Conflicted Tuesday

conflicted-deck2-coverWe have worked out an exclusive deal with the publishers of the survival card game “Conflicted” where we will be posting one question per week from the deck for open discussion here on You can buy your own Conflicted Deck here and play it with your friends and family… Okay here we go…

Society has collapsed. You are well prepared because you’ve invested a lot of money on your bug-out location and supplies. A local contractor who worked on your property has occupied your shelter with his family before your arrival. He said that your retreat was the only safe place that he knew, and that some of his co-workers would probably show up as well. He wants what’s best for his family and is  uncertain that he wants to let you in. How would you take control of this situation?

Looking forward to the discussion in the comments below…

About M.D. Creekmore

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


  1. Matt P. says:

    Occupying my bug out location, it is unlikely that a firefight would do much good.
    Also, I am not in the mood for starting a new conflict.
    I think this would call for some expeditious planning and re-work of the location. After all, we had planned multiple contingency capabilities. They will just have to become primaries and we will have to scout/barter/recover other goods and tools to make up for the strain.

  2. Denkermann says:

    Threaten to turn him into Angies list so he woouldn’t get any more work….LOL—Just Kidding. Threaten to barricade him in so that he wouldn’t EVER get out. If that didn’t work, start pumping in CO from my vehicle exhaust. The rest is self explanatory.

    • Denkermann says:

      Yes I do have this open line built in already just for such a contingency.

    • Sagewolf says:

      Your barricade would have to be perminate. If the contractor is inside he has a lot of food where You only have what you are carrying. At some point you may have to leave to find more food so in this case His group that is inside already can possible waite you out. Assuming they are inside already.

  3. I’m sure there will be some folks who will call me a “troll” simply because they do not agree with my opinion. It’s a matter of me and my families survival, and this man has put us at risk because of his lack of planning, arrogance, and thievery. The shelter is mine. If he feels he can just show up and take it, well then I can show up and take it back. I’d spot weld the main entrance. Block all but one air intake pipe. Connect the remaining air intake pipe to the exhaust pipe of my truck, and flood the shelter with exhaust. They can either exit the emergency exit, where we will be waiting with zip ties, or they can die in place. While we are taking care of the contractor and his lot we’ll keep an eye out for his friends. They will all meet the same ending. Letting them live is too risky as they know where our location is, how many of us there are, and what supplies we have, so there would only be four real options. 1. Kill them all; 2. Let them live and risk them coming back to take everything from you (but it doesn’t sound like they are willing to leave); 3. Compromise and share, but then there is less for everyone, and his buddies will show up and soon out number you; 4. Leave, and find somewhere else, joining the new world as a pushover. I choose option 1.

  4. JP in MT says:

    If you threaten me and mine and expect me to thank you and welcome you with open arms….well, I question your thought process. That is what I firmly believe that once I have enough property, a backhoe will be required equipment.

    There are going to be a lot of people how for whatever reason feel that you should take care of them and their family because they didn’t. They will have a million excused for it. But the bottom line is they expect you to make up for their bad choices. Those that would be welcome already know it. Those that don’t know it, will get a rude, and abrupt, awakening.

  5. To the Right of Attila the Hun says:

    The “Local Contractor” part is bad news. If he told his friends then who did they tell?
    I’d be blocking the entrance and setting a few traps as well as activating alarms and setting the Lookouts first. Then shut down the power/water to the cabin.
    After that comes the smoke or tear gas. The exhaust may not work because the catalytic converters on most vehicles limit the carbon monoxide output.
    When the friends show up you will have to SSS.
    The alternative is to view the contractor and his friends as assets in the form of skills and manpower. They can build their own shelter. As workers they will have many skills that your family do not possess. This saves a lot of killing and grave digging.
    If the contractor is bullheaded then he leaves you no choice but to do it the hard way.

  6. Tell him he and his family have 2 options, be supplied with some charity food and water and hit the bricks, or have us take cover around MY property with the scoped M1A’s and wait for the inevitable moment that they have to come out. You got 30 seconds to decide….

  7. First I would dig a large hole somewhere away from the shelter downhill from the water supply. Then I would place the dead bodies in same said hole. NO ONE will take what is mine from me and my family!!!

  8. Thomas The Tinker says:

    This one smacks of all the things we would like to assume. That reason, fairness, honor, honesty.. right .. will be the norm. This one ‘smacks’ of pre-planned OPSEC failure.

