When Did You First Become Interested In Survivalism & Preparedness?


(image: survivalism & preparedness is a long and winding road…)

When did you first become interested in survivalism? What kindled your interest at first? Was it a friend, an external event, or just survival instinct?

First, I would say that I’ve always had a sort of independent spirit. I suppose that has to do with a number of influential factors throughout my early life. I can’t pinpoint anything specifically back then. There’s no doubt though that for each of us, our upbringing has some factoring as to how we get on with life – and the principles and ideals that we may develop, especially early on…

Looking back, I would say that the Y2K problem, the switchover to 1/1/2000 got me thinking about “what if” scenarios in a very serious way. There were many ‘end of the world’ concerns and predictions during that time. Most alarming was the possibility that our critical systems of infrastructure might fail. Of course they didn’t, but it woke me up to the possibility, and the horrible consequences for some of those scenarios.

The next big motivator for me was 9/11 (2001). No doubt that everyone in the United States was slapped awake on that day. For me it revealed our vulnerability, that we were not in a safe cocoon here (although I already instinctively knew that). Bad things can and do happen. Sometimes very bad. I’ve never had the opinion or reliance on the notion that “government will save us” however it was shown on that day how billions can be spent on .gov agency budgets and it still won’t absolutely protect us.

The financial crisis of 2007-2008 further emphasized the fragility of our modern economic systems and way-of-life. Some say we should have let it all crash and not saved the banks back then. I don’t know the answer. However I do know that most all supply chains of critical goods and services would have ground to a halt when credit seized up. Who knows how bad it would’ve gotten. Unfortunately we have not learned our lesson and the next inevitable crisis will be much worse. And I mean very much worse…

Today, the social political events that we are witnessing are great cause for concern in my estimation. The precarious situation is a very reinforcing motivation for me to continue my efforts with survivalism and preparedness. The United States is presently split, and split badly. There are two extremely opposing points of view and ideals. One side is aligned with anti-traditional American ideals, pro socialism, marxism, communism, government control, globalism – while the other side is more aligned with borders, national identity, individual freedom and opportunity, less government. There are VERY powerful forces that have been dividing this nation and we are close to tangible and material conflict in my estimation.

Every so often something else ‘breaks’ and at least for me it is yet another reminder that we need to be conscious of this. We need to remain vigilant in that the more we depend on these systems, the less independent that we become.

The older I would get, the more I would realize some of the potential dangers, the systemic risks, the dependencies. But for me, instead of simply accepting them (ignoring them?) I felt the need to mitigate to the extent that I could. I discovered that I just feel better when I have contingency plans. Maybe I am simply more ‘risk aware’ than what’s ‘normal’ for the mainstream.

So to get back to the question, my becoming interested in survivalism (preparedness) has been a gradual process dotted with reinforcing events that has kept me vigilant.

Perhaps it is simply my drive to be independent (to the extent that I can). Self preservation. Why do I have that drive? And why is being independent or self-reliant a factor for me? That’s something that I can’t put my finger on. It’s just instinct.

 
Okay, that’s my answer.
Now what about you? What is your short answer?

More: Trust Your Instinct, Your Internal Voice
More: Preparedness is Peace of Mind

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163 Comments

  1. Around my 30th birthday my lovely LEO DH was murdered by a drug crazed individual. Several officers were killed in similar situations across CA, mostly due to Ronald Reagan having shut down the mental asylums and dumping those folks into half way homes poorly supervised. This changed the entire dynamic of my family structure and got me moving out of not just CA, but out of cities in general. That was 35 or so years ago…been living a better lifestyle ever since!

    1. That explains a lot about California; apparently some of the mental patients escaped the poorly supervised halfway homes and ran for political office.

    2. P. Woman, I am truly saddened for your loss beyond words, however while Ronald Reagan did sign the law into action, the ACLU were the ones that filed the suit that these people were being held against their will. He had no choice but to release these people out on the streets. You can look it up if need be. I just hate to see people being blamed for 100% of something. I believe this also occurred in like 16 or 17 other states. Don’t quote me on that one.

      Again, sorry for your loss,
      Papa J

      1. Papa J,

        Absolutely right. ACLU suit, federal court order. Reagan had no choice. Had to sign off or put state in contempt.

  2. Survivalist? Prepper? Self sufficient? When did I begin? What motivated that thinking?

    No one thing. As a child, I was a prodigious reader. I was drawn to books of outdoor adventures and the pioneer life. “Big Red”, “Savage Sam”, “Old Yeller”, biographies of mountain men, etc. I was drawn to the simple, yet dangerous life. Loved to sleep under the stars with just a blanket, build my own fire, kill and eat my own game, fantasize about being able to make it on my own in the wilderness.

    Went to school to be a forester. At the time, only two universities offered a degree in forestry. After school, a stint in the Army Infantry, then marriage, then became a police officer (paid more than forestry, had a child on the way). Loved the adrenaline rushes of police work, at the same time being exposed to the true depravity of the underbelly of society and the threat posed to society that most don’t know exists, or choose to ignore. This caused me to take my role as provider and protector of my family as paramount

    1. cont’d-

      Events like the oil embargo of the seventies led me to realize how fragile our economy and way of life really is. Realizing that our lifestyle was dependent on things completely out of my control, but certain things were completely in my control. Raising our own food, providing our own water, and defending my family from physical harm. I’ve never seen anything to change my mind, only reinforce my resolve, In retirement, I continue, and think we are fast approaching a society re-set, and it’s too early to know the outcome of that re-set. It may hit some very hard. I hope my prep will soften the blow for those I feel responsibility to.

    2. When I was young, I was not much of a reader. I guess I wasn’t a reader at all since I first started learning to read in the third grade. I preferred then as I do now to learn things by doing. Unfortunately, now-a-days I don’t have as much free time for the doing part. Just one of those things in life at this time. After learning to read, I was like a junkie when it came to books and have been a prodigious reader ever since.

  3. “When did you first become interested in survivalism? What kindled your interest at first? Was it a friend, an external event, or just survival instinct?”
    I think events wake up the survival instinct. I was at a vulnerable age during the Viet Nam war and the ensuing internal civil unrest. “The Mother Earth News” seemed to be the escape route and I took to it as soon as I graduated from Art School. Since then I dabbled into it, primarily gardening and a habitat in the country for awhile but President Jimmy Carter scared me to death. I pretty much let down my guard after Reagan was elected but market crashes reawakened my interest.

    But isn’t all about escaping situations, or being scared into prepping; it is self-fulfilling. I’d do it without any external threats, it’s very gratifying to grow your own food, to develop a lifestyle of independence, self-sufficiency, self-defense. Especially since I was highly influenced by the left-wing culture at an earlier more naive time of my life; I take great satisfaction in doing as much as I can for our household.

    1. I should add that I spent a year in Newark N.J. in the Ironbound district and this really opened the eyes of my understanding of how the government via welfare can not only destroy families, but a community. Offering people dependency sounds so compassionate but it is devastating to the soul of individuals and the society. Very, very wicked.

      Also I have to give credit to one book that really got me on the survival track by Howard Ruff, “How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years”. After reading that book I went out and bought ounces of silver for $9 and later sold them for $22. It’s still a good read today.

