Why many preppers will die


Survivalists and preppers are (or are supposed to be) by definition something like smart folks, people who do not trust mainstream bu..s..t, who follow their own path to be winners at the end.

Actually in reality truth is different.

We all like to say that we are different but just like everyone else we fall under the influence too.

How many times you or some prepper you know built or formed opinion without even checking it? How many times you bought some item and store it just because you think it makes sense, not because you know it makes sense and you check on it. It is often easier way to believe others and you can not try everything yourself of course.

One of the most stupid things or worst mistakes that you can make in prepping is to become “mainstream”. Slap label of prepper on you and you start to think you are smarter than others. You may think that preppers and survivalists can not be mainstream because it is not logical, but yes we can.

We gonna buy bug for BOB because someone said “it is best for BOB” usually without checking who is the guy who said it. Or we gonna say “I have best gun for SHTF” because someone put huge amount of money for marketing it. If most preppers look at their storage they can find items they know theory of using it, but never used it.

The problem here is not buying these things. The problem is with forming your opinion and many survivalists think they know and they have plan but that makes them in reality less flexible to consider all options.

When SHTF and you realize quickly that you have completely wrong boots (or weapon, or BOB or whatever) you maybe still can fix it if you act. Changing way of thinking (or plan…) is harder.

There was man who before SHTF was owner of few cafes, pretty wealthy man. He was involved in some crime business and you could hear from time to time how he was involved in some fight, or he was arrested, or served some time.

Sometimes he was out of the country for months or year, rumors were that he was something like professional thief, specialised for breaking into “high class” homes, jewellery and safes and similar.

Those stories were rumors only, but in his cafe in town all guests were his crew, and going there for coffee was not forbidden, but also was not bright idea. If you entered there (probably) nobody would kick you out, but atmosphere and faces there clearly would tell you that you are outsider.

In short he was something like “tough guy” in city talks. Weapons, secret gambling, prostitution etc. Guy with his crew.

On first rumors of troubles he started to sell his cafes I guess in order to leave the area, but he was too late. When SHTF, and groups and gangs started to form, he simply gave his cafe to the leader of one group in exchange for protection.

Later when that leader and group were destroyed he found himself imprisoned for some time. Lot of people around were robbed and tortured or killed.

He immediately agree to write statement that he is “selling“ all his cafes to the leader of new group, of course in exchange for the life and freedom.
They had it anyway, but they needed that piece of paper for time after war.

After that he was something like “lone crazy dude” through the rest of the SHTF period. He was nobody.

He survived everything and after that he needed quite some time, few years to prove that he was forced to “sell” his cafes.

Court gave everything back to him. Soon after that he sold everything and emigrated somewhere, probably to place with less chance for another SHTF event.

My friend talked with him before he left the country, and after some time they touched the subject that lot of people wanted to know.

Why did he go down so easy? Why did he not resist at the beginning with his crew? Why did he not had his own strong group during SHTF? Things like that.
He had original answer: “Every time they were stronger than me, I simply had to let it go”.

His story is not so unique, but I know much more stories about how folks got killed because they refused to leave their home (and run) when under attack by several people armed with firearms, while they were unarmed, or armed with pistol or knife, clearly outnumbered.

I read every day on web sentences like “having this gun will save you when SHTF” or “with this BOB you can not lose when SHTF”. Of course this is marketing crap from people who want to sell you something.

Please do not get yourself killed, or allow your family to die when SHTF just because you put your “perfect” BOB on, your “zombie survival” rifle in your hands and went out to save the world.

Or to get killed because you “draw line and here you stand your ground” for example when they attack your home or your storage. Do you really want to die just to hold onto things?

In world of survival number of people who are gonna blindly believe in their equipment, or just blindly stay where is impossible to stay are much higher from folks who are gonna take the smartest option (however bad it could look). This is why many preppers will die. Regular folks will run but some preppers take so great pride in their plan or equipment they do not make right decisions when it matters because of their ego.

