The Organic Prepper: Food Storage – The Prepper’s Three Layer Plan

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper talks about three different kinds of foods that you should have in your storage plan in Food Storage: The Prepper’s Three Layer Plan

Three is the luckiest number when it comes to prepping. There’s the old saying, “One is none, two is one, three is better.” There’s the Survival Rule of Three which is that you can hang on for “3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food.” And then there’s the approach that in all things survival, you need a layer of three, including food storage.

For example, Selco wrote an article a while back about layers when it came to bugging out. Basically, you need a layer close to you (as in on your person), a layer for more intense situations within easy reach, and another one someplace in your bag.

The same is true with food. Every prepared family should have multiple layers in their food storage. Let’s take a look at the three layers of food storage. (Don’t forget to take your family’s dietary restrictions into account when building your supply.)

  • Layer 1: Stuff with a shorter expiration date that you’d use if you can’t get to the store for a few weeks
  • Layer 2: Stuff that will last a year or so that you’ll use during power outages or longer-term emergencies
  • Layer 3: Stuff for all-out, apocalyptic long-term events in which there’s no such thing as grocery stores

(Note: Some of the links in these lists are affiliate links. If you buy them, I make a little money at no cost to you. If you don’t want to buy them, no problem at all – you can still take a peek to see the products that I use and recommend.)

My book, Prepper’s Pantry, goes into tons more detail but this is a great starting point. If you want even more information, check out my course, Build a Better Pantry on a Budget.

The First Layer of Food Storage

This is the easy layer. This is the stuff you turn to when something goes a wrong and maybe you can’t get to the store right away. These foods may or may not have an extremely long shelf life and generally require power to store or prepare.

They are the basics that you keep in your freezer, in canisters, and in the kitchen pantry.

A few examples are:

  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Frozen meats
  • Crackers
  • Powdered milk
  • Potatoes
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Breakfast cereal

These are the items you’d substitute for the fresh foods that likely make up a big part of your diet right now. You can easily throw together a great meal if you have an assortment of the foods above that mirror the foods your family normally consumes.

Chances are that you have these foods in your kitchen right now, and you already intersperse them into your menus on a daily basis. I like to have at least – at least – a one month’s supply of these first layer foods. Having a supply that will see your family through at least a month means that a short-term emergency will hardly be noticeable to your family and that they’ll experience very little difference in the way they normally eat.

When a bunch of us did the Stockpile Challenge in January, lots of folks found that they had enough first level foods on hand that their families didn’t even realize they hadn’t been to the store for an entire month.

The Second Layer of Food Storage


The second layer is made up of two parts:

a) scratch cooking ingredients

b) the things that will see you through a totally different type of emergency.

This stuff is generally shelf-stable for at least 6 months, and will most likely be a bit different than how you normally eat.

Scratch cooking ingredients are the items that allow you to bake bread, make pies, thicken sauces, and sweeten your food. Here’s a list of essential scratch cooking ingredients.

As far as “b” above is concerned, this is the stuff you crack into when the power goes out for an extended period of time, what you eat when you’ve gone through all your first layer supplies and things aren’t looking up, and the first foods you’ll go through in an all-out epic disaster that changes the way we live.

A few examples are:

  • Boxed pasta or rice side dishes
  • *Canned beans
  • *Canned chili
  • *Canned fruits
  • *Canned meat and fish
  • Canned pasta and ravioli
  • *Canned soup
  • *Canned vegetables
  • Cooking oil
  • Crackers
  • Dry Milk
  • Granola bars
  • *Jams and Jellies
  • Jarred or Canned Sauces
  • Oats
  • Pasta
  • Peanut butter
  • Popcorn
  • Potato flakes
* indicates that the food could be either storebought or home-canned.

Obviously, you’ll also want to have a can opener on hand.

The thing that most folks these days will find a bit different is the need to eat preserved fruits, vegetables, and meat instead of fresh. Frozen, like in level 1, is pretty similar to how we normally eat, so this could be a challenge for finicky family members.

You can mitigate this to some degree by throwing some of these types of food into your everyday menus now. I know these things aren’t quite as healthy as the fresh foods we have the privilege to enjoy daily right now, but if you feel like you are truly going to need to rely on some of these items at some point, by sampling the foods, you can find your family’s favorites and stock up on those.

The Third Layer of Food Storage


There are sublayers to this, too.

a) Supplies/skills to produce and preserve your own food

b) The stuff that most folks think of when they think of preppers. It’s the longterm foods that will last, literally, for decades.

This layer is for a time when you’re in it for the long haul. Perhaps some world-changing event has occurred, there are no more grocery stores on the horizon, or you’re hunkering down for the foreseeable future.

One thing that lots of folks don’t consider is that no matter how many supplies you have, they’re not going to last forever – at some point, you’ll need to supplement your supplies with food you can grow or acquire. This means things like gardening, raising livestock, hunting, and foraging.   For this, section, not only do you need to stock up on seeds and gardening supplies, but you need to practice these skills right now when you have a grocery store as a backup.

For section b, we’re talking full-on bunker pantry with long-term food that has been carefully packaged and protected.

A few examples:

* Remember that freeze-dried foods are not the same things as the food you dry yourself in a dehydrator.  Home-dehydrated foods will not last for much more than a year, according to many accounts. Commercially freeze-dried food is your best option for long-term unless you have a high-quality freeze-drier like a Harvest Right.

You’ll need a high-quality manual grinder to turn the whole grains like wheat berries and dried corn into flour or meal that you can cook with. I have the Wondermill Junior.

It’s wise to pull a small amount of the long-term ingredients out before you stash them away for the long term so that you can learn to cook with them. Making bread from home-ground flour is a whole different animal than making it from commercial flour.  Do some experimenting now so that you don’t waste food later.

Don’t make this common mistake!

One mistake that I see a lot of new preppers making is that they go straight for the third layer without adding the items for layers one and two. The truth of the matter is, while it’s important to build a long-term stockpile, I believe the first two layers are actually more important.

That probably sounds outrageous on a preparedness blog, but there’s a method to my madness. We have to prepare for the things that are the most likely, not the apocalyptic scenarios that may or may not ever occur. I’ve often written that the number one thing we need to prepare for is personal financial hardship. I’ve experienced it myself and used layers 1 and 2 of my food storage extensively. I never even cracked into layer 3 during those difficult times.

If you’re new to prepping, start with layers 1 and 2 before you move on to prepare for a dystopian event. These items will serve you well during everyday events and if your money is limited, are far more practical.

For more information about building your stockpile, check out my book, Prepper’s Pantry or my course, Build a Better Pantry on a Budget.

What else would you add to the lists?

Obviously, these lists aren’t meant to be comprehensive. Because of different budgets, dietary restrictions, and tastes, that would be impossible. What I hope is that this gives you something to think about when building your stockpile.

The Organic Prepper: Biden’s New Executive Orders Could Turn a Whole Lot of Gun Owners Into Felons

Robert Wheeler at The Organic Prepper talks about President Biden’s gun control orders in Biden’s New Executive Orders Could Turn a Whole Lot of Gun Owners Into FELONS

Joe Biden promised to do it and he has finally delivered. Today, the cognitively declining President of the United States signed a number of Executive Orders allegedly designed to “curb gun violence” but actually designed to destroy the Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights.

In the process, Biden has turned many Americans into felons with a stroke of his pen.

Details are still emerging as to just what the Executive Orders will mean for gun rights but we are aware of some of the ramifications.

Biden has signed 6 Executive Orders related to guns:

1.)Tightening regulations on “ghost guns.” Ghost guns are of course the labels liberals use to describe homemade firearms (because “we will win by slogans”) that are generally put together from parts assembled and drilled with machine tools. As a result, they often do not have serial numbers so it is harder for the government to be able to trace them. It is legal to build a gun in a home or workshop and there is no federal requirement for a background check. But Biden aims to stop this, saying his administration will “rein in the proliferation of so-called ‘ghost guns.’”

“These are guns that are homemade. Built from a kit that include directions on how to finish the firearm. You can go buy the kit. They have no serial numbers. So, when they show up at a crime scene they can’t be traced. And the buyers aren’t required to pass the background check to buy the kit. To make the gun. Consequently, anyone from a criminal to a terrorist can buy this kit for as little as 30 minutes, put together a weapon,” Biden explained.

Biden wants these guns treated as firearms under the Gun Control Act. He argues that, under the act, key parts of gun-making kits would be required to have numbers for traceability and would also require background checks for people purchasing the kits.

The White House stated:

We are experiencing a growing problem: criminals are buying kits containing nearly all of the components and directions for finishing a firearm within as little as 30 minutes and using these firearms to commit crimes. When these firearms turn up at crime scenes, they often cannot be traced by law enforcement due to the lack of a serial number. The Justice Department will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of these firearms.

2.) Measure the “problem of gun violence” in a “data driven way.” The Justice Department will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking. According to the official White House statement:

In 2000, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) issued a report summarizing information regarding its investigations into firearms trafficking, which is one way firearms are diverted into the illegal market where they can easily end up in the hands of dangerous individuals. Since the report’s publication, states, local, and federal policymakers have relied on its data to better thwart the common channels of firearms trafficking. But there is good reason to believe that firearms trafficking channels have changed since 2000, for example due to the emergence of online sales and proliferation of “ghost guns.” The Justice Department will issue a new, comprehensive report on firearms trafficking and annual updates necessary to give policymakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking today.

3.) The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act “The alleged shooter in the Boulder tragedy last month appears to have used a pistol with an arm brace, which can make a firearm more stable and accurate while still being concealable,” the White House says.

4.) The Justice Department, within 60 days, will publish model “red flag” legislation for states.

From the White House:

Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to petition for a court order temporarily barring people in crisis from accessing firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others. The President urges Congress to pass an appropriate national “red flag” law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass “red flag” laws of their own. In the interim, the Justice Department’s published model legislation will make it easier for states that want to adopt red flag laws to do so.

5.) The Administration is investing in evidence-based community violence interventions.

Community violence interventions are proven strategies for reducing gun violence in urban communities through tools other than incarceration. Because cities across the country are experiencing a historic spike in homicides, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking a number of steps to prioritize investment in community violence interventions.

  • The American Jobs Plan proposes a $5 billion investment over eight years to support community violence intervention programs. A key part of community violence intervention strategies is to help connect individuals to job training and job opportunities.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is organizing a webinar and toolkit to educate states on how they can use Medicaid to reimburse certain community violence intervention programs, like Hospital-Based Violence Interventions.
  • Five federal agencies are making changes to 26 different programs to direct vital support to community violence intervention programs as quickly as possible. These changes mean we can start increasing investments in community violence interventions as we wait on Congress to appropriate additional funds

6.) The President will nominate David Chipman to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

According to the White House:

ATF is the key agency enforcing our gun laws, and it needs a confirmed director in order to do the job to the best of its ability. But ATF has not had a confirmed director since 2015. Chipman served at ATF for 25 years and now works to advance commonsense gun safety laws.

It should be noted that Chipman served an important role in the coverup of the Oklahoma City Bombing and the First World Trade Center bombing and is now serving an even more important role in the war against American citizens.

Biden says no Amendments are absolute.

The President is unconvinced that these orders infringe on the Second Amendment but seems cool with it even if they do.

“Nothing, nothing I am about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment,” the president said, calling arguments suggesting that those constitutional rights are at stake “phony.”

“No amendment, no amendment to the Constitution is absolute,” he said. “You can’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowded movie theater — recall a freedom of speech. From the very beginning, you couldn’t own any weapon you wanted to own. From the very beginning that the Second Amendment existed, certain people weren’t allowed to have weapons.”

He added: “So the idea is just bizarre, to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution.” (source)

This is just the beginning.

Make no mistake, the Biden Administration is declaring war on the rights of the American people and the first act of resistance is non-compliance. But there seems to be more on the horizon both coming from the White House and Congress itself.

The Organic Prepper: Ten Ways to Sow Revolution in Your Back Yard

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper talks about the increasing government control of seeds and food, why gardening may become a revolutionary act, and why you must go to battle in Garden Rebels: 10 Ways to Sow Revolution in Your Back Yard.

Perhaps the next Revolutionary War will take place in a vegetable garden.

Instead of bullets, there will be seeds.  Instead of chemical warfare, there will be rainwater, carefully collected from the gutters of the house. Instead of soldiers in body armor and helmets, there will be back yard rebels, with bare feet, cut-off jean shorts, and wide-brimmed hats.  Instead of death, there will be life, sustained by a harvest of home-grown produce.  Children will be witness to these battles, but instead of being traumatized, they will be happy, grimy, and healthy, as they learn about the miracles that take place in a little plot of land or pot of dirt.

Every day, the big industries that run our nation take steps towards food totalitarianism.  They do so flying a standard of “sustainability” but what they are actually trying to sustain is NOT our natural resources, but their control.

One of the most inspiring, beautifully written articles that I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time is by  Julian Rose, a farmer, actor, activist, and writer. He wrote an article called Civil Disobedience or Death by Design and it is a “must-read” for anyone who believes in the importance of natural food sources:

“From now on, unless we cut free of obeisance to the centralised, totalitarian regimes whose takeover of our planet is almost complete, we will have only ourselves to blame. For we are complicit in allowing ourselves to become slaves of the Corporate State and its cyborg enforcement army. That is, if we continue to remain hypnotized by their antics instead of taking our destinies into our own hands and blocking or refusing to comply with their death warrants. This ‘refusal’ is possible. But it will only have the desired effect when, and if, it is contemporaneous with the birthing of the Divine warrior who sleeps in us all. The warrior who sleeps-on, like the besotted Rip Van Winkle in the Catskill mountains.” (source)

And it isn’t just industrialism that’s causing our issues. A supply chain disruption has been apparent in the US since people first cleared the shelves a year ago and while some things came back in stock, supplies are limited to this day.

Sustained into starvation

Does it sound dramatic to state that if things continue on their current path of “sustainability” that we are all going to die?  If you think I’m overstating this, read on.  It isn’t a stretch of the imagination to think that we are going to soon be “sustained” right into starvation via Agenda 21.

  • The European Union is in the process of criminalizing all seeds that are not “registered”.  This means that the centuries-old practice of saving seeds from one year to the next may soon be illegal.
  • Collecting rainwater is illegal in many states, and regulated in other states.  The United Nations, waving their overworked banner of “sustainability” is scheming to take over control of every drop of water on the globe.  In some countries, people who own wells are now being taxed and billed on the water coming from those sources.  Nestle has admitted that they believe all water should be privatized so that everyone has to pay for the life-giving liquid.
  •  Codex Alimentarius (Latin for “food code”) is a global set of standards created by the CA Commission, a body established by a branch or the United Nations back in 1963. As with all globally stated agendas, however, CA’s darker purpose is shielded by the feel-good words.  As the US begins to fall in line with the “standards” laid out by CA, healthful, nutritious food will be something that can only be purchased via some kind of black market of organically produced food.
  • Regulations abound in the 1200 page Food Safety Modernization Act that has put many small farmers out of business, while leaving us reliant on irradiated, chemically treated, genetically-modified “food”.

In the face of this attack on the agrarian way of life, the single, most meaningful act of resistance that any individual can perform is to use the old methods and grow his or her own food. Big banks are betting AGAINST the consumer and investing large sums of money in Big Agri before predicted shortages raise prices even more dramatically.

It’s time to become a producer instead of a consumer.

I often write about producing instead of merely consuming and in no subject is that more important than food. Growing your own food wields many weapons.

