Top Ten Ways to Blow Your Operational Security (opsec security)

1. Start a survival / prepper blog


Operational Security (opsec security)?

Sometimes, I think that there are as many “survival blogs” and “doomsday prepper” sites as there are preppers – why 90% of people that’s been prepping over a week feel that they have to start a “survival blog” is beyond me. There are thousands of such sites online already, and most get little or no traffic and it’s a sure way to blow your operational security.

And to make matters worse the more popular a blog or website gets the less secure the owner is. Trust me, you can use a “pen name”  or list your location as somewhere “west of the rock mountains” but if you run a blog and the federal government becomes interested they will have no problem finding out who is behind it.

I’ve read a lot of comments from folks expressing concerns about reading or commenting on such sites – but really, if they start rounding up “survivalist” and “preppers” who do you think will be first on their list?

2. Telling your neighbors

We all know that long-term survival takes a community, after all no one survivor can know or do everything needed themselves. We need the labor, skills, companionship and protection that is offered by a group. Unfortunately, most people aren’t prepared, and will try to take what you have if they need it and know that you have it. And that includes your neighbors – It’s best to keep your mouth shut for now, then see how they react after the balloon goes up.

After a while people will naturally start to form groups and communities for their own survival and you can become part of (or the leader) that group if you have skills to offer. Skills are more important than “stuff” when trying to join an existing group after a major long-term SHTF event, because they will need your skills but they might just take your stuff…

3. Telling anyone other than your immediate family

See number two above. Not keeping everything on a strict need-to-know basis is one of the surest ways of blowing your operational security and chances of survival. Think before you brag, boast, rant or run off the mouth to anyone, because that stranger that you struck up a conversation with at the local hardware store or salon, and causally mention that you’re prepping and stockpiling will probably be the first on at your door when the crunch hits.

4. Not keeping your children under control

Kids like to talk and brag almost as much as adults, it’s in our nature. If they’re teenagers make sure that they know not to say anything about what you’re doing or stockpiling. And heaven forbid that they would actually, take their friends down to the storage area and show them everything that you have. I know a guy that this happened too – he wasn’t very happy.

With younger children you’re probably better off letting them know as little as possible about what you’re doing. But remember they listen to everything you say, and know far more about what is going on in your home than you would think. Some “teachers” like to interrogate their pupils in an attempt to dig up dirt on the parents, so if possible home school your kids.

5. Get raided by police

I don’t believe that any of my readers are into or engage in illegal activities, such as drug dealing or manufacture, child abuse etc. and if you are then I hope that you do get caught. But some might have some “shady” stuff, that the law would frown upon and give you a 3:30 AM no-knock visit if they knew you had it. While I don’t advise that you have or own anything illegal, I know that some of you won’t listen and will do it anyway, if that’s you then go back and read  numbers two, three and four.

6. The scorned ex-lover

It’s a fact that most marriages and relationships don’t end well – and that most of the time the ex-lover knows details of your life that you probably, would not want them to “share” with others.  A great (and funny) example is a former female co-worker that I worked with several years ago. To make a long story short, she started dating one of the guys that also work there, they dated for a while, and eventually split-up. Well she decided to tell everyone his secret desires that involved a strap-on, lube and his anus. It got so bad that he had to quit his job.

The lesson here is to keep your preps on a need-to-know basis and pointy things away from your anus.

7. Go on national TV to tell the world you’re a prepper

Doomsday Preppers – need I say more?

Probably, 98% of the population in any given town in the U.S. isn’t prepared for even the most basic disaster, but most everyone watches TV. It isn’t difficult to figure out what will happen to those “Doomsday Preppers” who’ve appeared on the show, when their neighbors get hungry…

8. Join a “survival group” or “survival community”

Joining a survival group or community may sound like a great idea, after all there is “safety” in numbers and everyone wants to belong. But the trouble is that many groups and their organizers / leaders have their own agendas and not the interests of the group in mind. And making matters worse – most groups have federal agents or informants embedded within the group structure.

See number two above:

After a while people will naturally start to form groups and communities for their own survival and you can become part of (or the leader) that group if you have skills to offer. Skills are more important than “stuff” when trying to join an existing group after a major long-term SHTF event, because they will need your skills but they might just take your stuff…

My advice is to stay away from survival groups unless they’re made up of very close, long-term friends or family. And don’t let any strangers in. Never.

9. Allowing people to roam around your house without having your stocks well hidden

Let’s face it… most people are nosy. When you have company at your home, I can guarantee that they’ll be scanning the area and your stuff. When they go to the bathroom, they’ll be  looking in your medicine cabinet and under the sink. And if no one is around they’ll stick their head in and have a look inside any room that isn’t locked. Keep your preps locked up and away from prying eyes. And don’t leave any prepper / survival type books or magazines out in the open when just anyone can pick them up and start reading….

10. Lay off the booze

The only people who like to brag and run off from the mouth more than people in general are drunk people. Yep, drunks have big mouths, and being a drunken prepper isn’t cohering with keeping your operational security intact. Lay off the booze. Or at the very least, be like George Thorogood and drink alone then you can talk and brag all you want without blowing your operational security.

Please share your stories about how you’ve blown your operational security (opsec security) or how you’ve avoided doing so in the comments below…

About M.D. Creekmore

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


  1. You might also want to add the importance of taking care when ordering delivery of your preps. The people who moved into a house just down the street from mine had two big batches of bottled water delivered to their home — the water in about a dozen five gallon bottles was left in front of their garage door two different times where it sat in plain site of the central mailboxes all day until the occupants came home. A couple of months later three separate big heaps of gravel and soil were deposited in front of the community mail boxes by workmen doing some kind of excavation work in the backyard of this same house. Then the same day the last heap of soil/gravel was hauled away, a medium size flat bed truck backed through the RV gate of this same yard (I saw this on the way to pick up my mail from the community mail boxes). The load on the truck is a large rectangular metal box freshly painted black with large white letters on each side spelling out “ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE” followed by the vendor’s local telephone number. I guess the neighbors had a bunker delivered.

    • I think this may have been the family that was ON Doomsday Preppers… placed it right next to and below their above-ground pool. All I could think about during the installation of the “ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE” bunker with the crane, and neighbors watching was “what great OPSEC these people have” [sarcasm].

  2. I’d add #11. Talk politics openly. Most people love to give an opinion on the news story of the day. I know I’m guilty of it, but I avoid giving an impassioned diatribe of why I think ‘X’ is wrong or unconstitutional. I usually just give a short comment and then quit the conversation. I imagine at some places it would be easy to become the person everyone knows as the guy/gal “who doesn’t like the gov’t” or thinks “the economy is going to get really bad soon.”

    Remember the DHS ‘See something, say something’? I wonder how many anonymous tips were given to the Boston PD and FBI after the bombing that were from folks who knew a co-worker was anti-gov’t.

  3. Mystery Guest says:

    Dang, I passed this test with flying colors. The only thing I have done is comment here.
    But I hold no illusions in this world now a days. If they want you they will find you. That means government and the unprepared zombie.

  4. JP in MT says:

    One of the things I like about Emergency Essentials is you can have your order shipped in plain boxes.

    My secondary plan is to get all my neighbors to move away. So far I’ve only got one who has been here as long as I have.

    Another thing that works as cover, I have a home based business. If someone asks (and it’s only happened once) is that it is supplies for my business. People are now used to me getting a large number of boxes each week.

    • Babycatcher says:

      Good idea. I work from home too…;)

    • Exile1981 says:

      I had the local post mistress ask about the boxes I had come in from a medical supply company. I told her that I was “refreshing” the contents of the first aid kits in all of my companies vehicles. It was true but I did order about 3 times as much as I actually needed and stocked the rest.

  5. Babycatcher says:

    I’ve even got paranoid about ammo, food, and other preps thru the mail. Much as I’d like to, we don’t go to prepper conventions, because we are thinking it’s possible ( probable?) the Feds haves cameras and are taking pics of attendees, jic. So all items get bought in person, for the most part…

    • Talking about facial recognition… I just went into my bank the other day and they have the security camera behind them linked into the computer. The teller sized and captured my picture on the computer for their facial recognition program.
      They are implementing video sessions on their ATM’s and this ‘facial recognition’ program is ‘for your security.’ HA

      • Survivor says:

        Wonder what would happen if you used the local drive up ATM wearing a mask….

