SELCO: Here’s How Survival Is NOT Like the Movies

by | Feb 13, 2019 | Headline News | 68 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This article was originally published by Selco at The Organic Prepper

    Many times I have mentioned the movie industry as one of the culprits for thousands of misconceptions in the survival world. Some of those misconceptions are really dangerous, and others are funny.

    I am sure that when SHTF many people will simply die because what they saw in a movie.

    For example, there are gonna be guys who will try to shelter themselves from flying bullets behind car open door, or folks who are gonna try to be faster than bullets.

    Or simply, folks will die because of their preconception that good always win.

    All this above are not reasons not to watch movies or TV shows, read books or similar. It just can be dangerous to adopt some “techniques” too literally from movies to our prepping world. Try to keep some common sense there.

    Movies are usually fun, not a source of serious prepping learning. Daisy’s article the other day has a list of movies that are fun for preppers but often show what not to do.

    The movies you actually learn from aren’t very fun.

    Movies that you can learn something from are usually not really fun. When I say “learn” I mean mostly about getting a sense about something, usually not some particular technique or solution.

    A perfect example of that kind of movie could be “The Road.”

    It is one of the most depressing survival movies out there, but it does describe some stuff, and it does “install” that atmosphere of grim in you.

    And it is pretty close to reality.

    I am not saying we have been cannibals or we gonna be. I am talking here about the atmosphere of hopelessness, tough choices, and finding sense even in what looks like a completely desperate and hopeless new world.
    All that without too many cliches.

    There is always a reason to live.

    We want everything to make sense.

    This article was going to be about survival movies, but it looks like it is gonna be more about survival then movies.

    There is something in us people that makes us want to find sense in everything, makes us want to categorize events and people around us.

    So categories might be good people, bad people, important people, big events, small events, important events… good, bad, love, and hate.

    The list can go on and on, you know what I am talking about.

    We have the urge to categorize and base our stand and actions based on that. But in real SHTF there is not too much that is bad or good, actually, there are, but without clear boundaries between them. You have good people doing bad things and vice versa.

    Events are unfolding in a way that after some time you may find yourself in a situation that you do not know what is good and what is bad. However weird this sounds it is the truth.

    I found out on several ocassions, and usually years after, that I trusted in completely the wrong things or people during SHTF.

    You can not “catch” all sense in SHTF, and it is normal, you just have to (again) operate in your small circle from day to day.

    How does all this have a connection with movies?

    Well, you may think it does not, but it does, biggest movies (hits) are usually movies with clear categorisation and boundries between good and evil, love and hate and so on and on.

    Movies are fun, yes, but no matter what you may say, they do form our opinions. On some people more on other less, but they do have an influence on us.

    Now, survival movies may give us those stupid ideas about being faster than a bullet, or mess up our opinion about what cover is good enough for coming bullets, but they can mess up at a higher level, too.

    They can give us an opinion that everything has to make sense.

    When SHTF you may easily end up dead looking for that “sense” in everything.

    No, there does not have to be any sense in events happening around you when SHTF, and be careful in categorising people and events in good or bad and similar because you might be surprised many times.

    Or you might simply end up dead because of poor judgment.

    What to do about this?


    Movies are a fun industry and if you perceive it like that, and nothing more, we are at the state where movies that are fun and nonsense.

    I remember my grandfather seeing a movie about one of the biggest battles in WW2 here (in which he fought, by the way.) The battle was pure carnage, and Germans together with Italians and local Nazis almost destroyed resistence movement. As my grandfather was one of those resistence fighters it was interesting seeing him watching the movie.

    It was a big hit here in that time and years after, with actors like Yul Bryner, Anthony Dawson and similar…

    My grandfather watch it in silence commenting on Yul Bryner with a bitter voice, “For sure we could have used this mot……ker in that time”.

    I like movies too

    But hey! I ll try not to be grumpy always – movies are fun, i watch them too, why not?

    I got a great question from a reader about what movies were realistic about our SHTF in Bosnia.

    Since this article was meant to be about a few movie suggestions (but i lost myself on the way) there are few recomandations for watching.

