Because the huge debts America owes the world, once the dollar collapses the domino effect will be felt worldwide. There are plenty of sites that explain why the US Dollar will fail and what will happen. Once America starts into the hyper inflation stage it will be too late to buy your needed supplies. Trust me, there is not one Congressman or Senator that is going to tell Americans the truth. Therefore the only choice the Federal reserve will have is to print more money. Flooding the market with more printed dollars will lead to hyper inflation. There will be a point when you might want to cash in half your silver and gold stash to buy all your last minute supplies like 1000 gallons of diesel fuel, gasoline, or propane, pay off your property, buy more solar panels, whatever you need. But there will be a time not to cash in your silver and gold- when it takes a wheel barrel full of dollars to buy a loaf of bread. Once that point is reached it is time to hang on to what you have.
Once the US dollar becomes worthless all the society safety nets will be gone. No more retirement checks, no more welfare, not more Social Security, no more nothing. Americans (many for the first time in their lives) will be facing a harsh wake up call. Alan Peters’ article, “Mullah’s Threat Not Sinking In” , which appeared in FrontPageMagazine.com, offers these equally sobering thoughts about the dangers of an Iran oil-exchange:
” With economies so interdependent and interwoven, a global, not just American Depression would occur with a domino effect throwing the rest of world economies into poverty. Markets for acutely less expensive US exports would never materialize.
The result, some subject matter experts estimate, might be as many as 200 million Americans out of work and starving on the streets with nobody and nothing able to rescue or aid them, contrary to the 1930s Great Depression through soup kitchens and charitable support efforts.”
That is stark wake up call if you are reader of this blog hopefully you have taken the warning serious and are getting ready big time. See the article titled “The Final Days of the US Dollar?” by Chris Laird  to really explain what is happening. Laird writes: “In such a scenario, I surmise that only paid off real assets will survive. At the inception of such a collapse, gold and other precious metals would become essentially unavailable, and off market. The USD  would crash so fast that no one would take any amount of dollars for metal until either the USD stabilized at some much lower rate, or, disintegrated into oblivion. … If you own a paid off house, a paid off car, a few hundred ounces of gold and silver, they are all paid off, and are not USD assets. In these positions, you are insulated from a USD collapse, at least as far as these paid off assets are concerned.” Laird points out that there will be a point where you can’t buy Precious Metals. This is when you hang on to your last half of your Precious Metals.
No one knows when the time is but the time is getting shorter. Many of the public is getting edgy like people can feel the impending doom coming and are afraid because they have no plan. All I can say is get your stock in right now. Prices are going up everyday not just gasoline but everything.
I was talking the other day with a guy that I had just met. I mentioned that I teach wilderness survival. He said: “I know how to survive I have been hunting and fishing all my life.” I answered, “That is good, but have you ever tested it out on a weekend and only ate what you caught or shot?” “ah no, but I could it do if I had too.” We were talking about Duck hunting and I ask what was his average shots fired to birds in hand. He said on good days four ducks per box of shells. That is roughly six shots fired per duck. I said: “Tell the truth–what about bad days?” He replied: “Ah, well, sometime a box of shells per duck.” I believe the national average on ducks is 1 duck per 8 shots. That is three ducks per box of 25 shells. What is the point I am driving at? How many shotgun shells do you have stored? Using the national average to survive one year on two ducks per week: 104 ducks times 8 shots per duck you would need 832 shells or 33.3 boxes of shotguns shells. As many readers realize, two ducks a week is mostly likely one meal per week for an average family. What are you going to eat the other six days each week?
With gas unavailable how are you going to drive to your favorite hunting spot? You’d better be in your retreat. What about other bird hunting like Pheasants? The best I have every done consistently bird hunting was 50% or one bird per two shots. That was only one year the next year I did one bird per three shots. So we want two pheasants per week (104 birds per year.) Lets say that you are an excellent shot and get one bird with each two shots. So that is another 208 shotgun shells or 8 -1-/3 boxes. Just to have duck or pheasants once a week you would need 1040 shells or 41.6 boxes.
That is the difference between myself and other folks. I have live off the land and know what it takes. As a trapper, I can out-do any hunter in the world for putting pound for pound into a freezer.
I can’t remember the name of book but it was about a British couple that took off to a small island to survive for one year. They later made a movie out of it. The part that really stuck out in my head was he brought a shotgun with 1 or 2 boxes of shells and 25 fish hooks. Within the first month all the shotgun shells were used up. All the fish hooks lost to the coral and larger fish. They had 11 months left to survive. That was his plan to hunt and fish. He thought he could make it if he had to.
