Skip to comments.Mistakes survivalists make
Posted on 09/06/2009 3:26:34 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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As far as the first one is concerned, I suspect I’m better off in my tiny close knit town than off somewhere by myself. Seems to me that I’m better off with 100 people with a broad skill set than simply knowing how to keep myself warm, dry and fed.
Many of the people in my little town are elderly and would have a rough time but any one of them has more value than any number of teenagers. The teenagers would have value as strong backs but today’s teenagers would have a rough go for a while.
The core strategy seems to be (a) cash and (b) one or more houses abroad.
Houses are cheap in many foreign countries. I have one so far and will buy another next year - probably in a different country.
The stockpiling and hoarding “preparedness” idea has never appealed.
I’ve read the Argentina perspective before, and while there are a number of valid points, the USA is not Argentina. If we have a societal collapse, it will most likely be due to a civil war of sorts, in which case the attempts to hold on to a normal life while the society collapses would be silly here. The Argentina scenario seems to be dependent on so many of the citizens simply trying to survive with no greater purpose in mind, whereas a civil war here would be for a purpose. That is not to say that there won’t be danger of thieves and murderers galore, but that the plan to accept a certain level of societal collapse while trying to hold on to as much of the normal life as possible would require a different attitude and worldview than most Americans have. For example, would the average Argentinian think his Constitution was worth dying for? Would he think that the idea of liberty was worth dying for? Many, many Americans would, which is why they would not accept a semi-collapse while trying to conduct business as usual. I think we’d either go all out, or we wouldn’t go at all.
Owning real estate means you have to manage it. You can manage a rental in France from Costa Rica- not without paid help to get the rent and to get it to you. You cannot rely on such help in hard times. That part is quite unrealistic. Food stockup makes sense. About which see the “Mormon one year plan” etc.
While I don’t agree with all of it, there’s some very sound advice here.
For the most part it sounds more sensible than much of the stuff I’ve read about when TSHF... :-)
And yeah, these “isolated compounds” are kinda stupid ideas...
However, I’m not shopping around for property in France or Costa Rica... LOL...
unfortunately, i see no limits to the potential $$$grab from the kenyan...
i believe i'll continue in a small community that has ag & wildlife base, and 'stay small' for the time being...squirrelin away a little bit of 'extra' necessities as life permits...
Another thing to consider is that one of the executive orders that dear old GW signed allowed for the seizure of all food stocks, fuel, firearms, and vehicles in the event of Martial Law being declared. Once that happens, you had better be where you were going because there will be no travel allowed. I think that a good rule would be to pack a few essentials in an A.L.I.C.E. pack, have one rifle with a couple of hundred rounds of ammo (no matter how many you've stashed), a good pair of boots and woods basics, and a good SW emergency radio ready to roll on 20 minutes notice. Scout the area that you will flee to and make certain that you can navigate the route in the dark. Leave no notes, maps, scribbles, etc. and throw the cellphone in the trash after you've disconnected the battery.
One thought I’ve had about setting up a rural homestead is that the government can declare it a wetlands or whatever they want, and take it away. If we do end up with a totalitarian government, an obvious hotbed of revolt is going to be people living out in the sticks, and I’d look for that type of government to find a way of cracking down on them. Or maybe I’m just being paranoid.
Fortifying anything with the idea of defending against a siege is suicidal.
How did you go about buying property in another country? I would have no idea how to do that.
I agree that the bug-out location idea is pretty impractical. And if you’re talking about a person of limited means, as most of us are, seems to me it’s far better to stock up so that you can hunker down where you are.
But investments? WTF? You’re liable to get robbed or killed if you go to the supermarket, much less an ATM or bank!
And I don’t necessarily agree with him summarily dismissing stocking up on TP or whatever. There was a show on a while back called “The New Pioneers” or something like that, a reality show where these folks tried to make it as ranchers in the old west.