    Lepa Sela Lepo Gore” (Pretty Village Pretty Flame) is a movie from this region about the war that happened here. I admit movie requieres some basic knowledge about “who is who” here, but still, it is a good movie.  It is a movie about survival, not necessarily good and evil because again it is usually all mixed.

    And actually, it is a movie that was made based on true event.

    Another “local” one that portrays the latest war here pretty accurate is “Nicija Zemlja” (No Man’s Land)

    Another movie on Daisy’s list, Behind Enemy Lines, took place here during our war.

    Some great survival movies are not local. One that is actually one of my favourite: “Defiance” is a movie that was already recomended by Daisy a few days ago, but I just have to mentioned it again, because the movie resembles very much my grandfather’s stories of how was it in WW2, and I find it a very accurate and good movie.

    And one that is a “must see” for many reasons is Schindler’s List.

    Watch and enjoy but remember movies are fiction.

    Many other good movies are out there, most of them are actually on that list in Daisy’s article, good movies and movies that are fun.

    So yes, enjoy and watch. Just do not try to look for movie solutions when the SHTF.


    About the Author

    Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today. He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations as Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months. Read more of Selco’s articles here. Buy his PDF books here. Take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge by signing up for his unrivaled online course. Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.

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    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 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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      1. U6rOSe3EsdM
        He survived for 29 years.

        The best way to survive is go way off trail in a remote place, make a warm burrow that you seldom heat, bring water and food inside, and lay low until the others finish each other off.

        Survival is mostly minimizing activity so you waste no calories and managing wild edibles and preserving them.

        Or ignore these lessons and perish quickly.

        The best way to have a cooking fire is to pass the smoke ver wet grates of leaves to absorb cooking odors and burn it when everyone is asleep.

        Otherwise there were Russians who went into the taiga in Siberia where no one wanted to live and managed to survive for even longer as it was so remote.

        • tt2AYafET68
          Russians living as survivors in the Siberian taiga.

        • “The best way to survive is” to blow the fck outta any muthafcker that even THINKS of messing with ya.

          That INCLUDES the Zombie ZOG-Goons wearing badges

        • I came across a YouTuber recently called Canadian Prepper. His suggestions on where to go are interesting to consider. He has one specifically for Canadian spots and these areas are gov’t land leased out to logging interests although not all of it is leased. I looked for the YouTube of his talking about it but my internet connection is not good today (at least for this type of topic; shoes or art supplies come up fast…hmmm).

          • Yahooie, the wilds of Canada are my last ditch bug-out location. My current bug-out location is Kentucky. Hopefully in a couple years I can go to rural Idaho. Then if things get really bad, I can make a run for the Border!

          • Yahooie, the wilds of Canada are my last ditch bug-out location. My current bug-out location is Kentucky. Hopefully in a couple years I can go to rural Idaho. Then if things get really bad, I can make a run for the Border!

          • Payette National Forest in Idaho is the best, (oops I let the secret out). It’s incredibly remote. You need to bring supplies in and have a buddy system. Women and kids have to know that discipline is all-important. No or low-noise and visibility. Tell them when you’re on the “Lam” there is no “fun”.

            In the mountain wilds your worst enemy is snipers, as they will wait for days for a shot at fellow survivalists, for their preps. Dont figure on living off the land, as there will be thousands trying to do so, and most will kill any who they think are on their territory.

            Find an area with mature oaks and learn how to process acorn meats, it’s probably what will save you as most will not know anything about them, starving with acorns nearby and plentiful.

            Groups are the safest from snipers as a sniper thinks twice before taking the shot is it sets off a manhunt for him. If you’re a loner, there’s no threat to snipers, something to consider for all you lone wolves, “gray men”, out there. British Columbia is just north of there and would be an ideal “Last Stand” if we get routed in the northwest. It’s a harsher environment to be sure, is why it wouldn’t be first on my list.

        • The Coming of the Kingdom
          …32Remember Lot’s wife! 33Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed: One will be taken and the other left.…

        • Oh fir sure visit the Holohoax wax museum. Where acutally only 6 GOOS were killed, which 4 were caught and killed for steeling.

