OPSEC Problems for Preppers, by The Lone Canadian

The Problem

The biggest problem that I see for preppers is that we talk a good game, and we know what needs to be done, but it goes against our basic nature. Now, before you all jump on me, hear me out. I’m not talking about stockpiling “The Three Bs” (Beans, Bullets, and Band-Aids.)

We all know that in the event that TEOTWAWKI comes to pass that we will need to band together in groups for survival. The “lone wolf” has been much written about, but we all know that it’s not possible for one person, or even a couple, to make it on their own. They simply cannot amass all of the skills required for a long-term survival situation. I think we all know this, given that we are here on SurvivalBlog. I’m assuming that we have read JWR’s books, and found something in them that appealed to us, and it led us here. In all of his books we see groups of people that have come together. Most have known each other for years and share common thoughts and beliefs. All have the responsibilities divided amongst the group, with different people being in charge of logistics, intel, etc. Even recruiting!

Now what do I find when I come on this forum? I find a lot of people just like me. People that tend to be independent, self-sufficient, and to a certain extent loners. It’s in our basic nature. Part of being independent and self-sufficient means that you make up your own mind, and don’t necessarily follow that crowd, which tends to make us……loners. Now, that’s not to say that we don’t have good, close friends, or belong to groups (the PTA, or the Shriners, or a group that’s part of our church) but we don’t seem to congregate with other preppers. At least I don’t seem to, and I know others are the same, because of questions I’ve seen posted on other forums.

Every Saturday I check in at SurvivalBlog for an update on what JWR and Avalanche Lily have been up to. Many of us share what we’ve been up to for the week. What our latest preps are. Problems we’ve encountered, solutions we have found and plans for the near future. But I don’t remember ever reading a post about, “got together with my prepper group for our weekly/monthly meeting.” Now, maybe I’m wrong, and there have been posts like that, but I just don’t remember seeing them. Or maybe OPSEC keeps people from making a post like that. I just don’t know, but I suspect there are a lot more people out there like me than there are like Todd and Mary Gray.

OPSEC and the Media

First, we have to admit that shows like “Doomsday Preppers” have not helped our cause. Although it did bring public attention to the fact that there are a lot of preppers out there, it sensationalized the whole movement as a crazy, fringe element. More like the National Enquirer than a television show about self reliant individuals. Some of the newer shows about living off grid are much better and show real people, but they seem to studiously avoid the word “preppers”.

The media continues to vilify anybody that doesn’t agree with their vision of what a perfect citizen should be. Somebody that will fall into line and support all the right causes. Somebody that is “Woke”- whatever that is. I’ve been woke most of my adult life. I have been able to look past the propaganda, and find the truth. I have been able to see the lies, and the agendas behind the reporting. I have been able to apply some reason and common sense to situations to resolve them. But I guess that’s not what they mean by “woke”.

Many media outlets even tried to blame preppers for the shortages that occurred earlier this year, because we’re one of their favorite targets. Basic common sense would tell you that it was panic buying urbanites, that only have 2 days worth of food in their apartment, but the finger still got pointed our way. Most of us have been prepared for this for some time, stocking up before the emergencies, and staying away from stores when the craziness starts. They tried their best to make us the enemy, because the Left does not like independent people that can think for themselves.

Then we have OPSEC. We all talk about it, or we talk about the fact that we don’t talk about it. We don’t advertise the fact that we are preppers, because we know if it all goes sideways that we’ll have people showing up at our door expecting us to look after them, and provide for them, like the government presently does. We don’t need the angry mob at our door demanding food and supplies, and we sure don’t need government troops on our lawn because some hungry neighbor told them we were hoarding food.

If things don’t go sideways, we don’t want people to think we’re a bunch of crazies, stockpiling guns and ammo, and waiting for the world to end, so that we can act out some Mad Max fantasy. We want people to think that we are just normal, maybe a little eccentric, neighbors. And that IS what we are. We are just normal people. We may have a little more foresight than most, or think a little more independently, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Just a few other thoughts on OPSEC. There is no such thing. I mean, we try our best, but OPSEC in our present situation is almost impossible to maintain. If you get to know your neighbors, they get to know you – it’s not a one-way street. The neighbor will remember that large garden you had out back, and all the canning that you did this fall. The delivery driver will remember dropping off those boxes with Mountain House written on the side. Somewhere, someplace, we all have a tell, we all let the little things slip. We live in a world that has very little real privacy left, so unless you’re a hermit living way back in the bush, with no outside contact, somebody will know.

There have been numerous discussions on how to handle the knock on the door that we all dread. It’s going to have to be up to the individual how they handle it. It’s always a difficult question, and one that needs to be addressed ahead of time – how will you handle it. We all agree that we need to be charitable, but the first food that is given out will destroy any OPSEC that you have. Word will get out, people will come, and the situation will deteriorate.

The Forum Question

On another forum that I belong to, a post was made, “I’m new to prepping and would like to learn about it, and learn new skills. Are there any groups out there that a person can join?” It seems like a pretty simple question, but the answer that came back was crickets. No responses, no information, no nothing. Nobody stepped forward to help this new person start down the road of being prepared – including me. At least not on the public part of the forum. I had to ask myself why?

Suspicion: I’m naturally suspicious of anybody that wants to join a group. I’m looking for independent people. Leaders if you will. And deep down I feel that anybody looking to be a joiner, a follower, is missing something that I tend to look for in friends and acquaintances, and especially in somebody that I would consider allowing into the inner circle that would be my group.

Time: Properly vetting a person that is seeking membership takes time. Time that I don’t feel that I have right now, as I am concentrating on my own preps. Time that I don’t think we have before things could get bad. Trust is something that is gained over time, and through shared experience, and I feel that this isn’t the time to start looking for that group – that was a couple years ago.

Skillset: I’m looking for people with a basic skill set. I want people that are going to bring skills to the group that we may be lacking. I don’t care what it is, but at least bring something to the table. I don’t need Rambo, because I don’t plan on fighting any wars, but a background in gardening, first aid, meat processing, or maybe animal sciences, would go a long way towards acceptance. I would expect members to be able to instruct others in the group in their specialty – thereby making the group stronger. Having someone come in with basically no skills, that expects you to instruct and teach them everything, is not fair to the group as a whole.

Common Beliefs: Now this covers a lot of territory. I’m not saying that everybody would have to be a regular church-goer, belong to the same church, or even be of the same faith, but a relatively common belief system will help the group have a shared moral and ethical foundation. I have worked with many people over the years with different faiths, and from different cultures, and found that generally speaking we have a lot more in common than we do differences. Radical beliefs, at either end of the spectrum would be a no-go for me, so Satan worshipers need not apply.

Common beliefs go a lot further than religion, or a belief in God. There must be an agreed upon personal code of conduct. There have been several couples that have approached myself or my wife over the years, softly inquiring if they could, in effect, be part of our group, and come to our farm if things went bad. As of this date, none would be welcomed. Not that they are bad people, but in one case the husband has a drinking problem and tends to get mean and ornery when he drinks, in another the wife tends to sleep around. These make me feel sorry for their spouses, because they, and their children will be the ones that wind up suffering.

