Top Tips – Items to Stockpile

 

I’m constantly seeing articles with titles like“ things that gonna disappear when SHTF“ or“ things that you need to stock up when SHTF“, better still, “Top 10/50/100(!) Items to stock before SHTF” or something in that way.

And then, in the article, author goes with huge number of items that will be gone when SHTF.

These articles, like many, are not ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’, but it can be used more as an reminder what amount and number of things we are dependable on in everyday life, other then a list what to buy for SHTF. Unless of course you just happen to have a spare $20,000 to immediately to buy everything on the list.

It is so obvious that when SHTF, electricity will be most probably gone, but does that really mean that you need to run today and buy a generator and huge amount of fuel?

Maybe there are smarter, cheaper things to store, more usable and more „desirable“ (for trade) when SHTF….

And again you need to think about difference between what you really need and what would be really nice to have. Necessity vs. Comfort.

I am not saying it is wrong to buy a special bug out vehicle, only for when SHTF, I am saying that I want to give advice about what to store and that items anyone of you can store.

I had always opinion that millionaires do not read my blog (if you do, please feel free to click on my ‘donate’ button, over there on the right hand side of this page ;), so my advice is aimed at the people who need to take care about every dollar, and who need to invest in a smart way for future SHTF.

Here I will write about two items only that you can and if possible need to store, and reasons why.

Antibiotics (In inject-able format)

Of course, antibiotics are like „must have“ items for the time when SHTF.

It is not unknown item for preppers storage, but still there is maybe slight misunderstanding about antibiotics.

I know there are thousands of pages about „fish antibiotics“ out there, and I can only say that if you can not buy antibiotic in better forms then buy that one and have it.

But you need to know that sometimes, actually when SHTF very often only real antibiotic is Penicillin in a form of injections.

There are numbers of reason for that, like severity (prolonged time) of infection, needed levels of antibiotic in blood…etc

You really really need to know that very often „attacking“ infection with „fish-mox“ for example or even real Amoxicillin  will be like you are pissing on the forest fire in order to put it out.

It is useless.

 

I just took this photo, it is „one round“ or one dosage of PNC for a fully grown adult, it covers huge spectrum of infections, (of course you would need several shots), it is small, easy to store and easy to carry.

One „full treatment“ of several vials + water for dilution can fit into your jacket pockets and in your pants pocket you can fit needed syringes and needles.

When SHTF, in those pockets you have the means to save somebody’s life, yours, or your own kid, or simply you can trade it for really cool items.

Now imagine that you have big stash of these.

It is hard to get it there where you live probably, I understand that, but simply I do not believe that it is impossible.

You are preparing for end of the world, for chaos, for violence… I just can not believe you can not try to look for the info. where you can get these without prescription and cheap.

Try!

You can store it only for trade, but you can learn how to administer it too.

Procedure for administering PNC (and other injections) can be taught too, and actually it is pretty simple ( I will be teaching this as a module in our new, soon to be released, course).

There are possible complications, possible mistakes of course, and I am aware it is illegal for non medical personnel to administer injections of PNC, but again, you need to think outside the box – it is better to have something and to learn some technique and then never use it, than to not know it and be in dire need of use of it.

Invest in reading about antibiotics; types, allergies and substitution, and ways of applications. Buy a Nursing drug reference book, and find some nurse or medic who is willing to show you how to do it, you do not need to fly to me in Croatia only to learn that particular technique. That said, this and the other things I will be teaching in that course will be worth it…

Condoms

Yes, other item are condoms.

I watched a video about a week ago, about what condoms can be used for in survival situations, and actually I liked the video.

I did not know lot of those uses mentioned.

But here I am talking about best survival use for condoms, and it is what they are meant for actually.

Maybe you think that sex will stop to exsist when SHTF, but actually it is not true.

Sex was there in my SHTF, actually it will be there always, it is natural, and it is in human nature to be there.

Now one more thing will be there when SHTF, and it will be much bigger problem then in normal times –  sexually transmitted diseases or STD’s, especially in prolonged period of collapse, it is simply again thing of human nature, lack of hygiene and medical care etc.

So after some time condoms will be valuable.

And again, they are small, easy to carry and store, and cheap as of right now, today. It is not a huge investment to buy 1000 condoms and store them somewhere.

So as a conclusion, it is not about what things will be gone when SHTF, it is about what of those things make sense for you to have, what you can afford to stock today, what will „pay off“ the most when SHTF…

But most importantly – again it is about thinking out of the box.

Out of interest, what items have you been stockpiling for ‘trade’ and such? Let me know in the comments below. More importantly let me know WHY you are stockpiling these things…?

 

Old Guys…

 

My great uncle was a drinking man, he would drink heavily from the moment when he woke up until the moment he went to bed, but I do not remember ever seeing him stumbling, walking funny or having problems with his speech.

When he was at home his favorite spot was on the couch in the corner of the room, just next to the wood stove which was running always except on really hot days.

He drank from very small glasses (shot glasses), bottle was never visible (he kept bottle behind the couch) on the table there was silver box for cigarettes, with tobacco and papers for cigarette rolling inside, and his shot glass.

Table was old type table with a glass plate on top of it, and under that glass he kept paper that says that government and state recognizes him as a member and organizer  of the early resistance movement against the German and Italian occupation (WW2).

Table, his cigarette box, his rakija and everything else in his room was off limits for us kids. He lived with my grand parents, he never married, no kids.

