A Season of Hope…?

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“Better to be a dog in a peaceful time, than to be a human in a chaotic (warring) period.” – Chinese expression

 

Terrorist attack in Germany, problems in Baltics, Syrian conflict with its all aspects and complications, everybody afraid of Russians…

The Balkans is suffocating in its own small „race for weapons“ and trying to find out is it better to look to West or East…?

Immigrants are changing complete fabric of many countries and yet there are more waves of them to expect probably…

Folks in US who expecting and hoping things go better after January, but there are no guarantees.

 

We are living in the world where it is huge risk to go to the open and celebrate something, because one truck with brainwashed man inside can do chaos and bloodshed.

And there are way too many trucks and way too many brainwashed lunatics.

 

Europe is falling down slowly, but for sure in series of events that may look like nothing too serious if you look at it one by one problem, but all together it is something that is bigger than us.

It is something that is going to be learned (hopefully) in history lessons in future something like our time now was a  „big turning point“ If there is gonna be history and people to learn it in the future.

People more and more get into the state when they realize that being something like prepper make sense, and that is good.

On the other hand, most folks do not realize how bad and long it is going to be, but it is fine. Any work in a direction of being aware is good for start.

I wish to people to stay prepared and learn all the time together with their families and good friends.

I wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Enjoy the celebrations, but do not relax to much. Keep on with your prepping efforts, now is NOT the time too ‘ease up’ on things…

2017 is probably going to be an interesting year…. What do you think might happen?

Top 5 SHTF ‘Surprises’

I recently ran one of my newest courses, called ’A Mile In My Shoes’. This is where I take a small group of students to the city where I survived the war and take them around and physically show them the realities of what was faced. A lot of lessons, of course, are learnt during the course and most importantly (and what I hoped for) Students come far closer to realizing the ‘reality’ of a true SHTF situation.

I thought I would share you the ‘Top 5’ surprises that the students faced, meaning things they had not thought about or realized before the course, but had to accept and come to terms with during…

1) How ‘Close’ the fighting will be.

1

This picture, taken very close to my house, was one of the ‘front lines’ for some time. One side was in houses on the left of the alley, other side (enemy) were in the right side houses. This seems INCREDIBLY close (and it is) but then realize, there were times when the ‘dividing lines’ were even closer than this.

When you put that into the perspective then you can start to think about new reality because there is nothing very static and sure when SHTF, one day the house next to you can be completely safe, other day there might be someone inside who wants to harm you, or simply you’ll never be sure how safe and secure are your surroundings.

It is the most dangerous aspect of urban SHTF, because you’ll have lot of people in a relatively small area and you’ll have higher demand for (very limited) resources because the ‘system’ is gone.

Now when you add to that calculation the fact that lot of houses are going to be be destroyed, you get to the point that you never know anything for sure, where is someone and what intention they have.

That is especially important if you planning to survive urban SHTF alone (lone wolf theory) so you can get a feeling how hard that’s going to be.

 

  1. The ‘Enemy’ will look, sound and speak like you.

 

They may even have been your longtime friends, but are now on the ‘opposite’ side. Fighting here was divided by all sorts of reasons, race, religion, affiliation, heritage, politics and often a big mix of all these things. ‘Sides’ were always changing as well. That’s just the ‘enemy’, when it comes to Survival you will fight to get what you need or protect what you have from whoever…

Having thoughts that some foreign forces will invade your country, forces that will look, act, speak completely different then you and people from your surroundings are mostly just fantasies, especially when we talk about USA.

That may be case, but you’re going to have a lot of ‘local’ fighting and surviving before that.

Strong systems are going to have a “bigger and longer” fall, there is way too many people and weapons in the US for some some foreign force to choose to invade and pacify the country… it is impossible.

What is possible is to “push” some country into the chaos, in order to turn on themselves, suffer hunger, prolonged chaos and similar, and maybe then to invade.

At the end it all comes to you and people who want to harm you. The fact that the people want to harm you were people who you use to know does not make it easier.

Do not expect martians or Russians, expect people who look, act, and talk like you, who want to survive just like you.

Again we come to the point that you will be forced to fight with your neighbors, fellow countrymen for resources

 

  1. How ‘busy’ an average days was.

 

Fighting for survival is an all day, every day task. You are constantly hunting, scavenging, gathering, finding information, looking and checking things. All while the most stressed you have ever been and under constant threat, all while being hungry and thirsty.

There is no ‘day off’, or ‘break’. This is the big difference between a soldier and civilian in war. A soldier has a job to do, and all his other needs are taken care of. He can just focus on his one job. In a civil war, you (and your group) need to cover all tasks, all the time…

If you served in Army, you had clear orders, topics, outside of that you did not (need) to think about too many things.

You had “backup” or “rear”.  Your job was to do tasks, and someone else take care of all the other things in order for you to finish your tasks successfully.

In SHTF you are the first unit, rear and back up. If you fuck up and break your leg there is no medical evacuation. If you did not find food (or any other resources) there is no service who will do that for you.

It is hard time, and day is full of “acquiring” things and finishing jobs.

Shooting at someone may look like a fun idea today, or romantic in some way. It is maybe more romantic then to think how to manage your waste, or do bath or lower your kid’s fever in the middle of SHTF.

You are everything when SHTF, because system is out.

 

  1. The level of the threat.

 

In SHTF almost everything is a threat to you. Yes, easy to understand threats like sniper, gangs, angry neighbors etc, but the lack of food, complete lack of hygiene, level of contamination, risk of illness and injury, being found, being informed on, being tricked, getting captured and many, many, more make up a larger amount of threats than most ever think of.

Just even start to imagine every ‘supply’ you take for granted (Fuel, electricity, water, stores, emergency services etc) being taken away and not knowing when it will ever come back. Then imagine the worst person you have ever known, someone you would not trust to help you in any situation. Now imagine everyone around you is like that person. Then imagine everything you climb on, through or over can hurt you, and that everything you touch has the potential to make you ill… You got all that? If you do, you are maybe about 40% of the way to imagining the reality…

Level of threat is going to be a BIG shock to you in the beginning, if you survive that shock it is good because then you get yourself into the mode of real surviving.

No matter how well you are prepared you will go through that shock, with good preparation and correct mentality you can minimize that shock and make it shorter, and that is the point of preparing.

 

  1. The reality of defending/keeping your assets.

 

I know. All the points mentioned don’t bother you that much, as you have nice house, lots of supplies and ready to fight. But how is your plan working once your house or apartment looks like this…?

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And inside like this…?

3

And anyone who is ‘fit’ must go out a lot to find things for every day survival. How you protect all your ‘stuff’, who is going to protect all your things…?

What, when one day a group so big comes to ask you how you’re doing so OK, and what you have there, that to protect your stuff from them is a clear death sentence.

Having right mindset about difference between defending something and get killed, and adapting yourself in order to survive without it make sense here.

You have to adapt fact that maybe you’ll be forced to survive only with your skills. You do not know, and cannot be sure.

Understand, in SHTF, every house in the city is going to look like this, or worse (not be there). In my city there are many houses you see like this. You see them because they are made of stone or concrete. You don’t see the wood buildings because they all burned down…

There were many, many more things realized and discussed during the course, and I want to say well done to the students for coming with such enthusiasm and asking such good questions in the course.