I read all the time about people saying put shotgun shells away and fishing hooks away. I thought I would toss in a little reality to the mix. How about deer? We eat a lot of game. With just myself and wife, we go through 4-6 deer a year plus more game and fish I add. What happens when 200 million starving Americans hit the woods? If you are in state with over one million people, don’t count on deer for too long. Do you really want to be blasting away as you hunt so people know you are out hunting for miles? Deer have very good survival traits too. They will turn nocturnal and head for deepest remote places they can find.
Most survivalists are in love with guns and believe guns are the answer to all problems. Wild dog attacks, carry a shotgun. Need meat, hunting is the answer. Raccoons in the garden, shoot them. Guns will solve many problems but they are not the answer for every problem. Ever strap a long gun on your back and do yard work in the hot summer sun? I have. That gun will be leaning on a tree in under a hour. A friend told me about a guy he met who had his perfect survival plan. He was going to carry his 12 ga. with 200 rounds of ammo, his AR-15 with 210 rounds loaded in seven magazines, and a 9 mm with 50 rounds. My friend said “Okay, load it up and lets go for a walk”. After a hundred yards with a full pack and a long gun on each shoulder the guy was huffing, puffing, sweating and said, “Lets stop, I need a rest.” You see it is easy to talk about what you’re going to do have the perfect plan, but it is not based on reality.
Most people in America are spoiled. Meaning they have lived all there lives with food everywhere. Electricity, heat, and food cut and wrapped. Very few actually have the knowledge of the woods. I was recently reading about pheasant hunting in South Dakota. The article said that a new business has emerged, cleaning the pheasants for the hunters. Yes, you read that right: a large percentage of the hunters shoot the birds and give them to the shop to clean wrap and quick freeze the birds. I have met hundreds of hunters that take their deer in for processing.
You have precious little time left to prepare. You better learn quickly how to grow garden, raise animals, and protect the animals. You will have little time to learn and understand after the fact. The stress of 90% of Americans out of work with no safety net will lead to widespread crime. Reading about the recent Argentinean collapse was a real eye opener for me. But I don’t know how much that will hold true once America goes down and domino effects are felt around the world.
I think how Americans will act can be looked up and read about in the true stories of last year hurricanes. People will assume that because YOU had the forethought to prepare that THEY are entitled to take it. I can clearly see this didn’t get out of hand because we were under an organized society, and people still worried about getting tossed in jail. Now take away the threat of going to jail in a true collapse and people will take it the next step. They will kill you and take your supplies. It will become the law of jungle and only the strong will survive. There will come a time of general breakdown of all law and order. Old feuds will be settled with a gun. Then all reason will disappear and people will get killed over little things. I believe people will hit a point that if they can’t steal your supplies they will burn you out so you can’t enjoy them either. People are very self centered and selfish. One guy once told me “If the end of the world happens, I’d shoot holes in farmers gasoline storage tanks.” I asked why? His words: “If I don’t have any gas why should he?” I replied,”If the farmer has fuel he can plant a crop to feed a lot of people. Use your head.”
The mindset will be. “If I am starving, everyone should starve. If they don’t share supplies, then kill them all so they can’t enjoy them as we suffer.” There is no reasoning with despairing people. You can’t explain to them that you saw what was coming and prepared in order for your family to survive. You will have very, very, very few friends that you can truly trust.
The first three months will be the worst, as desperate people do their own bug out. Anywhere within 200 miles of a major city over 500,000 people will be stripped bare. This general lawlessness will last 3-to-5 years. Then, once people have had enough, they will organize and clean up and form some type of working government. This is based on history of past dark ages. Once we are past this stage the rebuilding will be a great time of freedom, new inventions, less laws and restrictions– in short a great time for those who survive.
For the survivalist, you are looking at surviving that 3-5 years before some type of order can be re-established. Food for 3-5 years is a lot of storage. I asked an old timer how they preserved meat without a refrigerator. Without hesitation he replied salt. Might be a good idea to store 100-200 pounds of salt. How much ammo do you need for 3-5 years? How much heating wood/coal/propane/gas/diesel do you have stored? Water? You need a fully operation working retreat with real knowledge of what it will take to run for that time period. A good friend told me during a three week black out that people would run into town to buy gas for their generators and when they returned the generator was gone. If you have a generator you better have some type of sound proof building for it.
