Bug-Out Survival

The latest posts from Bug-Out Survival

I received some fantastic products in the mail today from James Williams, of System of Strategy. Those of you who are familiar with CRKT Knives have probably seen some of the designs of James Williams, a master of the Japanese samurai fighting arts and the president of Bugei Trading Company. James Williams has extensive experience teaching close-quarters combat to police and military and his tool and weapon designs are based on the needs of those whose lives depend on them.  Finding this site, he thought my readers would be particularly interested in these personal defense and tactical flashlights designed for EDC, as well as his new Shizuka Noh Ken folder. I absolutely agree, and I will be posting a full review of them after spending some time with them.

Pictured below, from top to bottom, the James Williams-designed CRKT Personal Defense Light, the Tactical Applications Light, and the Shizuoka Noh Ken folder. Note the clips for deep pocket carry on each:

Compact high-intensity flashlights have come a long way since I reviewed some early models here on  Bug Out Survival in this 2010 post: http://www.bugoutsurvival.com/2010/01/gear-review-compact-hi-intensity.html

I'll have all the details and specs of these new CRKT lights in the upcoming review, but I can tell you already that one or both of these will going wherever I go from now on.

I was especially excited to get my hands on Williams' new Shizuka Noh Ken folder, as I was looking to replace yet another Cold Steel Voyager with a broken pocket clip. As a master of bladed weapons, Williams designs his knives for self-defense and combat, so this is not a do-it-all utility or bushcraft knife. It is designed to neutralize an attacker as quickly and efficiently as possible; one look at the blade will tell you that. Carry something else to open packages and whittle with and save this for when and if you need it. The Shizuka Noh Ken (Japanese for "Hidden Blade") is a smaller version of his Otanashi Noh Ken (Sword of Silence) of the same design and it is so light and slim in your pocket you'll barely remember you have it. It's rare to find a blade design that both stabs and slices equally well, but that's exactly what this and Williams' larger Japanese tanto designs excel at. When I post a review I'll show the difference between these traditional tanto blades and the more commonly seen American tanto designs that are much less capable when it comes to stabs and thrusts. For now, note that despite the long curve of the belly of the blade that makes it great for slicing, the needle-like tip is straight in line with the handle, making it effectivly a dagger when it comes to thrusting.

As already mentioned, James Williams not only designs edged weapons, but is a master of using them and teaching others to do so. In addition to the tactical lights and knife, he included two of his instructional DVDs for my review (The Edged Weapon and Continuing Solutions to Edged Weapons). There are a lot of concepts and ideas in the nearly four hours of instruction here that I have never seen  anywhere else, although we worked with knives quite a bit when I studied Ed Parker's system of Kenpo. I'm looking forward to working more with these principles and hope to attend one of James Williams' seminars to see his methods first hand.

The timing for these items to arrive could not have been better, because I have been planning to begin writing more here about self-defense, both unarmed and with weapons, as well as the importance of physical fitness for survival. I feel these are critical skills and attributes that are far too often overlooked or neglected in the prepping and survival community. Stay tuned for more to come soon.

Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: April 1, 2015, 1:07 am
Many readers of the The Darkness After have asked if there was going to be sequel, and it has been my intention all along to continue this story as an ongoing series parallel to The Pulse Series, which of course, involves a different set of characters in the same grid-down scenario.

Although originally aimed at the young adult market by my publisher, The Darkness After has been well-received by adult readers as well. The only real difference as far as young adult vs. a general adult audience is the age of the characters anyway. In this case, the main protagonists, Mitch Henley and April Gibbs, are both under twenty, but are in a world where survival is up to them and them alone. Readers of the first book will know that Mitch has superb skills as a hunter, despite his age. Those who enjoy survival stories that involve hunting, stalking and tracking will enjoy this one. Unlike The Pulse series, this story is all about living off the land in the woods, and the title, Into the River Lands refers to the deep river bottom swamp lands of Mississippi that Mitch knows so well.

Into the River Lands will be my next book release for 2015 and it is scheduled for publication on June 11.  I'm shooting for bumping that up a bit to sometime in May, but either way, it's not far out and you can preorder your Kindle copy for just $2.99 on Amazon, or by clicking on the cover image at the top of the sidebar to the left. There will be a paperback version available as well when the ebook is released.
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: March 14, 2015, 8:09 pm
I had another interesting conversation with John Wesley Smith recently, this time discussing my latest novel, Sailing the ApocalypseA Misadventure at Sea. John has posted his thoughts about the book in a review on his website: Destiny Survival.

I was pleased to hear that John liked the story a lot, and found it entertaining. My main purpose in writing it was to entertain, but if you take something more from it, that's good too. Here's an excerpt from John's review:

"I believe Scott has hit upon something much bigger than telling an entertaining tale. It has to do with our attitude toward the world as it is and how we will prepare to face what’s coming. Will we see an instantaneous collapse? Or will it be a slow burn? And, most importantly, how should we respond?"

You can read the full review here: http://destinysurvival.com/2015/02/19/sailing-the-apocalypse-a-different-kind-of-sea-story-for-preppers/ And you can listen to the interview here:

Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: February 20, 2015, 5:11 pm
Dave Zeiger knows a thing or two about bug out boats. As a designer and liveaboard sailor who makes his home aboard his self-built vessel, Slacktide on the isolated waters of southeast Alaska, he lives a full-time lifestyle many preppers fantasize about. Dave has an interesting take on sailboat design. As his mission statement says on TriloBoats.com, his box-barge hull shapes are designed to help amateur builders get on the water in the shortest period of time, with the most bang for the buck. His designs provide maximum accommodations for their size and are stable, seaworthy platforms for living on the water.

