99 Relatable Things That Only Preppers Will Understand

by | Jul 20, 2018 | Headline News | 90 comments

This report was originally published by Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper

Prepping isn’t all about whiling away your hours in a bunker, reloading ammo. It’s about the everyday things we do and the differences in our mindsets from non-preppers, and these are things that only real preppers will understand.

Preppers know these are actually signs of sanity, but we get used to being misunderstood by the unprepared and the mainstream media, who all seem to think that we’re crazy. Sometimes it’s fun to have a good laugh about their misconceptions of what we actually do.

You might be a prepper if these signs relate to you.

Many of the following signs will be so relatable that they’ll probably give you a warm glow. Feel the prepper solidarity!

  1. Pantries are so mainstream…you have food stashed in strange places in every room of the house.
  2. You have enough toilet paper to get through a year of uncomfortable digestive upsets…occurring with 6 people simultaneously
  3. Speaking of which, you possess at least 3 different ways to use the bathroom, only one of which is an actual bathroom.
  4. Your kids know what OPSEC means…at the age of 4.
  5. You have topographical maps of your area…plural.
  6. When you’re forced to interact with “the others” you feel like you are awkwardly censoring your true opinions
  7. You think nothing of treating an injury or illness yourself because “what if there was no doctor?
  8. Paintball and laser tag are no longer just a fun way to spend an afternoon  …they are tactical training.
  9. You’ve purchased duct tape in bulk.
  10. With every major purchase, you contemplate going for the off-grid version.
  11. You have more manual tools than power tools.
  12. You’ve washed entire loads of laundry by hand for either necessity or practice. (And not just your dainties…we’re talking about jeans and stuff!)
  13. Your kids are not afraid of guns…or fingers pointed like guns…or pastries in the shape of guns…or drawings of guns.
  14. When house-hunting you look for multiple heat and water sources.
  15. You store food in buckets…lots of buckets…like, maybe even a whole room full of buckets.
  16. You garden with a determination and time commitment normally reserved for endurance athletes training for an Ironman triathlon.
  17. If you don’t have a water source on your property, you have put in miles of footwork searching for one nearby, and have mapped multiple discreet routes to and from the source, and figured out how to haul the water back to your house on each route.
  18. Your first instinct when hearing about some event on the mainstream news is skepticism. (False flag event, anyone?)
  19. You read articles about multiple ways to use white vinegar and nod your head throughout.
  20. You believe that FEMA camps are real and that you are most likely on “The List”.
  21. Instead of CNN, you have alternative news sites bookmarked in your favorites on your computer.
  22. You have enough coffee/tea/favorite-caffeinated-item-of-choice to last you through 3 apocalypses.
  23. You could outfit a small-town pharmacy with all of the over-the-counter medications you have stashed away.
  24. You have an instinctive mistrust of anyone working for the government.
  25. You could sink a ship with the weight of your stored ammo. In fact, you put it in the basement when you became concerned about your floorboards.
  26. Looking for a fun weekend outing with the kids? Forget amusement parks –  the shooting range is where it’s at.
  27. When the power goes out, you calmly light the candles and proceed with whatever you had been dong previously.
  28. A longer-term power outage is called “practice”.
  29. If a like-minded person comes over to your house, they’ll realize you are “one of them” by seeing your reading material. Other folks won’t even notice. The FBI might call your copy of The Prepper’s Blueprint and your A. American fiction  “subversive literature”.
  30. Your children carry a modified bug-out kit in their school backpacks.
  31. You can and dehydrate food with the single-minded fervor of an Amish grandmother facing a 7-year drought.
  32. Calling 911 is not part of your home security plan.
  33. You spend your days off digging an underground bunker in your backyard.
  34. You have more than a thousand cheapo lighters that you purchased in bulk, stashed away in the back of your linen closet…and you don’t even smoke.
  35. You eat a lot of survival food now, so there is no ‘system shock’ when you are forced to eat only the items you have stocked (or that you GROW – hint hint).
  36. You stock alcohol in mass quantities so you can comfortably numb after the SHTF.
  37. You stock alcohol in mass quantities – and you don’t even drink. (Barter, baby!)
  38. You know what? Forget stocking alcohol.  You have your own still.  You’ll make alcohol.
  39. You have enough salt to create another Dead Sea.
  40. You don’t move – you strategically relocate.
  41. You purchased 50 of these little EDC multitaskers already for stocking stuffers for your friends/family/workmates/neighbor/random stranger.
  42. Speaking of Christmas, you gave Conflicted to everyone last year.
  43. When your friends ask about your favorite authors, instead of Hemingway, Tolkien, or Kerouac, you get a blank stare when you tell them it’s John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman.
  44. You know exactly how many Mountain House buckets it takes to make a base for a single bed.
  45. You don’t stock up on milk. You get an actual cow.
  46. Your family doesn’t dare take something from the food stockpile without marking it off the list.
  47. Your kids know how to don a gas mask in 30 seconds.
  48. Everyone in your survival group carries the same firearm so that ammo is standardized.
  49. You have non-electric versions of appliances like wheat grinderswashing machines, and coffee makers.
  50. You yell at the TV every time a commercial for Doomsday Preppers comes on. Oh. Wait. You don’t have a TV. But if you did, you’d yell, because you know how positively ridiculous and unrealistic that show is.
  51. Your family is no longer surprised when you announce, “Hey, we’re going to learn how to make (insert anything here)!”
  52. You have more how-to books stored on hard-drives than most public libraries have on the bookshelves.
  53. Your children have a plan in case they need to bug out from school.
  54. Alternatively, you homeschool and bugging out is part of the curriculum.
  55. You have more than three ways to cook dinner if the power goes out: a woodstove, a barbecue, a sun oven, a fire-pit, and/or a volcano stove.
  56. First Blood and Red Dawn  are basic training films for your family.
  57. You have long since accepted the idea that if you’re not on someone’s list, you’re probably not doing it right.
  58. Your 7-year-old knows Morse code.
  59. You’re secretly disappointed when the electricity comes back on after only a few minutes.
  60. You know more ways to make a homemade knife than the entire population of your local prison combined.
  61. You don’t just rotate food, you rotate ammo.
  62. You know the distance from your door to your front gate is precisely 207 yards.
  63. Moving to a new house is no longer “moving”, but “strategic relocation“.
  64. You have mapped out at least 3 different routes by car and 2 different routes on foot to get to your bug-out location.
  65. You know the difference between “Tyvek” and “Tychem” suits, and in which instance they should be used.
  66. Ditto the finer points of N-95 vs. N-100 masks.
  67. You watch The Walking Dead in order to critique their survival tactics. (And you were secretly delighted to see Beth building a fire in a Dakota pit.)
  68. Speaking of fire, you can start one in at least 3 different ways, and you always carry a lighter, a fresnel lens, and a magnesium firestarter.
  69. You have two (or more) of everything important, well, because “one is none.”
  70. You have a decoy food supply.
  71. Your kids think it’s a fun game to see who can find the most potential weapons in a room.
  72. Even your dog has a bug out bag – which she carries herself.
  73. You have elected NOT to purchase greater armament because you plan on upgrading with your future assailant’s weaponry.
  74. Your EDC includes a knife, firearm w/extra mag, flashlight, mylar blanket, Chapstick, and an ounce of silver — and that’s just for when you’re walking the dog.
  75. The trunk of your car has enough supplies to carry the family through an entire week during a major blizzard.
  76. One criterion for your new winter coat is that it fits over your body armor.
  77. Your neighbors separate their compost for you into a) chicken food b) garden food and c) other
  78. You scour travel size aisles because they fit better in bug-out bags and they make great barter items.
  79. You check out the garden center and pest control section for potential weapons.
  80. Your subscribed channels for YouTube and bookmarks now contain more prepper and alternative media sites than cute animal sites.
  81. Christmas and birthday gifts have a prepper theme.
  82. You actually know what the letters “EMP” stand for.
  83. Every time there is a small household “disaster” like a power outage or local water “boil order” you just grab your emergency supplies and remind dubious family members. “See, told you it pays to be prepared.”
  84. Your freeze-dried food has a longer expiration date than you do.
  85. You know how to make bows out of skis and arrows out of garden bamboo.
  86. You have (or are seriously considering, buying) an old armored personnel carrier to turn into your RV.
  87. You know that Falling Skies has better idea for post-apocalyptic survival than The Walking Dead or Z Nation but you still watch them all just in case.
  88. Your friend asks “Do you have enough bullets?” then you both laugh and laugh because you know you can never have enough.
  89. You changed your home page from MSN (or any other propaganda media) to Drudge Report or SHTFplan.
  90. You have no problem knocking on strangers’ doors to ask for fruit tree cuttings.
  91. You have vacuum packed underwear in a plastic tub stashed somewhere in your house.
  92. You just might have more medical supplies than the local ER.
  93. The Co-op and Costco recognize you but pretend not to. They know better than to ask questions about your purchases.
  94. If you’re a man you are no longer embarrassed to buy tampons and sanitary napkins because they make great bandages.
  95. If you’re a woman you know you don’t need to buy tampons or sanitary napkins because so many other options exist.
  96.  You actually own a toilet seat that fits on a bucket.
  97. You have enough wood cut and stacked to form a barricade around your whole property.
  98. Admit it. Every time the power goes out, you go see if your car starts so you can get the jump on hunkering down or buying out the store with case in the event that this one is actually an EMP.
  99. You have considered filtering water with a coffee filter or a t-shirt.

