Author of The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival and the online course SHTF Survival Boot Camp
The competition for the worst prepping advice out there is pretty sharp. It’s been going on for many years and has a tendency to get even more ridiculous as time goes on.
One reason is that a lot of the advice is pushing you in the direction of buying something, and when you need to buy something things can go weird and false.
Another reason is the fact that there are numerous “experts” out there, and it does not have to be about selling. Often it can be that people just want to be known as experts because they feel more important or whatever.
So, as I mentioned many times before there is a chain of people who share advice, and if you follow the trail where that advice is coming from you are usually gonna find a self-proclaimed “expert” at the end, or even worse some fictional character from movies or books.
So here are a few pieces of bad prepping advice I have seen.
“Handle everything with violence.”
Yes, I do agree, nothing can put things in the right perspective like a few shots from an assault rifle in the correct place and time. Brute force can very efficiently solve some situations.
I see a lot of advice that goes only as far as being well-armed and having that “out of my cold dead hand” attitude.
Most of the time when the SHTF, it will be about other things, like hygiene, resources, interactions with people, managing people in groups, maintaining mental and physical health in hard circumstances, and many other things that have nothing to do with violence.
So, violence and being ready for violence are critical, yes, of course, but it is not only about that.
“Oh no, we are different here, so it will not be like that.”
You can not know exactly how it will be once the SHTF because it depends on many factors.
But, do not count that levels of violence, the extent of the collapse, or anything similar will be different just because you think you there (wherever you are) is different from someone else who lives somewhere else.
It is only about how serious the event is and how long it is going to last. In other words, it is about how quick and how bad (deep) the layers of society will go down.
In the end, all that is gonna be left are just a bunch of folks looking for resources, in different ways and means.
“Do this (have this weapon, choose that solution, be at that place or other, or whatever) and you’ll survive.”
To oversimplify it, it is about principles.
So whoever is telling you to “do exactly that” unless he shares exactly the same circumstances as you, it might be wrong.
Prepping is a very personal thing. What works for me here might be completely wrong there for you because of many reasons, from the simplest one like a different climate to more detailed things like different weapons availability.
There is no universal way. There are principles and skills that can be shared of course. For example, you can learn a lot from my experiences, but you should take my experiences and choose what makes sense for you there.
If I say, “The AK is a great weapon” that means it is a great weapon for me. But for you maybe it is something different.
What you need to understand is why the AK is a great weapon for me and then use those principles to understand what weapon should be great for you, based on those principles.
Now, you need to add to this a whole world of false folks on YouTube and everywhere showing you “perfect way of doing… (whatever)” just because of views.
So it is not only about taking advice and putting it in your perspective, it is about understanding what advice is perfectly wrong or what advice (or techniques) are actually good, but only for certain places and time.
“If you’re a good person, people will be good to you.”
“Do good and expect good” or advice in that tone is out there, and I do understand the place for those philosophies. Actually I share it too.
But, not when the SHTF.
First do not expect that in hard times doing good deeds will be taken in the correct way and that the person will do good back to you. Second, do not expect that you’ll be able to do only good things all the time.
It is a messed up world when the SHTF, so things get blurred and weird.
Random nonsense advice
All of the above are bad advice mostly from the point of the “philosophy” of survival. If you are using the wrong foundation in your prepping you can end up there.
Aside from that, there is all sorts of weird and wrong advice that come from one simple thing: failing to adopt a survival mentality. It is about people thinking in old terms in a new world and they fail to adapt to the new reality.
A good old favorite piece of terrible advice that I read about 10 years ago was that a skateboard is the perfect mean of transport in an urban SHTF.
I’ll use that here as an example:
SHTF and you are in the middle of a city with a bunch of other people. The streets are gonna be most probably not be usable for any type of transportation because of trash and debris. As well, without electricity and any other services, it will be too dark to see obstacles at night. And it is gonna be probably too dangerous to move during daylight. In these situations, you will want to move in silent ways so you don’t run into trouble.
And somebody is suggesting a skateboard as a means of transportation?
In real SHTF in urban settings, it is hard enough to move by foot and stay silent and safe with all dangers that coming from a “more people than resources” situation, let alone riding on your skateboard.
