Saturday, December 31, 2016

Patriots' Prayers for 1-1-2017

What is wrong with America goes well beyond politics & economics. It is a spiritual sickness which infects the USA. No politician, no election, no piece of legislation, will cure spiritual sickness. We must appeal to a Higher Authority for that kind of healing. Please join me in praying for America.

Prayer for America

Save and protect, O Lord, these United States of America and have mercy on us. As a nation, we have turned our backs on you and have sinned. We have allowed our God-given liberties to be taken away. We have allowed the epidemic of abortion to fester out of control. We have allowed prayer to be eliminated from our schools, and Your Word and commandments to be banned from our public squares. We have allowed Your place in our nation’s history to be erased from our textbooks and our minds. We have turned our backs on Your teachings. We no longer look to You and Your Word for our standards of right and wrong, replacing those absolute truths with the whim of our own opinions.  We have allowed decadence and depravity of all sorts to become public and commonplace. Common decency has become a thing of the past. We confess these and all our sins to You and ask forgiveness for ourselves and our nation. Bring us to a state of true repentance - a returning to You - as both individuals and as a nation. We confess Your lordship over every aspect of our lives and our nation. Help us to follow You once again. Restore your mercy and blessings to these United States of America, and re-establish a hedge of protection around us. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.

Supporting Verse: "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." --2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) 

Additional Prayers
  • Save, O Lord, and have mercy upon the old, the young, the unborn, the needy and poor, the orphans and widows, the sick, the disabled, the oppressed and the imprisoned. Especially have mercy on those suffering for Your sake.
  • Grant, O Lord, blessings and mercies to all current and former members of our armed forces. Save them, protect them, and keep them safe.
  • Heavenly Father, bless and have mercy on all law enforcement officers throughout these United States of America. Save them, protect them, and keep them safe. Guide them in their duties, and grant them courage and wisdom. Watch over and protect their families. Comfort those who have lost friends and loved ones in the line of duty. Let them know your love and saving grace. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Amen. 
  • Bless, O Lord, and have mercy upon the State of Israel. Shield it with Your love, protect it, and let it know peace. Send Your light and wisdom to its leaders, and direct them with Your good counsel.
Daily Bible Reading 
(Since this is the beginning of the New Year, I thought it would be interesting to read the beginning of the Bible and human history.)

Sunday: Genesis 1:1 - 2:7 (History of Creation) 
Monday: Genesis 2:8-25 (Life in the Garden of Eden) 
Tuesday: Genesis 3 (Temptation and Fall) 
Wednesday: Genesis 4 (Cain and Abel) 
Thursday: Genesis 5 (Descendants of Adam) 
Friday: Genesis 6 (Noah) 
Saturday: Genesis 7:1 - 8:19 (The Flood)

Friday, December 30, 2016

An Invitation to Progressives New To Prepping

Dear Progressives,

I know that many of you are upset, and even frightened, by the election of Donald Trump. There have even been a few news stories claiming that some progressives are looking to become preppers, to prepare for the coming "disaster of a Trump Presidency" that they fear. I don't really care why you are becoming preppers. I'm just glad that you are. I believe in self-reliance, and I belive that the more Americans who are self-reliant, the better off we all will be. 

Let me introduce myself. My name is Tim Gamble, and I am one of Hillary Clinton's "deplorables." One of Obama's "bitter clingers." And I am a Trump voter (though he wasn't my choice in the primaries, as I voted for Ted Cruz). Don't worry. This invitation has nothing to do with politics. I just want to be honest and upfront woth you about who I am.

Here is the invitation: I want to invite you, as newbies to preparedness and survival, to read my website (, and to follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Why should you? I've been living the prepper/survivalist lifestyle for about 20 years now, and actively writing about it for at least 10 years. You will find lots of great information, advice, and tips regarding the self-reliant preparedness lifestyle on this website, and though my social media accounts. You probably won't like my politics, or even religion, but you can just ignore that stuff, and concentrate on the information you need. 

Where to start? I suggest you read my Quick, no frills, down & dirty guide to preparing for the End. This article will give you the outline of what you need to do to prepare to survive any difficult times that may be ahead, regardless of the cause. You might also like my Ways To Get Ready For The Future, which I wrote in 2013 specifically for folks like yourself, rather than my more conservative audience. I think you'll actually like it. 