        • Probably nothing, but knowing how ridiculous organizations and people are becoming, they might set of an alarm for a robbery!

          • axelsteve says:

            Ride up to the atm on a motorcycle wearing one of those skull masks. I have one that I never use since it tends to cut my air intake. Or just keep your full face helmet on when you use it.

      • It’s not just banks w/ cameras on their tellers, lots of bib box stores now have cameras on every cash register & customer service counter. Just look up & around. But no way to tell how many use facial recognition software. I suspect it’s mostly for security.

  6. J Stuart says:

    Good one M.D. I suggest if others plan to start survival blogs they might want to talk about space invaders as your reason so they will write you off as a tin foil hat type.

  7. worrisome says:

    Considering the recent intrusions by the DOJ. Google admitting to turning over emails with very little resistance. The IRS snooping around any organized groups. The craziness and dependency of the sheeple, it doesn’t even make much sense to ask friends and neighbors much in the way of striking up a conversation! I agree that groups will come together after the fact. In the meantime, I am going to keep it simple with only family and a friend or two of like minded individuals and leave it at that. Not even family is aware of exactly all I have done, keeping a few things to myself.

  8. axelsteve says:

    So far the only thing that I have bought online is parts for my v star .I have walmart and big 5 and yard sales to buy misc survival stuff from.I would like to get some 45 acp and 762/51 and 30/06 loading dies for my son and that might be online.I just have not gotten around to buying online yet#1 I leave the blogs to the experts like M.D. here.#2 I would not tell my neighbors Either. #3 I have not told anyone fearing Obama supporters,allot welfare and pot growers in my area.#5I have nothing for the police to raid, I have some people on my street who grow weed and I worry about wrong address raids though#6 I have been married for 27 years in September and a scorned lover would have to have a very long memory .#7 I have a face for radio and would never go on tv about anything.#8 not formally join any group for anything,I need to be more regular at church let alone other meetings.#9 People are not allowed in my stock area. #10 I do not drink. I am on medication that forbids it,if I have a drink it is at home and just one.

  9. Aside from this forum (and one idiot cousin), I feel I’m pretty well locked down. And I’m sorry to say (to your advertisers), that I never buy my preps online, unless they’re cross-purposed general camping/shooting supplies. Even though it costs a bit more, I buy my foodstuffs and other expendables in small quantities (rotation is important), and as much as possible reuse, adapt, and modify what I have already to suit my possible needs.

    This (the blog) I can always downplay if needed. My idiot cousin, well, I can’t say what I’d do if it did go down, but first he’d have to get here with his family, and I honestly doubt he could pull that off successfully. They can’t get their act together on a good day, much less “the day after”.

  10. Waterboy says:

    Very sage counsel on all points. The old “loose lips sink ships” saying was coined for a reason.

  11. My shitty blog actually brings in a couple of hundred bucks a month in ad and affiliate revenue that helps pay for preps. And if it ever came down to it, I can just say that I’m just on the bandwagon, following trends like #someothersdo #withotherpopularb.s. #justinbieber #etall

  12. I think an addition to #2 of telling or not telling your neighbors is the package delivery person.
    Having so many packages delivered by FedEx, UPS and even USPS, I am on a first name basis with my UPS driver.
    They see who packages are from and for the most part are not ignorant individuals. I would not be surprised if these delivery drivers would also be lining up at your door based on what ‘they think they know’ you have.

    • riverrider says:

      mine also delivers my ammo and i make a point of saying “oh good my hollow points arrived”. if he had any thoughts of raiding my emergency essentials stash, they evaporated then.

    • Our mail person keeps telling me we have to get a bigger mailbox, and the UPS & FedEx guys greet us by name. Guess that’s what comes from being an eBay addict and online junkie.
      Saves gas, but leaves me pretty transparent.

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

    Also watch out for ‘bumper stickers’ placed on your vehicle, gun related messages tip off anyone on the road you likely have something at home worth stealing.

    • J.R.
      Same for boxes that stuff comes in. If you want your neighbors to know that you just bought 10 cases of #10 cans, put the boxes out by the curb without breaking them down first.

      Once a year I burn all of my old tax records and anything else that needs to go bye-bye.

      I also stopped buying ammo through the mail as my UPS guy started to ask questions about what types of guns I had.

      • That’s interesting about the UPS delivery man. The one who delivers my ammo is also a shooter and several times we’ve talked about recent shoots while unloading my crates.

        • livinglife says:

          A few ammo conversations at work led to meeting more people also in the know. by no means are we a loose group but many more are prepping than known. OPSEC can be as easy as buying more on holiday weekends so your shopping pattern blends in with everyone else.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          Like you, I live in an ag community and many if not all shoot and/or hunt, load their own ammo, garden, can, prepare for storms, make a modest living and try to be self-reliant. If one stands out or lives in an upscale urban or resort area, OPSEC takes on a whole new meaning.

        • Bam Bam says:

          We get heavy boxes in the mail all the time and the delivery guys have never said a thing. With Max (our 100 lb. GSD) barking, they want to get out of there as quickly as possible.

      • SoCalPrepper says:

        Mine too, but my UPS guy is a shooter too. On Friday, one of my ammo shipments came needing a signature – my UPS guy knew what it was and called me and told me to just text him when I got home and he would bring it over. Nice guy! We make sure to tip well. I needed the ammo for my first steel match last Saturday!

    • Very good point there. I’ve kept my vehicles free of any kind of sticker other than what’s legally required after getting stopped a number of times for the old “I Brake For Hallucinations” sticker that came my my ’70 VW Bus. I left it on for the yuks until it started getting old playing 21 questions on the side of the road with a cop.
      My old boss plastered his truck with a slew of NRA and other pro-gun stickers and more than once had it broken into, no doubt to see if he “had” anything good inside. That extends to political affiliation stickers, too. There’s some folks who’ll do stuff to your vehicle just because you supported the “wrong” person to them.

      • axelsteve says:

        My wife and I put a large Denver Broncos decal on the back window of our gmc pickup. So far no problems not even any raider fiends I mean fans have commented on it.It is a idenfafier though.

    • I have 3 stickers on my truck, one for Klean Kanteen, one says “My Search and Rescue Dog Will Find Your Lost Honor Student” and my favorite is OMG WTF with the same ‘O’ that TDL has in his one word slogans.

  14. Kelekona says:

    There is probably a reverse to the problem having stuff delivered. 90% of my packages recently have been really stupid garbage. (Stuff to fix the bicycle, caffeinated candy, big roll of paper for sewing patterns, electronic accessories.)

    Perhaps my haphazard style of doing things at random is helping to keep me under the radar, not that I’m really high on the list anyway since I am getting the stupid stuff done more effectively than the non-stupid stuff..

    • Kelekona, my habits are kind of sporadic too. A couple of paracord bracelets in pink, bentonite clay, empty mascara bottles, and some beads were my last online purchases. The one before that was more activated charcoal, some of those military style can openers, a book by my favorite author, an herb book, and some “dram” bottles for essential oils.
      I mix up a lot of online and in store purchases. If anyone ever asks, well I have a large family, we like to go camping/fishing, or my kids got into my first aid kit and bandaged up all their stuffed animals. I also make a lot of herbal creams and such since I am allergic to most store bought stuff, so that is another excuse I use a lot.

      • Empty mascara bottles????? Do you make your own mascara? Would love to have the general directions and your supply source. Please tell. 🙂

        • Meriah, I dont use exact measurements, but my mascara recipe is beeswax and coconut oil melted together over low heat. When melted add vitamin e oil and activated charcoal. You can do a search on homemade mascara and get an idea of measurements and other things you can do.
          I buy organic unrefined coconut oil at the grocery store, my beeswax I get from a local bee keeper, vitamin e you can get pretty much any where (gel caps work well, just poke a whole and squeeze it out, or if you use large amounts like I do, just buy a bottle of oil), the charcoal and bottles I got from amazon.

  15. I store a lot of gas and once a year I fill all the cans up at once. One year a nosy neighbor was at the station where I was filling them and asked me why I needed so much gas. I told him I used it quickly in my riding mowers. From then on,whenever I fill my cans, I go to the next town.

