The Most Important Skill Sets Within A Prepper Group


Those who have the right knowledge, experience, and skills to contribute for long-term post SHTF survival will be valued assets to a prepper group, ‘retreat’, homestead, or a like-minded community banding together.

A question for you is the following… “What will be considered the ‘right’ skill sets?”

A few thoughts…

It is (and will be) difficult (to say the least) to develop and maintain any sort of real self-sufficiency to survive a societal mega-collapse. For generations we have become a society dependent entirely upon external and often far-away systems which enable our very survival. Should these systems collapse, who will survive it? Answer: very few.

The best chance will come from those who have the right knowledge, skills, and experience to establish adequate self-sufficiency to make it through…

Who will be valued the most? A few thoughts come to mind… Those who will most effectively contribute to the essentials of survival, followed by subsets thereof.

Food, Food, Food! Try coming up with at least 2,000 calories of food per day per person in a self-sufficient sphere. Not easy. In fact, very difficult for most. Experienced farmers and gardeners will bring food to the table – along with the required hard assets (tools) to get the job done. The expertise (and equipment) to preserve this food will be another necessity.

Security, the tactical expertise that goes with it, and all its associated ‘hardware’ will become an important essential skill set to protect the group. The importance and numbers of one’s force will vary depending on one’s location, but will certainly be a requirement under the conditions of post societal mega-collapse.

First Aid and medical knowledge and ‘know-how’ cannot be overlooked. Living in a world of laborious hands-on hard work will certainly bring on injuries and other requirements for those who have expertise in this field. The ability to effectively treat injuries, and an array of medical supply assets, will be highly valuable.

Multi skill sets. The most valued people will be those with multiple skill sets that contribute to the group. It really will be a requirement to ‘pull your own weight’ with the ability to fill many shoes. There may be few exceptions for critical expertise however most will need to do more than one job…

Based on your comments so far:

Military experience and organized security

A hierarchy ‘chain of command’ within the group. A team leader within each categorical skill set. The importance of a good coordinator / project Leader / manager / organizer.

Existing self reliant skills. Someone who already has any number of self reliant skills will be highly valued.

‘Jack of all trades’

The importance of character and trustworthiness.

Okay, lets hear some more from you…

What are some of the more important skill sets for a prepper group?
Which slots would you fill first?
After those, what next?


  1. Coordinator.
    The ability to work with the other people who are in my area is as important as each skill set. If I can help my neighbor with his security, and protect the corn he grows, we both have a bigger tool box.


    1. This is key. A “Project Manager” is needed to keep all the parts moving in the same direction. This does not necessarily need to be the groups leader, but have at least the authority to make decisions regarding the groups activities based on a plan of action.

      1. Leadership; the ability to think on your feet, recognize the talents of your people and allow them to preform, the experience to recognize events as they unfold, the control to compromise within your group and with other groups, the ability to unify diverse personalities, the confidence to set the example. Leadership is the most important skill.

  2. I’m thinking the more versatile you are, the better off you’ll be. A gardener that can’t protect himself can easily be a victim. A gun person that can’t fix a fence…eh. And everyone should have at least a rudimentary knowledge of first aid.

  3. The absolute No. 1 skill-set needed to survive is:
    THE WILL to survive!!
    Without that Positive Attitude, you are doomed to failure.

    1. I would list “will” as more of a mindset than a skill but you make a good point. Without it all is lost.

    2. Within the will to survive, I would include two tasks that have to be psychologically prepared for (and if not, then you may not truly possess the will to survive):

      1. Kill a person, usually a “bad” man or woman. May even be a government employee.

      2. Turn away people, including unprepared family, friends, and neighbors.

      Can you do those? If so, then you will have the mental mindset, IMHO.

  4. I agree that people with multiple skills will be highly valued.

    For instance, hunters and fishermen who have good security skills and “tools” and can maintain and repair the things they use (and help security people with their maintenance/repairs).

    Or, farmers/gardeners who also know how to can, dehydrate and have the equipment to do so along with knowledge of growing/harvesting medicinal herbs and their uses (which would be a big help to the medical person).

    Or, the handyman who can build or fix almost anything. These are the folks I think would keep a homestead or community running because they fix all the stuff that everyone else is relying on to do their jobs: generators, plows, windmills and water pipes, solar electric systems, animal pens, etc… who wouldn’t need someone like that?

  5. I hesitate to call it a skill but just the willingness to get in there and work. The mindset to see ahead to think about consequences – intended or not.

  6. Here I go again :-)

    A teacher/educator/coordinator that has the ability to pass the skills of one person (or your own) to others, someone that can “see/observe” what a “Security Person” is doing; learn and pass those skills to another. No different than a Gardener, or Repairing “stuff”. If you have no ability to teach others in your “group” than the group WILL fail, and die along with the skills that are lost if you lose one of the group.

    If you’re looking to improve your “group” than look for someone that is in the “Lifestyle”, someone that lives as if TSHTF has already happened and knows the skill set needed to be not only “off-grid” but can flourish in the bad times as well as the good without all the JIT inventory stores and the .gov supporting the welfare/EBT-card/freebie leaches.

