Food_Safety.html <

But the presumption is that you're guilty until proven "exempt." And here's what you have to do to prove that you're exempt:

For farmers: Farms would qualify for an exemption from the produce safety standards in section 105 of S. 510 if, during the previous 3 year period, the average monetary value of the food they sold was less than $500,000, but only so long as the majority of sales were to consumers, restaurants, or grocery stores (as opposed to 3rd party food brokers) and were in the same state where the farm harvested or produced the food or within 275 miles of the farm.


I. Documentation that the owner, operator or agent of the facility has identified potential hazards associated with the food being processed, is implementing preventative controls to address those hazards, and is monitoring the preventative controls to ensure that such controls are effective.

II. Documentation (which may include licenses, inspection reports, certificates, permits, credentials, certification by an appropriate agency (such as the State Department of Agriculture) or other evidence of oversight), as specified by the Secretary that the facility is in compliance with state, local, county, or other non-Federal food safety law.

And for food facilities: Food facilities would qualify for an exemption from the preventive control/HACCP provisions in section 103 of S. 510 under certain conditions:
(1) they are either a “very small business” as defined by FDA in rulemaking; or (2) the average annual monetary value of all food sold by the facility during the previous 3 year period was less than $500,000, but only so long as the majority of the food sold by that facility was sold directly to consumers, restaurants, or grocery stores (as opposed to 3rd party food brokers) and were in the same state where the facility sold the food or within 275 miles of the facility.

• Facilities that qualify would be exempt from the preventive control/HACCP provisions in S. 510, but would still have to comply with one of the following:
(1) They would have to demonstrate that they have identified potential hazards and are implementing preventive controls to address the hazards, or
(2) they would have to demonstrate to FDA that they are in compliance with state or local food safety laws.

So…lots of additional documentation requirements, and the FDA doesn't need ANY proof to shut farms down.

And, as to foreign farmers…they don't have to meet the same requirements.

Hopefully, we'll vote out everyone who thinks we're too dumb to decide how to live our own lives in the next couple of elections 🙂


Vote -1 Vote +1jacque dennis-jackson
December 26, 2010 at 9:44 pm

you know, it would be awsome if we could start a list of our politicians who write or voet in favor of some of these awful bills, and post their acomplishments (failures in my opinion) so we could help to vote the bad apples out. it would be tough, but what an acomplishment!


Vote -1 Vote +1Susan
December 29, 2010 at 2:18 am

Thank you for providing this information. Going to the link you provided for Natural New added the topic of Food Smuggling. Why would they make a law
that widely incorporates food distribution PRIOR to upcoming Food shortages


Vote -1 Vote +1Arthur
December 24, 2010 at 10:27 am

The God Factor

This is the Son of God ! Don’t you think that God would take care of his one & only son ?? God could have had everything set in place to take care of them in one of 1000 X1000 X 1000 of ways !! Direct Or Indirect, as in Angel’s helping in some way . Like David said, this isn’t a technical account…just trivia to make one think of the possibilities ( I’m a Christian also).If you do all that you can do, God will take care of the rest, if it is god’s will that you do it ! As we our son’s of God, through Jesus Christ, God’s son !!

This is food for thought ! When in these times of troubles, and trying times !! There are bigger things going on, then we could ever forsee or even thank about happing, well beyond our ability to understand !!

Merry Christmas & A Happy Year


Vote -1 Vote +1MP
December 24, 2010 at 10:58 am

Even though it tastes like crap, I got two words for this scenario:

Hard Tack 🙂


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 24, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Hard tack is basically flower, water, and salt. I prefer the more “refined” version…ash cakes 🙂


-1 Vote -1 Vote +1Muhjesbud, Chicago, Il.
December 24, 2010 at 10:59 am

Hi Dave,

Good points about net nuetrality and the obsessive compulsive nature of the ‘G’ to
constantly try to proliferate their insatiable need to control us. You are surely a great American value creator.

‘Dave for Prez!’

‘Dave for Prez!’

I’ve also noticed that you’ve been increasing your references to God and religion in your information and postings.

Even though i personally subscribe to one of the 30 thousand or so various ‘Christian sects’ in the world, it still is a subjective belief system that probably should best be left out of pure technical and tactical aspects of catastrophic survival.