Do you have more prepper signs to add?

These signs that you might be one of those “crazy preppers” are consolidated from the hive mind of two previous articles and comments from the readers. (Find them here and here.) Do you have more signs to add? Share them in the comments section below.

The Pantry Primer

Please feel free to share any information from this article in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to The Organic Prepper and the following bio.

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com She is the author of 4 books and the co-founder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter,.

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    90 Comments

    1. ArmageddonProof

      100: You go to yard sales and actually find something useful in the free bin.

    2. Menzoberranzan

      100. You’ve actually built the booby traps and they are ready to be placed around your property when shtf happens.

      • DMONIC

        101: You have already strategically placed said booby traps. Why wait till the last minute? =)

        • Infidel

          102. You have pre-dug graves between the rose bushes.

        • Menzoberranzan

          I don’t want to kill my family, dude.

      • Heartless

        Menzo – laughing like hell…. one of my ‘proposed in my mind’ additions was mouse/rat traps for just what you suggested as ‘switches’.

        • Menzoberranzan

          Cool brother

          • TharSheBlows

            You really smart Preppers are already living at your BOL now for several years and living Off the Grid and laughing at those still stuck in the Cities waiting for SHTF.

    3. JUST WAITING

      YOU KNOW WERE ALL THE NUKE PLANTS ARE AND MOVED TO THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE TO GIVE YOURSELF A COUPLE MORE DAYS TO LIVE.

      • Old Codger

        Coriolis effect!

    4. Maranatha

      You not only know what a biosand filter is, you mention it just to access what others know.

      You have been prepping for so long that you read Ragnar Benson books when they came out.

      You casually Tom Brown Jr. in the seventies when drinking a brew to see if your new acqquiantance was awake or not.

      You read books and magazines on making homemade artillery in the late eighties.

      You watch every episode of the Alone series and yell at the fools when they screw up.

      You watched all of the Out of the Wild episodes and laughed at the greenhorn nonsense…but not in a mean way because you made similar goofy decisions in the early seventies.

      You took Microbiology and Immunology and Embryology and Histology and Pharmacology and Pathology and Biochemistry and Physiology and got good grades and high praise.

      When a young person is struggling, you take the time to teach them by actions more than words but make them do it even if it takes five times longer.

      You practice with a katana that is not for show and very robust and can’t wait to actually use it.

      You like to teach others because countless mentors answered your dumb questions.

      You enjoy spelunking, rock climbing, water skiing, snow skiing, whitewater rafting…even in an inflatable funyak, horseback riding.

      And your kids were not afraid doing a zip line in the canopy even when they were the only children in the group.

      • TharSheBlows

        Been biking and kayaking alot. Off in some really remote woods and swamps of FL. I imagine having to set up camp and live off the land back in there. Even in a survival mode. Its some amazing nature but lots of creatures ready to eat ya. I pack several survival kits when out there. Stay fit folks. Your life may depend on that.

