Leaving behind Louis Vuitton or Escaping New York to a Sailboat WTSHTF

This guest post is by Amanda kc   and entry in our non-fiction writing contest .

Ok, I admit it, I am one of those women who love love love their luxuries I get my mani-pedi every week french tip , I go to the gym and work out, I love my starbucks cappucino, my smoothies at the outside table cafe, and I adore shopping, shopping, and more shopping and accumulating closets and closets of magnificent “stuff”

I own shelves and shelves of Manolo Blahnik, and Louboutin shoes and closets of Chanel and Dior, so accepting the possibility of my life of glamor coming to a end-as -we (I ) – know-it, was a definite cause for a “freak out”.

The thought of loosing all those marvelous pairs of high heels and running to save myself in steel toe hiking boots, glock in pocket, cross bow across shoulder, leaving behind the mounds of lace dresses and all the louis vuitton bags and thinking of my diamond earrings as barter, and OMG! leaving my handmade-in-italy leather sofa, was un acceptable!

It was difficult to accept any thing that reaked of a WTSHTF syndrome, and, believe you me, most of todays modern women feel the same way. Its just too much for us to fanthom.

However, life has a way of waking us up from our sleep of denial and it i was just two of these events in my life that slapped me in the face and forced me to accept the fact, that yes, the s*%$#t can and does hit the fan, and can and will knock that crystal cocktail glass right out of your manicured fingers at any moment…. like it or nay…

One day, september 11th , I became afraid, I became very afraid. After a life time of thinking of nothing except “where is the next party?” and “what time does the sale start?”
and “do I look fat in these designer genes?” The real worlds disasters got in the way of my continual search for fun , and I could no longer go on sticking my head in the sand ( or in my margareta glass ) ignoring all the warning signs.

Today you can find me with several go bags at the doors of where I live , and in the car ,completely packed . I have escape routes and various means of escape transportation ,
and several escape destinations : land and sea ,mapped in my mind and on paper. I have sold donated and given away “quite a lot “of my material “stuff” and I have downsized and rearranged my mental thinking about life.

How did I come to this?

Because I was put through the tests of survival – twice.

I lived in new york city ,and survived the aftermath of The September 11 Attacks , watching from the comfort of my fabulous roof apartment 17 blocks away, in horror and disbelief , the twin towers of the world trade center burn, crumble and fall.

I lived through the complete shut down of the city…..with no food or supply delivery trucks allowed to enter the city . I survived the banks closing “due to national emergency” with most people ( those who didnt run there immediately to withdraw their money ) not being able to get their cash out ( the atms were empty within 2 hours after the towers were struck ).

Then after the towers fell, I survived walking through the new york city streets laden with armored tanks and machine gun toting guards ,complete with full bullet-proof glass safety body shields…. having to show id to leave or enter my neighborhood.

We were not allowed to drive our cars in or out of the city ( The first day, I traveled around the city on rollerblades in disbelief taking photos , and then the day after that staring at the rubble on my harley).

My second prepper disaster after I survived 9-11, was a few years years later; The Blackout in August of 2003 of the northeast and mid-eastern united states and canada.

However, this time I was prepared, kinda .

It was the second most widespread blackout in history. An estimated 10 million people were affected, including me!.

The temperatures soared up to 88 degrees, and all the food in new york city defrosted with melted ice cream , popsicles ,and slushies running down the streets into the gutters. no air conditioning ,no fans, just heat.

The banks, (again, immediately ) were closed, and again, the atms were not working, this time due to the total power outage.

No one was taking credit cards ,cuz those machines weren’t working either , and the only place you could get food ,if you had prepared for this disaster ,as I had…kinda….and had some cash, were the brick oven pizza joints ,which were the only restaurantes open, and were doing the best business they had ever done in their lives ,with long long lines of hungry, freaked out, panic stricken new yorkers extending down the blocks and wrapping around the corners… (but still, all of us were laughing maniacally and nervously talking).

There were a few places in the east village that had private generators and were making a fortune selling ice…. A hot dog place on st marks had their own generator and we all ate hot dogs and pizza for a few days, but that was if you had some cash on hand before this black out happened. If you had no cash…if you had no supplies, if you had no candles ,and no lighters or matches, or flashlights, or cans of munchies or bags and packages of eats, or bottles of water,…. you had nothing…and let me tell you, your neighbors had nothing either.

There were stalled elevators in approximately 800 Manhattan high-rise office and apartment buildings , and more than 600 subway and commuter rail cars were trapped between stations. I’m not even going to get into the water contamination when the water pressurized pumps went off at the reservoirs .

Having learned , and having had become a prepper, when i watched the 9-11 world trade center crumble and fall, I was “kinda” prepared for this black out emergency, I had the candles and lighters, several flashlights and cases of bottled water, some cash, and even a small “generator” type thingie ( the little kind that charges car batteries) that allowed me to live in relatively “well lighted” peaceful comfort within my apartment, where, when I wasnt roaming around the streets, I relaxed with light from the “thingie, reading a book to pass the time .

My neighbors, the ones who were always laughing at me because i collected candles and lighters and batteries, and cans of tuna and peanut butter, came knocking on my door begging for candles . I gave each one a candle, and I told them in my own way that ,that was that, not to come back for another one. (What I really said was that I didn’t have any more ) because you can’t let those that dont have know that you are holding and not sharing anymore.

Then to be kind, I placed several candles in our dark ,dark , scary hallway so that we could find our way up the pitch black stairs ( elevators weren’t working ) after we retuned from scavenging the streets looking for succour and whatever answers we could find in the disaster-festive-crazy new yorker street camaraderie ambiance.