You can hear me being not hero and just doing what I had to do for 8 hours in my course.

I am not the dude who is living on tree armed only with kitchen knife and big mouth. I also have BOB, BOL, equipment, weapons and plans.
But if I see that my SURVIVAL is in question I am ready to say f..k it to everything.

Sometimes to survive means not to win but to give up, and wait for next chance. Do not expect to be winner all the time.

51 responses to “Why many preppers will die”

  1. Keith says:

    Reminds me of the old saying, “He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.”

    Great post and great lesson, thanks.

  2. Okay... says:

    Okay, i just have to say this…who cares about being dead. It’s not being dead that bothers me, it’s still being alive and having to watch my family suffer…all that matters a whole lot to me. Once we’re dead, who gives a R.I.P…

    • Matt in Oklahoma says:

      They will suffer more if you die. Stay on point

    • Arlene says:

      You will just get to watch and try to help from the “other side” which is not as easy as physically helping them here and now. You won’t run away from it just because you are dead. My parents have had a strong & tangible influence on me & my children since they passed away.

  3. Chris says:

    Let me ask. How, if at all, could people…say the Jews of Nazi Germany, survived? Aside from fleeing.

    They were first turned into scapegoats, public opinion turned on them, dehumanized-ridiculed, run out of business etc.

    They were soon disarmed by laws, similar to what we in the USA now face in states like CT, NY, MA, NJ, CA and a few others.

    What could the Jews have done differently so that they did not have to dig their own graves? As we know governments are the number 1 threat to human life (see genocide chart by JPFO)

    Just curious about your opinion.


    • Selco says:

      They endured.

    • David says:

      Re the Jews. Some did fight, some did escape/leave, some got their children out. You do not hear these stories very often.. because most did not.
      Their story is like Selcos before the SHTF.. most were in denial.. they didn’t think it could happen. That is the lesson…..

      • TimGray says:

        ” most were in denial.. they didn’t think it could happen. That is the lesson…..”

        This, a thousand times this…..

        • wildartist says:

          My Dad often told me that, while he was in NYU in the 1930’s, his Jewish friends were laughing at the upstart across the sea–Hitler–calling him “Charlie Chaplin gone mad”… My Dad shook his head and replied “He won’t let those bayonets go to rust!” So true–they didn’t believe it could happen. Then when their relatives began to disappear, still disbelief until the war ended and all the truth came out. Most of us don’t really see the storm clouds on our horizon even now. It hit me as we watched a vintage John Wayne “Big Jake”. In the opening scenes, the day begins as normal on the ranch–chores outside, the maid helping Maureen OHara get dressed. Some casual comments on “the riders coming” in the distance.” Everyone saw them, no one interpreted the situation until it was too late–and the shooting began. I feel we are at that juncture right now…

  4. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Good article. I’m probably the one who will get killed for fighting against the odds. It’s in my DNA LOL
    but I have retreated to fight later before too. I just gotta get thru the OODA loop and swallow the pride!
    I have issues with others associated with me for believing in the livestock/poultry BS the guru preppers put out. Because they have no graze, no water without power and no proper tools or knowledge of how to do small things like put up hay the old style way with a sickle and hauling water up a 4inch pipe in 5 degree weather will be short lived to water 6 cows.
    The other blind issue is the guru numbers that are put out like 1 gallon water per person per day, 1 year covers everything cause things will come back in exactly one year and you must haul 2 or 3 of everything in your bag or you don’t have it cause one is none and two is a half. These all make me laugh cause as an Army logistical retiree, a farmer and crop field worker one gallon of water aint enough, one year things might be worse not better so skill is needed and you can’t buy your way out and if you have a firestarter and the other 6 of us have firestarters then you don’t need to haul 3 firestarters in your bag. Haul 3 methods but not 3 of the same things.
    The last issue is the ones who will only bug in and only at their place. Man I wish you could show them and convince them the fatality of that because your world is where I learned that is a bad deal. The Balakns were unforgiving on those unwilling to bend.
    Stay flexible and remember golden rules will melt and the best laid plans of mice and men…….

