PREPPING MISTAKES: 6 Mistakes Preppers Make That Can Get You Killed

These are six very common mistakes I see people make, that in my opinion, could be detrimental to your ability to survive. Just a warning, relying on Gear, Guns, and Ammo are all on the list…..

Not Having Enough Water

55 Gallon Water Barrels Stocking up on water is not glamorous, it’s certainly not sexy, but your life sure as hell depends on it. This is one of the biggest mistakes I see; it’s also the deadliest one we can talk about.

I really can’t overemphasize how important it is to have a clean drinkable emergency supply of water. While stocking up on water may not be as exciting as buying guns, ammo, and gear; it’s one of the most important things you can do, and should be number one on your list of priorities.

They put too Much Importance on Their Gear

What kind of gear should I Buy? This is one of the top questions that I receive from new readers; it’s also something that takes away from what you should be focusing on: knowledge.

Gear BagsNewbies, and even some old timers, often obsess over their gear. They sometimes put so much emphasis on stockpiling gear that it can actually start to hinder their ability to survive without it.

I love survival gear as much as the next guy, but the problem highlights something I see in all aspects of society: our culture has become addicted to the quick and easy fix. In survival, that doesn’t exist. There’s no silver bullet, there’s no magic piece of gear, and nothing except good old fashion knowledge and training will improve your odds of surviving a disaster.

They lack the Knowledge it takes to Really Survive

EinsteinKNOWLEDGE in the key to survival. What, didn’t you just say that?

Yes, I did and I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face if that’s what it takes for people to get up off their butts and learn what it really takes to survive.

You can own every piece of survival gear ever made, but if you lack the skills to survive that gear is useless. To be truly prepared you need to learn how to survive without your gear.  Once you have a good grasp of what’s needed to survive without it, then you can start to focus on what gear you should buy.

The Rice & Beans Mentality

Bulk Burlap Bags of Rice and BeansI’m not trying to pick on Rice & Beans. They’re actually one of my favorite foods, and in my case, they might be the perfect food to stock up on. The point I’m really trying to make, is you need to tweak your plans to fit your unique situation. If rice and beans are what you normally eat, then by all means, go ahead and stock up on rice and beans.

Just remember that buying a truckload of emergency food that you’ve never tried, or would never normally eat, is not only expensive, but it could get you killed.

An emergency situation is never the time to find out how your body will react to certain foods. The last thing you need during a survival situation is to find you don’t like the food you stocked up on; even worse would be finding out you have a life threatening food allergy. And even if something that drastic doesn’t happen, do you really want to be stuck eating foods you hate?

Becoming too dependent on your Guns & Ammo

Oh no, I said it. Bring on the hate emails and the angry comments. But before you get too upset, give me a minute to explain.

Guy Holding a Rifle I love guns! In fact, I think they’re one of the most important items that you can have. That being said, there are a number of people who I’ve encountered over the years that think having a gun means they’re somehow prepared to survive anything. I’ve actually heard some people say, “I don’t need to stock up on supplies. I’ve got all the guns and ammo I need to survive.”

In my opinion, that type of thinking is not only juvenile, but it also shows a complete misunderstanding of what it really takes to survive. Stocking up on guns and ammo is definitely important, without them you’re putting yourself and your family at risk, but it’s also not the be-all-and-end-all of survival.

Not Understanding that People will become a Threat During a SHTF Crisis

Large Group of PeopleDuring a crisis situation, people will likely become one of the top threats to your safety and security.

While the world may be filled with millions of good and decent people, in a crisis situation these people can and will quickly become unpredictable. In my opinion, during a disaster of any size, the most dangerous locations will be large cities or areas that have a high density of people. This is a threat that must be considered.


  1. Andy
    November 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I could not agree more. I completely agree about the gear. I am very new to prepping but I have been concerned for a long time. Although it is important to have gear, what happens if I lose my gear? I better be ready to survive & thrive with my family with whatever we have on us or can easily scavenge.

  2. Kevin
    November 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    In a SHTF event, where would be the safest place to bug out? I live outside of the city but live in a subdivision. I do live near a National Forest. Would this be a safe place to bug out?

    • mel
      November 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      Depends on how it hits…most people will run the first few days so i plan on staying home 1 to 2 weeks if its not that bad….my back up is a some land in the backwoods about 300 miles away…

      Id honestly advice getting to know the people you live around…with enough support home might be your best bet…

      • Tarliman
        November 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm

        Look up “resilience circle”. Also look up “platoon”. Learn why the military puts people in units instead of on their own. Build a circle of trusted friends, people who you can rely on and who can rely on you. There’s safety in numbers. Strays from the herd get picked off.

        • Mike
          November 14, 2012 at 9:12 am

          I live in a very small community, in the woods, between two larger cities. When Sandy hit we were without power for over a week, we had trees over driveways, across streets and on houses. We took our chainsaws out and cleared all the trees in three days, water was pulled from the river behind our homes and run through filters. A neighbor also brought fresh water in from his pond and most of the people in the area raise chickens and turkeys so we were well fed. The whole area also runs on wood stoves so we all had heat. In a SHTF scenario our little community would survive because we all work together and no one another. Not a bad idea to do try and talk to your neighbors about working together should something bad happen. In our area we have a two repairmen, a dentist and two veterans – that’s just the four houses on my little dirt road (plus the dentist who owns th other 15 acres around us).

