Questions and Answers with The Wolf Pack – Do survival bloggers know what they’re talking about?

Question from Dan S

If we put all the individuals who have blogs/websites/survival courses in one group would we have a group with the best chance of survival? Or, would we have a group that would stand around befuddled because they can’t get online? (of course we don’t count MD in this group cause he’s belongs to our group).


  1. I think you’d have a better chance of survival than a group of people who didn’t think about any survival topics or didn’t think it could ever happen to them.

    I think the biggest problem with a group of people who are ‘survival people’ would be a Captain complex – there would be a number of people who would insist on being leader and doing things their way, and a power struggle would ensue. I think that would be the biggest problem with a group like that.

  2. I agree with Mike’s comment above. I think that kind of group would have a better chance than your average person who has never thought about preparing for the worst. I also agree that there will be a competition as to who should lead since they will all have their own ideas and all be “experts”. Because of all the in-fighting and power struggles, that kind of group would eventually collapse. I’d rather have MD and the people here than that type of group any day!

  3. There are so many blogs out there on this subject it’s had to tell at first. I have been “surfing” the blogs for 4+ years now, and the ones I look at has changed. Most took off on weird tangents that I was not interested in. Some I still check in with because I occasionally pick up something useful. Some went “commercial” and spent more time promoting a particular company, or trying to get you to buy through their links that it just got ridiculous.

    This site in one I visit multiple times during the day, and link to the comments. I pick up more USABLE information from the comments than the blog itself usually.

    MD has written two books, I have and have read both, that provided the type of information I was looking for. I would have to say he knows about which he rights. He lives it.

    Many others give you “great” ideas from their mid-town apartment complex or their inner city trailer park. But then they don’t say they are there, so their “advice” is 2nd hand, at best.

    I suggest you frequent sites that seem interesting, then make up your own mind whether they offer quality, usable information that meets you needs. If they do, stay. If they don’t, move on. Just be careful with your prepping dollars, they are precious.

    • JP in MT says:

      Guess I miss read the question, so my answer now seems really strange. After reading the comments so far, I’ve come to this conclusion:

      There should be a lot of quality knowledge in that group, but with that many Type A personalities I’m not sure that I’d survive with all that drama.

      Besides, they wouldn’t let me in because I don’t have a blog ;-(

  4. I think a group of survivalists bloggers (who presumably are also survivalists) would have a significantly better chance of survival than ordinary folk. We blog so we can learn. And we aren’t just learning that–we are learning how.

  5. the best experts out there are the ones usually without a fancy website, the men and women who actually do their thing and know it but don’t go out showing it off. a few internet experts know what they are doing and are sharing their info, but with shows like “man vs wild” and doomsday preppers there are a lot of imitators out there trying to catch in on whats in. mvw came out after les strouds survivorman. stroud did his thing and filmed it and showed what he did and when. the show lacked action and tense drama but was a huge hit soon followed by a dozen imitators trying to cash in. mvw beat out survivorman in ratings because they used a crew and copter to take the host from one sensational set after another and included gross out stuff while insisting it was no staged. people went with a showman, even if the guy was more an actor than an expert. telling the experts from the posers on the internet is tough because of the copy paste ability to send out a lot of general stuff without the presenter actually knowing what they are talking about.

    I would say 1 in 3 experts out there know their stuff, 2 out of 3 are showmen

    • Nemoseto:

      Your group’s issue seem to be out there a lot. Even those that are starting to take a longer look at preparation, are doing a lot of planning and talking, but not much doing. We have a few people who we consider LMI’s but again they underestimate the problem, and are counting on other LMI’s to “bail them out” when times get tough and they find that buying food should have been a higher priority than ballet lessons.

      • “buying food should have been a higher priority than ballet lessons.”

        Now wait just a gol’ darned second, JP. Anyone who is a devotee of The Matrix understands the critical survival importance of ballet to dodging bullets. If you get shot dead by Agent Smith, you don’t need to worry about how much food you don’t have.

        And if you dodge Agent Smith’s bullets, you may turn said Agent Smith into Long Pig Jerky. Or at least pop him into the BOL earth oven for a community cook out.

    • I agree 100% Nemoseto

    • Nemoseto,
      I agree on Survivorman, and also on dual survival. Again, not enough flash, but real knowledge. Cody has written numerous good books and I’ve spent time with Dave, who really knows his stuff.

  6. In that sort of massive group you would have to have a clear leader or at least a council (I would vote to have a rotating council every X months, can’t be on it consecutive terms). I would give them a big chance of surviving but also breaking up into smaller groups.

    This brings up an even bigger question: What is the percentage of individuals that just talk and don’t do?

    If I look at the people in my group (30 adults) only about 20% have the knowledge and the stuff. 70% have neither and 10% only have one or the other. That’s an honest assessment and probable typical in most loose groups. The horrible thought is the 20 adults (70%) also have another 30ish children.

  7. Hunker-Down says:

    As Bam Bam said; We blog so we can learn.
    One of the topics we are learning is how to survive without the internet and electricity. I hope we ‘get it’ before TSHTF.

    I put more trust in the experience and testing results the Pack posts here than in ‘survival authors’ with a blog. Methinks a lot of them maintain a blog to sell whatever they think we are interested in.

    Any group that would stand around befuddled because their internet was down cant, in any stretch of the imagination, be called preppers.

