Are you truly prepared

This is a guest post by Chemman

[This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win a number of prizes including an 84 serving storage bucket of Wise Food Storage, 500 rounds of 9mm ammo, a NukAlert a copy of my book The Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat and a copy of my CD It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – And I Feel Fine . For complete rules and list of prizes see this post.]

So you have your bug out bag prepared, your bug out vehicle is fueled and good to go and you have the bug out location settled. You even have primary, secondary and tertiary routes planned to get safely to that location. (This article is aimed at those not bugging out in place) Now what?

This has been the primary survival site I have frequented in my daily journey of blogs (political, news, science, legal and whatever strikes my fancy). It has been a fount of very good information on physically preparing for a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI event.

So I won’t boor you with more of the same. My question to those who plan on bugging out to a remote location is, are you truly prepared? You have the site, it is set up and has all those supplies but have you actually tried living there for long enough period of time to see how you and yours psychologically react.

If you have a spouse and children how will they react to needing to be one another’s friend after being acculturated to their own peer groups. Do not discount the effects of social isolation on those who have known nothing else but constant companionship and have grown up with the white noise of city life.

My wife and I started this journey 7 years ago when we bought acreage in a very rural (frontier) area of North Eastern Arizona. We were city slickers in every sense of the term. We were acculturated to the idea of jumping into the vehicle and taking a 5 minute drive the local Costco, Home Depot, Mall etc.

We had various peer groups that we were part of. Then an event happened 4 years ago that finally forced us to make a decision about relocating to the property we had purchased. We sold our house in Southern California and went on an adventure.

The adventure included a temporary gig as a science teacher on the Navajo Nation at an isolated school site while we were getting our land set up to live on. Trailer housing was supplied to the teachers. It was a forty mile drive to the nearest town to buy groceries. While my wife and I got along well we were truly forced to become best friends if we were going to survive the isolation.

That prepared us for the next step in the journey moving onto our land. We have been there now for the past 2.5 years. We live off grid in a 1000 sf cabin, have a 6 gpm well with a 2500 gal storage tank, a 4 season green house and an outdoor garden.

We don’t have cable or satellite TV but do have a broadband card for internet with our wireless service (no land lines to this area) The nearest neighbors our over a mile away as the crow flies. This has been a difficult time for my spouse because even though she is an introvert like me she has always been around like-minded people. Now it is mainly her and I. We have adapted but it has taken several years.

Why am I relating this to you if you haven’t practiced living alone then when the time comes you may not be able to cope with the experience of it. If you are single try staying in isolation for days at a time. The only time you go out is to buy groceries and immediately return to your home. If you have a family plan your vacation to be in a socially isolated place.

No cell phones, no i-pods, no computers no trappings of civilization other than your cooking materials, fishing gear and weapons. We take great pains to practice, practice, practice with our weapons, preparing our food supply, gardening, etc. but I venture to say you don’t practice the one essential skill for mental survival spending time in solitude.

Your thoughts please…

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. TomTheTinker says:

    Chemman: My wife will wobble on the edge of insanity with out talking to her Daughter… daily. No “Law and Order” re-runs. Oh Gawd! Your point is to the point. Yesterday I sat right here surfing this blog when Toledo Edison….. ‘switched’ grid feeds and dumped this part of the hood for about 3 seconds. My wife finished ‘One Second After’ at the end of May……. she jumped out of her chair with a serious OMG! I hopped in this chair when she did it. That was a long……….. 3 seconds. I’m just working the cramps outta myself after a ‘Prepping System Test’.. failure this last Sunday. I gotta a lot of worries lurking in my head already. Solitude….. you gotta handle on it Sir. It’ll take getting used to. Mayhaps more frequent ‘grid down’ weekends are in order.

    Thank You for the reality check Chemman.

  2. Since I am a social autistic – I have spent most of my life alone. In the middle of a city or party, I am alone. No wife, girl friend or kids. I’ll admit I’m not that good looking either – which makes things worse.

    So, un-like you “social capable” people – I have learned to live alone. I stay as far away from populated areas as I can.

    You are right, most people will only survive if they have a family, someone to talk to.

    • templar knight says:

      Well, michael c, you got yourself one big on-line family right here on MD’s blog, and until and if the SHTF, you can be thankful. I would encourage you to branch out, and as a woman named Allie said on this blog last week, it ain’t looks that gets the girl. It’s a certain attitude, she called it cockiness. But I urge you not to give up. Use your interest in prepping to meet people, you would be surprised how you will be perceived. Of all the things I’ve ever been involved in, I’ve found preppers to be the people least concerned with looks, and most concerned with character. j/s

      • michael c- you’ll never be alone. as templar knight stated, people here on this blog are like family.

        • bulldogbeau says:

          There are people that won’t judge your character by your looks. Finding them is difficult as you know. They are out there. We can tell right off the bat that you are intelligent since you’re on this site and are prepping.

          We got your back brother!


    • Michael c
      I am certain that you would be welcome into anybodys clan. Remember, in mankinds history, it is the genes that provide the ability to survive that get passed on. Looks are a recent and meaningless luxury.

  3. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    chemman, good article. I’ve wondered about that very thing myself, and my (ex) wife didnt care for social isolation enough, so she left me to go home. So be it, as much as I cared for her, was not going to change either, so we seperated/divorced. Luckily it was not acrimonious, I wish her the best and she does the same. My point being, it is a SERIOUS consideration when planning on living in isolation. Thanks again chemman.

