When It Hits The Fan – What You Have Will Be All There Is…

What you have will be all there is

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.

Assuming this Level 3 event is not a singular personal event but an all encompassing 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 many months, a year, 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 unlikely?

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, 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.

More: Valued Preparations & Preparedness BEFORE The Crisis Hits

More: 8 Lessons Learned From The Great Depression

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  1. Not to worry yet, I will be on vacation in March. It will surely happen while I’m away so don’t worry until March.

    1. actually – that SHTF situation doesn’t rise to the level we are talking about – the destruction and deaths (not yet) aren’t here – resources are still available – it’s chaotic but not WROL (not yet) – there’s bugging out to relief available ….

      it’s bad – but we are are talking about hell on earth here ….

    2. A relevant article at “the Organic Prepper” “10 Home Security Secrets from Venezuela”

      1. Old Chevy chuckle I too enjoy her Blog, good stuff.

        Most of my take away in a Socialist Nightmare (Not fully SHTF) was Do not look like a juicy Target. Thus my advice in full SHTF Go Dark.

  2. Potable water is a main concern and we have that covered with a year round stream, a spring and a well on our property.We also have a Berkey .
    Our 1800 s.f. garden,fruit trees and berry bushes all produce well .We can, dehydrate or freeze our crops.We store heirloom seeds. We do not have animals at this time so we pressure can chicken, turkey,beef and pork .
    We have a propane supply that will let us cook for 5 years.We keep at least 2 years of firewood on hand and we have some timber on the property and we are surrounded by trees .
    We have enough ammo to shoot game and to repel varmints.
    We try and have extra everything , hand tools, clothing,pots& pans. lots of first aid/medical supplies,eyeglasses, nails,nuts, bolts and the list goes on. We try to have good “how to” books on hand to help us in areas we are weak in .
    We will never be 100% ready for a level 3 or 4, but we will be a long way ahead of the sheeple that do not plan at all .

  3. 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.
    Yet, I prep. I’m a hardheaded old fart who’ll survive just because giving up ain’t in me, or die because it was meant to be. I’m guessing I’m not alone.

    1. I Fortunately already live in a community that is for the most part self sustainable. If everything stopped right now we wouldn’t miss a beat.

    2. Dennis,
      Live like their pioneer forefathers,,,,
      You mean to the ripe old age of 40!
      Cause that was right in the range of life expectancy for American pioneers

      1. Was just sayin, 😎👍🏻 Sorta puts it in perspective though, when you consider that they were living the way they had been for a while

  4. When SHTF what you AND your Tribe has is all you have. Remembering what I have seen in Bosnia (ethnic cleansing/Civil War) and how people and Gov.com has done in recent major disasters there are some grim facts to deal with.

    #1 It is far to easy to destroy or steal and hard work to build.
    #2 your two greatest problems aside from the basics of survival (food, shelter etc.) is People and Gov.com. Good people will do bad things when the kids are hungry or mob anger decides YOU have too much GIMMIE DAT! Bad people with out fear of punishment will become even more bold and evil (The Bosnian Rape Farms and worse). Gov.com will steal at first using “for the greater good” then more as a armed and organized criminal gang. Otherwise fine people will sell you out for a “Good Citizen Award” of possible food or reward.

    How is my tribe planning on avoiding these issue? Most situations of Gov.com and GIMMIE DATS! will die out in about 30-45 days. Go DARK. That generator noise and lights is a welcome mat for MILES away. Smell of BBQ and such, you BETTER get out your fine china as Guests will be coming by. Build serious defenses. Fighting towers do require planning (Have you Walked your property for hidden visitor routes yet?) Can you encourage visitors into route YOU Prefer? Do you know where to dig fighting positions, how to make them effective? Do you have communications thought out? 2 Cans and a string are not perfect but better than yelling. Speaking of strings do you know how and where to set up string-can and rocks alarms? Do you know that rain water can ruin that alarm unless you put drain holes? For some of you this is easy stuff, for others not so much. Much more. Just a few hours of walking your property with an eye to sneaky visitors and fields of observation and fire can do much.

    Do you know how to Stop a Wheeled Vehicle (even an MRAP) do you know where you want to stop it? Have you planned where you are going to have a “Fallen Tree” to keep that Pickup truck full of “GIMMIE DATS! from even finding your homestead. Even US Army Patrols dislike leaving their support vehicles to wander where they know nothing about. Criminals unless heading to a known (Generator anybody?) house with Stuff tend to find some where easier.

    Have a plan B as in Olive Barrel supplies to start over if your tribe must fight a retreating battle and give up your Plan A Homestead. Think digging Hobbit Homes so store heavy duty black plastic sheeting as well as clear. Soddy’s had lousy leaky, dirt dropping ceilings, we can afford to prevent that.

    1. I have an aquaintence who escaped his town in Bosnia in his pajamas with one shoe,,,, the stories he told me wete sobering, is one reason i have very little faith in people,
      IMHO having a plan B, C, and D is abgood idea,
      Gov.com already has the EOs to aquire all your stuff, the fact that major metros are all leftist through and through isnt real comforting, especially knowing their track record.
      I think where you are will make a huge difference, gov. Commy will need broad support to pull off large scale appropriations, if your community is already fairly close knit then the outcomes may be quite different, but i could be wrong, anyones guess is as good

  5. If this SHTF at Level 3 or 4 actually happens, within the next 12 months, pretty much my DW and I are toast after about 120 days. The funny thing is, I’m okay with that. I’m not going to just roll over and die but I have no desire to live in TEOTWAWKI. Perhaps if I was in my 30-50’s I’d give it a try but not now. I’m 67, partially disabled, my DW is 69, partially disabled, and I’m tired of all the BS around me I have no control over. I’m also tired of worrying that the end is near when actually nothing will probably happen in my lifetime or yours. Sometimes I feel like all we as preppers do is worry instead of enjoying what we have and life as it is.
    I trust no one but my DW and myself. I’m trying to reach 6 months sufficiency and that’s it. I can’t afford much more sufficiency wise as we’re on fixed incomes and are comfortable but not able to spend money on big ticket prepper items like a BOL site, ranch, farm, dehydrater, canner, etc. we have a house, two cars, and would be considered lower middle class at this time with us both being retired. So, don’t worry, be happy!

    1. Agreed. This is not about worry. It’s simply about a sobering way to think about it for those who feel that they are prepping at that level.

      And there’s little doubt that the elderly will have a very difficult time of it, even if prepared. Just the way it is.

    2. 😎👍🏻
      Your not alone, some things are not really worth surviving,
      Honestly, i dont have the energy nor desire to rebuild society, most things about society i already dont like

      1. “some things are not really worth surviving”
        Very true words. I have often said I don’t prep to survive I prep because I am afraid I will survive.
        I am in the same position as Broadwing,in my sixties as is my wife. Way to old and beat up to think I will run off to the woods and live on bark and bugs. I do have at least a year supply of food for 3-4 people so will probably make it through anything short term but I also have no desire to live through a total collapse.

        1. So true, the reality is, we are more likely to see a time of scarcity than anything else,
          Just look at Venezuela for extreme or PuertoRico for a disaster induced situation, the world around them still functions, sorta, but they are in a heap of trouble. Im sure many in either country would be glad to have preps like most of the folks here.

