Apocalyptic Wealth: Trading, bartering and what to prepare

We’ve all seen the movies and shows where society collapses, people have to survive when money is worthless, but have you really thought about what YOU would do realistically?  The goal of this article is to get you thinking or maybe give you new ideas of what you can trade or barter with in a SHTF scenario. 

There’s things you can start saving and stockpiling now for barter and trade later and other things that you’ll need to learn how to produce as your stockpile will most likely dwindle faster than you think and you do NOT want to be left with nothing of value when you and yours are hard up for food, medicine or other life saving items. However this article will only be for pre-collapse prepping/investing.

Pre-Collapse Prepping: Hypothetically It’s present day and you’re feeling pretty good about life, you have enough money in savings to survive most modern day issues, maybe a steady job, 401k and some trendy crypto investments to “hodl” onto, but will these things help you during a SHTF scenario?  The obvious short answer is NO.  

During a collapse, electricity on a wide scale will undoubtedly go out simultaneously, bringing down the internet, and any electronic banking, investing or savings you might have.  If you’re a millionaire only in numbers on a computer, you’ll be destitute merely seconds after the power goes out for good.  

So what can you do to prepare for this sort of situation? This is a tricky question, and it depends a lot on your current situation and means that you currently have at your disposal.  Below is a list of some realistic ways to prepare pre-collapse: 

  • Physical precious metals like Gold/Silver
    • Gold/Silver has been a main purchasing power throughout nearly all of humanity and it will undoubtedly be one during a SHTF scenario.  
    • You can start saving and hoarding your precious metals even on a tight budget as there are local stores and online stores that will let you purchase as much or as little as you can afford. 
    • Even if a collapse never happens in your lifetime a stockpile of physical precious metals will have only gone up in value and can be traded back for cash value if needed or you can give them to your children as inheritance that the government cannot tax you on. 
  • Ammunition
    • No matter what your views are regarding firearms, the fact that ammo will be worth it’s weight in gold during a SHTF scenario doesn’t change.  Keeping ammo on hand and in large quantities can not only help you survive if violently attacked, but can also serve as a very valuable trading item.
    • Different types of ammo will be worth different amounts to different people depending on what type of firearm they have to shoot it, so keeping commonly used rounds on hand is preferred.  9mm, .45acp, .223/5.56, 12ga, 30-06, .308 and .22lr are all very common and keeping any of these on hand can help you out with bartering. 
  • Alcohol & Liquor 
    • Just like Ammunition/Firearms, your personal opinion about Alcohol will not diminish its value during a SHTF scenario.  Not only will other people want it for drinking, but others may need it for disinfectant or cleaning. 
    • Unopened liquor has a nearly unlimited shelf-life so you can start collecting your booze now, but don’t open it as opened bottles of liquor usually only keeps for 1-2 years before degrading. 
  • Hunting Gear
    • Getting food will not be as easy as it once was and you won’t just be able to stroll to your local Bass Pro shop or Walmart to pick up some bow arrows, fishing pole and or small game traps, so having a much of these items stored as you can (even if you don’t know how to hunt) is just a good idea.
    • You’re surely to run into someone in a SHTF scenario that either knows how to hunt that could use your items or could teach you to hunt and you can use your own items, so in either case, it will benefit you to have them. 
  • Salt
    • Salt is important, not only to make food less bland (which will be a huge issue during a SHTF scenario), but also because it’s a mineral your body needs (especially when running low on food and dehydrated).
    • Since you most likely will not be transporting large amounts of food long distances you’ll likely use it for your own food and to barter with as most people have no knowledge of how to find salt for their use outside of the grocery store. 
    • Buy and store as much salt as you can and you won’t regret having if the occasion should arrive. 
  • Medical & Hygiene
    • This section should go without saying, but knowing that you’ll pretty much ONLY be able to get these items pre-collapse might help motivate you to get a head start on stockpiling the more important ones below:
      • Antibiotics 
      • Scissors
      • Gauze Pads
      • Tourniquets
      • Tampons/Pads
      • Toothbrushes/Toothpaste
      • Tylenol/Aspirin
      • Disinfectant
      • Ointments
      • Pain Meds
      • Rubbing Alcohol
      • And anything else you can get your hands on
  • Clothes
    • Believe it or not, clothes will become a bigger problem than you think.  Wear and tear of your current clothes will be accelerated without proper cleaning and with heavy use.  Also running to the mall to scavenge some clothes will likely be unsuccessful as you’re not the only person who will be running into this problem.
    • One way of doing this might be to hold onto some of the better clothes you no longer wear instead of selling them at the next yard sale or taking them to goodwill, this will take up space, but also won’t cost you anything extra. 

