You know what they say about the best laid plans? It’s not uncommon that this also can pertain to preparedness. There are tons of great ideas across the internet that sound good if they remain on the internet. The problem is, when people decide to stake their lives on these ideas. One of the big problems is we only see tactical operations and survival scenarios in movies. If you haven’t had real military combat experience it’s hard to understand what you could be up against.
Many preppers feel as though they have nailed down the best possible plan or set of plans to handle any scenario. The problem is the scenario! We have no idea how things will play out. What the stresses on resources will be or how the environment around us will be affected. We can plan for many things but nothing is a guarantee.
I want to look at some of the ideas floating out there in the prepper world and hopefully I can discourage these heinous acts as they could very well get someone killed.
#1. LONG TERM SURVIVAL IN THE WOODS
The bugout is a legitimate tool to have in the prepper arsenal. There could be several situations in which the bugout would prove to be your best option. I will say you should understand just how good you have it in your own home before leaving it. If you have an alternate shelter or home to bugout to this changes things as well.
However, if your game plan is to set up camp in the woods and live off the land I think many preppers will be in for a rude awakening. There is literally nothing easy when it comes to long term life in the woods. Food, water, shelter, fire none of this comes easy after months in the woods.
There are also several threats you will face in these woods. The worst of those being the air around you. Hypothermia can kill you on a 70-degree night. The elements are another massive issue. Wind can bring down trees on a camp and powerful storms could just as easily blow your camp away.
The wilderness is tons of fun particularly when you can leave it behind and retire to a couch. Between drinking contaminated water, starving or death by mother nature bugging out to the woods, as a long-term solution, offers many ways for the prepper to die.
Related: 10 Reasons Why You Do Not Want to Bug Out
#2. SEEDS OVER STORAGE
There is no arguing the fact that fresh vegetables and growing food should be a piece of your food storage plan. There is nothing like a bountiful garden with leafy greens ready to be picked. It gets crazy when people decide that their survival garden will be all the food they need. It doesn’t take much for this plan to go up in smoke.
Gardens will be “looted” in desperate times. Or you may end up with nothing to harvest in a drought. Not to mention if you are part of a nuclear disaster or attack the food in your garden will now kill you!
Those examples may seem a little off color so I will give you another. Last year my community experienced a near tornadic thunderstorm. This storm devastated my whole garden. It looked as though God dropped a blender on the trees, shrubs and gardens all over. There were pieces of foliage everywhere.
Had I been dependent on that garden as my only food source my family would have starved.
#3. LONG TERM SURVIVAL IN A SMALL BUNKER
Another terrifying plan for many preppers is to retire to a small bunker for months at a time if something awful were to collapse the society above. I don’t know that being killed in my own home by strangers would be worse than killing my entire family in a bunker underneath a ravaged world.
Building a bunker is very expensive. But only a handful of preppers can afford a $70k underground bunker. Besides the price there are a lot of other factors you’ll need to consider. A number of different permits are required for digging and building your own underground shelter.
Related: Mini Nuclear Bunker Plans On A Budget (AD)
#4. GUNS OVER FITNESS
One of the worst examples of these devious strategies that will get preppers killed is the idea that a lack of fitness can be canceled out by firearms. I have had several arguments with people who believe that sitting behind a loaded firearm will solve all their problems. The idea that all scenarios add up to an enemy looking down the barrel of your gun and you pulling the trigger first is insanity. This is will likely not happen. What if you are facing two-armed people at once? What if you cannot carry a rifle more than 100 yards without passing out?
Related: Best Gun for Home Defense
#5. THE LONG-DISTANCE BUGOUT
I saved this one for last because it is a culmination of many of the things we talked about above. The long-distance bugout is quite possibly the most perilous undertaking of all. It is highly presumptuous and extremely dangerous. When the conditions are unknown outside of the home the idea that traveling 10’s of miles and often overnighting in unknown territories is terribly foolish.
Spanning such a distance opens your family up to far too many threats. If your bugout location is a great distance from your home at least include bicycles or some more efficient mode of transportation. Between the desperate, the elements and the unknown I feel that nothing awaits a family on a long-distance bugout but pain and suffering.