    5. Maranatha

      You plan on making homemade fire pistons to your buddies for Christmas.

      • Phoenix

        That video was a rip-off – it stopped halfway through! I’m gonna have to google this, because even as mechanically-minded as I am, I have no clue what this device is nor does! (A piston with an o-ring inside a similar-length enclosed tube was all the video gave – not a whole lot to go on!)

        • Maranatha

          Nope. It’s just old and one of the earliest fire piston videos on youtube. And back then videos had to be under ten minutes. There is a part two, and if you clicked on the wiki link, it fully explains the tech.

          The air compression causes the air temp to achieve 400 degrees F and some tinder will catch and form a coal. Some newer ones are made of acrylic so people can witness the fire.

          And these were common devices in western civ for about 50 years before the chemistry of making wooden safety matches was made economical.

          Because it is self contained, and you can store up tinder, as our ancestors did, then it is very easy to start a fire versus flint and steel. Your seven year old could start the fire with one.

          And it essentially lasts until the o ring needs replacement. I would have spares.

          And to make it requires few tools and it is great way to begin making your gear. And when making one, it’s a good time to make ten as presents that are practical.

          Every backpacker, scout, hunter, fisherman, prepper, etc will want one.

          And they are cheap to build and you could even sell them locally or as a trade item.

          Next make a tin can rocket stove. Your wife will thank you.

        • fishandmud

          Phoenix : Think diesel engine. I have made smoke but never fire. Egyptian bow drill, magnifier out of a projection tv, fresnell, standard lighter, matches, magnesium fire starter, steel, and on and on is the way to go for fire.

          • Maranatha

            Yes, there are some historians who claim that the first inventor of the diesel engine saw a prototype fire piston at a demonstration, made his own, and then was inspired.

            It was the tech of choice after flint and steel for 50 years, and only wealthy people could afford charcloth, so most didn’t need charcloth, but knocked some Chagas fungus off a tree and used that as tinder. Or stick a little charred punk wood in there.

            And then, while out in the field grab some dried pine sap too.

            You know, I was primitive camping about five years ago and some young hunters, all under age 22 or so, walked up to me and asked if they could take some of my fire to build their’s! I’m serious. It was pathetic, but I wasn’t mean, but took the time to show them how.

            Millennials are doomed because they can’t do basic things like start a fire at night. I teased them, “What are going to do if you can’t start a fire in front of a lady?” I mean, that stould be a RED FLAG as to suitability of dating a guy after all.

            Please, I’m beggin’ you to find some Millennial and teach them right and to teach your grandbabies. If not, the American Republic is lost due to total immaturity to adulthood.

            How could anyone say they are an adult if they cannot make a fire???

            • NEC_Wrangler

              “Please, I’m beggin’ you to find some Millennial and teach them right and to teach your grandbabies. If not, the American Republic is lost due to total immaturity to adulthood.”

              excellent advice. Rather than b1tch about the millennials, mentor them 🙂

    6. russ

      I love this info!!

    7. Fang

      I guess we lost count but a prepper wpuld know which pipe diameters will perfectly hold what caliber of bullet, cartridge, or shell; the necessary fittings and how to assemble them into an arsenal AND has done so.

      Thank you, Ragnor!

    8. Kraclin Skin

      Has made sure that every relative has at least one “Cajun Claw”…..

    9. Fuck Amazon

      Tip 100 buy any and all prepper items at MOTHER FUCKING AMAZON?!!?

      Really, fucking really?!?!

      I swear the next time I see some self important SHTF article on this site and every link is to Amazon, I’m gonna crawl through the WWW Tubes and bitch slap the fuck out of everyone involved.

      I truly cannot believe that anyone does or would shop at Amazon. Amazon and Jeff Bezos, just say BOYCOTT!!!

      • Infidel

        Happy Prime Day.

      • hillbilly SC

        +1 FA 🙂

      • NEC_Wrangler

        welcome to shtfplan where Mac and his wife Daisy make a fair amount off of clickbait and amazon sales.

        Yep, Every. Time. You. Click.

    10. Moses Strongbear

      Gave me a smile to read this. You must consider fire to be the biggest threat along with an exwife who knows what you have hidden away and where. Forest fires will not be fought and will freely burn Back in the late 1800s most of Idaho burned down as sthey did not have the current forest fire fighting capacity of today Entire towns burned down in a few minutes fire can make you a homeless refugee looking for dinner. Fire ravaged my property but we saved the house do to a stored water supply. Power failed and there was no power to the well pump. We were ready for that. Plan for uncontrolled fire coming your way

      • Menzoberranzan

        Very good advice

    11. Red Leader

      You see bar soap on sale for .30 a bar at Kmart and you buy 200 bars and everyone gives you “the look”.

      • Kiko

        You learn to make your own soap!!

    12. Jim in Va.

      Your backyard looks like a gopher community where you buried your stashes…..

    13. lost karma

      I stockpiled a lot of bic lighters (many manufacturers). Over time, 5 years in my case, about half of them were out of butane or the striker wheel wouldn’t move. Buy lots of them just to be sure.

      • Red Leader

        I bought around 50 Eagle Torches and several cases of Butane 300ml refills. Since the flame comes out at 90 degrees from the handle, it is very easy to use and is refillable. I use one all winter long to fire up the wood stove, I have yet to have it run out of Butane after two years of use.

      • Archivist

        I have a Zippo (actually more than one) and lots of flints. You don’t even have to have the lighter fluid. You can just use the sparks to start a fire. One Zippo will outlast hundreds of Bics, and flints are dirt cheap.

        • Plan twice, prep once

          Zippo lighters were the number one please send me items in WW2. They saved a lot of soldiers lives in the cold. Hot tip, pull one apart and dump in a pack of spare flints into the bottom, reassemble, they are there when needed. It’s like a five year supply. They can be fueled with white gas i.e. Colman fuel, but in good times fuel is cheap and plentiful. I have several, lots of fuel and flints. Got extra Zippo fuel? Who needs tinder.

          Bought a couple Zippo’s at a gun show for Christmas stocking stuffers one year The guy was confused when I wanted only dark metallic gray that’s wasn’t shiny. I cleaned him out.

          I really am impressed by name brand BIC lighters. They seem to last for decades in my tool box, and rarely fail. Yes I have a case of like fifty. Skip the dollar store cricket lighters, they aren’t reliable.