Once you have an idea of what you need to be doing, you can then explore this site for lots of more detailed information. Let me point at a few of what I call my "Solutions" articles:

Becoming Self-Reliant  

How to SUCCEED at Prepping

Prepping 101: Finances - Get Back to Basics

Survival 101: Stockpiling as a Preparedness Strategy 

Prepper's Guide to Junk Silver

There are a lot of other useful articles, but start with those for now. And check back often, as I usually post at least one prepping related article each week, sometimes more.

Since you are a newbie, I would also suggest the following books: 

What Could Possibly Go Wrong??? How To Go From Completely Clueless To Totally Prepared, by Survivor Jane. Written by a woman especially for women (and others) who are just starting to prepare, it avoids much of the technical jargon, acronyms, and doom & gloom often found in other survivalist books. Does a great job of explaining why folks should prepare, and how to get started. 

Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook, by Peggy Layton. This book covers preparing for short-term disasters, with detailed information and lists for everything from an emergency car kit, to a 72-hour emergency kit (aka "bug out" kit), to building stockpiles of food, water, medicine and other necessities. Included in the book is a section on ideas for apartment dwellers and others with little storage space.

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times, by James Wesley Rawles. When you're ready to take the next step and get really serious about preparing for tough times, start with this book. It is a fairly comprehensive guide to preparing for political and/or economic collapse.

Best of luck,


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My Favorite Articles For 2016

Yesterday, I posted a list of the 10 most read articles on for 2016. But what are my favorite articles for 2016, and why? What articles do I think are the most useful or interesting?

In Gypsy Survival - A Different Prepper Strategy, I write about an alternative prepper strategy of high mobility that is fast becoming my "Plan B." Its based in part upon the gypsy culture (both historical and romantic), in which you survive by living a simple and very mobile lifestyle, allowing you to quickly move away from danger or towards opportunity as circumstances unfold. 

In a subsequent article, Typical Prepper versus Gypsy Survivalist, I speculate about what the Gypsy Survival Strategy might actually look like in practice. More articles in this series are planned for 2017, as I move to implement Gypsy Survival as my Plan B.

In Skills Every Real Man Should Have, I  discuss one of the main reasons for the decline of Western Civilization - that the traditional role of men, and traditional ideas of manhood, has been intentionally attacked for generations now. I also discuss various characteristics, abilities, and skills that all real men should strive to develop. I actually consider this article to be the most important article I wrote in 2016. 

The Patriot Citizen and Politics is a brief essay I wrote on the proper relationship be between the Citizen and Politics. This is NOT a "telling you who to vote for" partisan piece, but rather explores the proper relationship, in the style of our Founders,  we as citizens, Christians, and preppers, should have with politics. 

In God, the Old Man, and the River, I retell a parable on the importance for Christians to build self-reliance and prepare for tough times ahead. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Top 10 Articles of 2016

Here are the top 10 most read articles on this year. Thank you all for making 2016 a smashing success for this website!

10) The Top Priority for Long-Term Survival - long-term survival is about food production

9) Gypsy Survival - A Different Prepper Strategy - this alterntive prepper strategy of high mobility is fast becoming my "Plan B"

8) 48 Hours Until The End - What are your final preps? - a mental exercise: if you knew that a major disaster (an EMP event, political collapse, economic collapse, etc.) would happen 48 hours for now, what would your last-min ute preparations be? 

7) Emergency Numbers & Websites Everyone Should Know - a list of Emergency Numbers and Contact Information you should have with you at all times

6) Urban Camouflage (more than just the "Gray Man") - going unnoticed in the city and suburbs is about more than just the "gray man disguise"

5) The War on Cash - Prepare for the End of Cash - the push to eliminate cash is about one thing: control
4) Things To Do Before The Collapse - here is the stuff you need to get done before any major societal collapse happens

3) What To Do Before Losing Your Job - doesn't matter if you're concerned about an economic collapse or just the next recession, here's what to do before Losing your job

2) Things are looking bad - What you need to do NOW - what you need to do to get ready for any tough times that may lie ahead

1) Survivalist Myth? The Golden Horde - I argue, and give real world examples, that the idea of a mass exodus from the cities to the country is simply a myth. Sadly, most folks have learned helplessness and will die in the cities waiting for government to take care of them.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Patriots' Prayers for 12-25-2016

Christmas falls on the last Sunday of this year, and it is also the last edition of Patriots' Prayers for 2016. Thank you all for joining me in praying for America this past year, and I look forward to continuing to pray for America with you throughout 2017. My prayer for you and your family today is that you all have a wonderful, safe, and merry Christmas. --Tim

 A Christmas Prayer, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving God, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson

The Christmas Story -- Luke 2: 8-20 (NKJV)

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

       “Glory to God in the highest,
         And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Becoming Self-Reliant

The most important thing you can do to survive and thrive is to start taking personal responsibility now for your own life and the lives of your family. Note the "taking personal responsibility" part of that sentence. Taking personal responsibility is the core of self-reliance. Here are some ideas for how you can start building a self-reliant life and family.