I have linked to one of Dave's articles published in Duckworks Magazine (an online resource for boatbuilders) before. It is an excellent look at the concepts and considerations of bug out boats. You can read it here if you missed that previous link: http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/12/columns/guest/zeiger/index.html

Dave is also a long-time fan of the catamaran designs of James Wharram, so when he saw that my latest novel featured a Wharram Tiki 46 as the bug out vessel chosen by the characters in the story, he said he had to read it. Below is his take on it, and his thoughts on why it may be of interest to preppers, even those who would not themselves choose to bug out by water:

Sailing the Apocalypse by Scott B. Williams -- Review by Dave Zeiger

SETTING: Waterways of SE USA in our present times of impending, but not yet catastrophic Collapse.

STORY: A newly formed family under the (mis?)guidance of Terry Bailey - Doomer / Prepper - builds APOCALYPSE, a 46ft Wharram Catamaran (great choice, sloppy execution), and bugs out while the buggin' is good. 

Events are told through the eyes of twelve year old Robbie. Along for the ride are his (mostly) 'whatever-he-says' Mother, and otherwise-occupied, teen half-sister. Along the way, they acquire a Mentor, of sorts, in the form of an easy going, aging Hippy.

STORY ARC (spoiler alert!): Downward spiral.


Sailing the Apocalypse is a cautionary tale of what I think of as 'dysprepsia'... a syndrome to which we in the Choir are prone.

Terry Bailey believes much as we do (the Choir, that is... I'm assuming in this review that you're a fellow Doomer / Prepper, familiar with the general outlook and its vocabulary). 

He believes that S is about to HTF. That the time to bug out is before it does. He has made some solid, informed choices and acted upon them, investing himself fully. Each of these identify him (and his family) as increasingly rare birds.

But things do not go well, and the 'why' is the cautionary aspect.

Terry lacks humility. He is seething with contempt for others (rather than empathy), which expresses itself in rants, bullying and manipulation. He is the patriarch of his tribe, which alienates his family. This in turn impairs teamwork, and suppresses and disincentivizes their best efforts.

He can neither recognize nor admit to his mistakes, and therefore cannot learn from them.  Nor can he adapt, whether to new information or consequences of mis-information or mis-steps. One has the sense that he has skimmed from excellent resources, but not absorbed their content. He overrates his (presumed) experience, and undervalues training and the steep slope of the learning curve.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing...


I found it to be somewhat queasy reading.

As a confirmed Doomer who bugged out on a sailboat, years ago, this shoe fits too well. I, too, am prone to rant with a tinge of smug and a supercilious view of 'the sheep'. To regard shoreside society as dismally stuck in ruts that will drag us all over the edge. To see complacency, venality and power plays conspiring to whittle away at whatever small freedoms are left.

I FEEL Terry's pain!

But none of us know how our 'best laid plans' will fare... whether they will protect us and ours for another round, or whether they will founder under the thrash of our toppled giant. We must all take our best shot from a position of limited personal and physical resources. I believe we must persuade as many as we can to prepare... if not for Collapse, at least for Trouble. At the very least to step aside and let us prepare ourselves.

Humility, Williams reminds us, is an adaptive trait.


Scott B. Williams is one of the best of us.

He's an expert in the theory and practice of prepper / survival concepts and techniques, and has been walking the walk for decades. In other words, he wrote Terry Bailey from the competent position of knowing exactly where his weaknesses and errors lie. 

This contrasts with other works I've read, where the author unintentionally projects their own ignorance through a protagonist who, by all rights, could never have shouldered his bottomless BugOutBag, much less improvise his Ham Radio from that toaster.

Terry's bumbling is the conscious artifact of an author who knows much better... a moral tale from an educated pen. 

Sailing the Apocalypse is the opening  chapter of an ongoing series. From it's pages, one may learn a great deal - both from example and counter-example - from an author with authority.

I am hoping that we will see one or both of two main developments in the continuing adventure: 

A) Terry will come around... as extreme as he is, I'm rooting for him.

B) Robbie will mature, and through him we may watch his opinions firming, learn with him as his skills and knowledge and - most important - approaches expand. I want to ride along as he debriefs his experiences!

I'd also love to see - through either path - more of the whys and wherefores. How do these decisions link up into suites of skills? How does one start from here to there? This novel is already a good start, but I know that Williams has plenty to add. 

At present, Sailing the Apocalypse could be read as an argument against everything Terry believes.

Mr. Williams, will you save the baby from the bathwater in your next installments?


I hate the critical part of a review, constructive though it be. But here goes... a quibble:

I felt character development could be improved. 

It's a challenge to funnel development through a single character - especially a 12 year old. But each character's reactions should reflect a consistant personality. At times, reactions seemed to reflect internal inconsistencies (which were neither presented nor explored as internal conflict). Vocabulary, voice and depth - especially in Robbie's narration - seemed at times uneven.

Terry Bailey: He's our guy, but so often lost in contemptuous rant, and so "I can't be told nuffin'" that it derails our natural empathy for him. So far, there's no backstory to explain him or soften his impact. He's a tragic character, at present - hoist by his own petard - but without earning much of the sympathy that would pull us into his plight. I want to see more of his human side, not just arrogance and anger. There are hints that he's not entirely who he seems... 

Robbie (Narrator): Lots of potential, here. Smart boy with a big dose of common sense. Alive to wonders en route. At present, though, he's a mostly blank slate. He often (rightly) wonders whether his step-dad's omniscience is as advertised, but often, his common sense aligns with the herd (if nobody else thinks this way, how bad can it be?). So far, the herd has the edge. Will we see him start to do his own thinking? Form an outlook that can stand up against both his step-father and popular opinion?

Linda (the Mother): Here's an important character who stays mostly in the background. She only gets to speak for herself a few times, and then it's (almost entirely) in reaction to Terry. We don't get to see much at all of her relationship with the others. Who is she? Why is she so passive (until a certain kind of push comes to a certain kind of shove)? Does she have any hopes or dreams of her own? What does she see in Terry (not to disparage, but why are they drawn to each other)?

Janie (Linda's daughter): Janie is mostly a facade of teenage boredom and dissatisfaction, as one might expect. But, if you've ever known or been a teenager, you know that there's a lot more going on below the surface. What? Is she as shallow as the Rant would have us believe? What's her vision of her own future, if any?

