What’s the Most Important Thing a Senior Brings to a Survival Group?

Fergus Mason
By Fergus Mason April 8, 2018 07:53

What’s the Most Important Thing a Senior Brings to a Survival Group?

There are no age limits on prepping. Being prepared is a state of mind, and it’s one you can have no matter how old you are. Maybe you’re getting on a bit in years, but you still have a life to live – and you want to make sure you can carry on with it no matter what the world throws at you. If that’s how you feel then prepping is for you.

It’s not so easy for a senior citizen to prepare, though. You have a lot of experience, but you probably don’t get around as easily as you used to and the chances are you’re taking regular medication. There’s a lot you can do on your own, but some things are best left to younger people. That means it’s much easier to be part of a group.

Unfortunately some prepper groups tend to view older people as a burden, and they’re reluctant to let them join. In fact many seniors themselves think they’d be a burden, and they’d rather do what they can on their own than inconvenience a group. These are pretty widespread attitudes, and on the surface you can understand them – but I believe they’re way off target.

The truth is, seniors can be a huge asset to any group. If you’re part of a group that’s deciding whether or not to allow older people to join, or a retiree who’s unsure whether they should look for a group, read on – I’m going to explain why being rich in years does not mean being poor in prepping skills.

Experience beats enthusiasm

Seniors might not have the energy of a younger person, but they have a lot more knowledge to fall back on – and knowledge is a powerful tool. It’s especially powerful if the elder prepper has younger people around who can listen to their advice and put it into action. The senior knows what needs to be done; the juniors have the physical fitness to do it. It’s a perfect example of synergy, when young and old working together can achieve much more than they could have on their own.

Older people have, just by virtue of having lived longer, encountered more situations than the young. They’ve built up large – sometimes vast – mental databases of problems and how they solved them. This is all knowledge that can be adapted to the new problems that will face us post-SHTF.

The experience of age isn’t just about getting by with fewer household appliances. There are a lot of retired combat vets in the USA, and they’re people who learned a lot of valuable lessons. Of course younger vets have fought battles just as hard as the ones in southeast Asia, but they had a lot more technology to support them. Someone who spent a year as a light infantryman in the A Shau Valley knows what it’s like to fight for their life with nothing but what they can carry on their back; that mental attitude alone is valuable, never mind the practical skills they learned and probably will never forget.

Another benefit of age is a tendency to evaluate a situation before rushing in. The young are often impulsive; the old have learned to think before they act. That can be a priceless asset in a stressful situation. A respected senior can restrain the group from doing something rash, and encourage people to evaluate what’s going on before drawing on their experience to come up with a solution.

Related: 5 Bad-ass Perimeter Defense Lessons From A Vietnam Vet

Self-reliance is a dying art

Most people today just aren’t very self-reliant. Preppers are swimming against that trend, but the younger ones among us are still products of the modern, heavily interdependent consumer society. We want to do more for ourselves, but we don’t always have the skills we need to actually do them. Of course we can learn those skills, and a big part of successful prepping is doing just that, but the reality is that for most preppers self-reliance is a new outlook we’re picking up as we go. For many seniors it’s what they grew up with.

Even just a few decades ago, most people did a lot more for themselves. They did more of their own repairs around the home, patched old clothes and made new ones, fixed up broken appliances and played shade tree mechanic when their car broke down. If you have a modern car there’s no point even looking under the hood; most likely all you’ll see is a plastic engine shield with a port for a diagnostic computer.

If you’ve grown up on modern cars, you probably haven’t done much work on them yourself – but a lot of the mechanicals under that shield are the same as they’ve always been, and a handy old-timer can still fix the timing or change a plug just as well as he always could. He grew up in a world where people replaced their own fan belts; young people didn’t.

Survival is multi-generational

In the drive to be as prepared for a crisis as you can be, it’s easy to overlook the fact that you might need to do more than satisfy basic needs. If you’re in a small group it’s going to be all you can do to keep yourselves secure, provide a decent level of comfort, and provide necessities like food, fuel and water. A group of reasonably well-prepared adults, in the right place and with the right equipment, can sustain themselves indefinitely. But sustain yourselves for what?

If you’re lucky the crisis will last for a period of a few weeks to a few years, before order is restored and society starts to rebuild. But what if it doesn’t? Some scenarios, like a full-scale nuclear exchange or a powerful enough EMP attack, could do enough damage that the USA is finished as a political entity. The system, battered by the attack itself, would simply disintegrate under the pressure of trying to cope with the aftermath. Tens of millions would die and the rest would fragment into small communities, and many individuals, just trying to get by.

It took thousands of years for humanity to produce today’s American society – but unless a significant number of preppers are forward-thinking enough, two or thee generations will be enough o take us back to the Neolithic period, with illiterate savages prowling superstitiously through the ruins of our civilization. To avoid that, someone’s going to have to educate the next generation – and the old are the perfect people to do that.

If your group members have kids it’s vital that they get an education. Of course they need to do their share of everyday tasks, but they need to learn to read and write, do at least basic math, and pick up any other knowledge they can. Without that, they’ll never be able to maintain the assets you pass on to them, never mind grow them.

The main thing seniors bring to a group is knowledge and experience. They’ll have the time, and usually the patience, to pass that on to children. When older people were at school they also learned by simple but effective methods that are a lot easier to pass on than today’s over-complicated education theory. By bringing the older generation into your group, you’re maximizing the chances of the next generation to survive – and rebuild the sort of society you want them to live in.

