How to Survive in a Violent Post Apocalypse

How to Survive in a Violent Post Apocalypse

When Post Apocalyptic Outlaw Gangs and Supply Raiders Rule the Land

… Military Tactics for Survival

Are you ready for a rise of outlaw gangs, sex traders, and supply raiders? This isn’t the Old West. This is America or the UK, Canada, or Australia following a complete societal collapse. Better know how to survive — because outlaw gangs, murderous raiders and “highwaymen” are coming.

They will hunt you and they will kill you…


If we lose the government, we’re going to lose local police. If there’s a rash of crime and looters and robberies, a lot of people may find themselves on their own, living in a constant state of fear of when and where the next group of thieves may strike.

Unless you have a fairly large group of family and friends to help fortify your home and property and defend it from lawlessness, simply put it will be dangerous for people to try to hold their ground against a larger, mobile group of thieves intent on taking everything you own, and even taking your life.

Survival calls for a strategy

Unless you have a strategy for dealing with outlaw gangs and supply raiders, they have the advantage, and history is on their side. In lawless lands, groups like these have taken many lives over the centuries, committed countless rapes and other atrocities, and are a very serious threat to your immediate and long term survival following any kind of collapse of government.

Lessons from the Old West and Civil War

Though they have plagued border lands throughout history, many lessons can be learned from the days of America’s Old West, as well as outlaw gangs of both Yankee and Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War. While both sides had their valiant and honorable soldiers, both sides also had their murderous thugs and mercenaries that would pillage, rape, and murder it seems on just about any chance they could get.

A few Confederate groups even made a name for themselves for their ability to hide out in rough terrain, making it hard for any lawmen or vigilante groups to pursue and bring them to justice for their crimes.

After the Civil War, a number of these soldiers now headed out West to seek their fortune and a new life. Many would become outlaws and bandits; some would become lawmen…

A Few Things to Know About Outlaw Gangs, Raiders, Bandits, Marauders and Highwaymen

These are historical terms used in different parts of the world and at different times in history to describe thieves and murderers that prey on travelers, or property owners, or both.

1) Bandits and highwaymen are more likely to strike travelers, especially as they leave cities and head into more rural country along long, lonely roads.

2) Raiders and marauders can almost be like a small guerilla military force, with their aggression, weapons, and sometimes complete disdain for human life. All of them are thieves and some of them are rapists and murderers as well; some will take children and turn them into sex slaves, after killing parents; or, as is going on in several lawless areas of Africa in the modern day, they’ll turn the boys into child soldiers and a new generation of raiders and marauders. Eventually, with enough child soldiers, they can take on the size of a small army, just like the LRA led by Joseph Kony that originally operated in Uganda but have since spread into neighboring countries in East Africa.



Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch

Butch Cassidy and a group he rode with called the Wild Bunch had a lot of success, as history records, pulling off multiple robberies. Their tactics included doing reconnaissance first and also stashing supplies and extra horses along their get away route.

Another outlaw group from the Old West is said to have planned robberies by breaking their large group into small teams and then attacking multiple locations simultaneously. That sounds a lot like first hand military experience and so gangs using these tactics may have been former soldiers from the Civil War now operating out West as bandits and supply raiders.

Outlaw gangs are known to use guerilla tactics

3) Due to their guerilla tactics, it can be tough for a localized military or police force to put a stop to them. In fact, often guerillas have a huge advantage in that they can disappear into the brush, have the experience of knowing the lands they travel in, and are able to flee and regroup at a safe location, away from any judicial consequences. They use hit and run tactics, using fast and overwhelming aggression in their favor when successfully raiding a township or homestead — or robbing a bank, ranch, or stagecoach back in the days of the Old West.

4) Raider forces usually have a “hide out” or base camp where they operate from. Something like this is likely to be located in an area that gives them some kind of strategic advantage vs any lawmen or vigilante groups that might form to go after them. One of the most successful hide outs ever was the location used by the Hole in the Wall Gang (that area known as the Hole-in-the-Wall Pass in Johnson County, Wyoming was actually a hide out for several gangs who history records weren’t one large gang but all cooperated to share the same location as a hide out / base camp; See: Hole in the Wall Gang.)

