Giveaway: Urban Survival Course with Prepared Associates

by Road Warrior on April 4, 2014

Hey everyone, it’s Friday! And to celebrate the awesomeness that is the oncoming of the beloved weekend, we have a really great giveaway for you today: Prepared Associates, a Maine-based company committed to helping people learn to prepare for the worst, is giving away a slot for one of you, our wonderful readers, in their upcoming May 3rd, 2014 Urban Skills Challenge. There is a caveat – the course occurs in Portland, Maine, so you should really be from the Northeast US and willing to travel up to the thriving metropolis of Portland to attend. If you live in Utah and you wanna fly out to attend the course, so be it, but we’re not footing the bill. :) I will personally be attending the course and will go through it with you, and hell, maybe even take you out to lunch afterwards if you don’t hate me. I’m trying to get Jarhead Survivor to jump on board with the class too, but no promises yet.


Stuart Thomas with a class Stuart Thomas with a class



Who are Prepared Associates?

Prepared Associates (check out their website here, their Facebook page here) is run by a great guy named Stuart Thomas. In a lengthy email exchange we had, Stuart said that, “I started my company with the sole goal of providing practical, hands-on prepper training without all the doom and gloom….I decided to start Prepared Associates LLC after looking around and seeing that there was a niche needing filled. I have clients who are way into the zombie thing, all the way to those who just want an emergency kit for their cars. I don’t make judgements on what people are prepping for, I just assist them in meeting their goals, whatever they may be.” Stuart doesn’t run in the go-for-the-throat doomer crowd; he wants people to be prepared for ANY disaster, whether it be a fire in the home or an EMP blast.

And he’s really put the boots to the pavement. He offers extensive classes that cover many fundamentals needed for survival, from getting your Get-Home-Bag squared away and how to use it, to procuring a HAM radio licence, to long-term food and water storage, to pet first aid, with others to boot…including the Urban Skills Challenge  giveaway offered today. Prepared Associates offers top-quality pre-made Emergency Kits that offer the highest-quality gear possible, with – GET THIS – actual step-by-step instructions that show you how to use EACH PIECE OF GEAR in your pack, so you can learn how to use it all at your leisure, right at home. It’s nice knowing you have the best gear, but also the knowledge that you know how to use it when the time arises; that’s a nice touch.


Prepared Associates also offers Business Emergency training, so if a man-made or natural disaster befalls your area while you are working, you have training of what to do in your building/business/area. You can also go in one-on-one and use Preparedness Associates to consult with (for a nominal hourly fee) to sit down and get yourself squared away for emergencies. Stuart writes a blog, available to read on the Prepared Associates website, where he goes over gear reviews, accounts from disaster survivors, or class training he’s had. It’s good stuff to read over, with its excellent well-documented content and graphic/photography use.

Stuart also started the Prepper Skills Group, a based group that coordinates preppers to get together on varying subjects, whether it’s basic land navigation primers, or Bug-Out Vehicle preparedness, or a collaboration on how to combat cabin fever (amongst other things). It’s a comprehensive way for people of a common mindset to get some face time away from a computer or TV, and learn from each other, not a YouTube video, and to practice their own skills with others there to help with hints and tips, or learn from your strengths. It’s a great idea (I joined up, and will be attending classes) and I applaud his efforts. This guy lives and breathes this stuff, folks, and THAT’S the kind of guy I want to center and learn from – not someone who’s there because he/she is told to be. The courses are all VERY reasonably priced, as well.


The Urban Skills Challenge

So what is this Urban Skills Challenge course that we’re giving away, anyway? Well, first, go HERE and check it out. Watch the YouTube teaser. It’s a course that’s pretty damn cool in its pretense: Go in thinking that Portland, ME has befallen a disaster. The webpage sets the pretense: “Smoke, fire, and destruction engulfs the city of Portland, Maine. A disaster on an epic scale has occurred but no one seems to know the cause. True to human nature….rumors abound. The power grid and communications are down. Roads gridlocked. People are quickly panicking. You need to get out of town to a safe place. Do you possess the skills and gear necessary to complete the trip?”


Yes, a little imagination and role-playing will be involved…but this is the kind of training that will get your brain in gear, and your gear…well, in gear. When you to to a firearms training class, you don’t think that paper target is just a tree-derived human silhouette; you get your mind thinking it’s a badguy that’s gonna do you harm. The same works with this: get your mind in line with what the basic parameters are, and you will train it to work properly when those parameters come again.


This will be a six-mile course (with frequent breaks) through Portland…so make sure you’re physically up to a six-hour, six-mile walk in urban conditions before you enter. It won’t be a race, but it will be a group effort to make sure everyone gets to the end. Along the way, Stuart will teach techniques and skills, and there will be “skill stations” where we learn and practice urban survival skills, such as:

-Escaping urban centers during emergencies

-What to have in emergency kits, and how to carry it

-Procuring water and filtering it

-Personal safety


-Urban navigation


There will be a few things needed for you to bring along, as well.

