Over the years, some of my buddies have espoused Alex Jones and Infowars – and yes, the tinfoil hat brigade was on high alert. The talks of counter-coups and the deep state. Some of that might now be more mainstream than it was years ago. They also used to talk about “bug out bags”. To me, at the time, they just seemed a little…off. Maybe not wrong, but to me, they were really thinking the end was near. One theme that has been playing for the last 10 years has been unfunded liabilities. Sadly, I’ve now come over to his side of thinking.
Russia and China have been buying gold like there’s no tomorrow. Literally. China is about to rollout some form of cryptocurrency that is backed by gold – so I’ve read. In order for the US to pay our debts, we simply print more money. Those who we borrow from are getting a less valuable dollar in return. Likewise, we borrow from these countries and then spend that money on a $700 billion yearly defense budget. Our enemies cannot defeat us on the battlefield – and the next war will not be tanks and guns. It will be electronic warfare.
It will start with a lot of cyber attacks. Just as we move over a lot of our workforce to automation. The power grid will be laid siege to. EMP weapons may take out the northeast grid. Most of our economy is driven on spending relating to debt. If you really want to cripple us, we all know that if you can defeat our economy, it’s game over. This is an open secret. We buy everything on credit here.
That all being said – I’m hoping the Alex Jones’ of the world are wrong. I’m hoping for lots of peace, tranquility, and awesome trade deals which let all nations prosper for the next 100 years. Hoping that we all draw down our defense budgets and live peacefully. But that is one way of thinking, and I’m hoping the probability on that is 99% or higher.
But there’s a definite possibility, even 1%, that there’s some trouble ahead.
I feel that leading up to any problems, we need to prepare. I don’t mean 5 years of MREs, but I do feel “sensible” prepping makes sense. Some cash, a few weeks of food and water, and even some silver/gold. Metals are the ultimate hedge against hyper inflation, and one attack against us could be all nations going off of the US dollar as the standard and flooding our market with dollars to get goods. Almost overnight, costs will skyrocket. Silver/gold will exchange for dollars as they inflate. Those two silver dimes will buy you a loaf of bread now, they did in 1964, and they will in 2040. I’ll cover the “stuff” in the next blog.
The point is, on one hand people talk about stocking up for 5 years, and in another breath, they are talking about “bug out bags”. So how are you taking 5 years of MREs with you to the deep woods? You aren’t.
The truth is, unless you already have a cabin stocked in the deep woods, your best strategy is not to suddenly try to play Bear Grylls and figure out how to live in the woods with a back pack and 72 hour bug out bag.
In the woods, you have:
- exposure to the elements. Snow is a real thing, not make believe, where I live. There are bears, snakes, and in many places, alligators. Many areas of this country don’t even have hills. I live in an area of the country where I could theoretically drive to, then back pack a half a day, then no one would see me for years.
- exposure to others. You are sleeping. You snore. People come up and kill you in your sleep.
- Exposure to bad creatures
- Lack of food. Unless you are an experienced hunter that can clean his food and cook it, you’re in a lot of trouble and you don’t know it.
- Lack of water. Wherever you go, you need to have a source of water and ability to collect water.
The list goes on an on. I’d recommend the woods to the rangers out there who trained with this shit. Your eagle scouts. Your experienced campers/backpackers. These people have business being there. YOU don’t.
Now, I’m going to assume with the below, that power still works to an extent. I’m going to assume that there still is some form of emergency response. For now. When/if society reboots, people who have committed serious crimes will be held accountable. So, it’s not all mad max and shit at the moment.
I’m going to cover four scenarios. City living, suburb living, just out of town, and off the grid.
This could be problematic. You live in a dwelling with little space. You probably don’t have a lot of cash. In NYC, you aren’t necessarily stocking your fridge for weeks on end, as you are taking the subway and getting dinner at a local Thai restaurant or getting some groceries at the bodega. You don’t have a lot of supplies on hand. Mobs of people and gangs may rule within 72 hours of a dangerous situation, and looting/violence against specific races/groups is likely.
