Are you ready?

You may say that question „are you ready (for some big s..t)?“ is either nothing new and that we always in something very bad or you may say that I simply do „fear shoveling“ with that question.
I strongly believe that you are wrong, and now is perfect time to ask that question.

Bad times

Depending where we are living and how old we are bad times are periods in our lives.
No matter how my „bad times“ might be different from your „bad times“ fact is that we are all survived or will survive some in our life time.
And no, I do not talk about those „bad times“.
I am talking about something that we are slowly sinking in, during last few decades, you can name it with many names, and it is combination of many things…things like devaluation of core (human) values, confusion with fact who we are and what we want to be, or how we want to be seen from other people.

Or you can call it slow deterioration in each field of human activity…anywhere from what real democracy should be to call for actual dictator ship because „we know what is best for you, and we know it better they you“.
Bad times are part of our lives, but if you somehow manage to distance yourself from your own bad times, or in other words if you distance yourself far enough to see bigger picture you can see, or at least see blink of bigger picture, that bigger picture says that we are deterioration slow, but we are kind of catching up speed too.

These times are truly bad times.

SHTF what and when?

Let s skip whole volumes of nonsense what actually SHTF is, and what is not, and please let me say one of my favorite explanation what (real) SHTF is: it is time when people realize there is no repercussions for their (bad, evil, wrong, violent…) actions, or at least those repercussions are months away“

So, yes, SHTF might be floods in your area for few days, but I do not talk about it, I talk about more intense event, or event with more duration…usually it is combination of both.
If we want to take let s say educated guess when and how it will happen (at larger, or world scale we can say that either it is gonna be result of long or prolonged bad times (like we described bad times above) or it is gonna be result of some very bad (and big) event.
In reality again it will be combination of both.
If we have prolonged bad times, that big large spark does not need to be very bad or catastrophic (example could be some disease that is not deadly but overwhelm medical systems) but people do not need too much after prolonged bad times right?
Now can you imagine situation when and where we are after prolonged bad times faced with possibility of nuclear escalation?
You do not have to imagine it too much, we are living that situation for some time…it is just most of us have been trough lot of bad things that we are seeing it as a one more period of bad times that will go away.

Are we and how many of us aware that truly SHTF is close, and that we might be facing something that is really big and bad?
I am following some news and actually want to see moment and information when and where I will see start of that spiral of retaliations from very small and limited to full scale thing.
Are we going to dodge it this time too?

Are you ready?

So, are you ready for possibility of world involved in nuclear war, with all „fun“ that war brings?
Can anybody be ready for that?

I think we are facing events in close future that might be ranged anywhere from:
very bad-world where there is no universal rule of law, where there is only law of stronger, and that will be introduced anywhere from small local level where you ll be forced to live based on agenda of „real democracy“ which means cancel culture, absolute inversion of freedom of speech, in world where your kids will be encouraged to sell you to authority because you are relic of some old time and you do not comply. On state and nations level who ever have more power will oppress smaller nations in hunt for resources, in the name of own nation.
Or horrible- world where in lack of communication or lack of will to accept defeat we all gonna end up in nuclear holocaust and something that I always kind of laugh at-Mad Max type of survival.

Are you ready?

This blog post is an introduction and overview on this specific question, but I’m going to talk about it in more detail over on Patreon, feel free to join me there:

Resilience Hub

Alone…

I want to ask, I wish you would elaborate more about what kind of qualities the lone wolf preppers you knew about that were able to survive those times, I get the impression you considered them weirdoes could you give more details? It could be important for those of us that cannot find community of people to prep with at the moment.

Richard

Thanks Richard!
I wrote and mentioned in articles and interviews more than once that “lone wolf” plan of surviving serious SHTF event is bad idea, but yes, I admit, sometimes simply being alone is only option for some folks.
Here is the links to my previous two articles about “lone wolf” , or being alone idea:
going it alone
lone wolf

First thing for me here is to be sure that we are talking about same thing, when I say “lone wolf SHTF survival” I talk/write about prolonged event, because being alone in SHTF that last for few days is doable thing.
In dependence of violence (danger) outside together with bunch of other circumstances there is probably point in time (probably week or two) when it become very hard to be alone.

Time and effort

I would add one more thought (or reinforce) to those articles (besides problems of guard or spotting the threat, or being alone while sick and similar) and that thing is often overlooked in discussions about collapse of society.
It is simple fact that once when system (with all its support) is gone, your common day will look much different from the point of your invested work (effort) vs. what you get for it.

Now I am not talking about gunfire, violence, diseases and similar when SHTF.
I am talking about simple human work when SHTF.

For example on average day, in normal time amount of effort to obtain 5 liters of drinking water is probably physical work of getting up and opening water faucet and filling container.
When SHTF it may require full day of physical work of founding, collecting, carrying, disinfecting, storing that same amount of water.
Same might go for heating, food, hygiene and everything else.

Simple day may require lot of work, and simple task may be much more time consuming.
All that is much easier if you are not alone, less hard, and may require less amount of time.