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Fergus Mason
By Fergus Mason April 8, 2018 07:53
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77 Comments

  1. Wannabe April 9, 14:10

    This article is great food for thought. Learn from the generation before you. I am 46 and just the other day I had the privilege to meet and talk with a 66 year old Vietnam vet. He was in the latter years of the war 71-74. We talked about many things including the Bible and staying close to The Lord through life which has gotten him through many tough times during and after the war. After showing several scars he accrued and mentioning being stabbed in the leg fighting those communist he said something very profound. “They believe just enough of that stuff to want to kill you.” We don’t hear this kind of wisdom and teaching today because many of our leaders believe in socialism which leads to communism. Yes radical Islam is a danger to America but I think communist thinking infiltration into our everyday society is much more dangerous. They believe just enough of it to want to kill us. Listen to the speech from far left. It is dangerous the things they are saying. Just the idea of going after guns right now in America is enough for us to say look out trouble is around the corner. Well any way, sorry for going off on a tangent, just thought is was good wisdom from an “older” fellow patriot. Thanks for all the wisdom and ideas everyone is willing to share.

    Reply to this comment
    • Sheri April 10, 01:11

      Those damn socialists still hate the commies and fascists because socialists believe in democracy and FREEDOM for ALL while believing we should look the most vulnerable in our society. We also believe the old shouldn’t be thrown to the curb, denied healthcare, etc. Only fools and the ignorant believe the commies and fascists who demean Christian values. Remember Socialism grew out of Christ’s teachings.

      Reply to this comment
      • Wannabe April 10, 13:35

        Sheri, please read second Thessalonians 3:6-15. Christ did not teach that those who have more should be relieved of it and given to others because they have less. He taught that those who have extra should be willing to give to others out of heart of love and compassion because others are in need. Give out of a willing compassionate heart not because they are forced to. The Bible tells us that this is how the world will know that you are my disciples that you have love for one another. Socialism says I’m going to take from you because I see you have a lot and it is not fair to those who don’t have much. Christ says if you have a lot then be willing to share your extras to those who are in need. See the difference? Now back to second Thessalonians 3:6-15. The teaching is clear, if someone is able to work but won’t does not even deserve to eat. So why should we take from someone who worked hard for what they have and give to those who don’t give any effort to earn it for themselves? No, socialism did not come from Christ’s teachings. Satan has taken the teaching of compassion and love (from Christ) and twisted it into socialist communist thinking. Hope this clears things up.

        Reply to this comment
      • Nickname April 11, 14:28

        Socialists are just Communists with patience.

        Reply to this comment
      • MikeyW November 19, 18:57

        How’s that working out in Venezuela? Or didn’t they just have the right people in charge? You think this time it will be different? The early Christians tried socialism. It didn’t work. The Pilgrims tried socialism. They damn near starved into extinction until they started following another Bible verse: “He who does not work, neither shall he eat.” Socialism has never worked for very long anywhere it’s been tried. As Maggie Thatcher said, “Socialism works fine until they run out of other people’s money.” Finally, don’t forget that NAZI is a contraction for National SOCIALIST German Workers’ Party. That worked out well too, didn’t it.

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    • Shijiazhuang April 10, 11:57

      Wannabe, I feel your ex.Viet buddy has a few things to learn about Islam and communism, if you are not prepared to join Islam as an underling, they want you to be dead, communism is like having the dems and the republicans on the same side working for a better end result for the country, all the BS I heard while living in the US of A about the terrible life people have in communist countries was disregarded after less than a week in China. Most Chinese people aren’t communist or any other political persuasion. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has only 70,000 members, not a huge percentage of the 1,400,000,000 people that live here

      Reply to this comment
      • Wannabe April 10, 13:17

        To Shijiazhuang, U dear the leadership of Mao Tse Tung sixty million of his own people were murdered either through starvation, working to death, tortured, or shot. Forced abortions for women who had more than one child while the one child law was in effect, people thrown in jail for just having a Bible, Christians meeting secretly to fellowship and worship. What kind of BS are you talking about? What part of China do you live in? Have you been to Cuba? Venezuela? North Korea? Vietnam? Cambodia? Nicaragua? Go to North Korea right now, live with those in the country side. Better yet go visit one of their wonderful labor camps and witness the starvation of children because their parents were accused of a crime and the whole family suffers. Tell me how wonderful it is in a communist government after staying less than a week there. I will take my US of A over any where else.

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      • Graywolf12 April 10, 13:39

        Boy you sure drank all the Kool Aid the commies fed you. Take the comment by Wannabe to heart, blink to clear the fog from your eyes, shake your head to rearrange the marbles up there and wake up from your dream.

        Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck April 11, 02:41

        So .00005% rule the other 1,400,000,000. Yeah, that sounds representative to me. Of course that is a difficult argument for me to make considering that I sincerely think we have too much representation at all levels of government and that we need to get back to volunteer, part-time politicians as opposed to full time who have way too much time on their hands to create mischief.

        Reply to this comment
        • Gramma April 11, 11:49

          re:
          the government agents

          left coast chuck,
          You overlook the narcissism factor.

          “Look at ME, everybody! I’m important!”

          Psychopaths == the government agents are an obvious example == act as they do because they need attention.

          Whatever they say == for the children, reduce violence, eliminate inequity, protect foreign interests or the environment == all that is irrelevant, way down the list compared to their cravings for attention.

          Any time you deal with the government agents, think of them as two-year olds on the verge of a tantrum.