What’s the ultimate answer? Discomfort. Survival of the fittest is real! Though, it may not mean what you think it means. The fittest isn’t always the most dominant alpha male. It all comes down to adaptation. Who can adept, create and overcome? That should be your number one survival goal.
The way to best achieve this goal of adaptation is to put yourself in uncomfortable situations and try new things. They don’t have to be related to survival or prepping at all. It’s just like a bicep curl, if your body gets used to the fact that you curl heavy weights three days a week it will react to that and you will get stronger. If your body gets used to you being in situations where you must adapt under pressure than it will get stronger at that as well. Remember it’s all about adaptation.
What are your thoughts on these strategies that will get preppers killed? Do you have any others in mind?
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One of the best post I have read.
Certainly one of, if not the best post I’ve read. Plenty of articles discuss skills and equipment, both pre planned a s improvised. There are also a lot of articles that at least reference psychological preparedness and physical fitness. The same with the disconnect between the complacency that comes from the false confidence of over emphasizing one aspect of another and thinking that this equates to compensation. Being materialistically, prepared is one, as many articles discuss. Physically experiencing the the thing, at least in proximity, cultivates mental/psychological preparedness. It does not matter the subject, neuroplasticity is key.
Great post….when SHTF…the first to go will be the kids between the ages of 18-35….they will be walking in a circle looking at their IPhones, wondering where their Facebook page went, along with their Starbucks coffee…Lol……It’s the 50yrs guys that work out everyday, hit the range every weekend & prep for a Bad Day, that’s going to be gathering the Gold!!!!!….
This 19 year old has zero intentions of walking in a circle, I intend on getting the hell outta dodge in FUBAR/SHTF situation. Prepare and Expect for the worst, but hope for the best.
Good advice. I spent 21 weeks living off the land. Not a lifestyle conducive to family or someone without the right training. Bugging out to live off the land is a fairy tale for most. What ya gonna do when 200 other folks bug out to your location. Bye bye game animals.Herds of buffalo long gone. You better have caches ahead of time and folks you can depend on for common help. If you haven’t done it you likely will not do well at it, whatever ‘it’ is.
Oops! I should have scrolled down sooner. Do you sell replacement bolts? Hopefully ones that are stronger than spaghetti?
I like the little cross bow. The bolts may as well be made of glass. Can you supply some that don’t break on the first use? Or recommend a source for same?
Sir, I have not tried this but one thing I would consider is the valve pushrods of internal combustion engines. A tubing cutter will cut most to the proper length. I know threaded inserts can be fabricated from a simple drill press because I have machined a steel bolt to the shape of an air hose nozzle to use as a quick release hitching mechanism for my bicycle cart.
You can maintain a consistent diameter of your machining with a simple set of vernier calipers and various files. Standard fine thread machine nuts can be slipped over a smaller Grade 8 bolt that is as close to the inside diameter of the threads. You may need to make spacers of an OD less than the ID of the pushrod and using a Grade 8 nut tighten the shaft so there is enough threaded protrusion to be held in the drill press chuck securely. With great care and the calipers, you can reduce the OD of the fine threaded nut to mate to the ID of the push rod. a thin coat of epoxy or careful silver solder will keep them secure. I would use Muratic acid if available for the silver soldering. Brazing rod might work well, but that temperature may change the temper.
This allows you to fabricate various types of heads on your projectile, including barbed fishing blades with a fishing pole & line to retrieve fish. Your own imagination will limit what other potential projectile heads can be attached to the same pushrod
A few push rods may contain metallic sodium but those are rare. If you encounter them, the sodium is worth trying to salvage because of its other uses. It can be stored its pure solid state if immersed in kerosene or mineral oil. It is highly reactive to water, generating hydrogen gas and leaving a solution of sodium hydroxide.
Best article yet! In reality you’ve laid out the evolution of prepping. The majority of us do not have true life experiences to fall back on. The glamour of apocalypse style shows does get the mind thinking. The what ifs can run rampant. I believe the old adage ‘Happiness is not having everything you want. It’s being happy with what you have’ rings true in prepping to. The cheapest and easiest way to prep is to prep our bodies and minds. Then practice with the tools at hands. Only in doing so will we see what really works. What is and will be needed.
