8 Tips for Prepping in Suburbia and the City

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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

If you aren’t already living on your dream acreage in the country, you may need to settle in for the long haul wherever you are. I’ve written many times about the importance of “blooming where you’re planted” – heck, I even created a course about it. But with our current economic situation, you may need to get serious about prepping in the city or suburbia if that’s where you happen to be.

I’ve lived a whole lot of places – way out in the boondocks, on a little homestead, in suburbia, in Europe, in Mexico, and currently, in an apartment in a large city. In each and every one of those homes, I prepped to the best of my ability.

And that’s all you can do. You have to be realistic and know that there’s only so much that you can manage. With that being said, here are my tips for prepping in suburbia and in the city.

Make the most of your space.

Whether you live in a suburban house or a big city apartment, you may find that your space is far more limited than our country-dwelling counterparts. That doesn’t mean you can’t prep, though!

If your home is on the smaller side, it’s important to make the most of every inch while avoiding making your place look like a bunker. Store things under, inside, and behind your furniture to get the most storage bang for your buck. Get some attractive containers to put on top of your kitchen cabinets and take your storage all the way to the ceiling.  Keep track of where you put things, however, so you can find them when you need them.

Here are some articles to help you make the most of your space, no matter where you live.

Grow what you can.

I’ve had everything from a small farm to a small patio in which to raise food, and the important thing is to do what you can. I’m currently growing tomatoes, jalapeños, bell peppers, squash, three kinds of beans, and lots of herbs on my tiny patio.

Clearly, I can’t grow everything I eat in this space, but I can largely avoid buying produce for several months out of the year. I also like to sprout in the winter and grow herbs and lettuce in my sunny windows. This is intended to be supplemental, not to take the place of other food. It’s awfully nice to be able to walk outside barefoot and grab some fresh, nutritious, organic produce every day in the summer.

Here are some resources for small space gardening.

Improve your fitness.

When I lived in the country, there was more activity in my daily life. I was constantly shoveling, lugging, digging, and walking. It certainly kept me fit without additional effort. Living in the city can soften you up if you aren’t careful. So can living in a suburban area that isn’t very walkable. If physical activity isn’t part of your daily routine, then you have to make an effort to add it.

Can you imagine being in a bad situation and being too out of shape to escape it? Or being unable to repair your home because you aren’t strong enough? No matter what your physical situation is, you can do things to improve your fitness.

If you aren’t suffering from any kind of injury or chronic ailment, try adding steps to your daily life. (Fitbits are great to keep you motivated!) Use the resources around you for fitness. If you live in an apartment complex, is there a pool or gym? Do you live near a school with a track for walking that is open to the public? What about a local park or walking trail?

If you are dealing with an issue that makes exercise difficult, look into seated exercises. DDPY Fitness has routines for people with mobility issues, including workouts from a chair or bed. You can also find stuff on YouTube. Of course, it goes without saying to consult with your doctor before beginning any kind of fitness plan.

Find your local resources.

Okay, so you don’t live in the Back 40 with acres and acres of wilderness surrounding you. That doesn’t mean there are no resources to be had.

I live beside a hipster office park. I often walk through the area, and I’ve located all sorts of things during my wanders. The companies nearby are big on “green space,” which means that there are a lot of different trees and plants. I’ve identified walnut trees, pecan trees, blackberry bushes, and all sorts of other edibles. In my particular area, it’s marked as a “no pesticide zone.” Be careful before gathering wild edibles in urban areas to be certain that they haven’t been sprayed with toxic chemicals.

There are also multiple fountains for nearby water sources and a couple of streams bubbling through the office park. Obviously, any water acquired there would need to be purified, but any prepper will have water purification covered.

And if things really, truly went sideways? If it was a situation in which taking unused resources from abandoned homes, stores, and offices was appropriate? City dwellers will be able to find an abundance of these things.

These articles may help you find local resources.

Consider a storage unit cache.

My family and I have multiple storage units. There is one near my daughter’s home and one near my home, as well as one in between. Each is set up so that in a dire emergency, a person could hunker down for a few days, and they’re  all stocked with food, water, and sanitation supplies.