It was after the black out and the continued threat of being freaked out every morning with the tv ,radio, and newspapers daily reminding us of just how safe we were-NOT,  listening to the scary color coded security system :

  • “today is an orange threat” (high ) or,
  • “today is an yellow” (elevated ) or,
  • “today the threat level is green”, ( low) or,
  • “today our threat level is blue” ( guarded ),
  • or “today take care, our threat level is red “(severe)

I became so nervous that I began to see that even though living in new york city was where my heart was happiest, I had to admit to myself “mmmmmmmm, wtshtf ,do I really want to deal with these hordes of people running to and fro looting and shooting and booting me out of my well stocked beautiful apartment? Do I want to be stuck in a city , where , when the power goes off i might be too afraid to go outside my door?” Do I want to continue feeling anxious every time i walk through times square looking up at the enormous crystal glass sky scrapers and wondering “what if all these glass buildings exploded down on my head?” the answer was “no” “I -don’t-think-so!”

I am a single woman living alone. I wanted more peace of mind, so, extreme as it may seem to some , I moved out of my lovely apartment in new york and came to California and bought a sail boat!

I have always been an ocean lover who spent every moment i could get away, traveling wherever I could afford, on boats , scuba diving and seeking the perfect view of the ocean floor .
As I previously shared with you , living in new york i had become accustomed to spending a stupid fortune on clothes , shoes and jewelry ,creams and beauty potions, but deep inside, my true self was always happiest laid back in t-shirts, shorts, or a bikini.

I dove in all the caribbean islands , throughout mexico, the greek islands, the italian islands, off the coast of scilly…the island of elba, the red sea, ..and so on and so forth. I, worked hard each and every new york city day , pounding the pavement auditioning in glossed lips and 5 inch high heels ,accumulating money to travel and to buy “stuff”, and all the while longing for the peaceful , tranquil, isolation of the sea, So, when the fearful questions continuously struck me, like…

  • What am I going to do wtshtf?
  • Where will I go?
  • Who will save me?

The answers were pretty obvious, no one was going to come running to save me, that had already been proven during the world trade center incident and again during the black outs.
They were all going to be trying to save themselves . It was going to be every man for himself .
so…… Why not move onto a yacht? Why not “bug out” on a boat?

A frightening decision in itself ,that just seemed sooooo right. It was the best investment I have ever made. Of course I had to downsize. Major downsizing. I gave up nearly 80% of my “stuff”… sold ….gave to friends,….donated.

I found a 35 foot sail boat , ( on craigs list ,believe it or not ) which had a large stateroom, (bedroom) a small bunk for guests( small bed area) , a galley ( kitchen) , a salon (dining room) , and a head ( bathroom ). I decorated it according to my feminine desires with pink chiffon curtains and a colbalt blue microwave and blue fridge, (there’s no reason prepper escaping has to be ugly and plain).

Then I started “yacht” prepping for the forthcoming unavoidable TEOTWAWKI ( the end of the world as we know it).

To learn to sail, I took an 8 week class ( meeting once a week ever thursday ) with the auxiliary coast guard in Marina Del Rey ,California ( cant remember hardly any of it but i kept the books ).

  • I bought a nice real generator ( a pretty blue one by yamaha to match the blue micro wave .
  • I added a few lake-lite 24v/20 watt solar panels and a portable folding solar panel 80 watt kit just “n case there ‘s no more gas for the generator.
  • I added several catalytic heaters ( the ocean gets quite chilly at night and in the mornings.
  • I stocked the bins and cabinets with cans of greens and my favorite soups, and tuna and chicken stock, a case of tabasco sauce and my favorite munchie -popcorn .
  • I added jars and jars of seasonings and olive oils, cans of crisco ( which can double as a lubricant for boat parts – and skin cream.

There’s no reason we women have to allow our skin to get all cracked and dry just because we are escaping and running for our lives…

I bought large plastic see-through storage bins and put in pounds and pounds of oatmeal , rice , beans and pasta.

I dont eat bread so I didnt worry about flour and wheat and such, but I did add a few bins of those new wheat thin buffalo crackers and rice cakes to go with the jars of peanut butter and jelly, I bought several fishing poles and lots and lots of hooks and line. (Which can also be used as an excellent forms of barter and trade ).

Who knows how long my ipad will be of any use, unless I can learn to work it off the solar panels so, I added stacks of books i’ve been “dying” to read -no pun intended, and lots and lots of blank writing pads and ink pens and colored pencils for those long lonely days at sea, or when I ,in my boat ,am hidden, tucked in a cove somewhere.

I added personal hygiene supplies, toilet paper and lots of rubbing alcohol and peroxide for all kinds of medical emergencies and disinfectants .

After I was satisfied that I had enough food , gear, and stuff, for at least 6 months ( even longer, if I take off by myself and leave all my non-believing, laughing-at-me-all-the-time-about-my-doom-and-gloom-attitude- , pals on shore ) I began to panic ..What if , after I take off for “a life of survival at sea” , some “pirate” or “boat gangster” sails up and demands I give up my nice little floating world?

That did not sit well with me , that image just didnt have a good look, so instead of my weekly shopping for that cute pair of Manolo shoes or the Louboutins boots, or that Louis Vuitton purse, or that Gucci dress, instead, I purchased a few guns and cases and cases and cases of ammo , accumulating the stock pile each week with each film paycheck ( also good for trade and barter) .

After I had enough ammo to take back Lower Manhattan, or should I say to take back east L.A,. (since I am now in california,) I started thinking, “ummmm …what if I break down at sea?”

Well..when you are on a sail boat, you really don’t have too much to worry about other than if the wind will blow, and we can’t control the wind, now can we?

