This glossary is a collection of terms and acronyms you may encounter here or at other sites dealing with topics on survival, emergency preparedness, bushcraft, and so on. Note that inclusion of terms in not necessarily intended to endorse every idea or concept, merely to explain their meaning in case you encounter them.

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  • 550 Cord - another name for paracord, derived from the 550lb strength rating of the usual variety.


  • Amateur Radio - both a hobby and a public service. A number of frequency bands have reserved sections for use by private citizens for hobby use and training, and to provide local, national, and worldwide emergency backup communications. Learn more at



  • Doomer - one who is especially pessimistic about the future and believes that the gloomier possibilities are likely, and sooner rather than later, due to an Oil Crash


  • EDC - Every Day Carry. Pocket knives, multitools, flashlight, or other items carried as a matter of routine.
  • EMP - Electro Magnetic Pulse. Detonating a small nuclear weapon in space can produce a massive bust of electromagnetic radiation that destroys the electrical grid and electronic equipment over a huge area, causing a fast crash. See the Wikipedia entry on EMP for more information. Conservative alternative media outlet PJTV has an interview on the subject in three parts here: 1, 2, 3 with the author of the book One Second After (Note: not an endorsement, I have not read this book)


  • Fast Crash - A societal breakdown which may come with little or no warning and has an immediate, acute affect due to the interconnectedness of society and infrastructure leading to rapid chain-reaction failure. Examples of fast crashes would be an EMP sneak attack or rapidly-moving pandemic. Contrast with a slow crash. For historical reference, we could consider Pompeii to have suffered a fast crash, while the Roman Empire experienced a slow crash. Of course, fast/slow is a matter of degree, not black/white.



  • Ham radio - A common slang term for Amateur Radio. Oftenn seen capitalized as HAM, even though it is not an acronym. In fact, nobody is quite sure where the term comes from.


  • IFAK - Individual First Aid Kit
  • INCH - I'm Never Coming Home. A permanent bug-out. Also "INCH Kit", the gear one would take if leaving one's house forever.


  • Klick - Military slang for a kilometer


  • Oil Crash - a rapid rise in the price of oil and a decrease in its availability, leading to economic and political instability and shortages of all kinds, due to dependence on oil for production of almost everything.


  • Pace Counter - See here. A kind of simple abacus-like counting device for land navigation.
  • Paracord - Military-style parachute cord, most commonly Type III cord rated at 550lbs. Like duct tape, this is one of those items with a nearly infinite number of uses, especially in emergency and survival situations. Also known as 550 Cord.
  • Peak Oil - the point after which oil production from a region or the world can only decline, leading to an oil crash.
  • Prepper - A preparedness-minded person. It's a fairly nebulous and broad term, though a with a hint of a "survivalist" and "big trouble is coming sooner rather than later" connotation to it.



  • SHTF - abbreviation for a more direct version of the euphemism "Fecal Matter Impacts The Rotary Air Impeller". A collapse, breakdown, civil unrest, disaster, etc.
  • Slow Crash - A societal breakdown which manifests as chronic deterioration of the situation over a long period of time, perhaps even decades. Examples might include economic or oil crashes (though an oil crashes could also be fast). Contrast with fast crash.


  • TEOTWAWKI - The End Of the World As We Know It. A worst case scenario: EMP or nuclear attack, global pandemic, total collapse of the world economy, asteroid strike, or zombies roaming the Earth. Civilization is as we know it is done, for the foreseeable future.


  • WX - an abbreviation for weather. For example, "severe wx" or "wx radio".


  • Zombies - Used humorously to refer to extremely severe or TEOTWAWKI scenarios in general. Though a silly topic, a zombie uprising is kind of useful as a hypothetical scenario for discussion, as it combines elements of pandemic, civil uprising, questions about wether to bug out or shelter in place, etc. There is a group called Zombie Squad (slogan: "We Make Dead Things Deader") which has taken this to an extreme and combines a love of zombie movies and emergency preparedness to promote preparedness in a toungue-in-cheeck way by acting out zombie uprising scenarios and preparing for them as if they were real.