Imagine the following scenario: an economic collapse has forced thousands of people outside of the cities throughout most of the world. Thousands of people without survival or tradable skills plague the countryside, and the number of gunfights one can hear about from their front porch is increasing. Those farms closer to the cities and main roads are forced to institute a 24/7 watch. Special taxes and ammunition scarcity add fuel to the fire.
Where you live is isolated, however, and there is nothing to be afraid of.
At least, so you think.
Getting in your diesel pickup, you drive a few minutes up to the place where the recent storm knocked down some old trees. They will be a good firewood source.
You start to cut the trees with the gasoline chainsaw. The chainsaw can get pretty loud, and to protect your ears, you’re wearing hearing protection. You don’t realize that three creepy-looking guys have surrounded you. One of them is halfway between you and your truck, where the shotgun is. The lookouts in the compound spotted them from a distance and tried to warn you some guys were roaming around, but the mobile radio was inside the truck, too, and the chainsaw noise masked the call.
It’s a nightmarish scenario. Don’t get caught in one of these.
You have to control your noise.
I know it’s almost impossible to be 100% silent in a compound. It’s just not going to happen, and we need to be realistic about our expectations. Tractors, generators, car engines, bike engines, ATV engines, snowmobile engines…everything with engines will make noise to a degree.
The last few days, we had severe power blackouts as many people were hit by the Caribbean storms. Heavy rain made some towers collapse. My family spent over 48 hours without power, other than my old car battery with two 13W solar charger.
The town was silent. The neighbor’s generator 300 meters (maybe more) away only lasted for one night. When I woke up the next day, there was not any noise. At all.
The silence in a world without electricity is impressive.
On a quiet night, in our mountain home, we can even listen to our closest neighbors, who live 150 meters away uphill. We could hear someone walking down the road, or even better, the dogs would catch it and start barking. Once the power goes out, something that happens fairly often during these windy, stormy months down here, the only entertainment we have is talking to each other.
Being simple countryside people, families here only light a couple of candles and keep on with their business as usual. They don’t care too much about the risks of being spotted. Not these days. Things are not as dangerous here as they once were, after all.
It’s funny, how even in the worst of the Argentinian crisis, we were actually fortunate that our garden was not producing as we had hoped it would. We mainly grew some coffee and limes. That was about it. I wonder what would have happened if our plants were productive amidst a famine. If we had chickens running everywhere, plenty of fruits on the trees, or some other valuable edibles, these may have been easily spotted.
Concealing your activities as much as you can when your nation collapses is the best idea. But when it involves noise, it’s hard.
I’ve been in some places where the level of productivity behind closed doors and high walls was outstanding. It’s almost a tradition nowadays in Venezuela to conceal businesses like workshops, car repair shops, and other businesses. Other countries would have these same shops out in the open. We’ve learned we can’t do that here.
Well, maybe this isn’t only something that Venezuela struggles with. I’ve noticed it’s standard practice in many other countries with a high crime rate.
Sound is associated with machines, and for a criminal, machines mean money these days.
Criminals like machines. These are things they can steal, disassemble, transport to some other place, reassemble, and sell to someone without too many questions. Sound means working people, maybe with cash in their pockets. Sound means a patron in charge, a great target for express kidnapping. The old style robbery of a mugging is not “in” these days. We now face the “new school” of crime.
Thieves now will take the family patron hostage and will “escort” him to empty his accounts, or, best case scenario, they will loot his entire business and home, leaving him and his family well tied up and alive for the next “harvesting” season.
Imagine what would happen in a world without the rule of law.
Eventually, people will learn the lesson and shoot an arrow, a stone, or whatever they can at someone trespassing. I know that many thugs send “scouts,” bold teenagers, to check who is there, what is on the property, and how many people, and will collect all the needed intel in ways that any military would do. And they will do it quietly.
If they get an attention call from the landowner, the theatrical play starts. With their best innocent, childish face, they will say, “Oh, we were just looking for some fallen fruit/vegetables…or were looking for our lost dog/cat/chicken/pig.”
They will then take all the information they have collected to the gang. Once the older ones have their guns cleaned, cocked and locked, they will also know how many people they will have to take care of at the target building. This happened in many haciendas here. It still happens. Owners, of anything, are vulnerable every day.
You have to understand the relationship between noise and distance.
Depending on the “pitch,” or how deep a sound is, the sound waves will travel further. This is why a bass drum’s noise will travel further than a triangle’s shrill note. Scientists have discovered that elephants generate infrasonic waves which are too “deep” of a sound for humans to hear, but they travel huge distances, allowing elephants to “talk” to other elephants. The features and traits of these extra-long sound waves allow them to reach such distances.
High-tone sounds do not travel as far, depending on ambient factors like humidity and others. You can read a good explanation of all this here, which I recommend so you can measure your “noise comfort zone” in your compound (Check the links at the bottom of the article, too).
I know my place is secluded enough that you need to know where it is to find it, but with the (still-to-be-rebuilt) generator or the machinery in the still-to-be-installed-workshop running, it should not be hard to realize where it is once the world goes silent. That is the reason I am using cellular concrete as a soundproofing material to get a noise reduction of up to 45 dB. It is not so hard to DIY it, and I highly suggest some prior testing so you can prepare your own “recipe.”
How do you make your weapons silent?
I am going to avoid giving any advice on the use of silent weapons other than the obvious. I am not qualified for this. I’m sorry if this is disappointing, but OPSEC is paramount down here. Even regular thugs have some degree of military training, and this is a globally increasing trend. Use this to your favor; a few cracked skulls without noticeable noise should make wonders to keep the marauders away if they are smart enough. If they are not, and they come back for revenge…Oh, well…
“A silent workshop? Yeah, right…”
An angle grinder or a disc cutter will make enough noise to be evident from many meters away if they are in the open. Usually, in a workshop, the noise will bounce around and will be more audible in some directions than in others. Always use ear protection: inner plugs and sound-dampening earphones. They’re a system that works together…and your hearing will be a crucial survival tool once SHTF!
The better advice would be to use some common sense. If you can soundproof your workshop on the cheap, do it without hesitation. Use some free time now before you have to do it in a rush after your nation is in the toilet. Cardboard egg trays covering the walls will dampen the sound a lot. They’re not pretty to look at, but they are very effective. Just paint it to make it look a bit better.