Dean (Hippy Mentor): No quibble here. Deftly portrayed in concise strokes. Hoping to read more of him!


The beauty of a series is that there's more of it, and Williams has definitely set the hook.

I feel that more of the same would be too much. I've gotten the picture, now, and the dose is just right.

I hope - and have reason to expect - that this is an opening movement. That Williams is preparing us for what promises to be a moving exploration of the challenges facing we who sail our lonely - and often beleaguered course.

If he can pull it off, I'm hoping for our genre's version of Theroux's Mosquito Coast. Or even Captain Ron.

I'm on-board to find out!


Sailing the Apocalypse is available now (paperback edition) on Amazon. The Kindle edition will be released on Saturday, January 17. If you preordered the ebook previously you should receive your copy then. 

Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: January 15, 2015, 8:43 pm
I've posted this on my main website but I'm reposting here for those of you who don't visit www.scottbwilliams.com all that often.  As always, there's a new book in the works and this one is another fiction title that might interest some readers of Bug Out Survival. Part humor, part adventure and part disaster, Sailing the Apocalypse is the story of one man's ultimate bug-out with his family before the collapse he fears has a chance to happen.

I'm wrapping up the manuscript within a few days and it will be all set to go to the copyeditor shortly thereafter.  Sailing the Apocalypse is a novel of about 70,000 words, and is the first novel I've written in the first person point of view.  This is a story I've really enjoyed working on and writing it has given me several ideas for other works or possibly sequels to this one. Anyone who has spent as much time on or around the water as I have could not help but run into some of the eccentric characters sailing attracts. The main character of this story is one of those, but like most sailors and boatbuilders, Terry Bailey is resourceful and independent even if he does take a lot of his ideas too far. 

With "apocalypse" in the title, a lot of my readers will assume this book is another "post-apocalyptic" or dystopian survival tale like The Pulse or The Darkness After, but it's actually more "pre-apocalyptic" if anything. The Wharram catamaran featured in the story and on the cover is christened the Apocalypse by Terry and his family after they build and launch it.  And it's purpose is to be their new home and escape pod from the doom that Terry is certain will soon befall his country. Readers of my other works will see a bit of the prepper mentality in this character as well, but he's much more off the deep end than I've recommended in my serious nonfiction titles on the subject or here on Bug Out Survival

Sailing the Apocalypse is available for preorder now in the ebook form for just five bucks from the usual retailers linked below, and the print version will be available about the time the ebook is released.  Although the release date posted on Amazon and the other stores is February 15, the book should be available a full month earlier or by the end of January at the latest.

Amazon Kindle
Apple iBooks
Barnes & Noble


Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: December 10, 2014, 1:33 am
I spent a couple of weeks in September wandering around the Southwest by motorcycle, mostly camping in national forests and other public lands, which there is no shortage of in this region.  Many of the places I wanted to revisit were favorite areas I've done lots of backpacking and exploring in, such as the San Juan mountains of southern Colorado and the Blue Range Primitive area of southeastern Arizona.  These are also areas discussed as bug out locations in my book: Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late.

Riding the Suzuki Vstrom 650, I was able to leave the pavement for long stretches of exploring unpaved forest service roads.  A lighter, more off-road capable bike would be e even better once there, of course, but with all the highway and interstate riding to do the 3700-mile trip out and back from Mississippi, the DL650 was a good compromise.  I plan to post a more detailed account of the trip with more photos on my main website soon, but wanted to share a couple of photos here too.  Those of you living out West are fortunate to have access to so much publicly accessible wild land for exploring, camping, hunting and in the worst-case, as potential bug-out locations.

Southwestern Colorado near the San Juan Range
Blue Range Primitive Area, Arizona

An another note, before I left on the trip I did an interview with Morry Baines, who runs a multitool review site and has been working on a round-up of interviews with various survival authors and others with questions such as "What is the most useful tool for the outdoors?"  You can read the answers including mine and those of some of my fellow survival authors including Jim Cobb, Bernie Carr and others here: http://bestmultitoolkit.com/expert-roundup/most-useful-tool-outdoors/   The full interview that I did is here: http://bestmultitoolkit.com/interviews/scott-williams-bugoutsurvival-com/

Morry also wrote an article on multitools aimed specifically at boaters, and since much of my writing has to do with bugging out by boat, here is the direct link to that: http://bestmultitoolkit.com/knowledgebase/multi-tool-boat-essential-tips/

Also, don't forget that I'm giving away a free copy of Refuge After the Collapse (Book II of The Pulse  Series) every Friday of this month to subscribers to my newsletter.  Last Friday's winner was Wayne in Fort Edward, NY.  Today's winner will receive notification through the newsletter list, and will be announced to the rest of the list later today or tomorrow.  There are three more Fridays in this month, so if you haven't won a copy yet, hang in there, you've still got a chance.
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: October 10, 2014, 3:25 pm
This is a repost from my main website:

Just an update to announce that the winners have been selected  for the ten  signed copies of Refuge that I offered to those signing up for my author newsletter.  If your email address was chosen, you should have received a notification through the newsletter.  Of the ten winners, I have received a reply back from eight and books have been mailed out to those eight winners.  I'm still waiting to hear back from the other two, so check your spam folders and inboxes carefully to make sure you didn't overlook the notification, which should show up as an email from my address: scott (at) scottbwilliams.com
The eight winners who should receive their books soon are:
Khris - St. Petersburg, FL, David - Southport, FL, Gary - Mohnton, PA, Beverly - Kosiusko, MS, Kathryn - Canton, MO, Vivian - Mill Creek, WA, Devon - Ludington, MI and John - Kirksville, MO.
I will send out another direct email to the other two chosen winners soon and if no response after a few days, will select two alternate winners.
For the rest of you who have signed up for my newsletter, thank you for subscribing, and I want to make sure you have another chance at winning a copy of Refuge.  To that end, I will be giving away one free copy at random every Friday of this month from among my subscriber list.  Stay tuned as well to the newsletter updates for an announcement of my next book, which is in progress now and coming soon.
Refuge is available on Amazon and in bookstores now and I've gotten great feedback on it, including hearing back from some of the giveaway winners that they've already purchased and read it before learning they had won.  Review copies from the publisher are late going out as has happened upon the release of my last two books, so if you're on one of those lists to receive one, I apologize for the delay and have word that they will be shipped out this week if not already.
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: October 1, 2014, 3:36 pm
Yesterday I posted an announcement of a book giveaway for ten copies of Refuge After the Collapse (the sequel to The Pulse).  Many of you who follow this blog have signed up for the giveaway using the embedded signup form I included at the bottom of yesterday's post.