  4. wi mama says:

    From time to time I consider how socially awkward I feel and how my personal preference is to have plenty of quiet, alone time. This is a very socially unacceptable behavior in my neck of the woods. Everyone around me seems to be buzzing at 100 miles an hour. Their kids are in all kinds of activities…swimming, soccer, dance, teams, races, and competitions. The parents, my peers, are gathering, chatting, planning events, attending events, moving and shaking. But, searching for quiet time in a rat race is one thing. Isolation as you describe it is another. Going from lots of activity to a world not revved up with electronics and artificial competitions would be an experience worth having. Long term, probably more than most folks could handle, myself included. I would like to give it a try, even for short while. Thanks for the thought provoking post!

    • Jennifer (Prepping Wife) says:

      I agree with you that quiet time is different from isolation. I myself have problems enjoying quiet time, on the rare event that I get it I actually get a bit antsy and start to freak out from the lack of having nothing to do.

      My real reason for this comment however is just to voice my opinion on a term that you used that actually offended me. You said “artificial competition”. What does that mean? I can only assume that you are refering to the mass of adults you see who’s children compete in sports, swimming, dance, etc.,

      I have two children. They both compete in sports. They also do other non-sport activities some of which are also competitive. Do you imply that these activies do not mean anything in the long term? I see first hand how hard my children work on being the best they can be to prepare for competition and while they are at it, they are doing something that they love. It takes a lot of time, dedication and passion for what they are doing. It helps shape who they are and keeps them from wanderng into a shady path. It gives them light in a world that is not always bright.

      Furthermore, if child compeitions are in your mind, “artificial”, who are you to say that adult compeition is also not “artificial?” Who is the judge? Is all compeition “artifical”? If so, why have any compeition at all? Compeition is a natural human emotion and activity. Working towards a goal is a natural human emotion, so squash those goals by implying that these activites do not matter?

      • Danielle says:

        I understand how you could take offense, but on the other hand, I read this to be more of a listing of activities that keep people constantly on the go, and that the “artificial competition” is that in our current society we are almost obligated to participate in such activities to be “normal”… so that the average person (not the folks around here I hope) is ill prepared to deal with making decisions on their own, since they have been guided by group activities most or all of their lives and have learned to compete by the social group rules rather than survival and self-reliance rules.
        I don’t see anything against children participating in sports in this post (and I would recommend it, even if it did result in culture shock post-fan.. you should at least have HEALTHY resentful kids lol) but they are definitely a large part of the dizzying whirl our lives have become.

        • Jennifer (Prepping Wife) says:

          I suppose I could do more. Much more to prep. However I have taken an active stance in prepping and we have a good stock going. I read this blog and 5 others daily to keep up on everything going on. I also work full time. My son does soccer and will soon be taking guitar lessons, my daughter does cheer, natural pageants, girl scouts and dance. I am on the parent board for my son’s soccer team, team mom for my daughters cheer squad, a pageant director for her pageant system and on the PTA at my son’s school. They love thier activities (especially the daughter who keeps wanting to “add” something new) and I am happy to do it for them. I also maintain a clean house and make sure my husbands socks are always washed. It is my hope that thier are many more people out there like me who don’t just rush without looking at the possibilities of SHTF. I would hope not, although since I am very parinoid and practice OSPEC, I really wouldnt know. =(

        • wi mama says:

          Exactly Danielle! What troubles me is to fit in you are compelled to compete. I didn’t intend to offend, but clearly struck a cord. My son is in karate and I will get him in some dance this fall. My daughter does lots of music and theater activities. She is on her HS cross country team. My issue is that all of these teams seem to get extreme and allow for little down time. I am not comfortable in that world.

          My comments were not exclusive to children. Believe me, if you don’t have a quilt in a quilt show or produce more than 12 a year and belong to a guild or two you are not really a quilter in my neighborhood.

          I believe my post was about how I felt, not about how other people should live. I work best having personal goals, not those provided by external forces. Jennifer…you keep up your pace and I will work at mine.

  5. Spook45 says:

    One is never truly prepared because what awaits us is unpredictable. While we can learn and study and stockpile and make preparedness endroads, in reallity no one is ever prepared for every eventuality. Due to the fact that we as a people cannot control the caticlisms or foresee thier happenings, we can be prepared for everything. What you can do is have sound basis of knowledge, a well trained skill set and some gear that will greatly increase your chances of surviving a cataclismic situation unscaved or at least in a reasonably healthy state of affairs.

    • axelsteve says:

      The good book states that time and circumstances befall us all.So no one can truly be prepared for everything. Who was prepared for our kenyan in chief? Steve

  6. Man do I know isolation. Yep,you can feel isolation when your surrounded by people who don’t care if your lonely or sad or sick or tired or for that matter,wether you live or die. Cross country trucking is long periods of isolation. Perfect training for living at a buggout location. The older I get,the more I prefer isolation. A buggout cabin in the wilderness sounds very appealing. I would have to have Internet though. I’m curious if you need a special antenae for your Internet service? Wilson antennas makes a cell phone signal booster as well as cell antennas that work well in areas where there is limited and in some cases no signal that your phone by it self is capable of “seeing”. Isolation and solitude become old freinds after 30 years. Good post! Important thing do ponder. Some people aren’t cut out for isolation and suffer mentally from it. Over the years I’ve come across truckers who where clearly not handling the solitude well and it was manifesting itself in odd behavior and strange quirks. It’s not for everyone. There are those that crave people and the interaction that comes with that. Again good thing to discuss. I can’t wait to read what other people think about this. Brad

    • BCTruck
      Long haul truck driving can be the pits.
      My son is one.
      But I don’t think truck driving is complete isolation.
      To many people at the beginning and end of the loads.
      You do have to be of a certain makeup to drive long stretches at a time and talk to oneself. But hey! Remember you are the smartest person to talk to, just ask yourself.
      But you are right it is good training for being alone.

