Prepper’s Retrospect: It’s Easy to Know What You Should Have Done AFTER the Event

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I AM already in my BOL.

After all these years plagued with poor decisions, I’ve concluded that leaving is not exactly wise for the time being. The post-pandemic world is no longer a friendly place for migrants. Maybe in a year or year and a half, but who knows?

For now, this is where we belong. 

For the time being, the needed budget to live here with much more comfort than I had as a migrant in a rented bedroom is the same or even less. I contribute to the home economy, and I can make some improvements at home for our little family group’s common good at the end of the day.

My Mother loves ornamental plants, and she has a few spices here and there. I’ve convinced her we need to grow some greenies ASAP. I have been craving a good homemade pesto with basil and oregano. My Mom can’t kneel. That’s why she has everything in pots and planters. Also, we don’t have a yard with soil. Cement covers nearly everything. This was not exactly a good choice, as we recently discovered. 

Composting the vegetable and fruits waste is one task. One of my immediate goals is to build a green wall to mitigate the heavy sun radiation on the terrace. My final goal is to have potato bags and a small tank with bass or tilapia. But, I will write about that when the time comes. The only inconvenience of having an open terrace and green walls is mosquitoes. But that is almost under control. Citrus oil on my ankles and hands is helpful. 

Mentally, my kiddo and I are doing just fine. 

I have to acknowledge my state of mind and kiddo’s, are much better now. I had to struggle with kiddo some nights crying because he missed his native home, being there. Now he whistles and sings the entire day. He listened to a cover of “I’m still standing” in an animated movie, and now it’s stuck in his head. He plays with the dog, reads books, or watches the rain falling while peacefully listening to the radio in his hammock.

As I am writing, I feel the fresh breeze. Perhaps, the country is not the best place to be right now for many people. However, I believe it’s one of the best places to be for a while for both of us. The other one would be our mountain cabin, of course. I believe a BOL is a place you prepare with everything you need to be safe upon arrival.

Those with no skills like computer literacy or another language, or home to invest in, believe they will be better off somewhere else. Fine by me. Unless something worrisome happens, I’m better right here, at least for the time being. Besides, if something happens, it will have little effect around here.  

I will try to explain this sort-of-a-bugout the kiddo and I have done.

Expenses cut to a minimum.

Power Grid:  Because the grid doesn’t fail as often as some other places, we can cook with an electric stove and don’t need to buy firewood or coal. Bottled gas remains available (at international prices!), and supply is available in this city. However, things are much worse in the other one where my own home is (mind you, this is my parent’s).

Clothes: We only need a couple of pairs of trousers and jeans, a few pairs of shorts and 8 or 9 T-shirts for the entire year. Also, sandals, and a few socks and underwear. Washing our clothes only costs roughly 36$ per year. Calculations for this were easy: one and a half or two cups would wash a couple of jeans, socks, shorts, boxers, and like 4-5 T-shirts, more or less what we need to wash per week. Other clothes, like long-sleeve shirts and fancy trousers, we hardly wear. We can wash those by hand. Back in Lima, I could not afford to wash everything in the laundry. Prices of everything have gone up since we left. Meaning our timing was more than appropriate.

Water and food.

Water: I know this is hard to believe, but you will have to trust me on this one. The water in Lima may be more clear. However, you shouldn’t drink it from the tap. There are contaminant agents that you can’t see as a byproduct of the mining industry. We know the water we have here comes from a dam. And, although the treatment plant is not working 100%, we filter it, purify it, and that’s it. 

Food: Although one can always eat a good meal in Peru for 2$ in a small mom-and-pop restaurant, we had to share. Usually, my son would have the fried pork chop, fish, or the chicken piece, leaving me with soup, rice, potatoes, and beans. 

It’s not the same quality as the meals we can prepare here for the same price. With 4-6$, we prepare a good pot of beans with ground meat. Similar to Mexican Chili, but not spicy and enough for ten decent-sized rations. In addition, a bonus of my Mom’s seasoning I’ve been tasting since childhood. We could save a lot buying in bulk, too, which is easier now. However, I’m afraid it won’t be in the future. 

Space, time, and tools to develop valuable projects for the future.

Allow me to clarify one more time: the pandemic made it impossible to live in the country where I migrated. Everyone is barely surviving these days. From my arrival, I could not find a good-paying job as too many underpaid engineers were already working. To aspire for a well-paid job, let’s say 1500$ (my initial goal), I had to pay a licensing fee to the Engineers National College of 1200$. Of course, I didn’t have that kind of money. 

