Note: This series was originally published on Defensive Training Group several years ago. This expanded, updated 2018 edition has been designed specifically for AP readers; this is the first installment of a 10-week series meant to walk you through the steps needed to prepare for what’s commonly called SHTF, or literally “sh– hitting the fan.” This could be anything from a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, an economic meltdown, or any other dire situation. If you’re new to preparing, this plan will help get you where you need to be. If you’ve already been doing it, the plan will help you ensure that your plan is well-rounded and correctly set up.  

Right now, there are a bit more than 2 years remaining in the administration of a populist/nationalist president that has, so far, rhetoric aside, left things pretty much alone, in regard to ‘normal’ life.  Anything perceived as a positive measure, such as the ‘tax roll back’ should really be viewed as a temporary measure, adding a slight benefit to you on the prepping side because of the reprieve given when the Hildabeast wasn’t inaugurated.  As everyone knows or should know, it made the Transnational Globalist Marxists insane, and they’re not letting go.  Evidence of this are perceived ‘false flag’ attacks as well as calls for an outright civil war by groups such as antifa (little ‘a’ on purpose) that would necessitate the suspension of Constitutional protections from government interference (what’s left of them) in your life according to the powers that STILL BE, albeit somewhat in the shadows.  That being the case, YOU, yes, YOU, the so-called, ‘Normie’ who’s just been awakened, have until 20 January 2021 to get yourself and your family’s ducks in a row.  Follow this outline for 10 weeks if you can, and add something else in it for the rest of the time available:

Study and training. Across the board.

After completing the basic plan, which gets you at least somewhat self-sufficient, your priorities should be–in this order:

  • First Aid/Medical training.
  • Food storage.
  • Survival.
  • Tactics & weapons.

This is not contradictory; the order is deliberate.  Yes, you need to know how to effectively use a weapon, but you also need, desperately, how to tend to wounds, injuries, infections, and disease not typically seen in a ‘normal’ setting. Here’s one of many resources on the topic.

You also need to know how to purify water; how to put up food so it will last, how to effectively communicate in your neighborhood and how to listen to more distant sources of information.  AP’s own NC Scout is one of the best resources for that.  You’ll even find opportunities to attend classes that will quickly bring you up to the speed you need to be at for effectively communicating.  You’ll also need to learn about the subject of intelligence.  AP will be an excellent resource for that as well.

Bottom line:  Your entire existence from now until the point where you’re adequately prepared needs to be one of study, exercise, training, study, frugal purchasing, setting up your home or ‘hidey hole’ so your family can make it, and so on.  You can do this; it’s not that difficult.  It takes discipline and resolve.

When it comes to recriminations later, during an emergency, when something you could have done to better prepare wasn’t accomplished due to your own procrastination, remember, there’s an old saying that I live by:  “There are no victims, only volunteers….”

I first did this post about 12 years ago under my since retired ‘nom de guerre,’ and a very good friend of mine (Concerned American from Western Rifle Shooters Association, and now AP) and a couple others asked me if I’d mind updating it again for 2018.  Remember, the days we’re living in RIGHT NOW demonstrate things are spinning faster in the vortex than ever before, and this might be the your last chance to get in gear.  Feel free to add or take away from this plan as your situation and local area conditions may require.  This is by no means the best or only plan; rather, it’s one that may help someone with no knowledge or skills.  There are other good perspectives on this subject out there, and they shouldn’t be discounted.


You may be thinking, “WORST case??  What could POSSIBLY get any worse than how things are now?? There’s nothing Ican do.  Things being the way they are, it’s basically over; all we can do is wait for the hammer to fall.”

Well, for one thing, that’s not true!  Many folks just like you don’t agree with or believe that perspective in the slightest!  There’s a lot you can do!  And, if this plan helps get you thinking of what you can do instead of what you can’t do, we all might just benefit from your action!  In fact, if enough folks begin to think about what they can do, we just might avert the “worst case,” and many more of us may live through these ‘interesting times’ that are certainly headed our way!  So, while you’re reading this, keep that thought in mind, ok?

The plan itself is divided into two parts:  The items required and the timetable to do it in.  Remember, prudent people see danger coming and prepare, while the foolish do nothing (or just sit at their keyboard and ENDLESSLY COMPLAIN about how terrible things are) and suffer for it.  To put us all on an equal footing for the case presented, let’s get ready to plan by using the following scenario as a back drop:

The time frame:  To be sure, ten weeks, especially today, when national and world tensions increasing by the hour, can seem to be a very, very long time in terms of ‘getting prepared/trained/fit/mentally ready’ to protect and defend your family, neighborhood, community and country from marauding apocalypse zombies coming from whatever direction or source you care to focus on.  For now, rather than looking at a fictional futuristic even, let’s look at what’s happened in the last 9 years incrementally.

