The Art of The Bug Out

Writer’s Notes to the Reader.;

This book is designed to be a step-by-step guide to help the reader develop their Bug-Out plan. Information and details about the Bug-Out Bag, your gear and plans will be covered in over 200 pages. Also, how to not get overwhelmed with such a huge undertaking.

I know from experience, that just starting out in getting prepared and setting up a Bug-Out Bag, safe area, selecting the right gear and so on can be psychologically challenging and a daunting task.

This book is designed to help alleviate that overwhelming feeling and guide you in the right direction. The equipment has been tested and proven in the field by myself, the
Jeff Tindall

Book Description
Unlike other bug out references, this book is going to look into some of the other possible scenarios than just natural disasters. Most books talk about having a 72-hour kit or a 7-day supply of food and water. I ask you, for what? So you can wait for the Public Utilities to come back on? To be able to hold out long enough for State and Federal agencies to get to you, to feed you, bring you water or “to take care of you”?

What if the scenario you needed to but out from was the State or Federal Governments? What if you woke up in the morning to go to work and martial law was enacted, or overnight there was another Terrorist attack like the one on 9/11? Can you consider a nuclear power plant 15 miles away from you going into a possible meltdown, turning on the morning news and seeing that the Stock Market crashed. Realizing that you can’t get any cash from your bank or ATM , and even if you could the grocery and gas stores have already been emptied.

I could go on forever about all the what-ifs. The main question is, would your family be prepared for something like this? Would you be able to bug in or bug out for the long term, for weeks, months or longer if needed? Could you survive and provide shelter, food, water, warmth and security for your loved ones?

The next big question is to bug in or bug out? These are both very big questions and require some very careful thinking, planning, training and practicing.

The main focus of this book is not to teach you ALL the survival skills needed to survive all of these possible situations, but to make you think, plan and prepare for them to the best of your ability. You must realize that this will be done while dealing with possible extreme survival and tactical environments and situations.

This book is a first in a series of books; the next book to follow this one is The Art Of Bugging In.

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Survival Shelter

Survival Shelter
By Jeff Tindall

Let’s talk about a few different survival shelters, their pros and cons and their different uses and their construction. We will also talk about a few things you can add to your kit to aid you in shelter construction and allow you the ability to have an emergency expedient shelter.

There are many types of survival shelters to consider using in your situation and depending on the resources you may have with you or the surrounding resources that can be used will also come into play when selecting the right type of shelter to construct. Time, weather conditions and location will also play a part in determining shelter type.

Shelter Location:

Location, Location, Location, I can’t stress enough about a good location. Before selecting a site or location for your shelter you want to evaluate a few things first.

– Look up, look at the trees above you, do they pose a direct threat with dead limbs (widow makers) that can fall on you while you are working in your shelter or sleeping, ask yourself if the wind picks up will that limb fall?

– Some tress can help offer extra cover from rain or snow falling in, but they can also house threats at the same time, hornet’s nest, snakes, spiders, scorpions, or even a flock of turkeys using it for a roost at night offer you little to no sleep. Try to stay clear of tall trees, any one here in Florida knows what I am talking about during a good thunderstorm, they are prime targets for lighting strikes. During winter months trees can be very dry and sparks leaving the fire can possibly ignite dead leaves in the canopy above.

– Look around the base of the trees, is the base sound or does it have rot or holes at the base, these areas not only pose the obvious threats of falling over in a swift wind, but offer homes for other un wanted critters. The base of the trees can also be a good indicator for water levels in areas that are prone to rising tides or flooding.

Wild Life- Check the area for animal trials, hog tracks, deer tracks, bear tracks and so on, stay OFF the trails and away from trail heads. Look for scrapes on trees or rubs on the ground; these are all indicators of animal traffic.

Ground- Check the ground, make sure you’re not on the downhill slope for rain runoff. Check the ground to see if its damp, damp wet ground can cause for a not so nice night of sleep. And create more of a problem and more body heat being sucked out of you.

Water Source- Don’t set camp right on top of water sources, lakes, rivers, creeks, ponds and so on. Water sources are always a gathering ground for wild animals, alligators snakes and so on, unless you want them using your camp area for their home or main route to get to that water source. Stay clear; try to set up your shelter no closer than 200 to 400 feet from the water source.

Swamps- Now if you’re in a swamp, it may be difficult to avoid water, you may be surrounded by water, in this case if high ground is not available and even if it is, you will want to build an elevated platform shelter. Do NOT sleep on the ground.

