Warning: Do You Recognize these Five Common Piles of Prepper BS

The golden horde

drive-4600_640The golden horde theory has been portrayed for years by survival authors, bloggers, and fiction writers, but will the golden horde of hopeless refugees swarm like hundreds of thousands of locust from the cities to the countryside after an economic collapse?

No, they won’t, not after an economic collapse anyways, in fact, I look for the opposite to happen, with hordes of people packing it up and leaving rural areas for the cities to look for work (when things settle down and after the initial riots that will occur in some areas). Recent examples of this happening after an economic collapse; include present day Greece, Argentina 1998–2002, the former USSR in the 1990s, New Zealand in the 1980’s and the U.S. Great Depression of the 1930’s.

In all the examples given above none saw a huge influx of refugees fleeing the cities to the country, but the opposite reaction with people leaving the rural areas for the cities in hopes of finding work. You can’t believe everything some self-proclaimed survival expert told you in his fiction novel, look at history as an example instead. History offers much more realistic examples of how events will unfold in the real world than do the fantasies of some delusional fiction author.

In fact, I don’t see the “golden horde” heading toward the countryside at all unless the disaster is localized to the urban area that they are fleeing from such as after Katrina. Most of the supposed “hordes” will die (or be killed) in place waiting on the government to come in and rescue them before they would head out for the countryside.

Yes; there will be some people who will leave the cities to try farming in the rural areas (there will also be people leaving the rural areas for the city in hopes of finding work), but after such an event the cities will not empty into the countryside as you’ve been told…

In the long-term after an economic collapse, there will be roving gangs of armed survivors from the cities that will make trips into the surrounding countryside to raid homes, farms and other sources for supplies but it will not be the “horde” of hundreds of thousands that is foreseen by many in the survival/prepper community… Those most at risk of attack by these types of “raiders” will be those living within 50 miles of major population areas – but the further you are away from those areas the lower your risk will be…

There is also a good possibility that the federal government will take resources from rural areas (food for example) and redistribute those resources to urban areas after an economic collapse (a new form of welfare?) so why would they want to come and take it when the federal government will do it for them?

I do know that any and all government resources will be put toward helping urban areas after such an event. As I’ve said before an economic collapse does not mean a government collapse – those in power will only tighten the screws and take from you to redistribute to the cities…


Without the rule of law – this is another one of those events, like the golden horde theory, that survival writers have promoted for years, but does it have merit in the real world? Well, the answer is yes and no… let me explain. After a major disaster there very well may be a period of time without the rule of law, but unlike what has been portrayed, in the pages of countless survival fiction books and movies, it will in all likelihood be a short-term and localized event.

You see most people want law and order and will work together to achieve that end. Crime will no doubt increase after an economic collapse (and most other disasters), with home invasions, robbery, murder, kidnapping and rape being all too common, but such offenses will still be against the law, both legally and morally, and people will demand that the perpetrators be apprehended and justice served, even if that justice is via the rule and judgment of a local warlord or governor and a public stoning in the street.

Shoot first

This ties in with concept of  WROL “without the rule of law” mentioned above and is where the majority of preppers seem to be confused (and trigger happy). We’ve all heard, read and contemplated it but is the shoot-first-crowd being realistic or simply feeding their Rambo fantasies with visions of using uncontrolled, and unaccounted-for deadly force on their neighbors or anyone else that comes within one thousand yards of their retreat after the balloon goes up…

Listen; in all but the most extreme circumstances of total and long-term collapse and anarchy (example = full blown civil war), the laws, and punishment for the unjustifiable taking of a human life will still apply, and will be enforced, even if that punishment is your public execution in the street. You will not be able to kill your neighbor because he looked at your wife with lust in his eyes, or trespassed on your property without there being repercussions brought against you.

My advice is to study up on the laws regarding self-defense in your state and to also have non-lethal means of protecting yourself, such as defensive spray, extendable baton, tazer,  bean bag rounds etc…

It’s also a good idea to be friends with your local Sheriff and as many of his deputies as possible – remember they write the reports (just hope that it was not one of their family or friends that you shot). A good shovel also might be a good idea, you know, just in case that you let things get out of hand…

Those that use unjustifiable lethal force against another person will be held accountable if caught, no matter how bad the economy gets or how deep and far reaching the crash. To think otherwise is a sure way of ending up in jail or worse.

Bugging out to the woods

If you’ve read my article “Bugging out vs. Hunkering down” then you already know, that I’m not a big fan of the “bugging out” theory in general and planning to bug out to the woods to hide and wait out a disaster is suicidal for most. Come on let’s be realistic, could you live in the woods with no outside support for four to six years? Would you be safer roaming the backwoods than if you stayed home where you are stocked up and can blend in with everyone else?

Planning to leave the familiarity and security of your home to “bug out” to the woods isn’t very smart – In nearly every instance it’s better to hunker down or “bug in” than to bug out. I mean, why leave the safety and familiar surroundings of your home, for the open and unforgiving wilderness.

You need to weigh the risks of bugging out vs. hunkering down and make your final decision based on logic and type of threats that you face. That’s the way decisions should be made, unfortunately, many people when making plans for survival side with emotion instead of the tried and true form of decision-making known as logic.

Relying on emotion instead of logic can make for some interesting adventures; however without sound planning beforehand those adventures are likely to be sort lived. For example, I recently asked a fellow in his late 30’s what he would do if disaster struck his area.

He thought for a moment and said he would gather his family and all the food, guns and ammunition he could find and head for the mountains that lay some seventy-five miles to the north of his home.

Depending on the type of disaster, his “plan” might work short-term for a lone survivor or a small group of trained individuals in good physical condition with proper gear and mindset. But he is a new father and his wife is one of those that think missing an appointment at the nail salon is the end of the world as she knows it.

Making matters worse he has no outdoor survival training or skills other than watching reruns of Less Stroud’s “Survivorman” and camping at a national park campground with all the utilities and hookups. Why he thinks he can survive long-term from the wilderness while dragging his family along, I don’t know. He isn’t thinking logically.

Being “squared away” in the wilderness

Some survival writers suggest relocating as far away from other people as possible – this is what I call the “cabin in the woods” survival philosophy. Living in the backwoods is great, now, but in the aftermath of a long-term disaster or economic collapse, those “squared away” in the wilderness will become targets.

And guess what… you’ll be on your own. No one will come to your rescue – if the looters manage to take control of your isolated cabin in the woods, they can stay for as long as they want and do whatever they want to you and your family, and no one will hear your screams for help.

Robbers, thieves, rapists and murders will seek out isolated retreats, because of their isolation, I know this goes against what some other self-appointed “survival guru” has repeatedly told his readers, but recent history and common sense prove that I’m right.  Armed and organized home invasions will be a constant threat for isolated families.

One lone gunman could easily, take out an isolated family from a distance or even selectively pick off all of the male inhabitants while saving the females for his own pleasure.

I’ve lived in an isolated area where my closest neighbors were well over a mile away, and the peace and quiet are great, I loved the isolation, but even then, I constantly worried about thieves breaking in and stealing my stuff, every time that I left the house to go to town or visit my family. And this was during good times – now imagine how quickly things would deteriorate in the aftermath of an economic collapse or other major disaster.

So what do I suggest that you do…

I suggest that you find a small town or community and move there if possible,  get to know your neighbors and become part of the community. If possible purchase, from five to ten acres of property and set up a mini-farm / homestead (avoid going into debt if possible). This will give you the best of both worlds, you can have privacy, and still be self-reliant on your own land while still being close enough neighbors to avoid becoming an easy target and you can get help if you need it.

For example; my home / retreat / homestead / mini farm or whatever you want to call it (I call it “The Last Stand”) is 5 1/2 acres with my closest neighbors being 190 yards to the left and 230 yards to the right and about 300 yards in front, to the rear there is nothing but forest that connects to national forest land.

My neighbors are far enough away and through the trees that I have plenty of privacy, but they are still close enough that we can help each other if needed. CB radios are great for this – if each neighbor has one (you can provide them if needed) you can work out an agreement to keep the radios turned on and monitored and to quickly come to the aid of your neighbor should they need for help.

Well, there you have it… the five most common piles of prepper BS.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. 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. That’s a great article. Mind if I translate it in french to be posted on my blog? With full credits to you, of course.

  2. Agreed, only I went with a little bigger chunk of property with neighbors, good ones around but a bit farther away.

  3. Tomthetinker says:

    A large dose of reality is as good as eggs & bacon on a Monday! Thank you Sir.

  4. M.D.,
    Fine thinking, you really are a friend to us “little guys”. Although only God knows the future, I believe that your advice is sound and backed up by past events/patterns of collapsing Social Orders.

    God Bless you for the work you do.

  5. About time I heard some common sense. After being in the prepping world for years and establishing a complete prepped retreat, I realized that without an inter-reliant strategy, we are screwed. I also kills me that so many people are selling “the ultimate bug-out bag” but people have no plans on where they will be bugging-out to. Yikes.

    I’ve identified 5 distinct levels of preparedness and the further up that ladder you go, the less likely are the events that would necessitate such preps. I encourage people to start with 72 hours of preps, and slowly scale up the the level of realistic risk mitigation with which they feel comfortable. Sure, there might actually be a hidden planet Nibiru that’s going to really screw things up, but what is the likelihood of such an event and how much time/effort/money/family loss are you willing to invest in prepping for such an event?

    Going from a Level 4 (1+ year with infrastructure intact) preparedness to level 5 (1+ year with little remaining infrastructure) preparedness is logarithmically more difficult, complex and expensive. And the odds of a level 5 vs a level 4 event are also logarithmically greater.

    As you move preparedness up from level to level, the advantage of community inter-reliance becomes ever more critical and MUST be part of a solid preparedness plan. This is missing from just about every preparedness plan I’ve seen. I’ve been able to find only one (1!) book on community preparedness while there are dozens out there on individual, family, or tiny group preparedness.

    Our time on earth is limited. Live it to the fullest. I prefer NOT to live my life in a bunker, but as part of an inter-reliant small community.

    • Sorry, made a type. The odds of a level 5 event are logarithmically SMALLER than a Level 4 event. In other words, start prepping for 72 hours. When complete, prep for 2-3 weeks. Got that down? Now go for three months. If you feel the risk/reward is worth it, go for 1+ year assuming there will still be infrastructure (like a really serious depression). Want to go all the way? After you are prepped for Level 4, then go for Level 5- 1+ year without national infrastructure. Good luck!

    • Sid,
      The big problem with community preparedness is that it requires a community to be involved. The best most of us can do is to get involved with the local first responders in whatever way we can. Where I live I can volunteer with our county EMA and Medical Reserve corp. There are also volunteer opportunities with some fire departments and sheriffs offices. Other groups like Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc. can also be involved in your local community preparedness. Once you get involved, you might be surprised to see how much goes on behind the scenes preparing for future issues. Getting members of the community in general to be involved is however an often bigger problem, that has little or no solution; so, often the best you can do is be personally prepared, and work with those in the community who have the responsibility to handle your communities issues when they come up.

      • All excellent activities. But becoming active in local politics, church (of any faith) are also important. People are more likely to accept and help those they know, and like. Getting a community to prep is difficult to impossible.

    • Elizabeth C. says:

      Sid, I love the 5 level approach you’ve described. It not only makes prepping goals easier to map out, but it is a level-headed (pun intended) one that doesn’t use blatant fear-revving tactics to sell itself. It’s also much more likely to be attainable for many of us who are in the towns and cities, and don’t have the inclination to make prepping our entire raison d’etre. I am working at level 3, with a goal of 3 to 6 months of supplies for family, close friends and some for neighbors and trading. Honestly, after that, it’s a whole different ball-game.

  6. Fenland Prepper says:

    That’s some of the most sensible talk I have heard in years. I have never been fond of the whole bug out method. We have good connections with our neighbours and are spending a lot of time making our house and lands safe and useful, grow our own food etc. The idea of leaving it and our neighbours behind does not sit well with me.
    Keep up the common sense thinking and maybe more of us will make it through if it happens.

  7. riverrider says:

    well i have to disagree on the greeks. they did run to the country to try to farm empty plots, and failing that, tried to steal crops from farmers but were basically run off back to the cities. everything else i pretty much agree with except the premise that there will be no horde. i think there are far too many planning on bailing out of the city at first sign of trouble. i don’t think everybody or even a high percentage, but enough to make things dicey out in the boonies. you have hunters, boy scouts, former .mil etc that are aware but misguided. then again, when sewage is running down your apartment wall from the ten above you, you’ll bug out. somewhere. …..as to shoot first, well even the nazi’s were held accountable at nuremburg. good food for thought m.d.

    • Riverrider,

      Is a few people leaving the city for the country considered a “golden horde”?

      • riverrider says:

        i didn’t say “golden”, just horde. but i think it will be enough to be a threat/pita. jm2c.

        • Riverrider,

          Okay, you didn’t say golden so I’ll rephrase the question…

          Is a few people leaving the city for the country considered a “horde”? I never said that no one would leave the city for the country, there will be some but it will not be the droves of millions that many preppers perceive. And the ones that do leave the cities for the countryside and attempt to prey on the rural natives will be quickly dealt with…

          I think we will have more to worry about from some of the criminal elements that are already living in our areas than from supposed millions that everyone thinks will be leaving the cities for the country after an economic collapse.

          • riverrider says:

            i’ll respectfully agree to disagree my brother.

            • Riverrider,

              “Do you really want to pile up sandbags around your home, dig fox holes in preparation for the “golden horde” that just wont come? Knock yourself out!”

              Quote from : FerFAL the guy that lived through the economic collapse in Argentina…

          • Encourager says:

            “I think we will have more to worry about from some of the criminal elements that are already living in our areas”…TRUE!

            We had a rash of break-ins around us. Turned out to be a young man (and some of his friends) who was addicted to Meth. He was raised next door to us. There was also a couple of men who were breaking into homes during the day, especially looking for any weapons. When they were caught, they were locals.

            We live in a neighborhood that has popped up in a rural area. We have 10 acres, most have 5 acres. Some have 20 or more. Then there are local farmers with over 100. Most do not know their neighbors; we have three new neighbors and have only met one, although the newest just moved in a few weeks ago. There are people here that have lived here 3 years that I do not know. They all work outside the home and are only home at night.

            • Encourager
              Time for an old fashion BBQ, or neighborhood pot luck. Set up tables, get a map of the area from the tax office, then have name tags & colored pens to correspond with the properties around you. Send out invites make up a list of what & who is coming etc, etc.
              We use to have pot lucks in our neighborhood, might be time to start that up again. They were a blast to go, you get to visit with those you know, and meet the new ones. It was a way for all us to catch up on the going in our neighbors lives….etc. Just a thought 🙂

              • Great idea, Becky! Thanks!!

                But I think I will wait until summer…right now it is about 1 degree above zero…I don’t think the meat would cook!

                Hmmm….maybe a cocoa and cookies get together just before Christmas??? I could handle that. Let me put my thinkin’ cap on.

          • A down-to-earth point of view with which I agree. A small typo 🙂 I actually do hope that “the ones that do leave the cities for the countryside and attempt to pray on the rural natives” — I just hope they won’t attempt to prey on the rural natives.

    • LukeAlaska says:

      I agree with riverrider. I recently read an article about starving Germans coming out of the cities and looting the farms during WWI. The farmers suffered very little from the economic unrest that accompanied the war, some even thrived by trading crops for gold, pianos, art, etc…to starving “rich” people. Of course, they traded amongst themselves and were living fat, until about 2 years into the war when starving city dwellers came to the countryside in large packs and started murdering farmers and their livestock, taking everything they could that had any nutritional value. It all depends on the timeline of the event, if the world or nation is turned upside down and stays that way long enough then the golden hordes will come. Should it be a primary focus or fear…probably not. Dismissing the possibility seems like a bad idea to me, especially if you live within a days journey from a large metropolitan area.

      I wish I could find the link to the article. I’ll try again later. Too much to do right now.

      I do, however, very much agree on the rest of the article. It seems very romantic and makes my soul smile to think that I could head out into the woods with my family and live like Little House on the Prairie, but the odds are very much against success. In reality, all you’ve done is put your family in jeopardy and when you eventually come crawling back into town those of you that remain will be malnourished, diseased and broken. As to WROL and shooting first, we all have to answer to the Lord one day and must obey his laws above all others, even when man’s laws begin to disappear.

      Well done, M.D. Very thought provoking article.

      • LukeAlaska,

        An economic collapse will be different than was the case during WWI and even then they did not see the massive “golden horde” of people leaving the cities for the countryside that is presumed by so many preppers..

        The collapse in Argentina economic collapse officially lasted from 1998–2002 and even now they are a third world country and there still has not been the “golden horde” from the cities…

        • The problem with using examples of “Argentina’s” collapse is that Argentina collapsed within a world economy that was still functioning and growing. Assuming a massive collapse (which I personally think is going to happen); i.e. massive worldwide bank failures (derivatives, etc.), massive money printing, etc. then no one can say how post-collapse will function if a lot of different countries are dealing with their own collapses at once.