Actually now when I remember he himself was pretty much off limits for us kids, only person who ever had some influence over him was my grandmother-his sister, she was the only one who could tell him sometimes that he need to do something.

He was one tough and dangerous old dude, sitting in the room. Drinking and staring in the spot where the wall connects with ceiling.

Sometimes we kids sneak in the room, seeking for stories, or money from him, in return we would bring firewood from shed for his never-ending stove fire.

He would gave us money often from his big “veteran warrior” pension, stories were rare.

Often kids just sat there, talking something, he would occasionally say “uhm” or “ahm” and stare in empty.

He did not go out very much, except his regular chess meetings in the local community hall.

It  was something like community hall, war veteran organization and heavy drinking joint place in one.

People call it “half leg” because several handicapped folks who were there all the time.

And I was a kid who often went with him there, my grandmother often would tell me “go with him there and wait for him”, I guess she simply was worried for him.

Place was big hall with old tables with games like chess and checkers on them,  great uncle would sat down usually with same folks there, his old war comrades.

They would play chess, drink heavy booze and over the time they would usually forgot that I am even there.

In that time I was taught in the school that we are living in great socialistic and communistic society, where all people are equal, and that we got to that point through the heroic and noble fighting of working class in WW2.

War and fights were something noble, heroic and full of sacrifice. Our war vets were ‘clean’; they were people who sacrifice themselves for our motherland – for socialistic society.

I was taught like that, in my young mind all was black and white.

Over the time I realized that folks on that table together with my great uncle had a bit different picture about war and fighting and honor.

They talked about everything, but with heavy slang  and in what looked to me in that time in ‘codes’, and lot of “remember the Mora(mountain) and how we eat shoes”? and answer would be “yeah, fuck it, and how many bodies there”

Lot of that was not understandable for me, lot of head nodding,

One of those chess games stayed in my mind over several decades of the time since I heard it on that table:

Man who played chess with my great uncle had a pieces of shell in his body, I think it was not option to remove it so he grow old with that in his body, he had couple of pieces in his arm and fingers, and while he was thinking about his next chess move he would squeeze his fist and fingers and pieces of shell in his fingers were producing the sound like something is chewing inside his hand.

It was fascinating for me in that time.

What I understand from their story was this:

He and my great uncle were find themselves in some heavy fighting during the ww2 .

Their unit was carrying a lot of heavily wounded together with lot of civilians who were running from German forces.

Sudden attack of Germans made chaos and they together with couple of guys got separated from the unit.

They manage to break out from the encirclement, then they hide inside some cave for couple of days.

They ate tree bark.

Days later they went out and wandered through woods trying to go to the safe territory.

And then they stumble members of their unit.

Actually a pile of it.

On one small clear place in the woods, there were hundreds of bodies in a big pile, and man with the “chewing” in his fist said he never before or later saw anything like that.

Soldiers and civilians were shot and put on big pile of bodies in the middle of nowhere, and he said that lot of them were heavily wounded but still alive actually, they were put there intentionally still alive, to suffer more before they die.

They found couple of woman tied to the trees… Dead.

They quickly move away from there, scared.

Later that night while they were resting they heard noises, quietly went to check and find out German soldier sitting down and bandaging wound on his leg, probably lost and separated from his unit.

They killed him with bayonet, and as I understand they killed him slowly.

That story terrified me to the bones, and I think I heard it only because they were pretty drunk and not even realized I was with them.

My great uncle died long time ago, he was heavy drinker too to the last breath.

On his funeral there were flags, and speech about honor and sacrifice, even his medals.

We never found his wartime machine gun “smajser” (mp 40) that he hid somewhere after the war never giving up to no one where it is, and as I am older I feel sorry I did not hear more about his experiences.

I am sure he cared a lot more for that machine gun than for speeches flags and medals.

I do not remember him as an war hero, and I am sure he did not think about himself as an war hero.

He was scared often while he was in survival situation, he often did things that he did not like, he was not invincible, and he was ready for trouble again all the time.

He was a survivalist.

 

Point of this article is (just like lot of my article) is memory of something, in this case memory of my great uncle.

And there is one more point, for you more important:

Talk with old folks, with veterans, old or young, there is nothing like real life experience.

Be patient, best (or worst) stories are hardest to get, but it is precious knowledge.

It is better prepper investment to hear how (and what) tree bark to eat then to buy 10 MREs.

Many years after my great uncle experiences and events I experienced similar things, hunger, fightings, piles of bodies…

It is in human nature, things like this are happening and will happen again…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Circle…?

defense

 

I wrote my first survival article-comment some 7 years ago, and I still remember why I wrote it, what “pushed” me to sit down and write it so people who read/discuss survival over the internet for years can read my opinion.

I was checking the survival forums to learn something about wilderness survival because I found I missing lot of knowledge there, and then I stumbled upon discussion about what real SHTF looks like and will look like in the future.

And simply there I realize how whole survival movement foundation is messed up, or built on the wrong perception.

It is like digging through a whole bunch of other people good skills and opinions (together with wrong ones of course) but completely misplaced and misguided.

After writing that first article years ago, I am still writing and trying to point out my view of things, and my way is learned through the experience of 4 years of civil war in a destroyed society.

I still do not know lot of things, I do not know how to operate 20 different weapons, I am not ex special forces member, I do not know how to survive in prolonged period in wilderness, and I am still learning lot of things from different kind of people, on internet and forums and in physical courses too.

