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"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Friday, October 13, 2017

Prepper: (Post Collapse) Wandering in the "New World"

Prepper: (Post Collapse) Wandering in the "New World"
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Let’s explore the concept of wandering. If you’ve been involved in the world of preparedness for any length of time, you’re familiar with terms like “Bug-Out Location” (BOL) and “Bugging-In”, and you have probably read or participated in discussions about ways to go about securing your house/neighborhood/compound/town. Humans as a species tend to be social animals, and gathering in fixed locations in large groups has always had many advantages, including security, stable relationships, sharing of labor, farming, et cetera. But there have always been individuals and small groups who prefer (or are forced) to minimize their interactions with “society” and not be tied to any specific location.



These have traditionally been called wanderers, travelers, gypsies, nomads, et cetera. While these types of itinerant peoples have existed in one form or another for centuries, the pressures of modern society and the desire of governments to exercise an ever-increasing degree of control over people’s lives has made such an existence extremely difficult. However, in a post-TEOTWAWKI world, those factors would all but disappear, making such a lifestyle much more possible and potentially necessary for some people. This article is meant as a thought exercise in exploring a wandering lifestyle in such a scenario.

Rationale

The first thing to consider is why you would want to adopt such a lifestyle. Maybe you’ve always been a loner or a wanderer and prefer not to put down any permanent roots. Perhaps the group you were part of (or planning to be part of) didn’t make it through the SHTF event, or most of them succumbed to some type of subsequent disaster. Maybe weather patterns have changed and you can no longer sustain yourself in your current location. Keep in mind that an itinerant lifestyle isn’t necessarily just for individuals; it may involve a small group of people moving around for various reasons. Take a look at the gypsies in Europe and the nomads in middle-eastern deserts, for some examples. In a post-SHTF world, a wandering lifestyle may provide both advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages

Interactions- While wandering, you’ll most likely encounter and interact with a wide range of people and groups that you never would have if you remained in one place.
Schedule Flexibility – Without fixed houses, farms, gardens, livestock, et cetera to care for, you can pretty much set any schedule you want.
Strategic Awareness – If you’re moving around a large area on a regular basis, you’ll probably have a much better understanding of what’s happening across the entire area than you would if you stayed in one location.
Tactical Flexibility– If you encounter some form of danger, like a group of marauders, you can disengage and evacuate the area and not have to worry about fighting a fixed defense to protect your property. It’s also potentially easier to avoid contact in the first place.
Resources – If resources become scarce in one area, you can move someplace else.

Disadvantages

Security – If you’re by yourself or in a small group, it will be harder to maintain security and defend yourself. For example, maintaining a guard watch at night would be tough with a group of only two people.
Mental Health – Lack of regular human interaction can negatively impact some people’s minds. When you start naming the trees in the woods and having conversations with them, it’s probably time to interact with some other people. Even small contained groups of people will start to get on each other’s nerves after awhile.
Support – You may not have the resources or expertise to handle emergency situations. For example, if you’re by yourself and get injured, you’ll have to provide your own treatment, assuming you can.
Resources – You or your group will have to be able to carry all of the tools and supplies you’ll need on a daily basis. You’ll also need to be able to hunt, fish, forage, et cetera in order to get food.

Getting Around

Wandering implies the ability to move from point A to point B; so, you’re going to need some method of getting around.

Walking

The simplest method would be walking, assuming you or your group is in reasonable physical shape. The biggest advantages to walking are that you can maintain good situational awareness. You can also move silently and you’ll have lots of options for where you can go and how you get there. The biggest downsides are that you’re limited to what you can carry and how far you can travel in a given amount of time. Plus, you’re more impacted by environmental conditions. You can somewhat alleviate the former by using something like a ***game cart***.amazon.com/Summit-Treestands-85236-Game-Cart/dp/B00JOV1TB0/ref that you can pull along behind you to carry extra supplies.

