Surviving Economic Collapse: Tips, Tactics, And Gear

by | Jan 30, 2010 | Emergency Preparedness | 39 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This article has been generously contributed by Neithercorp Press for your reading pleasure.

    Author: Giordano Bruno

    Neithercorp Press – 01/26/2010


    A large part of our society operates on a disturbing assumption, a belief that has been driven into the very fabric of our culture for generations; the assumption that preparation for disaster is unnecessary because all will remain the same as it always has been.

    This collective assumption exists in very few countries. South America, Africa, most of Asia, and even parts of Europe experience and even anticipate upheaval and catastrophe from time to time, not only in respect to mother nature (as recently occurred in Haiti), but also in terms of economics and social unrest. Many Americans have attempted not only to insulate themselves from such events, but to also insulate themselves from the very idea that such events could ever happen to them. The concept of hyperinflation, loss of utilities, loss of police protections, loss of infrastructure, loss of grocery outlets, is so outside their pre-programmed world view that to dare discuss these subjects is seen as “absurd” and “alien.”

    While many Haitians would see the act of survival preparation as entirely practical (for numerous reasons), many Americans would become incredulous, jeering, as if they are above and beyond such concerns. This must change, and it must change quickly.

    Over the past few years, there has been a strong broad based and growing movement that opposes such presumptive thinking, and has opted towards independence and self reliance. They are often called “survivalists,” usually lumped in with “conspiracy theorists,” in a derogatory fashion as if the term is disparaging. But what many of us have come to realize is that what the mainstream considers “rational” is usually anything but, and what they call “common sense” sometimes borders on the insane, for only a madman would label the logical act of preparation as “crazy,” especially in the face of so much economic uncertainty.

    In this article we will discuss how to prepare for a wide-spectrum financial breakdown, as well as why it is absolutely necessary, not just to ensure ones own survival and ones own future, but the future of an ideal, and a way of life.

    Survival Strategies

    The fact is, there are as many strategies for survival as there are survivalists, although some survival “gurus” insist that their way is the ONLY way (I know, because I have dealt with them in the past). Keep in mind that there are very few set rules for survival that apply to everyone. Your personal survival strategy will depend on your unique circumstances and environment, and a true survival expert will recognize this immediately. Beware of anyone who claims they have the only solution, or who overtly boasts of their many survival skills and background qualifications. From my experience, real survivalists tend to be rather reserved and humble people with no interest in showboating their knowledge.

    In this article, we will endeavor to give broad guidelines which can then be tailored to your specific circumstances. Our recommendations will not necessarily work for everyone.

    When devising a survival strategy, we must take into account our surroundings and our supply options, but first, we must make an important decision; will we stay where we are, or will we have a “retreat” in a different location. This decision will greatly effect how you prepare for disaster. Let’s explore theses two options carefully…

    Staying On The Home-Front:

    In order to stay at home, we should consider our circumstances.

    Do you own your home, or do you rent? If you rent, then you may have little control over your property and what happens on it, which means you may want to consider the retreat option instead.

    Is your home in the midst of a large population center? If it is, then there may be considerable danger in the event of an economic collapse. Urban survival is definitely possible, but follows different guidelines and involves dangers not covered in most survival manuals. If you are not confident in your ability to stay safe in a populous area, you may want to use a retreat away from the city.

    Is your home highly visible to others, or is it set in dangerous terrain? If your terrain makes you vulnerable, or your home sits on the very top of a hill for everyone to see, then you may want to consider a separate retreat.

    If your home does not suffer from any of these setbacks, then you will have many advantages in staying put. First, because it is where you have probably lived for quite some time, you will know your surroundings inside and out. It is much easier to protect yourself from unwanted intruders if you have intimate knowledge of the terrain, and familiarity breeds confidence, which is incredibly important for survival. It is also much easier to stockpile goods, rig an alternative power source, and fortify your building as well as your land over time.

    Another advantage to staying at home is that if you have been doing your job correctly and informing your friends and trusted neighbors of the collapse, then you will have allies and with them safety in numbers. Not to mention, the ability to combine resources with those who have also been preparing.

    Planning For Retreat:

    A retreat is a place away from your home environment that provides greater security and less visibility, or greater resources such as edible plant life, animal life, and water. A retreat could be almost anywhere; a forest cabin, an old tunnel structure, a carefully hidden RV, or simply a mountain range you hike every summer. Sometimes the best places are right under our noses. Abandoned farmland for instance would make an excellent retreat because it has already been tilled, planted at one time (which often produces random plant food sources long after the land is abandoned), and is normally surrounded with game. The most important consideration is that you choose the location far in advance of collapse and plan accordingly.

    The disadvantages of a retreat include; a possible lack of terrain familiarity, the inability to fortify the area over time because of its remoteness, the inability to store ample goods on site for fear of theft (you would be required to bring most of your survival goods with you at the time of collapse), and the fact that you will have to get to the location without incident.

    All of these problems can be overcome with good planning and a little foresight.

    Survival Food And Gear

    Again, the supplies we choose to stock will greatly depend on which path we have decided on; Home Front, or Retreat.

    Staying at home gives you the advantage of larger stock, heavier equipment, and more permanent utility solutions. Here are some recommendations for food and gear that lend themselves to the Home Front option.


    Home Front Foods

    When staying at home, one does not have to worry so much about the weight and volume of goods stored, so bulk food items are an excellent option. When making food purchases, always take into account nutritional value and calorie levels. Although we have been taught that high calorie and fat intake are “bad,” in a survival situation, storable foods with high calories are actually good! Fats most especially will be at a premium, and are required by your body to function properly. Also keep in mind that most wild game tends to be lean, and low in fat, so do not count on hunting alone to provide what you need.

    A good rule of thumb for calorie intake is the same rule used by athletes when losing or maintaining weight; check your weight then multiply it by ten. If you weigh 200 pounds, this means you will need at least 2000 calories just for your body to remain healthy in an inactive state. If constantly active (which is likely) you will need more than 2000 calories to remain in good health. Never scoff at calorie counting, it may save your life. For home storage I would recommend at minimum a one year supply of food. Stocking more, especially for trade, would be preferable.

    Here are just a few great food items that can help to fill your calorie and nutritional requirements.

    Canned Goods, Jarred Goods: Canned goods are a given for the Home Front strategy, but rotation is necessary, and storing for more than two years is not a good idea.

    Hard Red Wheat: Hard red wheat if dried properly can be stored for up to 30 years. It can be boiled and eaten, or if you have a grain mill, ground up and used to make bread products. Great source of calories and nutrition.

    Rice: Easily stored, and a little goes a long way.

    Beans: Takes a long time to cook, but when combined with rice, they provide a full protein in the advent that meat is not available.

    Nuts, Trail Mix:
    Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts etc., provide a high amount of fats and are also very good for you.

    Honey: Honey is an incredible food source. Sugars are extremely important in one’s diet and honey has ample amounts, as well as being far easier to store than normal table sugar, because unlike table sugar, honey kills bacteria.

    Non-Instant Powdered Milk: Good source of fat, calcium, and amino acids. I am told non-instant tastes better than instant.

    Salt: Your body must have salt, period.

    Spices, Soup Bases: Spices are comfort food, but in a survival situation, we all might need a little comfort. Also, spices help make some wild game more palatable.

    Water: Having your own land opens the possibility of a well, using your roof and gutters as a water collection tool, and with a little investment even a personal pond or lake. Filtration is the key. Stocking up on pumps that filter out bacteria would be essential. Boiling water also works, but remember, it doesn’t remove silt and heavy metals, and it can waste fuel.

    The above foods when stored properly will provide you with the basic nutrition your body needs. They can then be supplemented with a garden, wild edible plants, and game.


    Home Front Gear

    Staying at home opens up many options as far as gear is concerned. Here are some ideas that Home Front people can use to their advantage:

    Electricity: Men often romanticize about roughing it in the wilds or returning to a state of primal caveman-ness, but really, life without electricity is very difficult, especially if you have a family, and it removes many advantages from your survival playbook. Go to Africa and see if the people there without simple electric lighting romanticize their situation. Many items that give you an edge in survival require electricity, the most important being refrigeration. Gas generators can help, but are limited by the amount of gasoline you can acquire. Large quantities of gas are also difficult to store. For those staying home, I highly recommend setting up a solar power system. They are not as expensive as you might imagine, once set up the energy is free and never runs out, and you will be completely independent from the grid, making you free from the effects of power outages.

    If you live in the plains or in high wind areas, windmill power is also available at reasonable prices for the homeowner.

    Water Generators: With solar power comes limitless energy. Add an atmospheric water generator like those produced by Ecolo Blue, and you now have unlimited clean water:

    Ecolo Blue

    This may be initially more expensive, but over the long run you will be so far ahead of the game you will wonder why you ever agonized over spending your fiat paper money.

    Surveillance Cameras: While we generally think of these as being globalist tools of control, they can be put to an honorable purpose on the Home Front. Having solar and wind power gives you the option of security perimeters, alarms, even cameras which can alert you to intrusion. This may seem a bit “over the top” to some, but only because they are thinking in terms of the way the world is now. Think in terms of how the world will probably be after a severe economic downturn. Study other countries in history who suffered similar fates, including the Weimar Republic, Argentina, Zimbabwe, etc. People often had to take their safety into their own hands in the face of a completely chaotic social landscape. Every opportunity for advantage (within the bounds of conscience) should be taken.