          • Rider of Rohan says:

            The Great Depression is an example of a worldwide event, and we know that ended with a war that killed tens of millions. So no, Argentina is not a good example for the US. IMO, we’re going through an Argentinian-type collapse as we speak. What will come later is anyone’s guess, and MD could be right. But I think most likely he will be right and wrong. Some parts of the country will be much worse than others. I wouldn’t want to be within 200 miles of Baltimore/DC or Memphis, but 50 miles from Salt Lake City wouldn’t bother me a bit.

      • Country vs. City after the Economic Collapse

      • Even during WWII the majority of people still had basic skills. I believe that when the shtf these days the majority will head to the cities and into the fema and refugee camps for the promise of a loaf of bread.

        • Excellent point. Our society was also more farm-centered during the Great Depression. The majority of Americans now are obese, stupid and lacking of any real skills. What percentage of Americans know how to dress and butcher an animal? How to can food? How to garden?

      • Leonard M. Urban says:

        You’re right about farmers and others being in danger–look at Zimbabwe. Not many white farmers left, and the black murderers occupying their farms didn’t know how to grow anything…

    • I think those people who left for the countryside had family land and sometimes family in the country. I think they went with the intention of finding a place with family sometimes. They did not initially go to appropriate things of others. I am sure someone will deny that. They stole to eat, not to take over someone’s land. yes, they were wrong. and left together rather than take them out one at a time.

      • From what I read, they went to the countryside to get food and then went home. They robbed, pillaged, and killed to fill their cupboards at home. It doesn’t mention going to cousin It’s home for some handouts. It was survival.

  8. MorePooperThanPrepper says:

    M.D. I like this article very much. I think it will probably make some waves. And thats good.

    I think I agree to a “T” with every point except for 1. As for 1, I would say no-one knows.

    If food is scarce people might not stay in cities. You have to realize that a lot of us are trying to insure ourselves against those very long shot happenings. Not a twice a century depression (as bad as that is), but even worse. If food security is not a serious concern and the millions of people will stay in place then why do we all store months and months of food? (besides that it is generally a good Idea) I have not read any fiction from those who endorse The Golden Horde, so I don’t know how it is usually laid out.

    But, migrations towards food is probably something one can find all over the place in history.

    I’m personally very glad I don’t have any cities over 250,000 people anywhere within a couple hundred miles of me. I think it is a great benefit. Just to highlight my point: If things get really bad, I can’t imagine packing all my preps into my vehicle and heading for Chicago or Los Angeles. Can you?

    I know you are a great advocate for the Cumberland Plateau, and make a good point that the northwest is not the only place that is amenable to homesteading. But for a prepper to say there is no threat to worry about coming from population centers just doesn’t sound like you are being even handed.

    Thanks for your site, your info, and providing a forum for such a great pack of folks.

    • MorePooperThanPrepper,

      Go back and read the article again – I did not say that there was no threat, but that there would not be the golden horde of hundreds of thousands leaving the cities for rural areas after an economic collapse. Nor did I say that you would be safer in a large population area like Chicago or Los Angeles.

      “As for imagining you packing all your preps into my vehicle and heading for Chicago or Los Angeles.” I don’t know your situation but if you’re like most folks that are living from payday-to-payday, and you’ve just lost your job and there is no work where you are and your family is having to starve because you can’t support them, and you hear that there is work in the city, then yes I could see you heading that way.

      Again look at recent history…

      • I know what Pooper is trying to say. The golden hoard may not be “hundreds of thousands” and it almost certainly won’t be in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophe but, once those who were waiting on the government to save them realize that it isn’t going to happen and the see their friends and family dying they are going to leave the city in search of resources. Even a small group of 20 to 50 can be a real menace to a small town. If they can scratch together a few hundred armed men there aren’t too many small towns around me that could stop them.

        • PGCPrepper says:

          I get your point but these punks that get off on the “Knockout Game” and then running to the local food lion to get their EBT on might not want to come out here, not too far from the city, where the jacked up pick ups are, along with the beagles running wild and where everyone has an NRA sticker even on their Honda Fits. LOL

      • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

        Yeah I think I just don’t understand what folks mean by the golden hoard. So I can’t judge whether it is feasible or not.

        I just feel being within a 1 hour drive of millions of hungry people might be a detriment when food gets scarce.

        • MorePooperThanPrepper,

          Horde : a large number of something, a vast multitude, a nomadic community, a moving crowd.

          • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

            If I should take it all that litterally, than I geuss I see your point. I do not expect to encounter Tamurlane piling thousands of heads into pyramids, or constructing walls of living humans.

    • MorePooperThanPrepper,
      Storage of food is not just for a food shortage, but a general TEWOTWAWKI, the most likely version of which, in an economic downturn is loss of employment and income.
      Even if there is food available, perhaps with rationing, it would be limited in either quantity (which your store can supplement) or may be rationed with food available if you’re willing to wait in long lines.
      Keep in mind that even during the great depression, the unemployment rate was only 25%, which means 3 out of 4 people were working. In the case where you’re not one of them, knowing that you can still eat and feed yourr family is reason enough for long term food storage.

  9. It also helps to think about getting necessary medical services. Getting too far out in the sticks complicates that tremendously. I like where we are going to be. Small town within 10 minutes; larger town within 40. Phone service is available, internet and TV, well not so much.

    • sw't 'tater says:

      satellite? have both internet and tv….if it is something you desire and, no other way.the bill? i can’t tell you, every company is different.
      We also have comparable distance to city life..we have cable,(for internet) an “end of the line” service, so it is slower than we pay for, and every interruption we receive.

      • worrisome says:

        Oh Tate, I am sure we can get it, still pondering it’s worth a bit. I have Dish now and love it, but ’tis expensive…

        • sw't 'tater says:

          There surely is a price to pay for every item…outside info, could be crucial to know when to pull the boys and girls in..could always have it stopped with a telephone call.,to stop the bill

    • patientmomma says:

      gosh worrisome, that sounds like where my farms is… Closest gas station 10 miles away, closest hospital 40 minutes away. Land line phone available–cell phone sometimes; no internet except by satellite. With a 25 ft antenna I can get 6 local TV channels.

    • my thoughts exactly. have been in enough hospitals to know i don’t want to be far from one. i have warned people that the helicopter may not be able to get to your children in a blizzard so don’t stray from medical and fire department too far.
      some want to be in outer siberia where they think they are safe, but tetanus and rattlesnakes live in outer siberia even if other people don’t.

  10. MD, ive given this very thing a lot of thought and im in complete agreement. I am very comfortable with my decision to stay where i am. i wante dto move to the ozarks for a long time but in fact my home on sevaral acres on the outskirts of a very small town,is exactly what you describe. I have my own hand drilled well and enough land to raise animals (besides my chickens) and a large enough garden to feed my wife and i and help neighbors who help themselves. Ive never once considered or been a part of the “shoot your hungry neighbor” crowd, and i dont ever intend to be so. Ther is some government housing near me that i would initially be concerned with,but since they are used to being taken care of,it wouldnt be long until the ones that could walk,would walk to nearest promise of governement help. excellant article and thanks for always being the voice of reason on a topic that is filled with tinfoil hat types. later brother,ive got to fix my umbrella to keep the chemtrails from getting on me.

    • bc,
      You stated, “There is some government housing near me that I would initially be concerned with, but since they are used to being taken care of, it wouldn’t be long until the ones that could walk, would walk to nearest promise of government help”
      Perhaps you could print up some realistic looking flyers or posters giveing detailed information about where the help is located, with maps and directions to some place far from you. Post these at the entrance to your property when the balloon goes up, and send the zombies elsewhere. Just a thought, LOL.

      • I don’t know that I’d want to post them at my property. It’s more likely I’d deliver them to the center of the housing area, look extremely concerned at their plight and start handing them out in bunches, then disappear. One of those schemers might figure out why this is the only place that had the pamphlets. However, it’s a good idea and I’m pleased I won’t have that issue. I do indeed intend to bug out, but my bug out location is to the enclave, to my core people where our preps are stored, the wells are dug and garden areas are located.

        I believe there will be a horde, but I do not believe it will be as large as described, say in “One Second After”. By the time those scavengers head for the hills most of them will stand in one spot and starve to death waiting on the government to feed them. I don’t think they’ll be as much of an issue. I also believe after the SHTF we’ll all most likely have to kill another human being in defense of our families, but I will not subscribe to the notion that you’ll die for getting too close. I am prepared for long range engagements if pushed…

        I will also include family and friends in my enclave. The folks that live near my 16 acres are hard working rural people. Even if they didn’t prepare for the SHTF element, they still have much to offer like cattle, hay and gardens. My enclave is prepared more as a support group..”Ok, the balloon went up, now this is what we have to do” kind of thing. We’ll offer leadership, they already have the knowledge. They’ll just have to learn to do more with less, but we’ll do it together..they will become believers when it happens 🙂

      • now that is a great idea!

  11. Yup, all that bugging out to the wilderness. Lol. Most have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

  12. w.m.robbins says:

    Your points are very well taken. Just to add one thought…maybe in some cases it would be better if your neighbors were also family.

    • “maybe in some cases it would be better if your neighbors were also family.”


      • it is an overlooked truth that human beings are tribal. in this day with tiny families and people living far from relatives one can make one’s own clan if ‘kindred spirits’ are found. it is best to do this now, not later.
        there is strength in numbers.

  13. Mountain girl says:

    I think a huge issue to consider is the type of community you want to move into. We live in Appalachia and many people here still know how keep animals, grow gardens, keep bees, etc. The different groups of Baptists might argue about speaking in tongues or not speaking in tongues, but most people share the Christian faith. The people in general are pretty self-reliant and able to get by with less. This compared to when I lived in suburbia and the neighbors hardly knew each other, gardens and clotheslines and such were generally frowned upon, and “diversity” and “tolerance” were the buzzwords to live by.

    • Re “diversity” and “tolerance” were the buzzwords to live by — ummm, as long as what YOU think and do falls into THEIR realm of thought and deed.

      At the other end of the spectrum, I like those folks in the hinterlands who have the necessary skills to take care of themselves and their families. To me, they’re real folks.

  14. Good post!
    This is the sort of the stuff the ‘survivalist’ does not like to hear.
    I know many, many people where I live whose plan is to simply shoot other people and take their stuff. That’s awesome, but, what happens when the grid goes back up, and everyone saw you shoot three of your neighbors, rape and kill their wives? Hard to explain this when the police come knocking.
    Probably an equal number plan on ‘bugging out’ to the woods. Really, I say? No gear, no food, no weapons, no experience? Another pet peeve of mine: exactly whose land are all these jokers bugging out to?

  15. Enzo Pamrona says:

    Finally, someone steps forward to gore the ox. I have been reading the “bugout retreat” recommendations since the mid-70’s. I’ve have been building bugout bags since the late 50’s if you count the amount of time I assisted my folks in the halcyon H-bomb mania days. A “remote retreat,” joining a survival community, “bugging out” have all been staples of preparedness planning for years. I have actually gone out and looked at suitable remote properties. And realized that I would be hosed just trying to get to them.

    “We” (the prepping “community”) needs to call for reason from those recommending these strategies (or call BS, if you will). I have seens lots of vendors and consultants make good money for years pandering these recommendations without discussing the issue carefully with customers. I lived on a farm for a while, discovered that was a very challenging lifestyle, and discovered that my neighbors thought I was plum crazy talking about infrastructure threats and such. They worried far more about “meal worm” than “golden hordes.” And, y’know something? They were right! (at least up until December 9th, 2013)

    I think we are are on the verge of a slowdown in preparedness interest (think 1982 here) which will tamp down some of these recommendations. But they will make a resurgence the next time preparedness becomes in vogue. I will be 87 at the time, I hope to see it come. Just think how irascibly cantankerous I could get away with being at that age. ;=}

    For the record, I do maintain bugout bags for when they might really be necessary (floods , wild fires, chemical spills, etc.) and worry about the community in which I live. I have some food put by, one or two guns, and other preps that help live everyday life (we had to activate our electrical preps over the weekend, a transformer caused an interesting blackout). I know my neighbors…..and their grandkids. And I trust in the good Lord every hour of my day. I hope to be able to muddle through when called upon but ultimately trust in the Lord for my salvation. You should too.

    • Yours is wisdom that most won’t listen to, but which we very much need to hear and heed. Where you place your faith and preparing realistically, brings a lot of peace and joy to everyday life. Unless, that is, you Prefer to work and worry and prep during all your spare time.

  16. WTF!!!?, If I read you right Mr. M.D., when the SHTF I won’t be able to go around shooting people just because I don’t like them? Geez!

    What am I going to do with my 8,000 sq. foot hollowed out mountain top “redoubt” in The Rockies? How about those 100 ex-Navy Seal ninja warriors I hired to guard it, or all of those Claymore mines, Huh?

    How about that 1/2 ton of Spam, how am I going to get that back to civilization?…….Dang it all…..life just isn’t fair.


  17. Antizombie says:

    Sound advice indeed! I have often lamented the location of my farm as being too close to our small city (50,000) because of what I perceived as “within marching distance” for the hoards leaving the town. Thanks for shedding some common sense into my situation.

    I have long known that I am not going to bug out and have been trying to move to more of a off grid self sustaining lifestyle since I found your site. I am one of those folks who live with my closest neighbor being 1 or more miles away and you are 100% right in that I worry constantly about break ins or an invasion situation even in good times. That is why I have taken time to get to know my neighbors even at that distance. I also have “invited ” a few like minded family to make their way (if possible) to the farm asap in the event of the SHTF or even a severe depression. Many hands make light work (and more mouths to feed) but it takes more than my wife and I to do everything it takes to be truly self sufficient on an 80 acre farm. Thanks MD for putting a more realistic slant on a bad situation. God Bless you and all of us and have a Merry Christmas season!

    • Antizombie,
      Have you ever thought of leasing part of your land so that suburbanites can come out and garden or raise chickens or goats? In my case I would really like a between place for raising an organic food source and weekend getaways without the trappings of modern life. To a suburbanite 1 acre is a substantial amount of land. If those people could come to the farm in an event you could barter food and tools for security and work. Because you know them from them coming out to work their garden or take care of their chickens they would already be pre-screened. Just a thought.

      • Enzo Pamrona says:

        Or they would assume that the land was theirs to use in event of an emergency and show up with little more than the clothes on their backs, a 22, and a shotgun. More mouths to manage, especially when it came to shelter and hygiene.

        • It’s unfortunate that you assume the worst in people. If people are willing to invest the time to take care of a garden and livestock on the land they lease why would they suddenly become lazy? And yes, I suspect many that have to flee the city will have little more than the clothes on their back. Please show me a picture of a modern refugee with a full arsenal, combat load for each weapon and 100lb pack on their back full of all the other essentials. I believe that is the fantasy that MD is trying to dispel. As far as having a 22 or shotgun, that would be great but not required. Labor is the engine of survival. Security, hygiene, and foraging can be carried out successfully by the skilled person who can manage labor.

  18. I bought a 5th wheel camper and have stocked it with provisions so I can “move around: as needed. I also rent a storage space stocked to the brim with extra preps (mostly canned food and ammo). I have preps buried (in air/waterproof) containers in strategic places (areas where I have permission to hunt and the landowner doesn’t know of my buried “treasure”) up to a 25 mile radius of where I keep my camper parked. I one strategic direction, I have buried preps up to 100 miles. I use fuel stabilizer in the gasoline stockpile and switch it out once a year. I have the GPS coordinates coded in a safe place that I can give to someone else in case of emergency. Although my health is poor, I want to ensure the survival of my friends and family should I not survive.

    • livinglife says:

      there is a new scam where storage spaces are auctioned off without the renter actually being in arrears and the facility owner is unaware its going on.

      • Oldalaskan says:

        Livinglife, I would like to know where this is happening and the auctioneer doing it. I have the ability to burn them. I am well Acquainted with the storage auction industry. To say the facility owners are unaware means they are absentee owners having a manager overseeing the business. A tenant has the ability and legal right and protection and the ability to sue for false sales. It can be quite expensive for the owner to sell the wrong unit.

    • Swabbie Robbie says:

      If the GPS is down? Be sure to also have physical maps with your locations stashed away as well.

      During WWII my father was a partisan in Norway. They buried guns and supplies in various places but sometimes could not find them again. Sometimes it was the guy who knew where a cache was was dead…

  19. Donna in MN says:

    I moved to be isolated, to get away from violent gun threats posed directly at me in more populated communities. It doesn’t mean I don’t have neighbors. Since they are far enough away there are no threats posed and they are friendly.

    Maybe people will flock to the cities during an economic crisis for work as history teaches under a normal depression/recession, but I think it depends on what will cause an economic collapse, and what the government does after a collapse since they may pose marxist laws under executive order.