Physically-Powered Mechanical Transport

An alternative to walking would be the use of physically-powered mechanical transport, like a bicycle. You can potentially cover ground a lot faster than you could walking. However, you’re going to be more limited in where you can go and how much you can carry, although you could add saddlebags to increase your load. As with walking, you could also attach a small trailer to haul additional supplies.

Animal

The next step up on the transportation ladder would be using an animal, like a horse, to get around. They’re relatively easy to feed and maintain (depending on your environment), and you can cover ground a lot faster and carry a lot more supplies than you could walking. As with bicycles, you can use a horse to pull a cart or wagon, which could greatly increase your carrying capacity. Horses can also make good sentries, as they can usually sense danger better than most people. The biggest problem would be finding a decent horse, along with the necessary tack, in a post-SHTF world. Riding a horse is also not the best skill to try to pick up on the fly when your life may depend on it.

Motor Powered Mechanical Transportation

The final option would be powered mechanical transportation, such as motorcycles, cars, truck, et cetera. This approach may provide you with the best speed, range, and carrying capacity, but it does have some potentially big disadvantages. First, you’ll be more limited in where you can travel, especially with larger vehicles, and there probably won’t be any Public Works departments to fix potholes, broken bridges, et cetera (so no real change there). Next would be maintenance. You’ll need to be able to fix anything that breaks as well as have a large stock of replacement parts. Your situational awareness will be impacted due to speed, isolation, and noise, and the noise your vehicle makes will also let other people know you’re coming.
Finally, you’ll need to have ready access to a fuel source to keep the vehicle running. While there may be tons of gas left lying around in various tanks and containers after SHTF, most of it will probably go bad after a couple of years. Depending on how the technology improves, electric vehicles may provide a viable alternative, since you could carry solar panels to recharge them and they’re a lot quieter. Keep in mind that using current technology, the batteries will eventually wear out and have to be replaced.
Another approach would be to combine your transport options. If you had a vehicle but were worried about its longevity, you could use it to carry supplies and establish caches around the area in preparation for the day it died and you couldn’t fix it.

Skills

Living a wandering lifestyle will require a unique skill set that’s markedly different than the one required for living in a fixed location. Some of the required skills will include:

Navigation

If you’re going to be moving around over a large area, having a good idea of where you are and how to get to a specific location would be useful. This will be particularly important if you maintain caches (discussed later).

Stealthiness

Wandering in a post-SHTF world probably won’t be without its risks. There will always be people that will want to hurt you or yours, or take what you have. The ability to move quietly and discretely through terrain and remain hidden while sleeping could make the difference between life and death. Since humans have a good sense of smell, this includes cooking discipline and good hygiene.

Information Retention

The ability to recall where you saw an important trade item in your wanderings, or where a rock slide has closed off a trail, can have a big impact on your life. You’ll need to either develop a good memory or get good at writing things down.

Mobile Combat

In a post-SHTF world, there will be bad people who wish to harm you and yours, and you may not always be able to avoid them. Knowing how to use your weapons, how to fight, and how to break contact could make the difference between living and dying. This is a different skill set than fighting to defend fixed positions like a home.

Interpersonal

Unless you plan on avoiding people entirely, you’ll need to be able to effectively interact with anyone you meet in your travels. This includes not only how you communicate with them through words and body language but how well you can interpret what they’re saying and doing. You’ll need to be able to make a quick “friend or foe” assessment whenever you meet someone new.

I began writing about the post-SHTF conditions that may make a wandering nomad type lifestyle much more practical and reasonable. We are talking about considerations for this and continuing with this further today.
Situational Awareness – You need to always be aware of your surroundings, where you are and where you can quickly get to for cover and concealment.

Medical

If a medical emergency occurs, you probably won’t have anyone to rely on but yourself and/or your group. You’ll need to learn how to handle common injuries and illnesses with what you have available.

Bushcraft

Since you won’t have a house to live in, you’ll need to be able to survive in the wild. This includes shelter making, fire starting, et cryrts. If you’re traveling in a vehicle or RV, you can always sleep inside that.

Food Gathering

You won’t have access to a farm, garden, livestock, etcetera, so you’ll need to be able to forage, hunt, fish, and trap in order to keep yourself fed.

