Avoiding Deficiencies in a Post-Apocalyptic World

by Richard Marshall

Tactical and Survival

Out of food? Go to Trader Joe’s! But what if there is not a Trader Joe’s? 7-11 will do, right? Who doesn’t like a Slurpee and beef jerky? No 7-11 you say? Yes, when disaster strikes, there might be a possibility that stores will not be of service and you will have to rely on Mother Nature to supply your food. After all, 7-11 or no, you still have to eat. It’s crucial that you avoid vitamin and nutrient deficiencies if you want to stay alive!

If you want to stay nourished, you know you should keep a nice survival food stash. It’s only one of the most discussed survival topics! Dried or canned meats, dried fruits, nuts, peanut butter, and canned vegetables are good examples of highly nutritious foods to keep around. In order to survive, keeping yourself nourished is absolutely essential, especially if you want to avoid deficiencies.

Depending on the vitamin or mineral, deficiencies can affect the body in many different ways. Everything from major illnesses or depression can be attributed to deficiencies, and can affect all parts of the body, so deficiencies are not something you can take lightly.

  • Vitamin A deficiencies may include slow bone formation, night blindness, dry eyes which can lead to blindness, increased susceptibility to cold and virus infections, and frequent infections of the bladder or urinary tract.
  • There are six different types of vitamin B: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12. Deficiency of any of these B vitamins can range from mild to severe symptoms like chronic fatigue, muscular weakness, or dry cracked skin to dementia and depression.
  • Vitamin C deficiency symptoms include dry hair and skin, weakness, nosebleeds. Severe deficiency of vitamin C can lead to scurvy which rare but not impossible.
  • A deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to irritability and depression, as well as bone and muscle problems including, but not limited to, rickets, osteoporosis, and skeletal deformities and retardation in young children. Vitamin D deficiencies can also increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Vitamin D is a critical vitamin found in many foods ranging from egg yolks, salmon and sweet potatoes, and has many healthy attributes ranging from mental clarity and focus to maintaining the proper amount of calcium in your blood.

Given that other vitamins and minerals perform essential functions in our bodies, deficiencies can cause major problems for our bodies if we don’t properly keep up with healthy food intake. Deficiencies can lower our chances of survival during a chaotic situation such as a major disaster. While the effects of vitamin deficiencies may take a while to appear, the effects tend to linger once they do.

Many crucial nutrients can be found in nature. The most essential nutrients are (in order of importance) protein, carbohydrates, fat, salt and potassium. Protein is most commonly found in meat and fish, but protein is also found in dairy and nuts. Carbohydrates are found in grains, fruits, and a lot of dairy products: dairy products actually contain more carbohydrates than protein. Fat, which is critical for energy and protecting the body from extreme temperatures, is found in many foods, but the most preferred portable sources of fat are peanut butter, canned fish (sardines in particular), nuts, and dried coconut, as well as many food bars. Salt and potassium, which regulate heart and muscle functions, are also found in many natural foods. Potassium is commonly found in fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, cantaloupe and broccoli, but is also found in yogurt and white beans. Salt is found naturally in meats and nuts, and most vegetables have at least some natural salts.

Disaster can strike when you least expect it, so it’s good to be prepared! Proper nourishment is very important in everyday life, but imagine if you had no other option butto stay properly nourished to stay alive. To survive in the wild with limited resources, keep the following in mind:

  • Fish has a ton of survival nutrients, including many necessary vitamins and minerals (something many people aren’t aware of);
  • Some sort of edible wild berries grow in most US states and are rich in vitamins, C, E and K;
  • Meat is rich in protein fat, iron and minerals;
  • Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D;
  • Many US states have watercress and asparagus, which are rich in vitamin C, B, Folate and a lot more;
  • Dandelions make a good salad.

Get ready now by studying local edible plant live, make sure you have plenty of seeds to plant a garden and continue to grow your food stash. A fun fact before you go: most basic essential vitamins can be found in broccoli and Brussels sprouts!