This extra space can be essential when prepping in limited space.

Here’s an article about creating your own storage unit caches.

Know that you might HAVE to bug out, regardless of your plan.

I have written about this before, but it bears repeating. Regardless of how well-stocked your home is or how good your plan is, in a disaster or emergency, these things may no longer be relevant. It’s hard to imagine this after carefully preparing for years, but you need only to look at the war in Ukraine to see how quickly things can change.

Even if it’s an absolute last resort, you need to make some bug-out plans NOW, as opposed to doing so when you’re in a panic. Think of all the reasons you “can’t” bug out and then figure out some workarounds.

This article discusses it in more depth.

(Do you know what it takes to stay safe in an emergency evacuation? Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide.)

Create relationships now.

As much as we may have fabulous plans about a prepper group at our retreat, chances are high that your neighbors are going to be your prepping group, whether you like it or not. Communities shrink during an emergency, and you may have to depend on those closest to you.

With that in mind, it’s important to get to know people well before disaster strikes. Who can you trust, at least to some degree, and who should you watch carefully? Be careful not to give out too much information when getting to know people, lest you regret it later. Also, don’t judge folks purely on whether or not they’re preppers. A person of integrity, a hard worker, or someone with valuable skills or knowledge can be an incredible asset during difficult times.

Check out these articles for more food for thought.

Skills are just as important as preps.

While we’d all love to be prepared for the ultra-long haul, it’s essential to recognize there’s only so much stuff we can stash. That’s where skills and knowledge come in.

Once your barter goods are long gone, and you’ve finished that last can of ravioli, you need to be able to acquire food or trade your knowledge. If you have medical skills, construction skills, or any other of a wide range of skills, you yourself are a valuable prep.

Here are some resources regarding skills.

What are your urban/suburban prepping tips?

A lot of folks will say their best prepping tip for city dwellers or those living in suburbia is to “move.” But let’s be realistic. At this point in the economic decline of America, picking up and relocating is easier said than done. If you have a good job, you definitely don’t want to quit your job and pull up stakes, hoping for the best.

What is your best advice for those living in small spaces, big cities, or suburbia? How can we be better prepared? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand Survival.com You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

8 Tips for Prepping in Suburbia and the City
Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • I have sillcock keys, which would allow me to access water storage from the outside of basically every apartment, gas station, office building, etc. I think every prepper should (especially in cities/burbs) should think about getting a couple. Your recent post about water made me finally pull the tirgger and buy a couple water bobs for an emergency (one for each bath tub). I’m in the upper midwest, so not dealing with hurricanes, etc. I’m not likely to need them outside of a true SHTF event, but it expands the supply I’d be able to use for immediate use by quiet a bit.

    • You can buy an assortment of these sillcock keys on Amazon, fairly cheep. There are several different types.

    • If you keep your bathtub clean enough, you don’t need water bobs, just to put the plug in.

      Not sure about sillcock keys. In the sort of situation when you may want to use them, it’s likely that people wouldn’t be too happy about you using them.

      • Yeah, I definitely don’t. lol. Hence the water bobs. As I’m really talking about SHTF situations for sillcock, I’m not too worried about that. I have plenty of water for any short term situation. If the world as we know it ends, I have no qualms about using a sillcock, especially in places like office buildings that will no longer be in use. Besides, I doubt 99% of the people in the world even know what they are.

      • There are advantages to using a Waterbob. For one, it keeps your stored water clean. Nothing will drop into and contaminate it. For another, if you have pets, there’s no chance of them lapping from the stored water and contaminating it without you even knowing it. There’s one more thing; without the Waterbob, you can only fill the tub to its overflow drain. With the Waterbob in place you can fill it past this point. More water is good!

        I’m with you on the sillcock (garden hose faucet) keys. Keyed sillcocks are LOCKED, legally. Using your own key to open them is STEALING, legally. My older brother was once ARRESTED for trying to drink out of someone’s garden hose faucet. He wasn’t arrested for stealing the water, but for TRESPASSING. True, the homeowner was a schmuck, but in a SHTF situation you can count on almost EVERYONE to exhibit that behavior, and are most likely going to take justice into their own hands! Use your better judgement before accessing another’s property or tapping their resources.

