Book Review: Without Rule of Law by Joe Nobody (2024)

Today we will be reviewing Without Rule of Law by Joe Nobody. This book talks about how to assemble basic equipment consisting of (there is some discrepancy in the “line” concept between what he uses and what I am used to)your chest rig/ web gear, a rucksack and an assault pack put together with mission specific stuff.The bookis broken into 4 sections about hiding, escape and evasion, infiltration and scavenging.

The Good:One of Joe Nobody’s advantages is that he has no military experience (unless I missed something). Folks like myself, AP, John Mosby and Lizard Farmer spend half of our time explaining the terms and acronym’s we use and inevitably miss a few. The way we talk is corrupted like people who live out in the Swamp and rarely come to town (nothing personal to folks in the Bayoo, I like you just fine but it was an arbitrary example and could have easily been mountains/ desert or whatever) so it is often hard for civilians to understand what the heck we are saying. Since Joe does not have this problem ordinary folks with no experience in the ground components of our armed forces (Army and Marines as well as some onesies and twosies elsewhere) will know what he is talking about.

Also at the end of each chapter (the sections have chapters) there is an exercise or two. These exercises logically flow from the subject of the chapter. The exercise for a chapter on putting together your web gear/ chest rig is to make a checklist of what your rig is, laminate it and keep it with your kit. A solid plan, especially for those items like weapons or electronics like a GPS or NVG which may be stored elsewhere. I especially appreciate that most of the exercises involve actually doing something. It is not “think about X, Y, Z” but “make a meal with the stuff from your kit” or something else that gets you out, using your gear and doing things.

While there were some tangents, both valuable and of questionable worth, the book sticks to a pretty concrete organization that makes sense. Some small how to’s slip in with context and elements of operational planning (squad level) work their way in throughout the book.

Also Joe does a good job of touching on gear without getting bogged down that you need a Tan XYS Pouch from SammySeal industries or whatever.

The Bad: Some of the topics covered like camoflagereally don’t lend themselves well to a book. This is compounded bythe use ofterrible black and white pictures to illustrate points. I would say to either figure it out to print decent quality color pictures or cut out the pics that are too greyish and pixelized to be useful.

Joe seems to have a weird obsession with time. “Do a test to see how long you need to poop in the woods” and consider this in your operational planning. His desire to put small and nonimportant things into a timeline for an event baffles me. You need to plan a realistic timeline for the whole event that includes any hard times as well as plans involving other people or organizations. The best way to do this is to work backwards from when you want to be somewhere to figure out when you need to start preparing to go, when you need to leave and some timehacks in the middle to follow your progress. You do not need to figure out that of the 30 minutes you give yourself between waking up and starting the final packing list layout you will spend 5 minutes staring at the alarm clock wishing you could sleep another hour, 5 minutes using the toilet, 2 minutes washing your hands, 3 minutes brushing your teeth, 10 minutes drinking coffee, and 5 minutes getting dressed. In my opinion having been involved with numerous operations in training and the real world this is a utter waste of time.

This is odd because it links with a compliment from above. While Joe does a good job of not getting bogged down in Geardoisms at times more information would have been helpful. Joe talked about how cool a “survival net” is a lot and kept coming back to it. He has a serious net crush. Anyway I got to thinking this is kind of a cool thing and maybe I want one. Dude didn’t mention a link or a model or even a brand. He mentioned all kinds of specifics but nothing I could put into google to find one and buy it.

I disagree with Joe on the composition of some of gear. Not going to debate point by point but there were times he suggested this or that and I disagree. In particular the chest rig he mentions carries TWO magazines, leaving you with three including the one in the gun. Personally that is far too few for my comfort.

[I think 3 magsis adecent home defense load but if I had to go outside or was going on some sort of trip/ mission I would carry at least3 times that. You go through ammo so much faster than people who haven’t experienced it would think. If the ammo is too heavy I recommend losing some weight off your middle and doing more running/ rucking. The argument of “I’m not looking for a fight” is to me invalid. First of all what you are looking for bears little relationship to what you might get. Second of all you aren’t bringing a rifle because you think things are going really well.]

Ugly: In some areas I think Joe is reaching to the edge of, or past, his knowledge base in the writing of this book. Not saying he isn’t a smart and skilled guy. Just that he may have at times ventured a bit too far from those areas. The saying “write about what you know” comes to mind here.

Discussion: A good section of this book is devoted to talking about finding and taking stuff. Stuff that doesn’t necessarily belong to another person but certainly does not belong to you. Some folks call this looting and a lot of people would call it theft. I have seen other reviews for this book that are pretty critical of this.

Personally this section does notbother me. I am pragmaticso separating the head knowledge on how to do something from the ethical considerations and ultimately decision to do it is not an issue. In other words it might be useful to know how to do something even if I never decide to do it. However some folks might take offense at this. Joe doesn’t go into detail on his ethical thought process or whatever but on this topic. However considering roughly 1/4 ofthis bookis onthe topic his views could probably be guessed.

Overall impression: I would recommend this book for folks without a military/ tactical background interested in some basic information on gear, camoflage and fieldcraft and some light operational planning. These folks could pay full price and probably be happy with the book. They will get a lot out of it though I do recommend they use it as a starting point, not a finishing point. Folks who have some experience in military fieldcraft, patrolling and basic operational planning (typically an Infantrytype background)might want to avoid paying full price. These folkswill likelyget something from the book (I did) but it is better to pick up a used copy or borrow one from a friend to find out.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book to review.

Book Review: Without Rule of Law by Joe Nobody (2024)
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