This review is prob­a­bly months over­due. I’ve had “With­out Rule of Law: Advanced Skills to Help You Sur­vive” for months. It also took me a cou­ple months to get through because I picked it up just every now and then to read it when I had a spare moment. To be sure I did not miss any­thing I went through it with a high­lighter like it was a work­book as I read it… I want­ed to be sure to high­light what was impor­tant to me for this review, and to high­light what is impor­tant to me for my pre­pared­ness thoughts. It turned out to be a good thing I did. But more on that lat­er…

When this book was deliv­ered to me, I real­ized I bought it based not on oth­er reviews, but based on title only. I bought it, because I live, for all intents and pur­pos­es, in an urban area, even though I live out­side NYC. I am sur­round­ed by urban areas as well as sub­urbs. I picked up this book because I want­ed to be sure I could pro­tect myself and make it through in the event of a dev­as­tat­ing dis­as­ter, and the sim­ple descrip­tion I read. What I found was con­tent that might scare the hell out of a novice prep­per with no tac­ti­cal oper­a­tor’s expe­ri­ence (some­thing I admit­ted­ly need more train­ing and prac­tice with), and to an expert tac­ti­cal oper­a­tor (Mil­i­tary, LEO, Para-Mil­i­tary (PA State Police is a Para-Mil­i­tary orga­ni­za­tion)) may be pret­ty rudi­men­ta­ry. What I found was a man­u­al that I real­ly don’t think offered “advanced skills” but more “advanced the­o­ries” on tac­tics, gear, etc. All of which, how­ev­er, were based on Joe Nobody’s life expe­ri­ence. I believe that this book was meant as a primer on jump­start­ing your tac­ti­cal think­ing so that if you find your­self in a long term emer­gency sur­vival sit­u­a­tion, you can put it to prac­ti­cal use.

One thing I par­tic­u­lar­ly liked, is at NO time, even though this book is about keep­ing your­self alive, did Joe Nobody advo­cate tak­ing a life for the sake of tak­ing a life. He pro­vid­ed proven method­olo­gies that he adapt­ed for the prep­per mind­set. He would specif­i­cal­ly men­tion the prep­per side of the mind­set along side the tac­ti­cal. This is impor­tant, I think, because many prep­pers, I think, are con­fused about engag­ing them­selves in sit­u­a­tions that may be dan­ger­ous or require them to acquire food, stay safe, and to get them­selves from point A — point B in what could be dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions. Some of me wish­es there was more detail, and the oth­er side of me says that more detail would make me an arm­chair tac­ti­cian. I think this book prompts me to go out and get more ‘urban tac­ti­cal sur­vival train­ing’ in order to get the hell out of dodge on foot, in car, etc if I have to and find myself in a pre­car­i­ous sit­u­a­tion… Joe Nobody also sub­tly chal­lenges you to think out­side the box by offer­ing a cou­ple of ways to impro­vise gear and/or to stay pre­pared to impro­vise sit­u­a­tions.

It should also be not­ed that Joe Nobody cre­at­ed exer­cis­es for you to do at the end of each chap­ter to begin prac­tic­ing the high lev­el skills he put in front of you. If you don’t do them, that is your choice, but they are craft­ed to help you with the skills he presents.

So what detail can I give about the book that I thought was inter­est­ing:

  • Impro­vised climb­ing gear
  • Impro­vised think­ing (all your gear has to work at night). What? 😉
  • Meth­ods of plan­ning your mis­sion and keep­ing clear objec­tives
  • Meth­ods of breach­ing a door if you have to seek shel­ter or scav­enge
  • Using a sur­vival net for var­i­ous sit­u­a­tions includ­ing cam­ou­flage, acquir­ing food, build­ing a ham­mock, and more.

Areas of this book which may turn peo­ple off are also present. In fact if you are of high moral stan­dard, there are areas of this book you may not like at all. How­ev­er, I am going to caveat that, and state that; You may balk at some of this book because of your val­ues, but your morals and val­ues may change if you have to feed your fam­i­ly, group, and/or your­self. If you find your­self in a long term emer­gency sit­u­a­tion where you are out of your own preps, and need to eat, there are ways to scav­enge with­out hurt­ing any­one else, and Joe Nobody goes over that… It is not like he would advo­cate break­ing into a home with that is inhab­it­ed and steal­ing the occu­pants food. In fact Joe goes out of his way to tell you to avoid oth­er peo­ple at all costs.

This is a primer, it is a very good book. If you are look­ing for more advanced skills based on the dis­cus­sion points of this book there are a LOT of Army and Mil­i­tary field man­u­als you can Google and down­load for free to learn about the spe­cif­ic skill-sets that are dis­cussed… I am going to just say this: I think that this is a good book. It is an easy read, and if you real­ize it is WROL Class 101, and use it as a basis and work­book, then you won’t be dis­ap­point­ed. If you go into it mak­ing notes, and fol­low­ing up with the skill sets dis­cussed, then you won’t be dis­ap­point­ed. If you go into it look­ing for a sil­ver bul­let of answers to find­ing, evad­ing, scav­eng­ing, advanc­ing, retreat­ing, recon’ing, you will be dis­ap­point­ed.

What I wish: I wish there were more images. I wish there were more detailed images, as there were sev­er­al grainy ones that were frankly, a bit dis­ap­point­ing.

Over­all, as stat­ed, I think it is “WROL Class 101, a Primer for Hid­ing, Evad­ing, Scav­eng­ing, and Infil­trat­ing Skills for the Ear­ly and Mid Stage Prep­per.” I will be read­ing my high­lights again and adding more detail to them for myself…

AFTERTHOUGHT:  There was also dis­cus­sion around spe­cif­ic gear for first line and sec­ond line defense, as well as breach­ing doors, and more.  Dis­cus­sion about time pri­or, dur­ing, and post objec­tive, due to dis­tance, weath­er, and oth­er dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions… All very inter­est­ing to me…

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