Selection – Once you have selected the site, clear it, clear any dead limbs, debris, rocks, sticks, leaves everything down to the dirt, make an improvised rake or use a leafy tree branch to help sweep the area, use your feet if you need to but do NOT use your hands, using hands can lead to cuts from unforeseen broken glass, getting stung or bit by something and many more possible injuries that under normal circumstances would not be of much concern, but in a survival situation some of the smallest injuries could mean life and death.

Shelter Type:

Now that you have determined that you have selected the best location for your shelter it’s time to think about what type of shelter you can build, not what type of shelter you may want to build but more so, what type do you need to have and do you have the available resources and time to construct the shelter.

Decent weather conditions will allow for a few options that will provide for good cover.

Lean Too:

– The lean too shelter is one of the most common survival shelters used in most places. They are easily and typically constructed with available surrounding resources. They offer good overhead cover and allow for a fire to be maintained on front of the shelter which helps maintain some heat with in the shelter. I do not recommend a single sided lean too shelter for winter weather or heavy blowing rain conditions. Under these conditions an “A” Frame style double sided lean too is much better than a single side to keep out blowing rain and snow, they also retain heat much better than a half lean too.

– A lean too shelter can take time to construct. Gathering materials, sticks, limbs, making cordage if you have none, gathering palms to cover them or other brush can take a lot of time. Allow yourself a minimum of 2 working hours to construct an adequate lean too shelter, add an additional 1 or 2 hours if you are constructing a 2-sided lean too.

1-sided lean too shelter,Note the 2 large heavy duty trash bags used to line the top of the shelter before its covered with debris and limbs.

Emergency Expedient Shelter – If you have a tarp, plastic, rain poncho, USGI style casualty blanket, you can easily use any of these items to construct a lean too, use one of these items from your kit is what I refer to as the emergency expedient shelter.

Emergency expedient shelter, using a tarp

Debris Hut Shelter:

A debris hut shelter is a good over all shelter for cold weather; snow, pouring down rain conditions. And a good shelter if you plan on staying in your location for a few days or weeks. Depending on how big you build it and the available surrounding resources a debris hut shelter can be time consuming and will need to be somewhat maintained for longer stays, to keep them sealed up the best that you can. I personally do not recommend this type of shelter construction in Florida. Simply due to the types and amounts of nasty bugs we have, ticks, chiggers, fire ants and so on. These nasty little buggers live and thrive in the vegetation you will need to construct the shelter. You are basically inviting them into your shelter for dinner and you are on their menu.

Basic Debris Hut Shelter

There are many other types of shelters you can construct, but only you will be able to determine your resources, what you have with you and what is around you, the time you have to construct the shelter, location and the weather conditions.

Keep in mind the rule of 3’s when constructing a shelter and what’s its primary purpose.

Shelter should prevent and protect you from the Cold and Heat

1. Radiation – Transfer of heat from Fire or Sun
2. Conduction – lying on the cold ground will only make you colder
3. Convection – The transfer of cold air into your shelter

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As I referred to fire being the lifeline to survival, water is the lifeblood of survivability; a person cannot go any longer than 3 days without water before dehydration sets in and ultimately death will follow. The rule is a minimum of 3 liters a day per person. This rule can change and increase depending on the environment you are in or the types of activities you are involved in.

Water is also heavy and can add a lot of weight to your pack, 1 US gallon of water weighs in at 8.34lbs per gallon; think about this when you are in the planning stages of your pack if you are planning a hiking trip, camping or building a bug out bag.

If you are planning for hiking, camping or building a bug out bag then you will want to plan on a few ways of procuring and purifying water from water sources along your rout. You can use USGI style 1 qt canteens, stainless steel water bottles for carrying and procuring water. You can use a water filtration stray, pump, water purification tablets, iodine, boiling and many other ways to purify your water.

But what if you’re not planning a trip and find you’re self-unprepared and in a survival situation, what if you’re trip plan was just for the day hunting or fishing off some place deep in the woods or swamps and you get lost for days or weeks?

Knowing you only brought enough water for the day and maybe a little extra. You had better have the basic skills and ability to procure and purify water.

Before we get into purifying water, let’s look at why we need to do so before it’s truly safe to drink.

Disease / Organisms
What common disease organisms are found in dirty swamp or lake water?
Giardia, cryptosporidium, endameba, the eggs of worms, cholera, shigella, salmonella bacteria and those that cause typhoid, the enterotoxogenic strains of E. Coli, Hepatitis A, and also rotavirus which is a major cause of disease in children. So as you can see there are many reasons to be concerned about the water you are about to drink.

So let’s discuss a few ways to procure and disinfect water to make it safe to drink. Ok let’s find the water and what do we have for a vessel to put it in?

