Author of The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival and the online course SHTF Survival Boot Camp
Years after my SHTF I am definitely better prepared and organized for anything similar in the future, but just like all things in prepping it is so easy to get again in the same false feeling of being “secure.”
Once it was, “Oh it can never happen here.” Now it can be, “I am much better prepared now, I am safe.”
We all sooner or later get ourselves in a situation where when we buy physical things for SHTF, we are actually buying the feeling of safety and peace of mind. I try to avoid that, but of course just like everybody else I often find myself there.
One of the questions that I get often goes like this: “What would you choose to have now for SHTF after going once through it?” And it is easy to answer it more or less.
But taking into consideration how most preppers prepare for SHTF I must say that while a lot of things would be easier, the same problems would be there even with having a lot of physical things stored for SHTF.
Here are some examples.
Security and resources
Of course, I could have used more weapon at that time, and more ammo, especially at the beginning of everything when there was complete and absolute chaos everywhere. It was a time when you still do not know exactly who is dangerous and where you can go to be safe.
In that period of time, it is, as I mentioned before, it is best to stay put, and even better to have some resources and means to defend that resources.
So yes, I could have used more of both at that time – better resources and better means to defend it.
But do not mistake that and think with a lot of resources and means to defend it you have completely solved your problems. Actually, you need to have a philosophy and strategy to be able to have that for a prolonged period of time. Which brings you again to the point where you will have to go out and “interact” with people on one or other way.
You can not interact (trade, negotiate, barter, fight…) if you do not have strategy and skills for that, a network of trusted people, great knowledge of your surroundings ( different groups of people, customs, criminal mindset, communication skills, fighting skills…)
So do not get me wrong here. I would love if I had more physical things at that time, it would have helped me a lot. But in the end, it would have turned out similar-interacting with other folks. It would be easier yes and it would take longer, but again it would come again to that interaction.
And do not think that interaction means sitting in an armchair and shooting at people who are attacking your home. It means a lot more than that.
No matter how much physical things I would love to have had in that time, or that I wish to have for some future time, here is one other thing that preppers often forget.
It is much more important to be mobile than to have a lot of physical things with you in your home.
Now again, do not take this “mobility” too literally. It does not mean that you only need to have a backpack and weapon and head to the hills or wilderness when the SHTF.
Actually, it means a lot more than that.
When SHTF, there are huge chances that you are gonna be forced to abandon your home, either because you are bugging out or you temporarily have to leave, or whatever. There is no sense of putting “all the money” in your home.
Develop a strategy where you can be highly mobile, but still have resources, either through survival caches, or a BOL. Have multiple plans where you gonna go in case of some serious event. Have multiple planned ways to there, have a network of people who might help you on the way there (and vice versa).
In the best-case scenario yes, you may stay at your home. But most probably you are not gonna be able to stay there all the time.
So no matter how much physical things you have – do not count on the belief that it will be possible to keep it with you in your home.
Be ready to be mobile, not to blindly run away. Have a strategy ready for that.
(Looking for more advice on crafting a proper strategy for emergency evacuations? Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide.)
Recognizing signs of the coming SHTF
Let’s be honest here. No matter where you live today, you can probably say that things are going to s..t.
Does that mean that you (or I) will blindly go to survival mode? No, actually. We will try to enjoy our life as much is possible, otherwise what is the point?
Yeah, there are chances that we gonna recognize the arrival of the SHTF and that we will act accordingly. But chances are bigger that we will be caught in the middle of it by surprise.
The whole point of survival is to act properly in a given situation. You are still gonna be ahead of the majority of folks around you. So while the majority of people are panicking you will act according to the situation.
And that is good enough.
For me, there is not too much sense in living in fear of possible collapse. Enjoy your life while things are more or less okay.
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Concluding thoughts on strategy and mobility
As a form of conclusion here, there is the thought that no matter how much physical stuff you have ready for SHTF, it will not save you from all the hard work when it happens.
It will make things easier for you, and that is great because every help is gonna be appreciated, but you still gonna need to have strategies for interacting with the people around you once when SHTF. In my book, Dark Secrets of Survival, I shared some stories about those interactions. (Available in PDF or paperback.)
It is much better to develop those strategies before SHTF, while you have time and choices.
Once the SHTF is happening, the events unfold around you at a different speed. Or we may say “frequency” so it is hard to “tune in” to all that and stay safe.
Here is only one example – trade. It is such a huge topic on all survival forum everywhere, with people fantasizing about trade when SHTF. But point of it is to be ready for trade before SHTF, and it can be to have strategy about: what is gonna be needed in your region, what is easier to sell (to carry, trade), what kind of groups of people living around you, what they prefer, what kind of organisation will emerge and own black market and what that means for you, where are possible trade places…I wrote more about that here.
There is a lot that you can think about today, before the SHTF.
Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. He is currently accepting students for his next physical course here.
In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today.
He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless of what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations as Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.
- Read more of Selco’s articles here.
- Buy his PDF books here.
- Buy his #1 New Release paperback, The Dark Secrets of Survival here.
- Take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge by signing up for his online course SHTF Survival Boot Camp.
- Learn the inside story of what it was really like when the SHTF with his online course One Year in Hell.
Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.
Agree…to a point.
While it sounds lovely to say I will stick my home with supplies but if needed I will just pull back to my bug out location where I have an equal amount of supplies and arms.
The cost of prepping quickly spirals out of the stratosphere when you pile on things like property out-of-state, double purchasing of just about anything needed, etc..
Couple that with the fact that anytime you are not with one of your stashes, it is vulnerable to the locals. You may get to your BOL and find it stripped bare or already inhabited by someone equally or better armed.
Same as when you return to your primary.
There is no right or wrong in prepping. The best advice I found here was prepare but live your life. Do it.
Having any surplus and a means to defend it will put you above anyone who didn’t. Don’t advertise. Don’t brag. Don’t show off. Don’t reveal strategies. If you do, it will be your undoing.
Make your decisions about how far you will go to defend very early… not very early in the morning when you’re under attack.
Just for that reason, have invested in a 8′ x 5′ total stocked, Lifted 1997 Ford, F 150 4 x 4 truck with new engine, new off road tires, extra fuel tank where spare tire once was, is always kept and maintainis at the ready in just 20 mins of hooking up can be on the road head out the city into the deep deep Forrest
Here is a theory.
Outside of the few industrialized enclaves worldwide, after the collapse there will be no fossil fuels, no electricity, and no food production. It will be an Easter Island end game for the majority of humanity.
Prepare for that if you think you can.
We always are talking about SHTF. Don’t overlook the period leading up to a collapse and SHTF. Today its a rising leftist/fascist government that hates those such as myself that I see as the most immediate threat to me and my family, not starvation… yet. Its the violence that govt. agents might loose under the cover of “law”, not local gangs… yet. Currently the prospect of being rounded up as some political dissident or even fabricated “domestic terrorist” by these thugs is a growing possibility. Its not my imagination. They have actually said so! We have been told by them what they intend for us! Thats a whole different ballgame, folks.