Staying Away From The Crowd For Safety, Security, Survival


In so many ways, by adhering to the advice “stay away from crowds”, you will up your odds of safety, security, and survival.

Now that I live in a place where crowds are essentially non-existent, the contrast is very high when I travel to regions of crowded spaces and places. It is very noticeable the ‘close calls’ that are experienced on a daily basis and it’s all directly associated and proportional to the ‘crowd’.

Here’s what I mean:

There is potential danger (literally) with crowds, with population density.

Lets say that 5% of drivers are really bad drivers. The percentage of those bad drivers who are are on the road with you at any given time is the same, regardless of living and traveling in a small town or a busy densely populated region.

The mathematical fact though is this…
You will encounter MORE of them in population dense regions.

5% of 100,000 is 5,000, while 5% of 1,000 is just 50. The probability of encountering a number of the 5,000 bad drivers while you’re driving through that region is MUCH higher than the probability of encountering any of the 50 who live in the town of 1,000.

And I’m just using ‘bad drivers’ as an example…

Most of you ‘get this’, it’s a simple thing… but the stark reality hits you in the face sometimes while traversing from one region to another… It drives home the notion that one’s safety, security, and even ‘survival’ is much more at risk comparatively and proportionally to the size of the crowd.

I have spent much of my life living in population-dense regions. Although I have since left that life behind, it is interesting to reflect back upon my ‘normalcy’ back then compared to my ‘normalcy’ now. Wow…

The day to day aggravations while living in regions with lots of other people (which is where most of the majority live) become ‘normal’ and just part of life. Sure we get aggravated by the unavoidable issues that go along with it, but we learn to deal with it and it just becomes a way of life.

We don’t even realize that our risk levels (safety, security, survival) are greatly elevated proportionally to the crowd because it’s just the way it is… especially if you know no other way…

However if and when one decides to move away from it all, the stark contrast becomes glaringly obvious – and interesting. Generally speaking, there are still the same percentages of people who are really bad drivers, or those who you may consider to be ‘idiots’ ;) , or those who you might consider to be ‘sheeple’, but the difference is there are LESS of them in numbers versus MORE of them in numbers within crowded spaces and places! Simple concept, but it becomes quite noticeable having lived life in both places…

If and when the SHTF, the same approximate percentage of unprepared sheeple people will coexist everywhere. However your life during the crunch and the aftermath will be much safer, more secure, and your odds of survival will be improved by lesser numbers while living away from the crowds… this is more important than you may think…


  1. Ken, you forgot another ‘S’ word…SANITY. Those city-dwellers are street rat crazy!!

  2. I live 160 miles from a medium sized city and find my driving is not as good in the city the longer I am away. I go into the city about every 6 months and it is a nightmare.

  3. I am babysitting grand Hildreth in Scottsdale Arizona this week. These people are nuts. They drive like lunatics, have their kids in every activity known to man so,they can go to work…..sheesh. This is no way to live.

    My children are off to a conference in Thailand, while I watch the kids. I am happy they are successful, but I will be soon happy to return to my mountain enclave.

    They will be leaving this heat and going to their Denver home in two weeks. That is where they spend the summer (Smart) because it is already near 100 here!

    1. pioneer woman
      It is ok, understood the first printing. Chaos is what that area lives on, it was bad in the mid 1980’s when we lived there. You grow eyes in the back of your head for safety or pay the consequences.

  4. It is interesting to note, what expectations there are in any given geographical area, even what is “valued” using that term loosely.

    Generally speaking the more urban, the more convenience dependent,
    more high rises, JIT shopping, less land available, higher cost of living, usually big hospitals, public utilities, education centers, cultural centers, business headquarters etc…

    Generally speaking the more rural, the more sustainable or self-sufficient
    usually older homes, more gardens, more opportunity/space for alternative energy, springs/wells, more trees/nature, living with or within the natural environment.

    Some people wish they could live somewhere else, but for others where they live now is right where they want to be.

    I would love to be a bit more remote and a bit more land, but our setup is good. I have sub-urban friends who really enjoy where they are, and could hardly imagine life w/o air conditioning or very large homes.