Soon I will write more about the big problem of really ‘misunderstanding’ the reality so present in the preparedness community just now. Until then, you can read more about the ‘Mile In My Shoes’ course here:

http://shtfschool.com/a-mile-in-my-shoes/

We are making these courses as affordable and accessible as possible. If you want to join, you can either add your name to the waiting list, and as soon as we have enough students we set the date for the next course, or you can book a ‘private’ course for exactly the same price, all you need is a minimum of you and two friends.

Trust me when I tell you there is not a course like this anywhere else, and you will learn many things that you hadn’t expected when you join me on a tour of the place I survived…

Guest Post – Archery Vs Firearms – What’s The Best SHTF Weapon?

 

As a survivalist, you’re always loyal to your weapon. Regardless of your choice of weapon – whether it’s a gun or bow – you always believe that you’ve got the most efficient weapon to handle any SHTF situation that rolls before you.

But which one comes on top? A gun or a bow?

None is really better than other; each can kill efficiently. However, each of them has its strengths and weaknesses, and this can guide you into picking the right weapon that serves your short-term or long-term survival needs.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at each weapon and their pros and cons to help you make a wiser decision on the right weapon for you.

Let’s do this:

 Archery for SHTF Weapon

Archery for SHTF Weapon

 

Now the survival bows have been there for centuries. The modern day bow, however, has undergone some transformations to make it even more efficient. Just like the guns, you’ll find bows of different sizes and shapes – depending on your needs.

An ideal survival bow can just be anything – from a simple twig and paracord to the high-end takedown bows with 80lbs plus draw in the bug out bag.

Before you can become a pro at using your bow, you’ll need to take some archery lessons. Otherwise, you’ll always fail whenever you try to shoot your target.

Proper training, practice and use of bow add-ons that enhance accuracy – such as the single pin bow sight – you’ll become a pro archer in no time!

Pros:

– Bows are ideal weapons for long-term survivalists, given that even if you run out of ammo, you’ll still be ok. Even if a deer runs with your last arrow on its leg, you can still make new arrows from the surrounding materials – in either urban or wild environment – and get back to hunting.

– Another great attribute of the arrows is that they operate silently (more so when you use the string silencer correctly). This helps keep your location a secret and make it difficult for your enemy to track you.

– If your enemy is smart, he can easily track your location by using the direction they saw the arrow coming from. Luckily, you can take advantage of the slow speed of the arrow compared to the bullet to change your spot long before the arrow you fired hits the target.

– In case you want to set your target on fire, the bow is the easiest way to do so. By simply firing a flaming arrow, you can set your target on fire right from your spot.

– It’s possible to make a functional bow out of any stuff you find in the urban environment or woods. Though such a bow might not be as accurate as the commercial ones, it will still work in a SHTF scenario.

Cons:

– For you to start using your bow and arrow appropriately and accurately, you’ll need to take some training which is not easy. All the professional archers you see took years to master archery skills. If you just grabbed your arrow for the first time, it will not work well on you without the basic archery skills.

– Unlike the rifle shots, bow shots ought to be done from a relatively closer range. This means you’ve to be as much careful as possible as you try to get closer without alerting your target of your presence. Most survival bows require you to stand around 30-50 yards from the target.

– Arrows usually occupy a lot of space – a typical quiver accommodates 6-10 arrows – and given that each bolt weighs around 20grams, it might be a bit cumbersome compared to your rifle.

 

Firearm for SHTF Weapon

Firearm for SHTF Weapon

 

A gun is probably the most powerful weapon. It’s capable of hitting a target 600 plus yards away accurately and effortlessly. The ammo can drop your target on the spot, taking away the need to track down the animal.

However, a firearm has one some top con that makes it an excellent choice for short-term survival situations only. And one of these cons is that they run out of ammo (and you can’t reuse the ammo), leaving you defenseless…

Pros:

– The firearms ability to take down your target on the spot with less effort is incredible! This is something you’ll not be able to experience with your bow as you’ll still have to track down the target after successfully shooting it.

– Unlike the bows, rifles are incredibly easy to pick up and even learn how to stop a target in its tracks. You don’t need to attend anyone’s class to learn how to use your rifle; just a few basics and you’re ready to go.

– With firearms, you’ll enjoy a wider range that with the bow. Of course, this will depend on the type of gun you use, type of metal used to make the bullet, and the weight of the ammo powder grain. Nevertheless, you’ll still be able to enjoy a wider range than a bow – even with the simple .22LR round.

Cons:

– Ammo shortages are the main drawback when it comes to the use of firearms. You ought to make every shot round count as you can’t reuse the ammo once it’s fired. This will not do well in your survival situation.

– Guns are pretty LOUD! This can present you with many challenges in a SHTF scenario, especially when you want to make your stand a secret.

– Guns require regular maintenance. If you fail to clean your weapon, you won’t be able to shoot with it in the long term. Rounds might get jammed mid-barrel, or they might blow apart your gun assembly. Such cases will damage your survival weapon beyond repair.

 

Final Verdict – Which Weapon Should You Pick?

For a long time now, the rifle has been regarded as the best SHTF weapon. However, bows are also viable SHTF weapons. The type of weapon you choose to go with really depends on the SHTF situation you’re in. For example, it would be wiser to use your bow for hunting for food as well as home defense.

Even when you’re using your gun, you would also want to have bow by your side to act as a backup weapon, just in case you run out of ammo.

So, start practicing archery skills since you never know the day you’ll desperately need to use a bow in a survival situation.

 

Selco’s Comments:

My simplest and shortest answer to this question would be that gun is better weapon than a bow when SHTF. My reasons are numerous, but most important is simply because gun’s are easily available to me, and a lot of ammunition too, and spare parts, and knowledge about it, more firepower etc etc. So simply it makes sense to me. Remembering I have „been there  done that“, I am not discussing this in an academic way, I am reaching into my personal experiences…

But it is not the end of the story of course. A bow as a secondary weapon, or in some specific situations as a weapon of first choice might make sense too (for example matter of silence, matter of making point, psychological impact of finding man with arrow in chest… or similar)

So yes, it makes perfect sense to say „Yes. I want to know everything about bow hunting (not only animals)“ it makes much more sense then to say “ I have a gun, I do not want to know anything about bow making or bow hunting because I have gun“

Guns are much better weapon for SHTF, but it make sense to know and have a bow for sure. Why would we not  think here in the in terms of“ two is one, and one is none“?

I have some doubts about making good and usable (urban SHTF settings ) bow, but again lot of people have doubts for example about usability (and value) of crowbar type tool (or weapon) in urban SHTF,  because lack of real life experience, so it my be my case too.

Actually why we would not have and know everything about gun, bow, knife and spear too for example. It is not about „what is best“, it is about more options.

I definitely appreciate any good (and real life experience) data and review about any tool and weapon usable for SHTF.

What is most important here is that as a survivalist, and some experience in that survivalism, my loyalty to the weapon goes only to the extent how good it serves me, it needs to be loyal to ME, it needs to get the job done.

I do not have any kind of attachment to that weapon other than to perfectly know how to use it and to make it happen (to finish that „job“ ), if I find better weapon I will start to use that better weapon, if in particular situation some other weapon will do better job( knife? Piece of rock? Sling?) I will use it without thoughts and concerns about loyalty and attachment to previous weapon.