  • You are preserving your intelligence by refusing to ingest food doused in chemicals.  The pesticides that are liberally sprayed on food crops have been proven to lop off IQ points.
  • You are nourishing your body by feeding yourself real food.  Real food, unpasteurized, un-irradiated, with all of the nutrients intact, will provide you with a strong immune system and lower your risk of many chronic diseases.  As well, you won’t be eating the toxic additives that affect your body detrimentally.
  • You are not participating in funding Big Food, Big Agri, and Big Pharma when you grow your own food. Every bite of food that is NOT purchased via the grocery store is representative of money that does NOT go into the pockets of these companies who are interested only in their bottom lines. Those industries would be delighted if everyone was completely reliant on them.
  • You are not susceptible to control mechanisms and threats.  If you are able to provide for yourself, you need to give no quarter to those who would hold the specter of hunger over your head.  You don’t have to rely on anyone else to feed your family.

The ultimate act of rebellion is to feed yourself.

Consider every bite of food that you grow for your family to be an act of rebellion.

  1. If you live in the suburbs, plant every square inch of your yard.  Grow things vertically.  Use square foot gardening methods.  Make lovely beds of vegetables in the front yard.  Extend your growing seasons by using greenhouses and cold frames.  This way you can grow more than one crop per year in a limited amount of space.   Use raised bed gardening techniques like lasagna gardening to create rich soil.  If you have problems with your local government or HOA, go to the alternative media and plead your case in front of millions of readers.  We’ve got your back! Here are some tips for stealth gardening.
  2. If you live in the city or in an apartment, look into ways to adapt to your situation.  Grow a container garden on a sunny balcony, and don’t forget hanging baskets.  Grow herbs and lettuce in a bright window.  Set up a hydroponics system in a spare room (but look out for the SWAT team – they like to come after indoor tomato growers!)  Go even further and look into aquaponics. Create a little greenhouse with a grow light for year-round veggies.  Sprout seeds and legumes for a healthy addition to salads. Don’t forget community gardens either – they’re a great way to grow food and meet others with your interests. Here are some other tips for gardening without a yard.
  3. If you live in the country, go crazy.  Don’t just plant a garden – plant fields!  Grow vegetables and grains. Grow herbs, both culinary and medicinal.  Learn to forage if you have forests nearby.  Learn to use old-fashioned methods of composting, cover crops and natural amendments to create a thriving system.
  4. Raise micro-livestock.  The micro-livestock option may not work for everyone, but if you can, provide for some of your protein needs this way.  Raise chickens, small goats, and rabbits, for meat, eggs, and dairy.  If you are not a vegetarian, this is one of the most humane and ethical ways to provide these things for your family.  Be sure to care well for your animals and allow them freedom and natural food sources – this is far better than the horrible, nightmare-inducing lives that they live on factory farms.
  5. Use only heirloom seeds. We get all our seeds here. With heirloom seeds, you can save your seeds.  Learn the art of saving seeds from one season to the next.  Different seeds have different harvesting and storage requirements.
  6. Go organic.  Learn to use natural soil enhancers and non-toxic methods of getting rid of pests.  Plan it so that your garden is inviting to natural pollinators like bees and butterflies.  If you wouldn’t apply poison to your food while cooking it, don’t apply it to your food while growing it.
  7. Be prepared for some backlash.  The day may come when you face some issues from your municipal government.  Be prepared for this by understanding your local laws and doing your best to work within that framework. If you cannot work within the framework, know what your rights are and refuse to be bullied.  Call upon those in the alternative media who will sound the alarm.  Every single garden that comes under siege is worth defending. A Florida family finally won the right to garden in their front yard after years of harassment.
  8. Learn about permaculture.  Instead of buying pretty flowering plants for your yard, landscape with fruit trees (espaliering is a technique that works well in small spaces), berry bushes, and nut trees.  Permaculture can provide long-term food sources for your family.
  9. For the things you can’t grow yourself, buy local.  Especially if space is limited, you may not be able to grow every bite you eat by yourself.  For everything you can, buy local!  Buy shares in a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Visit your farmer’s market.  Shop at roadside stands.  Join a farming co-op.  Support agriculture in your region to help keep local farms in business.  (One note about farmer’s markets:  Some farmers markets allow people to sell produce that originates at the same wholesalers from which the grocery stores buy their produce.  I always try to develop a relationship with the farmers from whom I buy, and I like to know that what I’m buying actually came from their fields and not a warehouse.)
  10. Learn to preserve your food.  Again, go back to the old ways and learn to save your harvest for the winter.  Water bath canningpressure canning, dehydrating, and root cellaring are all low-tech methods of feeding your family year-round. Not only can you preserve your own harvest, but you can buy bushels of produce at the farmer’s market for a reduced price and preserve that too. Learn how to cook and preserve your fresh in-season produce here.  Learn all about food preservation in this 4-books-in-one guide. (My canning book is included.)

There is a food revolution brewing.

People who are educating themselves about Big Food, Big Agri, and the food safety sell-outs at the FDA are disgusted by what is going on. They are refusing to tolerate these attacks on our health and our lifestyles.

Firing a volley in this war doesn’t have to be bloody.  Resistance can begin as easily a planting one seed in a pot. It’s time to go to battle and declare your independence with a spade in one hand and some seeds in the other.

The Organic Prepper: Eight Ways to Practice Advanced Situational Awareness

We often talk about situational awareness being one of the most important skills to have to avoid danger. Here is Fabian Ommar at The Organic Prepper with 8 Ways to Practice ADVANCED Situational Awareness.

In one of my recently published articles, I defined situational awareness. I also presented a list of risks and threats commonly found in the urban environment and those posed by large and smaller groups of people and individuals. Selco, who survived in an urban setting, offers excellent examples of the differences between Urban Survival and Rural Survival as well as guidance for survival planning. 

Here I will go over techniques for development and practices to improve situational awareness. Before we move ahead and get practical, let’s see one more aspect of situational awareness theory and psychology. Let’s also look at how it works in our minds to apply it in the most productive manners during training and everyday situations.

The four levels of awareness

I’m talking about awareness levels, which is a “scale” of alertness according to the context in which we find ourselves. There are several versions of this scale out there, all based on Col. Jeff Cooper‘s work. Cooper originally designed it as a practical guide for police and military agents who need to move fast between levels when readying for combat or violent action.

While I personally have some reservations about the way Cooper’s Color Code was adapted (and promoted) in the “situational awareness” concept, the scale’s idea is to provide a simple yet effective reference to ordinary people, and for that, it works. Besides, the levels of awareness help educate us on self-assessment and control. 

It is essential to note the mind can’t operate in constant states of high alertness. Too much stress for too long is detrimental to our performance and even our health. Besides, it’s practically impossible to maintain a high level of awareness for long periods. We must learn to adjust, dial down or up as the context changes, and as our mind/body requires. 

  • Level 1: Relaxed – When (for instance) we’re at home watching a movie, focused on the TV, and tuned out to the rest.
  • Level 2: Relaxed Awareness – There’s no significant threat, but we are aware of the situation around us, usually because we’re performing some task that demands some attention (as when driving and paying attention to what’s going on around, other vehicles and people moving and signaling (or not) their intentions, etc.).
  • Level 3: Focused Awareness –  The situation demands a higher level of focus (for example, when driving in the snow or a heavy storm, at night or through a poorly conditioned road with hazards)
  • Level 4: High Alert – Thing’s have gotten scary. We recognize an actual or imminent threat and become ready to act. It can be fight, hide, or flight. At this level, we’re still able to function. 

Above Level 4, there’s paralysis, panic-induced freeze, and comatose. Our senses get overwhelmed, and the rush is too big to cope, so we “shut down” as an automatic defense mechanism takes over.

Here is a bit of advice for preppers on how not to let anxiety paralyze you.

Know your limits and adapt accordingly

Moving abruptly between levels or jumping stages too quickly is what can cause break-outs. We go from Level 1 to 2, or 3 to 4 without a problem. But moving from, say, Level 1 to Level 4 in a snap can cause a short-circuit. There are techniques and training to deal with quick shifts in mental state, which, as said before, is the original proposition of the Cooper Color Code.

But there are limits, and even trained professionals can become paralyzed in some situations. That’s why we must learn and practice to “enter” the level of awareness best indicated to each situation and move or “flow” between the levels. It can become more natural and automatic once we become more aware. We reduce the chances of getting caught by some unpleasant surprise. (Read more here.)

Even SHTF and other dangerous situations will allow for periods of relaxation. Maybe not “Level 1” total relaxation, but more acceptable or perhaps manageable levels that still provide the awareness required by the situation and the relaxation needed by the mind. 

Cognitive systems of the brain and how it concerns us and situational awareness

Our brain has two systems. One is the “automatic,” responsible for the majority of our daily tasks. It is intuitive, multitasking, and economic (demands less energy/time to decide). The other is the “deliberate” system, which handles analytical decision-making. It can only process one choice at a time (more focus) and is more energy/time-consuming. 

Understanding this is useful for decision-making and also developing new skills. When we start something new, our “analytical” mind gets busy analyzing every individual aspect of the task at hand. In this phase, we’re slow and clunky. Once we repeat enough, the “automatic” mind takes over, and we no longer need to focus on every detail (or any at all) to perform the task. We become fluent, fast, and smooth.

Situational awareness doesn’t mean just becoming aware. It implies running scenarios and analyzing possibilities, arriving at a conclusion, and taking action to achieve the desired outcome. There’s a decision(s) involved. For this entire process to become useful and effective, it must be done fast and efficiently by the “auto” system. To get there, we must practice and repeat the steps necessary individually. 

In short, we must practice focusing on one or two aspects at a time until it becomes internalized and natural. It will then be an acquired ability, and our brain will work automatically in a fast, comprehensive, efficient, and intuitive manner. That should be our final objective. 

Techniques for Situational Awareness Training

Practice and training don’t mean willfully chasing dangerous situations, but rather exposing ourselves to everyday situations and interactions with focus and intent, purposefully working on these aspects and skills as explained above.

Disclaimer: Please note this is from a common-man perspective. I’m not a specialist. These are the techniques I have used myself and with others I have successfully guided. Situational awareness is not rocket science. It is a vast topic, though. If you believe you need advanced or specialized training for some reason, look for professional orientation or enroll in a tactical course. 

1. Stay informed

We begin to become aware by staying connected to our world, tuned to what’s happening in all the different levels of our reality: neighborhood, city, state, country, and international. Like it or not, current events and prepping are inextricably entwined.

  • Locally, it’s best to do your own work and keep in contact with the people in your community. Be casual and generic, rather than intrusive or particular. The aim is to be on top of situations concerning infrastructure, the chain of supply, security, etc. 
  • On the macro level, stay informed about political, geopolitical, social, and economic scenes. Here the idea is to zoom out and have a general picture of developments in the world. It’s OK to focus on topics that have the potential to affect us directly. For this, choose your sources wisely and separate noise from signal (another skill).

2. Head on a swivel

Having “eyes in the back of your head” is a beneficial skill. No one has to turn into an international spy. Still, techniques for “looking around” or specifically spying on someone or somewhere (without giving the impression that we’re focused or too intent on doing so) are essential. 

  • Some people take this as a cue to look around every 10 seconds, searching for danger. Doing so draws unwanted attention and makes us look paranoid or frightened in the eyes of others. Act casual, relaxed, but attentive and decided. Avoid looking worried, scared, or anxious. 
  • Use shadows, mirrors, and glasses in buildings, storefronts, vehicles, bus stops, etc., to casually and discreetly glance around. Our peripheral vision is a powerful ally too. All the time, I pretend to look at something on a store window or whatever to spy on what I actually want with the corner of my eyes.
  • Every once in a while, take a look back and to the sides, calmly but assuredly. Being intentional indicates we are alert and attentive. 
  • A slightly more discreet tactic is to use noises such as other people or passing vehicles to turn my head and look around. This way, I can scan the surroundings or peek at something or someone without staring directly. 
  • Use your phone in a planned, deliberate way. For instance, pull it out while turning your back against a wall or store entrance (to avoid being surprised from behind) and pretend you’re talking to someone or reading, texting, etc., while you scan around or look at people or places more deserving of your attention. 
  • The power of darkness: during the daytime, I’m always wearing sunglasses, even when overcast. Mostly because I feel comfortable, but also to hide the direction of my sight. 

This is a great way to learn how to be more observant.

3. The right attitude

It’s vital to achieve a balance here: not confrontational and not appearing like a victim. Being confident is different from being cocky. Most of the time, people (especially street people) can tell between someone aware, confident, and capable of handling him/her self and someone faking toughness. Never underestimate the capacities and abilities of others, no matter what. 

  • Capable and self-reliant people don’t pick fights, don’t provoke, don’t take offense from random and impersonal provocations and attacks, don’t lock eyes in defiance (or fear), and above all, don’t have anything to prove. On the contrary: if you see a person moving away or calmly trying to avoid confrontation or de-escalate a situation, it’s probably someone with serious self-defense training. Bruce Lee famously said, “The most dangerous person is the one who listens, thinks and observes.”
  • Whatever happens and whoever is on the other side, if we want to survive, we need to avoid danger. Situational awareness is crucial for achieving that. Showing you’re aware and tuned is an excellent way to hold off potential attackers. Criminals will always favor surprise and thus prefer to prey on distracted people. For them, it’s a matter of risk/reward, and the risks are more considerable when someone can anticipate their moves.

4. Entering and exiting

These are common situations that can involve higher risk/vulnerability, depending on the settings. Entering and exiting places require Level 2 or 3 for a few moments to look at routes, hidden risks, potential threats (which can be anything like other people and moving vehicles), and even ongoing works (for instance, around or near construction sites). 

  • Whether driving or walking, we should make a habit of searching the surroundings with attention when leaving or entering garages, buildings, etc. Not only to avoid being robbed or attacked but also to prevent collisions and other accidents.
  • One common situation preferred by thugs and robbers is someone entering or leaving their vehicles. Most people do this in automatic mode, often while searching for the keys, talking on the phone, grabbing a piece of clothing or a purse, or in a hurry. Don’t be like that. Have everything at hand and ready before heading to/from the car and remain focused and aware until safety is reached. 
  • We can also be attacked while stuck in traffic or at a stoplight. Focus on driving, be ready and stay alert for suspicious people or activities at all times in these situations, particularly when going through locations that may present a risk for attacks, accidents, or are known crime/accident spots.

5. Evaluating people

We must know how to analyze strangers from what we can pick, recognize between real and fake threats and non-issues, and adjust and act accordingly. It is essential in the streets. 

  • One common mistake is judging based on looks alone. Some criminals know that people do this and use “reverse grey man tactics,” i.e., they make a deliberate effort to blend in and fool their victims and the authorities. Some are very efficient at blending in; therefore, appearance alone may not cut it.
  • Analyze demeanor, body positioning, stance, how everyone treats personal space (theirs and others), where and whom they lock their eyesight on, things like that. Pay attention to clothing details, how the person scans the surroundings, how they walk, etc. Overall, we should look for “oddities” in other people’s appearance and behavior.
  • Avoid personal judgment or emotional assessments: this should be as impersonal, objective, impartial as possible to have some use.
  • Everyone should be treated with equal respect. But in the streets, there are all kinds of people and everyone is a stranger. Each type of person and interaction demands a specific positioning on our part. I’m talking specifically in regards to reaction. For the most part, we should leave other people alone unless contact is needed for some reason.

6. Rehearse situations

Back in the early 2000s, I took part in the local community safety council. I’ve had a previous experience taking part in the neighborhood watch group while studying in Colorado a few years before and tried to introduce the concept to my local scene. It didn’t work in the end, but the research I did to make that presentation was of great personal value. 

Chuck Remsberg’s seminal The Tactical Edge – Surviving High-Risk Patrol stands today as a reference for tactical evaluation, training, and dealing with life-threatening situations. It’s complex, thorough, and extensive (as are all great works) and was written for police training. But the lessons and information provided are helpful for everyone living in a big city. It has some great insights and valuable knowledge for preppers.