    We have an old “salt box” type home built in 1904 about that time. We don’t have to worry about huge heating bills or A/C…It still needs some cosmetic work interior, but we’ve put a lot of work into other areas. After 12 years, we have a wood burner, can run 90% of our house on solar, and have our own spring. We have animals and garden and fruit trees. It is work, we put in lots of hours a week caring for our sheep and chickens and other stuff, but it is so rewarding. I praise God.

    I wish you all the best and if moving is a dream or prayer in your heart,
    I hope it is realized speedily! Be encouraged today!

  5. Man do I agree with this. Our problem is we DON’T have the money to get out of this area so I guess we are pretty much screwed.

  6. Reading this article reminds me of that old adage, “If you play with fire, you’re gonna get burned.”

    Stay away from crowds; stay out of the cities….

  7. I can’t handle being around crowds, even just to go to the hardware store or Costco is tough at times. I just don’t like being around too many people packed in like sardines. Can deal with it if I have to but is definitely not my preference, hence, I will many times pay way more for something if I can just get it at our one and only neighborhood store.

    1. Kulafarmer
      Know where you are coming from about Costco and ours it not the super large store, thank goodness but to many people. If you go in the evening hours about closing time it will be better shopping. Around 7pm until doors close is a good time.

    2. How do you like the “free sample” stations at Costco? People lose their mind, completely. They get immediately conscripted into the FSA, (Free Sh*t Army). They turn into zombies. Their eyes transfixed upon the sizzle of the little electric skillet. Their attention utterly focused on the carnival barker bellowing in monotone over and over. These people will simply let go of their cart, sometimes with children aboard and let the cart roll away or drift into the center of the aisle, blocking the path.

      It turns into an impromptu social event. Free stuff, in little paper souffle cups. They’ll take 2 or 3 and just stand there and savor them. Some will brag about how they “get a free meal” by circling back and hitting all the free stuff. We are talking about a full catatonic group state. They don’t SEE their loaded cart drifting away. They don’t HEAR paying customers verbally imploring them to please move out of the way on the assurance there will still be free stuff for them once I pass by.

      I’ve actually contacted Costco about this. I’ve asked if there is an hour during the day when customers are allowed to spend money in their store without doubling-back up an aisle to avoid the clusters of mindless FSA drones blocking traffic. I even offered to pay a higher membership rate if they could promise me an opportunity to spend money freely in their store.

      Kula, I think we may have some things in common. I follow your comments on that other site as well.

      Yes, crowds in general freak me out. But the Costco thing and the animal-like behavior that comes with it, tops my list.

      Had to vent.

      Feel better now.

      1. Kula, McGyver & Antique,

        I’m to the point where I pretty much avoid Costco, I think they are all the same. People cramming into the “free sample” areas, people getting really pushy and driving their carts into others because they have lost their patience. And that’s on a “regular” day.

        I can’t even imagine what these stores would be like in an emergency. I can just imagine people fighting it out in the aisles for the last of the water, milk, diapers, or whatever supplies have run out. No thanks, I’ll pay more to shop at other stores on “regular” days, and I would NEVER go near one in an emergency – talk about compromising your personal safety!

      2. Reply to Cosco and Sams shoppers: Ditto for other large stores. We quit Sams recently, got tired of the hassle of lines, poor customer service, etc. I shop Publix and Wal Mart grocery Market (not a supercenter wal mart) Best time to shop anywhere: early in the week, early in the morning or when store opens. Home Depot is best early morn. on weekdays. No weekend shopping.

    3. Hi Kula,

      We’ve been to Maui, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island, and a couple of years ago on the Big Island I read an article about local farmers and the challenges of moving away from crops like sugar cane and pineapple, to crops that would feed more people, including crops to feed cattle.

      Has there been any kind of progress on any of the islands toward being able to grow/raise more food for locals? After reading your posts on other threads here, it seems like there has not been much improvement, sadly.

  8. We are in a suburban area that is population dense. Land is valuable, and lots are pretty small; all but the very oldest homes are 2-story, and very close together. The homes aren’t that large – just tightly packed. There’s lots of cement and not enough dirt – and little privacy when outdoors.

