It is OK if you think that government is corrupt and incompetent, I think that too.
It is OK to have weapon in your home, and will and knowledge to use it, and it is very good if you think that TV is full of crap.
I think too that S. is gonna hit the fan, and that it makes sense to have bug out location and bug out bag, and lots of cans and ammo.
So we are clear that we agree that all of the above (and lots more) make perfect sense. But one thing does not make sense and that is to let everyone else know that you are thinking like this.
Because it makes you different from (great) majority of folks around you, and what should be one of the basic and first imperatives?
To blend in, to look and be like everyone around you!
Do not ruin your chances to be safe at home even before SHTF.
Since last week we have ongoing discussion if survival in urban environment is even possible at all.
Under some circumstances it is, my experience during war I talk about in my course and how many others survived trapped in cities during war shows it is possible.
But you have to be prepared and do things right even before any collapse happens. Here are some more important things to keep in mind when you try to fly under radar and increase your chances for survival.
Survivalist Hate: From nice guy who helps to guilty man
Did you ever hear of “survivors guilt”? Feeling of being guilty because you survived but many others you know did not. There is something else that can “help” you to not feel that, because it can kill you. It is what I call “survivalist hate” by people around you.
I often read how people want to help other folks when SHTF, and it is really good, but in reality it works different.
When SHTF, I mean real SHTF, most of the people will not like you because you are prepared, people will hate you, even if you help them. They will hate you because you are prepared and you have food, water, weapon and shelter for you and your family, and they do not have anything like that.
I have seen how people robbed man, and his family, torching his house because he had lots of goods (he gave some of that stuff to some folks week before) and by that logic folks said that he knew that S. is going to hit the fan, and he was like guilty for them. People were angry that he prepared but did not tell them.
This is what you can call “survivalist hate”. Think about it, sentences like “he could have warned us” or “he must have stolen this from somewhere, otherwise he would have not that much”. Do not expect normal logical thinking. It does not happen much in normal times and is less in survival scenarios for most common folks.
Being a Stranger
To be stranger in some area, for whatever reason is dangerous thing when SHTF. Let say for example that you move from your country to some other, permanently, and you want to continue to live there. And you are obviously different from people around you because how you look. It is dangerous place to be when SHTF. In some places just because you are from different race people consider you rich.
Do not be fooled by everyday “ease” now in normal times. You may think that you blend in perfectly, and people like you, you go to the church, contribute to charity etc.
But when SHTF you are going to see that you are outsider, and in some cases you could be even accused for bad situation, and you could be in danger.
Of course it is not always going to be like this, but I saw many times people being attacked in SHTF just because they are different. When SHTF people want to look for guilty people for SHTF, and it is easiest to “find” them in people who are different.
Being a “Smartass”
Do not be smartass. This is advice also for normal times of course. For example people here (I guess just like everywhere) are completely addicted to retarded TV shows.
For hours they sit in front of the TV and follow that stuff, and they comment on it everywhere. I never discuss with them my opinion that I do not watch that s..t and that it is retarded.
For them, they believe I watch it too, I am just like them. Now this may look like stupid nonsense example, but it is only example.
I go like that with all other things, very very rarely I go into the discussion with people and try to prove that they are wrong. They deserve to live their life like that and it is OK.
Sometimes when I found man who is worth of “saving” I try to discuss with him my way of living, values, etc. Maybe there is future prepper in him.
Point of this is to understand: there is no sense in going against majority of people around you, you just gonna stick out like that, attract attention, be smart ass because you are trying to go against majority.
Just leave them, blend in, look like everyone around you. It is satisfying for your ego to proof other people wrong when you know better, but what do you win? Nothing and most people do not even want to know any truth that does not fit in their world view.
What are your ways of blending in? Please share in our forum thread about this topic or comments below.
If you haven’t already you can register for our forum for free here.
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When I write about SHTF world and interactions between people in that time, I always emphasize that you cannot trust in people any more. There are many examples why in my course.
Your neighbour that had been always nice to you in normal times is simply not same guy when SHTF, because now he may have hard time to keep his family fed, and comparing to his family you are nothing.
So simply trust no one outside your group.
Your group matters, you need people who you can trust, people that you can put your life in their hands. It is your group of people that you are preparing with for the time when SHTF.
Loyalty is one thing that you need to “grow”, and it needs time to grow, that is why it makes sense to have prepared your group before SHTF, it may be slow process, and you need to be sure what kind of people you have there.