      • Strid
        November 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm

        Your back up location is 300 miles away? How are you planning to get there? What is SHTF is an EMP, or something that puts us under martial law, or invasion. That is a long way to walk.

        • Thomas Stiefel
          March 16, 2013 at 4:28 am

          Please, is any one think straight in this group (preppers)? Just think of what the traffic would be, trying to get out of dodge. As for these stocked homes take a bow and arrow light the arrow and burn it, just like the Indians did over a hundred years ago. I like the fortress they build, castles were breached long ago and that idea did not return. Finally, no matter what you do, death will come one way or another.

          • Vicky
            November 9, 2015 at 6:31 pm

            That’s why I know how to put out fires and have a fire extinguisher. I refuse to just twiddle my thumbs because Im doomed anyway.

    • lee
      November 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      I would think so, unless people are being rounded up and placed in temporary housing. And it might be a felony to carry a firearm on the property. But if it is your last resort from fleeing an urban environment I think it’s a logical decision.

    • Joe
      December 9, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      For most people (maybe 99%) bugging ‘in’ is the only genuine option. I live on a dead end street in a smaller town 75 miles from NYC. Three of the the five homeowners talk about this subject regularly. We’ve been ‘lucky’ enough to have lost power three separate times for 5-7 days each time. For my money, there is no substitute to being on the same page with your immediate neighbors re: guns, gasoline, food, water, etc.Between us three, we could probably keep the whole street alive for 45-60 days. We are NOT totally prepared for SHTF but we are a unit – something I think is far more valuable than being aware of some state property in some other county.

      • KingOfTexas
        June 30, 2013 at 12:04 am

        I live in a smaller but similar area. There are only 20,000 where I live and the closest city is 50 miles away. I a worst case scenario EMP you have 14 million people fleeing from the city to your town but on the plus side it will take them 18 days to walk there. It will never happen. My area it will take them 3 days to walk here and carry 25 lbs of water or follow water here. :)

    • Eddie
      August 1, 2016 at 3:25 am

      Unless you really have any “OUTDOORS” survival skills and know the in’s and out of living off the land….better to bug in. At least this way you have shelter, stored food and water. Be smart, keep you family safe and survive…

  3. kim
    November 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    just beginning to save seeds in pill bottles. people think I’m nuts.

    • kim a
      November 15, 2012 at 4:20 am

      can i just purchased seeds at a store and store ? but how do i store to keep fresh? i was thinking of buying a bag sealer to take air out thks

      • Homesteadin Happy
        November 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm

        Kim, See my post up a ways about buying and storing seeds.

        • donna in nz
          January 1, 2016 at 6:23 pm

          you need to use your seeds and know how to garden – shtf is not the time to make disasterous gardening mistakes. Buy seed that is local to where you will be – it is already adjusted to your climate.

      • December 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm

        1)You may want to consider non genetically modified seeds aka non hybrid seedes
        2) There are more than 100 seed catalogs out there. I have a blog post linking to many of them.
        3) I really like Baker Creek Heirloom seeds
        4) I also have a blog demonstrating how I saved seeds this summer. My goal was to save 1/3 of the tota I bought last year. So this year I saved kale, beans, peas, potatoes, okra, cantelope, speghetti squash.
        5) I boughthave small bagshose of grainthe seeds andthis froze themthe to preservethe them.
        6) I canned& froze all summer thealmost food Ifor grew &the built my ownfreezerniece canning shelves.
        7) I then wentdad&mom to anthe auto parts store & the bought a 1500 power inverter/650 amp car battery to run my freezer short term, I replaced the old 40 worn out gallon water pressure tank with a 119 g water pressure tank & bought a small hose to hook to either the 30 g water heater
        or water pressure tank.

        8) I bought a small antique wood stove put it in the basement and repaired the fireflace by installingthe a newyou liner. &the just bought a good Stihl 290 chain saw & have started cutting wood to store.
        9) I have built a chicken coop & have some chickens.
        10) I bought liquor for negotiating if there ends up being no cash. I figured it may ne a more peaceful approach…rather than a gun in someones face
        There are lots men here posting. I thought as a 54 hr old female veteran I would post a femal perspective on some of the steps I have personally taken as noted below. Guys, I might suggest carrying tampons as light weight tinderfire starter as theya are wrappeda in plasticvery and can serve deep wound gauze/cover for absorbancy. Lip balm can be rubbed on leaves as a helpful fire starter as well. Cellphone bateries can be used to start a fire as well. Also I suggesthave scaning copies of all of your accounts, important documents, ID’s, credit cards, insurances, deeds ect onto an IRONKEY USB drive.
        I have also backed up my entire computer on a 1 terabite Seagate portable hard drive & have a small backup battery charger- all of which I can plug into a cell phone, tablet as
        alternatives devices that I can easily take on the go.
        If anyone is interested my list of seed catalogs or seed saving post i am more than happy to share.

