Friday, August 11, 2017

Are Preppers Crazy?

Image result for apocalyptic pictures

   I have to admit that when I started prepping I didn't know what I was really prepping for. As time went by I went to a prepper show and went to a few seminars. I found myself drawn to the notion that there was a very real possibility that we could be hit by an EMP. I went home, built a Faraday container and started protecting various things that I thought would be useful.

  Later on in my prepping development I started watching the TV show Doomsday preppers. I figured that as I watched what different people were doing to prepare, I could pick up ideas and pointers. After watching several episodes and listening to the individuals, I noticed that most of them were preparing for very specific events, be it Financial collapse, EMP, Alien invasion, Zombie attack or Natural disasters. Most of the time I would think to myself that "these people are crazy, that probably won't happen". Then I thought "wait a minute, what makes these people wrong and me right?" 

  After this thought shift happened I got to thinking, should I prepare for a specific event or just prepare for surviving anything that may happen. No matter what, if you are preparing for a specific event, or just preparing, remember you still are preparing. If you're planning of the Finiancial collapse and we instead have a global Pandemic, is your stockpile of food still good? Is your cash reserves a waste? Are your electronics that you safely stored away for an EMP useless? Is learning how to protect yourself or develop skills needed in a post apocolyptic world a waste of time? The answer to these questions is obviously NO. 

  I see and hear arguments between various factions about why they're right and go on to cite a long list of facts to back up their rationalization. What I'm saying is it doesn't matter what happens or how it happens, only that we prepare for a major upset in the world and if it doesn't happen so be it. I admit that I am not going to extremes to prepare. I don't have 2 years worth of food, water and bullets. I have what I feel is enough to get me and my wife through a few months comfortably until I can determine the direction I need to focus my efforts. As stated previously in other posts, I have a wide variety of skills and am reletively confident in our ability to survive and make the best of whatever comes our way. I just want everyone to know, in my opinion, it doesn't matter what you are preparing for, only that you are preparing.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Prepping and Climate Change

Image result for climate change

  As Preppers we try and anticipate scenerios that might end life as we know it and stockup on things we thing we will need to ensure our survival in the future. One thing that I don't see a lot written about is Climate Change. I'm not really sure why but I do have some thoughts. One reason I believe is that it's a slow catastrophe. It has been slowly happening for decades. Back in the 1950's some scientist were starting to sound the alarm about what we were putting in the atmosphere. As is true with all predictions, there were skeptics. Now with the majority of climate scientist saying that it is real and happening, we still are doing very little about it. When I say we, I mean on a global scale with all countries participating. Here in the United States, there seems to be more of a sense of urgency. After all, we primarily started it with the advent of the industrial revolution. Developing countries don't seem to be as accepting to change their polluting practices. The reason for this is that it will cost money. It will cost a lot of money and at this point we may be past the tipping point and can do nothing to stop what will happen at some time in the future. We might be able to slow it down, but personally I think that ship has sailed and we're along for the ride. 

  As for the skeptics that are still saying they don't believe it, I believe that their opinions for the most part are driven by profit and greed. By the time climate change is making life on Earth difficult at best, the government officials that could do something about it will be dead and it will be up to our kids and grandkids to deal with. They are the ones that will suffer. I will most likely be dead within 30 years. I may live long enough to witness the start of the devestation but for the most part I won't have to survive my entire life through it as people born 30 years from now will.

  How do you prepare for a slow catastrophe? It's hard. As of yet we don't really know how different areas of the globe will be ultimately affected. One theory is that as the ice caps melt, they will dilute the salt in the oceans and stop or change the currents that currently control weather patterns. This means that there will be areas that were traditionally cold and wet to be drier and hotter. Areas that were arid may become wetter. This change in ocean currents has happened many times and has been proven to have greatly affected global temperatures around the world. Desert areas today were once lush and green. Ice ages came and went. These events happened slowly and on their own. What we are seeing now may be part of a natural cycle and we may just be speeding up what would eventually happen anyway. My thought is this though, if there is a possibility that we are affecting the climate and can do something about it, then why wouldn't we. Is it that we just don't care about our future generations? We don't want to hurt the profits of the large corporations that donate money to the election of the politicians?  I don't know the answer to that. One thing for sure is that what may be a perfect bug out location now may be unlivable in 50 years. That won't affect most of us, just something to think about. There is a SyFy show on TV right now called "Incorporated". It's based on the premise that climate change has happened and corporations now control everything in our lives. You either work for the corporations and live a good life or you struggle with day to day survival. Even though this is science fiction for now, I do see large corporations controlling more and more of our politicians. 