    The government is causing our current condition looming on collapse, they have implimented unconstitutional searches and seizures, and violated privacy laws. They gave power to this idiot to shut down communications, to declare martial law, who lies to us every time his lips move. The larger cities and towns are mostly made up of progressive policies and run by government puppets. Would it be better to move to town? Depends on what caused the economic crash and what controls after the disaster. We have never had a marxist in the whitehouse before and every socialist solution he offers, fails.

    BYW, I heard today people who don’t have insurance for health care treatments at certain hospitals for their children are having their children taken away by the government. Anyone hear more on this?

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Donna, LOL, you are safe in northern Minnesota because it’s too damn cold in the winter and too buggy in the summer! What horde would want to go there?

    • Yup, that fine fascist socialist (and his puppet masters and other assorted pals) certainly have created a fine mess. I, too, would like to hear what might be going on re child confiscation. Could be cases of child abuse or neglect, and we certainly need to hear the facts.

      Ah, let me see here, Obummercare premium and deductible would equal 3/4 of my take-home pay. Just wait till sometime early next year when the “entitled” crowds (the low-income, but not poor enough for Medicaid) find out that the escalated-in-price “insurance” plans are almost useless. And the no-moneyed non-worker bunch discovers that providers don’t accept Medicaid. And that those with chronic illnesses can’t afford any care at all under the “A(ffordable)” CA.

      Whatever, I don’t think too many desperate folks will try to flee to northern MN.

  20. Great thread, a breath of fresh air. I take my bug out bags with me, so I can get back home in an emergency, I do not have a bug out location, I would love to have a 5-10 acre spread, but not possible now.
    I think a lot of it depends on what happens, we all talk about different scenarios, a terrorist attack, economic failure, weather , or combinations of several, and that also will effect how we will all react, short and long term.
    I think once you have food,water shelter and a means of protecting these things and your family, you are a head of the sheeple.
    Today on the way to work my wife and I were commenting on those driving around us that made no attempt to clean the snow off their cars. If these people live where we do and don’t even keep a snow brush in their vehicles, how little are they prepared for anything else?
    I know people that don’t wear coats when they drive to work,(it will be maybe 7 today) thinking that they are going from their warm house to their warm office,they say, “what could happen?”
    My whole life I have had a car pack, with extra gloves, socks, hats, car tools, snow shovel and brush as an absolute minimum, these folks remind me of that woman during Hurricane Katrina, standing in ankle deep water asking for the government to save her. They will not do the least that they can, and then complain.

    • Swabbie Robbie says:

      Get home bags are what i always carry in my car. My most likely scenario is a breakdown in a winter storm and I would have some food, and means to heat it, light, blankets to survive in place in the car, and some ability to walk out if needed. Keep boots and dry clothes and socks in the trunk. I set this up as a 72 hour bag and switch out and restock as seasons require.

      • Swabbie Robbie “My most likely scenario is a breakdown in a winter storm ” Ditto, tho our winter storms are rain at about 70 degrees.

        We’d call AAA and hunker down with a supply of water we keep in the vehicles. If needed, we also have pretty decent first aid kits.

        Much less likely, but still possible would be an earthquake severe enough to close highways/roads. Then we might have to hike home, so we have comfortable clothes and footwear, and again, water. Plus lifeboat rations, and enough other gear to make the trip.

        We also have good friends scattered around the island, so we might be able to break our hike with them. If not, we would trek on. Still, that serious an earthquake on Oahu is pretty unlikely, and the major difference between earthquake prepping and hurricane prepping is the need for storing water all the time, rather than having the capability of storing water when warned of a hurricane.

        • Wake up

          Your deal happens when the ships stop for 72 hours….anarchy

          • Sorry, stock, I guess I wasn’t clear. The most likely scenario for when we are in a vehicle is a breakdown, followed by an an earthquake while in the vehicle. That is why the GHBs are in each vehicle.

            We do stock for hurricanes and earthquakes at home, as well as tsunamis, and pandemics. The preps are pretty much alike, and they would cover dock strikes as well.

            We just don’t see much point in preparing for TEOTWAWKI on Oahu. On the Mainland would be a different situation. In ours, it just doesn’t work. No electricity, no water. When the hot water tanks and swimming pools run out, mass death.

  21. The isolated house or cabin may be a wonderful vacation spot, but in good times they are prone to break ins when unoccupied, and in bad times they are almost impossible to defend. Plus, as MD and others have said: There are few jobs. There are few medical facilities. There are few neighbors to help.

    Cities exist because they have all of those things and more. Suburbs exist because they provide a mix of urban and rural.

    I have no trouble with the idea of hunkering down in either a town, small city, or the suburbs. Go back centuries and you will find fortified farm houses were common exactly because isolated farms were very dangerous.

    In fact, in parts of the world today, fortified farm houses are the rule, and people do not leave them except in armed groups. Back in the 1970s I rode through the Khyber Pass on the roof of a bus a few times, and no one there leaves their fortified farm house except in armed groups, while at either end of the pass are cities where people can move in relative safety.

    Years ago I visited a castle in England, which went back to about the 12th century. Wonderful, peaceful English countryside. House had 12 foot thick stone walls, draw bridge, towers for shooting at people. All of a sudden it struck me: No one spends the kind of resources building a place like that unless they are in a SERIOUSLY bad neighborhood.

    That house could hold hundreds of people- a small town’s worth all by itself- because when that castle/house was new, that was what was needed to survive in that lovely countryside.

    I think the worst possible likely scenario is a recession/depression deeper than what we have gone through the last several years. Jobs are going to be where the people are, and that militates toward cities. The trick is to be able to ride out interruptions in services, defend against home invasions, get through black outs.

    I think self-sufficiency may be achievable for some, and wonderful for those who relish it. However, self-sufficiency means living at a very low economic level even in good times.

    Those with well paid jobs may well be better off, though, keeping their jobs and socking away the financial benefits so they have more options. Prep for disasters, but plan to shelter in place. While building up the physical reserves (water, food, etc) build up the financial reserves. The less debt we have, the more money we have socked away, the more resilient we are, the more secure we are.

    • Penrod,

      Well said…

      • Thanks, M.D.

        The financial side of prepping is one which I rarely see discussed beyond the level of ‘get out of debt and have some cash/silver/gold in reserve’. Good things, but little beyond that.

        In fact, if one has meaningful liquid savings and you expect serious inflation, then a reasonable amount of fixed rate debt could be an excellent thing. The people who did well during the inflation of the 1970s included the homeowners with fixed rate mortgages. Even if their other investments took a hit from inflation and wage/price controls, the reduced value of their mortgages balanced it out.

        So long as they could keep making the payments they benefitted from paying off the debt with less valuable dollars: the real worth of their debt was reduced by inflation.

        There are lots of good books on investing. There are no secrets: it’s all out there. Preppers are just like everyone else: we should read several books providing different perspectives, and learn about making reasonable, prudent investments.

        It doesn’t have to be complex, in fact, for most people it shouldn’t be. Millions of people have made themselves secure by buying duplexes and four-plexes, fixing them up, renting them out and living in one unit. The more money we have to invest, the more options we have. Financial prepping is part of prepping for both for good times and for disaster.

    • I like the idea of small towns and suburbs. Large cities have a tendency to break into anarchy suddenly and quickly. And fires can devestate whole blocks. It’s also very difficult to fortify urban and many suburban locations. There are also more restrictions on weapons and self defence. NYC, Phily, Chicago, etc. And this is important: get to know your neighbors. Be a participant in your community. You want them to care about you.

  22. mindyinds says:

    Thanks for a very balanced view and well-written article, M.D.

  23. Points well worth considering. IMHO, correct in toto. I have always been concerned with those who ‘say’ they are shoot first and ask questions later. I always hope this is just talk. I fear it is not.

    The ultimate survivor types, the Mountain Men, were never totally independent. They required ‘civilization’ for knives, powder, lead, and tools. The modern ‘survivalist’ par excellance, from Spirit Lake (I love the series on PBS) was not completely independent. His tools were modern purchace, as were his guns. His family provided him with many civilized items (spices etc).

    If you plan on relocating, my recomendation is a town large enough to have a hospital or medical center. They are more used to outsiders. Something well worth considering. Many rural areas never really accept outsiders. Especially those with obviously different backgrounds. You want to be known. You want to be considered an asset. Or do you really want to depend on your own devices when your children have strept throat or appendicitis?

  24. livinglife says:

    Thankfully I have both options available, bug out or bug in. Good friends pay off.

    Many people are delusional in their live off the land and trigger happy without repercussions.

  25. JeffintheWest says:

    It’s about time someone debunked some of the garbage that self-proclaimed “survival experts” have been publishing for years. The fact of the matter is that the world will still be full of people after a major disaster (even a global one) and you still have to operate within the bounds of society.

    Sure, there are going to be criminal elements who will think exactly like certain survivalist fantasy novelists think everyone will — going around attacking people and murdering and raping, but they’ll get brought up short pretty quick (and probably on the short end of a rope) by communities of people who don’t feel like being victims. They might manage to rape or even kill a person or two, but they WILL come out on the losing end of the deal when every man’s hand is turned against them.

    Best advice seen in years — “move to a small community, get 5 to 10 acres and start growing your own food, become a part of the community, befriend the local sheriff and as many of his deputies as possible.” Volunteer work for your local fire department or Sheriff’s department, joining a veteran’s group if you’re eligible, walking around town and talking with the people, becoming friends with your neighbors, volunteering in the local old folks home or school (or both), and always being polite and respectful of others are great ways to get started. Get to know local business people, support them by shopping locally, don’t be afraid to loiter over a cup of coffee and chat with folks — small towns thrive on their sense of community, and anything you can do to participate in and grow that sense of community will help if things ever do get really bad. All of that goes totally against the grain for anyone raised or living in a big city (like I was), but believe me, the dividends are huge.

    Great article M.D.! Keep ’em coming!

  26. Lots of good insights in the comments. We were preppers before the term became prevalent. Got real serious after Hurricanes Dennis and Katrina in 2005. Alas. we are eight years older and I hit the big 70 next month and believe me the new 70 is not the old 50 as in medical limitations etc. There are a lot of things that you just can’t do when you were 10 to 30 years younger.
    Bugging in and hunkering down and knowing your neighbors is what is left for us older folks. Been thru 3 hurricanes and numerous close calls and our neighborhood has always pulled together, even when we had no electric for over a week.

    The spirit may be willing, but the old body protests a lot.

    • OwlCreekObserver says:

      Exactly right, Eagle. Though we’re not susceptible to hurricanes and such, we do face the likelihood of hard winters and such and have always laid in enough supplies for a few days without power. Over the years we’ve gone well beyond the basics, but if the popcorn hits the fan, we’re not going anywhere unless there’s no other choice. These “mature” bodies are in pretty good shape, all things considered, but the years definitely bring limitations.

  27. Good article. Great neighbors here with some distance between each. No bugging out. A real SHTF situation; the family comes here. Stocking for 6-9 months with large garden and orchard to take over when supplies are low. If food taken by the powers that be, I can use gardening skills to replace.

  28. The golden horde: Another example is the dust bowl of the early 1900’s where nearly everyone packed up and headed for the cities.
    WROL is more likely to become EROL (Excessive Rule of Law, e.g., Martial Law)
    Shoot first. I totally agree with your analysis. When the lights come back on, you will be judged and punished appropriately.
    Bugging out to the woods may have worked for the mountain men in the 1800’s with lots of game and few people. We are no longer in that condition.
    Being “squared away” in the wilderness. Unless you’re doing this as a “squared away” and trained group, then you’re just another easy target.
    Bugging out however, is something everyone should consider; generally for a short term event. A truck or train spilling a noxious chemical upwind from you, could result in a knock on your door by local authorities giving you only minutes to get up and go. Depending on where you live there are also wildfires and storms. Some events like hurricanes can give you a lot more warning; however, waiting until the last minute just makes you part of the golden horde, parked on the interstate and trying to get out of the path of the storm. For Bugging Out, I personally think these types of events are much more likely, and should fall higher up your threat matrix than some of those nightmare scenarios preppers seem to fixate on.

    • Good points.

      • PGCPrepper says:

        Bugging out to the woods may have worked for the mountain men in the 1800’s with lots of game and few people. We are no longer in that condition.


    • when we lived in pennsylvania, where people told me they had seen snow in august, i kept our child’s snowsuit and boots, water, source of heat, toilet paper, and snow needs for the car in the trunk from august onwards, just in case. it never hurts to err on the side of caution,

  29. PGCPrepper says:

    One of the better articles I’ve read here. I just can’t believe that folks compare the men and women today of the hardy folks who were around in the 1930’s. These government tit suckers will die in place with any serious problem. I do not worry about them; I worry about the very folks that are smart enough to pay attention to what’s written on this forum which really means, I worry less than most. Golden hordes? LOL.

  30. k. fields says:

    M.D. – you seem to be channeling the late Mel Tappan a lot these days.

    From advise against the unreality of plans dependent on wilderness wandering to recommendations on relocating to a small holding near a rural community but not so far out that you are isolated, this article shows that pundants may come and go but good advice stands the test of time.

    Well done.

  31. I respectfully disagree with the main “Golden Horde” premise of the OP.

    Like a Realtor, I believe it all comes down to “location, location, location.”

    Recent American History details what happens when the unwashed masses of “Low Information” Voters are severed from the teat of Federal Largess.

    Couple Katrina to the recent EBT outage and you begin to get some idea of what to expect when the brown poo hits the oscillating rotor.

    Rule #1: Be among your “tribe.”

    There is safety in numbers.

    It is my premise that the most likely scenerio for what is coming is a financial collapse caused by a plethora of events now underway.

    The Federal Reserve is now purchasing 90% of all treasury issues.

    Every dollar printed or computer entered lowers the value of every dollar held by private citizens.

    ZIRP is killing the savers of the country.

    But I digress.

    The “straw that breaks the camel’s back” will most likely come as a “thief in the night.”

    In my estimation, this will be OPEC announcing that the Cartel will no longer soley accept dollars for oil but will move to a “basket” of currencies.

    You and I will wake up and find that gas at the pump is now somewhere between 8.00 – 12.00 a gallon.

    A “Bank Run” will begin as people with measurable IQs rush to convert their dollars into something of value.

    Obama or whomever is president will immediatel announce a “Bank Holiday.” ATM Cards, Debit Cards and Credit Cards will not function during this time. Cash will be king.

    “Location, Location, Location”

    If you live in the ‘burbs around one of the ten minority majority urban areas……I am pretty sure your ass and your wife and childrens asses will be food for the crips and bloods.

    Memphis has 26,000 Yuppies living downtown surrounded by 500,000 impoverished Blacks.

    It ill be this way in New Orleans, Jackson, MS, St Louis, and other places.

    IF you live a hundred miles east or west of the Mississippi with the exception of Little Rock, you should be just fime.

    Within 72 – 168 hours there will be no food to be had in the actual Urban neighborhoods.

    This will be about the time that these folks realize that no one is coming to “help.”

    Then these folks will begin to widen the search for food until eventually the news of the raping and killing reaches the rural counties who will come to the aid of the suburbanites and the real bloodletting begins.

    And so it will be.

    • I live in suburbia, but I calculated that there are 3.2+ million people within an hour of my house…not where I want to be (in Florida). Assuming that even 1/8 of these people are desperate in a disaster, that’s 400,000 people within a 1/4 tank of gas of my front door; kind of a sobering thought. I agree with not moving to the boondocks by yourself, but it might not be a bad idea to get a country cabin if you are within close proximity of millions of people…

  32. Swabbie Robbie says:

    High Five, M.D. 🙂 Why we moved where we are and built a life in 1975.

    My only suggestion for folks is enough land to have a woodlot if various heating fuels are interupted long term.

    • k. fields says:

      Good point on the fuel.
      The old Forest Service rule of thumb states you can get around 1 cord per acre without depleting your woodlot if you manage it correctly. How much wood you’ll use will depend on a lot of factors such as your location, size of house, etc. etc.
      I’m on the coast of northern CA where the temps are moderated by the ocean currents (it’s colder inland from me in winter and hotter inland from me in summer) and I use around 5 cords a year for cooking, enjoying the fireplace and hot tub and in winter, heating.
      Luckily, I have plenty of land.