    • Suburban Housewife says:

      I won’t be standing around befuddled – but I sure will be missing this group…

  8. Duck Tracy says:

    If I were to choose a partner to survive with, it would be one of the people from either the show “Swamp People” or Phil Robertson from “Duck Dynasty” . In both cases you have folks who have lived most of their lives living off the land.

    • You can learn a lot about living well without many resources by reading an obscure magazine called “The Backwoodsman”. It is a bimonthly that features stories on how to make campfire hot water heaters, hunting and alternative ways of taking game/fish, making composting toilets virtually all articles are written by the people who have done it, with step-by-step photos to show the process. The letters section is particularly fascinating. FYI, I don’t read survivalist fiction. It’s contrived plots built around straw people based entirely upon fantasy. Too many people think cars from the 1950’s will be just fine in the event of an EMP. If said cars are far enough away from the detonation, they might be functional, and they might not. If they’re close enough to the detonation (depends upon the intensity), they’ll be just as fried as the most modern vehicles…

      • Leonard,
        What part of them will fry? The carburetors? Otherwise, the electrical system is pretty sturdy. The electronics in newer vehicles OTOH may not survive as well.

  9. Tactical G-Ma says:

    I think there are “posers” out there who will either get themselves killed or be immediately discredited. We fact check everything now so it will be hard to be scammed.
    I can say there will be situations where having Peppers knowledge will keep us alive longer. But in war sometimes it’s safer to go with the flow than to fight. And if one is relying on survival training without a sustainable lifestyle, bye bye!

  10. Donna in MN says:

    Bring them into a group would be beneficial, but it is the members of our group who try their techniques and tips and then analyize the data whether if it is good information or not.

    Simple tasks in their area they claim knowledge to will show their real “expertise”. Those who don’t, get booted out and before any “authority” joins a group, this will be told to them.

  11. JC in GA says:

    Other than those that are out there just to make a buck off a growing popular idea, I would have to hold my opinion. Some prep for floods, some for EMP, and some for financial collapse and on and on. It is hard to say who the winner will be. I prep for flexibility. Maybe there will be sunspots that will cause EMP at the same time a devastating flood takes out most of the food supply in the fields which causes a financial collapse and an earth quake disaster thrown in just for kicks. Who wins? Who can you depend on? At that point you have to wonder if anyone can really be ready for that. It would make it hard to pull a gun on someone coming on your place to see if you need any help whether they be in a black helicopter or a rusty pick-up.

    So I say blog away. It is up to me to determine if I need that knowledge or not.

    • axelsteve says:

      There is a big difference between information and wisdom. Wisdom will win over mere information and I think that I gain wisdome here.

      • Axelsteve,
        A very good point. Information is neither knowledge nor wisdom.
        • Information is basically the data contained in any book, video, website, or another person’s head.
        • Knowledge only happens when you input that information by reading, listening, or watching, and then correlate that information with what you already know.
        • Skills come by applying that knowledge and practicing it.
        • And finally, wisdom comes after trying and comparing knowledge and skills to see what works and doesn’t work in what conditions.
        That pile of books and DVDs on the shelf is only potentially useful information, not knowledge or wisdom.

  12. Rider of Rohan says:

    As in anything else, it’s likely that the majority of survival bloggers are not ready to survive. However, I do think there are a number of them like MD who have experience with independent homesteads that include gardening and chickens, etc., which in my opinion gives one the best chance to prosper long-term no matter what happens. Because, regardless of whether there is a collapse, the trajectory of these United States is decline, both monetary and military. Not even including the moral decline, which might end up being the worse of the three. So, the more a person can do for themselves, the better off they will be.

  13. If we are comparing them to groups of people who don’t prep, a group of bloggers should have a leg up because of their knowledge and supplies. Compared to groups of people who prep but who don’t run blogs or give courses….maybe, maybe not.

    For me the scary part is if a significant fraction decide they are so knowledgable that they get to dictate who does what instead of letting people work things out for themselves.

    The Pilgrims starved the first year because they had communal food production: from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. People naturally slacked off because they were assured that they could have some of what the next guy would nobly produce. Well, the next guy had the same attitude.

    The next year plots of land were assigned to individuals who got to keep what they produced. End of famine.

    If the leaders decide to be dictators, I would expect conflict, famine, and oppression, none of which are conducive to group survival. Almost any group, when under major stress, may produce a few people who decide that using violence against those who won’t submit is their absolute right, and anyone who objects must be disarmed or killed.

    That is especially true when those would be dictators have meaningful powers in good times, like bad cops or bad troops. After Katrina, the cops in New Orleans decided to disarm all the potential victims, and made it clear they would murder anyone who resisted. Imagine that nationwide. Scares me silly.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      What the worst part of N.O. was after being disarmed, the locals who remained or returned early on after Katrina, had to deal with Latino gangs who moved in. It’s the demons you know or the demons you don’t. There is safety in numbers but I would rather hang with my peeps than people I only know from online chat.

      • Check out to You will need it more in the future than during Katrina.