Air tools may be quieter, but there are some other considerations for long-term use, like the shelf life of the hoses. Modern air hoses, albeit rugged and durable, use chemicals to keep them flexible and airtight. However, I like to plan for the next 50/60 years. In my mind, my concern for future generations is the horizon I would like to cover. I would like that my grandson(s) and granddaughter(s) can say, “Jee. Grampa thought about a lot of things”.
(Want to know more about emergency evacuations? Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide.)
How do you silence a generator?
Let us elaborate a little bit on this. I am talking about liquid-fuel generators here. There are great electric ones out there, but I want to focus on what you likely have in your garage. One piece of advice from this link is to install the generator far away from the dwelling quarters. No bueno.
You may need to get there in a rush for an emergency and check what is happening there without leaving your home. I already have the place for our generator. It’s not that far away (my cabin surroundings are not too extensive, maybe you saw it in my channel already). It will be in a housing dug out in the hillside, with the exhaust pointing straight up and enough space around for maintenance. I will have a direct view from my second floor. A good steel door will keep it safe.
Earth is an excellent sound dampener, also.
(Dirt is free, that is why it is my favorite!)
Remember that if you build a shelter for your generator, the sound will bounce into the walls and look for an exit. Usually, this sound escapes through the roof and/or the openings. If you build a cinder block shelter for your generator close to the main housing, fill the hollow space inside the cinder blocks with dirt. If you want to make it rocket-proof, use cement then, or cellular cement, which has even better soundproofing properties. This is kind of a waste unless you are waiting for a foreign power invasion but to each one their own. After 2020 and the way geopolitics is going…
Remember your generator housing will need ventilation to keep the generator running cool and allow venting of the fumes.
You may want to try before applying the cement, only stacking the cinder blocks and checking the gaps between each block to see what seems to work better to dampen the sound.
Not everything is a disadvantage. After a few months, your hearing will be so accustomed to silence that you will listen to the lowest of noises.
Use proper isolators for the skid of your generator!
Read the manual: every manufacturer will direct the owner to use rubber or wood as a platform for your generator. And if yours is portable, getting it on a frame and rubber wheels will make for a dual purpose.
If you are a DIY kind of guy, this will help: How To Soundproof A Portable Generator – Workshopedia.
And PLEASE! be very careful with where you place your portable generator.
The fumes must be conducted away from your location. In my home, the most suitable place would be the front porch. However, my house is in a position where the air comes from this direction. Thus, I cannot drop the thing in there and start it. My backyard is enclosed, too, and airflow is somehow restricted. It’s all just a couple of meters wide, 7 meters long inside, like 2.5 meters high. I will have to run a pipe high enough so the fumes go over the wall and catch the winds coming from the front of the house. However, I have been working on this already and found a couple of solutions that you will see once it is in place.
If you are not a builder, then you may want to check the market for products like this: Generator Enclosures, a company I do not have any commercial relationship with.
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If there is plenty of silence around your compound, you could set up some noise/movement detectors. These types of electronics should work for decades, be easy to repair, and are affordable. Again, for DIY people, check this link.
Some companies in the field are these:
Solar Sound & Light Alarm Motion Sensor
Perimeter Shield | Terra Sound Technology
Silence after SHTF is quite an extensive topic.
When the rest of the world is in silence, a compound with illumination, food, and noise, will be a target. Even worse, it is very likely that your neighbors will be the attackers. I have seen it happen. Building a soundproof basement with all the modern comforts, even a good sound system to listen to music or movies without the meth-heads ten blocks away finding out about it will surely pay for itself.
Keep safe, stay tuned, and tell us your tips in the comment section below. Is keeping the noise down something you have considered? Are there other purveyors of noise not mentioned in this article? Let’s discuss it.
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 Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151
On top of Power Tools, I’ve focused a lot on muscle powered tools, even a treadle driven drill press, because of not just the power issue, but the noise issue as well.
Those of us old enough, should remember how quiet it was after 9/11. There was no Air Traffic, apart from military, and very little vehicle traffic, at least in my area for a few days, and this was but a taste of the situation Juan describes.
A good article with a lot of helpful tips Juan. Thank yoi
Have you seen this gadget for taking any water and turning into safe clean drinking water?
Have a look at https://cutt.ly/zMqRzUz
Last week I was walking the dog in the fields on the hill top overlooking the road and house 210yards (LRF verified) away, I noted old 1970s era F-150 passing by. The guy restored it. It is a good looking truck. But he also put on a lift kit and has big knobby tires. As an experiment, I took a time hack of when the truck passed the house. How long could I hear that truck with those tires? Almost 2 full minutes. Granted he was doing 55mph at least.
When the COVID lockdowns first kicked off, standing on the same hill, I noted how quiet it was as nearly all traffic had ceased.
SHTF, parking the vehicles, empty the tanks, keep the fuel for the chainsaws in a secure location.
Jose, like to think in your opening scenario, one of the guys on the wall at the compound would of been able to take a shot at one of the creepy guys.
Great to read your comments. Always constructive! LOL.
Silence is great; after living in Lima, some peace and being out into the wild is awesome.
But it can become creepy, though. Our parents always left us play in the woods as teenagers, each one with a knife or machete, just for our own safety. You never know what you´re going to find out there.
I find Electric ATVs quite attractive, if you need silent operations. SHTF or not.
Thank you Jose!
EV ATVs, interesting idea.
Still waiting for someone to market a working, not a prototype, EV tractor.
Noise is not the only sense that will be more active, but the sense of smell will also be sharper.
Those fumes from the generator or the smell of cooking food or even of a camp fire, will carry a long ways. Even the smell of an out house or barn yard could travel a long ways.
This will alert others to your presence in the area. So there is a lot more to consider than just noise.
Noise can be dampened, but smells are a lot harder to control. In the city after SHTF it might not be as noticeable, but in the countryside, it will be.
You just made a good point here. I´m going to write another article about this. Maybe a little bit theoretical in its approach, but nevertheless it will be useful. In my career, we study several methods to control the number of particles that go into the atmosphere. A few DIY arrays could be useful to mitigate this to keep us stealth.
Smell is a hard one to determine.