Economy is economy. And it reached a natural level.
Food became the single most important commodity. Gear for farming and animal tendering came next.
The third most valuable, and what did actually become worth it’s weight in gold, was the toiletries and such. And being in supermarket retail many years ago, I can tell you the biggest profit supermarkets make isn’t on the steaks or eggs.
It’s on the shampoo and stuff like that.
Spend some time there (wherever). Ask around.
There’s no substitute.
Google the real estate rules/property ownership laws of your intended foreign land. Then go visit for a vacation to:
1. Make sure you like the place/could live there
2. Find a real estate agent and start talking
I’ve got property overseas in 3 different countries; it’s cheap, easy to buy, and if needed, I could live in all 3 countries without worry.
In many places overseas you can buy a smaller 600-700 square foot condo/apartment for less than $20,000. That’s in a nicely sized city, like Chaiyaphum in Thailand, Suzhou in China, or Lido in the Philippines.
Why on earth would any conservative plan on “Surviving” rather than being an integral part of reclaiming the country through force of arms?
The foundation of this country is not now and never has been the Constitution. That is merely a blueprint for governance.
The foundation is the Declaration of Independence.
Plan on following the example of those who wrote it if TSHTF.
Nice if you can do it, but that’s just a twist on the “bug out location” scenario.
Remember how folks screamed (and are still) at the government about Katrina?
Gov ain’t gonna make that mistake again. If the SHTF, you can expect the obvious, most apparent government reactions that will play on the evening news to make it look like they’re doing something and in control.
some form of martial law, including:
some kind of policy/workforce to deal with shut-ins and elderly
possible energy policies - very limited gas availability, conceivably having the electric grid offline for some hours of the day or night
Given these kinds of things, I don’t see the practicality of depending on foreign properties. It’s not like you would have six weeks to get your passport in order and arrange for some nice neighbors to watch you place and go to the drugstore to stock up on suntan lotion or something...
>>> I dont see the practicality of depending on foreign properties. Its not like you would have six weeks to get your passport in order. <<<<<
Our passports are “in order” and accessible within 30 seconds.
We could be on an international flight by tomorrow morning at the latest.
All financial accounts are online and accessible from anywhere in the world as easily as from right here at my desk.
What more is there?
Oh yeah, drown the cats and lock the front door.
(just kidding, no cats here)
Typical sign: "Looters will be shot, Survivors will be shot again". Another one "Warning, crazy Redneck guarding homes, beware!"
A good way to look at preparations is the “boned” theory.
That is, consider the following. Preparing for an “everything, and all at once” disaster is probably not worth it, because if it is that bad, and that fast, you’re likely going to just grab your emergency kit and run.
So it’s best to look at single issues. One thing that could really put a crimp in your day, and based on past experience, could happen.
For example, the power goes out. Happens all the time. Got batteries? Got battery powered fans for summer, and a battery powered heater for winter? Do you have an adapter to convert a car’s DC battery energy into a little alternating current energy?
Things like that.
Another example is what if either gasoline prices go through the roof, or the gas stations run out of gas? Do you have a bicycle or a moped? Mopeds look silly, but can get you a hundred miles with just a single gallon of gasoline. (And don’t think 100 miles in a straight line, but 100 miles of city driving, to do things like buy groceries, when you have the road to yourself.)
How about potable water? Not having a water filter could be a major pain in the rear end.
Things that if you don’t have them, you are “boned”.
Importantly, the perspective on this, in a community, is that there will be a lot of people who *don’t* have these simple things, and you can be a hero if you can lend them a hand. You might even be a lifesaver.
It’s not usually all at once, just one or two critical things.
Well, I’m not saying it’s impossible - just not as good a choice as people might think.
You sound well prepared, good for you!
Under some scenarios being ready to go “in the morning” might work. Under others, it won’t work at all, you wouldn’t be able to get anywheres close to the airport.