          I stopped to help a guy in my company parking lot who’s car wouldn’t start in the cold. I took a BIC lighter held it in pliers in the air intake, and told him to hit the starter as I cracked the lighter.

          Damn if that flooded engine didn’t come to life. Butane is so insanely flammable.

          Decades ago I bought a 32 inch fresnel lens intended to make a 19 inch TV into a 32 inch experience. It actually worked. Used it for a couple years. Now we have humongous LCD TV’s of absurd sizes at cheap prices. The wife said we should toss that TV lens. I said over my dead body, that sucker in the noon sun will cause a 2X4 to bust into flames in seconds, I could make a solar oven in ten minutes with it. It is a cool prep per tool. As long as it isn’t in our way, just ignore it.

          It’s also a great science experiment to teach children with.

      • TharSheBlows

        I bought 400 lighters and use them multiple times a day out at the BOL. Lighting propane stoves, a camp fire, burning trash. Light up a cigar. Plenty useful. Buy in bulks at about .20 cents each or buy at the convenience store for about $1.69 each. Best prep ever stockpile lighters. Several hundred min.

    14. Sean

      There’s no one left in the home to convert to a prepper, and now all the late converts are always trying to one-up you on everything prepper. If some one were to glance at your open garage door, they wouldn’t see anything unusual or out of place. Mostly because your garage door is never open. If you HAVE TO HAVE an electrician or plumber over, you give yourself 24 hrs time between your call, and their arrival. So they don’t see anything. You look at your neighborhood and size the neighbors up as friendly or enemy, there are no in betweens.

      • Plan twice, prep once

        OPSEC tip,
        Never pack a car for vacation, or even a day trip with the garage door open. Pull the car in all the way, pack car in total privacy, put the family in, open the garage door and drive away like you were going to lunch.

        Always before pulling out, open the garage door, walk out and check out the neighborhood. If there is a strange car, drive by and seribtitously photograph it with your phone.

        Assume you are always being watched. It’s not paranoia, it’s defense against how theives operate.

        • TharSheBlows

          Plan Twice. How about live out in the country where nobody can even see your house or garage from the road, because you have privacy, a barbed wire fence and gate with no tresspass signs. You are fighting your own stupidity living in the city. You need to plan 100 times. Then prep to get out of the city death trap.

    15. Brian

      Don’t forget the doormat that has “welcome” on one side and “GO AWAY or I’ll kill you!” on the flip side. (The flip side is for SHTF scenarios. Also prepper locations have six or seven five-gallon cans of gas at a minimum as well as numerous cylinders of propane. Also, I keep at least one fire extinquisher in each room and a number of smoke detectors throughout my locations.

      • Plan twice, prep once

        I like the door mat that says come back with a warrant.

        True story, I guy had a door mat that said “come back with a warrant”. Police without a warrant actually took it and hid it under the deck, then broke in. Oops he caught it all on camera saved to the cloud.

        The judge ate the police alive. Yes, he sued the crap out of the police too and won.

    16. B from CA

      #27. No. When the power goes out, I don’t calmly light the candles.

      When the power goes out at night and I was not in bed, I could barely walk. It was so dark that I didn’t know which way was up. I could not see anything.

      The second time the lights went out, and we lived like this for months, I used candles at first but soon discovered that they were insufficient. I bought many flashlights. Then I bought my first battery operated lantern.

      It was almost like discovering fire.

      Buy batteries in bulk and give your loved ones a lantern with batteries as gifts.

      _

      • enough

        you need to buy solar rechargeable lamps along with bulk rechargeable batteries. the lamps will recharge whatever is in them during the day, and have alot of them and make sure the light output is adjustable so you don’t have to use up the batteries so fast. ALSO< a Times Indiglo watch is a life saver in a pitch black bedroom. You really can see just enough with it to find your shoes and glasses and flashlights in pitch black room.

        • Archivist

          The Indiglo watches don’t last as long as they used to. My very first one lasted 7 years before I had to change the battery the first time. Now the watch corrodes until the buttons are useless before the first battery runs out, usually in a couple of years. They still look the same, but they aren’t somehow.

      • Plan twice, prep once

        During the big storm, I had a generator that was up and running as soon as the rain stopped, (electricity and water don’t mix).

        For our first 24 hours we had flashlights and rechargeable batteries.

        Hot tip, plastic ammo boxes for AR-15 556 are great for storing AAA batteries, and boxes for .308 ammo are great for storing rechargeable AA batteries. Button up means charged, button down means recharge. I have a solar panel that will also run my ten cell charger.

        My wife went to work and suppied her office assistant with freshly charged batteries daily along with LED lights, so her babies weren’t terrified by the dark. It’s the little things.

      • TharSheBlows

        I am 100% Off the Grid and the power does not go off here. My Solar system is more dependable than the grid.

        When the grid fails and is down for 4 years, what are you going to do? Guess what the value of your Grid tied house in the City will be worth? Zero value $0 zero like the rest of the houses in your neighborhood. Because the majority will abandon the city and the looters and rapists will clean the bones of those who remain.

        Your goal needs to be 100% off grid and self reliant if you are a serious prepper.

    17. enough

      excellent stuff!

    18. enough

      TIMEX

    19. Maranatha

      This is why I am very concerned about goofy post-apoc shows that show ten or more open candles burning at the same time. No prepper would do that. I reckon lots of folks would burn too many candles, and some kid would knock one over, and have a close call. But, yeah, housefires would happen, and under SHTF conditions, take out whole neighborhood, even cities.

      You wouldn’t burn candles without a candle follower. I was delighted when I went to a backpacking /camping store in the seventies and saw that they had candles that were spring loaded with candle followers. Folks in church know about them as they might have many beeswax candles. It’s a very old practice.

      The safest lightingis to grab up solar lanterns that are used outside, and bring them in your house. You will not have endless fat to render or endless oil from oil bearing plants like sesame, olive, sunflower, rapeseed, corn, and soybean. Sesame is allegedly the best in terms of production,but domestically rapeseed will be what you grow. Don’t grow GMO as your livestock will not eat the fodder from spent plants, but they will eat the regular rapeseed. And it busts up hardpan in heavy clay soils.