      2. Here’s a movie for ya!
        The U.S. ain’t the fucking Balkans and any SHTF COMPARISON IS NONSENCE.

        • Thats a very rude thing to say.From my experience living in former Yugoslavia now Croatia and Slovenia I can honestly say the same things can happen in north america.All it needs is the right set of circumstances to set it off.
          We are more divided than ever and at some point what people say privately in coffee shops will translate into action on the streets.And then it will be anything goes and we will not know who to turn to or trust.Selco is just telling us plain reality .Its not pretty but its truthful

      3. Mara I got a bone to pick let me know when you wanna pick it ¡
        Im busy too ok thanks whenever♧

        • You want my permission to argue with me? Just argue, Bud

      4. I model my survival plans on Charles Bronson’s “Death Wish” series… spiced-up with some of Mel’s “Mad Max”

      5. If you want to learn from a movie at least don’t watch it without taking into account that the producer is selling you something he wants you to buy. It may be a lie. He may want to sell you his politics. He may be pushing pedophilia, homosexuality, racial genocide, or any other common themes. Buyer be aware.


      6. re “He may be pushing homosexuality”

        A dead giveaway is always: “Hi big boy, wanna share a bunker?”

      7. People are going to literally stink and appear disheveled after only a short time. If there are womenfolk around, it would be smart to have some products around they can use to make them feel better. Think water, water, water.

        • “womenfolk”….?

          What year are you in….1820?

          • I like that description.

          • 1820 BC — help meet

        • This was one of the (many) things that irritated me about the TV series ‘Jericho’. The characters all had clean, fitted clothes…. freshly washed, fluffy hair… great complexions… flawless teeth… and of course, everyone was in very decent physical condition.

          It was simply impossible to suspend belief for actors who all were very obviously right out of the Wardrobe and Makeup Departments.

          You want to see what people would REALLY look like in a situation like this? Take a good look at the line of homeless lined up at the local soup kitchen, waiting for it to open for dinner. That’s what most of your neighbors would look like. The ones that were still alive, that is.

          • Karl V. Very accurate post. Most have never been in even remotely similar conditions. It ain’t pretty.

          • Karl V.

            Thanks for the smile. 🙂

            Have started to watch Jericho again and am on the 2nd season. I made a comment to the Mrs. about how FAT!!! the actors are after several months of 1/2 rations.

            How big of a portion is 1/2? 1/2 of a Thanksgiving dinner every day? 😉

            I said that they would look like Viggo Mortensen in “The Road” At least that movie producer got it right.

            Y’all play nice now. 🙂

      8. So, we have a war against terrorism. Hmmm. Today there was a terror attack in southwest Iran. 40 dead. Who would do that? Sunni Muslim terrorists. The kind that are armed and protected by the US. They usually come out of southeast Iraq. They are the MEK. They have a base that’s protected by US troops. They’ve been protected by those troops for several years now. Folks, the more you know, the worse it is.

      9. Never mind a full blown shtf. What about everyday survival. Some can’t even meet their needs now and it’s good times. If your struggling now it’s only gonna get worst.

      10. “The Road”? Is he kidding? The world’s only post-apocalyptic chick flick is supposed to be a valid preparatory tool? Come ON, now. If you find an underground bunker full of food and you abandon it because you THINK YOU HEAR A NOISE you are officially too stupid to live. That’s what happened in “The Road.” I remember it surprisingly well.

        • EVERY movie has STOOPID in it. MY “teaching moment” in the road was him drinking the can of peaches. it made me realize that EVERY time you drink “water”, you will be taking a chance on dying…..better to have CANNED food to obtain SOME of the hydration you will need. and most ignore the fruits and veggies you will NEED for certain vitamins and such.
          some things to fill that bill….
          peaches, apricots, pie filling, green beans, mixed veggies, corn, fruit cocktail,pineapple, beans of many varieties, including pork and beans, refried beans, kidneys, pintos, baked beans…..

      11. Whatever way you end up surviving will largely be a function of the ease of acquiring water and firewood, the ability to cultivate, the temperature extremes, availability of an abundance of wild edibles and medicinals, how much insulation you have, etc.

