A Quiet Life: How to Lower Your Profile or Go Fully Off the Grid


Part of my work life in most weeks involves consulting phone calls.  The majority of my clients are in the U.S. and Canada.  Not surprisingly, many of my clients have questions for me about privacy.  These questions are generally along three lines:  1.) Buying guns privately, 2.) buying land privately, and 3.) how to avoid paper trails on storage food purchases.  In this essay,  I will try to address all three of those topics, as well as a few related points. One of the key concepts herein is Going Analog.  But first, I’ll mention completely dropping off the grid.

Going Dark

The Going Dark concept implies someone cutting off all normal contacts. This is often coincident with relocating in an attempt to disappear without a trace.  This extreme in privacy is only required for someone in duress.  That is, for instance, someone who is the target of a manhunt,  for … Continue reading

Letter: Advice for Disabled Suburban Retiree Preppers

HJL and JWR,
I’m seeking links or tips on how a 77-year-old disabled person can defend his property in case there’s TEOTWAWKI. My wife is 72.

We live in a middle class subdivision 45 miles from Cleveland, Ohio. Because of physical disabilities (neuropathy, bad knees and legs) I am not very mobile.
I use walker/cane most of the time.

We are moderately prepared (food, guns, ammo, junk silver, etc. A retired Marine lives at the other end of the block but says he will bug out if SHTF.
Nobody else on the block seems even to be aware of the dangers of a potential disaster (natural or man-made).We are one block from main artery, one mile from an interstate.

Finally, where is the best place to shop for potassium iodide?

Thank you for what you do on the blog.  We have been … Continue reading

Letter: Advice for Rural Retirees

Dear Editor:
My husband and I are older, he is 84 and I am 70.  We are very concerned about the way this country is traveling and are even more concerned if Hillary Clinton is elected.  I realize that we need to start gathering supplies and storing them.  My question is: we live in a small, rural, agricultural community. However, we live on a main road and are within 50 miles of two major cities and about 70 miles of another one.  Our economy took an unusually hard hit in 2008 and is recovering at a slower rate than many other communities. Would you recommend selling this house and attempting to move closer to our town (3 miles away) or try to stay in the country, just off the main road. I have your book “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, … Continue reading

The Survival Mindset: The Overlooked Prep, by B.D.

In prepping, the details matter. In most articles, blogs, and social media posts about prepping, you read at length about others’ preps: food storage, water filtration, alternative sources of energy, bug out strategies, vehicle maintenance, weapons/ammunition caches and military style training. These are all informative and necessary. However, the one prep that is often overlooked, but the preps that matter most, are the details regarding your human “preps.” I don’t mean physical fitness or skills training, though those are vital. I am talking about choosing potential Schumer Hits The Fan (SHTF) team members to better insure your ‘surthrival’ in one of these scenarios based not just on skill sets, but also on mindset. This is a three-stage process which starts with discernment (in my case spiritual and mental) in choosing your potential team member, an interview and then through a purposeful time of working together.

I will begin my … Continue reading

Terror in Texas: An Active Shooter, by Sophie

This is a wake-up call for all of you who think you’re ready when the Schumer Hits the Fan (SHTF). Whatever trigger may cause the mayhem, you think you’re ready for it because you read all the advice from experts like SurvivalBlog so that your prepared to handle anything thrown at you.

Well I’m here to tell you that when it does come your way, either by lack of practice, planning, forgetfulness or not doing what you know you should, life can turn for the worst to immediately change your life and those you love. Yesterday was my day to “wake up and smell the coffee”.

My husband and I awoke at 6 am and put my youngest son on the bus to high school 17 miles from our home. We had just taken our oldest son, a Freshman, to a small rural college in the west Texas … Continue reading

Guest Article: Being (Part 4 in Intelligence for Preparedness), by Samuel Culper

This is the fourth and last article in a series about using intelligence for preparedness. I’m starting from square zero in order to introduce a new crop of Americans to the concept of using intelligence, to prove that there’s a need for intelligence, and to get readers quickly up to speed on how to incorporate it into their security planning. For a better foundation, be sure to read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. (And check out the Ultimate ACE Startup Guide, too.)

Brief recap: In the first article, we established that prepared communities need intelligence because they’re going to have blind spots during an emergency or disaster. I recommended writing out a list called Intelligence Requirements. Before we build a house, we need to be organized with the right tools and materials. The … Continue reading

Sarah Latimer: Unrealized Expectations – Part 2

In continuing with the idea of not relying upon others for the “sweet” wants and needs we have, here are a few more ideas that you can provide for yourself (and feel quite good about your independence in doing so!):

  • Fresh and Dried Fruits and Vegetables– Want organic, highly nutritious fresh or dried fruits and vegetables year around, economically? Plant fruit trees and bushes and grow a garden as well as consider using a greenhouse for winter produce. Then, can, freeze, dehydrate, and/or freeze dry your excess produce for later seasonal use. We are still enjoying freeze-dried cubed tomatoes from our garden in late February. Our family is spoiled with my salsa, so I freeze-dry it and then can whip up a 4-ounce bowl of it in a matter of seconds that tastes like it is fresh. It is so much better than the canned (cooked) salsa … Continue reading

Letter: Advice on Establishing Retreat Group SOPs

Dear Mr Rawles:
I wanted to reach out. I am now reading your novel Patriots and in it the topic of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is addressed. Do you all have a good template example to help me get started in this arena?

Thanks, – Jon B.

JWR Replies:  There are no “one size fits all” SOPs. Your SOPs should definitely be tailored to your particular circumstances.

