How Would A Non Prepper Know That You’re A Prepper?

An unfortunate concern is other people knowing that you’re a prepper.

Why might this be a bad thing?

– Because you may be stereotyped and looked upon differently within social circles.

– You will be catalogued (consciously or subconsciously) as a potential resource.

– Your OPSEC will be blown.

– Word may spread (inadvertently or on purpose) creating further potential concerns.

– You will face bigger security issues if it all “hits the fan”.

– “Big Brother” doesn’t like preppers.

– You will become a potential target of sorts.

 
It’s unfortunate too because the mainstream media does not portray prepper’s very well if given the opportunity to stereotype poorly.

Who’s a “prepper”?

Prepper’s are people who mostly have traits and characteristics similar to many of our ancestors. Prepper’s are mostly just regular people who have the common sense to be prepared for uncertainty and modern day risks.

A Prepper…

– likely has a decent food storage inventory.
– is probably not a progressive liberal.
– usually has plenty of common sensibility.
– may be adept at ‘critical thinking’.
– takes responsibility for one’s self.
– probably has a garden or two or three.
– will be working on self sufficiency to an extent.
– will have some practical skills (or working on them).
– likely owns a firearm(s).
– likely enjoys the outdoors.
– unless retired, works a job just like everyone else.

I could go on. However suffice it to say that there are lots of people who actually would be considered preppers who themselves wouldn’t label as such.

It’s essentially a responsible way of life that mitigates risks, whereas others simply depend upon external safety nets in case they need them.

There are SO MANY unprepared people today that it truly becomes risky for others to know that you may be well prepared, or a prepper.

While most all preppers do not wish for circumstances which would put us into “hunker down” mode, if it did happen, those who know – may come a knocking.

And that will present a whole new set of issues and uncomfortable decisions.

So, back to the title of this article, “How would a non-prepper know that you’re a prepper?”

How They Might Know You’re A Prepper

Loose Lips Sink Ships

1. The number one reason that other people find out you’re a prepper is by you or your spouse (anyone in your group) opening their mouth about it. Loose lips sink ships!

You might be proud of your preparedness or your deep food pantry (or whatever else) but you should resist the inclination to talk about it. Some people are more likely to brag than others, however even the disciplined may let something slip.

It may seem 100% harmless to talk about it, especially since we’re not living in a SHTF world right now. You may have friends or acquaintances (even family) that you believe would not be an issue if they knew more about your preparedness. However you better be very sure about that. People talk. And those people talk. Etc..

Your “Stuff”

2. The second most likely reason how people find out you’re into prepping is when they see any of your ‘stuff’.

If you have stacks of 5 gallon buckets or pails of food storage and someone sees it, they’re going to know something’s up. Why? Because most people don’t have that stuff, so it stands out in their mind.

The problem is, it becomes normal for you to be looking at (through your own eyes) the locations where you have your preps. After awhile it doesn’t seem unusual. But for others, they’ll pick it out right away.

Do you have shelves and shelves with foods or supplies sitting there? Are they in plain site? Cases of home canned foods perhaps? You get the idea… anyone who’s in your house and happens to see these items will be signaled that you’re not a normal unprepared person with just a week or two of food in the house. Get the idea?

Some time ago we had a couple visit the house (they were friends of another couple who were visiting us at the time), and when “he” spotted my Big Berkey in the kitchen, right away he suspected. I put it off as just filtration because I have a well pump, but a few additional clues gave it away that we were preppers. Turns out (fortunately) that he too was (is) a prepper.

I’m just trying to point out that what others see will influence what they think. So look around through another set of eyes. What do you see?

Word Spreads Fast

3. Word of mouth. This relates to #1 but I’m listing it separately as a concern because it is.

The scenario is someone else (who you entirely may trust) somehow mentioning in conversation to one of their friends or acquaintances something that provides a clue that you’re a prepper. It may be a seemingly harmless mention ( “Oh, did you know that Betty does a lot of canning? She has a huge shelf in her basement with lots of canned foods.” “There’s other stuff down there too.” ).

Word has a way of spreading over time. Also things tend to get exaggerated.