-$30 EMERGENCY cash

-First aid kit

-Two liters of water

-Lunch and snacks

-Change of socks/clothes

-Rain gear/poncho

-High quality compass

-Lightweight jacket (Portland is a coastal city and it can be breezy)

-A method to filter water (can be a LifeStraw or something similar….check for awesome deals)

-A portable stove (again, if you don’t go DIY, check here)

-Appropriate clothing and footwear (flip-flops and high-heeled shoes are probably a no-go.)


I asked Stuart about specifics, and he said that if you don’t have things like a compass or water filter or stove (why wouldn’t you, is what I wanna know), don’t sweat it. There will be others who have the gear and we’ll share and play nice…this is a team effort. You can just bring everything in a cheapo grocery store bag, or don your whole bug-out bag! This will be a great way to get your own personal gear sorted out while learning from others successes and mistakes. Just be sure to bring a few bucks cash, good shoes, food and water. Emergency cards with insurance information, emergency contact info and allergies might be good too, just in case you get bitten by a rabid sewer rat or something. (kidding! but you never know….)


Sounds like fun, yes? I thought so! So how do you enter? Good question! Again, remember, THIS IS IN PORTLAND, MAINE. You must be willing to get there on the day and time provided under your own power and dime. If you are physically able to make the six-mile trek with a pack on, and you are able to be in Portland, ME on May 3rd, 2014, at 9am, then here’s what you need to leave in the comments section of THIS POST:


-Leave a suggestion for an idea of ONE BLOG POST you’d like to see written here on

-Tell us what state you reside in (and I don’t mean confusion, etc.), and state that you are willing to get to Maine for the course.


If you are on Facebook, “Like”  and follow Prepared Associates and “like” and follow (I know it hasn’t been updated in a while, but that’s changing soon. You should be sure to “like” those pages anyway!!!), and mention in your entry comment that you have done so!


How’s that sound? I’m pretty excited to do this and to meet a reader. I’m sorry to exclude many of the readers, but this is a great opportunity. For anyone else, feel free to enter a suggestion about a blog post you’d like to see…we like to keep our readers happy!


Have a great weekend, and stay safe!


{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris April 4, 2014

I would love to take your adventure give away and I am able to get there, on time, on my own dime. I live in Alabama. And finally, I would like to see a post on, “so martial law has been declared: your next actions should be these, in order…” our something along those lines.


DC Aulay April 4, 2014

What do we do? Being in the Northeast we are down wind from many problems that could happen in the West (air quality). Also being near major population centers where should we go? You have Pease Air Force Base, Otis Joint Base on the Cape, Westover Air Base western Mass. and all those high cost schools around Boston. All primary targets. I ask what do we do, where do we go and or how best to stay in place? There are so many sugestions on subjects to cover. Yes portland would be nice I’m just about 2 1/2 hours away in MA.


irishdutchuncle April 4, 2014

let’s see, Portland is just up the street from here. (400 mi. or so)
I can get a Saturday off from work, if I ask a month in advance…
the “Down Easter” offers daily service to Portland, with two trains going all the way to Brunswick and Freeport. I wouldn’t really have to buy any new gear… (except for the water filter) I could buy a SHTFblog coffee mug, and it won’t get broken in the mail.
it’s not a competition, there’s no obstacle course…

but, I’m just not ready to make a public appearance. if I think of any topics that you can cover in the blog, I’ll e-mail them to Jarhead, and he can forward them to you.


Chuck Findlay April 4, 2014

(But, I’m just not ready to make a public appearance)

You got that right, “My name is nobody”. Hey that would be a good name for a movie, maybe have Henry Fonda play in it…


irishdutchuncle April 5, 2014

actually my name is Richard.
I’m an armchair survivalist, that makes comments to some internet websites. (although I’m practically nobody)
you don’t know me, but I know me. the other people are paying good money to attend that event, they don’t need me there.


Road Warrior April 5, 2014

Well, Clint Eastwood DID have the “man with no name” movies…


irishdutchuncle April 6, 2014

yeh, but he was somebody. (not a nobody)

I could’ve been, Somebody… (I could have had Class)
I’m not a mall-ninja, internet-tough guy, zombie-hunter, doomsday prepper, or a
couch-commando. (but I might be mistaken)
and making the trip would take me too far out of my comfort zone.


Paul Boyd April 4, 2014

What a great experience this would be for me! After attending this class,I could come home and impart all of this outstanding information to friends and family. This would help them tremendously


Road Warrior April 5, 2014

Hi Paul, if you’d like in, please leave a blog post suggestion and leave the state you’re in, along with assurance you could make it to the event. Thanks!