        • Nana
          December 29, 2012 at 11:13 pm

          Sorry for tbe typos I amhave responding on a cell phone and it added words all by itself

        • Lee
          April 21, 2013 at 9:01 pm

          would love to have information regarding non-hybrid, non GMO seeds and catalogs.Looking for some of the heirloom seeds and information regarding seed saving. Have spouse who is not interested in the least so budget is limited…thank you

  4. Tarliman
    November 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I’m an organic farmer. I’ve been saving seeds for years. You’re not nuts, you’re just doing what your great grandparents did, back before Monsanto convinced everybody they had to buy new seed every year (and then has been trying to make it a law that you have to, and suing people who save their seeds to take away their prep supplies). Make sure you also know how to plant, care for, harvest, and preserve what you’ve got. Learn about composting, there’s not going to be any store-bought fertilizer. Learn to home can your food. Build a solar dehydrator, it works without electricity.

    • BelleCheri
      November 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      So let’s say you have a beautiful, weed-free, organic garden. What is to stop anyone from coming and taking your ripe produce when you are not adequately guarding it??

      • Dale Top
        November 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm

        I had a lot of my produce stolen this year. I moved my vegetable garden to the front yard and folks were coming in during the night and carry stuff away. THat was just because it looked tasty. Imagine what it would be like if there was a food shortage?

        • It’s certainly not foolproof or anything, but cacti or other thorny greenery surrounding the rest of your garden will at least make trespassers’ lives more exciting. :)

          • BedlamManor
            October 1, 2014 at 5:53 am

            We always keep lots of daylilies in the garden–they are completely edible from roots to flower (for humans, that is; all parts of the daylily are poisonous to cats), but people lacking knowledge of this will pass them up as a food source. I would never want to depend on them for survival, but as a last resort (I’m thinking, Scarlett O’Hara and the carrot). . .

  5. Teresea
    November 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    We have been preparing for awhile now. Our bug out plan has two options for us, and both are well stocked already, We have things ready to grab and go if the need arises, we have seeds, food, surivial gear, medical, tatical, and a large family to band together. Each one has it’s own survival readiness to go, Rather be ready than one of those sitting at home “Going oh my god what do we do”..

  6. Samuel
    November 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Placing a target on yourself and your home by being a licensed ham operator should an enemy – any enemy – want to establish command and control over your area?

    • DD
      November 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      now thats a catch 22 right there

    • Canned Ham
      November 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      No offense but that’s taking the paranoia level to the next level. There are millions of Hams and I doubt people will start targeting them during a disaster. Most Hams are not preppers, so going after them would be pretty stupid. Even stupider would be going after the ones that might just be ready for you when you come!

      You place a target on yourself every time you buy bulk food, buy a gun from the gun store and about a million other things that would suggest someone is a prepper. All of these things are bigger and better tip offs from the Ham thing, so have you stopped doing all of those? And as for targets, Preppers are about the stupidest target to go after. Chances are they’re better armed than the nonpreppers who will likely become the targets. Criminals want easy targets, not someone who’s gonna shoot back!

      • Samuel
        November 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm

        Not referring to criminals or being targeted as a prepper, although it’s possible I suppose. Hams and emergencies have a long history after all, “emergency” is listed in 97.1a (that’s right at the top of the amateur regs). I’m talking about martial law, foreign troops, or just an organized group after the collapse with a laptop and the ham license database on CD. If a military action is going down, fixed transmitter sites are going to be high priority targets. They won’t care if you’re a prepper, a 3-percenter, or a QSO card collecter. They will care about getting you and your equipment under their control. Loose lips and all that. Paranoid? Maybe, I love that song ;)

        • Willis
          November 14, 2012 at 4:37 am

          If your a ham radio operator don’t forget that you can displace your antenna as far as the wire can go. This helps to hide your actual location.

    • John
      December 3, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      How many people still have their old CB radios with car antennae? Keep them in garbage cans with tight lids in case of EMPs. The older ones with only 19 channels have a slightly higher output wattage. In a SHTF situation, especially with WROL, an amplifier might not be uncalled for. Just be sure it’s on the car and the car is moved from time to time. Remember, the latest thing is an armed Homeland Security and a LOT of domestic drones.

      • Janet
        January 3, 2014 at 2:24 am

        Can some one please tell me what SHTF and EMPS is I have no idea.

        • Joey
          April 10, 2015 at 11:08 am

          SHTF – Shit Hits the Fan (messy) EMP – Electro Magnetic Pulse. If an EMP happens all electrical devices (including gas powered cars) in the affected area will be fried and not work anymore. An EMP would happen if say a nuclear devices was detonated above an area or if a huge solar flare was to strike. Neither by any means an impossibility.

  7. Terry
    November 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    So, I was thinking about getting a HAM licence, now you make me wonder is that a dead give away. I don’t want to be in a situation that I have no idea what is going on around the country? What else can we do to have some contact?

    • Canned Ham
      November 13, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      I really don’t think it’s a dead giveaway. There are millions of Hams, and while some of them may fall into the category of Prepper or Survivalist, most of them do not. If you use the internet, I wouldn’t really worry about becoming a ham, because you make a far larger paper trail online than you ever will by becoming a ham.

    • Gerald
      November 14, 2012 at 8:34 am

      Get a regular portable radio with SW bands on it. There are plenty available. You can listen to stations around the world and no visible antenna required. No license required. Just batteries.