    3. This made me laugh, I was a very healthy, strong “bench pressed 400LB’s at 180 pound body weight” and ran up the mountains with out stopping back in the 1980’s. Through the years my shoulders gave out, six knee surgeries and arthritis took over. The, waking up one day and going ouch, “what the hell was that” is so true. Now I watch my diet, walk, not run up the mountain and try not to do anymore damage to myself. Injuries take for ever to heal and exhaustion comes much more quickly. I too, would like to know where he lives LOL. The rust age in not for the timid!

  6. The reason I wrote the Bosnian situation was to remind folks of the evils I have seen and how good people reduced the effects of it and thus their tribe survived to move forward.

    I am aware of at least two men who think there high tech rifles and night scopes will make them Apex Predators here in NH. They think of others less warlike as sheep. Baaaa, I will have their weapons if they cross my tribe.

    We prepare for small SHTF like job loss, we prepare for bigger SHTF like power outage for a few weeks. We have no idea what is coming down the road so we prepare. You are a Prepper or a Future Victim, I choose not to put me and mine in Victim mode.

  7. Yes space is the key we would all gather to make soap,raise a barn,some types of canning as well as the harvest. Afterwards everyone went back home you came to town to buy,trade or sell then you went home. Sundays were the day of worship and fellowship this was a time of planning by many for no phones ment it was all face to face then you went home.
    We came together worked or played to gather then we went home that has worked since about forever it still works today.

    1. That right there is exactly the old school i am hoping prevades our somewhat small community

  8. You are right. Once the lights go out, that’s it. What you have will be all there is… and that is exactly why I’ve tried to prepare to do without re-supply for at least a year or more.

    I’m 70 years old and DW and I have developed a life-style that enables us to provide most of what we need if the economy crumbles or the lights go out long term and I’m confident we can quickly adapt and learn how to do without the rest of the stuff we could not readily acquire like coffee, PT and TP. I also think there are some doomsday scenarios where even a lot of us preppers would not survive and I am mature enough to live “or die” with that thought.

    Having said that, I think the difference between us (preppers) and all of those people living in shit-hole countries / states and cities, including our own state, is that a lot of us know how to grow and replace our own food / water supplies. We know how to rebuild our stuff. We have the tools, knowledge and fortitude to accomplish this. We don’t stand around on the corner waiting for or demanding that someone else feed us or protect us. We don’t loot stores, or run amok in the streets holding signs, or abandon our loved ones to go out and steal, burn and pillage our neighbors. I refuse to sit around and starve and I refuse to obey anyone who demands that I comply with their orders for me, to sit around and starve or cease and desist from providing for myself, and I will not willingly give my stuff away to anyone who is of the mindset to sit around and starve or burn and pillage what I’ve worked so hard to prepare.

    I agree, after a major SHTF, all hell will most likely break loose and a lot of people will most likely die and that possibly includes me but… I won’t go easy. Not today, not at my age and not after all these years providing for my own and my family’s basic needs without government assistance.

    The article is definitely thought provoking. But… I can only partially subscribe to the “…What You Have Will Be All There Is…” philosophy over the long term because I’ve prepared to continue providing for my loved ones and myself despite the efforts of others to destroy us. It is simply not in my nature to do otherwise.

    After a major SHTF event, food will be money, and producing food will be in high demand and I have the tools, knowledge and where-with-all to produce food whether it’s only enough for my own needs or a hell of a lot to help out my neighbors. Either way, I will continue producing until I die of natural causes or somebody takes me out.
    I think if more people felt the way I do, we would have a much better chance at surviving a major SHTF event. To do otherwise is insanity. Capitulation and surrender is not an option… at least, for me it’s not.
    When the TP runs out I’ll use leaves and moss.
    When the coffee runs out I will stop drinking coffee.
    When the wine and beer run out I’ll make my own.
    When the food runs short I will grow more.
    When the lights go out, I’ll read in the day and sleep at night.
    When the fuel runs out, I’ll use my hand tools for gardening or figure out how to make more.
    When the bullets run out, I’ll use a knife.
    When they finally subdue me, I will shoot them the middle finger and scream “F… you …hole”
    That’s just my nature. I’m not programmed to give up and die waiting for someone to feed me or provide protection.
    Thanks… I needed that. :)

    1. Quote, “The article is definitely thought provoking. But… I can only partially subscribe to the “…What You Have Will Be All There Is…” philosophy over the long term because I’ve prepared to continue providing for my loved ones and myself despite the efforts of others to destroy us. It is simply not in my nature to do otherwise.”

      That’s exactly the type of thought provocation I was hoping for.

      I know that some of you are ready and able to maintain a reasonably self sustaining life under this hypothetical circumstance. That’s excellent!

      For those who think they’re ready, this is the purpose. To encourage you to ‘think’. Are you really ready? And are you ready to roll up your sleeves and ‘work’ under such conditions?

      Ideally you would already be in this lifestyle to somewhat ‘brush it off” (a collapse).

      However I’m sure though that most of us have more work to do in order to be better prepared. I know I do ;) I always do…

    2. Its Murphies law im most worried about,
      Well, that and the fact that human nature has sunken into depravity where decent folks seem to be outnumbered,
      But right on with your adaptation strategy, i think most feel that way, otherwise we wouldnt prep,
      The unknown variables are the things that are going to get us,
      And there are quite a few,
      Hopefully the biggest unknown any of us face is what rod to use when we go fishing, and do i want toast for breakfast or cereal,,,

      1. NB,
        You hit that nail squarely..
        I for one will be perfectly content if I never have to use the LTS… and just keep rotating the shorter term ones …I have had to rotate those unexpectedly over these years from one personal event or another. Ever adapting and our variables have changed over past 2 years.. result is:. In some things have had to return to level one. Knowledge ever increasing for as many different things as possible… I’m sure we have missed something and that will be the event that we are not quite prepared for…
        I’m Not where I want to be, but much further than we were several years ago when we started this journey. Much more ready than any of my neighbors, barring 1 or 2.

    3. CrabbeNebulae,
      Well said sir, If i was just a little older i’d think you and I were long lost twins. We think alike. As they say, “Adapt and Overcome”.

    4. I agree with you logic CrabbeNebulae. As we see it, when its gone, its gone. When laundry detergent, soap, shampoo and other toiletries run out we will still survive. No alternative power we will cycle with the sun.
      As long as you have your core needs taken care of, you can survive. Water is a big one. Actually shelter is another big one. Then of course food. All the other stuff is nice to have but you most likely won’t die if you run out.

      1. A tight house with no drafts is HUGE even if you don’t have a heat source. More than most of our ancestors had. A few lamps in a closed room where you don’t need to worry about the heat blowing away will raise the temps to survivable temperatures.

        1. I agree Lauren. When we first built our house it was really tight. One holiday we had about 12 people over. Even with the heat off, the house heated up another 3 degree’s over a 4 hour period. This was over 30 years ago, now that the house has settled, we have drafts. It’s good for a little fresh air, but yet we need to address the biggest drafts. It hasn’t been high on our list of priorities, but it is on our radar.

        2. Lauren – Be careful about getting a house (or a “safe room”) too tight. Back during the dust bowl, many Okies dipped fabric (bed sheets, etc) in paraffin to cover doors and windows trying to keep the talcum-powder-sized dust from getting into their homes (and lungs). When the dust settled, authorities found several people dead due to asphyxiation. Burning oil lamps probably made it worse, but basically, the sealed room(s) in the house just ran out of oxygen like putting a plastic bag over their heads. Of course, many others died from dust pneumonia (their lungs became mud packs), and dead is dead, but lack of oxygen killed some of them. I mention this to my wife each time she tells me to go out and caulk the windows of our old frame house. It works for a while, at least until paper starts flying around in the house with all of the windows and doors closed, then I have to go do something about the “drafts”.