          Hmmm… this whole goofy haphazard ‘civilization’ experiment. Looking at it as an outsider, might it be on its last legs, wobbling into an inevitable collapse?

          Just a thought.

          Reply to this comment
          • Enigma April 14, 10:08

            All civilizations fail, or morph / decay into something else. Interested folk should study Chinese imperial history. A series of very nasty ends.

            Don’t confuse psychopathy with other syndromes. Psychopaths compulsively seek to torment and kill other living creatures. There aren’t any good societal functions for them.

            Such often can be early detected due to their treatment of pets and like small animals. If permitted they will also torment other children. Often secretive and cunning, and indulged by a parent (usually the mother).

            Communities should keep bullies under constant observation, and ENSURE they don’t get into positions of authority such as police. Years ago Forbes magazine published an article alleging that two jobs specially favored by psychopaths are CEO and policeman.

            Psychopathy often conflated/confused with sociopathy. Not the same; sociopaths simply lack empathy, but may be socialized (Biblical instruction etc.) to behave properly. They may become useful technicians, surgeons, and soldiers. Not cops, however.

            Reply to this comment
        • Mamawx6 April 17, 14:32

          Dear Left Coast Chuck, you say you are living in the DPRK, I was under the impression (by media) that you can’t use the internet that reaches outside the country. And is it really as bad there as we are told in the US?

          Reply to this comment
          • Shijiazhuang April 18, 01:08

            @Mamawx6, I and my wife left Houston TX about 10 years ago because we could see what was coming in the future of our once great country, we would take annual vacations to various places around the world, and it was only when we were well away from the influence of the US that we could hear what was really happening. About 10 years ago we went on a tour of China, we found happy people, good food and money that could buy lots of stuff, on returning home, we got to talk about China, we both missed what we saw there, my business that was started by my grandfather in Houston, could be relocated, or extended overseas, money would continue. We opened an office in Beijing, business was slow until we trained locals, but traffic was chaotic, 2 hours to travel 2 miles, so we moved again to Shijiazhuang ( about 160 miles away) and the business started to thrive. We have normal internet, I do use Facebook, Youtube and Google products. What you hear in the states is all about an oppressive regime, storm troopers, poverty and restricted personal freedoms, this is NOT what it is like here. We also did a train tour of Russia in 2015, and it is nothing like what you hear about in the US. America has a way of demonizing other countries with movies, all “cold war” period movies have Russia as cold and dark, snow on the ground, and someone with an AK47 demanding your papers, this is not how it is, it may of been similar, but I really doubt it.

            Reply to this comment
            • Enigma April 25, 14:00

              It’s generally nice to be relatively-wealthy and politically-connected in just about any country. So long as abject poverty and arbitrary official conduct get ignored.

              Expatriot and retiree North Americans and Europeans live relatively happily all around the world, so long as they can afford to to fly back to get their ‘granny fixes’, and stay until they begin to wear on the in-laws.

              Relatively-happily, so long as they stay out of their host country’s politics, and pay the ‘correct’ bribes. Such as annual ritual visit to the local \police’ chief wherein some unusual gift (e.g.,bottle of Johnny Walker Blue) is ceremoniously but discreetly conveyed. If conducting business, they may find themselves perforce with a local ‘partner’. Native relatives are also risks and/or advantages, since they may be involved in local affairs.

              There however will be no Bill of Rights protections. Falling somehow afoul of a Great Red Wall of China could prove a searing experience. Searches for independent information about the Dailai Lama, Tibet, Taiwan, Falun Gong, and South China Sea may attract unwelcome attention.

              Reply to this comment
              • Shijiazhuang April 25, 14:34

                @Enigma, you are very correct about Falon Gong, not so much the others that you mentioned, but you forgot the big one, what about Tian’anmen Square and what didn’t happen 30 years ago.

                Reply to this comment
                • Enigma May 1, 04:21

                  Ti an-amin: the crimes of the Red ‘Princes’ are so numerous and continuing it’s difficult to list (or keep up with) all of them. During the Maoist era, tens of millions got murdered. Most Americans don’t know about it, but Red China twice attacked Vietnam, and it’s now trying to oppress that country as well as the Philippines.

                  Despite all the problems and issues of the West’s regimes, about all a vocal dissident risks there is social isolation. Unless his employment is in Academe or another like haven of Political Correctness. Then the repercussions can be very like those in a Communist-Socialist regime.

                  One of the distinctions between totalitarian socialism and fascism is that a socialist regime wants to control what the oppressed people thinks and says, even in private venues. Fascist regimes don’t care what a person thinks, or often what they say, so long as they don’t utter those thoughts in public. Outwardly, methodologically they’re very similar, which may deceive the careless Western socialist adherent.

                  Reply to this comment
            • Gramma July 10, 10:56

              re:
              Propaganda from America

              All us kids in my extended family were home-schooled. Occasionally however…

              During our few excursions to American government schools, the American government agents told us American kids all about World War The Second and all the benefits of liberating those poor German people from the evil of the German government agents.

              According to the American government agents, American government agents were The Good Guys. And the American government agents told us the German government agents were the bad guys. ‘Shame on them.’

              Are you following me so far?

              OK.

              Well, there is more to the story.

              While liberating those poor German people, the American government agents starved about twenty million Germans to death during 1944-1947.

              Remember the photographs of American government agents standing outside the wires of a prison camp? The prisoners were emaciated? Skin and bones?

              Those people were German prisoners of war. They surrendered to the American government agents. Laid down their arms, and quit fighting. Quit defending their homeland from the American and Brit invaders.