How to Beat Raiders and Highwaymen Using Military Tactics

In the right hands, the following information can serve to help save lives of future people who would otherwise die at the hands of future raiders and highwaymen. In the wrong hands, the following information could be used to do just the opposite. I pray that the information I share next is only used for good purposes…

1) Poison: If you live in a region currently threatened by raiders, you can set a trap, especially if you have a large supply of alcohol. Alcohol, often in the hands of raiders, is like liquid gold and a hot commodity. It can be an instant celebration back at the camp of a group of murderous raiders, the moment these raiders return to camp with that days “plunder” from homesteads and townships in the area. I’m not going to discuss the specifics of poison; I’m only going to mention it as one way a person or group could consider going after a group of murderous raiders by setting up a “fake” homestead or campsite, and then baiting it with things for this group to steal and take back to their leaders. If you want this supply to make it back to it’s leaders, it should be a large supply, and not a small supply. A small supply may never make it to the leaders and might be consumed by the foot soldiers that found it. Sure, they might die, but that still leaves the rest of the gang to deal with.

2) Spies: One way to bring a group of outlaws to justice is to use spies to infiltrate and collect information on their whereabouts and plans for the coming days, then plan attacks based on where and when there group will be in different locations.

3) Cut the Head Off the Snake: Assassins that can take out an outlaw gangs leadership and command structure make it much easier to cause a gang to break up and flee the area, or for them to all be brought to justice.

4) Apache Tactics: One of history’s ultimate stealth forces were the Apache, a Native American tribe from the Southwest states of which Geronimo is one of the most famous names from Apache history. The Apache were so skilled at stealth and hit and run tactics using that stealth that the Navy SEALS even adopted strategies from them, and use these tactics today in special forces training and on missions.

Remember the success that SEAL Team 6 had taking down Osama Bin Laden just a few years back? That operation was code named, “Geronimo.” How’s that for giving credit to the Apaches for some of what the SEALS know and use today?

Most outlaw gangs (the formidable ones with smart leadership, and even former military training) are likely to have sentries set up outside their camp, to spot anyone approaching long before they get near camp.

Successful Apache tactics can often occur under the cover of night, especially when there’s clouds to block moon light, and in the early morning hours when most people in an outlaw group are asleep, other than a few sentries scattered throughout the area. An intelligent Apache raid could involve waiting for an outlaw group to celebrate one evening, drinking large quantities of alcohol, putting most of the group into an alcoholic stupor. Then, one by one, those in your group of lawmen or vigilantes with the most stealth and fearlessness could go after a different sentry, effectively taking out all posted guards. Once all those sentries had been taken out, now a larger group could descend on the camp of outlaws while most or all of them are still asleep. Mission accomplished. Enemy is eliminated.

5) Set A Trap / Funnel the Enemy into a Kill Zone: An entire township could be outfitted with trained lawmen and vigilantes to look like ordinary citizens, knowing that the outlaw gang you’re after is likely performing daily reconnaissance and simply waiting for the right moment to strike. Somehow let news spread across the township that your local lawmen or vigilante group would be a few miles away the next day, helping out another town in some way, perhaps just attending some kind of event or celebration. Once that information reaches the outlaw gangs ears, they may choose that same time to strike, and walk into a trap, where they are outnumbered and outgunned, and an end brought to their murderous raids.

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How to Survive and Avoid Encounters with Outlaw Gangs and Supply Raiders

If you’re part of a smaller group or even on your own, then there may be no real way for you to bring a group of outlaws and supply raiders to justice, or to effectively defend yourself from attack.

An ounce of prevention in the form of complete avoidance is what will save your life in this case.

First, understand how outlaw gangs operate

When praying on travelers, “highwaymen” were bandits that stalked lonely stretches of road that merchants and others were known to use, setting up ambushes, and many people have walked into their traps over the centuries.