One summer, I was out in the fields and I could smell one of my neighbors cooking dinner. Now, based off observing the wind, I could take a guess at which home it was. But it was nothing definite.
Properly composted manure does not have a smell. Rotate the livestock properly, as everyone will have to post SHTF, manure does not smell unless you step right into a fresh one. Even then, you have to be on top of it to smell it.
Speaking of manure, if the grid fails, and the municipal water stops flowing, try to imagine the stink of a few thousands to millions of people can no longer flush.
Smoke? Nearly everyone around here heats with wood. It is just that common.
From what I have read, it is about to become more common in Germany. Reports of Polish citizens burning trash. Not in the country side. That is IN the cities, happening now.
I am looking forward to your article about smells, Jose. Mostly, it would be cooking smells for me.
Have you thought about a “hay box” or thermal cooker?
You heat your beans or soup or whatever, to boiling for about 10-15 minutes, then take the pan from the heat source and place it into an insulated container. Let it sit inside the container for several hours. Then remove the pot from the container and enjoy! You can even make bread with it, like a Boston brown bread.
This method reduces the amount of fuel required to cook, and as the food will only be directly heated for a short time and then placed into an insulated and sealed container to finish cooking, it should reduce the amount of cooking odors considerably.
Find more info and recipes on Youtube. I like the Provident Prepper channel, but there are others with good info, too.
just a thought for covering smells coming from a compound. You could possibly plant a perennial flowering plant on an upwind fence row or area from any avenues of approach that would help to cover the scent of the compound.
I use anise in the bush to cover the camp scent and smell of cooking. When put over a warm fire Anise oil with water added disburses into the air and carries downwind. At the evaporated rate of disbursement it masks cooking smells and camp smells to nearly indistinguishable amounts to humans but smells delicious to brown bear(which have olfactory senses on the order of 10X+ of kennel kept bloodhounds) and completely unalarming to ungulates, so if you’re a hunter that’s good, if you’re not, it’s bad.
Folks cannot handle silence. After about three days the mind will try to pacify itself by “creating” noise. I’ve seen it over and over and over guiding in Alaska. Our minds are so conditioned to constantly having input that, when confronted with silence, the mind will manufacture sounds to occupy itself.
I know.., I know.., “Not me. That’s bs.”.
OK. Go out. Waaay out. No lights, no phones, no car, no wife/husband/kids. Do just 72 itty-bitty, measley hours alone. I guarantee by hour 73 (most likely by hour 48) you will be hearing a generator/car or music. Guaranteed.
As far as sounds of firearms. That’s what snares, legholds and archery tackle is for.
As far as sounds of firearms. Pressurized air rifles.
They still make a pop. Especially higher end ones that will break the sound barrier. not as loud as powder going off but they are nowhere near silent.
A A Ron,
I have a Benjamin Marauder and Armada in .22. Tuned to 900fps pushing a 18grn pellet. Both are shrouded aka, internal suppressor.
First time I shot the Marauder, it was so quiet, I unloaded it and ran a cleaning rod down the barrel to make sure the pellet left the barrel. It did.
The sound of the pellet hitting a wooden backstop makes more noise than the rifle itself.
Larger caliber air rifles can make more noise especially the .45 or .50s, but they also make moderators to reduce the report.
I’m thinking of making my own from available materials. Maybe interchangeable barrels for different projectile sizes.
Here in Colombia, pneumatic weapons are unregulated. Firearms have to be bought from the Army, and they’re not very good. Pneumatic, you don’t have to have powder, you can pour anything down the barrel. I’ve been thinking about flechettes, nails with fins. And two inch lead projectiles with a 1 inch steel core.
Dear A.A. Ron,
That´s why everyone should make a few drills beforehand. With today´s tech enhanced capabilities where you can measure the noise in dBs with a smartphone, possibilities are plenty.
Right you are.
Somewhere around here on TOP, I wrote an article about the use of air rifles.
Though I have an .22 rimfire with a air stripper that using sub-sonic ammo, ears are not required.
Never had a talk with a bear with an air rifle. I’ll let you go first.
You dang near made coffee come out my nose!
There’s a video on YouTube, guy shoots a .50 cal through three cast iron skillets.
There are no bears in Colombia.
And narcos are not that large.
Anise . . . now that is different.
In the past I have made it a point to go camping in state or national forests, far from any modern infrastructure. The silence can be crushing. Then again, I prefer to go in the colder times of the year as for less bugs or things like 6 foot rattlesnakes, or alligators of significant size. Call me crazy.
Spent a year in Afghanistan. Even a few nights in one of their major cities. No light pollution, no sound pollution aside from the occasional motor bike in the middle of the night or a cow mooing. This was in a city of over 100,000 people.
In past years I have made soap with Anise EO for guys that hunt. 😊
I would assume that the several mint plants that grow like weeds could be used as odor control as well. Oregano is another one that is pretty powerful, and food as well. A win / win
You are just right !!
Great post Jose. Your first hand accounts are valuable.
My question is, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Consider moving north…Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Northern Quebec, Labradour. If you can live in a place away from people and have your basic needs met, why not do that move now, before SHTF?
Your points about being quiet are right on. The more things you can do quietly, the better. Combat soldiers know this. Knives are an ageless tool of man for many reasons.
Learn to exist without power. Or use wind or solar generation to charge battery systems. Very quiet. Practice your daily routine in the dark.
Leave the cities now, if you can.
Dear Northern Survivalist,
Philosophy seems to not be one of the priorities of people these days. Hehe.
As much as I agree with you, the needs of those depending on us are a priority; taking my kid to a good school and socialize is important in this stage of his life so he can grow a decent citizen.
I´m just writing another article related to downsizing your power needs, indeed, among other habits that should change.
You´re right. Leaving the cities now for those with the possibilities would be a wise move.
In your opening comment you talk about hordes moving out of the city into the countryside. Now, this may be more of a problem where you live as it is a relatively small country, distances are not as great, and in general it is much easier to stay alive.
Now, where I live conditions are a little different. I have predicted for years that there will literally be a ring of dead bodies around our major cities, between about 20 and 40 miles out, as people try to walk out of the cities with their possessions. This is even more true if it is winter. Exhaustion, bad water, poor health – all will take their toll – and let’s be honest, a large percentage of people in our modern cities have absolutely NO survival skills.
