When we talk about how to start with preparing, for example how to talk to someone who is dear to you to get them started with preparing, it is easy to think that they will understand because it is obvious that world is going to hell right now.
You may try to convince someone to be with you in case of SHTF if that person is someone dear to you (family member for example) or if that person has cool skills that you will need when SHTF (some friend who does not know or share thoughts about SHTF, but his skills are great).
Of course best combination is if you have family members who have really cool skills necessary for SHTF (for example wilderness skills, martial arts, shooting, farming or similar) and you just need good conversation with that person over some time in order to be on same track with you and understand the importance of prepping.
Problem is in fact that combination is rare, and sometimes even if you have it, it can be possible that this person is useless simply because he (or she) is too shocked with SHTF and how hostile world suddenly is.
Anyway, there are activities to kinda „promote“ or simply „test“ your friends (or family members) if they are „candidates“ for your survival group.
It is slow process, you can not just go to someone and tell him that you strongly believe that world as we know it will end in next few years and that we all need to be prepared for that.
Usually they will think you are a weirdo.
There is nothing more simple and valuable in terms of learning and checking skills of someone (including yourself) like few days of camping in wilderness.
I am talking about camping in simple tents, with stuff and tools necessary for camping, without dragging truck full of things that will make your camping trip something like multiple day barbecue party in your backyard.
How to start fire, different kinds of wood, how to not kill yourself with axe while you collect wood, fishing, cleaning and preparing the food. Buying meat in your grocery shop is something completely different from killing live animals cleaning them and making them edible, for some people even catching (killing) fish is something new or big effort.
Man can get whole new perspective while lying inside tent during heavy rain, and it is getting colder and colder.
You can talk to him about how many people died last year because they were not aware of how everything is fragile, but he still gonna think that s..t is happening to someone else always and not him.
But he will always remember how cold it was because he did not have right socks, shoes or sleeping bag.
Or simply how hard it is to make your own food while it is freezing cold. Nothing like real experiences.
I was with friend camping on one mountain lake, and in the middle of the night he went out to look for the „toilet“.
He did not bring lamp, he went few steps too far into the woods, and of course after he finished his business he finds out that he does not have clue how to come back to the tents.
After 20 minutes of wondering he yelled and screamed and woke me up, he was actually close to the tents, so I brought him back. Grown up man, so helpless.
He said that he never felt scared like then, and that he did not have clue that „it is so dark in woods“.
It is simple. It happened before , and it will happen again. And probably it will be worse.
As a society we invented things and tools that allow us to make collapse events bigger, nastier, uglier.
We are living in a world where victims are numbers only, where there is thin line between those who will be protected and hidden when SHTF and those who will die in huge numbers when SHTF.
Do you still believe that goverment is there for your own good?
When SHTF, majority of folks will be left to take care for themselves and that s it.
It was like that many times before, and in the future it is gonna be even worse because we realy more and more on the system.
Suggest someone who is dear to you to read real life experiences.
Choose your books. For example general who was involved and wrote book about WW2 can teach you maybe something about tactics and numbers, but man who survived holocaust in camp can teach you way more about living and dying.
How armies were defeated is interesting, how man survived hiding like animal is more interesting in terms of survival.
Movies, documentaries ,TV shows, web and everything else are great sources of information and tools to give someone the right ideas but real experiences are always better.
If necessary, fake a longer power out to make people uncomfortable. This is not mean, this is to show them how much they depend on things and take things for granted. Survival is about getting normal skills back every human should have and needed for many thousands of years.
But like I mentioned many times before, there is danger of getting involved in preparing and getting things only instead getting the right mindset and knowledge. Learning common sense.
This is also what people will learn in our Survival Course in Croatia in few weeks. We still have spots available and you can train with me and Toby a few hundred miles from where I survived during Balkan war.
Nothing beats real experience and investing in fancy knife might be fun, I understand, but real training and right mindset will make difference between those who live and those who die.
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There are few things to understand if you are forced to kill someone or in if someone is trying to kill you.
Most of the people are unaware of them but it is important to understand them.
As I said many times before, most people simply did not face real violence before. I mean killing or fighting for life. That’s good because we live in society where those things are not needed.