If this is a planned trip more than likely you have a container to procure and carry water in. I always carry a metal container on me while in the woods and swamps. I prefer a large mouth stainless steel bottle only because I can do more with it than use it for a water vessel.

Ok so let’s say this was not planed and you have no metal container with you, but you had a plastic water bottle left from that bottled water you had stuffed in your car or tossed in the back of your truck or maybe you found one in a ditch or on the side of a trail. It’s hard to go out into the woods or swamps anymore and not find trash left over from other people.

The first thing you will need to consider is the clarity and the debris or trash floating in the water. You can simply use a sock, your shirt or a peace of clothe material to strain and filter the debris from the water.

What is pasteurization? This is an alternative method of making water safe to drink. The water is pasteurized at 65oC (149oF).

You will need a fire, not a large one just a basic fire. Find 3 sticks, limbs around 3 to 4 feet in long and make a basic tepee, if you don’t have any rope or cordage on you, you can use your shoe lace or even a vine to tether the top of the tepee. With your water in the plastic bottle hang it over the fire, not so close you melt the bottle, you will need to keep an eye on this or the bottle will melt and the water will put out your fire. The bottle does need a cap, if it does not have the cap that came with it, manufacture one from a stick as a cork and seal the top with whatever you can find.

Depending on the size of the fire, 20″ to 24″ placing the bottle above the flame should do the trick. Watch for the water to start bubbling in the bottle and allow it to stay over the fire for about 20+/- minutes depending on the heat. Let the water cool and its ready to drink. See photo below.

Example of Pasteurization

Boiling Water

Boiling water is the most effective method of purifying. To do so, you will need a heat source, such as fire or camping stove, and a metal vessel to hold the water. According to the Washington State Department of Health and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, you should bring the water to boil and keep it rolling for one minute to purify it. At altitudes above one mile, 2,000 meters, you should increase the rolling time to three minutes.

Household Bleach

Although boiling water is the most effective method of purification, or lack of a heat source might mean that this isn’t always possible. In these instances, you can kill most of the pathogens using plain household bleach that doesn’t contain added perfumes or dyes. You need to use a clean container and add five drops of bleach for every two liters of water. The water needs to stand for 30 minutes before it is safe to drink. This method does not kill all pathogens in water and, while it is useful in an emergency, you should try and boil drinking water where possible.

There many other ways and methods of achieving the same goal to make the water safe to drink, plastic bags, collecting rain, using bamboo as a water container and a vessel to boil, using hot rocks from the fire and placing them into the water to boil and more.


There are many ways you can go about collecting and procuring water. Use your hat, shirt or other articles of clothing to soak up the water and rinses into your container. You can use a bandanna around the bottom of your leg on your ankle to collect the morning due. You can dig small holes in a dried creek or river bed for underground water that may still be there.

Plants such as the banana tree offer a great source of drinkable water, cut the tree at the base and drink straight from the tree, dig out the stump in the shape of a bowl and allow the water to come to collect at the top and drink.

Bamboo offers drinkable water right from the bamboo. Water vines, vines growing in the woods offer clean drinkable water. With vines make sure the liquid is clear and not milky looking, if its milky stay away from it its poisoning and it will most likely make you very sick and possibly kill you.

There are many methods and ways of collecting and purifying water that I have not discussed here. But I think you get the idea, so until next time, thank you for reading.

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The BMS Survival Mindset

The BMS Survival Mindset
by Jeff Tindall

Each course at BushMaster Survival is designed to teach every student the BMS survival mindset, to size up their situation and develop a plan of action to face the situation head on. Each course whether it’s a basic course or an advanced course each student will learn, practice and hone their skills. Students don’t need to have any prior camping or survival skills to attend a BushMaster survival course.

So what is the mindset? Your mind can be your most valuable asset in a survival situation or your mind can become your weakest asset and possibly change the dynamics of your situation from a survival situation to a life and death situation very quickly.

Your mind and knowledge is your most valuable survival tool in your survival kit. Keeping control and staying focused on the situation at hand is your number one priority. You must always maintain full control of yourself your emotions and the situation. Always maintain a 360-degree situational awareness of your environment, always being on alert for any dangers and threats. What are the threats or dangers in your environment? Wild animals, poisonous snakes, poisonous insects, dead trees, water, shelter, hyperthermia, hypothermia and so on.

The first step to creating a survival mindset is you must maintain the will to live not only in your mind but also in your heart. Don’t wait for the over whelming feeling to come sweeping in and take control of your mind. By this I mean consistently think good happy thoughts of your loved ones, maybe a special day you had with your spouse or one of your children. The thought could be about anything relative and heartfelt to you, this will be you digging deep into what drives you to live and be your constant reminder to keep pushing on to get you home.