    Lumber, Construction Tools: The kinds of things you would never be able to carry with you to a retreat are readily available to those staying at home as long as you plan ahead of time. Good fresh lumber may be difficult to find unless one wants to take the risk of scavenging away from his property. Having a supply set aside could help in buttressing walls, building barricades, repairing fencing, animal pens, animal traps, making items for trade etc. The need for sturdy tools is self explanatory.

    Now that we’ve discussed the particular benefits of staying at home, we will go over the retreat scenario and its particular quirks…


    Retreat Foods

    The retreat situation requires a very strong sense of efficiency and the ability to discern the necessary from the less necessary. Weight and versatility of goods will be extremely important, especially if your retreat is a piece of land without any preexisting structures. You will have to think carefully on what you can carry and what you can load into your vehicle. The allure of the retreat strategy is the option of mobility. You will not be tied down to one place, and thus you will not be betting the entire game on a single hand. You can even have several backup retreat locations staked out in the event that you must pick up and leave one. However, in order to do this, you must maintain agility and speed.

    Food is heavy, and six month’s to a year’s worth of food is very heavy. So, how do you cope? There are several methods…

    Freeze Dried Foods: Freeze dried foods are an excellent alternative in a number of ways. They are very light, and only require boiling water to prepare. They usually have ample salts, fats, sugars, and proteins, and the packages contain calorie data, which means you won’t have to spend as much time keeping track of nutrition essentials. I highly recommend a large stock of these meals if you plan to be on the move.

    Protein Bars: Protein bars contain a high amount of calories (usually 200-300) in a very small package. They also sometimes have decent vitamin and enzyme content. A great option for the retreatist.

    Beef Jerky: Stores well. Survival situations are strenuous and drain the body of energy. The protein and iron content of meat are helpful in maintaining body strength. Jerky also has high salt content, and gives you that satisfying feeling of “fullness.”

    Chocolate: We all know that chocolate bars have a lot of fat and sugar, but for our purposes this is actually a very good thing. One Snickers Bar for instance has around 270 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 28 grams of sugar. I wouldn’t recommend living on them, but they do provide a small meal’s worth of energy in a tiny bar.

    Vitamins: You may not have easy access to fruits and some vegetables. A good multivitamin can keep you from wasting away or getting scurvy (this is not a joke. You don’t have to be a pirate to get scurvy from lack of vitamins).

    Because the retreatist cannot take a large supply of food with him, he will be far more dependent on what he can use off the land. A small book on wild edible plants would be invaluable. Surveying the area you plan to retreat to would be a good idea, so that you may identify what plants and game will be available to you when you finally have to set up camp. You don’t have to become a horticulturalist, but being able to identify at least a few safe greens could make the difference between staying healthy and placing the mechanics of your body in serious danger.

    I would like to make another suggestion as far as food is concerned and it may sound rather odd at first. But, if you see the signs of collapse unfolding and you know the event is near, why not go to the store and pick up some extra fatty foods? Eating more than usual just before a collapse could help you to build up some extra fat stores before the event, which can act as a cushion (literally and figuratively) when your diet suddenly goes into survival mode. I’m not saying we should all get fat quick, but after a collapse you may not have another chance to gorge yourself for a while. Something to keep in mind…


    Retreat Gear

    The retreatist has to be a master of adaptation. Some gear he might like to have would just not be possible to transport, so he has to make due, or come up with workable and clever alternatives. Here are some examples of gear that may be very helpful to the unique situation of the retreatist.

    Electricity: Even the retreatist has items that require batteries and electricity, items he would rather not be without. Two way radios, emergency short wave radios, flashlights, rangefinders, maybe even nightvision. But what happens when the batteries run out? Bringing a lot of extra batteries would add a lot of weight, and they can run out quickly. Some people planning for retreat may forgo all electronics, but I’ve found a better solution; highly portable and durable solar panels much like those used in the military from a company called Brunton:


    The solar panels fold up into a small binder-like package, they are very hard to damage, and are extremely light. The system comes with multi-adaptors that allow you to charge any device, and when combined with a portable battery pack (also offered by Brunton), you can store energy all day if needed and never run out of power. This device along with a portable battery charger and good rechargeable batteries would allow you to use your electronics indefinitely without constantly having to scavenge or trade for new batteries. You can order directly from Brunton, but buying from Amazon and E-bay instead could save you hundreds of dollars.

    Water: Carrying a large supply of water is just not practical for the retreatist. The general rule is you need 1 liter of water for every 1000 calories your body expends. If you are very active, you will probably expend at least 3000 calories per day, which means drinking 3 liters of water daily. Loading up enough water into your vehicle for even a month may be unrealistic, and impossible if you are hiking to your location. The most reliable solution to get water that doesn’t taste completely vile is to purchase a portable water filtration system like those made by Katadyn.

    Katadyn filters can make even the most stagnant pond water safe for drinking. Of course, packing a roll of strong garbage bags (yard work bags are best) will also be necessary to build makeshift rainwater collection units, or a poncho can be used to the same purpose.

    Portable Stove: Learning the ins and outs of campfire cooking is a must for the retreatist, but a campfire may not always be a good option, especially if you want to avoid being seen from five miles away (cooking under overhanging tree branches can help disperse smoke, but even this may not be enough sometimes). Having a decent portable stove can solve this issue. There are two that I personally suggest; the first is the Coleman Multifuel Stove.

    This stove runs on Coleman fuel, unleaded gasoline, and kerosene. This gives you a wide range of fuel sources which helps when certain fuels are hard to find. The drawback of course is that you have to carry around a stock of fuel, which will eventually run out. Another stove has been recommended to me which solves this problem; the Bush Buddy Stove.

    The Bush Buddy burns anything, including twigs and grass, and is designed to contain and re-circulate the heat created. I have not yet used it myself, but I have heard only good things, and I believe it is the best possible option for the retreatist. You would never have to worry about a fuel supply, ever.

    Another strategy for the retreatist would be caching of supplies in areas you know you will retreat to. Caching a small amount at a time in different locations can help alleviate the problem of transporting a lot of stock. However, you better be sure you know how to bury the items correctly so they aren’t ruined over time, and you have to be certain that you can find the caches after they are buried.

    Now that we have covered gear specific to the two main survival strategies, here is a list of items that everyone should have regardless of which path they have chosen:

    · MultiTool
    · Pocket Knife
    · Combat Knife
    · MRE’s
    · First Aid Kit (include Celox blood stopper and sterile sutures)
    · Compass
    · Hiking Backpack
    · Sleeping Bag
    · Canteens
    · Sewing Kit
    · Maps
    · Duct Tape
    · Lighter
    · Space blanket
    · Plastic Freezer Bags
    · Waterproof Matches
    · Emergency Candles
    · Hiking Tarp
    · Water Filter
    · Camp Axe
    · Shovel
    · Hiking Boots
    · Gloves
    · Water-purification tablets
    · Paracord / Rope / Twine
    · Tinder
    · Fishing line
    · Extra Socks
    · Rain suit or poncho,
    · AM / Weather Radio
    · Snare Wire
    · Batteries
    · Magnesium Fire Starter
    · Wire Saw
    · Plastic Trash Bags
    · Binoculars
    · Shortwave Radio
    · Eating and Cooking Utensils
    · Scissors
    · Cable Ties
    · Tire Repair Kit
    · Gas Mask
    · Lantern
    · Silver / Gold Coins
    · Can Opener

    Self Defense

    Yes, that’s right, we are going to talk about guns. We are going to recommend you buy a gun. We are going to recommend you stock ammunition. We are even going to recommend that you use that gun and ammunition to defend yourself in the event that your life or your freedoms are threatened.

    I’m not sure exactly when, but at some point in American history a large portion of our society started equating the philosophy of self defense with malicious violence. It is not immoral to defend one’s self. It is wholly in line with the voice of conscience not to mention entirely rational. It is something we all should have learned in kindergarten; sometimes the bully doesn’t listen to reason, and sometimes there’s no one around to help you. Sometimes, you just have to punch the bully in the teeth.

    Nowadays, they send the cops after your five-year-old if he punches the bully in the teeth. People are lambasted for self defense from an early age, and admonished for not informing an “authority figure” instead. But the fact of the matter is, authority figures are rarely if ever around to protect you in bad situations. Most of the time, you and you alone are responsible for your own safety. This is the way life is. We can either accept it, or face the consequences for our stubborn denial.

    I have been a martial artist for 22 years, and I understand well the distaste for guns. In my opinion, all violent conflicts should be settled fairly, barehanded, and man-to-man, but this is not our reality. In the real world, unarmed and innocent people are killed by guns daily, by criminals, as well as overzealous soldiers and governments. Logic dictates that the innocent must prepare to shoot back, because they’re innocence alone will not be enough to protect them. A few years ago, I decided it was time to grow up and get over my aversion to firearms.