A Guide to Looting When the SHTF (And Your Counter-Strategies)

Law and order will be the first casualty when the shit hits the fan. Recent historical examples the world over, including New Orleans, Haiti, and Chile show that without policing, looting will become an immediate danger.

The following Guide to Looting When the SHTF by Thomas Northrop of No Bullshit Survival shows that survival and preparedness planning does not include just storing food, supplies, guns, and medicine, or creating tactical defense plans for your home and property. There will be organized gangs, whose sole method of acquiring necessities will be through looting. A friend recently mentioned that when discussing possible collapse scenarios at the water cooler, one of his office coworkers suggested that he would simply take what he needs from other people if it came down to it. Thus the looter mentality is not as isolated as we may think. In all likelihood, this person has already considered what he would do, how he would do it, and how far he was willing to go.

This is a reality, so understanding and accepting it as such is important now – so that you are fully prepared to deal with it if ever confronted by such a situation.

If you’re a law abiding citizen I suggest you don’t read this section. In some historical instances extraordinary measures have been taken against looters during times of crisis. It’s not uncommon in some countries for looters to be shot, either by police, army, or business owners. Some governments will justify the shooting of looters with the excuse of “preventing further damage to the economy”. I suggest you get out of countries that value the economy over your life.

Warnings aside… Let’s get down to business!

What is Looting?

Looting is essentially the act of stealing goods during a catastrophe, riot, war, or natural disaster and can also be referred to as sacking, plundering or pillaging. Looting is almost always opportunistic and usually occurs during a collapse in authority.

Looting can be justified in many ways. Some people may feel that if the goods are not stolen, they will be wasted. Another common belief is that if they don’t steal the goods, it will be stolen by someone else. In the aftermath of a large disaster, these beliefs both hold credence and are good reasons for you to be looting!

Preparing

As with any endeavor, preparation is the key to success. In order to take optimal advantage of a disaster and loot effectively you’ll want to get several things handled ahead of time. The next few pages will cover all the information you need to become a master looter.

Make a Looting Kit

There are a few items that will make looting a lot easier. You’ll want to keep these items ready and on hand for when shit hits the fan. They should be kept together in the location for easy access so you just pick them up and go when it’s time.

Crow bar

The ultimate urban survival tool! A nice, heavy crowbar can be used to break into stores, clear your way through rubble and it can be used as a weapon! Don’t underestimate the crowbar. There are a million things you can do with a crowbar, just use your imagination.

Bump keys

These are keys that have been grinded down in such a way that they can be used to open almost any lock. Bump keys are used by locksmiths and they’re relatively easy to use. A crowbar will get you through any door or window but a bump key will get you through without making a mess.

Laundry bag

A strong, large drawstring bag is a definite must for looting. Laundry bags are great for the purpose of looting. They have a large carrying capacity and when empty they can be folded to fit in your pocket. You can always go for a large backpack, duffle bag or rucksack but they’re cumbersome, expensive and made for looks more then anything else.

A dollar coin or quarter

You may be wondering… a dollar coin or quarter? What the hell for? Well the answer may be a lot simpler then you imagine. The coin is for a shopping cart! Just make sure you get one before the other looters! If you don’t want to use a coin, you can always use the crowbar to break the chains holding them together.

Flash light / Lantern

It’s very likely that if the situation permits looting, the power is probably out. Good luck getting over fallen shelves and getting food in the dark. Looting with one hand will also be difficult but there are a few methods around that. I suggest placing the lantern or flash light in the shopping cart, get a head lamp, or just bring someone along to shine the light and push the cart.

Make a Looting Team

Find several friends or family members and make a plan! It’s all about leverage, you can get a lot more done if your work as team. Get everyone together in a room and discuss a plan of action. Here are the questions you’ll want to have answered:

  • Under what circumstances will looting take place?
  • Where will the goods be kept?
  • Who has a vehicle for transportation?
  • What are the best locations for looting?
  • Should each individual go to a different store?
  • Should everyone go as team?
  • What goods have priority?

