Prepping for Economic Collapse - A Newbie's Guide
It’s time to start taking this subject seriously.
Estimated reading time: Oooh, more than a good while.
I recently commented on a post on NakedEmperor’s excellent Substack. I was a bit surprised by the interest my comment generated. The reaction suggested two things:
- Prepping is something many more people are becoming rapidly, and belatedly, interested in lately. Even Bcoffed at the word in the past. So we’re catching on! Better late than never.
- Many people are completely new to the subject or only just considering it with any seriousness, having previously believed it was reserved for the mentally deranged or paranoid schizophrenics among us! Certainly not.
I thus decided to write a more detailed post here, mainly because I think it is absolutely critical that we all take this subject a whole lot more seriously now. It is never too late to start preparing for the unexpected, especially considering it’s no longer quite so ’unexpected’, more a likelihood, unless you’re wilfully blind (as so many are, another booster anyone?)
Notwithstanding the fact that I am, by nature, quite obsessed with detail, I will try not to waste too much time discussing the many reasons why I have been (lightly) prepping myself for 10-15 years now. The reasoning could make for an entire book in its own right.
The world is rapidly dying, economically and in other ways (community, culture, freedom, bodily autonomy….). I suspect 90% of readers here know that, yet many (perhaps most) have apparently made no plans whatsoever to prepare for this uncertain future with any seriousness. As a good friend of mine put it recently:
“Humanity is circling the drain”.
I wish I could disagree with that sentiment, but I can’t.
Whether the imminent spiral downwards is deliberate, planned, or just a result of simple cause and effect after Covid and the allegedly unforeseen Ukraine ‘crisis’, it is somewhat immaterial at this point. We are where we are.
Forget yesterday and forget today, we must now focus on tomorrow. If not for ourselves then for our loved ones, dependants, communities, perhaps for our very culture itself.
Is it depressing? Yes.
Should you let it depress you? No.
Pull yourself together and rise to the task at hand.
Survival - A Moral Obligation To Your Community?
Global tyranny delivered us this evil.
I firmly believe it is an act of real altruism, not to mention patriotism, to prepare and ensure you survive the coming ‘tribulations’, if for no other reason than to be here to help put right the wrongs which led us here in the first place. There is no revolution without revolutionaries, and the powers that be will do away with as many of us as they can. I firmly believe they know just how fragile their positions are, the Canadian Truckers taught them that, as did many other mass protests around the world.
Meanwhile every one of ‘them’ will survive in total comfort. Of that you can be sure. They mustn’t be allowed to emerge from the coming darkness still in possession of their offices, titles and powers. If we must suffer the dooming of our economies and trashing of our freedoms, then we must ensure it is not in vain. We must ensure it’s something they can never inflict on us, nor our children, ever again.
Collaborate as soon as you can.
Those who think they can survive best as a ‘one man army’ are in for a nasty shock.
Those who band together in small but cohesive groups built upon trust, inter-dependence and an unshakeable common-purpose, they will be the ones who don’t just survive, but flourish.
They will be the earliest shoots of the new communities, the ones which humanity will be predominated by in the rebuilding phase, after the proverbial hits the fan. They could be the ones who are elected to local or maybe even national positions of power. I certainly hope so. We can’t exactly do any worse than the current bunch of Masonic, Satanic, elitist Oxygen-Thieves, can we?
This belief of mine comes from studying past crises and similar events, and from hearing what those who lived through it experienced. Defending a location, even an entire street, is much easier when two people can sit up all night while the others rest and recuperate. Try sleeping soundly as a one-man army camped out in the fields or even in your own home when roving gangs are on the loose robbing food, water and fuel.
(Psst…. You won’t get a wink. Siege has been one of the most successful military strategies throughout history, for very good reason: It works.)
Of course you will need to protect yourself from virtually everyone around you when the initial crunch comes, as the panic and desperation sets in for a short while. But very soon after that initial chaotic phase (days or weeks, not months or years) the people around you could quickly become your allies and trusted friends, as communities inevitably come together again, stronger than before.
‘All for one, and one for all.’ It’s a saying for a reason.
The Dire Situation in the UK
As many of you know, I am in the UK. The reasons why I have long expected an economic collapse (not a ‘recession’) have been mounting up for many years.
Quantitive Easing (fancy term for government-authorised counterfeiting) was the first clear indication for me that the unstoppable downwards spiral was well underway. But the recent Covid-induced lunacy gave even me a sense of urgency that I had never previously felt.
For one brief example of why I see such a bleak future, I’ll describe just one micro-facet of the situation on the ground where I live, in a very rural part of the UK.
I am surrounded by farmers. I know quite a few, and a close friend of mine works 6 days a week for them operating machinery. He therefore has his finger on the pulse of the entire local farming community.
I recall him telling me how, at the onset of the first Covid lockdowns here, the price of fertiliser (which all farmers need in order to grow food/produce) doubled from around £200 per tonne to £350-£400. Seeds also doubled, and agricultural diesel (tractor fuel) rose rapidly too, from around 60-65 pence per litre pre Covid, to well over £1 per litre in next to no time. The farmers were concerned that this was putting them close to break-even, deeming it hardly worth the effort to bother planting.
Well that was a year or so ago. A few days ago I met my friend for a few drinks and I got an update on the situation. Seeds are now 4x pre-Covid prices. Agri-Diesel is £1.50 per litre (more than road-legal fuel was 6 months ago), and … wait for it… fertiliser is now £850-900 per tonne. That’s over 4x pre-Covid prices. The best thing my local farmers can think of to do, is nothing at all. Let their fields “rest” for a year and “hope” that some Magic Marxist Fairy will “fix it all” in time for the next planting season.
Yes, incredibly, many of them still blindly hope for such things. Most of them have barely heard the term ‘prepping’, let alone considered exploring it. My friend is one of the few exceptions, and he’s doing his best to try to convince some farmers to start doing so, if for no other reason than to help some of them survive so they can grow food for the local people who rely 100% on local supermarkets, all of which will be empty in the near future if things continue the way they are, and I don’t see much evidence of an imminent change in direction from where I’m sitting.
My wife went to our biggest local town just yesterday and said every shop she went in had many half-empty shelves with apology notes saying “Sorry we are waiting for stock of this item”. Contrary to what many believe, I don’t think this is temporary. I hope and pray that I’m wrong about that, but as the saying goes: ‘Hope for the best, plan for the worst’. Doing otherwise is just bad for business, especially when that business is the safety and survival of my wife and children.
I wrote an article back in December explaining the imminent danger of (hyper) inflation and the “Sunk Cost Fallacy”. I said then we were about to see massive fuel price hikes and sky-rocketing energy costs. Funny isn’t it, I had no crystal ball, and I had no idea about any ‘invasion’ of Ukraine then. I guess I just got lucky huh?)
I could wax lyrical about the Great Reset, planned poverty to bring about Global Communism under the NWO, Satanic de-population targets and Agenda 2030 etcetera. But it’s pointless to delve into the causes any further. We can’t change what’s coming, and thinking about it just wastes time better spent preparing so that we might just manage to survive it.
Many will not. You can. And you’ll be surprised how simple the task is, if you put your mind to it right now. Make a plan, and carry that plan out incrementally over the coming weeks (as quickly as possible).
Please note: This post is enormous, and not particularly well-organised. It’s basically just a fast brain-dump to get people thinking about readying themselves, pronto. I am sure there are many things I have forgotten to mention, and I’ll update it when I think of any. If you are totally new to the subject of prepping, I strongly advise you to take notes as you read. Make a list of things that you know apply to your situation, things you can look into further after reading, without having to trawl though again. Just trying to save you some pain!
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I should say at the outset that I don’t claim to be an expert on this subject. You may be wise to seek out those who do, although it’s rare that a genuine expert will call themselves one. After all, genuine expertise usually comes with a dose of humility!
(N.B. - Please be aware that most high-ranked “prepping” sites on Google are just making money from affiliate products and are little more than article writers (plagiarists) and SEO companies, often in India and the Far East, even if they portray themselves as an American Vietnam veteran living in Ohio! Trust me on that, I know someone in the business who deals with many of them on a daily basis.)
Having said that, I do have a pretty varied background and I definitely have a much better grasp of some of the prepping topics than the average person. I won’t say which topics those are, but where I don’t have real-world experience, I have learned everything I can from bonafide experts. I have also studied various past crises (i.e. Argentina 2001), with a particular focus on how humans responded to those situations.
One thing I can say is that everything I cover below is precisely what me and my family are doing (or have at least considered doing) to prepare for the future ourselves. I have no affiliations to anyone and no money to make in any direction from this post. So any recommendations given are sincere and free from the conflicts of interest that go hand in hand with affiliate links. (Whenever you read reviews online, bear in mind that the most common reason any product is ‘Number 1’ on the list, is purely because that product pays the highest commissions for referral sales.)
Also I’d say that I most certainly am an expert when it comes to the survival of my family. Nobody knows my family and situation like I do, so the best ‘Ultimate Prepper Checklist’ in the world is never going to be ‘Ultimate’ for me and mine, how could it be? And this is a very important point, your first lesson if you’re completely new to prepping…
Devise YOUR OWN plan, nobody else’s will work for you because it wasn’t written BY you, nor FOR you.
You are unique. Your situation is unique. Your strengths and weaknesses are unique. Your risks are unique. So your prepping approach should be every bit as unique as your fingerprint.
Also please be aware that most published prepping guides are geared towards being outdoors, such as after a natural disaster. This post will therefore be slightly different to most information out there. I am assuming that all readers have a house or apartment of some kind, so you won’t be stringing out a poncho or digging a snow hole at bed time, after catching a fish in your teeth and lighting a fire from your beard clippings.
There are ten broad categories of information below. The specific choices to be made within each category are yours to make, but please do not ignore the order given to the categories themselves, the first few especially.
If writing this lengthy article helps just one person to survive when they otherwise wouldn’t, then the
hours days I put into this post will have been very worthwhile.
There is nothing higher on the priority list than clean drinking water (unless you’re in the wild, in which case shelter may come first in some circumstances).
You can’t survive for more than a few days without water, and if you did manage to somehow eek out your existence to 4 or maybe even 5 days, you’d be utterly useless and incapable of thinking clearly, never mind doing anything constructive to get hold of some before kicking the bucket (sorry, not the best metaphor!)
Even just 2-3 days without water could render you completely unable to regulate body temperature, you’ll likely be lethargic and confused, probably in pain and suffering dizziness and cramps and God knows what else. Generally not a happy camper. All the guns and food in the world will be worthless to you if you don’t have access to clean drinking water.