  5. cindy says:

    Excellent post!
    For me, I keep things simple and not go and buy the fancy stuff.Skills,keeping in shape by bicycling,hiking and keep learning.

  6. JPF says:

    Great lesson! Many famous and tough men have given in for the moment in order to live and fight another day.

  7. Rick says:

    Staying fit is a big deal. Being able to walk 5 or 10 miles a day, or even 20 miles, can be a big deal when trying to get out of an area with potential problems. If you commute to a job 30 miles from home and don’t have suitable clothes on or in your vehicle, you may be done. Doesn’t matter what you have at home. You have to get there first. No weapon, no jacket, no boots, no water. Stick a fork in it. You aren’t going anywhere in those pumps.

  8. botfly says:

    flexibility of mind is the key. Locations will shift from safe to untenable and when they do you simple have two choices. Move or stay put. Moving allows you to find a safe environment with out fighting. Staying may put you in the position of having to defend your space in order to make it safe. Why find safety through fighting when you can just move and have it? This is call defensive tactics…sort of like crossing the street to avoid a big dog. It is practical, predicable and therefore makes most situations that could turn negative preventable. As Selco states above, it is ego driven to stand your ground in those situations. Even a grizzly will move on if he thinks he can’t maintain his space in a safe manner.

    If you have stored provisions, I recommend you split them up into 3-4 or even more portions and find places that you can store them safely to recover on the move. It may seem impractical while peace abounds, but if the shtf and you see the signs of it coming then at least have a plan to disburse your stuff. As Matt says above use the Ooda loop to get inside the decision making curve of the populace that is about to melt down.

    I wasn’t in the Balkins for the initial meltdown but I did spend 9 months there with the first wave of U.S. military that came in. It wasn’t pretty.

  9. Cynthia says:

    A fugly, Birkenstock-wearing gal at Starbucks interrupted a conversation my boyfriend and I were having about prepping and defending our families, our homes, and our ‘stores’. She said ‘pardon me but NOTHING is worth keeping if you have to take another life to keep it!’ To which I promptly responded ‘I will remember that, and when they come to kill, rape, injure and rob you and your children, I will let the criminals know that you have no guns, and that you won’t put up a fight because you don’t feel your kids and possessions are even worth defending!’ She gave me hateful look, but I could tell the point hit home!

    • Jesus says:

      Cynthia, I applaud you for what you say to her. At my school, there’s a club called Model UN which I joined: apparently they argued to ban guns and eventually won because there’s not enough
      people to argue. I got out of it because these people are the first to be killed in an attack. Keep doing what you are doing. Keep safe.

  10. Cynthia says:

    The ‘Urbans’ will be easy to drop like flies since they aren’t used to meeting armed resistance and only prey on the weak, elderly, defenseless, and weapon-less. Bring em on I say!

  11. Duane Niesen says:

    An excellent point; well said.

  12. Bruce Beach says:

    Hi Selco,

    The correct heading would have been –
    “All preppers will die.”

    The issue is not whether we live – but for WHAT we live.

    Peace and love,

  13. Chris says:

    One of my own rules for SHTF: Never go into any place without having at least one other way out again. I learned it, actually, from Selco’s blog. Well, I already knew that, as it made sense, but Selco’s posts have reminded me of it again. This isn’t just about going into a burnt-out building, either. This mindset can be applied to any aspect of survival. We often use it when we talk about gear redundancy (Two is one; one is none, etc.) and other things. Always think of alternate solutions to problems. It will not only help you to prepare for difficult situations, but it will also keep your mind alert and healthy when you practice these things.

    Thinking creatively is what will separate a survivor from a refugee. A survivor adapts. A refugee waits to be rescued.