Remsberg uses “mental movies” to describe what he calls “crisis rehearsal.” Business people, negotiators, and salespeople also use this technique. It is essentially conjuring up and visualizing situations, “playing” in our minds what we’d do, how we’d act, and what we’d say to come out on top and achieve the desired outcome (winning). I like to imagine and play out what this person would say or do and what I would say or do in response. Daisy recommends doing just this when watching survival-related movies.

There’s, of course, a physical side to being prepared to deal with a real-life situation, whether it’s some martial arts training or another self-defense discipline (firearms, tactical combat, etc.). One must be prepared and trained to act. But here, we’re specifically dealing with the mental aspect of this preparation, which is related to situational awareness in essence—for that, playing and rehearsing situations while in the streets can be very effective.

7. Practice

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training.” This quote, attributed to the ancient Greek poet Archilochus, is one of my favorites. It reminds me of the importance of constant practice. Use it or lose it. In all these years guiding and helping others in street survival training, I’ve seen people improve significantly. Many went from totally tuned-out and oblivious to incredibly sharp and aware. 

The best and most effective way I’ve found to practice the skills listed here is to walk and spend time in the streets, often with the homeless. It may seem obvious, but it’s not something easy when we’re out there: there are too many distractions, and early on, we have difficulty staying focused on the task at hand for even fifteen or thirty minutes. 

But it’s just like working out: as time passes, we naturally become better, stronger, more fit. The same happens with our awareness if we keep at it (walking has the bonus of improving our fitness).

  • The most significant advantage of walking is the speed: it’s the slowest we can travel, which allows for greater attention to the surroundings. When we’re skating or cycling or even running, we must focus a lot on movement around us to avoid obstacles. Walking frees us from a lot of that to focus on whatever we want and practice the skills.
  • One good exercise is to pause from time to time and stay put, paying attention to what’s going on around. Sit down on a bench, bus stop, anywhere with some movement. Do that in different places and areas around town: commercial, corporative and residential regions, parks, train and metro stations, plazas, shopping centers, museums, etc.
  • Situational awareness should also be practiced in everyday situations: when leaving home, driving to places, strolling in the mall, going for lunch or dinner, everywhere. The practical, real-life application of situational awareness is the main objective. Doing so internalizes awareness and turns it into a mental state. Once it becomes natural, we’ll be more apt to move between attentiveness levels and remain in better control of our focus and emotions. 

8. Trust your instincts

Finally, no amount of skill or practice will help if we don’t trust ourselves. Follow your gut and act upon it. Don’t worry about being polite. At the core of any and every kind of training, physical or mental, in every discipline is instinct. Situational awareness is a tool: the more we sharpen it, the more reliant and confident we should be to perform when the situation presents itself. 

Yet, we’re not in this to be right but rather to be safe. For that, we must act. Don’t worry. Acting comes naturally. But stay alert and conscious of this vital aspect from now on, especially during training.

Conclusion

These are the main elements of situational awareness, according to my experience and knowledge. As always, there’s a lot more to be said about it. (I could go on and enter the specifics of urban ‘zoning’ (analyzing the heterogeneity and different aspects of the city to determine dangerous/safe areas and routes), how to develop an information network to collect “street intel”, resource mapping, the importance of educating others about awareness for collective/community safety and more.)

These and other strategies are explained in more detail in my book, but if there’s interest, drop a note in the comments below, and I’ll do another article exclusively on these topics. Perhaps even illustrating with some real stories to explain how these principles work in real-life situations. For now, stay safe and share with the community your tips and experiences on situational awareness. I’d be interested in hearing those too.

The Organic Prepper: Americans Aren’t Experiencing REAL Shortages Yet. We’re Just Living with Limited Options

The Organic Prepper talks about supply chain issues in Americans Aren’t Experiencing REAL Shortages Yet. We’re Just Living with Limited Options.

Imagine going to the store to pick up some everyday item – say, body wash for the shower – and not being able to find your usual brand. In fact, you can’t find any brand. The store is completely out so you have to go with bar soap.

In the grand scheme of life, this isn’t a big deal. Soap is soap is soap, right?  But in the United States, we have become spoiled with choices. In even a small-town store, there are dozens of options for body wash, lotion, toothpaste, and all the other things we consider necessary to live a civilized life. Don’t like the fragrance? Just go with a different brand. That laundry soap works better on your delicates and this one works better on work clothes.

Options.

Options.

Options.

This is NOT how it is in other countries. In fact, you regularly have to substitute something else entirely for the item you went to the store to purchase.

I would imagine that is also similar to how it may look in the US as the supply chain continues to crumble and personal finances keep plummeting. After all, in places like Venezuela and Greece, we watched on the news as people stood in long lines hoping to find basics like soap, diapers, rice, and cash from the ATM.

In the spirit of adaptability and resilience, let’s talk about life with limited options.

Some Americans are already accustomed to life with limited options.

Some folks are in positions in which you eat what you’re served, you use the products that are supplied, and you drink the coffee that is available. Your options are to take it or to leave it. People deployed overseas to dangerous places have a few choices on the base instead of the dozens of choices they’d have in the US. This has prepared them for the retail austerity that we’re just lately beginning to see in the United States.

Folks who have lived in poverty for a long period of time tend to be accustomed to a lack of choices because their decision-making is largely driven by price. You don’t see a lot of people who are truly struggling using salon-quality shampoo – they pick up a bottle of Suave or the store brand.

Also, folks in remote areas have fewer choices due to limited transportation. They have a couple of different stores to go to, and the stores must stock the products that most people want, not a broad assortment of specialty items. The advent of Amazon and other internet merchants has helped those in isolated areas have a broader selection, but if the item is needed right away, the choices are fewer.

But the culture of abundance in the US is changing.

We’ve published quite a number of articles on this website about the fragility of our supply chain. Not only are grocery stores showing the strain, but so are clothing stores, hardware stores, appliance stores, and places like Walmart and Target.

All you have to do is walk into any department store. Where do you see the bare spots? That’s where the products we used to get from China used to be. It should be a vast shock and an awakening that so much of our manufacturing has gone to China to give us our quick fix of shoddy yet shiny merchandise at low prices. Nearly all the things that are now limited are because either the product itself or a vital component of it is made in China. Months ago, I warned that we’d soon be seeing supply chain issues of these essentials that formerly landed on a regular basis from China.

And this is just the beginning.

The difference between a lack of options and shortages

The word “shortage” is being thrown around a lot and it’s being misused. The Cambridge Dictionary defines the word shortage as “a situation in which there is not enough of something; a lack of something that is needed.” We had a shortage in toilet paper and cleaning supplies last year, but if we’re being pedantic, we are not currently suffering from “shortages” in food or consumer goods.

What we’re experiencing right now is a limit of options. No longer can you walk into the store and have 17 shades of beige from which to select your bathroom towels. When bopping around internet forums and chat groups, I’ve seen people complaining about this type of thing. We’ve lived for so long with such an abundance of variety that to many folks, it seems positively unthinkable to no longer be able to spend a half-hour waffling between cerulean, navy, and indigo for your placemats.

But it’s important to be clear that at this point, we may not have huge numbers of options, but we can still eat food from every food group, clean our homes, buy socks and underwear, and get dish soap. Real shortages are when there’s simply nothing to buy.

I’ve lived outside the US for most of the past two and a half years, in southern Europe and Mexico, and the type of choices we have in American stores is absolutely unheard of elsewhere. I wrote about the grocery stores:

Let’s take meat, for example. Here in the United States, our stores have a lengthy expanse with hundreds of packages of meat down one aisle of the store. Outside the United States (at least where I spent most of my time) you had a little corner with a couple of chilled cases of meat. In those cases you could find chicken in perhaps three forms – whole, cut up with bone-in, and chicken breasts. For beef, you might find a roast and ground meat. With pork, you might be able to get a tenderloin, a larger bone-in roast, and some pork chops.

Moving along to other sections of the store, produce is not a vast corner with 25% of the contents of the store. It was a small section and the options were fairly basic. You didn’t have 17 brands or types of potatoes from which to choose. You just had potatoes in general in a large bin where you reached in and bagged your own.

There was food, and plenty of it. It was just that you didn’t have 29 different brands of salad dressing. You didn’t have as much processed food. You had access to basics. (source)

So while right now it feels like we have shortages, there are really only a few things that are actually in short supply. Currently, in comparison with many other parts of the world, we still live in the land of plenty. The sooner you adapt to limitations, the better off you will be when true shortages occur.

Living with limited options

The key to not feeling deprived is learning to live within our current limitations. Whether that is a lack of food options, undesirable homekeeping items, or a lack of money, we need to learn to manage this. Here are a few tips to help adapt.

Try to think in terms of “different” instead of “worse.” The most important thing of all is to adjust your mindset away from one of deprivation. Where I live currently is beautiful with a year round growing season. Glorious, farm fresh produce is everywhere. But you can’t find the same kinds of processed foods that are readily available in the United States. At least in the part of Mexico where I live, you can’t pop into the grocery store and buy a frozen dinner or a frozen pizza or the same brands and flavors of potato chips they have in the US. I’ve heard ex-pats complaining about the “lack” of food when it’s literally growing all around us. But it’s different and some people are creatures of habit. Different is difficult for them.

I choose to look at the local food options and see them as a culinary adventure. I ask the local vendors how to cook things like jicama and plantain and they’re nearly always happy to make suggestions. (Although sometimes our conversations take place via a translate app on our phones.)

Your favorite brand of detergent isn’t there? Well, there are two kinds to choose from and the ingredients to make your own. Therefore, laundry soap is available.

Learn to cook with different cuts of meat and in-season produce. Maybe you wanted to make beef stew but there’s no stew meat available. Grab an inexpensive cut of roast beef and either ask the butcher counter to cut it up for you or cut it up into stew meat yourself once you get home. Learn to debone a chicken (here’s a quick video) and be sure to put those bones in the freezer to make some stock later on.

Start shopping for seasonal fruits and vegetables. You’ll save money, eat better, and you’ll be looking for what’s available as opposed to blueberries in December.

Buy locally. I can’t say this enough – you need to shorten your supply chain. By limiting the distance your products must travel to get to you, you will naturally have a more abundant selection. If I were to buy household goods here in Mexico, I could easily find pottery and copper, but stainless steel is an item that comes from much further away, and therefore, my selection is very limited.

This is true of household goods, manufactured goods, and food. Focusing on a local diet is essential for self-reliance.

Produce what you can. Are you producing or simply consuming? Surviving the current economy requires that you be a producer instead of a consumer. It’s not enough just to buy locally. You need to also be producing some goods. Building, sewing, needlecrafts, gardening, foraging, hunting, and animal husbandry skills will be more and more important.

Make sure to stock up on heirloom seeds while you can, as well as supplies and tools for the other items you produce. As well, learn multiple ways to preserve your extra food so that you have plenty to eat when harvest time has passed.

Make things last. Learning to mend, repair, maintain, and alter the goods you already have means you don’t need to replace them as often. Most folks really don’t think about how quickly things wear out when you use the same items all the time. My wardrobe is small since I’m mobile, so I’ve been wearing things out a lot more over the past two years. I hadn’t considered how often I replaced socks or how quickly I’d wear through shoes if I only have a couple of pairs for every day use.  I’ve never darned socks so much in my entire life.

Being able to alter clothing for growing children and for hand-me-downs can help reduce your wardrobe budget as well. Maintaining your essential tools means they will be in good shape when you need them most urgently. Instead of replacing, start repairing. A lot of small components are becoming more difficult to find, so get your spare parts now. Keep a few handy items on hand for quick fixes.

Use creative problem-solving skills. Finally, the most important thing is to learn to solve your problems creatively. Whether you call it workarounds or MacGuyvering, figuring out ways to fix things or make them using limited supplies is one of a preppers most vital skills.

When you have a repair done in Mexico, sometimes the handyman will ask you if you want it done the American way or the Mexican way. The American way will be prettier and the “proper” way to fix it while the Mexican way will be a little more labor intensive, require easy-to-obtain parts, and will be a whole lot cheaper. That’s why the USB port in my Jeep was repaired instead of replaced and why my bathtub gets filled using a garden hose that hooks up under the bathroom sink.

You may look at these kinds of alternatives right now with disdain, but I assure you that the ability to create a “redneck repair” will serve you well in the future.

This doesn’t mean there are no shortages.

There certainly are shortages of things like deep freezers, canning jars, certain automotive components, and specific foods. But we’re still at a point where we can work around this and keep living a lifestyle that is fairly normal.

However, it may not always be that way. As our economy continues to crumble we’ll see fewer imports and less manufacturing. After all, how are people without money going to buy consumer items? We could reach a point at which even if you have money, the items you want to buy are unavailable.

Start living more simply and going by the Great Depression credo: use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

The Organic Prepper: How Preppers Have Adapted to These Uncertain Times

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper talks about Here’s How 30 Preppers Have Adapted and What They Foresee Happening Next. With various food and supply shortages during the pandemic and extended lockdowns, it is harder to stock up on essential items and individual financial situations may have worsened.

There’s a lot more crazy and a lot less money than usual, and as I’ve written before, the face of prepping has changed. It’s a lot more difficult (and expensive) to go out and stockpile as we did a few years ago, and the event we’ve faced has been a slow-burning SHTF event that has slowly and insidiously taken away financial security from hundreds of thousands of Americans.

I wondered how others have changed the way they prep to adapt to these times so I asked the folks in our Me-We group if they’ve changed how they prep and if so, what changes they’ve made. If you are interested in joining the group, go here, answer four questions, and be sure to change your profile picture from the Me-We basic images. We don’t care what you change them too, we’re just trying to avoid “bot” traffic from prowling through our group.

Here’s how readers have changed the way they prep.

With some of the comments, I’ve added a comment or a link in italics for more information.

Eileen:

I am working on doing even more with even less. I was laid off at the beginning of Covid. Hubby’s paycheck is down a bit. We have been watching the cost of regularly used items skyrocket, yet again. Teaching myself to grow more long term food items this year. At this point, Daisy, just not giving up feels like prepping, even if it’s just to get up tomorrow and try again.

Here’s an article on how to keep going when things feel hopeless.  ~ D

Lynn:

We are getting ready to move. I am using my food preps to see what we really need and what has been hard to use up. Mostly pertaining to food and household essentials. Saving the money to buy fresh preps after the move. We moved a year ago and I had a huge stockpile that had to be moved twice in two months. I think it is better to use it up than move it and then replace it with fresh food and water.

This is a great way to rotate your stock and always have fresher products available. Just pay attention to the things that are in shortage or difficult to acquire. You may not want to go through that supply just yet. ~ D

Jeff:

I have been building up at least a year’s supply of essential items like laundry detergent, shampoo, hand soap, toothpaste, etc. I will be using the stimulus check to add to my freeze-dried food inventory (mostly protein) since I have 1k lbs of dry food stored away. I don’t know if hyperinflation, war, or another pandemic may hit but if it does the goal is to be able to go at least a year without leaving the house.

This is a fantastic goal!

Tami:

After the Texas snowstorm, I’m prepping mainly for life without electricity. I’ve lived off the grid before but had stopped so I’m going back to it. I also realized my need for more stored water .

Here’s an article about preparing for longer-term power outages. It’s a great place to start if you’re new to prepping or if you simply need to make sure you have the things you need. ~ D

Christina:

Prepping mainly for economic upheaval. We kicked up food storage (have a working pantry) January 2020, but it wasn’t an issue to grocery shop in my area, so I slacked off a bit. August of 2020, we put together 6 months of food (again a working pantry I use and replenish), paying off debts, saving money, buying silver, ammo, guns, etc. Anything that will aid us as food and fuel prices goes up or our income goes down. So far, our income has increased since last year, but you never know. I’ll add my pantry includes HH / personal items too.