    You paid this fellow and his crew to build your digs. A prudent man using only half his left lobe would do the same as this ‘contractor’ and YOU did everything but give him and his a set of keys. That would mean .. YOU .. failed to plan and ergo prep wisely.

    I don’t believe it is ‘Trollish’ to give this ‘contractor’ any ground to stand on cause ‘hell’ he did the grading and framing.. or digging.. or roofing.. brick work. Now you and yours are in the position you had the retreat built for and defend against .. and to repeat.. you paid for all of it. So what is Ignorance? What is Stupidity? “This just ain’t right”. “This here is MINE and I’m agonna take it back”. I’m going to do what ever it takes an .. do .. who ever gets in the way”.

    Its funny how being the new .. and apparently very mobile .. retreat defender or the pissed off / former owner and newly minted refugee can justify actions as heartless and barbaric as we all… have voiced in these Tuesday Q & As.

    Its nice to tell the world how fair, honest, honorable, righteous and God fearing we hope we are .. hope to be .. Its nice to think that way .. when we are not living the ‘context’ of this weeks question.

    MD! Reverse the situation. I believe it would be a good discussion … kind of a ‘moral’ reality check.

    Put “US” in the position of the ‘contractor’ / refugee who shows up at the gate of the retreat and … NEEDS … the safety you know you built into it. The owner got there first and only “…wants what is best for his family and is uncertain that he wants to let you (and yours) in. What would you do to take control of this situation?” Yepper… lets see how this mess developes.

    • I agree, but I’d reverse the situation entirely. We’re the contractor who knew about this retreat and we DID get there first after our own home/retreat was lost to fire, flood, or foes. Are we going to walk away from it when someone claiming to be the owner, or his family members/heirs, shows up and demands that we leave? And when we break in, do we agree we’re looting/raiding and accept the consequences of our actions, or just consider ourselves scavengers/squatters of abandoned property and not guilty of any serious crimes?

    • photosniper says:

      Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    • How do you feel about the bottle of booze left out in the open in your retreat with something extra in it for robbers, that all in your retreat group know not to drink? If you are kind you might only blind them.

  9. Question: Assuming you had to use a contractor to begin with, why does he know that what was built is a bunker? OPSEC blown. The lesson to be learned here is to use different contractors for each phase of the project and never put in an item that makes it obvious (storage container). You can always say that the poored wall concreat underground structure is for a “future home” you plan on building. Then it becomes an “underground home”. See where I’m going with this.

  10. they will be evicted by what ever means needed. This is a good time to make a comment about
    1. do the work yourself
    2. don’t use local contractors
    3. use a contractor that you know is a fellow prepper
    all work done on my place falls in category 1 or 3

  11. Tactical G-Ma says:

    I have to side with the trolls. I didn’t go on a cruise. I don’t own a fancy SUV. I didn’t get a boob job, a facelift, or botox. Coach, Tommy Choo, and Vera Wang are not in my closet. I have provided for me and mine. You are done.

  12. hvaczach says:

    For me this is home invasion. Wouldn’t have to be shtf scenario they would dead either way. With that said when I do build a retreat I plan on doing all the work myself or with the DW’s family so won’t be a concern.

  13. I have been a “bleeding heart”; a pacifist, etc. But this is a no brainer for me. We are doing just as III% posted. Not even sure I can give them much in the way of provisions.
    Once you have put your needs above the needs of my family…we are done. Get out and keep moving.

    • axelsteve says:

      I would call Oprah or dr Phil and see if we can get past this.

      • Hi Axelsteve, Yep, I’m pretty sure that if Dr Phil was only involved, you could open a meaningful dialog and discover your home “invaders'” hopes, needs, and wants, and learn to live in peaceful co-existance, according proper respect for Gaia… Until you were able to do unto them before they do any more unto you and your family.

        Which WWII flick was it which involved pouring gasoline down the air intake of the Nazi bunker, followed by a couple grenades? I would sooner do that to my own bunker than give it to criminals who have sentenced my family to slow death by stealing our supplies.

  14. Big Bear says:

    I would do my best to kill him immediately. There’d be no negotiating, no discussion, and no compromise. If his family was not killed in the shootout, I would escort them off my property with the admonition that they will be killed if they are seen again. I would treat any of his workers that show up as intruders and defend my location to the death. No room for compassion here folks ……. if you can’t do what is necessary to fight for what you have while protecting yourself and your family ………. then you’re living on borrowed time!

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      The point of the question is “… how would you get control of the situation..” You and yours are on the OutSide. The question begs to know what Offensive tools we would bring to the situation if we decide to storms the gates. Has anyone brought up the possibilities that the ‘contractor’ may have you out gunned and use your own defensive preps to repel YOU?