 Additional Ways That They Will Know You’re A Prepper
(from your ongoing comments below)

– How about going to Wally World and being spotted by someone you know with a “flat-bed” cart full?

– UPS or FedEx driver making deliveries to your home

– Neighbors drop by occasionally and when the garage is open, comments like – is that a freeze drier, nice generator, why three freezers, How many canning jars does one need??? and many more comments…

– The serviceman working on your furnace in the basement notices and mentions something about how much toilet paper you have.

 WHAT TO DO?
Short of being a hermit and never talking to anyone, OPSEC (operational security) may be a challenge. It’s up to you to figure out your own strategies. However do be aware as best you can about what you say to others when you’re stepping into the realm of your own preparedness. It’s the world we live in today…

What about your opinions?
What other things might give it away that someone is a prepper?

Continue reading: Practical Skills That People Once Knew

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69 Comments

  1. OPSEC is a problem. People do come in to our house. Yes we have stacks of 5 gal. buckets in the basement. The problem is where else can you put them. The attic gets too hot in the summer and gets way too cold in the winter, the same for our unattached garage. The basement is the only logical place for long term storage. We also have a humidity problem in the basement, so I have to leave that door open to get proper air flow to control the humidity. To store them anywhere else is not going to sit well with the wifey.

  2. – Unfortunately for me, my general OPSEC is long since blown; although my day job is at the Urgent Care, my DW’s is as a newspaper editor. That means that in addition to everything else, I also have a ‘dead-tree-blog’ which goes out once a week. You try and write something every week and see if you don’t give yourself away.

    I also have the Mayor, City Secretary, Chief of Police, 3 Sheriffs and a couple of counties worth of Deputies (including the undercover ones), the Chief Jailer and several Judges home and business phones in my phone. I live in a small town where everyone pretty well knows everyone else’s business.

    Additionally, I live where when a flood cut this little burg off from the rest of the world for about ten days. our one store was getting a little low on milk, bread and eggs per the manager, but had not sold one flashlight battery during that time. That is despite a three-day power outage.
    Is that a good thing, or bad?

    – Papa S.

  3. Papa,
    That seems like a good thing to me (batteries). Your community maybe more prepared than you think.

  4. The only ‘Secret’ you have, is the one you die with.
    I know.
    What I did in Vietnam, a lifetime ago, known only to me and God, will die with me.

  5. I use false walls, for instance under stares is an easy place to keep long term items with a thin peace of painted plywood or a closet with a false wall in the back of it and full of clothes. A false wall doesn’t have to be fancy, poor lighting and a couple of magnates to hold the false wall in place is all it takes.

  6. I had a purpose built, outdoor shed with lighting, HVAC, raised foundation, etc. But I got concerned as we became so used to just running out there few times a day, instead of the store. The activity was at least partially in sight of a couple of neighbors, of dubious character. Now we are empty-nesters. So the kids abandoned stuff goes out in the shed and the preps moved inside.

    I only worry about some upcoming window replacements. Guess I’ll have to do that myself.

  7. We live far way from any city; most people out here have gardens, canning jars, pressure canners, multiple frig and freezers. Plus most of us bulk shop once a month and load up the pickup truck. Then there’s another pickup truck load of animal supplies to feed the various types of animals wondering around the property. Yes, the delivery folks come and they see some of the small livestock, but they also see the tall fences, hot wires, locked gates, no trespassing signs and a few of the 100+ pd dogs guarding the property. All of this might trigger a city person into thinking of preppers but we’re really just farmers and ranchers who will protect what we have worked hard for.

  8. Good Article, I really like this one.

    OPSEC is almost imposable to keep long term especially in Small Town America.

    I have been in this area for well over 38 years, and know dang near everyone within 3000 miles.

    How do you go to Sam’s Club and buy 10 cases of vegetables and 5- 57# bags of Dog Food without someone you know stopping ya and yacking for 20 minutes?

    Or better yet, try building a Bunker for food storage and the entire neighborhood stopping to help pour those Concrete Walls.

    Go to the local Gun Shop and purchase 4000 rounds of 5.56, Yeah that’s going to keep quiet for sure.