    The most important “skill set” is the person that’s self-reliant and does NOT need a “group” in the first place. THAT is the person you need to find.


    1. NRP:
      The self-reliant person you describe as the person who needs to be in your group, is the person who, by nature and good reason, shuns groups.
      Like me.

      1. Drifter,
        What will happen if you get hurt, wounded or sick?? Being a loner could be you’re down fall.

        Good Luck!!

      2. I agree with this but it may be more of a personality trait than just being self-reliant. Maybe it’s both. We’re fairly reclusive by choice and not ‘joiners’, in general. We’re not looking for a group and we stay away from crowds. Unless we’re talking herds, as in livestock. lol

        When I take my granddaughter to a pool for lessons, I have a pretty difficult time with so many suburban air-heads in one place at the same time. Each time I’m there, I get a head-on reminder why I live in the sticks and not the ‘burbs. They’d not fit into my ‘group’, if there was one. To have to try and ‘work’ or ‘teach’ these soft people would put an enormous burden on me, both physically and psychologically. It does make me question how long it would take folks like that to get up-to-speed in a real survival scenario.

      3. @ Drifter

        As am I, but persons (loners) will most likely have a harder time in the long run, more so that a small (very small) 4-5 person group. And as a person that’s “going it alone” one should realize the opportunities at times of forming a “reliance” with other “like-minded” Lifestyle people. Just in case.

        What’s interesting in Ken’s scenario there is not time frame given, so is the “group” as the chaos, riots, he11-breaking-loose or 1-2 year after and things have settled down to a point of rebuilding the society?


    2. I don’t think you meant that person that mows his 3 acres of grass on his riding tractor, takes a well deserved dip in his expansive pool that is well maintained by questionable immigrants, then enjoying his happy hour refreshments while loading the pre-skewered veggies and meat into the BBQ. This person leads you to believe that you are the sucker and he does not need anyone.

      Find the gnarled and weathered old person who have maintained their own small farm for decades. Signs of their work ethic will be obvious and their reputation in the area will attest to their character. See if there is any way you could be of help to them in exchange for you learning some of their skills.

      In my case this old Swiss man sent me out to rock pick a quarter section field – after two weeks I appreciated what it takes to farm and how out of shape this past city dweller had become. Skills are hard work to maintain and many skills are very rudimentary in nature.

      1. I should expand on my comment on skills. Buying a gun does not make you an army, buying that hammer does not make you a builder, buying that hoe does not make you a gardener, … but starting to do the simple and basic chores will get you in shape, motivate you through your successes, and allow you to gain more advanced skills over time. Just ask NRP how one eats an elephant.

        1. @ homebody

          Grilled, medium rare, one bite at a time; with a slight sprinkle of Lawry’s Salt :-)


    3. NRP You have the “knack” to nail it….. the person or persons who do not need others will be at the top of the heap end of story. It is not that they are a legend in their own mind it is however knowing through experience who is the wolf, who is the sheepdog and shunning the sheep when they are an extra burden not needed. Avoiding groups of mindless people who do not have a clue in what they are doing or going, it will be tough to develop and maintain that attitude but it will be a requirement and job one. Like the old saying “live by the roadside and be a friend to man”. We all should be able to see the reality of living in the now not the make believe world of I will help everybody and everything, if you do good luck because that is what you will need.

  7. Your question at the end is very interesting. “Which slots would you fill first?” There are a lot of good skills being debated and they all have merit but I think the first skill should be defense. When panic sets in and people become desperate it won’t matter how good you are at gardening. The hoard will take everything to feed their children. Your medical skills will do you no good if everyone in your family has been slaughtered. Again, all of the skills mentioned will be valuable but none of them will do you any good if you’re not alive to use them.

    1. Those were my thoughts Novice. Security and Defense should be first. What good is all of your supplies if Hordes come and take everything at the start of a catastrophic event.

  8. Survival in the future will depend on individuals with the ability to anticipate actions of the bad SOB’s. Having some military training should prove to be valuable asset. Having the experience of dealing with humans in the worst environments will be an important part of that military experience.

    Having the flexibility to adapt to changing environments by having a keen sense of awareness. The willingness to communicate knowledge and cross train other skills within your group should be happening now before SHTF.

    Having a team leader in each category of survival would be ideal.

    If everyone in your group has an attitude of service then survival will happen much easier. However disagreements will happen. So having a leader to help resolve disagreements should be considered.

  9. By my experience:
    The larger the Group, the more problems.

    I would set a Maximum number of 22, with 1 Leader, and the rest into 3 man teams (Squads). (Platoon Leader, and Squad Leaders). There definitely has to be a Chain of Command. Leader to Squad Leaders to Squad. At set intervals, all together to air it all out.
    Team Spirit!

    1. WarVet,
      That takes care of perimeter security 24/7. Now what about the cooking, medical needs by a trained person, base radio/communications, gunsmith/mechanic/roofer/plumber/wood splitter, etc?

      The specific number in your group will change. Life as we know it will change dramatically!!! Circumstances Will force all to make decisions, some easy and some NOT SO EASY!! Whether we want to admit it or not people under stress make mistakes in judgement. The more we are prepared with knowledge and supplies now, the easier those decisions will be to make.