  I really believe that in 30 years we will see suffering on very large scales with climate refugees all over the world. I'm glad I won't have to live during that time in human history. All we can do is prepare for what we see and know at this time. The future preppers will have to prepare differently that we do. What is important to us now may now be worth a hill of beans to our future generations.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Is Stocking Up On Gold And Silver Smart?


  There is a strategy among some survivalist and preppers that is included in there preparations. It's the accumulation of gold and silver for use later after a SHTF event. I'm not trying to start an argument as to whether this is a smart strategy or not, only put forth my thoughts. Some will agree and some will disagree with me and that's Ok.

  First off let me say that people prep for different reasons. Some do it in anticipation of TEOTWAWKI and some do it on a smaller scale for seasonal natural events like hurricanes, floods, tornados and temporary power loss from storms. Others are preparing for the end of civilization and law. I think it's the latter group that is primarily interested in having gold and/or silver on hand to use in a bleak future. I'm going to let you know my reasons for NOT stocking up on precious metals as a hedge.

  First off most people who are in the process of prepping have found that it cost money. Now don't get me wrong, I have read numerous articles on prepping on a budget etc., but I don't know anyone who has prepped properly and not spent money on it. I for one am not what would be considered wealthy. My wife and I are comfortable and we have very little debt other than our house. I make a good wage so money is not a huge issue for us. We do keep cash on hand for the possibility of power outages that last a short period of time. That being said, we are not as preppared as I would like us to be and therefore need to continue our preps. I simply can't afford to put money towards hording precious metals at this time nor do I think it's a smart thing for me to do. Why do I say that? One reason is what I stated above, we're not fully prepped. I want my extra money to go toward my supplies at this time. It's kind of like needing to pay off your credit cards before you can start saving money.

  Another reason I don't think I would put gold as one of my supplies is simply a practial matter in my mind. Let's say the worst has happened and we are all in survival mode. You know someone who knows how to make bread and you want bread. You have a gold coin that you paid $1100 for back when the world was still somewhat sane. Do you offer that coin for a loaf of bread? 100 loaves or a years supply? The person making the bread may not want gold. They want a pig instead. You go out and find someone who has a pig and offer them the coin. They don't want it, they want alcohol. This is starting to sound like bartering isn't it?

  The next reason I don't want to keep precious metals is this . . . Once society has collapsed there is no unified value set for your coin. In your community of survivors maybe a coin is worth a cow. 5 miles down the road in another community they may say it's worth one box of ammo but a cow might be worth 50 boxes of ammo. Everyone sets there own value to things. If you were in the desert and dying of thirst and would be dead by the end of the day without water, how much would you be willing to give for just one 8 oz. glass of water? Living in the Northwest, water probably doesn't hold the same value as in the desert. I think values will be set individually and by community. Who's to say that the prepper that stocked up on cans of tuna isn't richer than one who has 1000 ozs. of gold? Money itself has no value per se. Money derives it's value as being a medium of exchange, unit of measure or storehouse of wealth. It is what allows us to trade goods "Indirectly". Money is only valuable because everyone knows it's value and accepts it. In some ancient cultures sea shells were highly prized and used as currency. Sea shells have very little value as a currency in todays world. This is the reason that the $1100 dollar gold coin might be worthless if civilization ends. 

  I believe it's more realistic to think that the surviving members of the human race will live by supporting each other and trading, much like our ancestors did. I'll give you a stone axe if you help me kill that Sabre Tooth. They traded salt or other spices. Salt was once one of the most valuable things on earth believe it or not. During the era when the Phoenicians ruled the Mediterranean sea and surrounding area they basically had a monopoly on salt and could charge whatever they saw fit. It is more than likely that the value of salt was equivalent to gold with it trading ounce for ounce. This is where the saying "Worth your salt" comes from. Why was the value so high? You have to remember that in ancient times it was hard to preserve food. Salt was used to preserve fish and meats as well as seasoning not to mention the Phoenicians had the salt market cornered. I'm not saying go stock up on salt, just making a point. Who knows what value certian things will have? Again, I think values will be set regionally. Another example of setting value is the diamond. They are not rare, they are controlled. The ones who controll it create the value by locking up the extra stock and marketing. There are other precious stones that are much more rare and cost more because they are in fact rare.

  You might be better off thinking instead of where you PLAN on spending the End Of Days and stocking up on things that won't be easliy obtained in that area. The reason that the word plan was put in bold letters is that you have to have a plan. It may not work out and you might wind up somewhere completely different doing something you didn't think you would be doing. Live in the desert? Salt might be good. Water most assuredly. Live somewhere with a short growing season? Home canned fruits and vegetables might be the choice. All I'm trying to say is we don't really know what will be valuable. If there is an Economic collapse, Gold and Silver may be a really good choice and I will be left eating my MRE's while others feast on fine wine and steak. Who knows? I certianly don't, but what I do know is I have skills to offer and those will always be valuable. All I can do is prepare the best way that I can using logic as to my situation and go from there. My logic won't be your logic. My beliefs may not be your beliefs.