Many survivalists make a big deal out of this too, and rightly so, but hopefully most people reading this are not planning on being in the Gobi Desert or even in the woods licking moisture from leaves. You’ll be right where you are now, with any luck still having running taps. So you don’t necessarily need to go to the lengths of water purification tablets, backpack filters and all that fashionable (and expensive) stuff, but I wouldn’t criticise you if you did. After all, you can’t take water seriously enough. But you can waste money on stuff you don’t need, so make that decision for yourself.
If you think your water supply may not be reliable during a very sudden collapse (which could include govt departments shutting down along with energy/water companies and treatment plants), then start thinking about ways to get it.
Where I live it rains a lot. I have water butts with plenty of gutters to fill them from, as well as a nearby spring and local stream. Hence I am not too worried about being without water. You might consider a bore-hole or well if you can afford it and think you might need it. I’d certainly have one if I could afford it, even in the wet climate here.
A good quality water filter is a very wise investment. That way, even if your supply continues but you can’t be sure it’s being treated/cleaned as before, you can do the filtration yourself, removing both parasites/diseases as well as chemicals and all other impurities.
I don’t like recommending brands but I do particularly like the ‘Berkey Filter’. A large stainless steel filtration unit which can be moved around but is big enough for a large family such as mine.
Get enough spare filters and check how long they last to ensure you have a year’s supply or more. With a filtration system you can always dig down to the water table if you must, or use streams, rivers, run off water, rainwater etc, and you can drink it IF you can filter it properly.
Remember: There is a big difference between ‘water’ and ‘drinkable water’. Don’t waste time shaving and washing your clothes in water you can drink, unless your supply remains constant and properly treated. Likewise, don’t waste time filtering water for purposes other than drinking and (perhaps) cooking, although if I was short I’d boil my stream water for cooking rather than waste filters on it.
Keep drinking water separate from water you don’t know is safe to drink. Clearly mark all containers with a Sharpie pen so there’s no confusion. We bought a load of 5 litre (approx 1 gallon) water bottles from a cash ’n’ carry. These are sealed and will remain so until needed. Once empty, they will be used to store the filtered water. Nobody will drink from anything else, and nobody will use that water for anything but drinking.
Start keeping all plastic containers from now on, the plastic milk containers from supermarkets are very hard-wearing and the right material for potable liquid storage, although keep all water bottles out of daylight to prevent algae etc. For used containers, you could put a drop or two of bleach inside, fill with water, leave for a few days then rinse thoroughly, let drip dry upside down, and reseal after squashing them to reduce the space they take up and make them easier to store.
Throw em in the attic if needed. They’re then ready to be used in short order, and remember they can also be used to keep stuff dry or store other stuff like rice or flour if needed. If they prevent liquids getting out, they also prevent it getting in.
Think long and hard about your future water supply. Get it organised now. Then you can comfortably move on to other topics of preparedness, safe in the knowledge that the most likely killer (Dehydration) won’t get a chance to kill you and yours.
Oh and one final word, an important one:
If you live somewhere hot and dry, and you have taken water seriously as suggested above, you may just be sitting on the most valuable asset you could have for the first few weeks of a crisis. If you had 200 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition (as people around you may have), and also maybe 3 vehicles with full fuel tanks, but nothing to drink for 3 days, imagine what you’d hand over to that nice guy who just offered you and your kids a gallon of cool clean drinking water. Ka’ching!
That’s why I’d double or treble up on everything you possibly can, it may help you obtain stuff you couldn’t afford before the SHTF. Everything you would want in a survival situation will be what others want too, and many won’t have. So guard your resources closely, keep the storage locations quiet, and double up on everything you can so you have stuff to trade. Oh, and never store all your resources, water especially, in the same place. Make several storage areas as far apart as possible, with intrusion alarms on the access points (discussed later).
Yes, this is also listed before food, it’s my priority list remember!
Sorry if you’re morbidly obese and keen to get ordering your lifetime supply of tinned steak ’n’ kidney pies, but food is of little use without a way to stop it being taken from you, probably by force. Hungry people make for very angry and irrational people.
If power cuts (or planned rolling blackouts) start happening, and people open their freezers to the delightful smell of rotten turkey, food theft will become the new national sport. (If you’re wondering why this doesn’t apply to water, it does, but dehydrated people don’t last five minutes and they are too weak or ill to be much concern.)
Few people seem to realise that you can go weeks without food, especially if you're a bit soft around the middle! (That’s my excuse anyway.) And that’s with absolutely no food. But if you can get the occasional snack here and there, you can most likely live for months without what you’d call a proper meal. So, for me, food is heavily over-prioritised in most online ‘prepping guides’. Maybe that’s because emergency food kits pay such good affiliate commissions? Cynic? Moi? How rude of you.
The security topic is infinitely vast. And that’s without taking into account the thousands of variations in geography, population density, culture, laws and so on. To try to make it digestible, I will break it into two separate but equally important categories. Home and personal.
A) Home Security / Invasion Protection
I am a massive fan of these things and I can’t recommend them strongly enough.
Search (Amazon if you must) for ‘Hosmart driveway alarm’, and again I hate to recommend a brand but I have to be honest and after using them extensively for quite a few years now, I know these ones work as described, better in fact. (Guardline is another good brand.)
You get a receiver/alarm unit which can run on AA batteries or USB 5V from a wall-wart or portable phone charger pack. You get as many sensors as you want, depending on the kit you choose.
The sensors don’t just rely on movement, they rely on a combination of movement and heat. This means blowing trees, leaves etc won’t cause false alarms, and false alarms are bad because you learn to ignore the alarm or turn off the receiver altogether.
Each sensor can be set to give you a different alarm tone. This is great as you will quickly learn which alarm sound corresponds to which sensor (location). Without that you’d have to check every single location every time you hear the alarm.
These things were originally designed to detect the heat trace from car exhausts, hence ‘driveway alarm’ (to alert upon cars entering large properties with long driveways). They have an internal 18650 battery which you can charge up and they are supposed to last a year, but mine have been running (and going off many times per day) for nearly 2 years now on their first and only charge. That’s incredible.
The range they can be away from the receiver unit (which you keep on you or near you) is phenomenal, much more than they claim. The range of detection (distance the person needs to be from the sensor) is also pretty amazing. I have been alerted to foxes walking across a field around 20-30 yards away from the sensor, while I sat 600-800 yards away! You can therefore easily create a daisy-chained perimeter with just 4-8 sensors, even around a large property.
I have seen (and tried) similar ones which have a small solar panel on the top. That sounds great, but I found they didn’t charge well at all unless in full blazing sunshine. You also can’t hide them in bushes or use them indoors for the same reason. Get the ones you charge up yourself, you could always get a 5v solar panel for charging mobile phones, and use that to charge them once every year or two.
They are tiny, wireless, easy to secrete in foliage or under a rock, and they will sit there for a year or two always ready to alert you should anything pass by. I am seriously blown away by these units. For a security device they are the best bang for buck I’ve ever spent.
Another intrusion detection favourite - The “Gypsy Alarm”, as they are appropriately called by farmers (between themselves), officially referred to much more politically correctly as ‘gate alarms’ or ‘alarm mines’. After all, it might not be a gypsy this time.
These are small contraptions which hold a 12 gauge blank cartridge (make sure it’s a blank won’t you!), with a firing pin held back by a spring and catch. You tie the release catch to something with fishing line. These are great to put on doors to sheds, gates, or even as a trip-wire across a passageway, gap in bushes etc.
They are extremely loud. That in itself can be a huge deterrent, partly because the intruder might just think someone is firing at him, but more so because he knows just about everyone in a 200 yard radius is now wide awake and knows exactly where he is! I like to use them at head height just by your ear as you enter my shed!
Unfortunately a police officer once entered while I was away and it caused some interesting conversations and many apologetic cups of tea from Yours Truly! (You can tell how long ago that was, way back when a brew with a copper didn’t curl my toes.) But rest assured they are completely legal here in the UK and thus probably everywhere else. They can also be used to protect property, for instance a trailer or anything else you tie the trip wire to. (I hear Police cars are quite entertaining.)
CCTV (with UPS)
Not essential, but as I have it I thought I’d mention it. It depends on your situation but it’s pretty essential for me, for reasons I won’t go into here. I have a PTZ camera (360 degrees and 25x zoom). I need this to zoom in on a few things that I can’t see with standard fixed focus cameras due to the distance involved.
As cheeky as it sounds (as if I’d care in the situation I am preparing for), it can also zoom so well that I can see what quite a few distant neighbours are doing. I could see if they are being robbed for example, but I could also see if they are preparing to rob me. Win-Win! I also have 4 fixed cameras covering all the access points. My Hosmart sensors go off, I glance at a screen. All clear, just the Postie. Lovely Jubbly.
Of course the CCTV runs off mains power, so I bought a used APC UPS unit off ebay for £50 which produces enough power to keep it going during a shortish power cut, probably for 1-2 hours without me firing up a generator. We get a lot of power cuts and ‘brown outs’ which can kill a hard drive, so the UPS is as much about protecting the equipment as anything else.
If you decide to look into CCTV, I’d strongly recommend the Hikvision ‘Acusense’ NVR units as your recording box, Model No. DS-7608NXI. These are PoE (Power over Ethernet) so there’s only one cable needed to run to each camera, meaning more reliability and smaller drill holes in walls. Position each camera to cover another one wherever possible.
Note the ‘X’ in the model number. That denotes the ‘Acusense’ technology. You don’t need that if you won’t be setting up motion detection alerts, so you can save yourself half the price and get the model without the ‘X’ in the name. But if you do want that, forget the old tech. It’s useless for intelligent motion detection.
This new Acusense is a brilliant smart detection algorithm that will ignore everything except humans and/or vehicles (you choose). False positives (false alarms) are a real pain, hence why with all older systems I have used (quite a few), I always turned off the motion detection stuff because I would get alarms literally just for rain on the lens, or a spider, and I mean hundreds a day sometimes. Useless.
I have tested the new Acusense system thoroughly and I had zero false positives, yes zero! (Unless you call a child’s toy car a false positive! I had it set to alert me for ‘vehicles’! It’s that clever, it understands the shape of a person and the way they move, ditto for vehicles. So yes, it will recognise a midget intruder (in case you were wondering.)
It can then alert you by text, email or smartphone app and that alert brings up a live image of the camera concerned on your phone or computer screen. I use the free to download iVMS-4200 software to monitor. That can be set to alert, do a rolling patrol in any sequence you like, email you alerts etc as well (separate/additional to the alerts sent by the actual camera).
I keep all old computers for this purpose, as free monitoring and recording stations, and I keep an eye on Freecycle for PC monitors being given away (including flat screen TVs). So I have a growing number of free monitoring stations around our place. I am never more than a few steps away from a screen.
