Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Book Review: The Modern Survival Retreat

The Modern Survival Retreat by Ragnar Benson is next up for review. Yeah I know I just seem to love old Ragnar. I can't help it, most people just don't write as honestly as Ragnar Benson. He tells it the way he believes it to be and in many ways he is the quintessential survival writer.

This book is just what the title gives it away to be Ragnar's tips and tricks on establishing a full-fledged survival retreat...the subtitle of the book is "A New and Vital Approach to Retreat Theory and Practice"...ummm yeah are we going to learn Calculus or something. I don't know maybe this was the thesis for his doctorate or something.

The book is a short one, only 106 pages of honest to goodness survival info. I read the whole thing in about two and half hours on the weekend. The book in interesting but like most Ragnar Benson books you may need to decide what would work for you and what is realistically not in the realm of possibility. For those of you who don't like the government...old Ragnar has a few chapters dedicated to the arsenal you will most likely face as well as the governments strategies for dealing with people deemed a threat. He also describes some of the common blunders people make after they try and disappear and are subsequently found.

The book breaks down as follows:

Chapter 1 Identifying the Enemy - who is the prototypical person trying to disappear and the reason they may need to establish a retreat location. In this chapter he provides the stories of individuals and their particular issue which caused them to need to retreat.

Chapter 2 What is a Retreat - This chapter is 2 pages long and can be summed up with the phrase..."don't ever become a refugee."

Chapter 3 Picking a Physical Retreat Location - In this chapter Ragnar gives the reader an idea of what a retreat is and how to decide where to establish a retreat. There is a little something for everyone in this chapter including urban dwellers. He is a proponent of "hiding in plain sight" if you will and indicates that retreat should be defendable in some fashion.

Chapter 4 What to Stock and Other Considerations - This chapter is what you might say is a crash course in survivalism. He gives brief overviews of all the important things such as food, water, energy, sanitation and defense. It is a sort summary of the detailed information contained in some his other books.

Chapter 5 Transportation and Trip Wires - Here we cover all the modes of transport including the motorcycle. This chapter once again covers the obvious stuff about keeping a low profile and that having 20 cars parked at a remote location could give your position away. He also covers when it may be time to bug out from your retreat location should it be compromised.

Chapter 6 Finding Like-Minded Retreaters - The main concept here is networking. I mean geez if you like to knit how do you find other people who like to knit as well. The key word here is careful with who you bring into your inner circle.

Chapter 7 How They Find You - OK folks, if your hiding from the law...calling mommy is probably not a good idea, mkay? Ragnar actually gets into a bit of the social engineering aspect of finding people and flushing them out of their hiding places...bottom line if you are a fugitive or are hiding...keep a low profile and don't do anything stupid.

Chapter 8 What to Expect From Your Government When It Goes Hardcore Against You - Oh boy, the anti FedGov people will love this chapter. I really don't want to spoil the fun but let's just say they will demonize you and basically tell people that you kill bunny rabbits in front of little children. How to negotiate and whether to hold out or surrender are also touched upon in this chapter.

Chapter 9 Government Weapons of Mass Destruction - and finally Uncle Ragnar goes over some of the high tech tools and weapon systems you will be facing should the government turn it's wrath on you. How does armored personnel carriers, helicopters and even tanks grab you? Don't believe it...ask the folks who survived Waco.

Overall the book was an entertaining read. I did not learn anything earth shattering within it's pages but if you enjoy Ragnar Benson you almost certainly enjoy this book. It is a good crash course for anyone interested in this type a stuff and I would view it as a launch pad for further research on the subject if you are serious about it.

...that is all.

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1 comment:

  1. Interesting, Thanks for the review. I will add the book to the long list.