      My preference on members are those that have a regular routine that includes prayer. Of course that would mean that I’ve known them for a while.

      Having the military experience and mindset to be lethal when required will be essential but doesn’t diminish the importance of other skills.

      I know what is coming, but I’m not looking forward to it.

      Stay aware and stay safe.

    2. Doesn’t sound like there are many slots for well-armed, food-sufficient senior citizens.

  10. Skills are a must, but trust is also a big factor not to be overlooked. IMHO

  11. I believe we must first address physical needs like food, clean water, sanitation, shelter, clothing, medical care and the like. I’m sure many would perish for lack of these basic necessities.

    It is also my view that even the best prepared among us will eventually run out of stored food. And because purely “hunter-gatherer” groups are not likely to survive long-term, I’m thinking common agricultural skills and other homestead skills will be in high demand.

    This will be closely followed by the need to provide a safe environment in which to live and work. So, the need for organized security will also be among the highest priority skills. Once these top priorities have been successfully addressed, the chances of long-term survival will be greatly increased.

  12. Plumbers, nursing home workers, and UPS drivers have extremely important skills in today’s world, but not many middle class folks clammer to learn them. Having a peacemaker in a group of strong-willed individuals could make a life or death difference. I’ve always appreciated mechanical genius since I have none. Chance always plays a huge role in big events. Excuse my ramblings…

  13. My vote goes to the folks who, when something breaks, first thought is, “I bet I can fix that” not “who do I call”. Whose best friend is a roll of wire or duct tape. Whose inventory of tools are made up of those bought over the years to address different home/machinery/appliance repairs they took care of themselves, to the the point they have tools on hand to repair those things most likely to happen, not a bunch of “niche” tools whose use will probably never come about.

    I recall an old saying that goes something like this; “I’m not the candle maker (fill in blank with mechanic, nurse, carpenter, plumber, etc.) and I’m not the candle maker’s son, but I’ll be the candle maker until the candle maker comes”. Another is “I’m a jack of all trades, master of none”.

    The survivors will be those who don’t panic when confronted by something alien to what they are comfortable with, rather, they see it as just another challenge, saying “Hey, I think I can fix that”.

    1. Dennis great point, my shop inventory, my toolbelt, car repair kit, all contain bailing wire, duct tape and also tie wraps…..with the handtools to match……

  14. Ok,guys…

    So I’m a newbie. I live in suburbia, in a neighborhood that seems to have really good folks. I have met many of them on my street (just been there 1.5 years). My question to all of you is this: how do you go about figuring out who in the neighborhood might be:

    a)trustworthy and b) a prepper, without tipping them off that you are one? It’s more risky for me, as I’m a single mom with a little one who (as of now) is not packing heat (I mean me, not the kid!).

    I’d like to get a piece of land to bug out to, but there’s the challenge of available funds (trying to get out of debt) and my city girl-ness (never having lived on a ranch/farm/rural area).


    1. That is the tough question many are faced with. I suggest you travel to a location that appears fertile (gardens/fruit trees), small farms or acreages, scattered population, well kept properties and churches, small merchants,…. I know this will be hard to find.

      Get to know the church members, pastor, priest, leader,… ask if they know of any elderly couples that could use the help of a single mother in exchange for keep. As you would be non-threatening you may find a place to check out for a time to experience the life-style. You could get lucky and find a place with a community that cares, shares, and has the morals/ethics that we all value.

      1. @ Dudethisisit:

        If you have a local farmers’ market, get to know some of the farmers and begin a dialogue. My husband often fields questions from his customers and beginning farmers. He has even taken on a few interns. You can also contact your local extension office for classes and/or information. And city girls can grow a garden in pots!

    2. You might consider contacting a relative that lives in a rural setting. If you happen to have a relative that is willing to help, ask them to contact their Sheriff for a letter that allows your passage as a resident in the event of Martial Law.

      Visiting a Farmers Co-op, its a rural hardware store only much larger, and ask about a part time job on the week end.

      Metropolitan areas will become death traps when SHTF events happen. It will be too late to get a firearm then, please try to cross this off your list of ‘to do s’ ASAP. Also try to get some firing range time in with someone that is willing to show you basic firearm safety.

      Keeping your vehicle in good operation and never allowing the gas tank below 3/4 full, even if it means keeping an extra 5 gal in the garage.

      If this works out for you, be ready to bug out as soon as it starts, try to have most of your supplies at your BOL ASAP. Most would rather be a week too early than an hour too late and be trapped in a city.

    3. This is very interesting, first I guess being a single woman you need to watch out for smooth talking men or woman who just want to get to know you for your favors, but in conversation with a neighbor lady you might throw out something like I really would like to get to know someone who likes to can their out veggies so I can learn to be more self sufficient, with having a basis to talk to someone who is more self sufficient you will get all the neighborhood gossip and find out who is to be trusted or not, the first person you meet that seems friendly maybe the most untrustworthy.