Some other readers brought it to my attention though, that this form did not work for them if they received updates to this blog through an RSS feed or email subscription.  If you tried to sign up for the giveaway and didn't get a confirmation notice and an email from my newsletter service verifying that you indeed wanted to be added to the list, you were not added.  I apologize for the confusion but the newsletter service (hosted by MailChimp) is new to me and I should have posted a link rather than an embedded from so that those of you who subscribe to the blog rather than visit Bug Out Survival directly would be able to enter.  So if you didn't get a confirmation, here is a link to the signup form:

Scott B. Williams Newsletter Signup

You can also enter by visiting the signup page on my main website here:


After you enter your email address and click 'submit', be sure and check you inbox and SPAM folders for the verification email.  If you do not respond to it to verify that you wanted to subscribe, you won't be added to the list.  This is a good thing as it keeps you from getting unwanted junk mail.

I also want to point out that this signup is for my newsletter and is not a subscription to updates here at Bug Out Survival.  The purpose of the newsletter is to let subscribers be the first to know about the next book giveaways and releases, and will also provide me a way of contacting you directly through email if you are a winner in one of these giveaways.  As mentioned in yesterday's post, you will only get an occasional email from me through the newsletter and your email address will never be shared.  Remember too that you can unsubscribe at anytime.

Thanks again for all the interest in my new book and good luck with winning one of those free copies.  I look forward to staying in touch with my readers through the newsletter, and will soon have some news to share regarding the next books after Refuge.  
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: August 29, 2014, 9:39 pm
I have word from the publisher that copies of Refuge have shipped from the printer to the warehouse, so the book should be showing up for sale soon, though the official release date is still posted on Amazon and other sites as September 23.

I should have my author's copies sometime before then, and I want to announce a giveaway of ten (10) signed copies that I will personally mail out to the winners, who will be chosen from the email entrants to the giveaway once I have books in hand.

To enter for a chance to win a copy in this giveaway, all you have to do is enter your email address and first name in the form below.  If you are selected I'll contact you by email to get your mailing address.

The sign-up will also add you to my newsletter mailing list, so you will be the first to know about my next books (two projects currently in the works) and other giveaways, previews and occasional recommendations of other books I've recently read.  This newsletter list is new and will be my go-to method of keeping readers informed in lieu of social networks like Facebook and Twitter with their ever-changing policies and restrictions.  You'll only get an occasional newsletter email, certainly less than one a month and most of the time even less, and you can be sure your email address will never be shared and that you can opt out of the list at anytime, including right after this giveaway, if you choose.

If you chose to enter, thanks for your interest in the sequel to The Pulse and good luck!

(Update Notice:  If you are reading this blog post from an email or RSS subscription feed, the signup field below will not work.  I posted an update about this after publishing this post.  Use the signup form at this link instead: Scott B. Williams Newsletter

If you are reading this on the web at www.bugoutsurvival.com, the form below should work.  Either way, you won't be entered unless after clicking subscribe you get a notification saying that an email has been sent for verification.  You must opt-in to the list after receiving that email.)

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Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: August 29, 2014, 1:42 am
Back in January, 2010, I posted a review of one of my favorite water purification methods: Polar Pure Water Disinfectant.  You can read the article for all the details of why I like this iodine purification method so much, and how I've tested it in a wide variety of environments, including jungle rivers in Central America with no ill effects:


But then, suddenly Polar Pure was taken off the market in 2011 by the DEA because of illegal drug manufacturers allegedly using the pure iodine crystals that come in the bottle for making crystal meth.  This put a small family business on indefinite hold and took a great product for the bug out bag off the market.

I still had some older bottles on hand when the ban went into effect, and since Polar Pure has a long shelf life I wasn't too worried, but I could no longer recommend it for others since finding it was a challenge.  But just today I was sorting my gear for an upcoming motorcycle trip out West, where I expect to be camping in the backcountry as I explore remote forest service and BLM roads off pavement.  Looking at my old bottles of Polar Pure, I decided go online to check on the latest status and was delighted to find that it is back on the market and for sale at Amazon for the same price as before the ban.  I'll order a couple of fresh bottles immediately, as this is one of the best water purification options I know of when you have to travel light.  Even if you own and prefer filtration systems, it doesn't  hurt to have a bottle of Polar Pure in the bug out bag.  It's lightweight, can last for years, and only costs $15.

Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: August 19, 2014, 9:34 pm
Just a quick update on the expected availability of Refuge which I finished up in June.  My publisher has shipped the finalized files to the printer and I got word yesterday that copies will ship from the printer on August 21, which should put them in the warehouses of Amazon and other distributors and retailers about a week later.  So hopefully the book will be available to buy around the 1st of September instead of the 9th as posted on Amazon now.

Here's a view of the back cover, which I did not have at the time of my last update here:

As with all these books done through my publisher, the printed price on the cover is the list price only.  The selling price on Amazon and other online retailers will be significantly lower.  It's currently listed on Amazon for $11.26, but I expect that price to go lower upon release, but final selling price is up to Amazon.  The Kindle Edition will also be available at the time of the print release and should be under $10.