As far as you survival garden goes plant potatoes in random locations so to not to appear in a row. Almost nobody knows what the bushy above ground plant looks like. Other root vegetables can be also used like peanuts. If an early frost comes, or stormy you could still harvest.
Well done. This is the best article on the realities of SHTF survival that I’ve seen in a long time. In my view, 95% of the Prepper articles don’t deal with these issues in a realistic or coherent way.
I too plant many vegetables and tubers in what I call “survival gardens”, these are planted away from my regular garden in wooded areas and such, and most folks dont even see them and they could be standing right next to it!
I too have considered the idea of survival gardens in wooded areas.
That way thieves won’t steal the lot should they try because they wouldn’t know where to look.
Also it’s a good idea to grow hidden gardens if you only have a small piece of land.
Yeah you are so right. So many people don’t recognise growing vegetables they are so used to ready made meals.
There use to be a really good video on youtube about these survival gardens, but it was taken down for some reason, I think the guy’s name was John Libscome but not 100% sure.
I’m still searching for good spots for these “secret gardens”
that are not too far away but far enough so the boys with the blue helmets and other thieves wont find them.
Good spots (in suburbia) could include unused pieces of land such as next to a railway line, near a motorway but hidden behind trees, behind a shop, scrub covered land near a park or stream, abandoned building sites, within walking distance from where you live.
Look for rubbishy pieces of land. Places where nobody would have a reason to visit.
So how do you find these places? Take a walk around your neighborhood.
You would want these places to not be easily seen, hidden by scrub or plies of debris, and not easily accessed without climbing over or under tree branches, piles of rubbish, etc. You could of course create barricades of old pallets, etc to discourage people from visiting these places.
They could be several feet away from a used footpath or track but in places where nobody would have a reason for visiting. The term hidden in plain site comes to mind.
Grow these patches in small plots. Don’t grow them in neat rows, scatter your plants among each other so that they look like a overgrown pile of weeds. Let some weeds grow among them to help camouflage your vege patch but don’t let the weeds take over.
Of course you could grow your garden/s out in the country miles from anybody else but since I live in the city I’m working on growing my secret gardens in the city.
Some of these places may not receive much sun light and some plants might not want a lot of sun light. So choose what you grow and where you grow it.
You will need to visit these places regularly at first to keep the slugs and snails down while your plants are seedlings when they are most vulnerable. Or you could transplant them into your sites when they are a little larger.
You will have to visit your plots occasionally to water them, weed them and to keep the pests down. Keep your visits short.
You will have to pack water in to water them. This could be a problem in arid regions. I’m thinking of carrying a couple of water bottles in a back pack unless I can rig up some way of catching water like maybe using a tarp and a barrel.
However I do know that thick mulch helps to keep the ground moist, this works in arid regions so I have been told. I have found that having an overgrown garden helps to reduce watering as the shade helps to prevent the ground from drying out.
This sounds like a lot of work but it’s your survival that’s at stake.
I remember seeing that video or one like it about “survival gardens” that’s where I got a lot of my ideas from.
Rule Number 6, If you assume you are going to bug out to the country, We of the country are not going to be that welcoming of intruders on our property. Bugging out and not belonging to that area could get one killed quicker than any of the other reasons.
Amen. There are three paved roads and two 4WD trails into my town. In a full blown SHTF situation I anticipate that all will be barricaded to keep out the ‘Golden Horde.’
I have had that same conversation with multiple people. I live in a small mountain community and guarantee that anyone not local will not be welcome if they bug out to this area’. If the balloon was to go up in winter then most would be dead before they could make it up the mountain through the snow. if it was summer then a few well placed trees dropped across roads then manned with guards is sure to happen.