      1. Old Chevy – on a rustic road;
        Ohhhh heck dude, I’m really going to show my age.
        I remember holding our first bar of Silver at $4.00 per OZ. seemed like a HUGE investment at the time…..

        1. I remember buying some silver back in the 90’s for less than $3. I would save $25 each paycheck and go buy silver every Saturday. $25 wasn’t much but at the time I made $5 an hour. So it was still a good chunk of change for me. I still have a couple left as momentos from that time. I also remember at that time the place where I bought the silver, a guy there tried to get me to buy a 10 oz bar of palladium. It was $1,100 for the bar. Looking back now, I should have jumped on that opportunity. Ohh well, coulda woulda shoulda.

    2. I grew up at at time when many of my fathers friends went to Vietnam. Many returned, unfortunately some didn’t. In my household, I never saw the negativity towards the soldiers as many were friends of my fathers. It was amazing how many of them were really messed up after coming home. Even as a little kid, I knew that the war had really messed some of them up. they didn’t really talk about the war much, my dad just gave them their space and treated them as friends as friends would like to be treated.

  4. 1973 gas crises in So Cal is when I really took notice.
    Sitting in a line of 30-40 vehicles watching those around me wondering what would happen if the lines stopped moving (because the station was out) about 8 cars later they did and “It” did, the shouting, the fights and confusion of how many were going to get home.

    Honestly I have always been a Hoarder, it seemed I would always buy more than the One I really needed. Drove my parents crazy.
    I believe my upbringing had a lot to do with it also, Father was a Scout Master, did his term in WWII, and was an expert outdoors man. God I do miss him, could use his advice/help now-a-days.

    Agreed on the Y-2K, I was doing computer programing at the time (we got lucky folks, real lucky), 9/11/2001, 2007-2008 and quite a few “poop-storms” before and since.

    One thing that will really jolt ya, having your wife of 23 years die in your arms from Cancer, the first few months ya can’t even think straight, or function “smart”. FYI, there is NOTHING to prepare you for that.

    Currently, I see a LOT of dangers, and the current World Stage and political hate is enough to make ANY sane person wonder “If/When”.

    Of course I remember my Father and my Mom still talking about the Great Depression. Take a look where we are now…. Are we Better or Worse off now?

    I do have to chuckle a little, remember just last Friday Ken had an article on “Can You Heat Your House Even If The Electricity Is Not Working?” I remember getting home to no grid power; I simply fixed a Martini and sat on the porch watching the Sun Set. I received several calls (cell phone)about what I thought, and what I was going to do. I simply told them “I’m going to fix another Drink and hit the hay as soon as it gets dark”. People have ZERO preparedness or sense and I do mean ZERO!!!!

    1. I was very skeptical about Y2K. I had one friend who went to his mothers location just before the end of that year. He was talking about markets crashing and all. I was skeptical about it because of the markets. So, many people had money in the markets, I believed they would push to have the problem resolved. I saw it this way, if I had $10 million in the market and I had to spend a few hundred thousand to prevent losing it all, I would happily spend that money. That is, people had too much money in the market to allow Y2K to happen. Sure enough, the world did not end. That is not to say I haven’t been worried about some events which have happened since then.

    2. @NRP, my sympathies to you and yours. I know what you went though as I lost my wife to terminal brain cancer 14 months ago and I’m still not able to handle it very well. We were married 48 yrs and 2 months

  5. I first was exposed to survival skills in Boy Scouts growing up. I was also drawn to survival shows like Jericho, Man vs. Wild, etc. I went to College for Physical Geography and I started to see the issues that effect areas. As I dug deeper I saw how fragile our systems are. Then I became a LEO which really has encouraged me to prepare even more.

    I am committed to preparedness now. Still lots to learn but committed.

    1. I really enjoyed the Jericho show. Too bad they cancelled it (they probably realized it was sending the wrong message according to their own agenda).

  6. One more comment.
    Did anyone notice the first 3 commenters all used the word “Lifestyle”? and how they moved into “it”?
    I have to say, this is not “Survivalism & Preparedness” seriously it is a Lifestyle that blooms from the realization and need for Survival & Preparedness, AND enjoying living.

    1. I believe it has been a lifestyle for hundreds of years. It has been only recently (comparatively) that such interests have been demonized by the mainstream. It goes to show what ‘their’ agenda has become…

      1. Ken,
        That right there is one thing i will never understand. I would think that people being self sufficient and able to deal with adverse events on their own would be seen as a good thing. When i was a kid it just seemed the norm, later on my folks became lax about that stuff then pop passed away, only recently and barely at that does my mom even think beyond this week for food etc, just doesnt make sense other than her more recent friends are all your typical gov is god kinda people. Plus i think she figures no need since im right next door. The world seems bassackwards my friend

  7. For me it was never enough of anything as a kid.Then married at 18 ,kids right away,and the solemn promise to myself that my family would never do without.We had our first garden 3 years later and never stopped. I also was a Mother Earth Reader and still am.Through lots of hard work and frugality we are comfortable .The actual prepping started for me in Y2K also.And I,’ve always felt good about full shelves in the pantry,it literally is like money in the bank.I think The Rainy Day is coming. Stay well all.

    1. Maggie’s farm;
      You sure have that right about “full shelves in the pantry”.
      The Garden??? I cannot remember a time when my Family did not have a Garden…… Just something about getting yar hands dirty :-)

      1. NRP, I firmly believe dirt to be good for the soul. I am still awed of the fact 1 bean or 1 seed of anything, grows a whole plant full of food.

  8. When I was young and stupid. One of my first full time jobs was with Sears (ha ha ha) and after a couple of years, I ended up managing a sorting goods dept there. This gave me a pretty good perspective on the corporate life and seeing society from inside a very powerful company at that time. The whole game was consumerism and it still is (75% of GDP?) I’m surprised the throw away mentality rather than sustainability has lasted as long as it has. I gave it up retail and entered the building industry. I too was a dedicated reader of Mother Earth News. Almost joined a commune but found way too many lay-about pot smokers instead of workers. So, between the two lifestyles, I chose my own independence somewhere in the middle.

      1. hermit us;

        “managing a sorting goods dept ” sounds more interesting HAHAHAHA
        I can hear it now “Yes Sir, and how would you like your ‘goods storted'” LOLOL
        Ok I’ll go away now :-)

        1. Better watch out NRP, that sorting goods job gave me a start in my considerable gun and ammo stores. Survival then and now depend on lead and how to send it to defend one’s self and often providing food. I don’t know if 600 rolls of TP are enough for your protection. :)

  9. Comment number three. (First two were nowhere near ‘short’. As requested by site owner.)

    1. Until going into military I woke up every morning hungry.
    2. Being broke twice. Broke as in holding my life savings in one hand. Total value was under 100 cents.
    3. Trusting a human, and getting screwed, again.
    4. Getting a job that allowed access to info from ‘inside the beltway’. (Seeing what happens when the cameras are turned off. i.e., You can tell when politician is lying….they smile.)
    5. Getting married and wife’s offspring, not mine, stealing thousands of dollars of my stuff.

    I am cautious. I am alert. I watch my six. I have more than one ‘stash’. I will NOT be hungry again. I will NOT be screwed over again. Damn it…..I WILL survive.