  14. Hillbilly says:

    Fuggem, I aint giving up nutten. The only group I fear is a tyrannical government and they aren’t coming all the way up here for what I got. The locals know better than to fuc with me and my family, should someone lose their way and stumble upon us,I’ll put em to work, feed em and give them a ride down the hill. The only thing I ‘m giving away is LEAD @ about 8 ounces a second. Did I say that I fear artillery? Cause that might change things a little, But why would they waste an artillery round on a bunch of Hillbillies?

    • john says:

      well….why did the US government waste cruise missiles on tents and donkeys in Afghanistan? The answer is…BECAUSE THEY HAD THEM TO BURN and a contract to buy more with your tax money.

  15. Felix says:

    Sorry Selco

    I disagree. Here’s why.

    It has been my fortune to be a soldier in a country that was destroyed. I have no normalcy bias. I expect the worst and assume that since I’m no longer young and full of piss and vinegar that I probably won’t survive what’s coming. But I have two options – let some tough guys make me their bitch; or kill as many as I can. Hmmm? Nah – running away is habit forming.

    • Selco says:

      No need to be sorry Felix, if we all have same opinion something would be wrong probably.
      It is simply about leaving all options open.

    • Wes says:

      “I expect the worst and assume that since I’m no longer young and full of piss and vinegar that I probably won’t survive what’s coming. But I have two options – let some tough guys make me their bitch; or kill as many as I can. Hmmm? Nah – running away is habit forming.”
      As an older guy myself……….damn I like that. It’s good to hear a bit of realism from time to time instead of all this Rambo prepper BS. If they want to “survive” for a few more months or years, when the water turns toxic and cannibalism becomes a living, more power to them. I’ve gotten to the point where I desire focus. Live as long as you can while keeping your dignity, then when you’re cornered, just kill as many as you can and save the last one for yourself. Life is so much more simple that way.

      • john says:

        That’s a good philosophy if you have no one in the world relying on you for their own survival. what of your kids and grandkids? Don’t they deserve a chance to survive and be a grand dad like you? Sure, they will have scars and emotional problems when it is all over. They will have ghosts haunting them the rest of their lives. But they will be alive and they will have a chance to do something good.

  16. Disable Female Vet says:

    I love reading all of Selco’s thoughts, experiences, and vast knowledge. Still, because I’m disabled most of this is academic for me. Realistically, there’s no place for me to bug out to; my preps might get me thru a month or so; I have good neighbors and live on the edge of a small rural town in Appalachia; but, my survival is pretty much tied to the drugs that keep me functioning; and I’ll never be physically fit again because of service-connected disabilities to the neck, spine, lower back, and legs. Oh, and I’m a widow too. At least I have a good attitude and you all here keep my spirits up. Thanks, Selco, and thanks to all the commenters from whom I learn so very much. Semper Fi!

  17. Hans Kolpak says:

    Well, there are many opportunities and possibilities out there. Some will do this and some will do that. By the amount of people who might die are some who will survive and have children. This is the place they call planet earth. Some have hell and some have paradise.

    Being a prepper is in any case better than anything else. There will never be any 100 per cent wright or wrong.

    Hans Kolpak
    Goldige Zeiten

  18. Zulu Cowboy says:

    Your point of knowing when it’s smart to avoid trouble and just toss in the towel, is well taken. But there’s a flip side to that coin. If you simply give up every time you are confronted by force…you become a victim, a refugee. That holds absolutely no appeal to me. Perhaps a better way to put it is…pick your fights carefully?

    • Selco says:

      Sure, it is not about running away all the time, it is simply about accepting the fact that you need to give up sometimes in order to survive.

      • john says:

        I think it is a gambling game. I have never been in a war. But I grew up when fighting was normal and everyday. I remember something I learned when fighting other boys. You do not know how much of their strength is fake until you start punching them. Bullies cannot survive if they have to fight every single person they bully. That is too much fighting for them. They would wear down quickly from injuries. Their success depends on most people being scared and choosing not to fight, or giving up early in the fight. I think it is also true with gangs in a SHTF scenario.