Weirdo

Impression of me thinking that those who want to survive SHTF alone are weirdoes comes probably from few things.
First there are lot of folks, who take SHTF as something romantic and movie like, and they want to be alone simply because it looks cool, those folks are living in fantasy.
Second, lot of guys who actually went through collapse alone become weirdoes, simply because they had very hard times, they had lot of hard choices to make in order to survive (maybe even to sacrifice lot of their humanity and morality), and they went through everything without close mental support from members of their group (friends, family) so they end up completely “burnt out”.
And then there are people who are gonna be alone because legit reasons.

People without group support

I will not call them weirdoes, if you are after all consideration end up alone, well you ll have to work with what you got.
Basically all that you got is you alone.
Here is thing that I mentioned in that post years ago but it is really important so I will mention it again.
Actually there are two things, and on first look they might look contradicting, but if you check it in depth they are not.
First thing is: have stuff prepared, here I mean physical stuff.
I would love to say that you can overcome all troubles with your skills and knowledge, but it is impossible, because you alone cannot know and own all needed skills, knowledge and techniques needed to survive serious event. (of course you will learn as much as possible)
One of the reasons of forming the group is group knowledge.
So, since you are alone you will compensate that with having more preps for SHTF, more items.

Second thing is: Staying mobile.
Or being ready to become mobile in any given moment. Why? Well you are alone, so there is much higher chance that you will lose any physical confrontation with possible enemy then folk with group.
Actually there is more chance that you will not even spot danger on time ,maybe you ll simply sleep in that moment, and there is nobody on guard because you are alone…
In other words you must be much more ready to run, hide, avoid…in order to survive.
You actually need to stay hidden and small much more and much often.
As I mentioned having more physical items and being alone and being ready to run or hide can go together by having plan to have more caches hidden everywhere in your area,

Try to plan for that today in a way that you can make some kind of strategy where are the best places to hide stuff.
I advocate in one of the post that you have to be master in skills, or to have all skills if you are alone.
Let s face it, 99 percent of us are not gonna be able to have alone all skills.

Please do not take this words as a advice to stop learn and buy stuff for SHTF, because physical stuff will be alone enough-it is contrary, skills and knowledge is better, but you ll never be able to have all knowledge that one group formed on smart way have, so you ll simply compensate with physical items and with being small and mobile.

Group

Huge majority of folks who start SHTF event like “lone wolf” will form some kind of group during the event, simply because they will have to cooperate with people sooner or later, and trough those cooperation and connections they will form groups who are in range everywhere from knowing some guy in other part of city who have connections for food, shelter of information to forming the group of like minded people in the middle of event because it is easier for defense.

Huge difference of forming the group prior event and during the event in fact that for a group formed prior the event you have time, months or years of carefully getting to know each member (if they already not family) his skills and mindset…so you ll know what you got when SHTF.

Forming the group during SHTF might be matter of simple circumstances that last for a days, or weeks, or in other words if some circumstances change your group member may become easily your enemy, you do not have clue because you do not know him.

So, be very careful!

Truth?

From time to time there is need for all of us to sit down  and kinda look back to events that we lived trough and then to look in forward (in future) in order to try to see what is coming.

There is interesting things with important historical events -they mostly were not reckognized as „important historical events“ in that moment from average folks.

Or in other words for most of the folks it is not easy to reckognize events that are actually life changing, events that chanege or destroys societies, nations…

As a  continuation of previous post (Full circle) we should all try to reckognize what is going around us, and what is going with us personally in the light of prepping and survival.

 

Knowledge is out there?

 

Preppersphere 10 years ago was mostly whole bunch of pages where people discussed ridiculous topics about imagined survival scenarios that never happened or will not happen-because they ridiculous.

It was something as i see it mostly for fun, places on line where people mostly came to join endless discussion about bug out bag or which caliber is better.

There were good pages and people with knowledge yes, but those were minority.

Preppersphere was big shiny place where you could read thousands of pages, see thousands of videos and advices of survival and buy bunch of physical items that will „save your life once when SHTF“.

Most of those were junk, and industry of money making with exception of few nuggets.

Few years ago things started to change, and continue to change to this day, thanks to pandemic, war, horrible economic situation and similar.

I would like to say things went to better, but it is not truth.

Many in preppersphere dissapered simply because they face reality and suddenly realized stuff that they write record or teach are non sense-reality show them that.

Minority of those who have idea and knew whats going on and knew how they can help have other problems-they jump in the „area“ where they talk, write or did thinks that system did not like, so they suddenly having problem with being labeled from system as a layers, people who spread misinformation or false news…they were into cancelling.

So, we  are coming to the moment when if you are big enough, and have enough followers in survival world and if you want to talk free and discuss things at your wish you are risking to be cancelled, which in essence means you are not gonna be big enough, and at the end you are going to dissapere from online world.

I have seen close friends in preppersphere being stripped from income just becasue they said (wrote) things freely-as they want to wrote, that was their everyday job and they were just one day labeled as a troublemakers.

As a result, we might be in situation where if you want to be big, and have enough followers, and have good and strong „voice“ that is gonna be heard far in survival world you actually need to play by numbers, and some of those numbers are absolutely agains basics of survival.