In many of the other cases I find people are just scared and looking for reassurance of safety. They don’t really want to talk about prepping. They don’t want to stockpile food or necessities, but they want to know they have a safe place to go – sorry, it doesn’t work that way. The easiest way to make sure that you don’t have problems within the group is to make sure of the quality of the people before you let them in. Don’t compromise your standards because the person is the best friend of your wife’s second cousin once removed.

The Covid Effect

Thanks to the Covid pandemic, the lockdowns, and the supply chain failures, prepping has suddenly become fashionable. Suddenly, after all these years, the general public has started to realize that being prepared may not be such a bad thing. And, so begins the mad scramble. The cities will be a death trap! Quick, sell the house in the city and move to the suburbs, or even better find a rural property. They are selling fast. Move to the country and become self-sufficient. It would be funny, if it weren’t so sad. The way of life that we have practiced for years has now become a fad. Enter the Preppy Preppers.

There is a whole new crop of preppers that have been created by this pandemic. They are young, and enthusiastic, but whether they will actually stick around, or will drift away like they do from most fads, once the shine wears off, is yet to be seen. I guess some of it will depend on how long the Covid Effect lasts.

Much like the people that wanted to come to the farm, I believe many of these people are just trying to find a safe place. They aren’t necessarily preppers, they just have money, and they feel that the cities aren’t safe. Their answer is to buy a rural property because it gives them the illusion that they are safe. They are insulated and away from what made them scared. If things ever do settle down, I think you’ll see most of these properties back up for sale in a couple years as these Preppy Preppers discover that living in a rural location is a lot of work. They’ve never had to plow 200 yards of driveway in the winter, or sit outside with a blow dryer to thaw out a water line. Their idea of roughing it is being without cell service, and not being able to get their double latte.

Down to Me

So, after all my ramblings we come back to me, and my original statement. What about me? Do I have a group? Am I actively recruiting?

The truth is that I know that I need a group. Everything that has been written, and the combined experiences of some pretty smart people tell me that I need a group to make it through in the long run. But I don’t have a group. I have some close family, my girls and their prospective husbands, that I figure would wind up at the farm. Do they bring a large skill set with them – no. I know them. I trust them. And I have stood back and assessed each of them, noting strengths and weaknesses. The rest of my group is more an idea of what I’d like, rather than a solid list with names attached.

Am I actively recruiting? No, not at this time. Recruiting during an emergency is like grocery shopping when you’re hungry – never the best plan. Suffice it to say that each person that I meet on a daily basis, whether it be personal or business, is subject to a certain scrutiny. Would they fit in? What skills do they bring to the table? Are they quietly prepping on their own?

My wife and I both are quietly networking in our area. We have a mental list of who we know that can supply beef, chickens, eggs, and even grains. You might be surprised at the people out there that are doing the same thing, and quietly building a prepper network without even thinking about it. We’ve got the wife’s cousin about an hour south of us, in similar circumstances, quietly building his own network, and an ex-military buddy about an hour west, doing the same thing.

So, I don’t have a group, but I’ve got the beginnings of a mutual aid society. A group that can help each other out when needed, and connections to at least two more groups that could also help out. Will it be enough? I don’t know, but it’s going to have to do for now.

Part of me thinks many of the individual preppers out there are just waiting. If things really go sideways, they’ll bunker in and try their best to wait it out. We’ll see who’s still standing in a year, and maybe that’s when we will form our group, with tested people: people that you know have the skill set and the mental strength to make it through.

Final Thoughts

It would seem that there are some dark and troubled times ahead of us. There is economic uncertainty. There is civil unrest. There is a pandemic. We have elected officials acting like dictators, and issuing orders to the population. We have a hotly contested election. We are facing a very uncertain future, and that, in itself, creates stress and fear in all of us.

Do I truly believe that a civil war is going to break out? No, I don’t, but a recent poll showed that over 60% of Americans believe that one is coming. That statistic alone shows the level of fear and polarization that we are facing.

Do I think that this is it? TEOTWAWKI? No, this isn’t it, at least not yet. Not unless some, as yet unknown, threat emerges.

What do I believe? I believe that we are headed for a difficult time as a nation. We have had 50 years of easy times, technological advances, leisure time, paid holidays, and disposable income. These are not things that our grandparents had, or many people living in other countries around the world have had. In much of the world, even today, life is a daily grind, seven days a week to keep food on the table and a roof over your head. I think we are in for a reset. It will be a time of turmoil and upheaval. Of lowered expectations. And of relearning the lessons that our grandparents knew.

The Three Bs (Beans, bullets, and Band-aids) are only going to get us so far. We are going to require mental toughness, a good measure of plain old-fashioned guts, and an unswerving faith in a higher power (by whatever name you call him) to get through the coming times. But we will get through. As my wife would say, “It’s a scary time, but also an exciting time to be alive. We are seeing history. Are you ready to ride the reset?”


  1. Had not thought of it that way, but you are right about having a network rather than a group. I’ve told all my neighbors, at one time or another, that having more than a couple days of food at home was a good idea. Not harping on it, or even repeating it, but just trying to plant a seed to see if anything grew. We have flash flooding, ice and snow storms and other natural events that could end up with forced isolation.

    Also, being well out in the country, some have skills that I call upon from time to time, such as machining, welding, large mechanical jobs, etc. In return, they call upon my skills in other things. We all garden, and most of us can.

    So, the network is there in a loose form. Me? I’m waiting to see what happens and who reacts well (including me and mine) before I go any farther.

  2. Gotta say that I love your post. Really thoughtful, well written and lots to think about. Yes, I too have considered the whole issue of prepper “groups” and how I don’t have one. If TSHTF, I’ve got my son and that’s it really. And yes, I know that’s not good enough. I don’t know anyone personally in my area who is also prepping. Maybe they are, some probably are, but I don’t know who is. How would I ever know? I have a hard enough time figuring out who is a “safe” person to discuss things like politics with here as it is; mostly I just keep my mouth shut and only talk about this stuff with friends who live elsewhere. Add prepping to the mix…….

    And yeah, OPSEC. I’m new to this town but already my garden is a topic of “interest”. A neighbor who was moving drove over with a car loaded with cases of canning jars and lids, figuring that if anyone here would use them it would be me! The guy cutting down some trees observed my garden and said “well I know where I’m coming if I’m hungry!” I just smiled and thought “well I know where I’m going if I need trees cut down!” I suppose this is bad if it makes people figure that they could get food from me but good if it encourages them to ask me for garden advice. Depends on how things play out I guess.

    Slowly starting to meet people. Just met a guy in my town with a team of draft horses. I’m sure he’s into self-sufficiency. Prepping to any degree? No idea. Will see. The guy looking for info on well pumping with the grid down? I’m going to stay in touch with him as he’s likely thinking along similar lines. So yeah, I look for “tells” which indicate that someone is thinking along similar lines as me.

    I find myself wishing many of the folks here on SB lived around me. Yes, many of us tend towards being somewhat of a loner but I think we’d see eye-to-eye and be able to help each other. We’ve got lots of talent on this blog!