    When purchasing a firearm for survival, there are a couple guidelines people should follow:

    Military Grade: Semi Auto Combat rifles are called combat rifles for a reason. They are durable, long lasting, and dependable. They are made to be fired over and over again. Despite what your good hunting buddy may say, cheap hunting rifles and bolt actions are NOT made for combat. They often overheat and malfunction from continuous firing and break easily. Bolt actions are good for long distance shooting, but are too slow when fighting in closer quarters (no matter how Rambo we might think we are). Those with well made semi-auto rifles and pistols designed specifically for combat are more likely to survive than those without.

    Caliber: Choosing a weapon in a military caliber (.223, 7.62 by 39, or .308 for rifles, 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP for pistols) would be a very good idea, mainly because these calibers will be far easier to find and trade in a post collapse scenario.

    Surroundings: Will you be in the city or the country? A long range heavy rifle may do poorly in close quarters city or suburban areas, while a close-quarters carbine would be less effective in the plains or mountains.

    Comfort: Some weapons fit certain body types better than others. Finding a weapon that “feels right” instead of awkward, is important. It should feel like an extension of yourself. Accuracy improves greatly with comfort.

    Cost: When choosing a firearm that may save your life one day, I find concerns of cost to be less important, but it is understandable that some of us cannot afford “top of the line” so we must find a respectable and affordable alternative.

    Here are some rifle recommendations from Neithercorp, divided by more affordable, to more expensive:


    Cheap But Effective

    Russian / Chinese SKS


    The SKS is an accurate and very reliable precursor to the AK-47. They are almost impossible to break, rarely jam, and run even when dirty. They are limited however by capacity. Only ten round stripper clips. They are also a pain to modify for AK magazines or scopes without a qualified gunsmith (believe me, we’ve tried, and all it does in most cases is ruin the gun). The cost has gone up quickly on the SKS, but they are still far more affordable than most combat rifles: $300 to $400.



    Ugly and mean looking. Often associated with terrorists. Whatever, these things last forever. High capacity mags allow for 30 rounds (sometimes more). Good for close quarters. Drawbacks: not very accurate. Trying to shoot at 100 yards or more is pushing it and they are much better at the 50 yard range. Cost: $500 to $600.



    Saiga is a great company. As far as I can tell, they make the best combat rifle in their price range hands down. The Saiga is basically an AK-47 clone but less costly, not to mention you can get it in various calibers, including .223, 7.62, and .308. They even make a semi-auto shotgun, which I have not yet had the pleasure of testing. Drawbacks would be like the AK; not meant for long ranges. Cost: $250 to $450.

    Rugar Mini 14


    Well made and reliable. Also fires .223, which is the standard U.S. military caliber, meaning ammo will be widely available. Far less expensive than most rifles in the .223 caliber. Drawbacks: must change to a tactical stock in order to add scope or red dot sight. Loses accuracy past 100 yards. Cost: $600.



    The CETME is similar to the famous HK G3 rifle, but much less expensive. It is very reliable, takes HK parts and some mags, and is probably one of the most affordable .308 long range rifles available. Drawbacks: Newer models sometimes have cheaply made stocks that require replacement with better furniture, as well as reports of some trigger problems. Cost: $600.

    Savage 10FCP


    Probably the most affordable heavy barreled sniper rifle platform out there. Accolades for accuracy and performance. Drawback: none, except that it is a bolt action, and not meant for extended or close combat. Cost: $800 to $1200.


    Top Of The Line Wallet Busters

    Some of the more expensive but extraordinary rifles include:

    Springfield M1A / SOCOM


    This rifle is famed and revered by gun enthusiasts for a reason. It is simply bad (in a good way). This gun was my choice for survival and I have never had a complaint about its function. It’s built like a rock, I’ve never had a jam, its accurate out to 500 yards or more (basically a semi-auto sniper rifle), and it has a magazine capacity of up to 30 rounds. Drawbacks: Very difficult to scope. The top ejection design beats the crap out of the cheaper scope mounts and they jar loose quickly. A tactical stock replacement is usually necessary, but honestly, I prefer the iron sights anyway. Cost: $1500 to $2500.



    FN is a good company that makes high quality firearms. The FNAR is an exceptional rifle designed specifically for semi-auto long range combat and comes with a built in scope mount. Drawbacks: There are no iron sights on this gun. You are basically required to put a scope on it, and good scopes can cost almost as much as the gun itself. Cost: $1300 to $1500.

    HK 91


    World famous German engineering. Very reliable, very accurate. Drawbacks: none, except the price. Cost: $2200 to $2500.

    AR-15 / M16


    I’m not a big fan of the AR-15 / M16 platform, but I understand its allure. AR’s are very light, easy recoil, and their tabletop flat stocks allow for good accuracy in close quarters. Their tactical railing systems allow for any number of scopes and add-ons. Drawbacks: The .223 round has certain range limitations, making it better for urban style combat. The railing systems are often taken too far. Some people put so much stuff on their AR’s as to make their weight advantage useless. I sometimes wonder when they’ll make an iPod mount for the AR. Also, feed problems galore. I have not heard of an AR that didn’t jam on a regular basis. You have to keep them immaculately clean in order for them to function. In fact, reports are coming in from Iraq and Afghanistan that troops are specifically requesting old M1A’s / M14’s from storage because the sand is destroying their M16’s. Cost: $1500 to $2500.


    Pistols And Hunting

    Pistols are backup weapons only, and should not be relied upon as the main means of self defense. Semi-auto pistols are much more likely to save your life than revolvers, mainly because of their high capacity, not to mention the greater availability of ammo. Glock’s and Glock clones (such as the Springfield XD) are great combat pistols and very reliable. Expect to pay at least $500 to $600 for a decent sidearm.

    Hunting rifles are a bit of a contention among survivalists. What if you go out hunting with a bolt action rifle and are ambushed by men with combat weapons? You will be at a distinct disadvantage. What if you use a combat rifle and the military ball ammo doesn’t work correctly? My solution would be to use a combat rifle with ammo specifically meant for hunting, such as .308 steel-core expansion ammo. In a pinch, regular military surplus ammo can still be used.

    The Survival Mentality

    More important than any gun, any gear, any preparation, is the mental state of the survivalist himself. One must have confidence in himself and his ability to endure, otherwise he will not succeed. I am consistently confronted by nihilists, some who even claim to be part of the Liberty Movement, who state unequivocally that survival preparation is futile, that we are all “doomed,” that the Elites who are ransacking our country cannot be stopped. Frankly, I’m not certain of that, and neither are they. I do know it is better to stand and fight for what you believe and die in the attempt, than to give up before the fight even starts and die from lack of trying. I wonder how many people told those that fought in the American Revolution that their effort was futile, that the British could not be stopped.

    I also am sometimes dismayed by those that prepare for survival only for survival’s sake. To stay alive is important of course, and a primary human drive, but our survival success may hinge not only on our instinct to live, but to also remain free. Without a philosophical or spiritual ideal, without a greater purpose, surviving this economic collapse will be an empty affair with little meaning. To come through the chaos relatively unscathed is admirable, but pointless if the end result is the formation of a tyrannical world government and the loss of our liberties. Each individual who not only survives but fights for what he believes tips the scale away from elitism and oppression. Every person who works towards something greater than himself, a future where such pain and catastrophe no longer hang over humanity, each of these men and women send a shockwave through history that touches elements of society in ways we cannot yet even imagine.

    What is the point of giving up now? What do we have to gain? What do we have to lose by fighting back that we are not already about to lose?

    Survival is about more than living, it is about more than believing, it is about KNOWING. Knowing what the world should be, and knowing what the world should not be. Knowing in an intuitive way, beyond simple examination and observation. Knowing from a deeper perspective.

    In the end, our survival and the survival of our ideals depends not only on our two hands, our cleverness, or even our fear of death, but the content of each man’s heart, and how much of that content he is willing to trust.

    This article has been generously contributed by Neithercorp Press for your reading pleasure.


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      1. This is a fantastic article!

        A must read for any prepper!

        On the Katadyn personal water filtration, I would recommend checking out the Katadyn Combi. For the price, this thing is great. I have one for my BOB, and will be ordering another for my wife’s. The filter has faucet attachments, or you can pump directly from a water source. Filters up to 13,000 gallons on one silver-lined cartridge, plus 200 gallon on each activated carbon treatment pack. (Get extra activated carbon!) As a reserve for your reserve, you might also consider Katadyn MicroPur tabs for chemical water treatment

        After much review and going back and forth between the Remington 870, Remington Semi-auto and Saiga 12 Semi-automatic shotgun, I think I am going to go with the Saiga. Not only does it look like an AK, but it can take a 5 and 12 round mag or a 20 round drum. Serious firepower for home defense 🙂

        Basic Saiga:

        The Package:


        Remember, those are shotgun shells — solid stopping power, I suspect.

      2. Does anyone know what it costs to install solar power on a house?

        • for a good size kit such as off grid would probably run you anywhere from 5k up to 50k depending the size of house and energy usage

      3. Joe, the last time I got into the details of solar power, I saw systems running from the $10K to $20k mark, but they can go even higher. It is going to depend on how much output you’re going to need. In addition to solar panels, you are going to need a battery array, a power panel, and a variety of other smaller components… So all of it adds up.

        This is where I did my research: .