      • My thought about sillcock keys is that they belong in your Get Home Bag. If your get home trip is several hours you might need some water for various reasons and there might be no other sources. Just fill up your get home water containers and turn off the faucet. I don’t see using the keys in other situations, not for me anyway. Probably would if I became homeless.

  • Great article! You’re right: moving isn’t the easiest or perhaps even the wisest thing to do. If you’ve never lived in the country, you don’t have the skills or the relationships to make it out there. It’s quite different from city living. During tough times they don’t welcome strangers with open arms.

    Regarding storage sheds: many apartment complexes do have storage units for each apartment. Those can be very useful, but be careful to hide the true identity of your goodies. In fact I think Daisy has written about this: pack stuff in boxes labeled “Christmas ornaments” or something like that. Obvious buckets of Mountain House food and #10 cans are very likely to walk away.

    Walk in the park, join a swim league, head out to the gun range. There are lots of ways to get moving. Join the Y. Exercise is a great coping mechanism! It helps manage the anxiety in a healthy way. Ditto gardening. These times are breaking many people. Remember your small circles and control what you can while letting the rest go. Breathe! A healthy mindset is also an asset.

  • I have two bathtubs and two water BOBs. The problem to overcome is once both water BOBs are filled, they fully occupy both tubs — leaving you no place to take a bath. I suggest getting an inexpensive portable rectangular plastic tub (from any of the big box stores or Walmart) that will fit in whatever size bathroom you have.

    Then learn how to take a sponge bath. Third worlders call them bucket baths but you can improve on their method a bit. If your floor space and plastic tub size is big enough, you can even use an upturned bucket in that plastic tub to sit on while bathing. You might put a non-skid pad inside the bottom to prevent a bad slip-and-fall. Today hospitals often use the sit-down system when they want to avoid any slip-and-fall risk.

    There is a learning process. Start with a steel pot large enough for about 4 gallons of heated water …ideally no hotter than 120°F. Two sponges are ideal — one with a built-in scrubby surface and one without. Then practice to learn 1) how much less water you can get by with per bath, and 2) how long you can go between baths while still maintaining your hygiene and sanity — in anticipation of times when water might be very scarce. [In the 1930s Great Depression it was very common to heat water on the kitchen wood stove. Today you have a lot more ways to heat water than they had in the 1930s.]

    –Lewis

    • I made my own shower using a two gallon garden sprayer and kitchen sink spray nozzle. I found an RV YouTube channel that gave step-by-step instructions on how to make it. It cost a little over $20 USD and I also bought a blow up kiddie swimming pool to catch the runoff water to use elsewhere.

  • I am one of those who has trouble with bugging out because I need a wheeled walker. So I have turned the walker itself into a BOB. I got a (quite expensive!) bicycle double panier from Canadian Tire and attached it to one of the horizontal supports on the walker. Normally it carries my purse and things I am buying when shopping, but I have 2 smaller bags that will fit inside quickly if I need to bug out. It also has 2 large carabiners to attach me real BOB if it gets too heavy for my back, and a Mountain House bucket with cook and mess kit on the other side. I also have a bugout vest to distribute weight – the most essential survival supplies distributed among 15 pockets. Including a mylar tube tent in the back map pocket. Even the crown pocket of my Tilley hat carries a few bills, a space blanket, a ziploc bag, and a few water purifying tablets.

    • “trouble with bugging out because I need a wheeled walker”

      have you thought about simply helping some young family instead?

        • Carla giving ant7 some grace here. As Daisy said in the article make connections with trusted neighbors. A young family might need a trusted babysitter, extra eyes around when things get ugly.

          Older persons skills like cooking from scratch and sewing are often NOT in a young person’s current skillset.

          Having enough to share and trusted neighbors is often far better than trying to bug out UNLESS you have a trusted friends place to bug out too.