      This sort of fight has come up before. I gotta ask, how many KIAs or WIAs can your family take before it is non-threat.

      • Well he sure wont know not to drink the poisoned bottle of booze left out for robbers. If you are kind they will just be blind and cant shoot.

  15. Years ago while in college, I read an essay on “lifeboat ethics”. At first I was furious that anyone ascribed to that line of thought. But one statement made a HUGE impact on me; if you gave up your space to save another, do you honestly think they would give the space back to you to save your life?

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      This one has me ranting…. I had this one come up in Sociology & Anthropology. I also have had it come up in training. The idea of surrendering your life to the morels and ethics of people you know nothing about. Would that be politically correct suicide……?

    • Lifeboat ethics is the new version of the white mans burden.

  16. userError says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate here (and I’m not saying this is my take on it), but from a religious point of view, doesn’t the shoot first and gas them out completely fly in the face of being a Christian? The Bible is listed as a “needed” prep quite a bit here, and proverbs run the scroll on the side… but passages that say (paraphrased) “if you have two and someone has none, give them one” or “there is no greater love than to give up ones life for a friend.” (I put this one in [you may die because you shared your preps, etc.]) seem to fall by the way-side sometimes.
    No where are any of those words of compassion and love conditioned with “unless the SHTF” or “unless society has collapsed.” In fact, you could argue they would be more important then…
    I know it puts your family at risk, and that might be where people place the justification, but it’s just food for thought.

    I’m more curious to hear other people’s take on this, because being religious I have gone back and forth about being a true Christian and loving unconditionally even to the face of death and protecting my own with savage brutality to keep my family alive.

    • Tell that to the countless civilizations that the children of Israel destroyed on their way to the “Promise Land.” They were instructed by God/Jehovah, who, depending on what religion you are, is generally considered to be Jesus, to kill every living thing in those unbelieving civilizations and take no spoils of war – and they did. They killed every last man, women, child, slave, and beast.

      • userError says:

        That’s a good straw-man that we could beat on for awhile, but that doesn’t change the teachings of the New Testament that Christians profess to believe and follow.
        Again, I’m not defending one side or the other, I just like to hear what other people think (and I love a good conversation/debate… ask my DW), so if I come off argumentative, I apologize, just trying to stoke the discussion 🙂

        • No, you’re right, it is always a good idea to look at problems from all perspectives. I’m Christian and believe in turning the other cheek. I consider myself caring and patient, but I also consider myself a very protective father. And, as much as I admire and respect others for their ability to forgive and forget, or to show compassion on those who have harmed or wronged them, I have my limits. When you put my children in danger, you’ve crossed the line. And, like the children of Israel, I will wipe out the offender’s entire bloodline before I allow one of them to harm my family. Do I think that is a little hypocritical – sure, why not – but I won’t lose any sleep at night because of it. If God wants to judge me by those actions after I die, then I will stand at the judgment bar and take my lickings. The threat of damnation in the future is not as powerful as watching my children starve to death or be killed because of a thieving dishonest contractor.

        • Proverbs 3:5&6
          “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding”. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path”.

          This is directed to the Christians among us, not the unbelievers. We are to live by Faith and The Father often uses crisis to force us to choose Faith.

          I find it interesting that no one has said that they would pray about the situation and ask God for guidance first, before killing a man and his family.

          Only God knows what your future brings, just maybe this man and his friends will help you fight off a worse enemy?

          Does not our Republic’s motto mean anything “In God We Trust” ?


        • Thomas The Tinker says:

          Thank YOU

      • Duder McGruder says:

        Not 100 percent true. They saved the virgins (no matter what age) for their own pleasure.

    • userError,
      If I recall the 10 commandments theft, coveting and murder are equally bad. He coveted and stole forcing me to kill in self defense. Killing in self defense is IMHO not murder, so he’s broken two commandments and I’ve broken none.

      • Where does it say in scripture that a sole person is allowed to judge another for their sins, and execute a death sentence on them.

        “All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God”.

        Including this guy.

    • Lorenzo Poe says:

      WWJD? Flipping over tables and taking a bullwhip to someone’s @ss is not beyond the realm of possibilies.
      Ask and it will be given, take and it will be pried from your dead hands.

      • @ Lorenzo,

        I assume that your post is sarcasm, or you have a really weird translation, which I’ve never read.