Otherwise, you’ll turn many people off in that they might tend to relate the ultimate success of group ‘survival” to the affinity of intransigent religious cultism, which is so much a problem in today’s chaotic world…

I suppose ‘belief in God’ can be integrated in the ‘mental strength’ aspect of survival. There are, of course, many ancecdotal and ‘inspirational’ references,
But the general population in a major event will likely consist of significant numbers of secular and non Christian religions like Islam, and Hindustani (third largest in the world). So when you inject your personal ‘faith based’ minset into actual psycho catastrophic survival experiences, where others with their own particular diversion also insist upon their own, you may be unfortunately surprised at effect on the collective outcome…

As far as the ‘bug out’ scenario for the trek to from Nazereth to Bethlehem, We can’t really get the distance correct because there is no verifiable evidence that a town called Nazereth even factually existed during those times. This reference was ‘established’ later on when the Holy Roman Church decided they needed this for their version of the Bible, and may have actually built the town themselves around this time. (approx/ 290-330 AD) Archeological digs support some small potential group dwellings at that time 6-4 BC, in relative proximity, but not very close to the location of Nazereth today.

Also, during this census period, there was the constant danger of being robbed and killed. Most prudent travelers joined caravans for security which regularly followed established and facilitated trade routes. This would also have mitigated the ‘supply’ problem, as there would have been additional animals used only to carry extra goods and supplies.

Also, there is considerable scholarship debate on whether or not Joseph and Mary, due to their ‘royal lineage’, were as impoverished as biblical reference implies. This affect their ‘travel’ accomodations considerably. Camels, then, would be much more superior to donkeys for desert travel. Walking could be minimalized and the trip might be made in less time. With the higher load capacity of Camels, and their propensity for duration between watering holes, the tactical foodstuffs might be less and, instead, the bartering and trading resources to use at their destination and/or to purchase re-supplies, a greater part of the bug out kit?

In any case, good mental exercise. Keep up the good work and have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 24, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Hey Muhjesbud,

Thanks for your comments. A couple of things on talking about Christianity…

First, It’s Christmas time…the most recognized, observed, and celebrated Christian holiday of the year. It’s widely considered the most important holiday of the year for retailers. Unlike all of the people who fear the minority and say “Happy Holidays” instead of Merry Christmas, I’m going to talk about Christmas and Christianity.

Second, I’m not going to cower and hide my faith under a bush. At the same time, you’ll never see me using the Bible as a weapon to judge, hurt, or correct people. I don’t believe that a newsletter is the forum for that. Correction is something that should be done on a one-on-one basis when both parties have a common basis of love and respect.

Third, if/when a breakdown in civil order happens, a LARGE percentage of people who will have prepared in the US are going to be Christians. Why? Because there’s a Biblical precedence for preparedness, because it’s talked about in churches across the country, and because many of the leaders of the preparedness movement are Christian.

If my non-judgemental/non-preaching comments about my personal faith offend people or turn them off, how much harder is it going to be for them after a disaster?

Since preparedness is so widespread in the Christian community, who do you think you’ll be trading with after a breakdown in civil order? The answer, of course, is people of all faiths or people with no faith–but in the US, a large percentage will be Christians, so it would be wise for both Christian and non-Christian preppers to develop a tolerance for each other.

But, as it relates to this blog, we actually don’t approve most of the religious comments that people post. Why? Because I don’t want to distract people from preparedness with non-central facets of religion. There has been an increase in comments that are good posts, but tend to distract from preparedness that I haven’t been able to approve lately.

Because of this, I’ve added a new catagory (today) on the forum at https://secretsofurbansurvival.com/forumdisplay.php?36-Christianity-Religion-and-Prepping where we can have more religious-centered conversations.

And, the final reason why I talk about Christianity is because it is central to my life. No matter what is going right or wrong in my life, I have peace that defies understanding because of my faith in Jesus. As I said in the course, “There are few things more comforting than knowing that God is in control. If you don’t believe in God, that’s fine. All of us who do will enjoy our delusional stupor.” 🙂


Vote -1 Vote +1ken
December 25, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Very well put Dave. If one pays attention, They would find allot of preppers are Christian. The patriot nurse, the Sweede from stayingawake20, yankee prepper, Dave wendell bushcraftonfire to name a few. All these folks display their Christian faith proudly. Accept us as christians or don’t, it’s up to them, but don’t deny us our 1st amendment rights.


Vote -1 Vote +1jacque dennis-jackson
December 26, 2010 at 9:54 pm

hi dave, keep up the good work and dont change anything. i am not christian, but i am very non-secular spiritual and have great faith, my native american and scottish roots in action. i personally like knowing who you are, and what you stand for. it gives me peace of mind to know that the person i am alligning myself with is a man of honor. and really, very few people will have the issues that this reader had.