When possible, travel with a large armed group

If you’re going to travel the open road in this way, it is best to travel with a large group that is armed, and from a distance away looks like a formidable force. In doing so, you are a lot less likely to be targeted for a robbery. That is true today just as much as it was true in centuries past.

Otherwise, stay far away from roads and even trails

If traveling with a large armed group or hiring a security force (that you can trust) isn’t an option, then as much as possible the safest way to travel will be far away from open roads and commonly used trails or other pathways. If outlaw bands are suspected to be in the area, find out where they are thought to be based out of, and then find a way that detours many miles away from their base camp, at the same time staying off roads and trails, because these are the places that outlaws are going to lurk.

Bandits stalk areas that people commonly travel

In a way, they’re like hunters settling in along side game trails, waiting for game. Because outlaws are for the most part unable to provide for their camp by honest means like hunting, trapping, farming, trading, and fishing, the only way they can survive and thrive is by supply raids that prey on people who are able to provide and build up supplies. That is why outlaws and supply raiders are a very real threat near populated regions and along lonely roads out in the countryside, especially those leading away from a nearby town or city.

Stay away from populated areas

If survival is a top priority, make it a habit to stay away from roads and known trails, and choose to travel off trail, detouring as far from populated regions as possible, much in the same way that Apaches could stay hidden for months at a time from American forces that sought to root them out in the 1800s, when the U.S. military was at war with Native American tribes in the Southwest states.

Find a vehicle that offers escape

Outlaw gangs in the Old West often had the assistance of fast horses. In the modern age, more likely they’re going to choose gas powered vehicles, including ATVs, trucks, and motorcycles. If you can ride a horse, that may be the best route as a horse allows a lot more stealth than you’ll ever see on an ATV, truck, or motorcycle, plus you can take a horse on a path into heavy brush or trees and across a shallow stream that may be too difficult for any motorized vehicle to follow.

While there are still plenty of skilled horse riders in the modern age, if that’s not you or you don’t have a horse in a post collapse world, other avenues that offer you speed can include a dirt bike or dual sport (on road / off road motorcycle), ATV, or even a truck with 4×4 capability. Due to the noise factor, each of these should really only be considered if you can also customize your vehicles to operate with less noise, while also operating at low speeds (as much as possible) and avoiding higher engine revs.

Noise dampening devices and quieter mufflers

When it comes to ATVS, dirt bikes and dual sports, seriously consider getting a new muffler beforehand and doing other custom work to make it a lot quieter. In a post collapse world, you’re not going to want the sound of your machine to carry that far, otherwise you’ll have no stealth, and you might as well be telling the world where they can find you.

Dual sports are the best motorized vehicle to consider

Dirt bikes, ATVs, and dual sports are commonly used in extreme sports racing or are the recreational vehicles of country folks and even a few city dwellers out there. By far, a dual sport is probably the best vehicle to own post-collapse, as long as you have a plan for both stockpiling fuel and procuring new sources of fuel before hand. A dual sport’s on road and off road capabilities give you a vast range of terrain that you can travel in, both on and off trail.

Bandits will want your bike — proceed with caution

In a post collapse world, bandits will want those dual sports, ATVs and dirt bikes, that are common fair out in the countryside in the modern day. Many trails near populated areas may end up ambushed in the early days and weeks following a collapse. Some of those trails may have traps set that include running heavy wire or even barbed wire over a trail a few feet off the ground that will rip a rider right off his machine (like riding into a clothesline), sometimes even decapitating him or her. Watch out!

That is one more reason to avoid traveling on trails due to those traps and others.

Be on the lookout for road blocks

Also be on the lookout for road blocks up ahead that may include downed trees. A downed tree is a common scam used by bandits because it causes a person traveling in a vehicle to stop in order to move the downed trees. That’s exactly the moment that you are ambushed and robbed of everything you have.

Be wary of women “stranded” in desolate country

Another tactic that outlaw gangs can use is the “woman in need of rescue”; as you stop to help her, you’re suddenly surrounded by thieves hiding out in the brush nearby.