          Don’t be a refugee.

          • Maybe you interpreted his (?) reply correctly. If so, why did ant7 use the words “simply” and “instead”. It sounds like he thinks a handicapped life isn’t worth saving. I hope I’m wrong.

  • Back in the Years Of The Mangoes, 2018-2019, in Venezuela people collected mangoes from every tree they could (food was so scarce that even stray dogs would fight over fallen mangoes!). Usually, the neighbors would provide the elders, many of them with grown children already migrating, with a small bag for them to eat. For many, that would be the only meal in the day.
    So, yes, community is VERY important.
    Having empathy and compassion also is.
    A few caches here and there would be quite useful for many of you up there.

  • Our neighborhood has spent years defining individual strengths and prepping accordingly. We have the biggest storage space so we have spent years focusing on stocking protein/rice/beans/spices/water filtration etc. Neighbors have huge yards and are focused on gardens for fresh veggies/herbs. We are very lucky to have a natural spring nearby that flows year round and have planned utilizing that as our first line water source. Also have backup plans for collecting rain water. I have some medical training (EMT) and have obtained supplies to set broken bones to stitching injuries. My inner Girl Scout sat up and took notice during Obama’s term and started prepping in earnest then. I read almost everything I can get my eyes on as I continue to discover “gaps” that need to be addressed. Luckily, I started prepping with long term shelf stable protein sources. The LDS Store is still a very good place to buy long term storage foods.

  • One thing that I think is also very critical- “House Hardening”. At least have on hand, the items needed to make your current space less easily accessible to strangers. Obviously, windows and doors are the “soft spots”. Trying to hunker down with aggressive roaming mobs, gets pretty daunting, but you can at least make your place invulnerable to someone just picking up a rock from your garden, throwing it thru the window, and gaining entry.
    Personally, I have an ample supply of thick plastic film and tons of duct tape, rolls of chicken wire, and rolls of heavy gauge steel wire, as well as nails and deck screws, etc.
    Essentially, I could cover or replace every window in my home, in a couple of hours, as well as make the doors impenetrable (for all but the truly committed) from the outside.
    Will it suffer long term application of force? No, but it will take them long enough for me to react.

    • Booby traps are another thought to slow intrusion. You know the layout of your space, put down anything you can find as a trip hazard for intruders. We plan to go to the basement and remove the top steps as we go down. Gives us reaction time. We have a walkout basement. Have double layer of concrete board covering stationary side of slider. Again, we only have to defend the sliding door. We also have a supply of tannerite to defend streetside of house.

      • “We plan to go to the basement and remove the top steps as we go down”

        looters will set fires, which will generate carbon monoxide, which will settle in lower spaces.

      • “We plan to go to the basement and remove the top steps as we go down”

        looters will set fires, which will generate carbon monoxide, which will settle in lower spaces.

  • actually you’re much more likely to survive longer in a city than out in most rural areas. the cities simply will suck up any and all resources necessary to sustain themselves. the rural areas will be looted long before the cities will suffer deprivations.

    • Not really.
      Once the JIT/BAU system fails as it would in a SHTF situation, no supplies would be going into major cities. They would become huge no-go areas of shooting and fighting as WROL sets in. There will be no truckers willing to go into such an area to deliver food, fuel or other supplies (ref: Selco and the Balkan war, the current situation on going in the Ukraine).
      Warehouse workers in distribution centers would likely take as much as they could for themselves or even turn the centers into armed compounds for them and their families.

      People outside of the cities will block off chokes points like bridges (ref: Gretna LEOs on the West bank of the Crescent City Connector during hurricane Katrina, stopped people from coming over the bridge, several wounded, one killed).
      As Selco noted, once he realized the S had HTF, it was too late.
      You will find out.

      • “Not really”

        really. in the start of preppism, setting up an established retreat in amishville in anticipation of a sudden collapse in the high population areas was a great idea, because the high population areas would be unable to effectively respond to a sudden collapse. but things have changed. now we’re looking at a semi-long term venezuela decline, where lots of governments and agencies with their substantial populations and political power will have time to recognize their situation and take action to support themselves at the expense of the rural areas. and they will.

        sorry dude, but just like you were smart enough to think of amishville, the mayors and county seats will think of amishville too, and move to secure it for themselves. instead of getting away from it all, you’re now at ground zero target one.