        Your first burrow is a temporary structure to not be exposed to the elements. Your second structure needs to be built on solid ground, even in a tree as camoflaged treehouse or a cave, with ready access to the above. Many will dig into the side of a hill with an overlook to accomplish this. And that will need a table and a hearth capable of heat and cooking.

        Everything has to be made like baskets, bowls, utensils like spoons and tongs or water boiling troughs. You need a bed and a chair. You probably need to flintnap. You will run of arrows and need to make more including a straightener and fetching tools and a place to tan and make a new bowstring.

        The problem is that will looked lived in, right? Someone scouting for you will signs of firewood being gathered, snares, plowed fields, campfire, piles of stones, bone fragments, etc. This is why it has to be far enough away to avoid population density.

        If you think you will be loud and proud ie confrontational, then you won’t survive long.

        Imagine being the only adult guy in a family. How will you ever rest? You cannot always be vigilant. You will exhaust yourself. Not only that but how can you wear all the hats ie have all the skills? No one does. You have primary and secondary responsibilities and others in the tribe have other responsibilities. You most likely need four burly guys who can takes turns doing watch and work and somebody is getting some shuteye.

        No matter what, you need a healer/herbalist, a cook, a skilled hunter, trapper, fisherman. You need at least one veteran soldier.

        The reality will be an enormous amount of constant work, mostly drudgery, and either making tools or repairing. And that uses up valuable daylight as it’s quite difficult to have the oil for lamps. You can make some tools by firelight, but not do fine precise work. Most of the fat will be eaten, and then some for soap, with almost none for lamps. And you have to have 5-10 torches ready at all times.

        • Every stouthearted steadfast soldier in your tribe needs a wife and that means there are children. That’s a lot of mouths to feed. That means the tribe fails without adequate cultivation and raising a large enough herd.

          If you neglect cleanliness, living in such close proximity, then all of your tribe will get contagion. You all will end up with skin infections. You will have babies die…and mothers die.

          If you are just thinking survival, you won’t survive.

          You aren’t aiming on replicating your normal routine. You are trying to create “the semblance of normality”. That might just be routine hot water, soap, and a pitcher and a basin.

          You can’t have soap without a lot of animals that have excess fat and your soap operation is an annual event. That means you need enough soap for cleaning and laundry for a year…at least.

      12. There are so many degrees of SHTF. At 75 YO I’m not going to last long at all in any scenario except maybe a 6 mo power outage but if it’s the worst case situ on a global scale (back to the 8th century) then I’ll have plenty of company.

      13. Anyone that is truly serious, right now, about survival isn’t going to be wasting their time watching fiction. That time should be used learning a new trade, reading websites like, reading how to grow a garden, practicing defensive topics, ect.
        A person can make sense of what is happening by reading the scriptures and find out what brings on the chaos we are looking at. It also goes a long ways in identifying who to trust and who not to.

      14. The movies teach us one thing, the lead character is a survivor, he has to be, you have to feel for their struggle, but what about the extras? sure they carry on for a while, maybe get killed falling down a well or eaten by bear/alien/cannibal, what about the rest of their civilisation? what happened to them?.
        I hate to say it but should the SHTF in any situation or country, but one thing I seem to be missing from all these forums about survival, is that with all the planning for afterwards, all the gear on hand incase you have to bug in or out, truth is you may not even survive the inital catastrophe or situation therefore rendering any skills, gear or planning a moot point.
        Sure I get it make plans, get skills in case you see the day after but I also am ready in case I don’t make it, I’m not going to cry (or care for that fact) if I have ammo to last years, rations to see my family through, skills to put rambo to shame.
        If the government/ local community doesn’t get wind of your planning, your stockpiling sooner or later they will then what? They’ll be knocking on your bunker door/ mudhut or tarp to relieve you of your goodies.

      15. ht tps://
        This is best real life survival story of the year. Freakin’ awesome. After he whooped its ass, he said felt an immense rush of adreneline…like pure ELATION.

        I doubt this MAN ever has to buy another beer in his life.