    And yeah, lots of city people fleeing big bad Covid to a place of relative safety up here. Time will tell how they do. Winter is really long here. Do they have any useful skills? Or are they mostly equipped to throw money at problems? Money is only useful as payment if it still has value and the system is functioning enough to be able to buy stuff with it. That’s still the case as I write this but who knows?

    1. “I find myself wishing many of the folks here on SB lived around me.”

      The irony is, many of us do live near one another but because of OPSEC, there’s no way to find out! 🙂 Some people who have mentioned enough hints (sometimes unknowingly) have alerted me to the fact that they don’t live too far from me. And many people who are talented preppers who just don’t post for one reason or another also live nearby. But again, no way to get in contact with other SurvivalBloggers.

    2. You are wise, Ani.

      “So yeah, I look for “tells” which indicate that someone is thinking along similar lines as me. ”

      Likewise. I want to know what the person thinks and feels…and how trustworthy he/she is. Then skills and resources.

      Re: money. It is worth something as long as someone will accept it in payment.

      Carry on

  3. A couple-three points:

    I established my ‘prepper group’ a few generations ago.
    We include people we know, their children, their spouses.

    Some of my group include members of outlaw motorcycle organizations such as Mongol Nation.
    Other members are rural mountain Hmong, survivors of the worst betrayals by the worst government agents (looking at you, District Of Corruption).

    We ‘actively ignore’ inquiries from anybody we haven’t know at least twenty years.
    During that period of ‘actively ignoring’ them, we observe them and occasionally offer suggestions to see how they are received.

    Like pretty much everything, this too is a test.

    “I am suspicious of anybody like me”

    Oh, ain’t that the truth!

    Anybody like me is probably another fringe weirdo with odd-ball ideas about liberty and freedom, self-governance and self-reliance, and other sorts of wacky non-institutional behavior.
    We come with a built-in suspicion of city-folk,.
    We are extra-suspicious of marxists such as the dog-catcher and strangers with aspirations to be helpful.
    Politicians who would be king fail that test regularly.

    Yesterday’s column by humorist John Wilder at WilderWealthyWise discusses the tin-foil helmet crowd.
    He makes an interesting point:
    * each frantic sky-falling conspiracy theory from a few years ago seems tame in late-2020.

    He casually mentions de-population groups, reducing us to a few hundred million supporting a few dozen elite families to benevolently govern us.
    Bless their hearts.

    Irregardless of your level of involvement in this whole prep stuff, I think Wilder is a good addition to your tool-chest.
    And he comes with references:
    * His work was recommended by BisonPrepper James Dakin and Ol’ Remus at the WoodPileReport.


    Warning — John Wilder is capable of punning.
    Be prepped to occasionally groan with his hilarious insights!

    1. Large Marge I enjoy John Wilder’s posts too. I’m not into the bikini grafts (no, his site isn’t obscene, but occasionally he has women in bikinis) lol, but he has some good insights with a sprinkling of much needed humor. Nothing better when someone can make you laugh out loud in the old fashioned way.

      1. I actually like the bikini girls. It’s the closest thing we veterans get to seeing an American woman the way a man should see them. See these feminists types have liberated themselves from the marriage bed. There’s a saying in the military “now that women have rights no one gets laid.” Oh well having sex is something people did hundreds of years ago.

        1. Ha! Well, as a woman, I have zero interest in bikini clad women. As a Christian, I believe modesty serves women better. I do think that women’s “liberation” is detrimental to families and to society, and IMO, I think it’s all part of the commie agenda to destroy our country. To me, since WWII and women filled in for the men at war it stirred the pot of discontentment with some woman and it went downhill from there.

  4. “Recruiting during an emergency is like grocery shopping when you’re hungry – never the best plan.” Why is that? Grocery shopping when I was hungry has only reduced the number of shopping trips I need to make, saving me time and money.

    Recruiting/hiring during an emergency has reduced the emergency to an urgency … to a calm.

    Of course, if you don’t have a recruiting plan to use or follow in the calm, you won’t know what to do in an emergency.. like not having a grocery list when you go shopping.

    As an aside, if you think you may not follow the list if you are hungry, make the list when you are full and shop it when you are hungry.

  5. Ironic its about opsec,and I’m blowing mine kinda,but I want to address the delivery driver comment.I see it repeated in many articles and forums.
    I’ve done it for a while,can’t speak for everyone,but most just want to get the day over.Its 4 pm and you still have 10 drops.
    This applies to random residential deliveries,not regular commercial routes.If you get some ammo or food every 3-4 months,you may not even have the same driver.
    Nice article,just a personal prospective.

    1. That’s true where I live on a mountain. We go through UPS drivers like crazy. For some reason they are intimidated by mud, narrow “roads”, and trees and bears in the road, lol.

    2. Get a UPS Box out of state. We drive to another state four hours away to fetch our mail once a month. It’s date day with the wife in the car. Not to mention our tax filing is from that address and That state doesn’t have state income tax. So we get OPSEC and and a tax incentive. We have yet to get a physical address on our off grid retreat. We even purchased it in an irrevocable trust. Neighbors haven’t the slightest of who we are.

  6. We get together and train on 3 topics every quarter. I don’t post them.
    You keep the faith that we are actually doing. We bumped it to monthly the last few.
    There’s a ton of pretenders out there but there’s a lot of real folks too.
    Wheat from the chaff

  7. Thank you Lone Canadian for this article. I’m in the same situation. Quietly watching and waiting. Our group is our family. Daughters with husbands and our son. Everyone knows to come to our place. Other “members” will have to be vetted.
    I remember reading a novel about hard times after a catastrophie and the daughter’s boyfriend was not like minded and invited undesirables to also come to the property and had no opsec. Things didn’t work so well for that family because of one person that wasn’t like minded and didn’t share the same values. Even though it was a novel it was a good cautionary tale.
    Prayer and faith in The Lord gives me strength and courage to face what may come.
    May God bless you and all the other members of this virtual group of like minded people.

    1. There is definitely a “socialist” in our midst. I already made it clear that this person is not welcome here. I felt so horrible setting that boundary, but the person is not married into this family which is where my boundary is. I basically stated that this individual would have to go to their family should SHTF. Boundaries have always been my problem, but when it comes to societal collapse, I cannot tolerate someone who wishes a handout and votes/believes in socialism.

      Remember in The Sound of Music, the eldest daughter’s boyfriend joined the Nazi party and he betrayed the family.

    1. Mark: No, it wouldn’t have killed me. Simple answer. But, I’ll expand on it, because that’s who I am.

      I’m an alcoholic. This month is 22 years sober for me, and the only reason that I was able to do it was “a higher power.” Yes, god came into my life. Actually, he was always in my life, I finally just came to accept and acknowledge that.

      Am I a Christian – Yes, but that does not mean that I would only accept Christians into my group. I have worked with, and known, many people of other faiths and cultures that did not call their god by the same name that I do, but were fantastic people with a deep and abiding faith. People that I am proud to have known, and consider a friend.