There are many items that other preppers would potentially add to this list, but to keep this from becoming a short book, I’ll stop here.  Remember, skills you learn will always be worth more than physical items when it comes to preparing for a SHTF scenario, but a combo of both is the best plan.

Becoming more self-sufficient: Getting started and staying motivated

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year or so, you can probably see for yourself how unpredictable the world has become.  The COVID pandemic woke a lot of people up to the cold hard fact that you can’t just rely on consumerism to provide and feed yourself consistently.   

It may seem like a minor inconvenience to show up at the grocery store one day and not be able to get a few key items that you need, but it’s telling of what it might look like during a more serious situation that can very well happen to anybody. 

Venezuela is currently experiencing the scenario that I am talking about above due to a mix of political and economic stress brought upon by their adoption of socialism.   Their money devalued to the point you can find it in the gutters,  food shelves mostly barren and if you can find it, it’s prices have inflated to the point only the wealthy can afford it.   What would you do in this type of situation?  

In lieu of recent events my wife and I have recently decided to start becoming more self-sufficient.  We live in a small neighborhood about 30 minutes outside of St Louis, Mo.  Our home is almost the stereotypical one family house (minus the picket fence) with a front/back yard and a garage.  The rest of this will be applied to similar settings so if you live in an apartment or have other arrangements you’ll need to adjust your methods, but there’s still some good thought provoking parts that might interest you. 

For my home I have some grand plans that my wife may say is a bit lofty, and she’s probably right, so we’ve decided to take it slow, not only so we don’t overwhelm ourselves, but to also use this as a learning experience for us both.   If society really starts to break down and you have a long period where you need to provide for yourself and your family, the knowledge of how to do so will be the most valuable thing you have, considering the internet may not always be available to you to pull information from. (keeping physical books on hand is one of my backups to work around not being able to access the internet). 

Below are some steps that I recommend to get you going in the right direction, taking into account resources, cost, time and labor. 

Planning: Not only do I consider this one of the easier and funner parts of the process, but it’s also one of the most important.   At this state you can really envision what you want and what is actually possible for you and your current/long term situation. 

You’ll want to ask yourself questions like: 

  • Do I have the time and space? 
    • Whether you have a farm or if you have an apartment, there are ways you can start becoming more self-sufficient.   There are plenty of articles and books on how to do just that, but you have to set aside time to learn the methods that others have worked so hard to record.  
  • What would really benefit me and mine if resources become hard to get? 
    • Here you should think about how you’d start to save water, grow food and what things YOU can build or create that just might save your life when you need it most like Water collection, a garden that produces a good amount of food or simply shelter and heat if you live in an area that gets cold for months at a time. 
  • Prioritization
    • Now that you have an idea of what you need and where you’re going to put these plans into place it’s time to prioritize your work.  The more time you spend planning the greater this list will grow.  It may seem daunting at first, but this is why taking the process slow is so important.  Not only is the work you’re doing potentially life saving in an emergency, but it’s also A LOT of fun, so enjoying yourself during the process is key for my wife and I.    
    • You wouldn’t want to start buying seeds and plants for your garden if you haven’t even tilled up your yard yet and if you’re on a budget prioritization will be key in ensuring you don’t break the bank during the process. 