For these people, I’d suggest to bug the hell out. Immediately. Go stay with a cousin in the poconos. An aunt in Connecticut. Get the hell out of there. This is where “bug out” is in full effect. This is where you pack a bag with some travel food and several hundred in cash. Have a firearm for self defense. You may not have a car, but be one of the first out of the city on a greyhound or train. Walk over a bridge. Just leave. Don’t have items of value at your house, but take things with you or have in a safety deposit box you might be able to go to in the poconos or come back to in the city at a later time.
This is where I’m at. I’m not a former ranger, and didn’t quite make it to Boy Scouts. I can hike, but survival more than a few days in the woods is not likely for me. There’s a two pronged strategy for someone like me. Short term hunkering down and long term rally point.
Short term hunkering down. This is where it’s important to know your neighbors a little. Who is the cop. Who is the teacher. Who might got your back if shit goes sideways? Who does canning? Who has the garden? I’d like to be able to have some form of vault room where I could go with my family if things get bad. Have security systems and cameras in and around your house to help with perimeter security. Ensure you have multiple firearms. Scoped rifles for the 50-200 yard shots, shotguns for close quarter, and handguns for short range and mobile situations. I’d recommend stocks of food for maybe 2-8 weeks, depending on your budget and situation. What you worry about here is city groups expanding beyond the perimeter of the city after 1-2 weeks where they look for supplies or loot nicer homes for jewelry and valuables. Keep lights on. The houses likely to be hit will be the ones with the least layers of resistance – perhaps those who did bug out. I want people to know there are people home and they will meet with resistance – this is the deterrent effect. Perhaps groups of 10 or more will not be so deterred, but I’m thinking early on, the groups will be small in size where they are simply trying to get some low hanging fruit and organized groups have yet to be formed. At this point, you want to stay here as long as possible to hope things are put back in order by the national guard, police, or the “grid” comes back up. Your best chance of survival is ensuring you have loved ones and defenses around you.
Long term hunkering down. If your food supply is running low after 2-3 weeks, I’d suggest nicely trying to ask your neighbors for supplies to try and extend your stay at your house longer. You might have that one guy at the end of the block with the big ass garden. He’d always give you tomatoes or zucchini, and this is no different. However, perhaps after 4 weeks, you notice larger hordes of bandits roaming about. Your food supply is out. In this case, I would have recommended that you previously had a plan to have a rally point with a group of friends or family members at a remote location. A cabin. A house. I have talked to family members about coming to my house early on. This will give me a small horde myself. If my group meets up with 2-3 friends and their family members, you might have yourself a legit group of 10-20 at a remote location. This is significant for defensive purposes. People taking watch. Specialized roles of hunting, gathering, cooking, etc. The loyalty in these groups can be strong and not be vulnerable to backstabbing. Feeding 10-20 might be an issue, but you now have a legitimate horde to then plunder from vacant houses. If you are looking at 8-16 weeks into a crisis, there is reason to believe that the system may not come back up anytime soon. Your group needs to focus on:
- securing food. Canned goods as well as planting new food. Getting chickens, goats, pigs. You need to consider daily protein needs for long term survival – chicken eggs are a really good source for this.
- Security. This means getting more firearms, weapons of all sorts, and ammunition of all kinds. Ammo can be extremely important with bartering. This also might mean upgrading your residence to a larger residence. Perhaps ones with gates. This is where your group of 20 or so can really be effective with storming a large residence. And why I would not want to be alone and hunker down in a place like this.
- Money/currency. At this point, paper currency is mostly worthless and people are now back to using gold and silver for exchange. Some people think this might be worthless too. I feel in week 1, paper currency will be strong. Week 2-8, barter of goods for food will be strong. But after that, you’re looking at being able to carry and exchange wealth for goods. Yes, you can exchange chickens for vegetables. However, I believe at about the 3-4 month mark, there will be markets of sorts popping up. This is where people can exchange goods and services, but this is also where you will start to see people exchanging left over goods for stored wealth in money.
