Video Review: Surviving Civil Unrest

Surviving Civil Unrest with Chance Sanders

Disclaimer: Chance sent me a free demo copy of this video for me to review.

First, a little background...  I met Chance Sanders, and his wife, Laura, when they were assistant instructors when I went through Pathfinder Basic class in Ohio a couple years back (you can read my 5-part review of the school here).  They were both very knowledgeable and all-around good folks.  We've kept in touch since then, and I've followed his growing presence in the survival and preparedness field through articles that he has written for several magazines.  About a year ago I was excited to find out that he was working on this training video and have been eagerly awaiting its release.  As many readers know, I work in a major city, but commute over 50 miles to and from my rural homestead each day.  I frequently take alternate routes home and refine my get home bag (GHB) for different times of the year.  I dread the situation that  might force me to hoof it home, but it is a possibility that something could happen.

Recent news has given us examples of where the skills to escape and evade from an urban environment could be of great, and even lifesaving, value.  The Boston Marathon bombings come to mind.  Thousands of participants, race supporters, and even bystanders suddenly had their plans disrupted and many were separated from their belongings, and/or injured.  Just last night, the Va. Beach oceanfront erupted in civil unrest with shootings, stabbings and mob violence.  Imagine being a family on vacation and either out to dinner away from the hotel when things got bad, or simply at the beach for the day and trying to get out to get home in one piece.

As I watched Surviving Civil Unrest this afternoon, I learned quite a few techniques that I can put into my get home plans.  I also got some ideas that will make me think differently or alternatively about my particular situation.

Chance teaches throughout the video by simulating an on-foot evacuation from an urban environment to his rural destination.  He demonstrates and explains what he is doing, and has interspersed guest commentary from some subject matter experts.  Aside from just "how-to" information, he also teaches a system of planning, using the Marine Corps 5-paragraph order.

I'm not going to give away the great information that he covers, but here are some highlights that I gleaned and particularly liked:
  • For his every day carry (EDC) bag, he uses a simple messenger case or musette bag, not some "tactical" kit that may draw unwanted attention during normal times
  • He notes repeatedly that gear alone is not the answer - you need to develop skills
  • He highlights the importance of advance planning - communications, maps, caches, redundancy, etc...
  • He shows a few ideas of scavenging urban materials
  • He has two great ideas for cache locations that might work out perfectly for my situation
The production quality of the video is very professional.  The video and audio are both well done.  I do, however, have a minor critique and a suggestion:
  • I had a hard time getting the video to play on my laptop - it wouldn't work at all with my RealPlayer, and it froze at several points using Windows Media Player - it could very well have been my computer, though and not an issue with the video.  Playing it on my bluray on the TV, I had to try a few different buttons to get it started (this could also have been me, though, I'm not real used to watching discs on the player), but once I got it going it ran flawlessly.
  • edit - I just heard from Chance - he had sent me a burned copy of the disc, and the production ones ought to run fine on anything that can play a DVD
  • Chance used some really cool gear in the video.  I'd love to see a supplier or resource list, perhaps on a related website, or linked on his YouTube channel.
If you regularly spend time in an urban environment, there may well come a time when you can't get home your normal way.  Part of your preps should be studying this video and practicing the techniques that Chance presents.

You can order the video here.
Check out Chance's YouTube channel here.


  1. Thanks for the review, and for the heads-up on what happened this weekend in VA Beach. I'm a few states away, but still own a home in Hampton Roads and still think of that as "home". Hard to see what's happening in Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Ft Lauderdale, etc happening there.

    One suggestion - try VLC Media Player on your desktop. I haven't found anything it can't play, and it's free.

    1. Glad you liked it! I've heard of the VLC - it's a work computer, so I'll ask our IT folks to put it on for me.

  2. I'm a single, mature woman that frequently travels alone both in the USA and abroad. There are a lot of common sense tips in this video that I'll remember. The Boston Marathon bombings as well recent storms have all been situations where people needed alternative ways to get somewhere safe. I've heard that Chance does classes and might be interested in taking one. I ordered my video online and it came quickly and played without a problem.

    1. Sarah - I'm glad you got some good info from the video! I'll check with Chance about training opportunities and post info about what he says.


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