    We spent last weekend on another road trip looking for a community that suits our needs – starting as a weekend property that would morph into retirement property within a few years. There’s such a difference between the daily commute we drive and driving in these rural areas, and it is such a pleasure to be around trees, fields, orchards, 2-lane roads, streams, etc…

    I recognize that it will be a lot of physical work to maintain even a “small” property in whichever area we choose, but I welcome it compared with the daily rat race we live in now. Plus, we will get the added protection of being far away from military bases, international airports, large power plants/refineries and huge shipping ports – all of which are prime targets for attack and too close for comfort to where we live and/or work.

    One of our big challenges (once we find a property that works for us) will be the time when we can only go there on weekends and holidays, before we can move there full-time. If there is a SHTF type event during that split residence time, we would have to pass through very dangerous and crowded areas to get to our safe place. But, we have to take it one step at a time… first, find the right place :)

    1. SoCalGal…Keep looking and realize that it is doable.

      We bought our little homestead 4 years ago-lived her now two years. We had sold EVERYTHING not nailed down; spent little to no money; found our place and bought it tho rented it back to a couple we bought it from for one year.

      We promptly planted an orchard on the property after purchase. Traveled back and forth for a year after the couple found their own place; keeping minimum stuff at the homestead and planning on paper all our next projects. Was finally able to move and lo and behold – hubby was forced into early retirement! Sitting pretty with no bills and no mortgage. I would not have done anything differently.

      Keep looking and planning. I always say my most important prep is the small notebook I carry with me at all times. EVERYTHING is written down there. Thoughts, ideas, projects, lists, dreams, possibilities, properties, etc., etc. I even take notes off the comments on this site (thank you everyone!). But the best part? We were able to practice prepping where we were before we ever moved.

      “Guerrilla Homesteading” I call it. Replaced all our landscaping with edibles, gardened amongst the flowers, and drove the duplicate homeowners organizations crazy in our Denver suburb. I wouldn’t go back there ever! Keep looking and you will find your property. All the best.

      1. Hi DJ5280,

        Thanks for the nice note. Love your “Guerrilla Homesteading” label – that’s a great way of approaching it. I like your idea about a small notebook I could tuck into my purse and use to jot down ideas and things to do… my brain is on overload some days and I’m sure I lose track of valuable info along the way.

        And it sounds like you made the move not a moment too soon – thankfully you were truly prepared when your hubby was forced into retirement – that could have been a real set-back had you not been so diligent in staying on track and following your dreams. Best to you!!!

    2. I live in Southern Cali too, in the Inland Empire on a one acre lot. Yard work can be overwhelming at times though.

      1. JF,

        Yep… especially while we will be part-time residents in whatever new place we choose, we have to take that into account. We’ve looked at properties from 1/2 to 3 acres so far.

  9. We are 30-45 minutes to a larger town with a Walmart or HEB. I go the back roads. I cannot stand the Interstate. I flat out will not get on it. There are several wrecks on it daily and I am not exaggerating. People are nuts. If you go the speed limit, you get honked at and people are mad. I will stay in our small town.

  10. Great artical now that I’m sitting in the middle of Portland (two million in the metroplex) for the rest of the week… LOLOL Thanks Ken

    1. Now just imagine everybody trying to get out all at once!
      Sounds like fun eh…

    2. I’m over on the other side of the river at the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge.

  11. Ever since I got my discharge from the military in January 1973 I have found myself living at the end of the road, right now we are in a very small rural community 20 miles from town, it suits me just fine.

    If I had any word of advice for the city dwellers it would be to get yourself set up with the same cooking and cleaning supplies you would need for a 6 month camping trip but plan on camping at home. When we have a extended power outage instead of starting the genny to run the pump for the toilets we use a porta potty, has to be dumped every 4 days but that’s saves over a hundred gallons of water, that was just a example of what I mean.

  12. We left the city 13 years ago and we don’t want to go back there. My kids keep asking us to move closer but why would we?

    We don’t have neighbors breathing down our necks, minimal traffic, clean air, peace and quiet. Would have liked to have a bigger property but I feel we’re lucky as we are. The only downside for us is that DH is still working in the city and plans to continue for another 8 years as long as things don’t go belly up.

    The weather is warming up so that means that we’re entering idiot season. Found a couple of them last weekend in the grocery store. They were easy to spot, wearing thick heavy jackets over their shorts and flip-flops. Dead giveaway.

