SELCO: Have You Learned These Survival Lessons During the Pandemic?

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Author of The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival and the online course SHTF Survival Boot Camp

There are some skills and strategies that survivalists and preppers keep bashing on over and over again as important ones for hard times.
Some of those are good, others are simply wrong, or miscalculated, or let’s say “built” on wrong the foundations for whatever reason.

There is nothing better than learning from your own experiences (other than maybe learning from other folks’ mistakes). We all went (and still going) trough very turbulent times, hard times, so let’s check which of those “strategies” you learned and already experienced, or simply check about those that you did not see yet, but that you might see in the future.

It really can happen anywhere

The core of my writing, teaching courses, and everything else – the core of my survival philosophy is that “it can happen anywhere“.
It is something that you need to adopt as a first step of understanding how the world of survival works, and actually if you cannot adopt words “it can happen anywhere” you’ll never be a survivalist.

Sure, you can call yourself a survivalist, but if you cannot comprehend the fact that “it can happen anywhere” you will never be fully ready.
There are numerous reasons why the S can hit the fan anywhere no matter in what kind of modern country and society you live, and actually there are numerous reasons why the “fall” can be deeper and more painful in more modern societies, but that is a topic for some other article.

The system is fragile.

I think you all by now understood how the system can be fragile in an unexpected situation, and it is true no matter how advanced the system is – it is fragile.

And no, for this particular revelation it is not important at all whether you support the political system that rules, favor a political party or not, or any other personal opinion about the “parts” of the system. Discussing and wasting time about why the system is fragile and why it failed to cope with properly handling the event is simply wasting time. No system is built for huge events, at least it is not built to sustain and cope with largescale events in a way that your lifestyle (freedoms, rights, way of living that you use to, etc.) will stay intact.

A large scale event will affect the system, and depending on the duration and severity of the event, it may do so to the point that the system actually disappears.

The greatest danger when SHTF

Tornadoes, asteroids, dirty bombs, viruses, pandemic, wars… you can not be ready for all of that, and if you concentrate efforts to be ready only for a particular scenario based on a particular danger in that scenario, you’ll very easily fall into the trap of forgetting something extremely important.

Prepping (when it comes to what danger you should prepare for) in your philosophy, should be the simple fact that you are preparing for danger from other people.

In most survival scenarios, other people will be an immediate threat or will become the greatest threat very soon after the event happens.
Yes I know, a tornado does not have anything human in its nature, but if a tornado or serious storm brings the city to halt, it will soon bring a situation where there are more people than resources. Without a system to control it, then those people fighting for resources will become your biggest problem, not the tornado.

So if you are prepping for serious weather only without taking into consideration that actually other people might become a bigger problem than the event, you are doing it wrong.

People carry viruses in a pandemic, weapons in war, hate in a political clash, or they need resources after an economic disaster. Start your prepping for every scenario with the consideration that “other people” will most likely become a problem and threat. At best, simply factor that you will be forced to deal with them, for example through trade, and plan your prepping philosophy from that point.

As I mentioned it is not only the fact that other people may become a threat. It is also the fact that you’ll be forced to interact with people on other levels (trade, negotiations, mutual agreements, alliances…).

It probably will not be a situation where you need to shoot everybody else. You’ll need to interact with those people, to live with those people around you under the new circumstances.

Timing is everything.

Survival could be explained as “being ahead of others”.

Do not mix this with up “looking different than others” which survivalists often think is necessary. It actually can be dangerous to look and act differently than others when the SHTF.

Being ahead of others is about being different, not necessarily looking different.

Timing and “being ahead of others” is not some complicated thing, because if you are into prepping you should already know that you need to keep an ear on the ground all the time and seek information that you can use in your favor before the majority of other folks get it. The run on supplies in America was a perfect example of this.

So, if some new virus hits the country far away in the east, you should pay attention to it, and maybe prepare for it, obtain masks, disinfectant, have food, plans, everything that is maybe needed ahead of other folks who are watching reality shows on TV, surfing the net for irrelevant information, or simply trusting the government that it cannot happen “here”.

You need to be ahead of others.

Many of you learned this and were glad. It can mean that you’ll figure out in time what stuff will be very valuable in one month from now, or what place will be dangerous to be in 15 days, or whatever else makes sense in your case.

You should keep the philosophy of “being ahead of others” all the time, even through the whole SHTF event, because by definition of being a prepper/survivalist you should be ahead of people who are not.

Connecting with people

Yes, people are a possible danger, but also people are important. They will be around you, as I mentioned, and you’ll have to interact with them, in a good or bad way. It is much easier to do it with like-minded known people.

Lone wolf survival is romantic maybe, but in reality, it sucks. Get to know the people around you.

What did you learn?

Everyone learned lessons throughout this emergency. What did you learn?