    So how do ya keep your OPSEC??? I have zero idea, if you’re actively into building surpluses and Gardening/Canning, Shooting, or 900 other different things involved in the Lifestyle.

    In the same breath, I sure as heck would not put up a bulletin board. Or advertise on the Radio BUT!!!! As Ken stated it only takes one person.

    Seriously how do you hide 600 rolls of TP, 50 cases of Bottled Water, 50,000 rounds of Ammo, and enough food to feed France for a year?

      1. Lauren;
        Thanks….. HAHAHAHA
        I have seriously been looking at Dehydrated Water though, seem the way to go.

        1. NRP, I think you just identified a primary peril of living in “small town America” (TM). And that is… everyone knows your business. This is where I am glad to be a nameless, faceless gray man at the end of a street, in suburban Los Angeles. Neighbors hardly ever socialize. We keep plain vehicles without any Gadsden stickers. And a couple of tons of d-day supplies buried in plain sight.

          All anyone sees is a poor-looking, work-a-day schmuck shuffling off to work and back each day. Those that do gossip about me call me ‘strange’; and that’s just the way I like it.

    1. Speaking of 556, Walmart is getting out of the hand piece ammo business so checks your nearby stores. We just picked up a few at 15 cents per round. Plan to use everyone of them in the next week or so when family is home to sharpen skills (maybe). A friend gave us a heads up so we were able to help them get rid of their evil product.

      1. DAMedinNY;
        Thanks for the Heads Up, $0.15 is cheap…..
        What’s a little funny, or vary sad, 5.56 is not handgun ammo, but welcome to the Socialist Co. of Wally World.
        FYI, by comparison, just picked up some 338 Match Grade at @ $2.70 per round… OUCH!!!!

    2. Yeah
      And there we have FB…..
      My 2nd cousin posted she canned a 100# of potatoes.
      A great accomplishment, yes, but not what I would advertise.
      We moved all our basement stores on the other side of the wall ..away from any repair person’s eyes.
      Other items are tucked away.
      Any hints of stocked items, new purchases, etc.
      The packaging is burned, not turned out to the trash pick up. Receipts, also. As simple as empty ammo boxes, they are burnt, not in a trash bag. Spent casings are collected, even .22

  9. example, we purchased the Apex solar gen and one of the panels was defective on the back. We did a swap and when the new one was delivered the Fed Ex guy said, “What are you all going to do with one solar panel”? The panels are labeled on the box. Or the Sam’s checker asked, “Do you have a restaurant”? No, we donate to food pantries…….

    1. The serviceman working on your furnace in the basement notices and mentions something about how much toilet paper you have.

      Answer; my wife complained to our children about how expensive toilet paper was and they all gave her rolls and rolls of the stuff for her birthday as a joke!

    2. Mrs U, use it to power one light for a chicken coop. If you don’t have chickens, it is a gift for a friend who has chickens…etc.

      I just did Wally and Aldi shopping and much was for local food pantry, after I rotate my stuff out.

  10. People are going to find out unless you are a recluse that only buys crap 2 counties over and only pays cash.

    People have eyes and a memory.

    You can even talk about it. Might be even a funny joke.

    They may simply notice that you always seem to have everything you need. Never run out of barbeque sauce or propane when grilling. Hit a rock with the mower and you not only have a spare blade but a spare hub. You always seem to have enough gas in the shed for any use…

    Someone might notice you can food with a sweet All American pressure cooker. Handy with a welder.

    It doesn’t matter that much if they know you are a “prepper”. What matters is to what extent. Most people will notice that you seem to have a lot of bins of “Christmas decorations”. But they don’t know it is really enough beans to take a rocket to the moon. They don’t need to know you have more center rifle cartridges than there are seconds in a week.

    The kind of people that see your stash of home-canned red beets and think to themselves in a SHTF situation “Imma gunna go dere house an git me some dem beets” are not the kind that you should be associating with.

    You might stumble across a new friend.

  11. My husband tells anyone and everyone. The obvious concerns of this continue to fall on deaf ears.

    The plus side to this, we’ve met some like minded people. We’ve taught each other skills and have a friendly agreement to have each other’s backs in case the SHTF.

