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It is discussion without end, and there will always be people who prefer one over the other choice. We have pretty interesting discussion about if survival in urban setting is even possible right now in the forum.
It is OK, we all have opinions, and there should be nothing wrong in discussing opposing opinions. It is good to do that, because we can spot some things that we did not think about and somebody else did.
I prefer to find myself in rural settings when SHTF. I am subjective with that opinion simply because I experienced urban survival in urban setting once and can not imagine that it can be worse on country side. In fact, relatives who survived in rural setting simply had much better time.
But we all need to consider the actual pros and cons of choosing between these two options and we need to be objective, it is hard but we can try.
What you have with you is what you gonna have for some time if you find yourself in urban survival scenario.
If you have stored food and water most probably you can count on that only for some time, before situation changes or you manage to find some more supplies.
There are ways to obtain resources at the beginning of SHTF in the chaos, but it is not like in the movies, and you can count on the fact that mostly you will be late for these events and more organized units such as local gangs control who gets what when looting. It is high risk, medium reward and most of us prepare to not have to risk anything in this chaos.
Some greedy prepper will still head out to get that bit of extra and if you know my story from my time in war, that we looted the alcohol factory was very helpful in the weeks and months after. But we were not prepared. Big difference.
Better organized groups will control looting so this is no real benefit for urban survival.
Count on the fact that being in a city when SHTF means too many folks and way too little resources, and when that happens you can expect bad things.
Being in rural settings gives you advantage of having some (if not all) resources, of course with some planning ahead.
Trees in forests close to you or some small creek will mean a lot to you when SHTF. Not to mention animals, and food production from land of course.
No matter in what kind of house or apartment or whatever you are living in urban area, sooner or later you will be forced to defend it.
It is hard job, simply because you will not be sure who is your enemy, or in other words, you gonna have too many possible enemies.
When you have too many hungry folks everyone is your possible enemy. Can you imagine how much effort and time will this fact cost you? You gonna need to be alerted and ready to fight-defend at every minute and after you see true nature of most people trying to survive (and doing whatever necessary) there will be very few friends left.
Being in rural settings does not mean that you do not need to be prepared do defend yourself, but it is gonna be much easier because as I said less (unknown) people mean less troubles and less very desperate people mean people stick together more.
If you planning ahead to be in rural setings when SHTF you should have your group of people that you can trust, family or friends and neighbours, together with plans how to defend yourself. This is big ideal for most of us and just having bug out location and plan to get there is not enough.
Common sense, again
Now please, you need to understand that I am not saying that in case of SHTF it is impossible to survive in the city. I survived. I am just saying that in most of the SHTF cases it is gonna be MUCH HARDER to survive in the city than in some small rural community.
Of course I am talking here about real SHTF event. I know there are opinions that in some cases of SHTF there is gonna be much safer to stay in the city where there is some kind of law, and where that law still can protect you.
There are opinions that in distant rural places most of the murders, robbing and rape will happen because law is gone first in more remote areas. All this still makes rural settings much better in my opinion.
If you compare it to the normal life that most of us have today of course my relatives who survived war on the countryside had some hard time. They lost electric energy, almost all ways to make money, people who worked in cities lost jobs, it was war and situation was hard.
But point is that they had RESOURCES all around them, land for growing food, woods for fuel, animals for hunting etc.
And as you can imagine some old skills were in use again. People started to make juice from fruits, older folks remembered what kind of wild fruits and berries were used in hard time of WW2.
Folks simply „re-invented“ for example very old style wooden press for making jams and syrups from different kinds of fruits. It looked funny, it used very long skinny trunk (timber) as a kind of leverage, from the distance it looked like someone want to launch something from old Roman catapult.
But it worked, and it was not nothing new, people used that thing for centuries maybe, just it was forgotten maybe because it is easier to buy jam, or to make it with electric devices.
Horses were put in use for plowing fields, tobacco was grown etc. But what was most important is fact that people stood together much much better in small rural communities, they were in many cases relatives, or simply people who know each other for years.