  33. The main problem is that there has never been an event, such as EMP, in the modern world.
    A modern financial collapse may well pan out far differently than the 20’s depression. Modern society is far more dependent on government, infrastructure and technology to provide even the most basic services.
    In the event such as the former even minor loses could mean the loss of water and sanitation, a city would not be a good place to be in such an event.
    Because we cannot predict the nature of the disaster we can never be certain of which way things will go
    In the latter the collapse of the banking system may well not see personal accounts frozen but businesses and government departments would be unable or unwilling to transfer money. For example how does your local gas station work when it cannot access its accounts. It cannot pay for replacement fuel, it doesn’t have enough cash. Its customers do not have cash to pay with.
    This was graphically demonstrated in Cyprus where the crisis lasted a week or so yet despite being able to withdraw cash it caused tremendous hardship.
    The crisis in Greece is being played fown enormously. Athens and Theslonikas populations have fallen as people, mainly youngsters returned to family home. Small scale agriculture has seen a huge increase and firewood prices have quadrupled as LPG and oil are now unaffordable.
    Spain is in a bad way too. The city if Bristol now has a huge number of Spanish living and working there as they have deserted Spanish cities an fled to the UK to work. Even here in sleepy Wales in a town of less than 5k one of the dentists is Spanish.
    Living on the outskirts of a small town it certainly more rational however in certain circumstances small things, such as having easily accessed water, may make you a target even to your neighbours.
    Living out in the sticks, well as another poster commented, you need a heavily fortified house. Mine dates back nearly 600 years in parts and consists of a main stone house with attached stone tower. The walls of the tower are 6ft thick with the first openings on the second floor, they are actually arrow slits which have been glazed now, but originally the house was built like that for a reason to survive troubled times. Despite that and even with the internal well, modern technology would mean that the house would not be defensible in the long term.
    It really is a case of taking your best guess and going with that!

    • Ro,

      I think you missed it somewhere but Mr. Creekmore was talking about an economic collapse and not about an EMP…

  34. Mother Earth says:

    What a great article MD! It’s kind of a breath of fresh air for preppers. I live on a few acres but have access to 150, however, that property is in the sticks and resources are scarce. I would much rather stay on my few acres where I am well known and have resouces available but not too close.

    I have an orchard and berry bushes, etc. well establed here that I woldn’t have on the acreage. I will continue to become more self sustaining here in the hopes I never have to “run for the hills” but will start preparing the hills for future generations. Thanks for the clarity!

    • sw't 'tater says:

      A few well hidden cache’s should help whom ever ends up at your alternate location…a cave, a barrell or group of barrells, a covered room..stormshelter…etc..The opening can be concealed with thorny hedges, hawthorne,holly etc…rwild rose bushes.. Plan location with some of the next two generations , two or three persons..,who value your knowledge…prepare , fill, secure. If you have to head for the hills, you’ll have something in place..

      • Mother Earth says:

        Sw’t tater, that’s something I could do, there is a small cave on the property and thorn bushes are all around it and getting thicker. Now my mind is running with ideas!

    • you might just tootle over to the other property in good weather and plant a few brambleberries and fruit and nut trees and grape vines here and there about the place so they have time to mature before they may be needed. this could be done every year. also plant ash or other good firewood sources. if you need wood and all you have are tarry pines it will be more work to get needed heat.
      just a thought.

  35. Argentina’s Financial Collapse — Documentary — FULL MOVIE


  36. MD I sure wish you would keep the secrets a secret. When ever I stop and think about things I come to the same conclusion as you. I have nothing against people moving far into the woods as they would like, but that is their life style. That used to be my life style but with a young family and a broken heart I have to stay close to my heart Doctors. My assessment of the golden hoard is this, not many will leave the city and all the people planning to hunt the hoard will reduce the problem before it reaches me. City folks will stay in town waiting for uncle SAM and lets remember cities are full of stuff. By the time they figure out fema ain’t bringing much and the stuff is gone, well the die off will have started, you can’t live in a sewer very long and the military of what ever country will have the city on lock down. As I have said before many of the fine young families who will flee the city and then return in a day or two when the realize the phones don’t work and they are out of Starbucks. Ornithological species of similar plumage tend to congregate in close proximity to one another. MD keep up the good work and I’ll still be out here reading the blog.

  37. Texanadian says:

    The golden hord won’t make it far if they do try to leave. If it is a quick collapse the roads will be blocked by gridlock, lack of fuel and accidents. People trying to walk out will not have supplies and be subject to predation and as many have stated the rest will sit and wait for help to come that never does. I am 50 miles from the city and 12-14 from smaller towns. It will be interesting.

  38. good article…..the type of ‘event’ will determine plan a, plan b….plan z…..cooler heads will prevail…..I figger it unlikely I’ll bug out, but will only if I must. it’s imperative to follow the rule of law…..another historical perspective…..if/when anarchy reigns (i.e., Spanish Revolution) those turned to for support often turn out to be worse despots than the ‘zombies’-so networking w/trustable peeps is essential….TCGB!

  39. Just Plain Brad says:

    Thought provoking article! I agree with you. But I still like to read some of the TEOTWAWKI fiction!

  40. Well said. Another great myth among preppers is that we will be shooting at people at 100 or more yards away – much like the military do. So preppers practice their sniper skills and think they’re prepared.

    Au contraire, mon frere. Most armed confrontations after TSHTF will be up close and personal. So practice with your handgun or even your shotgun – put that sniper rifle in the corner and take it out just for fun.

    • Enzo Pamrona says:

      Exactly! How can you determine someone’s intent 100 yards ar more away? You cannot. Neither can the military if we look at the number of friendly fire incidents. The bad guys will have to be close for you to justifiably use force against them.

      “Well, your honor, I could tell by the way that guy 1,000 yards away bobbed his head that he was on the way to attack me!” Riiiiight.

  41. From reading some of the comments that have been posted so far, some are basing their responses on the assumption that an economic collapse will equal a government collapse… Guess what… It doesn’t.

    To the contrary, in the aftermath of recent collapsed economies the governments did not collapse or go away, but became even more oppressive and dictorial.

    And I see comments regarding the golden horde section of the article that are talking about massive EMP attacks and world wars – I never said anything about what would happen after an EMP or world war, we are talking economic collapse and discussing the possible aftermath of that event…

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      MD, I am only worried about well-formed gangs. With a large city with a huge crime rate within a few hours drive from me, I can see these gang bangers causing a lot of trouble. There are black, hispanic, and white supremists too close with lots of fire power and no conscience. Worse than anything I have ever heard of.

      • Nebraska Woman,

        That is very much a possibility, if you live close enough to larger urban areas organized gangs that head out to nearby towns (within approximately 50 miles) to plunder could be a problem. Rob, steal, rape, and plunder then head back to their urban territories… I’m surprised that this isn’t already more of a problem…

        • Nebraska Woman says:

          From what I can deduce, there is no roblem getting free food in this large city. The (I hate to call them humans so I will them a waste of precious oxygen) carbon life forms can hang around their turf, kill and cause mayhem, then go back to taxpayer subsidized warm homes to get their free food.

        • KR Prepper says:

          MD I agree. the gang problem will be one of the big ticket issues. What I know first hand (Growing up in one of the worst neighborhoods) Gangs are more organized than people think. It’s not just a few displaced children with sagging pants holding their hi-point sideways and saying “yo”. I believe once the milk stops flowing, then it’s deals off. IMO Part of that system was put in place to keep the urbanized folk tamed.

          • My area would be hard hit by the low-lifes. We have a few small (under 100K population) cities, but, unfortunately, at least 1/3 of that population is sucking mightily at the gov’t teat. That 1/3 includes their gang banger brats, and I’d expect that whole bunch to create absolute havoc throughout the entire area. Um, they already do.

            We might all notice that the law-abiding citizenry should be disarmed, all the while it appears to be hands-off the gangbangers.

            If only I could talk the dp into getting the heck out of here and into or close to a small town far from the nutty crowd. I can agree to a great degree with MD, most people will stay in the cities, whether they be deader than doornails or waiting in food lines. But, I’d expect major fires to drive them out. Most wouldn’t make it too far out would be my guess. The gangs might move further out after they’ve exhausted all pickings.

    • I think you’re spot on about the low chance of our government collapsing with an economic collapse. I also think EROL (excessive rule of law) is a possibility that doesn’t get talked about much, but should be.

      • worrisome says:

        I agree…………..what should we do and how should we act if Martial Law was declared. Getting caught up in things because you have zero knowledge of what to do might be important.

        One would not want to startle some official with an ithy trigger finger

        • I look at Boston after the marathon bombing and how.quick.authorities were with house to house searches. The videos on YouTube of people being herded.out of their homes with their hands on their heads and.guns.pointed.at them.is.chilling

          • Donna in MN says:

            …And under emergencies the pres can authorize confiscation of your property. In that case the “golden hoard” would be gov’t agents, swat teams, TSA, military, police.

            • Donna in MN,

              That is very true. I think that will / is much more of a problem that the “golden horde” that are supposed to flee from the cities into the countryside after an economic collapse. They can and will confiscation your preps and anything else they need and redistribute it into the cities – you know share the wealth.

    • Hi, M.D., “the assumption that an economic collapse will equal a government collapse… Guess what… It doesn’t.”

      I’m strongly of the opinion that an economic collapse is the result of oppressive/dictatorial government, not its cause.

      In a market economy, recessions come and go in fairly short order. It is only when governments dictate who does business with whom, and who may not, what money is mandatory, what the interest rates shall be, what pay rates must be, who must be hired and not fired, what hoops businesses must jump through or else, that we have serious and prolonged collapses.

      Look at the Colorado Springs baker, Jack Phillips, who is in the news today. The government has dictated that he bake a wedding cake for a couple of gay guys or else go to jail. I like to think I would tell the judge I’ll go to jail, and he can go to Hell, but who knows? Maybe I would roll over. (Altho I wouldn’t have refused to bake the cake in the first place as I am not anti-gay marriage.)

      The real issue here is freedom versus control. The more control the government has, the harder it is to do business, especially for individuals and small companies which do not have the resources to comply or fight back. Is baker Jack Phillips more or less encouraged to continue in business when government threatens him with jail for deciding for himself who he will do business with?

      This issue isn’t about gay rights: It is about using government to oppress people you dislike. It’s about the politically adept using money to get subsidies from people who would not do business with them in a voluntary market. Look at the solar industry demanding and getting both financial and regulatory subsidies from the government . That’s fascism to me. We have a lot of that today, and it looks like we will be getting a lot more.

      That is what leads to economic collapse.

      More on the story here if you are interested:


      That leads to economic collapse.

      Thanks for nothing, politicians of both parties.

  42. Encourager says:

    Whew! A breath of fresh air and a dose of common sense. Thanks, M.D.!

  43. Curley "Bull" says:

    Great article MD!!! Some will find flaws with anything written mostly because it doesn’t line up with what they already believe and/or have been told/taught. It’s good to see/read some common sense now and again.

    I am a prepper by nature. I grew up on a farm. We canned produce in the summer and cured/canned/jerked meat in the winter. I can’t remember ever having less than 4 or 5 months worth of food on hand at any one time. I know how to draw water by hand and where to place the outhouse in relation to the well.

    I do have a “bug out” location if need be with 25 families of like-minded folks. The kind of folks I grew up with.

    Again, thank you for the sensible and down to earth articles you come up with and please keep it going.

    Curley “Bull”
    I Timothy 5:8

  44. patientmomma says:

    A great article with common sense prevailing. No one of knows what will set off “the event”. Most folks following this blog and neighbors living around me just want to be safe with their families. We will help each other and protect each other as needed. We are NOT out to kill anyone like gang members would, but we will protect our families and homesteads.

    It is hard to predict the future, but if we have 6 mo to a year supply of everything on hand PLUS live a sustainable life style (garden, chickens,well, septic, DIY skills and know-how, etc.), we will probably be ok in most disastrous events.

  45. al uhrich says:

    I’m not really new to the prepping thing, but I’m not an old hand( so to speak ), by that I mean both my wife I grew up with parents that did the gardening and canning etc. I keep a shovel and other items for winter time emergencies, we keep extra on hand and I’ve always had a smeall generator. but with my wife and i both looking at 70 more than we are 65, staying here instead of bugging out does make more sense. Although I do have 2 pieces of property located 80 to 90 mi away, both have been the target of theft and vandalism and there is no one there to keep an eye on the property, so the idea of staying place makes more sense to me, although we live near a city fo 100k or more. that might tend to be a problem.

  46. Thanks M.D. for this excellent article. Since we live in a small town, I’m very grateful that the golden hordes will be staying in the city, & more may be headed there. & maybe a few local rabble-rousers will follow them to the city.

    I love the idea of neighbors communicating via CB radios.

  47. A discussion, not an attack,

    Good article; thanks. I hope more people do decide to stay-put in the city (before, during, and after the catastrophe). I suppose there can be some successful unholy alliances in some communities; not in mine. PC has overtaken our society; congruence is required or you will be outcast with Reductio ad Absurdum and turned-in.

    Knowing the skill-levels of most people who venture out into the woods in my area, the cougars, coyotes, bears, and scavengers might take up an issue with this article…..don’t feed the bears. Besides, the government has been blocking side-trails on public lands for 6 years.

    What I don’t understand about the various segments of the population who associate themselves with the prepping adjective, is why they seem to be waiting for the “big-one” before they initiate the “switch” that sends them into their survival modes. I was told in 1979 this would happen and I acted on that advice to get myself in the position I am in today. There is no peace-time any more; survival starts today and lasts for the rest of our lives!

    The event(s) are happening all around us; particularly the erosion of our civil-liberties and the raiding of our coffers. What more do people need to see before they realize our way of life is already under attack? There is a lot of evidence to show that our liberties and freedoms are trickling-away every day (not all being taken during one big epic event) and before long, there won’t be a country to fight-for, or a will to survive.

    I would caution some readers abut the use of neighbors; I think the less my neighbors know, the better-off I will be. There are too many definitions of morality, honor, duty, courage, and respect these days, I see my ALL my neighbors as more of a liability than an asset.

    To sum-up my respectful opinion of collectivism and that theory of survival; pooling resources with other people directly-conflicts with the tenets of being an individualist and people should not expect to see an individualist putting-out a “welcome mat” of any kind, because it goes against their very-nature. The groups of people who are to survive as a team, will do-so when the time comes, and only long-enough and as much as needed.

    Case and point; look at all the social-loafing going on in our country, it is only going to get worse, lazy SOBs wanting hand-outs in these relatively good times will surely be wanting to sit on their backsides in the bad times. And these lazy knuckle-heads are going to be trusted?
    I’ve served in the military with the most honorable men one can imagine and because of that, I know we all have our tipping points.

    Lastly, there may come a time when people like myself break-down and ask someone for help, but I don’t see it happening unless it is a last resort.


    • IDK

      “I see my ALL my neighbors as more of a liability than an asset.”

      That’s sad… wish that you had better neighbors…

      • M.D.

        Not so sad from my point of view; it is what it is.

        Yes sir, I used to have lofty thoughts about being part of a community of like-minded individuals but alas, I brought the wrong-size cup to “reality restaurant”; the actual contents in the cup is the “reality” that must be dealt with; not the false expectations.

        The goal sir, is to make a proper assessment of the true situation and turn each situation into a positive outcome!

        My neighbors letting me down in the past for various reasons, actually helped me to see how they really are (their true character); and that is a positive outcome sir.

        • the word ‘community’ is used so much and means so little.
          you read in the paper that ‘community leaders say the violence must stop’, blah, blah, blah.
          there is no actual community. just because you all live on the same block does not make you all a community. and of course the city we live in is in economic distress and overrun with criminals of every description. also the police are worse than useless for the most part.
          it is hard to know what to plan for especially with $$$ so tight.
          we do what we can and pray Jesus to fill in the blanks.
          not getting any younger or healthier either!

      • You’re right on that one, MD, it IS sad. Unfortunately for those of us in or near cities, whether big or small, there’s very little of what we could call communities. Few know much about their neighbors, even trying to strike up a conversation with neighbors seems to be highly frowned upon and often yields some nasty snide get-lost commentary. Friends and like-minded people are often scattered around a large area. It’s really not a very pretty picture. For those who are part of a good community, please appreciate it and enjoy it mightily because in many parts of the country it’d be a rarity.

  48. Great article M.D.

  49. I almost never post on any forum……well, because frankly some of the comments are a bit much. But I am standing and cheering this article. I think that there is a business model for selling people who like to be prepared on outlandish scenarios so they will then buy their products. There is a vast difference between being self reliant, responsible, and learning valuable skill sets, and buying into a lone wolf Rambo ideal.

    • Good point! Fear sells. Hitler sold an entire nation his line of B.S. by fear mongering. It started in this country with 9-11. Now even though we have all of our basic needs met, we must be fearful because the powers that be say we need to be.