So, who knows? I got a boatload of beans and rice, so I’ll just do the best I can!
(assuming that the airports are open - who flew anywhere on 9/12/01?)
All financial accounts are online and accessible from anywhere in the world as easily as from right here at my desk.
(assuming that the grid is up and that the Feds haven't taken control of the net)
I read somewhere that the reason many Jews didn’t try to leave France, Poland, or wherever when the persecution began in WWII was because they didn’t have passports or other required documents. Making sure each member of my family has a passport is at the top of my To Do list.
>>> I got a boatload of beans and rice, so Ill just do the best I can! <<<<<
A place abroad is responding to one contingency, not all contingencies.
Online accounts are convenient and also responsive to another kind of contingency.
And so is a case of canned tuna, 72 liters of bottled water, propane, candles, lithium batteries, and 10 kg of rice.
I need to get more Chicken of the Sea sardines.
Best sardines I ever et!!
Kinda hard to find, though.
See above #21.
Remember how those who heeded the warnings had greatly reduced their losses? It's about paying attention and acting before it's too late.
If you wait until martial law is declared, then you waited too long. Even to "bug out" inside the US. Travel restrictions across the nation make it hard to travel to your retreat, no? And power restrictions, etc.
Me, I'll just pay attention, and if things are looking particularly bad, I'll make sure I'm overseas on a vacation or business so if something does go down, I'm not having to chase those last-minute airplane tickets.
Its not like you would have six weeks to get your passport in order and arrange for some nice neighbors to watch you place and go to the drugstore to stock up on suntan lotion or something...
For two of the three locales I listed (Thailand and Philippines), you need only your passport; no visa needed. For the third (China), you can get a visa in literally 4 days (the turnaround time for my annual visa). I keep it "topped up" to be active all the time. Chile is also wonderful, and a place I lived for a few years (Vina del Mar, just North of Valparaiso, right on the beach). Just a once-per-passport (meaning once every 10 years) $100 entry "fee" payable when you land.
Get your passport. Get a visa (if needed; few places require it, and most can give it to you at the point of entry to their country). Then what's the 6 weeks for? You can go tomorrow. No need to file travel plans, no need to wait for papers. Just pick up and go.
Oh, and you can find suntan lotion in most countries...:) The local Pharmacist usually has local brands as well as the bigger US brands (J&J, etc).
Having someone watch my place - if the SHTF, I really don't plan to come back for a LONG time. Why should I care if my plants are watered? In fact, I'd tell my neighbors I'm leaving, give them the keys to the place, and tell them "take what you need, and God be with you!".
Yes, it's an asset I would hate to lose; however, it would be a small price to pay to not have to worry about defending it against bad guys or the Government 24/7, or living through a SHTF scenario. I'd rather bug out on a nice, quiet rubber tree and pineapple farm in Thailand, or a beachfront Internet shop in the Philippines or be an part-time English teacher in Shanghai than dodge goons and bullets 24/7.
The biggest issue would be getting on a plane and leaving, and that's more of an issue of scheduling and price. If the worst was coming, I would tell people to simply go to Canada then schedule your flight from there. International travel really does exist outside of the US.
That's my plan, if I'm in the US. Head to Canada (it's a 2 hour drive), then head out from there. I have firepower to get me to the border without worry, and my truck is never less than 3/4 empty (plenty of fuel to get to any one of a dozen border crossings). No need for clothes or other goods (those are also available overseas, for usually a lot less money, even tailored clothes). Just me, my loved ones, and the resources needed to get to the border.
Then to book tickets on the first plane from Vancouver, BC to Asia - anywhere in Asia. And from there, wherever I need to go.
Funny thing about that whole deal.
Years ago, I got this feeling I should start stocking up, so I went to the supermarket and spent 100 bucks or so. Pasta, spagetti sauce, vegetable oil, that kinda stuff.
One week later - one week - two planes crashed into the World Trade centers.