Stocking up on things other than food is really important. Here’s a list of non-food stockpile items that may inspire you to add to your own supplies. ~ D

Vicki:

We are prepping for civil unrest and skyrocketing inflation. I’ve been watching the groceries I normally buy going up a lot. We are planning to grow more veggies and put in some more fruit trees. We are also making sure we have extras of the tools we use, and enough supplies to fix things(tools, machinery, plumbing, electrical, etc.) that might break. Lumber has also gone up a huge amount, so we are buying extra of that too.

Having spare parts for tools and essential equipment is a vital and often overlooked prep. ~ D

Diane: Everything I can think of from food to security.

Keeping your preps balanced and not focusing too specifically on just one aspect is advised. Toby talks about the vital balance in this article. ~ D

Max:

Building out networks and relationships. Human terrain not “stuff”.

Here’s advice on building community even during a pandemic and be sure to check out Selco’s on-demand webinar about community building. ~ D

Susan:

I think hyperinflation and the possible dollar collapse is more possible now than ever. I am adding canned and dried food stocks to my preps especially items that are predicted to become exorbitantly expensive like corn and coffee. I am also eagerly watching my garden waiting for it to thaw out. Most of the snow and ice is gone except in the woods.

Here are some things you can do right now to get ready for garden season and here’s some advice on how to start planning your garden. ~ D

Sheri:

I’m turning more of my yard into vegetable/herb gardens and will preserve most of the produce. Adding to non-perishables when I see a good sale. Learning basic survival and self-sufficiency skills. Moving toward a simpler lifestyle, so living without modern conveniences will be less of a shock.

This is precisely why my preps are low-tech. ~ D

Stacy:

Survived Texas without blaming the governor or president for leaving me in the cold. We need more stored water. Had enough but saw that I needed more for cleaning. Need larger pots. Fed 7 people easy as my house was only one with gas cooktop. Need cookware to feed 20…and preps to make my own soup kitchen. Need back up potty! Do I have 100 candles? More lamp oil. The little tealight under flowerpot did help to make room cozier. Store for this. A way to wash clothes. A way to take warm shower and wash hair. Prepare a menu, recipes, and storage for meals on the stove top. Prep to share with family. (I live on 20 member family compound.) A way to charge phone. Size c batteries to listen to CDs….more CDs. Hootch. OTC

Awesome learning experience. I can definitely help with instructions for this off-grid kitty litter potty for humans. ~ D

Ezra:

We are working on paying off debts (Dave Ramsey) and materials for life without electricity. We lost power for 4 days during the winter storm here in Texas

Here are a couple of articles you may find helpful regarding debt (one is directly from Dave’s strategies) and here’s an ebook about dealing with power outages. ~ D

Lynn:

We are focusing on our garden this year. Our goal is to be as self-sufficient as possible in regard to produce. I want to save seeds from the garden for the future. We aren’t growing grains, wheat, and oats, though. That is a future project.

Here’s our favorite source for seeds – you can also get a free garden planner at that link and it is a small, family-run business. ~ D

Rob:

The money hasn’t changed for me in the Great White North. I’ve realized, though, that prepping for an event like an EMP is trying to play apocalypse lottery; better to consider the consequences of whatever it is you worry about and prepare for those. It stops you from making assumptions. (Makes an ass of U and umptions). I.e. instead of prepping for an EMP, I’m prepping for a collapse of communication and transportation of goods like food, no matter the cause. I’m expanding my EMP-proof storage still but I’m more prepared to handle, say, a food shortage whereas before my food plans only involved getting out of the city and joining a full farm.

I think there’s a lot of wisdom to what you said there. A lot of folks hyperfocus on just one thing when in fact most disasters are an entire series of bad things. Some useful links might be this one about making a Faraday cage, this one about a communications collapse, and this one about the strain on our transportation system for goods.

Bestsmall country:

Hi Daisy, I’ve been watching everything since early 2018, and the most striking thing is the correlation between Q and the Bible!! I did most of my prepping back then. Long-life food, seeds (I learned how to grow veg). All done under the radar, especially Crypto and PMs. Skills will be the REAL asset. I’m hoping a local viewer of my channel will ‘kidnap’ me because the idiots that wouldn’t listen will be banging on my door

OpSec is more important than ever! Here’s an article that might help others who are thinking like you about doing things under the radar. ~ D

Kamay:

Not much change, if any. Been prepping for the collapse of society, food shortages, and the possibility of a grid failure. We try to do all farming, gardening, preservations without the use of electricity and fancy gadgets. We recycle, upcycle, make do and live outside the box.

Simplicity is key! I like your style :). ~ D

Letia:

I need to get ready for a garden! Strawberries will come back, and I’ll start canning again. I need to check my jars. I have some cases but need to check in case folks are back to normalcy or still canning. I need to practice shooting! I need to work on security with more cameras and change the button lock on my back door. 🙄

DEFINITELY practice shooting. It’s a perishable skill. Here’s an article about creating a safe room at a reasonable price that might be helpful for the security aspect. ~ D

Kris:

Taking care of my animals and plans to raise more meat chickens – so more to feed. Buying feed in bulk and pricing out different feed options, etc.

Have you checked out the fodder method? I took a class on it when I lived in California, but did not set up my own system because we were moving. Here’s a really good article about it. The guy I took the course from had chickens strictly on fodder and free-range. ~ D

Roxanne:

We’re pretty much preparing for our retirement. Then we’ll be on a much lower income. We’ve paid off all our debt except what we use on our credit cards which we pay off every month. We’ve sold off a lot of things which we didn’t need to get rid of the debt. We’re thinking we could be looking at another depression or some other economic troubles. I’ve been trying to grow different vegetables to learn how to do it well. I also have been dehydrating what I can and vacuum sealing them in large mason jars. I plan to learn to pressure can this year so I can take advantage of any sales at the stores on meats and vegetables which don’t grow here.

Here’s an easy how-to for pressure canning, and if you happen to have a glass top stove, some pressure canning options that will work for you.

Heather:

We of the Down Under are keenly aware that we no longer matter with your particular ruling family’s politics. China is now a far more serious threat in the Pacific area. We also no longer refine fuel here, much of it comes from Singapore. We are prepping for blockade/ interruption to supply lines as this would pretty much cripple the country. We have gardens, fruit trees, and are stocking up a bit more on canned goods. We aren’t allowed to store more than a couple of jerry cans of fuel. Also, I have been sure to keep medical checkups and dental checkups very up-to-date for the family as you never know when these things just won’t be available.

You bring up an excellent point with regard to medical and dental care. During the past year of Covid restrictions many people saw health issues getting far worse because they were unable to seek preventative care, or even take care of conditions that arose.  Handling these things while we an is vital. ~ D

Shannon:

I prep for hyperinflation, power grid issues, (due to natural disasters), and civil unrest. I live in the PNW, so we’ve had our share of rioting, unrest, and fluke weather. Prepping food, supplies to deal with no electricity, trying to learn how to cope without electricity. We sold property in Ca. and moved up here and bought property with land.

With the changes you’ve made, you are most likely looking for some suggestions on becoming more self-reliant with the land and new resources you have available. Check out the self-reliance manifesto here. (Some links are no longer working – we’re striving to keep up!) ~ D

Kate:

We’re planning to buy a house/property in the next few years, so we’ve been saving wherever possible. Luckily the covid didn’t affect our income. Cutting back on trips to town. Waiting for the garden to dry out and also waiting for my seeds to arrive. Going to grow mostly for cellar storage this year….potatoes, squashes, carrots, turnips, etc. Jar lids are really hard to find here on Vancouver Island…hopefully, by the fall, I’ll be able to can sauce and V8. Keeping up with buying hard copy books on natural medicine, crafts, foraging.

I’ve really lucked out and gotten some used books on those topics at yardsales. I once spent $100 at a yardsale buying every book the person was selling because her deceased relative had been into food preservation and herbalism. Talk about a motherlode. Another potential goldmine for you is Thriftbooks, which has millions of used books for sale. If you are new to root cellaring, this article may be helpful. ~ D

K:

I’ve spent the last year really focusing on smaller potential SHTF situations (a week to a month type). I feel like I’m in decent shape as far as that goes. Now my focus is more long-term. I want to get sustainable food production set up and keep hounding my kids about the likely change to digital currency in the next few years along with a rise in inflation. I have preached for years that our reliance on food from outside of our areas is going to be a problem in the future. That’s my focus now.

A couple of articles on two topics you mentioned are this one about how our everyday lives would change in a cashless society and this one about why preppers need to localize their food sources. ~ D

James:

Economic misfortune, (job loss, economy downturns) civil unrest, power grid/natural disasters. I am set for two years monetarily, approximately 6 months for comestibles, and a decent self-defense set up although still working on hardening the house. I am also to a lesser extent prepared to bug out home if things really go to s**t, however as I am currently OCONUS I am probably screwed on that part.

That definitely makes things difficult. I think what I would focus on in your shoes is making certain that your family members are able to hang in there for a period of time while waiting for you to make it home. You don’t want them to be in a situation where only you know how to do something important. Redundancies are essential. ~ D

Rita:

We have concentrated more on being self-contained and self-sufficient. We source our needs locally as much as possible. A LOT quieter about accomplishments and acquisitions. For the most part, we no longer have strong public opinions about much of anything. We are becoming more internalized and grey. As we get older, the fighting spirit is still there, but reality says to stock up and shut up. We see civil unrest, and difficult times, if not out and out economic collapse and civil war. The USA is a powder keg right now and some dumba** is going to light the match

Surviving this crazy time does have a lot to do with keeping your thoughts more private. And sometimes the fight you win is the one you don’t participate in. ~ D

Valerie:

Economic collapse is my greatest concern. We are planting a larger garden and stocking up on nonperishable food. I plan to can more this year. In fact, today I scored a lightly used All American 910 canner at the goodwill. $5.99. Scratch that off my bucket list!

Oh my gosh, what a SCORE!!!!!! I’m sure a lot of us reading that are positively green with envy. And the good thing about the All American is there are no parts or gaskets that might need to be replaced. ~ D

Rosemary:

I can’t shake the feeling that we will have a grid-down situation in the near future, so getting prepped for that has been my top priority. Next is food shortages and hyperinflation. Bigger garden & more canning is on my list for this season. I wanted to buy heating mats & lights too this year but didn’t have the extra funds, so I am trying Winter Sowing in gallon water & milk jugs. I have 20+ jugs done so far with lots more to do. Fingers crossed it’s a success!

I’ll be really interested to hear how your Winter Sowing goes! Please keep us posted. Here’s a link to my book on Amazon, Be Ready for Anything. It goes into a lot of detail about long-term power outages in both summer and winter. ~ D

Martha:

Although my area doesn’t normally see really low temps, it does get cold in the winter, and after seeing what happened in Texas, I’m adding a portable heater (either propane or kerosene) to my list of supplies  ASAP.  Just wish AC was as easy to prep for if the grid goes down.  Looking at doing solar with battery backup to keep fridge, freezer running too, and even 1 window ac unit to keep the house at least bearable when it 115 in the summer.

Wow, that sure sounds like some miserable weather to lose power in. Here’s an article about handling hot weather power outages, an article about how to calculate how much power you need to be able to generate, and the off-grid heater I recommend. ~ D

Laura:

In light of the recent hacking into MULTIPLE national security systems, I think the grid down is the biggest threat. Financial collapse would be second after that. I’m using some of the stimulus funds to buy larger ticket items. A respirator/gas mask is next on my list. Additionally, I bought heating pads and fluorescent lights for seed planting this year-going well. Also just bought five 55-gallon water barrels that need washing and set up. Busy time for me trying to keep up with all this.

Here are some thoughts on preparing for a major cyber attack and an article on respirators and gas masks – I hope you find them helpful. ~ D

Daisy:

Yep, it’s me. The thing that I have changed over the past year about my preparedness is paying attention to the local governments and how they’ve responded. I’ve lived in 3 different places over the course of the lockdowns and each place has managed the response to covid very differently. It’s important to understand how your own local government reacts to things because once you do, you can begin to predict what they’ll do in a different situation. I’ve also gotten a lot better at getting information from others without them realizing I’m doing it, and making friends who can be helpful in a variety of events. (Read more in this article.)

Traveling from place to place, I’ve learned to prep fast and I’ve learned how to make due with what’s available, instead of being so choosy. I plan to continue working on my adaptability levels, for I believe that is my most important skill. My primary goal is to avoid trouble in the first place and my secondary goal is to survive if I can’t. I foresee more restrictions after a brief reprieve and a lot more difficulty for those who just want to be left alone to do so without jumping through hoops…

The Organic Prepper: Survive the SHTF With Your Sanity Intact

As preparedness minded folks, we talk a lot about skills training and equipment. Not as often do we discuss the mental perils of desperate situations. Here is Fabian Omarr at The Organic Prepper with These Small Yet Vital Things Can Help You Survive the SHTF With Your Sanity Intact

Seeking comfort, convenience, and distraction during SHTF? Some might roll their eyes and think this is nonsense.  After all, all there is when SHTF are strategies, tactics, and challenging survival work, right?

Wrong.

Fortunately, there is more to be learned, experienced, and even shared that is not so challenging or tactical. 

To survive SHTF, you must keep your sanity intact and your spirits high

Preppers are all too aware of the “bad” aspects of SHTF. Admittedly, studying and discussing disasters and their consequences is at the core of prepping. I want to offer a take on another part of this reality, though: the role of good things and memorable moments during hard times.

The importance of keeping spirits high and a sense of sanity under distress is a constant in survival chronicles and for a good reason. Selco, Toby, Jose, Daisy, and many others frequently talk about this. Mentality and psychology are key survival factors.

Daisy wrote on mental resilience, “But to find moments of joy in the darkest of times, you need to tap into your mental resilience. This helps not only you but those around you. And to bounce back after these events and live your life again, mental resilience is, again, the key.”

When the context changes, the trivial become peculiar, unconventional, contrasting – which can turn the mundane into exceptional (and vice-versa). If you’ve never been through SHTF, I’d suggest staying open to the power and importance of these processes.

How I came up with the inspiration for this post

Not long ago, I met an elderly homeless man while practicing my street survival training. I was preparing a snack when the homeless man stopped by. We started to chat. He’s a nice man going thru adversity. After sharing my meal with him, I decided to test a portable espresso maker I purchased recently and took on the task of brewing espresso for us both. 

Suddenly he started crying. I asked what was wrong. He said one of the things he missed most since becoming jobless and homeless years ago was having a hot espresso after lunch. Just the smell made him feel that much better. He was crying tears of joy.

I share conversations and meals with the homeless and drifters in the streets quite often. But his reaction got me reflecting on the power of appreciation for the little things. In some contexts, little things can make our day. In the middle of a personal SHTF, this fellow found genuine happiness in having something as prosaic as a freshly brewed espresso. 

For someone who has nothing, something can be everything. 

The power of simplicity and the advantages of being adaptable

What defines SHTF is precisely the broad change in conditions and lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if it’s abrupt or through slow transformation. What matters is when perspectives change, things take a different value and importance, and adaptability is crucial during these times of transformation.

Selco offers his advice in this article on adaptability and being ready to leave everything behind in order to survive. Selco writes, “Learn to operate in terms of “less is more” or in other words, try whenever you can to substitute dependence on things with owning knowledge of a particular skill. For example, owning a big stash of water is great, owning skills and means to purify near water sources is even better.”

Look at how much has changed in just one year since COVID-19 broke out. Compared to before the pandemic, life has become considerably more challenging, more restrictive, unstable, and limited in so many aspects. Welcome to our “new normal.” Judging by the signals, it’s bound to change even further. There will be a lot more to adapt to moving ahead.

Time passes, things change. We keep surviving. But honestly, when in history has it been any different? Think about it for a moment.