    • Like a “Planet Nibiru Survival Kit?”
      Just kidding

  50. Leonard M. Urban says:

    One popular novel that’s become something of a bible for preppers and survivalists promotes the fantasy that older vehicles will be functional after an EMP attack. They won’t. Nor will vacuum tube radios/tvs, etc. A gentleman at my church who is a scientist that’s worked at Sandia Weapons Lab at Sandia Air Force Base assures me that anything not stashed in a PROPER Faraday Cage–not the simple tinfoil version one sees explained online–will be fried. Whether your vehicle is a 1950 Cadillac or 2014 Japanese rice burner with umpteen computer-driven spangles and doodads, it will be irretrieveably dead…

    • Jerry Thierheimer says:

      I must agree. A cable/wire will – albeit briefly- carry a huge amount of wattage even micro seconds of it will pass this current on to grounds, motors, and other connections, most likely burning or melting insulation and the cable itself.Wired, and grounded Faraday cages with small amperage of current thru said cage may, may stop an EMP blast. Other than noticing nearby 75mi away Vegas was effected by 1950’s era atomic test explosions fried radios, street lamps and other property destruction occurred.

    • axelsteve says:

      depends. How close are you to the emp? how powerful is it? Many variables your milage may vary. The less computer the better though.

    • Leonard,
      I disagree with one of the things you’ve said.
      Tube type equipment sitting on the shelf and not connected to anything, antennas, power, etc. and often in their own old metal cases, I think will most likely survive intact; however, growing up building such equipment, often from scratch, there may still be one thing missing, and that would be the enormous power required to run the filaments, and power the high voltage circuitry. Tube electronics can be assembled by a kid as I did as a preteen; but, adequate power availability will most likely be the hard part.
      Even if you have managed to stash some small radios (the Baofeng radios are inexpensive enough to do that) you still have potential problems, since even they will need to be charged for use.
      I think one must look to the example of the Amish, who I have found over the years will often use bits of modern technology; but, only as a convenience, realizing that once you have made anything a necessity that you cannot create, or that others control, you can be easily placed into a world of hurt.
      So you better have numerous ways of heating and cooking at a minimum as well as hand tools including simple things like buckets, and be prepared for hard work with few but basic foodstuffs’, sore muscles, hot humid summers, and a hard but potentially more fulfilling life.
      A stash of books, board games, and playing cards might also be handy, not for barter; but, for entertainment, in what would be an almost unfathomable new world that could happen.

    • OhioPrepper, the difference is, even if your points and plugs vehicle does get zapped by EMP, you can change out a few things and have it up and running in no time flat, your newer fully electronic car will probably never run again, there is just too much you will have to change out. That guy you talked to is not a mechanic is he? Also, that points and plug car may or may not get disabled, it takes more to disable it than a new car.

      Not only that forget about the EMP, they can shut down all of those new cars any time they desire anyway, they can’t do that on the older cars. I wouldn’t buy any car after 1999, ever.

  51. Jeffrey C. Anthony says:

    Real and outstanding. The problem that creates most of the myths breaks down to a lack of faith in humanity IMHO. I do feel that there is possibility among people of good character who work together when they need to, and can recognize the individual and their rights. Simple to me, amazing that our world has strayed from that to such a huge extent.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Hey J 🙂

      Hope your doing good,

      I agree…but ya know, fantasy sells, facts well, facts simply do not have a place in todays society.

      • Hey Jesse,
        I quite agree that fantasy (like the 5 myths) sell pretty well. A couple years ago, I set out to write some PAW fiction that avoided those usual (fiction) myths.
        The hordes didn’t materialize, mostly because the majority waited in the cities for federal aid. Some ne’er-do-wells migrate out, though. They weren’t waiting for federal aid.
        Rule of Law: the people in the rural town decide they need The Law, so set up their own courts, etc. to keep order. Justice-by-bullet was not the go-to plan.
        Live in the Woods: the books have a variety of those which fail, either the hippy-esque Utopians who fail, or the semi-horde who wind up sharing the same hunted-out woods, and start dying off.
        Cabin in the Woods: Book 4, (still in progress) features a family that did just that, and failed for a variety of reasons.

        If you’re into PAW fiction, check them out. Be warned, however, that the ‘hero’ is not a super-prepped Rambo. He’s just an average guy who tries to adapt to a suddenly grid-down world. If you like Rambo fantasy fiction, my books are probably not for you.

        — Mic Roland
        Siege of New Hampshire series

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Will do, I read quite a bit, as in just finished another series last night, that I started the night before. Will do! Thanks!

        • tjbbpgobIII says:

          Just bought the trio, it’s nice to see these type of books about ordinary people instead of more Rambo types that is what most types of grid down philosophy are about,

          • Just got the first one nice to see it’s relatively close to home, kind of in the middle of where I go on drill weekend and home!

        • Thanks Jesse and Tj. I do appreciate the support. (Non-Rambo doesn’t sell nearly as well as the fantasy stuff.)

          — Mic

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Purchased all three, after completion, will review for this website…:)

            • Thanks Jesse,
              Feedback is always good. As a pre-caveat, the books are written with characters who are imperfect. They make mistakes and have to deal with the outcomes. Some reviewers complain that “I would never do X or Y” (which the characters did.) which is easy to say, of course. The characters dealing with their imperfectness is part of the story. (/caveat)

              • Sounds like a great series. I look forward to Jesse’s review and I will buy these books. I love stories about how real people (like myself) would respond to these situations.

                • Jesse Mathewson says:

                  Mic, finished numero uno last night, loving it so far…especially the real world feel.

                  I review books differently than other items, fiction is reviewed on how well it grabs me and how well the story and characters are fleshed out. Nonfiction, on how well things are documented. 🙂

                  And yes I do read fast. As in a 300 page book generally takes around an hour with 93-6% retention depending on situation involved. (That is tested proficiency btw) my 8 year old is catching up too me however, she just started one of my favorite series as a child, the Redwall (mice as speaking beings etc., ) series.

                  Nice to know your children will be or are more intelligent, better, nicer and more equipped to handle life than I am, at least personally of course. 🙂

                  • Hey Jesse,

                    My, you ARE a fast reader. Glad you liked Book 1. Book 2 starts to address the question of: After your GHB got you home, then what?

                    Good to hear you’re raising a reader. Both of mine turned out to be readers.

                    • Jesse Mathewson says:

                      Small town politics, mixed with big city aspirations…loving the second so far 🙂 well done sir!

                      Best part is, it honestly doesnt matter so much “what caused” because, what your reading your mind is living if youve ever been a farm boy / hillrod like myself.

                    • Glad you’re liking Book 2, so far. You’re right that the focus of the story is not the nuts and bolts of HOW the grid went down, so much as what it means to the average folk who have to deal with it when it did.

                    • Hey Jesse,
                      I saw a new (and fairy detailed) review of the series on Amazon. Was that you?

  52. Lessons from Argentina’s economic collapse

    Guess what? There was no “golden horde” leaving the cities for the countryside…


    • one problem, their society is largely homogenous. not ours. their society was also less violent and more laid back, like the spaniards.

      • “their society was also less violent”

        That one statement shows your complete lack of knowledge and understanding of what happened there and after a total economic collapse. Please do some actual research, or at the least watch some YouTube videos of the riots that took place there after their economic collapse… Look up the violent crime rates… doing this will help you to avoid looking stupid in the future.

        • riverrider says:

          mike, i was talking about BEFORE the “collapse”. who had a higher murder rate? u.s… who had a higher assault rate? rape? robbery? prior to the collapse, which wasn’t even close to whats coming here, the argentines had a lower level of crime. yes crime, but theft, etc not so much violent crimes. they were generally more laid back people. a lot of folks are using past “collapses” to predict the future of one that will likely be magnitudes larger than anything previously seen. i hope you are right. my gut tells me not so. even a mere hurricane sent 250k people into my area from 200 miles east. grid lock, fights at the empty gas stations, meltdowns over no enfamil was the least of the worries. and that was a short term, localized event. many folks not on the east coast have no idea how densely packed people are nor how quickly the thin veneer of civility disappears. good luck to you all….. and call me stupid to my face it’ll be the last time with all of your teeth. its intolerant assholes like you that give people a bad name.

          • I like you.

          • +1 , No one can tell the future, but Katrina was by far the best bell weather we have for judging what a failure in economic and guberment systems will look like in this century.

            • Jesse Mathewson says:

              Lmfao, in both Argentina and Katrina the largest problems…were out of control government officials.


              • Jerry Thierheimer says:

                “You’re doing a great job Brownie !” US President George Bush during Katrina catastrophe …

              • I was there during Katrina. The federal government couldn’t find its own ass with both hands, a search warrant and the GPS coordinates. You had more problems with the govt agencies who wanted to force “help” on you than the problems from the flood.

                • ironic totally but true mostly says:

                  The government could have found any ass (or hole thereof) they wanted had they just employed the use of a fat and balding TSA screener. Especially if attached to a minor.

          • riverrider,, agree with you. Having lived in Argentina during the initial stages of the collapse and knowing the Argys well I can tell you that they are a much less violent society which at that time had very few weapons compared to the US. The age demographics were very different to present day US also, with no racial/cultural divide such as what we now suffer from today in the US. The Argentines were also used to there government/ banking system bilking them (to a lesser degree it had happened before), something the US populace can’t even imagine could happen to them.

            I am always amused by the individuals such as “mike” that act and comment disrespectfully on blogs/forums/comment sections. Usually they are overweight, wannabe types that took too much abuse during there formative school years and now see an opportunity to act tough without getting the heck beat out of them,,, all because of the anonymity and safety of being on the net and behind a keyboard.

      • riverrider. they were killing people in the streets in cities in Argentina, Cops were stealing money from citizens under threat of death, and people were following people back from te black markets and robbing them, think what they will do here where we have more guns.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Full (of?) Honestly, you are looking at it from the wrong direction, because most people west of the Mississippi are well armed we will generally see far less of that. If course you comradefornians and east coast wonderbreads (and Hawaii ) may have issues, but heck, yall are yankees and voted for the people who ban your defense…

          (Sarcasm intended)

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Btw full/ you make good points!

            I would however suggest amendments to the above regarding firearms, especially considering the “wild west ” pre fedrealization was actually extremely peaceful. Hard living, but isnt that how working for ones meal goes?

            • This isn’t the Wild West though, this is 2017. When people are starving they do crazy things.

              • Old Miner says:

                One day at the work lunch table, a couple of us were talking about survival in a SHTF situation. This one dude, quite a hothead, made the statement that if his daughter and wife were without food, he’d just go to his neighbors’ homes, shoot them, and take all theirs. I commented that he might do that once, but in all likelihood, he’d quickly end-up with his head blown off and providing a feast for the buzzards while his wife and daughter starved. Sad thing was, this dude NEVER “got it”, and kept mouthing with his “Me Big Rambo” phony macho crap. I do think that guys like this do bear watching because they ARE out there.

          • I live in Tennessee, and I personally know someone who said he would take peoples things by force, so I am not talking out of my ass here.

            • Full,

              He won’t last very long before he is shot and thrown into a ditch – everyone I know in my area is armed to the teeth and won’t take kindly to some jackass trying to steal stuff from them. People get shot in my area now for that and my neighbors will be even more eager to pull the trigger after a SHTF event.

              • I agree with you MD, but the point is, there really is people that have plans like that out there. People that have guns and ammo and not much else.

                • Full,

                  I know I’ve met a few of those – they won’t last very long. Neighbors will band together for mutual protection and food production because it’s in their own best interest. I have two-way radios for every house on my road (less than ten houses) that I’ll hand out to each with an agreement to help each other when needed.

                  • I have both CB radios and portable ham radio, that’s a good idea. There are a bunch of people that have both of those down here, but I might pass out a few CB radios if anything happens on the island.

                    Right now there is only 5 houses on the island, at least that I could see with Google Maps Pro, but there may be a few cabins that I can’t see with that in the thick forest, most of the island is covered in trees.

                    I will probably cut most of mine down i order to plant my Walnut and fruit trees.

                    I will erect a few towers on the top floor, one for my Wi-Fi parabolic dish, and at least another for my Ham and CB.

              • Jesse Mathewson says:

                I tend to agree with MD, those who seek to attack in the usa specifically west of Mississippi will definitely regret it (and most states with mountains and mountain people)

                • Jesse Mathewson says:

                  I also have an excess of baeofeng uv5r radios with good antennas and preprogrammed specifically for that reason.

                  • Jesse,
                    I have a UV-5r with a Nagoya 771 antenna as my main handie, got a few of them for family members for after the SHTF as they ain’t interested in sitting a licence. The best I got with the UV-5r was 38 miles into a repeater on in the next county. People often say ‘but that was into a repeater’ but they don’t realise the repeater must hear the signal just the same as if it was a simplex signal. Yesterday I made a readable QSO over 20 miles with the UV-5r inside my land rover. I love the little Asian wonders, for the cost there is no reason not to have your loved-ones outfitted with an emergency radio. Oh, my grandson is 9 and this week he will begin his foundation/technician training so he can get into the hobby like granddad.

                    • Jesse Mathewson says:

                      Nice to know geniuses think alike, I picked up three cases (15 of them) for a little over $200 adding $75 with the nagoya 771 for all awhile back. I follow different products and given time, you can take advantage of the market fluxuations. While I have heard minor complaints (generally because I only spent about $35 total for a radio with amazing specs) from other ham experts, in the end, theh function very well.

                      I recently started testing a uhf/vhf directional tv antenna for better distance to known locations on single band/simplex talking…believe it or not, currently talking right at 63 miles as crow flies (with small mountain range in way) (southern arizona)

                      Quite fun. All with standard 5 watts it puts out…:)

                      Working on a quick mount setup for the vehicle, have set locations for my locals, so regardless my location, if I can line of sight to at least the mountains around them. I can almost always get them…almost.

                      Have a few more things to test, working on converting old comcast/dish network dishes into directionals. We shall see.

                    • Jesse, here is a few links, remember to buy a suction cup and alligator clip to tape to the end so you can hang it up, and tape everything up good with electrical tape.



                      This is the one I made:

                      For permanent on house: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLqCtzqeQzI

                  • Jesse, that’s the same exact radios I bought, I think everyone bought them for the same reasons. Get you some tv wire and make you a better antenna, I have stood on a ridge and talked Lima Charlie 57 miles away with mine, no Amp. I know the distance is correct too, because the guy who calculated it for me was an Ex Pilot who likes to still do that for fun. I wouldn’t have been able to hit it with the stock antenna, but I never used that one anyway, I ordered a much larger whip the same times as the radio.

                    • Jesse Mathewson says:

                      Thats a good idea! Thank you!

                    • Jesse, I will try and locate you some plans to build the antenna, will get back with you on this, but it rolls up, and if you put an alligator clip on it, you can reach up into a tree and clip it onto a small limb, that’s how I use it. I also put a suction cup on it, so you can stick it to a window in your car or house. I clip it to my fan in the house.

                    • Jesse Mathewson says:

                      I appreciate it, dont worry about it. 🙂

    • That link is about Farfal, I was there on Frugal’s forum the same time he was, and he survived because he listened to me. You are at risk everywhere people, we all know this, but I can guarantee you, your risk of being in harms way is far greater in the city.

      If your house can be burned down with a single match from a 5 year old, you don’t have a plan of bugging in, get that through your thick heads people. I don’t care how much supplies you have their, there will be people that will take your things by force, and they don’t care if they have to kill you to do it.

      So given this reality, here is my advice. Buy land and build a fortified house that don’t burn, put a safe door on it and windows that can’t be climbed in and out of, especially on floors 1and 2.

      I am in a pretty decent position right now, I got fruit trees, Apple, 2 kinds of pears, sweet cheery, peach, and blue berry and raspberry bushes. I got a big garden I plant only organic heirloom crops in every year, but I am always looking to upgrade my position.

      I found what I am looking for, 10 acres on an Island on a lake. I have a full plan already and I haven’t even looked at it yet because of storms, probably in the next few days though.

      If I get it, I plan on building a landing craft big enough to haul building supplies and even my cars back and forth to the island.
      I will be building a fortified house out of rock, dirt, rebar and concrete. It will take an Army to get me out. 4 stories high with the top floor being a green house and a walk way with palisade walls around it to fight from. Safe door on first floor that I can drive a car or truck into, and that’s my shop area.

      I will be planting black walnut trees, but leaving 2 acres for my house, which will have a big garden for summer crops, and all kinds of fruit trees and berry bushes covering the whole place.

      If you want to survive, you must make the life style change. I will not be going to no stinking city looking for work, I already have not worked in 4 years, I need very little money, however I will have to go back to work for at least a few years, to do this upgrade, after that, I will work from the island.

      I will be building both the boat, and my house, this saves a ton of money. I will sell this house and land and that will give me a good part of what I need to do what I been planning for decades, my final plan.

      I am even designing the house I am building, which is a cross between a bunker and a castle, only above ground. I will be digging a well, and it will be located inside my house where it can’t be messed with. Air comes in from 4th floor. Five feet of dirt for thermal mass between two walls for protection and thermal mass.

      It will take me several years to get everything finished, but once finished I will be where I will be till I die. The whole island is about 150 acres, and if other owners don’t show up, I will have use of all of it.

      Those people running to cities mentioned, well they would be the idiots who never prepared, and you in the city can deal with them. There will be plenty going to where the food is, which is grown in the country, but that doesn’t worry me. I will be on a small island, about as safe as it will ever get.