        • Patriot Dave says:

          I read that article. This is a perfect example of the Question today. The list includes many places that former burglars (who do know what they are talking about) say they will specifically look for guns. The author compiling the list has just enough information to be dangerous. Following his advice will get your guns stolen or confiscated.
          Dan S.
          So to answer the question. There is no easy way to discern the good from the bad. Some well intentioned people may have been doing it wrong all their lives, because that is how their parents did it. It takes diligence, cross referencing with other so called experts, and a lot of homework. Then you actually have to try it yourself and see if it works. That is why many good instructors tell you to practice what you learned now.
          Funny story I heard years ago. Guy got married and his wife would cut off the ends of the roast before putting it in the pan to cook. He asked her about it. She replied that her mom always did it that way. The next time they visited the mom, they asked her. She replied that her mom did it that way too. Then they asked the grandma why. She explained that when she first got married, they were so poor, they only had a small pan and the roast did not fit, so she had to cut off the ends to get it in the pan. It just became a habit.
          That is how a lot of so called “knowledge” gets passed on today.

          • Thanks Patriot Dave.
            You are right of course, and it makes perfect sense. There is not an “Uber Prepper” on this blog that can’t benefit from input by other preppers.

      • axelsteve says:

        Tactical G- Ma very good point that you brought up.

      • “There is safety in numbers but I would rather hang with my peeps than people I only know from online chat.”

        Absolutely. And fortunately also a lot more likely to happen as on-liners are likely not very near by.

        As someone above said, sometimes you also just go with the flow. Resistance is likely to cause a lot more damage than going with something merely acceptable. Several of Robert Heinlein’s characters held to that: You can’t control the majority, so you are better off blending rather than challenging those violent ones you cannot best. I think his characters put it mostly in the context of pretending to religious beliefs they did not hold, because resisting could be extremely deleterious to their well being. If 98% of the people are church goers, and the 2% are discriminated against, be a church goer.

        The Spanish Jews did that after Ferdinand & Isabella reconquered Spain, pretending to convert, but worshipping underground for hundred of years. Catholics in England as well after Henry the VIII. It goes back to “Discretion is the better part of Valor.” If you can’t beat them, join them. Or pretend to. No moral imperative to be honest with the Out Group.

  14. One of the tell-tell signs of a poser is when they write about prepping and include no photos of what or how to do it. Anyone can write about a bunch of stuff, but showing it is more difficult (sort of a proof of life). Another thing is when they post stock photos, for example they are telling you how to raise a survival garden but don’t actually, have a garden so they post stock photos of a “garden”.

    • i only read this survival site religiously with an occasional stop at survivalblog.
      i don’t have any weapons but i want info on herbs,natural antibiotics, gardens, do-it-yourself, et cetera. practical knowledge.
      at my age and sex it is all i have room or time for–not to mention the physical limits which are more pressing every year. i am trying to get in raised beds before my back says ‘never again’. i recommend raised beds to all because youth fades sooner than you think!!
      i read the writer who talks about push-ups and running with a 40 pound pack and it is ridiculous for me to even think about!! [i think he’s on a different web log.]
      i love this site and there is so much information. my desk is full of notes and the titles of books i want to order from the library or buy. thanks to everyone.

  15. One thing about MD is that he posts pics just about every Saturday in the “what did you do to prep this week” post of what he is doing…

  16. Rider of Rohan says:

    Penrod, there were a number of bad actors in New Orleans after Katrina. Begin with La. Governor Blanco, then make it worse by adding NO Mayor Nagin. He ordered the people disarmed under a state of emergency declaration. NOLA already had one of the most corrupt and worst police forces in the nation, add to that the other police forces who came in from other parts of the country, and you get a toxic mix. Almost all were preset to disarm people, so it’s no surprise they immediately got to it. The video of the old lady who just wanted to stay and protect her home being violently disarmed was the worst of it. Even some Nat’l Guard from La. other states joined in the disarmament “fun”. I believe had Bobby Jindal been governor at that time much of this crap wouldn’t have happened. And there is a warning in all this. The larger cities were the worst, and living in a state with a good governor made all the difference in the world. Consider Mississippi, which bore the brunt of the storm, yet had no such issues as NO. A competent governor saw to that. So, if you live in a state with a Democrat-Communist governor, get out now before it’s too late. Life will be much worse there. One only need look at California, Connecticut, or New York, where gun bans and confiscations are already reality.

    • i never saw follow-up about the assault on the elderly lady. that devil’s son who tackled her must have broken her bones. does anyone know? did she survive long?

      • I believe she did survive, no thanks to her Public Servants.

        In situations like Katrina, I think that basic competence beats political affiliation, but Ray Nagin was too stupid to even follow the emergency plan which the city already had published on line. Their existing plan was to use the city busses and school busses to move people out of the city, but IIRC, no one mentioned that to the bus drivers, so they got out of Dodge. result: No one to drive the busses, because you sure could use drivers who were no government certified. Right?

        The upside of the situation is that the people who voted Nagin into power were the ones who suffered for his incompetence.

        • oops: should be “because you sure couldn’t use drivers who were not government certified.”

          Gotta proof this stuff better before hitting ‘Submit’.

        • Rider of Rohan says:

          Do you remember the kid who hijacked the school bus and drove a busload of refugees over to Houston? That was one of the high points of the whole mess to me.