      16. dCYHah_RfT4
        It’s an awesome story because he wrestled it, threw himself and the beast to the ground, tried to stab it sticks,beat its head with a rock, then stomped its neck which suffocated it so it let go of his wrist. This reminds me of Hercules and the Nemean lion which is one of the 12 Labors.

        Early reports indicate it was a female, maybe 100lbs. Listen as he describes a crazy high afterwards. That was a peak definitive moment for sure.

        • GF3xzl9LjBI
          Here is the full news conference along with his girlfriend. Not only did he think clearly in the face of adversity, but he ran into another runner on his way down to safety, plus a young couple (husband and wife) met them in the parking lot. So the wife drove him to the hospital and the guys went and recovered his vehicle six miles away. So together as a team, they took care of it. Way to go!

          Imagine running six miles AFTER a mountain lion attack and your face is lacerated.

          Under different circumstances, those folks would have had to control the bleeding and bandage and probably rig a travois to get him out so far.

      17. During the Vietnam War, there were standard issue hammock tents and you could still buy surplus ones in the seventies. But these went out of vogue, and standard Seventies tents were heavy canvas. These were replaced by bright color nylon tents with poles, then rapid popup tents that were a cinch to put up in the nineties.

        It wasn’t until the last ten years that hammock tents came back, with many preppers making homemade ones with sleeping bags and liners themselves.

        Honestly, if one had to bug out, that and a rain fly in camoflage colors would be ideal. You can mount that between any two trees versus needing some meadow. It’s fast and strong and a warm burrow and very portable.

        • 3_GGsFO8Sh0
          Billy Joe is an old school bushcrafter from Tennessee…and demonstrates his homemade hammock tent.

          Zack Fowler winner of the Alone tv series demonstrates a commercial setup.

      18. tsFE688UgMA
        Hammock tent set ups, summer versus winter, on the Appalachian trail.This is proof it’s very portable.

      19. hmHqgN-qML8
        Here is a long term dugout shelter using downed logs and moss to chink-it. Then you would mud it. Tom Brown Jr had a long standing one on his property that was stone and wood with survival cement (cow manure and mud). It withstood rain and the elements for YEARS. A good one can have a hearth. If you double wall it, it will be very warm, and brush and mud, quite camoflaged.

        The ones underground with good insulation mean that you need far less firewood, and that is VERY significant as the longer you are there, the more obvious the firewood taken will reveal you are there.

      20. Wwhat do you suppose is the biggest problem?

        It’s water acquisition in wintertime and storing food to get your through mid-November through May. There are not that many wild edibles available. The standard for an excellent forager would be 500 calories a day. This is obviously not sustainable.

        If you go far enough away where few people are, the problem is not conflict, but the daily grind of sufficient water, firewood, food, and avoiding accidents. These are calories intensive activities. It is extremely easy to twist your ankle and even break ankle and wrist bones.

        A simple accident can be lethal in the middle of nowhere without a buddy. If you are a 175lb man and you get hurt in a ravine, then can your 105 lb wife care for you and get you back to the burrow? No many can. They mostly would bring down water and clean your wounds and feed you. Then probably would have to build a shelter wherever you are as they lack the upper body strength to haul you to safety. Plus moving you could worsen your condition.

        Hollyweird has flat out lied about the reality under these kinds of situation.

        • If you are in the middle of nowhere and lack gear, how will you haul 2 quarts of water and boil it? And what is the maximum distance you can be from your water source? And how long can you do that based upon weather constraints? There’s no gourds in the wilderness. It’s hard to make any sizable water container that doesn’t leak. Then how will you boil it? Most likely by the Viking water trough method using rock-boiling.

          Better have canteens, right? Better have a mess kit, right?Better have a decent hunting and carving knife, right? If you start thinking clearly, you are not running a guerilla ninja mission but just trying to survive.

          That IJA soldier in WW2 did BOTH for 29 years and he started off with four others for a decade. Imagine scrounging for food times five people.

          • After 29 years, not only was he strong and fit, but his uniform was in good shape from constant maintenance meaning he washed and mended it. He was not debilitated. If he had wanted to, he probably could have continued for another decade.

            Could you?

            He was disgusted by how weak the Japanese had become, and went to Brazil for about a decade, then returned and ran a survival school.