Things take on a new meaning during hard times versus normal times

If you do any longer-lasting or highly-demanding outdoor activity, or if you’ve been through difficulty in your life, you know how big a difference some small things and moments can make. Quite often, something as mundane as a hot meal, some music, or a candy bar can be pure bliss.

Another example: is there anything more ordinary than taking a bath? But it feels like heaven when we’re exhausted, dirty, smelly, and sticky. Likewise, when SHTF and times get hard, finding solace in everyday, trivial things helps us keep going. There’s an uplifting effect that can’t be denied. 

There’s history, and then there are stories of everyday life

Most books tell about great battles and pivotal instants. But common people (that’s us) live in a somewhat different reality level: the every-day and various moments. The telling of the quotidian is rare though life is 99% just that. Life can be turned completely upside-down by SHTF. Still, this dynamic of everyday life remains, even during wars, occupation, or natural disasters.

Even though a significant portion of the day or entire periods may be dedicated to ‘work’ (i.e., affairs like defense and dealing of resources), once a routine is re-established (it always is) and basics are taken care of, there’s need for play.

It’s not too different from life during normal times if we think about it. SHTF simple becomes the norm at one point.

Hardship has different effects on different people

When adversity hits, some enter survival mode almost instantly. Others take longer to understand or accept changes. Then there are those who never really come to full terms with the new reality and drag on. And that’s staying with the types who survive: a significant number of people can not cope. Unfortunately, we see that often.

Most people in developed/developing countries have been living in relative tailwind for most of the last 30 years. Sure, life is hard, but that’s a constant. I’m talking in comparison to most of history and also some places that seem to live in deep, eternal SHTF. We all know which these are.

Those younger than forty may not know or remember the 70s and 80s were such a hard time. The world slogged in stagflation. Low growth, Oil shocks, Cold War, and nuclear conflict threat kept us awake at night. During those times, separatists and radicals ran bloody conflicts all over Europe. Violent coups and dictatorships ravaged South America, and wars ran amok in the middle east. People suffered from inflation, unemployment, crime, shortages, blackouts, strikes, and protests at the everyday level.

It may seem like life was hell in the 70s and 80s, but it wasn’t

Life was hard but had many good sides to it too. Despite a difficult upbringing, I feel fortunate. Many others who lived through that period feel the same. There were lots of struggles, but people kept going and doing the best they could. We had fun in many ways as well. (Awesome bands, great music, classic movies, weird makeup, crazy hair!)

I have hope that, despite the various menaces currently threatening our lifestyle and eating on our liberties and privacy, we’re still going to make it somehow. Because, realistically, we’ve been through some seriously bad SHTF collectively, and we did all right. That’s what we do.

Back to the future, not a trip down memory lane

This is not nostalgia that I write. I believe we’re headed into times of similarly significant decreases in the standard of living for a broad part of the population caused by instability, mounting crises, low growth, joblessness, ruptures, and above all, changes in the world order. 

It’s already underway, and we can see it, sense it. I call it slow-burning SHTF. Nevertheless, we better find joy in the middle of struggle. What other options do we have? 

According to my own experience (and others too), it is possible to prepare for good moments and some measure of comfort during SHTF. Below is a list with a few initiatives and some practical measures to start. As always, adapt as you see fit.

Aim big, miss small.

In other words, think about comfort (big) to improve overall conditions (small). There’s a lot more to it than stashing a few comfort items.

Ambiance

Let’s start by highlighting the importance of environmental comfort. It’s an important factor because it defines well-being and, ultimately, survival itself. If we’re too cold, too hot, too windy, too humid or dry, too noisy, too smelly, too buggy, too dark, etc., we’re either in danger or already in hell. That robs us of energy and capacity to focus and perform. 

We instinctively try to improve our surroundings by actively working to balance conditions. Any measures that increase ambient comfort will automatically increase overall comfort, thus extending our capacities. Of course, contrast and perception influence that. For instance, leaving a super-hot place to a mildly-warm one will alleviate some. But once we get acclimated, comfort suffers again. Keep in mind: even though we tend to develop resistance, there are limits to adaptation. 

Practical Measures

  • Apply the many solutions available to improve ambient comfort. Starting with clothing: dress in layers and opt for versatile items and materials. 
  • Moving on to shelter: a roof means half-covered. Otherwise, finding protection is a priority.
  • The next part is applying ways to adjust the temperature to the best level possible (heating or cooling). Having plans and measures in place, backups if possible, is vital for those living in areas with extreme conditions.
  • Maintaining things clean and tidy helps with keeping bugs away. I find that very important, as insects can be a real pain, even a threat.
  • If out in nature, wear clothes, nets, and use the host of chemicals available to repel and/or fight pests. Those also work indoors if insulation is not possible.

Food and Drink

This is not about everyday food or “eating to kill hunger” but rather ‘comfort eating’: those occasional treats everyone loves and help elevate spirits. It’s entirely possible (and common) to live without these, but it’s something nice to have around when someone needs a morale boost. The good part is that even a little can go a long way in improving moods and making our day. During SHTF, these become even more effective.

Practical Measures

  • If preparations and stockpiles are considered, add some ‘comfort food’ of your preference. It can be something sweet or salty, a carbonated drink, alcoholic beverages, your favorite tea, candies, what have you. 
  • Overall, this is very personal, and once it’s gone, it’s gone, so give it some thought now. Ration to extend supplies. 
  • Don’t forget these items usually increase in value during SHTF. Meaning, you can use them to barter, too.

Hygiene

It’s easy to feel miserable once hygiene decays. This happens faster than most people think when the grid is down (see the situation in Texas). During SHTF, we start to care less and less for personal hygiene with time or cease altogether and become accustomed to the conditions, the smell, etc. If others around us live under the same SHTF, we tend to bother even less. But early on, being unclean doesn’t feel good. 

Depending on SHTF, it’s not even possible to care much for personal appearance. Nor desirable, as it can draw unwanted attention. Still, in most instances, a modicum of hygiene is attainable. Even with health as the main objective, this seemingly small thing can provide occasional relief and significantly improve well-being.

Practical Measures

  • If taking baths has become an impossibility, wet towels and cleansing tissues can be used to keep body parts reasonably clean. 
  • Compressed ‘pill’ towels are a godsend if you’re on the move (bugging out, traveling, whatever). They work and have many different uses. 
  • Stock up on hygiene items. You may be sorry if you don’t. It’s really hard (yet very common) to run out of these when SHTF, and it happens fast. 
  • Avoid colognes and perfumes to avoid standing out. When everything around is smelling bad, even a little can make a difference (believe me, bad smell and insects are two of the most striking characteristic of SHTF).
  • One thing I put great importance on is dental hygiene: because it impacts overall health, I find it worth going the extra distance to ensure the mouth is always in good order. 

Farming & Gardening

“We may need a doctor, a priest, a policeman, and a lawyer a few times during our life. But we need a farmer three times every day.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 25% of Americans were into farming when The Great Depression hit in the 1930s. Today it’s only 2%. This number has been growing (it’s more prominent in Europe overall and some other countries). But we’re still a long, long way from people understanding the importance and implications of becoming even slightly more self-reliable for food. 

Cultivating one’s own food can provide ‘food comfort’ through the consumption of the items. Reduction of food insecurity lowers stress levels and increases community well-being.

Practical Measures

  • Can be done individually or as a shared activity (with the added bonus of strengthening community bonds). 
  • There are thousands of videos. blogs and tutorials on how to grow pretty much anything even with limited space, time, money, etc. 
  • Takes time and dedication to show results, so start now.

Cooking

Cooking can also be highly rewarding and comforting. When disaster strikes, eating hot meals can become a real luxury. Even something as simple as a grid-down can impair conventional food preparation (lack of fuel, gear, time, etc. – again, look at Texas). When we spend a long time eating only granola bars and similarly bland food, a proper meal can be a real treat.

Practical Measures

  • Being able to cook in different conditions (grid-down, bug-out, full-SHTF, camping, etc.) is a useful skill. Use it to provide good moments and elevate the mood.
  • Stockpile on seasonings and other basic items with long shelf-life and can be used to prepare and spice up meals.
  • A backup cooking set (spirit or compact propane stove, camping cookware and gear, etc.) can provide flexibility and versatility.

Books & Music

No need for practical measures here as reading and listening to music are undeniably two of the most entertaining, abstracting, elevating, educating activities possible, SHTF or not. Read to learn, read to escape, read to have fun, read to ‘travel.’ Ditto for music, another powerful antidote to sadness and bad mood. Both are downright cheap, too, even free. (Here’s an article on building an SHTF music collection.)

Maintenance

How do fixing things improve comfort, you may ask. Besides obviously fixing things that can directly impact our comfort (clothing, plumbing, heating/cooling systems, cookware, etc.), it can be gratifying in itself. It builds confidence and self-reliance and can be applied to generate income (which in turn can be used to increase other comforts and conveniences to you, your family, and others around).

Practical Measures

  • Build a tool chest and learn/grow practical skills. 
  • Start with something basic such as sewing (very useful) or knitting, then move to more complex/demanding activities. 
  • Being a generalist is good, but sharing specific skills with others can amplify capabilities. That’s why having a community is important.
  • Woodworking, blacksmithing, plumbing, soldering: all that and much more can be learned through practical classes, online courses, tutorials, how-tos. 

Distractions & Abstractions

Let’s think in terms of ‘normal times’, certain forms of distraction, and entertainment such as gambling. Partying, smoking, or drinking (and others) can be seen as vices, bad habits, or “less than commendable” activities. But, do things change when the SHTF!

To start with, serious SHTF is unhealthy in so many ways just by itself. If you think differently, ask around or do some research on the subject. But SHTF is not a free pass nor an excuse to go wild or engage in destructive behavior. On the contrary: keeping discipline and good habits is essential for survival. Crime, drugs, and violence are bad in SHTF too. And not from a moral or ethical standpoint, but as to what it does to ourselves. It’s a dead end.

But keeping sanity is crucial too. Life can become hard at times. It’s OK to lead a regulated and healthy lifestyle, for the most part, and from virtue, religion or habit. The point is not being too rigid or too strict on ourselves – and keeping it under control, also, of course. It’s something very personal, so to each their own

Note: If someone is triggered by me talking about these things, know it’s the reality of SHTF. If you’ve been there, you know it; if you haven’t, then be warned and take it as you will. 

Practical Measures

  • Don’t go out and about stockpiling on booze, tobacco, or whatever – if you don’t think those things fit your taste or lifestyle (unless you plan on selling or using for barter). 
  • Meditate on how life would be in extreme adversity and how you’d feel and react in regards to things you currently don’t contemplate. Not as escapism, not as a vice. Just as to what would provide a little relief or boost to keep up with toughness and hardship.
  • It’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to touch something, and it’s equally acceptable if you indulge, too. Just accept it’s a very human thing. 

Conclusion

A large part of being ‘comfortable’ during SHTF is related to accepting, abstract, being creative, and practical. And also the capacity to find joy and pleasure in the out-of-ordinary and trivial. It comes naturally for most people, but we can prepare some for that, too. Actively and voluntarily chasing discomfort and exposing ourselves to hardship in controlled manners is an effective way to learn about our own limits and how to adapt to changes that occur during SHTF. There are several ways to train for SHTF.

Camping, trekking, hiking are excellent to improve resilience, creativity, and adaptation. Away from the grid, we have to focus on the basics of life: shelter, food, water, cooking, insects, heat and cold, sun and rain, impaired sleeping, and lots more. If that’s impractical, you can train in the city and even simulate some scenarios at home to practice and develop useful survival techniques applied in various other situations. 

This exercise can also grow our appreciation for the simple things and the extreme levels of comfort and convenience we have available in The Grid. And that matters a lot.

 

The Organic Prepper: How to Prep in Short-Term Locations

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper describes How to Prep in Short-Term Locations for people who are traveling, homeless, living in RVs and campers, etc. If you’re interested in the concept of mobile preparedness, you might check into the book Locusts on the Horizon by Plan B Writers Alliance, which talks about the MASH concept – or Mobile Adaptable Sustainable Homestead.

More and more people are living in temporary or mobile locations as the economy continues to falter. As the moratoriums on evictions end, the United States could soon see a wave of homelessness the likes of which has not occurred since the Dustbowl. People will be seeking shelter in temporary locations, in their vehicles, in RVs, and in campers. Many will not be leaving their homes by choice, but due to dire economic circumstances.

While you’re in for a shocking change if a nomadic lifestyle is suddenly thrust upon you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still be prepared.

I deliberately chose to be a nomad myself. After my youngest daughter left the nest, I decided to sell or give away most of my things and set out to live a nomadic lifestyle. Over the past two years, I’ve been fortunate enough to briefly live in Greece, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, and Mexico, and I have visited Kosovo, Albania, Austria, Canada, Bosnia, and Croatia, as well as many states in the US. My goal has always been to see the world and immerse myself in other cultures. Despite Covid shutting down many options, I’ve still been able to embrace my wandering spirit and am currently in a sublet in Mexico.

And this has a lot of folks asking me, “Have you given up on prepping?”

You can still prep in temporary locations.

It seems that every interview I do and in at least a couple of emails a day, someone asks me whether I still practice what I preach – preparedness. The answer is absolutely YES.

Prepping looks a lot different when you are in a temporary location or living in an RV/van but it can – and should – still be done.

One very important factor in living a nomadic lifestyle is that if you pay attention, you can avoid a lot of problems. If you live in your RV and you hear that a hurricane or a massive ice storm is coming in a few days, there’s a strong possibility that you can drive to a different location and avoid it altogether. If I was living in Europe when Covid hit, I could have relocated to a different country rapidly with more tolerable lockdown measures or, as I did, return to the US and stay with one of my kids to help her with the bills when she was unable to work. Location independence can really work in your favor.

As mentioned, I’m currently in Mexico, not because I’m trying to avoid a situation in the US, but because it’s very affordable and I get to stay in a place that is relatively warm right on the beach, something I could never afford if I was in the US. Since I’m here for about six months, I have more food stashed away than I would if I was only planning to be here for 4-6 weeks. But even if I was staying a shorter period of time, I’d have enough on hand to keep myself and my pets fed and hydrated for a minimum of one month.

How do you prep when you live in a temporary location?

You prep in a temporary location much like you would in a stationary location, except you pay more attention to space and transportability.

Depending upon space, money, and the length of your stay, your options may be rather different than what you’d choose if you lived in a home with a large pantry or storage room. I find that the fact my expenses are far lower than in the US allows me to donate food that I haven’t eaten without feeling like I just blew a whole bunch of money. For example, here in Mexico, a can of vegetables costs the equivalent of 12 cents US on sale.

When I was traveling around Europe from one country to another, I did not have a vehicle, so everything had to fit in my luggage. Items I always had with me were those little packets of just-add-water soup and oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, and other lightweight, uncrushable items. With those and a water filter, I could keep myself fed for a few days without heading out to the grocery store. Is that an ideal diet? Of course not! But the point here is to have things on hand regardless of your situation.

Now that I have a place I’ll be staying at for a few months, as well as a vehicle, I have some larger, heavier items. I also bought an inexpensive dehydrator that is running nearly all the time because the fresh produce here is so incredible and I can’t get through my weekly farmer’s market basket before things spoil.

Keep in mind that when living nomadically, you may not have access to the same kind of gear that you would in a temporary location. I don’t have my Mr. Buddy heater, a generator, a Big Berkey, a pressure canner, or buckets and buckets of emergency food. However, I’ve devised workarounds for the things I need and I believe it’s made me a far more adaptable person.

Gear substitutes for mobile preppers

Here are some things I don’t have and what I use instead.

Camp stove: When I went to Selco’s Urban Survival Course in Croatia, I discovered that a lot of those little stoves are not what they’re cracked up to be. It’s very easy to create a makeshift camp stove if you only need to boil water with it. You can find two bricks or two rocks of a similar size, build a little fire between them on a fireproof surface, and set your cooking vessel on top of your rocks/bricks.