              They too believed the American propaganda about the inherent goodness of the American government agents.

              Twenty million Germans intentionally and willfully starved to death by the American government agents, most during the peace of 1945-1947.

              And how many civilians, non-combatants, were murdered by bombs from American bombs? Entire German cities wiped off the face of the earth by the American government agents.

              Dresden.

              Hiroshima.

              Nagasaki.

              ‘The Greatest Generation’.

              Based on my experience, I am old enough to believe a Second American Civil War would be devastating to everybody on this planet.

              The commies == New Yorkers and most Californians, along with District of Criminals come to mind == are pushing awful darn hard for the end to everything good and decent and just. Do they realize the consequences?

              I think they do. Their narcissism requires them to see them as an extension of ‘The Greatest Generation’.

              How are you preparing for total war?

              Geezers like me are getting few and far between. As our herd thins, there go our memories.

              Anybody younger than about fifty doesn’t realize how much we lost. Can’t realize because they have no baseline to compare.

              How many folks remember World War The Second? Not from books and movies, not from second-hand sources, but remember because you were there?

              The commies remember. And they are coming for anybody they declare an enemy of The Cause.

              PS:
              Maxine Waters and her six million dollar mansion.
              Diane Feinstein and her billions.
              The Clinton Crimes Syndicate.
              And on and on.

              You do not have that level of commitment. Ask a geezer. You will be eliminated, chewed up and spit out and ground under.

              Expect one thing:
              the next set of propaganda will call you evil.

              Reply to this comment
              • Graywolf12 July 10, 13:13

                I am probably older than you and I call your prisoner of war claim BS. Looks as if you were home schooled by a good communist. I worked for one of our troops that was in a German POW camp. What you sat we did he lived through. He hired me to paint baseboards as his knees were so bad he could not get down on them. He related stories of how he found a nest of cockroaches so he ate better than some. He escaped and stole a bicycle to ride out of Germany and across France to freedom. Tell him you exaggeration’s.

                Reply to this comment
  2. To the Right of Attila the Hun April 9, 14:47

    Old age and treachery will always win out over youth and zeal… ; )

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 9, 16:19

      That’s generally how I describe my political philosophy. “I’m so conservative I make Attila the Hun look like a enthusiastic Hubert Humphrey supporter.”

      Some misguided folks think my internet handle is a commentary on my political outlook. They don’t realize it is a satire of my political outlook. I am an iconoclast here on the left coast.

      Interestingly enough, while an outspoken socialist, Hubert Humphrey was a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. I wonder how he would fit in to the socialist party today with it rabid anti-Second Amendment platform.

      Reply to this comment
      • Pioneer April 9, 23:23

        Left coast Chuck,
        As a fellow “left coast” dweller, I want to assure you, you are not alone. We’re just out numbered on election day. An island of red, surrounded by an ocean of blue. (Who made up those colors? They got it backwards.)

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck April 10, 01:22

          Pioneer: That’s why I am always a little confused as to whether I am red or blue. I think I should be blue, as in true blue to the actual words of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and not red as in Red Square, The Red Army, better dead than red — remember that from the 50s and 60s?

          Perhaps a ploy by the leftist media?

          Makes me almost wish for Tailgunner Joe McCarthy again. Well not quite. He was as bad as some of our leftists who are so far left they have fallen and can’t get back up.

          Reply to this comment
          • Jj April 10, 16:32

            I try to think I am not red or blue–but very libertarian and conservative in most of my views–leave me alone. I can do without governing of every move I make and step I take, thank you very much.
            I lived since 1950 and see lots of changes–most for the worse of society.
            And yes, the Bible teaches, if you don’t work, you do not eat…Amen.

            Reply to this comment
      • Enigma April 25, 14:10

        Current American Left is far more totalitarian than the party of Humphrey and Moynihan. It may even more leftward than the Clintonian generation.

        Socialist institutions always veer to extremes when under real-world pressure from their failing public policies.

        The ‘red’ / ‘blue’ motif may refer to the Imperialist Tory nature of the RINO and Neo-con Party. Don’t know what color would be appropriate to the minority libertarian-leaning (Jeffersonian) faction. Anarchists love black.

        Reply to this comment
  3. Liz April 9, 15:12

    BTDT, Have you assembled a calendar of teaching camps? Also have you followed up on the agri-communities information?

    Reply to this comment
  4. Graywolf12 April 9, 15:18

    About 71 or 2 years ago my grand father talked to me about growing up. He said I don’t think you will ever grow up to be as big as your father, so you need to learn to take care of yourself in a smart way. There is never a fair fight, so you need to be smarter and dirtier than your opponent. He then taught me a lot of smart things like running heel of boot down shin bone, stomp on in step of foot, and of course damage gonads. I added knife fighting to what I taught my grand daughters, no grand sons. Too old to take an a$$ whipping, but smart enough to carry a 38.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Pioneer April 9, 15:41

    Your senior comments are spot-on. I’m involved with a Preparedness Committee for our 147 home, senior (55+) only community. We have a wide range of skills from retired carpenters, medical professionals, business folks, military, law enforcement, other tradesmen and one lawyer. We find Ask A Prepper a valuable source for our group.

    Reply to this comment
    • Lonejack April 9, 18:44

      Hi Pioneer,
      I am going to shoot, (Oops, wrong term.), send You an email. Let’s get together, I’m a member of the prepping community at my senior apartment complex.
      I see we are just a few miles apart.