Streets in the city when SHTF are not for that.
As an example only, it is an activity taken from the normal world and times, and put in the SHTF world and times, without thinking how that world is gonna look and what dangers there are gonna be.
So that advice comes only from the point of “no fuel” so to that person, a skateboard will make sense.
Think about what the world would be like.
The SHTF is much different than the world we live in today, so whichever advice you are considering whether or not you should take it, think about how the world might look around you and ask yourself, “Is that gonna be usable at all?”
What is the worst advice you have heard?
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.
- Read more of Selco’s articles here.
- Buy his PDF books here.
- Buy his best-selling paperbacks, SHTF Survival Stories and The Dark Secrets of Survival here.
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Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.
Thank you for great assessment of the need to critically assess the advice and recommendations of others. This I think follows up (for me anyway) assessing and knowing my own strengths and weaknesses. As you so clearly point out what works for one in any given situation may prove to be disastrous for another. The mental state of preparing, think it all the way through, is for me essential, run the what if’s as far as I can.
Your timing for publishing this couldn’t be better given what’s going on in my area right now. I am beginning to see the spread of what’s happening in Seattle move outward in slow ripples. Almost undecernable if one is not paying attention. A big thank you to all of you who contribute and share your knowledge via this blog.
You have benefited me in so many ways.
Once again, Selco hits the nail on the head. Overall, the worst advice seems to contain the same fatal flaw….a desire to over-generalize and simplify SHTF survival. That is what people WANT to hear….Selco tells us what we NEED to hear….”IT DEPENDS”….and “Use your COMMONSENSE and good judgement.” THANKS, SELCO!!!!!
I general, I agree with what was written here.
All to often people approach survival or prepping with blinders on. Sort of a tunnel vision. They only see things based upon one set of circumstances or a specific need to prep for or survive.
This will create problems if anything other than their expected form of “doom” occurs.
The next thing is in not personally researching things related to survival.
People like Selco can offer some useful advise. But not all of it will apply to your situation or to every doom scenario that is out there.
You need to personally investigate the things that apply to your area.
A lot of prep site suggest you have a map (and know how to read it), That is all well and good.
But you better know your escape route(s) out of your city with out having to consult the map.
You better have traveled them. Looking for obstacles, places to hide or shelter,places that might have resources you might need (drug store, hospital, food store, etc), the type of people living there, etc.
Is it a “gang” area, is it a slum? Is it an area know for its violence, right now, it will only get worse after SHTF. How does it look after dark? Late at night? Could you find you way through there, if there were no lights, no electricity.
No website or person can truly advise you on these things, you need to figure them out and research them out for yourself. All they can do is hopefully point you in the right direction and get you to ask the right questions of yourself, regarding your prepping.
You survival will depend upon you: what you personally know and you can actually do.
Preps are only aids, things to make life easier, a better chance at survival, like tools.
But in the end it all boils down to just you, what you know and what you can do.
Prepping is an exploration of self-awareness. Selco or Bob can tell you what to think about, but only you can decide what approach is best for your situation.
There appears to be only one philosophy that applies universally. Question everything, assume nothing.
Good advice for any life topic- understand the principles and critical thinking can follow. Thanks, Selco!
Funny story- when the television show, The Walking Dead came out I thought it was a stupid premise- the zombie apocalypse – and didn’t watch it. A good friend at work who was in the Army, knows physical security, and has had survival training said it was his son and his favorite show. I shared my opinion and he said “do you want to understand survival in shtf circumstances and how badly things can go wrong? Watch the show from that viewpoint and gain some perspective and skills.” He was right- shows like that help us to get in the right mindset for when things deteriorate. Little things that matter now won’t bother us when we are in a survival situation and new problems become more important.
Since I live in a rural area I often hear “we will hunt and be fine”. It’s a SMALL rural area..we will run out of things to hunt very quickly if we are all doing it at the same time!
Yup we proved that in the 30s here in Oklahoma. We wiped out the elk, most deer and turkey. Look at Venezuela where the flamingos are toast and even the zoo animals got eaten. I’ve been to a few countries where dogs n cats were real scarce too. The other other white meats
I read somewhere that it took 30+ years for the deer to return to Kansas enough to have a deer season after the great depression.