    1. Ever see the movie Papillon? Where he is on the coconut raft? That is MY attitude. “I’m STILL HERE”!!!!

      After my LEO was killed on duty I learned a VERY hard lesson….If I went to work, then they took the workers comp award away….. I said so be it you rat bastards, I’d rather be self sufficient than put up with your hand out. It wasn’t going to bring my dear LEO back to me anyway. AND, the federal insurance for officer lost back then was a paltry 50k….that didn’t even replace one year of his salary. AND the baby I was carrying was determined to be NOT A LIFE, so no bene’s for HER! WHAT????
      Anyway, long story short, I told them all to stuff it, got my graduate degree and got the hell out of CA. Been living a good lifestyle ever since, and ALL my children and my new DH of 25 years AGREE!

    2. I have been down to less than $0.50 total holdings in my life. Not even enough to buy a cheap can of tuna at Aldi’s. Yeah, been there. It sucks!

  10. You know Ken, some folks ridicule preppers, and fear “survivalists”. Shows on TV like “Doomsday Preppers” did much to paint a picture of a bunch of lunatic stooges. Even I cringed at at some of the characters.

    What I have trouble understanding are folks that seem oblivious to the facts. The fact that all systems are subject to failure all by themselves, without outside malevolent forces. Even more so when malevolent forces sabotage those systems. Fact that their way of life can be destroyed in an instant, with no help coming to pick them up, dust them off, and make everything all right. The fact their kids and loved ones can starve and die, just like those they see on TV in third world countries.

    Some call it “normal bias”. Fact is, the worst most folks have experienced in our country in “normal” times, is 100x better than many generations of people in some countries on their best days. We are a spoiled generation(s). We’ve never seen really bad times. The majority are complacent. They never even consider the possibility they could lose it all, much less make contingency plans. There are none so blind as those that refuse to see.

    1. Dennis,I agree with you most people’s, worst days are better than a lot of people’s best days. We are blessed.It is up to us all to use those blessings wisely.

    2. Normalcy bias – living pay check to pay check, nothing put aside for an emergency, no plans for sustainability in retirement, only four rolls of TP – that is survival as close to the edge as to be a horror scenario for most of us. I can see NRP perspiring at the thought.

        1. Heck yeah, whenever I travel I always carry some TP. I get my TP from China. It is tightly bound with no cardboard core. Very compact and inexpensive.

    3. Never really seen bad times. That’s it in a nutshell. It will take a very hard fall to recover what we’ve apparently lost.

      1. I had some pretty hard times in my early twenties. I got several months behind on rent before moving out. Then I started making a little more money and was able to start saving something. Several months after moving out I went to the landlords house. I said hello and he was surprisingly sociable. I handed him a stack of cash that was the owed back rent to the dollar. He said he didn’t think he would ever see me again. That was the only debt I ever got behind on. Everything else has always been paid on time.

  11. The Cuban missile crisis is what started it for me. Of course we all got to see the films of what an atomic bomb could do. Then the oil embargo, Y2K, several personal SHTF events, and of course the current state of affairs.

    1. PG
      Oh, had totally forgotten about that happening, was so afraid we did not have a shelter.

    2. I remember seeing a movie about nuclear bombs going off in the US. If I remember right, it was from the early 80’s.

  12. The birth of my son and the responsibility that came with it suddenly focused my mind. No more stumbling through life. I now had a focus and a much greater interest in what was really happening in the world. I also discovered alternative media and the realisation that history and the world in general isn’t what they all tell you. I wouldn’t call myself a prepper but do now make positive steps to be more self reliant. I think personal fitness and self defense skills together with the right mental attitude will get you further than physical preps but I have those as well, just in case.

  13. Hmm, interesting subject, think ill look into that survialism stuff,,, are there any online classes? Maybe an app? Or is it a gubermint program?

    1. I know your abhorrence to any government program, so I highly recommend the “Little Sister Of The Poor” who took on the previous administration and won. Sometimes it is not the strongest that persevere.

    2. I think the FEMA camps have survival classes. But first, you have to be admitted to the camp. 🤔

  14. Good for thought. I was always out doorsey. I had the privilege of having friends that loved to back pack. We used to go up by you for 7-10 days at a pop. The White Mountains and the Adirondacks were a must every year. We had very intense food preparations. We made jerky, etc. Water was to heavy, so good filters and there was no cell phone coverage back then, so security had to also be covered. I learned to get by with what we calculated for the day. If you dropped your ration, you ate it! 😂. I know that the trip was short, planned and temporary, but rewarding also.
    I bought a house before Y2K, had stock then, and never stopped. A big thank you to everyone that shows support here, it’s fun. I did not get paid for that advertisement.

    1. You bring up a good point… cell phone coverage. People assume that their phone will save them. However if they are caught in an area without coverage, whoops…

      1. I believe I would have better cell coverage in Afghanistan than I do where I live and commute! LOL

      2. I lived in an almost dead zone for many years. If a person got through with their cell phone, they were lucky. I have seen countless times where a co-worker would be standing on the cab of a tractor in the middle of a field trying to make a call. I didn’t have a phone for many years. So if I had a breakdown in a field, I had a long walk ahead of me. Nowadays it is nice to make a call when having trouble in a field. No more long walks. Awesome

    1. Daisy if you are referring to Forstchens series, I read all of them. I think they should be required reading in high school. Lit. Classes.

      1. The first one did it for me. I own all 3 (are there more?) but the first one was definitely the eye opener.

          1. Yes, this is the book that opened my eyes. Diabetes was dealt with in the book. At the time I read the book, I wasn’t affected by this disease. Now I am dealing with a grand child with Type 1. I pray every day

    2. My first survival book read was then one where a guy was stranded on the highway after an emp and had to hike a couple hundred miles to get home. He traveled with a college girl and a large black guy whose wife and young boy were killed later. Many sad moments in the series. It might have been the Going Home series. Can’t remember.

        1. INPrepper,

          Just re-read that book. Got it right here on lamp table beside my easy chair It’s “Going Home” book 1, “The Survivalist Series”, by A. American. Good read other than I felt the author could have been being paid to advertise certain name brand survival items, to the point of wondering how he got all that stuff into a pack system he could actually carry.

          There is another book, can’t remember the name, with a similar theme. I’ve got it loaned out. It is about a man trying to make it home to Montana, I believe, after being stranded in Houston, Texas when his passenger plane stalled during take off from airport after emp. Good read also.

          1. Yeah, I do remember it seemed like there was a heavy product placement. Like a person drinking a can of Coke in a movie with the name facing out so everyone can see.

          2. Does any one recall a book with this kind of story about getting back to Montana? Might be interesting

          3. INPrepper,

            Remembered the name. “77 Days in September” by Ray Gorham. I liked it better than “Going Home”. Amazon Has it, maybe Ken will provide a link, or use his link on the side.

  15. In the early 1980’s although “it” did not have a name per say was just country living. Gardening and how to put up food. Helping gut a deer, learn tracking and learning how to cook it. Taking walks and notes on where certain medicinal plants were. Living on very little dollars. Even before that I saved small do dads. A spring, odd screw or ??? Think this habit came from my mammaw. Have a large plastic bucket where I put the maybe will need one day do dads.
    Last night I was watching the show Building Off The Grid. A nice educated type couple lived in a fifth wheel on top of a Montana mountain. Here is what he said, “We are not trying to make a statement we just like to live out and enjoy the quiet and nature.” He felt that he needed to EXPLAIN himself as to not be in the category or prepper/survivalist. Just struck me as interesting.