      1. @Lone Canadian –

        well done on the 22 years ! my comment, question for you is quite a number of people who prep are not in the USA ( or Canada ) I live in a first world country, our country is really a test for Socialist ideals, ideas and anyone who has even a whiff of being a prepper will attract the swift attention of the thug Cops, and those who are left leaning, so I am very wary of talking to people or mentioning prepping, being in a fairly large city does not help either, family ? forget that, they see my wife and I as paranoid nut cases, local press ? no, local media ? no, where I am , guns are seen as evil by city people, and the Govt here is tightening the noose of gun ownership by legislation registration and further controls coming, that really leaves my circle of preppers as very small , two people !, my wife wants to move and go to some land ( a few acres next few months ), my strong feeling it’s now a race against time before the money system unravels with a big reset, that’s my view anyway, so we are sort of reluctant lone wolves you might say ( with me having a lot of self taught and learned skills ), do you see any other ways of creating a larger network of trusted people, who won’t sell out to the marauding overlords looking for recalcitrants not willing to obey their selfish, slavish desires ? ( not to mention being Christians is not helpful either to the NWO masters ), all in all it’s pretty grim where we are, be great if you could write up a article for those outside of the north American continent ! : )


  8. Great piece. Living in a rural area, it’s critical to scan your area for the positive (value-add) people and the negative. There are often well established people in an area that are more likely to become a high risk in a crisis. These negative people will bend their morals quite readily under duress of a starving family, or have always been inclined to capitalize on opportunities that crisis presents.

    OPSEC in a rural community is a key part of the emergency preparedness strategy, but if we take it too far as mentioned by The Lone Canadian, my worry is that other people in an area, may see me as a threat. If I don’t make social connections and discuss emergency preparedness during the “good times”, it would be a hard time during crisis to win people over, not to mention a waste a lot of precious time and resources.

    Working with provincial Emergency Measures and doing wellness checks has shown me a number of times how individual households can form groups can band together for mutual benefit during crisis times. In these situations, the households had formed social-understanding with each other before the crisis and knew what each could offer. Conversely, I’ve also knocked on doors of households that exuded paranoia, fear and reckless independence (not to blame them as looters and thieves were in full swing).

    Thanks again Lone Canadian, this was a very thought-provoking article!

    1. John; You bring up another very valid point that I totally omitted in my article. Urban OPSEC vs. Rural OPSEC. I think OPSEC in an urban setting is much easier than in a rural setting. When I was younger I lived in the city. I knew my neighbors, but only in passing. We knew each other’s name, and exchanged pleasantries when we ran into each other. I had friends, but they weren’t necessarily neighbors, or lived close in the city. You were able to put out only the information that you wanted people to know.

      Living in, or around a small rural community, everybody knows everybody. Heck, a lot of time they know your parents, and maybe even your grandparents. There is no “grey man, anonymity “. Maybe it’s not quite as important in a rural setting, because the people tend to be a little more “prepper” oriented, whether they realize it or not.

      Just a thought, and something to take into account.

  9. I have been actively recruiting amongst local preppers for several years. Gained 2 people. Unfortunately, the lone wolf attitude is very strong. And because of it many preppers will die. I know families that have their beans, bullets and Band-Aids in a rural area but live 200 yards off the only major highway in our area in a house covered with large plate glass windows. Cannot get through to them that there is no way the two of them can defend their home.

    Others have insisted, in spite of the teachings of our church to be prepared, that it could never happen in our country and are now frantically trying to stock food.

    I, too, expect many to attempt to show up. However, I am far from a paved road. No car can make it only a truck. I have evaluated many of my friends and acquaintances and made preliminary lists of those to be accepted, rejected, or accepted on probation.

    Many of us need to understand that we are the leaders and that accepting those who may be more inclined to be followers can be advantageous. Remember the old saying “too many chiefs and not enough Indians.”

    And yes, I am among the 60 percent who expects widespread violence and possible civil war in the near future.

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed your article. The difficulty of finding persons suitable to form a group I feel you underscored quite well. Like most the closest I have been able to come is possibly a MAG. There are just too many that for one reason or another would be detrimental to the long term cohesiveness that would be needed in a very stressful situation…the rest really don’t have a clue just how hard a work feeding/protecting 10,15 or more people would be. I still meet many that still have the misguided idea that you just buy a bunch of those buckets of long term food and wait it out. When you try to paint a picture of life in rural America in the early 20th or late 19th century to illustrate the sun up to sun down work, much less life after you have pulled off you boots their eyes glaze over and they leave.

  11. My DH and I have a little game as we get to know new people or learn something new about people we already know. Didn’t know so and so is a trained LPN. She’ll be welcome at the compound. If someone really annoys my DH, he’ll just announce with a laugh – You’re not welcome at the compound. We all laugh and I gave up trying to get him to be quiet. My close friends with critical skills that would be welcome all plan to retreat to their extended family’s places in the country. I hope my kids, spouses and grandkids all make it here. The kids have skills to contribute including medical. Their spouses not so much but each has a role. Both are followers. So there won’t be any leadership conflicts. One is a strong, hard worker good with the kids. He trained for law enforcement but took other work instead. So he has some skills to contribute. The other isn’t a hard worker and has never handled a weapon. However, he is a wonderful musician and also good with the kids. He will have to pull his weight but I also expect to tap his musical skills for entertainment and instruction of the grandkids. He has also started to learn to cook. So KP duty as well. Sometimes you need to find a role for people you know you won’t turn away. Thinking about it ahead of time helps you have that speech ready for when they show up so there are no questioning later about the role they will play.

  12. Lone Canadian – Thanks for a wonderfully written piece. It certainly resonated with many of us and the challenges we face.
    My estimate is that it might take as many as two dozen people to provide sufficient support and defense. I have a working list of skills needed and have even penciled in some names, however, I have had some conversations but have not taken the steps to bring the group together…

    In the final analysis two people can’t provide constant security (24/7) for a property as they will soon be exhausted. Add the burden of running a household (meals, water, garden, etc.) and it simply can’t be accomplished.

    Consider the skills needed to support your group (think of a small town) and the list will grow quickly. Medical is high on my list with a doctor, dentist, veterinarian, and ER nurse. You’ll need a farmer, butcher, chemist, cooks, etc. Trades: plumber, carpenter, electrician, welder and mechanic. Security staff (this will hopefully overlap with previous skills. Also, a gunsmith, and someone to reload). Finally, a minister, teacher, musician, and possibly even an attorney.

  13. I appreciate the thought provoking article. I don’t have the perfect answer and no one else does either. We were part of a preparedness group way back. It dissolved because of lack of interest due to nothing happening. We just live a prepared/ self sufficient lifestyle all the time. It saves money and makes it easier in the hard times. Also there is satisfaction in doing it yourself. Some thoughts. There’s a principle, faithful in little, faithful in much. Your basic character stays the same. If you’re a giver/helper now, you’ll be one later. If you’re kind, mean, reliable , shifty , etc. now you’ll be that in hard times. Who do you know that will drop what they’re doing to help in a crisis? Or stays with a task and doesn’t give up when it gets hard? Or always keeps their word and commitments? Or always has projects going makes plans and completes them? Or knows how to work and isn’t lazy? Character traits like this can help you determine who you might want to connect with during a crisis. I believe knowing your neighbors and the people in your community is very important. Being involved in community activities helps to know the character of the various individuals as well as helping your community. In crisis times having connections can be a lifesaver. It appears hard times are ahead. May God direct us all in how we are supposed to go through them.