  19. John says:

    I think there must be some attention to tactics. Anyone who is “awake” should spend some serious time studying tactics just to know whether they are at a tactical advantage or a disadvantage. To give up a tactical advantage and run away would be stupid. To stay and fight when you’re at a tactical disadvantage would be equally stupid. It’s more about knowing and recognizing which one you’re in, in my opinion. Then you know how to react.

  20. Lately, through gun rights social media, I have been reading about Putin offering physical support, in the event of full-scale rebellion. I know I speak for myself, and probably many others, when I say, “I would not trust KGB Putin as far as I could throw him!”

  21. songcatcher says:

    I apologize for sounding clueless, but although I can see your point that sometimes you just have to get out because you are obviously outmatched, but how – when the situation is rapidly changing and communication may be poor or impossible – will you know which place is safer, and will still be safer when you get there? You are suggesting someone make a choice on the fly with little information. Maybe sometimes the devil you know is better. Also, I would want to stay in an area where I am not a stranger and I might have more chance of someone helping me.

  22. chuck b says:

    What I believe, and what I teach my children, is that “If it’s worth a fight, it’s worth winning – AT ANY COST. So pick your fights carefully” because “Any Cost” can be damned expensive!! This principle applies to anything in life that entails any degree of conflict, whether it’s a jerk cutting-line at the Theater, or SHTF, or (as most of life) anything in between. I think this is very much in line with what Selco is trying to convey; if it looks like it may be “Too Expensive,” exercise discretion and move on.
    Chuck B.

  23. Tim Gray says:

    The problem is that you have social preppers and real preppers. Social ones buy stuff and brag. Real guys dont believe a pair of boots until they wore them for 10 days straight humping a heavy pack up and down trails daily. If you dont test your gear then you are just playing around. Selco is right, most will die because they are just playing.

  24. Mike says:

    On a second thought, it is not such a bad thing. Just think about it – for many thousand years humanity was involved into the natural process of evolution. The strongest, healthiest and smartest people had the better chances to survive, thus improving the Homo Sapience. And it was not only physical, mentally we also had to create ability to fit into the society, be able to communicate effectively and to coexist with others. Today, due to the changes in the society, we are loosing these skills, both mental and physical. Extreme conditions remove the artificial shell from both the society and humans and start the evolution mechanisms again. We all know why it is not allowed to feed wild animals. It is dangerous for them and also can be dangerous for humans. We are also animals, but we do not like to think that the same rules work for us. Well, they do. It is unpleasant when people die, but it is also a cleaning process, if we like it or not. Sorry, but this is the truth. Every big disaster not only kill people, but makes people more alive and more connected.

  25. gabriel says:

    In my case I train and learn all that I can to survive after shtf, training can not take you no Ocumare siemrpe this space and you.

    En mi caso me entreno y aprendo todo lo que puedo para despues de shtf poder sobrevivir, el entrenamiento no te lo pueden quitar, no ocuma espacio y siemrpe esta contigo.

  26. KOS says:

    shit is escalating every day over Ukraine. this is a live feed of all events. mainstream is 48 hours behind on days they want to be, and 24 hours behind on regular days. this is as fast as your gonna get info without being right there.


  27. Wayne says:

    On an island, covered in nothing but sand, I would be at a loss but unlike most “preppers” and “survivalists”, I do not consider myself a “prepper” or “survivalist”I. grew up learning survival skills as part of life…fire starting, hunting, fishing, meat smoking, and shelter making while wild camping. I have over the years added Knapping , bow making, gardening skills, some urban survival skills, some tactical skills and a lot more, I practice them all regularly.
    The key as I see it is stealth and evasion not confrontation.I have a pack with minimal supplies and the tools I will need to make or get more but am not reliant on it. Other than that I store no long term anything as I will cut out “hopefully” at the right time, with what I can carry and resupply along the way or do without till I get where I’m going.