In cases like that security issues were easier to solve, people were better in any kind of organisation.
One of the guys I know started getting rich at that times. He simply grew potatoes in big amounts, and had good connections for smuggling them to places where price was many times higher.
In short, resources and security are much easier to have in rural settings than in urban settings. Urban survival matters a lot but do not forget that all our goal should be to just need it until we left urban areas.
It is not some hard rule, but there is gonna be much more fighting for small amount of resources in urban settings, while there are many more resources and probably less fighting for it in rural settings.
What is your take on this? Share in comments below or in our discussion in the forum.
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Popular picture of „true survivalist“ can often fool you down if you are easily get under the influence of stereotypes.
So for example you gonna see true survivalist with his favorite rifle standing while world is going to hell behind him, and he is tough. He has rifle and lots of ammo.
It is good picture, but rarely you are gonna see picture of that true survivalist with rifle in one hand, and 1 year old baby with bad case of diarrhea and vomiting in other hand.
It is not nice picture, but it is realistic. Personally I did not have kids during my SHTF time, but I saw how relatives had problems with kids and babies. And more important is that I have kids now, so I want to be prepared for some stuff.
When SHTF all you people who have small kids can count on multiplying all of your problems with kids so it is good to be prepared to some of those. Having kids during SHTF can be burden but at same time it is not, because if you have kids it becomes your reason for everything. Some people might fight harder or see more sense in staying alive to protect family than just for themselves. In my opinion there is no “right way” here and we still have to live in present moment and not in future that looks dark but we do not know what and when things will turn really ugly.
All this is also if you have very old people or people with handicap in group of course. You can replace babies and small children simply with “people who need help”.
1. Health problems
Be ready for “usual” emergencies that can strike your kid, remember that most probably you are not gonna be able to take your kid to the pediatrician, so you gonna be forced to solve emergencies like:
- Typical first aid „cases“ (cuts, scrapes, fractures etc.)
- Ear or throat infections and similar
Talk to other mothers and fathers what works with their kids with typical child illnesses.
Research what kind of illness you can expect, usual symptoms, therapy, care etc. Lot of that knowledge can be found online, but also be ready to invest in some literature.
If your kid lives with some health problems already, learn about it and also learn alternative treatments so you can help your kids when modern medicine is not there anymore.
2. Store things
One very valuable thing during SHTF was baby food. Very valuable. It may sound too “heartless”, but it is simply mathematics – kids are precious to the parents, and because of that baby food became very valuable. People have been ready to do a lot to get some of that.
So do not become some of those desperate folks when SHTF. If you have baby be ready to store A LOT of baby food, especially if your kid is allergic to some ingredients and you need to have some unusual baby food.
You can imagine how rare and expensive it will be to get that stuff.
3. Be there for them
When SHTF we had many other things on our minds so for kids it was only about how to keep them safe, and that was it. I mean somehow most of the folks thought that if they put kids in some safe room inside house, provide them food it will be somehow all OK when everything ends.
But in lots of cases it was not OK at all. Great number of those “safe” kids grow up and become very troubled people. Lots of them adopted philosophy that violence is key for everything, or others simply grow up without influence of their parents. No surprise, everyone struggled to pick up and rebuild life from nothing after war was over.
They have been safe, but not paid attention to.
So keep in mind that part of survival is also raising your kid into a normal person. If you failed to do that, somebody could say that there was no sense in surviving. Do not let part of your children die when you can avoid it. It is maybe crazy if you hear me talk about this now but maybe one day you remember this and use the last bit of energy after long and hard day getting things in order to survive you spend some time with kids instead of just relaxing. This can make huge difference.
Include your kids in everything and be there for them on bad days. They see everything, and if they do not have someone who is explaining to them what is going on, they could come to their own conclusions, wrong ones and that can mark them for rest of their lives.
As a part of preparing, be ready to teach your kids at home (homeschooling) and to spend time with them with games and teaching. It is survival too. Just the family side of it.