    • I have been taking classes for my HAM radio technical and general license. [I take my tect on Tuesday!] You have to register with the FCC and yes…it puts you on the grid…but are you really going to let that kind of fear keep you from things like that…and even a firearm because that has to be registered too? Having a social security number has already put you in the system. Don’t let fear eliminate things that can’t be regulated by the government after the SHTF anyway. They may think they can executive order” your rights away…and make you a target, but the reason why we prep in the first place is because we already know we’re being targeted. ;)

  8. River Rat
    November 13, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I am so lucky to live where I do,Home will be last line of defense after that I will be on the river, My dog and I hit the river every couple months, I have 7 campsites back away from the river some no one can see me from the river, There is only 260 people in our town and we are 30 min to closest town, I am 10 miles from Gunterville state park and completlly surrounded by wilderness when I hit the woods no one could find me if I did not want to be found, my 17′ canoe will carry up to 1150lbs all my gear for bug out is 86lbs,I have enough filters for 60,000 gals of water enough ammo for years of hunting and I know the river like the back of my hand and so much hidden in the woods, so far it’s me and my best friend buddy ( my dog )to take care of

    • Willis
      November 14, 2012 at 4:39 am

      Sounds like your ready. Good work buddy.

    • Gerald
      November 14, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Sounds a bit lonely. You might want to find a couple good friends that think like you and enjoy the woods and river as well. Help keep you all sane.

      • River Rat
        November 14, 2012 at 9:06 am

        never lonley in the woods it’s hard to find people close to me that I could put up with if anything ever happens…the good and the bad come out in people I will make my choice then but….you maybe right…could also use them as food if I had to….lol

        • Shirley
          November 25, 2012 at 11:26 am

          River Rat I was going to say i would join you,… until you said use as food lol

          • Debra
            April 16, 2013 at 10:56 am

            OMG ROFL

        • Yuuzhan
          November 29, 2012 at 8:15 am

          that made me laugh so hard. Then the person saying they wanted to go with you until you said that. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Just be aware, too much cannibalism and you get the shakes.

  9. Gnarus
    November 14, 2012 at 6:04 am

    Great point about the gear. The basis for survival is not having 6 tons of gear but, knowing how to survive with what you have. I’ll take skills over stuff anytime.

  10. Tooldusty
    November 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    At the best of times, I feel vary alone and get funny looks and also told that I am becoming somewhat strange when I disscuss how I am changing my life style by planning to sell my comfortable estate, and setting myself up to live of off the grid and becoming mortgage free, preparing to be 100% self sufficant. No matter where you live even it may be on the Canadian west coast we are all varnerable to any form of disaster.

  11. jjj
    November 14, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Who the f*** doesn’t eat rice and beans? Endless burritos. Sounds pretty good to me.
    Anyway, good advice, thanks.

  12. November 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Great article. I’m sure the recent events regarding hurricane Sandy have made a lot of people realize they need some type of an emergency plan and survival gear. I recommend starting out with a simple first aid kit and a 72 hour kit for each member of your family. After this is accomplished then store a supply of water for one week followed by a 3 month food supply. Only buy foods you know your are going to eat and gear you know how to use. Make goals each month to accomplish this task and within a few months you should be prepared for the next unexpected disaster.

  13. yakobu
    November 15, 2012 at 3:58 am

    I am just wondering!? What happens when martial law it’e decreted and, they come, house to house, knoking the door,- ” give us your GUNS! “. What’s then? Next thing, when you think theres nothing else they can do:” give us your FOOD! “. What will happen then?!
    After all that, when all the homes are clean of all the supplies, and things gets bitter, they appear at your home in the middle of the night, drees like goons, in black, face painted, all rounded up, moking at you, destroing everything in your house, destroing the wall’s looking for something hidding. What will you do? you tied up against the wall, your love ones taked from you, screaming, yelling, maybe rapped or shot dead in front of you. what whould you do? Look at the past, the story shows us that in a disaster, or a war, or any kind of problem, the worst case scenario don’t came from your neighbors. It came from the forces of order(or Caos). You may get the knowledge you need to get out of dodge. You know that with the technologie in existence today you can not disapear for real, right? You know that you can be track by: corporal mass, prints, fisionomy, animals, color, internet, heat signal,and others that aren’t public knowledge?

    • Bozo
      August 16, 2014 at 4:47 am

      Might as well just drink the poison and end it all now, huh?

  14. Jim
    November 15, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I just finished the book series “A Distant Eden” and the author points out that you need to stock three years of non-perishable food. The first year you can’t plant your survival garden because it will be raided by the starving masses. The second year unless you are an experienced gardener, your garden will not produce enough to survive on. So you need three years of stored food to make it into the third year. You don’t need to buy all of your survival food at once. Each trip grocery shopping just buy one or two extra items. Maybe once a month or every other month buy one case of Mountain House #10 cans of food or as many cans as you can afford, even one can will help in the long run.

  15. neil
    November 15, 2012 at 11:57 am

    i have taken a lot of crap from people since i started getting my family and i prepared. i have formed a group of people that like me have an interest in ensuring their families livlihood in the event of disaster. but what i can not comprehend is a comment made to me recently after i asked the question “what would you do in a major disaster?” to which the person responded, “stay put and wait for the government to respond, they surely would not let us sit here and die… they are paid to help us” have people forgotten about what happened during katrina or more recently sandy? sure help will be on its way at some point but before you run out of food? water? people have become too reliant on government and have become more and more complacent about “the american way”

    • Greg
      December 2, 2012 at 8:15 am

      I was a FEMA contractor after Katrina. It seems that a lot of people think of New Orleans as the total experience that people had during that disaster. I was in Mississippi and it was bad there also. But people didn’t wait for the government to rescue them. They took care of themselves. The aftermath was just as bad, but a lot less people got killed. If you depend on government, you are going to suffer. That was the message of New Orleans.