Environmental

Because you won’t have access to the wonderfully accurate weather forecasts we enjoy today, you’ll need to be able to read your environment and understand how it affects you. Is there a storm coming? When will winter move in? Could a thunderstorm turn that gully you’re sleeping in into a raging river?

Equipment

As with any survival situation, you’ll need an appropriate kit in order to survive as a wanderer.

Load Carrying

If you’re walking, this means having a good*backpack. For when you’re traveling by bicycles or horses, this can mean saddle bags or trailers/carts. When carrying a backpack, you’re going to want to be able to quickly drop your bag and still have access to extra magazines in combat situations, so you would probably want a chest rig or battle belt you can wear under your backpack. Even if you’re in a vehicle or on a horse, you may eventually lose your transportation at an inopportune time and need to quickly skedaddle, so having a packed backpack available even when using transport would make sense.

Clothing

If you’ve ever been on a long hike or backcountry camping trip, you know that having the right clothes, especially boots, can make the difference between being comfortable and being miserable. I’d recommend against wearing just camo clothing; it probably won’t make the friendliest impression when you run into someone. Instead, carry a camouflage poncho or ghillie net for times when you need to fade into the brush.

Rifle/Carbine

Since you’re going to be limited in how much you can haul around, a lightweight and sturdy rifle or carbine in .223/5.56 caliber would probably make the most sense. You can hunt with it, fight with it, and carry a decent amount of ammo. Also, since it’s a very popular caliber, you can probably find or trade for ammo pretty easily.

Handgun

As with the rifle, stick with something in a common caliber like 9mm. If you’re real paranoid, you may want to consider having a small single-stack pocket handgun in an ankle or crotch holster, in case you lose your other weapons.

Ammo

How much ammo is enough? While the right answer is probably that you can never have enough, you’re going to have to carry it. I would think that having four filled 30-round magazines and the one in your rifle (150 rounds) should get you through most situations. And you can carry extra loose rounds in your backpack. Four filled 15-rounds magazines and the one in the gun should be enough for the handgun. Ammo is one item you should definitely plan on caching.

Tarp/Hammock/Tent

While you could make a shelter from logs and branches every night, sometimes having something waterproof, windproof, and comfortable can make life a lot more bearable. Using a camouflage USGI poncho would probably be a good idea, since it has multiple uses.

Blanket

A staple of every cowboy ever to ride the West, a good wool blanket can be indispensable for a good night’s sleep, especially when it starts getting cold out.

Cooking Kit

You’ll want some basics, like a small pot, cup, and pan.

Lighters/Ferro Rods/Tinder

You’ll need some way to cook game and stay warm, so you’ll need fire starters.

Knives

You’ll want a good fixed-blade knife on your belt for heavy-duty tasks, and a folder in your pocket for smaller things.

Hatchet/Saw

Since you’re not going to be building houses, you can probably get by with a smaller hatchet and saw. Something like the Kershaw Siege Tomahawk makes a decent hatchet, and it can also be used for fighting, prying, et cetera. For a saw, something like the Bahco Laplander should be fine.

Medical supplies

Having some basic supplies can help you address common injuries, and having the knowledge of how to supplement those with things you can find in the wild can help stretch them out.

Water

You’ll want some way to carry and purify water. I’d recommend a stainless steel canteen. Plastic ones are lighter, but they tend to fail a lot sooner than quality metal ones. A metal canteen can also be used to boil water to purify it. You’ll also want some sort of water filter and water purification tablets.

Maps and Compass

Assuming you’ll be wandering in a certain area, having maps and a compass can help you figure out where you are, where you’re going, and where you’ve stored your caches.

Pencil and Paper

These are useful for supplementing your memory.

Multitool

Unless you plan on staying in the woods your entire life, you’re probably going to eventually come across some remnant of civilization you’ll want to open up or take apart. It’s also useful for doing basic maintenance on your firearms and other gear.

Cordage

At least 100’ of 550 paracord and some other lighter cordage are necessary for making shelters, repairing items, et cetera.