        • Lorenzo Poe says:

          Really? What are you reading, the Koran? He drove the money changers out of the temple. He didn’t ask them to leave, didn’t have papers served on them, didn’t petition the government to change the laws. He braided a whip and drove them out. Himself, alone, no army of angels. Just him and his whip.

      • axelsteve says:

        Jesus was not the lisping emaceated milk toast that the media and some religions like to present him as.

    • patientmomma says:

      Because of their actions, these folks are not Christians, they are home invaders.

      • @patient momma,
        Are we to witness only to our fellow brothers/sisters in Christ, or to everyone?

    • photosniper says:

      Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    • country vet says:

      Don’t forget the parable of the bridesmaids. The unprepared were sol and the others not penalized for not sharing.

  17. I’d try to smoke them out or set it on fire if there was no other way. He isn’t going to enjoy my sacrifice.

    • Same here, they would die a horrible death. I have no patience for thieves now, imagine after SHTF.

  18. Sagewolf says:

    Here is my take on this problem. Pay more money and get out of state contractors to build your shelter. If they are from just across the border from where your shelter is make sure it is atleast another 200 miles farther than it is from your home to your shelter. Basically if your group and a contractors group was to race to your shelter with everything but distance is the same you would win that race.

    The other option is say since you are here you can stay, but your buddies are out of luck. With your group and my group we can have a greater force without being to many to find what we would need. Then kill them and bury the bodies once they let down their guard. If you do this you must Never say this is mine get out. Say great I was worried I would have problems with man power after we eventually leave the shelter. And say the guy and his family would cover that problem just fine. But make it plan that his friends, his family, and my family could never fit, but his family present and mine would be ok if a little tight but doable.

    One last thing how did the contractor guy get in shouldn’t you have changed the entrance code to your shelter. Then again the builder could have put in a Master Code like a backdoor into your shelter. Doing that would be unethical in my opinion. And another reason to use a contractor from several states away. Than again they could have been waiting for you at the locked entrance and force you to open the door to let them in. I guess one way to solve problem is to be ready to kill everything two legged near your shelter entrance. Possible problem solved.

    • This is where that bottle of booze that everyone in your group knows not to drink left out for robbers helps out.

  19. John J. Smith says:

    The second he spoke the words”I’m not sure I’ll let you and yours in” , before he could say another word, I would have emptied a 30 round magazine into his body, and hung the body on the front gate for his contractor friends to see.

  20. Bam Bam says:

    I would approach my bug out location with caution. Once I determined that someone had usurped my property I would set up a sniper position and wait for the father to come out. Bam. Then I would drive his family somewhere and drop them off.

  21. My XYL doesn’t like it but I’m not a “Christian”. I don’t think you can hang around and pick em off when he has back-up on the way. You just screwed up. Get over it!

  22. KS Judy says:

    The mistake was having a “retreat” location. Bugging-out, i.e. becoming a refugee, is poor judgment on your part. Unless your “retreat” location is occupied 24/7 with “friendlies” anything you do is a crap shoot.

    Think about this. Why has no one considered the loss of life in your group in every response that would use force to evict the interlopers? You think you are coming out of this unscathed? Nope, your not! First you have to empty the place. After that, you have at least one more fire-fight when his buddies show up. Remember if you can empty your retreat location so can they, the place is not defensible.

    • Two is one and one is none counts for homes too. Sometimes you can’t stay where your at, then you need somewhere else to go. Maybe the best place to be in a particular situation isn’t where you’re living now. Putting all your eggs in one basket is a crap shoot too. Agree on the risk to you/your group trying to take it back, but even though they occupy it you can still have home field advantage with some precautions taken beforehand, and each time before you leave it unoccupied again. How long after they start smelling (propane) gas, and can’t find the source, before they’re ready to talk terms?

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Yeahhhhhes…. How many KIA/MIAs can your ‘group’ suffer and still remain viable. Got a group of 20 and you assault your own digs…. Advantage to defender…. 5% casualties on your part ….. your Husband/Wife/Son/Daughter/Father…….? There is a lot of Bravado being slathered around on this weeks ‘Card’.

      Crappolla…. wahappens if you laid out field of fire and cleared them? Wahappens if you took the time to channel your approach routes.. wire.. rose or other thorny greens.. hollycrappolla! OPEN GROUND. One fire team rush into a funnel and you have how many down. This olde Marine can think of these things ana whole lot worse to spring on you. But I would never think of ‘doing’ such things to my fellow man.. goodness no!