I have a cement balcony at my current location and two concrete blocks sitting innocuously on the end of it that could be quickly pressed into duty. Because I’m near the beach there isn’t a whole lot of wood, so I grabbed one bundle of wood sold for firepits from the grocery store and shoved it in the closet to keep it dry. Between that and dry plant material, I can easily build a fire and boil water right on my little patio. Other places I’ve stayed have had more access to wood or other materials I could burn so there, I didn’t need to buy a little bundle of wood.

Heater: The lows here are really not that cold – I think the coldest evening we had got down to 43. Central heating is extremely rare here in coastal Mexico. People use either electric space heaters or propane heaters similar to a Mr. Buddy with a tank the size of the ones you use for your barbecue.

I opted to spend this winter without heat and see if I could toughen up a little. Most days here in the winter range from low 50s to high 60s, so it’s not extreme. I just layer my clothing and use the dryer and oven in the mornings to take off the evening chill. I open the curtains on the southeast side of the house for solar gain and by early afternoon it’s sometimes so warm I need to open a window to cool things down a little. The floors here are tile, so slippers or shoes are a must to keep my feet warm.

On really cold days or during power outages, I take the layering further with fingerless gloves, a stocking hat pulled down over my ears, and I go into my bedroom and shut the door. I get under the covers and snuggle up with my two dogs and we stay cozy that way. When I had Covid, I did borrow an electric space heater from a neighbor because of the chills and fever.

Gravity-fed water filtration device: I’m not going to lug a Big Berkey around with me because it simply takes up far too much space in my vehicle. I have numerous portable options, such as a Sawyer Mini, a Lifestraw, and a Lifestraw water bottle. The one I use the most is the water bottle because I can take it anywhere and it doesn’t scream “prepper.” It just makes me look environmentally friendly.

I also store water. Here in Mexico, the big 5-gallon jugs are popular and they only cost a couple of dollars. I keep 30 gallons on hand and when I empty one jug, I refill it with tap water for my dogs. I also have other beverages on hand, as well as little drink packets. One thing that a lot of preppers don’t realize is that filtered water doesn’t necessarily taste like it came from a fresh mountain stream. Some powdered lemonade mix can help cover a less pleasant flavor.

Generator: I’ve written many times that instead of investing in expensive generators, I prep low-tech, and this has not changed being on the road.

I have a solar charger that is enough to power my laptop and my phone, as well as a portable charger that’s good for a few phone recharges. I can also recharge my devices using the USB ports in my Jeep (and I keep extra fuel on hand.)

Aside from this, I have a few different flashlights, a headlamp in both my backpack and my vehicle, an assortment of batteries, cooling cloths (these came in handy when my Jeep nearly overheated in the desert), a winter rated sleeping bag, and some winter cold weather gear even though I’m in a southern climate. As they recently learned in Texas, you never know when unusual weather might strike, and being prepared for those extremes can be as minor as keeping you comfortable or as major as keeping you alive.

When I’m not traveling in my vehicle, my kit is even smaller. You can check it out here.

What’s in my nomad pantry?

Now that we have the gadgets covered, what about food? When you are nomadic or living in a short-term location, you probably won’t have the same ability to stash away a year’s worth of supplies. I focus on at least a month and I pay attention to my surroundings.

Back when Covid struck the US, I rebuilt a food supply with a couple of trips to the store and about $500. Was it the same supply I would have had back when I had kids at home and a fixed location? Definitely not. I relied on food that didn’t require long cooking times and items I could acquire quickly. Because I did my shopping about a month before the shelves were emptied in the US, I had plenty of options and was able to get a good variety without major limitations. If I noticed an emerging crisis where I was and could not avoid it, I would stock up quickly. Remember, one of the most important parts of being a prepper is your awareness that puts you ahead of the crowd.

I have two different types of food supplies – items for consumption or back up while I’m in transit and items that I stock up on during my stay.

My In-Transit Pantry

When I’m moving more often or traveling lightly, my pantry looks different. I have the following as the basis of my mobile pantry.

  • Flavored instant oatmeal packets
  • Almond or coconut milk (shelf-stable)
  • Dry soup mix
  • Noodle bowls
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Crackers
  • Granola bars
  • Tea
  • Instant coffee packets
  • Sugar packets

I can carry all of the above items in my luggage with no issues whatsoever. They’re lightweight, small, and easily portable. Aside from the crackers, none of these things are easily crushed by your other gear, either.

The quality you purchase of the above items depends upon your location and your budget. In some areas, you might be able to easily access organic versions, and in others, you may be looking at Mr. Noodle and Peanut M&Ms. Obviously, this is not a diet to sustain you for a long time, especially if you’re expending a lot of calories, but it would get you through a few days to a week. Your mileage may vary.

My Short-Term Location Pantry

When I arrive at an Airbnb or rental, I sometimes have a meal from the items above on the first night before I go out and search for heartier fare. Once I’m settled in, then I add perishables like fresh produce, bread, and meat. As well, if I’m going to be there for more than a few days, I pick up some inexpensive shelf-stable items at those locations that are too heavy or too fragile to carry around, like some of the items in the list below.

While living in Mexico, the area where I’m staying went “Red” (they have color codes for the level of coronavirus restrictions.). I went to the store the first day and stocked up on a few additional items because here they have checkpoints where you’re asked about your destination, and I was not confident enough in my Spanish to relish such an interaction. So, I’ve gone more than a month on my supplies here without another trip to the store and didn’t feel that I was deprived, although I probably would have chosen different food if going to stores had been viable.

My pantry here is similar to the quick pantry I bought during my covid quarantine prep, just with Mexican versions of the foods.

  • Canned goods
  • Tortillas
  • Pouches of refried beans
  • Crackers
  • Peanut butter
  • Condiments
  • Tuna
  • Cookies or chocolate (If I can’t leave my condo, I need some joy in my life)
  • Long-lasting produce like potatoes, onions, carrots, squash, and cabbage
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Meat and veggies for the freezer
  • Seasonings to make everything taste better
  • Coffee
  • Almond milk tetras

Keep in mind that these items do not make up the majority of my diet. These are the things that I have put aside in case I have to hunker down – which certainly paid off here during the lockdown. I still visit the farmstand and bakery weekly and dine out to enjoy the local cuisine. Depending on your situation, you might hit the grocery store to supplement your basic supplies.

It’s all about being adaptable.

One of my major takeaways from my nomadic lifestyle is that adaptability and the willingness to be flexible are essential. And if these traits are essential just traveling, imagine how much more so they are when you’re going through difficult times.

While most folks prefer a full spice rack, a wealth of kitchen implements, and a giant storage room, the reality is that it might not be possible for everyone, particularly as the economy continues to wreak havoc on personal finances and the supply chain continues to erode. As I wrote earlier this year that prepping would look a lot different than before.

There are big changes ahead for many people and surviving may look different than you expected it to. Selco has written about leaving everything behind to survive. Fabian has written about the survival lessons to be learned from the homeless and from the Great Depression. Hopefully, we won’t see anything as extreme as these examples, but just know that even if the way things go is different than you had planned, you can still be adaptable, prepared, and resilient.

The Organic Prepper: Facial Recognition – Cashing in on Covid

Robert Wheeler of The Organic Prepper talks about how facial recognition companies are thriving during Covid in Cashing in on Covid: Facial Recognition and Thermal Imaging Techs Are Booming at the Cost of Your Privacy

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be the biggest gift possible for tyrants all across the globe. From economic power grabs made by corporations and the incineration of basic civil liberties, the ruling class has introduced itself as the arbiters and dictators of virtually all human interaction.

And the surveillance industry has also benefitted massively from the pandemic.

What’s new in facial recognition?

For instance, facial recognition technology is being rolled out at an alarmingly fast pace. The tech is more and more exact in its capabilities and no longer handicapped by mask wearing or face coverings. In a report by the Department of Homeland Security released in early January 2021, the department admitted to having conducted tests regarding the efficacy of facial recognition technologies in relation to mask wearers.

The test was administered by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate and were conducted as a part of STD’s Biometric Technology Rally, an event held during the fall at the Maryland Test Facility. DHS claims that the success rate for this technology could reduce the need for passengers or travelers to remove their masks at airports or ports of entry.

According to DHS,

The third annual rally evaluated the ability of biometric acquisition systems and matching algorithms to reliably collect and match images of individuals wearing a diverse array of face masks. Previous rallies show biometric systems can excel at rapidly processing high volumes of travelers using face recognition. This year’s focused on using such systems to detect and recognize travelers without asking them to remove their masks, thereby protecting both the public and frontline workers during the COVID-19 era.

The event included 10 days of human testing which involved 60 facial recognition configurations (which used six face and/or iris scanning systems with 10 matching algorithms) and took advantage of 582 “diverse” test volunteers that represented 60 countries. The systems were then evaluated based upon their ability to take images of each volunteer reliably without masks, processing time, and overall satisfaction.

The results? According to the Biometric Rally website:

  • Without masks, the technology had an average 93% identification rate. The best system had a rate of 100%.
  • With masks, the technology had an average of 77% accuracy and the best performing system had a rate of 96%.

So much for the theory that “at least the masks will make it harder for them to use facial rec on us.”

Then there’s thermal imaging, too.

But that’s not the only technology that is booming as a result the meeting between the “pandemic” and the surveillance state. Thermal imaging is also in demand as governments across the world begin deploying the technology at airports, railways, and public gathering spaces. The technology is designed to measure a person’s body temperature. In this instance, it will be used to measure whether or not a person has a fever.

Although, a number of American companies are in on the act – Infrared Cameras, Inc. and Omnisense – Chinese companies are also making lots of money on the new rollout, including a company ironically from Wuhan, Wuhan Guide Infrared Co. In fact, the company is making so many that the Chinese military is having to wait for its orders for other products that the company makes.

And if Americans think their “representatives” are going to do anything to stop the rollout, they’re wrong. As TravelPulse writes,

On Friday, U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Ranking Member Maria Cantwell of Washington and Senator Rick Scott of Florida introduced a proposal for bipartisan legislation that would require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to implement temperature screenings at existing airport checkpoints in order to enhance the safety of passenger air travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cantwell-Scott ‘Fly Safe and Healthy Act of 2020’ (S. 4623) would task the TSA with ultimately deploying a uniform temperature-check program across the nation’s airports; but, first, to thoroughly test the technology in various scenarios as part of a pilot program prior to the final rollout.

Airport temperature checks would be conducted using innovative, contactless, thermal-camera technology capable of automatically screening large numbers of passengers passing through existing TSA checkpoints. It’s seamless and non-invasive, and such systems have already proven effective for identifying infected individuals and mitigating COVID-19’s spread in other countries.

Senators like Rick Scott have been advocating heavily for the technology. His argument, like the argument of others, is that the tech is needed to help our economy rebound. Of course, the economic crisis in the United States was not caused by a lack of thermal imaging but by government itself, specifically people like Rick Scott. But that’s another story for another time….

It won’t stop with taking your temperature.

Of course, we all know the surveillance isn’t going to stop merely at temperature checks. Back in 2011, an article was published by the BBC entitled, “New Emotion Detector Can See When We’re Lying.” The system, like the temp checkers, is one of interlocked video cameras connected to a “high-resolution thermal imaging sensor and a suite of algorithms.”

The idea is that, since humans give away their emotions through a variety of unconscious means, the ability to read facial cues enables security to interpret the motives of “potential terrorists.” Of course, the label of “potential terrorist” is one that has been applied to virtually every citizen within and without of a western nations’ borders. Nevertheless, in order to measure “emotions,” the system uses eye movements, dilated pupils, biting, nose wrinkling, pressing lips together, heavy breathing, swallowing, blinking, and other facial movements as well as swelling blood vessels around the eyes.

Keep in mind, this technology existed in 2011 and already took advantage of thermal imaging. We are not in uncharted territory here, we are merely witnessing the unfolding of an agenda that was planned long ago.

Privacy is a thing of the past.

Privacy is a thing of the past and has been for a long time. We’ve warned about how frequently Americans are being surveilled, about Ring doorbells, about Amazon’s servers storing government databases to identify us, and about Smart appliances. We’ve talked about Chinese “mind-reading” technology and their social credit system. The pieces are in place – now they’re just perfecting what already exists.

Organic Prepper: IMF Wants to Use “digital footprint of customers’ … online activities” to Assess Creditworthiness

Robert Wheeler at The Organic Prepper reports that the IMF Wants to Use “digital footprint of customers’ … online activities” to Assess Creditworthiness

For years, researchers have warned of a system in which the government controls every aspect of its citizens’ lives. Every citizen would have to rely entirely on the government to survive in this system. This system has been openly discussed for many years by the “ruling class.” Aka: those who have been allotted social credit (or not) and power based upon their views and opinions

The system has already begun in China and is now spreading globally

In a recent post, “What is Really New In Fintech,” on the IMF blog (International Monetary Fund), authors Arnoud Boot, Peter Hoffmann, Luc Laeven, and Lev Ratnovski suggest “rapid technological change” in the financial industry. Many social media and other online platforms are now creating and accepting payments. This revolutionary change in the banking world could change the face of finance forever. 

As a result of this rapid change, the authors bring up the following questions:

  • What are the transformative aspects of recent financial innovation that can uproot finance as we know it?
  • Which new policy challenges will the transformation of finance bring?

To answer these questions, the authors wrote: 

Recent IMF and ECB staff research distinguishes two areas of financial innovation. One is information: new tools to collect and analyse data on customers, for example for determining creditworthiness. Another is communication: new approaches to customer relationships and the distribution of financial products. We argue that each dimension contains some transformative components.

The authors mention the importance and functionality of “determining creditworthiness.” The method they want to use to do so can be found in the section labeled “New Types Of Information,” where they write (emphasis ours):

The most transformative information innovation is the increase in use of new types of data coming from the digital footprint of customers’ various online activities—mainly for creditworthiness analysis.

Credit scoring using so-called hard information (income, employment time, assets, and debts) is nothing new. Typically, the more data is available, the more accurate is the assessment. But this method has two problems. First, hard information tends to be “procyclical”: it boosts credit expansion in good times but exacerbates contraction during downturns.

The second and most complex problem is that certain kinds of people, like new entrepreneurs, innovators, and many informal workers, might not have enough hard data available. Even a well-paid expatriate moving to the United States can be caught in the conundrum of not getting a credit card for lack of credit record, and not having a credit record for lack of credit cards.

Fintech resolves the dilemma by tapping various nonfinancial data: the type of browser and hardware used to access the internet, the history of online searches, and purchases. Recent research documents that, once powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, these alternative data sources are often superior than traditional credit assessment methods, and can advance financial inclusion, by, for example, enabling more credit to informal workers and households, and firms in rural areas.

The type of browser used could potentially indicate a different ranking for browsers that heavily track users, like Chrome, vs. browsers that emphasize privacy, like Brave.

So what does this all mean for our financial future?

It means the IMF authors suggest the global banking network begin using a history of online searches and purchases to determine “creditworthiness.” In other words, do you read CNN and purchase sports memorabilia? You’re approved! Do you read The Organic Prepper and buy “conspiracy” or “prepping” material? We’re sorry, you can not be approved at this time based on your credit score.

In Brandon Turbeville’s 2019 article Social Media, Universal Basic Income, and Cashless Society: How China’s Social Credit System Is Coming To America he wrote: 

“Unbeknownst to most people, there appears to be a real attempt to create a system in which all citizens are rationed their “wages” digitally each month in place of a paycheck or ability to gain or lose money. This system would see any form of dissent resulting in the cut off of those credits and the ability to work, eat, or even exist in society. It would not only be the end of dissent but of any semblance of real individuality.”