        They have some great resources for Do-It-Yourselfers, and they also have support if you need to find an installer to handle it for you. In my view, it is best to do the research yourself, and maybe have an installer come on site to help you put everything together, but understanding your system will keep you self sustained and allow you to repair it yourself in the event of component breakdown.

        The great thing is that they focus not just on solar, but wind and other alt energies. If you combine different tech together, you may be able to ensure total independence from the grid.

        Even at $20K, if you estimate your monthly electric at $200 a month (plus the possibility of rising prices) you are looking at paying the system off in 10 years… Additionally, I’ll also suggest that as the value of the dollar goes down (if this in fact happens) you are making an investment now to buy the equipment at lower prices than you would in the future. 

        Anyway, have fun at the Alt Energy Store — they have some really cool products over there.

      4. I want to point out that high capacity mags are not needed !  I have always relied on a 30-06 .  You can spray and pray if you want to , but if I can put a blue rimed bullet hole in your forhead  who won the fight ? I also have Armor piercing and tracer ammo as well , so go ahead and wear your flack vest , It won’t matter . I use a 3 x 9 scope om a savage Model 110 .  for some one who is short of cash the yugo Mauser is a perfect fit .  Big 5 sports will sell them for as little as $ 99.00 . Ammo is 20 rounds of 8MM for as little as $ 5.00 a box the performance is close to the 30-06 .  1 mile hits are not un commen .  Nothing beats CQB (Close Quarters Battle ) like a 12 guage . A mossberg model 500 with detachable sholder stock and pistol grip is my favorite . 8 rounds of ammo in the tube and one up the spout . 00 Buckshot or slug depends on the situation . I am not happy that the Army did away with the .45 . when you shoot someone with the 9mm thay can get back up and return fire , not good , the 45 however when shot , thay STAY SHOT !! Expensive though , I use a 44 Magnum , 6 inch stainless steel . Easy to maintain and worry free , hogue  hand grip for excellent control . I know , I know its only got 6 shots !  But if you can’t do the job with 6 you won’t with 20 ! Also I carry HKS Speed loaders , with pratice  your opponent won’t even know you have re-loaded thay are that fast ! Finaly my back up is a Taurus 5 shot 38 . small easy to grip and deadly with hollow points .  and as a plus if needed the 38 ammo is usuable in a .357 . HINT : all you cowboy shooters out there looking for .45 long colt and not finding any .  Go on E-Bay enter in : MOON CLIP in the search block you will find a real neat item . the clip is an adapter for the .45 apc round ! so load 6 into the moon clip and put them into your.45 long colt revolver . thay were first used in WWI !  It does work .  Thas about it for now good luck and may GOD bless all of you !

      5. Yes, this is an amazing article. It has also caused quite a bit of controversy over various things over at

        Airborn71 – Hey! 30-06 rocks. I’ve got a 110 in 30-06. I just bought a second, a 1952 Remington 721. Sighted it in today. Centered at 50yd. Its a tack driver. I’m a reloader so I appreciated it when a gun shoots good. Its less than 3/4″ at 50yd. Probably most of that was me. I wasn’t using much of a rest.

        I’m using 170gr round nose bullets designed for the 30-30. They’re designed for 2200fps. I’m pushing them well beyond 2700fps. When they hit, they fragment, expending all of their energy in the first 4 to 6 inches of whatever they hit. Not much good beyond 200yds, though. For that I switch to 180gr “sharpies”, spire points, spitzers, whatever you want to call them. Still soft points but very pointy. Excellent ballistic coef1ficient. Very good beyond 200yds. They launch at about 2500fps and just don’t hardly slow down. Good for 500yd hits.

        Good luck! …keep your ammo dry and your food hidden.

      6. Indeed, Mac…this article is great.
        I will add a few comments about firearms though…since that’s the only thing I know about here…
        Re .308 semi-auto rifles:
        One rifle that “should” probably be added to that list is the PTR-91 – which also a clone of the HK 91 (and/or G3).  They are generally considered to fall somewhere between the CETME version and the HK version as far as overall quality goes…and price.  Basic models can be found for about $1200.
        Another one that “could” be added is the Remington 750…it’s really a hunting rifle – so, it’s major draw back is that its stock magazine only holds like 5 rounds…BUT supposedly 10 rounds do exist (not sure about their quality though).  The good news is that they only cost around $650.
        Re AR-15s:
        Yep.  That is why I recommend only getting an AR after first picking up an SKS or something.  Although I’ve never had any trouble with mine (then again, I’m not fighting for my life in the middle of a sandy desert), when the M-16 (the full-auto version) was first used in Vietnam (it was intended to replace the M-14, which is basically the original version of M1A…both are similar to the M1 Garand), our troops supposedly had a lot of trouble with them because of the mud, dirt, etc. jamming them up.  It is my understanding that since then overall reliability has improved significantly, BUT the open action of, for example, an SKS or M1A is considered to fight mud and dirt off much better.
        In recent years, piston-driven “sort 0f-AR-variants” have been developed which run cleaner and are supposedly more reliable – especially at high rates of fire.  Traditional ARs (and M-16s) are direct/gas impingement driven.  That is, the heat/gas from firing the first round is fed back into the receiver and used to cycle the weapon.  Piston-driven rifles do make use of that same heat/gas, but instead of being directed into the receiver, it is used to drive a piston that enters the receiver and physically strikes the bolt carrier group, thus driving it back.  So, the heat/gas never actually enters the receiver, and thus gun runs cleaner…and is probably/ arguably more reliable – at least in extreme conditions.
        LWRC may make some of the best of the piston-driven variety, but they are considerably more expensive than a standard AR from a reputable manufacturer (such as Stag Arms) – c. $800 vs. c. $2000 (then again, LWRCs usually come with a sweet rail and flip sights).  Other manufacturers (such as Stag Arms and Bushmaster) are now beginning to release their own piston-driven variants, for c. $1500 or so.
        For serious gunners, the FN SCAR is “sort of, kind of” an AR-15 variant, which supposedly is VERY reliable direct impingement assault rifle – but they run over $2000.
        One thing I might “disagree” with – Giordano lists the low-end price of an AR-15 at $1500.  In my humble opinion, you do not need to spend nearly that much for a “good” (which is a relative term) AR-15.  There are several very reputable manufacturers that sell basic (no “toys” on them – like a rail/handguard) ARs for about $800 (maybe even less right now), such as Stag Arms (no, I don’t work for them), Rock River Arms, Del-ton, Bushmaster, and Smith & Wesson, just to name a few.  For $1500 you can probably get into a Colt…maybe a Sig.  Are they “better” than the other brands?  It depends who you ask.  Are they worth twice as much as the other brands?  IMO, no…but everything is relative.
        Also note that I own a Stag and a Del-ton, fired thousands of rounds now, and have never had a sinlge jam with…BUT, then again, I do take pretty good care of them.  I also only use factory-loaded, new ammo…

        That being said, if the S does HTF, I decide to bug out, and I can only grab one of my rifles – it probably will be my SKS. 
        Great article.

      7. Interesting article with some merit. However, as a Vietnam era veteran, I can tell you that when the SHTF you don’t have time to aim with precision scopes and all the talk of hitting a bad guy with a “blue rimmed bullet hole in your forehead” is just tough talk. Usually by guy’s who drive and wear camouflage EVERYTHING including their toilet paper… and stalk deer or maybe a razorback with all the technology they can get their hands on.

        Remember people… you are NOT trained snipers. And, most of you (not all) are NOT trained military… and even RAW (non-combat) trained military are a far different breed than when one has been in a true firefight and knows the true, adrenalin pumping fear. To be perfectly clear, unless you’ve been shot at and you’ve actually shot someone yourself in battle… most talk is bullsh*t. I’ve seen raw recruits actually crap in their pants under fire who, on arrival at the front line, were talking tough and wanting to “kill some son-of-a-bitch.” A few even cried like babies. Big guys with muscles and a loud mouth. They wised up fast when the rounds started pouring in!

        I remember as a kid all the stories of “digging in” and building bomb shelters. Preparing for a nuclear attack or some other type of holocaust. In fact, so many of the bomb shelters in Florida were built right above the water lens that many of them actually popped up above ground. Some people turned them into “Palm Shelters” as they grew palm trees in ‘em.

        What I’m getting at is that for 60 years I’ve heard the same old thing… “The end is near” or “Duck ‘n cover” or “Prepare to head for the hills.” The truth is, there is nothing wrong at all with having a survival plan. Emergency food, emergency medication and first aid kit, water w/filter, and many of the items discussed in this article. Also, a darn good shotgun. Mine is semi-automatic and I put my first round out with #2 shot and follow with 00 buck.

        But consider these factors:

        1) There are 300 million people in the USA. How many of us can the “hills” hold? What if only 10% of us try to live off the land. That’s 30 million people! Okay… cut it down to 1% of the population. That’s still 3 million trying to scoot to the hills. And the article states: “A retreat could be almost anywhere; a forest cabin, an old tunnel structure, a carefully hidden RV, or simply a mountain range you hike every summer. Sometimes the best places are right under our noses. Abandoned farmland for instance would make an excellent retreat…”

        Think clearly folks. How many of you (especially city dwellers) have access to a “forest cabin?” Want to live in a “tunnel structure” for any length of time with hundreds (maybe several thousand) trying to crowd in? No toilet facilities, water, etc. It’s a TUNNEL! And, how many of us have an extra RV we can “carefully” hide? I’ve RV’d and hiked most of all the western states and I’ve seen very few places one can “carefully” hide an RV. Oh, and what abandoned farmland is around? Let me know and I’ll go stake it out. There are some foreclosed farms, but most of the farmland in the USA is being used for agriculture. In fact, the “exports” Obama was talking about in his latest speech is mostly agricultural products as we sure as heck don’t have much else to export! Most of our manufacturing has been outsourced to China, other Asian countries and Mexico!