  • Executive orders giving Interpol complete carte blanche to operate within our borders with no restrictions, oversight, accountability, even to the state department or the executive branch.  Never mind congress.
  • A[n]…..election process so corrupted and rigged to be all but worthless in regards to what you and I vote for.
  • 7 plus years of equipping, arming, violently indoctrinating…and militarizing, through federal auspices, civilian law enforcement, and non-law enforcement agencies, even non-governmental agencies.
  • Creation of a continental internal federal police state with powers that ignore every personal liberty based protection [from government overreach] in the US Constitution.
  • Numerous executive branch acts of limiting arms, their manufacture, importation and sale [to citizens], void of due process of law.  [Current implications from the Oval Office are that a series of ‘Executive Orders’ will further curtail the Second Amendment bypassing Congress as well as the Constitutional amending process.]
  • The UN International Small Arms Agreement, a foreign treaty signed by the former administration’s Secretary of State.  A treaty never having been presented to the Senate for ratification.
  • States openly calling for the confiscation of semi-automatic rifles in places like Lexington (yes, THE Lexington).
  • UN troops to be invited into the US for the purpose of assisting the US government in combating violent extremism. Extremely violent criminal gangs and religions with penchants for beheading and burning captives alive are not included in the definition of ‘extremists.’
  • Daily calls from the state co-opted ‘media’ repeating the message to unilaterally disarm the citizenry, constitutional protections be damned.

So, how do you get ready for an imminent disaster affecting the entire nation like that?  Not possible you say?  Think for a moment:  The Law of Unintended Consequences usually provides extreme results beyond those anticipated or planned in any situation it becomes involved with.  So, that being said, let’s examine this, even if only from an academic perspective.

First, consider the description above.  It’s certainly beyond possible that events in our country can become catastrophic; these things above have happened, and more are happening.  But is it nefarious in design?

Many seem to think so, but what’s relevant as you read this is what you think.  Consider current affairs in Eastern, and now, Western Europe.  Examine current affairs in our own country.  Consider the publicized plans of various agencies to quell ‘civil unrest.’  Think about the publicized military exercises that name military veterans and religious groups as ‘domestic terrorists.’   And then, before you go any further, make a determination:  Is this a bunch of paranoid “tin foil hat” crap or maybe, just maybe, is there something to this and you, gentle reader, need to do something positive to take care of your family and friends.  If you had the time (which you don’t, believe me), you could do your own investigation from objective sources, file Freedom of Information Act Requests (FOIA) and find that it is, in fact, not only plausible, but the stage is being set every day for just such an eventuality.

If you decide the facts don’t support your personal preparedness, just toss this out.  Delete.  File 13.  Trash.  Round file.  I hope you enjoy your life and are prosperous.  Read no further.

However, if you decide facts presented do support getting started preparing, you have much to think about, much to do, and much to gain in the way of putting yourself, your family and your friends in a better position of an increased chance of living through it.

Think about it.  I’ll wait.


Top 20 Prepping Mistakes to Avoid


With the abundance of bad information out there and the overwhelming amount you need to learn, it’s easy for new preppers to make a lot of mistakes. I’ve made many mistakes myself and I’m sure I’ll make more, but that’s part of the learning process. To help you speed up this process, here are some common prepping mistakes you’ll want to avoid (in no particular order).

1. Not Having a Survival Library

Books are less common these days because we do so much reading on the Internet and Kindles. But if the power goes out, having a good collection of survival books could save your life. They’ll give you something to read when you’re bored, and good survival references have important instructions on things like purifying water, building fires, and medical care.

While you’ll want to learn as much of this info as you can ahead of time, no one can know everything, and there are bound to be times when a survival library will come in handy. Check out my list of the top 100 survival books for suggestions.

2. Focusing on Supplies Instead of Skills

Of course, just because you have all the best books on survival doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother to learn survival skills. It’s possible your books will be destroyed or you won’t be able to get to them. The same rule applies to your survival food and gear. What if you’re at work when your home is destroyed by an explosion, earthquake, or some other disastrous event? Would you still have the skills to survive, or are you completely dependent on your food and gear?

3. Not Having Enough Water Preps

I cannot overemphasize the importance of water. There are many survivalists who have six months of food and only two weeks of water on hand. Considering that you can survive without food about ten times as long as you can survive without water, you’d be better off with two weeks of food and six months of water. Don’t do that either, but at least make sure your water will last as long as your food. If you don’t have enough room, there are many ways to collect and purify water.