I hear the same in the Ozarks and then we’ve all heard of the people in the city that plan on going to the mountains. State and federal forests will likely look like a large city with confused scared individuals hungry and desperate. What little game they find will quickly be hunted. And all the larger animals that are taken some may go to waste his people will only be able to carry so much. And as time goes on everyone is at Target. And if they plan on going on someone’s ranch or Farm unannounced no one knows their property better than the landowner and they won’t be welcome. Bugging out without a predestination could be worse than hunkering down no matter where you’re at. But every situation will be different depending on the crisis and the area. There are no set rule, and if one isn’t flexible and adaptable survival will be difficult.
As for my neighbors and I our cattle will be highly prized but they will also be highly protected.
One of the worst I’ve heard was a “Prepper” who runs another site, several years ago, telling everyone to remove the rear seats, spare tire and all tools from their vehicle so they saved money on fuel cost.
I won’t be getting a Christmas card from him anytime soon.
Matt, why not dump the engine and transmission too, cut a hole in the floor and do a “Fred Flintstone”. Yes you have my permission to share this on Survival Blog.
Lol yeah it wasn’t “save your nickels in ammo cans cause they are gonna hit” but another site lol
Neighbors helped themselves to our garden while we were out of town. They don’t grow a garden of their own because “Its too much trouble” and “don’t have time”.
If neighbors act this way during normal times, what do you think they would do during SHTF?
Some strangers walked into my inlaws yard and started helping themselves to the fruit. When FIL came out to run them off, they said, “Well, it doesn’t look like you’re using them. They’ll just fall off and rot. ” “Yeah? Well, they’ll be rotting in MY yard.”
That’s how you get to meet Daddy’s hogs around here.
Bad advice – have a bunch of whole grain wheat in buckets that are already 20 years old, that you’ll supposedly live on if things collapse.
Instead of foods you normally eat, know how to prepare, and that provide a bigger range of nutrients that your body needs.
I knew one man who just had a bunch of toilet paper –
He said everyone else won’t have thought of it, and he’ll just be able to trade it for what he needs.
Well he shoulda been able to retire after the covid lockdown with all the knockdown dragout fights we saw over TP LOL
Actually, if I remember correctly, that and shampoo were good barter items after Katrina! But I wouldn’t put all my survival-eggs in that basket 😉
Great article Selco.
See a lot of advice that is usually based off that one persons particular situation, and then gives advice as if it applies to all.
Other bad advice:
““The best rifle/pistol for SHTF is . . .”
And then let the non-sense begin.
“The first thing a newbie should buy is this rifle, this pistol, and this kind of body armor!”
“Dig a hole, near a source of fresh water, and a outdoor rental storage space. Have some of your gear in the storage space. On your person, have a AR15, with a .22LR upper, nightvision goggles, a knife. During the day, take some kind of drugs to help you sleep, and then chew on match head sticks as a stimulant during the night.
Kill everyone you see, or they will kill you and take all your stuff!
Dogs are bad!
A AR15 can take out anything but very large game out to 1,000 yards!”
Yep, that was all one guy.
I bet I know who this guy was, don’t I?
I do feel bad for those new to the prepper/survivalist lifestyle who find this type of advice as early opinion/advice.
It all comes down to situational awareness. What works in one location or situation may not in anouther.
Skateboard might be a clever way to get around early on or to get out of town/home. But likely once thing continue to escalate or change it may well get you killed.
Likely whatever you saw in the movies if just that fiction. Good to think about but….
Skateboards are NOISY–I think a stealthier approach might be wiser. Bicycles are quiet–when I go walking sometimes. bicycles come up behind me and call out, so I know they’re behind me–I’ve never heard them coming up…
Worst piece of advice: “There is no need to prepare”.
Oh, how about in a SHTF situ, “Kill em all and let god sort em out”
1 you can’t trust anyone.
2 people will do *anything* for food/protection… get it ?