  28. KOS says:

    human beings haven’t been around long enough to count as survivors, and survival of the fittest does not mean survival of those who do the most push ups and score the highest on math exams, it means survival of the creatures that fit in the most with their surrounding environment.

    that is something human beings have an issue with, and reality will catch up mark my words.

  29. David says:

    Everyones situation is a little different. This is an international site.. so you cannot generalize. What you can learn from Selco and his experience is that things can get very bad… and just knowing this can prepare you. You don’t need to dwell on it and live in fear…you just file it away. Just having a gun.. is a huge improvement over not having any. Having some ammo, and knowing how to use it is also good…:-).

    It is not possible for all of us to be Rambo. In running an organized retreat you can sometimes exact a heavy price on your. attacker… hit and run.

  30. OR_coastie says:

    PT is good. There is going to be a time when being able to quickly walk 5 miles (or more) with a 15 pound day pack will do a rough-sort of who lives and who won’t. Keep the training below what will do damage: less weight more reps. Don’t try to set records, just be fit, equipped, and capable.

    If blessed with some surplus money, consider high-tech “force multipliers” like high-quality night vision (~$3000, AN/PVS-14) and/or the recent FLIR models of handheld thermal imagers, and some use-training by experts. Selco’s caution of not depending on “gear” put away without use/training applies 10x here. Even if you had NV/Thermal for a while to train, you would be advanced in defending against them. The OpFor does not expect to be trying to find people who know how to evade the high-tech tools that are very easy to over-depend on.

    Best wishes.

  31. Ron says:

    It depends on the person and situation. You have food and shelter and your going to leave? Go where? For many,they wont make it very far. A lot of tough guy talk out there.
    I see in a SHTF that most well be dealing with hungry desperate people. Who due to cucumstances well be very dangerous.
    I think the people who well die well be people who didnt prep in any way. I think people who at least own a shotgun and some extra food well have it much better than what i think is much of society(maybe half the country?) that dosent like or own a gun and barely has any food in their house.

  32. Montana Jarhead says:

    I’ve been reading Selco’s blog (and many others) for quite awhile. First, thanks very much for sharing your experiences with us and I have learned much. I woke up to the world about 3 years ago and was feeling pretty good about having approx enough to get my family of 4 kids and a wife through a year when we picked up 6 of our grand kids last year. Parents on drugs. Now I have 10 kids from 5 yrs to 14yrs old. Everyone talks so easily about just leaving your stores behind if it looks like a fight is coming, but for me that is probably not going to happen if the SHTF anytime soon. I think I can fortify the house (full basement) well enough to stand off the average mob. If the military comes, I’m screwed. The logistics of feeding 12 people, when 11 of them are pretty much dependents (wife is NOT on board with the prepping stuff) would blow most of your minds. Just taking the 1 gallon of water sneered at in an earlier post, that’s 12 gallons A DAY, EVERY DAY! Food: even Ramen noodles, that’s a CASE every two days for a meal of no real nutritional value! Make everybody a sandwich:” A LOAF of bread! If we leave our stores, we’re dead in two weeks anyway.
    I have three pre-teen girls, two seven year olds, and a wife. Many nights I go to sleep having the nightmare of my last act being putting a bullet into their heads as we are being overrun…. Don’t see many options…die fighting for the stores that will keep us alive or run away, become refugees and die anyway. Fortunately we live in a smallish town, I hope we don’t have to deal with the mobs that will rule the cities.

    • Selco says:

      Thanks for sharing this with us Montana Jarhead.
      Yes, you are already in kinda hard situation with big family, and wife not being completely on “same page” like you must be hard.
      I think you must use all the advantage of living in a smaller town and try to connect with other folks in order to organize something.

  33. Bob says:

    Selco you still live in Urban area, or have you relocated out further?

    • Selco says:

      Yes Bob, still in urban area, I have to be because lot of things. Plan is to bug out to BOL in rural area at the first signs of trouble.

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