Firearm is best weapon for SHTF, most commonly used, with best results, but yes, if there is situation for usage of other kind of weapon then use it (and know how) without thinking about loyalty and attachments.

We are talking here about tools to get job done, nothing more. Thanks Jennifer for a great article to provoke some thoughts and discussion. I look forward to reading the comments on your article…

 

Author Bio:

Jennifer is the founder of BuckWithBow, a great blog that focuses on helping you learn how to hunt deer with a bow. As an experienced bow hunter, she will guide you through the Do’s and Don’ts of the bowhunting world and transform you into a better hunter. Whether you are an experienced bow hunter or an absolute beginner, you will find BuckWithBow a gem!

Jennifer

The Importance of Illumination

Candle

In a previous article we discussed details of Everyday Carry Items (EDC) We started with the premise of a ‘layered’ EDC system, distributing items between pockets, small containers and bags etc depending on their importance and access requirements.

 

I, like many, am constantly reviewing, revising and amending my EDC, not least of which because of the amount I travel but also due to the extreme environmental fluctuations we have here in the far north of Scandinavia! Every year sees the long lazy summer days pass, the dismal vestiges of late autumn then break to a dark and cold winter, not only here, but in many other regions as well. Even if you are not entering a winter phase, it cannot be lost on us, as sure as the sun rises it sets, and dealing with the dark is a topic often overlooked in defensive circles. In this article I’m going to briefly but comprehensively take you through some of the considerations when it comes to the Importance of Illumination and some EDC options.

 

As a serious minimalist when it comes to equipment carry, to the extent I am very rarely subscribed to the ‘multiple redundancy carry’ mindset often espoused  (I do genuinely have my reasons) a review of my Level 1 and 2 EDC (On my body or within arms reach) reveals 4 separate illumination devices(!) This may seem extreme, so what am I carrying and why?

For an overview I am carrying, in order:

  • A small red LED light on a paracord neck chain. (Left of Picture)
  • A small blue LED light on my keychain. (Centre Left of Picture)
  • A Tactical Flashlight (Eagletac P20C2) in my pocket (Centre Right of Picture)
  • A (Petzl brand) Headtorch in my small ‘Manbag’ (Right of Picture)

 

illumination 1

 

Before I continue, I want to highlight a twofold advantage of this approach. Not only does this EDC offer a good, robust and resilient approach to many issues, both small and large, but it has proved, to date, to be one of the best ‘conversion strategies’ I have had in terms of spousal/family type ‘buy in’, not only for my family but for students of mine as well. While this is a significant issue of its own that I will write about further in a separate article, it definitely is worth mentioning here at this time!

 

So why am I carrying this? This I’ll answer by item, but in reverse order:

 

The Headtorch (or Headlamp)

Not only in my capacity as a professional outdoorsman, but on numerous occasions throughout my regular daily activity, I will need to illuminate a specific area AND want to keep my hands free. While deepthroating a maglite is eminently doable, I can’t say it enables one to focus well on any given task. That, combined with the fact this action, when performed at extreme low temperatures will result in your mouth being frozen to the flashlight for ‘some time’, normally ensures alternatives should be sought (I reserve the right to provide no further detail on this particular ‘fact finding story’, thank you very much) However you get to this end result, we can be happy with the idea that being able to provide light and keep our hands free is often a very good thing. From writing notes, changing a tire by the roadside, tying and untying knots, using tools, sharpening knives, or fiddling in the fuse box to fix the ‘blackout’ and much, much more not having one hand ‘occupied’ holding a light is a tremendous bonus.

 

One other, slight aside, but VERY useful tip on the headtorch. Look at the picture again. You see on the right hand side of the torch pictured the ‘battery box’? You see between the battery box and the light itself a small green colored object? This is a complete set of spare batteries secured to the strap of the headtorch with cloth tape. More on this a little later, but this tip has helped me more times than I can now count!

 

The Tactical Flashlight

For those of us living under heavy legal restrictions ‘weapon carry’ is exceptionally problematic. Even small folding knives in some countries will be dealt with in the most draconian way. A tactical flashlight has travelled with me through numerous countries, multiple security checkpoints, including American airports, and has never once been questioned or raised concerns. As well as offering a good, solid, white light source, useful for a wide variety of things. The strobe effect, hardened metal body, size and shape of this tool do give it some valuable ‘weapon level’ features. A lot of this tools power lies in its ‘pre-emptive’ ability. A good bright, light shone to the face is, at worst, distracting, can buy time and distance if used properly and can be used to conceal a whole bunch of other movement if you need it to. This is if you use the light when when directly facing a threat, but the ability to search an area more thoroughly (especially indoors) indicate or mask your location and clearly indicate your ability to see something are all additional and valuable uses. Even if living in a permissive environment where additional weapons carry is allowed, I still carry a tactical flashlight (as do many others I know) because of the advantages it offers.

 

The LED Keychain Light

In the first instance this is most useful when trying to find the right key and access locks. Having a light, right there on your keychain, prevents a whole lot of ‘fumbling around in the dark’. We are aware approaching our residences and vehicles is a time of particular risk, so minimizing any ‘faff’ time in these areas is highly desirable. I particularly like a ‘non white’ light here so it is not overly conspicuous and is not compromising my eyes adjustment to the dark as much. In this regard red or green light is preferable, but I am using blue for now for a specific, but separate reason.

 

The LED Neck Chain Light

Having a small, discreet, easy to access light source is very useful. I typically use this light for signaling short distances at night when I want to remain quiet, or if I have a quick job I need to complete and do not need or cannot access my headtorch. You will see from the close up picture this LED light not only works by being squeezed (typically between finger and thumb) but also has an on/off switch.

 

illumination 2

 

So it is simple and easy to switch ‘on’ and be held lightly between the teeth to illuminate an area immediately to your front but also keep the hands free. Why not use the headtorch? It’s a good question, and I’ll tell you a little, frequently occurring experience of mine. I’m using my headtorch very often, now ask yourself, when are the batteries most likely to ‘die’?  Why when it’s in use of course, is the obvious answer! Now think, is it typically light or dark when using it? Hmmm, dark… And herein is the problem. Changing torch batteries in the dark is not the easiest of things, so with this set up, a battery change becomes easy, especially when I know exactly where the spare batteries are (Taped to the torch strap, remember!?!) As and when my illumination device fails, I use the small LED light that is immediately available to complete a quick and easy battery change. The same method could be used for any number of similar, small tasks.

 

I mentioned earlier the ‘spousal conversion’ benefits of this EDC setup. To touch on that again, briefly. Many of us committed to learning and training for conflict, face varying levels of resistance or concern from our families and frequently little ‘buy in’ from our spouses. This may be a general lack of interest to an active vilification of our lifestyle choices (“What do you need another (insert defensive tool name here) for, you already have so many???” is a frequent refrain heard by many)

 

While I will address this more in a separate article, I’ve found illumination devices a great ‘start point’ in getting greater understanding in families as to some of the benefits in EDC, and with these type of ‘small wins’ the stepping stones to greater acceptance and involvement are paved. I typically ‘gift’ these small LED lights to friends and family (especially kids), and often will actively put them on the keychain for them, so they ‘have it right there’. To date, no one has ever failed to understand the value in doing so. For a few this has then led the conversation to, ‘what would you do if you need a better, slightly more powerful light source, for instance in a blackout or if you had to quickly step out the house, for example to check something?’ Again, this logical progression makes sense to many and can quickly lead to the purchase (or gifting) of a tactical flashlight, especially given there are many excellent priced ‘entry level’ models now on the market.