    Hate it when they show up, population just doubles. Guess I should just consider dealing with them practice for when the ball drops.


    1. lol, KK, I had to laugh at the thick coats and shorts and flip-flops. Never understood this…

      We have found a site over in Europe, next to the Alps…so, this fall, we will be building our home, and doing the alternate one in the southern parts of Europe…got to have two just in case…at least much of if will be logs and pre-made concrete blocs about a foot thick or so. Three months building time for each to be move in ready.

      Can’t wait to leave this place I am in right now….its the people darn it…the zombies on steroids….sigh…done ranting for now…

      1. @Texas
        Sorry kido. Only a 2.6 on the Rant-O-Meter…. A little more effort please… HAHAHA

        1. LOL, NRP my friend, gosh darn it, I lost my ranting touch….:) Next time…I am sure we will hear the news in a few days which will heat up my temper :)

  13. It amazes me how I dislike going to town(city now) for shopping. Over the years we went from a 8,000 to 89,000+, and that is just the city.

    Our needs are now provided via the net and Postal service, as I avoid being around the outlanders as much as possible when shopping unless it is a no choice situation.

  14. I read an article in the news today that claims that a Brazilian soccer player is advising tourists to stay away from the Olympic Games because of the violence and substandard community structure. Smart to heed his advice.

    1. Hi Lady,

      I heard the same thing on the radio driving home last night. It seemed to me he was warning people to be very worried about their safety from crime and from Zica. You could not pay me to put myself at risk to attend the Olympics – between the crime, the political unrest and the possibility of getting sick – no way would I want to be there – far too unsafe on so many levels for me!

  15. I’d lived in Dallas 29 years, and the crazy traffic and crazier people were the norm. You just never thought about it. We’ve been here in the Ozarks now for 15 years, and wouldn’t go back for any amount of money. When we first moved here I’d ask people “why do they have traffic reports on the radio? A busted radiator hose at Sunshine & Battlefield isn’t a traffic report, in Dallas they gave body counts”.

    We’re far enough from any population concentration not to be too worried about a SHTF situation as regards to the Golden Horde, but there are some pretty strange characters back in these hills. I asked a neighbor what he’d do about them if things went bad, he said “well, I mostly know who they are, and I’ve got a 30.06 and a backhoe”.

    It’s great to live where canning and raising animals are just everyday things. You’re not suspected of being a prepper just because you’ve got 2 pantries and few guns.

    1. @Ozarks Tom

      We have similar history. I worked in Dallas for 34 years, retired to the Ozarks in north central Arkansas, over 25 miles to the closest town, the county seat, with a population of a hair over 2 thousand (also the largest town in the county). My home is 5 miles from pavement, closest neighbor is a half mile as the crow flies.

      We may be neighbors and not know it.

  16. I took a little day trip to get a better idea of what the area really looks like these days. The small town that I graduated from in 1970 now has 100,000 people. I don’t head north to often and it was an eye opener. The greater Portland area is just one big mass. Even in late morning the traffic sucked and it’s all right at my backdoor. Actually even heading south it’s all turning into giant apt. complexes.

    1. @AKA
      Visiting my Mom in the Portland area right now. I CAN’T wait to leave. Sorry to those that live here but 99%of everyone here is RUDE&CRAZY. Drivers are just plain NUTS. The stores… OMG. And yes, I know it’s not just here…..
      And an ear full is coming Saturday.

      1. Living close to Portland was a cool thing when I was young and foolish. Went there all the time! Now I stay over in WA and we are rural, but not rural enough. It was, but now the sprawl has caught up with us. Trying to decide to move farther up the gorge, or stay and tough it out.

      2. No offense taken. :) I’m south and still somewhat rural. When I was looking at refinancing the house I told the guy that I was also thinking of moving to the boonies. He looked at me kinda funny and said that most would consider my town in the boonies. I go north only when I have to and it had been a while since I took a “tour” through the outskirts of Beaverton, Forest Grove etc. It really took my breath away.

  17. There is safety in the herd. Yes, that is where a lot of casualties are but gray man in the herd is a good strategy. We live remotely.

