I recently ran one of my newest courses, called ’A Mile In My Shoes’. This is where I take a small group of students to the city where I survived the war and take them around and physically show them the realities of what was faced. A lot of lessons, of course, are learnt during the course and most importantly (and what I hoped for) Students come far closer to realizing the ‘reality’ of a true SHTF situation.
I thought I would share you the ‘Top 5’ surprises that the students faced, meaning things they had not thought about or realized before the course, but had to accept and come to terms with during…
1) How ‘Close’ the fighting will be.
This picture, taken very close to my house, was one of the ‘front lines’ for some time. One side was in houses on the left of the alley, other side (enemy) were in the right side houses. This seems INCREDIBLY close (and it is) but then realize, there were times when the ‘dividing lines’ were even closer than this.
When you put that into the perspective then you can start to think about new reality because there is nothing very static and sure when SHTF, one day the house next to you can be completely safe, other day there might be someone inside who wants to harm you, or simply you’ll never be sure how safe and secure are your surroundings.
It is the most dangerous aspect of urban SHTF, because you’ll have lot of people in a relatively small area and you’ll have higher demand for (very limited) resources because the ‘system’ is gone.
Now when you add to that calculation the fact that lot of houses are going to be be destroyed, you get to the point that you never know anything for sure, where is someone and what intention they have.
That is especially important if you planning to survive urban SHTF alone (lone wolf theory) so you can get a feeling how hard that’s going to be.
The ‘Enemy’ will look, sound and speak like you.
They may even have been your longtime friends, but are now on the ‘opposite’ side. Fighting here was divided by all sorts of reasons, race, religion, affiliation, heritage, politics and often a big mix of all these things. ‘Sides’ were always changing as well. That’s just the ‘enemy’, when it comes to Survival you will fight to get what you need or protect what you have from whoever…
Having thoughts that some foreign forces will invade your country, forces that will look, act, speak completely different then you and people from your surroundings are mostly just fantasies, especially when we talk about USA.
That may be case, but you’re going to have a lot of ‘local’ fighting and surviving before that.
Strong systems are going to have a “bigger and longer” fall, there is way too many people and weapons in the US for some some foreign force to choose to invade and pacify the country… it is impossible.
What is possible is to “push” some country into the chaos, in order to turn on themselves, suffer hunger, prolonged chaos and similar, and maybe then to invade.
At the end it all comes to you and people who want to harm you. The fact that the people want to harm you were people who you use to know does not make it easier.
Do not expect martians or Russians, expect people who look, act, and talk like you, who want to survive just like you.
Again we come to the point that you will be forced to fight with your neighbors, fellow countrymen for resources
How ‘busy’ an average days was.
Fighting for survival is an all day, every day task. You are constantly hunting, scavenging, gathering, finding information, looking and checking things. All while the most stressed you have ever been and under constant threat, all while being hungry and thirsty.
There is no ‘day off’, or ‘break’. This is the big difference between a soldier and civilian in war. A soldier has a job to do, and all his other needs are taken care of. He can just focus on his one job. In a civil war, you (and your group) need to cover all tasks, all the time…
If you served in Army, you had clear orders, topics, outside of that you did not (need) to think about too many things.
You had “backup” or “rear”. Your job was to do tasks, and someone else take care of all the other things in order for you to finish your tasks successfully.
In SHTF you are the first unit, rear and back up. If you fuck up and break your leg there is no medical evacuation. If you did not find food (or any other resources) there is no service who will do that for you.
It is hard time, and day is full of “acquiring” things and finishing jobs.
Shooting at someone may look like a fun idea today, or romantic in some way. It is maybe more romantic then to think how to manage your waste, or do bath or lower your kid’s fever in the middle of SHTF.
You are everything when SHTF, because system is out.
The level of the threat.
In SHTF almost everything is a threat to you. Yes, easy to understand threats like sniper, gangs, angry neighbors etc, but the lack of food, complete lack of hygiene, level of contamination, risk of illness and injury, being found, being informed on, being tricked, getting captured and many, many, more make up a larger amount of threats than most ever think of.
Just even start to imagine every ‘supply’ you take for granted (Fuel, electricity, water, stores, emergency services etc) being taken away and not knowing when it will ever come back. Then imagine the worst person you have ever known, someone you would not trust to help you in any situation. Now imagine everyone around you is like that person. Then imagine everything you climb on, through or over can hurt you, and that everything you touch has the potential to make you ill… You got all that? If you do, you are maybe about 40% of the way to imagining the reality…
Level of threat is going to be a BIG shock to you in the beginning, if you survive that shock it is good because then you get yourself into the mode of real surviving.
No matter how well you are prepared you will go through that shock, with good preparation and correct mentality you can minimize that shock and make it shorter, and that is the point of preparing.
The reality of defending/keeping your assets.
I know. All the points mentioned don’t bother you that much, as you have nice house, lots of supplies and ready to fight. But how is your plan working once your house or apartment looks like this…?
And inside like this…?
And anyone who is ‘fit’ must go out a lot to find things for every day survival. How you protect all your ‘stuff’, who is going to protect all your things…?
What, when one day a group so big comes to ask you how you’re doing so OK, and what you have there, that to protect your stuff from them is a clear death sentence.
Having right mindset about difference between defending something and get killed, and adapting yourself in order to survive without it make sense here.
You have to adapt fact that maybe you’ll be forced to survive only with your skills. You do not know, and cannot be sure.
Understand, in SHTF, every house in the city is going to look like this, or worse (not be there). In my city there are many houses you see like this. You see them because they are made of stone or concrete. You don’t see the wood buildings because they all burned down…
There were many, many more things realized and discussed during the course, and I want to say well done to the students for coming with such enthusiasm and asking such good questions in the course.
Soon I will write more about the big problem of really ‘misunderstanding’ the reality so present in the preparedness community just now. Until then, you can read more about the ‘Mile In My Shoes’ course here:
We are making these courses as affordable and accessible as possible. If you want to join, you can either add your name to the waiting list, and as soon as we have enough students we set the date for the next course, or you can book a ‘private’ course for exactly the same price, all you need is a minimum of you and two friends.
Trust me when I tell you there is not a course like this anywhere else, and you will learn many things that you hadn’t expected when you join me on a tour of the place I survived…