I want to thank all the readers of this blog and especially those of you who have purchased and enjoyed The Pulse and The Darkness After, making it possible for me to continue exploring the concepts presented here on Bug Out Survival through works of fiction.  I think fiction can in many ways be more thought-provoking than nonfiction when it comes to considering just what one might do in the event of a catastrophic disaster like the solar flare scenario explored in these novels.  I try to make the stories as realistic as possible, but at the same time, the goal is to entertain more so than to teach.  I look forward to continuing these stories as well as beginning new ones.  More to come soon with the announcement of the next project...

Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: August 1, 2014, 6:00 pm
Once again I enjoyed chatting with John Wesley Smith of Destiny Survival Radio about my latest book release, this time The Prepper's Workbook.  My co-author, Scott Finazzo joined us as well as we went into the details of the book and why it was intended not just for those who think of themselves as preppers, but any family or individual who wants to be ready for emergencies.

John has also posted his written review of the book on his Destiny Survival site here: http://destinysurvival.com/2014/07/10/the-preppers-workbook-gives-checklists-and-guidance-for-prepping-no-matter-what-your-level-of-preparedness/

The link to the interview can be found here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/39273878/167_williams_finazzo_the_preppers_workbook_071014.mp3
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: July 11, 2014, 1:06 pm

   Days have turned into weeks with no contact from anyone outside of North America, where the power, communication and transportation grid has been completely destroyed by massive solar flares. In the ensuing chaos, grocery store shelves have been stripped bare and panicked survivors have fled the cities and towns, sweeping across the countryside in a desperate attempt to find sustenance and avoid the violence. 
   Artie Drager has risked everything to sail from the West Indies to New Orleans, where his daughter Casey was attending college. Finally catching up with her after discovering she had long since evacuated the city with her friends, Artie’s plan to get her to safe refuge on his brother’s sailboat begins to fall apart. Artie and his daughter must fight to survive, and hard choices must be made when part of their crew fails to return before they must set sail.
   This sequel to The Pulse explores the descent into anarchy that occurs when everything familiar in modern life is suddenly stripped away and survivors must adapt to a harsh new reality or die.

I have been working hard at wrapping up the manuscript for Refuge, the sequel to my first novel: The Pulse and it is now in the hands of the editors and hopefully on track for release later this summer in July or August.  Refuge picks up right where The Pulse left off, after a series of strong solar flares has shut down the grid over the southern U.S. and maybe even worldwide, as far as the characters in the story know.

My intention all along while writing The Pulse in late 2011-early 2012 was that there would be one or  more sequels, as there were so many possibilities for this unlikely group of characters thrown into such a life-altering event.  I wanted to move forward on the first sequel immediately after the release of The Pulse in the summer of 2012, but at the suggestion of my publisher,  I agreed to first write the parallel story for young adults, The Darkness After.  Response to that book has been extremely positive as well and I also plan one or more sequels to it, although they will likely be independently published so that I can get them out there sooner.

Hopefully, readers of The Pulse will not have forgotten too much of the story and will be able to pick up Refuge and move forward with ongoing dilemma that Larry, Artie, Casey, Jessica, Grant and Scully have gotten themselves into.  Things certainly get even more complicated for them in Book II, but setbacks and disappointments are to be expected in a major SHTF event like the one in this series.

I will post updates here as the publishing process moves forward, and there will almost certainly be a GoodReads Giveaway that you can sign up for as well.  As with all my books, review copies will be available for other bloggers and writers with related sites who wish to receive one.
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: June 10, 2014, 9:07 pm
I'm reposting this update from my main site, www.scottbwilliams.com for those of you who only check in here.  As many of you know, The Prepper's Workbook has now been shipping from Amazon for about two weeks, and is even available on the shelf in many Barnes & Noble locations.  Some of you most likely had your pre-ordered copies before I even saw a copy, though my author's copies finally arrived at the end of last week:

For those of you who have requested a review copy or are among the ten lucky winners of the Goodreads book giveaway for this book, please be assured that you will be getting your copy from the publisher as soon as they get the shipment they are awaiting.  The way the book distribution system works, shipments often go out from the printer directly to the booksellers before even the publishers or the authors get theirs.  The book industry is changing so fast anyway that every time I have a new book released it seems there is a surprise of one kind or another.

For those who have been patiently waiting for this book for so long, my coauthor Scott Finazzo and I again want to thank you for your continued interest despite the delays and setbacks.  We have gotten word from our editor at Ulysses Press that sales of this book have been fantastic, no doubt due to the continued interest so many people have in doing all they can to be prepared for the unexpected.  We hope you will find it useful in your own preps once you get your hands on a copy, and that you will use it as intended, as a workbook to be written in, marked-up and customized to your needs.
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: April 2, 2014, 2:12 pm
My coauthor of The Prepper's Workbook, Scott Finazzo, discussed our book on Kansas City's KCTV5 News earlier this week.   Finazzo is firefighter with the Overland Park Fire Department in that area, and his extensive experience as a first responder to disasters and emergencies brings another dimension to this book. Here is the interview:


Because of the interview, Finazzo got his hands on the first hard copy of the book to ship from the printer.  We are hoping these will start shipping any time now.
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: March 6, 2014, 10:33 pm
My publisher is sponsoring a book giveaway of 10 copies of The Prepper's Workbook on Goodreads.  You can enter to win one right here.  The giveaway ends March 18.

The publisher should have copies of the book in their offices around the first of March.  I will announce other opportunities for free copies this book here on Bug Out Survival once I have copies in hand.  Those of you who have survival or prepping related blogs and would like a review copy should email me directly with your address information.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Prepper's Workbook by Scott B. Williams

The Prepper's Workbook

by Scott B. Williams

Giveaway ends March 18, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: February 17, 2014, 2:19 pm
My friend and fellow Ulysses Press author, Jim Cobb, best known for his excellent site: Survival Weekly and his bestselling Prepper's Home Defense has written the foreword to The Prepper's Workbook.  I'm posting it here to give you a little better idea of the intent and purpose of this book and how it should be used:

I first became acquainted with Scott Williams by reading Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late. This was the first of his books I’d read and to say I was impressed is a dramatic understatement. Here was a guy who’d truly been there and done that. Not only did he have practical experience, he was able to communicate his knowledge effectively. His writing style was easy to follow and a pleasure to the eyes and mind.