Now closer in to the cities it will be bad. And it will get bad for those of us in the country eventually, because the ones that make it out this far will be the smart ones, the vicious ones.
I live outside of a town of 450 people. Everybody knows everybody. Strangers stick out. It’s very hard to send scouts into a community where they will immediately be spotted – that gives you the heads up that something is coming. Again, I prove that I’m not the best Christian, because I believe that very quickly people in and around our community will develop an “Us against Them” attitude. Heck, we already have it to a certain degree.
As for sound – the original premise of the article. It is a small community. Everybody pretty much knows what everybody else owns. There’s a shop with equipment on just about every farm. Everybody I know owns a generator of some sort. And even though many are not “preppers” they all have pretty deep pantries, and the ability and knowledge of how to grow their own food.
As for gunshots being loud – you bet they are. But even now, at this time, if we hear a gunshot (when it’s not hunting season) you will see neighbours show up, with a rifle in their truck, to see what the problem is, and to see if anybody needs help. Sound can be your enemy, but it can also be a clarion call for help.
Crime is very low in our community. Again, everybody knows everybody. We tend to be a little on the conservative side, and crime, to a great extent, just isn’t tolerated. Oh, it does happen. But more often than not, word gets around very quickly, and the individual(s) in question are informed that their behaviour is known and not appreciated.
It may sound like a little bit of a closed community already – and to some extent, it is. You have to want to live here. People aren’t just accepted by the community – they have to become part of the community. Neighbours helping neighbours. It’s how our grandparents settled this land, and to a great extent that pioneer spirit is still alive in some places today. I guess that’s why I live where I live.
This 2022, the weather engineers created a drought in EVERY major food producing region on Earth and somebody burned down over 100 food warehouses. Election Day US, the stores are mostly full, and the oblivious are happy. But within a few months, the food will not EXIST to fill the shelves or the food stamps, etc. at any price. Cabal plans to herd us into CBDC for food–do NOT accept that.
After some nice starvation sets in, Federal goons will go to small towns with 450 souls, with enuf of an army to confiscate what “you have illegally hoarded when other people need it.” In Ukraine, 1930’s, they took everything on the pretense that there was plenty of food in the country. Millions starved to death. See the book “I Chose Freedom”–the starvation was purposeful to break independent spirit.
This week, I found a web ad for a “Pocket Farm” instruction set on how to build a hydroponic/fish setup that requires little space, work, or water, and is supposedly “impossible to steal.” This is a year when such a set-up could save your life. https://www.backyardliberty.org/pf/tsl/
I would like to see every community have a few of these on the quiet, and you expand it if your town gets cleaned out.
“impossible to steal.”
you know what happened in ukraine, but you don’t understand why it happened. the point is not to steal the food. the point is to get rid of certain populations. if this happens again they’d simply destroy the pond.
I just wrote another article soon to be published about a similar concept, introducing “micro-production”. We seem to be in the same page here, as it´s way easier to conceal than a larger homestead with all the bell and whistles out in the open.
I´m doing a research as in my own hometown I found out that a recently deceased (Covid) member of our community had a decent food production, including a tilapia tank. and not even his neighbors knew it. I may even to upload a video in my channel soon. Keep tuned!
“as people try to walk out of the cities”
they won’t – if anything the rural areas will be walking to the cities. if food becomes scarce the last place it will disappear is in the cities, because they will have the connections, money, trade, political clout, and force necessary to make sure they get first call on whatever is left to be had. this has always been the case.
“if we hear a gunshot (when it’s not hunting season) you will see neighbours show up, with a rifle in their truck, to see what the problem is”
how will you handle trained snipers? ’cause there’s a lot of them now, and while you may feel isolated in your small community there are literally tens of thousands of people who have particularly noted your attractive free-standing town and have some level of plan regarding it – especially the as you say “smart vicious ones” – and who as times get worse will be updating those plans and forming associations for implementing those plans.
We already know the kind of hell on earth the cities are. Look at the crime rates in places like San Fran, LA, Portland, Seattle, DC, Chicago, NYC.
Then take away the power and water. No safety, no security, think any truckers are going to risk their lives to make a delivery?
They are going to beat feet for home to protect their own families.
Money? What is it going to be worth if you cannot access it with the power out? The banks closed?
Political clout? What does that amount to with bullets flying?
What force? The above mention cities are experiencing LEO shortages. Portland response time is something like 20 minutes. Call up the NG? How many are going to leave their families to put their lives on the line for useless eaters? The politicians?
We already have a well stocked pantry. Chickens are still putting out eggs. Could cull one or several.
Coming up on deer season.
Could always slaughter one of the livestock.
There is plenty enough for us to eat. No reason to walk to the city.
Our snipers will take out any snipers.
If they can get past the armed road blocks. And there will be many.
We already have our own plans. We have our own groups.
That is if they can get out of the city in the first place. Likely they wont.
“We already know the kind of hell on earth the cities are”
if you like. nevertheless in a slow draw-down they’ll be the best place to be, for the inhabitants and for the businesses and for the traders. the leaders will see to that, for their own sake if nothing else, and the inhabitants will support them, for their own sake if nothing else, and the businesses and traders will continue to conduct business and trade there, for their own sake if nothing else.
“Money? What is it going to be worth if you cannot access it with the power out? The banks closed? Political clout? What does that amount to with bullets flying?”
you’re operating off of the old prepper paradigm, where the grid drops suddenly. in that scenario you’d be correct. but it’s outdated – it’s looking more and more like the grid won’t drop suddenly, but rather will go down gradually. in that scenario the cities will have plenty of money, plenty of clout, and plenty of influence and control, for quite some time. and they will exercise it.
“We already have a well stocked pantry”
you’ll do well, better than most. and in so doing you’ll stand out …
“Our snipers will take out any snipers. If they can get past the armed road blocks.”
… and won’t be able to implement these plans against an organized entity still able to pose and function as your government seeking your resources.
“An old prepper paradigm”. I don’t know if I could agree with that. It may seem that way right now, but that’s a dangerous conclusion to make. Most of us are very aware that any collapse (except for EMP or nuclear war or something along those lines) starts out seemingly slow. But like a snow ball rolling down hill, they tend to pick up size and momentum very quickly. It’s always slow, slow, slow, Holy Shit! Where’d that come from?