Especially since in a wtshtf situation all you are trying to do is avoid all other boats , and other people, and just stay away from shore, but still ,s#%t happens, so I went shopping for tools and a ton of “how to books”, how to plug leaks in a boat, which taught me to run out and buy tennis balls which can be stuffed into larger holes and various adhesives which can seal smaller ones, how to find your way , where i learned to go and buy a compass and nautical charts and then other books on how to read charts ….( you really can not depend on that the gps system working , so I also bought lots of maps of the area and the various islands scattered from Marina Del Rey California all the way into mexico and on into the Caribbean ..
I bought a book about “how to make pure water from salt sea water, “which told me to…

  1. Get a pot and place an empty cup in the center
  2. Slowly pour salt water into a pot as well
  3. Put a cover upside down so that the highest point is facing down right above the glass
  4. Bring the water to a slow boil, u dont want the salt water splashing into the glass
  5. As the water boils it becomes vapour, which condenses in the air as steam and on the covers
    surface as water droplets, which fall right into the glass, ( this will probably take around 20 minutes or so)
  6. Wait a moment until the very hot glass cools off, then drink the water inside the glass

Also I learned to buy lots of tarps to catch the dew each morning, and to place pots and pans beneath different dripping spots to catch the dew as it rolled down the tarp.

I also bought books on How to survive at sea, and Sailing for dummies where I learned so many new, interesting things that unfortunately, I became overwhelmed with all this unknown information ,and i again began to panic and experince depression and think surviving could just not be done at all.

I began to fear that there was sooooo much survival information out there , I would never know enough and was doomed to perish on shore with the first earthquake, or solar storm, or plague, or virus, or riot…but then , I slapped myself with a spritz of chilled evian water, and, glanced around at all I had accomplished thus far..and admitted to myself that I had done a darn good job of preparing for wtshtf, and it was all good!!!

Preparation brings peace of mind , and the more you prepare, the more peace and calm you will feel.

With each new step towards survival preparation ,you will begin to ease away from the sense of fear and panic, and you will begin to relax and feel confident that you can make it on your own, when all else fails.

Then ,when / if this dreaded moment finally does arrive , we need only to remain calm and go forth leaving behind all that we have given up, towards all that we will have gained in ensuring our survival

The great thing about living on a yacht is that ,it is such an unbelievably luxurious ,wonderful, peaceful, beautiful, and “sensuous “life that if the moment NEVER comes wtshtf, I can still continue to live ,even more so, the life of beauty that I love, amongst natures natural luxury, so much the better!

This contest will end on August 7 2012 – prizes include:

First Place : 1 Year Subscription to AlertsUSA, 1 Radiation Safety Package consisting of the following;  (1) NukAlert Radiation Monitor and Alarm (5) Radsticker Peel and Stick Dosimeters (1) Box Thyro Safe Potassium Iodide. All courtesy of AlertsUSA. A $150 gift certificate for Federal Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner Ammo. And a British Berkefeld water fillter system courtesy of  LPC Survival. A total prize value of over $700.

Second Place : A six pack Entrée Assortment courtesy of Augason Farms, a Nukalert courtesy of Shepherd Survival Supply and a WonderMill Grain Mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads. A total prize value of over $550.

Third Place : A copy of each of my books “31 Days to Survival” and “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” courtesy of The Survivalist Blog dot Net and “Kelly McCann’s Inside the Crucible Set” courtesy of Paladin Press. A total prize value of over $200.

Contest ends on August 7 2012.

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. Very good. I read every word.
    But although it is good for you, NO thanks. I don’t want off dry land.
    And you were indeed fortunate to be able to afford to turn your life on a dime (pun was intended).
    Good luck.

  2. quietprepper says:

    I’ve never commented before on this forum but truly felt compelled after reading this. This article from Amanda so reminds me of my wife, I only hope she starts to understand the same way Amanda has. She does “humor” me and lets me do my meager preps but still doesnt quite understand nor has ever been through a disaster of sorts. We live in the midwest and she has finally agreed to buy some land “up north” in the big woods. I am an avid hunter and travel several states big game hunting throughout the fall. She loves the outdoors and it’s bounties but just can’t get onboard. I forwarded this article to her, hopefully it will help. To all who post their articles here, please keep it up. Your getting so many others on board that you don’t even realize.

    • Papabear says:

      Your wife must come to the decision herself. You won’t be able to convince her. It might be an event, it might be one of her friends who says something. The best thing you can do is be patient, and stay the course.

    • Encourager says:

      quietprepper, welcome to the wolf pack. Your wife will have to ‘see the light’ on her own; no pushing or nagging from you will do it. Every time there is a situation that happens and is shown on the news (recently, the wildfires, the storms that knocked out the power out east with temps in the 90+; etc) calmly point these out to her and ask what she would do if ‘that’ happened here. It took my dh about 6 months to get on board and he is still not totally committed, leaving me with all the buying, planning, etc. He just doesn’t object anymore. And he has learned to shoot a handgun and actually reminded me the other day while in wallyworld that we needed some ammo.

      If she likes to read, give her ‘One Second After’ or the true story of ‘Surviving the Economic Collapse’ by Aguirre, who lived and survived in Argentina’s economic collapse in 2001. Those two books should wake her up…hopefully.

    • hi there
      another good book for your wife about mostly women trying to survive is
      “ashes” by lisa j bick
      the follow up sequel is called shadows and wont be released until september 25th

  3. From the teeming sea of high-rolling high-strung ninnies to a cozy, color-coordinated aquatic cocoon, you have voyaged from Fitzgerald to Thoreau-on-the-high-sea, Amanda. An intriguing path in life, indeed–sounds like the stuff of screenplays.