          CD in Oklahoma

          1. Oh God yes! Remember the recent government advice to have sheet plastic and duct tape to seal off a room so no germs could get in?

            As I recall a 72 cubic ft SCUBA tank lets you breathe for a hour. doing the math on that, a 12 ft square room with an 8 ft ceiling will let you breath for 16 hours before you’re dead.

    5. Amen, I agree completely. I am not a strong warrior any more but I am a stubborn SOB that will never give up. I continue to gather supplies. I continue to learn new skills. I continue to live and enjoy my life.

    6. CrabbeNebulae; We in the P/C world now refer to those “shit-hole countries” as “Turd-World Countries.” Got a laugh from that when my BIL told it to me. Why are we doing this if we can’t get a laugh every now and then? In my home they will remain S-H countries!

      1. Local….as my grandchildren remind me to keep it clean….we now say get your poop in a group!

  9. A lot of people (not here, but in general) seem to think that “I’ll come take yours” will work long term. A couple things to think about in that scenario.

    Say a pandemic takes out the majority of the population–are you really going to go into houses where people have died of a contagious disease to take their stuff?

    If we’re WROL–you’re going to go to the prepared neighbor and demand their stuff at gunpoint? Uh, huh. That’ll work well.

    And when all that “stuff” is gone, who are you going to take from? Unless you plan on being King over a bunch of helpless farmer-serfs, good luck with that. The looters will die when there’s no longer anything to steal.

    1. I have heard that “ill take yours” quite a bit. Arrogance and ignorance is what i chalk that up to, that all sounds fine and dandy right up until the old guy they thought was an easy target rips into them with a restored belt fed machine gun and turns their group into compost, those i know quite a few of,,,

  10. I guess I’m taking a slightly different view of the proposed Article here.
    My feeble brain keeps going back not to food, fuel, water, TP or just good old “Stuff” but to the ‘Skills’ one will need to have and use in order to maintain and rebuild during and after such an event.

    I often wonder;

    How many that read this BLOG actually practice even building a fire with what you have in the GHB?

    How many have even tried to build a shelter to ward off the freezing cold or burning heat without using that high-$$$ tent?

    How many have done a week long (or longer) “Lights Out” as I call them?

    How many can preserve the food you grow or harvest/hunt or will you gorge yourself when you pick those tomatoes to green and get sick as a dog, than starve in 3 months?

    How many can or would be willing to lead a group in the rebuilding processes knowing those people could be totally your responsibility?

    The Skillset that one will need to just keep “existing” will be huge, sure a Book or 10 will help, IF you have time to read AND know what book to look into. But that skillset very well could mean the difference in lasting or pushing up Daisies.

    As ken has challenged “What You Have Will Be All There Is” I believe applies to the abilities and skills much more that that package of Twinkies and TP.

    I guess the challenge I would put forward is how many of us even here on Ken’s BLOG, all alone those hotshot survivalist and so called ‘patriots’, could really last a year after your Deep Pantry ‘Stuff’ runs out, the bullets stop flying, the savaging/looting is done, and it’s down to “do you know how to……xyz……”.

    1. NRP, and all,

      Yes indeed, Level 3 has LOTS to do with skills, and Level 4 preparedness is ALL ABOUT SKILLS.

      While we all have skills, each level adds more. Level 3 gets us to a very high level along with most all the tangible assets we need, up to a year.

      Level 4 (at least according to my own made up definitions) is all about self sustaining. Not only your own homestead but one’s tribe. We are all independent, however no man is an island. And we’ll need a group to really make it. It’s a rebuilding process too. The natural way of things.

    2. NRP in general I agree but Skill Sets are by definition Personal. That is NH Michael knows how to do this. But if he fails to fully pass on that knowledge can someone else in the tribe carry on successfully? Thus my insistence on hard copies and cross training. Knowing how is important.

      Look how Post Roman information loss put the whole Dark Ages lack of sanitation and the Black Death in process. Knowing little things like When to Start Seedlings, Protect Seedlings and Harvest store your food is important. I know it’s hard to print out all those manuals but at least think how to keep that stored data Powered up, Protected from EMP and Backed Up for later retrieval.

    3. NRP and all,
      This is a very relevant topic for me as I progress from a person who stores/stacks for short-to-medium term scenarios to learning about and practicing useful skills. Although I am not in a place where I can raise livestock or grow a big garden as so many of you can and do, I can and do practice skills on a small scale.

      I have been practicing food preservation, small-scale gardening, working with herbs and essential oils (for when traditional 1st aid supplies run low), hand-sewing (assuming no power and I don’t have a manual sewing set-up), and so on. Sometimes I have good/great results, sometimes I have fails that are frustrating and even comical. I say comical not because I don’t take what I am doing seriously, but sometimes you just have to be able to laugh at yourself, and be thankful that you are working the bugs out now, without damaging consequences. Ken, maybe we can use a thread where everyone gets to talk about their most comical “learning experiences”? A little laughter over some shared goofs would probably be good for camaraderie as well as offer learning opportunities.

      I agree with your summation NRP, “do you know how to…. xyz….”. That’s really where it will be if this kind of scenario hits us – stuff runs out eventually, no matter how much you have. It’s what we can all do beyond that may make all the difference.

      1. So Cal Gal
        NO NO NO NO, absolutely NOT!!!!!
        “Ken, maybe we can use a thread where everyone gets to talk about their most comical “learning experiences”? ”
        Ain’t going to happen……
        For example; going hunting loading up a BUNCH of firepower, and ammo, into a Boat and heading across Navajo Lake on a stormy day….. or thinking that tis ok to store chocolate in the trunk of a car, (actually forgot about some I bough on sale) 20 pounds of Milk Chocolate dripping from the bottom of a trunk is NOT a pretty sight. Try fishing with C-4 again NOT a good idea.
        So noooooo we are NOT going there.

        1. NRP
          Oh yes we are…..your stories are hilarious. Beside we won’t tell any one—promise😉😁

          1. Antique Collector
            Than I will not tell ya about my ‘explosive’ beer.
            3 cases of FANTASTIC Russian Imperial Stout, just a little to much yeast at bottling time and a little warm in the storage….
            I actually cried.
            Talk about TSHTF,
            For those that want to actually learn how to preserve food and drink, try the fermenting arts, Beer, Kimchee, Kombucho, Sauer Kraut, and the likes.
            FYI, Wine can be made from simple Fruit only, or Beer from Grain only. both will be void of most ‘nasty’s’ that simple water can contain.
            How about Curing via Salt or simple Air-Drying?
            Also learn how to distill, yes illegal but the product will make a good disinfectant and fuel when/if.
            I do believe these are “skills” very much needed during a Stage 3 or 4 SHTF.

        2. NRP,
          I’m with AC, hilarious!
          Although trying to get 20 lbs of liquefied chocolate out of the trunk sounds like not much fun at all (at least at the time).