Your comments on gardening for survival are very good. You can’t just throw a few old seeds out there and expect the Garden of Eden. Gardening is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. Very few vegetable crops have enough calories in them to keep you alive…tomatoes, green beans, fresh peas, onions, cucumbers, cabbage, lettuce, peppers, carrots…you can sit on a mountain of them and still starve to death because they don’t have enough calories in them. Vegetables provide lots of variety in a diet as well as vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients. Equally important are protein, carbs, and fats which is where the bulk of calories are found.
There are a lot of things that I know how to do but age and back surgery prevents a lot physical activities. My “Get Home Bag” got a lot heavier… and I did not add anything to its contents. So the way I garden has to change. I’ve gone to container guarding. I’m doing potatoes in 10 gal. containers and this year I’m doing “Gutter Gardening” Bing that and you’ll find a lot of options. I’m planning on fresh salad all summer long with this method. I plant as many perennials as possible, Blackberries,mint,sage,Lemon Thyme and Lemon Balm. We also eat the wild “Weeds” that are plentiful. I try new things on a small scale to learn the lessons in starting plants from seed. It’s not as simple as you might think. Last year would have been a total loss on tomatoes from seed. I had to buy them from Lowe’s and even then what should have been a good crop was ruined by too much rain.
There is however no substitute for a deep pantry that you rotate through. We have no plans to bug out… 30 years ago maybe but that is uncertain at best.
Now is not the time to slow down on your prepping. Good gear and learning by doing increases your chances.
You can grow more calories per acre with potatoes than most anything else and they are less eaten by wildlife. Problem you have is with “seed” which must be seed potatoes that need replacing annually.
If and When the SHTF moment happens, there will no doubt be a lot of surprised people. Fear, panic, and shock could be the root cause of many people to not make it.
Good article, shows how simple things like travel, food, shelter, and mother nature can’t be counted on.
I live 250 miles from NYC in the Catskill Mountains. The good thing is i am one tank of gas from NYC. The bad thing is I am one tank of gas from NYC. If the SHTF i can tell you strangers and or locals that are not stand up people will find them selves with no haven where i live. There is no free lunch!
If you are at ground zero you have no chance to bug out. Thus you must not live at ground zero. This means not living in an area with a high population density or one near a military installation or other high value target. Living at a distance from densely populated areas is critical if one does not want to get caught up in the chaos created by large numbers of disorganized survivors. While most people will eventually die near their homes lacking the luck and the skills necessary to travel long distances to reach more thinly populated areas after a major disaster they will certainly drag many better prepared people down with them. Thus one of the first rules is to have your home in a place that has enough distance from densely populated areas to avoid the worst of the random chaos that can kill off even the most carefully prepared.
As most preppers are not willing to actually get out of their armchair and put into daily practice the year round skills necessary to successfully live off the grid in a remote location their only viable option is to live in a small town farming community far from a large city. This may not be as romantic as being a rugged individual “living off the land” but it is far more practical and requires less of a specialized skill set as a small town in a farming community is capable of providing enough bodies to actually stand a reasonable chance of fending off marauders while producing enough food to sustain itself until some semblance of at least regional authority asserts itself. Preppers who view survival as a romantic gun toting adventure are far more likely to die than preppers who move to a small town, join the civil defense or rescue squad and work their way up to being someone the whole community will look to for guidance in troubled times.
Excellent! I hear all this stuff people think they’re going to do when SHTF, but most of it is totally unrealistic. These kind of people need to get real if they have a chance to survive.
There is going to be a lot of suffering if this really happens, God help the unprepared and ignorant who believe that they can just take off and live off of the land.
Right on the money. I have tried to tell some people about what will be out there if they bug out. Most land owners will not cotton to the idea of someone squatting on their property. Roving gangs will be a danger, and women and girls will be targets for obvious reasons. You will need to be on guard 24/7/365 or some one will steal everything you have and kill you to get it. Nothing nor anyone will be safe. Even if you own the property you will have to contend with theft and life threatening situations. In my opinion staying in your neighbor hood and working with people you know is the best solution. Only bug out if absolutely necessary and then with a group of people you know and can trust.
What you’ve shared is very real. Most people have little to no idea of the blood and guts that take place in a demented and broken society as you are inferring in your intro or 5 strategies. Nor can they differentiate between local, area or strategic volatility.