        2) Who and where are you going to shoot? Some other survivalist tramping through the woods looking for game to survive on? Oh! It’s those crazies coming to your house in a band of about a dozen who’ll break down your door and grab your survival food! Right? Okay, make it a half-dozen. And, when are they gonna come? Day or night? Right out in the open too eh? They’ll just be easy targets waiting for you to scope ‘em and shoot ‘em. Right between the eyes.. right? NOT!

        I believe in the 2nd Amendment. I believe in self-defense. I have my “arms” at ready. I also know that unless one has a rifle, is trained very well in its use, continues to practice to retain proficiency, has some military training, and even better… can (though it’s illegal) put that puppy on full auto if the need arises, a loner or a couple of guys going up against a dozen are going to be hard pressed not to get killed.

        And, if one has a shotgun and is using say.. 3” shells with a full choke.. he may be able to get the first one coming in through the door or window but after that it’s iffy. Especially if they all come at the same time from different directions and you’ve only got 3, 5, 7, or 8 rounds and no time to reload. Furthermore, have you ever seen what a shotgun does to the walls inside of a house? Be aware also that even the pellets from a shotgun (or a few rounds from a rifle) can penetrate your walls and kill innocent family members in another room or even a neighbor who lives close by.

        As for placing “8 rounds of ammo in the tube and 1 up the spout” I’ll remind you gun enthusiasts NEVER to chamber a round in any weapon unless it’s going to be used. Doing this is MORE dangerous to yourself than any bad guy. If you have a shotgun and you drop it (like my father did and blew off 2 toes), you could blow your own head off. An interesting tangent… I’ve studied the history of many of our Pioneers who crossed the Oregon Trail and many other trails as they came out West. MORE deaths were caused on the trail by careless use of their guns than any Indian attacks or attacks by wild animals. This is NOT the movies folks. Those of you who have weapons and no training I say get training NOW at your local firing range.

        3) Where ya gonna go? Let’s discuss my area for example. I live in the San Diego area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2008 population was 3,001,072. In fact, from north of Los Angeles… say the Simi Valley/San Fernando Valley areas all the way down to the border of Mexico there are about 20 million people. Of course this does not count the illegal aliens (ya think)? Anyway, take a look at Google maps or any map for that matter. If we get into a Mad Max scenario where are these people going to go?

        I’m surrounded by military bases and there’s even the San Onofre nuclear power plant in this area. Let’s say it has a Chernobyl type event. Caused either by malfunction or the bad guys hitting it. If the wind is blowing from the ocean towards the land.. I’ve got about a half hour to get the hell outta Dodge! And, where am I going to go? One of the freeways south into Mexico? One of the back roads? What back roads? Look at a map. And, they would all be full!

        Okay… let’s say the wife is at work and I’m on the golf course when some terrible event happens. We head East without going home. We’ve made an agreement to meet somewhere. We can’t take one of the main roads out and every back road (and there isn’t that many) will be choked. And, as neither fill up our vehicles daily one of us is probably running on a half tank. Can you imagine how swamped the gas stations will be? And, the station attendants will all be gone anyway.

        Ummm, maybe go to Tucson or Phoenix? Both are long trips across DESERTS! Gotta have water and plenty of fuel to get across that foreboding area using some kind of back road! I can do it in my Dodge 2500 4×4 but not the wife’s Lexus. But let’s think rationally here. Things have gone completely to hell (for whatever reason). Three million people want to get out of the area (including their dogs, cats and horses). One can go south to that toilet called Mexico but goodness knows the roads south will be choked. Go east to Arizona via the desert. Or, go north to what? Los Angeles? A WORSE place to head in an emergency. Oh! I know! Go to Las Vegas!! Yeah… grab a discount room (they’re all discounted nowadays) at the Bellagio and just chill out till the screaming masses all shoot themselves or run helter-skelter into the desert mountains and live in caves like the Apache use to do.

        When Chernobyl blew – radiation spread as far as Finland! If that happened here, it would all depend on the wind direction and speed and how bad the mishap (intentional or not) was. Even those people who weren’t too close to the blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki survived. So, I’d probably be just as well off with a case of duct tape and a ton of plastic to cover the house in. 🙂

        Three million people going nuts and trying to get out in case of some major catastrophe. Let’s keep it simple and say there’s 4 people per family. That would be 750,000 families. Let’s be conservative and say they all use one car per family (not) but that would be 750,000 cars, trucks, semi’s, etc., all trying to get out of this area. Add to that if there were a simultaneous catastrophe in the L.A. area. For sure the Hispanics would mostly be heading south adding to the confusion while others would head north or east. A total of 20 million people in confusion. I can tell you more than 90% wouldn’t get far. And, it’s the same for San Francisco/Oakland, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York/New Jersey, and many other cities. Bottom line.. MOST Americans will have to stay where they are. The ones in rural areas will just stay put because they are already there!

        The first 10 days to two weeks will be hell in the cities. Burning, looting, and pure hell raising. But I’ve got a comfy 4,000 sq. ft. home, a year’s supply of food, a months worth of water and a source nearby where I can get more. I’ve got my diesel generator hooked up to the house with a switch to disengage from the main grid (but by law I can’t keep a LOT of diesel in this up-scale, gated community).. but I’ve got enough in 55 gallon drums buried in the back yard and hidden under movable shrubs to last me a month so I’m okay. Got some solar panels and a HAWT (Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine) hooked up to a ton of batteries and an inverter. Got a few veggies growing in the back yard and a lot of citrus trees. Sooooo, I’m sitt’n pretty eh? Well, I may be better off than most (especially those who live in condo’s and apartments), but if we’re into a Mad Max scenario it’s going to be everyone for himself. And, even though I know true battle and I’m legally armed… I’d much rather try to negotiate with anybody hitting me up for food rather than pulling that trigger. But if worse comes to worse…

        Believe me. If things got that bad in one area… it wouldn’t happen nationwide. I’ve talked to friends at LAPD and they said they’d still be out in force. The National Guard would be called in as well as the various branches of the military. Even during the Great Depression when things were truly bad people didn’t go nuts.. even in New York, L.A. or San Diego. That was saved up for about a dozen years later for World War II. That’s when the real killing started!

        In conclusion, I say be prepared as much as one can but gun tot’n, tobacco chew’n, talk’n tough and giving one’s pickup a camouflage paint job ain’t gonna hack the mission.

      8. Well said Mr. Richards….Got guys at work just as you described, lots of loud mouth talk…it’s one thing to talk but quite another to bring your weapon to bear on another and pull the trigger.
        For anyone who wants a taste of combat without getting killed try a game of paintball…I did and it was a eyeopening experience to say the least, after taking out several of my team, 4 of the opposing team pinned me down while one came around from the rear and shot me several times.
        While I’d like to think I’ll survive if TSHTF, I not so sure I really would want to…if you can, try and find  a download of “Alone in the Wild” by Ed was shown on National Geographic channel recently…he tried to survive for 90 days in the wilds of British Columbia in Canada…only made it 50 days before calling in the troops for rescue…and he has been to the summit of Mt. Everst twice!
        just don’t know if I’ve got the moxie to pull the trigger on a mother that’s just trying to feed her starving kids…could you???
        In a scene from “Quigley Down Under” with Tom Selleck…he gives a bad guy who has been “Gut Shot” his pistol back and as the bad guy cocks the hammer Tom says ” I’m just warndering what will get you first the Cyotoes or the Ants(pause) you got 1 shot left in that 6 shooter son…make the best of it”

      9. @ Steve — excellent overview.

        I think I’ll go lay in bed, eat a gallon of ice cream, and remain depressed for the rest of the day.

        Seriously though, that is a very realistic view of how it would play out and what people would be faced with if our economic system actually collapses. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, but be as prepared as possible in case it does.

      10. MR. RICHARDS SIR  !  I am a 20 year veteren and an ex-Paratrooper . I spent 5 years in SPECIAL FORCES  !  Yes I wore Cammo and proudly so .  My last 2 years in the Army were  in Alaska as an instructor which included Rifle Marksmen ship on the range .  That arrogance you have can come back and bite you at the wrong time some day, there are actually people out here than can put a blue rimed bullet hole in someones forehead . Think about that the next time you want to but the bad mouth on someone  SIR !


      12. Hi Airborne71,

        I usually don’t reply to comments (nice or not). However, I think you deserve a reply.

        First, thank you for your service. It is truly appreciated. When I returned from Vietnam people were in a far different mood than they are today.

        You didn’t mention which (if any) theaters you served in and how many (if any) you have killed.

        I stand by what I said. And, it’s NOT from arrogance as you so haughtily state – it IS from experience. In fact, you sound as haughty as Custer did at his last stand!