      • Nana
        December 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm

        @the Greg I too was a contractor. Your points are valid. Also no phones, cell towers, atms or gas atm run stations worked. Has ato few gallons of gas stored. Refer to for tips. And, if you have no internet or cell connectivity after a disaster it is hard to apply for state or federal assistance.Therfore, the public can seek out emergency pop up shelters and emergency centers. Walmart & Home depot parking lots often become initial small emergency command centers -especially in less urban areas

      • Olivia
        December 31, 2012 at 9:53 am

        Just wanted to say that I agreee with you about New Orleans and Katrina. The people in that city learned several generations ago to just sit and the government sooner or later will take care of you. I, like you, saw the Miss. people start take care of themselves right away. And don’t forget the tornado victiums in the midwest. They all just got up and started rebuilding. There is a lesson there about the kind of people who live in a “welfare world” compared to folks like preppers who will at least try and take care of themselves. And don’t forget, more and more people are becoming citizens of that welfare world.

  16. WillKat
    November 16, 2012 at 12:53 am

    We’re over the road regional(usually within 500 miles from home) truck drivers living in our truck. We carry bug out bags and camping gear to get us to our first defense line storage units, then to second line defense to family property. Any other suggestions for our situation?

    • OTR Trucker
      November 20, 2012 at 10:44 am

      As an OTR trucker, I feel your pain. My travels carry me WELL beyond the 500 mile range from home and my wife. I know I am woefully unprepared should a serious SHTF scenario occur, however, my primary concern for prepping is to insure that my wife and our dogs are as well prepared as possible. Whether I survive is not the most important thing on my agenda …for now. That said, we continue to grow are supplies and skills with the knowledge that we will eventually get to the point when I will be prepared while on the road.
      Stay the course my brother trucker, Make a plan for your situation and prepare accordingly.

    • Long Haul
      November 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      A couple of bicycles strapped to the back of the cab will be very nice to have. Get off the big road quickly and away from crowds/cities. Use the first few days of confusion to get as far as you can and as close to your next BOL as possible before the violence starts for real. Your BOB’s will mark you as a target, so incase of theft/robbery you should make plans to finish the last few miles/days/weeks with just what you can scavenge along the way. Use your skills in map reading/planning to plot any resources along your normal routes (lakes/streams/rivers, forest/wilderness, railways, even churches, etc. Start mapping those resources now as you travel around. Take pictures if necessary (for research later)and start a notebook.

      • Freedomquest1
        October 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm

        I have lived on my sailboat for the last 18 years, and have traveled between Detroit and the Bahamas 17 times. She’s well armed, carries 400 gal of fresh water, and that’s before I have to make my own. I’m not a prepped but do think a lot about it. I can survive any SHTF crisis for a very long time with very little change in life style to me or my family. I believe the best plan to survive a SHTF issue is to be able to survive in the first place with what you have around you at the time. Like waking up at the start of a SHTF issue, in the woods with nothing but the cloths on your back, and knowing how to survive, good gear is nothing if you don’t know how to best use it, without drawing attention to yourself or your family. And I read someone talking about storing seeds, I would think you need to survive first then worry about that. A safe room or basement stuffed with food and water just says “hay look at me” come take my stuff, and kill me in the process. Although a safe room might be a little affective under a dooms day event?? KISS theory… Sorry just saying.

    • Nana
      December 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      1)You may want to consider non genetically modified seeds aka non hybrid seedes
      2) There are more than 100 seed catalogs out there. I have a blog post linking to many of them.
      3) I really like Baker Creek Heirloom seeds
      4) I also have a blog demonstrating how I saved seeds this summer. My goal was to save 1/3 of the tota I bought last year. So this year I saved kale, beans, peas, potatoes, okra, cantelope, speghetti squash.
      5) I boughthave small bagshose of grainthe seeds andthis froze themthe to preservethe them.
      6) I canned& froze all summer thealmost food Ifor grew &the built my ownfreezerniece canning shelves.
      7) I then wentdad&mom to anthe auto parts store & the bought a 1500 power inverter/650 amp car battery to run my freezer short term, I replaced the old 40 worn out gallon water pressure tank with a 119 g water pressure tank & bought a small hose to hook to either the 30 g water heater
      or water pressure tank.

      8) I bought a small antique wood stove put it in the basement and repaired the fireflace by installingthe a newyou liner. &the just bought a good Stihl 290 chain saw & have started cutting wood to store.
      9) I have built a chicken coop & have some chickens.
      10) I bought liquor for negotiating if there ends up being no cash. I figured it may ne a more peaceful approach…rather than a gun in someones face
      There are lots men here posting. I thought as a 54 hr old female veteran I would post a femal perspective on some of the steps I have personally taken as noted below. Guys, I might suggest carrying tampons as light weight tinderfire starter as theya are wrappeda in plasticvery and can serve deep wound gauze/cover for absorbancy. Lip balm can be rubbed on leaves as a helpful fire starter as well. Cellphone bateries can be used to start a fire as well. Also I suggesthave scaning copies of all of your accounts, important documents, ID’s, credit cards, insurances, deeds ect onto an IRONKEY USB drive.
      I have also backed up my entire computer on a 1 terabite Seagate portable hard drive & have a small backup battery charger- all of which I can plug into a cell phone, tablet as alternatives devices that I can easily take on the go.
      If anyone is interested my list of seed catalogs or seed saving post i am more than happy to share.