Vote -1 Vote +1Susan
December 29, 2010 at 2:30 am

Very well written reply, Dave. Nice, calm, polite, well organized , progressive thought process. Your entire web-sight is lucid, down-to-earth, and highly
My inflamnatory response to your critic would have been:”Don’t bite the hand
that feeds you, take a long walk off a short pier, don’t come to the web-site if you don’t like it, and what makes you think anything you have to say is worthwhile?”
Thus, it is good that you are the moderator/teacher, and as such, are constantly
endeavoring to teach the sheeple.


Vote -1 Vote +1Ray
December 24, 2010 at 11:51 am

I am 70 yoa. My mother told of making an 18 mile trip to the city in the 1920’s. She said they would get up, feed and water the stock and load up the wagon; only the very wealthy in the cities had an automobile. They would travel until time to stop and build a fire and cook lunch. They would get to the city in time to set up camp for the night and prepare the evening meal. They would do their business the next am and head for home; again stopping to eat, and arriving there in time to feed and water the stock and prepare the evening meal. JUST 18 MILES!! What a difference in less than 100 years. ray


Vote -1 Vote +1James L Chase
December 24, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Merry Christmas all! 🙂

There is one glaring error here David. Jesus was alredy born and maybe around 2 years old when that journey took place according to King Herod. They may have taken grey hound, a caravan, and food, just took money with them and purchased food along the way? Joe was a local union carpenter so I am sure he had plenty of cash. The route was well traveled as Egypt was pretty much the center like say New York city. Everyone remembers them even until today in Cairo, for example. They lived in upper Egypt for about 3-4 years.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 24, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Hey James,

Herod may have said that, but I’ll go with the Biblical account. Specifically, in Luke 2, Caesar Augustus called for a census and a tax and Joseph and Mary had to return to Joseph’s birthplace (Bethlehem) to be counted.

You’re right…I just alluded to the fact that they could have purchased food for the return trip, but they could have bought food on the way as well. I don’t think they would have needed to, though…the weight/bulk wouldn’t have been excessive for the donkey.

Where’d you get your info on Joseph being a “local union carpenter???”


Vote -1 Vote +1James L Chase
December 24, 2010 at 5:52 pm

My apology. I was thinking about the Egypt trip. Also while Joseph was a builder of houses not necessarily a carpenter, but a skilled worker.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 24, 2010 at 6:49 pm

No problem, James. Have a Merry Christmas 🙂


Vote -1 Vote +1Michael
December 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I think the water estimates are vastly over what may have been needed. Knowing some people who traveled and lived among desert dwellers, they often consume far less water than we imagine.

Excessive water drinking is said to contribute to…too much sweating. You may be surprised how well just an occasional sip of water, first held in the mouth for a moment or two, will refresh you.

It may seem as counter-intuitive as…the heavy garb also often warn by those in the very hot desert environments.


Vote -1 Vote +1Michael
December 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Oooops, that should be…worn.


Vote -1 Vote +1Father Daniel
December 24, 2010 at 12:52 pm


If you’ve got the spare time sometime, it would be interesting to speculate on what Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus needed for their real bug out, the one to Egypt to avoid Herod’s slaughter of the Holy Innocents.

Also, Michael makes a good point about clothing. The natural fibres, such as wool, breath so they protect against heat as well as cold, something desert dwellers needed as it is hot during the day, but the temperature can drop like a stone at night.. The robes we now associate with Arabs made good sense.,



Vote -1 Vote +1Dwight Turner
December 24, 2010 at 2:03 pm

David, it is so nice to see a fellow prepper who doesn’t hate Jesus and Christmas, which is the remembrance of His birth. I have posted on some preppers’ websites and forums about keeping faith in God to see us through the coming crisis, and have been called every nasty name in the book.

God bless you and your ministry. Many have learned much from your ministry to your fellow man.


Vote -1 Vote +1Patrick
December 24, 2010 at 2:12 pm

I really enjoyed your detailed message, it is always better to make it biblical to keep the record straight. Observations as follows;-Common folk were leaner in those days -requiring less sustenance with raw or slightly cooked food and bread was more wholesome also -A laden donkey would require twice as much food and water intake as you described, no big deal for they would have travelled via pit stops for water or grasses and vegetation holding more water for the donkey and themselves. Most if not all comments were great! Just a side note; I had 3 PVC stashes along my route, two were dug up for area development. the third and closest to our nook is still in place and it contains, weapon, ammo, Distiller, water purification, dried foods, 2 coast guard rations, fire, poncho[3], Boots[2], medical supplies, etc.. Everything in mylar bags, sealed and void of air, some with desicant. The 2 closest to home did not contain firearms.