You’d also better have some type of light restriction, either heavy wool blankets or solid metal shutters. I don’t imagine you will see too many people traveling at night, but no sense advertising someone is home especially if they might have just walk by at night. I am sure they have already passed thousands of empty houses.
How it will all play out is anyone guess. But, to protect your family you are going to have to be in a retreat with either enough food stored or the means to gather it. How long a general population will survive without any safety net is anyone guess. I think disease will be rampant among the survivors. No food, no ammunition for their guns, wild dogs packs will roam the streets looking for the single person to take down to feed, people reduced to using clubs, cooking rats when they are lucky enough to catch one. How far they will roam is anyone’s guess. The rumors will be everywhere of places to go with food and jobs waiting.
What are you going to do in those three years? Are you going to stay holed up the whole time? What kinds of neighbors do you have? Everything you do should be to not draw attention to you or your retreat. People talk. As one survivor said on his web site, he told two people they could show up at his place – and five families showed up. It is okay, he is nice guy. Now, how many are going to show up? Do you have a plan to deal with uninvited guests? You’d better get things straight with who is showing up and what you all agree on about adding on people.
The cities will be medieval. The human predator will work out a system to survive even if it means eating other people. I am sorry to be blunt. I’m just giving the facts. The first threat you will most likely face in collapse is the local welfare drug addict type. They will come looking for free hand out or steal what you have. Some of you may have seen an e-mail going around that talks about stocking up. This is the one where Johnny comes home from school and says “Dad, what are we doing to prepare for a terrorist attack?” The Dad asks “Why?” “Well, Sally’s Mom is storing water in the pantry, Billy’s Mom is storing extra food in the basement, Becky’s Mom is storing food and extra batteries in the basement, and Tommy’s Mom is storing extra cooking fuel for their camp stove in the garage. So, Dad, what are we doing to get ready?” His Dad looked up and said that he plans to write down what and where everybody is storing their stuff. Every single person who knows about your supplies will show up at your door.
The next threat most likely will be an organized gang of 4-to-6. These will be more of a threat with maybe one guy who knows what he is doing. Probably a good time to buy the fire retardant paint  for your house.You are going to need some type of fencing or steel bars steel shutters to protect your windows and doors. They may try some type of “pick you off” siege. Real camera security can be bought that lets you see in the night and monitor four places at once. They’re really not that expensive. Fire extinguishers–even five gallon buckets of sand for inside the house will work. If you survive that, the next threat will be a more organized gang of 20-to-30.
Now a larger gang takes a strong leader and, just like a dog pack, chances are there will be an Alpha male and his first lieutenant. If you can figure out who the leaders are, it is always best to target them first. Just like in The Patriot with Mel Gibson: target the officers. If you can break up their command structure they will fight among themselves for new leader, or break up and move on – which is your best hope.
The third threat will be some type of emergency regional government. They will be typical “We’re from the government and we are here to help” types, but next it will be “Hand over all your supplies, guns, fuel, and come sit in the terror dome.” A good time to retreat into the woods until they give up on the area. Sounds like you may need a back up cache of food, guns, and supplies. This won’t last long as the government can’t handle one major city disaster let alone the whole country.
The fourth threat will be some type of Warlord trying to control huge areas. They may have real military weapons, C4 plastic explosive, grenades, LAW rockets, RPGs, Mortars, etc. This type of threat you will have no choice but to retreat into the woods.
There will be other threats along the way – nothing ever can be totally forecasted. To be a survivor, you are going to have to think on your feet. You will have to have a working plan that can adapt and change as needed. After 3-to-5 years of total breakdown, some believe that the world population will stabilize around 1 billion. That means one out of seven will survive.
I read a book back in high school about a pilot who survived behind enemy lines during WWII. He was within a couple miles of a road and a village. But he lived off the land caught fish, trap, stayed out of sight. Here he was in the middle of the largest war in the history of the world, yet he survived until the allies won the war. There will be pockets of little hidden places, that may be in plain sight, overlooked where a survivor could make it.
Get ready folks. You are about to face the one of the greatest times in human history: a New Dark Age.
As a reader of SurvivalBlog, you should check the archives pick a state out of the ones listed  and move. I believe in “hide in plain site.” Meaning that the more normal you can act, the better. Best to start out in a new area professing that you are a back to the land type or Mother Earth News type. People are curious and they well stop in to find out what you’re doing. Best to make friends, but keep your mouth shut. You have to remember too that people in the country are worried about outsiders either being drug addicts setting up a meth lab, or the type who want to change all the ways things are done. The second half can be worst than the drug addicted type because they want to changes laws and regulation, get roads paved, change how you can use your land, et cetera.