      Try this… duct tape your legs togeather or an arm to your side or over an eye… strap on your gear and crawl across your property and in or outta your house. Drag a sand bag along with you and count yourself lucky it isn’t a 200lb. sand bag.

      We do hostage and wounded extraction drills in the advanced classes. I’m not 18 anymore….. and I’ve learned form experience that a retreating enemy suffers casualties at a horrendous rate. Ask the LAPD what two determined men did to those that turned and went for cover and how many of those took a round even when they found it. (No. Hollywood Bank Shoot out… yeah watch that Youtube) Or…. you could take a look at what two determind men did with odds 4 to 1 against them. That was the FBI… They had their hats handed to them…. and they won! If your group was say 8 or so like the FBI team… and you took the casualties they did… you took over 75%.

      Any Sandbox vets in here wanna chime in on how to ruin the well laid plans of others using ‘current’ tactics and force multipliers……?

      ahw END O RANT

      • You forget that the family that owns it has knowledge of the retreat that the invaders don’t. Like don’t drink the poisoned booze left out for robbers or you will go blind/worse.

        • Thomas The Tinker says:

          Stevey: Ok we all know not to treat ourselves or accept a drink at your place. Will it be as bad with a mixer?

      • KS Judy says:

        Thank-you Tom! I have exactly Zero military or police training and I can see this train wreck coming.

        As for retreat/bug-out location I stand by my two points; (A) Don’t be a refugee unless it’s a last ditch I’m going to die anyway. or (B) You are heading to a prearranged location with people you know that occupy that site and you realize you probably aren’t going to make it.

  23. Wolfman says:

    See, this is why these exercises are important. Now you know to not let any locals learn what you are doing, and to practice OPSEC. Why, because the life of you and your family depend on it.

    Also, if you have a retreat that is in a rural area, and more than a couple of hours drive, it is in danger of being occupied by squatters. Many second homes in parts of the US are being occupied by squatters right now, so you know it will only get worse.

    Best thing to do is live at your retreat. Solves all these problems, but still maintain OPSEC. That’s what MD does, well, except for the OPSEC.

  24. Assuming he only built the building and hasn’t reconnoitered the lay of the surrounding land then we have an advantage. When he tells me he’s going to keep what is mine, unless it’s over the phone, he loses right there. Otherwise, I cut off power, water, and any other resources I can, until they are forced out of the dwelling. Some of my MAG (you are not alone are you) look to setup an ambush for his additional guests, while we wait him out. Assuming he knew this was a BOL, then he had plenty of time to build his own, so stealing my refuge and threatening me and mine requires nor deserves no mercy.

  25. Son of Liberty says:

    As a retired pastor I know there are a number of verses in Scripture in which Jesus encouraged his followers to go against the tide of secular society and do the extraordinary thing – extend generosity vs. demanding one’s rights, etc. However, there are also many Scriptures throughout Old/New Testaments that demand (yes, demand) we extend justice to all (victim and perp), and expect justice in return. I am for the biblical concept of sacrificial giving and generosity to a needy brother, person, family. but I am also for justice.

    For someone to victimize me and my family is no justification for me to condone that immoral victimization by walking away and attempting to make the best of ‘a bad situation.’

    Near the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth he told his disciples to sell their cloak (their primary garment for protection from the elements) if necessary to buy a sword. That said, the implication was to use it if necessary to defend yourself and your’s, and to exact raw justice.

    In Alaska we have no right to kill grizzly bears except for DLP (Defense of Life/Property), which is the right to protect one’s life and/or property. Since humanity recognizes we can defend our own life, and protect our property, the Scripture goes even further in recognition of this God given right, and is directly applicable in this scenario.

    Remember, this God given right of self preservation and protection is the foundation for the Second Amendment in the first place – if reason and negotiation fail. Begin softly, and move to the extreme as necessary.


    Son of Liberty

    • I think that you’ve read too much Chuck Baldwin my brother.

      I also find that you have taken biblical principles and expanded then, which is the first thing we were taught in Seminary not to do.. Never try to make a text say what you want it to say, but to speak God’s words/His meaning, not your own.
      Christ tells his Disciples to purchase a sword, but does not express the reason as to why. It’s reasonable to assume that they are to use their swords to defend themselves in the mission work, but to “Extract Raw Justice” is adding to the text’s meaning. Christ never instructs us to “Love one another, unless they steal from you, then it’s o.k. to kill them asap”.

      Instead of using a man made law about bears brother, why not use, “Thou Shall not murder” which establishes the value God puts on human life, and thus a right to self defense.

      In the contest of God vs The State of Alaska=God Wins!