        I don’t give a damn how many jumps you’ve had (I’ve had only 7), and how expert a marksman you are.. When you’ve only got a rifle in your hands and a half dozen or more are coming at you from various angles (and probably spraying on full auto) you’re not going to have time to put a “blue rimed bullet hole in someones forehead.”

        Lee Harvey Oswald also didn’t have time to shoot all those bullets which killed JFK and wounded Connelly from the window of the Texas Schoolbook Depository. He too was an expert marksman if you study his background. And, there was NO threat. No one was moving fast from cover-to-cover, spraying bullets, and coming at him. He had only the slow moving, open top, limousine he had to shoot down at.

        You may be able to shoot a gnat’s ass at 100 yards but in a true firefight things are not as simple as you project. Those boy’s will be shoot’n back at ya!

        I’ve worn my share of camo. However, when I see camouflage ballpoint pens and a guy recently tried to sell me a camo winch for the front of my Dodge truck.. it gets pretty darn ludicrous. A winch on the truck is a good idea for many situations. However, who would I be camouflaging my winching situation from? The deer in the woods who thinks I’m nuts for sliding into a ditch and having to winch myself out? I’m originally from Texas. I learned to shoot when I was 7 years old. I started hunting at this same time. I can tell you from hunting all over the Western USA that it’s not camo which makes a good hunter. Our forefathers who tamed this country and had to hunt just to eat also didn’t wear camo. And, most of them were NOT mountain men. Most pioneers were just farmers coming to find a piece of land to grow their crops on. They tamed the land with a plow. And, on the trail and until they got their crops in and harvested them – they had to hunt to eat. I wonder how they ever came home with a deer or rabbit without wearing elaborate camouflage.

        In closing, I’m NOT putting the bad mouth on you. I’m just being realistic and telling the truth. I know war! I know what killing is about! And again, I respect your capabilities. However, for the majority of people.. they are NOT trained as you and I. They have NOT seen battle. And, it’s NOT easy to draw down on somebody and shoot them. I want people to think REALISTICALLY. For a true situation is NOT static. It is NOT the movies or TV. And, the bad guys DO sometimes win.

      13. I take exception to your comment that the AR is jam prone.  I was in the army for 8.5 years and fires tens of thousands of rounds.  Maintaining the weapon does not mean “immaculately clean”, all of the few problems I had were magazine issues or because of blanks.

        Get the gun that you can shoot well.  That’s all that matters.

      14. Great article and discussion gentlemen. I am an ex-Marine and Viet Nam Vet. I liked my M-16 then and I like my .223 AR-15 now. They have never jammed on me. Not then, not now. It doesn’t recoil much, packs a punch, and it is rather quiet. I like quiet. It doesn’t give your position away to others if they are in the area. I have more than one. Everyone to their preference.

        You are right, Steve, all of you in California cannot survive in the “Hills”. There are just too many of you, and too few resources: which is why I am expecting Phoenix, Tucson, SLC, and Las Vegas to double in population “overnight” when the BIG ONE hits LA.  I expect martial law to be declared in these cities when that happens. By the way, the Bible Code predicts this event for 2010. We’ll wait and see. Forewarned is well armed.

        The government knows that TSWHTF too, which is why the Executive Orders that have been signed by numerous administrations, give the President dictatorial powers in a “national security emergency”. Thus the “concentration camps” for looters and refugees. This is the US solution for HAITI TIMES FIVE when Southern California is rocked to the core and LA falls.

        Fortunately, with foresight, I live in northern Maricopa County (Phoenix Metro) and own a gold mine in Southern Yavapai County: my bugout location. It’s  only a few miles from the nearest town, making  it close enough to civilization to get there, but far enough into the “Hills” that  Greenhorns will not dare venture. After all, when the BIG ONE hits or TSHTF for any reason, fuel supplies will be disrupted and rationed (like during WWII) if they are available at all. I don’t expect many Greenhorns will be very interested in walking a Jeep trail for miles through the desert foothills; summer or winter.

        I spent over a year living on site in all weather conditions while I built a small building and worked the mine. There is plenty of game: deer, javalina, rabbit, quail, and snake, not to mention ground squirrels or a stray “cow” lol. My building is empty, but I have beds built into the “loft”, with supplies buried under the foundation and in the mine. You would have to be a miner to access them, even if you knew where to look. The adit is well concealed and would take two days of digging to reach.

         There is a natural spring nearby with lots of water, and I have stored considerable amounts of water in 55 gallon blue plastic barrels and fuel in steel drums in the concealed adit. When I am on site I use a home made wood stove lined with fired brick to keep the place warm at night. There is lots of chapparel to fuel the fire. The Indians knew that you could break off the dry branches and the wood would grow back. At night, in the bush, the smoke is not very visible, but it can be smelled. I intend to cover my roof with solar panels and add two or three Vertical Axis Wind Turbines to become totally energy independent as soon as possible.

        If you didn’t know the Spring was there ….. you wouldn’t know the Spring was there, but I do so there is lots of water. When relocation becomes necessary I will hook my pre-prepared trailer with supplies, tools, and equipment to my 4×4; “pack up the babies and grab the old lady, and everyone goes”, then disappear over the ridge. We can live there indefinitely if necessary.

      15. zukadu,
        you dont think people would follow you during the initial evacuation and trip up there?  because i do.

      16. Mr Richards , And may I complement you on your service as well .  In your closing  , I agree the situtaion is NEVER static , that is why those who adapt can and will survive .   ZUKADU :  I agree with you 100% , I too live in Arizona , Mesa to be exact, in any desaster we here will be filled up with refugees and fast , it won’t take long for relief services to be overwhelmed and then the trouble will start .  When the survivors come in I will go . NETRANGER : Good for you the 30-06 Rules ! My biggest regret is for some reason I completely forgot about re-loading supplys and now thay are un-available .  I hope and pray that I don’t regret that big mistake  !

      17. Airborne71,

        I was potty trained with a snub nosed 38. Unless I got to hold it I wouldn’t go! My father’s hobby has always been handloading / reloading… EVERYTHING! From 25acp to 45 Cold and just about everything in between. I have access to the most awesome collection of dies, shellholders, presses, powders, projectiles, etc. 70+ years of collecting this stuff. My father tells me constantly, if you want any of this stuff, just take it. I buy my own supplies of fresh powder and primers, mostly. Some day he’s going to say that and I’m going to get out a wrench and start unscrewing a press or two.

        I’m not finding a shortage of reloading supplies. They are a little tight but not that bad. Good luck! I hope you find what you need.

      18. To Paul R:  You have to be going there to get there. And if you get there you will find a locked gate, “No Trespassing” and  ” Guard Dogs Will Bite” signs, and finally: a grizzly, well armed Jarhead in camo and paint, protecting his property.

        Which reminds me of the time I was sitting outside of my “shack” concentrating some ore, when I heard a quad come down my wash and stop. I grabbed my “Sweet 15” and a 30 round clip and headed over the ridge in camo shorts, flack jacket and bush cover. I stepped up on top of a couple of rocks that give me a commanding view of the entire wash, just in time to see a “civilian” drop his pants and expose his BIG white ass!

        “Can I help you” I asked, the butt of the 15 on my hip, my back to the sun. “No Sir!’ came the reply with real fear in his voice as he looked up at me. “I just have to go to the bathroom!”

        “You a prospector? I asked. “You look like a prospector,” I continued.
        “No Sir! No, I’m not prospecting. I’m camping down around the corner,” he said, still squating and holding his pants up so they wouldn’t fall down. “I’m just trying to go to the bathroom,” he pleaded.

        “You camped in the clearing on this side of the road?” I asked. “Yes sir! I just came down here to go to the bathroom!” “Uh huh. You know prospector, that’s private property down there. You’re tresspassing.” I commented. “No sir! I didn’t know it was private property, honest I didn’t!” clearly under stress. “I just need to go to the bathroom!”

        I said, “You know, you people from the city come out here without a clue as to what you are doing and think you can take a shit anywhere you want! If I drove up your driveway, dropped my pants and shit in your front yard, you would call the police, wouldn’t you?” I asked.

        “Yes sir, I suppose I would, ” he replied. “Well prospector, out here, on this side of the road, I’m the police!” I said, seating the magazine into my weapon for emphasis by slamming it on the palm of my hand.  “And you’re trespassing!”

        “Please mister, I have to take a shit! Please let me take a shift,” he begged. I paused and then relented: “Ok, make it SMALL, take it with you, get off my land, and never, never, ever come back here again!” With that I stepped back off the rock and disappeared as quickly and as quietly as I had come. And OBTHW, he took IT with him. So Paul, if there be a someone with an adventurous spirit that wants to follow me ….. let him come.

        Airborne71: You do know what an “Army Of One” is, don’t you? Its a Marine! lol

      19. Zukadu , Quote “Where is the prince who can afford to cover his kingdom with troops so that a thousand of men comming out of the clouds would cause an infaninte amout of misthief before a force could be brought to bear on  them ?” Benjamin Franklin Airborne all the way !!!!

      20. To Zukadu,

        If shit literally hits the fan, do you know what sound it makes?

        M-A-R-I-N-E !