      • When we moved a few months ago, we didn’t even have TV hooked up. It was just white noise for us before, and dangerous noise at that. Now we are more relaxed, talk a lot more, and get a lot more done. I didn’t stop doing stuff last night until the sun went down, because I couldn’t just plop down and flip on the mind control box.

        • axelsteve says:

          I have not had a tv during most of my adult life. I have a tv now but it is not hooked up to anything except netflix.Some people jump on me about fox news because I am conservative and I can truthfully tell them that I have never watched it.Then I usally say something like my great dane is more conservative then most republicans are. Steve

      • Ellen. You have a point. But if you load in Miami and deliver to Vancouver, there’s a week long stretch between the people on the end that loaded you and the people on the end that unload. Ask your son how anxious dock workers are to talk to truckers and how well they treat us. Ive been leased to the same company for 11 years I stay because there us absolutely no interaction between the driver and the dock workers. I pick up a loaded trailer and drop it off on the other side of the country and do it again. I would nt drive a truck anymore if I hadn’t found this job. The meanness and mistreatment you have to suffer at the hands if dockworkers is more than I can deal with. I describe thus phenomenon privately like this. The most evil hearted , hateful humans the creator allows on this earth work on loading docks and union docks are the worst of the worst. Long ago I stopped picking up or delivering to union shops the chaos and mistreatment where not commensurate to my pay. I hope this doesn’t ruffle any union card holders feathers but I speak from many many years of experience with unions before deciding to have nothing to do with them.

        • My son hauls milk mostly.
          Then there is oil and juice.
          He hates the confusion of the dispatcher’s. They are not able to figure out the hours he has left and the time a load is suposed to get there and the confusion is on.
          Yeah my son would like to drop and hook. Every once in awhile that is the way it works but not very often.
          Produce has a lot of that dock worker crap. But my son hasn’t had to do that for eon’s, and it was with another job. Besides I don’t think those dock workers knows what mean is. My son don’t take no lip except to hand out fat ones. He’s really easy going until they start the bull.
          Well I guess then you are indeed an isolated individual.

          • Overkill750 says:

            Amen brother, my wife and I had to load at a port in Florida that was union and it took them 14 hrs to load 20 pallets. Two shift changes, six breaks and a lunch break and all they had to do was move the pallets 30 yards then onto my trailer. But they would BS for 20 mins with another forklift driver, then drive 15 feet and BS with someone else then go back and start again. Another driver that loads there all the time said ” if you give your loader $50.00 then you will be in and out in no time.” They make more money then I do and they want a bribe from ME!!! Not in this lifetime!!!

            • axelsteve says:

              That is what gives unions a bad name.My Dad was an electrician for 42 years and 28 union. In construction unions if you are lazy,stupid,drunk etc.Your ass is gone.It is the unions job to provide the job it is your job to keep it. Steve

    • chemman says:

      BC we are about 5 miles from the Verizon tower and sit a little higher than it so our reception is quite good on our mifi.

      • Wow you are fortunate. I live 2 miles as the crow flies from an interstate and up until very recently I had to stand in the front yard to make a phone call. That was fin on rainy days. ATT finally adjusted the tower to pick up my little town.

  7. I am most fortunate in that my wife and I have always been best friends first and mates for life (almost 45 years). We enjoy other people and our family. We also plan on bugging out with friends and our daughter’s family. We have spent time in remote locations away from civilization and its snares of malls, tv, etc. The further out and away from the milling masses of humanity I am, the better I like it. The wilds and woods are my friend. I wish I lived remotely now but my wife needs to be near the children and grandchildren. We know we can adapt.

  8. Well I have part of it down pat. Living alone.
    But I am still hooked on the internet. And TV is a companion. Most time’s I listen to TV like a radio.
    When the SHTF it will be worrisome, but not undoable.
    The families with kids, especially teens will have a rougher time of it. I don’t think the kids can do math without a calculator nowadays.
    But all in all when the hum of electricity (especially) is gone it is going to be one quiet world we live in.

  9. STL Grandma says:

    A very nice post. My mother used to tell me that if I was not happy being alone, I would not be happy with people either. I’ve always kept that in mind.

  10. I believe too much “togetherness” between a couple would undoubtedly become frustrating after a while, but being in total isolation would be just as maddening. Either way, when the work is done (if it ever truly is), what will occupy your time after the sun sets? I’d suggest an instrument, simple craft, or something similar which can require a lifetime to master. If another person is with you then that craft, skill, or hobby can serve as a distraction to help prevent some of those petty arguments tend to grow out of boredom than anything else. Ideally, the product being made will be useful to the family as well.

    In my own example, my great-grandfather combined crafting with music as he spent years mastering the art of making fiddles. He had to cut trees anyway to acquire wood for buildings and the fireplace, why not also whittle some of those pieces each night to prevent boredom? Playing those finished instruments brought entertainment to the family while some were given as gifts or sold for extra income. Not a bad use of spare time, huh? Granted, they were not extremely high quality instruments like a Stradivarius, but they were decent and solid enough to be handed down through multiple generations with many more to come.

    • I don’t think that we will have to worry about getting on each other nerves. We will be to busy and tired and trying to get by that we will be glad we have company to share the agony.
      Hobbies should be included with our preps. Give’s one the ability to see something other than drudgery.

  11. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    “No cell phones, no i-pods, no computers no trappings of civilization”
    Why? That simply makes you one sided in an opposite direction and not well rounded which is what makes survival doable. We are not at an all or nothing at this point of time and that approach is unessesary.
    I am very familiar with that area and at a min. I would stay in touch for teaching the Navajo and Hopi. How can you teach science when you dont know whats going on in the world?
    Solitude is overated. I’ve done it, the world continued to move

    • Matt in Oklahoma,
      I concur. Unless it’s a One Second After like event we will still have a lot of technology up and running, and I suspect that even in an event like that there will still be a lot of the modern world intact and usable.

