A Survivalist’s Motto


“If you don’t prepare, you could lose everything. If you prepare for the worst and nothing happens, you’ve lost nothing.”

Given the dangers and risks in the world today, it just makes sense to prepare.

The prepper / preparedness movement has gained a-lot of traction over the years, and it has been happening for a reason. More people are ‘getting it’. They are becoming more aware of our problems and risks as an indebted, dependent, and densely populated society.

“…if nothing happens, you’ve lost nothing.” You might compare preparedness to an insurance policy, although with an important exception… Unlike conventional insurance policies where you pay cash into the plan and then if nothing happens (e.g. you didn’t need it) you have nothing to show for it. With survival-preparedness you will have lost nothing as you have procured tangible supplies and hard assets (and skills) which are yours, in your possession. Tangible. You can still use them…

It’s an insurance policy where you are paying premiums – to yourself!

The survivalist, the prepper, (the preparedness-minded) will not go through their future blindly as sheeple being led by their ‘masters’; but instead they will lead themselves, they will think for themselves, discovering the risks, adapting solutions for them. Taking charge of their own life.

So the survivalist, the prepper, (the preparedness-minded), they (we) prepare for an uncertain future. The survivalist takes charge of their own future. They commit the time to learn the truths beyond the mainstream marketing propaganda. They discover and understand the systemic risks of society. They know that one day the price will be paid for our debt-laden lifestyle (as individuals and nations), knowing that nothing in life comes for free.

Being prepared not only sets you up to survive, it provides peace of mind.

Just remember this:
By not preparing, you are preparing to fail.

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  1. Exactly. This is the reason why insurance exists – just in case. When you pay $2000 a year for house insurance, you pay $20,000 in 10 years, $40,000 in 20. All wasted if no claims were made. But in year 21, you have a house fire that destroys everything. That $40,000 investment now seems like a good idea.

    1. anonymous
      We can a test to the fact the house insurance did & does pay. Total loss of everything, from a druggie starting a fire while mowing his weeds so the county could not fine him again. Not the only ones effected by the major loss. If it happens again we a taking the money paying off everything. We will live in travel trailer before I waste money on another house at our age.

  2. I can pinpoint when the light bulb went on. Once deciding to do something and then take action starting to expand areas of life, be it pantry, water, security, medical, learning new things, growing stuff, financial management and chucking the unneeded things and habits; life is a lot more satisfying.

    More contented doing what feels right for us. We like our home base and life direction.

    After that the rest just seems like noise that we have turned down the volume on, not ignoring but absorb and decide if we give a sh$t and take action, or not give a sh$t and move on.

    Will expanding our “insurance” ever be done? Probably not, but it’s always about enjoying the journey. The end points aren’t always that big of a deal.

    1. Will expanding our “insurance” ever be done? Probably not, but it’s always about enjoying the journey. The end points aren’t always that big of a deal.

      Well said Grey.

      1. @ Peanut Gallery

        I have got to ask, do you still have that Colman Camping Stove?

        What a great story.


        1. I sure do NRP. Green paint peeling in places but it still works when the power goes out.

    2. That last bit is oh so true,
      For myself, the biggest problem is that built in urge to jump back on the normalcy treadmill, to work a normal job or to do stuff like run up credit, rather than striving to make our space better working with what i have and staying within my farm/homebase.
      Am always more satisfied when i am just working the farm and working around here, for some reason keep getting sucked into the vortex though

  3. I have found there to be different phases to my prepping.

    Discovery: a person, book, article or event suddenly or perhaps slowly brings you to the realization that you need to prep.

    Overwhelmed: so much to be learned and acquired.

    Relationships: discovering that you are not alone and MSB exists with its wealth of support. The opposite of this is that you may find yourself feeling alone among family and friends.

    Satisfaction: the feeling you have when you are secure in the basics.

    Uh- oh. Gulp: I went over budget!

    Confused: contradictory information.

    Impatience: not enough accomplished. So much left to do.

    Wisdom: I am preparing, will continue to do so and will enjoy the process and feeling.