    How does your family cope with you being in such isolation? It must be very hard on you as well, bless your heart.

    • well lantana
      thanks for your kind words !!!

      as you probably already know , hardly anyone embraces the idea of “life as we know it coming to an end”
      no one wants to hear about it
      no one wants to talk about it
      and when you bring it up people start to squirm in their seats and
      get all uncomfortable
      no one wants to give up their worldly goods and merely “survive”
      so my family , as well as my dear friends just smile kindly at me and say
      “uh….well…ahem..ummm…(cough cough)…yes it is such a lovely boat”
      each week around thursday and the start of each and every holiday
      family ,friends and “others” begin calling saying
      “i was thinking of coming out towards the beach this weekend, what are you doing, are you going sailing? maybe i’ll stop by”
      but no one talks of surviving
      no one talks of the possibility of any disaster
      to everyone, i live on ‘their” potential get-a-way free vacation spot
      needless to say ,thank the good lord for called i d, decline call, and voicemail,

      and no, its not hard on me, heavens ! hahahha
      au la contraire …i am surrounded by “like-minded spiritually at peace , “chillin’ on their yacht as well,
      survival thinkers
      luv ya mean it

  4. JP in MT says:

    I liked the story and the boat. I like the idea of living on a boat, but the wife gets motion sickness bad on the water, and sometimes in the air, so even a small one (except maybe for fishing) is out. But I do like the sound of the boat.

  5. Very entertaining read. I, too, left NY/NJ shortly after 9-11 and moved to Southern California. While I don’t have a boat, I have made it a point to learn and practice survival skills, even taking a few classes here and there. It’s like having an insurance policy in your back pocket.

    It’s heartening to know that there are very well-off people who are wise enough to know they might not always be in that position WTSHTF and are preparing for it. Unfortunately, I’m guessing you are in the minority. But you can reach others in your same financial category, those who are used to luxuries.

    Disasters are a great equalizer. WTSHTF, Manolo Blahnik shoes will be useless, even as a barter item. When the ATM’s stop working, riches will be counted not in money but in food, water, and gear.

  6. Mary in GA says:

    I felt like I was reading either W or Town and Country. Beyond that, I’m speechless….

  7. This is a very good article for those of out out in the country to get an insight into how people in the cities may react to disasters. I assume that there is a decent amount of exaggeration, but you get the impression that city people have an overriding “its all about me” attitude, and what ever happens to them that they don’t want is a disaster, and they are not prepared to deal with much more than the daily stresses of living in a city. In a real disaster/collapse those will be serious issues.

    As for sailing away on a boat during a disaster, it sounds sweet. Good luck and thanks for the article.

  8. GeoFagus says:
    • hi geo fagus
      sorry you gave up your sea dreams, and thanks for the warning, but
      how do you know i may not become a sea pirate myself???
      ever heard of pirate jenny -3 penny opera or
      Anne Bonny (1719-1720) Female Pirate of the Caribbean
      Mary Read – Famous English Female Pirate of the Caribbean
      Lady Killigrew  (1530-1570)
      Grace O’Malley – Famous Irish woman pirate who commanded three galleys and 200 men
      Mrs. Peter Lambert of Aldeburgh, Suffolk
      Jacquotte Delahaye – Female Pirate of the Caribbean
      Anne Dieu-le-veut – Female Pirate of the Caribbean
      Charlotte de Berry – Woman pirate
      Mrs Ching – Chinese wife of a pirate who turned to Piracy after his death
      Mary Crickett (or Crichett) was a female pirate who was hung
      luv you mean it

  9. Goldielocks says:

    I loved your article! A woman living her dreams. Hope you will be safe and happy.

  10. That was so well written and enjoyable to read. What guts you have! I’m so impressed you could turn your life around like that and set for sunny sails. Good for you. You’re the type of person anyone would want on their side; imaginative, self sustaining, intelligent enough to know when it’s time to make changes, and a real go getter. Thanks for sharing such an interesting and fun-to-read post.

  11. sw't tater says:

    That is a long journey!
    Congratulations on your new life and new found sufficiency.

  12. I’ll pray for your success. I have always heard that the definition of a boat is hole in the water you throw money in, and a sailboat is hole in the wind. I’m not laughing at you as I keep a 17′ canoe in the desert.

  13. JeffintheWest says:

    I’m sorry, but I had to laugh a little at the line “…the temperature soared to 88 degrees.” You see, I was raised in the desert Southwest, and an 88 degree day is a nice, cool one for us! It routinely hit 110 in El Paso in the summer when I was a kid. I remember in Saudi Arabia in August 1990, one of my co-workers asked me how I could stand the heat (it was regularly hitting 130 degrees there at the time) and I told him; “You know what the difference is between 110 and 130? Nothing! It’s hot. Keep to the shade, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and wear a hat.”

    Still, looks like you had a major life change there. My one piece of advice is don’t rely on books. There are a lot of things written on how to do stuff by a lot of people, not all of whom have a clue what they are writing about. Get training, and lots of it, from professionals. In sailing, in shooting (especially if you’re going to be shooting from a moving surface — like a boat — at a moving target), in first aid, in boat maintenance, in all of the stuff you are going to have to rely on if things really go to heck. And then practice, practice, practice. If you’re going to be sailing that yacht on your own, you need to be out every weekend doing just that. Maybe you already are doing this stuff (your article didn’t really discuss that at all), but if all you’ve had is eight days of sailing instruction, you definitely need to get some more. Consider joining a yacht or sailing club — they can give you a ton of instruction. Same with navigation — its tricky even on land where you have landmarks and terrain to help you figure out where you are; at sea, it’s a thousand times harder (make sure you have a really good clock if you’re doing it the old fashioned way with astrolabe and sextant) and incredibly math intensive. There is no such thing as too much training or information when the only person you can count on is yourself.