    • I just fill up one can at a time when I fill my truck and place that can in the back of the rotation. Each week before I fill the truck, I pour the closest can into the tank then off to the station and fill up both. This way I do not need to add STA-Bil to my cans.

    • BC when is it necessary to add the gas protectant to the gas? how long and under what conditions may it be kept without protectant?? [sta-bil]

      • my mower knows when it’s a month old.

        a modern computer-controlled vehicle would probably not notice if it were a year old. mileage might suffer a little.

  16. Well, as a blogger I’ve probably pretty much blown it! Also the prepper group I went to once stopped having meetings after this creepy old guy at the one meeting I went to did a presentation on how easy it would be for him to run all our license plates and Google Earth our homes. Talk about a wet blanket. But he was right.

    I don’t think the security apparatus CURRENTLY cares if someone has some extra food, or if they are a gun aficionado. Many of their grunts are vets, after all. And there are millions of harmless preppers who watching them is a waste of resources. The admin has managed to use the IRS and the psychiatric community more effectively against their political enemies than they have been able to use DHS, I think. DHS is still being used, but in a different way. The ammo grab is a clever trick.

    Currently it’s more association with “known terrorist groups” (which get defined arbitrarily) that the security guys look for. As the goons in Washington expand this list, however, more people get defined as an enemy.

    Fortunately the WH bit the AP’s hand so now their dirty tricks are out in the open. I think their ability to continue intimidating the right is coming to an end.

    There is a difference between the potential that tracking technology has, and the practical use of it. People lose themselves or disappear all the time now. Look at those girls in Cleveland. Everyone was looking for that Amanda Berry and she was right there the whole time. The cops didn’t find her. It took a neighbor to notice something was off. Incidentally, one of the other girls’ parents couldn’t even get her on the missing persons list. Look at Djokar Tsarnaev. It took a dude going in his back yard and noticing his boat didn’t look right, and they had a lockdown and man hunt out for him.

    I think if someone has it out for the individuals (rather than say, a political group as a business entity) , then they’ll try and pick us off one by one by making more and more things illegal and by using mental health. I read a rumor that they just defined prepping as a form of OCD. So then perhaps preppers will lose their guns because they’re “crazy”. Calling sane people crazy to take their rights away is not playing fair. But a cheater loses their right to fair play in turn.

  17. We are on the radar in so many different ways. Teaching gardening, canning classes, co op farm, farmers markets. I don’t have blog and don’t have time for one if I did. I barely have time to post on the is one. I do consider myself on the same lines of OPSEC as Patrice L. at Rural Revolution.
    As I have said before, we have done alot of work to make sure no one can get to our property without great effort.
    We have to know that is enough. Some scenerios would be worse than others. We can only hope for the best.
    Right now I am actually considering selling this farm and hitting the road in a RV. Buying some unimproved properties in a trust to hide my supplies. After seeing the I am not happy. Not at all. Satelite imaging isn’t new, but this is really bothering me. We have no privacy. I feel violated.
    I will not be talking about prepping any longer, except for this blog. I have pretty much given up anyway. My family (siblings) are long past hearing anything new from me. If they aren’t prepared they will suffer. They are too far away for me to help them.

  18. Didn’t Franklin say that three can keep a secret if two of them are dead? The only person who knows the full extent of my preps is me. Not my wife, not my family and not my friends.

    I “preach the word” in subtle ways. They all know that I have a duplicate pantry downstairs of all the food stuff I have upstairs so I never run out of anything. They all know I buy ammo in bulk and on sale to save money. They don’t know about the thousands of rounds I have and they don’t know about the buckets of wheat or rice or beans. They just think I’m a boy scout on steroids.

  19. Prepping Wife. says:

    I liked this article except for the kid thing with the home schooling – my kids are 10 and 13 – they were 8 and 11 when we started stocking food and meds and water. They were courious and asked why I was doing this – I explained many different scenerios with them from earthquakes to EMP to other things that could happen – we showed them some examples from the real world and things that have happened in the past. We told them that we do this so we will be as “OK” as possible if something were not happen. We found that it really helped them not worry about these issues as much because they felt a tad more secure. We followed this up with talks of not telling anyone what we were doing and explained the problems that could arise if something were to happen. They have never once told anyone and they understand the importance – in fact I have two “stock” cabinets – one for preps and the other for day to day cooking so I dont run out of everyday items – the other day we were in the store and I said I didnt need anymore tomato soup because I had 10 in “stock” – my daughter freaked out and whispered “MOM – YOUR NOT SUPPOSED TO TALK ABOUT THE STOCK IN PUBLIC!” – I forgot I’d never told her that I had a regular person pantry as well. =)

    • Prepping wife, I think it depends on the child. A couple of mine will blurt out anything that pops into there head, no matter where we are. The others are better about not saying anything. My kids think that I just keep things on hand for a hurricane. Since most people think hurricane prep is a couple cases of water and some food (purchased when the storm hits the gulf), usually I dont worry about it.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      A couple weeks ago, a friend’s 6 yo daughter heard it was the start of hurricane season. She carried a flashlight everywhere for a few days. His mother and I encouraged him to help her put together a plan, supplies, and a BOB. When teaching opportunities present themselves, take advantage and help children feel prepared.

  20. Prepper?…What’s a prepper?
    I was looking for a site about Fat Lesbians when I happen upon you bunch of misfits, yuck! (sarcasm)

    I’ve posted this before, tried to enlist a neighbor into prepping 3 years ago. He seemed like a pretty good guy until we caught him breaking into our house one night. LESSON LEARNED.

  21. So you mean that a drunken prepper party isnt a a good idea? Lol.
    I have talked to my dh, parents and one friend about putting stuff up in case of an emergency. The only thing my parents know I have are the few items they have picked up for me, my friend thinks that I would like to stock up, but havent started yet. As for the dh, well he is the bread winner of the family, but he gives me an allowance (an old fashion term but it fits) for me to do as I wish every week. I also make odd money here and there babysitting, selling crafts, and stuff like that. He has eagle eyes like you would not believe. He sees everything no matter how well it is hidden. He will ask me why I need this that or the other thing, and he rolls his eyes at me a lot. So far the things I have managed to put up are ‘small’ so not a big deal anyways. It really helps that I am in controll of the food/household budget, and I shop the sales a lot. So he is use to me stocking up on certain things so we never pay full price. I just dont bother telling him that is just a bonus to me actually being paranoid that something will happen.
    I do agree that people will naturally form groups in times of need. We are genetically programmed to do that. When the time comes, I think many of us may be surprised by the resources of those who we may have dismissed.

  22. Rebecca says:

    Nosy neighbors are the worst. I have about 10 pots of veggie plants on my deck and my neighbor noticed them the last time she brought her kids over to play with my kids. I just told her that I wanted to save money by growing my own vegetables, but now when the SHTF and she gets hungry she will know where to get some food. (Fail)

  23. Southern Girl says:

    Well, this article made my day! Passed on all accounts. My main concern was that I didn’t belong to a group of like minded people. My DH is the only other person that has seen my storage room & he found a lot of humor in my food pantry at the begging. Even asked if I was becoming one of those survivalist types. LOL. I reminded him that his boys had to bring him food & ice from out of town after Ivan hit the Gulf Coast. Now, he actually goes to the “pantry” when out of an item in the kitchen.

    Funny story. My DD that thinks anything I have can be borrowed without asking, went in to my storage room to borrow my beach bag recently. Emptied the beach bag on the floor & then asked my DH why I would have a hatchet, tarp & some type of weird looking rope”para cord” hidden in my beach bag. My DH asked me about the items & also asked me if I had plans to knock him off. He actually laughed about it & gave me a really strange look. He said he was really getting concerned especially since I asked for a 9mm for Christmas. My answer, he just best tow the line.

    I then gave the DD my most angry look I could muster & let her know that was my room and I do not go through her belongings in her house. Enough said. I still smile when I think about the DH’s reaction. Think he may be coming around slowly. He gossips too much in surgery where he works. So need to know basis for him.

    Oh and M.D., just let us all know where they are holding you. We’ll come up with a plan to break you out. That will require some type of code & access to the blog. Have to work on that one. Not my expertise.