    1. Amateur Prepper,
      Your husband sounds like the weakest link in your opsec. Perhaps you could find, in the new like minded people you mentioned , the one you are most comfortable with and ask him/her to have a quiet talk about opsec with your husband.
      It is best to deal with the issue now instead of in a SHTF scenario.

    2. Amateur Prepper, we had the same issue a few years ago with a family member living with us. I took to hiding, burying, disguising food until only the tip of the iceberg remained visible. I had to do it slowly to make it look like we had been using it. So now, I am the only one who knows where it all is.

      1. Very Clever Lonely Peanut! Disinformation and concealment at it’s best!

        And I think of that “tip of the iceberg” my active food supply/sacrificial if needed supplies.

        Family is not always an asset. Even good friends need not know everything.

        1. Me2, amen to even good friends need not know everything. Especially that couple who know they should prepare but refuse to do so. I will come to your house he says. I laugh, you can’t walk that far! And the wife does not want to eat rice or beans or even pasta. I say, you will die and she says probably or I will learn to like it.

  12. Living a self reliant lifestyle and keeping it a secret is pretty darn near impossible at times. We try not to accidentally blab info .There is a need to know ( close family) and a want to know (all others) situation. Loose lips do sink ships!
    We have a basement and shop to disperse stuff around a bit . It is not in one big pile. We do have false walls and hide spaces to help spread stuff around .
    We live rural and there are gardens, food canning and gunshots are not an uncommon sound.We think we blend in pretty well with the neighbors.
    We will be building a queen size bed box that will store about 14, 5 gallon LTS buckets.That will be in a guest bedroom.
    We try not to use the term prepper in conversations , instead we use self reliant. Vigilance is a virtue and a 24 hour job.

    1. I love the idea to store the 5 gal pails under the bed! I can’t wait till we have the time to build one of these units.

  13. This topic is dear to my hart ! I live in a block of flats and the landlords send around peep to inspect the electrics , check water heaters and so on , so I show them my fish tanks full of tropical fish and the heavy metal axe (hma) filter for it you can see there eyes glazing over after a few mins lol (i do not tell them they are looking at my water storage. they look at my 5 gallon brewing buckets and even accept a glass of wine on occasion its just a hobby my flour mill is explained by my preference for fresh whole meal bread . Seed sprouting , well its organic ! Fishing rods and air rifles are littered around you mean you do/dont fish is my response to inquiries and i start up the one sided boring conversation . I am thought of as slightly strange but its always a different person on the next visit!

    1. Bill Posters,

      I have always found that people will shy away from folks who act a “bit off”. Of course in my case I just act normal, and that seems to keep many from returning. Hope you have a decent place to head out to if SHTF, that block of flats you live in would make me very nervous.

      1. minerjim
        yes i do my sister lives in deepest wales on a few acres of land with no houses close by :)

  14. We live in off the beaten path farm country. Pretty much everyone who lives outside of the small towns could be classified as a prepper. We still practice being gray. No bumper stickers, NRA emblems, etc. on the vehicles. Nor do we wear any clothing that advertises us as such.

    1. Yep, no bumpers stickers- that’s a good way to get your vehicle damaged. And clothing is easier to identify you in some situations when it has logos or wording that gets noticed. I do have to say that my hubby enjoys putting on his Trump camo hat with the flag just to annoy people in certain situations….like the other night when we went out to eat wings and he knew a local rabid lib would be there.

  15. Bill Posters,

    That location of your Sister’s sounds great! Are you allowed to have a shotgun out there, or do you have a longbow or two and a couple dozen arrows to defend yourselves?

    1. no licences for a shot gun lol but not impossible to get .my daughter all the grandchildren in this country have been bow peep for years with custom bows of their own but remember small game is ltd in the uk and most can be taken with an air rifle or traps . personal defense i dont see as a big issue but i will keep that as an oppsec issue lol . the property has well water and can be heated by wood . because it is cut off every winter by snow for some time the routines of our life style are ingrained in my sister and her partner

  16. I engage in Jedi mind tricks… Those are not the bottles of Bourbon you are looking for… ;)
    Seriously Opsec is impossible…between the kids (lord only knows what they blab to their friends at school) baby sitter etc. The jacked up 80’s Suburban with comm gear doesn’t help either. Where we are it’s redneck country so there are are many guys running around with the same style rigs so I semi blend in. Most people assume I am some low IQ ignorant redneck which is even better. I like being underestimated.