      • Doug in Kansas says:

        Matt & OhioPrepper,

        I’ve got to disagree with you and agree with Chemman. I think a LOT of people will be a lot more isolated than they’re used to in the near future. But not because of an EMP frying all electronics or an asteroid strike or earthquake or whatever. I think that the economy will go WAY down the drain, either (somewhat) slowly over the next two years or very quickly in a matter of months due to hyperinflation. Either way, there will be a whole bunch of services that either will just not be available or will be completely unaffordable.

        Everybody had radio in the 1930s, right? Wrong. Most rural people did not yet have electricity and had to go to town to charge up batteries for the radio. In some cases, radio use was rationed to only two to three hours a week. If you had no money, gas was expensive so travel was rare. Anything that cost cash money was scarce, including phone use.

        And being in science education myself, other than usage for pithy examples, what does current events have to do with teaching science? Except for advances in medicine and biotechnology (which has little effect on grade school thru undergraduate classes), most “science” hasn’t changed for decades!

        • Matt in Oklahoma says:

          “what does current events have to do with teaching science?“science” hasn’t changed for decades ”
          LOL your kidding right?
          DNA, Body Armor, Space Travel, Electronics wow where to begin
          I mean no, disasecting frogs is the same and the periodic tables are the same LOL
          Agree to disagree, and ask yourself this, are you living in seclusion?

        • You stated in part, “I think a LOT of people will be a lot more isolated than they’re used to . . .” and I absolutely concur, with the key portion being “than they’re used to”, which covers a lot of area since many people today pretend to multitask between IM, texting, Twitter, cell conversations, etc. If you’re used to this pace of life, then it will quickly seem very boring. Assuming you have basic technology now and you have or will have some mechanism to create or acquire electricity, then there are a lot of technologies that will still be available. Basic TV, radio, and non-internet connected computers will still be around and usable. Communications may make a comeback with a simple no frills landline or cellular telephone service. I have to disagree with you on the availability and use of radio in the 1930’s. Wind Jennies were in common use to charge batteries, and non battery crystal radio sets were in many homes. Communication was one way, but generally available.
          Actually, in some ways our new technologies isolate us more than we think. In the 1970’s and 1980’s I had computers, and very slow modems, and in my case even some limited internet (pre-web) access, but the only way to really transfer information, programs, or knowledge was to actually spend time with people. I belonged to a local computer group and UNIX (pre Linux) Birds of a Feather (BOF) group, and we met monthly at the member’s homes and actually had conversations and copied diskettes and interacted. Who knows, human interaction could actually be enhanced if we lose some of our technology. Humans for the most part are a social species and perhaps more people may go to Church, Flea Markets, Farm Markets, and the like, just to see other people. Hey, hopes springs eternal.
          As for the basic secondary education in the sciences such as physical science, chemistry, and physics, I agree that much of the basic subject matter in those areas have remained rather static, and could probably be taught without much advanced technology. When however you begin secondary education just trying to keep pace with the changing technology is a job in itself. When I was in college I took engineering classes in both vacuum tube and transistor design. Today’s students are designing integrated circuits with physics and chemistry that was cutting edge not that long ago.
          In short, I think we could be in for some hard times and many people will be more isolated; however, I don’t see this as anything like the isolation in the much larger and more isolated rural communities prior to the 1950’s, and I think most of us will adapt.

          • Doug in Kansas says:

            Matt in OK: I guess we’ll disagree, then. But the experiments for the entry level college biology here do not require students to construct body armor, recombine DNA, send up satellites, build integrated circuits, etc. I didn’t mean (and thought I didn’t) to say that “Science” hasn’t changed, but rather what is Tought in Basic Science Classes hasn’t changed until you get into the upper classes in college. Even then, the same classes don’t cover near as much as they did 30 years ago because the pace is MUCH slower. Modern student aren’t expected to learn as fast as in the past.

            So I stand by my statement: For the teaching of science, ESPECIALLY ANY HANDS ON LABS, for the levels of childhood thru the first year of college, very little of the basic knowledge that we’d like the student to absorb has changed very much in the last 30-40 years. New technology and new developements have brought new METHODS of teaching and new examples of what that technology can do, but we still teach Newtonion physics, Mendelian genetics, and periodic table chemistry. The computer has helped in the classroom especially with simulations and computations, but could just as easily be dispensed with (IF NECESSARY – how many power point presentations do we need anyway). The last real tech advance that truly helped the student in the classroom was the coming of the electronic calculator in the 1970s.

            No, I don’t live in a hole. But I’ve seen professional educators take a whole bunch of technology and turn out a whole bunch of dumber and dumber students over the last 40 – 50 years. I just wish there were more substance in all education, especially math and science, and less “flash” (smoke and mirrors, if you will). The vast majority of the time, the cell phones, the i-pods, and (in some of the situations) the computers are a hindrince to education rather than an enhancement.

            — Doug in Kansas

    • chemman says:

      The purpose of the article is to get you to plan for the worst and practice that. Anything better is a blessing. If you don’t plan for the worst and it happens what then?

      • Good article Partner, it is an important and mpstly overlooked area.
        Back between 75 and 77 I lived in a semi secluded cabin in the CA Sierras. I carried everything in by backpack. Just me, a great little dog, books and a radio.
        I knew a ton of people who liked the concept but when given the chance lasted only a month or two.
        Now to be fair I did occasionally have female companionship and didnt go weeks at a time without social interaction. But bottom line is this… just my observation, but most people do not enjoy their own company all that much.