  17. Aeged-Well says:

    hmmm… I have read this blog with interest. I believe “some” of the survival blogs” know what they state, some do not; BUT you may be surprised what you can pickup from ANY source. Sometimes I have found that you need to look at a situation and the “facts” presented from a different angle. I have a half a book case of printed articles from these site and copies of Gov manuals. Because I did some security work I believe in the mantra: Trust but Verify. It is good to read these site even if this time you got nothing. I have also found that going back to a site with little information, now it has one tidbit that gets me thinking in another direction. I have generated at least 40 “required” lists in the last several years, most are duplicates, some do not apply to my situation, some have unique items that others do not, some get me thinking of “other” options. An example from a fiction book: want a water tight holder… condom. Need to plug a gunshot wound… tampax. No bandages… pads. Some “methods” seem a bit gross, but once you REALLY appraise the results, even just intellectually, you see they are good ideas.
    Even if a site has no good info, it still may get you thinking of areas you may need to improve on.

  18. Exile1981 says:

    Before coming to this site I used to post on a different site, I submitted an article about filtering water and the moderator asked me why you would want to filter water when your stash would have so many bottles of good water in it.

    It was at that time that I realized there are prepper/bloggers who talk a good talk but likely live in moms basement and have no clue how to survive other than as a looter.

    So in answer to the question there are some good ones but a lot of the bloggers would be nothing more than dead wood using up supplies and demanding people follow their orders because they are the “experts”.

  19. Chuck Findlay says:

    I think not all but most survival bloggers are probably competent as far as it goes. But I see some tunnel vision in a lot of blogs in that they seem to focus on one area (or only a few) of interest and don’t seem to want to branch out to other areas. Survival is about thousands of subjects as is life. If we are going to survive tough times need to be ready to survive with info on numerous subjects, not just guns.

    The thing is that none of us know what is really coming and this is going to lead to people deciding how to best cope with it and this is where the bloggers (actually all of us) focus their energy. They address things they like to do like guns, knifes, gear and the like. Some have a wild idea that we are going to fall into a Mad-Max world or (as in Rawles) into a Patriots world where all government will disappear. Personally I don’t buy into the patriots-world where you must have years of MREs (MREs are not that good in my opinion) and AR-15 / 16 and 30 mags for each gun and 200,000 rounds of ammo. These type of sites don’t generally talk about growing or preserving food. And food is much more important then lots of guns.

    Yea you need a few guns, but not the arsenal that they constantly tell you you need to survive.

    Answer this question. “How many times in the last year did you need to shoot someone? and How many times did you have to eat a meal in the last year?” Food is much more important!

    Don’t think I don’t like to talk about, collect and shoot guns. I have 30 or 40 of them, so many I don’t even count them any more. But after a point buying guns for survival becomes a hobby and not really about survival. I could really get by with 4 or 5 guns and be OK (A 22 rifle and handgun. A shotgun, a large caliber handgun and a long-range rifle, those 5 guns with supporting ammo will do it.)

    Also guns are expensive, as is ammo. if you are not careful buying guns and ammo could easily take money away from other prepping supplies you need. Many bloggers advice about guns assumes you have an almost unlimited amount of money for the future to spend on guns, ammo, scopes, night vision so you can be ready to wage war on a horde of bad guys. I don’t know about most of you, but for me money is hard to come by and I have to balance it’s spending on living today and prepping for tomorrow. The only reason I have so many guns is that I have been buying them for over 30-years. If I had to start from fresh I would not have anything close to what I have now.

    I also notice a few blogs where the guys are obsessed with knifes. they constantly buy and review knifes. I like knifes, I have more then I will ever need, but I don’t want to buy 150 of them. I can’t remember what blog it was because I only made 1 visit, but when searching for survival info a few months ago I ran into this survival blog that was only about knifes. Nothing else on the site. It was mostly a useless blog as far as survival goes because it did nothing to address real survival situations and how to prepare and survive them. This knife blog may have had a great guy that was ready for anything, but it was not in the blog makeup so I would not trust the guys survival ideas because it looks like he’s only about knifes at the expense of other things I consider important.

    As far as the most important things for survival it’a clean water, food and shelter. I like this blog and ones like it because it talks about these things.

    Here (MD’s Blog) all aspects of survival get posted, reply’s get posted and I find I get as much good useful info and ideas from the reply’s as I do from the main author of an article. Also as we all know MD lives the life he talks about here. His methods may be different then any one of us may do, but it’s honest, hands-on info.

    Also he’s open to (looking for) other points of view to round out the blog. Not all these ideas are going to be looked at favorable by all that post here (as evidence the recent police problem post generated differing views on the police tactics of the last several years. ) but at least we are getting a wide range of ideas that make you rethink your views and prepping plans.

    I also like www, for the same reason.

    I no longer go to Rawles blog ( for a few reasons. He buys into the Mad-Max thing and you can’t reply to any of the post and this makes his info much more limited in it’s value to me.

    So the answer is that just in life as i interact with those around me and learn who to honest, who has something of value to me, who I can give input to that hopefully they will value. It’s the same with a blog, I look for good honest info and also hope my post give the same to others.


    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      You have made some really good points.

      If you can’t produce food or have something valued to trade for food, you’re screwed! I’m a poet!

      I don’t collect guns nor do I shoot competition. To me tools is tools. If things don’t have a purpose or fill a need what good are they? Except diamond rings, or fancy guns, or sportscars, or whatever gives you joy.

      So first and foremost needs of survival, if we lose the modern conveniences, must be met.