Getting started: Again, this process should be fun for you and anybody else that is helping you.  If it feels forced or if you’re stressing out too much about it, you’ll be less apt to doing it regularly.  Remember, motivation will get you started, but habit keeps it going.  

  • Changing your life habits is an important part of this process.  Lot’s of people like to claim they “don’t have time” or “I’m just too busy” when in reality there’s plenty of time, but you may have to cut some “less important” aspects out of your life like going out with friends every weekend or bing watching T.V.  Once you get into the habit of getting out in the sun and dirt you start to realize how fulfilling it is to do work that benefits you directly by your own hands and going back to binge watching T.V. or going out drinking will not seem as important.  
  • Set aside specific times that can/will become regular habits.  My wife and I use weekends for this.  Instead of saying “I’m bored, what do you want to do today” we are already excited to head out to the backyard to weed our garden or plant new plants.  Not only is it healthier for the both of us, but it’s also been great for our relationship to spend quality time together and build something together that will benefit our family. 
  • Start small.  As I said before, it can be a daunting task, so stick to your prioritization list.  One example could be “This weekend I’m going to till the plot that I plan my garden to be” or “I’m going to purchase the wood to build a raised bed”.  With each small step you complete, the closer to your self-sufficiency goals you will be.   

Keeping it going: Like I usually say, I’m not an expert on any of this stuff, I just have an active passion for it and I’m extremely excited to produce and maintain something that is completely my own and for my family’s well being.  This passion of mine is my motivator for keeping it going and repetition becomes habit.   

  • Start thinking long-term.  Once you get going, whether it be a large garden or a water collection system you should start thinking of how you’ll store this stuff for practical use.  Do you plan on canning veggies for use during the winter?  What happens when my water collection tanks freeze up?  Do I need a fence to keep out critters from eating my crops?  There’s lots of problems to solve, but if you get into the passionate mindset about your plans it becomes not so  much a problem, but a learning event for you to experience.  

The process of becoming more self-sufficient is an ongoing process that never ends, so get used to learning new things, but keep in mind that the things you’re learning is knowledge that fewer and fewer people possess that can be invaluable when/if the time comes.  You may find yourself listening to podcasts on homesteading, watching youtube videos on gardening or simply collecting “How To” books for reference in case of a disaster.  Many people have different hobbies, but learning to become more self-sufficient becomes less of a hobby and more of a skill the longer you practice it.  Good luck with your future projects!

“Prepping” as a lifestyle: Little things you can do on a budget

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve probably noticed many aspects of society are looking “less than stable” to say the least.  Politics are crazy, prices for gas and meat are on the rise, jobs are hard to find and we’re seeing crime and homelessness in our major cities at a level we’ve never seen before.   With the uncertainty of the future, many are attempting to become more self-sufficient and prepare for what may lay ahead, but that can be hard to do on a limited budget and knowledge on how and what exactly to prepare for.  

The last thing a new prepper on a budget wants to do is spend money on non-priority items, especially when they are just getting started.  So below is a list of tips and items that I believe ANYBODY can practice in order to at least get your bases covered in case you’re faced with a real crisis where you’re on your own. 

Here is a list of cheap and easy to find items that you can buy now while the gettin’s good before they are invaluable and few and far between when/if SHTF:

  • Water
    • This should go without saying, but you will not get too far if you don’t have water, so grabbing a cheap case of water or jugs should be a priority, just make sure you store it in a cool area such as a basement or storage area off of the ground.  Rotating out the older cases and using them in your day to day life should become practice, this goes for all perishable items. 
    • Another thing to purchase with water is electrolyte packets, they are very cheap, lightweight and high in potassium/salt that will help replenish you during SHTF scenarios as your body will be in need of this sorely (pun intended).
  • Food
    • Canned food is great for prepping as it’s shelf life is generally longer than most other stored foods, you can find cheap canned food on sale that may not seem too delicious at the time, but when your stomach is rumbling when there is no place else to get food it will start looking very nice and you’ll thank past you for having it on hand for your home stash. I usually grab one or two cans each time I visit the grocery store. 
    • Besides canned food there are other shelf-stable foods you can start stocking up on that don’t weigh as much because, let’s face it, you may have to take your things on the road if you have to find another safer place to stay.  I recommend foods such as; Peanut Butter (high in calories), Nuts and trail mix, power bars, packets of tuna, chicken and salmon, powdered milk, and don’t forget SPICES as cooking in a SHTF scenario may be less than delicious.
  • Medical
    • No matter how careful you are, medical situations will arise, especially in a SHTF scenario.  What items will you and your loved ones need when you can’t go to Walmart, CVS, Walgreens or the hospital? 
    • I recommend stocking up on items like pain meds, antibacterial salves, bandages, multivitamins, latex gloves, hydrogen peroxide, tourniquets (at least one per person), tweezers, and a general first aid guide that you can carry around.  Stock up on one or two of these items next time you’re at the store and keep doing so until you’re stocked up. 
  • Power and Fuel
    • Besides finding wood for fires, there’s not going to be a whole lot you can do when it comes to power and fuel during a SHTF scenario, so stocking up on things such as batteries, spare fuel, propane, matches and the like while you can is imperative.  Picking up a box of AA batteries or grabbing a box of matches doesn’t take much time nor does it break the bank.  Slowly build your stockpile until you’re no longer without. 
  • Tools
    • When and if SHTF you’re going to need some hardware, so maybe on your next trip to the hardware store you can pick up an item like; an axe, buckets, wire (for repairs), shovel, screws and nails, bleach, hammer, siphon tubes, duct tape, glass jars, and other like items. 

This list above is mainly a beginner list of items you can buy slowly and ways you can “stock up”, but keep in mind prepping isn’t just about buying cool gadgets or stocking up on non-perishables, it’s also about learning new skills and getting yourself into a habit so when/if SHTF you don’t have to deviate too much from what you’ve already been thinking about and practicing.  Always be learning new ways to take care of things on your own, at home and without help, as getting into this mindset early could very well save your life or the life of others you hold dear. 

Slow Descent: Investing in an uncertain future

TIMES ARE CRAZY RIGHT NOW!  Protests, riots, unjust police, COVID Madness, political discourse and unemployment are becoming the norm.  Not a day passes by that you don’t see outrage and lawlessness in the media with no obvious end in sight.  Yes it’s an election year, and you might think that when Nov 3rd comes and goes things will start to get back to normal, but what if they don’t? 

It’s not likely that the public outrage regarding police brutality & corrupt politicians will stop people from continuing similar protests and escalating it to levels that could trigger an even worse course of events.  Just like Newton’s 3rd law, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”.

Here’s a quick hypothetical scenario for you:  Let’s say (insert your political candidate) wins the election.  The other side will not be happy. They will make their disdain known through other means (like violent protests) that will ultimately negatively affect your “teams” position or even your daily life.  This has secondary and tertiary effects, chaos ensues..

Another hypothetical scenario: Lets say COVID lock-downs continue across the country, eventually hurting the economy to the point that it can’t recover and the country collapses or we find ourselves in a DEEP recession/depression that creates inflation to the point normal people can’t afford basic items or hold down a steady job to provide for their families. Chaos ensues..

You may or may not think either scenario above is “probable”, but you can’t deny that the probability of both scenarios occurring in the future have significantly increased over the past six months.  You likely know a couple close friends or relatives who have lost their jobs recently or maybe friends or groups of friends split by political differences.  Ideological views are hard to change and once a side is chosen, people tend to dig in. 

Regardless of your personal beliefs or what “side” you’re on, you’d be a fool to not take these signs of our times as a wake up call to start investing in your future, not only from a financial standpoint, but a survivability standpoint.  How are YOU ensuring that you and your loved ones will be safe and have what you need to get through the potentially difficult times ahead? 