On the other side, from the point of survival if you did not went through serious violence before you lack that experience, you do not really know what to expect when SHTF So…
People are easy to kill or people are hard to kill?
Guess what? Both of the statements are actually true. How?
It is simple, first forget about movie scenes where people are flying 10 meters back when you shoot at them with your handgun.
Not too much flying there, when you shoot man from close distance couple of things can happen.
In some cases he just flop (collapse) down, and that’s it. He is gone. And most interesting thing from that experience is sound of his collapse. It is sound like some big bag of something full of wet stuff and some solid elements goes down. Pretty much what our body is.
It is special sound, and you willa remember it to the rest of your life.
Let’s say here that right placement of the shot, right distance, numbers of shots, and your training and calmness brings makes this happen.
In another case, you may find yourself in situation where attacker is coming to you, rapidly closing, you keep firing at him, distance is pretty close, and nothing happens… he is still closing, you shoot and shoot, you are screaming or you just think you are screaming, something loud keeps exploding in your ears, and you are not aware is that your gunshots or what, you are not even sure are guns being fired at all, maybe something is wrong with your gun „other guy’s eyes are getting closer and he is having a knife, he is huge, **** what is going on? Am I going to die? God? Mom?“
And then he is down.
Was that a guy that was hard to kill? Yes, later you figured that you shot him like 6 or 7 times, but not in correct places, he was huge, adrenaline made him forget the pain so…
Both examples are real experiences. There are so many factors that play into this…
So what with the questions about are folks easy or hard to kill, I suggest simple formula, if you are forced to kill someone, consider the fact that it takes lots of factors to be in right place to achieve that, but if if you are in situation when someone is trying to kill you act like it is very easy to get killed.
Long long time ago, when I was beginner in some things, and when I did not know anything about violence, and it was very clear that I will face violence, one old dude gave me advice about similar things, he had pistol with one extra mag.
He said: „ OK, when he is coming to you, you empty magazine into him“ I asked what then? He said “then you reload and empty another magazine into him“
I asked „ Both magazines?“
He said „First two bullets should do the job, but you just go and empty magazines at him“
Killing is nasty job.
Reasons for violence
Huge topic. But lets just say that it will happen, without going too deep into philosophy. Lots of the violence will be „understandable“ in a way, when SHTF. Fighting for food, water, land etc. And as a survivalist you need to be prepared for it. It makes sense to expect it.
But lots of people will have problems to accept violence that will happen without real reasons.
In fact, as I mentioned before, there are huge number of people who are waiting for SHTF to happen and to get violent without real reasons. Murdering, torturing, raping, imprisoning…
You may call them sick people, which they are of course. But more important is to understand that today they are folks who drink beer in local park, or guys with who you watch football games sometimes.
Or simply your peacefully looking neighbour. When SHTF, all kind of scum crawls out of their holes. So accepting violence in general is hard, it is easier when some people at least have some reasons but you can not expect this to be the case always. Prepare your mind for this.
Accepting the violence
You may have luck to live peacefully after seeing, experiencing or committing violence. Maybe you are built for that. Maybe you are what people call “strong man” inside and outside or only on one side.
I think I remember each man who died in front of me or next to me. I remember sounds, smells, pictures.
I forgot names and years, dates or places. But I remember moment when life goes from the eyes of dying man. Or deep last breaths from several people. Or simply smell of defecation when man is gone.
Few times I thought I felt something like weird sensation, couple of seconds after men’s last breath, something like I could felt his soul is leaving him.
Or I simply felt my adrenaline eruptions, or maybe I was losing my mind for a moment, who knows?
With time you learn to cope with those things, to watch people die, either people you loved, or people who die from your hand.
There was urban myth, that one officer from the army was asked something like „Captain, these young guys that we just killed in huge numbers, there are still kids left, they do not know anything, what do we do with them?“
Officer said „ We do what we do, it is our way of life“
It is death. And you simply need to cope with it.
Share your thoughts and comments on how you prepare yourself for exposure to violence in our forum or comments below.
As my plans include bugging out in case of SHTF to my BOL (bug out location), most of the time and effort is spent on preparing that part, but being prepper in apartment is an interesting topic too.