    All the other phases don’t matter anymore. I would, however, miss all of you at MSB if for any reason the site disappeared.

    Thank you Ken.

    1. “I would, however, miss all of you at MSB if for any reason the site disappeared.”

      I agree Pieface, it’s nice to be able to connect with people on the same wave length. I don’t feel so alone anymore. Throughout the early years I was beginning to think I was nuts as I was the only one that I knew with the prepper mindset.

      Now I have some family members that get it. They have started their long journey. I offer help and suggestions when I can.

    2. Real good point on the finding yourself feeling alone amongst family and friends, its a tough one too, because yea, chatting about this stuff here or on other sites with like minded folks fills part of that void, it would be really nice to be able to talk to our significant other about this stuff and have some of the same goals or interests when it comes to preparedness, would be nice to have any response other than the “I dont want to talk about it” and mind you, im not over the top, but to the person who wont even consider or take steps it is, just sort of a tough spot to be in.

    3. I failed to mention “humour”. You learn to laugh when projects are a disaster and when an item isn’t quite cracked up to what it was advertised to be.
      And let us not forget toilet paper! Right NRP?

      Stay frosty.

      1. @ pieface

        600 rolls of TP is not ‘too much’. :-) :-)

        That’s per person of course… HAHAHA


      2. @ pieface again

        I have been told that if I did not have a sense of humor, I’d have no sense at all, not sure if that’s a compliment or what….. hummmmmmm


  4. Yep,,,,its just a buffer that allows me to sleep better knowing i can make do pretty much through anything, im sure theres some stuff i wont be prepared for but i will be able to weather most things that come up and have come up in the past, its not if, but when,

  5. Thanks Ken for this reminder to so many if they choose to read. And yes to those who comment on this site being a good place to comment when we think we are alone & others think we are nuts.

  6. Yes, living a preparedness lifestyle is a blessing and rewarding
    (and hard work too). :)

    I just read this from agriculture website:
    “Blizzard conditions and heavy snow swept western Kansas, including 14 to 20 inches in Colby in the northwestern quadrant of the No. 1 winter wheat state in the nation, said the Weather Channel. “We lost the western Kansas wheat crop this weekend. Just terrible,” tweeted Justin Gilpin, chief executive of the grower-funded Kansas Wheat Commission.”

    With increasing severe/extreme weather just about everywhere, preparing for shortages and such becomes more and more of a priority.

    If more people who could even do one thing (garden, chickens, rabbits….) our food system would be more stable and less fragile.

    How about those storms? We had tornado warning 10 minutes north of us yesterday. Storms were pretty intense.
    A few miles west of us, power was out.
    Good friends we know asked to keep milk from farm in our frig, till their power was back on. We had power but if needed we have solar, so we could still power our frigs/freezer.

    On another note, when I watch how-to’s on Youtube, I love to see young people teaching others how to live off the land…a hope for the future!

    And yes, as others have said, this community is the amazing
    we share, we learn, we laugh, we care…

    Wisdom, Peace, Strong Health, and Love be with you all
    Good Shepherd bless you…

    1. I just read this from agriculture website:
      “Blizzard conditions and heavy snow swept western Kansas, including 14 to 20 inches in Colby in the northwestern quadrant of the No. 1 winter wheat state in the nation, said the Weather Channel. “We lost the western Kansas wheat crop this weekend. Just terrible,” tweeted Justin Gilpin, chief executive of the grower-funded Kansas Wheat Commission.”

      Just discussing this with Gene..implications?? Many.

      1. @ Jay Jay

        Can anyone say food prices going WAY up???
        Even more reasoning to get prepared, just a little more.


      2. JayJay

        Well, yes, we are facing a shortage of grains, avocados… But have you heard of the REALLY bad shortage coming up?

        Ice Cream! Oh no!

  7. Always better to have it an not need it, than to need it and not have it!
    Words I live by!

  8. Good reminder article , we need that from time to time .We look at things from a self-reliance standpoint . We try not to be too dependent on the outside community. The peace of mind and comfort that others are on the same page with us on things is very comforting .
    We consider set asides as “insurance” and as a hedge against inflation. We have little faith in the stock/bond markets so we invest in things that we will use in the future.