    1. Mrs. U
      Yes many see us preppers and survivalists as greedy hoarders. It is unbelievable that we have to hide our activities and lifestyles. You might just as well put that target on your back or that political sticker on your vehicle because you will be hunted.

    2. I watched a few episodes of that show. A couple episodes it appeared the people were some stuffy city folks that have no idea of living in the boonies. In one episode, the people complained about all the snow and the fact that the workers couldn’t get to the location to finish the house. The road to the place didn’t look too bad and only had three or four feet of snow. Oh yeah, they had a tractor. My interpretation was they went there on vacation and thought, oh this place is beautiful let’s build a house here, without knowing anything about actually what it takes to live there.

  16. Way back, in the 70″s, I was in the Navy.
    Carter was President.
    He deposed the SHAH of Iran because the SHAH was a bad guy.
    We then had hostages in Iran
    Inflation was high, interest rates were high.
    The US had no respect in the world.
    Any of this sound familiar??
    Anyway, I started reading Tappan, and other folks who talked about readiness because of the impending economic collapse, possible nuclear war, and the upheaval that was sure to follow.
    I started to stock some things to try to be ready for whatever came.
    Reagan got elected and things improved, however—
    I have never changed my opinion that bad times are coming.
    I was and still am and always will be a survivalist.
    History does repeat!!

    1. Same time I started into survivalism, and preparing, and still continue and will continue forever, because there could always be something out there to come along and flip everything upside down,and then another and another until I am gone from this world, but I hope that if there is any of my preparations left and my family is still here that they can use what is left to help themselves.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

    2. Tango, did you happen to ever come across the original magazine American Survival Guide Or Survival magazine that is what was around back then, now we have MSB and Ken to help us. I still wish I had my magazines even though I lost them in a move from one place to another.Be prepared and ready. Keep your powder dry.

  17. Blizzard of 93 and Hurricane Opal left us without power for a full week each. Y2K was a motivator, as were the Obamao years.

  18. Hurricane Katrina… I’ll never forget Anderson Cooper on CNN in front of the superdome when everything was going crazy and no troops or gov help to be seen anywhere because they were still “unable” to deploy, yet Cooper/CNN hired a helicopter and was there saying if they were there why couldn’t our “Rapid deployment forces” or at least a token amount of them get there. Say what you want about him but he had a point. Right then and there I learned not to depend on our government to provide in an emergency (even a regional one). Heaven help us come the day some country decides to Pearl Harbor us again…

    1. I’ve read a lot about H. Katrina and all of the preparations that were made all failed.

      1. I don’t mean preparing fails, but how they prepared did. They went halfway. As an example the hospital had backup generators but they were in the basement and got flooded.

      1. There has not been a disaster of any sort in the last few 20 years that has not been weaponized for political deception by the Democrats. Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes even, blizzards, drought, typhoons, flu epidemics, train derailments…. somehow the gag writers for late night TV shows that work for CNN have been able to find blame for these events as an “act of Republicans”.

  19. My parents were both raised by parents who were adults during (were not just born into) the great depression. Mom cleaned out eggshells and stored 2 inch pieces of string “just in case.” We had emergency packs behind the couch and our friends made fun of us for it. Food storage, a garden, and a woodburning fireplace were just part of life. I never went into debt, bought everything with cash, and put myself through school without loans (my siblings, on the other hand…).

    7 years ago I quit my job to write, and it came into sharp focus for me, personally, and not just as the-way-things-are-done. Since then I’ve turned the yard toward survival and gotten rid of most of the grass. I’m working on edible landscaping and water independence. Water tanks are in, I’ve built the greenhouse and rebuilt the garden boxes.

    While my personal SHTF was self inflicted and deliberate, that doesn’t make it any easier.

    1. That’s good on your part, Lauren.
      It is “a Lifestyle”
      The old fashioned way, I believe, we were all brought up and adding our own additional ideas into that “lifestyle.”

      1. It shouldn’t be “prepairedness”….
        It should be the “norm”

        We (they) have been influenced not to be the norm. That it is wrong, foolishness……

    2. I was told stories about the Depression from two different perspectives. My one grandfather from the city told about they had hardly any food and to get work, you had to show your hands. If you had callouses on your hands you were working for the day. If you didn’t, you went hungry. Didn’t matter if you had a family or not. My other grandma on the other hand grew up in the country and had plenty of food. Just not much of anything else. She told about how the barter economy was the main way of getting things you ‘needed’ but didn’t have. Because during that time there was no money for a ‘want’.

  20. That’s easy
    1. Slick Willy’s second term
    2. Y2k
    3. Things ramped up when the Kenya prez took office. And with a supportive GF. (After bringing her to the light of possible what ifs.)
    4. The way I was brought up by my folks/family. (Aunts, uncles, grandma, brother.)
    – God Bless em –
    5. My son
    6. The continous downward spiral of Our Nation.

  21. About a year ago nothing “significant” happened but I had this overwhelming urge to change our lifestyle and to begin putting up supplies. I found this blog which seemed fortuitous. Fast forward a year and DH and I made the decision to take early retirement, move to MT and start the journey of homesteading/homechooling/self sufficiency. I’ve read on the subject voraciously, spent a small fortune filling up the cold room, learned and learning new skills all the while feeling this impending sense of disaster. I can only say I think I’m being led by God because none of this was on the radar just a short time ago. Hoping I have a modicum of readiness and sense of peace when the balloon goes up. It’s coming sooner rather than later.

    1. MontanaHome,
      You may never feel fully “prepared”, just understand that going in. But at some point, you may feel a calm that tells you that you are gaining on becoming self-sufficient. From what you have blogged so far, sounds like you are on the right track, and making good progress. When you get stressed that you might be lacking in some area, just remember, God always takes care of His own, and hold us up when we fall. Peace and blessings.

  22. I guess if I really look back, I started on the self-sufficiency road as a kid. Boys Scouts always taught ‘be Prepared’ and I took that to heart. Then in Jr or Sr High, my German Grandma came to live near us. She never wasted anything, cutting the bad parts out of fruit and veggies and eating the good part. Told me about going hungry as a kid in “The Old Country”. she taught me how to garden, make potato soup and bread, and some very basic farms skills. In college (started at 17) I was away from home and had to fend for myself. lived on $60/month, $45 went to rent. I scrimped and saved, and went hungry many times. I remember once being so hungry I smacked a duck at the local park late one night and brought it home and ate it. Also lived off an 90# bag of potatoes for a whole semester when things were tight. I had been instilled with good ‘depression era’ work ethic, and soon learned I could make good money as a miner. then learned I could make more if I finished school. I have been blessed in my life. But the many lean years I had early on sent me into the ‘lifestyle ‘ that eventually got named ‘prepper’, I am still working to be self-sufficient in many ways. It is a life-long process, isn’t it?

  23. (Be aware that this post may contain a level of cringe-worthy content)

    While I was in highschool, I was super angsty and depressed, I forgot how, but I found MSB while I was looking up information on a random topic. The name of this site and the information contained within intrigued me and I dug deeper. Suddenly, I was a super angsty, depressed, AND end-of-the-world crazed teenager. Those were pretty dark times, and to be honest, I think I liked the idea of prepping/SHTF because I simply wanted to watch the world burn.

    Cut forward a few years where things looked up and I am an entirely different person (at least I hope I am). MSB got me into prepping, and now I’m slowly moving into a direction where I can be confident that I can protect the ones I love regardless of the situation. Having a preparedness oriented mindset has helped me figure out the kind of person I want to be, so thanks Ken!

    1. Youngster;
      Extremely well said….
      I believe we all have a lot of thanks to give to Ken.
      MSB is more of a family than some have I do believe.

  24. My mom lived through the depression of the 30’s and I remember the stories from her and my grandma . My dad left us when I was 7 and we lived a tough life but I learned a good work ethic , we had a garden , canned food and I began working at age 11. Boy Scouts taught me to be prepared for unexpected things. The U.S.Navy taught me discipline and how to do pushups.
    My wife and I have always gardened , canned and put a little food away for a rainy day. Experiencing a 4 day power outage woke us both up to dealing with real emergencies. Y2k was somewhat of an awareness thing. The realization of who most politicians really represented, who owns our money system , the media, and the school system was the tipping point for getting serious about the self reliant lifestyle.

  25. Started as a kid ,,,had some unpleasant times ,,,was dumped off at my grandparents at age 11 ,,never went hungry thanks to them but had to work to support my self ,,,,remember seeing the movie gone with the wind ,in the scene where Scarlet says’ I will never be hungry again ‘ has never left me , but I said ‘i well never be poor again ‘ I have worked and saved ever since ,,then a trip or five to nam ,, I found I didn’t fit in with world I came back to ,,,
    But the big thing was after seven audits in seven years ,and paying more in taxes than I made at a good gov job , I guit ,,,,went galt the first time ,, and life style became the driveing force in my life ,
    Don’t think of my self as a survivalist ,or a preper ,, yet I guess I must look that way to some, call it preping if you want to me it’s just common sense ,,
    The greatest prep you can have is your mind and what you think ,and what you do with what you have ,,,

  26. Survivalism wasn’t a word I knew when I got into being prepared. I was always interested in handling things myself and my family always camped and that is when I really started to think about doing for myself.

    My Mom & Dad encouraged the camping mindset and I joined The Boy Scouts as a teenager and have always been a prepared person since.

    1. We were a middle class family (Dad worked at a GM transmission plant, a union job) but we did not have a lot of money as I remember it. I had to make things I wanted and fix old things to get what I wanted.

      My dad was always working on things in the garage and doing auto repair for people on the weekends. I was right there with him in the garage working on wood working, plumbing, fixing the house and helped a lot working on peoples autos. I never saw it as work, it was fun doing it. But it taught me how to fix and make things. These are skills I have to this day and am very glad I have them.

      The only thing my Dad didn’t teach me is electricity, from an early age I had a big interest in all things electrical and taught myself about it. This led me to Ham radio, a hobby I greatly enjoy.

      I’ve been lucky in that I have turned all the skills my Dad taught me (and my electrical skills) into a way to make an OK living. And it’s a skill set I like doing and it also lends itself to survivalism.

      Just today my Dad and I fired up the wood stove in the garage and did some wood working. He’s almost 91-years old (still drives every day and is still fairly sharp) and we both really enjoyed the time in the garage. We are looking forward to working in the garage this winter and feeding the wood stove. There is something special about a wood fire. I don’t have much time left with him considering his age and we both want to enjoy the time we have left.

  27. I think I have always had the thought of survivalism/preparedness. When young, I was interested in doing things for myself and being outside. So, I joined the Boy Scouts and did that for a couple of years. I quit the Scouts because I wasn’t learning anything as we just had meetings and more meetings. i did learn a lot about camping though. Since I like being outside, I got a job at a local dairy farm in my teens. I worked full time off and on for many years until transferring to Montana to finish my degree. While at the farm, I learned about crops on a large scale and how to take care of cattle.
    I guess I have some of my grandpas blood in me (he lived through the Depression) because if I find something I like, I don’t just buy one or two of something, I buy several. Also, he instilled into me the trait of doing things for myself. Instead of hiring someone to fix a toilet or fix a lawnmower, we fix it ourselves. Sure, it might take longer to accomplish but the next time the job needs done, we know exactly what is supposed to be done. However, one trait I did not get from my grandfather was being super cheap. If something broke my grandpa would buy the cheapest replacement part available which usually didn’t last very long. I on the other hand prefer to buy a replacement part of mid quality that is not super cheap and isn’t super expensive either. Because cheap is getting what you pay for while super expensive many times is just paying for some fancy brand name.
    For many years, I didn’t know about survivalism, I just knew that I wanted to be as self sufficient as possible solving problems by myself and having spare parts/extras/food on hand to enable me to get me through issues that arise.

  28. I think I have always gravitated to being self sufficient. I was raised by my grandparents and were not well off, but I had no idea. We ate well, always had clean clothes, and didn’t hire outside help for anything. We didn’t waste… ever! We didn’t always buy brand new, or made do with what we had. It’s just the way I was raised to be and I never see that changing.

    1. Miss I Made IT Myself,

      “I was raised by my grandparents and were not well off, but I had no idea.”

      You just nailed it for many people. Folks that were raised by parents or grandparents, aunts or uncles, that were poor money wise, but the kids never realized that at the time. Why? Because those loving people made sure the kids were provided for, no matter what it took. Sacrificing themselves to protect those in their care.

      My mother was raised during the height of the depression with five brothers and sisters. They were a poor family prior to the depression. I once asked her how bad it was during that time, she replied that they always had food, clothes, and a new pair of shoes each year. She said the kids “knew something was wrong” but never knew what it was because Ma and Pa Pa never talked about the struggle in front of the children and their lifestyle was no different than what everybody else they knew experienced.

    2. What is the saying? Use it up and wear it out, make do or do without. Something like that.

  29. Andy,
    I had those magazines and others for several years. Kept them in binders.
    Had books by Tappan, Skosen, Ruff, and even Gibbons..
    After leaving the Navy, I bought a few acres with an older house ( that I remodeled), couple apple trees, got some chicken. rabbits, and tried my hand at gardening. All this while working full time.
    I wanted to be as self sufficient as possible.
    I referred to those magazines often.

  30. In the early 80s ran across an issue of survive magazine. Was around 12 years old and it was game on. Also growing up in rural area helped alot.

  31. Grew up on a small, worn out farm in northern Minnesota. Was in 4-H for 12 years Learned to garden, cook from scratch, sew, do first aid, care for and raise animals. My dad taught me to love the land, leave it better than what you found it, build good fences, use a rifle to defend your property, read tracks, hunt and fish, always tell the truth and to do your best at everything you do. Always kept extra food, clothes and found ways to stretch every penny. Saved all kinds of stuff just in case.

    Most of adult life I fed family, friends and pets on $80 a month. Lots of scrambled eggs, hotdogs, mac and cheese, ramen noodles and PB & J sandwiches. Always had a deep pantry because ya never knew when you might not be able to afford monthly trip to commissary or grocery store.