Time and again in subsequent books, Scott has shown he is no armchair prepper. His knowledge and skills have been hard-won by doing rather than just reading a few books and regurgitating the same information someone else came up with and never tested in the real world.

I’d hazard a guess and say that well over 90 percent of preppers are list makers. We make lists of bug-out bag contents, food pantry supplies (both what we have on hand and what we need to acquire), wish lists of the gear we’d love to buy once we get that bonus from work, to-do lists for chores and projects. The list of lists goes on and on, doesn’t it?

That said, many preppers, even the ones who have been around a while, are probably missing a thing or two (or more) on those lists. Maybe they forgot about them, maybe they never heard of them before. No matter the case, more than one prepper has agonized over whether they’ve accounted for everything. When the balloon goes up, or the grid goes down, is the worst possible time to realize you forgot something.

The beauty of The Prepper’s Workbook is they’ve done the remembering for you. With easy-to-understand forms and checklists, all you need to do is fill in the blanks. Granted, that might be oversimplifying things just a tad as prepping in general involves (or should involve) a lot more doing than reading. The point is, follow the proverbial bouncing ball and, by the end, you should be fairly well set should disaster strike.

I know many preppers who are avid readers and they often lament a creased cover or a dog-eared page as they want to keep the books looking as nice as they can. This book, however, is made to be beaten up, written in, marked up with highlighters. If at the end of the day it looks like a five-year-old college textbook, with all sorts of notes in the margins, then you’ve used the book correctly.

Every prepper has a different plan for what to do in a crisis and how to go about getting things done. That’s as it should be as we each face unique circumstances and challenges. There is no one single game plan that will work for everyone. That is where The Prepper’s Workbook will really help, as it allows for customization to suit your individual needs, strengths and weaknesses. By following the instructions and filling out the forms, you will be able to create a survival plan that is unique and perfectly suited for you and your family.

Fill out the worksheets, run through the checklists, complete the projects. Take your time and do everything the way it should be done—no cheating! Be honest with yourself and recognize where your plan is lacking, then work toward improving on that weakness.

Even if the worst never comes to pass and you never have the opportunity to truly put your plans to the test, you’ll rest easier at night knowing that if the world begins to fall apart in the morning, you’re ready for it.

—Jim Cobb
Author of
Prepper’s Home Defense and
The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness 
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: January 24, 2014, 9:45 pm
I've been working with my editor and coauthor Scott Finazzo this week on the final proofing and approval of The Prepper's Workbook, and everything has now been finalized, from the interior design to the front and back covers.  It will be sent to the printer next so those of you who have been patiently waiting for a copy should have one soon.  There were some more changes made to the front cover since my last post here, so here is the final version as well as the back.



The list price printed on the back doesn't mean much, as almost all online retailers and especially Amazon sell for a significant discount off retail.  Right now it's listed for pre-order on Amazon for $11.03 but that price fluctuates for all kinds of reasons only Amazon knows and it may be less when it's actually in stock and ready to ship.  I really hope that will happen sometime in late February, even though it's listed there as available March 18.  All I know for certain is that at this point, our work is done so the rest depends on the shipping and distribution times.

Once copies are in my hands and in the publisher's offices we will have some book giveaways, and as always, review copies will be available for those who have related websites and blogs.
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: January 24, 2014, 8:17 pm
I just posted this update on my main website, www.scottbwilliams.com and I'm reposting here for Bug Out Survival readers who may not see it on that site.  I know many of you have been waiting on this book for a long time, and I apologize for the delay in updating here, but I wanted to wait until I knew for sure when this would be available.  Scott Finazzo and I have been working closely with our Ulysses Press editor to develop this project into the most useful book it could be.  Changes midstream have delayed finalizing it, but now it is all done and is off to production with a new cover design to go with all the new content.

The updated cover design for The Prepper's Workbook:

Along with the new cover shown above, the final revisions and most of the interior design work is now complete on the new and updated version of the The Prepper's Workbook, co-authored with Scott Finazzo.  It is now in the production stage and though the new release date listed on Amazon is March 18, my editor says that it should be available to ship by mid-February.  I know that a lot of readers have pre-ordered the book since it was first listed on various online sites last year, and I know it is frustrating to wait so long, but the final version of this book will be much more useful than what I had originally envisioned.  Rather than a book of mostly checklists, The Prepper's Workbook is a complete interactive planning tool to help you prepare your home and family for any disaster, whether of natural causes or manmade.  You don't have to have any background in preparedness to use this book, and the focus is on the ordinary family who wants stay safe and be self-sufficient in a short or long-term disaster.  In other words, you don't have to be expecting the collapse of civilization to benefit from this book.

A lot of the focus is on accessing what you currently have and do not have that you might need in the aftermath of a disaster, and the worksheets and activities will help you acquire, organize and store these items.  You will learn how to prepare your home for sheltering in place and how to plan an evacuation, as well as how to determine whether it is best to stay or go.  There are sections on specific types of disasters and how to plan for them, as well as sections on first aid, home and personal defense, and the most important survival skills you need to acquire and master.   Along with all the information we provide in the book, there are just as many fill-in-the-blank pages and worksheets that will require you to put the "work" in the workbook.  When you are finished with these tasks, you will have a unique and perfectly-tailored reference book with all your critical preparedness information compiled in one readily-accesible and handy location. This, we hope, is what will make this book so uniquely useful among a flood of books covering the topics of disaster survival and preparedness.
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: December 16, 2013, 3:19 pm
Thanks to all who participated in this latest book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of The Darkness After.  