My SHTF experience was very bad from the perspective of what I saw when it comes to loyalty.
When you have big number of unprepared folks thrown in really hard situation like war, you can see all kind of examples, mostly bad one.
Yes, I saw people betraying their friends, or even families. Sometimes for the few more hours of life.
Sometimes even for food.
But I have seen also people getting killed trying to save their families, sometimes they were almost sure that they going to get killed.
My old school friend get killed at the beginning of the war simply because he did not wanted to leave his wife under the ruins of collapsed house, he was trying to save her until the moment when rest of the building collapsed and kill them both.
And I already mention people trying to help friends or family members who get shot and wounded from sniper fire, only to get themselves killed from the same sniper.
Once I was pass out from the explosion (detonation) and my relative drag me to safety, while shells were still exploding.
You need to know what kind of people you have with you when it comes to loyalty.
Before you expect loyalty, ask yourself, are you loyal?
What kind of man you are? Do you have feeling of belonging to the group and what that group mean to you?
Of course there is your family or your friends inside the group, but what kind of the things you are ready to do for them? Do not expect more from them if you are not ready to do similar for them.
What keeps your group together?
There s few answers to that, fear can keep group together, or temporary circumstances too can keep it together when SHTF, but both of those examples will keep it together on very short run, and be sure that group not going to function good.
If members of the group are loyal to each other group will function much better, loyalty will be thing that keeps it together when things get tough. Creating a shared goal, idea and identity everyone feels part of, is another way to create more loyalty. You want as much things to be loyal to as possible. Patriots are examples of people loyal to something bigger.
Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it.
I would slightly modify the quote for survival groups and add “loyalty to the group and cause” and not the government. Some of us also do not feel loyal to country anymore because most important ideas and values that country was build upon have been lost long time ago. Just look in your group who is loyal to something. These people can be loyal to your cause or group as well if they want to.
Just try to be realistic when it comes to the loyalty of the people in your group. They are people, not machines. Do not ask from them impossible things.
Everybody has a breaking point. It is important to know EXACTLY where (or when) that breaking point is in every man. Observe people and see where their limits are in low risk situations.
Expect some weird things when people get to that breaking point. You may be surprised when you find out that some “tough” guys have much lower breaking point than you expected. When people break they often forget to put group interest first and just think about themselves. So a loyal weaker person can be much more worth than tough guy who is very selfish.
Point is to understand loyalty ends somewhere for most people. Try to find out that breaking point today BEFORE the SHTF so you can know what to expect.
Vision, goal and causes in your survival group
I saw some groups turn to gangs simply because it was easiest thing to do and took not much effort besides lack of compassion for others. There was no shared cause, vision or goal. Just selfish people who want to survive. Same groups often fell apart because of internal fighting.
In other words what makes group of survivalists different from the simple group of scavengers and thieves? Vision, goals or a cause.
While one group is simply going to use the opportunity of lack of law to do nasty things, other group will try to survive in order to make some sense in all of that chaos. In short you MUST have goal or cause however strange that can sound. Our simple shared cause was to keep our family save. Very simple. I went out and risked my life every day for people back at our place. Think now about shared cause or goal when you are with other families or friends in survival group.
For someone it may be trying to survive in order to build better society afterwards, for other trying to teach folks good things. Do not ever let your group get lost without cause or vision of better tomorrow. A cause or vision can carry group like picture of a loved one you look at when you are held hostage.
A cause can be simply to survive to tell others how it was back then. In this sense I found another cause years after, writing here today.
Another great and favourite topic in survival community is matter of best caliber and weapon for SHTF, and ammo with most stopping power. Stopping power means how quickly and with few bullets you can make threat unable to attack you or anyone else.
I tell you now, even for urban survival and the situation I have been through and speak about in my course, it is more important to discuss water filtering in urban SHTF scenarios than talking about stopping power.
Do not get me wrong, I am perfectly aware that burst from the machine gun in the man standing in front of you will do much more damage (and probably will stop him forever) than shooting at him with a pistol.
I have seen and been in lots of gunfights and in real life, shootings are not so simple that guy with bigger gun wins.
It is about you
Guy who was standing next to me pulls pistol (TT 7.62 mm like in the picture above) at attacker who was starting to run away from us. I did not want to shoot at the guy because he was running away from us, and I thought he did not need to be shot, but my friend thought different.