4. Not Storing a Large Variety of Foods

Too many new preppers buy nothing but rice, beans, flour, salt, and sugar. If that’s all you have to eat after a disaster, you’re going to be miserable. Your body will have trouble adjusting to the new bare-bones diet and you’ll suffer from food fatigue, where your survival food won’t be appetizing even when you’re very hungry. Make sure you buy the ingredients for a variety of possible meals so you’ll feel satisfied every time you eat. This leads to my next point…

5. Not Eating What You Store

This was the first mistake I made when I started stocking up on food. I bought all kinds of survival food–dehydrated, freeze-dried, flour, sugar, etc–sealed it up, put it in the closet, and forgot about it. When I finally got around to eating some of it, I realized I absolutely hated it, especially the freeze-dried stuff. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy samples from various food storage companies until you find foods you like. Then regularly eat that food as you rotate through it (see #18 below).

The other problem I had was not knowing what to do with the flour, sugar, and other basic ingredients. If you’re not sure how to cook meals from scratch, I’d recommend getting some cookbooks and a guide like Better From Scratch or The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

6. Not Having Enough Vitamins

Personally, I think everyone should be taking multivitamins since most modern diets don’t provide the nutrition we need, but this will be even more important in a survival situation. The stress of having your life turned upside down, constant threats to you and your family, and manual labor will take a lot of energy and tax your immune system. Vitamins will help keep you strong and healthy, especially Vitamin C.

7. Relying Only On Food Storage

While the last few points have been about food, don’t forget all your other survival needs. When most people think about prepping, the first things they think about are food and water and they proceed to stock up on them while neglecting first aid supplies, bug out bags, cooking implements, weapons and other important items. While food should be your first priority, don’t forget your other priorities.

8. Relying Only On An Arsenal

At the other end the spectrum, there are some preppers who focus all their attention on guns and ammo. The reasoning is that not only will they be able to protect themselves, they’ll be able to hunt their food and trade ammo for other supplies. This is unrealistic, especially if you’re in or near a city. The little bit of wildlife in your area will be picked clean by others, and most people won’t be interested in your ammo as they, like you, will be looking to trade for food and other vital supplies. By all means, get a few survival guns, but don’t go overboard.

9. Not Taking Care of Pets

As much as we all love our pets, for some reason, it’s easy to forget that they need emergency preps as well. Animals require more than just food and water. Put together a pet survival kit and maybe a bug out bag for your dogs and/or cats.

10. Planning On Bugging Out No Matter What

Although having a bug out bag and a vehicle survival kit is important, there are many circumstances where you’re better off sheltering in place. It just depends. Unless you have advance warning of a disaster, it will be very difficult to get from your home to your bug out location. The streets will be congested, roads and entire areas could be inaccessible, and gas could become unavailable. That’s why I think it’s so important to be ready to shelter in place, which means having plenty of home security measures.

11. Not Preparing Your Family

This one is huge. There are a lot of preppers out there who do all the work and practice but leave nothing for their families to do. This puts the family at a disadvantage because only one family member knows what to do in the event of a disaster, meaning that if anything happens to that person, the rest of the family will be in trouble.

You don’t have to force everyone else in your family to be as into prepping as you are, but you should at least build bug out bags for the family make sure they know the importance of prepping and teach them some basic techniques and skills. (Here’s how to talk to a non-prepper spouse.)

12. Preparing Too Fast

It’s perfectly understandable if you’re excited to prep and trying buy as much of your stockpile as you can all at once. You may also feel you’re running out of time before a potential disaster strikes and need to prepare NOW. In reality, prepping too fast can cost you a lot of money, make you less organized, and cause you to make even more mistakes. Instead, make a prioritized checklist and then strive to cross off the things on that checklist in order.

13. Buying Gear Without Researching First

There’s a ton of information and product reviews on all types survival gear and equipment. The last thing you want to do is buy something without first consulting that information. If you do, you’re liable to get something that breaks the first time you try to use it. This means you should thoroughly research a product before buying it. Read product reviews online, watch video reviews, and scan reviews from customers on sites such as Amazon to get a general idea of the quality of the product.

14. Not Testing Out Your Gear and Equipment

This one goes hand in hand with preparing too fast. Make sure you know how to use each and every piece of survival gear and equipment you buy. Learn how to use it for each of the tasks it’s intended for, learn how to disassemble and reassemble it (if possible), and actually read the manual. This is the only way to make sure your gear will work before you use it in a real-life disaster scenario.