    • Nana
      December 29, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      1) Roads may become impassable, Blocked, Have check points. Down load a copy of all the railroad routes in theUS by state and save to a usb, potable hard drive, tablet or print out and put in your bag. Walk theabout rails. There is a web page to check rail car number destinations also.
      strap a small mopedor bike to your rig somewhere as a back up… if major highways &the streets are blocked.
      down loax a scanner app and flashlight app on your needs cell phone.

  17. Renee
    November 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    These might be dumb questions and I realize no one knows for sure but:
    If a person is well prepared but lives in a city how severe will the dangers be? Can just staying holed up in an apartment with plenty enough provisions be that dangerous? How long before things get back to normal that we return to work? If one does not feel safe how dangerous will it be to drive to a country getaway of a friend?

    • Yuuzhan
      November 29, 2012 at 8:20 am

      It can be. As we saw in something as minor as katrina people were busting down their neighbors doors and looting. Then the gov took the guns away from the people defending their homes so they could no longer defend their supplies. They said it wasnt fair for the wealthy to horde such things and be able to defend them.

  18. Uncle B
    November 16, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Stop thieft with signs that read Caution! Fertilized with human manure, wash well! Cheaper than a vicious dog and absolutely no liability! Not with the warning sign, true or not!

  19. Robert Waters
    November 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    I owned a train derailment company at one time. Three of the rail cars we had to up right and cut open was a FEMA rail car.when we pulled the doors open there was a sub floor down the middle to make 2 levels. All around the walls and floors were hand cuffs and leg irons top and bottom. The outside of the car looked like an auto hauler small windows cut down the side with bars. These cars were panted enamel white with a blue FEMA sticker in the middle of the wall.
    I asked about the cars and was told not to worry about it just cut them up. So I looked them up on the net. Wow there they were and much more! I also found 6 FEMA camps with in 2 hours from where I live. By now you are wondering why tell you this? About 6 months ago I was at barnes and nobel book store and met an Army Major. I told him I was a Marine could I ask him a few questions. I asked if he heard of Rex 84. He said yes! I asked when he thought hiper inflation would hit the U.S. He said 2012 or 13. I asked him how long before marshall Law would move in. He looked at his watch said it’s 7:00 now when you wake up there will be tanks in the streets. I told him I was putting food back. He said to put water back too enough for a year! Stay in your house load your guns and protect your home.He also said if your not ready when this happens it’s to late. If you are found outside you will be put into a FEMA camp I’m asking everyone to get ready now. Hiper inflation is when the dollar colaspes you can’t buy anything. I’ve seen the rail cars, been to a FEMA camp.Touched the FEMA Coffins.last count I got was 933 FEMA camps. Get your family ready put food and water back for a year. Load your guns and wait.

    • Homesteadin Happy
      November 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm

      Robert, THAT is some scary stuff, and is a good description of what I have learned over the past 3 years. The car haulers too, since I just heard that same thing from a different source. My friend captured a picture of one on the train tracks VERY near where I live. What the man said about being outside your home or you will be picked up, WOW.

      Also, I can’t help but wonder if everyone posting here was involved in their local politics how DIFFERENT the landscape might look! We are the movers and shakers, and I sure would like to see folks like this running for office or campaigning for locals where ever they may be. We have to get the scum out before they make it to Washington.

    • Lee
      April 21, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Am curious…do you happen to have the sites for those fema sites?

  20. Louis G
    November 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    lol its funny during a nation wide SHTF situation there will be Chaos prepare the best you can no one can prepare for every scenario and anyone who tells you you can is full of hogwash large supplies of water are good but to heavy to move so you will shelter in place as long as you can woods are good and usually have some form of running water so some sort of mobile filtering system would be of use weapons of your choice not to many it adds weight that has to be carried not so easy in the woods some sort of shelter being exposed to the elements for long periods also not good!

    • Strid
      November 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      This is what I have been wondering during reading this article and comments. Maybe if you live in the city you need to stock water, but then it seems if you live in the city you are already screwed if the SHTF. We don’t stock water. We stock water treatment items. If we need to bug out and are on foot, how would we carry all the water we need. It is better to know how and where to get water. We live in the desert, but all of our plans include knowing where to get water and how to make it drinkable.

      All these people who have a room dedicated to food in cans that tastes like crap, kinda bug me. Much better to learn how to live without the modern convienienes.

      • Yuuzhan
        November 29, 2012 at 8:23 am

        Just remember. Not all water can be purified. What if a dirty emp device is used. The water for a longggg way will be contaminated past what water purification can solve. It is better to stock up on some controlled supplies as well.

  21. Homesteadin Happy
    November 18, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Kim A, you must buy open pollinator seeds or “heirloom” seeds, they are both the same. Hybrid seeds will not yield seeds for you to use for the next season. If you keep your seeds in a freezer they will last for years. Goal is to keep them away from warmth, light and moisture, so best NOT to store them in plastic (or pill bottles), but in paper envelopes, then seal all the envelopes in a canning jar with a good seal. This keeps condensation from the seeds. Check them regularly. Also, pick up a copy of “Gardening When it Counts” by Steve Solomon. It is specifically for growing food in hard times. But, it would certainly behoove you to learn how to grow food NOW, not to wait until your life depends on it. There is a lot more to it then planting seeds.