Anyway, he raises the pistol, and fired 6 bullets at the guy. Guy was some 6-7 meters from him. And he missed him, all six bullets missed the guy, who run away.
Guy who was running away was moving away from us, but not in straight line, he was moving diagonally so I guess that adds little bit to why all bullets missed.
But man who was shooting from the pistol did next:
- He held the pistol with one hand
- Fired 6 shots in very fast manner (recoil did its job so he did not spend to reacquire target)
- Screamed very loud while shooting
I had (and still have) lot of confidence in TT pistol, it is reliable and scary thing in good hands, and can do lot of damage.
But point is that you are the man who makes the shot (and kills). So first you need to work on your skills. A .22 bullet to the head is worth more than .45 to the shoulder. Common sense.
Weapon is something that in my opinion needs to be good and correct for you and your hand. There is no point in having some weapon just because it is good for someone else, maybe it is completely wrong for you.
Recoil, trigger pull and general feel are just few of many factors that determine what makes sense. Get gun that enables you to hit your target even if people on shooting range shoot bigger caliber. We train for survival and not to show off.
About gunshot wounds
Gunshot wounds are kinda strange stuff, because you never know what you can expect from it. When bullets enter the body it can make quite interesting stuff, so I have seen people being hit from high caliber weapon and they even did not know they are hit, OK adrenaline works there too, but it is simply important the vital organs are damaged.
Bullets can have very weird path once they enter the body, so even if entrance wound looks not so dangerous it still can shred organs in body.
You never know what it will be, because there are many factors involved like weapon caliber, distance, angle… Bullets ricocheting from wall or ceiling above you still can kill you, actually small pieces of wall exploded from bullet hits can kill you if they hit right spot.
Generally speaking exit wound (if there is any) should look more “nasty” than entrance wound, but still there were cases when in middle of the fight some folks did not know they had any wound at all, until later they were carefully examined and entrance and exit wound were found.
I treated man once who had gunshot wound in forearm, some 10 minutes after the battle people pointed at him and at the blood coming all along his arm and fingers. He had entrance and exit wound, no bone damaged, and still no pain. Adrenaline.
Stopping power, penetration etc.
Remember the guy from the beginning of the post, maybe if he had knife or alternative weapon in that moment he would stop that man with more success.
And yes, I would always choose to have good and reliable pistol over a spear, but you get my point. I have seen guys who “stop” other guys with bullets from .22 CZ rifle in some very very cool (and scary) way, and on quite some distance. They simply were good with that rifle.
Shots in the head and chest have more chances to “stop” a man. Man can be also stopped with few shots in legs, but remember that he still can shoot you.
Still do not expect that man will be “blown away” with one shot in the chest, like i movies. Even if you hit the man in heart, he still have chance to shoot you.
So in short, yes, bullets in chest and head are good, but BULLETS not A BULLET. Just be sure. Keep shooting until the threat is gone. Nothing worse than stopping too early.
Bullets in the stomach are bad things, but I have seen people firing back at their attacker with rifle with their intestines hanging out.
Also important to consider is the meaning of the word “cover”. Remember that some things just cannot give you enough cover. There is not much better than big pile of compact dirt or concrete wall between you and man who shoots at you.
Use common sense with taking cover, objects like wooden door, bush, glass and similar are not cover, they are concealment. They can maybe HIDE you, but you still can be killed with bullets through it.
Many times I mentioned it that in SHTF you need lots of ammo, people shoot at whatever is suspicious. If you are hiding behind wooden door, attacker can shoot burst just through the door, to be sure. You are not covered.
Will to kill
When I wrote those 3 points about what the guy with TT gun did and why he did not shoot the other man, there needs probably (but I never know for sure) to be number 4 and that is “he did not want to kill the man”.
Yes, even in life threatening situations lots of people simply would choose not to kill, even if that means death for them. I believe it is something that some people simply can not do. They are not capable of that, to take some other mans life.
Maybe it looks that this is not connected with this topic about stopping power, but it is. So while choosing what weapon is good for you, you need to ask yourself “am I capable of taking other mans life?”. Any hesitation can kill you when it matters, whatever caliber you have.
Lesson here is, instead of researching “tacticool” stuff online, learning about survival and going down to shooting range and finding gun with common round in the area that one shoots well with is what makes sense. The gun you know how to use best has biggest stopping power.