Never forget that even during collapse time still goes by. It is not like you are in frozen space and everything is different. It looks like that but we all keep learning and experience shapes what we become later. A “master” survivalist also manages to be good father or mother even in times of hardship. Many generations before us did and so can we.
What do you do prepare for, for your kids or those who need help? Join our discussion in our forum or in comments below.
TV news and internet are covered with headlines like „shocking, captured Iraqis beheaded“ or „they killing everyone on their way“ and „prisoners executed“ and similar.
And folks who watch and comment on the news and videos who still live in „normal“ world without this kind of crazyiness going on, are shocked of course.
First comments are that those people and groups who are doing that are animals and they need to be „bombed to stone age“, or „they are not deserving better anyway“ and then goes „they are all same there, let them kill each other“ and similar.
While I would definitely like to see that fanatics getting „eradicated“ there, there are more things that should be considered.
Most of the folks are not going to watch video of that violence, because it is too much for them (like this video that „promotes“ ISIS), they will change channel, or simply open the page with news from the „celebrity world“.
People do not want to watch or think about bad things, people want to forget that, and yes, at the end there comes again that famous „it cannot happen to us“ idea.
- Do you really think that when (not if) SHTF events would be much different in your part of the world?
- Do you think that when collapse happens, you and people around you in your town will be somehow able to organize food distribution, security and safety for residents, and all those criminals and sick bastards will somehow disappear, and there is going to be new better society?
- Are you under the influence of movies and you think that good guys win almost always and that there is justice and sense in everything?
I hope you do not because I highly doubt anything like this is going to happen anywhere.
Forget good guys and bad guys. Prepared guys win, they can be good or bad, or both.
Problem is in the fact that simply too many people are waiting for S. to hit the fan so they can go out and play their own version of God. Just ask yourself this question: Who is more experienced living in place without any law, criminals or regular folks?
Criminals, sick folks, small Napoleons, guys who suddenly think that they have solution for building new society without including morale in story…
There are guys who wait for SHTF to go out and rule, to take your food, enslave you, recruit your older kids, or to take your wife maybe for fun.
Maybe how and when everything happens in your neighbourhood would be different when SHTF then in those news articles that we talking about, but lot of things gonna be the same, lot of people, not enough resources, and fight for power.
It is often hard to imagine for regular people how nasty other humans can become. If you have been to prison, war or deal a lot with criminals you know better.
And again, I am talking this from my own experience. Again.
One day I had job, family, car, restaurants, cinema, girlfriends, I was listening Guns n Roses and was angry about last album of Metallica. Life was nice and good to me, I had problems but they were in the range of am I lazy to go and rent video tape, or just spent afternoon reading something.
I suddenly realized that I am living among guys who are finding amusement in taking women and teenage girls to „rape prisons“, or kill for fun and not for survival. I suddenly realized that I was living all the time among whole bunch of weird sick folks who when SHTF just went out to have fun.
And yes, I heard and read many times „they are just different down there, they are all the same, let them kill each other, they are different“.
And I am sure that if tommorow SHTF in Sweden, there s gonna be folks who gonna write „oh, leave them, they are animals anyway, not like we here, they are different.“
It is the easy answer. It feels good to think like that.
But forget that, forget about image of „we are nice and decent folks here, and it is impossible to happen to us, these kind of atrocities“
Whenever someone I know tells me about bad situation here something like „OH, it is gonna be OK, it is not gonna happen to us, situation will be better“ in that same moment I got strong urge to go out and buy more ammo.
Or whenever someone says to me „do not worry, we have system here, they gonna take care of everything“ I feel like I am gonna throw up.
Screw the system, you need to build your own system.
It is like people live in their own little pretty house. Outside you have monsters knocking on windows looking at the people inside but they look away. Facing reality is uncomfortable and most believe monsters never come in. Bad news is that closing your eyes does not make you invincible. You are just blind and more vulnerable.
Lesson here is, do not discount what you can learn from ongoing crisis half way around the world. I never expected people could turn into monsters all around me so fast, I adopted and survived, but you have chance today to understand this and be prepared for this.