        • Again, not really.
          Those mayors and governments in the cities, they do not have the resources or manpower to enact anything past their city limits. Looking at the news, how many cities are suffering LEO manpower issues as it is (San Diego has lost 22% of their LEOs), never mind in a SHTF situation. Crime is spiking in a number of cities across the country with the lights on, turn the tap and the water flows, Wal-Mart and Starbucks are open and kinda supplied (re: empty shelves).
          Again, looking at the situation in the Ukraine, not seeing a whole lot of money (unless it is from the US/West EU and that is not gaining them ground), not a whole lot of voting or political power in the cities to mitigate the Russian advance.
          Again, looking at New Orleans and hurricane Katrina, no small number of LEOs said “F-this!” grabbed the family and beat feet. So did a number of those in power in New Orleans. And that was with advance warning. Things go sideways, most LEOs would see the situation for what it is and also say, “F-this!” Would you blame them? I would say the same about those in power. Just the other day, the Philly mayor said he was looking forward to when he is no longer mayor. Again, that is with the lights on, turn the tap and the water flows, Wal-Mart and Starbucks are open and kinda supplied (re: empty shelves).
          Reading the news, there are a number of those in power who do not seem to understand the current decline, or are in denial (ref: Current WH admin).
          Do these mayors and county seats have the means to get out of their towns or cities let alone their own way? Their own private army, trained, with weapons and ammo? Fuel?

          Again, your lack of understanding of economics and logistics continues to be shortcomings.
          Just like your understanding of firearms.

          • “Those mayors and governments in the cities, they do not have the resources or manpower to enact anything past their city limits”

            that will change. “semper gumby” is not just a marine concept.

            “Again, looking at New Orleans and hurricane Katrina”

            natural disasters (and selco’s experience of being suddenly surrounded and cut off and under seige) are sudden events.
            again, we’re no longer looking at a sudden event like the narrative you’ve been following presupposes, rather we’re looking at a semi-long term drawdown. the major population centers will 1) see the problem and 2) still have the capability to respond and 3) respond.

            “Again, your lack of understanding of economics and logistics continues to be shortcomings”

            your understanding is more of a narrative that suits you and that you wish to maintain against changing circumstances to the contrary. not to focus on you – lots of other preppers are just like that – but it needs to be pointed out so that the readers can decide for themselves what they need to anticipate and focus on.

            “Just like your understanding of firearms”

            I shoot just as well as you now.

    • “actually you’re much more likely to survive longer in a city than out in most rural areas.”

      Perhaps, if Soylent Green is on the menu.

      “the rural areas will be looted long before the cities will suffer deprivations.”

      So, your proposition is that the Boyz in the Hood will trot out to the country and loot it first, saving their neighbors goods for later when times get tough?

      • “your proposition is that the Boyz in the Hood will trot out to the country and loot it first, saving their neighbors goods for later when times get tough?”

        rather the governors and mayors and county supervisors, with the full backing of their large populations, will if necessary send out substantial forces to enforce compliance with the new requisition laws. and I’ll point out that the cities and high population areas have considerably more armament and equipment and trained veterans than the rural areas.

        • “and I’ll point out that the cities and high population areas have considerably more armament and equipment and trained veterans than the rural areas.”

          Could you be anymore wrong?
          Look at cities like Chicago, NYC, LA, Baltimore, DC, San Fran. All have some of the most strict gun control laws (and some of the highest crime rates). Most vets I know look at large cities and say, “Ah, NO!” For that matter there is a program for vets to get them into rural areas and farming.
          Recently the NSSF has noted that the number of first time buyers are minorities and women. And they are buying hand guns for self defense. These would not be in major cities with strict guns laws. There are a few, but a very small percentage.
          In a SHTF situation, grid down, getting the population of a major city to rally to the call (how do you do that, grid down in SHTF?) to hump it 20-30-100 miles or more to secure food from the rural areas? On foot? How do you feed and water this untrained army? What is their motivation to go out, miles and miles, to secure the food and bring it all the way back to those mayors and county seats who did not make the trip themselves? Or put their lives on the line?
          All you have to do is say, “No.” And their power fails. Completely.