Anonymous April 6, 2014

The blog I like the most was jar heads blog on the m.s.s.
I live in NY state and can get to Maine with no problems
Thanks paul


Chuck Findlay April 4, 2014

For several years I have had the opinion that survival courses are for the most part of very limited value to most people. How often do we find ourselves in the Rockies with no supplies, (no shoes as in Cody’s case) no way to start a fire? Not too often. I came to the conclusion that what was needed was a course on urban SHTF survival. This is a much more realistic scenario that most people could encounter. It looks like someone finally put together a course for this probability.

While I don’t feel I personally need it, it does sound like a good idea and direction to go.

Now if we could only see a show on TV that covers this aspect of survival without all the manufactured drama that TV producers seem to think they need. A how to deal with a 9/11 type of situation, how to survive a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, other natural disasters, if you survive a plane crash hoe to part out the plane to survive and signal for help, and even a show episode on financial collapse, riots (LA Rodney King), any kind of civil unrest. I would think there is a market for this (if they could keep the drama in check) just as much as there is for one-man in the wild that was stupid enough to not even have a Bic lighter on him.

To the people teaching this course, get some U-Tube videos up and then pitch this idea to a few networks. Who knows you could be the next Cody or even (if you are unlucky) Bear Grills.



Stuart Thomas April 5, 2014

After months of winter wasteland and sub zero temperatures here in Maine, the snow is finally melting and it is getting warmer, just in time for the Urban Skills Challenge.

Were looking forward to meeting everyone and having an awesome adventure.
Get your walking shoes (or boots) and gear together, as we are less than a month out.

Thanks goes to the for helping to promote this event and the kind words about Prepared Associates.


Tony April 5, 2014

I would love to see you post about “How to make a sensible panic room in your home on the cheap”. I’m from NJ and can make it to Maine! Love your blog!


Jacqueline April 6, 2014

I would like to see a post about how to prepare in advace for home schooling? There are a lot of resources available, which ones are the best? I already like SHTFblog on Facebook and I liked Prepared Associates as well. I live in CT, have all gear, and making it to Portland is not a problem. Would love to attend!!!


Carl Chapman April 6, 2014

OK, I’m in. We are within 75 miles so that’s not an issue. The only question for now is, Do I win the free trip and only have to buy one ticket or did I loose and have to buy 2. Either way, it will be money well spent. This will be a great opportunity to see first hand what my Eagle Scout (oldest) son has picked up until this point. Some times the best way for me to teach is by letting others show some of my children the same things I try to teach them. I won’t let any pride stop my family from being ready. I have already scheduled everything except the paying of the tickets ( so I would like to know soon). I have 4 sons and a daughter (so far) so I would like to see more direction concerning siblings interacting more in a teamwork life style on the site ( my goodness they can fight amongst themselves). That is without being the militaristic teamwork only system that I was trained in. I’m more interested in the Family Living and not just surviving.


irishdutchuncle April 6, 2014

ok, here is a suggestion for a blog post:
what should a reasonably prepared individual, (living in the real world) keep in his/her vehicle year round? what should he/she have or add for next winter?
(what failed/ didn’t work for the readership this past winter)
if you live in bear country, how do you stow your emergency food?
what do you really carry as emergency food? (if anything)


irishdutchuncle April 6, 2014

here’s another blog post suggestion:
what hobbies could an extreme prepper engage in as “cover”?
I know TRW for example could restore and or Hot-Rod a vehicle: the perfect coverup for making a super BOV. Calamity has her garden: a great way to hoard food. Jarhead could keep all kinds of gear around, and claim that it’s diving stuff. more and more people are keeping chickens. (or rabbits) target shooting, amateur radio, or computer geekery have some potential…
climbing, hunting, hiking, off-roading, mountain biking? what do the readers of SHTFblog do when they aren’t at work or prepping?


irishdutchuncle April 8, 2014

… so if times were different, and the need to prepare was not so pressing, what would your hobby be? I won’t ask about what you’d be if you grow up, (because I don’t know either) just how you would occupy yourself if you become “retired”.
(assuming no lottery win) hunter? surf-fisher? tri-athalon? skier?…


Allen April 9, 2014

My sugestion for a post would be on home security. Specifically geared towards camoflague and security both before and after the shtf. How can we hide our preps from nosey neighbors today and marauders later? How can we protect all that we have worked for that does not involve a firearm? Walls, shrubbery, trees and fencing etc. Living in the northeast with no retreat to go to and a state with extremely restrictive gun laws any advantage we can get would be good. I have all the equipment needed and would love to attend. Thanks


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