Food Acquisition

A slingshot and/or collapsible bow and arrow for hunting smaller game, fishing supplies, and wire for snares are good equipment for this purpose.

Flashlight and Batteries

A couple of good quality LED flashlights and headlamps plus rechargeable batteries and a small folding solar panel to charge them. Yes, you can use torches, but a flashlight is a lot faster and more focused.

Bases and Caches

If you plan on wandering around a given area, versus just heading in one direction forever, you’ll probably want to set up a few small, well-hidden bases and caches. A base can be nothing more than a semi-permanent shelter that you’ve built with a cache of stored supplies nearby. You could set some of these up with spare ammo, knives, clothing, et cetera before you begin wandering, or you can build and stock them with items you’ve scavenged or traded for during your travels. That way you can have access to replenishment and replacement supplies without having to carry everything with you. These could be especially useful for stashing seasonal clothing and gear like snowshoes so you don’t always have to carry it. I’d recommend against using existing structures, since someone will almost always find and search those. If your cache is buried, make sure you hide a shovel nearby so you can get to it.

Occupations

While survival itself is a worthwhile goal, most people tend to have an innate desire to accomplish something more with their lives. Choosing a wandering lifestyle doesn’t have to mean you’ll never interact with other people. As you move around you’ll most likely encounter other established and organized groups in various locations, as well as fellow wanderers. Having goals to accomplish and helping other people in the process might make the difference between being happy and going insane. Being able to barter services or supplies for food and other supplies instead of having to gather it yourself can also make your life a lot more enjoyable. Some of your options for wanderer occupations include:

Security

If you’re reasonably well-armed and tactically competent, you could hire yourself out as security for other travelers, convoys, et cetera. Since being successful at this requires people to trust you, this may not be an option until you’ve been in an area for a while and have managed to earn a trustworthy reputation.

Medic

If you have any medical skills and some supplies (or knowledge of natural medicines), you may be able to provide some basic medical services to other people. Think Green Beret medics in foreign countries.

Manual Labor

You can help people out who need an extra pair of hands or a strong back.

Skilled Labor

If you’re good at things like mechanical/electrical repair, farming/gardening, building, et cetera, you can barter those skills.

Minister

You could help spread the word of God in the new world.

Information Broker

You’ll probably pick up a lot of information about people, conditions, game, and other things while you’re wandering. Therefore, you could exchange some of that for a hot meal and a warm bed for a night.
Mailman
If you end up wandering on a regular route between groups of people, you can offer to carry letters or messages (mail) between the groups.

Scavenging

You’ll probably be coming across the detritus of our current civilization for decades (if not centuries) while wandering after an event. People will continue to have a need to build and repair, and your knowledge of where they can find the parts and supplies they need can be extremely valuable.

Trader

Similar to scavenging, you can carry some of the more valuable stuff you find with you and serve as a trader. Items like solar panels, nails, tools, et cetera will always have value.

Hunter

Some groups may need extra help keeping their people fed during lean times and need a hunter. If you know where game is and how to hunt it, you can leverage that for trade.

Minstrel

No matter how bad things get, people always want to be entertained. If you can sing, play an instrument, or tell a story, you can bring a little bit of joy into people’s lives. Note: Miming is not entertainment, and you’ll probably be shot if you try it.

Companionship

As I mentioned earlier, wandering doesn’t have to be a solo activity; but that doesn’t just mean traveling with other people. If you have a dog, or can find and befriend one, you have yourself a perfect traveling companion. They can help you hunt, fight, track, stand guard, and do lots of other tasks (assuming you have the right dog), and talking to them doesn’t make you look quite as crazy as talking to trees.

Conclusion

As I mentioned in the beginning, this was just a thought exercise based on an idea I had while reading an article about travelers (a.k.a. gypsies). I’m not advocating this as a practical alternative to bugging in, or even suggesting it would be possible. You may not plan on being a wanderer after TEOTWAWKI hits, but circumstances may not give you any other option. So having at least thought about it beforehand could prove useful.