          Again, your lack of understanding of economics and logistics continues to be your shortcomings.
          Just like your understanding of firearms.

          • “Could you be any more wrong?”

            you’ll see. what I’m hoping is that what I’ve said here will percolate through the mind for a while, and that someday you’ll have a New Idea, and that you’ll be sitting around with your team over barbecue and beer and that you’ll take the lead and say, “hey guys, given my understanding of economics and logistics and tactics, I can see we’re facing new circumstances and that we need to address them, so here’s my plan.” and I’m hoping you get the New Idea soon enough.

            “Just like your understanding of firearms”

            indeed, I shoot just as well as you now.

            • Oh, please, you really think any government at any level is pro-active? If you believe so, then you truly are an idiot.

              “your understanding is more of a narrative that suits you and that you wish to maintain against changing circumstances to the contrary. not to focus on you – lots of other preppers are just like that – but it needs to be pointed out so that the readers can decide for themselves what they need to anticipate and focus on.”
              And I could say the same about you.
              The difference is, I have a understanding of economics and logistics than you do.
              That is your failing.
              Anyone who has been in the military understands this.

              “I shoot just as well as you now.”
              No. You dont. The only thing you can do is shoot from the bi-pod front, bag rear prone, at 100yrds to get those 5/8 groups.
              You cannot shoot from anything but the bi-pod front, bag rear prone, at 100yrds.
              I can and do shoot from the standing, sitting, and prone. And do it on a regular basis.
              You cannot.

              • “you really think any government at any level is pro-active?”

                about their own interests, yes.

                “The difference is, I have a understanding of economics and logistics than you do.” (sic)

                you mean that you are Smart, and that other people aren’t. part of the narrative.

                “I can and do shoot from the standing, sitting, and prone”

                yep, you were taught in boot camp …

                “You cannot”

                … and other people can be taught too. ’cause they’re smart too.

        • Not really wanting to jump into a debate here, but I wanted to add that it did not happen that way in Argentina when it’s economy collapsed. The people in the city starved first, and then the government went after the farmers through price controls. The farmers simply said, no we are not working ourselves to the bone for nothing, and they actually quit farming.

          • “Not really wanting to jump into a debate here”

            feel free. there’s no winners or losers here, just shared information that anyone can use to make their own decisions.

            “they actually quit farming”

            probably what will happen in most places. the rule will be “you farm for us or you don’t farm”.

  • I would say that, RE cities/urban sprawl, the ability to organize will remain at the micro level, not the macro. Mayors sending substantial forces? Unlikely. Gangs fighting over territory in their own space? Very likely. Looting warehouses, bodgeas, supply trucks, homes in these areas? Very Likely. Gangs roving in any sort of organized manner, or even just people roving in any sort of organized manner from major urban centers to rural areas is past belief. If it did occur, its far more likely to be within 5-15 miles from home, at least to start. Then one has to consider the impact of that local violence, grid/energy supplies evaporating (thereby inhibiting travel by vehicle) and the expected health issues- anything from pre-existing conditions to cholera in the water- only to see the better part of that roving organized horde debilitated and hunkered down in their immediate locale. Cities will become no-go zones (even more than they are now) but not necessarily centers of power of any kind, other than perhaps to prevent the populace from leaving. Control will evince itself in many ways, and in the most immediate it will be (as it always is) selfish. The rural areas will also demonstrate a veneer of control, but it is far more probable that this organization will be similar to what already exists- the foundations of trust and neighborhood. This is not to say that rural life is nirvana- there’s always one jackass who will screw it up or screw other people. I find it useful to consider existing pressure points of economy at scale to keep perspective. As an example, from a rather funny comedian, he made mention during one of his skits that the Obama administration’s efforts to legalize cannabis were a sign of desperation. Paraphrase here-“you know your economy is fu&*ed when you start thinking about selling weed”. So what is the weed equivalent of desperate action? How long does it take to go from weed to heroine? Societies break down, and are largely on that path already. Its always interesting to me how some go from peace to Mad Max in a blink of an eye. People are not complex in their needs, and I have found this site useful to think through and past that so that we can all continue to share lessons learned to meet those simple ones. If anything, we’re positioning ourselves to be able to recognize the tell tale signs of when that “weed” becomes necessary. I would posit we are there now.