About Selco:

Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. 

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.

Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard, and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.

Picture of Selco


Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. 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 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. Take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge by signing up for his unrivaled online course. Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.

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  • Ms. Daisy, How do I go about printing this article out. As usual this site is w-a-y ahead of the others.

  • That was the BIG lesson for me. I didn’t prepare for a pandemic because ‘it couldn’t happen here’. Thankfully my other preps held during this time, There are holes but I learned what they were and they can be addressed. Thanks for the great article.

  • We learned to not turn our backs to strangers; watch folks’ eyes & body language; do more listening than talking.

    Importantly, we learned our next-door neighbor has seething anger against us because of a perceived slight & “…has a gun…” Is this a threat?

    Every other neighbor seems normal (?) helpful, courteous. But who knows anymore.

    This feels so isolating; head on a swivel, cortisol and adrenaline always pumping.

    • Hey DP, same thing here, neighbors feel like I am a “health threat” due to non “vax” status. Won’t come near me with a 10 foot pole or the CDC “recommended 6 foot distance for social distancing”. They don’t have guns, because they are “afraid of them” and don’t ya know “guns kill people”. I am being sarcastic here. Our community is EXTREMELY divided, the libtards are doing the “othering” thing here, and shunning those of us that are not “vaxed” and I live in rural Texas. DP, know that you are NOT alone. Try to talk to other neighbors, not about your idiot neighbors, but just to get a feel of them and whether they’ll be “friend or foe” when SHTF. Selco has a valid point when he says that lone wolf survival is not for most of us. I am also doing more listening than talking and have found that many of our neighbors are prepping. I don’t say what I have, but I also say, hey that’s a great idea, etc. I also volunteered for our communities round table, and suggested a community garden, another neighbor’s a ham radio expert and shared his expertise, several of the other neighbors are retired military and share their expertise on safety and weapons. It’s like that big circle and little circle that Daisy talks about. We can’t do jack squat about the border, Afghanistan, the economy etc. But we CAN make a difference in our little circles. Good luck to ya and hope you have guns too.

  • Most of my preps are food. No matter what the disaster: flood, tornado, emp. pandemic, political system in turmoil, high unemployment, dirty bomb, whatever, you are going to have to eat. So yeah, unless you are in the blast zone or direct path of whatever, you will need food. That’s my focus. I also have stocked up on antibiotics, tp, kleenex, cleaners, whatever we use on a weekly basis, I have multiples of it. We have multiple guns, with the appropriate ammo, I have extra clothes for us and our son. I have extra tooth paste and tooth brushes. If you only prepare for one thing, I believe you are missing the boat. While others were panicking and buying up all the supplies, we were comfortable in our home. Didn’t need to go amongst the hordes, we already had everything we needed. It has been insane though. And sad to see our rights trampled on so easily. And how scared everybody was /is. It reminded me of that scene in Close Encounters, where they have put all the animals, most obviously cows, but also ALL the other animals, to sleep. Or they gassed them all to death. Either way, it was a visual sight to enforce the idea that there was something dangerous in the air. Dreyfus is in the back of a big van with others who have been caught defying orders to stay out of the area and they are all wearing gas masks. Suddenly, Dreyfus rips off his mask, to the horror of the others, and takes a deep breath. And NOTHING HAPPENS!!! So a few others rip off their mask and they escape together. Just so sad to see how easily folks are manipulated by the powers that be. We need to be strong and stand together or we are all going to fall. WE WILL BE those cows on the ground, lying dead for sure. Because cows aren’t smart enough to know when to run away.

  • The lesson I learned was that when a crisis hits, you need to be extra disciplined about “keeping your head on a swivel” because a second unrelated crisis can blindside you by hitting at the same time. In our case, we had some serious family “stuff” going at the beginning of the year and I was so focused on handling those issues, that I did not pay attention to reports of a virus coming out of Wuhan. By the time I realized its importance in late January, things like N95 masks were already sold out. Fortunately we had (expired but still functional) supplies left over from the last pandemic, but it was quite disturbing to get caught off-guard like that by something that I’ve been more alert to in the past.

  • “Survival could be explained as “being ahead of others”.”

    Yes, indeed! During these past 3 months, not once did I feel a need to panic buy. All I needed was to top off on things like fresh produce, lunchmeat, things that people need to consume within days of hitting the market. Though I will say that in the last few months, I’ve been reluctant to use disinfectant wipes as much as I have in the past, when it comes to cleaning my kitchen, simply because I know nowadays it’s much harder to come by (I’ve seen hand sanitizers, TP, paper towels come back into stock, but I picked up 1 35-count container of wipes (1 per customer), last week, and I still don’t see the wipes anymore. I have a bottle of Lysol spray, but I’m saving that for the 2nd wave that may come in the fall.