  24. Donna in MN says:

    It looks like anytime you use your phones, emails, texts, and posts on the internet about what you have, what you feel, and what you do, the government has record of all the communications you make, and you can be compromised. This is a security risk of your personal lives.

    • Kelekona says:

      Donna in MN, but there is such a glut, just from the twitter cloud, whether or not you stand out depends on the sensitivity of the search engines.

      This is why having everyone being monitored doesn’t concern me. I’m on the Trueman show, but there are too many for the bandwidth of fifteen channels compressed into three, so we are the white noise.

      Really listen to “It’s not easy being green” where he’s describing how green could stand out, but he’s still a blending shade.

      • Donna in MN says:

        Hostility from our government is real. All you need is a neighbor who dislikes you, a disgruntled poster on an internet blog or talk list, a liberal activist who wants to gain points, and those who are envious or hate you to turn your life into a nightmare. The Feds have put out lists that make you a possible terrorist. One of these points is buying food for more than 6 days…another is using cash to buy supplies or rent a car or room. This is why it is important not to tell any strangers or have any records about what you are doing to prepare if you can be traced to whom you are.

        When ridiculous accusations come your way from the Gov’t as they had with me some time ago, there are things you keep quiet or have to prove the accusers are liars while they take your bank accounts or money Your money is your security. I had to go public and prove them liars because I was targeted for my beliefs. I won my case.

    • Yep… and this is why I am letting my blog expire in about two months, why I’m shutting down my facebook pages, and why I have started leaving my cell at home. I don’t have friends so don’t have to worry about missing calls. The more I see the more I believe in the old saying… Trust no one! Thus don’t see me making friends.

  25. Kelekona says:

    The whole gardening thing is a normal inclination. I have no idea what my haphazard garden will do for me, and I imagine most normal people will assume that a normal-looking garden is barely a supplement.

    My hubby mostly asks what’s available because he somehow doesn’t have a “mental inventory” ability, and I keep moving stuff while he’s not looking.

    I refrained from speaking up last time I noticed the other preppers in this group speaking up with clues that they were in my range. Really, I’m still interested in surviving as a sheeple with what’s in my head, and that means I need to learn how to fish and I can’t seem to find a decent class. (Might need to go back home and bribe my uncle.)

  26. bctruck says:


  27. bctruck says:

    testoing 123

  28. Granny Miller says:

    I really appreciate some of the good that you are doing by helping people to become more self aware. And I was going to keep my opinion to myself …. but got to tell you M.D. – this post is positively asinine.
    If I wasn’t so busy with seasonal chores and work, I’d be refuting and slamming every one of your 10 points on my website today.

    • Grandma,

      I would love to hear it…

      So you think we should tell everyone we meet, show off our preps, tell our kids to tell their teachers, go on national TV, get drunk and blab, get into illegal stuff, join a “survival group” that’s made up of federal agents etc. I’m confused.

      • Granny Miller says:

        Yes I do think we should tell the entire world.
        My criticism is not directed towards you personally. It’s the extreme militarization of “prepping” that I take exception to and resent.
        Am I supposed to believe that what was at one time considered normal household activities are now sensitive “operations” that nobody should know about? Should children really be forbidden from mentioning ordinary home activities? Guests really not allowed to use the bathroom? People should hide what they read? Are neighbors really a big threat?
        I don’t think so. And I’ll bet you a package of pork chops that your great-grandmother didn’t think so either.
        There’s way too much testosterone in “prepping” circles.
        I find it very instructive that so many “prepping” and “survivalist” sites are run by ex-military men and not by women. I for one would be happy to see more women reject the current military paradigm that is “prepping”.

        • Granny M,

          How you get “extreme militarization” from my post is beyond me…

          Also where did I say anything about “normal household activities” we are not talking about mowing the yard, going to the park, watching TV or cooking out (those are normal household activities) we are talking about prepping for a major long-term and far-reaching disaster.

          And again, where did I say anything about guests not being allowed to use the bathroom? I said to have your “stuff” put-up securely and locked away.

          “Are neighbors really a big threat?”

          You tell me during week #3 of a major far-reaching disaster and they haven’t eaten for several days… Do you plan to provide for all of them indefinitely? If so good for you – and good luck with that, expect word to spread quickly and for your “neighbors” to multiply quickly… Then when you can no longer provide for their needs they’ll likely, decide to have roasted granny on a stick.

          Times and people have changed dramatically since my great-grandmother survived the Great Depression. If you think that you’re still living in 1930’s America then I can’t help you, at least until you decide to visit reality.

          • Granny Miller says:

            Wasn’t able to hyper link “normal activities”
            so you didn’t get a chance to see where I’m coming from. I guess we view the world differently due to an age and gender difference and skill level. Thanks for letting me comment even through we disagree 🙂

          • Kelekona says:

            Granny Miller,

            Keeping secrets isn’t just a military thing. Think of how a mushroom hunter would get if you asked him about his hunting grounds; I think he would think it less rude to ask the lurid details of his sex -life.

            Good people hide things all the time,from the secret ingredient of their famous dish to having a hideable condition. “How much do you spend on groceries” can be a very awkward question, especially if there is a disparity between the truth and a perceived social norm,

            There is a Twilight Zone episode about a bunker that you should watch. (Yes, I’m being lazy and waiting for someone else to volunteer the name.)

            I’m worrying about camouflage garden techniques because. Apparently robbing private vegetable gardens is a thing.

            Sharing information on how to do things is fine. There’s also labels that go on complimentary lifestyles that are a bit less Gummer.

          • Encourager says:

            Speaking of stealing out of gardens…two stories.
            1. A friend and neighbor of mine (we live in a rural area but on a well-traveled road) had asparagus patches. One was rather close to the road, but still 50 feet inside her property line. She had to put up signs – No Trespassing, Stop Stealing My Food!, Beware of Dog! – to finally putting up a small fence – and watched people stop their cars in the road (blocking traffic) climb over her fence and pick her asparagus. The final blow was when people actually came into her garden and picked stuff. (It was 200 feet from the road and behind her home). She confronted people at least four times a week during asparagus season. She didn’t catch the garden pickers but her neighbor did, and was told to mind his own business by the pickers. She has since moved.

            2. Quite a while ago, we were part of a community garden. Just at harvest time, we arrived to find two women who had picked us clean – they had a dozen brown grocery bags stuffed with our veggies. When confronted, they said “this is a community garden and we live in this community.” Never mind the $$, the sweat and labor we put into the garden. I guess they thought they ‘labored’ when they picked it clean.

          • Exile1981 says:

            A few years back I came home to a truck parked beside my property (in 100 degree weather) and three small kids stripping my raspberry patch. I walked up to the truck and the women inside opened her window (she lives in this town and I do know her… unfortunately) and yelled “Pick faster you Bastards, mama is hungry” at her kids. I explained to her that she would leave my property now. Her response was she wasn’t on my property and no cop would arrest a couple of innocent little kids for snagging a few berries.

            Now I have a fence.

          • Encourager says:

            Sometimes I am so shocked at the nerve of people doing wrong willingly. Mind boggling! But I guess I should get used to it as it seems to be the new norm. Sigh…

          • Exile1981 says:

            I figured in a SHTF situation will be the first in line demanding people help them out.

          • Bam Bam says:

            The Shelter.

          • k. fields says:

            Granny Miller,
            I think you and I would get along well.

            I’ve said this here many times in the past but I’ll say it again – am I still considered a “prepper” if I simply live and speak of my life the same way an accountant or a teacher would speak of theirs – or must I be doing something “in secret” to qualify?

            I grow my own food – I can the bounty, I save seeds, I have stocks of food in storage. What reason would I have to try and hide that? It is a normal part of my life.

            I have livestock that I raise and butcher, chickens for eggs, a cow for milk, butter and cheese, and a mule for work and fun. I’m proud of them all and gladly speak of them given the chance.

            My place produces a surplus of food that I gladly share with local folks who are in need today – that certainly won’t change if some day local children are actually starving to death. But I have firearms and will use them to protect what I have worked for – today or after a disaster. That’s no secret to anyone who knows me and has never been a problem for either conservative or liberal acquaintances that I’ve noticed.