    When you read the blogs of people who lived through Argentina’s economic collapse they talk about the people in the country being tortured and horribly killed by renegades who also sought to get away from the crowds and had all the time in the world to do with their victims what they wanted. To wring their hiding places from them. Anyone who chooses to live away from the herd needs to consider that and take precautions.

    Any home site can be set up with a little observation. Alarms, lights and even dogs can be overcome with a little thought. Roam around your house and look at how you would attack it. Getting away from the crowd is no silver bullet. A remote location is harder to defend because it is stationary, there are routines and people tend toward normalcy bias. Unless you live in a fortress you are a sitting duck.


    1. You are so right Confused. Living in a rural area doesn’t really provide any safety in a SHTF scenario.

      I live in a semi rural area and have had two break in attempts. Thank G-d for the two dogs I own. One has had to be put down due to old age and I plan on getting another pup soon so my girl dog can train and mentor the new pup.

      Both break ins were thwarted by the dogs.

      While I do live a 5 minute drive from work ( and a 15 minute bike ride ) I do work in a big box store and it can be a challenge to keep your sanity with all the major butt holes wandering around. the good aspect is that I live close to a upper middle class neighborhood and there seems to be less jerks.

      If I do have to bug out for home I know all the back country roads and can bike, walk or drive. Our small NW Ohio town has grown from 25K to 55K in the last dozen years and has brought good and bad. The good is more good paying jobs. The bad is all the new construction on Northbound I 75 which forces most folks to find alternative routes through town.

      I avoid the roads at high peak travel hours.

      I do worry about The Golden Horde invading my space, gardens and home. Most likely it won’t be the high society types where I work. They’ll cower in their homes while the Urban Horde burns, rapes and ravages it’s way in the ‘burbs. then the hungry Horde will turn on the rural and farm people.

      have a plan my friends. Stash away some extra food, water purification devices, ammo and most importantly, basic medical supplies.

      Buckle up because we have a bumpy ride ahead!

      Snake Plisken

  18. I live like five minutes from Austin in a sleepy anonymous suburb with manicured lawns and sidewalks. I am not going to say I am screwed, my wife and I are here cause we are young and have to work and are one generation removed from utter inner city poverty.

    Needless to say we have been around the type of people who will riot and loot and Dana across the street with her husband who cannot turn a wrench or replace a tail light on their Dodge Caravan is not going to be a problem and the looters and the like will ride rough shot over their blocks but do not have the drive or vision to move away from the easy marks.

    Having said that, I would rather-be in the Ozarks but that is not happening for us. Maybe someday, but in the meantime we pray and we prepare the best we can. Besides when SHTF or TEOTWAWKI hits I do not want to have to kill a neighbor over water or a can of spam but I guess we all play the hand we are dealt and maybe we will be okay or maybe we will not. Only God knows.

    Stay safe everyone.

  19. I travel on Interstates daily.

    Two days ago, there was an accident where 3 people were killed, and 3 more injured badly. They closed off the west bound lanes for several hours while they investigated, and cleaned up the accident. Then, they had to close the opposing lane(s) to continue the investigation in the other direction.
    (Car crossed over the median and had a head on with on coming traffic.)
    The lanes were closed 5+ hours. Many people were stuck sitting idle.

    This is when your EDC’s and your GHB’s come in handy…Hopefully ya’ll carry snacks or MRE’s or something in them “just in case” you’re sitting idle for hours on end. It can happen anywhere… but, if you are on an interstate and you are past a ramp…. you are just stuck waiting.

    This accident happened in a rural area where the exits are few and far between.
    I am glad I was not on the highway at that time… however, I was there 2 hours prior to that incident.

    I could have been a prepared sitting duck. At least I would have had dinner. I’m sure many people had nothing as it seems that 90+ percent of the population are simply not prepared. Or so we think.

    1. Okay, maybe this is “silly”, but I am always wondering when I hear of these situations…hours long line ups on free ways etc , what are folks doing about “calls of nature”?

      Managing to hold it? Sort of angling one’s self in between door and car and hoping no one snaps/post to where ever?

      What does the prepared person advise/use in this situation?

      1. I always had a van or a truck with a topper and tinted windows since 1975 that had privacy, and a container with paper towels of sorts stashed for such emergencies…mainly if my dogs let loose, but also for me.