If you’re very short of money but want a similar set up cheaper, grab an Annke system off Scumazon or ideally from China direct (Alibaba/AliExpress/Banggood.com). Jeff Bazos doesn’t need any more climate-change-denying trips into space. The Annke system will do the job well enough on a budget, and a lot better than none at all.
That’s all I’d recommend for CCTV. I wouldn’t touch Google Nest cams (I have used them). They are 4 times overpriced for what they are, terribly unreliable, Google is probably analysing how often you wash the car or pick your nose and selling that data to marketers, and of course it’s from a company who will never see a merry cent from my wallet ever again. Type “Men can” into a Google search to see why, you could compare that to “Women can” for extra confirmation. Here, I’ll save you the trouble:
Google: Orwellian Mind Control at its finest.
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I know lights help you avoid stubbing your toe, but I treat lights as security devices because they are very effective, and cheap. In particular I favour solar-powered motion-sensing security lights, and lots of cheap ones rather than a few expensive ones.
I have tested many. The cheap ones last 1-2 years easily, some last 3, and that’s at mine where they are activated at least 10 times per night by foxes, badgers, and the occasional lesser-spotted child.
At around £15-25 for 4-8 of them, you can grab yourself a whole load of them. Best of all, they need no mains power, ever. (Unless SleepyJoe nukes the sun to protect the polar ice caps, and I wouldn’t put it past him).
With the added benefit of alerting you to movement wherever you put it, the portability of these things is another big benefit. They are very effective security devices on a budget. Do as I do and use Amazon for reading reviews only, finding the model you want, then do some deep-diving on Startpage.com (it’s Google, without the tracking) for a smaller company selling them (often cheaper believe it or not) or maybe just head straight to China (AliExpress.com, BangGood.com) for the cheapest prices.
It’s all the same stuff as Amazon will sell you, you’re just cutting Bazos out of the loop again, always a pleasure Jeff. (And contrary to what some believe, refunds are very easy, almost as easy as Scumazon, sometimes easier!)
Picture the scene…
The motion sensor triggered, you’re listening to a digitised version of Fur Elise or Pachelbel Canon on your receiver unit, when you spot a $3 sensor light activate at the end of the garden, followed by another one a bit closer to the house. You venture out, tackle the lowlife and chase him off across the fields. But then you realise he has buddies, and they are probably attacking the front of the house while you’re distracted.
You pull out your radio and give your wife the coded emergency signal to authorise her release of the front door cyanide protection system. Job done. Now all you have to worry about is burying the bodies, ass-above-ground for parking your bikes, waste not want not.
Ok, joking aside, walkie talkies are a must have in my view. Especially in an age of mobile phones where cell-towers may go down in a power blackout. Not being able to communicate with people beyond shouting distance will be difficult to deal with if you have to split up, especially for those who have never lived without mobile phones. Even if you have experienced it before, it’s not a situation you want to be in again when things turn sour. And for very little money, you needn’t be.
They can be charged from a solar charger, they have encryption these days so you can almost guarantee nobody else can hear your transmissions. They can be a defensive tool, or an aggressive one, think co-ordinated attack on the tyrants you’ve been dying to pay a visit to ever since they voted for mask/vaccine mandates. Just kidding, that’s not the British way is it?! (Not yet at least, give it time Boris.)
Get a set so you have at least one for each family member. Buy quality if you’re rolling in money (Motorola) but if you can’t (I can’t), the Baofeng units are amazing for the money. They are also 4-5 times as powerful (technically illegal here) than the Motorolas because the Chinese care as much about the FCC or OFCOM as they do about multiculturalism or Biosecurity.
Uk law (if memory serves) dictates a maximum power output of 500mW (half a watt) and a max antenna length (I forget the length, but it’s tiny). The Baofengs can put out 4-5 Watts of power, and you can fit a foot long antenna if you want. Reception range is a function of power x antenna length. So that combination could make it 10-20 times more powerful than a law-abiding Motorola. They’re obviously not as rugged or waterproof like some top brands are, but a ziplock bag soon takes care of that.
Moreover, with prices as they are, you could probably buy a hundred Baofengs for the price of one decent set of branded radios, and I am not exaggerating. (“No Joke”, as SniffyJoe would say). Go for the reliable and proven UV5R model, you can get a huge kit for peanuts these days, ebay or china wholesalers again. Example
Well that’s the most important stuff dealt with. Here are a few other less important but interesting ideas in case any of them appeal:
This stuff isn’t cheap and definitely not essential, but very nice to have if you can afford it.
If you’re able to, get yourself a decent night vision monocular or binocular (Gen3 or above), and/or a Thermal monocular. The latter is amazing for spotting both animals (food), as well as human threats day or night at remarkably long range. Pulsar make the best value for money thermal monocular in my view (Model: XM38). Expensive, but one hell of an advantage.
There are plenty of demonstration videos online, but don’t watch unless you can afford one, as you certainly will want one! They do hold their value extremely well though, even creeping upwards in some cases! (Psst… That might help convince the misses, they still fall for that old chestnut after all these centuries!)
Being able to move in pitch black darkness, while staying dark yourself (i.e. without giving off an infrared glow like traditional IR NV does) while knowing where ‘they’ are but without ‘them’ knowing where you are, that’s a great alternative for we British peasants who can’t have a gun to deal with such situations ‘properly’.
For most of you who doubtless can’t afford such expense, use the poor man’s night vision: Your eyes. Keep your eyes open in complete darkness for 10-20 minutes to allow your natural night vision to kick in. Try it some time, it’s better than you’d think. These days with everyone hooked on pocket behavioural-analysis devices, many people may have never even noticed their own God-given night vision capabilities.
It won’t spot the army on the hill over yonder, but it sure will spot the guy squatting under the bush in your garden. That’s something to bear in mind with torches (flashlights) though. Turn on a torch and you can say good bye to your natural night vision instantly, but shining it in someone’s eyes will destroy theirs too, as well as giving you a distinct advantage. I’d use natural NV for sentry duty, long hours watching the darkness, and the torch for the searching or confrontation part only. Shine at eyes, approach, swing. Time for Tea and Medals (take his if he’s an Inspector or above).
Depending on your home layout you may want to consider this. For me it would be overkill, even if I could afford it. We are not talking about your home being broken into while you’re at work any more, with an alert sent to the Police to catch the guy coming out of the window with your TV, followed by a phone call to you at work to say “Don’t worry madam, all taken care of”. Those days are gone (if they ever existed in the UK!)
We are talking about someone entering while you’re there, because you will probably be there. So I prefer motion sensors, CCTV, and good old fashioned watch duties. Besides, the driveway sensors are basically exactly that, an alarm system, but one you can move around and re-configure whenever and however you want. Far better, many times cheaper, and just as effective. The only thing it lacks is a siren to tell the outside world you’re being attacked, and I think I’d rather keep that quiet, especially if I have bodies to bury ;-).
Cellular Motion Sensor
One thing I have often wanted to try but haven’t got round to it yet. You can get motion detectors which take a pay as you go SIM card. They can call your phone or send you a text message when movement is detected. If they work, that could be quite useful. Bear in mind they won’t work unless the cellular networks are working though.
Window Shatterproof Film
Not necessary for me but I might consider it if I lived in a densely populated area. You can get this stuff from companies like 3M, often used on the inside of school and commercial windows, sometimes tinted but not always. You wet the window, lay it on, squeegee away the water, trim with knife and it’s stuck for life. It’s not visible, it’s just a clear film. If someone throws a brick or tries to smash their way in, it will be unexpected and will certainly slow them down, as well as preventing the shards going everywhere. That’s the theory anyway. I can imagine it causing a real problem for an invader so I thought it’s worth a mention.
Thanks to TRM for commenting below. I didn’t think of this, probably because I sold mine a few years ago. These have obvious advantages, if they have a camera and FPV (1st Person View) remote goggles or a screen of some kind (or last resort video recording to assess after the flight). I wouldn’t make it a high priority, but if you’ve got the money and already have everything else, this would be an advantageous addition to your gear. As well as for defensive purposes, they have useful offensive abilities, such as seeing what/who is in a specific area without having to physically enter yourself. They can be troublesome devices (in my experience anyway) and take a fair bit of learning how to fly, but I thought I would put it on the list in case anyone thinks it would be a good idea for their situation.
B) Personal Protection
This subject is mostly about weapons, with a little about defending against them. I can’t begin to describe how much I detest talking about this subject, for two reasons.
Firstly because I am in the UK and if you’re seen walking the street with so much as a butter knife in your pocket, the Police are called and you’re forced onto your knees by armed officers pressing the muzzles of their G3’s against your sweaty forehead. I wish I was exaggerating, it happened to someone in my own town a few years ago, when a ‘responsible citizen’ called the police despite knowing it was a frigging butter knife before picking up the phone. This is clown land now it really is. So just talking about weapons is totally taboo here, and actually more than a little risky, insane as it probably sounds to those fortunate enough to live somewhere sensible.
The second reason I don’t like discussing the subject is because, no matter what you say, someone always pipes up to tell you how you’re “wrong”. No, the .50 cal has a much better ballistic coefficient than the 9mm parabellum, you should carry two Desert Eagles on each leg and a Deringer as a suppository… yawn.
Knock Knock, Hello McFly???!!! I live in a land where we are forced by law to pay for the BBC, if we want to watch any channel except the f*cking BBC?! Things are ‘different’ here! Our motto goes more like: ‘Land of the twee, home of the naive’.
It reminds me of a saying my old American (hunter) friend once told me:
“What do you do if you get lost alone in the wilderness? Answer: Sit on a tree stump and start sharpening your knife. I can guarantee that within 60 seconds some fuc*er will pop out from behind a bush and tell you how you’re doing it wrong!”
If I had to give a third reason, I could. That would be how much it grates me to hear prepping ‘experts’ advising people to start body-building, meanwhile finding time to become a BJJ black-belt as well as a Mossad agent and Ninja throwing star expert, all by the weekend of course.
Use Your Head. No, I mean the inside part.
There are many ways to keep yourself safe (avoidance of danger is a pretty bloody good one, so I hear). You can normally use brains to do that, rather than braun.
Avoiding a conflict is much safer than trying to win one. And the name of the game here is safety, not bravado or trophies. The trophy I am looking for is staying alive and healthy, surrounded by my family, living a good while until a natural and timely death rather than an adrenalin-charged, blood-soaked and premature one.
That’s not to say that being a bit ‘handy’ isn’t useful, it obviously is. But putting any such skills to real-world use should be seen as a very last resort. Some prepper types appear to relish this bleak future and the violence it will likely bring. I fear for the huge psychological blow they’ll suffer when they realise how wrong they were in expecting to enjoy it so much.