      Reply to this comment
      • Pioneer April 9, 23:09

        Lonejack,
        I’m certainly ok with an email, but I don’t know how to go about it here without making it public.

        Reply to this comment
        • Pioneer April 9, 23:15

          Lonejack,
          My “other” email is pioneer4111@gmail.com Use that and if it goes public, I’ll just nuke it and create another.

          Reply to this comment
          • Old Dawg-New Tricks April 19, 06:07

            If you use a VPN (VIRTUAL PRIVACY NETWORK) you won’t have to worry about going public. I use IPVanish, it costs $33 + ¢. This is what Big Businesses, Governments, Banks, and many other entities who don’t want their sensitive information/trade secrets for anyone to see. The privacy that the above-mentioned entities enjoy is also our right. Most people don’t know that approximately 5% of the internet is only available to those who don’t know how to access the other 95%. You can Google IPVANISH or whatever browser your device has. Then you can go about your normal business as usual without wondering who might be snooping around your information. This VPN comes highly recommended by people in the private sector. Also, you’ll need a secure Browser or else your VPN will be at risk, as an unsecured browser will be an open door. I hope this information will be of some help.

            Reply to this comment
          • Old Dawg-New Tricks April 19, 17:05

            I forgot to mention that an excellent browser I use is DuckDuckGo. This keeps my browsing info away from those eager to know what I’m looking for. This app is free and has been checked out by those who use it for their profession. It too keeps no records nor data like IPVanish.

            Reply to this comment
            • Enigma April 25, 14:25

              DuckDuckGo isn’t a browser, but is a reputedly more-secure search tool.

              Browsers are complex programs which reside on your local disk, and run atop your local OS. If you use Linux, there are many available, including text-only browsers such as Lynx. If you are a M$ or Apple victim, there are only a relative few browser programs.

              A Virtual Private Network only gets you past some ISPs. Usually local one(s). Some node of a VPN must decrypt http etc. requests so that target sites may use them. Businesses like to use VPNs so that industrial spying is made more difficult.

              For humanity to have a truly-secure Internet, it would need to be redesigned. Berners-Lee et alia were idealistically committed to openness, and apparently didn’t consider what a Red China and NSA would do with packetized telco networks.

              There are a few prudent things one can do, but as matters stand, obscurity and apparent ordinariness is a human’s chiefest defense.

              Reply to this comment
    • Gramma April 10, 15:03

      How about a televisionprogramming called ‘Ask-A-Geezer’.

      We get some geezers, costume them in bib-overhauls and corn-cob pipes, stage them in rockers on a porch, then have viewers write in with questions.

      Sort of a survivalist HeeHaw. Without Minnie Pearl, of course.

      I admit to one problem with this concept:
      Finding experienced geezers with a sense of humor… and all their senses intact. I say this from experience, most geezers tend toward rambling on about any peripheral subject vaguely crossing their train of thought, kind of like that time I was sharing a sitting-bucket outside the chicken coop with my Granpa and he told me about using a file to sharpen the cutting edge of a shovel. Boy, I wish I still had that shovel, the point was ground down to the point it was more like two horns with a missing center so to get a a particular weed required a sharp eye mixed with significant concentration but those chickens went after a snake I felt sorry for the snake but you couldn’t taste snake in the eggs no sir.

      So, there is that.

      Reply to this comment
  6. left coast chuck April 9, 16:26

    I tell people, “Naw, I’m not so smart. It’s just that I made that same mistake in ’58 and then again in ’62 and ’69 and then in ’74 and ’81 and ’89 and then finally in ’95 I said to myself, ‘You know, Charlie, it’s about time you applied everything you have earned from doing the same dumb thing time and again and stopped making that same mistake.’ and that’s why I can tell you how not to do what I have been doing for so long.”

    The founder of Motel 6 is reputed to have said, “School is different from life. School teaches you a lesson and then gives you a test. Life gives you a test that teaches you a lesson.”

    I sure have been tested and so have a lot of lessons if younger than I want to listen.

    Reply to this comment
  7. OUNVB (old, ugly, and not very bright) April 9, 17:13

    I’m seventy. I have contributed to many folks wanting advice on living a successful life. The first thing is to keep yourself healthy and financially solvent. You can’t help anyone if you need help yourself. If you really need one of something, get two. Stay on the good side of the law and the IRS, they will hunt you down and you will probably die. Don’t kill when you don’t have to, remember that society may break down but it will return to haunt you. Men, don’t get a vasectomy, you may be needed. Women, don’t kill your unwanted babies, there is someone who will love and care for them. Women who have had an abortion usually regret it later in life and become hardened in love. Foul language does not help, it makes you look stupid and uneducated and no-one will trust your opinions. Use 15-20% of your mortgage to install a really good underground bomb shelter and keep it stocked and ready. Your family may object to the money being spent on a shelter but they will understand that you love them and want to keep them alive, no matter what. Keep life as simple and as fun as possible and get a good education, but not to the point that you can’t walk and chew gum.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Jake the Pup April 9, 17:25

    Experience and a steady hand. I’m not necessarily talking about having seen war and leadership. Many of Us older have likely seen it before or tried it before, failed at it before, built it before or maybe just read about it before.
    We also tend to give decisions due consideration and can call on past experience. We tend not to jump the gun. Wisdom is just a combination of experience, knowledge and time.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Wiser than I look!! April 9, 18:11

    The most important thing is to listen to everyone. You can let them think your a burden, or you can exhaust yourself trying to explain to them what you know. Paper goods of every kind is the best physical item to bring to the table. I don’t just mean toliet paper. Stories about how you managed all these years to survive. Those who listen will explain to the others that you are right. If they don’t listen, then you will have to accept that they will have to learn the hard way.

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  10. CJ April 9, 18:26

    Everyone has something to give, as these posts acknowledge. Our knowledge may be all that saves us older generation. Sadly, most of the young people today feel they are entitled to be given everything. I have a dozen grandkids, and I doubt any of them could save themselves when things fall apart. Worse yet, is they think of us experienced as dumb old people. They don’t want to learn any skills. They think things will continue to run along as always. It’s sad.

    Reply to this comment
    • Auckland Escapee April 10, 12:11

      CJ, I don’t want to boast, but I have 2 early teenage step daughters, and they are as keen on prepping as I am, they tell nobody what we are doing at home, what we have and where we have it, they have seen the ugly side of life, and they know that nowhere in this world is safe from everything, although I am reasonably strong and healthy for a guy of 76, keen young helpers are a godsend.

      Reply to this comment
    • Hoosier Homesteader April 10, 12:36

      I’m sure many would echo this, “State of our children”, and I have to agree, it’s sad. I can look back at myself when I was young, and I never thought to pepper my grandparents, who were farmers, with questions about their youth, how they managed their lives, and what it was like during the depression, what did they eat, etc. etc. And by not doing this, I deprived myself of four great treasures: 1)Wisdom. 2) Economy. 3) Sincere advise from those who loved me and would never tell me what wasn’t so. 4) How to stand on my own two feet.
      I regret not having done this. It’s a great loss.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Liz April 9, 19:12

    Here is another option to homing. A Community Sustainable Association. Found this on another site.

    Agritopia, Phoenix, AZ
    Serenbe Community, South Atlanta, GA
    Praire Crossing, Grayslake, IL
    South Valley, Burlington, VT
    Hidden Springs, Boise, ID
    Williamsford, Loudon Cty, VA
    Kukui’ula, South Shore, Kauai, HI
    Bucking Horse, Fort Collins, CO
    Skokomish Farm, Puget Sound, WA
    Harvest, Northlake, TX
    Sendero, San Juan Capistrano, CAA
    Prairie Commons, Olathe, KS

    FYI

    Reply to this comment
  12. Rass April 9, 19:48

    So true I guess my question is what is prepping? Standing in bdus and combat boots firing your M4..? prepping is being prepared.. saving money for a rainy day..that is prepping stock pilling food more than you need.. prepping a first aid keep yup prepping. So there are many forms of prepping. It’s not some vision of grandeur… fighting the hord..It could be as simple as living for several days in a ice storm with out electricity..many types people no matter who or age can offer something to the group. Prepare for the worst pray for the best

    Reply to this comment
    • jake the pup April 9, 20:06

      YES very true R ass. On the rare occasion the subject comes up I tell people it is just being ready for emergencies. Whether it is a blizzard, electrical outage, tornado or SHTF it is just being ready to survive. I believe in fact that anyone with a family that is not preparing for hard times is just irresponsible. You don’t have to think the world is coming to an end it is a matter of being ready for What If.

      Reply to this comment
  13. Labienus April 9, 23:35

    If you have medical knowledge, engineering skills or writing skills, I’ll be more likely to take you in. I don’t need soldiers, hunters or backyard tinkerers. I need thinkers and healers. Too much ego and testosterone ends with bad decisions.

    Reply to this comment
    • Liz April 9, 23:47

      I have medical, homeopathic, gardening, food preservation, survival skills as well as spinning, weaving, and knitting. Oh yeah, I am a degreed engineer as well with hunting skills.

      Reply to this comment
    • Gramma July 10, 11:11

      re:
      Not enough testosterone

      In Americans and Europeans, I see too little testosterone.

      I see women claiming every position of authority. Pulpit. Government. Schools.

      Gentleman, this will not turn out well.

      Reply to this comment
      • Enigma July 10, 12:56

        When a society stops honoring Scripture and derived Divine principles, all sorts of things start going bad. What’s wrong with America and Europe is that their elites (academic, political, and medias) all have decided to be post-Christian, and also to disrespect the Decalogue given ancient Israel.

        Little to do with testosterone per se; pursuits due testosterone simply get rerouted into more-stupid hings. Although any diet based on soy proteins does feminize.

        Woman (women) are fine adjunct(s) for some male-dominate activities, just ordinarily not in leadership roles. (Females therein are substitutes, not replacements, just as males are only substitutes at times for them ..) Females may offer useful insights from an ‘underside’ perspective. Like a mechanic…

        Females absolutely do NOT belong in field combat roles. Not because some cannot be calculating killers, but due intrinsic male reactions (ie., protectiveness above mission) and the fact that an enemy may smell them a mile away.

        Reply to this comment
    • Gramma July 10, 11:28

      re:
      Not enough testosterone

      Everyplace I look, Americans and Europeans, women are claiming positions of power. Pulpit. Government. Schools.

      Gentleman, this will not turn out well.

      Reply to this comment
    • Dr. English November 19, 19:38

      You don’t “need soldiers, hunters or backyard tinkerers”? What a fool you are. In whatever world you live you will need ALL kinds of people with ALL kinds of skills/experience. It’s nice to have medical experience, engineering skills and be a writer but those are skills we generally associated with “sheep” and I don’t mean that in a disparaging manner. The soldiers, hunters and tinkerers tend to be “sheepdogs” and work to keep the “thinkers and healers” safe. Your demeaning comments about “ego and testosterone” makes me believe you’re some kind of public school graduate with a Utopian focus and a biased opinion of a fairly large segment of society. Good luck with your idealistic endeavor. You will need it.

      Reply to this comment
  14. PB- dave April 10, 00:43

    Spent a lot of time as a young child with grandparents and great-uncles & aunts. There’s a lot to be said for learning from those 2 generations your senior. They have patience, vast experiences, and a much different perspective. wouldn’t trade that for all the gold, silver, and beans in the camp 🙂
    I’ve recently retired, but when I was a working supervisor, I mandated a weekly office team meeting to bring all the ideas young and old together. This “tribal knowledge” can concur most anything.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Illini Warrior April 10, 11:29

    A senior prepper here – your argument that a senior brings valuable knowledge had more meat a few generations ago …

    When the manufacturing sector left the US for points overseas – the “hands on” and DIYers left with it – the “service industry” provides the labor and knowledge these days ….

    Reply to this comment
    • Shijiazhuang April 13, 04:10

      Illini when the manufacturing sector left the US, a lot of it ended up in China, BUT not the “hands on” or the DIYers, Chinese people eat, sleep and work at their chosen job, they have no hobbies, they have no interest or ability to repair their car or their home, there are tradesmen (and I use that term very loosely) to do any such work. Their grandparents who had to get through the bad times of the 1960’s and 1970’s do not tell them about how bad things were because that would be like tempting fate, today people get as much money as they can, and put it in the bank, where they know it will be safe forever. If the future of China was the same as the imminent forecasts for the US of A all the people here would loose all their money in a government grab, and be dead on the street in less than a month. The “hands on” and DIYers must of gone to Mexico or India, they didn’t come here.

      Reply to this comment
      • Enigma April 14, 10:26

        By seeking to speed to a modern economy, but with socialist centralized regimes, mainland China is setting itself up for another remarkable disaster. The lack of even Confucian / traditionalist morals will make that end even worse.

        According to The Economist and like publications, Red China’s entire future is based on maintaining a minimum 7% annual GDP. That’s unsustainable without conquests, yet conquests generally and eventually cost too much also.

        If Red China would attack and conquer eastern Russia, its regime _might_ delay the inevitable for a generation or so. Lots of resources there, few people able to resist a huge land army.

        Contrariwise, causing problems in the East and South China sea and Pacific areas liable to bring about a planetary disaster.

        Reply to this comment
        • Shijiazhuang April 14, 11:45

          It was originally 8%, but changed to 5.5% in 2016

          Reply to this comment
          • Enigma April 14, 14:53

            Be that as it may, mature economies which are not looting colonies, trading partners, and everyone else feasible, are unlikely to long sustain annual GDP growths above circa 4%. The greying of mainland China plus that insanely evil ‘one child’ policy also makes continuous rapid economic growth improbable.

            Red China’s regime is atop, not a sleeping tiger, but a restless dragon.

            Reply to this comment
            • Shijiazhuang April 15, 00:05

              The one child policy went 4 years ago, for a while if a husband and his wife were only childs, they could have 2 kids, but that law was too difficult to maintain so it was dropped. I know of people that have 4 kids before the law changed, and I know twin girls aged about 20 that have the same name so they can share a passport. There were many ways around the one child policy.

              Reply to this comment
              • Enigma April 17, 10:16

                Sure, government often easy to deceive. Real problem was and is envious and malign neighbors.

                Going to take another 14 years or so to recover from ‘one child’ madness. And humans are different from animals in that when the former perceive safety and assured food supplies they start having fewer children.

                That’s partly why North Americans, Europeans, and Australians stopped replacing their native populations, which caused labor and social-net shortages on those continents. That natural phenomenon, and then the gross criminality of abortion.

                Reply to this comment
  16. Linda S April 10, 14:33

    I, too, am a senior with a wealth of experience. My health is good, I take no meds, know where to find & how to use herbs. My only worry is I would not be able to keep up in a bug out situation. It’s on us, tho to teach our grandkids some things. Kids aren’t dumb; they’ve just been shuffled off to daycare centers since they were a month old & that’s all they know. Just yesterday I taught 2 of mine how to season a castiron skillet – they thought that was so cool! (That’s right-I’m cool.) Lol

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  17. HJH April 10, 15:27

    As a younger man 31 my respect is merit based,but i always give the older generation a tipping hand, meaing ill shut my pie hole and listen to you to see if your expirence is educationally valuable.

    There are many in every age group who never fixed a car, never struggled, never sacrificed a spare minute in there life to help another. I know some elderly who are experts in advice if you want to be a good burden and others who have taught me life lessons and humbleness.

    I dont have a prepper group but i have a good group of mentors who have helped my walk with God and my focus as a father and husband.

    Its good to have a well seasoned individual around but let there works do the talking not there age.

    please spend time with your kids, dont come home after work and shut down in front of the tube. Raise your kids or somone else will!

    Reply to this comment
  18. Jerry April 10, 17:27

    none

    Reply to this comment
  19. Mic Roland April 10, 23:52

    I generally agree that an older person could have a wealth of valuable experience. The trouble is, not all of today’s old folks are experienced DIYers who’ve McGyvered their way through a long life. Sometimes, they’re just old spoiled city people whose primary experience is kvetching.

    As with any other prospective group member, check ’em out.

    Reply to this comment
    • Liz April 11, 00:47

      Mic
      Have you spent at least 3 continuous years renovating a 100 Yr old log cabin? Have you made a living while in the “woods”? Have you started a sustainable garden combined with a permaculture landscape? Have you shot a bear who was using your truck as back scratch? Some of us have.
      For those that have not, this site is a good way to share our knowledge,

      Reply to this comment
      • Mic Roland April 13, 01:01

        Liz,
        You seem to have taken umbrage at my comment. None intended.

        Certainly, there are older folks who have done the sorts of things you describe, and would be a worthy addition to a group. My point, is that there are other older folks who would not be an asset. Age doesn’t automatically translate into useful experience.

        The flip side of your bear hunter, are some old folks I know farily well, who could not open the hood latch of their car (that’s what mechanics are for) or improvise a meal from scratch (that’s what restaurants are for), or mend a garment (that’s what Lord & Taylor are for).

        Just a caveat emptor. Helpless city sheeple get old too.

        Reply to this comment
        • Jake the Pup. April 13, 13:47

          You’re correct Mic, Age doesn’t automatically translate into useful experience. Similarly age does not automatically translate to usefulness. The best example of that is to take a look at the vast number of teens, 20, 30 and 40 year old people that are capable of doing anything beyond whining and operating a computer. Most of these people have never picked up a hammer or a wrench, have a gun but no idea what to do with it, never gutted a fish or dressed a deer or eaten anything that doesn’t come from the store. I personally am a loaner however should I decide to develop a community I would choose people based on ability, desire, experience and knowledge not on how old they are.

          Reply to this comment
          • Auckland Escapee April 14, 00:28

            Jake it seems so simple, if you form a survival group, the main aim of that group should be to survive, can you imagine a group made up with your afore mentioned teens, 20, 30 and 40 year olds, all fiddling with their smart phones with a few of Mic’s helpless city sheeple looking from side to side wondering what is going on. Any group will need people experienced in different aspects of life and survival, it would be great to have a doctor or a hunter in your group, but if they were all doctors or all hunters the group is going to have some difficult times ahead.

            Reply to this comment
  20. Oldertoday. April 11, 14:44

    This is a great topic. Let’s subdivide the Prepper community by age………….
    If a person can contribute what difference does age make. I am a retired Fire Chief, former State Emergency Manager and Hazardous Materials Specialist. Even at 64 I know a few things.

    Reply to this comment
    • Claude Davis April 15, 05:18

      That’s exactly the point the article was making; everyone has something to contribute. The problem is not everyone realizes that. I have talked to preppers who think older folks are a burden they would have to carry. In my opinion they’re wrong about that.

      Reply to this comment
  21. Ivy Mike April 11, 19:21

    I’m 64 and just spent a week camping off grid in The Chihuahuan Desert. Hottest day was 103, great sleeping weather after midnight, though, down into the 40’s several times. Had a 36 hour dry wind storm, 15-20 mph steady with frequent gusts 30-35 tumbling down out of the mountains. Made shrimp and sweet potato tempura one night, classic batter of rice flour, corn starch, and cold beer. Grilled chicken in a little Hibachi for 2 meals. Country pork sausage and white potato in the dutch oven. Spaghetti with a beef and tomato sauce from scratch. Managed to polish off a 1.75 of cheap white Tequila and half a case of beer. If Trump and Putin start blowing the world up this week I may or not invite any of you young people to survive with me, you all bitch too much, but if you do get to come along we’re gonna have fun!

    Reply to this comment
  22. Papa April 11, 19:29

    After reading the article and then all the comments I’m kind of wore out. Talk about squirrels…

    The aged among us is a valuable resource that should not be thrown away. I have found over the years that just because they have slowed down a little or may not be as strong as they once were, they are still productive and contain a wealth of knowledge. Again, not fast, but they can garden which is more than I can say for this current generation.

    Their eyesight and hearing may no longer be sharp, but they can teach others how to fish, hunt, track, and preserve food. Many are decent mechanics and can fix many things others would just throw away. They also have more patience with children and can teach many subjects and provide childcare, so the younger adult members of your group can hunt, gather, and do the heavy lifting.

    Some elderly still have good eyesight and hearing, but lack mobility. They could man observation posts covering major routes in and out. Or maybe they could provide a service they spent their whole working lives developing as a doctor, dentist, or maybe even a pharmaceutical chemist. You won’t know if you refuse to even consider what they can offer and most of the time they are just waiting to be asked.

    Reply to this comment
  23. Enigma April 14, 10:44

    Elders may do maintenance tasks, e.g., being night- and child-watchers, cooking, keeping chickens and wildlife out of gardens. Nigh anything which doesn’t require physical speed and strength, nor remarkable endurance.

    Persons who are proud of their knowledge and strength must sleep and rest sometimes. There are reasons why folk (especially rural folk) before the 1960s tended to die before age 65. Many before 1900 died by age 55. Much of that was due to lack of medical and microbe knowledge, but some simply ‘wore out’. Hard and unrelenting physical labor shortens lives.

    Sadly, most American elders who have spent their entire lives in cities will be problematical ‘assets’. If an urbanite older than 60 hasn’t lived a significant portion of their prior life in any ‘survivalist’ contexts, best to leave them behind in ‘bug-out’ scenarios. Possible that some such older survivors may band together in new compounds.

    Reply to this comment
  24. Silverbullet November 19, 14:07

    Unless they were in the financial world or attorneys, bankers or the like, the wisdom of the elderly who experienced real life, WISDOM.

    Reply to this comment
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