    It is best to cache or conceal the bulk of your supplies. We have a very deep pantry but that is what I allow everyone to see. Kids do not even see 2/3 of everything that is hid in plain site or cached off site.

  17. Well, it’s 25 miles to the nearest stoplight. Us country folk, just normally keep a few extra things around. Once had a neighbor comment on the stash of coffee at our home. Yep, the wife has to have her caffeine, so we keep a good bit. She’s really grouchy without her coffee.

    Who really knows, what she thought. It will only matter if shtf. Otherwise, we’re just normal country folk and only go to town when need be. Stocking up with “on sale” items is what us poor folk do.

    1. Plainsmedic – Stocking up on sale items is not just what poor people do, it’s also what anyone who has ever been poor does. Fact is, anyone could be a few steps away from poverty these days. Get on the wrong side of dot.guv or the authorities and you’ve had it. (Ask Stand his Ground)

      I lost a job about 4 years ago. Totally burned out of the whole charade, with an empty nest I said ‘eff it’ and went on my own. And I went native too, lots of HD work clothes, shaving optional, wash the truck every few weeks, maybe… People assumed I was destitute, one old guy even offered me assistance. Ha! Anyway, I’ve got a full schedule these days, not poor (praise God). … But I kept the lifestyle and the look. I kinda like being known as a nobody.

  18. if you live where anyone “sees” you make the odd purchase, I would suggest buying the “odd” supply, even if not on big sale. And if a big sale comes up, buy up some, even if not needed. Folks do notice who is making purchases and who is not. I knew years back one older woman who without even thinking it over, carried this out constantly, and even would put stuff in her cart if folks were “chatting” from local, and later put it back out. She seldom really needed anything (as I was a close visitor, I knew), as her freezers and cellar and closets were well stocked. However, anyone having a quick look at her doing “grocery shopping”, would never have guessed.

  19. Wally World? You couldn’t pay me enough to set foot in that sewer. No one will see me hauling anything out of that store. I much prefer their home delivery service.

    Serviceman at the house? Not a chance in hell. I fix everything myself. Well, I did let the cable company make the line drop off a pole for my Internet service, but “only to the MPOE please; I’ll take it from there”.

    Nosy neighbors? That’s one of the beautiful things about SoCal. Generally, everyone is so wrapped up in their own narcissism, that we don’t even say hi. The exception are elderly folks on the block… but they are not aware of a lot going on.

    Digging, welding, stocking, stacking, whatever; my place has always been a cacophony of activity. Everyone knows I do my own work, on pretty much everything. I’m just the local eccentric screwball who has very ugly reactions to being blown awake by drunk party animals at 3am. That happened twice in 18 years. The chilling effect remains to this day.

    Come to think of it…. there is much to be said for having a reputation as the local psycho. I live in my own little world, but hey… at least the folks there know me well.

    1. Your in good company tmcgyver
      college kids aka morons down the road threw a bunch sissy limpwrister cans of frutiy tuti alci-hol cans on my front lawn last night from one of their flamer parties.

      This morning I Proceeded to pick up the cans chucked them on the back of one of the cars their momma bought them then picked up their recylin can at the end of the dive and tossed the f-er all over front lawn and driveway so they had a big mess to clean.

      Im still younger but I can see how I will turn into you someday so you are now my role model :)

        1. Oh Lauren – you are a master wordsmith – that “roll” model wasn’t accidental. (looks down at gut – cringes)…

      1. White Cracker: Oh that’s funny! There is a drunk crew that gets together at the end of the week at my neighbors house. One guy threw a beer can over my fence one day, in protest that I had put up video cameras. I went apesh*t. Grabbed the can, found him in the passenger seat of a running car about to leave. I opened the car door and chucked the can straight at him while saying things not repeatable in polite company, and daring him to get his fat ass up and answer for himself. … That was one of my Curly Howard moments.