The Foundations

Develop a Healthy Mentality - Mental attitude plays an enormous role in being self-reliant and overcoming adversity, so develop good mental health. I suggest starting with your spiritual side. Some suggestions: Develop  relationship with God. Pray. Read scripture. Go to Church or Synagogue. Reconnect with nature, family and friends. Work on building new, positive relationships. Don't be afraid of "weeding out" toxic people from your life. Get rid of any addictions in your life. Reduce stress by taking up a fun hobby or two and learning to relax. Be a life-long learner by reading, taking classes, learning new skills...

Five Keys to Self-Reliance:
  • Assuming responsibility for our own life
  • Accepting responsibility for our mistakes
  • Being informed
  • Knowing where we're going (having direction/goals)
  • Making our own decisions

Develop Good Health and Fitness - This is a touchy subject for many people, but improving your health and fitness is one of the most important things anyone can do. Next to building healthy relationships with God and family, this should be on top of survivalist's To Do list, even above stockpiling food, water and ammo. Lose weight. Get into shape. Stop smoking. Eat healthy. Visit your doctor, dentist, and eye doctor for a checkups.Make healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle a family obsession. 

Personal Economics

Reduce Your Consumption of Everything - Adopt a much simpler lifestyle. Live well within your means. Be a Saver, not a Consumer. If you had to, could you survive on half your current income? You may have to one day, so start living that way now. This will take some will power and a willingness to put aside the need for instant gratification. To quote Dave Ramsey, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.

Adopt an Austerity Budget - Yes, this probably means lowering your standard of living, but it needs to be done. Greatly reduce your spending, especially on lifestyle items such as eating out, entertainment, vacations, new cars, designer clothes, useless smart phone apps and so forth. Consider eliminating your cable or satellite TV, or at the very least subscribing to only the basic package. Downsize your cars to get out from under your car payments. Take leftovers to work for your lunch, instead of eating out all the time. Find no-cost and low-cost entertainment, such as a family game night, to replace an expensive outing to the movies.

Get Out of Debt and Stay Out - Use the savings generated by reducing your consumption of everything and adopting an austerity budget to pay off your car loans, credit cards, student loans, payday loans and other consumer debt. If at all possible, pay off your mortgage or at the very least refinance into a fixed rate.

Secure Your Current Assets - Make sure the banks and insurance companies you use are sound (there are rating services you can use, but most importantly ask questions and pay attention to the news). Put a portion of your savings into silver, gold and/or other hard assets. Again, pay off your mortgage if at all possible, or at least refinance into a fixed rate. Guard against identity theft. Pay your taxes on time and in full (the government has extraordinary powers to seize your savings, paycheck, investments, and property to collect back taxes).

For more on Personal Finance, see my article Prepping 101: Finances - Get Back to Basics, which has lots of tips and detailed information.   

Additional Advice

Become Pro-Active - Don't wait around for the government, your parents, union leaders, community organizers, or anyone else to take care of you. Don't sit around whining that life is unfair, or that someone else has it so much better than you. Don't fall into the victimhood menality. Learn to take care of yourself. Self-reliance is not anti-social or selfish. In fact, building self-reliance may be one of the most generous things you can do, because the reality is that you will be of no help to your family, friends or neighbors if you are the one in need of help.

Stock Up - Stock up on food, water, medicine, first aid supplies, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene products and other items. Imagine that, for whatever reasons, you are unable to buy anything from any store for a month. What will you run out of first? Second? What else will you eventually run out of?

You may be interested in my article Survival 101: Stockpiling as a Preparedness Strategy. Also, check out Peggy Layton's book Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook.