If each person focuses on acquiring a certain type of item, you’ll collectively save a lot of time and effort. What I mean by this is that one person will collect water filters, one person will collect rice and beans, and the other person will collect fuel. That’s just an example and should be customized to fit your team needs.

Mapping and Creating a List of Target Addresses

Get a detailed map of your city and mark off important looting locations. Make a legend with symbols to represent different types of locations, for instance, use a circle for food stores, triangles for hunting/outdoor stores, squares for hospitals and pharmacies etc. A good resource for finding addresses and locations is Google maps, just type in a store name and Google will give you all the addresses for that store in your area. Copy and paste the results into a .txt file and print it out for future use. This map is extremely important and should be kept in a safe area. The map should be copied and distributed among friends and family. Here’s a list of some locations to keep in mind:

  • Hospitals
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores
  • Large stores and warehouses
  • Police stations
  • Fire stations
  • Factories
  • Shipyards
  • Pharmacies
  • Liquor stores
  • Malls
  • People’s houses
  • Schools
  • Sporting good stores
  • Outdoor living stores
  • Garden stores
  • Hardware stores
  • Military / Armory bases
  • Gas stations
  • Air ports
  • Shipping container sites
  • Hotels

What to Loot

Some items are important to loot and some aren’t. A wide screen TV for instance will not contribute to your chances of survival. The highest priority should be on food and water but depending on location, finding water may be a problem. Water is too heavy to move around so instead of looting water bottles the focus should be on buckets and water filters. The value of money may be worthless in a disaster situation and therefore should not be a high priority. The most important items to loot are as follows:

  • Personal medicine (if required)
  • Water filters and water
  • Rice
  • Dried lentils, legumes, beans
  • Salt
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Sugar
  • Cooking oil
  • Coffee
  • Money (preferably in change)
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Energy bars
  • Coo laid/ electrolytes
  • Fuel/oil
  • Places to Avoid

The family run corner stores should be avoided as the owners actually have an interest in the store. The best historical example to illustrate this point occurred during the LA riots… remember Korea town?. Go for the Walmarts and Super stores as the employees could care less about you looting (they have no vested interest in the store).

Looting When Shit Hits the Fan

You have a plan and you know what to do but now we’ll going into the details of what happens next.

It’s my personal belief that violence will not break out in the first stages of a disaster since food and supplies are still in relative abundance and people have what they need to survive. This has been proven during hurricane Katrina and many other disasters. The first few weeks of a disaster should be spent looting and acquiring resources. Everyone in your team should loot the area and acquire as much as a possible. It’s only after several weeks of looting that gangs and groups will have formed and violence will erupt. Fighting will most likely occur over food and resources. All looting from that time on should be executed with extreme caution.

Source: No Bullshit Survival

We will undoubtedly get flack for publishing this “guide,” so to clear things up, we are posting this not so much as an instructional manual for how to loot, but to reiterate the point that there are those, and they are plentiful, who are fully prepared to take what they need at the expense of others.

You may have stereotypes of what a looter looks like and the people they will be traveling with. Stop stereotyping, because the fact of the matter is, that when people are hungry and under extreme stress the line between right and wrong is blurred and very easily crossed…

With respect to the looting guide above, Mr. Northrop’s list of items to loot are, for the most part, necessities. Some might even suggest that instead of looting, we could call it “foraging,” at least when it comes to the essentials. Imagine for a moment that one of your family members has sustained an injury and requires antibiotics. Would you or would you not break into the pharmacy down the street to gain access to Penicillin? The same goes for food. If you’re food stores were wiped out, for whatever reason, and you knew of a train fully loaded with boxes of dry goods, would you or would you not “loot” that train to acquire the much needed food?