        Darndest thing… that was 5+ years ago, and we’ve been sending each other business for the last 3. Respect.

    2. tmcguyver,

      …and I see that Calirefugee speaks of you often. Be sure that you make your bed properly and keep those sheets tight. Otherwise you might find out that our beloved CaliMagoo has a dark, vengeful side…

  20. My stuff is in a spare bedroom that I keep locked. Water barrel e became tables with tablecloths over them.

  21. My OPSEC is almost non-existant at this point. Between the Grandboys and now the repairs to my house required after a Thanksgiving weekend fire in the laundry room/ kitchen.
    Insurance agents, clean up crew, and now the repairmen that are a daily event, there isn’t much that is a secret here.
    I did move alit of my peeps into the shop while repairs are going on, but most of my secrets have been let out if the bag, lol.
    I hope when all is said and done and back to normal, they will forget about me and my peeps.
    Not that I had alit, but as NRP says, ” I was farther along than 90 percent of the sheeple out there”.
    I will just have to work a bit harder when things have been put to right.
    My son in law is my GC, so we got a few things going back in that will help me out with storage and what not.
    While this mess is going on, we r escaping for the holidays to Kulafarmers neck if the woods. When I get back, it will be all done and I can get back to life.
    While I am getting a remodeled kitchen/ laundry area for not much more than my deductable, not the way to go about it.
    PEACE to All
    MadFab

    1. Mad Fab — pshaw….did you not have to throw it all out because it smelled of smoke from the fire? (or at least that is what you could look sad and chat about….grin)

  22. Jane Foxe,
    Hahaha. I sure did and put it down as a loss.
    As AC said to me, I am making lemonaide out of the lemons.
    I get an allowance for shelter and food. Been staying in the moho, so going to use that $$$ for the VRBO in Hawaii.
    Not scamming them, it’s what it’s there for.
    I was pretty down for about a week, but then got my big girl panties back in and carrying on.
    PEACE
    MadFab

  23. We have NEVER brought up any topic involving preparedness or “protection” to anyone because it is a topic that can get you labeled or ‘reported.’ If a situation warrants it, then we might get together with a few neighbors, but the time is not now.

    In my family, only my mother knows about our food storage. She has never seen our room downstairs, but knows we have food to last for “quite a while”. She knows of our gardens and canning, and has been given quite a bit of foods, some to shelve. She knows to come here if the SHTF, but that remains to be seen…as she and my stepfather age, they have become more rigid and careless, wanting to stay in their area of familiarity. Regardless, she knows some of the things that we do around our place, but the majority of our efforts are not even mentioned to her. My stepfather is intentionally NOT told anything — he is a big mouth. When they visit, they never go in our lower level, and they have never peered into any of our outbuildings. She isn’t nosey, and I don’t share much about what we do. My kids are clueless but have been told that if things ever get bad, ‘like 9/11 or worse’, they need to come here asap. I seriously doubt that either son (with families) would come here — they are both very liberal/Left and believe they have the ability to change-the-world. Both would rationally know that we have the only family ‘refuge’, but their minds don’t think that way. I won’t risk our Opsec on the slight chance that I could get them to understand preparedness and survival. So, I leave it at that.

    As for neighbors, everyone mostly keeps within their own family circle. We have families in different homes here. They probably gab, but we have never told a single person ANYTHING that would whisper ‘prepper’ — we look like we’re running a small hobby farm: gardens, livestock, small orchard, repairs/projects, garden goodies being toted to the house, nothing more. I suspect the UPS drivers have a better idea than neighbors do.

    We do have a gun range but it isn’t something we use daily. And we’re not the only ones who shoot, either. I’d guess that 85% of the homes in a 5 mile radius have firearms. We hear shots fired all the time, heavier during hunting season (turkey and deer mostly).

    Being rural, we blend better here than elsewhere and don’t really stick out as being that odd. And no one knows that we collect rolls of TP. Not that we are aware of….lol

    1. Modern Throwback,
      Your first sentence brings to mind the Department of Homeland Security program of “see something say something”.I am sure they are only interested in our safety. Silence is golden.