      As for the Government taking my food and giving it to someone else, well if they ever do show up, I got something to say about that. They would have to be there at harvest time, they can’t take my trees, and I will be watching closely at those times of years and harvesting and working my place.

      I won’t even be a little worried about anyone taking my food once I get it set up, I will sink their watercraft on the way in if I feel I need to do so.

      Do what you want people, but you know the probable threats, deal and prepare now while you still can. Buy land on an island or out in the country where you don’t need a building permit, and can build your house the way you want. My black walnut trees won’t produce anything for about 5 years, but my berry bushes will.

      Put in some solar power, and have your food where it can be protected. Once it gets to the point where I need to start trimming trees, I will be making gun stock blanks in my shop on the first floor, and that will be my job.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        All land inside gov territory needs “permits” of course, that is unless you build smarter… 🙂

        Btw black walnut trees =’ location – opsec and all

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Bury two stories, youll be even safer 🙂

          • Why it’s all buried, it’s just above ground, 5 feet of dirt between 2 walls. You can’t bury 2 stories on a small Island, you are forgetting about the water table.

        • Opsec don’t matter, how am I supposed to hide 8 acres of black walnut trees? After they start producing, I will be selling a lot of Walnuts, in fact a good estimate is by year 8 production 60k worth. I know what reality is.

          There won’t be anyone capable of taking my walnuts. I will be overlooking the whole thing, and will have the only steel LCU on the water made out of 3/8th inch steel. Other than a couple of barges everything else is easily sunk.

          • Full,

            Sounds like you have a ready made post SHTF business ready to go…

            • I don’t have the land yet MD, but am going to look at it soon, but yes, my plan is to plant most of it in black walnut, and plant berry bushes as under story, then sell walnuts and berries.

              Second part is to make gun stock blanks out of the black walnut limbs I trim or cut down. You plant 100 per acre, then when they start producing for a few years, you cull the ones that don’t produce regular.

              I was going to plant 9 acres, but since the tree secrets a chemical that kills a good part of your garden crops, I need to leave 2 acres for my house and garden. I will be planting a bunch of different types of fruit trees and berry bushes on those 2 acres as well. I got 100 Goji Berry seeds right now I had shipped in from Tibet. Also 100 moringa oleifera tree seeds, but I am not sure if the latter will survive winters here. I will just plant all of them, and cross my fingers and see.

              Garlic, onions and carrots will survive by the Walnut trees as well, and there will be plenty of those too.

              I think once everything starts producing, that will be my job. This is why I will need an LCU, too carry everything back and forth, may as well make it out of steel just to be safe.

              • I have a black walnut I planted as a small 1′ starter 10 years ago,it’s about 4 feet tall and not quite an inch thick… never flowered, carpathians are doing a little better, ones actually about 6 feet tall and looks like a real tree, that was a 3 yo tree when I got it… but no signs of walnuts yet. I will have some almonds this year tho…

              • Full,
                I grew up in a town that had orchards of orange and walnut trees. I grew up here. There are remnants of the walnut trees and let me tell you, they are a pain in the backside.

                If you are going to try to farm 9 acres of these things, you will need a tree shaker just like the pecan farmers in Texas use. The ones that hit the ground will get riddled with worms. You only want to use the ones that are ripe.

                If you are doing this yourself, it will be more than a full time job. It took me and my two cousins, every day, just to rake up the fallen walnuts when they started to drop. Aside from the worms, they attract squirrels, raccoons, ants and other pests. Be prepared for that.

                Honestly, you’d probably be better off producing walnut oil. That will cut your harvest time down because roasting walnuts removes the bitterness that even slightly unripe walnuts have. Don’t forget, you still have to remove the husk, crack them and get the meat out. Roasting is easy on a cast iron skillet in small quantities, but for the acres you’re talking about, you’re going to need a commercial production operation. Not to mention a commercial oil extractor. I have one for personal use (my mom has a black walnut tree in her back yard).

                All of this said, I think the 60K estimate of rate of return is 5 to 10 years out provided you have the equipment and infrastructure already in place and are starting today.

                Good luck.

                • Sirius, I will look into the oil, but what I planned on doing was build a silo big enough to dry and store them in. Sell them still in the dried nuts.

                  “All of this said, I think the 60K estimate of rate of return is 5 to 10 years out provided you have the equipment and infrastructure already in place and are starting today.”

                  Yea, they won’t do nothing for about 5 years. It will be more than 10 years after planting before I get full production.

                  The figures are, first year 600 pounds per acre, next year 1,200, then jumps to 2,500, and keeps jumping till it tops out at 8 year mark, which is really year 12 or 13,since it does nothing till year 4 or 5.

                  You are supposed to plant 100 per acre, then after you find out which ones produce and which don’t, you cut down the ones that don’t. You replant any new trees with known good nuts from your best producing trees.

                  Trees do need lots of food, about twice per year to do well, but done right will grow about 4 feet a year, and top out around 80 feet tall.

                  • Jesse Mathewson says:

                    The first farm I was on before 12 had several dozen black walnut trees, absolutely amazing and very tasty. Plus, trimming limbs allowed for secondary market for knife scales/ etc., black walnut is an amazing wood as well.

            • I found the Island yesterday MD, but by the time I found it, it was too late to look at it. If I got a ride to it on a Sunday after 4, I would probably be there for days before anyone came by, so I have to go back.

              I have permission to barrow a boat from someone nearby, but have to wait till they come back from out of State.

        • Jesse, rural area down here, you can build your house without a permit. I have to have a permit to build a boat dock or something that goes out to the water, but that’s it. They don’t care what kind of house I build, as long as it’s not a trailer or modular home. It’s on an Island. I have to supply my own well, septic tank, and power.

          Out in the Country here in Tennessee, you can build a house without a permit, plenty of places out there still like that, now town and city is a different story.

          You can’t get any more rural than a small island.

  53. My concern is how people have changed. Look at how they will kill each other on Black Friday to get a great deal…what would they do if they didn’t have food?

    • bingo! we have a winner.

      • Does that mean that those people are going to leave their homes by the hundreds of thousands in the city and come to your house in the country to kill you? No it doesn’t.

        • Why does a horde have to be hundreds of thousands? If 20 people show up at my house to do…whatever…It’s a horde.

          • That right there is what you call common sense and it’s hard to argue with.

          • My “in-laws” converge like a horde. They enjoy showing up for free food.

            • Jesse Mathewson says:

              No one unknown and bearing arms with intent (take some training learn the meaning) will be welcome. “Blood, or not”

            • Axelsteve says:

              bugging out may be a reality after shtf. We almost bugged out last year due to wild fires. just cause shtf does not mean that we will not have wildfires.

              • Axelsteve,
                I live in my 90 year old father’s house to be his carer, the house will in a very short number of years be mine though. He worked hard to pay for it and he, naturally, hates the idea of leaving it and the memories it contains. We have a bug-in first attitude but he said ‘why would we leave here ?’ Eventually he agreed that if sickness was creeping from house to house due to the close proximity of building in the UK then to get out was the order of the day. I have built up a few close friends into a group within a 100 mile radius, even here in the UK there are secluded safe-ish places to be far away from chaos.
                My opinion is this, nothing is totally safe, doing nothing is totally less safe ! 🙂


          • That’s not a horde–it’s not even a full magazine…

  54. “Do you really want to pile up sandbags around your home, dig fox holes in preparation for the “golden horde” that just wont come? Knock yourself out!”

    Quote from : FerFAL the guy that lived through the economic collapse in Argentina…

    • I think that the status of the power grid is the key factor. If the grid goes down for an extended period of time in the city, where no water is pumped and sewage is not processed, it would be unlivable. Include in this riots that would prevent delivery of supplies.

      The people would leave for sure to look for water and food. The Golden Horde could be real given the right conditions. How far they would get is another story.

  55. If you look at the poorest, most desperate countries (Haiti for example), there are still cities, people still have jobs, and money still works and there has been no golden horde.

    • TomMacGyver says:

      That’s because the bad guys have already taken control, and anyone who opposed them is already dead. One need only look at Mexico to see this scenario playing out…

  56. Yea but see, how do you write a novel about that? Well you could but you would actually have to DEVELOP characters and plot lines. Very few in the genre seem to want to do that.

    I would love to see an author take a real crack at a story based on the real likely outcomes of economic collapse.

  57. If there wasn’t a golden horde from the cities to the countryside in Argentina, Lebanon, the west bank/gaza strip, Columbia, Haiti, South Africa, or Zimbabwe (they fled to other cities in South Africa) it isn’t going to happen in the U.S. either.

    • All Americans, even the poorest own cars and motorcycles and they would use them to escape if they felt there was no hope of surviving where they are.

      You cannot compare the third world to America, There are not many super highways in those countries.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Emcomm, the single greatest thing the USA has done as a resut of its massive interventionism over the last century alone is infrastructure in third world nations.

        Ours is barely held together with spit and baling wire, while many third world nations have one that is simply amazing now.

      • Ben Leucking says:

        If you’ve never been stuck in total gridlock, even during a typical rush hour, you must live a charmed life. Imagine a mass or forced evacuation from a major city where there are four or five million vehicles attempting to evacuate on a limited number of routes. Then imagine that 99% of those vehicles are disabled because of an EMP event and five or six million people are on foot.

  58. Dirk Williams says:

    Interesting views. If I might ask what are your credentials. Anything that makes me think I like. You have accomplished that. I hope your right.

    Good day.

      • Encourager says:


      • And that’s why this is a successful “survivalist” blog.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Dirk, almost all of us who contribute ir comment regularly are life time “survivalist/preppers” having already lived through numerous events (tornadoes, quakes, mudslides, floods, etc., ) as you will see reading other articles. There is a reality that exists, and there is fan fiction from poly sci city living never saw action ex barely served a minute officer types who saw a buck could be made, or the flip side current manufacturers employing slick marketing companies to write their material so they can flood your inbox with useless emails claiming “the way found here, FREE ($5.99 ship and handle)” or worse the atypical “ex navy seals secret to a one second…” lmao

          Along with MD and many other contributers / commentors, I for one grew up trapping, hunting in a big family of dirt poor hillrods and watched my mom can for long winters with no crops to “share” and or similar.

          While prepping became a big business marketed to yuppies pre y2k (oops) and post, there has always been hand to mouth living families who through generations have lived in the “hills” (not beverly) and been raised to understand, aint no one can care for you better than you at any given moment.

          If that makes sense.

          (And yep, I went there yall, sorry 😉

      • Always ask yourself this question. What will our gigantic government do? If the economic collapse causes the distribution of food and fuel to stop the government will spring into action. Government employees, especially law enforcement, will go in to work even if they are not getting paid or their pay is in doubt. Why. That will be the safest place for them.
        The first government order to the public will for everybody to stay home. Get off the streets. Don’t be part of the problem. Then they will get absolute control of the road system by setting up check points at all the natural choke points. So when the SHTF everybody will be mostly stuck where they are.
        Then the government will try to distribute food. They will do a pretty good job of it for a while.
        So everybody in the cities will line up for food.
        It will not take long for this food distribution to fall off.
        Big cities and high population density areas will have a lot of trouble.
        I am inclined to believe that in small towns people will come together.
        I think the government will force the utility companies to continue to provide electric service and natural gas.
        If the internet continues to function people will start to come up with solutions. If not we could be in for a long cold winter.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Jist what our founders ordered…moar gubermint! 😉

          Me thinks, anything a month or longer and this country will quite quickly fracture. Heck, chinese already own and populate north eastern states above Sacramento – russians newark through well…you get the drift.

          This guberment only continues to exist as a result of strong arming others…just saying

      • OKIE in CO says:

        on another note, what happened to the Amazon link from your site? I always tried to use it, joe

        • Thanks OKIE, I will check it out.
          When we are talking about an economic collapse there are two possibilities. Slow and sudden. If the economy takes a year or two to decline then law enforcement and social services will probably continue to work mostly.
          From a SHTF standpoint I am addressing sudden.
          Ask yourself this question. What almost happned in 2008? It was almost a sudden collapse. Short term credit almost ended. That credit cards would not work. Most truckers could not buy fuel. ATM almost stopped working. We came to within a hair of that. Food distribution without truck fuel would have stopped. Big cities would have run out of food in a few days. This all almost happened.
          The situation in big cities and densely populated areas would have been bad places to be. The governments would have done their best to get food out to those people, but would have fallen short. Martial law would have been established. The governments would have total control of the road system.
          That’s what I think might happen in the future.
          So, what to do about it.
          Same old prepper stuff. Make sure that you have a source of clean water. Like MD sais. Make sure you have friendships with like minded people and agree before the fact to get together. You can’t do it alone. You must have a group to be with. Have lots of non-perishable food. And for the long term grow food and be ready to increase your production.
          That’s my take on it. There will surely be a lot of details and surprises that no one can predict or prepare for. Be ready to adapt.

  59. The author makes a great point about community. Check out http://www.rerootusa.com if you have similar feelings. This is how the I Am Liberty faithful believe we can get the country back on track

  60. GoatHollow says:


  61. Excellent, sobering and thoughtful. Great article, M.D. it truly is. I’d like to print out a copy to show to a guy at my club who pretty much has bought into all you mentioned.

    I live near a city (15 miles) whose population, by and large, depends on some form of government assistance, but at the same time, I don’t have much concern about a tidal wave of looters fanning out. You were spot on: cities are the logical places to send supplies, as they always exist at the nexus of transportation routes. Where I live, I’d have more to fear from some of my less-couth neighbors.

    And finally, someone who debunks the old “Throw your pack on and head for the hills!” myth that’s been going around for so long. Again, the guy at my club is totally onboard with this, while at the same time, he probably wouldn’t last more than a week or so in the woods “for real”. Personally, I know my limitations (many), and could possibly eke out an existence for some time, but it’d be at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy to be sure. Even when I was young and healthy, just packing for a three to four-day excursion in the mountains meant a substantial amount of materiel just to maintain living, much less carving out a new life for myself.

    And it’s high time that folks like us stop playing Internet Tough Guy when the subject of what they would do when the inevitable “shoot/don’t shoot” question comes up. I like the way you dealt with that.

    And the small community idea doesn’t have to take place in a rural/semi-rural setting.It could be in a cul-de-sac, a suburban neighborhood, an apartment complex, or an urban street setting.
    All it takes is for someone to take the first steps in getting to know your neighbors better.

    And that’s for everyday, not just for Doomsday. Even if the most you do is smile and wave at them, it’s something more than coldly ignoring them. Good or bad, know who lays their head in the house next to yours, it could prove beneficial someday. Know what cars they drive, a general idea of when they’re at work or just out, when they’re in.
    I love solitude, but I wouldn’t like it for long. Even the hermits who used to live in the mountains above Salt Lake back when I lived there had to come into town, if anything to remind them why they were hermits, but they still needed human contact in order to do that. We’re a social animal, not very good at living the true solitary life of some other creatures. We need each other, even if we don’t like each other very much at times.

    • Rick, you reminded me of something with this: “And the small community idea doesn’t have to take place in a rural/semi-rural setting.It could be in a cul-de-sac, a suburban neighborhood, an apartment complex”

      Back in the late 1980s (think: Height of the Crack Wars) I lived in Milwaukee, and to get to the highway I frequently took a route through some of the worst drug-ridden areas.

      One day I turned onto a street I had never been on, and realized it was a block long cul-de-sac. Every house on the block had a chain link fence around it. Every house was freshly painted. Every house has flower gardens and a nice lawn.

      Not a single house in the surrounding blocks had any of those except the chain link fences.

      It struck me that the only physical difference was that no one could drive or walk through that block on their way elsewhere. That meant the home owners knew who should be walking or driving their block, and who shouldn’t be. They had a little enclave in the heart of the Crack Wars, and they made it work.

      Of course the government discourages cul-de-sacs because they are expensive to plow in the winter, and fire trucks can’t get beyond them.

      It seems to me that the benefits would be worth the costs, though.

      In Beirut in 1975, during the beginning of their civil war, I went with a neighbor to a house on a standard grid pattern street. The neighbors had blocked each end of the block with flat bed trailers, and had sand bag gun posts on the corners. They turned their block into an enclave.

      It seemed to be working for them, in the midst of people going to the grocery store with belt fed machine guns mounted on the vehicles, and people shooting rockets at the Holiday Inn. And people in the Holiday Inn shooting rockets back.

      It may not have been a perfect solution, but they sure improved on what they started with.

      • Metacomet says:

        I was in Beirut then, too. The Beirutis knew the war was coming for awhile. They had ample opportunity to stock up on supplies and make other preparations. Many of them sent any money they had out of the country for safekeeping. Shopkeepers were selling their goods at bargain prices just to reduce inventory and save the money, sometimes just to “save” the items by selling them to foreigners who would take them out of the country. There was nowhere for them to go really, since the outside agitators/enemy were all around outside of the city and up into the highlands, so their only choice was to hunker down and defend themselves while keeping their heads down. They did pretty well, considering.