    • “people roving in any sort of organized manner from major urban centers to rural areas is past belief”

      they’re ready to go right now. they have insiders in your group right now.

        • oh no, not fbi agents.

          “That sounds like a conspiracy theory.”

          you’ve intelligently parked yourself on a prime resource. others are intelligent too.

            • “Its just a tad difficult to sus them out”

              it can be. so, many people don’t, and resort to “if he thinks like me then he’s right, but if he doesn’t think like me then he’s wrong.” and if they’re dominant and strong (and lucky) this can result in cohesive groups that are effective within their immediate environments.

  • Just a suggestion Daisy, but fabric pots (such as smart pots) will increase your yield with just a few plants! Even though we have a huge garden in the ground and raised beds, I still have fabric pots and fabric raised beds that we grow certain things in. Plus they fold up and store easily in my shed for the winter! You can grow a lot of potatoes or sweet potatoes in one bag!

      • We’ve got a half dozen fabric pots here, one plant per pot, with tomatoes or potatoes. They have side panels that allow you to open up and reach potatoes for example without disturbing the rest of the plant. Easy to water, movable, self contained, with some protection from ground hugging animals. In restricted spaces or otherwise unusable soil they are handy and a big improvement over nothing.

        • thanks, I’ll look them up. my soil is … peculiar. I’ll have plants growing right next to each other, one will be healthy and productive and one six inches away will just wilt and die for no reason I can determine, so I’m hoping that by growing them in isolation I can identify the problem.

          • If you narrow a probable reason down, will you post it please? I am using fabric pots for the first time this year, and the plants were all growing well. They all flowered. But the vegetables are scarce, and some of them, for no identifiable reason, are wilting and turning yellow.
            I am suspecting that perhaps they may have caught overspray of weed killer from the neighboring landscaper perhaps. I don’t know. I don’t think they’re root bound – I have one plant each in a 5 gal pot. Anyway, thanks in a advance.

            • “If you narrow a probable reason down, will you post it please?”

              sure. your problem does sound like they’ve been poisoned, but it could be other things. if you’re talking about tomatoes then one issue is if it gets over 90F then the flowers won’t set (become pollinated) – they’ll bloom all summer long but nothing will happen.

    • You can also use industrial trash bags if garden bags cannot be obtained. Garden Like a Viking YouTube channel has a few videos on this method.

  • A very thoughtful summary of things people can do in city environment. I wonder what you find as the pros and cons of living in rural before vs. living in sub-urb/city now. Could you one day write about it? Many of people I know are looking for dwelling and land in smaller towns outside of city. But I am not sure if living out there is really the holy grail of prepping. Thank you!

  • The fabric bag is a nice idea. I’ve been using 5 gal buckets with drainage holes on bottom for growing potatoes. Start with about 4″ of soil and place a potato seed with eye facing up. cover with a few more inches of soil. As it grows add more soil till finally reaching the top. I don’t have much room in a small yard to grow vegetables, so been using containers to increase production. Using trellis on fence for cucumbers, squash, and zucchini. leaving room for bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, radish in front of trellis. Sprouting indoors for added nutrition. Now have about 30 lbs of sprouting seeds on hand, daughters likes them all. Wife only likes the radish sprouts. Just purchased some net pots and working on an indoor kratky “floating hydroponic” tub eventually for growing lettuce and spinach near a south facing block window. Also have dehydrated vegetables from previous grows to use during the winter. I use to take extra produce in to work but now I’m motivated in saving as much as possible. Hope these examples help someone out their looking for ideas.