Every Prepper Should Have Multiple Bug-Out Bags. Here’s Why.

eadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we have covered the “Go” Bag, aka the “Bugout” Bag on numerous occasions.  We’re going to cover three areas: Duplication, Synchronization, and Maintenance.  This is to promote efficiency, and also to allow for recovery and use if one of the bags or more is compromised.  Let’s get started.

The word for the day is Redundancy.  This word is usually something that connotates a “boring” or “mindless” repetition, almost in a drone-like fashion.  In this case, that definition does not suffice.  Redundancy in our usage is the repetition to promote a good follow-through in the event of seizure/theft of your goods so that you have a backup plan and can continue to march.  You want to put together as many bags as are in as many locales as you frequent in the course of the day.  Here are some locations, for starters:
  1. Your home
  2. Your vehicle
  3. Your workplace
Surely this can be added to, but the logic is in these examples.  If you are in your home, and disaster strikes and your vehicle is stolen…you have a bag in your home.  If you are at work, and the vehicle is stolen, you should have a bag at work.  The key is to make them light enough so that you can strap them together (bungees or cargo straps) and take both bags without killing yourself.
We have already covered lists ad infinitum, so we’re just going to mention the bullets, beans, band-aids (the 3 “B’s”) that need to be in your bags.  Let’s jump into the terms.
Duplication: this means that your bags need to be the same…John Smith’s bag in his car, home, and vehicle need to contain the same things…and all of these things in the same location with an inventory sheet for each bag (as covered in other articles).  John Smith will then know (overall) what he has, and that he has one bag with each of those items at home, in his vehicle, and in his workplace.
Synchronization: this means to keep the bags as “uniform” as possible for all the family members.  The same amounts of food, water purification gear, and so forth.  Differences will arrive with regard to ammunition.  Mr. Smith may carry a Desert Eagle .44 Magnum pistol, where Mrs. Smith may carry a Ruger SP-101 in .357 Magnum.  Guess what?  There needs to be a box of Mrs. Smith’s ammo in Mr. Smith’s bags, and vice-versa.  Similar gear packed in a similar manner other than that.  What will this do?  Promote effectiveness.  Mrs. Smith then knows that if all her bags are compromised, she can use one of Mr. Smith’s bags and be familiar with its contents.
Maintenance: well, this goes beyond just simple cleaning maintenance.  This is also a maintenance of familiarization.  What this entails is unpacking the bags, checking the contents for accountability and serviceability, and then repacking them.  Sound boring?  It is, but the alternative is to be unfamiliar with your equipment and then fumble around with it in the dark…only to find that it is incomplete.  You need to be able to take the bag apart in the dark, in less than ideal conditions.  So many people have all of the ducats to spend on beaucoup equipment…and then they just set it off in a shed or a corner, and ignore it for years at a time.  That’s not the way, except the way to fail.  You should practice all of this at least once a week for a few hours at a time until you are proficient with all of the equipment and locations.
Preparing is not just a bunch of supplies.  It is a posture.  It is a state of mind and one that you have to be continuously on your toes and on your game.  By doing these things with your bags, you reduce the chances of failure when you have to perform.  You also reduce the risks of losing your supplies to marauders (usually your friendly neighbors on Sesame Street) and other assorted creeps.  Use these techniques to increase your efficiency and better your performance, making you readier on the day the “S” hits the fan.

How to Dehydrate Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs

When it comes to dehydration, there are few better options when it comes to preserving in-season produce. Dehydrated foods, if properly stored, last for months. If dehydrated food is stored properly, some homesteaders even claim that dehydrated food can last up to a year!  Unlike canned and frozen foods, the equipment for which takes up quite a bit of space, dehydrated foods can be stacked and stored easily.