 

Once they have become a proud owner of a tactical flashlight, almost everyone I know has enjoyed and been fascinated by it features and potential additional uses and most are very satisfied at the idea of carrying something that has ‘more than one use’. From this point, often, more ‘small steps’ can be taken in a positive direction. A number of people within a short time of owning a tactical flashlight have come back with some story of how it proved to be ‘so useful’ in some sort of situation they have faced, and this is one of those great occurrences that can lead to even more productive conversation and understanding of some of the benefits not only of EDC but development of a well rounded ‘resilient mindset’.

 

I’ve highlighted the main uses for my illumination devices and the details of my EDC here, but remember the possibilities are limited only by your imagination! I’ve left LED lights on and ‘discarded’ too lure students into ambushes, attached them to foliage for navigational way points, performed an impromptu shadow puppet show to calm a child after first aid treatment and seen the slickest deployment of CS gas ever, masked by a flashlight. As always, we should be challenging our equipment and our minds to perform above and beyond our expectations.

 

If you have a great story too share with regards to your use of an illumination devices be sure to post it in our forum or the comments below, as we love hearing from our readers and learning from their experiences!

 

“Stay Tuned“

broken-news

„In the last 48 hours, 4 people have died in a local hospital from flu type „xyxz“. Hospital representatives state that there is no reasons for panic, and they have formed a special committee, that will closely monitor the ongoing situation and keep the public informed.

From our anonymous sources, we have found out that 4 more people are in same hospital, currently in a very bad condition. These patients are suffering from the same type of flu virus. Our source states „they (hospital managers) do not know really what’s happening or how dangerous the developing situation is“.

Experts we have contacted, state that people need to protect themselves with masks and avoid public places with large crowds.

Stay tuned…

Our channel will give you latest updates about the situation…“

 What Does it Really Mean?

Imagine this news shows on your local TV station, and background images show people in BIOHAZARD suits carrying some heavy looking objects in big black bags, and a man who is supervising burning a big pile of something.

You are a prepper (obviously) and this news story causes you great concern, you may conclude that it is time to get „out of the town“, go to your Bug Out Location (BOL) wearing your masks, or bio suit if you have it, ready to shoot at whoever may try to stop you.

Nothing too bad with that, if you feel it is time to run, then you run, that’s it…

The likely reality to this ‘story’ though, is that 4 people did die from flu, but just like every year. A huge number of people dying from the same annual flu, mainly older folks with chronic illness (not mentioned by media), or patients in already poor condition.

The Hospital did really form a special committee to take contact with media, simply because the media pushed the hospital staff really hard with a lot of questions about ‘this situation’.

The „Unofficial source“ in these stories is often some guy who wants to have his piece of „fame“ by telling simple fact that there is „more people in the same bad condition“ (just like in any hospital, anywhere, anytime).

The ‘expert’ who the media contacted talked about simple and common sense fact that „you should have mask on and avoid public places“ if you want to stay healthy, and protect against flu or cold or anything similar.

But if you put that statement with background pictures of people carrying big bags in bio suits, the same statement now has a completely different ‘sound’, yes?

You’ll likely find the background pictures were a couple of years old, showing some dead cows being disposed from a local farm, because of cow disease.

The point of this story is not to tell you to ignore ‘news’ if you hear that people start to die locally, but to think first about two key points:

 

  1. Research or try to research what is really going on. Have your sources, or know people (trusted) who have their trusted sources.
  2. Understand that media is usually not there to help us, they are there in order to make more money, and nothing is more cool like big fat headline of ‘dramatic’ news.

 

Sometimes reasons behind running such a story can be really simple and „funny“, like selling 100,000 masks that someone have stored somewhere, or to provide vaccines etc, sometimes it is nothing, just big ‘headline’.

And yes, sometimes it gonna be real. If you do not have other sources then yes, trust your instinct.

But please, do not „stay tuned“ in front of the TV waiting for the next update… Go  research on forums, ask friends, find sources… do something, or just run, just do not „stay tuned“  as popular media understand it.

Timing , Places, Reasons and Examples of (Mis)Information

One of my fears and at the same time an essential ‘decision point’ when I (and you) should go into full survival mode is not when SHTF, but when folks realize that Shit Is really hitting the fan.

From that moment rules are changing, and you can expect anything.

What does that mean?

It is good when you realize, as a prepper, that the SHTF ‘moment’ has occurred, and act accordingly, even if other people did not realize that yet. It is not so good when you realize this fact later, at the same time as the ‘general population’.

I have seen people burning other people houses, sometimes with people inside, just because they like that: They had an expression of joy and happiness on their faces,they wanted to do that for their whole life, but of course they did not had chance for that, simply because system was there to punish them hard even for trying to do similar things.

But they did that and similar things when they realized that SHTF, and there is nobody to punish them.

They enjoyed it.

You want to be there when they realize that?

So, an example would be that you could (and should actually, as a good prepper) realize that SHTF way before those kind of people begin to realize.

Use of that timely information could save your life, the big difference between you (prepper) and a non prepper is that you should have that information before them and react to it.

And you are most probably not going to get that information by using „regular“ media,  at least not in time to have advantage over the other folks, especially bad kind of folks.

You should plan to use the maximum information in the best time, to go into the let’s say „stealth“ survival mode and leave the area, while there is not yet a need to go to the ‘full’ survival mode of needing to do bad things to achieve your objective.

At least that would be the most desirable outcome.

Information and misinformation have value, value of it can rapidly change depending of the timeline when you get it (or give it). Just to repeat ‘valuable information’ is often very ‘time sensitive’.

Let’s say the story from the beginning of the article is true, in that a pandemic is really starting, and you received that information before chaos happened, before everything fell apart, all city services stopped, before people start stampede out of the town.

In that case you could have enough time to easy leave the area to your BOL, or to even stop by the stores and buy everything that you need in case you did not prepared enough.

You know that S. Is going to hit the fan in 3-4 days and you can prepared very well for that, and watch from your BOL how world is going to shit through the chaos.

Or you know that the pandemic ‘news’ is serious misinformation, you could just go and buy huge amount of face masks, and sell it to the folks who think pandemic is really happening if you want to make that kind of money.

In both cases information is valuable because (again) you get it before others did.

(Mis)Information (Rumors), Myths and Fear

Fear is a thing that moves people in different directions. It is natural thing and let’s say that almost everybody has fears or gonna experience fear in some situations.

In terms of SHTF fear can be „coped“ or minimized with activities like training, confidence (in your skills, preparedness etc), or simply some of us gonna experience more fear than others.

One of the biggest fear that I experienced and saw other people going through,  during the SHTF was fear from the unknown.

That „unknown“ was many different things, but most of the time it was induced by lack of the information or wrong information.

What does that mean?

It  works on many levels.

For example, some time after the SHTF, rumors started that poison gases were used in some parts of the region.

You could not point out clear sources who was their or experienced it, but everybody talked about it, and people feared this a lot.