  12. I think that I’ll do just alright with this category. The only person I ever talk to on a regular basis is my wife. I never talk to anyone at work, other than through instant messaging and my boss like twice a month. I don’t fit in at all at work. Corporate america is too fake, I can’t do it.

    I truely prefer it that way though. I have since high school, and I’m 25 now. I’ll always be that way. Rather spend an afternoon and evening alone in the garden than anywhere else. Of course, my wife would add to the enjoyment, but even we need time apart. :]

  13. If you’d like to try a little time alone with yourself you should look at trying fishing or hunting. Sitting in a deer blind for hours at a time with no noise but your own thoughts and those of all of the critters around you can be a long boring time, or an enlightening one. In the end it’s all in your attitude and figuring out who you are trying to please. If the answer is yourself, then you’ll do OK; but if the answer is others, because you need the feedback, then you’ll have some very boring times ahead. Determining that now while there is time to change is not a bad idea.

    • People who ride motorcycles across country are very happy being alone.

      • Some of my best memories include my solitary cross country rides on my scooter. the sound of an American made v-twin and the wind in your ,,,,,,errrrr ,,, scalp are worth dieing for.

  14. charlie says:

    It comes to mind that in order to survive long term in isolation and after a shtf situation one will not have time to get bored. I grew up on a farm in the 50’s. We had no TV until about 56 or 57 and then there wasn’t much on it. We had a radio but it was seldom turned on. Between work and school and tending to the choirs there wasn’t much daylight left and what time we had at night we spent working on crafts, playing games or reading. Of course even then our parents had jobs to provide income and there were a few small stores not too far away. After the shtf you will find yourself totally absorbed in trying to produce or hunt for enough food, how to mend and make new clothing and how to stay warm and cool. What time is left will be needed for study, meditation and useful hobbies like leather work, wood carving, etc. If your preps don’t include tools and books related to those activities are you truely prepped? The food you have stored is just to see you through the first year or so. After that you have to make it on your own. Don’t worry. You’ll have plenty to do if you want to survive.

    The tough part will be keeping depression (if you are so prone) at bay and keeping the will to go on. That is where the meditation and being happy with yourself comes in. STL Grandma said it well. If you aren’t happy alone you won’t be happy around others.

    One last thing. Growing up without playmates close by, I learned the value of having pets for friends. A good dog like a collie, labrador or German Sheppard is a lot of company and help. I learned as a child, it’s hard to cry for long with a collie licking your face.

  15. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    When I was in my 20’s and single, I spent time at our ranch for up to a week at a time by myself. The 1st night is the lonesomeest, but after that, you acclimate and get more comfortable. But after several days, I did get lonesome for company I could interact with.

    Nearly 30 years later, I’m far more dependent on having my family around me. Two youngish kids (12 and 9) and a wife are part of my life. When they were gone on vacation earlier this summer (Wife is a teacher so no work during summers), I missed the noise. This was in the middle of a small city.

    Living in the boonies permanently would take some major adjustments, at least for me. I don’t have many friends I interact with even weekly. Those who do will be especially depressed, at least for a bit.

  16. My wife says I’m a hermit anyway…but that’s by choice . What would happen in an “enforced” situation? Keep those old books and encyclopedias,dominoes and cards,and of course a Bible as part of your preps. I once heard that if one had the choice, three books to keep would be the collected works of Shakespear(sp),the Oxford Dictionary,and the King James Bible.

  17. Mental breakdowns from isolation, grief, lack of medication, first hand exposure to violence or sudden change will be abundant.

    Good idea to practice. I’ve always vacationed for a week each year in probably the most isolated place in the U.S. which is only accesible by boat. There are no restaurants, no stores, very few people, no computer, TV, cell phone, etc – very basic living. So I know I can do it. But for how long? Sometimes I sad to leave, sometimes I can’t wait to get home.

    Each person reacts to stress/grief differently and more importantly, there is no way to know how you will react until it is REAL. I read a great book a couple of years about it called The Survivor’s Club by Ben Sherwood. If this topicof survivor personalities interests you, you should check it out. You can probably pick up used copies really cheap now.

    • I also meant to add that some people will have the opposite problem. They will be joined at their bug out location (or current home) by brothers & sisters with their families, parents, etc.

      You could have the exact opposite problem. Too much contact & chaos. That would be almost as difficult and probably more difficult for me.

  18. Hunker-Down says:

    I know solitude; I’m an only child raised on a farm. Dad would disappear from time to time and mom was always in town working as a nurse. I ran away from that life the day I graduated from high school. Sure, there were those in school to contend with but summers were experienced alone and most kids did not see one another until the start of the next school year.
    Problem is, I ended up tied to large cities designing and programming business systems for mainframe computers.

    In the city, if I wanted to eat, it was open a box, open the fridge, pop it in the microwave, watch TV while it heats (lots of multitasking).

    When TSHTF it will be more like my early life. Want to eat? Go hunting, or dig potatoes. If you didn’t plant potatoes in the spring, there were none to dig. Out of ammo? Build a trap.
    The bad thing is all the avenues to food and clean water require planning and work. The good thing is, all the avenues to food and water require planning and work, and so idle time will not be a problem. Just focus on a task, get it done and at the same time start planning the next one. If you’re a sheeple and don’t know how to feed yourself next week or next month, or all winter your lifespan will shrink.
    Living alone is a healthy life IF you focus on your future well-being and safety; there will be plenty of projects to occupy your time. If you reflect on the good things you did yesterday and on your plans for tomorrow, you can become your best companion.
    If you have never been away from the white noise of the city, better re-read Chemman’s article and make plans to experience isolation. If you’re not prepared for it, it will scare the hxll out of you. The second time you experience it, at least you will know the enemy (that’s you) going into it. Then try it for a few days, it will last a month. If it drives you bonkers, at least you have learned more about yourself. If you feel that it’s no big deal, try it for a year and it will become your preferred lifestyle.
    Even if you have family that likes you and likes an isolated life style, remember that folks that faced the same thing a hundred years ago are all gone, and you may be the last one standing.