      1. Or “Does anyone around here have a garden? I’d like to buy some produce.”

    4. You’re already on the right track. You are thinking.
      Start with the things you CAN DO.
      An extra can of beans when shopping. Some water containers, filled.
      Learn to be more self-reliant every day.

    5. A point well taken be the grey or gray person, listen to the crowd who they identify, kind, hardworking, jack of all trades, willing to impart wisdom, or the “go to person” you then have some potential contacts, and can gain a friend or potential source for what may be needed, also be willing to “pay it forward” and watch the return flow back.

  15. Whatever the word you might choose for it – leader/administrator/manager/coordinator. Just the word “group” indicates many individuals. All those individuals are going to have different personalities, skills, abilities, needs, etc. Without someone to manage the overall situation using the “tools” at hand, you’d have chaos and misdirection everywhere.

    Just like any other organization someone has to make decisions, after listening to advice, that will affect the whole group.

  16. The four groups of skill sets presented in the article are all very important and I would hope that most preparedness minded folks have abilities in all four groups. Two of the groups (food and security) go hand in hand and I would not choose one without the other as to which is the most important. To me, they are equally important. I have never asked nor considered asking someone else, much less trust a group of other people to defend my way of life (feed and/or protect me.)

    I think the right skill set is what ever someone can bring to the table that will facilitate providing help to others regardless of what it is.

    I, like several other posters here, am not a “groupie”. What I would do in a post societal mega-collapse remains to be seen, but most likely, I would not consider “joining” a group. If things got really bad, or beyond my abilities, I certainly would not turn someone away who is capable and sincere who offers their skill set in exchange for something to eat (either temporary or long term), and I most certainly would selectively share the fruits of my labor but, like I said earlier, I have never thought about having someone else or a group defend my way of life. That responsibility is mine and mine alone.

    Adapting to a post societal mega-collapse would probably not be that difficult for us. I hope it doesn’t happen but we shall see. Having said that, we do like some of the things modern civilization has to offer. We might find it uncomfortable to live without things like electricity, natural gas, air conditioning, and refrigeration, but certainly could live without it albeit grumble a lot. Just saying.

    1. Being confident in your abilities to survive under the current conditions are great. But in a Post SHTF world everyone has to sleep. Sooner or later, if you haven’t planned for an early warning system with your neighbors, you could find yourself isolated with nothing but a crowd of hungry bad guys surrounding your location. No planning for a worse case scenario is a disaster waiting to happen.

      I wouldn’t mind being wrong about this, but I feel that we don’t have much time left to plan.

  17. Skills are important. Just as important are the proper character traits.

    I talked about a group here not long ago that had serious issues over a member’s character flaws. (Most members left within a week.)

    Now we all have character flaws. Some need to be deal breakers in a group.

    This group would invite potential members to a BBQ on neutral ground to see how they interacted with the group. Their Security Officer would pay close attention to verbal/non verbal behavior. He saw flaws in the husband that were deal breakers to him.(the husband swore about every third word in normal conversation. When he thought no one was watching he was leering at all the women of the group.)

    They wanted the wife’s medical skills so they settled for the husband over their S.O’s vigorous objections.

    It cost them their group. Better to know before the SHTF but it was/is costly for all.

    Know which character flaws are a deal breaker for you.

    Mine are lying and infidelity. LIARS AND CHEATS ARE NEVER TO BE TRUSTED…

    1. I was fooled too. Many people are addicted to drugs or booze and hide it well. I have worked with two very intelligent individuals that performed well but all of a sudden they showed their true selves, turning unpredictable, violent, dishonest, and one became dangerous. It takes time to get to know a person under all situations, work habits, reaction to stress situations, moral character, sanitary habits, ….

  18. I would be interested to know how one would go about picking a spiritual leader for the group.

    This person would have to be well rounded in an understanding of how a spiritual leader leads.

    People will be dealing with losses and the emotional reality of that can drive one to endanger themselves as well as ‘the group’. Who will give the spiritual comfort that can make the difference?

    Lack of food and other necessities will cause people to withdraw socially as well as productively. They may even grow angry at their God/higher power.

    Who will strive to provide the needed spiritual traditions that people rely on to keep their mine, body and soul together. To help them stay productive within the group.

    Will a group only be Christian? Protestant? Jehovah Witness? Or _________? Or none?

    Whether we like to admit it or not, fox hole situations will come up and even though some will claim no affiliations to a belief system, we all have them, buried down deep. They will surely come to the forefront when tested beyond what we think we can endure.

    A spiritual leader is probably one of the most important people you can have on your team. One who has a sincere quality of servant-hood and respect of conviction.

    Another thought comes to mind. If you are bringing in a new member-do spiritual beliefs or lack of them qualify or disqualify the new member.

    Personally, in such emotionally, mentally and physically charged situations, I would have to go with:

    Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

    2Corith. 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    This is not to say Love/Charity to others is excluded. But who will spiritually lead and to what extent will a spiritual choice be enforced.

    This will be a tough decision to make during any EOTWAWKI. Taking it seriously now and thinking it through may help decision making later.

    1. grandee.

      “spiritual choice to be enforced.” hmmmmm.

      Find the group that fits your needs.