You accuse MJH of using an outdated paradigm, but given that we haven’t even seen the first power outage, or what that might bring yet, you are simply speculating on what might happen. This is NOT the collapse yet. This is still just the early stages, and nobody can know how it will play out. As we saw in the early days of Covid; people were trying to get out of the cities at an alarming rate, and that was a nothing burger. Money was still worth something. Supply lines weren’t broken. The power was still on.
Let’s wait until after the first power outages. Let’s see how long they last. Let’s let inflation get into double, or even triple digits, and see how fast it all starts to come apart. When the first bank fails, and people can’t get their money. When they finally do get money, and find out it’s worthless. By then it’s too late and we’re into, “Holy shit! Where’d that come from?”
Governments LOVE to devalue their paper money.
They don’t seem to really devalue their coin money, or at least it does not seem to affect that.
Keep your cash in silver dollars and coins. Worse case, they are worth the metal value, copper nickel etc. Paper is not even good to wipe your ass with because it’s too rough.
When they say your 100 dollar bill is now worth 10 dollars or 1 dollar. oddly, that dime is still worth a dime, and that penny is still worth a penny and 10 dimes equal one of those new fangled devalued dollars. Now if you already have your money IN coins, it will have held it’s value thru the devaluation better.
Good point about starts slowly then suddenly.
Back in NOV2020 if you would of told me inflation would be at 8.2% I would not rule out the possibility (being a prepper and all), but I would also of been very skeptical.
Yet here we are.
What will next year bring?
Did you read the articles about the heat wave in CA, and the power company asked people not to charge their EVs, as it might crash the grid?
Leaders? Seriously? Take a good hard look at the leaders of some of those cities and their policies.
In a word: Failures.
The inhabitants and the business people are not behind them in the slightest. Same goes for the LEOs. For that matter, as the situation degrades, the people are going to look for a scapegoat. Guess who is front and center to earn that honor.
If safety can not be guaranteed, no one is trading anything. Just look at Portland, San Fran, NYC. That is happening here and now. And the ROL is still in effect. Though some of the locals would disagree.
Outdated old prepper paradigm? You could not be more wrong. Our grid is insanely fragile. One only has to look at the 2003 Northeast blackout. My sister drove me past the site of where the power line sagged, and touched the tree and set the whole thing off, faulty software not withstanding. You really have no idea how the grid works. The grid is also vulnerable to cyber-attacks (source: Lights Out, Ted Koppel) as well as deterioration (source: The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future). It is getting worse as we put more and more reliance on “green” energy like wind and solar without updating the infrastructure (source: More than I can list). Outdated? Not in the slightest. If anything a more and more a likely outcome.
Out here, having a well stocked pantry is the norm. We get snow storms and ice storms that can cut us off for days or weeks. If it is the norm, then how am I going to stand out from my neighbors? Since COVID lockdowns, gardens, small and medium livestock have all increased in the local area. My rooster is doing a Dueling Banjos of crowing with the neighbors rooster. That rooster is just coming into his own. Imagine a rooster going through puberty and what that sounds like.
And we are also an organized entity. We also have the home field advantage (there is a big difference between what is on a map or satellite image vs on the boots on the ground knowledge), we have the advantage of force multiplier defending our lives, our families and our homes (source: SunTuz) and the offense to defense ratio advantage. Then there is the local economic and logistics support. You will have none relying on a fight to take it all stance which may work for a few encounters, but at some point will fail on a epic scale. Take a good look at that Doomsday Preppers I am a Alpha Predator yahoo and his YT post. Can you spot all the holes in his strategy? A lot of your strategy is in perfect alignment with his.
If billyt bobs power goes out and your big city has power and you are not coming to fix BB’s power. A few well placed 06 shots and you have just joined him in the no power club. Trust me, the jealousy will create just a situation.
When the richy rich city folk are living high on the hog and leaving the dirty whyte trash in the sticks to find for themselves, the DWT’s will do whatever they can to ‘even the tables’ Yes, the crab mentality will be in overdrive.
For those bragging about our killers have more spray than your killers etc, ok what about when unca sammy comes thru with APV’s and Tanks? I’ll leave it at that. Good Luck.
FWIW friend, if you are going to keep chickens, the ROOSTERS may give you away, noisy SOB’s but are a must. You can slit them to silence them but that’s not part of this topic, WITH that though, you can raise meat chickens in as little as 10 to 12 weeks to a decent eating size. Have a few hundred birds rotating through the different sizes to keep your meat / protein strong for an entire ‘plot of people’. one person could probably get by with a few dozen birds.
A tilapia pond is the same thing, though it will need some sort of filtration water movement.
There are so many roos out here, no one really pays attention anymore.
The Amish have them. More than a few of my neighbors have them.
When we have surplus eggs, we give them away to the neighbors.
Since COVID and now with inflation, more and more people are turning to old homesteading skills to make ends meet.
“I live outside of a town of 450 people. Everybody knows everybody. Strangers stick out.”
how many of those 450 have out-of-town relatives who will start showing up as times get serious? might suddenly have all kinds of new people wandering around. and of course they will all have outside friends and second-order relatives too.
Rant7: all I can say is Wow! Not sure what dystopian fiction you’re living in…..but…..Wow!
My first thought is that you must live in a city. Maybe I’m right….maybe not. And I doubt that you’ve done any hard military time.
In the first place, where do you think all these “resources” that the city will have come from. Fact: the average city has 3 days of food on the shelf. The average person living in a city has less than that in their pantry.
How would I deal with trained snipers? There’s lots of them around! Really. Actually very few of them around, but I suppose that I could always ask the retired one that lives in our town. Or I could ask a good friend that lives about an hour away that’s sniper qualified. Heck, I spent some time last year taking a course with Rob Furlong – I guess I could call him up and ask him. There are actually NOT very many actual snipers out there, and the ones that I know of are mostly staunch Christian’s, and wouldn’t be caught dead running with a gang. And they also have no use for the government
Maybe I should take time here to point something out that many of you may have missed. The Lone Canadian……..CANADIAN. You see, although we may be a more socialist country than the U.S. in some respects, our government doesn’t seem to have the power that yours does. We don’t have a CIA, and an FBI, and a DHS, and, 50 other alphabet agencies all with way to much power. We don’t have 87,000 new IRS agents! Heck we don’t have 87,000 in our standing military.