3 Purchase only the best, if you can not afford it, too bad.
4 These survival tools are what YOU need.
5 If you don’t have an AR your gonna die.
6 All you have is a shotgun? why not this.. and this.. and this ect.
7 You need at least 10,000 rounds for every gun, some claim 50,000 or 100,000.
8 If you don’t have(add number) of rounds you might as well shoot your self because your going to die.
9 You like Ruger?? your guns suck, get something real/better like mine..
10 You have to have a minimum of 10 years worth of food or you gonna die.
11 A .22 is all you’ll ever need, a hunting rifle is all, an AR is all..
12 A bow drill fire starter will save your life, that coming from a person that has never used one. (I prefer bic, really but know several ways)
13 Prepping for zombies will cover most situations.
14 You need to be accurate enough to hit targets at 600/700/800 whatever meters.
(in real life i’m good for about 200 to 250 meters max on a good day., bad ? I don’t care it is what it is.
15 A good knife is all you will ever need.
16 I’ll just take your supplies.
17 You don’t need a tent.
18 Being the apex predator you can survive taking what you need when you need it.
19 Prep for nuclear war, that covers everything.. and it might.
20 You should be able to live out of your bob.- eh
21 you have to have a solar generator.
22 God will save you.
23 if on trail bugging in/out don’t let anyone get near you- kinda make sense.
24 If a true shtf and you think people are a threat just SSS.
Same with people on their property in a shtf think a gun solves EVERYTHING.
Lotta people get gun happy in disaster imaginings and boisterous and stupid, talking about what they would do or think they would do.
They’d never see it coming.
I’ll just shoot them.
I’ll give them the led first..
I can shoot a thousand meters accurately.. bs.
I can come up with more just don’t feel like it, been reading and talking to people for
many years about disasters and herd so many things.
I once knew a man–former Vietnam-era Green Beret–who stated that he intended to hunt humans as a food source in a SHTF situation (Y2K at the time), as cannibalism has been widely-practiced throughout history and he saw no reason he shouldn’t take advantage of this “resource”…
The absolute worst advice ever came from a comment from a so called survival expert.
I’m a mom of two children with special needs, I asked for some suggestions to how to prepare if we had to leave (bug out) which is a last resort for us. It a short sentence, just a bullet to the head for you all and make it quick, your a women with kids for a weak and a liability to a new world. My reply I won’t bother writing but the response was to keep prepping because my preps would help someone stronger to survive.
Ouch. That’s horrible!
Yup, but I used it to inspire me to work harder and get stronger and when I’m near the end of my set and ready to throw in the towel. I think ass and give it another 10 and push through. Personally I feel sorry for his wife.
Bad advice by someone who thinks a given item imbues them with expertise:
“Wow! You have a lot of knowledge! What branch of the service were you in?”
“I was never in the military . . .”
“So, what makes you an expert?
“I own a custom built AR15-SR71, with a Max-Factor trigger group and a Unobtainium BCG topped with a Third Focal Plane, CAN-C-EM Reflex sight. I also have a Maxi-Tacti-Kool D81 tool steel commando knife, with the built in compass.”
“Uh, what about actual skills?”
“My father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate, was a Navy SEAL. That makes me just like one! And, I have watched 3,739 hours of anything with the word ‘tacti’ in it on YouTub-hey! Where you going?”
Okay, I took a little creative license with that one, but I am sure you have seen them too.
“All you have to do is take a double barrel shotgun …..“
Well written article, and so fitting. I’ve read so much “advice” even on this site that just doesn’t fit the local situation.
Grow a garden. I’ve not seen a single garden for miles, and for good reason. Nothing edible grows here without heavy irrigation. Most natives before whites came were few and lived miles away where there was surface water. Electricity is everything, without which there’s no water. Dig a well? Yeah the water table is 100+ feet down.
Handle everything with violence? Next door is a cop, and he told me there are six other LEOs in the neighborhood. Yeah, forget violence! Then there are all the other veterans armed to the teeth, so many that there’s a large PX in town. Cooperation sounds like a far better deal.
Get a sub-MOA rifle that can shoot 600 yards? Around here, where the undergrowth has been cleared out around houses, most visible distances are 50–75 yards while away from houses where it’s not cleared, visible distances are often less than 10 yards. Be prepared to wear leather because of all the spines.