Good preparation means planning carefully, right now, with well-rehearsed protocols/actions expected of all those in your group when the unexpected happens.
Drill everything, practice with all the tools you have, whatever they may be, and when the time comes try not to appear as a good choice of target for those looking for an easy victim. Better still, try to avoid being noticed at all if you can. These things are far more useful than being able to break a stack of bricks with your forehead.
I am blissfully aware that many readers are in America, but this section will be aimed mostly at Brits. After all, you lucky people across the pond have ample ways to protect yourself, since you actually have the right to do so, a right enshrined in law no less. This is something we sorely lack over here. And yes, I do expect your sympathy!
Yes. I did just say that.
Talking is often the most effective (and safest) way to defend yourself. Obviously it won’t always be an option, but when it is, be sure to try it.
Why do hostage negotiators focus all their effort on opening communication lines, and keeping them talking as long as possible? Because while they are talking, the opponent isn’t shooting people, and the negotiators are learning about them and hatching the best plan to tackle them if/when the talking fails.
Your opponent wants something. Everyone wants something. And most people don’t ‘want’ to commit violence to get it unless they have to. Is it worth risking violence over? If you’re not sure you will win the fight, almost anything is worth handing over. Especially in a time when you may not be able to visit the hospital.
A pair of leather gloves (slash/stab proof if possible) have many benefits in a violent situation. Apart from the protections they offer against ‘sharps’, if you are punching a heavy object like the head of a vaccinated zombie (sorry, I had to!), you really can hurt your hands quite easily, in fact it’s likely you will.
A pair of nice, tight-fitting leather gloves are well worth having on when the need arises. After your brain, your hands are your most treasured tools. Protect them. You can also punch harder and be more aggressive generally, knowing that you have that protective layer. For instance you might use broken glass or a bottle in ways you wouldn’t even consider without gloves on, ditto for fire.
There is one more big benefit to slash-proof gloves. If you are confronted with a knife, you can grab the blade. This is actually the technique for dealing with a knife attacker in traditional Japanese Karate, would you believe?! (I knew there was a reason Karate never appealed to me!) And that’s without gloves. The theory makes sense too.
The blade can go anywhere, and everywhere it goes it can kill. If you were to grab it, slicing through your flesh to the bone but gripping with all your might, you’d gain some control over where it goes. The other guy wouldn’t expect that either. It’s not a thought anyone relishes, but I do like the approach for it’s recognition of grim reality, namely that a severely cut hand is not life-threatening, but a knife waving around in front of you certainly is.
Leather motorbike gloves with knuckle ‘protectors’ are another superb option, although they are not slash-proof. Look them up. I have some from my biking days and they’re like having a devastating knuckle-duster permanently attached to your fist.
They’re designed to protect the hand from being smashed if you have a spill on the road, so you can imagine the strength of the kevlar panel on the knuckles, and you can hopefully imagine the sort of damage that could do to a face, vaccinated zombie or otherwise. They even do them with reinforced brass knuckles (see below).
In a scuffle, you may only get to land a few good punches, and these things will multiply the damage you can do exponentially, whilst protecting your hands of course. That’s £20-40 very well spent if you ask me. Oh, and they would help you deal with a window nicely too if you changed your mind and decided to bail out! (Never a bad idea if you can!)
It’s not likely but it is a possibility that some people will have a shotgun or .22 rifle as there are many thousands of them in homes around Britain, rural areas especially. It’s still fairly unlikely as they are not exactly commonplace, but worth preparing for if you can. A vest would be a worthwhile spend I think, especially at used prices (ebay or Army Surplus stores).
I’d only be looking for stab and low level ballistic protection (12ga. shotgun and .22 Rimfire). That gives you pretty good ‘gun’ protection for here in the UK, and higher levels of ballistic protection only add significant cost as well as weight.
Apart from the relatively sparse shotguns and .22LR rifles dotted around, in a collapse scenario Brits will most likely face blunt objects like baseball bats, scaffold poles etc, and bladed weapons. The latter is hopefully the scariest you’ll likely face in the UK, but don’t mistake that for me saying they are not scary or not dangerous. They are incredibly dangerous (hence at least get a stab vest) and I wouldn’t be much less scared of a man with a knife in my house than a man with a gun.
The chances of them being able to kill me easily are high with either. The only difference is distance, so I have a chance against a knife as he will have to come in range of me to use it (in range of my weapon too). The vest makes that safer for me, dangerouser for him. :) Both guns and knives are highly effective killing tools, so the name of the game is always escape if you possibly can.
The subject of defensive weapons is very much ‘horses for courses’. Depending on where you are, your needs will vary widely, mostly dependant on what a likely opponent will be carrying to hurt you with.
In Britain, it will probably be a cricket bat or a rolled up Sunday newspaper, opened to the crossword page of course. Ok, I jest, but it’s not going to be a .44 S&W or 9mm Glock, that’s (almost) certain, unless it’s the Police coming for you.
So, aside from protecting yourself from weapons, what sort of weapons could you consider carrying here in the UK? Well the only honest answer is none, legally at least. Outside the home that’s certainly true, and more often than not it’s true within the home as well, even when being robbed.
We should be thoroughly ashamed at what Britain has become. You have virtually no right to self-defence in this country whatsoever. In essence, the law here basically says that if you are in a public place, and you’re carrying anything with the intention of using it as a weapon (bat, stick, shoe, key, bottle) it immediately becomes a prohibited article/offensive weapon simply due to that ‘intent’.
So if you’re going outside and there’s a BLM ‘peaceful protest’ going on, for God’s sake don’t try the Rittenhouse defence. The law’s expectation on you here in such a scenario is to stay indoors. By going out, you’re deemed to have ’welcomed’ or ‘volunteered’ yourself to the violence and thus anything you armed yourself with is deemed ’offensive’ rather than ‘defensive’, even if you didn’t actually intend to use it offensively.
As far as the law is concerned, you ‘chose’ to go out when you could have stayed indoors. Ergo, you lose any right to claim ‘self-defence’. If you’re curious as to why you don’t have a right to walk the streets and stay safe in Britain… shut up and get back in your box, you naughty little Subject you. And before you start, yes Police Officers are allowed to carry weapons to protect themselves from spontaneous violence, because The Queen. Kneel, peasant.
But regardless of the lunacy of Britain’s modern legal system, the scenario we are preparing for here makes these finer points of law kinda moot really I’d say. The Police won’t be around. And since they are already unavailable for many calls every single day right now, for people in urgent need of help and in immediate danger, I doubt they will be just a phone call and 6 minute response time away after society breaks down and BLM are dancing on the roof of Parliament, chinking glasses with Uncle George.
Before we look at some weapons Brits can get hold of, please take the following two points fully on board:
- NO weapon will be much use to you unless you know how to use it, or are at least very familiar with handling it. You’ll be under more pressure than you’ve probably ever experienced, maybe even in mild shock. If it’s not ‘second nature’ to you at that split second, you’ll drop it, fumble it, and risk handing it to your opponent, making the situation far more deadly than it might have been. Use only when forced to, when there is no other option available (escape always being best, if possible).
Bows / Crossbows
Amazingly, some dangerous things are still legal in the UK, vaccines for instance :-).
But they’re nearly always limited to ‘sport purposes only’. Of course they are. And no, self-defence isn’t deemed a sport, dammit!
Crossbows instantly come to mind here, as do compound and other bows. All types must be practiced with, if you have any chance of using them confidently and safely, not to mention effectively.
The energy that some crossbows/compound bows carry can do damage comparable with a decent calibre firearm, especially if you have broad-heads on your bolts (arrows). Check out some hunting videos to see how effectively they kill a wild boar if you’re unsure, and I promise a wild boar is tougher than you by a factor of ten, whoever the hell you are!
Spending a minimum of a few hundred pounds is wise for full-size crossbows. They can be immensely powerful with very good accuracy and long range. Obviously that could double as a great hunting tool (illegal to use for that in the UK of course).
But for the paltry sum of £30-80 you can get pistol crossbows which, while being little more than toys compared to their bigger cousins, can actually do very real harm at close range. Also, it’s common knowledge that crossbows are lethal, and that widely-accepted fact is to your significant advantage. They’re ‘scary’ to look at, especially from the far end.
I know if someone pointed even a small one at me, I’d be on my heels quicker than you can say “Sport use only”. The sheer threat of wielding such a weapon is arguably its most likely benefit. Anyone who hangs around with one pointed at them clearly has a death wish, giving you every reason to obligingly make that wish come true. But I’m pretty sure most people will be gone in a puff of smoke.
They are only single shot of course, that’s their biggest drawback. (See what I did there?!)
About the best all round defensive/offensive weapon. The laws on knives are strict, and have recently become even stricter (to the surprise of nobody).
British law dictates that, to carry a knife in public spaces, it must have a cutting edge of maximum 3 inches and must not be a fixed blade (i.e. not a dagger/sheath knife). So, folding knives only, and the blade must not lock open. Fun being British isn’t it.
Knife manufacturers make knives specifically to comply with these draconian laws, such knives are referred to as UKPK (UK Pen Knife) or UK EDC (everyday carry). OutdoorSupply.co.uk and Heinnie.com have a wide selection of quality brands at decent UK prices. The aforementioned Chinese wholesalers are another good place to get very cheap knives, and of surprisingly good quality.
Aside from the street-legal EDC stuff, you can own much bigger and more useful knives, you just can’t legally carry them in public (without ‘good reason’). A large bowie or hunting knife, with a good clip-closure belt sheath, is an extremely valuable tool to have around for a variety of reasons, not least the most obvious ones.
Larger folding knives (locking ones) are also legal to own (not carry in public). I’d go for ones which can be opened with one hand and get plenty of practice doing so. Opening a knife with one hand instead of needing two like you do with a Swiss Army Knife, is a huge advantage in all situations.
I carry a fully legal EDC folding knife 24/7. I grew up with the mantra “Carry a knife, Save a life”. Sorry if that offends anyone (not really, grow the F up).
When it’s justified (fishing/hunting/working if it requires it) I will carry a locking folder or even a larger sheathed belt knife, (Moraknil are great, mainly for the cleverly-designed sheaths). You just need to be able to show a ‘legitimate purpose’.
Is it ‘legitimate’ for me to walk my dog in the woods and carry a large belt knife in case I want to practice my woodcraft hobby if I find a nice piece of Birch? I think so, and I think I can convince a court so too. The burden of proof is on them to prove offensive intent, not the other way around. A copper may arrest you hastily (replace ‘may’ with ‘probably will’), but he’s not the arbiter of the law, the court is. And I am only too happy to discuss that with the judge, as is my right. But that’s me. You do you.