But the interwoven lesson here is also one of hope and having faith. Yet living on hope and faith alone can get you in a world of poop real fast without you even realizing it, or even killed. Hope and faith fit into the end of my writing here.
Contingency planning is the watchword that we all need to heed and be ultimately prepared for. We had a saying in the Army “Train as you will fight, not how someone else thinks you should fight” and “Be prepared for anything.” Of course, consider all the factors of your elements, your enemy and take inventory of your skills. So what I’m saying is you should be training now and on a regular basis, it should be your way of life! Train in the woods, train overnight, reverse cycle train. Train 360 degree security and live it every day of your life. Grow and nurture your plants everyday so when you have to bug out you can pluck and go. If you have none planted, don’t start now, take seeds only. Remember that seeds won’t feed you for at least 21 days, at the soonest.
Bunkers are death traps unless you have the big $$$. Handy for nuclear, but the rads will still kill you 40+ days later. I call them caskets. You’re better off covering the ground floor floors with 2 feet of dirt and live in your basement.
Remember one important factor, any of you can do this, but it’s all about choices. Once you’ve made the choice you’ll feel and live the difference and all things will begin to feel possible. Split second decisions will have to be made going forward. Sometimes when it feels like things aren’t going to work out you’re going to have get down right mean. You may have to do things you are not proud of, bad things, scary things. You can either eat or be eaten, but can you make the choice in a split second?
You don’t have to be a tough guy or wild girl. You have to be quick and smart on your feet. Live healthy, strong and exercised in the body and brain. Demonstrate endurance, fortitude and master adversity. All of this and remain invisible 90% of the time. Are you willing to make the choice to live this and put this much into preparing for it? That’s where Hope and Faith re-enter the picture as part of the answer.
I suppose I should write a book on all this, but then that gives me up too. I just had to pipe in here to share a few things from my past. I encourage you to make the choice, live your choice and have hope and faith in tomorrow.
I feel that a lot of people look at preppers strictly as “doomsday preppers” which is not always the case. They think that anyone who is making large purchases on food or sever cases of water at a time is crazy and think the sky could be falling at any moment via nuclear war or aliens invading. Some of us simply make large, bulk-purchases and stock up because we’ve been through a few rough storms.
Personally, I feel that we should all be prepared for at the very least some kind of natural disaster. These kind of things are extremely common and very relevant to everyone across the globe. Hurricanes, snow storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis occur on every continent.
I guess I just feel that some people should open their eyes when it comes to what the core of prepping is… Preparing.
I especially enjoyed this part of your blog post, OP:
“It all comes down to adaptation. Who can adept, create and overcome? That should be your number one survival goal.”
You are absolutely correct. There incidences that happen everyday in the US where a prepared person will survive with minimal problems whereas a non-prepared person will rely on the slow to no help from the government. Don’t think that just because winter is over that mother nature can’t harm you. Worst outages we had in my area was a few weeks without power due to a severe thunderstorm.
Just curious but do you really give a damn how people look at you due to bulk food buying or large amounts of water purchased?
One of the largest survival sites on the web banned me because I stood up to one of their old-timers on this very topic.
I began a thread about staying put at home if possible. This guy in a very rude, confrontational manner started telling me I didn’t know what I was talking about. When I defended myself a moderator came on, told me I was being “threatening” and kicked me off the site.
My point is that not everyone calling himself a “survivor” really is one. The more “expert” he believes himself to be, the more skeptical I am of him.
good chance he was arguing just because you live north of the Mason-Dixon ….
that alone is enough to get you banned ….
Good for you. We live outside of a very large municipality. There is farmland south of us. If someone bought an old farm that had a house with a fireplace and an outside hand pump well it would be a survival spot for a group of people. Water … warmth….and stored supplies. That might work. But a person from the group would have to be on watch 24 hours a day in shifts. Farmers will not want people living on their farmland. I will not be sharing too many bowls of pinto beans with guys like that he think they know it all.
