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…