  22. Bobby
    November 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    I agree whole heartedly with this article. One cant prepare for every possible scenario. Mentally you’re not so limited…. knowledge and practical skills these are where we need to place our priorities. People with a varied skill set can find a solution to the real life problems that’s going to face them when the darkness falls. Yes you need tools to work with, but without the practice and skills to use them then your screwed. A great author once wrote “specialization is for insects” you’ve got to be the quintessential jack of all trades to not only survive but also thrive in an emergency….

    To the do this successfully you must expand your knowledge to not just knowing what to do, but also why it works. A basic working grasp of things like physics,thermodynamics, chemistry and biology are more valuble than any gear money can buy. Even obscure knowledge about Religion, Psychology, and just plain old people skills will be valuble in dealing with other people in a crisis situation. The “Well Rounded” person is going to have an easier time surviving those times ahead.

    The key is adaptation. We preppers are becoming mainstreamed but its not all positve more exposure turns us into a marketing niche. A demographic to be exploited.. like hunters and fishermen…always marketing the latest toys and gadgets that we must have to pursue our passions. Bull shit! You want to prep then look to our to the older generation especially. Those who grew up in a rural location….they lived the very conditions we may find ourselves faced with in the hard times to come….there’s more…so much more but Ill relinquish The soapbox for now….good night

  23. Logger
    November 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    City folks and rural don’t forget yours and anyone that has abandoned their residences have a hot water heater that holds 30-80 gal of water. Then you can drain your lines for a few more. Just a note for the short term.

  24. StevenKY
    November 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    In a total SHTF situation, the Interstates will be gridlocked and the area highways will most likely have roadblocks (to keep the riff-raff out) and lord knows what else. Think they might have forgotten the railroad tracks? If the trains aren’t running it becomes your own private road. I have some WWII videos showing jeeps with tireless rims pulling long strings of trailers to transport troops. The wheel spacing is the same so some extra rims could be used to “ride the rails”.

  25. mliblover
    November 22, 2012 at 9:59 am

    The “…People will become a Threat During a SHTF Crisis” has really got me thinking. Having food or things (gear, or whatever) is simpler to address than dealing with people. I read the “Survival Threats – People” article you link to on this page as well. (Also helpful)

    I hope you will do a future article specially about how to handle people during such a crisis. It does not seem feasible to avoid everybody all the time. It also seems possible that some people will be a net gain and others a net loss and it might not always be easy to predict what category somebody would fit into. Identifying true allies is a skill I would like to learn more about.

  26. Dana
    November 25, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I would argue the beans and rice are *always* a bad idea as more than a condiment. With fat you get more calories into less space, which is a premium when you’re only relying on yourself for a food supply. And the last thing you need is to find out you were teetering on the edge of diabetes when suddenly all you can depend on for calories is starch.

    You can buy canned meat and canned butter. Better yet, you can buy freeze-dried meat and canned butter. And I would. You will feel a lot better, your head will be clearer and you will cope better with stress.

    • Strumpet
      January 30, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Coconut oil is another long term super healthy fat that can be added to rice and beans and any cooking really. I’m also stockpiling unsweetened coconut. Can be used to make milk and is a super food!

  27. ron
    November 30, 2012 at 6:10 am

    i allways laugh at the ham radio comments. why would you want to get a ham lic? just buy a used ham radio,make sure it works,read books on how to use,get other ham operators to contact. do not use radio un less the shhtf. then there wont be any one worrying about your lic. who are you looking to arrest you ? stupid,just plain stupid. i myself wouldnt want to contact anyone,just lay low,till things get better.

  28. catfish prepper
    December 19, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I couldnot agree more about the shtf senerio. A lot of preppers say that you have to have numbers to survive and the more people u have the more likely u are to survive… which I think is complete bullshit.. in a shtf senerio u can’t trust anyone everyone is a threat to u and ur families survival… survival is self reliance!! Thax for listenin and remember the future belongs to those of us who prepare for it today… may god be with y’all..

  29. SOF
    January 11, 2013 at 3:20 am

    WOW, is all I have to say….WOW…..I agree with the article, to a point. The reality show,really put things over the top didn’t it? LOL

    The only thing you need to remember to survive…be vigilante and be quiet. Never carry more than 25% of your body weight of ANYTHING, not gear,food, or water no more than 25% of your weight,period. Remain mobile, fed,hydrated…….God help us, TV is going to kill us all…..LOL

  30. RockyMountainYetti
    January 23, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    In any real SHTF situation, the Rockies are the best place I’ve seen for survival – as long as you are far from the bases and not downwind. Plenty of game, trees, and water. Winter survival is old hat here. People on the coasts I think should abandon bug out plans because there is nowhere safe from the masses or fallout, a well prepped and defended shelter seems to me the only option there. Good article, because eventually ALL equipment fails and all stored items run out.

  31. Dan
    February 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    All good points except Beans and Rice. A little hint here….in a true SHTF scenario we are ALL going to be eating food we don’t like. Consideration for storage is shelf-life and nutrition PERIOD. Taste be damned. If it tastes like cardboard, that is going to be the least of your concerns. Please! You think after that short supply runs out you will be more happy with deer entrail soup and skunk cabbage?