As a result, in one period you could easily „conquer“ one building full of folks by throwing in a smoke grenade only, they all just run of the building in panic.

In some cases people just set rugs on fire in order to make smoke.

Yeah, it sounds stupid now, but what do a bunch of civilians know about poisonous (military) gases and how they look or work?

Fear is big thing.

In your case it can be something else, do not underestimate power of misinformation and fear when you are thrown into the collapse.

When SHTF, myths and rumors take places, because people use it as a advantage. For example in situation when information is planted that 500 armed people coming to your part of the town and that they killing everybody they find.

Or like popular myth, like „fact“ that drinking strong alcohol will help you not to freeze in cold environment.

Local „warlords“ used to plant rumors in order to take business from each other in things like selling smuggled food, or smuggling people out of the town in exchange for gold.

In among all this you will also be strongly tempted to lie to yourself, by telling yourself that everything is going to be OK, things are not going to go to shit because the  world cares what is going on, and little babies can not die because lack of simple medicines at the end of 20 century.

As a conclusion, false and real information are there before and after the SHTF.

And it is weird, but sometimes it is harder to find good info. in „normal times“.

Point is that you need to follow what is going on, but not just run for the information, rather to carefully choose and check every piece of it.

When SHTF you are gonna work based on small pieces and bits of info’s, and errors are gonna happen, you cannot avoid it.

What you can avoid is your need to trust in some information simply because you are too well prepared for that.

You are gonna know how to survive in the cold and be ready for that. You are gonna know what are the poisonous gases and how they work, or simply you are gonna have your small garden somewhere and you are not gonna have a need to go and check some suspicious info about guy who is selling food somewhere.

Preparing is (again) the key, and in many scenarios Knowledge truly is ‘Power’.

 

 

 

 

 

2016 – A Year in Review

reading-glasses

I know, I know… You’re looking at this saying “Selco, it’s only February… how can it be a year in review article?”

Let me explain. The year is very young, but already a LOT of things happen. Some carry over from 2015, some things new. It is important we are always ‘staying aware’ about what is happening and how it can/will affect us, but I see many people often focus the ‘wrong way around’.

Living and taking care about your own circle (of people, events etc) around you is something that I often point out as the smartest thing, because in most of the cases it is the only thing that you can actually control (or change).

Everything else beyond this immeadiate circle is often more of a distraction and just disrupts your „focus“.

That does not necessary mean that you do not need to observe what is going on in the ‘bigger world’. In fact, developing a skill to see how the ‘bigger picture’ can travel down to affect your immeadiate circle is a good thing to have. Today I’m gonna talk a little more about that.

We all see that world is changing, faster and faster. Today I want you to join me in an ‘exercise’.

Stop for a moment and check what is going on around you on several levels. I’m going to start by telling you what I see around me. At the end of this article I’d really like you to write in the comments how things look around you, right now.

I’m going to look at THREE levels:

  • Local
  • Regional
  • International

Let’s start:

 

1st Level – LOCAL

I still remember the time when I could go out to my local town, and not worry too much about am I gonna be forced to shoot someone, because of a simple misunderstanding, at the traffic light or similar.

At first glance it seemed people became evil, but it is not simply like that. It is more about that people became more scared. Scared for their future, for their kids, for their job (if they have it) scared from the life that they clearly can not control it anymore because everything become more uncertain, and so they are scared and confused. Scared because of all the changes, confused because the measures they thought were in place (Politicians, Authorities, Media etc) seemingly have totally let ‘people’ down

On the other way there is whole new hierachy there, money has become the new God, because simply there is not enough money around.

It is just like in war actually-too many people with way too litle resources, it is recipe for chaos.

In the enviroment where corruption is king, and unemployment is around 50 %, everything is possible. From the point of realisitc prepping it is good, preparing for real SHTF, but the way of living regularly like this, it simply sucks.

There is no heroes, everybody is alone here and if you stick out your head in order to point some particular case of injustice, corruption or failure you have very good chance to lose it, or in the best case to be victim of mobbing or similar.

New generations are taught to steal , lie, be part of corruption because it is the only way to have chance to be sucessful.

Words like honor, real friendship, duty and similar are archaic and funny to them.

Most of them did not see or do not remember war or starvation, and, to them the point of shooting and killing someone is have twisted and weird meaning, like inverted western movie (You see a similar problem with the ‘Gangs’ forming in so many Western countries now).

When SHTF truly arrives, streets are gonna be full of young folks who gonna see it like their own personal playground. In the beggining it is going to be a ‘game’ for them, where they gonna have power over the confused people, but soon they probably realize that most of them just „meat for harvesting“… nothing new, just another phase of the cycle.

From the point of prepping, there is nothing more important to have a good and trusted friend, to prepare with him, to retain sense in this chaos around us.

When SHTF you need to have good friend. I cannot emphasise that enough…

 

2nd Level – REGIONAL

Over this recent period of time, my region (The Balkan area) has seen a huge influx of migrants. This ‘new situation’ has simply sped up everything that has previously been problematic (Healthcare, education, social welfare, allocation of resources, criminal behaviour etc. etc.) for many, this change has been so rapid it was like they woke up one morning and realize „s..t, everything just changed“.

Again, there are endless discussions everywhere about immigrants crisis, and if you join the debate, after some time you could forget what you really think about whole event and topic. That is why it is often more important to focus on the consequence than the ‘reason why’. Even if you figure out the ‘WHY’ is it really gonna change anything…???

But to (over)simplify it, it is matter of, are we ready to accept folks who are not accepting our way of life, in fact not only not accept our way, but actually demand we change for them?

When I see two small kids crying because they are hungry, after they fled from country where their is war and chaos I fell sorry for them, and I have urge to help them.

When I see 1000 young and healthy people, with completely different culture than mine and how they are making chaos in the city close to mine, stealing, harrasing, or breaking the law because they want to force their way of living on others, I feel insecure, and angry, and I do not want to see them here.

For me it is simply (however bad it may sound)  – Adapt and integrate or get lost from here.

I think we gonna see much more chaos from this problem, and I do not see easy solution for this, so  this may well actually be a ‘spark’ for something bigger to happen.

We’ll see…

 

And big players are heating up worldwide, it is getting kinda „sweaty“, even here, so again people choosing sides in world events while people behind curtains are playing their moves.

Ordinary people usually can not even grasp big politics and reasons for events unfolding, but it is always „interesting“ to have feeling of belonging to something bigger. In the end the ‘hope’ we place our trust in usually turns out to be false, but then, people are just like that…

 

3rd Level – INTERNATIONAL

Big players shooting planes from the sky, launch „observation satellites“ in space, or „reinforcing borders“ between old bloc countries.

Internet is full of videos of military exercises of big countries, tank battalions rushing over landscape, or latest antiaircraft rocket systems displays and similar.

There is now, simply way too much means to destroy everything and turn us back to ‘stone age world’ after the SHTF, and most probably we are gonna be thrown in that world.

100 years after Einstein theorised about Gravitational Waves, he has been proved right. Einstein also said “I know not with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones.” Maybe he’s right about this too…?

There are news about terrorist who have hidden dirty bombs in European cities, or their poison gases stashes.