But I know how I survived SHTF and how real SHTF looks like, and the real problem is that it definitely does not look like majority of preppers imagine it.

Over time, a lot of my articles are telling the story about same thing on different ways, and it might look like I am telling same story over and over, but again, I am writing from real experience and there are good reasons why I am pointing out the same things often.

So please allow me to address again some common misconception about SHTF.

Changing From “Before to Now”

Starting problem about SHTF misconception is that people have problems to imagine something that they are not experienced in, so if you have not experienced collapse of society you will “build” your opinion about it based on many things: other people experiences, books, movies, documentaries…

When you add to this a whole survival industry of selling things for “doomsday” you going to end up forming your opinion about how life in collapse will look like based on some weird things, and as an result your prepping and expectation may be completely wrong.

For example, you have been bombarded with information from internet that if you buy some product you’ll be not only safe when SHTF but also you’ll thrive and you gonna have something like best time of your life in the middle of collapse.

Now when you multiply this with many numbers (products) you end up buying peace of mind for yourself built on fact that someone wants to earn money from your fears.

And it is not biggest problem, real problem waking up one morning in the collapse realizing that you have whole bunch of things that simply do not work for your situation.

I like to use example that I have read long time ago, about transportation in city when SHTF. One guy offer idea of using skateboard in urban SHTF as transport, and lot of other folks commented that is good idea.

On first look it is great idea, no fuel, no cars or buses, so skateboard as a transport means looks good.

Only problem here is that probably man who mentioned it never experienced real urban SHTF so he can not know how useless idea it is.

Or to put it really short:

When SHTF city services will collapse, street are pretty soon simply full of everything, there are other people in the city too, because services are gone there are not enough resources and because of that other people will simply almost always mean possible danger, so point is to avoid people, or to be quiet when moving, so…

You need to stop to think in terms of normal times, you need change your priorities when SHTF, it is a different time.

For example moving fastest (or most comfortable) stops to be priority, new priority is to move safest (or quiet) or you need to stop to think about having coolest things but new priority is to have things that will work for your situation best.

Value Of The Things

Again it is about thinking in new terms, in the terms when SHTF, and those terms are completely different then in normal times.

I have kind of survival philosophy where my goal is to be ready to survive with as least things as possible, and it is like everything else based on my experienced SHTF.

What that means?

By developing and learning skills and techniques I am trying to be less depended on physical things.

In reality that does not mean that when SHTF I will immediately  bug out to the wilderness with knife only, no, I too have preps and things, stashes and plans, weapons, meds etc.

It means when times come I am READY  to leave all of that, EVERYTHING – all my possessions, and move away in split second if that means I will save my life.

Are you ready for that?

Are you gonna be able to leave all your preps that you were buying for years, all your fancy weapons, stashes of cans etc and run with what you have on you?

Or you gonna die in “blaze of glory” defending simple physical things?

Survival is about resilience, to move on and on, to overcome difficult situations and come back again.

Do not get attached on physical things, no matter how expensive they are, or how fancy they are, or even if people promised that you’ll “survive and thrive” if you own that things when SHTF.

Life is precious, things are just things.

Problem here is that survival movement today is built on the way that preppers are “forced” to believe that they can not survive if the do not own particular survival product, so as an result there is gonna be bunch of preppers get shot because they defending physical things that someone told them they really need to have when SHTF.

I was refugee more then once, I still remember the moment when all my possessions were an old Browning pistol with three rounds, T- shirt, boots (with wet socks inside) and pants that could stand on its own because of how dirty they were…

I have lost all my other physical possessions, everything was torched or taken away, If I stayed my life would be taken away too in a very painful way.

I run, and survived, and fought again for survival.

And you know what? I bought all the things again.

Things can be obtained again, life can not.

Sometimes you just have to move on and forget on physical things that are dear to you.

Faith

One of the topics that I’m most reluctant to discuss about because I find it really personal, but it is there, it is important, so some things need to be considered.

And I’ll be short here, because it is personal for me, and every one of you should think about it for itself.

Yes, there were times when I simply had to reach deep in myself and connect to something higher, to find some sense, to have faith in order to not lost my mind or kill myself because everything was falling apart around me.

So faith is important, or spirituality, or some kind of moral values-call it as you like.

You need to have something!

But problem here is that people often think if they are good folks by the nature, everybody else is good by default (until proven otherwise?).

Through my experience I adopt opinion that everybody is bad until proven different (even if I am good guy)

Or let me put it like this, in really bad times, when everything going to s…t you ll see more bad folks then good folks, so be prepared for that…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some thoughts on preparing for bartering

Buying stuff for your SHTF storage is good off course, and buying it on smart way so you can save some money is always welcome since most of us are not multimillionaires.
But have you ever thought about buying the things for SHTF scenario on some not so „regular“ ways? It will save you money too but maybe even more important is that it will prepared you and show you how finding and buying stuff will probably look when SHTF for real.

I am not advising you to do anything that might be against the law, I am simply gonna give you examples how I find some things. It is up to you how you or if you gonna use anything of it.

Have it when you do not need it (have it before you need it)

One of the most basic rules in preparing and acquiring things for SHTF is that you need to have it before you need it. You may think „oh, but it is so obvious“ yea and no. Sometimes it is not. When SHTF you may find out that it is very important to have for example tetanus shots updated, but then it can be too late. You need to fix that before SHTF.