Some of us do not have other options, so they are planning to be where they are when SHTF-in apartment, and survive.
Other good reason to talk about apartment prepping is simply because all of our plans may vanish (plans to bug out to our BOL) so we could be simply forced to stay where we are when the system collapses.
So do not put everything in planning that you will leave when SHTF, maybe you will not be able to do so, or you are forced to spent some time where you are.
So here are few thoughts:
Know a lot about others, let others know only what you want to share about you.
Living in an apartment building usually means that you are going to meet your neighbors and you can’t avoid that. So be kind of curious about folks who live around you. It is very good thing to know what kind of people they are, what they do, their views and hobbies, their worries.
Of course that does not mean that you become something like the spy or stalker of your neighbourhood, just use your time and find out whatever you can about them when you talk to them or you see them doing stuff.
For example, I know exactly who will leave my neighbourhood if SHTF, who has some weekend house close to our building, or who does not have place to go to. I know what cars they are driving, time of the day when they are at home or at job (or picking their kids from school), some of their medical conditions, or political views, who likes to hunt during hunting season (and have hunting rifle at home most probably) etc.
As I said this is not about spying, it is about enough time and observing, paying attention and small chats.
It is true, in terms of security you need to keep your mouth shut, especially about your preparations.
But it does not mean you have to be the grumpy guy from the neighbourhood who hates people.
Be an ordinary guy, that also helps you to collect information in an easy way. Another good point is that you need to be ordinary guy because you do not want to attract attention. Being different is always a bad thing.
There is no point in looking completely different because you are prepper. Just keep that difference to yourself.
Of course you need to have food and water stored in your apartment too, no matter if you are planning to bug out as soon as first signs of collapse show up or not.
There are great suggestions everywhere how you can store goods in small spaces, like to put them inside beds, or even doors, containers for water inside tubs etc.
Of course you need to keep it secret too, so there is no sense if some of the neighbours come to your door to ask you something and they can see behind your back that your apartment looks like storage for doomsday.
When it comes to energy there are lot of suggestions about solar panels for apartment prepping and similar, I also like solar energy, but keep in mind that having 4-5 solar panels at your BOL and in your apartment is not the same, not only in terms of easy settings.
For example in my neighbourhood, there are maybe 5-6 apartments with visible solar panels, out of total maybe 300 apartments.
Point is that they just attract attention, when SHTF those solar panels will look very interesting for whole bunch of people who want to recharge their stuff.
If you planning to have solar panels try to have small ones, portable, for charging batteries, and check how you can use them without being so visible from everywhere, I rely heavily on a lot of rechargeable batteries and small solar charger.
Depending on the climate that you live in, you absolutely need to have alternative source of heating. When SHTF everything is much worse if you are forced to go through everything while you are freezing.
My apartment building has old central system for heating with wood, probably never used, or at least not used for 20 years now. Folks use modern heaters these days. But the old system still works, I checked it and it is a way to get rid of smoke.
If you have something similar, then it makes sense to have some kind of small wood stove stored somewhere so you can use it if you need it.
Store some wood too, or in worst case you can use furniture, doors, frames, books floor etc. In best case scenario use parks for collecting fuel.
Think outside box, if your apartment building does not have chimney system (i guess most modern buildings do not have it) have some metal pieces and lead smoke through your balcony, window or hole in the wall that you made.
Sounds dirty and stupid maybe but people used it a lot during the war in apartments, and do not forget that a longer metal exhaust that leads the smoke out means you can keep the stove closer and stay warm.
There are two problems here, poisoning which you can avoid by building a proper system, and of course investing some money in CO detector.
Other problem is smoke coming out from your apartment, people mentioning it a lot, as a possible invitation for trouble.
Actually in real SHTF there will be lot of smoke (and smell) in cities anyway, but if you see that it could be problem try to use fire by night, or „hide“ the exhaust little bit, so it does not look obvious from where the smoke is coming, try to disperse it a little bit so it does not look too „controlled“ and more like regular burning apartment.
These are just some thoughts on this that I think matter. How do you plan to prepare if you can not get out of your apartment or house and you live in urban environment? Share in comments below or community forum.