Vote -1 Vote +1Saundra
December 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Merry Christmas and GOD bless us all!


Vote -1 Vote +1Todd
December 25, 2010 at 7:51 am

Thank you sir for the story! also I think that even though they left no footprints and probalbly only a few were seen with human eyes that bug out road had 10000 angels buzzing along dancing and praising their lord who was soon to be born! the bible say in Luke chapter 2 verse’s 13 and 14 a multitude of the heavenly host was with the angel of the lord around the sheperds! in my mind which is humanly a heavenly multitude would be at least ten thousand but could be many many more!
God bless and merry Christmas


Vote -1 Vote +1rexx
December 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I am curious about the logistics of bugging out to Egypt. It was a whole lot further and they had to do it in a hurry.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
December 31, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Rapid departure, but had GOLD that was a gift. This would have made travel and resettling much easier. Would you have much trouble relocating if someone just gave you say $10K to $50K in cash?


Vote -1 Vote +1Steve Smith
December 26, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Some interesting reading–both practical and theoretical, with a little humor for seasoning.

I agree with most posters that we needn’t be ashamed of our faith. I would hope that any Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, etc. readers would also share. Each faith has much to offer in terms of personal preparedness–a term used by my church which has encouraged people to store a year’s supply of food, clothing, etc., and at least 3 month’s supply of water since long before I was born (I’m 56).

Many people don’t like this talk of preparedness or survival because they are scared of the possibility that it will be needed, and they aren’t ready to deal with it.

My wife and I have worked at it for a long time, there is much still to do, and we hope we will never have to use it, but then, it wasn’t raining when Noah started building the Ark.

Also, some people speak of defending their food supply with deadly force. This may be necessary if the “bad guys” try to take it with you, but I would hope that for all others the lesson of Elijah and the Shunhamite woman would be remembered–because of her sacrifice for a man of good, her barrel of meal was never empty and her cruse of oil never failed until the famine ended.

Since this is December 26th, I hope that all had a meaningful Christmas, with time to build bonds with family and friends. They are one of our greatest blessings and assets in dealing with life, regardless of what is happening around us.




Vote -1 Vote +1Steve Smith
December 26, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Ooops, should be “take it FROM you”, not “take it WITH you”, and :man of GOD”, not “man of GOOD”.


Regarding Joseph and Mary’s flight into Egypt to escape Herod’s slaughter of the male children… if you read a few verses previously, you will see that the wise men visited the HOUSE where the CHILD was… since they started traveling at the appearance of the star announcing Christ’s birth, they probably didn’t make the journey in a few days.


Vote -1 Vote +1shirley
December 26, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Thank you, David, “one and all!” You gave me, and others, I’m sure, a few good chuckles and a hearty laugh, as well. Thanks, hope you all had a Merry Christmas, no matter what religious faith you are or aren’t. A Happy New Year to all as we all keep on preparing! I love you all.


Vote -1 Vote +1James
December 27, 2010 at 8:35 am

hope everyones christmas was great. Yep around and around we go wet and wild as the gorvernment flushes us. Nice thoughts from all. Now just take water and walk. Make the trip with what is in pockets and one bottle water. See what happens. See life has a way of giving and takeing away. Push your self to your limit. If you dont know your limit then how do you know your abilitys. Push it you will be suprised. I didnt say happy. Suprised.


Vote -1 Vote +1Dawn Spiering
December 27, 2010 at 11:16 am

this is along the line of net nuetrality; one of the sites I contribute to has found that DHS has been monitoring thier site not by only 1 individual but by no less than 19. So it appears tptb have begun thier nazi tactics to silence many sites and infiltrate by sneaking in and discovering the IP location of each member.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 27, 2010 at 2:08 pm

This isn’t new, nor should it be surprising. There’s no need to get paranoid about it right now…just be smart about what you say. Most people have a more immediate threat from friends, neighbors, or relatives reading what they write online than from big brother.

Three other things to keep in mind…which can be mind benders.

First, not everyone at DHS is a Janet-clone. Many of them are worried about REAL threats to homeland security. They have families that they love who they want to protect. Most DHS plans are macro in nature and are large scale. That means that there are acceptable numbers of casualties. In a family, the planning is micro in nature and the number of accepted casualties is zero. This means that employees are continually being bombarded with threats but not provided with the tools to protect their families. As a result, they figure out how to put plans in place to protect their loved ones by going to preparedness websites.