My aspirations were, and still are, high. I need to make sure I can afford private full coverage insurance for my kiddo and me. Furthermore, I need to ensure I can get good life insurance, just in case. There were good opportunities to secure some means by following my original plan: heading for the hills, instead of the “migration,” torn apart by the start of the Global Reset, via COVID.

For those new readers who haven’t read about me, I have a small inheritance of property here that was deteriorating. A house to take care of and a couple of vehicles to attend to. Now I can negotiate and make that patrimony work to get some very needed fixed income without the external pressure of supporting an entire household.

Family well-being.

My father was quite concerned with the consequences of my past choices. He lost much weight these last two years. This severe effect on his health was something I never thought of. He’s not someone who will speak openly about feelings and stuff. Anyway, he’s much better now, and I can say he’s happy. He’s concerned we won’t be able to go to the mountains to check our cabin because of the transit restrictions and our car busted. However, we will arrive there eventually, and he will be able to do what he loves: recline in his hammock, open a cold beer and watch the fruit trees.

I want this article to clarify this: I realize I’m in the same place I would have been if I had sent the ex abroad to Ecuador, Peru, or wherever she wanted. However, there are crucial differences now. For example, I could have kept my meager savings. My initial plan was to move all my belongings to my parents’ home, sold our other house, fortify and stock the mountain cabin, and start a small business. However, this was not my ex’s idea of a good plan and we did what we thought best for our child. 

Nothing is So Well Learned as That Which is Discovered ~ Socrates

Sure, we could have surfed the wave without much of a hassle had I followed the initial bugout plan. Now, I realize, after this initial bit of a SHTF, our bugout is barely beginning.

I’m not a fear-monger, black-cloud kind of person. I am positively pessimistic when the situation needs it. The collapse is not local. It’s global, but it hasn’t reached deep enough yet. Just look at Afghanistan. I can smell and feel something dark coming up. It’s not going to hit fast. On the contrary, it is a slow-burning SHTF

The good thing is, right NOW, we’re back on track. The real bug out has begun.

And I feel lucky to have you by my side to learn from my words, written with my boots on the ground.

Have you had to learn from your survival decisions before?

Have you made prepping and survival mistakes before? What did you learn from them? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

About Jose

Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has an old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Jose and his younger kid are currently back in Venezuela, after the intention of setting up a new life in another country didn’t  go well. The SARSCOV2 re-shaped the labor market and South American economy so he decided to give it a try to homestead in the mountains, and make a living as best as possible. But this time in his own land, and surrounded by family, friends and acquaintances, with all the gear and equipment collected, as the initial plan was.

 Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on PatreonDonations: or the BTC address 3QQcFfK9GvZNEmALuVV8D6AUttChTdtReE

Picture of J.G. Martinez D

J.G. Martinez D

About Jose Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations:

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  • Hi Jose 🙂

    It sounds like you’ve learned a few things the hard way, but that’s OK. Lessons learned in that way stick and we benefit from them. You’re doing well now, relatively speaking, and we say here that home is where the heart is. As you point out, the SHTF is everywhere. There is no place really that’s safer than where you are now and that’s an important consideration. You have your health, a fully belly, clean clothes, and your family. That’s more than many people have, so may I suggest counting your blessings.

    My plan is also to stay where I am. Since I don’t drive I have no place to go, and no place is better than where I am anyway. I have no family; my parents have passed and I never married so that’s that. Here I have a good job, skills to use in various ways, and some land to grow food. My costs in the States are more expensive but so far, so good. I think you’re right that SHTF has barely begun, but for now, I’m as well off as I can be. There’s no grass that’s any greener and no sense in leaving.

    I continue to wish you good luck! We all benefit by sharing experiences and perspectives. Thank you for yours.

    • Dear Jayne,
      Yep, you can bet I’ve learned them that way. Were I the young adventurer I was once (I traveled so much through Venezuela my friends called me the Flying Dutchman), no biggie. But being with a child…things are different.
      As I see things going…leaving out is not a good idea. Too much uncertainty.
      Good to know your life is (almost) trouble free. Too much to enjoy and too little time. LOL.

      • Too little time is right! Earning all the money I can while putting up all of the food I can and hoping that someone doesn’t show up citing the NDAA and clearing my cupboards out for “redistribution.” Or that my neighbors don’t get hungry enough to forget their fears of my gun and try to clear my cupboards out. There are some festivals going on but I have too much to do LOL and I don’t like crowded holidays anyway. Too many people, some of whom like to bring weapons and cause trouble. That’s been increasing here in the last few years too. Sigh. At least the police are still in place, for now.