            I moved to this location 40+ years ago and began this life because I wasn’t happy with the state of the country and the state of the world. I felt my happiness lay in being as self-sufficient as possible and being able to flow with whatever changes that might occur. Turns out, I was right and I’m happy – sharing that fact with folks I know is a joy and not something I worry about hiding.

          • Survivor says:

            “But I have firearms and will use them to protect what I have worked for – today or after a disaster.”

            Granny Miller
            First good on you and your current lifestyle! I envy you!!
            Next, please reference this sentence from your own post above. This is where our differences of prepping styles widen the most. We believe that after a disaster the food will stop going to the cities because of breakdown in society. No one is going sit in one spot and starve to death so they’ll be on the move to find food. Hungry people will do just about anything to eat, including breaking in or physically hurting people. You know that, I don’t take you for a fool. So, the big difference in our mode of thinking is the number of bullets our side is going to need to protect what we have and the number of bullets you’re going to need. Our method actually saves lives.
            Lastly, you have no chance at any kind of OPSEC, anyway. As you said, you’re known far and wide. I wish you well, Granny Miller!

          • This is just from a quick search. I think tight lipped is the order in this day and age. I’m pretty sure this first guy would now say that neighbors are really a big threat.

            It is important to emphasize that the man targeted in this raid was under investigation by undercover police as a result of a neighbor telling cops that he had guns, had made anti-Obama statements, and was a “prepper”. At this point, the cops knew nothing about Porter’s 20-year-old drugs felony. Just like Brandon Raub, Porter was initially targeted for his thought crimes – the felony charge merely gave the cops a justification to conduct the raid. It was his political statements and the fact that he owned guns which first aroused suspicion.


            This guys neighbor turn him in because he didn’t like what he did or his beliefs. Still think you should talk to your neighbors?

            An extreme example of this vilification by police (and subsequently the FBI) is highlighted by Abby Martin in her recent conversation with prepper and firefighter, Fernando Salguero, about the Philadelphia resident’s encounter with New Jersey police. He intimates that he has been targeted as a threat based purely off his survivalist lifestyle and previous activism.


            Once again… because he shared what he was doing… he was targeted.

            Or you could be like this guy. It’s one more reason I don’t go to the doctors. I don’t trust them and this just proves my point.

            Prepper Declared “Mentally Defective,” Put On FBI List

        • patientmomma says:

          Granny, I used to think I could tell my friends close neighbors about being prepared, but I found out the hard way, everyone will take advantage of you and your generosity. They spend thousands of dollars going on vacations but when the power cuts off they show up at my doorstep, uninvited, to use my food and power and never offer to help or contribute in anyway. I told them if they gave up just one vacation they could have had a standby generator installed and if they stay one week less at the tropical island they could have a fully stocked pantry. They were like…why? We have you.

          Well not any more they don’t. When I moved, no one got the new address and no one got directions. Out here I can’t even get a cell phone signal, so they can’t call. My country neighbors come and go at my house and I voluntarily share and help them from my garden and canning; but I don’t tell anyone about my preps any more.

    • M.D.,

      It looks like we have another troll by the name of “Granny Miller” what a stupid comment to say the least. To disagree with the things you said in your post about keeping operational security, granny just proved that she is more than a little retarded.

      • breadmomma says:

        Granny Miller may or may not be a troll…I am not and I can assure you as a grandmother…with a lot of interaction with older parent types…her thinking isn’t too far off for many of her generation…while you and I might not think it is smart or safe to spill the beans, and you might totally agree with MD, she is still entitled to her beliefs…using the terms..stupid, troll or retarded is a bit harsh…being prepared is a way of life for many older folks that grew up in the depression…my mom always had a pantry stocked for at least 6 months of survival…extra’s of everything, and always a big vegetable garden…she was always willing to help the needy and share…
        opsec is important to most on this site…but hey…give the old gal some slack

        • Unfortunately, this is no longer “the good ole days.” My dad’s side of the family was Amish at one time. His mother always had a small garden and food stored; it’s what people did, especially in a rural area. These days, people are killed for a pair of sneakers or for pocket change.

        • Encourager says:

          Agree completely with you breadmamma. Waaaayyyyy before it was called prepping, I made sure we had at least three months of food on hand – six to get through winter. I grew up poor when at times our family had NO food in the house and we were very hungry. The oil would run out of the tank and we would have no heat. Dad did his best, but without a high school education (he left school to join the Air Force at the beginning of WWII) and hundreds of thousands of GIs looking for work, those with diplomas got the jobs. At one time, he made a chart to keep track of his part time jobs – sometimes he would have six of them. He also worked at farms in exchange for veggies. We ate so much sweet corn we were sick of it!

          Getting handouts from the government back then was very humiliating and many times it took my mother to break down and weep, begging him to get a box from the government to tide the family over before he would do it. When they would get back, it was better than Christmas!

          Deep down, I always had this fear of starving to death. That is why I “put food by” back before it was called prepping. Yes, I know; prepping involves more than food; we do all of it now and keep it quiet.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            My family was country folk. We grew our own food. The mom’s made clothes. The dads made everything. And worked at 2or 3 trades. My dad was drafted in ’42. My mom’s father built a one room shed in his pasture for her and my 1 yo sister to live in. Boths parents had hi school diplomas so the Army sent my dad to college and my mom got a job at a medicine company in Chattanooga who sent her to college. Dad was home and built our house after WWII, was called up and wounded in Korea. After that we moved to the burbs and later to Florida where they were able to earn good money. But we always had a garden. Always went to the you-pick fields. Always hunted and fished. Rarely bought anything new and never paid full-price for anything. We didn’t join the country club, didn’t have fancy clothes, didn’t have dance or tennis lessons, weren’t given a car, had to do chores at home, baby-sat, mowed lawns, washed cars, attended church, tithed from our earnings, did not get an allowance and did not get paid education. My dad passed last year with some of the same tools and furnishings he and mom started house keeping with. They amassed a nice nest egg and my dad still gardened, froze, and canned his own food until he was 91 yo. And yes accepting charity was shameful. They shared the fruits of their labor with family, friends, and neighbors. They could never imagine having to hide what they had and did.
            But they were so naive. And everyday there are people lining up to take what we worked for. In a tougher time, or disaster, or catastrophe it will be much much more dangerous. I don’t want to have to explain myself or to be robbed or attacked for my hard work so the best thing is to just keep what I have or don’t have a secret. Of course my neighbors know I garden and can, fish and hunt, shop for bargains, and have generators for power outages, but so do they. We have car stickers and tags showing we are retired military. And we fly the Gadsden Flag below Old Glory. I would not advertise what I do anymore than I would advertise when I’m going on vacation. I do have friends I share more info with than others. But in today’s world OPSEC is essential to life.

          • patientmomma says:

            “And we fly the Gadsden Flag below Old Glory.” That will get you investigated by the DHS. I took my Gadsden sticker off my car, when my nephew, a seal, warned me about it.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            I guess it’s all within context. Besides you cannot see our flag until you get about 50 ft from our house. Definitely can’t see it from the road.

          • Rider of Rohan says:

            Ha! Flying the American flag will get you noticed these days. Ask this guy:

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            What did your nephew say about the Gadsden Flag?

      • poorman says:

        Just because she disagreed with MD does not make her a troll. ( name calling is childish ) I have disagreed with him and others on this site on more than one occasion but that’s what makes this site great is that we can discuss different opinions. I don’t agree with absolutely telling no one about my preps because I try to educate some on the fact that they need to do this also. Do I tell them everything? Of course not. Do I tell them that I store some food and water for emergency’s and that I think we have problems coming down the road? Yes I do. I do have one’s that say Ok then I am coming to your house and I calmly explain that no their not. That only people that prepare would be welcome and that I would turn away with whatever means necessary any others that showed up. Since the people I talk to know me I am sure there is no doubt that I will do as I say.

        • poorman,

          “I have disagreed with him on this site on more than one occasion”

          About what? Just wondering… Has my advice / tips / how-to-do-it been inaccurate – if so when? I’m asking because if I’m proven wrong by facts, then I need to go back and correct it.