15. Only Preparing For One Type Of Disaster

While you may feel there is one type of disaster that is a more imminent threat than others, disaster preparedness is all about preparing yourself and your family for anything that could happen. If you want to prepare for the disaster you feel is the greatest threat first, that’s fine, but only preparing for that disaster and nothing else is foolish. No one knows the future, and oftentimes the most unexpected things are what happen first.

16. Telling the World You’re a Prepper

When the going gets tough, people do desperate things to stay alive. This means even the neighbors who you thought you could trust may turn on you in a disaster scenario, especially if they know you have a stockpile of food and water. The only people who should know you’re a prepper are your family and a close-knit group of friends. Telling everyone you meet that you’re a prepper will come back to haunt you when disaster strikes. (By the way, here’s what to do if people find out you’re a prepper.)

17. Not Having Enough Backup Plans

There’s an old saying that nothing goes according to plan. This will never be any truer than in a survival or disaster scenario. Thought you could bug in? Nope, it turns out your home is in the path of a wildfire that is headed your way. Thought you could take your favorite route out of town? Nope, the road is blocked. Thought you could rendezvous at your bug out location? Nope, a dangerous group of people got there first. Thought you had enough food and water to live on? Nope, the disaster lasted too long and you’re out of supplies.


I could go on and on. Nothing will go according to plan when disaster strikes and that’s why you don’t just need a backup plan, you need multiple backup plans (and backup gear, for that matter).

18. Not Rotating Your Food and Water

Many people like to buy lots of survival food, stick it in the pantry, and call it a day. That’s great and all, but eventually that food is going to go bad. Imagine a disaster has struck, the grocery store shelves are empty, your entire family is hungry, and all you have in the pantry is old, rotten, infested food. That’s why it’s so important to rotate your food and water on a regular basis so you know you always have uncontaminated, high-quality food and water on your shelves.

19. Forgetting About Sanitation and Personal Hygiene

Many people don’t realize it, but sanitation standards are going to drop significantly if the SHTF. Sure, you might have all of the food, water, firearms, and ammunition that you need to outlast the disaster, but if you get sick or infected as a result of the poor sanitation, none of those other preps are going to matter. Remember, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. You need a complete first aid kit in your preps in addition to basic personal hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, and so on.

20. Keeping All of Your Preps in One Place

Another old saying is to never keep all your eggs in one basket. When it comes to prepping, this means you should never keep all of your preps in the same location. Diversify where you keep everything. Keep some of your supplies at home, some of it in your car, in a shed out back, in a garage in the city, at your bug out location, in survival caches, and so forth. This way you’ll be able to access at least part of your total stockpile regardless of where you are when the disaster hits.

Don’t beat yourself up if you make a few mistakes. We all do. But take time to learn from the mistakes of others in order to make your prepping journey as smooth as possible. If you want to learn more, check out these prepper tips I wish I’d heard before I started prepping.

Pioneer Foods We Will All Be Eating Again After Doomsday

by Jacob Hunter

Primal Survivor

When we talk about the pioneers, it is usually as people who sought out a better life where they could exercise their religion in freedom.  In focusing on their pursuit of freedom, we often gloss over the fact that the early pioneers were incredibly brave…

And also incredibly self-sufficient.

There were hardly any stores along the Oregon Trail (or the numerous other pioneer trails) where they could pick up provisions.  They had to know how to forage their own food and cook meals out of practically nothing.

Even once they were settled, the pioneers still had to be resilient.  A single storm could take out half a year’s worth of food supplies.  There wasn’t any refrigeration and even home canning didn’t become common until later (which, of course, you’d need access to jars to do!).

I personally find all aspects of pioneer life fascinating: how they organized labor, how they handled medicine, how they built their homes…

But how the pioneers ate is one of the most fascinating aspects of their life.  It gives you insight into how creative and hard-working they were in their endeavors to sustain their families in tough situations.

Below are some of the foods that the pioneers ate – and what we might be eating again if a disaster strikes.

Common Pioneer Foods

  • Bread: The pioneers didn’t have packages of yeast. They usually made their bread with the “salt-rising” method. The bread dough was mixed in a kettle while they were traveling.  Natural bacteria in the dough would make it rise. Then the dough was baked in the kettle over a campfire at night.  Read more about it here.
  • Cured Meat: Without refrigerators, meat was preserved either by smoke curing or salt curing. To salt cure meat, salt was rubbed into the meat.  The meat was then covered with salt for about 1 month, during which time more salt was continuously added. Bacon was a particular favorite of the pioneers. More about food preservation here.
  • Cornmeal, dried corn: The pioneers brought along dried corn and would grind it into meal to make cakes and breads.
  • Lard: Forget fancy olive oil! The pioneers used fat from animals to cook their food. It was a staple on the trail.
  • Eggs: Pioneers on the Oregon Trail did bring chickens along in crates tied to the backs of their wagons. However, it is doubtful that they laid eggs in the bumpy, stressful conditions.  Eggs were mostly used in pioneer recipes once they got settled.
  • Rabbits, squirrels and small game: These could be easily hunted along the way.
  • Squash: Squash, such as pumpkins, don’t spoil quickly and can also be found growing in the wild. The pioneers would make mashes and cakes out of them.
  • Dried fruit: To dry fruit, pioneers would lay the sliced fruit out in the sun.
  • Tubers (potatoes, turnips, etc.): These were also a pioneer favorite because they lasted a long time without spoiling. Tubers could also be foraged easily on the frontier.