        • Dear Jayne,
          Feel free to call me if you feel you need to dig a bunker somewhere. LOL.
          Just kidding!

          (No, really. I could use that money. LOL.)

  • I’m pretty sure we know that “migrants” aren’t going to be welcomed into a limited resource environment.

    That’s why BOLs have been a thing.

    Many believe otherwise thinking they’ll be welcomed with open arms and “pull security” as their job aka stand around and do nothing. That’s gonna be a negative ghost rider that patterns full you’ll be tilling the garden by hand while the owner who planned, payed and actually built does overwatch.

    Even in good times when you move into a community all eyes are on you to see what your about, how hard you work and are you making improvements or making things worse.

    Relationships of all kinds are based on what one has to offer the other.

    Interesting choice of word “migrant”.

  • Foresight is always preferable to Hindsight, but seldom as accurate.

    The problem in trying to apply what you think you should have done or could do better is that two scenarios are seldom the same. So chances are what would have worked better last time, might not work well, the next time around either.

    So we all need to be wary of trying to make to much out of other people experience or even our own prior experiences. The best we can do, is take the generalities of that experience and see how it applies to our current or future situation. Then we can make some general assumptions on what we might face or how things might be.
    Since no two countries or even two events in the same country will be exactly the same, all we have to work with is generalities.
    The real key to survival, is what you do “in the moment’. Not what you have planned or have thought out. If you “freeze’ or “hesitate”, that may cause any plan to fail, no matter how good it was. If you can’t adapt quickly to changing circumstances, your plans will fail.

    Dwight Eisenhower said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” Eisenhower further said “…the very definition of ‘emergency’ is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning.”
    Many people have heard one of the versions of: “No battle plan survives first contact with the Enemy”.
    You might say we are not making battle plans or fighting an enemy and rightly so. But the basic concept still remains true.

    So this version might seem more practical to Preppers: ” No plan survives its initial implementation.”

    Think hard on that and consider it well.
    Planning is good, but also expect things not to go like you have planned them to.

  • I’ve mentiCrises.

    in previous discussions, but I’ll bring it up again.
    When I first jumped in to Prepping 12 years ago, I jumped in whole hog. I spent a considerable amount of money prepping for the Bug Out, while ignoring a reality. That reality is I’m unable to walk very far at all due to Degenerative Joint Disease. It’s not something exercise improves, it exacerbates the disease. What’s the point of a 75 liter backpack, when you can’t carry it? The only option for bugging out is by vehicle. That may not be possible depending on a myriad of factors when SHTF.
    So I spent money on things that I won’t physically be able to use/employ. It’s a reality that I should have made much earlier.

    So I made a poor decision, by ignoring the reality of my situation in making my preps.
    Thankfully, reality crept back in within 2 years, and I adjusted to cope with Bugging In being the best option for my situation. Bugging Out becomes a last ditch option/effort. So some supplies are cached at my safe location, but the bulk of what I’ll need is kept close at hand. Most could be loaded in my old 64′ Scout should bugging out be necessary.
    Keeping an older vehicle that would survive an EMP.

    Any plan one makes needs to be adaptable. We really don’t know what situations we’ll face. Hearing what others, like Jose and Selco went through, gives us an idea, as well as the strategies they employed to survive the crises.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    • I agree Bemused Berkserker, I did the same thing over 20 years ago. Everybody remember Y2K? Well that was my eye opener.
      My preparedness has changed dramatically over the years, to take in account understanding, aging, abilities and what right for me and the family.
      In the beginning we wanted a bug out place, but we decided to live where we wanted to “bug out”.
      Either way you will have to defend yourself and your home.
      I think we’re in a good place to ride it out if or when things get really bad in our area. Everything is kinda quiet here and not much going on for now.
      We try to remember not to live IN the SHFT until the SHFT happens or you will get “battle fatigue” and want to quit. Emergency mode is very draining. It will ruin your health. Then you want have the energy when you do need it for the long haul.

      • I have noticed myself what you said about emergency mode I just recently started to feel I had to concentrate on other things in my life since total collapse had not happened yet and I am getting tired of all the premature “Wolf” cries. However I realize though I need a rest there could still be a wolf coming, fortunally I do have some stuff for the wolf. That why I love Selco, he does not speak of speculation or theory but from what really occured in a real societal collapse.