There is statement that today is much easier to find correct information then let s say 25 years ago, simply because with few clicks you can find it.

On the other side, and it is paradox, as years passing by it is going to be harder and harder to find right information simply because there is too many information, and those information with „biggest headlines“ and flashing letters that you find after only 2 clicks are pages of people who are playing by numbers.

And remember, thoise who play by numbers can not always speak (write) freely.

Finding information is not problem, finding correct and true information is.

And let s face it, we are living in the world where everyone is „hooked“ on fast information, everyone wants to know immediatelly what is going on about something or some event that is interested in, of course those informations are there-just few clicks away, with big and flashy letters remember.

I am not talking about conspiracy theory here, i am talking about forming the „truth“ trough the carefully planned opression, not only in online world.

So…is knowledge still out there?

Yes, you just have to dig more for it, which is sad, because as time go on right information will be harder to find, and it should be opposite with all technical improvments.

Personaly i want to stay „small“ and invisible for big radar, i want to have ability to curse, swear, or simply to write things way i want to write.

Perspectives?

 

For all of us, those who provide and those who seek survival/prepping information perspective is not really bright.

We are all more and more in danger of getting labeled as a „troublemakers“ simply because preppers and survivalists are (or should be) by nature people who look for truth and independence.

People who look for truth and independence,that sounds nice and cool, but stop for the moment and see where, in what direction whole world is going.

We are going in direction where we are gonna be told which truth is true, and independence (being independent) is not something that system knows to work with.

DEPENDENCE is what is desired from system, so you can play by their numbers.

So, again and again, stay sharp, stay silent, be smart.

Full circle

In one of the mine recordings on Patreon I mentioned older member of family who still remembers times when he as a pupil weas instructed from teacher that during the lunch brake he and other pupils should go in woods and find something to eat there.

It was happening in times of great hunger here, in late 40s and early 50s.

One other interesting detail from same grandpa and same times that he mentioned to me is fact that while teacher was holding the class his rifle was hanging on wall behind him.

I asked old guy :“ What? Teacher had rifle“?

He answered to me „sure, those were unsecure and dangerous times when almost every grown up person was in military, or in some goverment militia, everyone was armed“

It was some 70-75 years back in time.

In time when there was no enough food, clean water, security, and everyone was afraid from new war and new invasion shortly after latest war ended.

Goverment was very very opressive forcing folks in villages to give their land and work to (communistic) colectives, while in the cities intelectuals were stripped from their civic rights or jailed if theey dare to speak freely.

All that was happening while danger from new war and invasion was above everyone s head.

So, 75 years later where are we?

Are we too far from finding food in woods and having rifle „on the wall“ always ready?

 

Full circle

I can see in last few years (since pandemic actually) up to these days that many preppers went trough their own full circle in ther lives of survival.

Trough contact with numerous preppers in person or in virtual world couple of things are clear now, things that should be clear long time ago, but it is hard to beilive into something unless you experienced it.

Things like crooked ar not prepared goverment, things like fact that your rights and freedoms might be there today and not there tomorrow , things like that all philosophies and plans go down when you punched in face.

I think by today we are all pretty sure (finally) in fact that bad things are happening, and they can happen everywhere, even in places that you took for „bastions“ of freedom or democraty.

Point is that lot of preppers are finaly realize it is all about how well you are prepared, you and you alone.

So yes, it is full circle to the start of prepping-it is about you and your preps and skills, not about help from goverment, state, freedoms, rights, democraty, free world…

It is quite sobering fact for many people, actually it is quite shocking fact for most of preppers, but once when you take it for real then it is good start for everything else.

You should took pandemic situation as a kind of trial how easily rules (or rights) can change or discontinued, and how everything that was built in relations between people can be changed very fast trough the fear and panic.

Latest events in Ukraina you should take (especially here in Europe) as a proof how far (or actually close) we all are from the fact that who had installed firewood in his home and acess to firewood become very very important.

How far we are from moment when living in apartment building in city thats is heated by gas from comodity become huge disadvantage?

Are we all by living in society where young people do not have clue to operate rifle doing huge mistake?

For me personally, full circle might be fact that I am coming back here, on this page, to write here where i started.

Shtfschool page is back.

Corona Virus Panic & What Matters Now

I put back some of the articles on my page, articles that I find are make sense for new situation in the world about this new Corona virus.

I felt there is need to put back some of that in this situation.

Whatever happens with this new epidemic or pandemic chaos around the world, as I always said it it will come to the bare essence of the people vs. resources combination.

Was, plagues, climate changes, asteroids… at the end it always come to the same: more people than resources.

Some of the articles here on page I wrote years ago, most of them are about situations that happened 25 or more years ago, but if you read it carefully and if you “transfer” some of that to your settings or this time you ll see philosophy and basics are same, for most of the situations.

Rest of the my articles archive and my articles from other places, and stories that are not being  published on line anywhere are published as a books for some time on Amazon:

SHTF Survival Stories: Memories from the Balkan War

The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival: The Brutal Truth About Violence, Death, & Mayhem You Must Know to Survive

Corona, system, panic

 

Situation with Corona virus changes everyday, and that change is towards bad everywhere not to good, I still think this virus is not necessary so dangerous like most of us think (time will show if Im right), but that does not mean too much to us in “prepper terms” because I still think it will bring pretty big chaos everywhere.

