Wednesday, April 4, 2018

should I stay?


SHOULD I STAY?

Should I stay, or should I go now?  If you stay there will be trouble…( okay, sorry, no more Clash ).  The problem you have is that mobility is good, as far as avoiding trouble.  But you can’t have too many luxury items like, you know, food, if you stay mobile.  But if you stay in place you have to defend all your food.  And before you say, Tribe Up, yes obviously this is the only solution.  It isn’t like we are very smart figuring out that a stationary plot of land needs defending.  A bunch of half naked grunting barbarians figured that out eight thousand years ago. 

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But, let’s face it, lice scratching morons with bones through their noses were highly motivated to cooperate and get along with others as everyone figured out this new thing called agriculture.  Soft and gooey Americans with their central heat, two hundred channels of TV and two SUV’s in the driveway have no interest in getting together and actually sacrificing anything in a cooperative venture.  Survivalist groups seem to be about as successful as South American religious cults serving Kool-Aid as the refreshing beverage of choice. 

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So the average bear prepping is probably on their own, and faced with the age old conundrum of indefensible dwellings verses mobility.  To stay mobile, you cannot stockpile many supplies.  Now, granted, a lot of preppers are silly and are protecting a McMansion which becomes a molding pile of sheetrock and warped wood the moment the power grid fails, or if not displaying an unnatural sexual attraction for an extremely overpriced piece of suburbia they still follow the usual practice of getting their supplies close by in whatever dwelling they do inhabit.

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And here is the issue.  You can’t count on anyone else, because finding someone with their head out of their ass is near impossible.  So folks go loner.  They keep supplies in the only spot they can watch over and defend.  If they are attacked, they lose their supplies.  If they are smart, they have a nearby cache that will keep them alive.  But were they smart?  Is that cache big enough?  If you leave your home with your supplies there, you have in effect been killed and you just don’t know it yet.  Should you die slowly after the cache runs out and you starve, or should you die quickly defending your place?

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There is really only one answer, and that is to hide your supplies.  It can be at your home, or it can be a cache ( which, after a certain size, just becomes a Bug Out Location ), but you need to forget about the two standard supplies storage solutions of Making Furniture or Warehousing.  I’m just as guilty as the next person, although I am half way towards caching only because I ran out of room inside.  You can excuse the warehousing by claiming “rotation and package care”, and there is nothing wrong with that.  But the food isn’t secure ( or the ammo, or whatever ). 

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The ideal is that when you are attacked, you tactically retreat a safe distance away.  After a few days of camping and using a small supply cache, you snipe or ambush or firebomb at the intruder.  As there is only enough food inside for those few days and a few days he can stuff in a backpack, he should in theory be happy enough to leave rather than be killed.  It is the same principle of a throw away gun for a cop or a bait gun for a gun confiscation.  He might know you have more food but he can’t find it.  Now, that brings us to both where to hide supplies and your shelter itself.

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Your shelter can either be a hovel or it can be a castle.  A castle is a strong shelter meant to last generations and must be defended at all cost.  A hovel is disposable shelter.  It is meant to  be used and abandoned as needed.  A McMansion is ( mistakenly ) perceived as a castle, a travel trailer or old enough mobile home to have zero value is a disposable hovel.  Most guys, if successful dragging along the wife off grid, must build a castle for their queen.  If you are lucky, you get a good redneck wife that understands that disposable housing can still make a good home, but isn’t worth dying over.  The Scots-Irish came over with a strong culture of disposable housing, whereas most other cultures-English, German, etc., never were able to appreciate the value therein.

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You see, if you are too attached to a home, you do stupid crap to keep it.  You take a far worse job to keep up the mortgage, you allow the ghetto to creep closer and closer every year until you are the only one on your block who sunburns.  You risk your life defending it from hordes.  You then risk your life again by trying to shoot it out with a squatter rather than just torching the place to drive him out.  This strategy probably means you need a nonattached buried room for your supplies, rather than false walls or hidden rooms.  Unless you can figure out how to light the flammable stuff inside a fireproof outer structure, with no risk to the hidden supply room.  It seems easier to just bury a room in the back yard.  It contains supplies and is also an underground shelter if the main one burns ( good to have anyway, invaders or not ).