  14. Interesting article, and comments so far. One thing that is worth mentioning, is how come so many of the replies share similar concerns? People from different areas, age, professions, you name it, all seem to be sharing similar concerns.

    That, my friends, is a pattern, and that pattern needs explaining.

    1. My two cents regarding the pattern I saw (rugged independence): It is the American culture to be independent and with that independence comes self-reliance and with that comes little need to be a part of a larger group. Not saying that’s good or bad. Just sayin’, it is my observation that many Americans are this way by culture. In Marxism, it is stated that to be independent and separate from the state is, basically, a crime.

      1. Interesting reply, SaraSue. What if I told you that American culture has been moving away from self-reliance and shifting toward dependency for longer than anyone on this forum has been alive?

        What I liked so much about this article are the parts that focus on the difference between theater, and reality. Fascinating topics.

  15. On our mountain, we have a few loners. A few to stay clear of. Most of the farmers up here help each other and have a sense of community. They know how to prepare because of the winters and have had the experience of the lack of items during the China virus. We don’t talk about “prepping” because it is already understood, a way of life up here. Eggs, raw milk, beef, pork, lamb, deer, canned vegs & fruit, gardens are available. Everyone can cook from scratch. Yes, it’s work. Everyone is armed-plus, but you won’t see anyone in camo except during hunting season with orange vests. This is a “group”. People invite us over to sit on their porch with pie and iced tea and chat on a summer day, I guess those would be considered a “meeting”. As far as giving information out we have a saying in our family: “Only give information on a need-to-know-basis.” They know their history but most important: Most have strong belief.

  16. People that volunteer their time at CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) generally have some skills and are often prepared for at least short term emergencies. They may be a source for like minded individuals that are preppers.

  17. This was a wonderful post and the replies were just as good. It’s obvious we’re all on the same page.
    I too belonged to a group. It also disintegrated with lack of leadership and commitment. Over time it was revealed that many weren’t even stocking supplies and they expected those of us who were, to carry them with our supplies and skills, when things went sideways. Beware of those who only talk but don’t actually do the work. Because there is so very much work to live the homestead/prepper life.
    Thankfully I extricated myself from that situation and now have a situation much like what NM describes above.
    I’m also thankful for the community here because there is always someone who has a point you haven’t thought of or even just encouragement.

    1. TeresaSue,

      “…[marxist “preppers”] were not stocking supplies…”

      For me, not prepping is next to not eating or not breathing.
      Or not sitting on the porch, not rocking in the rocker while not tossing the occasional tennis-ball to the dogs.

      I will be 69 in a few weeks, I grew-up on a farm with my four grandparents next door.
      For us, canning season included sterilizing Mason jugs of drinking water.

      I have two forty-foot Conex shipping-containers plus a forty-foot semi-trailer stuffed with food, clothes, jugs and kegs of water, tools, books and DVDs, plus security gizmos.

      I do this while a full-time live-aboard in the 1997 commercial truck I converted to my concept of an ExpeditionVehicle.

      I do this while puttering about on a small organic teaching farm near the outskirts of Eugene Oregon.
      I do this on less than minimum wage (the old minimum wage, not the new non-sustainable us$15…).

      I live free and work nearly free, surrounded by a dozen or so other free folk.
      The alternative is inconceivable.
      But I am weird that way.

  18. In the little town where I live in Idaho, about 500 people, most are like-minded. I live outside the town, as do most folks. Most hunt and have several freezers stocked up. It’s very difficult to garden here in Zone 5, but several have greenhouses and this summer we all brought produce and baked goods to our local “farm store”. Most are well armed, have zero tolerance for the Marxist/Socialist crowd, and are quick to help one another out. I kept very quiet when I moved here because I was an outsider. I was warm in my greetings, took care of my own, and kept quiet. When I ended up with too much of something, I would call a neighbor and ask if they wanted it. I think this helped break the ice. As time went on, people reached out to me. I am now comfortable knowing that several of my neighbors would jump to help me, and I them.

    As far as “prepper groups” go, I eschew them. For one, I don’t want to be on anyone’s “list”. I think organizing on social media is a mistake because it breaks all the principles of OPSEC. I don’t display any signs on my property, or bumper stickers on my car, that lets anyone know where I stand. I prefer to look uninteresting, “gray”. Within my own extended family, however, I’ve been preaching/teaching preparedness for over a decade. When the lockdowns hit, I was asked for advice from family members. They are all now more well prepared. If one good thing can come from the lockdowns, it’s that their eyes are now wide open and their minds receptive – the enemy is at the gate.

    Regarding delivery people, the UPS and Fedex people are local to Idaho and have the same mind set, so I don’t worry about them so much.

    Regarding food stores, I’m not sure how much this will help, but I have a small, visible, pantry and that pantry I will definitely give from. I have a few other pantries that are out of sight, out of mind, and they are the backups to my backups that no one would ever see outside my family. I thought about what happened during the Great Depression. Some homes were marked (by the less fortunate) as having extra food and a person could go to the porch and ask. They were given something to eat and they would work for a meal if they could. They respected and protected those homes because they were fair minded people who had fallen on hard times. Anyone with ill intent was greeted with a shotgun or rifle.

    I’m not bragging about where I live; I’m lucky/blessed/fortunate to have heeded the call to get out of the cities early and create a “safe house”. I have huge empathy for the folks who feel stuck in an urban setting. After all is said and done, I know for a fact that the Lord God Almighty has complete control and can intervene in any foolish situation that we people have created or allowed to happen. I prayed intensely this morning for the Lord’s mighty angels to surround the people of God and protect us through these difficult times, and especially at the polls today. Oh Lord, hear my prayers. Amen.

  19. One option for the delivery driver is to set up a UPS and FEDEX account and have deliveries help at one of their locations and you can vary those locations. UPS charges for this. So far FEDEX doesn’t. Regarding the network I agree. I live in an urban area and one thing I have noticed is that many in my church simply believe God will protect them and no harm will fall. Few know I prepare and some that do think I ‘m odd because as they see it the grocery store is never empty. Until this year that was true so it may be that as times become more difficult I am expecting to become a leader to those that are slowly realizing we are not all in this together.

  20. Ya, I must admit it is very hard to get a ‘real’ group together. I have never really thought about it much but ‘we’ are in general ‘loners’. I have never had ‘buddies’ to just have a beer with, don’t drink beer anyway. The closest I have ever come to having ‘buddies’ was in the service and that was 55 years ago (: I know I am in deep ‘do do’ if my retreat area every really needs to be ‘defended’. I’m not 20 years old anymore, can’t run 10-15 miles anymore, can’t see as well to hit a target at 500-600 meters.

    I have resigned myself that I will need to hide and fight another day! I am 45 miles from the nearest town or freeway and 100+ miles from a city. They have to WANT to get me! I’m not all that important.