Chaos will be more or less everywhere because many reasons like poor system reaction to virus, false information on public media about pandemic, panic, and generally poor will of people to live in changed times.

All that essentially and eventually may bring to the situation mentioned above: more people then resources.

We have being bombarded with information that system will take care for this thing, and in the same time as a preppers we need to know that system can not take care about things like this, if this gonna last for a long time.

 

Few examples:

 

stay tuned

 

 

Staying “tuned”  or being mesmerized by info that “officials” will provide you for latest crisis makes sense if you wanna be kinda “aware” where things may go, or if you want to “check pulse” of the system, but to be mesmerized by it to the levels that you base your important decisions on it is simply wrong (as i mentioned many times before).

System job is simple-to keep the system running, so you are probably not gonna heard on TV official warning something like “we are out, it iseverybody for himself”.

At least you not gonna heard it on time to make some difference to you.

I listening here for days public announcements that “there is no need to stash up, to buy huge amonts of food, meds, water etc, because there is no need for it, goverment had it under control”.

Then yesterday I read bit shy government statement that “every household should have enough food, meds etc, so it can survive for couple of weeks without need to go out”

Now, if you waited here in my region for that announcement yesterday and go out to buy stuff, you could not find some items like masks, hand gel sanitizer and similar.

So, if you are prepper, survivalist, it really does not make sense to wait for someone to tell you “you need to go out and stock up”.

Smart people (survivalists) did that long time ago.

 

system and panic

 

I do not know how things are going there wherever you are, but here in my region it seems that people who are handling this crisis and make decisions are kinda idiots, at least majority of them.

There were so many flaws in dealing with this that often I am thinking about conspiracy theories now.

But then again, here everything is politics, and everything is about how things are “under the control” even when they are very far from any kind of control.

So people who are not competent will go out with info that will bring more panic, more false info, and at the end more misunderstanding and eventually chaos.

I have friend who works in goverment “crisis center”. He was out on radio, making statement that everything is under control, no need to panic, no need to buying stuff… on same day he called me privately and told me “you need to stock up  and be prepared”, i told him “thank you i will” , of course he do not know I am prepared since the time of his elementary school.

What about people who trust his public anouncment?

Again, job of the system is to keep system running.

 

 

what going to happen?

 

Well nobody knows, but if you telling me that this virus does not have impact on society just go and check what measures China government took, in order to contain it.

And then think is your goverment is ready to do measures like Chinese, and are people around you ready to “agree” with measures like in China?

I know for sure here it would bring society to complete stop, and then to chaos.

So do I think we all going to die from virus, no, definetly not, but I do think there is huge possibility we might be pushed back, in some cases we might be pushed back in chaos and system collapse, for some time.

So, it definitely makes sense to be prepared for it.

Sleep Deprivation and SHTF

 

Image from Häggström, Mikael (2014). “Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.008. ISSN 2002-4436. Public Domain.

 

 

It is one of those things that lot of people do not see, that when SHTF they will have big problems with and due to sleep deprivation.

Reasons are many, maybe it is going to be too dangerous so you’ll be forced to stay awake for prolonged time, or simply your sleep cycle will be messed up because you’ll be depressed when SHTF, or you will not have enough time for quality sleep…

It is important to understand what you can expect when sleep deprivation gets you…

 

 Your Performance

I use to call that feeling –„being in a bubble“.

It is like being on drugs that makes you feel like you do not care about things around you.

For example you find yourself in situation when you do not care are you going to be shot, you clearly see that you have high chances to be shot from sniper on very dangerous intersection, you see that odds are high for that, but you taking that small chance (of not being shot) and go over that intersection, partly because you do not care and partly because you are feeling invincible.

You are in the „bubble“, in a strange state of feelings and processing information around you and that „bubble“ came, largely, from sleep deprivation.

Your perception of danger situation gets twisted in weird ways, and you react different, sometimes you want to be hero without reasons, or sometimes you become coward – again without reason.

Let’s at least say it moves you out of your „normal“.

 

Once, I was hiding for 3 days in ruined house with my friend, while unit of soldiers were out on the street.

Maybe 50 people with one tank, they were drinking and occasionally entering houses around our house to check for stuff, their tank was broken, something with engine and they kept the engine roaring almost all the time, fixing something with fuel or oil.

We did not sleep for those 3 days, we were ready to jump in a split second if they entered our house. On the third day my friend announced to me that he is writing poem about this situation, and I myself was very close to going out to the guys and tell them that I do not believe in war or something like that, in the belief they’d respond with ‘Okay, well then go from here(!?!)’.

Luckily that day they moved away after they fixed the engine.

 

Weird Things

It is subjective, but based on my personal experience you can expect after 3-4 days of no sleeping during SHTF  to see things that are not there, or on the other hand not to see things that there. (Toby comment: Be aware this can happen MUCH sooner in some people, even in less than 24hrs depending on the stressors around, age of the individual and overall fatigue level, among other influences)

This fact was reason for many deaths, and also it was reason for many scary legends in that time.