Little equipment is required to successfully dehydrate your foods, and even beginners can learn to do it with very few start-up resources. It is a great option for a prepper or homesteader looking to maximize storage space and build enough of a food store to last throughout a long winter season.
Drying food using a dehydrator removes enough moisture from foods so that bacteria, yeast, and mold cannot grow. It should be noted that fruits, vegetables, and herbs (in otherwise, anything plant based) are the only products that should be dehydrated according to these methods. Meats can also be dehydrated, but require additional time and know-how, as well as the addition of several ingredients.
There are five methods that you can use when dehydrating your produce: through the use of a dehydrator, in an oven, in the sun, in the microwave, or in fresh air. Essentially, any of these methods will work so long as you have low humidity and a source of low heat (around 130 degrees Fahrenheit). You also need ample air circulation to help remove moisture from the food.
The steps for each process are outlined below. Fruits, vegetables, and herbs can essentially be dehydrated in exactly the same way. It should be noted that, due to the low acidity of most vegetables, these should never be dehydrated using the sun or air methods. Using a dehydrator is best for most types of vegetables as their low acidity can affect food safety.

Ingredients Needed

  • Fresh fruit, vegetables or herbs—use the best quality produce for the best results and avoid overripe or bruised products
  • Knife
  • Air-tight containers or freezer bags
  • Cutting board
  • Spices (optional)
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Salt (optional)
You will also need one of the following: a hot, dry location within your home, an oven, a microwave, or a dehydration machine.

How to Dry Fruits and Vegetables: The First Two Steps

Although the methods and instructions will vary slightly for foods depending on how you choose to dehydrate them, the first two steps must be followed for any type. They are as follows:
  1. Peel your fruits and vegetables (optional). Generally, skin will become tough during the dehydration process, so removing it helps the overall flavor of your food. Sliced, peeled pieces will dry more quickly than those than haven’t been peeled as well, because skin reduces surface area and does not allow moisture to escape.
  2. Pretreat your foods. Some foods dry better when pretreated, as this process reduces oxidation. Many foods achieve a better color and nutrient content when pretreated. This also increased shelf life. Additionally, any fruit that has been left unpeeled or uncovered must be treated to destroy bacteria or insect larvae.
    1. To pretreat fruits, place them in a solution of a half teaspoon of citric acid with two cups of water (or equal parts lemon juice and water). Leave them in there for ten minutes before beginning the dehydration process.
    2. To pretreat vegetables, blanch three to five minutes in boiling water. Blanching is a good idea for vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, and corn. Onions, garlic, and herbs do not need to be blanched.
    3. To pretreat fruits and vegetables for which you leave the skin intact (such as blueberries or cranberries), prepare boiling water. Dip each piece in boiling water to crack the skins. Do not leave the fruit submerged or you will cook it. Chill and then dehydrate.
dehydrated fruit in mason jars

How to Dehydrate Fruit, Veggies, and Herbs: The Dehydrator Method 

A dehydrator typically creates the best quality product compared to other methods of drying. Although most machines are inexpensive, their purchase can be a barrier for many beginning homesteaders. Therefore, other options are available that maximize the resources you already have.
Dehydrators consist of an electric element that produces heat, along with a fan and vent to circulate air. These machines dry food quickly, uniformly, and safely. Because they consist of several racks stacked on top of each other and are entirely enclosed, you don’t have to worry about pests nibbling on your fruits and veggies before they’re done drying.
Instructions:
  1. Follow The First Two Steps (peeling and pretreating).
  2. Slice fruits and vegetables thinly.
  3. Place pieces on drying racks of the dehydrator, without allowing them to overlap or touch.
  4. Return trays to the dehydrator.
  5. Dehydrate at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit for anywhere between five to thirty hours. The length of dehydration will depend largely on the type of food you are drying. Use judgment and follow the guidelines below to ensure the food is entirely dry.
Test your food periodically to see if it has cured properly. Dehydration is complete when fruit is pliable and no beads of moisture appear. Perfectly dehydrated vegetables will be brittle and crunchy. Do not move or pack food until it is completely dry.
Dried food can be packed into an airtight container for several days, then stored in a dark location. Make sure food is packed tightly–this will allow any remaining moisture to distribute evenly.