Pioneer Recipes

Here’s some real pioneer recipes.  Not all of them are bad, so give ‘em a try!


Also called “sea biscuit,” hardtack was eaten by pioneers, sailors, and soldiers during war.  It is made of flour and water which are mixed together and baked for a long time in an oven.  During bad times, the pioneers often had nothing to eat but hardtack dipped into coffee.

Recommended Reading: How to Make Hardtack


Pioneers brought along dried corn because it didn’t spoil.  They could grind it into meal to make biscuits or “cakes.”  For hoecake, mix the following ingredients and fry on skillet:

  • 2 cups corn meal
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbs shortening

Pocket Yams

First make a campfire.  Once you’ve got a good amount of coals, you are ready to bake the yams (or potatoes).  Cover the yams with the coals and let them bake until steam is coming out of them – about 40 minutes.  Note that the yams shouldn’t be in the flames, just in the hot coals.

When the yams are done, DO NOT EAT THEM.

These yams are meant to go into your pocket to warm up your hands! This is just another cool way that pioneer mothers kept their families warm during the cold months.

Cooked Cabbage Salad

This recipe probably comes from German pioneers, who particularly loved cabbage dishes.  Make in a skillet:

  • 1 pint of chopped cabbage
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 tsp butter
  • Salt and pepper

If they had it, the pioneers might add some sugar and a ½ cup of fresh cream to the cabbage.

Mormon Gravy

Gravy was slathered on top of vegetable pies, bread, or potatoes.  It added much-needed flavor and moisture to the bland, dry food.  To make it:

  • Heat up skillet with 3-4 tbsp of meat drippings
  • Add 3 tbsp of flour; stir constantly while browning the flour
  • Remove from heat and add 2 cups of milk; stir
  • Return to heat, stir constantly until mixture is smooth and thick
  • Season with salt and pepper

Bread Pudding

The pioneers didn’t waste anything.  So, they used stale bread to make bread pudding.

  • 2 cups cubed stale bread
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter or lard
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt

Put bread in a baking dish. In a saucepan, mix milk, sugar, and butter together. Remove from heat and whisk in eggs. Pour mixture over the bread.  Make at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Thrift Fritters

The pioneers didn’t always know what foods they’d find.  For example, they might come back from a foraging trip with a few wild carrots, nettles, and wild onion.  These random veggies could be added to old mashed potatoes along with a beaten egg and some patties.  Form them into patties and fry in drippings to make a fritter.

Butterless, Eggless, Milkless Cake

This sounds like a recipe for a health-food cake, but it is really a pioneer classic!

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 2 tbsp of hot water
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder

To make, boil the first 8 ingredients (sugar through salt) together for a couple minutes.  Then add the baking soda, flour, and baking powder.  Bake in a flat pan at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Tender Meat

The pioneers brought along cattle for milk and sometimes would butcher them.  They didn’t exactly have the most tender meat!  Other game wasn’t exactly tender either.

To tenderize the meat, they used this recipe:

  • Mix together 1 cup of fine breadcrumbs with some salt, pepper, thyme, or other herbs
  • Add enough milk to make a very thick dressing
  • Spread dressing over meat.
  • Roll up the meat and tie it with twine.
  • Brown the meat in fat.
  • Add ½ pint of water. Cover and cook until the meat is tender.

Corn Soup

Dried corn was a staple of the pioneers.  They made all sorts of things out of it, including soup.

The pioneer women would add whatever they had to the soup.  For example, they might boil together the dried corn with wild greens, potatoes, parsley, peppers, beans, eggs, and rice to make a hearty soup.

Bacon and Sourdough Pancakes

This one actually sounds good, right? It wouldn’t exactly pass modern health inspections though because the sourdough starter was made by leaving flour + water out for days.  The bacteria in the air would cause it to ferment.

You can read more about how to make sourdough here.

What do you think you’ll be cooking if a disaster hits and wipes out the grid?

Resources for this article include: