What You Have Will Be All There Is

If and when the system collapses to the extent of what some may call long-term SHTF, not only will society unravel into social chaos, but from the standpoint of supply and re-supply, it is likely that “what you have will be all there is”. At least for awhile…

The following is food for thought. I put this out there several years ago. However, my mood today has me tweaking this post for re-publish. So much uncertainty in our world today. Horrible and catastrophic leadership. War, and the MIC desire for more… The moral decay of our citizenry. And the results thereof. Fragile and breaking supply chains. The idiotic policy decisions making it so much worse. It’s all such a mess. So I wonder, what if it all comes down for real… What if.

For those of you who are doing Preparedness Level 3 & 4.
Here’s something to think about:

Since the aforementioned levels of preparedness hypothesize SHTF to the extent of being prepared for a year or longer, a likely statement may be as follows:

When it hits the fan, what you have will be all there is.

At least that’s how I suggest you look at it.

If you’re reaching into preps due to a Level 3 event, there has been some serious SHTF that has occurred. This will be nothing like Level 1 or 2 (typical preparedness for a week or two, or maybe a month or two or three).

Assuming this Level 3 event is not a singular personal event but an all encompassing societal collapse, it will be downright dangerous. The reality in this scenario is that many, many people may even lose their lives.

Reaching a level of preparedness to survive 6 months, a year, or longer, implies the notion of a very, VERY serious disaster. Although a disastrous event of this magnitude may seem much less likely to occur, is it really that unlikely in today’s upside-down world?

If and when it hits the fan, what you have will be all there is.

Level 4 is the ultimate in preparedness. To transition from being supplied and secured for 1 year to actually being relatively (and truly) self-sustaining is huge, and VERY difficult.

To prepare at this level implies that you’re either striving for total off-grid self sustaining sufficiency (because you just want to), AND/OR you are preparing for a colossal far & wide reaching disaster.

– ModernSurvivalBlog.com “Prepping & Preparedness 1 – 4”

So this is why it’s a good thought to process… What you have will be all there is.

Granted, there may be opportunity to acquire, trade, share, barter, or ‘take’ when it’s appropriate. However you sure better not count on it.

It can be (and is) exceedingly challenging to truly be prepared at a high level for a very long duration of time.

To depend solely on your preps (and skills) for survival during such a long time (and to be successful) requires tremendous forethought, preparation, skills, people, and a portion of plain old luck.

“Why” do I say “What you have will be all there is” ?

Living under SHTF of this magnitude will mean:

– There will be no .gov assistance. They simply cannot and will not be able to provide at anywhere close to this magnitude. In fact under this hypothetical, there may be no effective .gov at all… Things will become very local / tribal.

– Economic collapse will have destroyed “the system”. All else dependent upon it will have crumbled too. That means pretty much everything.

– The Trucks will have stopped rolling like they are today. If you would like to know what that means, read my article titled “When The Trucks Stop It’s Over”. Suffice it to say, trucks carry nearly all goods that we depend upon for our survival.

– Products will not be pouring into our seaports from overseas like they are today, if at all. How much do we depend on overseas product? Lots (unfortunately).

– Social collapse will have torn apart the fabric of civility. Cities will have suffered enormous turmoil and death. A similar situation will have ripped apart most all densely populated regions while desperate people do what they do. Many will not survive it. Even many of those who “are prepared” will not make it there.

– Of course all stores of all kinds will have long ago been stripped clean of their useful inventory. More specifically, food supplies. Long gone.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

When the SHTF at Level 3 or above, what you have will be all there is.
At least, for a time. An unknown amount of time.

Since we’re talking about the hypothetical, we do not preemptively know the ultimate outcome. Maybe crisis resolution will come. Or maybe it will come later. Maybe it won’t come at all but morph into a new and permanent way of life.

Food for thought.

I fear that many preppers, and I’ve been guilty of this also, believe that they will survive shtf by living like their pioneer fore-fathers. If you step back and look at it objectively, that ain’t gonna happen. Our fore-bearers had it tough, without doubt, they were tough and resilient, but they had something that we won’t have. What we won’t have is a functioning infrastructure with industry producing goods they were unable to make themselves nor functioning law enforcement to give any semblance of protection from predators. There will be no safe haven with food and shelter to run to. We will be faced with not only providing for our sustenance, but with retaining what we produce.

If you already have enough acreage that you can reasonably expect to produce the food for you and your family, and the where-with-all to protect it and preserve it from growing season to growing season, you may make it. At least until you fail to accomplish even one of those requirements. If you don’t already have these things in place, your chances are grim. You have few choices but to become a scavenger once your stored preps are gone.

I say these things because if the U.S. collapses, no doubt the economies of the world will follow. They ain’t gonna be no “sugar momma” coming to anybody’s rescue. Who and what you are is all you will ever be.