          And the Russian Stout launching – major bummer – but see, someone else can learn from your experience. And let’s face it, to get through a level 3 or 4 situation is going to take resilience, strength, courage, probably some good luck – and a sense of humor. So I’m trying to cultivate that humor ahead of time ;)

      2. – I have to agree with NRP, it is all about skills. I have actually lived out of my GHB for a week or more at a time, I have used the gear in it to the point that all of it is an old familiar tool or friend. I have gone without outside power for a week or more several times. just not enough practice on that here recently. I’m still working on getting a year’s worth of food and goods together, but I know I can go for six months or more on what is on hand today. Will I like it? Absolutely not. I hope and pray that my kids will have to decide what to do with their crazy old dad’s stuff. Actually, it may not be that much of a problem, as both daughters are preppers. My son, well, maybe not so much, but he has leanings that way.
        For OH and others, John Vivian in “Five Acres and Independence” recommended a wheeled weed eater for harvesting wheat. I have used one once, and found I could manage it well enough.
        Although it probably should be in the Saturday posting, I was gifted today with about 30 or so dead or dying pecan trees, which I will need to get cut up and removed before it comes time to mow. So, you will know what is going on if I don’t post much for a while, between those and the flu epidemic which remains in full swing.
        Oh, and I suppose I could tell about a misadventure with a case of home-made root beer some years ago.
        – Papa S.

  11. I have built up food stores for 2 years for 4 people. Enough water for a few months and filtration abilities for a lifetime. And yes, NRP, hundreds of rolls of TP. LOL. I have always been a hands on type person and can tinker and repair just about anything mechanical. I also have machining skills to manufacture needed parts (if there is a sufficient power supply). I also have the supplies needed to defend my preps.
    My biggest area of concern is a 3+ year SHTF. I have the abilities to grow my own food and the heirloom seeds to do it. I grow a small garden every year and for the most part am pretty successful at it. I have never reclaimed/dried seeds for next years crops. This is something I need to learn to do if I’m to survive more than 3 years.
    My second concern is, will 4 of us be enough manpower to grow crops, make needed repairs, defend what we have and maintain a subsistence lifestyle beyond 3 years? I have discussed this with other family members and neighbors including a doctor, dentist, retired LEO’s and military persons but for the most part I just get that “have you lost it” look from them. I am lucky to have a wife that’s onboard 100% with me but I just don’t think that her and I along with our 2 adult children would make it beyond a 3 to 5 year SHTF scenario without teaming up with others. It seems that even most like minded people believe they have more important things to do than to spend time and money to prep for something that may very well never happen in our lifetime. Our society has become so dependent on the system that most can’t even imagine the possibility of the system collapsing or what would happen if it did.
    Ken, there is 2 subjects I would like to see covered more if at all possible. 1st, preserving seeds and 2nd, how to form and approach a community of like minded “preppers”. If you have discussed this in the past, could you provide links to the articles?
    This site and it’s comments have been a wealth of knowledge and ideas, Thanks

    1. The hardest part of seed saving is knowing when the particular crop seeds. Some seed in the spring, some in the fall, some the 2nd year. Some have seed pods, some have fruit. If seeds come from inside the edible fruit, let one fruit ripen on the plant and harvest the seeds from that. They have to be fully ripe, so don’t try saving seeds from a soft, “edible” squash, for example. That kind will be so hard when it’s ripe you may end up breaking it open with a sledgehammer. :) Play with it. Keep seeds from the best–my mother had a habit of eating the best corn and saving for “seed” the cobs that had just a few kernels or that the worms had gotten into. Oops.

      Harvest, clean and dry (Completely dry, or you’ll get mold in storage). Keep your seeds in a cool, dry place (I use an old refrigerator) and plant out the next spring.

      The 2nd hardest part is isolation. If you plant more than one variety of the same species (such as 2 different kinds of peppers, or squash), they’ll cross and you may get a hybrid the next year. I mainly solve this problem by only planting one variety each year–even if they are biennials and seed the next spring, only one will seed at a time. This applies only if you want to keep pure seed. If you want to develop your own varieties, that’s another topic.

  12. I am ready to walk in the light or walk into the Light. My salvation is not in land,home or supplies. My responsibility is to my G_D first, my family second and to be the best citizen for my nation. Don’t get me wrong, expect one hell of a fight if someone wants to start something. Figured I was not coming home in 68-69 or 73 so everything since is the bonus round. None of us get out of here alive and no trailer behind the hurst. I’m as ready as any old Marine can be and working everyday to get better.

    1. Southernman
      Being a Buddhist and one of “interesting” ideas and tolerances, I do like it when someone is complacent to their beliefs, although I was under the understanding that God is spelled “God” and not G_D, I pretty much know most here will never take offence to the actually spelling than the Political Correct.
      I will admit, it will be an interesting time when I do get a chance to chat with God face to face when I pass :-)

      1. NRP:
        Thank you. For spelling out the word G OD. I’m sorry to say, I get a little miffed when someone spells it G-D.

      2. FYI – Replacing the “o” with “-” is done as a sign of respect by certain Jewish and Messianic groups.

        Check out:

        (or google for more articles)

      3. This is a Jewish thing and it would take hours to explain fully. Just a way of showing respect to “The Father of us all” “The Great I Am” “King of the Universe”. You know the C.O. of this whole dog and pony show.

  13. I have believed that the crap will not hit the fan in a nation wide event unless a war or some catastrophic event happens. The slow deterioration in morals and ethics is taking apart our communities through crime, laziness, greed, racism, …. like Venezuela and some European countries.
    After the election of President Obama, many people rushed to our part of the country and bought up every small acreage available. Many were in the mindset to join the community and face emergencies together. Only one family of 20 or so, planted gardens or worked towards self-sufficiency. Hunting was the solution for many – but I think more recreation than foresight. Then the crisis never occurred and the land slowly started to come on the market for sale. The run and hide idea was obviously short term. For the remaining 10 families (approx), 4 families have disintegrated due to financial stress, remoteness, … – basically due to the families not being on board to live the lifestyle. Four of the remaining properties are now only second homes for vacations or hunting. Two properties are where people live in squalor, with no resources to improve or move – shacks, tent, old trailers….
    Out of the 20 or so families, there are only about four that still live and work to improve their situation and more importantly, are willing to work with others for the sake of the community.
    How does our society fail, not always with a bang but a whimper.

    1. hermit us

      I would think that your 1/5 is actually a high number for those that actually would succeed in the “Adventure” of living out-side-the-box Lifestyle.
      And with the seemingly “relief” everyone feels that Trump is in, even more so are going Anti-Galt.
      Remembering the old number of 3% comes to mind.

      1. NRP
        Did you see a land rush in your area as well? Perhaps you were part of the migration.

        1. hermit us
          Naw, I moved to a little spot south of DRO in the early 80s.
          Heck the closest place was well over a mile from me.
          I moved at a time when the total contracts to build homes in Mira Mar was well over 10,000 new homes, the rush at that time was the other direction.

      2. I have to add that the properties that were put on the market have mainly been bought by more affluent people that have built houses and out buildings. Most are not the self-sufficiency types but are more interested in horses.

        1. I have eaten horse meat so there’s that…
          Bet most of the vets have as well.
          What do ya think that mystery meat in C Rats was…

          1. Bill
            I actually liked horse meat many years ago – tenderized in thin steaks with potatoes and gravy.

          2. Hermit us,
            Protein is protein. Like most things it takes some skill and some spices to make good tasting food.
            Most have a hard time getting past the thought of dressing out a horse or a cat for example.
            What’s spooky is folks being squeamish about eating animals this week. A month later of near starvation and their neighbors leg is looking good to them.
            That there is why I prep for the long haul. .

          3. Never tasted horse but I remember a story about a young soldier complaining to the inspector general that the mess hall was feeding them horse. The box that the beef was shipped in had been stamped P.O.N.Y (Port of New York)

            Cat tastes like stringy pork. Saw a bumper sticker once.
            So many cats, so few recipes.