The Air Drying Method

Air drying works well for low-maintenance produce such as herbs, hot peppers, and even mushrooms. Air drying can be difficult because it requires a hot, airy location that is often not available in most households. However, it is a free process and requires no extra equipment.
Air drying differs slightly from sun drying, as it must take place indoors. This can be done regardless of where you live, but you must still moderate the conditions. Air-drying can take place in a ventilated attic, spare room, or screened-in area such as a greenhouse.
Instructions:
  1. Follow The First Two Steps (peeling and preparing).
  2. Bind fruits and vegetables in a tight bundle (using a stem) or place them evenly next to each other. It’s okay if they touch.
  3. Place or hang your foods in an area with good ventilation and high heat. For example, you can place individual pieces on a milk crate or mesh window screen, or hang in a sunny window.
  4. Allow the pieces to dry for two to six days.
Follow the same steps as you would with a dehydration machine to ensure that your food is fully dehydrated. About 20% moisture will remain in air-dried fruits and vegetables, so you may want to consume it more quickly than you would food dehydrated with a machine.
raisins
photo: air dried fruit

Dehydrating Fruit, Veggies, and Herbs: Sun Drying Method 

Sun-drying is a method that requires consistent exposure to direct sunlight during the day. This one is tricky to do unless you live in a hot, arid climate, such as in the American Southwest. Most locales will not receive a low enough relative humidity to sun-dry fruits and vegetables.
This option only takes about three to four days, but if humidity is high, the food will mold before it gets a chance to dry. This makes it a futile effort for many. However, many popular foods (such as raisins) are typically sun-dried.
tomatoes
photo: sun dried tomatoes
Instructions:
  1. Follow The First Two Steps (peeling and preparing).
  2. Bind fruits and vegetables in a tight bundle (using a stem) or place them evenly next to each other in an outside location.
  3. Spread foods out on paper-lined trays covered with cheesecloth.
  4. Turn food every day.
  5. Allow the pieces to dry for two to four days.
Follow the same steps as you would with a dehydration machine to ensure full dehydration. It’s important that you turn the pieces every day so that they receive equal sun and heat exposure, as well as aeration. Make sure your pieces are covered. Since this process is conducted outside, your food is more likely to be nibbled by pests.

Economic Collapse & Civil Unrest

Closer Than You Think?

Is Economic Collapse and Civil Unrest closer than you think? Today we live in a world which more than ever is filled with uncertainty. Uncertainty insights anxiety and fear, when fear rears its head people either dig their heads in the sand or attempt to face their fear by meeting it head on. Known as fight or flight response it’s also called hyperarousal, or the acute stress response and is a natural human reaction.
Preppers fall into the fight category, we face our fears by researching and understanding all we can about a threat. This in turn enables us to prepare for that threat as best we can.



When planning for economic collapse and civil unrest It’s no good just doing a quick search for gear and supplies. You have to work on your mindset, researching and understanding what this scenario fully entails. Personally I think these scenarios are closer to happening than some people think. Whilst I hope they don’t happen, the fact is they could. So lets look at this subject in more detail.

Definition Of Economic Collapse

The definition of an economic collapse is when there is a complete breakdown of a countries financial stability. Resulting in an economy being in distress for months, years, decades or even resulting in a state of permanent meltdown. Economic collapses can happen quickly with no real warning due to a number of factors which can include:
  • A country’s currency rapidly losing value causing hyperinflation.
  • The internet being compromised by hackers, infected with a crippling virus. So none of the systems we use on a daily basis for banking and communication would work.
  • A run on the banking sector that causes banks to run out of money. Resulting in them closing or going out of business. Cash would no longer be available. Similar to the financial crisis that happened back in 2008.
  • Oil can no longer be imported in sufficient amounts due to some form of terrorism or oil embargo.
  • Nuclear or other war that over stretches a countries resources.
  • Failure of the power grid.

What Are The Effects Of Serious Economic Collapse

In the event of serious economic collapse banks will close and Jobs would be lost. Bankruptcy would occur, fuel will become hard to get hold of, transportation will be effected if not stopped all together. This will lead to stores closing because they no longer have anything to sell. Food will be in short supply if available at all. Anything that is for sale will have its prices inflated way beyond what most people could afford. All of these effects would lead to civil unrest involving looting and violence. Survival of the fittest would commence.