Military SOPs are usually a good starting point.  (These include: immediate action drills, perimeter security (including challenge and password), patrolling, field sanitation, communications CEOI procedures, OPSEC, COMSEC, et cetera.)  I don’t want to sound self-promotional, but I must mention that there are more than 2,000 U.S. military manuals and training circulars included on the Bonus DVD included with our latest 10-year SurvivalBlog Archive DVD. The set is quite reasonably priced. Note, however, that … Continue reading

Community Risk Mitigation, by T.P.

I hate it when I see statements on prepping site that make assumptions of our fellow citizens that are overly broad and frequently demeaning. You know the things I’m talking about. “They assume the government will save them.” “Sheeple.” “They refuse to prepare because of their narrow mindedness.” There is certainly a small subset of people who fit that mold. Most however are of the “ignorance is bliss” variety. They simply haven’t woken up to the risk.

Prepping is simply a form of risk mitigation. It’s insurance. When my family woke up to the risk, we didn’t suddenly realize the world was going to end. We realized that the consequences of not preparing were beyond what we were willing to bear. I remember distinctly thinking about a grad-school course on finance where we discussed futures. A future buys a commodity now for set price to be delivered later. In other … Continue reading

Sarah Latimer: Unrealized Expectations – Part 1

A simple reach to touch and squeeze my hand, followed by a slight smile in the corners of what are usually distant eyes that at that moment were deeply focused on mine, brought me to tears. Last week, after my husband had prepared a sandwich lunch for his mother and me and I had fed her, done her hair, and given her a manicure, I prayed with her. I just gently touched her arm with one hand and went to our Heavenly Father with praises, intercession, and petitions in our Savior’s name. “Mom” is on hospice care and in the final stages of one of those horrific, neurodegenerative diseases. (You know, it’s one of those– dementia, Alzheimer’s, and such that takes the mind and the body slowly.) We haven’t heard any real words from her in almost a year, nor had even a laugh or smile or indication that she … Continue reading

Letter: ShepherdFarmerGeek on Relocation to Belize

Dear Editor:
SurvivalBlog’s spin-off site SurvivalRealty.com has just listed a unique retreat opportunity called Providence Belize. The Shepherdess and I a-l-m-o-s-t moved there ourselves last year, but God is clearly calling us to stay and stand where we are with the people He has led us to help.

That said, we visited Belize once, for one day on a cruise excursion. It’s just beautiful (a subtropical paradise if you’re a gardener like me and tired of the drought conditions around Spokane!). Belize is a former British Colony. (It was called British Honduras, before 1973), and English is their primary language. I’ve never met Jim Duncan personally, but have corresponded with him for almost a year about this and I believe that he’s a man of integrity and he has commitment to Jesus.

I have zero financial connection with Providence Belize, whatsoever. My only concern is to see … Continue reading

Red List, Blue List, Black List, You List

There has been a lot of conjecture in the past 40 years in patriot circles about the existence of government “round up lists”. Large-scale disaster and war planning exercises, like REX-84 (Readiness Exercise-1984) and Jade Helm 2015, have stimulated endless discourse about whether or not the government maintains a so-called “red list” and “blue list” of people that they deem to be dissidents who they might target for harassment, travel restrictions, or even detention without due process of law. Because any such lists would presumably be developed and updated under the wraps of a security classification and the Need To Know rule, this topic is understandably rife with conjecture, speculation, and even downright fabrication. So, in this essay, I will do my best to restrain my inner John Bircher and just stick to the facts. I’ll simply state the facts and add a bit of well-reasoned extrapolation, based on known … Continue reading

Howdy Folks, And Welcome To Our Neighborhood!, by ShepherdFarmerGeek

I’ve been working on this article for a while and maybe now’s the time to share it. I would like to have a page of orientation information to post at our bugout encampment or in our neighborhood after we’ve implemented the Community Action Plan and the dust has started to settle.

So this is my best attempt to put together some foundational ideas that should apply to every situation. I’ve deliberately tried to keep it conversational, simple, and friendly (maybe even slightly humorous), because there are a lot of “don’ts”. I’m looking forward to seeing what else the SurvivalBlog community suggests! Then I’m going to print off several copies to have on hand, because I probably won’t be able to print or copy it after the “collapse”!

Keep on trusting God, and be prepared! We can do both.

The Orientation Flyer

We made up this flyer … Continue reading

Letter Re: Choosing a Partner for a Lifetime of Preparedness

Dear Editor:

I have a response to Choosing a Partner for a Lifetime of Preparedness (A Cautionary Tale), by Bob C. from Oct. 9, 2015. H is article brings out the idea that beauty is way more than skin deep, an idea that I totally agree with and often share with young people. My husband and I are in the ministry and we often deal with teens who have not been taught the value of selecting a mate based on other qualities besides physical attraction. So, I think I understand the author’s point.

I would just like to comment that in my opinion it goes even deeper than what was brought out in the article. I often discuss with young people that God has a plan for their lives including who they will marry. It is good for people to pray and seek the Lord in this decision. It … Continue reading

The Harsh Truth About Bugging Out of Cities, by Patrice Lewis

A common concern among rural people in a grid-down situation is the concept of marauding urbanites swarming through the countryside looting and pillaging — the so-called Golden Horde. I addressed this issue on my blog a few months ago when a reader noted, “You can hide yourself, but not your garden. Are you going to take your beef herd into your house with you? In any long-term crisis situation, your cattle and garden will be indefensible and therefore gone in a matter of months. You cannot protect them from a determined large, armed group.”

This reader respectfully listed what he termed a “huge blind spot” among rural preppers. “As an urbanite, I know that millions and millions of people will head for the less populated areas of this country. They will travel in large groups for safety and they will be armed to the teeth. They will not worry about … Continue reading