This is in my view the most deadly weapon you can legally own without licensing in the UK, and by some margin. This is especially true when it’s in the hands of someone who knows how to use it well, in the way it was intended/designed to be used. But in novice hands, that lethality can be a big risk to you as well as others.
One big benefit, assuming you don’t lose your grip, is that you can keep someone at range. They’re around 3 feet long and if sharp, someone would find it very difficult to come close to you without risking serious injury. The other main benefit is the sheer deterrent of staring down a 3 foot long blade from the narrow end. Much like with a crossbow, I think most people would decide it’s time for a sharp exit. :)
It’s your call, but if you do decide to get one, do not buy the dirt cheap junk that so many people have on the mantlepiece (just for show). They can and will fall to pieces or snap very easily if swung with force or used to fend off a blow from a steel pole or similarly strong object.
Other personal defence ideas:
I know I know, it’s a toy, certainly compared to what our American cousins have on their belts. But the fact is a 10 shot repeater CO2 BB gun (firing lead pellets) is more of a practical self defence tool than many people would give it credit for.
No, it’s nowhere near lethal, I am well aware of that. But it can do more than tickle someone. If you were to fire a few shots in quick succession at the face/neck of someone within 10 feet of you, it would hurt like hell, cause a reflex ‘cover up’ response (giving you an exit), and may well blind them.
I’d want one with a minimum of 10 shots in the magazine, enough to keep them covering up while an escape is made or plan B if no escape is possible. Umarex make fairly sturdy and reliable ones, and heavy enough to club someone with when they are busy covering their face or screaming about their loss of eyesight.
Again, this is no firearm, but I am confident I could keep someone armed with a knife from coming into knife-range of me, for at least a few seconds anyway. And they are seconds which could save my life.
They are also realistic enough that some people would think it a real firearm and may just turn inside out on the spot to get away from you as fast as possible. If not, the option is there to blind them or give them more piercings than they had planned. If they go clean through a coke can at 5-10 yards (which they do), I don’t think I’d stand there laughing at your ‘toy’ for long.
These are designed to protect the head from severe impact, a full-face helmet also protects the face and eyes very effectively. The visors are built to withstand impact too. No, I am not suggesting you live in one, although if you’re cold I can tell you it’s quite cosy and keeps your head and face dry!
If you have one already, it might be worth keeping somewhere you can grab it. If I had someone on my lawn armed with a bat or similar and I was forced to go out and confront him, strapping on your helmet first would obviously give you a significant advantage. If he turns up with one as well, then you know he reads my Substack so maybe you should let him live, hell maybe even collaborate. :-D
I’m reliably informed there are very simple plans online for how to make a homemade Tazer. Obviously Brits can’t do this legally, but maybe some of you can in other countries, if you’re a dab hand with electrics and know how to do such things safely.
Furthermore, if you’re a Brit, remember our laws are extremely specific and carefully-worded. Read up, maybe you can hold all the components and instructions, but until it’s actually assembled, no laws have been broken. Just a suggestion, I wouldn’t know for sure, perish the thought. ;-)
An 18650 battery with a bit of cheap circuitry from online Chinese wholesalers can produce a very cheap and effective weapon. I am not ‘suggesting’ you do it, of course, but it’s something I heard about as a ‘prepper’ idea and so I dropped it in here in case it helps someone.
Besides, if civilisation really collapsed, laws can change, or become obsolete altogether. We can also care about them a whole lot less when the day to day risks of life force the threat of arrest and conviction to go down the priority list somewhat rapidly.
Incapacitant Spray (Finally a valid reason to mask up!)
Someone asked me in the comments section about ‘Bear Spray’.
In the UK anything like that (noxious liquid) is covered under the Firearms Act (specifically section 5(1)(b)), meaning you can't own such stuff without Home Office approval, and you can get up to ten years in prison for being caught in possession.
What a fecken joke eh, but what isn't in the UK?
That includes CS, Pepper/Parva, and all other similar retail ‘self-defence’ sprays. I’d like to see a feminist movement against that, as it’s an excellent handbag weapon and would doubtless prevent many sexual assaults and rapes, maybe even those committed by Met Police Officers. For Queen and Country, I’m sure.
But here’s an idea, and it’s one I have seen work for real (very well). A tasty Chilli sauce which makes for an equally tasty weapon. Blend dried red chillis with bottled lemon juice and some rapeseed oil (or other oil, less viscous the better). If you want to eat it, add some garlic and salt. Blend it fine and make sure there are no visible chilli seeds left.
Then get a good quality large water pistol (1-2 feet long), the type with a pumping handle. You can pump up the pressure like a pump action shotgun, then when you pull the trigger there’s a powerful jet capable of travelling 20-30 feet. The chilli sauce (more a chilli oil really, coats the eyeball well) delivered towards the face will disable someone, and much more severely than you might expect.
I saw a drugged up, drunk, highly aggressive man reduced to a screaming baby on the floor using exactly this method. As well as the pain, his eyes and nose ran so much he couldn’t see and had trouble breathing as a result. And it lasted a long time, he couldn’t get up off the floor for a good minute or so, and spent another 20-30 minutes in the toilet dousing his face and eyes with water.
It’s similar to PAVA or pepper spray, but of course it isn’t, because you don’t put that on your burger do you? If you’re concerned about the legal aspect, as already stated, anything intended to be used as a weapon, is a weapon in the eyes of the law. But keeping some large containers of it on the shelf, next to a box of water pistols, well that’s just condiments and toys isn’t it. (Slowly raise your middle finger towards London, altogether now.).
The water pistols have great range, but might not be too reliable, in which case some squirty bottles of varying sizes might be better. Something like this perhaps.
Sorry Limey, this is for Americans only, especially those in California or New York, and I really like this! (Jealous again, but used to it now.)
If you can’t get a firearm permit, this looks a reasonable substitute, at least for when facing an attacker without a firearm.
I’m talking about the longer straight type (shepherd stick). If made from a hard/dense wood, it will break bones and skulls if swung with any intent. Windows too of course. Some are around waist height but with a nice steel or brass rounded top. How is that any different to a medieval weapon? Well here’s how: You have a bad leg, don’t you.
British creativity at its best. It might sound silly to some but I only mention this because I have something in my shed for dealing with weeds (I don’t like Monsanto) and it scares me every time I use it. It would certainly keep someone, or several people, a very good distance away from me.
Obviously it’s almost certainly outdoor use only. I have something similar to the ‘Red Dragon’ gas weed burner with a small backpack gas bottle. You can light it in a few seconds giving you a small pilot flame. Pull the trigger and out comes a burst of heat you wouldn’t believe.
It would instantly disfigure someone standing as far as 6-8 feet away and the heat is so intense that a quick burst at a person would likely set fire to their clothing. WW2 made good use of fire in a similar way, clearing trenches and tunnels, so don’t laugh at the idea too much.
P.S. I recently saw this (below) and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want one! Might have to make a call to my American friend again! Dang you yanks know how to have fun!
As if it needs saying, in countries like Britain we are forced to find ways to be creative, necessity is the mother of invention after all.
Keeping a kettle on the boil when you think someone might be breaking in, that’s another example of creative self-defence in the home. A face full of boiling water will definitely change someone’s dinner plans. More importantly, how could that be an offensive weapon? You were just making a brew at the time, like 65 million other Brits were doing.
I’ll leave any further ‘creativity’ to the mind of the reader when it comes to weapons.
But before I close the Personal Defence topic completely, just a few words about…
When it comes to hand to hand stuff, don’t bother with complex martial arts etc if you never have before. That stuff is great, if you’ve already had years to practice and train your reflexes to do something different to what comes naturally. Muscle memory is a bitch. With the speed of the current economic decline, I just don’t think there’s time. I could be wrong, and it’s your decision of course.
Having said that, boxing is good for fitness, strength and learning both how to punch and how to avoid/block/parry punches. It still takes many months to become ‘good’, but with boxing (unlike many martial arts), you can start picking up real usable skills quite quickly, getting your body in shape at the same time. So by all means join a club if you fancy it. But I’ll assume most readers won’t be doing anything like that, and this final section is for them.
3 words to keep in mind when fending someone off: Eyes, Throat, Groin. (No order)
I’m sure you get the general idea, but those three things tend to be equally sensitive and always available regardless of size and strength factors.
In other words, a 6’6” ‘brick shithouse’ will hurt just as much in those areas (and have the same responses) as a 3’6” Tyrion Lannister. If it comes to blows, especially against someone bigger/stronger than you, save the right hooks for the gym bag and go straight for one (or more) of those areas.
Any fight which lasts more than 5-10 seconds will have two losers. 1-3 seconds is the objective, with zero obviously being the ideal. :)
So, if it’s not avoidable, then…
Be as DEVASTATING as possible.
My preferred one of the three areas mentioned above is the throat, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it should be yours and of course it can vary depending on the situation. If someone has grabbed me from behind, the groin is the obvious choice.
I used to box. The most difficult punch to see coming is a short, fast, straight one, especially those which come from below, as if out of nowhere. Watch some videos of Prince Naseem’s jab, and where he kept his hands before throwing it, and you’ll see what I mean.
A stiff jab, when fired at the Adam’s apple (or just below) but with an open hand can be extremely effective against anyone of any size. (As can a punch but it’s harder to fit in the gap under the chin, and we need to land this first time.)
The act of driving that V between your thumb and index finger into the front of someone’s throat at high speed (coming upwards from below and thus unexpected) is remarkably effective. I have had it done to me and it felt like the bottom just fell out of my world. I was counting the seconds until I could breathe again.
When it’s done with moderate force it makes the opponent want to distance themselves from you. They just hit reverse, reflexively. With a bit more force it can do much more damage. Best of all, if you have your hands up, palms away as if pleading or passive, you can deliver it extremely quickly with practically zero chance of missing the target or having it blocked.
I can’t explain it much better than that, but I just remembered I published a video a while ago where I actually used this technique while wearing a hidden camera. I won’t bore you with the finer details but, short version:
A man I knew was attacked by an Antifa member/sympathiser. I intervened, pulling him off and choking him just for a second. I then let him go, knowing that wouldn’t be the end. I needed to be as gentle and passive as possible or risk being accused of all the usual stuff conservatives get accused of when they finally decide to stop being the perfectly passive victims of cretinous Marxist neanderthals and their childish tantrums.
The man-child kept coming towards me so I needed to keep him out of range. I used the above strike with minimal force. I think the results speak for themselves, even though they are subtle. Just compare his distance from me before and after the strike (which looked like a push to onlookers, important that). Here’s the video.