Simply if you gonna look for the tetanus shots when SHTF price can be high. In every SHTF scenario anywhere in the world there is gonna be people who are gonna make fortune and power by having the stuff that most of the other folks do not have, because it was not so obvious that it is gonna be needed.

Ways to obtain things

Things can be bought in many ways. Some of them are illegal more or less so no advice, just examples.

I buy my fuel from guys who sell it not from the gas station, I buy it always from the same guys so in that way they do not find it useful to cross me with adding strange stuff inside in order to make more money. Repeat customer is good customer.

Where do they get it? I do not know, and I do not want to know. But some examples would be that they are just dealers for the big guy who want to „go across“ some taxes expenses, or they buying it as a „agricultural“ fuel etc. I do not ask. Is it illegal? Yes. Am I seen and did worst things then that? Yea, sure. Survival.

Ways to buy things does not necessary needs to be illegal, it can be just strange and other than you use to. In that way you are just preparing yourself for finding things when SHTF.

Some its like practice for getting things directly from people. Why not start now and tell neighbours what you can get for them cheaply and ask them if they have connection to some stuff too?

I know people in different areas of life. So I know guys from local politics and guys from local small gangs. I like to keep my ear on ground as apart of preparation for coming SHTF. Money is short here and during war people got used to get stuff through other people so the same system still works.

I also often trade for something when it makes sense. I use my preps and trade two pairs of police boots for new jacket for example.

What things do I need?

Do not think only about „ what things do I need?“ feel free to think about „what things people need?“ because you are gonna trade it.

Look around you and keep in mind when SHTF the term „useful thing“ gets whole new meaning. So you ll see ( I saw that ) that for some people it is priority to loot mall and take TV set, stereo or something similar.

I saw few guys in first days of chaos were rolling 4 new car tires from looted mall, they were laughing, very happy because they thought they made good „deal“ with that. I guess pretty soon they realized that those 4 tires are worth like one pocket knife or something similar.

Smarter folks, or you can say people with „vision“ look for the weapons, food or similar useful stuff.

Important thing is that everyone took everything, it was like storm. As the time passed by and when everything „more useful“ was gone people took everything else, like pieces of shelves where stuff was kept. People find use for that too.

For example when SHTF I expect people to smash parking machine for the money inside, I am not gonna care for the worthless coins inside, but those machines work thanks to small solar panels installed on pole above it. I would go for the panels that most of the folks not gonna notice at all.

Small things were always useful to trade. Also some bigger „invented“ things had good price, like small wood stoves made from cans or pressure cookers. Pretty soon people who were skilled made good trade with handmade portable wood stoves.

Maybe you can find something to build with empty cans or other waste products?

People tried to trade everything so you could see some funny stuff too, like I wrote in other post the old FM radio taped to some huge batteries handmade from other sized batteries and taped together. Or homemade teas guaranteed to cure something mixed from different kind of plants.

Of course scams were everywhere and you needed to be very cautious.

It was always better to have more small things to trade then bigger bulkier stuff. Easier to carry and easier to sell. Candles, batteries, lighters, canned food, spices, small tools, pocket knives…

What more you can do today

Of course that preppers look for discounts and wholesale, yard sales and similar chances to save money. But also you need to think about practicing bargaining.
I am buying lot of things on local flea market or through people I know. You can find lot of things on flea markets, and if you look hard you can find stuff that are not usually belong there.

Few rules :

  • Never act like you really need the thing you want to buy (let it be your second choice for example)
  • Split money in more pockets when you bargaining (do not bargaining with hand full of money)
  • Many times seller will set the price basing on how hesees you in that moment. So of course do not show off any symbol of wealth.

Also remember that buying things at the flea market (in your case maybe yardsale or similar) is very good practice for trade in SHTF condition simple because there is a few things similar.

Prices not fixed (they are more thing of oportunity and skills), way how you look act and talk sometimes can be more important than how much money (value) you have in pocket.
Remember that when SHTF lot of things can be valuable, things that you usually would not even notice in normal life.

For example when SHTF batteries and candles had big value, reasons are of course because people are still used to commodity of light at night, using it in every room etc.
But very soon folks realized that candles are something like luxury so for example if you wanted to read book you would read it by daylight, or people in house simple gathered in one room under the light of one candle in order to spare the others.

So value of candles went high up in beginning and then got down.

So if you planned to make some big success with something for trade it can be said that you need to choose correct time. Some things have same high value almost all the time, like coffee, or cigarettes.

Other things gain value over the time, multiple times value. Stuff like some seeds, plants and knowledge about plants like teas, and herbs for healing etc.
Point is if you offered at the beginning stage of SHTF homemade teas as a remedies for something you would not have big success, because people did not believe that SHTF gonna last too long, or in other cases people still had some stash of antibiotics, painkillers etc.

When few month passed and people realized it is gonna SHTF gonna last for longer period, and no doctors, no hospitals, diseases spreading of course that home made remedies become suddenly popular and in the same time much more expensive.

I have more examples about trading in my survival course.

So small things that are kinda ridiculous cheap in normal time and normal life become important equal expensive. One more example would be flints for lighters.
Things like these are very important if you stash many things in order to do much trading to make life easier when SHTF.

Point is to carefully observe what things have what kind of value and more important what thing have chance to multiple value in few weeks or months.

I even knew guy who make small necklaces for luck, you know kinda of small metal on rope and if you carry that all the time you can be sure that bullet gonna miss you, he was something like monk, he trade that for food and it worked. When times are desperate people do and trust in lot of things.