    • “using 5 gal buckets with drainage holes on bottom”

      don’t use the orange buckets, the orange dye is toxic and leaches out into any water that comes into contact with it. that info is straight from the manufacturer.

  • ? I’m genuinely curious how after SHTF, respected individuals in smaller groups–with their own strengths, their own POVs–would go about resolving differences of opinion & gnarley emotional struggles–aside from verbally or physically clubbing each other? Seems to me, figuring out how to work together & get along is as big a part of our survival as any skills & tactics.

    • (nod) many won’t figure it out. most human societies in limited environments with limited resources operate on the principle of the dominant alpha male telling everyone else what to do or else. usually there is little alternative – small groups of humans must operate as a team to be effective and rogues not only detract from that but can even outright endanger the team. if you get an alpha leader who doesn’t think he’s smarter than everyone else and that listens to advice then this system can do well and accommodate most members successfully, but if you get an alpha leader who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else then it can get ugly for the entire team.

      of course there is always the issue of who gets to be the alpha leader. physical clubbing to determine the winner is the usual method of election.

      • an t7, that was a good back and forth between you and 1st Marine. Don’t stop, I learn something from both sides. I have done a lot of failed prepping over the years and I am old enough now that I am staying where I am in a semi rural area. I stored a food supply in the past and a lot of it got old. I decided to raise some chickens to eat the old food. It turns out that they will eat some of it and some of it they won’t. They don’t like old pinto beans no matter how I cook them. I decided to let them be free range chickens so that they wouldn’t need as much feed from the farm store. It works really good. I had 17 chickens going through a lot of feed. I now have 2 chickens after the neighbors dogs had chicken dinner at my expense. They eat a lot less feed. I plan to kill the dogs if they come back in my yard, but that won’t make my neighbors any friendlier. I have been thinking that maybe eating dog would be a good plan for shtf. I don’t have any good recipes for dog.

        • David Homer,
          The difference between Runt7 (as I call him, as he is a known racist, anti-semite, incel, Daisy has deleted more than a few of his racists, anti-semite posts, and on other sites, incel) and I is I have been in the military, deployed to a war zone in a third world country (Afghanistan). Afghanistan is a real world example of what a American SHTF, post-SHTF would look like.
          Runt7 seems to think he knows what TPTB are thinking. Some how, he knows their plans. He knows how things will be when SHTF or post-SHTF.
          What is interesting is what he claims, vs what those actually do.
          Actions speak louder than words.
          Look at the German response to the possibility of Russia cutting off their natural gas and oil. Germany is looking at triple digit energy costs. They are looking at 13% decline of GDP.
          Runt7 does not have a understanding of economics and logistics. He is always behind the power curve.
          And there he will remain.

        • “I learn something from both sides”

          that’s the goal. 1stJarHead has a lot to offer, just have to keep it in perspective.

          “I don’t have any good recipes for dog”

          koreans do, they love dog, maybe you can find something with them.

  • Most of us live in cities suburbs or close in small towns. I personally moved from the northern edge of the suburbs in two a major city with the house and land. The neighborhood I moved into is 200 years old not as old as the East Coast but for my area that’s a lot of history. I have friends and family that think I’m nuts for moving into the city they said you should move way out into the country, I work with my hands sure I could find a job where I could remote commute but that would require the internet. Cities large and small have been the place where human beings have gathered for thousands of years and the density problem is solved when part of the population becomes homeless every summer, camping. Watching the war in Ukraine means that having a secondary location is not a guarantee you would need four of them so that you would be able to escape to one that is in the opposite direction of the advancing enemy. Staying put and using the resources that are available, they’re not going to be hamburgers in everybody’s freezer and canned goods in their basements that stuff will disappear and then those families will move on. The resources that will be available will be vacant places for planting hold hand Wells for pumping water for irrigation plenty of wood and structures that are falling down metals metals and fabric. The processed bits and pieces of society will become the raw material of survival don’t forget there are a lot more Hoarders than we think.

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