I received some excellent submissions from those who participated by sending in their personal list of what they consider the Top Ten Essential Skills that any prepper/survivalist should possess or attempt to master.

As you would expect, there was a lot of overlap in these lists, as most of us can agree on at least five of the top ten essential skills, especially: finding and purifying water, fire making, shelter making, navigation and food gathering (including foraging, fishing and hunting).  Other commonly mentioned skills included the use of firearms for hunting and personal defense, knowledge of first aid, use of camouflage and stealth and hand to hand combat skills.

One of the lists submitted had an interesting and probably overlooked skill set that most people should pay more attention to: mechanical skill to maintain gear, firearms and mode of travel.  People who like to work on things as a hobby or have jobs that require mechanical skills may be all set in this department, but in today's society, fewer people do their own repairs or use their hands at work.  If you are among them, you can begin by doing small, routine maintenance jobs on your home, vehicle and other items.  As you gain proficiency in this, your confidence in your ability to keep everything you need going after the SHTF will be much greater.

As stated in the last post announcing the book giveaway, the five winners were chosen at random by a drawing, not based on the quality or content of their Top Ten List.  To those who didn't win, I still appreciate your participation and contribution.  As Scott Finazzo and I put the finishing touches on The Prepper's Workbook, these lists will be taken into consideration as we complete the final section of the book, and you may see one of your ideas published there.

So, here are the five winners of a copy of The Darkness After:

J.  Miller of Chesapeake, VA
J.  Guerra, of McAllen, TX
H. Coulter, of Prentiss, MS
T.  Cleveland, of Savanna, GA
D. Baldwin, of Ft. Collins, CO

The winners have also been notified by email and the books will be sent out today.
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: August 16, 2013, 10:00 am
My latest novel, The Darkness After is now available and shipping in both the print and Kindle versions on Amazon, and most everywhere else books are sold.  I've been getting some great feedback from those who have read it, and I think if you enjoyed The Pulse, you will like this one too.  The action is a little more fast-paced, and it is also a somewhat shorter story and therefore a pretty quick read.  Another difference is that most of the action takes place on the road or in the woods, and there is no sailing or international travel involved in this one - just two young people with different but very strong motives to get to their destinations.

If you'd like a chance to win a free copy so you can check it out, I want to announce two book giveaways: one here on Bug Out Survival and the other on the Goodreads website.

My coauthor, Scott Finazzo, and I are putting the finishing touches on The Prepper's Workbook, and the book giveaway I'm doing here relates to that project.  In the final section of the workbook, we discuss The Top Ten Survival Skills Every Person Should Know.  

What do you think are the top ten most important survival skills and why?  Post your answers in the comments section below or send them to me directly by email to scott@scottbwilliams.com, making sure to include your mailing address, to enter the drawing on August 15 for five (5) signed copies of The Darkness After.  Who knows, maybe you'll submit something we haven't thought of and see your suggestion printed in The Prepper's Workbook when it is published in September.  I'll announce the winners no later than Friday, August 16 right here on Bug Out Survival.

The other book giveaway for The Darkness After is hosted on Goodreads and all you have to do is sign up below for a chance to win one of ten (10) copies.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Darkness After by Scott B. Williams

The Darkness After

by Scott B. Williams

Giveaway ends August 31, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: August 4, 2013, 6:51 pm
My lack of updates regarding the release of my next two books: The Darkness After and The Prepper's Workbook has been due to the fact that firm release dates have not been set and I've been waiting on the final word from my publisher.

Some changes have been made to the format of The Prepper's Workbook and it will hopefully still be ready for release in September after a final reorganization of the material.  The improved format of this book that my coauthor and I have been working on will make it a much more useful addition to any prepper's library and hopefully it will be worth the wait for those of you who have already preordered.

The Darkness After was completed early in May and all final revisions and proofreading done a few weeks ago.  I'm still awaiting word as to when it will be sent to the printer, and have heard that it should be any day now.  The publisher did change the publication date on Amazon from mid-June to early August, but I've been assured that it will likely be available before then, probably in early July.  I will post an update here as soon as I know for sure.

Meanwhile, here's a little more about the book.  Some readers may recall that I have said I'm working on a sequel to The Pulse, and there will certainly be a sequel.  The Darkness After is not that sequel, however, but rather a parallel story with different characters facing the consequences of the same event.

The action takes place in the same general region as the final part of The Pulse, specifically New Orleans and south Mississippi.  As I've mentioned before, part of what inspired the idea for The Pulse is what I witnessed personally in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in this region.  With the grid down for just a few weeks in the New Orleans area and much of south Mississippi and south Louisiana, the chaos was bad enough.  These books explore the possibilities of how bad it might get if the power was off for months, or even longer.

The two main characters in this story are a bit younger than even the college students, Casey and Jessica, in The Pulse.  But despite this, 16-year-old Mitch Henley and 18-year-old April Gibbs both have unique backgrounds and strong motivations to get where they're going that give them the edge in a lawless world of anarchy and violence.

The son of a Mississippi game warden in one of the most heavily-wooded counties of the state, Mitch is a natural-born hunter and woodsman and a master of the longbow, his favorite hunting weapon.  And on her own since the age of 17, April has unexpected skills learned from her own father that will serve her well in her desperate quest to reach the one person who matters most in her life.  Here's the official book description from the Amazon listing:

The thrilling story of teenagers struggling for survival as the modern world collapses around them

Massive solar flares bombard the Earth. An intense electromagnetic pulse undermines America’s power grid, wreaking havoc. Panic and chaos ensue in cities like New Orleans, where 16-year-old Mitch Henley was stranded after driving his parents to the airport. The son of a game warden in a rural Mississippi county, Mitch is an expert hunter and woodsman and knows he can survive back on his family’s remote 600 acres. 

With no way to know if his parents’ plane landed safely or crashed because of the pulse, Mitch sets out alone to walk home. But what Mitch hadn’t counted on was meeting April: a determined young woman who has an even more compelling reason to make it to her destination. Thrust into adulthood at an early age, April is a fighter who won’t back down, and when the two of them pair up to face the dangers ahead, they endure and overcome one setback and disappointment after another.