Turbeville outlines a plan to create a Universal Basic Income (UBI). The scheme, tied to a social credit system, will essentially cut off the financial lifeline to anyone who does not entirely tow the establishment line. I encourage you to take a look at the article and see for yourself how this scheme is coming together. For more information, here’s an article that compares UBI to modern feudalism.

With Biden’s new administration that is openly more “global” in its outlook, the IMF has already stated that it will seek to reset its relationship with the United States and that Biden’s “commitment to multilateral institutions and his pledge to re-enter the Paris climate agreement should help the IMF advance its own targets.”

And you thought it was challenging to gain approval before…

The pairing of online history with credit scores is bad enough. Doing so has prevented many otherwise creditworthy citizens from accessing what they need to start businesses, buy homes, rent apartments, or buy cars. Some states have suggested laws that use your search history and social media when being assessed for your worthiness to purchase a firearm, and the Bank of America has made it incredibly clear just this past week that your purchases and financial records are by no means private.

However, pairing both of those with the Universal Basic Income is even worse. We are fast approaching a time where even the slightest difference of opinion from the norm (i.e., the ruling class) can result in a complete freeze out of the “offender” from the entire society.

Organic Prepper: Would YOU Be Considered a Domestic Terrorist Under This New Bill?

Robert Wheeler at The Organic Prepper talk about the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 and asks Would YOU Be Considered a Domestic Terrorist Under This New Bill?  If you go looking for the bill, please note that there was a DTPA of 2020 and one for 2019, and 2018, and 2017… so be sure you’re looking at the right one. There are also news articles relating to some of the old acts saying things like “the legislation doesn’t mention MAGA rallies anywhere,” but we currently don’t have text for this years act.

After 9/11, the entire country collectively lost its mind in the throes of fear. During that time, all civil and Constitutional rights were shredded and replaced with the pages of The USA PATRIOT Act.

Almost 20 years later, the U.S. has again lost its collective mind, this time in fear of a “virus” and it’s “super mutations” and a “riot” at the capitol. A lot of people called this and to the surprise of very few, much like after 9/11, Americans are watching what remains of their civil liberties be replaced with a new bill.

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021

The DTPA is essentially the criminalization of speech, expression, and thought. It takes cancel culture a step further and all but outlaws unpopular opinions. This act will empower intelligence, law enforcement, and even military wings of the American ruling class to crack down on individuals adhering to certain belief systems and ideologies.

According to MI Congressman Fred Upton: 

“The attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month was the latest example of domestic terrorism, but the threat of domestic terrorism remains very real. We cannot turn a blind eye to it,” Upton said. “The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act will equip our law enforcement leaders with the tools needed to help keep our homes, families, and communities across the country safe.

Congressman Upton’s website gives the following information on DTPA:

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 would strengthen the federal government’s efforts to prevent, report on, respond to, and investigate acts of domestic terrorism by authorizing offices dedicated to combating this threat; requiring these offices to regularly assess this threat; and providing training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing it.

DTPA would authorize three offices, one each within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to monitor, investigate, and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism. The bill also requires these offices to provide Congress with joint, biannual reports assessing the state of domestic terrorism threats, with a specific focus on white supremacists. Based on the data collected, DTPA requires these offices to focus their resources on the most significant threats.

DTPA also codifies the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which would coordinate with United States Attorneys and other public safety officials to promote information sharing and ensure an effective, responsive, and organized joint effort to combat domestic terrorism. The legislation requires DOJ, FBI, and DHS to provide training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in understanding, detecting, deterring, and investigating acts of domestic terrorism and white supremacy. Finally, DTPA directs DHS, DOJ, FBI, and the Department of Defense to establish an interagency task force to combat white supremacist infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement.

Those who read the bill aren’t so gung ho to shred the Constitution

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has some serious reservations. In a recent interview on Fox News Primetime, Gabbard stated that the bill effectively criminalizes half of the country. (Emphasis ours)

“It’s so dangerous as you guys have been talking about, this is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don’t have to guess about where this goes or how this ends,” Gabbard said.

She continued: “When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he’s spoken with or heard from appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements similar to the insurgencies they’ve seen overseas, that in his words, he says make up this unholy alliance of religious extremists, racists, bigots, he lists a few others and at the end, even libertarians.”

Gabbard, stating her concern about how the government will define what qualities they are searching for in potential threats to the country, went on to ask:

“What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this”

Tulsi said the bill would create a dangerous undermining of our civil liberties and freedoms in our Constitution. She also stated the DPTA essentially targets nearly half of the United States. 

“You start looking at obviously, have to be a white person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anyone who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house, or people who, you know, attended a Trump rally,” Gabbard said.

Tulsi Gabbard is not the only one to criticize the legislation

Even the ACLU, one of the weakest organizations on civil liberties in the United States, has spoken out. While the ACLU was only concerned with how the bill would affect minorities or “brown people,” the organization stated that the legislation, while set forth under the guise of countering white supremacy, would eventually be used against non-white people.

The ACLU’s statement is true.

As with similar bills submitted under the guise of “protecting” Americans against outside threats, this bill will inevitably expand further. The stated goals of the DPTA are far-reaching and frightening enough. It would amount to an official declaration of the end to Free Speech.

Soon there will be no rights left for Americans

In the last twenty years, Americans have lost their 4th Amendment rights, and now they are losing their 1st. All that remains is the 2nd Amendment, and both the ruling class and increasing numbers of the American people know it.

Dark days are ahead.

Here is also an interview with Tulsi Gabbard on the issue.

Organic Prepper: The Global Supply Collapse Continues to Get Worse

Robert Wheeler at The Organic Prepper tells us that The Global Supply Collapse Continues to Get WORSE: Shortages of Clothing, Appliances, Food, and Other Essentials.

The United States and the world have been suffering under a slow-burning economic depression for three decades now. Although the US began inching slowly out of the clutches of depression under the Trump administration’s quasi-Americanist tariff policies, COVID mandates, and the government’s war on independent businesses, personal finances, and the economy thrust both the United States and the rest of the world straight back into a financial and economic hole.

This time, however, that hole is much deeper than even the most negative predictions could have foreseen.

While PPE loans, stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits, and a terrified shut-in population, as well as a mainstream media that peddles nothing but 24/7 propaganda, are hiding the real effects of what has taken place, there will soon be no way to cover up the economic fallout from the Great Reset.

The global supply chain is overwhelmed.

For one example of what is lurking under the surface, an article published in the Washington Post entitled, “Pandemic Aftershocks Overwhelm Global Supply Lines,” details the fast arriving price increases, inflation, and scarcity. The article states,

One year after the coronavirus pandemic first disrupted global supply chains by closing Chinese factories, fresh shipping headaches are delaying U.S. farm exports, crimping domestic manufacturing and threatening higher prices for American consumers.

The cost of shipping a container of goods has risen by 80 percent since early November and has nearly tripled over the past year, according to the Freightos Baltic Index. The increase reflects dramatic shifts in consumption during the pandemic, as consumers redirect money they once spent at restaurants or movie theaters to the purchase of record amounts of imported clothing, computers, furniture and other goods.

That abrupt and unprecedented spending shift has upended long-standing trade patterns, causing bottlenecks from the gates of Chinese factories to the doorsteps of U.S. homes.

In other words, money that was once spent on luxuries such as eating out or going to the movies, entertainment, etc. is now being spent on necessities.

The price of everything will continue to rise.

This is, of course, due to the fact that many good jobs were sent overseas already before the COVID mandates took hold but also because the lockdowns and fearmongering of media outlets have now driven many of the businesses that were left into extinction.

Unemployed people and business owners who no longer own their businesses are faced with rising costs for the items they need and have no money left over for the items they want, something that has driven many more people to steal food and other necessities in an alarming trend.

The article continues,

Glimmers of sticker shock are starting to vex corporate planners. The cost of imported industrial supplies jumped 4.2 percent in December and is up 27 percent since April’s pandemic low, with manufacturers complaining of shortages of materials such as steel.

Shipping issues are affecting familiar brand names such as the Gap, where an executive recently told investors that “port issues” were hamstringing operations. At WD-40, higher freight and warehousing costs dented profit margins last quarter, Jay Rembolt, the chief financial officer, told investors this month. Bang & Olufsen, a maker of music systems and televisions, said it had resorted to more expensive airfreight to compensate for a lack of seaborne options.

“These challenges have put inflationary cost pressures on our and many businesses and, as the market is anticipating, will put further inflationary pressure on transportation rates in 2021,” said Shelley Simpson, chief commercial officer for J.B. Hunt Transport Services, on a recent earnings call.

Shortages will continue to emerge.

Just in case you were somehow unaware of the crisis, you might notice that there have been shortages of household appliances as well as clothing in recent months with many of those items costing more than they did pre-panic. In fact, many of those imported goods have risen by 0.9 percent since August. So much for those cheaper goods that you were promised for sending your high wage jobs to China.

In fact, we’re seeing shortages and higher prices of many essential products that come from China, as well as Chinese-made parts to maintain our own goods.

And it’s not just shipping costs. Higher oil prices, inflation from “stimulus” checks, and other factors are all combining. In fact, the Washington Post article surprisingly addresses this by writing,

By themselves, shipping cost spikes are likely to have only a modest effect on inflation, according to Neil Shearing, chief economist for Capital Economics in London. But they will reinforce the effects of other factors, such as oil prices and ample fiscal and monetary stimulus, that are expected to drive the current 1.4 percent inflation rate higher, at least for a while.

“All of these temporary factors come together at the same time the market narrative is primed for a post-covid inflation surge,” Shearing said.

This new spiral is not just a temporary hiccup.

If you read closely you will find that it is not merely a question of the market catching up with demand or resetting itself. Chinese goods are flooding the US market with Chinese companies fighting one another over cargo shipping space while American imports have taken a nosedive.

Essentially, what is happening is that a totaled American manufacturing sector is now being flooded with foreign goods while exports are stuck at the docks. Things are about to get very bumpy in this country and if you haven’t started preparing, now would be the time to do so in earnest.

To assess your preparedness level for this type of event, go here to get a copy of The Prepper’s Workbook absolutely free. Also check out this article for advice on how to perform an objective self-assessment.

Preparing isn’t as easy as it once was due to shortages of both goods and money, but that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Here are some tips for getting prepared now that things have changed dramatically. Pay attention to the items that are currently in shortage and stock up if you can. Items like clothing, footwear, appliances, electronics, computers, and food are all likely to continue to be affected. (While computers wouldn’t have necessarily be seen as an essential before, an ever-growing number of Americans are working from home as their children are “distance learning.)

This crisis has been apparent since day one to anyone who understands the basics of economics and anyone who is capable of reading the writing on the wall…

The Organic Prepper: How to Start Planning Your Garden

It may be just starting to get into the season season, but it’s not too early to start thinking about your garden. If seeds are as scarce as last year, hopefully you’ve already been making some plans. Here is Joanna Miller at The Organic Prepper with Growing Vegetables Is Back in Style: Here’s How to Start Planning Your Garden to get your thoughts moving in the right direction.

Whether you celebrate St. Bridget’s Day, Candlemas, Imbolc, or Groundhog Day, February 2 is coming up. For those of us active in gardening and raising animals in the Northern hemisphere, this means it’s time to think about spring. And that means garden planning!

The pandemic has caused one very positive resurgence: growing food is back in style and no longer the purview of hippies or those crazy preppers.

Last year saw a record amount of people start gardens

Between the cost of food, grocery shortages, and sheltering in place, it comes as no surprise that many Americans have turned to gardening. And they’re doing it not only to keep themselves busy, but also to keep themselves and their families fed during these turbulent times. More people than ever are learning that not only does gardening produce food, but it also soothes the soul.

However, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out in an article about wannabe homesteaders, many people found out that gardening was a little more complicated than Michael Bloomberg said. ( “I could teach anybody, even people in this room, to be a farmer. It’s a process. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn.” 2016-Bloomberg)

Thousands of quarantined Americans planted vegetables last spring, striking a blow for hope just as their World War II-era forebears did with home-front Victory Gardens.

Six months later, many are admitting defeat.

“My tomatoes look like a Dr. Seuss plant,” said Doni Chamberlain, a 64-year-old blogger in Redding, Calif. “It might not have helped that I planted them in a kiddie pool.”

Daisy has an article about the year she and a friend tried to raise a homegrown Thanksgiving, and some other tips for what you can do if the garden you’re relying on fails.

Garden planning varies widely based on your location.

I have gardened with varying degrees of success in the Chicago suburbs, Houston suburbs, and now on the High Plains in Colorado. What works in one area will often not work in another, and the first thing to do is to ask yourself what will grow well in your area.  

For example, some tomatoes will grow just about anywhere, but timing and varieties will vary greatly between regions. In Illinois, you start tomatoes from seed in March, then plant them out sometime between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. We grew all kinds of tomatoes in Illinois. We could grow cherry tomatoes or those big beautiful slicing tomatoes.

I soon realized I needed to change my view when it came to tomatoes

When I moved to Houston, the tomatoes I planted in May didn’t produce a darn thing the first year. I did some reading and found that tomatoes won’t set fruit if the temperature is above 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and doesn’t drop below 75 at night. Well, in Houston, that’s at least from May to October.

So the next year, I started the seeds in January and put them out on Valentine’s Day. Sure enough, the fruits set in March and April, before the heat hit, and we spent June and July picking tomatoes.

I found that I needed to explore different varieties and experiment

I tried both cherry and slicing tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes exploded; I’m not sure if I ever grew a slicing tomato. While living in Houston, I assumed it was too hot to grow the slicing tomatoes and contented myself with the cherries.

I gardened for five years in Houston before moving to Colorado and became very proficient. We only had a little suburban lot, but it was quite productive. When we moved to Colorado, I wondered if I’d be able to grow bigger tomatoes, like I had growing up in Illinois. I planted the same cherry tomato variety I’d grown in Houston, and also some Brandywine tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes did okay, but I didn’t get one Brandywine.

I went back to online searches and gardening books.

It turns out bigger tomatoes need relatively constant temperatures to set fruit. The 85 degree days and 65 degree nights in Illinois were perfect; the 90 degree days and 55 degree nights in Colorado, not so much. A certified organic vegetable gardener lives two miles away from me, and she grows beautiful large tomatoes, but she grows them in a hoop house, which moderates the temperature.

It took me a few years of experimenting to find that Principe Borghese are the tomatoes for me to grow. They do well in the hot, dry weather and are perfect for sun-drying. I now get plenty of tomatoes every year, but it didn’t happen right away. It took some research in the form of flipping through books and asking neighbors. It took a lot of patience.

Gardening is a skill learned by trial and error.

It takes time to find what works in your area, and even then, disaster can strike.

We had a warm, wet spring in 2020. Our last freeze was in April, and we didn’t get one May snowstorm. I had plenty of fruit set throughout June and thought the year would be great. Well, early in July, we had twenty minutes of marble-sized hail and 50 mph winds. My garden was in tatters. The hailstorm knocked my tomatoes and cucumbers off the vines and tore my corn and squash to ribbons.  

I say this not to discourage anyone, but to show that gardening always turns into more of an adventure than people expect. If you stick with it and find what works, you will usually come out ahead in terms of food and fun versus time and energy. But like any sincere endeavor, there will be occasional spectacular failures.

However, I have had occasional unexpected successes as well

This year, the hailstorm didn’t affect a new plant I had tried. I had read about ground cherries in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Ground cherries are native to North America, and they look kind of like tomatillos though they taste very sweet. The fruit grows underneath thick leaves in a papery husk. So while the hail bruised the thick leaves, they protected the fruit underneath. I didn’t lose fruit in that hailstorm and was pleasantly surprised later in the season by the plants’ heavy production.

Gardening is a worthy endeavor. If you felt the urge to garden last year and it just didn’t come together the way you envisioned, now is the time to revisit what worked and what didn’t.