  14. Soggy Prepper says:

    Wonderfully written! I thoroughly enjoyed the read with the humor and the seriousness of the context!
    Congratulations on all your hard work of getting your little piece of the world in order! Enjoy!

  15. Kelekona says:

    Living a lifestyle that can wander, be it by land or sea, does put you in a better position than anyone who doesn’t live in livestock-and-garden country. Your bug-out retreat is with you, and you can settle down wherever the needs chase you. Being on water means that you just have different options open than a land-based RV driver.

    And good for putting a glamorous spin on it. Too many preppers come across as grizzled salt-of-the-earth types.

  16. SafTgirl says:

    Really enjoyed reading that!

  17. Linda in FL says:

    Thanks for your post. Really enjoyed your journey, and am so proud of you. 😯 Maybe we could get you and SurvivorDan together???

  18. WELL DONE, I also am bugging out on my boat, see blog (may ’12) on Creekmore’s site. If you get to the 10,000 Islands near the Everglades look me up, (you can toss the heaters here) I’ll show you around! Lots of shallow draft hidden oasis’s

  19. Now all you have to do is avoid falling off the yacht and becoming amnesiac. Kurt Russel would be sure to find and enslave you in Marina Del Rey.

    Sorry for the odd reference, I just couldn’t get that movie Overboard out of my mind reading this article. MD maybe you should consider planning the dirt cheap survival yacht – a single-wide on pontoons?

    Weeelllll doggie…

  20. I am guessing on the sailboat there is not as many closets full of Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, or Dior items filling the limited space, so all those items sold on eBay and Craigslist could go towards a decent desalination filter and a solid scuba compressor to go along with the commitment of staying at sea.
    Just a thought

  21. Opps I forgot, look into “Watercones” on the net, also E bay has military issue desalinators surplus for 299, you’ll have to purchase a new membrane for another 300, but, they will be good as new after and a new one is around 2 grand. (you can make a gallon an hour with them, sans fuel to boil) The boat on the water will carry all you really need, provide you with unlimited water and some damn fine dining, you go girl

  22. jr from ar says:

    I was thinkin’, if my princess wife ever kicks me out, I will apply for the position of Boat Boy….I have some sailing experience having floated the river on an inner tube…well not sailing but you get my drift (pun intended) In all seriousness it appears you had to revamp your entire thinking in which I salute you…major accomplishment…

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Gotta resupply occasionally and that may pose a problem. But I can’t dwell on the negative when you have accomplished so much. I might suggest a collaboration with a like minded person you really, really, really trust. Safety in numbers whether battling a storm or pirates or foraging ashore.
      You’ve made a great leap in mindset and lifestyle. Congratulations.

  23. I remember those 2 events very well. Anyone living in or near NYC—check out the West Side Rifle & Pistol Range. 20 West 20 th Street. between 5 & 6 th ave.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Anyone living in NYC (my youngest daughter lives there too) …….. get out! While you can.
      Nothing – no job – no nightlife – ‘culture’ – is worth getting caught in that rat trap when the SHTF. Meanwhile, stay safe.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        New Yorkers. Imagine a major disaster and no food restock (let alone water) for one month. Katrina was hell on earth in one week. NYC means millions and millions of trapped, hungry, desperate people. But you already know that……

  24. This read like a Sex in the City script to me. I suspect that the number of modern women who are obsessed with designer jeans and shoes is relatively small as most are more concerned with feeding their families and paying bills.

  25. sketical says:

    Really? Really??

  26. charlie (NC) says:


    That is a great article. You have it figured out! Can I add a couple of comments?

    You might have done this already but you didn’t specifically say so.
    Stock up on parts and filters and the like for your auxillary engine.
    Stock up on extra sheets (ropes for non-sailors) and dock lines. Buy and extra anchor wth chain and a few hundred feet of anchor line.
    Have steps installed on your mast so you can climb it to re-thread or retrieve a stuck or broken halyard. Buy some extra cable for your back stays etc. Pick up a few extra shackles and clevices. You’re a smart lady. You get the idea.

    One more thing. If in the event of a serious flag event you think you might find the need to head east get MD to forward a message to me and I’ll give you lat lon coordinates for a safe harbor area. If you want to add that to your plans, do it now. Don’t wait for the flag event. I might not be available to answer.

    • thanks
      loved the “steps installed’ tip
      i often worried about that

      luv you mean it

      yes give me the lat lon coordinates for your safe harbor area
      i wont tell anyone else

      luv ya mean it

  27. The definitive guide is a book from the late 70’s called sailing the farm. I bought this in the early 80’s while I was in the U.S. Coast Guard. I wanted to do just this. Unfortunately this perty woman that I’ve been married to for the last thirty plus years is a firm landlubber. I still have the book as a lot of the info in it applies to bugging out on land too. Here’s a PDF link, but get a hard copy if you can find one.


  28. I had to slap myself in the face with a spritz of from water from my Berkey and I peed my “genes” as I was reading this. After the week I have had, it is appreciated.
    I am so envious. I always wanted to interior decorate a yacht.

    If this story is true, you will need to actually take the boat out to sea. I would recommend that you find yourself a rugged ex military type and hire him. They will probably want to be paid in gold. And the Harley. I hope you brought it. Even if he can’t sail, he will probably learn pretty quick. You won’t last 2 days out there by yourself when the Coast Guard is no longer functioning.
    Without protection, the words “Cartel Candy” come to mind. You won’t be isolated for long chicka. I would recommend buying a Rosetta Stone and learn to speak Spanish in 12 weeks or less.