Personally I saw couple of times people that are not falling down after clearly being shot several times, dead people walking,  strange lights, sounds, or simply let’s say ‘ghosts’.

I learned over the time to notice and observe things like that, but not to react, otherwise I would probably have gone crazy.

When you hear baby crying 10 meters from you in abandoned and ruined house in the middle of night and you follow the sound and go there, and there is nothing there, but now same sound coming from other room that can give you some weird feelings in your guts.

You observe, but not react-otherwise you go crazy.

Fear and lack of sleep will play with your mind.

 

What Can You Do?

 

Just like with lot of other things connected with SHTF very often you can not do s..t with sleep deprivation because it simply will be there, but there are things that you can consider because they help:

-Stay Healthy

Sleep deprivation when SHTF is always accompanied with other things, so it is good to at least take away that other things. If you are having diarrhea, or you are malnourished, or simply you are out of shape AND you are in the middle of sleep deprivation that makes things a lot worse.

If you are in good shape and having lack of sleep, it is something that you can work with, you can survive.

– Do Not Be Alone

It is good old SHTF advice- do not be alone. Being with someone means that you can have support, someone who can recheck your decisions (or vice versa), someone who can take lead when you are „down“ or simply someone who can be awake while you are taking short sleep.

Be Careful With Stimulants (drugs, alcohol. etc…)

It is maybe not „politically correct“ to say, but again based on personal experience drugs and alcohol are helping in sleep deprivation BUT only in short terms, on longer terms actually they will f..k you up even more, so be VERY careful with that, nothing can beat a short normal nap.

Have Short Naps!

I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I had a full night sleep during my SHTF period. But I did have short naps. 20-30 minutes. And they help.

Even in the middle of shelling or fight, somewhere hidden (more or less) I would put sunglasses on and cotton in ears and had short nap. It was very „shallow“ sleep.

At night sunglasses can minimize the effects of flashes around you, and cotton can take away a bit of detonations sound. (yes, good thing to store today is „eye covers” for sleeping and ear plugs)

 

Sleep Deprivation and You

 

I have to point out that my SHTF experience was bit „drastic“, so you may not be found in middle of shelling, but still I can assure you that you will have problems with sleep deprivation when SHTF because of the amount of new situations that SHTF brings, so be prepared for that.

Some Thoughts on Bugging Out

 

We at the SHTFSchool are launching our new „Bug out“ course. The first one will be running in Sweden (More details here) so it is perfect time to consider again some things about bugging out.

I written before about it, but it is never ending topic, simply because there is too many variables and small change in your particular scenario can push you toward the plan and action that would not work at all in someone else’s case (and scenario).

Over the years of writing articles and reading other folk articles and comments, and having my own SHTF experience there is clear that people „fixate“ on more or less same topics concerning the bugging out, so I’ll comment some of those topics.

Do I Need to Bug Out, When and How?

I wrote before about timing during the SHTF event when it makes sense to bug out, but what kind of event do you need to experience in order to bug out and how you are you going to do that?

If you expecting that you’re just going to jump in your car and drive to your BOL without problems then you are missing something or you are really good.

There are countless details that may be thrown in equation of bugging out but lets stick to the most important:

Making decision

  • Is event that is happening (or will happen very soon) a serious physical threat you and your family? (dirty bomb attack, serious weather event, civil unrest…)
  • Is staying at your home mean more danger to you than to go out and travel to desired location (bug out) considering all known factors of risk during the trip? (you are expecting that things going to be better out of your current area)
  • Your current resources at your home are clearly going to „run out“ much earlier than at your BOL (you have preps at your home but clearly you have much more in your BOL)

As advice, in a case of some serious event I would choose to move away from the area where there are more people (urban) to the area where there are less people.

It is general rule, but that does not mean that I would blindly run from my home out to the unknown just because I am in the city.

Sometimes bugging in make more sense even if you are preparing your whole life for bugging out, just check factors from above.

Way There

Getting to your BOL location can be simple like driving 100 miles to your location, but that 100 miles may turn out to be 10 days trip on foot.

You never know how it will turns out, but on some things you can be prepared.

I am big advocate of being „grey“, and that is very important especially while you bugging out.

What actually that means?

  • Your decision about using weapon needs to be made based on circumstances in that moment and for that particular situation. Sometimes it make sense to carry weapon openly, sometimes not.

Use common sense, if there are bunch of scared and confused people outside, trying to understand what kind of event is happening do you really want to go outside in full camouflage gear with rifle in your hand? What is the point of that?

If there is obstacle on your route (check point, armed people for example) can you avoid it and take other route?

If you really need to use weapon then use it to completely terminate threat, usually it will not be time to just „show the muscle“  it will rather be time to quickly and efficiently „use the muscle“.

  • Expect that lot of problems on your way you will have to solve by „bargaining“ , for example sometimes you ll be in situation to give money (alcohol, marijuana, bullets, medicine,clothes…) on some check points in order to go through maybe,-as a general rule for that there is this: do not ever give good reason to people to take the chance of attacking and killing you.