If you watch the slo-mo from 3 minutes you can briefly see the strike delivered. Watch him closely and notice his demeanour immediately change from aggressor to victim. Open arms (‘I am hurt’) and a frown (shock/confusion). Again, it’s very subtle, but it kept him away with as little harm done as possible, which is all I wanted to achieve. With a bit more force he would have been coughing/choking (which would’ve inflamed things). A lot more force and he could have been on the floor for a good while.
In a genuinely dangerous situation the same target area can be hit with an object (i.e. walking stick), with the other side of the hand like a chop (think of those idiots breaking bricks), or with either side of the forearm. It goes without saying that this can cause serious injury, or worse.
It is not something to ‘try out’ or practice on anyone else, although you can try it very gently on yourself, increasing gradually, to get a tiny taste of the feeling you’d get from it being done with any real force.
I keep that one in my back pocket. I have used it more than a few times to varying degrees, once against someone pretty bloody scary (trained and experienced fighter) who really wanted to hurt me. I had a second or two to act as flew towards me. POP! He staggered back clutching his neck, visibly panicked. I ended up sitting with him and reassuring him as he began enjoying oxygen again. He was actually quite a nice chap once he’d calmed down! It sobered him up instantly too.
Again, please only use this if you genuinely fear for your safety. If it’s life and death, you want to deliver as much energy as you can, straight into the front of the throat. You’ll drop anyone if you get it in there fast and hard, and they may not get up again.
For the fairer sex, those with nails at least (gender-dysphoric swimming ‘champions’ included), the eyes are obviously ideal targets. You can either jab straight towards the eyes with fingers spaced apart and tensed, or if you’ve been grabbed or are too close for that, keep elbows down and cup both palms around the cheek bones, then sink your thumbs into the back of the eye, digging other finger nails into the side of the face for extra grip.
Either way, aim for the back of the brain via the eyes. He won’t be seeing well after that but get some distance immediately because he can still lash out. Add the throat strike if it’s wide open, before bidding him farewell.
Finally a damn good kick or knee to the nether regions is the other obvious one. But don’t be fooled that it’s a guarantee, have nails or something else ready too. Believe it or not there is a fair bit of luck involved with whether that groin strike will do what it does in the films. More often than you’d think, men can walk through it (even non gender-dysphoric ones), and they’ll be a whole lot angrier now. Give that shot everything you have, send his tackle to the moon, then run like hell. His running ability should be significantly hindered, even if his reproductive abilities aren’t.
For maximum return on your investment in a man’s groin (I know the Feminazis just tuned in), throw an open hand hard downwards at the wedding tackle, close your thumb, index and middle fingers around what you find (leaving the bottom fingers loose) and yank down hard straight towards the ground. ‘Ring the church bells’, if you will. A sharp twist adds extra pleasure. If you find a man willing to let you practice this on him then you know the zombie apocalypse is already here, because he’s definitely not human.
Well I am glad that’s that filthy topic over with. At least we can eat…
I won’t go into great detail here. People’s diets and preferences vary so much, then you have the intolerant brigade (no, not BLM, I mean wheat, lactose etc) and then come the diabetics vying for attention, and so on. ;-)
Additionally, I have very little money, but I do have a bit of land I bought some years ago, for this eventuality I might add. So I know much more about growing than I do about what foods to buy and store. (My wife doesn’t let me out in public anyway.) And of course that’s limited by my country and even the region I am in. So feel free to do some extra-curricular reading on ‘prepper foods’.
I will outline the most sensible broad types of foods to be thinking about, mainly for shelf life and nutritional value:
Rice and pastas/noodles are good bang for buck. Get plenty, and grab some sacks of wheat while you’re at it.
Tinned, dried or otherwise preserved foods are the order of the day (see what I did there, again?!)
Salt and sugar are both good to have. Get plenty of sugar. It makes stuff taste better, and it hits the hunger fast.
Dried milk powder is good to have on hand, tinned coconut milk is even better.
Tinned meats, oily fish (sardines are ideal), and vegetables are all good sustenance, and they’ll last a very long time of course.
Oatmeal, cereals, beans, tomato puree… all worth storing large quantities of.
Don’t forget oils to cook with. Veg oil and/or ghee.
Tea/Coffee (only one needed if your genuinely British)
If you have money, look into pressure canning. You can store food for decades with those, your own food, including what you can grow/produce. You could spend your time waiting for the S to HTF by growing/stockpiling your own foods, it’s healthier, cheaper, and gives you more options to customise your SHTF pantry.
Chickens - Eggs are a ‘superfood’ in my book. I knew a man, 6'4" built like a 'brick shithouse’, who only consumed goats milk and raw eggs every day, absolutely nothing else. He did so for many years. He was as strong as an ox, in tip top health, and never caught flu, bugs or illnesses even when everyone around him did. (He was a tad weird though, and there was me wondering what we had in common.)
Eggs are chock full of goodness, and they are a nutritionally ‘complete’ food (see here for explanation). They can be fried/boiled/poached and pickled/canned. They can also be eaten raw to save fuel if necessary. It’s not as bad as you’d think, and full health benefits are obtained that way. If there was only one food resource I could have, it would be a reliable supply of eggs. (Fresh fish is second). I have even gone to the expense of a solar lighting system for our chickens (to keep them laying) before ourselves.
If you’re able, get yourself an incubator, get some hens and a cockerel, and use this summer to learn how to keep chickens. You only need one good book on chicken keeping, it’s remarkably easy and the return for effort/cost is phenomenal.
Obviously meat is another major benefit of keeping chickens, but I’d stick with the eggs and only eat them after they stop laying. (You could rear meat birds separately if so inclined, you’d need a lot of feed stored though.)
Speaking of meat, when supplies run out you can hunt your own, and any meat is life-sustaining, even if it doesn’t taste great (hence keep spices/flavourings/stock cubes). With a bow, crossbow, air rifle or even a catapult, you can get fresh meat in most areas of the UK. Think deer/hare/rabbits/pigeons/squirrels, even crows and blackbirds. (Blackbird pie was eaten into the 1900s). Get a trapping/snaring book. And of course make sure to have fishing gear if you have rivers/sea nearby.
Also if you have sea or rivers nearby (crayfish), a couple of crab or lobster pots could be a sneaky way to obtain food slow-time. Get down the harbour, you can probably snatch a couple of old broken ones for next to sweet Fanny Adams, fix it up yourself.
For those with a bit of space (very little needed actually), breeding your own rabbits is one of my own SHTF ideas I haven’t seen mentioned by others in the prepping world, and it’s well worth looking into. If you’re wondering why, have a read of this:
“Rabbits breed a lot and do so all year round. A healthy female rabbit will get pregnant every time she mates with a male rabbit. Doe’s (female rabbits) have two uterus’s which means they can give birth while pregnant with the next litter and have the ability to conceive any time of the year. Does can also have up to 13 litters per year, although this is not ideal for their health.”
They’re easy to keep, you can feed them with lawn clippings or pulled up grass from nearby if you don’t have any yourself, and one rabbit makes for a very healthy stew, easily feeding a whole family. If you’ve ever tried hunting rabbits, you’ll enjoy knowing you have them caged when it’s time to feed everyone.
Of course the ability to cook food is pretty useful too. Again, this comes down to personal choices for the most part, but if you don’t have back up power (discussed later) then you will certainly need some gas bottles or solid fuel if you have a burner/stove (which you should).
A gas BBQ will suffice if you’re on a budget, it’s a gas stove after all. Be aware, if your house runs on mains gas and you have a gas cooker, you can’t use bottled LPG for that (without changing the gas jets in your cooker, you can get a kit to do so). So an LPG cooker (or BBQ) in the garage with a few full LPG bottles would be good to have.
Oh and in case you end up having to eat creatures you won’t like the taste of (rats are indeed edible, as are squirrels and just about anything else that flies, swims or walks, unvaxxed only of course) I have a secret spice mix you might want to try. It’s bloody gorgeous, and works nice with fish, meat, or veg dishes, basically everything except ice-cream! We have several large tins of this ready-mixed. Mix powdered spices in these proportions:
One spoon turmeric, two spoons paprika, pinch of chill powder (optional), one spoon coriander powder, half spoon coarse black pepper, quarter spoon salt.
A couple of table spoons of that mixture into a large pot of anything (with some garlic if poss), makes for one very tasty meal. The slight heat gives you a nice warm glow from top to bottom. You can make a bland fish taste great with it too, make a paste with the spice mix, some water/lemon juice, tomato puree and oil. Smear it over the fish, cover it (foil if poss), and bake (embers of a fire/hot rocks work great too). Delish!
In an outdoor/wilderness survival situation, shelter/heat could beat water to the top of the list, it would certainly be a higher priority than Security and Food.
Exposure can kill even quicker than dehydration. However since most reading this have a home, and we are not preparing for a natural disaster like earthquakes/flood (the politicians will beat nature to it, believe me), shelter is pretty much a given in my view. If you think it’s likely you’ll be ‘in the woods’, get learning about wilderness survival right now. I can help steer you towards some excellent info from trusted experts, contact me or drop a comment below if you like.
Keeping warm enough is vital, especially for the elderly or very young. Adding a few layers of clothes will easily keep most people warm enough without turning on the heating, if you have any. But a wood burner or similar stove will work as both heating and cooking/boiling water. A few hot water bottles are good to have. Huddling one of those to your mid-section is amazingly good at warming up your core. Push-Ups and Squats work well too.
If you really are cold and have no way to heat people up, remember every body is a heater, so stay close (touching even) and stay in a small room as much as possible, especially during sundown hours. Two people huddled together will stay warm much easier and for much longer than they will 6 feet apart.
5. First Aid/Medicines & Toiletries
I trust I don’t need to convey the importance of this, both for physical health but also mental health (morale mainly).
The very first thing you should have is a standard first aid kit, the type you probably have in your car (from factory). Those contain a good (if basic) selection of items, but they are only designed to deal with one ‘incident’. You can buy bigger and better kits online, and I’d recommend doing that just so you have some self-contained kits.
In addition, here’s a list of what I consider ‘must-haves’ (check for allergies before stocking/using):
Liquid antiseptics and disinfectants (Dettol etc). Creams too.
Plasters, bandages, splints, tourniquets
Hydrogen Peroxide and Magnesium Sulfate paste (many uses, mainly cleaning wounds and fighting sores/infections)
Aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen. If possible Co-Proxamol and Co-Codamol.
Ibulieve gel/spray, or other pain relieving/anti-inflammatory gel.
Lidocaine gel and/or spray
CBD oil (never tried it, but from what I have heard about its many uses it’s well worth having)
Iodine spray (best thing for wounds, especially for animals)
Broad Spectrum Antibiotics - get creative if your country insists on prescriptions for such things. (Learn about them before using, get a book to keep with them)
Antibiotic cream (Equate or similar. Easier if in the US but for Brits, find a friendly yank to post you some, like I did!)