You must always fend off fear. Fear can lead you down the wrong path in your situation and lead you to the gates of hell. I will quote FDR in his first Inaugural Address (“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself” end quote). And he is absolutely correct even more so in a survival situation. If you allow fear to overcome your mind you are well on your way to a dire situation. Fear can bring on many overwhelming feelings, the feeling of being out of control of the situation, hopelessness or giving up the will to live, complacent or settling for less and going without, procrastinate and waist valuable time, unnecessary hunger, internal and mental destruction leading to self-destruction and finally death.

Assess the situation and take charge of your fears, don’t allow your fears to control you or the situation at hand and face them head on, don’t meet them half way, but conquer them from the start. Some people have basic fears of snakes, spiders, scorpions and even some wild animals. Don’t look at them as a direct threat but take charge of them, look at them as breakfast, lunch or dinner. Evaluate the threat determine a safe a way to eliminate the threat and kill it in its tracks, then cook it up.

Being complacent with your situation or becoming bored can do just as much damage to you as fear. Don’t sit around and waist time, even when you need to sit down and take a break in the shade from the heat or sit by the fire to get warm, don’t let your mind wander off. Plan your time and use your time wisely, this is basically time management in a survival situation. Use these rest times for making tools, weapons, components for a trap or snare, preparing the next meal, making char clothe for your next fire act. Always working and focusing on improving your situation.

If you simply need to kick back and take a breath, look at the clouds our stars as you did as a kid, looking for shapes and designs in the sky, this maybe a good time to evaluate the weather conditions. You’re only limited by your imagination and your control of the situation. But always maintain control of the situation.

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Fire Making

Fire Making
by Jeff Tindall on 2-5-2012

Fire is the primary lifeline to life like water is the lifeblood. We need fire in our everyday lives to make and build things, mold tools, turn raw materials into steel that can be molded into just about anything, create heat to keep us warm and many other things in life.

In a survival situation, urban area, swamps or forest, the ability to create a fire is of very importance on the top of the list of things to do to staying alive. But how many people can really create a SURE Fire in a real survival situation, in the rain, wind, snow or swamp? When Mother Nature and the elements are not in your favor for making a fire, can you still pull it off? You had better be able to.

Most everyone has watched a you tube video or survival show on TV, they look at it and say to themselves and I could do that and leave it at that. When those people are placed in a situation the reality starts to sink in that it’s not as easy as it looks.

Just like everything in life, things take practice to learn or become a master of. I hear a lot of people make the comments; well I am a smoker so I always have a lighter on me. Well if these people had done their homework, butane lighters don’t work very well in cold tempters and not to mention if they get wet they don’t work until there dried out. Am I saying you shouldn’t carry a lighter? Absolutely you should as a matter of fact I carry two Bic lighters in my kit sealed in a dry bag.

What I am saying is you had better plan on other means of creating that spark and fire. A means of creating a SURE fire no matter what the circumstances or conditions are and the knowledge and skills of the best materials surrounding you for tinder, kindling and fuel.

I have seen students spend hours getting a fire going in dry conditions, let alone in damp or wet conditions. Most don’t realize or have the knowledge there is a technique for turning your basic spark from fire steel into a living breathing fire.

I recommend everyone have several means of creating a spark or fire in there kit, from a Bic lighter to magnesium flint, to having a few cotton balls stored in dry bag for tinder, the lint from your clothes dryer also works great as tinder, or #000 steel whole. Seal it in a small zip lock bag and store it in your fire kit in your bag.

Understand there are 3 main elements to a fire.

Component one Tinder, Kindling and Fuel
– Tinder (birds nest)
– Kindling (Small DRY sticks typically 1/8″ in diameter or smaller)
– Fuel (Medium to large sticks)

Component two Heat
– Lighter
– Matches
– Spark from flint or other
– Ember from Friction

Air Oxygen
-It must be able to breath and have air

Once you have the basic fire needs met and have practiced them and you have become proficient in their use. Start working with friction fire like a hand drill or bow and drill set. Friction fire is by far the hardest fire making skill to master but should be practiced & mastered by every survivalist for an extra back up.

Spend the time practicing these things as much as you can, once you have the basics down using one method move to the next method and master that one. Always progressing and moving forward in your skills, none of us will ever learn everything there is to know or possibly learn about survival, each time I venture out into the woods or swamps I find something new or learn something new, that’s why I love doing it so much.

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