If you’re good, people will be good to you? How many people around us are psychopaths, held in check only because they fear being caught? Psychopaths are the type who will let no good deed go unpunished. If you are of the Christian persuasion, the Bible tells us that there are bad people, we are to work for justice, and in working for justice, sometimes we have to do bad things to bad people.
Do we have much locally to fear from the antifa/BLM crowd? I don’t think so. I think a greater danger in the local area is war and invasion.
The best advice is to look at your local situation, plan and prepare accordingly.
Selco is always dead center on the target. MOA=0.
One of the worst pieces of advice I’ve heard (repeatedly) over the years is the default strategy of always bugging out when the SHTF or the world as we know it is about to end. These “experts” would have you believe that sleeping in mud, or on rocks, or in wind driven snow (without a tent) is preferable, even though you ran out of food and clean water three days prior. The vast majority of people who think they are prepared to do that aren’t. Evacuating from the path of a hurricane in a society that still has a functioning government is not the same as TEOTWAWKI. None of these experts tells you how to carry your invalid grandmother on your back. Maybe they assume that you will just put a bullet in her brain so that you can pick up the pace.
Yes, exactly so sick of hearing that one too ! So not realistic in the real world !!
Carry wasp spray – It’ll spray 25 feet. Or It’ll spray for a long time .
I have a number of buildings which get lots of wasp nests under the eaves. The eaves are high enough that I have to spray straight up to actually reach the nests. The spray always drips back down into my face, mouth and eyes. I have done this many times with the three brands that are available around here: Ortho, Raid, and Black Flag. I have never experienced any discomfort, let alone pain from getting it in my eyes, nose or mouth.
I asked the building maintenance guy where I work about it and he said it never hurt his eyes either.
Gumout brand carburetor cleaner, as I recall, hurts really bad for a few minutes when a bit of it splashes back into my eyes.
I did however, once get a drop of sabre brand pepper spray on my finger during a change from a practice cartridge back to a live cartridge. The cats across the room immediately backed out of the room with their eyes closed. I went and washed my hands thoroughly with dish soap and warm water.
Later, I must have touched my nose or something, because my eyes started burning and my nose and lip swelled up. I was messed up for about an hour.
My take-away: Forget about wasp spray for defense against anything having less than 6 legs.
Ever hold a Bic lighter up in front of a can of gumout when spraying it.
But I bet sulfuric acid would work also.
Speaking about advice
Diasy, On your page the banner takes up 3/4 of the page leaving only about 3 inches to read the article. This along with the adds flashing around makes it difficult for me to use your web pagel
Where does one find such sage advice as “ride a skateboard” or “violence is the answer”? After six months of near complete self-exile from society I could use a good laugh.
I guess I have been lucky IRT advice. A good friend turned me onto prepping (I was already doing some of it and didn’t know) and turned me onto decent information.
Anyone who blindly takes some internet expert’s opinion about a topic or situation needs help. As a natural born “10th man” I question everything. It doesn’t mean his, hers, or your opinion is wrong or that I don’t believe the opinion. I want to know why. Make a person provide the constraints, limitations, and assumptions they believe will apply in a given situation.
Why? Because I said so. Why? Because Bob told me. Why? Because Bob likes product x. Why? Because Bob’s website is sponsored by product X.
Why should every US-based prepper have either an AR-15 pattern or AK pattern rifle? A: Because there have been billions of rounds in 5.56 NATO and 7.62×39 sold in the United States the past thirty years. If these rounds are not prevalent in your society, they won’t be ‘optimal’ solutions for you.
Why should everyone have a spare parts kit for their particular weapon of choice? Why should you know how to completely disassemble and reassemble your weapon of choice? A: because there won’t be gunsmiths and parts kits to buy if SHTF.
These have been tailored around weapons, but it applies to every endeavor a prepper may undertake.
Which tent is best? The one you have. But what if I’m going to buy a new one? You will need to tailor your search to the region you will be in if SHTF. Someone in Florida may not jump at a 4-season tent, but someone in Minnesota better factor a brutal winter into their plans.
Context is everything in prepping. From what I’ve seen, Selco’s advice has never been about stuff, but how to think. Question everything. Assume nothing. Take the pragmatic view of every possible situation. If you look at every situation thinking through the ‘worst case’ scenario, your chances of being disappointed are small.