What type of land are you looking for? Take care of the basics first. A run down farm house is not going to draw the same attention as a brand new $250,000 house will. Security fences are great but they are also advertising you have something worth stealing. What can you do? Use you head. If you have one bison or a couple of elk you have to have a double fence with one being I think 7 or 8 feet tall. If your building new, a great system to use is Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB ). Do a search on them you will be surprise how awesome they are plus it cuts your building cost down.
You want to blend into the area. Joining a local church and lets people in the community know you are here to stay. The Mother Earth News type is great cover for all your needed projects. You know it is funny how little money you need to survive in the country. A front wheel drive good gas mileage car for running around into town. Then a good 4×4 truck for around the place. You will be surprised how much you use a pickup. Hauling firewood, large purchases like freezers, washers, dryers, wood for remodeling, etc. I like the mid size pick up like the Ford Ranger. If you are getting into livestock and hauling heavy loads, then you’ll need a full size pickup. Use the car for running into town for normal everyday supplies.
Now you have to re-think how you live and shop but you can make it on $1,000 a month. I talked with a farmer friend with seven kids and they did it on $25,000 a year. So a family with two children can make it on $1,000 a month. It is tough but my point is money discipline. I have been all over the country and there are jobs everywhere, if you have a few talents. If you can roof there are jobs. If you can weld, there are jobs. If you can paint houses, there are jobs. You have to get out there. Some chickens, a pig for butchering, a garden, hunting and trapping and you can supply a lot of your food.
Switch to wood heat, propane cook stove, energy efficient lights and it doesn’t take much money each month. The problem is most women can’t take the lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong there are some really great women out there that love this lifestyle but don’t think your city born wife is going to jump on the idea. I have seen a lot of folks try it in the Upper Peninsula (“U.P.”) of Michigan most are gone after the first winter. If they stay it maybe just the guy and the wife divorces. She leaves, back for the comfort of the city. I can think of 10 couples I knew that tried it and after five years only one couple made it as a family. Pretty poor odds. But that was the U.P. of Michigan and it was rough hard life with a lot of snow. Oh, did I mention a lot of snow? 🙂
If you are going to do it don’t sugar coat it to the wife. Tell her it a whole new lifestyle is hard work. Very rewarding to grow your own food but it doesn’t happen over night. It takes work. Some women or guys can’t feed a pig everyday and then bring themselves to butcher it in the fall. You have to figure these things out. Your best chance is to get on farmstead. Start working on converting your well to photovoltaic or wind power. Get a good wood stove. It takes time to build up the soil of a garden. It also takes time to work out how to weed, how to keep the pests out, how to collect water from your gutters and save it for watering the garden.
Just like Mel Tappan said back in the 1970s: Your best chance is to live full time at your retreat. A lot of folks talk about forming a group. The biggest problem is you have too many Chiefs: Too many folks that think their money should keep them from doing the hard work, or the all talk ones that say “Sure, let’s buy a place” and then leave you holding the mortgage as they back out. You are better off doing it yourself. If someone wants to be part of it, help them find a place close to yours. There is a lot of talk out there and very little action. After years of searching, I found the people I was looking for and I will not be here when the time comes. I paid my part and do my part of the work.
Weed out the talkers, weed out the “my money is the most important” ones, weed out the “my wife will never move there” type, weed out the Rambo types. If they will work beside you digging out a root cellar no matter how much money they have, then that is type of person you want. What skills are they bringing to the group? If the wife is an RN  and the husband can weld, then that is a good combo. But, each has to pull their weight. Former military guys can be great, but remember that they were trained with an elaborate re-supply system. Jim can give much better advice on forming groups. When it comes right down to it, your family and church members are your best chance.
How much time is left is anyone’s guess. The masters of smoke and mirrors are keeping us afloat far longer than I had thought possible. – Buckshot 
JWR Adds: I agree with Buckshot that trapping will be the preferable method to put meat on the table in a post-collapse environment. When discussing hunting and trapping, Buckshot speaks from experience. I strongly encourage SurvivalBlog readers to get his trapping and snaring DVDs, so that they can benefit form his wisdom and many years of practical experience. He also sells a full line of traps, snares, and lure at his Buckshot’s Camp web site. Buy some traps and snares to feed your family, and an extra set to dispense as charity.