      You talk about Rawles and Mad Max. When I was a kid, Friday nights in Arcadia, Florida would make you believe you were beyond Thunderdome. Yes there are those with that mentality. I certainly don’t want to encourage it, but mob mentality exists and will and has occurred in cases where society has broken down. This is something I prepare for. I would give my DH’s eyeteeth for a MaDeuce and tons of belts.
      BUT, it is stupid to put all my resources in weaponry and die from sepsis from a paper cut because I stored no antibiotics.
      The bloggers who promote unbalanced or hair brain ideology do have a following. So did He and She and Jim Jones. So does Osama Bin Laden even after death.
      To properly prepare for events, we must identify what we may face. I think it is poor planning to not know what kind of nut jobs are out there and what evil they are spewing.

      That being said, since I don’t know MD nor have I verified he is indeed who he says he is and not some middle-class housewife, I would not lead my group to The Cumberland Plateau to throw in with someone who’s blog I like. I do know that I have learned more about lots of things I never considered by reading this blog than from the umpty ump books I have.

      • Tactical G-Ma,

        LOL “middle-class housewife”… good thing that I have a sense of humor or I would feel insulted by that, considering all of the information, photos, two books, reviews in several national magazines, consulting etc… sometimes I do feel like a “middle-class housewife” but that’s another story.

        • JP in MT says:


          She has a point. Remember those stories (like in Lethal Weapon) were some guy is writing romance novels…?

          Just saying.

        • I’m guessing for the right kind of prepper, you tend to stir some “basic primitive desires”, thanks for what you do here. We don’t all march to the same beat but we all get good info here.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          MD are we going to see you doing U-Tube videos in a dress, pumps and your fingernails painted any time soon???

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          I believed you would understand… look what J K Rowling did writing a book as a guy!

          Don’t tell anyone but I would join you if invited. Course I’d bring my own preps!

          • Tactical G-Ma,

            Sounds like a winner…

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            (Tactical G-Ma March 10, 2014 at 8:39 pm
            I believed you would understand… look what J K Rowling did writing a book as a guy!)

            She did not write it as a guy, she simply wrote it. She never presented herself as a man. Her publisher decided to mask her being a woman because he (probably rightly so) thought the story would sell better if people thought J K Rowling’s was a man. But even he did not lie, but just use her initials and left the public to think what they wanted.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            I stand corrected.

            Do you know if M.D. is a man?

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            I’m somewhat sure he is, but I’m not going to go and check if you know what I mean. And I would guess he doesn’t want me checking. At least I hope he doesn’t…

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            I swear I wasn’t drinkin’. The devil made me do it! Love ya kid! Keep up the good work!.

          • ROF LMAO!!

        • mindful patriot says:

          As a middle-class housewife, should I feel insulted? jw

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Ok, I spit my afternoon coffee all over the computer screen! I’m about to start charging you a cleanup fee, Tac G-Ma. LOL. That picture of a “middle class housewife” writing a survival blog send me over the moon. I can’t stop laughing.

    • Bwhntr57 says:

      Chuck Findlay

      Very good points all. I seem to have about the same amount of guns as you do, and correctly you pointed out mostly just cause we like guns do we have them. Although having extra would be a really good barter item, as would ammo. But food and water are really important for sure. One thing about Rawles site, I agree what you said bit note that they do post some good articles related to all types of survival info and world sitrep info that serves as a warning to us preppers. I also feel a mad max world is unlikely, unless there is a total EMP with power grid out for an extended period. But something bad may happen and any of the survival skills we learn and practice from these blogs is going to be very useful. God Bless.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        Bwhntr57 I check Rawles site every so often. Only because I look at every day and it has link to numerous survival articles posted on the net every day. Every so often a link I click on takes me to his site and while there I look at

  20. I don’t go to shtfplan anymore b/c the theme of every article is to create fear & make people afraid. But fear is not the best motivator. & fear paralyzes some people. Also, that site rarely had any practical how to type articles. & I agree that this one is one of the best. Thanks MD.

  21. My opinion (Beware Dangerous Word) is that a group as proposed would work fairly well. There would be an initial period of shake out where the posers and those who just don’t play well with others would be eliminated (most by their own choice my guess). The real problem that I see is what I consider Prepping’s Dirty Little Secret. Fact is (seems to me) that there are a lot of nut jobs out there to whom the whole prep thing is a chance for them to star in their own post apocalyptic movie produced and directed by them. When the rest of the folks don’t play their assigned roles said loon will take it poorly. Psychos don’t like having their reality challenged. The psychos of the first order are charming, charismatic & manipulative. They are capable of folding others into their fantasies and totally without empathy. They easily pose as normal humans of a heroic bent. They are sometimes hard to spot as they talk a good show being concerned with the survival of all.
    There’s a couple of good books out there on the subject of spotting on of these people. Titles like “The Psychopath Next Door” abound. I’d suggest that arming one’s self against these types is as important as guns and ammo. Estimates run to 10 to 15% of the population for their number. They are common in the upper echelons of the business world. Think of the manipulative SOB that most of us have encountered at one time or the other then imagine them in a survival situation with arms and a lot of desperate people to manipulate. Scary stuff as they are not all the buffons like the fellow on Doomsday Preppers who was planning on raiding and looting and had the incredible intelligence to announce it on National TV.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:


      • thanks for the book title.
        the sociopaths are so smooth and suave. they are in the door before you know it. they are expert actors and i have been deceived more than once. we need spiritual insight to spot them.
        they literally insinuate themselves and in the most charming manner.
        be wary.