          • Curley Bull says:

            As some of you know, my opsec isn’t great due to the fact I teach Disaster Preparedness and Wilderness Survival. I feel called to educate/help as many as possible be prepared for what is/may come. That’s one of the reasons I have a Bug Out plan (just in case). Even with my teaching, none know what I have. Some may suspect, but none know. I was raised by an older generation (my parents were young people during the depression), and taught their values such as;

            1. No one leaves my fire on an empty stomach.
            2. I will provide for those within my gates first, and if there is enough over, I will help at least some of those outside my gates.
            3. Ask for it and if I can spare it, it will be given to you. BUT, demand it or try to take it and you will reap the harshness of my wrath.

            I must agree with breadmomma and poorman on the name-calling. It’s not needed and doesn’t accomplish anything constructive. I have witnessed how “people” will become animals in a crisis and am prepared to not “go with the flow”. Some people have never seen truly hard times or been exposed to the “mean” side of some people. I have a dear friend that made the statement one time “I can’t think of anyone that’s ever done anything to me that I would need to forgive them for”. She’s never met some of the people I have.

            What’s the old saying? Different strokes for different folks as long as we’re paddling in the same general direction . ..

            I’ll shut up till next time,

          • Bam Bam says:

            I disagree with M.D. Cats are wonderful pets.

          • poorman says:

            Never had a major disagreement with anything you say MD just different people have different opinions or vary on opinions. For example you think Tennessee is the best place to live but I love the Sierra Nevada mountains that I live in even if they are in California. This thread is another example. You obviously think that opsec should be tighter than I do though it is not that I don’t believe in it just not to the same degree. I would never have a blog and would never post pic’s of my preps like you do but I have no problem talking to a few people about prepping. I have full respect for what you do but even without opsec I am way to private a person to even get pictures taken of me let alone post them. My point to the other poster was that we can all agree to disagree without being trolls or being called trolls just because we have a difference of opinion.

          • poorman,

            Yes, I put myself at risk by being “out there” but someone has to stand up and do their best to help others to get ready for what is coming. With this blog I have a chance to help others, and the information might save a life or three in the future. So I feel that the risk is worth it…

            As for TN it is the best place in the eastern United States – a lot of folks don’t want to move west, because of weather extremes (very cold or very hot), lack of water, wildfires and the fact that the federal government owns of controls 90% of the land area in some states…

      • karren granny miller has a lovely website and is a fount of info on animals, gardening, cooking et cetera. she is NOT a troll.
        look her up and read some of her writings. they are enjoyable.

    • On your website today?? Well, it’s up and down. Thought you told us bye-bye until autumn?

      • Mary,

        Who’s site is up and down? This one?

        • NO MD, not yours, it’s never up and down. Her site. Granny Miller is not a troll. I found her site years back, and she has some great homesteading advice, very knowledgeable about many things BUT she is, well, cranky I guess. Her site is:

          It’s up for awhile, then she says bye-bye and it’s down for awhile. I once held her in the regard that I hold Jackie Clay and Patrice Lewis, but I’ve seen too many times that she goes on sites and gets combative. Go to her site, then click on Self-Reliance, then scroll to Preppers versus Tradition and you can read about her overall disdain toward prepping. Or go to Patrice Lewis’ site, she has you linked on her site, by the way.

          Click Bacon, scroll down through the 4 articles to the lowest post “Canning Bacon” and read Granny Miller’s comments, very know it all. She also chastised the Orange Jeep Dad on his blog terribly one time. Now don’t get me wrong, I thought he was considering some not so smart things too, but she literally burned him a new one. I didn’t even feel like searching for it, but called his entire generation (40ish folks) spoiled. Like I said, I once held her in the same regard as Jackie Clay and Patrice, but not now, I have always thought they were both ladies. Sorry you thought I insulting your site, I was replying to her comment, it just ended up way down the page.

          • mary i had understood that granny miller had a lot of illness in the family and hasn’t been able to do as much as she used to. i don’t know her age or who was ill in her family but i cut her a whole lot of slack.

            i’m old and am incredibly cranky–ask my family.
            love, wasp

          • Yes wasp, all of us who have followed Granny Miller’s site for awhile have read that there have been some health problems. I have cut her much slack. I can be cranky (ask DH!) but she sometimes goes on other people’s sites and is down right mean. If you don’t like a post that M.D. writes, fine, if you want to politely agree to disagree, fine. But for her to say his posting is “positively asinine” in bold letters? She totally chewed out the Orange Jeep Dad in a comment. Much of what she said was practical but it came across as very mean spirited, and it is his blog, just as this is M.D.’s blog. If M.D.’s style is so offensive to her, and she is so against prepping and such, fine. What is she doing on a site called the Survivalist Blog to start with if she has a problem with Preppers/Survivalists?

          • Mary,

            Some folks go to different popular blogs and leave such comments hoping to get attention and to steal that blogs traffic back to their site… don’t know if that is what she was doing, but it looks familiar…

          • Curley Bull says:

            All right already. I’ve seen a lot of comments referring to “old” and just want to know; How old is old? I’m just shy of the big 70 by birth. Doc says my medical age is 88. I’m also what you would call a “High Mileage” model. I do tend to be a might set in my ways and am told that I’m a mite hardheaded. I refuse to compromise my beliefs, values, or ethics. AM I OLD?


          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            Curley Bull,
            When you are old enough to have experienced all the stuff you thought you knew when you were 20, 30, 40, then you are old, because only those your own age believe your “No S–t” stories really are the truth! I s–t you not! 🙂

          • Curley Bull says:

            TGMa, some of us were more mature and already experiencing at 20, 30, & 40. I went on my own at 15. Enlisted at 18 (heard they furnish 3 squares a day, housing, clothes, 30 days vacation, and even pay you). I turned 22 “in country” on my second tour and was considered “The Old Man”. Even the Plt. Leader would ask my advice now and then. Some of us just grew up earlier/faster and the era in which we grew up in had a big influence on us. Every morning at school, there was the Pledge of Allegiance followed by prayer. The 10 Commandments was posted almost everywhere. If you messed up in school, it wasn’t what the teacher/principle would do that scared you; it was what would happen when you got home that put the fear in you. I think the only real change (for us) that came with age is 1. A greater appreciation for the blessings we have and, 2. We have become cemented in our beliefs, values, and ethics refusing to waver.

            Now Darling, you wore the uniform and I’m sure you remember the difference between a “Fairy Tale” and a “War Story”. One starts “Once upon a time” and the other starts “This ain’t no S___”.


          • JP in MT says:

            Curley Bill:

            Based upon your statement “I’m a mite hardheaded. I refuse to compromise my beliefs, values, or ethics.” I’d have to say YES and WELCOME!

            Today’s youth don’t have much of that going for them.

          • Encourager says:

            Lol, Curly Bill!
            Age is a matter of the mind; if you don’t mind, it don’t matter.

            Many of us seniors are dumbfounded by the wishy-washy here today, gone tomorrow, if it feels good, do it generation(s). I have a niece in her 40’s who drives me batty; it seems she is on a continuous seesaw. Problem with seesaws, is that you are moving but not getting anywhere…. ;p

          • Rider of Rohan says:

            My kids get mad at me all the time because I want things done right now. Not later, not next week, next month, or next year. Because if you wait to do something, somehow it never gets done, or done right. Do it, do it now, and do it right is my mantra.

          • Omg, RR, I have that problem with my DH… I have to use the time honored female tactic of starting the chore, get told I’m doing it wrong, and invite him to finish it.. The kids will actually help me when I do ask them, and I don’t ask all that often. What’s funny is DH preaches that same mantra to them all the time. He keeps forgetting they’re not 15 anymore, not almost 30. I called him out on it a while back and got the I always finish reply. Eyebrow lifted, I started walking around and started pointing out the projects unfinished

          • My first gen iPad is about to be broken…. Directv has this program for subscribers for computers, tablets….. Sigh. No. But I’m really getting frustrated with my electronics lately…

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          Guess we need another thumb for “Huh?”

          • Tactical G-Ma, I hope my post wasn’t confusing. I have been on a number of my favorite sites where Granny Miller has come on and been very critical. I like her site, it’s great, but she can just be so harsh. I just got upset that she hit on M.D. so hard because he has a very good site and I’ve learned much here and just feel like I needed to say what I felt.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            I just couldn’t figure out what was up and down! I’ve learned M.D. can give as good or better than he gets so I usually sit back and enjoy the repartee. 🙂

  29. I mention it to folks at church and generally try to help out those who are interested in getting started…I have a small farm and when some really bad goes down I will need lots of labor to keep it running…building a community but not a “survivalist group” is my aim…and yes if .gov starts to round up preppers I expect my door to be kicked in.