    All kidding aside. I commend anyone who has braved the 88 degree heat of New York City. Good grief, the ice cream running down the streets, horrific! And to have made such a drastic life style change for the better. Very couragous to brave the Pacific in all of its sensuous natural luxury.

    • charlie (NC) says:

      Mama J,

      That’s why she needs to heed my advice on a safe harbor on the east coast. Of course getting a sailboat through the Panama canal won’t easily happen before or after a flag event and sailing around the horn of South America is nearly impossible for the best sailors and crews.

    • worrisome says:

      I am with you Mama J, thinking it is potentially a hoax. Hum or perhaps full of hoaxsh..; or it is a figment of someone’s hoaxful…
      What is wrong with me today! Shessh

  29. Texanadian says:

    And they laughed when I told them to be prepared for anything…

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Violent storms swept across the eastern U.S., killing at least 10 people and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands on a day that temperatures across the region are expected to reach triple-digits.

    The Mid-Atlantic region had already been experiencing 100-degree temperatures before Friday evening’s violent storms. Thousands are without power — and without air conditioning — as crews work to clear downed tree limbs and restore electricity.

    The death toll is reportedly at 10 people. The storms were blamed for the deaths of six people in Virginia; two in New Jersey; one in Maryland; and another in Ohio.

    More than 3 million power outages were reported from Indiana to New Jersey, with the bulk of the service interruptions concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic region. Earlier Friday, the nation’s capital reached 104 degrees — topping a record of 101 set in 1934.


  30. I think the article was written from a mans standpoint trying to impersonate a women prepper. Interesting but not consistant. Too many facts where there didn’t need to be and not enough where there should have been. Nice try. Gary

    • Gary,
      That’s what I thought too. Maybe someone with a relucant Trophy/Princess wife trying to convey a message to give up the luxuries and get on board prepping. See…… all the other cool girls are doing it.
      Besides, she doesn’t talk like someone from the city.

      • hahhahahahaha reading all the comments I got about my giving up “stuff” ( kinda) ..and my new life as a prepper aboard my boat was soooooo extrmely interesting and eye opening for me.

        Until I read all of your comments, I didnt FULLY realize that my escaping new york to prep on a life at sea would be precieved as so different and so bizzare and so strange… even though i kinda thought I might appear to be seen so.

        Living here, on the boat ,I am surrounded by relatively “like-minded” people who live on their boats as well ,and so…we all just love it and when we have to leave..when i have to go and work on a film or go out to meet friends or run errands or anything that takes me away from the water, i can’t wait to get back to the peace and tranquilty of it, and above all..I feel safer here

        Is that so wierd?

        Why would anyone think I am a man writing as a woman because of this ?
        hahha if only you could see me !!!

        dont we women love the sea?
        dont we women want to survive?
        Cant we women give up ( some/most) of our luxuries for something spiritual more rewarding? like surviving in a peaceful environment?

        I think its called “a wake up call”
        which I guess is what I had

        , When i wake up in the morning and go out on dek with my cup of cofee and sit there staring at the ducks and the sea lions and the fish jumping out of the waves…

  31. That would explain the writing style.

  32. worrisome says:

    What do ya think folks? Undue influence on unformed minds? Undue political pressure on the public? Does this go along with Numbama’s attempt to have your wedding guests send your present in the form of cash to him? How about is “poor poor pitiful me” letter he sent out because he thinks Romney is going have more donations…..?
    Ranting here, sorry, just emailed Hallmark however and told them I will never ever buy another Hallmark product. Here’s the article.
    Here is where ya go to boycott….http://hallmark.custhelp.com/app/ask

  33. Honestly, Guy/Girl whatever! This is seriously the first prepping article that his given me goose-bumps!! M.D., you need to sign her up as a quest blogger! This article is not about what you have and can afford, it’s about being happy with yourself and what you have accomplished! Its about never being prepared for everything, but I am trying and doing the best I can! No one, NO BODY, will ever be prepared for every possible SHTF or TEOTWAWKI situation (Sorry, my opinion). Anyone who reads this, WE all need to be happy that WE are the few who prep. WE will be better off than the rest of them and WE can donate, share, or keep quiet about what we have.

    I am a 35 yo, single guy. This is the 2nd time ever posting on here. If I could find a match on a dating website or even in the city I live in, who wanted the same things I do, I would not be writing this! I would be spending time with her. Be happy, be comfortable with what you have. WE are better off for what we do than those who mock us (wife, husband, family, neighbors, friends, etc..) Life is too short, we will never have everything to make us truly prepared. Give your wife, husband, gf, bf, or whom ever a kiss and thank them for putting up with us! We (prepper’s) are NOT the easiest bunch to live with.

    I vote this article for 1st place in the contest! It was a great read.

    • wow thank JEEPROOY you brought tears to my eyes!

      maybe i’m not sooo crazy after all


  34. Prudent says:

    MD… What ever the gender point of view…. I like the ‘mind set’ of this post.(and who cares but me right!!) ‘Water World’ is not my favorite idea as to a gettaway…. I suppose I could handle it long enough to ‘float’ someplace else and see how things are. This one reminds me of Y2K. A fella on the left coast bought a retired tug boat. Total refit and family trick out with added fuel capacity to take him anywhere…. in the pacific ocean and back.. once. What the heck… couple of belt feds and something that could reach out and sink someone…. and yer set.

  35. grim strider says:

    Wonderful satire! Seriously.
    Moving from the East Village to LA as a safer place…priceless.
    The sailboat with matching microwave & generator…wonderful detail.
    ‘Prepping’ as the new ‘fashion’ is spot on. Really, there is so much here that is just so…so…what can I say? So ‘over the top’? I really enjoyed this piece of wordcraft.