What that means?

If you are passing some local militia (neighborhood watch for example) check point (if you can not avoid it) you may offer your wife wedding ring, or your kid’s golden necklace, or your last 50 dollars, or last 25 liters of fuel… but you never offer 10 silver coins from your stash of silver coins, or your 1 pack of antibiotic out of box of 25 packs, or 50 dollars from the pile of 500 dollars.

Use common sense, usually people will avoid trouble if there is no gain from it, if they see good opportunity they might take chance, even if that means some of them might end up dead, it simply worth the risk in that times.

You need to look like ordinary guy, not like experienced prepper with lot of fancy stuff. You need to be grey.

Today,in normal times, people often see something in other people possession and they think „I wish I could have that“, when SHTF lot of people will think „ oh, I can take that“.

Being grey means a lot, and it means different things for different situations, but there is general rule here, and it is very simple: look and act like everybody else around you – do not stick out.

It goes for your vehicle, your equipment, clothes, way how you act, talk…

Examples are numerous, let say it is SHTF and you are bugging out with your pick up truck with 5 steel military canister of fuel clearly visible (among the other equipment) on the back of pick up.

It is great that you thought about extra fuel that you had stored in your garage for bugging out when SHTF.

It is not smart to show that to whole bunch of other people who are also trying to run away from chaos in the city in the middle of fuel shortage.

They were not smart to store that fuel for bugging out like you, but they will kill you for that fuel, because they like their kids more then they hate feeling of killing someone.

After fact that you need to be grey, let’s mention few more basics here:

  • you need to have at least basic knowledge about your vehicle. For example „fixing“ flat tires, radiator leaks, changing belts, ways to unblock cars from compromised roads and you need to have parts and means for that.
  • Your car might be your home for prolonged period of time, maybe your trip is few hours driving, but you do not know on what problems you might stumble and how long it is going to be.
  • You need to be ready to leave (forever) your car in a matter of minutes or even seconds, and continue on foot, so try to organize it on that way that you do not in hurry leave something with your car that is of life importance (for example water, or ammo, or weapon) Load the car with small packages, small containers, things easy to ‘grab and go’ (We DO NOT advocate the use of ‘totes’ in vehicles, unless you have a clear plan and means to empty that tote FAST into an easy to carry bag or similar method of easy to carry equipment.)
  • And in worst case scenario-no matter how good vehicle you have, maybe you’ll be forced to bug out on foot from the start, so have a plan for that too

That means you have to have equipment for long walk, plans for resources on your way, means to spend more nights in the field…

Few more things about planning and mapping your bugging out:

  • Have at least two alternate routes to your BOL
  • Try to understand- recognize, mark on map and avoid possible danger spots on your route (for example gas stations, police stations, malls, bridges,“choking points“…
  • Try to have either secret stashes (fuel, food, water, medicine, ammo…) or help (safe friendly houses, safe places…) on your route
  • Be ready to change plan, change routes, be ready to improvise and adapt, your traveling may look weird (not straight forward) on map, but it is more important to come alive then to stick to the original plan or to come there to fast.
  • Remember when SHTF that means new rules, so you may pose as a policeman, you may have uniform of city services, you may be reporter… all old rules are dead and your task is to get there. Improvise and adapt
  • Check map of your area for natural obstacles (and weather too) but have open mind. That means if for example there are rivers in your area of traveling then no matter that you are planning to drive the car still you need to be prepared for the situation that you gonna swim over the river (what kind of river is, how fast and cold, do you have right bag to put your most valuable items in for that river crossing…) if there is a mountain and winter be ready to spend night outside (have clothes and equipment for that) no matter again that you plan to travel with car

 

Good exercise would be that you go once per year and travel your „bugging out“ route by foot. It would give you some sense of few things. It would be without re-routes, real dangers and problems but still you would notice lot of things and you would get a few good ideas…

These are just a few thoughts on the matter. Those joining us on the physical bug out course, will learn and practice this and much much more…!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Survival lesson Re-visited: Staying Out Of Trouble

 

This new article is actually a re-post of one of the my old articles that I wrote almost 3 years ago.

The guy that I wrote about in that article died few days ago, and that is the reason why I am re posting this.

I use to knew him very well, the man that he became at the end was almost a stranger to me.

He did not die shooting an AK47 at the politicians who once “pushed” him to war with their “infinite honor” and “our cause” stories, he did not wrote book about his experiences, he did not become hero.

At his funeral there were 9 people, including guys who are paid to finish the job with shovels.

This man was “eaten” by cancer, and I am sure that cancer started in his soul first.

I drunk few gins for his soul and decide to re-post this.

Message of this is same. Stay out of the trouble and simply do not believe everything, especially if the message is coming “packaged” and in “big words” (Students in USA should take special note of this now…)

 

Looking for goods and usable items during the war often meant I got myself in some weird situations and scenarios. I knew lots of guys who risked their lives just to go to some destroyed places because they knew they could find some items that meant a lot for them personally, but actually those items were useless in given situation around us at that time.