          4. – Horse really isn’t bad. I’d prefer it to dog or cat, which I have also had on occasion. Worst part is the purple color, which reminds you that it ain’t beef. Other than that, not bad.
            – Papa S.

    2. I would love to move to that area, all i need is a barn with a loft to live in, maybe the loft is an oversized studio or one bedroom, for myself, having a good sized enclosed shop for woodworking or such and a covered area outside to do welding and other stuff that involves fire and sparks and lots of nasty fumes, had found one place up near Bonners Ferry, put in an offer, would have been perfect, well in, wood framed barn with solar, was set up for parking an RV and boat, already had a partially completed loft apartment, think it was 40 acres, i guess somebody saw it same time as me and bought it 30k over asking, kinda hard to compete when people can just toss money around

        1. Ha!
          No worries bud,,, cant wear my flip flops and cargo shorts there for enough of the year!

          1. Nailbanger
            If you are thinking flip flops for the Bonner ferry area – they are called snow shoes here. Shorts are optional.

          2. Hermit,
            Nope, doubt ill have much use for flip flops there, more likely n not be spending life in a pair of Sorel boots if i ever made it there, so far, it appears thats not where im supposed to be, as with everything in my life, if that was where i was supposed to be i would be there, pretty sure im right exactly where im supposed to be.

        2. I could possibly provide a hammock hanging from the greenhouse roof…just don’t step on anything green. :)

      1. Nailbanger
        There seems to be a move by many affluent people from the east and west coasts to this area. I have seen some elaborate developments for extended families, livestock, …. but no indication of enclaves such as Galt’s Gulch. The day of the cheap land are far behind us – if there was ever such a thing.

    3. Hermit, so true. like I have said before. the SHTF is HERE. Sooooooo
      Prep on…….

  14. Dennis,
    You make what I think is an important point about learning from the past, and trying not to make the same mistakes – or recognizing the signs of potential problems based on what history teaches us (if we are paying attention).

    I am in my mid-50’s, and WWII, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy’s assassination, the brutal race riots that some cities endured and many other events were before my time (or at least my time as an adult), but I’ve made it a point to learn about them. To talk to people who experienced them, to try to understand what happened and how people reacted, what the consequences were, any lesson learned. So, you are right, some people my age do pay attention, but many do not.

    To me, the tie-in to preparedness today is that history tends to repeat itself. By recognizing the symptoms of crises of the past (and the misery that came with them) we stand a better chance of being prepared to face them in the future. For people who have even a basic knowledge of history and social studies we see warning signs:
    – Continued efforts to divide us by race, religion, and between “haves” and “have-nots”
    – Overvalued financial markets and people returning to indebtedness
    – Fewer channels through which food is grown, distributed and ultimately sold
    – Cold-war style rhetoric and war-games exercises that can easily go wrong
    – The NWO and open-borders policies that bring terrorism to everyone’s doorsteps and may also one day be the way a pandemic is spread.

    I won’t pretend to understand the ranting of vocalpatriot who seemed to be an attention seeker looking to insult to get reactions out of everyone. But if he really is trying to carry a message of preparedness and determination then I also hope he sticks around here to see that people here are not about quitting or complaining, but about making the informed and realistic choices – which is very personal and is for each of us to decide in our own minds and hearts.

    1. Troll, thats about it, pretty sure ive seen that one on infowarts, once in a while at shtfplan

      1. Nailbanger,
        Aaaah… Sounds like he gets around. Well, Ken shut him down pretty quickly, no time for that sort of nonsense.

        1. Well, whoever it was didnt read much of this site, this one is far from doom porn, most folks either expressing stuff going on for themselves and what they are up to, honestly this is the only site i can stand anymore, folks are actually pleasant and real, sure we all have screen names but we all have personality and are genuine, at least thats my read, maybe im wrong, but is definitely a lot more civil here than anywhere.

        2. Nailbanger,
          I agree with you, I’ve visited a number of those sites (including one where I know you & others here visit or used to visit from time to time). They are either screaming that the world is going to end today (every day), or they are so nasty to each other that I couldn’t imagine anyone learning much of anything of value. I’m glad I found Ken’s site here early on in my searching for info & answers & support :)

      2. Nailbanger, I agree, this is about he only site where you can read about folks with survival lifestyle mindset. It seems the other sites focus mainly on security, which is very important but not focusing on the way we live now. I believe live and let live as long as you aren’t harming anyone else with actions or words.

  15. I think it’s inevitable that we have some kind of calamity. What that consists of, I don’t have the slightest idea. People will still act the same in a failure of any kind. I feel just as certain that providin there are “enough” people left that some sort of rebuildin process will insue. I do think there likely will be a stagnant period while things are gettin sorted out and you might not get anything at all. But, when the dust settles, I see a couple ol boys that might decide to haul salt, sugar, whatever and make em a buck. There was a time when this was common with a horse and wagon. I think it will be that way with a lotta things.

    For instance, I have a basic home machine shop, in times past machinary was powered with a central overhead shaft driven by water, steam, horses. I have seen a horse engine inoperation. It’s not that far fetched for a man to think along the lines of turnin horses into rotary motion. Animals were used on treadmills as well. I have never seen an animal treadmill in operation but it cannot fail to work, not to mention already proven. I believe folks should be thinkin about when that stored food, etc, runs out. We must learn to create or find food. We should be thinkin along the lines of feedin ourselves or have somethin to offer those who have surplus food. There again, after the smoke clears and things settle down to whatever degree, there will be people producin food to improve themselves by whatever means, whether it be silver, lumber, cigarettes, liquor, etc. Providin that “enough” people are left, whatever that magic number may be, the come uppance will again occur in pursuit of money or “stuff”. It’s just human nature.

    The stagnant period will be the real problem. Everybody should have a plan of some sort and nothin will be more important at that point than the means to PROTECT themselves. Dead men don’t eat much, so you won’t need all that stored food if you cannot effectively defend yourself. On the bright side, that stagnant period will evaporate a lotta problems in our society. Most of the ones causin most of the problems will sit in their livin room with their legs crossed and die, most of the hardcore ones will likely be used for fertilizer. There will always be people of one sort or another causin some kind of problem, that will have to be dealt with on a case by case basis i reckon………not meant to scientific proven facts, .these are just my humble hillbilly opinions on the matter.

    I am gonna say it again, in my mind NOTHIN will be more important than the ability to DEFEND yourself. It would be a tragic mistake to underestimate what people are capable of when desperate.

    1. wood56gas, We had one of those when I was a kid. My Dad built it himself using a Chevy rear axle and housing and wheel hub, and oil well pipe. He used it to acclimate yearling horses to first a halter, then a bridle. Hooking up an older horse to the other end/side of the pipe taught the yearling to respond to the bridle if they were going to go anywhere it was going to be in the direction the bridle pointed him. After a couple of days you added a saddle into the mix. Sped up the breaking process.

    2. Woodgas, OldHhomesteader,
      The old prospectors used to use them to sink shafts for mineral exploration. I have always called them a ‘horse whim’, which as OH said, is a horse powered capstan. The horse whim version was used for vertical hoisting of ore buckets and timber.

    3. Hi. I’m new here. Talking about horse power made me remember that during the late Middle Ages to early modern “spit dogs” were used to run on a wheel that turned roasting meat. My father rode to school in a cart pulled by a goat. Use of animals (not just as food) will increase after SHTF, if anybody’s left to do it.