    I’m hoping it’s satire, yes? If not…sigh.
    A woman alone on the water in a 30 foot sailboat post major SHTF? (If you can even make it that far.)
    Cookie, within 24 hours your craft will have been boarded, you will have been passed around between Raoul, or Jake, or whomever, and all his buddies until there isn’t anything left to use, then tossed overboard like so much chum. Your stores will have been looted and your craft scuttled. A cold, hard fact is that rampaging humans rape, murder, loot and burn. Alone on the water is an open invitation.

    Again, the assumption is this is satire. If so, it’s brilliant. If it’s not satire, my apologies for the rough snark, but…well, I don’t really know what to say. You might want to rethink your plan.

  36. I lived on a friends’ 35 foot Yankee Clipper out of Newport Beach Harbor for 8 months back in the early 1980’s. Getting water from a solar still and tarps is a lot tougher than it sounds. I was glad they had a good desalinization unit to get more water to fill the tank once far enough out of the harbor. At least the dock had potable water while docked.
    Yes, it can be a wonderful lifestyle, but it can get cramped if you have a lot of ‘closet stuff’ and there is definitely no need to buy a waterbed, the rocking can be quite soothing, then again, it could also get a bit rough. For me it was more of a minimalist lifestyle having little more than a weeks worth of clothes and a few other personal items… this was before laptops and tablets were available… my PC during that time of life was an IBM 8086 with two 5-inch floppy drives and 128 KB memory that with the keyboard and monitor weighed more than my suitcase full of clothes.
    The life can also be impacted by the harbor / marina where you are docked. Marina Del Rey I recall was one of the more upscale locales and offered better security, and the higher price for docking fees to match the service. With additional posts mentioning “doing a film” and other “lifestyles of the rich and famous” indications, if I had the means, I would go more with a 52-foot up to a 64-foot two-master.
    I would also not want to do it alone in a SHTF survival situation, I would want at least two or three close friends (making two couples) that can also sail along for the adventure.

  37. grim strider says:

    Judging from your last comments, I think you are serious and I again offer apologies for my snark. I honestly couldn’t tell if this was spoof or serious. That said, may I offer you this perspective…I intend no mocking at all, but just want to point out a few things. My perspective is a true SHTF situation, riots, no ‘law and order’, save yourself, a lot of angry, scared, hungry people running around. (scared people are very dangerous) The world is full of predators, violent men (and women). SHTF, there are going to be a lot more. The very thin veneer peels away quickly.
    Looking through a predator’s eyes as best we can, what kind of information have you given us? (again, I mean no mockery here, I’m just trying to point out some things…) You have money. You come off as naive, trusting and very self absorbed. Inexperienced. You have given away your location, what kind of boat you have and where it is. You have supplies. You are a woman alone who has more than hinted that you are ‘desirable’. Do you see where I’m going? There’s much more information that you have given away, but there’s no need to detail it here. Do you see how very vulnerable you have made yourself? You wrote of the ‘Glock in the pocket’ and lots and lots of ammo. Ok. Do you know how to use it, are you capable of putting someone (or many someones) down for good? (please, not in your pocket…that statement alone says that you don’t know how to use it) A side arm’s sole strength is its availability…it’s on your belt at all times, ready for defensive use. It comes into play at conversational distances, close range. Too close. You don’t want bad guys that close to you. Someone who has your location just might want that Glock in your pocket and lots and lots of your ammo, and all your other stuff as well as you. Let’s say you somehow do make it to sea. What about the ‘pirates’? How long will your food and water last? Can you really handle that craft by yourself? So many vulnerabilities here. I’m trying to offer you just a few ugly, real world things to consider. Please…try to get some good, hard people around you who know what they’re doing and really learn from them. Once the balloon goes up, there’s no going back.
    I wish you well.

    • Grim Strider,
      A complete perfect assessment of this situation. If she can’t understand the implications of this article, then you have done all you can do.
      I wish Amanda the best and safe sailing.

    • grannyj says:

      One other thing not mentioned – the guns and ammo – even in a SHTF situation, the Coast Guard may be out patrolling waters –

      Guns and ammo are not allowed on boats in most countries without special permits which can run hundreds if not thousands of dollars. They will be confiscated, dumped overboard, you will be arrestred, and if it’s pirates worse.

      My brother lives on his sailboat……he’s been to many countries sailing and they each have their own set of laws.

      its a great article…however…I still don’t think you have a real good handle on the reality of how hard it will be or real SHTF. A woman sailing alone – yes it can be done but not one without sailing experience and strength – physical strength –

      Also money does talk, but where ya gonna stash it that they can’t find it? Lots of cash, etc means drug running to most officials…remember there probably wont be electricity and on a boat you dont just run to the nearest ATM or have money wired to the nearest bank, especially if you’re out to see to avoid the lawlessness…..

      Hope it works out….best of luck

      • grim strider says:

        Yup. Lots and lots of things not mentioned. Like the Coast Guard (base in Alameda) closing the harbors. The Naval bases…Coronado, San Diego, Point Loma. Miramar (Marines)…it just goes on and on. (that was my unstated thinking behind saying ‘if you even make it out to sea’.) They aren’t going to let you leave, when the balloon goes up.
        There is so much more… ah!

        It’s really just a Cosmo article…prepping as fashion. Still dreaming, not awake at all. IMHO. Anyway, I’ve tossed a couple of my coins on the pile, for whatever they’re worth, and am folding. Too much work to do and too little time to spend it on this.
        Good luck, all.