      • Lorenzo Poe says:

        You think he wanted them to buy swords so they could turn them into plowshares?

    • axelsteve says:

      The Romans used to crucify criminals .They did not just make it up and do it to Jesus.

  26. Hunker-Down says:

    Since he built it for us, we have the schematics. We know how oxygen gets into the shelter, so we know where to stop it. A little mud in all the input and output ports will stink up ‘his’ domicile. To help, we will use one or two if ‘his’ input’ ports as a toilet. When they want fresh air, we start target practice after checking that more of his friends are not coming into the area. With luck we can get them shooting at each other.

  27. tommy2rs says:

    So you pay to have a fancy place built, you stock it and then leave it unoccupied and are surprised to find it full of the vermin that built it for you when you finally return. Worse yet you have no plan to deal with that situation. Yep, that’s the very definition of being prepared. Let me guess, you’re a left wing government bureaucrat in this scenario right?

  28. patientmomma says:

    First, we live at our retreat 24/7. Second, the contractor who refurbed the old residence was a prepper. Third, I told him the basement was the tornado shelter because I wasn’t going outside to get to storm shelter. Fourth, the place was empty when they worked on it. Fifth, no one, except my son, has seen the stuff. But,inspite of all that, if anyone tried to take the house, I would gas them out and shoot all of them. There are lots of wild critters in my woods that would scavenge the evidence.

  29. jamullins says:

    The guy built the place, had the expediency to get to location quickly, and has already told others about its location as well.

    Control will not likely be obtained through force, he holds the prepared position and has potential reinforcements rapidly approaching.

    Plus, he only did what you were going to do yourself. He may have been shortsighted or non believing when troubles started to mount, but he did manage to get organized and in position quickly so he has some sense of what to do. He could make a useful group member. And, further, he would probably be willing to work with you to improve the shelter and its resources to further insure his family’s safety.

    ego driven, macho attitude leading to that oh-no-he-didn’t mindset will not see you through successfully. Your family is exposed to the returning violence, environmental concerns while you wait him out, and the possibility of being cought from behind by the man’s friends.

    Assaulting your own shelter is a maddening situation to say the least. So, best to try to reason with the guy. If he comes across unreasonably then you will have had time to access his capabilities a bit before any hostilities ensue.

  30. k. fields says:

    I agree with most comments already made, you must evict them from your property and that will mean killing them all – anything less and you’re just leaving yourself open to reprisal.

    But for me, the main issue here is the fact that the plan all along was to purchase future security instead of putting in the work and developing the skills necessary to actually care for your family in such a scenario.
    Sure, I understand the justification, you like your current life, your home, your toys – your kids are a part of the community, they have friends and activities they don’t want to leave – your job pays well so, as you’ve probably been taught all your life, you can buy yourself a future including a well stocked bug-out site. But buying that stairway to heaven, as Plant wrote, is a cynical attitude that may eventually bite you in the a** as pointed out in today’s discussion.

    We all fall into this in one way or another. Even postings on our own “what did you do to prep this week” are many times more like, what did you BUY to prep this week, or what did you pay someone else to do for you to prep this week. If your idea of prepping is to get through short term local disasters, then fine, you can definitely purchase yourself that security. But surviving a long term national disaster? Really think about it. If you’re serious about long term survival, it must at some point stop being a game where you keep one foot in each world.

    Making that commitment won’t be easy. Your mind is a series of defensive walls – layer after layer designed to keep you exactly where you are – just ask any battered spouse or drug addict. But if you make a start, just producing one thing yourself instead of consuming, the ball will start rolling. Play music with friends on your front porch instead of purchasing CD’s, read a book aloud with your family instead of watching TV, get out and take walks longer than the time you spend on the internet, attempt to grow a little garden or raise a pet chicken – each small step will lead to another until one day you’ll say, why should I pay others to provide for me?

    And that is the attitude that will make you a survivor.

    • Plant a garden- buy seeds/
      read a book – you bought
      Unless you are making your own bricks for walls prepping involves buying things.

      • You may be correct about “prepping”, Steve, but back before that word became popular, the real test for a survivalist was being able to go naked into the woods for a year with just a knife and being able to provide for all your needs. If you have that level of skill, this whole question becomes somewhat moot — you can afford to just move on. All “prepping” does is give you a buffer of time to acquire that level of skill; at some point, your preps are going to run out, and you will have to provide for all your needs.