  22. patientmomma says:

    Most of the blogs I frequent, have too many hormones being exhibited; some have too much testosterone and some have too much estrogen. This blog is just right, a good mix of both!!

    I was once a part of a management experiment concerning “leaderless groups”. The company hired contractors to come in and form employee groups to perform specific functions. The desired outcome was known but not how to get to the end. Unbeknown to the participants, the entire exercise was not to accomplish the end result, but to determine those who would surface as leaders and how they did it (e.g., their methods). I don’t remember all the different classifications, but I remember the “dictator” failed; the parent failed; there was another one which failed, who wanted a consensus on everything, but I don’t remember the title; the one that succeeded was the one who used participative methods, but held the authority to make the decision. What I got out of the exercise was people have to have their say, be able to vote or influence the decision, but there has to be a leader–one who makes the final decision and MOTIVATES folks to carry out the decision.

  23. Chuck Findlay says:

    With all the prepper / survival blogs out there and more coming on-line every day it tells you that more & more people are concerned about the direction we are heading. The media likes to portray preppers as kooks and under-report how many people are looking into prepping. It’s still a small percentage of the population, but it is growing.

    I would imagine if prepping were a left-leaning idea there would be non stop news stories on TV telling people about this massive swell of prepping going on and how good it was. But being they are pro government dependency for everyone prepping has to be shown as a dangerous thing only the mentally unstable do. Calling a prepper mentally unstable in their mind gives them the right to try to take your guns away as we all know preppers are dangerous and mentally unstable.

    Can you say “Agenda???”


  24. suburban housewife says:

    So I have perused everyone’s opinions and comments and have come to some conclusions –
    1. Yes I think probably the majority of the prepper bloggers mostly know what they are talking about. Whether they do what they know is another question.
    2. For me I think personality and character is more important than skill and knowledge. Skill and knowledge can be learned as necessary. After all “Poverty is the mother of invention”- even if it’s difficult you can learn and manage skills. BUT character, integrity and a good personality cant’ necessarily be taught or learned under duress. So I don’t really care about what a person writes – it’s whats inside that counts – the rest can be learned on the job.
    3. If I were going to be stuck with a bunch of bloggers that didn’t have the internet as an outlet I sure would like a tall stack of notebooks and a giant box of pens on hand.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      2. For me I think personality and character is more important than skill and knowledge. Skill and knowledge can be learned as necessary.

      Personality is important, but I think I would place skills and knowledge as more important. And also in a SHTF situation hopefully you will have the time and frame of mind to gain skills. Better to learn them now. None of us can learn all we may need to know as prepping for some unknown event, it’s hard to know what exactly you will need.

      I think our differing view on this is a Woman Guy thing. Woman are wired more for personal communication. Men are wired more for information.

      As far as character, integrity and a good personality and it not being something an adult can learn, Again I think we will disagree on this one. We all can learn through our whole life.

      The problem is that TV, Government and the media has made it hard for many people to even consider independent non-programmed thinking, a large and growing part of the people in this country are in this frame of mind.

      Reality can and will retrain some, but for many the time and desire to learn may not be there. They will sit (and watch TV) for the government to tell them what to do and get angry at the loss of their food stamps, welfare checks and everything the government gives them. I think I read that almost 50% of the people in the USA are getting food stamps. This has no good ending.

      As far as the tall stack of notebooks and a giant box of pens on hand. I copy a lot of net information to a folder in the form of MS Word files and I also buy any book that I think may be handy later. I also print a lot of things I find on the net to a notebook to have a hard copy.

      But I wonder: if it does hit the fan, will we really have time to sit around and read books, Word files or PDF files?

  25. Jersey Drifter says:

    I think a group made up of “individuals who have blogs / websites / survival courses ” would have a darn good chance of making it. If and only if they practice what they preach and write about. If they truly have the knowledge ” upstairs ” then they don’t need the internet to survive.
    Also I think their chances would be better if they didn’t have a person playing the part of TDL. Instead maybe be in groups made up of skill sets. Groups could be something like 1 hunters and fishermen, 2 Gardeners, 3 Livestock, 4 shelter and heat, 5 water supply, 6 medical, 7 security. These groups could be based on the individuals skills with some balancing, like too many hunters maybe one or two could help with the livestock.
    Then each group has a leader or spokesperson who meets with the other group leaders. They can talk over how things are going in each group and what is working or what is needed. And how the group as a whole is doing.
    No TDL situation….but everyone working for the good of the whole, check the egos at the door.
    Maybe after a while, like a year, then maybe pick someone to lead, maybe sooner if it means keeping the group safe and intact.

  26. One simple answer..No, Don’t get me wrong I get a kick out of reading the so called experts, but most are not expert in any thing but complying info from other so called experts. When you read their blogs start looking for critical info or the lack their of and most of the stuff you read is arm chair B.S. Will these experts survive, that’s up to them and the grace of God. Keep you Powder Dry, Rangers Lead the Way.

    • Hiplains says:

      It wouldn’t take long for the folks with real skills to rise to the top and those with “virtual” skills to become victims of themselves. I think that over time, what began as one working group would probably splinter into multiple with polarization – either work cooperatively or complete enmity.
      Everything on the web: “Read not to believe but to weigh and consider.”