With so many news like those there is something like weird „comfort“ (complacence) effect, because after some time of everyday watching and following news like that most people simply conclude (just like I had once) that shit happens always, and it is always somewhere far, far away.

And that always gonna be nuclear weapon threats and talks, dirty bomb threats, weird lunatics with explosives somewhere, but life will simply go on just like before.

Yes, it is truth, until, one day you woke up in the middle of SHTF realizing that you have food for three days only, no weapon because „you hate violence“ and no means or way to even start a fucking fire.

You realize that you should go to shooting classes, learn more about first aid, had full gas tank in your vehicle and so on and so on.

Instead that you were in the comfort of living in the your nice part of the world and following the news of endless violence somewhere else and similar.

World become small place, there is no anymore „violence far away from you“.

That „violence“ can sit in a plane, land in your hometown, and activate dirty bomb, or „latest“ pandemic virus, or even form ‘small gang’ and just cause lots and lots of problems.

 

This is how the ‘big’ picture connects with the ‘small’.

It does not feel so good writing these articles talking about problems here and worse coming. So again I’m gonna work even harder with my School to provide advice, guidance and help for people looking to prepare as best as they can.

We just released details of our unique and excellent ‘physical’ course which will be held, once again, at our great training venue in Croatia on 2nd – 5th June. More details here.

Also these next few weeks we gonna provide even more things to help folks with their preparations.  We will share more details soon.

In the meantime, don’t forget to write in the comments what you ‘see’ around you, right now, in your area.

Stay Safe,

Selco and the SHTFSchool Team

 

 

25 Gifts for Survivalists Under $50

firstaid

Gear does not make up for lack of knowledge of course but don’t we all love some new gear from time to time?

Here are our updated suggestions for survival and preparedness gifts for this years holiday season.

Under $20

$4.26 Columbia River Knife and Tool’s Eat N Tool 9100C Silver Multi Tool
Spork, bottle opener and hex wrenches in one tool for key chain.

$5.39 Set of 10 Caltrops Tashibishi
These spikes dig through sneaker soles. Probably work for car tires too.

$7.98 Ollow Hollow 10pcs Lot Emergency Hiking Camping Survival Aluminum Whistle Key Chain Assorted colors
Pack of 10 whistles to give away. Great conversation starter about signaling in survival situations.

$9.88 Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Great drinking bottle that can be used to cook water too.

$9.99 Caldwell Ar-15 Brass Catcher
For those times when you do not want to leave traces.

$11.73 Self Defense Money Clip Silver
Money clip that can be used as beat knuckle.

$13.95 Hostage Series Targets – 19″ x 24″ 10 Pack
Get used to shoot at people (or images first).

$15.11 Chainmate CM-24SSP 24-Inch Survival Pocket Chain Saw With Pouch
Another small and light addition for bug out bag or overall preps.

$15.99 LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Put in your car, bug out bag and show your kids and friends how to use them. Cheap, proven way to filter up to 1000 liters of water.

$19.99 Secur Waterproof Hand crank or built in Solar powered 3 LED Flashlight
LED technology made lot of progress. This is updated version of all around survival flashlight. Hand crank and solar powered.

$19.99 TekMat 12-Inch X 36-Inch Long Gun Cleaning Mat with AR15 Imprint, Black
Helps with gun maintenance, to avoid scratches and keeps gun in place.

Under $30

$20.08 Cold Steel Brooklyn Crusher
Even in survival scenario you should be able to escalate use of force.

$24.68 Butler Creek LULA M16/AR-15 All-in-One Magazine Speed Loader and Unloader
also available for $26.32 for Butler Creek AK47/GALIL LULA Loader, BUT24216

$25.89 2-Book Safes, Diversion Safe made with a Real Book
Always smart to have way to hide some valuables.

$27.99 SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F01TN-CP Tactical Tomahawk with 2.75-Inch Steel Axe Blade and Black Ballistic Nylon Sheath, Black Finish
Learn to throw it, use it as all around tool for urban survival to scavenge, breach open windows and more.

$28.95 C-A-T Combat Application Tourniquet All black version
Easy to use and can save lives. Have at least one of them with you if you expect to fight. Practice that you know how to use on yourself and others! Quick application is crucial.

$29.95 Voodoo Tactical Men’s Universal Medic Bag
Durable bag for medical supplies. Easy access to everything. I use one of these too.

$29 Lifetime Subscription to my Online Course
I’m happy that my experience from survival during war can help people today and in future.

Under $50

$30.68 Survival Seed Vault – Heirloom Emergency Survival Seeds – Plant a Full Acre Crisis Victory Garden – 20 Easy-to-grow Varieties
Get a seed stash with non gmo heirloom seeds so you can harvest seeds and keep planting in future years. Consider packing some in your bug out bag. You never know where you end up and they take little space and weight.

$34.99 Dpms Ar15 Armorers Multi-Tool
Handy tool for rifle maintenance.

$36.99 T3 Tactical Triage & Auto Rescue Tool
In my job in emergency services I have to cut people from their cars often. With this knife you can help yourself.

$37.95 United Cutlery Bush Master Survival Knife
Good starter set for older children or people completely new to survival. Sit down with person who gets the knife and talk about survival. Get a better knife like the Ontario 8627 RAT-5 Knife (Brown) for experienced survivalists as gift.

$40.13 Mosby’s 2015 Nursing Drug Reference, 28th Edition
Older edition would be good too but why not get the latest. One day there might be no Internet anymore and when you get your hands on drugs you can look up how to use them.

$47 SHTF School Survival Boot Camp
Our essential survival course with over 350 pages of text, videos, audio interviews and more.

$47.96 Galco Triton Kydex IWB Holster for Glock 19, 23, 32 (Black, Right-hand)
Quality holster for concealed carry.

The wave of refugees that runs over Europe

refugees

There is huge crisis here in region because immigrant pouring here from Syria, Afghanistan, Libya… and newspapers and forums are full of headlines and topics about how politicians should approach the problem.

Common folks just like with all other real life changing events usually miss the point, and whole discussion is pointed on the views should „people help immigrants or see them as a potential threat“.

Real problem is actually much deeper, and again just like with all real problems (that can really cause S. To hit the fan) great majority of folks are caught up in empty discussions. Most of the time even only with people they agree with.

Yes or no to immigrants

There is nothing more primal than a hungry man, actually more primal is hungry man with child.

He does not care about laws, rules, EU directives, amenities in foreign country or anything similar.

He has simple tasks, to feed his kid, and himself, to have safety. Does he obey the rules? No, in most cases he will not. Who would just go into forest to die because it is not appropriate to cause problems for your neighbor.

Now consider the fact that immigrants are coming in numbers like 70 000, or 120 000 to countries where total population is around couple of million people.

Countries here in region have already problems for years to bring security to their own citizen, jobs, food, safety etc.

Whole society infrastructure is damaged for decades, and we do not need much to fall apart.

Now to get some things right here, I spend some time too being hungry and looking for the shelter, and everything inside me is telling me that from any point of view normal man need to help man who is hungry, who is running from war, who is trying to protect their kids.

It is about right and wrong, and about being normal human being.

But real problem is not the wish to help or not, it is about being overrun by the huge number of people who are different and might not fit into the society.

The problem is in fact that there is no control who is a real refugee and who just seeks opportunity to live off social benefits somewhere else.