        • John,
          Even with that level of skill, the test is really a straw man argument. Passing that test when you are alone in the woods is quite an accomplishment; however, after TSHTF, you will no longer be alone in those woods, only competing for resources against the wildlife. You’ll first need to be in a locale that has the proper resources (e.g., forest and water) and then have to avoid being hunted and robbed by the true apex predator, other humans.

    • mindful patriot says:

      k.fields- I could not agree more. Good thoughts, my friend.

  31. That’s a tough situation. You can understand his POV. On the other hand, if he understands your POV, you only have two options: eviction or cooperation. Eviction is going to have to be complete and final. Cooperation, well, that’s going to depend on his attitude. To be sure, I wouldn’t have all my eggs in one basket, but I would prefer to keep all my baskets. On the other hand, contractors have valuable skills….

  32. Rob in Ontario says:

    the way I look at it is if you spend your time and money and effort to build a place for your family why should you leave them to it just because you didn’t get there before some scum did, this tells me he will take from others in the future too this is just the beginning of the SHTF also, not all of us can live at our retreats, Bug out locations , I think it be wise to make it unpleasent for them to stay like a hidden gas line from propane tank into the place he doesn’t know about, then threaten to blow them up if they refuse to leave, I am a carpenter /plumber and have worked on a few places I thought was over built for the purpose I was told, but would never go there hoping to take from someone else. To those that say its to bad you did’t get to YOUR place or live there 24/7 imagine what you think when your out in a blizzard and feet away is your place occupied and your childern freezing to death .

  33. riverrider says:

    well, i’d try to talk him into walking out peaceful like and the second he said no he’d get a bullet to the brainbox followed by anyone else with a gun in the room. if he won’t let me close enough, i know he means to stay, so game on. first, i set out security elements to keep his buds out. then we make like we’re leaving but double back and set up sniper pos in the wood line. can’t stay buttoned up forever. personally, they were screwed from the start. this is why i do my own building, and live there awa build community. no man nor family is an island. we must make allegiances to cover each others six.

  34. whoisbiggles says:

    I would be all reasonable, offer to negotiate, be willing to share, basically say whatever it takes to engineer a situation where this pos dies.
    I dont see how if the tables can be turned his family can be left to walk away. But could I actually do the SSS to them – I honestly don’t know.

  35. Where this is a will there is a way. They would die.

  36. It is too bad he did not arrive with supplies and a request to join forces. If he was a good guy, I could perhaps entertain that possibility.

    Since he didn’t and my shelter is currently a travel trailer in my side yard filled with supplies (I do hope for a freestanding shelter to be built down the road if my ability to pay beats the collapse) the situation doesn’t actually apply, so I will try to use my imagination.

    I haven’t built the shelter yet, so I guess I need to plan to retrofit it with some sort of secret access where I could pump in carbon monoxide after the contractor completes the job.

    When he refuses to leave, I would use the access to terminate the rat and unfortunately his family.

  37. We would have to work out a deal to all stay, better to split preps than get none or get injured or die in a fight. Share what we can, learn what the other people are like, it could be the start of a mutually beneficial relationship. If their friends/family show up you could eventually build a good community, strength in numbers. All of this would depend on what they are like, if you can’t trust them then we must go. Yes its our place but its compromised. Load up roll out, keep tabs from a distance, they may not be there long.
    I know everyone wants to shoot it out with the ‘bad guys’, but you’re trying to live, not die or lose family right at the start. Survival is a marathon not a sprint, let them kill each other off in the beginning, you get their gear and preps when they’re gone.

    • Big D,
      The guy you paid to work on your place has stolen it and may not let you stay. He’s also invited his friends. Do you really think he’ll negotiate? Keep in mind that when the US negotiates, with a few exceptions, the biggest chip we have in the game is the carrier group sitting offshore of the country where we’re having the talks. Good luck making a new group.

      • Ohio,
        you’re probably right, but its worth a try. If not then I would remind him that he doesn’t know everything about my getaway, and that staying may be dangerous for him, traps, which foods are poisoned, another way in to surprise them in their sleep. I’ll take what I want and go, the location is compromised, and watch from a distance… with a scope on them.

  38. Benjammin says:

    He may have been the contractor, but that doesn’t mean he will be aware of the security measures I installed after he was done with his work. I sit back and wait a day or so till he and his family go blind, start coughing up blood and charred lung tissue, and feel the discomfort from the radiation burns on their skin. Magnetrons behind walls are silent, trackable, and have cumulative effects. 3500 watts of high frequency non-ionizing radiation will fry your eyeballs, cook internal organs, and burn skin. If you don’t know where the safety switch is and your trip the trespass switch, as long as you are in the building you can’t avoid being exposed. They will make good examples for their buddies who might show up later.