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You can figure out other methods such as a buried root cellar on another property or such.  A septic tank full of buckets.  A pit with a big food grade tote ( and shored up walls ) full of wheat.  It shouldn’t be hard or too expensive.  Yes, there is a risk in this.  It is a hard sell to yourself to surrender your hard won stash to the ravages of nature and entropy.  No matter how much axle grease you slop on your buried gun, you worry about rust.  But the easier it is to access your goods, the easier they are to be captured.  It is also going to be dangerous to be constantly going back and forth to the hidden room for more supplies, when you start using them. 

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Now, once you become a farmer, you then have a group helping protect the land.  Then, you have a much larger supply on display, because no one will believe it if you don’t.  But then you’ll also have an organized method of retreat and return to attack, a grain silo hidden to feed the village after a raid or a famine, a way to shelter up in the hills as marauders attack, etc.  This is your initial strategy, for when you are alone and trying to survive the die-off.  You need to think alone the lines, metaphorically, of keeping the cash in the bank rather than under the mattress.

END ( today's related link https://amzn.to/2IhRneO )
 
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22 comments:

  1. So I've relocated to this town 12 years ago, as a teacher. Thousands of people in the area know who I am.

    Overall I would say that's a good thing. We use a thousand different trades in our lives (the water you flush with is drinkable due to different trades, it gets to your place through the owrk of other guys still, and that's just a gesture that takes a few seconds...), and if we only use one hundred trades in the post-collapse world, it's a hundred people, and their families, kids, neighbours etc.

    Our immediate survival is more or less our responsability (food, water etc.), but if we manage to get only to russian post-Gorbatchev levels of collapse ( also called "Normalcy in Ukraine") then we still need to know a shitload of people.
    That's why it's good to leave large cities, and remain in places where social life is still possible. I wouldn't choose smaller places than towns because you would appear as the clueless city dweller which has lots of stuff because he's a prepper or something.
    One of the last articles was about killing, well in such small societies you can't ready kill anybody (and forget to be "part" of the local society, it will never happen in generations and also there's a reason why everybody who could leave the small villages left). And the locals know you can't really kill them - what you do to them they can do to you-.

    In his immense capillary wisdom, Jim bought junk land that was in the vicinity of a town of 20,000 souls.

    I also think that being the young, sporty city guy who needs nobody is not a winning profile. The middle-aged (or ageing) guy who has done the "reasonable thing" of having more than 3 days worth of food at home, but still somehow needs stuff from others, might be a more stable and trustworthy person overall.

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    1. "land that was in the vicinity of a town of 20,000 souls."
      Hopefully going back down to 16k or 18k souls. I'd prefer the mines really get in trouble and we shrink to 10k or even less. God, I hate people.

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  2. Caching some food is your only option. Like you said, faced with attempting to save your home with invaders willing to destroy it for even a few crumbs, you are better off giving the crowd what they want or die. Some have even spoke of purposely leaving the place early to be ransacked, then return after they leave. Cowardly - yes. But you live another day.

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    1. Not a damn thing wrong with cowardly, if it benefits rather than harms. You fight to the death if they attack the village women and kids, but can be a bushwacking yellow bastard on the battlefield, as long as it is sound tactics. Of course, the whole unneeded Brave Front under all circumstances might be because everyone was too stupid to choose which times to be cowardly. The idiots need binary choices.

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  3. Excellent Post. I'll be saving this one for future study.

    Unfortunately I'm more of a Castle guy. Not by planning but it's just the way it's worked out. So no doubt I'll be the one in the Post Appocalyptic Fiction that'll be trying to foolishly hold off the Horde of Zombie ISIS Bikers with my single shot .22lr

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    1. I imagine things "just how it worked out" for a lot of us. But perfection is the enemy of any plan, isn't it? Most of this stuff is working smarter rather than harder anyway. As long as you can maximize the good and minimize the bad.

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  4. Yes, tribes, but even when we had tribes yours might be the one getting the crap kicked out of it by the next tribe over. 200 get steamrolled by a group of 400, and so on. Even a tribe is not much assurance.

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    1. Right, the downside of tribe is you borrow their troubles.