        1. Grandee

          ” But who will spiritually lead and to what extent will a spiritual choice be enforced.”

          What Leader? A proclaimed Pope of the group. What spiritual choice to be enforced?

        2. Of course it will be enforced–by the will of the group. The makeup of the group will determine what rules should be enforced, how lax they can be. And don’t make it all about religion. A group that doesn’t allow religious people is ENFORCING their rule as well. A group that allows only militants with guns is enforcing their rule. A group that is determined to survive without meat is going to enforce their rule WITHIN THE GROUP. Using the word “enforced” rather than “selective” is a matter of semantics.

        3. Lauren

          Parable of Big Fred and Joe.

          One day a new employee was introduced to our shop. A good person with all the right skills to enhance shop performance. We had many discussions about various topics that made the day go by as we did bench work. A couple of months later Joe started talking religion and it crept in the discussion that included politics and family values.
          During a work break Big Fred and Joe got into it about they way Big Fred was not raising his daughter in a religious manner according to Joe’s faith. Big Fred pick up a large setting tool/brass hammer and went after Joe. Joe made a dash for the door from around the table as we yelled for Big Fred to stop. Lucky for Joe, Big Fred slipped and allowed Joe to leave the shop area unscathed.
          Religious topics came to a screeching halt.

          True story. Take what you will from it.

        4. all religions should be allowed if all other qualifications have been met . make it known to all that they should be allowed to worship their own way without offending the rest of the group . designated times and places for each religion . otherwise demand total blackout of all religion .

        5. If this is a planned group with members picked for various reasons then if the group wants only Christians it’s their prerogative.

        6. Oh yes I see where I used the word enforced. Let me clarify that!!!!

          Not to the extent of forcing someone to spiritually believe. In anything.

          However, if you are going to take someone into your group, the spiritual standards that you have in place and that are agreed upon by the group have to be considered, do they not? In the hope that peace can be maintained within said group.

          These decisions are best well thought out before and in place and agreed upon.

          This is considered when food, weapons, policies, etc are agreed upon within a group. I would say spiritual considerations are just as important.

          And by the many responses we can see that it is a touchy subject. It will be more so in TEOTWAWKI.

        1. The point is that those things need to be hashed out in a group before any disaster hits. You don’t want a group with strong convictions but one individual who is going to break and run in the other direction. You also don’t want a group with no strong convictions and one individual who is going to be trying to convert everyone around him in a highly stressful situation. If you have your group hashed out, how are you going to address deviation? How are you going to address that one person who sneers at others’ spiritual lives? Are you going to take in the family whose lives are in direct opposition to the group but who have skills the group needs?

          It’s nothing so simple as “religious cults.” Chances of ultimate survival go way up if the people in the group share a religious/spiritual understanding.

        2. Lauren.

          Spiritual choice be enforced.

          Nothing wrong with religious/spiritual understanding.

          This site is a very calm and well behaved and may be a blessing as to the other sites I visit where religion is vehemently discussed. You may notice that many come here from another site and leave the vitriol language behind.

          I will warn that it starts out as small incursions that others will gravitate to, increasing in magnitude to overwhelm the original posters.

          I have fired the shot across the bow not to diminish discussion but expose a threat.

        3. Thank you Lauren. I don’t believe I said anything about ‘spiritual enforcement’.

          The Bible speaks to spiritual separation.

          That was my point. Biblical separation.

          I’m against cults as much as anyone.

        4. :) Bible thumper where ever I go.

          Romans 1:16 ¶ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.


          Ken, if you want me off, I will make no comments and just read and enjoy your blog.

        5. Grandee

          You’re a good person and have lots to share, Just leave off the sermons with all that scripture.

        6. grandee

          I don’t see anything at all wrong with your comments. Religious beliefs as do ‘beliefs’ in general play a part in this.

        7. It’s the other individual who is slinging shots, so I wouldn’t worry about it. He seems determined to ENFORCE his own way of looking at things.

        8. Lauren.

          Evidently you have never experience a takeover of a group, workplace or a website by religious fanatics. To the point as being as bad as to installing Sharia Law. To be condemned to Hell by them because you do not 100% believe the way they do. I don’t ENFORCE here but did try to warn.

          By example within a short time, you get a full blown sermon from another individual below.

          I do not condemn anyone to Hell. That’s God’s Job. I feel religion should be held close to the heart and not imposed on others in any form except for kindness and an helping hand.

      1. My point exactly (“fox hole situations will come up”).

        Deciding ahead of time how to handle these situations will make decision making somewhat easier later.

        1. grandee,

          I watch others attack Christianity with both personal sadness, and amusement. The same folks who would attack you, seem to not mind those folks who post their belief/adherence to Buddhism or other spiritual platforms.

          Personally, I would much rather have a true believer in Christ, who actually practices their faith, than someone who carries their own non-belief like a chip on their shoulder, among those I may find myself depending on.

          On sites such as this one, no one knows for sure who a person actually is, or what they know. What their actual skill levels are and whether they have ever put into practice what they preach. I receive particular amusement reading posts from some that would have you believe they are some kind of super weapons expert and field tactician, yet, their posts scream out “PRETENDER” by their use of cliches and other clues.