No society can cope with those numbers, no matter how strong and organised it is.’=

It is a system problem that can not be fixed easily. Should we try to help those folks, who are hungry, scared, with bunch of the kids etc.
Sure.

We can not do anything else, it is right thing to do, to feed the hungry, heal the sick.

Will they, or some of them change our world, bring chaos maybe? I think that they will, some refugees might just use this chaos to get to the places where they can cause harm.

Something big is unfolding here I think, and we still need to see how it will exactly end up.

Great societies were made from people who ran from their original countries to new countries, and mixed there into new societies, actually made whole new societies and nations, bringing their differences to create something new and united.

But possible problem here is having lot of people who are not really willing to „mix“ into new societies. Some people from some places have such different culture and mindset they see freedom and liberty as invitation to change world around them to whatever they enjoyed where they came from. If somebody wants to change my world, it is a problem.

Outside help for crisis?

Big words are spoken from EU leaders, all saying immigrants should be helped and taken care of, while at the same time lots of people care more for dead whales being washed onto some shores than dead immigrants.

It is all again same game of big politics and money, and common folks do not have chance to choose anything.

Richer EU countries will send big money and help to poorer countries where immigrants are coming from, in order to „help“. Most of this is made in effort to keep same immigrants away from their rich countries.

And of course that help and money will be used once more in poor countries, simply that local politicians and ex and future warlords can fortify their own positions, to gain more power, so that those countries stay combination of chaos and bribery.

Once again simple man is caught in big game of power that most of the folks do not even understand.

What can we learn from immigrants?

A lot.
They go over the long distance with almost anything, some of them have experienced violence, were beaten, robbed, imprisoned, and even tortured.
They do not have anything expect their own lives, and will to survive.

No fence can hold them, and no police can outsmart them. They eat what they find, they sleep where they can.
There are college professors among them, fire fighters, or simple housewives, but they are surviving.

Often you will not find desperation, but determination, will and hope in these people, and many have a cause.
They left whatever they had in their countries, in order to find another place that is better for them, houses and apartments are not important anymore if you are fighting for life.
And if you are travelling very far with just one bag or backpack you definitely have some survival skills.

Conclusion, no conclusion

To sum this up, I think talking about refugee problem is like talking about weather problem. It is happening and people need to deal with it. No big wall will stop this and Africa is close to Europe too with millions of people who have not enough to live normal lives.

I understand people feeling bad about new people in their countries who might live on their costs but all that is happening is something that was waiting to happen. I hope countries have good process to weed out worst people but we all know this will not stop all of them. Europe is changing and nothing can stop this.

A Typical Day During SHTF

Konrad suggested in comment on recent blog post I write about typical day during my time in SHTF trying to survive. Usually I think about what topic to write about first and write, this time I did other way around and just wrote. So while there are lessons to learn, this is just typical day during my time in war.

————–

I woke up with feeling that I do not have legs under my knees, only some strange feeling, something between numbness and pain.

Second feeling after that was that something wrong with my head, and definitely something wrong with my room because ceiling was pretty much black instead white. I sat up in my bed too fast, and it was mistake, I forced myself not to throw up, barely. And then everything came back to me:

There was war outside going on, for last couple of months.

My legs under the knees were numb because I slept with my boots on, not that it was something unusual, I did that whenever I felt that there is big chance to be forced to jump from the bed completely ready, but mistake was that I did not ease laces a bit before I fell asleep.

Ceiling above my head was black because we used oil lamps for months, with bits of old laces dipped in oil. It smelled bad, and leaves nasty black greasy spots on walls, clothes, probably lungs too.

And finally my head was about to explode because again I drank some homemade booze last night during the trade with folks from 6th street. I remember that after we finish deal, guy from 6th street pulls a bottle somewhere from behind the back, and we all felt little bit more comfortable because something like old custom that you are not going to share drink with the guy who you want to kill or cross. Old habits.

Guy was banging on box of tomato juice cans yelling: “this is good first class stuff, it worth a lot, healthy for kids …” like he personally handpicked the tomatoes in Italy, and then make the juice in his refinery which is in his family for centuries… In reality that case was 3rd class stuff, probably bought some 100 kilometres from there on some bargain market and then brought to the dude through weird black market channels to be traded at 50 times its worth.

I was there with T. and after we traded some alcohol and baby food for that package of tomato juice cans, he saw some piece of machinery. It looked to me like big old part of car engine, completely not useful for anything. (Want some ideas for items for trade? Join our discussion)

But T. was obsessed with making homemade grinder that he could use for all kind of stuff.

“What do you want for this?” he asked.

“Oh , you see it is perfect for…for… you see you could use that for…” guy from 6th street tried to rise the price trying to discover for what T. is planning to use that piece of junk.
“I want to use it for making the grinder” T. said again, ignoring my leg signs to be quiet and let me finish the deal.

Finally guy from 6th street put big fat trading smile on his face, with more holes than teeth in his mouth.

We all were missing teeth in that time, but somehow always surprised me when I saw it on someone else. Funny and disturbing at same time. I did not want to confront T. in front of the guys because it was not smart idea. When you trade you must look and act confident, giving the other side clear picture that you are know what you are doing.

If two of us looked like we are not agreeing, or we have something to argue, or that we are not confident, other side could get the idea that we are weak. And that could be dangerous.

So T. traded some stuff for that thing. We drink some more stuff and went home.

Now, after I woke up and sat in my bed I was trying to remember how much tomato cans he gave back for that piece of machinery but I could not remember.

It was pretty dark in the room with all junk moved on windows and I started to carefully look for rifle. I had ritual of leaving my rifle always in same position next to my bed, at the reach of my hand, loaded and ready, but not too close to me.

I remembered stories about incidents with weapon, guy who slept with his loaded rifle next to him, so after his friend storm into the room and yell at him “Wake up! They are attacking” he panicked and blew his own feet into the pieces.

Other folks would do opposite things and store weapons at “secure place” so after someone attacked them they had trouble to “unsecure” it and make it usable. There were lots of funny situations in world where whole bunch of folks trying to shoot and fight but without too much previous experience with weapon.

I get up from the bed, and search my pockets for cigarettes. Could not find single one. Then I turn my pockets out and collect tobacco dust.
I found enough for one cigarette. In corner of the room I picked some paper from newspaper and roll one fat cigar.

While rolling dust in paper I checked what was printed on that piece of paper : “…and we must all be patient and do everything… some people want to use panic…I promise you…” some political bullshit from peace time. It looked so far away now.

I went out to the yard, pulling the small pieces of crap that would make cigarette taste bad from the cigarette, carefully watching to hold it in vertical position all the time, otherwise tobacco simply would go out from the cigarette in split second.

Skinny was on the balcony, doing something like watch, but in reality daytime was peaceful time in the terms of the surprises and dangers at the front door of our yard. He was just trying to catch some sun there.

T. was sitting on the old car wheel with screwdriver in his hands while small fortune of tools were around him. Old piece of steel that he traded last night was in his hand, he was trying to attach it to complex mix of stone wood and steel that he worked on for last few weeks.

“And how much food you gave up for that piece of shit?” (pointing at the steel) Skinny asked me.