Good for you. We live outside of a very large municipality. There is farmland south of us. If someone bought an old farm that had a house with a fireplace and an outside hand pump well it would be a survival spot for a group of people. Water … warmth….and stored supplies. That might work. But a person from the group would have to be on watch 24 hours a day in shifts. Farmers will not want people living on their farmland. I will not be sharing too many bowls of pinto beans with guys like that he think they know it all.0
If I had to be shut underground with my family for weeks – well, just kill me now! lol
For some families I know, there’s more truth to that than fiction. 🙂
Good article. I believe the vast majority of city, urban, suburban people will be “bugging out”. It will make disaster movie bug outs look weak. Imagine large populations packing in to all “isolated” locations.
Hunting and fishing considerations are a joke. As people gravitate to water sources and other “booney” areas realistically the one with the most ammunition and luck may survive to the next screwy phase of the disaster…
If possible, why not bug in with the majority of resources. Moving out in a mass exodus puts you in a highly vulnerable position.
Solid, frank, honest, realistic. I hope a lot of people get hold of this post, read it carefully and with an open mind, and then look closely in the mirror as they re-evaluate their individual plans and themselves, in the true light of their own capabilities.
I have lived in the country a lot of my life and because I was somewhat isolated my home was burglarized 2 times. Once completely stripped while I was out. Sometimes it can be better to be in a neighborhood where you can ban together for protection and helping each other. I have a doctor living next door and a retired blacksmith and an older gentleman and wife who were farmers and still in great shape. Getting to know your neighbors and become likemined, and we are, is a good idea. I know how to can food without all the new gadgets of today. Good luck to all. There is more than one way to survive. We are prepared. We each have an acre or more to utilize. A wonderful fairly large group of survivors. Being a survivor is part mindset.
Delores, You have someone who knows you or is watching you and knows when you are away. That’s why they broke in and the 2nd time confirms this. If these neighbors are located near to where the break-ins occurred, you need to communicate a security plan as a group. Also learn how to set up wire contact break devices to warn of intruders that link to a neighbors house. They’re inexpensive and easy to install. One very useful tool is a gate to impede vehicle traffic. Thieves hate the idea of having to carry loot a longer distance to get it in their car and it makes it easier for them to be seen and caught.
Lastly, There is comfort in numbers, but not necessarily resolve and/or security. You should develop, prepare and initiate several contingencies for any and all of your concerns. I go at least 3 deep on any certain concern/problem with contingencies. Especially for security, you can never have enough redundancy. All your preps are worth nothing if you can’t protect them, hide them or remain invisible to others.
You seem to me to be a unique and qualified survivor. Stay vigilant and live 360 degree security.
Gray, Thank you for your input. I can always learn something. I have an 8 ft stone wall around my property and our small community have more iron fenseing and gates surrounding it. I also have a natural underground spring that runs right into my backyard. 6 ft to access it. High on a hill and can see all around. Plenty of wildlife available. Know how to hunt. A bow will keep it silent. Hard to find a mate with same mindset these days, lol, but I’m a survivor and will do the best I can for my family. Always interested in good advise. God Bless. Hope for the best and keep your eyes and ears open.
Gray, The property i was referring to on a breakin is my farm in North Texas.
One more remark. We know how to use our weapons!
I’d like to point out the usefulness of one of those lightweight foldable bicycles in the trunk of your car, next to some clothes and a pair of shoes, as was suggested for having to get back home from work when an EMP happens in an older article. If walking home takes a day, think ot the precious time you can save if you keep such a bike read in the trunk of your car.
Not so sure what you are trying to say about the GUNS OVER FITNESS thing.
Where exactly will fitness win out over firearms? Lets say you are facing two-armed people at once. Is being fit going to get you out of this jam? Beat them up? Unlikely. Run? Only if you can run faster than a bullet. Will being armed with a gun guarantee your safe outcome? Not hardly. But it couldn’t hurt.