    Any contractor dumb enough to assume he knows what he’s getting into just because he worked on it deserves what he gets.

    The best part is, they will never know why they got so sick. All they will know is trying to take what wasn’t theirs was a big mistake.

  39. Coyote Style says:

    Agreed that the catalytic converter on a car renders exhaust feums useless (New Audi’s actually purify the air going through them) this is still my favorite approach, just using the back up diesel in place of a car. Leave 1 exit open, block the rest, which ever has the best vantage point is where we’ll set up our ambush. Sart up the generator & let the space fill with exhaust. When they start pouring out gun them down.
    Once there are none left alive place there heads on spikes at all access points his friends are likely to use, desecrate the remainder if their bodies near their spiked heads.
    Post lookouts to prevent future altercations if possible.
    Wash hands thoroughly….

    • Actually, that’s not quite true, Coyote. Carbon dioxide may not be nearly as poisonous as carbon monoxide, but it is still deadly if you get it in high enough concentrations (10% will cause unconsciousness in a few minutes). Moreover, it is heavier than air, so it tends to sink, and will fill up an underground shelter.

  40. Well given the circumstances of the question you have nothing to negotiate with without loosing all your advantage. Unless the guy was willing to share just out of the kindness of his heart, the only things you could possibly have is what you cached or brought with you in this situation- none of which you will want to reveal to this thief – and no mistake he is a thief – so you cant negotiate, he has the upper hand and will likely take what he wants until violence erupts to stop him. (this whole scenario is not likely in my real situation but for purposes of discussion I’ll take accept it)
    Obviously he found a way to disarm the tra -er ‘alarms’ I set up after he was gone. But does he know all three secret entrances (he shouldn’t as I built them all myself) he has only the clearly available (limited) resources inside the retreat and shouldn’t know where all the rest are (cached and hidden elsewhere). Once his supposed allies have had a chance to arrive and he should believe I have long since hit the road (only to move a short distance away and live for a bit on cached supplies), I would use the back up ‘fire suppression system’ that was preloaded with pepper spray to drive them out of the building, when they finish exiting and are preparing to regroup, I would occupy the building from the secret entrances and use the clear fire lines to eliminate the thieves. Unless of course there is a severe time pressure and then I would skip the wait time, and just go through the above settings.
    Of course as I said at the beginning the whole point is moot. I would have built it myself and had either myself or a trusted person occupying the structure, and set up alarms camouflage and traps to discourage and prevent such occupancy.

    • I have to disagree vigorously with your statement, Grey, that you have nothing to negotiate with. YOU have knowledge and skills (right?) that are valuable in a survival situation. Especially since they are expecting coworkers to show up anyway, I would try to convince them that I and my family would be much more valuable to them in the long run.

      However, while I would frame it as a negotiation, it would actually be an ultimatum. “Do unto others” is fine and dandy, but they have already expressed an unwillingness to be helpful. If they refuse to cooperate, I would kill them by whatever means was most effective with least risk. Even if I had another shelter to move on to, I would not risk being identified as an easy target by a hostile group later once they had exhausted the supplies in the shelter.

      That said, I don’t believe in “every man for himself”. If I truly can win them over, eventually there will likely come a point where I can use all the help I can get, with roving bands or what have you.

  41. country vet says:

    If I were not living in my retreat and had to leave it unattended , I would have “special supplies” laid by in the pantry that would be lethal when consumed. There are several extremely noxious toxins that are tasteless. You would want a toxin that was not immediate in effect to be sure that all consumed the food. Only immediate family would know what was and was not safe (marked with special code). , with the majority being “not”. I hate it when home caning does not go well. The entrances would all be posted- “Keep out, all trespassers will be killed, no exceptions.” Our plan would consist of leaving a “small, well stocked pantry” for “visitors” and removing all foods from pantry on arrival at our BOL and sealing into drums to avoid accidental cross contamination or accidental consumption by someone in our party. These drums would be marked and kept in case of later need for its contents. Our food supply would be cached.

  42. This guy has shown that he cannot be trusted, & that he is a thief. There’s no room in my survival group for people like that. There’s no negotiation. We either eliminate him immediately, or tie them up, blindfold them, & take them for a long, winding ride during the middle of the night, & drop them off w/ a few water bottles, far from our BOL. Then we inventory what’s left, & decide how to handle his friends who are on the way.

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