“I did not give anything, he wanted to take it, he took it, he give it leave him alone” I said, at same time thinking that he gave that food for nothing.
T. put some oil on that part and continued to work, and talk to us:

“How long already are we living like animals? 4 months? 5? How dirty are we? All that we can do is to shoot, sleep and find food to eat?
Did you even try to really DO something? I am building something here.”

Skinny completely ignored him, he made “kids binoculars” with his hands (fists) and watched plane barely visible high in the sky. In last few weeks foreign fighter jets flew high in the sky, as a part of the effort to stop civil war under them. I guess the thought they gonna somehow scare folks and armies under them to stop fight with simply showing the force.

Only mistake in whole thinking was that they forget that they deal with Balkans. We slaughtered each other here for centuries with unbelievable rage, and then lived together in big love with silenced hate. No too much sense.

Most of the folks watched those jets like they are some kind of magic or not even real.

Interesting and maybe dangerous magic, but far away and in some other dimension. Much bigger transport planes flew at night, throwing food for us, in the form of MREs (we called that “lunch packets”).

Skinny still looked at fighter jet high in the skies, and asked me “how high you think they are flying there?”
“Why you ask?” I said.
“I just ask”.

I kept looking at him suspiciously, because I remembered our neighbour who stated (OK he was completely drunk) that he had brilliant plan to end this siege. When we asked him how, he explained that he will shoot at the airplanes, and when they respond to that they will bomb whole area and everything will end.

One of most stupid things that I ever heard. It was like shooting the man who brings you sandwich when you are hungry but desperate folks will talk lot of nonsense.

“I am just thinking how funny and how far away we are to that pilot up there. He looks down and sees some buildings and smoke, some shitty place, and then 15 minutes later he is out of the whole area, going home, or wherever out of this mess. Can you imagine how cool is that to be out from here in 15 minutes?” he asked me.

“No I do not” I hated discussion like that, “what if” or “imagine if we..” or “only if…”

We were here, and thats it. I learned or trained myself to live and think only for today or only few days into the future. I learn not to hope too much.
Hope can be shitty thing when it proves to be false.

In first period we all thought like “oh this is temporary” or “someone gonna solve this” pretty soon people realize that nobody gives a damn about us, and that we are on our own.
After that realization some folks just lost touch with reality, some else use their skills, brain or imagination to survive.

T. always was doing some projects, trying to make things easier, to create tools for easier living. Usually it was useless. Skinny was dreaming all the time, about when “all this come to the end” and “what if” scenarios.

I learned to stay in present moment. Each one of us had some kind of mechanism of coping with new reality.

Later that same day guy from the neighbourhood came with info that chemical gas was used in one part of the city from some unit so we pretty soon forgot discussion about planes and everything.

And what about the project that T. Was trying to finish?

Yes he actually made it, he did made some kind of grinder, but much later. And funny thing was that few days after he finished that siege was over, so there was no need for that anymore.
Maybe he was building that grinder so slowly with purpose to keep some sense for him, I do not know.

——–

This was how one of my days went. Lessons here are keep yourself busy and what works for others does not have to work for you. If you have also experienced survival situation head over to our Personal Survival Experience & Lessons Learned forum and share your story.

Keep them fed and entertained

People who are in survival and prepping „movement“ all around the world and around the web are doing lot of stuff in order to prepare for SHTF.

Numerous blogs and forums are there, and they all trying to figure when s. gonna hit the fan and how it is going to be. My time in war was like worst case scenario but hopefully only few people will have it that bad even when there is total collapse and no law (at least you are not gonna have snipers and shelling if your government behaves).

1 million dollar question is: „How is the collapse going to look like, and when is it gonna start?“

So there are numerous opinions, and also numerous ideas about how it is gonna look, when it is gonna start and whatever.

And big truth is that „sheep“ people (non preppers, non survivalists) are not gonna see it coming and it is understandable, but also lot of real preppers are blind.

Some of us are „too deep“ and „too blindly“ buried into the BOB, BOL, SHTF, WROL and other discussion and arguing about „what knife to have when SHTF” and God knows what else. Many think one day lights go out and darkness all around, hell breaks lose. But this only happens when governments make big mistake or nature finally gets back at us.

I believe government and corporations just turn off light slowly. Hand out pocket lights that people can see small area around them but not big picture.

When you put people slowly in misery they think it is normal. Humen get used to everything around them if they have enough time. So they take away air to breath but leave you just enough you are still alive. What I mean is that s. already hit the fan, it hit quietly and it is slowly rumbling towards us. Most people gonna realize that only when it blows up in their face.

What is the state of your local infrastructure? How about criminal in your area? Gas prices, food and utility prices?
How many of you having decent jobs and if not what are the chances of getting one?

How about your health care? Are more people dependent on government these days? Is all this mentioned getting better or worse over the years?

I saw a guy, few months ago. He is alcoholic and homeless. His hygiene and way of life is of course on some low level.

After some time I saw that his foot is gets gangrenous. I helped him few times. He died later. He did not get proper medical care, he did not had proper social security, no money, no friends. He died on the street. Even when he died he was laying there for some time under the some rug before someone notice that he is dead not sleeping.

Now you could say that this things happens everywhere, and you are right of course it happens all around the world.

But I remember the time when that same dude would be taken care of (medically) and he would be taken to some facility that state (government) would pay for his medical bills food etc. This does not happen here anymore. Normal people would CARE about this guy but now they stopped because air gets slowly choked out of everyone. It is time to focus on yourself.

How does this slow collapse look like?

Places you live in get smaller, you work longer and get paid less. You eat cheaper lower quality stuff and have less time for other things. You expect less and less from things around you. Quality of things get lower. You cant expect to have secure job or secure anything. You get used to live with worry.

Luckily there is entertainment like tv series, video games and the Internet to get into fantasy land. This helps to escape real world that keeps getting worse. You work, live in small shitty place, eat bad food and escape to some place that entertains you and lets you forget reality.

Because you feel bad you get deeper and deeper into “comfort zone” and your comfort zone gets always smaller. All this makes you feel very powerless but do not worry. There are big organizations and your government who make you feel part of something, something bigger and stronger, you just have to pay to be part of this.

Slowly the forces in power make average man weak. So weak that revolution becomes very distant idea. Life got sucked out of regular people long before they realize what happened.

S. is already here, it already hit the fan for many but they do not know and might never know. Wake up, go out and smell the real world, I can bet that you smell it, you gonna see it if you look in right directions, and right places.

My time in war, my SHTF was bad, and it was some real experience. Wars are happening around the world, economies going down, new forces going up… and you can say again that it happened before and it is gonna happen again. And you could be right too.

But dont think this is only way how fight for survival looks like. The forces in power are smart and no need to rape someone with force if you can drug them and make them do whatever you like.

It is just common sense.

Question is also how long can they keep masses drugged before they wake up and realize the abuse?

This is what I see happening in future. Forces in power keep people drugged, fed and in fantasy land (entertained) and they do not realize whats going on until one day they wake up. But this might not happen in our lifetime and if it happens the masses are probably to weak to do anything. Only if something goes wrong, the powers make a mistake or nature strikes, then we have total chaos from one day to another.

Otherwise we have slow descent until we get to point of complete anarchy.

If you thought about moving to countryside do it today and not tomorrow. If you thought about forming group of preppers in your area, do it today and not tomorrow.