Drugs during long term survival situations (Part II: Marijuana & other drugs)

Before SHTF I tried marijuana one or two times, and my alcohol experiences were connected to parties just like young folks everywhere around world.

In our political system people who used drugs of any kind were strictly separated from normal way of life, so in our city circle of folks who used any kind of drugs were stigmatized and definitely outsiders.

Nobody really talked about these people. So normal folks knew there are drug users, but what kind of people and drugs and any other details were not known much. Those kind of folks were just wrong kind of people and thats it. Period. That was before the war and total collapse of normal society.

My first contact with drugs during the collapse

When SHTF, I went with my friend to some guy because word was that someone sees him going out from military storage in the first days of chaos with few RPG. So we just want to check the guy and see can we trade something for that weapon.

After hours of finding right connections with people and digging trough the rumors we finally find the house of the guy. Man who brought us there went first in front of the house to call him, and he tell to me and my friend to take cover somewhere until he is done negotiating, because guy inside is heavily armed (from military storage) and he usually shoots first and then checks the remains of who was outside.

Finally we were cleared to go inside house. First floor looked like big animal fight with other big animal. Fight must have went on for few days. Everything was upside down, and common things were mixed with strange things. So you could see refrigerator taken upside down with bullet holes, and next to that there was traffic light severed from pylon.

First floor was not in use, guy made something like medieval fortress from his house. Second floor was in use and we climbed up there trough the hole in ceiling and some kind of navy stairs (ropes). His stairway was burned down.

We did not make any kind of trade for that RPGs because he fired all of that as he said. But I saw 5-6 full trash bags in one of the corner, and I asked him what is that? He said:“check it, be my guest“ .

Every bag was full of marijuana. There was small mountain of it. I never before saw so much of that stuff in one place.

I guess guy was dealer before the war, instinctively I was paralyzed, flashbacks of police, jail, courts, and folks point at you went trough my head. Man noticed that and laughs to me and say “do not worry, just take it and smoke it, that sh!t is our smallest problem now“. He was right and I was there to get a RPG but in shock in seeing drugs.

Why drugs matter during long term survival

I make myself unpopular here. Sorry, I just say what I experienced. Reality is not all clean and good or politically correct.

First I have to say we talk about long term survival scenario here. Few days of fearing for your life is problem, few weeks is crap, few months and more can easily take all will for survival from you and leave you empty.

It is hard to imagine and I never saw one of the “TV survival experts” do anything really long term.

Nobody who is sane probably does. I didn’t choose, I was thrown into this.

When the world breaks down around you, you want things to be normal. Even if you had bad life before in normal times it will feel like paradise to nightmare that happens outside or around you when you fight for your survival.

I do not do any drugs (besides coffee) and think drugs is for weak people… but if life slaps you around like it is hard to imagine, everyone becomes weak at some point.

So during the war marijuana was used to disconnect from horrors around you. When you find yourself with few friends in some safe building, basement, and if you have few cans of food, someone brings guitar and few bottles of alcohol and marijuana, you can start to feel an hour or two like nothing is wrong, people do not get shot outside, women do not scream in distance, peace is there again, at least for few hours, and for that small group of friends.

And when someone pass you small jar with hash „bubbles“ you can imagine almost that Jim Morrison came alive that night in that particular basement, in that small and unimportant city in Balkans, in the middle of civil war, and that he is gonna spend that night with you discussing about ridiculousness of life, and then play „The end“ song.

It also had some sort of therapeutic importance. When one of the member of our friends group died, we sit with someone close to him, for example with his brother and drink and smoke for a while, until he gets „numb“ from drugs. Only then we could tell him news about his brother. Everybody did that.

I can say that normal folks (something closest to today understanding of normal average folks) did not drink or smoke marijuana because they were curious what is like, or because they want something different. They did it in order to survive everyday life in new world.

You might think now, I never would do this. It is against my principle. When you see everything breaking down around you a lot of what you think now is principle falls away too.

So very soon some things that were wrong in normal times became natural. Folks started to smoke marijuana, even people who never heard for that, or even people who thought that is completely wrong to use it.

People started to trade for seeds, dealing advice how to grow it, dry it, what parts are best and son on. I am talking here about people who did not have clue about anything about that just few weeks before. Few weeks before it was completely wrong to know about these things.

Whenever I felt bad, or way too bad, or got some chance to sit with my friends I smoked marijuana. Older folks smoked it, grandpas smoked it. Joints made from newspapers, jars full of hashish, or bottle smoking.

It was so much of that stuff that even did not have some big value, I mean you could trade it but it was not very valuable because lots of folks grow it. When it is not illegal then it is completely other thing. When I told Jay while recording my course about this he was surprised. Seems like not many people knew that so many people start growing marijuana during the war but this stuff was everywhere.

Lots of the folks had it for few joints in their pockets always.

It was a pain medication too, when my cousin took out his infected tooth with electrical pliers, all of the „medicines“ he had were couple of joints before procedure, and half liter of heavy alcohol. Alcohol was for his wound and his stomach too.

Whatever you think about alcohol and drugs, you need to understand that they were important in that time, and they gonna be important again.

Hard drugs

Gangs still had access to them but of course, most of the real drug addicts, heavy drug addicts disappeared very soon. It was bad time for detoxification from heavy drugs when you had not time to stay in bed and throw up all day.