Be wary of abandoned goods

You may see some toppled over boxes or abandoned bags of gear up ahead; be wary of inspecting these — this is another common tactic used by thieves. While you’re attention is on these goods, they can sneak out of the brush and surround you.

Be wary of roadside buildings

Thieves know that travelers by road may be curious as to what’s inside any number of buildings along their path; as you make your approach realize you may be under close watch at that moment, and are being sized up and possibly lured into a trap.

Pray for guidance and listen to your instincts

Last but not least, don’t hesitate to ask God for guidance; even if it’s your first time in life, God’s always just that first prayer away. If you want this to work for you, repent and get your life right with God beforehand. Otherwise you’re like millions of people who claim to know God but don’t actually want anything to do with living a life according to God’s will — and courageously living for Christ.

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What are your instincts telling you?

Listen closely to your instincts. If you come around a corner or over the top of a hill, and something suddenly doesn’t feel right, get out of the open immediately and find a place of concealment where you can wait patiently for a bit, carefully surveying everything around you before proceeding. When you do proceed, proceed cautiously.

Native American scouts had incredible survival skills

Back in the pioneer days, U.S. military sometimes hired Native Americans as scouts; history notes that these scouts often exercised a great deal of caution when on the look out for enemy tribes — a very useful and life-saving survival skill. While American military forces might rush in to battle — and die — instead of just rushing in, these scouts would carefully survey the entire area from all angles beforehand, sometimes scouting wide around an enemy’s known location, until they had a firm picture of everything they were up against.

As mentioned prior, these tactics have been passed down to today’s Navy SEALS and other special forces groups. These are skills to know and apply in any kind of post-apocalyptic landscape.


If you see a road block up ahead, immediately go back the way you came, stash your vehicle (if you have one), get out your high-powered binoculars, and if you still need to use that path in that direction, do some reconnaissance first (sneaking around the area at a distance, and viewing the scene from multiple angles, looking for any signs of movement).

After your recon, if you’re not absolutely sure it’s safe to proceed, find a way to make a wide detour, even if you have to dump your vehicle and proceed on foot.


To avoid a guerilla force of bandits and marauders, you have to operate a lot like a guerilla force of your own. That calls for Apache tactics and modern day lessons from the Navy SEALS and other special forces groups like the SAS (UK) and U.S. Army Green Berets. Stay away from roads and trails as much as possible, always using brush and forest as cover.

High powered binoculars and night-vision scopes and night-vision monoculars can be life-savers on a repeated basis post collapse. There is a serious need of awareness in the general public of the immediate dangers from supply raiders and those murderous thieves that will be lurking outside cities and townships. They are after women, food, and supplies; some may even be after children.

In worst case situations, some may have even turned to cannibalism.

Are you prepared for outlaw gangs and supply raiders?

A lack of awareness shows itself when the majority of people’s preps for disasters overlook basic and essential items for living in a land of lawlessness, whether that’s the American Old West, or a pioneer family on a prairie surrounded by warrior tribes of Native Americans, or a post-apocalyptic landscape of tomorrow.

The survival tools that will really make a difference will be high powered binoculars and other tools offering night vision. Daily reconnaissance and understanding what dangers are in the land around you will be crucial survival tactics for most people. If you overlook this, you are making a serious mistake.

Firearms don’t guarantee anything

Even if you have firearms for self defense, that doesn’t mean you are protected from danger. Outlaw gangs and supply raiders may have you outnumbered and use any number of murderous schemes to ambush you, catching you completely by surprise. You lose everything, including your guns. You may even lose your life. If that happens, your wife and kids (if you have any) are goners.

Remember that tactic mentioned above, where your group uses spies to infiltrate a group of thieves? Thieves can use that tactic also. Be wary of anyone new that comes into your group and be ready to feed them misinformation as well as have someone spy on their movements and report anything out of the ordinary.

What about faith?

Though God can look out for us from up above, we still live in a dangerous world and shouldn’t be ignorant that sometimes those dangers are coming after us. Basic safeguards can help protect you, your family, and close friends from people who are cold blooded thieves, killers and rapists.