      Making lighting is very difficult during survival. Those intense torches flashlights are great gear in a way as you can totally flood with light and for decent price.

      Otherwise what you probably will do is make coaked cattail heads with impregnated rendered fat. This is what Native Americans and settlers often did.

      Otherwise the very unsafe practice of “rushes” were utilized.

      All your parafin oil lamps will run out of fuel.

      You might consider what coal miners used to use with carbide lamps.
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbide_lamp

      Anyways, the safest is outdoors solar lanterns used for lanscaping lights. You would end up bringing them in if you lived in a small village because unprepared people would steal them. You would make a rig to charge them on your roof that had a window access. Then your tribe could grab them each day at sundown and have PLENTY of safe noncombustable light.

      They have 50 hour parafin lamps that extinguish if they flip. They typically don’t flip based on how they are designed, but old ones don’t have that feature and can make terrible hard to extinguish fires and parafin oil on the skin canmake horrific burns.

      You might study up on coastline lighthouse technology and how that developed because if the SHTF, you might adapt that for your BOL or for the tribe.
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_lighthouses

      Under primitive conditions postSHTF, watchfires might be employed as beacons to silently warn of invasion.

      • Archivist

        I’m not sure if everyone is aware, but rape is a green, like collards or turnips. My father used to grow it. I didn’t like it, but it was edible.

        In the grocery store, rapeseed oil is called canola oil. That’s one of those instances of mislabeling that the FDA allows because of people’s dislike of the original name.

        I won’t be burning many candles after SHTF, as there won’t be any reason to be up at night. I’ll go to bed at sundown and get up at sunrise. Lighting your house at night will attract undesirables.

      • Asshat

        Those solar lights you put along your walkway. They run on a rechargeable aa and a little solar panel that is 2inch square. The light is a small led that reflects off a mirrored fixture that looks like a shot glass on top of a tent stake that’s driven into the ground. I’ve had good ones that lasted a year outside in extreme hot and cold temps. The cheap ones you get at the dollar store or Walfart are shit don’t bother. You can put them out to charge and take them in at night. I already used them in this way and they are reliable safe renewable and cheap. You can buy them and store them when your ready to use them you pull out the paper tab and the battery will start to charge. They are automatic and will turn on when it’s dark. Candles and oil lamps can burn your house down the solar lights are bright as a kids nite light. This is something you could buy a lot of and use for barter. I’d take one over a candle. Jmo

        • Plan twice, prep once

          Harbor Freight sells a solar powered motion sensing light for about $20 on sale. I took two and put the solar panels on the roof, joined the feed wires, ran 12 gauge low voltage cable to the front door and installed two lights.

          As much as people put down Harbor Freight, these two lights have been running nonstop for five years. The UPS guy loves them, just enough light to safely deliver packages in the winter darkness.

          They are not grid connected, i.e. they always work.

          They have died after days of overcast no sun days, but that is rare.

          In a power failure, my house has security lighting.

    20. Phoenix

      The room that used to be your home office/music studio is now a grow room and brewery; the spare room downstairs is a hatchery; you ran out of rooms so put up tent sheds where the freezers and an extra fridge are; you keep looking for more places to put plants because your deck and patio table are COVERED in seedlings, but you’ve run out of space and started putting plants in the forest and the next location will be the edge of your driveway which is on the other side of the property line 🙂

    21. Maranatha

      The fire piston is unbeatable. I bet you end up making them as it is proven primitive tech.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkWJdWGdgaM

      In the short run, flint and steel and a tinderbox is what people will start using. To get the easiest coal going, you get some punky wood and char it. Extinguish it. Place it in your tinder box. And old altoid box works for this. Now when you get a spark, flick it into the charred punk wood tin. It almost always makes a new coal for you to transfer. This can save your life when wet and freezing and shivering.

      • Archivist

        If the sun is shining, a little magnifying glass is the easiest way to start a fire. Even a tiny toy plastic magnifying glass will start a fire. I know from childhood experience.

        • Maranatha

          Hoss, what could possibly go wrong?

          Honestly, puzzle it out. And if going that route, use a pocket freshdnel lens that is cheap.

          Some people just are irascible. Whereas routine prepping mentors suggest having five or more ways with a magnifying glass way down this list because it’s unreliable but I leave you to reckon why.

          Sheesh.

        • Plan twice, prep once

          Interesting, I was traveling in Austraila internally from the coast to the outback. Their airport security was emphatic, no matches, no lighters. I reluctantly gave up my box of waterproof matches, and bic lighter.

          Only because I knew how to start a fire if needed anywhere.

          I like the fire piston, it’s old tech, solid. You could go through TSA with it.

    22. Maranatha

      You really ought to learn how to make a battery. This means making an acid or base in order to use an ionic chemical reaction. You can take an old aluminum can and achieve this.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRVzPqgp10c

      Anyone can make lye from wood ashes as you need this anyway to make soap. Anyone can make charcoal. You have to anyways for LOTS of reasons. Anyone can make combustable birch oil. You have to for LOTS of reasons.

    23. jMaranatha

      The old timers woke up early due to milking cows. They needed no alarms. The old film Witness shows this as an Amish wakes up an urban detective to milk cows.

      Anyways this significantly alters sleep patterns. BUT under SHTF scenarios, you will ALWAYS have someone on watch and ready to use lights to rouse others and use outside.

      Historically, old timers would say, “Yer burnin’ daylight!” To careless youngins. You worked with the natural light, but in the evenings might teach lessons, catch up on Bible study, rereading some practical reference guide to engineer some rigging or plant or animal disease or mdeicine. It also was whittling time and repairing time as you couldn’t squeeze that in during daylight hours. There were too many other activities, mostly agricultural, when the sun was up.

      Now they were very well set up and prepared but postmodern people even preppers are NOT. You will wake up at dawn or earlier for milking and might not go to bed until midnight as that first year so MUCH has to be fostered and security will eat up lots of time.

      I would make all coffee using the cold brew method as you get better extraction with low acid. When it runs out, give caffeine tablets. A sleepyhead on watch could cause the tribe to die.

      There is an endless amount to do and unless you have several adult men who are dependable stought hearted steadfast veterans, then a father has too much responsibility as does his sweet wife. You both will be exhausted after 60 days of minimal sleep from stragglers looking to steal crops and eggs or LOOTERS or psychopaths or druggies.