Of course people did some stupid and wrong things under these drugs too.

It was not time when you just can go out and drink and party. You needed to be alert most of the time.

It was wrong to drink a lot or get high before some hard jobs, like going out to find and trade things, because you just needed to be completely ready for anything. Anything that clouded your judgment and reflexes was wrong, and very dangerous.

I knew a guy who go out in wrong moment and gets shot in head, just because he thought that he hearing some music from the distance, his favorite song or something like that. He smoke too much, yes.

With all urban myths about how alcohol can keep you warm, or can give you more strength of course wrong things happened.

But for me, in some moments when it was very hard for me, alcohol and marijuana helped me to go trough some things. For all of you who still resolutely say that you are not gonna use alcohol or / and marijuana, just try to be prepared for a fact that those two things gonna be important when SHTF.

Don’t do drugs of course, but just like painkillers, some things have its place when things get really hard no matter if legal or illegal. Even if you can not imagine some things, part of being better prepared then next human who has to deal with same situation is to have a more flexible mind. To be ready for whatever gets thrown in your way.

As you know, soft drugs are controversial topic right now, especially in the US. Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana, legalization can cut cartel profits but maybe also create more smokers. What are your thoughts about marijuana?

Drugs during long term survival situations (Part I: Alcohol)

Today most people drink alcohol because they want to get away sometimes from hard reality or just to have some short good time. Another simple reason many people drink in my country is they have been scared, or they just can not take it any more.

Why did drugs become more important during the war?

In hard times people experience lot of different emotions. Fear, courage, anxiety, crazyness or not logical bravery and so on. Fighting to survive was also new feeling for most. People needed something to melt all that together, thats why drugs were so important.

When you are inside your head in complete chaos, so many different emotions, using drugs to get away from everything to get one feeling that you know, even if feeling is not real and just you taking something, it is relief. It feels like you get to place you are familiar with in world that is full of chaos and suffering.

Alcohol becomes your very good friend, it became mine too. It was ticket to short ride somewhere else from very bad reality. Everybody drink or (and) smoke marijuana in that time, but more about marijuana in next post.

Alcohol

Alcohol has many good sides. It is useful for hygiene or to trade or give as present.

It was not very valuable compared to some other items, but you could go out with few liters and almost always find something to trade and possibility to trade at all mattered often more than having something with high value but only few people want / need it.

Lot of things needed to be suppressed in that time, so alcohol was something like emergency vent, preventing folks from exploding.

Somebody used it to laugh in situation where there is no too much reason to laugh, other people used it to cry out some things they were holding back.

One of the guys from my street became completely other person when he was drunk.

He was big scary looking man, very hairy man like some kind of Neandertal man, and usually nobody wants to argue with him when he was sober, even when he was not armed.

He had a hands like small shovels and whatever weapon he hold, it looked somehow small in his hands. Anyway kind of guy who you wanna have on your side, not on other side.

But whenever he drank, I mean whenever he got really drunk / wasted he turned in some kind of „unknown poet“. He was all about „cruel life“ and sad stories and crying. At first few times for us it looked funny for us, and we cry from laughing and kidding him.

But after some time it becomes spooky and sad even for us to look at that big man crying like a baby and whining about everything. But no doubt it helped him to get some things from his mind out.

But actually we all use alcohol for that, some of us cried and other laugh. We all used it for venting. To get some order in our chaotic mind and let things out.

Whoever did not cry then, cried later when everything ended. Nobody could run away from that.

Before you start talking about bad examples and bad influence of alcohol I must say that we used it also for hygiene a lot. In most of the situations for common folks first aid items meant alcohol and some clean rugs. So it was common to use it for disinfection and cleaning of wounds, cuts scrapes etc.

Also if you have to eat something quick with your hands, quickest and sometimes only way was to clean your hands with alcohol.

Whatever you think about alcohol, about how dangerous it is for man, society etc. you must understand that when SHTF it is gonna be very important because of so many reasons, and good idea is to have it, no matter if you drink or not.

People here drink a lot, when somebody is born and when someone died, and in every possible occasion in the middle of those two events, so when SHTF people want to have some kind of connection with „normal“ time. Alcohol was easiest way to get that connection.

This is also something to think about when you stock items for trade. What is most common “comfort items” in your area or culture? Coffee? Cigarettes? In Asia maybe soy sauce or chili. These things will be good for trading.

My uncle was a heavy drinker in that time, every day he drank in order to get himself to function in that hard new world. It helped him to hold his mind together and survive. And he was good. He did his part of job great and we all could rely on him in every moment.

But without alcohol he became useless and ruined, so he just had to drink. After everything ended he stopped with drinking almost completely, but that could not save him from losing one of his kidney, and getting some serious liver condition.

Not to mention PTSD. Things catch up, if you numb yourself with drugs or not.

Everyone paid for that time sooner or later. So for folks who drink a lot in that time alcohol was not golden solution, but it was one of the easiest solution to go trough all little bit easier.

I drink beer or two, from time to time, the years when I waste myself in order to feel better about some things are behind me, but I still have lot of alcohol in my storage, and try always to keep numbers of stored alcohol rising.

With bottle of alcohol you can make a good friend from possible enemy. Of course you need some good attitude, I’ve seen that many times.

Once I got myself in fight with guy over some tree that needed to be taken down in the back of my house for firewood and we could not agree is it belonging to me or him (it was on public property) and in the middle of pulling out our knives he lost his small bottle from his pocket. I asked him then „look man, lets drink few rounds from that thing and have some kind of agreement, it is better then to use knifes“ and we did that.