  19. since we moved to ark. three years ago, i have only met one family and they are our closest neighbors. i do talk to my twin daily who lives in florida but other than that i quess you could call me a loner. my husband is a director at a large medical center so he enjoys interacting with people and has met a lot of good folks in the area. my days are spent trying to work on the farm and taking care of the animals (from four in the morning to ten in the evening.)
    i have become so adapted to this solitary life that when my husband has family or friends visit, i go into panic mode. i can see if someone was people oriented and was thrust into being isolated they might have a problem adjusting.

  20. Longhuntre says:

    blah,blah,blah all you these survival / prepper blogs say the same old rehashed stuff, there is nothing new. I mean how long snd for how many years you gonna preach doom and gloom and then be
    wrong 100% of the time. I mean seriously what are you gonna do afterDec 2012 TEOTEAWKI fails to happen make up more lies and
    falsehoods? Life is good, America is fine, Do not Worry Enjoy life

    • Longhuntre,

      Ha, Ha, Ha! You are way to funny, dumb as a bucket of poop but funny…

    • We aren’t looking to 2012 for doom unless it is who is elected and is the next in line to screw things up.
      We are prepping because it is a needful thing. The price of groceries are going up and will probably not stablize for awhile.
      In fact the price of everything is going up.
      We are looking for life to being a lot more simple and get the government out of our hair as much as possible.
      I don’t think we are worried. I think that we are just being cautious.
      What are you looking forward to? Not much it seems.

    • Longhuntre- everyone is entitled to their own opinion and here is mine. the preppers on this blog or any other prepper blog have found people of their own thinking. we enjoy trying to make life easier for ourselves, family or even strangers. if it were not for people like M.D. Creekmore providing us with an outlet unfortunately, many of us would turn into someone like you.

    • Em in GA says:

      As the others said-we aren’t expecting a disaster as much as we are preparing for what’s already happening. Paying a lower price for food when possible is just good sense. If you haven’t seen the news lately you must be hideing under your bed. Things are bad and getting worse. They are taking away our rights every chance they get. Just check out

    • Patriot Farmer says:

      Long? Could you be anymore wrong than your assumption that we all sit around waiting for 2012. Most of could care less about 2012. Don’t you watch the news or read a newspaper. There are people living through Tornados, floods, snow storms, and many disasters that our survival is based on how we prepare. So keep sitting in your moms basement playing on your computer and eating your popsicles.

      • Actually, there are some folks looking forward to Dec 2012 and they live in Japan. That’s 18 months from now and nearly 2 years from TEOTWAWKI they suffered earlier this year. Their hope is that by Dec 2012, things will be much better.
        BTW, I heard today that the Fukashima reactors were now considered “stable” since the containment vessels temperature had stopped rising. They’re predicting a total shutdown now within 6 months.
        That however is in Japan where bad things can happen, not here where we’re all immune from bad things. So Longhuntre, sprinkle your cereal with fairy dust and move along, because there’s nothing to see here.

    • axelsteve says:

      longhunter is obviously a Obama voting tsa praising useful idiot. Steve

      • worrisome says:

        Axelsteve……….you were doing fine until you called him a useful idiot. I would call him an idiot and leave the useful out…

        • axelsteve says:

          Worrisome useful idiot is a reference to Joseph Stalin and his regime.Stalin used that term useful idiot being people who embraced him and his ways. Point taken though.I see no use in a obama supporting idiot.

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      Longhuntre, I am interested in your comments. Can you go into more detail of just which “rehashed stuff” you mean? I would also be interested in your statistic of “wrong 100% of the time”, can you show us the imperical evidence of this? Most of us would also like to know what YOU are going to do if an event occurs that doesnt allow your mommy to do your washing, cleaning and cooking? Which skills do you have beyond poor spelling and poor grammar? How is anyone supposed to take anything you say seriously?

    • templar knight says:

      That cherry kool-aid you drank must have tasted real good, Longhuntre.

    • bulldogbeau says:


      Things aren’t “fine”. However, if we do all live long lives and die of old age while surfing the internet eating Taco Bell… Yay!

      On the flip side…. What if?
      Survivors ask that question and prepare for it. Everyone else end up with one last thing to say…. “Awe Shit!”

      Good luck either way,

    • Hawkeye says:

      Longhuntre???? Spelling would be a good place to start…don’t you think?

  21. Texas Nana says:

    My DH is also a social autistic to a degree. He has no problem at all not having people around, it took 12 years of being friends, going on some “dates” for him to even consider talking about getting married. That’s not a typo 12 years!
    Due to my job we have been privileged to spend 1 May through the end of Sept, for the last 4 years, at a location that is 115 miles one way from the closest town. You get very good at making lists of what you need to bring in with you, and what you use up or run low on. It’s changed the way I grocery shop when were back at the “ole home place”.
    We did a lot of planning before we went out the first trip, I made lots of list of what I had loaded, food, laundry soap, personal toiletries, clothes. You get the plan, kind of like prepping. We go into town half way through our stay, that’s it folks 1 time into town.
    Yes we have electric, a deep freeze, satellite tv, some radio, and my job provided satellite internet, which we got to use. We had tv programs that we thought we were in love with, it amazed us how little we watched the tv. The main program we watched: the weather. The news was available on the computer, if and when we were interested.

