Scrolling through my Facebook feed and other social media platforms I see a lot of people discussing what they plan to do in the event of an SHTF or TEOTWAWKI situation. These ideas simply expose the inexperience of most people about what it takes to survive in the wild, much less what life will be like should some event occur. Here are some of my favorites:
Bug out or die!
If you truly believe that something like an EMP or nuclear strike or whatever could happen to your city or to the country that would cause a long-term disruption of food/water or would cause people to go door to door pillaging supplies or killing anyone they find then you need to be honest with yourself and get out of the city now. Regardless of your situation or excuse, if you truly believe that such an event could occur within your lifetime or within the lifetime of your children you simply need to leave now and move to a less populated area where the threat would not occur or that if you needed to evacuate it would be easy for you to do so.
If you choose to stay within the city but are still concerned that “something” could happen but its effects wouldn’t necessarily be a long term or permanent, then the only sensible solution would be to bug in.
Personally, I believe that bugging in will be people’s natural reaction when they realize that it is dangerous to go outside. People’s typical reaction in these situations is to hide and they will likely do it where they feel safest. At home. This is probably the most sensible and affordable strategy for the most number of people. The problem is that the overwhelming majority of Americans have less than a three day supply of food and water at home. Get your food and water storage sorted out. You never know what is going to happen that may cause you to need to stay right where you are. Otherwise bug out now and start your new life now before the balloon goes up and the hammer falls.
You can survive as a lone wolf
I am honestly surprised how popular this idea is. I think there must be something romantic about the idea of hunkering down or striking out on your own when the world is crumbling all around and you will do whatever it takes to survive. That you will have the skills and can find the resources you need to survive by using your wits, always staying ahead of danger and watching from afar through the scope of your rifle. Unfortunately, this Hollywood version of events will likely leave you dead and broken in a ditch somewhere in real life. Even the most seasoned and trained individuals need the support of a community of some kind to make sure that communications, supplies and security are maintained. Eventually due to bad weather, bad people or bad luck you will find yourself in a situation and will need help. Perhaps your supplies get stolen or damaged and you are out of food. Maybe you get injured or become ill and require medical attention that you can’t perform on yourself. Eventually someone will find your spider hole or knock on your door. Whether it be local law enforcement, UN troops or the neighbors… they found you and they aren’t going away. You will need a plan to interact with them initially, violence will only attract more attention. Support from others will be necessary to either maintain the stats quo or provide a means of reprieve.
Retreat to the woods and just live off the land by hunting and fishing.
Yup, you and everyone else. As cities become stressed for food and water, people will take to the hills thinking they contain a bounty of food and water. The immediate countryside will be devoid of all animal life as the inexperienced and hungry tromp through the country scaring any wildlife deeper and further into the wilderness. If the event that caused the influx of people to go into the hills has affected the whole country or a large area, then each population center will be driving out the animals and we will see something similar to what happened during the great depression when people were starving and many turned to hunting as a means to eat. Practically overnight the deer and elk populations (and just about every other kind of game animal) was driven to near extinction. The herds that managed to escape did so by migrating north into Canada’s vast forests. Maybe you will get lucky early on and land a deer, elk or other large game animal, where do you plan to store the hundreds of pounds of meat? You will need to stay on the move or you will eventually become overrun by others in the area. But that food will quickly run out and by then finding food will become scarce and a competition between you and other armed and hungry people will have started for not only the food, but for access to water and hunting grounds. You will be seen as a threat by others and should you wander into what someone else considers their hunting area they could already be in a tree stand or camouflaged allowing them to take out their competition before you ever hear the shot.
Same goes for fishing. Pole fishing is amazingly inefficient and people will resort to concussive fishing or nets easily cleaning out entire fish populations of lakes and rivers interrupting their reproduction cycle meaning the fish won’t be coming back next year. People will flock to lakes, rivers and streams and the water will quickly become contaminated because most people don’t understand how or don’t care to maintain sanitary conditions in the wild. This will ensure that the water will become unusable to drink causing widespread disease to an already bad situation.
Again, maintaining proper food and water storage would be far superior to to starving to death in the woods, or dying from Typhoid or Dysentery.
I will just kill a prepper and steal their stuff
This idea is so stupid that the first time I heard it I thought they were joking. When I realized that they were serious and had already identified who they would go after if times got tough the tone of the conversation changed and I was thankful that I didn’t live any near this person. But I have to assume that this mindset exists and there will be people in my neighborhood that will try and do me harm.
According to the Congressional Research Service it is estimated that there are more guns in the US than there are people. This alone should make anyone considering this method of survival choose another way. Especially when you consider that the majority of preppers are armed. If some event happens that would cause you to consider the murder of a prepper ,you should remember that they are likely armed and expecting an attack. This puts you at a severe disadvantage and would likely mean your death should you attempt such an action. But even if you were successful you would need to accomplish this task anomalously. If the community learned what you did, society still detests murders and you would not accept you among them. You would then be targeted by mob rule or vigilante justice. Even if you were lucky enough to be successful the first time you would not be able to maintain this method of survival. You would eventually get picked off by someone with even mild OPSEC experience.