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Digital Subscriptions > American Survival Guide > February 2019 > LESSONS FROM THE INSIDE



What would it be like to be in a situation where you have virtually no control over your life?

Most preppers feel they’ll have complete, or a lot of, control over their individual circumstances when things go bad. However, this article will serve as a sort of “wake-up call” to point out that, at the far end of the spectrum, anyone—including a highly prepared prepper—could lose everything they’ve planned for … including their freedom.

Because I am someone long interested in survival skills, I took a particular interest in certain historical situations during which people have to make do with very little if they wish to survive. I’ve always found noteworthy the things creative people did in prisoner-of-war camps to stay healthy and alive. And, during times of war, when there are shortages of just about everything, survivors found creative ways to make and distribute food, medicine, clothing and other necessary supplies. Often, this meant working together; and sometimes, it seemed to be the result of “luck.”

Along these lines, I always wondered how prison inmates in the United States (and elsewhere) manage to survive—and, in some cases, come out stronger.

When my friend, whom I will call “MC” was incarcerated some years ago as an accomplice to a murder, I began to correspond with him, mostly as a way to keep up his hope and his spirits. After a while, I realized this was my chance to learn about life on the inside and to have my friend share some of the prison skills he had to learn in a hurry.

MC and I sent letters back and forth, and I began to type his responses to some of my queries. Once MC knew I was compiling notes for an article, he made it clear to me that the guards read everything and that there were many topics he would not address. These topics included the behavior and tactics of prison gangs, making tattoos, ways to make a fire for lighting a cigarette, prison wine, prison Morse code and anything else that might be sensitive or illegal.

What follows are the general categories of our correspondence. They are organized in such a way that you might be able to derive some practical lessons from them.

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American Survival Guide February 2019, How -to : Master the Market, Drone Dilemma Panacea or Plague ?, Choice Choppers, And More........