[ Read: Valued Preparations & Preparedness BEFORE The Crisis Hits ]

[ Read: 8 Lessons Learned From The Great Depression ]

It’s All Coming Down…


  1. Farm equipment needs fuel. This will not be the days of horse drawn plows and 10 children to help hoe a garden, help pick it and preserve it. Maybe some will have walk behind plows. You are right about the ruggedness of the older generations. Tough as a cob some would say.

  2. Yep, not enough hours in the day. I can’t do the physical labor I once could. I can try, in small doses. Just did some roto-tilling in the garden. It looks good, for now. I know all about running a hoe, do it every day. When the fuel runs dry, no more roto. Maintaining a large garden is TONS of work. Even then, you’re at the mercy of weather and other considerations; thieves, etc. Maintaining my small wind/solar to power the chest freezer takes a little time. Not to mention security, which could lead to my demise.

    I know I’m always harping on comms. To me, it’s a huge time saver. Even a very limited network of neighbors can be hugely beneficial with security. Who needs help or can provide help with this or that. Water will require some effort in the long term. Who has it and who needs it? With comms, security can be handled by a few. Without comms, it’s every man for himself. Then there is bartering for unforeseen needs. Comms is way better than walking several miles, just to see if a neighbor has the needed widget.

    I’m not a military man, but even I can see how important comms are. Not sure where on the 1-4 scale comms fit. I do know, without comms, you’re truly alone out there. Very vulnerable. Easily fixed while sitting in your air-conditioned home. Just my humble opinion. If ya don’t have it………

    1. Plainsmedic,
      If you have diesel, you will always be able to make fuel. It’s taken me several years, but I have picked up two small (5 & 6 hp) diesel motors to replace gas ones on equipment. Perhaps I should write an article for Ken on the basics of making bio-diesel. Something to think about.

        1. Scout,
          Old school mechanical. Found filters online for both, as well as free download of manuals. Easy technology that even this ol miner can wrap his head around. What better way to learn the nitty gritty of diesel technology than having a couple of small units to play with. Knowledge gained by “hands on experience ” far and away better than trying to sort it out from a manual imho.

        2. Minerjim,
          thanks jim for the heads up on the motors. never buy anything with electronic diesel fuel injection. trust me on this. i have dabbled in the business in the past and have good friends in the business still. they make a fortune off of electronic fuel injectors and pump replacement parts because they are so unreliable. it’s somewhat of a cottage industry in this area.
          also mechanical fuel injection is EMP/CME proof, all you have to do is spin the motor and it will do the rest.

        3. Kulafarmer & Scout,
          Found both small diesels on Craigslist. The 5 hp is a Petter, likely used on a genset as it has an adjustable internal governor, the 6hp is a Hatz with friction clutch that came off of a plate compactor. Have been looking online. These smaller diesels seem to be more prolific on the Eastern side of the country. I lucked out and found both of these on the Western slope. The old machinist that had them gave me a gift of them at $80 each. So keep looking, they are out there

      1. Yes, Miner if you have the time. I looked into to it years back. I recall you need lye, oil and something starting with an M?

        1. Mrs U,
          Right you are. Basically any liquid oil or fat can be converted. Oil, lye, and methyl alcohol. Although ethyl alcohol (NRP “s parts cleaner) can be substituted. Similar to making soap. The process makes biodiesel (an ester) with glycerin as a by-product. Only issue with biodiesel I can see is the ” cloud point” is around 27f, which means it’s not a cold weather fuel unless you can heat it and keep it warm. BTW, I have read where the oil pressed from an acre of canola will approach 200#, or ~25 gallons. Doesn’t seem like much, but a lot if normal petrodiesel can’t be had.

        2. Minerjim & All
          Actually most Diesel will run on about anything ya can pour into the tank, sure it’s going to “gunk” up everything and it may not run after you shut it down, but if your needing to get yar azz home If/When than ya gata do what ya gata to do.
          Take a look around, how many thousands of Electrical Transformers are hanging around filled with Mineral Oil that WILL burn in that Old Clunker Diesel.
          PS: When making that Parts Cleaner the first part of the ‘Run’ is methanol alcohol, a good cup or so from a 5 gallon run.
          DO NOT CONSUME Parts Cleaner!!!

        3. NRP,
          I believe the amount of methyl alcohol needed is 10-15% iirc. One thing about bio-diesel is that it acts like detergent in your engine. Make sure you have extra oil filters, you’ll need them once you initially switch to biofuel. It will take out all the carbon build up from the petrodiesel. As I mentioned, you can substitute ethyl alcohol, but it takes more. Then again ethyl alcohol (“E” is for edible) is easier to get than the methyl. I guess you could use your Ghost Chili Headbuster to make biodiesel, it would be like “high test”, but the exhaust would burn your eyes.

      2. Minerjim,

        Do I remember correctly you saying you have a 1960’s Ford 4000 tractor? I have the 52hp diesel version 4000.
        Mechanical pump and injectors…will run all day on 5 gal of diesel.