I guess, in many ways, those of us living in the cold north of western Canada are in kind of a unique situation. Yep, the climate sucks…..at least for 6 months out of the years, but generally we are a different breed of people. And trying to explain that to people that haven’t experienced it is impossible.
The Lone Canadian,
Say what you will, but I am perfectly fine with the weather.
Keeps the riff-raff out.
How many people do you think would say to themselves, “Hey! I got a great idea! Lets go North where they experience single digit temps, call the 20s warm, and measure snow fall average of 20 feet or more!”
And how many have the cold weather gear for that kind of thing? On foot?
Like I keep pointing out – a different breed of people. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind winter, but when it hits -40 it is a little hard on a guy. I showed up for work on a job site a few years back and it was -53, before the wind chill factor. (That’s about 63 below zero for you folks south of the 49th)
Freedom is never free, and this is the price we pay to be able to live freer than most. A price I gladly pay. We don’t ask for anyone’s permission, and we sure as hell don’t bow down to anybody. We are the best neighbours, and most giving, caring people that I know of, but if you start trying to dictate to us, and put our back up against the wall – look out.
Semper Gumby my friend
The Lone Canadian,
I hear you.
One year I had a cold/flu. Fever, chills, no appetite. Did not matter. It was single digits, and I still had to do barn chores for the livestock. Twice a day. I got winded just walking to the barn some 30 yards away.
I recently saw a post that said, “Ask me for the shirt off my own back, I will give it gladly. Mandate I do, and I will fight you tooth and nail.”
Grew up in chitcongo before it turned into the hellscape it is today. We’d go to UP michigan to go deer hunting. 30 below zero BEFORE the wind chill, which would drop it into the 50’s and 60’s below. yep remember those days. Also went to boot camp that time of year too. You roll yourself up in whatever you got to keep warm. With that though, snow is also an excellent insulation to keep you WARM. Why do you think the eskimo’s liked their igloos? you could actually keep it, under the circumstances pretty warm inside one of those.,
sure. but I’m trying to speak generally to the majority.
“where do you think all these ‘resources’ that the city will have come from”
same place they do now. there will be less, and as input decreases they will not simply die immediately but will retrench and seek alternatives. meaning yours. like I said to firstjarhead, the old prepper paradigm of sudden collapse is now less likely than the new paradigm of gradual drawdown. it’s no longer a case of one day things are ok and the next you can put up the roadblocks, but rather a case of things get worse and worse and one day they’re focusing on you and still much stronger than you.
“we are a different breed of people”
yes, I hear that all the time from many quarters. I just hope you’re as different as you imagine. if I may ask, in your location if all outside input (fuel, repair parts, etc) were to cease and you were left on your own, how long would you last? most rural areas are effectively banana republics and couldn’t last a year cut off from everyone else – they’re just as dependent on outside trade as any city.
You keep talking about “sudden collapse”. Time is relative my friend. If you’re talking “instant collapse” then you may be right, although you may want to check with Russia on that, or North Korea, just to make sure they don’t have a nuke or an EMP in their immediate plans.
Personally, I would call this a sudden collapse. If you look at the speed at which world events are occurring, they would seem to be picking up speed. Some would say exponentially. For a country to go from where we were, even a year ago, to where we are now, I would say is pretty sudden. But all of that is just semantics.
As for government consolidating power in the cities. They can try. But what I’m seeing is that most governments are in reaction mode, or even crisis mode. They can’t move fast enough to keep up with changing events. Most governments, run by politicians, couldn’t find their ass with both hands and a road map during “normal” times. I honestly think that you give our elected officials way too much credit. Most are venal, narcissistic little people that will do what they can to save themselves, and to hell with everyone else. That may work in “civilized” times, but from what I see on the nightly news, the thin veneer of civilization is wearing thin in many places.
As for requiring outside trade….yes and no. Kind of a funny answer I know, but you see where I live everything goes out to people that want/need it. We grow the food here that feeds the cities. We pump the gas and oil that powers the cities. We grow the beef, and the pork, and the chickens. We cut and mill the lumber.
Do we need parts – you bet. If we’re going to run that huge tractor. But to look after friends and family it’s not required, as we wouldn’t need as much. Many people still have wood stoves and fireplaces. We can still sew our own clothes. Most people have gardens that provide vegetables for their families. And horses are still plentiful, and could be used for transportation if we needed.
Could we get a double soy latte from Starbucks – nope. Would there be adjustments and things that we miss – you bet. No more Netflix – that sucks. But, taken over all, the things that we need – we have. That’s why I say that trying to explain it to somebody that hasn’t experienced it is impossible. We aren’t dependant on a central authority to supply us with what we need. We supply what we need, and then send the surplus to look after those who obviously can’t do it for themselves.
Ugh.. fuckin’ full moon.
Ant7/rant7/scant7/wtfe7 , give it 5 days for the moon to wane. Jeez!
Here’s a good analogy to that.
Find someone who won the lottery.
Ask them, how many all of the sudden new found relatives and friends, appeared out of NOWHERE to want to help them share their fortune??
Same will happen if you have’ survival skills and stuffz. All of the sudden all these free loading relatives are going to want you to be ‘family’ and give them and their 50 little worthless crotch goblin kids a helping hand or 4.
Amen to that brother! Although, I will say that in the past we have had some undesirable elements come home, or come to visit in our little town. Unwritten rule seems to be – they are YOUR responsibility. If they start to cause trouble for the community, you will get the word quietly to sort your shit out. Generally all it takes is the quiet word.
Now that might sound a little intolerant – it isn’t. Everybody is given a chance, often multiple chances. You’d be surprised at how many become solid citizens once they realize that the shit that happens in the liberal jungles isn’t necessarily appreciated around here.
In the navy we used to call it ‘Your Come to Jesus Moment’ or sometimes more affectionately referred to as Fan Room Counseling.
Let me tell you what you are doing wrong.
Let me tell you how you are going to fix it.
Don’t like it?
Let me give you a ride to the bus station if it’s a relative, GTFO if it is an ‘acquaintance’.