  If you really think about it no matter what SHTF event happens, be it EMP, asteriod, zombie horde, alien invasion or supervolcano, the economy will collapse and it will probably collapse for a long time. When you are in survival mode buying gadgets and what not on amazon will be the furthest thing from your mind. Chaos will reign at the beginning and things will eventually settle down to various areas controlled by someone. That someone will be the one to set value to things. Who knows? Maybe they will want to have gold jewelery all over them to show their power. My logic says that we will be in a bartering economy for quite a while. Eventually, we will revert back to using what we term as currency because bartering becomes too cumbersome. As populations come back and skills are developed we will need a way to trade and that way might very well be gold and sliver or some other precious metal or mineral. I think that if it truly was the end as we know it, where a very small percentage of people survive, it will be a very long time before we get back to monetary currency. More than likely the "currency" will be what ever you can trade or offer in service.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Take Advantage of Human Nature Immediately Following A Catasphrophe

  Studies and recent history have shown that when confronted by an acute stressor, people co-operate with each other. Whether it's terrorist attacks or hurricanes or some other type of natural disaster, humans tend to want to help their fellow man. My personal opinion is that if your plan is to bug out that you should do it as soon as you recognize your area is in a bad way and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. I'm not saying that all people want to help out other people. Some will take advantage of the situation to loot, steal, or generally cause mayhem, but the majority of people will come together to assist others if they can.

Image result for people helping during a natural disaster

    You can see this play out during any natural disaster. A neighborhood gets wiped out and others flock to help out. Terrorists attack a market and people help the wounded. In war, soldiers develop very deep bonds with their fellow soldiers. People are typically social animals. They run into gunfire to help their fallen comrade. This is acute stress in action. Chronic Stress, which is what will follow a SHTF event is completely different and will cause man to turn on one another in order to survive.

  This situation hopefully will last long enough for you to get where your going. It may not last more than 2 or 3 days. Once people start running out of water or supplies, they will inevitablely turn on each other to survive. Acute stress generally leads to bonding, but chronic stress wears you down and makes us cranky. Don't get me wrong, there will still be dangerous people. Just as most people's natural reaction is to help, some take advantage. Hopefully you have preppared and are ready to take advantage of this limited window of opportunity to get to your alternate location. 

  We as preppers have realized for years that there may come a time when we can't rely on anyone to assist us or bail us out of a bad situation. We have spent time and money trying to get into a position to survive and thrive in a really different world. We will spend the rest of our lives trying to keep what we have and hopefully will bond with like minded individuals to live out the rest of our lives. We will probably be among the first to realize that the world as we know it isn't coming back anytime soon. Take advantage of that knowledge and get to your safe area, you only have a couple of days to do it in.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

When Was The Last Time . . .?

  As someone who prepares for the bad times or the end of the world, we as preppers put a lot of emphasis on getting the right gear or making sure we're stocked up on provisions. We buy knives, ammo, flashlights, food, etc. Once we have a supply what do we do with it. Store it away for when it's needed. We have bug out bags in our homes, cars, motorcycles and they are filled with what we think is necessary to help us to survive emergencies. 

Image result for flashlight
  A thought occurred to me that maybe I'm not doing my proper maintenance. I have several flashlights stored around the house and in our vehicles. They all use the 18650 rechargeable batteries and I have been known to use them on occasion for various tasks. I decided to recharge the batteries the other day to make sure they were up to snuff. What I found was scary. Out of the 6 flashlights that we have, 4 of the 6 batteries were needing to be recharged just through normal use. This got me to thinking, what about my knives? Did they need resharpened? In my case the answer was no, but you get the drift. We need to check on our preps periodically to make sure they're ready when we need them. Image result for vehicle maintenanceI've gotten in the habit of keeping our vehicles always fueled when we hit 3/4 tank of gas. Charging batteries should be no different. We use these things that we buy and it's easy to forget how much. 

 Image result for bottled water While I was on the maintenance kick I also decided to check our bottled water supply. Through the summer we grab a bottle from the stock and forget about it. Long story short, 2 cases later we're back up to what I'm comfortable with. I checked out our vehicles and re-supplied some things that had been used, as well as airing up the tires that were low due to temperature changes for the winter. I also took the opportunity to get re-acquainted with our medical supplies and bug out bags. Changed out some clothing that would be more appropriate for the coming winter. 

  The moral of this is don't prep and forget. It's up to us to make sure we're ready for whatever. I believe that twice a year is probably adequate but at least once a year. Do yourself a favor and check your preps now.