  24. Much has been said that is nearly Gospel on this topic. We buy on sale “extra” items, ones and twos at multiple stores of things like ammo, and buy at stores that are 50 or so miles away (necessity anyway). Due to heat and humidity in our area it is difficult to properly store most items out side of conditioned space so we are working on that issue.

    Has anyone else ever noticed that you can travel to Elbow Egypt and someone from you home area will be there? Opsec at 100% is nearly impossible. Like online or other security you can only make things “less likely”. Still worth the effort though.

  25. Thanks to this article and all replys, I spent the last hour in my pantry in the basement looking at what I could do to spread out some of the more obvious things throughout the house. I have a lot of supplies with the word patriot on the labels. As well as several buckets marked food grade that I should conceal better. All of our home canned jars could be overlooked since we are very rural and with a large garden it would be expected. But the labels I mentioned could draw unwanted attention to what other equipment I might have.I found this article very timely because I think I might have someone looking at my furnace soon and we are considering switching satellite companies who will both need access to our basement. Otherwise no one else ever sees our stuff. Thanks for all the good ideas.Stay gray.

    1. I hang sheets up to block visibility if someone is visiting. Then put items on sawhorses that block easy traversal to what is on the other side of the sheets so that it looks like I’ve been spray painting and try to keep the over spray from traveling. They don’t think anything of it and few are going to be nosy enough to look past a hanging sheet where you have to go past “wet paint” while you are standing there watching them.

      Basically do social engineering.

  26. Right off the bat, I would say we can be spotted by our wardrobe:
    My guess would be lots of carhartt, denim garments, flannel lined jeans in colder regions, button down shirts with usable patch pockets that have functional button closures. Functional clothing that is wash and wear.

    Outer layer that is waterproof and in colors that make sense. ( i.e.. when running around in my nearest large town, I wear a yellow rain jacket because I fear drivers with limited visibility more than I fear getting a bit wet. )

    Most of us drive trucks or vehicles that can haul what we need to haul be it children, groceries, and all else. ( trucks, vans and SUV’s ). The vehicle will be well maintained but may be older.

    Being the asian driver on this site, my Toyota will be the one with the scuff marks on the front and rear bumper. I can be spotted driving up your driveway by : 1. I may or may not have taken out your mailbox and/or garbage cans on the way in. ( sorry about that…)
    2. The livestock will be making noise and running away. ( Dennis’s chickens, old homesteaders beef cattle, ) 3. Your dog will be making noise and keeping me pinned within my truck. (. could be NRP’s Blue or Cujo. ). My ticket to visit: I will hold up a new roll of toilet paper as a sign: “I am one of us- part of the community of the prepared”

    1. Calirefugee,

      Love your “ticket to visit”. Could be developed into the universal password among preppers.

    2. Calirefugee,
      Careful Ol’ Son, waving a roll of TP around might be considered “brandishing” in some parts.

    3. Calirefugee:
      Not to worry about Blue buddy, he don’t like Asian Food… to dang spicy
      HAHAHA, sorry my friend l could not resist that one 😁😁😁
      I agree, roll of TP held at 2:00 would be great “no fire” indicator.

  27. Whew! What a week! I had the pleasure of cutting loose the helper who was struggling with the farm work. He is certain he latched the pen because he is meticulous (his remarks) and that someone went up there and messed with my goats. I always check around for new prints, two and 4 legged, along with checking for tire marks. We are so isolated, it is rare to get someone in there….but possible. Anyway, he turned in keys. Now I have to get hold of the vet a couple towns over for the hormone shot since these girls are way too young to be pregnant. Sigh…I don’t want to risk losing either one. My lesson learned is have a second shelter built further away for my intact boys.

    Most of this past week was spent working, visiting our friend at the nursing home (rehab), wrapping presents. (Mostly cordless power tools this year), and reordering those that were stolen! Yep, the porch pirates struck at my son’s home but Amazon simply reordered the item for me. We also had a close neighbor have a lot of beef and pork stolen right out of her large freezer in the barn! They know who did it because they saw him leaving their barn with a bag but haven’t been able to prove it to the authorities yet so mum is the word as they want to catch him in the act. He keeps coming back for more! What a piece of work! Many of these older farms have a main road that runs in between their home and their barn with other homes alongside the road.