Become a DIY Person - "Do It Yourself" should become your motto. Learn to grow, make and repair things, and have the tools and supplies you need to do so. Learn to garden, and make sure you have all the hoes, shovels, seeds, rich dirt and other supplies you will need to do so. Learn to can and preserve food, and make sure your have the equipment and supplies you need. Learn to sew, and make sure you have the scissors, cloth, thread, needles and other supplies you need. Learn how to do basic home maintenance, including plumping and electrical work, and basic auto and small engine repair. Make sure you have the necessary tools and supplies.

Check out my article on putting together a Basic Starter Tool Kit.  

Check out my article Preppers' Auto Maintenance Schedule.

Take Security Seriously - Own and learn how to use a gun (obeying all pertinent laws, of course). Learn situational awareness. Pay attention to what's going on around you. Take a course in self-defense. Consider moving if you live in a bad neighborhood or if your neighborhood is going downhill. Harden your home against outside threats (steps might include installing safety doors, dead bolt locks, bars on windows, additional outside lighting, getting a dog, planting thorny shrubs under windows, etc.). Discuss with your children how to deal with strangers in various situations.

 A couple of books you may be interested in: 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Prepper's Prayer

 "The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it." -- Proverbs 22:3

A Prepper's Prayer

Heavenly Father, You are our refuge, our fortress. In You we find the courage and strength and wisdom we need to live and thrive and do your will in all things. You call us to live lives set apart from the worldly system of the Evil One. Have mercy on us and help us as we seek to live according to your will.

In Proverbs*, Solomon teaches us that a wise man, a prudent man, foresees danger and prepares for it, while a worldly man, a foolish man, ignores danger and suffers the consequences. O Lord, help us to be wise, not worldly. Help us be prudent, not foolish.

All wisdom flows from You, Father, so help us with our most important preparation for dangerous times: building a deep relationship with You. Give us a love for your laws. Give us your wisdom. Make the words of the Psalmist** ring true for us: Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me.

Paul teaches us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.*** Help us to care for your temple properly, to keep it healthy and fit, both spiritually and physically. Help us to make wise moves financially, for Solomon teaches us that the borrower is slave to the lender,**** therefore let us be enslaved to no one, so that we can live our lives for You unimpeded.

Help us, Lord, to not be lazy or indulgent, but rather to be industrious and thrifty. Help us to save and store up food and other necessities for difficult times, for we are commanded to provide for ourselves and our family at all times.*****

Help us, Lord, to be able to defend ourselves, our families, and those who cannot defend themselves, for You have given us the right of self-defense against those who would do us harm.******

Lord, You have also taught us the value of Charity,******* to be a help to those who cannot help themselves - orphans, widows, the elderly, the disabled, and others in need. Help us to live wisely, so that in times of great need we are not in need ourselves, but therefore are able to provide generously to those who are in need.

In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

* Proverbs 22:3
** Psalm 119:97-98
*** 1 Corinthians 6:19
**** Proverbs 22:7
***** 1 Timothy 5:8
****** Exodus 22:2 & Luke 22:35-36 among many other passages
******* Matthew 5:3-12, Matthew 25:35, Acts 11:27-30, Et. al. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Prepper End-of-Year Activities -- Are you doing these?

The last few weeks of the year is a great time for preppers to do all those things we need to do only occasionally, and therefore is easy to forget to do. So, end the year right by accomplishing the following to do list, and get 2017 off to a great start!

▢ Check all medications and first aid supplies, both for expiration dates and to replace any supplies that you have used up during the year. Also, consider if your first aid or medical needs have changed (new additions to the family, new illnesses or health concerns, etc.) and adjust accordingly. (Click here for first aid supplies on Amazon.)

Two things some folks might not realize: Aspirin does expire and becomes dangerous. If your aspirin has a very strong vinegar-like odor, it has gone bad and is toxic. Also, rubbing (Isopropyl) alcohol will oxidize over time into acetone and become ineffective against germs. A bottle will  typically have about a two-year self life, more or less, depending on storage conditions.  

▢ Check all batteries to make sure they are okay. This means all stored batteries to make sure none are starting to corrode or leak. It also means all batteries currently "in use" to make sure they are still working. It is especially important to check the batteries in gear that you don't frequently use, such as flashlights sitting in your bug-out bag, a seldom-used toolbox, or the glove compartment of your car. 

Need batteries? I recommend and use AmazonBasics Performance Alkaline Batteries. Not only are these batteries at a great price, but they are especially designed for long-term storage (10-years).