In my previous article “Ask yourself these survival questions: Prepping with a purpose”, I talk about questions you should ask yourself in “Bug-out, Bug-In” types of scenarios, so I won’t cover those again here, but I do want to expand on the section talking about “Are you prepared for a slow descent into an emergency prepping scenario“.  We may very well be in the beginning stages of that “slow descent” now. 

This “slow descent” scenario is one of the hardest situations to navigate when it comes to the individual hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.  Politics, situation, location, peer pressure, family as well as other factors will come into play when you start planning your investments for you and your family’s future.   So the call will ultimately be up to you and how severe you think society’s outcome will be in the not too distant future. 

Just like with finances, investing early will always have the future you thanking the past you for your efforts when it comes to prepping.   Setting yourself up for success now, regardless if people say you’re being crazy, is never a bad bet.  That’s another reason why prepping shouldn’t be for any singular situation, but instead to prep from a myriad of scenarios so your base is covered.  

What exactly can we do now? The answer to that question depends on your situation entirely.  Will you only be looking out for yourself?  Will you be in charge of ensuring a family of 5 is fed consistently?   Do you have elderly to care for?  None of these questions have an easy answer, but below is my list of focuses that you should start preparing for now, or at least start working towards since we don’t know exactly when/if things will fall apart. 

  1. Location: Where will you and yours be able to ride things out when society falls apart?  In my opinion, you should make this decision before any others because your location will dictate your capabilities regarding water, food and allies, these are important for obvious reasons.  I recommend staying away from overly populated areas, but also not be in the middle of nowhere. Even the most resourceful loners can use help from a community nearby at some point.
  1. Sustainability: How much food and water should I have on hand now and how much would I need each day/week/month to sustain myself and my group?  Once you do the math, it’s pretty overwhelming to think about how much food and water it really takes to sustain one person, let alone an entire family.  The average person needs about 1500 calories per day to survive and about 4 liters of water per day to survive in a normal consumer driven society.  During a stressful survival situation, you’ll need almost double that per person as you’ll be expending much more calories and need to intake more than you are now.  Stockpiling goods is preferred for the short-term scenarios, but supplies will run out eventually and there might not be any stores to pick up groceries from.  Can you garden?  Can you cook without electricity?  These questions might inspire you to learn a new skill or purchase equipment that will help you out in these scenarios. 
  1. Money: I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not expert when it comes to finances, my bank statement will tell you that, but there are still things you can do to help improve your potential future situation if things do get tough.  The need for money may not just go away, society still may function using money up to a point, and you’ll need to “play that game” until you no longer can.  Cash on hand will be key.  Keeping as much cash as you can afford on hand will make the days leading up to people realizing money no longer holds any value much easier.  Gold is another popular prepping item that has been used for centuries for monetary value, however I would be hesitant to solely have gold as your only source of “survival money” as gold only holds as much value as the person you’re trying to give it to.  That person you’re trying to purchase something from might find the box of ammo you have much more valuable.  Diversify your “money” and don’t rely on any one thing when it comes to your survival.
  1. Time: This is the one thing everyone of us can invest more of when it comes to preparing for the worst.  Fist off, take time to think through these scenarios, figure out what your unique situation looks like and how best you can work through these difficult scenarios that you and your family might one day face.  Take time to learn a new skill.  Will your skills have any value to your group when it’s needed?  Put in time organizing your gear, making sure you have the supplies you don’t and if you don’t, take the time to put together a list of items that you can slowly add to.  Take time to research the best items and goods to keep for the long term like rice, beans and non-perishables.  Taking just 15 minutes a day to think about or do something pertaining to your future investment of survival can very well mean the difference between surviving with confidence or struggling not to starve.  