          So, you stick in there. Keep your faith. Those that would attack you for your personal belief system will last less than a week if the shtf, before someone takes that chip off their shoulder and uses it to cleanse the gene pool.

        2. Dennis.

          Have you ever had a Buddhist or Hindu, assail you for not believing in their Faith? Even the Hare Krishna’s would only try to sell you a book at the Airport.

        3. They way you keep punching at this is approaching not only belligerence but outright hatred. No one is trying to hurt you, no one is trying to force you into anything. On the other hand, YOU are trying to force your opinions on the rest of us.

          I have no problem with a statement of belief. I have my own beliefs. What I do have a problem with is those who hate, and who feel the need to force that hatred on everyone else. You hate religion. Alright, I get that. I also find your continual hammering at it to be offensive.

          I will no longer respond to your troll tactics.

        4. Slingshot,

          No, no I haven’t , neither have I ever been “assailed” by a Christian. I have been viciously verbally attacked by atheists who took offense for my saying “God bless you” or other non-confrontational remarks that seemingly threw them into an uncontrollable rage. Maybe it’s because my beliefs cause me to be more forgiving. Maybe their beliefs cause them to be more confrontational when they believe their beliefs or being threatened. Good luck with your chosen path through life. Hopefully you will never get in the face of the wrong person.

    2. @ grandee

      I just spent the last 20 minutes reading this thread, Interesting for sure, being one of those Buddhist and one that’s also very VERY open minded I always welcome opinions by others. I have also learned at times it’s frustrating when a commenter picks apart one word in a statement and can’t seem to let it go.

      With that said, I find it “smart” to be tolerant of others that want to keep dragging out something. If not they will just keep on and on until it becomes nauseating and annoying.

      As to your statement “ Ken, if you want me off, I will make no comments and just read and enjoy your blog.” Now THAT is just all out wrong to think that way. You, as most here contribute a LOT to thins Blog and are well need t help keep this “group” going.

      I know that at times it’s just frustrating as all get out, like when I tell people to store up more TP and they don’t listen (rolling my eyes here). But what can ya do????

      So don’t you dare turn into a “lurker”, ok?


      PS; As that Buddhist you know and love, I also have NO problem telling someone “God Bless You” and meaning it from the heart.

      God Bless you grandee and thank you for your comments/input

  19. Remember, we are talking lifestyle and choices.

    When I started these discussions with my adult children (10 years ago) we all agreed to supply and answer a questionnaire. We discussed religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs, skills, education, DESIRE and WILLINGNESS to perform certain tasks if assigned. Also, leadership and govt skills/needs, security and the likely scenarios leading to decisions requiring HARD thought or FAST reactions. We also covered medical/allergy needs and assigned a skills/education list to each family member. Lots to do. Then we also covered DUPLICATION in the event a particular family member did not get to the ranch.

    Just a place to start.

  20. I am not the plumber, but I can plug your leak till the plumber comes—

    A jack of all trades, who can fix whatever needs fixing, can be worth his weight in —

  21. I know, I know – I’ve said it before.

    I hate to be the ‘Killjoy’ here, but my over 30 years of law enforcement experience dictates my conviction that the odds are overwhelming in favor that your worst problems will come from your own neighborhood.

    The fact remains, that no one REALLY knows their neighbors!

  22. I expect that some upstanding people will turn out to be rats, and some questionable people may end up being the key players. We plan, but dealing with the luck of the draw may also be a factor when it all shakes out.

    If it’s a slow crash, I’m hoping that most of the renters around here end up moving out; back to their Mom that lives elsewhere. Don’t want to see house-loads of jobless, broke, hungry “folks” hanging on the front porch, no gas or power, just sitting and watching the neighborhood, no dog food or diapers, no more nothing.

    They’ll be fires lit after dark, shouting, dogs barking, things going Bump in the Night. The skill to proactively, unobtrusively guard the A.O. with minimal confrontation would be valued.

  23. Okay this is going to sound like a joke but it’s not. Another skill set to add should be entertainer, jester, musician, someone charged with keeping up the morale of the entire group. People’s spirits are going to take a dive into a downward spiral really quickly.

    Board games and card games will break up daily monotony but something more than that will be needed. Every society throughout history has had entertainers of one type or another that were the glue that bonds their collective culture together. Bards, jesters, minstrels, musicians, cheerleaders, etc.

    Children and family pets can surely be entertaining but eventually you’re going to want something a little more substantial than slapstick. And we all have to admit that it is a skill or talent that some people are just naturally better at that others. Obviously this isn’t going to be an immediately needed skill set, but in the long run it will be crucial.

    If perhaps someday everything does break down and we are forced to start it all again from scratch we are going to need people to tell of the new stories and accomplishments of the new heroes of the day. I could imagine a song being sung about the man (or woman) who took a hammer and an anvil and produced a replacement firing pin to go into the rifle used by their village’s best sniper who had a key role in helping to repel a rival village when they tried a surprise attack.

    1. I agree Anonymous. Keeping peoples spirits up is very important. People have given up on life when a significant other passes away, and they follow shortly after. A good mindset is the most important tool in a preppers tool chest. The stress and hardships cannot be overlooked.