Clove oil (good for toothaches/abscesses)
Spirits - At least one bottle of whiskey/gin/vodka/rum
Surgical needles and thread
Syringes and Scalpels
2 thermometers minimum (‘Two is one, one is none’)
Honey - 2-3 jars per person if you can afford it. Don’t waste a fortune going for the very highest MGO (Methylglyoxal) content you can find, just get a reasonably good one (Manuka if at all possible), and remember it’s ‘magic shit’. Seriously, it is. Try smearing it on a bruise, in your ear when you have an infection, on a burn or blister, as a drink when unwell. Told ya, it’s feckin magic!
Soap, more soap, and even more soap. Oh and some soap to keep with your soap.
Toilet paper - Avoiding low morale is key.
Toothbrushes and toothpaste - Morale.
Shaving kit - Morale again. Not nice seeing your wife with a 6 o’clock shadow.
‘Girl stuff’ - I will let the ladies fill in the blanks here. I don’t discuss such matters, I was brought up properly.
Blood pressure monitor - nice to have.
Get a good selection of medical books, including some on natural and herbal remedies.
(No, I didn’t mention a plentiful supply of PCR testing kits, nor mRNA vaccines.)
That was not an exhaustive list, so you should do some careful thinking to consider what else you may need.
For example, if you wear prescription glasses get a couple of spare pairs made.
If you’re on regular medication, stockpile it as best you can (asthmatic, diabetic…?).
If you get a lot of sun, get plenty of cream/sunblock.
If you have young children, get plenty of Calpol (paracetamol and ibuprofen versions), and so on.
I think it’s safe to say the ‘powers that be’ have combustion engines in their sights for total annihilation. Whether they will achieve it or not I don’t know, but the will is clearly there and that concerns me greatly, as they really are insane and evil enough to let us go back to horse and cart while they travel by Tesla.
I believe their current M.O. is to price it out of existence. How do you get people to stop enjoying their family car, or their cheap supermarket goods, annual holiday etc?
Well, ever resourceful as they are, they can just make combustion engine fuel cost £5-10 per litre. Job done. We may still love our cars, but we will be turning them into greenhouses to grow our food in, if that’s what the fuel prices looked like. Even CreepyJoe, the guy who can never say anyhing coherent, has been decidedly coherent on his views in this regard:
All the same, if you can stockpile fuel, you certainly should. A second hand heating oil tank (freecycle/ebay) makes a great way to store 1000 litres or so. Failing that, 20 litre army style jerry cans are the way to go. (Army/Navy stores usually sell them for good prices, and they are the proper military ones, not the Chamazon copies)
It’s a scary thought having no vehicle you can use isn’t it? What else then? For most people it’s back to foot beat. A horse is handy but most can’t have one of those! So here’s another very valuable tip that I strongly advise you to consider - the good old fashioned bicycle.
If you don’t have any in the household, you should. Mountain bikes are best for all round use, but road bikes are faster if you’re only on tarmac. (Don’t forget puncture repair kits, spare inner tubes, and panniers if you can, backpack will do if not).
Imagine the time and effort it takes to walk a mile or two, then imagine a gentle bike ride. Aside from the obvious efficiency benefits, their speed is also a major security factor.
When most people are on foot, possibly looking to mug someone passing by, being able to move quickly (and quietly) is worth its weight in gold, especially in urban environments. Get one for each family member if you possibly can.
This is a big subject, and a serious one considering the state of the economy. It’s also seriously expensive to fully avoid being impacted by those issues. I am currently dealing with this problem myself. We have some gear (generators) but with the damn fuel situation, I don’t see them being much use so I am considering selling generators in favour of solar. But it’s horrifically expensive.
I am able to store some fuel so I probably will keep the generator, but I am forcing myself to plan for not being able to use it (as my store won’t last very long). And regardless of fuel, the damn things go wrong constantly in my experience (I only have a Chonda, that’s code for ‘Chinese fake Honda’ for those who haven’t had the ‘privilege’ of owning one!) They are also noisy, or in my case, ear-bleedingly noisy. The fact it has a sticker saying “silent” on the side doesn’t seem to help either. I know a decent quality one (Yamaha, Hyundai, best of all Honda) will purr like a cat, but they cost thousands.
Some basics for those not into this stuff: Generators have a peak power rating. So 6kW (as in my case) means 6 kilowatts, or 6000 watts. That’s peak, don’t be fooled into thinking it can sit pushing out that much power constantly.
In reality 4kw max constant is about what I’d ask of it. You can get much lower wattage ones, and much higher ones. If you think that your average household kettle is 3kW, as is your Mira shower (probably), and your cooker may be even more, a large 6kW generator is never going to replace your house’s mains supply, at least not if you intend to keep using power like you did before.
Remember, anything which heats is a heavy power-drain. So kettles/water heaters, cookers, electric space heaters etc, these are the biggest consumers of wattage.
The secret to making a generator viable, and affordable, is planning carefully how you will use electric when your mains is down. You can get a low wattage kettle, or boil water some other way like gas or wood burner. You obviously won’t be using lights you don’t need, and you can stop using other things too.
But how do you know what you can and can’t use? Every electronic device in your home has a label on it, and on that label it will say the amount of watts it consumes. Add those up (maybe even label them on the front so you can see easily) and plan what combination of devices will take you to your generator’s max constant output.
Going by my current research, if we are only talking about generators, and if you have the funds, I think my recommendation would be to have a small generator, maybe a 1-2kW ‘suitcase’ generator using petrol (Honda ideally), and a larger one like 6kW running on diesel, again if affordable.
That way you have two cracks of the whip when it comes to fuel (petrol seems more stable than diesel lately). You also have a spare if one blows up, seizes, is stolen, etc. The smaller one will be more efficient, and that can be used to charge devices like flashlights, computers, phones etc. Then you only need to run the bigger one to cook a meal or use heavier wattage equipment.
Having said all that, if I had big money I wouldn’t hesitate to move to a solar system.
Solar is fantastic, in theory. Unfortunately in practice (as buyers often find) it can be lacklustre at best. At worst it can be a complete waste of money. Plus it’s costly if you want anything like a 6kW supply.
The reason is mainly the cost of all the batteries you need to store enough energy to run your devices for more than a nanosecond. The phrase to keep in mind is ‘off-grid’. Most solar systems you see on people’s rooftops are on-grid systems. They basically generate electricity and feed it into the national grid, as well as supplying it to their own home, usually first.
The problem with that is it doesn’t help much when the grid goes down. I want an off-grid system, i.e. one that isn’t even connected to the grid, and has storage so that the electricity generated during the day can be used at night, when it’s most likely needed.
Of course the optimal system would be one which has enough panels and batteries to store more than I need overnight, so it never runs down before it starts charging again. Then you have to factor in the ratings and how they are (like generators) peak figures. That means, if a system claims it produces say 6kW, it can only do that while the sun is bright, high in the sky, and blazing down at an angle perpendicular to the panel surface.
Erm, hello again McFly! I live in the UK! How often is that?!
Exactly. So you have to add a lot more panels to actually get anything like 6kW on a cloudy day, or even a sunny winter’s day (the sun is lower in the sky in winter and panels don’t usually move, some can though.)
All things considered, mainly the high cost, I think my own compromise and thus best idea now (if funds ever allow) is to try to set up a system which can produce the wattage I need to cook a meal and run the washing machine etc, for a short period each day. That means a huge saving on batteries, and less panels, but I still get full necessary power for a fixed period.
But I’d get that every day, regardless of the weather (planning it based on cloudy day performance), and without any engines to service or fuel to find. That’s the best I can give you here, it’s the best approach I can come up with. If you can afford a system which produces 20kW and can store enough to give you that through the night, good for you, get it! (And drop me your address please, no not in the comments, I don’t want the other riff-raff spoiling our party.)
You can reduce some of the concerns of being without mains electric further, by choosing or investing in equipment that don’t require mains.
For example you can get 12v lights, rechargeable radios, walkie talkies, laptop instead of desktop computer, and so on. If you can do that, you can use a portable solar charging panel (24/12v and/or 5v) to recharge those without going near the mains, or your generators/solar system.
On top of that, the portable solar charging packs can go with you if you have to travel, keeping those devices charged on the way. You can even buy solar charging backpacks, which have a flip up/down panel on the back, great idea.
Whatever your system, if you have one at all: TEST IT!
Don’t set it all up then wait for the collapse. Test it, and test yourself at being able to live off it. If you’re planning on using this system for the hard times, why not have a full week running off it right now, when you can always turn the mains back on if it’s not going to plan?
All of that aside, electric is a serious problem if the mains goes off (indefinitely). But if you have some gas or wood supply, you really can live without mains electric, especially if you plan for that eventuality.
Keeping amused will be hard for many people in the modern techno-obsessed age. My children are well used to playing card games and the like, partly for that very reason and partly because I think there’s nothing more depressing than seeing a family of four all sat in the same room but doing 4 different things, none of which involve anyone else in the room.
Or worse, talking to 4 different people via Faceplant. Why even sit together when you’re not ‘together’ at all. But my gripes with the world aside…
Get a good selection of boxed games. Ebay is ideal for this as second hand is fine, and you will often find people selling a whole stack of board games on there.
Some of my own suggestions would be:
Playing Cards, Scrabble, Chess/Drafts, Trivial Pursuit, Jigsaw puzzles, Wordsearch/crossword books, paper and pencils, darts board and darts.
A rechargeable or battery powered iPod stereo, ideally with USB stick input. If so, grab as many audiobooks as you can, everyone can listen.
Radio with FM/MW/LW, plus DAB if possible. Not just for entertainment. (Solar powered radios are available.)
A large selection of books - again buy used, apparently the words stay the same between owners, amazing innit.
I will add a list of ideas for useful book topic at the end of this post, they are not for entertainment as such, but they are probably the first ones anyone should read.
Have a think of anything else that would help you pass the time.
Again this is mostly personal choice, making those based on knowledge of your own particular environment and weather etc. I therefore have little say other than to encourage you to think about it carefully. Clothes wear out quite quickly (and tear/spoil easily) when you’re working in them, so plenty of spares is important.
Charity shops and car boot sales are my family’s main source of clothing, always have been. Price is the main reason of course, but not the only one. Clothes you find in a charity shop has been worn, and washed, usually many times. Therefore the size it is when you pick it up, is the size it will probably remain.
If only that could be said for most of the Chinese junk materials used for most shop-bought clothing these days. On the few occasions I have bought T Shirts or underwear from the usual high street suspects, I have usually found it was single-use only, as after the first wash it was handed down to my 5 year old.