  27. Sad truth is , half of the advise will get you killed , although well meaning , is bad advice , this differes from subject to subject . Just do the research before you even think of doing anything , what might be one persons idea ( remember , Ideas are untested thoughts , emphasize UNTESTED ) may not be right for your situation or region . The military is a reliable source for survival gear and actions , they have been thoroughly tested , good place to start , also consider the source , is the blogger , somebody that is living off grid , and has been for years , or is he just some guy in a 400sq. ft. apartment in the city ? It’s obvious to me , a person that has done a lot of outdoor activities , like long haul ( over a week ) , off trail backpacking , camping , etc . that some of these guys dont know what they are talking about , it takes more than a hand full of , what amounts to garbage ( ” survival ” kits ) to get you by . They obviously have never tried to do it . It might be time better served to do independent research on subjects that interest you , canning , farming , livestock , etc. from people that are NOT into what we do . Then you will get streight dope for what is required to accomplish that task , then start thinking of how you could do the same thing if things got bad and products unavailable . Farming/gardening for example , yes its always good to plant what and where you can , but the realities of living off of it are not the same thing , you need so much space and so many plants of each type to feed 1 person for a year , that alone can be an eye opener , and its not taking into account plants diying , pests , time needed to oversee the crops , on and on , bottom line , do your homework and TEST IT . Good luck to all of us , we will need it ……and depend on the fact that you didnt think of everything .

  28. jamullins says:

    Hey guys,
    I just came out to check out this blog because a friend of mine who blogs more than he sleeps brought it up.

    I feel that many of the bloggers who are also survival oriented would do well after an initial shock-introduction to the essentially-primitive way of light left after the grid goes down, the government dissolves, and Santa Claus goes on strike.

    A lot of what people plan, talk about, and elude to in their blogs really isn’t grounded in reality. This isn’t an insult, just an observable fact. I have had the opportunity on many occasions in my life to have to live through some of the harsher events such as war zones, collapsing third-world nations, natural disasters both working the relief effort and having to survive the disaster, as well as living my live in rather primitive way, by choice. I am not a super-survivalist, master martial artist, super soldier, or anything else. But, I earned my tabs, wings, and hearts in uniform and made my real money working in the private sector military. I enjoy the topics most bloggers talk about as a regular part of my life through hobbies, training, and my actual profession.

    Many of the “skillsets” blogged about people can learn through a little research and some trial and error when they are camping, hunting, hiking, or just practicing in their backyards. Other topics that are big debates, like .22 lr vs. .22 wmr or best list for a bug out bag, are really moot points since most of the bloggers in these discussions don’t really address an issue or solve a problem with their conjecture; they just speak their ego.

    survival is like martial arts, if you are all techniques and no theory, your application will be problematic and potentially failure prone until you learn what you should actually be doing. And failure in a survival situation could get you or many others killed.

    finding practical survival training is easier than you think. You don’t need to go to survival camp. First, learn what survival is all about. Second, develop a skillset of basic and functional skills as a core of your survival capabilities. It’s easier to scale up from a strong core of skills and knowledge than it is to adapt a weak skillset spread over a broader base.lastly, practice, practice, practice.

    Survival is like like self defense in that most people misunderstand what self defense is really about. Self defense, just like survival, is having the knowledge and basic skills to prevent your untimely death. In self defense you kill the other guy to stop him from killing you, if it isn’t that serious it isn’t a real threat to you. In survival you similarly do what it takes to prevent your untimely death due to the conditions of the environment that is out to get you. If you aren’t at risk, it isn’t a real threat and survival isn’t the issue. Understand what is.

    I know this is a vague and quick blog post, and I am truly sorry that I can’t just go on for tens of thousands of words. But, most preppers, survivalists, and post-apoc conspiracy buffs blog about their own ego based views, ideas, neurosis, and plans without actually focusing on how to resolve a real-world situation. This leads to a lot of clutter for those with real messages or, more importantly, real questions to be answered.

    Just remember that equipment will not replace knowledge, knowledge is helpless without practiced skill, practiced skill requires of very little equipment, a combination of skill, knowledge, and equipment that is simple and expandable will provide more functionality, and all of this is predicated on the understanding of what you are actually going to be doing to survive; meaning performing specific actions in specific situations that yield specific reproducible results.

    I hope this wasn’t to much of a defuse rant. It doesn’t take gunshot wounds and starvation to understand survival, but it does take practical understanding and application. This can be gained safely in your own home and backyard, by the way.

    thank you for this space to communicate.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      If I am wrong I apologize but my BS meter is going off like crazy.
      You do not sound like a prepper or a survivalist. And fighting mosquitoes in a campground in Door County hardly makes you combat experienced.
      I believe you are verbose and quite probably a 19 yo college student.

      • jamullins says:

        no sweat, tac.

        if everyone who ever blogged knew what they were talking about then it wouldn’t be such a great place for people to go to.

        my dad was a survivalist nut with one of those cool handles, he called himself survival Sal (Sampson Alexander Lewis). I’m not a prepper or a survivalist who goes on day trips and summer survival jaunts.

        I know what I learned from him and his old viet nam buddies. most of them were bitter over the war, it was kind of a shitty way to grow up. But, the lessons I learned at home helped me deal with crap like lack of equipment, poor water, water shortages, or avoiding malaria in places that weren’t easy to begin with more than actually bailing me out of some collapse event situation.