        Semper Fi brother ~

      21. You’re absolutely right Airborne71, thats why they make Marines! :-)Do you know the story behind the Freedom Hill PX in Da Nang overlooking the air base? Marines took the hill twice and handed it over to the Army, who promptly gave it back to the VC/NVA each time. After taking the hill a third time, The Commandant refused to turn it over to the Army and we built a PX at the base of the hill ……..

      22. Being Airborne is like being a virgin , ether you are or you are not . IF you are you have made an achevement , If you are not , do not bother us with the unfortunate circumstances sourounding your paticular problem !!  This was the sign posted over the door to the 46th Airborne training company as I entered in May 1971 !!!

      23. Airborne71:     By May 1971 the Army could buy all the beer your ration card could muster in our PX at the bottom of Freedom Hill!  LOL

        OBTW I use to jump with the Marine Sport Parachute Club in New Bern NC. Not exactly combat conditions, but I have “hopped and popped”. You can have the last word if you want ………. 🙂

      24. I was in the active Army for 9 yrs.  Fired the M16A1 and A2 versions.  Yes, they do jam.  Carbon build up cause the rifle to jam.  Even with lots of break free it still jams after you fire a certain number of bullets thru it.  We used to carry 600 rounds (combat load).  That doesn’t last very long in a fire fight.  I know, I’ve been to combat (yes, I have killed).  Range on a M16A1 is 600 meters, range on a M16A2 is 1200 meters (longer barrel).  Although we never fired the M16A2 farther than 800 meters on any range.  I have the feeling it will accurately hit you at 1200 (A2 version).

        HK now makes a combat version of the M16 with a different upper chamber mechanism that ports the gas (carbon) out of the weapon vs the M16 versions that send it back thru the chamber.  This means they have solved the jamming of the M16.   Problem is the Military only outfits Special Forces units with it!  It costs over $3,000 a rifle, expensive.

        The .223 is a ok round for urban fighting, the 7.62×39 AKA/SKS round is excellent at short distances and penitrates body armor.  For my money in a fire fight, I want a round that will penitrate body armor and knock the enemy down or kill them.  .223 caliber round doesn’t knock people down, it is a bouncing round, hit you in your arm and can come out your head or your or your butt, depending on how it hits the bone and tumbles.  It was intend to seriously harm the person it hit more than kill them.  The thought was take 2 to take the wound man off the battlefield, which in terms of taking enemy out of the battle is great.  3 is always better than 1.  Except in survival, there is no place to pull back to.  You can’t out run the enemy, that is why it is critical to chose the spot to make your stand.

        Think of it this way, when the stuff  HTF, you have just hrs to get to where you want to be and all hell is going to break lose.  So lets say you got a 12 hr window at most.  So where you are in 12 hrs is your ALMO!  Look at nations that fall in South America/Central America/Africa, you only get about half a day (12 hrs) until the people are out in force on the streets looking for food, guns/ammo, supplies to live, or just causing trouble.  America is no different.  My guess is this will not be a drawn out event, there is a point that will trigger the end (financially).  When that point comes, we don’t have enough military or police to control the nation.  And certainly not 40-50 million illegal immigrants. 

        What ever you have when it goes up is all you got, unless you can get it from someone else or take it from them.  That’s survival in a nut shell.  The strong will survive (strong in the mind) and the weak will die!

      25. For all you Marines:

        When I entered service, everyone that could pass the Entrance Test was given a choice of 3 doors

        1)  Air Force for the brilliant ones
        2)  Navy for the soft ones
        3)  Army for the Common Sense ones

        If you fail the Entrance Test the sent you to Hell


        Stupid, dumb, unasumming, and can obey a order (charge that hill)!  LOL

      26. TO 7thID:   I appreciate your service and I am sure that you do not represent the typical army “draftee” during Viet Nam.  It was a war that no one wanted except McNamara and Westmoreland and neither would implement a strategy to win.
        The brillant Army Commanders on the ground didn’t have a clue that the VC were just around the corner and 30 feet below ground.

        Because my birthdate was one that was selected for the Draft that year, I had three choices too. I could go to Canada with the rest of the cowards, allow myself to be drafted into the Army, or join one of the other services.

        I chose the Marine Corp to avoid being drafted into an Army of soldiers that didn’t want to be there in the first place, and might cut and run when things got “hot'”. I was required to serve my country in war like it or not, and I reasoned that I would prefer to serve with men who I could count on if the chips were down and my life was at stake.  I was right.

        I am sure that with an “All Volunteer Army” and the outstanding men and women of the National Guard that we have today, I would not have been forced to make the hard choice I did then. In those days the National Guard, for example, was primarily a place for abled bodied cowards like George W. Bush to hide out.  

        And although I could point out a few “jarheads” in my own experience that give rise to the sterotype, I also met exceptionally intelligent individuals in the Corp; including several of  my CO’s and a few draftees. My own IQ is well above 130. That doesn’t get me an invitation into Mensa, but it does make me smart enough to connect the dots.

        Don’t misunderstand me. The Marine Corp does not build men. It builds Marines ,and the mental toughness required to survive and thrive in the Corp has served me well in civilian life.  I wouldn’t do it again, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything either. I doubt that I would have survived the war in the Army. I have no regrets.

        Semper Fi

      27. Airborne is all fine and dandy.   At Fort Benning all the fresh meat just out of basic training guys and girls fill up those C-130’s.  Lot’s of girls mind you.

        Not so many girls or fresh from basic training noobs when it comes to Air Assault.  Come to think of it,  much higher fail out percentage too. 

        Seemed like too much Airborne babble going on,  Had to set the Record Straight!

        Scouts Out!  Recon!

      28. Love the article and the comments. Just like to add some things. Another great blog I read on the internet was from a survivalist who lived through a couple of economic collapses in Argentina (can’t remember the website address). The blogger stated that a few days after the gas, power and phones are cut off in a city then it will descend into anarchy and you are safer trying to get out. Murder becomes rife. Particularly in larger cities where the higher-density housing means people don’t even have gardens for food production. He also stated that panic buying starts almost immediately after the crisis begins, and that shops quickly run out of everything. When people run out of food, they get very desperate indeed. He stated that he carried a concealed pistol at all times, but also carried a fake wallet for the couple of times he was caught out and mugged. He stated that openly walking around with a big gun was just a way to get noticed by more heavily-armed gangs who wanted to take it, or by authorities who wanted to confiscate it to try to restore order. Interestingly though, he stated that you were no safer going out to somewhere isolated, like a farmhouse. This was because of roaming gangs of home invaders. It was too hard for any one man to hold off a dozen armed gang members who had surrounded your isolated home for 72 hours. Once they got in, they raped and tortured and murdered for days, with no-one coming to the rescue. He also suggested that dogs were your best alarm. They can smell/hear things coming from miles off and let you know. However, just before the isolated farmhouse invasions, the gangs usually poison the dogs. If that happens, you know what’s coming. He stated that your best bet for survival was a small hobby farm, in a tight-knit community. Basically you need a small plot of land to produce your own food, but to be close enough to your neighbours. He recommended being within shouting distance of each other. And some dogs to bark at intruders, and attack them if need be. That way, the neighbours can come to your defense and vice-versa. Is your or your neighbours dog barking? Get the gun and get out there quick. They can also help you do stuff like building and farming. Mankind survived for thousands of years against hostile threats before modern civilisation, not by going it alone, but simply by banding together in small groups and villages. You don’t need to be an expert in all the skills of survivalism, you just need some skills, in order to make yourself a valuable member of the group. You might be great with a gun, but how valuable is the experienced farmer, or meatworker, or carpenter, or metalworker, or mechanic? Or even the women who could knit and sew and pick crops and gather wild plants and grind flour and cook? Not to mention, have your offspring and raise them. Plus the solitary survivalist, no matter how tough, would probably get killed by a larger group of men while they slept. Any military veteran knows you can’t remain vigilant 24-7. There is also the problem of hallucinations. These can be induced via over or under-stimulation. For instance, terrorist prisoners are blasted with flashing lights and loud music (sleep deprivation) and eventually they start hallucinating and talking. The same goes for under-stimulation. Stare at the same expanse long enough, and you will eventually hallucinate things, like people coming to get you. East German border guards regularly suffered from this problem, often shooting at the gap between the walls, when in fact there was no-one there. They wasted ammo on figments of their imagination. Everyone has to sleep, eventually. Try staying awake for three nights in a row and you’ll see what I mean. It can be done, but you’re not exactly at your peak. Also, while you may be an experienced military veteran, is your wife, kids and grandparents?

        So the best advice I have heard for surviving shtf is to band together with a small group of decent like-minded people who make you all stronger by bringing their own skills to the group. Another point the Argentinian blogger made was not to rely on the authorities. He got to the point of carrying bribes with him at all times. While they may officially work for the government, they and their families are just as desperate as every one else. Rogue police and soldiers would set up road blocks whilst off-duty, simply to ransack innocent people and their cars. The closest he came to being killed wasn’t by a criminal(s) but when he refused to bribe a police officer. The cops whispered between themselves, about just killing him and taking his car, until he handed over a small bribe.

