If you ask 10 different preppers this question you will undoubtedly receive 10 different answers. In the world of prepping this is tantamount to asking what a person’s favorite sports team is. The answers may range from building the right bugout bag, the right escape from the city plan, or buying land in the right location and building a retreat. Most of them may have completely valid points as to why what they say is in fact the most important thing to do but most of them fall short in one main regard. No matter what they do to prepare few of us have the means, time or ability to build themselves a one-man fortress that will protect them from many, if any, of the potential threats that they may face.
We all have to sleep, we all have to eat, and we all have to be able to trust those around us. To quote The Beatles, “…we get by with a little help from our friends.” If you expect to survive long term in a post-apocalyptic or SHTF world then you must have a circle of people around you who are not only like-minded, not only fun to be around, but who offer you a valued skill or attribute, preferably many. And to attract those people you will need to have attributes that they desire as well. We all need people with something more to offer in a survival situation than an appetite, and yet an appetite is the most common thing brought to any survival group (go figure, right).
Let’s say your best friend in the world is Mike. You and good old Mikey go way back, and there are few people in your life that you trust as much as you trust him. Now let’s just say Mike works installing insulation in the construction field, it’s a tough and physically demanding job to be sure, but it has no practical application in a SHTF scenario. If Mike has no other skills, assets, physical attributes, or training then is he really the person that you want to be stuck with in an end of the world situation? Now I’m not saying that the trust you have for Mike is not a valued asset, because it is. Trust is the single most important thing in any relationship, and it is made all the more valuable in a SHTF scenario. But it does you no good to trust or like the man who is dying right next to you other than to ease your transition into the next life.
We need to objectively look at the people we surround ourselves with and decide who we want to bring into our circle. Who has the jobs that will come in handy once the shit flies? Who has the guns? Who has been stockpiling ammo and food? Who has the military or civilian arms training that will make them out-perform most any would-be thug in a firefight? Who has the money that gives them the freedom to invest in preparedness the way we all would like to? Who has the mental strength to do whatever is necessary for the group to survive?
Looking at people in an objective manor like this can sometimes feel dirty or manipulative but it is very important since we are all emotional creatures. Our emotions can be very misleading, and decisions based on emotion rarely offer the best outcomes. Now, I’m not saying to leave behind your friends, family, kids or wife if they serve no practical purpose in a SHTF scenario, not at all. You cannot choose your parents, siblings, or kids, so there is not much you can do about those relationships. You are stuck with these people good or bad. Hopefully good since they should be the most fruitful and lasting relationships in life. What I am saying is that you need to choose the people that will best compliment you in your desire to survive a post-apocalyptic world, or whatever disaster you may be preparing for. While what I’m proposing may sound sinister, I assure you it’s not.
To properly illustrate my logic I want to give you a real life example. When I was 18 years old my standards for women were based on how hot they were. If one was hotter than another, then she was better. I met the “girl of my dreams” who was without a doubt a horrible person who was dead on the inside. She was the prom queen in high school, very attractive and very popular. She was everything I had hoped to find in a woman and I thought I was very lucky to have her. We were together for about three months and I found out that she had cheated on me. I confronted her and she apologized and a week later I took her back for some reason that still escapes me. We were together for another year or so, she wanted to get engaged. So we got engaged and after about four months I regained my senses and broke off the engagement.
Fast forward eight years and several pointless relationships later and now I’m28. At this point I am much more interested in current events and prepping for an upcoming disaster. I am also much wiser than my 20 year old self. My job had me traveling all week every week so I decided to use Match.com to meet women rather than finding them in the local bars. I did a lot of searching, a lot of weeding out and finally I found a woman who I thought was very appealing. Well actually she found me from halfway across the country, but I digress. I admit that the first thing I noticed was her picture and she was very attractive but the second thing I noticed was her profession.: She was a nurse on a medical/surgical floor in a hospital.
Now my inner prepper was intrigued. From the beginning I decided that I was going to remove my emotion from the equation since that had proven unreliable in the past. I read, reread, and read her profile again to learn as much about her as I could. We started to text and talk on the phone and the more I learned about her the more I was impressed by her. She put herself through nursing school, and she came from a good family of successful college graduates and business owners. She was a very rational and logical person, and she accepted my prepper lifestyle. She had also always wanted to move out to Montana. I couldn’t figure out what the catch was.
Fast forward another three years and now, at the time of this writing, I am newly married to the actual woman of my dreams. She has a great job in the medical field bringing in really good money. She also has a skill set that I personally saw in action as she worked to keep my father alive after a horrible vehicle accident that placed him in a coma for over a month. Without her emergency training he would have very likely died that day.