  • Being an essential worker is a Blessing and a curse. Blessing in that I have no issues with money and bills; curse in that I got infected. Blessing again in that my health preps (zinc and extra Vit C every day, eating foods to push my pH to alkali) kept the symptoms very mild. Tested negative now. Being calm because you have prepped when others are in a panic is a surreal feeling. My work van had an attempted break-in, so I parked it near City Hall and the Police Station. Problem solved. Realizing that the toilet paper and ammunition aisles were equally empty.

  • I learned that there would not be any sitting around living off of the preps we had accumulated (or maybe even reading a book). Instead, we had to get busy putting in a bigger garden & continue (online) stockpiling to make sure our existing preps didn’t get depleted. In my view, the supply chain is still pretty suspect.

  • How much we use in paper products.
    Never gave much thought when I reached for a few squares of TP to blow my nose. Now I think about it.

    If the spouse is Working From Home (WFH), the importance of a degree of separation (a different kind of social distancing), so you are not up each other posterior end. I have a good relationship with my wife, but we both see the need not to be in each other face constantly. Aside from working, we both have little tasks, projects we can do around the house that gives us a sense of accomplishment and without getting in the others way.
    I have read a few articles about people who have discovered they dont like their spouse/children after being in lockdown with them after a few weeks.

  • You ain’t paranoid, if it’s all true. Being prepared takes time, thought and money. But it’s worth it

  • I’ll just use my space here today to thank this author and also Daisy our hostess.
    It seems long ago, but I can’t really say how long, over a year I guess, I had seen articles by both Selco and Daisy picked up on other sites.
    The most important thing to me, and this has been very important in my life now in the “pandemic”, was the shift in thinking they both lead me to have.

    There have been preppers and even militia in the general “Northwoods” area I live for decades, but what I saw of that group, it always was a very specific lifestyle. Not helpful for me, starting from where I am, a boring housewife in a crappy neighborhood in a rundown town with basically every dollar already spoken for, not extra cash to mess around with prepping. Even if I did have the $, I’m not going to sell everything and go live in an off-grid compound in the woods.
    I don’t believe that’s any less vulnerable in crisis anyway. Lesson One when you watch Walking Dead – no compound is immune from takeover. Location is not the answer.
    Point is, I did start paying attention to various odd info sources quite awhile back, way before Wuhan, and when Wuhan was on the edges of some fringier sites radar I was aware, and followed it and was ahead of things. (helpful hint: if someone gets banned by Big tech, start looking at their stuff, even if you have to weed thru things you don’t maybe like, and then branch off from there. If I see a Ban, I go immediately to check out what that person “has”, and if it’s useful info to be stored in my head just in case. You never know.)
    Then there was some stress when it came time to let the family in on the situation, when I was looking like a wacky hoarder – is Mom going nuts? etc. We’re not a gushy over-emotional group prone to the “Live laugh Love” kind of thing, so a little while later when I was Thanked by the family for being on top of it and ahead of it, for risking being crazy and then turning out not to be crazy at all, yes, they thanked me, I was stunned.
    I had worried I was losing my shit, getting paranoid, but no. I got a mini-speech about being a real leader and a bunch of corny stuff like that. It was great.
    The global situation still all sucks, it’s still overwhelming, depressing and scary as hell. And,this is IMO still the “easy part” and it will get a lot worse. I may not be equal to everything that comes along.

    But a big and very sincere thanks from my family to both of you for what you’ve done for us.
    Whatever does come along, and however that turns out for us, we’re ahead of where we would have been if I hadn’t gotten guidance from you two in your articles, and a good foundation from which to seek info from other places too.
    May God bless you both. <3

  • I learned not to trust ANY “government” expert on anything.
    I learned I should buy a stand alone freezer.
    I learned that my little Mom & Pop Shop is an Essential Business even if the retards in Government don’t think so and to never close.

    For some reason I started buying extra TP about a month or so before the pandemic hit. After the TP run my wife asked me, “how did you know?” I didn’t, it just seemed like a good thing to do. But I’m glad I did.

  • Whatever happens you can count on other stuff happening at the same time that you have to deal with.
    A family member was in the hospital for a week – no visitation- and had to have physical therapy afterward. My brother found out he had cancer and died of it and we needed to travel to see him. Its more important to know where you’re going than where you’ve been. Read the Bible, pray and trust in God and somehow the rest falls into place.
    We had enough supplies and we did not have any trouble being together much more than usual or being bored. Actually had quite a lot to do and enjoyed being together..

  • You Need More Than Food to Survive

    In the event of a long-term disaster, there are non-food essentials that can be vital to your survival and well-being. Make certain you have these 50 non-food stockpile essentials. Sign up for your FREE report and get prepared.

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