      • DowntoEarthThinking.com

        jMaranatha, when you work physically all day, like growing your own food you will want to go to bed with the chickens and that will allow you to get up with them as well ! Problem today is most people cannot work a full days work, they are not physically capable, that includes most preppers as well most young people. The preppers are too fat and out of shape and the young are as well , plus lazier. No doubt some preppers can remember what it was like to have to work, but most are not capable any longer of much of anything. So those that keep those skills and fitness capabilities are miles ahead of all the rest for many valid reasons ! Problem is if SHTF actually comes to fruition, somebody will come along and take all your shit ! That is why the defensive skills and fitness and health are the most critical capabilities to be confident with. Most of that is mindset and you cannot get that from prepper sites ! You have to earn it from your own first hand experiences and training. There is no other way.

        By the way how many regular old matches can you buy at the dollar store for $5 ?

        • Maranatha

          While doing ministry, I routinely worked 60-80 hours and it wasn’t sitting at a desk doing paperwork. Doing youth ministry during summer camp season and throughout the rest of the year I would get up at 5:30 to cook breakfast for up to 100 campers, cut down trees, split firewood, repair, replace, lead worshops and Bible study, organize camping out and fires, drive a tractor, weed, harvest, etc.

          People have odd ideas about what folks in ministry do. There is lots of physical labor. Many times I work at 5:30 am and went to bed after midnight, and then did the same routine the next day and the next.

          I used to routine work 60+ hours as a craftsmen, and then do everything at home and only sleep four hours will almost zero free time.

          Meanwhile there are a lot of lazy people in my opinion, even preppers who presume that under SHTF scenarios that they will have more free time.

          Heck I’ve worked since I was eleven or so. And through one period, had three jobs at once while under age twenty.

        • TharSheBlows

          Matches are soooo outdated, one strike and easily blows out. Useless wet and if its windy? Forget it. Kids playing with matches has burned millions of houses down.

          Now a lighter, not the bic junk, but the lighters you can take the metal shield off and you can adjust the flame size by the wheel ratchet. Make an 8″ inch torch which works great in windy conditions or on wet wood which can get a fire going.. Carry many lighters as they are one of the best survival tools out there. Make fire in seconds rather minutes or hours rubbing sticks together looking for that spark. Learn how to find dry tinder when everything is wet.

          • Maranatha

            Our ancestors made charred punk wood to start coals from flint/steel or stored tinder so it is bone dry.

            Paper has to achieve 451 degrees so it is terrible tinder but it is what people always try.

            To get a coal to ignite a tinder pile, use a straw or any hollow tube like an empty pen to direct your breath. Native Americans would make these or use a sumac that had the pith removed.

            In history, they made a little bellow to do the same thing that blacksmiths used to raise the temerature.

            If you wait to gather tinder, it likely is going to be damp or less than perfect.

            If you have no tinder, you can shave some fibers sometimes off your pocket linings to get some fuzz to create lint.

            If using a bowdrill, then a trick people forget is to rub the top of the spindle (never the bottom which is shaped dfferently) along the sides of your nose, which lubricates it slightly, and this speeds up the spindle rotation to achieve a coal faster from your board.

    24. nlightened2

      You run your generator in your well house to kill al the spiders while making another batch of motar for your underground resort. 😁

    25. runna muck

      I have several fox holes dug around my house with a cleared field of fire,i have enouf pipes end caps and pyrodex to outfit a small army.foo on you nasty fbi agent reading this

    26. runna muck

      go to fireworks supply on internet buy electronic fuses,put in end of pipe bomb,tape to tree about 4 foot up.run wire to fighting position set off with lawn mower battery,rember 1 is none go nuts set ouy 20 or so that will back them off.rangers lead the way

    27. Traitor Hator

      Watch the greatest movie ever made? The Good Earth. With Paul Muni, It deals with the great Chinese famine and consequences. She heated up black dirt let the sand settle and gave it like soup.to her family, and killing their ox, and eating their seed. Possibly THE , prepper movie.?

    28. Traitor Hator

      Seems throughout the disasters of history only the prepared had much chance of survival? You would think there’d be nothing left but prepers.

    29. Traitor Hator

      I’ve found that making battery cables out of old jumper cables by hammering flat a one inch piece of 3/8 or 1/2 inch copper pipe on the bare wire and drilling a hole makes good connectors, expecialy if you first add anti corrosion or dialectical grease.. And so far I see Blast Match as if everything plastic breaks you still have the biggest flint on the market? But that’s just me.

    30. Traitor Hator

      Have been looking into non lethal defense . Seem experts say pepper spray is better than shockers. More range ,blind and can’t breath.. With some habenaro peppers you can almost put in a super soaker? Some say voltage doesn’t matter as much as combination of volts and amps. .5 seems dog collar,1 is intolerable pain , 1.6 is Sabre,, dual capacitors,biggest is 2.5 , settled on two 1.6s battery drain is a problem.

      • Anonymous

        Over 15 years ago, an aquaintence showed me a replicate of an Aztec death whistle. These were sound weapons used to terrify others especially before and during battle to sap the morale of the enemy.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGQ1x5r-LCQ

        Of course the Pentagon sponsored experiments doing the exact same thing which then have been utilzed as psychological warfare and in breaking the will of prisoners to extract intel through interogation. This combined with shaking and humiliation coupled with threatening their parter is highly effective as they may be brave themselve and self-sacrificing, but human nature is often altrusitic under stress and will yield intel to save another. However they want to confess but that hardly means it is accurate by then as they would confess anything to stop their buddy from being harmed.

        Psychological warfare is a prepper’s best tactic to even the odds. If you read about historical battles and guerilla operationw, terror through psyops and subterfuge were often utilized to make the enemy presume strength in the other despite the veracity of that belief.

    31. Maranatha

      Old school preppers had to learn how to read a topographical map, something they most often learned in the military. Otherwise some were interested in orienting, particularly in Europe, while others were serious backpackers doing the Appalachian Trail.

      When I was a kid, often a museum had a relief map, and I thought they were cool as to construct one, you had to know cartography, read a topo map, and be an artist.