  62. Draq wraith says:

    Did anyone here live in the 1980’s see the movie ‘The Survivors’?
    Everytime I keep hearing the run for the hills crowd I think about that show. How the extremism the land grabs and the mole people just keeps that movie vivid in my mind. To me there should be a happy middle ground that’s just right for the events that may come. It would be nice to see that happen but everyone has their line in the sand that they don’t cross. Hope folks have at least a weeks worth of prep and safety gear. But I know trying to get people to plan ahead is like peeing in the Mississippi to get Iit to reverse course. Just doesn’t work.

  63. Rider of Rohan says:

    One of the best and most thought-provoking articles I have ever seen, MD. It ought to be required reading for everyone with an IQ over 100. And the comments are excellent. Well done!

    • One thing I would add to his discussion is the warning shot. I’m disappointed in the decline of using a warning shot. If one can’t spare a warning shot perhaps they’d better bone up at the range.

  64. What an awesome discussion. I agree with you completely, MD. I live in a rural ag area close to a thriving city and I already see lots of farmers whose spouse works in town, as there are few jobs here. Most people who don’t farm commute to town and if times got tough they would spend about 2 seconds calculating the costs and be gone from here. I could see significant others living in town and visiting home on the weekends, taking produce back with them to supplement expensive store bought goods. I also think we will see people doubling and tripling up, and maybe bringing back the old fashioned boarding house. All it would really take is a spike in the gas prices that doesn’t get manipulated back down to an economically palatable level. One thing to keep in mind is that where I live (rural South Dakota) a lot of people have their homes paid for and do have some leeway in their budgets. They hunt, fish, preserve foods from their own gardens and are somewhat insulated from all these conversations, because it doesn’t affect them. We do have a rural hospital 12 miles away with a close circuit ER that connects them to a trauma center so in many ways we are set to ride it out. We don’t have some businesses but we do have internet. What people seem to forget is what happened in this country during the depression and dust bowl. Everyone “bugged out” for California or other parts where jobs were available. I think you’re spot on.

  65. I have read this thread and comments completely through from beginning to end. One of the attributes about preparing for whatever is likely to come your way is the multitude of ideas from people who are attempting to survive whatever calamity comes their way.

    Absolutely none of us knows with any degree of accuracy how a “Financial Collapse” will play out either nationwide or locally. We can only judge by what has occured in the past and project those scenerios into our future planning along with any current potential crises we might envision.

    There has never been this much Debt, i.e.; Personal, Credit Card, Student Loans, Corporate, GSE and Sovereign in the history of mankind. There is over One Quadrillion in Derivitives sloshing around in the world’s financial system.

    When the proverbial “straw that breaks the camel’s back” occurs, I do expect a lengthy “Bank Holiday” to be immediately followed by a long list of draconian actions from the Imperial Government in DC. Currency Controls, GRA aka Retirement confiscation, i.e.; 401Ks, IRAs, SEPs. Perhaps also your long term (2-5 Year) CDs.

    We will also see at this time witness severe means testing for Social Security and Medicare as well as Medicaid if these programs even survive. Ditto for Food Stamps. Reductions in “Retired” Pay for Military, Civil Service and Postal.

    There are so many ways this could and will play out.

    BUT if you live near or in a large Urban area that is majority minority I would urge you to be cautious and plan ahead for your safety.

  66. Thank you Dr. Creekmore. We just had a great Thanksgiving with our grown children flying in from out of State to attend with us at our new home that is described quite well by yourself describing yours. Ours isn’t quite that big but our trees are enormous.

    We have a travel trailer for “bugging out”, but I fully intend to hunker down. We just got this place a few months ago. Paid cash for it. The well was full of roots and it was a pretty penny to fix that but we finally have what we had always hoped for. We even lucked out with the neighbors and I like your CB radio idea. Two miles North of a small town with the National Forest for a neighbor. It’s beautiful. Perfect.

    Last Friday after work we drove up there and when we awoke Saturday morning there was two inches of fresh snow.

    • David,

      Glad to here that you’ve found your place. I wish that mine had a water well on it, but we get plenty of rain and I have to farm ponds and a small lake all within 1/2 mile of my property.

  67. Enzo Pamrona says:

    “That Other” survival blog offers a long article (by a reader) today examining the details of bugging out. The same recommendations that have been repeated for decades as referenced above. Sigh.

  68. I love this post. You have very interesting ideas about not isolating yourself too much. You are spot on about being in an extremely vulnerable position by isolating yourself too much. Small communities do seem to be where the most safety lies. A small homestead is great to support an off the grid lifestyle. An additional layer of protection would be an underground bunker. They can provide a safe place to lay in wait while the worst of the expected civil unrest unravels. The most important aspect of having a bunker is making sure everyone doesn’t know about it. Rising S Bunkers (found here http://www.risingsbunkers.com/pricing-and-floor-plans/ ) builds underground bunkers with confidentiality a big priority. They are a national company so the location need not matter. They build steel underground bunkers of the highest quality. They can build the bunkers to be completely off the grid at an affordable price. Its a great alternative to live off the grid. A lot of people want to have the security of living off the grid when necessary, but don’t want to make the sacrifices of that lifestyle while the world is still a peachy place. An off the grid underground bunker is the wisest investment you can make today.
    M.D. Creekmore you are opening a lot of minds about prepping and I really enjoyed reading your well written entry.

    • Charlotte, you don’t really want an underground bunker so to speak, build an above ground one with 2 walls filled with dirt instead, then nobody can mess with your air supply.

  69. Pretty much spot on. Read up on what happened to isolated farmers in Rawanda and what is currently happening to isolated farmers in South Africa. Need groups of people working together for common protection. Unless of course the army shows up and says relocate because we are taking your land. Then its run or be hauled off.

  70. I live in the city, where there’s no place to hunt/fish. Here’s how I “prep” for a downturn:

    1. Give up soda, alcohol, tobacco, and processed foods. I can’t afford to be unhealthy, not with price of healthcare these days.
    2. Go running three times a week at 5am.
    3. I ride a bike everywhere, to work. I only use public transport 2 or three times a year.
    4. In the winter, avoid caffein, salt, and sugar. It makes it harder to take the cold weather.
    5. In the winter, eat more fat and protein.
    6. Wear thick socks.
    7. Get rid of the TV. It wastes your time (and electricity.)
    8. If there’s a sale on meat and fish, smoke/can it.
    9. Try to get along with your neighbors. You never know when you may need their help.

  71. Bob Nelson says:

    You need to have the most trusted and least selfish close friends in a small group! Going this alone makes you an easy target. In my case, I have some of my most trusted friends who are woods and defense-savvy, many with Special Ops training from Uncle Sam. We began preparing long ago (decades).

    All understand and accept that relatives have no special place if/when this goes worst-case. Some own businesses that are already stocked.

  72. trust can get you killed and as for cabin in the woods being a target no one able to hear your crys for help works both ways lol

  73. I would suggest flares to call out for help. Maybe outlandish but heh. Why not?

    • 1MoreBoyScout says:

      Flares are good defensive weapons as well ! ! So is grain alcohol in glass bottles with a rag for a fuse. Soak, light, throw, burst, BOOM! quick distraction tactic.

  74. 1MoreBoyScout says:

    Well…. All of these post’ are from around January. I always seem to be bringing up the rear, so to speak. (I’ll catch up one of these day’s!)
    Were about 5 – 6 miles from any town, the biggest locally, about 7 miles away. Neighbor wise, 1/4 to 1/2 a mile in any direction making that literally, 4 neighbors. With the exception of a Hand pump for the well, and an electrical (combustion) generator, I think were in good shape. I My (actual) biggest concern proximity wise, is an Air Force base, about 5 miles away. Just my own paranoia, as I am not sure just how “they” will react to a societal break-down. I can see the disadvantage to some isolation instances, & also the advantage. I believe were far enough “out of
    town” that we wont have to deal too much with the common hordes. There is a lot of pasture lands, & woods to keep them from wandering, at least on foot, very far. The families that do live around us are farmers, cattle ranchers, & hunters. They seem to patrol their respective lands regularly, & we all live on gravel roads, so we can here & see who’s approaching, at least vehicle wise, And I am certain from interaction’s with them, that we would all be a sort of “minute man” group if TSHTF. We have no plans of bugging out, unless it really get’s bad-bad. We have plenty of room to garden sustainable crops, & crops for barter, hunting area & a stocked pond. WITH ALL THAT said, it comes down to this, If God want’s us here, here is where we’ll be. If God call’s us home, were going home. That’s his call to make, weather or not we actually realize it at the time, is on us, but one thing is for certain: Were NOT going down without a blood & bones fight to the death.. But, that is just my opinion. “What do I really know…”

    • 1MoreBoyScout says:

      Perhaps it’s a mix of the Stubborn Pawnee / Irish mix in me. I have deep rooted ties to this country of ours. I’m not into “rolling over” so to speak. Futures, certain or not, are worth fighting for. I wish I could say it’s a common mind-set. I’m not sure anymore. I feel the younger generation coming up behind
      doesn’t have the fortitude to stand up, & the remainder with an exception of a few, are too scared & lazy. Again, my opinion. I hope I’m proven wrong…

  75. Not knowing the inevitable catalyst, it undoubtedbly will come down to the survival of the fittest / luckiest. Wondering if this new world, and the person that I’ll undoubtedly need to step up to be in order to survive, will be worth it.

  76. George in Minnesota says:

    Great post & thread. It’s good to see this intelligent discussion though on this forum I find it the rule rather than the exception.
    As is noted in one of Heinlien’s Novels “The armed society is a polite society”. This applies to those armed with intellect as well as steel.
    I agree that the “Golden Horde” as depicted in novels and popular fantasy is just that, a fantasy. Though as noted twenty thugs showing up constitutes a “Horde”. Trouble from twenty is as bad as trouble from a thousand. You can get dead from either. I’ve seen the weight and taken the measure of a lot of urban dwellers and find them wanting. Even if they would the question “if they could” precludes their invasion of the countryside. Most of them could not waddle that far. Those who could can be dealt with by the simple point that humans are not completely human in isolation. We from communities. Those communities usually are based on a principal of “you don’t always need to love your neighbor but you almost always need to help them”. This is called “enlightened self interest”. Find and insulate one’s self in a community is the best way to protect from those twenty thugs.
    The “Bug out Bug in” controversy has been settled in my mind to a basic and in many ways unique principal. That is that prepping is not so much preparation for eventuality as it is a striving for as much self sufficiency as possible. Looking at the thing from this point accomplishes two things. First of all the quality of life and the measure of satisfaction grows as you become more self sufficient. A full larder in the fall, home baked bread, your own bacon and the satisfaction of making your own lively hood and supper has nothing to compare with it.
    The second point is that as you strive for self sufficiency each step actually makes you more prepared for any eventuality. This is a classic case of achieving an impossible goal like being prepared for everything by trying to do something other that move towards the goal. Eventually you find the problem has solved itself as you are “there” with out consciously going in that direction.
    I can see several situations where bugging out is a necessary response but those are special circumstances. For instance if a rather large backside woman with a clip board shows up at your freehold demanding to inventory your supplies for “fair distribution” to those in need and you happen to infect the two armed thugs accompanying her with lead poisoning you may have to “head for the hills” until things cool down or if the nuclear plant fifteen miles away goes melt down it would be advisable to run to safety. Both options bug in and bug out should be on the table with circumstances dictating which to implement. Shelter in place in my opinion should always be the first option.
    There is another myth that does need debunking. In popular prepper fiction the hero ends up with the pretty girl. The truth of the matter is that at least in my case I already have her. She would be very upset if I brought in a backup. Her wrath would be of epic proportions no matter what skills the other woman brought with her.

  77. I agree: This is still good advice.

    When we see news clips of any period depicting fleeing refugees, they are nearly always of people fleeing invading armies.

    Now and then we see people fleeing a relatively localized natural disaster, like forest fires or an approaching hurricane.

    We should ask ourselves: To where are they fleeing? Generally, wherever they are fleeing from, they are fleeing to a city. That’s because, as our host said, cities are where the resources are: Red Cross, FEMA, even so prosaic a resource as hotel and motel rooms in which to stay, grocery stores, restaurants, and clothing stores.

    An interesting large scale recent example: the refugees fleeing the Middle East for other Middle Eastern locations, and Europe (let’s leave aside for now if there are ISIS combatants within the mass of real refugees): What are they fleeing? Full scale war with bombings of cities and mass executions of civilians by fighters who are in full fledged revolt against the government. To where are they fleeing? Cities.

    Those refugees are being channeled by governments into camps outside cities, and into refugee camps in cities and smaller towns, both in the Middle East and Europe.

    In parts of Syria government certainly has gone away for the moment, but not forever. Even in countries which saw massive collapses, government and law returned, and like in Zimbabwe and South Africa, people who committed murders during the breakdown were in many -not all, certainly, but many- cases prosecuted.

    My inclination is to think about the 2-5 most likely disasters in our area, and prepare well for those. Since a great deal of prepping is pretty generic, being well prepared for the most likely also prepares us decently for the much less likely, especially if we add a very small number of more specialized supplies.

    WROL is very unlikely to occur, and if it does, it is highly unlikely to occur for more than a few weeks. We will be held accountable for our actions eventually, and that is a good thing.

    That belief is a bit like believing in an afterlife and a just god: people who may be tempted to misbehave will be inclined to behave better than their inclinations if they believe that eventually they will be held accountable. By neighbors, courts, or their god.

    • Excellent post, Penrod. I totally agree with you that the ‘hoards’ will be heading to the cities to get their government handout.

  78. Hmmm, to bug out or not…………. I think it all depends on where you are..what state you live in, etc. Where I live the nearest large city, and I do mean large is over approximately 400 miles away. The nearest smaller ciry….say 50,000 max population is over 50 miles away. My town has about 3000 people. If I was a young man I woulkd probably head for some place like Alaska now rather than wait for something to happen. I’m one of those that really dislike crowds or getting involved with all kinds of organizations. Knowing one’s neighbors is a good thing….that doesm’ mean I trust them completely. As far as using weapons…yup. That doesn’t mean one has to act like a Rambo dharacter….but does mean if the situation warrants one you have misgiving about it. Life is precious…but it is not sacred imo. My main fear is what the government may do when it hits the fan. I do not trust ANY government, be it city, county, state or federal. As for protecting the sheep….well, if they don’t at least have taken some precautions and made some prepearations….the hell with them. Period.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Curt, government as you well know has and always will be the largest gang, badges and uniforms do not sadly bring out the good in people…though my curb stomping, door slamming, gut punching phone book using blood brother who was an army leo and bragged constantly about exactly the above will now swear with his hand on a bible that none of the above ever happened…lmao and he calls himself a xtian even considers himself somewhat of a preacher…lmao

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        I dont talk to most of my blood, long ago realizing, family was not simply close genetics (as we are all somewhat genetically related) but those who do and are there for you as you are for them. 😉

        • In fact, we are all so genetically related that humans share a full 50% of their DNA with bananas!

          (Yes, it’s really true…)

          • Karl,
            It is said to be true but that’s like saying we are of the same kin as an asteroid as we have amino acid in us. Don’t know how bananas feel but I’ve lost a lot of faith with those of my haplogroup as they forget their ancestry !

    • Curt S. You live in a perfect location. Well done. I am envious. We live in a small town but 30 miles from a ‘bigger’ city.

  79. Texas Gal at Heat says:

    I have not read all of the 210 comments, so I might be repeating. In the “shoot First” thing is that people don’t realize that the shoot first will leave dead bodies around. This will cause sickness that will be worst than shooting first. Unless you have a way of disposing of the bodies you had better think twice and may be 3 times.
    Also if you just wound someone that wound could and probably will be come infected and again sickness for everyone is a great possibility.
    Why don’t people use common sense in this situtations?

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Heck, even buzzards gotta eat. Nice thing about southern arizona, nice and dry, not allot of rot and plenty of javelina, ants, crows, buzzards keep the corpse population down…of course, lots of ol mine shafts too…and well, circle of life and all that. 🙂

  80. Billy T. says:

    Right on! Regarding the depression though, many of those fleeing from countryside to cities were fleeing the dust bowl heat, drought and dust, not solely looking for money.

    My family lived a subsistence lifestyle in the 1940s and early 50s. Almost none of the posters on prepper sites, including this one, have any idea how hard it is and also do not have the skills to live that way.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Billy T., if they were fleeing to cities, it was cause they didnt have the money or land or water to sustain them in the country. It will happen again in the USA, the midwestern farmers long ago sold out to big agro.