How are you stocked up with alcohol? What role does alcohol play in your preparations and how do you plan to use it? Just write in comments.

Preparing on a budget

Looking at survival survey results it seems a lot of people have to see where they put their money. Into preps or have to spend it on things for everyday living. I know how this feels and live like that the last decades.

After war I left city with two plastic bags full of random belongings. No documents and nothing else. I was refugee. But lucky that I was able to stay with family on countryside.

preparing on a budget

I never really thought, ok now I prepare or anything. I simply wanted to have all sorts of things I did not have during my SHTF year. So preparing came naturally to me. No surprise. First it was all about weapons. Whenever I had money I bought ammunition, rifles and guns.

When I got my own place and job again I started to get other preps. Economic has ever been bad since war. Sometimes we get paid, sometimes not, sometimes late. So I never had much extra money but even when I got paid, I made plan what I need for next month and what not and then spend most of money on buying things in bulk. For example I drive every few weeks to tankstop half hour away to buy 200 liters of gas. They have it cheaper and give discount. Buying in bulk is not only cheaper I get rid of my money and have things instead. That matters for me.

From other blog posts you also might know I do not value money much and never have after my SHTF year. You can’t eat money and when I do not get paid, or not paid in time I simply live of my preps.

People help when preparing on a budget

Interesting thing might be that my area is at brink of collapse again and has been for some time. We have 40% unemployed people so black market and exchanging things is normal. People do not have money so they exchange whatever they have. I might need new jacket but have knife I don’t want anymore and call a few people and get what I want. 

Most of my friends have same or similar life philosophy, actually it is the matter of choosing right people to hang with them, so I do not have friends who find meaning of life in buying big LCD TV or having fancy car. It is more about having friends with who you can go into the woods for few days with very few things to check how it is like, or to discuss with them how we can get from point A to point B fast and safe when SHTF for example.

We meet for coffee or a few beer and plan this. It is our hobby and has been ever since war. We laugh and have good time, we fear little because we know what to expect and are prepared.

People with who you hang out have influence on you, either you like it or not, so you just have to choose with who you are gonna spend your time. Most of my friends are also exchanging / trading stuff, so it is easier for me to live without money and more with preps.

My guess is if there is slow collapse your country who is now better will come down to this level of where my country is, first before complete economic collapse.

In this state of half collapse I live in I just take safe route and that is having things. So what I write might be future advice for when time has come for your country. I just share how I prepare with my limited budget.

I can trade things now and if total collapse happens I still have more valuable things than worthless money. During collapse those with 1000 $ but broken shoes will pay 1000 $ for a new pair. Just not sure if I would sell because I can not wear those paper notes.

Friends with grey market traders

Another thing that helps is to get right connections. It helps to know some people who work in darker grey areas. People who sell stuff that “fell from a truck” are those who exchange and hustle for living and will be first who become big traders once SHTF. Their job does not change much, just more customers.

Now you may or may not approve this what i say, but consider knowing people from this “grey” area of life as a perfect part of preparing for future SHTF event. Those people is not your local drug dealer who is also on drugs, but more business people who focus on “lost and found” things.

If your country is far away from having trading people like this, look out for them once things get rougher. They will emerge fast. When they are there it is more than time to exchange money and have things instead.

Even now in normal time when i want to buy something, i always look for the word on the street where i can buy something good and cheap. If you have little you have to make things happen, somehow.

If I want military type bag, I always ask few people that I know have good info about that kind of stuff. They can point me to the guy who has that stuff for me. I do not ask too much questions, I do not want to know where that comes from, it is cheap, it is good, I have far greater things to worry about. If I had money I have guy who can sell me tuna cans, in bigger amounts, I mean 400-500 cans, almost in half price. How? Don t know, I do not wanna know.

There is the people here for buying anything, and I think it is similar everywhere i mean for most of the things there is the folks who are selling that, cheaper.

Jay who lives in Thailand went to supermarket manager to make his own deal and saved a lot. How supermarket manager could give him good prices like that? Nobody wants to know. If you do not know grey guys your local supermarket manager might be the go to guy.

How far you wanna go with buying some things from some grey people is up to you. I do not suggest anything when it comes to that. Each and everyone of us have to decide about that.

You may like this way or you may not. If you are poor or have to make difficult choices when buying preps it is form of survival already. When SHTF there will be way more difficult choices and you will laugh about this.

Find those people who trade things now

Even in good times (which are still bad times here compared to most other countries) I can get what I want with exchanging stuff. Pay good attention to when things become more valuable or better investments than money.

If I buy 4 pairs of boots that I know I will use and get them cheaper now, I do this. I live like this for years now but your country might not be there yet, but know time will come.

Money is good, money is great actually, but do not get caught up in situation like in the middle of the night with 1000 $ in your wallet, and S. has just hit the fan, and your 1000 $ is worth 10 cans of food, yesterday it was worth 400 cans, but…

We all expect that we gonna recognize signs, have time.. but we actually can be suprised, all of us. Looking at some alternative media sites I’m not sure if they promote truth or themselves more.

In the end we prepare to be safer and that is something you have to do today, not tomorrow.

Don’t prepare, save money

I know from forums that some people have problem justifying spending money on preps because other family member believe collapse can not happen or the government will provide.