As I’ve said before in my previous article, I don’t claim to be an expert on survival. Having had many conversations with “normies” who haven’t asked themselves these questions before, it has shown me that most people are nowhere near ready for these types of situations.  Please let me know in the comments what your thoughts are and if I missed anything that I can add.  Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Ask yourself these Survival Questions: Prepping with purpose

I don’t claim to be an expert on survival or prepping in the slightest, but I do feel there are some important hypothetical questions that you should ask yourself that forces you to go through the thought process of certain scenarios.  Just by thinking through some of the questions below, you will help yourself act quicker and with more confidence when/if these situations should arise.  

Take at least a minute and think through what your actions would be on each of the questions below given your unique location, circumstances and company that will be with you. 

  • What “Emergency” scenario do you believe is most likely to happen that would constitute snapping into survival mode?
    • Everyone has their own idea of what’s going to bring about the collapse of civilization as we know it.  Some feel it will be a natural disaster like the super-volcano underneath Yosemite National Park erupting, others think it could be nuclear fallout from nuclear war, and some like myself, feel it will be a mix of war/inflation/and civil unrest.  Given your personal beliefs on the current political, natural and social climates, what do you feel is most likely?  Determining this will help you plan more accordingly. 

  • Will you Bug-Out or will you Bug-In?
    • Depending on your location, situation, capabilities and overall plan you’ll need to determine whether it’s best for you and your group to stay where you are or if you’re going to leave for a better area.  Not only do you have to determine that, but you also need to determine what your “trigger” point is.  When do you make that call?  Is it when chaos is ensuing around your town or will it be before then so you can travel safely? 

  • Who are your party members? 
    • Who will be with you?  These people will most likely be your close family like children, spouse, mother, father etc, however you might have different priorities like close friends who you trust more.  Making this decision requires a little homework that is tied to the next question.

  • Do all of your party members plans/priorities align and will there be conflict?
    • Once you pick your ideal party members, you must find out from them as to what their personal plans are.  They, just like you, may have not yet went through this thought process and they may need to make this same determination for themselves before answering.  If possible, when you have your “ideal party members” in one place, ask these important questions to get a rough agreement from the group.  This can also be a fun (maybe a little morbid) party conversation. 
  • What skills can your party members bring to the table? (Is your groups skills well rounded)
    • While narrowing down who will and won’t be in your group, it’s important to theoretically divy out jobs and duties that are best suited for each individual..  Obviously if you have a nurse or doctor in your group they would be most helpful in assisting with the inevitable medical situation that WILL arise.  Same would go for a former service member who is good with security or a farmer who would be integral in helping grow food for the group.  Everyone has a skill they can bring to the table as long as they are willing to contribute.

  • How do you plan for security and protecting yourself as well as those that you love?
    • If you don’t have that experienced military member in your group with a bunker full of ammo and weapons, how do YOU plan on keeping you and your group protected from outside threats?  What kind of threats are most likely given your location, population and surroundings?  In what ways can you protect yourself?  Do you have a firearm, do you have alarm systems, do you know how to NOT make yourself a target to threats?  The decision on how to best protect yourself varies from individual to individual based personal beliefs, skill level among other factors.  Knowing what you will do to protect yourself is a must nonetheless. 

  • What medical issues should you prepare for if you can’t see a doctor or go to the hospital?
    • Medical is often overlooked as people are becoming more reliant on hospitals and doctors, but when SHTF there won’t be many options other than your own know-how. Some things to think about besides basic medical emergency care is what your special medical care/supplies might you need for yourself or your group. Do you have a condition that might require specific meds? Does someone in your group require insulin? This topic should be looked at carefully by each member and made known to the entire group so people can keep an eye out for these items during “supply runs”.

  • Does your party include infants and elderly and how do you plan to care for them?
    • Recognizing your limitations early on can help keep you out of difficult situations when the time comes.  Knowing if you’ll be limited on movement and physical help from slower party members like the elderly & infants will help you make the most educated choice on hard decisions you will have to make. 
  • If you are bugging out, what vehicle will you use and how will you maintain that vehicle?
    • Deciding to leave the comfort of your home and security is a BIG decision, especially when chaos is already happening outside.  Many factors will come into play with this complicated decision.  Knowing that the last thing you’d want to happen is to be stranded on the side of the road with limited supplies, gas and no transportation and threats could force you to meticulously plan that decision out.  Will you have enough fuel?  What’s your plan if a tire goes flat? Will there be more than one vehicle in your “convoy” or group?