      Now of course you can buy them for any state and for many regions. They are superior because in the heat of the moment, or while carefully thinking of strategy, you can instantly see ways to exploit the terrain.

      Maybe you can do this instantly, most can’t because to do so requires a gift at spatial relationships (something an architect or a machinist constantly utilizes or especially a fighter pilot or naval aviator), and your wife or children might be on their own, and so owning a relief map might save them.

      This might allow them an escape route or a hiding spot that you hadn’t considered while looking at the topo map.

      About 14 years ago, mapping software got very cheap and even interfaced with GPS devices. And a backpacker could pull up a map and way points of the route, and extract a relief map and rotate it to get a very clear picture of the terrain..and even zoom in.

      Now you might even be able to access your state cartography data and do it online and print it out. That will last for awhile but will fade and could get wet.

      If you are an urban dweller and your BOL is very far away, you might make many printouts, do screen captures on a tablet, or both so when the SHTF, you would have the very best maps. If doing this, encrypt them, because otherwise a bad guy now knows where you are going and where you came from.

      If in this category, I suggest that you have a water route as part of your plan as state governors while giving testimony on H1N1 admitted state border closures in cases of instability like contagion potential.

      This actually is a scene in the film Contagion as the protagonist is immune to the initial virus and decides to try to bug out, along with every Tom, Dick, and Harry. The state troopers and National Guard prevent him.

      That kind of situation is very volatile as stressed exhausted LEOs might feel threatened and discharge their sidearm. And you wasted precious fuel that you cannot replace, and then likely returning home or worse, exiting into an unknown region and possibly hijacked.

    32. Maranatha

      About a year ago, I read some alarming statistics on gun owners and cleaning their weapons, and amounts of ammunition on hand, and spare magazines, and holsters, and actually discharging their weapons. A huge amount only discharge their weapon once. Many fail to clean their weapons. Many never discharge their weapons. Many have only a box of ammunition. Many don’t have holsters.

      This would be bad enough, but in history, even soldiers in training and in their first battle, would fail to draw, acquire the target, and shoot with many doing all three but intentionally missing. Basic training is supposed to make soldiers do a mindshift so muscle memory kicks in, and it becomes a reflex action, and the soldier detaches from the ethics based upon the rules of engagement.

      Of course, the average gunowner is even less prepared and ladies especially are submissive versus standard women, and so they especially need lots of careful instruction. It is even possible that they need a shooting coach to teach them in certified courses because they don’t want to appear mean or cruel due to their spirituality, ethos, upbringing, etc.

      What makes it imperative is fostering a “mamabear” instinct as they might flinch when protecting themselves but would never flinch if their babies are threatened. Part of this is making them understand that if they are harmed, their children will likely be harmed.

      This sometimes happens in soft men who had a single mom and no positive regular male rolemodels. They are apt to have poor emotional control when calmness and lethal seriousness is called for.

      Some of you could be mentors for others and help facilitate this. Pray about it. Some churches in response to these issues start men and women’s ministries where ancestral skills are taught, overnight trips planned, and diverse subjects discussed. It can draw in new people and also help existing members as many might own a weapon but would love to learn the practical side.

      It requires patience and crystal clear instruction due to the potential for accidents. Often fun events like a whitewater rafting might be a bonding experience or spelunking as it is partially scary and people have very positive experiences that empower them.

      It’s best to have seperate ministries not co-ed unless it’s part of the curicculum for a singles ministry.

    33. Camille

      If you need more supplies, you plan on going to the local dump, where most ppl will not think to go for theirs. Get in, get out. You know where the local armory is and have plans to take it over in shtf situation with other local like-minded ppl. You have built a sled set-up for your LGD to pull in winter, (in Maine), and a cart for LGD to pull in warm weather for supplies to be carried: like your chickens, rabbits, etc for easy continued meat production. You practice making fires w/o lighters or matches. You practice, (again in Maine), building an igloo from scratch.

      • Anonymous

        I was seventeen or eighteen (a million years ago)and going to the dump and I was shocked at the good things that people throw away like twelve volumes of a very famous history series, that at the time was incredibly expensive. You can harvest some very fine things dumpster diving on rare occasions. People throw away tools which is criminally negligent.

        At the last minute at a garage sale, if you offer a very low price and then offer to haul off the junk, you can get some remarkably good deals because they do NOT want the stuff as the whole point was to make room.

        You help them; you clean up and repair some and donate; you offer some to some young couple who needs some tools or an appliance; you can fix up a bike so some poor kid has one; you might find some oddball mechanical tool that is perfect when there is no power.

        It can turn into a valuable ministry. A lot of people throw away things instead of donating them…which I find shocking and wasteful.

    34. M A Deuce

      You regard Sylvan Hart to have been a god among st men.

    35. pop

      im not sure I like you telling everone what I do

    36. Mongoose

      You have identified and mapped all the edible plants in your area.

      • Maranatha

        About 2005 or so, some state educators tried a program that was centered around Environment Education. The kids first activity was often to make a map of some terrain, then do a survey of all species, and monitor their activities, growth, do experiments, and write papers. Theywould assign a Math/Science teacher and a Language Arts/History teacher. Thekids spent about 75% outside and were excited and loved going to school versus sitting in a sterile class room.

        Anyone doing home schooling might look into doing that as a genuinely beneficial way to educate, learn ancestral skills, and for it to be a valid certified program so your kids can go to universities after.

        In my opinion doing ministry, there is no better way to teach the Gospel and educate young people as they intuit the mystery of GOD as there is no way life on Earth is random.

    37. Sam W

      I been looking for the original Red Dawn thanks!

    38. Maranatha

      You know people say things like, “You know you can buy things cheaper than what it took for you to make it as your time has a pricde too.” Well, my answer is, “You do realize cheap goods were almost certainly made with Chinese slave labor or similar, right?”

      Everyone who does that enslaves them. That is NOT Biblical. It may be frugal, but it is not what Jesus Christ would want us to do. Meanwhile, it puts Americans out of work. It means being lazy about ancestral skills. It overestimates our hourly rate as what they really want is more free time to watch tv and be zombies consuming Hollywood pinko agitprop!