        1. Stardust,

          yes, that sounds perfect, for this purpose.

          hopefully I never am in such position, but thought had crossed my mind,
          with various news things, and LONG lines of vehicles, etc..

          hopefully folks would be somewhat obliging and at least not be snapping photos…sigh

      2. Never leave home without your P Jar Anon. Mine came in handy the other day and I disposed of the Pee after the sales call I was on. I have seen ladies ( I Know, I would never look ) pee in a plastic garbage bag on a long drive.

        At my age and with all the water I drink I need to plan ahead!


        Snake Plisken

        1. Snake Plisken

          that is so much common sense, I am embarrassed had not thought of it.

          Jars/lids, will be packed…

      3. I have these things called Pee Pockets. With a little practice, they do work in emergency situations.

  20. @ Texaslurker,
    If a true SHTF event happens, you, wife and kids go to Cedars Grill in Bastrop. Wear a camouflage long sleeved shirt with the left sleeve removed. Bring your own stuff and protection. You will see others there and someone will introduce themselves. This is not a militia but a group of prepared Texans that know what to do. Best of luck.

  21. to NRP: I am several hours south of your present location. Here is food for thought, try to imagine an earthquake that takes out most of the bridges up there in Portland.(almost as numerous as strip clubs up there.)

    That is why I chose not to live there. I have trouble picturing your mom going to one of the many strip clubs that are up there.

    Worse case scenario: Young man goes to a strip club, earthquake strikes so now young man is stranded AND broke.

    Enuf said. I did not mean to insult you or your mom, Portland is a strange city where the people are trying a little to hard to: “Keep Portland Weird”.

    1. @ CaliRefugee
      No offence taken, Not only my Mom but Brother, his son and all of their familes….. In my eyes, they are all out of their friggen minds…. But relitives ya know, OHHHH well.

      Your right about Portland and area, land of the idoits and crazys, wierd is such an understatement you have NO idea. And yes I know there are some good people here…. just hard to weed them out going 85 on the freeways.

      The high deserts of New Mexico is looking better and better all the time. And yes I will not complain again abut the 4 traffic lights in my local town.. HAHAHA

      1. NRP,gonna post a scenario for you on Saturday regarding your visit to Portland.
        My group now does it about once a week or so for all the group.I posted about it a couple days ago here. Your situation in Portland will make a great set up. I figure you would be game for it.Most here will have “skin in the game” knowing you are visiting Mom and are well thought of here.It’s a great mental exercise and will be thought provoking .I will try to do it early on the weekend free for all.As long as Ken doesn’t mind…

  22. Driving in a big city?

    I am an Asian driver so I am one of the many hazards to be dealt with on the roads of any big city. We are living and working in and around big cities and the scariest part of all: I have many nieces and nephews which means that we are breeding too.

  23. We live in a smallish city, approximately 50,000 population and even now are itching to leave. Both of us we were raised in the local area and stayed because we want our kids to grow up in the same environment we did.

    But that place is long gone.

    Used to be a small town, surrounded by nearby quiet citrus groves and agricultural fields, with cattle ranches further out. All of them vastly smaller – urban sprawl, with the attending infrastructure. How many Wal-Marts/Targets do you need anyway ?

  24. Something that I noticed on my drive was that the city smells bad. My car is old and have had a couple of things go wrong with it. I kept smelling bad stuff and thinking that my car was having a problem.

    I also noticed again how bad the smog is. Looks like S. California did back in the 70’s

  25. I am not sure it’s that simple of an issue. It is true that as population density decreases, the odds of running into an “idiot” decrease. However, that same is true with valuable people and commodities. There are both advantages and disadvantages to high population densities.

    I live in a rural area now, although I still commute into the city for work. It is not unusual that my house will be without electricity and/or water for several days. This is unheard of in high population density areas, i.e. when I used to live in the city. There is simply much greater concentration of resources in high density areas, so issues tend to get taken care of faster. If power or water was out for several days when I used to live in the city, people would have been getting fired. In the rural area where I live now, no one cares.

    I am not saying that people should strive to live in high population density areas, I’m just saying that it is more complicated.

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