  • How do you & your party plan on keeping everyone fed and supplied with water?
    • Regardless if you’re Bugging-In or Bugging-Out, food and water are going to be a constant need.  The bigger your group, the more food and water you will need to sustain yourselves.  As you make these preparations, please do a little research on how people/humans react when faced with starvation.  People, even close friends can/will turn on you when faced with no other option.  

  • Will harsh weather be an issue for you and your party?
    • Your climate, location and time of year may very well dictate if you should or shouldn’t Bug-Out or Bug-In.  If the time to make that decision happens to be in November and you live in Montana, you might just want to head further south to warmer climates, I personally wouldn’t want to ride out a long winter with limited supplies.  

  • How bad is crime overall in the area you place to Bug-In at or Bug-Out to?
    • Assessing the crime rate in the area you plan on staying at is very important.  If you live on the south side of Chicago you probably don’t want to Bug-In there, same goes for some rural areas in the middle of nowhere that might have a history of “bad locals” that may decide to take advantage of their new neighbors. 

  • What is your backup plan?
    • “You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather”, this is especially true when it comes to the chaos of emergency prepping.  Having a detailed plan like your main plan is ideal, but at least having an idea of what your backup plan might look like can save you time thinking time when initial plans fall apart, as they often do. 

  • Are you prepared to say NO to people outside of your group?
    • Once you have a plan and become halfway organized, others outside of your group will notice this and see you as either an asset, their last chance or a target.  Maintaining the integrity of any group in a survival situation is hard enough as it is.  Making the hard decision to refuse or help an outsider could have detrimental consequences, so choose wisely.  

  • How will you react to authority?
    • When society starts to crumble it most likely won’t happen all at once, there will probably be a gradual decline of some kind resulting in local or federal authorities attempting to “fix” things.  Their attempts may or may not be in you and your groups favor.  If you’re trying to make it to your bug-out location and they tell you that they’re taking everyone to special camps for “your safety”, you may or may not wish to go with them.  I for one have read a history book before and would prefer to risk it on my own verse being lumped into a group or rely on another group for my protection.  This will be a decision you’ll need to assess while it’s happening. 

  • How will leadership work in your group?
    • No matter the size of your group, you will need some kind of leadership and organization.  If it’s just you, your spouse and your kids this decision will be easy, but if your group consists of multiple family members and friends you’ll need a more pragmatic approach that at least the majority of the group agrees with.  Things like enforcing everyone pulling their own weight, and punishments for outsiders and members may need to be ruled on by a committee or elders as the judicial system will likely be non-existent at that point. 

  • Are you prepared for a “slow” descent into an emergency prepping scenario?
    • As I said earlier, when SHTF it most likely will not happen all of a sudden, it might be painstakingly slow, but what does this mean? Think of “hyperinflation”.  In a hyperinflation scenario, your income, savings and food may slowly be depleted due to circumstances surrounding simple items like milk, gas and other essential items becoming too expensive for the average person to buy.  Many people will be in this scenario together, mass panic will occur and you’ll be forced to make the decision to Bug-Out or Bug-In when others tell you you’re “being dramatic” or “things will get better soon”.  That decision is yours to make, but waiting too long to make that decision can mean life and death. 

In conclusion, everyone’s circumstances and scenarios are and will be different given your individual resources, location, climate, group and other factors.  Just by reading this and asking yourself these questions you’ve already made yourself more mentally prepared than the average person who has never walked though these scenarios before.  Remember to take a moment here and there to talk about these scenarios with your close friends and family that could potentially be in your group if things are to go south, you won’t regret it.

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