▢ Check and change your water storage if you haven't done so recently. Also, check to make sure your water storage containers don't have any slow leaks. I had trouble this earlier in year, as ALL my Ozark Trail 6-gallon water jugs developed slow leaks (I wrote up my bad experience back in August).

▢ Check your food storage. Make sure your rotation plan is working and you don't have any expired food. Make sure all canned food is not swelling or leaking. Check dry foods for signs of mold or infestation. Replace any food storage that you're running low on...

▢ Do a home safety inspection. Better yet, if you know a boy or girl scout, have them do a home safety inspection for you (they have to learn how for various merit badges). Check for fire hazards, tripping hazards, poisonous or toxic materials that aren't stored properly, overloaded outlets, frayed electrical cords, expired fire extinguishers, non-functioning smoke detectors, and so forth...

 ▢ Re-think your emergency and preparedness plans. Has anything about your situation changed in the last year that will require altering your plans such as new family members (births, marriages), deaths, illnesses or disabilities, job changes, school changes, moves, or changes in your current community or bug-out location. Also, update your contact lists - people move, phone numbers change, and email changes even more often. 

Check out my recent article on Special Needs Preppping. There are a lot of folks with special needs - the mentally or physically handicapped, the elderly, the disabled, people with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, babies, and very young children, just to name a few. In fact, most families/groups are likely to have one or more people with special needs of some sort.Make sure you are addressing those needs!

▢ Review your emergency and preparedness plans with everyone in your family or group. Make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what to do, when. 

▢ Re-think your EDC. How has the gear you carry everyday worked out for you? Are you carrying unneeded gear? What gear are you actually using? Have you needed something you didn't have? Now is a great time to make any needed changes to your EDC. You may be interested in checking out my article My Most Often Used EDC Items.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Skills Every Real Man Should Have

A War against manhood has been going on for generations now. It is part of the larger war on the traditional family unit waged by progressives in their attempt to eliminate opposition to their dreams of highly-centralized authoritarian government (controlled by them, of course). The ideal of manhood used to be one of courage, strength, integrity, leadership, responsibility, and self-reliance. That ideal has been dismissed and even actively discouraged for generations now.

Men, as husbands and fathers, are no longer seen as serving a needed role in society.  Far from the days of Father Knows Best, husbands and fathers are now shown in pop culture as inept dofusses at best (think Al Bundy or Homer Simpson), if they are shown as being around at all, while women are shown as quite capable to getting along without, or despite, men in their lives.  In our schools, boys are now treated as broken girls, needing to have their masculinity fixed. Traditional masculinity is now seen as a vice, not a virtue. The new ideal of manhood is the hyper-feminized, weak and submissive pajama boy.

This sad situation is in desperate need of correcting. As a small step in that direction, I offer a list of skills every real man should have. These are skills, in that they can be learned and developed, if you are willing to put in the necessary work to do so.

Courage - Courage isn't about not being afraid. We are willing to face danger and  the right thing even when we are afraid.

Strength - I'm not talking about physical strength, though real men should develop their health and fitness. I'm talking about strength of character, strength of will, and staying power. Real me don't run away when the going gets tough. 

Integrity - Real men are honest, are true to their word, and can be trusted to do the right thing. We keep our promises, and do what we say.

A Relationship with God - Real men have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. Worship, prayer, and Bible study are a part of our lives. We accept the Lordship of God over our lives, and accept His Will for us. 

[You may be interested in Patriot's Prayers to help jump start your prayer life.]

Love for Wife and Family - A real men is steadfast in his love for his wife and family. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25). We are to put our wife and family first - even to the point of being willing to die for them - above ourselves, our career, our friends, or our hobbies. 

[Questions: Do you pray for your wife everyday? When is the last time you lead your wife in prayer?]

Leadership - Real men are leaders, not "bosses." It is their vision and their example that makes them leaders, not their orders. They guide, protect, and serve those they lead. 

[You may be interested in my article On Leadership for some tips on what it takes to be a good leader.]

Self-Defense and Defending Others. Real men are willing and able to defend themselves, their wife, their families, and those that cannot defend themselves.

[You may be interested in my article Jesus, Self-Defense, and the Pajama Boy.]

Personal Finance - Real men are skilled at personal finance. That doesn't necessarily mean we have a lot of money. It does mean we know how to spend less than we earn (budgeting), save money (have an emergency fund), barter & haggle (get the best price), and have a good understanding of economics and finances.  