Definition Of Civil Unrest

Civil unrest is defined by law enforcement as gatherings of three or more people who react to an event. Intending on causing a public disturbance in violation of the law. Civil unrest can be planned or spontaneous and typically involves damage to property or injury to other people.
An example of recent civil unrest is Catalonia (2017). It’s reported that Spain may be on the brink of a financial crisis. This is due to investment in Catalonia being frozen because of civil unrest occurring following the recent independence referendum. Here’s a link to incidents of civil unrest in the United States.
As you can see from the examples above civil unrest and its severity can occur for a number of reasons. The civil unrest scenario most preppers are preparing for is at the more extreme end of the civil unrest scale. This is the total break down of society born out of total economic collapse. Also complete lawlessness when the police and military forces of a country, nation or region lose control. A time when people will react strongly in different ways and their actions will be detrimental to themselves and others.

What Are The Effects Of Serious Long Term Civil Unrest

If serious civil unrest occurs its likely that the police and military would have lost control. Probably because their resources can no longer cope with the scale of unrest. Human nature will kick in, people will attempt to take the law into their own hands.
If serious long-term civil unrest unfolds you will find yourself in a lawless society filled with panic and greed. People who declare themselves to be saviors will target the week and gather them like sheep. In the same way that Negan was portraid in one of my favorite TV show The Walking Dead.
Preppers will be the most cool calm and collective of the general population because they have planned for this scenario. They will have plans in place to circumvent the self pronounced saviors and many of the effects of civil unrest. Whilst not an exhaustive list here are many effects that will happen:
  • Lawlessness
  • Violence
  • Looting
  • Rape
  • Pillaging
  • Poverty
  • Starvation
  • Illness & Disease

Why Is Civil Unrest A Real Possibility

Civil unrest is already occurring in small pockets around the world.  People are becoming increasingly unhappy with the lack of empathy of politicians and the way their countries are being run. Leaders and politicians of these countries are failing to listen to their people. If these issues are not resolved things can quickly spiral out of control.
I’ve already given the example of how quickly the unrest in Catalonia came about. here are some more examples demonstrating why all is not well with the world.
  • Europe is becoming conflicted.
  • The UK has Brexit issues with growing unrest with the way the UK government are handling negotiations.
  • Far right political parties in both Germany and France are gaining ground as a result of dissatisfaction on how Europe is evolving.
  • Then there’s America, if you don’t think its possible for civil unrest to escalate in today’s USA take a look at Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?  a recent article by the New Yorker.

Preparing For Economic Collapse & Civil Unrest

When planning to survive economic collapse and or civil unrest you should think the scenario through. Asking yourself key questions that you will need answers to. When I run these scenarios through my mind I try to imagine I have stepped unwillingly into a time machine. The machine takes me from where I am today and delivers me to a time of economic collapse and civil unrest.
Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Why has the economic collapse occurred?
  • How long is it likely to last or is it permanent?
  • What effects will it have on me and my family?
  • How do I plan to survive it?
  • Where do I plan to survive it?
  • What gear and supplies will I need to survive?
You may have additional questions of your own to add to the list above. When you can visualize these questions and the answers to them you will be able to put a plan in place. People will have different plans based on their family situation, circumstances and location. For example urban planning will differ to rural planning. You may be able to bug in if your security and supplies are up to the job. Do you need a bug out plan that takes you away from the more volatile centers of unrest.
You will need to stock up on water and non perishable food. Have a medical kit and supplies and suitable clothing. You may will need items that you can barter as a replacement for currency. Even if you plan to stay put you will need to organize some portable kit that you can grab and go if the situation requires it.

Summary

I hope you found this article on Economic collapse and civil unrest insightful. If you have any feedback with regards to how you are planning for such a scenario. Or if you feel that such a situation is unlikely to occur, why not add your feedback in the comments below. We love a good old prepper debate at prepper bits.

Tim Spencer "Pray For The Best Prepare For The Worst"