    2. That’s a very good point. I have been a musician for over 3 decades, and you are correct, somehow music erases the boundaries of race, religion, politics etc. That’s a good thing.

      In your last paragraph about someone singing about the current events, I had to laugh because the first thing that popped in my head was if somehow there was an MSB community. I imagined that after the harvest festival feast, I could hear NRP singing in the outhouse.
      (To the lynyrd skynyrd tune gimme back my bullets) but he would be singing:

      Gimme back my Charmin,
      Put it back where it belongs,
      Ain’t foolin’ around cuz I done had my fun.
      Don’t wanna get, no rash on my bum.
      Gimme back… Gimme back my Charmin.????

      No offense meant NRP!?

      1. @ Livin` in the Woods

        HAHAHAHA, That’s a hoot… LOL And yes there are times when it just “right” to be singing in the Outhouse……

        And keep yar grubby hands off my Charmin!!!!!!! :-) :-) :-)

        Gata LOVE IT!!!! ROFLMAO


    3. I could NOT agree MORE.

      Many in the family, myself included, play musical instruments. I have also put up “specialty” foods like freeze dried ice cream and fruits and popcorn for around the fireplace. Stock piled decks of cards, board games and puzzles and even poker chips for family fun. Have a nice library of novels and learning books including most grades and ages for the kids. NEED to be able to feed the spirits as well as the body.

      Also put up baseball mitts, balls and bases and bats for team sports and building. Basketball court as well. Must play as hard as we work. Have a good trap flinger for skeet and a nice firing range for practice and keeping the perishable skills sharp.
      Peace folks. Plan for the long term and hope for the short!

  24. The most important skill set from any subject study will be enough. Who can add one more day to his appointed day of passing without divine allowance? No one. Throughout history it has always been who you know – the relationships you have. If connected you will be taken care of come what may. It’s that simple. The loneliest, poorest, saddest of us can have a connection with the Greatest, I AM, due to His love for all mankind. Just ask. It’s free.

    I knew of little boy, with almost no skill sets but trusting faith, who had a couple fishes and a loaf of bread. A very important person took the loaves and fishes, fed 5,000 hungry men plus women and their children; then, returned 12 baskets full of food back to the boy. A case of who you know when desperate for food and hunger comes.

    This eternal Leader promises wisdom when asked for. What more could one need than wisdom from the Creator when entering the last days and not sure how to proceed? Several billion will die when the time of Wrath upon sin comes. First comes the tribulation from man; then, the rapture of his believers, last comes God’s wrath against unbelieving mankind. The wrath of God is when the stars fall from the heavens upon the earth, no buildings stand, water turns to poison, earthquakes everywhere, and the mountains are all leveled. What skill set or preparation can survive this without knowing the King of Kings? That’s the future and without the Savior no one will overcome. Beyond this no one overcomes without a Savior the final judgment.

    Yes, I believe. So far the events of the world are unfolding perfectly as written prophecy warns.

  25. In our group we have about six people with good skill sets but maybe the most important person is the one that can keep everybody organized with a common goal in mind, everybody has a tendency to think they are the most important one, but when the water system is broken the plumber is most important etc.and when there is a broken bone then the medic is the most important, having a good organization with a leader is critical.

  26. I am a loner like NRP because there is no prepper group in my area of socialists and I am too isolated. Besides that, my knowledge and experience creates conflicts with many men’s egos who don’t know much. Trying to create a survival group after shtf would be difficult, but if there was any area besides essential skill sets, it would be a fair minded mediator or counselor to help settle disputes.

  27. ‘A Group’

    When you join a ‘Group’, you become one of the ‘Flock’ (sheep).
    Just waiting to be ‘sheared’.

  28. I am currently pursuing my goal of self sufficiency as are all the reader/contributors on this site. Faith in God gives me the incentive and motivation for contributing to a group and helping others (as stated in the Bible, the Koran and, yes NRP, even the teachings of the Buddha) I try not to talk about it much. Faith is a personal thing.

    To: Bill Jenkins Horse. One of the scariest stories I’ve read about on this blog is how a group was tore apart by inviting in a couple where the husband was a foul-mouthed individual with a wandering pee-pee (although his wife is a nurse). I am not sure who said it long ago but: “I do not want to belong to any group that would want some one like me for a member.” I have vices too. I try to keep them under control.

    For Dudethisisit: I would mildly suggest you obtain a firearm if and when you are comfortable. I would keep it locked up within the home. You said you have a child, If the child is special needs, that is the one condition where I would not have a firearm within the home. This blog places a heavy emphasis on concealed carry weapons. Weapons and neighbors are the basis of security. Don’t forget about the weapons potential to be found within your kitchen (knives and mallets, ammonia based cleansers etc.) Rather than bug-out, you may need to prepare in-place for the needs of your child. You said you are in a good neighborhood- I would stay put.

    In the “groups” I belong to I have become a teacher of hunting, trapping and reloading of smokeless ammo. During the past ammo shortage of 2012-13, I met with and taught many in my area how to shoot, hunt, fix their rifles, trap small game and crop raiders. If you grow crops in fields, make sure you have at least one good accurate rifle. If you raise chickens and livestock, make sure you have at least one reliable shotgun.

    Reasons: Chicken coops and enclosures tend to be magnets for small medium sized creatures that kill and eat chickens (mostly from the weasel family to include skunks). If you raise chickens and rabbits, they will come to your place. Clear the brush away from the chicken run and coop for a distance of at least 10 yards. You need to create a kill-zone such that the animal must break-cover to get a chicken. Same advice for the calving pens close to the ranch house. For skunks and raccoons, I like a heavy load of #6 shot. For coyotes, I like heavy loads of #4 shot or the new duplex loads that mix big and small shot within the same shell. I like the pump shotgun here in North America because they are affordable and (for now at least) legal.

    For row crops, the largest creatures that ate and damaged our row crops were feral pigs and deer. Typical distances were 2-300 yards across a field of green beans. I would set up my hide in a pile of pallets or hay stacks or cardboard cartons with my scoped rifle, binoculars and a thermos of coffee (let us not forget the depredation permit too). I slipped into position about an hour before sunrise. Statistically, 80% and up were shots taken within 20 minutes of sunrise. I use Leupold optics. (good glass is not cheap but it gives you that extra 15 minutes of good shooting light while cheaper scopes are still dark)

    I’ve had to shoot and kill more creatures on the outskirts of my uncle’s farms than I ever did in the public lands and wilderness areas. It is not at all sporting and it was work-another job that needs to be done on the farm. I do not belong to any groups and the hobbies I do and the work I’ve done means that a lot of people know me but I tend to work alone or with a partner (shooter/spotter). The farmers and ranchers have my phone number. I still have a job “in town” but they will call me for either advice or for a job that needs to be done.

    I do not raise my own food. I am preparing to barter if things really go south. I barter already on a small scale. I have traded loaded ammunition and have reloaded shells for farmers in exchange for produce and meat. (this really came into play in the years 2012-13) In the meantime, I buy and store canned goods, prepare my salads and make pickles and teach others to set traps. (in hard times, trapping will get more animals than shooting and fishing with hook, line and sinker is just another trap-set)

  29. im just aold man but i would think someone that can teach basic self defense tatics i help a teach a womens self defense class for a couple of summers and i have taken other martial arts for some years would be helpful and i im not a bad cook i can turn the most basic stuff into AWESOME FOOD im always makeing stuff with nothing but what i have at the time

  30. Medical knowledge, skills and supplies are paramount to me.
    Without health, you’re not doing anything.
    And yes, military/survival skills which covers a huge array of vital knowledge.
    And farming, canning and hunting skills.

  31. Hmmmm, seems like I missed some interesting debate about spirituality and leading thereof under tuff circumstances…..interesting. I am with NRP, need more charmin….:)

  32. for clarification, my name should not be construed as critical of plain old texas. now if there is someone lurking in the background looking for an argument my purpose is to direct the criticism away from plain old texas. I don’t intend to participate in the toilet tissue debate except to say 2 things, 1 they are both wrong. 2. the worst quality tissue is superior to none. Now to the original subject, are we searching for the perfect hypothetically group or a realistic group around {me or you} {by the way consider warts and all}{in a perfect location or where we are}————–my shazzzam moment there is no correct response, I guess that is why we are constantly arguing the relative merits of religion and toilet tissue

    1. Texas2, NRP can smell my sarcasm from his corner, this was not meant for you….also, I am Texan too…relax my fellow Texan…we all need to lighten up once in a while…
      NRP, have not forgotten the ajvar and rakija for you my friend….:)

      1. @ Texas

        At the rate I’m receiving such items; you’ll be shipping them over the pond… HAHAHA


  33. #1–BUTCHER: People will bypass the store and buy and butcher their own animals to save huge amounts of money. A butcher is also valuable for larger wild meat like moose.

    #2–AUTO MECHANIC and JUNK CAR RECYCLERS: Those who can repair cars or have used parts will be everyone’s friend.

    #3–TRADER/DEAL MAKER:Those who can buy,sell, or trade for a profit will do well.

    #4–“BLACK MARKET CURRENCY TRADER”: Every country in crisis has these.

  34. I would say critical thinking and bringing order to chaos, if this is not accomplished then everything goes to shit. Also look at low tech solutions, caltrops have for centuries, denied the enemy defined areas. Easy to make, spread where needed, but ensure you map the area. But would not a toxic or undependable individual already be identified and dealt with?

  35. Aariel, Think I’ll drop a response in this article, so it doesn’t get lost. There are gatherings of all sorts around the country that naturally attract prepper types. This weekend is the annual Ellensburg Roundup here in Washington. It’s sponsored by the Back Country Horsemen of Washington which has chapters in many counties. There are preparedness expos and Mother Earth News Fairs. Just do an internet search to find them. Your county fairs, granges, rural 4-H clubs, and Future Farmers of America chapters are full of those choosing to live a preparedness lifestyle. Show up, hang out, chat, join, you’re sure to run into a few like-minded individuals you will feel comfortable with.

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