- Learning/teaching skills. Your group of 20 probably has a variety of skills. They need to start really sharing knowledge and learning from each other.
Just out of town
Perhaps you are 2 miles from the nearest town, and you have neighbors on each side of you – but maybe a quarter of a mile apart. YOU are the rally point for your friends and family. YOU are probably responsible for stocking up a lot of food like rice, canned meats, drums of water, etc. I feel like your situation is similar to suburb living, except this is a residence I’d keep for as long as possible. You may have a lot of land to then farm or grow things on, but you may not have able access to water. You might have to do water collection and store in drums outside. With this residence, the downside is if there even is some sort of emergency responders available, you might be 1-2 hours before they get to you. If you are alone or in a small group of 3-4, this type of residence would be vulnerable early on to large hordes of bandits. This is where you ask your cousin living in the city to come stay with you until the crisis is over. Build your zombie apocalypse team early. You’re welcoming numbers into your home – they help with security, YOU help with a roof over their head and food.
Like I mentioned, I’d stay here as long as possible. Only 6-12 months into the crisis would I consider moving on, but ONLY if your group is not large in size. If you have 6 people, you might be vulnerable to the groups of 20 or so mentioned above.
Off the grid
You are the destination that large groups want. You are in the hills. This provides good defensive measures. You can not only house some people, but you can build long term camps on your property to then potentially be a destination for several of your friends and their hordes. This can provide several platoons to your group for a very strong defensive nature. Within 1 year, I’d figure most people will be living in camps like this. You will be part of a collective – where you will have small groups of your family connected to friends of your family. Your group of 10-20 will have been close over the last 6-12 months and have sharpened their skills. This squad will be one of maybe 5-10 squads within the platoon. Each of the squads will have connections with the other in some way – family, friends, neighbors. There will be trust that is intrinsic in nature. There will be some distrust at first, but you know the types of people your close friends and family associate with, so in a short time, they will become part of your clan as well.
In this situation, maybe there is solar power. Perhaps radio communications are now opened with other tribes and forms of commerce and trade occur. Alliances with neighboring tribes are formed – and are tentative. Borders of camps are drawn with neighbors. Treaties are signed. Formal commercial agreements of services are formed. For example, you are in camp A. Camp B needs electrical work done and you have 3 electricians. You send them over for 3 days of work and are compensated $400 in silver and gold. You then use that money to buy chickens from camp C who has 200 chickens and wants to sell you some. Camp C now can use $200 of that gold and silver to buy ammunition off of Camp B who has the ability to make ammunition. Camp A, B, and C create a pact where if any are attacked, the others assist. They are all in instant radio communication. This is Army A.
Army A links up with Armies B and C in the region.
Over time – they start to rebuild religious institutions, schools, entertainment, laws, etc. That’s for another article.
Point is – early on is the most tumultuous of times. Ensure you have several weeks worth of food and look for joining larger groups where services are more specialized and security is much higher.
Until such times:
- Stock up on some goods. I’ll write about what you might want in the next blog.
- Learn some new skills. Smelting. Welding. Brick work. Gardening. Shooting. Bow and Arrow. Canning. These can be fun hobbies on their own.
- Get in shape. I’m a huge advocate of the keto diet. Often on keto, I don’t have a huge appetite and can go days without eating. OMAD is normal to do. Running. Biking. Getting in shape and being able to go without eating whilst being able to bike/run can make you a very valuable resource when all of your counter parts need to feed/graze 18 times a day.
- Put away some cash/silver. You don’t need $50,000 – but know that early on in a crisis, a loaf of bread might cost you $50 if the store shelves empty soon. Medical supplies could be extremely inflated with prices.
- Follow the market. Understand what is going on. You might start to then see early signs of bad things coming and you might make your move sooner rather than later based on what you’re seeing. Getting a day ahead of panic could mean the difference.
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