      Imagine all of the filth you put in your mind that Hollywood created to destroy the American republic. And you also enforced this by poor parenting and not only encouraged your kids to watch propaganda, but bought them whatever music they liked and bought them clothing made by Chinese slave labor so they overestimated their worth and denigrated others.

      Meanwhile you and your kids would never be considered “mature adults” in 1860 because you couldn’t do the basic sorts of skills that a routine mature 16 year old could. But you can do a lot of POINTLESS things that they could not in you mammoth amounts of free time.

    39. Robert R

      Buy clear freezer bags for food, cables, misc., etc. quart to 2-gallon sizes are at Gordons. Bonus for labels.
      Make decision to hide evening lights if conditions warrant; thick curtains taped at sides.
      Bags or more of baking soda; multiple uses; print out alternatives and store near them.
      cleaning supplies
      work gloves, handkerchiefs, hoodies
      insect repellents;
      Markers, pens, pencils; several reams of standard paper plus construction paper for kids
      pre-printed half-pages for meeting notices; fill out later;
      communication devices including ham radio devices; shortwave;
      alternate sources of electric power (bonus for wood fire generator that powered 1910-era water skiers! confirm: ___)

    40. Maranatha

      You might not have considered the following scenario, but I assure you, it is valid and accurate.

      When the SHTF, most critical infrastructure will end up sneaking away when things look hopeless. And some of these have very valuable skills and some may show up on your property. That means based upon the skillsets and their depth of morality and similar ethos and loyalty, they may be valuable potential tribe members.

      The most patriotic and loyal critical infrastructure folks might be the LAST to leave their posts and most often because elderly or children survivors are still in the urban areas. And so, the very late stragglers who are homeless and emaciated might be the very best skilled for your tribe.

      And they may be future spouses of your single kids or replacement spouses of ones who lost spouses due to things like violence or contagion.

      So you must not be so bigoted because otherwise you doom your newly single daughter who has two babies but no husband/father. And you doom a true patriot veteran who has LEO skills and is an upright Chrisian but is in a sad diminished state. He might be her only chance at happiness for the next 20 years.

      You really need to think about the lone prepper ideology because those who call themseves survivalists, due to social dynamics, are allowing poor critical thinking to doom themselves especially their single children.

      What if the straggler is a patriotic veteran RN who had previously been a combat medic, is a Christian, is young and sweet and charming, and your single son likes her?

      Maybe she’s Black or Middle Eastern or Asian. Moses’ wife was Black.

      You are not thinking things through clearly but letting irrational bias creep in, and it is not Biblical.

      You can’t help everyone, but when you die and are judged by Jesus and he asks why you didn’t help her when she would have been a blessing to your whole tribe, well, lame excuses are not going to bail you out.

      The true story of Pocahantas is heart warming because she was a pagan who against her father/chief’s command, saved Jamestown’s inhabitants and then when heart was broken ended up becoming a Christian and marrying him.

    41. Maranatha

      If you like the original 1984 Red Dawn, watch 1989 Next of Kin where Kentucky rednecks use hillbilly justice to get even against the urban mafia.

      Likewise Stake Land which is a post-apoc flick about survivors fighting against vampires and shows the issues of bugging out and forming a tribe. Similarly 30 days of Night is about the same scenario.

      A great seldom seen film is The Way Back which shows desperate escapees from the Soviet gulags trying to get home against all odds. And the old eighties film Out of the Cold tells the true story of foolish Russian Americans going back to the USSR and the true horrors of the gulag. He later escapes and gets back to America.

      Similarly, an old tv miniseries is Amerika which is about Soviet occupation of the Midwest and how horribly is destroys and crushes American souls. One guy survives the gulag and it doesn’t break him, and he returns to organize resistance.

      Only a satanist or a moron embraces communism.

    42. Mark E. Edmiston

      My car is pre-1973 so it will run after an EMP!

      • Plan twice, prep once

        Don’t count on it.

        Have a spare dry battery and a container of sulfuric acid, as well as a spare alternator, and ignition coil and cap stored in an EMP proof containers

        I once bought a Ford Pinto, for a dollar. It just kept mysteriously dying as the owner drove down the street. The Ford dealer hadn’t a clue. Turns out it’s ignition capacitor was a custom order one of a kind part even dealers didn’t normally carry.

        I took a standard ignition capacitor and transferred the extended custom Pinto wire harness to it. Installed it and the car was like new. WTF.

        I got a car for a dollar that basicly Ford just dropped support on.

    43. Old Codger

      My whole family thinks I am crazy!

    44. Traitor Hator

      Seems likely having the only running car after EMP , would be suicide to drive in public.

    45. Maranatha

      Here is a video describing the ancient Native American practice of harvesting old cattail heads, impregnating them with rendered animal fat, and then you have a decent TORCH. You would grab several to investigate when something is going on outside unless you have nightvision scopes.

      Otherwise some dang greenhorn will take a spill into a ravine, break their leg, and die under SHTF situations.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E3HAPrQbIs

      You are going to think this is weird, but if you grow your hair out long, and learn to walk trails (only not just wanderin’) then you can feel the hard trail under your moccassins and your eyes will adjust even when there is no moonlight. Some Native American elders feel that long hair acts like antenae. If you are very careful and go in pairs or in threes, and have long hair, you might try this.

      In general, survival experts will NOT teach this skill because people haven’t got a lick of sense and will try walking off trail in pitch blackness and get hurt.

    46. Maranatha

      I don’t want to promote a product so I won’t include the video, but a solar charged LED attached to a nalgene bottle makes a very useful light. You could make your own if handyand clever. It’s a very good device to have.

      Warning. If buggin’ out, you don’t want to pitch a tent and light it up as it can be seen for miles. Instead, make a hammock tent which are very portable for under $75. Then make sure you have an exterior black tarp so if you illuminate it, it can’t be seen. And with a hammock tent, you can pitch off trail quite easily between two trees. And if you must build fire, make a dakota hole and pile up rocks and use a heat reflector to maximize BTUs but minimize light. And the hammock tent will be very warm and snug versus a tent regardless.

      While you are at it, make a bedroll liner for the inside and maybe the outside. You will be dirty from sweat and reduced bathing ability. Later you can wash the liner and therefore keep the bedroll clean. These make great Christmas gifts and are inexpensively made. A polar fleece one would dry fast and is expecially warm and weighs little.

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