  9. I am able to help my two boys a little. Oldest, 46, is an eye roller when he gets prep items for Christmas. His new wife is more receptive and likes to gets items for her bucket. Youngest, 36, leans more to prep ideas but has to support the family. They just received a family birthday present of a Berkey Light. I love them so I am a bit of insurance. After all they have my grandbabies!!!

  10. I look at our food storage and feel safe and secure.
    I’ve never looked at our bank statement like that.

    1. Words of wisdom. I couldn’t agree more. “Money” could vanish in an instant. My definition of money weighs heavily towards tangible practical assets in my physical possession. Especially those directly related to preparedness, self-reliance and self-sufficiency.

    2. Modern Throwback
      That is an analogy that I will pass on to my youngest sister. There are times she needs a good reminding, and those few chosen words are outstanding.

  11. Thank You Ken!!! I’ve just shared this article with at least a dozen family members and friends who I’ve been trying to convince to start getting prepared!!

    If they continue to ignore after reading this logic, I may have to give up on ever reaching them!!!

  12. Ok everyone, y-all ready to roll yar eyes at the old fart NRP?

    ‘Lifestyle’, is my word for preparedness/prepper/survivalist/u-name-it. I believe that when one buys that first can of beans and a box of matches for ‘just in case’ you have become one living the ‘Lifestyle’. That can of beans, as Ken pointed out, is insurance for next week so ya have something to eat. Those matches are for when your cold and need warming.

    The question I like to ask is, how much ‘insurance you have on your home? On your car? Health, life, dental, eye-care, Liability????? Do you have the bare minimal that the ‘law’ requires? Or do you have two cans of beans and 4 matches?

    I have often asked myself why do I have the mindset of preparedness, have a well-stocked Deep Pantry, and live this Lifestyle? It’s not because of all the recent talk of War and EMPs or a Pandemic; it’s not from worrying about eating next week because the JIT inventory stopped, a massive economic crash, or even a forest fire moving through. And lastly it’s not because of ANY sort of ‘worry’. The reason I try to live as I do, because when I run out of olives for my Martini, I can simply go to my Pantry and grab another jar, I can go to the Garden and pick some Lettice/Vegs for a salad, or I can just build a fire in the fire-ring and relax knowing if the world basically goes to hell in a handbasket, I’m able to make it those 1-2 years with the ‘stuff’ and skills I have acquired. May have to cut the Olive usage a little though… HAHAHA

    Most will tell you things will be really REALLY bad for 95% of the Country if/when TSHTF, I totally agree, my friends sheeple are for lack of a better word, stupid AND dangerous. We all, ALL, have the opportunity to become prepared, (and please don’t ANYONE try to give the BS line “I can’t, I don’t have the money”…. Blah Blah Blah). Put a little away each week/month. I do NOT feel sorry for anyone that does NOT buy the Prepper-Insurance.

    Sorry for the Rant…..
    NRP aka, the black tomato guy

    1. @NRP, aka the TP Warrior King, aka The Black Tomato Guy..

      Good rant, I give it a 10 and also belated bonus points for a previous post resurrecting TP humor which has been quiet recently.

      1. Grey

        ‘TP Maharishi’ if ya don’t mind…. HAHAHA

        10+ points? Holy Cow, can ya just imagine if I got really fired up???


    2. I have to laugh when people say “I don’t have the money.” I’ve basically been unemployed for six years. My garden is 0$ budget and I’ve learned to live on nothing. A pair of pants from the thrift store is something I save for. If you have a source of income, you have the money.

  13. Aye… I’ve used the insurance analogy with Mrs. McGyver; blank stare. And woe unto me when she ventures into the shed and finds something near the best-by date. I won’t stop hearing about that for weeks.

    Yet she was knocked out flat with a bad stomach flu since Sunday. Every time she asked for something – Crackers, Ginger ale, Ensure, whatever… it just ‘appeared’ two minutes later. A car ride and trip to the store was not necessary.