  32. You make good points across the board. I’ve often said that skills and knowledge are more important than gear as well, although a good knife is hard to beat.

  33. Lola
    September 24, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I am very happy to see people are taking these situations seriously. Guns, I don’t have and don’t want. I don’t want to have to use one and then the enemy pin point my location due to the sound of the shot. They will know about where I’m at and I won’t even know they are there. So I use cross-bow, quiet and does the job, a bonus is I can reuse my ammo.

  34. Bozo
    August 16, 2014 at 5:14 am

    I have a friend who thinks the only way to prep is buy all the guns and ammo he can. When I told him he needed to start stocking up a food supply for his family, he counters that I should be in charge of buying the food for my family and his (8 total) while he provides the defense.

    I said that was absurd, the amount of space and money needed to put away food, water and other supplies for 8 instead of 4 far exceeds his ability to provide defense. Especially since we don’t leave near a major metropolitan center.

    When I asked him what the heck he was going to do if he could not get to my house in a SHTF scenario as he lives about 20 minutes away, he said he would just trade ammo for food. Like it was a given people would give him and his family food to eat. I asked him what he would do for water and he said he would use the nearby pond. I asked how he would purify it, he said boil it on the stove.

    I asked if SHTF, how you going to use a stove when the power and gas might be off. He replies he’ll use his propane grill. I asked what he will do when the propane runs out. He then got angry and said fine, don’t call me when the looters are banging on your door for food. I finished by saying I won’t be able to call him because the phone lines and cell towers will be useless.

    He later called me to tell me that he could provide his own food with his guns. I asked him the same thing others have said here. Everybody is going to be using the same area for hunting and the resources will be gone quickly. Plus I asked him if he knew how to skin and gut a deer or squireel or rabbit. No reply and hung up on me.

    This is the sort of thing that scares me. He’s the guy that will turn on everybody a week into a SHTF scenario when his supply of food and water are gone and nobody wants to trade food for weapons.

  35. nurse
    October 20, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Wow, did all of this give me food for thought. I thought I might start storing some food and water, first aid kit and lighting capability instead I’ve come to realize, I don’t have a chance. My little emergency supply probably won’t last much more than a couple of weeks. I ordered some freeze dried food, purchased canned tuna, potted ham, potted meals,rice, beans, condensed milk, oats, first aid supplies (tons of those), I guess I thought I might be able to help, da…at least a gallon of water a day, up to now, I have 12 days worth. I now realize water is key. I want to order 50 lbs of wheat, oil and more freeze dried food. I will buy bourbon for barter as suggested. Store more gas/wood for my fireplace. I have plenty of batteries. I think I will need to continue my storing for a goal of 6 months storage for four people and a child/infant. Would love suggestions for a baby <1 yr if breastfeeding.

  36. Juan
    December 2, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I would add ” dependency of factory made items”( weapons, shelter, kitchens, etc.

  37. ARTHUR
    May 11, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    In a SHTF event,your best option is to be invisable, even if you have a large group and are well prepared and trained (ie PATRIOTS). an old moonshiners trick to hide your smoke can keep you invisible but still warm in he winter. hint they used a stream.

  38. Julie
    August 30, 2015 at 1:22 am

    hi from the UK! I’m a basic prepper (better than nothing huh?) and I try not to think about it all too much as its quite overwhelming. But I have kit and I know how to use it. I don’t know how much this happened in the U.S., but during WW2 virtually the whole country had to be on rations and share so many of the basics to survive. Whatever my family grew, harvested or reared, half if not more went to the War Effort. People worked together and shared what they had to survive. I don’t believe this just helped huge numbers survive (genetic diversity and all!) but if this situation happens (again) the mental state of people is boosted by working together. I used to think my folks tales of The War Effort was dull and boring but now I realise they actually went through what it is here we’re all planning for. Times were hard, but they worked together, shared and survived. Shared skills, food, feeling and emotional stress during a very emotionally stressful time. Even post war it went on for years to get the country back up and running. I understand that the threats are different these days, but as humans we’re little different to the people then. Good luck :)

  39. Lisa
    November 25, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Correct, I have to agree! People an water….
    Food, an what can be used for trade.

  40. Je$$
    December 31, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Really, let’s think about this…. If everyone’s plan is to “run” and go hide out in the woods… Um yeah there is going to be no where to go because everyone is in the god damn woods!! SHTF… Run outside like a psycho… Come one! If this is everyone’s plan, then the best thing to do is stay put, shoot… Prolly best to “hide” in a city!
    #1 prepper mistake- Bragging about your stock pile! Oh SHTF- remember “so and so” said he had a huge stock pile…. Let’s hit him up!! Boom, he stocked up for us!
    Think people think!

  41. Crazy
    January 2, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    My friends the world is going to come to that very soon , everyone has the same ideas so you are not going to be alone where ever you go . Every where is going to be grid locked at least any America you can buy weapons here in the uk we are stuffed , you have to register a BB gun lol lol lol . The government ain’t going to give a damn about the civilian . Basically you are on your own, uk is small compared to America so not many places to hide its over crowded . I just hope this does not happen while I’m alive . In fact I pray the world does not come to this .

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