  16. Ken

    Thanks so much for this sobering post. It was exactly the kick in the pants that I needed. Had been suffering from prepping fatigue but still managed to get a few things done. Felt that I was emotionally drained as DH doesn’t help with prepping. He does agree it’s necessary and that we should be doing more. His disability makes it almost impossible for him to actually do anything physical. It always falls to me to do the hard work. I’m suffering with limitations myself and almost 68. DH is six years younger than me.

    We have no close friends/family nearby that are like-minded. I was sliding into the the pit of “why bother”. Thankfully your post and the regular posters have basically got me back on track.

    So now I’m busy planning our garden, stacking away more stuff, ordered clothes for DH and once the snow melts away will check the fencing out back. Looks like we will be getting a puppy this year so need to be sure the fencing will keep her safe.

    The title says it all. Thanks again to Ken and the rest of the MSB family.

    1. KK honey hang in there and just do what you can. Prepping doesn’t have to wear you down. Just prep smarter.

    2. kawartha – Press on! You are not alone.
      Life is hard, so be encouraged and press on.

    3. kk,
      As everyone here reminds me so often… there are lots of like-minded folks here to give support – even if it is long-distance. Hang in there – do those things you reasonably can and try not to make yourself too crazy over those things you cannot do. Some days it’s hard to keep your chip up, many of us understand. Take care and take pride in doing those things you can! :)

    4. kk
      I ditto what everyone has already said. Would add though, if you have “prepping fatigue”, maybe it is time to give it a break, and branch into a different area of knowledge/skill. Worst comes to worst, all will be useful/tradeable/ etc…

      I do what I can, and often it is only a bit, but, that is still more than many I know/around here. On the other hand, even a small amount eventually adds up.

  17. Have the skills from childhood with my parents, grandparents, and big exterior family, but have spent my working years in the big cities. Gradually gathering supplies for the BOL for several years now. Found the farm in 2012. Past couple years have been able to spend 1 – 2 weekends a month here, including this weekend. Coming in to full retirement very soon and can hardly wait to be here full time. Hope to be able to help provide support to the family (some) and friends (few) who have been to the farm; and survive no matter what situation we find ourselves in.
    One happy score was when Borders Books closed in our neighborhood. Cleaned out their self-sufficiency shelves at a tremendous discount. Also identification books and some how-to.
    Biggest blessings are family that is understanding and even helpful, friends similarly engaged, and a few likeminded neighbors down here in the bottom.

  18. My Level 3 or 4 plan:
    Begin canning/smoking meat in freezers.
    Saddle horses and go fetch any family members away from home at time of event.
    Saddle horses with DH and visit each house on our 4-mile road, inventory who is home, who has animals that might need attention.
    Harness pony cart and fetch my 85-year-old neighbor with bad knees, but a load of knowledge, until the time that her relatives might come fetch her.
    After a few days, invite all neighbors (about 100 people) to meet at our house and discuss skills, neighborhood security, missing neighbors, needs, etc.
    Offer milk to neighbors in exchange for labor, as vacuum pump milkers would be out.
    Establish security at each end of the road (mostly woods behind all of us, not vehicle friendly), lookouts in water towers at each end of road, blockade each end of road.
    I probably need to write this down in my prepping notebook.

    We have more cows and horses than people on this road. Our growing season is long and we have lots of seeds. There is no reason for anyone to die of starvation on this road if we can keep it secure.

    1. Thanks, OH, I looked it up and watched video. Not too hard on arthritic hands! Looks like a good birthday present for someone in the near future.

  19. Most people will try to take what you have. They are to lazy to work and have nothing put up for a rainy day. Having our supplies makes us feel good and we pray that we will never need it.

    1. Running Bear,
      Or that we are thankful we have them but hope it never gets to the point where people are trying to steal them! I think thats my worse fear, i dont mind things getting rough, but i really dont want to have to let the monster out

  20. From a homesteading view point….we have water, trees for wood and that grow food, and pasture for animals but
    we depend on a friend to make hay for us….
    I was thinking as I drove today….
    large rakes?
    People keep animals over the winter before all of this technology
    but had no electric non gas equipment….
    that’s why I would say we are a stage 3 prep level
    also would like to be more remote…
    DH and I have a similar enough vision of where we would like to be 5-10 years from now
    only God knows if that will ever happen but it is a dream I keep in my heart…

    1. Shepherdess/Old Homesteader
      That would be brutal to have to put up all your hay by hand, scyth and hand raking then pitching it into a cart by hand,,,
      I think thats why the old families were huge, so they had kids to do that sorta work.
      A BCS or Grillo walk behind tractor would be good, check out a site called Earthtools, they sell all the hardware, even small bailers, are pretty cool, still a lot of work

        1. No prob, Earthtools is a BCS walk behind tractor dealer, they sell all sorts of sizes, and i think they have sickle bar mowers for then from 36” up to 6’ i think, they even sell the mini hay rakes that winrow and the mini round baler, the videos are neat to watch,
          Scyth isnt too hard to use but the older we get the harder it is, a small tractor with a hay mower and some handling implements would be nice, sorta spendy though but you folks could find decent used stuff im sure.

      1. When I was a kid we used an old Dump Rake pulled by a tractor (though it was originally pulled by horses). I got to ride the rake and pull the dump lever when Dad signaled. We then pitchforked into the back of the old truck with a couple of kids up on to packing it down. We would pile it about six foot higher than the cab. They also used to have horse drawn sickle bar mowers.

  21. Dennis and all, vp must be having a rough Monday or just came over from another site to stir up some s—. I say the latter. maybe because MSB is creeping up on the charts. Just like the whiners the truly angry people just may have to go……………………..first.

  22. If the time comes for a rebuild of society, I think that then is when a lot of people will be learnng how to rebuild. Sorry but it is what it is. We’ll need visionaries who see what needs to be done. And we’ll need the manager types to use the available resources in order to bring it to fruition. If you plan to have a group, it may be wise to plan to have resources (read, food) available IF POSSIBLE for those that you may need to bring on as additional or needed help. I believe that Ken has brought up this subject before. We had just better pray that all of the preps are not confiscated, lest it be in vain 🙁

  23. I was so thankful the well came in with so much water. That way I feel like we can share. I know there is much talk about defending all you have, but I don’t think I can deny anyone a drink of water.
    “and if someone takes your coat, give him your cloak also.” It would be hard to follow that rule SHTF even if you never know when you might be entertaining an angel………….

  24. I think the SHTF for the corrupt people in the FBI, DOJ, maybe even for the DNC. If the previous Executive branch, including Obama and Clinton, are involved – the people need to know. Justice must be served. Publish the entire document and the supporting thousands of pages.
    We seem to be on a safer path and with more corruption exposed, maybe we can breath a little easier. Now the remainder that are not treasonous need to step up and ensure the Constitution is honored.

    1. Hermit

      I smell swamp water, somebody been stirring up that swamp trying to find a drain,,,
      I hope they find it and that the water drops enough that all them swamp critters get exposed, ill be fine with them all lookin like the turds they are if prosecuting them and giving em custom orange jumpsuits doesnt work, should be perfect timing for those mid term elections, maybe thats why DJT has that shid eatin grin on his face most o the time. Even the democrats cant possibly be that stupid, or can they, yea, stupidvquestion huh…

    2. Sort of concur, Maybe Bill and Donald can be cell mates. If even 10% of the fake news isn’t fake DJT needs to go away for a very long time. Failure to disclose, collusion, treason, money laundering. I kind of feel that this is the SHTF event for D.C. It’s just taking to long to play out. Please remember that they are both crooks and it’s mostly smoke and mirrors.