This was never problem for me because all family knows preparing is only smart thing to do. Still you do not have to prepare for collapse officially. I save money by buying in bulk and also save gas by not making that many trips. Also saves my time because we do not have to leave house that often for buying things.

We are slaves of money, modern way of life is doing that to us, and it is hard sometimes to prepare but all of life is full of hard choices and making right choices today might safe one of your family members life tomorrow.

Not being a sheep today

Another good advice I think is that you have to not be one of the herd. Having new iPod might be a must have, but I do not care. It might be easy to say for me because priorities have changed a lot but I do not need most things media of advertisement tries to tell me I need.

You can start having survival mindset today. Those who think they need big LCD TV or latest iPod will have even bigger challenge once times get tougher and they are left with little or nothing.

There are many ways to do this. In this article I explain mine (my 6 months supply list is in course area).

What are your ways of preparing and staying within budget?

Global State of Preparedness Survey

Most of us put a lot of thought and resources into being prepared. For many it is a real lifestyle and not just a hobby.

We invite you to participate in the Global State of Preparedness Survey that will offer a snapshot of how prepared people are right now and will give you an idea how prepared you are as compared to others.

The purpose of this anonymous survey is to assess priorities and strategies and create a benchmark for the future.

It will also help you to spot some issues you might have overlooked in your preparations.

We are also working with an illustrator to create an easy to understand report of the survey data we will send to you.

SURVEY IS CLOSED RIGHT NOW

Please share this with fellow preppers.

Disposable Items

It is hard to tell what you are going to need in SHTF in your medical part of prepping. Easiest thing to say is that you gonna need everything, but actually it depends from your level of medical knowledge i guess.
for example:

  • Full reanimation kit- O2 bottles, respirator (O2 powered) suction unit (O2 powered), laryngoscopes, tubes, airways, BVM s, tube holders, drugs (atropine, adrenaline, dopamine…)
  • Body protection like masks (booth surgical and respirators), gowns, gloves (sterile and non sterile), lot of rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizers,paper sheets, delivery kits.
  • Wound care kit- all sterile gauzes, peans, tweezers, povidone, rivanole, staples, sutures, forceps, dressings, antibiotic creams…
    Vitamins, tablets and vials for injections.
  • Antibiotics full range, booth tabs and vials (Pennicilin, Gentamicin, Lincocin…) then full range iv fluids kit with NS and Glucosae, including IV systems, needles, syringes, IV catheters …
  • Children antibiotics, suspensions, together with antipyretics like Voltaren supositories.
  • Snake kits (horse serum), allergy shots (Urbason, Synopen…), urinal catheters…
  • Drugs like Furosemide, Novalgetol, Aminophyllin, Reglan, Ranitidin, (all vials), Albuterol (inhallant).

List is going more, but important is to choose what level you want to know, then find way to learn to use things on that level. You can not know everything. Maybe you gonna choose only to have powdered things for hydration instead of IV NS.

Whatever you choose to have, keep in mind that must be as more disposable as you can. For example paper instead of fabric, or sterile plastic tweezers instead of reusable. And again from my experience most of the problems were coming in the form of vomiting and diarrhea, due to bad water, or unknown food.

An Ordinary Day

Actually it is more correct to say ordinary night, because if we had some business to do outside house , we did it during the night, like trade, collecting wood, waiting for mre,s etc.

During the day we usually sleep, or doing the things inside house, yard. We waited for every rain to collect rain water from roofs in barrels,try to filter it trough gauze, boil it, then used that water for everything, other solution was to go to close river and take water, but mostly it was dangerous, at the beginning there were some effort from authority to supply streets with water with tankers, but soon that fall apart like everything else.

So another precious item became water container, plastic canister, to carry water. We did not have any water filters, or water purifying tablets, so i guess lot of diseases occurred as a result of dirty water. Connected with carrying things like water canisters or firewood people started do make all kinds of carts, most basic was cart made from plastic crate (originally used to transport bottles, beer for example) on that crate people attached small wheels from rollers, or toys, and that s it. Nothing fancy. Funny actually.

Hardest thing was to collect fire wood for cooking and heating during cold days, very soon city lost all trees, so we started to use every wood, i burned almost all my furniture, my books. We started with trips trough ruins to collect wood like door and window frames, furniture, wooden floors, parquetry.

During cold days it was a constant problem, to keep the fire. Just to mention all of my windows were broken, we just plug the holes with anything, and when you add ruined roof, holes, then you get the picture how cold can be.

You know in some of the movies of SHTF you ll see guy who is operating from his perfect house while world outside falling apart.Well everything, is falling apart, including your house, especially if you don t have knowledge to fix things in your house, or you don t have tools, so another advice, learn how things work in your house, and learn how to fix things, and especially- have tools for that.
There is nobody to call when your door lock is blown up, or to fix roof tile.

I spent few nights trying to make some system with tarps and drain pipes to collect water, i just did not have any experience with that.

Same was with almost every aspect of life, skills, it all comes to your skills how to make something, we were not prepare for that situation, so i guess when system failed to provide us with goods like food, water, medicine and any other kind of support, we just used skills to made them or acquire them.

Same is today i think,in the case of SHTF, even if we are prepared very good, sooner or later we going to exhaust our supplies, and then we gonna use our skills to made them.

I think good example is to have a big supply of food, but still know how to work in small garden. Great fortune was if somebody knew how to fix things, guns, locks, shoes, people…