  38. Dont listen to the color coded threats …….they are complete BULLSHIT ! they dont know , and its only a tool to keep sheeple scared and in line …..nothing more . A sailboat has been discussed before and if your fortunate enough to live on the coast , its a definite possibility as you can move relatively out of reach of the land based masses . Bug out locations for the rest of us that are not close to any water bodies get more complicated . I just got back from a job in Death Valley and was able to do a little hiking around there . ……….it got me thinking ……places like that would make a good bug out location for short term . The reasons are #1 . they are considered by most to be hazardous and undesirable , hence the chances of visitors will be very low . #2 if you do your homework about these areas , you can find remote areas within them that will support life if you know where to go . #3. visit these areas to be sure of the resources . The thing to keep in mind at all times , is that places like Death Valley will kill you ……….if you dont do your homework , they have bad reputations for a reason . YOU DONT WANT TO GET LOST THERE ……….but they are also places that if TSHTF , will be actively avoided . There is water there …….if you know where to go . Its rough going to get to these areas , but its there . #4 they are not for the faint of heart , and for extreme situations only to make the attempt …….but it can be done .

  39. Bill in ( FL. ) says:

    I’am doing the same thing but in FL. 40 ft. sailboat .

  40. Phil in L.A. says:

    Hey Amanda, Prepping in the city of new york is alot tougher than in L.A. I remember the 2003 black out that was a total cluster F#*k. Living in Los Angeles no one seems to prepare for anything not even Earth Quakes. I too looked at the SailBoat route for escape or living I learned to sail at the old boy Scout base in marina Del rey. I still affectionately call MDR the trailer park of the sea. What scared me off from boat living was the fear of my guns rusting and the locks on the hatches of a sail boat really isn’t any type of security.

    I like your smaller scale desalinization plant, I built one that was enourmous and would make like 5 gallons of water. I guess I need to work on scale, I am in the process of down sizing my life much like you are living in Los Angeles I have collected way to much stuff. I admire you as you have down sized, I am having a tough time doing it, trying to balance necesscary and just sentinmental junk.

    I keep my preps quiet because I am surrounded by idiots, but those who do know I always tell them, I would rather be 15 minutes to early than one minute to late. I also tell them that I sleep very well because if something does happen I am already prepared.

    Thanks for the great Article.

    Phil in L.A.

    • hi thanks for the support after you ripped my MDR to shreds
      ( the trailer park of the sea? seriously?) hahhhahah
      anyway..it is extremely hard to downscale, but once you start getting rid of stuff the feeling of exhilaration is addictive.

      i placed an add on craigs list and said
      “free designer clothes to college females
      and to single moms only!!!! you must take the whole bag ,
      no sorting through”
      i also added
      ” owners of resale shops need not apply
      if you do god will know ”

      of course i got a lot of resale shop owners trying to sneak and get the free clothes anyway…
      , but i could sniff them out
      they always asked questions like
      “what designers do you have?” and
      “do i have to take the whole bag?”
      …who asks this???
      especially when you are really looking for clothes to wear to a job interview or to school?
      my point is that when you give away stuff for free as opposed to selling it, the feeling you get from being able to be of some kind of help to someone is akin to great sex
      im not trying to be funny
      when you give your beloved stuff to someone who comes over to happily pick it up who really needs it and appreciates your beloved objects
      you feel so good inside that you almost float off the floor

      if you try to sell your beloved hoarded objects, no one is going to want to pay you what you feel you should be paid for them, so you are going to end up feeling bitter and angry and ripped off
      i tried to sell stuff… the little money i was bargained into letting it go for, didnt have the same good feeling as when i gave it away and got nothing but a deep heart felt thank you

      as for your feeling the locks on the hatch of my sailboat not being any type of security, i suppose i am thinking more of my having a quick and fast get away from the troubled land then i am in trying to “lock out” anyone.

      with my sail boat, i am thinking more in terms of just sailing away as soon as i hear the first signs of turmoil on land…then, after i have escaped the door to door looters and the earthquake-ground-shaking buildings-falling , the random shots being fired from crazed drive-bys, or the sprays from the sneezes of the plague victims then, after i am floating out there in the sea or in a secret cove, then i shall worry about all the other gory stuff “some kind souls” on this blogg have informed me is going to happen to me ….after i sail off..

      and the water thing, wasnt mine, it was someone else who wrote it
      dave on june 29 th

      lov you ,mean it

      • Phil in L.A. says:


        I wasn’t ripping MDR, I said what ” I affcetionately called the Trailer park of the sea”. I was down in MDR for the 4th, had a blast. I have had many great times on that water, I learned to sail at the now defunct Boy scout sea base, I sailed and raced many boats growing up down there, I had my Boat moured down there before I sold it and I ocassionally look for nice sail boats for sale. My two favorite sail boats of all time are the 29 foot ericson and the 42 foot catalina and I will have one of those beauties again some day. Growing up in Santa monica, I spent alot of time in the water of Socal and catalina, love it and miss it a bunch.

        Yes you are right about giving stuff away, I have donated much stuff to goo will, salvation army and out of the closet. i would never beable to sniff out thrift store owners, I gave a few antiques to a friend and he sold them. I have been getting rid of cars and motorcycles I have collected over the years now. Might buy a new boat or some sort of mountain retreat closer to home, so I can make my escape. problem is I wont bable to take all my firearms with me, if I go to a boat plan 🙁

        I am going to start engineering a smaller, lighter water desalinization plant maybe next weekend. I love building stuff like that. Can’t do any gardening though because I am selling my current house.

        I like your pirate plan, female pirates are sexy. I see my self more of a Viking though ha ha ha ha. Ok off to nature.

        Phil in L.A.

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