        As for combat, it’s no one’s specialty despite what all the guru’s tell you. it’s just a matter of moments in time that you get through using what you know. survival at its most basic. everyone preaches that basics, according to them, which are typically just the current trend.

        it’s funny how people come onto a blog like this and feel they always have something to say about someone else. I can read to, and you sound like a wannabe to me. I worked with UNACO in Bosnia, served in the US Army for ten years, and worked in Sierra Leone alongside EO. I’m sure you have real credentials that to you make the difference. We all do, or we wouldn’t believe in ourselves.

        you want to talk shop, great, i am always looking for new and interesting ways to make pemmican, we can compare views on practical levels of preparation all day long, or debate the validity of the claims that to 5.56mm isn’t a reliable man-stopping round.

        But, if you just want to sling shit, please don’t waste your time. You can’t get under my skin. I’ve learned better of that after after 42 years of my dad’s bs.

        thanks for the space again.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          My apologies. I don’t often call people out. Your entry just struck me funny.
          You’re right about ‘Nam. I was a young adult then. It was the first time our guys ever experienced anything like that then spit on and called baby killers afterward.
          So, you are a patriot although you are not a prepper or a survivalist? Is that right? And your views are a bit jaded by your father’s behavior? Am I right so far? Having so much experience in hot beds, why be so vague? You have a wealth of experience that could benefit people in an emergency situation. Why not share particulars?
          As for me, I’m aging and a female and my exposure to combat was accidental. I worked in Intell as both a civilian and active duty in both Asia and Europe from ’71-’85. I am prepared more for a tornado or hurricane than a nuclear war. But that being said, I was up front and center during the Cold War. I was taught that getting under a table would protect me from an atomic mushroom. And your right, I have few of the answers and a lot of opinions. I would really like hearing about you experiences.

  29. jamullins says:

    Yeah. I am a bit jaded by my dad’s influence at times.

    It’s not that I’m not a survivalist. I really enjoy primitive living and survival as a hobby. I don’t prep so much though. I tend to move a lot, not just for work, but I’m singe and have the financial capability to move around a lot with what I do as a contractor. Living in one place for a year to 18 months is about the norm for me. It’s great to go to different places and discover how to survive in the new environments, but its not easy to keep a retreat or even a bug in plan that’s very comprehensive.

    I started off as a young ranger back in the persian gulf war. Since then I’ve been to many of those t.v. ‘hotspots’. Many of them were little more than overblown cases of civil decline. But, there were several that got exciting quick.

    I am a patriot, i do believe in america, only for me the dream in about freedom to be the self absorbed, egotistical wanderer I am.

    I guess my views on survival, and many topics are different, but I place more value on being able to maintain mobility over waiting it out. I believe in drownproofing over add-ons, scaling up over stockpiling, and real teamwork over networking. I am open to discussing these topics in more depth with someone who has honest opinions and wants to actually converse.

    when it comes to survival I feel like I am capable of fending for myself under some circumstances. I have never met anyone I would bet whom I feel is ready for a real apocalyptic scenario.

    thanks for the space.

  30. thegreyman says:

    I’ve watched many survival YouTube’s and not many seem to have leadership qualities. Sure, they have survival skills, but as a leader most will undoubtedly fail. Yes, somebody mentioned a ‘captain complex’ and I 100% agree. That’s a fantastic term for what I’m thinking. I also think regardless of survival skills, a natural leader will emerge from a group. However, would I want to be with these people? Absolutely not. I think many of them may be over-confident and dangerous and lack realism and human qualities that transcend ‘survival skills’. I think survival is about willpower and intelligence. Skills are supplemental and nothing more. If anything, I’d learn off them then give a thousand thank you’s then leave with no animosity, and feel empowered from what they provided.

  31. I take a lot of what I read online with a liberal grain of salt. I know enough to keep me alive in the woods or desert, and could probably handle a ‘SHTF’ scenario reasonably well.

    My BS meter is set rather high because of some of my past associations with ‘survivalists’ who took the label in order to further their personal agendas (white supremacy/polygamy/creating their own culture, etc). I’ve seen, heard, and read a ton of stuff that is of marginal utility at best, sheer fantasy at its worst.

    I come to this site because a lot of that is filtered out. Not all, but enough that I didn’t summarily dismiss it out of hand. Practical, possibly, and reasonable methods are discussed here.

  32. jamullins says:

    there are many people with training, experiences, and education that would be able to keep themselves alive during many different types of survival situations. i feel the problem would lie in having to rely on each other. my experience in the military and with the squabbling military organizations of several developing nations made it clear quickly that without a clear and enforced ‘chain of command’ it would be difficult for group decisions to be made in a timely manner quite often. issues with misunderstanding each others’ intent, conflicting egos, opposed political views, sexism, racism, religious intolerance, and so on would be some of the key factors.

    as for a real apocalyptic collapse of life as we know it the initial shock would offset these issues for a time until people had time to wrap their head around the situation. this would mean that people would come together and not really pay attention to their interpersonal differences until they had be acclimatized to that shock. once that had occurred the differences would soon resurface and the survival process would become mired by debate, arguments, indecision, and petty rivalries.

    has anyone made any alcohol based plant tinctures? i have been working on using willow bark to make a general pain remedy. it works alright, but i feel it may be a little weak.

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