One additional thought on gun shots:
Few years ago the wife and I were sitting on the back deck. I was texting a friend who lives about 2 miles away. He was literally sitting in a deer stand. About 10 minutes went by, when we heard a single gun shot. Sure enough, it was him. Thing is, being only a single shot, I could only say it came from that general direction.
A few weeks ago, wife and I are in the barn. I hear a shot. I could only say it came from the general direction of over there. Then there was a second shot. Now I could tell a more refined direction.
First shot could of been a miss, or a hit but needed a second shot to put whatever it was down.
“If there is a third shot, someone is sighting in,” I said to my wife.
Not only a third shot, but a fourth and a fifth.
My Amish neighbor to the South East was sighting in.
old pioneer saying – never shoot twice or the indians will know where you are.
Heck, I start sighting in and 2 or 3 neighbours show up to sight in as well. Not at all uncommon to hear 2 or 300 shots in an afternoon. Nothing like a good range day at the farm with family and neighbours.
But, then everything is sighted. You won’t see that happening after SHTF. Ammo takes on a whole new meaning at that point in time.
many people are incapable of silence. they just don’t get it and will generate all kinds of noise all the time no matter the situation or the consequence.
Dude, seriously..the moon. Relax. It’ll be ok.
I like to stand still at 0200 and just listen to the sounds – of the city, of the wilderness, of wherever I am. it’s awesome what you can hear when you just settle down to it, there’s always so much going on anywhere. when people are whispering they think they’re being so quiet but you can hear them from hundreds of yards away. equipment rubbing on clothing, footsteps, passing through brush, bike tires rushing through the air, it all comes across so clear.
standing in a valley looking at the highway 20 miles below, I can hear a single car.
rant7: and then you make a post like this and it makes me think there must be some poet in your soul somewhere. And I agree with you. I grew up in northern Saskatchewan. Nearest neighbours were 5 miles away. There wasn’t anything north of us, until you ran out of tree line in the arctic circle. I spent a lot of time in the bush as a youngster. When you get 10 miles back in the bush, and just stop, and sit and absorb its amazing. When you stop to realize that you may be walking in areas where no person has walked before – it’s humbling. And when you watch a deer or a big old timber wolf walk out in a clearing and just look at you – you get closer to God. At least that’s the way I always felt.
I think it’s the awareness of something else besides oneself.
The Lone Canadian
“When you stop to realize that you may be walking in areas where no person has walked before – it’s humbling. And when you watch a deer or a big old timber wolf walk out in a clearing and just look at you – you get closer to God. At least that’s the way I always felt.”
And the realisation that of 8 billion people on this planet, you are the only one that is experiencing that moment. That is so special. You know you are alive at that point.
When I was 10 or so I was trapped for a while on a small ledge on a crumbling seaside cliff with my friend. While we were waiting for rescue, I turned to him and said, “You know something Mark, we are the only 2 people on this planet sharing this moment right now”. A very humbling, profound and vulnerable moment for me. He looked at me, gazed for a minute, then burst into laughter and didn’t stop till the rope was thrown down to get us out of there. I felt a little foolish and we never spoke of it again.
About 35 years later he visited my farm just before he passed away. We were sitting outside admiring the view of the rural valley below us and he said to me, “You know something Joe, we are the only 2 people on the planet sharing this moment right now”. I looked at him in shock at what he just said, and after a short silence he once again burst into continuous laughter until he nearly fell off his chair. That was the last time I saw him as he passed away a couple of months later, but at that moment I knew that he got it. All these years later he had understood exactly what I had said when we were 10 years old.
I get exactly what you wrote above Lone Canadian
when i go out fishing in my little boat, I love to climb way up into the creeks, away from everyone and just sit there quietly, listening to the sounds of nature. The shrimp popping, the eagles quarreling a few miles off in the pine boughs, the swamp chickens, the sploosh of a gator sliding back into the water. It is just so relaxing. it is also someone should do once in a while where they are so they can get used to what ‘normal’ sounds like, so when abnormal hits, they know something is up.
Came across a video where a guy mixed styrofoam with concrete. Should be sound absorbing 🙂
Now, there’s Aircrete / Foamcrete.
Dear Phil Schaub
It is, indeed, and quite a lot. It gets the outside noise like 40%, maybe more, never measured with tools but I do know it´s a lot. I´ve been inside houses built with those materials and the efficiency of the AC is amazing, something valuable down here in the Tropics.
Opsec, Comsec and avoiding Humint on your hidey hole is also of high priority.
Fact: throughout history, when crops failed or there were droughts or whatever conditions where there wasn’t enough food for everyone, kings and caesars, emperors and popes, presidents and prime ministers, all in the most important business to them of keeping alive and in power, would always make sure that two groups are always fed: the army (apart from what they can pillage) and the cities. In the late 1920s and early 1930s the crops failed all over Russia and Ukraine, and Stalin was in the midst of his great failed experiment of collectivization of all the farms. So, when the crops failed, he had his minions steal from wherever they could, the vast countryside of their 12 timezones, in which Ukraine was (and is) the breadbasket of Europe. All to make sure the army, Moscow, and Leningrad were fed. Everyone had vivid memories of what happened in Russian cities in 1916 when people were starving. The countryside, not so important. Plus it served to get rid of the class called Kulaks, small and midsize independent farmers who would resist collectivization to their last breath.
Maybe it’s different now. Technology, the appalling lack of agricultural or homesteading skills, whatever. And maybe TPTB will just get in their private jet and head for their private island or bunker/ranch in Wyoming rather than staying in the cities and hoping they don’t get their throats cut.
But historically speaking, the kulaks in the hinterlands matter not a whit to the ruling class. Best chances to not starve are still in the city. A frightened ruling class might provide bread and circuses, after all.
While historically accurate, the US farmers and their neighbors are well armed and are just a bit more trained vs the unarmed and untrained Ukrainian kulaks.
And there is the great distance divide between those TPTB and where things like wheat are grown.
Really think Gavin Newsome can field a force from CA to KS and back to feed millions when the grid is down? Or transport infrastructure has been destroyed? I drop a key bridge, those forces have to make a detour. Do they have the fuel, food, and ammo to make the trip out and back?
Amateurs study tactics.
Professionals study logistics.
“He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing.”
Thanks, Mr. Jarhead. As I noted, things “may” be different here and now than back then. I was merely making a point about the history of leaders needing to feed their populace in cities to preserve their own hides.