    I guess with some people you need to just nod your head in agreement, and keep right on doing the right thing.

  14. The guys I work with laugh at me when I talk about prepper stuff. They say it is a waste of money. One of them has a drag car and travels around to different race tracks. One of the other guys gets into 4 wheeling and spent several thousand buck on a big 4 wheeler. And another guy drinks all of his money. So how foolish am I for spending my money on food, garden and guns.

  15. Thanks, Ken. As DH gets more involved in this lifestyle, I have been sharing many of the things I have learned on this site including the other mottos. Two is one, one is none. The rule of threes. I’ve used the insurance explanation, and this motto is a great way to share it.

  16. Amazing the neighbor who helps us on occasion, was telling us his SO who’s dad is heavily invested in the market wanted to know where to move his money for the next best money maker. His financial advisor said, ‘Water-Food-Ammo-Guns’, not what our neighbors dad was expecting, prepper insurance.

    He was interested as to WHY the advisor would say such a thing. Since he is open to learning without giving anything away explained to him about the rule of 3 when shopping or using anything off the shelf. Liked that idea so we have the beginning of another self reliant person, his SO, is another story.

  17. I grew up very poor, with a miserable childhood. We have worked hard to teach our children how not to make stupid mistakes, and the importance of being self sufficient, or, as self sufficient as you can possibly get.
    I sleep better at nights, knowing my grandchildren can still eat, when things are in the toilet economically, politically, socially.
    I well remember my parents taking some of us kids to various car dealerships having “free hot dogs and drinks”, for a test drive., so we could eat.
    Don’t eat many hot dogs now other than when at Costco, or Dodger Stadium, but that memory still lingers like the Sword of Damocles.
    We choose to live a completely different life. So, we prepare for ourselves and our family. I have zero regrets about it.

  18. To TPSnodgrass:

    Yeah I can relate. My family was middle class and I was youngest of the hoard. Some siblings were takers and others like me were savers. This did not change entering adulthood. We were in the same state (“Golden State”-according to the motto..) Like you, I did some years in Southern CA law enforcement and did more time driving ambulance and riding helicopters as a paramedic.

    Simply said, spending 6 years as a cop and 8+ years as a paramedic in large cities and small towns does not tend to create an optimistic personality. I took a job within hospitals because I got tired of playing bumper tag on the freeway and getting rained on. Dirtiest job I ever had: wildland firefighter.

    All the above careers meant that I met a of people. Including those that feel entitled to more…Addicts that use their body as a playground and then wonder why they cannot get a liver transplant or get free patch up at the local Emergency Department after they did something stupid. The more people like that I meet, the instinct for me is to go home, lay in supplies of all types, clean my gun and tend to my family and loved ones.

    Many on this site are like me: older than 45 years, family and pets, have seen some hard times or lived through them. We all have: “insurance” in a variety of forms. This site is wonderful in that it is a sounding board for things that: “worked for me” or were failures. Experience cannot be bought and it is never listed on the curriculum of any college or university. (but it is in Trade Schools and Community Colleges in the form of internships and apprentice programs)

    I am a saver. It is a part of my personality. Many of the rants I read on this site are about family members with: “different priorities” . We each have our own solution to this issue. Some involve bags of lime and backhoes along with warehouses full of TP.

    1. @ CaliRefugee

      “Some involve bags of lime and backhoes along with warehouses full of TP.”

      Now where in the heck did that come from????? :-) :-) :-)

      Interesting thing about Karma, if yar nice to me, I’m nice back, BUTTTTTTT enough said I believe.

      That the tough thing about being a Buddhist, there is a very fine line if you punch me in the face, do I punch you back? Or turn the other cheek as some would want to think? Up until the time when/if TSHTF and the WORL hits, after that all bets are off and I WILL protect myself and those that deserve the help needed.

      Like you I believe I’m more of a nice quiet sort of person that’s wont squash a bug, until the wrong button is hit or I’m shot at.

      BTW, I only have one warehouse full of TP…. HAHAHAHA


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