  21. It’s not that meets aren’t happening I just don’t post them.
    We meet quarterly and of recent in preparing for elections it’s been monthly. There are times we have open meets for everyone and times we do closed core group meets.
    We train on 3 topics. We try not to make it all just militia tactical. Last session was in medical wound stapling ham hocks, tactical setting up perimeter alarms from Fithops and comms where we learned to program our baofuengs.
    My team was kind enough to show up and help me clear ice damage and cut n stack wood for the future too. By working together you learn one another.
    There are a lot of good folks that train. They like us just don’t post. There are also a lot who “have a group” but that’s it.

  22. “We are just normal people.” Hey, speak for yourself buddy! 🙂

    Lone Canadian, as usual, you’ve given us much to think about.

    “But I guess that’s not what they mean by “woke”.” If woke meant “red pilled” think of how much different our country and world would be.

    “Do I think that this is it? TEOTWAWKI? No, this isn’t it, at least not yet. Not unless some, as yet unknown, threat emerges.”

    I’d love to see a discussion in this very idea, perhaps in a separate article so the comments don’t clutter up the ideas presented here. IMO, my belief, which has come about only recently is that WWIII is the most likely scenario that would come about, and be over in 48 hours. With the new hypersonic missiles, the threat of an accidental war has increased exponentially due to the fact that there is not sufficient time to analyze all the data about whether or not those objects headed this way are missiles or not, so missiles will be launched “just in case.” I don’t recall the number but there have been something like 17 red alerts to date which were either computer glitches or objects that were not readily identified. WW III would be EMP missiles IMO because nobody, no country, very few higher plants and animals, would survive a nuclear war due to the nuclear winter that would follow, not unlike the one which wiped out the dinosaurs and 95% of life forms. China/Russia/USA knows that and EMP’s would wipe out almost everyone (90%) in the superpower countries without sterilize the earth or kill the elites in government, who would pick up the pieces after the 48 hours was over and try to rebuild their control over the masses with pre-1900 technology, with the 10% who are left.

    I’ve always been a loner and there’s no question that continuing to be a loner would make survival impossible in a TEOTWAWKI situation. Our brain wiring is largely genetics and further tweaking (“road building”) can be done up until we are about five years old, so that some of our aptitudes are 4WD roads only, and other neural pathways are 8-lane superhighways. My artistic abilities are non-existent and nobody even recognizes my stick figures. I “played” guitar for years but never could get an F note, which is in a large percentage of songs. Wanting these talents just isn’t enough, my brain just isn’t wired for it. But with my engineering/problem-solving 8-lane highways, an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and a lengthy bucket list of skills I always wanted to acquire (many of which I already have), the thought of survival and especially a TEOTWAWKI, has always appealed to me. Since my single digit years my favorite genre has always been survival. My biggest fantasy as a child was to be Sam Gribley, living a self-reliant lifestyle in my tree in the Catskills, living off the land as I studied nature first hand. I read Robinson Crusoe and Swiss Family Robinson at a very early age and the first two “grownup books” I bought were How to Stay Alive in the Woods and Alas Babylon. I have no doubt whatsoever that I have the skills, knowledge, and mindset to survive TEOTWAWKI, but without a group, I’d never have a chance as a loner. To overcome that, I’ve been working on two projects.

    Project one is finish preparing a resume of my skills and knowledge which I could readily present to a prepared Patriots-style group in the unlikely event I might be able to find one if I needed refuge.

    Project two, which IMO would be a good thing for most of us to do, covers the more likely thing to happen which is to have a plan figured out far in advance for not only myself, but for all the closest neighbors on how to rapidly organize into a functional group to share resources and skills and most importantly, defense for ourselves, livestock, and larders. I took a three-day first-aid course a few decades ago and the only thing I remember is that in an accident situation or any kind of disaster, the majority of people are standing around in shock with their eyes glazed over, or panicking, or still alert but clueless as to what to do. In those cases, the instructor said, you want to be someone who is a forward thinker, has thought these things out ahead of time, and can take immediate control of the situation. Don’t say, “Someone call 911!” because everyone will think you mean someone else. Start pointing fingers and yelling, “YOU and YOU call 911! YOU and YOU get over there and there and start directing traffic!” “YOU YOU and YOU, go stomp on that fire or pee on it if you have to before it spreads. Anybody with water and shovels in your vehicles, go grab ’em!” Etc. People want to help and only are looking for leadership to know what to do and will respond rapidly once they see someone calling the shots. The last thing you want to be doing is wasting precious time trying to figure out what to do in a SHTF situation. I see that as my best hope for survival as a loner, to have a well-thought out plan ahead of time to present to my neighbors after the SHTF. I have some family living in the Big City four hours away who could help me, but would they even be able to get here?

    My biggest project this winter is to get those two things finished.

    One last thought. I’d be interested on why people think solar panels and a big garden are a concern that they are going to tip people off that we may be preppers and therefore attack us. I’ve even seen some posts here saying that’s the big reason they don’t have solar panels. In my situation none of that would be relevant so I’m interested in other people’s thoughts on why it would be relevant in their particular situation. In my case, the population is so sparse here that the roving hordes won’t arrive too quickly and the people to worry about are my friends and neighbors. If we don’t share with our friends, they’re not our friends any more and will band together and be as bad as the roving hordes. If the roving hordes do get here, it seems crazy to think they are going to pass up ten houses while they’re looking for solar panels and big gardens. Nobody is going to be picky in that situation and will be pillaging every single house they come upon in search of food. They’re certainly not going to single me out, although their hearts may beat a little faster when they see the solar panels. But even then, many of them won’t put 2 and 2 together and associate that with preparedness and the vast majority of people with solar panels aren’t even preppers.

    Again, great thoughts Lone Canadian and much to think about.

    1. @ St F

      Lots of points raised. Re: solar panels. I think that yes, they would be a target for theft as many would want them(or a generator of course). You really can’t hide a solar panel set-up unless you’re seriously remote. Ditto for a wind gen. Hydro could be done on the qt in some circumstances. I think that some local people file stuff away in their minds in terms of who has what; doesn’t have to be marauding hordes. Shortly after I sold my farm the generator was stolen. It wasn’t at all visible from the road and was connected to a propane line so someone had to have been there, taken note of it and returned to steal it. So either someone who knew me but wouldn’t steal from me or perhaps someone who knew the new owners.

      Large gardens just point to lots of food produced(and perhaps stored) here. My farm was very visible from the road as were all of the greenhouses etc so I’m used to it I guess. My current garden is visible to a lesser extent from the road but as I noted, it has gotten some attention already. No real way to prevent that where I live, at least not quickly. But lots of stuff that would be useful are often visible such as woodpiles.

      Re; being a loner. I suspect that as you are a man of many talents, you would find people to connect with if the chips were down. You’d likely find yourself teaming up with others in your community and helping organize/manage what needed to happen. So maybe you’re not part of an organized prepper group and you live by yourself but I still think you’d do ok.

    2. “… in an accident situation or any kind of disaster, the majority of people are standing around in shock with their eyes glazed over, or panicking, or still alert but clueless as to what to do.”