But people often act like fools and if you find yourself in a survival situation it is the perfect time to lose your life if you act like fool.

Like a friend who lost his eye, just because he went to his house and searched through a closet full of audio tapes in order to collect some of his favourite punk band titles. Not to mention that electricity in that time was something like faint memory, and he could not do anything with those tapes even if he did find them.

Anyway booby trap exploded, luckily he survived, but he lost one of his eyes.

When you have young people or in general, inexperienced people and fighting around you, it is the perfect combination for some people to act like fools.

There is something in dangerous (and new) situations that makes you want to act like fool, and to do stupid things, young folks do that mostly, but it can happen to anyone, it happened to me too.

Good old „stay out of the trouble“ advice is one of the best survival lessons one can learn.

Whenever I read on survival forums, threads about gangs and how during SHTF people should get organized and simply defeat them, I remember how young and enthusiastic I was about that too, but luckily enthusiasm went away quickly and I survived.

The problem here is holding onto old concepts and not accepting change. One day you have law and order and you can call someone when you see trouble because it is not right, next day suddenly there is no one to call and you might feel you have to jump in to make things right.

You may find it cowardly that man wants to stay put when bad things happen around him but in reality in most of the situations you can not do anything without huge organisation that helps you and a big personal risk.

My relative was outside the country when the war started, he was working for an electrical company in the middle east. Contract was good, and he had a monthly salary there equal to 6 months salaries here at that time.

On first news about fighting and war, he returned to the country to join the army and fight. Blockades and battles already started and his trip back to his town took lot of time and troubles.

He was 26 year old back then and he told me that when he entered the country at a small city where he and few other guys wanted to join the fighting forces, he saw that war is not like in books and movies…

Military unit that welcomed them asked who they are and what they wanted, they said that they wanted to join the fighting forces. He said he expected some kind of questions about their military experience or similar, but instead of that the small unit commander asked them : „Do you want some women?“

They starred at him like idiots so he explained „We have some enemy women in prison close here, so go there first if you want“.

My relative was raised by his grandmother, he was nice kid, no cursing, not too much drinking, he said to me that shock was so big that he could not open his mouth to even say „No man!“

He told me that later he find out that fighting includes doing lots of things in order to win fight and stay alive. He went through lots of fighting, earned the reputation of a tough guy, and one day they got caught up in ambush and he was one of the few who survived.

Machine gun from close distance destroyed his legs and belly. He was removed from the country for rehabilitation, his legs are still there, but only for „pictures“.

He is „glued“ to wheelchair forever, and no kids, no wife either.

He lives today in small apartment that looks at big chimney of a disused factory, elevator is usually not working, and nobody cares to lift him up and down.

Nobody visits him too much, he is no hero, he fought for something that is now considered „ wrong and not needed war“ as they say.

Now and then I visit him in his city and that apartment, and every time I conclude two things:

First how lucky I am. Even with all my issues and traumas from the war compared to him, and second is that every time when I left him in his misery and bitterness I am expecting to see in few days in news something like „old war veteran in wheelchair went crazy and start to shoot from AK47 at people in street from his apartment at 6th floor.“

I asked him once why he returned to the country at the beggining of the war while at the same time thousands fled? I expected to hear something patriotic or similar, but he said „Man, at that time it was something so exciting and new!“

So just listen to first survival and most important survival lesson: Stay out of the trouble. Life is very real and it is easy to forget how brutal “real life” can be. With real life I mean life without our civilized society or just life without all support and help we take for granted.

I hope I will never have to use everything I trained for or any lesson I share with you here ever again.

Do you have examples when staying out of trouble was hard and about consequences of this? Share in the comments below.

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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Urban Survival Course with Selco: Your Gear and How to Pack It

by Selco

Editor’s Note: Did you ever wish you could drop everything and fly over to the Balkans to be trained in urban survival by Selco? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to pick his brain and have him beside you as you learned to deal with an SHTF scenario? Well, here’s the next best thing. Selco recently finished teaching a hardcore 5-day course in Croatia. With 6 students, they went through high-stress exercises and learned about living through an all-out disaster where danger lurks around every corner.  Selco has generously agreed to write a series for us so that we can learn from him. It’s not quite like being there, but it’s the next best thing. ~ Daisy

What to Pack for a 5-Day Urban Survival Course

We have just finished our flagship Urban survival course in Croatia.

For 5 days Toby Cowern and I, as instructors, taught students skills and through the different exercises and scenarios, we stress-tested their knowledge and abilities.

For me, the most important thing was to give them a piece of the mindset needed for a real SHTF event and to give them a clear starting point from where they can build more skills, knowledge, and competence.

In some moments it was hard for them, both physically and mentally, but one of the most important points, of course, was to test them in not so perfect conditions.

 

The whole course cannot be transferred here for reading, but some highlights can be given in a series of articles, reflecting on the most interesting moments of each day. This time, we will start out with the gear necessary for the class.

Equipment (items that  you have with you)

I am a very big fan of carrying items that are multipurpose, and I have adopted over the time the philosophy that “less is more.” In reality,”more skills-less items” is the key to survival. That said, I am aware that we will have many items in our backpack when we talk about urban survival.