        1. Dennis,
          Oh yeah! Mine has that “select-o-speed” tyranny in it. It keeps going and going, can’t kill it ( I tried my best. Lol). It’s a little hard to get down the vineyard rows, I seem to be taking out 1 or 2 posts each time I mow. (Rows must be shrinking) . I am looking to buy a 40 hp Kioti tractor that is about 1 foot skinnier. I’ll keep the Big Blue Ford to handle the hay fields.

        2. Dennis,
          Do you have a manual tyranny on your Ford 4000? I have a friend that is offering me one so I can replace my “select-o-speed” tyranny. Think it is worth the trouble? Thanks for your opinion.

        3. Minerjim,

          Yes, the manual. I understand that some folks experienced problems with the select-o-speed. I have no experience with it, but if I wasn’t having problems and were you, I wouldn’t argue with success. Splitting the case ain’t a simple task unless you’re set up for it. On the other hand, if you can get the tranny cheap to have on hand just in case……

        4. Minerjim,
          i’m not familiar with the name “select-o-speed”. is that a hydro static transmission ? if so there may need to be done some re-routing of the hydraulic lines. replacing the tranny may be the easy part if so. most tractors with a hydro static drive like the Kabota’s have one hydraulic pump that powers everything, tranny, brakes, steering, PTO and the 3 point hitch. check it out good before you commit
          good luck

        5. Dennis, Scout,

          Yes the “Select-o-speed” is kind of a hydrostatic tranny. I am having issues with the tractor, it seems that the speeds in all the given gears have slowed significantly over the past year and a half. I suspect that it is not the tranny per se, but that the ‘overdrive clutch’ between the engine and tranny has gotten oil soaked by a leak in the front transmission seal. Yeah, gonna have to break the Ol Beast apart to replace that seal and the overdrive clutch.( i have replaced this clutch before) I know that if the SOS tranny ever went south, I’d never be able to sort it out on my own, that is why i am looking at exchanging with this manual one. My friend is a tractor mechanic and he has like 3 manual trannys sitting around. 2 is 1 and 1 is none.

  3. Dennis said it best above, it’s bad to say but if you don’t have the ways or means to plant two acres or more every year and keep it worked you won’t make it for more than a year. farming is hard physical work and you have to be out there every day to make it work. and then there is the weather, no mater how hard you work at it, their is no guaranty.
    i have said this before but if you are going to depend on growing food always plant enough for two years or longer if possible. you never know what the next year will bring.
    there are so many articles about raised beds. yea, grow it and then try and live off of what you grow for a year, no cheating. it’s great for hobbyists but there is a reason that large commercial growers don’t do that. row’s make more use of the land.
    and a way to preserve what you grow. i like canning. i have hundreds of jars and gross’s of lids put back. we buy lids every time we see some. i can plant and work my three acre garden with 5 gallons of diesel in one and 3 gal of gas in the other tractor every year if i don’t do anything else with em.
    we only planted a half acre this year, i called it using up all of our old stock to rotate it (we still have 3 yo canned goods that need to be used up) and to let the garden spots rest and recharge. but really it was an excuse for me to sit down for a while and rest : )

  4. If the USA were to collapse as mentioned, do not think for one minute China would not move in and take over. Lack of being prepper will be the least of your worries.

    1. @jcb. Yes China could move in and take over but I think it will be the people you trust the most (or least) – your own government. Poopy-pants Joe and his elite, corporate partners will be the ones who take all you have and then enslave you to their “hive” network. It’s already being done. Vaccine mandates, transgender mandates, gun mandates. If you have a social security number, you’re part of the plan.

      “What you have is all there is”, and if you aren’t willing to fight for it, if you aren’t willing to stand up to the coming evil, then accept the Gulag and STFU.

    2. Food & water to get by ’till then. What nation do you reside? This Great Reset is WORLD WIDE so your comment should be taken w/a grain of salt. China/Russian lead UN troops will someday be every ones overlord. You, even if you were a shill for them, will no longer be needed. As well as said troops. After the round ups, their services are no longer required. Termination in every sense of the word.

      1. @Motorhead.

        Short-sightedness can be a problem in today’s “woke” society. If you aren’t willing to defend your own neighbor, your own community, your own town, then, your ass is grass. Yes. China/Russia troops will knock down your door and drag you away – IF you let Poopy-pants Joe continue to erode your God-given rights.

        I stand by my comment. You sir, can stand on your mountain of salt – until it dissolves into the Communist sea.

  5. “What you have will be all there is…” IF you can keep it. If theft is already rising in these early days of inflation, just think how bad things will get later. With only two of us here, I don’t see us leaving for any type of barter, especially miles and miles from home. Maybe our grown son here could do it; he has quite a network through PD, FD, EMS, etc. Like I said, just trying to keep what we have and could grow would be the biggest challenge, I think.

  6. Minerjim,
    I didn’t realize there were diesel engines that small. For now at least, I’ve got woodgas as a back-up. Not the best solution maybe, but a solution. Nothing easy about any of this. More time invested, etc. At some point, a trip to town would be fruitless anyway.

    “just trying to keep what we have…” All the more reason for comms. If ya know they’re coming….

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