    Now living in NW Florida since 1989 and do the hurricane prep dance every year. Was able to donate a pickup load of supplies to Hurricane Michael relief because we do have a deep pantry, 6- 12 months of household supplies and keep minimum 2-3 months of animal feed/food on hand. Have been able to help friends and family out with groceries and supplies from Mom’s pantry many times over the years. Grateful for that blessing of lifestyle that taught frugality and to do your best to consider the ” what ifs ” in life.

    1. Ya, well ya know we come from the same patch of dirt. Danube Mn must have been that Lutheran up bringing.

  32. Born into it; can’t remember a time when I was not surrounded by and helping out mom, aunts, grandmothers, older girl cousins planting, weeding , harvesting, putting up, sewing, cooking, and taking care of the babies. First time I was allowed to use a sharp knife I was @ 4 and helping my mother clean buckshot out of ducks and learning to pull pin feathers with the blade edge. Helped my dad with woodworking. Helped my mother mend his work clothes (I got to sew the holes in the pockets) when I was 5.

    My parents barely survived the Great Depression. Every other Sunday growing up we had dinner at my mom’s parents’ wheat farm where we hand pumped the bucket of drinking water, did the evening milking by hand, and used a two-holer outhouse. Cabbage was often on the menu. Alternate weeks we were at my dad’s mother’s house working in and eating the bounty of her massive garden. Hunting and fishing were pastimes, vacations were spent camping. One uncle introduced us to eating turtle and frogs’ legs; I drew the line at bear meat and never did develop a taste for goose, though I did raise them. As soon as they could, my parents bought a couple acres outside of town and started their little farm. Us kids split a lot of wood and did chores every day of the year. Bread and noodles were homemade. Subscribed to Organic Gardening and Farming as a teenager. The only difference a power outage caused was my parents yelling at me and my siblings to “close that refrigerator door!” Read Alas Babylon and Malevil in my 20s.

    Spent the bulk of my career in the developing world and saw how precarious life/survival could be. We enjoy such a variety of food! In Bangladesh many folks eat the same thing morning, noon, and night if they are lucky – rice and dal (watery lentils), and sometimes cooked greens. If there’s no rice it’s not considered a meal. Only variation was on holidays and special occasions. In one of the West African countries where I lived, a study showed that most folks ate no more than 7 ingredients over the course of a month and that included salt and oil. I started a staff garden there to help improve health of my colleagues. Still going strong a decade later. Observed that in most countries where I worked the four basic food groups were sugar, salt, oil, and grain.

    Now that I’m home for good am getting back to my roots, relearning skills, gathering supplies JIC, and look forward to gardening and preserving next year’s harvest.

    Keep Calm and Prep On

      1. Thank you shepherdess.
        I like reading your thoughtful comments. They obviously come from a place of love.
        When you send ((((hugs)))) to someone I can feel them coming my way too. Even if am having a great day your hugs always make me feel a bit better.

        1. Keto diet will fix diabetes, and any auto immune disease, also autism if you add cod liver oil, check it out.

  33. One common history I see for so many on MSB is that people were poor but did not realize it. Everyday was survival mode and prepping was normal but not called that. One funny comment I recall from the show The Walton’s, was when the depression was considered over, John Walton responded to a neighbor, what depression?
    Now compare how most of us had to work for our lives, to the instant gratification crowd of today – what can go wrong?????

    1. hermit us;
      “what can go wrong?????”
      You want toe full list or the abbreviated 50 page list??? :-)
      Almost seems anymore the question should be “what can go right???”

      1. NRP
        The death of a thousand cuts was not supposed to be inflicted all at once!!!!
        I like the statement by RedStix113 “we are going to need a bigger garden”.

          1. NRP
            Only in the hundreds so far – like the WH says, every time the economy looks good, the FED has to ruin it. Darn enemies everywhere.

          2. Amazon down 10% – a few moves by the big players can skew the whole financial picture – that is why I worry about monopolies.

    2. Yes, one things my parents made sure of was that we always had enough to eat. Even though the phone got shut off at times and was pretty cold in the house to save heating oil. I didn’t know we were poor, just that we couldn’t get everything we wanted.

  34. Grandparents always had a garden. My dad as well. I used to hate weeding the garden, especially the strawberry patch. Still don’t have a strawberry patch, but I have a very big garden.

    Learned to hunt and fish very early on. Firearms, fishing poles, trot lines, limb lines, seines, all were normal equipment and still are. Doing for yourself is just a case of “want to.” Plumbing, electrical, wood working were all part of growing up. It still amazes me the number of people who can’t read a tape measure, unbelievable. I was taught to just start and pretty soon you’ll figure out how to repair whatever the problem is. A human built it so a human can fix it. Might as well be me.

    I’ve always saved bolts, nuts, nails, every kind of fastener imaginable. It is a long way to the hardware store. If I’m throwing something away, I rob the bolts, screws and usable parts.

    I love to read. One Second After, Alas Babylon, Lucifer’s Hammer, and many other books really got my attention. I’ve also picked up numerous tips from MSB. You guys are awesome.

    My wife claims it is all because I’m “cheap.” Frugal is always my response.

    1. I tried to read Lucifer’s Hammer 3 different times and could never get through it. The other books I re-read about once a year.

      A very good set of 3-book story to read is The Island in the Sea of Time by S.M. Stirling. It’s about the Island of Nantucket getting thrown back to 1250 BC. It’s not a so called prepper book, but many things in it are prepper related. I would say it’s the best series of books I have ever read.

  35. Like many, started in the Scouts (Late 60’s/Early 70’s) and I’ve taken basic precautions since then (First aid kit in car and other reasonable precautions) as I mostly lived in or near big cities.

    We bought a semi-rural “Retirement” house in 2000 (with our town house (and upside down mortgage) up north for work) and both promptly lost our jobs in the spring of 2001 (Telcom bust)… out of work for about 8 months during which we had to decide on which house to keep and picked the “Retirement” house as perm and got the townhouse ready to sell (broke even, which was a plus for us!

    As we were semi-rural (20 miles to nearest major store) we started to realize that we had to be ready to deal with issues our selves.

    And then came Isabelle in 2003… We took precautions (extra water, food, batteries and so on …) but were NOT prepared to be without power for 7 days! That was OUR eye opener.

    Since then we have had a number of outages (we are the LAST house on the line so we are among the last to get power, especially if the line goes out just down the line) and we have been getting better all the time (last time we were out 5 days and it barely even impacted us…. was getting ready to break out the propane shower though!

    Since then, we’ve started looking at other issues that might/will impact us like drought ( 3 neighbors had to drill new wells one year) jobs and of course political uncertainty both in this country and throughout the world..

    But now when we see another crisis unfolding, our response is “I think we are going to need a bigger garden!”

    1. RedStix113;
      I LIKE your response….
      “I think we are going to need a bigger garden!”
      Excellent :-)

  36. Being a former Boy Scout, I’ve always had that “Be Prepared” mentality. Being a Native Floridian living on the East Central Florida Coast, preparing for Hurricanes comes naturally. I’ve always fished and hunted squirrels in the family Orange grove. But I seriously got into survivalist/prepping the day after Obama became President.
    My parents were from the Depression-age and taught me plenty of things. Mom taught to cook from scratch, save bacon grease, canning, seed-saving, sewing, etc. My Dad taught me auto mechanics, woodworking, basic electronics, gardening. If something finally breaks, take it apart and salvage everything (bolts, nuts, electric motors, etc), and bunch of other stuff.