      There is a reason the “troubles” we westerners are having with blm and uppity east coast styled politicians is called the sagebrush wars and has been ocurring for decades now…because most western ranchers (not Texas or Californian) have NOT sold out. Sadly.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Side note, I know subsistance living, done it my entire life, tis why I share with fantasy dwellers now 😉

      • Billy T. says:

        Yes, I read your posts and recognize that you have substantial experience.
        Those with the best chance of survival are the ones who live at their BOL, particularly if they have enough land, water and the knowledge of farming/gardening, animal husbandry, hunting and trapping.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          I think maybe there are more of them among us than you may believe. Regardless, you have a significant point, though sadly with the way things work, it is not so easy living on ones BOL (though I know many who effectively live of grid for all intents and purposes.

      • Jesse–your skills are worth their weight in gold. We are learning all we can, but have a lot more to learn.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          You are absolutely correct, Terra and Billy – we (especially myself here) can always and always should be learning more!

  81. tommy2rs says:
    • T2, the difference with Venezuela and an EMP/financial collapse in America is guns. They banned firearms in Venezuela 2 years before their collapse. I will never surrender my arms for any reason. Doing so seals your fate and you might as well die fighting. JMHO

      • Thor 1–agree with you. We are thinking about hiding some of ours. Any suggestions how to do this?

        • Terra, I do. Buy a 55 gallon drum, take the ring off, and the rubber liner. Take the drum and the ring but not the bolt and nut part and get it Coated inside and out with bed liner.

          Put rubber seal back in but coat in marine grease first. You can put ammo, a full back pack, and a bunch of guns and supplies in just one drum. Be sure and coat nut and bolt with a thick layer of marine grease too when you bury it.

  82. Santa Walt says:

    Great post! It expresses thoughts I have had for a long time, but because so many others were saying different, I said nothing. Now I don’t have to. Thanks

  83. Jerry D Young says:

    I tend to agree for the most part with the last three parts of the five. I tend to disagree rather significantly with the first two.

    Primarily because of the tie in to economic collapse. They are probably true for an economic collapse scenario. Except the Golden Horde. The Government sending troops to the rural areas to collect things for use in the cities is, are, in my opinion, a Golden Horde. Armed, without mercy, following orders blindly, to take everything they can, ‘for the good of all’, with, of course the cream of the crop siphoned off for themselves since they have to have it to be able to function and get the rest to those that need it, and to TPTB that must have a prime share, of course, since they are necessary to be sure everyone is treated ‘equally’.

    Then, there are the many different scenarios that are not an economic crisis where being in the cities will be untenable for any one of many different reasons. Infrastructure failure where there is no electricity, no sewer, no water, no trash pick-up, no fuel, n0 this that and the other. It will not be much better in the rural areas, of course, since it will quickly be stripped by the early arrivers, and those that have buried things deep that will not give up what they have.

    Or an epidemic. Or pandemic. Or massive floods. Or a multi-week snow/ice/blizzard event. Or…

    When it comes to WROL I pretty much believe the same thing. Many situations will not result in such. And only a very few will result in WROL for any length of time. But, as stated in the article, there could be a time, even in an economic crisis where WROL does exist for a time, in some places. And therefore must be considered and plans for dealing with it developed. Then there are the things that are not an economic crisis where WROL are much more likely, and could last longer. Much longer. Of course, Rule of Law will be reestablished. But until it is, WROL must be dealt with.

    The fact that certain things will not occur under specific circumstances does not mean that they can be ignored or are insignificant in all scenarios. I am a prepper. I prepare for as many different circumstances as I can, even those that are unlikely, especially those that if they do happen, no matter how unlikely, will be especially bad or dangerous, and even more so if no attention has been directed at being ready for them.

    Just my opinion.

  84. TPSnodgrass says:

    I am also in agreement, that the “golden horses”, are a myth, and only works with a great deal of assumptions being in place.
    Sorry, but those assumptions are what get people killed in reality, and like M.D., it just isn’t going to happen. At the most, a few will only go as far as their gas tank will take them, and then be refugees like everybody else, only with a whole lot less.

  85. I have heard stories of the depression from my Grandma. She would give bums a sandwich, apple,cup of coffee and a nickel. But she also had 10 people and shotguns.

  86. Nationwide there are probably 100+ home invasion robberies every day. These are relatively good times economically. These home invasions are usually to feed drug addictions, not starvation. I expect starvation will cause an uptick.

  87. Mechanic says:

    I don’t understand the bug out to the mountains mentally. Everything you will have at your disposal will be at home. Leaving for family in another location or a pre- selected retreat, maybe. Travel very well may be almost impossible due to volume, disabled vehicles, lack of refueling. Last place I would want to be is with a disabled vehicle stuck on the side of the road. CB radios for neighbors is a good idea. If things got ugly were going to drop trees and stagger so any vehicle traffic will have to slowly maneuver around including the need to back up. This will create a easy choak point for anyone planning on driving in. Much easier to control entry.

    • Mechanic, everyone seems to think bugging out to the mountains means doing it on foot and it taking days, but if you have a paramotor and NVG’s, you can even do it under the cover of darkness and pretty much nobody could stop you. You don’t even need a license for that. Though illegal after dark normally, who cares if the SHTF right? They make units that will carry 600 pounds, enough for a person and his gear if he has a training harness type set up. All those roads can be avoided.

      Even you fly in the day time, once you are several thousand feet up, who is going to stop you? You can get to a bug out location in record time, and pretty much don’t even need to worry about being followed. I would take my chances in the mountains over a wooden house every time.



      U.S law is 5 gallons of fuel, that’s about 5 hours worth, but in a SHTF scenario you could carry extra if you needed too.

      Ina couple of hours you could be several hundred miles away at a bug out location, and have avoided all the road blocks and traffic. I plan on getting on of these as a second way to get off my island, but the LCU has to be first.


      Also, once you really know what you are doing, you would be surprised where you can take off and land. Safer than riding a motorcycle, but slightly less than driving a car.

  88. With regard to the golden horde thing…..they already exist. That mess in Conneticut, where the rabble destroyed a whole commubity. That was not the only one as I recall.Have any of the commenters seen a riot upclose and personal>? I have. I was working for the Wisconsin Electric Power Company at the time in one of their power plants. Luckily the police gor wind of it going down while the rioters were still forming up. Even so….the fear that was visible of peoples faces was very evident. Years back I saw the start of a neighborhood riot in Spain. Trust me….you do not want to be anywhere near a riot. They take on a life of their own.

    In regards to having a retreat on a island…..not at all sure I would do that. Why? An island is like a penensula. No retreat with an island and limited on a peninsula. Having a dedicated community is fine. But…..Not everone there may want to belong…maybe there are some hotheads or what not. Seems to me unless the whole group is in accord trying to create one might be sort of like hearding cats. Petty jealousy….you name it. I am not saying bugging in is wrong…..just make damm sure you aren’t just hoping it works. When the chips are down……a lot of people either freeze up or go goofy.

    • Being on a 150 acre island is safer than being on the main land, even if I and mine is the only ones that shows up, and you can’t tell me otherwise. The chances of anyone even showing up and trying anything is slim to none, and they would either have to swim or have a boat to even get there.

      So if they get there, then what? They can’t get in my house, WTH are they going to do except get sunk ON THE WAY IN, or shot, or both.

      • Jesse Mathewson says:

        Remember though, the mad max, one guy against the world doesnt work. Never has in the long run. Short term, sure, long term…

        • “even if I and mine is the only ones that shows up,”

          Read it again.

          As to what you said, sometimes it does work. In a fortified house, one person can hold of a lot of people. How fast can a boat get there? I bet not as fast as I can sink it from the 4th floor.

          I am kin to Alvin York, you should look up how many Germans he captured by himself in WW2. Of course if you are one of those people that thinks you can’t hold of anybody by yourself, you are probably right.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            Full, how you word what you word is essential. If anything my back and forth convos here (which I appreciate yours as well) have taught me to clarify better.

            As for who your kin is, it means nothing, John McCain had a father who was an amazing Sailor/Admiral- he on the other hand was and remains a coward that cares only for himself.

            My point being, stand on your own merit, no one elses matters unless its them stating it.

            As for mad maxing, good luck, I know many who think that is the way it will be and they will be fine…interestingly, of all of them ive only met one who actually trains, is in shape and or could be possibly capable of holding off multiples from multiple sides.

            So good luck, hope it works, ill keep building my tribe and as always work to ensure my own skills are as good as I can physically complete.

            • “As for who your kin is, it means nothing,”

              Actually it does, but I understand that you don’t understand. The reason Alvin York was such a great shot is because in Fentress County, as well as much of Tennessee, they couldn’t afford to miss, or they didn’t eat. I can probably shot even better than he did, because I don’t waste ammo ever, all my shots are aimed.

              I have better tools to work with than he did too. I shot a skunk a few years ago with my 45 at around 60 yards away, and that was just one shot. I shot a tree stump before t 169 yards away, with that same 45. Handgun doesn’t even have optics.

              I been storing ammo for decades, so when the 22lr became so hard to get, I didn’t buy any, instead a bought a BDC scope for my Marlin model 60 so I wouldn’t miss any shots. I have bought maybe 40 rounds of CCI Mini Mags since 22lr became hard to get, and I still got all of it saved up. My scope is dead on at 5 to 125 yards.

              That is an example of how I hunt, but how I fight is along those lines as well. Train how you fight.

              I have an RPK an AES10B, but I didn’t just buy a few 30 rounders and call it a day. I ordered 12 brand new 30 rounders still in the plastic and oil, and 5 brand new drums. I took the 30 rounders out, wiped a good part of the oil off, loaded then, and put them back in the plastic till I need them.

              I had four drum pouches custom made for the drums, molle with Q&E quick release. They sit on interceptor body armor and you would think they were issued that way.

              I fully customized that RPK too, I even installed a Red Star 2 stage adjustable trigger on it. Your right though, I am not Alvin York, but I am an 8 year Veteran of the United States Army that was in a Combat MOS, and I do think I can do just as good as he did, maybe even better.

              • Jesse Mathewson says:

                Full, you kind of sound like the survival version of mall ninja now. Opsec is real. .;)

                • Jesse, do you know where that land is, or who I am, no you don’t, even MD don’t. I don’t even use my own internet to communicate on the internet.

                  I am telling you how it is, you can think what you want. I am one of the original Survivalist’s, I know what I am doing. How do you think I am going to hide acres of nut and fruit trees? I can’t, lets not fool ourselves.

                  If you are really so worried about Opsec, then why do you have a picture of your face on here? Maybe you need to look into facial recognition software.

                  They will know I have all those trees as soon as I start selling product, hell they will probably know before that.

                  People can be scared if they want, but that’s not me. There are things you should not talk about and tell everyone, and there are things they will know anyway, so it doesn’t matter. I can talk about anything I want to on the internet, because I am an advanced user, and nobody knows my name, or my exact location.

                  • Jesse Mathewson says:

                    Full, again, how you word things…just saying, as for myself, I write reviews, and have been publicly writing for decades 🙂

                    Doesn’t mean I brag about every thing – (wording)

                    Have a great day. Hope, all your plans work out.

                    • Not bragging, because I really don’t care what others think. If I was to tell you about everything, we would be here for weeks.

          • Curley Bull says:

            Full, I used to work with one of your kinfolk I guess. He was a “grand” nephew. Retired from GM. I was surprised that I seemed to know a little more than he did about one of my hero’s, Alvin York.

  89. Ben Leucking says:

    Overall, this is a very good article. What it fails to address, however, are the events that could precipitate an economic collapse on a national or global scale. For example, a Carrington Event (Coronal Mass Ejection that directly strikes earth), or a nuclear EMP attack. There is a huge difference between the economic “collapse” of the Great Depression in the 1930’s and a collapse that actually terminates economies by destroying the ability to mass produce and transport food and essential materials, generate and distribute electricity, etc.

    In the first case, governments still existed and enforced the rule of law. In the latter case, national governments, and even the ability to communicate beyond line of sight could abruptly end for months or years. No fertilizer, no fuel for tractors or trucks, no crops, no transportation to food processing centers, no grocery stores, no lights, no steel mills, etc. Events like these precipitate the collapse of civilization as we know it; not just economies.

    The Carrington (CME) event of 1859 was only the first to be recorded, and lasted for five days. The solar storm of 2012 was of similar magnitude, but narrowly missed striking earth.

    Future Carrington-type events are inevitable, and the more dependent our civilization becomes on technology, the greater the impact becomes. We’ve never had a nuclear EMP attack, but the number of countries with that capability is growing.

  90. MD,

    This is one of your best articles ever. I’d like permission to reprint it in my Dying Time newsletter–with proper accreditation of course.

    Even in my own Dying Time books, where civilization’s infrastructure was destroyed, most survivors were Preppers who bugged in as part of a small community.

  91. Thanks M.D. for updating this article and reposting it. It has such valuable information for everyone in the Wolf Pack.

  92. Hey thanks for the link, just trying to be realistic , I’ve been growing all sorts of fruit and a few nut trees, they are very fussy, and different micro climates can make judge differences within a few square miles. I’m experimenting with worm castings this spring!

    • When I do find nuts with worms in them, I will start another side job, selling those worms to the Marinas, or even from my boat dock. Either way, I win.

  93. Encourager says:

    Thanks for updating and reposting this M.D. Good info. It does amaze me how defensive people get when their ‘beliefs’ get tampered with.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Encourager you are right, I need to work on being better about that myself. Thank you for the reminder, you are correct again!

  94. Jesse Mathewson says:

    Love this one, and live it daily, community is everything

  95. The thing I remember most about Katrina is the police and national guard going door to door collecting guns. They don’t knock and ask politely, they kicked doors in if you didn’t answer. Your safety never enters the conversation. What to do in the city I don’t know, maybe somebody else can answer that. I live in the woods and I don’t have guns and ammo buried, but I do have the bags and the hole is already dug. The guns will be taken in the iner city first and that’s when half of mine disappears.

    • C M,
      As I understand it, the problem with Katrina was that they brought in way too many law enforcement personnel from other places, so when the city cop from NYC where NO ONE may own a gun, encounters some hick with a bunch of guns, he naturally panics. The big problem with planning these events, is giving anyone coming to help, enough cultural training. I have guns; but no holes or place or plans to run. It helps in my case that there are numerous LEO’s and retired LEO’s in my gun club, along with many I meet through my interactions with my volunteer activities with our local county EMA.

      • It was mostly the national guard taking the guns and they didn’t ask who you are or who you know. Look up little old lady being disarmed in her own home by guard on you tube.

        • C M,
          I’m quite familiar with the lady and her shotgun; but, as I understand it, my story still holds true. The National Guard troops were not locals, and their command and control was not well executed. I’m pretty sure that in my case, I’ll be getting a heads up in plenty of time, since I’ve gone out of my way to make and set up those networks and connections.
          Also, the worst that can happen here are tornados or blizzards, and I’m far enough from town to pretty much be unaffected, other than perhaps taking in a few folks for shelter in the short run.

          • Pretty sure it was a handgun.

            “The National Guard troops were not locals, and their command and control was not well executed. ”

            If you are hoping for an ideal scenario forget it, it will be more of the same.

            • I know what you mean about the tornados, I’m in the Hill’s of Arkansas. The gun taken from the woman was a 38 I think. They ruffed her up a little to get it.

            • Full & C M,
              You are correct about the firearm confiscated in the YouTube video; but, I saw a news item where they took a shotgun. All in all quite a few firearms were confiscated; but, it wasn’t the dire threat to every gun owner that some would make it and we only have to look at the antigun crowd to document that fact: The NRA Twisted a Tiny Part of the Katrina Disaster to Fit Its Bigger Agenda
              And when you state:

              If you are hoping for an ideal scenario forget it, it will be more of the same.

              That assumes you know anything about me and my situation, which obviously you don’t.

  96. “The guns will be taken in the iner city first and that’s when half of mine disappears.”

    That’s when you need to dig them up, you are doing it backwards. You bury half of them now so they can’t take them all while you are out working or what have you, but when they start rounding up guns, then it’s time to use them.

    • Well I look at it a little different. Where I live UPS and FEDEX won’t come out here. I have to drive 20 miles to a pickup point. my point is that I will hear about what is happening and do what I need to do.
      And as for as gettin em out and usin em. I’m OK with that against those who want my stuff because they didn’t prepare for bad times, but if your talking about shootin it out with the cops or the united States government, that ain’t gonna happen unless they fire the first shot and miss. RUBY RIDGE was close to home here, that is a fight you will not win. Save the ammo and fight another day.

      • Do what you want to do, but once they take the guns you won’t be fighting another day. Nobody is taking my guns while I still breath, and yes I will win because they can only kill me once, I will take a bunch of them with me.

        • I’m sure a lot of people in Katrina thought the same until the national guard came in the front door. Like I said they will get half
          or less, when they are gone rearm. I’ll fight to the death for food and water but not for guns that I can replace in less than a hour.
          Don’t be in such a hurry to die, if things are that bad out there I’m sure a lot of us will get a chance to do that without fighting the law.

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