  25. I have been thinking deeply about today’s article and the comments. Perhaps if we had restricted ourselves to the Level Three preparation we would have been more selective in our responsives.

    Level Three is one year of being totally dependent on our preps. This is completely doable. For me? I began by thinking about what I would need to live fairly normally for one week. I then began to multiply that amount until it is was fifty two weeks.

    Level Four is a whole different goal and could easily be categorized into its own levels. Sorry, I haven’t worked out the details of these levels.

    Concerns about surviving Level Four is premature as we have not made an in depth study of it. Therefore, it seems overwhelming.

    We refer to Level Four as “self sufficiency”, “living off the land” and “living the lifestyle”. We need a prepper plan. So, let’s not become discouraged. Let’s get to work!

    Stay frosty.

  26. Once you are into a level 3 event, you need to begin transitioning to self sufficiency. You can’t assume everything will be back to normal after a year. The sooner you start growing your own food, providing your own fuel for heat etc, the longer your supplies will last and the less traumatic the transition will be.

    1. That’s very good advice. Depending on the event, one’s former ‘normal’ may never return. Instead a new normal…

  27. I was going to skip commenting on this topic as I feel inadequate. I still work “in town” in the medical profession so I am not at level 3 or 4 in terms of foodstuffs, water, livestock and seeds for crops. I do not even can produce or preserve fruits and vegetables within my garden.

    Having worked in both elder care and care of disabled individuals for over 20 years and having responded to riots, fires floods and earthquakes in my prior careers, I must say that when the SHTF, I have already shown up for work to do the job to do what needed to be done when others ran or sheltered in place. This is a problem in peacetime too as we continue to work short-staffed most every day at my hospital.

    I cannot promise to continue doing that in the future as I would have been forced to retire within Kalifornia had I chosen to stay. All I can say is that if I survive the first strike, I will do my best to survive and learn how to adapt in the New World Order. My relatives said this to themselves when they left the Internment camps after WW-2. Other relatives in Hiroshima did not survive the first strike.

    I will continue to work in medicine until I am fired or the doors shut and get padlocked. I have been able to find work in medical field since I was 20 years old. If I have to work for food then so be it. At this point, I am not fooling myself, it is what I am good at though I still shoot targets and trap crop raiders as a side-line career.

    A more realistic future for me is having to return to California in order to tend to ailing, aging relatives in my old community. I am trying to convince them to come up here where we know the Nursing facilities and home care resources.

    To the regulars out there, keep writing about adventures and mis-adventures about canning, growing stuff, raising critters and building solar systems, I love to read it all. If the bad day happens, I hope there will be room within somebody’s gulch to tend to the old folks and dispense meds and treat butt-rash and athlete’s foot.

    The quiet war I see right now: People dying every day in larger numbers due to opiate addiction. Check around your group. How many families are touched by addiction to pain killers and how many people have been lost to direct or indirect effects of a stoned worker, driver, train operator. stay lucky my friends.

    1. CaliRefugee
      Dont feel bad, im not anywhere near stage 3-4 either, its like everything else in life, im doing my best, better to not compare ourselves to others.
      Its going to be a make it up as i go situation if anything really bad happens, it could, or could not, who knows, stuff does happen though. I remember TP and rice running out during shipping strikes in the 70s and 80s and directly after 9-11.
      Ive seen gas run out, seen the effects of a hurricaine and the effects of a localized flash flood that gave me a new respect for how deep the gulch by my house is.
      If all we got when it goes downhill fast is all we got, so be it, its going to be rough but will figure it out.
      I guess my point in this babbling is, dont sweat it, its a journey, this is serious stuff, but honestly theres no hard fast rules and we all have life to live right there in front of us anyway, some folks just have the ability in their lives to branch out, for myself its more about working towards homesteading, more so than being a “prepper”, i have a unique circumstance. It fits in nicely with being prepared though, but not from the standpoint of years worth of freeze dried foods or a huge pantry. More a self sufficiency and living small. Its easy to be overwhelmed though,

    2. CaliRefugee
      I’m glad you decided to step-up and say your words.
      Well written and honesty to the core.
      Thank you

    3. CaliRefugee, you’ve touched on the fact that members of your family experienced being forced into internment camps during WWII. Most of us know the history and the official explanations as to why this occurred, but it would be of value, at least to me, if in the future you could share some of the stories they shared with you about that experience. I’m guessing they lost everything they had worked for and built up prior to being forced to leave it all behind. Did any attempt to resist?
      History tends to repeat itself. The only question is…. who will they choose next time? Folks like us may be the next enemy of the state.

      1. Dennis,
        Judging by what went on during the last administration then hearing the way these so called elites talk about us as deplorables i figure we are the next group to be targeted, we are having a moment of clarity right now, the left will take over, they are a disease, they always take over then ruin the very foundation that enabled them in the first place, My bet is that in our lifetime we will be subject to seisure of property and loss of liberty, at least for those who give it up, that whole FEMA camp thing is still on track but delayed by them not gaining another elite foothold in the WH. Make no mistake, the left wants people like us who want some level of self sufficiency dead.

      2. Den
        Another note, just look at what is going on with these leftist stirring up the crowds at the grammiys and their alternate SOTU

      3. When I lived in Northern Calif. I had a very good friend, long since passed that actually lived in the Japanese Internment camps as a child. His parents lost their home and business when our government “imprisoned them” . When he had sons later in life he named each one after Japanese Soldiers that had won Medals for Bravery while fighting for the U.S Army during WWII. Such a lesson for me in Humility and Honor considering how his folks were treated. I’ve always considered it such an honor to pass on his story…

    4. CaliRefugee,
      I think there are a lot of us at a similar stage to you. For me maybe 1-1/2??? ‘Physical preps’ not so much, ‘knowledge preps’ fairly good. Don’t sell yourself short, your medical knowledge if very valuable, and would be welcomed in many communities. You can have all the ‘physical preps’ in the world, but you will need those ‘knowledge preps’ to sustain you into level 4. Nice thing about this site, you know you are among friends.

  28. Question to Ken, Shepherdess, old homesteader and Dennis:

    Being the resident Asian guy raising 5 fat cats and 1 dog to herd the cats, Does this qualify me to be a “rancher”?

    1. CaliRefugee,
      If not, you have a future in dog training if your dog can herd cats, and a possible fortune in Super Bowl commercials.

    2. The dog gets to be your german cat-herd and you get to be the catherder. (and I just noticed the pun in there, other than the obvious, but I’m going to leave it anyway.)

  29. What I have will be all there is— Not so for me. Skills can be learned after SHTF. Some of us will be thrown into learning new skills by trial and error. Trading with other communities past the aftermath will bring in new supplies. People improvise when there lacking supplies or run out of supplies quickly because some of us are intelligent beings who have done it all their lives.

    For instance, I have grains that will run out, either by use, trade or being stolen. I don’t give up and lie down to die…I take my boat to harvest wild rice in the lake behind me as a substitute for grains. I was shown how to separate the hulls from the rice and parch it over a fire but never tried it. here is where new skills are learned. I can harvest the sumac seeds after making Indian tea. I have plenty of berries to harvest and their seeds are great for breads,

    If I run out of sugar, I have hundreds of maple and birch trees to tap the syrup.