  37. right after 9/11 and katrina hit i saw that thinking the government couldnt do everything to save everybody thats when i got very serious about prepping and survivalism
    and aint looked back since

  38. I went to public school in California during the 1970’s and I saw large companies and employers leaving my town/county and area relocating to lower tax areas or simply contracting. So you get the picture:

    Gas lines and budget cuts were what I grew up with. I was riding my bicycle around town and observing closed store fronts and watching buildings being purchased and folks trying to make a go at a solvent business during times of double digit inflation and a stagnant economy. I also became aware that then-President-Carter was reading material by a U.C. Berkley Professor named Paul Erich who wrote The Population Bomb and was called upon to write the Global 2000 Report for then President Carter. Carter was wearing sweaters within the White House and he had Solar Panels placed on top of the same building.

    During my later school years, I was in the Boy Scouts until I quit and began working on my relative’s farms. On off work time, I practiced Outdoor skills like fishing and hunting. One of the farm jobs was depredation permit tag punching. Some of the local cops dragged me along as a passport to access the border areas of farms and ranches. These are the years I learned to work on trucks, tractors, rifles and shotguns. My last years working on the farms was spent within the shop working on something. Lesson learned: Skilled labor is better than unskilled labor.

    During college, I started out in Forestry like Dennis. In California, if you are in forestry, you are an obligate firefighter. While in Fire Academy I was told that if I wanted to be hired, I should become an EMT – 1. ( Emergency Medical Technician.). With good grades from fire academy and a newly minted EMT – 1, I was hired to work ambulance within a large Central Valley city and was hired by the National Park Service less than a year later.

    As a ranger, I was working under President Reagan and he wanted all of us to be cops. I entered Police Academy just after my 21st birthday and the rest is history. I ended up changing my major from forestry to economics because I always had my eyes on the horizon and scanning for things coming in the near future. I saw whole towns go under and thousands of people being thrown out of work when the spotted owl was established as protected. The anger from the populace was evident and palpable. I saw no future in Forestry when one species can affect so many human lives.

    I never did join the military. I saw plenty of blood on the streets and gunfire here stateside. I settled down and got married to a pretty lady in my Mid 30’s. bought a house and filled it with fat cats. I am still working in the medical field to this day. We are still in the midst of a nursing shortage.

    1. Calirefugee,

      The more you post about your life story, interests, and passions, the more I’m convinced we are brothers with different mothers. Lot of parallels.

  39. WOW!!!!! lots of great/sad stories out there!! As to what got me to start
    prepping”…I’ve been doing it at work for our Emergency Response Team/Continuity Plan for years(16 to be exact) so it came as no surprise I would do the same at home..To be sure all the listed events that changed “us” as a whole motivated me even more. to get the ball rolling at home and have even got my little sister and her family on board with it..

    1. steve b, That’s great that you got others on board. That’s not typically easy to do… Maybe it helped that you have a career in the Emergency Response arena (more legitimate in their eyes perhaps ;) )

  40. Correction to my earlier post: Paul Erlich author of The Population Bomb and Global 2000 Report as Co-author.

  41. I believe that the initial interest in being prepared was when I was a Cub Scout in the 3rd grade. 👍😊

  42. Having Depression era parents. A father who was a WW 2 vet and an avid primative hiker/camper.
    Having a high school friend whose older green Beret brother teach us how to track and survive with trips to the Everglades and lake okeechobee.
    My stints south of the border .
    All shaped my beliefs in being prepared.
    Last 2 years being in overdrive.
    Biggest blessing is having my kids/grandkids within walking distance of me
    I get to be a force of good in their lives.
    Finally, I think Lauren said it.
    We are where we need to be by design.
    No coincidences…

    1. Bill Jenkins Horse;
      “We are where we need to be by design. No coincidences”
      My friend sometime I have to doubt that.

  43. They call me a cockeyed optimist, immature, and incurable green.

    During the Cuban missle thing, I wasnt worried, I was sure that the Rooskies would not be stupid, and neither would Kennedy. During all the other crises since, I was sure that things would work out for the best, even when that Iranian frigate lit us up with their fire control radar, and ran a missle up on the rail.

    That said, the power has gone out often enough that I want to be prepared for the long haul. When my Boy Scouts would ask why I carried all the stuff in my backpack, I would tell them that, “there might be a monsoon in Rangoon, or a blizzard in Rekyavik, and I need to be prepared for both. You should be, too.”

  44. Boy Scouts….. back in the day when it was for boys who wanted to be men. “Be Prepared”. I was (and I suppose still am) an Eagle. Sadly, I’ve watched a wonderful organization decline into a socially-correct miasma that runs counter to the values I was taught then. To be:
    Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. Funny, those still ring true for me to this day.

    On my honor, I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

    Wouldn’t it be just insane if we taught our kids those values today?

    1. Well to all you “NEWCOMERS” my first contact with the idea of SHTF was when I was eight years old.

      That summer I spent with my grand prances farm. I learned how to milk cows and feed chickens and collect eggs.

      I also worked with my dad and grand father building a BOOM SHELTER!

      Yes I said a boom shelter.

      We drilled into the rock face behind the second basement wall, under the road and into the hill side across the road.

      This was a seven month project that is still useable today.

      I helped reopen it three years ago when a friend moved into the old house.

      So the rest of you had better get with the program and suck it up.

  45. When my Father died. I’ve always had “extras” for emergencies on hand but in 1996 I started to have this nightmare. My dad and his wife were alive and I was living a fairly good life with husband and sons.Really not too concerned about the future as we had done planning , implementing steps for the future. But over the last 12 years things that were in my nightmare/ dream have come to pass. I know it doesn’t make sense. But what I see in this nightmare isn’t pretty and when my brother (Mr. prove it , black or white no grey, etc) did a 180 after Dad died and started to prep , I knew something bad was on the way. I just don’t know when or how it will happen. So I started to look into preparedness and slowly stepped up what I was doing. I say slowly as I do not have a lot of $$’s. We’ve cut back on a lot of things, we’re both retired and needless to say income was curtailed. I am in the process of stopping a 50+yr habit (smoking),wish me luck as this is the 4-5 time I’ve tried to quit. So far I am doing okay (knock wood).
    Oh by the way Update on grand nephew, he is doing much better. He’s scooting around the floor and is talking with a few words. He’s also eating much better now and the doctors are pleased with his progress. thank you all again for the prayers and good wishes.

    1. grannyo:
      You have my 10000% support on the guit smoking.
      I have seen a lot of bad results from smoking, and a LOT MORE very happy people that were successful at guiting…..

      1. NRP, Thank you for the encouraging words. My nephew is getting married the week end before Thanksgiving. My goal is to be smoke free by then.

  46. Believe it or not, during the 1970’s ice age scare I started thinking about it. I was in California and was trying desperately to get out of that state to where I could be more self-sufficient. Tried Northern Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming, but finally landed in Montana. Now it’s global warming, EMP’s and civil unrest. As ready as I can be by now.