Some would argue that abandoned grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals or distribution centers don’t belong to any one individual, so looting in those areas is not as bad as, say, breaking into someone’s home.

Supplies at those abandoned locations, however, will eventually and likely very quickly, run dry as everyone who hasn’t prepared (probably north of 90% of the population) will be scrambling to get as much food as they can.

You can probably guess what happens next. This is why it is important to prepare right now. The last place you want to be when the SHTF is out with the rest of the looters and foragers. It would be much more preferable to be at home finalizing your defense preparations – doing things like setting up barbed wire, firing lines, booby traps and coordinating with neighbors – because if the disaster event lasts for more than a week without outside resupply, gangs and looters are going to be headed your way next.

Hat tip Tess Pennington

If you’re a law abiding citizen I suggest you don’t read this section. In some historical instances extraordinary measures have been taken against looters during times of crisis. It’s not uncommon in some countries for looters to be shot, either by police, army, or business owners. Some governments will justify the shooting of looters with the excuse of “preventing further damage to the economy”. I suggest you get out of countries that value the economy over your life. Warnings aside… Let’s get down to business!

What is Looting?
Looting is essentially the act of stealing goods during a catastrophe, riot, war, or natural disaster and can also be referred to as sacking, plundering or pillaging. Looting is almost always opportunistic and usually occurs during a collapse in authority.

Looting can be justified in many ways. Some people may feel that if the goods are not stolen, they will be wasted. Another common belief is that if they don’t steal the goods, it will be stolen by someone else. In the aftermath of a large disaster, these beliefs both hold credence and are good reasons for you to be looting!

Preparing
As with any endeavor, preparation is the key to success. In order to take optimal advantage of a disaster and loot effectively you’ll want to get several things handled ahead of time. The next few pages will cover all the information you need to become a master looter.

Make a Looting Kit
There are a few items that will make looting a lot easier. You’ll want to keep these items ready and on hand for when shit hits the fan. They should be kept together in the location for easy access so you just pick them up and go when it’s time.

Crow bar
The ultimate urban survival tool! A nice, heavy crowbar can be used to break into stores, clear your way through rubble and it can be used as a weapon! Don’t underestimate the crowbar. There are a million things you can do with a crowbar, just use your imagination.

Bump keys

These are keys that have been grinded down in such a way that they can be used to open almost any lock. Bump keys are used by locksmiths and they’re relatively easy to use. A crowbar will get you through any door or window but a bump key will get you through without making a mess.

Laundry bag

A strong, large drawstring bag is a definite must for looting. Laundry bags are great for the purpose of looting. They have a large carrying capacity and when empty they can be folded to fit in your pocket. You can always go for a large backpack, duffle bag or rucksack but they’re cumbersome, expensive and made for looks more then anything else.

A dollar coin or quarter

You may be wondering… a dollar coin or quarter? What the hell for? Well the answer may be a lot simpler then you imagine. The coin is for a shopping cart! Just make sure you get one before the other looters! If you don’t want to use a coin, you can always use the crowbar to break the chains holding them together.

Flash light / Lantern

It’s very likely that if the situation permits looting, the power is probably out. Good luck getting over fallen shelves and getting food in the dark. Looting with one hand will also be difficult but there are a few methods around that. I suggest placing the lantern or flash light in the shopping cart, get a head lamp, or just bring someone along to shine the light and push the cart.

Make a Looting Team
Find several friends or family members and make a plan! It’s all about leverage, you can get a lot more done if your work as team. Get everyone together in a room and discuss a plan of action. Here are the questions you’ll want to have answered:

  • Under what circumstances will looting take place?
  • Where will the goods be kept?
  • Who has a vehicle for transportation?
  • What are the best locations for looting?
  • Should each individual go to a different store?
  • Should everyone go as team?
  • What goods have priority?