    If I run out of my meat storage for protein, I have plenty of fish to catch plus other game people don’t normally hunt like muskrat and porcupine.

    If I run out of ammo for firearms to hunt, I have tools and know-how to make hunting tools. May not be as effective as a hunting rifle, but they would be silent tools to use.

    If my garden is raided, I have wild plant resources to gather and feed me.

    When I run out of propane to heat my home, and gas to fuel my chainsaw, I have a wood stove, saws and axes to cut trees for firewood. In 2009, I cut all the firewood I needed for the harsh winters I had up here by hand. It took 40 strokes to cut a 4 inch oak log, as I remember keeping the limbs I cut that size to not wear my arm out cutting 50 logs a day.

    Since I moved to an isolated area away from populations, wild food and resources are very abundant. I may not have all supplies needed in my possession when SHTF, however after it hits, I can get what I need by walking out the door and putting what I learned and skills to use.

    So what I have now if SHTF, will NOT be all there is, so I must be an exception to the rule, to at least until I can no longer work to sustain myself…

    1. You also have the skills and knowledge to survive, not to mention your can-do attitude, so in that sense that WILL be all there is. Put those to work for you, you’re set. :)

    2. Stardust

      It’s clear by readin your posts, you’re a survivor. When we can no longer work to sustain ourselves, some of us will be worth our weight in gold just for what we know, have done, seen, already figured out. You will certainly be in that small group.

    3. Stardust,

      The statement I made was not a rule, so there is no “exception to the rule”.

      My intent was to get especially Level 3 people to think more about it.

      More specifically to think about one’s stored ‘stuff’ which may run out. To mitigate that, it’s on to Level 4 (self sufficiency and sustainability).

      Sounds like you’ve already graduated! Time for your Masters degree now I suppose ;)

  30. I would guess I’m somewhere around stage 3. No animals yet but materials on hand for chicken coop and rabbit hutches. A couple of neighbors are raising both so breed stock shouldn’t be to hard to acquire. Food on hand for about a year for self and DW. DW would have a very hard time not giving it away to starving mother with child. I’d make her work for it but really don’t have enough to spare. Ideally I’d have 2 forty foot containers, one for rice and one for beans and stuff them full. Biggest problem would be extended family meaning step daughter and her 2 kids. They would come here and be willing to work but she isn’t ready to start contributing materially to stores.

    Our area is capable of being self sustaining and I think in a crunch would be pull together for the common good. We would have a number of I can’t work I have a bad back types and I think most of them would need to be given a choice, No work, no food, the free lunch days are over. Yet realistically I’m in the disabled category also. Mostly a product of aging as we do wear out. Partly due to lung disease as I did not get off of tobacco soon enough. (Makes me wonder how Kevin is doing with his resolution to quit this year.)

    More to write on this but no time at the moment so I’ll add to it later. Before I go I’ll add that I read a story about Charlottesville Virgina yesterday. It was speculative about life there after a nuclear exchange in 1979 between us and Russia. It was a good read but I feel it may have been a bit more optimistic than practical. If anyone is interested Do a search for Charlottesville Nuclear and it should come up.

    1. In a survival situation there are a lot of tasks that can be taken over by those who don’t have their full mobility. If they choose not to work (winnowing grain, mending, making meals, tending and teaching children, etc) then they don’t eat. That’s a choice, not a disability, and in a survival situation it’s either choose, or die.

  31. To old homesteader: I already drive a truck. Watch out for that Asian Driver out there.

    To Dennis: The internment camp experience started the night after Pearl Harbor was attacked. People were shooting into the occupied homes of the Japanese so the first memories were of mothers and children sleeping in the hallways of their home and staying away from the windows. The civil authorities rounded the Japanese up into buses and took them to temporary shelters such as the horse stalls at Santa Anita where they tried to scrub the smell of horse urine from the stalls before laying down their bedding. The buses arrived to take them away from their homes within days of Pearl Harbor attack.

    The ones that lost everything were those that owned and ran shops in cities. Some of the farmers were lucky in that some found caretakers who would oversee their land and keep it running during the internment. My family is still grateful to the Portuguese ranchers and farmers who did this and gave the farm back to my family after the war.

    There were those that resisted: They were called the “no no boys” because they were asked 2 questions: Do you love America? and would you be willing to fight for America? If the person answered no to both questions, they were segregated and shipped to Tule Lake in Northern CA. The rest were sent to camps all over the west to include Manzanar in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas and Gila Bend Arizona (where my family went – a real garden spot from what they tell me.) ( check out a movie: Farewell to Manzanar as one of the children of the camps became a writer and college English professor.)

    The Japanese who were willing to fight for the United States were formed into the 442nd combat regiment that was assigned to fight up the “boot of Italy” ( Look up the 442 and you may note they had a very high casualty rate – but they did the job. Japanese enlisted soldiers led by Texas National Guard officers.) or they were in the Pacific working with headquarters interpreting Japanese radio traffic. Most of my uncles were interpreters. My father worked on the bomb. (hence my own attraction for things that go “BOOM”)

    There was a riot at Tule Lake by the no no boys and American troops shot a number of detainees that rushed the gates with machine guns. All was not peaceful within Stateside USA.

    After the war, for decades, my mother would send and receive postcards from Japanese people from all over the western US. When I left home and went to fire academy and police academy, I met other young Japanese whose parents knew each other by virtue of “the camps”. It was a shared negative experience that forged bonds that lasted until they passed away in the past 10 years. This is part of the reason that the asians “stick together” and may be distrustful of outsiders and the Federal Govt. to this day.

    1. CaliRefugee, Thanks for your synopsis. Subjects such as these can inflame old wounds, and comments can sometimes be construed to either be intended to be hurtful or place blame. My intentions are neither.
      On the surface, I have no sympathy for the “no-no boys”. No more than I have for any citizen who burns the flag or calls for destruction of the U.S. I suspect that your family didn’t view them in a good light either.
      This is where it gets touchy, and please don’t take this wrong. It sounds as if a case could be made that the government saw the internment of families like yours as an act to protect them from an inflamed citizenry.
      My Dad held Japanese folks in low regard. He was drafted right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and was “interned” in the South Pacific for “the duration” as he called it. He blamed that on Germany and Japan. Bottom line is we the people bear the pain and burdens of our governance.

      1. Senator Daniel Inouye from Hawaii was member of the brigade. Read the Wikipedia information of his military service. Extremely Impressive!

  32. As a teenager I drove some relatives to the 442nd reunions in Los Angeles, CA. Most of the survivors of the regiment were easy to spot by their gray hair and missing limbs. To a youngster, the combinations of medals, banners and missing limbs makes quite an impression.

    Almost to a man, they told me and their children to not join the military. They fought with the hopes that we would go to college. Many of us joined the various Law Enforcement agencies in Southern CA as a result. If the Japanese 2nd generation are bitter, they hid it well from the 3rd generation. The 3rd generation had many that became militant and loud. ( those of us that became cops were the quiet ones.). 3rd generation were the ones that demanded reparations for internment in the 1970’s.

    As for me, I have nothing to be bitter about and am grateful to them. They gave us a good head start in life.

  33. Lots of great comments and I am a little late….Just got back from L.A. It is NOT where you want to be when it all goes down. For all of us not in the big cities, get to know your neighbors and be prepared as much as you possibly can. If you are in a large town or city (maybe you have aging parents or who knows what) be smart, be prepared and try to get out fast. Honestly, how does anyone live in that insanity anymore? The weather is great but it’s no longer a great place to live. God Bless.

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