Personally, I appreciate the safety that God can give us when we follow Him. It’s a safety you have to experience to truly appreciate; otherwise it’s just words that someone is writing out and often hard for readers to believe, unless they already have faith — real faith. God can rescue us and or protect us from danger again and again.

It’s said that evil takes place when good people do nothing

In a dangerous world, it is definitely possible that God could lead a number of believers to have firearms for self defense, especially if he has a specific purpose in mind. Ever notice how sometimes everyday people have used handguns to stop a murderer in the middle of an attack? Not just a terrorist attack, though that has happened also.

As a Christian publisher I’m not opposed to guns; I’m just opposed to guns in the wrong hands used for the wrong purposes. Jesus said, “he who lives by the sword will die by the sword” and he also told his disciples on another occasion, before sending them out on a specific task, to “sell your cloak and buy a sword.” Why would Jesus say something like that? Probably because he knew that those specific believers he was giving orders to would be traveling through dangerous lands and God, for whatever reason, wanted them to carry weapons that day.

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Even if you don’t like firearms, at the least choose reconnaissance tools

Being able to survey the terrain with binoculars (during the day) and night vision tools (at night, during darkness) can be life savers and daily tools for survival. They are great tools for traveling both by day and by night.

They are also great tools for boating and an absolute necessity when hunting any king of game or even for attempting to spot wild edibles (edible plants and berries) from a distance.

Surveying the environment will allow you to spot danger before danger catches you by surprise. This is what recon is all about. This is why scouts, sentries, and patrols all have their place when defending a post apocalyptic community or just you and those close to you living off the land post collapse.

Perimeter alarms

When stationary for a period of time, you’ll want a way to set up multiple trip-wire traps (fishing line and or thick string connected to bells, cans, etc.) that make noise around your property or where you may be camped for the night when encountered by intruders. If you go with masonry string, rub the entire spool in dirt as much as possible to help camouflage the string when you string it out around the perimeter.

Set those perimeter trip wires at various distances, for example 20 yards, 50 yards, and 100 yards.

With these trip wires in place set at various distances, these are your early warning signals that danger is approaching. More than one person keeping guard can investigate using a night vision device rather than just shining a bright light which can make your posted guard(s) an easy target and it tells intruders exactly where you are (so keep those lights off and keep those night vision scopes and monoculars at the ready).

Your posted guards and night vision tools allow you to catch these thieves by surprise and hopefully save lives and protect supplies.

Pay attention to every noise, even if a possible false alarm

If you’re lucky that night, it’ll just be a raccoon or ‘possum that tripped one of your wires. On more than one occasion though, it could be a group of thieves sneaking up on you, having assumed that everyone in your camp is asleep. Maybe it’s a group of slave traders after women they can turn into forced prostitutes.

We live in a dark world and in a post-apocalyptic landscape expect it to be 100 times worse than it is anywhere today. Social awareness coupled with lethal force can bring an immediate stop to the atrocities of more than one psychopath and cohorts roaming the land. Lethal force isn’t for everyone though — so if it’s not for you, just imagine what if was your child being taken and possibly forced into prostitution? What if it’s your spouse being murdered and robbed for anything he or she has?

Lethal force has it’s place when we’re talking about psychopaths

In a dark world, lethal force has it’s place; let the Lord be your light and know that you are saving lives and that it is justice. If you’re brave enough, don’t just take out a psychopath and his cohorts — find out where their home base is and with enough people on your side, go and investigate — just maybe you’ll be able to free some captives, and that may include children and women who right at this very moment are praying for their escape.

Through out the world there are captives, and sex slaves, and forced prostitutes, and that includes right here in good ol’ USA. Now imagine it 100 times worse that it ever was. That’s some of what we’re facing in a post-collapse tomorrow. God help us.

Serious risks to life and safety post collapse

Even the most prepared among us are all at risk of robbery and possibly worse than that post collapse. Without a plan and without the tools and strategies for dealing with supply raiders, outlaw gangs, kidnappers and murderous thieves, each of us is asking for trouble. Networking, diplomacy, and good relationships with others in your region can serve to help all of you survive in a land without police, military, or government.


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