Set in the same anarchy-and-desperation-reigned world of the author’s dystopian thriller: THE PULSE, THE DARKNESS AFTER is a frightening look at how fragile our technologically dependent lifestyle really is. 

So that's the latest and as much as I know regarding the release dates.   As soon as I get copies in hand of each new book, I will post a book giveaway here so reader's will have a chance to get a free, signed copy.  
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: June 14, 2013, 3:00 pm
I did an interview over the phone today about the many considerations of using a bicycle as a primary or  back-up bug-out vehicle and the discussion ranged from the whys and whens of using a bike vs. various motor vehicles to the specifics of how to choose the right bike for the job and how to equip it.  This interview will be available as a series of articles soon and I'll post links to them when they are up.

Those of you who have read my Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters know that I have a chapter devoted to bicycles in the book.  As a long-time cyclist who enjoys riding for fitness and exploring backroads and trails by bike, I am interested in many different types of bicycles, but if I could have only one, it would invariably be a touring-specific bike.  When asked in the interview today why I would choose such a bike when mountain bikes are usually the first kind that come to mind as bug out bikes, I explained that it is because bike touring has been constantly evolving and developing as adventurous riders take these machines literally to the ends of the earth.  Such bikes are designed to withstand abuse, carry heavy loads, negotiate rough roads and even some off road conditions and perhaps most importantly, be comfortable so that you can cover serious miles day after day.

The difference in these touring-specific bikes begins with the frame, usually built of rugged and forgiving Chrome-moly steel rather than aluminum or carbon used on more performance-oriented bikes.  The wheels are also stronger, built to carry heavy loads and to fit wider tires when conditions require them.  Touring bikes have a wide range of gears to handle long climbs while carrying heavy loads, and the frames are fitted with brazed-on eyelets for mounting sturdy racks to carry panniers and additional gear lashed on top.

While some touring bikes look much like road racing machines to the casual observer, these differences are apparent upon closer inspection.  Because of the popularity of long off-road trips, such as the Adventure Cycling Association's Great Divide Route, many bicycle manufacturers are building truly capable touring machines that have most of the desirable attributes of mountain bikes combined with the long-distance capability of road bikes.  It has been interesting to see what they have come up with.  For example, the Surly Long Haul Trucker is a proven road touring bike I mentioned in the book, but the newer Surly Troll has a lot to offer as a bug-out machine to those inclined towards mountain bikes but needing real traveling ability:

The orange paint job might not be the best choice for this service, but you can see that this is a bike that could do the job.  To give you an idea of it's potential, check out this site: While Out Riding.
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: March 16, 2013, 1:34 am
I've been holding off on posting the details of my forthcoming books due to some changes in the order of publication and the publication dates.  Before The Pulse was published last summer, I had worked out a contract with my publisher to do another non-fiction project under the title: The Prepper's Workbook.  I was also eager to get started on the sequel to The Pulse, as that novel was written with a larger story in mind and plans for at least one sequel from the beginning. 

Instead of giving me the go-ahead immediately on the sequel, however, my publisher suggested an entirely different novel set in the scenario of The Pulse - the same grid- collapse event caused by a solar flare - but with a different storyline and different characters.  Most of the characters in the new novel (which will also likely be followed with one or more sequels) are young adults or teenagers, so the book is targeted to both young adult and adult readers.  The Darkness After will be an action-filled adventure story with a somewhat faster pace than The Pulse.  Here is the cover image:

 I am still in the middle of writing this one now, but have also worked out a contract with my publisher to do the sequel to The Pulse later this year, after the June publication of The Darkness After.  In addition, I will be completing The Prepper's Workbook later this spring, and the new publication date for it is set for sometime in September.  The other change regarding that book is that I will now be working on it with my friend and fellow-adventurer, Scott Finazzo.  The cover for the book should be updated soon to show both of us as coauthors.

Though I have not posted anything about the forthcoming Prepper's Workbook, I'm sure many of my readers have found the listing on Amazon, which still incorrectly shows the publication date as tomorrow, January 15.  I apologize for the confusion that may have caused, but I was expecting my publisher to change the book details to reflect the new publication date before now.  At any rate, if you have pre-ordered the book as many people do on Amazon, it will still be shipped as soon as it is released.  I will post more details on both of the projects soon:

Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: January 15, 2013, 1:18 am
I'll be talking with John Wesley Smith on his Destiny Survival Radio show again tomorrow.  We'll spend an hour discussing a variety of topics, and especially how works of fiction can sometimes be more effective than nonfiction in opening the eyes of those who might not otherwise take an interest in prepping or survival topics.  I've had a lot of comments to this effect already since the release of The Pulse, especially among some of my own friends and family who could not really relate to books like Bug Out and may perceive interest in such topics as fanatical.  Reading a fictional story of an unfolding SHTF scenario sheds a whole new light on the matter though, and people can start to visualize how such an event could really happen.

You can join us tomorrow (Thursday, July 26) at 1:00pm CDT right here on the embedded player, or listen in later anytime you like after the show:

Listen to internet radio with Preparedness Radio on Blog Talk Radio

And here's a link to a newspaper review written by a friend with the perspective mentioned above - a seasoned outdoorsman and experienced adventurer, but not a person who considers himself to be a survivalist:  http://www.enterprise-journal.com/sports/outdoors/article_ad4130e0-ce3a-11e1-8f64-0019bb2963f4.html

For a review from the perspective of a prepper and survivalist, here's Jim Cobb's take on the book from his blog, Survival Weekly:  http://survivalweekly.com/2269/the-pulse-by-scott-b-williams/  Jim will soon be a fellow Ulysses Press author, with his own book: Prepper's Home Defense coming out in October.
Author: Scott B. Williams
Posted: July 25, 2012, 8:35 pm

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