      21. Pq_hLVk82hc
        This is how to make a kuksa which is a water cup.

        The Scots would look for a big knot on a tree that was sticking out, and would carve that into a dippin’ noggin.

        The Native Americans didn’t have knives unless they traded for them. They would burn a bowl by placing coals into a wooden blank, then using a hollow branch, blow on the coal, and burn the section out, and use scrapers that were flintknapped or made of bone to sand it or carve that region.

        • dywTuPDiH-c
          Combining techniques, you could make this mug, however you most likely would split it,work on both halves, then real it with pine resin, and bind it with cordage.

          Until you make it, every time you want a drink, it’s back to the water source. How long do you think it would take you to make it? Have you ever tried?

          • bqpx8SwzJ7E
            Zack Fowler’s homemade water bottle only holds a half a cup of water. How many trips did he have to make every day just for water? See the problems?

      22. PyC8yqYj3_M
        Viking rock boiling in a bowl although they often were troughs.

        Obviously you can’t haul a bowl of water without spilling it. In history, you prepared food away from the burrow or else bears might be a problem.

        Have you thought about all of these issues and how long it would take to do very basic chores?

      23. 9aKqjrgz92w
        The Plains Indians like the Sioux would harvest the stomach of a buffalo and make that into a water carrier.

      24. 6psSi-7Hok4
        Burl forms in various trees and has a beautiful grain. Some of the larger pieces are from the roots of trees. Large burl blanks can be made into drinking vessels and the smaller ones into ladles and spoons.

        Here Brooke Whipple of Alaska and who did two seasons on Alone (one with her husband) harvests some burl from conifers.

      25. -GZDG4pPyj4
        Burning out a kuksa. With patience and scraping, one could burn out a dugout canoe. That is a several man job over many days. Most likely having to seal it with birch oil and some patches.

        You know how to do all this, right?

        • 85o68BoO0EU
          Here a Native American burns out a dugout canoe. Obviously you plan how to fell it and launch it and it has to be near the water source. Slow and steady wins the race.

          • XOidkCPgP24
            Lonny making birch oil. He is a most excellent bushcraft teacher.

            This would waterproof your boots or the canoe or is flammable and can be used as a lamp oil. But you already learned these things and can do them, right?

            Or do you just know how to buy gear?

            I am trying to wake you up to reality versus decades of watching Hollyweird’s nonsense.

      26. c4c8ftFjus0
        Making a birchbark water container requires cordage and pine pitch and ingenuity and common sense. Here he demonstrates all of these. You can make cordage but that can take a lot of time versus spruce roots. Pine pitch is flammable and can seal wounds and is antimicrobial. Also the birch can be tapped for water and elctrolytes and boiled down to syrup when the sugar rises.

        Learning basic ancestral skills builds upon small very achievable tasks.

        Heck, some Native Americans pounded cedar bark and since it is so fibrous, made crude clothing from it.

        • 95rPwCDHOCE
          Cedar prepared and woven into a hat.

          Woven material textiles.

          Cordage from bark made into sandals.

      27. Unless you build a properly insulated earth-sheltered burrow, so that you can stretch the firewood by modulating your expectations, and gather enough water, you and your family won’t survive.

        You will all be barely moving to vastly reduce required calories, and huddling together, and mostly likely dirty and sick, and all of you will acquire the illness. You most likely will have fleas and lice. In the gulags, they would disrobe, and put their clothing in the snow to exterminate the vermin.

        That is a realistic depiction of winter survival when ill-prepared. You can store fat, but not protein, so even if you did your best to preserve food and water, your family will be extremely weak and debilitated. You hunker down because you are too weak to fight off invaders and only fools attack in winter as everyone is in the same situation so there is nothing to steal.

        Bugging out means you left valuable assets like tools, reference books, medicines, and food, because you are limited by what you can reasonably carry. And if there are abandoned things around you, then there are many fleeing refugees ahead of you. Translation, by the time you get there, they will have used up resources.

        That is the reality of bugging out due to factors like open warfare.

      28. BNuptoeoxK4
        Survival Lilly is a sweet and earnest German bushcrafter and a trained certified accountant. This is her first pottery attempt using poor quality yellow clay and firing it.