True story! I kid you not.
Lately, I’ve gotten alot smarter about what I have in stock, (including always letting some of my garden go to seed, so I have tons of seeds), water, some med supplies, so I’m good for a while.
The ability to procure food and protect same would be #1 in any situation. Real property will continue to have real value. Money however is only as good as the financial system. There are plenty of historical examples of money becoming worthless.
Ten miles outside of a metropolitan cent might not offer much, but 200 miles does. If the SHTF, as he put it, predators have to think protection as well, and in such an environment strangers draw fire. Additionally, as families congregate, it won't be a matter of deserted farmhouse, but rather 20-30 people per group, with mutually supporting groups. Not impenetrable for sure, but also not easy pickings. There is a reason that coyotes don't directly attack cows, the risk of injury out ways the likelihood of success.
Seems like the bottom line is that there's no guarantee you'll survive any collapse or attack from inside or out. Best you can hope and pray for is to be able to survive most of the different scenarios, including the one in which nothing ever happens: while you're alive, enjoy life in this great country, and keep faith in its people and its soldiers and your childern - that it will endure.
You’re going to be better off where ever your support network is, whether that’s family, friends, your church, likeminded coworkers or some other affinity network. Most likely in situ, in other words.
If that happens to be a major metro, think Katrina, think of those pockets of neighbors banding together to defend their neighborhoods or even a few blocks of a neighborhood.
It’ll be worst at first, settle down after a few weeks to a few months, and then there will be the chronic crime and home invasions, due to people who are prone to such behavior anyway, emboldened by the general breakdown. Think of looting rioters, diffused and spread out.
Cash on hand, at least enough to cover a couple months’ living expenses. Nonperishable food, the same but up to a year’s worth is not a bad idea. What will inflate wildly will be the necessary things, and the imported things. What will be nearly worthless are the status symbols that add no utility but do add a lot of maintenance cost, expensive cars, that sort of thing. They’ll make you a target, too.
The ability to defend yourself, not just in your home but out and about on your business, will be important. No point in going completely nuts and setting up a private armory, but even current scarcity argues for more rather than less, as far as ammunition goes.
The world won’t just grind to a complete halt. I suspect it’ll be rather strange, with pockets of seemingly complete normalcy, and pockets of Mad Max, with flare ups and calm periods over time.
These are my thoughts on the matter. I considered the rural place with surface water, backup power, solar panels, etcetera, but honestly you’re going to be a sitting duck. Being the descendant of people who lived through the Civil War in the south, and it’s aftermath during Reconstruction, I’ve heard the old family stories about outliers and such, so there will be feral elements looking to prey on you if they can. Safety in numbers.
...with pockets of seemingly complete normalcy, and pockets of Mad Max, with flare ups and calm periods over time.
And there will be people who today we might not think are superstars who gird up their loins and turn out to have talents that actually save lives. Meanwhile, some bank executive or attorney or whatever ends up being more of a pain than ever, and proves to have not a single useful talent whatever.
That’s another thing that I disagreed with the main article about - tools.
I fix things as a hobby and to learn how to do it. If I needed to do it for a living, I could give it a halfway decent shot.
And the ability to repair stuff and find useful results from things we take for granted would be priceless.
Assuming there is any fuel to transport the raw materials (do you know where they come from?) to the factory(do you know where it is?), and then the finished product to you. Also assuming the roads aren't full of "highwaymen", hijacking what loads that fuel can be found for.
Then there are all the required financial transactions required to make all that happen.
Cash is just paper without a government that people trust to back it. Gold, silver, those are more likely to retain their value, in terms of loaves of bread and such. But there are other things which are also pretty easy to store, will also retain, or increase, their value. .22 rimfire ammunition for instance. But also wire, tools, etc. In a SHTF situation, most of our "work skills" are quite likely to no longer be in demand. Perhaps a good hobby skill would be worth investing the time to acquire?