Because there is a big chance the items that you carry are gonna be used when you are in a hurry, in danger, in the dark, or simply when you are very tired, those things need to be organized in a practical way.

Add to that fact, there is a chance that sometimes you’ll be in a situation to lose (or throw away) your backpack, then it makes more sense to organize it.

The whole philosophy of having one bag (or backpack) that have “all that you need inside” is kinda wrong if ALL important items are inside.

It is essential to think about “layers” of equipment.

Everything that you carry with you must have a clear role in your survival, otherwise, it should not be in your backpack (or on you) so think about the “comfort vs. necessity” philosophy.

It is very good to have many items, but it is not so cool to go through a tough situation with 50 kg backpack on your back, so choose carefully what you gonna have.

You should organize it in layers.

Let’s take the “fire” category, for example. In the first layer you could have small fire starter around your neck, the second layer is lighters or matches in your waist bag or pocket, the third layer is fuel cubes or whatever other fire help you have in your backpack.

For the food category, you may have power bars in your pocket and then in your backpack, you may have food that is more adequate or “serious”.

It is easy to follow this logic and organize other equipment in the same way. Sometimes you do not need (or you can not have) 3 layers. Sometimes only 2 layers are possible.

It is important to understand that you need to have layers so you maximize your chances for success when you lose equipment, for example, while running away from some danger and throwing away your backpack.

First aid kits

The best example of what often goes wrong with buying, packaging and carrying items are first aid kits.

There are many reasons for that. A few are:

  • People buying “pre-made” first aid kits with useless things inside
  • No knowledge of how to use items in first aid kit
  • No knowledge of what is really needed to have in a medical emergency and what not to have

So as a result, a lot of people have their first aid kit buried deep inside their backpack, or some of them having their first aid kit on a belt but inside they have painkillers, antidiarrheal medicines, a few plasters (band-aids) and nothing more.

I agree that plasters, antidiarrheal medicines, and painkillers may have a place in your first aid kits but use common sense and think about:

  • what is really important and can make difference in seconds or minute
  • what needs to be available all the time, and in an easy and fast to access way

Again, think in layers.

So, of course, you can have antidiarrheal medicines, plasters, painkillers, and hand sanitizers but in your first layer (available immediately) need to be items that can save a life in a matter of minutes, for example, shears, field dressing, bandages, tourniquets, and similar.

If you got a headache you will not die if you do not take a painkiller in a few minutes, but if you get serious wound it may be different if you do not act fast and have the means to treat it immediately.

The best way is to package your own kit, based on your circumstances and your needs. But be sure that you know about every item inside, how it works, and try to test it in the best possible way.

 

In the photo above, there are two bandages. Each of those bandages was packaged, and for an average man both are just bandages: they look the same and they are supposed to do the same job.

Actually, the bandage in my right hand can do the job like 3 bandages in the left hand, because of the quality, elasticity, texture, and density. Just test everything or you never know what you have until you really need it, and then it might be wrong.

If somebody told you, for example. that you need to have scissors (or shears) in your first aid kit (and he is right) then be sure to test quality of that item because you may find out that in the prepackaged kit you have something that can not do the job needed even for a sewing kit, not to mention working with heavy fabric to treat a wound.

A small difference like having paper medical tape or heavy-duty tape can mean a lot if you are doing something important like treating a wound in a rain-soaked environment.

Clothes

Over time I have started to believe that word “tactical” has become one of the worst enemies in common sense prepping/survival today.

We have tactical caps, tactical boots, pants, stickers, and whatnot.

People start to believe that by buying an item that is “tactical” (or manufacturer states it is) they are solving huge problems in their survival.

In reality, a lot of the items that are “tactical” are actually produced to look nice and cool, but have many flaws that are not so tactical.

For example, if you have tactical camo urban survival jackets that make you stick out so bad in an urban setting, there is nothing tactical about that.

Or there are survival tactical pants that have cool pockets for your stuff and look really cool. But when you walk they produce a hissing sound (because of the fabric) that on a calm night and “tactical” situation can be heard 100 meters away.

Or urban survival tactical bags and pouches with cool fluorescent emblems on it that makes you shine so cool in the dark, but also make you visible when you maybe don’t want to be seen.

Being seen and heard from a distance makes sense in some survival situations, but in others, it is completely undesirable and dangerous. Choose your clothes based on that, not based on how “tactical” they are, or how cool they look.

Stay tuned.

Be sure to watch for the next articles in which Selco “takes us with him” on his Urban Survival Course. Learn more about his online courses and his physical courses.

 

More information about Selco

Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution.

In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today.

He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations like Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.

Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.

Read more of Selco’s articles here: https://shtfschool.com/blog/

And take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge and advice by signing up for the outstanding and unrivaled online course. More details here: https://shtfschool.com/survival-boot-camp/

Daisy Luther

About the Author

Daisy Luther

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio. Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. Daisy is the publisher of The Cheapskate’s Guide to the Galaxy, a monthly frugality newsletter, and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. She is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find Daisy onFacebookPinterest, and Twitter.