Second, they’re looking for domestic terrorists. While only a handfull of the millions of preppers in the country fit the mold of a domestic terrorist, almost all domestic terrorists are preppers and it makes sense for them to see if they can find them on prepper websites. This is one of the reasons why I’m so clear on the need to enact change through voting and legislation.

Third, the Pentagon stepped up their wargaming on scenarios on how to restore order after breakdowns in civil order after disasters. They know it’s coming and they know that some of the best solutions available are coming from the private sector. In short, “the smartest guys in the room” in DC are lurking on preparedness sites and passing off solutions that they read as their own during wargaming sessions. You want to know what I think about that? I say, “God bless them”…and let us know how we can help.

Finally, just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not watching you. This IS serious business. And were in a calm time when we have the freedom to say A LOT in public online forums without fear of consequences. Even so, over the last couple of years, we’ve heard returning veterans, people with Ron Paul bumper stickers, and people who own gold targeted as potential terrorists. I pray that our freedom to speak continues, but I choose my words with the fact in mind that the rules could change at any time.

God bless


Vote -1 Vote +1Susan
December 29, 2010 at 3:05 am


What is tptb?


Vote -1 Vote +1Jack
December 27, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Ok, OK, OK! Please start a different thread for the further discussion of theology.

Back to the original point. People are overlooking a very simple vehicle – the bicycle. A crossover bike with a couple of panniers can cary a fair load and still be managable. Add a small pull behind bicycle trailer to carry additional cargo. You can make a hell of a lot of distance on a bicycle in a day.

A bicycle is also good for a longer range patrol/searches. Remember to stop frequently and scan your surroundings with binoculars.


Vote -1 Vote +1Susan
December 29, 2010 at 3:01 am

“just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not watching you”. How ironic. Every time I post, I wonder which Federal agent will be reading what I
So, I want to write this. We are the people NOT looking for hand-outs. We are of the generation that still believes in self-sufficiency and having the strength of
mind and will to be an individual.
We are NOT the people who will be out looting, stealing, and the rest of those
adjectives should mass chaos erupt in a societal uprising from dissidents.
In the old days, we were the individuals that helped make our country strong.
We taught our kids right from wrong, and to have respect for authority. We taught
them to study, to learn, to help our country grow and be strong.
If you are a Federal agent reading this; then mark us as friends and allies. We
are NOT advocating civil disobedience. We are NOT advocating armed rebellion.
Our Holy Bible tells us to pray for those in authority: NOT to take up weapons against them. Praying is an individual act of self-will, asking God to Bless those we are praying for, and to help them do what is right.
If you want to mark me: mark me as someone who loves her country. As someone who desperately wants to believe there is still good left in the land that
my forefathers fought for. At your next meeting with your discussion groups, how about letting them know that NOT all ‘prepper’ web-sites are against government? Real government is supposed to be for the GOOD of the American Citizens. You do not need to put us in the same category as the gun-smuggling, neo-nazi white supremacy groups.
What happened to all the prisoners in the jails in Lousiana during Katrina? I would think your time would be better spent rounding up all the convicted child molestors and killers that were let free after unlocking the doors for them.
We ARE the salt of the earth. We ARE the ones that believe in decency and respect for authority. In the old days, we were respected for our beliefs and willingness to WORK for a living. And that, my friend, is what made AMERICA great.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
December 30, 2010 at 10:58 am

Hey Susan,

Thanks for your comment. I simultaneously have to balance my thoughts on government agencies between the people I know personally and the people in those same agencies who do incredibly stupid things and make incredibly short-sighted statements (like refusing to use the word “terrorist” to describe the terrorists we’re fighting, but calling returning vets and people with bumper stickers on their cars “potential terrorists.”


Vote -1 Vote +1Bill Meinhardt
December 29, 2010 at 8:43 am

I enjoyed the Christmas story a lot. I think you may have forgotten an important factor. Because everyone was required to travel to the place of their birth to pay taxes, the road would have been very busy. This would have attracted merchants all along the way to provide needed goods and services such as food , water,feed , ect. Mary and Joseph could have taken part of what they needed and purchased the rest along the way from roadside merchants.


Vote -1 Vote +1Susan
December 30, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Three times an angel…..helped Joseph to know what to do with regards to Mary
and the child. The fourth time God showed Joseph in a dream not to go to Judea with Mary and the child; but instead turned aside into Galilee.
Wise people would understand that there is a mysterious, higher power
warning them to prepare. Use the history of The Bible to lead you and guide you,
as it did Joseph: who was taking care of Mary.


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