  30. I have been seeing more and more people have gardens so that is not unusual here. The only place for me to have a garden is in my front yard. I hope to encourage more of my neighbors to have one.
    As far as any other of my preps only my DH and one DS knows what I am working on. I buy some stuff online (mostly books) most of what I buy is with cash. We are planning to put in a large storm shelter/root cellar and my biggest concern is how can we get it done without every one around wanting to know what we are doing. I am not planning to hide it 100%, just not letting anyone know how big it actually is.

  31. breadmomma says:

    we started a garden 5 years ago and no one had one…there are now over 17 gardens in our immediate neighborhood..we started with flowers…then progressed to lettuce, garlic and potatoes…strawberries, blueberries and onions…everyone has about 1/4 to 3 acres and it is quite nice seeing all of this activity…none talk about prepping…we all shoot the shit about fishing, gardening, where to get or who has wood for sale, how did you do at hunting, here is some apples to swap for your tomatoes kind of thing…from no chickens to 10 households with chickens..and turkeys…and ducks..we swap for the best eggs, and I get chicken manure for the garden in exchange for hazelnuts and apples..all low key…if the shtf…we will be eating quite well, keeping our homes toasty and warm and I have a feeling things will go right on…

    • Encourager says:

      We have three new neighbors. The ones up front of us already have put in a small garden. The ones behind us lament the fact they have too many pine trees for a garden – and have begun clearing some land to have a big garden. The relatively new ones down the road, whom I haven’t met yet, have built a chicken coop with a double run, big garden, and I now see animal fencing up by their barn. Hmmm….I need to bake a pie and go visit them…. 😉

      • Encourager says:

        I forgot to mention the ones up front are into their second year of raising a few pigs. They kept one and sold the rest for a good profit last year.

  32. Breadmomma,
    That is exactly what I am trying to accomplish. Everyone in our area has at least one acre, if we were able to work together we could accomplish quite a bit.
    Donna in MN,
    I agree with your assessment of our gov’t. My DH was a wild child and he did some bad things of which he has paid for. For the past 29 years he has worked hard to support his family and to do the right thing, but some leo’s do still give him a hard time every now and then.

  33. Stealth Spaniel says:

    Wow! A lot of good comments. I think being as gray as possible is a good thing. I do NOT mention prepping, guns, ammo, or storing any number of items.
    #1=I have zero bumperstickers on my car (the good ones are tempting though), so even if I am an NRA member, it aint nobody’s business but my own.
    #2=Everyone knows that I like sewing, they just don’t realize the large stacks of material, sewing items like buttons, pins,needles, etc that I have stored up. I have also added quilting items (batting), a loom for large scale rug weaving, and foam mattress toppers for dog beds or extra sleeping pads.
    #3=Extra blankets and flannel sheets. The public thinks I am too poor to pay my electric bill and a girl needs to stay warm in winter.
    #4=Canning not only my garden largess, but purchased farmers market organics. It is considered my cute hobby-so be it.
    #5=A previous poster was on the money: mix up your mail orders. I will order patterns online, along with butcher paper and string (to wrap gifts), some freeze dried, and an Amazon book order to arrive on the same day. Everyone knows that I am a book reader to the extreme.
    #6=Use cash. Shop at second hand stores. Get a storage unit for the backyard because you own 8 different rakes, have 2 mowers, a weed eater, and 4 different pruners for the roses. The neighbors will think that you are a garden nitwit.
    #7=Facebook is full of the dogs’ pictures. My blog is about dogs. My employer thinks that I am dog crazy (true), and therefore rarely goes political on me. (He wouldn’t like my answers).
    #8=Only one friend knows about my 2nd amendment stance. She and her husband are into guns big time. In California, that can be trouble enough. Luckily, we live in a rural area where most people feel the same way. Enough said.
    #9=Gray is a good way to live. Keep your beliefs close to your heart, and only share what you are safe sharing. The sad thing is, I have to say that in the United States of America !!

    • Kelekona says:

      Stealth Spaniel, I think you’re doing it right.

      And blogs are okay, as long as you compartmentalise your life. I don’t go on Facebook much, but when I do post, it probably doesn’t interest anybody outside of a small circle of friends.

      Jenny Breeden is a bit too TMI, she posts her convention schedule, and often comes back from a convention to find that her air conditioner’s been stolen.

  34. M.D. – in some ways, i agree with everything you say, and in other ways i completely agree with Granny Miller. i can’t say for sure, but it seems that Granny may be from a small community. if that is the case then you will understand why i agree with both of you.

    years ago, when my husband and i first started prepping, we learned of “tire gardening” from kurt saxon – what a great intro into the prepping/survivalist world. the thing that we learned the most from him is that, if you really believe that S is going to hit the Fan, then get out of Dodge – as soon as you can! i truly believe that if you are prepping and still living in a city or suburb – you are wasting your time. stop storing canned food and start saving every single cent you have in order to get to the country as soon as you possibly can. sell your house, rent the smallest place that you can, get rid of your car and car insurance, etc – and save that money. it can be done! and then find yourself a small, rural community and get yourself a place or some bare land and get to work!

    this is what my husband and i did and we moved to our BOL in 2010. now we are prepping seriously, something that i don’t think can be done in a city or suburb.

    however, being that we lived in the city and prepped for 6 years – all of your points make sense from a city/suburb perspective. don’t tell your neighbours what you have and don’t do anything to draw any extra attention to yourself.

    however, once we moved to our BOL, we arrived into a tiny community of 30 people, and our neighbouring town has about 50 people. these people are loggerman, hunters and fishermen by trade and with our nearest town/city being an hour away – these people were born and raised to stockpile basic foods, hunt, forage, gather, fish and farm. between our 2 communities we have 28 Volunteer Fire Department members, 17 of whom are CPR/AED certified and 4 certified Medical First Responders. whenever there is any kind of emergency/disaster (death, fire, stroke, someone needing to harvest their field of hay before rains come, you name it) – our 2 communities come together and provide food and whatever else is recquired. and i think that Granny Miller may be from a small community as she may not understand the “militarized” need for OpSec in a city/suburb environment. i agree with her that the majority of prepping/survivalist sites are militarized and secretive.

    if she is from a small community like ours, then i agree whole-heartedly with her. we know that in the event of a tragedy/disaster/SHTF scenario that we will all come together and take care of each other – we will not let anyone starve. and we are too far away from any real threats from zombie hordes as we live on a fairly small island with low population.

    in closing – yes i agree with all of your points in a city/suburb environment. i completely disagree with you if the environment is a rural community. make sense?


    anyway, to continue

    • kymber,

      I live in a very rural area but still most folks aren’t prepared for any disaster lasting over a few days. Living in the country will lesson your chance of being attacked comparative to a large city but it still isn’t the safe haven some folks try to make it out to be. If folks are in need (starving or some just out for a thrill) they will take what you have by force if they know you have it. Home invasions will be commonplace. And in the country no one can hear you scream…

      • FerFAL said much the same thing: gangs would case out dead-enders and survivalists in the country, and not only rob them but have sport of them for a few days. It was actually safer in the city, somewhat, if you could keep your food a secret.

  35. riverrider says:

    #12- join the military
    #13-get up in the morning

  36. My biggest opsec mistake lately is leaving computer windows open to prepper sites, & then guests ocassionally use the computer. Also, be careful about leaving prepping books or articles laying around your house.

  37. Encourager says:

    Well, I have been thinking about OPSEC when it comes to Facebook…and although I love ya lots, M.D., I am deleting from my friends list. I am here on the blog FOREVER. However, I have had one too many fringe friends message me asking if I am a prepper…and the last one mentioned your Facebook page and say if I’m not, why do I have that listed as a like?? I tell them I love all the canning instructions and how to make stuff like tinctures from berries. 😉

    • Encourager,

      Maybe they are preppers too or are interested in learning more about prepping? If done right it could be a great opportunity to build a network of people that can help you – are those friends from your area or somewhere across the country from you? We are not going to last very long if we are all alone in this.