A few suggestions to get you started on your thinking about clothes:
Waterproofs and wellies.
Denim and leather are both hard-wearing materials, used stuff even more so if it’s stood the test of time to reach it’s second owner!
A good pair of heavy duty boots, ideally leather with a side-zip for speed, and care for them well. Get some Ko Ch Line or similar conditioner/dubbing. Keep them supple and waterproof. Feet are vital to your safety and survival. Look after them. Get steel toe caps if you can, great for protecting your feet but equally great for kicking in a door or breaking someone’s shin bone. Get at least one, ideally two pairs of hard-wearing footwear for each person. (2 is one, 1 is none.)
Woolly hats - regardless of the weather these are good to have. We all know how most body heat is lost via the head, so cover it!
Well that’s the ten topics covered. I will now list any other items just as afterthoughts, either because they didn’t fit anywhere above or (more likely) because I didn’t think of them until now. I told you this article wasn’t well-planned!
Please note this is an ideas list, not a shopping list. Don’t panic, just see if anything jumps out at you. Some of them are obvious must-haves though:
Computers - if you don’t have a laptop, get one. If very short on funds, get a crappy old machine running Linux, and grab a Linux For Dummies book if you’ve never used it. But either way do get yourself a laptop. The battery allows usage when there’s no mains power. Solar chargers are available so you can charge during the day, use at night. When there’s no power, you can watch a DVD or maybe even go online via household connection or cellphone hotspot if working.
Rat poison and/or rat traps.
CB Radios - A little favourite of mine. It’s old tech, plenty of cheap gear available, both mains and 12v vehicle sets (solar chargers for 12v batteries are cheap and effective), and the range can be damn good, especially if you get a half decent antenna as well. Both for emergency use as a family but also to hear and communicate with others who read my Substack. They are obviously smart as f*ck so you want to stay in touch with them.
Flashlights - Fenix and Olite are good in my experience, far from cheap though. Chinese websites sell similar brightness ones for peanuts, but they often go wrong so get several. Ideally you want a variety, and don’t get obsessed with brightness, although at least one very bright one is useful, and with the strobe function we all hate, they could actually come in handy one day. It isn’t nice having those flashed in your face and you can’t see what’s coming. (It can actually be extremely disorientating and even painful, the brightness of some modern torches is incredible.) Also try to get a couple of decent quality wind-up torches.
Headtorch - Additional to handheld lights, these are extemely useful and everyone should have one. They allow you to light up whatever you’re looking at (i.e. map) while leaving both your hands completely free. Imagine going out to fight someone in the garden after dark, yes, big advantage! But the same applies to riding a bike, walking, fixing electronics or pipework in the attic. I’d stick to low power LED, long lasting ones rather than blindingly bright ones. These are for long night work or long treks in the dark, you only need to light the way in front of you, any more light than necessary will just advertise your position and eat batteries.
5V charging power pack
Lighters and matches. 10-20 lighters - bulk from cheap online sources.
Batteries - AA and AAA, and perhaps PP3 and any others you may need. Bulk
Vinegar, baking soda and bleach. Cleaning and many other uses.
Bin bags - strong heavy duty ones, a few hundred at least. No end of uses from makeshift wellies to waterproof/windproof overlayers to clothing, to keeping stuff dry or just… well.. putting rubbish in! While you’re at the bag shop, grab a good quantity of ziplock bags too. If you have to head out into the weather for any reason, use them to individually wrap/waterproof every item from lighters to spare batteries to cell phone/walkie talkie, map etc.
Tool kit - The basics, screw drivers, adjustable spanner (wrench), soldering iron and solder (or crimps and crimp joints), hammer and nails, crow bar, cordless drill, duct tape, electrical tape, handsaw, 3 in 1 oil, grease, Stixall or similar glue/sealant. Leak repair kit (water and LPG/gas). Anything else you can think of.
Binoculars and tripod if possible. Handy for leaving focussed on something you want to check back on regularly.
Spotting scope for same reason as above, if you can afford one. £60-80 Chinese ones are pretty damn good, only a fraction worse than £500 ones. Been there, done that, learn from my experience! These things have more uses than I can think of here, offensive, defensive, curiosity, entertainment (stars/moon)… The best feature for me is the fact that the range you can view someone from is far enough away that they can’t see you, unlike your average binoculars.
Solar powered watch (Citizen Eco or similar)
Satellite phone - way over the top but if I was a millionaire I must admit I’d probably have one. Satellite internet too please.
A good backpack, one each if poss. I’d personally avoid spending a fortune on dedicated ‘prepper’ ones (mostly hype). Just get a used military bergen in usable condition, plus maybe a small sports type rucksack for lighter use. If you seriously expect to be needing it for long treks, make a kit list and pack it with some extra spares, batteries, knife, lighters, poncho, water bottle, puritabs etc.
A map of the local area, several copies, not just road maps but Ordnance Survey or similar showing terrain, watercourses, woodlands etc.
Candles - a good hundred or two, large ones. Also a good few hundred ‘tea light candles’. Lemon scented if you’re a smelly bugger.
Seeds - If you have ground to grow on, seeds are never a bad idea. In which case think also about slug pellets, compost…
Books on any subjects you haven’t got time to learn about now but will want to when you’re hunkered down. Some ideas below:
Medical - First Aid, wound management, CPR, natural medicines and remedies, any special conditions you’re vulnerable to such as pregnancy, perhaps due to those long dark nights.
Electronics (12v and 240v)
Guerrilla Warfare (why the f not)
Food growing and animal husbandry
Fernando Ferfal book - I can’t remember the name of it but find it. It’s a terrible book from a literary perspective, but there are some true nuggets of pure gold in there, and if nothing else, it gets you inside the mind of someone who lived through what would be, for us, a truly horrifying experience of economic collapse and social breakdown (Argentina 2001).
Engine repair (Haynes manual or similar for your vehicles)
How To guides for anything you think you’d benefit from in your environment, be it rural or urban survival, trapping/hunting, navigation etc
Bible - No prepper worth his salt forgets his bible, whether atheist or not! If so, it might start making sense after the SHTF too.
Ok, hopefully you’re at least a little better informed than you were 3 million words ago.
If things go seriously wrong, you probably only need enough supplies to be able to hunker down for three months max.
If you have to go straight out begging/stealing (like everyone else who didn’t prep will be doing), then you’re joining the circus and can expect your survival chances to drop significantly. Stay home, eat and drink the minimum, but enough to keep morale up and stay healthy. And just stay out of harm’s way.
Let the Biden voters kill each other for a month or two, they surely will when suddenly the Nanny State (i.e. your tax money) isn’t feeding their litters for them.
If you have the necessary supplies to enable you to do that for three months, you can be fairly sure that by the end of that period, the outside world will have calmed a fair bit and it will be much safer to venture out.
The inevitable gangs will have had their fill, killed whoever they were going to, or hopefully been killed by those who prepped more seriously than you did and took them out. Groups will form, humanity will begin to come together again, and you can then offer your support to others, and receive theirs in return.
That’s when I think, and certainly hope, things will suddenly improve at a rapid rate as people share duties like watches/sentries so that others can sleep easy, start to support each other for food/skills, caring for children while adults make plans, organise etc.
One last tip: You should explore your local population for like-minded people. Not just online either! I tacitly mention the prepping subject to people I meet daily. I just drop a very subtle comment (literally to almost everyone I meet, shopkeepers, dog walkers, everyone!) where I’ll say something like “well if things keep going the way they are going we won’t be driving our cars for much longer”. If you get the more common response of either no reply, or a nervous chuckle or something which says they don’t know what you’re talking about, laugh and move on. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
But when you meet someone who nods and acts like they have been thinking about similar stuff, discuss further. If they are local to you, swap contact details and get to know them. I did this a few months ago, chatted to a guy in a garage working on someone’s car. He wasn’t ‘on board’, but he said ‘you should talk to Steve who owns this car’. I waited around and sparked a conversation with him when he came for his car, and it turns out the guy is a huge prepper, and very wealthy.
He is local to me and he has a large quantity of supplies (fuel, food, solar system) I think he was insane to tell me all about it so openly (I sure wouldn’t!) but these people generally like to talk about it with like-minded people, especially if it might impress.
So I now have a place I know I can go and barter for some fuel, or maybe even hunker down with. I am sure he’d appreciate having someone he can trust helping secure the place. But here’s why I think this needs doing right now…
If I had met him after things went wrong, how likely is he to trust me (or anyone) then?
Now is the time to build bridges and make contacts. You won’t be meeting many people when the SHTF. Prepping for personal security is great, but having a plan for an organised group who are ready to work together when the time comes (if you can) is light years ahead of that strategy. It would take one hell of a gang to tackle an encampment of well-armed, well-resourced, family men all there to protect their families.
And if for some crazy reason you’re still unsure about the need to prepare, or perhaps worried about the expenditure, remember this: Prepping has very few downsides. If you prepare for a catastrophe which doesn’t arrive, what exactly have you lost? You can eat the food, drink the water, and use pretty much everything you’ll be buying, or sell it if you want to. Even the knowledge you will gain has lifelong benefits for you and your family and can hardly be a waste of your time.
Suggestions: I wrote this article in one long blast. I didn’t really try to organise it (I should have), nor did I go online to pinch ideas from prepping websites, this was all straight from my mind. For that reason I am sure I will have forgotten more than a few very good points or ideas. I would therefore ask all readers to drop me a line or add a comment below with anything you think I missed. I’d like to keep this post updated for people to refer to over the coming months, and it would be nice if it gradually improved as I am sure it can, probably a lot!
Well that’s it from me. It’s time to get prepping. You’re now an official member of the tin-foil-hat brigade. Wear it with pride, and sleep soundly knowing you’re just that bit more prepared than most other people, and that affords you significant safety in itself.
Ha, that reminds me of the (very relevant) joke about the two men in the woods who come across a grizzly bear. As one says to the other “Shit, what are we going to do, he’s going to eat us”, the other says “It’s ok, I have got my Nike Air’s on”. His friend remarks: “Fat lot of good that will do you, I don’t care how fast you are, you’ll never outrun a friggin bear!”. To which the other responds:
“Of course I can’t outrun a bear! I don’t need to. I just need to outrun you!”
Thanks for reading.
P.S. A small request: It takes significant time to produce content for my Substack. That means time away from paying work. I don’t earn anything from these posts as I don’t ask people to pay to read. Nothing wrong with that, I just choose not to.
One way you can ‘pay’ me back is to help spread the word. I have no social media presence and I don’t want one, but that does mean I have absolutely no way to attract readers. If you appreciate this article, please take a second to share it with your friends and family, and anyone else you can reach. It just takes a click from you, and I’d be extremely grateful.