That’s the conventional wisdom. But, I do know Confederate money “spent” with inflation, even after the war ended. It took a while to let go, and to accept that it was literally worthless. People just have a hard time letting go. Modern day, Zimbabwe is a prime example. They can’t get people to stop accepting and using “Zim Dollars,” even though it’s not even their currency anymore.
Just how are you going to get fair value for a gold coin worth considerably more under any collapse scenario than it is now, at the grocery store? You won’t, most likely. Just how is a cashier at that grocery, going to determine that the coin you’re offering, actually is what you purport it to be?
If a person were to dwell on the “possible” scenarios for a collapse of our society, it could certainly cause enough anxiety to make them do stupid things. I agree with enjoying life regardless of the circumstances, and I would add the we need to be educating our leftist neighbors through acts of kindness interspersed with tidbits of information. Our faith needs to be in Christ alone since all of those other entities will let you down in the end, including your children!
I can certainly see the point about getting out of the country, but what about re-building and protecting against the inevitable tyranny? I fear we have already lost the better part of a generation who understand and believe in the Constitution. If the SHTF, we will need you all.
Better to retreat and live to fight another day than die in a wasted effort.
If the SHTF, I think the best thing to do is let it flare itself out to a dull roar, then start fresh after the reality of the situation sets in.
Sun Tzu has many good words about when to engage the enemy, and it’s not a good time to do so when you don’t know their strength, don’t know the terrain, and don’t know the support of the populace. That’s a losing hand every time.
Nobody know squat about using gold/silver as real currency. It’s been culled from socioeconomic consciousness. Seriously: some guy offfers you a gold-colored coin for an alternator, do you know what it is? what it’s worth?
One thing that people forget is that they will need other people. A close knit group is nice but just being part of a community will work.
Get to know those around you.
Did you see this? You’ve been pretty scarce around here lately. Hope all is well.
I love Free Republic for the personal vignettes and anecdotes just like that. You certainly didn’t hear much about that sort of thing from the SRM. Same with similar situations post-Katrina.
I assume you are well-armed today, and wouldn’t have to depend on a loaner.
Well, there is always the Sailboat Escape Pod Option.
Then, who cares about going through the TSA's "people corrals" at the airports?
It's not for everybody, but it does work. You can cross entire oceans in a single long slow jump. Leaving from and arriving at small small remote ports, sometimes without govt permission or knowledge.
Excellent “real world” example!
I've read his outstanding "Modern Survival Manual." He's not against "stocking up," he's all for it. Especially a minimum of several months worth of food, as well as batteries, soap, TP etc. This is so you don't have to risk your life in the mobs, as supermarkets are looted and etc.
He is against INVESTING in things like vast quantities of TP, tools, etc, because he found that in Argentina, despite many tries, "barter markets" simply didn't work. He makes the case conclusively. You need cash at home to buy what is available during the crisis when banks may be closed and ATMs ditto. You need months worth of food at home, to avoid the dangerous times of severe food shortages. But eventually some form of crippled economy reestablishes, and then you need money. Even devalued inflated money. Barter markets simply DON'T work. So don't fill your garage with thousands of bars of soap, thinking you will trade them in barter markets.
Outside of that time frame storage costs are outrageous. Those resources, at least for us right now, are better allocated elsewhere.
Besides, what I know about sailing you could put in a thimble and still have room for a double martini.
Good, solid contingency planning.
Most of what we theorize about endlessly here, happened in Argentina when their entire economy collapsed and froze in December of 2001.
Ferfal isn't against tools, he's against spending your money on "investing" in loads of duplicates of tools, with the intention of converting them by sale or barter to wealth after TSHTF. He made the same point about TP etc.
Yes to having plenty, no to "investing" in garage fulls of barter and trade items beyond what you will ever consume. Barter markets just DIDN'T work in the real world. Even a devalued fiat paper currency proved more useful post SHTF than barter.
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