    As far as the electric goes, I were told straight up to be prepared to be without, we are the last electric pole on the line. When the weather gets bad you can be without power for multiple days. We were prepared with our solar panels, and propane frig & deep freeze. We were without power multiple days on multiple occasions. It was a very good test of our preparedness.
    As far as isolation goes the closest neighbor is about 5 miles away. The first year they considered us outsiders, therefore didn’t even speak, but when we were back the 2nd year they went out of their way to be friendly, I had to go past their place to pick up mail, they always waved. When the weather got bad they would call and check on us, let us know the road was underwater, stuff like that.
    We did a lot of reading, thinking and normal working that you would do at your retreat/homestead. We never had a problem of not have something to do. I could see where the winter would be a lot harder as you would be stuck inside a lot of the time, and we talked about how to handle this. Every one needs to think how they will handle the isolation, as well as how they will handle the additional family &/or friends they will be living with them. Which might cause more strive than some have thought.
    It takes time to adjust, it’s a different life style, here’s a list of pluses in our book:
    more time for quilting, knitting, handwork
    learning new skills for the homestead,
    learning animal habits, both game and domestic,
    learning how to garden in a different area from our homestead.

    • now my wife would get along great with solitude if it involved quilting. i have to make sure she drinks water and i slide a sandwich under the sewing room door to make sure she eats something. im not allowed in there since the wire stripper incident. one persons scissors are another persons wire strippers.oh,completely off topic,,, i read a very expensive government funded study today. its been proven that 3 out of4 people make up 75% percent of the population!

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Finally….a statistic that can be believed. Is there a czar in charge of that department?

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          I heard once that 63% of statistics are made up on the spot.

          • Az rookie prepper,I believe the statistic czar has adjusted that percentage to reflect the current trend of married people javeing fewer children. It’s been proven that statistics are made up on the spot only 56% of the time now.

  22. longhuntre,

    So far, the Federal government is broke, states broke, most cities -flat busted broke. The world isn’t far behind: Greece, Italy, Ireland, Spain, England, Portugal, etc. all broke.

    The whole world IS on a “perfect” trajectory to crash before December 2012.

    • Hawkeye says:

      michael c/Longhuntre…….And with absolutely no help from the Mayans! BTW, the Mayan calander doesn’t predict any disasters! It’s just the end of an astrological cycle and, presumably, the beginning of the next.

  23. mountain lady says:

    Thank you for this article. I had not given it much thought, but when I moved up here into the foothills from San Francisco, I did go through the isolation and lack of human contact, at least in the beginning. I did adjust, and every year as we became poorer and poorer, I had to adjust again, as I could not longer spend the money for gas to even go to the next town more than once a week. Last year we had to give up our dish, and so the TV is basically gone. Antenna TV does not pick up much of anything up here. I listen to a lot of radio, spend too much time on the internet, talk to my cats and chickens, and just keep adjusting more and more. Now we have the market on Saturdays and I spend most of the day there. When all contact is gone, I will just have to adjust again.

  24. Vienna (Soggy prepper) says:

    My husband and I are get along great, he’s my best friend. Working together and being together are fine for us. The kids are another story. We home school so the kids never say they are bored, cause I’ll find something for them to do! They can entertain themselves with non-electronics but do so love the computer and our son lives for movies. Being “remote” would be tougher on the kids then us adults. I know my kids would literally go through with drawls from electronics if they were ever wiped out, (and they don’t even have cell phones which would be a horrible scenario for many!) I’ve been thinking about having a one night a week electronic “blackout”. I may actually need to make that happen just to make sure the kids (and us) aren’t so dependent on flashing screens.

  25. SrvivlSally says:

    Early to bed, early to rise, makes a poor “alone” man or woman, healthy, happy and wise. Physical work makes the body and mind tired and can help remedy that which brings about discontentment.

  26. blindshooter says:

    Alone. As others said you can be alone in a crowd. My first Wife was also my best friend we didn’t even have to speak to each other at times, we already knew what the other was thinking. We both wanted to be independent of others so I guess we were preppers and didn’t know it. After 15 years of marriage and 20 years of friendship she passed away. I was lost. I thought I could be alone because I had hunted and fished alone for days even weeks at the time, I was wrong. Three years after losing her I decided I did not want to live alone the rest of my life and started dating again. I won’t go into the details of that part, but I did find another Wife and a step daughter. I was happy but it was not to last, I let #2 take me for a ride financially and mentally as well. I have been alone about the same amount of time again but this go around I’ve decided I can live alone without being alone. I’m closer to my immediate family (whats left of them) and my friends old and new than I was the first time. I have spent more time on the internet mainly because the first time the internet was brand new and I had no idea it would grow like it has. I interact with a lot of different people at work but almost never anything personal and I believe that’s worse than being alone by far, kind of like BC on that one. I’m leaning more and more to doing away with the TV when I move, its just making noise and wasting power and like others said, it’s brainwashing us. This is sad, I never talked to my next door neighbors much after I remarried (seemed like I was too busy with #2’s honey do’s) but when I realized I was going to lose my house and land the first thing I did was give them a heads up on what was going to happen to my place and at the same time I realized how much I missed just talking to these people I had known most of my life. So I guess the meaning of this ramble is you don’t have to be alone even if you live alone. Maybe in the future that may be harder without easy travel but I don’t think it will be impossible. I believe the tribe is the hot set up, like minded people with common interests and goals. Sorry for stumbling ramble, hope it makes sense.

    • blindshooter says:

      I don’t know how I could have left this part out, faith has been my one constant companion. Your never alone if you have Jesus in your heart.