Where should you plant your garden?

Decide where to plant your garden first. You will need to check your local rules and regulations. (Here are some tips for growing food when you”can’t” have a garden.) Wherever you intend to plant, make sure there is enough direct sunlight.

If you live in a place like Texas and find it is too sunny for some of your plants, it’s a lot easier to put burlap over your plants to provide partial shade than it is to trim tree branches overhead if the garden isn’t getting enough sun. So start by finding a sunny spot, and go from there.

If you use containers, read the instructions. Many larger pots will recommend placing a layer of rocks or pea gravel in the bottom to assist drainage. If you live in an area with a high water table, it may be worth your time to build a raised bed. It doesn’t have to be super expensive. When we lived in Texas, we just bought cinder blocks and tore up the grass inside, then added some compost. I want to conserve as much moisture as possible in Colorado, so I haven’t raised the beds. The water drains just fine on its own.

What kind of soil do you have?

When I lived in Illinois, we had just about perfect soil. It was black and rich and loamy, and we had productive gardens without adding much in the way of specific soil amendments. In many other parts of the country, however, that is not the case. 

What you decide to do depends on how much money you have available. It may be worth your time to get a soil test. In Colorado, this costs about $30, and it is useful. You send in your soil sample, and they tell you not only the pH but also any nutrient deficiencies your soil may have.  

If you have some money to spend and are confident in your ability to add the proper amendments to your soil, the soil test is worth your time and money. It can save you a few seasons’ worth of trial and error. However, if you are distressingly tight on cash, don’t despair. If you eat, you can still improve your soil.  

What can you do to improve the soil?

Many useful guides exist on composting. All you have to do is enter “How to make compost” into your favorite search engine, and plenty of sites and videos will pop up. Much of your food waste can be used for compost. Lawn trimmings and downed leaves can go in as well. If you want to build up a lot of soil, you can ask neighbors for their leaves and other yard waste.

My kids and I volunteer at a park, and we took their Christmas tree home after the holiday to feed our goats. Organic waste is all over the place. Your neighbors might tease you for being a hippie with all the compost and garbage collecting; tell them sticks and stones. Building your soil with compost alone will take time, but it’ll be free.  

Remember to do your research first

A green bean that grows well in New York will not necessarily grow well in East Texas, which won’t necessarily grow well in South Texas, which won’t necessarily grow well in Oregon.

Don’t just grab whatever they have at the hardware store. The major chains usually source from large nurseries that ship nationwide; if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you may find something inappropriate for your area. If you have a smaller, locally-owned nursery, browse that instead. They may sport higher prices, though not necessarily. But staff at locally owned nurseries have often gardened in that specific area and can offer a great deal of information.  

Once you’ve picked out varieties, look carefully to find when and how to plant. For example, I plant peas and potatoes in April. We usually have freezes into May, but peas and potatoes survive if they have a thick layer of mulch. Peas prefer cooler weather and come out of the garden at the end of July. Tomatoes don’t go outside until all danger of frost has passed. In my area, that’s usually mid to late May. Corn doesn’t go in until the soil has warmed in June.

You can’t just toss seeds into the ground whenever, wherever, and expect them to thrive. Take time to figure out your gardening zone and read the seed packages carefully. This Garden Planning Calculator from Seeds for Generations provides you the following for 46 types of crops:

  • Germination timelines for all crop types
  • Germination temperatures for optimal results
  • For plants that need to be started as seedlings, then transplanted into the garden, the Indoor Start Date
  • For plants that are direct seeded, the earliest date to plant them outdoors
  • For seedlings, the earliest transplant date relative to the last frost
  • AND, it provides you with forecast earliest harvest dates based on the days to maturity for each crop

TIP: Now that more people are gardening, it’s a good idea to order your seeds early to ensure the best selection. Last year, many sources ran out of seeds quickly so do not delay your purchase. Seed shortages could occur again.

Gardening is ultimately responding to the needs of other living things

It requires patience, willingness to get dirty, and the ability to recover from failure. These are not skill sets that our society typically values. I found the stories of successful professionals who couldn’t keep a plant alive for a few months disturbing. 

The nation that won the World Wars was the same nation that produced over 40% of its produce in the backyard and rooftop Victory Gardens. I suppose it’s not shocking that the nation that now cannot wait three days for a package from Amazon cannot be bothered to learn about where its food comes from, but I don’t think it’s a sign of its progress. I think it’s a sign we all need to do some soul-searching.

Of course, the nation that grew Victory Gardens was also much closer, generationally, to a society of mostly farmers. Most people 80+ years ago still had relatives in the country to whom they could turn for advice. More people kept livestock. Parenting was typically more hands-on. In general, more people spent more time in their lives as caregivers...(continues)

The Organic Prepper: I Had Covid. Here’s What It Was Like

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper writes I Had Covid for 17 Days. Here’s What It Was Like.

A lot of folks are out there saying that COVID is a myth, that viruses don’t exist (wth?), or that the whole pandemic has been a scam. While I strongly disagree with the lockdowns and restrictions on our ability to make a living, there truly is a pretty bad virus out there. And I know this from personal experience.

I had Covid and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It was brutal and I had what would be considered a “moderate” case. This article isn’t meant to be used as medical advice or political fodder. This isn’t a treatise about a magical cure being kept secret by Big Pharma nor is it about the Deep State, some villain who cooked up a bioweapon, or any other theory du jour. My medical and treatment choices may be different than yours. I’m simply relating my experiences.

This virus hits people very differently. If you were fortunate enough to have a mild case, don’t disregard your next door neighbor who ends up with permanent organ damage. Some people are asymptomatic, some have minor symptoms, some are moderately ill, and some die. This is definitely not “just the flu” for many people. I never had a case of influenza that took me down like this, particularly not for this length of time.

I don’t think that there is a “typical” case of Covid because there are so many variables.

The only thing notable about the week before I began to have symptoms was an insatiable thirst. This hasn’t been mentioned in any of the literature that I’ve read but anecdotally, several other people I spoke with who had a case lasting a few weeks agreed that they’d never had a thirst quite like it.

I generally drink 4 liters of water per day. I was up to 6 liters a day (that’s a gallon and a half of water!) as well as electrolyte beverages and still I felt parched. I was waking up in the middle of the night and guzzling a water bottle. It was a little weird but I didn’t think too much of the sudden dehydration.

How it started

First of all, to answer the inevitable question, I have no idea how I got Covid. I work from home. I have been following the local rules and staying on my property aside from trips to the grocery store. I haven’t been to any gatherings, I wear a mask as required by regulations in the city where I’m staying, and I wash my hands at the appropriate times.

As far as risk factors go, I have mild asthma, the cough variant kind, where instead of wheezing I sound like I’m dying of bronchitis. I’m pretty fit and active and walk 3-5 hilly miles most days, rain or shine, so my lung capacity is good and I don’t get winded going up hills or stairs, generally speaking. I’m 51 and could probably stand to lose about 20 pounds but I have no health issues for which I require regular medication. I rarely eat processed food, get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and limit caffeine to one (okay two) cups of coffee per day.

Day 1: On Monday, the 7th, I started feeling kind of “off” for lack of a better word. I was tired – very, very tired – and I went to bed ridiculously early, at 7 o’clock because I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Day 2: When I woke up on Tuesday, I realized that I was sick and brushed it off as the flu or a cold. I figured a day with chicken soup, peppermint tea, and a nip of Jack Daniels for a stubborn cough would have me right as rain in no time. At that point, my symptoms were a dry cough, body aches, a very mild sore throat, and an all-encompassing fatigue. Later in the day, I got so cold that no amount of blankets and heat could warm me up. I was running a high (for me) fever that kept going up during the night.

What it was like to have Covid

Days 3-5: Over the next three days, chills and fever were almost constant. My joints and muscles hurt. Getting up to go to the bathroom felt like an expedition up a mountain.  I was tired and winded. I had very little appetite and even less of an inclination to cook food so I existed mostly on peanut butter and crackers and leftover soup. I was absolutely exhausted and so cold that I shivered violently when I got out from under my bed piled high with blankets. I had super-weird dreams. My cough worsened, my head hurt, and my throat was still mildly sore.

I drank lots of water and electrolyte beverages. My thirst remained unquenchable regardless of how much I drank. I took vitamins (C, D3) and took Zinc supplements. These are my regular supplements but I doubled that.

Days 6-9: The line to get a test at the local clinic was long and filled with people who were coughing up a lung. There was no way I’d be able to stand in that line for an hour, as sick as I felt. Besides, I figured if I didn’t have Covid, I’d get it standing in the line so I opted not to be tested.

This part made me think of the worst case of the flu I ever had, except intensified by about four times. It was terrible.

I usually let a fever run its course but by Saturday I felt so awful that I gave in and began treating symptoms. My normal temp is in the 96s and my temperature throughout these days stayed between 101-103. I staggered ibuprofen and acetaminophen, and I also used a mild muscle relaxant and my Ventilyn inhaler. The meds didn’t get rid of my fever but reduced the chills to a tolerable level. I slept almost around the clock, waking up for a couple of hours here and there to check on website stuff. Fortunately, I have a wonderful team who kept things running for us. One day blurred into the next and I considered going to the doctor again, but couldn’t muster the energy. I felt like if I just got a little more sleep I’d be okay.

My cough was getting far worse and now my ribs and abdominal muscles hurt. It was a deep painful cough that caused me to clutch my chest every single time inhaled deeply.

Day 10: I woke up feeling slightly better. My fever had finally completely broken and I was no longer feeling chilled to the bone. My cough, however, was even worse than before and I recognized the wheezing sound that meant I was headed for a bout of pneumonia. I’ve got mild asthma and quite often upper respiratory issues end up with pneumonia for me so I know the signs. I upped the vitamin C and hoped for the best.

Day 11: I hadn’t been drinking coffee, just peppermint tea and I was really looking forward to a delicious cup of coffee now that I was feeling better. Unfortunately, the Keurig at the rental where I’m staying seemed to be putting out tinted water. I was bummed that the coffee was bad but I just refilled my water bottle and went on with my morning.

My cough was horrible. I decided that I’d put it off for as long as was safe and that I was going to need a steroid inhaler to heal my lungs. I planned to visit the doctor as soon as I finished my morning work on the website. I made myself some toast with peanut butter to eat before I left because there’s nothing worse than going to the doctor hungry and grouchy. I was texting with my friend while eating and thought, “This tastes awful. Why is my toast so bland and sweet? Ohhhhhhhhhh…….”

I had lost my sense of taste. I could pick up slightly sweet or slightly salty flavors but that’s it. Eating only sweet or salty styrofoam is probably the most effective diet ever…(continues)

Organic Prepper: Timing Is EVERYTHING When the SHTF

Florida residents bugging out ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Selco Begovic, writing at the Organic Prepper, talks about the importance of timing when the SHTF. Just recently we briefly posted about the immense traffic jam caused when people in Paris tried fleeing ahead of the most recent lockdowns. Just this morning after a work meeting with my boss we briefly segued into the state of the country and that we both considered moving to other countries but weren’t sure which could be considered “better” right now. But we also recognized that you don’t want to wait until it is too late to leave. If/when a government crackdown finally comes, it will probably be too late to leave, so you have to try to read the signs of descent.

Timing or the importance of perfect timing in SHTF can be a matter of life and death.

For a starting point, you need to understand something that I mentioned in previous posts. When SHTF occurs, the situation is fluid – it can change quickly, and you need to recognize those changes so you can react in time, and in the proper way.

The real danger is other people

I like to say that when the SHTF most probably your enemy is not going to be some foreign invaders, UN troops, or people that are very different than you.

It’s very possible your enemy will be the people that today live around you.

What will make them your enemy?

Well, a lot of things. The SHTF itself, the lack of resources, hate, polarization, absence of a system, absence of repercussion for their actions…

But always the main reason will be the lack of resources, and it is something I wrote about a lot in my book. That makes every person your possible enemy.

How does the importance of timing come into play here?

Well, it is on you to time your plans and actions based on the situation around you.

Here are a couple of examples:

  • Are local criminal gangs going to go completely wild and storm your home?
  • Can you feel absolutely free to shoot anyone who is a possible threat to you?
  • When you are bugging out are you gonna run over whoever stands in your way on the road, or are you driving like a law-abiding citizen?

Answers to those questions are quite different based on the time (or timing) when you are answering them. Simply if there is no system still working, everything falls apart. The timing of your action is important. You must understand what the rules are so you can choose how (or how hard) your response will be.

And do not forget, since it will be fluid the difference can be as little as a half-hour of time. Or even minutes.

A law-abiding citizen

Yes, I know, most probably you are a law-abiding citizen.

But, you cannot be a law abiding citizens in a situation where there is no law at all.

So what are you gonna be?

I am not suggesting anything here, but, again, your actions should be different in normal times and world without law and order. I am talking here not about violence, but about your feelings of who owns what when all falls apart.

If you recognize in time that there is simply no system, and there are things that actually suddenly do not “belong” to anyone, you can make good decisions about acquiring things you need. And trust me if you do not make it then, you will make it later. Only later you are not gonna have so many choices or opportunities.

No, I am not talking about stealing from other folks or looting your local mall during a bad weather event or riot.

I am talking about your acts in the first days of an event that is gonna be complete and prolonged world without a regular system of law and order.
Timing there also means that you need to recognize when some things are more important than others…for example, food is more important than some big-screen TV.

Actions on the ground

Timing also means a lot while certain things are happening when SHTF, especially in the very early stages of SHTF.

The early stage is important, because most of the people in that stage are not sure of:

  • what is exactly happening
  • how serious it is
  • how long it is going to last
  • what exactly they should do

You, as a survivalist/prepper, should be ahead of those people and you should know, or at least have an educated guess about the 4 questions above so you can time your actions appropriately.

Looting/scavenging

There is nothing too much philosophical here, and here is one example:

Something happens, and people are looting the mall.

What are you going to do?

Well, the most obvious answer is that you’ll stay at home because it is safest.

But let’s say you need medicines, food, or whatever.

Well if it is a real and serious SHTF, I would say you are gonna go there and “loot.” Only it is technically not looting anymore, because there is no law and order. It is not coming back for a long time or ever. So if you are smart, you’ll go there and stock up with important medicines, or food, or lighter fluid or similar stuff.

The timing is perfect because the answers to all of the above questions are “satisfying” for that. And you as a prepper for sure are not gonna loot stereos and TVs.

Most of the other people gonna be stupid and loot that useless stuff, because they completely missed the understanding of what is going on.

The timing here can be tricky too because you need to check if there are other people who understood how serious the situation is (based on the above questions). If they did, then you might lose your life there looking for food or medicines, simply because a lot of other people could be doing the same.

And do not forget, criminal organised groups WILL eventually figure out what is important, so they will eventually come to control that.

So, the timing is important, but again, the timing of your understanding of the term “law-abiding citizen” here is something that you need to figure out first when something serious happens.

You also need to know when to leave.

I have said before if I had realized what was coming when the SHTF for me, I would have left. But I waited too late. I missed my time.

You must be ready to leave everything (physical) in a split second if that means survival and life.

Learn to operate in terms of “less is more” or in other words, try whenever you can to substitute dependence on things with owning knowledge of a particular skill. For example, owning a big stash of water is great, owning skills and means to purify near water sources is even better.

Be ready to alter your plans – do not value your current plan so much that you are ready to die for it. Have an open and flexible mind so you can recognize that moment when your current plan becomes worthless. Do not act like “my plan (bugging out, or bugging in) is so good that I am ready to die for it.

Timing is everything when the SHTF.

A lot of things and actions in the world of survival are simply words. Those words will have different meanings when SHTF, based on the moment in time and based on when you are taking your actions. You as a prepper need to time your actions according to the events around you, and you need to be ready to kinda bend based on the events unfolding.

The most adaptable will survive.