I’d like to be an optimist, but life isn’t that way. If you are here, you should have already figured that out. Be a realist. Assume its an ambush. Assume that the dad with a sick kid will do ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING to protect their kid. Long ago, I reconciled myself with the realization that I will do whatever it takes to protect mine, even if it means eternal damnation.
These articles are about understanding your particular situation. Don’t assume the neighbor you bs’d with after mowing the lawn gives a rat’s @*$ about your kids well being when his haven’t eaten in two days.
Maybe that’s the point of the article. Don’t assume anything, unless its the worse.
I don’t know what works and what’s fantasy because even though I live in a 3rd world country I have never been to war, only mandatory military service and the usual near-SHTFs like protests, riots, droughts, strikes, crime and poverty, the s…. we must put up with in “developing” countries you know (or don’t).
I’ve been “training” in the streets as a “homeless” since the 2008 crisis because I could see a serious economical catastrophe turning cities into wild places, and now it seems very possible indeed. Maybe it will be Mad Max or maybe not total SHTF. Doesn’t matter I guess. There’s not knowing, and there’s not knowing if I’ll bug out or in, I did put some options in place here in town and my parents already live in the country so we have a community off town in a rural area, but I don’t know because there are other factors here.
Anyway I hate to sit home overthinking this prepper thing, so every couple of weeks I go out walking all day long into the streets, looking for water, food, scavenging stuff, feeling the bad smell of drug hotzones and trash, bartering and try reading people and places, also trying to land gigs and make some money, sleeping among the homeless in the streets, or in trees and abandoned places.
And then I return home a couple days later and everything is shut off, no water, no electricity, must do everything in the dark, sleep on the floor in my dirty sleeping bag. At home or in the streets I cook with my spirit stove, whatever bad food I have at hand and water collected and treated, no gear only my water filter, my camping cookware, a steel baton concealed (no CCW allowed here where I live), some dead weight.
I spend an entire week going out and back, 2 or 3 days straight, I get nasty and smelly and beat up from all the walking carrying a heavy bag, empty stomach and in such a bad mood. After a while I get used and stop feeling too bad though, it’s crazy. Then one day I hit the shooting range, 3 hours walking with the bag and already tired, then I pop a few rounds to practice targeting.
Then I go back home feeling miserable and all nasty, and man does it feel like heaven taking a (freezing) shower, shaving with the straight razor and eating something I like again, putting fresh clothes. Then I go back to “normal” life but it’s funny because I miss the misery and suffering and can’t wait for the next round. Everything get so different. I don’t want SHTF to happen of course, but now I guess I enjoy my routine of “homeless SHTF” just as I enjoy go camping into the wilderness.
Fabian – super interesting approach to learning and practice and great way to toughen up it sounds. Stay safe!
WOW!!! What an excellent idea.
I’d like to suggest you elaborate more details of what you do and then discuss what your successes and failures have been along with what works and what doesn’t. Then submit it to Daisy as a guest column.
How about it Daisy?
Underestimating grief and depression . Both of these can kill as fast any virus
I have been at this for 30+ years teaching and spend from 1971 to 2010 in some form of D.O.D. or like agency or Contractor. That said, I have been there and did that and this article was dead on. It is one of the most simple to the point explanation’s of real time I have read. Good for you sir. Nice write up.
Automatic Survivor Training Group
You must have a bug out location and be ready to leave at a moments notice. If you do not subscribe to this concept and live it and breathe it 24/7/365 then you are a loser, not a prepper.
Second, if you have stocks and bonds because the market is going to crash any second. That was the frequent advice about the time I retired 10 years ago. Had I listened I would have missed out on tremendous increase in the value of my investments. And the person giving the advice? Well, they did manage to do a CYA and always said, “We are not financial advisors and therefore you can’t hold us liable for our advice.”
Hi, Steve. Wow, that’s pretty abrupt. I know lots of folks who do not have bug-out locations. I don’t have one myself. Does this make me a loser? I certainly hope not.
We do the best we can with what we have. Not every person has the money for a secondary location. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible for them to survive.
Wishing you the best.