      This is definitely true. About 15ish years ago I had met up with my mother to help her with some errands. We were waiting at a stoplight, and a burning car came careening up the shoulder past us, tore through a hedge and parking lot, and crashed into the side of a building. The flames were still small, so I figured there was some moments before the paint caught ablaze, so this was still just a mini-emergency….except for the fact that the car’s passenger had bailed out and rolled before the car came to a stop. Now I figure, either the guy has watched too many action movies and he is predicting an imminent fireball (cause all vehicles blow up spectacularly, doncha know!)…..or he knows something I don’t, a trunk full of gas cans or a meth lab and he KNOWS it’s gonna go south quick. Sigh. I yelled over my shoulder for my mother to call 911 as I ran to check the burning car for children in the backseat. The driver was indeed standing with her eyes glazed over, though apparently unhurt. I checked in all of the car’s windows and saw no other people, and no car seats. It seemed to take forever to get the driver to tell me if she thought she was okay and could stay back and await the fire dept.

      Next order of business was the building. It was a doctor’s office, so lots of little rooms. The receptionist at the front desk just … stared … at me, uncomprehending. I tried to speak slowly. “Ma’am. There is a fire at the wall of this building. You need to help get the people outside now.” They all seemingly moved very slowly. When the doctor herself came to check the commotion she was more alert, and agreed to go to each exam room and make sure they were empty. (I ran around the outside of the building and pounded on all the doors, in case there were any areas unconnected to the doctor’s office. It was kind of a strange layout.) I thought that probably her training had made her more responsive to the situation. For most people I guess, emergencies are things that happen on TV, to other people, and there are long moments of disbelief before they can react? I dunno, I’m no psychologist…

    3. Great article and respondes; hit home for many us.

      I have been asked to join a group because of my skills and I suspect, my farm. I said I’d come to a meet and greet, but decided I’d rather meet one or two at a time rather large a group. After that meet up, I decided I’d rather not be in that group.

      I don’t talk prepping but I do talk gardening as almost everyone out in hillbilly land has a garden; no secrets revealed in talking bugs and critter control. I know who has skills in my country community, some are older folks who can fix and make anything. Others are younger folks with medical skills. Some want to learn and some are just plain useless. We have talked individually or family to family and know each would help out in the community as needed.

      I go with person to person communication and the networking version.

  23. Good thought provoker, we have been working on a group for over twenty years but they are all spread over too large an area. We are better prepared than probably 99% of the people we know, but we have holes in our armor that will ultimately get us killed. Unless we, you, or anyone isn’t totally committed to an absolute military outpost situation, all we are doing is gathering up stuff for a stronger force to take after we are compromised and killed. I am 76 years young and realize that everything we are doing is to support either our family or others who will enjoy the fruits of our labors after we are gone. Preparation is serious business, and after today, November 3, 2020, the true seriousness of our existence may be tested to its fullest extent. In God we trust.

  24. Don’t have much time to ‘get into it’, but can say your approach is the way to go in general. For OPSEC reasons I do not discuss certain things. I will say that in this day and age, there are few people with a strong moral compass. The word ‘Integrity’ is a seldom used these days. As the country is no longer a Christian country, few non Christian persons are guided by Judeo-Christain principles. Those who prove to be of adequately good character to myself, are usually traditional Christians. Yet not always. If we look closely at the leaders in the patriot/survivalist community, many proclaim that they are Christians, and most often than not, share some, or most of my views in general. True Christians have a strong moral compass, and go before God to repent. I am going to trust repentant Christians far more than all others. We will have differences, yet they hold themselves to a higher standard, God’s standard, not my standard, and strive to be righteous. Beware, use discernment, many self proclaimed Christians are back-sliders, or not repentant. We live in an age of deception, where lying and other destructive behaviors (sin) are now considered ‘normal’ or acceptable. It is in His Word that persons who are lie have a special place in hell. Lying and other sinful acts are very destructive. Who can you trust? If there is sin in the camp, there will be trouble. Do not let a difference in denomination divide us. We must live and operate in a now Godless and immoral world and nation, a spiritual battlefield, so be careful, and do not to make alliances with those who are not equally yoked. Remember the robber next to Jesus on the cross. He was saved with a simple act, and no other act.

    1. So true Tunnel Rabbit. Like the deep state we’ve got fake believers in church…. And they cost just as many problems (or more) as government bureaucrats loyal to their jobs. I’ve been around hundreds of ministries and I’d say more than half of them are so worried about their job security and position in order to pay their bills.

      But we are going to have to know people by the Spirit. People change when they’re under pressure or stress or their families are threatened. I’ve seen absolute paranoia in parts of the Ozarks= Mainly from the left wingers who are terrified of COVID19. Their gospel is from MSM. We need a lot of courage and discernment, also wise communication skills. There’s just a lot of people who go to church for different reasons- Some to get job contracts, others to get girlfriends or significant others… Others are control freaks and have no commitment the Lordship of Jesus. Their loyalty is to their ambitions, only. That reminds me of what Paul warned Timothy to keep watch for insincere people- fake believers.

      I voted today and I pray that this administration gets another four years. Pro life, but it’s not without its problems or controversies. I’m amazed that we saw four years of media harassment and false accusations every day… And Trump still survived it all. Wow. We need to pray for our communities, our great nation that God’s hand guides us all.

      Great article and comments.

    2. @ Tunnel rabbit, I agree with you totally about ” Christians ” I find too many have loose morals, quite obligingly lie, or have a lack of a repentant conscience, justify socialist ideals and also have a distinct lack of judgement of where the world is heading, they follow the money gospel and the claim it and name it deceit being preached, my wife and I are told ” we are too negative ” for pointing out Revelation and ” not to judge ” preachers who teach the prosperity Gospel, the nation we are in has just passed euthanasia laws allowing the govt decision on who lives and who dies in old age, and passed non discriminatory abortion as well, sadly many of the Christians here happily voted for it, in the recent elections, the Churches here are asleep in the light for sure. I meet people who are not Christians who are more aware and worried than Church people, that is a real concern for us, my wife is worried about those she meets on Sunday with, since she does not want them to know we prepare.

  25. We have spent the past few years vetting a “network” in our small rural community. Have yet to find one other family or individual that shows true interest in being prepared for what life brings.
    We have shared a bit of ourselves with some of the projects we build, machine and welding work, electronics repair, mechanical equipment and vehicle repair, gardening and food storage techniques.
    Zipp, nada, not one recipratory piece has come back.
    Family, grandchildren, spouses, seem to be where we put our resorces and trust as well as Proverbs and the Lords teachings.
    Best to all in these interesting times.