        I guess the best example of what a post-shtf world will be like is to look at Somalia, or Sudan, or Liberia during the civil wars. Basically, warlords with technicals (modified armed and armoured jeeps) and their gangs pretty much ruled, outside of small villages protected by armed defenders. Not sure how the individual survivalist would go, when faced with recoiless rifles and anti-air guns mounted on technicals, and dozens of men armed with machine guns and mortars and RPGs? But a few dozen experienced ex-military survivalists and their families living in a fortified farming village could survive through just about anything.

      29. Matt  x  If you really want to set the record straight lets do so ……You are a leg , A non jumping individual who can only point at someone who is or in my case was a paratrooper and criticize that which you do not  understand and never will . When I went thru Ft Benning in 1971 I did not see one female so what ever is going on now dosen’t match what I expierenced and I could care less.

      30. Comments…..joe my name is michael im fixing to get a 6.3 kw system placed on my house. the total cost is 54000 yet after government and state incentives its less than 10000 my share. they will not run ur home directly. u have t be hooked to the grid or get batteries. a solar water heater and a 48 volt solar well pump means ull always have water. to get the system as cheap as possible insulate use a better vapor barrier and use less panels. 

      31. I am presently Boondocked in my survival motor home in the northern Arizona wilds, I noticed while reading through the replies to this very good article, the number of military men, and their critique of weapons and tactics.  I have never served in the military, and I am not much of the marksman, although I am presently armed.  But, I have spent years as a survivalist of sorts, almost 20 years without a home living in various vans, campers, and motorhomes, mostly due to poverty.  For 10 years or so I have been living on Maui, working as a consultant/owner of an advanced camera security company.  In 2007, I knew the crash was coming, so I bought a motorhome on eBay and picked it up in Phoenix in the summer of 2007. I agonized over whether I wanted to meet the challenge of a collapsed civilization in the Hawaiian Islands or on the mainland, I decided on the mainland because, even though there is food growing year around in Hawaii, it would simply be stolen by the locals who would kill you in the process.  Because of my experiences living in various motor homes in campers in the past, I made up a wish list of the things I would customize on the motorhome this time for ultimate survival purposes.  I installed solar panels, 260 W worth, plus four 6 volt storage batteries.  An RV evaporated cooler, that will keep the motorhome at 75° even in 100° outside temperatures, it only takes 5 gallons of water a day to keep cool in the desert.  I installed a very nice wood burning stove, something I have learned from experience you cannot do without in the wintertime.  While Boondocking in Quartsite Arizona recently, with almost 200,000 people in their motorhomes, I realized I couldn’t have felt safer.  Most everybody was armed, and of the same mindset.  I could see there was great advantages for survivalist with a motorhome who was organized with other survivalist and motorhomes, they could stake out a desert area and control it collectively. I have surveyed most of Northern Arizona all the way into southern Utah, mostly big empty territory.  In my opinion, one in a more perfect places in the United States for survival purposes for a number of reason. While reading the replies, someone spoke of all the million people in San Diego and they’re heading out of town to the desert, this will not happen for a number of reasons.  Most people, will stay in the city looking for government handouts.  And when those government handouts run out, it will be too late for them to escape.  With a total collapse of the currency, a good number of people will either starve to death, freeze to death, or kill each other in the process of trying to survive.  From 300 million, we could have a population of only 50 million in the future.  The world was never designed for the billions of people that now exist, there will be a large die off.  Those who survive will be those who prepare.  There are supposedly 200 million armed Americans, but most of these arms are small caliber, and most of these people have limited supplies of ammunition.  The question of me being in a firefight with automatic weapons fire is very unlikely, if I need an automatic weapon I will take it from a dead enemy.  And who will be the enemy?  History tells us that crashing multicultural societies divide along racial lines.  In Iraq for instance, the country divided along Sunni, Shia, and Kurd ethnic lines.  In the United States, the ethnic lines will be white European, Mexican, blacks, and agents to some small degree in large cities.  Survival is also about politics, not just about guns and supplies. So choose an area where your ethnic group is strongest, Northern Arizona is mostly white European with the exception of the Navajo.  Mobility is key to survival.  I have been studying the idea of putting together a electric mountain bike.  A fully charged mountain bike has a range of 30 miles, and can have a speed up to 40 miles an hour.  Being ambushed driving your car is something to consider.  Ambush will be a major threat.  Through ambush people will try to gain the supplies they are lacking, food and ammunition and weapons.  If you’re driving your car or truck, it’s easy for a sniper to hear you coming on a back road.  You have no idea where they’re located, you are going fast and are enclosed.  An electric motorbike or bicycle, allows you to travel silently, allows you to sense or see a possible ambush.  An electric mountain bike can escape down trails that even motorized motorcycles could not pursued.  For instance, you can pick up and electric mountain bike and carry it up over rocks and other obstacles that would be impossible with a heavy motorcycle.  And best of all, it is silent.  Got to find some kind of leather holster for the carbine and the mountain bike 🙂

      32. this site is just a bit much, $2,000 for a water providing machine.  A dehumidifier would work just fine and at under $75.00 priced right.

      33. Regarding water generators. These things are outrageously priced. Just get a dehumidifier. That’s all these really are, anyway. Water condenses on cooling coils and drops into a bucket. You typically can expect about a gallon a day or two, more or less. Use where it’s damp, like a basement, to get the most water.

      34. i just became a zija distributor so that i can get these products wholesale the are packed with all the nutrients you need and if your rashening food this would be a big help if anyone else is interested my emails is [email protected] plus it will give you the energy to survive raise a garden hunt stand guard and so forth this stuff is extremly healthy

      35. Learn about the foods that nature gives you. Then learn about the medicine it gives you. If you believe you are a slave to society, then you are a fool. You can survive. Panwe Chete

      36. blackpowder guns may be slow but you sure can carry a fair amount of ammo in large cal. in small pouch with some cannon fuse and powder make one nasty surprize then take his gun if you live

      37. Good article and gets you thinking. I’ve prepared to stay in place in the suburbs. Out of 90 homes in a subdivision, 40 of us have formed what we call “The Department of Neighborhood Security.”  We are surrounded by 6ft concrete walls on all sides. Only two entrances on one side, no through traffic.

        But I do have a bugout plan should things get to dicey and indefensible 90 mi south of my location in a rural community of 3,500 with ample water (wells), many small farms and excellant hunting in the nearby moutain ranges of Utah.

        Two neighbors are raising chickens. All other food and water provisions are in place for survival up to 1.5 years. This is necessary to get you through until the end of the growing season. All subdivision lots will be turned into mini farms (front and back yards).

        The Katydyn water filtration system as mentioned by another commentor is an excellant choice. Relatively inexpensive, 13,000 gal capacity and an extra replacement filter gives 26,000 gal. A family of 5 can survive on that for a very long time. Water for any survival situation should always be given top priority. You can survive without food for 2 weeks, you’ll last 3 days without water.

        I have a backup generator that runs on natural gas and propane. Other than an eathquake taking out the main gas line I should have gas available even if the power goes out. If not, I have 3 100lb (28.5 gal) propane tanks for backup.

        Self-defense & security includes Glock .40 cal, Glock 9mm. Ruger mini 14 Tactical  .223/5.56, Remington 870 12 ga. tactical (spare long barrel for hunting conversion) Winchester 30-06 and Ruger M77 .308 for big game hunting and of course sniping if the need arises. All the above weapons will do if you will do and won’t break the bank, and covers most any situation you may find yourself in.

        A word on the Mini 14. It may not be as sexy as the AR15 platforms that many manufacturers are producing, but it has it’s positives. The cost of a mini 14 makes it accessible to those that can’t afford the price of the AR’s. The mini 14 action is based on some of the most reliable battle rifles ever built, M1 Garand and the M14. They take a licking and keep on ticking, simple to tear down to clean, seldom fail in any type of geography or climate, sand, mud freezing temps and high heat conditions. You also have a veriety of tactical add ons available for it as well.

        As for it’s accuracy, which many have said is poor, in close combat out to 100 yards it will hold a group of 3 – 3.5″ MOA. That is because of the tappered barrel that causes barrel wipe. To correct this, I installed a HAR-BAR barrel stabilizer. It now shots 1 – 1.5″ MOA and I can usually shot circles around my buddies with their AR’s. I’ve also used the cheapest dirtiest ammo out there (like WOLF) and I’ve never had a malfuction. So, reliablity at a reasonable price scores a 10 with me. I have nothing bad to say about the AR’s, they are very good rifles and battle proven. Price made my decision for me.

        Keep the home fires burning folks, I do believe we are in for a ruff ride in the coming months ahead. The economy is currently based on a lie, it’s artificial and we have no control over it. Those that do, seem to be hell bent on destroying it as fast as they can. As for preps and why you are doing it, take your clues from Hurrican Katrina and Sandy. Study it carefully. As bad as they were think 100 times worse when the economy collapses.

        And yes, the unrest and civil disturbances could get so bad that a civil war could break out in this country once again in our lifetime. And for all my military, LEO and firefighter friends, past and present come visit us at


        Riots, Looting and every other sort of nasty you can conceive is headed our way in the not so distant future.


      1. Final Survival Preparations - [...] previous articles such as ‘Surviving Economic Collapse: Tips, Tactics, And Gear’, we covered the Big Four in survival; food,…

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