    • Dear Bemused Berkserker,
      You´re welcome. It seems like the most logical option, given the actual scenarios.
      Much more to come, so stay tuned. Some updates on things going on here will be in short videos, 4-5 minutes in my YT channel also.

  • Jose,
    So glad your son is happy again and you have PEACE.
    That’s more important than all the money in the world.

    • Dear Sophia,
      Yes it is. Right now I´m writing this, and hear the wind in the trees surrounding home, the toads at the distance. It´s very peaceful and brings me a pleasant sensation. I´d never slept this well in years. And my son feels great too, because he has space; this house is two stories, where he can sit in a couch, or read in his hammock. Play with the dog. Talk to his grampa and grannie. Way too much spent time.

  • Although I have been prepping for over 40 years, I stepped it up 16 years ago. With the original SHFT location in Arizona, mostly for family that is still there. But I have a few bunkers, and extensive preps in the Ozarks.
    14 years ago while I was still clearing and building we had an ice storm. That was a totally new experience being from Arizona. It sounded like a war zone with the trees snapping. By the time it was done we had seven to eight of ice. It took three and a half weeks before the electric was restored. We are in a very remote area surrounded by large ranches. Of the three neighboring ranches only one didn’t have a generator. We decided to pool our resources taking turns running just one generator a day and recharging everyone else is batteries.
    This was a valuable Learning lesson. And not just for myself but neighbors as well. I now have a few generators. They are not large, just enough to run the water pump, freezers, and refrigerators. They are EMP, and soundproof. Although no one should hear it where we are at. The generators run on underground propane tanks. I could run them for a few years and not run out of propane. And there is a backup hand pump for the well. And there is also water stored
    It only takes an hour every other day to maintain a cold enough temperature in your refrigerator and freezer if you plan when you open the door.

    • No amount of prepping and planning will cover every possible situation. But I can try to plan and prepare for generalities and the most likely specifics.

      If all else fails I have a bug out bag if I end up on foot. I also have a bicycle and a trailer to haul a few more things, like more food.

      I wanted to move further out of town but didnt for a number of reasons, not all of them under my control – like a crazy housing market when I was looking to buy. So that’s my major mistake. However, i do have a much better bug out location with friends and family about an hour away.

      Little mistakes from the start of Covid include having a few small holes in my preps. Most of these were over the counter meds and remedies such as anti-diarrheals, and more meds for the fish.

      I’ve filled most of the OTC med holes and will increase supplies. I’ve also been increasing my first aid supplies. Some of those became really hard to get as Covid was coming into the picture, I had orders in for some things cancelled by the manufacturer. I’ve managed to get those as soon as they became available.

      The fish meds are still hard to find, lots of fish owners out there I guess.

      I’m sure I’ll discover some holes in my preps if everything goes sideways, but I’ve tried to anticipate those holes. I found that making lists helps, an inventory of what you have helps to show you the holes.

      • If you find yourselves on bicycles to bug out you may want to look into outside storage lockers don’t need a lot of space just enough to store some extra food and or supplies supplies. This helps lighten the initial load when starting the trip. Also depending upon the situation caring anything of use good make you a Target. And if the storage locker is just outside a small town. Spending the night there inconspicuously might prove to be the safest option. When I drove over the road I did so with a trail bike and collapsing trailer. I also had a few small storage units scattered around the country.
        Despite having a few pond stocked with fish, I also have a 3 ft x 12 ft play pool. It has catfish bluegills and Minnows. Purchased on clearance at Walmart in the fall or just $60 a few years back. This gives an inconspicuous food source. And fishing is as easy as a net. Water here is no trouble and there is a couple outhouses on the property. But for those in town it’s another way to store water inconspicuously.

  • Hi Jose, With you together with your kiddo and your parents and everyone in good health, I think you are doing wonderfully and are quite fortunate. Like you, I am trying to cut down my expenses to a minimum and put my resources to what I think would be strategic.

    I live by the motto of “I do the best I can, make the best decision I can with the information available at the time.” Then, I use hindsight to try and learn from any new information.

    My main concern right now is the fact that I am now a second class citizen with second class rights, due to my inability to qualify for our V@c@tn P@$$prt. How far will this go? Let’s just say that I’m not putting all my eggs in any one basket because, with a signature on a new law here, all of that could be taken away. Only a couple of years ago, saying something like that would be considered preposterous. Today, I’m not so sure….

    Wishing you and your family the best! Kind regards, Happy (but concerned) Homesteader

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