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  5. Quite the quandry to be in. I am in a gun rich area, so am inclined to believe most folks will be able to fend off miscreants, as they are chicken poops anyway and it will take a while for the remaining to actually organize, but will pick their opportunities better after seeing their homeys zapped. A free fire zone will really clean out a lot of it. It may then devolve to a seige like sarejavo/bosnia, not ideal but everyone can't run to the hills with ox carts of posessions. 50/50 chances stay with what you know, or take chances mobile in unknowns.

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    1. Exactly-the devil you know. It's only a long term survival view. Short term...

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  6. Not too bad Jim.

    Still a lot of holes in the "Leave and come back later choice"

    YKW
    MM

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    1. The idea was if you had the super secret ninja stash of food in the backyard buried, you'd need access to that again. It is more dangerous than having a fall back stocked shelter, but it allowed you to keep your stuff closer to you, and safer.

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  7. Good post today. The suggestion on the subterranean cache separate from the dwelling is a good one. I think that the cache system is the only practical and secure way to go in a PA scenario, period. I suspect that being driven off from a survival retreat will be more common than many wish to think, and that most survivalists tend to think in terms of engaging in firefights in order to secure them. This may or may not be practical, depending on the circumstances. Better the looters find an empty hovel (If you’re outnumbered, you’re hiding at this point) with a sack of wheat, take it and leave, never to come come back, then to come across a place that they know has something really good, as confirmed by the tenacity of its tenants to hang on to it.

    As you’ve mentioned, all of this also assumes the disposable abode (Think wickiup, or Home Despot 8’x10” $699 shed kit) so that if they do decide to stay, shooting a flaming arrow into it will be a little less painful for you (Bone up on your medieval militia archery skills. What was it? You had to loose 12 arrows into a 1 meter object at 100 meters, in less than one minute? I can’t recall, but you had to be one badass archery mofo! Unlike like these modern archery pussies that think they’re billy badass because they can slay Bambi with a high tech 300fps compound bow, firing high speed carbon fiber arrows! ).

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    1. An interesting episode on the first season of "Survivors" was when the castle roof burned down. In the middle of winter. They could no longer stay. Just a gentle reminder to all of the many vulnerabilities.

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    2. I was going to suggest something like Earth bags, but then you can’t burn the A-hole marauders out if they decide to stay. Really, one of the better options is probably the wickiup (easier than Madonna on Spanish fly, and well insulated) in conjunction with a series of caches.

      Of course we all know that nothing beats earth sheltered. But if you’re going to go that route, the entrance must be well concealed as they were in Mike Oehler’s designs, and even then, you must take painstakingly careful measures upon entering and leaving. For if it’s discovered, that’s the end of that shelter.

      I have a book titled Outdoor Survival Skills, from a fellow by the name of Larry Dean Olsen. He covers wickiup construction, as well as a variety of other primitive survival skills. It’s actually a great book, that assumes a worst case scenario of being lost in the woods with nothing, and provides the details for the skills to survive indefinitely.

      https://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Survival-Skills-Larry-Olsen/dp/1556523238

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    3. If you also have a cache of windows, just toss a rock and then a Molotov. He'll leave soon enough, and you might even get to shoot him. Note to self: heavy wire over windows?

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    4. Shooting a mofo who you have burned out of a hole could be a kindness, compared to a weeping smoke-damaged starving pneumonia death. Also, won't tell tales.

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    5. Yes, good advice. Why waste a bullet? Bayonet the humper, in the junk. Don't you wish you had a bayonet, now?

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    6. Earth tubes used for ventilation can be handy here. - You know where they exit, The invaders don't. And you can introduce smoke or other irritants that way while making it seem from the outside that the building is burning (even if it really can't be burnt that way). Since the earth tube exits can be well disguised and still used and be a significant distance from the dwelling this could come in really handy. Asa could a number of easily reversible by the knowing person household sabotage acts-

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    7. You might want to make sure no one in your group knows the location of these vents, or that there is a way for you to prevent this technique from being used against you. But, if you have a person who lives with you for a while, who decides to turn on you, it could be pretty bad (as with any setup).

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    8. Damn other people-always a problem.

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