      • Encourager says:

        I agree, M.D. that we need a community to work together. However, I said fringe friends because I know for a fact that two of them are takers, not givers. They think the world revolves around them and owes them. One is a distant relative and lives out of state. The other nearby. I am hoping our new neighbors (3 families) may be interested in prepping; they all have started gardens, making improvements to their homes, and two are now raising animals for food. Fingers crossed!

        BUT…how do I approach them? Wow, that would be a great idea for an article! Pack???

        • Encourager, maybe offer to chip in on critter care and feed for a cut of the meat?
          We’ve always had trouble finding people to help us when we WANTED to go out of town as a family, especially when the kids were small. Now with DD and her family close by, DH and I have actually been able to take more vacations than we ever did in the first 25 years of our lives together. DS lives just a few miles away so he’s able to help too. Those that did help, even being paid, never would do it again. Takes about an hour total per day, between cleaning kennels, feeding dogs, horses, pigeons, quail, cats, and a parakeet. And that doesn’t count care and feeding of the homosapiens… Take some home canned stuff? Pies are good too…

      • MD, I have been trying to get on the blog since last night. It went down around 2am or so. Chrome would not load it at all, said unavailable. Explorer brought up a page that had your .net address, but it was a page with links to other link pages not associated with your site. I was just now able to access your blog. I guess you know what I was thinking. Worried! Hope everything ok!

        • Dog Log,

          I moved the domain to a different company and it takes 24-48 hours on average for it to be recognized at the new location by the world wide web.

  38. Exile1981 says:

    A years back now, a family moved into our town and seemed odd. Mom and Dad and two teen boys. Dad had lots of buddies over on weekends, many of them had shaved heads and tattoos of swastikas or skulls and they would drink and talk about guns around the back yard firepit till all hours of the night. Then one day the younger boy spouts off at school to a girl who turned him down that when dad and his buddies take over the town after the SHTF then he’ll claim her as his sex slave.

    People got real worried till the cops raided their house, they were not preppers. Normal preppers have food stuff and supplies other than guns and ammo. Dad and most of his buddies were ex-cons and barred from owning the guns and some where not legal to own anyways. That was a few doors down from the Inlaws place and we watched the cops carrying hundreds of ammo cans out of that place, they filled a cube van with guns and ammo. Also turns out the cops had been watching them for a while because they were part of the arian (sp?) nation crowd. Don’t know what happened to them but none of them ever came back to town again.

    So yes opsec is important but you should also listen to what is going on in your town so you know who is likely a danger to you when the shtf.

  39. Only bumper stickers on my jeep is a Starfleet Academy and a Yeti Cooler sticker…

    • Erk, what I was trying to say before iPad went crashing to the floor, was everyone around here thinks I’m weird anyway. Those who were snooty in the first place will get what they dished out in return.

  40. Surviving in Ky says:

    Good article M.D., A conversation last year about ammo being hard to come by reveiled 2 suspected preppers at work. We all looked at each other funny after the conversation and still never said anything but with knowing looks. Another employee was asking us how much ammo I had and I just said I didn’t have all I wanted. He pressed the issue and I finally told him it wasn’t any of his business. (This person is a work friend and not a close personal friend.) He then turned to the others and asked them the same question and they said the same as I. He was astonished we would not say anything and left the room shaking his head saying we were crazy. I have since learned from a mutual prepper friend one of the men was possibly into the prepper lifestyle along with several others at work. Funny thing happened after that incident, we all discuss world events and “gun stuff” but no questions about preps are asked by anyone. It’s like a mutual respect for privacy among us and a greater understanding and respect. We do ask advise about different issues but nothing about how much do you have. Only one immediate family member and one close friend with a mutual support agreement know the extent of preps involved.

  41. mom of three says:

    I don’t consider myself a prepper, but a prepared person. Everyone, in our circle of friends know I’m a canner, and coupon shop, I have a small garden, with several pots with lettuce, onions , herbs. No one thinks it’s weird but many won’t do it. Most people, ask why I can, bake, cook from scratch when i can run to the store, to buy food? My answer is savings, and I know what I’m eating your not putting a bunch of preservatives in your can food, plus homemade bread is just good smelling coming out of the oven. Plus I tell them it’s just one more link to my past, my mother, grandmother and great grandmother, were canners, baker’s, and home makers too. Usually, I get a that’s really neat, or WOW! They never thought of it that way. That’s just my 2 cents.

    • ChristineM says:

      Good answers. I will use a couple of those. Depending on the question I’m asked, some of my answers are …. it’s a hedge against inflation, or I have a relative who needs a little extra help right now, or I’m helping out a family right now, or were you here when we had that ice storm and the electricity went out for a whole week, or where I used to live we had a terrible wind storm and didn’t have any power for a week. A few people said they would start putting away emergency supplies.

  42. i live in wy. people are independent out hear, if your not self reliant out hear you don’t last long.

  43. k. fields says:

    M.D. – I think it would be a good idea if, at the first of these repeated articles, you state that it is a look back at a prior post. A lot of people don’t seem to notice the posting dates and end up arguing with folks who haven’t posted in a long, long time.

    That said, I think it IS a good idea to review a lot of these topics. How I felt about something a year or 2 ago may be different than how I would feel now, with the changes we’ve all experienced since that time. That discussion with yourself could prove interesting.

    In this case though, my statement about being pretty open with my life, still stands. No, I wouldn’t publish a map to my house on the internet, but a lot of my acquaintances are back-to-the-landers and trying to hide how I live from them would be nonsensical. And folks at the farmer’s market? It’s kind of hard to hide your lifestyle when you’re selling your surplus and giving customers advice on how to preserve what they’re purchasing.
    Most every year, I’m invited by the local schools to participate in their fall “harvest days” workshops where I get to teach young kids various aspects of my lifestyle, simply because I’m open about my lifestyle. Why would I want to miss out on that? Giving those kids the idea that there is more out there than a life of video games is important to me.

    I think many people see “preppers” or “survivalists” negatively simply because the only individuals they hear about are, well, for lack of a better word, nutters – and they assume we are all they same – but, of course, we aren’t. I believe if more people were open about their lives and explained why it’s important to have that insurance of extra food and more self-sustainability, share the positive aspects, the negative connotations may dissipate in time. But, like I said, we’ve all different and must, at times, simply follow our own paths.

  44. rjarena says:

    I have been very busy today, so I have only had a few minutes to look at the posts, very interesting indeed.
    I have a question for the group, what search engine do you use? what homepage?
    i gave up my smart phone, since I felt I wasn’t very smart using it, I use DuckDuckGo as a search engine and homepage, check it out, it is a search engine that does not track you.
    I would say that I think that while there are a lot of folks that think what I do is silly, and a lot of folks that may want what I have after TSHTF, I don’t think there are many out there that give a hoot about what I am doing. They are too busy on their electronic toys to care about me. I also think that the gooberment is more interested in the paramilitary types then the “loony” prepper types like us. Remember, they can’t run the VA,the IRS, and they can’t balance a budget, and most of them are too interested in their own pockets, so my thinking is as long as you don’t stick them in the eye, they will pay you no mind. and that is my 2 cents worth,

  45. Tactical G-Ma says:

    I believe there are as many definitions for “Prepper” as there are preppers. I must admit I believe preppers are much more benign now that I consider myself one.
    Americans have been attacked by Osama bin Laden and Timothy McVeigh.
    People are concerned with things they don’t understand especially when there are extremists in all walks and supposed professionals willing to sensastionalize and demonize disaster preparedness in order to sell a story.

  46. I read this article. Iread all of the comments section. Lots and lots of good advice.
    To those of you who haven’t clued your significant other about the extent of your preps…exactly how are they supposed to function according to your plan, and keep the family safe and fed, and things going as smoothly as possible if you should have a heart attack, or a serious injury which leaves you unable to communicate?
    It is good to be prepared. But if you leave this world unexpectedly, how is your dear family supposed to survive if they don’t know abut your preps?

  47. Hunker-Down says:

    Why are 1/2 the posts on this thread 11 months old?

    • Encourager says:

      Weird. I just caught that, too. Then the post by Forest below???? What the heck is that other than a spam???

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