[You may be interested in my article Prepping 101: Finance - Get Back to Basics, which covers personal finance in some detail.]

Self-Reliance - Real men don't rely on others (parents, government, etc.) to take care of our needs. Instead, we rely on our own knowledge, skills, abilities, and judgment to make our way in the world. We develop the skills to do as much as we can for ourselves without outside help or assistance. 

Abilities to develop include:
  • Assuming responsibility for our own life
  • Accepting responsibility for our mistakes
  • Being informed
  • Knowing where we're going (having goals)
  • Making our own decisions
Skills to develop may include:
  • Basic Auto Mechanics
  • Small Engine Repair
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Basic Home Repair/DIY Skills
  • Grow/Produce Food
  • Shooting/Hunting/Fishing 
  • Bushcraft/Wilderness Survival
  • Knife-Sharpening/Maintaining Tools
  • Water Collecting/Purification

This list, of course, is only a partial list of manly skills to develop. There are many other important skills that could be added, but this is a good start. 

[You may be interested in my article Top 10 Skills You Really Need to Survive.]

Friday, December 9, 2016

How to SUCCEED at Prepping

Here is what you need to do to succeed at prepping:

 1 - Do Something. Don't know what to do to get started? Want to prep, but feeling overwhelmed? As the saying goes, every journey begins with a single step. As long as you are doing something to get ready for the bad times ahead, you'll be better off than most of your friends and neighbors who are dong nothing. Really have no clue as to where to start? Check out my article A quick, no frills, down & dirty guide to preparing for the End. Pick something easy, like putting together a week's supply of food and water, and do it this weekend. Congratulations on your first step. 

Want a detailed step-by-step guide to getting prepared? Jim Cobb's book Countdown to Preparedness: The Prepper's 52 Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness may be perfect for you.

2 - Strive for Balance. Don't concentrate all your efforts into only one or two categories of prepping, such as guns & ammo or gold & silver,  because they are easier or more interesting/fun than other preps. Get your finances in order, pay off debt, learn first aid, take some permaculture classes, take some home repair courses, buy hand tools and gardening tools, make your home energy efficient, accumulate at least a year's worth of food, water, medicine and other supplies, take a defensive shooting course, improve your home security, put aside some junk silver (or even gold if you ca afford it), and plant some fruit and nut trees in your backyard. In other words, spread your prepping efforts over a wide-range of categories. 

New to prepping and the self-reliant, do-it-yourself, lifestyle? Check out my article on how to put together a Basic Starter Tool Set.
3 - Avoid/Get Out of Debt. In my opinion, next to not taking care of your health, the biggest mistake you can make as a prepper is to go into debt to pay for all your great new gear and supplies. Find ways other than maxing out your credit cards to prepare. And if you are in debt, find ways to pay it off. Remember the axiom "The debtor is slave to the lender." Too much debt causes stress and bad decisions, yields control of your life to others, and interferes in your ability to make needed preparations. My article Prepping 101: Finances - Get Back to Basics if full of tips and ideas on personal finance & prepping. If you are already struggling with debt, I highly recommend Dave Ramsey's books and radio show.

4 - Learn By Doing. Book learning is useful, but the best preparation for difficult times by actually doing things now - gardening, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, canning, sewing by hand, doing your own home & auto  repairs... Here's a great idea: volunteer to help build a house with Habitat For Humanity. You will learn lots of useful skills while actually helping people in need. Also, check out local gardening clubs for both training and volunteer opportunities. Put all that theoretical knowledge you've been collecting to use now, and develop the actual skills & experience you will need later on.

5 - Pay Particular Attention To Your Health and Fitness. If you aren't taking serious care of your health and fitness, you are not preparing. Check out my article Steps to Good Health for a lot of great ideas and resources on health and fitness. 

6 - Always have a Plan B. And a Plan C is nice, too. My primary plan is to ride out whatever comes where I am at now. That is where I am putting most of my efforts and resources. But I also have a back-up plan (three actually) in case things become too dangerous to stay where I'm at now for whatever reasons. I've even pre-positioned some supplies at two of the three locations. And I have figured out (and actually driven) at least two alternative routes to each of those locations, in case one of the routes were blocked for some reason.

