In one comment on my previous article I received an excellent comment (thanks Nick!) about what lessons he learned while going through Hurricane Irma, and how that event change some of his views about prepping.
He got the points that I wrote about for long time ago, and I still repeat it from time to time, it has to be repeated because you see it as my words only, and most of the people will understand it only in the proper way after they experience some serious event, only then you can put it in correct perspective.
Nothing like real life experience learning.
And there is nothing wrong about changing your (survival) system, I do that too when I figure that something works better then plan (or equipment) that I have.
If you are prepper for years and you did not change your setup and plan from day one of your prepping until now, then usually something is wrong with your philosophy.
„On a Good Day I can…“
I think it was on some forum or in some blog comments, discussion was about some particular weapon as far as I remember, and some guy said like „ (when SHTF) on a good day I can shoot (kill)…“
In that short statement („on a good day“) is condensed one of the biggest mistakes about prepping in survival movement.
There is not too many good days when SHTF. It is simple like that.
In short people are prepping based on imaginary perspective how SHTF gonna look, and that alone is not problem (you do not necessary have to go through serious SHTF event in order to be good prepper-survivalist), problem is that people stick so hard to their imaginary perspective of how SHTF gonna look like, and what they need for it, that they are simply not willing to change their plans.
They are sure.
Whenever I read that someone change his plans based on his experience and thinking and that he recognize that in my articles or courses where he was wrong I feel great.
By the way, on a good day you can sit down and shoot 6 magazines from AK in 5 minutes and shoot 5 people who wants to break in your home while you are singing „Hey Joe“ without too much problems.
You are fed, secured, comfortable, warm, healthy, probably police gonna come in 10 minutes, you’ll get professional psychological help later, maybe you end up in local newspaper as a hero…
On a ordinary day during real collapse, chances are that you’ll be tired from days and nights of not sleeping well, more or less hungry, maybe you gonna have weird and painful infection in your groin from lack of proper hygiene and serious case of diarrhea, your younger kid having pneumonia and of course doctors are gone, and your friend who is a veterinarian gave you some pills and you are not sure is it working, your wife had nervous breakdown and you do not have clue what to do with her…
You were listening to screams from town for weeks while gangs were killing and raping, and your bones melted from horror.
Several times strange idea of killing your family and then yourself struck your mind, because listening to screams for weeks put pictures of what kind of things are happening there, and you can not cope with that pictures.
And then there are 5 people attacking your home, they even yell that they gonna spare all of you if you give them all your preps, but you’re thinking about screams, but still maybe they spare you…
It is definetly not your „good day“.
You need to hope for good days when SHTF, but you need to be prepared for bad days when SHTF.
It is equation that takes in consideration your skills, preps, event, circumstances… and given heat (SHTF).
If you show me man who can have all prepared perfectly well for any kind of possible scenario I will bow to him, but, in my mind, it is simply impossible.
If you understand that then you’ll understand two things:
-you’ll need constantly to adapt to the given situation
-you’ll have bad days and fails
But you’ll have a good chance to survive. To show that in an example I’ll use very widespread and popular topic: Bug Out Bags
It is something like holy grail of survival, and it is like a minefield to go into that topics against widespread and popular opinions in survival community, but I’ll survive, and you just need to think about it. So here goes…
Bug Out Bag (and equipment)
Bug out bag is something that is considered you „absolutely need to have“ or otherwise you are not a prepper…. Here is my perfect bug out bag.
So there you have situation where people (family) have bug out bags, each member of family have his own BOB.
Yours might weigh 25 kilos. You have everything there, food for three days, toilet paper, axe and knife, tarp and small stove, extra ammo, first aid kit and lot of antibiotics.
You have maps and radios.
It is heavy duty military grade backpack, waterproof.
All members of your family have BOB with good and usable stuff inside.
And then city erupt in violent protests for whatever reason and you need to bug out immediately.
You all grab your BOBs go out and get shot after 300 meters just because you have such good and cool looking stuff on you (and in huge amounts)
Or simply you drown in the river because your backpack is too big.
I understand that this example is very rudimentary, but you need to stop thinking that you can cover everything for every scenario, otherwise you end up covering nothing.
BOB is become almost burden because we are being bombarded with info „what we really need to have in order to survive and thrive“ or „you must have this or othervise you end up dead for sure“.
BUT it really needs to be about necessity, not comfort.
There is „prepackaged first aid kit for your BOB“ with nonsense inside, there are stoves that are heavy and give your position away to everybody from 2 km distance, there are ways to start your fire that takes like half hour to start fire and require like 1000 calories of your work… does anybody use lighter anymore for starting fire?
„what if lighter fails“?
Can you have 2-3 lighters for that case?
There are powerfull torches that make“ night look like day“ for only such and such amount of money…and if I want to read my map in the middle of nowhere using that torch I’ll be blind for next half hour, but if there anybody within 3 kms of my position they all will know where I am.
Again, all above are examples, and torch lamp and flints are great stuff,and definitely they have its place (I have it) but did you think to include lighters and micro lights too?
Example of solution would be „shelf“ system. You need to have lot of stuff ready to take really quickly, but based on given scenario.
Some things can cover all scenarios, basic things, but why in the name of ‘everything covered’ anybody would drag big heavy bag when you need speed and „blending“.
Is having sport bag for a given scenario not make more sense than a camping backpack or military type backpack?
Is carryng rifle in your hand having more sense then hiding under coat in given moment in scenario?
Maybe simple sleeping mat being visible on your backpack clearly points you as a target in given moment? Maybe moment demand only heavy duty trash bag in your pocket (as a mean for sleeping on a way to your BOL)
These are only examples, but hopefully you get my point.
Sit down, pull all your gear out, and think about 5 possible SHTF scenarios, and that you have 10 minutes to choose only 30 percent of your BOB stuff, see the difference in equipment selection for each scenario.
It is good practice.
It is reality – you cannot have everything.
Find The Balance
You may find that at the end it is about balance how much preps you have in your home (or willing to carry) with you.
Sometimes it affects your mobility and adaptility.
Sometimes you grow huge connection with your stuff and you are not willing to leave everything and run to save your life (because you have valuable things)
Sometimes all your cool preps will save your life!
Metal container with 300 $ worth of preps inside that you took and bury in woods as your secret stash can worth much more then 50 000$ worth of preps inside your home, simply because you maybe had to leave your home in 10 minutes in order to survive…
It is balance that can not be taught, because you need to put it in perspective of your given circumstances.
There is no magical solution to „survive and thrive when SHTF (for only $99.99)“ there is no „prepackaged perfect solution“ products.
YOU need to pack your solution!