What I’m saying in a long convoluted way is that once I stopped allowing myself to waste time with fruitless relationships with women who had nothing to offer me, I ended up finding an amazing partner who has more to offer me than I could have ever hoped for and I couldn’t love her more because of it. Once I started logically evaluating the women that I was looking for, I found out that the women I had always been attracted to in the past brought nothing to the table. If I had married one of them I would be supporting them financially and in a SHTF scenario they would have been liabilities that would have only decreased my likelihood of survival. After using logic to evaluate women based on their skills, personality, and attributes I ended up with a woman that fare exceeds every woman I’ve ever been . And to top it all off, she’s got a very fit body, and is in twice as good of shape as I am.
This is my advice to any preppers who are looking to add people to their inner circle, whether it be a friend or romantic partner, it does not matter.Look for people who will lift you up not bring you down. If they have nothing to offer you then they bring you down. Look for people that have the skills that you don’t. Look for people who are in the healthcare, automotive,construction, military, or agricultural industries. Make friends with people at the local gun club or shooting range. The odds of finding good like-minded people in these fields are very high, and you will have at least a few things in common with them.
Now I’m not telling you that you need to avoid lawyers, bankers or anyone working a desk job. What I’m saying is that you should spend a few minutes of your time and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the people you surround yourself with and if they don’t meet a certain criteria then don’t waste your time with them. The fact that a person works a desk job shouldn’t exclude them from being in your prepping group, or from being a go-to in an emergency situation. However, their profession should be taken into account in the decision of whether or not they are a good ally and can help you reach whatever goals you have. Whether those goals be in prepping, or in any other aspects of your life.
This brings up another point. We cannot become so blinded in our pursuit of prepping that we fail in other aspects of life. To be successful you must pursue success in everyday life as much as you do in preparedness. It would be irresponsible for me to spend my time prepping to help ensure my survival in a SHTF scenario and yet not wear my seat belt. Statistically, I am much more likely to die in an automobile accident than from being shot by some roaming marauder who wants my food. This is a simple truth that escapes many preppers. They get lost in the fun of prepping and lose the practicality of it. If I am a fifty year old man with emphysema, it is more important for me to spend $500 to help me quit smoking thus extending my life, than it is for me to spend $500 to buy dehydrated food. Since dead men have very small appetites, dehydrated food seems like a poor financial investment, no?
I once saw a prepper who was in his early 60s and was about 200 pounds overweight. Statistically speaking men live on average 78 years, but being 200lbs overweight has some very negative effects on our bodies which are only amplified in old age. And undoubtedly older people who are also that large will require a lot of assistance to survive and even to move around. They simply cannot physically provide for themselves in harsh environments. Should this man devote all his assets towards prepping to ensure he survives the next 5-10years of his life (assuming he finds someone to take care of him in his degenerating state), or should he devote his assets towards surviving his largest hurdle of losing the weight and hopefully extending his life?
I know these are not the most common place examples but I use them to demonstrate that to be successful in prepping we must be successful in life first since the point of prepping is to extend our lives. So while you are surrounding yourselves with people who will help your survival odds in a SHTF scenario, why not hedge your bet and also try to surround yourself with people who will help you succeed in life? It would be very sad if any of us spent all our lives prepping for TEOTWAWKI and then died penniless in a prospering society.
If you remember, I said my wife makes very good money as a nurse. I also make good money in the telecom industry, yet I am not throwing all our resources into prepping. I set aside a specific percentage of my money to be spent on prepping (not as much as I would like), but I also set aside money for retirement and a contingency cash reserve. It feels good having an insurance plan in either situation and I highly recommend people do both. It may mean that there are some preps that I cannot do yet but it’s like an insurance policy. Even if I never use it I will be grateful for the peace of mind knowing I have it.
In conclusion, what I’m trying to say is that we all have chosen this specific lifestyle for various reasons and observations that we have made in our world. Some may believe in an upcoming economic collapse, nuclear war,disease, natural disasters or whatever. No matter what we are prepping for we must look objectively at our situations, friends, and financial standing. We must use logic over emotion if we are to have the best outcome. With that I want to wish you all the best of luck with your personal prepping scenarios. I look forward to continuing with mine.
On a separate note, my extremely pretty, smart, and wonderful wife now more than ever before knows I’m crazy about preparedness. And I am truly very, very lucky that she still loves me with her entire heart.I had better keep this one happy so she will stick around forever. You know,with all of her medical training and such. Maybe I will surprise her with some flowers and a sushi date night sometime soon. I think she would like that.
[My wife added that last paragraph during proof-reading and I figured that I should leave it in. Otherwise she may take her valued skills and leave!] – Bob C.