 Don't just have back-up plans for your location. Have them for accomplishing various tasks, too. For example, your plans for water may include 1) your current primary source, 2) stored water, 3) a nearby creek or pond, plus having the ability to filter and purify it, and 4) collecting rainwater, plus having the ability to filter and purify it. Do the same for other tasks, such as cooking (regular stove, propane grill, charcoal grill, wood stove, etc.), staying warm (natural gas, electric heaters, propane heaters, fireplace, wood stove, plenty of insulation & warm clothes, etc.), and so forth. Have multiple back-ups for every task/system. 

7 - Be Part of a Community or MAG. Sorry, but most lone wolves won't survive, especially over extended periods. No one has the endurance and strength to do everything by themselves 24/7/365. We all need other folks for mutual aid and comfort. I wrote about this in more detail in my recent article Why Survival Requires Community is now on Facebook. Please "Like" us!  

Friday, December 2, 2016

Urban Camouflage (more than just the "Gray Man")

How is your Urban Camouflage? No, I'm not talking about a new fashion trend. Rather, I'm talking about fitting in with your surrounding community, and not drawing attention to yourself as a potential victim or as a malcontent. This is sometimes called the "gray man" disguise, but it is more than that. You don't want to draw the attention of criminals & thugs by looking like a potential target or easy prey. You also don't draw the attention of the government as a serious malcontent and potential trouble-maker. 

Every neighborhood has at least one Gladys Kravitz.
Additionally, you need to be very private and guarded with your personal information and plans. The idea is to not draw unwanted attention to yourself and your family, regardless of if that attention is from identity thieves, criminals, thugs, law enforcement, government officials, or even just nosy neighbors. 

Don't paint yourself as a potential target. 

Bad guys look for easy prey and rich targets. They prefer someone who is both, but most will choose easy over rich every time. Avoid looking like a rich target by not wearing expensive or flashy clothes, expensive jewellery, or driving a high-priced car. Avoid looking like easy prey by wearing practical clothes & shoes, and by walking confidently, head up, while paying attention to your surroundings. Muggers, pick-pockets, and other bad folks especially look for victims who are distracted. Try to walk, shop, and travel in groups whenever possible. Groups look less like a potential target than someone walking by alone. 

Sadly, folks with obvious physical restrictions will look like easy prey to bad guys. The elderly, pregnant women, folks with mobility problems and other physical disabilities, should take extra precautions when out in public. 

For more on being the "Gray Man," please see my earlier article Results from the "Grayman" Training Exercise. 

Don't draw unwanted attention.

Don't draw negative attention from law enforcement, government officials, or local bureaucrats. Don't come across as a potential trouble-maker or serious malcontent. We have learned from a number of scandals in recent years that many government officials and bureaucrats can and do hold grudges, and are willing to abuse their power to "get even."

Never make personal threats, especially against government officials or law enforcement (not even in "jest"). Remember that nothing you say or do online is truly anonymous. Don't flout laws, even when you disagree passionately with them (speak out against them, but don't break laws just to make a point unless you are willing to pay a price). 

Stress to family members, especially school-age children, the importance of privacy. Its not just identity theft you have to worry about. Public school officials often question students about personal family information, such as parents' political and religious affiliations, the presence of guns in the household, or even whether or not the family recycles! All to "protect the children," of course. Many schools now routinely go so far as to spy on students through social media. Maje sure your children understand that "what happens in the family, stays in the family."  

Its not just schools that are invading people's privacy.  Employers now routinely spy on employees and applicants through social media. Its a great way for employers to get information that is otherwise illegal for them to ask about, such as whether or not a female applicant may have a baby in the near future. In the wake of the recent election, several employers have made national news by expressing a wish to "punish" employees that voted for Trump. Social media is a great way to identify an employees politics. For goodness sake, don't overshare on social media!!!

Finally, it is now very politically correct for government and law enforcement to consider preppers, tea party conservatives, and traditional Bible-believing Christians, to be "potential domestic terrorists." In today's environment, its quite probable that Trump supporters are now on that list of potential threats. 

We have also seen that wearing a Trump shirt or a Make America Great Again hat can make you a target for violence from the Left. I'm not saying to hide your affiliations or political support. Just to be aware of the possible consequences for doing so.

The Bottom Line

In an urban environment, whether a large city or small town, you need to be aware of how you are perceived by others, and all the possible consequences that may result. The art of Urban Camouflage is to use this awareness to attract as little attention to yourself as possible, thereby avoiding much of the potential negative consequences.