        The mistake was not washing the clay. Soil is sand with a clay deposit and a build up of topsoil from decaying matter that is rich in bacteria and of course then suitable for cultivation and attracts insects.

        When you wash soil, it seperates in layers, and so along a riverbank, there will be clay deposits. You ideally want just the clay as sand will reduce the actual pottery adhesion and will make it crumble.

        Had she washed it by immersing it in water to get the sand to seperate out, it would have been an excellent first start.

        To have a large vessel of water, requires quality pottery and careful firing.

        • dfo-Ndib_fg
          Washing the clay out of the soil just takes patience.

          Would you rather burn a bowl and carve and sand it out, or make three pots and fire them?

          • The more the clay is already naturally washed by the river flow, the less work it is to extract. Don’t be silly and start by digging up good loamy soil as it hasn’t been washed or you will get very little clay.

            This show very primitive tech to “throw” pots versus the much easier but less uniform “rope” method. A uniform pot is easier to fire in the kiln, right? It’s even in thickness.

            If your fire is poorly regulated in temperature, you get uneven firing and cracking.

            If you have a way to create this tech, you are not far from making crude querns to grind wheat into flour.

            Any water stored in pottery us going to stay potable longer versus stored in wooden vessels, right?

            Can you see how important it is to learn how to tap trees to get water and electrolytes? That doesn’t need purifying. Those trees might be near the shelter versus hauling it from lower elevation and spillage.

      29. The weight of water per gallon is 8.34 lbs. So if you had a ten gallon container, and were an average Christian lady, while you might be able to haul 83.40 lbs on flat road, I doubt you could haul it up a hill without falling, getting hurt, and the contatiner getting away from you.

        What a silly way to get injured and it might be on a cold winter morning when it’s slipery.

        You are not used to thinking that way as running water is the norm. It was not for our ancestors.

        On wash day or bath day, then you never want that water to flow back into your water source and pollute it, but I bet you heat up wash water down by the source and rig up a privacy screen and a drain, and take turns rinsing each other off.

        Ideally you catch that water for other uses like washing off boots or privies or in the garden.

        • Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. Rain is the good Lord’s gift to the righteous and unrighteous, Matthew 5:45b. Acorns can be processed and eaten and are virtually everwhere in the USA.

          In SHTF, enlist the young (teens) into hewing wood and carrying water, while us older ones do the other tasks. It burns their energy off, “Idle Hands are the devil’s workshop”. That Youthful rebellion has to be managed in SHTF groups or you’d be better off in age segregated christian groups. We’re fighting all of the brainwashing these youths have been subject to, as well as Psychotropic meds.

          M: we here in the USA, witness all of these Snow Storms, are now under National curse for the infanticide now being legal for the first time (New York), see Deuteronomy 28.

      30. A lot of people note the low population density of regions and then presume that means those places are good for stratgeic location. That is not completely logical.

        Tribes settled all kinds of places by adapting to the environment, but since they were a tribe and working together, they could manage these specific kinds of challenges. Just because they did, does NOT mean you can too.

        The most important aspect is water acquisition, in the immediate, midrange, and long term sense. You need fresh available water you can purify, you need it to have rained so the aquifers fill up so having a well is a reliable method, you need rain in seasons for cultivation and wild edible plants and herds and fish and game animals and reptiles and birds can surive. You need water in winter.

        This attribute alone removes many regions from being good bugout locations as they only fulfill some of these and you require all of them without undue HARDSHIP. Most people, especially on their own, would perish in the desert and taiga, as you don’t enough skills, or are strong enough, or have enough endurance, or you have various limitations, etc.

      31. There are very few people who can survive a 30-45 days by themselves. Under survival circumstances,if you get sick or injured, you will probably not make it. If you don’t have overall skills in many different areas, you probably won’t make it by yourself. If there are temperature extremes, you probably won’t make it by yourself. If you can’t identify wild edibles and or trap, fish,and hunt using primitive technolgy, you won’t make it by yourself. If you lack medical skills, you probably won’t make it by yourself. If you lack endurance and backbone, you probably won’t make it by yourself.

