Tom Blakey's "Preparing for the Worst"
My name’s Tom, I served for 25 years in the British Parachute Regiment, including
service with the elite Pathfinders and Red Devils Freefall Team. The motto of the Parachute Regiment is Utrinque Paratus - Ready For Anything, which is a creed I still live my life by.
I deployed operationally to Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Macedonia, Iraq and Afghanistan, and worked in various hostile environments, including the jungle and the desert. After leaving the military I worked for Rescue Global, where we deployed overseas to disaster hit areas to enable the effective delivery of aid. My interests include skydiving, hillwalking and survival.
I have established an outdoors events company called First In Events, where we introduce people to the outdoors, challenge you to push yourself to your limits and teach you new skills.
We conduct military themed activities such as Special Forces endurance marches over the Brecon Beacons, Bushcraft/Survival days, Navigation Courses and Tandem Skydives.
The Current World Situation
The world we currently live in is becoming increasingly unstable.
Natural disasters and adverse weather conditions such as floods, forest fires, hurricanes, tsunamis and extreme cold are becoming more and more frequent, due to Global Warming.
In addition man made disasters and events such as nuclear reactor meltdowns (i.e. the Fukushima and Chernobyl incidents), Cyber attacks (along with our reliance on technology), political tensions, war and civil unrest, means we are facing increased threats and becoming more vulnerable than ever before.
As a result I have taken an active interest in 'Prepping'. During my time in the military and working with Rescue Global, I have seen first hand the effects of both natural and man made disasters, and the devastating effects it has on ordinary people. I believe the need to be prepared is more important now than ever before.
I am not a 'Flat Earther' or conspiracy theorist. I just believe we live in potentially dangerous and unstable times, and I want to take ownership of my own safety, and of those close to me.
I was encouraged by friends to establish my own Youtube channel, in order to pass on my knowledge and skills.
I called it Prepared Pathfinder;(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtBjLZu9AkG8FwGYqC2vRjw)
Here, I endeavour to pass on my skills and tips based on my knowledge and experience, in order to help people prepare for the worst, in a down-to-Earth, no BS manner.
Prepping - Paranoid or Prepared?
In the past ‘Prepping’ was the domain of a minority of individuals who were regarded as paranoid, and let’s face it, a bit weird. However in the light of recent events and changing global weather conditions, it is becoming more mainstream, and quite frankly quite a sensible pursuit. However it is much more than just the physical aspect of hoarding food supplies or filling a bag full of gadgets. I consider Prepping to have three main aspects;
1. Developing a Prepared Mindset. I believe this is the most important aspect to develop. It means remaining aware at all times, so that at the most basic level you keep your head up, observe everything and assess any potential dangers as they present themselves. I see a large percentage of people staring at their phones, many also with headphones in, as they walk down the street. An easy target for someone with less than good intentions. You should be constantly thinking “what if”, so if an incident was to happen, you are already thinking how to respond to it. We call this “Actions On” in the army, i.e. what wil your Actions On be if you were attacked, if you were involved in a car crash, held hostage etc. Even parking your car, always reverse park, so that you are ready to move should you need to.
2. Fitness and Skills. You need to develop yourself as an individual in order to be best prepared for any incident or accident. Every day is a learning day. Whether you are just watching videos on Youtube, or attending a training course, none of us are ever too old to learn new skills. Key skills include First Aid, Navigation, Survival/Bushcraft and Self Defence. Remember these skills are perishable over time, and should be practised frequently to remain current.
LifeHakx Interview Audio: HERE
LifeHakx Video Interview: HERE
3. Kit Prep. Preparation of kit and supplies will enable you to escape and survive if the worst happens. This can include developing the following;
An Every Day Carry (EDC) Pouch - A small pouch that can be taken anywhere with some handy gear and small survival items. (See description below)
A Bug Out Bag (BOB) - a rucksack containing gear and supplies to last you several days in the wilderness, usually up to 72 hours. See my BOB video on Youtube here; https://youtu.be/4DGpDCMt-g4
A Car Bag - A larger bag containing more food supplies, water, clothing, shelter etc. My Car Bag video can be found here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1cp8rehzMc&t=293s
Gear considerations - you need to ensure the kit packed is;
Suitable to your environment and potential threats (ie in a hot, arid environment the priorities would differ from that of a jungle or cold climate).
Relevant to your skills and capabilities. There’s no point packing gear you don’t know how to use, or aren’t capable of using (i.e. medical gear that you aren’t trained in such as tourniquets or chest seals, or survival gear you haven’t practised with).
Every Day Carry (EDC) Pouch
I have prepared my EDC Pouch to enable me to have carefully selected items with me at all times. It is unrealistic to think you are going to carry a pack full of gear everywhere you go (that should either be in your car or in your home), but if you carry a small EDC Pouch with you at all times you will always have some key items that are not only handy to have, but may save your life.
I have broken my EDC Pouch contents down into 10 categories;
Tools. I include a Leatherman Multitool and a Swiss Army Knife. Both of these have UK Legal blades. I also have an Australian Field Ration Eating Device (FRED), basically a small spoon with a tin opener on it.
Medical. I have a basic, compact medical kit, including plasters, dressings, wound closures and pain relief.
Lighting. A head torch is my primary light, as it can be used hands-free (essential if dealing with a casualty or changing a tyre), with a compact flashlight in reserve. Both of these lights use AAA batteries for compatibility.
Electrical. Included are a Powerbank with leads for my devices and spare AAA batteries for my torches.
Firelighting. A standard lighter, a Ferrocerium Rod with Striker and a Fresnel Lens. Also some compact towels for tinder (these can also be used to clean or dress wounds)
Cordage. 30 feet of 550lb breaking strain Para Cord.
Tape. Military Issue black gaffer tape wrapped around an old credit card.
Writing. A Waterproof Modestone notebook, with pens and pencils.
Currency. £100 in various denominations. Handy as a back up if there is a problem with your bank (Cyber attack etc).
Water. A water carriage bag, a Water Filter and Water Purification Tablets.
Follow me on my Youtube channel for hints and tips on how to prepare yourself for the worst, and kit reviews of gear that you can rely on;
Go to my First In Events page here, for opportunities to test yourself in the great outdoors and to learn bushcraft and survival skills;