    • templar knight says:

      That’s some pretty hard lessons to have to learn, blindshooter. I sure am sorry to hear about the death of your first wife at too young an age. And even more sorry about your second wife taking you to the cleaners. My BIL had a similar story with his second wife, and is now paying a mortgage on his house that he built himself, and had paid for until a Court forced him to give half of it to his second wife, who had absolutely nothing to do with it as he built the house before he married her. He had to borrow $60,000 to pay her, and that is just wrong.

      • blindshooter says:

        #2 filed for bankruptcy after she left and included me and the banks that hold the mortgages( I was foolish enough to allow her access to a large credit line I had on my home, one I never used for one cent) and with only my income I had no hope of repaying or even a refi. So I lose my home and land and pretty much a forced bankruptcy. As I have said before, be very careful who you allow in your business. For 9 years she never gave me any indication she’d do me like that. I’m doing my best not to dwell on the whole thing, just work on going forward.

        BTW, I learned a lot here about how to survive on very little money, and man was I really broke trying to keep my place. Thanks to MD for such a practical format that lets people share their experiences and different methods to survive and live on less.

  27. Overkill750 says:

    My wife and I live and work together in a truck that is on the road all but 4 days a month for the last 10 years. We love it. But being stuck in one spot might not such a good thing for us. My wife is not as social as I am but neither is she as inquisitive as I am. I am always looking for something new to learn. Living on the road is ok but it’s hard to be as prepaired as i’ld like to be. But you are right. Without my wife, I’d be just surviving. With my wife, I’ld be LIVING!!!

    • 22 years over the road with my wife,partner,and best freind. We get a little more time off than that though but we have spent as much as 83 days rolling nonstop 24/7. Ahhhhh the good old days. Now we work 21 on 21 off. I must admit it helps if your able to say yes dear your absolutely right. I’m sorry. Practice that till you can say it without even waking up.

      • Overkill750 says:

        After 18 years of marriage I have graduated from a honey-do-list to a oh-god- honey-DON’T-list. LOL

  28. bulldogbeau says:

    Definately a good topic to consider. I am a lucky man in that I have a wife that is my best friend, she is my comfort through anything. I enjoy every second we are together.
    We practice this everyday together. We make everything a joint task, we try to work together on everything. Cooking, cleaning, yard work…. Everything. We do great as a team so we will keep it as such, a team.

    We’ve also invested in board games, card games. Things that we can do to pass the time. If I can only get my wife to stop cheating at “Old Maid”!!!

  29. Not to get too maudlin, but what I remember from reading the accounts of war survivors is the sheer boredom interspersed with the fear and stress of survival. They didn’t get to roam around the countryside. They were cramped in small places with not much moving around, no exercise, because they were hiding. I know they made games like Monopoly for the kids to play, etc., so I ‘ve tried to make sure I have board games, crafts, real books (not electronic ones), etc.

    Rationally-speaking though, we are going to have to create at least small, like-minded communities because unless you have access to some place that nobody can ever find, if 20 people come to your place, and they will, one or two of you won’t last very long, especially with the kind of attitude that is out there now.

    Has anyone actually established such a band-together group? If so, what kinds of numbers? A couple or a lot? I would be really interested to know, and also how you set it up.

  30. Although I’m usually a private person I do crave outside social interaction. The idea of being cooped up for long periods of time with my husband would drive me over the edge, as much as I care for him. I’m quite sure he feels the same way. This is precisely why we enjoy activities that we can do solo or with other people. as well as activities we enjoy together.

    In my opinion, this closely confined togetherness would not work for us and I hope we never find ourselves in that position.

  31. Pinktlb says:

    I have worked in entertainment industry for 40 years now and I will not have a problem getting to isolation and away from it all. I am still working and prepping and hoping nothing will happen for at least a year. I am currently looking for land and will be ready to get off the grid. I am so sick of people and have dealt with them for so long, when I go home I just hibernate and cannot stand to be in the “public” for any reason. ha!!! But I am slowly prepping and getting ready to bug in – if needed, but am also looking to be on my own land and away from it all. So the more the isolation, the better for me. Thanks

  32. I actually prefer staying alone. If you ever heard of Boothville Louisiana it has no lights maybe 6 stops sign, off an hwy 23, they now have a YMC there but didn’t when I grew up, The YMC moved there after Hurricaine Katrina destroyed Buras (where the local everything was) When I lived in Boothville we had to convient store Fill a sack and Adams, one restruarant Red Fish – I think the name was which was also a hotel/motel. We had one welding company there, the school employed a lot of people starting at headstart ending at 12th grade (they currently ship all middle school and high school students to Belle Chase a 50 minute drive)

    But I have already spent months at a time in isloation with no tv, computer, no allowed outside, no a/c, I spent 18 to 22 hours a sleep a day. I thought I was anorexic because I lost appetite in those conditions got tired of toast for breaskfast and ramen noodles for lunch and dinner. My friends at school encouraged me to eat there and my appetite went back to normal when I moved in with my husband. I survived childhood but like the saying goes ‘god doesn’t give us what we can’t handle’ no but he sure does give us each trials to either prepare us or kill us.

  33. I dont think anybody can be truly prepared . I’ve known several people who have had spouses or relatives die of a terminal disease . They had plenty of time to think and prepare for it before it happened . They too thought they were ready , but when it finally did happen and the person they cared about died ………. they weren’t nearly as prepared as they thought . Thing is , in that case , these people know beyond a shadow of a doubt what was coming . We on the other hand dont ! ………so , all we can do is what we can do and hope for the best . Truly prepared ? I doubt it . Equipped ? possibly …. prepared …no .

  34. Kudos to you, Chemman, for living such as lifestyle! Americans are so “plugged in” to modern society and the benefits it brings (in the form of easy food, energy, entertainment, etc.) that most would probably go crazy even if they managed to survive post-TEOTWAWKI.

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