  26. Interesting thoughts LC. Also many great comments. For my wife and I we are not part of a group per se. We do have a group of friends we go to church with who are all likeminded “preppers.” While not a “group” if a specific need arise such as medical, I would know who to contact for help. It is my responsibility however to have the necessary preps available for use.
    For years now we have often talked to a variety of people. Frequently these talks include current goings on in the world. We use these opportunities for two reasons. The first is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the need for salvation. The other is to discuss prepping. Not really long term prepping, but having supplies on hand to last for a week or so. We talk about the government recommendation is to have from 3-14 days of supplies in case of an emergency. The point is to make them think.
    Isaiah 26:3

    1. Isaiah 26:3 is a great verse! Thanks for sharing that. Last night I was reading a column about faith and the author pointed out the necessity of believing not only God exists ( “…even the demons believe THAT, and shudder…”), but also believing in His faithfulness, eternally and personally. He will ALWAYS do what He said He is gonna do, full stop. It wasn’t just a book of stories that happened a long time ago, to other people on another continent. God’s nature is unchanging, which means that He will, TODAY, and for US, perform anything He wills to accomplish His plans. Big things and little things. My family and friends (and many others of course) have many stories of His provision and healing, and it is good to tell them over and over because humans are prone to short memories and worry! As far as “whose minds are fixed on You,” I have always liked the advice to quit telling God how big our problems are, and start telling our problems just how big our God is! 🙂

  27. 1) Netflix’s current movie “The Decline” shows how quickly an artificial survivalist group can fall apart under stress;


    Very French. By which I mean realistic and …er.. what Americans mean when they say “Very French”.

    2) Mel Tappan discussed survival groups 40 years ago — and noted how quickly artificial human groups like the hippie communes of that day fell apart. He also noted the problem with bugging out — that if a community comes under stress, the first person to be expendable is the stranger who blew into town right before the crash. The guy who may be a spy or snitch for hostile outside forces.

    3) He also noted the best solution — a small town of 5000 or so people in a rural agricultural area located 400 miles from large cities. He chose Grant’s Pass, Oregon. He noted such towns have their own social discipline and unity.
    (And that the number of psychopaths is less than the number of rounds in a 1911 magazine.)

    I would add that a fortified town with walls and enough people to provide night guards and roving patrols have been the solution throughout the centuries –from ancient Greece to Tuscany Italy to England in the Middle Ages.

    In the war against Al Qaeda, the intel community found that the toughest nut to crack is a close community where everyone knows everyone else and in which it is impossible to infiltrate undercover agents. By which I do not mean to suggest the US government could become an enemy but rather that an outside hostile group of bandits might use similar tactics.

  28. Due to living out in the sticks, we naturally had to prep. But after listening to the audiobook of “Patriots” by JWR we picked up the tempo with no regrets. But like this writer, we have the same attitude about groups. Sometimes you just have to see what happens when it happens and adjust to the reality of it.

  29. We live in a deep blue state, so we have to be super careful about who we let in on our preps. We’ve got at-home teens, grown kids who have moved away (one with grand-kids), a local friend who’d we’d grab in a heartbeat, and my BFF and her son who live 120 miles away, but we’d shelter one another depending on who gets the short end of the stick. I’ve tried feeling out like-minded individuals. Our local CERT team helped us get to know a lot of local law enforcement, not people I’d “prep” with but always good to be known as a friendly face to the men with the guns. Our local ARES (ham radio) group are all prepped, but they’re all in their 70’s, 80’s and above and have their own extended families.

    As soon as the youngest is out of high school in 4 years, we plan on cashing out and moving someplace sensible (got the Strategic Relocation Guide). We may move as a GROUP.

  30. Hard to steal solar panels off your roof. Easier for someone to kill you all and move into your house. Defense is critical.

    Our mountain is steep enough that FedEx and UPS won’t deliver on it. One kind soul on the bottom gets everyone’s packages. I think he enjoys it because it means he gets regular visitors. He’s a great guy but I ship as much as possible to our P.O. box so we don’t abuse our privileges.

    We were in a prepper group of six families. Most members were police or military backgrounds. Even with a common background it is hard to find common ground on every subject. We made volume purchases and trained together but it fell apart. Just two families left now. But with adult children and their spouses or significant others, that’s 12 people if they all make it out here.

  31. Thanks for posting. Like others, I thought this was a thought-provoking post, that I have pondered often. I agree with LC on many points. I had a few of my fellow employees say, “I am coming to your place if “TSHTF”, like others have said. I usually just chuckle and don’t comment. But, make a mental note, yes (she is a good worker, strong, stays in shape, has one child, conservative, Christian, no gun skills, but always the one that steps up and gets the work done, I can train her for any task and she will perform). I have others that I think (absolutely NO WAY).

    I have actually been asked to join a group twice, and twice said no. One was very serious, had bought property together, train together, etc. But I have no interest in being on somebody else property with crunch time comes. I have a skillset they desire, but I don’t want to share with them. I know, selfish. Too independent. Like the rest of us. I basically work my group around my family who are farmers/ranchers and my close neighbors (that are not meth-heads).

    Not sure if others have had to deal with this, but we have had several deaths last year and this year of key ‘prepared’ individuals who I was in close contact with in our neighborhood. One was the patriarch of a large ranch; most his kids and in-laws live in my neck of the woods. When he died, I lost my contact. His kids, or in-laws mostly drive to work in the city, or outside the county, and do not ranch/farm like he did. Another guy “Mr fix-it” wife has dementia, and he is slipping away as well. Not sure what the future holds there. I can drive my dirt lane and tell you who the ‘preppers’ are. It’s fairly obvious out here, as we have our trailers with families living pay-check to pay-check, barely hanging on.

    One neighbor I met years ago, when I was chain-sawing a tree that fell down across the road near the beginning of the road. He drove up, with his chainsaw and starting helping. His only comment was “I guess you are not the type of guy to wait til the county clears our road”. “Nope, I said, lotta things you got to do yourself ‘round here”. “Yep” he said, and that was it, we got to work. I drive by his house every night, and know he is a prepper, one of these days I will come by with a Baofeng radio…

    1. @ Ozark

      I think that to some extent it was often an older generation that while they likely didn’t think of themselves as “preppers”, they had the tools, skills and mind-set of self-sufficiency. There were a number of old-timers still around where I used to live and they just knew how to do “stuff”. They had lived there through the tough years of the great depression, back when VT was a rough and poor place to live. They didn’t wait around as you noted, for the town road crew to come and saw up the tree that was blocking the road. As they died out they were often replaced by more urban liberals who went to work at white-collar jobs and just resided in their rural home. A totally different breed. And in a SHTF situation, it would be those old-timers who would have had the skills to cobble stuff together and be able to thrive in a world without Amazon Prime! I wish I had spent more time talking to some of them and learning what they knew. They were all good neighbors.

  32. Loved your article it sure hits many points i have dealt with. Several of the groups I have met with and have been “vetting” always seem to fall apart or i find things that become a major deal breaker. Skills and stability don’t seem like that much to ask for but then a leader reads a news article and becomes an instant flight risk!

  33. I am a lone wolf, a typical small business owner in my perception of things. I became a Scoutmaster in an effort to raise my son right and build the youth program at my newly founded church. And, as it turns out, his twin sister too in a separate “Girl – Boy Scout Troop”. For that matter I am gaining skills and knowledge as fast as the scouts. The body of knowledge is ideal for the prep goals we hold. The organization attracts prep minded people so there is a network. At the grass roots level you mostly are around high quality capable people. Don’t get me started on the national level folks that seem to be bent on self destruction. I am in for the duration of the fight as long as they do not change the oath and law. I believe scouting is a vehicle to save our culture. It is why it is under siege. I am a stand and fight kind of guy.

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