Daisy, I think he meant that to be bad advice that he has heard.
I I wouldn’t call you a loser and I appreciate the time you spend.
In many places Bugging out without a pre-determined destination could be more dangerous than hunkering down. The forests will be as crowded as the cities. Everyone’s scared hungry and desperate. Trying to hunt the same game that’s deep in hiding. And everyone’s resources will be a Target from everyone else. I have been prepping since the 70s and have had survival training and with that I know long-term survival will be difficult even for the best. I do understand many people don’t have the resources. There is still plentiful inexpensive land in rural areas. One doesn’t have to sit on a 40-acre plus Homestead even a $3,000 acre in a rural area can make a good Fortress. Thousand dollars on a storm shelter can store a lot of food until you get there. And it’s yours. But for some even that would be difficult. There’s another option especially for those on the East Coast right now given the situation with Cumbre Vieja. Rent a small 15-$20 a month storage unit in a high- elevation rule area. Keep some food water water purifier extra clothes tent. That way if the tsunami happens you’ll have something more than what you can carry. Now prepping is part of my lifestyle. But I wouldn’t say I do it 24/7 I’ve been prepared for decades it’s just a matter of rotating stock. The shelters have been done for years. It’s just check on water storage and start the generators once a month and making sure that the underground propane tanks are topped. Otherwise I enjoy life and not live it like it’s the end of the world. Rarely leave the ranch by vehicle more than two or three times a month.lol bringing cattle to the auction more than anything.
First off some of you are going to disagree and I see this advice all the time to store alcohol & cigarettes for barter. Well I don’t use either and if I’m spending the money why not buy things that I could use that would also be good for barter if I don’t end up needing them or need another item more? Also I don’t want to be bartering with people dependent and desperate for those items – very scary especially for females. There are tons of things to store that most anyone would need instead of just a select group. Where I live has a low percentage of folks with these addictions.
Good article and comments.
I dont have a bug out location. I live in the foothills of a mountain that stands over 11,000 ft at its summit. Its high mountain desert here. Food was always scarce so I grow or buy what we need. Not great foraging country but I do know much of whats edible or medicinal here and on my property I’ve added wild foods and medicines as I’m able. My fence on one side, growing slowly, is edible cacti.
I have bugout bags and camping gear but that really isn’t a good plan for us. Hubs in his 80s with Alzheimers, 2nd pace maker, and getting unsteady on his feet isn’t a good candidate to go anywhere. I don’t take him shopping with me anymore. He passes out because it’s too much walking. If he gets chilled he passes out. He’s sleeping more and more and up less and less. I’m mid 70s and still fairly active and building sheds and a coop for the chickens. I butcher a rabbit now and then. Keeping the chickens for eggs. I grow a garden and sun dry or can a lot for the two of us. My heater is also my Cook stove for about half of the year. I do have electricity to a well and a manual winch for the well in my backyard. I heat with wood pellets or chips from a chipper, or sticks up to 3ft long and 2in across. I have fire starters, matches, lighters, and an ancient bow drill if I needed to i,t could be copied. My heater is a rocket stove with a 16″ across, round heat collector. I cook on that.
Is that bringing a prepper. No. It’s just living poor on a few acres of desert that a normal winter brings below zeroF and some snow.
If we were cut off from supplies, could we live. Yes, but only as long as my health and strength hold up. Its a hard but rewarding life.
We haven’t had electricity to the home in 14 months. I have lanterns for light. I can or dry what we don’t eat up quickly. Canned leftovers make quick meals or go in the soup pot. I keep a large container of “play sand” that I can dampen to store fresh meat or milk and keep it cool. My homemade water filter is gravel, sand, and activated charcoal in 5 gallon container with a faucet near the bottom.
If i had to manually draw water from my second well it would be hard work. My chicken, ducks, and rabbits need about 5 gallons minimum. We need water for drinking, sanitation, dish washing, and laundry. The well is deeper but the water table is at 38 ft and in dry times I’ve seen it drop to 45 ft. With the winch its still hard work.
I have a gas generator(a gift) and I’m building a solar array to power a few things. I’d like more batteries but they are expensive. What I have should be OK for a refrigerator, some lights, and the occasional morning use of the washing machine. Next project will be solar power for the main well. Then if possible solar power to the other two homes here. I just keep buying one component at a time. I did buy panels from an online auction. 20, 270w panels shipped on a pallet + shipping were just under $1,000. They all test out good. That wiped out the savings but power will be nice. We do like some conveniences don’t we?
I sew, have electric and treadle machines.
We live simple lives. If SHTF, and it probably will, I hope we’re prepared enough but all one can do is, do your best, and keep Iearning skills.
Even the Native people that lived here were gardeners, forraged, and hunted. It took a community working together to survive. They lived near water. They even transplanted fruiting plants to the gardening areas. I have wild cherries, plums and gooseberries here. The crops are small and many years there is only a little or nothing. But when we get a good year every fruit is saved and used.
The comment about living on the street was interesting but I hate cities with a passion. We go for Dr appointments or shopping at a favorite secondhand store. Also the feed mill is there for my critters food. Then it’s home again. I shop for groceries and prescriptions at a nearer small town.
I weaning off of a single medication. Hubs takes several perscriotions for the Akzheiners but they dont seem to make much difference. His blood thinner is important but the specialist said a daiIy aspirin would do if necessary. It’s worth asking those questions. H we uses disposable catheters. He never uses them all before the next shipment comes. There are over a years worth put back.
We occasionally have a pot of coffee or i like teas, I pick and store the wild plant used for tea here and I’ve purchased extra coffee now and then to either use or barter. I have both ground and instant. I have creamer and some sugar also. We use those in other ways but i’d barter if it was something I needed or wanted.
I do want another heat activated fan to set on the heater. It really helped circulate the heat. I hace a propane Cookstove but it’s seldome used. The oven needs electricity to work and in warm weather i cook outside on a wood or charcoal fire. I bake with a camp oven set on the heater or just cover things so heat is held in. I “baked” cornbread last night in a skilket with a disposable pie pan set on top. It was just right. It cooked while chili con Carne with beans was heating.
I enjoy the articles here. My phone is my one connection to the outside world.
I go to town twice a month or for hubs appointments. 4 spIecialists each just once a year. We were seeing a primary Dr 4 times a year but we’re in the middle of switching to a clinic in the closer town and mostly they just do phone calls for now. I’m cutting out the hour plus each way to the city as much as possible. Since I had covid back in April/May I have much less stamina but I’m slowly getting stronger. My neighbor who was driving us to those appointments has died of Covid. I’ve made that trip just once since I was sick and it hard. I figured out as I’m aging longer trips won’t be happening.
Each one must do what fits their circumstances. I won’t be climbing the mountain or carrying hubs somewhere.
Someone publicized/sold a prepping/survival guide a few years ago…. in it, he said that if you run out of water, you can drink the water that is in your car battery… !!!
I emailed him and implored him to take that out if his publication. Battery “water” is actually ACID, and if you drink it you will die a horrible, screaming death as it immediately burns away all the soft tissue in your mouth, tongue, throat, esophagus, stomach, and however-else-far it gets into your body.
What a horrible way to die, and what insane ignorance on the part of the publisher!!! ????????????
Most of what Selco say is probably correct, except for about all SHTF being the same.
He ignores his own statement: “You can not know exactly how it will be once the SHTF because it depends on many factors.”
Which is Correct.
He can not know that; “it will all be the same”, for this very reason.
There will be a lot of things that are similar or maybe the same. There are some basics or over simplifications that all SHTF scenarios will share in common.
However Social economic status, Urban/ Rural population mix, Work ethic, Racial mix, Racial, Political and Religious intolerances, historical influences, propensity to violence, criminality, Militias, no Militias, Terrorist groups, tons of Guns, or basically No guns to speak of, etc., all will shape a countries SHTF experience.
Which means it will not all be “the same”.
Which does not mean another persons experience is worthless, but you can not hold it up as the Gold Standard or as a Ultimate guide, of how SHTF will be.
Each Scenario will be different, each area or states experience (if it was a National, or world wide SHTF), would be different.
So don’t fall into that trap.
“What is the worst advice you have heard?”
to live alone in the country separated from any neighbors.