    Well, time to help spouse and friend package the two lambs that they have finished cutting up. Peace to all of you struggling with health issues and losses. You are all in my prayers. Stay safe, healthy and alert. And here is my salute…it’s me holding up a roll of toilet paper in my right hand! LOL

  28. Oh, not to forget the s itbag roommate that thinks he’s being cute/smart.. whatever telling people.

    “that’s because he’s a prepper” tossed into a conversation to explain eccentricities..

  29. Response to Minerjim:

    I hope you will look at the new roll of clean toilet paper being held up through your rifle scope before you apply 2+ lbs of pressure on the trigger.

    There is a big difference between a new clean roll of butt-wipe versus a wad of used ( weaponized ) TP.

    Thus my idea of the roll of new/clean toilet paper as a sign that: “I am one of you- another prepared individual arriving in peace.” ( now, can you put a leash on Cujo before all the paint is gone from my truck? )

    Just my luck to have a nervous rookie cop put me down for brandishing a roll of Charmin.

    1. Darn it! How am I supposed to keep a Roll of Charmin FRESH in my BOB?

      Seems odd that Non-preppers can ID us so easily but we don’t recognize each other very well.

        1. me2 and Jabba;
          If/When Vacuuming TP remove the core.
          Will actually vac down to about 1/2″ thick, and it WILL
          explode back to its normal shape/size (almost) when opened.

    2. Well, with that 4 x 12 Leupold I should be able to tell if it is used or not out to about 400 yrs. Now that NRP guy down the road a far piece from me, he can tell the brand and the # of plys at 1/2 Mile. Word of caution for SHTF, DON’T go waving no “bargain brand” down in front of him, he may take it as an act of aggression.

      1. Minerjim:
        A few corrections if you dont mind???
        That would be closer to a full mile, hence the 338. With the 24 power.
        2nd, yar not that far up the hills from my BOL, so a suggestion, dont be bragging about no “bargain basement” TP that you’re storing up… I may just be knocking on yar door waving a roll of TP some day. And by God ya better have some soft TP for my TB… HAHAHA
        Lastly, dude I’m a Buddhist I’m always nice to EVERYONE….. just ask Ken orrrrr maybe not 😜

        1. NRP,
          I stand corrected Ol’ Son! LOL. Just make sure when you come a wavin’ yer roll you got Blue by your side, you’ll be assured a warm welcome for sure!

    1. But, But, BUT it’s SO SOFT…….

      Pro Tip to keep this somewhat on subject (a little). Charmin is NOT Septic Friendly. I used to go several years before I called for a septic pump out as the extra production of excess toilet paper waste of our Goldens tends to worry me. Somehow we switched to Charmin and then less than a year later I had an Emergency Pump out due to septic backing UP into the Goldens shower. Hard work chopping through icy snow for the actual digging out the access port.

      Less than a year later AGAIN an emergency pump out but at least I had installed the plastic escape hatch system (well it LOOKS like a hatch) so easier situation. BOTH times the Pump Operator mentioned “You must use Charmin”. The second time he joked I was paying for his girls college degree.

      I researched and Charmin is NOT Septic approved. I switched to Scotts as it is approved for septic use. Been several years and NO pump outs yet.

      As a riff on Ghost Busters “Who ya gonna call” when the septic backs up post STHF? Take care of your septic, no easy replacements you know.

      HOPEFULLY my waving a Scott Toilet Roll will keep me from getting shot by a prepper.

  30. Response to me2 regarding Charmin and the septic system:

    Thanks for the warning. I have seen others mention it on this site in days past. I use Cottonelle while my wife uses Charmin.

    …we are a house divided…

    I am not one to dictate to my dear wife what brand TP she is to use. ( happy wife= happy life ). My wife tells me that ladies have more delicate heinies…At this time, I will take her at her word and continue to buy her favorite brand when I go to the stores.

    Sorry Ken, I really took this thread sideways with the whole toilet paper thing. Butt, we had some fun along the way…

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