Yes, our population especially in rural areas are more likely to be armed to the teeth, and trained as well. That’s a big difference between ya’ll and the Kulaks (who were all over the Soviet Union, but the most persecuted were in the Ukraine.
I’ve been researching the subject and reading a book by Anne Applebaum called “Gulag.” Slow and difficult reading but fascinating. The Kulaks were basically the rural upper middle, middle, and lower middle class of farmers post 1917. As a class that had some independence and usually owned some stuff (land, livestock, equipment), they were existentially dangerous to the Soviets as they sought to root out any dissent in their whole “you own nothing” experiment they were forcing on their people as a whole. So they had to go.
In the Ukraine, before Stalin came up with his “let’s just starve them all to death” plan, the Kulaks were divided into three groups depending on how threatening they were. One was sent to the Gulags, one to “resettle” and live (and usually die) in Siberia, and one to be executed forthwith. As these people were told their fate, they were ordered to turn over all their land, equipment, and animals to the state before they left.
And yes, they weren’t armed or vicious like their opponents. But you have to admire their guts. Seeing the writing on the wall, they couldn’t stop the government from taking their land, but they destroyed or disabled all the equipment they could, and in Ukraine alone they slaughtered over 22.4 MILLION head of cattle shortly before they were to hand them over. I’m sure they couldn’t eat or skin all of that before they had to “leave” but good for them!
The Soviets were PISSED and it largely led to more executions and a starve ’em out policy.
Anyways, I am encouraged by the human spirit of resistance, even against overwhelming odds. They must have known their numbers were up, but wanted to draw some blood and pain on their tormentors as they were frogmarched out the door.
One thing that will eventually give you away is. Sooner or later the looters ARE going to be tearing the town apart looking for stealable stuff. When the rest of the buildings have broken windows etc etc, and a ransacked look but YOUR place does not?? Hmm WHY is that one pristine?
Your neighbors WILL be your biggest problem, if they can’t get what you got they’ll snitch you out to others who can / will out of jealousy. KNOW what lives a few doors down. If they are not part of your survival plan then you will probably want to make them part of the food chain (fertilizer IS part of that chain!!) sooner rather than later.
When resources get scarce and the haves .vs. have nots become more profound, you will NOT live in harmony with the other ‘camps’. It just won’t happen.
If the power does go out for good, grab yourself a few pole transformers, if you have a generator, you can back feed those with wiring stretched around a perimeter and have it motion activated or whatever, to electrocute anything that trespasses into that area.
If it starts to get brutal, YOU will need to get brutal as well to survive.
Spoken like a veteran. No matter how long ago, or how far back in our psyche we push it, the training is always there.
I once heard basic training referred to as brutal and dehumanizing – and I guess it was to a certain extent. But the lessons we learned will never be forgotten.
I don’t necessarily like the person that I was back then. And I truly pray that some of these stupid people in power can do something to turn this train around, because I really don’t want to have to be that person again on a regular basis.
NOBODY human wants to be that person. BUT, those who are capable of being that person, are the ones who survive. You never E V E R want to get complacent or nonchalant about killing but you DO need to be able to do it when the need arises or you’ll be killed yourself.
also if you must, don’t let the resources goto waste either. Their flesh feeds your animals for YOU to survive. Their bones potash for your plants, and their fat will rend down and power your diesel generator. Organs can be used in bait / crab traps… etc .. if you are coastal, you get the idea. Id shy away from the long pork only because you don’t know the health quality of ‘them’.
A solid suggestion an ton of ideas on doing this can be found in The Quiet Place films.
I see a different lesson.
Never go out alone.
Always have a weapon on your body.
First I am a nonsmoker and I can smell cigarette and cannabis smoke at a distance, time to stop smoking is now.
Finally, I have a skill that may benefit someone’s ‘camp’. After sinus surgery I can smell EVERYTHING. Bahahahaha.
goes for other ‘addictions’ too.
what happens when the opioid user can’t get their fix anymore.
They WILL get sick, and BE sick for a few days or weeks while they clean out. If you are trembling, convulsing, sh1tting yourself, you are not going to be of much use to anyone. You may be mentally tough which is good but when the physical aspect (which you have NO control over, do NOT lie to yourself !!!) kicks in, you are at the mercy of, whatever.
People need to protect their hearing. People who make a habit of listening to headphones, loud TV/movies/radio, making loud noise for fun, not protecting their hearing in loud environments and activities, spend hours and hours in headsets or on phones, go deaf young. People who play in bands, go to loud music shows or clubs, use power equipment and do heavy work without ear protection, work in a noisy environment, etc. Even just driving has an effect, most truck drivers or people who drive a lot are eventually semi-deaf in their left ear due to the white noise of the air going by the window. The natural world we evolved in is so quiet that it doesn’t take much to actually damage the hearing. You can usually identify people with some degree of hearing loss they’re in denial about or unaware of because they’re shouting when everyone else is at a normal level of speech, or they don’t hear you unless you’re looking straight at them with eye contact when you speak. People in denial of their hearing loss, resistance to using aids, or whose aids are missing or not working etc are a liability if they do not understand how to keep their noise down and miss all kinds of sounds they need to be hearing.
I think I had the advantage of starting to think about prepping about a year before the plandemic, when I saw a property that was a hilltop, with a long, straight drive, a steep drop off on one side, and a steep hillside on the other. I thought, ‘That’s a corridor of death’. Turned out everything was 20 years old and rusted, the only flat place was where the house was, and overpriced. We looked at a lot of places over time, and found a hill that’s defensible, with creeks on three sides and the middle. Most people are established, and thinking of how to defend what they have. I started out looking for a site for a fortress.
Once the SHTF just relax because it won’t be too long before the FAT LADY SINGS(TFLS)
The exhaust of a generator is the most noisy. If you bury a 44 gallon steel drum in the ground, with holes in it like a colander, then have an inlet from the exhaust on top you’ll reduce the exhaust noise so much it may be almost silent.
This is one of the methods that will be in my book. LOL.
However I´m going to try some fillings and a design for good ventilation and avoid the buildup of exhaust gasses.
That was a bunch of 💩
79 comments made mostly by 3-4 people…you all need to be in a forum, not comment section.