If each person focuses on acquiring a certain type of item, you’ll collectively save a lot of time and effort. What I mean by this is that one person will collect water filters, one person will collect rice and beans, and the other person will collect fuel. That’s just an example and should be customized to fit your team needs.

Mapping and Creating a List of Target Addresses
Get a detailed map of your city and mark off important looting locations. Make a legend with symbols to represent different types of locations, for instance, use a circle for food stores, triangles for hunting/outdoor stores, squares for hospitals and pharmacies etc. A good resource for finding addresses and locations is Google maps, just type in a store name and Google will give you all the addresses for that store in your area. Copy and paste the results into a .txt file and print it out for future use. This map is extremely important and should be kept in a safe area. The map should be copied and distributed among friends and family. Here’s a list of some locations to keep in mind:

  • Hospitals
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores
  • Large stores and warehouses
  • Police stations
  • Fire stations
  • Factories
  • Shipyards
  • Pharmacies
  • Liquor stores
  • Malls
  • People’s houses
  • Schools
  • Sporting good stores
  • Outdoor living stores
  • Garden stores
  • Hardware stores
  • Military / Armory bases
  • Gas stations
  • Air ports
  • Shipping container sites
  • Hotels

What to Loot
Some items are important to loot and some aren’t. A wide screen TV for instance will not contribute to your chances of survival. The highest priority should be on food and water but depending on location, finding water may be a problem. Water is too heavy to move around so instead of looting water bottles the focus should be on buckets and water filters. The value of money may be worthless in a disaster situation and therefore should not be a high priority. The most important items to loot are as follows:

  • Personal medicine (if required)
  • Water filters and water
  • Rice
  • Dried lentils, legumes, beans
  • Salt
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Sugar
  • Cooking oil
  • Coffee
  • Money (preferably in change)
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Energy bars
  • Coo laid/ electrolytes
  • Fuel/oil

Places to Avoid
The family run corner stores should be avoided as the owners actually have an interest in the store. The best historical example to illustrate this point occurred during the LA riots… remember Korea town?. Go for the Walmarts and Super stores as the employees could care less about you looting (they have no vested interest in the store).

Looting When Shit Hits the Fan
You have a plan and you know what to do but now we’ll going into the details of what happens next.
It’s my personal belief that violence will not break out in the first stages of a disaster since food and supplies are still in relative abundance and people have what they need to survive. This has been proven during hurricane Katrina and many other disasters. The first few weeks of a disaster should be spent looting and acquiring resources. Everyone in your team should loot the area and acquire as much as a possible. It’s only after several weeks of looting that gangs and groups will have formed and violence will erupt. Fighting will most likely occur over food and resources. All looting from that time on should be executed with extreme caution.

 

ShieldWall Note: The next, most important phase of resource security involves if possible working with local and County law enforcement to protect and defend resources sites, such as gasoline, propane, nonperishable food storage warehouses, and other mass supplies. If possible those resources might be relocated to more defensible areas, or defended in place to secure them for rationing rather than allow them to be destroyed and liquidated by hordes of looters. This would be a higher level of prepping, to first make contact with and build rapport with local and County law enforcement and elected officials, and thereby be able to influence future policy decisions such as whether to allow in refugees from the nearest starving urban areas, altogether or selectively. Control over those resources and how they are rationed will equal power after The Balk. 

PREPARING FOR A WORST CASE SCENARIO: THE 10-WEEK PLAN, PART 1

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.

PART II:  A SCENARIO

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

From: https://urbansurvivalsite.com/prepping-mistakes/

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!

Hardtack

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

Hoecake

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:

http://www.backwoodshome.com/some-pioneer-recipes/
http://www.chronicleoftheoldwest.com/chuckwagon.shtml
http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-beloved-pioneer-bread-that-smells-like-feet-and-breaks-food-safety-rules
http://recuerdosdelafamiliamiles.blogspot.rs/2012/08/pioneer-recipes.html
http://www.oregonpioneers.com/FoodChoices.htm