I think the point that was trying to be made is that if someone is way out of shape it doesn’t help their case if they are armed. Better to be in good to great physical shape along with your guns. I’ll give you an example: Someone has broken into your stores of food, preps and etc. and they just went over the steep hill behind your place. You grab your gun and pursue, but if you are not fit, you’ll never get close enough to give yourself a viable shot. I feel this is the point that was trying to be made. I do agree that anything close range diminishes a bunch of the fitness thing, but I for one will always keep my physical and mental edge as sharp as possible. I think most of us think that way. And yes, I stay sharper with the firearms as well. Stay safe……
I can see two different sides. Obviously being in shape, and armed, would be the best case scenario. On the other hand, if one is not is good physical shape, or disabled, being armed still gives them an advantage to not being armed.
Roger That! I think everyone should be. Good point! Dog.
snipers will be a huge problem when we emerge from our shelter.
I doubt if I am that important.
Iam still amazed that with the recent snow storm to hit our region people still what until the eve of the storm to get that last loaf of bread and gallon of milk. Have a daughter in Florida that had to bug out because of hurricane threat. Waited to last minute to get bottled water. Not the first time this happened. She should know better. I did my best to try and teach but sometimes you are better talking to a rock!
First, I disagree with the assertion that most preppers feel that they’ve nailed down anything. Most preppers seem to be people who develop certain skills because they enjoy developing those skills. If horrible things happen, those skills might save them. Otherwise, they’re still spending their time better than they would be watching most TV. Beyond this point, the five issues raised are so glaringly obvious that I’m not sure whether to take them seriously.
Yes, living long term in the woods would be difficult, and no one is suggesting that most of us won’t be more comfortable if we’re never forced into this scenario. If long-term survival in the woods is the only option, preparation won’t be the only factor in survival. Chance will play a part, and sometimes lighting (literally or figuratively) will strike the more prepared survivor and leave the less prepared survivor to live another day. Even those who beat the odds over the long haul will live a much less comfortable life than what we enjoy today.
The other side of the equation is in return for our loss of comfort, convenience, and relative security, the survivors will be unburdened of many of the stupid burdens of modern life. The survivors won’t be worried about whether they got their cars inspected this year and won’t be forced to show proof of insurance. They won’t have to file taxes. Life will return to essentials, and for some people, that change will be rewarding. We can’t know ahead of time which people will be better suited to this kind of life, but different will be better for some people and worse for others.
For most of recorded history and likely long before human beings started recording history, people have understood that survival meant striking a balance between saving for consumption and saving for investment. Some seeds must be kept to grow next year’s crop, and some seeds must be kept to eat. Maybe the author has found someone out there who advocates the extreme position of saving only seeds to use growing more food. I’ve seen people who talk most about growing food because they have some skill in that area and believe that their audience would be most interested in that topic. That doesn’t mean that they advocate not storing food to be used for food. I’ve not seen anyone who advocates storing only seeds for growing a future crop.
No one relishes the idea of being stuck in a bunker for long periods of time. In all likelihood, the loss of day/night light cycles would drive people crazy unless they simulated the light cycles with great discipline. However, if the outside isn’t habitable for a while, then the options are to die outside or stay in a bunker hoping to survive. Not everyone can afford to build a bunker. Not everyone will be able to get permits to build a bunker even if they could spend that money. I agree with the author on those points, but those factors don’t change the fact that the only survivors will be those in bunkers if conditions outside bunkers become uninhabitable. Another point is that just because someone has 120 days of supplies stored in a bunker doesn’t mean that he/she/they plan to spend 120 days in the bunker continuously. If someone spends ten days in a bunker to ride out an initial set of conditions, the bunker is still going to be good place to store the next 110 days of supplies even if the person or group is mostly living outside the bunker after the first ten days have passed.
I haven’t read or watched every survival page on the web, but I’ve never seen anyone claim that firearms negate the need for physical fitness. That argument seems to be a straw man that the author has created. Both skill with firearms and physical fitness have their places. The guy who has skill with a good rifle is likely going to harvest more elk meat than the world’s greatest athlete trying to hunt with a rock. If people are fighting one another, survival will depend to some extent on elements of chance, but again, I would bet on the guy with a good rifle and a good defensive position over the world class athlete who is trying to fight off enemies with his bare hands. Without physical fitness, the rifleman will die of other things, but the best strategy still relies on a balance.
The last issue is also so obvious that it seems to be a straw man argument. No one doubts that traveling dozens of miles without the benefit of modern automobiles is going to be terribly difficult. On the other hand, people will travel those distances if death is the only other choice. Some people won’t survive the trip, but again, if the only hope of survival lies fifty miles away, then the choice is to die in place, die on the journey, or live after finishing a fifty mile journey.
I’m very skeptical of the advice to use bicycles to make the journey easier. By their inherent instability, bicycles open someone to crashes and injuries. If those trying to survive are under threat from other people or even animals, they will have a harder time going from riding mode to self-defense mode on a bicycle. In these kinds of desperate conditions, I’d rather ride the first twenty miles in a car and then have to walk thirty miles than to ride the entire fifty miles.
There’s a problem with getting a permit to build a bunker, the government will know where to look to take your weapons and food supply.
You need lime to dissolve the bodies of all the frightened people you murder.
No, no, you grind up the bodies and feed the homeless with hamburger.
I’m working on developing several strategies to survive.
1 learning how to defend yourself both with guns as well as without.
I will try to avoid confrontation as much as possible.
2 growing my own food and saving my own seeds. Don’t use seeds from the vegetables that you bought at your supermarket they are often hybrid and will produce smaller sized fruit than heirloom seeds. Not always but better safe than sorry especially when you really need it.
3 having a store cupboard which will in part be topped up from my garden.
Sometimes seeds don’t grow or take longer than you expect. Also a storm can wipe everything out so a storage cupboard can get you through. This is also the reason why you should have more seeds than what you need and not plant all of them.
4 foraging for edible weeds and fishing. There is always fish in the sea. The question is can you catch them? Learn how to use lures as well as bait. Hopefully the sea hasn’t been polluted by radiation or a chemical/oil spill.
There is only small game in the cities namely birds and some rabbits.
5 scavenging but not looting as that could get you killed. This includes finding old pallets that I could use as building materials for example or bits of metal that I can use for repairing and making stuff out of. I do this already and save every screw and good nail that I find.
Because one strategy may fail even if only temporarily (drought, storm, etc) I will be working on using several strategies/skills. One day gardening another day fishing.
I expect to be gardening most of the time.
Gardens can be looted but if you don’t have one you will have nothing. Besides they can be protected by nail boards. But my first line of defence will be a fence to hide my garden and then I won’t plant my veges in nice rows and will plant different types amongst each other to make my garden look like an over grown patch of weeds.
The most likely disaster that could hit you is of course a storm. So prep for a storm first before you prep for doomsday and you will be prepping for doomsday.
We just had a massive storm which threatened to pollute the city’s water supply by silt run off which clogged up the water filters. So we are now storing water. Remember the thing you will need most will be water especially in a long term disaster. Without water your garden won’t grow. At some stage we will have to get a water tank.
Some underlying principles:
– Have backup/alternative resources (2 is 1…)
– Skills before equipment
– Build Functional Kits before Stores
– Build Stores before Replacement Capabilities
– Preparedness improves your chances of surviving events
– Survival skills improves your chances of surviving events you are not prepared for
Finally a post I agree with.
Hmmmm! #4 scares me the most. My husband is 82 and I’m 71, both with some health issues.
PACK YOUR BAG WITH SOME TOOLS YOU WILL NEED.BUT THE MOST COMMON THING YOU WILL NEED IS NOT TO COMMON THESE DAYS AND IF YOU DONT HAVE IT ALL THE TOOLS AND GEAR IN THE WORLD WONT SAVE YOU AND THAT THING I AM TALKING ABOUT IS PLAIN AND SIMPLE COMMON SENSE MY SPELLING COULD BE WRONG BUT I KNOW WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT LOL.
Add to common sense, knowledge/skills. Knowledge how to find food and water, start a fire without matches, how to avoid an argument and prevent a fight, etc.
I really enjoyed reading this article. The final comments about trying new things, being uncomfortable, those are very important. Learning new skills and ways are very important to me. I hope to pass on that drive to be knowledgeable at a variety of skills passes on to my children. This age of specialization will lead to many being dependent on others.