      32. Very thin athletic people have very few reserves and so unless they can locate food quickly, they are in trouble. And unless they are very mentally disciplined and likely spiritually so too, they can pass out regardless of their physique. They can take risks since they feel stronger, but that can get them in trouble. You have to temper risk taking under a survival situation versus the benefit gained.

        People in poor shape have reserves,but often lack fortitude, and might be very used to quitting because a civilized life allows bad habits to persist. And that is lethal in the wild. Nature does not care if you survive.

      33. As you can see from all those posts, water acquisition would take up an enormous amount of time, and hence shallow sandpoint wells and long term deep wells are crucial. Rainwater catchment into cisterns will help but never replace a well. A shallow point is suited for watering the garden and possibly for livestock based upon where privies are located. A shallow point in a pinch can offer short term water, but at the first available opportunity, one would dig a deep well, and brick it up, and most likely create a biosand filter.

        Otherwise one could waste six hours a day hauling water and purifying it, besides making pottery and water vessels from wood. Plus you don’t have to boil it,thus you save on firewood.

        A tribe using ten burly men can find a well location and then have water for crops as well as consumption and this creates immense security as well as preventing disease. Obviously they must consider a cranking mechanism and or a counterweight to facilitate drawing the water. Thus is why pumps were a delight as even a youngester could fetch water and so help water livestock or trees.

        That is why in the history of war, wells were ruined on purpose by dumping flour into them. That cripples a tribe.

      34. If you are not where you want to be, physically,like your beloved hollowed out log, right now then the odds of getting there after the SHTF is nearly ZERO! I have watched the fear mongering for 40yrs and counting. Still no major collapse of anything. It is a poor farmer that destroys his herd. We are the “Chatel of Cattle” to the Masters. It would be foolish in extremis to destroy the the means of their wealth.
        Fear is what sells. The whole idea of the bogus WOT is to sell FEAR.

      35. Tom Brown Jr almost by himself reinvigorated tracking in the early eighties. His field guides are excellent though lack photos. The Field Guide to the Living with the Earth is an extrordinary book.

        The best and least expensive ancestral skills guide is the old Reader’s Digest Back to Basics book.

        I bet a beginner could find either in your local public library. If you mastered those skills, you should be able to survive with ease.

        It would very helpful to have several wilderness field guides with photos like the Audubon Society tree books and ones on wild edibles. With the latter you be better served finding a mentor. If anyone thinks I’m a hardcase, don’t give any Native American elders any lip.

      36. Fear is nearly a useless tool for motivating people and why it seldom has value persuading young people.

        The point of ancestral skills is to live in harmony with the Earth as a steward which is profoundly Biblical. Any young person who works with a good sincere mentor will intuit their role within nature. That is the easiest way to bear fruit for the Gospel as well. Atheism makes zero sense as life is not random luck whatsoever.

        Chaos theory has taught us since the nineties that there really isn’t much true chaos…everything has order which is elegantly proven in the Fibonnaci sequence.

      37. This morning I am wondering if I as a Christian should actually teach nonbelievers any ancestral skills. Is it wise for me to do so unless I totally know the character of the student?

      38. When teaching ancestral skills, then you might make the example very large in powerpoint so the whole class can see. Or you might have them start pine resin which is very flammable so easy to start.

        But dumbing down and practically begging people to prep and learn skills…does them no good. They have to decide that it’s a priority. DON’t waste your breath because there are people who want to learn.

        When teaching you use various modalities to get a point across. You don’t just write aimlessly. I think if you read all of my posts, there is a point there…all along the way…as each small segment deals with some aspect that you may not have considered.

        Why? Because I’ve been doing this a LONG TIME and I know how young people are. The end is not the goal. The journey is the goal.

        And in life, the end of the journey is when you graduate to Heaven, or get punished eternally in Hell. Why? Because you either understood and were humbled by the ELOHIM or you utterly failed by being selfish and full of pride.

        This is why I’m electing not to teach ancestral skills to people of low character who are selfish and prideful. It’s a waste of my time and theirs. If they are Hell-bound, what use was ancestral skills?

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