  47. Girl Guides as a kid but I saw preparedness mostly for things such as camping and hiking. In my 20s I did hiking where we had to bring our own drinking water. Then 9/11 and I thought of how long it takes to evacuate tall buildings, airline safety, public transit safety, etc. Fast forward to August 2003 with the power outage. Then in September 2018, we had a tornado come through. Since 2000, so many workplace shootings that I practice situational awareness. More recently, the absolute political hate and the desire to be anonymous. And, of course the drive by shootings, gangs and guns linked to the illegal drug trade when innocent people get shot and their homes are shot up even in decent parts of town. I tend to self-segregate with the over 55 as much as possible.

  48. The minute I figured out Trump may win the presidential nomination. I thought I was crazy with this new found urgencie I suddenly had. On the many days I questioned my sanity, I would walk by the TV and a public service advisement notice warning that everyone should store 72 hours of food/water for emergencies.

  49. Just started in the last five years. I have traveled much of the country and lived in several states for my work. Finally settled in northern Minnesota. It the last years I’ve become even more concerned with the potential of a terrorist attack on our infrastructure. This would have a devastating impact on society, even the government feels that they won’t be able to support citizens and within a week it will be a mess. Also our political divide as me worried. Although we are empty nesters I want to be prepared so my kids know it get back here. We haven’t done a done of learning which bothers me but we do have medical kits, plenty of weapons and ammo and know how to use them. Regarding food we’ve just bought the long term kits, they are expensive but fortunaly we’re in a position that’s not an issue.

    1. Up North:
      I tend to agree with you, Grid Down would be disastrous, most I talk with would give the masses less than 3 weeks or less.
      And forget about FEMA comming to the rescue, ain’t going to happen.
      PS: Good for ypu perparing for the family possibly returning.
      One question, have you eaten those long term stuffs? They will keep ya alive….. but.

      1. I haven’t but have seen the comments about them. I guess maybe I’d loose the extra 40 pounds

        Both my kids are going to be police officers which has me worried some but up here it’s not bad but that could change. But we need good people in blue.

    2. Up North,
      I have been at it about 9 years..the prompt for us was economic..changes and increased medical needs taking a larger % of income. I have had to do it all from a lower income. These are the things you can do consistently to build reserves to add to those pre prepared bucket meals and enhance them..when preparing for extra people to arrive you have to remember if you sent 2 kids away they will return, and bring more with them.
      Be sure to get the olive oil, peanut butter and coconut oil to round out your oil reserves. Most of the kits do not have those things. Coconut oil has a shelf life of 5 years, bought in glass..peanut butter lasts 16 months beyond the date… on the kind with oil on top… olive oil put the gallons in the freezer…to further extend it’s dates and use…by how ever long it is in the freezer beyond the dates…

      Dehydrated foods require less than half of the space to store. If you pack a pint of dehydrated sweet corn, in a jar. when you rehydrate to serve it will yeild a quart.
      Meat rehydrates to roughly 3x the amount… when buying meat to dehydrate. If you want a pound dehyrated must buy at least 3 lbs.. I tried some ground beef, crumbled, browned, drained rinsed in warm water to remove the fat, dehydrated. Hubby could not tell it was pre processed. thought i had bought fresh.

      Here is one way to build food storage much cheaper… and you get to choose what is in it…get a jerky maker or dehydrator… buy frozen veggies at grocery ( they are already blanched if they need it.)and dehydrate them, allow to come to room temp. pack in jars with oxygen absorbers…(those hot hands will do it.) one per jar… in pints, quarts or half gallons. . Dry fruit can be done the same way… some are already dried.. things like raisins apples, peach slices, cranberries, blueberries, prunes…all can be bought already dried… I check moistness and if too wet will run them for an hour or so in my Jerky maker..

      Yes, if you hunt put up some of that meat as jerky…make sure it is dry enough to snap.
      If you have a canner meat is very easy to can. sausage can be made in patties browned and put in half pints or pints. processing time is 75 min at less than 1000 ft elevation.@ 10 lbs.. I get 5 patties in a half pint and prefer those for us for now…( 2 meals) Have some chicken in as i write this. meats can be raw packed or hot packed, depends on your preference…

      LiKe hot cereal? get several big containers of oatmeal,/grits/ cream of wheat.. put in freezer for 2 weeks..(below 15 degrees- up there may can put one enclosed porch, on in a sealed steel barrell. and do it.?). take out. allow to come to room temp. PACK in 2 or 3 liter cola bottles. activate a hot hands and put it in . Instant potatoes and instant rice, or regular and jasmine rice ,and all kinds of dry beans can all be done the same way…

      There are several food items that have an unlimited shelf life… among those are sugar, salt,( do not pack with oxy absober will harden them) honey,vinegar, baking soda, cream of tartar ( used with baking soda to make baking powder.)

  50. I started prepping when I returned home from a 12 month long deployment in Afghanistan. I believe several other teammates of mine did the same thing. To the surprise of most people, I believe, our prepping does not focus on firearms and ammo.

    1. Wolverine,
      😎🤙🏻
      Guns n ammo might never even be needed but food etc, is dayly

  51. I got started in 1999, right before Y2k…I was all of 13 years old. I bought a few extra boxes of pellets from wally mart. Ah, those were the naïve days! My family doesn’t believe in prepping, then or now, only I do…so I moved away from them. Sorry, not sorry. If Y2K had happened, I’d probably be dead now…no food, no guns, nothing! Thanks mom and dad, for teaching me not to be an idiot like you!

    1. Josh,,
      Good one,
      Hey, at least you had a pellet gun, one pellet to the eye, i bet you could drop somebody if it went in right, definitely ruin their day or 50!

  52. Yeah, I’m still a good shot with it. My parents wouldn’t let me use REAL firearms back then. I used to use it to shoot grasshoppers off the fence in the summer. Now, I’ve got real firearms and even make my own AK’s. I just wish my family weren’t democraps and would wake up. I mean, Hurricane Harvey came through (I’m about 170 miles from the coast-give or take 50 miles) and knocked out power for only 10 hours or so at my youngest sister’s house and she had to go stay in a hotel…yeesh. I’m off the grid, so there was no interruption in my day–and my systems is only 3 panels with six 35 AH batteries! I learned to live with less so that I could have some autonomy from the grid. People seem shocked when I tell them I live without A/C and central heat. It gets up past 100 degrees in the summer here in Texas, but all’s I need is a fan. Have a blackout and people think they’re gonna die! Being uncomfortable isn’t fatal!

  53. Grew up poor, got farmed out to my relatives farms during the summers. Chores were what ya did, no different from buchering chickens or scraping hog guts. Had a Harvard water pump in the kitchen and a wood cook stove. Shelled corn for the chickens and filled the coal bucket with cobs for the stove. Every day was something leading up to planting, haying, buchering, smoking, salting, and canning. When chores were done there were crawfish in the creek, bluegills, and bullheads. Fall was buchering time, filling the corn cribs, and silo. Hunting deer, pheasants, duck, rabits, and even squirrel. I don’t think grandma couldn’t make out of something we cought or shot taste good. Putting food up is just a part of living. Call it prepping if ya want. As to surival skills, definately, without a doubt at four collecting eggs from the biggest meanest leg horn hens.

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